Hey guys, I?m Brobotnik and I?m an Empire Imperial Agent Operative Medicine. (*whew) This thread?s purpose is to give people a guild to the nuances, joys, strengths, weaknesses and more to healing as an IA. I love the class and am looking forward to this class being my main. Healing in any game is a reward upon itself. You almost never have to wait for groups, as you?re always in demand. Your job is the most important job in groups since anyone can tank or damage a mob, as long as they stay alive. Success in any part of the game in group stages depends entirely on the healer, but with great power comes great responsibility.
First, some ground rules:
1) Leave spoilers of the game out of this as much as possible. There may be some players that are researching what class they want to play, and would not be too pleased if they were to accidentally find story hints that would ruin surprises (hint to those who haven?t played IAs yet. The story rocks!)
2) Try to be a bit lenient with my guide, for no one ever stops learning, and that includes myself. Things that could be in this guide can change over time for better decisions or spells.
3) There won?t be much PvP in this thread by me, only because my computer currently isn?t powerful enough to play battlegrounds in a way that I find enjoying, and thus I haven?t tried it yet.
So you?ve started an Imperial Agent. You are now the strong and silent death machine of the Empire. You will spend your time leveling fighting the Empire?s enemies, traveling planet to planet and meeting many people along the way.
You begin your journey as a regular Imperial Agent. It?s during these levels that you?ll actually be using your [Cover] ability. It?s not that it?s not a good spell, but since you only have a handful of abilities available, you might as well make use of your [Explosive Probe] which is only usable in cover. Grenades also are great, since most of your enemy mobs will be in clusters, allowing you to do damage to all of them. Imperial Agents have no heal abilities yet, so you aren?t a healer. You?re just a baby learning to spread it?s wings. At this point in the game, I have one piece of advice: SET [RIFLE SHOT] TO AN EASY TO USE KEYBIND. This is your spam move as a healer, since it costs NO energy, does damage, has long range, and doesn?t generally pull threat from your party?s tank or companion. Before you leave Hutta, be sure to find the 3 datacrons!
Advanced Class / Level 10 / Tactical Advantage
Once you finish your Hutta quests (which are pretty immersive, even for early levels) you?ll be sent off to the Imperial Fleet. Once there, you?ll be redirected to your class trainer so you can chose your Advanced Class! Congratulations, champion! You?re on your way to becoming a healer! It?s also at level 10 that you receive your first heal spell: [Kolto Injection]! This spell gives you a targetable heal that you can place on anyone, even NPCs if you feel like it. It is your basic heal, and also your strongest. It is the most expensive compared to other heals you?ll get later, and also comes with the biggest cast time. Kolto Injection also grants the player a [Tactical Advantage] which you?ll be using a lot more in the future! But first:
Well Tactical Advantage acts as a resource that Operatives only can use. You can only have two of them active at a time, but many of your abilities require a tactical advantage to use, such as [Surgical Probe] (Level 30) and [Kolto Infusion] (Level 14) Tactical Advantage is an important thing to learn, since your heals that use tactical advantages cost less energy. Think about Tactical Advantages as a second energy bar, but with only a 0%, 50%, and 100% full ratio. Tactical Advantages occur easily and can be used extensively. Energy does not recover quickly if wasted early. Thus when you?re healing later on, you?ll want to use your Tactical Advantage heals and abilities before heals and abilities that don?t require them. It?s also important to understand that Tactical Advantage runs on a timer. This timer resets once another stack is added, but all Tactical Advantages are lost if the timer runs out on them. Also, should you attempt to cast a Kolto Infusion but lose your Tactical Advantage before the Kolto Infusion cast finishes, the Kolto Infusion will not take place. Use levels 14-20 to learn how to time your abilities with Tactical Advantage.
You might only have 1 heal at level 10, but it?s no excuse to give it a shot in a flashpoint! Don?t worry about being a bad healer, this instance is easy, and you can always bring a companion out if your group isn?t full. Also, just because you?re a healer doesn?t mean you don?t have to do damage. If there?s a big boss fight, you can help out by placing your [Corrosive Dart] or blasting the target with your [Rifle Shot]. There?s a great Imperial Agent chest piece that will drop from the first boss! If you?re lucky enough to snag it, you?ll be using it for a while!
Your Talent Tree
Your talent tree is your constant taunter. It tells you what you could be, and makes leveling a bit like waiting for Christmas, since there are some REALLY good talents up there that you have to wait for. Here is what I view to be the optimal talent tree for healing parties, instances, and raids. Don?t spec your class for leveling by going into concealment. I?ll show you later the reasons why leveling in Medicine is just as easy if not easier as leveling in Concealment.
The order I advise to utilize this tree is as follows:
1 ? [Imperial Education] 3/3
2 ? [Incisive Action] 2/2
-We choose Incisive Action after Imperial Education since we don?t receive Kolto Infusion (which requires a Tactical Advantage) until level 14, which will be 2/2 once you hit 14 anyways.
3 ? [Medical Consult] 3/3
4 ? [Surgical Steadiness] 2/2
? Great for leveling and even better in instances and raids!
5 ? [Kolto Probe] 1/1
6 ? [Endorphin Rush] 2/2 Kolto Probe is more important than Endorphin Rush?
7 ? [Prognosis: Critical] 2/2 and Endorphin Rush is more important than Prognosis: Critical
8 ? [Medical Engineering] 3/3
9 ? [Patient Studies] 2/2
10 ? [Surgical Probe] 1/1 (This occurs at level 30. Your life will change forever.)
11 ? [Surgical Precision] 1/1
12 ? [Medical Therapy] 2/2
13 ? [Tox Screen] 1/1
14 ? [Accomplished Doctor] 3/3
15 ? [Med Shield] 2/2
16 ? [Recuperative Nanotech] 1/1
17 ? [Survival Training] 3/3
18 ? [Lethality] 3/3
19 ? [Deadly Directive] 2/2
So just WHAT is Alacrity?!
Alacrity decreases the cast time of your spells and lowers how long an ability takes to cool down. And now you know! AND KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE!
20 ? [Chem-resistant Inlays] 2/2 Hell you can put these last two points anywhere else you want, nothing else will increase your healing abilities, so we?ll just give you a tad more survivability.
This build is entirely subjective, and is only my personal preference with the main goal of getting the best heals as fast as possible.
Leveling as a Healer. WHAT HAVE I DONE?!
It?s not that bad. Sometimes. Well. You?ll see.
>> Hutta will never change. Snipers, Operatives, and Operative-Healers will have to do the same 10 levels the same way. Nothing will change. Plus you?ll meet Kaliyo. Imperial Agents don?t get their second companion for a LONGGGGG time compared to other classes, so learn to love her. You might be surprised how quickly you grow attached to her.
>> Dromund Kaas has a lot to offer. There?s solo quests, group quests, five datacrons, the Empire?s capital city, and Revanites. As a healer, you shouldn?t be in to much trouble. Especially before level 20. You?re the same thing as a Concealment Operative. You wear the same gear, your talent trees haven?t offered a special talent tree ability yet, and there?s a large population for you to get assistance from if you need it. But the best part about being a healer in Dromund Kaas are the Heroics. There are five of them, and all of them aside from the first one will benefit greatly from a healer. This will give you a good opportunity to practice your Kolto Injection, Kolto Infusion, and Diagnostic Scan. Also, around level 15-16 you can start to do Hammer Station, the next instance!
>> Balmorra/Nar Shaddaa can be tricky for a leveler. You?re going to have to rely more on Kaliyo tanking, which can be a hassle, since she?ll start to get really fragile if you don?t gear her properly. The hard part about leveling a healer is that you are very companion dependent. However, once you get your [Kolto Probe] things start getting a bit easier. The Kolto probe can be stacked twice on a target, and is very energy efficient for it?s ability. Proper usage of your Tactical Advantages and Stim Boost are required, as poor energy management could very easily kill you. But hey, you?re a healer! Your deaths are going to come mainly from fall damage and Kaliyo being a typical piece of AI.
>> Tatooine/Alderaan is the hardest part about leveling a healer. The mobs are strong, but you haven?t been focusing on maximizing damage, but instead maximizing your sustain. You will be able to win your fights, but they?ll be played differently than usual. This can get bothersome at times, but luckily YOU?RE AN IMPERIAL AGENT OPERATIVE. You can stealth into a story area, pick up the quest objective, and walk right out the door! Plus you?re still in high demand for those area heroics! Trust me, once you hit level 30, your life gets a LOT easier.
>> Level 30/End of Act I/Surgical Probe [Surgical Probe] changes, EVERYTHING. It costs NO energy! Only ONE tactical advantage! And here?s the best part. You?ve already put three points in [Medical Engineering]! Drop 2 Kolto Probes on yourself and 2 more on your companion, keep Stim Pack on cooldown, and SPAM SPAM SPAM Surgical Probe. Did I mention that it costs NO energy? WELL IT ALSO HAS NO COOLDOWN! Alderaan is the hardest thing you can imagine levelign as a healer, but once you hit level 30, you?ll be on EASY STREET!
(This is as far as I?ve currently gotten in the questing.)
Now for some questions!
What?s more important? Critical Chance or Tech Power?
They both benefit healing, but in different ways. First of all, it?s VERY important to understand that POWER AND TECH POWER ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS. Power only benefits you offensively. Tech Power benefits your healing and other tech aspects. However, neither are as helpful to you as Critical Chance. But why is this? Well think about healing as an Operative as gambling, only slightly different. The points you put in to power will have an effect that is always active. Your heals will be slightly more powerful. When you strike a critical heal however, your heal is INSANELY more powerful. This is further emphasized with the talents [Accomplished Doctor] (Tier 6 Medicine) and [Lethality] (Tier 1 Lethality). These will increase your critical chance and your critical power. The more crit you have, the more [Accomplished Doctor] can do. Also, think about it like this: you?re taking a gamble with crit chance. But here?s the thing: if your crit fails, you have TONS of options to use as plan B. If your crit was successful, that?s one less spell you?ll have to use on Plan B. PLUS, Your crit chance always helps your Diagnostic Scan build energy with [Patient Studies]
What is the proper healing rotation?
This question will never be exact! Remember this. Dealing damage follows a rotation. Healing however, is counteractive. It requires you to notice things that are occuring in the fight, and react accordingly. Is the party taking raid damage (damage to multiple targets) or is only your tank or a specific party member taking damage? Are you running low on energy due to a period of massive heals being needed? Some things however, will always remain the same. These rules will ALWAYS apply to your Imperial Agent:
1) Diagnostic Scan criticals will give energy after [Patient Studies] is researched. Use this to gain energy when you reach around the halfway mark.
2) Kolto Probes should be stacked twice on your tank at all times! AT ALL TIMES!
3) Your Stim Boost should always be on cooldown!
4) If you have Tactical Advantages available, Kolto Infusion is ALWAYS advisable before Kolto Injection
I?m not OOM?. I?m OOE!!!
Energy is NOT mana. It?s BETTER. Here?s why:
Your energy bar has 4 settings. This is shown to the direct right of the energy bar as four arrows >>>>. Full regen, 75%, 50%, and 25%. Your energy bar will NEVER hit 0, meaning you will always be regaining energy during fights! Wait. WHAT? I don?t have to worry about mana regens anymore? Well not exactly. You see, your energy regen will lower based on where your current energy level is, and how long it?s been since you?ve spent energy. The higher your current energy level is, and the longer it?s been since you?ve cast an energy spell, the higher your energy regen will be. Your optimal area will be having >>>> or >>>> levels of regen. This allows your energy bar to fluctuate between 50% full and 100% full. Stim boosts, Tactical Advantages, and Diagnostic Scans will help you manage your energy. It?s important to keep your energy regen and current energy at these levels because you NEVER KNOW. Your tank may disconnect, there may be adds, it may be a fight you?ve never done before. Whatever the case, it?s always a good idea to keep your healer in a ?functional but ready? mode. Also, you?ll always have your [Adrenaline Probe] just a hotkey away. And it?s only on a 2 minute cooldown!
Upgrading your gear? Cunning is the ONLY thing you need to worry about. Even while leveling. Cunning increases your healing power and your crit chance! It?s all you need in one easy stat. Endurance isn?t anything too important to worry about. It comes secondary to all of your gear, and since your tank or other party members should be taking the damages instead of you, you?ll not going to have to focus on endurance, it will just come naturally. Just stack cunning and you?ll be set for gear.