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[SAGE] Elidhu's 2.0 PTS Review

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Sage / Sorcerer
[SAGE] Elidhu's 2.0 PTS Review

Garell's Avatar


Garell
02.22.2013 , 12:07 PM | #1
[SAGE] Elidhu's 2.0 PTS Review Aimed at Devs and Players!

Hello all!
I'd like to review the sage changes and give an overview of how well each of the more common specs are performing from a PVE point of view.

Accuracy:
Firstly i'd like to briefly cover the implementation of the accuracy/resist system for sages/sorcs. I believe that this is a good change for the gearing system for force users as this system has been present in other previous MMORPG's as hit/spell hit. From what I have researched doing parses on the PTS, the resist mechanic occupies part of the combat table and I think it equates to 10% before talents/skills/gear. Therefore sages will need to acquire 6% accuracy from gear which is roughly 435 Accuracy rating. This is because we already get 3% from the “Inner Strength” talent at the bottom of the telekinetics tree and 1% from companions. Once you reach this accuracy level your abilities have a 0% chance to be resisted. However, if you do not reach that level, your abilities have a chance to be completely mitigate and not affect the target at all. This means that if I cast Force in Balance on the target and it is resisted, then the target does not suffer any damage and is not effected by the Force Suppression debuff stacks.
This is exactly why I believe that hitting the 10% mark is the most important secondary stat for sages as of 2.0.
With abilities like Telekinetic Throw the chance to resist is rolled on each of the 4 ticks, so even if you resist the first you may well hit with all others. This occurrence isn't a big deal because all you lose is the damage from 1 TT tick, the chance to proc POM and some force regen. However, having your Force in Balance resisted with it's 15sec cooldown would mean losing out on the full damage from both the initial hit and the increased DoT damage from force suppression stacks. This IS a big deal!
I did a 30min parse on the lvl 55 Ops dummy on fleet and only spammed TT for the full duration(yes my hand hurts). I had removed all of my accuracy gear leaving me with 104% accuracy from talents and companion. The results: http://www.torparse.com/a/140582/6/0/Damage+Dealt
The results show that over a period of 30mins and 2499 ticks of TT that 6.2% of those ticks “missed” or were “resisted” and did not land on the target. Allowing for a few outlying iterations, I believe the resist chance to be 6%, thus confirming my initial theory.

So I do fully believe that sages should be aiming for 110% accuracy.

Force Armor:
I believe that removing the cooldown enables a dps sage to be much more usefull in a group situation through giving us more utility.

DoTs:
Increase to DoT damage was a must to be honest and I am in complete agreement about the change.

Mental Alacrity:
Having this cooldown available for all specs was a brilliant idea! With the reworking of alacrity in the expansion, this cooldown really enables sages to utilise the new system, be it for damage increase, burst healing or merely increased regen!

Disturbance:
I believe that the increased cost and damage for disturbance was an important change to make. Telekinetics was far too force positive and I hope that this change willmake force management more of an issue with that spec. However, I do believe that the crit damage boost from the “Reverberation” talent at the top of the TK tree is the only thing that makes the ability a viable option over TT. In both the hybrid and full balance specs, I can only see it being used as a way to refresh “Telekinetic Focal Point” when on the move or in danger of the buff falling off. Using it on POM procs is still a dps loss, not to mention that it makes you force negative.

TK abilities:
The damage increase to turbulence, telekinetic wave and disturbance in the TK tree was a much needed change to bring the telekinetics spec closer to other advanced classes in terms of dps. The additional burst allows for a nice change of pace and strategy from playing low-burst specs like full balance or hybrid.

Healing Trance:
I always felt that this ability, no matter what utility it brought to a sage healing was slightly weak for an ability with a 9sec cooldown(no 4-set). So the increase was a welcome one. It eliminates the feeling of having to use the ability to maintain force even in a situation where you would much rather use a deliverance or benevolence.

Seer Talents:
Good job BW! I was very happy with the “resplendence” change to enable to choice between a faster cast AoE or a number of NS force taps without force regen debuff. Giving the class the ability to choose was a great move. The increased channel time on Healing Trance makes the ability viable in low-health situations where the next hit may kill, and casting a full benevolence or deliverance would be too slow. Life Ward was a talent that on paper did not excite me all that much from a PVE stand point, however using the healing from force armor to negate the health loss through noble sacrifice was smooth and very efficient. Psychic Suffusion at the bottom of the seer tree was a nice surprise and not a change that I expected at all! I made good use of this ability yesterday and was very impressed. Although the numbers were only hitting 2.5k on a crit, the ability does not have a maximum amount of targets making it viable for 16-man healing and also is so low in the healing tree, that it may even be a utility spell that I take to assist the raid while running as a dps.

Telekinetic Talents:
I was very happy to see the change to Tidal Force, increasing the cooldown but also the chance to proc from disturbance and the addition of turbulence. I believe this has reduced the “proc-watching” feel to this spec, based on RNG. Being able to almost know when the proc will occur allows you to better time your burst for specific parts of an encounter at a desired time. I was not however happy with the implementation of more talents like “upheaval”. This means that there are now 3 talents in a single tree that enable the change to proc a second attack on an ability(4 total). This means that there is massive room for RNG and a large diversity in damage output for the spec over short durations.

Balance Talents:
I am partially happy with the increase of the stack count from 10 to 15 on force suppression, as this does allow the full durations of WM and MC to full tick out and all be effected by the stacks. However, I can't help but feel that the change has lowered the skill cap by removing a timing requirement to really squeeze as much out of sages as possible. But I also believe that a simpler “rotation” will lead to better raid awareness and am therefore happy I am happy with the straight increase to DoT damage through drain thoughts as this puts more emphasis on the portion of damage which makes the tree what it is. Having TT spam do nearly 70% of our damage was way too high, so I am very glad to see that begin to change. The addition of “Rippling Force” however, contradicts that thought. The “Telekinetic Focal Point” talent was another great addition to the tree. Having the extra job of maintaining stacks increased the skill cap of the class as well as promotes the use of disturbance in certain situations. I believe the utility talents “Metaphysical Alacrity” and “Mental Defense” near the top of the tree are aimed more towards PvP but I believe that they may have their uses in certain situations, but altogether not a change that I believe was particularly necessary from a PVE POV. The change to containment falls under the same header. Having the ability not instant cast any more will not have a significant effect like it may have in PvP.

Thoughts on Healing Sage:
Overall this is the spec that I have actually had the most time to test as I ran through SM Scum & Villainy last night predominantly as a healer. I have to admit it has made me even more eager to play dps and healer equally. The changes both in talents and through abilities have increased the diversity of the spec with the implementation of choices in situations where you would normally have to follow a rather regimented healing path. For a role that is based partially upon feeling and trying to pre-empt incoming damage the changes have unlocked new ways to manipulate situations and the skill cap has been raised as a bi-product.

Thoughts on full Telekinetics dps:
The spec has gained some much-needed burst control, but has also taken a back step with the addition of even more RNG based damage increases. One thing that did concern me was that the rotation really hasn't changed all that much. Unlike the other dps specs, telekinetics has not gained the mental alacrity cooldown and therefore has not altered at all.

Through testing on the lvl 55 dummy on the fleet running a gear set with 109.97 accuracy and a mix of other stats with the limited starter gear available, I have managed to maintain roughly 2350dps with no armor debuff. This is however the spec that I am least proficient in and the results may be bettered by a more experienced TK sage.

Thoughts on full Balance:
The spec has had very little changes to the playstyle other than the additon of a stack that needs to be tracked and the alacrity cooldown, but the dps output of the spec has made leaps and bounds towards becoming competitive against some of the higher parsing classes like sentinels and vanguards.

Through testing I have managed to maintain 2400dps with no armor debuff, but this is also not the spec that I play most frequently so I fully expect people to parse higher in the same level of gear.

Thoughts on Tele/Bala Hybrid: My thoughts on this spec are exactly the same as with full Balance. The gameplay has not changed but the dps output has become more competative.

Through testing I managed to maintain 2500dps with no armor debuff. Hybrid is the spec that i play most and I believe that I can rival most with it.

The results I have found are obviously very preliminary and until the content goes live and I can redo the testing with more complimentary gear sets, the results must be taken with a pinch of salt and are in no way stated by me as fact!

I do however feel confident enough to say that all 3 dps specs are viable for the content currently out on the PTS and it would be beneficial for people to become schooled and efficient in playing all 3 and change spec according to whatever boss or game mechanics you come up against.

I hope this hasn't been too boring and that game developers and players alike gained something from reading this.

/Elidhu

Embrace the Rage!!!

Jizones's Avatar


Jizones
02.22.2013 , 04:03 PM | #2
Thanks for the hard work and awesome input. I was talking to you on the fleet today about some stuff. I made a new toon since mine wouldn't copy and was playing around today. We discussed the inclusion/exclusion of disturbance in the hybrid build. You say that it is a dps loss to fish for Telekinetic Wave with it, so maybe I'm missing something. Using POM to cast disturbance looks like a 25% damage increase vs two ticks of TK throw. Couple that with a 60% chance to proc an instant TK Wave which is probably at least 30% more damage than two more ticks of TK throw (they have different crit % and I didn't do the exact math). So 60% of the time you are going to do close to 30% more damage than one channel of TK throw. The other 40%, you are going to do 25% more damage over ~1.4 seconds. Am I missing something here or is my math wrong?
Buddy Longsaber - Sage DPS
The Shadowlands
Member of Old Republic Dads

Garell's Avatar


Garell
02.22.2013 , 04:50 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Jizones View Post
Thanks for the hard work and awesome input. I was talking to you on the fleet today about some stuff. I made a new toon since mine wouldn't copy and was playing around today. We discussed the inclusion/exclusion of disturbance in the hybrid build. You say that it is a dps loss to fish for Telekinetic Wave with it, so maybe I'm missing something. Using POM to cast disturbance looks like a 25% damage increase vs two ticks of TK throw. Couple that with a 60% chance to proc an instant TK Wave which is probably at least 30% more damage than two more ticks of TK throw (they have different crit % and I didn't do the exact math). So 60% of the time you are going to do close to 30% more damage than one channel of TK throw. The other 40%, you are going to do 25% more damage over ~1.4 seconds. Am I missing something here or is my math wrong?
Nono you math is probably right. There is also the problem with force regen. I beleive using Disturbance on the spare POM procs makes you force negative. I'll take a look at the spec tomorrow

Hakkology's Avatar


Hakkology
02.23.2013 , 02:57 AM | #4
Thank you for this wonderful review.

I can add a couple of things as a telekinetics sage.

I also had a chance to observe the skill tree, with the new project talent coming in, Project can take the place of Mind Crush within our rotation.

I always believed that Mind Crush has a too long casting time and project might have a better dps/casttime ratio ( Cast time for project is the GCD. ) value unless the player goes for high alacrity. Now its clear that Bioware doesn't want telekinetic sages to use Mind Crush, GCD decreasing with alacrity and upheavel amongst our talents.

I feel a little offended actually, our skill tree cooldown ( Mental Alacrity ) is now used by all other sage skill trees which is good for others. However, telekinetics sage required something new, something to make the RDPS more interesting in its current state. It could be the only skill tree amongst classes with only "two" new skills to use.
Hakko of the Red Eclipse ( Telekinetics Sage )

Garell's Avatar


Garell
02.23.2013 , 03:37 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Hakkology View Post
Thank you for this wonderful review.

I can add a couple of things as a telekinetics sage.

I also had a chance to observe the skill tree, with the new project talent coming in, Project can take the place of Mind Crush within our rotation.

I always believed that Mind Crush has a too long casting time and project might have a better dps/casttime ratio ( Cast time for project is the GCD. ) value unless the player goes for high alacrity. Now its clear that Bioware doesn't want telekinetic sages to use Mind Crush, GCD decreasing with alacrity and upheavel amongst our talents.

I feel a little offended actually, our skill tree cooldown ( Mental Alacrity ) is now used by all other sage skill trees which is good for others. However, telekinetics sage required something new, something to make the RDPS more interesting in its current state. It could be the only skill tree amongst classes with only "two" new skills to use.
Hmm that is a very interesting idea. I've not tried substituting out mind crush completely. I'll have to try it myself. My only qualm with that is thst there are still talents like Mental Momentum in the TK tree which directly benefits mind crush.

Hakkology's Avatar


Hakkology
02.23.2013 , 04:08 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Garell View Post
Hmm that is a very interesting idea. I've not tried substituting out mind crush completely. I'll have to try it myself. My only qualm with that is thst there are still talents like Mental Momentum in the TK tree which directly benefits mind crush.
You are absolutely right, i should have read Mental Momentum more carefully. So does this mean we also implement Project in our rotation ? That's a good addition. Mind Crush does have a long cooldown and Project would be a great filler compared to disturbance, with Upheavel and lower GCD times.

I'm also not sure if project can cope with the new improved disturbance. Would be great if this could be tested with the telekinetics tree.

Again thank you for all the reviews you wrote, they have been very helpful.
Hakko of the Red Eclipse ( Telekinetics Sage )

adiwantinova's Avatar


adiwantinova
02.23.2013 , 08:28 AM | #7
Great review. Thanks for writing this up.

Question: As a seer sage now, what secondary statistics do you foresee being paramount?

I was thinking something like:

Alacrity: ~10%
Crit: 35-40%
Surge: 65-70%
Power: dump the rest

Goal: Make sure to proc Resplendence on HT to give instant cast Salvation, and quicker deliverance. Alacrity assists with force management (as does the high crit for Resplendence and using those stacks for Force management).

P.S. I'm sure this makes sense for PVE, but I'm mostly talking about PVP.

Thanks & thoughts?
ADI-WAN TINOVA
Adi-Wan, Sentinel | Theresee, Sage | Kahlvin, Guardian
The Shadowlands | <RotJ> | <Triumph>

Garell's Avatar


Garell
02.23.2013 , 08:57 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by adiwantinova View Post
Great review. Thanks for writing this up.

Question: As a seer sage now, what secondary statistics do you foresee being paramount?

I was thinking something like:

Alacrity: ~10%
Crit: 35-40%
Surge: 65-70%
Power: dump the rest

Goal: Make sure to proc Resplendence on HT to give instant cast Salvation, and quicker deliverance. Alacrity assists with force management (as does the high crit for Resplendence and using those stacks for Force management).

P.S. I'm sure this makes sense for PVE, but I'm mostly talking about PVP.

Thanks & thoughts?
Yeah that looks about right to me. In theory when we're hitting the DR curves the stat ratios should be pretty similar to what we run in 1.7

Divona's Avatar


Divona
02.23.2013 , 09:56 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by adiwantinova View Post
Great review. Thanks for writing this up.

Question: As a seer sage now, what secondary statistics do you foresee being paramount?

I was thinking something like:

Alacrity: ~10%
Crit: 35-40%
Surge: 65-70%
Power: dump the rest

Goal: Make sure to proc Resplendence on HT to give instant cast Salvation, and quicker deliverance. Alacrity assists with force management (as does the high crit for Resplendence and using those stacks for Force management).

P.S. I'm sure this makes sense for PVE, but I'm mostly talking about PVP.

Thanks & thoughts?
You should head to PTS before trying to get those stats ;D

You can not get nowhere near those stats. Crit and surge got lowered alot along with alacrity.

To get even 35% crit is not possible unless full 72 gear in pve. Let alone with alacrity 10% same time. Things will change alot in 2.0
The Division Dev:
I will say this. Video games have a business side as well as the creative side. This is necessary to function and only time will tell what the future of the game is.

adiwantinova's Avatar


adiwantinova
02.23.2013 , 10:17 AM | #10
I've played it.

Yes, they got nerfed. I'm only a couple of pieces into the pvp grind with my old 50 stuff, and I'm already to 5% alacrity.

It's also hard to tell what the augment strategy will be, but therein lies a lot of potential to buffer some stats outside of the gear itself to increase these values.

Also, skill point investments make a difference here too. Lots of options to backfill surge outside of the gear itself (6% increase talented, I think).

It's all new, but basically the mentality would be to:

(1) Max alacrity, then
(2) Shoot for the highest crit value, then
(3) Backfill surge to max heal burst, and then
(4) Settle for power.

Right? I mean, Resplendence proc on healing trance is going to make our break you as an effective healer in 2.0, I would think. When you're laying down heals off cool downs, then it means your regen is critically important now.

In 1.7, the approach has been basically to shoot for ~30% (buffed) crit %, then to minimize alacrity & stack power/surge, with WP augments + PVE armorings to supplement HP / crit / healing power.
ADI-WAN TINOVA
Adi-Wan, Sentinel | Theresee, Sage | Kahlvin, Guardian
The Shadowlands | <RotJ> | <Triumph>