SWTOR Commando Combat Medic Guide
SWTOR Commando Combat Medic Guide by RuQu
Do you like really big guns? Does laying down a lethal storm of fire and then healing any of your allies dumb enough to step in front of a lightsaber sound like fun? Well then, the Combat medic may just be the AC for you.
One of the things they did really well in this game was to allow you to heal without sacrificing too much dps. None of the Trooper trees, Vanguard or Commando, has any talents to boost the damage of our AoE abilities. That means you, as a healer, can lay down just as much AoE damage as anyone else, and Troopers are the kings of AoE.
This ability to put out huge AOE damage, and decent single target damage, makes leveling a Combat Medic so much more fun than the pain we are used to seeing with leveling healers. We also have a new resource mechanic that is more interesting than the standard, tired, giant mana pool mechanic we are all used to from every game before.
I’ve seen a lot of questions in general and guild chat, and no sticky post with answers, so I figured it was about time we started getting one together. This guide endeavors to answer most standard questions and help a new Combat Medic get off to a good start.
This is a living document and will likely remain a work-in-progress for quite a while. It will also, hopefully, be a community project and resource. If you see errors, please politely point them out. If you have suggestions, make them. If you see areas where something is debatable…debate it. If a consensus is reached, I’ll update it to reflect that. If no consensus can be found, I will add the competing camps to the section and let the reader decide for themselves.
I am reserving some space for theorycrafting. I will put some of my own work in here shortly, but if you have done some yourself or know of sites that have done good Trooper/BH healing theorycrafting, please let me know so I can link to them.
Finally, I don’t PvP. If someone wants to contribute some info about differences in PvP, I will gladly add that in and provide credit.
Table of Contents
- Skill Tree Builds
- Stat Priorities
- Rotations and Strategies
- Companions (Coming Soonish)
- Stat Calculator
- CM: Combat Medic
- AP: Advanced Medical Probe
- MP: Medical Probe
- SCC: Supercharge Cells
- CSC: Combat Support Cells
- BI: Bacta Infusion
- KB: Kolto Bomb
- TP: Trauma Probe
- HS: Hammer Shot
- CB: Charged Bolt
- HIB: High Impact Bolt
- FA: Full Auto
- RC: Recharge Cells
- ARPS: Ammo Regenerated Per Second (gained)
- APS: Ammo Per Second (spent)
Ammo is our resource mechanic, and deserves a section to discuss how it works. You have 12 ammo, and using most abilities costs some ammo. A few are free. Ammo regenerates on its own, at a rate tied to how much ammo you already have. The more ammo you have, the faster it regenerates. This means you generally want to stay as conservative as possible to stay in the high regen range.
Very Slow: 0-3 Ammo. 0.24 ARPS
Moderate: 3-8 Ammo. 0.36 ARPS
Fast: 8-12 Ammo. 0.60 ARPS
We do have a couple of abilities to help with this.
[*]Recharge Cells: Instant. 2 minute cooldown. Restores 6 ammo over 3 seconds. When talented, 2 additional cells recharge instantly. I have not yet tested to know if this means you get 8 total from the ability, or just that 2 of them instantly are given to you while the others regen over 3 seconds.
[*]Supercharge Cells: Instant. 1.50 seconds. Among its other effects, instantly recharges 2 cells. Requires 30 charges of Combat Support Cell.
Medical Probe: 3 Ammo. 2 second cast. Standard Heal.
Advanced Medical Probe: 2 Ammo. 1.5 second cast. 9 second cooldown. This heal is slightly weaker than MP, but it is your core heal. Once talented it not only heals, it also increases the target’s armor, adds our only HoT, and reduces the cost of the next MP to only 1 Ammo. That means for 3 Ammo (the same cost as MP) and a slightly longer cast time, you get the heal from AP, the heal from MP, the heal from the HoT, and the decreased damage intake from the armor boost. Not a bad deal.
Bacta Infusion: Free. Instant. 21 second cooldown. Huge free heal limited only by its cooldown. 21 seconds is pretty short. Use it early, use it often!
Trauma Probe: Free. Instant. No Cooldown. Free reactive heal. This puts 10 charges of a shield on a target, and every time the target takes damage they get healed. It isn’t a large heal per charge, but it’s free and it adds up substantially over time.
Kolto Bomb: 2 Ammo. Instant. 6 second cooldown. Our only AoE heal. Limited to only heal 3 targets, but has a low cooldown. Talented, it also provides a 5% buff to healing received.
Hammer Shot: Free. Instant. No cooldown. When using Combat Support Cells as your ammo type, you can use this to target people as a very small heal while letting ammo regen.
Skill Tree Builds
SWTOR skill trees are all pretty straightforward, without a lot in the way of options, so this build shouldn’t be much of a surprise.
Zero Alacrity PVE Build. Use 86-190 Alacrity Rating
Low Alacrity PvE Build Use 150-250 Alacrity Rating.
High Alacrity PvE BuildDo not exceed 40 Alacrity Rating.
Alternate Build *Lileth argues that the Kolto Residue buff is unreliable, and prefers the increased self-healing to decrease how often you have to heal yourself. A dead healer does no healing.
In light of the Alacrity data in a later section, I had to revise the recommended PvE build.
Optional Skills in the PvE build above:
- Psych Aid. There are not currently many Force debuffs to remove, and the base cost is cheap enough, and cleansing on bosses is rare enough, that this may not be needed. If you have a spare point, though, it never hurts.
- Muzzle Fluting. If everyone is topped off before SCC runs out, lets you cast CB for free so you can help DPS while still regenning as much Ammo as possible. Great for leveling, great for solo questing, great any time you don’t find yourself constantly healing. Highly recommended even though it is clearly a DPS skill.
- Cell Capacitor. The extra 1-2 Ammo are nice, but its a long cooldown ability.
- Treated Wound Dressings. The less damage you take, the less you or another healer has to heal you. A dead heal saves no one.
- Med Zone. viable alternative to Treated Wound Dressings. Increased self-heals when you need them most.
- Combat Shield. Great for PvP, but more importantly makes sure you get that self-heal off when you really need it. I don’t put points here, but it is a good alternative to Treated Wound Dressings, or Muzzle Fluting if you don’t ever DPS.
There is a lot of hate towards Kolto Bomb, and some of it is warranted. It is the most limited AoE heal in the game, healing the fewest number of people, smallest radius, and it has an Ammo Cost and a cooldown. That said, it can be cast on the run, provides a buff to healing received, and, if it heals 3 people, it is highly efficient. Of course, getting it to heal 3 is tricky, especially considering it currently is not a “smart heal.” Kolto Bomb heals the three people closest to the center when it lands, not the three most in need of healing. We are hoping this will be corrected soon.
The only stats you should be concerned with are Aim, Surge, Critical, Power, and Alacrity. Endurance comes for free, so don’t worry about it, and the other stats are for other classes.
Aim: Provides increases to ranged damage and critical chance, tech damage and critical chance, and healing power and critical chance. Note healing critical change IS tech critical chance. Simply stated twice to make it clear Aim increases healing critical chance.
Critical Rating increases the chance you will have a critical effect from damage or healing abilities. This increases the effect by 50% plus the bonus from your Surge rating.
Surge rating increases the bonus on critical effects.
Power increases the base damage/healing of your abilities.
Alacrity makes cast times faster. Cast time abilities cast faster. Channeled abilities take less total time, with the ticks coming faster. HoTs and DoTs tick faster. Unlike in some other games, this does not increase the number of ticks of any HoT/DoT abilities. This also is the only stat with negatives associated, specifically it makes abilities more expensive. See below for more info.
I created a calculator, hosted on Google Code, for calculating stat weights and comparing upgrades.
It only takes a minute to download it and plug in your own values. More explanation is in post #3.
One thing that the program does not convey well is the value of Alacrity. See the next Section.
I have done a great deal of work examining Alacrity for Combat Medics. In the end, I realized that our maximum benefit with Alacrity would correspond to our maximum usage of the only abilities that used it, AP and MP. Due to poor scaling, fitting in extra HS does not add enough HPS to offset the opportunity cost (HS scales at 1 * Bonus Healing, compared to 2.72 for MP).
I have been doing a lot of work trying to model Alacrity and how it benefits us. I eventually had to convert the Stat Calculator spreadsheet into the C++ version linked above so I could run multiple iterations. I am fairly confident of the results, but please, if you can point out problems, do so (politely) so we can get the best data possible.
The short version is you should aim for 5-7% Alacrity, total, from both stats and skills. Try not to exceed 8.5%. For the long version, see this thread.
Obviously, I’m not going to make a Best in Slot list, as those are annoying to keep up.
However, crafted gear is worth addressing. When you RE green crafted gear, it can gain one of three prefixes: Redoubt (+defense), Critical (+crit) or Overkill (+power). If you RE those blues, they can gain one of five second stats: Presence, Shield, Alacrity, Surge, and Accuracy. Presence only boosts your companions, and is useless in group play. Based on the above stat priorities, it can be seen that only two combinations are of any value.
Expert Gear: Power + Surge
Endowment Gear: Critical + Surge
Since the power vs crit debate is still open and will likely be a matter of preference even after the math is in, I’m not going to make a call about which of those two to us, but obviously there is better synergy with the Endowment gear. Take whichever works better for you.
Rotations and Strategies
When healing as a Trooper, you should always have CSC as your active ammo type. You also want to stay at 30 charges whenever possible for the 3% healing boost and the ability to pop SCC. You can preload CSC charges by firing hammer shot on the run at friendly targets, even out of combat. Always keep Trauma Probe on the tank. (Note: You may want to have Trauma Probe on yourself during pulls, and then cast it on the tank once he has aggro. It’s free, so the repeat cast won’t hurt you, and the initial heal when the tank first takes damage can sometimes make adds target you.)
Currently the consensus is that this is where we shine best, and we are likely to be one of the most popular dedicated tank healers in this game.
Most of the time keeping Trauma Probe (TP) on the tank and using an AP/MP combo every time AP comes off of cooldown should be sufficient. Pre-tossing a Kolto Bomb (KB) for the 5% buff is easy if it looks like they took a little more damage in since the last AP/MP cycle than your AP/MP combo heals for. While waiting on cooldown, toss out some hammer shots as either heals or damage, or weave in a Full Auto or Charged Bolt cast if you are fine on ammo.
In high-burst damage situations, it is time to break out the SCC. You still want to keep TP on the tank, and the KB buff. Lay down a AP/MP combo followed by a full price MP. If that isn’t enough, pop SCC which will refund 2 of your ammo (making that last MP essentially only cost 1). Now AP has no cooldown for the duration and KB places a shield on targets. MP is still your most powerful heal, and AP/MP combo costs 3 Ammo vs 4 Ammo for a double AP cast. The cast time of MP also allows the AP HoT time to tick, so avoid the temptation to just spam AP when you pop SCC. Use the lack of cooldown to power as many AP/MP combos as you can.
If the high-burst phase isn’t over before SCC expires, spam MP as needed to get back up to 30 charges, weaving in AP when its off cooldown of course, then pop Recharge Cells (RC), followed by SCC and another round of burst AP/MP combos. Try not to use Hammer Shot for healing while SCC is active, unless everyone is at or near full health. If you are low on ammo after SCC, toss some Hammer Shots after it expires.
When the high-burst phase is over, use hammer shot and AP/MP combos to do light healing while you regen Ammo and build up charges.
We are a bit weaker here than some other classes, but we aren’t worthless. Obviously Kolto Bomb (KB) is our go-to ability. The cooldown is only 6 seconds, and the 2 Ammo cost is low, making this ability spammable. You will recharge more in those 6 seconds than the cost, so if you aren’t casting anything else you could toss KBs all day.
KB has two major downsides. First, it only heals 3 targets, which means someone in a flashpoint group is getting healed, or in an Operation it means we heal one fewer than a Scoundrel and 5-13 fewer than a Sage (I could be wrong here, but it is my understanding that the Sage AoE heal has no limit number of characters healed.) Second, the radius is only 8 yards, so those being healed have to be quite close together. This is made harder by the fact that the current SWTOR AoE targeting indicators don’t actual show the size of the area the ability affects.
That said, KB is basically a MP, spread over 3 targets for 1/3 of an MP each in healing. There is a good chance that if your group is taking AoE damage, it is coming in faster and harder than that. So what do you do?
Well, luckily, our AP/MP combo isn’t tied to one target. Casting AP puts a buff on us reducing the cost of MP, not a buff on the target, so we can cast that MP on someone else. An AP/MP. So toss a KB out, drop AP on one of the targets, then drop MP on another, and Hammer Shot (HS) or Bacta Infusion (BI) the final one. Going through this rotation of those three abilities with a free cast is Ammo neutral or very very close, so you should be able to keep that up all day.
For High-Burst AoE, once again SCC comes to the rescue. KB now applies a shield. When in SCC mode during high-burst, you want to keep your rotation basically the same. If you are still in high-burst when SCC expires drop a second full cost MP instead of HS in the rotation to build charges quickly, and then use Recharge Cells. KB doesn’t generate CSC charges, so it can take a little longer to get back up to 30. Plan accordingly.
Currently, endgame, biochem is the only profession with any real benefit. You can do any other profession you want, but just be aware that, currently, the benefits of Biochem are known to far outweigh it. Personally, I’m a cybertech since I am also an alt addict and feeding armorings to my alts is of greater value to me, but I make this choice knowing I’m missing out on regular free self-heals and adrenals. I might very well change once my guild is running Ops regularly.
Biochem is getting a slight nerf in Patch 1.1, but that probably won’t change the above.
- Tionese Gear Stats
- General Formulas
- Simplified Formulas
- Calculated Tionese Values
- Ammo Neutrality
Many formulas for the game’s mechanics have already been sorted out over at Sithwarrior.com. To date they don’t have a thread containing what we need to know, so I am going to leverage this formula list to help us.
Tionese Gear Stats
We should also settle on some constants so we all use the same numbers. From that Sithwarrior.com site they list base stats at level 50. All we really care about are
For calculation in this thread, I propose we assume someone is geared at the Tionese level, the first tier of epic gear.
I summed the stats for Tionese Combat Medic Gear. I separated out secondary stats that were on removable mods.
- Total Aim: 959
- Total Endurance: 900
- Fixed Power: 36
- Mod Power: 118
- Fixed Crit: 175
- Mod Crit: 104
- Fixed Surge: 40
- Mod Surge: 0
- Fixed Alacrity: 120
- Mod Alacrity: 242
This brings our base stats to 100 Cunning and 1209 Aim.
The moddable secondary stats total 464 rating points.
Assumed Constants for Theorycrafting
Rating Point Budget: 464
Crit from skills: 9%
Alacrity from skills: 9% Assuming 100% First Responder uptime. Can be revised later.
The following values (from Torhead.com) are used in the first equations below to calculate the value of heals. Since I don’t think I can make a table here the format will be as follows:
Ability : Coefficient : StandardHealthPercentMin : StandardHealthPercentMax : Standard Health
- AP : 1.94 : 0.077 : 0.117 : 6485
- MP : 2.72 : 0.116 : 0.156 : 6735
- TP : 0.481 : 0.022 : 0.026 : 7085
- BI : 2.28 : 0.084 : 0.144 : 7085
- KB : 1.08 : 0.034 : 0.074 : 7085
- HS : 1.00 (hammer shot is special. It heals for 100% bonus healing only)
Selected formulas we care about:
Ability Healing Min = Coefficient * HealingBonus + StandardHealthPercentMin * StandardHealth
Ability Healing Max = Coefficient * HealingBonus + StandardHealthPercentMax * StandardHealth
Aim Healing Bonus = Aim * 0.14
Tech Power Healing Bonus = Tech Power * 0.17
Power Healing Bonus = Power * 0.17
Crit Chance % = 5 + CritFromSkills + 30 * ( 1 – ( 1 – ( 0.01 / 0.3 ) )^( ( PrimaryStat / max(Level,20) ) / 2.5 ) ) + 30 * ( 1 – ( 1 – ( 0.01 / 0.3 ) )^( ( CritRating / max(Level,20) ) / 0.45 ) ) + 30 * ( 1 – ( 1 – ( 0.01 / 0.3 ) )^( ( SecondaryStat / max(Level,20) ) / 2.5 ) )
Crit Size % = 50 + 50 * ( 1 – ( 1 – ( 0.01 / 0.5 ) )^( ( SurgeRating / max(Level,20) ) / 0.1 ) )
Activation Speed = CastingTime * ( 1 – ( %AlacrityFromSkillsAndBuffs / 100 ) – 0.3 * ( 1 – ( 1 – ( 0.01 / 0.3 ) )^( ( AlacrityRating / max(Level,20) ) / 0.55 ) ) )
General forms of equations are great, and the thread on Sithwarrior.com I linked above is worth reading for those interested. I’m going to leave the above formulas for reference, but also reduce them using some of our assumed constants listed above to make them easier for people to work with and read.
Aim Healing Bonus = Aim * 0.14
Tech Power Healing Bonus = Tech Power * 0.17
Power Healing Bonus = Power * 0.17
Crit Chance % = 23.19 + 30 * ( 1 – ( 1 – ( 0.01 / 0.3 ) )^( ( CritRating / 50 ) / 0.45 ) )
Crit Size % = 50 + 50 * ( 1 – ( 1 – ( 0.01 / 0.5 ) )^( ( SurgeRating / 50 ) / 0.1 ) )
Activation Speed = CastingTime * ( 1 – .09 – 0.3 * ( 1 – ( 1 – ( 0.01 / 0.3 ) )^( ( AlacrityRating / 50 ) / 0.55 ) ) )
For the healing abilities, the constants are given above, and the only part of the equation that is variable is bonus healing. For our purposes we are only going to use the average of the min/max, so, with (BonusHealing=BH) the equations can be simplified to:
AP = BH*1.94 + 629.05
MP = BH*2.72 + 915.96
TP = BH*0.481 + 170.04
BI = BH*2.28 + 807.69
KB = BH*1.08 + 382.59
HS = BH
Calculated Tionese Values
Using the values and formulas above, the following are calculated if you were in full Tionese gear:
Bonus Healing: 195.44
Crit Chance: 33.49%
Crit Size: 72.46%
Medical Probe Cast Time: 1.60 seconds
Adv. Med. Probe Cast Time: 1.20 seconds
Using all of the above equations and constants, bonus healing and alacrity reduced cast times, we can calculate average healing values and Healing per Second (HPS) and Healing per Second per Ammo (HPSA) values. For now, HPA is just divided by given ammo value with free treated as 1 to avoid divide by zero issues. I’m open for suggestions on how to express efficiency (HPSA) that factors in regen. For TP, KB, and HS values are given for 1 target and 10 (TP) or 3(KB) targets in parentheses. For HS, I need to test, and can’t right now, but I believe it heals for 100% of bonus healing, 3 times per activation.
AP: 1008.2 Avg, 838HPS, 419HPSA
MP: 1447.6 Avg, 902HPS, 301HPSA
MPFT: 1447.6 Avg, 902HPS, 902HPSA
KB: 593.6 (1781.0) Avg, 396 (1187) HPS, 198 (594) HPSA
TP: 264.04 (2640.4) Avg, 176 (1760)HPS
BI: 1253.29 Avg, 836HPS
HS: 195.44 (586.32) Avg, 130 (390) HPS
As you can see, TP is highly efficient if allowed to use all 10 charges, and when geared MP heals for more the AP, so AP/MP cycles provide greater HPS than AP spam during SCC, while maintaining sustainable efficiency. If you can hit three targets, KB is greater HPS than any of the other heals, and more efficient than AP, and comparable to the efficiency of AP/MP combos (583HPSA). These values support the rotation advice given in the first post.
Staying Ammo Neutral means to use the same amount of ammo in a given period as you regen.
AP/MP/(HS/BI/TP) costs 2/1/0 Ammo, and takes 1.5/2/1.5 seconds to cast (including GCD on HS/BI/TP), for a total cost of 3 Ammo over 5 seconds. At 9+ ammo, we regen 0.60 Ammo per second, for a total of 3 Ammo over 5 seconds. This is our basic neutral rotation. AP/MP Combo followed by any of our free instant abilities. Since AP has a 9 second cooldown, you have room for another 2-3 ammo ability after the free ability to be back at full Ammo to restart with AP.
I am out of time at the moment and will be on the road a lot this week with uncertain amounts of time for further theory crafting. I wanted to get as much up here as possible in cast others want to take this further while I am away, or dispute assumptions I’ve made.
I converted the original Google Docs spreadsheet to C++ and put it up on Google Code. I will try and post in this thread as I make updates to the program.
The original form of this calculator was this spreadsheet. I am no longer updating it, but it is left up for reference and interest.
Enter your stats, important skill choices, and buffs at the top. Then there are 3 buttons of importance.
- Click the Calculate Stat Weights button
- Enter the NET changes of 1-2 peices of gear in the Upgrade Calculator Section of the “Stats” Sheet
- If the HPS increases, that item is an upgrade over your current gear.
- If you entered two items, a field will display which produces the larger HPS increase.
- Adjust the thresholds for when you use Recharge Cells and Full Price (3 Ammo) Medical Probe, and Adv. Probe during SCC.
- These changes apply to all calculations.
What do the weights mean?
Power is the only stat that doesn’t have diminishing returns, so all stats are given a value relative to Power (PPE, points power equivalent). If something has a value greater than one, that means it is better than power. If it is less than 1, it is worse than power.
Sometime alacrity might go negative due to strange interactions with alacrity and the rotations. See additional discussion on alacrity.
if you choose to use the Upgrade Calculator, you never need to look at these values, but many people prefer to have an idea of their stat weights, for which the PPE values are the most useful.
What are the assumptions?
This assumes an intensive healing situation where you use SCC whenever you can, and spam AP/MP while SCC is up, assuming you have the ammo for it. The minimum ammo for casting AP during SCC is adjustable. Outside of SCC, Priority is AP>BI>MP(with buff)>MP(unbuffed with ammo above adjustable threshold)>HS. Recharge Cells is used whenever it is off of cooldown and you have less than or equal to an adjustable amount of Ammo.
I don’t PvP. Ever, really. So, on that note, I am going to include here advice from other posters.
|As for PvP a few things I’ve found in my experience at lvl 50, valor rank 40:|
– Try and keep a low profile. Use Hammershot if you need to but the big green beam is an attention grabber. Shooting a guy right next to you is preferable to pewpewing the guy across the room.
– You’re going to get jumped, know what you’re going to do if that happens. Reactive shield, medpac, bacta, trauma probe, adrenal, adrenaline, recharge cells, relics, scc + kolto, concussion charge, cryo, concussive + tech override… so much you can do. Stabilize, get yourself someplace to LoS whoever is on you, get to some friendlies.
– Dont over-react. Know your character. Is he 50 with 500+ expertise? Dont pop all your cd’s on a level 10 who just force leaped on you. Some sorc shooting lightning at you? Cryo and LoS around a pillar. Geared Operative just unstealthed, knocked you down and crit you for 8k? PANIC! Or at least take it seriously.
– COMBAT Medic: You can do damage! If everyone is stable, unload on the bad guys. Preventative medicine is the best kind. Mortar Volley, Pulse Cannon, nades, hammershot… I personally love to Stockstrike people, typically hits for 2k and I get a lot of kill shots with it. I normally do about 100k damage 200k heals or thereabouts. I find this more useful than spamming redundant heals. So long as nobody on my team dies, bring the pain.
PVP as a commando (Rank 55) I never use hammer shot to heal anyone. Ever. Use Bacta, Kolto while on the run. And hammer shot the enemies, which iscreases your damage numbers / kills for more medals.
— Getting attacked by a operative from stealth. As soon as my face hits the pavement, I start spamming Concussive Charge. Consussive Charge down, use Cyro Grenade. (Don’t be a keyboard turner you have to face them fast)Then Bacta while on the run AWAY from them followed by Kolto Bomb. Start strafe kitting them and laugh. Finish up with a Stock Strike to their face for the killing blow. I tend to Stock Strike kill allot of people because It makes me laugh.