Thursday, November 13, 2014

Inquisitor and Consular Disciplines Stream

Inquisitor and Consular Disciplines


SWTOR developers go into detail about Inquisitor and Consular disciplines.


The stream started with Sorcerors and Sages, which is outside of the scope of this blog (and was partially featured during the very first Discipline showcase.)


Utilities

Most of the skill points you may move around pre-3.0 are now utilities (damage reduction while stunned, extra stealth levels, instant whirlwind.)

Overload can be spec'd to root enemies.

Any Assassin spec can pick up extra duration of Force Shroud.

Force Speed removes movement-impairing effects.

Assassin's Shelter is available to any spec as a utility.

One ability per Discipline gains a root application.

Force Cloak increases movement speed by 50%.


Individual Disciplines

There are pretty minor changes in the actual discipline skills, most of which were already mentioned earlier this week.

Serenity is the new name for Shadow's old Balance spec.

Important Raid Debuffs


Darkness' Thrash and Lacerate reduce healing on targets in addition to Discharge reducing Accuracy.

Deception's Maul applies an armor debuff.

Both Hatred and Deception apply 5% more Force damage taken debuff.

Death Field makes targets take extra damage from area attacks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sith Assassin 3.0 Overview

Sith Assassin Overview - SWTOR 3.0

Sith Assassin SWTOR 3.0
Courtesy swtor.com

Today's Assassin developer blog highlights some changes we'll see in update 3.0.

All Assassins

  • Force Cloak does not prevent healing done or received.
  • Lacerate's cost and damage adjusted
  • Charge Mastery is now passive
  • Exploitive Strikes is passive (but only 5% crit chance)
  • Thrashing Blades is passive (5% more damage on Thrash, Lacerate, Assassinate, Voltaic Slash, Leeching Strike, and 3 less Force cost)

New Utilities

  • Audacity: 2.5 sec CD reduction on Overload and Recklessness grants 1 extra charge
  • Shroud of Madness: Force Cloak provides 2 seconds of Force Shroud
  • Dark Stability: Deflection makes you immune to stun, sleep, lift, and incapacitation

Darkness

  • Passive: Increased shield absorption by 30% for 20 seconds when you use Recklessness
  • Passive: Lacerate deals more damage to targets with an accuracy debuff
  • New: Depredating Volts - upgrade to Force Lightning

Deception

  • Passive: Increased critical chance and damage bonus of Lacerate
  • Increased damage on Lacerate, Voltaic Slash, and Assassinate
  • New: Ball Lightning - upgrade to Shock
  • Surging Charge only procs off of melee attacks to prevent Discharge wasting a Static Charge

Hatred

  • Passive: Death Field spreads Discharge and Creeping Terror to other targets it hits, provided one enemy already has these DoTs
  • New: Demolish - upgrade to Crushing Darkness. Makes targets take 5% more Force damage
  • New: Leeching Strike - Deals weapon damage and heals user for 50% of damage done

Impressions

The changes shown so far look pretty solid. Both DPS specs get some improved AoE capability and some old Force management talents are passive.

Spreading DoTs with Death Field should make target swapping a lot quicker than it is right now. Providing an additional 5% Force damage as Hatred finally adds some group utility (in a way.)

The new Darkness and Deception abilities sound a bit boring, but we know other classes are getting plain abilities to replace old ones as well.

It doesn't seem like there will be major playstyle changes, which I gladly welcome compared to the massive overhaul we had around 2.0.

Utilities look promising from a PvP standpoint. We all know how annoying crowd control spam is (thanks for nothing, Resolve.) Now we have some options to let us stay in the thick of battle and a better likelihood of escaping without needing to blow multiple cooldowns.

Check out more from the developer stream.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Combat Changes in SWTOR Update 3.0

Combat Changes - SWTOR 3.0


Bioware discusses some combat changes coming with 3.0 in a livestream from 10/30/14.

Stream Summary

  • Power targets for level 60 are not much higher than current 55s
  • DPS at 55 will be lower after 3.0 releases
  • Nightmare DF/DP may remain relevant at 60 due to the small power creep
  • Every AC will have a raid utility buff (enemies take more damage from certain attack types, raid wide Critical or Alacrity buffs like Bloodthirst, etc)
  • Training Dummy debuff consumable applies all possible DPS buffs/debuffs
  • Player DoTs cannot be cleansed in PvP (can still be purged)
  • Most crowd control can now be cleansed
  • Old content with cleanse-dependant mechanics will be updated to function with a longer cleanse cooldown
  • Interrupt cooldowns will be longer
  • Channeled abilities cannot be pushed back. Resources are now consumed per tick instead of upfront.
  • Accuracy has been removed from Disciplines, but scaling from rating has been increased. Tanks gain 10% Accuracy while in their tank stance.
  • Alacrity now also speeds up DoT ticks, reduces skill CDs and ICDs on procs (example: Duplicity)
  • Skills affected by a proc get highlighted on the UI
  • Buffs and Debuffs can be separately moved and customized in the UI Editor.
  • Your debuffs applied to a target are highlighted
  • Virulence is the new name for Sniper's old Lethality spec
  • Bolster now considers augments in its calculations
  • Expertise max value is not changing. 2 new PvP sets coming with 3.0.
  • Line of sight angle is increased for ranged attacks
  • Set bonuses for PvE and PvP gear are the same, but can't be mixed to activate them
  • Bonus main stat % increases are no longer in Disciplines

More to Come

In the following weeks, Bioware will continue sharing specifics about changes for each class, one at a time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Shadow of Revan Announcement - SWTOR Expansion

Shadow of Revan Expansion Announced



Bioware announced the next SWTOR expansion, "Shadow of Revan" yesterday. Thankfully the delay wasn't too long and seemed to be related to the pre-order bonus for subscribers: 12 times experience gain on class quests leading up to the December 9th launch.

I've been antsy on getting a timeline for update 3.0 and was about to let my subscription time run out if there wasn't any news soon. No point playing a story-driven game when you know nothing new is coming, right?


Shadow of Revan Features

There's obviously a lot we have yet to learn, but the expansion features a new storyline focused on the Revanite campaign to dissolve the Republic and Empire. This takes place on two new planets, Rishi and Yavin IV over the course of 5 more levels.

At launch, we can expect two tactical and four hard mode flashpoints. Two level 60 operations should also be ready to go. Major combat changes will be highlighted at a later date.

Finally, 3.0 brings us a revamp to the skill tree design.

Disciplines

swtor discipline system
Discipline Preview, courtesy swtor.com

Disciplines will look similar to World of Warcraft's newer talent system where you simply choose a spec and receive the most important tools as you level. This eliminates weird builds like Darkmaul or Death Field Deception but tightens up Bioware's ability to balance classes.

Where you will have a choice is the secondary "Utility" selection. Here you can choose which of a handful of perks you want to enable at any time you're not in combat. Some old abilities will be moved to this grouping. Later tiers will require a certain number of points placed in earlier tiers before unlocking.

The shared class trees are getting renamed. Madness Assassins will now be called "Hatred" spec. Abilities gained along the path will be similar, improved versions of what we currently have.

I hope to see things like secondary effects to Phase Walk, the root break with Force Speed, and Force Pull all moved to Assassin utility selections.