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


Icebergy

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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!

 

Then those "I play what I find fun" hybrid players without the slightest concern about maximizing the output of their character (DPS, healing, or mitigation/threat) should be self-aware enough to know that they should not ask to be part of hard mode or nightmare mode group content.

 

Outside of story modes, where almost nothing matters as a couple of superior players can carry an entire team on their backs, group content is balanced by the developers to require above average player output. A player who voluntarily ties both hands behind their back by playing their pet hybrid spec should realize that they are only qualified to run faceroll-easy content.

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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.

That's one of the reason I stopped playing (A)D&D as pen&paper rpg and moved on to rpg's that are not leveldependant like 7th Sea, L5R, Hârnmaster, Shadowrun, or DSA (a german RPG).

 

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.

I think the major problem is how "skils" work in SWTOR. They are basically just an on/off switch. They are inactive until you get the appropriate level or until you put that skill point in there. Once that is done, everything else works automatically.

 

If those skills where designed as skills with various levels that don't automatically increase with level-up, but only with skill points, 1 skill point per level would be no problem. Even more would be possible, if i.e. the damageoutput of, let's say "death from above" would not be solely level-dependant, but also dependent of how many skill-points went in there (let's say up to 5 skill points would be possible).

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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.

 

The choice in that case is to continue taking levels in that class as opposed to multiclassing (I refer to 3rd and 5th editions here; not familiar with 4th), but that is not really relevant to swtor.

 

I wonder, is the issue that you don't have a choice every time you level up, or that you don't gain something new when you level up? Because today, many skills require two or three skill points to serve any practical purpose, as they have a 33/66/100% chance of activating, for example. Once chosen the first time, do you really have a choice for two subsequent levels?

 

It brings back the question of meaningful choice. In the current system, the choice to take a particular talent is meaningful, but the one or two extra skill points spent in it are not meaningful. They are simply the fulfillment of a previous choice.

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It brings back the question of meaningful choice. In the current system, the choice to take a particular talent is meaningful, but the one or two extra skill points spent in it are not meaningful. They are simply the fulfillment of a previous choice.

As it stands now, it can be considered as that, true, but you still have the choice to not go that way. And if you revamp the system slightly...

 

I give an example:

let's say at tier 3 of skill tree X (does't matter what class or exact tree, it's just an example) there would be 3 active abilities to chose from: 1 area of effect damage ability, 1 DoT Ability and 1 "normal" direct damage ability. Each would have 5 levels (modifying various parameters like cooldown, activatin time or energy-cost of the ability, area affected in case of AoE ability, or duratin of the DoT effect). At every level you can spend one skill point. So once you reach tier 3, when placing the first skill point, you have an actual choice: will I go for DD, DoT or AoE? On the next levels, you can improve that. Or go for one of that other skills. Looking at your skill tree, and all the abilities at the higher ranked tiers, you know you don't want to pend more than the minimum 5 skill points on that tier. So you know you can maximize only on of those threee nice abilities, leaving out the other two, or you can divide your skill points, getting two at only moderate level, meaning longer cooldown, less duration for the DoT or smaller Area for the AoE, but more choices during gameplay (sometimes you don't want an AoE). The character would be playable if you choce all three skills at low level, and he would be playable if you only maximize 1 skill. So, there would be choices. On every level. And all would be meaningful.

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As it stands now, it can be considered as that, true, but you still have the choice to not go that way. And if you revamp the system slightly...

 

I give an example:

let's say at tier 3 of skill tree X (does't matter what class or exact tree, it's just an example) there would be 3 active abilities to chose from: 1 area of effect damage ability, 1 DoT Ability and 1 "normal" direct damage ability. Each would have 5 levels (modifying various parameters like cooldown, activatin time or energy-cost of the ability, area affected in case of AoE ability, or duratin of the DoT effect). At every level you can spend one skill point. So once you reach tier 3, when placing the first skill point, you have an actual choice: will I go for DD, DoT or AoE? On the next levels, you can improve that. Or go for one of that other skills. Looking at your skill tree, and all the abilities at the higher ranked tiers, you know you don't want to pend more than the minimum 5 skill points on that tier. So you know you can maximize only on of those threee nice abilities, leaving out the other two, or you can divide your skill points, getting two at only moderate level, meaning longer cooldown, less duration for the DoT or smaller Area for the AoE, but more choices during gameplay (sometimes you don't want an AoE). The character would be playable if you choce all three skills at low level, and he would be playable if you only maximize 1 skill. So, there would be choices. On every level. And all would be meaningful.

 

What you are describing is a points-based skill system as found in many other RPGs. You are allocated points that directly improve the power of chosen abilities based on how many points are allocated into them. Some RPGs even use this to the complete exclusion of a level system.

 

But it just exchanges one system of meaningless choice for another. Players will soon discover the most optimal builds among them, and those become the gold standard. Now granted, given the same chassis, a few different builds may be equally viable and popular, but players will soon be identified as which "class" they belong to, despite the nominally abundant "choices" available. This starts to sound familiar, though. Don't we already have three different "builds" for every chassis that improve some, but not all of the abilities they share? That's what the skill trees do - plus add a couple new ones. All Sorcs get Chain Lightning, but the Lightning tree has points to improve it like you suggest

 

This sounds sort of appealing, though, doesn't it? A garden of abilities for the players to grow their own builds, some of which will rise above the rest? It sounds great, doesn't it?

 

It's not. It turns out, for the vast majority of people the vast majority of the time, the sort of trial-and-error this would require is tedious, boing, and interferes with actually playing the game. It also is far too easy for a player to cripple themselves by making bad choices. There was a time where struggling through the iterative process of making character builds better was part of the expected fun of mastering a game, but that's not something that works in a modern MMO environment.

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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.

 

To truly say you don't like it, you have to try it. Otherwise there will always be that what if? scenario.

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What you are describing is a points-based skill system as found in many other RPGs. You are allocated points that directly improve the power of chosen abilities based on how many points are allocated into them. Some RPGs even use this to the complete exclusion of a level system.

I know...

 

But it just exchanges one system of meaningless choice for another. Players will soon discover the most optimal builds among them, and those become the gold standard.

You assume that there is a "optimal" build. Certainly, to make this thing work, the possible options should not be "lame skill 1", "unnecessary skill 2" and "superhypermegapowerattackselfhealautowinskill 3". Ther have to be thre equally good skills to chose between to make it work. But that wouldn't be that hard to make. In adition, skills on higher tiers within the same tree should not be built like Skill A5 works at best when taken together with Skills A4 and A3, while skill B4 works best in conjunction with B4 and B3 etc.

 

So, when a Skill tree offers 3 skills per tier (A, B and C), the combination A3, B4 and C5 should be equaly good as B3, C4 and B5 or C3, A4 and B5 etc. (as good meaning that differences are just in a minor range).

 

For example, you could make the effect of more attack-types based on the target: attacks that only do half damage against droids, animals, flying creatures, force-wielders etc. So that you might find a n "optimum build" for a given situation/type of enemy, but not an overall "optimum build".

 

This whole "optimized build" thing ticks me off the worst: there shouldn't be any. Especially in regard to "balancing" issues, it should be the developers aim to make sure there is no optimum build. Certainly, to achieve that, there must be more options, not less (cause the less option, the closer everyone is to that totally "optimum build").

Edited by Turajin
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This thread sort of reminds me of a story I had read to me when I was a child.

 

It's something about some guy named Sam and something about Green Eggs and Ham;)

And when I was a child I was told stories about Räuber Hotzenplotz...

 

What does it have to do with the topic at hand? Nothing. And what does your green egg story has to do with the topic at hand? Propably nothing, too, since I never heard of stories of sam, green eggs and anything else...

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And when I was a child I was told stories about Räuber Hotzenplotz...

 

What does it have to do with the topic at hand? Nothing. And what does your green egg story has to do with the topic at hand? Propably nothing, too, since I never heard of stories of sam, green eggs and anything else...

 

You should read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss and then come back and read your post again. It's actually a very good analogy for this thread.

 

I'll give you a plot summary though if you aren't so inclined. Sam I Am, the main character is wild and wacky person who keeps insisting his buddy should try green eggs and ham. For about 20 pages Sam continues to ask him if he would like it in many different ways, but his grumpy friend keeps refusing to even try it and saying he doesn't like green eggs and ham. Then after Sam harasses him in every way imaginable, and likely a few you can't imagine, dude finally takes a bite and ends up loving green eggs and ham. The end.

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From what we have seen its hard to see exactly what the discipline system improves to the customers experience.

 

Of the dev blogs often as not it says the player will not notice any difference from what they are used to except for a new skills, some redundant skills and a general drop in dps and healing, versatility and inability to hybrid.

 

So at best the class is left alone at worse you lose skills, dps, healing and options you had before. Other than driving customers away who feel they have been nerfed or their class is now more cookie cutter and less fun what does the system bring. Cause if all it does is make the PvE experience more difficult with longer interupt cool downs and less cleansing etc how is this going to help.

 

It would be really great if the devs could come in and say Yes disciplines do nerf and change etc etc but combat is become more dynamic with more reliance on player skill and reacting to the situation than running off rotations. Yes healing is being nerfed but now players can dodge and parry where you see a power shot coming for you double tap and you will roll out of the way behind cover and avoid the damage so you are more reliant on avoiding the damage than healing through it etc.

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From what we have seen its hard to see exactly what the discipline system improves to the customers experience.

 

Of the dev blogs often as not it says the player will not notice any difference from what they are used to except for a new skills, some redundant skills and a general drop in dps and healing, versatility and inability to hybrid.

 

So at best the class is left alone at worse you lose skills, dps, healing and options you had before. Other than driving customers away who feel they have been nerfed or their class is now more cookie cutter and less fun what does the system bring. Cause if all it does is make the PvE experience more difficult with longer interupt cool downs and less cleansing etc how is this going to help.

 

It would be really great if the devs could come in and say Yes disciplines do nerf and change etc etc but combat is become more dynamic with more reliance on player skill and reacting to the situation than running off rotations. Yes healing is being nerfed but now players can dodge and parry where you see a power shot coming for you double tap and you will roll out of the way behind cover and avoid the damage so you are more reliant on avoiding the damage than healing through it etc.

 

There are the Discipline Preview threads for that.

 

A new utility Commandos/Mercenaries are getting is Forces March where they can use a few moves like Full Auto/Unload while moving, for example.

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From what we have seen its hard to see exactly what the discipline system improves to the customers experience.

 

Of the dev blogs often as not it says the player will not notice any difference from what they are used to except for a new skills, some redundant skills and a general drop in dps and healing, versatility and inability to hybrid.

 

So at best the class is left alone at worse you lose skills, dps, healing and options you had before. Other than driving customers away who feel they have been nerfed or their class is now more cookie cutter and less fun what does the system bring. Cause if all it does is make the PvE experience more difficult with longer interupt cool downs and less cleansing etc how is this going to help.

 

It would be really great if the devs could come in and say Yes disciplines do nerf and change etc etc but combat is become more dynamic with more reliance on player skill and reacting to the situation than running off rotations. Yes healing is being nerfed but now players can dodge and parry where you see a power shot coming for you double tap and you will roll out of the way behind cover and avoid the damage so you are more reliant on avoiding the damage than healing through it etc.

 

There are many, many benefits for the customer in the new discipline system.

 

1) The removal of "fake choices" is a benefit to the customer. There are several key talents in every single talent tree that are "no brainers" that have to be taken. And there are many more that are almost 100% neccessary. Yes, someone can skip over them but there is no logical reason as to why they would do that. It can only hurt them. Now those "no brainers" and "almost no brainers" are standard as the person levels up. Now the customer doesn't even have to worry about not being on par (at a base level) with other players. Now all players at least have the same base performance level and the "noob" factor is removed. This is a huge benefit to everyone. By leveling the playing field there is a base level of expected performance and now a person can't screw that up. That's awesome for both new players and vets.

 

2) Removal of unintended hybrids. We are all aware these are a problem. These are specs that game the system to take advantage of FP queues and PvP balance. They have to go. End of story.

 

3) Most of us, I would venture 80% (the 80% rule) are already cookie cutters of eachother. Let's remove the illlusion of choice and give players real gameplay choices.

 

4) No dev in their right mind would create a dodge/roll/dynamic system (not including the smuggler roll as that is a class feature) in a game that was never designed for it. The combat system we have is here to stay because this is how it was designed. This is not Tera. This is not Guild Wars.

 

5) There have been many comments on the live streams but at 60 you will feel (more or less) like you do at 55. There is a damage and healing squish that helps prolong the life of the game. That "squish" has nothing to do with the discipline system and is a completely different topic.

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You should read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss and then come back and read your post again. It's actually a very good analogy for this thread.

 

I'll give you a plot summary though if you aren't so inclined. Sam I Am, the main character is wild and wacky person who keeps insisting his buddy should try green eggs and ham. For about 20 pages Sam continues to ask him if he would like it in many different ways, but his grumpy friend keeps refusing to even try it and saying he doesn't like green eggs and ham. Then after Sam harasses him in every way imaginable, and likely a few you can't imagine, dude finally takes a bite and ends up loving green eggs and ham. The end.

 

At least somebody got it:D

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You should read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss and then come back and read your post again. It's actually a very good analogy for this thread.

 

I'll give you a plot summary though if you aren't so inclined. Sam I Am, the main character is wild and wacky person who keeps insisting his buddy should try green eggs and ham. For about 20 pages Sam continues to ask him if he would like it in many different ways, but his grumpy friend keeps refusing to even try it and saying he doesn't like green eggs and ham. Then after Sam harasses him in every way imaginable, and likely a few you can't imagine, dude finally takes a bite and ends up loving green eggs and ham. The end.

 

Ha! Very well done sir.

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This discussion is pointless now. 95% of players will be completely unaffected by the change to Disciplines. Ability changes are different and would be happening regardless of the change from skill trees.

 

The only people I've seen strongly advocating against Disciplines are those that like to put their skill points in themselves. Whether that be because of the feeling you are gaining strength by putting that in manually or because they like to do a unique build because their ultimate goal is not maximum performance. Nothing anyone can say will change these people's mind, but they may realize that the change is not as impactful to their enjoyment as they expect when the system launches.

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Then those "I play what I find fun" hybrid players without the slightest concern about maximizing the output of their character (DPS, healing, or mitigation/threat) should be self-aware enough to know that they should not ask to be part of hard mode or nightmare mode group content.

 

That's how I've approached it on my "build for what fits the character" characters, and I'd say that anyone who wants to use a build like that in high-end group content is being unreasonable and selfish.

 

I've always made that choice knowing that I couldn't have it both ways -- now that choice is being taken away.

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To truly say you don't like it, you have to try it. Otherwise there will always be that what if? scenario.

 

We'll have to disagree on that basic point then -- my life has taught me that there are very very few surprises when it comes to liking things you didn't think you would, and fewer as you gain more experiences to extrapolate from.

 

Someone who doesn't like the texture of mushrooms isn't suddenly going to find a mushroom they like because of the taste -- it's a mushroom, and it's going to have the mushroom texture, full stop.

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You should read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss and then come back and read your post again. It's actually a very good analogy for this thread.

 

I'll give you a plot summary though if you aren't so inclined. Sam I Am, the main character is wild and wacky person who keeps insisting his buddy should try green eggs and ham. For about 20 pages Sam continues to ask him if he would like it in many different ways, but his grumpy friend keeps refusing to even try it and saying he doesn't like green eggs and ham. Then after Sam harasses him in every way imaginable, and likely a few you can't imagine, dude finally takes a bite and ends up loving green eggs and ham. The end.

 

And because of that story, there are always people who truly believe the silly notion that you never never know until you try, no matter what.

 

Would you enjoy being hit in the head with a hammer? No? How do you know, have you ever tried it? :rolleyes:

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We'll have to disagree on that basic point then -- my life has taught me that there are very very few surprises when it comes to liking things you didn't think you would, and fewer as you gain more experiences to extrapolate from.

 

Someone who doesn't like the texture of mushrooms isn't suddenly going to find a mushroom they like because of the taste -- it's a mushroom, and it's going to have the mushroom texture, full stop.

 

If you've never tasted mushrooms before then you won't know if you like the taste or not.

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I really wish people would learn how to use analogies effectively. In most cases they are nothing more than a strawman argument. I'm even willing to admit that the Dr Seuss analogy might be interpreted as a strawman argument.

 

However, these asinine analogies about sexual preference and getting hit in the head with a hammer are just moronic troll responses.

 

Apparently common sense isn't as common as I thought.

Edited by Orizuru
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Maybe that's your experience of the world, it's certainly not mine.

 

Having never eaten a mushroom, someone can tell you what it's like and you can form an opinion based on your previous experiences and similar tasting foods. But until you actually taste one, you cannot confirm your suspicions to be true. Perhaps you will find that the utilities you choose give you the variability you desire from character to character.

 

TL;DR You may have a strong feeling you will not like something, but it is impossible to be certain until you try it.

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You should read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss and then come back and read your post again. It's actually a very good analogy for this thread.

 

I'll give you a plot summary though if you aren't so inclined. Sam I Am, the main character is wild and wacky person who keeps insisting his buddy should try green eggs and ham. For about 20 pages Sam continues to ask him if he would like it in many different ways, but his grumpy friend keeps refusing to even try it and saying he doesn't like green eggs and ham. Then after Sam harasses him in every way imaginable, and likely a few you can't imagine, dude finally takes a bite and ends up loving green eggs and ham. The end.

 

Serious plot summary of Green Eggs and Ham? Internet win.

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