Entertainer Feels still Lacking

All things entertaining! Or about the Entertainer profession in EiF
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Itikar
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:45 am

Entertainer Feels still Lacking

Post by Itikar » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:25 am

Hello to everyone, I am new to SWG and have been playing here a character with entertainer profession in the last few months (on and off, compatibly with RL).

What my experience gave me was that the entertainer profession is really not on par with the other professions. Like at all. I wonder if there are still some revamps in the works, but if there are not the current state of the profession is simply put: not worth taking.

In other words three out of four skill trees give nothing of considerable value, especially compared to other professions that gain exclusive abilities.

The only tree that has some usefulness is the first one, the fame one, which lets entertainers earn more credits from missions. That is very welcome, especially, on a non-combat character and even more on an entertainer that in this way has an incentive to remain in the cantina. It is still to be noted, however, that the money earned through those missions is still not comparable to that one can earn with a combat character, but at least it requires much less action on the part of the entertainer, so this one is pretty good, really.

The problems come with the other three trees. Dancing gives access to some dances that are all inferior to anything obtained even from Dancing Knowledge I on the Dancer skill, hence, they will never be used. Musicianship is a little better in that it gives access to hardly used songs, but at least it has some instrument proficiencies and schematics, of which the mandaviol (obtained at master entertainer) is the only cool one though. And then there is the last tree, Entertainment Healing, which provides some buffs to an entertainer's healing ability (for a total of +35 including novice and master), which are inferior to those provided by the two skills (+60).

Conversely, not having access to basic instruments, songs and dances makes things a little awkward for those who take dancer or musician on characters of other professions, since they learn advanced stuff but cannot perform the most basic ones. O_o

Some tentative proposals:

- Make mind buffs exclusive to the entertainer profession, the same way action and health buffs are exclusive to docs. This seems the main issue to me really.

- Make all dances available through Dancer, all songs and all instrument schematics available through Musician, leaving to Entertainer only the redundant starting ones (which will be available also through the respective skills of course)

I am sorry if it is long or weird, but I felt Entertainer was the black sheep of the profession system of the server from a while now, and I hope one day to see them shine as the others. :)

Edit: removed some rambling about stats, which was ultimately meaningless. Some exclusive stuff would really be preferrable. Maybe crafting of entertainment props, like those shown in some NGE videos. Another idea could be to make special effects only available to the entertainer profession, but I am not entirely convinced of it. Well, anyway, this is tentative for a reason, it identifies a problem and tries to find a solution but the latter is not fixed in stone.

Itikar
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:45 am

Re: Entertainer Feels still Lacking

Post by Itikar » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:16 pm

After talking a little on the Imperial Discord, I would like to propose these changes:

- Switch the mind enhancement for both music and dancing to the Entertainer profession and away from Dancer and Musician. Or perhaps leave it only at like 20% there. Being exclusive would be more consistent with the way health and action buffs are restricted to docs and not available to medics.
- Move all the dances to the Dancing Knowledge tree of Dancer. Right now Entertainer has access to the basic dances, which master dancers oddly enough cannot perform.
- Move all the songs and instrument proficiencies to the Musical Knowledge tree of Musician. Same as the above for the basic songs.
- Move all instrument schematics to the Musical Techniques tree of Musician.
- Move most, or even all, wound healing to Musician and Dancer respectively.
- Split battle fatigue healing between entertainer profession and Dancer/Musician Fatigue Healing trees, since battle fatigue healing is the main thing for which entertainers are sought for.

So in short, concerning the three currently underwhelming trees of Entertainer:
- turn the Musicianship tree into a musical buffing tree.
- turn the Dancing tree into a dancing buffing tree.
- turn the Entertainment Healing tree into a battle fatigue healing tree.

And give all the choreographical stuff, like dances, songs, etc. to dancer and musician so they are available for roleplay and fun to everybody. :)
Oh, and please give some cool titles to those three trees, Apprentice Dancer is not something I am going to put on my Master Entertainer. :P

In general, while the fame tree is cool, I see the entertainer profession as not providing any sensible mechanical advantage over a dancer or musician who mains another profession, and I think this is not good for game balance and balance among the professions overall. I know this is no priority and it is all right, since there are other more pressing concerns, but I have patience and faith in the devs that the issues of entertainer will be sorted out eventually.

Itikar
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:45 am

Re: Entertainer Feels still Lacking

Post by Itikar » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:15 am

Copying from Discord for reference:
Ah, about dances and songs present right now, I thought about it and this is how I would do it:
basic2 → move it to dancing knowledge 1
rhythmic2→ move it to dancing knowledge 2
footloose → move it to dancing knowledge 3
formal → move it to dancing knowledge 4

For songs:
rock→ move it to musical knowledge 1
folk → move it to musical knowledge 3
starwars2 → move it to novice musician
starwars3 → move it to novice musician

Instruments:
fizz → move it to musical knowledge 1
fanfar → move it to musical knowledge 3
kloo horn → move it to musical knowledge 4

Instrument schematics:
slitherhorn schematic → move it to novice musician
fizz schematic → move it to musical techniques 1

While I would leave stuff from the master entertainer box as it is, not accessible to all master dancers or musicians, as it was in vanilla, unless they mastered also entertainer.
Let me know what you guys think! :smiley:

Sandarie
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 7:32 pm

Re: Entertainer Feels still Lacking

Post by Sandarie » Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:36 pm

Thank you for sharing your feelings! I know we've talked a lot about the Entertaining profession and the skills associated with it this past week. I agree, The Ent Prof hasn't gotten a lot of love from the launch of EiF. We'll have to see what the devs put into play, but I do think changes are coming!

*crosses fingers*

Also your comments and thoughts have no gone ignored.

Sandi
Sandarie
EiF Community Manager

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Smallcorners
Posts: 299
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:26 pm

Re: Entertainer Feels still Lacking

Post by Smallcorners » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:48 am

I agree that the Entertainers need some care.

I think though that the Entertainers should make the instruments, all of them, though Itikar and I discussed leaving Musician one to start with. I also believe that the Dancers should be given back their toys, and other than a starter one, Entertainers should make the rest.

The songs and dances are a bit trickier to split up considering that once upon a time we were expected to pick up the secondaries regardless. Not have them chosen without Ent first. (Remember that I was a post NGE player and everything was weird then!) Perhaps the first two songs/dances should be shared respectively? Considering that Entertainer also needs something to entertain with. After that, I think Entertainer could have a few songs/dances unique to them, but the bulk should belong to Dancers and Musicians.

Itikar mentions the trees, I would add the making of the instruments and tools tied to their respective lines. We agree that there should be a percentage split for buffs and heals, though her focus is on the buffs and my argument is for the heals! Fair enough to say that at the end of the day we want the class we love to be as useful and needed in the community as much as any other profession.

And we want is to be viable.

The Fame tree, I have snarked about this one since day one. While I am thankful that we can now get missions and not rely solely on tips to make a living, unless you are mastered in Entertainer the payouts are not great at all, especially if you can only take one mission. No one becomes an Entertainer, or stays one, because you make a lot of money. Those that take only Dancer or Musician get almost nothing.

Give us two missions, please, and up the amount of faction gained. Remember we are not killing anything so are not gaining faction by the bucket fulls with body pile up. Do not dare to tell me to go out an combat, there are reasons that two of my toons do not have combat, and the third that does usually collects dust. I am not the only one that has their reasons, and it is unfair in an SWG world to think that everyone held a weapon.

The argument that we get a free 10 minute afk is the closest to reasonable, but the other parts about weapon/armor decay and needs for foods, pups, psgs and all that are flat ridiculous considering how much a combatant can make in that same 10 minutes and how little they truly need to pay out for that intake. Put decay on the tools and instruments then, so many uses and need to replace, just like the weapons if that is a concern. Offer us a food to eat, or a drink to drink to do our jobs better or to take better missions. If we have also mastered Musician or Dancer, then let us earn more for the dedication.

Please do not just look at us, see us.

Itikar
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:45 am

Re: Entertainer Feels still Lacking

Post by Itikar » Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:10 pm

Smallcorners wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:48 am
I think though that the Entertainers should make the instruments, all of them, though Itikar and I discussed leaving Musician one to start with. I also believe that the Dancers should be given back their toys, and other than a starter one, Entertainers should make the rest.
I am neutral about the instruments, essentially because I am not a musician, either leave them to musicians, to entertainers or even to some other profession like artisan. It would be better for at least the slitherhorn to be left more easily accessible, given not many people craft instruments. This not so much to let people play musician without outside help, but simply to avoid that musicians will be disadvantaged in this regard in comparison to dancers, who can dance without any instrument.
Perhaps the first two songs/dances should be shared respectively? Considering that Entertainer also needs something to entertain with. After that, I think Entertainer could have a few songs/dances unique to them, but the bulk should belong to Dancers and Musicians.
I would leave what is in the novice box of entertainer as it is, i.e. duplicate with the novice boxes of musician and dancer. This to avoid some issues, such as new entertainer characters having problems in the tutorial or, well, being unable to dance before training dancer or musician respectively. In other words leave to it a little redundancy as it is right now for doctor and medic.

As for the exclusive ones to entertainers I think those already in the master entertainer box are probably the best candidates for that.
Itikar mentions the trees, I would add the making of the instruments and tools tied to their respective lines. We agree that there should be a percentage split for buffs and heals, though her focus is on the buffs and my argument is for the heals! Fair enough to say that at the end of the day we want the class we love to be as useful and needed in the community as much as any other profession.
Buffs are linked to a maximum achievable value and heals to a time factor. In other words a buff split is more meaningful because it impacts the maximum value that can be achieved, whereas the heals will happen anyway, just slower. So the main difference for buffs is how much you can buff while for heals what matters is whether you can heal something or not, making the split of heals in general less relevant if the goal is to make entertainer useful. What I mean is that people will have little incentive to play an entertainer because of the heal split, in fact wounds are already split 80/20 and very few people, if any, play an entertainer to get that little wound healing bonus.
The Fame tree, I have snarked about this one since day one. While I am thankful that we can now get missions and not rely solely on tips to make a living, unless you are mastered in Entertainer the payouts are not great at all, especially if you can only take one mission. No one becomes an Entertainer, or stays one, because you make a lot of money. Those that take only Dancer or Musician get almost nothing.[...]If we have also mastered Musician or Dancer, then let us earn more for the dedication.
The fame tree is cool and helps entertainers get a few extra credits they would not otherwise get, provided they can micro-manage the character from time to time. However what this misses is that it does not make entertainers needed, unlike all the other professions. In other words it misses the point of giving a sense to entertainer existing as a profession.

What bothers me about the mission terminals, not just entertainer ones, is that the payout for basically all non-combat missions is laughable or small at best. Making completing any mission other than destroy ones a waste of time and the effect and the usefulness of slicing those terminals absolutely not worth it.

It would not be bad to add some extra payout to entertainer missions based on musical and dancing knowledge respectively, so that musicians, dancers and smugglers with those skills get a reason to actually take those missions or slice those terminals. (This is off-topic but similar reasonings could be made for other mission terminals, such as artisan, explorer, etc. In general it is sad that non-combat characters have very few ways to earn money through missions).

About entertainer missions, it would be nice also to adjust the faction point payout, i.e. make it higher, for entertainer missions taken from Imperial and New Republic mission terminals.

More in general however I believe that the only way to make entertainer viable is, as said above, to make it needed by other characters. I think the only viable way to make this happen is through buffs, not just those of the mind bars, but also new buffs similar to those available in the NGE, in concept of course, not in numbers, as some of those were either irrelevant or overpowered.

P.S.
And before someone comes and says "then delete entertainer" I need to remind entertainer and merchant are the only two pure non-combat professions among the various ones available, and decreasing focus on non-combat characters is the last thing the server needs imho.

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