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what are the 3 changes you need to see in the Merc class?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Commando / Mercenary
what are the 3 changes you need to see in the Merc class?

Phrase's Avatar

07.26.2013 , 07:58 PM | #21
1) Would the design team be willing to reduce the CD of Kolto Missile to 0 (same effect as Healing Scan) while Supercharged Gas is active?

2) What is the design intent for Kolto Jets?

3) What is the design philosophy behind resource management for Bodyguards and how might the design team address concerns from the community that Bodyguard resource management has a much tighter window than other healers?

The Bastion

Hxxr's Avatar

07.26.2013 , 08:12 PM | #22
Quote: Originally Posted by odawgg View Post
Why have you changed the 4pc eliminator set bonus away from helping with heat management, isn't there another way to balance pyrotech spec without a QoL debuff?
When there are things to ask such as heat costs for any and all our damage over time effect or why Pyrotech sucks so much in general. Why there's no armor debuff (our only utility) for Pyrotech when the other two classes that come with it can apply it no matter which spec they choose. And how does one justify a much more unforgiving resource system but less damage compared to those other classes which I don't want to name here.

And for Pyrotech going back to the old 4p would an outright nerf - not that it matters a lot with the state the spec is in right now. I personally have no issue with more damage on Rail Shot and heat neutral cost instead of effectively regenerating some heat.
Quote: Originally Posted by Rtwozero View Post
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Leylea's Avatar

07.26.2013 , 10:59 PM | #23
The main points to discuss from my arsenal dps PoV is DPS and raid utility.

In my opinion the merc cant keep up with snipers in dps. I really hate the idea of the merc being a 'hybrid class' and always getting to hear that snipers and maros should do more dmg than the other classes, because the 'hybrid classes' have other advantages. But i cant really heal effectivly in boss fights AND keep my dps up. Im not just loosing GCDs but the most important think that im loosing heat and mess up my whole heat management by emergency healings. The alleged dps classes have the most damage potential AND the best raid utility abilties.

So why should u take a merc as a range class with u in heavy dps fights with hard enrage timers, while e.g. snipers do a much better job here?

BW should either raise our dps or give us 'unique' raid utility which doesnt diminish our dps that much (or both).

My suggestions according to dps would be to 'repair' the heatmanagement (by giving us back the old heat costs + bonus) and lower the cds of power surge, TSO and electro net.
Making the merc rotation less rnd is also a good thing i suppose (although i personally dont have such big problems with that), and i really like the idea with the +% procc buff on tracer lock. To carry this idea on i would suggest to give a buff on railshot which 'transforms' the used tracer locks. This would give a certain buff which increases the procc chance of the next tracer missle by x% of each tracer lock used for the rs. This would fit pretty good in the merc rotation since u would higher the chance on a barrage procc significantly after rs.

Relating to utility, make the tracer locks not only cast healing scan faster but also reduce the energy costs or dont remove the stacks, that u can at least use ur railshot with full stacks. Or u could introduce a 'high' tree skill in arsenal specc that makes each healing cast combined with power surge for free. This would give the arsenal dps a good opportunity to be a real support for the healers as the 'oh-****-helper'.

To vary a little more the rotation and make the merc a little more interesting to play BW chould also realize these ideas above by other buffs or abilities than tracer missle resp. traver lock (i would like to see eg. missle blast in our rotation or at least as a kind of option).

Last but not least i really like the idea of that jetpack action. This would be so epic. Or some other 'sytle' stuf ... if i had a wish for free at this point i would give us mercs a rocket launcher ability like the one blizz had or we had in the good old ilum pvp area to shoot down the vehicles. THIS would be awesome.

So in the end i try to summarize my ideas up to these 3 'questions' although i think this will never satisfy all the suggestions that have been made:

Dear Devs,
'why did u nerf the arsenal mercs heatmanagement that much and didnt give us cylinder related set boni?'
'why did u decide to give the mercs such high timers on their offensive cds (in particular our new dmg cd electro net)?'
'why did u decide to make heal casts so expensive/long for dps speccs and weaken their dps that much while healing and supporting the raid?'

AMightyKnight's Avatar

07.27.2013 , 03:46 AM | #24
Quote: Originally Posted by odawgg View Post
- Why does this spec have such heavy RNG, would you consider increasing the proc rate of barrage in any way?
Not increasing, this would be a damage buff and we are not allowed to do as much dps as Slingers and Sentinels.
I would try something like: "would you consider a more consistent proc rate of Barrage without further dps loss?"

Quote: Originally Posted by odawgg View Post
- Why have you changed the 4pc eliminator set bonus away from helping with heat management, isn't there another way to balance pyrotech spec without a QoL debuff?
I would emphasize our problems with the new bonus.

Are you aware that the 4pc eliminator set bonus results in noticably less dps and entails severe ammo managing issues for Gunnery players, isnt there another way to Balance pryotech spec withotu a QoL debuff?

Has BW said anything yet about the length of those questions? Are we allowed to explain all of this further?
Benaiah Abihail @T3M4 Ahdino Abishai
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ArchangelLBC's Avatar

07.27.2013 , 01:19 PM | #25
Since you guys go first, I'll post my concerns here. Did it on the commando forum as well, and I'll try to use Merc terminology. I will note that when I first asked Eric about these questions he encouraged us to make the questions extremely thorough, so I feel like every question should have as much background as possible.

1) Ammo/Heat management (possibly arsenal only?): In PVE, in order to maximize your DPS you often have to push your heat and ammo to very limit in order to stay decently competitive. Screwing up however can be extremely detrimental and lead to a large DPS loss right when you need it the most. This has mostly been an issue since 2.0 with the combination of the change in 4 piece eliminator's set bonus and the slight nerfing of upgraded arsenal/special muntions which changed the reduction on Rail Shot/High Impact Bolt from 1 point spent for an 8 heat/ammo cost reduction to 3 points spent for a 6 heat/ammo cost reduction. These have combined to make ammo management so much tougher, with no significant increase in damage. In fact, those who continue to use the old 4 piece set bonus over the new one continue to parse as well or better than when they use the new 4 piece set bonus despite hte loss of 64 aim (plus a 14% bonus from buffs). This seems just silly. My question then is would it be possible to improve ammo management for gunnery/arsenal slightly? There are several very simple fixes. One would be to combine the old and new set bonuses so that both DPS specs benefit a lot from it, as opposed to one favoring assault/pyro and one favoring gunnery/arsenal. Another would be to change the effect of Upgraded Arsenal/Special munitions to reduce the cost of Rail Shot/High Impact Bolt by 5 per point instead of 3. I'm sure the devs can think of other ways, but regardless of what the best way to fix it is, this is definitely an issue, and I think the biggest one confronting PVE damage. Also, this is a commando exclusive issue, but you guys get to go first, so could you please point out that commandos can't see exactly how much ammo they have? It's really freaking annoying.

2) My second issue now would be the plethora of abilities whose benefit is all out of proportion with their usability. To me the biggest culprits are: Tech Override/Power Surge, Adrenaline Rush/Kolto Overload, Plasma Grenade/Fusion Missile, and Reserve Powercell/Thermal Sensor Override.

Tech Override/Power Surge: I've touched on this already, and Cash practically led the charge on this and RP back when 2.0 was on the PTS, but 1 instant cast every 2 minutes baseline (2 consecutive instant casts every 90 seconds in gunnery) is just awful for a level 46 ability. It does literally nothing to help us do more damage or be more ammo/heat efficient in PVE, and it's the tiniest of bandaids in PVP when trying to cast under pressure. I've almost always used it to get an instant cast concussion round/concussion missile off in either environment. The talent in gunnery/arsenal is nice, but I'd honestly rather have that buff applied to RP/TSO in PVE, whereas two instant CBs/PSs in PVP Assault/Pyro (assuming they fix that tree) would be pretty nice. Either way the cooldown is way way too long for the benefit it provides, and if they insist on only 1 to 2 instant casts then the cooldown needs to be dropped to 60 seconds. If they insist on a 2 minute baseline cooldown the effect should last for 10-12 seconds and I'd like to see it come with a cost reduction for all ammo skills while active. Not make everything free, but maybe a 50% cost to ammo/heat spending skills or increased ammo regen for the duration. Better yet give us an actual offensive cooldown. Give me battle focus/explosive fuel. I will rock faces with it.

Plasma Grenade/Fusion Missile: The only real problems with this skill is its ridiculous cost. It has the cost of a spammable low damage 5 target AoE like Hail of Bolts or Sweeping Blasters, but a 30 second cooldown, and only hits three targets. It really is pretty awesome for single target damage so I don't even mind the low target threshold, especially since its in keeping with other grenade/missile abilities, but the cost needs to be cut in half at least. Actually giving it a cost of 8-10 ammo would help our ammo out quite nicely since I'm sure both DPS specs would be using it on cooldown and something like a good damage ammo neutral ability would help address the above issue nicely. Generally to keep an ability from being OP it either has a decent length cooldown or an absurd cost. PG/FM has both, and that is dumb.

Adrenaline Rush/Kolto Overload: A 90 second effect which, when you are below 30% health triggers a semi hot on you for 8 seconds which constantly tries to heal you up to, but not exceeding, 30% health, and then triggers a 3 minute cooldown. Are you serious? This is an ability that is literally only used because its there and is psychologically better than nothing. I would be hard pressed to find an ability in this entire game whose effect and usefulness was more out of all proportion with its cooldown. I have no clue why this ability was reworked, but it needs to be reworked again. With a 3 minute cooldown it should trigger immediately and keep healing you for all 8 seconds. Even as good as that would be I would argue the cooldown should be 2 minutes instead of 3, but even so, an adrenaline rush that worked like that would actually have some very nice survivability uses in both PVE and PVP. Note that it wouldn't allow us to cheese big hits that are supposed to one shot us since if we take more damage in one instant than we have HP we die regardless, but its applications for making lives easier on healers are just endless. I understand that VGs/PTs have a talent which makes it better, but that talent could be changed and I think they'd be fine with an overall much better adrenaline rush.

Reserve Powercell/Thermal Sensor Override: Again the effect is nice but we get exactly one free ability every 2 minutes (90 seconds if you're in assault), which is the teeniest tiniest band aid to ammo management ever. Again, if you're only gonna allow it to work on one ability, lower the cooldown to a minute. If you're going to keep the 2 minute cooldown, then give me 10 seconds of absolute free casting. Personally the former option seems more balanced, but either way this and Tech Override feel more like abilities I'd see in a Final Fantasy MMO than like anything else in SWTOR.

I would like to know if any of the above abilities could be reworked to make them more usable and bring them more in line with other cooldowns and abilities in the game.

3) Assault/Pyro is broken. In PVP you're always better off going gunnery/arsenal. Always. In PVE, while people can make the spec viable they do so by putting only 33 points into the tree because Assault Plastique/Thermal Detonator was reworked to be so very very horrible. The optimal rotation is to simply skil Unload/Full Auto altogether and just spam Charged Bolts/Power Shot and use HiB/RS whenever they get the proc, while mixing in Incendiary Round/Missile as ammo/heat allow. Doesn't it say bad things about class design when this spec is so obviously broken?
In update 2.9 the game will simply uninstall itself for you.


odawgg's Avatar

07.27.2013 , 01:59 PM | #26
You're making me read too much Arch! haha j/k...nice input

ArchangelLBC's Avatar

07.28.2013 , 02:20 AM | #27
They're taking two weeks per AC. Might as well not settle for once sentence questions. Make em earn those paychecks.
In update 2.9 the game will simply uninstall itself for you.


odawgg's Avatar

07.28.2013 , 03:32 PM | #28
I think the most difficult decision for me isn't the questions themselves, cuz there's a lot of them, some more important than others...but which specs in particular to address first....for instance, do we focus on making our best spec better (arsenal), since it still needs work in itself.....or do we give love to the spec(s) that need it more, although not nearly as popular atm for obvious reasons.

Cuz as much as I'd like to make Arsenal better, there's a side of me that wants some more friggin' variety with Pyro without hindering myself. If Pyro isn't going to have an armor debuff, it should be shelling out MORE damage than Arsenal in raid setting IMO, more along the lines of the sniper specs (but of course we can't do the same damage as them, that would just be SWTOR blasphemy right?)

I've only dabbled in Bodyguard but I know it's not as appealing as other heal specs for hardcore PVP/PVE'ers so I'm certain it could use some love as well..

What spec(s) do you guys think we should be focusing on most for this first for this first Mirrored-class go around?

Edit: Or we could keep it fairly general, I've seen some posts regarding having more offensive cds, shorter cds on things like TSO/ PS/EN etc.

The one thing I plan to definitely address is resource management...this is something that affects all 3 specs and slight improvements to this would go a long way in our community IMO

Phrase's Avatar

07.28.2013 , 05:59 PM | #29
2) What is the design intent for Kolto Jets?

The only reason I asked this question is because it seems to be meant as a peel for a target being focused either in PvP or by a large number of adds. If this is the case, the design is sound, but the current iteration could be tweaked a bit. As it stands now, this ability breaks cc which severely limits it as a peel. If Kolto Jets were to be given the same ability to ignore cced targets as say, a Juggernaut's Crushing Blow, then it would actually give Bodyguards a sort of unique utility heal.

I do realize that there are much more pressing concerns, however, and I'm glad to see resource management get top billing.

The Bastion

kennethdale's Avatar

07.28.2013 , 07:52 PM | #30
I think addressing resource management is definitely a good idea as it is truly a huge issue for all specs. I've done it on my arsenal merc where you time a few casts badly and you are unable to fix it without just sitting back and using rapid shots. Compare that with dps sorcs who do very similar damage yet have a much lower curve (none to be honest) for mismanaging resources. That is completely unbalanced. As for bodyguard, I've done a lot of healing and I feel that its a lot easier to stay heat neutral in healing than in dps (though I've never healed on my merc for an extremely healing intensive encounter) due to the effectiveness of rapid shots, the after initial cast free heals from kolto shield, the low cost on kolto missile, and emergency scan being free. The only truly heat neutral cast in arsenal is a low heat cast of unload, and that is a function of its length and the heat being spent upon cast rather than completion. Perhaps a simple change to our other abilities to mimic this effect since that would allow for regen during casts as opposed to after. True this breaks the theme of most mmos but it makes sense in terms of ammo and heat: if you are firing a missile or gun that heat is being generates throughout, not after its gone. In fact after you shoot the missile the heat would begin to dissipate immediately, not spike and then start lowering. And ammo, there is the idea of a round in the chamber; that round is no longer in the clip and is therefore inaccessible. Now unless the heat was refunded upon breaking a cast this would lead to a penalty for breaking casts early. That is something to consider as well.

I wish I could speak to pyro but my merc is an alt and I've never specced him pyro
55 Mercenary { Drekevac } rDPS || 55 Marauder { Kryu } mDPS
55 Sorcerer { Jahaerys } Heal
55 Juggernaut { Caryu } Tank || 55 Assassin { Vellys } Tank