Adventures on the Legacy of the Sith PTS, Part 1

Today, the first build of the Legacy of the Sith PTS went live. With it comes the first look at the revised Jedi Guardian combat style.

How to describe it?

In a word: confusion.


The name of the game with this particular build, as far as BioWare are concerned, is simplicity. Level 80 is not available, nor are any new sets, tacticals, or item modifications. Level 75 is the highest level, and with the exception of Earpieces, Implants, and Relics, all purchasable gear is rating 270. Essentially, this build is pretty much a stripped-down version of an early Onslaught build meshed with later integrations like Seasons.

While they are allowing players access to how certain bits of combat styles will work for Jedi Guardians, there are a lot of bits and pieces which are just absent for one reason or another. For example, the abilities Focused Defence, Force Clarity, and Force Kick are all absent. As I’ll go on to explain, some other abilities are also missing, but intentionally: these three abilities just appear to be oversights somehow (confirmed to be a known issue, but an easily rectifiable one).

So, to summarise what they’re doing...

Disciplines will be changed to offer more choice for how the spec gets played. Every few levels (current setup is every five) above level 10 inclusive, a Discipline will offer you one of four options:

  • A new ability.
  • A choice between three active abilities.
  • A choice between three passive abilities.
  • A choice between active or passive abilities.

A fair number of these choices for passives will be between pre-existing abilities. For example, Through Peace (now being retooled into reducing Enure’s cooldown instead of Focused Defence’s) is available as a choice at level 80, while Battlefield Command (reducing cooldown of Force Leap whenever damage is received) is available at level 50.

However, there will also be a chunk of new Discipline specific ones. For example, Energy Barrage for Focus Guardians, available at level 15, adds energy damage to each strike of Blade Barrage, and since Kinetic Barrage and Burning Barrage exist for Defense and Vigilance, it seems that these variants of this passive will add kinetic and flame damage to this ability instead. Similarly, Critical Conditions is open to both Focus and Vigilance, with Focus’s variant causing critical hits with energy damage to reduce the cooldown of Combat Focus. It stands to reason that Vigilance’s variant will be themed around critical burn damage.

Those are all well and good, and this could add some interesting restrictions and little variations to the class in places. Then we get the weird ones.

Saber Throw is a choice at Level 15. I applaud this ability being available as an option so low down for Guardians, since it is quite a useful cooldown as both the main ranged ability and an optional Focus builder, but the notion of being a Guardian without it seems very… weird. I personally wouldn’t take one of the alternative choices, Blade Burst (turning Blade Storm into an AoE that also slows victims), but Burning Barrage sounds like it could be quite a useful passive. I’ll see how things fare on the PTS once things become more open. Right now, Saber Throw is not a given option for any Discipline.

That one can be quite situational, but the absolutely bizarre one is a choice available at level 70, where all three specs can choose between Blade Blitz, Enure, or Saber Reflect.

Now, this is one choice which I don’t see making it to Live. Blade Blitz is arguably the least crucial ability here, but it does have its uses for all three specs. Enure and Reflect, on the other hand? Sure, the choice here could make a massive difference for PvP, but for PvE this choice strips tank players (and DPS players for emergencies or tough solo-content) of at least one really useful cooldown.

Plus, since Through Peace now affects Enure as I mentioned earlier, this does in theory mean that you could select this utility and have it impact absolutely nothing since you can just be without Enure in the first place! Curious to see how they handle that.

Despite all of this variance, right now BioWare only allow for pre-built specs, with two options for each (all listed in a forum thread at the end of this post). All utilities are pre-selected, and only the Focus ones have any real means of identifying what’s what. Even then, these are all on the forums only and have no way of identifying many of the outcomes in-game, which I do feel to be really weird. Simplicity is one thing, but there’s also such a thing as not providing enough details when and where necessary.

For example, within the Defense B loadout, there are two abilities with the word “Marked” in the title. If I had to hazard a guess, these would possibly relate to how the character interacts with targets they’ve taunted? So maybe they deal more damage or hold more threat on those targets, or whatever. It’s hard to tell, since they’ve only delved into Focus and what its new passives are for!

The main reason for this is evidently because the Discipline UI is not ready yet. The forum post indicates that this will be a big change over the current system, as Utilities will be integral to the actual Discipline rather than a side option. All this will receive far greater prominence and focus as further PTS builds are made available, but until then it’s just a matter of interpreting what BioWare have made available as best we can.

However, despite all of the confusing nature of what’s there, I am very curious to see what they do for other styles to bring them in-line with this philosophy. In general, I’m sure that this is yet another one of those things where there will be a dominant meta for the relevant activities, and at the moment I’m determined to try and keep things the same way as they are now where possible once this change hits Live. Meta chasing is not exactly enjoyable.


For now, there really isn’t a lot to make of the PTS. Sure, it’s active and we can get at least a passing look at what’s there (to be fair, this was stated to be their intention a few days ago), but it’s also presented in such a way that if you want to truly learn more you either need to rely on datamining or be a Focus Guardian. That isn’t right, in my eyes. Even if the exact wording isn’t finalised, at least a simple description of what the new passives per discipline are meant to be used for would at least be something.

It’s still early days, and we will steadily get more information as time goes on. Just right now I feel that this isn’t as neatly presented as it could have been.


More detailed information on how combat styles are currently intended to work can be accessed on the official forums here.

No comments:

Post a Comment