Heavy armor, heavy guns, and empty skulls – that’s the Trooper’s mantra. (Maybe not the last part.) Helping him reinforce that tenet is an arsenal worthy of a first-person shooter protagonist’s jealousy: cannons, grenades, arc projectors, and several other remorseless pieces of metal. The payoff is a combination of durability and a withering amount of firepower.

The Trooper uses a bar filled with 12 steadily refilling Energy Cells that are spent on attacks and abilities. If you exhaust your entire bar, you’ll have to wait a moment while “reloading” more Energy Cells before carrying on.

Remember that climactic scene from Terminator 2 in which Arnie turns a parking lot into Swiss cheese with a minigun? Yeah, that’s the Commando. Consider the Gunnery tree as the end result of a Warlock getting his hands on a mammoth laser cannon. Using a single, pivotal debuff to work with – Grav Round – Commandos increasingly crush their target’s armor before saying “hasta la vista” with a mega-shot coup de grace.

Taking the Combat Medic tree offers quick, single-target heals with a chance to increase efficiency, a niche similarly filled in WOW by the Holy Paladin. If multiple allies need healing in a pinch, toss a Kolto Bomb their way – yes, that means bombs filled with healing gases. Don’t ask me how that works.

For the Vanguard specialization, getting shot and bludgeoned is just good business. The abuse he takes just means less pressure on their allies. Coupled with the natural movement advantage of being at range, the Vanguard’s playstyle offers an interesting approach to the typically melee dominated task of keeping the enemy’s attention squarely on themselves.

The Protection Paladin closely resembles the Vanguard’s absorption-oriented Shield Specialist tree that holds the line with AoE threat generation abilities similar to Consecrate and Avenger’s Shield. Your mitigation stems from superpowered shields shrugging off damage while your pour on the punishment through grenades and sheets of laser fire.

Spending points in the Tactics tree turns the Vanguard into a zippy front-line combatant capable of armor-penetrating strikes and DoT effects, an ability arsenal Retribution Paladins know well. Lastly, the Vanguard’s heavy armor gives groups a second wind via a backup tank in case things go awry.

Check back tomorrow as we turn to the dark side with part 2 of this guide focusing on the Empire’s specializations. As always, if you have thoughts or experiences to share, leave ‘em in the comments. 

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