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I'm not *that* new, but I'd still like to play better and I don't know how.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > New Player Help
I'm not *that* new, but I'd still like to play better and I don't know how.

Kholi-Optera's Avatar


Kholi-Optera
06.27.2022 , 02:00 PM | #1
Started playing two, maybe two-and-a-half years ago. KEYBOARD AND MOUSE ... YIKES. But apparently Sith Inquisitors are my jam and I even learned how to keybind.

And it's fun to stab folks and electrocute them ... rah-rah Empire.

But I know there are WAY more layers to this game than I've guessed at, let alone seen. There are ways to play each class and each advanced class (which I don't even know how to do, anymore, with the 7.0 update ... how do I even choose DECEPTION or MADNESS, now? All there is is a day-glo hopscotch grid) that make for better fighting and better fun. When I google it, I get sites like this (just an example, not an indictment):

https://vulkk.com/2022/02/18/swtor-7...d-best-builds/

I literally do not understand any of that. I've been to a few other sites that have the same jargon that's incomprehensible to me and advice I can't begin to use. I dunno how to get any better at playing any class than I am now, without access to advice I can follow.

If there's a "Playing SWTOR for the Gaming Illiterate," please point me toward it. Most of the sites I come across might as well be in Esperanto for all I can understand them. After the first few incomprehensible (to me) sentences, my eyes just glaze over.

Thanks in advance for any resources and/or pointers. I sure do miss MADNESS....

SteveTheCynic's Avatar


SteveTheCynic
06.27.2022 , 02:52 PM | #2
Quote: Originally Posted by Kholi-Optera View Post
how do I even choose DECEPTION or MADNESS, now?
Press "K" (default keybind, YMMV if you've changed it) to call the "Combat Style" tab of the character panel. The right side is the "day-glo hopscotch grid", but the left side has your character portrait and options for choosing your combat style (don't routinely change it here!) and your discipline (Deception/Madness/Hatred for Sorc).
Quote: Originally Posted by Kholi-Optera View Post
All there is is a day-glo hopscotch grid) that make for better fighting and better fun. When I google it, I get sites like this (just an example, not an indictment):

https://vulkk.com/2022/02/18/swtor-7...d-best-builds/

I literally do not understand any of that. I've been to a few other sites that have the same jargon that's incomprehensible to me and advice I can't begin to use. I dunno how to get any better at playing any class than I am now, without access to advice I can follow.

If there's a "Playing SWTOR for the Gaming Illiterate," please point me toward it. Most of the sites I come across might as well be in Esperanto for all I can understand them. After the first few incomprehensible (to me) sentences, my eyes just glaze over.
You're asking the wrong question, since we don't know how deep your lack of understanding is. Cite some terms that you don't understand, and we can explain, perhaps.
Something you find difficult is a lesson on how to play better, not a punishment for playing badly.
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
Latest patch notes at http://www.swtor.com/patchnotes

Kholi-Optera's Avatar


Kholi-Optera
06.27.2022 , 04:47 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by SteveTheCynic View Post
You're asking the wrong question, since we don't know how deep your lack of understanding is. Cite some terms that you don't understand, and we can explain, perhaps.
Okay, from that page I linked to as an example:

Quote:
Introduction to Deception Assassin

Welcome to my 7.0 guide for Deception Assassin!

Deception is in the middle of the pack when it comes to single-target sustained and one of the better specs for burst, especially in shorter checks like you’ll find in more recent Operations... .
I understand everything up to "when it comes to" and I'm lost after that. Not just for the rest of the sentence but for the rest of the article. It builds on a foundation of terms I don't know and can't really suss out from the context ... context which is also worded in the same jargon.

As to what I don't know ... beyond that, I don't know. I'm not trying to be a jerk, I just know there's more to the game than what I do ... which is basically somewhat fancy murdering. The massive heaps of jargon alone tell me there is. If SWTOR is a language, I don't know the grammar, punctuation, what gerunds are, how to make singulars into plurals, what a linking verb is ... I just know how to say "thank you" and "where library?"
  1. I can keybind available skills and fiddle with the interface thing. I know there's more to do with keybinding than just "press SHIFT + 1 for STEALTH. But that's where I'm at for keybinding.
  2. I have strongholds ... if I ever want to decorate pixels with other pixels--and it's a good thing I don't because I have no idea HOW to do anything with gads of useless, expensive game-space that just sits there looking empty.
  3. Same with guilds, in terms of me not getting the point of them ... groups, though, I get. An extra lightsaber is always welcome.
  4. Got a legacy. One of the perks is, I can check email in the field, which is convenient, I suppose.

That's the ribbon around what I've figured out, so far. And most of that took almost the entire two-plus years. To figure out that there IS a thing to be done but that I don't know what or how. The surest thing I know is how to not die in most of the fights I've been in.

I don't know what I don't know. I love SWTOR but it's not remotely intuitive for me. I've figured out how to not suck as bad at killing things but I'm sure I could be doing much better and more efficiently at that. And I'd like to. Currently, I don't die much in Veteran Mode during game-play, even if it's group flashpoints (not really my thing, reading muddled texts-speak while trying not to die, but I LOVE the loot). But there's a lot of the same lack of knowledge even in group flashpoints. There's apparently more to be done than stabbing and electrocuting enemies and collecting useful gear. And though my zeal might make up for my lack of acumen and skill (maybe) in some moments, I could still be better at all areas. MUCH, MUCH better. Even and especially the things that I don't know exist and that I suck at them.

Sorry for the novella. But I imagine if I could type out everything I don't know about this game, it'd be a much longer reply.
________________________________________________

"Shoot him again ... his soul's still dancin'."

Night-runner's Avatar


Night-runner
06.27.2022 , 10:47 PM | #4
Those guides do rely on an underlying knowledge of mmo terms and concepts. They're also focused on Endgame (max level, all skills available, gearing up to high iRatings)

I really enjoyed Merlyns swtor guide site. He has some helpful information pages beyond the class guides themselves.

For your first example
-Sustained dps is damage that can be kept up consistently over the course of a fight. Think DoT classes (Damage over Time, IE use the skill and it continues damaging for several round, commonly poisons, burns, bleeds, etc....)
-Burst dps is damage that is BIG and spiky over a few attacks, then usually drops off while you set up for the next window of burst.

For your Assassin in particular, Deception is the burst spec, Hatred is the Sustained spec
-Deception relies on positioning, combos, and proc's* to do its burst damage
-Hatred relies on having its two DoTs on the target as much as possible, and augmenting/triggering them with its other skills

*Proc: programmed random occurrence. IE, "every time your DoTs do damage, you have a 30% chance to reset the cool down of Eradicate (can't occur more than once every 12 seconds)"

Check out one of Merlyns 6.x guides for Deception or Hatred, read his thoughts on your passive and skills, check out his skill rotation suggestions, then revisit the vulkk guide and see if you understand it better.

Still stuck? Come back here and ask questions! If someone mocks you for not knowing stuff, they deserve a digital smack upside the head
The light can move in the shadow.

SteveTheCynic's Avatar


SteveTheCynic
06.27.2022 , 11:31 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Kholi-Optera View Post
I understand everything up to "when it comes to" and I'm lost after that. Not just for the rest of the sentence but for the rest of the article. It builds on a foundation of terms I don't know and can't really suss out from the context ... context which is also worded in the same jargon.
One thing that Night-runner didn't mention was the distinction between "single-target" and "AoE" == "Area of Effect".

A single-target spec is one that excels at attacking one foe at a time, whereas an AoE spec has lots of attacks that hit an area (the attacks have an area of effect).
Quote: Originally Posted by Kholi-Optera View Post
  1. I can keybind available skills and fiddle with the interface thing. I know there's more to do with keybinding than just "press SHIFT + 1 for STEALTH. But that's where I'm at for keybinding.
  2. I have strongholds ... if I ever want to decorate pixels with other pixels--and it's a good thing I don't because I have no idea HOW to do anything with gads of useless, expensive game-space that just sits there looking empty.
  3. Same with guilds, in terms of me not getting the point of them ... groups, though, I get. An extra lightsaber is always welcome.
  4. Got a legacy. One of the perks is, I can check email in the field, which is convenient, I suppose.
1. Strictly, you keybind boxes on the quickbar rather than the abilities that you put in the boxes. The core part of keybinding is setting up an arrangement of the abilities so the bound keys give priority to the most important abilities. It's OK to click that one abilitiy that you use once at the beginning of a fight and never during a fight, but that thing you spam whenever you can't do more interesting stuff should be on the mostest convenientest keybind.

2. Decorating is a whole subject in its own right, but the key part is that once you have the decorations, you press "EDIT MODE" inside the stronghold, right-click one or other of the "hooks" (glowy panels on floor/ceiling/walls) and choose a decoration to place there.

Choosing a decoration is an entirely subjective thing that only you can do, of course.

3. A guild is a sort of "adventuring club", a group of approximately like-minded folks who are there, in theory, to help each other out. They can be a source of easy-access groups - just shout out in guild chat that you'd like to form a group to do this or that thing, and away you go. (This approach tends to get you better-quality groups...)
Quote: Originally Posted by Kholi-Optera View Post
The surest thing I know is how to not die in most of the fights I've been in.
A wise man once said, when asked what is the secret to a long life, "Don't die." Don't underestimate the value of this advice.
Something you find difficult is a lesson on how to play better, not a punishment for playing badly.
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
Latest patch notes at http://www.swtor.com/patchnotes

Kholi-Optera's Avatar


Kholi-Optera
06.29.2022 , 09:08 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Night-runner View Post
Those guides do rely on an underlying knowledge of mmo terms and concepts. They're also focused on Endgame (max level, all skills available, gearing up to high iRatings)
I have yet to reach Endgame, lol. Not my biggest priority. Biggest is maximizing the experience--having the most and best fun for me. I'm not much of a game-finisher, but if I'm having enough fun and challenged in the right way ... that's not a bad thing to me, lol. For this game, for me, fun = getting better at what each class does, even if it's by baby steps. Once that stops ... I tend to lose interest. Stasis, yo. Never fun.

Quote: Originally Posted by Night-runner View Post
I really enjoyed Merlyns swtor guide site. He has some helpful information pages beyond the class guides themselves.
I'll check them out--THANK YOU!

Quote: Originally Posted by Night-runner View Post
For your first example
-Sustained dps is damage that can be kept up consistently over the course of a fight. Think DoT classes (Damage over Time, IE use the skill and it continues damaging for several round, commonly poisons, burns, bleeds, etc....)
-Burst dps is damage that is BIG and spiky over a few attacks, then usually drops off while you set up for the next window of burst.
Okay, I think I get that.

Quote: Originally Posted by Night-runner View Post
For your Assassin in particular, Deception is the burst spec, Hatred is the Sustained spec
-Deception relies on positioning, combos, and proc's* to do its burst damage
-Hatred relies on having its two DoTs on the target as much as possible, and augmenting/triggering them with its other skills
I don't entirely follow yet. But I might once I play again, while having this in mind. Once I connect what you've written with what I can do in-game, it'll make more sense to me.

Oh, and does "spec" = "specialty"?

Quote: Originally Posted by Night-runner View Post
*Proc: programmed random occurrence. IE, "every time your DoTs do damage, you have a 30% chance to reset the cool down of Eradicate (can't occur more than once every 12 seconds)"
Is "Eradicate" an active skill? I don't remember it or what it does. I don't even remember the names of most of the skills. Once they're keybound (keybinded?) they're just "CONTROL + 9" or whatever. Since I stopped trying to remember the skill names and just have them where I need them to be on the keyboard and think of them as that key/combo, I get things (slaughter) done much, much faster.

Quote: Originally Posted by Night-runner View Post
Check out one of Merlyns 6.x guides for Deception or Hatred, read his thoughts on your passive and skills, check out his skill rotation suggestions, then revisit the vulkk guide and see if you understand it better.
What's "skill rotation"?

Quote: Originally Posted by Night-runner View Post
Still stuck? Come back here and ask questions! If someone mocks you for not knowing stuff, they deserve a digital smack upside the head
You're a Real One, Night-Runner. Absolute class, all the way! THANK YOU for the advice AND for the kind cheerleading. May you slaughter many enemies and may the Force be with you while you do so!
________________________________________________

"Shoot him again ... his soul's still dancin'."

Kholi-Optera's Avatar


Kholi-Optera
06.29.2022 , 09:32 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by SteveTheCynic View Post
One thing that Night-runner didn't mention was the distinction between "single-target" and "AoE" == "Area of Effect".

A single-target spec is one that excels at attacking one foe at a time, whereas an AoE spec has lots of attacks that hit an area (the attacks have an area of effect).
Okay, that I get. I hope. Sorcerer does a lot of long range and AoE stuff, with some single target stuff. Assassin does more melee and single target stuff, with some AoE.

Quote: Originally Posted by SteveTheCynic View Post
1. Strictly, you keybind boxes on the quickbar rather than the abilities that you put in the boxes. The core part of keybinding is setting up an arrangement of the abilities so the bound keys give priority to the most important abilities.
That, I do actually know. SHIFT + 1 is just where works best for me to have stealth in Quickbar 3. Merely personal preference, not my Entire and Inaccurate Understanding of Keybinding, lol.

Quote: Originally Posted by SteveTheCynic View Post
2. Decorating is a whole subject in its own right, but the key part is that once you have the decorations, you press "EDIT MODE" inside the stronghold, right-click one or other of the "hooks" (glowy panels on floor/ceiling/walls) and choose a decoration to place there.
Yeah, that one was my bad--I turned off most of the boxes that weren't about targets, casting, and skills. They're extremely distracting and colorful ... it's too WOW! and flickering. When I first started playing, one of the first things I did was turn off ENABLE for boxes I hadn't yet used. EDIT MODE was one of them. Never turned it back on because I had no idea what it did, other than nothing-so-far. Forgot about it. Then, when there was mention of it in Swtorista's Stronghold video, it took me forever (by which I mean, until this Monday evening) to realize that the EDIT MODE box still existed, and was not some funky update deletion that only I was experiencing. I'm going to have to go back and review ALL those un-ENABLED boxes. I'm ... not looking forward to that kind of time-vampire. But, needs must.

There are ... SO, SO MANY, though

Quote: Originally Posted by SteveTheCynic View Post
Choosing a decoration is an entirely subjective thing that only you can do, of course.
HA, I have no decorating skills and decoration isn't my priority, thankfully for my credit balance. I don't care what my stronghold looks like as long as it has what I need: CARGO, LEGACY CARGO, MAIL, and apparently, plants that give me stuff. Not just XP, but crafting stuff.

Now ... if only I could manage to craft something....

Quote: Originally Posted by SteveTheCynic View Post
3. A guild is a sort of "adventuring club", a group of approximately like-minded folks who are there, in theory, to help each other out. They can be a source of easy-access groups - just shout out in guild chat that you'd like to form a group to do this or that thing, and away you go. (This approach tends to get you better-quality groups...)
AHHHHHH. That makes sense. I've been in some ****** Flashpoint groups. Some FUN ones, too, that I was sorry to see end--and I'm not really a people-person, or group-minded, yet group slaughter has its allure--but, yeah ... some really disorganized and cutthroat groups that screech in MMO-jargon in the chat window then boot me for asking: "What does that mean?"

Slaughter is, I suppose, a pleasure best savored alone, when it comes down to it.

Ahhh, at least I'm right for my most frequent faction and favorite class....

Quote: Originally Posted by SteveTheCynic View Post
A wise man once said, when asked what is the secret to a long life, "Don't die." Don't underestimate the value of this advice.
ROFL ... that is GREAT advice and I surely won't underestimate it, anymore! Plus, it sounds like something Orgus Din would say ... or Darth Marr. So, I'm HERE FOR IT! I might not be making strides as a depth-ful player, but I AM getting noticeably better at dying less frequently. Some part of my slow subconscious has formed strategies for certain types of enemies and knows what skills to use in what order, even down to the timing of the cooldowns. I'd love to be able to do that more consciously and thus more strategically, though. Strategy isn't my great strength at all, but I'm always happy to aim for better. Any other advice you might have, I'm HAPPY to gobble up!

THANK YOU for your kind AND helpful reply. You, too, are a Real One. May the Force be with you and may it make you strong.
________________________________________________

"Shoot him again ... his soul's still dancin'."

Night-runner's Avatar


Night-runner
06.29.2022 , 09:49 AM | #8
My main point in emphasizing the endgame focus of the guides is that they'll often mention passives, skills, and gear that you just won't have available at lower levels, so there are gaps that don't fully come together until you've got everything. (which could explain why some of it is confusing at this time)

I hear you on gradual improvement. The cool thing is that you can still do that at level cap, there's legendary implants to obtain, gear upgrades, master mode content to tackle, etc....Want something new? grab shield/absorb gear and learn tanking!

Yes: Spec generally means specialty. I realize I generated confusion since Swtor calls them "Disciplines" (Deception, Hatred, Darkness for Assassin) Deception and Hatred are specs/disciplines that fill the damage(dps) role, Darkness is the spec/discipline that fills the tank role

On eradicate: Yes it is one of Hatred's unique skills, it's granted in the 40s or 60s, so you may not have it yet. (also that example was pretty much made up from memory, so read an actual guide for the real procs)

A "skill rotation" is the order and sequence you use your attacks. These are crafted by skilled players that have played a lot and parsed combat (collecting the data to show how much damage/healing is done by you during the fight, or damage taken during the fight). The goal with rotations are to squeeze the most damage you can out of your abilities and effects, while reducing the amount of low damage energy regen abilities you need to use
-There's a "fixed rotation, where there's a sequence of skills that is infinitely repeatable. This is possible when the cooldowns of skills and their combos line up neatly and it creates a predictable sequence that doesn't cause energy/force resource issues (Rage Juggernaut, Concentration Sentinel, Saboteur Gunslinger are good examples of this)
-There's a "Priority system" where you have a ranking of which skills to use when they're available/when certain procs happen. (Deception Assassin has a priority system, Telekinetic Sage, Arsenal mercenary as well)
-Then there's a hybrid, where you have repeatable blocks with some fixed skills, but in between the fixed skills you choose from "filler skills" based on a priority, and some skills may float a couple slots back each time you go through the block. (Hatred Assassin is hybrid, and now that I think of it most DoT specs are as well)

I started learning rotations from merlyn and Vulkk, I snipped the list/sequence, printed it out, and had it by my screen in the beginning. With that aid and practice, I learned the interactions between my abilities, and got to the point where i didn't need to consult the printout and could then make those priority decisions on the fly or follow the rotations by habit. (Do not go into Veteran mode operations or master mode flashpoints while trying to read from a printout!)
The light can move in the shadow.

SteveTheCynic's Avatar


SteveTheCynic
06.30.2022 , 08:16 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Night-runner View Post
(Do not go into Veteran mode operations or master mode flashpoints while trying to read from a printout!)
Words of Wisdom.
Something you find difficult is a lesson on how to play better, not a punishment for playing badly.
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
Latest patch notes at http://www.swtor.com/patchnotes

SteveTheCynic's Avatar


SteveTheCynic
06.30.2022 , 08:38 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Kholi-Optera View Post
Now ... if only I could manage to craft something....
That might be another of those disabled things in the Interface Editor, I guess. Learn schematics from the trainer (as you gain levels in crafting, go back to the trainer for higher-level / higher-tier schematics!), then use "B" (default keybind) to open the panel that lets you assign crew skill tasks, including crafting, to your companions. It's not the bestest UI ever, but it's far from the worst crafting UI I've ever seen.
Quote: Originally Posted by Kholi-Optera View Post
AHHHHHH. That makes sense. I've been in some ****** Flashpoint groups. Some FUN ones, too, that I was sorry to see end--and I'm not really a people-person, or group-minded, yet group slaughter has its allure--but, yeah ... some really disorganized and cutthroat groups that screech in MMO-jargon in the chat window then boot me for asking: "What does that mean?"
A good guild will be a big help, even when you're doing something solo. I remember getting stuck in the big fight at the end of Shadow of Revan, and shouting out in guild chat that I just didn't get what was happening. They explained, I followed the advice, and beat the fight.
Quote: Originally Posted by Kholi-Optera View Post
ROFL ... that is GREAT advice and I surely won't underestimate it, anymore! Plus, it sounds like something Orgus Din would say ... or Darth Marr.
I agree, but it wasn't them. It was way, way back in the day, in a BC comic strip. One of the regular characters crawls up the mountain to see the wise old guru at the top, and asks him about the secret to a long life, and receives exactly those words. It was meant as a joke, but it is, in an RPG video game of any sort,(1) very good advice.
Quote: Originally Posted by Kholi-Optera View Post
So, I'm HERE FOR IT! I might not be making strides as a depth-ful player, but I AM getting noticeably better at dying less frequently. Some part of my slow subconscious has formed strategies for certain types of enemies and knows what skills to use in what order, even down to the timing of the cooldowns. I'd love to be able to do that more consciously and thus more strategically, though. Strategy isn't my great strength at all, but I'm always happy to aim for better. Any other advice you might have, I'm HAPPY to gobble up!
Sounds like you're already moving in the right direction. You've taken the essential steps of watching patterns in enemies and abilities, and how they interact, and concluding that this and that and the other thing in your ability sequences are better than those other other things that you could do instead. In the end, that's all that the "theorycrafting" guys do as they prepare those advice articles. You just have to move toward doing it consciously and purposefully.

Keep up the good work.
Quote: Originally Posted by Kholi-Optera View Post
THANK YOU for your kind AND helpful reply. You, too, are a Real One. May the Force be with you and may it make you strong.
Best of luck, and may the Force ever serve you.

(1) Except in one quest in the Kingsmouth part of The Secret World, where you are, in fact, required to die, and wander around as a ghost (TSW has classic "find your body" mechanics after you die, although you can bypass it if you got too far into somewhere too dangerous) to discover that a door you thought was locked is, in "ghost" mode, open, and you can get inside and read some information. When I was trying to do this quest, I was hindered by people trying to save me from the local monsters as I engaged in unusually fumble-fingered fighting in order to get killed. I protested, and they told me an easier way to die.
Something you find difficult is a lesson on how to play better, not a punishment for playing badly.
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
Latest patch notes at http://www.swtor.com/patchnotes