Please upgrade your browser for the best possible experience.

Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer

Pensées: Une bonne âme pour traduire (et quelques mauvaises pour débattre)

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > Français (French) > JcJ
Pensées: Une bonne âme pour traduire (et quelques mauvaises pour débattre)

InnocentK's Avatar

01.27.2012 , 03:18 AM | #1
Greetings. This thread is about trying to critic and improve some mechanics in Star wars*: the old republic.
This is not the first message of this kind I come to write and a few of you may know me already. As for the others I came to realize that it way actually not always a good thing to deeply introduce myself, lets say I'm just a player like you, with a lot of experience.

I am going point at aspects of the game that are dysfunctional or poorly designed, not because I hate the game (I wouldn’t take the time to write this at all if I would) but because it is more interesting to point out what doesn’t work than what is good and well designed.

Not all but most of what I look into here will be about player versus player content, if you have no interest whatsoever on PvP you may also not waste your time on reading this.

A large part of the text is about crowd control design. I will use the standard classic EverQuest glossary of*:
Stun*: You have no control on the character and can be damaged.
Mez (short for Mesmerize)*: You have no control on the character but any damage ends the effect.
Root*: You cannot move at all be can perform any other action.
Snare*: Your movement is slower.

Chapter 0- Save the cheerleader*: Save the galaxy

This part is some sort of disclaimer. I this thread I will be speaking about class balancing, role balancing and PvP design.
But this game has bugs, alot of them. Random death, loot stuck on chests, WZ wins not counting on dailies, light/dark alignment stuck, UI overlapping... I'm not going to list everything. Whatever I can say later, you really have to understand that fixing of these bugs are your priority, designing new content is always good, balancing classes is also important but fixing these bugs is vital. Right now you have a huge subscriber base but the concurrence is waiting and is very strong, if you don’t clean the game you will go down.

Chapter*1- Save the cheertanker*: Save the galaxy

I'm going to divide this chapter in two parts*: PvE and PvP.

A: Tanking the spankers*: PvE tank role.

You seem to divide the needed roles for PvE as*: 1 tank, 1 healer, 2 dps.
Now you sadly fall into the same mistake Worl of Warcraft did. If you ask for 1 tank for 4 players, you have to ask for 2 tanks for 8, 4 for 16, et cetera... For some reason WoW development team, prior WotLK, seemed to think that the lack of tanks came from the lack of classes being able to tank. They were wrong. The lack of tanks in WoW came from the lack of need of tanks for groups larger than 5.

You have two choices here.
1- Introduce a dual spec system (or more, RIFT system was actually pretty good and flexible). It wouldn’t be my first choice but it has proven to work.
2- Make the PvE even involving more than one group so that the need of tank is proportional to the number of players. If you need one tank for a 4 player group, one tank for an 8 player group and one tank for a 16 player group you will end up with tank shortage for 4 man content on the long run.

B: Protect and deserve*: PvP tank role.

This part will probably bring much hate, wrath and nerdrage on me.

Tanks are too weak and no needed enough in PvP. I'm not talking about a specific class but very generally about deeply tank specialized characters*: Immortal Juggernauts, Defense Guardians, Shield Tech Powertech, Shield Specialist Vanguard, Darkness Assassin and Kinetic Shadow.
I am not saying, in the hand of skilled player or in specific Warzone situation they cant be useful. I'm saying all these characters have too weak utility in a general PvP situation for a couple of reasons*:
Their tank specs doesn’t make them extremely tougher than if they were speced for damage.
Melee dps oriented class are quite tough and are very generally healable without the absolute need of a «*guard*». Yes, Marauder and Sentinel overpoweredness make tanks very less useful.
They are all melee or melee-ish and require to perform well (even defensively) to attack a target. Therefore they are not very good at protecting ranged classes.

Here are some fixed that could easily change the way the tanks perform in PvP.
Make the 31 skill points attack also state*: While [Guard] is active, the amount of damage reduced by expertise is doubled.
Somehow reduce the sheer survivability of melee damage dealers. Making them more dependent on a Guard (Warhammer online is a BioWare game so you have a pretty good idea how squishy can Slayers/Choppas can with without a guard).
Its fine if tanks are into melee. Its fine if ranged damage dealers are squishy. Healers tho are into a bad shape, but more on that next chapter.

Chapter*2- Save the cheerhealer*: Save the galaxy

There is, and was predictable, lack of healers on the swtor servers.

The first reason is that most people player a star wars game want to play force users. These only healer wearing a laser-sword is the sorcerer and perform so amazingly well in dps spec that its understandable many players wish to play them so.

Another reason is the fact that almost nothing rewards healing in WZ are open PvP. Best healers playing fully team support and WZ objectives will be rewarded of very less medals than their dps mates, in Ilum healers who are actually healing people wont get most of the scored kills.

The last reason is that healers are extremely squishy, or, at least, are not tougher than their dps equivalents. Which leads to the classic situations where the only viable strategy is «*hit the guy casting green stuff*».

I wont go into each class mechanism here to explain how to fix the situation. But very generally*:
Reward healing.
Make healers more durable. Now this might lead at some point to an overpower situation (like it did on RIFT) but better overpowered healers than underpowered. Healers are generally less played on mmos than dps specs. More fun playing healer is more people playing healers and therefore more fun for everyone.
In general is better to have healers who are hard to kill but are less good at keeping people alive than healers very squishy who can keep anyone alive through heavy fire.

Chapter 3- Controlling the Crowd

Crowd control is an important balance and skill factor value on PvP situations. So is indeed CC immunity. The balance of course is to try to have enough CC to make the combats controllable and not too much to avoid CC-locks and frustration.
I wont enter into a great debate about skill factor, PvP design, player choices and stuns but my very personal feeling is that stuns (or basicly any cc that rends one unable to control their character while getting killed) are a bad mechanism. Tho, they are in the game and are to be dealt with.
The CC immunity with this DR bar thingy is fine I'd say. Not too heavy, pretty clear, well balanced.

What boggles me is, why on Earth (or on Tatooine for instance) does low skill factor CC like stuns give only a couple of bars up onto DR pool when high skill factor CC (those breakable with damage) give a full immunity*?
Its technically HARDER to score a good Mez (even more the outofcombat stealth mezes) and to keep it unbroken than to stunlock some dude from full health to death. Not only that good playing (like no hitting mezed enemies) should be rewarded but many dps specs have cleave/AoE component and its pretty much a dps limitation not to use AoE attacks.

FIX*: Give Mezes a partial immunity (like stuns give atm, ¾ CC bar) and Stuns a full immunity.

Chapter 4- Scoundrels, operatives and rivers of tears

There are 3 points of view about Stealth Melee scoundrels and operatives.

The players not playing the class who are frustrated because its never fun to be killed in a stunlock by some dude you couldnt see coming using 3 GCD.

The players playing the class who are frustrated because its never fun to play a one-trick-poney damage dealer with low survivability, no mobility whatsoever and, therefore, horrible dps uptime whenever they are not into stealth which contrary would involve 15 minutes running in circles far away from the battlefield trying to get out of combat.

The players playing operatives and scoundrels not speced into Scrapper/Concealment who are frustrated because their characters suck balls hardcore.

The lately obvious and needed stealth nerf of Ambush-like attack was as needed as it is obvious.
Tho, the problem isn’t solved.

A big number attack opening from stealth could be balanced, as a incapacitating blow opening from stealth could also be. A big number incapacitating attack opening from stealth cant. At some point player should have to chose*: do I damage or do I control this guy*?

Lack of mobility is a huge problem for all scoundrels/operatives. Not only they have no mobility tools for them selves but they also have no counter to mobility (like ejects or grapples) which make them utterly useless in many situations (PvE raids and Huttball being the most obvious).
A nice fix to that would be to give them a Teleport Beacon dropable at a location with a instant «*recall*» to beacon abit like the Demonic Circle worked in Wolrd of Warcraft, fair, efficient and lore-wise acceptable. Lets say 30 sec cooldown*?

Chapter*5- Save the Warzones

A. Hutts dont have feet.

Whatever you can say, Huttball is the most important Warzone because it is the «*balance*» Warzone. Anyone who plays on a server with faction balance issue may play 80% of Huttballs.
Than again I m not going to enter a big speech about how a faction versus faction game should always have 3 factions, the game is how it is.
Lucky you, Huttball is a good Warzone, its dynamic and funny. The main problem is the huge lack of balance into mobility and counter mobility.
Without having to change every class ability in the game an easy fix would be to make the ball handler unable to use abilities -at all- and be CC immune. This would*:
Lead pickup players to throw the ball more.
Make less balance problems due to abusive use of sprint/immunities/charges to score the ball.
Make less balance problems due to abusive and frustrating uses of obstacles+CC (Grapple/Eject/Stuns in fire/acid). Let me get this clear, it is smart and funny to grapple someone into the fire. It is not balance to do it on the ball handler.

B. I want to be a Supervoidstar.

Another very well designed Warzone. One problem*: its not winable when you have balanced teams. The click time for the bomb drop is waaaay too long, most of the matches you play against haft decent teams is just combat for the first doors.

Fix*? Shorten the clack time.

C. Who cares about Alderaan*? The Death Star is going to blow it anyways.

Pretty much like Voidstar. First to click, first to win. Click is too long, backup too fast. I like fast backup, lower the click time.

Chapter*6- Save Ilum

Ilum is an amazing idea but things went horribly wrong. It is somehow not far from being good.

One of the main problem is the «*base camping*». One side always end up camping at the other faction's base and its stuck that way the whole day/week/month. This situation, with the newly implemented «*You Shall Not Pass Oneshot System*» benefits both factions. The campers get kills grappling people outside, the camped get kills grappling people inside... whole day long and for gross amount of Valor.
An easy fix to base camping is to have a severe team wipe factor. Two ways*:
(DAoC-like) By puting NPCs in base, ****** strong guys, aggroing and wiping on sight the whole camper raid.
By giving a huge buff (300% dmg and CC immunity for example) to all camped in base upon the canon-death of a camper. Camped would run outside and spank away campers in blood and happiness.

In both situations the line would move from a point to another, causing chaos, mayhem and death... therefore PvP.

Another problem is, well, the lag. Is it your servers or your graphic engine*? You to tell me. But this game cannot handle more than 30v30. You already have soft instantiation with Ilum1-2-3.. just allow LESS people in each sub-zone with priority of group/guild.

Fix faction balance by using WAR Againt All Odd system. The more outnumbering enemies there are, the more valor you score per kill. Do not, ever, go for WoW Wintergrasp's stupid buff (outnumbering enemies give dmg/hp buff) because it only leads to the creation of massive raids and no skirmishes whatsoever.

Now that you have less lag and no base camping lets work on objectives. I dont have a brillant solution here, there are many out there, just none that seem to be better.
The general idea is to have meaningful objectives (the valor bonus is already quite meaningful) but which take time to control. Right now if you see «*that guy spotted there*» you can be sure he is gone by the time you get there. Taking objective should be longer and more rewarding.


Fix bugs before anything.
Make tanks better at protecting and melee dps more squishy
Make healers more rewarded and tougher
Give Mezes a partial immunity (like stuns give atm, ¾ CC bar) and Stuns a full immunity.
Fix scroundrels/operatives for both too high burst damage and too low mobility
Make Huttball handler CC immune and unable to use abilities
Lower click time on Voidstar and Alderaan objectives
Wipe raids camping base in Ilum
Make Ilum objectives longer to take/more rewarding
Allow less player in each Ilum sub-zone
Give a massive Valor bonus to the outnumbered faction in Ilum