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New Sage at 50

MasterGladius's Avatar


MasterGladius
01.29.2013 , 10:18 AM | #1
Okay, not totally new, but hardly a veteran. I've done some healing, and I have many 50s, but this is my first sage. I unexpectedly fell in love with it at a guild raid (though we were over-geared so it wasn't a good indication of how good I am). I am concerned about gear and techniques. I got some hand-me-down items from my Shadow (mostly stalker stuff that I cannibalized for armoring and mods). What set bonuses should I be striving for? Where should I start?

Also, I will be going back and forth on Heals and DPS (because I think Telekinetic DPS is great fun). Also, I'd appreciate a few newbie pointers to get me started on being a good sage, as I've mostly played melee toons so far. I did okay on Force management, I think, but the heals might be better? What is the preference on heals? I usually do Rejuvenate-->Force Trance-->NS and fill with Deliverance as needed. If I see a clump of people I can heal I cast Salvation (but since it is hard to watch procs, party health, and my feet, my attention seldom allows me to cast Salvation). I think some pro tips could help me out.

Thanks in advance for the input.

-Sirus-'s Avatar


-Sirus-
01.29.2013 , 11:00 AM | #2
If you plan to hop between heals and dps a lot, grab the healing armor set. The set bonus on the healing set is little better than the dps set and the stats are just as good for both.

You seem to be on the right track for ability priority. So, I'll just drop a few salvation tips.

Knowing boss fight mechanics is by far the best way to get the most out of Salvation. Most raid damage in the boss fights comes from predictable mechanics. If you know those mechanics, you can be ready to drop Salvation at just the right time and place. Conversely, there are times when Salvation would be wasted because of the movement involved the mechanics. When you're learning boss mechanics, stop to think about when/how to use your abilities.

Bring Salvation to the melee, but let ranged come to Salvation. You don't want to waste time trying to look for the best location to drop Salvation. You should already be facing the tank and your melee should be right up near the tank. So, you should be able to quickly drop salvation right under the boss to catch both the tank and melee dps. Ranged dps just kinda do their own thing when it comes to positioning. So, its hard to keep them all corralled before hand to get a good grouping when you want to cast Salvation on the ranged group. So, I just drop it on my location offset toward the tank/boss such that I am at the edge of it. Smart ranged dps will make their way over if they see it and if you call it out in a voice chat.

Salvation is on the expensive end in terms of force cost. If you've preplanned to cast Salvation, you should also be casting Rejuvenate right before to get the discount. Standing in your own Salvation is also a great way to use Noble Sacrifice without having to cast additional heals on yourself. If you do both of these things, Salvation should not trouble you for force cost.

Learn the size of Salvation. Salvation's healing radius is a good chunk larger than the visual would lead you to believe.

Salvation should be hotkeyed. When casting Salvation, your mouse cursor should already be in position to drop the effect when you press the hotkey. Your hand motion should basicly be to cast Rejuvenate by hotkey, move mouse cursor into Salvation position during GCD, cast Salsvation by hotkey, click to drop effect.

MasterGladius's Avatar


MasterGladius
01.29.2013 , 12:18 PM | #3
Yeah, I was glad to see my two favorite specs use the same (more or less) stat allocation. Eventually I'll get a set for both, but I will head your advice and get healer set first. Based on what I'm seeing in the stats, I'm going to need some crit augments. Is that correct?

Thanks for the tips on Salvation. I guess, in short, what you are saying is study and practice. I'm glad I'm on the right track. Thanks again.

-Sirus-'s Avatar


-Sirus-
01.29.2013 , 12:24 PM | #4
You'll want willpower augments. When my crit chance creeps too high, I switch to power augments until I have time to adjust my mods. A lot of the easier to access sage gear gives you too much crit rating as it is.

MasterGladius's Avatar


MasterGladius
01.29.2013 , 01:01 PM | #5
One last question. Would it be worth my while to train Biochem up so I can use reusable stims and adrenals? I have several biochemists already, and I have each of the other crafts at least once. It seems to me that Biochem is more practical than Cybertech (what she has now). I have another 400 cybertech because the reusable grenades seemed like they'd be useful, but so far, I haven't found much use for them.

-Sirus-'s Avatar


-Sirus-
01.29.2013 , 01:17 PM | #6
My sage is a cybertech and I'm happy with it. I can RE mods and armoring for endgame gear to have something useful to craft. I keep the knockdown and stun reusable grenades at the edge of one of my secondary ability bars and occasionally use them in "oh **** get it off me" moments.

Biochem always makes for a practical choice for the reusable consumables. Up to you really.

Cleet_Xia's Avatar


Cleet_Xia
01.29.2013 , 03:11 PM | #7
As far as set bonuses go, which is best for healing depends on how you want to heal.

If you want maximum uptime on your bubbles ~ you want the 2 piece PvP set bonus that shortens the Force Armor lockout debuff by 15%. This isn't useful if you are not religious about keeping your tanks bubbled. But this is the only set bonus I am using right now. The 4 piece PvP set bonus is pretty lackluster ~ unless you rely heavily on Noble Sac.

If you prefer to stick with HT or you spam a lot of Salvation - the 2 & 4 piece PvE healing bonuses are the way to go. But when you compare Rejuv>HT to Rejuv>Deliverance ~ the two are very similar in terms of HPS & HPF. Deliverance is "spikey" if it's cast without overheal. Whereas HT heals at a rate that is very similar to most bosses more bursty single target DPS output. HT for treading water ~ Deliverance for getting caught up between bursts of damage. I have a 4 piece set, but stopped using it after I tried out the 2 piece PvP bonus, and I havn't noticed it being gone.

It's perfectly possible to heal most of the content without using HT, Salvation, or Noble Sac much at all. So long as you maximize the way you use Force Armor, Restoration, your interrupt, Force Potency, and the buffs from Rejuvenate ~ you won't have any force management problems. Force Shelter & Conveyance have a dramatic effect on most encounters. As do cleanses & interrupts. Maximizing all of these abilities is the cheapest way to heal. That's how I prefer to heal. For these reasons, most of the healing set bonuses are useless to me.

If you rely heavily on Salvation, you become trapped in a loop of spamming Noble Sac between Salvation & Mend casts. This becomes your whole mechanic. It's possible to heal a lot of content this way, but it's incredibly boring, and it's very vulnerable to interrupts.

On the subject of relics:
1) PvP relics for content you're repeating.
2) Power/ Alacrity PvE relics for new content.
3) The Ephemeral Mending PvE relics are junk.
~Master Telagtun Telag of Lord Calypho~

-Sirus-'s Avatar


-Sirus-
01.29.2013 , 03:16 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Cleet_Xia View Post
As far as set bonuses go, which is best for healing depends on how you want to heal.

If you want maximum uptime on your bubbles ~ you want the 2 piece PvP set bonus that shortens the Force Armor lockout debuff by 15%. This isn't useful if you are not religious about keeping your tanks bubbled. But this is the only set bonus I am using right now. The 4 piece PvP set bonus is pretty lackluster ~ unless you rely heavily on Noble Sac.

If you prefer to stick with HT or you spam a lot of Salvation - the 2 & 4 piece PvE healing bonuses are the way to go. But when you compare Rejuv>HT to Rejuv>Deliverance ~ the two are very similar in terms of HPS & HPF. Deliverance is "spikey" if it's cast without overheal. Whereas HT heals at a rate that is very similar to most bosses more bursty single target DPS output. HT for treading water ~ Deliverance for getting caught up between bursts of damage. I have a 4 piece set, but stopped using it after I tried out the 2 piece PvP bonus, and I havn't noticed it being gone.

It's perfectly possible to heal most of the content without using HT, Salvation, or Noble Sac much at all. So long as you maximize the way you use Force Armor, Restoration, your interrupt, Force Potency, and the buffs from Rejuvenate ~ you won't have any force management problems. Force Shelter & Conveyance have a dramatic effect on most encounters. As do cleanses & interrupts. Maximizing all of these abilities is the cheapest way to heal. That's how I prefer to heal. For these reasons, most of the healing set bonuses are useless to me.

If you rely heavily on Salvation, you become trapped in a loop of spamming Noble Sac between Salvation & Mend casts. This becomes your whole mechanic. It's possible to heal a lot of content this way, but it's incredibly boring, and it's very vulnerable to interrupts.

On the subject of relics:
1) PvP relics for content you're repeating.
2) Power/ Alacrity PvE relics for new content.
3) The Ephemeral Mending PvE relics are junk.
What? You don't like finding out after a fight that you had to heal yourself as much as the tank?

NoFishing's Avatar


NoFishing
01.29.2013 , 04:14 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by MasterGladius View Post
Okay, not totally new, but hardly a veteran. I've done some healing, and I have many 50s, but this is my first sage. I unexpectedly fell in love with it at a guild raid (though we were over-geared so it wasn't a good indication of how good I am). I am concerned about gear and techniques. I got some hand-me-down items from my Shadow (mostly stalker stuff that I cannibalized for armoring and mods). What set bonuses should I be striving for? Where should I start?
The 2-piece PvE bonus to reduce the cooldown on healing trance is pretty critical for being effective. It just helps in too many ways to not have when healing. The 4 piece bonus is ok (extra 50 force), as is the 2-piece PvP healing bonus. It is somewhat your choice depending on whether you enjoy PvP or not. I do a lot of PvP, but my PvE gear uses the 4-piece bonus because I will not use PvP armorings in PvE and I don't like the look of the battlemaster gear (which is difficult if not impossible to obtain at this point anyway).

Salvation is somewhat situational. You want to use it when it can hit multiple people that need (or are about to need) healing. Or if you have relatively full force, you can use it protectively. Just learn the fights and know when there are going to be AoE circles or the raid will be moving, and hold salvation until after those phases are over. Also, you should expect the ranged to go stand in your salvation, so don't worry too much about placing it exactly right. And even though we are a ranged class, there are definitely times when I will use salvation on the tank/melee and then close in to stand in it myself.

I would prioritize getting your healing gear first. The DPS set bonus is nice, but I consider it slightly more practical to DPS in healing gear than to heal in DPS gear.

For an idea on gearing, my fully geared sage seems to be just about optimal:
http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/characte...6-a283039bc3a6

Quote: Originally Posted by MasterGladius View Post
What is the preference on heals? I usually do Rejuvenate-->Force Trance-->NS and fill with Deliverance as needed.
Mostly sane, although force armor should always be our top priority in a single target rotation. Avoid spamming it on the entire raid, as that just saps force uselessly. For boss fights, you want it up on the tanks any time their debuff expires. For trash pulls, you want it on whoever is taking the most damage at the moment. There are also cases where you need it on yourself, where boss mechanics pick a random party member to deal massive damage to. You don't want to be caught in one of those after using NS without FA on yourself.

For some of the tougher fights, like dread guard in TfB HM, when force mend is up I will use NS twice followed by FM. This consumes the proc from HT, and gives me one stack of the debuff that means I will regen 20 less force in the next 10 seconds, but gives me 104 force in return (96 if you don't have the 4 set bonus). That is a fair trade on force, but assumes I don't have to heal anyone else for 3 GCDs (4.5s). So I try to make sure the raid is fairly healthy first, and give a glance to the other healer's energy bar, before doing it.

Quote: Originally Posted by MasterGladius View Post
(but since it is hard to watch procs, party health, and my feet, my attention seldom allows me to cast Salvation). I think some pro tips could help me out.
These might seem obvious, but:

Play with the UI editor. You can make the party health bars larger, and position the ops frame somewhere more comfortable. For me, it is basically about 1/3 of the screen from the left edge, below the halfway point. This let's me see AoE circles under my feet, and the red text messages in the middle of the screen, without really losing focus too much on the frames.

Also, pre-select your targets for healing. You can switch targets while casting without affecting the current cast...by which I mean if you are casting deliverance on a DPS, as that is casting you can change targets for your next heal, e.g. one of the tanks. The deliverance will land on the DPS, and you are ready to start casting on the tank.

If there is another healer in the group, be prepared to interrupt your deliverance casts if your target's health bar suddenly jumps to full. You don't want to waste the force on overhealing.

-Sirus-'s Avatar


-Sirus-
01.29.2013 , 04:42 PM | #10
As people have gone off an a Noble Sacrifice tangent a bit, I'll add a bit there too.

You don't have to use Noble Sacrifice right away after getting the Resplendence buff. The buff will last a good while and you haven't even "wasted" it until you do another Healing Trances that crits. So, feel free to let the buff ride and consume the Resplendence a bit later at your convenience.

Sage's can't do a whole lot of healing the move. After Force Armor and Rejuvenate, all you are left with is the pittance of hps provided by Mend Wounds. Noble Sacrifice and Force Mend are instant, however and can thus be put to use in the various "dodge"/"relocate" mechanics of certain boss fights. In high stress healing situations, you have to walk a fine line between losing GCDs to force management and letting your force pool dwindle to maintain HPS. Since you can't do much effective healing while running around anyway, you might as well get the most of those GCDs to recover force.