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SWTOR: Introduction to 5.0 Gunnery Commando

Gunnery is the 2nd Discipline of 3 available for the Republic Commando. It focuses on dealing direct damage without relying on DoTs much. Most of the hard hitting abilities are channeled, which fits perfectly into the role of the class – stay away from danger, pick a clean and safe spot and don’t move like crazy all the time (which is typical for MDPS, by default). Here is a detailed introduction to 5.0 Gunnery Commando written by Damian, and Mmogah will list them in the following parts.

With 5.0 commandos finally get some long needed improvements in the defence department. This careful tuning was done with the aid of a sledgehammer.

 

Commandos and Troopers in general saw some thinning out of abilities on the toolbars.

 

Gone forever are: Stockstrike, Pulse Cannon and all Cells. Cells are now built into the specialisation tree you choose. The default Cell when you have no spec is an invisible Plasma Cell. It is now impossible to detect a Commandos spec by looking for the Cell buffs on their bar.

 

Also, Supercharged Cell is now 3 different abilities and the right one is granted to you with your specialisation tree. This apparently is to get rid of the gigantic combined triple description in the tooltip. No big deal but you now need to move that icon about when spec swapping because the ability does change between specs. Your default Supercharged Cell when you have no spec is the Assault version.

 

Much nostalgia for lost abilities but the bottom line is Stockstrike was 4m and Pulse Cannon was 10m cone, neither in any rotation or buffed by any talents. Many rants about garbage Commando talents involved the only root requiring Stockstrike.

 

Which leads on to significant changes to Combat Proficiencies.

 

Commandos for years had very fixed choices because the majority of options could be used to fertilise your garden.

 

The 5.0 overhaul means that all Commando talents do something in a meaningful way. Some are multiple old talents glued together.

 

Saying that, the unchanged talents of Cell Capacitor (extra resources), Shock Absorbers (permanent AOE reduction) and Forced March (Boltstorm on the move) are still very fashionable. What matters is that available points increases from 7 to 8 and you get real choices to customise your Combat Proficiencies for a particular fight or PVP action.

 

I mentioned a defensive sledgehammer being used earlier. There are two astonishing 5.0 talents you can choose which double the power of the (normally rubbish) Adrenaline Rush and grant up to a 75% heal after Reactive Shield ends if you survive the duration respectively.

 

A new ability is also on the toolbar. Echoing Deterrence is 6s of immunity to direct single target damage and bounces half the damage back to the attacker.

 

Developers have finally implemented survival changes for Commandos and have done so with real enthusiasm.

 

No obvious damage boosters were granted to Commandos in 5.0 so have a second look at the non obvious ones.

 

Echoing Deterrence bounces 50% of single target damage back to the attacker, examine your boss fights more closely, things you think are AOE attacks are not always scripted as AOE damage.

 

Electro Shield has been around for ages, take predictable damage and the attacker gets hit by your shield. This normally pushes up healing requirements if you literally stand in fire to do it but you can now talent to get your own healing from Adrenal Surge and/or Trauma Stabilisers to cover that health cost.

 

Reflexive Shield to reduce Reactive Shield CD was never a bad talent but you only had two points for the top tier in the old system. Forced March and Shock Absorbers were far more valuable. These choices no longer block each other and you have an extra talent point to get Electro Shield out more often.

 

That’s the essentials of the 5.0 changes. For information on playing Gunnery Commando and more details on Utilities and Abilities read on.

 

The Gunnery specialisation is excellent at single-target damage, target swapping and burst damage. AOE damage is good but not exceptional. The heavy armour, defensive abilities and light healing makes the class very tanky for a ranged DPS.

 

Gunnery has always been a strong raiding spec, it provides three buffs and debuffs for the group, passively takes reduced damage and delivers strong ranged damage through an easy rotation with no energy management drama. PVP performance has often been highly suspect over the years but the 5.0 defensive improvements have made it very competitive.

 

-Hotwired

 

Ratings

Single Target DPS: 7

AoE Damage: 7

Group Utility: 10

Rotation Difficulty: 5

RNG Dependent: YES

Burst: 9

Sub 30% Talents or Buffs (Execute): No

 

Strengths

High burst damage

Quick target swap

Decent AOE potential

 

Weaknesses

RNG crit can have a huge negative impact at any gear level

Mobility is somewhat limited by Grav Round casting

 

Gearing

Accuracy is the most important stat for PvE DPS. If you have below 110% accuracy you have a chance to miss attacks of all types. The goal for this at level 70 is 737.

 

To reach this I suggest you use 1x Advanced Initiative Enhancement (can be found in Gloves or Boots), 3x Advanced Accuracy Augment 45 (96 accuracy) with an Advanced Polybiotic Proficient Stim (240 accuracy).

 

The next most important stats are your Critical and Alacrity ratings.

 

Critical rating affects both how often you deal critical damage and how much extra damage a “crit” will cause. For Gunnery Commandos a high critical rating would be over 50%. It is especially important for Commandos because they are the only class with a passive 30% critical damage boost in their DPS trees and a critical hit with your biggest hitting attack of a Demo Round is the massive difference between hitting 10k or hitting over 30k.

 

Your Alacrity rating decreases the Global Cooldown between ability uses, decreases ability cast times (Grav Round), ability channelling (Boltstorm) and all cooldowns. Your actions per minute or APM have potential to be higher when using higher Alacrity.

 

So, the stats you can modify as a PvE Gunnery Commando are accuracy rating, critical rating and alacrity rating. Once you have reached >736 accuracy points you should improve your alacrity and critical stats.

 

Regarding assault cannon and generator crystals, you should use one “Eviscerating” (+41 Critical Rating) and one “War Hero” (+41 Mastery). And no, you cannot change the colour of Med Shot

 

You would like to have:

6 critical enhancements – Adept Earpiece, 1x Adept Implant, Main-hand weapon Enhancement, Chest Enhancement, Gloves Enhancement, Pants Enhancement.

3 alacrity enhancements – 1x Quick Savant Implant, 1x Headpiece Enhancement, 1x Off-hand Enhancement.

1 accuracy enhancement – 1x Boots Enhancement.

Augments: 2x Critical, 9x Alacrity, 3x Accuracy.

The set bonus name is: Eliminator.

Relics: Serendipitous Assault and Focused Retribution.

 

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