Originally posted to SWTORHUB.com - pre 3.3 info below.
The Gunslinger doesn’t wear heavy armor like some of the other classes so they have to rely on their tech and abilities like cover to both mitigate and avoid damage. Abilities such as Defensive Screen and Dodge are especially helpful when stuck in a high damage situation, and provide valuable seconds allowing you to get a heal off or sneak away. When on the Offensive the Gunslinger uses their long rang attacks to deal devastating damage while staying out of the enemy’s field of fire. If they do happen to get close Pulse Detonator combined with a leg shot will put them right back where they started.
The Gunslinger’s resource pool consists of energy. Starting at 100 this energy will be depleted every time an energy consuming ability is used and regenerates at a faster rate when more energy remains. For example having an energy level of 80-100 regenerates at a rate of 5 energy a second; while having 20-40 will have you regenerating at 2.5 energy per second. When in the thick of it the Gunslinger has two methods of speeding up the energy rejuvenating process. The first ability is Pugnacity which uses Upper Hand to speed up the recovery of energy by a small amount and should be kept up whenever possible. When you really need a shot of energy using Cool Head will dish out 50 energy over 3 seconds but has a longer cooldown, best saved for when you’re running on empty.
The Gunslinger advanced class is one of the few that is a pure damage role, no healing or tanking in the cards once you’ve made the choice. There is however three different trees to choose from that will alter your play style somewhat, and should each be tried to see what suits you best. For example, those wishing to improve their skills as long distance marksman should consider the Sharpshooter tree. There you’ll find an abundance of skills that will not only improve the damage and reduce the cooldowns on many of your blaster attacks; you will receive a few new ones to complement your rotation.
Just as the Sharpshooter tree is for those who want to focus in on a single target to bring them down quickly, the Saboteur is for those looking to spread that around a bit in AoE attacks. Speccing into Saboteur will grant you new grenade abilities like Incendiary Grenade that will affect not only the initial target, but five nearby enemies with a heavy damage burn. If doing large amounts of AoE damage (perfect for PVP) is for you then consider the Saboteur tree.
The Dirty Fighting tree is shared between both Gunslingers and Scoundrels so it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Instead of burst damage it places an emphasis more on DoT Bleed Effects and poisons with abilities like Shrap Bomb and Wounding Shots. Those who have played a Warlock in a certain other game will find some familiar ground here. Paired with the long distance of the Gunslinger it can make for a deadly build.
The PVP play style for the Gunslinger depends on which of the trees you’ve selected but there are some things that they all share. Use the Gunslingers long range to your advantage, most of the attacks come with a range of 30m and some even more. By keeping this distance between you and your target you eliminate any chance of you taking a hit and increase the number of shots you can get off. Secondly always use cover; after playing other classes it can be a hard habit to get into but remember to always go into cover just after getting in range. Not only is this required for some of your more powerful abilities but it also prevents any would be “force leapers” from getting the jump on you. Lastly use your environment; by pairing a high elevation (ie. Huttball Catwalk) with cover you not only get a bird’s eye view of the battlefield, you make it all but impossible for enemies to get to you. If they try they’re going to have to take the long open routes, by which time you can have them slowed, stunned, and downed before they get close.
Choose Your Destiny
It’s hard to deny that the Scoundrel can seem like the better option for the Smuggler. The ability to go stealth and heal themselves definitely gives them an edge when it comes to survivability. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the strong points of the Gunslinger. The Gunslinger hits hard from far away. Employing powerful dual blasters to hit enemies with precision attacks from afar, the Gunslinger can make quick work of an opponent before they’re even close enough to return fire.
They have a lot of utility. You may not think a pure DPS class would bring a lot of utility abilities to a fight, but the Gunslinger definitely doesn’t lack in this department. Between cover, pulse detonation, leg shot, and the Gunslinger’s CC there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to keep the bad guy locked down while you unload on them.
The choice between the Scoundrel and the Gunslinger is actually a lot easier than some other classes, as the two play very differently. During your quest from level 1-10 some things you should be considering are: Did you enjoy long range attacks, taking out the enemy before they know what hit them? Do you want to be able to use cover, to avoid incoming attacks altogether? Do you want to be a pure DPS spec? If you answered yes to the preceding questions then the Gunslinger will definitely be a good fit for you.
It’s not all white shirts and vests this time for the gunslinger (although there are a few), they have actually upped the ante and are capable of wearing medium weight armor. The primary stat you will want to have on this armor is Cunning, which will provide an increase in Ranged damage/crit, Tech damage/crit.. Stacking up a good amount of Cunning will ensure you’re both dishing out the damage, and being all the Gunslinger you can be.
Secondary stats for the Gunslinger to consider are the same no matter the tree you choose to spec into. Power, Surge, Critical, and Accuracy in order to increase attack damage, critical chance, and critical damage respectively. If you find the channeling time of some of your abilities a little too long, look for some gear with alacrity (haste).Of course no matter what specification you will always want to up your endurance when possible to increase your health pool.
Taking part in PVP combat will definitely require you to pick up some PVP gear to reduce damage taken from other players and increase your own. Expertise is what you looking for here and for those in the healing profession it has the added bonus of increasing your healing power on other players. The basic recruit set is a good investment for players who have just reached 50 and comes in versions to make the stat needs of the various specs.
Han Solo had Chewbacca and your Scoundrel is no exception, albeit his crew does get a little larger from there. The healer, ranged tank, melee tank, ranged dps, and melee dps are all covered in your companions that you pick up on your travels. Depending on whether you go as DPS or Heals you will find yourself using some much more often than the others, but all are good for a chat.
Below you will find a list of all five of the Smugglers Companions along with a brief description, their strengths and weaknesses, and a link to their database entry.
The guy you love to hate, love him because he’s a very effective ranged tank, hate because he never shuts up. This is your first companion which you pick up on your origin world of Ord Mantell, and in a lot of cases the most useful. Wearing heavy Trooper style armor and carrying a big blaster rifle he’s great at getting enemy attention and holding it. Works well for both healers and those who go DPS.
The second companion your Smuggler will pick up is the Archetypal Wookie. Found on Narshadaa he’s another tanking comp, but this time a melee one. Using his vibrosword he can wade right into the thick of it and even has an ability allowing him to toss weak and standard enemies around. He’s another good choice for those looking for a solid tank, and especially for those wanting to recreate the Han Solo experience. For damage though, you may be better off sticking with Corso.
Risha is the ranged DPS of the bunch and one of the few in Republic Space to use a sniper rifle. She joins your crew after your time on Alderaan (although she’s been on the ship for much longer than that) and is a good complement for those looking to burn through enemies quickly. If you get into the heavy fights and tougher enemies however you may want to be healer spec as she cannot take a hit. The safer bet is to switch to a tank or healer companion for the really hairy situations.
This fierce Zabrak Warrior is also a member of the Mandalorians and fills the role of melee dps and melee tank quite well. You find her on the planet Balmorra about mid-way through the leveling process as she tears through an Imperial base. Although she does wear heavy armor and wield an electrostaff, the abilities of Corso Riggs and Bowdaar definitely make them a better choice for a tank. She might be one of the companions you leave on the shelf.
This failed Jedi Padawan is a Mon Calamari found in all places Hoth. He’s a smuggler just like you and comes equipped with some handy healing abilities that are very useful if you’re specced for DPS. For those who took the healing route it’s probably best to stay with one of the tank companions.
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