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KaellSolaris's Avatar

09.16.2021 , 04:33 AM | #221
Hello everyone.

I Make previous feedback a while ago, here is a second more complete with a lot of ideas on how to improve the current situation of the sentinel combat style.

DISCLAIMER: this is my take on how I will make a combat style for sentinel, I do not pretend to speak for all the community, and you can disagree with what I wrote below as long as your feedback is constructive.

Currently this is what Common abilities:

Base Abilify avalable on pts :
  • Strike
  • Zealous Strike
  • Slash
  • Blade Storm
  • Force Sweep
  • Cyclone Slash
  • Dispatch
  • Blade Barrage
  • Twin Saber Throw
  • Force Kick
  • Rebuke
  • Resolute
  • Force Leap
  • Force Might
  • Zen
  • Valorous Call
  • Inspiration
  • Introspection

18 base abilities, with 3 missing, two of them are added once again and one is removed, and another added:

Ability who Returns as Baseline:
  • Force Stasis
  • Force Camouflage

Not having a CC really hurts, some might say they don’t need it and yes for most of PVE content you don’t need one, but for most PVP it is not the case, a 4 second hard cc is mandatory for a lot of situations (secure a kill, disrupt enemy gameplay, etc.).

Force Camouflage is also back as baseline for all Sentinels, main reason? That is our only threat lowering ability, it should not be a choice, especially as a DPS.

Ability Removed:
  • Saber Ward
  • Pacify

Saber Ward is a good CD but more guardian oriented than Sentinel, we do not benefit from it as much as guardians, and I would prefer a new DCD more specified for sentinel.
On the other hand, pacify was a tool too strong in some situation and useless in other, his most common use his with Zealous Judgment, who finally give us a good DCD against Force and Techno damage, as well as an extra Dispatch.

  • Force Reflex: The force increases your reflex for 8 seconds reducing all incoming damage by 35%, damage taken during Force Reflex cannot be a critical blow. 90 seconds Cooldown.

I’ve always found it strange that none of the force classes have a DCD based on the theme of reflexes (both Jedi and Sith are supposed to have exceptional reflexes) so here come Force Reflex.
Instead of giving Sentinel a dodge like Agent/Smuggler, I keep the philosophy of sentinel DCD (aka reducing all incoming damage) and add a unique feature: no crit allows during duration, which is unique within all DCD of the game, compare to Saber ward who has an random 50% defence effect (meaning if RNG is on your side you take nothing, but if not it is like the cd is wasted), the effect is stronger, especially with the no crit allow feature. The duration is shorter as well as the cooldown.

With this we have 21 base abilities for Sentinel.

Combat Style Changes

Option given by the combat style are not a bad idea, being able to customise a given ability depending on what you need, or your personal style is something a lot a people want to see.

Problem come from execution, on each tier each ability or passive are in competition with each other defensive ability with damage ability or mobility. Some choices are so mandatory, other option will be discarded without second thought.

To improve the current system, there is only a few steps to apply.

  • Give each floor an identity or a theme.
  • Offer different type of customisation while keeping the class identity and global balance.
  • Offer competitive choices, proposing interesting alternative to options who look like mandatory without “nerf” on the most interesting ones.

By following these two rules, I propose the following changes:

DISCLAIMER: Damage number put in the next part are placeholder, because I don’t have access to a crazy amount of data, I can’t propose a real balance tree for DPS number, consider the difference between them as an indication of the complexity of the action in relation to the benefit to be derived from it.

For a better visibility, of each tier, Common abilities will be in white, Watchman in red, Combat in yellow and Concentration in Cyan.

LVL 15 - DPS 1 tier

  • Watchman - Flaming Wave: Force Melt sends a wave out from your primary target inflicting [x-y] damage.
  • Watchman - Hot Trace: Force Melt now leaps to the target within 10 meters and increases its damage other by 3% for each of your periodic burn effects on the target.
  • Watchman - Juyo Melt: Force Melt immediately maxes out your Juyo stacks and your damage over time deals 2% more damage for each stack you have.

  1. Combat – Puncture: Lance deals additional damage to enemies in a straight line behind the primary target.
  2. Combat - Driving Lance: Lance now leaps to the target within 10 meters and does 15% additional damage and 10 % more if your current speed is superior to 100%.
  3. Combat - Zen Lance: Whenever Lance consumes a charge of Zen its cooldown is reset.

  • Concentration - Unstable Focus: Focused Burst unleashes a burst of energy around the primary target dealing damage to nearby enemies.
  • Concentration – Implode: Focused Burst deals 25% less damage and cause a second explosion 1,5 seconds after the initial one, inflicting the same amount of damage.
  • Concentration – Gravitational Compression: Focused Burst deals 15% more damage, dealing damage with Focused Burst on a target afflicted by your Force Exhaustion detonate its effect, inflicting all the remaining damage at once, this detonation deals a critical strike if Focused Burst deal critical damage.

On this tier the options are centred around the customisation of the first ability obtained, themes are:
• More AOE
• More sustained DPS
• More burst

Watchman and Combat also gain the possibility to have an extra gap closer for balance purpose, Concentration already have one (Zealous Leap).

LVL 20 - Mobility Tier

  1. Common - Blade Blitz: Quickly dash forward, dealing a small amount of weapon damage to all enemies along your path, and becoming immune to all damage for 1.5 seconds, can be used while immobilized, purges movement-impairing effects when activated. Increase your movement speed by 50 % during 6 seconds after the dash (Cooldown 30 sec).
  2. Common - Transcendence: Applies Transcendence to you and your group members within 40 meters removing movement-impairing effects, increasing movement speed by 80% and melee and ranged defence by 10%. Lasts 10 seconds. (Cooldown 30 sec).
  3. Common - Intercessor: Force Leap no longer have a minimum range and gets an additional charge, grant you 50 % increase movement speed for 3 seconds.

Transcendence is the same as it is on live, is a good CD both for self and group, in comparison Blade Blitz was just an emergency button to move away from current position or just a “dash here to go faster” button, by putting a purge and a speed boost after dash, it might become a more defensive-orient alternative to Transcendence with an initial damage soak. Intercessor is also buffed to help in the situation where you are instantly “bump” when you just arrived in melee range, and give more mobility.

LVL 30 - DPS 2 tier

  • Watchman - Heat Wave: When your Cauterize deals damage it inflict to all target within 4 meters, if multiple Cauterize exist, only 4 of them deal area damage.
  • Watchman - Force Lash: Lashes out at target with the power of the force, dealing [x-y]. Deals [z] damage other time, damage are increased for each of your periodic burn effects on the target. Replaces Cauterize.
  • Watchman - Cauterizing wounds: Increase Plasma Blades healing effect by 5% and reduce internal and elemental damages by 5 % when cauterize is active on at least one target.

  • Combat - Storm of Blades: Blade Rush hits an additional target for 100% of his initial damage.
  • Combat - Rush Down: Blade Rush deals more 10% more damage and 10% more if your speed is superior to 100%.
  • Combat - Defensive Flourish: Each time you deal damage with Blade Rush your damage reduction increases by 2%. Stacks up to 3 times and lasts for 10 seconds.

  • Concentration - Zealous Stomp: Zealous Leap inflicted damage to all target within 4 meters around impact.
  • Concentration - Zealous Annihilation: Zealous Leap deals a critical strike and increases your critical strike chance of 20% for 4.5 seconds.
  • Concentration - Zealous Defence - Activating Zealous Leap puts a mini ward on yourself, which absorbs [x] damage. Lasts up to 10 seconds.

Customisation of the second ability given on this floor themes are:
• More AOE
• More sustained DPS
• More Defence

LVL 35 - Heal tier

  • Inspire Focus: you heal for 1% of your maximum health whenever you activate an ability that consumes Focus.
  • Spirit Peace: Zen recover 3% of your maximum health when activated and 2% of your maximum health when a Zen charge is spent.
  • Battel Trance: Rebuke restore 2,5% of your maximum health and 1 focus when taking damage. This effect cannot occur more than once every 3 seconds, you can restore a maximum of 30% of your maximum health during the full duration of Rebuke.

This tier goal is to help the sentinel to stay alive without adding more DCD by recovering a portion of health. Inspire Focus is the same as live, Spirit Peace is a Riskier and Rewarding alternative where you recover up to 15% hp but required to be able to have a good Centering income to use Zen frequently, Battel Trance the defensive alternative giving more bulk to Rebuke, with the risk that enemies stop focusing you and wait for rebuke to expire.

LVL 50 - Centering tier

  • Common - Keeper of Balance: Spending Focus reduces the cooldown of Valorous Call by 1 seconds, Force leap build 2 Centering when activated and you build 2 Centering when attacked. This Centering building effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds

  • Watchman - Burning Barrage: Blade Barrage deals additional burning damage and builds 2 Centering on each hit, even during Zen.
  • Watchman - Melting Centre: Activating Force Melt immediately builds 8 Centering

  • Combat - Energy Barrage: Blade Barrage deals additional force-based energy damage and builds 2 Centering on each hit, even during Zen.
  • Combat – Core Strike: Activating Dispatch immediately builds 8 Centering

  • Concentration - Kinetic Barrage: Blade Barrage reduce the cost of your next focus costing ability by one and builds 2 Centering on each hit, even during Zen.
  • Concentration - Zealous Discovery: Activating Zealous Leap immediately builds 8 Centering.

Different option to boost your Centering income.

LVL 60 - Defence tier

  • Perception of the Future: Reduce the cooldown of Force Reflex by 30 seconds and increases its damage reduction by 15%.
  • Guarded by the Force: Reduces the damage you take by 99% for 6 seconds. 2 Minutes cooldown. Can be used while stunned.
  • Defensive Roll: Increase your damage reduction increases by 5% and reduces damage taken from area effects by 30%.

Perception of the Future goal is to give an alternative to the king of sentinel DCD: Guarded by the Force who’s back with the ability to be used while stun, giving him the possibility to cancel a hard burst.
Defensive Roll is a more PVE oriented ability, here to help when you encounter a situation where there is a lot of AOE.

LVL 70 - Control tier

  • Common - Heavy Impact: Force Charge, Force Melt, Clashing Blast, and Zealous Leap snare the target, reducing its movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds. Additionally Twin Saber Throw main target is knockback for 1.5 seconds, if the main target cannot be knockback interrupts its current action preventing it for being used in the next 1.5 seconds.
  • Common – Adamant: You generate 4 Focus when stunned, immobilized, put to sleep, or knocked down, the cooldown of Resolute is reduce by 30 seconds. Slash / Blade Rush reduce the movement speed of the target they hit by 50% and the healing it receives by 20% for 6 seconds.

  • Watchman – Critical Overload: Overload Saber triggers Critical Overload, granting immunity to interrupts and all controlling effects for 6 seconds, this effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds. Additionally, your movement speed cannot be reduced below 70% of his normal rate.
  • Combat - Precise Mind: Precision triggers Precise Mind, granting immunity to interrupts and all controlling effects for 6 seconds, this effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds. Additionally, your movement speed cannot be reduced below 70% of his normal rate.
  • Concentration - gravitational acceleration: Gravity vortex increase your speed by 35% during his duration, additionally your movement speed cannot be reduced below 70% of his normal rate.

Control and Anti-Control tier, goal here is to propose different option to allow a better control of your enemies and offer anti-control options.

LVL 80 -DPS 3 tier

  • Common - Force Clarity: Consumes all the ability charges of Force Clarity and applies Force Clarity stacks to you. Each stack increases your next direct single-target melee attack by 25% and it’s consumed whenever you deal damage with these attacks. Recharges 1 ability charges every 30 seconds.

  • Watchman – Detonation: Merciless Slash detonate your Force Melt and Cauterize-Force Lash, inflicting their ticks damage. If the target has 1-2-3 stack of Overload Saber, consume all stack to inflict the remaining damage at once, generate 1-2-3 focus depending of the number of stack detonate and reduce the cooldown of Overload Saber by 33%-66%-100%. This effect cannot occur more than once every 20 seconds.
  • Watchman - Furnace: Merciless Slash refresh the duration of your Cauterize-Force Lash effect and ticks its damage. The burn damage bonus of Smoldering Burns is increased from 5 to 10% and its duration is increased from 4.5 seconds to 9 seconds.

  • Combat - Swiftness: Spending Focus increases your damage by 2%, your speed by 5% and your crit chance by 5%. Lasts for 10 seconds and stacks up to 5 times.
  • Combat – Quickness: Critically hitting with Blade Rush reduces the cooldown of Lance, Precision, Clashing Blast and Hand of Justice by 1 second. This effect can only occur once every second. During Zen your Lance inflicted a critical strike, this effect cannot occur more than once every 4 seconds.

  • Concentration - Focus Strike: if Concentrated Slice is used on a target afflicted by a damage over time, damages are increased by 35%.
  • Concentration - Focusing Slices: During Zen, Concentrated Slice inflicted a critical strike and consume up to 5 more focus, each focus consumed add 10% damage.

Another floor about damage, Force Clarity offer a general damage boost, other options for Watchman offer more burst or sustained damage with dot, Combat a faster cycle or more speed to synergize with other abilities, and Concentration more damage depending of conditions.

With all, Sentinel can have up to a maximum of 28 Abilities in his action bar:
  • Watchman: 25 to 28
  • Combat: 23 to 26
  • Concentration: 25 to 28

Which correspond to a little more than two actions bars, that is in the same range as other classes.

If you made it this far congratulation! Feel free to tell me what you think about it, are some aspect or concepts too weak? to strong? no interesting? As I said earlier, if it is constructive feedback, I am open to any suggestion.