The JC- Jack of all Trades, master of ONE?

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The JC- Jack of all Trades, master of ONE?

Post by nTronz on Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:19 am

Given our current information, there is a lot of excitement to be had over the versatility of the JC's skill trees from their advanced classes. The fact that JCs will have potential "builds" for every general role type: tank, heals/utility, ranged dps, melee dps, makes them desirable, especially to the "one character" players. I am aware that Bioware has suggested that all classes with have such diversity, but it leads me to wonder... and worry

Will the JC be comparably capable to other classes at all of these roles, or will they end up being the Jack of all Trades race of swtor for the republic? Based on other class information, I suspect this may be the case with the exception of Healing.

While the JC class has a lot to offer, current information really makes me worry about dps potency of this class in other builds. On the other hand, the Sage advanced class and its appealingly potent healing abilities compared to other classes within the faction brings me to the suspicion that they will be the "most desirable healers." I'm aware that bioware said that every class will be able to heal the first flashpoint if they wish; however, high level compared to low level characters are clearly quite different, and it seems odd for Bioware to give the argument of class diversity and capability at first flashpoint level when the real test and question is emphasized at max level. Current information available about JC abilities shows the obvious and clear design flow of JCs into a "main healer" roles.

So, I wonder if it is truly Bioware's goal to balance specs across the classes as fully as possible, or do they really just want to "balance" by allowing characters to fill whatever role they wish, even though there may be clear "optimized" class choices for each role. (Surely there will always be an optimized option, but to what extent is the true question.)

That being said, I do trust Bioware.


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Re: The JC- Jack of all Trades, master of ONE?

Post by Puggles on Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:03 am

I wondered this as well.. but actually about the smuggler/agent class. Of courrse, there is no tank spec, but still the diversity of the available specs showed potential to be OP. Having said that, all the classes are hybrids. So it could stand to reason that there might be no "hybrid tax" that we WoW players are concerned with. I don't know really, but that's what I'm hoping for..

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Re: The JC- Jack of all Trades, master of ONE?

Post by makeitdont on Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:44 am

really though, nTronz, you make a good point. what i'll be interested to see first (you were talking about intended or "optimized" specs for a certain role) will be what either the optimal or most popular specs are for leveling. with the excepting of the knight/warrior, all classes can self heal by level 8 i think.. So i'm not sure there will actually be an optimal leveling spec, like frost for a wow mage or like ret [was originally intended to be] for pallys. i'm hoping the classes will be balanced in such a way that if i just really liked the idea of leveling as a gunslinger, it would be a viable option for me.

now, i know you were talking about the consular/inquisitor class specifically, so let me add this: i believe that while not every class can do all things like this one, i seriously doubt bioware will allow so much of an imbalance that people choose another class on the grounds that an alternative might be more end-game viable. meaning, i just don't see them making a class that is known as the "jack of all trades, master of none", and thereby ruling out one of four classes for serious raiders who are all about the min/max. it would be bad business... lol

not saying it's too early to speculate, but it could be. from what we have seen from beta, the JC is a very powerful class, and has more than just a few specs available that [so far] seem to be more than powerful/useful enough for pvp. as i understand it, most of the end-game content isn't ready for or open to the beta testers, so that will be the other big test that i think we'll just have to wait on.

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Re: The JC- Jack of all Trades, master of ONE?

Post by nTronz on Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:16 pm

makeitdont wrote:...i'm not sure there will actually be an optimal leveling spec, like frost for a wow mage or like ret [was originally intended to be] for pallys. i'm hoping the classes will be balanced in such a way that if i just really liked the idea of leveling as a gunslinger, it would be a viable option for me.

So, I look at balance as a tier system. On the base tier we have overall class viability based around leveling and entertainment. I think your hope of balance for leveling in a particular style will be realized in this tier by Bioware. With the extensive conversation options and class options, they have really gone a long way to make classes play how you want them to play. (At least, that is how it appears so far.) At it seems like they are setting up each class in such a way that leveling will be entirely viable no matter your "build."

That being said, there will always be an "optimal build" based around numbers, downtime, damage, etc; and this is the next tier of balance I see. While all builds may be viable, there will be those that let you level faster. Example: A build that has more healing spells compared to one with more dps spells is likely to also have the passive abilities to boost those damage spells further. More damage=faster kills=faster xp=faster leveling. So, while I expect each build to be viable for leveling, I don't expect each build to have the same leveling time. But, the great thing about this game compared to any MMORPG we have seen so far is that level progression seems like it is going to be less of a big deal. Bioware is creating a story for each of our characters. A mini star wars movie during our leveling time rather than constant quest and grinding. Sure, it will still be there, but there is a more cinematic presentation provided for us. So, leveling a healer may take longer overall, but that doesn't mean the enjoyment level will be decreased as it was in WoW. I think that is how Bioware will really change the MMORPG for the better.

The next two tiers are high level pvp and "raiding."

makeitdont wrote:i seriously doubt bioware will allow so much of an imbalance that people choose another class on the grounds that an alternative might be more end-game viable. meaning, i just don't see them making a class that is known as the "jack of all trades, master of none", and thereby ruling out one of four classes for serious raiders who are all about the min/max. it would be bad business...

I agree that extensive imbalance is bad for business, and I also do not foresee bioware making such errors. I think, again, there will always be an optimal build and class for a specific role in specific situations in a raid simply because that's how the numbers and abilities work. But, as long as there isn't extreme imbalance, then player skill will close the gap, even for a jack of all trades, master of none character, IF that is what the JC ends up being.

With only four classes, I think it is likely that each class will have some role that is "optimal," but I don't think that will make other roles for that class unviable. That's why I speculate that JC may be the optimal healer, and joat in other areas... then again, by that argument, all the classes will be that way. +1 to Puggles for suggesting this may be a concern for smuggler/agent.

Also, you bring up pvp makeitdont, and I think you are right. I think the JC will be a strong pvp class due to its joat nature. All that said...

makeitdont wrote:not saying it's too early to speculate, but it could be.

Yes, it very well could be too early to speculate. I think some of my worry comes from years of WoW as Puggles mentioned. Paranoia over balance at cap is always a concern, but ultimately if every class can play any build available to them, have fun, and be somewhat effective, even if not optimally effective, I will be happy. And, I expect no less from Bioware.

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Re: The JC- Jack of all Trades, master of ONE?

Post by ForceFed on Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:34 pm

I think the "jack of all trades" issue will be largely irrelevant with TOR, simply because ALL of the classes are hybrids. As nTronz pointed out, there will always be an "optimal" spec that will do the most DPS, but it certainly feels that Bioware has been very thorough in making sure that every spec is viable. Spec "X" may not do as much damage as spec "Y", but Y won't be so far behind as to be a liability in an endgame environment.

My feeling with the Consular (as I am interested in the Inquisitor) is that the ranged tree will see a lot of play because the shared gear stats with the healing tree. I suspect it will be easiest to switch between the roles of healer and caster as opposed to melee/tank.

As far as DPS goes... With the last beta build there was a spec for both (Sage and Sorcerer) that was doing retarded OP DPS and infinite mana. The interesting and problematic issue with this spec is that is was a 21-20 spec, and thus missed deep DPS talents in both caster trees. What is important to know regarding this is that there was no end-game content available as of the last version of the beta client. So the reports of this particular spec are likely skewed, in that there are no practical long-term testing as to it's viability.

Perhaps with the new beta client released last week we will see some reports based on longer duration encounters.

As far as leveling pace goes... It will likely depend more upon the role you level as, and the companion that you choose to use most. Leveling with a dedicated healing spec seems to be entirely feasible, provided you have access early on to a DPS or Tank companion. As far as I know, the JC and SI both get a SOLID melee tank as their first companions. I think the balance to optimize your "micro" party will drastically influence the leveling pace. The upside is, we won't have to level to the cap as DPS and then suddenly have to learn to heal. If we want to heal, we learn to play that particular spec from the moment that we choose our AC. Same goes for tanking and DPS. Whatever your end-game role choice is, you can level and solo-play with that spec with a relatively balanced experience.
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Re: The JC- Jack of all Trades, master of ONE?

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