With patch 1.2 not far off, everyone is preparing for what changes this might be to their played class. For the Jedi Guardian, a lot of changing are incoming. Most, however, are not aimed at the Defense Guardian. A few key changes are on the horizon that may help the Guardian, as a whole, in the long run, including a brand new ability.
Relevant 1.2 Patch Notes:
- Added Focused Defense, a new ability that allows the Guardian to spend Focus to lower threat. While active, one point of Focus is spent each time damage is taken to heal the Guardian for a small amount. This ability is usable while stunned and is not limited by the global cool down.
- Blade Barrier is now located in Tier 4 of the skill tree.
- Blade Storm no longer consumes stacks of Courage while the “Momentum” buff is active.
- Command no longer reduces the cool down of Challenging Call and is now located in Tier 5 of the skill tree.
- Dust Storm is now a 3-point skill that provides the same overall effect.
- Guardian Slash now generates 50% additional threat.
- Momentum is now a 2-point skill that provides the same overall effect.
- Pacification is now a 1-point skill with a slightly reduced overall effect.
- Shield Specialization is now located in Tier 5 of the skill tree.
- Stasis Mastery is now located in Tier 4 of the skill tree.
- Swelling Winds is now located in Tier 1 of the Focus skill tree. It increases the damage dealt by Force Sweep and Cyclone Slash and reduces the cool down of Force Sweep.
- Single Saber Mastery is no longer restricted to certain stances.
What does this mean? For the most part, it seems that the Defense tree is not changing at all. Most things are simply getting shuffled around, while Guardian Slash is receiving a slight buff. Pacification is also receiving a nerf along with Command. Sadly, without the Challenging Call component of Command, it is now quite worthless, as it only lowers the CD of Force push. Since the Defense tree is losing 3 points of talents in total, that frees up some points to take up Single Saber Mastery from the Vigilance tree, which now affects Guardians in Soresu. I also have unconfirmed reports that Swelling Winds is being reduced to a 2 point skill adding only 20% damage to Cyclone Slash and Force Sweep.
I don’t fully understand the purpose of nerfing Command, given that AoE threat was the Guardian’s weakness, but now at least it seems Cyclone Slash will be more viable. Force Sweep took a slight nerf, but will still be our hardest hitting AoE attack. Sadly, Blade Barrier has not been buffed yet. Our single target threat gets an improvement, but that was never particularly lacking to begin with. Focused Defense also affords us another defensive cool down, but sadly, reduces threat, which is not desired for a tank. You can, however, use it while stunned, which is a huge plus.
Specing as a Defense Guardian will now afford you more points to put in other trees. As such, you will likely no longer have to put more than 31 talent points in Defense to fully round out your survival. Extra points can be spent on things like Master Focus(which now makes Master Strike deal more damage but does not lower the CD on Force Stasis), Single Saber Mastery, and Defiance. This will allow the Defense Guardian to be a little more versatile in its role, as well as do more damage, which is another of the specs weak points. The changes to talent locations actually allow for more hybrid specializing than ever before, with Blade Barrier and Stasis Mastery coming down far enough to be reached by Vigilance/Defense hybrid Guardians.
Gear in 1.2:
- Synthweavers can now learn schematics allowing the creation of Strength, Willpower, Defense, Alacrity, and Presence Augments. Augments can be reverse engineered for a chance to research Prototype and Artifact quality schematics.
- Critical successes while crafting Custom (orange) outfits will add an Augment slot to the resulting item.
- Additional lower-level light armor schematics have been added.
- Material requirements for some Custom (orange) outfits have changed.
- The Codex entry for Synthweaving has been updated.
- Synthweavers can now reverse engineer random armor drops with Strength or Willpower stats.
One big change that is on the way in the new patch will be gear. You will now be able to critically craft orange, moddable gear with augment slots in it as well as be able to remove armoring mods from your purple armor pieces. The armoring mods will also carry with them the set bonus. This means that potentially every moddable armor slot will be able to have an augment in it. Augments will also be craftable and available to certain professions. This makes synthweaving one of the top crew skill choices for Jedi, since synthweavers are the ones able to craft Jedi armor. Jedi Knights in particular benefit from this since our female companion, Kira Carson, has a +5 critical bonus to synthweaving, so start stocking up on mats now. You will also be able to reverse engineer armor pieces and acquire the schematic to make them, including moddable armor.