Nov 072012
 

By Geldarion

Briefing

Welcome to the war, comrades. You have been selected to receive the latest training and tactics fresh from the warfront. The tried-and-true strategies you are about to hear are extremely effective and CLASSIFIED. Let’s get to the briefing. Today, we will discuss what Commandos and Mercenaries bring to the table in team-based PvP.

More after the Jump…

 

Every class has its uses in team-based PvP. Certainly, when reading the forums or even fansites, you will hear that “class X is the best at burst damage” or “class Y sucks since Patch blah blah when they nerfed them,” but I believe that every advanced class has a reason to pick them, and that every strategy can accommodate any advanced class.

The main thing to remember is a good player playing <insert class here> is better than a bad player playing <insert “flavor-of-the-month” class here>. This will mostly depend on the player’s understanding of his class and of other classes. These advanced class spotlights will have a two-fold purpose: to help you understand what your teammates can do, and to help you understand what your enemy can do.

So today, I want to give you a taste of what the Commando and Mercenary can do for a group in PvP. This will be in three sections: Talent Trees, General Skills, and Group Roles.

Talent Trees

The three talent trees for a Commando/Mercenary are Combat Medic/Bodyguard, Gunnery/Arsenal, and Assault Specialist/Pyrotech. Why is it important for you to know that? It really isn’t, except for the purposes of knowing what I am talking about in this article.

What is important to know, is that in team play, these can roughly be categorized as:

Combat Medic/Bodyguard: healer spec
Gunnery/Arsenal: sustained damage, heavy CC options spec
Assault Specialist/Pyrotech: burst damage, mobility spec

You can tell by the following Cell/Cylinder icons which spec they are using:

Combat Medic/Bodyguard – Combat Support Cell/Combat Support Cylinder

 

 

Gunnery/Arsenal – Armor Piercing Cell/High Velocity Gas Cylinder

 

 

Assault Specialist/Pyrotech – Plasma Cell/Combustible Gas Cylinder

 

 

General Skills

It is good for all of the classes to have a working knowledge of how the Commando/Mercenary’s more unique skills work. It can help both when facing them, and when discussing strategies with them. Here are a few of the most important skills when it comes to team play.

Field Aid/Cure

This skill cures 2 Tech and Physical effects on the target, has a 4.5 second cooldown, and can remove mental effects (CC) and heal a little bit if the talent Psych Aid/Cure Mind is taken from the CM/BG tree.

Kolto Bomb/Kolto Missile

This is a skill from the Combat Medic/Bodyguard tree, and it has a variety of beneficial effects for the team, depending on exact spec. If you take all of the CM/BG talents that boost Kolto Bomb/Kolto Missile, then in addition to the good-sized, 4-person AoE heal, you can get a 15 second shield that mitigates 5% of all incoming damage, a 15 second incoming healing buff of 3% on all allies affected, and a 3 second 50% slow on up to five enemies in the AoE.

Grav Round/Tracer Missile

This skill is damage skill from the Gunnery/Arsenal tree that has an associated 4% armor debuff that it places on the target. This debuff can stack up to five times, for a total of -20% armor. This skill also unlocks a number of buffs for the Commando/Mercenary, including damage boosting procs and defense buffs. Most, if not all, players using this spec will spec to build two stacks of the debuff at a time, which combined with a 30 meter range, can allow the player to quickly build at least four stacks of the armor debuff on the entire field of battle. This ability to quickly debuff the entire opposing force makes the Gunnery/Arsenal player a powerful bottleneck and contested point fighter.

Crowd-control Skills

The Commando/Mercenary has access to several potent CC skills.

Cryo Grenade/Electro Dart

This skill is shared with the Vanguard/Powertech. It has a 10 meter range, a 1 minute cooldown, and it stuns the target for four seconds. There is a talent that is not shared with the other advanced class in the Combat Medic/Bodyguard tree. It is called Efficient Conversions/Heat Damping, and it reduces the ammo cost by 1/heat cost by 8.

Concussive Round/Concussion Missile

This skill dazes a target for 60 seconds in PvE, but is more like 6-8 seconds in PvP. It has a 2 second activation time and a 1 minute cooldown. There are multiple talents in both the Combat Medic/Bodyguard tree and the Gunnery/Arsenal tree that augment this skill.

  • Like Cryo Grenade/Electro Dart above, Efficient Conversions/Heat Damping lowers the ammo/ heat cost by 1 ammo/8 heat.
  • Steadied Aim/Stabilizers is in the Gunnery/Arsenal tree, and it reduces the pushback suffered while activating Concussive Round/Concussion Missile by up to 75%.
  • Also in the Gunnery/Arsenal tree, Reserve Round/Power Overrides is a talent that reduces the cooldown on Concussive Round/Concussion Missile by 15 seconds.

It is fully possible to take all of these talents if using the Gunnery/Arsenal tree, so if they are specced that way, expect a lot of CC coming from that player.

Concussion Charge/Jet Boost

This point-blank AoE is a very potent skill that not only knocks players back, but it also slows them by 50% for 4 seconds after they land. This is also affected by several talents in both trees.

  • Like Cryo Grenade/Electro Dart above, Efficient Conversions/Heat Damping lowers the ammo/ heat cost by 1 ammo/8 heat.
  • The Concussive Force/Afterburners talent in the Gunnery/Arsenal tree increases the magnitude of the knock back by 4 meters.
  • Tenacious Defense/Jet Escape in the Gunnery/Arsenal tree reduces the cooldown from 30 seconds to 25 seconds.

Again, it is possible for Gunnery/Arsenal players to spec into all of these simultaneously, so CC is something to watch out for from them.

Stockstrike/Rocket Punch (Gunnery/Arsenal only)

With the talent Concussive Force/Afterburners from the Gunnery/Arsenal tree, Stockstrike/Rocket Punch becomes a 4 second root. Once again see that Gunnery/Arsenal is a fantastic spec for CC options.

Stealth Scan

An AoE stealth reveal, this skill is shared with the other Trooper/Bounty Hunter advanced class. Its cooldown is lowered by the talent Nightvision Scope/Infrared Sensors in the Assault Specialist/Pyrotech tree. This talent also raises stealth detection, and I think it is an underused talent which should be considered in Ranked Warzones.

Group Roles

Using the article I wrote on group roles in PvP as a base, the Commando and Mercenary’s trees are specifically good at the following roles.

Combat Medic/Bodyguard: Node Healer
Gunnery/Arsenal: Support DPS
Assault Specialist/Pyrotech: Support DPS

The DPS specs can both be Focus Targets if needed, because of Gunnery/Arsenal’s ability to debuff in their natural rotation and the Assault Specialist/Pyrotech’s more burst-like damage. However, I think Commandos and Mercenaries have strength not in their Focus Target abilities, but in their versatility. There are better classes at being Focus Targets. The fact that every spec has access to a ton of CC and a stealth reveal makes them a powerful Support DPS.

In general, expect the Combat Medic/Bodyguard players to be in the mix, healing as much as possible. Interrupters will want to interrupt Medical Probe/Rapid Scan, as that is the big heal.

Expect Gunnery/Arsenal players to be switching targets in the opening game to debuff targets as much as possible, then expect them to settle down into a sustained DPS rotation. Interrupters should focus on Grav Round/Tracer Missile, as it is a key skill for this spec. Due to the number of CC options available to the player, this is a high-priority kill target when one enters the battlefield.

Expect Assault Specialist/Pyrotech players to be running around, shifting to the areas of the Warzone that need DPS help. They are typically more bursty, so try to pop defensive cooldowns as early in the fight as possible when facing them.

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to use Commandos and Mercenaries in team PvP. Let me know if I missed anything or if you have any thoughts in the comments section!

Use this information well, soldier. Fight for victory and die with honor. Till our next briefing, DISMISSED!

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