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Discipline System; I don't suppose there is still time to reconsider?


Icebergy

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So now you are hit in two very painful ways, your skill tree boosters are reduced and you have to change your gear to recover your crit/surge/acc percentages and which will a result of a decrease of performance.

 

We haven't seen the new gear stats. They could (or rather should) be based on Disciplines.

Plus, I don't get why changing your gear is so bad. Wouldn't you do that naturally? I mean whether you're a PVEr or a PVPer you will inevitably end up getting the new sets. No one is going to remain at lvl 60 with lvl 55 gear, so I don't see how changing your gear is an issue.

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Let me be controversial: the discipline system does not go far enough.

 

Let's cut out the BS here. It has nothing to do with hybrids. If it did, then the fix is easy - basic skills at the bottom, support skills and slightly better dps/heals/tank skills midway and then kick-*** skills at the top. So make a choice: a hybrid that is good at everything or a purebuild that it awesome at one thing. No the simple fact is that BW is moving to the lowest common denomenator: the casual/first time MMO player. Gone are the days of (as my brother puts it about guys that work on cars) tunerbois. We will no long discuss whether a 8/40/7 Watchman build is really the best. Soon we will not be discussing what DPS build is the best (remember there are two per AC) but rather gameplay as in this one is if you want to hit hard and fast but you're dead after a few minutes unless you win vs sustained DPSing or DoT discipline vs. DoE discipline.

 

But if that's the case then we also should also address that these noobs (non-perjorative, I simply mean inexperienced) have no clue how to organize their UI or what a rotation is. You should see my boyfriend's UI. It is completely unorganized and the same skill shows up 3 or 4 times. The most you should ever have a skill listed is twice e.g. hammer shot in your DPS bar and again in your heal bar. He jumps all over the place trying to fight or tank or heal. So what BW needs to do is have a standard UI. Three bars at the bottom all controlable with one keypress 1234567890-= and qwertyuiop[] and asdfghjkl;' Top bar is discipline specific. Second bar is secondary Third bar is support. One side bar for intermittant use items. So for example my healer has healing skills on top, DPS middle, drop threat/stims/health packs/recharge cells/heroic moment/etc on the bottom. On the side is speeder, quick travel, sprint, throw the huttball, etc. DPS would be similar except DPS at top with self-heal skills in the middle.

 

But even more - the rotations need to be laid out for us. Many SWTOR players don't even know what a rotation is, they just hit whatever looks cool and (here's the big point) they either:

1) Have no desire to learn effective rotations

2) Get lost in the online discussion that must sound like eight Carl Spacklers talking at each other.

3) Don't have any clue rotations exist so how would they know to research them

 

Skills should be laid out with timed skills at the left because you cast those before you attack. DoT early on. Ordered with most DPS to least or longest duration of DoT to shortest or longest CD on the right. Most of my battles should be 1023452342342345= with an occasional f or n thrown in.

 

Oh but Ellie, what about us hard-core players that want to individulize our toons/rotations/layout? You need to realize that SWTOR is not for hard-core MMO players anymore and that BW needs to center the game around those not as educated/experienced in MMOs as you. With all of the buffs so you don't need to be a proper level (KDY & Makeb), the Cartel Market where I can get adaptive gear and +41 Stat crystals at level 10 and the flood of stuff on GTN there is absolutely no need to craft anymore. Flashpoints are dead. People refuse to spec as tank (accuracy? really?!) and heals won't be far behind except maybe operative heals. About the only thing hard-core in this game is running level 55 ops and progressing up to NiM runs where you actually need to earn your gear and actually have to know the fights and actually do your job whether it is tanking/healing/dipsing.

 

So c'mon Bioware. Give us preset UI and rotations with our disciplines. The 99% demand it!

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No it is not. There are multiple cases of MMO developers reconsidering their plans given enough negative feedback. Not that I believe it would happen here.

 

For the record, I am opposing the new system.

 

Can you detail why?

 

If you are using a game breaking, non intended hybrid build, your vote doesn't count (at least from the developers perspective). They don't want those builds in the game. Period.

 

So, with that off the table, elaborate why you don't like the new system?

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Let me be controversial: the discipline system does not go far enough.

 

Let's cut out the BS here. It has nothing to do with hybrids. If it did, then the fix is easy - basic skills at the bottom, support skills and slightly better dps/heals/tank skills midway and then kick-*** skills at the top. So make a choice: a hybrid that is good at everything or a purebuild that it awesome at one thing. No the simple fact is that BW is moving to the lowest common denomenator: the casual/first time MMO player. Gone are the days of (as my brother puts it about guys that work on cars) tunerbois. We will no long discuss whether a 8/40/7 Watchman build is really the best. Soon we will not be discussing what DPS build is the best (remember there are two per AC) but rather gameplay as in this one is if you want to hit hard and fast but you're dead after a few minutes unless you win vs sustained DPSing or DoT discipline vs. DoE discipline.

 

But if that's the case then we also should also address that these noobs (non-perjorative, I simply mean inexperienced) have no clue how to organize their UI or what a rotation is. You should see my boyfriend's UI. It is completely unorganized and the same skill shows up 3 or 4 times. The most you should ever have a skill listed is twice e.g. hammer shot in your DPS bar and again in your heal bar. He jumps all over the place trying to fight or tank or heal. So what BW needs to do is have a standard UI. Three bars at the bottom all controlable with one keypress 1234567890-= and qwertyuiop[] and asdfghjkl;' Top bar is discipline specific. Second bar is secondary Third bar is support. One side bar for intermittant use items. So for example my healer has healing skills on top, DPS middle, drop threat/stims/health packs/recharge cells/heroic moment/etc on the bottom. On the side is speeder, quick travel, sprint, throw the huttball, etc. DPS would be similar except DPS at top with self-heal skills in the middle.

 

But even more - the rotations need to be laid out for us. Many SWTOR players don't even know what a rotation is, they just hit whatever looks cool and (here's the big point) they either:

1) Have no desire to learn effective rotations

2) Get lost in the online discussion that must sound like eight Carl Spacklers talking at each other.

3) Don't have any clue rotations exist so how would they know to research them

 

Skills should be laid out with timed skills at the left because you cast those before you attack. DoT early on. Ordered with most DPS to least or longest duration of DoT to shortest or longest CD on the right. Most of my battles should be 1023452342342345= with an occasional f or n thrown in.

 

Oh but Ellie, what about us hard-core players that want to individulize our toons/rotations/layout? You need to realize that SWTOR is not for hard-core MMO players anymore and that BW needs to center the game around those not as educated/experienced in MMOs as you. With all of the buffs so you don't need to be a proper level (KDY & Makeb), the Cartel Market where I can get adaptive gear and +41 Stat crystals at level 10 and the flood of stuff on GTN there is absolutely no need to craft anymore. Flashpoints are dead. People refuse to spec as tank (accuracy? really?!) and heals won't be far behind except maybe operative heals. About the only thing hard-core in this game is running level 55 ops and progressing up to NiM runs where you actually need to earn your gear and actually have to know the fights and actually do your job whether it is tanking/healing/dipsing.

 

So c'mon Bioware. Give us preset UI and rotations with our disciplines. The 99% demand it!

 

On this thought...

 

I have often debated why Bioware didn't lay out the basic rotation from each class in a more apparent manner. That could have been a help file or a UI change that actually shows you common rotation chains. I think some of that would have required a remake of the combat system but it has come to mind.

 

On that, they are making some strides in that direction. In the next version the proc based skills are going to light up on the GUI (basically, HIT ME NOW).

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The first glint of trouble is in looking at the disiplines themselves and the choices of skills, and then look at our skill trees optimized for DPS, healing or taking, it does not take long to see that a number of critical skills are not carried over, and some folks are making the important questions: How does this impact my rotations?

 

I think that most rotations, except for the odd new skills, will stay more or less the same. Atleast thats what i got from watching all the streams about Disciplines. Can you provide a specific example?

 

If you study the skill trees, you will realize some skills aguments damage directly, others sets combos to reduce the amount of energy taken to do an effect (damage, heal, mitigate damage), other skills enables new effect bonuses if the proper sequence is performed. Now if you look at the sketchy disiciplines' information it appears that many of this augmenting skills are gone. That would mean, your damage cap is reduced, and worse yet, you could very well find yourself getting exhausted much more sooner even if currently you never did.

 

True, some of the passives from the skill trees will no longer be available, however if you watch the streams and read posts about the changes more carefully, you would notice, that alot of those talents are moved to passive skills. Few examples are: +100 Force for all Sages/Sorcerors, 70% reduced pushback for some of Commando casting abilitys, Commando/Vanguard stance bonuses are also passive skills now... I think that nothing was truly lost and some things may even be available through passive skills now, which were not available before.

 

Another observation in the trees is that they have skills that augment accuracy, critical chance, surge, stats, etc. Notice the disciplines does not and can not provide nearly as robust a coverage as the trees does, so what does that mean to you? Well, it would seem to me, that since you do not have as high crit chance as you currently do post 3.0, your gear mods will have to be changed, out goes the power to be replaced for crit and surge; and subsequently your total effect (DPS, Heal, Tank) is decreased as well.

 

From the footage from both streams i have extrapolated the "new" stat caps, using 186 items for slots like Implants, Earpieces, Bracers, Belt and both Relics and 198 stats for the rest (stats taken form the mainhand weapon shown on the first stream). I used current 156 augments. Also, the footage showed the % Crit, Accuracy and Surge, even if for a split second. I managed to test how rating's to % bonus formulas have changed. I established that the formulas were still the same on the stream, only the max lvl went from 55-60.

 

By combining all teh above data, i calculated that with alot of modification, you will most likely be able to attain the same stats as you had before, with more Force/Tech and maybe even Basic damage.

 

For the below example, i put in the following ratings with companion buffs and all selfbuffs. Keep in mind i did not add any stimms nor have i compensated for primary stats gained by lvling up to 60. Also, please do not comment on how "poorly" i optimized my stats, this is just an example, where i based all stats around getting the 9% Accuracy that may very well be required come 3.0. Also note that they mentioned on the stream that Accuracy and even Crit rating may get "buffed" to compensate for the missing % bonuses from the trees.

 

Calculated stats:

Surge: 444 = 71.41%

Crit: 342 = 23,06%

Acc: 766 = 100,08% or 110,08 Force/Tech (ideal would be 758 rating)

Alac: 0 = 0%

Power: 1595

Tech/Force Power: 2790

Primary Stat: 3656,1

Primary Basic DMG: 2248,07

Bonus Force/Tech DMG: 1739,77

 

Disclaimer: I am fully aware that the calculation formulas can be changed aswell as how ability damage is calculated which would in turn make all the above calculations invalid. This was just an experiment where i put in all the available data and checked if its possible to reach the approximate percentages as they were before 3.0.

 

Hope this helps :)

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Why is more choice always better than less choice?

Well, I never said it's always better. We are talking about a rpg, and within that character development so my remark is targeted at that specific topic. And within that, more options = more diversity. Especially when less options means "You get to pick one ability every 8 levels, everything else is on autobild".

This means at 7 out of 8 level-ups, I have no way to influence the development of my character. 7 out of 8 level-ups mean nothing in regard to "character customization". Sure, the stats get better, I get new skills, do more damage etc. - but without any influence from my part. So 7 out of 8 level-ups are, in this regard, just boring. It's not me who decides how my character develops, but some programmer at the other end of the world.

 

The current system gives me, at every level past 9, at least the "illusion" that I can somehow influence in how my character develops. Every level up means something, because I can make a choice. Wether that is a big choice or not, for me it doesn't matter. It gives me feeling I am at least partial in charge. And this shal now be dumbed down to 1 coice every 8 levels. So I have only 1/8 of the Influence I had before. Wether those picks that I can chose now are "better" or "more meaningful" or whatever doesn't count. I'd rather have 51 (or more) decent choices that improve my character only slightly than beeing reduced to a handful picks, just because now they made the picks "superhyperoverkill" and "gigauberselfheal" or whatever.

 

So to your question "What is the maximum amount of choice players should have before developers set limits?"

My answer is: I don't know what the maximum is - but the absolute minimum is the "one choice per level" as we have it now. If they can refine the system so that the choices are "more meaningful", go ahead - but keep it to at least one skill point pick per level.

 

With skill trees, there were lots of ways to get a way-less-than-optimal build ....

Well, first: I don't care wether my built is optimal, decent or suboptimal, as long as it is the built that I decide to chose and that I am happy with.

And second: where would be the problem to revamp the system so that there are no bad choices (maybe just less optimal combinations) but you still have the 1 choice per level ratio as we had so far?

 

The system was already a very simplified system with this "one lousy pick per level, everything else is on autoprogression", but I could live with that. But dumbing it down even more spoils much of the fun.

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Well, first: I don't care wether my built is optimal, decent or suboptimal, as long as it is the built that I decide to chose and that I am happy with.

If this were a single player game, I'd understand your desire...but it's not...sadly, your foolish choices in skills, impact other players when you group with them. Not that you do...but if you do, you hurt others with your rebellious ways. If you don't, no big deal...you'll adjust.

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If this were a single player game, I'd understand your desire...but it's not...sadly, your foolish choices in skills, impact other players when you group with them. Not that you do...but if you do, you hurt others with your rebellious ways. If you don't, no big deal...you'll adjust.

 

I disagree. I would say undergearing, not knowing roles (tanks/heals), being an idiot (breaking CC), not knowing mechanics (DPS, let the tank pull aggro first and if boss comes after you, wait til tank taunts then drop threat), ragequitting at the first sign of adversity, and a bad rotation (tanks hitting taunt too early, heals running out of juice) are over 99% of what impacts a group. Not skill choices.

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I disagree. I would say undergearing, not knowing roles (tanks/heals), being an idiot (breaking CC), not knowing mechanics (DPS, let the tank pull aggro first and if boss comes after you, wait til tank taunts then drop threat), ragequitting at the first sign of adversity, and a bad rotation (tanks hitting taunt too early, heals running out of juice) are over 99% of what impacts a group. Not skill choices.

I would say that every thing you listed, besides rage quitting, happens primarily with people who have their own 'system'. The player who insists on creating his own 'hybrid' won't be a great tank or a great healer, likely lacks DPS and is most likely to know the least about game mechanics.

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not knowing roles (tanks/heals)

 

It's even more annoying to hear that old "tank must hold aggro on everything", some DPS who follow kill order are fans of that. As a tank I think if you can't pull off tank that trash you're hitting then there's serious issue in your rotation.

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So to your question "What is the maximum amount of choice players should have before developers set limits?"

My answer is: I don't know what the maximum is - but the absolute minimum is the "one choice per level" as we have it now. If they can refine the system so that the choices are "more meaningful", go ahead - but keep it to at least one skill point pick per level.

 

An excellent answer. I would venture to guess that MMO developers tend to think of skill points from the perspective of a level-capped character. They do not seem to think as long on the incremental rewards of leveling.

 

I've watched the development of another RPG over the last fifteen years or so, D&D, and one of the recurring themes in changes made is reduction in "empty" levels - where a character earns no new special ability except perhaps an incremental numerical increase.

 

In SWTOR, there are to many levels to give a new power every level, so some levels will be "empty" under Disciplines. I think that at this stage of the game's life, the benefits will outweigh the costs, but I can see how this may make the leveling process somewhat less rewarding.

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I would say that every thing you listed, besides rage quitting, happens primarily with people who have their own 'system'. The player who insists on creating his own 'hybrid' won't be a great tank or a great healer, likely lacks DPS and is most likely to know the least about game mechanics.

 

Nah it's not a skills issue since most I see are purebuilds. The issue is almost always a combination of rotation/mechanics. And DPSes that think they're invincible and then yell at everyone else when they wipe.

 

But read my post (page 8 I think) for how to solve that problem.

Edited by EllieAnne
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I've watched the development of another RPG over the last fifteen years or so, D&D, and one of the recurring themes in changes made is reduction in "empty" levels - where a character earns no new special ability except perhaps an incremental numerical increase.

 

In D&D, though (as far as fourth edition, haven't seen fifth), the fewer empty levels you had, the fewer choices you were given in most circumstances, especially meaningful ones.

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That is the complete opposite of what's happening here. This new system effectively kills hybrids

 

Well if it's not actually going to increase the accessibility of hybrid builds (I could swear their original description at least indirectly indicated it would)... then what's going to be likable about it?!

 

I guess I'll have to wait and see... I won't have a clue until I actually go to rebuild my Commando's full skill set just before starting him on his way to level 60 (w00t!).

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Are we allowed to say we don't like it now that even more details have been released, or do we still have to taste the caviar to know it tastes like salty fish eggs? :rolleyes:

 

Yeah, no more filler skills -- just Blazing Barrels... yeah, that's not filler or anything. And the whole "supercharge" thing, no thank you, just give me a passive boost that's equal to the boost from all that extra crap but reduced in proportion to being up all the time.

 

So much for the feel of the classes staying the same, now the Merc is "balanced" around an extra buildup boost to keep track of. Leave that sort of crap for Warriors and Knights.

Edited by Max_Killjoy
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Because having the entire core of the class being all of four buttons is totally interesting.

 

Huh, it seems I'm playing a different Arsenal Merc than you are, then.

 

I'm counting about 24 buttons before the Legacy stuff and out-of-combat stuff. Not all of them all the time, but often enough that they matter.

 

All the "buildup boost" crap like Supercharge does is add another layer of YAWN, when does that thing max out again, on top of all the other things that need to be watched.

Edited by Max_Killjoy
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There is much to consider that may be positive changes when looking at the upcoming system. There is also the likely chance that some folks will find fault in some or all of the changes.

 

I think there is room for improvement, and room to critique the system and it's changes. it does not have to be an all or nothing proposition.

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Unload, Railshot, Tracer, Heatseekers

 

4 buttons.

 

Also stop taking things literally, yes you use all the buttons but 90% of the time you only use those four buttons.

 

Unload, rapid shot, the heat-creating mini-missile dart things we've had since level one, death from above, rapid scan for healing. I guess I use different ones, but now I think it, I'm usually bodyguard spec.

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Well, considering the way players do their 'spec this way or don't get into groups at the end' mentality, where they think a certain spec is the BEST and is the only one viable, it pretty much makes a talentless system much better since everyone will be the same anyway.

 

I mean, you can't just spec how you like, you gotta spec a certain way for the utmost best performance in combat.....well thats what they think anyway, i prefer to just play how i like, which tends to clash with groups.

 

In the end, it doesn't matter if there are 1000 talents or just 10, everyone will do the same spec for the same class, depending on their chosen role....its how it is in mmos.

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Well, considering the way players do their 'spec this way or don't get into groups at the end' mentality, where they think a certain spec is the BEST and is the only one viable, ...

...

 

Well as soon as that kind of attitude is pushed at anyone with even a slight hint of demand, they can be sure they're running with the WRONG CROWD!

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