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Some Thoughts on Improving the Sorcerer's (& Sage) Abilities

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Sage / Sorcerer
Some Thoughts on Improving the Sorcerer's (& Sage) Abilities

Ghost_Spectre's Avatar

02.02.2013 , 02:02 PM | #1
We all know BioWare will nerf the Static Barrier/Force Armor by allowing it to burst on the caster only. When that is removed, both the Sorcerer & Sage will lose more utility, especially in the PvP warzones. However, after some thought, I found a few things that could help these two ACs survivability, utility, and improve overall performance. Now this will focus more on the DPS trees than healing; however, these suggestions will have an indirect effect on healers too.

First, I believe we all can agree that the number one problem for all Sorcerers/Sages is their survivability or lack thereof. There are a number of ways to adjust this to increase these AC’s survivability without wrecking the balance in my opinion. Both ACs need improvement in mobility, defenses, and damage mitigation while improving damage ability. I think the following will do that without causing the glow stick warriors to wet themselves and run to the forums QQing. However, given their very nature, they’ll do that regardless because anything that mitigates their ability to kill their favorite targets in 3 or 4 GCDs harms their delicate mental stability.


It is time to make changes to the time required to cast/channel abilities for both ACs. Mobility is the single most important key to survival in PvE & PvP. For a class that is based on range kiting, they both lack the ability to shoot on the run with very few exceptions. While we have procs that allow us to fire of Chain Lightning, Lightning Strike, or Crushing Darkness for an example, when those aren’t up, we only have Shock & Affliction to use when no proc is available. So I propose the following:

  1. Reduce the case time for Lightning Strike, Chain Lightning, Force Lightning, and Crushing Darkness by half. This will mean a Sorcerer will require only 1.4 seconds to fire off Force Lightning without the Lightning Barrage proc. When that proc is up, it will reduce that even further per the proc's affect. What this means is we do not have to become a turret to use Force Lightning. Conversely, the existing procs for Chain Lightning, Lightning Strike, or Crushing Darkness require no changes either. The same would apply to the Sage’s abilities too. What this means is a Sorcerer/Sage will spend less time standing still to use their abilities because of the improved mobility.

  2. The ability of Fadeout should be moved from the healing tree and made into a baseline passive ability. Furthermore, Force Speed, for Sorcerers/Sages only, duration should be increased from 2 seconds to 3 seconds for the speed burst and 2 seconds after it is finished. Moreover, the cool down should be lowered by half since it is a vital component in these classes’ survivability. This gives both ACs increased mobility and make them immune from any and all movement affects when needed. So the force jumpers cannot stop us from getting away anymore even if they jump to us, we still retain our ability to move away from them. 5 Seconds of immunity from movement affects will increase the survivability of these ACs.

  3. Change Subversion and Sith Efficacy’s effects (and the Sage’s mirror abilities) to include casting immunity. Subversion is a proc and should still continue the same manner. Importantly, Sith Efficacy and Subversion would have an additional proc that indicates casting immunity similar to the Assassin and Shadow. Lightning Strike or Crushing Darkness will continue to be the main catalyst for activation and doing so at [50/100%] depending on how many points are applied to this ability. What this will do is allow the Sorcerer (& Sage’s mirror) to get off their abilities while moving should a force jumper nail attack them.

  4. Likewise, Thunder Blast cast time should be reduce to 1.5 seconds; however, when Lightning Storm procs, Thunder Blast should be an option to use along with Chain Lightning, making it an instant cast ability. Again, this would improve casting ability and mobility by giving the Sorcerer (& Sage’s mirror ability) to fire off their biggest ability on the run.

These four suggestions will have a profound effect on increasing survivability and utility of the Sorcerer/Sage classes in my opinion without breaking either class.


The Sorcerer/Sage’s current defenses are very limited or very weak. The following suggestions are meant to improve the existing defenses to help increase survivability and aid in their ability to better mobility.

  1. Increase Sorcerer’s Sith Defiance & Sage’s Jedi Resistance from [1/2%] to [2/4%] and Corrupted Flesh and Mind Ward from [7.5/15%] to [10/20%].

  2. Increase Static Barrier and Force Armor from [10/20%] to [15/30%] in absorbing damage.

  3. When Static Barrier & Force Armor, on caster only, explodes, include a 360 degree 10 meter knockback that blinds and roots (only if specced through Backlash/Kinetic Collapse) for 8 seconds filling the resolve bar equal to Whirlwind or Force Lift. The blindness effect is caused by the flash of either power. Lastly, if someone clicks it off, IT WILL NOT WORK. It will only work if knocked down by damage or wears off.

Damage Mitigation:

Currently, neither AC has any damage mitigation; therefore, I propose the following suggestion to help mitigation damage improving survivability for both ACs.

  1. Both the Sorcerer/Sage by their very nature is fragile wearing light armor and having no damage mitigation. What I propose is this, give the Sorcerer Force Shroud & the Sage Resilience as a baseline defensive ability very much like the Assassin/Shadows ability with the same cool down available at level 36 too.

Having the ability make the Sorcerer/Sage immune to damage for 3 seconds so they can escape will add to their survivability when focused on by multiple or a single opponent.

Damage Ability:

I believe we all can agree that a buff is needed for the DPS of the Sorcerer and Sages. However, where the disagreement comes into play is how much. So I propose the following:

  1. Increase baseline damage by 5% across the board for all abilities. With the exception of the following abilities. Specced abilities would increase damage normally.

  2. AOE attacks damage increased by 7.5% without respect to what any specced ability gives these two powers. This increase is a baseline increase, specced powers would increase the damage normally.

  3. In the case of single burst damage, specifically Thunder Blast & Turbulence, increase these by 15% or an amount that would equal to any ranged DPS ability. Like the previous listed abilities, this increase is before any increase by specced abilities within their respective skill trees. Furthermore, this would be a true representation of a glass cannon that the Sorcerer/Sage are wearing light armor and limited defensive capabilities and damage mitigation, including the improvements listed.

These increases are moderate buffs except when it comes to an AOE or as specified for Thundering Blast and Turbulence. DPS will increase, meaning these two ACs will cause more damage and allowing both the Sorcerer and Sage to add more utility to the team’s overall ability within a warzone.


Essentially these overall changes would allow the Sorcerer/Sage to increase their threat and/or survivability when faced against a glow stick warrior 1 v 1 or when they need to extricate themselves when focused on by multiple opponents. Improving Mobility and survivability are essential to increasing the Sorcerer and Sage’s viability in and out of a Warzone; I believe this will do just that. What it does not do is turn these classes into an OP class or make them invincible. With the combination of improved mobility, increased defensive capabilities, and damage mitigation, the Socerer/Sage has an overall improved suvivability making them harder to kill than what they are faced with in today's warzones.

DeepFreese's Avatar

02.02.2013 , 08:33 PM | #2
Most sorcs want to be viable... you seem to want to be the best pvp class without question. Could you imagine the qq madness would get for having a spammable 3k move without crits.... that takes one global cooldown to cast?! 1.5 second force lightning is ridiculous. In conjunction with the knockback bubble blind and all the other insane changes you are bringing up the sorc would be the most ridiculously unbalanced class so far. Lets use reason with the changes we propose.
The Squirtle Squad[The Harbinger}

Ghost_Spectre's Avatar

02.02.2013 , 10:54 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by DeepFreese View Post
Most sorcs want to be viable... you seem to want to be the best pvp class without question. Could you imagine the qq madness would get for having a spammable 3k move without crits.... that takes one global cooldown to cast?! 1.5 second force lightning is ridiculous. In conjunction with the knockback bubble blind and all the other insane changes you are bringing up the sorc would be the most ridiculously unbalanced class so far. Lets use reason with the changes we propose.
1.5 second Force Lightning is ridiculous? Is it now? Did you know that when Lightning Barrage procs I can cast Force Lightning at 1.4 seconds because my base cast time is 2.8 seconds? There's a proc to make casting Force Lightning to do what I suggested; however, instead of the normal gawd awful time of 3 seconds to cast it turning the Sorcerer into a turret, cast at half that time. Why? So the Sorcerer does not stand in place longer than necessary.

Guess what, I can spam Force Lightning already. I don’t have a cool down with it. I can cast it over and over and over again for as long as I am alive and have force. Lord help you if I have recklessness up! Guess what, I’m doing 1150 to 1250 points of critical damage, in some instances, higher. That’s what you get when you use a hybrid spec. You’d know this if you ran a Sorcerer/Sage DPS. This skill is in the Madness tree it’s called: Madness, giving Force Lightning no cool down.

Mobility is the key for this AC and the Sage to survivability. Likewise, if I can spec into having instant cast on Whirlwind, I should be able to have a Forcer Lightning cast at a faster rate. Casting time on both the Sorcerer/Sage is their downfall. Because of this, they have the least favorable survivability of all the ACs in the game. In other words, they were left behind and there is a huge gap between them and the others.

What I have offered is minor improvements of existing powers. Only someone who fears having a Sorcerer having the necessary mobility required to survive will fear this. I don't see you complaining about the Mercs, Troopers, Agents, or Smugglers having instant casts on some hard hitting abilities. However, to give a Sorcerer or Sage this, God forbid. It's ridiculous to be forced to stand in place to cast abilities that should be instant or have quick times to get off as quickly as possible. However, you'd want to keep Sorcerer's or Sages rooted to the ground in order to get off a cast like Lightning. Essentially, it means "Nothing is wrong here; all is well with this AC's abilities."

I say you're wrong. These changes are minor improvements on existing abilities that improve the Sorcerer's mobility, survivability, and viability. These changes would bring the Sorcerer/Sage DPS classes in line with the other DPS classes. However, I think that is what you fear the most. Stuns? Wasted on those who have specced themselves to have 4 seconds of immunity or have their magical barrier of invulnerability up (Assassins/Shadows) or those special tech shields that render the use the same. Bubble? Last only long enough to absorb a 4k+ hit, poof then gone. By the time it can be reapplied, guess what…Sorcerer/Sage is dead.

Listen, I have toons of every AC class of this game. I understand what they can do and cannot do. Of them all, the Sorcerer/Sage ACs are the worst of them all in those areas compounded by the fact they have Light Armor, no true defensive capabilities, or damage mitigation. I'm sorry, but Force Speed is not a true defense as it is immediately rendered mute when a Warrior or Jedi leap to the Sorcerer/Sage rooting it in place.

Bubble Stun is a nuisance at best. People are QQing that they get stunned by it when everyone coming out of the gate is sporting their own stun bubble. Guess what, I agree that the stun bubble on everyone other than the caster is ridiculous. In my hybrid build, I do not use it anymore. However, the bubble alone is a minor inconvenience. By changing it to knock someone back and blind them, means it has more utility. Giving it the same resolve results of Whirlwind answers those who QQ about being blinded for 3 seconds with very little resolve bar results. There is no difference from how this bubble stuns would work than Flash Bang Grenade thrown by Agents/Smugglers. They blind you leaving you rooted in place unable to do anything for 8 seconds. Giving the bubble knockback with a root and blind an opponent much like Flash Bang, allows the Sorcerer/Sage to increase the ability to survive. However, you fail to realize that should an attacker’s resolve bar be filled, this will have no effect on them other than rooting them in place. It is an escape mechanism for defensive purposes.

The fact is some of these improvements exist in some shape or form in the healing tree or part of the Inquisitor/Consular class. I'm just suggesting they be available to the Sorcerer/Sage DPS. OP, far from it. OP would give them an automatic crit that requires no critical mods/enhancements that hits everyone with 7k+automatic critical damage (depending on the gear) to 5 people in an AOE attack. That's OP. These changes would make the 31+ builds in Lightning and Madness better and improve overall performance.

DeepFreese's Avatar

02.03.2013 , 01:46 PM | #4
Please continue to be condescending. Its great. You are the true forum warrior. You assume because my signature says healy sorc that I have never once respecced to damage? It probably never crossed your thick skull that I could say healy sorc because that's what I do when in rated warzones.

You are not asking for a madness mobility increase with these changes. Sure this would increase the lightning tree mobility, but it would also make them incredibly overpowered for PvE. Think about your only form of burst when playing the hybrid. The only decent burst in that spec is death field followed by a lightning barrage force lightning. If madness could cast force lightning in half the time that would essentially double the damage done by force lightning. That is not a mobility buff, that is a damage buff. As a min-maxed sorc you know that your force lightning does about 700 a tick on average without a crit. You should also know that a global cooldown is 1.5 seconds and can be reduced with alacrity. That is why nothing has a cast time of less than 1.5 seconds. What you are asking for is a spammable ability that hits for 2800 without crit that only takes one global cooldown to cast. How does this even remotely help your mobility? If you really play the hybrid you would know that force management is a non-issue in that spec, and that force lightning damage is front loaded, so half of it comes in the first second. If you are getting beat on and you think you half to cast a full force lightning, than your problem is not that you're a turret, its that you are playing this class wrong. Break off the force lightning. Nobody is forcing you to finish that channel.

In conclusion: You are asking for way too much with our class. The constant burst of lightning barrage would put sorcs in a place far too good. Your so called mobility buff would break them damage wise for PvP and PvE. If you would like it to take 1.5 seconds to cast half the normal damage you would be asking for a nerf, because any decent sorc knows it takes 1 second for that right now. Ask for a buff to our burst, or a slight damage increase... and a complete overhaul on lightning. That is what most sorcs want. Not to be broken, just to be viable.

P.S. It would help if you weren't so condescending in replying to the forums. Please do not assume things about players you have never played with or against. I spec damage quite frequently, and I use all the trees. I know what I am doing. I do not need to be told skills.
The Squirtle Squad[The Harbinger}

Diablo_Cow's Avatar

02.03.2013 , 04:29 PM | #5
Looking at your suggestions I've come to the conclusion that your damage buffs are much better than you cast time reductions. Coming from a Lighting Build, cast times are long but not an issue. Polarity Shift, 4 Item PVE set bonus, and alacrity combined makes even a Force Lightning cast (2.7 seconds without any procs) into an average of 1.4 seconds. When the stars align and I have all of my procs up, its a 1 second cast time. Your proposed cast times would be insane for a Lightning spec and powerful for a madness or hybrid.

I don't object to your proposed damage increases because it would take parsing and proper rotations to test it fully. I am personally fine without a "free cast" type of ability like rapid shots since we have Affliction. It is much better for multi-target fights and with our excellent resource management I see little reason to include one. A free cast akin to rapid shots is only used in other dps rotations to conserve their resources, not increase dps. We are fine without it.

SoonerJBD's Avatar

02.03.2013 , 05:10 PM | #6
Why is it that every time someone makes one of these suggestion threads, the suggestions are always unrealistically numerous and overpowered? I mean, a 5 percent damage buff across the board (one of your suggestions) combined with a slight survivability buff would be enough to make Sorcs viable in ranked. And you make a dozen other suggestions. Some of these aren't bad, but if you implemented more than one or two of them, Sorcs would become so OP that it would be ridiculous. Just make us viable.

veyl's Avatar

02.03.2013 , 10:09 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by SoonerJBD View Post
Why is it that every time someone makes one of these suggestion threads, the suggestions are always unrealistically numerous and overpowered? I mean, a 5 percent damage buff across the board (one of your suggestions) combined with a slight survivability buff would be enough to make Sorcs viable in ranked. And you make a dozen other suggestions. Some of these aren't bad, but if you implemented more than one or two of them, Sorcs would become so OP that it would be ridiculous. Just make us viable.
Lets face it, in PVP, DPS sorcs need a LOT of help (not taking into consideration the broken bubble hybrid) and healing sorcs are still super squishy if they have no guard. (and also not bubble hybrid spec). If bioware continues to look at its metrics, then as a class we are screwed due to people multi-dot padding. If they'd start looking just at how much of that damage is affliction, maybe a lightbulb would go off, but alas... This is Bioware and their development team continually proves to not have a clue about how to balance the classes. (Rob's interview proved that with him saying that all classes are "near balanced" in pvp. It's a joke.)

I agree we need to be made viable but I also think our class needs an overhaul for that to happen.

5% damage increase for sorcs across the board doesn't amount to much given how hard (and I mean weak) our abilities actually hit for right now. (nowhere near any other DPS in the game and easily the lowest). The class does need better defensive abilities other than Bubble which only eats one GCD/attack from any DPS in the game (because that's how weak it is). We are still a light armor class no matter how you look at it with escapes that are easily countered by any 2 second snare and nearly every class has one.

If we are supposed to be playing a Support Role and our DPS is supposed to suffer, then we should have the defensive CD's to provide that Support to our team. (Which will then ruin Sorc DPS even more in the PVE environment, but that's another topic) Right now, bubble hybrid is our only support role because it's broken as all hell and the blind doesn't give as much resolve as it should. When they nerf it (and you know it'll be coming soon), Sorcs will find themselves back to being focus fired and dying much faster then they currently are. OR you will find wz/rwz with very few sorcs in them, just like you did from 1.2 to pre bubble hybrid patch.

It's really not that sorcs are a bad class (I still love playing mine), it's just that they need severe adjustments // boosts to bring them on par with everyone else.

Chemic_al's Avatar

02.04.2013 , 04:39 AM | #8
Yeah I agree with Veyl, only reason we're wanted right now is because of a hybrid which will be nerfed. Take that away and people will go back to their scoundrel/op healers. And we won't be wanted for the same reason mercs/commandos won't, our heals are too easily shut down.

We've gone over this before, slight damage buff does nothing, given how squishy we are. I am going to keep pointing to marauders - they got it all, good bursty dps, defensives with group utility.

I'd be happy for 2/3, but compared to them we are more like 0.5/3. Once bubble stun goes, make that 0.25/3 for friendly pull.

Sosajoshua's Avatar

02.04.2013 , 09:02 AM | #9
Sorry this just looks like qq to me. Yes sorcs/sages (no matter what spec or hybrid) would appreciate more defensive help in PvP in that we need a way to reduce of damage taken. IMO our shields are the best in the game and a well geared sorc wont have it drop so quick to a Shadowstrike, hybrid or not. I do think our new healing we got should be boosted to hit as high our Dark infusions regularly. That i think we can agree would help in general and (not that mny do this) but it be better than running away and usingyour cast heals. Also a slight boost to parasitism (for madness specs) would better survivability with a boosted self heal.

Now if you are complaining of your casttime for Lightning and think it should get decreased let me give you a tissue to your issue. Buy full tionese (and this is for lightning), put all your PvP modes in their and add a regular WH armoring that does give the set bonus to the tionese. In this you can get the bonus that lower your force cost of FL and LS and the crits from Affliction give the 4-set to increase your alacrity making your cast-times faster. If you are a hybrid you can do this or just use the 2-set bonus of both pvp and pve.

All anyone had to do is look and you can solve your problems. We dont need a dmg increase cause all dps specs can still do crazy damage in pvp
<A Wretched Hive> Jedi Covenant Rhaegis, Madness Sorcerer / Youngdragon, Advanced Proto-tech / Kha'leesi, Engineering Sniper / Dragonbane, Vengence Juggernaut

veyl's Avatar

02.04.2013 , 10:14 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Sosajoshua View Post
All anyone had to do is look and you can solve your problems. We dont need a dmg increase cause all dps specs can still do crazy damage in pvp
You have a pyrotech and a sniper and you can honestly say this with a straight face? From both a PvE and a PVP perspective, both of your other classes that you play out damage // have harder hitting abilities then all of the Sorcs abilities.