In looking for a possible topic for my blog, a former guild mate suggested I do a write up on what I thought of healing in Star Wars the Old Republic so far. I thought about it, but I felt that I might not have enough experience in the game but then in the end said, bah who cares? Maybe my little bit here in this post will help someone decide or figure some things out for themselves in the game early on.
My background in healing extends from my time playing World of Warcraft. I have played every healer in the game and have gone through many of them as being my mains, much to the annoyance of my tank and guild/raid team probably. I’ve loved all my girls in Warcraft and value all of their talents and healing abilities. However, in this blog post I won’t be using Warcraft terminology to describe abilities, I’d like to keep this for a beginner and for someone who maybe even hasn’t played/healed in Warcraft.
I’m going to write this first post on healing about my newest healer, my Imperial Agent. I have to say after coming to her from my Sorcerer (my first healer in the game) I didn’t enjoy her at all. I didn’t like the look of the gear, I didn’t understand the tree with all its weird robot/droid things, and I hated having what seemed like one strong heal that ate up my energy fast for most of my starting experience.
However, my feelings about her have changed and the way to heal as well as build your energy back up on her is amazing and fun! Imperial Agent healing depends on HoTs and on managing cool downs. You have many droids and probes that administer your heals. Always keeping an eye on your target’s healing buffs and watching your energy will help you be successful! Let’s get started on things and talk about a big part of Imperial Agent healing.
First off let’s discuss something an Agent’s heals depend upon a lot, Tactical Advantage. For the longest time I just didn’t get what that was or how it worked. This is very important to our healing and affects many of our abilities, so let’s break it down. *Please note that all abilities have the information that is listed for level 30, not level cap.*
Tactical Advantage – Defeating an opponent or activating Shiv or Hidden Strike puts you in a position of Tactical Advantage, increasing all damage dealt by 2% and enabling the use of executions for 10 seconds. Up to 2 charges of Tactical Advantage can exist at once.
Ok I know you are giving me the blank stare; I know, I know, nothing in that long description talks about healing right? True it doesn’t but it does apply to us as healers. Having a stack of Tactical Advantage will open up healing abilities to you and allow you to cast certain things. It’s important to know what the icon is for Tactical Advantage and to track it as you heal so you never miss a chance to use an ability you need.
Receiving a Tactical Advantage can come from using many of your healing abilities. You can start counting on it to pop up right away when you learn and use your first healing spell you receive while leveling. And as you continue to level other abilities you receive can also trigger Tactical Advantage, and you will find yourself putting points into things to increase your chances of procing as well.
Also be sure to track your Tactical Advantage, it will help you know when to use your cool downs. We will cover that in a bit; right now let’s look at the abilities you get for healing up to level 30.
Healing Abilities at Level 30
Kolto Injection – You receive this at level 10 and at level 30 it heals a friendly target for 826-966 health, if you put a point into it on the tree it grants 1 point of Tactical Advantage. Costs 25 Energy and has a cast time of 2.5 seconds (2 seconds when you spec into it). This is an extremely powerful heal, I’ve often told my tank, when I use this heal I feel like I’m taking a frying pan of heals up against his skull. Even when talented into, the cast time can seem like a bit of a pain, but the amount it heals for seems to overcome the cast time for me.
Diagnostic Scan – You receive this at level 12 and at level 30 it heals a friendly target for 155 health over 3 seconds. It costs 0 Energy and its critical hits can restore 2 energy when talented for. The cast time is instant and channeled. At first when I received this ability I thought it was crap. I didn’t get it, it did very little and seemed to make no sense for me to use at all! However, once you level higher this ability will become very valuable and I have to say that I love it now.
Kolto Infusion – You receive this at level 14 and at level 30 it executes your Tactical Advantage to heal the target for 748-903. It requires and consumes 1 Tactical Advantage, costs 20 Energy and has a 1.5 second cast time. So far I’m not super impressed with this, it seems like it does a lot of healing at first for the short cast time. However it costs almost the same about of energy as Kolto Injection (5 Energy difference) with almost the same amount of minimal heal (max is 903 for Infusion vs. min of 826 for Injection).
The cast time is the difference though, but once talented into it there is only a difference of .5 seconds and the heals from your Kolto Injection have a chance to be more powerful with the max healing chance being 63 more than the Infusion’s max. This comes down to your preference and how much of a reaction time you have, I almost always chose my Injection over the Infusion unless I have energy to spare or I’m popping cool downs. Please note that this might change as leveling, I’ll update this in my level 50 post on Imperial Agent healing.
Kolto Probe – You receive this at the minimum level of 20 when you talent for it, take my advice when you can you want to talent for this lovely probe! At level 30 it summons a droid that heals a friendly target for 585 over 18 seconds. Stacks up to 2 times (on 1 target), costs 15 Energy and is an instant cast. When taking a talent called Medical Engineering that goes hand in hand with this ability, you can get a nice bonus.
Medical Engineering allows for each tick of Kolto Probe to have up to 30% chance to grant Tactical Advantage. It can’t occur more than once every 9 seconds, and each rank beyond the first reduces this rate limit by 1.5 seconds. I’ve put two out of the three total points here so far (increasing my chance by 20%) and already I can tell a huge difference in my Tactical Advantage procing. You’ll notice when this happens by your character giggling or making some sort of sound, there is also a visual effect too.
When it comes to the Kolto Probe You can also put this on as many individuals as you’d like, however I recommend keeping this on the tank, stacking it up to two times always. Having this stacked on the tank, with them using proper cool downs, you can actually only use the Kolto Probes and the Diagnostic Scan to heal pretty well, slipping in a more powerful heal when needed.
Surgical Probe – You can receive this at the minimum level of 30 when you talent for it. This executes your Tactical Advantage to summon a probe that instantly heals the target 360-593 at level 30. Requires and consumes 1 Tactical Advantage, costs 0 Energy and is an instant cast. This is a nice instant heal that costs no energy. It’s a great way to save a person from dying to conserve energy, and when talented it grants a Tactical Advantage when used on a target with 30% lower health, meaning you can pretty much spam it if needed. I haven’t reached this in my tree yet because I haven’t found the need for it in the healing I am doing and valued points elsewhere at the moment.
Toxin Scan – You receive this at level 24 and it purges a friendly target of up to 2 negative tech or physical effects (can heal for a small amount with a talent). It costs 10 Energy and is an instant with a cool down of 4.5 seconds.
Now that we have discussed how to spend your energy healing, let’s talk about the ways of getting it back! Cool down management is the backbone to a great healer. I remember doing some pretty near impossible things healing before all because I had figured out how to manage my cool downs to make my resource for healing seem unlimited.
Stim Boost – You receive this at level 12. It executes a Tactical Advantage to recover 3 energy every 3 seconds for 45 seconds. Requires and consumes 1 Tactical Advantage. It does not break stealth. It is an instant cast and has a cool down of 35 seconds. This is a great way to regen your energy so you can spam your heals or recover some energy if you accidently get too low. This will restore a total of 45 energy every 45 seconds, so feel free to use it constantly on cool down.
Adrenaline Probe – You receive this at level 14. It summons a droid that helps you recover 50 energy over 3 seconds (+16 immediately with talent). It is an instant cast and has a cool down of 120 seconds. Use this when you are desperate for instant recovery of energy. As energy can recover up to 6 energy per second, don’t use this unless you are below 25 energy otherwise you will probably get capped. This is another great probe to remember that you have around!
Putting it All to Use
Ok so those are all of your abilities that you get up to level 30, now how do you use them? Well it comes down to you, the tank and the situation. I am mainly working on missions, heroic 2+ and going back to do a little lower level flash points and even heroic 4+ with just me, my tank and our companions. Taking that into account here is what I usually go by at this point:
I keep Kolto Probe stacked up to 2 times on my tank always, and I use Diagnostic Scan to keep him above 90%. Once he gets below 90% I start using my bigger heals, I usually rely on my Kolto Injection if he gets in the medium range so I can bring him back up to a safe level. I use Stim Boost on cool down and in a few very hairy moments that he and I have shared, I’ve used my Adrenaline Probe.
Reaching level 10, declaring your tree and putting in your very first talent point is an important start on your way to healing. You have a few options to start with that are good ones, let’s look at the first tier of points and talk about some smart options. At this moment this is my current healing tree at level 30.
Incisive Action: This will reduce the cast time of your Kolto Injection gives you a 100% chance of it granting a Tactical Advantage.
Imperial Education: This will increase your Cunning. As this being our most important stat this is a nice easy increase.
Survival Training: This increases your healing done.
In your first tier there are more options, however these were the ones I chose first to use.
Endorphin Rush: This allows your Adrenaline Probe to instantly restore 16 additional energy.
Medical Consult: Increases healing dealt at all times and an additional percentage when Tactical Advantage is active.
Surgical Steadiness – This reduces push back when healing and reduces your threat generated by your heals.
Prognosis Critical: Increases critical chance of Diagnostic Scan.
Kolto Probe: Summons a droid that heals a friendly target over a period of time. Stacks up to 2 times.
Tier 4 :
Patient Studies: Diagnosis Scan critical restores energy.
Medical Engineering: Each tick of Kolto Probe has a chance to grant Tactical Advantage.
So that’s my advice and experience so far on Imperial Agent healing. I’m glad I stuck with her because I have to say that she is a whole lot of fun to heal on and to figure out. Once I get her to level cap I’ll follow this with an updated post. However, look forward to my next healing post covering the Sith Sorcerer healing up to level 36!