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.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Guild Ship Unlocks: That's an Expensive Hallway

SWTOR Conquest Guild Ship Unlocks


Logistical Encryption Unlock

Conquests have been active for a while. After some guild merging and recruiting, we unlocked the first Logistical Encryption area of our guild capital ship. It's a hallway leading to more rooms to buy.

Is that an unreasonable amount of effort for a small area a handful of people can decorate? Maybe not, if we keep perspective of Conquests happening weekly for the rest of SWTOR's lifetime. It does, however, suck some of the enthusiasm out of us who were initially pretty excited about the system.


Conquest Leaderboard

The main thing putting me off from dumping all my time and effort into my guild's conquest points is the unlikelihood of actually placing at the top of the leaderboard when there are larger guilds that already focus on repeatable objectives as their normal gameplay preference. Most weeks this seems to be PvPers.

As an aside, the week ranked PvP objectives were highlighted I only got in one match the entire week and it was against a guild premade. This was in solo queue but it doesn't matter because the matchmaker's coding at this server population is completely worthless. I raged a bit and decided to take a break from PvP.

Back on topic: If you can't win first place, you just need to hit top 10 for your rewards. Now that the initial rush is over this can be accomplished by simply having a guild ship and choosing a planet with crappy bonuses. There's no competition for ranks 3-10.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Deception Assassin changes in SWTOR 2.10

Deception Assassin Skill Changes for SWTOR 2.10

Our Deception skill tree is seeing some changes on PTS patch 2.10.

Assassin

Deception
  • Discharge now properly calculates damage based on the current number of Static Charges. This results in the damage at 1 stack being increased, the damage at 2 stacks being decreased, and the damage at 3 stacks remaining the same.
  • Voltaic Slash now has a base cost of 23 Force (down from 25).
  • Voltage now increases the chance to trigger Surging Charge by 12.5% per Voltage stack, in addition to its other effects.
  • Saber Conduit can now occur once every 9 seconds (down from every 10 seconds).
  • Electric Ambush now has a 100% chance to grant 1/2 stacks of Static Charge when Recklessness is used (changed from a 50%/100% chance to grant 3 stacks). It still reduces the cooldown of Recklessness upon exiting combat.

The TL;DR on that is a small DPS gain while trading off some on-demand burst. Servers are up, so discuss the changes and parse for yourself to give the developers feedback.

My initial testing is showing a 200-300 dps gain over live parses. I don't enjoy managing 2-stack Static Charge from Recklessness on top of Force starvation which actually seems worse despite reducing various costs due to a rotation change.

Update: Electric Ambush has been reverted. Deception will retain its initial Discharge burst.