SWTOR 4.0 Mercenary PvE Healing Guide by NeNiMel

SWTOR 4.0 Mercenary PvE Healing Guide written by NeNiMel

Introduction

This guide discusses the abilities, strategies, utilities and gearing for mercenary healers in PvE content.

Mercenary Bodyguard might be the strongest single target burst healer in the game, but it also performs very well at AoE healing due to strong low-CD abilities.

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

Abilities

This section covers an outline of the important abilities for mercenary healers and discusses the strategies for the use of these.

Abilities

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

The Mercenary healer uses the Combat Support Cylinder.

The primary resource is called heat and the secondary resource is called Supercharge. The heat resource differs a bit form other resources because low heat-level means plenty resources and high heat-level means few resources.

The rate at which heat is vented is dependent on the heat-level. The higher heat-level the slower resources are being regenerated. The regeneration tiers are with 0 alacrity:

  • 0-40 Heat: 5 Heat/second (Fast)
  • 41-80 Heat: 3 Heat/Second (Moderate/Slow)
  • w81-100 Heat: 2 Heat/Second (Very slow)

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

Healing Abilities

These are the primary healing abilities

clip_image001 Supercharged Gas

  • Boost all healing done by 5% for 8 seconds (12 seconds with 4pc setbonus)
  • Vents 10 heat on activation
  • Removes the cooldown and reduces the heat-cost of Healing Scan while active.
  • Consumes 10 stacks of supercharge.
clip_image002 Kolto Shot

  • Instant heals for a small amount
  • Builds 1 stack of supercharge
  • Vents 1 heat (2 if critical).
clip_image003 Rapid Scan

  • Heals for a medium amount
  • Builds 2 stack of supercharge.
clip_image004 Healing Scan

  • Heals for a large amount and
  • Applies buff to the target that increase all healing received by 3%
clip_image005 Emergency Scan

  • Instant heals for a medium/large amount
  • Additionally leaves a small heal over time at the target.
clip_image006 Kolto Shell

  • Applies a buff to the target that heals for a small amount on damage taken
clip_image007 Progressive Scan

  • Heals up to 4 targets for a small to large amount.
  • Applies buff to all targets that increases armor by 10%
1740150678_2195471564 Kolto Missile

  • Heals up 8 targets in an area for a medium amount
  • Additionally leaves a small heal over time at the target area
clip_image009 Jet Boost (utility skill)

  • Heals up to 7 targets for a small amount
clip_image010 Cure

  • Cleanses debuffs from the target
  • Heals for a small amount

Cooldowns

These are abilities that can be seen as additional utilities (not the same as utility skills)

clip_image001[5] Vent Heat

  • Vent 65 heat over 3 seconds (utility skill, else only 50)
  • Gives +10% alacrity for 6 seconds (utility skill)
clip_image002[5] Termal Sensor Override

  • Upon use, the next ability will not generate any heat
clip_image003[5] Power Surge

  • The next casted ability will activate instantly (next 2 abilities with utility skill)
clip_image004[5] Onboard AED

  • In-combat revive
clip_image005[5] Supercharged Celerity

  • Increase alacrity for all allies by 10% for 10 seconds
  • Consumes 10 stacks of supercharge

Defensive Abilities

These are abilities that increases the survivability and mobility

clip_image001[7] Energy Shield

  • Reduces all incoming damage by 25% for x seconds
clip_image002[7] Kolto Overload

  • Quickly regenerates health if you are below 40% HP
clip_image003[7] Hydraulic Override

  • Increases movement speed by 30% for 8 seconds
  • Additionally breaks and grants immunity to all/most movement-impairing effects for the duration.
clip_image004[7] Determination

  • Removes all stuns and movement-impairing effects from yourself
clip_image005[7] Chaff Flare

  • Reduces agro towards all enemies in range.
clip_image006[5] Rocket Out

  • Quickly change position, by flying backwards 20 meters

Strategies

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

Pre-fight / Transistion Phases

Kolto Shell

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

Supercharge

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

Mid-fight

Supercharged Gas

Supercharged Gas is one of the core abilities in the mercenary rotation. The ability provides great burst healing potential or works as a rolling buff that should be kept up as often as possible:

  • Heat management: When Supercharged Gas is being activated it vents 10 heat.
  • General healing buff: When Supercharged Gas is being activated it consumes all 10 stacks of supercharge and thereby removing the +1% healing buff from these. Instead, Supercharged Gas will provide a stronger healing buff during its duration that will increase all healing done by +5%.
  • Healing Scan buff: Supercharged Gas will lower the heat cost, reset and remove the cooldown on Healing Scan while it is active. Increasing the burst potential greatly.

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

Note! It is possible to build stacks of supercharge while Supercharged Gas is active! This is good to know if you don’t need to use the full duration of to spam healing scan.

Kolto Shell

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

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

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

  • Tanks
  • Melee DPS
  • Healers
  • Ranged DPS

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

Progression Scan

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

Rapid Scan

Rapid Scan’s primary function, besides healing, is to build 1 stack of Critical Efficiency each time it is used. Each stack of Critical Efficiency reduces the heat-cost of Healing Scan by 5 and it stacks up to 3 times. Rapid Scan is therefore an ability that helps a bit with heat management. Rapid Scan should primary be used as a filler.

Besides that Rapid Scan also builds 2 stacks of supercharge each time it is used.

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

Healing Scan

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

Note! During Supercharged Gas, Healing Scan has no cooldown and can be cast on a lot of people in very short time, if you don’t need to spam heal the tank (Remember to watch your heat).

Emergency Scan

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

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

Kolto Shot

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

Multi-target Healing

Kolto Missile

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

Progressive Scan

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

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

Jet Boost

Jet Boost can also be used as an AoE heal if Kolto Jets utility is selected. Jet Boost heals all allies around your current position for a moderate amount. Jet Boost is however a bad healing ability because:

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

Rotation Priorities

Standard Rotation

This should be used as a guideline for how to prioritize the abilities in a standard situation. The abilities are listed after importance and should not be executed top-down, instead abilities with higher importance should be executed more often.

  1. (Kolto Shot – As filler for better heat control)
  2. Supercharged Gas – For healing buff and to vent heat
  3. Healing Scan – Instant
  4. Kolto Shell –  Only when the old run out!
  5. Emergency Scan
  6. Progressive Scan – Applies armor buff
  7. Healing Scan – Casted
  8. Rapid Scan or Kolto Shot

Burst Healing

If there are, burst healing phases in the fight make sure that Supercharged Gas is ready for this. The burst rotation is a execute top-down rotation.

  1. Supercharged Gas – For healing buff and to vent heat
  2. Emergency Scan
  3. Healing Scan
  4. (Power Surge – If another instant is needed
  5. Healing Scan – Repeat until Supercharged Gas ends

Multi target Healing

Use Kolto Missile and Progressive Scan on cooldown!

Advanced Healing Priorities

On the official swtor forum Palydin have created a guide where he discusses the efficiency of each healing ability with respect to potential output (Healing/Second) and heat cost (Healing/Heat) vs the number of healing targets. The results of his calculations can be seen in the link below:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByStipz9mZalQkY5TTVFMnllbW8/view

If you are interested in joining the discussion I refer to Palydin’s forum guide, where he also discusses the optimum DPS abilities for mercenary healers.

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=861749

 

Utilities

This section lists and discusses the choice of utilities for mercenary healers.The tables below show the descriptions for all utilities and a comment on their worth for mercenary healers. Generally the worth can be divided into five categories:

Essential > Recommended > Situational >Almost Worthless> Worthless

Skillful

clip_image001[9] Jet Escape
Reduces the cooldown of Jet Boost by 5 seconds and Determination by 30 seconds.
Situational
In some fights, determination is useful to get out of harm’s way and therefore this utility gets handy
clip_image002[9] After Burners
Pocket Punch immobilizes the target for 4 seconds. Direct damage causes after 2 seconds ends the effect. In addition, Jet Boost’s knockback effect is stronger and pushes enemies 4 meters further away.
Almost Worthless
This is a PvP utility
clip_image003[9] Custom Enviro Suit
Increases Endurance by 3% and all healing received by 3%.
Essential
This will increase the overall survivability and thereby increase the chance of success
clip_image004[9] Gyroscopic Alignment Jets
You vent 10 heat when stunned, immobilized, knocked down or otherwise incapacitated.
Situational
This utility is only useful if there is a lot of cc mechanics in the fight.
clip_image005[9] Improved Vents
Vent Heat now immediately vents an additional 15 heat and grants 10% alacrity for 6 seconds.
Essential
The additional heat vented and alacrity buff is a must have for PvE content
clip_image006[7] Power Barrier
Power Shot, Tracer Missile and Rapid Scan generates a Power Barrier that increases damage reduction by 1% for 15 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.
Recommended
It will be impossible to keep 100% uptime on this utility, but it is still better than the alternatives
clip_image007[5] Boresight
Increases the damage dealt by Sweeping Blasters by 25%.
Almost Worthless
This is a DPS utility
clip_image008[5] Adhesive Supplements
Power Shot and Tracer Missile reduce the movement speed of targets they damage by 40% for 6 seconds. In addition, the slowing effect applied by Kolto Residue lasts an additional 3 seconds.
Almost Worthless
This is a PvP utility

Masterful

clip_image001[12] Torque Boosters
Increases the duration of Hydraulic Overrides by 4 seconds.
Situational
Will only be useful in movement heavy fights
clip_image002[11] Pyro Shield
When activated, your Energy Shield ignites in a blaze, lashing attackers for xzy elemental damage while it remains active. This effect cannot occur more than once each second.
Situational
Only take this if: 1) You take damage over a longer period. 2) You can heal through that damage.
clip_image003[11] Infrared Sensors
Increases stealth detection level by 2, melee and ranged defense by 2% and reduces the cooldown of Stealth Scan by 5 seconds.
Situational
The stealth boost is useless! Take this utility for the passive defense boost if there is nothing else
clip_image004[11] Suit FOE
When you activate Cure on yourself, a Foreign Object Excisor reduces all periodic damage taken by 30% for 12 seconds.
Almost Worthless
Only useable on self, so mostly a PvP utility
clip_image005[11] Protective Field
Increases all healing received by 20% while Energy Shield is active.
Situational
Will increase the survivability chance in fights where there might be focus damage on you or in fight with heavy burn phases.
clip_image006[9] Power Shield
Energy Shield now further decreases ability activation pushback by 30% and makes you immune to interrupts.
Recommended
Makes you immune to activation pushback when Energy Shield is active, which is very useful in burn phases and AoE heavy fights.
clip_image007[7] Heat Damping
Eliminates the heat generated by Jet Boost, Concussion Missile, Cure and Electro Dart.
Situational
Can be useful in fights with cleansing to help heat management
clip_image008[7] Supercharged Defense
Activating Supercharged Gas increases your defense chance by 15% and grants immunity to interrupts for 8 seconds.
Recommended
This will increase the overall survivability, since Supercharged Gas will be used very often.

Heroic

clip_image001[14] Energy Rebounder
When you take damage, the active cooldown of Energy Shield is reduced by 3 seconds. This effect connot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. In addition, when you take damage, you have a 20% chance to emit an Energy Redoubt, which absorbs a low amount of damage and lasts 6 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 10 seconds.
Situational
If you are taking a lot of unavoidable damage during most of the fight, take this!
clip_image002[13] Power Overrides
Reduces the cooldowns of Concussion Missile and Power Surge by 15 seconds each. In addition Power Surge grants a second charge, making your next two abilities with activation time activate instantly.
Situational
This utility increases the burst healing potential and can useful in fights with high damage burst
clip_image003[13] Stabilized Armor
Reduces damage taken from area effects by 30%. Additionally, while stunned, you take 30% less damage from all sources.
Recommended
Almost all fights are very AoE heavy, so this utility is probably the best Heroic.
clip_image004[13] Jet Rebounder
Increases the damage dealt by Jet Boost by 30%. In addition taking damage reduces the active cooldown of Jet boost by 1 second. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds.
Worthless
Never take this!
clip_image005[13] Supercharged Reserves
Reduces the cooldown of Cure and Disabling Shot by 3 seconds each. In addition, you build up to 10 stacks of Supercharge over the course of using Recharge and Reload. This effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds.
Situational
This skill can be useful in fights with cleansing to lower the cooldown of Cure, but is not really needed in the current fights.
clip_image006[11] Kolto Jets
Jet Boost heals you and up to 7 other allies within range for xyz-xzy.
Almost Worthless
The amount of healing from this is too low to be worth it
clip_image007[9] Thrill of the Hunt
Allows Unload, Blazing Bolts and Progressive Scan to be activated while moving.
Recommended
This skill is a must have for most fights, because it increases the mobility. If you can stand still most of the fight do not take this utility
clip_image008[9] Smoke Screen
Rocket Out generates a Smoke Screen when used, keeping you from being leapt to or pulled and making you immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback for the next 4 seconds.
Almost Worthless
This is mostly a PvP utility

What to Choose?

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

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

A general setup that will be useful in most encounters in the current content could be.http://dulfy.net/2014/10/13/swtor-disciplines-calculator-swtor_miner/?link=dGEAAABBAAAAGAYDBQ4QFxMA

swtor-mercenary-healer-disciplines

Stats and More

Stats

Mastery

Mastery is the primary stat for all healing and DPS classes. Mastery increases the bonus healing added to all abilities and increases the critical chance by a small amount

Items with mastery: Armorings, Barrels, Mods, Augments, Earpieces, Implants and Relics

Power/Tech Power

Power is the secondary stat for all healing and DPS Classes.Power is important for healers, since it boosts the bonus healing/damage.

Items with power: Barrels, Mods, Enhancements, Augments, Color Crystals, Earpieces, Implants and Relics

Critical Rating

Critical rating is considered a tertiary stat. Critical increases both the chance that a heal will deal increased healing as well as the amount of that increased healing.

Items with critical: Enhancements, Augments, Color Crystals and Relics

Alacrity Rating

Alacrity rating is considered a tertiary stat. Alacrity increases the speed at which abilities are activated, by decreasing the activation time of the abilities, reducing cooldowns, and increasing the resource regeneration rate.

Items with alacrity: Enhancements, Augments and Relics

Critical vs Alacrity

On enhancements, Earpiece and Implants critical rating will compete with alacrity rating over the tertiary stat budget. The total tertiary stat budget on enhancements, Earpieces and Implants are:

  • Item rating 216: 1520
  • Item rating 220: 1600
  • Item rating 224: 1680

Generally critical will increase the size of the heals, while alacrity increases the number of heals time. A even split between the two on enhancements, earpiece and implants seems to give a decent output.

Augments: Mastery vs Power vs Critical vs Alacrity

Augments can have one of four possible stats that will directly increase the healing output. On augments the primary, secondary and tertiary stats compete directly with each other. The total stat budget is:

  • Item rating 208: 1022

The initial tests seems to indicate that the tertiary stats (critical and alacrity) will increase the expected healing output more than mastery and power. If you have spilt evenly on the enhancements you can fine-tune the stats using the augments.

Color Crystals: Power vs Critical

On Color Crystals power competes against critical rating. Again critical rating seems to be superior.

Optimal Stats

In the table below the optimum stat are summaries for the different endgame gear tiers.

Item Rating 216 Item Rating 220 Item Rating 224
Mastery 4990 5179 5393
Power 2648 2788 2940
Critical Rating 1565 1578 1623
Alacrity Rating 1137 1210 1249

source: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=847112

Set Bonuses

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

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

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

Gear

The table below summaries the names of the relevant gear that has the highest possible stat combinations

Barrels Advanced Versatile Barrel 42 – 44
Armorings Advanced Versatile Armoring 42 – 44
Mods Advanced Lethal Mod 42 – 44
Enhancements Advanced Adept Enhancement 42 – 44
Advanced Quick Savant Enhancement 42 – 44
Augments Advanced Critical Augment 40
Advanced Alacrity Augment 40
Earpiece Ultimate Exarch Adept Device
Ultimate Exarch Quick Savant Device
Implants Ultimate Exarch Adept Package
Ultimate Exarch Quick Savant Package
Relics Ultimate Exarch Relic of Focused Retribution
Ultimate Exarch Relic of Serendipitous Assault

More

Consumables

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

  • Medpac
  • Versatile Stim
  • Adrenal: Triage, Alacrity

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

Datacrons

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

Link to datacrons:http://www.swtor-spy.com/datacrons/

Companion Buffs

It is possible to unlock some legacy buffs that will give a permanent boost to your healing output, by completing all companion conversations and quests.

The companion legacy buffs are:

  • Increased critical chance (+1%)
  • Increased critical multiplier (+1%)
  • Increased healing received (+1%)
  • Increased HP (+1%)
  • Increased accuracy (+1%)

These buffs can only be achieved once per legacy, so you only have to complete the companion stories on one character. To see which companion unlocks which bonus look here: http://dulfy.net/2012/04/22/companion-gifts-and-crafting-bonuses-for-1-2/

The buffs relevant for the mercenary healer is increased critical chance, critical multiplier, healing received and HP. The accuracy buff is only relevant for DPS.

User Interface

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

Graphical User Interface

First of all the normal group window should be changed the ops-window (can be done in preferences), since the character pictures are just a waste of space in the graphical interface.

The ops-window and the health bars inside it should be as large as possible, since healers have to focus mostly on the group’s health and not so much the battleground itself. By making the opswindow large also makes it, easier to spot debuffs on the friendly targets. It is also possible in the options for the ops-window to only display cleansable debuffs if one prefer that.

By increasing the maximum zoom in the preferences you can get a better view over the battlefield. This will help a lot when placing an AoE heal.

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

Controls

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

In the preferences, there are a set of options that can be extremely useful for healers. These options can be found under Preferences -> Controls -> Combat:

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

About the Author

NeNiMel is main healer and officer in <Ragnarok> on The Red Eclipse. NeNiMel has played SWTOR since the beta and has primary played as a mercenary healer (Atmea). Since 2.0 he has maintained The Mercenary / Commando Healing Guide on the official swtor.com forum, where he with help from the community has collected knowledge about mercenary and commando healing.

Special thanks to:

  • Dulfy – for hosting this guide
  • Everyone on the Commando / Mercenary forum – for their support and feedback to my original guides
  • Special thanks to Palydin for his calculations on optimal healing abilities
  • Bant and all the other theorycrafters out there – for calculating all the optimal stat values and so on.
  • KShrike

    Merc/Mando healing is so OP right now. 😀

  • menunu

    Does the Tertiary stat info (Alacrity and Crit) relevant for sage healing now too?

  • KeyboardNinja

    Uh… Where to start.

    First off, categorically, you should not be using Power adrenals. Read the tooltip: they debuff your healing done by 15%. You want the Triage adrenals, which increase Tech/Force Power and decrease damage dealt by 15%. Alacrity adrenals do not have a similar debuff effect, but they’re still significantly inferior to triage adrenals.

    Second, being able to build Supercharge during Supercharge is both a) not new in 4.0 (it was new in 3.0), and b) irrelevant. If you’re using Kolto Shot during Supercharge, you screwed up somewhere. Big time. Healing Scan and Emergency Scan are generally the only abilities you should be using during Supercharge. Progressive Scan situationally if you are under a lot of AoE pressure, but it’s generally bad to find yourself in that situation.

    Third, do NOT NOT NOT use Kolto Missile on cooldown! Or even close to it. Dear god, don’t do it! Kolto Missile is a very poor heal under most circumstances. It’s good for extreme multi-target healing, but in terms of HPE, you’re going to get a lot more mileage out of your single-target rotation on anything less than 4-5 targets in need of constant healing. Kolto Missile was nerfed appreciably in 4.0, and that’s on top of it being nerfed appreciably in 3.0. It’s a pale shadow of what it was back when it was used in the single-target rotation. In other words, use it on cooldown only if you’re in beat AoE healing mode (e.g. Coratanni HM first phase). At all other times, using it on CD is just HPS fluffing, and not likely to be even effective much less useful.

    Fourth, do not spec into the Jet Boost heal. Using Jet Boost is a waste of time and heat (unless you spec into the heat reduction, which you ALSO should not do). The healing it does is extremely small, and you have far better things to do. Merc healing properly is very *time* bounded, meaning that you have a large set of things you would like to do, but relatively little time in which to do them (and thus you cannot do them all). Specifically, Jet Boost trades off against Kolto Shell, which is an enormously more effective tool in both the short and long term.

    Fifth, encouraging Kolto Shell solely during transitional phases is wrong. You should be refreshing one or two Kolto Shells *per* Healing Scan except during Supercharge. The only exceptions to this are if you’re under extreme short-term AoE pressure (and thus need to Kolto Missile more) or extreme short-term single-target pressure (and thus need extra Rapid Scans). Refreshing two Kolto Shells per Healing Scan (outside of Supercharge) is sufficient to keep an entire 8 man raid covered with 100% uptime, and it sustainable in the optimal single-target rotation. The only excuse for letting Kolto Shell fall off in serious content is extreme sustained single-target pressure, in which case you may allow it to fall off of some of your low-DtPS targets for lack of time. (again, time-bounded ability usage) Remember that Kolto Shell heals for more than Healing Scan over about 15-18 seconds for a fraction of the heat and 25% less cast time. It’s literally your best and most efficient heal and should be utilized to its maximum potential.

    Finally, while your guide does not explicitly encourage this, it does hint that Rapid Scan should be used primarily with an eye toward the Critical Efficiency buff. This is wrong. The cost-reduction buff from Rapid Scan is largely irrelevant, because a single Healing Scan without the proc is better HPE (Healing Per Energy) than Rapid Scan + Healing Scan! Better by a lot, in fact. Rapid Scan is nothing more than filler under most circumstances. Its healing output is very low, and its cost is very high even accounting for Critical Efficiency. You generally want to use no more than one of them per Healing Scan unless under extreme single-target pressure, in which case you’re probably going to have to use Thermal Sensor Override in order to absorb the heat drain from Rapid Scan. You use it because you have nothing better to do that does single-target healing between Healing Scans and everything else is extremely heat-efficient (i.e. it’s a bit of a heat dump). You don’t use it for the proc, that’s for sure.

    • Attack adrenals lower your heals by 20% now instead of 15%. I am pretty sure he meant Triage and not the attack one so I will make that correction. For Jet Boost heals, maybe I missed it but I don’t see where he recommends the jet boost heal? Under utility selection he listed the jet boost heal utility as almost worthless.

      • KeyboardNinja

        You’re correct about the “Almost Worthless” remark. I missed that. Reading the main body of the post, it read as if he were encouraging us to treat Jet Boost as a primary heal with a high skill floor.

        • I don’t see anything that encourage using jet boost as a primary heal. In fact the three things the author listed about jet boost were negatives – 1. high cooldown 2. difficult to position so the time is better used on other abilities , and 3 knockbacks. There was no mention of jet boost heal on multi target healing either.

    • Jennifer Anderson

      It’s been my experience that the best use of Rapid Scan is actually to combine Rapid scan + kolto shot to build stacks of supercharge very quickly with little to no heat cost during light damage phases. Other than that, everything you’ve said is pretty much spot on. I have to admit I also kind of blanched at reading the part of the guide that suggests basically spam casting healing scan over the entire raid during a supercharge – for the buff? The primary point of healing scan isn’t the buff, it’s the ginormous heal… lol. Blindly spamcasting it is just going to overheat you. Merc fills the role of a (mainly) tank healer in this game – they are who should be getting any healing scan spam you do. O.o

      I think I’ll stick to the way I always heal, because if I follow this, my 6k+ effHPS is going to fall to like… 3k.

      No offense to the author intended.

    • Now that I had more time to read through your comment and compare what is written on the guide and with my own experience raid healing as a merc/commando.

      1. Able to build supercharge while during supercharge is not irrelevant. While it is good to focus on healing scan here (which the author also advocates), something like this is also good to know.

      2. Kolto Missile – author only advises using it on cooldown for AoEs, not single target rotation. Which is the correct thing to do.

      3. There was no encouraging of Kolto Shells solely during transition phase. He suggested refreshing them during the transition phase, which is something that should be done.

      4. Rapid scan – author pointed out the fact that rapid scan give the buff but did not stress using it for that. Infact it is the lowest priority on the single target rotation.

      I definitely do encourage criticism towards any of the class guides posted here. If there is something wrong, I will make sure the author corrects them. However, it seems that some of the criticism here are based on something the author did not state or emphasis, which makes it hard to correct.

    • NeNiMel

      Thank you for your feedback 🙂
      I think Dulfy already covered most of it in her reply, but I will list my answers aswell.

      1. Typo. Was a leftover from an old draft that I didn’t catch.

      2. I try in this guide to list the options you have as a mercenary healer and being able to build supercharge during supercharged gas can be helpful at time. Sometimes the duration of supercharge is longer than the duration you need to burst heal. Therefore one could just aswell prepare for the next burst phase if there is nothing more pressing at hand. I’m not trying to say one should actively build stacks during supercharged gas if there are more important stuff to handle, but if there is not build new stacks is an option.

      I have changed the formulation a bit, so I hope it’s more clear.

      3. I do not encourage to use Kolto Missile on cooldown! I encourage it for AoE healing, but not for single target healing.

      4. I did not intend to encourage people to use Jet Boost as a heal, and I my opinion I didn’t. In the utility section I listed it as almost worthless and in the strategy section I listed three reasons not to use it. Again I changed the formulation a bit, so I hope it’s more clear.

      5. I encourage refreshing Kolto Shells during the fight aswell, See Mid-Fight section and Rotation Priorities. I just emphasis refreshing them during transition phase, which is a must.

      6. In the description of rapid scan it did sound like rapid scan is a key ability. I agree with you that it is primary used as a filler and the critical efficiency buff and 2 supercharge stacks are mainly a bonus, which is why it is placed lowest in the priority list. I added a bit to the description to emphasis this.

      I hope that answered your feedback. My goal with this guide is to list out the possibilities and give people a better understanding of their abilities and skills. If there is anything else you stumble upon please let me know. 🙂

  • SupRun

    So…..how does the effect of surge being changed to crit affect the old 3 surge/7 alacrity split of enhancments?

    • Jennifer Anderson

      To get your optimal stats, you will need:

      *ITEM LEVEL 220 GEAR, MIN/MAXED, UNLETTERED MODS*

      7 critical AUGMENTS
      7 alacrity AUGMENTS
      Between enhancements, implant, and earpiece: 6 CRITICAL, 4 ALACRITY.

      *ITEM LEVEL 224 GEAR, MIN/MAXED, UNLETTERED MODS*

      9 critical AUGMENTS
      5 alacrity AUGMENTS
      Between enhancements, implant, and earpiece: 5 CRITICAL, 5 ALACRITY

      Hope that helps – I don’t have the numbers for 216 gear anymore, I could figure them out again though if you really need me to.

      • SupRun

        I think I could just use the 220 gear in 216 gear. I don’t think it would mess up the stats too much, and I’m not the kind of guy who aims for world record eHPS numbers.

        • Jennifer Anderson

          No, you’d be fine. I remember doing the same thing, though I got my 220 gear fairly quickly, and I was only a little bit off the mark as far as what was optimal – I want to say less than two percent critical/crit multiplier/alacrity off from where I wanted to be, which is fine for SM and starting HM’s.

  • Jennifer Anderson

    There is no set rotation for healing. That shouldn’t even be in any guide. You can’t even have a ‘priority system’. Healing is about triage and choosing which ability fits the situation. New healers, please don’t try to use a ‘rotation’ to heal.

    Sigh.

    • There is no rotation but there is definitely a priority system, which is what is listed here.

      • Artorias

        Pretty much this. There are does and don’ts various situations that shift priority, but blindly mashing green buttons is worse than a set priority you’ve undertaken.

        • Jennifer Anderson

          Who said anything about ‘blindly’ pushing buttons? What I said was you have to pick the heal that fits the situation. You don’t *always* do x before y, except with emergency scan – > instant healing scan, and even then sometimes I don’t pop off that huge instant heal immediately, because the ES took care of it, and I know I’ll need it in a few more seconds, so instead I pop off a rapid scan + kolto shot to build 3 more stacks of supercharge, and THEN use the instant healing scan.

          I would never suggest a ‘priority system’ for any healer, of any class. What I would do instead is create a section where I detailed different ability combinations that work well together during light damage phases, heavy damage phases, aoe damage phases, etc, all with the caveat that such things are subject to change and that the healer should *pick the heal that best fits the situation*.

          • Artorias

            Not quoting you directly but there are various ways of healing, blindly mashing buttons is not ideal because you do stuff like hard cast Dark heal or single target Kolto Waves. 😛

            Personally I have healed along side people who have done priority based ‘rotations’ or rather priority based healing and it -works for them-. There is no one way, right way of healing, there are little nuances people give the class which should be complimented. Of course healing must adapt to scenarios and phases as you mention. You seem to have a clear idea in your mind of what you’d like in a guide, why not offer to write one for Dulfy or post one on the commando thread? We are lacking good PVE healing guides, more the merrier so why not lend us a full view on your take of Merc healing?

            • Jennifer Anderson

              Honestly, the reason I don’t write up a guide is because no matter how I try to phrase things, I always come off as condescending and like a know-it-all.

              Of course there’s different ways to heal – and if you can clear content, either your way works for you, or your other healer is a god and is carrying you so well you don’t realize it :p But that was EXACTLY my point – every healer is different, and every situation is different. That’s why healing is mostly instinct.

              I’ve been healing for so long (fifteen years) in MMO’s that I honestly can tell you that I don’t even think anymore when I’m healing, I just do it. Last night I pulled 6k+ ehps on Master/Blaster HM and I didn’t even realize it until I looked back at StarParse later (And I’m in half 220, half 216 gear with pvp relics O.o) If you asked me how I did it, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.

              It’s odd, because I’m an author, so you’d think writing a guide would be right up my alley – and maybe it would be if I took a lot of time to do it. In the meanwhile, people can use whatever guide they want or heal however they want – so long as they are clearing content, in the end, I suppose it doesn’t matter.

              Just… don’t be the healer I had with me in Dread Palace the other day… the one who, when we got sucked into the healing challenge, thought he should immediately cast his aoe heal (was an operative healer) on the ONE npc we had to heal, and who never put more than 1 kolto probe on anyone (and never once on me). My back can only take so much strain :p

      • Jennifer Anderson

        Except there really isn’t, with the exception of emergency scan – > instant healing scan – and that’s for heavy, spike, single target damage.

        You have to choose which heal fits the situation. Having a set ‘priority system’ will teach newer healers that they should *always* do x before y, when as a healer, that is almost NEVER true (I speak from 13 years of experience). Healing is about triage, and it’s half instinctual, half learned.

    • Jan Kager

      Yes and no. Although there are no set rotations, there are patterns you can use that work best for common scenarios. This guide explains them quite well.

  • Omises

    Will not go into deeper debate except for burst healing, which I do think its wrong, and will try to elaborate why.
    First of all, you specd into Stabilized Armor on Heroic. Arguably, I consider that more PvP utility, than PvE, since if you have issues standing out of AoE in raids, you are probably doing something wrong. Never had issues with damage taken per second with Merc healer and usually ends up being on bottom chart with damage taken per second in raids.That being said, I never pick that utility. Instead of that I pick Power Overrides which gives you full potential of best single target burst healer and here is why. If you anticipate damage spikes, and as progression healer you should, you can easily pull out something like this:
    1. Emergency scan (proc insta Healing scan)
    2. (insta)Healing scan
    3. Supercharged gas (resets Healing scan)
    4. Power Surge (here is where Power Overrides kicks in for burst healing)
    5. (insta)Healing scan
    6. (insta)Healing scan + TSO if you are high on heat
    7. Healing scan

    Just my 2 cents on the subject…

    • Artorias

      In regards to your statement about AOE in PVE. A lot of damage in raids on non-tanks is AOE. Some of them have no wind up and are instant. I,e. First tick of Death From Above or Unstable Aberration explosions on HM Revan and the best example of all Underlurker which is 80% AOE damage on the non-tanks, the other 20% I’d count as stuff such as Melee add hits and the rock throw. Some AOE cannot be avoided and Stabilized Armor helps against that. AOE DR is taken by nearly every PVE player if they have an optional access to it. Operative, Marauder etc. I would say it’s more of a PVE utility vs. a PVP one.

      • Omises

        As I said, arguably PvP, and never had issues with DtPS so far thus picking 2 instant casts instead.

        • Artorias

          I argued. :p

          • Omises

            You obviously did 😉

    • Stabilized armor is a must on some fights pre 4.0 and I still use it in 4.0 even though the damage on some of the encounters have being nerfed so it is definitely not PvP utility. Coratnni HM – the mouse droids don’t care if you are a healer or not. Two mouse droids chain exploding can kill you before you get a heal off to top yourself. Same for the cannons in phase 1 if you happen to get caught in it and not full on HP. Revan HM with the raidwide AoE (which is a now a joke in 4.0) is much easier with that utility. I didn’t get a chance to use it on Revan though as I always went for the reduced cleanse CD incase the cleanses fall behind.

    • Jan Kager

      Wouldn’t it be better to replace 3 and 4? That way you get more time on SG

      • Omises

        True, it would, you are right, thanks for input 🙂

  • Ironballs

    I’d like to pitch in about Heroic utilities. And this is also about sorcerer healing. It is possible to heal without Thrill of the Hunt and trust me there are always better utilities to pick in Heroic tier than this mobility. Healers don’t have a hard rotation to follow and neither Progressive Scan or Innervate are used to save somebody’s ass from 1% HP. So it is completely fine to interrupt Progressive Scan and move out of a red circle, nobody is supposed to die from it – both Mercenary and Sorcerer have tons of other abilities to use while moving. As soon as this utility showed up in 3.0 I bet many people couldn’t stop using it. I also bet many people didn’t question themselves if this utility is worth it. And according to my own PvE and PvP healing experience, this is not crucial, you can heal without it and have a free choice in Heroic tier. Try it.

    • The mobility boost is too crucial to ignore, especially in any serious progression raiding. There are fights that have lots of movements and not having the mobility option seriously gimp you. It is not about saving someone from 1% HP, it is about topping them off so they don’t die to an ability that does over 50% of their HP. None of other utility options are as good as the mobility option..

    • pigsly

      being able to use one of your relatively long casts while moving adds a lot of casting time; if you have a 10s window in which to heal the group up and ~5s of that is going to be spent moving, being able to channel progressive scan while moving adds a ton of healing.

      the only realistic alternative is power overrides, which is a nice talent in pve but hardly a crucial one considering the amount of instant healing mercs can do anyway.

  • pigsly

    Curious about supercharged defense; maybe I don’t have a clear understanding of how defense works, but I thought it was just the chance for single target attacks against you to parry/deflect. Seems like it would be good in pvp, but much less so in pve/operations where much less incoming damage is 1) targeted directly at you and 2) ‘defensible’ in the first place.

  • Jan Kager

    As an alternative to assigning hotkeys, I use a vertical quickbar next to the ops frame. Since using mouse to move is not always possible I can click abilities when moving with wsad.

  • katugun

    Do you have the 4-piece bonus PVE (+5 seconds to supercharge) work? In my case it is broken again with 216/220 tokens 🙁 It took almost half a year to fix that bug in 3.0 and finally when it started to work, they released 4.0 which has broken it again. Even the workaround with unequipping/re-equipping which was effective in 3.0 does not work any more..

    • NeNiMel

      I have not tested it. Will look into it 🙂

    • NeNiMel

      My 4pc set bonus is working however the duration is only
      – 8 sec without the bonus and
      – 12 sec with the bonus

      It seems the set-bonus does not apply to Supercharged defense.

      • katugun

        I see what you mean now. Supercharged gas duration in “combat support cylinder” stance must be 12 seconds (without any bonus sets) according to it’s tool tip, for other not healing stances it is 8 seconds. I checked without the bonus set and my Supercharged gas worked only 8 seconds instead of normal 12, i.e. the game does not see that I am in the “combat support cylinder” and gives me only 8 seconds, not 12! So combined with the bonus I receive 8+4 seconds of the supergas, instead of the 12+4 as before :(.
        I guess I need to make a new bug report with this clarifying information

        • NeNiMel

          Yea I missed that change too, but should be corrected in the guide now 🙂

  • oNeg

    I’m curious about the optimal stats part of the post, which thank you for the time to write this up. Granted, I have Defiant Relics atm and Defiant Pants, everything else is Exarch gear. My stats are as follows M 5126, P 2179, C 1536, A 1078. So my question is I don’t see how to get to the stats you posted for 220 because anything I do affects my Alacrity or Crit because I would have to swap it out to replace with something with Power. I apologize I hope that makes sense.

    I just don’t understand why my Power is so far off from what you stated. It seems its wrapped up in Endurance but Im not sure how to get around that.

    any thoughts much appreciated.

    • NeNiMel

      The stats are given for optimized gear, which can be found in token pieces from operations.

      The power budget comes from:
      – 9 x Mod (item rating 220 = 121)
      – 7 x Enhancement (110)
      – 2 x Implant (231)
      – 1 x Earpiece (231)
      – 2 x Relic (73)
      – 1 x Anodyne Stim (81)

      This should add to 2779

      For more info take a look at this post: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=847112

      • oNeg

        Thanks NeNiMel I guess maybe I was in shock after I saw that and thought, what did I do wrong? I see it now in the token stats, big increase in power. Thanks or the article helped a lot!

  • David Harvey

    Anyone else not seeing the Skillful items listed here not matching up with what is available in game?

  • Tykè

    So in this guide it said “Rotation” so what would be a good “rotation” for this I never understood the guidelines for that section.

    • NeNiMel

      There are no real “rotation”. The section works more as a guide line for which abilities should be used more often than others.

      There are no universal rotation that you can repeat over and over. Healing is very dynamic and you will have to decide which ability will be the optimal for the current situation all the time.

      This post goes a bit more into details about which abilities will give the highest output based on the number of targets. It also analyses the payback rate with respect to heat/energy cost:
      http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=861749

  • brutal

    the utilities i found more usefull the one that reduce dmg taken from dot if cure is activated on target in second tree than the shild one#

    • Phase

      Kind of late but I’d assume when you get into a fight it’s basically just the same as operative healing with kolto probes, you get to know which icon is when selecting people and as stated in the guide its mainly going to be on tanks and melee DPS. I believe Star Parse also might have an overlay to show this as I know it does for hots at least for how long they have left which this is basically a HoT with the exception you have to take damage for it to activate.

      • Phase

        Rip Dunno why I replied to this comment, maybe a miss click, meant to reply to the one above it about Kolto Shell timer. Ah well Ill repost it up there too.

    • NeNiMel

      The suit foe skill is not very valuable in pve, because the reduced dmg on dots can only be applied to one self and not other members in the operation.
      Besides in pve when you use cure it is to remove a dot so there is no dot dmg afterwards. You should not use cure if the dot is uncleansable 🙂

  • Megacode

    How are you setting up your UI to keep track of Kolto Shell. I usually have my Debuffs enlarged and Buffs very minimal. I’m guessing there’s no way of just keeping track of certain buffs??

    • Phase

      Kind of late but I’d assume when you get into a fight it’s basically just the same as operative healing with kolto probes, you get to know which icon is when selecting people and as stated in the guide its mainly going to be on tanks and melee DPS. I believe Star Parse also might have an overlay to show this as I know it does for hots at least for how long they have left which this is basically a HoT with the exception you have to take damage for it to activate.

    • NeNiMel

      I have never really found a solid way to do it, but have kinda developed a gut feeling for when it’s time to refresh them.
      I too keep the buffs in the opsframe relative small compared to the debuffs, so can’t really track them there. However, I Have enlarged both the buff and debuff bar on my current target, to easily see the number of stacks left in the koltoshell. It’s most important to track the buffs on the tanks and you will be targeting those most often anyway 🙂

  • Vg12th

    Republic side version coming soon?

    • Phase

      I would assume not since its been this long, I don’t even think Dulfy plays except to do the next chapter of KOTFE. Best bet is just to read the abilities on the mirror class (Commando) and line them up where they are on your mercenary’s hot bars / key binds. The latter of the guide remains the same though for stats and how it works.

    • NeNiMel

      I wrote and sent the mercenary and commando guide to dulfy at the same time. The commando version was just never uploaded. Will try to look into it, but as Phase wrote they are almost the same (skills and utilities just have different names)

  • CosmicC

    thanks dude, excellent guide.

  • xraidsniperx

    what the heck is OBS?! I hate it when people use acronyms while assuming everybody else knows what they mean…..

    • NeNiMel

      Yea sorry is a thing in nordic contries. It means something close to attention. Have changed the fomulation a bit, so dont worry about it.

  • Александр Востриков

    Thanks for the great guide 🙂 Picture of “Kolto Missile”

    • NeNiMel

      Thank you. Yea probably got messed up with the Kolto Bomb picture 🙂

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