Please upgrade your browser for the best possible experience.

Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer
×

Giving Op/Sc Healing a Purpose

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Giving Op/Sc Healing a Purpose

Xaearth's Avatar


Xaearth
02.15.2012 , 05:49 PM | #1
Note:The concepts and suggestions listed in this post are geared towards defining the purpose of Operative/Scoundrel healing and giving them the tools to execute that purpose effectively. It isn't about numbers or comparing them to the other healers. It is about finding what Operatives/Scoundrel healers are/were meant to do well, and making it happen.

THIS POST IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. But feel free to comment.

Currently, as I see it, there are four major (mechanical) problems with Operative/Scoundrel healing:
1) All of their utility (read: everything that isn't straight-up heal-botting) is designed for 10m or less and we have little to no group synergy
2) The 31 pt talent in the healing tree (Recuperative Nanotech/Kolto Cloud) is lackluster and generally not worth the cost
3) The only really unique healing we bring to a party is either ineffective (Surgical Probe/Emergency Medpac spam at <30% health) or impractical/inefficient (rolling Kolto Probe/Slow-release Medpac on multiple targets)
4) Kolto Infusion/Kolto Pack pale in comparison to Surgical Probe/Emergency Medpac when you consider your TA/UH's are generally coming from Kolto Injection/Underworld Medicine

A) The best way of fixing both 1 and 4 is to give us a reason to be in melee range as a healer, rather than simply being a potentially hazardous tradeoff for the benefit of utility and melee range TA/UH generation that the other healers don't have to worry about.
B) The best way of fixing 2 and the second half of 3 is by making our HoTs more manageable.
C) The combined above fixes should fix the first half of 3 by default, as Surgical Probe/Emergency Medpac would no longer be our go-to heal for TA consumption, and would instead be our go-to heal for energy-efficient TA consumption.

I'm going to start with B, because making our HoTs more manageable is, in my opinion, the key to breaking the reliance on KI/UM -> SP/EM.

B) Make the following additions/changes to the current implementation of Recuperative Nanotech/Kolto Cloud:
i) Remove the cooldown.
ii) Recuperative Nanotech/Kolto Cloud now grants a debuff that prevents the same character from being affected by another Recuperative Nanotech/Kolto Cloud for the next 5-10 seconds.
iii) Targets affected by Recuperative Nanotech/Kolto Cloud now have any existing Kolto Probe/Slow-release Medpac buffs refreshed.

I think you see where this is going, but here's a few explanations anyways. (i)It's a prohibitively expensive HoT, so who cares if we can spam it when it won't do us any good? (ii) This should help alleviate the nuisance that is a target cap. Realistically, we can't remove the target cap without changing it from being a AoE buff HoT like it is. (iii) Huzzah, we now have viable group healing capability, we are now the HoT class, and we now can focus on the big ugly in front of us without having to worry so much about whose KP/SM is about to fall off.

If there are concerns that these changes would cause groups to stack Operatives/Scoundrels, this could be prevented by making RN/KC only refresh the KP/SM buffs applied by the caster of RN/KC, while making the RN/KC debuff prevent a 2nd Operative/Scoundrel from stacking a second set of HoTs. Yes, this would mean you would not want to stack Operative/Scoundrel healers, but you definitely don't want to stack them with the current state of healing, so it's still an improvement.

A) We're melee. We're healers. So let's do some melee healing!

The current rotation prefers KI/UM -> SP/EM. Let's mix it up with some Shiv and Blaster Whip and see where Kolto Infusion/Kolto Pack end up.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Unless S/BW -> KI/KP is significantly better than KI/UM -> SP/EM, the status quo isn't going to change. But if S/BW -> KI/KP is significantly better, that means either KI/KP has to be lol-buffed to the point that I'd fear we'd encroach on Merc/Commando single target healing or KI/UM -> SP/EM would have to be nerfed, effectively removing the current rotation from use. Both are bad choices.

Instead of buffing/nerfing our current heals, let's kill two birds with one stone and tie a bit of group synergy into Operative/Scoundrel healer spec melee attacks. Let's give a reason for those willing to go the extra mile in melee to go with S/BW -> KI/KP over the current rotation without removing the current rotation as a viable option.

TBH... I'm somewhat stumped here. The best option I can come up with here is a heal spec talented debuff added to a melee attack or two that causes attacks made by allies against the target to grant a small buff to healing received.

The problem comes in the feeling I get that adding that to Shiv/Blaster Whip would make the utility + TA/UH gain a little too strong, but adding it to the other melee attacks gives the feeling that we'd be spending too much energy on melee attacks (remember the goal here is to move to using Shiv/Blaster Whip for our go-to TA/UH gain).

Ah well... the cold meds are making me a bit loopy anyways so I'll stop there for now.

TO BE CONTINUED...
"The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with BioWare."
~ SWTOR Update 1.2: Legacy

RuQu's Avatar


RuQu
02.16.2012 , 01:01 AM | #2
A couple of options for your melee range ideas.
  • Shiv/Backstab apply a debuff to the target. This debuff could do any of the following:
    • Heal anyone who attacks it. Sort of a reverse Trauma Probe. Short duration or limited stacks, both would encourage using Shiv/BS on the boss regularly.
    • Apply a healing received buff to anyone who attacks it, same as the Kolto Bomb buff. This would provide utility by buffing the heals of the other healers in the group as well.
    • Refreshes any HoTs on anyone who attacks it. Then you could roll out some KP/SRMPs, and focus on the tank, safe in the knowledge that your HoTs will stay. Probably need a target limit there or you would quickly have perma-HoTs on the entire raid.
  • Shiv/Backstab could trigger a weaker version of scrambling field. Basically a 10% DR bubble, centered on the boss.
  • Shiv/Backstab could be target-able on friendly targets, and heal instead of damage (ie, like Hammer Shot). Make it medium range instead of 4m so you aren't running all over trying to get close to your heal target, but you would still need to be in melee range.
Brushing off the dust on my Assault Cannon. Time to get back in the fight.

bobudo's Avatar


bobudo
02.16.2012 , 10:30 AM | #3
Personally, I don't like the idea of a melee range healer as a means of increasing Operative viability.

The cost/benefit of having to get in melee range to heal someone is impossible to balance:

Costs
  • Time to close distance between yourself and the target (impossible of the target is also moving away from you).
  • Placing yourself in harms way of enemy AoE/Swipe/Cleave damage.
  • Moving towards enemy targets (especially dangerous in PvP)

So the question becomes: What magnitude of benefit would be necessary to make people want to incur those costs?

Those benefits would have the be massive. I'm talking like healing for more than 1.5x of Kolto Injection (at which point you'd be healing for close to 1/3 of an average non-tank HP pool) - ergo significantly overpowered.

So we'd end up with a new ability that was either (1) generally useless because it's costs were too high vs. benefits (see Kolto Infusion); or (2) was overpowered in a dramatic fashion such so that it's benefits might equal its costs.

It wouldn't make us anymore versatile or desirable for groups: in high-end PvE we'd likely incur more damage to ourselves by being that close to targets needing healed and/or targets would die before we could close on them; in PvP we'd be murdered the second we ran into crows and our targets would die before we could close on them (if they need that much healing, they need it now!)
Bioware hates healing such that they won't take any healing problems seriously. Support your local healers. Boycott the Patch 1.2 Healing Nerfs. Make it clear to the Devs that their idea of "balance" is unacceptable. Unsubscribe Today

Xaearth's Avatar


Xaearth
02.16.2012 , 12:12 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by bobudo View Post
Personally, I don't like the idea of a melee range healer as a means of increasing Operative viability.

The cost/benefit of having to get in melee range to heal someone is impossible to balance:

Costs
  • Time to close distance between yourself and the target (impossible of the target is also moving away from you).
  • Placing yourself in harms way of enemy AoE/Swipe/Cleave damage.
  • Moving towards enemy targets (especially dangerous in PvP)

So the question becomes: What magnitude of benefit would be necessary to make people want to incur those costs?

Those benefits would have the be massive. I'm talking like healing for more than 1.5x of Kolto Injection (at which point you'd be healing for close to 1/3 of an average non-tank HP pool) - ergo significantly overpowered.
That's why I'm leaning more towards group synergy over sheer HPS.
If you have utility buffs that increases the effectiveness of not only your own healing/survivability but the healing/survivability of everyone in the group, the benefits of those buffs quickly increase exponentially.

Quote: Originally Posted by bobudo View Post
So we'd end up with a new ability that was either (1) generally useless because it's costs were too high vs. benefits (see Kolto Infusion); or (2) was overpowered in a dramatic fashion such so that it's benefits might equal its costs.

It wouldn't make us anymore versatile or desirable for groups: in high-end PvE we'd likely incur more damage to ourselves by being that close to targets needing healed and/or targets would die before we could close on them; in PvP we'd be murdered the second we ran into crows and our targets would die before we could close on them (if they need that much healing, they need it now!)
You're looking at the pieces instead of the big picture here. I agree that prodding us into melee range currently is a recipe for disaster, but I also see the phantom remnants of a design goal that wanted us to be in melee range to be effective.

1) Kolto Infusion only makes the least bit of sense if you consider we aren't primarily getting our TA from Kolto Injection.
2) A personal shield (and a talent that buffs healing received in it) doesn't make sense at all alongside our other ways to deal with aggro/players unless it was intended to give that healer the survivability to succeed in melee range.
3) I'd rather believe that the dev that designed our class was not so ridiculously incompetent as to never realize that making everything the spec can do outside of straight-up healbotting have a range of 10m or less makes it de facto inferior to the other healers before even considering that Operatives are the worst at straight-up healbotting by the numbers.

Now, I don't want to pigeonhole Operatives into being just melee healers either, and I don't think that's what the devs wanted either (or they could simply have nixed the TA gain from Injection talent).

But Operatives have to be able to succeed at both, or else they are going to be mechanically inferior to the other healers in every case that Operative heals aren't significantly more powerful than the other healers, for the simple fact that, unlike the other healers, an Operative outside of melee range brings absolutely nothing to the group but those healing numbers.

Sure we could increase those healing numbers, but, thanks to the regen mechanics, that would just put Mercs/Commandos in the same position we're in only very slightly better because they don't have to be in melee range to contribute outside of the healbot numbers.
"The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with BioWare."
~ SWTOR Update 1.2: Legacy

rustedgrail's Avatar


rustedgrail
02.16.2012 , 01:57 PM | #5
I like the idea of a melee healer. It's not an idea that you see in many games, or at least only a single class in other games. It's certainly different than a merc or sorc.

Maybe a replacement 31 point talent adds something to knife attacks? Shiv, backstab et al now have an AoE heal or shield centered on the target? Whatever happens, I think it should keep the operative alive while he is in melee as well as the tank.

If it heals both the operative and tank, it is probably an AoE, strengthening another weak area of the operative. The one thing I dislike about it, is having to switch targets between the tank and mob every couple seconds.

KeltikTwo's Avatar


KeltikTwo
02.16.2012 , 07:32 PM | #6
We could also rename Smugs to Warrior Priests and Ops to Disciples of Khaine. I'm sure the pvp dev team would approve :P

bobudo's Avatar


bobudo
02.16.2012 , 08:50 PM | #7
I already know that you and I are approaching Operative/Scoundrel healing from different design goals; but it's really more important to fully develop all of the ideas.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xaearth View Post
That's why I'm leaning more towards group synergy over sheer HPS.
If you have utility buffs that increases the effectiveness of not only your own healing/survivability but the healing/survivability of everyone in the group, the benefits of those buffs quickly increase exponentially.
I don't want to change Operative/Scoundrel healing into a support class.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xaearth View Post
You're looking at the pieces instead of the big picture here. I agree that prodding us into melee range currently is a recipe for disaster, but I also see the phantom remnants of a design goal that wanted us to be in melee range to be effective.

I don't see it. I see our melee tools are being what the DPS Operative/Scoundrel need to be effective, and having nothing to do with our healing roles.

Honestly, if any class was meant to be a melee healer, it should be the one decked out in heavy armor.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xaearth View Post
1) Kolto Infusion only makes the least bit of sense if you consider we aren't primarily getting our TA from Kolto Injection.
  1. You're not actually suggesting generating TA/UH stacks from Shiv are you?
  2. Kolto Infusion still doesn't make sense. It's not the difficulty of generating a TA that makes Kolto Infusion worthless, it's the fact that it will still not give any meaningful benefit over Kolto Injection.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xaearth View Post
2) A personal shield (and a talent that buffs healing received in it) doesn't make sense at all alongside our other ways to deal with aggro/players unless it was intended to give that healer the survivability to succeed in melee range.
All of the classes have defensive cooldowns, that doesn't mean they're all intended to be in melee range. The sniper also has shield probe, would you suggest them DPS in melee range? The Commando/Mercenary Shield would actually be more apt at putting them in melee range because it eliminates knockback on skills.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xaearth View Post
3) I'd rather believe that the dev that designed our class was not so ridiculously incompetent as to never realize that making everything the spec can do outside of straight-up healbotting have a range of 10m or less makes it de facto inferior to the other healers before even considering that Operatives are the worst at straight-up healbotting by the numbers.
First, the bold isn't true - the range differences outside of healing are irrelevant unless you're trying to make the Operative into something different than a main healer.

However whether you believe it or not: the devs screwed-up on our class. That's ok, that happens a lot - even the developers have favorites.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xaearth View Post
Now, I don't want to pigeonhole Operatives into being just melee healers either, and I don't think that's what the devs wanted either (or they could simply have nixed the TA gain from Injection talent).

But Operatives have to be able to succeed at both, or else they are going to be mechanically inferior to the other healers in every case that Operative heals aren't significantly more powerful than the other healers, for the simple fact that, unlike the other healers, an Operative outside of melee range brings absolutely nothing to the group but those healing numbers.
Changing Operatives into melee healers would make them literally inferior to the other healers in every instance, because they'd be taking damage, trying to attack things, and needing to move into range of targets they want to heal.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xaearth View Post
Sure we could increase those healing numbers, but, thanks to the regen mechanics, that would just put Mercs/Commandos in the same position we're in only very slightly better because they don't have to be in melee range to contribute outside of the healbot numbers.
Healers that aren't healing are wasteful. If you have time to be doing other things, it means someone is covering up your fail (likely a Sorcerer/Sage).

The design goal of every class of the game is to minimize hybridization and maximize "main" roles.

Quote: Originally Posted by Georg Zoeller
“Ultimately we don’t do hybrid roles. You can do them (by mixing different skill trees), but by design, all our classes are meant to be fully capable in the roles they fill. The ‘hybrid’ tax would be the fact that you won’t be able to get the top tier talents in one skill tree if you spread yourself too thin into others.”
To me, it sounds like you think Operative healers ought to be inferior in healing because they should be DPSing as well. I don't think that's the goal, nor do I think it should be.
Bioware hates healing such that they won't take any healing problems seriously. Support your local healers. Boycott the Patch 1.2 Healing Nerfs. Make it clear to the Devs that their idea of "balance" is unacceptable. Unsubscribe Today

Darieltis's Avatar


Darieltis
02.17.2012 , 12:05 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by bobudo View Post
I already know that you and I are approaching Operative/Scoundrel healing from different design goals; but it's really more important to fully develop all of the ideas.



I don't want to change Operative/Scoundrel healing into a support class.




I don't see it. I see our melee tools are being what the DPS Operative/Scoundrel need to be effective, and having nothing to do with our healing roles.

Honestly, if any class was meant to be a melee healer, it should be the one decked out in heavy armor.


  1. You're not actually suggesting generating TA/UH stacks from Shiv are you?
  2. Kolto Infusion still doesn't make sense. It's not the difficulty of generating a TA that makes Kolto Infusion worthless, it's the fact that it will still not give any meaningful benefit over Kolto Injection.



All of the classes have defensive cooldowns, that doesn't mean they're all intended to be in melee range. The sniper also has shield probe, would you suggest them DPS in melee range? The Commando/Mercenary Shield would actually be more apt at putting them in melee range because it eliminates knockback on skills.



First, the bold isn't true - the range differences outside of healing are irrelevant unless you're trying to make the Operative into something different than a main healer.

However whether you believe it or not: the devs screwed-up on our class. That's ok, that happens a lot - even the developers have favorites.



Changing Operatives into melee healers would make them literally inferior to the other healers in every instance, because they'd be taking damage, trying to attack things, and needing to move into range of targets they want to heal.



Healers that aren't healing are wasteful. If you have time to be doing other things, it means someone is covering up your fail (likely a Sorcerer/Sage).

The design goal of every class of the game is to minimize hybridization and maximize "main" roles.



To me, it sounds like you think Operative healers ought to be inferior in healing because they should be DPSing as well. I don't think that's the goal, nor do I think it should be.
+1

Thanks again bobudo for putting into words what I'm sure many of us were thinking. I've been searching for a way to state my objections to this, but couldn't find the words...
No, try not! Do, or do not. There is no try!
~Yoda

bobudo's Avatar


bobudo
02.17.2012 , 10:50 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Darieltis View Post
+1

Thanks again bobudo for putting into words what I'm sure many of us were thinking. I've been searching for a way to state my objections to this, but couldn't find the words...
Careful Mister (Miss? Misses? sorry, I promise I'm not a sexist), I charge by the hour ;-)
Bioware hates healing such that they won't take any healing problems seriously. Support your local healers. Boycott the Patch 1.2 Healing Nerfs. Make it clear to the Devs that their idea of "balance" is unacceptable. Unsubscribe Today

Xaearth's Avatar


Xaearth
02.17.2012 , 12:06 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by bobudo View Post
First, the bold isn't true - the range differences outside of healing are irrelevant unless you're trying to make the Operative into something different than a main healer.

However whether you believe it or not: the devs screwed-up on our class. That's ok, that happens a lot - even the developers have favorites.
...
Changing Operatives into melee healers would make them literally inferior to the other healers in every instance, because they'd be taking damage, trying to attack things, and needing to move into range of targets they want to heal.
...
Healers that aren't healing are wasteful. If you have time to be doing other things, it means someone is covering up your fail (likely a Sorcerer/Sage).

The design goal of every class of the game is to minimize hybridization and maximize "main" roles.
...
To me, it sounds like you think Operative healers ought to be inferior in healing because they should be DPSing as well. I don't think that's the goal, nor do I think it should be.
Let me repeat, I'm not trying to pigeonhole Operatives into melee healers.

It seems you're getting stuck on that and missing my actual point here.
1) Fact: Operatives are by and far the worst healbots
2) Fact: Operatives are the only healer class that brings nothing to the group outside of being a healbot, except in ranges <10m
3) Fact: As long as both 1 & 2 remain true, Operative healers are completely pointless and worthless

It seems you want to change #1. The problem with that is the fact that Mercenaries/Commandos seem to be designed to be the best single target healbot. That leaves Operatives/Scoundrels as the group healbot.

The problem is, our group heal, Recuperative Nanotech/Kolto Cloud, is not designed in a fashion that could ever make that work. It's an instant cast area of effect HoT buff. Am I the only one that really sees how overpowered it would be if it had no target cap?

I'm not suggesting making the Operative/Scoundrel outright stronger than the other healers (which is the only way healbotting could ever work for the class without a total rework/overhaul, for the simple fact that we get the short end of both the resource and mechanics stick).

Instead, I'm suggesting accentuating the Operative/Scoundrel mobility. Let us dance in and out of melee, give us the tools (more leaning towards improving our existing ones) to do it without getting splatted, and make it all mean something to the group.

Let us heal solely from range effectively (read: more effective than we do now) but slightly less so than the other classes (improving the manageability of our HoTs should go a ways in accomplishing this). But when we're at the top of our game, we should bring a tangible and sought after, but not outright required (read: Sorc/Sage AoE), asset to the group.

Quote: Originally Posted by bobudo View Post
  1. You're not actually suggesting generating TA/UH stacks from Shiv are you?
  2. Kolto Infusion still doesn't make sense. It's not the difficulty of generating a TA that makes Kolto Infusion worthless, it's the fact that it will still not give any meaningful benefit over Kolto Injection.
The benefit would be HPS. It already gives (or should, not sure how well it scales in top tier gear yet) that benefit, but it's severely diminished by the fact that we're weighing the cost of that TA at 25 energy and ~2s to to begin with.

Yes, I'm suggesting that considering TA from Shiv rather than Kolto Injection changes the cost of that TA, and therefore the cost/benefit analysis of Kolto Infusion itself. Even moreso if you grant other benefits to using Shiv.

I'm not saying Kolto Infusion's numbers shouldn't be looked at, I'm saying the devs have to look at all the numbers, and the Shiv -> Kolto Infusion numbers are most likely the most efficient ones.
"The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with BioWare."
~ SWTOR Update 1.2: Legacy