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When can we expect a DPS balance patch?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
When can we expect a DPS balance patch?

KurtDunn's Avatar


KurtDunn
08.07.2013 , 03:48 PM | #1
I would like to take a moment, to familiarize everyone with the damage output on competitive DPS leaderboards across several servers. Begeren Colony, The Ebon Hawk, Jedi Covenant, The Harbinger.

At the moment, Gunslingers and Sentinels are the hands down best choice for all your damage dealing needs. Their damage is consistently high, one provides the armor debuff you'd need, and you can stack Inspirations without penalty.

Why would anyone want to do anything but full Sentinel for their melee DPS? At least with ranged, you have the choice between Commandos or Gunslingers as they are almost identical in output and performance, but Sages under-perform by a very notable amount.

But critically, why does almost every single DPS option play second fiddle to Sentinels with their gloriously high damage, and group wide DPS buff?

I'm not calling for nerfs, but why aren't we even seeing the inklings of damage tweaks across other classes? Have devs talked about this already and I somehow missed it? And if not, why not?

Gullesvupper's Avatar


Gullesvupper
08.07.2013 , 04:09 PM | #2
They apparently have one guy in charge of class balancing. No, I'm not even kidding. One. AND he's also part of the PvP team... So even though there's plenty of stuff to adress, it will take a long, loooong time.

If you PvP'd pre 2.0, Bubble stun was broken for a long time, and it took them a long time to even fix that. It should've been simple, but apprently not..
Bioware insulted Sorcs and Vanguards only because of bad questions

Regards,
Juggs, Marauders and Snipers.

ArchangelLBC's Avatar


ArchangelLBC
08.07.2013 , 04:36 PM | #3
LOL devs don't care about class balance. Unless that's a new item on the cartel market.
In update 2.9 the game will simply uninstall itself for you.

-Wnd

ChaoticDynamite's Avatar


ChaoticDynamite
08.07.2013 , 04:38 PM | #4
Class balance what's that?
If theres one thing SWTOR taught me about PvP is don't hope don't ever hope just start building up your tolerance level.

KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
08.08.2013 , 04:32 PM | #5
Preface: I'm the maintainer and moderator of the Ebon Hawk DPS leaderboard thread.

You should probably read my wall of text that I put above the actual leaderboard. There are a lot of factors that need to be considered when talking about DPS balance. I'll try to break these down into categories:
  • Single-target on-demand burst
  • Single-target sustained damage
  • Sustainable AoE damage
  • Sustainable burst-moment AoE
  • Execute windows
  • Utility
  • Flexibility

Dummy parses measure exactly one of these categories. If you have a spec which excels at *all* of these but falls behind in single-target sustained damage, is that unbalanced?

My ideal group has an armor debuff in rotation (ideally from more than one raid member), at least two (preferably three) ranged, an off-taunt, off-heals/battle rez, moderate executes, Inspiration, and fairly strong sustainable AoE. There's a lot of ways you can get this. I really like the following:
  • Gunnery Commando
  • Sharpshooter Gunslinger (with ability to respec Hybrid or Sabo for some fights)
  • Focus/Combat Sentinel (situational respec)
  • Hybrid/Tactics Vanguard (or a Focus Guardian; or a perfectly played Balance Shadow)

Tactics Vanguard is quite far behind the other specs in terms of single-target sustained damage (for that matter, so is a Focus Sentinel), but they're still on my preferred list because of the strong AoE, the situational burst and the off-taunt. A Focus Guardian can fill this role well as well, and allow the sentinel to remain Combat spec. The main thing I don't like about the Vanguard here is the lack of execute (which is why I lean toward the Balance Shadow assuming absolutely perfect play).

Note that I do change this for some fights. Dread Guard is all about…not melee. Dash'roode is a fantastic fight for melee that are not sentinels, especially AoE melee (I love my DF Scoundrel on this fight).

These aren't exactly FOTM specs. My ideal group doesn't stack four Gunslinger or four Sentinels (though my guild has enough roster depth that we could actually do that). Not everything is well measured by dummy DPS.

With that said, there are a few things about the current DPS balance that I feel need adjusting. Off the top of my head:
  • Shadow DPS requires utterly flawless play to even put up viable numbers, much less competitive (and this is on a *boss*; shadows will never compete on dummies)
  • Focus Sentinels are almost 10% behind the other two specs in terms of single-target DPS (this is not a balance check shared with Focus Guardians, incidentally)
  • Assault Commandos are a running gag
  • All Vanguard specs are quite low on the totem pole for real bosses, since hybrid spec requires some really magical RNG to get its best results. They also lack a gap closer
  • Sage DPS is somewhat behind (5-6%) in terms of single-target DPS, though they bring moderate AoEs and (in the case of Balance) a moderate execute together with off-heals

These are easy things to tweak though, and I have confidence that Bioware will see the light on Shadows soon (which is, honestly, the most egregious of these issues).

At the end of the day, I can and have taken every one of the DPS specs into both HM raids at one point or another, even shadows. I've taken nearly all DPS specs into Nightmare modes (including shadows). That says something right there, since I wouldn't be able to say that in clear conscience pre-2.0 (lol scoundrel).

Remember, it doesn't matter if all or none of your DPS group got onto the leaderboards. What matters is that the boss is dead.
Computer Programmer. Theory Crafter. Dragonslayer on The Ebon Hawk.
Tam (shadow tank) Tov-ren (commando healer) Aveo (combat sentinel) Nimri (df scoundrel)
Averith (hybrid sniper) Alish (lightning sorcerer) Aresham (jugg tank) Effek (ap powertech)

Gullesvupper's Avatar


Gullesvupper
08.08.2013 , 06:13 PM | #6
I take it you play the Sentinel or Gunslinger in that setup? It's always easier looking on the bright side and having faith in Bioware if your class is extremely strong. And what you said there is just PvE, there's DPS classes hurting immensly in PvP as well - in some cases because of sub par burst, wonky usage or crappy survivability. And in PvP you will need to get the best class setup you can, if you're serious and want to try and get as far up as you can.

Class balance is not good, and they need to address it in 2.4.
Bioware insulted Sorcs and Vanguards only because of bad questions

Regards,
Juggs, Marauders and Snipers.

kennethdale's Avatar


kennethdale
08.08.2013 , 07:37 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
Preface: I'm the maintainer and moderator of the Ebon Hawk DPS leaderboard thread.

You should probably read my wall of text that I put above the actual leaderboard. There are a lot of factors that need to be considered when talking about DPS balance. I'll try to break these down into categories:
  • Single-target on-demand burst
  • Single-target sustained damage
  • Sustainable AoE damage
  • Sustainable burst-moment AoE
  • Execute windows
  • Utility
  • Flexibility

Dummy parses measure exactly one of these categories. If you have a spec which excels at *all* of these but falls behind in single-target sustained damage, is that unbalanced?
Thank you KBN. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you. Too many people look at DPS meters and leader boards and think that that is the end-all-be-all of everything DPS while in reality it isn't even the start. So many people have even claimed that it is necessary to bring all snipers or maras to certain fights when that is simply false. Because of the way SW:tOR is designed, in most cases it is possible to "bring the player not the class" in terms of raid composition however there are some notable exceptions which you made very clear. There is no fight in the game at any level that is impossible with a certain class in a certain role. Some are made more difficult (eg: bringing a shadow on Dread Guards means that player either has to be perfect or the rest of the DPS has some DPS to make up for) but they are all more than doable.

Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
Remember, it doesn't matter if all or none of your DPS group got onto the leaderboards. What matters is that the boss is dead.
This is going in my Signature. Perfect.

Quote: Originally Posted by Gullesvupper View Post
I take it you play the Sentinel or Gunslinger in that setup? It's always easier looking on the bright side and having faith in Bioware if your class is extremely strong.
Most hardcore PvPers I've known from other games know that in order to min/max in PvP you have to play the FotM. Certain classes will always be stronger in PvP and the only way to consistently beat that is to have alts who you are willing to play. Maybe everyone is going to think I'm stupid for saying that or an elitist jerk, who knows. Its true though. Its also true that some classes need some love in ALL aspects of the game but if you really want to win and win consistently you have to be willing to play the hand you're dealt. As for KBN he is actually a tank MS. Guardian, I believe and has been for quite some time.

Quote: Originally Posted by Gullesvupper View Post
Class balance is not good, and they need to address it in 2.4.
First off, in all honesty they don't "need" to do anything. They could shut down the servers all right now and not owe any of us anything. Second, class balance isn't great at the moment. Some classes are right where the should be (Snipers), some are damn close (Marauders, Juggernauts, Sorcerers and I'd argue Operatives) and some fixes for 1 tree or another (Powertechs and Mercenaries for both of whom Pyrotech is absolutely worthless - there might as well only be a combined 4 trees for that class) and one needs a complete overhaul (Assassin tanking needs to be looked at as well as Deception and Madness DPS). For 8 total Advanced Classes only ONE is truly broken. That is pretty damn close to evenly balanced. If you want all the DPS specs to be even then you do not understand the INSANE amount of utility just being able to taunt or off-heal adds to the game. If all DPS were even there would be no place for Pure DPS classes.
55 Mercenary { Drekevac } rDPS || 55 Marauder { Kŕryu } mDPS
55 Sorcerer { Jahaerys } Heal
55 Juggernaut { Caryu } Tank || 55 Assassin { Vellys } Tank

OlosBC's Avatar


OlosBC
08.09.2013 , 07:29 AM | #8
Taunts and off heals provide marginal utility in very specific settings. In most cases, a taunt will get you flattened and an offheal will kill your resources(unless lightning sorc) and be worse than bringing a good healer anyway.

They're good in PvP, sure, but in most pve encounters, bloodthirst and ballistic shield provide more utility in an ops group.
Olos - 55 Hybrid Powertech
Fonia - 55 Madness Sorceror
<Dark Fury> of Jedi Covenant
Previously Fonia and Daygoru of Tempest server in SWG.

KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
08.09.2013 , 11:07 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Gullesvupper View Post
I take it you play the Sentinel or Gunslinger in that setup? It's always easier looking on the bright side and having faith in Bioware if your class is extremely strong. And what you said there is just PvE, there's DPS classes hurting immensly in PvP as well - in some cases because of sub par burst, wonky usage or crappy survivability. And in PvP you will need to get the best class setup you can, if you're serious and want to try and get as far up as you can.

Class balance is not good, and they need to address it in 2.4.
I'm the tank in that group, and my tank is a shadow. Don't talk to me about broken classes. Believe me, I know. :-)

I tank on a shadow post-2.0. I healed on my commando even pre-2.0. I rolled a Combat Sentinel before they were FOTM and Ataru was seen even less than Shi-cho. I brought a Lightning Sorc into progression raids pre-2.0, and I very nearly main-swapped to the most energy constrained, razer-edge DPS spec in the game because I thought it was fun. It's not as if I don't know what it means to have a class that is very difficult to play viably. Things are so much better than they used to be in terms of relative class balance. And that's speaking as someone who mains the most broken Advanced Class in the game.

I do 100% agree that PvP DPS isn't as well balanced as PvE. I would be willing to take almost any class and spec to almost any encounter in the PvE endgame, but I just can't say the same thing about rated warzones. Unfortunately, there is a purely mathematical argument to be made that this realm will never be balanced due to the number of specs in play, so I don't hold out much hope here.

Quote: Originally Posted by OlosBC View Post
Taunts and off heals provide marginal utility in very specific settings. In most cases, a taunt will get you flattened and an offheal will kill your resources(unless lightning sorc) and be worse than bringing a good healer anyway.
My experience contradicts yours. At a minimum, an off-healer brings a battle rez. We almost never have our healers rez, since if someone died, it usually means the healing was tight enough that they don't have the GCD to spare. As to the off-taunt, it really depends on what is going on. It's one of those things that you never want to use, but which brings nearly invaluable benefits when things have gone haywire (e.g. tank temporarily down in 3rd phase of the Dread Guard; off-taunt takes the Leech).

Quote: Originally Posted by OlosBC View Post
They're good in PvP, sure, but in most pve encounters, bloodthirst and ballistic shield provide more utility in an ops group.
I love ballistic shield, which is part of the reason why I like having a gunslinger. You rarely need two of them in a row though. Bloodthirst is great, but believe it or not, its value is actually substantially lower (by a factor of 10!) than a simple armor debuff. And overall, why settle for just one or the other? I like to balance the utility of my raid group to the maximal extent possible.
Computer Programmer. Theory Crafter. Dragonslayer on The Ebon Hawk.
Tam (shadow tank) Tov-ren (commando healer) Aveo (combat sentinel) Nimri (df scoundrel)
Averith (hybrid sniper) Alish (lightning sorcerer) Aresham (jugg tank) Effek (ap powertech)

OlosBC's Avatar


OlosBC
08.09.2013 , 12:26 PM | #10
I wasn't saying that they are completely worthless, for sure. And I definitely agree on DPS being better to use battle rez, for the same reason.

However, I don't think they bring sufficient utility above and beyond what snipers and maras bring such that classes possessing a tank or heal spec should take a hit in their dps when in a full DPS spec. That was my main point.
Olos - 55 Hybrid Powertech
Fonia - 55 Madness Sorceror
<Dark Fury> of Jedi Covenant
Previously Fonia and Daygoru of Tempest server in SWG.