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State of Healing: One Year Later

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
State of Healing: One Year Later

RuQu's Avatar


RuQu
02.19.2013 , 02:37 PM | #1
On Feb 8, 2013, I created a thread compiling a long list of healer community suggestions to improve the state of the healing game. UI changes, class changes, mechanics suggestions to bring the game up to par with games released when SWTOR was first starting development, etc.

One year later, I'm coming back to the game after 10 months away and thought it might be worthwhile to see what had been addressed.

Please provide any corrections, and any info on the "Unsure of the status" items.

Color Coding

Addressed/Fixed
Rumored for the Expansion
Explicitly shot down by a Dev / BW Rep
Unsure of the status
No Action

Categories
  • General
  • UI Changes
  • Aesthetics
  • Commando/Mercenary
  • Sage/Sorcerer
  • Scoundrel/Operative
  • PvP Specific (all)
  • Items

General
  • Dev Feedback: What is the design philosophy for the healer classes? What was the rotation the class designers had in mind? Scoundrels/Operatives in particular want to know what was/is intended for their class and what the future design plans are.

    [*]Address the problem of Alacrity making spells more expensive (by increasing the Effective Cost, Cost - regen*castTime). Currently, Alacrity negatively effects resource levels, when it should be neutral.
    • This can be easily accomplished without affecting regen or causing stacking to break regen mechanics by scaling the resource costs:
    • Actual_Ammo_Cost = Base_Ammo - regen*(delta_cast_time)
  • Alacrity should reduce GCD. PTS notes say Alacrity will do exactly as we requested: lower GCD for instants and increase regen to match the cast time reduction.
  • Adjust itemization on high end gear to reflect stats desired by that class/AC.
    • Put a vendor on the Fleets where you can buy mods/enhancements with desirable stats by trading in the unwanted mods that come in raid gear. This would also decrease people wanting to roll on gear from other classes that has better mods.
  • Remove animation delays. Cinematic animations are cool, but they get a lot less cool when someone dies waiting for an "instant" ability to stop animating. Separate the effect from the animation.
  • BUG?: Sometimes an ability with a cast time will display as cast complete to the player (cast bar goes away). Then the player moves, thinking it is safe to do so, and the ability never lands, as if it had been canceled. It is possibly a latency issue in that the client says it is complete, server says it isn't, then the player moves while the server thinks you are still casting and cancels it. PTS 2.0 notes make mention of fixing this problem for certain abilities (specifically stance changes, mounting, changing ammo types).

UI Changes
  • Target of target functionality
  • Display of who your target is targeting.
  • Display of CC time remaining, independent of target and focus target.
  • Raid UI improvements. I need to see when someone needs a dispell.
  • Personal UI improvements. I need to see when my temporary buffs and procs happen
  • Larger Buff/Debuff icons with the time remaining displayed in numbers on the icon. Dispellable debuffs should provide a visible indication, such as changing the raid frame border color for that person.These are reportedly in the new expansion.
  • Obvious proc animations. Visual animations are needed, not just audible cues like the Smuggler giggle when UH procs. Some players play without sound on. Some are deaf.
  • Separate MT and OT frames, and/or symbols on the raid frame.
  • Enabled raid frames while not grouped
  • Raid and Party frames for companions
  • Mouse-over healing functionality
  • Ability to target all Ops members via keybind
  • A means of cusomizing the Raid Frames such that certain events change a players frame (e.g. Dispellable Debuff Present - Frame is Orange; HoT is present - Frame is Green with an hourglass countdown)
  • Option to disable auto-self-cast. Desired functionality: press key, click target in raid-frame, heal casts.
  • AoE targeting circles should scale to the radius of the ability.
  • Change the color of the Ammo/Energy bar based on the regen zone.
  • Sort party display in proper F-key order. Player at top, F2 target second, etc.
  • Bind-able hotkey for Group/Operation member with lowest health.
  • Option for players to receive an out of range error message when they are out of range of friendly abilities targeted on them by Operation/Group members.
  • DR mechanic tooltips should show how much damage they have left (ie Force Armor)
  • Focus targets should not clear when entering cut scenes and load screens.
  • Add functionality that displays incoming heals on a players health bar. ie, if they are at 50%, and a heal is coming to take them to 75%, make the 50-75% regen semi-transparent red instead of full red, so healers can coordinate and not double heal.

Aesthetics
  • Kolto Bomb looks like a giant green fart, and is quite unpopular. Suggestions:
    • See the Kolto Charge suggestion in the Commando section.
    • Same mechanic, make the animation a green version of the Vanguard Fire Pulse.
  • Flashier animation for Underworld Medicine. Suggestions:
    • Load a Kolto Injection Round into the Scattergun, flip it around and fire it with a flourish.

Commando/Mercenary
  • AoE Healing:
    • Improve Kolto Bomb to allow equal AoE healing in flash points. Increase limit to 4, increase or remove radius.
    • Remove player limit. Keep radius.
    • Allow Hammer Shot to chain to players with Kolto Residue.
    • Change Kolto Bomb to Kolto Charge, using the same mechanic as Concussion Charge, radiating out from the caster as a green explosion. Radius would need to be increased/removed. This is rumored as a new AoE heal in the expansion. Doesn't change Kolto Bomb, but still counts as coming. Also rumored is a talent to leave a healing puddle where it lands.
  • Allow some means of improving regen with stats. Currently Diagnostic Scan for Scoundrel/Operatives scales with Critical Rating (energy return on crit) and Alacrity (because it is channeled). Commandos lack any means of increasing regen. Alacrity interaction with CSC charges requires stacking large amounts of Alacrity at a huge Opportunity Cost of better stats. Resolved with the Alacrity regen change.
    Possible, non-exclusive, suggestions:
    • Allow HS crits to provide a small buff to Ammo regen, or return a small fixed Ammo amount on HS crit.
    • Give any heal crit a chance to return some small amount of Ammo, or a brief Ammo regen % buff.
    • Return some small amount of Ammo when a TP charge is consumed. Note that this still does not scale with gear.
    Obsolete with the Alacrity change.
  • In-combat Resurrect
    Alternatively, give Commandos/Mercs an ability that prevents death. Applies a short duration single charge buff that gets consumed if damage taken would have reduced the player's health below zero, instantly returning that player to 10-15% health. 2 minute cooldown since it requires more skill and effort to predict someone is about to die and prevent it than to resurrect a player who is already dead.
  • Merc. Specific: Swap the names on Healing Scan (1.5s cast, 9s cooldown) and Rapid Scan (2s cast, no cooldown). Clearly the "rapid" ability should be the faster of the two.
  • Balance the resource mechanics. These are the only "mirror" classes with different resources, and the result is not minor. See further analysis here. Fixed in 2.0 by replacing the 12 Ammo mechanic with a 100 Energy Cell mechanic.
  • Address the issues of Alacrity interaction with our resources, specifically the greater negative effect it has on Troopers due to the different regen window sizes and the (affects everyone) reduction in scaling as alacrity increases. Analysis, same link as previous point. Resolved with Alacrity change.
  • Add a faster, weaker, less efficient spammable heal, such as Benevolence for Sages, for times when faster smaller heals are needed and all of our large heals are overkill.

Sage/Sorcerer
  • Skill tree lacks interesting decisions. (Fixed by removing decisions from all other classes)
  • The +hit on Clairvoyance / Penetrating Darkness is useless to the class, especially near the top of the healer tree, and should be replaced with some useful upgrade.

Scoundrel/Operative
  • Bug: Operative Skill Medical Therapy is reported to not be working properly.(Fixed in 1.1.4)
  • Bug: RN/KC buff is not displaying in Ops/FPs/WZs. Reports vary on if it is healing or not when the display is bugged.
  • Add a skill to a tree, accessible by healers, to increase total allowed UH/TA charges.
  • When UH/TA expires, have 1 stack removed and restart the duration, instead of removing both stacks.
  • Allow CC to be refreshed in combat.
    • Perhaps change the "Sedatives" skill to allow CC refresh in combat.
  • Improve Kolto Pack/Kolto Infusion:
    Currently the marginal benefits of this ability are not worth the energy + TA/UH cost. Possible, non-exclusive, suggestions:

    Recommended change: Remove/Minimize the energy cost and change it to:
    1. A medium direct heal with a medium HoT component;
    2. A large direct heal that also refreshes all current HoT effects
    3. A medium direct heal that confers a beneficial buff to the target
    4. A medium direct heal that consumes a stack of KP/SRMP for a large heal.
    5. Have a talent that allows it to heal 1/2 additional allies within 10 meters for 50/100% of amount healed.
    6. Make it require UH/TA, but not consume it.
    7. Reduce the cost with Medical Therapy skill, at 2.5/5 Energy for 1/2 of the skill.
    Ability is being redesigned in 2.0. Now applies a heal up front and a HoT.
  • Improve Kolto Probe/Slow Release Medpac. Possible suggestions:
    • Remove need to stack, increase cost to 20 Energy.
    • Cause 2 stacks to be twice as likely to generate UH/TA
  • Improve Recuperative Nanotech/Kolto Cloud
  • Reworked: Made KC/RN front-loaded. No mention of other suggested changes.
    Currently the target limit of 4 (target +3) and the underwhelming healing of this ability severely impact its utility and viability as a 31-point talent.

    Recommended Changes:
    1. Remove the target limit while keeping the range limit
    2. Either:
      • Significantly increase the amount of healing done by the ability; OR
      • Significantly decrease the duration and tick-time of the HoT; OR
      • Moderately increase the healing and moderately decrease the duration and tick-time.
      • Generates UH/TA through the Medical Engineering skill, at 1/2 the proc rate of KP/SRM.
      • Applies KP/SRMP to all targets, and give an ability that allows consumption of KP/SRMP charges for burst.
      • Change tick to every second, from every 3s.
      Summary of combined changes: Front loaded, 15s cooldown, ticks over 6s, 10% increased healing from previous and reduced cost (Patch 1.2 PTS Notes)
  • Add a new AoE mechanic:
    • A "Healing Well" that can be placed and clicked on by players who need heals.
    • A place-able fixed location AoE that heals for less the further from center you are, but has unlimited targets.
    • An ability that exploits UH/TA to heal in a cone in front of you.
  • Improve Surgical Probe / Emergency Medpac
    • Add a small radius splash heal for 33% of the effect, striking 3 allies closest to the target, while healing the target for 100%. Provides light, direct AoE while RN/KC is ticking.
  • Add a synergistic mechanic to Operative/Scoundrel healing:
    Currently none of our abilities interact which each other, decreasing the enjoyment factor and flexibility of the healer.

    Recommended Additions:
    • Use Kolto Probe/Slow Release Medpac as a gateway for various abilites to have different or modified effects. Suggested effects include but are not limited to:
    • Consume 1 or 2 stacks of KP/SRMP to cast Shield Probe/Defensive Screen on the target.
    • Consume 1 or 2 stack of KP/SRMP to heal the target for total healing of the consumed HoT - 10%
    • Consume 1 stack of KP/SRMP to confer a beneficial damage/absorption/defense buff on the target for X seconds.
    • Using Diagnostic Scan on a target affected by KP/SRMP causes critical ticks of KP/SRMP to refresh the HoT for 1 additional tick OR restore X energy.
  • Improve Burst Capability. Possible, non-exclusive, suggestions:
    • Add a short-cooldown, similar to Supercharge Cells for Commandos Partial solution. Pugnacity has been redesigned as a 2 minute cooldown that increases Alacrity.
    • Add burst synergy, such as SP/EMP consuming the KP/SRMP HoT or the suggested new Kolto Infusion / Kolto Pack HoT.
    • Make Kolto Infusion the burst of choice by having it stack a buff that could be consumed for an instant Energy Regen once a threshold is reached. This would make it inefficient if used in rotation (as it is now), but energy efficient if you used it 4 times in rapid succession to deal with burst healing. Put the recharge ability on a short (ie 20s) cooldown.
  • Improve Diagnostic Scan. Possible, non-exclusive, suggestions:
    • Combine the +Crit Chance & Energy Refund Talent into 1, freeing up 2 points for use in the tree
    • Alter the mechanic:
      • Significantly increase the healing of the ability (via talents) so that it heals at a rate comparable to Sorcerer/Sage Innervate/Healing Trance
      • Make it instant, but apply a 3s HoT. Could now be used on the move, but energy regen would no longer scale with Alacrity.
      • Allow it to be channeled while moving.
      • Make bonus energy regen fixed, not on crit, to eliminate RNG nature of regen. Note, if both this and the previous suggestion are used, DS regen would no longer scale with stats. It is currently the only ability that does so.
      • Have the ability confer a powerful damage mitigation buff to the target while channeled.
      • Have the ability apply a beneficial buff to the target upon successful completion of the entire cast
  • Change Medical Shield Buff to apply for 15 seconds, not the duration of the shield. Since Med Shield absorbs a fixed amount, it can often last shorter than its Commando equivalent (Reactive Shield).
    • Add as an additional benefit to Medical Shield: Defence Screen can now be cast on Party Members.
    • Each rank in Medical Shield reduces cooldown of Defence Screen by X/X seconds
  • Add Synergy to Cover Mechanic
    • Energy cost reduction while in cover Talent
    • Alacrity boost while in cover Talent
    • Healing bonus while in cover Talent
  • Add Synergy to Stealth
    • Targeted Stealth as an emergency button (wipes threat on target, but player "sits out" for a few seconds in stealth)
    • Infiltrate/Smuggle usable in combat as an emergency or group-wipe avoidance button for Stealth.
    • Infiltrate grants defense boost similar to Evasion when used in combat in AoE radius
  • Healing Shiv i.e. instant direct melee heal
  • Weakening Blast / Cull like ability that boosts HoT heals
  • Add a unique buff to one of our heals, to balance movement speed/armor (JS/SS) and armor/DR/healing received (BH/TR) buffs.
    • Increase Damage Done
    • Reduce Threat
    • Increase HoT effect
  • A talent to increase the range of Debilitate / Dirty Kick to 30m.
  • Remove the reduced healing debuff from cloaking screen, at least within the healing trees.

PvP Specific (all)
  • Remove Green Beam effect from Hammer Shot heal. It renders HS nearly useless in PvP by painting a giant target on the healer. (Some have requested a toggle to keep the old style).
  • Ilum: Healing does not award any mission credits.
    If someone I heal gets credit, I should too, for the 'assist.'
  • Warzones: Healers get the fewest medals by far, and therefor fewer valor points.
    • Apply a fixed modifier for healers that brings parity in rewards.
    • Increase the value of healing medals.
    • Grant partial credit to healers for the damage done by those they heal. Log this as a separate category, like the tank damage absorbed category.
    • Reported to now be reasonably balanced.
  • Increased the talented speed boost on Dodge.
  • Add some utility that allows moving other players: knockback or pull.

Items
LS/DS requirements on relics greatly reduce player choice.
Relic of Residual Mending: Considerably underpowered compared to same level DPS relics.
Rakata Triage Adrenal:Identical positive effect to the Rakata Attack Adrenal, but also reduces damage done. As a result, this item is useless, since you would always choose to use the Attack Adrenal.
Resolved by nerfing the DPS trinket to apply a healing debuff.


Summary
One year later, and not a lot has changed...

The ones that really shock me are the lack of smart healing. Above all else, that should have been a top priority.

I'm also disappointed by the apparent continuing trend to fix all issues through nerfs alone.

[edit] It looks like the 2.0 Patch resolves a whole lot of this list. Let's see if it actually fixes smart healing, and then I'll be pretty happy with it.
Brushing off the dust on my Assault Cannon. Time to get back in the fight.

Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
02.19.2013 , 02:45 PM | #2
The majority of your colour codes appear to be broken and, one thing regarding the Attack Adrenal, why would I use that? The tooltip appears to say it reduces healing done by 20%.

RuQu's Avatar


RuQu
02.19.2013 , 03:25 PM | #3
If the title didn't give it away, this list was initially suggested a year ago. At the time it was released, the attack adrenal didn't have the healing debuff. Apparently, that was the "fix" to the suggestion. I'll switch that one to green.

The color codes were all done by clicking the color text button on their editor. Not sure why they can't read their own code, but I'll fix it tonight when I'm home and not on my phone.
Brushing off the dust on my Assault Cannon. Time to get back in the fight.

Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
02.19.2013 , 03:31 PM | #4
Oh right, I must have missed that bit. Seeing your index of colours I kind of went through expecting to see them - not that I can say much for the changes done to healing over the year. I may have been healing roughly since release, but my memory for changes isn't great and I'm not exactly an active member of the healing community (no mathematician).

RuQu's Avatar


RuQu
02.19.2013 , 03:41 PM | #5
Well, I'm pretty sure that almost all of those with bad tags are supposed to be grey for "Unsure." Things like some of the raid UI issues which I haven't tested since I've only been back for two days so far and have yet to run one.

So yeah, those will mostly be white f what I've heard on almost no changes bears out.
Brushing off the dust on my Assault Cannon. Time to get back in the fight.

Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
02.19.2013 , 03:52 PM | #6
Well, the thread that was announcing tester for ROTHC, which for some reason has a developer post in it from a chappy working on the UI. He said that there is a functionality coming to the game, supposedly 2.0, which allow us to resize our debuffs on the boss frames and, I believe, raid frames as well.

Other than that though, naught has been done about raid frame functionality otherwise. I'll try to find the link.

Edit: Here it is, posted the 1st of the 17th?

mastirkal's Avatar


mastirkal
02.19.2013 , 04:12 PM | #7
The battle and triage are actually different, the tech/force power only affects the attack power/healing power separately. The text is the only thing misleading about this. If you use the battle you'll see it doesn't help your healing at all.

CaptainApop's Avatar


CaptainApop
02.19.2013 , 05:54 PM | #8
Good to see you back Ruqu. Skimming through your list now.

One thing that jumps out is the warzone comment (with regards to rewards) has mostly been ironed out. 8 medals provides the majority of your comms and is easily attainable with the changes to how kills are tracked, defender/attacker medals and dauntless medals (for winning fast)
Tank class DPS can still get the most medals but it isn't a massive boon anymore.
"I bind kolto probes to Q, partially for the convenience but mostly for the irony"

Subterfuge legacy - Tomb of Freedon Nadd

RuQu's Avatar


RuQu
02.19.2013 , 06:33 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by mastirkal View Post
The battle and triage are actually different, the tech/force power only affects the attack power/healing power separately. The text is the only thing misleading about this. If you use the battle you'll see it doesn't help your healing at all.
Force/Tech Power and Power are identical for healers.

The only difference is for DPS, where some abilities don't use Tech and Force power. For instance, some Trooper DPS abilities are non-Tech abilities and do not benefit from Tech Power. All heals, however, are either Tech or Force abilities.
Brushing off the dust on my Assault Cannon. Time to get back in the fight.

RuQu's Avatar


RuQu
02.19.2013 , 06:39 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by CaptainApop View Post
Good to see you back Ruqu. Skimming through your list now.
Thanks
Quote:
One thing that jumps out is the warzone comment (with regards to rewards) has mostly been ironed out. 8 medals provides the majority of your comms and is easily attainable with the changes to how kills are tracked, defender/attacker medals and dauntless medals (for winning fast)
Tank class DPS can still get the most medals but it isn't a massive boon anymore.
Updated

Quote:
Originally posted by Tattle:
Well, the thread that was announcing tester for ROTHC, which for some reason has a developer post in it from a chappy working on the UI. He said that there is a functionality coming to the game, supposedly 2.0, which allow us to resize our debuffs on the boss frames and, I believe, raid frames as well.

Other than that though, naught has been done about raid frame functionality otherwise. I'll try to find the link.
Updated.
Brushing off the dust on my Assault Cannon. Time to get back in the fight.