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[PvE] The Mercenary / Commando Healing Guide

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Commando / Mercenary
[PvE] The Mercenary / Commando Healing Guide

NeNiMel's Avatar


NeNiMel
10.19.2013 , 05:19 AM | #1
Updated for patch 3.1.2
Latest update: 2015/04/23

MERCENARY BODYGUARD
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Table of content
I. Introduction
II. Abilities
– Main Healing Abilities
– Service Abilities
– Defensive Abilities
III. Utilities
IV. Strategies
– Pre-fight / Transition Phases
– Mid-fight
– Multi target healing
– Rotation Priorities
V. Stats, Gearing and More
– Stats
– Gearing
– More
VI. User interface
VII. Conclusion
– Special Thanks
VIII. Appendix


I. Introduction
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This guide discusses the utility builds, strategies and gearing for mercenary healers in PvE content.

This guide builds on my own knowledge and inputs from various discussions and guides from other forums. This guide would not have been possible without all these inputs, so consider this guide as a work of the SWTOR forum, instead of the work of a single player.

About myself, I am NeNiMel of The Red Eclipse. I have been playing as a mercenary healer almost since launch of this game, so I do have a decent amount of experience about what to do and not to do. I have personally tried out everything that I put into this guide, to ensure that it works in practice and not just in theory.

I would like to hear your feedback, especially if there are any additions or something you disagree with in the guide. The feedback is useful, so I can keep the guide up to date
I will in the guide refer to allies that are being healed as "targets", just to avoid any confusion.



II. Abilities
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In this section the important abilities for Mercenary Bodyguards are listed.

The Mercenary healer uses the Combat Support Cylinder.

The primary resource is called heat and the secondary resource is called Supercharge. The heat resource differs a bit form other resources because low heat-level means plenty resources and high heat-level means few resources.
The rate at which heat is vented is dependent on the heat-level. The higher heat-level the slower resources are being regenerated. The regeneration tiers are with 0 alacrity:

  • 0-40 Heat: 5 Heat/second (Fast)
  • 41-80 Heat: 3 Heat/Second (Moderate/Slow)
  • 81-100 Heat: 2 Heat/Second (Very slow)

A mercenary healer should try to stay in the fast region as often as possible to maximize the output.


Main Healing Abilities
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  • Supercharged Gas
    Boost all healing done by 5% for 10 seconds, and vents 10 heat on activation. Additionally removes the cooldown and reduces the heat-cost of Healing Scan while active. Consumes 10 stacks of supercharge.
  • Kolto Shot
    Instant heals for a small amount, builds 1 stack of supercharge and vents 1 heat (2 if critical).
  • Rapid Scan
    Heals for a medium amount and builds 2 stack of supercharge.
  • Healing Scan
    Heals for a large amount and provides buff to target that increase all healing received by 3%
  • Emergency Scan
    Instant heals for a medium/large amount and heals the target over time.
  • Kolto Shell
    Provides the target with a Heal on Damage Taken buff (HoDT) that heals for a small.
  • Progressive Scan
    Channeled multi-target heal that heals for a small to large amount and provides a buff to all targets that increases armor by 10 %.
  • Kolto Missile
    Heals up 8 targets in an area for a medium amount. Additionally leaves a heal over time at the targeted area.
  • Jet Boost (Utility skill)
    Heals you and up to 7 targets around you for a small/medium amount.
  • Cure
    Cleanses debuffs from the target and heals for a small amount.


Service Abilities
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  • Vent Heat
    Vents 65 heat over 3 seconds and gives 10% alacrity for 6 seconds. (Utillity skill)
  • Termal Sensor Override
    Upon use, the next ability will not generate any heat.
  • Power Surge
    The next casted ability will activate instantly. Together with Rapid scan this is a strong burst heal. With the proper utility skill, the next two abilities will activate instantly.
  • Onboard AED
    In-combat revive.
  • Supercharged Celerity
    Increase alacrity for all allies by 10% for 10 seconds Consumes 10 stacks of supercharge.


Defensive Abilities
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  • Energy Shield
    Reduces all incoming damage by 25%.
  • Kolto Overload
    Quickly regenerates health if you are below 40% HP.
  • Chaff flare
    Aggro drop towards all enemies in range.
  • Hydraulic Overrides
    Increases movement speed by 30% for 8 seconds. Additionally breaks and grants immunity to all/most movement-impairing effects for the duration.
  • Determination
    Removes all stuns and movement-impairing effects from yourself on activation.



III. Utilities
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This section lists and discusses the choice of utilities for mercenary healers.

Skillful:
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  • Gyroscopic Alignment Jets
    You vent 10 heat when stunned, immobilized, knocked down or otherwise incapacitated.
    Situational – This utility is only useful if there is a lot of cc mechanics in the fight.

  • Improved Vents
    Vent Heat now immediately vents an additional 15 heat and grants 10% alacrity for 6 seconds.
    Essential – The additional heat vented and alacrity buff is a must have for PvE content

  • Power Barrier
    Power Shot, Tracer Missile and Rapid Scan generates a Power Barrier that increases damage reduction by 1% for 15 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.
    Recommended – It will be impossible to keep 100% uptime on this utility, but it is still better than the alternatives

  • Jet Escape
    Reduces the cooldown of Jet Boost by 5 seconds and Determination by 30 seconds.
    Situational – In some fights, determination is useful to get out of harm’s way and therefore this utility gets handy

  • Afterburners
    Pocket Punch immobilizes the target for 4 seconds. Direct damage causes after 2 seconds ends the effect. In addition, Jet Boost’s knockback effect is stronger and pushes enemies 4 meters further away.
    Almost Worthless – This is a PvP utility

  • Custom Enviro Suit
    Increases Endurance by 3% and all healing received by 3%.
    Essential – This will increase the overall survivability and thereby increase the chance of success

  • Boresights
    Increases the damage dealt by Sweeping Blasters by 25%.
    Almost Worthless – This is a DPS utility


Masterful:
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  • Torque Boosters
    Increases the duration of Hydraulic Overrides by 4 seconds.
    Situational – Will only be useful in movement heavy fights

  • Suit FOE
    When you activate Cure on yourself, a Foreign Object Excisor reduces all periodic damage taken by 30% for 12 seconds.
    Almost Worthless – Only useable on self, so mostly a PvP utility

  • Protective Field
    Increases all healing received by 20% while Energy Shield is active.
    Situational – Will increase the survivability chance in fights where there might be focus damage on you or in fight with heavy burn phases.

  • Power Shield
    Energy Shield now further decreases ability activation pushback by 30% and makes you immune to interrupts.
    Recommended – Makes you immune to activation pushback when Energy Shield is active, which is very useful in burn phases and AoE heavy fights.

  • Pyro Shield
    When activated, your Energy Shield ignites in a blaze, lashing attackers for xzy elemental damage while it remains active. This effect cannot occur more than once each second.
    Situational – Only take this if: 1) You take damage over a longer period. 2) You can heal through that damage.

  • Heat Damping
    Eliminates the heat generated by Jet Boost, Concussion Missile, Cure and Electro Dart.
    Situational – Can be useful in fights with cleansing to help heat management

  • Infrared Sensors
    Increases stealth detection level by 2, melee and ranged defense by 2% and reduces the cooldown of Stealth Scan by 5 seconds.
    Situational – The stealth boost is useless! Take this utility for the passive defence boost if there is nothing else

Heroic:
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  • Energy Rebounder
    When you take damage, the active cooldown of Energy Shield is reduced by 3 seconds. This effect connot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. In addition, when you take damage, you have a 20% chance to emit an Energy Redoubt, which absorbs a low amount of damage and lasts 6 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 10 seconds.
    Situational – If you are taking a lot of unavoidable damage during most of the fight, take this!

  • Jet Rebounder
    Increases the damage dealt by Jet Boost by 30%. In addition taking damage reduces the active cooldown of Jet boost by 1 second. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds.
    Worthless – Never take this!

  • Kolto Jets
    Jet Boost heals you and up to 7 other allies within range for xyz-xzy.
    Almost Worthless – The amount of healing from this is too low to be worth it

  • Thrill of the Hunt
    Allows Unload, Blazing Bolts and Progressive Scan to be activated while moving.
    Recommended – This skill is a must have for most fights, because it increases the mobility. If you can stand still most of the fight do not take this utility

  • Stabilized Armor
    Reduces damage taken from area effects by 30%. Additionally, while stunned, you take 30% less damage from all sources.
    Recommended – Almost all fights are very AoE heavy, so this utility is probably the best Heroic.

  • Supercharged Reserves
    Reduces the cooldown of Cure and Disabling Shot by 3 seconds each. In addition, you build up to 10 stacks of Supercharge over the course of using Recharge and Reload. This effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds.
    Situational – This skill can be useful in fights with cleansing to lower the cooldown of Cure, but is not really needed in the current fights.

  • Power Overrides
    Reduces the cooldowns of Concussion Missile and Power Surge by 15 seconds each. In addition Power Surge grants a second charge, making your next two abilities with activation time activate instantly.
    Situational – This utility increases the burst healing potential and can useful in fights with high damage burst


What to Choose?
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The way the utility system works is: The player must use a minimum of 3 utility points in the skillful category to be able to use any in the masterful category. To unlock the heroic category the sum of the utility points in the skillful and masterful category must be minimum 5.

The entire system makes the build very customizable, so dependent on the fight and personal play styles the setup will differ a lot. Because of this, one build will not be optimal for all fights and for all players.

A general setup that will be useful in most encounters in the current content could be: http://dulfy.net/2014/10/13/swtor-di...AAFwIGAwsOEhMA



IV. Strategies
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This section discusses the strategies on how to best use the abilities in different situations.

Pre-fight / Transistion Phases
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Kolto Shell
Remember to apply Kolto Shell to as many people as possible before a fight and whenever there is a transition phase in the fight. This will help migrating a lot of damage from the boss.

Supercharge
Remember to build up 10 stacks of supercharge before the fight or in the transition. This will enable you to use Supercharged Gas or Supercharged Celerity when the fight starts.


Mid-fight
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Supercharged Gas
Supercharged Gas is still one of the core abilities in the mercenary rotation even after it has been nerfed in 3.0. The ability provides great burst healing potential or works as a rolling buff that should be kept up as often as possible:
  • Heat management
    When Supercharged Gas is being activated it vents 10 heat.
  • General healing buff
    When Supercharged Gas is being activated it consumes all 10 stacks of supercharge and thereby removing the +1% healing buff from these. Instead, Supercharged Gas will provide a stronger healing buff during its duration that will increase all healing done by +5%.
  • Healing Scan buff
    Supercharged Gas will lower the heat cost, reset and remove the cooldown on Healing Scan while it is active. Increasing the burst potential greatly.

Under normal circumstances, Supercharged Gas should be used whenever it is ready, but in some fights, it is better to hold it for a few seconds to be ready for a coming burst healing phase.

Hint! In 3.0 it is still possible to build stacks of supercharge while Supercharged Gas is active!

Kolto Shell
The Kolto Shell will provide a continuous, passive healing to the target when it takes damage and is therefore extremely helpful for the heat management. The Kolto Shell should be applied to as many targets as possible during a fight to lower the overall damage taken by the raid.

The Kolto Shell is extremely effective in fights with a lot of raid wide damage and in these fights; the mercenary healer should focus on blanketing the raid with Kolto Shell, whenever there are no more pressing matters to attend.

It might not always be possible to keep 100% uptime on all raid members during the entire fight, especially in 16man. In these cases, it is good to have a priority on who will benefit most from a Kolto Shell. The priority will be based on who takes the most damage during a fight and will in most cases look something like this:
  • Tanks
  • Melee DPS
  • Healers
  • Ranged DPS

It is important, not to reapply the Kolto Shell on a target unless the old one is depleted (or very near depleted), because if it is reapplied too often the full potential is not used and the heat-level will most likely go out of hand. The Kolto Shell should as a minimum be kept up on the tanks at all time.

Progressive Scan
Progressive Scan is one of the most useful abilities in the repertoire and should be used as often as possible. The primary reason for this is the armor buff that it applies to the four targets it heals over the channeled duration that increases the armor by 10%. Besides the armor buff the heal itself is very effective because it will always heal the targets with the lowest health.

Rapid Scan
Rapid Scan’s primary function, besides healing, is to build 1 stack of Critical Efficiency each time it is used. Each stack of Critical Efficiency reduces the heat-cost of Healing Scan by 5 and it stacks up to 3 times. Rapid Scan is therefore an important ability help with heat management.
Besides that Rapid Scan also builds 2 stacks of supercharge each time it is used.

Hint! If talented Rapid Scan also builds 1 stack of Power Barrier

Healing Scan
Healing Scan is the strongest healing ability in the rotation. The primary function of the ability is to provide a +3% healing received buff to the target. This healing buff should as a minimum be kept up on the tanks at all time, but the buff should be applied to as many targets as possible during the fight.

Hint! During Supercharged Gas, Healing Scan has no cooldown and can be cast on a lot of people in very short time (OBS watch your heat).

Emergency Scan
Emergency Scan is the primary burst heal, because not only it activates instantly, but also because it makes the next Healing Scan activate instantly. Besides the initial burst healing Emergency Scan also provides a HoT that heals for a fair amount.

Emergency Scan and Healing Scan should in most cases be used together, but not necessarily at the same target. The instant cast of Healing Scan after Emergency Scan can be used to fast apply the healing received buff to more targets.

Kolto Shot
Kolto Shot is used as a filler in the rotation whenever only a low to moderate amount of healing is needed. Kolto Shot will also help with heat-management since it will vent 1 heat (2, if critical) and build 1 stack of supercharge each time it is used. Therefore Kolto Shot is a very important ability and should be used whenever no bigger heals are needed.


Multi-target healing
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Kolto missile
Kolto Missile is the mercenary’s primary AoE heal. So if the fight has a lot or raid damage Kolto Missile should be used as often as possible. Kolto Missile is maybe the strongest AoE heal in the game at the moment due to the short cooldown and relatively high output. Note that Kolto Missile also can be cast on the run.

Progressive Scan
Progressive Scan is also very effective for raid healing, because it heals up to four targets over the channel duration.

Hint! Progressive scan can also be cast on the run if Thrill of the Hunt utility is selected.

Jet Boost
Jet Boost can also be used as a AoE heal if Kolto Jets utility is selected. Jet Boost heals all allies around your current position for a moderate amount. When using Jet Boost as a AoE heal there are a few things to consider:
  • High cooldown
    Jet Boost has a high cooldown and can therefore only be used a few times during a fight.
  • It is difficult to position
    Jet Boost is a nice AoE heal ability, but do not use a lot of time moving around just to be in a better position for Jet Boost, the time is better used on other abilities. Position yourself in the middle of a group with friendly targets (often together with the ranged DPS and other healers) in the start of the fight, and if any of these targets take damage, then you can use Jet Boost to heal them without changing your current healing target (often the tank).
  • It knocks back enemies
    This is often not preferred, when people are stacking and the enemies have been grouped up for AoE damage. So do not use it when adds are around.

Rotation Priorities
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Standard rotation
This should be used as a guideline for how to prioritize the abilities in a standard situation. The abilities are listed after importance and should not be executed top-down, instead abilities with higher importance should be executed more often.
  1. (Kolto Shot – As filler for better heat control)
  2. Supercharged Gas – For healing buff and to vent heat
  3. Kolto Shell – OBS! Only when the old run out
  4. Kolto Missile – OBS! Only to heal two or more people
  5. Emergency Scan
  6. Healing Scan
  7. Progressive Scan – To give armor buff
  8. Rapid Scan or Kolto Shot

Burst Healing
If there are, burst healing phases in the fight make sure that Supercharged Gas is ready for this. The burst rotation is a execute top-down rotation.
  1. Supercharged Gas – For healing buff and to vent heat
  2. Emergency Scan
  3. Healing Scan
  4. (Power Surge – If another instant is needed
  5. Healing Scan – Repeat until Supercharged Gas ends

Multi target healing
Use Kolto Missile and Progressive Scan on cooldown!



V. Stats, Gear and More
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Stats
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Here is an overview over the stats that are relevant for a mercenary healer and what I think of them.

Aim
Aim is the main stat for mercenary healers, since it boosts the bonus healing and increases critical chance for a small amount. Items with aim: All except relics, color crystals and enhancements

Power / Tech power
Power is important for healers, since it boosts the bonus healing/damage. Items with power: All except barrels and armorings.

Critical rating
Critical rating increases the chances of getting a critical heal/attack, when an ability is used. Critical rating is not a linear stat, which means that the increase to critical chance will decrease with the amount of critical rating, so it is not a good idea to stack too much of it. Items with critical rating: earpieces, implants, mods, enhancements and augments.

Surge rating
Surge rating increases the magnitude of the critical heals/attacks. Like critical rating, surge rating is only valuable until a certain amount. Items with surge rating: earpieces, implants, mods, enhancements and augments.

Alacrity rating
Alacrity rating decreases the activation time of the abilities, reduces cooldown, and increases the resource regeneration rate. Like critical and surge rating, alacrity rating is only valuable until a certain amount. Items with alacrity rating: earpieces, implants, mods, enhancements and augments.


Aim or power?
There is always a discussion on whether mainstat or power is better for healing. Power gives a slightly higher direct healing bonus than aim and is therefore more preferable for healers in many cases. However mercenary healers have a higher critical multiplier (surge rating) than any other class in the game, due to the two passives “Warden” and “Advanced Targeting”. Because of this higher critical multiplier aim might be slightly better than power.
I personally prefer to use reflex augments to boost my critical chance a bit, but still like to have a lot of power on my mods (which is the other place you will have to decide between aim or power).

Power or critical rating?
The balance between power and critical rating is mostly up to personal preferences. Both critical rating and power increases the expected healing output with a fair amount and none of them should be omitted.
I personally prefer to run with a critical rating just below the theoretical optimum and thereby have a bit more power, because I prefer the size of my heals to be a bit more predictable. By deviating from the optimum critical rating the expected output will be bit lower, but only by a small amount.

Surge rating or alacrity rating?
Surge and alacrity are both extremely useful stats for healers, but it is not a good idea to stack too much surge because the value decreases drastically at higher values. Therefore, I personally focus on getting more alacrity than surge. I would recommend going for 3 surge pieces and 7 alacrity pieces, but 4 and 6 respectively would also work.


Set Bonuses
The set bonuses are very important for mercenary healers, because they will greatly increase the healing output:

2-piece: Activating a healing ability has a 15 percent chance to grant Combat Medic’s Critical Bonus which causes your next Rapid Scan or Medical Probe to be a critical. This effect can only occur once every 30 seconds.
4-piece: While in Combat Cylinder or Combat Support Cell the duration of Supercharged Gas and Supercharged Cells is increased by 5 seconds.
6-piece: Reduces the cooldown of Healing Scan or Advanced Medical Probe by 1.5 seconds.

Set-bonuses are the first thing one should focus on getting. Set-bonuses are so important that a armoring with the bonus is better than a armoring two gear tiers higher that does not have the bonus.


Theory and Interactive Model
Orderken have made an interactive model that can give a better understanding of how the different stats affects ones output theoretically. The model can be very useful for gearing optimization.
The model can be found at the following link:
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resi...nt=file%2cxlsx

Download a local copy and you are ready to go.


Gear
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The goal with this section is to describe the best in stock gear.

Quick overview
Aim >= Power > Surge (70%) >= Alacrity > Crit (25%)

Personal stats goal
Here is my ask mr robot character that shows my personal wish list.
Note the character is outdated since ask mr robot has not been updated

Here is some numbers for my personal stat goals. These numbers is for full 198 gear rating.
- Alacrity rating = 840
- Surge rating = 360
- Critical rating = 500-600 (Theoretical optimum = 715)

Rest of my power and critical rating budget goes into power.


Modifications:
- Crystal: Hawkeye (in the colour you prefer)
- Barrel: Reflex
- Armoring: Reflex (with set bonus: Combat Medic)
- Mod: Agile, Nimble
- Enhancement: Adept, Quick Savant, Battle, Insight
- Augment: Reflex, Overkill

Relics:
- Focused Retribution
- Serendipitous Assault

A detailed guide on the best in stuck relics for healers can be found here

Misc:
- Earpiece: Crit/Alacrity, Crit/Surge
- Implants: Crit/Alacrity, Crit/Surge, Power/Alacrity, Power/Surge


More
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Consumables
Consumables are an important boost to the stats and can mean the difference between victory and defeat. A mercenary healer will want to be equipped with the following:

- Medpac
- Reflex Stim
- Adrenal: Power, Alacrity

I have included both power and alacrity adrenal, since both can be useful dependent on the fight. Power adrenal will increase the size of your heals for a short period and alacrity adrenals will allow you to put out more abilities for a short period. Another advantage of alacrity adrenal is that they can be used for heat management (Increases the regeneration), but that should not be the primary reason to use it.

Datacrons
Datacrons provides a small permanent boost to the primary stats (aim, cunning, endurance, strengh and willpower). The datacrons can also give you datashards, but these are of little use since the datacube is no longer BiS relic.

The datacrons that the bounty hunter should focus on collecting are the aim, cunning and endurance ones. The reason for for collecting cunning datacrons too is because cunning boosts the tech critrate with a small amount.

Here is a link to where you can find all the useful datacrons.

Companion buffs
Its posible to optain some legacy buffs, based on the affection with your companions, that will improve your total output.
The companion legacy buffs are:

Ranged DPS - Increased critical chance (+1%)
Melee DPS - Increased critical multiplier (+1%)
Healer - Increased healing received (+1%)
Ranged Tank - Increased HP (+1%)
Melee Tank - Increased accuracy (+1%)

These buffs can only be achieved once per legacy, so you only have to max out the affection with each companion type on one character.
The buffs relevant for the mercenary healer is Increased critical chance, critical multiplier, healing received and HP. The accuracy buff is only relavant for DPS.



VI. User interface
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The user interface is a very important part for healers, since you can increase the healing done a lot, by just setting it up correctly. The optimal user interface differs from player to player, but I will try to cover the basics here.

Graphical user interface
First of all the normal group window should be changed the ops-window (can be done in preferences), since the character pictures are just a waste of space in the graphical interface.
The ops-window and the health bars inside it should be as large as possible, since healers have to focus mostly on the group’s health and not so much the battleground itself. By making the opswindow large also makes it, easier to spot debuffs on the friendly targets. It is also possible in the options for the ops-window to only display cleansable debuffs if one prefer that.
By increasing the maximum zoom in the preferences you can get a better view over the battlefield. This will help a lot when placing an AoE heal.

One thing should be done by all healers is to focus target the boss to easily see how much health the boss has left and to see what skills the boss is casting (interrupt if it´s possible and if there is time).

Controls
Assign hotkeys to the abilities that is most frequently used. This might be obvious to most people, but I have met several people that did not use hotkeys, and was surprised how much it helped them, when they started using them. Place the hotkeys close the movement buttons, so they are close at hand (I use the number just above the letters).

In the preferences, there are a set of options that can be extremely useful for healers. These options can be found under Preferences -> Controls -> Combat:
  • Action Queue
    By using this option, you will be able to queue up the abilities you want to cast and thereby minimizing the delay between each action (increasing the APM). This is very useful for burst healing.
  • Sticky Ground Target Reticule
    When this option is enabled, your ground target telegram does not disappear if the target location is out of range or the ability otherwise fails.
  • Quick Ground Target Activation
    When this option is enabled, you will be able to cast AOE abilities by just double tapping the hot key. The target location will be your current target. This option is very useful when you are moving around and do not have time place your Kolto Missile / Kolto Bomb.



VII. Conclusion
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Healing as a mercenary is both fun and challenging, since a mercenaries have this special heat mechanism that makes it play-style unique. The most important part for mercenaries is to learn how to control the heat-level and since most boss fight have different mechanisms the optimal rotation might differ a lot from the standard rotation.

I hope that you find this guide useful and want to try out as a mercenary healer sometime

Special Thanks

This section is dedicated to all those players that have contributed to this guide in one way or the other.

Darth_Dreselus and Orderken
Thanks to Darth_Dreselus and Orderken for their splendid work on BiS relics in 2.0. And yet another thanks to Orderken for his work on the Mercenary healing model.

cs_zoltan and Rambeezy
Thanks to Rambeezy and cs_zoltan for their contributions to this guide! Without your knowledge and inputs this guide would not have become what it is today.
Both of you deserve an extra thanks for your work in the mercenary community, especially on the healing areas.

TOR Community and Dulfy
Thanks The Old Republic Community and Dulfy for providing the tools used in gear section and the utility section of the guide.





VIII. Appendix
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Changelog
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Spoiler

2015.04.23 Version 3.1.2 – Updated the links in the stat section to link to the BiS modifications, gear and consumables.
A T M E A || < R A G N A R O K >
T H E . R E D . E C I L P S E

NeNiMel's Avatar


NeNiMel
12.02.2013 , 06:40 AM | #2
COMMANDO COMBAT MEDIC
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To read the introduction, conclusion and appendix go to the Mercenary section!

Table of content
I. Abilities
– Main Healing Abilities
– Service Abilities
– Defensive Abilities
II. Utilities
III. Strategies
– Pre-fight / Transition Phases
– Mid-fight
– Multi target healing
– Rotation Priorities
IV. Stats, Gearing and More
– Stats
– Gearing
– More
V. User interface



I. Abilities
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In this section the important abilities for Commando Combat Medic are listed.

The Commando healer uses the Combat Support Cell

The primary resource is called energy cells and the secondary resource is called Supercharge.
The rate at which energy cells are regenerated is dependent on the current energy cell-level. The higher energy cell-level the slower resources are being regenerated. The regeneration tiers are with 0 alacrity:

  • 100-60 Energy Cells: 5 Cells/second (Fast)
  • 59-20 Energy Cells: 3 Cells/Second (Moderate/Slow)
  • 19-0 Energy Cells: 2 Cells/Second (Very slow)

A commando healer should try to stay in the fast region as often as possible to maximize the output.



Main Healing Abilities
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  • Supercharged Cells
    Boost all healing done by 5% for 10 seconds, and regenerates 10 energy cells on activation. Additionally removes the cooldown and reduces the energy-cost of Advanced Medical Probe by 5 while active. Consumes 10 stacks of supercharge.
  • Med Shot
    Instant heals for a small amount, builds 1 stack of supercharge and recharge 1 energy cell (2 if critical).
  • Medical Probe
    Heals for a medium amount and builds 2 stack of supercharge.
  • Advanced Medical Probe
    Heals for a large amount and provides buff to target that increase all healing received by 3%
  • Bacta Infusion
    Instant heals for a medium/large amount and heals the target over time.
  • Trauma Probe
    Provides the target with a Heal on Damage Taken buff (HoDT) that heals for a small/medium amount.
  • Successive Treatment
    Channeled multi-target heal that heals for a small to large amount and provides a buff to all targets that increases armor by 10 %.
  • Kolto Bomb
    Heals up 8 targets in an area for a medium amount. Additionally leaves a heal over time at the targeted area.
  • Concussion Charge (Utility skill)
    Heals you and up to 7 targets around you for a small/medium amount.
  • Field Aid
    Cleanses debuffs from the target and heals for a small amount.


Service Abilities
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  • Recharge Cells
    Regenerated 65 energy cells over 3 seconds and gives 10% alacrity for 6 seconds. (Utillity skill)
  • Reserve Powercell
    Upon use, the next ability will not consume any energy cells.
  • Tech Override
    The next casted ability will activate instantly. Together with Medical Probe this is a strong burst heal. With the proper utility skill, the next two abilities will activate instantly.
  • Emergency Medical Probe
    In-combat revive.
  • Supercharged Celerity
    Increase alacrity for all allies by 10% for 10 seconds Consumes 10 stacks of supercharge.


Defensive Abilities
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  • Reactive Shield
    Reduces all incoming damage by 25%.
  • Adrenaline Rush
    Quickly regenerates health if you are below 40% HP.
  • Diversion
    Aggro drop towards all enemies in range.
  • Hold the Line
    Increases movement speed by 30% for 8 seconds. Additionally breaks and grants immunity to all/most movement-impairing effects for the duration.
  • Tenacity
    Removes all stuns and movement-impairing effects from yourself on activation.



II. Utilities
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This section lists and discusses the choice of utilities for commando healers.

Skillful:
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  • Parallactic Combat Stim
    You recharge 10 energy cells when stunned, immobilized, knocked down or otherwise incapacitated.
    Situational – This utility is only useful if there is a lot of cc mechanics in the fight.

  • Cell Capacitor
    Recharge Cells now immediately recharges additional 15 cells and grants 10% alacrity for 6 seconds.
    Essential – The additional energy cell generation and alacrity buff is a must have for PvE content

  • Charged Barrier
    Charged Bolts, Grav Round and Medical Probe build a Charged Barrier that reduces the damage taken by 1% for 15 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.
    Recommended – It will be impossible to keep 100% uptime on this utility, but it is still better than the alternatives

  • Tenacious Defense
    Reduces the cooldown of Concussion Charge by 5 seconds and Tenacity by 30 seconds.
    Situational – In some fights, Tenacity is useful to get out of harm’s way and therefore this utility gets handy

  • Concussive Force
    Stockstrike immobilizes the target for 4 seconds. Direct damage causes after 2 seconds ends the effect. In addition, Concussion Charge’s knockback effect is stronger and pushes enemies 4 meters further away.
    Almost Worthless – This is a PvP utility

  • Heavy Trooper
    Increases Endurance by 3% and all healing received by 3%.
    Essential – This will increase the overall survivability and thereby increase the chance of success

  • Chain Gunnery
    Increases the damage dealt by Hail of Bolts by 25%.
    Almost Worthless – This is a DPS utility


Masterful:
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  • Advance the Line
    Increases the duration of Hold the Line by 4 seconds.
    Situational – Will only be useful in movement heavy fights

  • Suit FOE
    When you activate Field Aid on yourself, a Foreign Object Excisor reduces all periodic damage taken by 30% for 12 seconds.
    Almost Worthless – Only useable on self, so mostly a PvP utility

  • Med Zone
    Increases all healing received by 20% while Reactive Shield is active.
    Situational – Will increase the survivability chance in fights where there might be focus damage on you or in fight with heavy burn phases.

  • Combat Shield
    Reactive Shield now further decreases ability activation pushback by 30% and makes you immune to interrupts.
    Recommended – Makes you immune to activation pushback when Reactive Shield is active, which is very useful in burn phases and AoE heavy fights.

  • Electro Shield
    When activated, your Reactive Shield charges with electricity, zapping attackers for xzy elemental damage while it remains active. This effect cannot occur more than once each second.
    Situational – Only take this if: 1) You take damage over a longer period. 2) You can heal through that damage.

  • Efficient Conversions
    Removes the energy cell cost of Concussion Charge, Concussion Round, Field Aid and Cryo Grenade.
    Situational – Can be useful in fights with cleansing to help energy cell management

  • Nightvision Scope
    Increases stealth detection level by 2, melee and ranged defense by 2% and reduces the cooldown of Stealth Scan by 5 seconds.
    Situational – The stealth boost is useless! Take this utility for the passive defence boost if there is nothing else

Heroic:
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  • Reflextive Shield
    When you take damage, the active cooldown of Reactive Shield is reduced by 3 seconds. This effect connot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. In addition, when you take damage, you have a 20% chance to emit an Energy Redoubt, which absorbs a low amount of damage and lasts 6 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 10 seconds.
    Situational – If you are taking a lot of unavoidable damage during most of the fight, take this!

  • Reflexive Battery
    Increases the damage dealt by Concussion Charge by 30%. In addition taking damage reduces the active cooldown of Concussion Charge by 1 second. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds.
    Worthless – Never take this!

  • Kolto Wave
    Concussion Charge heals you and up to 7 other allies within range for xyz-xzy.
    Almost Worthless – The amount of healing from this is too low to be worth it

  • Forced March
    Allows Full Auto, Boltstorm and Successive Treatment to be activated while moving.
    Recommended – This skill is a must have for most fights, because it increases the mobility. If you can stand still most of the fight do not take this utility

  • Shock Absorbers
    Reduces damage taken from area effects by 30%. Additionally, while stunned, you take 30% less damage from all sources.
    Recommended – Almost all fights are very AoE heavy, so this utility is probably the best Heroic.

  • Supercharged Reserves
    Reduces the cooldown of Field Aid and Disabling Shot by 3 seconds each. In addition, you build up to 10 stacks of Supercharge over the course of using Recharge and Reload. This effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds.
    Situational – This skill can be useful in fights with cleansing to lower the cooldown of Field Aid, but is not really needed in the current fights.

  • Overclock
    Reduces the cooldowns of Concussion Round and Tech Override by 15 seconds each. In addition Tech Override grants a second charge, making your next two abilities with activation time activate instantly.
    Situational – This utility increases the burst healing potential and can useful in fights with high damage burst


What to Choose?
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The way the utility system works is: The player must use a minimum of 3 utility points in the skillful category to be able to use any in the masterful category. To unlock the heroic category the sum of the utility points in the skillful and masterful category must be minimum 5.

The entire system makes the build very customizable, so dependent on the fight and personal play styles the setup will differ a lot. Because of this, one build will not be optimal for all fights or all players.

A general setup that will be useful in most encounters in the current content could be: http://dulfy.net/2014/10/13/swtor-di...AAFwYDBAwJFQ8A



III. Strategies
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This section discusses the strategies on how to best use the abilities in different situations.

Pre-fight / Transistion Phases
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Trauma Probe
Remember to apply Trauma Probe to as many people as possible before a fight and whenever there is a transition phase in the fight. This will help migrating a lot of damage from the boss.

Supercharge
Remember to build up 10 stacks of supercharge before the fight or in the transition. This will enable you to use Supercharged Cells or Supercharged Celerity when the fight starts.


Mid-fight
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Supercharged Cells
Supercharged Cells is still one of the core abilities in the commando rotation even after it has been nerfed in 3.0. The ability provides great burst healing potential or works as a rolling buff that should be kept up as often as possible:
  • Energy Cell management
    When Supercharged Cells is being activated it recharges 10 energy cells
  • General healing buff
    When Supercharged Cells is being activated it consumes all 10 stacks of supercharge and thereby removing the +1% healing buff from these. Instead, Supercharge Cell will provide a stronger healing buff during its duration that will increase all healing done by +5%.
  • Advanced Medical Probe buff
    Supercharged Cells will lower the energy cell cost, reset and remove the cooldown on Advanced Medical Probe while it is active. Increasing the burst potential greatly.

Under normal circumstances, Supercharged Cells should be used whenever it is ready, but in some fights, it is better to hold it for a few seconds to be ready for a coming burst healing phase.

Hint! In 3.0 it is still possible to build stacks of supercharge while Supercharged Cells is active!

Trauma Probe
The Trauma Probe will provide a continuous, passive healing to the target when it takes damage and is therefore extremely helpful for the energy management. The Trauma Probe should be applied to as many targets as possible during a fight to lower the overall damage taken by the raid.

The Trauma Probe is extremely effective in fights with a lot of raid wide damage and in these fights; the commando healer should focus on blanketing the raid with Trauma Probes, whenever there are no more pressing matters to attend.

It might not always be possible to keep 100% uptime on all raid members during the entire fight, especially in 16man. In these cases, it is good to have a priority on who will benefit most from a Trauma Probe. The priority will be based on who takes the most damage during a fight and will in most cases look something like this:
  • Tanks
  • Melee DPS
  • Healers
  • Ranged DPS

It is important, not to reapply the Trauma Probe on a target unless the old one is depleted (or very near depleted), because if it is reapplied too often the full potential is not used and the energy management will go out of hand. The Trauma Probe should as a minimum be kept up on the tanks at all time.

Successive Treatment
Successive Treatment is one of the most useful abilities in the repertoire and should be used as often as possible. The primary reason for this is the armor buff that it applies to the four targets it heals over the channeled duration that increases the armor by 10%. Besides the armor buff the heal itself is very effective because it will always heal the targets with the lowest health.

Medical Probe
Medical Probe’s primary function, besides healing, is to build 1 stack of Field Triage each time it is used. Each stack of Field Triage reduces the energy-cost of the next Advanced Medical Probe by 5 and it stacks up to 3 times. Medical Probe is therefore an important ability help with energy management.
Besides that Medical Probe also builds 2 stacks of supercharge each time it is used.

Hint! If talented Medical Probe also builds 1 stack of Charged Barrier

Advanced Medical Probe
Advanced Medical Probe is the strongest healing ability in the rotation. The primary function of the ability is to provide a +3% healing received buff to the target. This healing buff should as a minimum be kept up on the tanks at all time, but the buff should be applied to as many targets as possible during the fight.

Hint! During Supercharged Cells, Advanced Medical Probe has no cooldown and can be cast on a lot of people in very short time (OBS watch your energy).

Bacta Infusion
Bacta Infusion is the primary burst heal, because not only it activates instantly, but also because it makes the next Advanced Medical Probe activate instantly. Besides the initial burst healing Bacta Infusion also provides a HoT that heals for a fair amount.

Bacta Infusion and Advanced Medical Probe should in most cases be used together, but not necessarily at the same target. The instant cast of Advanced Medical Probe after Bacta Infusion can be used to fast apply the healing received buff to more targets.

Med Shot
Med Shot is used as a filler in the rotation whenever only a low to moderate amount of healing is needed. Med Shot will also help with energy-management since it will recharge 1 energy cell (2, if critical) and build 1 stack of supercharge each time it is used. Therefore Med Shot is a very important ability and should be used whenever no bigger heals are needed.


Multi-target healing
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Kolto Bomb
Kolto Bomb is the commando’s primary AoE heal. So if the fight has a lot or raid damage Kolto Bomb should be used as often as possible. Kolto Bomb is maybe the strongest AoE heal in the game at the moment due to the short cooldown and relatively high output. Note that Kolto Bomb also can be cast on the run.

Successive Treatment
Successive Treament is also very effective for raid healing, because it heals up to four targets over the channel duration.

Hint! Successive Treament can also be cast on the run if Forced March utility is selected.

Concussion Charge
Concussion Charge can also be used as a AoE heal if Kolto Wave utility is selected. Concussion Charge heals all allies around your current position for a moderate amount. When using Concussion Charge as a AoE heal there are a few things to consider:
  • High cooldown
    Concussion Charge has a high cooldown and can therefore only be used a few times during a fight.
  • It is difficult to position
    Concussion Charge is a nice AoE heal ability, but do not use a lot of time moving around just to be in a better position for Concussion Charge, the time is better used on other abilities. Position yourself in the middle of a group with friendly targets (often together with the ranged DPS and other healers) in the start of the fight, and if any of these targets take damage, then you can use Concussion Charge to heal them without changing your current healing target (often the tank).
  • It knocks back enemies
    This is often not preferred, when people are stacking and the enemies have been grouped up for AoE damage. So do not use it when adds are around.

Rotation Priorities
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Standard rotation
This should be used as a guideline for how to prioritize the abilities in a standard situation. The abilities are listed after importance and should not be executed top-down, instead abilities with higher importance should be executed more often.
  1. (Med Shot – As filler for better energy cell control)
  2. Supercharged Cell – For healing buff and to generate energy cells
  3. Trauma Probe – OBS! Only when the old run out
  4. Kolto Bomb – OBS! Only to heal two or more people
  5. Bacta Infusion
  6. Advanced Medical Probe
  7. Successive Treatment – To give armor buff
  8. Medical Probe or Med Shot

Burst Healing
If there are, burst healing phases in the fight make sure that Supercharged Cell is ready for this. The burst rotation is a execute top-down rotation.
  1. Supercharged Cell
  2. Bacta Infusion
  3. Advanced Medical Probe
  4. (Tech Override – If another instant is needed
  5. Advanced Medical Probe – Repeat until Supercharged Cell ends

Multi target healing
Use Kolto Bomb and Successive Treatment on cooldown!


IV. Stats, Gear and More
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Stats
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Here is an overview over the stats that are relevant for a commando healer and what I think of them.

Aim
Aim is the main stat for commando healers, since it boosts the bonus healing and increases critical chance for a small amount. Items with aim: All except relics, color crystals and enhancements

Power / Tech power
Power is important for healers, since it boosts the bonus healing/damage. Items with power: All except barrels and armorings.

Critical rating
Critical rating increases the chances of getting a critical heal/attack, when an ability is used. Critical rating is not a linear stat, which means that the increase to critical chance will decrease with the amount of critical rating, so it is not a good idea to stack too much of it. Items with critical rating: earpieces, implants, mods, enhancements and augments.

Surge rating
Surge rating increases the magnitude of the critical heals/attacks. Like critical rating, surge rating is only valuable until a certain amount. Items with surge rating: earpieces, implants, mods, enhancements and augments.

Alacrity rating
Alacrity rating decreases the activation time of the abilities, reduces cooldown, and increases the resource regeneration rate. Like critical and surge rating, alacrity rating is only valuable until a certain amount. Items with alacrity rating: earpieces, implants, mods, enhancements and augments.


Aim or power?
There is always a discussion on whether mainstat or power is better for healing. Power gives a slightly higher direct healing bonus than aim and is therefore more preferable for healers in many cases. However commando healers have a higher critical multiplier (surge rating) than any other class in the game, due to the two passives “Potent Medicine” and “Target Lock”. Because of this higher critical multiplier aim might be slightly better than power.
I personally prefer to use reflex augments to boost my critical chance a bit, but still like to have a lot of power on my mods (which is the other place you will have to decide between aim or power).

Power or critical rating?
The balance between power and critical rating is mostly up to personal preferences. Both critical rating and power increases the expected healing output with a fair amount and none of them should be omitted.
I personally prefer to run with a critical rating just below the theoretical optimum and thereby have a bit more power, because I prefer the size of my heals to be a bit more predictable. By deviating from the optimum critical rating the expected output will be bit lower, but only by a small amount.

Surge rating or alacrity rating?
Surge and alacrity are both extremely useful stats for healers, but it is not a good idea to stack too much surge because the value decreases drastically at higher values. Therefore, I personally focus on getting more alacrity than surge. I would recommend going for 3 surge pieces and 7 alacrity pieces, but 4 and 6 respectively would also work.


Set Bonuses
The set bonuses are very important for commando healers, because they will greatly increase the healing output:

2-piece: Activating a healing ability has a 15 percent chance to grant Combat Medic’s Critical Bonus which causes your next Rapid Scan or Medical Probe to be a critical. This effect can only occur once every 30 seconds.
4-piece: While in Combat Cylinder or Combat Support Cell the duration of Supercharged Gas and Supercharged Cells is increased by 5 seconds.
6-piece: Reduces the cooldown of Healing Scan or Advanced Medical Probe by 1.5 seconds.

Set-bonuses are the first thing one should focus on getting. Set-bonuses are so important that a armoring with the bonus is better than an armoring two gear tiers higher that does not have the bonus.


Theory and Interactive Model
Orderken have made an interactive model that can give a better understanding of how the different stats affects ones output theoretically. The model can be very useful for gearing optimization.
The model can be found at the following link:
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resi...nt=file%2cxlsx

Download a local copy and you are ready to go.



Gear
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The goal with this section is to describe the best in stock gear.

Quick overview
Aim >= Power > Surge (70%) >= Alacrity > Crit (25%)

Personal stats goal
Here is my ask mr robot character that shows my personal wish list.
Note the character is out dated since ask mr robot has not been updated

Here is some numbers for my personal stat goals. These numbers is for full 198 gear rating.
- Alacrity rating = 840
- Surge rating = 360
- Critical rating = 500-600 (Theoretical optimum = 715)

Rest of my power and critical rating budget goes into power.


Modifications:
- Crystal: Hawkeye (in the colour you prefer)
- Barrel: Reflex
- Armoring: Reflex (with set bonus: Combat Medic)
- Mod: Agile, Nimble
- Enhancement: Adept, Quick Savant, Battle, Insight
- Augment: Reflex, Overkill

Relics:
- Focused Retribution
- Serendipitous Assault

A detailed guide on the best in stuck relics for healers can be found here

Misc:
- Earpiece: Crit/Alacrity, Crit/Surge
- Implants: Crit/Alacrity, Crit/Surge, Power/Alacrity, Power/Surge


More
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Consumables
Consumables are an important boost to the stats and can mean the difference between victory and defeat. A mercenary healer will want to be equipped with the following:

- Medpac
- Reflex Stim
- Adrenal: Power, Alacrity

I have included both power and alacrity adrenal, since both can be useful dependent on the fight. Power adrenal will increase the size of your heals for a short period and alacrity adrenals will allow you to put out more abilities for a short period. Another advantage of alacrity adrenal is that they can be used for energy management (Increases the regeneration), but that should not be the primary reason to use it.

Datacrons
Datacrons provides a small permanent boost to the primary stats (aim, cunning, endurance, strengh and willpower). The datacrons can also give you datashards, but these are of little use since the datacube is no longer BiS relic.

The datacrons that the Trooper should focus on collecting are the aim, cunning and endurance ones. The reason for for collecting cunning datacrons too is because cunning boosts the tech critrate with a small amount.

Here is a link to where you can find all the useful datacrons.

Companion buffs
Its posible to optain some legacy buffs, based on the affection with your companions, that will improve your total output.
The companion legacy buffs are:

Ranged DPS - Increased critical chance (+1%)
Melee DPS - Increased critical multiplier (+1%)
Healer - Increased healing received (+1%)
Ranged Tank - Increased HP (+1%)
Melee Tank - Increased accuracy (+1%)

These buffs can only be achieved once per legacy, so you only have to max out the affection with each companion type on one character.
The buffs relevant for the commando healer is Increased critical chance, critical multiplier, healing received and HP. The accuracy buff is only relavant for DPS.



V. User interface
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The user interface is a very important part for healers, since you can increase the healing done a lot, by just setting it up correctly. The optimal user interface differs from player to player, but I will try to cover the basics here.

Graphical user interface
First of all the normal group window should be changed the ops-window (can be done in preferences), since the character pictures are just a waste of space in the graphical interface.
The ops-window and the health bars inside it should be as large as possible, since healers have to focus mostly on the group’s health and not so much the battleground itself. By making the ops-window large also makes it, easier to spot debuffs on the friendly targets. It is also possible in the options for the ops-window to only display cleansable debuffs if one prefer that.
By increasing the maximum zoom in the preferences you can get a better view over the battlefield. This will help a lot when placing an AoE heal.

One thing should be done by all healers is to focus target the boss to easily see how much health the boss has left and to see what skills the boss is casting (interrupt if it´s possible and if there is time).

Controls
Assign hotkeys to the abilities that is most frequently used. This might be obvious to most people, but I have met several people that did not use hotkeys, and was surprised how much it helped them, when they started using them. Place the hotkeys close the movement buttons, so they are close at hand (I use the number just above the letters).

In the preferences, there are a set of options that can be extremely useful for healers. These options can be found under Preferences -> Controls -> Combat:
  • Action Queue
    By using this option, you will be able to queue up the abilities you want to cast and thereby minimizing the delay between each action (increasing the APM). This is very useful for burst healing.
  • Sticky Ground Target Reticule
    When this option is enabled, your ground target telegram does not disappear if the target location is out of range or the ability otherwise fails.
  • Quick Ground Target Activation
    When this option is enabled, you will be able to cast AOE abilities by just double tapping the hot key. The target location will be your current target. This option is very useful when you are moving around and do not have time place your Kolto Missile / Kolto Bomb.
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Korikana's Avatar


Korikana
12.06.2013 , 10:36 AM | #3
After just rolling a merc this guide has been invaluable!

love it, TY so much

Hockaday's Avatar


Hockaday
12.06.2013 , 10:56 PM | #4
Will you include a stat section in your guide? As the current one isn't all that useful. It mimics Noxxic.
The Empire is not evil, and the Republic is not good...it is all a matter of opinion.
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NeNiMel's Avatar


NeNiMel
12.07.2013 , 05:40 AM | #5
Good to see that the guide is being used

Regarding a more detailed stat section am I currently working on an extension that reflects my personal stat goals. I will also update the section on BiS relics, since there have been some changes to these
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NeNiMel's Avatar


NeNiMel
12.08.2013 , 04:29 PM | #6
Updated the guide to reflect changes in patch 2.5
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Rambeezy's Avatar


Rambeezy
12.09.2013 , 01:21 PM | #7
I'm glad you made the crit rating 200-300, because I run closer to the 300 range (288 ATM) and I put up some serious numbers.

Approved!

bogerton's Avatar


bogerton
12.09.2013 , 04:52 PM | #8
Thanks for the guide. I am new to the class and this is a big help.

NeNiMel's Avatar


NeNiMel
12.12.2013 , 03:25 PM | #9
Glad to see that you like the changes

I haven't seen any big change in my numbers yet, but I think its because I need to do a few minor adjustments to my playstyle.
I do think it have become a little easier to control my heat though, with more critical reaction procs. It might just be a placebo!

If you got any suggestions dont hold back! I would like to try out new ideas and playstyles
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Kaos_KidSWTOR's Avatar


Kaos_KidSWTOR
12.12.2013 , 04:21 PM | #10
Ok, one thing i noticed is that you have different builds for different situations. you dont need that... http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#30...cdkfGzZMccZb.3 is the only merc build you will ever need for healing. the points in Power Shield and Heat Dampening are kinda useless, unless your at a boss that uses lots of knockback. then Power Shield is semi-useful.