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Sage or Mercenary?


RocketeerRaccoon

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I'm trying to get back into this game after a long hiatus and since I play best with range classes, these are the two choices I like most but I'm not entirely sure which to go with. I'm aiming to be a ranged damage dealer doing a lot of PvP.

 

Sage is pretty much the "caster" type class, firing the Force at people from far away safe distances. Probably the biggest draw back is the lack of armour which means they are very squishy. Still, you get the iconic Lightsaber.

 

I don't want to go with Commando, those Assault Cannons are too big and just look silly but the mirror class the Mercenary actually looks cool. You get Heavy Armour which is great and your explosive damage is great for AoEing.

 

Surely Sage has something really good that Bounty Hunter does not so fill me in with what both can do and can't do so I can decide better.

Edited by RocketeerRaccoon
Need to be more specific
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Damage:

Sage does about half Internal damage, which bypasses armor. However, the Arsenal tree of Mercenaries have a 55% Armor Reduction and the Pyrotech tree has a 60% Armor Bypass on Rail Shot, their #1 move, and tend to have 25% Elemental damage. The Sage's Balance tree tends to be mostly instant casts and the Telekinetics tree has long 2-3 second casts, while both trees of the Mercenary tend to have 1.5 second casts. (Unload is the exception: it has a 3 second channel). Pyrotech Mercs have a damage increase in the execute range. Mercs have a few decent melee moves; Sages have 0 melee moves.

 

Defense:

Sage has a free insta-cast self heal and can provide a bubble to absorb damage and not have incoming damage affect their pushback. (Pushback causes moves to take longer to cast or faster to channel.) Mercs can AOE instant heal outside of their heal tree. Balance Sages depends on their attacks to heal themselves and can be some of the top healers in Warzones and have a 30% stunned damage reduction and a damage reduction to DOTs, while Telekinetics moves almost all have roots and slows and a stronger bubble. All Sages can have a 2% damage reduction. Arsenal Mercs have a 5% damage reduction, a 2% received heals buff, a weak protection bubble on taking damage, and a melee root. Pyrotech get a reduction to DOTs, extra energy after stuns, a 30% slow on most attacks, and an extra 25% defense on a 45s cooldown. Sages have a 150% speed increase that can be rooted, while Mercs have a 30% speed increase that is immune to slows and roots. Sages have their "can't touch this" immunity Barrier, while Mercs can quickly heal themselves if they drop below 35%.

 

Skill Trees:

Telekinesis: Long cast times unless you get the procs. Every move tends to slow the opponent down. Lots of procs. Tends to help other players out with the slow downs and roots.

 

Balance: Mostly instant moves that apply DOTs. Bonuses to Telekinetic Throw, a long 3 second channel that slows. Only DOTs that cannot be cleansed.

 

Arsenal: Smaller cast times with a few instant moves. Easy rotation, but the opener is a little slow. Has 1 proc to watch for.

 

Pyrotech: Depends on other moves to apply DOTs. Has to depend on RNG to apply the main Combustible Gas DOT, unless they waste energy on Missile Blast. 1 proc.

 

Couple of last things:

Story-wise, I liked the Sage's story a lot better than the Mercenary's, who I think is the worst that I've played so far. The Mercenary's story is monotonous: almost every mission is you trying to track down a bounty.

 

Mercenaries have Electronet, which is great tool to prevent stealthers from entering stealth. Mercs have Stealth Scan, but the Sage can do almost the same with Force Quake. Arsenal Mercs have an armor reduction, while Telekinetic Sages roots and slows help the team.

 

Mercenaries have the hardest energy to manage, besides Powertechs/Vanguards. Sages have a huge force pool and Telekinetics seems to never run out. (Balance can run out if they have a bad day with RNG or TK Throw is interrupted a lot.)

 

EDIT: Meant force pool, not health pool. cs_zoltan mentioned a few mistakes I corrected.

Edited by Bstr
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I play TK sage in pvp often. Balance is definitely easier in pvp because you get the extra root and you are more mobile, so it's a lot easier to go with the premier sage strategy of DoT, DoT, LoS, DoT, DoT, LoS, RUN. I also have toyed with a lowbie merc a fair amount in pvp. I have stuck with my sage because I like the TK force power effects. I actually think they are both towards the bottom of the pvp totem pole. I'm generally not afraid of a sage or merc and tend to view them both as easy kills. :( Edited by teclado
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I play TK sage in pvp often. Balance is definitely easier in pvp because you get the extra root and you are more mobile, so it's a lot easier to go with the premier sage strategy of DoT, DoT, LoS, DoT, DoT, LoS, RUN. I also have toyed with a lowbie merc a fair amount in pvp. I have stuck with my sage because I like the TK force power effects. I actually think they are both towards the bottom of the pvp totem pole. I'm generally not afraid of a sage or merc and tend to view them both as easy kills. :(

 

So both classes are not very good then?

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It all depends on the player. Sages are extremely squishy, so a bad player will get immolated in a manner of seconds, BUT a good sage utilizes his ways of escaping and kiting the opponent and thus can have great survavibility. I encourage you to watch some video's on Psi's youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Revenantes/videos - one of the best sage/sorc out there. He also has a merc video i think.

 

Merc on the other hand are sturdier, but "slower". They also have fewer tricks to help them kite (though they have the ultimate kiting tool - Hydraulic Overrides), and cannot deal as much dmg as a sage while kiting.

 

Problem of both classes are interrupts.

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I've got both a Pyro Merc and a Balance Sage. Done a bit of PvP with both, but only about 6 or so matches with each. So I have a rough feel with both of them, but I admit I'm no hardcore expert.

 

Balance Sage crushes the Merc. Absolutely crushes it. Merc has too many abilities which need to be channeled, meaning I'm stationary while everyone else decimates me. My AoEs are typically useless because everyone moves so much, and resource management is a big issue. It doesn't become remotely viable until you go deep enough in Pyro to get Prototype Particle Accelerator and have Rail Shot proccing a lot. But you still need to use channeled abilities to get Rail to proc.

 

Sage, on the other hand, has basically an infinite resource pool. Big plus. Go just a bit into Balance and your Telekenetic Throw becomes instant cast, although it's still over 3 seconds. But go deeper into Balance and it causes Mind Crush and Disturbance to become instant cast pretty often. The Sage was also much more mobile because of this.

 

Once I got to that point in the Balance tree, I routinely was putting out the most DPS and kills by far on both teams. I averages 36 kills to 9 deaths. Maybe I got a run of good luck and just had good team mates and poor opponents, but it really did feel like the Sage was superior.

 

 

However, if you go Sage, I caution you one thing on the story: Go Dark Side. It doesn't make you evil, just a bit arrogant and unforgiving. The Light Side Consular is essentially "The Jedi Way & The Force solve everything!", which gets incredibly old after about 30 seconds. Dark Side is much more enjoyable, and (refreshingly, for a BioWare game) also doesn't make you a bloodthirsty brute.

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Damage:

Sage does 30-34% Internal damage, which bypasses armor. However, the Arsenal tree of Mercenaries have a 55% Armor Reduction and the Pyrotech tree has a 60% Armor Bypass on Rail Shot, their #1 move, and tend to have 20-25% Elemental damage. The Sage's Balance tree tends to be mostly instant casts and the Telekinetics tree has long 2 second casts, while both trees of the Mercenary tend to have 1.5 second casts. (Unload is the exception: it has a 3 second channel). Pyrotech Mercs have a damage increase in the execute range. Mercs have a few decent melee moves; Sages have 0 melee moves.

 

Defense:

Sage has a free insta-cast self heal and can provide a bubble to absorb damage and not have incoming damage affect their pushback. (Pushback causes moves to take longer to cast or faster to channel.) Mercs can AOE instant heal outside of their heal tree. Balance Sages depends on their attacks to heal themselves and can be some of the top healers in Warzones and have a 30% stunned damage reduction and a damage reduction to DOTs, while Telekinetics moves almost all have roots and slows and a stronger bubble. All Sages can have a 2% damage reduction. Arsenal Mercs have a 5% damage reduction, a 2% received heals buff, a weak protection bubble on taking damage, and a melee root. Pyrotech get a reduction to DOTs, extra energy after stuns, a 30% slow on most attacks, and an extra 25% defense/resist on a 45s cooldown. Sages have a 120% speed increase that can be rooted, while Mercs have a 30% speed increase that is immune to slows and roots. Sages have their "can't touch this" immunity Barrier, while Mercs can quickly heal themselves if they drop below 35%, which isn't boosted by Pyrotech.

 

Skill Trees:

Telekinesis: Long cast times unless you get the procs. Every move tends to slow the opponent down. Lots of procs. Tends to help other players out with the slow downs and roots.

 

Balance: Mostly instant moves that apply DOTs. Bonuses to Telekinetic Throw, a long 3 second channel that slows. Only DOTs that cannot be cleansed.

 

Arsenal: Smaller cast times with a few instant moves. Easy rotation, but the opener is a little slow. Has 1 proc to watch for.

 

Pyrotech: Depends on other moves to apply DOTs. Has to depend on RNG to apply the main Combustible Gas DOT, unless they waste energy on Missile Blast. 1 proc.

 

Couple of last things:

Story-wise, I liked the Sage's story a lot better than the Mercenary's, who I think is the worst that I've played so far. The Mercenary's story is monotonous: almost every mission is you trying to track down a bounty.

 

Mercenaries have Electronet, which is great tool to prevent stealthers from entering stealth. Mercs have Stealth Scan, but the Sage can do almost the same with Force Quake. Arsenal Mercs have an armor reduction, while Telekinetic Sages roots and slows help the team.

 

Mercenaries have the hardest energy to manage, besides Powertechs/Vanguards. Sages have a huge force pool and Telekinetics seems to never run out. (Balance can run out, period.)

just a few corrections

Edited by cs_zoltan
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