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Annihilation / Watchman Set Bonuses and Tactical Items

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Sentinel / Marauder
Annihilation / Watchman Set Bonuses and Tactical Items
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DynamiCtagez's Avatar

04.28.2019 , 04:58 PM | #11
In the past whenever you asked for our feedback and the threads got hundreds of pages long, exactly 0 % of that feedback got taken into account. Sometimes we even got mocked by the devs in return, when they were trying to explain to the most invested players how to play their class. I hope you understand why I can't be arsed to put much effort into this.

There's one suggestion I wanna make, maybe something comes out of it, even though I doubt it. Watchman/Annihilation used to have a vastly different playstyle, especially in PvP. With 3.0 you stripped it of its identity and it got changed to a generic DoT class that feels like all the others. It used to be about short and hard hitting DoTs with a CD combined with a strong self heal and decent burst. Bring that playstyle back. The self-heal should be based on a percentage of our health again; Cauterize should have a CD again, have a shorter duration and hit harder; the DoT spread on Smash should be removed; Force Rend/Melt should be removed and the damage shifted into the remaining DoTs.
I'm sure you can figure out a way to accomplish this, if you are willing; be it through class changes, Set Bonuses, Tactical Items or a combination of all this.

TheSpiceIsRIght's Avatar

05.02.2019 , 01:43 AM | #12
Link to Main Forum Post with Google Doc of Failure's Set Bonus and Tactical Item suggestions


Tactical Suggestions:
  • Damage dealt by Annihilate increases the duration of your active force rend on the target by 1s
  • Vicious slash now increases the damage dealt from annihilate
    • Stacks 3 times (stacks consumed on use)
      • 5%, 15%, 30%
  • Sweeping slash now applies a (small) dot to all targets (ie Combustible gas cylinder)
  • Smash can now spread deadly saber (1 deadly saber stack)
  • Rupture now deals [the same] damage over 5 seconds but has more on hit damage
    • Now has a 8/9/10s cooldown???
    • Annihilate has a 25%/30%/40% chance to reset the cooldown of Rupture

Set Bonus:
  • Set 1
    • 2 set - Activating Berserk increases all damage dealt by 3% for 10 seconds (current 4 set)
    • 4 set - Annihilate has a 25% chance of applying another stack of deadly saber
      • Deadly saber now has a maximum of 4 stacks
    • 6 set - Vicious slash, Annihilate, Vicious Throw and Sweeping slash now deals X% (25%/30%) of their damage as a bleed over 3 seconds (bleed not affected by berserk)
  • Set 2
    • 2 set - Vicious Slash increases dot damage by 2% stacks up to 5 times.
    • 4 set - Rupture refunds 1 rage for every stack of deadly saber on the target.
    • 6 set - Annihilate extends the duration of deadly saber on the target by 2s
<FAILURE> - Satele Shan
World First Slayer of the Machine Gods

SpleneticGamer's Avatar

05.02.2019 , 06:04 PM | #13
Tactical Item:

Medium Armor: Increases DR by 20% while stunned. Your Resolve bar Deteriorates 10% more slowly. Decreases the time slowed and immobilized by 1 second (maybe 2 seconds would be better). All high mobility abilities have their cooldown reduced by 10% (exfiltrate, leaps, Covered Escape, and so on. To be honest, I'm not sure if this is needed). Give this to all medium armor specs. Granted, Mara and Sniper are really strong currently so I'm not sure if they need it.

force-unleasher's Avatar

06.02.2019 , 02:14 PM | #14
I've been playing Watchman since August 2012, it's my main and I can say that, right now, the rotation has the perfect combination of being a just little bit challenging to learn and execute, while still being difficult to master, and at the same time having a consistent core (as opposed to being priority based like "X ability procs, I use X, Y procs, I use Y"). It also has sort of like a barrier that is dividing good Watchmen and bad Watchmen, which is important for every class to have such a barrier (how you apply Overload Saber stacks, what abilities you use in the 4 GCD window between cycles, are you managing to squeeze in Zealous Strikes AND use the generated focus without wasting it, making sure Valorous Call is never off CD, having maximum uptime of Zen, etc.).

So, in my humble opinion, if the devs don't want to enter a cycle of nerfing, buffing and changing the Watchman every two weeks after 6.0, completely screwing everything up in the process, they should keep the core rotation as it is. Remember bois - if it ain't broke, don't fix it nor tinker with it. So that means no set bonuses that change cooldowns of the core abilites.

The set bonuses I would recommend for a Watchman would be ones that work this way: increasing damage by either by reducing the cooldown of big hitting filler abilities (like Blade Barrage), increasing damage of medium hitting filler abilities (Slash) or straight up increasing overall damage by a small percentage either in the burns/bleeds or direct damage. Here's an idea for a 6-piece set:

  • (2) Set: Merciless Slash has a 25% chance of granting 2 charges of *insert epic buff name here*, making the next Slash deal 20% more damage. Each use of Slash consumes 1 charge. Lasts 10 seconds.
  • (4) Set: Force Melt makes its targets *insert epic debuff name here*, increasing the chance of your next Twin Saber Throw to critically hit by 15%.
  • (6) Set: Blade Barrage's cooldown is reduced by 4 seconds.

^ This essentially makes sure that Blade Barrage is available as a filler after every core cycle of the rotation which is a substantial and well deserved bonus for collecting almost all set pieces, provided that the player understands the basics of stat optimization and has reached the second Alacrity threshold (1.3s Global Cooldown), thus providing another separation between good and average players. For average players this is a good final bonus, providing them with the chance to use a hard hitting ability more often.

The first bonus provides a small damage boost on Slash which is fair and at the same time makes a small difference between players with and players without set bonus. The second set bonus is a definite upgrade over the previous set bonus and at the same time is useful to both singe and multi target scenarios (DoT spread, move sideways, Twin Saber Throw and boom).

Now, I understand that my example may not be perfect and most probably it isn't as I am not a game developer but at least you can see things from this point of view: the way this set bonus is structured right now provides significant bonuses that distinguish players with and without sets, while also being very easy to adjust and rebalance in case of imbalances. (For example let's say Set Bonus (4) provides too much damage for clearing thrash in ops and is making the Sentinels and Maras too AoE-burst oriented for their single target DoT spread nature. The solution is simple - reduce the numbers until they're just right.) And most importantly, we leave the cooldown reducing and rotation defining options to Tactical Items, which are items that every player can decide whether or not they want to equip and experiment with a new type of rotation.

For Tactical Items I just want to say that I love Avuras' ideas. Especially making Force Melt deal its damage instantly to targets but I see two problems with this:

  1. Your ability to DoT spread Force Melt is removed while being equipped with this Tactical Item (which is 50% off of Burning Sweep's bonus)
  2. I consider this a bit overpowered in terms of single target damage, as the nature of Damage over Time effects is that you get a bit more damage but the drawback is that it's spread out across longer periods of time. At least, when directly comparing it with an instant-damage counterpart. And if you make this "more damage" into a normal burst ability it makes Combat Sentinels cry a lot. After all we don't want them to cry so what I am suggesting is this:

  • Force Melt now does 50% of its damage instantly and the other 50% as DoT. Now, I am not sure if those percentages are correct but it's late and I am trying to propose a different mechanism, expanding on Avuras' brilliant idea. Those percentages can be adjusted.
  • Force Melt now does 10% less damage however the damage is applied instantly to the target. If this is an equippable item as is the idea behind Tactical Items, it would be perfect for boss encounters where we need to change targets often and a more bursty type of DPS is required. It would eliminate the need to respec to Combat or Concentration for a specific boss, thus making the "Play the way you want" goal easily achievable.

And at all other times other Tactical Items can be worn, providing different benefits. An idea that I have for another Watchman specific Tactical Item is this:

  • The range of Dispatch is now increased to 30m. Activating *Insert long cooldown ability here, either Blade Barrage, Twin Saber Throw or Merciless Slash, devs can decide which one would be best* grants Merciless Dismantling which stacks up to 3 times. When at 3 stacks, Merciless Dismantling resets the cooldown of Dispatch and makes Dispatch usable on targets with any amount of health. I suppose this would spice things up a bit in multi-boss encounters that involve switching targets or boss encounters with adds that need to be dealt with immediately (Geonosian Queen, Brontes, etc.). I know it's not build defining, nor does it change the core gameplay of the class but honestly my imagination is zero and I am jealous of Guardians having a reset on their execute.

For now this is all I had to say about Watchman Tactical Items and Set Bonuses and I can't wait for the PTS version of Onslaught, so that we can give more feedback to you and make this expansion the greatest one SWTOR has seen. In the meantime I will try to come up with other Tactical Item ideas that are not complete garbage.

Delani's Avatar

06.02.2019 , 02:33 PM | #15
Faster regeneration speed. When you are out of combat, you heal twice as fast.

Ardarell_Solo's Avatar

06.10.2019 , 03:47 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by force-unleasher View Post
they should keep the core rotation as it is. Remember bois - if it ain't broke, don't fix it nor tinker with it. So that means no set bonuses that change cooldowns of the core abilites.
That's pretty much what I and a lot of better players than me wrote at 2.10 stage. Turning a shot dot medium damage, medium burst, zero AoE class into the same two dot class that the game already had was a pretty substantial change to something that not only wasn't broken but totally unique and very elegant - and still was easy to learn and hard to master, probably a bit more than now. Imo after 3.x. there may still be a core rotation and a priority list, but core abilities are so similar in terms of damage per GCD now that it doesn't make that much of a difference which ability sequence you go for, especially if we're not talking tunneling your target for at least a minute or so... I was happy to see that a lot of posters here showed their interest for the core mechanic of vanilla Watchman to return, even though so many players who loved what that was have long left the game.

The funny thing about it was that the reason devs gave for the change was that introducing a new ability into 2.x. rotation was not possible because of Master Strike which at that point was a 2 GCD ability and did not leave room in a 4 GCD core rotation that already needed to incorporate Dual Saber Throw. (But in 3.0. every specc was supposed to get one new rotational ability.) The characeristics of 2.10. Watchman would now be fine with Blade Barrage as a single GCD ability having replaced it. If you turn Force Melt into a Cauterize resetting ability (dont really care if dot or instant damage really), you get a wonderful and engaging playstyle that's still not to hard to learn even for beginners.

Quote: Originally Posted by force-unleasher View Post
provided that the player understands the basics of stat optimization and has reached the second Alacrity threshold (1.3s Global Cooldown), thus providing another separation between good and average players.
The Alacity bug, i.e. the effect ot the stat having breaking points instead of working by percent as intended, was hinted to be eliminated in the next expansion:

Quote: Originally Posted by DanielSteed View Post
QuestionThird, will alacrity be "fixed" in Sow and round to the nearest hundredth, or are we stuck with the disparate alacrity breakpoints?


As Musco calls out we're intending to make improvements to Alacrity and we'll talk more about that in the near future.
El'ethon - Sentinel <Taking the Jawas to Alderaan> T3-M4

TmoneyTime's Avatar

07.07.2019 , 09:25 PM | #17
I really see Tactical Items being more like things below. Yes some need to be tweaked but I just don't have that much hope they would alter the play-style entirely

Tactical Items

Weighted Boots:
For 10 seconds after leaping to a target you are immune to knock-backs

Unstable Blades:
Using zen causes all burning effects damage to be done instantly

Well Balanced:
Force Leap can be used at any range up to 30 Meters on any target.

Blessed Blades:
Using Zen not longer crits. Your are healed for the damage your burning effects do.

Weightless Boots:
Force Kick's cool down is reduced by 50 percent

Precise Blades:
Blade Blitz is now able to spread your dots to all targets it hits.

Force Cloak:
Force camo now lasts for 30 seconds