Here is a rough draft of the State of the Commando Profession for your review and feedback...Once all feedback is in, I will be submitting it to the Devs as well as posting the final version in our Community (and on our web site)...
Note: This does NOT take into account any of the changes coming in the Combat Revamp. I have written from the stand point of not knowing any details contained in the Revamp docs. Many of the issues in the State of our Profession are addressed in the revamp (as TH is quite fond of saying)...
So if you have any feedback for any changes you would make, additions you would like to see, or areas you think I should expand/contract, let me know by replying here...
Another Note: This is not meant to focus on solutions to our issues, only to summarize our issues and give a report on how we exist currently in game...the suggested solutions to may of our issues and more details on each of them is included with our Top Issues threads and in documents I have already sent to TH...
Brief Summary of a Commando:
Experience Breakdown from Novice Player to Master Commando:
- 91000 Carbine XP
- 91000 Pistol XP
- 91000 Rifle XP
- 91000 Unarmed XP
- 430550 Combat XP (30550 XP just for Master Marksman)
- 3425000 Heavy Weapon XP
- Skill Point Cost: 169
Certifications Received via the Commando Profession:
- 6 Grenade Type Certs
- 4 Consumable Weapon Certs
- 3 Non Consumable Weapon Certs
Unique Specials Granted:
- Flame Single
- Flame Cone
- Acid Single
- Acid Cone
Currently Novice Commando requires 91K XP in Unarmed, Carbine, Pistol and Rifle plus 30.5K of Combat XP. Master Commando further requires 400K in Combat XP and 3,425,000 Heavy Weapon XP of Heavy Weapon XP. Of all the professions out there, Commandos require the highest amount of combat related XP as well as has the most combat related skill point requirements.
State of the Commando:
Commandos are the only Ranged Profession that has all of its specials restricted to Melee Range and at the same time requires a melee pre-requisite.
Commandos are still suffering from having their XP capped at around 3K per kill. Other less XP costing professions like Rifleman and TK have their XP capped at around 5K. This was never a very huge issue (mostly a pet peeve) until the FS XP Exchange program was instituted in the new Jedi System. This Cap unfairly and unjustly puts Commandos at a disadvantage. The impression that it gives is that Commandos are being penalized because they cost more skill points and require more XP then other profession.
Commandos are further excluded from the Force Sensitive content in game due to FS Ranged mods not currently working with our Heavy Weapons.
The recently added Weapon Delay system unfairly penalizes those professions like Commando who are built on different weapon type certifications. The Weapon Delay system discourages weapon switching during combat with is counter to the purpose of having different weapon certifications.
State of the Commando based on our Weapons:
The Launcher Pistol is the only certified weapon in game in a profession that does not come with additional related skill mods or weapon specific specials with the profession that the cert is received.
The Flamethrower and Heavy Acid Rifle both come with specials that are improved the higher you proceed in their individual trees, making the previous lower level specials redundant and not useful since the removal of DoT stacking. This leave Commandos with only 4 unique specials (FlameSingle, FlameCone, AcidSingle, & Acid Cone). Currently there is a known bug with our FlameCone that is causing our DoT and damage not to impact non-aggro'd targets beyond the initial target who are in the cone range.
The Heavy Acid Rifle shares the same ranged penalty as the Flamethrower; speed issues and also has the same Accuracy deficiency. The difference between the HAR and the FT is that the HAR does not include a DoT with it's specials and is far weaker then the FT while at the same time, the Acid Tree is the highest XP costing tree of all the Commando trees. Currently there is a known bug with our AcidCone that is causing the damage not to impact non-aggro'd targets beyond the initial target who are in the cone range. The HAR also has a much higher HAM cost on its specials when compared to the same Flamethrower specials yet its specials remain weaker.
Grenades are still currently bugged. They damage the user when caught in the blast radius (unlike all other thrown weapons in game or bomb droids). They have unreasonably high HAM costs. The only usefulness of grenades can be seen in gaining Combat XP at a slightly increased rate. Grenades are also useful when attacking a target that will not get within 10m of the player. Currently to use grenades successfully in battle, it requires the player to get buffed first to deal with the blast radius damage as well as the high HAM costs. Further issues with grenades include the fact that they are short stacked to 5 which leads to them not being fully utilized in combat. The Grenade speed is also currently bugged and will not allow throws faster than 9 seconds, regardless of grenade speed or speed modifier.
Commandos are capable of high levels of damage in their initial attacks, but they are continually out damaged over time by professions costing almost half the amount of skill points (92 vs. 169). Commandos are currently penalized for their high damage with poor speed and accuracy, which in turn severely reduces their DPS (Damage Per Second) potential comparatively to other ranged and non-ranged professions. A player can master 2 elite combat professions (184 skill points) and end up with more defenses and a much higher DPS rate then Commandos can get by spending an additional 15 skill points above the Master Commando box (169 + 15 = 184). This is further proof of the severe need for a Combat Rebalance. Profession balances should be based on skill point expenditures where an all combat focused 169 pt template is very competable with another 169 pt all combat template, making strategy and tactics determine the winner. This is where the SWG Combat System most fails the player.
Stemming from the fact that Commandos are often out damaged by other templates when it comes to DPS as well as the fact that our lack of defenses, speed and accuracy makes us a liability, it can often be difficult to find a group looking to team up with Commandos. Commandos find them selves less useful in a group setting then other profession templates. The biggest thing that a Commando and their weapons bring to a group environment is large amounts of Lag stemming from certain weapon animations.
State of the Commando Profession Comparatively:
Rifleman are very much like the Commando profession if you doubled their power, severely reduced their Ranged Defense (by +26), lowered their Melee Defense (by +6), reduced their unique specials by 5 and cut their speed and accuracy in half. This would make sense, balance-wise, if Commandos had the same skill point and XP cost as Riflemen, but they do not. Commandos cost 77 skill points more then a profession like Rifleman and come with a much higher XP cost. Based on all of the above, it is very apparent that, in the past, skill point cost has not been a consideration when balancing professions. To properly balance Commandos vs. other professions, the skill point cost MUST be recognized as well as how unused skill points can be spent by elite and hybrid professions. To ignore skill point cost in balancing is to doom the game to never truly be "balanced".
Commandos are way over-priced for what they get. Currently as they exist in game, they have one primarily used weapon to which they only have 2 unique specials. They are out damaged over time by many professions. They suffer more penalties then other profession in the name of higher damage, but that higher damage typically does not pan out when accuracy and speed are considered.
There are many ways to correct the gaping discrepancies within the Commando profession. It all starts with adding at least +25 FT speed to the Master Commando box (this would bring Commandos up in DPS comparatively to other ranged professions), raising the Melee Defenses, increase the XP cap on kills, completely revamp the HAR and it's tree, add Launcher Pistol skill mods and specials, and make it so that Commando Grenades do not damage the Commando when using them. Only with all of those initial changes will you begin to repair the imbalance between Commandos and other lower costing combat professions.
EDIT: Updated on 10/7/04 to include various community suggestions.
Message Edited by garvin on 10-07-2004 10:15 PM