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Watchman PVP needs some love in 2.1/2.2


JediMasterSLC

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EDIT: Please post all replies to this thread in the PvP forums version that I'm about to make.

 

This is just about pvp: I was hoping watchman sentinels would be better in 2.0, but they're even worse than before. If you disagree, you probably don't pvp much/play a watchman sent in pve and suck at the other 2 specs. No serious ranked team will even consider letting their sentinel spec watchman in any map. This was already true since around 1.4, but now watchman is bad even in regs. Good healers laugh at watchman sents because they hit cleanse or scoundrel dodge (which healers can now use much more frequently) and almost half our damage goes away. Scoundrels and commandos don't have to spec heals to cleanse them. Shadows have resilience. There are even more ways for dots to be cleansed now. Scrapper scoundrels have a 50% chance to get a cleanse (1 second of dodge) with scamper, on a 15 sec CD. Gunslingers get cleanse from dodge too now. And of course sage's barrier, but no one's stupid enough to use that after getting watchman dotted except in a 1v1.

 

I'm not saying these mechanisms for cleansing watchman dots are OP (I have a 50 of every AC, and think those things are fine), just that the spec should not be so vulnerable to them. A reapplication of a weaker version of the dot like dirty fighting has would be nice. Or a reset- or chance to reset- the cooldown of cauterize or overload saber, or both, after that dot was removed. Or even a chance to resist cleansing, giving the spec something unique. But they're still good for locking down healers right? Not really- healing through the burst damage of a viable pvp spec is harder than hitting your cleanse keybind when you see 2 or 3 stacks on you. But what about that 6 second interrupt? Yes its helpful, but not as much as it was before. Sages can instacast or very short cast aoe heal, and all sage specs have the mental alacrity CD now (immune to interrupts). Scoundrel healer energy management is easy mode now (you can keep hots on literally your entire team, and use kolto cloud on cd, and never run out of energy), and not being able to get off casts reliably is not going to ruin a good player's day by any means. As for mandos, not much has changed vs watchman, but who cares- they're still considerably behind the other 2 heal classes. JK, I'm not gonna blow them off, they might be a poor choice for a main healer in ranked but they can perform well in regs. But I'm getting off topic.

 

If the cleansing vulnerability was addressed, the ramp up time to get 4 stacks of merciless would not be so bad. I'm not saying watchman should be transformed into a frontloaded burst spec at all, just that it's sustained damage should be reliable and not able to be lolcleansed. Also, this is a secondary concern, but I might as well mention it: the 1.5 self-heal nerf was for pve reasons, so why not change merciless zeal (self heal talent) so that the tooltip reads like this: "Critical hits with burn effects heal you for 1% of your maximum health. This amount is doubled for burn effects on player targets"? Would it be so bad if watchman's heal numbers approached what a dps sage's currently is (without offhealing a ton)? Speaking of which, a similar ability tweaking could be done to balance sages (for focused insight talent and maybe for force in balance too), as they too are the weakest of their 3 trees. Tweaking abilities for pve vs pvp like this might considerably aid in the challenge of balancing the 8 classes for both pve and pvp, as long as it doesn't get out of hand and abilities start becoming significantly different.

 

Well I'm just gonna post this and see how many clueless noobs reply trying to claim that watchman is ok in pvp. Besides balance shadows (sorry to people who main that spec, it is just plain terrible now- not that it was great before), it might be the worst pvp spec in the game right now. Maybe tied with tactics vanguards. Only slightly worse than assault commandos. Oh wait I forgot about scrapper scoundrels: hmm, not sure what to think about that. I certainly enjoy running scrapper on mine but I would probably be even less inclined to run it in ranked than watchman on my sent. Scrapper's better than watchman for regs now though. Reply with your thoughts.

Edited by JediMasterSLC
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I had pretty much stopped PvPing with my watchman sentinel since the self heal nerf and the smash monkeys all over the place.

 

The other day, just for fun, I respecced to focus to try it out in PvP (I had actually levelled in it) and did slightliy over a million dmg in voidstar with my old 140/146 PvP gear. That's nowhere near possible in watchman specc. And I just don't enjoy roaming all over the map aoeing around like a marauder, I'll leave that to the imps ;-)

 

As my main focus is PvE I always use the same specc on my toons for both PvE and PvP to improve my skill in it to the max and understand every nuance of any given situation best I can. I know that some players respecc depending on different PvE bosses or PvP maps, but imho if you're near perfect on your specc, you can turn the tide in any spec, at least in PvE.

 

In PvP it's really no point, NOT playing smash monkey as a knight, if you want your team to win. But that's boring. Before the heal nerf watchman had its own role in a team as opposed to smashers: The monkeys were there to put pressure on the healers and keep opponents busy. The watchman was the one to take out single targets - which he can't pull off very well anymore, for the lack of self heal and lack of survivabilty to build merciless stacks. It has worsened with monkey stacking of course.

 

But it's no secret class balance in SWTOR PvP is not the best - and surely specc balance is even worse...

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It's interesting to think back on the game since release when nearly every post on the sentinel forums was how the best spec was Watchman/Annihilation and the Focus and Combat were sub par. Most posts claimed this for PvP as well as PvE. Then they reduced the Watchman heals and improved ability delay on Force Sweep and suddenly everyone was Focus. Then they improved Combat and Watchman dropped off even more. I've mained a sentinel since pre release 2011 and put tons of hours in every spec. I never thought Watchman was great in PvP even before the nerfs. It was better than it is now, however.

 

I do support improving the watchman dot's somehow because I like to play it and it just isn't that great even in PUGs. It's weakness has always been it's burst damage. The high sustained damage just gives healer characters or healers on the team too much time to respond.

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Admittedly one thing is pretty nice now: Popping overload saber before twin saber throw and letting everyone in ancient hypergates' middle room burn :-)

 

The self heal just gave you the chance to live long enough to stack merciless. Now, with Juyo and merciless having one more max stack, watchman burst is substantial, every parse shows that. But you need your stacks for that. In PvE this is just a matter of cleverly adapting your rotation in preparation for add phases and target switching. In PvP it's simply a matter of survival. You can only do so much with godd positioning and def CDs, but in PUGs I hardly ever live long enough to max stack merciless.

 

Making abilities work differently in PvP and PvE is something that BW seems somewhat reluctant to do, so I say: Let's have self heal be in the middle of now and pre 1.5.

 

As for the dots: I don't see the need to improve them since we have the hardest hitting (EDIT: and coolest looking ;-) ability in the game (merciless). If we're made to actually use it, we're just fine...

Edited by Ardarell_Solo
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As for the dots: I don't see the need to improve them since we have the hardest hitting (EDIT: and coolest looking ;-) ability in the game (merciless). If we're made to actually use it, we're just fine...

 

It's not about "improving" dots, just a defense against cleansing half its dmg away that we cant reapply. Also, you think merc slash is the hardest hitting or coolest looking ability in the game? The f*** are you on?

Edited by JediMasterSLC
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So this is just me being curious, but I had to stop playing this game back in feb and at the time I played Watchman/combat on and off to Valor 98~ and didn't notice a large dropoff in damage. Now that im leveling a new character i decided to level watchman and while I have been pvping I have been top damage all but maybe 1 or 2 wzs out of about 50-60. I know these are lowbies but are things really that bad in the 55 bracket?
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finally a good topic about improve a class and not nerf the others..

i see the problem for ranked but in regs how many people use cleance?

i don't see an easy solution, maybe giving cleance abilities to others than the main ,was an easy mode given to other classes against watchmen and sorcs..i don't play sentinels so i don't know, but once you manage to kill/avoid someone you know is going to cleance your dots, how well are you able to perform?

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I assume you're simply a better PvP player than me. Care to share some secrets, e.g. classic opener, do's and don'ts as watchman PvP sentinel? thx for your effort :-)

 

Guess I was a little rude, but yeah merc slash is nowhere near the hardest hitting in the game- for one, smash? Not really many tricks I can think of off the top of my head, it just comes natural to be by now, I've been valor 100 for a while. Rotation is pretty simple, usually something like leap, os, zealous strike, cauterize, merc slash, sometimes master strike if cauterize reset, if not, build focus to slash so you can reset cauterize ASAP. As long as you don't cauterize same target before 6 seconds lol. It's not the cauterize CD you want to worry about, but the 6 sec CD on it's reset function, because it's never going to go through it's actual CD if you're doing it right. Choke after applying your burns is a good general rule. Hit zen right before cauterize in case you get cced. Idk there's tons of little things, but can't really list them of top of my head.

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So this is just me being curious, but I had to stop playing this game back in feb and at the time I played Watchman/combat on and off to Valor 98~ and didn't notice a large dropoff in damage. Now that im leveling a new character i decided to level watchman and while I have been pvping I have been top damage all but maybe 1 or 2 wzs out of about 50-60. I know these are lowbies but are things really that bad in the 55 bracket?

 

Well yeah it's not bad in lowbies. Well if you already have a better team than theirs, then running watchman will not gimp you, but otherwise it's pretty bad. I play all 3 specs well, watchman the best, and it's definitely the worst by a significant margin.

Edited by JediMasterSLC
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Well yeah it's not bad in lowbies. Well if you already have a better team than theirs, then running watchman will not gimp you, but otherwise it's pretty bad. I play all 3 specs well, watchman the best, and it's definitely the worst by a significant margin.

 

Ok, that's good to know since i played combat on my first sentinel up to about valor 80, and then tried out watchman back when it was good and was running people over. It just amazes me at even when my team loses games I'm 100-300k over the next highest damage usually and that it becomes so bad in top bracket. Back when i was running watchman i didn't mind them using clense on themselves because that's one more clense they can't use on the poor ball carrier getting schellacked by the rest of my team or whatever the case may be.

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I have also been a Watchman since release. I started playing Combat (strictly for PVP) last fall after the heal nerf to see what all the fuss was about. In the last few months I continue to use Watchman in PVE and running any of the Daily content and sometimes I run it in PUG PVP.

 

Watchman Pros: Self heal from Burns, short Interrupt, minimum Force Leap, longer Force Camo duration. Fairly easy rotation and DOT management is pretty simple. Excellent 1v1 to an unaware player. You can nearly always capture the off-node to the hapless schmuck guarding it. Maintaining Force is pretty simple.

 

Merc Slash can hit like a truck in some cases and popping Zen after stacking 3 burns with Cauterize and then use Force Stasis is truly great.

 

Things I wish it had: Mastersrike root, Crippling Throw root, Fleet Footed for Transcendence.

 

Although I can see we need some way to surmount the cleanse issue I am not sure what can be done at this point. I've all but given up chasing healers in some matches and just bug the off-node and respond to calls for INC.

 

-J:cool:

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my problem with combat is how one dimensional it feels. especially against other sent/rauders. Even with the self heal nerf i feel survivablity is better because dot+zen+camo. I probably have to play with combat more at 55 but other than roots, i feel so much more glass cannon.
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I do feel as a Glass Cannon in Combat. The playstyle is fluid and straight forward. Its also predictable which means any combatant knows what coming. Healers know when to split and run, Snipers and PT's know when to CC.

 

Something that Leth Snipers and Madness Sins have is an increase in DOT damage when the target is below 30% health. Not sure if this is what we are looking for though, but it could help. Also why not increase Juyo forms % increase on its stacks? Say 5%? Or if you get at least 3 stacks of Juyo and 2-3 burns going at targets below 30% something along those lines?

 

-J:cool:

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I do feel as a Glass Cannon in Combat. The playstyle is fluid and straight forward. Its also predictable which means any combatant knows what coming. Healers know when to split and run, Snipers and PT's know when to CC.

 

Something that Leth Snipers and Madness Sins have is an increase in DOT damage when the target is below 30% health. Not sure if this is what we are looking for though, but it could help. Also why not increase Juyo forms % increase on its stacks? Say 5%? Or if you get at least 3 stacks of Juyo and 2-3 burns going at targets below 30% something along those lines?

 

-J:cool:

 

Thats exactly it. It feels really fluid and nice but anyone with half a brain knows exactly when to shut down your master strike, or cc you after prec slash so it gets frustrating.

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It's interesting to think back on the game since release when nearly every post on the sentinel forums was how the best spec was Watchman/Annihilation and the Focus and Combat were sub par. Most posts claimed this for PvP as well as PvE. Then they reduced the Watchman heals and improved ability delay on Force Sweep and suddenly everyone was Focus. Then they improved Combat and Watchman dropped off even more. I've mained a sentinel since pre release 2011 and put tons of hours in every spec. I never thought Watchman was great in PvP even before the nerfs. It was better than it is now, however.

 

I do support improving the watchman dot's somehow because I like to play it and it just isn't that great even in PUGs. It's weakness has always been it's burst damage. The high sustained damage just gives healer characters or healers on the team too much time to respond.

 

the thing about watchman was that they owned in pvp before the nerfs because they had better survivability then combat. but since that is gone now it has rendered watchman to be only great for pve. it makes me sad to see how watchman was nerfed like this. imagine not many sents could play watchman and it took skilled players to play the class mostly since the attacks takes time to build up compared to combat and focus. oh well it has made me go combat now so im still enjoying my sent.

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This is just my 2 cents considering I see to be a dying breed of sentinels that ONLY PvPs as watchman and have for a long long time. Currently I am full Partisan with 2018 expertise. As of this week I have gotten 1.48 mil damage in a match, ive done 166k healing in a match and have a biggest hit of 9k (which was amazing to me as watchman). I am running the power proc relics, one partisan and one conqueror. Also for reference, I am running 96% accuracy, 24% crit with 29% force crit, 71% crit multiplier 1159 MH damage with 29,280 health fully buffed.

 

I do not notice my burns being cleansed hardly ever although Im sure it happens. From what I see, the healers and other classes are more worried about healing themselves or others or just surviving in general to clean the burns. My group heals tick for about 280 which helps the overall healing of the team. Although the damage of the combat or focus sents eclipses mine a lot of the time, I am always hanging at the top of the charts if not the top.

 

The biggest downfall that I find is with ranked because people do not want to bring a watchman sent at all. We dont have the burst AoE damage of focus and we dont get the speed burst of transcendence with combat but I feel like watchmans utility is overlooked. We offer a group heal, a lot of survivability, pretty good DoTs and with good stats I feel like I do hit pretty hard with Master Strike, Merciless Slash and Dispatch. I find it a challenge to perfect this spec to push it to the limits and am very successful with it. Let me know if anyone has questions regarding rotation and gearing because I would be glad to share my insight.

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Lol, i did watchman/combat up to valor 98~ on my sentinel on Jedi Cov, and so far i don't really notice a difference in damage in either spec. I top the chart 90% of the time in either spec so they both seem pretty viable to me.
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Let me know if anyone has questions regarding rotation and gearing because I would be glad to share my insight.

 

I have two questions:

 

1) How much crit are you going for?

2) What Watchman build do you use? Do you put extra points in Focus to pick up Swift Slash or Combat to get Dual Wield Mastery? Or something else entirely? I can't decide which is better, theoretically (haven't hit 55 yet on my Watch Sent).

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This is just my 2 cents considering I see to be a dying breed of sentinels that ONLY PvPs as watchman and have for a long long time. Currently I am full Partisan with 2018 expertise. As of this week I have gotten 1.48 mil damage in a match, ive done 166k healing in a match and have a biggest hit of 9k (which was amazing to me as watchman). I am running the power proc relics, one partisan and one conqueror. Also for reference, I am running 96% accuracy, 24% crit with 29% force crit, 71% crit multiplier 1159 MH damage with 29,280 health fully buffed.

 

I do not notice my burns being cleansed hardly ever although Im sure it happens. From what I see, the healers and other classes are more worried about healing themselves or others or just surviving in general to clean the burns. My group heals tick for about 280 which helps the overall healing of the team. Although the damage of the combat or focus sents eclipses mine a lot of the time, I am always hanging at the top of the charts if not the top.

 

The biggest downfall that I find is with ranked because people do not want to bring a watchman sent at all. We dont have the burst AoE damage of focus and we dont get the speed burst of transcendence with combat but I feel like watchmans utility is overlooked. We offer a group heal, a lot of survivability, pretty good DoTs and with good stats I feel like I do hit pretty hard with Master Strike, Merciless Slash and Dispatch. I find it a challenge to perfect this spec to push it to the limits and am very successful with it. Let me know if anyone has questions regarding rotation and gearing because I would be glad to share my insight.

 

Grats on the 1.4 mil dmg game, what was your DPS? I'm thinking that's too much crit though.

 

The group heals are pretty negligible against a team with decent focus-fire. Watchman has a little utility, but not like combat's. It's supposedly increased survivability isn't really noticeable in ranked except during saber ward. Combat now has a defense stacking buff talent similar to gunnery commandos (except it's defense instead of damage reduction) , and focus still has that extra 7%.

Edited by JediMasterSLC
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Grats on the 1.4 mil dmg game, what was your DPS? I'm thinking that's too much crit though.

 

The group heals are pretty negligible against a team with decent focus-fire. Watchman has a little utility, but not like combat's. It's supposedly increased survivability isn't really noticeable in ranked except during saber ward. Combat now has a defense stacking buff talent similar to gunnery commandos (except it's defense instead of damage reduction) , and focus still has that extra 7%.

 

IIRC the stacking buff is 6% dmg reduction and 6% defense, but I don't see where you think combat has that much more utility. It has trans and that is about it, and a couple of roots. But Watchman can interrupt more frequently and has the cauterize slow, and the group heal (which isn't much but is maybe 1.5k health over the course of the 6 burns).

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IIRC the stacking buff is 6% dmg reduction and 6% defense, but I don't see where you think combat has that much more utility. It has trans and that is about it, and a couple of roots. But Watchman can interrupt more frequently and has the cauterize slow, and the group heal (which isn't much but is maybe 1.5k health over the course of the 6 burns).

 

Yeah it does grant both- I thought that's what it was, but then I went back to check the tooltip to make sure. I misread it and only saw the defense boost part so I edited the dmg reduction part out lol. Anyway, 6 sec interrupt is less useful now that healers rely less on casted heals.

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Yeah it does grant both- I thought that's what it was, but then I went back to check the tooltip to make sure. I misread it and only saw the defense boost part so I edited the dmg reduction part out lol. Anyway, 6 sec interrupt is less useful now that healers rely less on casted heals.

 

thats very true, but the one thing that i think watchman excels at is small encounters (1v1,2v2,3v3 and any mix of those) because you can use burns and then force stasis and let the burns tick and heal you marginally and do pretty good damage, or you can camo. which doesn't work as well in combat since all your burst is requires contact.

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I have been a watchmen since launch. At one point I was able to easily drop 1 player in a 1vs1 fight and even drop 2 players on occasion. The heal nerf was a significant hit to this tree. It in many ways cut our survivability in half. I still play watchmen well but the tree needs to be beefed up a little. 1vs1's which we are known for are not what they used to be. Snipers mow us down right away. I am trying to hold out for some kind of boost to the tree. I didn't want to switch to another tree because they are better in pvp. I think we can all agree that the trees in sentinel should be balanced and right now watchmen has come up short in damage and survivability compared to the other trees.
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thats very true, but the one thing that i think watchman excels at is small encounters (1v1,2v2,3v3 and any mix of those) because you can use burns and then force stasis and let the burns tick and heal you marginally and do pretty good damage, or you can camo. which doesn't work as well in combat since all your burst is requires contact.

 

Oh well yeah I will still win most small encounters when I'm watchman, but now it's not really noticeably better for that than than with another spec, specifically focus. Focus is a lot better in those smaller fights than it used to be, and watchman's 1v1 ability isn't comparably good enough to justify running it.

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