Open - Hybrid - Make Squad Leader Great Again! | Star Wars Galaxies Restoration

Open Hybrid Make Squad Leader Great Again!

This idea/suggestion is Open. You can respond to ask questions or discuss the idea and either vote it up or down if you believe it should or should not be implemented, respectively. Popular suggestions and ideas will be considered by the development team to become reality in-game.
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Proposal
As for how to make the Squad Leader profession shine, I have one general suggestion (1.) that I fully believe should fully implemented, another suggestion to be implemented in order to prevent the exploitation of the Squad Leader profession via its powerful buffs and abilities (2.), as well as an additional suggestion in order to help incentivize playing the Squad leader profession and to reward players who fully dedicate themselves to the profession (3.).

  1. Firstly, allow Squad Leaders to use their group buffs and other abilities even when group members are outside of the 100m radius, but do not allow those outside of the 100m radius to receive the benefits of the buff. This is by far the most restrictive of the conditions for Squad Leaders to utilize their abilities and I believe to be one of the simplest and most effective solutions to the problem of the profession being weakened. As it currently stands, Squad Leaders already have a 100m radius where group members who move outside of it lose the benefits of the buffs but regain said benefits once they reenter the radius; but so long as one member of the group is outside of that radius, the Squad Leader cannot use ANY of its abilities with the sole exception of Paint Target. I would simply propose the ability for Squad Leaders to use their abilities regardless of the distance of group members, but only allow those within the 100m radius to receive the benefits of these abilities.
  2. Implement the Leadership skill as intended. For those unaware, the Leadership skill gained from the Squad Leader profession is intended to affect the power of one's buffs and abilities. As it stands, however; all Squad Lead abilities grant the full benefits of the ability regardless of your Leadership skill. I feel this would be a major balancing factor for the profession as it would prevent players from simply taking a single branch "dip" into the profession for major abilities such as High Yield (which grants a +25% damage buff to a single ally) or Steady Aim (Grants +250 Accuracy to the group). By implementing Leadership as intended, this would mean only Master Squad Leaders would be able to grant the full benefit of their abilities while preventing those who would exploit the profession's abilities from gaining a powerful edge over other templates and professions. This would also have the added benefit of the Squad Leader bracelet that grants additional Leadership, Group Burst-Run Efficiency, and Called Shot Bonus to become a viable option for players who do not wish to full commit to the profession to enhance what abilities they gain from it. However I also strongly support a hard cap of 125 to the Leadership skill, as this is the amount granted by mastering the profession, to prevent Master Squad Leaders from enhancing their abilities to absurd degrees while also ensuring that reaching the skill cap is fully accessible to all players.
  3. A bit more of a controversial proposal that I am sure will be heavily debated, but allow Squad Leaders to use their buffs and abilities in solo-play. The possibility of this change being exploited by both PvE and PvP players would be all but certain, however I would propose locking the ability to buff one's self without a group behind the Master Squad Leader skill box in order to prevent its exploitation. By doing so, it would ensure that only players fully committed to the profession and willing to commit 121 (58 of which are used on prerequisites) of their total 250 skill points would reap the full benefits and abilities of the profession. Additionally, I have received and agree with feedback that should a Squad Leader solo-buff; their buffs should have a reduced effect in order to incentivize group play. As for how much these effects should be reduced, I believe that is a decision to be discussed between the dev team and the Hybrid profession senator, Though I would suggest a 20% reduction. Squad Leaders being able to buff themselves without a group also has precedent dating back to Live SWG and the Combat Upgrade as evidenced on the Pre-NGE SWG Wiki here. In order to prove the legitimacy of the precedent of Squad Leaders being able to use their abilities outside of group play, I have provided a screenshot of the wiki page's history as well as the time and date of the writing of this proposal below in order to prevent tampering with the wiki page to either prove or disprove the legitimacy of the former precedent.
Justification
I have addressed the justification for each of my points above but to reiterate:
  1. By allowing Squad Leaders to use their abilities without requiring everyone in the group to be within their 100m radius, it vastly frees up a Squad Leaders ability to function in a group without having to purposefully reposition and possibly put themselves and others in danger for the sake of being able to effectively use the abilities players have made a heavy investment into.
  2. By implementing the Leadership skill as intended, it would introduce a major balancing factor to the profession in order to aid in preventing players from exploiting the profession and its abilities. By linking the power of a Squad Leader's abilities to their Leadership skill, this would effectively prevent players from granting the full benefits of their Squad Leader abilities without investing further into the profession or investing in special equipment that grants bonuses to Leadership.
    3. By allowing Master Squad Leaders to use their abilities in solo-play, players who fully commit to such a group-oriented profession would no longer be punished for doing so and would in fact be rewarded to a reduced degree. By also locking the ability to solo-buff behind the Master box, it would prevent players from exploiting the profession by taking a dip into it for a single ability to only use in solo play.
Motivation
As it currently stands, no other profession is as restricted as the Squad Leaders when it comes to the ability to use their bonuses and abilities to the point that the profession is often relegated to a player's 2nd character as a pure buff-bot paired with Master Doctor or Combat Medic in order to follow their 1st character and grant buffs and heals. It may also be worth noting that as of the 2021 Restoration 3 Retrospective, Squad Leader is the 4th least mastered profession overall (not including Chronicler) and the least mastered combat profession. By implementing the proposed changes above, I fully believe that the profession would not only grow in general usage but also viability in both PvE and PvP spaces. If I have put half of my skill points in acquiring and mastering a profession, why can I not gain any benefits or abilities from it without jumping through hoops and having to play babysitter to ensure the entire group is in range of me in order to use any of the abilities granted by my profession?
As it current stands, there is a general consensus among the few dedicated Squad Leaders I have spoken with on Restoration 3 that the profession is far too restrictive. For those unaware, Squad Leaders are able to utilize a single group-wide buff, one single-target buff applied to one member of their group, as well as a targeted debuff applied to enemies in order to better support their groups in combat. However, Squad leaders are only able to apply these buffs and debuffs so long as ALL of the following conditions are met:
  • Squad Leaders must be the leader of a group with at least 1 additional player character.
  • No droids or holograms are members of the group (with the sole exception of Paint Target).
  • EVERYONE in the group must be within 100 meters of the Squad Leader in order to utilize ANY of their abilities (with the sole exception of Paint Target).
If so much as a single one of these conditions are not met, a Squad Leader cannot utilize any of the abilities gained from their profession. The third condition listed above is especially punishing in both group PvP as well as group PvE content, as a single group member incapacitated as the battle shifts away from them could quickly cause a Master Squad Leader to no longer be able to use half of their template. This is especially hurtful in group PvP or higher end PvE content where a single group member being deathblown and cloning effectively gimps Squad Leaders by preventing them from applying new group and single-target buffs as well as the preventing the use of the Called Shot ability. For a profession that requires 121 skill points to master (effectively half of all the skill points available to a character), the Squad Leader profession is extremely limited in terms of using its abilities and gameplay features outside of well coordinated groups.
 
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Im sorry but im going to downvote this one, we discussed this already on discord and i agree that the range and the other limitations are annoying but even locking the self buffs behind MSL i can guarantee you that template would have by far much more dmg, accuracy and utility than any other in the game and would become extremely overpowered. Removing the range limitation would mean that you can group with an alt anywhere on the galaxy and benefit from the SL buffs to yourself exclusively, same with the droid limitation, they are there to prevent solo buffs.

Maybe a way to remove the range limitation would be making it such a way that even if someone is out of range you can still use the SL buffs as long as you have at least another group member within range (not counting the SL himself). That way its much less exploitable because we are locked to 2 toons at a time, so at least you are actually grouped with someone else in order to do that not just your alt (if that is even possible to do from dev's POV)
 
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Good OP by Gonk, here's how I think it should work to prevent loopholes regarding what actually constitutes being "solo" as a Squad Leader, and also to address the concerns brought up by Kazhar.

Scenario 1: SL is not in a group
Current: SL is unable to use their buffs
Proposed: SL is considered to be solo, and may use their buffs with reduced effect.

Scenario 2: SL is in a group but with only a Droid
Current: SL is unable to use their buffs
Proposed: SL is considered to be solo, and may use their buffs with reduced effect.

Scenario 3: SL is in a group, but all members are out of range.
Current: SL is unable to use their buffs
Proposed: SL is considered to be solo, and may use their buffs with reduced effect.

Scenario 4: SL is in a group, but there is at least 1 member out of range and at least 1 member in range.
Current: SL is unable to use their buffs
Proposal: SL is considered to be grouped, and may use their buffs at full strength.

This would prevent cheesing the solo restriction by grouping with your own alt on another planet, but remove the frustrations regarding group members being out of range or Droids being in the group.

As for solo SL being potentially overpowered, the solo buff penalty % can simply be increased until the point it becomes balanced. Another way to possibly temper its effectiveness is to prevent the SL from being able to cast single target buffs on themselves.
 
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Good OP by Gonk, here's how I think it should work to prevent loopholes regarding what actually constitutes being "solo" as a Squad Leader, and also to address the concerns brought up by Kazhar.

Scenario 1: SL is not in a group
Current: SL is unable to use their buffs
Proposed: SL is considered to be solo, and may use their buffs with reduced effect.

Scenario 2: SL is in a group but with only a Droid
Current: SL is unable to use their buffs
Proposed: SL is considered to be solo, and may use their buffs with reduced effect.

Scenario 3: SL is in a group, but all members are out of range.
Current: SL is unable to use their buffs
Proposed: SL is considered to be solo, and may use their buffs with reduced effect.

Scenario 4: SL is in a group, but there is at least 1 member out of range and at least 1 member in range.
Current: SL is unable to use their buffs
Proposal: SL is considered to be grouped, and may use their buffs at full strength.

This would prevent cheesing the solo restriction by grouping with your own alt on another planet, but remove the frustrations regarding group members being out of range or Droids being in the group.

As for solo SL being potentially overpowered, the solo buff penalty % can simply be increased until the point it becomes balanced. Another way to possibly temper its effectiveness is to prevent the SL from being able to cast single target buffs on themselves.
this is more or less exactly what i am asking to be implemented. After further thought, I have also considered that a 20% reduction of the power of buffs may not be enough of a balancing maneuver and that perhaps a 40% reduction may be much more effective in preventing power creep. This would allow SLs to have a noticeable effect from their reduced buff power while also ensuring that the buffs still prove viable. For example, the popular single-target buff Squad Leaders can grant is called High Yield and increases a player's damage by 25%. With a 20% reduction, High Yield would still have an increased damage output of 20% and is effectively a negligible difference. However reducing the power of solo buffs by 40% would mean High Yield would grant an additional 15% damage which in my opinion is a much more reasonable reduction to prevent power creep. Of course I, Silayn the current Hybrid Senator, and/or perhaps the devs would need to sit down and work out the exact numbers of how reductive solo-buffing would be in order to ensure that SL buffs are still viable in solo-play.
 
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As it currently stands, no other profession is as restricted as the Squad Leaders when it comes to the ability to use their bonuses and abilities to the point that the profession is often relegated to a player's 2nd character as a pure buff-bot paired with Master Doctor or Combat Medic in order to follow their 1st character and grant buffs and heals. It may also be worth noting that as of the 2021 Restoration 3 Retrospective, Squad Leader is the 4th least mastered profession overall (not including Chronicler) and the least mastered combat profession. By implementing the proposed changes above, I fully believe that the profession would not only grow in general usage but also viability in both PvE and PvP spaces. If I have put half of my skill points in acquiring and mastering a profession, why can I not gain any benefits or abilities from it without jumping through hoops and having to play babysitter to ensure the entire group is in range of me in order to use any of the abilities granted by my profession?
I guess we are playing the same profession but just differently. If i ever have to babysit in PvE then they do not need to be in my spin group. In PvP there needs to be a discussion on how to PvP in a group and no one should chase down an enemy solo even if it is Rozay...
Just because we are a least mastered profession as SL does not mean were not a viable build why are people X4XX TK instead of master TK, people want to min/max why else. SL is an all or none tree to be really viable.

I am at a loss on why our 2 play styles with SL are so different. the 4 scenarios that were posted are not SL problems, they are your problems with either the people you play with or lack there of. I am not trying to be harsh here its just you cant have cake and eat it with out realizing cheese cake is actually a pie not a cake. Solo play style of my SL is different from my group play style of my SL both seem to be effective and working as intended.

With 1.0 i do not know how fast combat will be but with a SL changing buffs and the flow of combat could be interesting.

Out of all the professions and combinations of builds i have played SL is the most challenging due to the proactive /reactive nature of combat and with people i group with.

I am here to help end of the day i am still here to help.
 
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I guess we are playing the same profession but just differently. If i ever have to babysit in PvE then they do not need to be in my spin group. In PvP there needs to be a discussion on how to PvP in a group and no one should chase down an enemy solo even if it is Rozay...
Just because we are a least mastered profession as SL does not mean were not a viable build why are people X4XX TK instead of master TK, people want to min/max why else. SL is an all or none tree to be really viable.

I am at a loss on why our 2 play styles with SL are so different. the 4 scenarios that were posted are not SL problems, they are your problems with either the people you play with or lack there of. I am not trying to be harsh here its just you cant have cake and eat it with out realizing cheese cake is actually a pie not a cake. Solo play style of my SL is different from my group play style of my SL both seem to be effective and working as intended.

With 1.0 i do not know how fast combat will be but with a SL changing buffs and the flow of combat could be interesting.

Out of all the professions and combinations of builds i have played SL is the most challenging due to the proactive /reactive nature of combat and with people i group with.

I am here to help end of the day i am still here to help.



Listen. I am very unimpressed to see not one, but two Senators who are in favor of a class being nerfed and broken. That is exactly what this implementation is right now. You are busy blaming the "playstyle" of players. Has it never crossed anyone's mind that if you are in the middle of PvP and one member dies and is back at the cloner that the Squad Leader is completely ineffective and gimped? I could go on with other examples, but honestly this captures the point perfectly.

As for the fear of someone "buffing themselves" that Kazhar mentioned, are we going to make it some Doctors can't buff themselves?
 
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Rezec,
I am not in favor of a class being nerfed. Has it actually crossed your mind that if your a SL in PVP changing group buffs in the middle of combat is the wrong button to be pushing and that group has already lost. Are you in favor of one shot group kills? Because this is how you get more 1 shot kills and not enough people PvP as is.

"Has it never crossed anyone's mind that if you are in the middle of PvP and one member dies and is back at the cloner that the Squad Leader is completely ineffective and gimped?" Again i would go through all the skills you get as a Squad Leader. See what they do if they require your group to be near you or not. Then come back and post.

Squad Leaders are not buff bots , but we are going to voice it so that Doctors are not the best tanks just because they can heal themselves.

If your using a SL as a buff bot what type of playstyle can i blame because your doing it wrong.

Please do not think i am not interested in a discussion because i am, but i needs to be constructive.
Also i am not hard to find hit me up to group or chat and we can talk about the value of certain skills.
 
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Listen. I am very unimpressed to see not one, but two Senators who are in favor of a class being nerfed and broken. That is exactly what this implementation is right now. You are busy blaming the "playstyle" of players. Has it never crossed anyone's mind that if you are in the middle of PvP and one member dies and is back at the cloner that the Squad Leader is completely ineffective and gimped? I could go on with other examples, but honestly this captures the point perfectly.

As for the fear of someone "buffing themselves" that Kazhar mentioned, are we going to make it some Doctors can't buff themselves?
Do you want to know why devs put these restrictions to SL? Back in server beta you could apply these buff to yourself and you could literally one shot anyone. Doc buffs are not even close as strong as SL buffs and unlike doctors Sls are not buff bots or shouldnt be. Your example is not really accurate because even if someone dies in a group fight you have already a group buff on the party and you can just leave the group if you are out of the fight anyways. Also i suggested to remove the range limitation as long as the SL has someone else on the party close to him.
 
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I see what the issue at hand is here. You guys are ONLY talking about the group wide static (for lack of a better word) buff.

What I am saying is that Squad Leaders have utility outside of those buffs. Called Shot for one is placed on an enemy target and does effect the whole group. There are a few other single target buffs that are very situational and short lived. Additionally there are one or two other short lived group buffs.

None of those can be used if just one member of the group is for whatever reason outside of range.
 
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I was actually talking about all the buffs, some of the single target ones are as powerful as the group ones or more. I could see using called shot without restrictions but tbh i dont think that would be useful in a solo scenario
 
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I was actually talking about all the buffs, some of the single target ones are as powerful as the group ones or more. I could see using called shot without restrictions but tbh i dont think that would be useful in a solo scenario

I am largely a PvP player (though I also love to craft), in NGE versions of the game I main an officer. In PvP it is absolutely normal for people to die, at times you can lose your squishiest player and the rest of the team is still going strong. It is normal for users to rez at the cloners either because of the medic's cooldowns or because they are no longer in range because it isn't the 1800s and we don't just stand in one place and fight. With the current implementation this is game breaking for Squad Leaders.


Solutions: Keep the group requirement for the full strength of these buffs but get rid of the "range" requirement. Will some people abuse this? Probably. Should we punish every Squad Leader because of every bad apple? I think not.

Solo play: Perhaps there is a scenario here for solo players to keep the use of their abilities, but if you are solo reduce the effectiveness to something that isn't completely OP. This I think would have been a better first solution that the broken solution we have implemented right now.
 
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I don't want to punish squad leaders, i also don't want people to abuse the system. To often people take TKA X1XX because of the defensive power it brings to the table. I do not want people to take SL XX1X because of what that brings to the table. But i also cant stop people for Min/Max their character.

If we get rid of the range requirements you will see more people with bots in town, AFK surveying while you have the benefits of the group abilities. Sign me up if that can work in DWB.

Solo play... hmmm isn't wht your doing if we get rid of the range requirements and you can just sit one of your other characters grouped while still being on the same planet.

If you want to make Squad leaders great, lets talk about the % increase of Blaze of Glory and if it needs to be adjusted because you get better damage results from Volley Fire. Or lets bring up Double time to make cool downs that would go under 1 second , go under1 second instead of being hard capped.
 
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The theory behind the addition of a solo play power reduction is that honest people would go that route and still be able to have a functioning class. Again it is not a perfect solution against players who would abuse the system, but those who abuse the system can already have an alt grouped with them and have them on follow, this is not hard to do.

That fact that people are already doing just that makes it worse that people who are doing group play legitimately get punished if one person goes out of range.

Note: I take no issue with the player who isn't in range to not receive the buffs. This is how Officer works in the NGE, if you are too far away from the Officer your buffs drop, but he can still function.
 
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I have a functioning class, i have a functional character. I have worth!

What are we talking about ah yes the Solo Squad leader. Is a leader of one still a leader?
 
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I have a functioning class, i have a functional character. I have worth!

What are we talking about ah yes the Solo Squad leader. Is a leader of one still a leader?

Why are we in the business of imposing restrictions on a singled out class in the first place? SOE didn't do this to Squad Leaders and they didn't impose these restrictions on the Officer class that spawned from them in the NGE which was live for over 6 additional years.
 
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Regardless solo play isn't the primary topic, it is the asinine insistence that if one group member is "too far away" your class is useless.
 
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For the record, you guys don't want the following:

Scenario A: Player uses Squad Leader as a "buff bot" that follows the Main around and gives them an edge.
Fact: This is already possible under current restrictions.

Scenario B: Player has an alt and they have that alt follow their Squad Leader around to give him an advantage.
Fact: This is already possible under current restrictions.

Scenario C: Legitimate group of players doing group activity whether it be PvE or PvP. One group member goes too far away or dies and goes to cloner, etc. Squad Leader can't use Squad Leader abilities.
Fact: This is the ONLY scenario that is being hurt by the current restrictions.



.....so why do we still have these restrictions in place? And yes, I have tested all these scenarios in-game.
 
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I am largely a PvP player (though I also love to craft), in NGE versions of the game I main an officer. In PvP it is absolutely normal for people to die, at times you can lose your squishiest player and the rest of the team is still going strong. It is normal for users to rez at the cloners either because of the medic's cooldowns or because they are no longer in range because it isn't the 1800s and we don't just stand in one place and fight. With the current implementation this is game breaking for Squad Leaders.


Solutions: Keep the group requirement for the full strength of these buffs but get rid of the "range" requirement. Will some people abuse this? Probably. Should we punish every Squad Leader because of every bad apple? I think not.

Solo play: Perhaps there is a scenario here for solo players to keep the use of their abilities, but if you are solo reduce the effectiveness to something that isn't completely OP. This I think would have been a better first solution that the broken solution we have implemented right now.
We are on the same boat then, im all for pvp and that's my main concern here. Yes its completely normal for people to die and clone but you will have already applied the single target buff to someone and the group buff as well by that time, the work around is simply kick the player out of the fight anyways. Allowing less powerful solo SL buffs might be difficult to balance and maybe a headache for devs to implement, however like i said before i would agree with removing the range restriction as long as the SL is still grouped and within range of someone else.
 
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For the record, you guys don't want the following:

Scenario A: Player uses Squad Leader as a "buff bot" that follows the Main around and gives them an edge.
Fact: This is already possible under current restrictions.

Scenario B: Player has an alt and they have that alt follow their Squad Leader around to give him an advantage.
Fact: This is already possible under current restrictions.

Scenario C: Legitimate group of players doing group activity whether it be PvE or PvP. One group member goes too far away or dies and goes to cloner, etc. Squad Leader can't use Squad Leader abilities.
Fact: This is the ONLY scenario that is being hurt by the current restrictions.



.....so why do we still have these restrictions in place? And yes, I have tested all these scenarios in-game.
Nope what i dont want is being able to grab SL x2xx with minimal SP invested and get way more accuracy and dmg that mastering any other prof in the game and use that as a solo play, or any other op combination of SL skills. Scenarios A and B are already possible indeed but now imagine everyone with high yield in a full party
 
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Nope what i dont want is being able to grab SL x2xx with minimal SP invested and get way more accuracy and dmg that mastering any other prof in the game and use that as a solo play, or any other op combination of SL skills. Scenarios A and B are already possible indeed but now imagine everyone with high yield in a full party

I haven't taken the time to grind out a template to just get those two boxes, but if someone did and the whole group specced that way is there something currently in place that prevents that scenario (in a group)?