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Zoeller Drops Some 1.2 Knowledge Bombs on the Forums

Published by under community news on Mar. 13. 2012.

With all the information that came out of the recent Guild Summit it is only natural that players are looking for some clarification on all the various tidbits that have been released. Ever since the summit the SWTOR forums have been flooded with post from people looking for info, wanting more details, and the inevitable complaining about gameplay features they have not even experienced yet. Luckily for everyone the master of the forum posts, Mr. Georg Zoeller, has been laying down some of his famous yellow posts to squash some of the rumors and questions running across the boards.

 

User Codin posted the following about class balance:

One thing that I was really hoping would come out of the Guild Summit was more information on what class balances would be taking place in 1.2. There’s been some hints here and there that changes are coming. IGN even reported that Jedi Knights will be receiving some new skills, while Bounty Hunters will be receiving a nerf. In fact, entire skill trees are changing so greatly they’re actually refunding our skill points for free.

However we have yet to see any details about this. With 1.2 being pushed out to early April, it’s becoming more difficult for me to remain patient. In particular with the reduction to damage to Scoundrel Scrapper damage, and the relative silence of Bioware to concerns about the classes effectiveness in Operations and PVP. I’m not eager to have to wait another month to find out how classes will be changing to become more balanced, and I’m sure many others are becoming impatient as well.

All of the other 1.2 changes and additions sound great so far, but they won’t mean much to me if certain classes are still inherently better than others. Let’s hear some information about what 1.2 will be doing to classes in particular, and don’t skimp on the details.

 

Georg came back with:

Nobody outside the building has seen the patch notes for 1.2 yet. So whoever is reporting anything regarding the class changes in 1.2 is likely doing so based on second or third hand commentary from someone who might – or might not – have seen the patch notes.

I got asked some questions regarding individual classes by people at the Guild Summit and have answered all of them. When / if these people decide to divulge those answers is up to them.

In regards to comments about ‘relative silence about class X’: We generally do not comment on balance related plans or findings on the Forums, for any class, until we have made a firm decision to change something and the patch that does so is on the Public Test Server. Doing anything else would limit options and create unreasonable expectations.

We do, at rare occasions, hint at upcoming changes (e.g. in a Q&A), but these cases are exceptions.

Yes, you may say ‘Georg, then give us the real information’. That’s fair, we totally appreciate that you guys are impatient. However, giving you that information requires it to be final, and it is not. It will be final enough for initial public consumption when patch 1.2 is on PTS.

It’s tempting to give snippets and hints about these changes here, now, to calm people down – but all that will accomplish is everyone who isn’t getting their information will cry foul. It’s happening already based on the article you are referencing (“Why are you nerfing X but not Y”), which is completely void of any details. On the internet, saying X means that everyone else hears ‘Not Y’.

So:

Yes, I want you to have that information, but I want everyone to get it at the same time, when it is ready, and I want you to get the full picture. Thus, you will all get it with the full patch notes on PTS. Once that information is there, you can test the changes on the server and voice your feedback as usual and yes, some people will be happy, some won’t.

If we ever reach the point where every class thinks they are completely balanced and everything is great, I’ll take the red pill and unplug from the matrix.

 

That wasn’t the only balance post by far. User silky soft made the following post:

so you are saying that sent/maur are getting focus/rage ‘buff’ (/nerf) and some lame skillpoint that gives more range or less cooldown? you know we take this spec that just for the alpha stirke. I don’t want to go back to dot dot choke spec

 

And Georg’s comeback:

Uh, well, no. How do I explain this?

I am saying exactly what I am saying in my post. Some skills in the game had structural changes. I am not mentioning any specific class. I’m giving a generic example of something that could be considered a structural change.

How you can turn this into something that references Marauders, Sentinels, focus and alpha strikes or DOTs is completely beyond me.

 

This lengthy post, made by a user named bobudo, is all about Operative/Scoundrel healing. It’s quite lengthy so get ready for a wall-o-text:

Dear Devs,As the subject line may have tipped you off, you’re quickly missing your window to do something that will save this class from becoming obsolete. The number of Operative/Scoundrel healers reporting on the forums that they are leveling a Sorcerer/Sage as a replacement is growing; the number of Operations Groups that are starting to exclude Operative/Scoundrel healers is growing.If this trend continues, Operative/Scoundrel healing will die, and the only way to revive it will be to make over-powering changes such as to lure healers back. Why such drastic changes? Because groups will have invested in other healers – they’ll have geared them, developed strategies focused on them, and have settled into a comfortable dynamic as a group – and will have no reason to change otherwise.

All of the ideas we’ve developed for bringing class balance in our Healer Request Compilation will be be for naught: what use would it be to bring balance to a class that no one plays and that no group desires? What is the purpose of theoretical balance if there is no practical balance because the class you’re fixing is out-geared by two tiers (at least)?

I warned in some of my earliest posts that this was going to start happening – that other players would start to get wise to the severe healing imbalance that was previously only readily apparent to us healers. That changes needed to start being discussed and made immediately. The deafening silence on this issue makes me think that it is not considered as such at all.

If this issue has been overlooked and changes aren’t already in the works then you’ve likely doomed healing in this game to be based on the Sorcerer/Sage for the next year or two at least; likely until a new level cap makes old Operations and gear obsolete and the Operative/Scoundrel can get a fair shot at fresh content.

I don’t think you intended for this to be the case; I believe you intended to create 3 well-made multipurpose healers, all equally viable in all levels of PvE and PvP content. That this goal was not achieved for launch is not the issue any longer; that this goal continues to not be a priority is a significant problem.

End the silence. Tell those of us trying to help you if you have any intention of fixing these issues, or let us move on to being Sorcerer/Sage healers knowing that is the sole class you intend to spec for pure healing.

Dear Trolls:

Don’t give me any lip about “Devs cant respond to everything blahblah.” I know – I agree! – that the devs cannot respond to every single issue on the forums.

I’m not asking for that. I’m asking for the devs to make a response regarding an issue that we have developed and discussed to the point that we have all but solved it for them (and I sure some of us would code the changes in given the opportunity). There are dozens of good, balanced ideas regarding different way to bring parity to the healing classes!

But we’ve sat in silence for weeks now – the sole Bioware employee response we’ve received was the pat on the back stickying the Healer Request Compilation – while other classes get their concerns addressed. We’ve followed the rules, avoided thread-jacking and spamming, and held an in-depth conversation on the issues we wish addressed.

It is time we’ve had an answer; we have earned it.

 

This post was quite well received by the Scoundrel/Operative healing community and received quite a few responses, including one from Mr. Zoeller himself:

We are generally not talking about upcoming balance information, for any class, until we have finalized the changes enough to be certain, which usually means when changes are about to hit PTS. This avoids confusion and wrong expectations, but understandably causes people to be impatient.I have acknowledged, when asked at the Guild Summit, that we determined healing on Operative can use some improvements and have made changes in 1.2 (along with changes to almost every other aspect of the game).For details, you will have to wait until the patch hits PTS (which should be soon) for the reasons stated. Even then, I would advise you to actually test the changes on the server rather than relying on theory crafting based on patch notes, as some of the underlying rules for the game (e.g. diminishing returns for certain stats) have changed at the same time.
Disclaimer: When I state ‘we changed X’, it does not preclude changes to Y and Z. I did not say ‘we did not change Y and Z’ but neither did I say ‘we changed Y and Z’. I merely made a singular statement about X, which is not to be constructed as a statement about Y or Z. Even though I just said ‘we changed X’, the statistical probability for the immediate appearance of threads decrying the lack of change to Y and Z has significantly increased by this statement about X. This puzzling effect is why the first rule of partial class balance discussion is that you do not discuss partial class balance.
And to end things up we have this little post from user Chunkie all about BioChem reusables:

Like the title says, i think it’s time to end this. It clearly is overpowering because having a free heal, free adrenals and free stims is just too powerful.Even Biochemists should want this change, because with so many biochemists, the market for stims and medpacs is just not there.The perks for a biochemist should be stronger stim/adrenals/medpacs for their own use only. Change the reusables to the Exotech (requiring 400 biochem to use), and drop their mats to only requiring one Radioactive Paste (4 is absurd).Adrenals are too expensive currently. A good start would be to cut their mats by half.For ops schematics, make the Exotech have a 4 hour duration that anybody can use (and requiring 4 Radioactive Paste).

The other crafting skills aren’t broken. Some require tweeks, but they ARE viable. It’s just when people compare them to Biochem, they see it as useless. When people look up stims and see that 2 stims is the same price as a reusable, it’s a no-brainer that stims are a ripoff or/and that biochem reusables is too fantastic to not have.

 

And the response from George clearing up the confusion:

Just a clarification, since I’m seeing a bit of misinformation around it. We do not plan to remove the reusable stims. What we said at the Guild Summit is that we’re going to phase them out – meaning while the itemization stat budget increases and new tiers of items are introduced, we’re not intending to grow the reusable stims along with that at this time.

 

That’s all for now, but it’s only a matter of time before Georg makes his presence known across the forums again. What do you think about these posts and what game update 1.2 will have in store for us? Let us know in the comments section below!

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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Zoeller Drops Some 1.2 Knowledge Bombs on the Forums”

  1. KaelWolfcryon 13 Mar 2012 at 10:38 am

    Georg had used his Cluebat to magnificent effect these past few posts. Hopefully these responses will chill at least -some- people out about 1.2’s effects on balance…but likely not. Still, its nice that Darth Zoeller tried to cull the weak. :)

  2. Errikoson 15 Mar 2012 at 6:48 pm

    their backhanded comments and ‘programmers ego’ are getting to be too much…

    “Georg, then give us the real information’. That’s fair, we totally appreciate that you guys are impatient”

    impatient… we are being left in the dark, glaring issues were left unanswered for too long.

    far too much programmer’s ego over at Bioware