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CourtneyWoods
08.23.2013 , 02:05 PM | #1 Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. Next  
Hey Sorcs!

Below are your answers from the dev team for your top three questions. Thank you for all the hard work you put into gathering these! The combat team will be keeping an eye on this thread, reading your feedback, and watching for any followups. Like with the Sniper and Sentinel answers, we have put the answers twice - first with Sorcerer and second with Sage so that it is easier for you to read.

-Courtney


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1. Defensive Cooldowns (PvP/PvE)

The biggest problem the sorcerer faces is one of survivability. Currently the sorcerer takes the most damage by a sizable margin, one that is noticeable in raids and PvP (our guess is around 20%). While we have some tools that assist in keeping us alive, they are insufficient and inferior when compared to other classes.

-Force speed: Hampered by the unruly number of snares in the game, only becomes slightly viable when specced into with snare breaks, even then can still be shut down immediately.
-Bubble: exceptionally good, however, consumes a great amount of force to keep up and is on our GCD (often is broken in PvP before next GCD is ready anyway). While it is a great utility skill, it is not a traditional defensive CD.
-Barrier: a great addition, however, it keeps up from doing our job and the second it falls off we are targeted and killed just as fast. It only acts as a small delay, not a defensive cooldown.
-Heals: obviously they are weaker and every heal we cast is just another attack we are not making.

When compared to other classes, such a marauder or sniper, they both get cooldowns that allow them to mitigate a lot (or all) of the damage for a period of time. Another part of our problem is that most of our defensive abilities need to be spec’d into, but they are entirely scattered throughout the three trees - we can't get them all, but we need them all and then some.

So with all this in mind, do you think that this very obvious disparity between sorcerers/sages and every other class’ defensive cooldowns are fair? Or for that matter… is it intended? If it isn’t, is there any plan to give us some sort of damage mitigation? Some ability that, given the proper amount of team assistance, can help us withstand an assault from multiple players? Obviously we don’t want to take on an entire team/raid boss but something to even the playing field. Because currently we have the lightest armor… and it shows.
There may be a little room for improvement here, though comparing a Sorcerer to a Marauder or Sniper is not exactly a fair comparison. The fact is, Marauders and Snipers cannot heal themselves to full. Sure, you cannot deal damage while you are healing, but knowing when to heal or when to deal damage is part of playing a Sorcerer. Marauders and Snipers definitely have a simplicity advantage over Sorcerers, because they can only fulfill the role of a damage dealer. Therefore, they are easier to play to their full potential than any class that can tank/off-tank or heal/off-heal.

There are no current plans to give Sorcerers some sort of damage mitigation, though we might tweak some existing skills or abilities if we feel that Sorcerers are underperforming. Force Barrier already helps Sorcerers withstand an assault from multiple players, and how you use it is crucial to your survival. As a Sorcerer, you must play defensively and make them pay for trying to kill you.


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There may be a little room for improvement here, though comparing a Sage to a Marauder or Sniper is not exactly a fair comparison. The fact is, Marauders and Snipers cannot heal themselves to full. Sure, you cannot deal damage while you are healing, but knowing when to heal or when to deal damage is part of playing a Sage. Marauders and Snipers definitely have a simplicity advantage over Sages, because they can only fulfill the role of a damage dealer. Therefore, they are easier to play to their full potential than any class that can tank/off-tank or heal/off-heal.

There are no current plans to give Sages some sort of damage mitigation, though we might tweak some existing skills or abilities if we feel that Sages are underperforming. Force Barrier already helps Sages withstand an assault from multiple players, and how you use it is crucial to your survival. As a Sage, you must play defensively and make them pay for trying to kill you.


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2. Spec Shutdown (PvP)


A big problem we face as sorcerer/sage is that our specs (all of them) are very easily shut down. For example; madness and its dots are too easily cleansed, corruption has far too many casted abilities and is extremely prone to interrupts, and lightning falls victim to severe LoS. Thundering blast and AoE heals being the biggest offenders.

The other classes/specs we compete with on the battlefield have some sort of protection against a lot of what might be detrimental to their jobs. Lethality has a weaker version of their dots when removed, but it allows them to continue with their nuke (cull). Medicine operatives have the highest movement potential of the healers, their two casted abilities, if interrupted, do not stop them from healing effectively, and they have a short cooldown on their all-dot cleanse. Arsenal mercenaries have 1 ability they need to setup with and their major attack (heat seekers) are an instant cast, making it difficult to LoS them.

The off-healing abilities do not compensate for our inefficiencies – we do not have the ability to out heal incoming damage in any spec and can’t continue DPS while healing. So, is it intended for us to be easier to stop because we can dps while in heal spec and vice versa, even if they are mostly unreliable unless specced into? Given the current state of PvP, is it intended for our class to be so easy to shut down?
It is not intended for Sorcerers to be easier to stop because they can heal while specialized to DPS or vice versa; however, the ability to heal is considered to be part of a Sorcerer’s overall survivability. Sorcerers should not be easier to shut down than any other Advanced Class, but due to the fact that most of the Sorcerer’s healing and damaging abilities have an activation time, they may need to be more careful than other classes about using LOS to their own advantage – for a Sorcerer, positioning is extremely important at all times. Sorcerer’s are an “easy to play, hard to master” class, in that most of their abilities are rather straight-forward and easily understood, but getting the most out of those abilities may require a higher skill level than many players are comfortable with.

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It is not intended for Sages to be easier to stop because they can heal while specialized to DPS or vice versa; however, the ability to heal is considered to be part of a Sage’s overall survivability. Sages should not be easier to shut down than any other Advanced Class, but due to the fact that most of the Sage’s healing and damaging abilities have an activation time, they may need to be more careful than other classes about using LOS to their own advantage – for a Sage, positioning is extremely important at all times. Sage’s are an “easy to play, hard to master” class, in that most of their abilities are rather straight-forward and easily understood, but getting the most out of those abilities may require a higher skill level than many players are comfortable with.

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3. Community's Choice- Force Management (PvP/PvE)

In the current state of PvP and soon to be 4v4s it is going to become a challenge for Corruption and Madness sorcerers to maintain force. In long, drawn out fights which we can expect to see in 4v4, madness and corruption will likely run into force issues. As corruption and it’s fairly easy spec to shut down, it will become increasingly difficult as the fights drag on to keep yourself alive and your teammates (most likely the tank). As you start to fall behind in force trying to keep some of your cast’s instant, it will not be optimal to start sacrificing your health. Madness will have an easier time with management, but again, will likely run into force issues when under pressure.

Sorcerers are often referred to as a more ‘support’ class. Which is fine, however, dipping into this support role quickly depletes a large chunk of our force. Off healing and bubbling quickly runs us try and we usually have nothing to show for it. Is there any plan to add some force management abilities/talents/mechanics to our corruption and madness trees? Even something as simple as lowering the cost of static barrier would be a step in the right direction.
We currently have no plans to add any extra Force management abilities, skills, or mechanics to Corruption or Madness, though we may consider lowering the cost of Static Barrier (but that would likely come at the price of lowering the absorption it provides). In PvE, all healers (not just Corruption Sorcerers) should struggle with resources in prolonged combat encounters (unless they have out-geared the encounter). In PvP, healers should not be able to keep everyone alive either because too much damage is being done to too many of their allies all at once or because one specific ally is taking too much damage within a short timeframe – not because they are running out of resources. If this is not the case for a well-played Corruption Sorcerer, then we will make necessary adjustments when it becomes more apparent.

The Critical Rating stat is currently adjusted to a level that grants a critical chance with which we are not completely satisfied, and this means that some specializations lacking a built-in auto-crit are at a disadvantage, while specializations like Madness and Corruption that gain utilities and advantages when they critically hit are at an even bigger disadvantage. We will be working to rectify this issue with the Critical Rating stat in the future, and that should alleviate some issues for Madness, Corruption, and many other specializations within the game.


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We currently have no plans to add any extra Force management abilities, skills, or mechanics to Seer or Balance, though we may consider lowering the cost of Force Armor (but that would likely come at the price of lowering the absorption it provides). In PvE, all healers (not just Seer Sages) should struggle with resources in prolonged combat encounters (unless they have out-geared the encounter). In PvP, healers should not be able to keep everyone alive either because too much damage is being done to too many of their allies all at once or because one specific ally is taking too much damage within a short timeframe – not because they are running out of resources. If this is not the case for a well-played Seer Sage, then we will make necessary adjustments when it becomes more apparent.

The Critical Rating stat is currently adjusted to a level that grants a critical chance with which we are not completely satisfied, and this means that some specializations lacking a built-in auto-crit are at a disadvantage, while specializations like Balance and Seer that gain utilities and advantages when they critically hit are at an even bigger disadvantage. We will be working to rectify this issue with the Critical Rating stat in the future, and that should alleviate some issues for Balance, Seer, and many other specializations within the game.
Courtney Woods | Lead Community Coordinator
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