Here is this week’s Q&A Community Response, where we take some of last Friday’s questions and corresponding answers, and provide some of the feedback straight from the community. Make sure and check out the full Q&A posts for all of the questions, because we’re only going to be covering some of the highlights.
Last Friday’s Q&A, which can be found here, only consisted of five questions, which seems to be the norm here lately. One question and answer in particular generated a high dose of community response. Interesting stuff. Keep reading to find out more, and make sure and check out the complete community thread where this feedback is taken from.
Here’s the question and its answer:
BobertCole: Could you elaborate please on what role you see deception Assassins playing? Are they close to operating in the way that was envisioned?
Austin Peckenpaugh (Senior Designer): First, as to whether or not they’re operating close to what we envision, the answer is “depends who the operator is.” From the videos, logs, and anecdotes players provide us, it’s really very much the answer for all specs – some people “get it” and play it to its potential, and some people don’t. Frequently, the ones who “don’t” are hitting brick walls because their expectations for what a spec should be like or should be capable of are different than what the spec is designed for.
In the case of Deception Assassins, we see and hear about a lot of players expecting to go toe-to-toe with tough enemies. They expect that since they’re a melee spec, they should have the survivability they need to withstand the frontlines. That’s true for some melee specs, but that’s not what Deception Assassins were designed for. Deception should epitomize “hit-and-run” and “lone wolf” gameplay. Obviously that’s less the case in Operations boss encounters, but if this is a question of sustained DPS, the short answer is that they hit within the same 5% “grace window” targeted by every DPS spec in the game.
In solo and PvP environments, Deception is meant to be a high burst, high mobility, shutdown spec. When played properly, they provide some of the highest burst and highest pressure in the game. However, Deception is not a great partner. He can’t take hits, his shutdown requires that he set the pace of the fight, and his escapes leave allies open and vulnerable to counterattacks. I say that, but I’ve seen players dash my expectations and turn Deception into a spectacular teammate. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many more players try to facetank and fail. Assassins have a great team support role – Darkness; they also have a great well-rounded, high utility role – Madness. We left Deception to take the opportunity to do something fun and very different, but that comes with the risk of missing player expectation. If you like Deception and you want to pull it off, my suggestion is that you pick your fights and plan ahead, but I’d also warn that Deception is a spec of extremes – I would not describe it as “well-rounded.”
This is an interesting answer for a number of reasons. Some players took it as a sort of “learn to play” answer and responded negatively, which I don’t think is the case, but there is something undeniably off-center here.
Here’s one player’s thoughts:
“You state that you intentionally designed Deception spec to be “not a great partner”… Unfortunately, all our current PvP content is “Team-Based” Warzones.”
That’s a solid point, and rings true for many Deception PvP players. SWTOR doesn’t have much in the way of world PvP currently, which makes “lone wolf”-type PvP not as useful as the developer team may have originally envisioned.
And here’s the point that many players are making:
“It seems pretty evident to me that Deception was intended to be the “glass cannon” spec of the Assassin. The rogue archetype with light armor that does tons of damage that they can’t take; oddly enough, this type of class does well in the organized PvP environments of other games. Not entirely because of player skill, but because of numbers. The damage that we should be doing simply isn’t high enough.”
Since we’re on the subject of advanced class feedback, BioWare is currently asking for player feedback regarding SWTOR’s advanced classes. This announcement was posted a couple days ago. There is a thread in every advanced class subsection on the official forums. If you have an opinion about your favorite class, now’s the time to speak your mind!