The Big Decision

Almost from the moment combat styles were announced as Legacy of the Sith's big new feature, I was pretty sure that they weren't for me. I tried to think of some ways that I could potentially make use of this new option, but it was honestly a bit of a struggle to come up with use cases for myself. I didn't think that it was a bad idea by any means; I just wasn't really the target audience. I like to lock my characters into specific play styles, and if I want to play in a different way, I just change characters.

So the expansion came out, people around me changed combat styles left and right, and I did nothing. All of my characters stuck to their single combat style and that was that. However, I'd be lying if I claimed that I didn't think about the process at all, especially in the context of running operations with my guild and watching my fellow raiders swap frequently between tanking and dps - or melee and ranged dps - on the fly. The closest I came to doing something similar myself was to switch to healing on my Scoundrel on some nights... but as I noted previously, the new way in which Bioware has decided to handle the weekly ops missions encourages you to not change characters for any boss as it leads to you missing out on mission credit and rewards.

So as the weeks went by, I started mulling over my options. I became increasingly convinced that I'd have to choose a second combat style eventually, at least on my main - but what to go for? In my post from last year I was considering Mercenary, and while that would have had some RP value, it wouldn't have added any practical utility. Looking at the reality of my day-to-day ops experience, I figured that I was looking at either Vanguard or Scoundrel, with each one having its pros and cons.



  • Would stay true to the trooper origin as it's the original second combat style option for troopers.
  • I would actually get some old abilities back that Commandos used to have before they were limited to Vanguard only, such as Stockstrike and Pulse Cannon!
  • Since a Vanguard's roles are tank and melee dps, it would enable my main to truly become a jack of all trades.
  • From my experiences on alts, I quite enjoy Vanguard tanking and dps at least in casual content.


  • In terms of practical use, I don't think I've ever been in a situation where we wanted to have one less healer but one more tank, and in terms of dps we tend to have too much melee already anyway.
  • It may sound wishy-washy, but I never considered my trooper to be the sort to face-tank things. It just seems a bit out of character.



  • Scoundrel healing is incredibly overpowered right now, to the point that having or not having one can make a big difference to how doable a fight is, and my progression team doesn't always have someone else wanting to play that role, so me being able to swap can be very useful.
  • Scoundrel is at least somewhat adjacent to the trooper archetype, since I remember Elara Dorne being pretty much a Scoundrel healer when she first joined your squad early in the game, coming with a blaster with Cunning on it (the old smuggler stat) and a very similar ability set.
  • Cut scenes always show tech users wielding a single blaster pistol anyway, so it's kinda canon that my trooper has and uses one already.
  • Having access to stealth is handy in many situations, both when soloing and in small group content.


  • Considering how unbalanced Scoundrel healing is right now, I wouldn't be surprised to see it get nerfed soon, at which point I'd be "stuck" with just having two different healing styles, somewhat reducing the usefulness in ops.
  • Wearing medium armour just isn't as cool.

Late last night I finally made my decision and launched the mission to choose a second combat style for my Commando. I hadn't looked into what to expect from that experience at all, so I was kind of pleasantly surprised to find that there was a little "mini story" attached to the process, similar to the little conversations you used to have on the fleet back in the day to choose your advanced class.

A GSI droid being your "trainer" is a bit odd but works for all tech classes, and I liked how you could ask it for a little demonstration of each combat style which then shows you a mini cut scene of your character pulling off some moves typical of that combat style.

So the deed is done - I thought of titling this post "Going Scoundrel", but that would have given the game away from the start! I can't really see it changing the way I see my trooper though, because I still vastly prefer the Commando healing play style in groups - it'll just be nice to have the option to synergise with my fellow healers better where appropriate without switching characters every time.

1 comment :

  1. You.... You.... Scruffy looking nerf herder!!!

    Then again, I always preferred Scoundrel among healing classes. Not for any real rotational or ability reason, but because you could look like Han Solo and toss around medi-packs.


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