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Lightsaber forms review

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It's a copy-n-pace from another topic... I wanted to get that on the Beta forum to get more input. I'll also submit it when they take player input later on.

 

So.... let's talk talents trees...

 

 

I'm really impressed in the way they structured the careers and specs. You can still find the iconics Guardian, Sentinel and Consular, but they feel less jedi-only and more open. I'll share my opinion about some of the specs with you, feel free to comment.

 

I really love the Seeker-Hunter spec, a force-user with ranged skills ; that's awesome.

 

It would have been really cool if they made a spec focused on brawl combat. The Aggressor would have been the perfect spec for it, maybe change Ranged(light) for Brawl, switch the talents that use the lightsaber (Reflect - Saber throw) and put some brawl focused talents like Frenzied attack, Knockdown, Feral Strenght or Natural Brawler.

 

I also love the way they incorporated the Lightsaber combat forms... It fits well into the specs and doesnt add another layer of rules. But after going throught the combat Forms, I found some points worth mentionning.

 

Shii-Cho Knight : It was the first combat form, the most basic, developped even before there was lightsaber vs lightsaber combat. To make it feel more basic, I would change 1 Parry talent for another Defensive Training. It would drop Parry to only 3 copies and put it more in line with the other forms.

 

Makashi Duelist : A lightsaber duel-centric spec, it is really good overall. It could be a good idea to put in a talent like the Dual-phase Mod : ignore the target's melee defense (for a cost of 2 strain).

 

Soresu Defender : First developped for blaster deflection, it is now considered the ultimate expression of non-aggressive jedi philosophie, but lacks offensive capabilities. Considering those 2 facts, I would change a few things in this tree.

- I'd replace Defensive Stance for Dodge.

- I would replace 1 Parry (to have a total of 3, same has Reflect) for Sum Djem, disarm.

- I'd remove Improved Parry and replace it with Deflecting Slash, where you could strike an engaged opponent after "parrying" a ranged attack.

- Also, since its built to outlast opponents, I'd replace Supreme Parry for a power that restores strain from ennemy threat results.

 

Ataru Striker : It's a fast-paced aggressive combat style relying on force-assisted attacks, weak against blaster wielding opponents. First I would remove the 2 ranks of Reflect since it's clearly the form's weakness. I would also add a talent like Intuitive Strike (from Starfighter Ace) to augment melee attacks.

 

Shien Expert (Djem So) : Since this form is built around both range (Shien) and melee (Djem So) defense, I would split the tree in half like the Colonist Politico talent tree : 2 first colums are for ranged defense, the 2 last colums are for melee defense, they meet on the bottom row. Since the form goes throught a sequence of power attack, defense and counterstrike, I'd put an opponer talent like Hawk Bat Swoop and maybe also add Improved Parry in the lot. Also, since it's an aggressive form, I'd remove Supreme Parry.

 

Niman Disciple : I really like the tree overall. The only thing I would change is add the talent Pushing Slash, the opposite power of Draw Closer : rolling the force die on a lightsaber check, force points used to push away the opponent on a succesful hit.

 

That's my 2 cents...

What do you guys think ?

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Ataru Striker : It's a fast-paced aggressive combat style relying on force-assisted attacks, weak against blaster wielding opponents. First I would remove the 2 ranks of Reflect since it's clearly the form's weakness. I would also add a talent like Intuitive Strike (from Starfighter Ace) to augment melee attacks.

 

To represent the aggressive nature of Ataru Form, I had an idea for a talent to add to Ataru. Like Intuitive Strike, you add WHITE equal to Force Rating to your roll, but for each Force Pip, you don't add success but inflict direct strain to target. It could be worded like this :

 

"When making a lightsaber(agility) combat check, add WHITE no greater than Force Rating to the Check. Targets suffers 1 strain for each FORCE PIP."

 

You maybe could ask to spent 1-2 strain to activate this power...

What do you guys think ?

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Probably as specs in the splat books, I doubt that they will deviate and make any of the forms signature abilities. That said I am SO excited to see signature abilities for these specs, it's not even funny, especially consular since I ended up falling in love with the Niman concept I came up with :P

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I agree that Agressor shouldn't have talents related to lightsaber use.  On the one hand, I understand that an "agressor" type of character might learn some things that benefit lightsaber combat.  On the other hand, if someone takes the tree with no intention of ever using a lightsaber, they have some wasted talents in their tree.  Lightsaber talents should be limited to the lightsaber form trees, imo.  Whether they replace those talents with brawl or whatever, doesn't matter to me.  However, I do like that it has Ranged (Light).  It already gets brawl as a career skill, and keeping Ranged (Light) makes it more versatile as a combat specialization.

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I agree that Agressor shouldn't have talents related to lightsaber use.  On the one hand, I understand that an "agressor" type of character might learn some things that benefit lightsaber combat.  On the other hand, if someone takes the tree with no intention of ever using a lightsaber, they have some wasted talents in their tree.  Lightsaber talents should be limited to the lightsaber form trees, imo.  Whether they replace those talents with brawl or whatever, doesn't matter to me.  However, I do like that it has Ranged (Light).  It already gets brawl as a career skill, and keeping Ranged (Light) makes it more versatile as a combat specialization.

This actually makes me wonder, what would the implications be if you allowed basic Reflect to be used provided the weapon has the cortosis quality?

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What would be nice is if each supplement book had a new lightsaber form to add to the career. Something like Ataru Evader, a tree like Ataru Striker but with different talents focusing on dodge and such to supplement the existing tree. As has been pointed out, these styles are far more reaching in scope than twenty talents can fully illustrate.

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I agree that lightsaber Talents should only be found in a lightsaber tree, especially since said skill for Saber Throw isn't a career skill for the Aggressor. I'd also swap Streetwise or Knowledge (Underworld) for Resilience.

Edited by Alderaan Crumbs

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OK...

I've done a good review of the Lightsaber Forms Specialisations...

 

I'm gonna submit this to FFG soon, but I wanted to have some input before sending it in.

I changed a few things here and there, added some flavor to each Form to make them more different from each other. I think I did a good job...

 

Take a look here!

The changes I did in each Spec is in RED

Edited by JP_JP

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Some of your changes make sense, but I don't see why you swapped out Presence for Makashi. I also don't know why you shuffled so much around in the Makashi tree when you actually were keeping those talents. Not sure why you swapped Defensive Stance out of Soresu (a defensive-focused form), for Dodge from Ataru (a form focused on quick movements and acrobatics). Also not sure why you stuck the passive defense talents from FSExile in Shien, when Shien is an aggressive lightsaber form.

 

I guess, basically, I think the changes I'm most on board with are removing a few instances of Parry and Reflect from each tree that has many of them (the numbers you ended up with overall look good), changing the talents to be 1+2/rank, and swapping Brawn into Shien and Cunning to Shii-Cho. Adding a little Reflect to Shii-Cho also makes sense.

 

I don't think we need a Pushing Slash talent--Niman has the ability to activate Move on a missed Lightsaber check, which basically amounts to the same thing. I don't think it's super important to have the ability to wound someone with a lightsaber and toss push them away in the same action...if you really want to, you could jump into Sage or Seer to get the ability to use a Force power as a maneuver once per session.

 

I think we need to get Improved Reflect in a couple more trees (thinking Shii-Cho and Soresu). Soresu probably also makes more sense for Supreme Reflect than Shien does.

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Some of your changes make sense, but I don't see why you swapped out Presence for Makashi. I also don't know why you shuffled so much around in the Makashi tree when you actually were keeping those talents. Not sure why you swapped Defensive Stance out of Soresu (a defensive-focused form), for Dodge from Ataru (a form focused on quick movements and acrobatics). Also not sure why you stuck the passive defense talents from FSExile in Shien, when Shien is an aggressive lightsaber form.

 

I guess, basically, I think the changes I'm most on board with are removing a few instances of Parry and Reflect from each tree that has many of them (the numbers you ended up with overall look good), changing the talents to be 1+2/rank, and swapping Brawn into Shien and Cunning to Shii-Cho. Adding a little Reflect to Shii-Cho also makes sense.

 

I don't think we need a Pushing Slash talent--Niman has the ability to activate Move on a missed Lightsaber check, which basically amounts to the same thing. I don't think it's super important to have the ability to wound someone with a lightsaber and toss push them away in the same action...if you really want to, you could jump into Sage or Seer to get the ability to use a Force power as a maneuver once per session.

 

I think we need to get Improved Reflect in a couple more trees (thinking Shii-Cho and Soresu). Soresu probably also makes more sense for Supreme Reflect than Shien does.

 

I wanted so that each Lightsaber Form felt unique, different... so that's why I chose different combinations of defensive talents for each talents trees...

 

I'll try to show you why I did a few things... but some shuffle around like in the Makashi tree was just that I felt it was better that way...

 

Why Dodge in Soresu ?

Quote from Wookieepedia : "Soresu relied on tight bladework and subtle dodges to provide maximum defensive coverage, minimizing exposure to ranged weaponry."

And Dodge can be used both against range and melee attacks... so I felt it was overall better the Defensive Stance for a heavy defensive form.

 

Why Defensive Stance in Makashi ?

Quote from Wookieepedia : "As Makashi had been designed strictly for blade-to-blade combat, it lacked an effective means of combating enemies with projectile weapons."

Since Dodge can be used both against range and melee attacks, I felt that it wasn't appropriate to a form that lacked range defense. I also didn't want to overuse Dodge in many trees (Niman, Soresu, Makashi).

 

Why Superior Reflexes and Sixth Sense in Shien ?

RAW, Shien had 1x Defensive Stance and 1x Defensive Training. Both are used in Shien, but no defensive talents (except Reflect) for range, since 2 right most columns are Djem So, range defense. Remember that they are supposed to be stand alone products, so using those 2 talents that were very rare (only Sixth Sense in Hunter) felt like a good idea, make the talent tree more unique.

 

Why Pushing Slash ?

It was on Wookieepedia... I agree 100% with you there but wanted to put it out to see what others might think.... just throwing an idea around.

 

More Improved Reflect and Improved Parry ?

Can't have Improved Reflect in Ataru or Makashi, doesn't fit with Niman.... so the only place you could put it is in Shii-Cho, but since it's the first Form, I wasn't sure it would be a good mix (It didn't have it RAW). For improved Parry, it could be added to almost any Form except Niman, but I felt that it should be in line with Improved Reflect, so 2 copies of each around the board.

 

Hope that answer your questions.

Thanks for reading my review.

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I don't think you should take out all of Ataru's ability to reflect. As Qui-gon and Obi-wan both were able to do so.

As was Yoda, who seems to be the poster-boy for Ataru where FFG is concerned.

 

Being something of an Ataru aficionado, I've read up on a lot of the lore surrounding that style, and it's main flaw was a lack of prolonged defense, particularly against multiple opponents unless you had fully mastered the style as Yoda had, being something of an ideological contrast to Soresu's "perfect defense & wait for the right time to strike" mentality, with Ataru being more "hit fast and end the fight quick" in terms of how it approached combat.  So while Ataru could handle blaster deflection fine (it was the reflecting the bolt back part that was difficult, though not impossible as Qui-Gon demonstrated), it was best either as a one-on-one style or hitting a group of foes so fast that you'd beaten them before they understood what had happened.

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I don't think you should take out all of Ataru's ability to reflect. As Qui-gon and Obi-wan both were able to do so.

As was Yoda, who seems to be the poster-boy for Ataru where FFG is concerned.

 

Being something of an Ataru aficionado, I've read up on a lot of the lore surrounding that style, and it's main flaw was a lack of prolonged defense, particularly against multiple opponents unless you had fully mastered the style as Yoda had, being something of an ideological contrast to Soresu's "perfect defense & wait for the right time to strike" mentality, with Ataru being more "hit fast and end the fight quick" in terms of how it approached combat.  So while Ataru could handle blaster deflection fine (it was the reflecting the bolt back part that was difficult, though not impossible as Qui-Gon demonstrated), it was best either as a one-on-one style or hitting a group of foes so fast that you'd beaten them before they understood what had happened.

 

 

I understand what you guys are saying, but I don't think Jedi Masters or the Grandmaster as points of reference is a good idea, since these guys probably mastered a few Lightsaber Forms. In-Game, they probably bought into many Forms talent trees and gotten those Reflect talents elsewhere then Ataru.

 

But... it could be added to Ataru...  the only problem is if every Lightsaber forms has the same talents, they'll look like clones of each other... that's what I'm afraid of and tried to "correct" with the combos of Reflect/Parry/Defensive-Talents used.

 

So the main questions are : how much is Reflect needed in Ataru ? can it be left out ?

Edited by JP_JP

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The problem with saying "well Jedi Masters shouldn't be used as points of reference for what a Form can do" is that most of the Jedi we see using these various styles of combat are Jedi Masters.  Anakin and Ahsoka are among the few who's aren't, with one being a Knight and the other a Padawan,and both using Form V.

 

Obi-Wan was primarily using Ataru in TPM (where he was on the cusp of being a Knight), particularly during his and Qui-Gon's rampage on board the Trade Federation ship early in the film, and he was certainly deflecting blaster fire, thus in-film justification for Ataru having Reflect.  We also see Kit Fisto (a Shii-Cho master) using deflecting blaster fire a couple times during the Geonosian Arena sequence in AotC, so again justification for Shii-Cho having Reflect and not being entirely focused on Parry.

 

The closest we might have to examples of a non-Master Jedi in combat would be Kanan from Rebels, but no word on what Form he practices (if any, given he'd not completed his training)

 

And the only reason really that Ataru Striker has the Saber Throw talent in first place is because we saw Yoda doing it in RotS.  Frankly, if there's any talent that could be dropped from that spec, it's Saber Throw.  But again, the only two Ataru users we have to draw from are a Jedi Master and the Jedi Grand Master.

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I don't think you should take out all of Ataru's ability to reflect. As Qui-gon and Obi-wan both were able to do so.

As was Yoda, who seems to be the poster-boy for Ataru where FFG is concerned.

 

Being something of an Ataru aficionado, I've read up on a lot of the lore surrounding that style, and it's main flaw was a lack of prolonged defense, particularly against multiple opponents unless you had fully mastered the style as Yoda had, being something of an ideological contrast to Soresu's "perfect defense & wait for the right time to strike" mentality, with Ataru being more "hit fast and end the fight quick" in terms of how it approached combat.  So while Ataru could handle blaster deflection fine (it was the reflecting the bolt back part that was difficult, though not impossible as Qui-Gon demonstrated), it was best either as a one-on-one style or hitting a group of foes so fast that you'd beaten them before they understood what had happened.

 

The fact that basically ALL Jedi can be seen reflecting blaster bolts (do we ever see someone not do so at all?) lends credence to getting Reflect into Shii-Cho, as well as possibly adding Improved Reflect there as well, since it's the foundation form.

 

I think it would be fair to say that Yoda was probably well-versed in several lightsaber forms.

 

Also, your description of Ataru fits perfectly with what I'd want my character to be doing, which is why my Ataru Striker is also going to head down Shii-Cho to Sarlaac Sweep.

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RAW, Soresu, Makashi, Ataru and Shii-Cho have Improved Parry, with Soresu having Supreme Parry.

RAW, only Shien has Improved Reflect, it also has Supreme Reflect.

 

I find it funny that people are asking me to put Improved Reflect all around when no one (to my memory) asked for it in the RAW talent trees. Also, I dropped Improved Parry from 2 Lightsaber Forms (going from 4 to 2) and no one never noticed/mentionned it...

 

From what I can see, I believe that people have their favorite form (for most being Ataru), and would like it to have everything, or almost... And i've got to agree that RAW Ataru was probably the best Form...

 

I'm just playing devil's advocate here.... don't take it personnaly.

I'll make sure to pass your comments when I send in my feedback.

 

Also ? any comments on the new powers (except maybe pushing slash) ??

Or any comments on how I reorganised the defensive talents around ??

Edited by JP_JP

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It makes sense that things like Reflect and Parry make there way into all the forms.  It's a basic part of training.  Some forms emphasize it more but anyone trying to master the use of the lightsaber would pick it up.

 

It also seems fairly important for character building so you don't NEED to go into multiple Specializations to pick up some of the fundamental pieces.  If you're building a lightsaber master then you'll probably want to go into multiple lightsaber form specs but for the Jedi who just wants to "master" one form but be more balanced with force powers and also go into a more force focused second specialization it's too expensive to get into a third spec just to pick up some basic pieces to put the character together.

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