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DPS operatives in 2.0


Syberduh's Avatar


Syberduh
02.21.2013 , 05:15 AM | #1
Looks like good news for concealment ops. Played a few wzs on the PTS and it's too early to say for sure but it looks like bioware is at least trying to address the issues that have plagued concealment ops -- namely mobility and energy management (but we're also getting a decent dps buff from improvements to lacerate).

First the most obvious change: New ability exfiltrate. Holy crap we have an actual gap closer. So far appears quite nice. Costs 25 energy but has no cooldown. Very useful for getting into or out of melee range. Also nice for moving through traffic while cloaked. An op can actually get to the bridges first in voidstar after the first door is bombed. Can also move you quickly across the map on demand at a speed only rivaled by carnage predation. Overall a very pleasant surprise.

Energy management. Stim boost is essentially gone. The skill still exists but serves a completely different purpose. Its old energy regen buff is now an always-on +1 to energy regen per-second passive ability. THANK GOD. I have no idea what made bioware think it was a good idea to give the class that already had the most difficult energy management a "buff" that required even more energy micromanagement. Anyway those days are behind us. The new stimboost is on a 2 minute cooldown and grants a TA + 10% alacrity when used. Alacrity, btw now shortens the gcd on instants and improves energy regen proportionally. In short, it doesn't suck nearly as much as it used to and may even be good.

More energy management: Lacerate now costs 15 energy instead of 10 but whenever you proc collateral strike you GAIN 10 energy. THANK GOD. Lacerate and collateral strike have sucked since launch (FIVE skill points for a below-average filler attack screw-you-very-much bioware). Now normally this would be a meh-to-nice buff on energy management but . . .

Holy **** lacerate is good now. It now takes 7 skill points to fully buff lacerate but collateral strike now procs 70% of the time with no apparent nerf to damage and NO INTERNAL COOLDOWN. This gives a nice little buff on dps and means that lacerate actually costs on average 15 - (10 * .7) = 8 energy. Now we're freakin talking bioware. Took you a year but now we're finally freakin talking.



Lethality also has some features that look interesting. Way too early to say that operative lethality is viable but it looks very interesting. First off, exfiltrate looks like a major buff towards making lethality the skirmisher/LOS spec that bioware apparently intended in the first place. You can set up your dots from a distance, roll in, cull, and roll out much more effectively than in pre-2.0. With that in mind comes the first interesting skill:

Quickening: 2 skill points. Each time you use exfiltrate you have a 15/30% chance to gain quickening, which makes your next kolto inusion active instantly and cost 0 energy and 0 TA.

Kolto infusion has itself been reworked. It's now on a 9sec cooldown and when cast immediately heals for about half of kolto injection's hp and then an additional ~1.3-1.7x of that amount over the next 9 seconds. Basically it's now a somewhat bigger heal than kolto injection if your target lives for 9 seconds. Basically exfiltrate should give lethality ops more mobility and more survivability. I don't know how well it will work in practice but it looks promising.

Next new ability: Fatality. 3 point skill. Each time you use shiv you have a 20/40/60% chance to gain fatality which makes your next cull cost 0 energy and re-grant tactical advantage. This effect cannot occur more than once every 10 seconds regardless of how many points you invest. Lethality still has no ranged TA generator but this should help mitigate that in combination with exfiltrate. Again I don't know how well it will work in practice.

While we're on the subject of bonuses granted by shiv, there's now a big one in the first tier of the lethality tree. The shiv damage bonus has been replaced by Hit and Run. 2-point-skill. Each time you use shiv you get a 25/50% speed boost for 2 seconds. I imagine every single operative is going to take this skill regardless of spec. The mobility is just too good to pass up. 50% speed boost every 6 seconds is so much better than the sneak "buff" bioware tried to pawn off on us in 1.6.

Anyway back to the lethality-specific skills. The final one is Toxic Regulators. 1 point skill. Your dots no longer tick on players affected by your mezzes. Not quite as amazing as it might seem at first, since it only affects your mezzes. You can still screw up your team's cc =D . . . It does however offer some interesting opening burst for a lethality op. You can open with sleep dart, then apply your dots for free without breaking the mez. Then you can either combat stealth to get a TA from HS or just shiv ---> weakening blast ---> cull (cull again if procced) ---> debilitate ---> explosive probe ---> shiv ---> cull. Way more burst from stealth than the spec has ever seen before.

One interesting idea is to go high enough in the med tree to get the damage debuff on your sleep dart and then open with the above so you're stacking up your dots and your opponent hits with a wet noodle when he comes out of the mez. Unfortunately you have to give up weakening blast in this hybrid. Probably not worth it but veeeery interesting.

tl/dr: too early to tell but there is hope for dps ops for the first time in a long time.

Anyone else have thoughts from the PTS?

Edit:

On the PVE side of things, here's a concealment spec ops boss dummy pass I did with the stock, non-augmented level 69 gear you get on the PTS*:

*Fully buffed with rakata skill stim, but the gear alone gets you to 2500 main stat so the stim isn't nearly as big a deal as it used to be.

http://www.torparse.com/a/141067

2100 dps. If I were better about using orb strike and explosive probe on cooldown and keeping corrosive dart up it probably would have been 2150-2200. Not the 2500 that marauders can apparently do, but at least in the same universe. And this is without augments.

Overall energy management is much easier. You can actually afford to screw up without being energy starved for the rest of the fight.

Edit 2:

The above parse is vs. the ops dummy on my ship which is still level 50. Below is vs. the lvl 55 ops dummy on the fleet.

Pass on the fleet ops dummy for 2025:

http://www.torparse.com/a/142223

I agree that it's probably possible for concealment to be in the 2100-2200 range in un-augmented Arkanian gear with a very tight rotation.
Ushanev Syberjugg<Illegal Test Kitchen>
Because chicks dig orange overcoats and guys who don't die.
And streams. Chicks totally dig streams. I mean, right guys? They do, right?

mulzii's Avatar


mulzii
02.21.2013 , 05:26 AM | #2
looks promising, though when compared to the shadow/sin buffs, these buffs are kinda pitiful. Then factor in the improved sniper stealth detection, so we wont be able to ever approach them in stealth, and that net that wont let us get back into stealth...well, we'll see.

I'm not to thrilled about the gear change either. With the uncap expertise stat, and the fact that the set bonuses will now be on the armoring, we effectively use the 15% crit on backstab/backblast, unless you sacrifice a ton of expertise, which is more useful now.

The split in WZs zones could be ugly, as all these new skills are 51. So the 30-54 range, the 51-54 thinks are gonna destroy everyone in there with these new skills/etc. Dunno why they changed this, lowbie pvp never seemed to imbalanced to me (not like 50's pvp anyway)..

Wainamoinen's Avatar


Wainamoinen
02.21.2013 , 06:34 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by 2.0 Patch Notes
•Guardian: A new ability, Saber Reflect, has been added. Saber Reflect reflects all direct, single target ranged, Force, and Tech damage back to the attacker for 3 seconds. This ability is trainable at level 51.
Say hello to eating your own Backstab, plus Acid Blade - and maybe Orbital Strike plus Corrosive Dart - while a Guaridan/Jugg is Smashing/Force Screaming/Vicious Throwing you. That's going to hurt. Expect this to be auto-used on knockdown too, so bye-bye bursting them.

Quote: Originally Posted by 2.0 Patch Notes
•Gunslinger: A new passive ability, Ready for Anything, has been added. Ready for Anything increases stealth detection while in cover, building up to 30 additional levels of stealth detection over 30 seconds. The effect ends when leaving cover.
30 levels is massive. Sneak only boosts Stealth by 15. Sneaking up on Gunslingers/Snipers is going to be rarer. They get the chance to pop you out of stealth from range, so no opener.

And then Shadows gert a teleport too. Though that's more designed to rub our noses in it, rather than directly neuter dps scoundrel/ops. And of course Smash is untouched, because that's a balanced spec and ability.

May not be as bad as it seems at first look. Guess I'll see what happens on PTS.
It's a small world and it smells funny, I'd buy another if it wasn't for the money.
Ilmarinen 55 Scoundrel (Red Eclipse)

NoTomorrow's Avatar


NoTomorrow
02.21.2013 , 06:48 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Wainamoinen View Post
Say hello to eating your own Backstab, plus Acid Blade - and maybe Orbital Strike plus Corrosive Dart - while a Guaridan/Jugg is Smashing/Force Screaming/Vicious Throwing you. That's going to hurt. Expect this to be auto-used on knockdown too, so bye-bye bursting them.


30 levels is massive. Sneak only boosts Stealth by 15. Sneaking up on Gunslingers/Snipers is going to be rarer. They get the chance to pop you out of stealth from range, so no opener.

And then Shadows gert a teleport too. Though that's more designed to rub our noses in it, rather than directly neuter dps scoundrel/ops. And of course Smash is untouched, because that's a balanced spec and ability.

May not be as bad as it seems at first look. Guess I'll see what happens on PTS.
it only reflects the direct damage attacks, no AoE.
Personally, as a sniper i am looking forward to staying in cover and busting stealthers. It's time for our payback. The electronet is a very very welcomed addition. Stealth finally gets balanced in this game.
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
Scatter Bombs are meant to be a fun bit of extra damage that occurs when you roll into or away from the action. That said, we’re okay with you trapping an unsuspecting enemy for a “wall bang” every now and then.

Syberduh's Avatar


Syberduh
02.21.2013 , 06:50 AM | #5
Orb strike is AOE so exempt from the damage reflection. Acid blade and corrosive dart are dots rather than direct damage so I suspect they're exempt too though I haven't tested it. Save your backstab until you've debilitated or flashbanged.

The only time snipers will get the full stealth detect buff is when one of them is node guarding (or your team is already getting roflstomped). 30 lvls of stealth detect is huge but 30 seconds sitting in one spot is an eternity. A shadow is still going to be a better node guard than a sniper so I'm not too worried about seeing sniper guards on serious teams.

Engineering snipers also lost a big buff to their shield probe so they'll be easier pickings for stealth.
Ushanev Syberjugg<Illegal Test Kitchen>
Because chicks dig orange overcoats and guys who don't die.
And streams. Chicks totally dig streams. I mean, right guys? They do, right?

NoTomorrow's Avatar


NoTomorrow
02.21.2013 , 07:11 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Syberduh View Post
Orb strike is AOE so exempt from the damage reflection. Acid blade and corrosive dart are dots rather than direct damage so I suspect they're exempt too though I haven't tested it. Save your backstab until you've debilitated or flashbanged.

The only time snipers will get the full stealth detect buff is when one of them is node guarding (or your team is already getting roflstomped). 30 lvls of stealth detect is huge but 30 seconds sitting in one spot is an eternity. A shadow is still going to be a better node guard than a sniper so I'm not too worried about seeing sniper guards on serious teams.

Engineering snipers also lost a big buff to their shield probe so they'll be easier pickings for stealth.
From my own experience i don't need to reposition often while being part of the big zerg. There is always somebody to shoot in my line of sight. I will have a pretty damn huge stealth detection bonus to flush you out.

Engineering has higher survivability because of having double shield probes and the huge 6% DR bonus while in cover.
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
Scatter Bombs are meant to be a fun bit of extra damage that occurs when you roll into or away from the action. That said, we’re okay with you trapping an unsuspecting enemy for a “wall bang” every now and then.

Syberduh's Avatar


Syberduh
02.21.2013 , 07:21 AM | #7
And they used to have a 30% buff to each of those double shield probes. Effectively the loss of that buff to shield probe is 3000+ hp up in smoke. I've heard about it quite a bit from my engineering sniper friend =D
Ushanev Syberjugg<Illegal Test Kitchen>
Because chicks dig orange overcoats and guys who don't die.
And streams. Chicks totally dig streams. I mean, right guys? They do, right?

Wainamoinen's Avatar


Wainamoinen
02.21.2013 , 07:35 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Syberduh View Post
Orb strike is AOE so exempt from the damage reflection. Acid blade and corrosive dart are dots rather than direct damage so I suspect they're exempt too though I haven't tested it. Save your backstab until you've debilitated or flashbanged.
Hopefully, you're right, we'll see what's covered by their definition of "direct", and whether there are any odd kinks to how it works. Bottom line is JGs/SJs will pop it when we burst, so we're gong to be eating our own burst a fair amount against these guys, not fun. And waiting on stun or mez before using the only reapplication of acid blade out of stealth isn't really an option I relish.

Quote: Originally Posted by Syberduh View Post
30 lvls of stealth detect is huge but 30 seconds sitting in one spot is an eternity.
Not so much for a sniper - they are already the game's bunch of immobile bunkers, and this is probably a big boost for their defences. If one can find a good spot and set up - whether on node defence or any other position they can sit and control terrain (huttball walkway over mid, Alderaan mid battle) they'll be able to spot and pick off stealthers moving through/around nearby, not just those coming to gank them. No more healthy, pulse-racing paranoia that I'm behind them about to blow their heads off.

As ever though, the proof is in the playing. Getting a forward roll as our big buff fills me to the brim with "meh", but I'll have to try it before I can really decide.

edit: On the positive side, bubblestun is going caster only. That will be a blessed relief.
It's a small world and it smells funny, I'd buy another if it wasn't for the money.
Ilmarinen 55 Scoundrel (Red Eclipse)

Wainamoinen's Avatar


Wainamoinen
02.21.2013 , 07:43 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by NoTomorrow View Post
Personally, as a sniper i am looking forward to staying in cover and busting stealthers. It's time for our payback. The electronet is a very very welcomed addition. Stealth finally gets balanced in this game.
Sounds like I should make full use of the time until patch 2.0
It's a small world and it smells funny, I'd buy another if it wasn't for the money.
Ilmarinen 55 Scoundrel (Red Eclipse)

NoTomorrow's Avatar


NoTomorrow
02.21.2013 , 07:52 AM | #10
No! The developers have thought it out very well, read:

You will be able to see how many stacks sniper already has. It's in his buff bars. That basically means how close you can come to him before he detects you.
Having +5 stealth (is that how much you can get from your talents now?) + sneak = that means already 15m. So if he has 15 stacks, and you have sneak and the +5 talent, then you are both at 0.

If he has full 30 stacks, then the closest distance he will spot you with sneak and +5stealth, will be 15m, since you have the new jump, you need to come into 15m range without being detected, then jump with your new skill, which is 12m, and suddenly you are within 4m range for your hidden strike.

So theoretically, you should still be capable to open on the sniper. Even with 30 stacks of stealth detection. However, should you not have sneak availalbe, or just not have the +5 stealth skill taken, you will be seen from the range equal to the amount of stacks he has accumulated. More stacks = the further he will be able to spot you. As you can see, it's actually a very small sniper buff, the only change that it did, is forced you to save the sneak for them and not waste somewhere else.

It basically makes this match-up a little bit more balanced by giving snipers some more fighting chance against you. It demands just a little more effort from the concealment player.

By no means will stealthers be entitled to say that snipers are countering them, or something like that.
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
Scatter Bombs are meant to be a fun bit of extra damage that occurs when you roll into or away from the action. That said, we’re okay with you trapping an unsuspecting enemy for a “wall bang” every now and then.