I'm Choebie a merc healer playing on Peragus Mining Facility, now level 48 atm working my way up. I've done pretty much every flashpoint up to The Foundry while healing as mercenary. I was initially planning to have my sorcerer as healer main, but based on experience I've decided to swap main-plans to mercenary. I'll provide a bit of insight into talents and playstyle for those who are interested, and I might update this thread in the future with endgame details and/or turn this into a guide.
First a disclaimer: This is a work in progress. Things will be added, edited, removed and updated. Any tips/suggestions to add to this guide are always welcome.
First, let's go over talents. At level 36 my build looks like this:
My suggestion for a level 50 talent build is as follows:
There are some things you can change depending on flavour; I personally don't like talents that increase healing received on my own character, or reduces damages done etc. I rather increase my effectiveness in combat for the whole group. If you're the type of person that wants to max out your own defensive capabilities (for for example PvP) I would suggest this build:
Where you could change the point from Cure and toss it into Heat Damping or Improved Vents if you want a bit better heat control.
I will focus the playstyle on group play, I might add a section later that describes solo play. Let's go over the various skills in your arsenal first:
Combat Support Cylinder (CSC) - While active, Rapid Shots charges your powercell with each use. Charges increase all damage and healing dealt, up to a maximum of 3 % at 30 charges. In addition, targeting an ally with Rapid Shots will heal the target for 100 % of your tech bonus healing. Only one cylinder can be active at a time.
Rapid Shots - Fires a quick stream of bolts, causing 860 - 1130 weapon damage.
Rapid Scan - 2 seconds cast time, heals a friendly target for xxx - xxx.
Healing Scan - 1.5 seconds cast time, heals a friendly target for xxx - xxx. 12 seconds cooldown
Kolto Missile - Heals up to 3 allies within 8 meters of the targeted area for xxx - xxx. 6 seconds cooldown
Kolto Shell - Deploys a kolto shell around the target that has 10 charges and lasts 5 minutes. When damaged, the kolto shell loses 1 charge and heals the target for xxx - xxx. This effect cannot occur more than once every 3 seconds. Only one Kolto Shell can be deployed at a time.
Emergency Scan - Instantly heals a friendly target for xxx - xxx. 21 seconds cooldown
Vent Heat - Rapidly vents 50 heat over 1 second. 2 minutes cooldown
And the most important spell you will get:
Supercharged Gas - Converts 30 charges of Combat Support Cylinder to supercharge your blasters, venting 16 heat and increasing all damage and healing dealt by 10 % for 10 seconds. While active, the following abilities gain Supercharge effects: Power Shot: Heat cost reduced by 17. Unload: Heat cost reduced by 8. Healing Scan: Cooldown reduced by 100 %. Kolto Missile: Places a shield on all targets, reducing damage taken by 10 % for 15 seconds.
To understand how the mercenary works, I've grabbed the description of some of the talents that are essential in understanding this class:
Empowered Scans - Increases the healing done by Rapid Scan and Healing Scan by 6 %. In addition, Rapid Scan builds 6 charges of Combat Support Cylinder.
Kolto Residue - Kolto Missile has a 50/100 % chance to leave Kolto Residue on affected targets, increasing all healing received by 5/10 % for 15 seconds.
Critical Reception - Healing Scan has a 100 % chance to reduce the heat cost of your next Rapid Scan by 16.
Proactive Medicine - Healing Scan has a 50/100 % chance to apply Proactive Medicine to the target, healing for an additional xxx over 6 seconds.
Reactive Armor - Proactive Medicine now also provides 10 % armor while active.
Stats & buffs
First a summary of what the important stats for mercenary do at level 50.
Aim - every 1 aim gives 0.2 ranged damage. Every 140 aim gives 1 % critical rating.
Power - increases damage and healing.
Surge - increases the size of your critical heals/damage.
Critical rating - increases the chance for critting heals/damage.
Alacrity - increases the speed of your spells.
As it stands now the general consensus seems that Aim is your primary stat to focus on, and the priority for secondary stats is Power > Crit > Surge > Alacrity. There are reports of Power being better than Aim, but since Aim is on every piece of gear anyway this is a moot point. However if you ever come across the choice of power vs aim, power is the one to go for.
As a mercenary, you should generally avoid to stack too much alacrity. This will cause you problems in heat management if you can cast too many spells too fast. It's better to increase the size of your heals than the speed at which you cast them.
Alright, now we've got the abilities and talents mapped out, let's talk playstyle. First and foremost this is not a healer in the traditional style with a mana bar that's slowly regenerating. The Mercenary has a heat management system, rapidly building heat while healing. The lower your heat, the faster it dissipates. This point is crucial - to avoid you being deadlocked in healing, you need to ensure you manage your heat and stay below 50 at all times, or you may run into trouble if your Vent Heat (VH) is on cooldown.
The priority is as follows:
When Supercharged Gas (SG) is not active:
Healing Scan > Rapid Scan > Rapid Shots > Kolto Missile
When SG is active:
1x Kolto Missile to apply buffs (if you have time) > spam Healing Scan
Once you are level 40, you also get Emergency Scan, a decent heal which does not cost any heat. With it's medium cooldown of 21 seconds it does mean you can't spam it but it's definitely useful when there's a lot of healing around. Don't be too afraid to use this often, 21 seconds is over quite fast in the heat of battle.
As previously mentioned, this class is more about managing your heat than anything else so these 'rotations' are to be taken with a grain of salt. They will vary depending on situation and heat level. Tips to max your output and manage your heat:
- Always cast Healing Scan before you cast Rapid Scan, due to Critical Reception talent this greatly reduces heat cost on Rapid Scan.
- Always be shooting Rapid Shots at someone if no one is in immediate danger to be topped off to build your Supercharged Stack. This is essentially a free heal, it costs nothing at all, but it heals for very little so don't go topping off tanks with this when they're dropping fast.
- Timing of SG use is critical - don't just use it as soon as you can. There's 2 reasons for using SG:
- Vent 16 heat. If you're high on heat you should use this as soon as you can.
- Increase your output. If the party is taking heaps of dmg you will need SG active to be able to cope with the damage.
- Don't use VH until you're above 70 heat, anything below that is still reasonably recoverable using SG. It's a 2min cooldown, so only use it when you really need it!
- Always keep Kolto Shell active on your tank. Fun Fact: In the tooltip it says this effect cannot occur more than once every 3 seconds, however when several attacks hit at the same time on a tank, it can proc multiple times at once. Whether this is a bug or intended remains to be seen; but this does mean you need to keep an eye on the buff to ensure you refresh it when the charges are spent.
- Do not cast Kolto Missile unless you have SG active. In my experience thus far the aoe heal is weak, and is only really effective with the added stuff from SG. It may be worth casting it to apply the healing % increase buff, if you have the time & heat to do it.
General playstyle tips
I'll add some general tips here that will help you play as a merc healer. Some of these tips might be hurp durp obvious, but they may still be useful for some of you.
- Keybind your important heals - keybinding reduces your reaction time as you can click to target with your mouse, and press a key to heal straight after. Also ensure you have your targeted aoe heal bound to an easy-to-reach key like for example Q or E. Since it's targeted aoe you will need this to be able to quickly target + cast.
- Turn on Operations Frame in your settings. These are essentially raidframes - much easier to heal with! You can also move this window around to your liking.
- Have your Rapid Shots bound to an easy to reach key. This is your bread-and-butter spell that you will(should) always be casting to build your supercharge stacks. Remember you cannot cast this on yourself! Everyone else, including companion/npc, works fine.
- Always keep an eye to Kolto Shell on your tank, you can see it on the raidframes so you don't always need to target him to be able to see it. If you're not doing anything else and you have max charge you may as well recast it even if it didn't drop off yet. There's no cooldown/cost.
- Try to have 30 supercharged stacks ready at the start of a boss fight, so it's ready for use as soon as you need it.
As mentioned at the top, this is a work in progress. I will add more stuff over time, including experiences/tips/suggestions from others.
- improve stat guide
- improve upon heat management guide (add heat amounts, I don't have access to the game right now to check and darth hater doesn't show them)
- add solo play guide
- perhaps discuss hybrid builds
- add cure mechanism