Having the right people in the group can make an operation run go much more smoothly. I am not referring solely to the classes you bring, either. Being able to trust the people you are in an operation with goes a long way in having a solid ops group. Knowing that the people around you are competent in fulfilling their role gives everyone that extra boost of confidence when in an ops.
Variety is the Spice of Life
A concerted effort should be made to mix up your operation group in order to bring that extra bit of utility to the operation. The Legacy ability that gains you all the class buffs helps if you are short a certain class but that doesn’t mean you should run a group with nothing but Troopers. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t run an operation with one class. I was in a Karagga’s Palace run with 6 of the 8 as Bounty Hunters which was pretty successful, but it still would have been nice to bring some of the other classes along for their various abilities. Each advanced class brings their own contribution to the group make up. Admittedly, some classes are more desirable than others, but having a good mix ensures that you’re not lacking any of the important skills that can make your ops run easier.
Why should I bring a (insert class here)?
Every class offers something unique to the operation and below is a list of my observations from running dozens of operations. By no means am I an expert on every class, but I have a fairly good idea of what each brings to an ops run.
Guardian/Juggernaut – Tank: Good solid tank, works well in most situations. Can’t go wrong with having one. DPS: Now that they have been buffed, Juggernaut dps are very viable and good damage dealers. Plus, they can hold the boss in an emergency, if needed, in the right stance.
Sentinel/Marauder – Very solid melee dps with a lot of instant attacks for good burst damage. Also offers some AoE melee healing and reliable interrupts as well as a group haste for increased DPS.
Commando/Mercenary – DPS: Excellent ranged damage with good survivability. Heal: Very mobile healer with rapid shots along with healing buffs to help other healers increase their output.
Vanguard/Powertech – Tank: Great AoE tanks that can generate agro at range. DPS: Solid high burst DPS that can deal damage from melee or ranged as the situation allows. Also able to offtank in an emergency with heavy armor and a stance change.
Gunslinger/Sniper – One of the best single target dps in the game with a great AOE shield to keep the ops group alive during those last minute boss enrages.
Scoundrel/Operative – Heal: Excellent all around healer with the ability to HoT and AoE heal. DPS: Strong melee dps that can vanish, get out of combat and rez a team member if your main battle rez has been already used.
Sage/Sorcerer – Heal: Awesome AoE healing abilities, bubbles and mobility in the form of Force Sprint. What’s not to like? DPS: Very good ranged DPS that can toss out emergency bubbles to help healers, the ability to cc, good mobility. Very handy to have one in the ops.
Shadow/Assassin – Tank: Reliable AoE tanking plus the ability to stealth/cc is nice. DPS: Melee dps who can stealth, cc, vanish to get out of combat to offer additional combat rez, and offtank in an emergency for a few seconds with the right stance and cooldowns. Tons of utility in this class.
In terms of group composition, the standard makeup for an 8 man run is 2 tanks, 2 healers and 4 dps. I would make an effort to bring 2 different tank classes, at least one of them being a tank strong in AoE. The same situation applies for healers. An AoE healer can make your life easier but, as long as the player behind the character is strong, any combination will work nicely. Damage dealers are a bit more complicated due to the fact that many of the boss fights are unfavorable to melee. Still, that shouldn’t discourage you from bringing them. However, try and avoid bringing more than 50% of the dps as melee. It can make fights like Heavy Fabricator or Toth and Zorn a bit more troublesome. Not impossible, but other strategies will have to be considered.
Keep in mind that a good group composition is nice and all but having a consistent group can do wonders. When you have the same people in your operation group, you will learn how they play and vice versa. Once this relationship is established, you begin to anticipate what your other team members are doing and know that they will react in the way you expect them to. That trust goes beyond any one particular class and will carry you further than any other factor. Now, gather your operation groups and kill some bosses!
Ready check done? Pulling in 3… 2… 1…