On June 6th, BioWare posted a community blog about some of the class and balance changes coming our way in Game Update 1.3. You can read the full blog here. The in-progress PTS patch notes in reference can be viewed here. Some interesting information was revealed on the blog concerning the changes being made to tank classes and DPS classes.
The classes hit the hardest this round include the Assassin/Shadow, Juggernaut/Guardian, Sniper/Gunslinger, and both Bounty Hunter/Trooper trees. Austin Peckenpaugh, Senior Designer, goes into some detail about why changes were made, and what BioWare’s long term goals for various balance issues are. Major balance adjustments can often be frustrating no matter the side of the spectrum a player’s character may be on, and it isn’t often that the community sees the reasoning behind decisions made. It’s a very nice to see some of this reasoning.
The forum community’s reactions for this blog update can be found in this thread. There is a large number of feedback on many of the changes. The Shadow/Assassin feedback changes seem to be getting the most amount of attention at the moment. Many players feel the changes are too drastic for PvE Assassin/Shadow tanks, and were made in the light of PvP situations.
Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but there is a bit of good news. These updates are currently deployed on the PTS server for players to check out. As such, these changes aren’t set in stone, and if they are indeed too drastic for PvE, hopefully reports will be made and the changes will be correctly adjusted.
One player summed it up quite nicely, I thought:
“Regardless of how players may feel (positively or negatively), this post was extremely insightful into how the changes were made and what the decision process was like. I look forward to many more posts like this in all areas of the game to help the players know what is going on in the minds’ of the Devs. To anyone who may be reacting overly negative towards the combat changes: play some on the test domain to see how the changes are REALLY affecting the classes. If your thoughts are confirmed, then find a way to resolve the issue without having such a negative impact. A thought out argument with reasonable solutions will certainly have more of an impact on enacting change than a 10 word rage post. The other piece that we’ll need are the hard numbers of how the changes are affecting combat, which means we need people playing on the PTS to get a good picture. Get a character copied over and I hope to see everyone enjoying the new patch.”
Developer insight is indeed valuable, and balance updates like this in the future would be welcome.