Star Wars: The Old Republic Game Update 1.4 Class and Balance Changes

05 Sep 2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic's senior designer Austin Peckenpaugh has penned a developer update on game update 1.4's changes to classes and balance in general. Crowd control abilities, stealth gameplay, and various other tweaks are all covered, and here's a snippet:
Prior to Game Update 1.4, stealth classes and specs had an “infiltrate and eliminate” focus that effectively served solo or small team gameplay, but the specs that focused on stealth (Infiltration/Deception, Scrapper/Concealment) weren’t valued very highly for group gameplay.

In PvE, Infiltration/Deception’s burst wasn’t highly valued, and Scrapper/Concealment had difficulty moving quickly between targets. In PvP, the community has made it clear that they want more from stealth specs than “lone wolf” gameplay. In the case of Infiltration/Deception, the spec’s fragility was of great concern to many players, insofar as it didn’t encourage the spec to contribute well to lengthy fights or lend support to teammates.

Scoundrels and Operatives:

• Disappearing Act/Cloaking Screen now has a 2-minute cooldown.
• Energy Screen has been renamed to Ghost. Fight or Flight/Ghost: Now this skill finishes the cooldown on Sneak when you exit stealth mode. Furthermore, this skill allows Sneak to be used out of stealth mode, increasing movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds. This skill still removes the healing done and healing received penalty caused by Disappearing Act/Cloaking Screen.
• Flee the Scene/Advanced Cloaking now additionally reduces the cooldown of Sneak by 7.5 seconds per point. Now reduces the cooldown of Disappearing Act/Cloaking Screen by 15 seconds per point (down from 30 seconds per point).

Shadows and Assassins:

• Force Cloak now has a 2 minute cooldown.
• Infiltration Tactics/Duplicity: Now when triggered, your next Shadow Strike/Maul deals 30% more damage and costs 75% less Force. This cannot occur more than once every 15 seconds, but each rank after the first reduces this rate limit by 3 seconds.
• Celerity/Avoidance now additionally reduces the cooldown of Force Speed by 2.5 seconds per point.
• Masked Assault/Darkswell: Now additionally finishes the cooldown of Blackout when you exit Stealth mode. In addition, Masked Assault/Blackout causes Shadow's Respite/Dark Embrace to reduce all damage taken by 25% while active.
• Fade now additionally reduces damage taken from area effects by 15% per point. Kinetic Field/Entropic Field no longer provides this effect. Now reduces the cooldown of Force Cloak by 15 seconds per point (down from 30 seconds per point).
• Kinetic Field/Entropic Field has been redesigned. Now critical hits cause you to build a Kinetic/Entropic Field, increasing damage reduction by 1% per point per stack. Stacks up to 3 times.
• Humbling Strike/Magnetism is a new 1-point skill. Causes the target of your Spinning Kick/Spike to be slowed by 70% for 3 seconds when the knockdown effect ends.
• Clairvoyant Strike/Voltaic Slash: Using Project/Shock no longer consumes the buff provided by this ability. This change was made to better synergize with Spinning Strike/Assassinate during execute phases.