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Update 1.2 Class Balances and the Nitty Gritty Details

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Update 1.2 Class Balances and the Nitty Gritty Details
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Sykomyke's Avatar


Sykomyke
03.09.2012 , 07:37 AM | #71
Quote: Originally Posted by Sirsri View Post
Uh... don't you give us free respecs every tuesday anyway? Even if the tooltip doesn't reset, the cost to respec does....

The whole concept of the talent trees (and the lack of multi spec) is basically a failure anyway, so whatever incremental changes you make are sort of secondary to the broader problem that specs with 41 talent points don't really work conceptually. They're manageable for the moment since we all have our old simulation tools from WOTLK wow, but really, they don't make for good, compelling or interesting gameplay, they were dumb when wow launched, and this far on it's clear where they're deficient as a gameplay element. They just serve to confuse people who don't understand the underlying mathematics, and waste time for the people who do trying to figure out the right way to play. Once that sinks in, and you toss the whole concept then you'll be making real progress. Until then you're putting lipstick on a pig.
The concept of talent trees isn't a failure; what the problem in WoW was that talent trees got bloated by the increase in levels to the point where talent trees were ridiculously long and become hard to balance, especially with "Hybrid" specs. (Same issue here in SWTOR regarding the hybrid specs)

Right now the problem I see with talent trees in SWTOR is they have no significant choices. Nearly every talent tree lets you spend every point you have in that tree with only 3-7 points not spent for talents in that single tree. There are nearly no significant choices; which is exactly why Blizzard changes their talent design in trees to be more significant at the beginning of Cataclysm.

Quote:
Now the trees are separate from the result of the trees. The result of the trees, which is how you actually play the game, well on that one you guys don't seem to have shown even a tiny shimmer of hope that you get it. It's *your* job to teach people how to play the game. Not mine. If I have to tell my guild members who don't even play my class how to to prioritize their abilities you are doing it wrong. And well, you're doing it wrong. But at least they are mostly mechanically different, your UI just does a horrid job of visualizing the data you need to play many of the specs. And nothing in 1.2 appears to even try and fix that.
Actually no. It's not their job to teach players how to play their advanced class. That's the fun of MMO's; those who don't understand how to play get "thinned" out of the herd. They'll never play Hard-Mode FPs or OPs. BioWare teaches you the basics; beyond that it's "your game".

Quote:
If you want the short summary: Convert specs to 'themes' players unlock a new theme at 10, 25 and 40. They can switch between themes. Each theme mechanically follows most of the underlying principles of the specs, but without the baffling choices like whether or not I should be putting my 41st talent point in electric execution or exploitative strikes, and that sort of thing. The UI should reserve space to be signaled from the combat system about events the player should be responding to (i.e. this ability proced, use it now if you can). That space should always represent the same information in the same place, in the same way. Now make it customizable with either heroscript or LUA since there are more ways to visualize the same data properly than you have developers.
The UI does have some signals; the Agent laughs when he gets probe crits that give him a Tactical Advantage proc.

The Bounty Hunter laughs and has a red shield briefly circle him when they get a PPA proc. It only took me about 30 minutes of playing to realize that the laugh/red shield meant my PPA had proc'd. Do you really need BIG FLOATING TEXT from addons to tell you how to play your class like in WoW? I think those who learn how to read the game mechanics without Addons are more skilled then those who require such addons to do the same thing.

I think you are too used to the spoonfeeding WoW addons gave you and need to go back to the basics of understanding how to play a game with your own two hands and brain; rather then having macros and addons do all the clicking and thinking for you.
"I find your lack of faith disturbing."
Sith Empire

SWImara's Avatar


SWImara
03.09.2012 , 08:07 AM | #72
Quote: Originally Posted by Sirsri View Post
If you want the short summary: Convert specs to 'themes' players unlock a new theme at 10, 25 and 40. They can switch between themes. Each theme mechanically follows most of the underlying principles of the specs, but without the baffling choices like whether or not I should be putting my 41st talent point in electric execution or exploitative strikes, and that sort of thing. The UI should reserve space to be signaled from the combat system about events the player should be responding to (i.e. this ability proced, use it now if you can). That space should always represent the same information in the same place, in the same way. Now make it customizable with either heroscript or LUA since there are more ways to visualize the same data properly than you have developers.
I just want to note that not all agree on this subject, actually I /hate/ the idea. Yes people will always percieve a right way and a wrong way to build thier characters, min/maxers will always dream about the perfect build, but playing builds one doesn't c/p from the forums has always worked. I hated it when games first moved away from assigning your attribute points on leveling (the age of every class having one attribute really sucks imo). I have been unfond of every other removal of choice since then. I just hope that if any one read the above and was looking to implement it they accept that not everyone agrees with you.


Quote: Originally Posted by Sykomyke View Post
I think you are too used to the spoonfeeding WoW addons gave you and need to go back to the basics of understanding how to play a game with your own two hands and brain; rather then having macros and addons do all the clicking and thinking for you.
Also this^^

I understand that WoW was fun, people loved and still do love it. I am not trying to needlessly badmouth the game, but I really wish folks would stop pushing for every other mainstream MMO that has come out since to develop the same way WoW did. People have always figured out how to work their way through new content. Long before the days of WoW-style flashing giant text telling people what to do, people figured it out by paying attention. What is awesome is seeing the same folks demanding that the gameplay match WoW then complain when everything is "easy".

Brightglade's Avatar


Brightglade
03.09.2012 , 09:38 AM | #73
Quote: Originally Posted by Shroudveil View Post
atm every player you see is either bh or sorc. THis isn't a problem? but when they were operatives it was?. After the buff stacking removal (which was nessessary i agree) BW didn't even waited 1 week to test out how damage of operatives was affected, they just continued their nerfs within 3days.

it is not enjoyable for me atm to be the worst healer and the worst dps out of 8 ACs. So yes, i will whine till they fix things, it is my right to do so
I love so many of your comments Shroudveil. *Tight hug !*

Quote: Originally Posted by Coldin View Post
Though I'm not sure if they gave us a free respec when they changed Flechette Round and K.O.
I sure don't remember getting a free respec but Im a Medic. Also, I have read many of your posts and you are one of the few players that actually -get it- about Op Medics. *Tight hug !*

[Off topic]
Your post the other day that Medics and Sawbones only having 50-100 energy was spot on. I would go further and say, that Op Medics and Sawbones only have 51-100 energy.

I have already listed, twice, what I would change to help Medics/Sawbones. I'm just waiting for the patch notes to see if I cancel my account or continue to play. The healing balancing needs to be substantial.
"When faced with a choice between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."
Mae West

Delphis's Avatar


Delphis
03.09.2012 , 10:32 AM | #74
Quote: Originally Posted by GeorgZoeller View Post
Well no.

Any kind of structural change we do (e.g. a skill that had 3 points now has 2 points) or if a skill changes what it does or moves to a different tier will require us to give all players in that tree a free respec. Anything else would be unfair to the player. I'm not going to start changing your character without giving you that option.

Game Update 1.2. contains the result of several months of feedback and data gathered from real player interactions with our servers. We're quite deliberate in our pace of making adjustments to classes, taking our time to see where classes are developing as players get into the game, watching new specs coming and going as the community develops counter measures against them. Game Update 1.2 is an opportunity for us to roll out greater changes and big picture improvements or rebalances.

The changes made to most classes are more evolutionary adjustments or quality of life upgrades along with balance improvements (up and down). Still, we won't be the arbiter of whether a change makes a skill worthwhile or no longer worthwhile for your build, you can make that decision for yourself, hence the free respec.
I understand SWTOR's -need- to rebalance. And it is right that this will be a free respec. I had hoped, however, that SWTOR would release at a higher level such that large scale adjustments would not be required. I am expressing my disappointment in what I believe to be major design and development deficiencies.

I personally do not want to play a game that is constantly, "rebalancing". This just leads to uneeded frustration because:

a) it should not need rebalancing in the first place (get it right)
b) all nerfs and buffs will cause players grief to some degree

The fact that it needs to be rebalanced suggests that BW does not have the ability foresee, plan, and implement a lasting balance. If BW had a core understanding of MMO class balance and the ability to code it, then they would have already.

And to add fact to my opinion I leave you with: Resolve, Stuns, Slows, Knockbacks and the very out of control nature of CC in this game.

Alxandria's Avatar


Alxandria
03.09.2012 , 10:51 AM | #75
Quote: Originally Posted by Delphis View Post

a) it should not need rebalancing in the first place (get it right)
This is an unfair statement. I've played almost a dozen different MMOs and every single one has had to rebalance classes, especially if they had any sort of skill tree system. The reason being is the more options they give us, the more creative players are going to get. When you have (in this game) millions of people, or even for one advance class, tens if not hundreds of thousands of people playing it, they are going to find combination you wouldn't have expected.

The latest example prior to SWTOR was Rift, a very expansive skill tree systems with countless combinations from the obvious to the absurd, things that Devs looked at and asked why would you have ever considered that combo, and yet you play it in a way that works.

Players are smarter than Devs, especially when it comes to milking a system, they are far more motivated and focused at getting their outcome.

Sirsri's Avatar


Sirsri
03.09.2012 , 10:52 AM | #76
Quote: Originally Posted by Sykomyke View Post
The concept of talent trees isn't a failure; what the problem in WoW was that talent trees got bloated by the increase in levels to the point where talent trees were ridiculously long and become hard to balance, especially with "Hybrid" specs. (Same issue here in SWTOR regarding the hybrid specs)

Right now the problem I see with talent trees in SWTOR is they have no significant choices. Nearly every talent tree lets you spend every point you have in that tree with only 3-7 points not spent for talents in that single tree. There are nearly no significant choices; which is exactly why Blizzard changes their talent design in trees to be more significant at the beginning of Cataclysm.

Correct, there are few meaningful choices a player can make. There are math choices (i.e. correct ones) and very narrow choices at odd points. Most of the math choices involve padding 3 points into the same obviously best talent. That's why it's a failure. There's either a right answer, or nonsense choices. It's not particularly fun for anyone, least of all people who don't really understand the math, and just look up a spec somewhere. That's not good gameplay in wow, swtor, or anything else.


Quote: Originally Posted by Sykomyke View Post
Actually no. It's not their job to teach players how to play their advanced class. That's the fun of MMO's; those who don't understand how to play get "thinned" out of the herd. They'll never play Hard-Mode FPs or OPs. BioWare teaches you the basics; beyond that it's "your game".
It is their job. If you need to go to elitistjerks or sithwarrior.com to figure out how to play your character they're doing it wrong. You even (if you're a sith or jedi especially) have an in game 'master' who trains you. They should, you know... train you. You should never need to leave the game world to know how to play properly. And right now, you do. I point this out specifically because it's something they could do better than the competition.

Suggesting that players should be 'thinned' out of the herd is a path to making vanguard: a saga of [lonely] heros. Everyone should at a minimum be able to successfully complete normal mode raid and all hard modes, and should be able to meaningfully participate in general pvp. If not they dont' play, they don't pay, and Bioware starts having to cut staff. There aren't 2 million excellent hard mode raiders just waiting around for a star wars game. There's a difference between telling someone what they should do (they already get that information, just structured poorly by the community) and them being able to execute. The difference between excellent players and not is that excellent players can execute. It's not that the information doesn't exist, but it should be coming from BioWare in a cohesive fashion, not a bunch of forum nerds who are math geeks arguing with each other over the relative value of a critical thrash or a maul proc when you're madness speced.


Quote: Originally Posted by Sykomyke View Post
The UI does have some signals; the Agent laughs when he gets probe crits that give him a Tactical Advantage proc.

The Bounty Hunter laughs and has a red shield briefly circle him when they get a PPA proc. It only took me about 30 minutes of playing to realize that the laugh/red shield meant my PPA had proc'd. Do you really need BIG FLOATING TEXT from addons to tell you how to play your class like in WoW? I think those who learn how to read the game mechanics without Addons are more skilled then those who require such addons to do the same thing.

I think you are too used to the spoonfeeding WoW addons gave you and need to go back to the basics of understanding how to play a game with your own two hands and brain; rather then having macros and addons do all the clicking and thinking for you.
You assumed everyone playing the game can hear. Think about that for about 10 seconds. (also the laughing happens so often it's more annoying to you and your group members than it is a useful cue for anything, I find it mainly distracts my group in 4 mans, and is mostly useless when you have two operatives, I have bad hearing, and I can't tell the difference between when I get a TA and when the other agent gets a TA).

All of the information is in the UI, but when it's added to your buffs they're constantly re-ordered/positioned. Like I said, this is an HCI problem, and there are more correct ways to visualize the data you need than there are developers. You immediately started with the fundamentally flawed premise that audio cues are useful to everyone. If you actually think that, we can't have a useful discussion. Being able to read through a reordering buff window watching procs and being able to guess which crushing darkness on the target is mine and which is someone elses is sort of a skill sure. But it's not a good or meaningful skill. And it excludes people from the game who are mostly overwhelmed by the UI, and don't have the time or interest in dealing with this nonsense. The goal with any piece of software is to make it accessible. It should be easy to know what you are supposed to do. Right now it isn't.

WoW addons solve the problem I said, that people don't know how to play, and the addons tell them. That's why their whole system needs a rethink. Mods are popular because they make the game more accessible, that's good, but if you need mods to convey critical information (which you do in WoW, because they basically gave up on the UI) then you're failing completely at actually making the game for a player. Blizzard solution was to make a platform for other programmers to solve them, and that's been the established norm since EQ brought in a moddable LUA UI in what 2002, 2003?

Sirsri's Avatar


Sirsri
03.09.2012 , 11:02 AM | #77
Quote: Originally Posted by SWImara View Post
I just want to note that not all agree on this subject, actually I /hate/ the idea. Yes people will always percieve a right way and a wrong way to build thier characters, min/maxers will always dream about the perfect build, but playing builds one doesn't c/p from the forums has always worked. I hated it when games first moved away from assigning your attribute points on leveling (the age of every class having one attribute really sucks imo). I have been unfond of every other removal of choice since then. I just hope that if any one read the above and was looking to implement it they accept that not everyone agrees with you.
I'm not sure how A follows B. If you could assign 'attribute' points and put them all in presence rather than something useful in raids, that's not a good choice to give a player. If you could put them all in one place that was definitely the best place (primary dps stat on an a dps char for example) then that's not a useful choice either. If you give them choices of lockpicking vs pickpocketing well now you're making interesting gameplay.

With talents you can seriously gimp yourself if you spec completely wrong, and most people don't have the time to invest in figuring out the wierd cases of talent points like the one I specifically mentioned. Blizzard, mechanically is going in a better direction than specs, but it's not the only approach. Right now the vast majority of specs are going to be either bad, or copied. Neither of which is good. If you're going to give the player choice that choice should actually be sensible, not self healing from dots versus higher stealth level. Those are bizarre oddly construed choices that don't really add much to the game, and even if you think they're good, they can be pulled out on their own.






Quote: Originally Posted by SWImara View Post

Also this^^

I understand that WoW was fun, people loved and still do love it. I am not trying to needlessly badmouth the game, but I really wish folks would stop pushing for every other mainstream MMO that has come out since to develop the same way WoW did. People have always figured out how to work their way through new content. Long before the days of WoW-style flashing giant text telling people what to do, people figured it out by paying attention. What is awesome is seeing the same folks demanding that the gameplay match WoW then complain when everything is "easy".

Um.... right. But Blizzard got to 12 million subscribers. No one else has exceeded 5. And most of the other big ones were in asia. Lineage 1 and 2 I think were the biggest though theoretically SWTOR could be up there fairly soon. But 2 million subs is a long way from 12. The UI think was really long before WoW and with enough players you can't build an accessible UI for everyone.


Also, Please point to anywhere I've ever said the game is too easy. The game is largely inaccessible, it's too easy for hardcore wow players because it's mechanically the same as WOTLK. But if you couldn't, or didn't play wow SWTOR is bewilderingly hard.

Delphis's Avatar


Delphis
03.09.2012 , 11:11 AM | #78
Quote: Originally Posted by Alxandria View Post
This is an unfair statement. I've played almost a dozen different MMOs and every single one has had to rebalance classes, especially if they had any sort of skill tree system. The reason being is the more options they give us, the more creative players are going to get. When you have (in this game) millions of people, or even for one advance class, tens if not hundreds of thousands of people playing it, they are going to find combination you wouldn't have expected.

The latest example prior to SWTOR was Rift, a very expansive skill tree systems with countless combinations from the obvious to the absurd, things that Devs looked at and asked why would you have ever considered that combo, and yet you play it in a way that works.

Players are smarter than Devs, especially when it comes to milking a system, they are far more motivated and focused at getting their outcome.
It's a shame that some people settle for mediocrity and flawed mechanics.

Please don't quote Rift anymore in any discussion on class balance and talent spec design.

Judging by Bioware's previous titles, I fully expected them to deliver a more solid product in SWTOR. That is a fair conclusion based on historical performance.

luxflux's Avatar


luxflux
03.09.2012 , 11:25 AM | #79
Quote: Originally Posted by Blotter View Post
I wouldn't call it either. I'd call it 100% par for the course with the MMORPG player crowd and proof of Lincoln's famous "you can please some of the people all the time and yuo can please all the people some of the time, but you can't lpeaase all the people all the time." The corollary to all of that, of course, is that some people can never be pleased. EVER. And THEY will be the most vocal of all because they view the world as against them and live in a constant victimhood echo chamber bubble where every single little slight theyfeel to their wants and desires is another confirmation that everyone and everything is out to screw them.
Win. Some of the posts in this thread are ridiculous. I especially like the people predicting the sub numbers....uninformed opinions abound, everyones a damn expert. Is everyone here young? Videogames in general are all about delays....show me a game that isn't delayed, I'll show you a pile of crap 9/10 times. Besides, only marquee titles ever get enough attention that you even know they're delayed. BW is being fairly candid and straightforward. They're making a lot of good changes. I'm cool with speculation about the patch, but class balance is something that has been off the radar, so there is hardly anything to go on. Being that that is the case, how the **** are people already qqing? LOL...

Still, the rampant, ADD, MTV entitlement group has a loud voice. Christ....they need a ****** flame bw forum so I can actually get info on here.

hadoken's Avatar


hadoken
03.09.2012 , 11:25 AM | #80
Quote: Originally Posted by Delphis View Post
Judging by Bioware's previous titles, I fully expected them to deliver a more solid product in SWTOR. That is a fair conclusion based on historical performance.
No it isn't because this is BioWare's first MMO. Your posts suggest you're new to the genre (hint: no such thing as perfect balance, ever).