The User Interface
Go to Preferences -> User Interface -> Operations subframe -> and check Use Operations Frames as Group Frames.
Open Interface Editor -> Select Operations Frames -> Set Debuff scale to something like 0.5 (so debuffs are large enough be clearly visible) -> Set Buff Scale to 0.05 -> Set Health Height to something around 15.
Using Operations Frames in place of the normal frames during Flashpoints allows healers to have all the information relevant to their role condensed into the size of an OPs frame. This way you’re not burdened with irrelevant information. During FP and OPs encounters, the buffs that your party members have are not as important as debuffs they have – particularly when it comes to Purging/Cleansing or calling out who has what debuff during a raid. For health bars, their normal height can be a strain on the eyes. Increasing their health height more clearly allows the healer to see who is in need of heals.
Spec: 37 / 7 / 2. Certain talents should be taken when over others when the situation calls for it, but in general take talents that boost your healing and utility to the raid.
Gear and Itemization – Because a lot of the information floating around SWTOR community websites is old and outdated, I decided to find out how to best gear up my Sorc for healing. I started by finding out the formulas for each rating (Willpower, Power, Crit, Surge, and Alacrity). I then wrote a program in C++ to determine Best in Slot (BiS) 72-level gear. I will share with you the executable and the source code so you can check my work. Here is the readout from the program:
Advanced Resolve Hilt 31
Advanced Resolve Armoring 31 x8
Advanced Aptitude Mod 31 x9
Advanced Adept 31 x3
Advanced Quick Savant 31 x4
Underworld Force Mystic's Device
Underworld Force Mystic’s MK-V Package x2
Advanced Hawkeye Crystal x2
Advanced Overkill Augment 28 x14
Your choice of relics.
Assuming you have companion affection maxed for each unique type, the end result is a Sorc Healer with:
Crit Rating: 0
Surge Rating: 316
Alacrity Rating: 474
Bonus Heal: 1054
Force Crit: 23%
Heal Per Second: 3495
This does take into account the 2-piece set bonus, but not buffs from relics or temporary self-buffs. 2-piece set bonus does give about a 3-4% boost to healing if you are casting constantly, but otherwise it’s more of a mild convenience.
Overall this is a ~5% improvement in HPS over BiS 69-ilvl gear.
Heal Per Second vs. Heal Per Activation time
You’re probably familiar with the concept of DPS. Damage done over time. The same concept applies to healing: healing done over time. HPS works fine, right up until you run into abilities that have a duration – like Revivification. If you were to only think in terms of HPS, you would always skip over Revivification except when in a raid environment. But, if you look at Revivification according to HPAt, Revivification is a Sorc Healer’s strongest single-target heal provided that the target doesn’t move out of the AoE. What is HPAt?
Roughly speaking, HPAt is (Average total healing done by the ability) / (Time cost). Assuming a Sorc Healer with 1058 bonus heal, 24.82% crit, 67.87% surge, and 7.92% alacrity:
Dark Infusion has an average heal of +6436HP and an activation time of 2.3 seconds which gives us an HPAt of 2796.
Revivification (a 10-second AoE HoT) has an average heal of +7843HP on a single target over its duration and an activation time of 1.84 seconds which gives us an HPAt of 4259.
HPAt of all Sorc Healing abilities (except spec’d Overload):
HPAt is for when time is not an issue, like lower-pressure situations. HPS is for when time is an issue. It would be a mistake to cast a HoT on a target that is about to die.
More important than your gear is your ability to do triage. Triage is assigning degrees of urgency to your group/raid members. This is the order in which you should heal your assigned group members:
1. Your group member taking soon-to-be-fatal damage right now.
2. Your group member taking non-fatal damage right now.
3. Your group member that's about to take damage.
4. Your group member with the lowest health; bring them to at least 70-80%.
5. Any group members not topped off. Resurgence is good here.
6. (Optional) Group members that do not have a Static Barrier on them. Having an extra 5-6k HP really makes a difference and only costs 35 force and a GCD each.
For low pressure, stationary situations consider this healing ability order:
Revivification (if target(s) will be stationary) > Purge > Static Barrier > Resurgence + Innervate > Dark Infusion
For high-pressure, mobile situations consider:
Static Barrier > Innervate > Dark Infusion
Overall, healing can be very situational and I don't want to use the word "rotation" since getting locked into predefined patterns can be counter-productive.
Dark Heal is almost never worth casting even though it has a 4% higher HPAt than Dark Infusion because it gobbles Force. It’s probably marginally acceptable to use Dark Heal if Innervate is down, and the target has the Deionized debuff on them, and you have the Force Bending buff which will give you a +60% chance to crit on your next Dark Heal.
Purge: Do it more.
Interrupts: There are situations in which interrupting enemies with Jolt, Overload, Electrocute, Whirlwind, and even Force Storm becomes more efficient than spending time casting. As a Sorcerer, you have a pretty large toolkit and healing itself gets boring so spice things up.
Enable focus target and put the boss or current target on there so you can know what’s coming. This will help you prepare mentally for things to be interrupted, enrage phases that require more healing output, etc.
Most fights have little lulls in them. This is a great time to Consume your Force Surge charges. Then depending on how much time you have, use Unnatural Preservation, Static Barrier, Resurgence, and Innervate to cover lost health, if necessary.
Go back and re-read all the spells in your spell book and what your talents do to modify them, then try to think of situations where they would be useful. Think creatively then share your successes with everyone so we can be on your level.
I hope this helps, AD.
Here's the source code to my BiS program. If you find errors in the logic or structure, please let me know.