SWTOR Mercenary Healing Guide by djinnerman
Table of Contents
- Skills Review
- Group Etiquette
- Teh Art of Healing
- Crowd Control
- Ground Placement and You (aka Red Stuff on the Ground and in the Air)
- Heat Management
- Being Effective
- Keybinds – Are they worth it?
Before I begin, I must say that I have never attempted or written a guide of any type before. Neither have I ever called myself an elitist nor have I labeled myself as a professional and/or a theory-crafter. What you are reading here is a pure personal lover of healing. I am a casual gamer who at least spends quality time in virtual entertainment. This mainly includes keeping characters of all types alive for the duration of any game play.
This is healing is its most purest form, nothing else (at least almost pure). The basis of healing is a special art form that requires heavy responsibility. It also requires attention for the needy and anything can happen. Therefore it is vital to adapt to your situation very quickly and swiftly. A simple wrong move can potentially produce grave results and end up in a restart in your encounter. This may cause grief among yourself and your group. BUT, remember to keep your whits about you and that not everything is always your fault. Always keep your head on your shoulders and LEARN from your mistakes (if any) and move on.
In my experience in MMOs, I have always rolled a healer any way I can. Most of my experience comes from WoW, but it also branches from Anarchy Online, Age of Conan, Team Fortress 2 (as Medic), Champions Online as a healer role…anything that I can get my hands on healing. This generally means that I have A LOT of experience in healing. My recent urge to write this guide led me to an a great interest, Bodyguard healing is just so darn intriguing! I have never had an urge to write a guide of any kind and I decided to be bold and spend my quality time sharing some of my experience to others, because knowledge is power. Boasting aside, another trigger that pointed me to write this guide was that I was consistently complimented about my healing as a Bodyguard. I was still only new to it and had to adjust accordingly. I have always wanted to serve my best when it came to healing and it was important for me to share that love to others so that they too may enjoy their gaming experience.
Last but finally not least, respect the green. We all should know by now that green (also my all time FAVORITE COLOR) FlyTexts (in this game) floating above player’s heads are healing marks and red floating FlyTexts are damage marks.
Keep this as a note: As a healer, you should be seeing green about 99.999% of the time.
Skill Review (As of level 21 until further updated)
For now, I placed this little chart here as a review at what we are potentially looking at. There are a couple of skills that I am missing at the current moment, but this is because I have yet to experience them first hand just yet. Stay tuned.
As for now, this chart should be a visual reference on what we are looking at as far as heat management is concerned. Heat can build up very quickly depending on the job, but the heat expenditures is not as high as we are expecting since we also have to account for the cool-off.
Also, the casting time expense, especially Rapid Scan (not so rapid after all) is looking at a basic two second margin in casting. Because there is a haste stat called Alacrity which I will introduce later in the weeks coming days, we should be mindful of the time it takes to land heals. This can become crucial especially when you get into a little crunch and need a quick kick of a heal.
Subject to update
|Skills||Heat Cost||Amount of Heal per Rank||Cast Time||Range||Cooldown|
|Rapid Shots||0||tbd||Instant||30m +1/2/3%||GCD|
|Rapid Scan||25||tbd||2 Sec.||30m +1/2/3%||GCD|
|Healing Scan||16||tbd||1.5 Sec.||30m +1/2/3%||9 Sec. -SCG Time|
|Supercharged Gas SCG Time=-100%||-16||n/a||Instant||n/a||GCD|
|Combat Support Cylinder||n/a||tbd||1.5 Sec.||n/a||GCD|
|Kolto Missile||16||tbd||Instant||30m +1/2/3%||6 Sec.|
Before I begin, I would like to touch base on something I call group etiquette (or manners for the less informed). Many individuals believe that neglecting basic etiquette principles is okay to let slide and that because being behind the desk of their computer will render them the “important” role of the universe. Although as a healer, you are indeed important, but you are just as important as everyone else around you. Without a tank and/or sufficient damage per second (dps), you will struggle with healing. Strutting around with your peacock feathers will not make you that one cool dude because you heal. Leave the ego out of it, you will go a long ways. Also, please and thank you (I work with kids. I swear, I hope every single one of you know how to utilize it and at least do this on a daily basis. I see a handful of people that don’t do it and it drives me up the wall!) is helpful.
Understanding your role can make all the difference in the world. As a healer (this is where the 99.9999% part comes in), should consist of doing ALMOST NO damage whatsoever (unless the group ask you to and/or the mission you are doing is trivial.) Granted this guide is supposed to be weighted according to your level. You should only be seeing green. The ONLY time you should really be using other skills is for management such as crowd control (cc) to keep them at bay. Normally these skills are Jet Boost and Electro Dart. (Later in this guide, there is a point you can place in the tree where the Electro Dart is free of use and the Jet Boost heat cost is cut in half.)
Many individuals are prone to arguing. Arguing gets you nowhere. I have seen events in other mmos where a tank or another player has a grudge against another player and causes grief amongst the rest of the group. This can be a very painful experience for yourself and for others, therefore resulting in a waste of time. It is wise to avoid an argument at all cost and keep the task at hand, you are after all supposed to be teammates.
This section may be very subjective, but in my personal experience, this has helped me gain experience in healing as I concentrate more on the job than the hand…(errr…wait).
This is where the mamagama plethora wall-o-text will come in. I will try my best to divide them into sub sections in order to ease the pain. Yes, pun intended. No it was not a joke.
I will be covering a few areas in this sections in which I feel is best to explain.
- Crowd Management
- Ground Placement and You
- Heat Management
- Being Effective
Welcome to teh art of healing. You are the bread and butter of the group of operations, flashpoints, and missions. Without you, the galaxy would not turn and the tide would not tip in the favor of all that is patchable in every way. Your job is vital (just as is everybody else’s) and without it, no hand cannot complete the body. (No, no obsession with hands).
Knowing your skills is important in fulfilling your role as a healer. I have always believed in mastering your class and that no one should tell you how to play (not even me, this is only a guide, keep that in mind).
The first thing to keep in mind is that using the Combat Support Cylinder (CSC) is an absolute must. It’s a very interesting tool nonetheless. The way it works is that every time you activate your Rapid Shots on an ALLY (not yourself, cannot use on yourself, but use on your companion if you must while going solo) it will add 3 charges to a max of 30 charges to the CSC. After the 10th time you literally cauterize someone all in the name of green, CSC will become full and Supercharged Gas (SCG) will be ready to be deployed.
The kicker is that
Empowered Scans Increases the healing done by Rapid Scan and Healing Scan by [3 / 6]%. In addition, Rapid Scan builds [3 / 6] charges of Combat Support Cylinder Minimal Skill Tree
will increase the CSC charges by 3/6 (1 point for 3 and 2 points for 6 respectively). Because you will be using Rapid Scan at times, this will quickly rack up your CSC charges to its max, therefore increasing the chances of enabling the Supercharged Gas skill.
Speaking of Rapid Shots, one thing to point out is this, do you remember when you first started your character fresh? Take a deep breath. Exhale, now that hokey for Rapid Shots by default is 1. By now, I’m hoping most of you are not clickers. I’ll explain “Clickers” this in the Effectiveness section. At this point, that numero uno button should be your all time favorite buddy. Whatever finger you use, should be pressing down on this button mucho times while targeting your ALLY (not yourself, can’t shoot yourself in this game sadly (beta /stuck was the only suicide)). You should get into this habit of constantly pressing this button.
Think of it as a maintained Heal Over Time (HoT). As you continuously shoot over and over and over again, you are slowly building health back up. You are not only rebuilding health, but you are also building charges for SCG. CSC has a timer that lasts for 30 seconds until the charges disappear. If you are constantly pressing 1, you shouldn’t have a problem losing these important charges.
Once you have your SCG ready, you are ready to activate it.
Supercharged Gas Instant Converts 30 charges of Combat Support Cylinder to supercharge your blasters, venting 16 heat and increasing all damage and healing dealt by 10% for 10 seconds. While active, the following abilities gain Supercharge effects: Power Shot: Heat cost reduced by 17. Unload: Heat cost reduced by 8. Healing Scan: Cooldown reduced by 100%. Kolto Missile: Places a shield on all targets, reducing damage taken by 10% for 15 seconds.
During this time, you will be unable to rebuild your charges until the remainder of the 10 second timer is up. While Supercharged Gas is activated, it would be wise to refrain from using Rapid Scan. Remember that Rapid Scan is using 64% more heat than Healing Scan. Also, Healing Scan has a 0.5 shorter casting time than the former. While SCG is activated, the cooldown (not including GCD which is 1 second, so you should have a 0.5 second buffer in between casts) for Healing Scan is not 9 seconds anymore for the duration of 10 seconds, but 0, zero, nilch, nada, dundun. This means you can potentially cast Healing Scan 6.6666666666667 times according to my calculator. (I just tested it out and got about 7, which the last one hit the cooldown)
Finally (for now) we have our beloved fire extinguisher Kolto Missile. Just recently got to play with this little puppy and I found some very interesting uses for it. According to my cute handy chart, Kolto Missiles cost 16 heat credits and the cooldown is 6 seconds. At some rate, many would say to keep this on cooldown, but I think different. The ONLY skill you should really be abusing is your best friend number 1. Kolto Missile accomplishes a little more than Healing Scan but shouldn’t always be used up every second of the day. Sure it looks cool, but the fact of the matter is that it shouldn’t replace healing scan. Kolto Missiles should be used when you are looking at multiple damage intakes going on at once and thank GOD for people sticking together for this kind of secret operation involving radioactive material and residue.
HOWEVER, remember that SCG causes
Kolto Missile: Places a shield on all targets, reducing damage taken by 10% for 15 seconds.
So to effectively mitigate and soak up the damage, fire this bad boy in the midst of the unexpected crowd and patch up any other wounds needed from the remaining timer with Healing Scan.
Congratulations, you just reached the section of your 0.0001% of damage. In this section, we will be exploring Crowd Management and how to shrug them off your shoulders like a true game player.
As a healer, we are favorite snacks for enemies. For some odd reason, we generate a lot of hate, aggro, attention (We’ll use the hate for this) when we patch up the wounded in the battlefield. This can cause some problems. Majority of the time, it leaves us dead ourselves while we are feverishly looking after our comrades. This is acceptable to allow inflicting damage against the bashers bashing against you. Enter CC.
Crowd Management is a means to control your surroundings by utilizing proper techniques to the best of your abilities without compromising your main objective, being a world class medic.
You have three effective CC skills to use.
- Electro Dart
- Jet Boost
- Concussion Missile
During your initial encounters, you may run into enemies than will hammer on you that require a set back (need source and/or assurance of recovering stunned foes resetting hate). The idea is to utilize one of these skills to give you some “breathing” room.
Electro Dart Fires an electro dart that stuns the target for 4 seconds.
Perfect for that quick LEAVE ME ALONE for 4 seconds electro disco shock. Normally, I quickly fire this and run off to another direction. If it is range, I generally warn the group and/or move closer to the group so that they can be a little more aware of the hate drawn upon me. The downside to this is that it has a 60 second CD before it can be used again, so use it wisely and accordingly.
Jet Boost Blasts 5 nearby enemies back and away. Targets hit by this take 1193 - 1323 elemental damage and have their movement slowed by 60% for 4 seconds.
I personally used this a lot during the Hammer Flashpoint’s last boss because of the edge. Remember, enemies CAN be knocked off cliffs to their impending doom. If all else fails, their movement speed is impaired by 60% which gives me a good 4 seconds to get out of their way (melee favorites).
Concussion Missile Fires a missile at the target that knocks it out for up to 60 seconds. Non-player, non-standard and non-weak targets regenerate health rapidly while knocked out. Damage to the target causes this effect to end prematurely.
A nice starter before your encounter, this should be paired with another Sith and/or Merc in the group to minimize the amount of enemies in the battlefield to mitigate damage, actually preventing damage for 60 seconds. Would be wise to mark your target first to indicate who is being CCed. (Macros soon to be updated when they are implemented).
It is important to utilize these skills properly. Remember that you are healing, not purposefully damaging enemies, that is not your job. Being an effective Crowd Controller can increase the chances of success in your healing endeavors.
This area isn’t too extensive. The idea behind proper ground placement is that you should keep your distance from melee (obvious) and maneuver around obstacles efficiently. When you are being tagged by ranged foes, learn to Line of Sight (los). This means find a suitable wall or crates in the area to hide behind which cause them to stop attacking and chase. Many times they change targets because of the increase dishing in damage from your group thus allowing you to jump back out and continue your job. This doesn’t always happen, so you might also have to CC if possible. An effective tank should be aware of hate towards his best friend and pull them off of you. Sometimes dps may do so as well, it depends on the situation.
Most importantly, you will see things on the ground that are not supposed to be there. I have one word for you, MOVE. If you doesn’t look good, move. One important factor in being a healer is that you need to be able to multitask. You need to be fully aware of your surroundings (as do your teammates which helps with the healing, seriously). There are fights that consists of side stepping. The last boss in Flashpoint Hammer fires a barrage of blaster bolts, which everyone (including you) should be well away from it.
Proper ground placement and full awareness of your surroundings helps increase the chance of success in your healing career.
Heat is our beautiful counterpart in heating up the world of healing. For almost every skill we use to heal, we generate heat. Once we build up too much heat, it roughly “overheats” in essence but not literally. This means that the cool off for our heat sink slows down until a certain % is met.
>>>> = Fast | 5 heat per second
>>> = Moderate | 4 heat per second
>> = Slow | 3 heat per second
> = Very Slow | 2 heat per second
The general idea is that the lower your heat level, the fast your cooldown time. This means that you want to do your best to refrain from hitting the 60+ mark or things will start getting a little antsy. Doesn’t necessarily mean this will always happen as like I said, keep hitting 1 will give off some heals while to let the heat sink cool down a bit. Also, SCG will dissipate 16 heat which essentially gives you a free Healing Scan, but don’t go over board.
If you activate SCG and cast Healing Scan back to back until it hits CD, it will take roughly 10 seconds for the heat to dissipate to 0. Keeping an eye on heat is important. (Think of it as mana, you run out, you run of heals, although this is only temporary but everything goes at a faster pace).
Hi Clickers. How’s it going? Good good. And you? Me? I’m still PRESSING 1. What? No no, my finger doesn’t hurt.
I have nothing against Clickers, but are they really that effective? This is very subjective and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But the difference between Clickers and Hoykeyers…well…that’s almost comparing apples and oranges. Almost.
The idea about Clickers is that pressing a series of buttons to ensure a task is complete via the hotbar has taken quite a spirited debate over the years.
I am not going to entice an argument, but I will tell you this, I actually do both. Moving with the mouse allow me to turn quickly in an 180 turn when need be all while press a keybind button to take care of an enemy. The reason I believe keybinds are very very important is because of the EFFECTIVEness in your performance. However, with the lack of macro support as of now (so be redacted when the time comes) I am left with using my side buttons on my mouse and my shift and control keys.
Sure, with keybinds you have hotkeys to remember. But remember what I said earlier, master your class. As you master your class with these hotkeys, it’s kind of like driving a car. You drive without thinking about anything and everything comes natural. So therefore, practice practice practice. I will cover the keybind aspect in the next area in a moment.
Everyone plays however they like and I applaud that and encourage it. There is no right or wrong way to play. Just remember that there are some very effective means in getting the job done quickly and efficiently and THAT my friends, helps make you a successful healer.
Here’s the end portion of the Procedures list, Keybinds. I love keybinds. Normally when possible, especially macro support and such, I have a plethora of keybinds to choose from. I don’t think about it, I just hit the button.
As of now, I have the following hotkeyed:
As seen on a G5 mouse with the Side middle mouse button as f12 (don’t ask lol)
Rapid Shots [censored for abusive use]
Rapid Scan | Mouse 5
Healing Scan | Shift + Mouse 5
Supercharged Gas | Side Middle Mouse Button (F12)
Kolto Missile | Ctrl + Mouse 5
Concussion Missile | Ctrl + Mouse 4
Electro Dart | Alt + Mouse 4
Jest Boost | Alt + F12
Energy Shield | Alt + W
While healing, I generally hover my mouse next to the group window getting ready to heal. I click a name, move the mouse out a little into an empty space, press a hotkey and keep pressing 1. It also helps to set Party Frames as Operations Frames since you are mostly worried about their health.
It can be found in Preferences > User Interface > (Scroll to Bottom) Use Operations Frames as Party Frames.
Also, I set my Action Ability Queue Window to 1 second found in Preferences > Controls > (Scroll to bottom) Set dropdown menu to 1.0
There you have it, a simple (hopefully) Mercenary healing guide for Dummies. Being a successful healer is good and all, but here’s THE most important thing of all that we just covered. It’s not about being a clicker, keybinder, CCer, healer, group helper, being nice, being mean, mastercating on your lunch break, or flirting with the Twi’lek girls.
It’s about having fun!