I had a tiny tiny break from SWTOR, since my SWTOR subscription ended on Monday and it took a few days for the free 30 days from the Legacy Promotion to apply. I've been slowly playing Knights of the Old Republic, a game that I somehow completely missed when it was first released back in 2003. I've been enjoying it immensely (especially since it's such a lore boost to SWTOR) and I really want to finish it soon.. but right now I need my quick SWTOR Warzone fix.
I've now managed to complete the Battlemaster armour set for my Imperial Agent (Operative), and I'm sitting at around 1000 expertise (the PVP stat in SWTOR). The difference to when I first started out in level 50 PVP is enormous, I no longer feel like a wet tissue, I can pump out some pretty sweet heals and even get a few kills every now and then. I'm also very happy that Bioware were quick to fix the issues I ranted about in my last PVP post - the Warzone atmosphere is much better again since people have an incentive to stay until the end.
Duel of the paint cans - a common sight when Operative healers are about
In a previous post, Cithryth asked me about how the healing feels like, so here's my 5 eurocents (we don't use the 1 or 2 cent coins here in Finland, the smallest is 5):
Operative healing is very powerful, and I really like the mobility of it - in Warzones I can even run like a headless chicken around my team, spam my AoE heal and my instant heal-over-time and my instant miniheal and get some crazy healing scores. I can usually survive for quite a long time - and even longer if I'm lucky enough to get Guard from a friendly tank. My strongest heal has a longer cast time so I have to stay still to use it, meaning I'll get focused very soon unless I position myself carefully. But if there are any Sorcerer healers around, enemies usually tend to focus more on those and ignore lil me... until I stab them gently between the ribs and sprint away while throwing stackable HoTs on myself and my team-mates.
I also like the resource mechanics of Operatives - instead of the huge "mana pool" that most healer classes have in other MMOs, I have a very small range of Energy that regenerates really fast (unless I spam my skills so that it goes close to 0 and then it regens super slow). But I really think it beats having a huge pool and then just slowly watch it go down and hoping the battle will end before you go OOM.
The only real downside is that Operative healing is pure Health Bar Whack-A-Mole. Sure it's hectic and fun, since I have to make quick decisions about which heal to use so I won't run out of Energy, but the reality is that I watch the red bars go down, I apply the appropriate heal skill and hope they go up. There's no shield, bubble, buffs or other utilites I'm used to having as a healer in other MMOs. I can crowd-control droids, but all my other CC abilities have a very short range and duration. But hey, at least I have stealth and I can Vanish if I get focused!