As I understand it, 1.7 is supposed to be the patch that attempts to rebalance the classes. I'm pretty sure that EAware already has all the changes they're going to make set-in-stone and are only messing around with the mechanics to make them actually work, if they do not however, I'd like to make some suggestions to be implemented in 1.7 or implemented further along in the next class rebalance patch.
Although I've dabled in the DPS skill trees for a Merc, the Bodyguard (healer) tree is where I've spent more than 99% of my playtime in since launch, so I can only really provide (probably biased) suggestions for it.
Combat Medic Tree:
- switch System Calibrations (tier 1 Pyrotech) with Hired Muscle (tier 1 Combat Medic).
- change System Calibrations to increase alacrity by [1 / 3 / 5]%
- change Superheated Gas, a tier 2 box, to vent 16 heat (up from 8)
- allow Kolto Shell to be applied to an unlimited number of allies, and reduce its heat cost to 8
- change Cure Mind, a tier 5 box to the following: Cure now removes negative mental AND FORCE effects and heals the target for X
- reduce cooldown of Emergency Scan to 18s
I personally think System Calibrations is fine where it's at, although if it is increased to a 3 point ability, it should be more along a [ 2 / 4 / 6]% increase. If left at 2, perhaps increasing it to [ 3 / 6]% would be better than the [ 2 / 4]% it is now. I know from personal experience, and from my own observations, most Mercs remove most of thier mods and stuff that include Alacrity and trade it for crit, power, or surge. So it'd only add a small boost over where it's at now.
As it stands, Kolto Shell is bantha poodoo. The heat cost for it is still too high to be used as anything but a pre-fight ability, so I definitely think it should be lowered to at least 8 to make it somewhat viable to be used during actual fights. As already mentioned, being able to apply it to multiple people (I'd even be happy if you could apply it to at least 4 ppl) would make this an actual ability to get instead of putting points in other things (like I've recently done, and I'm a much happier and better healer because of it). If it must be kept as a single target ability, and it seems like it's intended purpose is to be more of a self-heal when upgraded and using Rapid Shots during a rotation, then at least increase the amount it heals. I know a charge going off every 3s is actually fairly quick, but these days you can lose more than half your health during that time and the heal you get for the charge going off doesn't even come close to being able to save your arse. I'd personally recommend increasing the amount healed to 10-15% of the applicants total health, but increasing the amount of time a charge goes off to say 5s. So a person with 20k health could potentionally be healed for 2-3k health every 5s. Not OP'd at all, but much better than how it stands now.
Although I do wish Cure Mind would remove all effects, I do understand why it only removes certain ones depending on what class you are. So as an alternative, remove the tiny, tiny, tiny, TINY, tiny, heal you get from using it and make it provide a slightly more substantial one, or at least add a small HoT to it to make it actually worth using if you try to remove an effect and it ends up being the wrong type.
For Superheated Gas, I agree with the suggestion to increase the heat it removes back to 16, instead of the 8 it got nerfed to.
I think Emergency Scan is fine where it is, but I wouldn't complain at all if it got reduced by a few seconds.
One addition I'd like to make is when Power Shield is up, it'd be nice if we were immune to both interrupts and any physical effects such as push, pull, and knockback. I can't tell you how often I have had my heals interrupted by those abilities, and in some PvP instances, I was affected by those mechanics the whole time my shield was up, unable to get off any of my main heals, only to be actually 'interrupted' when my shield went down. Death followed very shortly after. Extremely frustating to be a healing class that can't get a single heal off when employing an ability that should allow me to do so. For this added immunity though, I'd suggest switching it with Protective Field, that way only committed healers would be able to get it, especially when the expansion comes out. Although after reading and hearing about all the issues Arsenal Mercs have as well, they should have access to an ability that provides those same immunities.
My 2 credits, and my excessive use of text.