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Constructive Feedback Upon the Three Healing Classes, from a Mercenary's Perspective

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > PvP
Constructive Feedback Upon the Three Healing Classes, from a Mercenary's Perspective

PerinnAybara's Avatar


PerinnAybara
01.05.2013 , 08:15 PM | #1
My credentials as an Elite Warlord Mercenary are as follows, Preseason Rating of 1562, 121 wins, 57 losses, 1649 Total Wins, 51363 Player Kills, Medals Earned 25807, and MVP Votes Received 3136. Iíve played 102 days and 15 hours and 0 minutes at the moment of this post. Iíve been playing since Launch when my brother bought me this game. I leveled as a bodyguard mercenary, and most of my hours have been playing a healer in both PVE and PVP, although I consider myself excellent at all three specs, bodyguard will always remain my main.

Anyway, my conclusion is as follows.

Our healing output is too low, too reactive, and too cast dependent. Hereís why.

Utility:

Mercenary/Commando healing output simply cannot compete with the other healing classes. Both Sorcerer/Sage and Operative/Scoundrel bring so much more to the table since their healing output is higher, more proactive, and less heavily cast dependent. Additionally their mobility all put Mercenaries/Commandos to shame.

Operatives/Scoundrels bring so much utility to the table. Their ability to stealth and sap assist in controlling the initial battle makes them quite powerful. Combine that with an instant aoe flash grenade that has a travel time, they are extremely powerful in assisting for a node capture. They also have the ability to take cover, which means they are less susceptible to gap closers. Thus follows they are effectively immune to Force Charge/Force Leap and the ranged interrupt they act as. The ability to heal in cover, capture objectives in cover is quite envious. This is an underutilized, but extremely potent mechanic.

Sorcerers/Sages are considered to have greater utility in warzones. The ability to quickly travel in warzones is quite prized in all warzones, but especially in Huttball. Combined with their Rescue/Extrication, their pull ability allows them to share their mobility, rescue people stunned in fire, and negating the other teamís prepared burst when someone is most vulnerable. Their ability to cleanse force dots, and when taken physical dots, makes them have the most useful cleanse currently in the game. The ability to cleanse force crush/force exhaustion allows them to negate much of the otherwise unstoppable Rage/Focus damage of the Warrior/Knight classes. On a side note the range reduction to their four second stun severely weakened both their force liftís potency. The ability to electrocute, then force lift at a distance >10 meters now was quite the potent combo. Bubble stunís capability to mitigate damage is extreme. Combine that with a team that correctly knows how to utilize it (clicking off the buff as sn off the global cool down, while stunned, stun) it is amazing utility. The amount of resolve generated means that a team can explode it one by one, keeping someone perpetually stunned for a full 10 seconds while only generating exactly 1000 resolve. With the draining of 100 resolve per second, or ten seconds of stun immunity, a character can theoretically be stunned for literally half the game, while taking damage.

Mercenaries/Commando has the strongest passive armor mitigation given to a healer in the game. Combined with their energy shield/reactive shieldís ability to negate interrupts for 12(15) seconds and when talented increase healing received by 20% for the duration makes them one of the best short term tanks in the game. However with the changes to Custom Enviro Suit/Heavy Trooper, as well as the increased time period it takes to accumulate a white bar of resolve under focus they have reduced the advantage dramatically. Our Kolto Bomb/Kolto Missile snare, as well as our Jetboost/Concussive charge and our shared ability to cleanse physical/tech and mental effects, when taken, summarize our general utility.

Healing Output:

Mercenary strength individual single target healing is quite important in the absence of guard mechanic. In ranked warzones, where coordination is important, healing output and utility is more important than pure interruptible single target heals. Sorcerer/Sages, and Operative/Scoundrels, with all their utility, still have a much higher healing output than mercenaries.

Operative/Scoundrel healers can spread their Kolto Probe/Slow Release Medpack onto 6 people perpetually, although generally the top echelonís healers do four people (the tank, on the healer itself, likely other healer, as well as the target that is being focused on currently). By doing so they have a regular supply of tactical advantage/upper hand and can indefinitely maintain 2-3 stacks of it. This combined with Emergency Medpac/Surgical probeís ability to not consume tactical advantage while the target is under 30% health allows an operative to maintain an extremely high healing output even under duress. In ranked, this meshes well with a Sorcerer/Sageís bubble as well as the guard mechanic.
It also allows them to maintain high output while being very mobile or even higher output when they stand and utilize some of their excess energy. An Operative/Scoundrelís single target healing is quite similar to Mercenary/Commando. With a short heal that consumes tactical advantage/upper hand, and a hard thorough heal that consumes energy Operatives/Scoundrelís have heals that are basically the same as a Mercenary/Commandoís healing scan and rapid scan.

As for Sorcerer/Sages, with even their hybrid talented bubble Sorcerer/Sages, with their superb utility still output more healing then Mercenary/Commandos. Sorcererís recently acquired a stronger version of Mercenary/Commandoís 31 point talent 21 second cool down emergency scan, on a 30 second cool down for a self-heal. Combined with recklessness a sorcererís burst healing potential is quite potent. Add to that, a Sorcererís bubble is proactive (can be casted before the ally/self has taken damage) and itís a stronger version of our emergency scan as well on a 21 second individual lockout timer. The ability to consume health for more resources is something a Mercenary/Commando dreams of when heís out of resources. Add the ability to relocate allows a sorcerer to hard cast more heals when required.

Low Mercenary/Commando healing output is a relic of past adjustments exacerbated by subsequent buffs to other classes. By reducing the effectiveness of Critical Efficiency and supercharge gas cylinder, while adding a heat cost to Kolto shell effectively made managing our resources impossible in todayís Ranked environment. To reach the same output as sorcererís and operatives, I find myself utilizing Kolto bombís heal to the fullest. Running as a pack with three warriors, dropping Kolto Bomb on all four of us every chance I can. Our critical efficiency, as a 3 point talent is worse than arsenalís terminal velocity by a lot in the amount of heat reduced. Combine that with reducing our Hired Muscle talent from 2, 4, 6%, our single target healing is not as strong as it used to be. We simply cannot compete at all Inquisitors have 20 second cool downs on their force speed, and leaps have been reduced in cool down, meaning we do not have as long to hard cast heals.

Conclusions

On a poor developerís budget, in PVP, I would allow Kolto shell to be placed on multiple people, or simply remove that limitation completely. Additionally I would give mercenaryís operative cover so that they are not as vulnerable initially to leaps, and will allow us to effectively take the high ground. Additionally I would change critical efficiency to be a 3 point version of terminal velocity. These changes while leaving a lot of to still be desired would definitely help give us a leg up in the competition while not affecting pve too much.

P. S. i'd be really impressed if a developer read this and then responded that they read this with the following phrase. May the force be with you!
Character: Mathrim Cauthon, 50 Mercenary on Prophecy of the Five

General_Aldo's Avatar


General_Aldo
01.05.2013 , 09:35 PM | #2
Commando/Merc do have something. They have strongest single heals and are the only healing class that can tank a 4v1.

- Note this, the learning curve for commando/merc healers is very large. You have to be highly experienced in MMO and must be a naturally god-like gamer. If you are an average player, don't even think about commando healer.

PerinnAybara's Avatar


PerinnAybara
01.06.2013 , 12:04 AM | #3
They can tank 4 v 1 because they have to, and only while their energy shield is up.

Remember I gave my credentials out. I've played mercenary extensively and made it work. However my ranked guild replaced me for an operative because the best operative healer outheals by 300 hps the best mercenary healer. I've healed 930k in a civil war before, with 920 hps, so it's not like I can't bring out the heals. It wasn't against a bad team we were against either. I was with RSU against the top republic team at the time, Foundation stone.
Character: Mathrim Cauthon, 50 Mercenary on Prophecy of the Five

Aaoogaa's Avatar


Aaoogaa
01.06.2013 , 12:58 AM | #4
Great post but sadly it will get ignored and fall quickly to the depths of PVP forum hell.
-I would rather pay for a great game than play a poor game for free.
-Viable and worthwhile are not the same when it comes to class design.
55 Commando - 50 Gunslinger - 50 Guardian
Beta tester...loved the game, hate what it has become.

cashogy's Avatar


cashogy
01.06.2013 , 01:02 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by PerinnAybara View Post
My credentials as an Elite Warlord Mercenary are as follows, Preseason Rating of 1562, 121 wins, 57 losses, 1649 Total Wins, 51363 Player Kills, Medals Earned 25807, and MVP Votes Received 3136.
you probably should have left this part out
Da'ny - Attomm - Dan'y - Fogel
The Original Stormborn Commando Representative
The King of Bads

johnyangelo's Avatar


johnyangelo
01.06.2013 , 01:06 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by General_Aldo View Post
Commando/Merc do have something. They have strongest single heals and are the only healing class that can tank a 4v1.
This is simply not true since 1.3.

You cannot talk about 4 unskilled people jumping on me with recruit gear but 4 equally equipped players who are average. In that case I have seconds to live.

Yes there can be certain moments when I can endure it as NO other healer can. With supercharge + full resolve + shield. Then I can for a 15 seconds outheal even 4v1.

I hope there will be something in 1.7. that will adjust commandos performance. Way too many people asked for it. Evenso BW has shown that balance patches tends to be full of big unexpected changes.

PerinnAybara's Avatar


PerinnAybara
01.06.2013 , 08:29 AM | #7
I took to popping my energy shield, a medpack, my kolto overload and a expertise adrenal. That combined with a kolto shell really can keep you alive if you're white barred. I also save my trinket for one of the stuns you will eat during this situation.

I love my teammates. In a situation like this, near the end of my shield, I'd be pulled out of that mess. Or they would keep pounding on me while I was stunned, and I would be recieving 20% increased healing from my sorc ally, who would then pull me once I fulfilled my tanking roll. I must say, I make good bait for my smash jug friends to pound away at the enemy in that case.

I didn't put enough emphasis on this, but we overextend very easily, and it becomes very hard to recover without assistance. We can't kite as well because of our reliance on cast spells, thus making the space we make, not matter as much since we utilize it to get 2-3 heals uninterrupted. I sincerely think giving us a form of cover really would make a huge difference at least in the playability of my gameplay. It would make tracer mercenaries less vulnerable, while still vulnerable to ranged interrupts. It really is such an powerful mechanic.
Character: Mathrim Cauthon, 50 Mercenary on Prophecy of the Five

SpaniardInfinity's Avatar


SpaniardInfinity
01.06.2013 , 12:03 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by PerinnAybara View Post
I didn't put enough emphasis on this, but we overextend very easily, and it becomes very hard to recover without assistance. We can't kite as well because of our reliance on cast spells, thus making the space we make, not matter as much since we utilize it to get 2-3 heals uninterrupted. I sincerely think giving us a form of cover really would make a huge difference at least in the playability of my gameplay. It would make tracer mercenaries less vulnerable, while still vulnerable to ranged interrupts. It really is such an powerful mechanic.
I like the idea of an "Entrench" ability, I really do. There are so many examples of an implementation like it in other games for classes with an assault cannon/minigun-archtypal weapon. Severe (75%+) to complete (100%) movement speed reduction, increased damage/healing while in that state, higher damage reduction, put a cooldown on swapping in and out of that "Entrench". I feel it would make a lot of sense for the class.

But I'm also somewhat against it. I'd like to see a mechanic that is unique to the Commando and Mercenary that actually has value for the team. One mechanic that's had some momentum on these forums is Cash's "Run and Gun" mechanic which is in a way kind of like Upper Hand/Tactical Advantage. I've seen discussion on a friendly leap (ie. Guardian Leap) or possibly a tuck and roll "Disengage", which both seem interesting. For the healer class in general, there could be something interesting in introducing an on-death buff for nearby friendlies like "Martyrdom", which would make sense considering the Combat Medic should be the hardest to kill directly.

From someone who's also had extensive experience in the class (Valor 100, Rating 1900 102 wins and 26 losses, playing since early access), there are several major weaknesses with the class which would be understandable if we also had several significant strengths. As it stands, we can accomplish some very quick burst healing, but our highest burst potential is only available every 18 seconds (Bacta Infusion/Emergency Scan + healer 4-set bonus + chained with other channeled heals). We otherwise must rely almost entirely on casts, but also have probably the single best defensive ability amongst the healers: 25% damage reduction for 12 seconds (can be increased to 18 seconds depending on set bonuses) with interrupt immunity and +20% healing received on top of all other passives.

Looking at the spec in general, I think there are a few major things which could be improved to bring the class back on par (listed as Commando abilities/skills since I'm most familiar with them off the top of my head)

  • Increase the healing received buff of Kolto Residue to 5% from 3%, reverting a change in Update 1.2. To my knowledge none of the other healers can actively increase a targets healing received for themselves or allies. This kind of support utility should be PROTECTED, not WEAKENED in class changes.

  • Relax some of the ammo restrictions introduced in Patch 1.2. Increase the ammo returned from Supercharging by 1 ammo; or Increase the effect of Field Triage's ammo reduction by 1 ammo, or allow it to stack twice for the same effect. Alternatively, possibly in conjunction with one of the above, allow Bacta Infusion to return 1 ammo on use (similar to the Vanguard 31-point abilities). The cooldown on Bacta Infusion could also be reduced by 3 seconds, which combined with the existing healer 4-set bonus, would give it a cooldown of 15 seconds.

  • Make Trauma Probe more cost-effective. It isn't a bad ability contrary to what many say, but it's cost is arguably quite high considering it can only be on a single target at a time. Either improve its effect on its target (ie. higher healing received or damage reduction relative to the number of charged remaining on it); allow it to be casted on multiple targets at the same cost (possibly with a cap); or reduce its cost to 1 ammo and leave it as is. Also: make the damn thing work properly. When you are taking damage from multiple unique sources (ie. 2 or 3 people), it's not uncommon for multiple charges to be consumed. This'll cause you to fly through the charges and need to cast a new one sooner than what should be intended.

  • Introduce some mechanic which allows Combat Medics/Bodyguards to reach Supercharge more frequently. This could be done via an on-demand ability (ie. Recharged Cells grants ammo regeneration and 30 stacks of Supercharged instantly); through procs (ie. critical heals, damage taken generate 1 or 2 charges every x seconds); or create a skill in the skill tree called "Valiant" or "Vigorous" which allows the Combat Medic/Bodyguard to start with 6 or 9 charges instead of 0. If a mechanic that allows more Supercharges is implemented, it might not be necessary to relax the current ammo restrictions.

  • Make Tech Override, the original Commando Lv50 ability, a centerpiece of the advanced class in general. Put a skill low in one of the trees called "Tech Specialist" or "Tech Sergeant" that in some way reduces the cooldown of Tech Override globally, through procs, or an internal cooldown. This could also help address problems facing the advanced class in general which already has a heavy dependence on casts.
Aux "Spaniard" Wargarde (Rank 2400+ Combat Medic) | Reighner the Relentless (Conqueror Bodyguard)
The Generalissimo Legacy
<Uncensored>

jjmartin's Avatar


jjmartin
01.06.2013 , 10:14 PM | #9
I have a similar resume to the OP, but on rep side. Played a Trooper CM for 10 months, mostly PvP.

Lately I felt like trying the other healing classes, and leveled a Smuggler to 50, and it's crazy how much better that class is. I don't think you need the wall of text to prove that, it's blatant to anyone who's played both.

The thing is that the real difference is all mechanic based. (Not sure I'll express this correctly...)

Troopers/Mercs are casters, and in competitive PvP, you don't get to cast. There's so much cc/interrupt it does not happen. Smugglers/Ops have everything as an instant. I never get interrupted and I can move constantly. I have great defensive abilities, so I don't die as often. I have more up-time both in terms of avoiding cc and being alive. I throw more cc's on the opponents, which is better for my team.

This is a fundamental difference in the classes, and it makes a huge difference in PvP. The only way to balance it out would be to boost the trooper's raw healing...so on the dummy you'd have x2 HPS or something...but that can't happen b/c you unbalance PvE.

So, yes, the classes aren't balanced at all for PvP, but the reason is a mechanic one which won't change.

Aramyth's Avatar


Aramyth
01.06.2013 , 11:29 PM | #10
I play a commando healer as well. And I've had comments from DPS saying that I'm hard to kill. But really an equally skilled Sage/Scoundrel will always heal for more than me. Sometimes even a lesser skilled Sage can still heal for more than me.

I feel like we could use a buff. Something simple like allowing is to put Trama Probe on multiple targets, this would be similar to the Slow Release Medpac. And the healing of Hammer Shot and Medical Probe should be increased. Perhaps a change to Kolto Bomb: increased its range/targets or add a small HoT to the heal.