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Assassin / Shadow Top 3 Answers

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Shadow / Assassin
Assassin / Shadow Top 3 Answers
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EricMusco's Avatar


EricMusco
05.14.2014 , 09:16 AM | #1 This is the last staff post in this thread.  
Hey folks,

Here are your top 3 questions, back from the combat team.

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Madness in PvP

The Madness Assassin has been grossly revamped from its original state pre-xpac, which in turn has caused many players to become repulsed by its current playstyle. Due to the changes, Madness also suffered a dramatic hit in PvP, losing access to its Insta-Whirlwind utility and the loss of Maul procs which also goes to hurt its burst potential. In addition, the spec suffers from being far too easy to kill (having no true stealth benefits) with no real execution power to actually down targets beyond fluff damage, therefore making it seemingly a useless fighter on the field in comparison to what other classes / specs can do.

With no team utility, lack of kill power and absurdly low survivability, what exactly is the purpose of a Madness Assassin on the battlefield? Are there any plans to alter or change the viability of the spec in PvP?
The purpose of the Madness/Balance Assassin/Shadow on the field of battle is to put a great deal of pressure on the enemy by dealing a large amount of sustained damage. If left unchecked, a Madness/Balance Assassin/Shadow should be able to devastate enemy forces with their high damage output. We know that the relatively low sustained damage output of the Madness/Balance Assassin/Shadow has prevented players from adequately fulfilling this role, and we do have plans to alter the viability of Madness/Balance Assassins/Shadows in PvP. We are currently working to improve their performance in the 2.8 update. You can read up on and discuss the latest information regarding these improvements in our Public Test Server forum.

At the time of this writing, here are the current 2.8 changes that affect Madness/Balance Assassins/Shadows:

Assassin/Shadow
General
  • Assassinís/Shadowís Training now additionally reduces the activation time of Whirlwind/Force Lift by 1 second.
  • Mass Mind Control will now taunt NPCís while Dark Charge/Combat Technique is active and reduce threat when Dark Charge/Combat Technique is not active.
  • Lightning Charge/Force Technique, Surging Charge/Shadow Technique, and Dark Charge/Combat Technique no longer require 100 Force to activate but do consume all available Force when activated.
Madness/Balance
  • Haunted Dreams/Containment now lowers the activation time of Whirlwind/Force Lift by 0.5/1.0 second(s) while Lightning Charge/Force Technique is active (up from 0.25/0.5 seconds).
  • Shapeless Spirit/Mental Defense now causes Mass Mind Control to grant a 15/30% reduction in damage taken by the Assassin/Shadow for 6 seconds, along with its other effects.
  • Raze/Force Strike now has a 100% chance to activate on melee attacks (up from 60%).
  • Bloodletting/Crush Spirit now grants a 15/30% chance for damaging periodic effects to trigger Bloodletting/Crush Spirit, which finishes the active cooldown on Assassinate/Spinning Strike and makes your next Assassinate/Spinning Strike usable on a target at any health level. This effect can only occur once every 10 seconds.
  • Creeping Terror/Sever Force now deals slightly more damage.
  • Discharge/Force Breach deals slightly more damage while Lightning Charge/Force Technique is active.
  • Lightning Burns/Rippling Force now also has a 50/100% chance to trigger from Creeping Terror/Sever Force damage.
  • Lingering Nightmares/Mind Warp now increases the damage dealt by Crushing Darkness/Mind Crush by 16.5/33% instead of increasing the duration of its periodic effect.

Please remember that the notes above are still subject to change as we continue to develop the 2.8 update.
PvE Assassin's Capability

Both DPS specs of the Assassin: Deception and Madness currently suffer from their own unique hindrances that puts us behind on the DPS markers by a fair amount.

Whilst Deception may be performing alright in PvP, its PvE mirror isn't exactly optimal, suffering from high fluctuations spawned by RNG elements such as the ability to land critical hits which may make or break Deception's DPS output or the current rate limit's incarnation. Due to its dependency on high surge talents or its random force regeneration mechanics, the spec can perform great when the stars align but when they don't - it severely falls behind.

Then Madness' target switching capability seems lacking whilst the rotation itself feels clunky, as if something is missing. It is the only spec that does not utilize the signature ability Maul and generally feels starved for force within its Thrash-spamming rotation. The top-end Madness ceiling feels low, relative to the balance norm, and looking at top damage dealers seen here or here on the Operations dummy and on a large number of boss fights confirms this. A burst filler such as Maul, Force Lightning, Shock or even a proc that triggers Assassinate could help to solve the missing link and raise the DPS ceiling in line with similar classes.

The stated intent of all DPS classes is to perform within the 5% bracket. Do you actually feel Assassins are performing up to par in that design intentl? Are there any plans to help us out in this area?
We do not believe that Assassins/Shadows are currently capable of dealing competitive sustained damage for endgame PvE content, and that is one of the things we are aiming to fix with the 2.8 update. The answer to the PvP question above contains a list of many potential changes to the Madness/Balance Assassin/Shadow that increase sustained damage. Our goal is to make Madness/Balance Assassins/Shadows a viable choice for picky Nightmare Operation group leaders once the 2.8 update goes live.

Deception/Infiltration Assassins/Shadows already do quite well in PvP, even with their uncompetitive sustained damage output. Their skill tree provides them with very effective burst damage, and at this time we have no plans to boost their sustained damage for fear of creating unstoppable killing machines in PvP. In the more distant future, we might diminish some of Deceptionís/Infiltrationís burst damage output in exchange for more sustained damage output, but we cannot currently provide a timeframe for any potential changes.
The Phase Walk Enigma

While Phase Walk finds a solid use in PvP or even for the Assassin Tank in PvE, the PvE DPS variants of the Assassin have practically no use for the ability. Outside a random escape or perhaps a near impractical situation, is it safe to argue this ability was solely formed for the tank or geared specifically for the Assassinís PvP arsenal?

If so, are there any planned changes to make it more viable for the PvE DPS Assassin?
It is safe to assume Phase Walk was primarily designed for PvP, but that does not mean you could not lay it down where you know you might later need to be in certain encounters to save yourself a Force Speed cooldown and move to that location faster. We already have some distant plans to improve Phase Walk for damage dealing Assassins/Shadows in PvE (but we cannot let that cat out of the bag just yet), and we will also consider additional improvements to Phase Walk as well. We welcome your ideas in this regard, and we look forward to reading them in your replies.

-eric
Eric Musco | Community Manager
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Evolixe's Avatar


Evolixe
05.14.2014 , 09:26 AM | #2
As far as deception goes, kind of what I was expecting. Not what I wanted to hear.
Everyone will be playing Madness now anyway, no sin in his right sense of mind will even bother with Deception..

Anyways, thanks for finally answering.
Evolixe Twitch Exilove

Xinika's Avatar


Xinika
05.14.2014 , 09:27 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Xinika View Post
In response to the questions answered:

Question 1.

You had already secretly answered this with the PTS changes so there's not much of a surprise. I believe this is moving in a good direction and the changes to Madness / Balance are ranked very highly in my book.

Question 2.

Madness is getting some much needed love but you've completely neglected that Deception does not need this nonsensical buff/nerf change. I believe that is an extremely lazy fix and you are capable of better. A thread like this simulates a better change with minimal impact on PvP. I should also mention it is contradictory you'd say you don't want to give a burst class more sustained damage in PvP when you've changed the Pyro PT into exactly what you preach against.

Question 3.

The ideas for the Phase Walk are on the PTS forums. It needs to be instant cast. This cannot be beyond your capability. As others have pointed out, a simple 3% increase to damage to the caster whilst it is active will help PvE DPS variants out.

This thread should have been in the Assassin forums as it was our turn to ask questions.
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Gnimish's Avatar


Gnimish
05.14.2014 , 09:36 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Evolixe View Post
As far as deception goes, kind of what I was expecting. Not what I wanted to hear.
Everyone will be playing Madness now anyway, no sin in his right sense of mind will even bother with Deception..

Anyways, thanks for finally answering.
I might be wrong but isnt deception better than madness on like 5/10 fights for df/dp? Even with 2.8 buffs to madness. Im thinking draxus, brontos, corruptor z, bestia, maybe tyrans. And possibly council, even if for only 30% aor dr. Just asking?

AGSThomas's Avatar


AGSThomas
05.14.2014 , 09:40 AM | #5
Looks like its time to put my Assassin down in PvE
MedÔvh - Deception Assassin (PvP DPS)
DÔomedes - Vengeance Juggernaut (PvP DPS)
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Evolixe's Avatar


Evolixe
05.14.2014 , 09:41 AM | #6
Hell no.

Balance is going to be so insane that the only time Dec is better is when you need absolute front loaded burst.
Which is basically brontes only.
Evolixe Twitch Exilove

Gnimish's Avatar


Gnimish
05.14.2014 , 09:43 AM | #7
My mistake than

JMagee's Avatar


JMagee
05.14.2014 , 09:49 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Gnimish View Post
My mistake than
I think the simplest way to look at it would be.

Infil/Balance perfectly fine for HMs.

In 2.8 NiM:
Balance DPS >> than Infil 30% AoE Reduction + Infil DPS.

sithBracer's Avatar


sithBracer
05.14.2014 , 09:51 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post


Deception/Infiltration Assassins/Shadows already do quite well in PvP, even with their uncompetitive sustained damage output. Their skill tree provides them with very effective burst damage, and at this time we have no plans to boost their sustained damage for fear of creating unstoppable killing machines in PvP. In the more distant future, we might diminish some of Deceptionís/Infiltrationís burst damage output in exchange for more sustained damage output, but we cannot currently provide a timeframe for any potential changes.
Ok, I get that and actually agree. Now why are you buffing the sustained damage on Pyrotech PTs again? "Their skill tree provides them with very effective burst damage" yet you have plans to boost their sustained damage with no fear of creating unstoppable killing machines in PvP for some reason?
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Gnimish's Avatar


Gnimish
05.14.2014 , 10:01 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by sithBracer View Post
Ok, I get that and actually agree. Now why are you buffing the sustained damage on Pyrotech PTs again? "Their skill tree provides them with very effective burst damage" yet you have plans to boost their sustained damage with no fear of creating unstoppable killing machines in PvP for some reason?
While i agree pt changes a little much. Hopefully toned down abit before live. But changes are completely counter able via cleanse/shroud/evasion. So until they make pt's dots not cleanseable. Not a huge pvp change.

Deception doesn't have dot damage they can simply increase for pve sustained damage. So i leave that theory crafting to much more qualified people.