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We need to talk about concealment.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Scoundrel / Operative
We need to talk about concealment.

Thyron's Avatar

10.02.2018 , 07:58 PM | #1
In light of the most recent nerf that assassins and operatives faced it seems like we are not going in the right direction for balance. (As a note i know that a .25 sec gcd is a small nerf but it reflects the fact that the issue is not being adressed)

The issue im talking about is concealment. For simplicity's sake i am going to split this into 2 parts. first pve second pvp.

First off i will address the inevitable argument that concealment parses high on dummies. To clarify, when it is said they parse "high" it actually means that they parse 8th out of 18 total dps specs in the game. Now you may think that this is fine, but looking this deep is not enough.

So lets talk about real situations. first off we will look at numbers. All the fights i am going to refrence will be either nightmare(master mode) or "Hardmare" (HM gods, master blaster, cora, revan) Of these total 36 fights only 17 of them even have parses uploaded ( i will get into this more in a momment) 17 out of 36 means that only 47% of the fights have been killed by operatives who upload. Out of these 17 fights were concealment has uploaded parses NOT ONE has a parse in the top 50 slots on the leaderboard, not one. In every single instance they are consistently at the back of the pack.

Now you may say the issue is that not enough people play concealment. But why is that? All of the well competing classes have a high number of players. I know for a fact im not alone when i say the only reason i dont play concealment anymore is because it simply is never the right choice. There is always a huge number of better specs for every situation, and they are better by a long shot.

So why is this? Why is concealment average on dummy but trash in real scenarios? This problem sadly i dont think is even being asked by the devs. The current philosophy of balance is not to balance each spec according to its unique circumstances. its to balance specs based off of grouping them by type i.e. ranged / melee, burst / sustained, and to try to keep their theoretical number ceilings similar in a standardized setting. (the standardized setting being dummy parses)

And there in lies the issue. Concealment is plagued by a large number of problems in how it plays. It is consistently the worst melee burst spec when it comes to many of the most important factors such as: Target swapping, Aoe, Positional requirements, Dps loss as a result of downtime, movement capabilities, defensive capabilities, and more.

Now before i continue i want to elaborate on movement and defensive there to make sure we are on the same page. When we talk about movement and defensive capabilities in regards to concealment we see that concealment is always terrible unless they use active global cooldowns to help with these things and lower their dps even further. (Holotraverse is a rotational ability used to maintain dps on cooldown so its doesent count, but hey its on gcd now anyway so point proven) (roll takes a gcd) (both these things lower the already low dps even further)

A prime example of how all these things combine to make concealment terrible in comparison to other specs is the nightmare brontes burn. Concealment has extremely little defensive capabilities as they are required to maintain full dps uptime to meet the dps check, furthermore their postional requirements make keeping up with brontes as she runs around a absolute pain.

This rant could go on forever, perhaps ill elaborate more another time, for now lets continue to pvp

PVP: A large number of the things i stated in the pve section also apply to pvp. The only major distinction that must be made is the fact that in some situations concealment can afford to loose large ammounts of dps in order to gain high survivability.

This advantage does provide concealment with a hell of alot of survivability, however this is often limited in a large number of pvp scenarios.

The reason it is limited is that fundamentally an concealment operative trades dps for survivability. So while this makes him highly usefull in defensive situations like protecting a node, or running the huttball. When it comes time for him to fight it out and try to kill the enemy team before they kill his team he starts to really lack. This is due to his low average overall dps, terrible aoe dps, and the need for him to stop attacking just to stay alive, meanwhile other classes can maintain extremely high survivability without sacrificing dps.

What this all boils down to is that in an event where a concealment operative is forced to fight another team numbers wise (like arenas or large fights at mid in objective warzones) he simply is very rarely a better choice than any other class.

The only place where concealment truly excels in pvp is 1v1. In this regard he is perhaps even the best spec in the game depending on who you ask. However 1v1 is only a small part of the pvp experience. To excel in one area and be well below average in every other is NOT balanced.

SithLordZach's Avatar

10.02.2018 , 08:42 PM | #2
On a general note, I think the GCD change needs to be walked back. It needlessly nerfs both DPS and tanks.

Equeliber's Avatar

10.03.2018 , 03:33 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Thyron View Post
First off i will address the inevitable argument that concealment parses high on dummies. To clarify, when it is said they parse "high" it actually means that they parse 8th out of 18 total dps specs in the game.
To be honest, that 8th parse only exists because Nyyah is crazy good with it AND has ridiculous crits in that parse. An average Concealment parse is 300-400 DPS lower, it's in the lower half of the DPS specs.

I don't think a sane person would say that Concealment parses high. I was sure that everyone knows that it's in the dumpster, completely outclassed by Lethality for PvE, same way as Focus is useless compared to Vigilance.

That said, I totally agree with you. There is almost no reason to ever use Concealment over Lethality in PvE. There are multiple reasons for that and you covered quite a few. My personal issue with Concealment has always been the lack of AoE. I can't imagine myself ever using concealment for general gameplay except for, may be, story leveling. Once it comes to the dailies/heroics/casual group content, Concealment just feels bad. Despite Lethality being heavily DoT focused, it's still better for all of those things (thank god for Toxic Haze DoT spread). And in harder endgame PvE it just doesn't bring anything to the group which isn't done better by Lethality. (except may be the immunity on roll but that has such limited uses that it is barely relevant.)

Here is a dilemma: Concealment has no AoE. So what is it going to do in an endgame fight? Burn single targets, most likely the boss. And then the question is why would I do that in Concealment when Lethality has much higher single target DPS AND can also drop solid AoE for trash...
Another thing to consider when playing burst specs is quick target switching. Like Deception vs Hatred - technically, Hatred has a bit more single target DPS and also higher AoE damage. But when it comes to frequent target swap Deception is so nuts that it's perfecly viable. Now look at concealment, you need a DoT ticking on the target to have your rotation working, so every time you swap, you need to refresh it. Which will kill your energy...

Poor Concealment needs something. It sucks to see how it turned into a PvP-only spec.

pointvector's Avatar

10.03.2018 , 01:24 PM | #4
Honestly, it doesn't matter what is said, or isn't said about concealment. It doesn't matter what arguments are made for or against it. Because, it can be summed up in the total number of parses uploaded in comparison to other classes. The lack of total uploaded parses guarantees there is something about the class that makes it subpar and deserves a second look by the devs.

Lalainnia's Avatar

10.04.2018 , 06:15 AM | #5
Only time I ever use concealment is on nim Brontes tbh outside of that it's pretty horrible. I'd go as far to say it's nothing special for pvp as it's only really excels in a 1v1 setting where you have to kite to be successful.
Donna-Commando-Combat Medic
When we care for others our own strength to live increases. When we help people expand their state of life, our lives also expand. Actions to benefit others are not separate from actions to benefit oneself.

Rion_Starkiller's Avatar

10.04.2018 , 01:48 PM | #6
I use scrapper over ruffian on HM Dread Council because my shrap bomb hits multiple bosses in phase 4 burn. Back before the nerf in 5.6 (?), I hit 200k during ghost phase on Styrak. But other than that, I think most fights in every operation I would choose ruffian because unless you have tight burst windows. Scrapper is like playing in handicap mode.

Anyway, I'm not really a NiM raider, so I can't address those issues. I'll start uploading more parses for HM and SM raids though.

I agree with all of the OP's points. Particularly, I think Scrapper/ Concealment is a pain in the arse because of resource management and hard swaps.
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inoutallabout's Avatar

10.04.2018 , 08:56 PM | #7
Want phase walk back.

Tarubit's Avatar

10.05.2018 , 06:41 PM | #8
I played operative in 1.0. Since then, I have re-visited it, but it was never a viable option, for any operation, I knew I wanted to excel in.

SilverWF's Avatar

10.07.2018 , 11:09 AM | #9
That specs are for PVP: short and crazy burst. If you kill a target - good, if not - vanish, retreat, regen energy and try again.
Using that specs in the PVE is strange - there is Lethality for PvE.

With the same success we can cry, that Lethality is not so good for PVP: low and nearly not existent burst with very long preparations, low defense options etc, buff Lethality asap!

Arbiterrr's Avatar

10.07.2018 , 07:12 PM | #10
Using a dummy parse to balance things has always struck me as odd. It completely ignores the fact that there are mechanics in fights. Most classes have some skill that is off the GCD that allows them to ignore a moderate to large amount of damage from various damage types. Since concealment only has evasion for that type of damage reduction, their only other damage reduction is roll.

Taking into consideration that knowledge, concealment has to use time to to avoid mechanics as they are meant to be avoided. Time that other classes all get to use to do damage. Add on top that it can put you out of positional locations necessary for your best damage deals, and you end up where we are today.