Marauder/Sentinel Patch 2.5 Projected Changes

Omg omg omg 2.5 changes, yo.  Yes this is about a week late, but I had Stuff Come Up and was offline for a while.

Buffs

Annihilation/Watchman Improvements

  • The stacking buff provided by Juyo Form now lasts 24 seconds (up from 15) and can be applied once every second (down from every 1.5 seconds).
  • The stacking Annihilator/Merciless buff provided by Annihilate/Merciless Slash now lasts 24 seconds (up from 15).

The devs explained this as a help to anni/watchman specced marauders/sentinels in encounters where you have to lay off the boss for a while, you come back, and all your stacks have worn off.

It will also make it far easier to build annihilate/merciless stacks even if you are a bit late on hitting annihilate/merciless slash.  Right now, when you hit anni/merc slash the first time, you have a 4.5 second window between the time that it comes off cd and the time that the buff expires to reapply it for the second stack.  These changes widen that to a leisurely 13.5 second window.

Bloodthirst/Inspiration and Predation/Transcendence no longer prevent the Marauder from building Fury/centering (stacks) while they are active.  That’s just a straight up DPS win there, no question.

Nerfs

Undying Rage/Guarded by the Force Changes

  • Undying Rage/Guarded by the Force now has a 2 minute cooldown (up from 1 minute and 30 seconds).
  • The health for Undying Rage/Guarded by the Force is now spent when the damage reducing effect expires, rather than when it begins. It still costs 50% of current health.
  • Undying/Enduring no longer increases damage reduction but still reduces the cooldown of Undying Rage/Guarded by the Force by 15/30 seconds.
  • Force Vigor no longer interacts with Undying Rage/Guarded by the Force. It now permanently increases passive damage reduction by 1/2% and still builds 1/2 Rage when Dual Saber Throw is used.

Probably this is a PvP nerf, as it mostly reverts the talents to improve Undying Rage/Guarded in the Rage/Focus tree but it still sucks.

The part that worries me about PvE is that the health is deducted after the effect wears off.  Currently, I use UR/GBTF when I’m about to die to give the healer the ability to heal me while I’m not taking damage so, with any luck, by the time the damn thing wears off, I’m at a reasonable level of health.  This change will make my death at the expiration of the buff pretty much guaranteed (rather than just “highly likely”), as my health will drop precipitously right when I lose protection from damage.

In addition, the health deducted at the end of the effect is calculated based on the health that the marauder/sentinel has at the end of the effect, and not when the effect is triggered.  As you see below, this wastes precious resources of the healers do top off the marauder/sentinel during the buff.

Example: 

Njessie has 20,000 Max HP and is at 6000 HP or 30% health when she hits UR/Guarded

  • Currently: Njessie now has 3000 HP (15% health).
  • In 2.5: Njessie still has 6000 HP (30% health).

A healer adds 10k HP to Njessie (50%) during the buff.  (A healer is definitely more likely to heal a 15% Njessie than a 30% Njessie – but let’s assume for this example an equal amount of healing during the effect.)

  • Currently: Njessie has 3000 HP + 10k HP = 13k HP (65%).  Buff drops and she’s still at 65%.  That’s pretty good.
  • In 2.5: Njessie has 6000 HP + 10k HP = 16k HP (80%). Buff drops and 50% of current health is deducted.  Njessie is now at 8k (40%).  The resources expended to provide 10k of healing only actually provided 5k of healing.  This sucks for the healers who are already stretched thin during a burn phase.  But if they don’t heal Njessie during the effect, it is likely she will die once the effect wears off if she is at 15%.

As you can see, from my invented numbers, this pretty much blows for PvE and I won’t be using UR/Guarded unless I am truly about to croak – and I know that at the end of the effect, I will die.

Maybe Buff Or Nerf?

Bloodthirst/Inspiration now affects your entire Operation group up to 40 meters away from the Marauder/Sentinel (up from 30 meters) but also applies a debuff which lasts for five minutes on all affected group members. This debuff prevents affected players from regaining Bloodthirst/Inspiration while it is active.  I have no idea the ramifications of this.  Overall, I like it, and it’s very similar to how they changed Heroism/Bloodlust in WoW (for, I think, the better) but there are downsides.

Pros:

  • Do not have to mess with groups to put the marauder/sentinel in the right group
  • Can make do with one marauder/sentinel
  • A second marauder/sentinel can pop predation/transcendence at the same time so you have damage reduction layered on bloodthirst/inspiration
  • A marauder/sentinel not assigned to be the bloodthirst/inspiration popper is free to use stacks for Berserk/Zen instead for a DPS increase.

Cons:

  • Less incentive to bring multiple marauders to a raid
  • No more sequential bloodthirsts/inspirations in the raid  (Hey, 30 seconds of awesomeness was kind of great).
  • While the debuff clears on death, it would be nice if the cooldown also cleared on death (or no cooldown now that there is a debuff) so that BT/Insp would be ready for the next attempt.

Overall

I’m happy with the changes and think they are responsive to player feedback.  For me, the downsides of Annihilation spec have pretty much evaporated, and I will probably be playing that spec exclusively after this patch.  I’ll update the sent/mara guide when the changes go live, promise.

Patch 2.4.1

I’m late to the party on these patch notes.  Too busy divorcing Corso and punishing Quinn.  Anyhoo, here is what caught my attention:

Interface Editor improvements for the focus target window:

  • New options for the Focus Target Window (that other windows already have):
    • Show information text
    • Flip the display horizontally
    • Adjust buff and debuff icon sizes
  • Increased the default size of the Focus Target Window. The window remains scalable via the Interface Editor.

I hadn’t noticed this one on first glance at the notes, but it is VERY IMPORTANT.  I have basically ignored the focus target window precisely because I couldn’t get the information to show in a way that is useful to me.  Now, I will totally start using it.

New Bounty Pack: The Tracker’s Bounty Pack!  I was meh about this until I saw the Visas Marr outfit.  WANT for my assassin.  The belt sash is actually a belt sash and not detailing on the skirt part.  Plus, the hat is actually a separate hat and not an attached hoodie.  October 21, it comes out.  By Wednesday, we should see these on the GTN, and I’ll probably end up with a reasonably priced one around the weekend.  WOOT.

Mira’s Headband now displays properly when worn by female characters with Body Type 1.  As you recall, I had some issues with that headband clipping and behaving weirdly on a speeder.  The speeder part was fixed a few patches ago (in 2.3.3), and now this patch fixes the clipping issue.  I will be wearing this snazzy headband with my new Visas Marr outfit (late next week).

The encounter with Dread Master Calphayus will now progress properly after a failed attempt.  This bugged out on us last weekend and it was confusing as hell.  “Ok guys we’re about to hit the transition… any day now…”  Yes, a tank n spank is easier.  It’s also boring.

The “Corrosive Grenade” debuff applied by Gate Commander Draxus can now be removed by any ability that removes negative effects.  We are just starting on hard mode fortress, and were discussing how to stack the group to make sure we have enough classes that can cleanse tech abilities specifically.  This is such a relief – at least to those rostering those runs!

Oricon: Clipping Wings (Republic)/The Darkening Stars (Imperial)/[DAILY] Preemptive Strike: Players no longer fall through shuttles when they respawn.  I am guilty of camping one shuttle to destroy over and over rather than braving packs of mobs that I have no business soloing.  But falling through the ship put me in danger of additional aggro.  Well no longer!  I’ll go to the kitchen for a snack while I wait for respawn.

Companion Characters are no longer defeated when using Quick Travel to go to the Republic or Imperial Landing Zone from certain areas of CZ-198.  This is a stupid little fix, but I was getting a bit annoyed at scraping Treek off the floor every time I went to turn in my weekly.

Dear Corso

Dear Corso,

By now you should have been served process that I’m filing for dissolution of marriage in the district of Ord Mantell.

I could say “it’s not you, it’s me” but that would be a lie, because it’s definitely you.  Thankfully, Ord Mantell has no fault divorce, so I didn’t enumerate our marital problems in the petition to the court, but I wanted you to know.  At least that’s what my therapist says I should do.

Mainly, you’re a chauvinist.  At first it was endearing and quaint, but a few months in, suddenly you’re a domineering control freak.  It was downright embarrassing to have you question and second-guess every order I give on my ship, like I’m incompetent to make decisions.  That’s right, it’s my ship and you work for me.  Not my problem that you found that threatening.

Do you have any idea how annoying it is having you hovering on the bridge backseat driving while I’m flying the ship?  I think you actually believe the stereotype about female pilots and didn’t trust me not to crash into a moon if you weren’t there to constantly monitor me.  Of course I let you fly more often than I did – it was easier than listening to your nervous yammering in my ear.

And you weren’t just controlling and condescending to me!  Your sexist behavior toward Akaavi and Risha was making my life hell.  I had to stop Akaavi from killing you a good dozen times.  Risha was about to marry that noble dude and scoot back to her planet.  Do you know how hard it is to find a good mechanic who just wants to hang out in the engine room all day?

Another sticking point in our marriage was your irrational jealousy and lack of trust.  I couldn’t have a conversation with another man, even on the holo, without you popping in to chaperone and then grilling me afterward to make sure that there was nothing going on.  And, god forbid, I talk to an ex-boyfriend.  I’d have to hear about that for weeks.  Look, you knew who I was when you married me and the number of notches on my belt.  Not even the jedi can go back in time; it’s not like I could un-sleep with them. But you refused to ever let it go.  It’s not like I was BSOCKing them after we were married, but to be honest, I was tempted with how you were acting.

And, by the way, watching me while I sleep is creepy.  Like sparkle-vampire creepy.

Anyway, I hope you find happiness with someone else, though I’d implore you to get some counseling or therapy so you don’t end up in divorce court again.

Sincerely,

Captain Halleli

P.S. It goes without saying that you’re also fired.

Dear Early Santa Bioware

Hi, Santa Bioware.

Me again.  I’m getting my bids in early this year so they can be totally finished by christmas.  Ready?

Dyes should be more easily accessible.  You guys keep lowering the cost of ripping mods so we can change our outfits more often.  But then having freakishly rare and expensive dyes tends to negate that flexibility.  Sure, you’re afraid everyone will go black/black and be cool like Neo in the Matrix1.  Well if you were so worried about everyone looking the same, why so many bikinis?

  • Dyes could be added to collections. Once you get one, you can duplicate it, for a cc fee.  Then you’re still getting cartel coins out of the transaction.
  • Dyes could be ripped.  That way you can keep the dye you love for the next outfit.
  • Dyes could be cheaper.  Basically dyes could be much more common and easy to come by.  Maybe create more crafted dyes.  Mostly-cartel dyes is kinda bull.

Adaptive Crafted Orange Gear.  There is absolutely no reason NOT to do this, and, as Dr Evil would say, throw crafters a freakin bone.

  • “Look” reasons have disappeared.  If you want to be a smuggler that dresses like a bounty hunter, there are many ways to do so now: cartel items, rep items, or social gear.  The idea that you should look like your class is pretty much out the window.
  • Very Little revenue/market share loss.  The cartel market has completely dominated the fashion, with a few rep items here and there.  Even IF you gave crafters adaptive gear, it’s not like they are going to make more than a ripple on the sea of fashion.
  • Armor classes are pretty much disappearing.  The latest tier gear is even adaptive.

More Customizations.  Come on!  Y’all added some stuff with the appearance kiosk and that was IT.  MORE.

  • Allow new hairdos to be used on all species where it works (not zabrak, but no reason not to allow for mirialan)
  • More New Hairdos.  MOAR.  Come on, pleaaaaase.
  • Twi’lek skin colors.  There’s no reason why they can’t be just about ANY shade you can imagine.  No new art required.
  • Miraluka blindfolds.  Better, cooler, NEWER.
  • New Tats for Rats.  C wut I did thar?  New jewelry wouldn’t kill anyone.

Balanced Clothing.  Let me explain this one.  In general, the options are “lots of skin” (such as invisible items or bikinis) or “completely covered” and we’re missing a “some skin” option.  I get that the movies had these extremes, but that’s 3000 years from now!

  • A sleeveless/short sleeved shirt that isn’t a belly shirt.  Like Satele Shan wears.  Something that isn’t totally ridiculous on the field of battle.
  • Necklines or low backs.  We have gorgeous evening-style dresses that have turtlenecks.  This is weird-looking.  Why not a simple v-neck?

Better Healer Tools.  A girl can dream, right?  I have been asking Santa Bioware for this since the beginning.

  • Filterable/better debuff display.  For cleansing, yo.
  • Mouseover Targeting.  It wouldn’t have to be a macro.  It could be a check box in the preferences “enable mouseover targeting on ops frames.”

No doubt I will think of super-important things I forgot after I hit “publish” but these are my wants… for now.

XOXO me

What are you asking Santa Bioware for this year?

  1. The #1 request from my SWG days

Patch 2.4 According To Me

Yeah yeah, you’ve all seen the patch notes, but these are the awesome things that I care about.  So they are more important.

New Operations.  This is a big one for me, because I was getting a little tired of the 2 that we have available.  Also, nightmare modes of the same old crap aren’t really that awesome.  They’re just wipefests on the same thing that you’ve seen for months.  Boooring.

New Dailies.  I could use a new daily area.  Ever since getting max rep with Makeb, I have zero motivation to run those anymore, leaving me with just Czerka to fill the void.  I love that Czerka only requires solo quests and the rest can be filled with the group finder, and I hope these dailies are the same way.  I absolutely despise cobbling together 4 strangers out of general chat to do the Section X weekly.

Cargo Bay In the Cartel Area.  Hawt.  It will be a very convenient place to hang out with the GTN, cargo bay, and image kiosk all in the same place.  And now that it’s a rest area, no penalty to just log out there.

Belsavis Transporters Linked.  This was one of the reasons I hated questing in Northern Belsavis – because once you got up there, you were stuck there until you were done with the damn planet.  If you used QT back to civilization, it was HELL to get back to the quest hub.   It was transport once, ride through angry Esh’ka to the next transporter, transport again, get eaten by some other creature, drive to quest hub.

Dye Lore And Low-Level Orange Gear.  I knew the lore gear was coming, because it was mentioned on the forums, but I was pleasantly surprised about the low-level orange gear.  This is going to be great, but not so fun when I swap out my outfit (again) and need to… re-augment.

GTN Improvements.  Remembering item information you don’t have to put in the price and duration every time? Yes please.  Also sorting by price-per unit will be super-useful.

Treek Conversations Fixed.  OK, I confess, this I didn’t really worry about.  I got so excited that Treek was NOT Quinn, I hadn’t noticed that she was not actually speaking to me.  But now that it is fixed, I want to hear what she has to say.

Did I miss anything awesome? Let me know!

The New 2014 Naga Mouse

Holy shit, guys. Seriously holy. shit.

As I mentioned before, my naga was being a stupidpoopyhead about keys 7-12 at various inconvenient times.  So I decided to get the new naga which has changed the design of the side buttons.

The new side buttons are amazing.  They project higher from the mouse and have greater distance between them, making it harder to fat-finger an unintended ability that is adjacent to the intended button.  They also have slight angles that make them easier to differentiate by feel.

But the real difference is the CLICKING.  Instead of a mooshy little button, it’s a firm click (for those of you tech nerds, the side buttons are now mechanical).  The only way I can describe the old buttons to a non-naga-owner is… maybe a TV remote control.  That kind of squishy feeling where you jam the hell out of the button, not sure where the catch point is where it’s going to fire.  These new mechanical buttons, it’s damn obvious when they’re firing.  I find myself not having to repeat keypresses on the side buttons.

Testing it out in the field, I found no appreciable difference in DPS.  I did find a marked reduction in thumb-cramping and swearing.

My only petty little complaint is that it’s a one-size mouse without those adjustable side panels on the 2012 naga.  I’m not sure why Razer decided to get rid of that feature, but it was damn nice to have the smaller mouse size because I have small hands and use a fingertip grip.  I’m getting used to the bigger size, and grumbling a little.

This isn’t relevant to me, but may be relevant to you: I’ve heard complaints about the naga and similar mice that there’s no lefty version.  Well, apparently this one has a lefty version (finally).  You may have a harder time finding bargains on it, but it’s out there.

If you want pictures and side-by-side comparison, Dulfy has done a real review that far exceeds my fangirl babbling.  You should check it out.

NOTE: Razer didn’t give me anything.  I paid for my new naga like anyone else.

Ashara Zavros Is An Illogical Whiner

Quinn is still my most hated companion of all time, no question.  But Tharan may have been bumped out of second place by Ashara.  She is such an idiot!

First, she only gives the lowest level of affection for gifts, unless you’re BSOCKing her.  Well, as a female, I’m not.  I totally would if it would get her to accept my presents with more than a chilly “that’s quite nice.”  Dammit, Ashara, stop being so expensive to bribe.

Since my assassin, Raijah, is Light V, I started taking out Ashara during conversations to get affection points for all my goody-goody light side choices.  We’ve had a few conversations and she wants to talk again.  Righty-o!  I will bribe her to 10k if it kills me.

Conversation goes something like this:

***SPOILER WARNING***

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