Developer Rob Hinkle answers player questions on class balanace

Rob Hinkle, Sr. Systems Designer for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, responded to several player questions on the forums today regarding class balance.

Meet the Developers: Rob Hinkle | 01.31.2013, 10:22 PM

Hey everyone, apologies for the delay in getting Rob’s answers up here. Below you will find his responses to some of your questions.

Dipstik : nice info. would like to know how the various teams work together to make sure PvP doesnt trump PvE,. that seems to be the case for scrappers, which perform amazingly in PvP, but have been abandoned by the PvE crowd. (link)

Rob: When we make changes to classes, especially changes that are really going to make an impact on a class, we strive to make sure we test those changes in all situations possible(which includes PvP, solo planetary content, flashpoints, and operations). We also make sure to communicate outside of our team the changes we are making, since we have a lot of experience throughout the studio on various classes as well, not just on the combat design team.

Chuixupu: One of the things that I find to be a problem currently is that if you have two Lethality Snipers in an Operation, they can consume each other’s weakening blasts. This makes it a bit of a pain. Any plans of fixing this? Also, there seems to be issues with both AC’s and Lingering Toxins causing players to still be in combat when they come back from death in both pve and pvp encounters.

Also, on the subject of combat logs, are there any plans on making them a bit more detailed for players? What we get in the chat window is very limited, and even what we get from uploading parses to web services seems a bit sparse compared to what I’m used to with other games. (I will admit this could also be the parser designer’s fault, as I’m not really good and reading the raw logs myself) (link)

Rob: Couple good questions in here, let me take them one by one!

  • Weakening Blast: Something to remember with this interaction is that both weakening blasts will also stack their damage increase, so while a single poison effect from one sniper will reduce the stack count of both Weakening Blasts, it also gains the 30% damage bonus from both abilities (additively, so a 60% damage bonus). The end result should be that you burn through the stack faster than normal, but you still would see the same total damage output (assuming both snipers are equally geared).
  • We noticed a couple issues with the Lingering Toxins (and especially how they interact with Trauma) and putting people back into combat mode (both after death/rez and just after a disengage in a fight), and have fixed them for an upcoming release, so we should see less of people getting stuck in combat.
  • There is no disagreement from me that the combat logs the game outputs are rather hard to read to the human eye, and I wish I had a better solution for you other than to send you out on the web. There are a handful of pretty decent parsers out there that can read the ToR logs and output charts and tables, if you are really interested in looking through logs they might be to your benefit.

T-Assassin: Rob mentioned lack of combat logs. Does the team not take information, like TORPARSE for example, as solid evidence for classes underperforming? (in actual playing environments) I have done extensive testing and provided substantial evidence on how specific classes, Mercenary specifically, is underperforming in both PvE and PvP realms. (link)

Rob: We certainly look at ToRParse for data, but like all other data sets it is limited in what it shows and what context influences it. For example, if I were to sort the top DPS value on Kephiss in EC 8-man mode, I would immediately see that a Mercenary is listed at the top of the charts. However, if you dig into the charts, you can see that part of that number is based on a bunch of trash kills that have influenced the final result. When we detach the source (the player) from the log, it makes it much more difficult to look at context. All of that being said, we really want to do better about collecting raw logs directly from the player, with the hope that will really help us properly react to the feedback we receive.

Debaucher:the vast majority of the pvp community that visits the forums feels dissapointed from the lack of replies from the PvP development team. Since you read the forums, would you be kind enouph to start replying to any constructive threads?
Also, any chance we get more Warhammer online Scenarios in SW:TOR? Ancient Hypergates is a success and personally, i ‘d love a version of the Battle for Praag scenario revamped for the Star Wars universe. Perhaps in a Corellia setting, since its an urban enviroment and it matches the story of the planet?

Last but not least, the community needs a solid update on the future of ranked warzones/competitive play in general. Perhaps on the next "state of the game" article?


  • I agree, I haven’t done a good job closing the feedback loop on the forums and that is something I would like to try to correct.
  • Glad to hear you are enjoying Ancient Hypergate! New Warzone ideas are floating around the team being discussed, and we definitely look at other games for possible influence when we are coming up with ideas. We aren’t 100% decided on the next gametype yet, and there are definitely some WAR inspired versions in the mix.
  • I’ll see what I can do about getting a good “State of the PvP Game” update out, to let everyone know what we are thinking and what is coming up. I think people will be excited!

By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

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