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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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Jiminison's Avatar


Jiminison
07.14.2015 , 05:24 PM | #11
For pvp I have kept the original 2 peice bonus 10 sec off Spike...for pvp its a must...we can barely heal we have the worse self heals in game Drr is trash for pvp so being able to cc more often with 5% extra damage is nice with Our rotation since it is clunky so a spike I can use more often makes it much more smooth and epic feeling.

TralyanSavo's Avatar


TralyanSavo
07.14.2015 , 05:28 PM | #12
Quote: Originally Posted by Hockaday View Post
Maybe I'm alone on this, but I'm not a fan of the taunt reduction.
You're not. The taunt reduction only matters with the current tier of content because mechanics make it useful. It will not matter when we are playing pre-3.0 raids for progression again.

There are fights where a fast taunt is great (i.e. fights with a lot of adds, thinking specifically of Revanite Commanders) where you literally cannot taunt every group of adds with an AoE. In the pre-3.0 fights, fights were tuned to where adds and switches happened at times where taunts would be up if you played well and planned in advance (the tightest fight was probably Draxus). There are never times where you need to taunt but cant unless you or a teammate made a mistake If you are tanking the old fights with this set bonus, all this is give you a chance to pad your threat per second. This is a waste of a set bonus unless they re-tune the old operations; this needs to go with Fallen Empire.

The pre-3.0 set bonus was great, but perhaps overpowered at current gear levels (I'll let a theory crafter talk about that). Perhaps leaving the Slow Time buff and adding the old Kinetic Ward buff (increasing shield chance by 5% while KW is up) would be nice.

That said, the other classes get buffs to their cooldowns in their set bonus (KW doesnt count as a cooldown for us). It might be nice if it reduced the cooldown or increased the duration of Battle Readiness or Force Potency.
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Gardimuer's Avatar


Gardimuer
07.14.2015 , 06:02 PM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by Aelanis View Post
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?
I agree with this. The additional stacks/duration in the 6 piece should be baseline, and here's why:

To my knowledge, KBN's calculations of tank survivability include all the buffs from the set bonuses, but do not include defensive cooldown usage. This means that with the 6 piece Assassins/Shadows have the same survivability as Juggernauts/Powertechs without a 6 piece.

UrbanSaint's Avatar


UrbanSaint
07.14.2015 , 07:32 PM | #14
The 2-piece is fine imo. The 4 and 6-piece are a little weird to me. the taunt cooldown time is only really useful in pvp and a few certain fights in pve (though I guess it entirely depends on how each group's tanks handle the mechanics). I think 6-piece would be fine if it also increased the shield chance similar to the old 2-piece, though I could see how that might be a little OP. Personally I would prefer the old 4-piece over the new 6-piece.

Whatever the changes happen to be, the set bonuses need to be equally useful in both pvp and pve considering the homogenization of the set-bonuses we saw in 3.0
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Luckygunslinger's Avatar


Luckygunslinger
07.15.2015 , 06:49 AM | #15
Edit: Wrong thread, 6-piece should be, find proper thread.

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TaRs_WoLk's Avatar


TaRs_WoLk
07.15.2015 , 08:06 AM | #16
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.
Agree with that post.
The new 2-piece is fine.
The new 4-piece bonus like other tanks.
The new 6-piece in not fine. The old 2-piece is better becouse increase survivability (+5% shield shance). Kinetic/Dark Ward active on me all time and only occasionally falls earlier CD.
I play with guardian and shadow/assassin tanks and can say that the Guardian survivability more than the Shadow. Also, the Guardian and the Vanguard have more option. The Vanguard and the Guardian can leap on target (for example, Quartermaster Bulo change position), shadow need use Forse Speed and run through all battlefield (both other tanks can increase own speed too). Further, in contrast to other tanks, shadow/assassin does not have the protective ability at mass agro and haven't mass stun at all. This is especially noticeable in PvP. On PvE Shadow's Shelter from Phase Walk can be used very little because healers are often not visible underneath circles AOE or difficult for them to stand in one place for mechanics.
I like play shadow tank - this is my favorite character - but in operation or group PvP i'll take guardian or vanguard. This is sorrowfully.

MiaowZedong's Avatar


MiaowZedong
07.15.2015 , 09:27 AM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by Gardimuer View Post
I agree with this. The additional stacks/duration in the 6 piece should be baseline, and here's why:

To my knowledge, KBN's calculations of tank survivability include all the buffs from the set bonuses, but do not include defensive cooldown usage. This means that with the 6 piece Assassins/Shadows have the same survivability as Juggernauts/Powertechs without a 6 piece.
I also agree with this. Against a single opponent, you're gaining at most 0.2% Absorption on average—that's pretty much an order of magnitude too small to be noticed. Against multiple opponents (basically anything that isn't a boss fight) three extra stacks make the bonus more noticeable, but they don't remove the problem that your stacks can be depleted in the first place—often either 15 stacks would be enough or 18 are still too few. Frankly, the Dark Ward mechanic could use a rework anyway, but if it's being kept the current 6-piece bonus might as well become baseline, and in any case, the 6-piece should be something that players will desire and try to obtain. Right now, the Darkness 6-piece just doesn't fit that bill.

The 4-piece is supposedly good for PvE but I don't see it, really: you never need it to deal with a mechanic (which is as it should be, requiring a set bonus to progress past a fight would be really dumb), and taunt fluffing is so strong anyway you pretty rapidly stop caring about how fast you can generate aggro (pretty much after the first taunt cycle, really). I mean, technically, it does increase error margins, especially on the taunt mechanics, but when those error margins aren't small in the first place I don't see the point. Obviously it does matter quite a bit in PvP so any new 4-piece needs to be similarly strong so 'Sin tanks aren't screwed over in PvP.

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KeyboardNinja
07.15.2015 , 12:47 PM | #18
Something for the devs to think about in these discussions surrounding the tank set bonuses is the ubiquitous "get 2% more damage reduction from your rotational core ability" set bonus. To summarize:
  • Assasins: Slow Time/Wither gives 2% for 3 seconds
  • Juggernauts: Guardian Slash/Crushing Blow gives 2% for 4 seconds
  • Powertechs: Energy Blast/Heat Blast gives 2% for 5 seconds

This is kind of a cool idea, in general, but unfortunately it rapidly runs afoul of certain imperatives in each spec. Assassins use Wither once every 10.5 seconds, which gives their 2% DR a 28.57% uptime. Juggernauts use Crushing Blow once every 12 seconds, which gives their 2% DR a 33.33% uptime. Powertechs use Heat Blast once every 9 seconds, which gives their 2% DR a whopping 55.56% uptime!!!!

The core of the problem here is that the DR uptime calculations (3s for assassins, 4s for juggs, 5s for powertechs) were performed using the pre-proc cooldowns of each ability, and not only that, but also the pre-3.0 cooldowns! Pre-3.0, Wither had a 9 second cooldown, which would give a 3 second buff window a precisely 33.33% uptime, exactly the same as Juggernauts. In 3.0 though, Wither's CD was increased, and it appears that the set bonus was not recalibrated.

Heat Blast is an even more egregious example of this, since it appears that the buff duration (5 seconds) was calculated with respect to the vanilla 15 second cooldown on Heat Blast, which would also give the buff a precisely 33.33% uptime. The set bonus calculation completely fails to take into account the fact that Powertechs massively reduce the CD on Heat Blast with nearly half of the actions in their rotation, resulting in an effective 9-10 second CD and a significantly inflated set bonus value.

This is insanely imbalanced. The assassin set bonuses are already quite underwhelming, but the fact that we get the least value out of our DR is annoying to say the least. At the very least, this should be corrected, not only for assassins but also for powertechs.

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As for the set bonuses themselves, I have the following more specific thoughts:
  • 2pc set bonus - See above, but more importantly: YAWN. When I first saw this set bonus, I thought that I would alter my rotation to more heavily prioritize Wither, in order to maximize the buff. In practice, I literally don't care. This set bonus is completely unnoticeable, and due to its mere 28.6% uptime, it is also an incredibly marginal increase in survivability (specifically, 0.572%). Even in the math, it's barely noticeable. It's certainly not anything that makes an impact in the game.
  • 4pc set bonus - This set bonus is only valuable because the mechanics of the current tier make it valuable. Its only value in previous tiers (which will be current tiers in 4.0!) is in achieving the 18 second debuff window in the opener. Unlike the other two set bonuses, it does make an impact on how I plan out fights at times, so in that sense it is probably the best of the three set bonus effects, but it's still sort of dumb. Taunts are already the most boring part of tanking (they're the moral equivalent of a healer getting a "reset one friendly target to full health" button). Making taunts only marginally less boring is an improvement, but still not great.
  • 6pc set bonus - Pros: helps to address a long-standing issue with the Dark Ward mechanic in high swing-timer fights (or fights with adds/trash). More pros: increases the skill cap on Dark Ward by extending the gap between the natural CD and the proper use timing. Massive con: provides an absolutely marginal increase to survivability. It does increase the value of Dark Bulwark through the aforementioned skill cap bump, but not by all that much. The main benefit of this set bonus is in propping up an arguably broken mechanic (the Dark Ward stacks mechanism), which seems like a red flag.

Regarding the target 5% survivability increase from set bonuses… Uh, lol? I can break out the math if it would be helpful, but off the top of my head, the full set of set bonuses provides substantially less than 2% additional survivability (especially if we discount the situations where 3 extra Dark Ward stacks saves the buff and assume that Dark Ward is just constantly up). In fact, I'm relatively certain that the net gain is actually less than 1%. Again, I have precise numbers here if you want them, I'm just being lazy about firing up Mathematica right now.

The old set bonuses were far, far superior. The old 2pc set bonus (5% more shield on Dark Ward) was probably the best set bonus in the game leading up to 3.0. The old 4pc was even better from a numerical standpoint, though it was less interesting to me simply because it was a passive "make everything better" sort of thing.

If you really want the set bonuses to achieve a 5% survivability increase, you need to massively buff them from their current form. Rebalance the proc duration on the 2pc, or at least acknowledge in your math that it is the weakest of the three versions of that set bonus. Take the Dread Master 2pc set bonus effect (5% more shield chance from Dark Ward) and add it to the 6pc. Also, consider adjusting the 6pc to more directly address the failings of Dark Ward:
  • Any time you lose a stack of Dark Ward, you have a 20% chance to re-gain the stack and increase the buff duration by 1 second. This effect does not have an internal cooldown.

The above almost precisely replicates the functionality of the current 6pc set bonus on current-tier single-target bosses (assuming an 0.75 hit/sec timer), in that it gives you an average of 3 extra stacks and 3 extra seconds every 20 seconds. Where it steps ahead of the existing 6pc is in two areas. First, on trash packs and bosses with adds, it becomes dramatically more valuable due to the rapid loss of stacks. Effectively, the faster you exhaust Dark Ward, the more stacks you get and the longer it lasts. Second, it increases the skill cap on Dark Ward management significantly, since you now have a randomly variable time threshold at which you need to refresh the buff. Even better, it keeps the primary co-indicators of this threshold (i.e. swing timer) the same, and so if you're in a situation where you just don't have the mental attention to read your buff bar, you can estimate the buff duration using the same technique used today: guessing the number of lost stacks based on incoming hit rate.

Incidentally, one way that you can inject more survivability into the set bonuses – particularly the 6pc, and particularly in light of my "random stack regen" suggestion – is to add an effect that increases the maximum stacking of Dark Bulwark. Unlike the Dark Ward effect, it doesn't need to be a random regeneration effect, since Dark Ward is already random. My suggestion would be to just add an effect to the 6pc set bonus which increases the stack limit on Dark Bulwark from 8 to 12. Taken together with the random Dark Ward stack regen mechanic, this would provide a very potent survivability increase for assassin tanks and an extremely attractive set bonus, particularly on trash packs or fights with adds (i.e. where assassin tanks are enormously underpowered right now).

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tl;dr: The 2pc set bonus is imbalanced across the three classes, with assassins getting by far the worst version of it. The 4pc set bonus is boring, but justifiable. The 6pc set bonus is paper mache on a somewhat broken class mechanic (Dark Ward) and can be made significantly more interesting (and more effective!) with my proposal. The set bonuses in 3.0, taken as a whole, provide vastly and hilariously less than a 5% survivability buff, and in fact are much closer to a mere 1%.
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Gardimuer's Avatar


Gardimuer
07.15.2015 , 03:34 PM | #19
Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
Also, consider adjusting the 6pc to more directly address the failings of Dark Ward:
  • Any time you lose a stack of Dark Ward, you have a 20% chance to re-gain the stack and increase the buff duration by 1 second. This effect does not have an internal cooldown.

The above almost precisely replicates the functionality of the current 6pc set bonus on current-tier single-target bosses (assuming an 0.75 hit/sec timer), in that it gives you an average of 3 extra stacks and 3 extra seconds every 20 seconds. Where it steps ahead of the existing 6pc is in two areas. First, on trash packs and bosses with adds, it becomes dramatically more valuable due to the rapid loss of stacks. Effectively, the faster you exhaust Dark Ward, the more stacks you get and the longer it lasts. Second, it increases the skill cap on Dark Ward management significantly, since you now have a randomly variable time threshold at which you need to refresh the buff. Even better, it keeps the primary co-indicators of this threshold (i.e. swing timer) the same, and so if you're in a situation where you just don't have the mental attention to read your buff bar, you can estimate the buff duration using the same technique used today: guessing the number of lost stacks based on incoming hit rate.

Incidentally, one way that you can inject more survivability into the set bonuses – particularly the 6pc, and particularly in light of my "random stack regen" suggestion – is to add an effect that increases the maximum stacking of Dark Bulwark. Unlike the Dark Ward effect, it doesn't need to be a random regeneration effect, since Dark Ward is already random. My suggestion would be to just add an effect to the 6pc set bonus which increases the stack limit on Dark Bulwark from 8 to 12. Taken together with the random Dark Ward stack regen mechanic, this would provide a very potent survivability increase for assassin tanks and an extremely attractive set bonus, particularly on trash packs or fights with adds (i.e. where assassin tanks are enormously underpowered right now).
I can get behind this, especially the idea for increased Dark Bulwark stacks. That would go a long ways towards making the 6 piece desirable. I don't agree that a set bonus should increase the skill cap for a class, but your proposal would nicely counteract the current weaknesses against fast hitting targets and large groups of enemies.

But then again, is it right for Assassins to be at a large disadvantage against groups of enemies to the extent that the 6 piece bonus is required to even match survivability of the other tank classes without set bonus? I don't think set bonuses are the right avenue to correct class balance issues, so if Assassins really are less viable against groups, this change to Dark Ward stacks should be standard, not part of the set.

Aelanis's Avatar


Aelanis
07.15.2015 , 06:54 PM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
Spoiler
So, a few thoughts about what you said.

First, I'm glad someone else mentioned the egregious imbalance between Assassin and Powertech 2 piece tank bonuses: it's bad. On top of this, you're right: it's kinda boring. I like that it's steady, but it's not very noticeable, and I'd like something I can notice.

Second, I have a small issue with the 4 piece on principle (and the recently brought up fact that it's nigh useless on previous content). I really do feel like it should be possible to hold aggro without taunts unless mechanics require it.

Third, that's a beautiful idea for Dark Ward. I feel like they should alter Dark Ward to just not have stacks any more, which would make us less painful in trash pulls without significantly altering the playstyle, but your solution is more elegant. I think, if they want it to be noticeable, that they might need to up that 20% chance, or make it on incoming attacks, rather than on successfully shielded attacks. That in addition to upping the max stacks on Dark Bulwark, to further reinforce the idea that you should be delaying Dark Ward until you can't any more. Maybe even adding an extra 2 stacks if you refresh the buff in a 1 second window around its previous end time (basically, use it +/- 1 second of its final duration).

I hope they respond here so we can work with them to come up with some well thought out ideas.
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