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Skill Trees and Leveling

JMCA's Avatar

02.03.2014 , 03:26 PM | #1
Just wanted to throw in a piece of advice for new players who can't decide what skill tree they want to do for leveling.

There are two areas that are of the most importance when analyzing the skill tree choice - skill trees themselves, and abilities.

I. Abilities

The abilities you get on your first planet are all part of what I call the Base Class. There is a tab in the abilities menu that includes all of these abilities, like Sith Warrior or Jedi Knight. There are a few more you get throughout leveling, but most of these abilities come on your first planet.

The abilities you get from your Advanced Class make up the other tab in the abilities menu and progressively grant throughout the 10-50 experience. Advanced Classes give you enough abilities to perform tank and heal roles in flashpoints by level 14-16 and sprinkle in utility and more damage abilities throughout 10-50.

II. Skill Trees

The abilities I mentioned before now tie into the skill trees themselves. There are three skill trees to choose from - the left, middle, and right trees.

The Left tree is your Tank/Heal tree and on the pure DPS ACs, the tree generally favored for Group PvE content. These trees are good to invest in right away if you plan on doing FPs, Heroic Planet missions, and PvP. If you do not, however, and plan on doing all the solo missions only then these, while safe, are slower to level with.

The Middle tree is the Advanced Class DPS tree. This particular tree is the slowest to reach optimal damage with between it and the right tree for leveling purposes, and, therefore, I do not recommend it until you are at least level 30, preferably level 45. The reason is because these tend to be highly dependent on the skill tree abilities from the 20,30, and 36 point intervals as well as the progressive nature of trained Advanced Class abilities.

The Right tree is the Base Class DPS tree. This is the most solo mission friendly tree for every class because, like I mentioned before, most of the requisite abilities are already unlocked. They have an immediate damage return and the abilities granted through the tree build on these fundamental concepts further. This makes the progressively shaping Advanced Class abilities an "extra cushion" that later on you can specialize in.

III. What it all means

When you leave your starting planet you have a base set of abilities that work well and are given an opportunity to specialize. Just because you've picked an advanced class doesn't mean you have the tools to use it yet. In this sense you can look at the best choices as either being group friendly as a tank / healer or a DPS that has utility (burns providing light AoE heals, knockbacks for peeling mobs off of your teammates), or continuing to build on the foundation you laid on Hutta, Korriban, Ord Mantell, or Tython.

You aren't a master of your new craft yet, so choosing the middle tree is not going to a smooth transition. All of these trees really need the 36 point ability to get the most of the trees, so you can imagine it as something you'll really want to try later on but should wait to get into.

IV. Conclusion

I hope this helps new players make an otherwise bewildering choice an easier, more clear one that makes leveling more enjoyable. The less you die, the less you cry

Gimmicker's Avatar

03.30.2014 , 07:52 PM | #2
Thank you for that concise explanation of each tree!

Merouk's Avatar

04.01.2014 , 07:22 AM | #3
For tank and healer classes, the left tree is typically the tank/heal tree, the middle tree is the alternative PVE DPS tree, and the right tree can be considered the PVP tree, because it usually focuses on mobility and DPS. DPS classes have 3 kinds of DPS trees, typically a single target DPS, an AOE DPS, and a mobility DPS (or spike DPS based on criticals, constant DPS based on damage over time, and mobility DPS based on instant cast abilities).

Each tree has a theme, that you can detect by looking at descriptions of the talents in the tree and descriptions of your normal class abilities. For example, the middle tree for the Jedi Consular is a DPS tree that builds on the idea of criticals and making the otherwise slow-to-cast Consular class abilities become instant and/or hit twice. If you take talents in this tree you end up with a Consular that can open with a sequence of 6 instant, deadly shots, pretty much killing the enemy before it has a chance to react. On the other hand, the left tree for the same class builds on the Consular's healing abilities, giving it more options for how to heal and how much force power it costs, at the expense of leaving the long casting damage abilities the way they are. And the right (PVP) tree enhances the few Consular abilities that are instant cast to begin with, as well as the Consular's ability to move while casting, because you can't afford to stand still in PVP.

In any case, at low level (10-25) it doesn't matter that much, but eventually your gear should match your tree choices. If you're specializing in the tanking role you need endurance, defense, shield, and absorb gear, otherwise if you're a tank / healer but taking the DPS tree, then your gear should have your main stat as well as +power, and optionally crit and surge. As described in the previous paragraph, the theme that the talent tree has should be enhanced by your gear choices; for example, if your tree makes things wonderful if you happen to crit, then it makes sense to have as much crit gear as possible.

Obviously the companion you use for fighting matters too. If you're a tank or healer, the companion will have to do the DPS. If you're a DPS, you may need a tank or healer companion. And so on. This is why you need to gear up your main companion + the healer + perhaps the tank just in case.