We’ve become aware of a team being used in Phases 3 and 4 of the Heroic Sith Triumvirate Raid, currently being referred to as “Critolyte”
. This team consists of Asajj Ventress (Leader), Hermit Yoda, R2-D2, Nightsister Acolyte, and Darth Traya. At its core, a combination of Bonds of Weakness doing non-lethal damage, Asajj’s Leader ability granting Nightsister allies turn meter when being damaged and removing turn meter when they damage an enemy, and Darth Traya’s Isolate granting Health Steal to allies is enabling this team to invalidate an entire phase on auto in the STR. We’ve decided to action on preventing this behavior for a couple of reasons.
First, similar to other changes we’ve made to Bonds of Weakness, our goal is ultimately to stop infinite looping behaviors in the most current raid. We’ve discussed that philosophy here.
These are not the sort of play patterns that we want to facilitate or allow in the Sith Triumvirate at this time. We also have some concerns about what this may do to intra-guild dynamics and the competition for the best rewards over time.
Second, we’ve been aware of Nightsister Acolyte and the looping interactions with her gaining stealth and turn meter for awhile. She’s been treading a narrow line between us feeling like we absolutely need to intervene on her looping behaviors and that we could allow her to persist as she currently is kitted. We’re not going to change her kit today, but we’re taking a look at it to figure out how we can keep her doing the things she’s good at it, without her always being an edge case that is always on the verge of being game-breaking.
As of today’s release, Bonds of Weakness will have a new condition. Once Raid Darth Traya has accumulated 20 stacks of Bonds of Weakness, player characters will no longer be able to be healed above 90% health until the stacks have been reset. We believe that this should address the Critolyte team and provide some future-proofing around some other potential related interactions. Some players will notice that this will have an effect more generally on Nightsister teams in P4. Nightsister teams should still be able to post respectable numbers, but will not be able to clear the Nihilus component of Phase 4 as they have been able to in the past.
We’ve been following the conversation on the Forums and Reddit and a lot of players have posited that we should change Darth Traya’s Health Steal buff. It’s a good idea, but doesn’t solve the root problem we have. Due to the interaction with Asajj, Bonds, and NS Acolyte, whenever we introduce a character with Health Steal Up again, we could potentially re-enable the loop. We’re making this change in the hopes that we have removed the potential for this specific interaction to occur again.
We also want to let the player base know that we have been working on making changes to Nightsister Zombie to prevent the “Paper Zombie”
strategy. Paper Zombie is a strategy in which players allow a Nightsister Zombie to remain underpowered so that she may more easily die. In allowing her to more easily die, they supercharge Asajj Ventress’ unique ability to gain spectacular amounts of offense. Our philosophy on this change is that in a game about progression and powering up your characters, wanting to move backwards is antithetical to the spirit of the game and it creates a significant disadvantage to people who leveled past this point without knowing of the strategy in advance. Progressing a character should always feel good. We are not ready to debut the change yet, as we are still considering some of the balance implications and other changes we may want to make. Since we were already discussing the Nightsisters, we wanted to let you know that the change is coming.
This update should go live shortly today. As always thank you, for being a great community. See you on the Holotables.
- Why did you make this change now? Nothing has changed about this team
The reason we responded so quickly on this issue is because we didn't want players to begin to make long term investment decisions around (player ownable) Darth Traya and the raid and have us take it away one months from now. In general, we try to catch these sorts of infinite loops and other overly performant teams early, but we evaluate on a case by case basis. In the past, the Nightsisters didn't cross the threshold. With the introduction of the Critolyte team, we opted to make some changes to Bonds of Weakness that has some impact on Nightsisters.
Our testing in house shows that they are still very good in Phase 4 and still outperform most teams in that Phase. In the balance of things, undercutting Critolyte and leaving the Nightsisters in a very good place made sense to us at the time.
- Why such a big change?
Regarding the drastic-ness of the changes, we try to evaluate anything we need to change in the game in a way that will hopefully prevent us from having to "fix" it again. That doesn't always work out, just because of the staggering complexity and the myriad of possible interactions in the game. That said, in reviewing with the Design team, this solution was deemed to help solve a lot of possible edge cases that could pop up in the future. We hope it does.
- Im worried 20 stacks hurt my ability to participate in STR at all with my Nightsister team!
For now as we monitor how the change impacts the player base. We recognize it's a pretty big change and want to see how it performs over time.
- How will Nightsister Zombie still be viable after the changes coming in the future?
We are still figuring out what the changes to Zombie look like, but we've got some really solid leads. Our goal is to make Zombie still fit her roll as the same constantly dying awesome taunting tank she's always been. We're also looking at how we bring some of the juice of her constantly dying under the Paper Zombie paradigm and bring that into the powered up Zombie.