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Creature Handlers


Jayque's Avatar


Jayque
02.09.2013 , 11:00 AM | #1
I know there have been several requests for a Beast Tamer type class. I started to wonder what that would look like and how it could be integrated into the mechanics of SWTOR. Aside from being a popular class in SWG during its day, they are also seen throughout the Star Wars Universe in film, books, and other media. In fact, they are even (as NPCs) within SWTOR.

Now, several issues would have to be addressed including game balance, crowding of FPs and Ops, and even how to implement the classes. Below are my suggestions:

Primary class: Creature Handler
Class Buff: Beast Guard - +5% Armor Rating/Defense Chance
Armament: Mainhand: Blaster Pistols Offhand: Focus or Shield
Advanced Class 1: Beast Tamer (Focus is on buffs, debuffs, cc’s, and pet healing) – Medium Armor
Advanced Class 2: Beast Master (Focus on combat commands) – Light Armor

Beasts: Similar to stances and ammo; the beast would be a toggle with only one allowed on at a time. The primary two types of beasts would be tank or MDPS. The creature handler itself would have a limited attack set, 1 or 2 pistol attacks. Their primary abilities would be in the management of their pet. This would prevent the OP concerns some have of having pet + Companion. The pet would be a surrogate for the creature handler.
Some examples of small creatures that could be used and are already in game (some as tamed beasts):

Akk Dog (tank)
Manka Cat (MDPS)
Kath Hound (MDPS)
Wraid (Tank)
Vorn Tiger (MDPS)
Nexu (MDPS)
Gundark (Tank)


Some example abilities might be “Protect” which would be similar to guard only the beast is taking damage (for tank beasts). A "threaten" command that works like taunt. Charge (crash/knockback). Bite (basic). Frenzy (AOE), Pounce (short range leap). And of course a violent back attack for when they need to peel something off their handler.

Beast Tamers might have a class tree allowing them to increase their beasts roaming distance 5 meters per point. They could also have a healing line of veterinary skills and could get some minor healing for players in their advanced class line. Beast Master line might increase the effectiveness of taunt and distract abilities. Increase damage or defense of their pets.

Unlike companions, creatures would be actively controlled at all times.
Arkim - 52 Juggernaut Oroki - 51 Assassin
Tygar - 51 Mercenary Cayten - 50 Sage
... and others (Legacy Level: 42)

Izorii's Avatar


Izorii
02.09.2013 , 11:08 AM | #2
I like the idea could even be a droid master for the Imps and a Creature Handler for the Rep. However given compaions I imagine a creature master class to be very unlikely. I know originally creature handler was a seperate class in SWG and then they made it its own unique talent tree for any class which I enjoyed I remember my Trandoshan had his gian rat called "bounty kill Rat" and it was fun to send him after fleeing rebels in Restus ahh good times. Forcing you to spend points in it from the talent tree but not making it its own unique class might be cool, but I still doubt we will see it due to compaions already being in.

CaptainCornbread's Avatar


CaptainCornbread
02.09.2013 , 11:09 AM | #3
Ah... Fond memories of SWG.

wargonglok's Avatar


wargonglok
02.09.2013 , 02:45 PM | #4
not animals, but droids would be great, assasin droids, astromechs, war droids

assasin dorids are DPS tree skill at lvl 20 of dps tree
astromechs are lvl 20 skill of support tree
war droids are lvl 20 skill of debuff tree

Main class is Engineer

ADV classes: Sapper, Droid Engineer

Sapper is about Debuffs
Droid Engineer is Buffs

The shared tree is the assasin dorid tree
the sapper focuses less on droids and more on probes/ scans

uses cunning med armor pistol and "focus"

add new focus that is cunning based and call it a scanner

we have had many topics, my full design is in one of these threads, i think it could be great except for one thing

In all new games with a MM they have been weaker, why? becuase of the stigma of having the computer do all your stuff for you

people who deal direct damage straight at the enemy complain that we sit there behind walls of minions, so they ask for nerfs to minion damage and make us useless

the most recent case: The necromancer in gw 2, MM while great in 1 is utterly useless in 2
Sniper, 'nough said

EnufThree's Avatar


EnufThree
02.09.2013 , 08:33 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Jayque View Post
I know there have been several requests for a Beast Tamer type class. I started to wonder what that would look like and how it could be integrated into the mechanics of SWTOR. Aside from being a popular class in SWG during its day, they are also seen throughout the Star Wars Universe in film, books, and other media. In fact, they are even (as NPCs) within SWTOR.

Now, several issues would have to be addressed including game balance, crowding of FPs and Ops, and even how to implement the classes. Below are my suggestions:

Primary class: Creature Handler
Class Buff: Beast Guard - +5% Armor Rating/Defense Chance
Armament: Mainhand: Blaster Pistols Offhand: Focus or Shield
Advanced Class 1: Beast Tamer (Focus is on buffs, debuffs, cc’s, and pet healing) – Medium Armor
Advanced Class 2: Beast Master (Focus on combat commands) – Light Armor

Beasts: Similar to stances and ammo; the beast would be a toggle with only one allowed on at a time. The primary two types of beasts would be tank or MDPS. The creature handler itself would have a limited attack set, 1 or 2 pistol attacks. Their primary abilities would be in the management of their pet. This would prevent the OP concerns some have of having pet + Companion. The pet would be a surrogate for the creature handler.
Some examples of small creatures that could be used and are already in game (some as tamed beasts):

Akk Dog (tank)
Manka Cat (MDPS)
Kath Hound (MDPS)
Wraid (Tank)
Vorn Tiger (MDPS)
Nexu (MDPS)
Gundark (Tank)


Some example abilities might be “Protect” which would be similar to guard only the beast is taking damage (for tank beasts). A "threaten" command that works like taunt. Charge (crash/knockback). Bite (basic). Frenzy (AOE), Pounce (short range leap). And of course a violent back attack for when they need to peel something off their handler.

Beast Tamers might have a class tree allowing them to increase their beasts roaming distance 5 meters per point. They could also have a healing line of veterinary skills and could get some minor healing for players in their advanced class line. Beast Master line might increase the effectiveness of taunt and distract abilities. Increase damage or defense of their pets.

Unlike companions, creatures would be actively controlled at all times.
Sounds pretty cool. But what kind of a story could they come up with for a Creature Handler class quest?
I suppose getting a lyrium tattoo of breasts on my chest would make things better...

http://ricochetmatt.deviantart.com/

Jayque's Avatar


Jayque
02.10.2013 , 12:01 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by EnufThree View Post
Sounds pretty cool. But what kind of a story could they come up with for a Creature Handler class quest?
Well the story thing is certainly something that must be considered, though I am certain that there are lots of ways it could be taken. I can easily see a Beast Master class having several plots depending on how it is integrated; revenge, exploration, business (ie collecting rare critters for a Hutt). I had thought to research some of the various lore in the SW Universe on tamers to come up with something more concrete, but it seems like a lot of effort for an idea that I don’t see traction on.

I do have an idea of how I would like to see the next retail box paid expansion incorporate the idea. So I thought about the engineering class suggested above by wargonglok and then how the SWTOR game is broken up with mirror classes Empire and Republic. So I would suggest that the Imperial Engineer be a mirror to the Republic’s Creature Handler. Second would be how to incorporate them on the starting planets.

Right now Tython, Korriban, Hutta, and Ord Mantell are pretty solid for the two classes that start each planet. So I would suggest a new planet. I believe that two starting planets would be borderline too much to ask, so I have an interesting concept for the solution. I would propose a new planet of either Kashyyk or Endor. I would also suggest that the planet would have three major areas (it would be a very large planet – possibly the largest).

Basically on one side of the planetary map would be the starting area for the Engineer with a stronghold for the Empire. On the other side would be a republic aligned settlement and the starting area for the Creature Handler. In the middle of the map would be a new high level area for the increased level cap of the expansion. Providing the dual purpose of both starting new characters in the expanded classes, and also a battle ground for brand new end game and high level content. Such a setting seems to provide plenty of opportunity to launch a story for both an engineer and creature handler class.
Arkim - 52 Juggernaut Oroki - 51 Assassin
Tygar - 51 Mercenary Cayten - 50 Sage
... and others (Legacy Level: 42)

Ithilwen's Avatar


Ithilwen
02.10.2013 , 12:28 AM | #7
what does the pet do while you shoot with your blaster pistol? Or are those more like power shots than your basic attack?

Also, how would you deal with incoming damage? is all damage transfered from the beast to the tamer? Like if they were to share the HP bar... That would be weird if you died as a result of your 'pet' dieing... but I don't see how it could be done fairly any other way

[Edit] The idea does sound interesting to me ^^ I just think there might be a few hiccups with the design/mechanics... not that i've thought a lot about it
Valkarah - Valania - Santiel
Dramorion - Onai - Ostana

Jayque's Avatar


Jayque
02.10.2013 , 01:07 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Ithilwen View Post
what does the pet do while you shoot with your blaster pistol? Or are those more like power shots than your basic attack?
Well, in my “vision” of what it would be – the pet is a surrogate for the controller (like ranged melee). So when you give a command “bite”, “swipe”, “strike”, that is what it does. It would run to whatever target you select when on the command. The blaster pistol would be another attack, only coming from range, so the pet would not attack when the instant attack is there. It would just be a ranged attack vs. the melee (and probably weak). Perhaps used when beast fatigue gets low (just throwing out a quick concept for the yellow bar energy pool). Or to quickly change targets while beast runs in. But you would basically have to choose to fire your gun or use a pet attack – much like you have to choose between a saber strike or force technique each action.

Quote: Originally Posted by Ithilwen View Post
Also, how would you deal with incoming damage? is all damage transfered from the beast to the tamer? Like if they were to share the HP bar... That would be weird if you died as a result of your 'pet' dieing... but I don't see how it could be done fairly any other way
Damage would be based on where the attack is aimed (an NPC or PC could target the pet or the handler). The pet (droid or critter) would have its own HP Bar. At higher level I assume the creature handler would obtain a pet battle rez. The pet (stance) selection would have to be locked out so that it could not be changed during battle. When the pet is dead, it is blaster pistol only to hopefully end combat (and of course damage from companion character).

The tamer would die if their personal HP hit 0. So use of taunting or backstabbing equivalent abilities by their pets would be important. It would have to be worked out how hate works. Obviously if it is just damage, NPC’s would never aggro the tamer, so I would think there would need to be some AOE hate generated (at a reduced rate) for calling out pet commands. Not sure how well that is implementable.

I also imagine (and I’m not sure I mentioned it) that abilities, like pounce, would have ranged similar to weapon ranges. Most in the neighborhood of 20 to 30 meters, so that the pet can’t just fight way ahead of the group and would be within area of hearing commands.

Quote: Originally Posted by Ithilwen View Post
[Edit] The idea does sound interesting to me ^^ I just think there might be a few hiccups with the design/mechanics... not that i've thought a lot about it
There are certainly complexities and a lot that would need to be worked through. It would be a major undertaking of an implementation, but I do believe it would be a valuable addition.

One additional hiccup I had thought about was how creature/droid would be controlled from a movement perspective. Obviously if you are controlling your movement, a second controlled movement is not feasible. So, I would think that the beast would follow similar to a companion or novelty pet. When something is targeted and then an attack command is given it will move to that target and auto-follow within max control range (so if that is 30 meters, it would not continue pursuit beyond that range). When target is dead, it would return to the handler until a new target is selected. or switch between targets as often as the handler commands it.
Arkim - 52 Juggernaut Oroki - 51 Assassin
Tygar - 51 Mercenary Cayten - 50 Sage
... and others (Legacy Level: 42)

chuixupu's Avatar


chuixupu
02.10.2013 , 03:22 AM | #9
I was actually thinking it'd just be cool to have a beast as a companion. They had that in Dragon Age and it worked out well. I could see a creature handler class having full companion quests involving finding and raising creatures. It'd be nice if they even started out small and could grow as they gain affection.
Wardens of Fate / Alea Iacta Est
The Tarkus Legacy ~ The Harbinger/Jedi Covenant

Ithilwen's Avatar


Ithilwen
02.10.2013 , 05:29 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Jayque View Post
Damage would be based on where the attack is aimed (an NPC or PC could target the pet or the handler). The pet (droid or critter) would have its own HP Bar. At higher level I assume the creature handler would obtain a pet battle rez. The pet (stance) selection would have to be locked out so that it could not be changed during battle. When the pet is dead, it is blaster pistol only to hopefully end combat (and of course damage from companion character).

The tamer would die if their personal HP hit 0. So use of taunting or backstabbing equivalent abilities by their pets would be important. It would have to be worked out how hate works. Obviously if it is just damage, NPC’s would never aggro the tamer, so I would think there would need to be some AOE hate generated (at a reduced rate) for calling out pet commands. Not sure how well that is implementable.

I also imagine (and I’m not sure I mentioned it) that abilities, like pounce, would have ranged similar to weapon ranges. Most in the neighborhood of 20 to 30 meters, so that the pet can’t just fight way ahead of the group and would be within area of hearing commands.
that would throw out the balance of things though, the 'pet' is essentially a scapegoat for the beast tamer, if the character doesn't take any damage and they gain the ability to revive their 'pet' then they essentially become over powered. In PvP that would give them a massive advantage, as long as they can't be identified by the people they are attacking, they can get away with anything just about.

What if they did the class as a Force sensitive one, but as an entity that hasn't been trained in either the Jedi or Sith codes, their ability has just manifested in the form of beast mastery and as a result they form bonds with animals and controll them that way. If the bond was to work like it did between the Exile and Kreia (they experience what happens to each other) Then it could explain why your character looses health with your 'pet' and vise-versa... Only thing is that wouldn't work with droids

Quote: Originally Posted by Jayque View Post
There are certainly complexities and a lot that would need to be worked through. It would be a major undertaking of an implementation, but I do believe it would be a valuable addition.

One additional hiccup I had thought about was how creature/droid would be controlled from a movement perspective. Obviously if you are controlling your movement, a second controlled movement is not feasible. So, I would think that the beast would follow similar to a companion or novelty pet. When something is targeted and then an attack command is given it will move to that target and auto-follow within max control range (so if that is 30 meters, it would not continue pursuit beyond that range). When target is dead, it would return to the handler until a new target is selected. or switch between targets as often as the handler commands it.
Then the movement thing would put them at a disadvantage in PvP, not to mention the delay between the graphics for skills and the damage/skill taking effect
Valkarah - Valania - Santiel
Dramorion - Onai - Ostana