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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
First BioWare Post First BioWare Post

JeramieCrowe's Avatar


JeramieCrowe
03.12.2012 , 02:12 PM | #381
Quote: Originally Posted by GeorgZoeller View Post
Disclaimer: When I state 'we changed X', it does not preclude changes to Y and Z. I did not say 'we did not change Y and Z' but neither did I say 'we changed Y and Z'. I merely made a singular statement about X, which is not to be constructed as a statement about Y or Z. Even though I just said 'we changed X', the statistical probability for the immediate appearance of threads decrying the lack of change to Y and Z has significantly increased by this statement about X. This puzzling effect is why the first rule of partial class balance discussion is that you do not discuss partial class balance.
HAHAHA!! People will still fail to understand this logic, however.
Allix Crowe - Vanguard Trooper -/- Ethavan Crowe - Smuggler Gunslinger -/- Malrath Crowe - Powertech Bounty Hunter -/- Boslo - Jedi Knight Sentinel -/- Jiao-gen Pall - Jedi Knight Guardian -/- Landen Tanarr - Jedi Consular Sage -/- Vaelyth Kinti-kaar- Sith Warrior Juggernaut -/- Oteln'erose'thu - Imperial Agent Sniper -/- Zandur Tuum - Cathar Knight

Spatzimaus's Avatar


Spatzimaus
03.12.2012 , 02:22 PM | #382
Quote: Originally Posted by GeorgZoeller View Post
For details, you will have to wait until the patch hits PTS (which should be soon) for the reasons stated. Even then, I would advise you to actually test the changes on the server rather than relying on theory crafting based on patch notes, as some of the underlying rules for the game (e.g. diminishing returns for certain stats) have changed at the same time.
While so many other folks in this thread are loving this post, I'm not. Again, Georg avoids the question: What role are Operatives supposed to play? I don't mean "healing" or "DPS", I mean more specific answers. What are Operative healers supposed to bring to the table that Sorcerers and Mercenaries don't provide? Currently, Sorc healers have the best AoE and excellent spike healing, while Mercs are best at keeping the Main Tank alive. So even if 1.2 makes the classes perfectly balanced in terms of power (which I seriously doubt), what role are Operative healers supposed to fill in an Operation? I'd suggested meshing HoT with triggered effects to create a class best suited for keeping 3-4 specific people alive, but there are a lot of other possibilities. Likewise, what specific capability are Concealment or Lethality Operatives supposed to add to an endgame PvE group that any other DPS class can't provide in a better way? Are they purely designed as a PvP class, in which case us PvEers should just cancel our subscriptions now, or were they actually intended to be decent in PvE as well? ("Decent" in this case meaning "comparable to other DPS classes, to where Operation groups should be willing to bring you along for some reason other than guild loyalty or for our class buff".)

We don't need the specifics of HOW the class will be changed, we need the WHY; what parts do the developers see as being sub-par, and which parts are "working as intended"? We need the underlying design concept driving the class, something to explain why it's acceptable to be saddled with so many negative attributes (two resources, variable regen, no gap closer, etc.). We might not agree with that concept, but we'll at least have a baseline for evaluating whether the class actually does each job well. Giving us this info won't invalidate any 1.2 changes still under debate; it WILL, however, allow us to give suggestions that don't conflict. It'll greatly reduce any arguments that the 1.2 patch notes would otherwise start; if we've already been told that our role is supposed to be X, it gives us a much better context for assessing the 1.2 changes than if they are announced blindly. We don't need specifics about what the developers are changing for any of this, and it'll allow us to tailor our suggestions towards the same ends the developers are moving towards; who knows, you might find that something we suggest actually works better than what is already in the pipeline.

Obviously, Georg, you can't give us a single specific balance change without the context of your other changes; we're not children, so stop talking down to us. Even if the median age of online gamers weren't over 30 by now, the type of people who post on these sorts of message boards (i.e., the ones that aren't General Discussion) tend to fall well above the average age. We get that it's not a good idea to announce a single fix, but we haven't even heard any generalities yet, except for a few that you personally have announced are working as intended despite the obvious evidence to the contrary.

JeramieCrowe's Avatar


JeramieCrowe
03.12.2012 , 02:33 PM | #383
Quote: Originally Posted by Spatzimaus View Post
*snip*
Perhaps you missed this?

Quote: Originally Posted by GeorgZoeller
Hey guys,
Because the Dev Tracker is a bit wonky again and doesn’t show my post, and because translating my English post to German and then back to English isn’t producing the most reliable results (Oh god, they did what???), here’s the Class Design Philosophy post again, in original source:
“Just to chime in about our class design philosophy here. We’ve explained this a number of times already during development, but now that we’ve been running large scale testing for a while and have solidified a lot of the design, I think it’s time to explain what we’re doing and why.
In regards to class roles, we do things differently than some other games which people might be used to. That creates some anxiety and questions, so let me explain.
Of Class, Advanced Class, Roles.
Unlike other games where you pick a class and that defines your role, class in Star Wars: The Old Republic defines your overall story, your possible roles and your visual style / gameplay style (e.g. Force user vs. Tech user).
Due to the nature of the Advanced Class system, every character starts out in a DPS role at the start of the game, and they’re about equally good at it.
By the time you reach level 10, you get to make your choice for Advanced Class, which narrows down which roles you could play, and yes, some Advanced Classes (Gunslinger / Sniper / Marauder / Sentinel) only have damage type roles available, while other Advanced Classes have access to two roles (e.g damage or healing).
What actually defines your role in our game, in terms of traditional MMO gaming, is how you distribute points in your skill trees. Specialize in the ‘Combat Medic’ tree and become a healer, specialize in the ‘Vengeance tree’ and become a DPS character.
By spending that first skill point at level 10, you start developing your character into whatever role you want them to play in the long term. Since it’s your skill choices that define your role, it is a gradual process. You don’t become a healer at level 10 or 11, you’re growing into becoming a healer over many levels.
Our content is designed around that. The first Flashpoint assumes the group has only DPS roles. Even if you bring a healer, he’ll have only a single heal available at that level as he has just begun his journey into his role, so there isn’t too much of a spread in balance.
Over time, the game becomes more firm in the roles it requires for content like Flashpoints, but additional tools like companions still make it more flexible than many other MMOs in regards to what group mix can run group content.
That progression is quite different from how your characters work in other games, and we’ve certainly seen our share of people being surprised by it in testing (“I just took the Sage Advanced Class, but I don’t feel like I’m a great healer”).
Hybrids
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.
At high level, all roles have the same capabilities, in our game all healers are ‘main healers’ provided they are specced accordingly, etc.
Common Questions
So, what’s the point of playing an AC that has only DPS options available?
That is a question you have to answer for yourself.
In a traditional fantasy MMO, if you play a thief or a wizard, you’re locked to one role as well, so it’s the added role flexibility that SWTOR brings to the table that is giving you second thoughts. I would look at it like this:
If you really like the flexibility of non DPS roles and feel comfortable with taking on other roles, you might want to play an AC that has that option available.
If you know you only enjoy DPS roles in a game (and based on our research, a sizable faction of players falls under that umbrella), a DPS only AC means you will get a three different styles of dps gameplay to select from.
So why do we do this? Why not go for a ‘this Advanced Class only can DPS and therefore they are the best at it’ approach?
Because we want people to pick the class they want to play and reduce the likelihood of them getting told ‘sorry, can’t participate in this group because we want only the best DPS in game – that is a Gunslinger’.
Likewise, we don’t want the fact that a specific tank or healer AC is not available at a time from becoming a stopping point for getting on with your group content.
The truth is, not everyone is comfortable playing every role and shouldn’t be expected to.
Players, as they get more familiar with the game, will no doubt find interesting ways of proving the superiority of a specific specialization in a specific situation, that’s expected. With different gameplay styles and utility come different strength and weaknesses.
Should things outside our comfort zone be discovered in testing or after launch (e.g. Operations ending up requiring that one specific healer AC because they are deemed ‘the absolute best and a must’), we will adjust the game accordingly. We want player skill to be deciding factor in your choices, not which class they picked hundreds of hours ago. That’s pretty standard for MMOs.
TL;DR
Q: ‘Why would I play a DPS only Advanced Class if I can play an Advanced Class that can respec to fill other roles?’
A: If that is your main concern, you shouldn’t play that Advanced Class, because you are going to be unhappy about the fact that you cannot switch roles.
Q: Since I can only fill a DPS role, I should do the absolute best damage in the game!
A: Not in SWTOR. We give you get more variety in your DPS gameplay. We maintain balance between all ACs that can fill a role.
Q: What ever happened to being 5% better thing for pure DPS classes?
A: Given class utility and other considerations of why you might want to have someone in your group, 5% is not considered ‘significant’ for the purpose of this conversation.
I hope this clears things up a bit. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of different and, of course, dissenting opinions on this topic, but at least everyone will be on the same page as what our design goals are in this situation and how we approach balancing classes.
Basically, Operatives don't necessarily bring anything to the table that other healer/DPSers do. They are supposed to play differently based on style.

TOR's class design is not one that caters to viability, it is one that caters to play style. That was also seen in this interview, where GZ stated:

Quote: Originally Posted by GeorgZoeller
Going with the mantra of giving the player choice, we’re aiming to make characters different based on their gameplay, not based on viability.
And this truth continues to be seen during gameplay. If you're thinking WoW-ish class design, stop it. Apples and oranges here.
Allix Crowe - Vanguard Trooper -/- Ethavan Crowe - Smuggler Gunslinger -/- Malrath Crowe - Powertech Bounty Hunter -/- Boslo - Jedi Knight Sentinel -/- Jiao-gen Pall - Jedi Knight Guardian -/- Landen Tanarr - Jedi Consular Sage -/- Vaelyth Kinti-kaar- Sith Warrior Juggernaut -/- Oteln'erose'thu - Imperial Agent Sniper -/- Zandur Tuum - Cathar Knight

RuQu's Avatar


RuQu
03.12.2012 , 02:41 PM | #384
So long as 1.2 shows that they follow through on this:

Quote:
Should things outside our comfort zone be discovered in testing or after launch (e.g. Operations ending up requiring that one specific healer AC because they are deemed ‘the absolute best and a must’), we will adjust the game accordingly. We want player skill to be deciding factor in your choices, not which class they picked hundreds of hours ago. That’s pretty standard for MMOs.
TL;DR
Q: ‘Why would I play a DPS only Advanced Class if I can play an Advanced Class that can respec to fill other roles?’
A: If that is your main concern, you shouldn’t play that Advanced Class, because you are going to be unhappy about the fact that you cannot switch roles.
Q: Since I can only fill a DPS role, I should do the absolute best damage in the game!
A: Not in SWTOR. We give you get more variety in your DPS gameplay. We maintain balance between all ACs that can fill a role.
I'll be happy. If not...I think many people will be upset.
Brushing off the dust on my Assault Cannon. Time to get back in the fight.

Neulwen's Avatar


Neulwen
03.12.2012 , 03:08 PM | #385
Quote: Originally Posted by JeramieCrowe View Post

Quote: Originally Posted by GeorgZoeller View Post
Going with the mantra of giving the player choice, we’re aiming to make characters different based on their gameplay, not based on viability.
And this truth continues to be seen during gameplay. If you're thinking WoW-ish class design, stop it. Apples and oranges here.
They want all classes to have the same viability (i.e. be balanced in terms of performance). This is not currently seen during gameplay.
The electrons are singing.

Talizzar's Avatar


Talizzar
03.12.2012 , 03:10 PM | #386
Quote: Originally Posted by GeorgZoeller View Post
We are generally not talking about upcoming balance information, for any class, until we have finalized the changes enough to be certain, which usually means when changes are about to hit PTS. This avoids confusion and wrong expectations, but understandably causes people to be impatient.

I have acknowledged, when asked at the Guild Summit, that we determined healing on Operative can use some improvements and have made changes in 1.2 (along with changes to almost every other aspect of the game).

For details, you will have to wait until the patch hits PTS (which should be soon) for the reasons stated. Even then, I would advise you to actually test the changes on the server rather than relying on theory crafting based on patch notes, as some of the underlying rules for the game (e.g. diminishing returns for certain stats) have changed at the same time.

Disclaimer: When I state 'we changed X', it does not preclude changes to Y and Z. I did not say 'we did not change Y and Z' but neither did I say 'we changed Y and Z'. I merely made a singular statement about X, which is not to be constructed as a statement about Y or Z. Even though I just said 'we changed X', the statistical probability for the immediate appearance of threads decrying the lack of change to Y and Z has significantly increased by this statement about X. This puzzling effect is why the first rule of partial class balance discussion is that you do not discuss partial class balance.
What? Are you running for a political office? What a bunch of double speak LOL. This is like the 4th dev post that is vague and less than informative. I think you would have been better off saying nothing than posting this wall of blah blah blah.

Coldin's Avatar


Coldin
03.12.2012 , 03:17 PM | #387
Quote: Originally Posted by JeramieCrowe View Post
Perhaps you missed this?



Basically, Operatives don't necessarily bring anything to the table that other healer/DPSers do. They are supposed to play differently based on style.

TOR's class design is not one that caters to viability, it is one that caters to play style. That was also seen in this interview, where GZ stated:



And this truth continues to be seen during gameplay. If you're thinking WoW-ish class design, stop it. Apples and oranges here.
Basically, Scoundrel/Operatives should be able to fulfill a Healing or DPS role just as well as any other class that's also specced into Healing or DPS. Hopefully that will be more accurate after 1.2.

Still...it strikes me as odd why anyone would play a pure DPS role if it still didn't give some extra tools, like CC. Sniper/Gunslinger gets that a little with roots and some knockbacks, but Sentinel barely gets any CC abilities.

JeramieCrowe's Avatar


JeramieCrowe
03.12.2012 , 03:19 PM | #388
Quote: Originally Posted by Coldin View Post
Basically, Scoundrel/Operatives should be able to fulfill a Healing or DPS role just as well as any other class that's also specced into Healing or DPS. Hopefully that will be more accurate after 1.2.

Still...it strikes me as odd why anyone would play a pure DPS role if it still didn't give some extra tools, like CC. Sniper/Gunslinger gets that a little with roots and some knockbacks, but Sentinel barely gets any CC abilities.
Basically, I play pures simply because it's pure. I have never, ever, been a fan of a class that can perform more than one role.
Allix Crowe - Vanguard Trooper -/- Ethavan Crowe - Smuggler Gunslinger -/- Malrath Crowe - Powertech Bounty Hunter -/- Boslo - Jedi Knight Sentinel -/- Jiao-gen Pall - Jedi Knight Guardian -/- Landen Tanarr - Jedi Consular Sage -/- Vaelyth Kinti-kaar- Sith Warrior Juggernaut -/- Oteln'erose'thu - Imperial Agent Sniper -/- Zandur Tuum - Cathar Knight

JeramieCrowe's Avatar


JeramieCrowe
03.12.2012 , 03:33 PM | #389
Quote: Originally Posted by Neulwen View Post
They want all classes to have the same viability (i.e. be balanced in terms of performance). This is not currently seen during gameplay.
I'm currently seeing it. Some minor adjustments needed, of course, but I'm seeing it.

Remember, as a class design that caters to play style rather than viability, you cannot take into consideration anyone playing a class that does not fit their play style as a reliable measure of that class' balance.
Allix Crowe - Vanguard Trooper -/- Ethavan Crowe - Smuggler Gunslinger -/- Malrath Crowe - Powertech Bounty Hunter -/- Boslo - Jedi Knight Sentinel -/- Jiao-gen Pall - Jedi Knight Guardian -/- Landen Tanarr - Jedi Consular Sage -/- Vaelyth Kinti-kaar- Sith Warrior Juggernaut -/- Oteln'erose'thu - Imperial Agent Sniper -/- Zandur Tuum - Cathar Knight

Retadine's Avatar


Retadine
03.12.2012 , 04:13 PM | #390
Quote: Originally Posted by GeorgZoeller View Post

Disclaimer: When I state 'we changed X', it does not preclude changes to Y and Z. I did not say 'we did not change Y and Z' but neither did I say 'we changed Y and Z'. I merely made a singular statement about X, which is not to be constructed as a statement about Y or Z. Even though I just said 'we changed X', the statistical probability for the immediate appearance of threads decrying the lack of change to Y and Z has significantly increased by this statement about X. This puzzling effect is why the first rule of partial class balance discussion is that you do not discuss partial class balance.
Wait a minute..... I thought that was the first rule of....



That gave me a good chuckle. Looking forward to the changes. Please don't nerf me to the ground too much (Sage)