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Meet the Developers: Rob Hinkle

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Meet the Developers: Rob Hinkle
First BioWare Post First BioWare Post

TheHunterC's Avatar


TheHunterC
01.17.2013 , 09:44 PM | #21
Always nice to meet someone who helped give us this great game!
BioWare consider the ideas in THIS thread.

proud Collector's Edition owner

Aowin's Avatar


Aowin
01.17.2013 , 09:52 PM | #22
A pleasure to meet you Rob,

I have to say since Update 1.2, I would argue class balance has been rather atrocious. I know from personal experience that class balance since 1.2 as well as cutting out world pvp in Ilum caused many of my gamer friends to quit and never return to this game. Powertechs/Vanguards are still extremely overpowered with their ability to stack DOTs as well as generate burst damage. Your nerf of placing a six second cooldown on how often these classes could proc high impact bolt has in no way impeded substantially the ridiculous amount of damage they generate.

Sentinels/Marauders are still extremely overpowered with their high damage along with their various defensive abilities (pacify, guarded by the force, stealth, etc.). Guardians/Juggernauts have an overpowered tree known as "Focus" (also the shared tree for sentinels/marauders) that allows one to do massive AOEs for 6000+ damage with their sweep/smash if they have enough sense to stack strength and power, which doesn't seem to have diminishing returns.

Shadows/Assassins are still extremely powerful (even though their armor rating and self heal has been nerfed) with their kinetic combat/balance hybrid that allows them to generate a mass amount of damage like a DPS class, while also tanking. Sages/Sorcerers have an extremely powerful hybrid in Seer/Telekinetic defense that allows them to essentially permanently stun players without fear of dying. Due to your recent efforts in lessening how much the resolve bar is increased by the bubble stun, it's even more deadly.

I could go on, but I have outlined the classes that are in particular the most prevalent in PvP and clearly the most overpowered from my own accounts. Now I understand that class balance is a delicate process. What you do to the class not only affects its performance in PvP, but also PvE, and such repercussions need to be considered. You also don't want to upset many of your subscribers by constantly changing and tweaking their classes.

This isn't about hurting someone's feelings though, but building a healthy, stable, and competitive game. I'm a huge fan of SWTOR as well as an avid PvPer (I have been here since early access and earlier being accepted into Game Testing). I'm not typing this as a way to get back at particular classes that I hate, because sadly enough I have a Guardian and a Vanguard (two ACs with extremely overpowered trees). As a person who enjoys competitive PvP that requires skill and team-oriented coordination, I want this game to be at its utmost best.

The way PvP is currently, if you want to dominate, you have to play particular classes. Just look at any of the top PvP guilds, especially those who generally queue for ranked warzones, you'll notice most if not all generally gravitate towards the same three or four advanced classes. I believe a lot of these problems can be rectified by placing diminishing returns on power, making shield generators functional in PvP, and overall slowing down the amount of damage that can be thrown out by players.

Having followed this game since October of 2008, I remember BioWare specifically talking about how they wanted to have longer, drawn-out battles, unlike most MMORPGs. You didn't want to be like the other MMORPGs where fights would last less than five seconds, and sadly, that is what SWTOR class balance has turned into. Take a look at what PvP was like before 1.2, when DPS didn't completely dominate and dictate PvP (besides operatives and mercenaries, however healers and tanks were more effective back then). This is just my opinion, however I'm sure others feel the same way.

All the best in constantly improving the game we all enjoy!
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

Kynesis's Avatar


Kynesis
01.17.2013 , 11:23 PM | #23
Mr Street (of WoW) recently discussed how their PvP will go through some changes to address an 'artificial' gear-gap and also help with mid season catch-up. SWTOR seems destined to follow in their footsteps, with similar issues.

Keeping PvE and PvP separate seems like it's "the only way" they can both work but this also creates pretty significant divides. I know it's been discussed before (and likely will be many times again), I'd still like to take the opportunity to encourage the SWTOR devs to rethink this whole paradigm.

PvP and PvE are both aspects of the same game, treating them as two games in one is a major pita for all involved, particularly where players need to maintain multiple sets of gear (for each spec), often on multiple characters, all the while working on mods for each piece...

Where PvP players can't indulge in PvE (and vice versa) the game misses out to a significant degree on participation.
To which I expect the answer "that's what story modes and recruit gear are for"... that would be disappointing because it really is missing the point.

Mowermanx's Avatar


Mowermanx
01.18.2013 , 02:17 AM | #24
Quote: Originally Posted by Kynesis View Post
Mr Street (of WoW) recently discussed how their PvP will go through some changes to address an 'artificial' gear-gap and also help with mid season catch-up. SWTOR seems destined to follow in their footsteps, with similar issues.

Keeping PvE and PvP separate seems like it's "the only way" they can both work but this also creates pretty significant divides. I know it's been discussed before (and likely will be many times again), I'd still like to take the opportunity to encourage the SWTOR devs to rethink this whole paradigm.

PvP and PvE are both aspects of the same game, treating them as two games in one is a major pita for all involved, particularly where players need to maintain multiple sets of gear (for each spec), often on multiple characters, all the while working on mods for each piece...

Where PvP players can't indulge in PvE (and vice versa) the game misses out to a significant degree on participation.
To which I expect the answer "that's what story modes and recruit gear are for"... that would be disappointing because it really is missing the point.
I highly disagree, imo, they haven't segregated them enough, the amount of class changes made in the name of pvp has sapped heaps of fun out of the pve game, so many times in the game you have ranged npc's beating on you from 30 mtrs away, meanwhile you have slow debuff on you and creeping your way to 10 mtrs so you can start to attack them, its just ridiculous, all in the name of pvp.

Debaucher's Avatar


Debaucher
01.18.2013 , 05:45 AM | #25
Mr. Hinkle,

the vast majority of the pvp community that visits the forums feels dissapointed from the lack of replies from the PvP development team. Since you read the forums, would you be kind enouph to start replying to any constructive threads?

Also, any chance we get more Warhammer online Scenarios in SW:TOR? Ancient Hypergates is a success and personally, i 'd love a version of the Battle for Praag scenario revamped for the Star Wars universe. Perhaps in a Corellia setting, since its an urban enviroment and it matches the story of the planet?

Last but not least, the community needs a solid update on the future of ranked warzones/competitive play in general. Perhaps on the next "state of the game" article?

Thanks in advance!
Aolyn, Scoundrel Healer.
Occasional Scrapper!

Coral

wainot-keel's Avatar


wainot-keel
01.18.2013 , 06:01 AM | #26
Quote: Originally Posted by dipstik View Post
nice info. would like to know how the various teams work together to make sure PvP doesnt trump PvE,. that seems to be the case for scrappers, which perform amazingly in PvP, but have been abandoned by the PvE crowd.
Yeah, I would also like to know if everybody else in the design team share Hinkle's opinion that PvE is just "nice".

MadBernieSkills's Avatar


MadBernieSkills
01.18.2013 , 08:41 AM | #27
Hi Rob, just here to say "good job". I know there are a lot of haters and whiners (not necessarily this thread, but others), but that is because whiners are more vocal. The class balance is actually pretty good. It's not perfect as you say, but not as bad as the whiners would believe.
I have a 50 tankassin, 50 healing merc, 50 Guardian, 50 healing operative, 48 Vanguard, 32 Maruader and 16 Sage. The only thing I'd say is that my operative has a slight advantage over my merc. Not enough to cry about though. I am not a pro by any means, but I usually am about just as effective with each class. All of the classes are very different and need different play-styles. They are all fun.

What I would recommend though to make PVP more enjoyable is make it less about gear. The differences between the free 50 gear and fully augmented top tier gear is really big. I know it doesn't take forever to get to the next tier of gear, but it's just a little too much of a gap. I'd tweak it down just a bit. Nothing drastic.

I like how each warzone is different. I'd like to see more of that. Some different flavors, like capture the flag, etc. And make another huttball field. Huttball is great.

Choffware's Avatar


Choffware
01.18.2013 , 09:04 AM | #28
I'll admit I'm not the most articulate forum poster and I post with a lot of hot emotion. And I might be part of the vast unfortunate majority... So I can see and understand your frustration about how difficult it is to find the good info in player feed back.

BUT the forums have plenty of level headed players that pvp a lot and have provided plenty of evidence. I see many of the familiar faces have even responded to this post. It would only take someone 5 or 10 mins to find the good posts that have been on the forums for MONTHS. Given all that and reading your comments just makes it very clear you guys STINK (IMO) at pvp class balance. It was laughable to learn you play two of the few classes/builds that are actually viable in pvp then go on to say what you devs play have no impact on your class balance methods. The fact that you seem (just using your comments so I could be wrong) to rely on what you guys play personally and combat logs to class balance makes me think you are viewing this from a very narrow view point. Not sure if you guys are even playing RWZ against good teams or even taking the time to find the posts that actually provide good raw data or the posts that simply compile HOURS of play experience.

You think pvp balance is good right now? There is clearly a small group of "haves" and and large group of "have nots" There are a handful of class specs dominating pvp, another handful that are just OK but don't come close to the OP "haves" group.. and several that are just flat out broken. And when I say broken they have no viable role in RWZ because there are significantly superior classes that can do much better in every role.

It's pretty clear balance has been bad since 1.2. You guys are simply not listening to what we as a player base are saying. Your looking at data and theory and not taking the time to figure out what the actual player experience is. Numbers don't lie but they never give you the whole picture.

It's pretty clear that the people that think class balance is ok play the handful of classes that ARE OK or OP:

Tank assassins
PT Powertechs
Healing Operatives
Snipers
Marauders
Smash Jugs
Mantorin 55 Marauder || Choff lvl 55 Merc || Chof lvl 51 Sorc

T-Assassin's Avatar


T-Assassin
01.18.2013 , 09:23 AM | #29
Page 3 is full of win...FULL OF IT!!! excellent posts, intelligent, factual, and constructive.

you cannot ignore the gross imbalance and disparity among classes.

the only thing i disagree with is saying those classes which people use to be successful in PvP are OP.

my opinion is that they are actually functional. and those others are not and need to be brought UP to speed...

no nerfs. improvements and balance.

and while i don't mean to be insulting, it is obvious, from actually playing the game, the balance is CLEARLY not there.
"Ib'tuur jatne tuur ash'ad kyr'amur."
"Today is a good day for someone else to die." -

Choffware's Avatar


Choffware
01.18.2013 , 09:55 AM | #30
Quote: Originally Posted by T-Assassin View Post


the only thing i disagree with is saying those classes which people use to be successful in PvP are OP.


Don't mind me I only use the words "Over Powered" because I admit I'm part of the emotional crowd... :-)
Mantorin 55 Marauder || Choff lvl 55 Merc || Chof lvl 51 Sorc