Hyperspace Beacon: Find the Force

With E3 last week, I really considered devoting this article to opinions regarding the latest news for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Then I realized that Massively already published a ton of SWTOR related articles about E3 this week. During the show itself, Dan gave his impressions of playing the game, and all four of our attendees delivered impressions yesterday. It's good to read impressions from people who love MMOs but aren't necessarily die-hard fans of BioWare or Star Wars -- you'll get a different perspective than you would reading this column.

So instead, this week I'll examine the announced abilities for the Jedi Consular class. The majority of this information stems from the advanced class page, but there is a little bit that comes from MMORPG's interview with Georg Zoeller. Hop past the break as we explore the abilities of this powerful Force-user.


Jedi Consular powers are said to range from glass cannon to stealth tank. However, the latter is not exactly evident in the skill information that has been released. In Darth Hater's interview with Daniel Erickson, he mentions playing a Sith Inquisitor tank. Although BioWare hasn't actually confirmed it, we all suspect the Sith Inquisitor mirrors the Jedi Consular.

At level 10, a player chooses between two very different advanced classes for the Consular: the Jedi Sage and Jedi Shadow. The Sage is likely the healer, while the Shadow is possibly our rogue class. As I explain the different advanced classes, you will understand why I'm hedging there, as the announced base attacks should give clues.
  • Project (instant): DPS attack that uses the environment to attack the target. This ability upgrades with your advanced class choices
The Sage

The advanced class page notes that "Sages are famed for their wisdom much as for their powerful healing and defensive skills." Perhaps there are some defensive skills I do not see, but it appears the Sage is a healer or an anti-healer (debuffer, if you will). The telekinetic powers seem to focus on crowd control or damage-over-time. Tidal Force and Telekinetic Momentum add a chance to proc to existing attacks. I know this isn't exactly a DoT, but it has a similar effect. Then you have healing abilities in the other tree that appear to be pretty standard.

Perhaps BioWare added damage abilities to the Consular to help entice more players to take the healer role, but as a self-proclaimed pocket healer, I hope the exceptional healers don't have damage specs as well. With the UI design and the lack of add-ons, it is going to be difficult for a healer to do both at the same time. Any damage abilities, therefore, become wasted.
  • Telekinetics
  • Tidal Force (Passive): Your Disturbance has a 30% chance and your Forcequake has a 9% chance when dealing damage to grant Tidal Force, immediately finishing the cooldown on Telekinetic Wave and reducing the cast time of your next Telekinetic Wave by 100%. This effect cannot occur more than once every 10 seconds.
  • Telekinetic Momentum (Passive): When you cast Disturbance or Telekinetic Wave, there is a 30% chance the ability will produce a second attack that strikes the same targets for 30% damage and no additional threat.
  • Seer
  • Resplendence (Passive): Reduces the cooldown of Revitalize by two minutes. In addition, your Healing Trance crits have a 100% chance to make your next Noble Sacrifice not degenerate your Force and spend no health.
  • Healing Trance (Channeled: 3 secs, Cooldown: 9 secs, Range: 30m): Heals a target for 469 immediately and a further 469 per second for three seconds.
  • Balance (shared)
  • Containment (Passive): Lowers the cast time of Force Lift by 100%. In addition, when your Force Lift breaks early from damage, the target is stunned for two seconds.
  • Presence of Mind (Passive): When your Telekinetic Throw deals damage, you have a 30% chance to cause your next Force damaging attack with a cast time to cast instantly and deal 20% more damage.
The Shadow

Shadow appears to be your classic rogue class, and the quote from the official site seems to agree with that: "Shadows embrace the synergy between melee and Force combat." Although it possesses some of the base attacks for the Consular class, the Shadow appears to focus on short-ranged combat. The Infiltration tree focuses on stealth abilities, and the Kinetic Combat tree offers double-bladed combat.

In the interview I mentioned above, Erickson says that stealth will not be a pure stealth in the sense that the player will remain invisible until he decides to pop out of it. The skill is like a high-level mind trick. A Shadow makes the other characters perceive that he is no longer there, but if the Shadow is standing in front of another character at close range, he will be seen. Sorry to all you rogues who like to use stealth as an I-win button; it doesn't look like that's going to happen the the Shadow.
  • Infiltration
  • Shadow's Respite (Passive): While the player is in stealth mode and for six seconds after leaving stealth mode, all damage dealt is increased by 10% and the rate at which your force regenerates is increased by 50%.
  • Infiltration Tactics (Passive): Direct damage attacks have a 30% chance to grant Find Weakness, causing your next Shadow Strike to ignore 50% of the target's armor and cost 50% less force. Cannot occur more than once every 10 seconds.
  • Kinetic Combat
  • Particle Acceleration (Passive): Double Strike and Whirling Blow have a 50% chance to reset the cooldown on Project and make your next Project a critical hit.
  • Spinning Kick (Instant, Cooldown: 30 secs, Range: 4m): Perform a spin kick that deals 560 kinetic damage and stuns the target for three seconds.
  • Balance (shared)
  • Containment (Passive): Lowers the cast time of Force Lift by 100%. In addition, when your Force Lift breaks early from damage, the target is stunned for two seconds.
  • Presence of Mind (Passive): When your Telekinetic Throw deals damage, you have a 30% chance to cause your next Force damaging attack with a cast time to cast instantly and deal 20% more damage.
I have to admit, this is one of those classes that worry me. It appears to be a hybrid class in a hard trinity game. I am very afraid that when it comes down to practical implementation, this class will be gimped, over-powered, or unwanted in groups. What are your thoughts? Are you looking forward to playing a Consular, or does it have you concerned, too?

The Hyperspace Beacon by Larry Everett is your weekly guide to the vast galaxy of Star Wars: The Old Republic, currently in production by BioWare. If you have comments or suggestions for the column, send a transmission to larry@massively.com. Now strap yourself in, kid -- we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!

This article was originally published on Massively.