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Devs, you're missing your window to save Operative/Scoundrel healing

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Devs, you're missing your window to save Operative/Scoundrel healing
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Thourton's Avatar


Thourton
03.09.2012 , 02:31 PM | #351
Quote: Originally Posted by hulkweazel View Post
Bioware is the creator of a game called Dragon Mage: Origins. You know, that RPG where there are two balanced classes and a third class that's basically a god. Bioware LOVES mages.
Hehe, my first DA:O character was a mage, and I still had both Morrigan and Wynne in my group. Forget chests and loot--we paralyzed, froze, lightning bolted, burned, greased, and death clouded every thing that dared twitch.

Quote: Originally Posted by hulkweazel View Post
Ops are a filler class. It's the Druid/Paladin from vanilla Wow, the class the devs threw together in 15 minutes so that they could go back to giving Sorcs cool new abilities. IIRC, Druids weren't fixed for a year and a half, paladins weren't fixed for a full five years.
Yeah, Paladins definitely had it hard with bubble, Lay On Hands, free mounts, and laser-beam vision. Okay, they didn't have laser beams, but Paladins have always been a premier class.

The Op-Druid comparison I definitely agree with. The class is fun to play and has lots of tools, but when all of those tools are pocket knives and toothpicks, it's hard to really hold your own in a battle--especially against a bubbled, lightning-spewing, lazer sword mage... I mean, Sorc.

Riggz's Avatar


Riggz
03.09.2012 , 02:34 PM | #352
Quote: Originally Posted by RuQu View Post
I had to go and read the thread to get the context.

My first response is: "Why does he reply to these troll threads and not any of the worthwhile ones that people create?"

The answer appears to be two things:
1) His personality. Replying to trolls allows for snarky and dismissive posts, and he seems to enjoy that style.
2) He is correct, in context. The thread is about the imbalance in resource mechanics, and takes a fairly simplistic approach to analyzing it. By responding to troll threads, he has more opportunities to (correctly) say "working as intended" than he would have if responding to the more valuable threads where the critiques are better argued and more thorough, and there is less risk of a reasoned response in a troll thread.

The resources ARE different. This IS intended, because they ARE different classes. As a result, you have to play differently, and that to IS intended.

A far more valuable OP would have assumed a fixed damage incoming, then showed the rotation both classes would follow to cope with it, and the net resource change after X seconds, coupled with the time until they were out of resources. If double the Operative time (due to Adrenaline Probe) was shorter than the Sage time, then there is a problem. If the Operative rotation could not keep up with the incoming damage, but the Sage could, then there is a problem.

Simply spamming your most expensive spells, the Sage will always win, but it isn't a valid comparison, and easily leaves the door open for GZ to come in and dismiss you with a snarky remark.

I'd say the better plan would be to form strong arguments and word them well, without absurd accusations, but we've seen that he does not reply to those threads, and when replying to the Q&A questions that get selected he answers parallel but different questions, avoiding the key complaint.

In short: it was a bad troll OP, and should have been ignored. GZ chose not to ignore it, because he prefers responding to trolls over rewarding constructive community involvement, and, within that context he is exactly correct.

*edit* They have said a sizable chunk of changes are coming in Patch 1.2. He clearly can't say "Yup, Operatives are pretty broken right now but wait until April," as it would cause a mass-exodus. I hate to say it, but I think the answer is wait til April before expecting to see/hear anything of value on the topic, or at least til the 1.2 notes hit the PTS.
Sorry!! But your post just makes too much sense - so don't expect a dev reply

Now this will get one...

Stupid neeeebs!! Why all sorc noobs get soo much force!? Yo agent only get like 100 energy stuff
That ain't fair man!! Why weez get no light saber and force healzzzz?! I want bigger healz like sorc and 600 force Bar man!!!

Yep, I'll get a dev reply to that so he can be rude and dismissive and move on while ignoring yours because your reply was smart and correct
Urdnought Level 55 Operative
Urdonught Level 55 Scoundrel
<GRIM DETERMINATION>
<INFAMOUS>

Achraya's Avatar


Achraya
03.09.2012 , 02:53 PM | #353
I've deleted and rerolled my Scoundrel 4 times at this point (She's once against roaming Ord as we speak) because I love it. I love the story, I love the style, and I want to do and be amazing (And I'm not a bad player. I was a damn good resto druid, a great disc priest, a fantastic holy paladin, and a terrible holy priest- You can't be good at all the things you know?) and I know that I can play Sawbones to it's fullest potential.

And I know that potential still won't be as good I could be playing a sage to it's fullest potential, and it's just hard to *love* a character with that hanging over you.


Anyway, just wanted to pop in again and share how much I loe the information provided on this forum and all of the patientiance and dedication that people continue to put into Ops/Scoundrel issues.

hulkweazel's Avatar


hulkweazel
03.09.2012 , 03:06 PM | #354
Quote: Originally Posted by Thourton View Post
Hehe, my first DA:O character was a mage, and I still had both Morrigan and Wynne in my group. Forget chests and loot--we paralyzed, froze, lightning bolted, burned, greased, and death clouded every thing that dared twitch.



Yeah, Paladins definitely had it hard with bubble, Lay On Hands, free mounts, and laser-beam vision. Okay, they didn't have laser beams, but Paladins have always been a premier class.

The Op-Druid comparison I definitely agree with. The class is fun to play and has lots of tools, but when all of those tools are pocket knives and toothpicks, it's hard to really hold your own in a battle--especially against a bubbled, lightning-spewing, lazer sword mage... I mean, Sorc.
No taunt (As a TANK class) extremely weak heals, no range, no DPS, no AoE. You do realize Paladins would go into raids in full cloth gear as nothing but buffbots right? Because they had no other use. Oh, but they had a couple overpowered abilities on extremely long cooldowns, that's supposed to balance them. And their mount wasn't free btw, had to complete a class quest that cost roughly equal the amount of gold. Just about every Paladin (Such as me) ended up rerolling a priest or other class because of how broken Paladins were in vanilla.

Don't talk about something you don't know about, this is why Ops get a lot more criticism than they should.

RuQu's Avatar


RuQu
03.09.2012 , 03:15 PM | #355
Quote: Originally Posted by hulkweazel View Post
No taunt (As a TANK class) extremely weak heals, no range, no DPS, no AoE. You do realize Paladins would go into raids in full cloth gear as nothing but buffbots right? Because they had no other use. Oh, but they had a couple overpowered abilities on extremely long cooldowns, that's supposed to balance them. And their mount wasn't free btw, had to complete a class quest that cost roughly equal the amount of gold. Just about every Paladin (Such as me) ended up rerolling a priest or other class because of how broken Paladins were in vanilla.

Don't talk about something you don't know about, this is why Ops get a lot more criticism than they should.
Sometimes, if I was done refreshing my 5 minute buffs on all 40 people, and my Decursive button to automatically dispel debuffs from everyone with no thought on my part was done, I'd get to cast Flash of Light a couple of times before starting the cycle over...good times.

I was quite happy to reroll a rogue (out of 40 people we only had one until I became the second) to help with traps in BWL.
Brushing off the dust on my Assault Cannon. Time to get back in the fight.

gunnerforever's Avatar


gunnerforever
03.09.2012 , 03:31 PM | #356
On my sawbones, i don't feel gimped, although that may change come endgame. I do find that I really have to curb my ability usage to keep my energy up. I also find that instant healing is a bit hard to come by, with triage being weak and EMP needing upper hand.

My suggestions:
Make defense screen/shield screen targetable on our allies.
Decrease UWM/ Kolto Inject cast time to 1.5 sec
Decrease Kolto Pack/ Kolto Infusion cast time to 1 sec
Make us a HOT healer, and make SRMP/ Kolto Probe tick twice as often and last 5 seconds longer
Make Kolto Cloud/Recuperative Nanotech act like Resurgence, with frontloaded maybe 500 healing and then the normal HOT, with a bit more healing on the HOT
Give a damage mitigation of maybe 5% per stack of SRPM/ Kolto Probe on the target
(lightsaber design)

Spatzimaus's Avatar


Spatzimaus
03.09.2012 , 04:05 PM | #357
First time in this forum, given that I mainly play a DPS Operative, but this forum is MUCH more well-behaved than the damage-dealer forum. I've said this many times in the Operative forum, especially in this suggestion thread, but it bears repeating here: What we need most is a niche. One specific role that our counterpart classes can't surpass us in; currently, we don't really have that. If we're talking about healing, it's pretty obvious. We're not the class that can deal damage best while healing, we're not the class that can AoE heal the best, we're not the best for burst healing, we're not the best on defense or utility... so what are we?

Similar arguments hold for the DPS branches, but I won't bore you with the complete breakdown. Just accept that in the vast majority of situations, an Assassin, Sorcerer, or Mercenary spec'd for DPS can far outdamage an Operative. For the Conceal spec, for instance, I've advocated making us a debuff-heavy DPSer, to where even if our outright sustained damage doesn't match others in a raid, our utility to the group as a whole becomes substantial through the negative effects we give to bosses that are normally immune to most things. For instance, replacing Acid Blade's +30% Armor Penetration buff with a -30% Armor debuff on the target... in one-on-one fights (i.e., PvP) there'd be no practical difference outside of the target's ability to remove the debuff with certain abilities, but in groups or especially raids, it'd make Conceals VERY desirable.

So before anyone goes asking for changes to be made to the Operative and Scoundrel specs (healing or no), the first thing that should be decided is this: what role should we fill in groups or operations? Instead of asking for a ton of minor changes that'd increase our effectiveness across the board, you should, as a group, decide on a specific role you'd like to play and tailor any requests towards boosting that area. That way, positive changes can be made to Operative/Smuggler skills without the immediate overreaction from the other classes about how it's not fair you getting boosted and they don't.

For the Medicine spec, then, what could be done to make the class better than its Sorcerer/Mercenary counterparts? The position I've advocated is, effectively, an HoT/proc specialist. Improve Kolto Probe (the one ability that the other classes can't really match) to be less time-intensive (i.e., doouble its effect and remove its stacking), give Kolto Infusion a reactive healing effect, give Diagnostic Scan a buff that boosts all incoming heals on the target for a brief period, and so on. Make Operative the "hands-off" healer that can best keep the two or three key members of a raid alive while the other healer(s), like the Sorcerer, handle spike and AoE healing.

Alternatively, the Operative could focus on healing one target through a combination of abilities that mesh together far better than the current "pew pew" method of repeating discrete single-target heals. If every Operative/Smuggler heal provided some sort of small buff that'd boost the NEXT heal, then imagine how things'd be different. We have almost no synergy between our heals right now, but this could easily be improved; if Kolto Injection made your next heal cost half its normal amount of Energy, while Diagnostic Scan made your next heal automatically crit and Kolto Infusion made your next heal award a TA... you could do a lot with this to make it viable for Operative healers to chain a series of single-target heals together into something stronger than what another class could do in that situation. And it could go further; if you want a really simple change, just imagine what'd happen if Operatives had the Guard ability currently tied only to tank classes (or something similar to it)... even if you didn't use it in everyday fighting like the tanks do, Ops would at least be able to keep one DPSer alive through operations. Small change in mechanics, large payoff in playability; add a few more minor changes like that, and Operatives COULD become the premier single-target healers for keeping the main tank alive during nasty Operations.

Unfortunately, as long as we're thought of internally as "working as intended", there's no real hope for a significant overhaul.

RuQu's Avatar


RuQu
03.09.2012 , 04:55 PM | #358
Welcome, Spatz.

Yeah, we like to keep it a bit more productive back here in our quiet corner of the web.

As for niches, I am only comfortable with the idea so long as they are niches where we excel, but we all have a baseline effectiveness that is similar.

You need to be able to heal AoE damage with any combination, and keep both the tank and the Ops group alive with any combination.

Niches on healers such as "X can be the Raid Healer Only" and "Only Y can be the MT Healer" forces groups to run with a certain class breakdown. If your guild has healers of a different make-up, say two of one class or are missing a certain class, you then have to force someone to reroll a class they dont want to play or recruit someone...possibly forcing a long time friend and guild member to not run Ops with you.

It also limits encounter design. If they know every group is bringing someone who is bad at AoE because they need that class for the MT Healer, they can't design a fight where the tank takes light damage but there is massive AoE.

I think much better is to define class styles, and then ensure every style has the tools to get the job done. I think the styles for Sage and Commando are pretty well established, the Commando just needs smart healing on Kolto Bomb and a Battle Rez. As for Scoundrels, make them truly HoT focused like the Druids of Old, and give their non-HoTs synergy with their HoT stacks.
Brushing off the dust on my Assault Cannon. Time to get back in the fight.

Prophetic's Avatar


Prophetic
03.09.2012 , 04:57 PM | #359
Quote: Originally Posted by Spatzimaus View Post
First time in this forum, given that I mainly play a DPS Operative, but this forum is MUCH more well-behaved than the damage-dealer forum.
Glad you finally decided to stop by! I've been following your posts in this thread:

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=348278

Otherwise known as the George Zoeller troll thread, and I've found your posts to be very pleasurable to read.

Quote:
What we need most is a niche.
I couldn't agree with this more. For a long time everyone believed our 'niche' was 'mobile healer' but that's since been debunked.

Quote:
The position I've advocated is, effectively, an HoT/proc specialist.
I would love if they moved things in this direction. I played a Warden Cleric in Rift for awhile and found that I loved the idea of HoT healing. It took a lot more effort and you had to constantly be rolling and refreshing HoTs, but you were pretty much unstoppable once you got a good rhythm going.

Quote:
Alternatively, the Operative could focus on healing one target through a combination of abilities that mesh together far better than the current "pew pew" method of repeating discrete single-target heals.
No joke. Would be nice to actually have a reason to make a healing rotation longer than Underworld Medicine -> Emergency Medpac.


Quote:
Unfortunately, as long as we're thought of internally as "working as intended", there's no real hope for a significant overhaul.
This is the crux of the whole thing. It's really frustrating.

Honestly, I just wished the extra effort we have to put into healing was rewarded in some way. I don't care if we're the most complicated and confusing class in the entire game, as long as it's actually rewarding to play. Which means being competitive at least.

I played a Blood Mage for awhile in Vanguard: SOH. They were widely believed to be simultaneously the most complicated AND most powerful class. They were also one of the least played classes, simply because they were very hard to learn, but anyone who knew what they were doing just blew everyone out of the water. People were okay with this, 'cause they figured if someone had to put that much effort into being effective, then they should be damn effective. They also had a fun and interesting healing mechanic, something that SWTOR lacks, really.

In all honesty, the healing between each of the classes is basically the same. We all have HoTs, instant heals, long heals, short heals and such. It just feels like they decided to take a few tools away from some of the classes, give a few extra tools to a few classes, and screw Scoundrel/Operatives in the whole mess.

Spatzimaus's Avatar


Spatzimaus
03.09.2012 , 07:18 PM | #360
Quote: Originally Posted by RuQu View Post
As for niches, I am only comfortable with the idea so long as they are niches where we excel, but we all have a baseline effectiveness that is similar.

You need to be able to heal AoE damage with any combination, and keep both the tank and the Ops group alive with any combination.
As the man once said, "there's the rub". You need to heal AoE damage, but that doesn't necessarily mean using an AoE effect. What you actually need is the ability to keep multiple people alive without completely overburdening yourself (either in resources or in time invested), but the mechanisms for doing so could be radically different between the classes. I'd use the phrase "separate but equal" to describe it, but we all know where that one ends up. The point is that with the right combination of tools and/or utility increases, Operatives could be just as effective at keeping a raid alive as a Sorcerer, even if the way he does so doesn't involve dropping a single big AoE heal effect. If the powers were constructed right, a combination of theoretically single-target skills (HoTs, buffs, etc.) could achieve the same goal.
(I'm going to use Empire names for everything. No offense to any Scoundrels in here.)

From my perspective, the Operative healer mainly lacks a few key tools that MUST be addressed before anything else can be done. These missing tools include a light, fast heal that doesn't require TA (and so can be used in PvP when your Kolto Injection gets interrupted) and a heal that works best on a person actively taking damage (and not just when he's below 30%). The "reactive healing" change I proposed to Kolto Infusion in this recent thread would actually do both; without a TA it'd be a light, fast, cheap heal that offers a viable alternative to Injection, while with a TA it'd become a great tool to cast on the Main Tank (or anyone else taking continual damage) at the start of a fight. Given that the current implementation of Kolto Infusion is almost completely obsolete once you have Surgical Probe, there's no reason not to alter Infusion to fill these roles instead of coming up with something new. I'm not going to pretend this is the only possible solution, but I think it's a solid one.

Bottom line, while each class might get all of the same basic tools, you could fix it so that each of the healers was just better at certain styles. With strong HoTs and single-target heals, the Operative COULD be an excellent choice, and not just in very limited situations. It wouldn't take much to do, but it's necessary; right now there's really not any area where Operative healers come out substantially ahead.
(Again, this is as someone who mostly plays Conceal DPS. I've switched to healer a few times, and I've got a Sorcerer healer alt, but I'm not going to pretend to be an expert.)

Quote: Originally Posted by Prophetic
I played a Blood Mage for awhile in Vanguard: SOH. They were widely believed to be simultaneously the most complicated AND most powerful class.
And I played a Halfling Bard with dual axes. Vanguard was extremely complex in general, given the balance involved in having 15 classes for the 4 basic group roles, but I always liked the way they tried to encourage group synergy through mixing "status" effects. But yes, the Blood Mage did come to mind when I was thinking of how the Operative could be handled; it wasn't the "safe" healer class, like the Cleric, but when managed correctly it could be fantastic at healing while still dealing good damage. Similarly, I loved playing a Bard because it was a DPS class that had obvious group/raid utility and was very, very "tunable" through the different songs you'd construct (I had 12 I used regularly).

The Operative Healer could be like that, the Swiss Army Knife of healers: lots of tools, even if they don't include a sledgehammer (or even a good roll of duct tape). But right now, the combination of weak abilities (Kolto Infusion and Diagnostic Scan, mainly), resource issues (with both Energy and TAs), and a few fundamental design flaws just cripple the class in practice, from my point of view. I don't think it'd be hard to address these without making the class overpowered, but at the moment I just don't feel like the developers are even aware of many of these issues.