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4:29 am, October 1, 2013
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Merc/Sorc DPS will not be viable for Arenas

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To anyone who has done arenas in wow, or participated in competitive pvp in general the basics behind winning a "team ***** match" style objective comes down to damage, pressure, surviavbility and CC. It is for these exact reasons that both of these advances classes will not be competitively viable as is in arenas. Now that being said nothing is set in stone for the pvp balance update so this may change, or it may not.....



Currently I can only see Merc/Sorc working in heal spec and here is why



Pressure

A large part of the initial failure of these classes actually comes not from damage, but rather how the damage is achieved in comparison to other classes. Now both arsenal mercs and lightning sorcs can put out some nasty burst if left alone . However almost every class and spec can put out good damage (exceptions always apply like madness assassin) the difference lies in the fact that you can shut down a large part of a sorc/merc's damage simply by pressuring them. This lends itself to the strategy "tunnel visioning" these classes. Tunnel visioning these classes works because all serious damage that can be output by merc/sorc requires casting. Every class in the game has an interrupt off global cooldown and in some cases 2 interrupts available to them, in addition to CC options. This makes it so getting off even a 1.5 second cast can be difficult against a good player, and while being focused by 2+ players this situation becomes even worse. To further this situation cast time "pushback" also hurts damage output a lot more than the average player realizes. For those who do not know pushback occurs when a ability with cast time is used with a class that is not in cover (snipers only) and causes the spell to basically increase in cast time due to the damage taken. This furthers the problems as the increased cast times make you even less likely to get the cast off before being interrupted.



Survivability

Merc/Sorcs are very different in this category but the fundamentals of the problems are the same.



-Merc DPS wears heavy armor and have a semi decent defensive cooldown reactive shield. The thing is neither of these aspects really compare to the better defensive options other classes have. In reality 25% damage reduction is not too much and certainly won't dissuade people from focusing you. Hydraulic overrides may give temporary mobility but the class's mobility while this cooldown is not up is pretty pathetic. Where the survivability problem really occurs is that merc dps are designed for kiting in a 1v1 situation. However the amount of anti-kiting tools most melee specs have simply out weigh what a merc can do. Smart play like stuning/mezing hydraulic override will simply leave the merc without options. Damage while kiting is also very weak and lack of interrupt immunity cooldown contributes further to the lack of pressure.



-Sorc DPS is actually much better overall than merc dps in rated warzones, however this is about arenas. The class is more mobile than merc but suffers in the mitigation department. This "squishyness" makes spell pushback a real problem for the class, especially when using abilities not covered by the 70% push-back resistance. The flaw around sorc dps is its survivability is based around its mobility, but its mobility is easily shutdown. Unlike the healing spec sorc dps have no root immunity on their force speed. I simply could not count how many times I have used for speed only to be immediately rooted by force charge, obliterate or CCed. This problem can be alleviated some by good positioning, but that will only help so much. The fact is being focused by any dps as a sorc/sage is simply taking too much damage, you either kite/los the target or you die. In the hands of a skilled sorc dps most classes can be kited moderately well but some classes are almost unkitable such as the rage spec. Kiting may increase the length of your life, but you won't be able to put out any serious damage while kiting and kiting multiple decent melee will simply not work. Even the knockback is very limited in usefulness from a survivability perspective, it only hits in front of you and only knocks back around 6 meters. From an outside view that may be fine but simply put the overload knockback simply is not very useful unless it has the root (high in the lightning spec). For example a situation that often occurs is that a sage/sorc will be running strait forward and a warrior AC will use force charge towards the sorc/sage, if you use the overload on reaction it will not work. It fails because with the sever connection the warrior will force charge to where you were .5 seconds ago and will technically be behind you thus making the move miss. Even if the move does hit every melee class has at least a 10 meter stun and some damage options within 10 meters so the ability does little to peel you. Even the sorc force barrier helps promote focusing a dps sorc because if you focus a sorc they won't be doing any real damage, if the sorc bubbles to save themselves then they are removed from the game temporarily.



Utility/CC

Assuming you made it through the other walls of text this is another short coming for merc/sorc. The first excuse most players give to why merc/sorc dps **** is they are healers, so they shouldn't be able to do compete as dps. Honestly that opinion is completely baseless. Tank classes can taunt without being in tank stance and it comes to no impact on their damage (taunts don't use a global cooldown). Offhealing on a dps sorc/merc is very expensive on resources and lowers your damage output as you have to cast to heal. Having great utility mechanics are vital to a class having a spot on a rated team. Marauders have their predation/healing debuff, snipers have their excellent CC, healing debuffs etc. Yet sorc/merc don't even have an instant mez, not to mention all the combat instant mez's are AOE as well. The utility and survivability perceived from being able to heal as dps is also limited as you will only be able to heal when not being attacked.



Line of Sight

(for pictures of the new arenas) http://dulfy.net/2013/07/19/swtor-ta...ts-are-coming/



It looks like their will be a considerable LOS, it is debatable how much this will hurt ranged dps but it is worth mentioning.



------------------------------------------

For those of you who are too lazy to read I will summarize it for you. Merc/Sorc is too easy to shut down and give you no reason to stop focusing them making them a bad arena team choice.

References



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