15/12/2014

Relearning to Play in 3.0

During my first operation at 60 I really struggled with healing. Not just because some fights were harder than story modes usually are or because of the heightened movement requirements (which I'm not a fan of). Something just felt "off" about my healing - I ran low on ammo at unexpected moments, things were on cooldown when I didn't expect them to be and my heals generally felt vaguely sluggish... but I wasn't sure why.

It was only when I sat down after the op and had a closer look at my talent tree discipline railroad and made sure to read all the tooltips that I realised just how much my spec had actually changed. Clearly I shouldn't have trusted the devs quite so much when they said that gameplay for individual specs wouldn't feel all that different... because "under the hood" they changed a lot more about Combat Medics than I had expected. I suppose the linearity of the new discipline system lulled me into a false sense of security, making me think that surely everything I was used to would still be there... but this was not the case.

For example they swapped the cast times of Medical Probe and Advanced Medical Probe around, and more importantly, they completely reversed their synergy. It used to be that you wanted to cast AMP first, and then follow it up with a MP, because this MP would now cost less ammo. Now it's exactly the other way round, and by casting up to three Medical Probes you can make your next Advanced Medical Probe cheaper. It's no wonder that I was struggling while doing exactly the opposite of what I'm supposed to be doing under the new system.

The new indicators on the UI that highlight procs and the like are also of limited usefulness from what I've seen, because they don't take into account that abilities can be affected by more than one proc.


As an example, the above screenshot could mean that my next Advanced Medical Probe is an instant cast... or not, as it looks exactly the same when I've cast three Medical Probes to simply reduce the AMP's ammo cost, without affecting its cast time. Again, during my first op I was actually kind of confused by this, frequently hitting the ability when it was highlighted, expecting it to be instant, and then being thrown for a loop when it wasn't. I've since learned that I can't rely on the highlight to provide me with useful information and have to manually keep an eye on which effect is about to come up - but that kind of defeats the point of the feature, doesn't it?

If this sounds kind of like a rant, it's not really meant to be. I can stomach having to relearn some things; I guess I'm just a bit disappointed that it's going to be more work than I expected. I'm not a fan of the nitty gritty of calculating perfect ability rotations and stuff like that. I suppose if anything I would like this to be a warning to people to not make the same mistake I made and expect that their class will play just the way it always has - or you might be in for an unpleasant surprise.

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