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Operative DPS Brainstorming

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EricMusco's Avatar

10.28.2013 , 12:40 PM | #1 This is the last staff post in this thread.  
Hey everyone,

As you are no doubt aware, we are being careful in how fast and how drastic we make Class changes. Although we are starting that journey in Game Update 2.5, that is certainly not all of the changes that will happen in the future. As a part of that, one of the things we agree on is that DPS Operatives could use a little bit of love.

The reason I am making this thread, is that we are curious on what your ideas might be for your class! This is specifically for Concealment and Lethality. What changes would you like to see to those specs to give them a little bit of help in PvE and PvP.

I am going to be combing through this thread and passing your feedback on to the Combat team. I do want to add a disclaimer to this. Just because a suggestion is made in this thread, or even agreed on by multiple posters, in no way implies it will be put into the game. The purpose of this is to share ideas. At the end of the day it will still come down to the decisions of the Combat Team! This is just an opportunity to add some player insight to the discussion.

If you are more of the Scoundrel persuasion, there is a separate thread for that, here.

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Glower's Avatar

10.28.2013 , 12:49 PM | #2
Get rid of Tactical Advantage (especially for Lethality) or just buff our defense and damage (not via Overload Shot! ).....

And change Lingering Toxins effects to 2.5 Madness Sorcerer version - protect our dots from cleanse!
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DarthZaul's Avatar

10.28.2013 , 12:56 PM | #3
Make stim boost much better to reduce energy problems.
Maybe increase the damage of corrosive dart so they do more damage without being bursty and OP in PVP.

Morde_'s Avatar

10.28.2013 , 01:19 PM | #4
Currently in class right now so I'll post my full thoughts later, but I appreciate the incremental patching approach and continually asking the community for feedback.

If Bioware follows through and listens, they'll have regained the respect from a lot of players.
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EatenByDistance's Avatar

10.28.2013 , 01:30 PM | #5
A major issue with operative DPS is that their survivability is somewhat tied to Exfiltrate. This is bad. It costs a ton of energy, costs a GCD, gets you out of range for actually DPSing a target and its procs (Insant Infusion and mini-Evasion) are neither sufficient or even guaranteed to proc. These procs need to be redesigned to be more reliable and most importantly shouldn't be tied to Exfiltrate.

I believe that Lethality damage is fine (Snipers are far superior but I believe that that class requires DPS nerfs, they are so far ahead that buffing every other class to their level would likely cause more balance headaches than it is worth).

Concealment needs to be able to use Hidden Strike more frequently. It's not that good of an ability as is: no guaranteed crit, needs stealth. It should be redesigned so that it can be used when Ghost (Sneak) is active. But it only knocks the target down if used from stealth.

Concealment seems to have been designed for frontloaded burst and stunlocking. Buffing its burst damage is a terrible idea, it will just frustrate the recipient of the damage without promoting any counterplay. Instead, Operatives should be immune to hard CC when coming out of stealth and when Sneak is up (sneak procs for a few seconds out of stealth like Deception blackout). This allows the Operative to do his full combo and be a threat but won't be impossible to counter like it was at launch when you would literally be 100-0'd.

Concealment sustained damage does need a buff. Surge on Shiv, needs much better energy management. Laceration is pretty bad. Only notable Concealment damage is when Backstab/Hidden Strike crits. There simply needs to be more sustained (preferably not up front, as Concealment openers would be too strong) damage in the other skills.

DPS operatives need more passive survivability/utility talents. They just get destroyed by pretty much every other DPS class in the game, either in a hard switch or over time (it doesn't take very long). So yeah, really need more sustained survivability like damage reduction or something in both trees.

Other ideas that I think should be looked into:

Concealment gets a free Exfiltrate every X seconds

Overload shot needs both a damage buff (already reported as incoming) but it also needs better energy procs. It's gonna be useless even if it's damage is buffed by like 500-1000 (assuming full minmaxxed gear) because the energy cost is just too high. Maybe make it cheaper/free if used on a poisoned target? It needs something.

Make Snipe useful in one of the specs? Yes, it was designed for Snipers but it would be nice to have the ability not be completely useless for an entire AC. Would probably be tied to Lethality, since that is the more "gun" focused tree.

Get rid of surge bonus on Sever Tendon in Concealment, or make its damage actually good. Seriously, it's a damn joke as is.

Explosive probe energy reduction talent in one of the trees to help with burst.


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Danylia's Avatar

10.28.2013 , 02:10 PM | #6
Disclaimer: This post indeed a brainstorming, so the ideas here may be overpowered/underpowered/silly etc.

- Sever Tendon generates TA if used on target which is more than 4(10) meters away. May be a two-tier ("has 50/100% chance) talent in Lethality Tree.

- Move Evasive Imperative to Concealment Tree.

- Redesign Calculated Frenzy: Still a three-tier talent, now gives Lacerate(other attack) a X/Y/Z % chance to generate <fancy proc>, which allows the use of Hidden Strike out of stealth. <fancy proc> lasts ? seconds and this effect cannot occur more than once every ? seconds. In addition, reduce the cooldown of Backstab by 1/2/3 seconds.

- Toxic Regulators: Your DoTs don't tick on targets affected by ANY sleep effects, not just your own.

- Counterstrike: In addition to current effect, it also has a 50/100% chance to make your next Exfiltrate free
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DresG's Avatar

10.28.2013 , 02:12 PM | #7
My suggestions are mostly about DPS specs.

Overload Shot: Currently it has no place on a DPS rotation, energy cost is too high and the damage is too low.
Possible Fixes: Add a talent on each DPS tree that results on a different effect for OS, for example increase DoT damage for Lethality spec, for Concealment give it a chance to reset the cooldown on Hidden Strike and make it useable out of stealth (without the stun, just the damage).
Another possible solution is to give it a cooldown, make it free and useable at 30m, that way you can actually do some minor dps instead of spamming rifle shot until you are on your target, this will also add a bit of dps when you use exfiltrate.

Hidden Strike: Great skill, specially for Concealment, but the fact that it can only be used during stealth is just lackluster.
Possible Fixes: Give it a talented proc that allows its use outside of stealth, or simply let it be used while Sneak is activated (again, without the stun for Concealment)

Stealth Mechanics - Cloaking Screen: This probably counts as a big change so take it with a grain of salt. I do not believe stealth classes need a get out of combat active skill, Operatives/Assassins and their republic counterparts would benefit much more from a Marauder-like Force Camouflage, a short duration and low cooldown, remain in combat, stealth that is designed purely as a defensive cooldown (maybe its not the case for Operatives, but you can not deny that resetting the cooldown on Recklessness when you exit combat is what makes Deception op on 1v1). This will give Operatives a much needed survivability buff without depending on something potentially game breaking, or without resorting to a troll roll spam.

Other than that this class is well balanced (except for healers) even in its current state you can find some really good Concealment players that can melt face.

Excise's Avatar

10.28.2013 , 02:19 PM | #8
Hidden Strike as a whole seems like a really underwhelming power for something you can only use once per battle. Lets save a button, shall we? It really feels like it could just be swapped out for:

Hidden Strike (Passive): When you use Backstab while Stealthed, you do +X damage and the cooldown on Backstab is not triggered.

Any talents using Hidden Strike can just say 'Backstab while Stealthed'.

Excise's Avatar

10.28.2013 , 02:22 PM | #9
Some other posts have touched on this, but Tactical Advantage is pretty dull for the two DPS specs. The beautiful thing about the healing tree is that it gives you multiple fun ways to get TA, including a guaranteed way (Kolto Injection) and a semi-random way (HoT ticks). Also, the increased stacks to 3 and longer buff timer makes it much more convenient to use.

SomeJagoff's Avatar

10.28.2013 , 02:27 PM | #10
Made similar post in scoundrel thread, have both classes, so would like to see these changes for operative as well.

For a dps buff,

-Do away with the tiered energy system (so constant 5-6 energy regen whether you have 100 energy or 1 energy).
-Lower the cooldown of backstab back to 9 secs or make shiv/rifle shot/frag grenade/etc. reduce the cd of backstab by 0.5 secs (it's one of the hardest hitting abilities and compared to Maul, has A cooldown/compared to Smash has a longer cooldown.).

For a survivability buff,
-Make the "Surprise Surgery" tree talent a base ability talent that will benefit both dps trees.
-Make cloaking screen auto-remove all negative effects for the duration. (this would probably help DPS scoundrels the most, as they often get knocked right back out of stealth, but can't effectively heal to full like healer operatives. I said for the duration of the ability so that if a merc shoots you with a dart as you cloak, having it go off won't break stealth either.....which sometimes it doesn't anyway)
-Add "Quickening" type talent to Concealment tree for instant heal.
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