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Mercenary Feedback Thread

First BioWare Post First BioWare Post

Drew_Braxton's Avatar


Drew_Braxton
01.01.2022 , 02:27 PM | #91
Note: I have not completed every activity. My intent was to complete everything required for the holo log, but with the bugs, sparse grouping opportunities, and activities not checking off (veteran and mm flashpoint weeklies) I think I'm done. I am not going to load up a bunch of screenshots to prove I did something when basic ingame features should be working.

Summary.
Disappointed. I agree with the comments that the stories and season 2 should be released, but the rest of the changes should be shelved. Bioware really needs to get everyone together and determine what kind of game they have (or want) and stick to that. At this point with what I saw, the game is all over the map.

Leveling - I'm not sure what type of player they are hoping to appeal to. Everything was easy and it just seemed monotonous to spend so much time walking or traveling to a far off location for a very brief and easy encounter.

Gearing and abilities - way more complicated than it needs to be. Still, after 10 years, nothing to help players to know what abilities do or what type of gear they need. Having so few abilities through so many initial levels was very dull and unengaging. If just spamming one ability for 23 or so levels is the new idea of engaging or fun then we lost our way somewhere.

Max level gearing is rediculously confusing and grindy. I have been around for 10 years so knew where to look and remember some of this same stuff years ago. I feel bad for new players having to figure this out. I really did not like the entire idea that you cannot see anything until you have something to upgrade. Being able to see all possible gear options was always nice for planning purposes and to know what options I had.

Interfaces - Some I liked and some I could get used to. Most of it seems unnecessary and didn't seem anymore "modern" than the current version.

Flashpoints. The veteran athiss was way too easy. It seemed easier than a solo heroic. Very unrewarding - got zero gear. Who is going to want to do an activity with no reward? MM athiss seemed equivalent to the live server.

Path to higher gear. The game basically drops the path for gearing for you and its not a pretty picture. It is also not play your way with the rotating missions and the only possible way to achieve gear goals is to follow the rigid path. Unless the game is a full time job then you have to hit conquest for commendations. You have to do heroics for aqua things. You have to do mm flashpoints for isotopes.

New reputation - This new way is way to random and unengaging. I can get as much rep randomly as by doing something specifically to get more rep. Having to go to nar shadda to turn in those things is also unnecessary grind. Why even work on the rep? Very detached from anything to the point of not even caring about it.

I am just left disappointed. What kind of game is this now after 7.0? Dull single ability leveling sure does not make the experience engaging. Even if you do stick around to max level what then and why? Grind out gear increases doing things I don't want to do? Conquest is no longer optional in 7.0 unless you want a full time job of using other activities to get the commendations. It pains me to say this as I have been here for 10 years (subbed the entire time) and still think the game has many years of potential - The team has lost their way. Except for the interface and combat style changes, new flashpoint, and new story/daily area the rest should be shelved.
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Gibonski's Avatar


Gibonski
01.20.2022 , 12:53 AM | #92
Quote: Originally Posted by inagalaxyfaraway View Post
EDIT 10/11: Editing with additional thoughts now that I've had a bit more time to process the changes and we have info on the missing passives.

Here are my thoughts on Merc dps changes as a long-time merc main:

What is a merc?

To me, when I think of the merc class, I think of a fairly tanky class with reliable ranged damage that doesn't necessarily bring a whole lot of group utility to the table, but brings a lot of individual utility and is able to keep themselves alive when the going gets tough.
Thinking outside of swtor and more generally to the star wars universe, a merc is a bounty hunter with all the right tools - able to compete with stronger, force-using opponents like jedi and sith through a combination of sheer willpower and preparation. Whatever gets thrown in their face, mercs have a trick up their sleeve to throw it right back.

Unfortunately, merc as it exists in swtor doesn't quite live up to that - its damage (particularly arsenal) is far too weak and its abilities are not very unique or flashy - they mostly just boil down to a different way of shooting someone. These changes do not seem to go very far in pushing merc towards the right direction. Mainly, these changes are a nerf to merc defensive cooldowns, which, although in-line with the general philosophy of 7.0, hurts merc's only real strong suit without bringing any additional utility to the table. Without more adjustment, I see mercs continuing to be left behind in the 7.0 era.

General Stuff

Thermal Sensor Override and Vent heat have been merged. I am not sure how to feel about this yet. Given that TSO on live should always be used with blazing bolts/unload for maximum heat-venting, it seems like this will restrict when to use vent heat as well. It could be a good change once I've adjusted, but for now I am a bit concerned it takes away options for heat management and adds more reliance on a single "oh sh*t" button.

I'm still not at all sold on the idea of making threat drops a choice. Tanks will hate this. Despite subpar sustained damage, nothing pulls threat like a good arsenal merc. I would prefer if the threat drop were a given ability and the defensive bonus attached to it was separated to be the choice instead.

Explosive dart and missile blast are still here. Why, exactly? When I heard 7.0 was adopting a streamlining philosophy, these were the first two abilities I thought of that could easily be removed and it would have little to no impact on how merc plays. Yes, I know explosive dart can dot spread for IO, but so can fusion missile. And yes, I know IO has the missile blast proc and the root utility exists, but generally it seems like even sub-30% it is better for IO mercs to gain supercharge stacks unless the boss is going to die immediately. And the root, while maybe useful in pvp, has a big tradeoff with other passives and could easily be folded into other merc abilities. Without major rebalancing, these abilities only function is to confuse new players who don't understand they shouldn't be part of the rotation.

Finally, choosing between reflect, hard stun, and hydraulics is gonna be a tough one. I would really rather rocket out become the choice here. Hydraulics, although only a minimal speed boost, is significantly easier to use and provides great raid utility from its ability to negate knockbacks.

Arsenal:

The spec looks and feels mostly the same from what I've seen. I'd say that's a good thing, but I was honestly hoping arsenal would get something a little flashier. As an arsenal main since launch, I love the class but even I can't deny people are right when they say it's incredibly straightforward (another way to say boring). It also had to suffer the 6.0 era as the lowest parsing dps class. In the era where the Mandalorian TV show helped reinvigorate star wars and created a new generation of bounty hunter fans, it's criminal that arsenal is this boring and underpowered. We have a couple types of missiles, and a couple ways to shoot people. What about those whistling birds from the show? Anything to give the feel of a professional hunter equipped with all the tools to take on epic enemies (isn't that what "arsenal" means?).

Along those lines, I really hope the primed ignition tactical will make a return, or (even better), the priming shot DoT will be added as a passive. This was a great addition and added a good deal of strategy in terms of getting the most DoT ticks to an otherwise incredibly simple rotation. Arsenal on live is entirely built around maximizing your damage from this DoT - please, please make it a built-in part of the spec, or replace it with something just as interesting. This pts arsenal rotation just feels blah.

IO

IO also looks and feels mostly similar to live. Seems like jet boost no longer gains 2 supercharge stacks (or the passive for that is not there yet?). I am cool with this change if intended - it was pretty weird that there ever was a class with a rotational knockback. Honestly, thermal detonator should just replace explosive dart as well (if that ability has to still exist - which it shouldn't unless it's damage value is significantly increased from live). Not much else to comment on here.
I wholeheartedly agree with this. Arsenal got propably the worst treatment in 6.0, apart maybe from operatives. We were not likely taken to NIM raids, except certain fights like apex predator. Still we couldn't hold our own when it came to other classes. Can this point be addressed more?

I do not know, and probably no one at this stage will know how the balance will look like with new talent trees, legendaries and gear. But if we get another xpac when we are pushed out to the lowest dps, then it will be very disappointing.

Another fact is the abilities choice. We can't possibly choose between what is currently offered as we need all them skills to be even considered in the raid rooster. Remove missile blast! No merc has it on their skill bar past level 10!
This is not the biggest issue though as we will make do with what is offered.

The only big concern is the damage output. I cannot believe people who write here that devs play Arsenal mercs. It is impossible that they do, because you can see it on the bottom of star parse, every time!!! If you really loved the class, cared about it, you wouldn't just look at how many abilities to save compared to other classes. You would look at what the damage you can put out in a fight.

Aren't there any devs playing this spec and wanting for it to be better again? Do you see how poorly you influence the group? Don't you hear the moaning when you have said you're going on your arsenal merc? Look at what you have done to this class and what is once was. We were top dogs when DF/DP hit. I could have easily go toe to toe with marauders and snipers. Now i cant and it brings frustration and need to play other clases. Give us the damage we deserve !

This guy though:

Quote:
Dude- your damage is good enough, you got the strongest dcds in the game, you got perma slows build in your rota, you got e-net, you got double rocket out, you got a 30 m range- you don't need hydros, if you do, maybe its time to get good...you have more tools to survive than anyone else, barely loosing any in the upcoming patch while other classes got nerfed to oblivion and you are still complaining?! lmao big time! mercs needed to feel the nerf hammer harder than any other class in the game except conc ops. get real and l2p
Damage is good enough? For what ? MM flashpoint? TC/EV farm? Do you even play this game at any level harder than story mode? Mercs have nothing on damage compared to other classes, not looking far powertech.

Peace

Ansalem's Avatar


Ansalem
01.20.2022 , 10:51 AM | #93
Quote: Originally Posted by Gibonski View Post
I wholeheartedly agree with this. Arsenal got propably the worst treatment in 6.0, apart maybe from operatives. We were not likely taken to NIM raids, except certain fights like apex predator. Still we couldn't hold our own when it came to other classes. Can this point be addressed more?

I do not know, and probably no one at this stage will know how the balance will look like with new talent trees, legendaries and gear. But if we get another xpac when we are pushed out to the lowest dps, then it will be very disappointing.

Another fact is the abilities choice. We can't possibly choose between what is currently offered as we need all them skills to be even considered in the raid rooster. Remove missile blast! No merc has it on their skill bar past level 10!
This is not the biggest issue though as we will make do with what is offered.

The only big concern is the damage output. I cannot believe people who write here that devs play Arsenal mercs. It is impossible that they do, because you can see it on the bottom of star parse, every time!!! If you really loved the class, cared about it, you wouldn't just look at how many abilities to save compared to other classes. You would look at what the damage you can put out in a fight.

Aren't there any devs playing this spec and wanting for it to be better again? Do you see how poorly you influence the group? Don't you hear the moaning when you have said you're going on your arsenal merc? Look at what you have done to this class and what is once was. We were top dogs when DF/DP hit. I could have easily go toe to toe with marauders and snipers. Now i cant and it brings frustration and need to play other clases. Give us the damage we deserve !

This guy though:



Damage is good enough? For what ? MM flashpoint? TC/EV farm? Do you even play this game at any level harder than story mode? Mercs have nothing on damage compared to other classes, not looking far powertech.

Peace
This guy gets it. At this point I wonder how many nightmare raiding arsenal mercs are even left. The only time I ever play arsenal in a nightmare raid is if they need the arm break. 6.0 clipped arsenal mercs wings and 7.0 seems to be following that. If they want to prune mercs abilities then why not start with the heals for the dps specs? We get 2 heals and med shot. Include those as choices. I was honestly shocked that rocket out wasn't involved in the choices as it was one of the defensive skills added later in the game. Give us our hydros baseline and put rocket out as the choice instead.

Arsenal mercs need some love in the dps department before we all disappear and become PTs.
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Dark-Zero's Avatar


Dark-Zero
01.22.2022 , 12:50 AM | #94
At the risk of getting flamed, there are plenty of things Merc lost in bodyguard.

they have no aoe damage reduction, no additional reduction while stunned (essential skill for pvp) no enhanced supercharge pushback immunity and defense chance from there, no heal when doing jet boost

all of these are skills im actively using on my merc bodyguard today and will have to drop

now what i do agree on is the chaff flare addition, that is not required and probably isnt well balanced to add another semi dcd there. However i dont agree that merc has lost nothing

Gyronamics's Avatar


Gyronamics
01.22.2022 , 06:53 AM | #95
Stuff that's improved baseline and is nice:

  • Chaff Flare now combines IO and Arsenal specific versions for 35% dodge and 2 single target tech/force attacks absorbed for all 3 specs including Bodyguard which used to have nothing.
  • Recharge and Reload now builds supercharge stacks by default (was a perk before)
  • Stealth Scan is in the bin.

Stuff that's cringe:

  • Vent Heat now combines and applies the effect of Thermal Sensor Override first then after you use that it does the usual Vent Heat.
  • Stealth Scan still exists as a perk.

Need to put down my tea to constructively rant about Stealth Scan.

It's one thing to say a free ability that's baseline has a value greater than zero, it's another to spend a perk point on getting it because that would require deciding Stealth Scan has value greater than Sticky Dart or 6% damage reduction.

10 years and the one ability that exists to be anti-stealth still requires landing an aoe reveal on an invisible player as if that's a quality mechanic and not an absurd scenario of blindfolded whackamole.

A player in stealth is not doing anything. Sure they can escape or go sightseeing but there's no negative interaction to punish from just being in stealth.

A quality anti-stealth mechanic would be a passive or active that reacts or is usable to counter someone at the point they are interacting from stealth because that's a guaranteed opportunity to get value from the ability.

Typically an interaction with stealth starts with being controlled, sometimes that's ALL that happens. This is an incredibly reliable interaction that a perk is worth taking to counter.

Fantasy Example That Counters Stealth By Countering Controls:
Quote:
Active ability, usable while controlled. (1) drops the existing Stealth Scan on your characters location, (2) removes existing CC and (3) grants control immunity as long as you stand in the Stealth Scan animation which will be a visible signal for other players.

Give it a appropriate cooldown and a debuff or buff for enemy players to notice its status. Perhaps.

Outside PVP it would be a personal control resistance puddle. Viable on its own and probably acceptable considering what else already resists and breaks controls in the game.

Anyway it would provide meaningful choice on the grounds that it will give zero value when nothing is using controls (most classes lost controls) but high value against the extreme use of controls by stealth.
It's crazy that in 2022 you're trying to ship an unchanged Stealth Scan by packaging the widely ignored Live "Heroic" perk of 20% damage buff to the next instant tech ability.

Do you want it to be a proper anti-stealth ability with a reliable and useful effect or a cheesy addition to damage rotations like the years of rotational knockback because it granted supercharge stacks.

Because paying 1 GCD to get 20% more on even a HSM is not a damage increase. Sure it teases the idea that woah, reveal 4 stealth with blindfolded whackamole and get 100% damage increase! Yes and playing the lottery has the chance to make you a millionaire but guarantees that it makes its operators millions.

326 gear + purple augs = HSM doing an average of 42k x 1.2 for SS buff and we get about 50k.
Stealth Scan uses a GCD and by default we can do a Rapid Shot instead which is average 10k per use.
Stealth Scan for +8k or Rapid Shot for 10k and get a Supercharge stack?
Even degenerate damage rotations have to hard pass. At best you take it to pad 1 hit for the start of your dummy parsing because every point counts to be on the leaderboard.

It REALLY needs a change and with the implication of the name Stealth Scan it should be taken for the purpose of being anti-stealth not some glued on special effect.


What would Gyronamics do if asked to think of ways to simplify Mercenary to fit the 7.0 agenda?

Mercenary is overloaded with AOE options, while simultaneously not being exceptional at AOE.

1) Merge Death from Above and Sweeping Blasters. When Death from Above goes on CD it is replaced by Sweeping Blasters. Functionally identical 10m wide, ranged, 2GCD channelled aoe. People almost always use the stronger, cheaper DFA then if they have to, start using Sweeping Blasters. Make it one button with the roleplay idea that you're down to using your base weapons for some kind of covering fire while recharging the bigger AOE.

2) Erase Sweeping Blasters from being a trigger in Barrage for Arsenal (resets Blazing Bolts) and Innovative Particle Accelerator for Innovative Ordinance (resets Mag Shot). Doing AOE should not be a hazard to tripping the invisible internal cooldown of Barrage and Innovative Particle Accelerator that mercenary damage specs are forced to work around by tracking GCD use in their head since it was last activated.

3) Delete Sticky Dart and grant the instant cast to Fusion Missile. Did I just invent that? No, that's what the Legacy Plasma Grenade (Republic mirror) has, an instant cast. Sticky Dart is an aoe with a knockback on trash mobs. It's cool "like a real grenade" until you realise it annoys your group and then you because it reduces further aoe due to its aoe knockback. Fusion Missile also briefly incapacitates trash mobs but they stay in place and is all round better.


The rest of the 7.0 changes for mercenary...

...I don't care one way or another about. Everyone is getting screwed about and most of the complaints are driven by terror that someone else will have a better gearset than they will and then they'll get humiliated in PVP and called bad. Might even have a banner planted on their corpse

Way it looks so far mercenary will retain the option to take a lot of damage, even more damage with Chaff Flare change. However losing Thrill of the Hunt and Hydraulics to do that means combat involving movement or slows or roots or physics may be far more punishing than it is worth to go full defensive. Will depend on the scenario.

Pretty sure tanky ******* will continue to be the overwhelming impression people will have of the class in PVP and low level PVE.

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