SWTOR 4.0 Balance Sage PvE Guide by Splizza

SWTOR 4.0 Balance Sage PvE Guide written by Splizza

Introduction to 4.0 Balance

After occupying the lowest single target DPS slot during the "Shadow of Revan" expansion, Balance has climbed the ranks up to 13th out of the 18 DPS disciplines (See: Goblin_Lackey’s theory craft on the SWTOR class / role board). A new passive ability, Psychokinetic Torrent, has increased DOT critical chance by up to 8%, improving single target results. Although the damage output is being forecasted to be on the lower end, it is still projecting higher than Telekinetics (15th), and is within average DPS range compared to other classes/disciplines.

While there is still much room for improvement, and some quality of life issues remain with Force management, Balance is in a much healthier position for end-game PVE content than it was, and continues to perform exceptionally in PVP.

Existing Abilities for Balance Damage Rotation

weakenmind Weaken Mind: Weakens the target’s mind, dealing 7355 internal damage over 18 seconds.
telekineticthrow Telekinetic Throw: Deals kinetic damage to the target and consumes 40 Force over the duration of the channel.
mentalalacrity Mental Alacrity: Grants 20% alacrity and immunity to pushback and interrupts for 10 seconds.
disturbance Disturbance: Fires a blast of telekinetic energy at the target, dealing kinetic damage.
forcepotency Force Potency: Grants 2 charges of Force Potency, which increases the Force critical chance of your direct attacks and heals by 60%. Each time a direct Force ability critically hits or each time a channeled force ability is activated, 1 charge is consumed. Lasts 20 seconds.
forceinbalance Force in Balance: Deals internal damage and redistributes life from affected targets to heal you for 10% of the damage dealt. Strikes up to 8 targets within an 8-meter radius. Granted at level 10.
severforce

Sever Force: Weakens the target, freezing it in place for 2 seconds and dealing internal damage over 18 seconds. The immobilizing effect cannot occur more than once every 9 seconds. Granted at level 26

forceserenity Force Serenity: Redistributes life from an enemy, dealing internal damage to the target and healing you for 50% of the damage dealt. Granted at Level 42.
vanquish Vanquish: Vanquishes the target using mighty force, dealing kinetic damage initially, plus additional kinetic damage over 9 seconds (with Mind Warp). The target also becomes vulnerable for 45 seconds, increasing the damage dealt by force attacks by 5%. Granted at level 57
forceempowerment Force Empowerment: Increases mastery, endurance, and presence for you and your operation group members within 40 meters by 10%. Lasts 10 seconds.
forcequake

Forcequake: Channels the Force into the ground at the target location, causing it to quake and tremble, consuming 60 Force and dealing damage to up to 8 targets within 8 meters over the duration of the channel.

Existing Passives for Balance Damage Rotation

telekineticbalance

Telekinetic Balance(Passive): Telekinetic Throw no longer has a cooldown. Granted at level 12.

psychicbarrier

Psychic Barrier (Passive): Reduces the pushback suffered while activating Force Serenity by 75% and Telekinetic Throw by 100%. In addition, each time your Telekinetic Throw deals damage, you recover 1% of your total Force. Granted at level 16.

forcesuppression

Force Suppression(Passive): Force in Balance now suppresses resistance to the Force, increasing the amount of damage the targets suffer from your next 15 periodic damaging abilities by 10%. Lasts 30 seconds. Granted at level 20.

presenceofmind

Presence of Mind (Passive): Dealing Damage with Telekinetic Throw produces a stack of Presence of Mind. At 4 stacks, Presence of Mind causes your next Disturbance, Mind Crush, or Vanquish to activate instantly, consume 50% less force, and deal 25% more damage.

abundantjustice

Abundant Justice (Passive): Force in Balance spreads your Weaken Mind and Sever Force to the targets it damages, as long as it damages targets already affected by your Weaken Mind and Sever Force. In addition, Force in balance overwhelms its targets for 45 seconds. Overwhelmed targets take 10% more damage from area attacks. Granted at level 28

criticalkinesis

Critical Kinesis (Passive): Increases the critical chance of Force Serenity and Disturbance by 5%. Granted at level 32.

drainthoughts

Drain Thoughts (Passive): Increases all periodic damage dealt by 10%. Granted at level 36.

ripplingforce

Rippling Force (Passive): Damage dealt by Telekinetic Throw has a 20% chance and damage dealt by Force Serenity has a 60% chance to apply Rippling Force to the target, which deals energy damage and restores 2 Force after 1 second. Granted at Level 40.

mindwrap

Mind Warp (Passive): Increases the duration of Mind Crush and Vanquish by 3 seconds. Granted at level 44.

mentalscarring

Mental Scarring (Passive): Increases the damage dealt by periodic effects by 15% on targets below 30% of max health. In addition, Force Serenity restores 15 force when used on a target affected by your Force Suppression. Granted at level 48.

focusedinsight

Focused Insight (Passive): Increases the life stolen by Force in Balance and Force Serenity by 100% and causes Weaken Mind and Sever Force to reclaim life from enemy targets, healing you for 25% of the damage they deal. Granted at level 52.

psychicprojection

Psychic Projection (Passive): Telekinetic Throw channels and ticks 33% faster but deals 25% less damage. Granted at level 56.

mindseye

Mind’s Eye (Passive): Force Serenity deals 25% more damage when used on a target affected by your Weaken Mind. In addition, each time a charge of your Force Suppression is consumed, you gain 2 force. Granted at level 60.

New Abilities and Passives

phasewalk2 Phase Walk: Phase Walk has moved into the Consular base class, granting its use to Sages as well. Phase Walk allows the Consular to place a mark that can be instantly returned to at a later time, after which Phase Walk goes on cooldown. It can be trained/granted at level 61.
psychokinetictorrent

Psychokinetic Torrent (Passive): Telekinetic Throw stacks up to 4 stacks of an effect that increases the Critical chance of your periodic effects by 2% per stack. Granted at level 64

Important Situational and Support Abilities

Sages continue to offer great support abilities ideal for Operations and Group content while using DPS disciplines, including off-heals, self-heals, and a threat management ability that can be used on an ally in danger.

Healing and Defensive Abilities

forcearmor

Force Armor: Surrounds the target in a Force Shield that absorbs a high amount of damage and lasts 30 seconds.

forcemend Force Mend: Immediately restores health to you with no Force cost. Cannot be used on others.
rejuvenate Rejuvenate: Immediately heals a target a small amount, plus an additional small amount over 9 seconds.
benevolence Benevolence: Heals a friendly target for a moderate amount. Ability has no cooldown.
psychicsuffusion Physic Suffusion (Only available with Tier 1 Skillful Utility Selected): turns Force Wave into a small AOE heal
restoration

Restoration: Cleanses a friendly target of up to 2 negative mental or Force effects.

forcebarrier Force Barrier: Projects a Force Barrier around you, granting immunity to all control, damage, and negative effects while channeled. This ability does not respect the global cooldown and can be used while controlled. While you are protected by Force Barrier charges will build up and grant Enduring Bastion, a shield that absorbs an amount of damage based off the charges that are present when Force Barrier ended. Enduring Bastion also grants immunity to interrupts.
blackout2 Blockout (Only available with Tier 2 Masterful Utility Selected): Activating Cloud Mind grants Blockout, which increases damage reduction by 25% for 6 seconds.

Threat Management and Important Raiding Utilities

blackout2

Cloud Mind:Clouds the minds of your enemies, instantly lowering your threat by a moderate amount.

rescue

Rescue:Lowers the target’s threat by a moderate amount and, if the target is a group member, pulls the target to your location.

forcespeed Force Speed: Increases your movement speed by 150% for 2 seconds.
revival

Revival: Revives an incapacitated ally. This ability is useable while in combat.

mindsnap

Mind Snap: Interrupts the target’s current action and prevents that ability from being used for 4 seconds.

forcewave

Force Wave: Deals kinetic damage and knocks back up to 8 enemies within a 15-meter cone in front of you.

Utilities

Utilities selected should vary, depending on encounter, situation, and group composition. There have been some additions and changes in 4.0, which appear below, along with my highlighted recommendations for PVE Group and Operation based content.

Tier 1 – Skillful

  • Benevolent Haste (New): A completed Benevolence activation increases your target’s movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds. This cannot occur more than once every 12 seconds.
  • Psychic Suffusion: Force Wave heals you and up to 7 affected allies a small amount (Recommended for all encounters).
  • Pain Bearer: Increases all healing received by 10%. Does not affect redistributed life (Recommended for all encounters).
  • Jedi Resistance: Increases damage reduction by 3% (Recommended).
  • Tectonic Mastery: Increases the damage dealt by Forcequake by 25% (Recommended for multi-target encounters)

Which selections to take from the above recommendations again varies depending on fight. For the majority of encounters, you will find yourself taking Pain Bearer and Psychic Suffusion while choosing between Jedi Resistance and Tectonic Mastery.

Tier 2 – Masterful

  • Dizzying Force (New): When Force Lift ends, target’s accuracy is reduced by 20% for 8 seconds.
  • Blockout: Activating Cloud Mind grants Blockout, which increases damage reduction by 25% for 6 seconds (Recommended).
  • Valiance: Reduces the damage taken by the target of your Rescue by 25% for 6 seconds after you rescue them. Additionally, increases the healing done by Force Mend by 30% (Recommended).
  • Telekinetic Defense: Increases the amount absorbed by your Force Armor by 10% (Recommended)
  • Mind Ward: Reduces the damage taken by all periodic effects by 15% (Recommended for encounters where you may receive a DOT effect).
  • Egress: Force Speed grants Egress, removing all movement-impairing effects and granting immunity to them for the duration (Recommended for encounters where you may receive a Slow, Snare or Root effect).

Once again, what you want varies depending on the fight. Blockout and Valiance are both generally always useful.

Tier 3 – Heroic

  • Kinetic Collapse (Moved): Moved from Tier 2 up to Tier 3. Force Armors end with an AOE stun. Not recommended for PVE.
  • Ethereal Entity (New): Reduces all area of effect damage taken by 30%. In addition, using Phase Walk to return to its marked location grants Ethereal Entity, keeping you from being leapt to or pulled and making you immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback for the next 6 seconds (Recommended for any encounter where you may receive AOE damage).
  • Force Mobility: Force Serenity can be activated while moving (Recommended)
  • Force Haste: Reduces the cooldown of Force Speed by 5 seconds, Force Slow by 3 seconds, and Force Barrier by 30 seconds (Recommended).
  • Life Ward: Your Force Armor, Force Barrier, and Enduring Bastion heal you for 2% of your total health every second for as long as they last. This healing scales up to 8% with the charges for Enduring Bastion.

I take Force Mobility for every Operations boss. Balance is already less mobile than Telekinetics. Adding another stationary cast would be unfortunate.

Gearing

Gearing has been simplified in 4.0. Players no longer have to choose between power and critical rating. Critical rating has been moved down a tier, and has combined/replaced Surge, which is no longer in the game. As such, Critical rating now increases both your chance, and your multiplier. Alacrity, with its revamp in 3.0, continues to be an effective stat for DPS classes to stack.

Stat Balancing

For the sake of this guide, I will recommend statistics based on 220 rated HM gearing. After running close to 400 parses to sample from, using varying builds, I have found the best average results with the following:

Accuracy:

  • 2 x 220 rated Accuracy pieces (320)
  • 5 x 208 rated Accuracy augments (365)

Total: 685

Alacrity:

  • 4 x 220 rated Alacrity pieces (640)
  • 1 x 208 rated Alacrity augment (73)

Total: 713 (Minimum recommendation)

Critical Rating:

  • 4 x 220 rated Critical rating pieces (640)
  • 8 x 208 rated Critical rating augments (584)
  • 2 x 136 rated Critical rating crystals (82)

Total: 1306 (Minimum recommendation)

I would recommend stacking at least 700 Alacrity and 1300 Critical rating, then build from there. As always, Accuracy rating must be stacked high enough to achieve 110% Force accuracy.

Relics and Adrenals

With the additional critical chance that balance DOTs now receive from Psychokinetic Torrent, the discipline has an excellent average critical performance. However, because Balance already receives a large amount of full-time Critical chance, the performance using Critical chance boosting relics and adrenals is underwhelming, compared to the guaranteed damage gain that comes with a large increase in Mastery and/or Power.

Recommended Relics:

  • Relic of Serendipitous Assault – Healing or Damaging an enemy have a 30% chance to grant a large amount of power for 6 seconds.
  • Relic of Focused Retribution – Healing or Damaging an enemy have a 30% chance to grant a large amount of mastery for 6 seconds.

Recommended Adrenal:

  • Advanced Anodyne Attack Adrenal – Increases power by 750 for 15 seconds.

Set Bonus

In 3.0, many Sages kept their old set bonus armors from 2.x, rather than use the new set bonus granted by Revanite gear. So far in 4.0, the old 3.0 set bonus is stacking with the new set bonus. That being said, the 6-piece set bonus for Sage has changed in this expansion, and was definitely worth review.

The 6-piece armor set bonus now grants 1 additional charge of Force Potency. The old 2-piece from last tier is stacking with the 2-piece from this tier, increasing all damage by 4% instead of 2% whenever active.

After a large sampling of parses, using the 6-piece bonus has yielded better results for me as opposed to using the old 2 / new 4. I averaged a net gain of roughly 60 to 100 DPS using the new set bonus. Therefore, I recommend using the new 6-piece and gaining the additional armor, Mastery, and endurance.

Rotations

As with any discipline, depending on instance and situation, you will want to use differing rotations. Balance offers a solid DOT based rotation which is built around the 18 second spans of Weaken Mind and Sever Force. With the addition of DOT spreading in 3.0, Balance can also be extremely potent for multi-enemy encounters.

Single Target Rotation

The Balance single target rotation can be broken up into sevensegments.

Segment 1 (Opener)

  • Pre-cast Vanquish > Sever Force > Weaken Mind > Mental Alacrity + Force Potency + Force Empowerment + Adrenal > Force in Balance > Force Serenity > Telekinetic Throw > Disturbance > Telekinetic Throw > Disturbance > Telekinetic Throw > Telekinetic Throw (Clipped by start of Segment 2)

Segment 1 features the use of Mental Alacrity. While that is active, any abilities activated will be affected by the additional alacrity, and will have their cooldowns reduced.

During this window, there is time to execute two Disturbance attacks rather than the typical 1 found in the other segments. The reduced cooldown that Mental Alacrity grants to Force in Balance is what allows for the DOT placement to occur after Force in Balance in Segment 2.Without Mental Alacrity, the cooldown on Force in Balance is too long to allow the DOTs to pass it in the rotation seamlessly.

The logic behind the remainder of the rotation is simple. Vanquish, Force in Balance and Force Serenity must be used on cooldown, while DOTs should not be reapplied before their duration is complete. Telekinetic Throw, when marked as “clipped”, should be clipped at 0.7 seconds, with Vanquish.

Segment 2

  • Vanquish > Force in Balance > Sever Force > Weaken Mind > Force Serenity > Telekinetic Throw > Disturbance > Telekinetic Throw > Telekinetic Throw (Clipped)

Segment 3

  • Vanquish > Force in Balance > Telekinetic Throw > Force Serenity >Sever Force > Weaken Mind > Disturbance > Telekinetic Throw > Telekinetic Throw

Segment 4

  • Vanquish > Force in Balance > Force Serenity >Telekinetic Throw > Disturbance >Sever Force > Weaken Mind > Telekinetic Throw > Telekinetic Throw (Clipped)

Segment 5

  • Vanquish > Force in Balance > Force Serenity >Telekinetic Throw > Disturbance > Telekinetic Throw > Sever Force > Weaken Mind > Telekinetic Throw (Clipped)

Segment 6

  • Vanquish > Force Potency > Force in Balance > Force Serenity >Telekinetic Throw > Disturbance > Telekinetic Throw > Telekinetic Throw (Clipped)> Sever Force > Weaken Mind

Segment 7 Back in to Segment 1

  • Vanquish > Force in Balance > Force Serenity >Telekinetic Throw > Disturbance > Telekinetic Throw > Telekinetic Throw > Telekinetic Throw >
  • (Start of Segment 1) Vanquish > Sever Force > Weaken Mind > Mental Alacrity > Force in Balance…

The rotation itself, while long, is simplistic. DOT reapplication cannot occur too early, as Balance continues to have Force management issues, and early DOT application will quickly escalate that problem. To summarize, the theory behind the above rotation is as follows:

  • DOTs reapplied as they fall off
  • Vanquish, Force in Balance and Force Serenity used on cooldown
  • 4 stacks of Psychokinetic Torrent kept up at all times
  • Clip Telekinetic Throw with Vanquish at 0.7 when off cooldown.

For Balance to put up competitive damage numbers, the critical chance on Force in Balance and Force Serenity must be high. These attacks, along with Vanquish are crucial to the overall damage and must be used on cooldown. Sliding the application of DOTs down in each segment allows for the large burst abilities to be used whenever available, while also keeping the Force quality of life issues somewhat at bay.

Multi-Target Rotation

The rotation for multi-target encounters is extremely simple in Balance.

DOT application > Force in Balance (DOT spread)> Telekinetic Throw> Forcequake

Keeping DOTs on all targets will maximize damage. Once DOTs have been applied, and Force in Balance has granted Abundant Justice, Forcequake will produce decent damage to all enemies in the AOE. Telekinetic Throw should be used to keep Psychokinetic Torrent at 4 stacks.

Sample Parse and Video

Video

Parse

Operations and Group Content

Sages can offer a lot to Operations and Group content. A responsible Sage will focus not only on damage output, but also on using utilities to improve group quality of life. First, here are some basic tips and tricks:

  • Wide Camera Angle: Keep zoomed out. Get a wide view of your battlefield
  • Parser / Timers: A great asset. Timers come in very handy for certain encounters (IE Revan, Sword Squadron, etc)
  • Target of Target / Focus Target / UI: Don’t be shy to go into interface editor and get your UI just right. This game has a great, customizable interface. Take advantage of it.
  • Key Binds: I have 48 keys bound to my mouse alone. Do what feels right, but the less screen clicking that takes place, the better.
  • High APM: Abilities per minute. Keep them Above 40. Work. You are stacking lots of Alacrity now. It only works if you are all over those cooldowns.

Key Operation Utilities

  • Restoration – Assisting healers with cleansing can be key with many fights (IE Dread Council, Nefra, etc)
  • Mind Snap – performing interrupts to execute mechanics are paramount to successful encounters
  • Cloud Mind – Threat management should not be overlooked. A great DPS, no matter the class, will put care into dumping threat.
  • Rescue – Used responsibly, this unique ability can save a party member from certain death.
  • Force Barrier – Not just a great defensive cooldown, this ability can be used to help with multiple end game mechanics (IE laser cutter from Master / Blaster)
  • Force Speed – With no physics immunity, Force Speed is critical to a sage trying to get into proper position to execute a mechanic.
  • Force Empowerment – Use this raid-wide buff responsibly. Always communicate and coordinate with your group before deploying.

Self Heals

Light armor classes always bring their own challenges to end-game content. Luckily, Sages do have some tricks up their sleeves to deal with their cloth exteriors.

Organically, through the rotation, Balance is now producing roughly 1400 HPS of self-heals. That is incredibly high, and will continue to be an asset in Operations and Group content. Combining that with a free, instant heal (Force Mend), certainly helps quality of life for a light armor DPS class.

Responsibilities

As a DPS, you need to ensure that targets are defeated within the given time constraints. That being said, it is always important to choose targets responsibly. With any DOT spreading discipline, the temptation will always be present to spread DOTs to secondary or unimportant targets, when the mechanic calls for DPS to focus on just a single boss (IE Bulo). Fluffing the damage by attacking additional enemies does not help the encounter.

DOT spreading might be the most valuable asset a Balance Sage brings into an Operation from a damage standpoint. However, if not used responsibly, it can be a detriment. You can easily pull 8k DPS on Grob’thok, but your tanks won’t like you very much if he hits enrage because you were padding on adds.

Summary

With the addition of Psychokinetic Torrent, Balance is certainly healthier than it used to be, and with good critical luck, can be a very effective and viable single target DPS. Self-healing, off-healing, and utility are always useful to a raid. In longer encounters where there may not be breaks in attacking, Force management can start to become a concern, and this may have to be addressed down the road.

With other ranged classes offering better armor, defensive cooldowns, and most importantly, physics invulnerability, it becomes tough to recommend Balance over its counter parts. But for many fights, it is a very easy choice over Telekinetics. Just don’t bring it into Revan HM and expect to put up any damage during the core phase.

About the Author

I have many characters and play many classes, but would be most recognized by Splizza, a Sage on The Harbinger server. I started playing in December of 2011. In Spring of 2014, I became Guildmaster of a Republic progression guild by the name of Paramount, which continues to go strong. I have cleared all content in the game and achieved 100% operations pre-4.0. I have been using a Sage as my main class since the launch of this game, but for the first two years, Balance was a PVP spec for me, as I mostly healed in PVE content. I currently continue to raid in Paramount and have characters in Provectus and YES on the Imperial side.

I would like to thank all of my guildies and teammates. Thank you Ka’ya, for making the Paramount Guild Ship the nicest one on The Harbinger. Thank you, Dulfy, for hosting this guide. Thank you, Shizzel, for the inspirational photography. Thank you, Yssane, for doing enough tank damage to carry me on a Madness Sage through Revan core phase. Thank you, Bioware, for giving Paramount tanks Translocate, and granting them the ability to get revenge for years of my abuse of Rescue. They are making good use of it. Thanks to Krakatau, Seshirou, Fyttov and Shadowshot for pushing me from a DPS perspective and giving me something to strive towards. Big thank you to Kaname for the proof read and edit.

  • Newbie

    Thanks for this. So am I to assume we are grabbing Healer Pieces for Alacrity as well? Is there a way to have a guide with what they give you, for example if you grab all the Force_Lord Pieces, this is the extra you need to get etc.

    • Splizza

      With off drops coming with good enhancements, you should get plenty of what you need in terms of spare parts. In my experience so far, Alacrity has been hardest to come by, so I try to keep my left side stacked with it. You do not need to get healer pieces though. Left side, off drops, and the enhancements with the DPS gear should get you there.

  • SPECTR_Eternal

    Thanks for the guide! My only concern was “Did they changed something in Madness/Balance?” so the answer is no, and thats good enough to start with.

    Will you re-write this Guide for Madness Sorc aswell? And will you do a Lightning/Telekinetics?

    Thanks again.

    • Splizza has sent me the madness version as well so it will be up soon

      • SPECTR_Eternal

        Good news, thx a lot Dulfy for your site. :3

      • Alodar

        How soon is soon? (Thanks for your awesome site!)

  • Azimez

    Nice guide dude. I would like to ask, what numbers you got on 1m, 500k dummy with alacrity gear. Cuz in 3.0 i had much better DPS without alacrity ( when everyone recommended it ). Also now with my PT AP, ive got around 7k dps on dummy withou alacrity ( 216 MH ) non 224 pieces at all.
    Thanks for your answer

    • Splizza

      I can run more parses with zero alacrity, however I can say this as a general response. Any variation of gearing where I had less than 1300 crit and less than 700 alacrity lead to a DPS loss, on average, of 100. That is a large loss. Perhaps my sampling was skewed by RNG but that was the typical average difference, regardless or which stat was being stacked in favor of the other. This is based on a large sampling.

      • Azimez

        I agree with crit rate around 1400. But im not sure about powerless gear ^^
        I saw all these threads about crit/ala theory. Wont change it, before some1 shows me huge numbers with powerless gear 🙂

        • Splizza

          I can only go by my results. But everyone should definitely build the way they are most comfortable. There does not have to be a right answer, but those two minimum recommendations have given me the best damage output. Have you done sample parsing with both builds for comparison?

  • Arkeran

    At the risk of sounding stupid, may we have a link to : (See: Goblin_Lackey’s theory craft on the SWTOR class / role board) ? I did not find it :/

  • Cingond

    Agreed on pretty much everything.
    But, i think, DoT-effects spread should get more attention.
    First of all, it should be mentioned, that DoT-effects from one consular/inquisitor still can and will consume another one’s stacks of Death Mark/Force Supression (along with their own, provided they’re present on target) without additional benefits. I’m using base class on purpose, because it’s true for assassin/shadow as well. Which makes bringing more then one consular/inquisitor in DoT-based discipline undesirable.
    That being said, more than one Sage/Sorc in NiM raid undesirable on it’s own.
    Second, Sage/Sorc DoT-effects spread is possible only with “original” effecs (DoT-effects that you have put directly). Which differs Sage/Sorcs from Assassin/Shadows, who can use DoTs, that are themselfs are product of spreading. This may come in handy when you’re dealing with double boss fights, like M&B, to keep up DoT-effects on both targets all the time.
    On a side note, on all tryes and kills on Revan, Lightning gave me better results, even now in 4.0. Are you using Madness on principle, or it’s neeting better results for you?

    • Splizza

      Using Balance on Revan was a one time thing – I just wanted to see what I could do. The answer? 327k. Lol. Yes TK definitely the way to go for that fight. Also, every thing you say is 100 percent correct. Bringing two inquisitors is not a good idea. Many would argue bringing any is a terrible idea when compared to its counterparts. Perhaps a section on the clashing on consulars is something I will add to this guide. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • Cingond

        “Many would argue bringing any is a terrible idea when compared to its counterparts.”
        I have a powertech and marauder in my raid team. When we’re doing something like Styrak, Revan, Coratanny, to compete with them only bring a lot of dissapointment.
        And the other day, in chat on Red Eclipse, where people looking for good random players, i saw following phrase “nah, NiM raids are ok, just dont bring any sorc dps with you”

        • Splizza

          The truth is, with the current balance, the last bosses in each NiM raid have very tight DPS timers. So far, it looks like groups are either going to stack PT’s if they want to get a no-crystal kill. Time will tell if sorc/sage will be viable for those final boss kills without crystal, but it’s starting to look like many classes wont be great to bring in to those encounters. I am certainly keeping my merc/mando set up to date for progression.

          • Splizza

            I should add, Cingond, a couple of days after posting this I ditched both sets and swapped main to Slinger/Sniper.

  • Shepard

    With disturbance being such a small contributor to damage, and force management still a thing, what do you think of the rotation without disturbance? This would help at least a little with force because you gain force back with Tk Throw and I think it does higher damage. There might be something obvious I’m missing, but what do you think?

    • Splizza

      With the above rotation, you should be good for almost every fight in the game. Something like NiM Tyrans might be a bit tight on Force. Spamming TK Throw is a viable alternative but is a good little damage loss, and shouldnt be necessary on most fights. Let’s also remember, TK Throw is not nearly as force positive as it was pre 3.0.

  • SupRun

    Personally, having played both since 2.x, I think that Balance may pull more than Telekinetics, but only in the hands of a very skilled player. The average Sage will find much better results with the faceroll that is Telekinetics.

    • Splizza

      Balance is more difficult than it used to be, and to play without Force issues takes some attention. My personal preference is always to manage DOTs rather than just a priority system.

      • SupRun

        I’m not trying to criticize or saying I’m better than you, but I really don’t see how you have to Force manage on anything Sage, DPS or heals. The Force pool is huge. Except in massive AoE damage phases (Core on Revan, Titan 6 burn phase, Soa platforms, etc) you may have to manage Force, but only as a healer. IIRC, Balance has passives to restore Force. TK has extra Force regen with TK Burst.
        Also, the movement on Balance is bad compared to TK even with the movement on Force Serenity.
        Considering I was the original TK hipster (mained it in 2.x before it was cool) unless I’m willing to parse over and over and master the Balance rotation, personally I’ll stick with TK. I’d rather parse 5.9k in TK then spend hours and hours to parse 6.0-6.2k in Balance (numbers arbitrary)

        • Splizza

          On a 1.5 mil dummy, in balance, at the end of the parse you are around 10% force remaining if done properly. If you reapply dots too soon, you wont make it through a 1.5 mil parse. I agree difference in DPS is negligible and Balance is not ahead by leaps and bounds, so I would recommend you stick TK if that is what you are more comfortable with. Both specs have pros and cons, but you are correct, as I stated above, Balance is not as mobile as TK, and force management in TK is non-existent. Again it comes down to player preference. DOT vs Priority.

          • SupRun

            I would assume you’re not writing the TK guide then? 🙂

        • Cingond

          Again, while i’m agreed with Splizza, i would add a few things.
          Madness/Balance is somewhat unique discipline, when energy managments is concerned. This discipline essencially have a damage pool, which it can bring before emptying resourses. And, honestly, there is not much you can do about it. Using Consuming Darkness during prolonged fight is downward spiral, it’s just destroing your Force regeneration. Throwing Lightning Strike/Disturbance out of window will affect your dps. And Sorc/Sage dont have much to begin with.
          We should also consider, that Opening is Madness is very Force negative, and activation of Polarity Shift makes you spend more energy, than its boost to regeneration can bring back.
          You may argue, that damage pool is enough, but in NiM fights like Styrak, Tyrans, Brontes etc, when you come to last phases you’re just empty and unable to properly deal damage. That’s why, when it comes to prolonged single target fights with no downtime to regen energy, i’m using Lightning.

          • Splizza

            Yes, well said. Tyrans is perfect example, actually. Very tough on force, with zero downtime. I would use lightning, but I find myself swapping to Merc IO before I change disciplines.

  • Dread Master Imperius

    where your parss?

  • DuguQiubai

    I play Balance and am having zero force pool issues. My rotation is very similar to yours up till segment 3. I repeat segment 2 over and over. With out clipping my Dots until late the last 1 to 2 sec. I’m not fully 220 either. I still have some 192’s and 208’s and parse a 5.9k. You can look it up my sage is Peìce. I do love the guide and I love balance. I actually putyou sage on the side line when 3.0 came out for pve. So with all that rambling I just did I’m curious if using your rotation will make a difference .

    • Splizza

      Give it a try and let me know what you think! Sounds like your DOTs are being reapplied too early. Make sure you are parsing on at least a 1.5 mil dummy.

    • DarthKurt

      I run with more alacrity, I have zero problems with force regen… and I’m pulling off the tanks all the time. Balance certainly generates high threat, at least it does for me.

  • Saplaks

    Why they just don’t do something about force regen rate like add force by cast of
    Telekinetic Throw… this is only reason i don’t like maddnes/balance spec.. 🙁

    • Splizza

      TK Throw does have force regen. Just not enough, unfortunately.

  • inexadus

    I’d be curious to know how the 186 rating tier pieces of the level 55 set perform, as compared to the new set pieces. “(4) Affliction or Weaken Mind damage has a 30% chance to increase alacrity by 5% for 15 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 20 seconds.”

    This set bonus was, and is, absolutely insane. As it is a 5% flat bonus, and thus not mitigated by level and the deflation of stats upon level up, I’d be curious to know whether or not the set bonus still outweighs the bonus to Mastery, as it did at level 60.

    • Splizza

      I didn’t test this much, but from what I did test, it was a massive DPS loss. I would have to run more to see but the few that I did were not good.

      • inexadus

        That’s good to know, thank you. I figured it was better to ask than to find out down the line, after I’d replaced my gear, that the old (old old) set bonus was in fact, still BiS due to the set bonus. That would have been disheartening, had I not saved the armorings.

  • Valkhar

    Hi Splizza, first off I want to thank you for the guide. As someone who has always been a TK sage, this guide is a great asset in learning to master Balance in an attempt to be more versatile with my sage (as in being able to master all three disciplines). This also leads me to my question: Would you feel comfortable writing a TK guide as well? I know it is a lot of work, but I am very curious if you would present any notions or different (better?) rotations than I am using. Cheers.

  • Thyria

    Hello Splizza ! Thank you so much, i am french sorry for the english ^^, i don’t understand ur opener/rotation, can u make pictures ? Thank you, and for the stuff, 1300 critique ? wow^^
    And u can give me ur interface ? ;D

    • Splizza

      Salut et Merci. Oui, tu veux 1300 crit avec c’est build. Mon interface et dans le youtube vid. Ecsuse mon Francais, je sons comme une fous. I can’t add pictures. What part of the opener is giving you issues? Do you need it in French?

      • Thyria

        Hello Splizza, i understand english, but if u can make pictures for ur rotation, ur welcome :D, hmm, i give you my starparse, i have just optimization, 4/6 token.
        http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2015/47/1448004536-asmodan-dot-5-5k5-dps.png
        This is my parse.
        And for Utilities, what is the best for u ?

        • Splizza

          Looking at that parse, your APM is very low. With that amount of alacrity your APM needs to be 41.x. You need to be clicking faster to improve damage.

          • Thyria

            Oh okay, and i have just 800 alacrity, maybe it’s that ? Mmhh, okay, i go to test that and i reply.

            • Splizza

              You have enough alacrity. Try raising your APM now!

              • Thyria

                How i can do this ? And i think i have only 1110 in crit.

              • Splizza

                You are either not clipping TK throw or you are not activating abilities on the GCD.

              • Thyria

                Accuracy:

                2 x 220 rated Accuracy pieces (320)

                5 x 208 rated Accuracy augments (365)

                Total: 685

                Alacrity:

                4 x 220 rated Alacrity pieces (640)

                1 x 208 rated Alacrity augment (73)

                Total: 713 (Minimum recommendation)

                Critical Rating:

                4 x 220 rated Critical rating pieces (640)

                8 x 208 rated Critical rating augments (584)

                2 x 136 rated Critical rating crystals (82)

                Total: 1306 (Minimum recommendation)

                Implants and headsets are in rating pieces ?

              • Splizza

                Yes.

              • Thyria

                So we have 10 pieces, so the first and second hand is no’t in ?

              • Splizza

                Head, Chest, Hands, Legs, Boots, Mainhand, Offhand, Implant, Implant, Ear…

              • Thyria

                So waistband and cuffs does not count?

              • Splizza

                Can you get crit alacrity or accuracy from them?

              • Splizza

                The numbers of course only reference pieces which can carry those stats. Relics, waist and wrists don’t apply.

              • Thyria

                Oh yes, i am stupid sorry.

          • Thyria

            Okay, i have http://prntscr.com/96qhrx but i think it’s because i use KotFE optimization and i have only 1110 in crit, maybe because i am only 216 ?

          • Thyria

            This is my stuff

          • think about it

            Hey Splizza, are all the pieces you use vendor pieces? or are they the optimized drops from bosses. EG the two pieces for alacrity, to equal 320 they must be vendor pieces. So i guess for simplicity, how much of your gear is vendor?

            • Splizza

              Zero vendor gear. And FYI Vendor gear and Drop Gear carry the exact same tier three stats. You can double check that. The alacrity / crit / accuracy stay the same regardless of vendor or drop. What changes is mastery / endurance / power allocation.

              • think about it

                well as far as accuracy, vendor gives 160 accuracy and 146 power, and boss gear gives 152 accuracy and something like 96 power

              • Splizza

                You are comparing two pieces of gear that are not the same item rating, my friend.

        • Sam Hillard

          I’m stuck where this guy is…. apm cant be any lower.. or I don’t make the cd on force in balance or force serenity…. and my alac is at 8.4%

  • Secrus

    Hey, Splizza I have a concern. Before you posted your guide I was talking with Aravail (from Ebon Hawk I think) and he claims that using disturbance is pulling DPS and Force down. What do you think about that?

    • Splizza

      Hi Secrus. With the increase crit chance on Disturbance, and having done thorough testing, using Disturbance was a DPS gain for me, in my rotation, every time. TK will be cheaper on Force but for max damage you should be using Disturbance when possible.

  • Tykè

    can the rotation be made shorter

    • Splizza

      If you want to reapply DOTS early, sure. It will kill your force and should negatively impact your dmg.

      • Tykè

        Ok but with the size of this rotation i can barely fit mu utilities ( ex: fleet pass, meditation, buff ability, “unstun” ability, ect. ).

        • Splizza

          Unfortunately, quality of life for F2P does not lend itself well to raiding. You will want more quickbars unlocked to fit those other utilities.

          • Tykè

            Im a sub and i have all quickbars swtor bas to offer and it still doesnt work

  • Trivium

    Hey Splizza, i have a problem with clipping TK with Vanquish, sometimes it clips right under 0.7 and sometimes it doesn’t clip at all, I hit my button like a madman but Vanquish don’t activates. Is it server lag or should I adjust my ability action queue? Thanks in advance, also great guide 🙂

    • Splizza

      Hi Trivium. I would presume that is server lag. The the GCD is 1.5 seconds without alacrity. There is no circumstance that would prevent you from clipping a 2 second channel, outside of ability lag. Definitely sounds like a latency issue.

  • Valkhar

    I don’t understand your single target opener, perhabs you can help me understand it a little better. I am looking at it from a more pvp-oriented perspective, but that shouldn’t make much of a difference I’m thinking. I always start out with Force in Balance, because of Abundant Justice and Force Suppressions side effects increasing the potency of all my following abilities. You may argue that the self-heal gained from it is wasted (provided I’m at full health), but I think the empowerment makes more than up for it. Starting out with Vanquish would miss out on the proc, put it on cooldown and delay me because of the activation time.
    My opener would thus be: Force in Balance > Sever Force > Weaken Mind > Mental Alacrity+Telekinetic Throw > Force Potency+Vanquish (procced) > Force Serenity > Disturbance …
    Please let me know what you think of it (do go easy on me if I am totally wrong, it is not my main discipline (Tele) so I may well be missing out on some details).

    • Splizza

      I recommend checking out the PVP balance guide. It is quite different and definitely better suited for what you are looking for.

  • David Harvey

    What mods (armor, mod, enhancement) for individual pieces do you recommend for a healer from say the lvl 60 Modification Vendor?

    • Secrus

      During leveling there is no sense in min/maxing gear. Go 8/2 crit/alacrity in enhancements

  • Elane

    I’m sorry, I’m a complete noob to gearing and stuff, can someone explain that part to me? I understand the 10 pieces being Head, Chest, Hands, Legs, Boots, and etc, but what about the augments? Where can I get 14 augments from?

  • Philipp Nahrwold

    hi splizza, do you use the same stat balance for raiding?
    I would like to know, how AP+ alacrity or crit+ ap is working for raids.
    sry for my bad english,

    greeting

    • Splizza

      If i were to use a balance sage for raiding in this current tier, I would use the above stats, same as I would on a dummy.

  • Ahzhihod

    Hey Splizza, have you tested Bant’s new rotation for Balance? The one that replaces most Disturbances with TK Throw, as TK Throw deals more damage?

  • Adri Anton

    Our guildmate made this rotation. Little bit diferent as you do Spizza

  • can someone help me figure out what’s wrong with my DPS? 0.o cause the very best i’ve currently managed is 5882.91 (http://parsely.io/parser/view/140393/7) and even that has only happened once so far. I know i’m doing something wrong (not counting the ~440ms server lag lol), i’m just not sure how to fix it x.x

    currently my stats are: mastery: 5404
    power: 2875
    accuracy: 701
    alacrity: 737
    critical: 1424

  • Vicious

    I made a Sorc friendly rotation infographic because if you’re anything like me the mirror ability names get confusing, and I’m a more visual person.

    • I’m Not Eric Musco

      you shouldn’t have to go back to one and honestly its the easiest rotation ever just do s1 over and over without all the buffs i parse 6.4 just repeating the opener proof you say? http://parsely.io/parser/view/147734/1

  • Yallida

    Thank You for this guide it’s awesmome. My highest pars on sorc is 6,569 with using only first 4th segments of your rotation.
    My stats are:
    1319 crit
    942 alacrity
    2922 power
    5212 mastery
    I’m using accuracy stim (2 enhancements + 2 augments + stim)

  • Yallida

    Here is my rotation not on Sage but general it’s the same 😉

  • Cavaada

    What mods are recommended for endgame 43 or 43A?

    • Sozinho

      Unlettered mods are better for dps and healers. For tanks, there are some different opinions about it,

      In this case, being dps or healer, get 43.

  • Mal

    SSSSPPPPPPLLLLLLIIIIIIIIZZZZZZAAAAAAAA!!!!!

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