peal's heals – a swtor blog

surgical probe is my new favorite thing
April 24, 2012, 4:24 pm
Filed under: gameplay, pvp | Tags: , , , ,

I don’t really have a good excuse for it, but I haven’t done a whole lot of research for theory-crafting my healers. And for a while there wasn’t much information out there. But now, there’s no excuse.

A few things I’ve learned:

1. Surgical Probe is actually awesome. My first instinct was that SP doesn’t heal for a whole lot – in terms of straight HPS there are better spells. But that wasn’t taking account for utility. Instant cast and no energy make this spell awesome, coupled with free TA refresh on targets less than 30%? This is pretty great, especially if you’ve got hots ticking on said target. Mobility is pretty darn important in warzones.

2. Surge is sadly lacking in battlemaster gear-for most classes. I realized at the beginning of the weekend I had no surge (literally), and that even continuing my upgrades, I was still on the path to zero surge. So instead of picking up a belt (which I got yesterday) I picked up the two earpieces that have Surge first. It helped a little. A healthy amount of crit and surge help a lot more than more tech power, in my biased experiences.

3. I found this link for Sang’s Operative Healer PvP guide and was surprised at how much I didn’t know. Okay, okay. For utility I was actually doing alright with my escape, dispels and stuns (You can dispel Flash Bang on other players!). But for actual healing I was a noob. For instance, stacking 2 Kolto Probes on everyone in sight is overkill and a waste of Energy. I was doing 2 by default and since I read this, I’ve been making a point to do 1 on everyone taking any damage, and going to 2 when I was being forced to kite and people had gone below half health. Between this change and using more SP, my Energy bar is a lot fuller… and I’m still doing about as much healing as before. In some cases more (though it’s so situational it’s hard to tell, Voidstar heals should not look like Huttball heals. PS I hate Voidstar).

4. I changed specs from Recuperative Nanotechnology to going a bit further into the Lethality tree for Improved Stunination (Slip Away) and Combat Stims. The extra energy helps a bit, especially now that I’m getting used to the TA proc sound.



5 Comments so far
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Interesting. I love that you’re a pvp healer. Really gives me a unique perspective since I’m a pve scoundrel healer. I’d like to do more pvp, but I need to find more time with my dps shadow friend, as if I’m gonna lose to imp pre-made 4 mans, I’d rather lose with at least one person on my team who I know to be competent šŸ™‚ /sigh BM seems pretty far off. Anyways, SP is pretty great. My healing strat right now (PVE 4mans), is to try not to overcast SRMP (KP), normally only double casting on the tank and either a dps or myself (whoever’s taking damage besides the tank). Expand that to the other healer and 1-2 other dps in ops. I throw out Kolto Injection (the 2 sec cast, down 1.75 w/ my mostly Columi gear) and SP (EMP for scoundrels).

I haven’t checked pvp gear itemization, but that blows that there’s no surge. When I filled out my orange gear with purples, I had about 40% crit, 79% crit mult (including smug buff and no stims), with essentially 0 activation speed decrease. Now I’m mostly columi (tionese hat), with crap relics, rakata ear and 1 implant, purple 49 crafted 2nd implant w/ crit, surge, alacrity. With smug buff and no stims, crit is 34 or 35% and I think (not at pc right now), crit mult is still pretty high. 72-74% I think.

At any rate, what does this mean that you care about? I’ll tell you what. Fat heals is what. In practice, I seem to have about a 50%+ crit rate. Normal SP/EMP is 15000, crit is 2900-3100. Normal KI is 2800-3000, crit is 5000-5600. Normal tick of SRMP/KP is 600? and crit is above 1000 I think. The SRMP #’s may be off, as I don’t pay much attention to them. At any rate, my strategy these days is to throw EMP at anyone below 30%, especially my tank when I know I won’t have time to cast KI but I also know that the boss is in normal hit mode atm. Typically this ends up being about 3 casts at most before I crit and get them in a range where I can throw KI and laugh at npc’s futility. I try not to use KI on anyone above 80% because I don’t want to waste those crits. I’d rather DScan for energy, decent little #’s, and then pop EMP when I get another UH proc from an existing SRMP. Additionally, above 80%, SRMP will top them off if they’re not taking damage. You know what fills me with delight? 5.6k crit KI’s that take my tank back near full and let me work on those darn dps who didn’t manage threat and/or aggro.

Anyways, keep on posting your pvpness because you’re my source for learning on that front šŸ™‚ And yes, get some surge, post haste!

Comment by mooftak

I’ve picked up a small amount of surge (100-ish??) and I did immediately notice the difference. Though, with PVE gear you end up with slightly better stats since PvP gear also budgets for Expertise. I believe I’m packing 1100ish right now so naturally my crit, surge, and alac are also lower (35% crit and enough surge to bring my cast speeds down .2. No idea what my power is!). Expertise is quite necessary, though, this weekend I saw some PVE heroes jump into the warzone queue and their survivability does not compare to mine (in other words, they have no survivability).

My head always boggles when we start comparing Scoundrels to Operatives because I’m so unfamiliar with the names. It doesn’t make sense to me that they have to have different names for things (though for the Force-using classes, it makes perfect sense. Can’t have a Jedi using lightning, eh? They have to keep their light side points by throwing rocks instead). It’s funny, though, and I’m glad you can still make sense of my posts. I haven’t played a scoundrel but I did play a little bit of trooper, just enough to realize that their energy management is different than a bounty hunter’s (BH heat goes up and they don’t want to be full, TR starts full and don’t want to go empty). Are scoundrels and operatives the same in that regard?

Comment by barb

Nope, Smug and IA have the exact same energy system. I tried to use both terms/acronyms where I could. SRMP is your Kolto Probe (HoT that grants UH/TA), EMP is your instant cast, consuming TA heal (Surgical Probe?), Kolto Injection/Infusion (can’t remember which) is your 2 sec (base time) casted heal. Upper Hand = Tactical Advantage, Pugnacity = the “consume TA and regen energy faster” IA ability. Diagnostic Scan is casted, but interrupted by doing just about anything else (including another cast) very small heal that when spec’d, can give energy back on crits. I rarely use the TA/UH+energy consuming casted heal, so I don’t recall what it’s called on either side.

Yeah, pvp gear, you won’t ever get as much surge/crit as pve gear, but expertise is so vital, it doesn’t really matter that you’re missing some, as long as you’re getting what you can. I’ve found that the diminishing returns on alacrity is about 12% cast time reduction, including the 4% from skill tree (lethality/dirty fighting) in the bottom row. I don’t know what that total # is but I recall reading before 1.2 that 100ish alacrity was about where DR kicked in.

What I find funny is pve end game gear (and maybe pvp?) lists both skills, IA and Smug for example, on the
set bonuses, which can confuse folks at first as they try to figure out if they didn’t talent into the skill in question, didn’t buy it, or just can’t find it in their abilities. You would think that the description would be a little smarter, since afaik, there’s no way for an IA to get Smuggler end game gear, but whatever.

Comment by mooftak

Just found your blog and I love it! I was thinking of writing something about Operative healing, but you’ve really saved me the trouble since it’s all in here already šŸ™‚

Comment by xhii

Hah! Glad you’re enjoying it, xhii. Though I bet you could come up with some insights of your own if you blogged. I’d love to follow it if you decide to.

Thanks for stopping by. šŸ™‚

Comment by barb

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