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Juggling Abilities

Breidr's Avatar

07.21.2012 , 08:48 PM | #1
So I've taken a few classes up to 15 and I understand how everything is "supposed" to work, I just have trouble once I get out of the tutorial at around level 11-15. Once my characters get over a dozen abilities or so I have a hard time juggling them. Is this just inexperience or do the classes factor into this at all. From other games, I remember having maybe 4-6 keys, plus a few situational buttons (silence etc.). On my Sith Warrior I have not only a bunch of attacks, but active defensive abilities I have to worry about, and all that jazz. Once I get past the initial 12 abilities I find myself neglecting them or generally have a hard time using them. The only class I've had a decent time on is my Sniper, but I'm sure that just means I'm doing it wrong. I've also heard rumor that playing a commando entails spamming "Grav Round" over and over again, but again, I don't really lend that any credibility because I haven't been there myself yet.

Is it just the classes I'm playing that lead to this issue? I don't really know much about abilities outside of a few rotatopns I've read from guides. That's why my Juggernaut is scaring me right now. I've got threat builders, rage builders etc... makes my head want to spin. All I wanted was a cool guy with a lightsaber. Is that so much to ask?

Toogeloo's Avatar

07.21.2012 , 10:56 PM | #2
First thing you'll need to know is that not all abilities are designed to be used with certain advanced classes, nor are other abilities designed to be used within certain specs of certain classes.

Taking the Bounty Hunter for example.

Missile Blast is an ability you get at level 1. It packs a punch, more than Rapid Shots. As you level, to 10, it will be one of your more used abilities because it does a decent amount of damage at a decent range. After level 10 however, you will have chosen your Advanced Class, both of which gain new abilities that hit just as hard as Missile Blast (Flame Burst for Powertechs, Power Shot for Mercenary) but also both of which don't use nearly as much heat. Amplifying this, there are no abilities that really help the Missile Blast in any way, which makes Missile Blast a generally worthless ability outside of stopping multiple people from capping in Warzones.

Now, you also have to consider what abilities are only useful to certain advanced class. Unload is a very useful ability to Bounty Hunters, but if you are a Powertech, you will find you use it far less than if you are a Mercenary. There are some occasions where Powertechs will use Unload, but they are far more rare than a Mercenary who uses it as a staple in their rotation.

Finally, you have to consider what abilities are only useful to specific specs within each advance class. Taunts for example will be very rarely used as a Pyro Powertech. Power Shot, is a good ability for Mercenaries, but if you are Arsenal, you will find you use it far less than if you were Pyro.

There are a lot of abilities for all classes, and I only used examples from Bounty Hunter to illustrate the point. The key is to figure out which abilities you won't need for your spec, and move them away or take them off your bar all together.

Toogeloo's Avatar

07.21.2012 , 11:23 PM | #3
I should probably mention the Juggernaut since that seems to be your current focus.

First off, you don't need to keep all your forms on your bar, you won't be swapping forms so often that you need to hot key them, or put them in your main focus. If you want them available without opening your Abilities tab, put them off to the side. If you are Immortal, just keep Soresu Form up all the time. If you are Vengeance, Shien. If you are Rage, Shii-Cho. If you are Immortal, you should keep your Guard available to Guard people on the fly, especially if you PvP.

If you plan on DPSing, you won't need your Taunts really. So you can either put those off to the side, or take them off all together.

Depending on what DPS you are, you won't need more than 12 abilities. Taking Vengeance for example, you will want the following abilities as your main 12:

Saber Throw
Force Leap
Sundering Assault
Force Choke
Force Scream
Impale (when you get it)
Shatter (when you get it)
Vicious Throw
Vicious Slash

The rest of your abilities are situational, and can be placed on your secondary bar. You will use Smash only when you need to AoE, which isn't often, as is Sweeping Slash. Force Push is used rarely, and not at all in many Flash Points and Operations. Intercede is useful, but also rarely used.

Your Cooldowns should also be on a secondary bar, but useful for hot-keys. Things like Enrage, Saber Ward, Enraged Defense, and Endure Pain are on such long cooldowns and only used when you need them (Enrage should be used on Cooldown generally, but it doesn't need to be on your main bar).

Juggernauts do have more abilities used in their priorities, especially Vengeance, and when compared to other dps classes, like Arsenal Mercenaries (who really only use 5 staple attacks in their dps rotation). But most classes don't generally exceed 12 abilities used in a rotation/priority.

bobmcbo's Avatar

07.24.2012 , 07:54 PM | #4
I've found that I just need to ignore certain abilities- I pick a few that I expect to use all the time for my "style", then toss the others to the sides, sometimes as backup abilities for those oddball situations
.never forget

Kynesis's Avatar

07.24.2012 , 09:23 PM | #5
You need to understand that a fair portion of the abilities are situational - they're intended for tactical use as opportunities arise.
MMO's are somewhat complicated, it's not done to confuse you; the variety in abilities gives the game depth.

If you're still not getting it, it's probably because in your mind, you're trying to jam this game into one you're already familiar with.
That just won't work.
You're going to have to think... this is a big ask for many people, like it or not the entertainment industry has learned many hard lessons about this, a significant portion of the population really don't like challenges or mental exercise and this is a serious consideration for game makers and movie makers alike.
A lot of games will simply walk you through and pour rewards on you at every turn, no matter what you do (have you noticed the propensity for recent games to absolutely shower players with 'achievements' or the absurd success of boy-bands?)

Go watch some youtube videos of wow and swtor (preferably the ones with commentaries), really look at what people are doing and why they're doing it; Try to understand how it's different from whatever other game your brain is determined to plug swtor into.
Don't just gloss over the abilities, read them and think about why you'd put them into the game (if you were making it).
Find somebody else who's learning the same class, buddy up with them so you can get feedback on what you're doing and how they do things.