SWTOR Utility Changes coming in GU 5.6

Biowares own Eric Musco  has posted a list of the class utility changes coming with SWTOR Game Update 5.6.

Hey folks,

As we alluded to in the roadmap, we are planning a host of utility changes in Game Update 5.6 coming on 11/28. Instead of splitting them up by Class we decided to just deliver all of them to you at once. Below you will find every utility change that is currently planned:

Imperial
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Sniper

  • The heal given to Ballistic Shield by Defensive Safeguards has been reduced from 3% to 1% of maximum health per second while under Ballistic Shield

DevNotes: The Sniper’s defensive cooldowns were too strong, so we reduced the effectiveness of Defensive Safeguards.

Virulence

  • Lethal Purpose now restores 1 energy each time a poison effect deals damage, instead of 2 energy each time a poison effect deals critical damage

DevNotes: We changed Lethal Purpose to smooth out energy regain and provide better resource management for Virulence Snipers, and lower their reliance on the Critical Rating stat.

Operative
Lethality

  • Lethal Purpose now restores 1 energy each time a poison effect deals damage, instead of 2 energy each time a poison effect deals critical damage

DevNotes: We changed Lethal Purpose to smooth out energy regain and provide better resource management for Lethality Operatives, and lower their reliance on the Critical Rating stat.

Medicine

  • Surgical Steadiness now grants Unshakable for 4 seconds of interrupt immunity whenever Exfiltrate is put on cooldown

DevNotes: We felt the Medicine Operative didn’t have enough defensive options in relation to the other healers, so we gave them the ability to apply Unshakeable to themselves after using Exfiltrate.

Mercenary

  • Trauma Regulators now heals for 4% per stack instead of 5% and stacks 10 times instead of 15
  • The heal from Kolto Overload given by Kolto Surge can only heal the Mercenary up to 60% of their maximum health instead of 70%
  • Trauma Regulators is a now a Heroic utility and Kolto Surge is now a Legendary utility

DevNotes: The Mercenary’s defensive options were too good, so we reduced the effectiveness of Trauma Regulators and Kolto Surge.

Innovative Ordnance

  • Fusion Missile and Explosive Dart now spread both Incendiary Missile’s burn and Serrated Shot’s bleed effects

DevNotes: Innovative Ordnance seemed to have some difficulty spreading their damage over time effects, so we altered Fusion Missile and Explosive Dart to both spread each damage over time effect.

Powertech

  • In addition to its other effects, the Hitman utility now reduces the damage taken from area of effect attacks by 30% for the Pyrotech and Advanced Prototype disciplines, and reduces the damage taken while stunned by 30% for the Shield Tech discipline

Advanced Prototype

  • Stabilized Armor has been replaced by Prototype Armor, which increases damage reduction by 2% for 15 seconds each time you are dealt critical damage, stacking up to 3 times.

DevNotes: We felt that Pyrotech Powertechs lacked the same defensive effectiveness as Advanced Prototype Powertechs, so we moved the protection against area of effect attacks from the Advanced Prototype discipline to a utility available for both disciplines. To fill the void, we gave Advanced Prototype the Prototype Armor passive, a new ability that replaces Stabilized Armor. Finally, we gave Shield Techs that take the Hitman utility some protection against damage while stunned.

Sorcerer
Madness

  • Deathmark stacks are now only consumed by your own periodic damage, and only your periodic damage gains a damage benefit from your Deathmark
  • Madness (the passive skill) now grants you a 10% armor bonus while your Resurgence is healing you

DevNotes: Deathmark stacks were getting consumed by other Sith Inquisitor players’ periodic effects, so we redesigned it to only be consumed by the caster’s own periodic damage. Additionally, Madness needed some extra defensive options, so we gave the discipline a slight defensive boost after using Resurgence on themselves.

Lightning

  • Convection now grants 5% damage reduction for Lightning Sorcerers while Deionized by anyone’s Static Barrier

DevNotes: The Lightning discipline was weak on defensive utilities, so we added 5% damage reduction for Lightning Sorcerers while Deionized by anyone’s Static Barrier.

Assassin

  • The Formless Phantom utility has been redesigned and now reduces damage taken from area of effect attacks by 30% for the Deception and Hatred disciplines and reduces damage taken while stunned by 30% for the Darkness discipline

Deception

  • Entropic Field no longer reduces damage taken from area of effect attacks by 30%

Hatred

  • Deathmark stacks are now only consumed by your own periodic damage, and only your periodic damage gains a damage benefit from your Deathmark

DevNotes: We felt that Hatred wasn’t as effective on defense as Deception, so we altered Entropic Field to remove the protection against area of effect attacks and added that effect to the Formless Phantom utility available to both disciplines, and made it so the damage protection while stunned is only available to the Darkness discipline.
Additionally, Deathmark stacks were getting consumed by other Sith Inquisitor players’ periodic effects, so we redesigned it to only be consumed by the caster’s own periodic damage.

Juggernaut

  • Pooled Hatred now applies its full damage bonus to Shatter and Force Crush, and is no longer consumed prematurely by a damage tick from a Rage-costing ability that deals damage over time
  • The Whiplash utility has been replaced by Hardened Defense, which reduces the damage taken from area of effect attacks by 60% for 15 seconds after Threatening Scream is used for the Vengeance and Rage disciplines, and reduces damage taken while stunned by 30% for the Immortal discipline
  • The Thrown Gauntlet utility’s Intercede-improving effects have been moved to the Reckoning utility, and Thrown Gauntlet now additionally immobilizes any target hit by Saber Throw

Vengeance

  • Deafening Defense no longer causes Threatening Scream to provide protection against area of effect attacks

DevNotes: Pooled Hatred was not applying its damage bonus to damage over time effects, so we changed it to make sure it was giving a damage boost to all the appropriate abilities.
Additionally, we rearranged a lot of the Juggernaut’s utilities to make the Rage discipline more viable on defense. We consolidated Whiplash, Thrown Gauntlet and Reckoning into two utilities, and gave Juggernauts a completely new utility, Hardened Defense, which gives them an area of effect damage reduction. Finally, we took out the damage reduction from Vengeance’s Deafening Defense passive, which is now available with the Hardened Defense utility.

Marauder
Carnage

  • Ferocity is now stack-based with 2 stacks lasting 10 seconds, affecting Devastating Blast, Gore, Vicious Throw and Massacre, and consuming a stack each time they are used

DevNotes: We noticed a disparity between damage output on the Carnage discipline from players that could successfully “clip” a Vicious Throw in a Ferocity window and those who couldn’t, due to factors outside of their control like server latency. Clipping lead to being able to use 3 abilities affected by Ferocity during the original 3 second window instead of 2. To remedy this, we changed Ferocity to be stack based, with 2 stacks lasting 10 seconds. Additionally, Ferocity now only affects certain abilities, making it possible for players to use a less optimal ability during the window without sacrificing a stack Ferocity.

Although this will look like a DPS loss, Carnage’s target DPS has always been calculated without “clipping” in mind, so this change should effectively normalize Carnage’s DPS to our target.

Republic
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Gunslinger

  • The heal given to Scrambling Field by Shield Reserve has been reduced from 3% to 1% of maximum health per second while under Scrambling Field

DevNotes: The Gunslinger’s defensive cooldowns were too strong, so we reduced the effectiveness of Shield Reserves

Dirty Fighting

  • Fighting Spirit now restores 1 energy each time a bleed effect deals damage, instead of 2 energy each time a bleed effect deals critical damage

DevNotes: We changed Fighting Spirit to smooth out energy regain and provide better resource management for Dirty Fighting Gunslingers, and lower their reliance on the Critical Rating stat.

Scoundrel
Ruffian

  • Fighting Spirit now restores 1 energy each time a bleed effect deals damage, instead of 2 energy each time a bleed effect deals critical damage

DevNotes: We changed Fighting Spirit to smooth out energy regain and provide better resource management for Ruffian Scoundrels, and lower their reliance on the Critical Rating stat.

Sawbones

  • Smuggled Technology now grants Unshakable for 4 seconds of interrupt immunity whenever Scamper is put on cooldown

DevNotes: We felt the Sawbones Scoundrel didn’t have enough defensive options in relation to the other healers, so we gave them the ability to apply Unshakeable to themselves after using Scamper.

Commando

  • Trauma Stabilizers now heals for 4% per stack instead of 5% and stacks 10 times instead of 15
  • The heal from Adrenaline Rush given by Adrenal Surge can only heal the Commando up to 60% of their maximum health instead of 70%
  • Trauma Stabilizers is a now a Heroic utility and Adrenal Surge is now a Legendary utility

DevNotes: The Commando’s defensive options were too good, so we reduced the effectiveness of Trauma Stabilizers and Adrenal Surge.

Assault Specialist

  • Plasma Grenade and Sticky Grenade now spread both Incendiary Round’s burn and Serrated Bolt’s bleed effects

DevNotes: The Assault Specialist seemed to have some difficulty spreading their damage over time effects, so we altered Plasma Grenade and Sticky Grenade to both spread each damage over time effect.

Vanguard

  • In addition to its other effects, the Frontline Defense utility now reduces the damage taken from area of effect attacks by 30% for the Plasmatech and Tactics disciplines, and reduces damage taken while stunned by 30% for the Shield Specialist discipline

Tactics

  • Shock Absorbers has been replaced by Tactical Armor, which increases damage reduction by 2% for 15 seconds each time you are dealt critical damage, stacking up to 3 times.

DevNotes: We felt that Plasmatech Vanguards lacked the same defensive effectiveness as Tactics Vanguards, so we moved the protection against area of effect attacks from the Tactics discipline to a utility available for both disciplines. To fill the void, we gave Tactics the Tactical Armor passive, a new ability that replaces Shock Absorbers. Finally, we gave Shield Specialists that take the Frontline Defense utility some protection against damage while stunned.

Sage
Balance

  • Force Suppression stacks are now only consumed by your own periodic damage, and only your periodic damage gains a benefit from your Force Suppression
  • Telekinetic Balance now grants you a 10% armor bonus while your Rejuvenate is healing you

DevNotes: Force Suppression stacks were getting consumed by other Jedi Consular players’ periodic effects, so we redesigned it to only be consumed by the caster’s own periodic damage. Additionally, Balance needed some extra defensive options, so we gave the discipline a slight defensive boost after using Rejuvenate on themselves.

Telekinetics

  • Clamoring Force now grants 5% damage reduction for Telekinetics Sages while Force Imbalanced by anyone’s Force Armor

DevNotes: The Telekinetics discipline was weak on defensive utilities, so we added 5% damage reduction for Lightning Sorcerers while Deionized by anyone’s Static Barrier.
Shadow

  • The Intangible Spirit utility has been redesigned and now reduces damage taken from area of effect attacks by 30% for the Infiltration and Serenity disciplines and reduces damage taken while stunned by 30% for the Kinetic Combat discipline

Infiltration

  • Kinetic Field no longer reduces damage taken from area of effect attacks by 30%

Serenity

  • Force Suppression stacks are now only consumed by your own periodic damage

DevNotes: We felt that Serenity wasn’t as effective on defense as Infiltration, so we altered Kinetic Field to remove the protection against area of effect attacks and added that effect to the Intangible Spirit utility available to both disciplines, and made it so the damage protection while stunned is only available to the Kinetic Combat discipline.
Additionally, Force Suppression stacks were getting consumed by other Jedi Consular players’ periodic effects, so we redesigned it to only be consumed by the caster’s own periodic damage.

Guardian

  • Gather Strength now applies its full damage bonus to Plasma Brand and Force Exhaustion, and is no longer consumed prematurely by a damage tick from a Focus-costing ability that deals damage over time
  • The Whiplash utility has been replaced by a new utility: Stalwart Defense, which reduces the damage taken from area of effect attacks by 60% for 15 seconds after Challenging Call is used for the Vigilance and Focus disciplines, and reduces damage taken while stunned by 30% for the Defense discipline
  • The Jedi Warden utility’s Guardian Leap-improving effects have been moved to the Thwart utility, and Jedi Warden now additionally immobilizes any target hit by a Saber Throw

Vigilance

  • Commanding Awe no longer causes Challenging Call to provide protection against area of effect attacks

DevNotes: Gather Strength was not applying its damage bonus to damage over time effects, so we changed it to make sure it was giving a damage boost to all the appropriate abilities.

Additionally, we rearranged a lot of the Guardian’s utilities to make the Focus discipline more viable on defense. We consolidated Whiplash, Jedi Warden and Thwart into two utilities, and gave Guardians a completely new utility, Stalwart Defense, which gives them area of effect damage reduction. Finally, we took out the damage reduction from Vigilance’s Commanding Awe passive, which is now available with the Stalwart Defense utility.

Sentinel
Combat

  • Precision is now stack-based with 2 stacks lasting 10 seconds, affecting Clashing Blast, Lance, Dispatch, and Blade Rush, and consuming a stack each time they are used

DevNotes: We noticed a disparity between damage output on the Combat discipline from players that could successfully “clip” a Dispatch in a Precision window and those who couldn’t, due to factors outside of their control like server latency. Clipping lead to being able to use 3 abilities affected by Precision during the original 3 second window instead of 2. To remedy this, we changed Precision to be stack based, with 2 stacks lasting 10 seconds. Additionally, Precision now only affects certain abilities, making it possible for players to use a less optimal ability during the window without sacrificing a stack of Precision.

Although this will look like a DPS loss, Combat’s target DPS has always been calculated without “clipping” in mind, so this change should effectively normalize Combat’s DPS to our target.

Thanks!

-eric