Hello everyone, here is a guide I created for healing on the Sith Sorcerer. Like any guide, there are personal preferences at play. I will do my best to explain the reason why I do so and so.
Build (at 50)
(Here is the Torhead link)
There are certain talents/point you must take as a healer but there are some also some talents that tend to be different for everyone. I have indicated the talents that I think might raise some discussion below.
Empty body - Increase all healing received by 8%. This was largely dismissed as a PVP talent by some people. However, this is very beneficial in PVE as well. Every healer will receive a lot of incoming damage in PVE. Whether it is because of bad tanks, AOE you suppose to avoid or just random damage from mobs. A dead healer is the worst healer you can be. Those 8% may not seem much at first but when you need to heal yourself, they come into play and can make a difference at the end of the day.
Dark Resilience - This talent reduce the health spent by Consumption by 2%. This is a rather waste of 2 points as you have the Force Surge talent and you will almost never use Consumption without this proc being active once you get into the swing of things. Even if you do screw up and somehow end up with no force need to use Consumption right away, the 2% difference in health decrease won't make a difference. Even if you use Consumption 4 times without the Force Surge proc, it will only save you 8% health, which is no different than Empty body's 8% increased healing received and Empty body is useful all the time.
Fadeout - Sounds great in Huttball and might have potential use in PVE when you need to move quickly out of a nasty AOE or something but its usefulness is limited and situational at best. The points can be better spent elsewhere.
Conspiring Force - Affliction lasts for 15 seconds so this will slow the enemy by 20% for 15 seconds. It has potential usage in PVP and when soloing but in flashpoints and operations most bosses are immune to the slow and the points can be better spent elsewhere.
Subversion - This may seem an odd point allocation but I find it pretty useful. There are times when you are healing something but you find yourself needing to DPS simply because the healing is not very intensive or you need to help the group to meet the enrage timer. Casting your damaging spells can be costly in terms of force and you might be abit low on force from all the prior healing. This ability allow you to chain - cast Lightning Strike and have a 50% chance for it to increase your force regen. This effect can stack up to 3 times.
Most of the tiered endgame PVP/PVE armor have the name Force-Mystic on it to indicate that it is healing armor (non armor pieces may have the name Force-Master). The reason why you want to grab this set is because of the set bonus.
PVP Force-Mystic ("Healer" set)
- (2) Reduces the lockout debuff duration of Static Barrier or Force Armor by 3 seconds.
- (4) Consumption or Noble Sacrifice restore 3% of max health over 6 seconds
PVE Force-Mystic ("Healer" set)
- (2) Reduces cooldown of Innervate or Healing Trance by 1.5 seconds.
- (4) Increases total Force by 50.
There are three tiers of gear at endgame: Tionese/Columi/Rakata for PVE and Centurion/Champion/Battlemaster for PVP. You can mix match armors from different tier and still get the set bonus (i.e. you can have Tionese boots and Rakata chestpiece and it will count as 2/5 of a set).
The set bonuses, especially the (2) ones, are super nice.
You should consult this list to see all the available three tiers of PVE/PVP gear.
Relics: For relics I like to use the matrix cube you get from combining three red matrix shards and a relic that has a press to use ability. If you don't know how to get your matrix cube, you should follow this guide here. The other relic I have that has the press to use ability is the Columi Relic of Forbidden Secrets which I think I got it either from a Champion gear bag from PVPing or from the first "real" boss in hardmode Boarding Party. This relic will give you 220 critical rating and surge rating for 20 seconds with a 2 minutes cooldown. This is a pretty handy thing to have and I like to use it right before I throw out my AOE heal so it heals up party/operation members faster.
You essentially have 4 direct heals, 1 AOE heal and 1 shield at your disposal.
The three direct heals you will commonly use are
- Resurgence: not really used as a heal but rather used to proc Force Bending. It also grant 10% armor to target, which is nice. Ideally used on the tank everytime it comes off cooldown (6 secs).
- Innervate: This is a channeled healing spell that ticks for 4 ticks. It also have the ability to proc Force Surge when it crits. In my opinion it is the single best heal we get. It has a 9 secs cooldown, which is reduce to 7.5 secs with the PVE healer set bonus (2).
- Dark Infusion: I use this when Innervate it is not up. The default casting time with 2/2 in Dark Mending is 2.5 secs but this can be reduced to 1.5 secs with Force Bending active.
- Dark Heal: Has a default casting time of 1.5 secs and has its force cost reduced by 50% when Force Bending is active. However, it heals for a much smaller amount and does not scale well with healing bonus. (healing bonus coefficient is only 1.75 while the one for Dark Infusion is 3.41). I actually rarely, if ever use this heal. The only use for it would be when you are low on force or when you tank is taking a tiny bit of damage and you want to top him/her off.
Revivification is our AOE heal. It heals for up to 8 targets within 8 meters of the target area. It is mostly an area of effect HoT (Heal over Time) although at the time of writing this heal is bugged as it is supposed to have a large initial heal as well.
Static Barrier is our shielding ability. It will shield for 3.27 *healing bonus + (0.164 * 7085). If you are curious where I got the formula, consult this thread here. With a 464 healing bonus, static barrier would shield for ~ 2.7k. It has a 20 second cooldown per target, which is reduced to 17 seconds by the PVP healer set bonus (2).
There is really no healing rotation set in stone. I tend to put Static Barriers on all party members before a pull and refresh it on the tank and whoever else is taking damage. On fights where your group members and/or yourself is constantly taking damage, refresh Static Barrier on all members whenever it is up. The static barrier kinda serve as a buffer against incoming damage, giving you time to react and get a heal off.
Resurgence should be used whenever it is up (on the tank preferably) to grant Force Bending. If you look at your buffbar, you should see this icon to indicate that Force Bending is active.
Once Force Bending is active, you should use Innervate next to heal the damaged party member. This has a chance to proc Force Surge, which grant you a "free" consumption. This is the icon for Force Surge in your buffbar.
You should definitely have Consumption on your hotbar and bind a key to it for very easy access. When you see the the icon for Force Surge appear, ideally you should be pressing that Consumption button. I must admit that sometimes the healing is so intensive that you don't have the time to wait for a GCD to use consumption (1.5 secs). You might also get tunneled visioned and not notice the buff icon for Force Surge. This is perfectly ok and with practice you will get better at it.
Depending on whether or not you used Consumption and your alacrity numbers, Resurgence is probably not up by the time Innervate has finished casting. This give you a small window where you can use Dark Infusion. There is currently a "bug" in game that if you press the button for Dark Infusion fast enough, before Innervate completely finishes channeling, you can also get a "double" benefit from Resurgence's Force Bending ability and this will cause your Dark Infusion to be also 1.5 sec in casting speed even though you already used Force Bending on Innervate.
However, you should not rely on this "bug" as it might get fixed pretty soon and it can be a bad habit to get rid of. You could squeeze in a 2nd Resurgence to proc Force Bending and make your Dark Infusion into a 1.5 cast. By the time you finish casting Dark Infusion, your Innervate will be up but there might be still a 2 second cooldown on Resurgence so it is your judgement call to use Innervate right away or cast Resurgence first and then Innervate.
Summary: Static Barrier-> Resurgence -> Innervate -> Consumption -> (Resurgence) -> Dark Infusion -> Innervate OR Resurgence -> Innervate.
By the time you finish with this rotation, your Static Barrier should be up.
As I mentioned before and I will mention it again, the healing rotation is not set in stone and is intended to give you a general idea of what you should be casting. On certain fights where different party members are taking damage, you may break the rotation by casting Static Barrier on everyone or by dropping an AOE heal bubble. The priority is using Resurgence + Innervate whenever possible and hit Consumption after getting the Force Surge proc. Use Static Barrier to help buffer damage and use Resurgence + Dark Infusion for moments when Innervate is still on cooldown.
When the healing gets easy, you should definitely try to DPS to help out with the enrage timers. I like using the combo of Crushing Darkness + Affliction to DoT the mob up. This give me time to heal some more while the damage is ticking on the mob. Crushing Darkness does a lot of damage but it only last for 6 seconds and its on a 15 seconds cooldown. Affliction last for 15 seconds and has no cooldown.
If I already used my DoT combo, I like to use Shock or Lightning Strike. Shock is instant and hence can be used while moving. Lightning Strike has a 50% chance every cast to increase your force regen by 10% for up to 3 stacks (30%) due to the Subversion talent. You could also use Force Lightning but my gripe with that ability is that it is a channel spell and sometimes you may need to break off early to heal.
Use your Whirlwind to help CC (Crowd-Control) mobs before pull and use your Electrocute to stun mobs (last for 4 seconds) if your Whirlwind is on cooldown. Don't forget that you also have an interrupt - Jolt that you can use to interrupt big damaging abilities on mobs that can be interrupted. Ideally your DPS should be handling the interrupts but sometimes they may need help or they just suck.
Extrication is a fun ability to play around with, especially in PvP (i.e. Huttball). For PVE purposes I most commonly use it to pull people out of AOE effects. The threat lowering is nice but I hadn't much opportunity to use it. Sometimes I love to mess around with party/ops members who are running ahead of me by using Extrication on them and then pop Force Speed right away to speed past them.
On the topic of Force Speed, it is a nice ability to have when you need to run out of ground AOE effects or when you need to chase up to your tank/DPS who are out of range for heals.
There are a couple of important stats for Sith sorc healers: Willpower, Power, Force Power, Crit Rating, Surge Rating and Alacrity.
Willpower you get it on all of your gear and it really isn't in competition with any other stats. It gives 0.14 to bonus healing per point and a very small bonus to crit chance that caps out at 30%. I will explain the bonus healing in a minute.
Power gives you 0.17 bonus healing per point. Force power is a stat you see only on main hand and offhand and it also give 0.17 bonus healing per point. Both force power and power do not have diminishing returns.
Crit rating gets converted to crit chance %. This conversion has a diminishing return, meaning that the more crit rating you have, the less benefit you get from it. This conversions caps out at 30%.
Surge rating gets converted to crit multipler %, which determines how hard you hit when you crit. You get a base 50% crit multiplier which means you will hit for 150% more damage/heals than your regular hit without any surge rating. Adding surge rating will increase on this 150%. Surge rating also have a diminishing return and conversion to crit multiplier caps out at 50%.
Alacrity reduces the amount of times it takes to cast and channel spells. It gets converted into activation speed %. There is significant debate on whether alacrity affects the GCD (Global Cooldown). The general consensus seems to be that alacrity will reduce GCD if the activation/cast time for a spell is less than 1.5 seconds (GCD for instant spells is not affected). Alacrity also have a diminishing return and the conversion caps out at 30% before buffs/skill bonuses.
Personally I think the discussion is around which of the 4 stats - power, alacrity, surge rating, and crit rating, one should focus on. Willpower and force power are out of the discussion as they are not really in competition with the other stats. It is not good to exclusively focus on any of the 4 stats but there is a small priority system you can use.
First, lets look the diminishing returns curve for crit rating, surge rating and alacrity and their conversion into their respective % values. (the formulas for the conversions can be found here at sithwarrior.com, I have modified crit chance % to be only dependent on crit rating. Crit multipler % is based on the % increase past the base 150%.
As you can see, for your first 100 points into the three stats, you get the most return on surge rating as it gets converted to the most crit multiplier %. Alacrity has the lowest return, requiring almost 350 points to get into 10% activation speed. Crit rating seems to have a low return as well.
The next graph will probably illustrate my point better. It shows you a graph of how much of the converted % you gain for every 20 points into each of the three stats.
You can clearly see initially surge rating will give you the greatest return into converted crit multipler %. At around 150 surge rating, you get only 2% increase in crit multipler % for every 20 points into surge rating. Starting around 300 surge rating, you start to get only 1% increase in crit multipler for every 20 points.
There is really no hard numbers on how much of each stats you should have. What it ultimately comes down to its personal preference. Personally, I would aim for surge rating to be at least 250, this would give me a crit multiplier of around 180%. You don't want to neglect crit rating either as stacking for surge rating with low crit chance % will make it less effective.
In terms of crit chance %, you have three contributions in addition to the base 5%: crit rating, willpower and skills (5%). Willpower have a almost linear curve for returns on crit rating. At 1700 willpower, I get about 11% in crit chance. This will give you 11% + 5% (skill) + 5% (base) = 21% crit chance without any investment in crit rating.
300 points into crit rating will give you about 11% crit chance, which would total to 32% crit chance. 400 points into crit rating will give you about 13.5% crit rating, which would total to around 34.5% crit chance. Low 30%ish for crit chance is a pretty good % to have.
If we look at one of our most used healing spell - Innervate, from a pure Force Surge point of view, this would give us around 30% chance to crit on every tick and there are 4 ticks. This means that there is roughly a (1-(0.7)^4) or 75% chance that you will get at least one critical Innervate tick everytime you use Innervate without casting Resurgence first which will activate the Force Bending ability (Ideally you would always cast Resurgence first but Resurgence may not always be up due to its 6 second cooldown or the healing is so intensive you may not have the time to "waste" a GCD for Resurgence). With Force Bending active, the chance to get at least a single Innervate tick to crit every cast is about (1-(0.45)) or 96%.
Alacrity is nice to have. I would aim for 300-350 alacrity to get around 10% activation speed. This will make our Innervate into a 2.7 second channeled spell and our Dark Infusion into a 1.35 or 2.25 second cast (depending on if you have Force bending active or not). The first 10% activation speed requires around 350 points in Alacrity but the next 5%-10% would require another 300 or 600 points into Alacrity respectively so it is not really worth further investment.
Power is in my opinion the fall back stat. It is something I would focus on after hitting significant diminishing returns on the other 3 stats. The reason for this is that power gives very little but does not have a diminishing return. As you recall, 1 power give you 0.17 bonus healing. How does this bonus healing gets converted into actual output in your heals?
Lets look at this formula (pulled from sithwarriors.com) for healing.
Ability Healing Min = Coefficient * HealingBonus + StandardHealthPercentMin * StandardHealth
Coefficient and StandardHealthPercentMin are values that are specific for a single healing spell and they can be found under the expanded effect details when you look at a healing ability on Torhead. StandardHealth is another variable but at level 50 this equates to 7085.
Lets look at Dark Infusion. it has StandardHealthPercentMin=>0.16 and HealingPowerCoefficient=>3.41.
Lets assume we gain +50 power, this gets converted to 50 * 0.17 = 8.5 healing bonus. The difference in the healing min for Dark Infusion before and after adding 50 power is as follows
3.41 *(8.5) +(0.16*7085) - 3.41 * 0 +(0.16*7085) = 3.41 *8.5 = 29 more hitpoints healed on Dark Infusion minimum healing value when rounded.
Now lets look at the first 50 points into crit rating and surge rating. With 464.4 healing bonus, I have 2771 as my minimum healing for Dark Infusion (can be calculated by using the above formula and multiply by 1.02 due to 2/2 in Haunting Presence which give me 2% more healing).
The first 50 points into crit rating give me 2.177% crit chance. Assuming I have 0 surge and just a base multipler of 1.5 for when I crit, it is going to be 2771 * 1.5 *0.02177 = 90 hp increase overall on Dark Infusion when rounded. Using the same logic and diminishing returns, I would get 62 hp increase on the 50 points jump from 250 to 300 crit rating. It is only when I reach 800 surge rating that the 50 increase in surge would give me the same amount of hp increase on Dark Infusion as power. Keep in mind that since power contributes to healing bonus, having more power would increase the min heal amount of Dark Infusion and thereby affect how much gain you get from 50 points into crit rating. Therefore, the numbers are not accurate but serves as an example to point out why early point investment into crit rating is a worthwhile investment compared to power.
Surge is a bit hard to compare as surge's effectiveness is determined by how much crit chance % you have. Your first 50 points into surge would give you 9.15% crit multipler. Assuming a 30% crit rate, your Dark Infusion would gain a HP increase of 2771*0.0915 *0.3 = 76. At around 300 surge rating is where the same HP increase as 50 power is reached.
If all these numbers/theorycrafting is making your head hurt, I personally recommend the following prioritization path.
Crit rating/Surge rating (around 300) -> Alacrity (around 350) -> Power.
In other words, if you are a fresh 50, focus on crit rating/surge rating/alacrity but once you are in Columi or better (tier 2 PVE gear), you will already have so much of them that it is better to stack for power as it have no diminishing return.
The best crew skill to have at the moment is definitely Biochemistry. If you combine it with Bionalysis for gathering and Diplomacy for mission skills, you are pretty much self sufficient.
I lost count of how many times the Rakata Medpac have saved my butt! It heals for a significant chunk of HP, can be used on the move, it is instant and does not use up a GCD (Global Cooldown).
Rakata resolve stim will boost your stats by a significant amount and if you are min/maxer it is definitely something you should have. The adrenals are quite nice as well.
These medpacs/adrenals/stims are all reuseable so you don't have to spend a dime once you have the mats to make one. You can also make the lower end version to sell on the GTN and make a nice sum from it!
I personally find the default group frame horrible and the default size for health bars on the operation frame to be too small. I have adjusted them a bit to suit my playstyle. Here is how you adjust yours.
You need to go your preferences window and click on User Interference and then scroll down to Operations Frame. Check on Use Operation Frames as Party Frames and adjust the health bar width and height as you see fit! Also I find Show Health Text to be helpful as well!
The nice thing is that it also show yourself in the Operation frames as well. This is nice as your can just click on your name to heal yourself and you can keep a close eye on your HP as well if you like to tunnel vision on the health bars (I know I do! sometimes)