Sunday, November 20, 2011

Phase 2: My job is my life!

 Note: This article may contain spoilers for the upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. If you don't wish to have anything ruined, I suggest you keep scrolling to the next article.

Imperial Agents always look good in yellow pants.
8 classes. 2 factions. 4 jobs on each side.

So how do you decide what you want to play?

The first thing you’ll probably read on the website or the official forums is that jobs are mirrored classes of one another. I.E. You have Jedi Knight tied with Sith Warrior. Jedi Consular/Sith Inquisitor. Republic Trooper/Bounty Hunter. Smuggler/Imperial Agent.

Smuggler got jipped on a two word job title.

On the surface, they’ll appear to match. You’ll have job ability differences, and ones that do match will have graphical changes to vary from one job to the next. But for the most part, if you pick a Jedi Knight, you're picking a Sith Warrior, and vice-versa.

Like WoW, there are class trees for advanced jobs that open up once you reach a certain level in the game (for TOR this is 10). The advance jobs allow you to specialize in certain aspects of the job that can enhance your character.

It also allows you to tailor your character your way. Each advance class has 2 unique tree branches, and one shared between both AC’s for that primary job. So really, you have 24 potential jobs. XD

Current Smuggler Tree
I’ll take the Smuggler that I’m currently leveling in testing as an example. Here’s my tree:

I chose the Scoundrel Advance Class because it gave me access to healing. If I went with the other option, Gunslinger, it would have provided duel weapons and incredibly strong DD abilities. But you’ll notice in the screenshot that the tree offers me more then just healing options. I have 2 DD sections I can fill up also-one focused on close quarter combat (aka Dirty Fighting-which is awesome and highly entertaining to kick a droid in the nards), and another one ranged abilities. So it’s very possible to be a successful DD while being a Smuggler Scoundrel AC. Is it the best idea? That’s for you to decide.

Here is the general rule for the classes based on what’s listed on the current character creator:

Jedi Knight: Guardian-Tank/DD Sentinel- DD
Jedi Consular: Sage-Heal/DD Shadow- Tank/DD
Trooper: Commando-Heal/DD Vanguard- Tank/DD
Smuggler: Scoundrel- Heal/DD Gunslinger- DD

Sith Warrior: Juggernaut- Tank/DD Marauder- DD
Sith Inquisitor: Sorcerer- Heal/DD Assassin- Tank/DD
Bounty Hunter: Mercenary- Heal/DD Powertech- Tank/DD
Imperial Agent: Operative- Heal/DD Sniper- DD
The one thing I hate about MMO’s are the endless debates about which job is better that degenerates into flame wars. Discussion is fine. But when it turns into “well you’re just stupid” then I start to hit the ignore key.

Bounty Hunter aboard their personal ship.
Here is my belief about jobs.

It’s not about the job, the abilities, the gear. It’s the player behind them.

*awaits the rage of half of the WoW community*

Hear me out. We have this issue brought up all the time in FFXI regarding Red Mages. A number of people see Red Mage as the job of all jobs. It can dd, it can heal, it can tank, it can do everything short of summoning magical creatures unless you make smn it’s sub job. As such, people try to focus on one aspect of being a Red Mage, and forget the rest. The best Red Mages that I have met are the ones that are able to be the jack of all trades in one sitting. To be even a half-way decent RDM takes a lot of effort. You can’t smack a few buttons and go to the bathroom. You have to put effort into it, and some people just don’t have that ability/stamina/drive to follow-through.

That’s how I see jobs working in TOR. Sure you can pick Sith Inquisitor and go the healing route. But you can also train yourself to be just as effective as a DD or a Tank if you take the time to learn your job. Hone your craft. Figure out what works and what doesn’t. In the previous build I leveled a BH Mercenary with focus on the Bodyguard tree that included tanking and healing abilities. Now BH is on the bottom of the totempole when it comes to healing according to many people. It has few heal abilities available and it eats up quite a bit of energy to use. But I trained myself. I found and made gear to help boost my heals. I figured out a way to play that made my BH a viable healing job. I asked to join a group as a healer and promised that if they didn’t like my style they could kick me, no questions asked. I didn’t get kicked. In fact, I was praised in General Chat for a few days and picked up groups constantly for not being “the norm”.
Smuggler DD and Healer.

Really, it comes down to how you want to play the game. Sure there are some jobs that are “obviously” more in line with a tank, or a healer, etc. But it’s possible to be whatever you wish if you research the trees and test the jobs as you go.

As an aside, you currently can not change your Advance Class once it’s picked. The dev’s have said via Twitter and at a gaming conference that it may be implemented in the future, but that it’ll have restrictions. Either a one time only change, or it’ll be so unbelievably expensive that you’ll only want to change it once because you certainly can’t afford to do it again. Mostly it’ll be a preventative measure from people cheating the system.

In terms of skill points, there are talent point trainers where you can reset those as you wish. The first time it’s free. After that, you pay a fee. Each time you change, the price increases. So at least you have the option to play with your abilities within your AC.


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