Please upgrade your browser for the best possible experience.

Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer
×

Mercenary Feedback Thread

First BioWare Post First BioWare Post

JackieKo's Avatar


JackieKo
10.08.2021 , 09:48 AM | #1 This is the last staff post in this thread.  
With PTS now live, you can help test the Combat Style for the Mercenary.

Please answer the following questions:
  • Does the current combat rotation make this experience feel like you are playing a Mercenary? Why or why not?
  • If you have feedback on the different discipline, please note your feedback accordingly so we can track it.
  • As you’re beginning from level 1, do you feel you have enough abilities that keep gameplay interesting?
  • Are you able to defeat enemies at a reasonable rate?
  • Do all your abilities feel like they’re working together?

Feel free to answer in as much detail as possible to help us understand your thought process and line of thinking.

Thank you!

EDIT: Added additional feedback questions.
Jackie | Community Manager
Follow us on Twitter @SWTOR | Like us on Facebook
[Contact Us] [Rules of Conduct] [F.A.Q.]

LordCamTheGreat's Avatar


LordCamTheGreat
10.08.2021 , 12:16 PM | #2
Haven't checked Powertech yet but currently I cannot read the descriptions for any of the level 15 or 30 passives for Bodyguard, Arsenal or Innovative Ordnance. All I can see are placeholder signs with no descriptions.
Stealth scan at level 20 is also missing its title.

Testing out healing scan, I can see that the left most passive provides a debuff with a placeholder icon, the centre one creates a puddle and the last one I have no idea. This suggests that the effects are present, but the details are not - meaning that we're stumbling through the dark rather than properly testing the modifiers.

As such, if you have the details for these passives and they are indeed broken for everyone, it would be useful if the passive descriptions could be listed out in this thread. (the other option being taking the PTS down for some hotfixes)
Jack of all classes, master of some. Always remember that cake is a lie.

inagalaxyfaraway's Avatar


inagalaxyfaraway
10.08.2021 , 02:15 PM | #3
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.

Pazuzuh's Avatar


Pazuzuh
10.08.2021 , 04:18 PM | #4
Ttree not showing lv 15 and lv30 abilities descriptions. Cant read what is says.

CeciliaW's Avatar


CeciliaW
10.08.2021 , 11:26 PM | #5
I haven't tried out the combat styles yet due to the missing descriptions. I know the descriptions were uploaded to the thread, but since I do not know which ones apply to which choice, haven't tried them yet.

Things I've noticed:

Merc appears to be a lot more squishy.
Pants on the starter outfit are...weird. Pink, and then occasionally blue with writing. Probably a glitch (Low priority, PTS server)
There is not a tactical gear vendor for merc like there is for operative/guardian/inquisitor. I know gear set bonuses are not working, but having the right tactical would be key to knowing how the combat style fares. Not sure if this lack was planned or not.

Side question: WIll the tacticals be the same with the update or will we have new tacticals to go with the new armor sets?

Vajratunda's Avatar


Vajratunda
10.09.2021 , 04:50 AM | #6
This is feedback for Mercenary Innovative Ordinance spec from a pure PVE perspective.

For me the mercenary was a very versatile class that had good dps and good survivability.
The reduction of dcds of course means less survivabilty, but I feel the current setup is too much.
For the lvl 70 choice, I think that the choice should be between the stuns/knockbacks (concussion missile/electro dart/jet boost), since 'Jet boost' no longer grants supercharge, the abilitiy has become very situational.
Hydraulic override should be a standard ability. The knockdown immunity comes often to play in flashpoints and operation especially, since merc io has one cast and one ability with activation time.
Responsive safeguard being a choice I don't mind, but energy shield should have 'energy rebounder' passive integrated with the 'pyro shield' utility as a choice on lvl 50.

A few other ideas/wishes:
The 'thrill of the hunt passive' on lvl 60 should include 'serrated shot', allowing for a more mobility based build.
Explosive dart could be removed, since 'fusion missile' with 'power surge' does the same.
If the tacticals are removed, then the 'energized charges' tactical and the 'continuous fire' tactical should be integrated as a passives choice allowing for a more single target or AOE orientated build.

Otherwise I have noticed that Kolto shots and rapid fire sometimes give 2 charges of supercharge and sometimes just one. I am not sure if that is a glitch or if it is intended, but I wasn't able to find a tooltip that explains when and how you get how many stacks of supercharge.

Baletraeger's Avatar


Baletraeger
10.09.2021 , 07:48 AM | #7
IO Merc

Level 15 - no info on passive augments for supercharged gas,

Level 20 - why is explosive dart optional for IO? This is a part of the IO ability cycle? If you want to take an opportunity to prune, then why not have thermal detonator replace explosive dart on IO?
- I'd prefer to see stealth scan be a standard ability, get the master utility added to it standard, and also work on NPC mobs so it isn't' just a PVP ability

Level 30 - no info on passive augments for Thermal Detonator

Level 35 - Chaff flare is optional? Why is our threat drop optional?

Level 40 - Another opportunity for you to prune, have serrated shot replace power shot on IO and combine all their effects

Level 50 - a little underwhelming in the choices here

Level 60 - I would rather you make Thrill of the Hunt a baseline passive on all merc specs.

Level 70 - HO is optional? What? Again you take a core iconic ability and make it optional? And single target stun is optional here as well as you have done with other classes.

Does the current combat rotation make this experience feel like you are playing a Mercenary? Why or why not?
The combat rotation is fine, but the overall experience frankly sucks. When I play merc, I want to run and gun (or rocket). Instead of having dynamic choices on how my combat abilities work and how my defensive abilities work, I now have to sacrifice mobility so that I can have access to defensives and utility abilities. I get that Merc is one of the most "bloated" of all the classes, but this honestly feels like there was zero effort put into the changes. You have so much opportunity to combine similar abilities.

As I mentioned in the level notes, you can have thermal detonator replace explosive dart at level 30 giving it the utility of spreading dots on top of its existing effects. You can have serrated shot replace power shot at level 40 and take its effects as well as using surging shots.

On defense, you have a great opportunity to put energy shield on the ability tree and have it be augmentable. Put it as the level 10 ability instead and then at level 15 you can have us choose power barrier, power shield, or energy rebounder. That is a meaningful choice that makes sense.

Please go back and rethink this class change setup you have done here. Just like on Jedi Knights round one there are just too many changes here that don't make any sense.
Troomis | Star Forge | Twitter

Baletraeger's Avatar


Baletraeger
10.09.2021 , 09:24 AM | #8
Arsenal Merc

Level 15 - no info on PTS passive augments for tracer missile, will update my review when they are actually in the game

Level 20 - I'd prefer to see stealth scan be a standard ability, get the master utility added to it standard, and also work on NPC mobs so it isn't' just a PVP ability

Level 30 - no info on PTS passive augments for heatseeker, will update my review when they are actually in the game

Level 35 - Chaff flare is optional? Why is our threat drop optional?

Level 40 - Another opportunity for you to prune, have serrated shot replace power shot on IO and combine all their effects

Level 50 - a little underwhelming in the choices here

Level 60 - I would rather you make Thrill of the Hunt a baseline passive on all merc specs.

Level 70 - HO is optional? What? Again you take a core iconic ability and make it optional? And single target stun is optional here as well as you have done with other classes.

Overall response here is the same as with IO.

Does the current combat rotation make this experience feel like you are playing a Mercenary? Why or why not?
The combat rotation is fine, but the overall experience frankly sucks. When I play merc, I want to run and gun (or rocket). Instead of having dynamic choices on how my combat abilities work and how my defensive abilities work, I now have to sacrifice mobility so that I can have access to defensives and utility abilities. I get that Merc is one of the most "bloated" of all the classes, but this honestly feels like there was zero effort put into the changes. You have so much opportunity to combine similar abilities.

On defense, you have a great opportunity to put energy shield on the ability tree and have it be augmentable. Put it as the level 10 ability instead and then at level 15 you can have us choose power barrier, power shield, or energy rebounder. That is a meaningful choice that makes sense.

Please go back and rethink this class change setup you have done here. Just like on Jedi Knights round one there are just too many changes here that don't make any sense.
Troomis | Star Forge | Twitter

Irishdoh's Avatar


Irishdoh
10.09.2021 , 10:14 AM | #9
I was planning to do a detailed breakdown, but as some items are broken with no description, I can't even accurately do that. And really, its just going to be a rehash of what I said about the other classes.

I have a list of abilities that now force me to select between abilities that I now get almost all of on my characters. Instead of having defensives and offensives I now have to choose and the options are poor either way. Items that I currently get at low levels now appear at ridiculously high levels. And, as I noted on other classes, adding 5 levels and just rearranging the abilities instead of giving new ones makes no sense.

Does the current combat rotation make this experience feel like you are playing a Mercenary? Why or why not?

It feels like a pale comparison. However, the changes and limitations remove much of my enjoyment in playing the game. You have the basics there, but after level 10 it fails to live up to what I currently have on my characters. Plainly put, this is a poor design change and in no way enhances or improves my enjoyment of the game. It accomplishes the opposite. I also note with interest that you have changed your questioning down to just the rotation. Concentrating on "the rotation" tells me that you are concentrating on a specific group of players and not all players to justify your decisions.

I never like to write this, and a normally have a "Meh, whatever" attitude when other people do write this, but I am actually considering pulling my sub money if this goes live. Seeing as I spend that plus another $40 to $200 per month on this game to amuse myself, that will be a good chunk I can put into another game. Changing the game this much and in this way will drive people away and I doubt your new adventure options will pull enough people back or newly in to make up the difference in the long run. After the initial boost from non-sub players to gain access and see the new adventure, I would be interested to see the numbers 3 and six months on. You had a great thing with adding the Galactic Seasons, and I was excited with the idea of opening combat styles to other classes. But this basically ruins that excitement. My advice personally would be to drop the 5 extra levels and the pruning/redesign, just open up the combat styles to other classes as you described and revisit this pruning/redesign idea later.

J_Rosse's Avatar


J_Rosse
10.09.2021 , 01:51 PM | #10
Arsenal still feels like it self.
The way you have designed the trees with first a main ability and a mod for it is a nice way to customize things a bit i feel, and i am ok with having to make some of the higher lvl choices.
However i do feel that every class should have certain abilitys and one of them is a hard stun, this should not have to be a choice.
I have also seen some classes have their big raid utility as a option in the trees which i feel is very odd