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  1. #1

    [Guide] Mercenary Healing

    Hey all,

    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.

    Talents

    First, let's go over talents. At level 36 my build looks like this:

    http://db.darthhater.com/skill_calc/...fe3fe3befef39:

    My suggestion for a level 50 talent build is as follows:

    http://db.darthhater.com/skill_calc/...f7ef8e2f10ef7:

    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:

    http://db.darthhater.com/skill_calc/...ef7ef9ef10ef7:

    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.

    Abilities

    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.

    Rotation

    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.

    TODO list:

    - 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
    Last edited by Chob; 2011-12-27 at 01:30 PM. Reason: added basic stats guide

  2. #2
    Nice guide - well done!
    "English doesn't so much borrow words from other languages as follows them into a dark alley, hits them over the head and goes through their pockets for loose vocabulary."

  3. #3
    Brewmaster Hiya's Avatar
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    Not sure how to request this to get a sticky but this needs one PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
    Quote Originally Posted by Nosonia View Post
    - Remember STV? People had to go to the same netural camps to get quests... shit was serious -

  4. #4
    If you were to try and compare the trooper / BH healing to a WoW class I'd say a close match would be resto shaman.

  5. #5
    Two things I don't understand
    1. You're recommending spamming healing scan when you have supercharged gas, wouldn't using healing scan> rapid scan rotation be much more useful? the heat cost is minor because of the heat reduction from using healing scan, and rapid scan heals for more.
    2. Kolto Missle is a great tool to top people off, and the heat cost is really minimal, there isn't really any reason to only use it for the buff.
    Other than that, great guide.
    I've been enjoying merc healing thus far (level 46), shooting people in the face for heals.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Chob View Post
    H

    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
    personally when supercharged gas isnt active I
    Kolto Missile > Healing Scan > Rapid Scan > Rapid shots.
    For the 10% increased healing buff

    And when supercharged is active I
    Kolto Missle > Healing Scan > Rapid Scan > Healing Scan > Rapid Scan
    Since Rapid scan heals for a higher amount

  7. #7
    Fluffy Kitten Ragnarocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leetsushi View Post
    Two things I don't understand
    1. You're recommending spamming healing scan when you have supercharged gas, wouldn't using healing scan> rapid scan rotation be much more useful? the heat cost is minor because of the heat reduction from using healing scan, and rapid scan heals for more.
    2. Kolto Missle is a great tool to top people off, and the heat cost is really minimal, there isn't really any reason to only use it for the buff.
    Other than that, great guide.
    I've been enjoying merc healing thus far (level 46), shooting people in the face for heals.
    I'm not the author of the thread but I think he's done a fairly good job of throwing out a good basic guide for the Bodyguard spec. I can try and answer this though as my Merc is currently 38 and I've done all the Flashpoints possible.

    1. Healing Scan during the SC gas activated phase has no CD and it doesn't grant a ton of heat. It's great for spamming because it's faster than Rapid Scan (ironically) and grants the Proactive Medicine and Reactive Armor buffs if you are speced into them. All in all you are providing more benefit by spreading around these buffs along with your heals.

    2. I'll agree with you here. I frequently will use Kolto Missile as my healing on the move spell if I need something beefier than my Rapid Shots. Since most of our stuff has a cast time I've found the Kolto Missile/Rapid Shots combo great for when I need some healing and still need to move. I'll even use it just for a decent heal once in a while since I find it's not too much weaker than my Healing Scan.
    Beware the Terror of the Deep...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnarocket View Post
    1. Healing Scan during the SC gas activated phase has no CD and it doesn't grant a ton of heat. It's great for spamming because it's faster than Rapid Scan (ironically) and grants the Proactive Medicine and Reactive Armor buffs if you are speced into them. All in all you are providing more benefit by spreading around these buffs along with your heals.
    If your raid healing then thats fine but if your main tank healing healing scan > rapid scan would be better

  9. #9
    Hey guys! Thanks for the feedback so far!

    I agree with some of the comments here; it will depend on the type of situation whether to spam Healing Scan or Rapid Scan. If it's group wide damage you need to heal, then Healing Scan is the way to go, if you include the HoT it leaves after the heal it's a more time & heat efficient heal to use when topping off group members. However if you're tankhealing, or only healing one target to full, alternating Healing Scan and Rapid Scan is more efficient.

    I will include this later in the guide, I've been out all day and need food now! Keep the suggestions coming, I will update the thread regulary.

  10. #10
    Fluffy Kitten Ragnarocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chob View Post
    Hey guys! Thanks for the feedback so far!

    I agree with some of the comments here; it will depend on the type of situation whether to spam Healing Scan or Rapid Scan. If it's group wide damage you need to heal, then Healing Scan is the way to go, if you include the HoT it leaves after the heal it's a more time & heat efficient heal to use when topping off group members. However if you're tankhealing, or only healing one target to full, alternating Healing Scan and Rapid Scan is more efficient.

    I will include this later in the guide, I've been out all day and need food now! Keep the suggestions coming, I will update the thread regulary.
    This is true, alternating the Healing Scan for the buffs along with the beefier Rapid Scan is probably the best way to do it in the tank's situation. It all depends on the situation too...there's really no "set" rotation from what I've found but your guidelines are excellent
    Beware the Terror of the Deep...

  11. #11
    Mechagnome bloodwulf's Avatar
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    Great guide definitely should be stickied if you intend to keep it updated.
    "Allons-y!" - David Tennant - 10th Doctor.
    "Bow ties are cool." - Matt Smith - 11th Doctor.

  12. #12
    After everything cools over from launch they should swap the names of Rapid Scan and Healing Scan

  13. #13
    Brewmaster Hiya's Avatar
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    Going to switch to healing as soon as I get home and try it out. Can anyone tell me how much it is to respec and does it get more and more $$ the more u do it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Nosonia View Post
    - Remember STV? People had to go to the same netural camps to get quests... shit was serious -

  14. #14
    Fluffy Kitten Ragnarocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgevonfranken View Post
    After everything cools over from launch they should swap the names of Rapid Scan and Healing Scan
    I so agree with this...why is "Rapid" Scan our slow heal exactly? XD
    Beware the Terror of the Deep...

  15. #15
    Nice guide, I have a level 41 Merc Healer and this is pretty spot on.

    When you get into stats: Alacrity is going to be huge for us, as it affects our heat dissipation as well as cast times.

    Right now, I have Lvl 41 Merc, 25 Inquisitor, 17 IA and 12 Smuggler and I gotta say: BH nerfs incoming. Every class is pretty reasonable to heal with and makes you think and play smart. The BH, however, if played correctly... has near unlimited resources to heal all day long, whereas the other classes tend to run low or out on longer fights.
    Quote Originally Posted by Komie View Post
    They still say Cata needs a lot of work, and this expansion (edit for reference: MoP) is in the final stages.
    Quoted for... truth? on 11/30/2011.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnarocket View Post
    I so agree with this...why is "Rapid" Scan our slow heal exactly? XD
    Haha, yes, those names are confusing as hell.

    ---------- Post added 2011-12-22 at 07:48 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebbikenezer View Post
    Alacrity is going to be huge for us, as it affects our heat dissipation as well as cast times.
    In which way?
    I thought Alacrity only reduced cast time?

  17. #17
    Fluffy Kitten Ragnarocket's Avatar
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    In which way?
    I thought Alacrity only reduced cast time?
    Maybe the more Rapid Scans/Rapid Shots we can get out the faster we can use our Supercharged Gas? I question whether quickly getting the stack to 30 quickly with Scans and shots wouldn't just be counterproductive though. Hard to tell...we need more information at 50! xD
    Beware the Terror of the Deep...

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnarocket View Post
    Maybe the more Rapid Scans/Rapid Shots we can get out the faster we can use our Supercharged Gas? I question whether quickly getting the stack to 30 quickly with Scans and shots wouldn't just be counterproductive though. Hard to tell...we need more information at 50! xD
    Alacrity doesn't reduce global cooldown though, so Rapid Shots aren't affected.
    More Rapid Scans will generate more heat faster, wouldn't they?
    It seems, if the heat mechanism is as static as it seems, Alacrity would be just counterproductive in terms of resource management.
    It would still be great for spikey damage and such, but that would be the only benefit, making it not that high valued?
    I'd probably say Crit>Surge>Alacrity, with Power somewhere at the top, I currently have no idea how much it scales.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Hiya View Post
    Going to switch to healing as soon as I get home and try it out. Can anyone tell me how much it is to respec and does it get more and more $$ the more u do it?
    I haven't respecd yet on live but in beta the first respec was free then it would cost more and more each time

  20. #20
    Fluffy Kitten Ragnarocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leetsushi View Post
    Alacrity doesn't reduce global cooldown though, so Rapid Shots aren't affected.
    More Rapid Scans will generate more heat faster, wouldn't they?
    It seems, if the heat mechanism is as static as it seems, Alacrity would be just counterproductive in terms of resource management.
    It would still be great for spikey damage and such, but that would be the only benefit, making it not that high valued?
    I'd probably say Crit>Surge>Alacrity, with Power somewhere at the top, I currently have no idea how much it scales.
    Yeah I wasn't talking about Rapid Shots casting faster, sorry for the bad phrasing. Crit does sound like something we'd be interested in heavily, we have some good heals but they can take some time to set up, and with a static resource system everything has to count.
    Beware the Terror of the Deep...

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