peal's heals – a swtor blog


from the searchbox
April 20, 2012, 12:00 pm
Filed under: for fun, pvp, strategy | Tags: , , ,

Here’s some search terms people used recently and stumbled across my blog.

1. Best crew skills for operative medic? I personally like Cybertech. Once you get 50 and have 400, you can make reusable bombs. Having a third stun is really nice even if it’s a short one. Otherwise, BioChem gives you a perma-stim, Armstech gives you… Umm… Let’s just say I was really disappointed with Armstech. So, um, how about that Cybertech? Yeah!

2. Operatives are overpowered healing. What? Okay, everyone’s entitled to their opinion and I’ve pretty sure I’ve made mine abundantly clear: Nerf Bounty Hunters, and nerf them now! Sorcs, too. *grumble grumble* Though, in fairness I don’t know if this searcher was looking for PVP or PVE information. With no meters in PVE I’ve healed alongside Mercs, Sorcs, and other Operatives. I could always tell when the person behind the character was good, regardless of class played. I’d say a good player makes any class look overpowered.

3. SWTOR instants interrupted. I’m pretty sure this is impossible, though I imagine that when things get really laggy it can look like you either interrupted someone’s instant (though really the game registered it as the spell coming after/before??) Or someone interrupts you while casting an instant but again, the game registers it as the spell before it.

4. Kolto Probe two tanks. The neat thing about Kolto Probe is that even though it only stacks to two, you can stack it to two on any number of players. As long as you can find a way to remain in range of both tanks, you can Probe both of them to your heart’s content. I wrote about how much I loved Probe a few weeks ago, but here’s the quote to explain how to roll:

…after experimenting I realized I was wrong. It does roll. So long as you cast 2 before the first Probe wears out, and continue to cast 1 Probe before all Probes fade, the hot will continue ticking at 2-Probe strength. The duration on the tooltip represents the timer of the most-recently-cast Probe.

5. Mercenary or Sorcerer. I have little experience with Mercenaries. And while I’m inclined to say “sorcerer, duh!”, my real answer should be: why not make both and play around with them to get a feel for which you like better? Your playstyle might heavily favor one or the other. Or maybe you’ll just like the Merc’s attitude better. I know I do!

6. Killing Operative healers 1.2. Oh, boy. See, when I’m the one getting killed I think “wow, this guy has it so easy. I’m squishy and seriously, Force Lightning took 90% of my life and how is that not broken??” but once in a blue moon I’ve been able to survive and seem very hard to kill. Like against some melee and sometimes against snipers (when there’s a playground for me to LoS in). Pretty much, interrupt and stun as you can, don’t let them get away. And seriously (this is totally inflammatory but hey, this is a healing blog) if you can’t kill an operative healer, you’re not trying hard enough.

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do operatives get better?
February 17, 2012, 10:05 pm
Filed under: gameplay, strategy | Tags: , , , ,

The wordpress stats page has got to be my worst timesink outside of TOR. I’m always so amused at some of the search terms that bring players to my blog. Some probably don’t find what they were looking–sorry, my Twilek Sorcerer is light side so my screenshots won’t show Sith corruption.

But the question “do operatives get better?” and “healing and leveling operative solo” came up and I figure, hey, I can answer that.

Do Operatives get better?

Leveling Operatives is a strange experience. I was confused early on by the importance of cover (it’s a bigger deal for Snipers) and in the early stages of leveling, our core abilities are split between range and melee. With the Energy system, we have free things we can do as “filler” and cost-things we can do that if spammed will drain us dry. Early on, it’s tricky to balance. Oh, and not having a movement help – closer/leap/grapple – sucks.

And are we ranged or are we melee? Both DPS trees offer perks to both ranged and melee abilities. Cover helps mitigate damage if we stay ranged, but then we lose out on some really great abilities. And interrupts. I made the leveling process harder on myself; I knew I wanted to heal so I focused mostly on ranged abilities. You can learn from my mistakes.

Energy gets easier to manage. It does. As a healer, there’s a sweet spot in the low 30’s where you get Tactical Advantage procs like crazy and life gets better. Having played mana-style healers for more than a decade it took me a long time to train myself not to panic when I ran out of Energy. The bar fills up pretty quickly, especially if you constantly roll Stim Boost (which you should).

Short answer? Yes, it gets better. I don’t even need to know what level you are, I’m sure it does.

Landmarks for Operative Awesomeness:

  • Adrenaline Probe (14). Energy every 2 minutes. BTW, 2 minutes is faster than you might expect in-game. Use early. Use often.
  • Sleep Dart (level 20). Amazing utility for sneaking around and even CCing pre-pull.
  • Cloaking Screen (22). Vanish. Poof. In combat no more. A bit buggy in caves or story areas if you’re in a group… but what a time saver. Ever had some meanie try to steal your gathernode/quest clickie while you’re fighting? Screen, they pull aggro, then you get the node. Not that I’ve ever done this, of course! (The more honorable use for Screen is nabbing a quest-clickie–you can disable/attack some things in combat–then dropping Screen).
  • Sneak (22). Makes you sneakier to get through tight hallways. Great if you finished your quest and don’t want to fight your way out. And for droid hallways, because droids can’t be Slept.
  • Evasion (24). Less damage taken, hurray!
  • Orbital Strike (48). Words cannot do this ability justice. Why yes, I did just use my walkie-talkie to order an orbital strike. That tremor shaking the ground? My power.

Leveling as a Solo Operative Healer

I have to admit, I only did a handful of levels solo post-30. I spent much more time running around alone on my Sorcerer. My initial thoughts are: it may be a bit easier to level solo as a healer as Sorc, but only because they have spammable AoE and the bubble is just so freaking good.

That being said, I don’t see why an Operative can’t do whatever she wants, whenever she wants, however she wants to do it.

Kaliyo is an alright tank and if you focus on keeping her geared up (if you spend most of your time solo, you’ll probably use her exclusively). If you do swap companions, go through her quickslot and make sure all the things you want her to use are still selected. Perhaps they’ve fixed that bug, but her tanking abilities got turned off each time if I summoned Kaliyo after I’d been running with Vector. When she isn’t guarding, she’s quite squishy.

You can either send in Kaliyo to tank everything or you can send her to one side of a pull while you yank aggro on the other side so you split the damage and (in theory) need to heal less in-combat. What I did was send her after the toughest guy in the group (the strong/silver) and I choose weak/standard target(s) to finish off as quickly as possible.

Sleep Dart lasts for a long time. This is a very good thing, since mitigating damage means you spend more time dealing damage and less time healing you and your companion. Sleeping the guy furthest away from pack where you plan on sending your companion will ensure Kaliyo doesn’t break it (well, sometimes at least).

As a healer, your AoE options are pretty limited. But snipe is decent damage and Operative heals are quite strong to keep Kaliyo up through whatever you send her into. A word of caution: it’s hard to go full-tilt damage mode then switch on the fly to spam heal. As a healer, you get efficiency for healing but not for your damage spells. I try to weave the free stuff in to my rotation and use Rifle Shot to pick off targets once their health is low.

Kolto Probe is pretty awesome. 2-stacks on your companion, rolled well, will do a brickload of healing.

Be prepared to sneak around a lot. If it doesn’t need to be killed for a bonus, a drop, or a count on your mission, it doesn’t need to be killed. Period.

Quest rewards often give you a couple of choices in gear: an item with more cunning and less endurance, or one with more endurance and less cunning. I chose “more cunning” all the way through but if you’re having trouble taking too much damage, a healthy mix couldn’t hurt. Be willing to experiment till you find both a gear style and a playstyle that keeps you questing. What works for me might not work for you. Heck, I’m known for missing obvious things so you may already be playing so much smarter than me.

And for elites, if you can’t keep a companion alive, you can often kite. Only group events have enrage timers and in story areas, the surrounding mobs don’t respawn. It’s a long fight, that way, but when that mob dies, it’s a good feeling.

How do you survive as a healer?