Bioware is opening up several discussion threads to discuss some of the upcoming sentinel/marauder changes players can expect in patch 3.2.1 and their reasoning behind them.
3.2.1 Marauder/Sentinel Insight: Defensive Forms | 05.06.2015, 02:42 PM
We’ve been following the discussions regarding the Annihilation/Watchman changes since the last PTS patch, and I wanted to take a moment to lend some insight on a few points and discuss potential improvements. We will start by discussing the 3.2.1 changes to Defensive Forms.
We know that this has been a sensitive topic for some time and found it pertinent to reassess the Utility and expand its functionality. By dividing the original buffs among multiple Utilities and removing the stance requirement, we aim to bolster the intrigue of other Utilities and provide the opportunity for all Disciplines and stances to utilize these defensive and utility buffs as they see fit.
We understand that many of you have been calling for Defensive Forms to be made baseline, but we need to maintain choice within the Utility system. The three previously Form-restricted effects tied to the original Defensive Forms (damage reduction, internal and elemental damage reduction, and movement speed) are all great defensive and utility skills that should be player driven options in the Utility system. While the Fury/Centering generation applied by Defensive Forms (and the new Brazen/Stoic) improves the DPS and defensive output of Marauders/Sentinels who are being actively attacked, it does nothing for those who are avoiding damage or attention and allowing their team/companions to draw the target’s ire. Due to this fact, we are leaving this Fury/Centering generation skill as a player choice and not moving it to a class-baseline passive.
We will be releasing threads concerning Marauder/Sentinel updates over the next few hours in stages. They will offer insight on Annihilation/Watch Rotation changes, Hungering/Merciless Zeal changes, and an open address on improving set bonuses to reduce their impact on limiting rotation flexibility. We are staggering the release of these posts to allow you all time to respond on individual topics and keep the discussions focused.
3.2.1 Marauder/Sentinel Insight: Annihilation/Watchman Rotation Design Philosophy | 05.06.2015, 05:02 PM
Continuing our threads that lend insight on recent design changes, we will be sharing some of our Annihilation/Watchman design philosophies and offering perspectives from our extensive internal testing of the new Annihilation/Watchman rotation.
Annihilation/Watchman Rotation Design Philosophy:
- A Responsive and Reactive Rotation: Following our design philosophy of making the Annihilation/Watchman Discipline the most challenging and potentially rewarding Marauder/Sentinel Discipline to play and player feedback that the current Live Annihilation/Watchman Discipline is “boring,” “predictable,” and “easy to play,” we have designed the new rotation to require the use of a varying priority system, rather than a predetermined rotation that fits neatly within some set duration of time, in order to maximize damage output. Players will need to rethink how the rotation plays and respond carefully to each situation to get the most out of the new Annihilation/Watchman Discipline. This design lends itself to a visceral playstyle, which will see a successful Marauder/Sentinel reacting instinctively to each combat situation as it arises. This playstyle should appeal to players that prefer variance over predictability in their combat experiences.
- Never Underestimate Force Rend/Force Melt: From the beginning, Force Rend/Force Melt was designed to be a longer-lasting, damage-heavy DoT ability, and this has not changed with the new rotation design. Force Rend/Force Melt packs quite a prolonged punch and feeds your Rage/Focus regeneration and self healing. Making sure that it is active on any targets that will last for 15 or more seconds is essential to maximizing damage output. Due to its longer duration, it is also an easier DoT spread than Rupture/Cauterize.
- Never Overestimate Dual Saber Throw/Twin Saber Throw: Some abilities are only designed to be used situationally. For example, as an Annihilation Marauder/Watchman Sentinel, you are only intended to use Dual Saber Throw/Twin Saber Throw in multi-target situations, while its damage is boosted by Pulverize/Mind Sear, and/or when stuck at a long distance from your enemy target.
3.2.1 Marauder/Sentinel Insight: Self Healing and Set Bonuses | 05.06.2015, 08:15 PM
Concluding our threads that lend insight on recent Marauder/Sentinel design choices, we’re continuing with a discussion regarding Annihilation/Watchman self healing changes and a discussion on improving set bonuses.
Hungering/Merciless Zeal Changes:
The new design for Hungering/Merciless Zeal is intended to drastically improve the self healing potential of Annihilation/Watchman players depending on their offensive involvement and multi-target coordination. On a single target, the HPS has been slightly decreased. This is by design to counterbalance the vastly improved self healing provided by DoTing multiple targets. With the new Hemorrhaging Smash/Burning Sweep Smash/Force Sweep cooldown reduction, spreading DoTs is easier and more fluid than on Live. This should drastically increase the self healing and DPS potential of Annihilation/Watchman players combating multiple targets.
Set Bonus Improvements:
We also want to take this opportunity to ask the Marauder/Sentinel community about expanding the ability trigger options for the Weaponmaster’s/Challenger’s Critical Bonus set bonus. At present, only Ravage/Master Strike can trigger the Weaponmaster’s/Challenger’s Critical Bonus. To allow for greater rotational flexibility across all Marauder/Sentinel Disciplines, we want to discuss the potential to add additional abilities as trigger activators. At present, we are considering adding Dual Saber Throw/Twin Saber Throw to the Weaponmaster’s/Challenger’s Critical Bonus trigger. What are your thoughts on this? We want to reduce the rotational constraints of some set bonuses, and felt that this was an appropriate opportunity to discuss strategies with you all.
Thanks to all for the constructive feedback. Please feel free to share your perspectives on the proposed changes outlined above. We will continue to monitor and test thread feedback as we move forward.