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Arena Report


Xinika's Avatar


Xinika
08.18.2013 , 11:22 PM | #1
Arenas have been fun. Most fun I've had in SWTOR in over a year. It is surprisingly better executed than expected. Of course, it comes with its thorns and flowers which is what will be discussed in this thread. This is a thread solely dedicated to the feedback on Ranked Arena on the PTS. It has nothing to do with Ranked Warzones or its removal. That being said, let's move on.

Pros

- Easy to Setup
- Solo Queue option is an excellent addition
- Overall Class balance isn't that bad
- Solid Execution


Cons
- Deserter Bug
- Over reliance on Operative Medics
- Warrior Dominance
- Bolster Broken (Again)


I think the best part about this new game mode is that it will be very easy for people to get in the action. Setting up a group of 4 is not hard and to top it off, solo queue ranked will assure that pretty much anyone who has the desire to participate in arena, will do so. In addition, the way how the Arena performs is seemingly smooth. Skill will be bled out more evidently and top tier teams will be doing more than just spamming PvE rotations into a target.

The class balance isn't awful. There are multiple successful comps out there - but there is also a flaw. The Warrior dominance is starting to take its toll and this needs to be addressed. Most idealized setups currently consists of anywhere from 1-3 warriors per team. Jugg Tank is mandatory, although VG can substitute this spot with almost complete efficiency. Shadow tanks are absolutely horrible and their PvE issues are actually shining in Arena more than before. But this also brings up the other issue: How exactly would you tone down Juggernauts to make the other two tanks more applicable? Or should we just buff the other two? (Especially Assassin) By default, Juggernauts in their design are superior in tanking, so how would you make the others comparable?

Moving on to the DPS section. Marauder / Sentinel DPS (Mainly pointing the scope at Smash) needs a tone down. They have too many defensives cooldowns combined with consistent burst, respectable single target and an MS (Mortal Strike aka Healing Debuff). They are far too strong defensively for all that they can do. Comps have been stacking two of these classes at once with a great deal of success. This also extends into other 'cheese' comps such as 2xSorcs that will make a Deception Assassin hate their lives. The problem with this is that stacking 2 of any class should not be this efficient, which is why you should consider possibly having a 1-per-class option.

The next issue is probably the biggest one. Operative Healers. They are godly right now. Far too much of a payoff for the ease of the class. It's more survivable than a tank. It does just as much healing as a sage without the burden of having to cast. It's management flows much easier. As it stands, this and this only is the healer to have in Arena and I have a gigantic problem with that. This class | spec needs a serious tone down if we want to help break up some cookie cutters. There's no reason why Arena should only be limited to one healer.

As it stands, Sage Healers are easily shut down and Merc Healers are far too clunky to properly synergize with the small scale environment. I don't think Sorc / Merc heals need dramatic buffs. I believe Operatives need to be toned down so that the other two can shine. If anything, Operatives should receive a nerf whilst Mercs go up. Sages are a bit tricky because of their design for siege warfare / OPs content.

Now to some more technical aspects. Why doesn't this mode have Arena frames? We have Focus Target, so I'm sure setting up some kind of Arena Frames would not be that difficult. It would make the 'flow' of things a lot more smoother. I feel like as it is, it's missing some things. This is one of them and would help to make battle a little less clustered. There's also a heart-wrenching bug known as the Deserter-kick. Players are entering Arena only to be kicked from debuff at random. We generally have to wait at least 30 seconds before entering a game. I'm sure this isn't intentional, but this needs to be looked at.

And what about Bolster? Seems you've created a monster BW. Sooner or later you'll have to address this elephant in the room because from what I've seen on the PTS, you're only sweeping the dirt under the carpet. Thing is, this won't be an easy fix either. You've based a lot of PvP around it and to strip it away would not be an easy feat. However, this problem is growing and now you've added a new layer to the problem. Stop band-aiding this mess and clean it for good. Get rid of bolster.

This is 1 report of things thus far and I'm sure there will be others.
Thanks for the new mode.
Here's a video of the fun
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Pizzel's Avatar


Pizzel
08.18.2013 , 11:52 PM | #2
Good write up.

Operatives and smashers just can't be said enough. Both are so easy to play and just plain outperform. Arena's will be a mess if these 2 classes don't get a severe "adjustment"

Couple things I'd like to add from playing and watching.

Sage healing is kind of a joke right now. Needs so much help in arena's i dont know where to begin. Too cast dependent and easy to shut down

Sage dps is pretty bad too. Good sages I know are struggling. When the 2 smashers or whoever looks at them its barrier is the only thing that stops insta gib. Adjusting smash may help but 2 other high dps could force the same issue. Sage lack of burst is a problem as well. Telekinetics suffers same casting shutdowns as Seer does.

Shadow full infiltration and the hybrid work decent enough. That's it though. Kinetic/Darkness is awful compared to the other 2 tanks.The continuing shadow issues crop up in arena tho. Why bring shadow dps when u can have 2 smashers or a merc though.

i agree class balance isn't too far off. I'd say start at the top. operatives and smashing has got to be changed or Arena's will be too stale and frustrating.

patman's Avatar


patman
08.18.2013 , 11:58 PM | #3
I agree completely on your class balance points. If you bring a healer that is not an operative/scoundrel, it is almost a guaranteed loss. If Bioware wants arenas to succeed, they absolutely need to tone down this class. The advantage of warriors/knights are slightly less obvious then the op healer, but it is still there.

I think arenas are very close to being an excellent game mode, as long as Bioware cleans up the bugs and fixes up the balance a bit.
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NogueiraA's Avatar


NogueiraA
08.19.2013 , 12:59 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Xinika View Post
Moving on to the DPS section. Marauder / Sentinel DPS (Mainly pointing the scope at Smash) needs a tone down. They have too many defensives cooldowns combined with consistent burst, respectable single target and an MS (Mortal Strike aka Healing Debuff). They are far too strong defensively for all that they can do. Comps have been stacking two of these classes at once with a great deal of success.
You know that marauders/sent has no 4sec stun right?

Pizzel's Avatar


Pizzel
08.19.2013 , 01:03 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by NogueiraA View Post
You know that marauders/sent has no 4sec stun right?
Dont know how theyve survived without. I feel for them.

Aoe mezzing everyone else and double smashing healers is far inferior i guess.

NogueiraA's Avatar


NogueiraA
08.19.2013 , 01:07 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Pizzel View Post
Dont know how theyve survived without. I feel for them.

Aoe mezzing everyone else and double smashing healers is far inferior i guess.
Why there's a marauder on your healer? Your job is to not let he reach your heals.

Xinika's Avatar


Xinika
08.19.2013 , 01:21 AM | #7
Also, I think Lightning Sorcs may need slight rebalancing but it's not completely out of whack like OP Heals. The burst is slightly too strong atm.
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robertx's Avatar


robertx
08.19.2013 , 02:02 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Xinika View Post
Also, I think Lightning Sorcs may need slight rebalancing but it's not completely out of whack like OP Heals. The burst is slightly too strong atm.
I saw the triple sorc comp melted everything. I was like . Altho mumble they were having too much fun with it,
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Peytona's Avatar


Peytona
08.19.2013 , 03:55 AM | #9
As someone who has had very little time to invest on the PTS, I'd like to thank you for your well reasoned insight.

Regarding this statement:

Quote: Originally Posted by Xinika View Post
Jugg Tank is mandatory, although VG can substitute this spot with almost complete efficiency.
Not quite sure what is inferred here.
Do you mean that, currently, a Juggernaut Tank is a necessity for a competitive team, but a Vanguard can push it close?
Or do you mean that a skilled team with either of these classes performing in their tank role can be equally competitive?
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JackNader's Avatar


JackNader
08.19.2013 , 04:00 AM | #10
He means that the jug is the better tank. It is harder to kill and has more tank utility. It also has access to NASTY hybrid tank/DPS specs.