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On the Limitations of SW: TOR's Class-Design vs. Tactical Flashpoints

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Flashpoints, Operations, and Heroic Missions
On the Limitations of SW: TOR's Class-Design vs. Tactical Flashpoints

midianlord's Avatar


midianlord
05.10.2014 , 05:37 PM | #1
TL/DR (1):

The level-cap story-modes of these need to be made harder --below the [HARD] versions, obviously, but still hard enough to require a proper Trinity-group.

Reason: Because the level at which most players over-power these currently is pushing our classes into territory they are clearly not designed/built for.

TL/DR (2):

The fundamentally "closed" design of the classes/roles in this game is at odds with the "open" design of TFPs, and this only becomes more apparent the more you over-power said TFPs. The limitations of those designs does not permit mitigating this too much, if at all.


(NOTE: This is from a r/DPS/Mercenary's perspective...feel free to add your class/spec/role's as well.)

Right, now then:

So I was doing the usual Czerka [WEEKLY] on one of my many, many Mercs, and I'm finding a trend that is becoming really, really annoying:

My gear is nothing special --ilvl 162/168 comms-gear, some or most aug's, "broadly correct," but not really optimised, stats-- and as such, neither should my DPS/threat be; And yet, seemingly almost every freaking run, I end up face-tanking most, if not all the boss-fights.

Aggro-dump? It might as well not even exist in these situations for me anymore.

Now, on my Arsenal-spec Mercs, this is not a huge problem, as that spec gets a bunch of extra defensibility and/or utility talents (I've learned to love Energy Rebounder, by the way, which I'd always considered kinda useless in the past). Pyro is another matter entirely. If someone is quick on the Kolto-click thingies and/or the odd off-heal, and if I have my DCDs (such as those are for Pyro) up, then i can usually hold out for "tanking" the entire fight, and we get 'er done no probs.

But given the usual tunnel-vision "pew-pew durr-durr-durr!" of most PuGs --exacerbated by the nature of tactical flashpoints!-- I find myself going "SPLAT!" at least on occasion, especially when I've already blown my CDs from the last round of face-tanking.

This highlights quite glaringly the following, and is the point I'm trying to make:

SW: tOR is tied very strictly to the role-trinity model, and there is not a lot of wiggle-room as a result.

Although the tactical FPs may not explicitly need, say, a "real" tank, the level to which, say, a heavy DPSer can over-power the content is such that said heavy DPSer effectively becomes a tank, and then I/they find that...guess what: We're not tanks, and we can't take the kind of beating that tanks are made to take, especially when your group may not have much/any heals.

Solution:

Tune up the difficulty such that a trinity-group is needed.

In SW: TOR, it's fairly explicit that DPSers need to focus on DPSing correctly, tanks need to focus tanking, and healers need to focus on healing, by nature of their very design, and that none of those roles/specs have many talents/skills that go too far outside of this.

And yet, the more you/we overpower the content of tactical FPs, the further we drift outside of those design-roles, and i think my example is proof of the fact that this game is simply not designed to accommodate such.

SW: TOR is quite old-school in some ways --that's one of the things I love about it, warts and all-- so let's keep it that way, hey?

Hope that made sense, anyway.

Discuss?
Guys/Gals, could you please start queuing for real Flashpoints again?

r/DPS 4 life

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Daekarus's Avatar


Daekarus
05.10.2014 , 10:16 PM | #2
Wait, you're complaining because when you run the FP without a tank you end up having a DPS toon tank? Ummmm... yeah. What else would it be?

Of course, you could always just tone down your DPS a bit to trade aggro with other players...

midianlord's Avatar


midianlord
05.10.2014 , 10:42 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Daekarus View Post
Wait, you're complaining because when you run the FP without a tank you end up having a DPS toon tank? Ummmm... yeah. What else would it be?

Of course, you could always just tone down your DPS a bit to trade aggro with other players...
No, I'm saying that I'm running into the mechanical wall of a DPS toon not being a tank, vs. how much DPS is incoming, vs how much a DPS toon can "tank," and that there doesn't seem to be a way within current mechanics/design around this.

Also, I find that I am often among the lower-geared people in these instances --I never pull first, by the way, I know better that that-- yet I'm still ripping aggro left and right off people who I shouldn't be ripping aggro off of? (No, I don't open with AoEs on bosses, either -- I know better than that, too.)

At least that's for Mercs, maybe PTechs have it a bit different? I've not played a PTech/Vanguard, so I wouldn't presume to comment there.

And if this does require that I tone down my not-world-beating DPS, then isn't that further reason to tune up the difficulty/mechanics enough to require, at least, a real tank? There's kolto-stations, and I've got off-heals, i can use em just fine to help keep him up.

As or aggro-trading....yeah, trusting other players in a PuG to be competent and willing to actually....my God, communicate and co-ordinate?

Unfortunately, I know better than that, too.

Other possible solution:

Tune them such that they are truly solo'able by-design --they almost are, if you out-gear them enough, even with the fixed adds on the droid-- and make the kolto-clickies useable by a non-grouped player.

But then, why even have TFPs in the level-cap tier at all, if you're going to do that?

just make them [HEROIC 2]s, the vast majority of which can be solo'ed by any halfway-competent player, and leave the Flashpoint versions in [HARD] mode (which, IMO, are "just right.").

Unstoppable force <----> immovable object, basically, as a result of trying to dumb-down content so more bads can access it. This is why TFPs are a bad idea in this game.
Guys/Gals, could you please start queuing for real Flashpoints again?

r/DPS 4 life

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thewitchdoctor's Avatar


thewitchdoctor
05.11.2014 , 12:16 AM | #4
OP,

I dare say it is more than just being overgeared, DPS that just remotely play correctly will rip aggro and become the de facto tank. Queue: all you said above that goes with that.

My baby Marauder isn't twinked. All of her gear is at least blue and within, say, 10 levels of toon level, and all her gear is modded, but not with purple bits. In other words: average, in MY opinion of things.

Also: I am NOT a Marauder super star. I am learning the class as I level one. BUT, I read the guides both here and at Dulfy, have an idea of how my skills interact with my procs, and follow that. As a result, even when I have a 'tank' in my daily KDY, I more often than not take aggro. Heck, when I was lower level, and thusly had fewer skills, I could still be the 'face-tanker' against higher-level DPS toons who had more skills at their disposal. I often find that I am the only DPS toon who is following a kill order: I kill all the normal mobs and STILL have time to land a few strikes on the strong or elite that the others were ganged up on.

So, I agree with your hypothesis of what is going on, but I think the 'cause' is broader than just gear.

I think this is a result of the nature of the TFPs. I really do like them in principle. KDY, in my opinion, IS a neat idea. It is 'random,' pops quickly, has a decent story behind it, and provides good XP. It is a GREAT leveling idea. And the TFPs are probably better, for planets, than the old H4s mostly for the reasons above. But, I think it is at a great cost. I only do my ops in guild groups, so, my only exposure to PUGs are in HMFPs and the TFPs as I level, but, damn, I have seen so many of the very things joked about it in the 'Weird People You Meet' thread.
Good. Bad. I'm the twi'lek with the saber.
DPS: 55 Carnage Marauder - 55 Madness Assassin
Tanks: 55 Powertech - 55 Guardian
Heals: Baby Sage

midianlord's Avatar


midianlord
05.11.2014 , 03:09 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by thewitchdoctor View Post
OP,
[...]

I think this is a result of the nature of the TFPs. I really do like them in principle. KDY, in my opinion, IS a neat idea. It is 'random,' pops quickly, has a decent story behind it, and provides good XP. It is a GREAT leveling idea. And the TFPs are probably better, for planets, than the old H4s mostly for the reasons above. But, I think it is at a great cost. I only do my ops in guild groups, so, my only exposure to PUGs are in HMFPs and the TFPs as I level, but, damn, I have seen so many of the very things joked about it in the 'Weird People You Meet' thread.
Exactly this.

KDY is awesome levelling-content --hell, it's practically a free level, some runs. Especially for those of us alt-o-holics who just want to scream at the thought of doing yet another non-class related quest, again (ugh).

KDY especially, but maybe TFPs in general should remain levelling-content, though.

It's partly on EAWare hyping KDY up to be something it really isn't, and putting it in the level-cap tier, where it really doesn't belong. (CZ-198 are a bit different, but, if memory serves, EAWare didn't make it out to be anything more than the proverbial [DAILY]/[WEEKLY] grind for rep and creds, very much to their credit. Plus, they have proper [HARD] versions.)

But, aside from building bad habits (I seem to be the only one who actually goes weak ---> strong in my PuG KDY runs and/or use my interrupt, or tries to keep the group together, at all)...yeah, we end up tanking the bosses if we do it right, too. (I really hate Merc-tanking that droid-boss, by the way --guys, can you like, start killing the adds now, please? As you can see, I'm "tanking" the big guy, a little busy here!)
Guys/Gals, could you please start queuing for real Flashpoints again?

r/DPS 4 life

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Loc_n_lol's Avatar


Loc_n_lol
05.11.2014 , 03:46 PM | #6
Well I think the problems you're running into are...

1) your teammates are bad, not much you can do about it.
2) pyrotech is op (I know, I play one sometimes)
3) some dps classes need better defensive cooldowns. Usually this is more a concern for pvp, but it does find its uses in pve, in solo content, role-less group content, and raid-wide damage-heavy boss fights.

Maybe 3) could be solved by opening up more defensive talents in the trees, so you can spec for straight damage if you're in content with little risk of damage to yourself (tank takes everything), or a tankier build to improve your own survival at the cost of some of your dps.
Unfortunately, most of these are tuned for pvp, so anything that improves your survival through better CC / slows / knockbacks, is of absolutely no use in pve.

Or maybe tactical flashpoints should come with aggro managing stations in addition to the kolto stations. Have a clickable that puts you into stealth for a few sconds and drops all aggro instantly (like force camo basically). Have another one that taunts the boss to the person who clicks it ?
The Red Eclipse
Jayšey - Gol'dy - Raibbach - Locnlol - Rex'Power'Colt - Ki'Sazen
Nyctis - Dre'xin - Jaegerk - Nahzeer - Pan'thera - Crystei

naldoran's Avatar


naldoran
05.11.2014 , 11:45 PM | #7
You forget that the entire reason why Tactical Flashpoints were implemented was so that we could have role-neutral content; the trinity design is nice on paper, but in reality there aren't enough tanks to go around. Sticking with the traditional flashpoint design makes for a fun instance, but when you have say, five DPS for every one tank (the ratio is probably worse given how hard it is to find tanks for even 16m ops) in the flashpoint queue, the number of players who get to participate in content for a given time frame is rather limited.

Having played through these FPs a fair few times myself, I certainly found that four-dps groups saw more deaths than where even one support role was present, but there's really no way around it short of balancing it around four poorly geared dps, in which case it would be even more of a faceroll exercise when a support class is present.
Alliare: Assassin Tank & Callette: Operative Heals
Co-Lead of <Plausible Deniability> on Ebon Hawk

thewitchdoctor's Avatar


thewitchdoctor
05.12.2014 , 12:01 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Loc_n_lol View Post
3) some dps classes need better defensive cooldowns. Usually this is more a concern for pvp, but it does find its uses in pve, in solo content, role-less group content, and raid-wide damage-heavy boss fights.
Don't get me wrong: I do get your point. But, for example, if you gave Maras more DCDs ... damn, that'd be uber OP. Maras have insane DPS precisely at the cost of those DCDs.
Good. Bad. I'm the twi'lek with the saber.
DPS: 55 Carnage Marauder - 55 Madness Assassin
Tanks: 55 Powertech - 55 Guardian
Heals: Baby Sage

thewitchdoctor's Avatar


thewitchdoctor
05.12.2014 , 12:13 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by naldoran View Post
You forget that the entire reason why Tactical Flashpoints were implemented was so that we could have role-neutral content; the trinity design is nice on paper, but in reality there aren't enough tanks to go around.
But I think that's part of the OP's point. I am well aware of why TFPs are good, as you say, 'on paper.' But the classes were designed as part of a trinity: tanks, heals, and DPS. When those are lacking, the system's reliance on the trinity, in the design of the classes, is exposed. It is a weakness of both the trinity system and the TFPs. Being overgeared is one way to expose it; being a capable player with ... less-capable ... players also exposes it.

It is what it is. How can Bioware fix it? Establish a tank and healer quota per server obviously isn't a solution. But making everything role-neutral wouldn't be either. I think the TFPs are great for leveling, but, without reworking the classes, I don't think they are viable endgame content. Well, not viable if they were all we had for endgame. I think level 55 TFPs are also good in the Korriban/Tython scenarios where their purpose is limited to introducing the new story arc. In that regard they are also a success: it is simple for everyone who wants to be set up for the new arc to be ready. However, I am not of any high opinion for bolstered ops. And not because I am an elitist. Far from it! I just only see PUG pain in bolstered SM ops using my own KDY experiences as 'proof.'
Good. Bad. I'm the twi'lek with the saber.
DPS: 55 Carnage Marauder - 55 Madness Assassin
Tanks: 55 Powertech - 55 Guardian
Heals: Baby Sage

Loc_n_lol's Avatar


Loc_n_lol
05.12.2014 , 02:10 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by thewitchdoctor View Post
, if you gave Maras more DCDs ... damn, that'd be uber OP.
Well I think Mara's dcds are pretty strong already. Maybe they come too late in the level progression, that's a problem for the balance of lowbie pvp and tactical kuat, but in endgame maras have all the tools to tank for a reasonable time, then dump aggro and let it be somebody else's problem.
The Red Eclipse
Jayšey - Gol'dy - Raibbach - Locnlol - Rex'Power'Colt - Ki'Sazen
Nyctis - Dre'xin - Jaegerk - Nahzeer - Pan'thera - Crystei