SWTOR: Gearing a Fresh 50 – Patch 1.3

If you’ve been playing SWTOR since launch, this article is not for you.  Let me direct you down to hall to Dulfy.net, and her excellent chart of maximizing your Black Hole Commendations.  This orientation is for Freshman level 50 players.  Specifically players that are un-guilded, mostly play solo, and have only one Level 50 character.

For everyone that is still here, let’s get started.

Your first tool in gearing up is the Group Finder.  Que up in the group finder as Damage.  Even if you have goals of Tanking or Healing, your time spent using the Group Finder will be leaps and bounds more fun is you fill a damage roll in the beginning.  The tanking and healing roles are best left to geared players looking for their one daily Flash Point for Black Hole Coms.

Yes, you in the back.  The lanky looking Juggernaut, go ahead.

“I want to Tank, it’s an instant Que, so I’m going to do it.”

I’d strongly caution you against that, for two reasons.  First, you don’t know the Flash Points.  Two, you don’t have the gear to effectively tank an efficient Flash Point.  The two things I pointed out really boil down to one thing.  Speed.  It’s a simple fact, most players would rather have a quick Flash Point, blow stuff up, and get their loot.  An under geared Tank/Heals will effectively return the group to pre 1.2 Flash Point mechanics.

Another question? OK, go ahead, the Operative in the back going in-and-out of Stealth.

“I’ve got a full set of PvP Recruit gear, that means I’m geared.  I’m going to Que as heals because I can.”

While you might have the raw stats to put out effective #’s, you still have to contend with never running the Flash Points before.  Two major examples of this; Droid Trash in Directive 7 and the very first pull of Black Talon.  If don’t realize how to quickly take out the “Heat Beam” droids in D7, you’ll fail to keep thr tank alive in over a dozen pulls.  If you don’t know that the first pull of BT is a group wiper b/c of aggro and over zealous DPS AoE, you’ll wipe in 5 global cool downs.

I implore the class, trust me, re-spec DPS and enjoy the Flash Points.  You will learn the correct way to set up pulls and when the big damage is going to happen.  There are a plethora of over geared players just waiting to crush the Republic with you.  Let them. During the subjugation of weak minded Jedi, you will learn the FP.

You’ll also get geared up in the process.  Let’s look specifically how you’ll get geared using the Group Finder for HM Flash Points.

Flashpoint now drop Columi equivalent gear randomly for all bosses except the final one.  The final boss drops a class based Columi Token you can turn in at your class specific vendor.

The Twi’lek up front, you have a question?

“Ummm, What’s a Columi?”

Columi is  verbiage used to signify the level of Operations Grade Gear.  Grade 1 is Tionese.  Grade 2 is Columi.  Grade 3 is Rakata.  Grade 4 is Black Hole.  Hopefully in the future Devs will establish a more sensible Mark (MK) identification system.  On that same note, a full set of Columi Gear is needed to run the Hard Mode Operations Eternity Vault and Karagga’s Palace.

While running the HM Flash Points, you can role need on gear that will help you gear up.  If you are a Juggernaut and can use the Columi level Tanking Pants, roll need on them.  Simple. Some players may argue that rolling need on an item that does not help the role you are currently filling is wrong.  The only situation where it’s bad form to roll need on those pants is if the current tank needs them.  If they are wearing the same or better, roll away comrade.

While you are running FPs, Pick up the Daily and Weekly FP quests for Credits and Commendations.  These Commendations will help you fill gaps in your gear.  The Tionese Coms and Crystals you get are best used to purchase a Main hand weapon first.  While Main Hands drop randomly in the FP’s now, the chance of one dropping are much lower than useable armors.

The Mercenary in the 3rd row, if you don’t stop twirling your level 45 blasters I’m going to slice off your hands.  I believe you also have a question?

“ahem, yes well, ahh… What about the Group Finder for Story Mode Operations.  Wouldn’t I get geared even faster using that?”

There is great potential for quickly gear up using the Operations Group Finder.  You must also consider this point.  If you’ve never been there before will you be an effective member of the ops?  I suggest grouping with Players barking in general chat for Story Mode Ops.  These groups will likely have VoIP and you will give yourself a much smaller migraine.  If you have access to comrades that have done the Ops before, queing for it with them and using a personal VoIP is very effective.

At the beginning of the lecture I pointed upper-classman to Dulfy.net, now would be the time for you to also check out that Black Hole commendations chart.  Dulfy also has very good Columns on obtaining said Black Hole Commendations.

Class /dissmissed

Professor S. Silverstrike

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