Star Wars: The Old Republic

Mercenary


In lieu of a new ability, Mercenaries will receive two charges on their existing Rocket Out ability.

Rocket Out x 2 - Jet backward 20 meters, gaining immunity

Mercenary


In lieu of a new ability, Mercenaries will receive two charges on their existing Rocket Out ability.

Rocket Out x 2 - Jet backward 20 meters, gaining immunity to controlling effects while jetting. Cannot be used while immobilized or hindered.

The “charge” system is something new that a handful of abilities will utilize once the ‘Onslaught’ Expansion launches. Abilities like Rocket Out can store charges, meaning these abilities can be used multiple times before going on cooldown. When the ability is activated it will consume one charge, which will then recharge based on the ability’s recharge timer.

For example, Rocket Out has two charges; once you activate the ability, there will be one charge left, and the other one will start to recharge. If Rocket Out is activated again, another charge would be depleted, but the recharge process for this charge won’t start until the previous one finishes.

Alongside an ability charge, Mercenaries will receive a bevy of Set Bonuses and Tactical items. Set Bonuses are extra effects players can get for equipping a certain armor set. For instance, wearing two, four, or six pieces of a set will grant players progressively more powerful boosts. These can be in the form of increased ability potency or an added effect.

Tacticals are slightly different from Set Bonuses. While Tacticals also change how some abilities function, they come in the form of a new gear type. They don’t have actual stats on them like Power, Mastery, or Critical Rating; instead, they augment how an ability will function. Let’s look at some examples of how a Set Bonus and Tactical combination can alter the gameplay of the three Mercenary Disciplines: Bodyguard, Arsenal, and Innovative Ordnance.


Bodyguard

“The Bodyguard Mercenary specializes in personal-security services, positioning themselves as the best protection credits can buy. A varied array of kolto disbursement instruments provide the Bodyguard’s targets with protective shells and time-released infusions, offering safe haven in even the most hostile environments.”

Whether it’s in the middle of a boss fight or in the heat of a PvP match, healers are the lifeline of their groups. As content gets harder, more is expected of a group’s healer, and Set Bonuses or Tacticals that increase the potency of healing abilities or the number of players they affect will be at the top of a lot of lists. Instead, let’s take a look at the viability of increased mobility for a healer in the upper echelon of content.


Set Bonus: "Tech Medic"

(2 Piece Bonus) +2% Mastery
(4 Piece Bonus) Onboard AED becomes an instant-cast.
(6 Piece Bonus) Chaff Flare heals all allies around you.

Tactical: "Running Rapid Restoration"

Rapid Scan can be cast while moving and heals an additional 10%.



There’s no denying that Master Mode Operations are some of the hardest content in SWTOR, so as a real test for our healer, let’s place them in Master Mode Dread Palace. More specifically, the first phase of the Dread Council boss fight.

This fight is a true test of a group’s mettle as the first phase requires managing four bosses simultaneously: Dread Masters Bestia, Calphayus, Raptus, and Tyrans. The group is forced to stay scattered across the arena while the bosses use multiple abilities to interrupt the group’s positioning. Calphayus drops circles on the ground that not only reduce healing taken for players standing in them, but damage taken is reduced for any Dread Master inside them. Meanwhile, Raptus has a whirlwind attack capable of causing massive damage to any player caught in it, and Tyrans periodically pulls a random person to him. All of this combined keeps the Operation group in a constant state of movement, our Mercenary included.

And look at that… Raptus just cut down the other healer with his spinning attack. Time is of the essence to revive them before the rest of the group topples over! Fortunately, the combat resurrection ability Onboard AED is now an instant cast thanks to the Tech Medic Set Bonus. Instead of having to stay still and wait for the cast time, our Mercenary can quickly save their fellow healer. With that crisis averted, both healers can go back to focusing on maintaining everyone’s health. The group is extra cautious of their placement and maintains constant movement to prevent this from happening again.

This is where the Running Rapid Restoration Tactical, and how it changes the Rapid Scan healing ability, comes in handy. With this tactical equipped, not only is Rapid Scan castable while moving, but it heals for an additional amount. On top of that, our healer has turned an ability that reduces threat into another source of healing! With the four-piece Tech Medic Set Bonus, Chaff Flare becomes a more viable ability by healing everyone in its range. By increasing mobility and versatility, our healer stands a much better chance of reacting to any situation the Dread Council can muster!


Arsenal

“The Arsenal Mercenary specializes in distant attacks, employing long-range weapons to demolish anyone unlucky enough to be in their sights. Devastating missile-fire combinations and relentless blaster volleys generate a spectacle of explosive brilliance that transform the Bounty Hunter into a virtual artillery platform.”

Sometimes PvP matches come down to the wire, where which team wins is anyone’s guess. Other times, one team decimates the other. One of the biggest hurdles teams often face is regaining the momentum of a match. A common tactic used to turn the tide is coming out of left field with a huge damage output, making the opposition flinch. With the new Set Bonus and Tactical combinations, Arsenal Mercenaries can hit hard before the enemy even sees it coming.


Set Bonus:Notorious

(2 Piece Bonus) +2% Power
(4 Piece Bonus) Power Surge grants Precision Targeting, increasing armor penetration by 10% for 6 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once a minute.
(6 Piece Bonus) Power Surge gets an additional charge

Tactical: "Thermonuclear Fusion"

Fusion Missile spreads your Tracer Missile's Heat Signature to the targets it damages, as long as it damages at least one target already affected by your Heat Signature. Heatseeker Missiles fire additional missiles to nearby targets affected by your Heat Signature.



The enemy team has quickly gained the upper hand. They’re smelling the proverbial blood in the water as they try to finish off one of our Mercenary's teammates. Fortunately, they were able to activate their defensive abilities, but that has only bought them a few seconds at best. Time is of the essence! To make things even more difficult, one of the typical opening abilities, Priming Shot, is still on cooldown. With their team’s back against the wall, our Arsenal Mercenary starts their counterattack with Power Surge, making the next ability that normally requires a cast time an instant cast. Tracer Missile is immediately fired at an enemy near the center of the fray, afflicting them with Heat Signature. Without a moment's hesitation, our Mercenary uses their second charge of Power Surge granted by the “Notorious” Set Bonus. This makes Fusion Missile an instant cast and because of our “Thermonuclear” Tactical, the Heat Signature placed by the Tracer Missile spreads to all nearby enemies. The stage is now set for a huge amount of damage.

Our Mercenary activates their hardest hitting ability, Heatseeker Missiles, but with a twist. Instead of only hitting one target, it now hits all the enemies who are afflicted by Heat Signature because of our Tactical. Let’s not forget that since this attack was completed within six seconds, our Set Bonus added an additional 10% armor penetration to all the damage. This flurry of rockets causes a lot more damage than the enemy team expected. In a matter of seconds, the tables have been turned in favor of our Mercenary’s team.


Innovative Ordnance

“Taking advantage of the chaos they create is what the Innovative Ordnance Mercenary is all about. With an arsenal of explosive and piercing munitions, the I.O. Mercenary’s barrages of missiles, grenades, and weapon blasts cause lasting, destructive damage to all of their enemies.”

While the synergy between Set Bonuses and Tacticals can change how someone plays, it might not be something everyone is interested in. Here we have a seasoned veteran that mainly plays Innovative Ordnance Mercenary. They don’t want a new ability rotation or playstyle; they’d much prefer something that offers a passive change rather than an active one. Fortunately, we have just the thing with this Set Bonus and Tactical. Let’s test it out against a Flashpoint boss.


Set Bonus: "Concentrated Fire"

(2 Piece Bonus) +2% Critical Rating
(4 Piece Bonus) Gaining a stack of Supercharge increases your critical chance by 10% for 10 seconds. This effect can only occur once every 10 seconds.
(6 Piece Bonus) Doing damage or healing an ally has a 5% chance to build a Supercharge. Can only happen once per 3 seconds.

Tactical: "Energized Charges"

The duration of Supercharged Gas and Supercharged Burn are doubled.



Our I.O. Mercenary starts off business as usual, attacking the boss with a combination of abilities to build Supercharge stacks. Normally when a stack is gained, there is a slight damage increase overall, but thanks to the “Concentrated Fire” Set Bonus, our Mercenary’s critical chance is also increased by 10%! Once ten stacks have been reached, the linchpin of our Mercenary’s increased damage output—Supercharged Gas—can be used, increasing the periodic damage of abilities by 10%. Only a few abilities can normally grant a Supercharged stack, but because of the “Concentrated Fire” Set Bonus, there’s a 5% chance to build one from any damage source. With this, it doesn’t take long for our practiced Mercenary to reach their tenth and final stack.

Time to bare their teeth with Supercharged Gas! I.O. Mercenaries have three abilities that cause periodic damage: Incendiary Missile, Fusion Missile, and Serrated Shot. All of these are used back-to-back, maximizing the periodic damage inflicted on the boss. There’s also a hidden fourth source of periodic damage thanks to a nuance of Supercharged Gas: while it’s active and Incendiary Missile has been used, the next ranged attack on the target sets off a separate periodic damage burn. And it doesn’t stop there! Thanks to our “Energized Charges” Tactical, this periodic onslaught continues for twice as long with extended duration of Supercharged Gas. Once Supercharged Gas wears off, it won’t be long until our Mercenary can use it again, starting this brutal cycle anew.


Commando


In lieu of a new ability, Commandos will receive two charges on their existing Propulsion Round ability.

Propulsion Round x 2 - Fire a specially compressed round, propelling you backward 20 meters and granting you immunity to controlling effects while propelled. Cannot be used while immobilized or hindered.

The “charge” system is something new that a handful of abilities will utilize once the ‘Onslaught’ Expansion launches. Abilities like Propulsion Round can store charges, meaning these abilities can be used multiple times before going on cooldown. When the ability is activated it will consume one charge, which will then recharge based on the ability’s recharge timer.

For example, Propulsion Round has two charges; once you activate the ability, there will be one charge left, and the other one will start to recharge. If Propulsion Round is activated again, another charge would be depleted, but the recharge process for this charge won’t start until the previous one finishes.

Alongside an ability charge, Commandos will receive a bevy of Set Bonuses and Tactical items. Set Bonuses are extra effects players can get for equipping a certain armor set. For instance, wearing two, four, or six pieces of a set will grant players progressively more powerful boosts. These can be in the form of increased ability potency or an added effect.

Tacticals are slightly different from Set Bonuses. While Tacticals also change how some abilities function, they come in the form of a new gear type. They don’t have actual stats on them like Power, Mastery, or Critical Rating; instead, they augment how an ability will function. Let’s look at some examples of how a Set Bonus and Tactical combination can alter the gameplay of the three Commando Disciplines: Combat Medic, Gunnery, and Assault Specialist.


Combat Medic

“Just behind the front line, the Combat Medic Commando uses medical know-how and an array of tools to keep their allies in pristine fighting shape. Damage monitoring equipment and advanced kolto delivery systems allow the Combat Medic to maintain the offense’s forward momentum.”

Whether it’s in the middle of a boss fight or in the heat of a PvP match, healers are the lifeline of their groups. As content gets harder, more is expected of a group’s healer, and Set Bonuses or Tacticals that increase the potency of healing abilities or the number of players they affect will be at the top of a lot of lists. Instead, let’s take a look at the viability of increased mobility for a healer in the upper echelon of content.


Set Bonus: "Tech Medic"

(2 Piece Bonus) +2% Mastery
(4 Piece Bonus) Emergency Medical Probe becomes an instant-cast.
(6 Piece Bonus) Diversion heals all allies around you.

Tactical: "Running Rapid Restoration"

Medical Probe can be cast while moving and heals an additional 10%.



There’s no denying that Master Mode operations are some of the hardest content in SWTOR, so as a real test for our Commando, let’s place them in Master Mode Dread Palace. More specifically, the first phase of the Dread Council boss fight.

This fight is a true test of a group’s mettle as the first phase requires managing four bosses simultaneously: Dread Masters Bestia, Calphayus, Raptus, and Tyrans. The group is forced to stay scattered across the arena while the bosses use multiple abilities to interrupt the group’s positioning. Calphayus drops circles on the ground that not only reduce healing taken for players standing in them, but damage taken is reduced for any Dread Master inside them. Meanwhile, Raptus has a whirlwind attack capable of causing massive damage to any player caught in it, and Tyrans periodically pulls a random person to him. All of this combined keeps the Operation group in a constant state of movement, our Commando included.

And look at that… Raptus just cut down the other healer with his spinning attack. Time is of the essence to revive them before the rest of the group topples over! Fortunately, the combat resurrection ability, Emergency Medical Probe is now an instant cast thanks to the Tech Medic Set Bonus. Instead of having to stay still and wait for the cast time, our Commando can quickly save their fellow healer. With that crisis averted, both healers can go back to focusing on maintaining everyone’s health. The group is extra cautious of their placement and maintains constant movement to prevent this from happening again.

This is where the Running Rapid Restoration Tactical, and how it changes the Medical Probe healing ability, comes in handy. With this tactical equipped, not only is Medical Probe castable while moving, but it heals for an additional amount. On top of that, our healer has turned an ability that reduces threat into another source of healing! With the four-piece Tech Medic Set Bonus, Diversion becomes a more viable ability by healing everyone in its range. By increasing mobility and versatility, our healer stands a much better chance to react to any situation the Dread Council can muster!


Gunnery

“The Gunnery Commando specializes in ranged cannon attacks, employing long-range weapons to demolish anyone unlucky enough to be in their sights. Devastating blaster round combinations and relentless assault cannon volleys generate a spectacle of explosive brilliance and transform the Commando into a virtual blaster storm.”

Sometimes PvP matches come down to the wire, where which team wins is anyone’s guess. Other times, one team decimates the other. One of the biggest hurdles teams often face is regaining the momentum of a match. A common tactic used to turn the tide is coming out of left field with a huge damage output, making the opposition to flinch. With the new Set Bonus and Tactical combinations, Gunnery Commandos can hit hard before the enemy even sees it coming.


Set Bonus:Notorious

(2 Piece Bonus) +2% Power
(4 Piece Bonus) Tech Override grants Precision Targeting, increasing armor penetration by 10% for 6 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once a minute.
(6 Piece Bonus) Tech Override gets an additional charge

Tactical: "Thermonuclear Fusion"

Plasma Grenade spreads your Grav Round’s Gravity Vortex to the targets it damages, as long as it damages at least one target already affected by your Gravity Vortex. Demolition Round fires additional rounds to nearby targets affected by your Gravity Vortex.



The enemy team has quickly gained the upper hand. They’re smelling the proverbial blood in the water as they try to finish off one of our Commando’s teammates. Fortunately, they were able to activate their defensive abilities, but that has only bought them a few seconds at best. Time is of the essence! With their team’s back against the wall, our Gunnery Commando starts their counterattack with Tech Override, making the next ability that normally requires a cast time an instant cast. Grav Round is immediately fired at an enemy near the center of the fray, afflicting them with Gravity Vortex. Without a moment's hesitation our Commando uses their second charge of Tech Override granted by the “Notorious” Set Bonus. This makes Plasma Grenade an instant cast and because of our “Thermonuclear” Tactical, the Gravity Vortex placed by the Grav Round spreads to all nearby enemies. The stage is now set for a huge amount of damage.

Our Commando activates their hardest hitting ability, Demolition Round, but with a twist. Instead of only hitting one target, it now hits all the enemies who are afflicted by Gravity Vortex because of our Tactical. Let’s not forget that since this attack was completed within six seconds, our Set Bonus added an additional 10% armor penetration to all the damage. This flurry of rounds causes a lot more damage than the enemy team expected. In a matter of seconds, the tables have been turned in favor of our Commando’s team.


Assault Specialist

“Using the chaos of the battlefield to their advantage is the Assault Specialist Commando’s forte. Loaded to the brim with incendiary ordnance and perforating bolts, the Assault Specialist’s volleys and explosions add to the pandemonium - causing massive damage to their enemies.”

While the synergy between Set Bonuses and Tacticals can change how someone plays, it might not be something everyone is interested in. Here we have a seasoned veteran that mainly plays Assault Specialist Commando. They don’t want a new ability rotation or playstyle; they’d much prefer something that offers a passive change rather than an active one. Fortunately, we have just the thing with this Set Bonus and Tactical. Let’s test it out against a Flashpoint boss.


Set Bonus: "Concentrated Fire"

(2 Piece Bonus) +2% Critical Rating
(4 Piece Bonus) Gaining a stack of Supercharge increases your critical chance by 10% for 10 seconds. This effect can only occur once every 10 seconds.
(6 Piece Bonus) Doing damage or healing an ally has a 5% chance to build a Supercharge can only happen once per 3 seconds.

Tactical: "Energized Charges"

The duration of Supercharged Cell and Supercharged Burn are doubled.



Our Commando starts off business as usual, attacking the boss with a combination of abilities to build Supercharge stacks. Normally when a stack is gained, there is a slight damage increase overall, but thanks to the “Concentrated Fire” Set Bonus, our Commando’s critical chance is also increased by 10%! Once ten stacks have been reached, the linchpin of our Commando’s increased damage output—Supercharged Cell—can be used, increasing the periodic damage of abilities by 10%. Only a few abilities can normally grant a Supercharged stack, but because of the “Concentrated Fire” Set Bonus, there’s a 5% chance to build one from any damage source. With this, it doesn’t take long for our seasoned Commando to reach their tenth and final stack.

Time to bare their teeth with Supercharged Cell! A.S. Commandos have three abilities that cause periodic damage: Incendiary Round, Plasma Grenade, and Serrated Bolt. All of these are used back-to-back, maximizing the periodic damage inflicted on the boss. There’s also a hidden fourth source of periodic damage thanks to a nuance of Supercharged Cell: whileit’s active and Incendiary Round has been used, the next ranged attack on the target sets off a separate periodic damage burn. And it doesn’t stop there! Thanks to our “Energized Charges” Tactical, this periodic onslaught continues for twice as long with extended duration of Supercharged Cell. Once Supercharged Cell wears off, it won’t be long until our Commando can use it again, starting this brutal cycle anew.


We’ve revealed the ability charge, discussed Set Bonuses and Tactical items, and painted a picture of how these two systems merge together to augment different styles of gameplay for Mercenaries and Commandos. These Set Bonuses and Tacticals are a small sample of what players can expect in ‘Onslaught.’ With that, six Advanced Classes are down, and only ten to go! In the next article of this “Day In The Life Of” series, we will cover Powertechs and Vanguards. Stay tuned!

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