SWTOR Developer Update: Introduction to Disciplines

New SWTOR Developer blog released on swtor.com to introduce players to the new disciplines system coming with Shadow of Revan expansion.

Developer Update: Introduction to Disciplines

Greetings!

Today, we bring to you Disciplines, a major overhaul to the class system that will be coming live with Game Update 3.0! At its very core, the Disciplines System replaces the current Skill Tree system while offering a wider array of impactful utility choices to expand their character and the ability for a character’s identity to surface much earlier in the level path. The Disciplines System changes the way we think about and develop the classes themselves, which will translate into a more balanced game and the capacity to expand levels and abilities more often. We’re excited about this system and the possibilities it unlocks for the future.

Say Goodbye to the Skill Trees

After much discussion, the Skill Trees that have been with us since the launch of the game have been removed. While we hope to maintain the feeling of progression with each level, players will no longer get a single point every level to invest in an array of skill boxes that we felt resulted in the burying of class identity, uneven power gains, and crazy-town rotations, depending on where you were in the tree. Instead, we created three Disciplines per Advanced Class, named and themed after the original Skill Trees (for example the three Disciplines for Commando are Combat Medic, Gunnery, and Assault Specialist, all very familiar names, themes, and play-styles from the skill tree era). For each of these disciplines, we took a look at all of the skills from their tree ancestor and imported everything that defined the identity and rotation of that tree and laid them out in a level-based progression, along with quite a bit of combining, cutting, creating new, and balancing along the way. No longer are you forced to purchase skills that are, in essence, necessary for your character to function; you simply get them automatically as you level up and progress down what we call the Discipline Path.  Much like the old Skill Trees, each path is made up of active abilities, passive abilities, and a new type of progression concept called a utility selection, which we’ll explain later in the blog.

A Little Discipline is Good for You

From a player’s perspective, interacting with the Discipline system couldn’t be easier. Our goal was to design an elegant system that brings forward class identity without sacrificing the challenge of mastering your role in the process. We have combined the interface and process of taking an Advanced Class and discipline all into a series of linked panels that you access in much the same way you previously accessed the skill tree.  Once you are level 10, you can simply open up that interface and are presented with the options for each Advanced Class available to you. After selecting an Advanced Class, the next panel of the interface describes each of the three disciplines available and allows you to select one. You can preview each of them to see what they are all about, and once you see one you like, you simply select and commit it! The chosen discipline path is automatically set to your current level, so if you want to abandon and switch disciplines (similar to resetting skill points on the trees), you can take on the challenge of a new role with ease. To make sure newer characters could immediately feel the identity of their chosen discipline at level 10, we’ve made sure that the very first things you get tend to generate a big impact to the type of character you want to be:  healers get a nice heal, tanks get good defense/threat, and DPSers get a nice attack ability for their rotation. Tanks no longer have to grind 30 levels before they really start getting “Tanky” abilities; they can start being tanks right away.

What are Utility Selections

One of the most important goals for Disciplines was to make sure that the player had real choices that actually mattered as they advanced throughout the game. So after we finished pulling out all of the skills that we thought were really important for a Discipline’s play style and rotation, we took the remaining skills from each of the three Advanced Classes, cut some of the extraneous ones, created some exciting new options, polished old favorites, and put them into a selection pool available to all members of that Advanced Class.  The end result is greater versatility. As an Engineering Sniper, do you want to gain AE damage reduction when you entrench? Well now you can, it is no longer for Marksmanship only. Each Advanced Class’s utility selections are divided up into three tiers, with each tier requiring a certain number of utility selections before unlocking. We also wanted to make Utility selections quick and easy to change around, so as long as you aren’t in the middle of combat you can bring up your new discipline window, reset your utilities, and quickly choose new ones.

Why the Change

While Skill Trees appear on the surface to provide flexibility and choice, in practicality they give very little of either. Players of a skill tree all tend to take the same skills in roughly the same order, with only minor variations on which utility choices they pick up by the end of their leveling system. With Disciplines, we can focus on creating strong and fun play styles from level 10 on, without having to worry about how people are spending 50 skill points and whether some people are making bad decisions or if others are finding crazy untested combinations that vastly exceed what we want to happen. Attach to that the idea of expanding the amount of and type of utility each player has access to and you get a system that creates better and more balanced characters with a stronger identity while allowing players actual choice. We also continued to run into a significant problem expanding the Skill Trees for level cap increases: development time. Each of the Skill Trees were balanced based on an assumption of points and how players must spend their points to get what they need to perform in combat. When we add more points (as well as more skills themselves) to the trees during a level cap increase, all of that balance is thrown off kilter and must be reset for every Advanced Class. This results in a massive amount of time spent every level cap increase simply redoing and rebalancing the Skill Trees over and over, preventing us from spending time actually doing cool new things. So to sum up, we’ve created Disciplines for stronger and earlier role specialization, more utility, more flexibility, better balance, and more development time for class improvements – letting our designers do more for you!

Get Ready for Disciplines

When you log into the expansion for the first time you will be prompted to choose your desired Discipline and utilities, and you are off and running. With this reorganization of the class system we’ve strengthened the identity of each class path and made the choices a player has available immediately impactful to their character. Coming up we are going to do a blog for each particular discipline for every class, so you can really get a feel for the changes coming to your specific style. We’ll also show off all of the cool new things we are adding to the classes thanks to this flexibility. All of this is just the beginning of the journey – we can’t wait for your feedback!

Source: http://www.swtor.com/info/news/blog/20141006

  • Terrorus

    Their reasons for doing it seem solid, and if this change actually achieves what they’re saying it will, it will trully improve the experience. Of course, we all are gonna have to learn to play our toons again.
    So far it is all speculation, we’ll need concrete info to trully form opinions. Hopefully the streams will give us an idea.
    The only thing I’m sure of is there will be a LOT of forum rage even before we have any details.

    • Estranged

      The good thing about this system is it won’t be like the case of WoW players having to relearn their toons every 2 years just for the sake of change. Once this system is locked in, changes won’t be so harsh. Might also open up an easier path to a new class.

      • doncalls

        Exactly.

  • Gereorth

    Or in other words: We looked at the model WoW has and we also think it’s better.

    I can understand the decision, but I like the freedom, I like to have hybrid classes. We’ll see how it works out..

    • Graf von Geiger

      From what I understand the Devs hated Hybrids with a fiery passion. You could tell that from end the early days where most of the classes had one stance each tree really required being in that stance. The only classes that don’t have that set up are Operatives/Scoundrels and Sages/Sorcerers.

      I found the existing skill tree to be needlessly aggravating. I’ll withhold judgement until I see the new system in action.

  • Kronos

    Will this let us have bounty hunters with rifles, or marauders/sentinels with double bladed sabers?

    • Macleod

      I’m wondering the same thing, was hoping to see weapon types opened up a little bit and I’m hoping they might be implemented in those utility slots somewhere…but I won’t hold my breath, knowing BW that’s probably “too hard”…

    • Hugo A Sanchez

      hahahah probably not. We’ll see.

    • Quinn

      Doubt it…that would require changing the animations for classes, which I’m sure they don’t have the time and/or budget to do.

    • CulpaMea

      Doubt it, but it just might be a way for Marauders/Sentinels to get a self-cleanse without wasting the new level 56 ability on it.

  • NV

    Seems like a neat idea. Can’t wait to see more

  • Eban

    This is just so they can keep up’ing the max level of toons without having to worry about skill points, give it a year and we’l be on level 85 with 2 new passive boosts and maybe 1 new talent.
    Nothing more boring in leveling a toon and been told what your new abilites will be with no real choice for the player. The WOW format of every 15 levels heres a multiple choice of 3 talents but 2 are generally shit so we know what you’l pick..isn’t really a choice.

    • Estranged

      It is all cookie cutter anyway. At least they can limit balancing issues. This is deeper than the WoW version.

      • doncalls

        Exactly and with levels comes far too many skills,Everquest 2 saw this and even more so with the AA lines.

  • Stanley White

    hopefully people will give this a little bit of time for Bioware to give example during their twitch stream to show how this work before the raging begins. i have never heard of this system but from the sound of it, it might be pretty cool.

    • Unoshi

      Idd. Hands on. A example would be great.

    • Ansician

      let Bioware defend themselves for once….please.

  • elminster_cs

    Now thay can really say is wow with sabers… sigh

  • Seung Jun Justin Choi

    i am worried and yet can’t wait to see this system in action. this is major change to the game indeed and i am worried that either this will be a make it or break it moment for SWTOR

  • Unoshi

    I dont really know why people are complaining. I mean it looks a bit more detailed than what WoW did with their talent trees, but still you cant really start claiming its bad or its good without really having seen it put to the test.

    I’l i can say is wait till they show it up on their streams to judge. But from the looks of it. Having more option that can really bring out different play styles for the same class or advance class i’d say this is more then welcome.

  • Hugo A Sanchez

    Mercs still need an Escape ability

  • Ry

    From what I can understand from their description of Discipline, you no longer get to place points in skills. You automatically get them. This also means that you can’t pick and choose what skills you want in a tree. Meaning no more hybrids of any kind, even for fun.

    • bleeters

      That… sounds awful. I really hope it doesn’t turn out that way :c

  • Brianac

    They are supposed to be demonstrating this tomorrow in a stream

  • Ansician

    All this reminds me of everyone is the Combat Upgrade in Star Wars: Galaxies….we all know how that worked out………………………………………………..

    • Shadowofdeath

      Actually as I read this that was exactly hat I was thinking. Glad I am not the only one!

      On the other hand Galaxies had a much more radical overhaul than this although their “trimming” of abilities a has me concerned that all the high end raid teams are going to spend the first couple weeks running almost no former 55 NiM content at all while they learn their new class abilities :/

    • Vos_L

      Bioware had nothing to do with Galaxies. You might as well expect every combat upgrade in every MMO to fail just because one company botched it once in one game.

      • Ansician

        Yes…only ONE company botched it only once in one game…Seriously? Just wow, how to respond…Everquest, Wow, SWG…need I continue? I tend to forget that Bioware has a great track record not screwing releases up….oh WAIT they have a horrible track record that’s right… Smh

        • Vodorlo

          The heck are you trying to say? All I got were some listed MMOs and Bioware’s track record, neither of which go together in your sentence.

    • Kodar

      Unfortunately, I do.

  • EleniRPG

    I guess I’ll wait to see what this all actually means, but my guess is that while I’ll be fine with how the Discipline system affects raid content, it will ruin my favorite way to do solo content and easy group content like tacticals: healer hybrid spec. It’s nice to have a good heal to throw out when things get messy, or when I don’t want to run around clicking things in tacticals, but these situations don’t require constant healing, and dpsing in heal spec is so BORING. This spec wasn’t overpowered, it wasn’t breaking anything, it was just both useful and fun. The flexibility to choose this is something I really don’t want to lose.

    • Vos_L

      This has nothing to do with raids, solo content or group content. They aren’t making the changes because they feel anything was broken in those areas. As always, the class/skill/balance changes are solely due to PVP.

  • doncalls

    Remember we have not seen how they have REVAMPED some of the skills and what new ones are coming with the level increases.

    Be patient.

    • blue’shift

      I wonder whether we should believe the sales pitch ? are they really gonna tell us” everything is now too simple, redundant and uninteresting ?”

  • doncalls

    ” we took the remaining skills from each of the three Advanced Classes, cut some of the extraneous ones, created some exciting new options, polished old favorites, and put them into a selection pool available to all members of that Advanced Class. The end result is greater versatility. As an Engineering Sniper, do you want to gain AE damage reduction when you entrench? Well now you can, it is no longer for Marksmanship only. Each Advanced Class’s utility selections are divided up into three tiers, with each tier requiring a certain number of utility selections before unlocking. We also wanted to make Utility selections quick and easy to change around, so as long as you aren’t in the middle of combat you can bring up your new discipline window, reset your utilities, and quickly choose new ones.”

    That right there is a good thing.

  • Michal Placha

    Sounds good to me

  • zenight

    I both hate and love this idea, which probably means it’s a good compromise.
    I love hybrid builds and highly dislike having to pick a particular tree to get a bonus to a skill I like, now the 1st is “dead”(depending on the utility choices, we might get better hybrid like builds) but now I can buff skills without being locked into a specific tree.
    Imagine getting Jet Charge on a dps BH : 0)

    • I really hope this will be a reality. Some of the utility skills didn’t make sense being locked to a single tree. Having a Force Pull on DPS shadows/sins would be nice too. 🙂

  • AbnerDoon

    So we will be able to re-choose our Advance Class when this goes live? Or am I reading that wrong? I wonder if the legacy respec will remain in place or change some as well?

    • Hmm, where did you read you’ll be re-choosing advanced class? 🙂 I don’t think you’ll do so, just that your skilltree will be switched to the Discipline system where you’ll choose what (former) tree you’ll have leveled in.

      As I see it, also judging from the mock-up art, is that every level or so you’ll get a passive to fit the role (the former skilltree) you’ve selected, and every few levels you’ll unlock utility point you can spend into a skill/ability of choosing in the tree on the right side.

      I assume it will be a bit like GW2’s system where you can select one of several skill/abilities with each tier of utility points as you level up into your selected role. But since you’ll focus on one tree, I’m hoping the utility tiers will be a bit more flexible. 🙂

      • AbnerDoon

        By read I meant look at a picture on a previous page and remember that I read it. :p) You are probably correct, ah well I can dream.

        • CraigN

          They said you’ll pick your Advanced Class from the Discipline Screen at level 10 now, but once you pick it, it’s still permanent.

    • Lumi

      It’s just how it is worded – Switching Disciplines on the fly will be easier, you will still NOT be able to switch Advanced Classes

  • Josef Tauser

    “… which will translate into a more balanced game”
    Translation: Let the hilariously unbalanced flavour of the patch class e-peen’ing begin >:D

  • Noroxus

    Can’t wait to see how they make Jugs even more OP, and nerf Sins. /popcorn.

    I really am excited for this…but I mean…history repeats itself.

    • CarlosDanger

      In what way are juggs op? The only possible place they could be considered OP is pvp otherwise they mediocre dps in pve

      • bleh

        u cant 4k on a jugg? for shame

        • The Watchmen

          its all about the skill. Some Maras and Sent just suck, like even a Infiltration Shadow beats you bad. Some are DPS gods…. and there is the face-roll Pyro PTs/Assault Vanguards. The “smash my head on keyboard and win” DPS spec

      • Noroxus

        No…stop right now. Jug tanks are a bit broken. And very spoiled. Anyone who has played the game for a small amount of time, can see how they have been buffed constantly.

        As for dps, while their dps numbers are lower than others, I’d still rather have one than a marauder I think. Predation Brah.

  • ItsRainingSith

    So… They removed the skills… and introduced disciplines, that maintain old skills functions and rotations… Well, so, hmm, thanks. Yeah, thanks.

  • Bored

    I find your lack of flexibility disturbing…

    Welcome to the SWTOR NGE.

    • Amkosh

      Its not a whole lot different than what Blizzard did to WoW both in Cata and in Pandas. I’m not sure I like it too be honest, but to call it NGE is a bit premature.

  • Yogi

    I find myself annoyed that I’ll have to relearn the builds of all of my toons (when you have 8 different advanced classes, that’s a lot of work) I’m actually looking forward to this. As a developer myself (though not of games) I can clearly see that their argument of required man-hours to re-balance trees is a very true one so I would expect that we will be seeing a system that will allow for more frequent tweaks, improvements and expansions that will improve the feel of the game.

    So, for all those FUD-sayers out there, I challenge you to close your mouth and think of all the good that this will bring to the game.

    • Hiroshi Perez

      Yes. True.

  • michael furious

    This was EXACTLY the direction I did NOT expect Bioware to go.

    Let’s see if the dangled carrot of two planets and five more levels baits enough people into staying on, or if there’s a mass tantrum of rage/quit anyway. I’m at least looking forward to seeing this new system in action.

  • NunyaDangBisness

    Uhhh….so….for our 55’s, are the skill trees gonna be wiped when this launches and we’ll have to set everything back up accordingly? Since I’m guessing a whole crapload of us have used guides (like the ones here on Dulfy), are those totally useless now? I like the idea of a greater spectrum of control, but, I’m also not looking forward to having to basically rebuild my toons and test discipline combos until I get something that functions as well as what I’ve already got. Also – how will this impact gear and mods that are already in use? Will this mean having to re-gear/re-mod your toons? Given that it costs several million creds now to get re-mod your gear at upper levels, this sounds like a painfully expensive process.

    • Iron-Clad

      With regard to guides… Yes, old guides will be outdated. However, you can bet that new guides will pop up fairly quickly. However (details of Discipline pending) it is likely that guides will be less important; there won’t be 40 filler talents that you have to choose to maximize your dps; those stats will be automatically granted to you.

      In response to the gear and mods question: this change is to be implemented at the same time as the level increase. Which means that you will be regearing anyways, regardless of the change to the discipline system.

      • NunyaDangBisness

        Yea, I guess with higher level caps = higher gear, but good lord – gear mods are already so obscenely expensive. I reckon it’s time to learn whatever crafting skill I need to make my own. I loathe crafting, but it seems like it’s a necessary evil now.

        • Void

          The most common way for me and muh guildies to get our mods and relics is to find a crafter on the fleet (they’re usually quite vocal) and trade the part/relic/whatever for the materials needed for said item. Saves us from a lot of frustrating reverse engineering RNG and credit farming for the lucidrous GTN prices.

          • NunyaDangBisness

            You mean gathering mats and then finding a crafter to craft the thing + pay them tip? I did that with my two big relics, and they wound up costing almost as much as the relics would have cost outright on GTN. I’ll figure something out, just wanna be prepared for this monstrosity to roll out.

            • Void

              Of course, if you want to just buy everything, that’s your choice. EEE drops from 55 ops and HM FPs, MMG drops from 55 ops final bosses and one-time missions and you can buy Isotopes with Basic comms. It takes some time, yes, but getting the best gear shouldn’t be easy.

  • Cokebeard

    I’m looking forward to this direction. i have no problem saying i’m not a fan of hybrids. i find them clunky and unnecessary. i’m way more of a fan of streamlined rotations whether they be based on cooldown or proc. an Example being the 2/22/22 PT hybrid. the better way was just to buff pyro as it plays with much more fluidity.

    i’m much more interested in the Utility selections. i have a feeling this will be a great way to flesh out needed utility in a Progression raid group without having to single in on certain classes.

  • Acer

    Sounds like a potentially good change to me. Aside from hybrid builds, there’s almost zero flexibility in the current skill tree system. Most DPS builds have maybe a couple of points to flex around, or might swap a couple of skills strictly for PVP vs. PVE. I don’t really feel like there’s much in the way of meaningful choice.

    I would like to see them implement a way to save your selections, and tie it to your toolbar selections. I’m tired of having to manually reconfigure my bars every time I swap from DPS to healing.

  • Amkosh

    This is probably good for those that don’t like RPGs, but for the true RPGer this is likely going to be a terrible decision.

    • Exxar

      “True RPGers” won’t mind as the current character building system is pointless anyway.

  • bleh

    not sure how i feel about this

  • Gavin Perkins

    This sounds good to me, but we will have to see. I do not think it will change things much though, most people are forced to use cookie-cut skill trees anyway. We will just have to wait and see.

  • DaGhostDS

    Remind me of how WoW killed his gameplay, simplifying everything.

    • Gareth Grist

      Yes because WoW is dead now….?

      • DaGhostDS

        Read again, “WoW killed his gameplay”, not “wow died”.

        • Gareth Grist

          I read it right the first time… you bring it up because you obviously believe the changes in WoW had a detrimental effect on the game, which it didn’t.

          • DaGhostDS

            http://www.statista.com/graphic/1/276601/number-of-world-of-warcraft-subscribers-by-quarter.jpg
            Cant be clearer than that.
            We got Cataclysm, which simplified the game End of 2010
            We got Mop Q2 2012

            • Gareth Grist

              So you are attributing this in total to the simplification of talents trees? Where is your evidence to support this? I think you’ll find that bigger contributing factors are natural turnover of players and competition from other MMOs coupled with the common peak and slump in subscribers before and after an expansion, which WoW has always seen. Either way, they aren’t really worried seeing even at 1 millions subs WoW would still generate enough revenue to make a profit!

              • DaGhostDS

                It’s mostly the same reason for all the hardcore players ive played with, (around 40-45 players), game too simple, not worth our time anymore.

  • Doomsday

    ” if others are finding crazy untested combinations that vastly exceed what we want to happen”

    hehe that’s me

  • JackieLegs

    This is going to be a stupid choice. Balance classes? Im sorry but its not the class that makes the difference, it’s the player behind the keyboard (This is from a pvp perspective)

    • Hiroshi Perez

      They are speaking both perspectives of the MMORPG spectrum, not just pvp.

  • yosweg

    yay now that their is 5 new levels coming out i won’t have to worry about getting basic commendations and all that which just take forever. Bring on level 56 gear!!!

  • monkey

    Why not make the skill trees have even more options rather than less?
    Have a PVP tree which is only for pvp for each class.
    Have the pve trees with multiple options that are all viable in operations. This will allow for some actual thought process from the gamer to play the class how they want too.
    The whole ‘balance’ problem shouldnt mean less meaningful choices and every single player set up the exact same way as every other player on fleet.

    Improve the skill trees not nerf them.

    • From what I understand, with the utility points you’ll be able to get (selected) talents from other trees. Say you’re a Anni marauder, but would rather have your force camo break roots instead of lasting longer + runspeed increase. Something like this will probably be in the possibilities of the Discipline system and since key talents are locked to a discipline BW doesn’t have to worry about OP hybrids anymore while still having more options open for diversity. 🙂

    • Infernus

      We’re already set up exactly the same now….Every Bounty Hunter Merc using Arsenal tree has the same exact skills, uses the same exact rotation. This seems to let us be a little more diverse…and that’s a good thing.

  • Kirsty And-rob Farrell

    this whole thing sounds really good to me it says the main things are staying so I don’t see our class or rotation really changing that much. 80% of ppl already followed the same or very close tree spec as it was.
    it the utily thing iam loving it means I can now get utily thing as a aussult from the gunnery use to only get like maybe the advance the line so my hold the line last long who really know,
    but to me I always disliked hybred spec didn’t make any sense.
    iam loving the sound of this you still get to pick same stuff just not main abilty as there really is no point as there is like 100% chance you would take them anyways it the silly point you have to stick here and there just to advance up the tree spec iam happy to get rid of

  • The Watchmen

    SWTOR is a game of the highly devoted and the deeply misinformed. A better way to say that would be that there are people to take the time and have the patience to learn the game, and their class(s) as much as possible and those how just kite through the current 55 level and have little to no clue what they are doing. Multiple specs we currently have do nothing to change this. You either get it, or no don’t. Without sites like Dulfy, some people when have no clue where to start improving.

    Now enter the new Discipline System. A simplification (or nerf if you think that way) of the skill system. Along with new ways of spending skill points, we automatically gain key spec abilities without the need to pick them. Meaning not only do you already gain every tool you need for a given spec, but you also get to grab key Quality of Life utility talents. Of course, your own skill as a player would come into play as far as what option will work, but it also means that current spec and rotations should see little to no real change from their current versions. You just get to save money on not going to the trainer. I see no issue with that.

    I’ll save my full judgement for the new system at least until they start explaining each Advanced Class’s new options. Still, I don’t see this being the game-breaking system all the fear-mongers think it will be.

  • Infernus

    Personally, I think this could be a really good thing as long as it’s implemented properly. I look forward to a little bit of class diversity. And honestly, if this allows the devs to spend more time on creating new content and less time having to constantly balance the game, then I think that’s a win for the players.

  • Heist 101

    I’m sort of worried that people are going to be rushing to cobble together their favorite hybrid spec (with delusions of god-mode) and were gona have sheild techs with dps crap and dps specs with half healz or things of this nature ..is group finder going to be advanced classes thrown into a kitchen blender (meaning hybrids creeping into everything) because I thaught BW made obvious outage before with a seeming anti-hybrid skill tree reform campaign. Am I missing something?

    • The Watchmen

      from the way the description sounds, each spec is still there. Its not going to be cookie-cutter hybrid style, its going to be like (Example) “Hey I’m a Vigilance Guardian that happens to have some QoL minor defensive stuff normally given to Defense Spec.”

    • Sean

      From what I read in the descriptions and from various comments from Bioware, the whole concept of ‘hybrid’ builds was something that they didn’t intend to be viable — that splitting your skill points across two or three trees rather than focusing on one wasn’t the way they wanted you to build your character, and the reason so many of the useful abilities in the skill trees are so high up is to prevent people from getting them out of more than one skill tree. This had the side effect, for example, of not giving low-level tanks much tanking ability, because they didn’t want people to get tanking ability and decent DPS.
      The disciplines solve that problem; when you pick a discipline, except for the various ‘chrome’ skills from the Utility pool, you get all the skills — and _only_ the skills — that Bioware wants someone who picked that ‘tree’ to have. They don’t have to worry about balancing what happens when skills from different trees interact in a hybrid build, because you _can’t_ make a hybrid build any more; all of the potential ugly interactions are locked away. They only have to worry about balancing the collection of skills in a discipline against the collection of skills in another discipline, not mixtures of them. And because of that, they can move ‘defining’ abilities in the old trees down so that characters get them earlier.
      Whether the skills that get put in the ‘Utility’ pool offer enough actual _utility_ that it doesn’t work out that, for any given choice of Discipline, there is _one_ optimal set of Utility choices — which would make this change replacing _almost_ cookie-cutter characters with _completely_ cookie-cutter ones — we won’t be able to tell until we get more information about what actually appears in the Disciplines and the Utility pool. However, from the illustrations, I find the prospect of changing from a system where you have incremental ability increases every level (and you could choose which of several improvements you wanted that level) to one where you only get improvements every _three_ levels (and that one restricted to the _one_ choice Bioware thought that you should have for the way _they_ want you to play) on the face of it to be a step backward in flexibility. Yes, 90% of builds for any given tree wound up being the same, but the specific route you took to get there was still your choice; we’re losing almost all of that.

      • Heist 101

        Oh I see …we’ll have to select which discipline we want meaning there can’t possibly be any hybrids between these disciplines ..that’s awesome then yea I’m for it. On another note IMHO I wouldn’t care if they make a changeable talent thing like they have in wow, across all classes and levels there would be a crap-ton of player personalization, if we (player character) are becoming bigger famous heroes (as the story has us feeling) we could use some epic abilities to mess around with.

  • FeFe

    This reminds me of that one time WoW overhauled talents in Cataclysm

  • blue’shift

    “All new and improved”, it says on the tin… Why do we distrust everything politicians promise for the future but readily believe the stuff game publishers claim ? #headshake

    Playing a hybrid gunslinger, I will believe (and accept ?) the promised improvement after the first week of testing ( and the first few sets of balancing patches )..

  • Chuck Clouser Jr.

    So… I’m gathering from what I read that we can now “Field Respec” at any time during a run/mission as long as it isn’t during combat? Is this true? Does this mean that I shouldn’t invest in buying “Field Respec” from my Legacy window (was going to buy it today actually)?

    • Vodorlo

      You still need the Field Respec to change Disciplines in the field, otherwise you will have to go to the guy on the fleet to change.

  • Macleod

    Hope we get a summary of the twitch stream here, would really appreciate it Dulfy! Can’t watch it while I’m at work.

    • Vodorlo

      It’s already up.

      • Macleod

        It wasn’t when I posted that. 😉

  • Hiroshi Perez

    The new system LETS you to choose your class to be hybridized or straight. It says right there at the utilities section of the article. In my opinion, I’m kind of worried of what might happen to our class specs as they get a change that might hurt or improve our classes. I’ll save my judgement until the expansion is released.

    • Gareth Grist

      The new system does not in any way let you hybrid.

      • Hiroshi Perez

        Of course it does. Check and compare the skill tree, then check the Discipline system. You may some of the passives of the skill tree of all three classes have been moved to the utilities section to make your class more DPS, healer, or tank. Please don’t hesitate to check the skill tree and discipline system of the Sorcerer, you’ll see what I mean. <———I call this "indirect hybridization". "Direct hybridization" would be choosing core passives and abilities that strongly tie to the Advanced Class specialization. "Direct hybridization" is what the developers are getting rid of by installing the new system. I know people are enraged that they will not be using Death field and Chain lightning at the same time, but as I said, this is just a wait-and-see situation that would have us on our throats.

        • Gareth Grist

          I don’t think you have read it right. There will of course be some active and passive base advanced class abilities which are shared across disciplines. However, the rest of your active and passive abilities comes from progression through the discipline tree you have selected, and you cannot select more than 1 discipline tree at a time.

          Seeing as all utilities effect either a skill you’ve picked up in your discipline path or a skill common to your advanced class, I don’t see how you can produce a hybrid build? Unless I am missing something?

          • Hiroshi Perez

            Look at the Sorcerer class closely. You notice that some of the passives on the Corruption, Madness, and lightning are put in the utilities section to make your class the way you want it. Say for example, I want my Madness Sorcerer to be half healer and half dps, so the following passives I choose are the following:Corrupted Barrier, Dark Resilience, Empty Body, Backlash, Force Suffusion, Chain Shock, and Lightning Barrier. Those would be my utilities chosen if I wanted to be half healer while still attaining a strong dps class that also in addition, grants me the new spell, Force Leech, level 41, Steals life from an enemy, dealing x internal damage to the target and heal you for 50% of the damage dealt. 1.5s activation, 50 force, 30m, 12s CD. Which later, Force Leech does 100% healing after you reach level 59. So in conclusion, you can still heal and do dps at once.

    • AkrenAlumni

      your wrong they just ruined tor wow this games taken its final desent into casual fagnoobery

      • Hiroshi Perez

        Read my current comment below.

  • Benets

    This is wow copy

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