SWTOR 5.0 Medicine Operative PvE Guide by Mac.[toc]
There are two main things want to briefly mention before going into the actual guide. Firstly, I’ve written this guide with the intent of giving players the toolkit to play effectively but more importantly understand the class well enough to make their own decisions and adapt playstyle in response to future changes thus it may be presented differently to other guides. Secondly; for the sake of faster explanation there are a number of abbreviations used in the guide; a legend is provided here.
- TA: Tactical Advantage
- HPS: Healing Per Second
- EHPS: Effective Healing Per Second
- DPS: Damage per second/Damage
- AoE: Area of Effect
- Rez: Revive
- GCD: Global Cooldown
- HoT: Heal over Time
- DoT: Damage over Time
Intro to 5.0 Medicine Operative
Medicine operatives are currently in a very strong position. They are a heavily HoT based healer which boasts the strongest AoE healing potential in the game. They also provide extremely high single target sustained healing and very powerful premediated burst. Operatives are quite mobile and have a toolkit to make maintaining uptime very easy. Finally, operative healers bring the powerful utility of a stealth revive to a raid group. Whilst the spec has many appeals there are also (as with any spec) a number of drawbacks. A 4m requirement for a lot of your healer DPS can make healer dps difficult, however having a short cooldown 150% damage reflect can boost operatives to having the highest healer dps capabilities. The Medicine spec relies on frequent moderate power GCDs to maintain its healing rather than one or two extremely powerful abilities (roaming mend and healing scan are such examples from the other healing specs) thus uptime loss typically hurts Medicine more than the other healing specs. Medicine also has a difficult time healing unanticipated spikes. Whilst many players say that operatives are the worst burst healers; this statement is not entirely true. If damage spikes can be predicted then operatives hsave a strong arsenal to prepare for it and burst appropriately. If you however, are not prepared then your burst will be extremely weak and your raid member may be prone to dying. I believe that this is one of the strongest (if not the best) healing specs to bring to a raid but it is also one of the least correctly played. This is why I’ve chosen to write this guide.
General Intro to Healing
I must stress these following points as they highlight a big issue amongst healers in this game. You are a member of a raid group, you are not just an individual in a vacuum. The only way to kill a boss is to bring its hp to zero. And the only way to achieve that is via dealing damage to it. A healer’s goal is to increase raid damage output by allowing the raid to live. Healing output in star wars the old republic is not very balanced with damage taken in raids. If two healers are playing their classes at their maximum capacity; together you will likely heal for 150% or more of what is required. Now there’s nothing wrong with some overhealing; we can’t heal for perfect values given the limited ability types available. However, a major flaw in many healers is that they only heal and provide no other benefit to the raid. Healer DPS can be the difference between a wipe and a kill, a healer getting an interrupt can be the difference between the raid taking an extra 100k damage or not. Now you may as what the point of stressing optimal stats, rotations, priorities etc is when it is relatively easy to achieve the raw output required. The answer is the following methodology; the better you know the spec the better you can select which GCDs to heal raid members with, the better you select your GCDs, the fewer GCDs needed to achieve the required healing output, the fewer GCDs needed to heal, the more GCDs you create to DPS with and thus the more you enable your group to kill a boss.
I believe the rating system in many guides currently published is flawed as there is no standardisation and it is rather personal opinions of the author. Thus I’ve chosen to do ratings out of 3 to show where the spec stands in relation to the other healing specs to create some sense of comparison.
Sustained healing: 3/3
Raw single target output is extremely high due to the high healing per gcd of abilities such as kolto probe, recuperative nanotech, kolto infusion and surgical probes to refresh probes. A lot of operative abilities are small but frequent ticking abilities and thus it is very easy to control total output in single target sustained situations and avoid overhealing. I believe it is the highest output single target healer but given the design of current operations, any healer spec can excel at sustained single target healing comfortably.
Burst healing: 2/3 if expected, 1/3 if unexpected
Firstly I’ll draw a distinction between ‘expected’ and ‘unexpected.’ When saying expected I mean burst caused by unavoidable fight mechanics and abilities. Monster slams in phase 1 of bestia is an expected burst and you can pre cast HoTs on your tank as a result. Your tank being shoulder thrown by a monster in the same fight into a yellow puddle is unexpected and you may not have HoTs ticking in anticipation. A strong healer can be applying HoTs in anticipation of unexpected burst however this is usually done at the expense of healer DPS GCDs and thus there is a tradeoff.
AoE healing: 3/3
Hands down the strongest spec for AoE healing. Medicine contains 2 of the strongest AoE healing GCDs in the game (Kolto waves and recuperative nanotech) and it contains one of the strongest spammable fillers (kolto probe) to use between AoE healing GCDs.
Healer DPS: 2/3 for total output, 1/3 in some raid encounters, 3/3 if safe reflecting is possible
As stated, medicine has the 2nd highest raw output damage. The melee requirement for many of our abilities (backstab, shiv and overload shot) and even the positional requirement for toxic haze can make it difficult to apply healer DPS heavily in a raid compared to sorcerers and mercenaries. 5.0 gave operatives the strongest reflect in the game with the shortest cooldown which if a fight allows can push operative to having the strongest healer dps potential.
There’s nothing really wrong with operative healer survivability, however it is the worst out of all 3 healer specs. Many players think that sorcerers have worse survivability but the damage reduction benefits from unnatural preservation and cloud mind push them ahead of operatives when used correctly.
Raid utility: 3/3 <
While all of the previous ratings probably make up aspects ‘raid utility’ I’ve given a 3 here due to stealth rez being a massive factor that is unique to operative healers. Due to the relative low popularity and prevalence of operative DPS in raid compositions, the raid buff provided by operative healers can become quite valuable, however this is a similar case for sorcerer healers as well.
These numbers are taken from Bant’s theorycrafted model and are typically a reliable build. The more detailed source can be found here; http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=847112
230 rating gear
- 7167 Endurance
- 5901 Mastery
- 3183 Power
- 1583 Critical rating
- 1555 Alacrity
- 0 Accuracy
236 rating gear
- 7741 Endurance
- 6367 Mastery
- 3523 Power
- 1872 Critical rating
- 1664 Alacrity
- 0 Accuracy
242 rating gear
- 8205 Endurance
- 6745 Mastery
- 3793 Power
- 1949 Critical rating
- 1747 Alacrity
- 0 Accuracy
As a disclaimer; these are theorycrafted stat distributions; they assume a perfect APM and a perfect rotation. Furthermore, these stats were calculated to optimize healing done in a scenario where 3 targets were taking equal constant damage. This is a typically unusual scenario in raiding and thus take these values with a grain of salt. They are not gospel. They may be a good starting point for you.
Due to the galactic command system of gearing you may not have access to the exact drops to fully optimize your gearing. In the general case there are some points to stick to which may help your gearing decisions.
- Prioritise the use of unlettered mods. Never use B mods. A mods may be used if they are of a higher item rating (they will result in a very minor healing output loss but give substantial endurance which may help for progression)
- Always use the low endurance variants of enhancements; the ease of acquiring BiS enhancements means you really shouldn’t run anything else.
- Don’t stress too much about where you’re getting certain stats from. If you find you have heaps of crit enhancements, that’s fine. Use the best enhancements/implants/earpiece you have available and balance out your stats with augments.
- Relics for maximum output are focused retribution and serendipitous assault. If you have to pick one of these prioritize focused retribution as its proc ICD is benefitted by alacrity whereas the proc on serendipitous assault is not.
- Boundless ages may be a beneficial relic, it requires more skill in determining its usage but the nature of healing in this game can bring great benefit out of it. Raw output checks are relatively easy and burst healing is often the cause of wipes. Boundless ages may help alleviate this issue due to the availability of an additional cooldown.
- Versatile stims should be used to maximise healing output
- You have a choice between two adrenals. First there is the triage adrenals which will increase techpower and thus increase raw healing output. These adrenals are the best increase in healing output however, they reduce all damage you deal by 20% for the duration. Unless it is a very high stress situation, you are unlikely to be using only healing abilities for 11 GCDs straight, thus this reduction in damage dealt is an impact. The alternative is alacrity adrenals, these can be nice for burst healing as they’ll speed up your GCD and allow you to get some (albeit weaker) heals out quicker, furthermore there is no impact on your damage dealt. Both are acceptable options, however be aware of the distinctions between them.
- If you have set bonus armorings, please keep them. Even armorings from previous expansions are beneficial over having no set bonus at all. The small loss in mastery is more than made up for by the set bonus.
Personally I believe that due to the relative ease of meeting raw healing number requirements, gearing should be something players experiment with to find their personal preference. In this process you will typically consider 3 or 4 stats; crit, alacrity, mastery, and accuracy.
Having more crit will cause less variation in critical rates which can make your burst healing more reliable. In addition it will increase all critical healing and damage done thus increasing burst potential as well. Lots of people say crit is a RNG stat. This is not entirely true. All healing output is dependant on a certain crit rate since relying purely on non-crit ticks is just impractical since your output would be too low., likewise as is DPS output (your dummy parses will always vary more due to the luck of crit rates than any gear changes). Higher crit results in a more reliable crit percentage and in a way reduces the RNG of your output.
Having more alacrity can also make burst healing more reliable as you will be able to react a fraction faster. However, a key note about alacrity is that it is a heavily skill based stat. Many players suffer from suboptimal APM. The purpose of alacrity is to increase your APM ceiling. If a player is not able to hit the APM ceiling in their current stat allocation, additional alacrity will provide almost no benefit. To summarise, alacrity will only do anything if you as a player are able to increase your APM accordingly. If you feel your APM is low, I would recommend stacking more crit and mastery while you work on improving your APM, at which point you should begin experimenting with alacrity. Furthermore, as will be explained later in this guide, kolto probe management is essential to having quick and effective burst healing. If you feel your probe management is poor, having additional alacrity may compensate somewhat.
So far the ideologies of critical and alacrity have been explained. Mastery is a weaker stat than critical and alacrity in terms of healing output. However, mastery is a stat which is not dependent on perfect APM (like alacrity) and is not dependent on any form of RNG (like critical rating), thus using a little is quite a safe option as it will buff all your healing all the time. I would not recommend more than 3 or 4 augments of mastery and I would suggest less if you are comfortable with higher alacrity values.
Finally, we come to accuracy. This is a rather controversial area but I’m explaining it regardless since it is a relevant aspect particularly in nightmare raiding. In nightmare raiding typically, DPS checks require much more uptime per player than the uptime required to meet healing checks. That is; a healer can cover all the healing required in fewer GCDs than the number of GCDs needed for a DPS to cover the damage required. Therefore, healers can use a lot of GCDs to help with DPS (Remember, you are part of a whole raid team, not just an individual player). This is where accuracy can come into play. A healer can choose to drop some mastery/alacrity/critical and run 110% accuracy in order to increase the effectiveness of their DPS GCDs. Please note: this is not recommended for newer healers, this is not recommended for groups which are mechanically weaker and thus take additional damage. This is only an option for extremely strong healers who want to help their raid team out in additional ways. You must make these judgements honestly about yourself (there is nothing worse than an arrogant player trying to play the way someone else does when it is not applicable to their situation).
This should give you an idea of how to decide your own preferred stats as well as giving you a possible framework (Bant’s model) to begin with.
Utilities, Passives and Abilities
Recommended Utility Builds
|General build||Reflect Build|
The following are some important passives from the Medicine tree which I would like to highlight. These are the passives which guide you how to play and should be kept in mind as you learn the spec.
The following are key abilities and brief explanations for Medicine as well as many baseline operative abilities which you will typically be required to use in fights. The explanations in this list should form the basis of understanding the spec and allow you to create ability priorities. This will include healing abilities, offensive cooldowns, defensive cooldowns, and DPS abilities.
Healing & DPSing
As a healer there is not set healing rotation exactly. Your healing will be dictated by the damage going out. I cannot stress enough the importance of developing an in depth understanding on damage profiles in fights. It will help you in predicting damage spikes and knowing when you can use a slower and more cost effective heal rather than needing to quickly burst up a target. Particularly as an operative, you will find proactive healing skills to be extremely vital rather than relying purely on reactive healing skills. Medicine has extremely powerful HoTs (kolto probe and recuperative nanotech) and thus maximizing their usage is the key to effectively healing. The balancing act however is that a HoT takes time and thus it may not always be able to deliver enough healing fast enough to keep a target alive following a large damage spike. In these scenarios you will have to forego HoTs in favor of burstier heals (kolto injection and kolto infusion) to stabilize before you begin reapply HoTs. These burstier heals are weaker than full duration HoTs and when heavily used will begin to create energy issues which will further decrease your healing output. Note that your energy regeneration is at its highest when above 60 energy and therefore you should aim to remain higher than 60 energy unless you are pushing energy for burst healing and plan to recover through the use of Adrenaline Probe or Diagnostic Scan. This is precisely why proactive healing skills are vital.
A player well versed in damage profiles of fights can apply HoTs before a damage spike and use burstier heals in immediate response to damage spikes, having already applied the HoTs you are not in a place where you’re forced to delay strong heals and you can comfortably burst heal a target to keep them alive. Furthermore, having the HoTs ticking already during a burst healing window will further enhance the burst healing you do. Now from this information, it may seem like kolto injection and infusion aren’t worthwhile heals and having to use them is bad. This is not quite true. Raw healing output alone will never keep a raid alive, burst healing is always necessary in response to big spikes. However, having high raw healing through strong HoT management can help mitigate some spikes in encounters and thus reduce the number of burst healing windows necessary and therefore decrease the number of times in a fight that a raid member is prone to dying. Thus we can extract some points which begin to formulate a healing priority to follow. Maximise the usage of kolto probe and recuperative nanotech. Try to have these abilities ticking in anticipation of burst. However, if you weren’t adequately prepared, forego their usage in response to burst and instead prioritize burstier heals to stabilize before resuming a more HoT based priority.
Now the reason I’ve chosen to explain this the way I have is that I want to provide the skills to be able to determine your own priorities down the track. Classes change, abilities get buffed or nerfed, and even new abilities get added. It is this thought process that I follow when learning a class; how strong is a heal, how highly can I prioritize it, when is is not safe to use said heal, what should I use instead? Very few players extensively test and learn things and thus bad habits can be very easily picked up in healing. For example; how many players can tell you the relative expected efficacy of a full duration 2 stack Kolto Probe HoT compared to a kolto injection? Fun fact: It’s almost three times as much healing.
So we can see that our healing ability usage is dependant on the conditions present. Thus I’m presenting my healing priorities for several different scenarios.
General single target healing
This is your typical healing. The major goal in mind here is to be as effective with your ability usage so that targets can be kept as high as possible and you are adequately prepared for damage spikes. This is also the time you can consider adding in healer DPS to help your raid.
Your highest priority will be the application and maintenance of 2 stacks of Kolto Probe. Never refresh your Kolto Probes with another Kolto Probe; it’s just not cost effective or healing effective. Rather, use Surgical Probes to refresh your Kolto Probes. This is good for a number of reasons; Surgical Probe is higher healing than a Kolto Probe tick, Surgical Probe is cheaper than Kolto Probe, and Surgical Probe will force a kolto probe tick outside its normal rate (Kolto Probe ticks every 3 seconds, however surgical probe can cause a tick within 1 GCD which is 1.5s). This forced kolto probe tick can make surgical probe somewhat bursty as it is forcing a HoT tick at the exact same time surgical probe is doing its own healing. Following this is Recuperative nanotech; this is just your next highest output ability and as a benefit it can apply to up to 4 targets which can further enhance its output. Its usage is fairly simple in this scenario, you’re basically using it close to its cooldown and will only delay it if you know a damage spike is coming up in which case you’ll use it right before the spike so you can have it ticking already. Kolto Infusion, being your next highest output ability, is next in the priority followed by Kolto Injection. These 2 abilities are fairly large up front heals so they may not always be used at this point in the priority if your target is fairly healthy (overhealing has no merit whatsoever) and you may rather delay them in favor of lower priority cheaper abilities. These lower priority abilities are surgical probe as a filler (note surgical probe is extremely high priority when needed to keep your kolto probe going but outside that purpose its priority drops quite low) and diagnostic scan (when healing needed is very low diagnostic scan can be a good way to top up your energy letting you sink a lot of energy into a more stressful phase coming up). This priority can even be followed when a target spikes to low HP provided they aren’t taking any more dangerous levels of damage which may kill them (Typically this may be something like a DPS who has just taken some mechanical unavoidable damage eg. The grenade on Titan 6). Thus the general single target healing priority can be summarized in the following list.
- 2 stack Kolto Probe application
- Maintenance of Kolto Probes via Surgical Probe
- Recuperative Nanotech
- Kolto Infusion
- Kolto Injection
- Surgical Probe
- Diagnostic Scan
Single target burst healing priorities
As explained prior, fight understanding to predict damage spikes is highly important for your burst healing (operatives are a very proactive healer rather than reactive). This will outline your ideal approach to burst healing. Your goal is to maximise the amount of healing which occurs during a short timespan. All healing abilities take some span of time to activate. We are looking for the abilities which will be able to do healing outside their time of activation so that we can squeeze more healing output into any particular window of time. Thus there are three pre-casted heals we look for; 2 stacks of Kolto Probe applied to the target, Recuperative Nanotech applied to the target, a Kolto Injection cast already begun which will finish immediately after the spike damage is taken (You may ask why we use Kolto Injection rather than Kolto Infusion here since Infusion is a stronger heal. This is because infusion is only a higher HPS ability due to the longer cast time of Injection and since we are precasting we are eliminating most of the cast time factor here which indeed pushes injection ahead in a burst window). Following this precast you will look to use the strongest up front abilities you have available. This will typically follow the order of Kolto Infusion followed by Kolto Injections until the target is stable enough to resume the general single target healing priority. If the burst precast was mostly achieved this will not require many Kolto Injections typically. Thus the general single target burst healing priority can be summarized in the following list.
- (Precast) 2 stacks of Kolto Probe
- (Precast) Recuperative Nanotech
- (Precast) Kolto Injection
- Kolto Infusion
- Kolto Injection
- Surgical Probe
- Diagnostic Scan
Unexpected single target burst healing priority
This is essentially your ‘oh shit’ or worst case scenario priority when a target takes a large damage spike which you were not adequately prepared for. This when your proactive healing skills have become a non-factor and everything is reactive. This will usually occur when avoidable damage isn’t avoided or you mismanage your energy or HoTs. This will be a scenario where you should pop stim boost and your healing adrenal (be it triage or alacrity adrenals). I know that in some fights it is ideal to save these cooldowns for a particular high stress healing phase but I have always believed it is better to be over cautious about keeping someone alive than it is to take risks and lose a raid member in the process. You likely won’t have HoTs ticking and will not have had any precasts. In this case your job is to top up the player as much as you can despite having a weaker arsenal of abilities set up. Your highest priority will be Kolto Infusion if it is available; this is a 1 GCD cast time and your highest single target burst heal. This will be followed by a stim boost (if available) kolto injection (as mentioned previously, kolto injection is the best heal to use your instant granted by stim boost on as it has a cast time greater than 1 GCD). At this point it is a matter of how much more life-threatening damage the target is taking. If they are still in immediate danger your next priority will be Surgical Probe purely because it is an instant ability, if they are in danger but don’t need a heal ASAP you should rather use Kolto Injection again (this is a more effective heal than Surgical Probe if the target is able to survive the duration of your cast time). Once stabilized it will typically be a good time to reapply Kolto Probes and resume your general single target priority. This is typically a good time to make use of Curative Agent to apply both Kolto Probe stacks as your recovery from these sort of scenarios can take some time and freeing up a GCD is very valuable. Thus your unexpected single target burst healing priority can be summarized in the following list.
- Kolto Infusion
- (Stim Boost) Kolto Injection
- Surgical Probe OR Kolto Injection
- Kolto Injection
AoE Healing Priorities
Now the AoE healing priority isn’t as simple as just using your AoE heals as that would mean you’re sitting there doing nothing, waiting for abilities to come off CD. Rather it is heavily about maximizing the efficacy of your GCDs between your powerful AoE heals. Naturally in heavy AoE phases you will want to prioritize your strongest AoE heal first; kolto waves. This is followed by Recuperative nanotech. Now from here we essentially revert to the general single target healing priority while waiting for AoE abilities to become available. The key difference is that because we are spreading healing between many targets, we do not need to go as far down in the single target priority and we can almost always make use of a highly effective, cheap and spammable single target ability as our main filler; that being Kolto Probe. In most AoE healing phases you can essentially cover your healers and DPS with your AoE heals and some filler Kolto Probes alone. Your tanks will typically warrant you delving deeper into the single target priority though and you may use Kolto Infusion or Kolto Injection on them. The key is to maintain your AoE healing well enough so that your DPS and Healers are never becoming overwhelmed with damage and you can focus single target fillers on tanks. Most healers will often panic and single target heal too much for peace of mind and the delaying of AoE healing abilities will cause them to fall behind several GCDs down the track. This also means you must be aware of when your AoE healing abilities are coming off cooldown and ensure you’ll have adequate energy to use them without impacting your healing for the next few GCDs. Therefore diagnostic scan can be prevalent in some stressful AoE phases to ensure the usage of your strongest abilities on cooldown. The big thing to remember when following an AoE healing priority is to reset your priority list each time you perform a target swap and begin healing a different raid member. The AoE healing priority can be summarized in the following list.
- Kolto Waves
- Recuperative Nanotech
- Kolto Probe
- Kolto Probe reapplication via Surgical Probe
- Kolto Infusion
- Kolto Injection
- Surgical Probe
- Diagnostic Scan
This covers the healing priorities you will typically encounter. The big key is knowing when to swap between the different priorities to meet the changing damage profiles of fights and this will come with practise as well as some level of self critique. You must be willing to look at what you’ve done and be open to the idea that you can improve. Particularly with a role such as healing where mistakes aren’t as blatant, I believe players should be critical. If you want to be a strong healer; don’t settle for good enough.
This is an invaluable utility which operative healers bring to raids. It is as simple as utilizing your cloaking screen to exit combat and using your out of combat revive to resurrect a dead ally. Your cast time for your revive is relatively long however and during this window you must ensure that you are not pulled back into combat. Thus there are a number of considerations and conditions to be met before going for a stealth rez. These are not in any particular priority.
- Ensure you have no HoTs ticking. These will pull you back into combat. Either wait for them to expire or ask your raid members to right click off their HoTs.
- Ensure your team knows you are going for a stealth rez. This helps your co-healer know that they may need to burst a bit more during this window and helps your DPS know to avoid placing any mechanics which may pull you into combat on the fallen body. This is also good warning to stop your co-healer using healing abilities which may pull you into combat (eg. Roaming Mend).
- Find the body. This may seem obvious but many players forget this and waste a lot of time actually finding and reaching the body.
- Ensure you won’t take any damage during the stealth rez cast. Obviously damage will pull you back in combat.
- Ensure no adds or additional targets will spawn during the stealth rez window. The spawning of a new target will pull you into combat.
If you meet these conditions you should be able to stealth rez. To successfully do this in many fights, it requires a strong understanding of the actual rotation of a boss. So if you plan to do these a lot start paying close attention to when you take damage and the interval between damage ticks. As an extra measure, you can activate stim boost before beginning your revive cast to further reduce the cast time due to the extra alacrity gained.
As mentioned healer DPS is a significant way in which healers can further benefit their raid team and knowing the best way to achieve that is something I would highly recommend to aspiring healers. Healer DPS is fairly simple; stick to the same principles of healing, prioritize the usage of strong abilities on cooldown and make sure your energy remains above 60. Now a major issue with DPS as an operative healer is range. Many of your abilities have a 4m or 10m range requirement. This isn’t a huge deal as playing within melee range is not overly difficult especially since you have many high priority mobile GCDs (kolto probe, recuperative nanotech, surgical probe, corrosive dart, toxic haze) get you within range and back out. However, I will still provide a strictly 30m DPS priority in addition to the ideal DPS priority. Thus the ideal DPS priority is as follows.
Medicine DPS priority
- Corrosive Dart
- Cloaking Screen + Backstab
- Toxic Haze
- Overload Shot
- Rifle Shot
I must stress; be careful with the usage of Toxic Haze. It consumes a TA which isn’t a huge issue but be aware of which healing abilities you plan to use following a Toxic Haze. Also Toxic Haze suffers from similar issues to Plasma Probe in Engineering Sniper; it warrants a target to remain within a ground placed reticle for a certain duration to actually deal all of its damage. Thus despite its high priority, be prepared to delay its use if a boss is moving. I also typically won’t use Cloaking Screen + Backstab as it is usually safer to save Cloaking Screen for other uses, however it is a great option for DPS in some phases.
The 30m DPS priority is quite basic; it removes the close range requirement abilities. However, we do add in Fragmentation Grenade. This ability is weaker than Overload Shot and costs more energy, hence its absence in the ideal priority however due to its 30m range it gets a place in our 30m priority. The 30m DPS priority is as follows;
- Corrosive Dart
- Toxic Haze
- Fragmentation Grenade
- Rifle Shot
The following is a short parse to display the ideal priority
For those of you who are major healer DPS enthusiasts here’s also a 2.5mil Medicine DPS parse!
Finally; we come to reflecting as an operative healer. For those who don’t know; reflecting is as simple as taking any form of reflectable damage and using evasion (specced into Blow for Blow) to deal massive reflect damage to the target. I’m not a massive fan of this as I feel it wastes a defensive cooldown and it puts you in danger since the reflect does not absorb any damage. However, reflecting is a massive way to help your raids overall DPS. There are certain forms of unavoidable damage which can be reflected; these reflects are great. However a majority of reflects are done with avoidable damage and thus pose a risk to operatives.
This is a compilation of abilities which can be reflected in current fight encounters https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1k3Gt4dRWFn1Yt1SyMapRwM_880LThpHuJUJG0Udaxgk/edit#gid=1590949572
Credit goes to Mwissie of the swtor.com forums. I believe this compilation is a work in progress so it may not be entirely definitive but it is still very extensive. If you wish to explore reflecting, I’d recommend using this resource and you can begin testing for yourself which reflects are worthwhile. I personally don’t want to list what I reflect and what I don’t as some of these are very risky and dependant on varying degrees of execution and healing output and I think testing for yourself is a great way to learn.
The following are a few things that I don’t feel need a lengthy and detailed explanation but are good things to be mindful of as a healer in general.
- UI. Explore your User Interface and customize it to your hearts content. Don’t just take some players’ UI and be content with that, there is no be all and end all in MMO UIs. They are a very personal thing. But still be open to criticism regarding UIs. They are a major part of the execution of your play and tweaking with it to get it just right for you will help in the long run. Explore every option!
- Starparse. This is an amazing program to help you see how you’re performing, analyze your play, and it even provides features which may improve your performance. Starparse can display your healing output, DPS output, damage taken, the sources of that damage, as well as give you customizable timers to track certain procs, cooldowns and fight mechanics. Starparse even features an overlay which helps track your Kolto Probe durations for your raid members. Credit goes to Ixale for creating it and it is available from http://ixparse.com/ should you wish to download it.
- HPS vs EHPS. So HPS is the raw amount of healing you are doing. EHPS is the amount of that healing which is actually healing damage taken. Your effective heal % is a ratio of your EHPS to HPS; the lower that percentage the more you are overhealing and thus wasting GCDs. A certain amount of overhealing is natural; the limited ability pool means we can’t always heal for perfect values and some overhealing is good just as sign of a cautious and safe healer. However, try to maximize this percentage so that you aren’t wasting GCDs on overhealing when those GCDs could be going into tasks like healer DPS.
- Healing numbers as a whole. Don’t get too hung up on pure healing numbers. They are important to an extent but a healer who pulls 12k ehps and still lets a tank die is worse than a healer doing 7k ehps who heals the right targets at the right time. You are not a DPS; your task is to keep people alive and the time-to-kill of a raid member is much lower than that of a boss, thus all the healing you did prior means nothing if you mess up for 10 seconds and let a player die.
- Learn as much as you can. Knowledge of tanking a fight will improve you as a healer. Knowledge of how to DPS a fight will improve you as a healer. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be a team member rather than an individual. The better you know your group and what challenges your group has to overcome, the better the player you will be.
I typically go by the name Mac. I’ve full cleared all top tier PvE content for the last three expansions of this game as multiple roles. In the current expansion (5.0 until now) I have cleared all nightmare bosses and timed runs as both a healer and a DPS. I currently raid with <It’s Lit>, Group 4/Emerald of <Failure>, and <Four of Five> all of whom reside on the Harbinger server Imperial faction. My main operative’s name is Lurker’cheevo if you wish to look me up on Parsely and see my actual healing parses/ability usages for nightmare fights. I don’t have streams for you to watch unfortunately (RIP Australian Internet). I hope you, regardless of current skill level, have found this guide useful. I will endeavour to do my best to reply to questions and comments. Remember, never settle for good enough and always try to improve yourself. Even I learnt some new things in the process of writing this.
Hopefully we’ll see many strong operative healers in the next tier of content! 🙂