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PvE Bodyguard Healing Guide - 2.0

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Commando / Mercenary
PvE Bodyguard Healing Guide - 2.0

twiggie's Avatar


twiggie
05.19.2013 , 08:39 PM | #1
Table of Contents
I. Introduction
II. About Bodyguard Mercenaries
III. Statistics
IV. Gearing
V. Consumables
VI. The Repertoire
VII. The Talent Tree
VIII. Single-Target Healing
IX. Multi-Target Healing
X. Healing on the Move
XI. Clutch Healing
XII. Defensive Cooldowns
XIII. Conclusion

Introduction
Hello and welcome to my Bodyguard Mercenary guide! I am writing this to be current with the 2.0 release and will continue to update as necessary. I am by no means an expert, but thought in the absence of a detailed healing guide that I would create this to help newcomers and experienced Mercenaries alike.

You will see me refer to allies that you will be healing as 'targets'. Just a small disclaimer to avoid confusion.

About Bodyguard Mercenaries
The Bodyguard is the healing specialization of the Mercenary advanced class. They offer strong, single-target healing, weaker but adequate multi-target healing, and a fun playstyle with a unique resource mechanic known as heat.

Statistics
All Bounty Hunters wear heavy armor and use Aim as their main stat. The Bodyguard is no exception. However, different stats have different uses, and the Bodyguard will use the following:
  • Aim - found on all pieces (Relics being the exception). Increases your bonus damage/healing and gives a minor increase to your critical chance. You can never have too much!
  • Endurance - found on all pieces. Increases your health and allows you to take more damage before you are defeated. Don't go out of your way to stack this; what you receive while prioritizing other stats should be sufficient.
  • Power - Increases your bonus damage/healing. You will find this to be a very valuable stat and will be stacking it.
  • Critical chance - Increases your chance to deal a critical attack/heal. Crits are always nice, however, with the harsh diminishing returns this stat received in the 2.0 update, it has lost a great deal of value. Don't go out of your way to stack this; what you receive while prioritizing other stats should be sufficient.
  • Surge - Increases the magnitude of your critical attacks/heals. This is a helpful stat, and we will want to use it to a point. Once your crit multiplier breaks 70%, you will begin to suffer diminishing returns from Surge and will want to build on other stats instead.
  • Alacrity - Decreases the activation time of your abilities, reduces your global cooldown, and increases your heat dissipation rate. This stat is far better than it once was, and we will prioritize it along with Power once our critical multiplier is in a good place. It can be counter-productive if you are using a high amount of activated heals, but we will learn to balance that later in the guide.
  • Tech Power - found on main hand and off-hand barrels. Increases our bonus damage/healing. As there are only two modifications that contribute to this stat, it goes without saying that the higher level the barrel, the more Tech Power it will provide, and is therefore better! You will want Reflex barrels, which provide the highest amount of Aim.
  • Avoid all other stats. These will include Accuracy, Defense, Shield Rating, Absorption, etc.

Gearing
The gear that you use is mostly aesthetic, and you should equip what you enjoy. I highly recommend using 'Custom' gear with modification slots when you find a look that you like so that you can continue to upgrade the modifications as you go.

I recommend the following modifications:
  • Barrel: Reflex
  • Armoring: Reflex
  • Mod: Agile, Agile A
  • Enhancement: Adept, Efficient, Quick Savant
  • Augment: Reflex, Overkill

And any of the following relics:
  • Boundless Ages
  • Ephemeral Mending
  • Serendipitous Assault

As far as set bonuses go, I would recommend the four piece PvE bonus. Two pieces will increase your Supercharged Gas to 13 seconds, which means two additional Healing Scans or one additional Kolto Missile while under its effect. With four pieces, you reduce the cooldowns of Healing Scan and Emergency Scan.

Consumables
Consumables are an important addition to your stats and can mean the difference between victory and defeat. You will want to be equipped with the following:
  • Medpac
  • Reflex Stim
  • Triage Adrenal
  • Jawagram of your choice

The Repertoire
  • Combat Support Cylinder: this is the only cylinder you will use for healing. There is no reason to use any other cylinder.
  • Rapid Scan: this is the big burst heal of the Bodyguard. It heals for a high amount and has a 2 second activation time (talented). Costs 25 heat; can be reduced to 17 while the Critical Efficiency talent is active.
  • Healing Scan: a smaller heal than Rapid Scan, but has more added benefits. It has a 9 second cooldown (talented), but has a 1.5 second activation time, increases the target's armor by 10% (talented), and places a heal-over-time on the target (talented). Costs 16 heat.
  • Emergency Scan: this is an instant-cast and heat-free heal that occupies the top tier in our talent tree. The 21 second cooldown is the only downside to this ability.
  • Kolto Missile: this is a multi-target heal, and it is a beast. Instant-cast, 16 heat, a short 6 second cooldown, and it can be talented to provide a heal-over-time and increased healing to all targets affected by it.
  • Rapid Shots: this is your basic, heat-free heal. It is instant-cast and heals for a small amount.
  • Kolto Shell: this is a reactive, passive healing ability that can be placed on one target at a time. It will have 13 charges (talented) up front, and will expend charges when the target takes damage, healing them for a small amount each time. Costs 16 heat.
  • Jet Boost: when talented, this becomes a close-range, multi-target heal in addition to a knockback to enemies. It costs 8 heat (free, if talented) and has a 30 second cooldown.
  • Cure: this ability removes 2 negative effects on your target and, if talented, heals them for a small amount.
  • Supercharged Gas: Converts 30 charges of Combat Support Cylinder to supercharge your blasters, venting 8 heat and increasing all damage and healing dealt by 5% for 10 seconds. While active, the following abilities gain Supercharge effects:
* Power Shot: heat cost reduced by 100%
* Unload: heat cost reduced by 100%
* Healing Scan: cooldown reduced by 100%
* Kolto Missile: places a shield on all targets, reducing damage taken by 5% for 15 seconds
  • Power Surge: this allows your next ability with an activation time to be instant-cast. Lasts 15 seconds and has a 2 minute cooldown.
  • Thermal Sensor Override: this allows your next ability with a heat cost to be activated for free. Lasts 15 seconds and has a 2 minute cooldown.
  • Vent Heat: vents 50 heat over 3 seconds. If talented, vents an additional 16 heat and provides 10% Alacrity for 6 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.
  • Onboard AED: this is your combat revive. Use it on a fallen teammate to bring them back into the fight. 5 minute cooldown after any combat revive is used in your party/operations group.

The Talent Tree
This is what I use currently: http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#30...cdkfGzZMccZb.3

Most of those talents are required for PvE content, but there are a few points that are optional.
  • Kolto Jets in the Bodyguard tree is not required, as using Jet Boost as a heal is situational.
  • Upgraded Arsenal in the Arsenal tree is not required if you are comfortable without the Critical chance it provides.
  • System Calibrations in the Pyrotech tree is not required if you are satisfied with the amount of Alacrity you have.
  • I wish I could say that Peacekeeper in the Bodyguard tree is not required, but since you need it to spec into Bodyguard, you'll have to swallow this PvP-esque talent.

Suitable alternatives are Powered Insulators (Bodyguard), Power Shield (Bodyguard), Protective Field (Bodyguard), or Custom Enviro Suit (Arsenal).

Single-Target Healing
First and foremost, get your Combat Support Cylinder to 30 charges. You can do this out of combat by being annoying and spamming Rapid Shots on your teammates prior to engaging. This will ensure that you can use Supercharged Gas immediately, if needed. The healing you will be doing with Rapid Shots and the occasional Rapid Scan should be enough to build up 30 charges when it is needed next.

You will want to make sure that Kolto Shell is active on the target that is taking the most amount of damage. This will ideally be the tank in the vast majority of situations, but it is best used to provide continuous, passive healing on a target that is taking a beating. It will only need to be refreshed once before all charges are expended; preferably with as little charges left as possible as not to waste heat. However, its heat cost is relatively low and you should not hesitate to switch it to another target if a large amount of incoming damage switches to them or if you need to refresh it due to mechanics (for example: needing to move out of range from said target for a period of time where Kolto Shell may wear off before you can return to healing range).

Once Kolto Shell is applied, I would recommend using Kolto Missile next, even if it will only affect your current target. The primary reason for this is the 3% healing bonus that your target will receive through the Kolto Residue talent. If you expect a decent amount of damage will be inflicting your target, go ahead and precede Kolto Missile with Supercharged Gas to apply a 5% damage reduction shield on them.

You will then want to use Healing Scan, as this will provide your target with a small heal-over-time after the initial burst heal and an additional 10% armor through the Proactive Medicine and Reactive Armor talents.

At this point, with a low to moderate amount of damage being done to your target, you will pretty much be waiting for Kolto Missile and Healing Scan to come off of their cooldowns. Use Rapid Shots as a filler in this time and refresh Kolto Shell when it is about to run out of charges. As long as these abilities are keeping your target's health high, there is no need to use Rapid Scan or Emergency Scan. However, if your target is still taking more damage than those abilities can heal for, that will be the time to begin using them.

Rapid Scan is our most expensive heal and should ideally be used after a Healing Scan (when the Critical Efficiency talent is active, so its heat cost is down to 17 from the normal 25). You will want to try to only use it when your heat level is low. Absolutely avoid using two Rapid Scans back-to-back, as it will generate a large amount of heat and begin to penalize your dissipation rate.

Emergency Scan has no heat cost, but a long cooldown. It should be used if your heat level is running higher and beginning to take a dissipation penalty or if you are on the move and need to toss out a quick heal to somebody.

Finally, if your target has a negative effect that needs to be removed, you can use Cure on them.

Multi-Target Healing
Healing multiple targets at once will be required at certain points and Kolto Missile is the main ability we possess that will heal more than one player at a time. Fortunately, it has a short cooldown, a moderate heat cost, and a short heal-over-time and 3% healing bonus through the Kolto Pods and Kolto Residue talents.

You will want to aim this as best as you can to hit the maximum (four) amount of players that can receive the heal. Unless fight mechanics forbid it, it would be best to have your team stack up so they can receive the full benefit of your healing. If you can predict when the area damage will occur, or if it is reoccurring, you should activate Supercharged Gas before using Kolto Missile so it will place a 5% damage reduction shield on all affected targets. Healing Scan will also cease to have a cooldown for the duration of Supercharged Gas, so you will want to take advantage of using it on those that need more healing until Kolto Missile can be used again.

The other option we have is Jet Boost. Normally a knockback, the Kolto Jets talent will turn it into a multi-target heal. It is highly situational, unfortunately. It can only be used at close range, so if you are separated from teammates that need healing, it will not reach them. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, if your team is able to stack up, that will make Jet Boost a more useful tool. It has a 30 second cooldown, which means you will still be relying heavily on Kolto Missile for frequent multi-target healing. Lastly, it is still a knockback, so given the situation, it may not be a good idea to use it if enemies are close to you.

Aside from that, there isn't much more that can be done while waiting for Kolto Missile to come off of its cooldown. You will want to proceed with your single-target healing in between Kolto Missiles and rely on your teammates to use their medpacs and defensive cooldowns if the damage is severe.

Healing On The Move
The only heals that cannot be used while moving are Healing Scan and Rapid Scan. Hopefully, damage taken while you are on the move will not be so much as to where it will disrupt your normal healing process. However, if someone is reaching low health before you can stand still again, Power Surge will allow you one instant cast. It would probably be best to use Rapid Scan if your heat level allows it.

Clutch Healing
As any healer undoubtedly knows, the ups and downs of your team's health bars aren't always predictable. Sometimes, you will experience a huge amount of damage hitting your target(s) and will need to scramble to recover their health. We have learned to call these situations "Oh, Sith!" moments. When confronted with one such moment, here are a few suggestions:
  • If you have a Triage Adrenal, now is the time to use it.
  • You can be a little reckless if Vent Heat is not on cooldown. Heal as needed until you are at about 70 heat, then Vent Heat and return to your normal healing process. I would recommend doing this first, so the tricks listed below can be used while Vent Heat is on cooldown.
  • Use a Rapid Scan immediately followed by an Emergency Scan. If you time this right, both will go off at the same time and heal your target within a single global cooldown.
  • You can use back-to-back Rapid Scans, but activate Thermal Sensor Override before activating the second Rapid Scan.
  • If your target is in danger of dying before you can activate two Rapid Scans, activate Power Surge in conjunction with Thermal Sensor Override before activating the second Rapid Scan.

Defensive Cooldowns
We have a few tools at our disposal to use for those moments where we are taking severe damage, but may be overwhelmed with keeping our teammates alive. They are valuable abilities that can save our lives if used properly.
  • Energy Shield: this ability gives us 25% increased damage reduction for 12 seconds. I highly recommend saving this ability for situations where you will be taking continuous, unavoidable damage. It has a 2 minute cooldown, so use it wisely!
  • Kolto Overload: when you activate this ability, it will lay dormant on you for one minute. If you are to reach 30% or less of your overall health within that minute, it will begin to rapidly heal you back up to 30%. This is a last-ditch effort to allow your potential death to be a close call, instead. However, 30% is still a low spot for your health to be in, so be sure to follow up with a heal or two to get it back up. Once it heals you, it will go on cooldown for 3 mintues. Save this for a time when you are falling behind on keeping yourself healed up and know you will dip into the 'red zone'.
  • Medpac: this item should be stocked at all times. You never know when that emergency heal will come in handy! I prefer to use these when I have a life-or-death situation on my hands, where taking a moment to heal myself will result in another's death. Using a medpac will give you a quick heal and allow you to heal your teammate(s) at the same time. Beware, you can only use a medpac once per engagement.

Conclusion
Hopefully you've found something helpful here and you can contribute your own suggestions. If you spot any errors, feel free to let me know. Please rate this thread and pass it along. If you made it this far, thank you for reading!

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Version 1.0 (05/19/13) - original post
Version 1.1 (05/20/13) - added Table of Contents, Consumables and Defensive Cooldown sections
Version 1.2 (05/21/13) - added set bonus information to Gearing section

Cobblars's Avatar


Cobblars
05.20.2013 , 08:33 AM | #2
Really nice guide.

But how much Alacrity do you run with? I am at 4.06% at moment and seen no difference between that and when I stacked a lot of it (for test) when I got up to about 8%, with c/d's from relic it got to over 12%.

Voted for the thread. Needs to be made a sticky as not much help out there for those looking to get into the class and role as a healer.

odawgg's Avatar


odawgg
05.20.2013 , 11:47 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Cobblars View Post
Really nice guide.

But how much Alacrity do you run with? I am at 4.06% at moment and seen no difference between that and when I stacked a lot of it (for test) when I got up to about 8%, with c/d's from relic it got to over 12%.

Voted for the thread. Needs to be made a sticky as not much help out there for those looking to get into the class and role as a healer.
I'm not a merc healer, but I know that accuracy isn't going to do anything for the healer (unless this has changed?) and surge isn't as powerful as it was before with the crit being much lower. I'm guessing you want to split surge and alacrity pretty evenly. Even though the alacrity doesn't seem like much, it's helpful over duration and no longer hurts heat regen. It's no longer "useless" as a dps so I would think it's even better for a healer.

Edit: Nice write-up btw, I dabble in healing for FPs, and always wanted to try a raid. I'll be looking to this thread for some pointers

twiggie's Avatar


twiggie
05.20.2013 , 02:10 PM | #4
Thank you very much, Cobblars and odawgg!

As far as Alacrity goes, there isn't much information I have come across that gives us a definitive number on when it becomes too much of a good thing. Personally, I sit at about 6% with the System Calibrations talent. This is increased by 3% with the Critical Reaction talent when it procs. I haven't had any issues yet, but I will certainly update the guide once I notice it hitting diminishing returns or causing other complications.

If it gets to the point of not wanting any more Alacrity, I would imagine we would want to forgo the aforementioned talents first, as the only other stats we would have on Enhancements is Surge or Critical Rating. Not to say that either of those stats are bad, but we already know they suffer from diminishing returns of their own.

If anyone could provide their own experience/insight, it would be appreciated!

Cobblars's Avatar


Cobblars
05.20.2013 , 02:24 PM | #5
Nice one for the reply.

Again, vote for this thread to be stickied, would be nice to have a thread where we can discuss how best to play this class and role.

Pteran's Avatar


Pteran
05.20.2013 , 02:29 PM | #6
This is a really nice guide, thank you for writing it. I've got a Commando healer at level 33 right now, so he doesn't have all of the available talents yet. I'm really enjoying healing FP's with him though, and then when I go do planetary/class content I just swap cylinders and decimate everything with my murderbot pal M1-4X =)
Smugglesworth ~~ Professional Band-Aid Applicator
<HoB-Bit> - The Shadowlands
Noli fovere canem ardentum

twiggie's Avatar


twiggie
05.20.2013 , 02:48 PM | #7
Updated the guide to add Table of Contents, Consumables, and Defensive Cooldowns.

Thank you all for the replies thus far!

Phrase's Avatar


Phrase
05.20.2013 , 06:02 PM | #8
5 stars...I agree this is a nice job and complements Spaniardinfinity's pvp guide nicely.

Please sticky.

edit: my 2 creds on Alacrity are that you only need to take 1 of two talents and I went 2/2 crit reaction since I have near 100% uptime. From there it's easy to hit about 8-10% activation speed since Surge caps out rather quickly at 75%. Keep in mind that our tech crit bonuses can keep us at around 28-30% without needing to stack much crit, but even so, crit competes with power so...once you hit around 75% Surge I'd dump the rest in Alacrity for some nice GCD and Cast Speed boosts. Ofc. I'm most likely wrong on this.

Sixgun
Satele Shan

twiggie's Avatar


twiggie
05.20.2013 , 06:21 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Phrase View Post
5 stars...I agree this is a nice job and complements Spaniardinfinity's pvp guide nicely.

Please sticky.

edit: my 2 creds on Alacrity are that you only need to take 1 of two talents and I went 2/2 crit reaction since I have near 100% uptime. From there it's easy to hit about 8-10% activation speed since Surge caps out rather quickly at 75%. Keep in mind that our tech crit bonuses can keep us at around 28-30% without needing to stack much crit, but even so, crit competes with power so...once you hit around 75% Surge I'd dump the rest in Alacrity for some nice GCD and Cast Speed boosts. Ofc. I'm most likely wrong on this.
Thank you!

I wouldn't say you are wrong just as I wouldn't say I am right. I think for the time being, we're on our own to discover through trial and error what the best stat weights are. I'm hoping this thread can become a place for discussion on these very topics and help us all to improve. I appreciate the feedback.

Jayto's Avatar


Jayto
05.21.2013 , 05:40 PM | #10
What about set bonus? The 2 and 2 or the 4 piece?