The Rules of Engagement is the column that provides Republic Troopers with highly detailed intel on everything a Trooper needs to know to adapt and overcome on and off the battlefield.
Written By: David Souza
There is a saying that goes, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” As advice goes, it’s a statement that’s pretty spot on. There’s also an ancient latin proverb that translates loosely to “Luck favors the prepared.” While Troopers rely less on luck than pure skill, only a fool would dismiss the wildcard that chance can play in any engagement.
Now that the NDA has been removed we are free to discuss formerly classified information regarding the Trooper and his mission—bringing down the tyranny of the Sith Empire. In this first installment of The Rules of Engagement we’ll give new Trooper’s an overview of the very basics of performing their duty for The Republic!
Back to the Front
To begin with we’ll go over the nitty gritty of the Trooper’s inner workings. This is, by no means, exhaustive information—it is a starting point. Many of these sections will be re-visited here at Republic Trooper again, where we will go deeper into each and every aspect of the Trooper class as we march ever closer to the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Aim to Please…
Aim is the Trooper’s primary stat, and it affects their damage, healing and critical bonuses. Though there are many places in The Old Republic where theorycrafting can be applied to ascertain what is better when applied here or there, this is one area that is black and white. A Trooper who eschews Aim as his primary stat is similar to a Jedi who refuses to use the Force, and is just as likely to survive on the battlefield.
The exact calculations of how Aim affects each of the Trooper’s output are still being finalized, but we will continue to analyze the numbers and update our readers often in the future.
Lock and Load – Ammo Management
Ammo is what fuels all of the Trooper’s abilities. It’s is a continually renewable resource that regenerates at a variable rate depending on the depletion level of the Trooper’s Ammo bar. Learning to manage your Ammo is the most important facet to master in your pursuit to become a great Trooper. Practice it as soon as you play your first Trooper and keep it up until it becomes second nature.
Almost all Trooper abilities require a set amount of Ammo to activate. Choosing which ability to use to maximize the effectiveness of every round of Ammo is the trick, as is knowing when not to expend Ammo. However, a Trooper should always be performing an action during combat, even when moving to engage another target or better position themselves—and that’s where Hammershot comes in.
Hammershot is one of the Trooper’s starting abilities. It fires off a short burst of shots from the Trooper’s weapon, doing a moderate amount of damage but expending no Ammo in the process. Hammer Shot should be mixed in as needed to maximize Ammo regeneration, and is always a fallback for those times when necessity has emptied a Trooper’s Ammo supply. Note that Hammershot does NOT regenerate additional ammo for the Trooper; it merely allows normal regeneration to continue while still actively fighting.
When a Trooper’s Ammo clip is between 8 and 12 Ammo regeneration is fast and Ammo regenerates at a rate of .60 Ammo per second as seen below.
When the Trooper’s Ammo clip is between 3 and 7 Ammo regeneration drops to moderate and regenerates at a rate of .36 Ammo per second as seen below.
When the Trooper’s Ammo clip is between 0 and 2 ammo regeneration falls to slow and regenerates at a rate of .24 Ammo per second as seen below.
Suppressive Fire – Crowd Control
Though most people probably wouldn’t consider the elite of the Republic military to be glorified riot police, many of the Trooper’s abilities provide innate crowd control in the form of short duration knock down and stun effects. Used correctly, a Trooper can not only lay waste to an area but can also effectively set the pace of a fight. Below are a few of the core abilities that allow Troopers to control the battlefield.
Explosive Round—The Trooper starts off with a great little crowd control ability called Explosive Round. When used on a standard or weak enemy the target is knocked to the ground, dealing good damage in the process. As most open world combat in TOR takes place against groups of opponents it’s often a good idea to open up with an Explosive Round to lessen incoming damage.
Full Auto—At level 3 a Trooper gains the ability to open up with a sustained burst of fire from his rifle or auto-cannon. For 3 seconds the Trooper does considerable damage, while also stunning the target if it is a standard or weak enemy. Since this ability is channeled it is best to use Full Auto when the Trooper isn’t the current target of incoming damage.
Sticky Grenade—This ability is available to the Trooper at level 5, and becomes a core facet of open world gameplay from that point on. When used on a standard or weak enemy the Sticky Grenade ticks away for several seconds causing the target to become frantic and unable to act. When the Sticky Grenade goes off, it knocks down the target and any other standard or weak enemies standing nearby.
Mortar Volley—Mortar Volley is a Trooper’s graduation present for hitting 10th level…that’s the best way to describe it. Every one minute the Trooper is able to fire a series of high powered explosive rounds from his rifle which does immense damage over a large area, knocking down all standard or weak enemies in the area. Oftentimes the damage is enough to kill many of the targets before they ever regain their feet. I like to call this the “60 second freebie” because you basically get to take out a group every minute for nothing.
Check Your Range – A One-Man Mobile Platform
Range is another aspect of Trooper gameplay that is core to the concept of the class. How range is used by each Trooper though varies greatly and is dependent upon many factors, such as Advanced Class, skill tree focus, type of gameplay (solo, flashpoints, PvP, etc.) and gear. One thing to realize right from the start is that Troopers have a vast array of choices when it comes to how they approach The Old Republic, and the aspect of range plays a very large part in that.
For instance, some Troopers may wish to keep at maximum range, and pick off their targets through nothing but devastating ranged attacks, mixing in bursts, blasts and explosives to maximum effect. Others may wish to close right from the start, opening up with short-ranged attacks like Pulse Cannon to maximize damage and following up with devastating close-ranged attacks like Stockstrike to finish off their targets.
The understanding of Trooper gameplay would not be complete without emphasizing how mobile a Trooper truly is. Although some builds and ACs are more versatile than others, all Troopers have a level of mobility that allows them to exercise great tactical advantage in ALL aspects of gameplay.
Going back to Ammo management anytime a Trooper uses Hammer shot, no matter what the AC and build, it affords the Trooper a couple of seconds of movement. Using this movement is core to fully realizing the class’ effectiveness on the battlefield. Several of the Trooper’s core abilities (Explosive Round, Sticky Grenade, High Impact Bolt) are instant cast allowing the Trooper additional mobility to exercise even greater tactical advantage.
PTs Over – Hit the Showers!
The Trooper is one of the most diverse and adaptive classes seen in a contemporary MMO in years. Now that more and more information is becoming available take what has been described here as a framework and be prepared for the flurry of reports that will be coming your way regarding the Trooper and his capabilities!
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Tags: Abilities, Advanced Class, Aim, Ammo, EA, Electronic Arts, Explosive Round, Flashpoint, Full Auto, Hammershot, High Impact Bolt, Jedi, LucasArts, Mortar Volley, PvE, PvP, Republic Trooper, Sith Empire, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Sticky Grenade, SWTOR, TOR, Trooper