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[Class Rep] Three Questions Regarding Our Wonderful Class

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Vanguard / Powertech
[Class Rep] Three Questions Regarding Our Wonderful Class

FeralPug's Avatar

02.14.2014 , 08:40 AM | #1
Hi Folks,

Jerc here! Don't call me FeralPug or I'll be forced to mock you for not reading the second sentence of my post, which would be super embarrassing as it would display your utter incompetence for all the PT community to see.

Just some quick notes about who I am: I've played Powertech since beta, and into pre-launch. I've been a subscriber since the game was released. My very first toon was my PT, Jerc Starr. I'm a founder and guildmaster of <Hex>, and the organizer of Jerc's Friday Fight Club, the only player-made game event that has been held on three separate servers (that I know about!). I played AP hybrid before it was cool, (like in 1.2) much to the chagrin of my guildies. I truly love the gameplay/role of the Powertech in SWTOR. I only want it to improve.

My weakness as a player stems from my focus on PVP. My sig is 100% true: I have never achieved higher than Social I on any toon. I do not know the difference between a flashpoint and an operation, but I do recognize that PVE performance is as important as PVP performance of our class. Also, much of the game died for me when 8v8 ranked was dissolved. Arenas hold very little interest for me (I play them only as part of regular WZ rotations), so I'd love to hear from some arena lovers on what is going on there in terms of ranked play. That's where you guys come in.

This thread is designed to kickstart discussion. I see my role here as facilitator, more than anything else. I'm just here to help focus and express the will of the larger PT community.

After reading many of the dev responses to previous questions, I would advise the community to formulate questions in broad terms. For example, asking why a specific ability doesn't hit harder is too narrow a question. Think broadly, and in terms of the larger ways we fit into WZ's, operations and flashpoints. Presenting the devs with actual data will be particularly helpful. A quick example of this might be: "In 100 WZ's played this week, I've seen 1 player running full Shieldtech. What's up with that?"

Looking forward to creating some class questions with you guys!
Jerc Starr Jercules Jercenary Drastic
Social 1. Valor 100.


Ottoattack's Avatar

02.14.2014 , 10:31 AM | #2
Hello Jerc,
It is nice to see you on PT forums. My background is heavy dps in PvP. I want to start off with our position compared to other classes.

PvP Position:
As of 2/14/14 top 5 PTs average rating is 2,199, marauder is 2,344, sorc 2,274 and assassin 2,226. These are top performing dps/tank classes currently. So it is safe to say asking for straight damage improvement buffs is unreasonable and won’t happen. As far as the tank stands in PvP, IMO it is decent. It has good survivability with decent damage and peeling options. I would like to also add that PTs have been gaining ground steadily over the past 2-3 month in ratings.

PvE Position:
As PvE stands for dps, I can’t rely on TORparse, since it includes multiple parses achieved with AP/pyro hybrid. As far as I am aware, top parsing PTs in full dps trees parse around 3,600 in full 78 gear. Currently top parsers of all dps specs are around 4K dps, which puts PTs around 10% behind with no utility. I highly suggest other posters provide post 2.6 parses on actual boss fights so we have ammo to use in any argument we request for damage buffs. As far as tanking in PvE goes I will rely on KeyBoardNinja analysis PT receives overall slightly more damage than assassins and slightly below Jugg. PTs are also are the least susceptible to spike damage due to higher base mitigation.

Top 3 Issues (IMO):

1- Position as dps in PvE:
Obviously PTs in both dps specs are behind. We are roughly 10% from top parsing specs. Again, I encourage input from PvE players so we have solid arguments to fortify our position requesting damage increase. We also need to make suggestions that improve our position in PvE without improving our position PvP. Easier said than done of course.

IMO, pyro needs on overall restructuring that includes reducing the burst window in favor of more sustained damage. This can only be done by manipulating PPA proc to occur less frequently, but become more consistent. In same time dots and flame burst could use a buff.

For AP, it is more complicated, as burst is not significant, but the up time in PvP makes AP single target damage very powerful for an aoe spec. My third question is about AP in detail.

2- PvP Tanking:
I know I said on the top that PTs tanks are decent in PvP, but I will get a bit into theory crafting here. We are in a transition phase from AP/tank hybrid that everyone used, and I am suspecting that the meta PvP tank will switch to assassins and vengeance jugg in tank forum.

Assassins receive on average less damage than the other two tanks due to passive mitigation and both accuracy and damage debuff, which in arenas especially is very important, as tanks are less likely to receive direct damage (mostly through guard and aoe). Even when focused, their DCDs are so substantial and have cheesing mechanics that can avoid damage all together. On the other side vengeance hybrid tank would a good damage dealer, considering recent buffs, and that all damage abilities are not tied to shein forum, they will be the damage tank, similar to what to AP/tank hybrid, with no aoe. Also, with going full vengeance tree can pick up enough skills from immortal tee (accuracy debuff and extra armor) to have decent survivability. Both assassins and vengeance jugg in tank forum will out dps PT tank.

I think that PT needs some improvements to be able to clinch a position in competitive PvP. They are average all over and are behind assassins in almost every aspect.

3- AP Performance in PvP:
I am reverting to theory crafting again, and this is more of a concern than an issue. If you are not aware, in 2.7 smashers are being nerfed to oblivion. In 2.6 orbital strike was also nerfed to being utterly useless. Which only leaves AP is the ONLY viable aoe spec in PvP when 2.7 hits life. While I am suspecting that some of the changes devs made to smash will be reverted before 2.7 hits life, currently AP as aoe spec IMO outperforms smash considering the constant snares, mobility and up time on target. If the trend continues, it is safe to say that PFT is getting nerfed in 2.8. What I can also tell you about the devs is that they are lazy and they have no problem in nerfing spec substantially and ignore balancing it for 6-12 month till the next “major patch.” The question is how can we as PTs position ourselves to get the best out of this situation.

I think we should take the initiative and ask for improvements in AP single target damage in favor of lower damage in PFT. This will benefit PvE, also the meta of competitive spec in arena is moving towards single target damage, so it is a win-win situation. I think we should have a specific request here. My suggestion would be lowering the damage done by PFT per stack from 20% to 12.5-15%, while keeping all secondary effects of PFT the same, and make one of AP top tree skills reduce RP CD by 1.5 seconds down (7.5 sec). I think this will also make the rotation more fluid and increase single target damage in PvE and PvP. Another suggestion is to increase HECG damage with prototype cylinders from 6% to 10%.

Other minor issues:
1- Pyro needs a bit more consistency in performance in PvP. It can deal ridiculous damage at times, when PPA and critics are procing clock work. When they are not your damage takes a nose dive. More consistency is needed.

2- PTs need some utility in PvE so they are not cornered in dps exclusively. This is probably a long term goal more than a next patch type of scenario. I think that the next new skill with level increase should be group utility based.

3- Incendiary missile heat cost is way too high. I compare it to corrosive dart for operatives and affliction to sorc. Both these skills deal about 20% more damage . Probably the reason is IM has a base damage of ~1K. I think the base damage is way too low to justify 16 heat cost. The skill should either go the route of corrosive dart and affliction and lower the heat cost to 10 heat, keep overall damage as is and remove base damage. The other option is to increase the base damage by ~500 damage while keeping the overall damage the same. Another solution is to increase the dot damage a bit, which IMO will not make much difference in PvP, but can yield 50-100 dps gain for PvE.

Mathemagica's Avatar

02.14.2014 , 12:23 PM | #3
I won't talk about PvP directly, because I don't have the experience to do so. Here are a few things, I would like to bring up.

Top Issue in my opinion:

Tanking (very general question/issue):
Theory crafters highly recommend to stack defense on a Powertech tank. However, higher defense means less attacks will be shielded which lowers the rate at which Heat Screens are built, Rocket Punch is resettet etc. In other words, defense works directly against several mechanics in the tanking tree.
Could we receive changes to lower/remove this conflict between defense and tree mechanics.
This could be done by making Heat Screen etc. trigger from every attack that gets shielded OR parried, dodged, resisted (this would probably lead to a higher lockout time, but it increases our flexiblity with stats).
A change to the stat curves of Defens, Shield and Absorb would be an alternative solution, but I doubt that we'll see something like this before 3.0.
This might be a good topic for a wildcard, since it appears in PvE and PvP.

Other issues:

Movement in PvE:
Grapple and Hydraulic Overrides don't give Powertechs enough mobility to compete in PvE-scenarios that involve a lot of movement. Grapple simply doesn't work, because bosses and many adds are immune against it and Hydraulic Overrides' cooldown is too long. This is especially problematic, since Powertechs suffer more in such scenarios than other melee classes and Powertechs have nothing to compensate for this.

Since Jet Charge would be somewhat over-the-top for PvP, it would be a nice QoL change if Powertech dps could use stronger/more synergizing abilities while running towards their target.

I see two ways to achieve this:
1) Buffing a ranged ability to the point, where it is a viable filler in place of Rapid Shots in terms of damage and heat. I'm especially thinking about Missile Blast here. If the heat cost of Missile Blast would be reduced to a reasonable level for Powertech dps, they could use it once instead of Rapid Shots from the distance.
2) Increasing the range of one useful ability of each dps tree: I never played Pyrotech, so I can't say if that would really help, but if Thermal Detonator or Incendiary Missile had a range of 20 meters instead of 10, this might help maintaining dots.
In the case of AP the only ability where a higher range is reasonable is Immolate. Due to its long cooldown this probably wouldn't help in many cases.
If the increased range would make too much of a difference in PvP, these buffs could be tied to the 4pc PvE set bonus.

@Ottoattack: Since Flamethrower is a 3 seconds channel that can be stopped with stuns and knockbacks, parts of its damage can be countered much easier than Smash. If I recall correctly, the big complaints about Smash started after it was made an instant ability.
But I see your point about AoE burst disappearing. They made a comment about this in the answers to the seconds Marauder question in the last round, that they wanted to give every spec some AoE-potential and removing AoE-abilities from their single target rotations. Maybe we could ask, what is going to happen to AP and especially PFT in the context of the statement made there and the changes of 2.6 and 2.7.

Cinerous's Avatar

02.14.2014 , 02:46 PM | #4
I cant say much for pve, but as far as pvp goes I play powertech a considerable amount, and the reason there are so many high ranked powertechs isnt because of our insane dps (which we dont really have) but its because the AP hybrid tank was very viable and very carry mode. without that, powertechs have to choose between AP, which IMO is a viable spec, or pyro, which can be viable assuming you get your crits and procs ect..but without the crits or procs pyro is pretty weak..imo we need either more guaranteed burst in pyro or more guaranteed procs..the other thing is that flame burst no longer is guaranteed to put combustible gas on someone which i think we should get that back to 100% chance IMO. just me and my 2 cents
Cinerous Cinerjizz and Versace
Probably on whatever server 4s pop on
<Milfs Mullets and Monstertrucks>

Brunner_Venda's Avatar

02.14.2014 , 03:00 PM | #5
Let's not sit and beg for any nerfs okay? Frankly we'll be lucky to dodge a major nerf, and we're in a really good place thanks to 2.4 love.

1. PFT is a three second channel, and it only really hurts when all three ticks crit. Otherwise the surge bonus doesn't kick in and it fizzles. You need to build three stacks before firing it, it's a cone AOE, not a 360 circle, and since it takes so long to deliver the damage, most people just stun, bump, pull, leap, or walk out of it.

Only AP can use it, with HEGC since 2.6. So it's not 'OP'.

2. Pyro DPS is fine, rail shot has a 40% or so crit chance with the eliminator set and full gear.
When it doesn't crit, it still hurts, and you should be cooking your target with dots, incendiary missiles, rocket punches, flame bursts, and thermal detonators in between. You should also be spamming taunts and our AOE stun to keep the pressure off your team. If you're spending all of your time spamming FB to proc rail shot, and wondering why your DPS sucks when rail doesn't crit, you're doing it wrong.

My advice? We're in a good place PVP wise right now for AP and Pyro. Anything else is just begging for the nerf bat. Tanks are still middle of the road, Let's give them the floor. Tanks haven't seen anything since 2.0, when they were our only viable PVP spec.

Brunner_Venda's Avatar

02.14.2014 , 03:07 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Cinerous View Post
I cant say much for pve, but as far as pvp goes I play powertech a considerable amount, and the reason there are so many high ranked powertechs isnt because of our insane dps (which we dont really have) but its because the AP hybrid tank was very viable and very carry mode. without that, powertechs have to choose between AP, which IMO is a viable spec, or pyro, which can be viable assuming you get your crits and procs ect..but without the crits or procs pyro is pretty weak..imo we need either more guaranteed burst in pyro or more guaranteed procs..the other thing is that flame burst no longer is guaranteed to put combustible gas on someone which i think we should get that back to 100% chance IMO. just me and my 2 cents
No changes to the CGC rate please, use rocket punch if you need to sink someone with CGC, and learn to time the PPA proc and cooldown of rocket punch when the first or second FB doesn't kick it off. That's probably the only 'hard' thing left to playing this class, is managing distance/kiting, defensive cooldowns, and PPA rail shot resets. It's the difference between a million damage and 400K.

ReclaimerDonar's Avatar

02.14.2014 , 07:24 PM | #7
I think that PT/VG's are in pretty good position pvp wise. However pve is a different thing. How to buff pve aspect without messing with pvp? A while ago I proposed this, how about buffing full auto/ unload? Its rarely used in pvp and its easy to interupt. For example, Rocket punch/Flame burst increase the damage of next unload by 30%/60%. This could work in pve without making us OP in pvp.

TACeMossie's Avatar

02.14.2014 , 09:23 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by FeralPug View Post
Jerc here! Don't call me FeralPug or I'll be forced to mock you for not reading the second sentence of my post, which would be super embarrassing as it would display your utter incompetence for all the PT community to see.
Hi FeralPug! :P


I think it would be best if we brought in a quick summary of the VG Qs and As first, so here it is:

Pre 2.4, VGs had poor survivability + untility in comparison to the other 2 tanks for PvP. What is being done to address these issues?

ANSWER 1: Perception Problem (Class Rep Resigned!) Questions about if pyros power goes up will the problem dissapear?

EFFECT OF ANSWER: PTs got improved Kolto Overload, AP PTs got the slow at all times on PFT and a more powerful immolate, Pyro PTs got significantly better DCDs and burst power. Overall, while the answer was crap, they did respond to it with buffs that made PTs one of the best PvP Classes. Tanks still suck compared to the other 2 though.

Based at the Pyro/AP hybrid, it asked if the Devs had any plans to make full trees more viable than the hybrid in PvE

Answer 2: They never intended for hybrids to be better than full trees. The 2.4 Update should make full trees better than the hybrid (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA). States that AP and Pyro should be worse on the dummy because of lack of armor debuff/health.

EFFECT OF ANSWER: The Hybrid got completely removed with patch 2.6. Patch 2.5 also gave dummys with health and an armor debuff, which showed that the PT was the worst overall DPS class without the hybrid, tied to the now-buffed Juggernaught. THIS NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT

Basically asking about a lack of burst, making it difficult for burst phases of boss fights in PvE and harder for PvP in general.

ANSWER 3: 2.4 is bringing a DPS upgrade to both PT DPS specs, and a burst upgrade for Pyro + a harder hitting immolate with AP, making them more competitive in PvP and in burst phases of PvE.

EFFECT OF ANSWER: This question surprisingly is what brought out all the defensive buffs in 2.4 for PTs. Also PTs are now one of, if not the, best PvP Class

So, using this information from the past, heres what my questions would be:

PT Tanks have issues sometimes with their minimal amount of DCDs for PvE and poor offensive prescense compared to the other 2 tanks in PvP. These issues include the low amount of defensive cooldowns that work better as the off-tank and with bad healers than as the main tank with good healers, and a complete lack of burst and sustained damage as a tank in PvP(in comparison to the other 2 tanks at least). Are there any plans for patch 2.7/2.8 (depends when the question is sent out) to improve upon their capabilities? A good suggestion going around the forums include adding a defensive cooldown for 100% shield chance for a short time period as a DCD, which not only is unique for PTs but also lets the other classes keep their F/T resist abilities uniquely to themself.
Other possibilities include reducing the cooldown of shoulder cannon, allowing more use of the self-heals it provides in tank stance, and also allowing it to be used more often as a tank in PvP, as its probably the only source of burst the tank spec has.

PT DPS has issues in PvE, though not in PvP, most likely due to Resource Management - It is easy to keep a respecable DPS as a PT for about 40 seconds when mashing away at a dummy, but then the heat has built up too much and it takes 20 seconds of nothing but rapid shots for it to go back to normal, causing your 40 seconds of slightly-above-average damage to be for nothing. Depending on the tree, this is both due to the RNG gods hating Pyro PTs with their PPA proc having about an 80% proc rate on average, but you really need a 100% proc rate for more than poor DPS, and AP relies on the free Rocket Punches for their energy management, which almost only ever happen on Immolate. And then theres also Rocket Punch not fitting in properly with either rotation due to its 9 second cooldown - 100% uptime for it means its either throwing off flamethrower in AP, or not getting the full extent of the 60% proc rate in Pyro. Are there any plans to make resource management more easy for PTs in patch 2.7/2.8? A good option for this area includes reducing the cooldown and heat cost of Rocket Punch, and causing Flame Barrage to be built up instead of randomly procced for AP, while Pyro get the reduced heat cost on flame burst + reduced cooldown of rocket punch with Power Bracer to match the Power Barrels skill mercs get access to.

Put simply, Patch 2.4 brought in a bunch of changes to skills on the low end of the skill tree in order to make hybrids weaker. Ironicly, the combination of improved resource management with the better Rail Shot meant the PT Hybrid was performing Better in patch 2.4 than it was in patch 2.3.
Unfortunately, these skills were some of the more important ones for PT DPS - for example, Retractable Blade got about a 20% damage decrease, and as such the improvements to Rail Shot, Immolate and resource management were not enough to bring the DPS of AP to a good level. Similarly, Pyro lost about 20% of the burn damage on Incendiary Missile for a cheaper cost, which if the damage still existed on Incendiary Missile, Pyro PTs would have them at a good damage level as well - though this would have to be inaccessible to mercs to prevent them from hitting 4.2k dps in dread forged gear.

ScytheEleven's Avatar

02.15.2014 , 05:51 PM | #9
PT DPS needs next to nothing in PVP. We are in a good spot for both AP and Pyro. Shield Tech needs some love.

For PVE, changes need to subtle as to not send us over the top in PVP.

1) Increase Incendiary Missile's damage

2) Increase the bleed damage on Retractable Blade

3) Re-work the PVE set bonus. 15% critical chance to Incendiary Missile and Retractable Blade.

4) Set new baseline CD for Explosive Fuel at 1:45.

For Shield Tech:

1) Mentioned already, Heat Screens stacking from defense would help A LOT. More so in PVE than PVP, but I'm sure PVP'ers wouldn't complain.

2) A new, short DCD would help. I always thought a 5-second "shield overload" would be great, something that boosts shield chance to 100% for 5 seconds and then goes on a 1-minute CD. That + the heat blast proc being up would be really nice.
Kendiaro - Powertech
Dasmon - Gunslinger

ReclaimerDonar's Avatar

02.15.2014 , 06:24 PM | #10
Also do something with the PVP set bonus for Pyro Powertechs, we are forced to take 4 set bonus for 15% crit for railshot, the 2 set bonuses offer nothing to us