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Merc vs. PT (please help me choose)


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Please note: I also posted this in the PT forum for additional input.


I am looking to start a bounty hunter (first time) and would appreciate input regarding the strengths/weaknesses of the various ACs. I have limited time to play TOR and focus mainly on solo PVE with a bit of casual grouping in PVE. I have never played PVP in this game and do not see myself starting anytime soon. Here is a summary of my current thoughts:






1. Ranged - I prefer the run and gun concept and have enjoyed playing sniper and sorcerer over assassin and marauder.

2. Healing discipline - Though I expect to group minimally, healing is at least a feasible option. I do not like to tank in groups as I do not feel comfortable taking on a leadership role.

3. IO > pyro PT: The IO discipline looks more interesting/interactive than pyro. Frankly, I do not see a lot to get excited about with regard to pyro. The fire theme is great. However, flame sweep and the interaction of abilities with combustible gas cylinder (as compared to IO dot spread) seem a bit underwhelming.

4. Better abilities: Good mix of offensive and healing abilities. PT has fewer abilities of which many focus on group tanking uses.

5. Supercharge mechanic looks interesting. PT does not appear to have anything like this.

6. Merc seems likely to receive a defensive/CC buff due to stated PVP limitations.



1. Arsenal < AP PT: Arsenal seems underwhelming when compared to IO or corresponding PT discipline, AP. Some alacrity and armor pen but not much else that seems exciting.

2. IO is currently the highest damage ST spec in PVE. Devs have stated their philosophy is that melee should do more damage than ranged. A nerf to IO might be a disincentive to play IO and could result in mercs having no viable/interesting dps options.






1. Better utilities by far (75% run speed nearly 50% of time)

2. Shield tech could be fun to play solo. I suspect that shield tech actually has the best AoE of any bounty hunter discipline. However, as stated, I could not see myself playing this discipline when grouping.

3. PT has better defense than merc in general.



1. AP is receiving a lot of negative press for its burst in PVP. A nerf to AP would hurt as the PT currently as two fairly balanced and reasonably interesting dps disciplines.



I would also be interested in others' thoughts on the ACs' strengths with regard to AoE. Pre-3.0, merc was considered a solid AoE class. It still has a large number of AoE abilities, though most are on CDs, and the splash damage of many abilities has been reduced. As stated, I think shield tech would dominate all other disciplines when it comes to AoE.


Thanks in advance.

Edited by Econometrix
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I have to agree with the other posters. If all you want to do is PVE, stick to Merc. But if you even remotely think you might PVP, you will get more out of the PT. The grapple option alone that allows you to pull targets to you and makes them easy prey for focus fire, makes you a valuable asset to any PVP team.
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It's unfashionable to say it but on roughly half the fights in the new ops a merc is not the best dps option.


For whatever reason mercs missed out on getting a hyper buffed spammable AOE unlike the other two ranged specs which makes them the worst AOE ranged class in the game.


Anyway short story is that any fight with adds results in classes with good single target and great AOE damage stomping the single target damage that IO can do. IO does not have spare resources to do single target and AOE, its only role is boss focusing.


PT is by far the most rounded class. It's the best "melee" for PVE and has great potential in PVP.


Merc has a very strong niche as single target PVE DPS and also as a healer (when specced for healer, offhealing is junk in 3.0 for merc) but PVP DPS merc is really sketchy if you do arenas.

Edited by Gyronamics
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Gyro, I would think that merc (arsenal) would be very good for burst AoE on weak mobs but agree that it seems constrained due to resources after the first 15s or so. I do not think PT is really any better, though shieldtech would appear to be in a bit better place at max level.


My understanding is that bodyguard is best of three heal specs for raid/group healing. I think for heal or tank, one has to pick one's poison. They each have their strengths and weaknesses.


I appreciate the feedback from all. I've been busy at work this week and have not had much time to devote to my BH, but I am hoping to get to 10 this evening. Given previous comments, and my preference for healing, I was leaning toward merc. However, Gyro has now got me thinking again...

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