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Interview: Combat Styles in 7.0

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Interview: Combat Styles in 7.0
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ChrisSchmidt's Avatar

08.20.2021 , 08:49 AM | #1 This is the last staff post in this thread.  
Hi everyone,

I recently did an interview with Max and Sema, the content creators behind SWTOR Escape Pod Cast about Combat Styles. We covered quite a bit of information, including the teamís goals and philosophies behind them. Hopefully this interview also addresses lots of questions that yíall have been asking about Combat Styles in general. Below are some high level points that we chatted about:

  • We had the opportunity to take a close look at the state of the game for this release and address things such as balancing classes and the way we developed new abilities, thus opening the door for some fun stuff we can do in the future
  • Goals of Loadouts and Combat Styles, how many players can have, and our vision behind how they work
  • How we are managing flexibility and restrictions when it comes to switching Combat Styles
  • What the player experience is like if the player is brand new to SWTOR
  • Gearing changes will be coming to level 80, but we arenít able to share details at this time. This will be something that players can look forward to testing in a future PTS phase
  • Changes that are coming to Utilities
  • Light vs Dark alignment and unlocking Light/Dark 5 for Legacy
  • Excited to share more through PTS and we are looking forward to sharing how all the pieces will fit together

Definitely check out the interview for all of the details about the above points!

Thanks all!
Chris "BioChris" Schmidt | Design Director
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RikuvonDrake's Avatar

08.20.2021 , 11:12 AM | #2
KappaChris does it again

tldr from reddit

When asked about "why" this whole ability pruning and stuff is happening, and what the upsides are:

Class balancing. Previously, we would say, add a new DCD to this class, and then we would look back and say oh no, we need to add something more to this other class to keep it balanced. One of our developers described this like an arms race with the classes pitted against each other. Our goal is to take a step back and reset the baseline for all classes, to help balance better and faster.

It also opens up doors to do more things like adding new combat styles.
When asked about the "loadouts" system that was announced:

Subscribers will get 2 combat styles per character to switch between via loadouts. These choices are permanent. Loadouts will save gear, outfit, and ability positions on quickbars.
When asked about the "when and where" we can change loadouts:

No changing within phases.
When asked about whether there's a cost or limitation to switching:

As of now no costs, players can switch as many times as they want. Similar to field respec right now, just not within phases.
When asked about when new players will unlock multiple combat styles:

Players that have completed Act 3 once in their legacy will unlock that second combat style option for their other characters. Brand new players will still have a classic experience of playing a single class.
When asked about lvl 80 gearing:

Can't share everything, but gearing will change. There will be several new gear tiers. Current set bonuses will not work at level 80. Tacticals will also change. Although some of them might remain, don't expect them to.
When asked about utilities:

Utility system will be gone. Will be replaced by a "tree structure" system where you make choices between utilities/abilities/passives. To make it easier for new players, there will be a "default" choice but it will let you change it if you want to.
When asked about the light/dark requirement to changing to opposite faction combat style:

You just need to reach Light V or Dark V once in your legacy, then you'll be given the option on all characters (even new ones) to pick opposite faction combat style. Most experienced players have already reached these milestones and won't notice any restrictions.

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phalczen's Avatar

08.20.2021 , 11:26 AM | #3
I just don't know about this system anymore. I honestly can't see myself using this system if a loadout is permanently linked to a combat style. Instead of allowing me to conveniently swap between heal/dps disciplines, or tank/dps disciplines, it seems like I'll be locked to a permanent loadout and be forced to swap to a different advanced class. So, instead of being able to easily swap between Defense Guardian and Vigilance Guardian, or Shield Vanguard/Plasmatech VG, I'll be forced to choose a whole different advanced class, or go through the same tedious process of respeccing discipline as on LIVE.

This system offers ZERO of the convenience I hoped. I have no need to swap my Defense Guardian to a dps Sage, Shadow or Sentinel. I already have those advanced classes. I don't need my Trooper to swap to Gunslinger or Mercenary, just to be able to wield two pistols, because I want to use trooper abilities, not gunslinger or mercenary ones. I realize it could be desirable for some people, but the system should have been designed from the ground up to save disciplines into loadouts too, and it wouldn't have hurt those people who want to use two blasters and don't mind swapping their Trooper to a gunslinger or mercenary. The only thing I would use this system for is to change my light-sligned Warrior into a Knight, and my Sorc to a Sage.

Please, correct me if I'm wrong.
If you would like to hear more of my thoughts, consider joining our guilds on Satele Shan, "Shock and Jawa" of the Republic and "Full Metal Jawa" of the Empire. Thank you for reading!

Nee-Elder's Avatar

08.20.2021 , 12:52 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by RikuvonDrake View Post
KappaChris does it again
Frankly i find these upcoming changes utterly baffling.

Each new post from BioWare, while very much appreciated from a communications standpoint , only serves to make me less excited for the changes. (certainly way less than how i felt after first reading: )

I just don't understand why 'they' would choose to go in this drastic direction for *10th year Anniversary* .

Maybe my skepticism will magically flip in December on 7.0 launch-day , but i doubt it. Heck, i would much rather play a retro-SWTOR pre-3.0 combat system than this 'loadout' dreck. ( If i wanted 'loadouts' , i'd go play more ESO ) .

I've been here since 2008, so i'm not going anywhere , but sorry ChrisSchmidt: As of today, i still do not share in your excitement.
Never tell me the odds! - (Fix SPACE! 4.0ur *Community*)

LordCamTheGreat's Avatar

08.20.2021 , 01:32 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by ChrisSchmidt View Post
Hi everyone,

  • Goals of Loadouts and Combat Styles, how many players can have, and our vision behind how they work
  • How we are managing flexibility and restrictions when it comes to switching Combat Styles

Definitely check out the interview for all of the details about the above points!

Thanks all!
Hi Chris, I made a write up thread covering most of the topics from the interview over here and one point that kept coming up is how exactly the loadout slots will function because a little more clarification would be appreciated.

1. Are loadouts tied to combat styles? - e.g. loadout 1 is for my guardian, loadout 2 is for my sage - disciplines aren't part of it.

2. Or, do we pick one discipline within each combat style to attach the loadout to? Say, defense for guardian and telekinetics for sage.

3. Or, can we pick and choose which disciplines within those combat styles should be attached to our loadouts? e.g. Guardian defense for loadout 1 and guardian vigilance for loadout 2.

Thanks for doing the interview, it certainly gave me a lot to search through and write about!
I made a website containing notes about combat styles and ABC choices for reference while testing the PTS
Jack of all classes, master of some. Always remember that cake is a lie.

VampRayLa's Avatar

08.20.2021 , 02:18 PM | #6
I am at a loss at how bad this is becoming. I keep hearing all this 'calm down, its going to be ok. The other changes will make up for the ability loss' but every time something new comes out, im stunned. There was so much excitement for 7.0 and everything about 7.0 is not even disappointing, its just disheartening.

re loadout: 'choices are permanent' understanding that we have seen nothing about them, this is kind of scary. Why would they be permanent? Does this mean that I can only be an Sent or a Guardian and not Mara or Jugg? This include the combat style? This include the gear? (cause I never change gear stats) this terrible new tree? (cause I never have to spec diff) All it NEEDS to do it remember where on my bar my abilities are - and preferably my gear and this terrible tree. But, can I change....nothing in the load out? I would think it would be 'you get two, and if you change something you then have to save it overriding one that you have' - you know, like any normal program. Can I opt out of loadouts then? Just not use loadout and keep 'respecting' as I do today? I have been know to move even my abilities years later for one reason or another so 'permanent' is the LAST thing I would ever want. I (tried) listening to the interview, and while I get the generic idea for the decision, If these are truly permanent I will NEVER use this. I dont know where the permanent ends and what I can change in the future. If I can only chose two advance classes, fine, really, I could not care less, but when you add in these loadouts being permanent, then you get into all sorts of mess. Am I limited to two combat styles (because loadouts)? What if both my loadouts dont have my ops buff....guess she can never do ops? This sounds like I need more toons....
  • two advance classes only - fine
  • two loadouts - fine
  • two PERMANENT loadouts - NOT fine
  • ensure that I can just NOT use loadouts - unknown

Not to mention, second to the above: I cant change IN phase? So, if I went from Jugg to Mara I have to leave phase then phase back in? (that, whatever) Can I not change trees in phase? (because permanent loadout) can I not change gear in phase? (because permanent loadout) can I not change combat style? (because permanent loadout) Can I keep respecing as we do today the same way as we do today (in phase)? forgoing these loadouts? Adding this to 'permanent loadouts' why not just have another toon?

At this point this is a lot of 'I am not using that' and will stick to still having dozens of toons. Somehow that is less work and defiantly more flexible.

In addition, I now have a third reason to why abilities are being 'choices', something that was clear but never stated, and what I have stated before - PVP - class to class balancing. Its not new players (throwing passives and abilities and utility into on big bucket, not new player friendly, sorry) Its not mechanic bypass. Its PVP. Make us 'loadout' (not the way you have described) for PVP then (but, more like star fighter - where, you can change them before going into the match, but not in que or in match). I que for PVP I have to have choices, limited abilities, since that is what it really is affecting. You are damaging all of pve for the sake of pvp.

is there a way to NOT go into 7.0? asking for a friend.

WHTJunior's Avatar

08.20.2021 , 02:28 PM | #7
The one thing that has me most interested, is the bit about adding new Combat Styles in the future. Maybe this is how we get reverse-hold lightsabers and melee tech Combat Styles like polearms, dual-wield vibroblades, or a tech/charged shield for tanks. Maybe they'll even get bold, and be able to introduce new Origin Stories as well, like Imperial Trooper, SIS Agent, Psion, etc.

As it is, I don't think I will be using the Combat Styles to their fullest, as my main intent is to give my LS Sith the appropriate LS Combat Styles, give DS Jedi their theme-appropriate DS Combat Styles, and mix up some of my tech characters to spread out the Combat Styles across more characters. I don't really have a use for the additional Loadouts or Combat Styles, but I think it would be fine to allow more, for those who will use it.

Darthjantom's Avatar

08.20.2021 , 02:38 PM | #8
Permanent loadouts is a big no-no.
It is not what people (myself included) were remotely expecting when the announcement was made for 7.0.
Limited to 2 loadouts at a time? sure thats fine, and still incentivises having and leveling alts.
But at the very least let us change a loadout.
What is the point of opening up the classes only to have us permanently stuck with 2 forever?
Especially with the statement you made about potentially adding new combat styles in the future (which is a very exciting prospect btw).
Loadouts should not be a permanent choice you will be stuck with forever.
Having loadouts not be permanent would also allow people to try out combat specs they normally (if they had to level a character for it or would get stuck with it permanently) would not try.

BenKatarn's Avatar

08.20.2021 , 03:31 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Darthjantom View Post
Permanent loadouts is a big no-no.
I listened to the interview this afternoon while working, and that is not how I understood it, primarily because people kept using "combat styles" and "loadouts" interchangeably.

As I understood it, you get to pick one additional combat style in addition to the one your character already is / what you pick when you roll a new character. So if you are a Scoundrel, you can also pick the combat style of a Vanguard, but once you have chosen that additional combat style, you are locked in. You basically get to choose one additional advance class in addition to what you already are. Nowhere did I hear that you are permanently stuck to a particular loadout of that combat style (Loadout A or Loadout B).
- = = The Katarn Legacy = = -

MadDutchman's Avatar

08.20.2021 , 03:37 PM | #10

People were complaining that the combat styles/loadouts would disincentivize them from leveling and gearing alts. "Why play an alt when I can just change my CS at a click of a button?"

Now it's revealed to be restricted and people are still complaining. Can't win.

Personally, nothing I have seen thus far has made me any less excited about CS.
I Have Spoken

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