SWTOR: Essential Tips and Tricks

For the record i've been hit by 5k ravage strikes before in pvp.

http://www.twitch.tv/glutenfreegaming

http://www.twitch.tv/synysterspirit

Couple of Marauder live feeds with some tips and question answering...

Serengeti wrote:
Tigerbill wrote:

Thanks Keldar.
Serengeti mentioned that he is Watchmen spec'd, what does that translate to for us? I've been working on the middle tree (Carnage?).

Annihilation is the equivalent spec for Marauders. Here's a link to my level 37 talents: Jedi / Sith

What am I missing here?
IMAGE(http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3547594/tor_question.jpg)
How are you able to only put three points in that row before moving to the next? I tried to replicate it but couldn't.

It's not the number of points in the row, it's the number of points in the tree in total. You need 5 points to open row 2, 10 for row 3, 15 for row 4, etc. It doesn't matter where in the tree those points go.

REALLY!?!? Son of a B@#ch! I need to go look at respec'ing my Trooper and BH.

Serengeti wrote:

[*]Force Kick - It's surprising how many people don't use interrupts in this game, especially when they can easily be the difference between life and death. A general rule of thumb is that if a champion or boss mob's cast bar appears, you should probably interrupt whatever it is he's casting.

I'm shocked to read that a lot of people aren't using interrupts. Personally I quit my mercenary at 25 entirely based on the sole reason that he doesn't have a plain jane interrupt and I think that's crap.

While I haven't done any PvP at all, I'm loving my Sentinel in PVE right now. I agree that it can be a bit complicated to pick up the class, but once you understand the basics it's a blast to play and has great survivability. I'm currently level 37 and using the Watchmen spec. I ran Combat until about level 25 and it was painful. After I respecced to Watchmen, everything just got 100x more fun.

Here's some tips I've come up with based on my experience thus far (these apply only to the Watchmen spec):

Talents

This is my current spec at level 37: Watchmen Level 37 Spec

The talents I skipped are:

  • Recompense - My rotation doesn't include Riposte, therefore Recompense is useless.
  • Inflammation - PvP ability, pure and simple. No benefit for PvE.
  • Focused Pursuit - Another PvP ability.
  • Force Fade - Gives you 100% damage reduction while Force Camouflage is active. The problem is, FC ends as soon as you deal any direct damage. In a flashpoint or an operation there may be a situation where that's useful, but overall I don't see the benefit of standing still for any length of time, especially since just using the untalented Force Camo will most likely result in all enemies switching to a different target anyway. Why waste 2 talent points to prevent damage when the untalented ability has essentially the same effect?

Abilities

Use Juyo Form. If you're using any other form, you're doing it wrong.

You'll want to outright ignore many of the abilities the game throws at you as you level up. For Watchmen spec, many of them are useless. If an ability doesn't seem useful to you, by all means take if off your action bars! You have enough to worry about without being overwhelmed by buttons. As for the abilities to use, at level 37 you should be focusing on the following:

Your primary focus builders are going to be:

  • Zealous Strike - Use it every single time it's available.
  • Force Leap - again, use it every time you can. That said, until you get the talent that reduces the minimum range of Force Leap, you're not going to want to back away from a mob to use it. In that case, use Strike instead.
  • Strike - Strike is not an efficient use of a GCD, so you'll want to avoid it as much as possible. Even still, there will be times when you're out of focus and all your non-focus abilities are on cooldown. When that happens, go ahead and toss in a quick strike.

Your primary damage abilities are going to be:

  • Cauterize - One of your key DoTs. The idea is to try and keep the DoT rolling as close to 100% as possible. That means using Cauterize as often as you can.
  • Overload Saber - This is your key ability. It causes your next 3 attacks to burn the target. You want to keep 3 stacks of burn on the target as often as possible. It's also key to combine Overload with Zen. Since Zen results in a 100% critical chance for burns, popping Zen immediate after you reach 3 stacks of burning from Overload guarantees the best bang for your buck.
  • Master Strike - This is a huge damage dealer that costs no focus. It's a great ability and should be used every time it's available. Be careful though, the majority of the damage from this ability comes at the end of its 3 second cast, and you can't activate any other ability while in the middle of the cast, or you'll cancel the cast and lose the final damage. you'll need to train yourself to stop spamming buttons once you've initiated a Master Strike cast. Also of note, if you use Overload Saber before Master Strike, Master Strike will generate 2 stacks of the overload DoT (one immediately, one more at the end of the cast).
  • Slash - This is your filler damage ability. When everything else is on cooldown and you have focus to spare, use Slash. When you get up there in the talent tree, it also has a chance to finish the cooldown on Cauterize, which is the main reason to use it.

Your survival abilities are going to be:

  • Saber Ward - Don't wait until you're in trouble, use it at the beginning of any non-trivial fight. If fighting elites or champs, using it at the beginning can mean it'll be off cooldown and you'll be able to use it again before the fight is over.
  • Pacify - A few seconds of the enemy shooting wildly at everything but you can be invaluable.
  • Rebuke - It's only a 20% damage reduction, but with a 60 second cooldown, it can be used a few times over the course of a long fight.
  • Call On The Force - With a 20 minute cooldown, you'll want to save this for champions. Note that you should use Saber Ward first and then use CotF later in the fight when SW is on cooldown.
  • Force Kick - It's surprising how many people don't use interrupts in this game, especially when they can easily be the difference between life and death. A general rule of thumb is that if a champion or boss mob's cast bar appears, you should probably interrupt whatever it is he's casting.
  • Force Camouflage - If you get to a point in the fight where you're in trouble, pop Force Camouflage and let your companion take some hits for a while. Don't use this too early in the fight though; it's critical to have your companion alive as long as possible. You don't want to dump all the attention on her too early and have to go the rest of a long fight without her.

Those are the 13 main abilities that I use all the time. There are obviously situational abilities that I use too, like Disable Droid for CC and Cyclone Slash for large groups of trivial enemies, and I'm sure there are more abilities I'll pick up over the next 13 levels as well.

Other Thoughts

Medpacks are your best friend. I'm biochem so I have reusable medpacks, but once you start getting into the mid 20s, you can probably afford to buy regular medpacks for the tough fights. If you're having trouble affording consumables, you can save a lot of money buy not training skills you won't use.

Finally, a lot of people I've seen are just simply approaching fights wrong to begin with. If you have a group of enemies you need to kill, always target the weakest enemies first! If it takes you 10 seconds to kill a weak mob and 60 seconds to kill an elite, kill the weak mob first and then you'll have 60 fewer seconds of incoming damage from that guy. It blows my mind how many groups I've been in where everyone targets the elite and leaves 4 or 5 little guys alone. Those little guys may not do as much damage as the big guy individually, but when they're left to their own devices for a couple minutes, it really adds up!

ibdoomed wrote:
Serengeti wrote:

[*]Force Kick - It's surprising how many people don't use interrupts in this game, especially when they can easily be the difference between life and death. A general rule of thumb is that if a champion or boss mob's cast bar appears, you should probably interrupt whatever it is he's casting.

I'm shocked to read that a lot of people aren't using interrupts. Personally I quit my mercenary at 25 entirely based on the sole reason that he doesn't have a plain jane interrupt and I think that's crap.

That is because the sh*t doesn't go off half the time you hit it.

Serengeti wrote:

{Lots of good stuff}

I finally got home to actually look at what I've been doing since and I admit I've been doing too much saber throw because it's so cool but otherwise, this is how I've been playing. You didn't mentioned smash though. I generally approach a group, force charge into it and smash to stun before starting in with battering assault and so on. I skipped buying Force Camouflage because it didn't sound useful at first but I see now that it would be.

I'm curious about how people have their hotkeys setup. I have the left bar and second bottom bar turned on and then I changed the first key to be 'alt-1' and put '1' on the top of the left bar since right clicking a mob executes the first key (currently Assault) regardless of what it's mapped to (I put Battering Assault on '1'). Then my second bottom bar is Q (force charge), Mouse Wheel Up (Smash), Mouse Wheel Down (Retaliation), Mouse Button 5 (Channel Hatred), Mouse Button 6 (Throw), Mouse Button 7 (Disruption), Z (Force Choke), X (Disable Droid), F (Deadly Saber), 1 (Battering Assault), 2 (Vicious Slash), 3 (Ravage), 4 (Rupture), 5-6 empty and misc things I don't need to find in a hurry on the rest.

ibdoomed wrote:
Serengeti wrote:

{Lots of good stuff}

I finally got home to actually look at what I've been doing since and I admit I've been doing too much saber throw because it's so cool but otherwise, this is how I've been playing. You didn't mentioned smash though. I generally approach a group, force charge into it and smash to stun before starting in with battering assault and so on. I skipped buying Force Camouflage because it didn't sound useful at first but I see now that it would be.

I'm curious about how people have their hotkeys setup. I have the left bar and second bottom bar turned on and then I changed the first key to be 'alt-1' and put '1' on the top of the left bar since right clicking a mob executes the first key (currently Assault) regardless of what it's mapped to (I put Battering Assault on '1'). Then my second bottom bar is Q (force charge), Mouse Wheel Up (Smash), Mouse Wheel Down (Retaliation), Mouse Button 5 (Channel Hatred), Mouse Button 6 (Throw), Mouse Button 7 (Disruption), Z (Force Choke), X (Disable Droid), F (Deadly Saber), 1 (Battering Assault), 2 (Vicious Slash), 3 (Ravage), 4 (Rupture), 5-6 empty and misc things I don't need to find in a hurry on the rest.

I'm using pretty much the same setup I use in WoW. The first thing I do in any game that uses WASD is to move it to ESDF. Doesn't matter if it's an MMO or a shooter or what, it gets moved. Been doing that since Jedi Knight. In MMOs, generally speaking 1-6 become my core rotation (healing or offense), usually in priority order (use 1 before 2 before 3 before...), though that's a rough rule. I then use QTAGZXCV plus their shift equivalent for other abilities. I have a pattern where things generally go (e.g. G is interrupt, shift-G stun, A/shift-A is AoE stuff, shift-Q is defensive CD...). T is always the "filler" spell (in SWTOR, usually the resource-less ability or the basic resource generating ability). In SWTOR, shift-W is usually the regen skill (though I wound up putting Force Pull there on my Shadow since I was running out of places for stuff) and shift-R is medpack.

I've been using the default bar, the second bottom bar and the right bar. The two on the bottom are the ones that have the keybinds, the right bar gets the stuff I click on (e.g. buff, quick travel, speeder, etc.). I've left the left bar off so I can have one switch for the main bar at the bottom, primarily for healers. That lets me have a "questing" set of skills up (mainly damage, obviously) and a "healing" set of skills up, depending on what I'm doing at the time.

I have a Razor Naga.

I have all the bars up but only hot key the middle two. I make the bottom one shift +(1-=); the top one stays 1-=. Even though I don't need it I generally have my companion bar on the left and open all the time.

Stuff like Quick Travel, buff, stances, sprint and speeder go on the right bar along with med packs (really should start to hot key all of that).

Since buying the Naga I am a reformed clicker b@#ch and, now use the number pad on the mouse for almost all commands. I try to keep my combat skills between 1 and 0 as they are easier to reach without relocated my thumb. I use the bottom row, for skills that aren't used all the time like interrupts or have long cast times.

Wow just got the healing companion last night, and my sentinel went back from the rage induceing paper tiger, to the death machine I know and love. Why we get him so late is beyond me.

Tigerbill wrote:

Since buying the Naga I am a reformed clicker b@#ch and, now use the number pad on the mouse for almost all commands. I try to keep my combat skills between 1 and 0 as they are easier to reach without relocated my thumb. I use the bottom row, for skills that aren't used all the time like interrupts or have long cast times.

I have almost the exact same setup on my Naga, plus I have things like force leap or sprint bound to buttons 3 and 4 and targeting bound to mouse wheel up and down.

Even with the Naga, on my Guard, there are probably 8 more skills that I routinely use and that are all bound to the right of wasd.

WiredAsylum wrote:

Wow just got the healing companion last night, and my sentinel went back from the rage induceing paper tiger, to the death machine I know and love. Why we get him so late is beyond me.

Just make sure to take carbonize off of auto cast. Also keep Doc's gear up to date.

Oh and you still may encounter that familiar rage soon enough (unless they happened to fix the JK class quest [it's around level 40-42]).

What crafting skill are you guys pairing with your sentinel/marauder? My sentinel's using biochem and I keep reuseables up to date for healing, strength buff and the 15 second armor increase. Having those constantly on hand really seems to help with my survivability. I don't really think any of my other classes needed that extra little punch quite like my sentinel (aka glass sword) does.

Kehama wrote:

What crafting skill are you guys pairing with your sentinel/marauder? My sentinel's using biochem and I keep reuseables up to date for healing, strength buff and the 15 second armor increase. Having those constantly on hand really seems to help with my survivability. I don't really think any of my other classes needed that extra little punch quite like my sentinel (aka glass sword) does.

Artiface. I did bio on another toon.

Badferret wrote:

I have almost the exact same setup on my Naga, plus I have things like force leap or sprint bound to buttons 3 and 4 and targeting bound to mouse wheel up and down.

Even with the Naga, on my Guard, there are probably 8 more skills that I routinely use and that are all bound to the right of wasd.

Oohh now that's just sneaky; will be trying that when I get home. Could you do a modifier combo with it (say shift); that way the wheel still zooms.

I am trying Synthweaving on my Marauder for kicks and giggles. I will try to keep most of my armor up to date through crafting but, I like to create a look with my character and stick with it; thus I will have an orange chest piece and pants.

Probably could but I just rebound zoom in/out to unused keys and will primarily just zoom out once when loading into a new zone.

ibdoomed wrote:
Kehama wrote:

What crafting skill are you guys pairing with your sentinel/marauder? My sentinel's using biochem and I keep reuseables up to date for healing, strength buff and the 15 second armor increase. Having those constantly on hand really seems to help with my survivability. I don't really think any of my other classes needed that extra little punch quite like my sentinel (aka glass sword) does.

Artiface. I did bio on another toon.

Artifice here too. Had to put it on hiatus for the moment though, saving up for that shiny new speeder you know.

So i found out why i was getting destroyed by this marauder in Illum repeatedly.

Apparantly there's an ability that reflects damage back and i was told it has a very short cool down.

He said that he was able to keep it up about 50% of the time.

So i recommend using that as often as possible along with the kick.

ranalin wrote:

So i found out why i was getting destroyed by this marauder in Illum repeatedly.

Apparantly there's an ability that reflects damage back and i was told it has a very short cool down.

He said that he was able to keep it up about 50% of the time.

So i recommend using that as often as possible along with the kick.

Yep, that's Rebuke/Cloak of Pain. Starts up for 6 sec, but resets every time you get hit for up to 30 sec with 1 min CD. If you're 1-1 with a marauder/sentinel and you notice it goes up, just stop attacking for 6 sec and it will fall off.