Thursday, April 1, 2010

Seekers v. Sentinels

I've had it, Blizzard.

When you first announced Saturn Six, you swore that you'd take everything you learned from WoW in terms of MMO design and do your best not to repeat mistakes you made in the past. Well, guess what! You repeated a big one!

Remember back when WoW was first released and the paladin and shaman classes were faction-specific? That split made it too hard to balance the classes. All of the abilities had to be homogenous or else players complained. You had to balance encounters around those variables, too. Would the Alliance still be able to beat an encounter without Windfury? Would the Horde be able to without Blessing of Salvation?

And yet, somehow, for S6, you decided to make faction-specific classes. A bunch of them, in fact. And as a Kapzen, it's hard enough getting groups together -- you know everyone plays USDF or Colonist anyway -- without having to worry about the horrible imbalance between the USDF Sentinels and our Seekers.

I get it. The USDF is pure military. They should have some kind of advantage when it comes to weaponry or defenses. But Seekers are our only pure Support class, and their group buffs are downright awful. You already know this, too. You've been giving Heat Tracking tiny buffs in every patch since launch, and Focus Fire has been the subject of hot debate on the forums.

Let's look at the numbers:

Heat Tracking: All of the Seeker's squad members receive a chance to fire a second round after hitting a humanoid or mechanical target. This round is guaranteed to hit and pierces armor but will do half normal damage.

It sounds fine on its face. But theorycrafters on discovered that the proc chance was close to 5%. Why is that a big deal?

Cluster Fire: All of the Sentinel's squad members receive a chance for their shots to chain 50% weapon damage to surrounding humanoid or mechanical targets within ten meters of the target.

Essix says that the proc chance for Cluster Fire is closer to 10%. That's twice as many procs as Heat Tracking. Yes, Cluster Fire is fine for single-target encounters, but when was the last time you designed a single-target encounter at the endgame? I'll help: never. Cluster Fire is leaps and bounds more useful for add fights (read: all of them).

I mean, for God's sake, even the Colonists get a better shot buff than we do, and they're building their equipment out of old lawnmowers and refrigerators. And don't even get me started on Focus Fire. Ah, what the heck, get me started.

Focus Fire: All of the Seeker's squad members receive an additional 10% bonus to weapon accuracy.

Again, fine on its own. But the Sentinel buff?

Radar Boost: All of the Sentinel's squad members receive an additional 7% chance accuracy to all attacks.

This is just simple numbers. Not every class is weapon-heavy, and not all attacks are weapon-based. It's insulting. Don't make me roll USDF just so I can go on city raids.

Just buff Seekers, or nerf Sentinels. I don't care which. Just do something.


  1. Seriously? Seriously? Its easy to say that It's easy to say Seekers are UP in terms of raid buffs, sure, but the only reason they are is because we (Sentinels) have to compete with Marines in terms of squad-viability, and they put out effectively twice the damage while bringing buffs that effectively cancel ours (read: Cluster Fire and Missile Strike - what idiot dev thought that up?)

  2. Wulfric, you're terrible. Go back to goddamn Hello Kitty Island Adventures. the latest spreadsheets show Guardians doing at least twice our DPS, and they can heal too! And let's just not talk about that video of 5 Guardians downing all of Ganymede. Only an idiot would bring a Seeker these days.

  3. Seekers rule, Sentinels drooooooool. 'nuff said.

  4. Hey, nobody's arguing about guardians vs. marines here. Take that to Grayloid or BigRedAlien. And about ganymede, didn't they hotfix that within a matter of hours? They were just using the classic mine barrier - heat pulse combo that got nerfed TO THE GROUND.

  5. Marines do not put out twice the damage of Sentinels. If you can't keep up on par with a Marine, your probably using a bad rotation or not taking advantage of procs.

    What's your general rotation and spec?

  6. Oh, I've been running the ZZ-VF-Rx3-VF-LM rotation Sentinel4Life has recommended, swapping between ZZ and Grav Boost on every off snipe. As for spec, you can check it here: