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New Level Cap = Delayed access to Keystone skills

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
New Level Cap = Delayed access to Keystone skills
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clearsighted's Avatar


clearsighted
06.06.2013 , 05:50 PM | #1
When I first played SWTOR over a year ago, and went from 1 to 50 a couple times, I felt that we received access to our keystone ability at the top of our tree at about the right time. Some classes are more defined by their keystone skills than others, such as Force Exhaustion for (somewhat mitigated lately) or the Shadow tanking keystone skill which is hugely important to them.

Now that the cap has been raised to 55, and a new tier of skills have been slipped in underneath...It feels like it takes FOREVER to achieve mastery. I think the whole flow of the levelling process is disrupted, and it's especially agonizing when many of the newly added talents (all of them passives), tend to be geared specifically towards skill I won't learn until 50+. I used to look forward to Hoth or Belsavis as around the time I was really playing with my complete tree. Now, it's just more of a grind, and it feels like I won't be 'complete' since nearly Corellia.

Anyone else feel similarly?

SamuraBob_Fl's Avatar


SamuraBob_Fl
06.06.2013 , 07:09 PM | #2
Yeah I agree with this. I've been leveling a carnage marauder, and losing the top tier there made a big difference.
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znihilist's Avatar


znihilist
06.07.2013 , 05:51 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by SamuraBob_Fl View Post
Yeah I agree with this. I've been leveling a carnage marauder, and losing the top tier there made a big difference.
This is a problem with many trees that have 3 abilities to unlock from. But yes carnage took already a long time to mature pre 2.0 and now it makes nearly useless pre level 45. I never understood why Ataru have to be unlocked, why can't we get it at a certain level from the Warrior skill trainer ? A simple fix to the tree would be to change one of the abilities that require two points to three points such as Execute. A number of simple fixes can be introduced.
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DamionSchubert's Avatar


DamionSchubert
06.07.2013 , 09:01 AM | #4 This is the last staff post in this thread.  
This is due to the nature of how skill trees work with level expansions.

When you give more skill points to spend to a player, you also make it possible for them to buy more combinations of the lowest level branches of multiple skill trees. They can, for example, buy the lowest level keystone abilities for both a strong DPS character AND a tank, and make characters that are virtually impossible to balance correctly (the classic 'magetank').

We're not thrilled with this, of course. We'd really like for tank classes to be able to tank as quickly as possible. However, some things would need to be rethought before this can be a reality. It's definitely something that will get more thought before we ever raise the level cap again.
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Zhiroc's Avatar


Zhiroc
06.07.2013 , 10:19 AM | #5
I wonder if it could be possible to have a "floating requirement" for the top tiers. What I mean is that to unlock the top tiers of a tree only requires 30 pts at level 50, then rises one point per level to 55? That way classes can continue to get their top tier skill at the same time as they used to, but as they rise in expanded levels, aren't free to hybridize any more than they are allowed now.

This makes that system extensible for the next level cap rise, which would otherwise mean that you couldn't get your keystone ability until L50. And if the level cap goes beyond 60, then people who don't buy any expansion wouldn't be able to get them at all (unless previous level cap increases were made free---but in any case, it still changes the advanced class balancing)

TUXs's Avatar


TUXs
06.07.2013 , 10:24 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by DamionSchubert View Post
This is due to the nature of how skill trees work with level expansions.

When you give more skill points to spend to a player, you also make it possible for them to buy more combinations of the lowest level branches of multiple skill trees. They can, for example, buy the lowest level keystone abilities for both a strong DPS character AND a tank, and make characters that are virtually impossible to balance correctly (the classic 'magetank').

We're not thrilled with this, of course. We'd really like for tank classes to be able to tank as quickly as possible. However, some things would need to be rethought before this can be a reality. It's definitely something that will get more thought before we ever raise the level cap again.
Thanks Damion! Very good reason and I appreciate the mention of getting players "going" (in their role) as quick as possible.
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Master-Nala's Avatar


Master-Nala
06.07.2013 , 10:50 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by DamionSchubert View Post
This is due to the nature of how skill trees work with level expansions.

When you give more skill points to spend to a player, you also make it possible for them to buy more combinations of the lowest level branches of multiple skill trees. They can, for example, buy the lowest level keystone abilities for both a strong DPS character AND a tank, and make characters that are virtually impossible to balance correctly (the classic 'magetank').

We're not thrilled with this, of course. We'd really like for tank classes to be able to tank as quickly as possible. However, some things would need to be rethought before this can be a reality. It's definitely something that will get more thought before we ever raise the level cap again.
This is sensible reasoning, of course, but it does require that the capstone ability be worth the extra expense. What I've found since 2.0 is that some trees (especially for PvP) just don't need their capstone more than they need the flexibility of going hybrid. For example, with the changes (nerfs) to Assault Plastique/Thermal Detonator, I have found it better for my Vanguard to just take damage boosts from early in the tanking and other DPS tree. It works, but it's ultimately unsatisfying. Getting that capstone should feel worth it. Likewise, the capstone should be important, but not required to make the spec work. Examples of that IMO are Sawbones for Scoundrels, the Shadow Tanking tree, and others.

One of the best trees in my opinion is Arsenal/Gunnery. Heatseeker/Demo Round is an awesome ability, but you don't necessarily feel useless until you get it with the boosts to unload, rail shot and tracer missile.

LordArtemis's Avatar


LordArtemis
06.07.2013 , 11:26 AM | #8
They can lock the other two trees until you reach a certain level in the particular tree you choose.

Zhiroc's Avatar


Zhiroc
06.07.2013 , 11:33 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by LordArtemis View Post
They can lock the other two trees until you reach a certain level in the particular tree you choose.
I think a lot of people would get upset at that. I often run as either a Healer/DPS hybrid when solo'ing with a companion, or even as a TK/Balance Sage hybrid even if I want to go full DPS.

What they don't want to let people do is get the keystone ability + more than 10pts in other trees.

Hessen's Avatar


Hessen
06.07.2013 , 11:45 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by LordArtemis View Post
They can lock the other two trees until you reach a certain level in the particular tree you choose.
Gating options does not a happy playerbase make!