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Darkness Assassin/Kinetic Combat Shadow Set Bonus Discussion

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Shadow / Assassin
Darkness Assassin/Kinetic Combat Shadow Set Bonus Discussion
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EricMusco's Avatar


EricMusco
07.13.2015 , 12:46 PM | #1 This is the last staff post in this thread.  
Hey everyone,

We wanted to take a moment to reach out to the community to collect ideas on set bonuses. We are looking for opinions on current and previous set bonuses as well as concepts for future. This thread will cover Darkness Assassins/Kinetic Combat Shadows.

Note: Our intent is to have set bonuses not increase survivability by more than 5%. Please keep this in mind when posting your suggestions.

Current Level 60 Set Bonuses (for reference)
  • 2-Piece: Wither or Slow Time increases damage reduction by 2% for 3 seconds.
  • 4-Piece: Wither or Slow Time reduces the cooldown of Mind Control and Mass Mind Control by 2 seconds per activation.
  • 6-Piece: Dark Ward's or Kinetic Ward's duration is increased by 3 seconds and charges are increased by 3.
Cheers, all!
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Eric Musco | Community Manager
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Virgnking's Avatar


Virgnking
07.13.2015 , 01:51 PM | #2
I think it's much more fun if the set bonus don't provide flat stat increases but something that translates into something extra and fun.
Just new concepts, not specific numbers or required pieces for activations.

Activating Dark Charge will heal you for 35% of the next damage taken (in effect 65% reduction for the first attack or spell but still lethal)

Using Lacerate increases your evasion by 10% for 8 seconds, can only be triggered once every 25 seconds

Force Pull pulls up to 5-8 enemies to your location,

Spike increases your physical damage output by 25% for 4 seconds.

While these are all fairly different from previous concepts where stat bonuses provide more or less just a flat defensive stat bonuses I think you should branch out and find out that stat bonuses can be ways to include new spells in the rotations and make them more fun and/or viable.

I think this game kind of misses a system like glyphs in wow, especially since some classes are very similar and share multiple core spells.

Hockaday's Avatar


Hockaday
07.13.2015 , 04:22 PM | #3
Maybe I'm alone on this, but I'm not a fan of the taunt reduction.
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DonRokia's Avatar


DonRokia
07.13.2015 , 05:20 PM | #4
I like the current 2-piece, and indifferent with the 4-piece. I never made it a priority to get the 6-piece, as it made such a small change. I also believe set bonus related to tanks shouldn't mix with increasing damage, but should apply to tanking abilities and damage resistance instead.

I would certainly be motivated to get the 6-piece if it were closer to increasing the duration of Deflection, or reducing the cool down of Deflection.
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JacenKalo's Avatar


JacenKalo
07.13.2015 , 06:06 PM | #5
The two piece set bonus I feel is fine.

The four piece one I'm indifferent to. It helps very slightly on some fights but generally doesn't feel like something that's incredibly needed. With the exception of the first 30 seconds of the fight I'll never use my taunts generally unless there's a swap mechanic or an aggro dump, but the fights are designed already where the standard cooldown for my taunts is plenty of time for me.

The six piece I'm not a fan of. The increased duration and charges really just means that's 3 extra seconds that I don't have to refresh Dark/Kinetic Ward. I'd much prefer something that benefited defensive cooldowns, like decreasing Deflection's cooldown or giving a straight boost to some other skill. Or a critical hit chance. Or maybe making the next Wither/Slow Time do double the threat or some other utility for the fight.

The four piece and six piece could stand to be changed. At the minimum six piece. While some people may like it (and I'm sure it has very practical purpose) I'm just not a fan of it.

Gardimuer's Avatar


Gardimuer
07.13.2015 , 06:26 PM | #6
I have never been satisfied with the 6piece. Reasons:

3 extra stacks
These extra stacks are only useful against bosses with a high number of hits per second. This means it's only good for some of the current tier bosses and is nigh useless for the previous tier. This problem becomes even more relevant in 4.0 when all the old ops will be boosted to lvl 65 and drop the same tier of loot.

3 second duration increase
The increased duration is only useful to certain people based purely on playstyle:
  • Low skill level assassins: People who usually refresh Dark Ward too late anyway get an extra 3 seconds to compensate for their negligence. Good for them.
  • High skill level assassins: People who watch their buff bar like a hawk to only refresh Dark Ward right when it is about to fall off get a potential extra 3 seconds of Dark Bulwark, assuming that the stacks aren't depleting before the time is up. Icing on the cake for good players.

This leaves the group of mid skill level assassins who just refresh Dark Ward on cooldown. They get nothing from this duration increase.


I want to contrast this with the 6 piece of the other two tanking classes which improves their main defensive cooldowns in a way that is always useful regardless of playstyle/varying skill level. The 2 piece and 4 piece bonuses are almost perfect mirrors, but when it comes to the 6 piece, Assassins clearly get the short end of the stick.

My suggestion:
Change the 6 piece so that it augments an existing defensive utility. Maybe a duration increase on Deflection? A boost to the healing procs during Overcharge Saber? Or maybe an increased duration or Shield Chance for the Recklessness buff?

JMNeves's Avatar


JMNeves
07.13.2015 , 06:44 PM | #7
Remove the current 6 piece and use the old 4 piece in its place (damage reduction 2% plus the 5 extra shield rating from the 2 set bonus). Problem solved.

What real shadow/assassins are doing now is running the old 186 set bonus + 192 or 198 chest piece for the extra little bit of armor, and Belt/ Bracers too of course. So we end up with 3 198 or 192 pieces, 1 "new" set bonus, and 2 "old" set bonuses.

We're really squishy as we are. I'm not saying we can't clear content, but I tank with my shadow, vanguard, guardian and jugg on progression. I'm 8/10, and I've also killed monolith on HM. Shadow is my main -and favorite character- but I must say it's a pain to survive compared to guardians and (specially) vanguards.

Like this we'll have extra charges and duration on kinetic ward, extra shield rating, quicker taunt (really important for the newer operations), a tiny bit (2%) of damage reduction, and also the other 2% from slow time.

Over all I believe survivability would go higher than 5%, yes, but only because the other tank's survivabilities are already quite a bit higher than the shadow's. Fixing the set bonuses and putting shadows at where the other tanks are right now as far as viability goes.

Just give us what we want and it'll all be fixed.
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Aelanis's Avatar


Aelanis
07.13.2015 , 08:05 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by JMNeves View Post
Remove the current 6 piece and use the old 4 piece in its place (damage reduction 2% plus the 5 extra shield rating from the 2 set bonus). Problem solved.

What real shadow/assassins are doing now is running the old 186 set bonus + 192 or 198 chest piece for the extra little bit of armor, and Belt/ Bracers too of course. So we end up with 3 198 or 192 pieces, 1 "new" set bonus, and 2 "old" set bonuses.

We're really squishy as we are. I'm not saying we can't clear content, but I tank with my shadow, vanguard, guardian and jugg on progression. I'm 8/10, and I've also killed monolith on HM. Shadow is my main -and favorite character- but I must say it's a pain to survive compared to guardians and (specially) vanguards.

Like this we'll have extra charges and duration on kinetic ward, extra shield rating, quicker taunt (really important for the newer operations), a tiny bit (2%) of damage reduction, and also the other 2% from slow time.

Over all I believe survivability would go higher than 5%, yes, but only because the other tank's survivabilities are already quite a bit higher than the shadow's. Fixing the set bonuses and putting shadows at where the other tanks are right now as far as viability goes.

Just give us what we want and it'll all be fixed.
Throwing the whole old set bonus into the new 6 piece is a bit too powerful compared to the other tanks. I think it would be a lot more balanced to, say, reduce the cooldown of Overcharge Saber slightly. Real Assassins/Shadows, though? If you want to talk about the best tanks, they're going to be using both set bonuses and swapping. Or just sticking to one and not even caring, because their skill makes up for the difference, but if you want to just laugh at the math showing that the old 4 piece isn't strictly better, be my guest. If you're struggling to survive as an Assassin in these operations, then you're doing mechanics wrong or using cooldowns poorly. My Republic co-tank is pretty hardy in the 192 set bonus gear, and he ends up tanking both Sword Squadron units and has little trouble with it.

On to my own opinions...

I'm okay with the 2 piece, but it needs to be made equivalent to the other two tanks. PTs have a vastly stronger set bonus (higher magnitude, roughly equal duration if you're being attacked), while Juggs have it balanced about to where I think they intended. PTs just benefit too much from it being tied to Heat Blast, while Assassins have it tied to Wither, which has a longer cooldown than the magnitude of the buff would suggest it should to balance it against the tanks. I think that if they tied the PT 2 piece to Rail Shot and decreased the magnitude accordingly, then adjusted the magnitude of the Assassin set bonus, it would be a solid, balanced 2 piece.

Our 4 piece is interesting. It allows an 18 second opener with no taunt gaps, which makes it nearly impossible to lose aggro to a dps, assuming you can pop all your taunts in a row like that. With that in mind, I despise the idea of making taunts necessary to hold aggro. While this set bonus is rather nice in PvP, I think I would rather see some kind of threat boost tied to Force Pull that also taunts nearby enemies. I think that would be cool, but that's just my opinion.

The 6 piece is underwhelming. Period. I'd rather see a reduction in the cooldown of Overcharge Saber, or maybe even Shroud, but that might be a little too much. That, or an extra mini-cooldown would be cool. As much as I loved the old set bonus, I think it's too strong compared to what's around now. Also, as for losing the current 6 piece, I don't see why the extra stacks aren't made baseline: 1.7 to 2.0 saw a jump in stacks, why not a slight jump in 2.10 to 3.0, or 4.0 now that it's on the horizon?
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MrEndymion's Avatar


MrEndymion
07.13.2015 , 08:27 PM | #9
2 Piece: I think this is perfectly fine. Leave this as it is.
4 Piece: I'm not so sure about this one... I know there are a lot of aggro drops in this tier of operations, however, Taunts are not used "rotationally" ideally. So, this can be fixed, I personally would like to see the old 2 piece back.
6 Piece: I think this is underwhelming, but combined with our old 2 Piece (or new 4 piece, if by some miracle my suggestion happens), I don't think it would be so underwhelming.
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ZentheSecond's Avatar


ZentheSecond
07.13.2015 , 09:59 PM | #10
This will be a long post, Sin-tank is basically my main and my pride and joy at this stage. So since Mr. Musco is asking for feedback, I am going to provide a lot of feedback.

Alright time for more than my 2 cents on the matter of the Sin set bonus for Darkness. I will precede this by saying the following about myself (as I know I'm a semi-unknown on the forums, I lurk a lot);
I have been tanking on a Sin since a few months before 2.0 went live. I have tanked the Dread Ops in their Nightmare release state and I have been tanking the current content through Revan (to floor 3 of Revan, have not killed). So I do consider myself somewhat of a knowledgeable Sin tank player, I may not be the best but I am average if not above average in my opinion.

Alright onto my takes;

Current Two piece;
2% DR on Wither that lasts for 3 seconds on an ability that has roughly a 9 second CD, you spend roughly a third of a boss fight with this up. Personally, its fine. As a Sin I know that if Iím expecting a big hit, for example Mega Blast for Sword One, I can delay Wither for a second or two and cast it as I see Mega Blast charging up, and take 2% less damage. Same with like the cross on Underlurker, I can get an extra 2% DR for that hit from the cross. I could list a lot of other situations where this would also be doable, without causing issues with keeping Protection stacks up. This is also mirrored by the other tanks, so it should be left alone or changed for all 3.

Current Four piece;
Iíll be honest. I donít use it. Flat out. I see no reason in any of these operations to actually need a faster taunt. Only reason is taunt fluffing for insane threat numbers, which between two tanks and how often the tank swaps have to happen in these bosses. It makes taunt fluffing nearly useless as you need your taunt for something coming up in a few seconds. Plus there is another issue with this that I will address in a moment. But keep this where it is as the other two tanks have a mirror of this, meaning if it gets changed for 1 it needs to be changed for all three.

Current Six piece;
Again, Iíll be honest. I donít use this at all. To me it is absolutely garbage and when you take 2 things into account, it feels like Sinís got the short end of the stick. Personally, I have a habit of pressing my Dark Ward button, even when Iím not tanking. It is like a tick I developed from tanking for so long on a Sin. I always seem to press it just as it falls off, or within a second of it falling off. And with this set I feel like, it is not needed. I can honestly count on my hands how many bosses have caused me to lose my dark ward stacks (the default amount of them). And most of them are very rapid fire or add heavy fights.

I also feel like the six piece is the short end of the stick. I would like to bring your attention to the following Bioware & Mr. Musco. Mind you, these are quotes from your current topics going up in every section;
Quote: Originally Posted by PT Tank
Current Level 60 Set Bonuses (for reference)
  • 2-Piece: Heat Blast or Energy Blast increases damage reduction by 2% for 5 seconds.
  • 4-Piece: While Ion Gas Cylinder or Ion Cell is active, Rocket Punch or Stockstrike reduce the cooldowns of Neural Dart and Sonic Missile or Neural Jolt and Sonic Round by 2 seconds.
  • 6-Piece: Increases the duration of Oil Slick or Riot Gas by 3 seconds and the duration of Energy Shield or Reactive Shield by 4 seconds.
Quote: Originally Posted by Jugg Tank
Current Level 60 Set Bonuses (for reference)
  • 2-Piece: Crushing Blow or Guardian Slash increases damage reduction by 2% for 4 seconds.
  • 4-Piece: Aegis Assault or Warding Strike reduces the cooldown of Taunt and Challenging Call or Threatening Scream by 2 seconds per activation.
  • 6-Piece: Increases the duration of Blade Turning by 1.5 second, and the duration of Invincible or Warding Call by 3 seconds.
  • Cheers, all!
Alright, every tank and even non-tanks should be well familiar with these set bonuses. I have to ask this, and I seriously hope I can get an answer as this has been bugging me since it was mentioned.
Why was the 6 piece Sin tanking set not something from the lvl 55 tanking set?

The Jugg tank 6-piece is not only a word for word copy of their 180/186 tier 2 piece, but an improved version of it (.5 seconds on Blade Turning and a full second to Invincible).
The PT tank 6-piece is an increase of their old 2 piece as well, adding 1 second to both Oil slick and shield.

Yet the Sin 6-piece is totally off the rails, it affects dark ward in a totally different way than before. It gives it stacks and duration to dark ward. Yet both Jugg & PT sets are a mirror of their old set and improved versions of it. I would like to see the 6-piece redesigned to be worth it, as it stands now it is really not worth it. I will say, I have a full 6-piece set just encase I needed to run the reduced CD on taunts because of mechanics. But I never put a premium on getting it for the 6 piece.

One way I see to fix the 6-piece is to make it a combination of the old 2 piece and the old 4 piece as that is what a majority of Sin tanks that I know of run. I personally run it because it means I get 41.89% DR & 64% shield chance w/ dark ward (mind you itís a 20% boost for me). When I go to full 198 armoring w/ new set bonus I get 40.73% DR and 59% shield chance. Sin tanks are already on the lower end for flat damage reduction (Juggs get baseline ~47% and PTs get ~50%) which means in theory without any shield involved we take more damage than the other tanks. So giving my Sin the 2% DR bonus from the old set bonus with the flat base DR of 198 it would give me a 0.84% DR increase over what I have now. Given that my Sin is in min/maxed gear at this stage (full 198s and 204 MH) I am defiantly at the top end of the spectrum for DR values, I do not think that this would majorly impact the ďWe donít want the tank set bonuses to increase tank survivability by more than 5%Ē philosophy that you guys and gals are aiming for.

If the idea of continuing with the trend set by PT and Jugg tank sets, then increasing each of the numbers by 1% would be 3% DR and 6% shield chance, bringing the DR value increase to 1.84% and at least 1% more shield chance (65% for my example above). Again, Iím not sure how much this goes against your intended statement. As I personally am not very sure how much the current Sin tank set affects the survivability value of Sinís according to the desired 5% number. So any proposed change is hard to say, but I defiantly think the first idea of just replacing the current 6-piece with the old set-bonuses (both 5% to dark ward and 2% Damage reduction) is a very favorable idea. It is a minimal increase of damage reduction and to many an unnoticed change of shield chance.

I hope that we can get a response to this, and I am looking forward to seeing if anything comes of this.
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For those that may want the tl;dr version;
2 & 4 piece are fine, ether change them for all 3 tanks or leave them. The 6 piece needs a major rework, I propose to remove it and replace it with the old 2 piece AND 4 piece. It will on a min/max 198 armoring Sin cause a 0.84% increase of DR presuming said Sin is already running old 4 w/ 186s and a 198 head, chest, or legs armoring along with 198 belt/bracer.
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