Video games are a big part of my life, and I wish I wanted them to stay that way.
When I first downloaded The Old Republic, I went into it wanting to hear all the expanded lore that it brought to the table, as such I put very little thought into what class I really wanted to play. Thinking that the game would play a lot like Knights of the Old Republic, I figured that choosing a Jedi class would be the safest route to go in order to obtain an overpowered late-game character. It was surprising to find out that the Jedi Sage class and its combat proficiency choices were very middle of the road as it concerns damage, healing, and buff output.
If you're planning to be a Jedi Sage, this guide will help you in maximizing that middle of the road output and put you on the fast track to success.
Things I Wish I'd Known
When playing an MMO, I don't think anything could feel any worse than pouring hours upon hours into a character class only to find out that another class could do the same things but even better. Countless times during my SWTOR escapades I've up and decided that I'm never going to use a character I made again, and so I end up deleting them and starting a new character and class. Admittedly, though I have leveled my Sage class up to 75 and spent more than 80 hours doing so, there are some things I wish I had known about the class.
Things I wish I'd known before choosing the Jedi Sage class:
- Middle of the road on damage, healing, and buffing output.
- A purely ranged class that can't take a hit to save its life.
- Requires superb skill arrangement and management to be efficient and effective.
- A banal story arc when compared to other classes.
- Only two companions worth caring about.
Basically, Jedi Sage is the vanilla ice cream in the delectable sundae that is The Old Republic and you can't really go wrong in choosing it as your first character. Let's explore how to play this class effectively and efficiently.
Optimizing the Balance Proficiency
When I first chose the Jedi Sage and the balance proficiency, I didn't realize that I would never be able to take a hard hit nor stand on the front lines. I figured that a Force Lord would, essentially, be one of the most powerful beings in the universe just like in all the other games and available lore. Even the NPCs in the game who hold your same class are more powerful and have thicker skin than you.
Alas, this just means that you need to arrange your skills and proficiency in such a way that you launch more damage and heal at higher numbers. As you can see in the picture above, I've set my skills in such a way that allows me to disable enemies so as to keep them away from me, heal myself when I've escaped, then answer back with debuffs and consistent lasting effects. This is the only way to play the balance proficiency, because the balance proficiency is the worst proficiency for the Jedi Sage.
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Each skill and extra perk within the balance proficiency is suited to increasing your lasting incremental damage and ensuring you can escape the heat of battle to take the high ground before you fire back. When choosing where to place your skills always keep in mind that you are a squishy target and cannot take a hit! It cannot be expressed enough that the balance proficiency is a class of cowardice, not one of unabashed bravery.
Make sure to arrange your skills in such a way that you can consistently escape by disabling the enemy, pop a few buffs and a heal or two, and ultimately keep re-upping those damage-over-time effects.
Picking and Choosing Your Equipment
I cannot begin to express this enough because the armor you choose, for any class but especially the Jedi Sage, will be the decision that makes or breaks you. When I first began playing I figured that armor wouldn't really matter in the scheme of things as I attempted to reach the 75 level cap. However, I was absolutely wrong because armor is the single most important facet of your character.
As it concerns the armor you choose for your Jedi Sage, you need to focus on upping your output for damage and healing. This means that any armor you equip needs to favor force and critical rating. If you opt for things like endurance you're wasting your time. You will always be a squishy, easy-to-kill target! Accept your squishy nature and set your focus upon the goal of upping your crits and base damage.
Aside from the excessive intricacy of picking your equipment, to obtain any level of success you're going to need to learn how it feels to play as an effective Jedi Sage.
Be the Best Balance Sage You Can Be
When playing an MMO, of course our goal is to become the best player we can be using the class we have chosen to utilize. Normally this would mean that at some point you become a stand out from the crowd in one way or another. Your first step is to get rid of that wish to be strong, powerful, and standout-ish.
The point of this guide is to make you realize that as a Jedi Sage with the Balance combat proficiency, your job is to let your team take all the aggro as you hammer out those damage-over-time effects, debuffs, and disabling moves. Your job is to be the glorified coward on the team! Don't let those PvE story mode battles get to your head and have you rushing headfirst into battle.
In every fight you enter, such as those in flashpoints and other similar events, you need to find a place you can quickly duck into cover so as to lose the aggro. You only have one skill that will play to your loss of aggro, thus paying more attention to your environment than the enemy is key. Use your Phase Walk ability liberally as well, and never be hesitant to retreat at the sign of danger.
As a Jedi Sage with the balance combat proficiency you are not a DPS class, you are not a healer, you are not a tank; your sole purpose in the game is to be a glorified support class with little to no relative value when compared to the other classes and combat proficiency, even those within your own class. Don't be a hero, do not even be a bystander, just get kited along and carried by your team as you run from your own shadow!