BioWare have started several discussion threads on the official SWTOR forums, to discuss upcoming changes to Sentinel and Marauder. As far as we know, players can expect quite a few changes comming with patch 3.2.1, and the game developers are trying to explain why. Here are the news from SWTOR System Designer John Jarynowski:
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.