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Mercenary Top 3 Answers!

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cashogy_reborn's Avatar

10.01.2013 , 01:24 PM | #11
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post

The reason why Mercenaries/Commandos were originally given longer, weaker cooldowns is because they are passively superior to many of the other classes in the game. By nature of wearing the heaviest armor in the game, they take less damage than many other classes without needing to touch a button. They also have the ability to heal themselves and their allies, along with a 30 meter range for most of their abilities.

It is fairly clear now that Mercenaries/Commandos are not the dominating force on the field of battle that we originally feared they might be. With that said, some classes have utilities that are just too strong and/or cooldown durations that are quite possibly too short – the Marauder/Sentinel is a good example of a class like this. So while some classes may pine to be given cooldowns that will make them as strong as Sentinels/Marauders, we would rather reduce the effectiveness of Marauder/Sentinel cooldowns to make them more like the other classes when it comes to survivability.

However, this does not mean that we should ignore Mercenary/Commando (or any classes, for that matter) cooldowns. We might consider lengthening the duration of the Health Monitor/Fired Up effect provided by Kolto Overload/Adrenaline Rush and maybe even not put the ability on cooldown unless the effect actually triggers Kolto Overload/Adrenaline Rush before it expires. It might be safe to shorten the cooldown on Power Surge/Tech Override or maybe even allow it to affect two abilities baseline. Our concern with Thermal Sensor Override/Reserve Powercell is that the ability only exists to mitigate the frustration caused by an unforgiving resource system, and we would prefer to fix the resource system rather than give players additional buttons or shorter cooldowns to fight against their obstinate resources. Electro Net is a powerful, strategic ability that we feel has an appropriate strength with an appropriate cooldown length, so we probably will not be making any changes to it.

Unrelated to utility cooldowns, another thing that we have been internally considering for a while now is adjusting our pushback & interrupt systems because we believe the classes that have abilities with activation and channel times are simply being too greatly affected by those systems. These adjustments would primarily benefit all Mercenaries/Commandos and Sorcerers/Sages (Snipers/Gunslingers do not gain much because they are already immune to pushback & interrupts while in cover). Power Shot/Charged Bolts, Unload/Full Auto, and Tracer Missile/Grav Round are some key abilities that would benefit from these adjustments. Please let us know your opinion of the pushback & interrupt systems as they currently stand, and we will take the community’s feedback into consideration.


For starters, Heavy Armor *IS NOT* an advantage. It is at most 4-5% more mitigation than Medium, and ~10% more mitigation than Light (tho Light Armor classes have +5% more defense chance... so it should be balanced, no?). For the love of the Emperor, can people (devs, players, etc) STOP using Heavy Armor as some kind of qualifying factor for why this class performs the way it does.

If you *ever* thought Merc/Mando would be a dominating force then you are a very, very shortsighted dev team. Yeah, a class almost completely dependent on casting *WITH NO INTERRUPT IMMUNITY IN ANY DPS SPEC* is going to be a "dominating force". Get out of here with that pandering.

So you acknowledge that our cooldowns suck in comparison to other classes, but instead of fixing us youre just gonna nerf the other classes? /epicfacepalm. That is not a good practice; this game has gone around the nerf merry-go-round more times than enough already. Set a baseline, and bring all classes to that.

Power Surge *NEEDS* its cooldown reduce to 60s baseline. Leave the 2 charges exclusive to Arsenal (if you make it 2 baseline the Arsenal gets 3, we dont need 3. We just need the whole ability to be available in more situations).

Your logic regarding TSO is like whaaa? Yeah, our resource management is not very forgiving. We have know this for a long, long time. If you are going to fix it great, but that is still no reason that this ability needs to be on a 2minute base cooldown. It affects *ONE FREAKING ABILITY*. ONE. Its barely even a good resource management tool b/c of its cooldown and # of abilities affected. Making our resources easier to manage does not make TSO less valuable.

Oh, and the "wed rather fix this than give players more buttons and cooldowns to worry about"..... /facepalm. Its not more buttons and not more cooldowns, *BECAUSE WE ALREADY HAVE THIS ABILITY!!!!!!!!!* ffs......

My opinion of the current pushback and interrupt system? It sucks. I can be interruted 4 different ways: stun, interrupt, knockback, and LoS. Throw in pushback, and getting a cast off in a competitive environment can be very tricky even when *not* being focused. Throw in a Mara/Sent attacking me, and the difficult of getting a cast off goes up exponentially. What would you change to improve this, from a mechanics standpoint?

If you are going to make a fundamental change to the way casting works, this is my one suggestion: allow casting while moving for Sage/Sorc and Mando/Merc only
Dany - Attomm - Dan'y - Fogel
The Original Stormborn Commando Representative
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JimmyTheCannon's Avatar

10.01.2013 , 01:26 PM | #12
I'm so happy to finally see Mercenary heat issues being at least looked at by you guys. It really is a constant battle with our resource bar to just stay in the fight, let alone to excel in it. It needs a change - how drastic of one, I really couldn't say, but something does need to be done.

As far as the Pushback/Interrupt system - it does heavily favor melee, particularly with all hard stuns also reduced to 10 m. Take a class like a Rage Marauder and throw him at a Merc and he's got three ways to interrupt you, as soon as you're in range to start casting. Now, whether there's supposed to be that rock/paper/scissors aspect to PVP, with certain classes being hard counters to others and thus intended to be unbeatable by them (not saying they are), I don't know. But if it's *not* meant to be that way - if a competent player of any class should be able to beat a player of any other class one on one - then yes, the system needs to be looked at.

Dedrayge's Avatar

10.01.2013 , 01:27 PM | #13

What I'm reading is...

Marauder and sniper nerfs are coming...About time you guys admitted you over tuned both their damage, defensive abilities, and utility. Just try not to over due it...

As for interrupts...Well, the real issue is, they lock out an ability for 4 seconds. That's quite a long time in a PvP setting and gives the other player plenty of time to do enough damage the person interrupted can't possible hope to catch up. So, I'd say, either reduce the lock out duration down to 2 seconds or remove it entirely. Might even be worth considering to have interrupts slow down or push back activation abilities.

Probably a good idea to have force charge have a larger push back effect on activation abilities rather than completely interrupt them.

Just not sure what to make of changes to merc resources.

By the way, armour rating really doesn't mean much. In PvP, a lot of attacks just tear through armour and easily make one feel like they are wearing paper armour. There really doesn't seem to be much of a difference between medium and heavy armour.
No plans for PvP...So, I have no plans to invest anymore money into this game.

Waiting for Wildstar

Dedrayge's Avatar

10.01.2013 , 01:32 PM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by cashogy_reborn View Post
If you are going to make a fundamental change to the way casting works, this is my one suggestion: allow casting while moving.
Sounds like a good idea to me. At least for mercs..

I've always felt like mercs where meant to be the more mobile ranged class.
No plans for PvP...So, I have no plans to invest anymore money into this game.

Waiting for Wildstar

TUXs's Avatar

10.01.2013 , 01:39 PM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by cashogy_reborn View Post

If you are going to make a fundamental change to the way casting works, this is my one suggestion: allow casting while moving for Sage/Sorc and Mando/Merc only
This is why I <3 cash...It still allows for interrupts, but allows us the mobility needed while casting. We don't NEED to sit still and take a beating just to have every skill we cast interrupted. If we're turrets, allow us the protection needed and make us un-interruptable, or allow us to move and cast.
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Flying-Brian's Avatar

10.01.2013 , 01:48 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
Hey everyone!

Below you will find your top 3 issues returned. Make sure to read through the whole post as there are a few things the Combat team is really interested in getting your feedback on. Here ya go!

We are sorry that the community did not positively receive the change to the 4-piece Eliminator set bonus, and the change was in fact directed at making the set useful for Pyrotechs/Assault Specialists. But in reality, this set bonus only served to mask the real issue: a systematic problem with the Heat/Energy Cell system.

As a damage dealer, it is not fun being forced to fight two battles at the same time – one against your enemy target and another against your resource bar. As you pointed out, we have made changes to certain abilities (like Incendiary Missile/Incendiary Round) and even created entire abilities (Vent Heat/Recharge Cells and Thermal Sensor Override/Reserve Powercell) to mitigate the frustration caused by an unforgiving resource system. But maybe the time has finally come to fix the real problem – the resource system itself?

A cylinder/cell based set bonus is a good idea, and we may do something like that at some point in the future. One of the problems with doing so right now is how big the set bonus item tooltips would become – and that is on top of an already enormous item tooltip. But because we like the basic idea here, you can expect to eventually see something like this in the game – even if it takes us a while to get there.

I thank you that you that the design team realizes there is a problem with the resource system of the Merc/Commadno and are looking at ways to improve it.

But is there any way you/they can offer an interim solution to help alleviate some of the heat/ammo management problems that we players have now?

Would it be possible to offer a 2nd version of Eliminator Armor (Eliminator MK2) that has the old 4-piece set bonus (making RS/HiB a free cast) on it from the PVE gear vendor? While this would be just a quick band-aid fix to a much larger problem. It seems like it would be an easy QOL fix that could be added into the game with very minimal work on the Dev's part (like sometime in the next few patches), and would not require any balancing skill/resource design changes.

DarthBloodloss's Avatar

10.01.2013 , 01:51 PM | #17

1) More friendly resource management
2) Less pushback and interrupts
3) Nerf other classes

I approve. Make it so.
Bloodloss Mercenary

CaulderBenson's Avatar

10.01.2013 , 01:55 PM | #18
My main is an arsenal merc and has been since launch. I love the class and will never change.

That being said, here's what caught my eye.

Heavy Armor:

Heavy armor is not an advantage in this game. It simply isn't noticeable to me, unless I'm on my sorc.

If they're going to keep on with that nonsense, mercs should get a talent that buffs heavy armor with more damage mitigation.

Thermal Sensor Override/Power Surge - Cool down needs to be one minute. The current time is ridiculous.

Resource Management - Some kind of tweaking is needed for sure. Fusion missile costs too much heat for the damage it does (and I'm happy with the damage, just not he cost).

Missile blast cost too much heat to be viable as well.

Casting and interrupts - Yeah, the casting spells should be mobile maybe? Or the interrupt system needs reworking.


Overall good answers in that they admit all our concerns were essentially correct.

I'm mostly happy with my merc and feel it's in a pretty good place, but snipers and maras are simply better at damage (which is fine) but they're utility and cooldowns surpass what I bring as a "support class".

Now Bioware needs to step it up on the class buffs. It should not take another 6 months or a year to address these issues since they have been known by the community for the last year and a half.

XavinNydek's Avatar

10.01.2013 , 01:56 PM | #19
I have been raiding with Arsenal Merc (and Gunnery Commando, I have both 55) since beta. I like the resource system, and wouldn't like to see any gigantic changes. I do think there are a few things that could help smooth it out.
  • I liked having the free rail shot, it was effectively used as a rapid shot that didn't hurt DPS. Granted, that might be stacking too much on one ability (I basically ignored tracer lock before 2.0 and used it when I needed to drop my heat), but it made the heat system manageable. In 2.0 I use thermal override combined with unload for the same purpose. That's less flexible and harder to manage than the free rail shot was, and puts you at the mercy of barrage procs.
  • What we have now works, but it doesn't feel smooth. I think making the heat regen penalty a little less aggressive and increasing baseline regen some would help without changing much. A top player doesn't actually use rapid shots much when there is something else up, so being a little more generous with heat wouldn't throw things out of balance, and would make it a lot easier on the people who can't manage heat without even looking at the bar.
  • Another option would be to have rapid shots actively reduce heat. The main issue with heat now is that you can paint yourself into a corner (it doesn't happen to me often, but still occasionally, especially with AoEs) where you have no options left except to rapid shot and wait. If rapid shots actively dumped heat, then it would at least feel like you had control over the situation, even if the numbers ended up not much different than they are now.
  • Yet another option would be to make heat much more forgiving, DPS slightly less, and have a toggle that boosts damage/heals and heat usage. That would switch heat management from something you have to micro all the time to something you only think about when bursting. This would have to be balanced really well, but I have seen it work in other games.
  • For newer players, make it more obvious in the UI when you are in the various regen brackets. Something like having the bar start green and get red as it fills, or having explicit lines on the bar. If haven't researched the break points, it's not obvious from the UI where they are,and how much they affect things. The little arrows are too subtle.
  • Beginners mainly have problem with heat because missile blast uses a ton of heat and they bottom out not realizing the regen curve. I think missile blast should be completely redesigned. It's a poor beginner skill because of the high heat, and nobody even has it on their bars at cap.

I like the system overall, it's unique and not boring. I wouldn't mind making it more beginner friendly, but I think it would be a shame if it becomes another plain old mana pool, or is messed with until it's so easy to manage that it's not a consideration anymore.

Also, you should really fix the full-auto animation. It triggers late or not at all much of the time, and makes playing my commando feel much worse than playing my merc.

Capt_Beers's Avatar

10.01.2013 , 01:59 PM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by projawa View Post
devs: It seems most of these answers describe how you'd nerf other classes in order to balance mercs and other hybrid classes. What about positive changes? For example, giving marauders a self cleanse to compensate for reducing their defensive cooldowns.
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