Tuesday, 17 January 2012

PvP: Sith Juggernauts vs Operatives!

During the past days I've noticed threads and posts about operatives being overpowered on pvp situations. As I've pvped a lot and I have encountered myself being overunned and overkilled by operatives dps, I decided to write down some tips to how to counter them.

First of all, operatives are NOT overpowered. I don't claim that the classes are balanced on 1v1 as they are intended to be. For me, pvp in general, is not 100% balanced but it's close to that. If you don't want to be dead all the time, try to use your abilities wisely, stuck up with people because  those 3 warzones we are 
playing are all about focusing on goals and not deathmatches. 

Stealthy bastards!
Now, let's see the abilities of an operative. For now on, I'm referring to operatives speccing on the Lethality tree.

They obviously have stealth. In SWTOR, stealth does not provide you with complete invisibility. To be trully undetectable you have to use Sneak, that lasts for 8secs and it's on a minute long cooldown. When operatives are in battle, they can get in stealth again with Cloaking Screen. Those two abilities provide a 100% stealth rating.

Operatives uses acid by using the Acid Blade ability. As the tooltips says: "Coats your instruments in acid, causing your next Hidden Strike or Backstab to deal an additional 1247 internal damage over 6 seconds and increase armor penetration by 50% for 15 seconds. This ability does not respect the global cooldown and does not break stealth."
That puts a powerful dot on their targets and many of their abilities tend to do extra damage to people that are suffering from the acid effect.

The main game mechanic of operatives, both to healers and dps alike is Tactical Advantage. I'll use again the tooltip: "Defeating an opponent or activating Shiv or Hidden Strike puts you in a position of Tactical Advantage, increasing all damage dealt by 2% and enabling the use of executions for 10 seconds. Up to 2 charges of Tactical Advantage can exist at once.". The tactical advantage not only provides 2-4% damage bonus but also the ability to enact skills that are otherwise unavailable, such as: Kolto Infusion (a 1.5 sec healing ability), Laceration (a beastly attack that does a ton of damage, has a chance to add a dot and when the dot is applied, you get a Tactcal Advantage) and Stim Boost (gives 3 energy every 3 secs for 45 secs). These skills are versatile, and when used properly will allow the operative to handle numerous situations with ease.

On top of that, operatives have two CCs (8secs is enough for pvp) Flash Bang that's an AoE stun (up to 5 players) and Debilitate at 45sec and 60 sec CD.

Now, what good operatives do. They open you with Debilitate, their 4 secs stun and it will give you a full resolve bar. They will re-stealth and will now open you with Hidden Strike that will throw you down for 3 secs. After that, Eviscerate, Backstab, Shiv and you are dead.

How to counter it. They will expect you to break their first CC and YOU MUST NOT DO SO! You should keep your CC breaker for the throwdown ONLY! Due to animation you still need to stand up, that means one more second before you'll be able to use your abilities. When you are back on your feet, use your defensive CDs. All of them and use a medpack. It's a shame that you must waste them on only in a 1v1 encounter but it's the only way to counter them. Even tanks cannot absorb or mitigate their burst so it's a necessity. If you are quick enough, you'll have enough health to fight back. In the case that you have all of your CDs proceed on CC them. Force Choke them, slow them and bring them on their knees by putting pressure on them. What's out for their Evasion ability that will give them 100% dodge to all attacks for 3 secs, so what's out and don't waste 2 GCDs during that. Now, remember, Juggernauts have the ability to withstand a lot of damage where as Operatives have tools to avoid getting hit. In a straight 1 on 1 situation they won't be a match for they heavy armor user so they'll try to run to health themselves. They have Sever Tendon that will slow you for 50% for 12 secs. Don't let them get away. Charge them, interrupt their heals and burst them.

Remember, this is an ideal 1v1 fight and during your game you'll encounter different playstyles and situations, so try to react accordingly. The best way to improve yourself is by practice, so find an operative and duel with him a lot. That way, you'll learn their tricks and abilities and you'll make your own tactics to counter them.

Hope this guide was helpful and I want to conclude it with some thoughts. Operative's burst is a beast but it's also true that they are a glass canon. Same goes for marauders and snipers for example. Juggernauts and assassins on the other hand have more sustained dps but they both have enough armor and defensive cooldowns to balance their gameplay plus a lot of pushs, stuns and CCs. They have the tools to withstand the burst and then fight backs. As the operatives have their long cds and can't burst ever 5secs the same goes to juggernauts, that can't shield wall every half a minute. I play a Juggernaut and I have to say, I CHOOSE MY BATTLES!

If I don't have cds, I don't run towards the mayhem. If I don't have cds and I see both imperial agent's advanced classes I run away. If my saber ward is on cd and I'm opened by an operative I'm dead. But that's once in a while.

Remember that if your opponent outgears you or/and outlevels you, you are dead. In the end, there's a point of no gear=no fun.

Thanks a lot, see you around and remember.

DON'T HATE THE GAMER, HATE THE GAME (epic meal time reference)

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