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So What *Are* We Going To Ask? July

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Shadow / Assassin
So What *Are* We Going To Ask? July

Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
07.12.2013 , 11:37 AM | #1
Regardless of who actually gets voted as the class rep, that person needs to know what questions the community itself wants answered. Since most of the people that are being recommended are either PvP or PvE focused (or focused upon a specific role over another), it would behoove us, as a community, to actually figure out what questions people want answered/asked, especially for PvP players to figure out the PvE question(s) and PvEers to figure out the PvP question(s).

As such, I'm suggesting that (and beginning) that, every month, a thread be made that we can use to parse out what the most pressing questions in the Shadow/Assassin community are, both PvP and PvE.

Now, I'll readily admit that I have *no* clue what the most pressing concerns for PvP Shadows are. I know that Balance, right now, sucks balls because the utility got gutted and it has no reliable burst and that Shadow tanks are now only really useful for node guarding, but, beyond that, I've got no idea. As such, the questions *I'm* positing are going to be PvE focused. Xinika, waka, and the other that do PvP like nutters, feel free to weigh in on the other side.

My questions are...

(1) Is there any plan to fix the utterly *horrible* implementation of Phase Walk and/or make it useful for Infiltration/Balance? Right now, because it's got the cast, the limited duration, and the enforced downtime no matter what you do, Phase Walk is a mostly useless gimmick, even for KC which gets Shadow's Shelter out of it (the fact that you have to run over to healers to place it every 2.75 minutes means that it's pretty much impossible to use as a tank unless you've got some period of time where you're literally doing *nothing*). Its only purpose, right now, is some cheesy gimmicks in PvP: teleporting back to nodes and instant scoring in Huttball (which, for balance's sake, could be fixed to not be allowed to have you teleport while you've got the Huttball). Even if you *do* use it as an emergency teleport, it's got a 1-1.5 sec delay so you can't even get out of dangerous stuff without getting mauled.

(2) What is the state of analysis/investigation into Shadow tank spikiness and have you guys even *looked* at the prolific amounts of player math done and all of the tools provided? While I admit this is something of a non-question because it's just asking for the combat team to elaborate on what Musco mentioned vaguely, it's a major concern of a lot of players as to whether it will be addressed or if the developers even think it's a problem. At least with this, we could get *some* kind of answer rather than just sitting in the dark.

(3) Is there any plan to provide some improved DPS for Infil and Balance when played at a *reasonable* level of skill? As it stands, the *only* way for Infil or Balance to be played at a competitive level is if they are played *absolutely perfectly*, and, even then, the DPS still lags behind other DPS. When you start getting into levels of skill that can actually be described as a "reasonable assumption of average player capability", DPS *plummets* so that it's noticeably worse than the average performance of other DPS specs. The problem isn't the damage of the specs themselves, but the *absurd* level of precision required to play them to the level that raw theory assumes they play at (i.e. Balance is assumed to reDoT *perfectly* without *ever* clipping ticks and having *no* downtime between reapplications, which just doesn't happen in reality).

(4) Are DPS Shadows *ever* going to get some actually reasonable AoE? Force In Balance is about as close as we get and, even then, it only hits as hard as Force Sweep while on a longer CD. Infiltration has the outright *worst* AoE damage of any DPS spec in the game. Any fight where there is some degree of non-trivial AoE damage required, Shadows are worthless because the only thing we get is Whirling Blow and Whirling Blow is the outright *worst* of the player AoE attacks (based upon damage and comparative resource cost). Honestly, I'd rather have gotten something like Project Storm (put it on a 90 sec CD with a 6 sec channel and do maybe 1.5-2 times the damage of Mortar Volley) than Phase Walk because *that* would have actually shored up one of our biggest weaknesses rather than providing us with a useless gimmick that, even if it *were* implemented properly, would *still* just be a gimmick.

(5) Is the content team *ever* going to test content with Shadow tanks and is there *any* plan to get them to start testing content with more than just the tiny portion of classes/specs that they play as their main characters (re: Guardian tanks!)? Half of the problems with Shadows now can really be traced back to the fact that the developers just *don't* play Shadows and have no clue what the hell is actually going on *in practice*.
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Xinika's Avatar


Xinika
07.12.2013 , 11:59 AM | #2
You've covered the PvE section all well and dandy, so if you will, allow me to add our PvP concerns. I'd like to comment that this round, our PvP concerns are not as awful as some think. As a matter of fact, we're doing decent right now and we're not in need of any exaggerated buffs. All we need is a few minor tune ups here and there but at the same time, we'll need a serious eye on that wonderful spec we call Balance or Madness.


Is there any plan to fix Balance / Madness PvP?
At the given moment, there is virtually no reason to carry this spec in warzones for nothing other than legitimately being useless to the team and spreading fluff damage (which can affect CC caps). At the current state, Balance has no form of actual killpower. In addition, it suffers from force issues just from even trying to get said kill power out.

Things I've noticed:
- The removal of Insta-FL has severely hurt this tree's PvP performance. Re-inserting this ability and perhaps moving such an ability higher up the tree to prevent hybrids is a recommendation.
- A proc that allows Spinning Strike or Shadow Strike to be used at any % of health. When this attack connects, it should either renew dots on said target, or cause X% more damage based upon the amount of dots on a target, or it can simply just restore X amount of force.
- Mental Defense should recover X amount of force in addition to its effect.

These are just a few ideas for the PvP section that hopefully can also bolster PvE without breaking it. I find it interesting how Balance at the moment has virtually no dependency on our signature ability: SS. So, having to put this back into the picture would be going a long and arguably easier route for fixing the tree. The spec itself needs to be able to actually, well, kill things! Right now it is unable to do that and its utility is non-existent.


Are there any plans to ever fix Resilience / Force Shroud?
This is an absolute red-zone at the moment.

Force Shroud / Resilience
Instant
Cooldown: 60s
Removes all hostile removable effects and increases your chance to resist Force and tech attacks by 100% for 3 seconds. Does not break Stealth.

According to the tooltip, it is guaranteeing the players that we have an absolute certainty, that when we pop this ability, we will CLEAR our hostile effects and resist them. When this is not the case, then there is something very, very, very wrong. It's going directly against its design mechanic. It is supposed to be a 100% chance to resist force and tech attacks. If this is not the case, then change the tooltip to what it truly is. Having attacks, mezzes or stuns bypass something based on its design was meant to counter said things, is nothing short of outrageous blind luck and furthermore, infuriating and absolutely gamebreaking. (IE: Node caps, Boss spikes) This either:

A) Needs to be fixed (to 100% ACTUAL resist)
B) Tooltip change to the true value


Are Shadows / Assassins the designated 'Node Guarders'?
A serious, an honest question. Will we ever be able to compete with the Guardian for MTing in mid fight? Or are we just purely designed to be an off-tank and node-staller. Why do I ask this? Well, it's becoming more and more evident as time goes by that Shadowsin survivability is decreasing, while the other tanks are incrasing. So what exactly is the deal here? Will we ever be able to fulfill actual tank roles, or are we meant to do what we've already been silently told?

/Reserved
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bbrooks's Avatar


bbrooks
07.12.2013 , 12:04 PM | #3
On top of buffing the DPS trees as kitru has already mentioned, I would love to hear if they have anything in place to make balance/madness less monotonous like it was pre 2.0. All the fun is gone from the spec, would love to see it put back.
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Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
07.12.2013 , 12:10 PM | #4
Xinika, I think the Resilience question can be delayed a bit because, at the very least, they've discovered *why* it's bugging so asking about it would enlighten the players without actually providing any impetus to get it fixed. That said, which of the two other questions you posited is the biggest PvP concern, in your mind: Balance's performance or the question of and need to address the role of Shadow's in PvP?
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Xinika's Avatar


Xinika
07.12.2013 , 12:12 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
Xinika, I think the Resilience question can be delayed a bit because, at the very least, they've discovered *why* it's bugging so asking about it would enlighten the players without actually providing any impetus to get it fixed. That said, which of the two other questions you posited is the biggest PvP concern, in your mind: Balance's performance or the question of and need to address the role of Shadow's in PvP?
We have an idea of what we're doing in PvP, so if it were to only be one, then it would have to be Balance's performance.
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Leafy_Bug's Avatar


Leafy_Bug
07.12.2013 , 12:16 PM | #6
Excellent questions from both of you. I will tackle Xinika's last question as I do not think it will weigh much to a developer. Change it as you wish but as long as we have cloak and the current skills, shadows will always be the no. 1 pick to guard a node. It is the way the class was designed at the core that relegates us there. If you would remove cloak then the guarding nodes part will fall mostly to scoundrels and operatives. You know clearly well that stealth guarders provide and advantage. Xinika, I see your premise on which you ask this question and in my view, making shadows viable as smashers so to say will not put smashers to guard nodes. Again, the cloak factor comes into play.


Question 1 : From a PVE perspective, what are the criteria employed to measure shadow tank viability in top tier progression raids?


Question 2 : Given the new game direction where content promotes spike damage, what is being done in terms of class balance to allow roughly the same level of confidence when a guild chooses to take a Shadow tank?



Question 3 : As a PVP-er, I notice that DPS and survivability wise, I am behind most classes. Will the gap be addressed or this is a reshaping of the class that promotes the lone wolf attitude where Shadows need to be opportunists and engage weak targets for success?

Xinika's Avatar


Xinika
07.12.2013 , 12:24 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Leafy_Bug View Post
Excellent questions from both of you. I will tackle Xinika's last question as I do not think it will weigh much to a developer. Change it as you wish but as long as we have cloak and the current skills, shadows will always be the no. 1 pick to guard a node. It is the way the class was designed at the core that relegates us there. If you would remove cloak then the guarding nodes part will fall mostly to scoundrels and operatives. You know clearly well that stealth guarders provide and advantage. Xinika, I see your premise on which you ask this question and in my view, making shadows viable as smashers so to say will not put smashers to guard nodes. Again, the cloak factor comes into play.[/COLOR]
Main reason I ask this question is because of something that perhaps, can even extend past just Shadows / Assassins. What I'm fearing at this point is the stagnant, same-old-boring lock of PvP. Shadow just automatically designated to guard nodes, Guardian just automatically designated to MT. I'm wondering if it will ever be possible to reverse these roles, although, stealth generally does have a leg up on node guarding.

IMHO, it would be satisfying to see the day where a Shadow Tank can be equally as dominant as the Guardian Tank midfight and even visa versa with nodes. It's just this dynamism isn't here and it begins somewhere. Again, just one of many questions I'm sure we all have. Balance's performance is more of a priority over this for me.
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dipstik's Avatar


dipstik
07.12.2013 , 12:31 PM | #8
they have stated that time to kill is their tank metric

temarye's Avatar


temarye
07.12.2013 , 01:18 PM | #9
I'd say that since we only have 3 questions, we can elaborate and detail a bit. While E.Musco *probably* reads the forums, the development team *probably* doesn't.

A question like
Quote:
Is there any plan to fix Balance / Madness PvP?
is not specific AT ALL. The *elected* rep should probably add the reasons why we think the spec is broken. Even though it's obvious stuff for those who read the forums, the devs *might* already have fixed it if they knew it was broken...


(YES, I want walls of text for each question !!!)

Leafy_Bug's Avatar


Leafy_Bug
07.12.2013 , 01:20 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by dipstik View Post
they have stated that time to kill is their tank metric

Does getting one shot in 8 man NiM at Thrasher qualify in this?