3.0 Class Guides 3.0 Mercenary SWTOR

SWTOR 3.0 Mercenary DPS Guide by Marisi and Fascinate

SWTOR 3.0 Arsenal and Innovative Ordnance DPS guide written by Fascinate and Marisi.[toc]

Introduction to 3.0 Mercenary DPS

Mercenary DPS has undergone some changes with the transition to 3.0 but fundamentally the two disciplines function the same as before; Arsenal is suitable for multiple targets and/or frequent target switching whereas Innovative Ordnance is suitable for sustained single target.


This discipline is optimal for fights where target switching is prevalent and/or there are periods where high burst is needed in a short amount of time. The basics of this discipline has not changed with its newest iteration; Barrage (proc for Blazing Bolts, which replaces Unload in this discipline) still procs every 8 seconds and because heat management is extremely light, it makes this discipline very forgiving. A couple of changes have been made that is of importance, Barrage now ONLY procs off of Tracer Missile, whereas before it procced off both Power Shot and Tracer Missile. Another change that is worth noting is the inclusion of Supercharged Gas into the rotation, where the usage of it may either accelerate or hamper your rotation due to the alacrity bonuses you gain from it. A new ability, Priming Shot, which was added into the newest iteration also plays a vital role, as it deals a good amount of damage, and makes the next Tracer Missile activate instantly.

Innovative Ordnance

For the most part when you want to use this discipline in operations content has not changed; if there is considerable sustained single target focus or there are multiple targets with relatively high HP pools then this is probably the more optimal spec. This discipline is currently the highest parsing discipline in the game and is thus capable of putting out very high sustained numbers.

The basics of this discipline have not changed too much with its newest iteration; the overall goal still is to proc Innovative Particle Accelerator (IPA) every 7.5 seconds (up from 6) and because the heat management is still quite tight, deviating from your rotation can lead to overheating quite quickly, and unlike Arsenal, this is still quite punishing. One of the larger quality of life changes received is that now IPA has a guaranteed proc with Unload, Power Shot and Sweeping Blasters instead of a pseudo guaranteed chance which frees up the rotational blocks for additional abilities and allows your periodic effects to remain on the target much more than was previously possible.

While Innovative Ordnance is optimal for pure single target fights, two AOE combos have been added which spread your two primary dots to all affected targets; Explosive Dart spreads Serrated Shot and Fusion Missile spreads Incendiary Missile, which means that in fights where there are lots of high hp targets in can be beneficial to focus on AOE instead of single target.


The bolded utilities we feel have an important use in an Operation; with Improved Vents, Power Barrier, Custom Enviro Suit, Torque Boosters, Thrill of the Hunt and Stabilized Armor being taken on almost all fights, if not all, with the seventh one changing depending on the fight; Afterburners is useful in more reliably dealing with blades in Revan and Boresights is great for fights with multiple targets for the increased damage on Sweeping Blasters, particularly for Arsenal, for example.


  • Gyroscopic Alignment Jets – You vent 10 heat when stunned, immobilized, knocked down or otherwise incapacitated.
  • Improved Vents – Vent Heat now immediately vents an additional 15 hear and grants 10% alacrity for 6 seconds.
  • Power Barrier – Power Shot, Tracer Missile, and Rapid Scan generate a Power Barrier that increased damage reduction by 1% for 15 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.
  • Jet Escape – Reduces the cooldown of Jet Boost by 5 seconds and Determination by 30 seconds.
  • Afterburners – Rocket Punch immobilizes the target for 4 seconds. Direct damage caused after 2 seconds ends the effect. In addition, Jet Boost’s knockback effect is stronger and pushes enemies 4 metres further away.
  • Custom Enviro Suit – Increases Endurance by 3% and all healing received by 3%.
  • Boresights – Increases the damage dealt by Sweeping Blasters by 25%.


  • Torque Boosters – Increases the duration of Hydraulic Overrides by 4 seconds.
  • Suit FOE – When you activate Cure on yourself, a Foreign Object Excisor reduces all periodic damage taken by 30% for 12 seconds.
  • Protective Field – Increases all healing received by 20% while Energy Shield is active.
  • Power Shield – Energy Shield now further decreases ability activation pushback by 30% and makes you immune to interrupts.
  • Pyro Shield – When activated, your Energy Shield ignites in a blaze, lashing attackers for X elemental damage when it remains active. This effect cannot occur more than once each second.
  • Heat Damping – Eliminates the heat generated by Jet Boost, Concussion Missile, Cure, and Electro Dart.
  • Infrared Sensors – Increases stealth detection level by 2, melee and ranged defense by 2%, and reduces the cooldown of Stealth Scan by 5 seconds.


  • Energy Rebounder – When you take damage, the active cooldown of Energy Shield is reduced by 3 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. In addition, when taking 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.
  • 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.
  • Kolto Jets – Jet Boost heals you and up to 7 other allies within range for X – Y.
  • Thrill of the Hunt – Allows Unload, Blazing Bolts and Progressive Scan to be activated while moving.
  • Stabilized Armor – Reduces damage taken from area effects by 30%. Additionally, while stunned, you take 30% less damage from all sources.
  • Supercharged Reserves – Reduces the cooldowns of Cure and Disabling Shot by 3 seconds. 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.
  • Power Overrides – Reduces the cooldowns of Concussion Missile and Power Surge by 15 second charge, making your next two abilities with an activation time activate instantly.


  • Accuracy: As close to 100/110 as possible; ~750 with companion bonus which equals 7 186 pieces + 1 augment, 7 192 pieces or 6 198 pieces + 1 augment. These combinations take you slightly above 100 so you can take off an augment if you wish.
  • Surge: With the high number of periodic effects in Innovative Ordnance keeping the 10% surge bonus from the Advanced Targeting passive is almost a guarantee. Arsenal, however, has a chance of this effect dropping off but it still enjoys this the vast majority of the time, so maintaining pre 3.0 levels can be done with as little as 2 pieces in either discipline.
  • Alacrity: While alacrity can be useful now, no significant difference can be noticed between 0 to 2 pieces
  • Crit: Both Arsenal and Innovative Ordnance have always benefitted from above-average crit levels so 400+ is recommended
  • Augments: Aim, with up to 1 accuracy depending on the number of accuracy pieces

While Accuracy used to be obtainable in several pieces of Mercenary DPS gear prior to 3.0 it now can only be found in the Chest and the Powertech Main Hand which makes your Implants and Earpiece the primary sources of Accuracy. The accuracy Implants, however, come with crit instead of power which means you only need either a single mod or enhancement to supplement the crit from both Implants to reach the crit target.

In regards to set bonuses, the old 4 piece no longer has much benefit with Innovative Ordnance as Power Shot is no longer used as often as it used to be and Rail Shot is not used at all which makes replacing the old armorings a high priority particularly as you can replace several of them with non-set piece armorings, losing the old 4 piece set bonus in the process of doing so, and gain DPS from the increased Aim you get from the newer ones.

On the other hand, Arsenal still uses both Tracer Missile and Rail Shot frequently in the rotation which means that both set bonuses are still quite useful in increasing damage which puts a higher priority in obtaining the new belt and bracer set piece armorings before replacing the old set bonus.



  • Single Target DPS: 7
  • AoE Damage: 6
  • Group Utility: 3
  • Rotation Difficulty: 5
  • RNG Dependent: No
  • Burst: 9
  • Sub 30% Talents or Buffs: No

Discipline Changes

For the most part Arsenal plays the same now as it did previously but there still are a few changes to how it plays:

  • A new ability to replace Unload – Blazing Bolts
  • A new ability – Priming Shot
  • Terminal Velocity now vents 2 heat every 1.5 seconds instead of 8 every 6 seconds
  • The addition of Supercharged Gas as an offensive cooldown
  • Rail Shot now costs 5 heat instead of 10
  • Tracer Missile and Heatseeker Missile now cost 15 heat instead of 16



Blazing Bolts (BB): Not only your highest damaging ability but it also vents more heat than it costs over the duration and causes your next HSM to crit automatically once every 60 seconds. Replaces Unload and costs 16 heat.


Tracer Missile (TM): Your basic filler attack; builds stacks of Tracer Lock, procs Barrage and builds stacks of Supercharged. Should be used if no other higher priority abilities are available and you have heat available. No cooldown, costs 15 heat.


Heatseeker Missiles (HSM): The highest hitting ability in Arsenal and should only be used if the target is affected by the heat signature from your TM. 15 second cooldown, costs 15 heat.

railshot Rail Shot (RS): Deals a large amount of damage particularly with 5 stacks of Tracer Lock, each of which increases this ability’s damage dealt by 6%. 15 second cooldown, costs 5 heat.

Priming Shot (PS): The third highest of Arsenal’s instant abilities, this one also makes your next TM activate instantly. 18 second cooldown, costs 12 heat.


Electro Net (EN): One of the highest damaging abilities per heat cost and should be used as regularly as possible. Due to its lengthy cooldown, however, delaying it for a few GCDs if higher priorities are available is not damaging. 90 second cooldown, costs 10 heat.


Rapid Shot (RS): Heat management overall is much smoother in Arsenal now and while this still does need to be used to effectively manage your heat, it is definitely less than before.


Supercharged Gas (SCG): Requires and consumes 10 stacks of Supercharged to increase armor penetration by 15%. Additionally, damage dealt by HSM, TM, BB and PS temporarily increase alacrity by 2% for the duration with a maximum alacrity boost of 6%.


Thermal Sensor Override (TSO): Your next ability generates no heat. Should be used with Unload where possible simply because it costs the most heat. 90 second cooldown.

Key Discipline Talents

  • Tracer Lock: TM grants Tracer Lock which increases RS damage by 6% per stack with a maximum of 5. RS should be used with 5 stacks wherever possible. Received at level 12
  • Blazing Barrels: Increases the critical chance of Sweeping Blasters by 15% and its critical bonus damage by 30%. Very useful for AoE heavy situations particularly when paired with the Boresights utility. Received at Level 16.
  • Light ‘Em Up: TM applies an additional stack of both Tracer Lock and the Power Barrier utility if relevant. Received at Level 28.
  • Barrage: The Arsenal rotation revolves around proccing this talent as close to every 8 seconds as possible as it not only finishes the cooldown on BB but also increases its damage dealt by 10%.
  • Burst Mode: Supercharged’s armor penetration is increased by 5%, damage dealt provides a 2% alacrity bonus and the maximum bonus is increased to 6%. Received at Level 44.
  • Ironsights: Increases damage dealt by PS and dart and missile attacks by 10% and places a debuff on the target which increases ranged damage dealt by 5% for 45 seconds. Received at Level 48.
  • Decoy: Grants your chaff flare a 100% chance of completely absorbing the next direct force or tech attack within the next 10 seconds. Received at Level 52.


The rotation for Arsenal does not have a static rotation compared to Innovative Ordnance. However, it follows a simple priority system that should be followed for the highest possible dps. Additionally, the bonus alacrity that is given when Supercharged Gas is procced plays into the rotation and alters the timing of Barrage, depending on where you popped Supercharged Gas. Depending on the timing of when you used Supercharged Gas, either before or after Barrage was procced, the bonus alacrity may omit the usage of 1 additional GCD to proc Barrage, circumventing the non-integer 8 sec proc timer. Below is the opener where you can see that popping Supercharged Gas right after Barrage is procced gives you enough alacrity with the following skills so that the proc timer is as close to 8 seconds as possible, instead of 9 seconds. Additionally, since heat management is extremely light, the priority list can be followed for quite some time before Vent Heat is required.


(pre-cast) TM, SCG + Adrenal + HSM, EN, PS, BB, TM, BB, TM, RS, HSM, TM, BB….


From there it follows this priority list:

  1. Blazing Bolts (proccing Barrage every 8 seconds)
  2. Heatseeker Missiles
  3. Electro Net
  4. Rail Shot (5 stacks)
  5. Priming Shot
  6. Tracer Missile
  7. Rapid Shot

Maximizing Your Damage

The key to maximizing your damage in Arsenal is following the priority system. If you have to delay the usage of such abilities like Heatseeker Missiles or Rail Shot to proc Blazing Bolts, do so, and just use those abilities the gcd after Barrage is procced. The usage of Rapid Shots is EXTREMELY light, and the only time you will be using Rapid Shots is when the two next subsequent gcds will put you over 40 heat while maintaining the rotation, this would only truly apply for a Tracer Missile to a Heatseeker Missiles because it builds the most heat within 2 gcds in this discipline. However, with low heat costs to most abilities and the amount of talents and skills that benefit heat management, the amount of Rapid Shots you will have is minimal.

One thing to note about Priming Shot is that since it makes the next Tracer Missile cast instantly, if that Tracer Missile procs Barrage, you must keep in mind that the proc occurred at the START of the gcd, not at the end of it. In other words, hard casting Tracer Missile to proc Barrage will be at the end of that gcd, while an instant Tracer Missile, either instant by Priming Shot or by using Power Surge, will be at the start of the gcd.

Another important thing to note is that, while highly unlikely, Advanced Targeting (10% surge bonus) may fall off due to bad crits. While Innovative Ordnance does not suffer from this due to constant dot uptime, the single tick damage of many abilities in Arsenal may cause Advanced Targeting to not be up, or cause it fall off due to bad rng.

The last important thing is the usage of Vent Heat in the rotation. Ideally, Vent Heat should be popped one gcd before Barrage is procced, and/or used in conjunction with Supercharged Gas. This way, even if you cap on heat, using both Vent Heat and Supercharged Gas while channeling Blazing Bolts would vent nearly all your heat.

Sample Parse Analysis & Video


For this part, two parses will be analyzed due to certain inconsistencies. The main differences in these two parses is the APM for both of them. There is a difference of about 1.6 APM between both parses and it highly impacts the results of the parse. The parse that should have been higher is the one with higher APM, but due to crits, the lower APM parse was higher.

As you can see though, both parses follow the priority system for maximum damage, and minimal heat management. These numbers were achieved with a mix of 192/198 gear, and 2 186 acc/pow enhancements.


Innovative Ordnance


  • Single Target DPS: 10
  • AoE Damage: 4
  • Group Utility: 3
  • Rotation Difficulty: 10
  • RNG Dependent: No
  • Burst: 7
  • Sub 30% Talents or Buffs: Yes (Missile Blast execute, increase in dot ticks)

Discipline Changes

Innovative Ordnance has undergone a number of changes including:

  • A new ability to replace Rail Shot – Mag Shot
  • A new dot – Serrated Shot
  • Decrease in Incendiary Missile’s dot time from 18 to 15 seconds
  • Removal of the dot attached to Thermal Detonator
  • Mag Shot can be used on any target instead of one suffering from periodic damage
  • Increase in IPA’s internal cooldown from 6 to 7.5 seconds
  • Decrease in Superheated Shot’s heat refund from 8 to 5
  • An added execute – Missile Blast
  • The addition of Supercharged Gas as an offensive cooldown
  • Power Shot, Thermal Detonator and Incendiary Missile now costs 15 heat instead of 16
  • Unload costs 24 heat instead of 16



Mag Shot (MS): Does high weapon damage, vents 5 heat if it hits a burning target and is free with IPA. Replaces Rail Shot.

unload (1)

Unload (UL): Costs more than previously at 24 heat but also does more damage and also causes your next MS to crit automatically once every 60 seconds. 12 second cooldown.

hammershot (1)

Power Shot (PS): Due to IPA not requiring 2 PS or UL/PS in one block this ability is no longer used as often but due to it building stacks of Supercharged should still be used fairly regularly. No cooldown, costs 15 heat.


Serrated Shot (SS): The stronger of your primary dots and also increases all ranged damage done by 5% for 45 seconds. Should be kept on the target at all times where possible. Costs 15 heat.

explosiveprobe (1)

Incendiary Missile (IM): The weaker of the primary dots and increases all elemental and internal damage done by 7% for 45 seconds. Should be kept on the target at all times where possible. Costs 15 heat.


Thermal Detonator (TD): It no longer has a dot attached but the damage has been increased accordingly. Use it as often as your heat allows as a filler. 15 second cooldown, costs 15 heat.


Electro Net (EN): One of the highest damaging abilities per heat cost and should be used as regularly as possible. Due to its lengthy cooldown, however, delaying it for a few GCDs to fit better into the rotation or for Supercharged is not damaging. 90 second cooldown, costs 10 heat.


Missile Blast (MB): Sub 30% this ability’s heat cost is halved and the damage increased by 75% every 15 seconds. Should be used as often as your heat allows as a filler. Costs 10 heat.


Rapid Shot (RS): Heat management is much more costly to manage effectively than prior to 3.0 so unlike previously where you didn’t have to auto attack much or at all to manage heat, this now needs to be used quite often when your heat management abilities are not available.


Supercharged Gas (SCG): Requires and consumes 10 stacks of Supercharged and increases all dot damage for 10 seconds and applies an additional 5 second dot.


Thermal Sensor Override (TSO): Your next ability generates no heat. Should be used with Unload where possible simply because it costs the most heat. 90 second cooldown.

Key Discipline Talents

  • Collateral Damage: Increases Explosive Dart and Fusion Missile damage but more importantly spreads your SS and IM dots respectively to all affected targets as long as one of the affected targets has it already applied. This skill isn’t particularly useful in most encounters but is incredibly useful when there are lots of grouped targets with high HP pools. Received at Level 16.
  • Superheated Shot: Increases armor penetration on MS and grants it a 100% chance of applying CGC and venting 5 heat. Received at Level 20.
  • Sweltering Heat: Makes IM applying a debuff on the target which increases internal and elemental damage dealt by 7% for 45s. Received at Level 24.
  • Innovative Particle Accelerator: The cornerstone of your rotation. Using UL, PS or Sweeping Blasters makes your next MS free and should be procced every 7.5s. Received at Level 28.
  • Volatile Warhead: Periodic damage below 30% makes your next MB cost 10 less heat and deal 75% more damage. Received at Level 40.
  • Ordnance Expert: Increases crit damage of the bulk of your rotation and applies a debuff on the target which increases ranged damage dealt by 5% for 45s. Received at Level 44.
  • Degauss: Increases defense chance by 25% for 6s; not particularly reliable for single large hits but can be very useful to resist numerous smaller hits. Received at Level 52.
  • Speed to Burn (STB): MS makes your next SS or PS activate instantly. As it’s on a 15s CD like your rotation it should be kept on the same ability at all times where possible for overall consistency. Received at Level 56.



(pre-cast) SS, IM, Adrenal + MS (proc STB), UL, SCG + EN, TD, MS, PS (use STB), MS, IM, SS, PS, PS, MS (proc STB)


Heat Ramping

UL + TSO, TD, PS (use STB), MS, IM, SS, PS, PS, MS (proc STB), UL, TD, PS (use STB), MS, IM, SS + VH, PS, PS, MS (proc STB)



UL, EN/TD/MB/RS, PS (use STB), MS, IM, SS, PS, PS/RS, MS (proc STB)


Essentially the rotation can be outlined as:

  • Opener
  • Heat Ramping
  • Cycle through the General rotation until TSO is off CD at which point it moves back into the Heat Ramping variation.

It is possible to use Sweeping Blasters on a non-target prior to entering combat to proc IPA and make your first MS free and vent heat but while this makes your starting heat lower, it makes no overall difference to your rotation.

Maximizing Your Damage

The key to maximizing damage potential in IO is making the most of your available heat through not just knowing what you can and can not use at any given moment but also knowing how long until your heat management abilities are available again and planning around that.

If Supercharged is or will be available after the next PS then you can use an additional TD or MB in place of an RS without worrying about overheating and if TSO is coming off cooldown then you can ignore RS entirely in place of your higher priority abilities as the way the rotation is structured both TSO and VH come off cooldown right when they are needed.

The downside to this approach is that if something goes awry such as using an ability when you don’t have the heat to afford it, it can severely hamper your output as you will need to replace several abilities with RS in order to get your heat in a manageable enough state to continue with your rotation.

You can delay EN to combine it with SGC to maximize its usage but you should not delay SGC unless you know there will be a change in the fight which will cause you to stop DPSing within the 10s window, i.e. Revan phase transitions, Blaster shielding. During these downtimes you should build or maintain your stacks by using Kolto Shot, which comes with the added benefit of healing your target. When SGC becomes available or can be used may differ depending on how many PS / RS you did as well as any external factors in the fight such as the previously mentioned downtimes.

Speed to Burn should be kept on the PS in the UL block wherever possible but it is also possible that it can shift to the 1st half of the rotation because of things like messing up the rotation, getting stunned, interrupted, LoS’d etc., in which case it should be used on Serrated Shot and then you can simply move the 4th GCD filler to anywhere from 1 to 3 and have PS as the 4th to proc IPA and then continuing the UL block as normal.

Care must be taken with VH usage to ensure it is used directly before the ability you are going to use to proc IPA because of the way alacrity works in that it does not adjust cooldowns retroactively and if you use it too soon the combined length of the regular rotational abilities will fall under the remaining time of your IPA cooldown and you will need to use another ability to proc IPA which will affect your overall heat position as well as pushing everything in the rotation by an additional GCD.

Your rotation during the final 10% of the fight can vary considerably depending on your heat going into it. If you have heat available or if you have TSO or VH coming off CD soon, but you won’t be getting 10 stacks of SGC before the target dies, you can swap out the PS from the first block with a MB to maximise both it and TD’s usages during the final portion of the fight. If SGC is nearing 10 you are better continuing to use that space for an additional PS until you reach the 10 stacks.

In order to maximise their damage, your primary dots shouldn’t be reapplied when there is less than 50k HP left on the target per as under this substituting a PS in their place is more effective. This can be extrapolated to 50k per target in an Operation’s fight although this number will vary depending on the composition of your group. EN is slightly different in that it ticks once every second instead of every three like the other two applied dots and therefore should not be applied below 25k.

Sample Parse Analysis & Video


This parse was done with the exact same gear as Arsenal, mix of 192/198, and 2 186 pow/acc enhancements. As you can see, the three biggest damaging abilities are all your main weapon damaging abilities, where the next three biggest damaging abilities are all your dots. The priority for the parse is to have constant dot uptime, while proccing IPA every 7.5 seconds, and remaining under 40 heat while VH is on cooldown.


Fight Specific Roles

Like the previous iteration of Operations content, no one Discipline is ideal for all fights and both have their places.

The Ravagers

  • Sparky: IO; most of your focus should be on him and can use UL/PS/AoEs on adds where needed
  • Quartermaster Bulo: IO; your entire damage output should be on the boss as killing adds is the tank’s duty
  • Torque: IO if you are focusing on him and Arsenal if you are tasked with cleaning up adds
  • Blaster: IO; fight revolves around two targets with no frequent swapping between them
  • Coratanni: IO; see above

Temple of Sacrifice

  • Malaphar: IO; most of your focus should be on him and can use UL/PS/AoEs on adds where needed
  • Storm Squadron: IO; #1 is up long enough between shields for your dot applications to get their full effect
  • Underlurker: Arsenal; easier to burst down the adds between Collapses although they do have a large enough HP pool for IO to work also
  • Revanite Commanders: Arsenal; a large portion of this fight involves killing adds and none of them have enough HP to warrant the usage of IO’s dot spreading
  • Revan: IO; with long sustained damage phases there is no reason to run anything else

About the Authors

We are Fascinate and Marisi, both members of <Zorz>, an endgame progression guild that has claimed multiple world-firsts since its creation, including Nightmare Dread Fortress speed title, Nightmare Dread Palace clear and speed title, and most recently, Hard More clears of the two newest Operations: The Ravagers and Temple of Sacrifice.

We both created Mercenaries during early access and have used them as our main progression character through every tier of content and and are always looking to expand on our knowledge of the class and to find new ways of pushing its capabilities as far as they can go through experimentation.

Any comments, questions or concerns you may have about the content of this guide can be asked either here or addressed to our SWTOR forum users, BreakingNews and Kinslayer, respectively.

Thank you for reading our guide!

By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

199 replies on “SWTOR 3.0 Mercenary DPS Guide by Marisi and Fascinate”

Why do you choose Aim augments over power? I believe power is best, getting your dots the highest possible damage, along with MS … Can you help me understand why you think Aim is best? I see powertech guide for “pyrotech” is based on power augments too… Enlighten me =)

Thanks in advanced.

When I first wrote the PT/VG guides, my maths was wrong and using the level 55 formula for crit rating, making Crit + Power augs far superior to Aim ones. However, about a week later I looked at it again (as it was confirmed accuracy wasn’t going to change) and found this flaw, and upon fixing it it ended up being about a tie between Power + Aim Augments – though Aim ones started getting the lead if you have ridiculously high surge values.

Commandos have a ridiculous surge value (About 40% extra for every single spec)

Someone actually did the maths for IO (not me this time sorry), and the difference is 15-20dps in Optimized 198s. So basically, a 0.37% DPS Loss. Its barely noticable. Though, if your are happy to spend a ton of credits on fixing them up, go ahead! I’m pretty sure you can find another spec that could use those power augments (e.g. Lethality Operative, any healer, etc…)

Every inch matters 😉

Hmm i thought they would be bound to my merc, so i cannot trade them to my other chars. They are already in my gear.

Thanks for the guide! Been using Merc as my main since launch and no other dps chars I use can touch the damage output and overall utility that Mercs give. Picked up a few pointers here so thanks again!

Guide is looking pretty solid, cheers heaps.
Still unsure as to how it’s possible to proc MS using PS with STB. It doesn’t work.
Take, for example, MS (STB Proc) -> Unload -> TD -> (STB) PS -> MS. That won’t proc MS. STB makes SS or PS instant. Using STB on PS makes the PS hit the target at the start of the GCD, and not the end of it, which doesn’t lineup with the ICD of IPA.
Unless there’s something I’m missing.

I saw that too – from the video there looks to be a slight pause between UL and TD to get in sync otherwise it’s an extra GCD!

Is the parse doctored? 🙂 Seriously though, does anybody know what happened to the stated absolute DPS targets as well as relative ranged vs melee?

It is not, these two are the some of the highest parsing mercs in the world and mercs are really good for DPS right now both on target dummies and in operations. As some may have said, 3.0 is the age of bounty hunters

Thanks for writing this guide guys, it’s good to see some of my hopeful guesses for gear supported.

I’ve been using a somewhat different rotation (containing the same elements) and now I’m wondering if it’s simply different, or if there’s some downside to it that I’ve overlooked.

The general rotation is: SS IM MS PS MS TD X1 X2 UL

Where X1 and X2 can be filled by EN, PS, MB or Rapid Shot, depending on cooldown, proc and heat.

There are a few things I like about the rotation:

– IM is right before both Mag Shots, so less risk of missing superheated shot if the target is not on fire (with delays/lag in rotation or target switches).
– There are two flexible slots in the rotation while keeping up TD, allowing aoe opportunities like FM, ED or DfA. The general rotation in this guide only has one ‘free’ slot unless you skip TD for a rotation.
– It’s very mobile because everything required for the rotation is instant except for SS. If you use your Power Surge for SS, and don’t use PS as a filler, you can move for nearly 30 seconds without breaking rotation.

I realise you guys know your class extremely well, so I’m guessing there’s an advantage to the general rotation you’ve posted that I’m not seeing yet. Would be awesome if you could enlighten me.

I don’t have access to any of my logs at work, but prior to 3.0 if Rail Shot put the CGC burn on the target (which is now a 100% chance) it would apply the burn before it applied RS’s damage and therefore would vent the 8 heat. I don’t know if that’s changed, and is unlikely, and IM shouldn’t fall off the target anyway, but MS should always vent 5 heat no matter what.

As for the rotation, we found that other people’s guides/rotations didn’t place enough emphasis on Supercharged as both an offensive tool and as a heat management tool. Heat is extremely tight in IO and anything that can make more of this available is more beneficial.

I don’t have access to any of my logs at work, but prior to 3.0 if Rail Shot put the CGC burn on the target (which is now a 100% chance) it would apply the burn before it applied RS’s damage and therefore would vent the 8 heat. I don’t know if that’s changed, and is unlikely, and IM shouldn’t fall off the target anyway, but MS should always vent 5 heat no matter what.

As for the rotation, we found that other people’s guides/rotations didn’t place enough emphasis on Supercharged as both an offensive tool and as a heat management tool. Heat is extremely tight in IO and anything that can make more of this available is more beneficial we feel.

Thanks, I didn’t know about MS always applying burn, that’s one less concern when switching targets.

I do get Supercharged being pretty important, I underestimated the value of the vent too before I started my dummy runs. But I don’t really understand yet why your rotation is more favourable for using Supercharged than others. Not trying to dispute the rotation, but I’m trying to find if it’s worth re-training my brain off the rotation I’ve got now.

In IO, Fusion Missile also spreads your IM dot, making it fairly effective. It’s also a lot cheaper than it used to be (15 heat instead of 33). I think it’s too weak to ever use on single targets though.

Personally I use Fusion Missile in my rotation for Arsenal whenever Power Surge is on cooldown. With the change up with how quickly we vent heat, I don’t even use Thermal Sensor override with it. No heat issues at all and a pure buff to dps. I think the poster did a great job on the IO post, but the Arsenal rotation is extremely basic compared to what I use. I will need to transplant it from Commando, but I will post when I do.

Here is the opener I use personally. I as stated I use Fusion missile with every cooldown of Power surge, bonus if Thermal Sensor Override is up, but not needed. Even in my normal rotation.


Super Charge up before Battle –> Adrenal/Relic –> Electro Net –>
Heatseeker Missle –> Thermal Sensor Overide –> Power Surge –>
Fusion Missle –> Blazing Bolts –> Tracer Missle (insta Cast due to
Power Surge) –> Blazing Bolts –> Priming Shot –> Tracer Missle
(Insta Cast due to Priming Shot) –> Tracer Missle –> Boltstorm –>
Heatseeker Missle –> Rail Shot

Please excuse my one type. was transcribing this from my Commando and forgot to change over my last Boltstorm to Blazing Bolts.

Is there any use for Power Surge as Arsenal now? I know it was useful in 2.x but is there value in getting an instacast Tracer Missile with a button click while on GCD? Or does it not matter since after casting it you’ll be on a GCD anyway?

Bullshit is your comment. If you don’t see a huge ad of the expansion and don’t even bother to check it, I might be afraid you will find the game too challenging for your brain.

Its actually slightly stronger, however it doesn’t build a stack of Supercharge, so its delaying Supercharged Gas, which is a heat vent and damage increase.

I know its asking for a lot, but it would be nice to see what kind of numbers you can pull in both, in 192 BiS gear instead of its going to be a while till the average joe’s will be in BiS 198’s 😛

My gear is more 186/192 than 198 actually but you can still get over 5k in that type of gear as I did for the video/

What is your bonus damage at? I was getting 38-40 APM, felt like I had the rotation down pretty solid..and still only pulled ~4.5k (not using adrenals)

5.2K in Ordnance? Unless there is a dummy specific increase somehow that would put it about 600-700 DPS higher than all the others.

Accuracy: As close to 100/110 as possible; ~750 with companion
bonus which equals 7 186 pieces + 1 augment, 7 192 pieces or 6 198
pieces + 1 augment. These combinations take you slightly above 100 so
you can take off an augment if you wish.

(under Gearing)

Doesn’t explain exactly which ones to get though…the stat distribution is odd, do we want to use the basic comm Ears with 222 aim/253 end/102 accuracy/86 power plus Implants from GTM called “hawkeye anodyne reflex enhancer mk-II” 222 aim/231 end/102 acc/111 power or are there more optimal ones to buy?

Always try to get crafted or token gear over using basic comms. The extra endurance will never be worth doing more damage.

Posted this question in Commando guide, also putting it here just in case.

I am probably missing something but the Innovative Ordnance rotation
suggested in this guide does not work for me. Namely, in a rotation named
“General”, you are supposed to use STB proc for PS in the Unload half of the
rotation. When I try to execute that, my insta-cast PS does not finish
the cooldown of MS because, naturally, the internal cooldown of VW is
not yet off (been only 6 seconds since the previous VW proc). If it had
procced, however, then the second part of the rotation would not work as
intended because the next MS would proc after the first PS (7.5 seconds
after the previous proc) and not after the second PS as the guide
Do you guys have your combat logs uploaded somewhere? Would be great to see them.

If it’s only been 6 seconds, you’re missing a step in the rotation

UL, EN/TD/MB/RS, PS (use STB), MS, IM, SS, PS, PS/RS, MS (proc STB)

IPA procs are at the start of the first PS and at the end of the second.

IPA proc
IPA proc

Never played a merc pre-3.0, not sure on the ideal value for surge. Got a general number percentage or number for Innovative Ordinance?

The ideal value for surge is always one billion, more is always better for any stat (except for accuracy).

The amount of surge you’ll actually have is anything left after getting 110% accuracy (and without using surge augments which hurt the far more important mainstat). How many points that is depends on your gear level. You’d have 480 rating to spend in full 198, 333 rating in full 192. You can spend that budget on surge or alacrity.

As always, power provides a bit higher bonus damage, mainstat provides a bit higher crit. Full mainstat is about 15 bonus damage lower than full power, and about 1.4% more crit chance. Merc benefits from the crit chance. The realistic difference between full mainstat and full power augments is very minimal.

Huh, I found it very interesting that Alacrity has so little effect on dps. Anecdotal experience says otherwise. Have you tried stacking large amounts of it?

What’s needed crit rating for IO?Dulfy says it is 400+ but i have 500.Is it more than needed or what?

It depends a bit on how good the rest of your gear is. In 186’s, the optimum seems to be around 350-400, in 192’s it’s 400-450, in 198 it’s probably higher.
Having 100 crit more or less than recommended will not make a big difference, probably no more than a 0.5% dps loss, so don’t sweat it too much.

On my alt Merc I’ve beeing playing Arsenal for months, but gotta try Ordnance as those changes to the tree looks OP 🙂

Just asking : why is energy rebounder not considered? I don’t know the value of the procced shield exactly but it the procced shield + shorter cooldown on energy shield seems usefull.
I know Stabilized Armor is great (30% aoe reduction) but on fights like Coranni most raid damage come from dots (pyro grenade, poison grenade on phase 2, burns on phase 2) isn’t energy rebounder better?

If someone could explain it to me^^

Ps : Sorry for my poor english


Hello, i would like to ask, is that new set bonus good or not ? At the moment i dont have set bonus at all. Should i put WZs armorings to my PVE gear ? Thx for the answer

Dumb question time: What does it mean “Cycle through the General rotation”? Looking at General vs Heat Ramping, it seems like Heat Ramping is basically the 2 x General Rotation with the second slot filled in with Thermal Detonator. (Please correct me if I’m wrong!) That means when we don’t have TSO/VH, we shouldn’t always be casting TD in that slot. With 4 different spells in that slot, how do we cycle through it? Is it TD + RS alternating above 30%, and then TD + MB below 30%? Or TD + MB + RS below 30%?

How about the second-to-last slot with Power Shot vs Rapid Shots? Do we alternate the two?

Thanks in advance for any clarifications people can offer!

With the EN/TD/MB/RS combination, you only choose one. This is the filler part of the rotation. There’s always 9 abilities used in the General rotation. Seven are set in stone and 2 you can play around with. In this 2nd slot, you have one global cooldown there to use your best filler ability that you can afford. If Electro Net is up, use that in this spot. If EN is not up and the guy has > 30% health, you check your heat to see if you can afford a Thermal Detonator. I’d say 25 or less heat, use TD. If the guy is < 30% (i.e. your Missile Blast is glowing), use that instead of the Thermal Detonator. Under 30%, MB costs 5 less heat than TD so use it if you're at 30 or less heat. If you're over those heat numbers, use Rapid Shot to keep your heat down and move on to Power Shot.

On the PS/RS combo in the 2nd-to-last slot, once I've popped Vent Heat and done one rotation, I vary rarely use Power Shot here. It's usually a Rapid Shot. I use Power Shot when my heat is under 10 or I have TSO/VH coming off cooldown soon.

It's constant energy management. Most cycles through the General rotation, I can use TD or MB in the 2nd slot but can't afford Power Shot in the 2nd-to-last slot (TD does more damage so you prioritize that in the 2nd slot over the Power Shot in the 2nd-to-last). There are quite a few times though where I can't afford either and I Rapid Shot in both those slots. If you see your heat starting to rise, be conservative and use Rapid Shots. It's better to do a little less damage than go above 40 heat and have your whole rotation fall apart.

Thanks for your reply, Scott! Those heat numbers especially were super helpful. I often found myself overheating by being too aggressive about using Thermal Detonator.

Further question: Under 30%, pretty much MB is available every time for the first filler slot. If I had 20 or less heat and could use TD or MB, which one is better for damage? Or should I just keep using MB and then take advantage of the saved heat to do more power shots in the second filler slot?

I believe TD does more damage but MB under 30% has a better damage/heat ratio. I’ve been a little disappointed with MB as a finisher. I’m not sure if it’s as good as other class’s finishers and since it can be used anytime with no cooldown, I occasionally use it when I shouldn’t. Would rather have a finishing ability that can only be used when under 30%.

As an aside, in watching the parse video above, I noticed that they used both MB AND TD in the 2 filler slots when they got to the end. So that 2nd-to-last slot could really be a MB/PS/RS option in the last 30%.

One nice thing about the way MB works, is that you don’t have to fire it at a target that’s below 30%. If you have an IM on some low-hp add, that’ll trigger the proc, and you’re free to fire the MB at the main boss instead of the add that’ll die from dots/aoe anyway.
I think I actually prefer this to an ability that can only target people below 30%.

I’m wondering if it might be worth getting Forced March (Full Auto on the run) and Overclock (double instants w/ Tech Override) heroic utilities instead of Shock Absorbers (30% less on AOE & stun). If you have both Forced March and Overclock, you can continue your full rotation even while running (Overclock would allow you to instant-cast the back-to-back Serrated Bolt and Charged Bolts). This would only work for one rotation every 45 seconds but it could be very useful.

Probably not a good idea on some AOE heavy fights but if you have a movement-heavy fight with light AOE…maybe.

Hi there, first time poster and my apologies if this has already been answered. My Arsenal Merc still has a 4 piece set bonus but it’s the old rating of 162 (one 168 piece). Does the old set bonus still outweigh the new 186 armor ratings without the bonus? I still intend to get into the new ops and save up DKP points for the newer set with higher rating. Until that glorious day would it be better to get the 186 armor without the bonus? Also just wanted to say thanks for these amazing guides!

If you’re focusing on Arsenal the old 4 piece is actually quite useful because TM is still used frequently and the extra damage on RS is nice as well. On the other hand, I’m not 100% sure on the stat differences between 186 armorings and the ones you’re using and whether or not that offsets the gains you get from the setpieces.

On top of that, if you’re really dedicated to getting warzone comms, you could also use the new set bonus by getting almost 6k Warzone Comms and buying a 6-piece that way – though they dont stack with the new armorings so you’ll have to keep the new armorings in your bank until you can replace all 6.

Is there any chance that you could add pictures of your stats to the parses.
The reason i’m asking is that i’m parsing WAY less, granted, i’m only in 186 gear, but I see that most of your abilities hit on averange for like 1000 more than mine, and your heatseeker missiles has a crit % of 80%, and mine only has like 19%.
There probably is lots I could do to improve my gear, but I’d like to compare my stats to yours.

Well that HSM crit is probably 60% luck, 25% set bonus and 15% remaining crit from gear 😛

Right now though, im pretty sure they are both in BiS gear (Though i may be wrong about 1-2 pieces)

When I made the video my gear was: 198 ear, 186 and 198 implants, 198 relics, 192 main hand barrel, 198 off hand barrel, full192 armorings and mods, 2 198 enhancements, 2 192 enhancements and 3 186 enhancements. All new augments and stim with old reusable adrenal.

Since then I’ve gotten the main hand barre and 2nd 198 implant but I am still 19 pieces away from 198 BiS. I’m not sure what gear Fascinate was when he did his parses but he can probably remember roughly what it was.

I have all 186 gear (mostly basic comm stuff) with implants & earpiece filled with accuracy to get me to 100/110. Not using stims or adrenals and with the 4 class buffs, I was getting 3600-3700 DPS. I think I was getting about 38 attacks per minute. I could probably squeeze out a little more DPS once I get better at recognizing when I can use a filler or need to Rapid Shot. I probably play it a bit too safe right now.

Could someone give me an opinion on my cycle? (i used this one before reading the guide, so i wonder if it’s correct)

MS -> SS -> IM -> TD -> Filler (RS/EN/MB) -> UL -> MS -> Filler (RS/PS/EN/MB) -> PS -> MS -> ….(start again from SS)

I chose between RS/EN/MB for the first filler according to my heat (if heat is okay EN > MB if under 30% > RS). I tend to avoid using PS on the first filler to let UL proc MS
I do the same for the second filler, exept i allow PS on that one since the next PS will proc MS (if heat is okay : EN > MB under 30% > PS > RS)

I tend to use Supercharged gas right after the second filler (and i chose an heat consumming filler)

I forgot : i’m currently dealing around 4200 dps in a full 192 elite stuff (unoptimized enhancement), 192 barrels, no set bonus, 186 crafted relics.

Here are my stats : 1749 tech bonus damage, 110% tech accuracy, 100% ranged accuracy, 32.81% ranged crit / 31.18 tech crit (444 crit index), 68.24 critical multiplier (333 index), 3.47 alacrity (111 index)

Are my dealt damage correct or am i to low?

It seems a little more spikey in it’s heat build-up. I mapped the heat build-up for your rotation, and the peak heat in the coolest rotation (2x RS filler) is 30 higher than the start point at the first SS. if you start with more than 10 heat at the first SS, you’ll build more than 40 heat at the TD, and suffer reduced heat regen.
If you use RS and PS for the fillers, you’ll end the rotation with 14 more heat than you started with. That means you automatically start the next rotation with too much heat. Your cooldown abilities can limit the amount of times that happens, but it’s very easy to overheat with a rotation that builds +30 heat.
By comparison, Marisi’s 2xRS rotation has a 19 maximum heat buildup, meaning you can start your rotation with 14 heat and still easily stay under 40.

would it be better if i move the first filler before TD? it would give avoid to use 3 15 heat skill one after another (it would be : MS -> SS -> IM -> Filler (RS/EN/MB) -> TD -> UL -> MS
-> Filler (RS/PS/EN/MB) -> PS -> MS -> ….(start again from

Or use TD after the First MS?

Like this :

MS -> SS -> IM -> Filler (RS/EN/MB) -> Filler (RS/PS/EN/MB)-> UL -> MS -> TD -> PS -> MS -> ….(start again from

You can work it out for yourself quite easily for different rotations. Just list your rotation in a spreadsheet, and add two columns with “heat at the start” and “heat at the end” of each power. During one GCD you’ll regain 7.5 heat, so if you start with (for example) TD you’d write ’15’ at the start and ‘7.5’ at the end. If next is a PS, you’d write 7.5 at the start (remaining from the last power, PS burns no energy at start), and 15 (+15 from PS, -7.5 from heat regen) at the end. This way, you can easily see where your rotation peaks or dips low.

A slight mistake with innovative ordnance, it reads that you get Speed to Burn at level 56, did it mean to read 59? That would give you a Mag Shot proc before having Mag shot…

So on the IO spec, is TSO used BEFORE unload OR BEFORE TD? Is shown both ways. Unload is 24 heat, whereas TD is 15, it seems to work better using TSO BEFORE unload, but considering you wrote the guide, I wanted to verify. Thank you~

I have the 180 set bonus That gives my %15 damage to tracer missile and % to rail shot. I have fully geared in 192 and 198 bear for armorings because of the set bonus, my question is: is it worth my dropping my set bonus for the 192/198 armorings or hold on to my set bonus still i can replace the 180 set bonus armoring with the new 198 set bonus?

Currently the Mari and Fasc are running anywhere between 500-600+ last I spoke to them. They can feel free to chime in, but that’s their IO crit ratings.

It depends on your play style and what you want to do. Arsenal is very burst based and easier to manage rotations. IO is more long term single DPS/DoT based. In general, IO is the better spec as far as “strength”, but not all situations find one spec to be the best every time.

Where else will you find it if you’re a new player? Dulfy’s site is the most comprehensive place to send someone learning to play or learning to improve their play. If a guide is missing simple key information that may not be as obvious to beginners, then it should be included. Other specs have this information, so I was just highlighting that this guide was missing simple information. Thanks for the cynical and unhelpful advice though, “K”.

These guides assume you have a basic understanding of the spec and the game itself. This is not really a beginner’s guide, this is a mastery guide.

I would call it a comprehensive guide for the Mercenary. It covers information useful for beginners as well as information useful for the pre-3.0 Mercenaries to become experts at their class again.

It’s not a mastery guide, only meant for those that already know the class. It has a lot more, and was only missing a few bits of information for clarity: stance per discipline and set bonus. I am not at all critical of the guide, just suggesting those two things be added.

If these guides assumed basic understanding, it would only go over the rotations and timing, not every utility and stats. It’s a full guide, just missing this information:

Mercenary Set Bonus: Eliminator’s

Mercenary Arsenal Cylinder (Stance): High Velocity Gas Cylinder

Mercenary Innovative Ordnance Cylinder (Stance): Combustible Gas Cylinder

That goes without saying though. Anyone playing either discipline will know real quick which “stance” to be in, as a good 5-6 skills on the tree say “if in X stance, this does this etc”.

Ya but I come here because I’m leveling an alt. A class I dont play much and not include the stance is a pain in the ass and almost all these guides omit it… sucks. Thank you for adding it and crtl+f

They omit it because something that simple needs no explanation. Doesn’t matter if it’s an alt, main or whatever. Specs are usually tailored around 1 stance and a quick look in your tree will blatantly tell you “while in this stance you gain this passive”. Some stances are more then obvious and common sense, like tanks, healers and even in this case with a merc; IO is DoT based, so obviously you will be in DoT stance. It sounds to me, you are the one making it a pain in the ass and more complex then it needs to be, judging by your 3 or 4 posts on here about the same thing. Utilities are almost as common sense as the stances IMO. I look at these guides for the ideal skill rotations, then what stance and utilities I need lol

Marisi just wondering how much crit would you run in 192 gear optimized? I am currently running about 400. I am parsing this spec at 4.6 right now. I am at 32 percent right now. Do I need more crit or should I work on more surge/power?

Sorry for the delay — I’m actually running close to 700 crit right now in full 198 (~36%) but this is more of a case of crit mods are so easy to come by rather than power mods. I’d be leaning towards somewhere around 600 crit is optimal in 198 so I think 400 in optimised 192s is fine. The need for the 7th accuracy piece in 192s limits your surge options a little more so I’d probably go for more power right now tbh.

Good guides as always. I can tell people from experience; level in Arsenal then swap to IO (Innovative Ordinance) endgame, as most endgame instances (PvP, Op’s etc) are mainly about bursting down single elite/champion NPC’s or other players.

Hey guys what about the accuracy miss diference between Commando and Merc, is this because of merc 2 gun insted of Commando Cannon, because i have the same accuracy rating in my commando and my merc and i have a bigger missing rating on the imperial side

Hi marisi, I interesting the stats of accuracy, critical , surge and Bonus damage that you have for do 5400 dps in brach of ordenance plz. You can respond me. A greeting

Tell me, please how many dps loses in 2 alacrity enchancmnets instead 3 peace of surge.Or it isn’n dps lose?

Something puzzles me about above IO parse.

If I’m parsing then my “AVG” (non-crit average) is higher than in the linked parse. My “AVG* ” (crit average) however is clearly below. And with clearly I mean very clearly:
The above parse suggests a relation of average crits vs. non-crit hits of 1 : 2.5 or even 1 : 2.8.
I’m more in the area of 1 : 1.6 to 1 : 2.1 (which alone looks like high variablitiy).

Question: How does this come? Is the bonusdamage for crits so extremely random that a crit can end up hardly higher that a non-crit of the same skill?

My surge is 351 and maybe about 400 seems to be realistic to achieve without sacrificing acc but that cannot be the only reason for such differences.

I’m also doing less crits (394 Critpoints).
Or am I misunderstanding the parsec figures of AVG and AVG* and tthey do not give the average damge of crit hits vs. non-crit hits?

I’m with 100.1 Accuracy atm in a mix of 192 token (also MH) (plus some 198 commendation mods, where I didn’t get 192 token stuff yet) pluss 198 comm ear and imp for the higher surge than token 192 (which I didn’t have by that time anyways). My average parses are around ~4200 – 4400 which is not really bad but also not awesome).

Other question:

I also see that I’m using Rapid shot about 2x as often and PS less often – there is definitily some work left for me with heat management. … Well – I’m also using a different rotation that might explain my heat issues a bit – could someone tell me the downside of my rotation?

It is extremely convenient for brain afk damage dealing with little concetration to follow propery:
SS (regularly with STB) – IM – TD – XX – UL (procs IPA on click) – MS
XX – PS (procs IPA) – MS

XX = EN, MB procced, PS or Rapid


When you are looking at avg vs. avg* is this on the ability as a whole? Or are you looking at main hand vs. off hand? Because off hand crits are incredibly low and they drastically lower the true avg* for each ability that utilises both weapons.

As far as the rotation goes, since you use UL to proc 1 IPA obviously then you’ll use less PS and because of that you build SCG stacks slightly slower which is the main reason why your heat generation would be higher.

avg vs. avg* – its the same figures like in your screenshot, e.g. MagShot 2829 : 7341.
My MagShot did 3430 : 6192.
For main hand only MagShot gets 4880 AVG and 10.428 AVG* (with 30% Crit%)

I’m not sure if I’m (theoretically) really using PS less often. I have 3 slots for it in my rotation (one before UL, one before the PS that procs IPA). My problem is that I cannot use these slots for PS as often as I’d like to. I was speculating that my rotation delays the use of the IPA procced MagShot, hence delaying the moment where heat is reduced and ending up more often >40 heat during channeling Unload. I think there are a number of occassions where UL brought me >40 heat for a moment – I’ll check this.

and edit just said: I’m using TD more often – I’ll give it some tries with it being reduced less often in exchange for PS to get more SCG

Good question. I am not 100% sure how SWTOR mechanics are, but in most games Critical hits are 1 of 2 things. A critical hit is either double the damage a normal hit would of done, or in cases where there is a severity stat, then a critical hit is the normal damage + the % of the severity stat. For example if you have 50% severity bonus and non-crit would of landed a 2000 damage attack, a critical hit with that 50% severity modifier would make that normal 2000 damage hit, hit for 3000 damage as a critical. In other games Critical and Critical Severity is a fine tuned balancing act, but I always favor having higher critical chances than just raw severity as even a base severity of 50% means my cirts are at the least doing 50% more damage then a normal hit, so make those happen as often as possible was my rule of thumb. Case and point, I would take 40% Critical chance and 50% severity over say 15% critical chance and 80% severity. In the end, you just have to ask yoursellf; Do I want to crit more often, or do I want my crits to hit harder when they do eventually happen? Just my $0.02

Hey, not sure if you two authors realized it (it took me an astonishingly long time to realize it myself), but in whatever models you use, it seems like you aren’t assuming 100% uptime on Advanced Targetting in Arsenal, when you actually can. The cool thing about any triggered ability in this game (including relics) is that whatever triggers that ability also benefits from the ability. Since all the triggered part of Advanced Targetting ability does when active is increase your Surge, and it triggers on critical damage, you can effectively model it as a constant Surge boost to both specs, and not just assume that only IO will have ~100% uptime due to the dots. When you think about it, it’s totally bonkers to design an ability this way, but that’s what the developers did.

Is it really recommended to use railshot with 5 stacks? There used to be a discussion around that before 3.0, and I remember pizza didn’t bother using it like that and he’d still top the boards. ?

Nowdays its pretty much impossible to not use rail shot with 5 stacks at level 28+ due to all the talents given to you, such as Tracer Spam.

How do you mean impossible? I use it almost exactly like before the expansion myself, and that’s partly why I wondered about it, i’m no expert or any good with math but I do progression raid nightmares and put up leading parses from time to time which only serves to confuse me. I mean why wouldn’t you rather put it on cooldown as fast as possible than wait for it to get a relatively minimal damage boost? Atm I cant discern any important difference between firing it off or waiting with it.
Pizzadahutt isn’t here anymore but he never championed such a use with railshot and his leading parses didn’t really create much point of argument against his style of use.

Is the rotation for opener valid? How can you do MS – PS – MS if MS have 15 sec CD? Tried this opener rotation and due to MS CD it looded like there is something missing from it

Power Surge is used when you have to move due to incoming damage and are about to use a Power Shot or Serrated Shot that isn’t made instant by Speed to Burn and isn’t necessary for the IPA proc. Other than that, not necessary.

I assume like most people when you come to a guide like this your just looking to get out the gate on a toon you don’t play very often, i mean if this is your main great you already know – sweet good for you… but… some utility point suggestions would be nice. This is not my main… its not even close to my my main… its toon 12 or 15 of 22 … i don’t want to read them all or figure them out I’d just like to have a hey do all this and you’ll be doing ok and not super suck. More detail for the hard core “merc is my main” crowd is great but not suggesting a few utilities is a pain for 90% of us and a miss.

also ties into my comment thanking another commenter for including the cylinder to be in. A good guide takes care of us all.

I should clarify that I see 5 of the 7 are bolded… I need 3. So I had to read them all and decide… some comments at least, boss fights they would be good on or pve vs pvp – something that isn’t all but two.

“i don’t want to read them all”.
So you’ve got time to make a billion characters, but no time to actually read some guides to not suck at all of them?
I’d rather have top-tier people writing guides like this than guides detailing every baby step you could figure out by 10 seconds of reading tooltips anyway. If you need to be told exactly what utilities to take or what cylinder to pick, you should consider playing the game for a bit and actually read what it says before asking others to solve all your problems.

See that tiny spec above you? That’s the point going over your head. No one said don’t have the top-tier info/Authors, go nuts… but bolding 5 of 7 skills when 3 are required, one of the bolded boosts an ability (rocket punch) that’s not even in the Arsenal rotation without any context as to why or when they would be best is useless to me. Not mentioning what stance to be in is a miss. It’s simple – I’m taking this toon off the shelf, blowing off the dust to see the story… I originally leveled him as a healer but for the sake of expediency I’m using a DPS. AND Ya F-you – I don’t want to read a bunch of tool tips for a toon that will be back on the shelf immediately after I’m done the story. I’m not joining groups, I’m not doing ops… I’m looking at the story and then going back to my main, where I do know it all my abilities and utilities and how they mesh off by heart and I don’t need any guides period. Guides are for people that don’t know the class… I suggest if you need this guide and a Arsenal Merc is your main toon/spec you need to worry about not sucking a lot more than I do.

Completing the story does not take amazing gear, or in depth knowledge of rotations and stat budgets. As an experienced player you probably know you can complete most of the story in greens while rolling your face across the keyboard. Do you seriously want help with that? Ok, first smash your face into the left side of the keyboard. Then vigorously move your head to the right. Repeat until the boss is dead.

If you need to know the best cylinder or stance to use, isnt it easier to just ask fleet?

You already cant be bothered to read a tool tip, how would a guide help you? Usually there alot of words in guides right? How is reading a whole guide faster than reading a tool tip?

The guides here are for the parts of the game that require actual thought, not a to be a comprehensive list of obvious stuff that you should have learned by level 20 just playing the class normally.

Please do not choose to ignore an IN GAME aid which will answer your question, and then complain about an OUTSIDE SOURCE which is not ment to answer your question.

It’s spelled out in the guide above as to which utilities are important.
“The bolded utilities we feel have an important use in an Operation; with Improved Vents, Power Barrier, Custom Enviro Suit, Torque Boosters, Thrill of the Hunt and Stabilized Armor being taken on almost all fights, if not all, with the seventh one changing depending on the fight”
Just read, doesn’t take a lot of effort.

Thank you for your Guide! I play as a Mercenary Off-DPS and wonder which companion is the best for this playstyle? Maybe Skadge as Tank or maybe even Treek?

I find treek to mesh well with every class I play. Yes, she may not be the best DPS, best tank or the best healer, but often times people forget shes does all 3. A jack of all trades is a master of none. She does excel in all 3 and compliments pretty much every playstyle and class.

Sounds really good! And whats even better: Treek is now on sale for 1050 CC! I think I’ll go with her as my companion.

Okay, i may be a stupid question but there is no aoe part is this guide and i would need some help :

Arsenal :

How many targets would i require to start aoe (if there is no priority target)? If DFA is on cd, should i get close to use FT or just use SB right away?

IO :

Same questions : How many targets would i require to start aoe (if there is no priority target)? What is the minimal life adds need to have in order to spread my dots? And finally : if DFA is on cd, should i get close to use FT or just use SB ?

PS : my english is poor and i apologize to anyone reading this 🙂

I’m wondering about that myself as well, like, should you prioritize SB/DFA above everything else if there’re a certain amount of targets on the field, and where does that prio stop?
On the FT bit I think SB is supposed to completely take over it’s place now, you use SB instead of FT everywhere.
The guide is kind of lacking in that sense atm.

So I’ve always loved playing merc. But I’ve never been serious about his gear until now. My question is, what should my surge rating / percent be at?

I was able to acquire the full 186 gear from the basic comms and had to tinker with a few enhancements to get to 100/110% accuracy. But in doing so I believe I may have hurt my surge rating to get to that necessary accuracy rating.

Thanks in advance to anyone who answers 🙂

Is your gear fully augmented with mainstat and an accuracy aug? And do you have the companion affection maxed out to get the bonus acc of 1%? If you don’t have any of those then I’d guess hurting the surge a bit is inevitable in order to get 100% accuracy, so it’s probably how it’s supposed to be, but I may be mistaken.

Yep, i took all that into account before I posted to cover all my bases. I’ve had the 5 maxed affection companion bonus thing for a long time from my old marauder i used to play, and I did read that you had to swap out a reflex augment with an accuracy one.

So as you and others have suggested, perhaps it is true that in 186 gear the surge won’t be where it needs to be.

Thank you for your help, it was appreciated 🙂

In 186, your surge rating will be low. There are 10 pieces which can all give either 102 acc or 102 surge (7 enhancements, 2 implants, 1 earpiece). In 186, you will need 7 of those pieces with accuraty, as well as one accuracy augments. This, with the 1% companion bonus, will get you to 110%.

This means you have 3 slots left for surge and alacrity. For now I’d recommend filling them with three surge bits (306) surge, but 2 surge (204) and one alacrity (102) may work slightly better for you, depending on lag.

Once you upgrade at least 5 pieces to 192 (or 1x 198 and 3x 192, or 2x 198 and 1x 192), you’ll have enough accuracy to drop the augment, and put in a reflex augment.

Do save the augment though, as once you reach 5×198, 1×192 you can manage with 6 accuracy pieces and one augment. By that time it’s probably optimal to fill the remaining four spots with one half surge, one half alacrity, as surge ratings over 300 quickly lose effectiveness.

Cool, I’ll take all that into consideration as I acquire hither rated gear. Thank you for giving my your advice and advising me on the amount of surge over should have. Your help was very much appreciated 🙂

How does Arsenal have better AoE than Innovatie Ord O_o, incendiary missile and serrated shot dots on every target via fusion missile and explosive probe and also a better fusion missile because of combustible gas cylinder???

To be fair, fusion missile being used over power shot is a minor DPS + Heat loss, as its more powerful but isn’t used in a single target rotation as it doesn’t build stacks of Supercharge.

Then again, explosive dart sucks…

With the dot-spread explosive dart can be ok if you have enough targets, so it can be useful in a filler slot, but you can’t go DFA FT FM SB SB SB on a group without massive heat issues, for Arsenal it’s much less of an issue.

I generally consider my IO merc a single-target class, using FM and ED as fillers if there are enough long-living (10+ secs) adds around. But it happens quite a bit that the adds are already low in health by the time I reach a filler spot in my rotation, and it’s not worth it.
If I do need lots of AoE, I just bring my sorc 🙂

Well, if we’re nukeing adds up to the bosses of both the new operations, i do more aoe dps in IO than arsenal, if the dots can run their course then the aoe of IO is on par with arsenal if not better, multiple sweeping blasters are gonna drain your energy as much as spreading your dots in IO would. Although dps on adds isn’t really interesting, but still, it’s an 8+ aoe fight which is the aoe limit for most abilities.

DPS on adds is essential in several of the new ops fights, like Torque, Underlurker and the revanite commanders. In arsenal, you can target-switch much easier, and your heat-control mechanism (high-vel cylinder) always works, while IO is fully dependant on proccing mag shots and maintaining dots. Every 10 gcd, you need two to maintain dots and two for mag shots to maintain heat management, leaving only 6 out of 10 for aoe.

Yes, i prefer arsenal in those fights too, and IO if add killing duty is left to someone else, but still, if we just said “arsenal racks up more dps in aoe than IO” then that wouldn’t be entirely true generally speaking. You’ll still need for the dots to run their course for IO to be competitive in aoe ofc, whilst arsenal can more or less provide aoe bursts, but both of the specs will go low on energy in long fights regardless.

Hi thank you for posting this guide just wanted to know what would be the best mods and enhancements stats wise.

It’s not “that” bad, but I really hate what they did and I can’t honestly imagine why.
About 200 dps.

BWs philosophy for “dps” is that pure dps classes(marauder/sniper) should be able to put out up to 5% more dps than other classes that have duo specs, heal/dps(mercenary/operative/sorc) and tank/dps(jugg, sin, PT). So they’re working towards that ideal, looking at parsing data from dummy and boss fights some classes excel like for example mercenaries and so they need to be toned down.
Why they tone them down instead of buffing other classes is I believe in order to not make pvp too unstable. Why they start nerfing specific classes first i don’t know but, I assume they will target every class eventually so it doesn’t mean anything.

Fascinate, I want to ask the only question that really matters….

What gear are you wearing in this video? I see the blasters are Furious, what armor is that?

Hi, I don’t understand something in the IO rotation, I use MS (1.5 sec GCD) then UL (3 sec cast) then TD (1.5 GCD), it’s only 6 sec because PS is instant so I don’t have 7.5 sec for IPA and MS doesn’t procced !?! Where are the 1.5 sec that I miss ??? (sry for my english)

The 1.5 GCD that you missed is happening before you activate “UL”.
You apply incendiary -> serrated -> powershot(MS proc) -> powershot(or auto-attack) -> MS -> UL -> TD -instant PS(MS proc)

IM -> SS -> PS ->”filler”(the 1.5 GCD) -> MS

just wondering, i have done this rotation key for key based on your combo up there and your vid but what do i do if ms is procing on unload instead of ps? this is where my dps drops a lot.

Basically a consumable that gives you a short boost (ex 15-20s) in stats. Blue adrenals give more stats then green. Purple adrenals are reusable.

If I’m not mistaken, the new tier of purple adrenals (Anodyne) are not reusable, unless you get the previous tier (Nano-Infused) but for it to be reusable you need Biochem 450, so it’s rather limited.

Maybe I’m missing something somewhere, but how much power should I be stacking for an Arsenal spec?

Would you consider it worth it to acquire the 146 rating 2p and 4p and use them over the 186 non set armorings for arsenal? (the set bonuses are +15% crit chance to tracer missile for the 2p, and for the 4p it reduces the heat generated by rail shot by 8[effectively making it 0] )

I wouldn’t recommend it, too much of a loss for a minimal gain. The 15% extra crit isn’t a big deal and 0 cost for Rail Shot is worthless on Arsenal, where overheating is no problem for the spec.

The old Merc set bonuses are kind of worthless now with the changes in 3.0 so no I wouldn’t. Use the 186s with no bonus until you get the new sets.

If you’re dedicated to hunting old set bonuses, the HM DF/DP 4pElim 180s are probably going to serve you better. Less of an iL gap, and raw bonus damage on the 4p.

Why isn’t fusion missile or explosive dart used at all in IO? Considering the lvl 16 skill in the discipline tree that increases their damage by 25% and the use of them spreads dots to additional enemies? Seems it’s fairly important

It’s useful if you can spread the dot to multiple enemies, but on a single target it’s about equal to power shot in damage. Because it doesn’t build any stacks of supercharge, it ends up slightly weaker.

I’ve been parsing on this for a while and I’m only getting between. 4.1 and 4.4 I’m really stumped on what I’m doing wrong. Could anyone help me?

Wouldn’t something like Blazing Bolts->Tracer Missile be nice to start with? Since if you start like this you waste the barrage proc on the first Tracer Missile.

You waste the reset effect, but the proc also increased Blazing Bolts’ damage by 10%, so that opening Blazing Bolts would be a bit weaker, and you’ll delay your other big hitters (and their cooldowns) for a bit. I don’t think it’ll make much difference in the end.

One thing I dislike about the BH is the stupid Heat shit. I still don’t understand why they made the BH have it when the Smug’s do not. Hence why the Smug class is always better.

The smuggler is not the Republic equivalent of the BH. It is the equivalent of the Imperial Agent. The equivalent of the BH is the trooper.

Correct. Also, _all_ tech classes (smuggler, agent, BH and trooper) have the exact same type of energy management, with a pool of 100 and reduced regeneration if you use up more than 40%.

Is this still true for 4.0 or has any of it changed? The only update on this site for Mercs on the 4.0 patch is for healing. I’m DPS Arsenal.

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