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Ideas for potential future classes

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Ideas for potential future classes

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Okamakiri
01.09.2013 , 03:37 PM | #71
Quote: Originally Posted by Svevin View Post
What I'd like to see is a melee healer. Doing damage would open up AoE heals. Some kind of beacon of hope for the Republic, but an inspiration of vengeful zeal on the Sith side. Unfortunately, it sounds like another force wielding class, some kind of Battle Meditation class. It may even work better as a fourth tree for one of the existing classes.
This. Despite some of its flaws, melee healing on DoK/WP in WAR was one of the most interesting and challenging mechanics I've ever seen in an MMO. DPSing enemies while at the same time juggling which friendly target your heals are being channeled to, juggling dispells, detaunting attackers on you, managing two resources (one for attacking abilities, one for heals), and doing it all at the front line of the battle... I really miss the high skill cap that playstyle allowed...
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Kitru
01.09.2013 , 06:05 PM | #72
Quote: Originally Posted by Okamakiri View Post
This. Despite some of its flaws, melee healing on DoK/WP in WAR was one of the most interesting and challenging mechanics I've ever seen in an MMO.
The problem with this kind of playstyle in TOR is that the developers have consciously chosen to have healer be a devoted role. Personally, I would have *vastly* preferred if healing was less constantly throwing heals and more based on beating on your opponent while throwing out big heals at intervals. My favorite healing playstyle in an MMO was actually Disc priest in Cata WoW: smitespam for maintenance healing and your devoted heals for when you actually had to do throughput or AoE healing. My *favorite* style of healer in any medium is actually from 4th ed D&D where healing is big, bursty, and highly limited and most of your "healing" comes across as tangential tactical benefits (temp hp, bonuses to attack rolls, damage rolls, defenses, debuffs to enemies, etc.) provided while you're beating down on your enemies.

The only way to create a healer like that in TOR while keeping it balanced with the other healers would be to make it so that *every* healer operates in much the same way, else, said healer would either have to have sub par healing to make up for the fact that it deals consistent additional damage or it would be *better* than all of the other healers by virtue of the fact that it's contributing full healing while providing additional damage as well (the other healers can only contribute additional damage when they're not busy healing and, even then, it's generally pretty marginal).
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Okamakiri
01.10.2013 , 11:15 AM | #73
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
The problem with this kind of playstyle in TOR is that the developers have consciously chosen to have healer be a devoted role. Personally, I would have *vastly* preferred if healing was less constantly throwing heals and more based on beating on your opponent while throwing out big heals at intervals. My favorite healing playstyle in an MMO was actually Disc priest in Cata WoW: smitespam for maintenance healing and your devoted heals for when you actually had to do throughput or AoE healing. My *favorite* style of healer in any medium is actually from 4th ed D&D where healing is big, bursty, and highly limited and most of your "healing" comes across as tangential tactical benefits (temp hp, bonuses to attack rolls, damage rolls, defenses, debuffs to enemies, etc.) provided while you're beating down on your enemies.

The only way to create a healer like that in TOR while keeping it balanced with the other healers would be to make it so that *every* healer operates in much the same way, else, said healer would either have to have sub par healing to make up for the fact that it deals consistent additional damage or it would be *better* than all of the other healers by virtue of the fact that it's contributing full healing while providing additional damage as well (the other healers can only contribute additional damage when they're not busy healing and, even then, it's generally pretty marginal).
I hear what you're saying, but I don't really think it would be a problem. To an extent current healers are still capable of doing damage in healing or hybrid specs. Granted it's not great damage, but it's more than nothing. Just like DPS Mercs, Sorcs and Ops are capable of healing themselves and others if they have to. Of course the effect is diminished compared to a pure spec, but it's still there.

Similarly, I'm sure they could come up with a melee healer where the difference between a DPS specced or healing specced one would make a great difference in their DPS and HPS outputs respectively. That way the melee healing mechanic would be there regardless of spec without skewing the balance. For example, in WAR, the biggest heal that DoKs/WPs had was a 3s channeled melee ability on 8s cooldown, which suffered from damage induced pushback. This made it extremely hard to use it when getting focused. However, deep in the healing spec was a trait that increased the pushback resistance on that skill, greatly improving the ability of a healing specs to use it. As I said in my original post, there were other issues with DoK/WP healing, such as their heals all being tied dirrectly to how much damage they were doing, but all those issues were addressable if Mythic just got their head out of their behind.
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Kitru
01.10.2013 , 12:22 PM | #74
Quote: Originally Posted by Okamakiri View Post
I hear what you're saying, but I don't really think it would be a problem. To an extent current healers are still capable of doing damage in healing or hybrid specs. Granted it's not great damage, but it's more than nothing. Just like DPS Mercs, Sorcs and Ops are capable of healing themselves and others if they have to. Of course the effect is diminished compared to a pure spec, but it's still there.
I think what you're not getting from the post of mine you quoted is that any damage generated by the other healers is functionally bonus DPS: healers are not assumed to be able to contribute any DPS; if they *do* contribute, it's because they need to heal less than they are actually capable of. As such, any class that is designed to deal a certain amount of damage *while* they heal at max capability is going to either be better than one of the standard healers or worse (either their healing is worse to offset the additional damage or they contribute more because they're healing just as well while also dealing damage).

To create a class that deals damage while healing optimally using a system such as you and I have both described, the damage on said attacks that heal would have to be *so* miniscule as to be functionally worthless: a healer in an Ops focusing on full healing is going to have, at most, 100 DPS; if all you do is attack with your basic attack constantly, you're going to do at least 500, which means that most of your "attacks that heal" would have to deal such a tiny portion of real damage that the damage itself would be completely ignorable.

It's a question of maintaining the needed functionality required for the healer role while simultaneously maintaining class balance against other classes within that role. The decisions made by the developers for the existing healers just aren't conducive to creating a healer such as the kind we would both like to see: healers have to focus pretty much entirely on healing.

Quote:
For example, in WAR, the biggest heal that DoKs/WPs had was a 3s channeled melee ability on 8s cooldown, which suffered from damage induced pushback.
The biggest problem with a healer with a melee range, which is different than a melee range healer, is that the first has to actually be in melee range of his/her allies, which drastically reduces their functionality and usefulness to raids since they would have to spend a *lot* of their time just running around like an idiot, while the second can heal anyone but is just encouraged to be in melee range of the target for whatever reason. A melee range healer would be a *massive* risk, taking more damage thanks to standing in melee, not to mention the problems with healing that one idiot that wants to hang out off on his lonesome. You would have to be outrageously mobile to achieve even remotely similar functionality or, barring that, would have to teach everyone to stand in a tight clump, which would suck for both PvP and PvE since it negates the benefits of range in PvE and just encourages AoE use in PvP (not to mention how easy it would be to lockdown with pulls, pushes, immobs, slows, etc.).

The closest I could see to having a "melee range healer" would be a healer with PbAoE "bonus" heals, such as a 5m aura that's healing everyone in range for a little bit of damage as long as you're in the healing stance (or after you hit a target with a melee attack that causes a buff; I'm actually using this for a Force Adept class I'm putting together). Their major heals would still be ranged and directed, but you would be encouraged to use an attack every once in a while (every 12 seconds or so) and stand near people taking damage to get some tangential but useful "free" healing.
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Okamakiri
01.10.2013 , 12:54 PM | #75
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
I think what you're not getting from the post of mine you quoted is that any damage generated by the other healers is functionally bonus DPS: healers are not assumed to be able to contribute any DPS; if they *do* contribute, it's because they need to heal less than they are actually capable of. As such, any class that is designed to deal a certain amount of damage *while* they heal at max capability is going to either be better than one of the standard healers or worse (either their healing is worse to offset the additional damage or they contribute more because they're healing just as well while also dealing damage).

To create a class that deals damage while healing optimally using a system such as you and I have both described, the damage on said attacks that heal would have to be *so* miniscule as to be functionally worthless: a healer in an Ops focusing on full healing is going to have, at most, 100 DPS; if all you do is attack with your basic attack constantly, you're going to do at least 500, which means that most of your "attacks that heal" would have to deal such a tiny portion of real damage that the damage itself would be completely ignorable.

It's a question of maintaining the needed functionality required for the healer role while simultaneously maintaining class balance against other classes within that role. The decisions made by the developers for the existing healers just aren't conducive to creating a healer such as the kind we would both like to see: healers have to focus pretty much entirely on healing.
No, I totally get what you're getting at. Since such a class would be doing damage and healing at the same time, the numbers for both would have to be tweaked to keep it balanced, but not necessarily at the extremes that you suggest. For example, if this class was capable of doing both mediocre heals and dps, you could bring two of them to replace 1 pure healer and 1 pure dps. Or even bring 4 of them and have no pure healers. The overall raid DPS and HPS could stay relatively the same, while some of the raid members perform multiple roles. This is actually how DoK/WP performed. In some of the more challenging content, they acted more as a support healer/DPS, where a second healer wasn't quite necessary, but having all the pressure on a single healer could be challenging. I'm not saying it would be easy to implement and balance, but I think it would be worth it for such an interesting mechanic and the flexibility it would add to some groups.

Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
The biggest problem with a healer with a melee range, which is different than a melee range healer, is that the first has to actually be in melee range of his/her allies, which drastically reduces their functionality and usefulness to raids since they would have to spend a *lot* of their time just running around like an idiot, while the second can heal anyone but is just encouraged to be in melee range of the target for whatever reason.
What I was suggesting, and how DoK/WP work, is the latter. A healer class who's healing spells have melee range would be an awful design. WAR had a ton of CC, including constant knockbacks, yet the melee healers worked just fine. However, WAR did also have a "detaunt" mechanic, which allowed healers and squishy DPS to lower the damage of their target(s) for X seconds for as long as they don't attack that target(s).
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Kitru
01.10.2013 , 01:12 PM | #76
Quote: Originally Posted by Okamakiri View Post
For example, if this class was capable of doing both mediocre heals and dps, you could bring two of them to replace 1 pure healer and 1 pure dps.
And how would that work with the groupfinder or random groups? A design like that would work when putting together a guild group, but it wouldn't work for anything where you *can't* expect to be able to bring in a pair of this hybrid rather than a pure healer and pure dps. Like I said, it's not a question of whether it would be balanced against other classes; that's actually a relatively simple prospect. It's a question of how the class design would operate within the confines of the existing roles and previous decisions made by the developers concerning healers. The only place where hybrid specs work is PvP and that's because the roles exist on a sliding scale: it's actually a viable option in PvP to reduce your DPS to increase your survivability because you actually expect to take more than a modicum of damage as a DPS; in PvE, it's not even remotely close which is where the problem arises.
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Okamakiri
01.10.2013 , 01:50 PM | #77
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
And how would that work with the groupfinder or random groups? A design like that would work when putting together a guild group, but it wouldn't work for anything where you *can't* expect to be able to bring in a pair of this hybrid rather than a pure healer and pure dps. Like I said, it's not a question of whether it would be balanced against other classes; that's actually a relatively simple prospect. It's a question of how the class design would operate within the confines of the existing roles and previous decisions made by the developers concerning healers. The only place where hybrid specs work is PvP and that's because the roles exist on a sliding scale: it's actually a viable option in PvP to reduce your DPS to increase your survivability because you actually expect to take more than a modicum of damage as a DPS; in PvE, it's not even remotely close which is where the problem arises.
You can think of the DPS/HPS capability as a slider based on your stats. For example, heal potency could be based on willpower, while damage based on strength. I know it's not ideal to have two "primary" stats, but it's not like heals and DPS don't already have separate sets. Since the amount of stats on your gear is finite, it would be up to each player to decide what ratio of dmg vs healing output they want out of their character. So a player fully decked out in Willpower gear would be putting out high healing and miniscule damage, comparable to what you described in your earlier post. Their damage would be like a Sorc meleeing you. On the other hand, player that wears pure Str gear would be doing competitive DPS while putting out miniscule healing, similar to Annihilation Maras put out some healing on the raid.

It could be further balanced by choice of abilities. Say they have an ability that does low damage while doing splash healing in melee range. It would be a low priority on the DPS list and ideally avoided, unless the healing benefit offset the DPS loss of using it. IMO, having the option to make decisions like that on the spot based on dynamics of combat would be an amazing mechanic and would provide for a very high skill cap.

DoKs/WPs also had a dual resource system, where using offensive abilities generated resource for healing. Kind of how DKs use runes to generate runic power. Some of their heals came from splash healing from their melee abilities, but a big part of their healing also came from casted healing spells (direct and hots) which consumed the healing resource. Obviously, whenever they'd be casting these spells, they weren't DPSing, so once again it's a conscious choice between damage and healing. They also had a channeled ability that allowed them to generate the healing resource even faster at the cost of not doing anything else during it. Again, choice for even more healing at the expense of damage. It really was a brilliant mechanic in how seamlessly you could switch between full on DPS and full on heals or stay somewhere in between.

Anyway, that's just one approach to it, I'm sure if devs put more thought into it they could come up with other approaches to making it viable. In any case, I think it's doable and worth the effort. After all, Mythic developed WAR, and now they're the team behind SWTOR PVP, so the concept should be very familiar to them. None of the other suggestions I've read so far sound as unique. The melee hand to hand fighter sounds interesting, but at the end of the day, it's still just another melee class, smacking things with their hands instead of weapons. Interestingly enough, WAR had a ranged counterpart to melee healers which worked on similar mechanic of DPSing to fuel a healing resource, Shaman/Archmage, so they could technically even make two advanced classes out of this idea as they did with all the others.
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Kitru
01.10.2013 , 02:31 PM | #78
Quote: Originally Posted by Okamakiri View Post
You can think of the DPS/HPS capability as a slider based on your stats. For example, heal potency could be based on willpower, while damage based on strength.
First off, it's not like your primary stat is the only thing that affects your heals and damage. Your secondary stats actually do just as much, if not more, than your primary stat on its own, and it's not like going from to tank: DPS and healing use pretty much the same secondary stats (crit, surge, power; alac and accuracy are somewhat different, but neither are *especially* important). Even if you were stacked for pure healing stats and using only a primary stat that benefited your healing, you would still do more damage than you should from a balance perspective: it's why it's really easy to switch from healer to dps and back but not from tank to dps; the stats are largely identical. The major difference between healer and DPS gear is actually the *set bonuses*. The stats are almost always identical or close enough that it doesn't make a major difference.

You're also wrong about primary stats, which are determined by your *class* and not your advanced class, not to mention that the entire point of a primary stat is to have a stat that adds for more than just a single attack type grouping: Willpower adds to Force regardless of whether you're a Knight or Consular and Strength adds to melee. What you're referring to is less about having 2 different primary stats and more about having *no* primary stat such that you either have to focus on buffing your Force/Tech powers (which would presumably be the healing ones) or buffing your melee/ranged power (which would presumably be your DPS ones). Of course, to do so, there would need to be little to no bleed over between the two (which means no DoTs for the DPS spec and a useless basic attack for the healer spec), which is going to have a massive impact on leveling (since healers would have rubbish DPS) and spec swapping (since you're going to have to have *entirely different armorings and mods, implants and ears* for healing and DPS, not to mention the level of work required in making new gear to account for the fact that Willpower and Strength are never naturally present on armor of the same type), completely ignoring the fact that you're pretty much guaranteeing that the average person is going to not have one *whit* of a clue about what's going on.

Quote:
It could be further balanced by choice of abilities.
This is already how the specs operate. Unless you simply have a *massive* number of different abilities or have most of the abilities function differently based upon the current active stance, it's not going to be effective in the way you think it would: you could make it so that certain abilities in the specs decrease the damage of an attack to add a healing component to it, but, at that point, you're just arbitrarily making the choice and actually discouraging the use of said abilities as heals while leveling (where damage is more generally more important than healing).

If the ability is useless without a deep talent, then you're just discouraging the use of said ability and making it largely a waste until you're actually *at* a reasonably high level. If you want an example of this, just look at Project for Consulars: it's worthless when you get it because it costs too much Force to do too little damage, and, even when you get into your AC, it's almost entirely worthless for Sages since they don't get an talents or abilities that make it better (it's largely just useful as an inefficient shot-on-the-run when you can't cast anything else) and, for Shadows, it's only useful for Infiltration and Kinetic beyond level 20 (it's not even remotely useful for Balance because, even with the buff it provides, it costs too much to be useful). For a "core" ability, Project is pretty reliant on non-core mechanics to be useful.

Healers in TOR are not meant to have worthless DPS. While leveling, healers actually have pretty impressive DPS in between their heals. The entire reason they don't contribute much damage in PvE is because they're having to focus heal. You're essentially asking for either a monumentally large number of abilities, more than could easily be fit on the bars that players are given and would functionally require massive amounts of keybinding to be even *remotely* playable, just to justify the arbitrary ability to heal while dealing damage on a sliding scale based on the use of specific abilities.

Quote:
After all, Mythic developed WAR, and now they're the team behind SWTOR PVP
As I have been trying to say time and time again, just because something works for PvP does not mean that it would work for PvE, which seems to have gone *completely* over your head. Also, just because a design worked in another MMO doesn't mean it would work the same in TOR *especially* since the focus in WAR was explicitly PvP and RvR PvP at that. At worst, the developers for TOR are designing the game with an even balance of PvE to PvP (honestly, based on responses and balancing, I think it's obvious that PvE is the more important aspect from the developers' viewpoint) so designing a class that is only balanced and functional for PvP isn't really apt, especially if it's supposed to be a healer (not to mention that you seem to think the PvP staff would be the people developing the class in the first place, which I really doubt; it would probably get passed to them to see if it passes muster, but I really don't think they would be the primary developers for it).

You keep talking about how it "could be done" completely ignorant of the fact that it's *way* more complex than it has *any* need to be, almost to the point of being unplayable without major changes to the UI. Even if it *were* playable, the level of complexity you're asking for would make it virtually impossible to actually gain the level of versatility you're asking for without the assistance of a crapton of mods, which BW has pretty well said they're not going to do. You seem to be focusing on a single aspect of the game, completely ignorant of the fact that is just wouldn't work for any other aspect and would, honestly, just become worthless for anything except for the one facet you seem to think is important to the development of a class, especially when you're asking for really complex development and balancing thanks to your desire for a multiple levels of sliding scale at the same time.
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Okamakiri
01.10.2013 , 02:40 PM | #79
Clearly you've never played WAR and seen it work in both PVP and PVE, and definitely don't understand at all what I'm saying. I thought we could have a civil discussion, but all your replies boil down to "no, you're wrong, I'm right", and are borderline personal attacks. I have no interest in having a pointless argument. I'm out.
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Kitru
01.10.2013 , 02:47 PM | #80
Quote: Originally Posted by Okamakiri View Post
Clearly you've never played WAR and seen it work in both PVP and PVE, and definitely don't understand at all what I'm saying.
You're positing that just because it works in WAR that it would work in TOR, which simply isn't true. You also don't know enough about the actual mechanics of TOR to understand that some stuff just wouldn't work. You're saying, "It would work because I've seen it work in other games". I'm saying "It wouldn't because TOR is not those other games". You're also asking the developers to explicitly choose to abandon long ranging choices they made early on in the development of the game: primary stats for entire classes, similar stats for healers and DPS, focused healing rather than undirected healing *even for maintenance healing*, a reasonable limitation on the number of abilities you are required to use. Yes, it *could* be done if they abandoned most of those choices, but I highly doubt they would be willing to do all of that just to create a class that only behaves in said interesting way under a *very* specific set of circumstances.
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