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Feedback on the State of Operations


Draloch's Avatar


Draloch
06.02.2012 , 01:01 AM | #11
This is a really great post.

Also, I'm having a blast with the new raiding content and I'm very eager to see what Nightmare difficulty holds. Clearly, the operations team has a good set of heads working on this content.

RLWalker's Avatar


RLWalker
06.02.2012 , 11:46 AM | #12
I would disagree with giving healers (or anyone really) tranquility-like cooldowns. As soon as you do this encounters start to be designed around using them. Before you know it every fight requires 5-10 minutes of setting up cooldown rotations and writing spreadsheets/macros/etc. to get everyone on the same page. I absolutely do not want fights like Staghelm in WoW, where you have 7+ people rotating cooldowns constantly. Leave it at sniper shields (fixing the stacking if it's a problem) and that should be enough.

Definitely agree with changes to how buffs/debuffs are displayed. Doesn't have to be fancy, just have an option to size the icons and filter out ones you don't want to see.

The tuning in EC is quite good. I would make normal EC slightly easier to encourage people who were running normal/hard EV/KP to step into EC. Hard EC I have no complaints with the tuning. It seems the minimum DPS to beat fights is slightly higher in 8-man. I think this is a good design - it keeps 16-man guilds from downsizing to progress. I want to raid with friends and telling them to hit the road because they don't quite push out enough DPS is not something I want to do.

One thing that would be very cool is a solid quest line leading into the next operation. Continuing into the operation you might need to collect special items/defeat enemies to push forward. It would be nice to have a really immersive experience. All this would be optional - if you just want to plow bosses and get loot that's fine too.

Inzi's Avatar


Inzi
06.02.2012 , 02:19 PM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by Kihra View Post
Note I'm not just talking about a slightly more bursty rotation that drains you of resources. You need to give healers actual instants they can use if they see someone about to die. Then you can make encounters where that reactivity can shine and healers can really get that great feeling of saving someone at the last second.
I healed as a priest for a LONG time in WoW. One of the best healing rushes I got was whenever I would Guardian Spirit somebody and it actually procced. It meant that not only did I judge the situation correctly to necessitate the cast, but also I directly single-handedly prevented somebody from dying. I felt like I was the master of reaction and no boss could stand in my way! I really haven't had that rush in TOR because we can't afford to let health bars dip like that and if they do, it's VERY rare that we can actually save the person if they are taking consistent dmg after the spike.
A home for busy adults seeking high level PvE in a respectful, mature atmosphere.
Ferne R'y | Sage

Thoffs's Avatar


Thoffs
06.02.2012 , 06:35 PM | #14
Excellent post!

Grimsblood's Avatar


Grimsblood
06.02.2012 , 10:00 PM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by Kihra View Post

(4) The Lackluster Healer Toolbox

From an encounter design perspective, you have made healers so weak that you have severely limited what you can do with encounters. I've covered these issues before in posts on the Healing forums, but I'll recap them briefly:

(a) Emergency Single Target Burst

You need to give healers emergency single target burst tools. For example, you could give Scoundrels a 3min CD ability that makes an Underworld Medicine cast instant and incur no GCD. Consider giving a healer class a long CD for a full heal for example, e.g., like Lay on Hands in WoW.

Note I'm not just talking about a slightly more bursty rotation that drains you of resources. You need to give healers actual instants they can use if they see someone about to die. Then you can make encounters where that reactivity can shine and healers can really get that great feeling of saving someone at the last second.

(b) Tank Cooldowns

Consider giving healers actual tank survivability cooldowns that provide the tank with damage reduction. If skilled tanks can call for external CDs from their healers, that would let you up the difficulty level and put in some heavy tank damage phases that last longer than a single tank's CDs.

(c) Emergency AOE Burst and Raid Cooldowns.

Healers need long CD AOE tools like Druid Tranquility from WoW. You could produce an Aura Mastery equivalent by giving someone the ability to increase Resistances by 50% for the whole Operation for a few seconds.

Basically look into giving healers tools to catch up if they fall behind on AOE. Look at what happens sub-10% on 16-man Toth and Zorn right now when that double damage Ground Shatter starts. Healers just can't keep up.

Right now Gunslingers have the best tool for mitigating AOE damage, and healers have nothing. My opinion is that it should be healers that bring these tools. Again, I look at the bugged Kephess' Gift and ask myself why healers aren't the ones saving raid there instead of Gunslingers?

(d) Remove the cooldown from dispels/cleanses

It's harder to create interesting cleansing fights when you have a cooldown on cleansing. Consider removing this restriction. It helps greatly with healer assignments if you let one person be "in charge" of this sort of thing.

The reason I am harping on the healer toolbox is that I feel that for encounters to truly challenge healers, you've got to be able to amp up the damage output considerably, but if you do that right now, healers just won't have anything they can do. For Nightmare Mode raids, you need to be able to challenge the healers in a fair and fun way, and you can't do that if their toolboxes remain as limited as they are right now.
*Everything I say comes from the perspective of a healer with absolutely no raid experience prior to Star Wars.*

I decided to roll a heal class as my main toon in the hopes of giving myself more of a challenge for end game content. The simple idea that the life of the raid solely depending on heals was exhilarating. Prior to 1.2 the resource pool of my Sage Healer was ridiculous! I could literally cast whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. When I got down to 50 force I simply said "Ooops, let me noble sack and poof I am back to 75% force". Now I have to change my awareness to resources and succeed (which I have). In regards to the "nerf" on conveyance and deliverance.....let me just say I feel that sage healers have been resigned to "raid healers". For a 16 man Op, having 2 sages is good. We can raid heal and take care of raid wide aoe/dot damage and call it a day. Moving into an 8 man really hurts in fights where there are two bosses (unless you run 2 sage healers together).

As a healer in the current fights we have, I feel like I am just sustaining everyone. If a tank or dps messes up on a mechanic, it is incredibly difficult to catch up just due to time and resources. I simply do not have enough interest in healing. I am not challenged with the different tools available to me. Taking away the cool down on a cleanse allows me to be more proactive cleansing dots and debuffs which then allow more to go out and be kept track of. Allow be to give a raid wide buff for a period of time or improving a burst gives me the change to be a more involved healer. The current "pull the hair off of my head when a dps screws the pooch" style of fights is not good for my health. I want something that requires thought, not raw numbers.
DPS is science. Healing is art. Tanking is strategy.
Hippolytà - Level 50 Sentinel - Grimsblood - Level 55 Sage
Saphyria - Level 55 Sniper - Fenrîr - Level 55 Gunslinger

Aurojiin's Avatar


Aurojiin
06.02.2012 , 10:31 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by Grimsblood View Post
Prior to 1.2 the resource pool of my Sage Healer was ridiculous! I could literally cast whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. When I got down to 50 force I simply said "Ooops, let me noble sack and poof I am back to 75% force". Now I have to change my awareness to resources and succeed (which I have).
See... this I just don't get. Don't get me wrong, I agree that the state of Sage healing is somewhat dismal and we spend more time simply maintaining raid health as per Bioware's 'metrics' than getting to make interesting decisions.

But resources did not work like you're describing them pre-1.2. If you got down to 50 force, you couldn't just casually NS back to full force because:

1. Your first NS cast would consume Resplendence, and every use thereafter would act exactly the same as it does now.
2. If people actually needed healing you wouldn't have the time to devote multiple GCDs to casting NS.

Or to put it another way, if you were in situations where you could cast NS eight times in a row before, then you can still cast in at least seven times in a row now. An un-resplended NS actually has three costs: health, force regen, and a GCD. From the perspective of an op healer, the health cost is really the least of those. Resplendence still negates the reduction on our regen, so when it procs I find that in practice the choice to use NS largely boils down to whether or not the GCD can be spared.

What the changes have done is pushed us towards an even greater reliance on Salvation to heal the damage to our health from NS taps, as any other methods of self-healing take GCDs themselves and mean that the force gains from actually using NS are rather slim. Our playstyle has been restricted, and our throughput dampened a bit. My point, though, is that our resource availability hasn't been nerfed to the degree that many people allege (in PVE). On the whole, you can and should use Noble Sacrifice just as much as pre-1.2.

If someone asked me if I'd rather have pre-1.2 Resplendence or pre-1.2 Conveyance (complete with double dipping), I'd opt for Conveyance in a heartbeat.

Grimsblood's Avatar


Grimsblood
06.03.2012 , 11:33 AM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by Aurojiin View Post
See... this I just don't get. Don't get me wrong, I agree that the state of Sage healing is somewhat dismal and we spend more time simply maintaining raid health as per Bioware's 'metrics' than getting to make interesting decisions.

But resources did not work like you're describing them pre-1.2. If you got down to 50 force, you couldn't just casually NS back to full force because:

1. Your first NS cast would consume Resplendence, and every use thereafter would act exactly the same as it does now.
2. If people actually needed healing you wouldn't have the time to devote multiple GCDs to casting NS.

Or to put it another way, if you were in situations where you could cast NS eight times in a row before, then you can still cast in at least seven times in a row now. An un-resplended NS actually has three costs: health, force regen, and a GCD. From the perspective of an op healer, the health cost is really the least of those. Resplendence still negates the reduction on our regen, so when it procs I find that in practice the choice to use NS largely boils down to whether or not the GCD can be spared.

What the changes have done is pushed us towards an even greater reliance on Salvation to heal the damage to our health from NS taps, as any other methods of self-healing take GCDs themselves and mean that the force gains from actually using NS are rather slim. Our playstyle has been restricted, and our throughput dampened a bit. My point, though, is that our resource availability hasn't been nerfed to the degree that many people allege (in PVE). On the whole, you can and should use Noble Sacrifice just as much as pre-1.2.

If someone asked me if I'd rather have pre-1.2 Resplendence or pre-1.2 Conveyance (complete with double dipping), I'd opt for Conveyance in a heartbeat.
@ your first point; I used to run an insanely high crit. Once I noticed myself @ 50 force I would sac after every Healing Trance (I would almost always have the buff for it). I will admit that I did exaggerate in my OP in regards to going from 50 force to 75% in a short time just to illustrate the point. Quite simply put, my point is that prior to 1.2 i did not need to be as a where of my resources as I am now. I am now complaining about this by any means.

In regards to everything else, I am with you 100%. I Nobel Sacrifice just as much now, I simply time it with a Conveyance + Salvation. I run with another sage healer as well and we time our Sacs to line in with each others Salvation which works wonders.

After everything is said and done, I believe the idea I was getting at is that the Sage has no burst healing. I too would much rather have Pre 1.2 Conveyance for Deliverance. I just feel like more of a raid healer (16 man that is) then anything else.

I just want something more from heal. To simply maintain an ops group isn't as engaging as I thought. Having to weigh pro's and con's of using X ability in Y situation is more interesting. Rejuvenate --> Healing Trance --> Deliverance + a Force Armor on cool down is static.
DPS is science. Healing is art. Tanking is strategy.
Hippolytà - Level 50 Sentinel - Grimsblood - Level 55 Sage
Saphyria - Level 55 Sniper - Fenrîr - Level 55 Gunslinger

Tiranea's Avatar


Tiranea
06.03.2012 , 07:54 PM | #18
A very thoughtful post, but like RLWalker above I have to disagree with the suggestion that healers need more cooldowns. The limited toolbox is actually the main reason I enjoy healing in this game so much. It shifts the focus towards smart resource management and allows some compensating for mistakes without putting the healers into the position of being expected to "just heal through it" whenever someone else messes up.

If you make healing more powerful, everyone has to take more damage, and you eventually end up with fights where someone inevitably dies within a GCD if nobody hits the right cooldown, or where people just chain their biggest heals non-stop because nothing else will suffice.

Same with dispel... yes, sometimes it also annoys me that it has a cooldown, but at the same time I appreciate that as long as that cooldown is there, I never have to worry about Bioware making a fight where I'm expected to do nothing but spam dispels instead of healing.
My personal SWTOR Fan Blog: Going Commando

pure_laced's Avatar


pure_laced
06.03.2012 , 08:15 PM | #19
Just a quick question.

How did both this and the HM Kephess post turn into discussions about healers, and healing in general? Shouldn't those be discussions in the healing forums or specific class forums?

Now that is off my chest, I can address the main points:


1. Stacking debuffs should not be allowed for obvious reasons to players with previous end game raiding experience. Prevents class stacking/exploits, etc.

2. Tank threat is lower than what it should be. Let me clarify before some elitists claim that they don't have issues. I don't normally either but as DPS gear is obtained, their threat skyrockets, but as tanks receive better gear, threat only increases slightly. Taunt should not act the way it does and become part of the "rotation" to maintain threat and subsequently build up such a lead to never be close to be lost. Increase threat on some abilities across the board, and change the way taunt works to be snap threat to grab a mob back.

3. Bugs happen, but the "not seeing" stuff one is the worst of all. I also agree people are using that as an excuse for poor play and unfortunately, short of making everyone fraps, we won't be able to tell.

4. I don't play a healer, and haven't since Vanilla WoW, so will not comment on most of your points. I will say however, that a raid cooldown, or just a single target cooldown might not be a bad idea. It can cover a mistake without necessarily wiping a raid. I also don't want to see encounters designed around cooldowns, as I feel that is bad for the game as a whole.

5. Frames: Ops, target, self, focus, etc. These need some serious design work and filtering put into place. 16 man Ops this is such a mess on a target to determine which is yours and not. Just allow us to filter specifically ours from the rest of the herd. Additionally, I would love to see a "power auras" type module or a way to only add what we want to see as procs, debuffs on us, etc.

6. Percentage based health transitions are ok if there aren't so many so close together. Z and T is beyond ridiculous with full 61 mods because DPS are sitting on their hands for alot of the fight. Every night we call for stop dps and wait a good 10-15 secs in the Baradium rock phase waiting for Zorn to finally throw that rock so we can continue on. Honestly, this next week, we may try and zerg the whole thing to see if can be done and skip phases like what happens on story mode. A good example IMHO of % health based transitions was Ragnaros in WoW, and Kephess final phase at 60%. Asking people to stop for 15 secs is not a good way to do transitions.

My thoughts only.
Cali Killed Nox
Genshen 50: Powertech | Guardian | Assassin | Sniper | Sage
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JWillets's Avatar


JWillets
06.03.2012 , 10:14 PM | #20
As far as the boss fights go, it'd be nice to see some love given to melee dps in general. Such as include certain phases where melee dps is much preferred (like the Urtagh wb fight during the Rakghoul event where Ranged wasn't as effective). It'd create a better mix and allow for better diversity in raid composition.

Better tune the fights. Shortening enrage timers isn't such a great way to "balance" fights.

As a Jugg tank, I would love better threat generation. During Firebrand and Stormcaller, if im not careful with pumping in as much aggro moves as possible, the dps thats trying to blast the bosses down will easily strip hate from me. This is extremely bad during Double Destruction for example. Yes I know, "Use your taunt!" but because of the tank swapping that has to keep happening during most of those fights, I really don't like spamming my taunt since I might actually really need it and when it comes time to swap b/t Z & T or F & S, it cannot be on cooldown or its a wipe

Allow for more than 1 "Focus Target" this would be a great tool for healers (watch tanks to see if a buddy healer is having a rough time, tanks can use this to easily swap between bosses, and same with dps) this would also be great for raid leaders to watch the health of the bosses so that they may die at the same time, as so many of your boss fights require.

Overall careful watch (AND RESOLUTION) for bugs in these boss fights. I don't want to fight against bugs, i want to fight against the bosses. There's few things more aggravating than being unable to fight Foreman Crusher since the shield protecting him area popped back up but the turrets did not, or during the 2nd Double Destruction in the Firebrand/Stormcaller fight when a Lightening spire lands on the boss and kills all your dps, or markers on the ground not appearing properly or the range of the AOE's is larger than indicated by the red circle, or when Bonethrasher hits me with a swipe when im 5 meters behind his tail. Severe issues with these fights need to be dealt with promptly instead of making sure character voices sound properly when wearing headgear.