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Wakalord's concerns/ideas for DPS assassins/shadows

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Jedi Consular > Shadow
Wakalord's concerns/ideas for DPS assassins/shadows

EatenByDistance's Avatar


EatenByDistance
07.21.2013 , 10:08 PM | #1
(This thread will only cover the two assassin DPS specs. I plan on making a tank thread within the next few days but I felt it was extremely important to just type something up now because I've been thinking a lot about how to improve this class and just wanted to go public with my thoughts asap).

Also, imperial terminology sorry my republic friends!

Ok, since everyone else with any chance of being elected as sin/shadow class rep is doing this I will too.

Most of the questions/issues that have been brought up in these kinds of threads are quite important and I would love to have answers to all of them. While it is not the representatives place to suggest actual changes, I feel like simply raising concerns is simply not doing enough.

I have a fair amount of experience with both DPS and tanking and PvE but nothing on the bleeding edge hardcore level that serious raiders have. As such, if I am elected I plan on privately talking to some of the more prominent PvE-focused assassins in the community.

With that said, I'd like to express some of my concerns related to the PvP aspect of sins/shadows.

1) Madness: Currently, what is the point?
Madness assassins are arguably the worst PvP class in the game. Worse than the nerfed pyrotech, worse than concealment, worse than a marauder nodeguard. They're really, really bad.

This is due to nonthreatening dots (lightning discharge is energy damage, while sniper/sorc dots are all internal), terrible procs (no more bonus melee damage, no maul at all...The only "big" move we have is crushing darkness and the method of proccing it is both more unsafe and less reliable than sorc's method). And of course, the damage is just atrocious. Madness sins had a problem of "what is our niche" pre-2.0. While they were arguably the single most damaging spec if left completely alone pre-2.0, that was both entirely unrealistic and doesn't even apply anymore.

Respec utility aside, the only things madness sins have over sorcs are stealth, taunts and phase walk. Our methods of getting procs and our filler are both more risky and far less damaging. While both madness sins and sorcs have paper-thin defenses, sins have to get into melee range to do anything. Even a mediocre team is going to be able to focus you down to oblivion. Marginal self healing doesn't matter when three smashes and a fully-loaded cull are tearing you apart.

So how could this be fixed?

Madness sins are always going to be a hybrid of melee/ranged moves. And that's a pretty cool concept. But right now, our only reason for being in melee is to proc crushing darkness. Losing Unearthed Knowledge (fairly weak as it was) and any sort of Maul really destroyed the spec. Also, Shock has been rendered useless. We basically put some dots on the target and pray to god we get a Raze proc before dying. After we get it, we're pretty much useless for six seconds.

And of course, *** Lambaste.

Defensively, while 30% DR while stunned and 15% dot DR are obviously great, they aren't enough when you factor in the fact that you need to be in melee range to get your procs.

Here are some ideas:
1) Rework the Lambaste talent to make Lacerate apply the Lightning Discharge dot to all affected targets. I really don't know what the thought process was, giving lacerate some utterly useless force damage on hit. Make it apply the Discharge dot to all affected targets, making it a melee version of the agent's corrosive grenade.

2) Bloodletting seems like a very lazily designed talent. Madness is about sustained damage, and giving us a marginal damage boost against sub-30% health targets is contradictory by design. We should be about constant, sustained pressure. Mediocre "burst" like this isn't necessary.

I suggest this: Scrap Bloodletting and give us a talent that increases Force Lightning and Shock damage by 10/20/30% (the numbers are debatable) for each one of our DoTs on the target. This would give us the burst and pressure required to actually be viable in rated warzones. It would also necessitate smart play. Instead of just spamming dots on everything, setting up the three dots on a target would reward proper focusing play (especially given the short duration of Crushing Darkness...That said, this would make Lingerning Nightmares make sense over the old Unearthed Knowledge).

WOW WAKA THIS WOULD MAKE MADNESS SIN OP SO MUCH BURST!

Not really. Unlike an agent's cull, our Force Lightning could be interrupted (if this proves to make our Force Lightning useless then make it uninterruptible if we take this proposed talent..Probably lower the % damage increase to compensate though). Also, our Shock still costs a massive amount of force. Currently, it's almost impossible to use Shock more than once or twice without suffering force starvation.

Therefore, we couldn't use spam Shock and Force Lightning on cooldown. It would necessitate smart play and knowing when to burst.

Also, giving us a reason not to just spam Recklessness for more Death Field AoE damage would be great. All in all, this synergies with the theme of madness being a "master of the arcane force," as opposed to "HOLY FK I GOTTA DOT EVERYTHING IM GONNA USE THRASH NOW OK I GOT CRUSHING DARKNESS I GUESS ILL GET CCD AND DIE NOW" theme which is considerably less uh....Cool.

3) What about melee and madness sin defensive issues?

To keep with the concept of "sustained, hybrid ranged/melee damage" this spec has going for it, actually wading into melee range should reward the player. As such, I suggest a two point talent that increases damage resistance by .5/1% every time you use a melee attack on a target affected by one of your dots. This stacks up to ten times (again, we're going with a theme of madness sins excelling in long sustained fights).

The catch? It only lasts for five seconds. This means that you need to be constantly pressuring the opponent in melee range to maintain your stacks. It would also punish players trying to use the previously mentioned Shock/Force Lightning talents to play like a sorc with a more damaging proc (we're trying to differentiate the classes here, people).

On the offensive side, make Lightning Burns proc off of melee attacks instead of your dot?

I'm sure someone is gonna ask about why maul and assassinate weren't mentioned here. While it would be nice to have every ability be somewhat useful for every spec for every class, that would probably require a ToR 3.0-level rework of pretty much everything. Being realistic, I don't think not having a super duper cool maul/assassinate proc in madness is necessarily a bad thing. And I have cool ideas for those abilities in Deception (see below)

I believe that if these changes were made, madness sins would become a significantly more useful, fun and rewarding class than what it currently is.


2) Deception: Putting the ASSASSIN back in assassinate

I have been very vocal about the 2.0 "balance" changes for a variety of classes, but I probably yell about the deception changes the most. While I don't feel that deception was hit as hard as oher specs (it's downright godlike compared to the current madness sin/concealment op specs, for example) it requires a fair amount of fine tuning if it is going to be respected again by the community at large.

While I'd still argue that sins have a great amount of utility (though very old this thread does a good job of explaining the utility I think DPS sins bring: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=582016&)

That said, most people still prefer the raw power of Smash maras/sents to deception sin. While an issue of toning the Smash spec may be in order, that is not the intent or focus of this thread, so instead I'm going to talk about how to make deception "up to par" and fill its own niche as a viable role in rated warzones.

So what issues do we face?

When Recklessness is up our damage is on par with snipers and marauders. When it's not...Well, good luck hope the stars align and you get a Maul crit to even be on par with everything else! RNG is a crippling issue for assassins (low slash miss? There goes Impose Weakness, the only good [no I don't think the recklessness reset is good in rateds] offensive talent we have! Oh, you got it? Maul doesn't crit you do no damage anyways).
The tree seems to be redesigned for ONLY doing upfront burst and then being useless. Concealment has the same issue (though admittedly its a much more severe issue for them) and as such is equally ignored in rated play.

We need some sort of proc that puts us on a threat level on part with Carnage's Gore, Lethality's Cull, Smash...etc.
Defensively, Phase Walk is fantastic, but the raw power increase that other classes/specs have acquired necessitate more in-combat survivability. Also, being forced to run away from a fight (causing you to do literally nothing for quite a few crucial seconds) is a major issue that either needs to be reworked or justified.

So how could this be fixed?

1) Blackout is our most reliable defensive cooldown. Our Cloak of Pain, basically. Our Impose Weakness basically revolves around Low Slash because Spike is basically used once in a fight: aka useless to have a talent revolve around it for rateds (Nerve Wracking is also useless in PvE). I believe that moving Nerve Wracking back to the tank tree would greatly improve its viability in rateds since the utility can be nice. In its stead, give the seventh tier of deception this two point talent:

"Reactivating Phase Walk has a 50/100% chance to put you back in stealth."

This would refresh our blackout, but at the cost of Phase Walk. Smart play would be required to not blow all your major defensive cooldowns at the same time. It would allow us to use Spike and take full advantage of Impose Weakness. It would NOT remove us from combat (no recklessness reset), and could be somewhat countered by being afflicted with dots. I believe that this talent would give us the survivability we need to handle ourselves in PvP.
2) Offensively, I have several ideas, but they all revolve around one key concept: Giving us an Assassinate on a target of any HP%.

Sith Executioner is bad. It's a boring and thoughtless damage boost for execute phases in PvE and just as unreliable as Madness' Bloodletting in PvP. You either kill the target or it is healed up to full in a split second, your useless 6% damage boost won't change a damn thing.

Maybe rework the talent like this:

"Using Discharge while in Surging Charge has a 50/100% chance to finish the cooldown of Assassinate and make the next Assassinate inflict trauma for 6 seconds, reducing all healing the target receives by 15/30% (or maybe 20/40%). This effect can only occur once every 10 (this number of course up for debate) seconds. In addition, increases your melee critical chance by 17.5/35% for 5 seconds after using Assassinate.

Now, let's pick apart this theorycrafted talent.

This gives assassin's a very supportive and useful niche in rated warzones. While the trauma duration is shorter than those of other classes, it is a much stronger debuff. This would necessitate proper focus targeting and communication. This is a good thing.

Don't like the idea of assassins getting trauma? Here's another idea: "...make the next Assassinate ignore 25/50% (or 50/100%, whatever is balanced), of the opponents resistances."

(note that that would include armor, actual resistances, buffs and the like), making this a truly unique proc and attack that could really make an impact.

While a Marauder gets armor penetration from Gore, we get increased melee crit from Assassinate. Due to Maul's hefty power but lack of a cooldown and somewhat frequent uptime you'd have on this crit% buff, it wouldn't give you guaranteed crits. But it would give you enough to make your melee attacks actually threatening.

The rotation would be rather similar to what you do in PvP after Gore (you force scream if you have a proc [you use maul if you have a proc] or you just spam massacre [spam voltaic slash]...And if you think you should use a Gore'd ravage you're wrong don't try to argue that).

Note that the crit% buff lasts 5 seconds. Assassinate has a 6 second cooldown. You can't chain this proc on low target enemies without proper planning (assassinate, proc, assassinate). It finally gives us a serious reason to run full Deception over Wakajinn (proc is related to Surging Discharge, which is way better in full Deception).

3) Humbling Strike is basically 3 points for something useless. Either give Low Slash a chance to slow for X% after effect ends or increase the knockdown duration of Spike. But something needs to change, because it's currently far too niche and unrealistic to be of any use.

I have thought of several other ideas, such as reverting Surging Discharge to pre-2.0, giving Voltaic Slash a cooldown and so on so fourth....But these ideas seem like complete overhauls as opposed to the more modest tweaks I am assuming we are supposed to present in this class rep system.

These changes would give us the sustained pressure, possibility for burst and team utility we need to make deception sins once again a force to be reckoned with in rateds!



So these are my ideas everything is work and progress and most of the numbers are of course up for debate. I plan on making a second/updated thread within the next few days covering my tank concerns/ideas but until then feel free to tear apart this thread unless you are dumb then please don't do that.


Thanks for reading.
Wakalord The Bastion: Hey im mvp
Watch my stream!
Quote: Originally Posted by Xerain
...and the only person who doesn't think so is some B-team assassin DPS who is just dragging his team down by playing the incorrect spec.

thejollygreenone's Avatar


thejollygreenone
07.21.2013 , 10:41 PM | #2
i like the general ideas, may not work down to every little detail but that doesn't seem to be the point of this thread.
All in all, good suggestions, i like the direction you're thinking about with both dps builds, i hope to see any of these changes in upcoming patches because everyone on this forum knows we need a helping hand.

leto_cleon's Avatar


leto_cleon
07.21.2013 , 10:54 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by EatenByDistance View Post

Here are some ideas:
1) Rework the Lambaste talent to make Whirling Blow apply the Force Breach dot to all affected targets. I really don't know what the thought process was, giving whirling blow some utterly useless force damage on hit. Make it apply the force breach dot to all affected targets, making it a melee version of the smuggler's shrap bomb.

2) Crush Spirit seems like a very lazily designed talent. Balance is about sustained damage, and giving us a marginal damage boost against sub-30% health targets is contradictory by design. We should be about constant, sustained pressure. Mediocre "burst" like this isn't necessary.

I suggest this: Scrap Crush Spirit and give us a talent that increases Telekinetic Throw and Project damage by 10/20/30% (the numbers are debatable) for each one of our DoTs on the target. This would give us the burst and pressure required to actually be viable in rated warzones. It would also necessitate smart play. Instead of just spamming dots on everything, setting up the three dots on a target would reward proper focusing play (especially given the short duration of Mind Crush...That said, this would make Mind Warp make sense over the old Twin Disciplines).

WOW WAKA THIS WOULD MAKE BALANCE SHADOW OP SO MUCH BURST!

Not really. Unlike a smuggler's wounding shots, our Telekinetic Throw could be interrupted (if this proves to make our Telekinetic Throw useless then make it incorruptible if we take this proposed talent..Probably lower the % damage increase to compensate though). Also, our Project still costs a massive amount of force. Currently, it's almost impossible to use Project more than once or twice without suffering force starvation.

Therefore, we couldn't use spam Project and Telekinetic Throw on cooldown. It would necessitate smart play and knowing when to burst.

Also, giving us a reason not to just spam Force Potency for more Force in Balance AoE damage would be great. All in all, this synergies with the theme of balance being a "master of the arcane force," as opposed to "HOLY FK I GOTTA DOT EVERYTHING IM GONNA USE double strike NOW OK I GOT mind crush I GUESS ILL GET CCD AND DIE NOW" theme which is considerably less uh....Cool.

3) What about melee and madness sin defensive issues?

To keep with the concept of "sustained, hybrid ranged/melee damage" this spec has going for it, actually wading into melee range should reward the player. As such, I suggest a two point talent that increases damage resistance by .5/1% every time you use a melee attack on a target affected by one of your dots. This stacks up to ten times (again, we're going with a theme of madness sins excelling in long sustained fights).

The catch? It only lasts for five seconds. This means that you need to be constantly pressuring the opponent in melee range to maintain your stacks. It would also punish players trying to use the previously mentioned Project/Telekinetic Throw talents to play like a sage with a more damaging proc (we're trying to differentiate the classes here, people).

On the offensive side, make Rippling Force proc off of melee attacks instead of your dot?

I'm sure someone is gonna ask about why shadow strike and spinning strike weren't mentioned here. While it would be nice to have every ability be somewhat useful for every spec for every class, that would probably require a ToR 3.0-level rework of pretty much everything. Being realistic, I don't think not having a super duper cool shadow strike/spinning strike proc in balance is necessarily a bad thing. And I have cool ideas for those abilities in Infiltration (see below)

I believe that if these changes were made, balance shadows would become a significantly more useful, fun and rewarding class than what it currently is.
Madness-Balance translated. Hmm... but I don't get the Lingering Nightmares/Mind Warp and Unearthed Knowledge/Twin Disciplines comparison though. Isn't the lengthened Crushing Darkness/Mind Crush as Sorc/Sage only talent?

EatenByDistance's Avatar


EatenByDistance
07.21.2013 , 11:12 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by leto_cleon View Post
Madness-Balance translated. Hmm... but I don't get the Lingering Nightmares/Mind Warp and Unearthed Knowledge/Twin Disciplines comparison though. Isn't the lengthened Crushing Darkness/Mind Crush as Sorc/Sage only talent?
Thanks for the translation!

But no, it isn't Sorc/Sage only anymore. Torhead hasn't been updated properly to reflect this, if that's the calculator you use. Unearthed Knowledge was replaced with Lingering Nightmares.
Wakalord The Bastion: Hey im mvp
Watch my stream!
Quote: Originally Posted by Xerain
...and the only person who doesn't think so is some B-team assassin DPS who is just dragging his team down by playing the incorrect spec.

leto_cleon's Avatar


leto_cleon
07.22.2013 , 12:16 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by EatenByDistance View Post
Thanks for the translation!

But no, it isn't Sorc/Sage only anymore. Torhead hasn't been updated properly to reflect this, if that's the calculator you use. Unearthed Knowledge was replaced with Lingering Nightmares.
Ah ok gotcha.

Hmm... personally instead of the change which you suggested to Lambaste to make Whirling Blow apply Force Breach/Discharge, I was thinking more along the lines of buffing Rippling Force/Lightning Force to a 5m AOE, by adding this effect: "Hostiles within a 5 metres of the target and not affected by crowd control will also be affected by Rippling Force". In effect a group that keep standing in place would have a continuous rippling force damage proc and be an excellent source of extra force regen.

Lambaste can then be left open for buffs in terms of a lower force cost to Whirling Blow/Lacerate as well as increase damage dealt by force technique/lightning charge damage and rippling force/lightning burns damage.

And hmm... increased damage to Project/Shock and Telekinetic Throw/Force Lightning on each DoT applied to the target. It's somtimes just insanely difficult to track your own DoTs in a 16m PVE Ops (DoTs by other toons also increasing Project and TK Throw damage would be waaayyy to OP ). That said, my personal preference would be to have critical DoT damage have a chance to proc "Shadow Strike Projection" which enables Shadow Strike to be dealt by a force avatar (ie no positioning requirement and maybe even at range), at a set rate limit and a slightly lower force cost.

DarthSpekulatius's Avatar


DarthSpekulatius
07.22.2013 , 04:14 AM | #6
I very much hope my English isn't as bad is I Bet it is, heres my WOT.

I've thrown out a Trauma Proc proposal a while ago and got told that it's to much Utility for a tank/heal class. (afaik only sent/maro&slinger/sniper have it).
I still think it's perfect for Shadows/Assassins!
even if it's just in the 30% phase (point of fact I'd think that would fit even better)

but I don't think the +15% DOT+FIB damage we get below 30% are really that bad, for PVE.
(the <30% phase is often a Burn phase you'll want over quickly)
the Problem is it's nowhere near buffing our DPS on par to the other classes.
perhaps have Recklessness give you a *your targets are regarded as below 30% HP* Buff with 15sec duration
(but that would reinforce the feeling of balance that everything worth using is sticked together and then you fill with useless stuff waiting for CDs to reset)

to Force potency/recklessness make it +80% or even autocrit & apply to shadow strike/Maul.
that should fix a lot of Infi/decep Problems?


to balance/madness
I'm still missing survivability.
Mental defense/shapeless Spirit should give 30% DR while immobilized (not just stuns) and 15%DR while Slowed.
the stacking 10%DR would go a long way in the right Direction but just one root/stun maybe even a Slow and 5sec are over.


Spoiler


back to your points
Telekinetic throw would need push back immunity (no interrupt immunity)
if it's left at baseline it would be almost worthless for pvp and would vary like crazy from fight to fight in PVE.
just the need to avoid AOE would make live hard enough but if it's balanced (not OP if left alone to play turret),
missing just one tic of the channel (25% less damage) will make you wish you had used something, anything, else we aren't Sages with 75% pushback resist & way more Force & no cool down. oh and 30m range.
also as melee you are expected to interrupt...
Spoiler

and I take bets if its worth using even with 0,75 of regular damage it'll first get nerfed and then people will find out it can be interrupted. who wants to take me up on that?
at first I really liked the Idea of TKT/force lightening in Balance Spec but the longer I thought about it the less I liked it.


the project changes look nice though they most probably won't help sustained damage because force management will suck but still it's worth implementing as an Option for certain situations and Burst. (hear me BW?: Situational =/= unnecessary complicated!)

all in all
the Project Changes
+ some QOL improvement for DoT tracking
+ anything aside from double strike/trash as filler (but not TKT)
+ a very small increase in Force regeneration (a worthy two Piece Bonus, apply it to all melee attacks for example)
+ removal of force lift Talents (replacement is optional)
*+ have alacrity affect DoTs
*+ willpower bonus / dot Citrate bonus
*+change Expertise (shadow math: not muchx1.18 = three points, the problem there is nothing else dps Boosting in range)
*+ change technique mastery (shadow math: not much+not much*(.25+.45)*.7 = three points
(but at least 3% accuracy are nice)
*+ more survivability
=Fixed balance for PVE
(* are optional since they are strait DPS/survivability boosts my main goal is fixing the play-style then talk about DPS later)
force technique does 5-6% of our DPS and is affected by 6 points?
thats worse then force lift!

TL;DR
there are soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many ways to fix shadows
try a few, balance at least can't get worse.

Majspuffen's Avatar


Majspuffen
07.24.2013 , 12:58 AM | #7
While it's great to see Balance/Madness get so much attention, especially with the class representatives on the horizon, I don't really think we need a second lethality spec. In my opinion, the niche about Balance (before 2.0) was that our DoTs were for maintenance. In my parses they did about 1/4 of my total damage. For PvP it was a lovely hit and run spec, and the force management (while not difficult) was very satisfying.

On the offense.
Quote: Originally Posted by EatenByDistance View Post
2) Bloodletting seems like a very lazily designed talent. Madness is about sustained damage, and giving us a marginal damage boost against sub-30% health targets is contradictory by design. We should be about constant, sustained pressure. Mediocre "burst" like this isn't necessary.

I suggest this: Scrap Bloodletting and give us a talent that increases Force Lightning and Shock damage by 10/20/30% (the numbers are debatable) for each one of our DoTs on the target. This would give us the burst and pressure required to actually be viable in rated warzones. It would also necessitate smart play. Instead of just spamming dots on everything, setting up the three dots on a target would reward proper focusing play (especially given the short duration of Crushing Darkness...That said, this would make Lingerning Nightmares make sense over the old Unearthed Knowledge).
I agree that bloodletting is a very lackluster talent, and I myself have suggested in many threads that Bioware remove it for another talent that gives us a second proc. I've played the Maul/Crushing Darkness hybrid a bit, and despite the loss of Calculating mind, having two procs really makes the gameplay a lot smoother.

As for what that proc should be it can be debated. While your idea is not a bad one, I do think it is a bit too much like Agent's Cull... and another problem is we don't have any dispel protection to support that. As it stands right now, it is impossible to threaten a sorc who knows how to click on dispel. This wasn't an issue before 2.0 because our melee damage was so high. I dare say it was fair in 1.7, seeing as Balance/Madness was such a versatile spec.

Of course, maybe we should have some form of dispel protection now? In World of Warcraft the DoT-reliant specs had some form of dispel protection. Affliction Warlocks had Unstable Affliction which would deal AoE damage and silence the caster if dispelled, and Shadow Priest's Vampiric Touch got buffed so that if you dispel it, you get frozen in fear for a second or so. I don't think we should have CC connected to our DoTs, however, as it could work against us due to resolve. Maybe just instant damage would be enough? Something that bites should our DoTs be dispelled.

On the Defense.
Personally I'm very happy for the 30% damage reduction when stunned. I always thought Balance had great survivability and that their only real weakness was stuns. So long as we could kite, we'd survive. Creeping Terror is an incredible tool for survivability and very fun to use.

We need Instant Whirlwind, however. Not only for defense but for utility as well. Alternatively, change the Whirlwind talent so that it does not suffer from spell pushback (i.e taking damage delaying the cast) and have it not breaking on our DoTs, and then have Phase Walk be instant for us. Being able to place the mark on the run would give Balance Shadows unique survivability in comparison to the other two specs.
Lambaste!
Best talent in the Galaxy!

DaftVaduhhh's Avatar


DaftVaduhhh
07.25.2013 , 11:51 PM | #8
Here are the changes I would like to see made:

Talents removed:

Kinetic Combat - Shadow Wrap (replacement: a 2-pt armour bonus talent)

Infiltration - Low Slash & Impose Weakness (replacement: a 2-pt +crit talent); Shadow's Mark (replacement: 3pt +force damage talent, swap positions on tree with Upheaval)

Balance - Lambaste, and convert Mental Defence into a 1-pt talent (replacement: a 2-pt +crit talent)

New ability for all trees:

Low Slash - Mezz removed; now an off-gcd ability (cannot miss) which procs further abilities; consider damage reduction. Cost: 0 force.

Low Slash generates the following effects for each technique:

Kinetic - Shadow Wrap
Infil - Impose Weakness (i.e. grants infil Tactics on a separate CD)
Balance - Auto-crit on FiB or a free Project with a +x% damage increase

Ability changes:
Force Breach now hits 5 targets in Shadow & Force Technique to bring it into line with the Kinetic variant, and is a smart-AoE in Shadow Technique. Consider marginal force cost increase.

Shadow Strike now has a reduced base damage and costs 40 force to reflect the change.

Double Strike & Clairvoyant Strike have seen their base damage increased.

Net Result:
Average damage up
Damage spikes down
Tanks are tankier
Shadows are a legitimate AoE threat in PvE & PvP with legitimate trade-offs to counterbalance the advantages
Burst is available in all trees for PvP & PvE that doesn't break class balance.
Daftvaduhh - 55 Shadow - GM of <Beyond Redemption> (The Harbinger)
La-femme - 55 Sage, Woklobster - 55 Guardian, Opfreely - 55 Sentinel
Drworm - 55 Commando, Rollface - 55 Vanguard, Leeloo'd - 55 Scoundrel, Rolling-deep - 55 Gunslinger

Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
07.26.2013 , 01:02 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by DaftVaduhhh View Post
Kinetic Combat - Shadow Wrap (replacement: a 2-pt armour bonus talent)
I really don't know what people seem to have against Shadow Wrap. I actually think it's an interesting tactical option to replace Double Strike with a higher damage variant. The way the proc currently works is actually pretty well done, in my opinion, since it fuses pretty seamlessly with the huge amounts of Force Regen currently afforded Shadow tanks.

My only real problem with it isn't that it's *there* but rather than it only has a 30% chance to proc PA rather than DS's 51%, which could be pretty easily fixed by upping the proc chance for Shadow Strike (and Spinning Strike) to 50% while leaving the Double Strike proc at 30%.

Also, any +armor or +DR talent for Shadow tanks would have to have a commensurate reduction in self heals or Defense/Shield/Abs to go along with it.

Quote:
Low Slash - Mezz removed; now an off-gcd ability (cannot miss) which procs further abilities; consider damage reduction. Cost: 0 force.
I'm not entirely sure I agree with this since it's really asking for a fundamental change to the overall play of a Shadow, especially since all that it does for 2 of the specs is trigger another attack (and that's it) without really providing any real benefit. For Balance it would, essentially, be a permanent buff to FiB that causes it to autocrit (since they would both be on 15 sec CD). It really just seems like an arbitrary addition that only really serves to add an off-GCD attack to Shadows and applying control over what is, at the moment, simply a proc you have to watch for. It's like you wanted an off-GCD attack and were looking for *any* justification for it and decided to coopt the existing Shadow Strike proc mechanics rather than actually looking for or adding a legitimate reason.

Quote:
Force Breach now hits 5 targets in Shadow & Force Technique to bring it into line with the Kinetic variant, and is a smart-AoE in Shadow Technique. Consider marginal force cost increase.
I *really* can't support that.

First off, the only smart AoEs are tank attacks (and not even Force Breach is a smart AoE) so providing them to DPS specs would be pushing the envelope a bit: the reason that tanks get the smart AoE (and it's only *1* per tank) is because they have to keep aggro on a lot of things at once. DPS are supposed to know how to control their AoE, which is why they don't get it. The closest they get is having DoTs that don't tick on CCd targets, which is less about smart AoE than it is about being able to CC a target after attacking it. I can pretty much guarantee that DPS aren't ever going to get safe AoEs since their AoE isn't *supposed* to be used when there is CC nearby.

Secondly, I *really* don't see either of the DPS Force Breaches going AoE. Yes, it would bolster their AoE DPS by a *lot*, but it, honestly, pushes credulity a bit by providing them with *so much* AoE. Without really doing any math for it, I *still* get a really bad gut feeling about the balance aspects of it. I wouldn't be adverse to some kind of proc based splash mechanic to cleave DoTs to secondary targets for Balance and something similar for Infiltration, but providing it as automatic functionality for Force Breach just feels wonky.

Quote:
Shadow Strike now has a reduced base damage and costs 40 force to reflect the change.

Double Strike & Clairvoyant Strike have seen their base damage increased.
This change just provides less of a reason to use Shadow Strike. The only reason it's got a point right now is because it hits a fair deal harder than DS/CS. Decreasing its damage, even if you decrease the cost, while increasing the damage on DS/CS just reduces the value of it even further. The entire reason why the Shadow Strike procs are *valuable* is because Shadow Strike hits like a truck but costs an arm and a leg. These changes would make those selfsame procs *way* less valuable from a comparative value standpoint, especially if you want the changes to be made in large enough amounts to actually enact real change on mean DPS.

Quote:
Average damage up
Damage spikes down
I'm not entirely sure I agree with this. For Balance, you're cranking the living hell out of its burst with your Low Slash + FiB change. Being able to control Infiltration Tactics with an off GCD attack definitely has some strong potential for drastically increasing burst DPS on that level as well (Spinning Kick>ForceBreach+Low Slash>Shadow Strike>CS>Project). I'm also not entirely sure why you seem to think that the damage spikes need to be addressed. Infiltration's burst DPS has always been one of its only real strong points in PvP, and it's actually a fair deal *weaker* than a Combat Sentinel's.

Your increasing of average DPS really comes at the cost of making Shadow Strike a *lot* more bland since the only other real things you did were increasing DS/CS damage and add the off-GCD attack (which is just adding just shy of one free DS every 15 seconds).

Honestly, the whole "Low Slash as off-GCD attack for everyone" thing really just doesn't grok with me. I just don't see the point since it's not really doing anything that isn't being accomplished in other ways that work perfectly fine right now.

Quote:
Tanks are tankier
As I've said numerous times here and in other places, Shadow tanks don't need to be tankier. They need to be more stable, which is a completely different concept. It's not a question of buffing them but redistributing their mitigation mechanisms so that they don't spike to dead in the current content.

Quote:
Shadows are a legitimate AoE threat in PvE & PvP with legitimate trade-offs to counterbalance the advantages
Burst is available in all trees for PvP & PvE that doesn't break class balance.
I'm curious what you describe as "legitimate trade-offs" for their AoE buffs you provided. You're suggesting giving one of the bigger, nastier attacks that DPS Shadows have available to them AoE functionality. The only "trade-off" is a potential increase to the cost, which is going to screw with the existing resource construct for all 3 specs since Force Breach is actually (now) one of the fundamental AoE attacks used by tank Shadows (since they only recently reduced the CD to 6 seconds so that it can be used as more than a debuff power). Increasing the cost on Force Breach enough to actually act as a *trade-off* would diminish ST DPS by wrecking resource management.

I just don't really see the point. You're suggesting a lot of changes that don't really do anything: the Force Breach into AoE is just wonky on the face of it (I'd much rather just see them add an actual AoE attack to the class rather than try to repurpose an existing fundamental ST attack) and the benefits of your Low Slash are just coopted passive benefits that would remain pretty much identical. You're disturbing a lot about the specs to do very little, which just doesn't make sense (especially since I'm not even really sure I see the logic behind some of those ideas).
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Leafy_Bug
07.26.2013 , 07:44 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by DaftVaduhhh View Post
Here are the changes I would like to see made:

Talents removed:

Kinetic Combat - Shadow Wrap (replacement: a 2-pt armour bonus talent)

Infiltration - Low Slash & Impose Weakness (replacement: a 2-pt +crit talent); Shadow's Mark (replacement: 3pt +force damage talent, swap positions on tree with Upheaval)

Balance - Lambaste, and convert Mental Defence into a 1-pt talent (replacement: a 2-pt +crit talent)

New ability for all trees:

Low Slash - Mezz removed; now an off-gcd ability (cannot miss) which procs further abilities; consider damage reduction. Cost: 0 force.

Low Slash generates the following effects for each technique:

Kinetic - Shadow Wrap
Infil - Impose Weakness (i.e. grants infil Tactics on a separate CD)
Balance - Auto-crit on FiB or a free Project with a +x% damage increase

Ability changes:
Force Breach now hits 5 targets in Shadow & Force Technique to bring it into line with the Kinetic variant, and is a smart-AoE in Shadow Technique. Consider marginal force cost increase.

Shadow Strike now has a reduced base damage and costs 40 force to reflect the change.

Double Strike & Clairvoyant Strike have seen their base damage increased.

Net Result:
Average damage up
Damage spikes down
Tanks are tankier
Shadows are a legitimate AoE threat in PvE & PvP with legitimate trade-offs to counterbalance the advantages
Burst is available in all trees for PvP & PvE that doesn't break class balance.


Dat lowslash on bosses