Star Wars: The Old Republic Community Q&A #2

A second community Q&A has hit the official Star Wars: The Old Republic website, and this time the team answers questions dealing with dev-run events, better implementation of hoods, the possibility of future mobile apps to maintain your companions, the loot disparity between 8-man and 16-man Operations, and more.
RuQu: Can you provide some details on Healer class design philosophy? Commando/Scoundrel AoE does not scale with group size due to player caps. Are they not intended to fill the raid-healer role? Scoundrels can be highly efficient, but have no tools for doing a short burst of healing.

In short, what is the design intention for each of the healers, and is it intended for them to be balanced so that any possible combination is competitive in Operations, or is a certain mix expected?

Georg Zoeller: Our stance is that all full healer specs should be viable for all type of content, which is the case, even for 16 man Operations. Our own players have no issues clearing any of the content in the game, on all difficulty levels, with any healer spec. Data from the Live game shows Operations, at all sizes, being successfully run with Commando and Scoundrel healers. It is expected for certain Operations bosses to create challenges for different healer archetypes (e.g. due to mobility requirements), but overall, every healer archetype is capable of successfully healing through any Operations and Flashpoint content in the game (currently and in the future).

With regards to your question about Commando/Scoundrel Area of Effect healing not scaling to group size, please understand that no heal, on any class, scales with group size. The most powerful Area of Effect heals in the game (Salvation/Revivification) affects up to 8 players, but does not scale with group size. These abilities are very costly, have an activation time requirement and require the targets to stand in a localized area for ten seconds to receive the full benefit. We plan on improving the overall Area of Effect healing performance of the Mercenary/Commando in the next major Game Update (1.2) by increasing the number of targets affected by Kolto Missile/Kolto Bomb.

As for Scoundrels having no tools for short burst healing, we don't agree with that assessment. A scoundrel, for example, is capable of producing rather significant burst healing output by using Upper Hand gained from Underworld Medicine or Kolto Injection to trigger an instant Emergency Medpack or Surgical probe when needed. That said, we certainly think there's room for improvements (and our upcoming Game Update 1.2 has a sizeable chunk of such improvements). For example, we are shifting the healing created by the Kolto Cloud ability to be front loaded in 1.2 to allow it to act as an emergency Area of Effect healing tool.

Finally, the perception of a specific class being not desirable can also be affected by the desirability of other classes. For example, Sage/Inquisitor healers are currently able to exceed our intended healing performance at times by affecting multiple heals with the same Conveyance/Force Bending buff. Game Update 1.2 will remove the ability to do so.