Written by Kevin Chow Monday, 27 February 2012 06:00
The Sith Marauder is possibly the most fun class to play in Star Wars: The Old Republic. I say 'possibly' because I still haven’t tried a couple advanced classes yet, but those don’t seem to fit my style of gameplay anyway based on what I’ve seen. My opinion of the Marauder being the most fun is also only based on Empire classes only. I haven’t played much of the Republic side, but from my impressions of them, the Gunslinger might be the only class that may come close to being as fun as the Marauder/Sentinel. Everything in this article is based on my opinions. Please don’t start a flame war if you don’t agree with something.
Before the game came out, I was actually going to play an Assassin as my main, mostly because of the double-bladed lightsaber. After seeing people with two lightsabers and able to leap to enemies, I just had to give the Marauder a try. So I did and ended up loving it. After the game was released, I got it to level 50 fairly quickly. While leveling, I encountered a Sorcerer who was killing an elite mob for a quest. It took him a while to kill him. When it was my turn to kill him, the Sorcerer stayed and watched. It was fairly easy for me and I killed him pretty quickly. Afterwards, the Sorcerer sent me a message saying he should have been a Marauder. Usually I have regrets after choosing a class because I end up seeing another class that looks more fun, but I was able to level all the way to 50 without regrets.
However, when it was time to do Operations, I started having regrets because I heard the bosses are not melee friendly at all. The first operation groups would only take ranged dps. This made me want to switch to a Mercenary or Sniper. Eventually, my group of friends and I started our own Operations group and it turns out Marauders are actually quite good in there. Today, I still play a Marauder as my main and am enjoying it even more as I theorycraft for bosses. The Marauder has a lot to offer.
Marauder Play Styles
The Marauder class as a whole was really well done and offers a different play style for each spec. This adds a lot to the fun factor. In some other games, a dps class’s skill trees only offer some different abilities but the play style is similar. For the Marauder, all three skill trees are for damage, but all three are also vastly different from each other.
The Annihilation tree’s play style is mostly putting bleeds on enemies. It gets an additional bleed ability, as well as a powerful direct damage ability, Annihilate. Bleeds are really useful because they can heal the Marauder, as well as the entire group if Berserk is used. Many bosses also don’t have much movement, so keeping bleeds on isn’t a problem. This tree also has a skill that makes it so that Force Charge has no minimum range. Since Force Charge is one of my favorite abilities, this makes it so I can charge even when I’m close to the boss.
The Carnage tree is one I just recently started trying out and am already having a blast. This tree is pretty much all direct damage and it has a very powerful buff, 100% armor penetration. When used correctly, it can increase damage output by quite a lot. This spec is also known as the Fus Do Rah spec because Force Scream is one of its main abilities. Being a Skyrim fan, this just adds to the fun factor.
The Rage skill tree is very fun in pvp. It’s good in pve too, but Smash just isn’t as useful on single targets. In pvp, there are usually groups of people and Marauders can just charge and Smash for a lot of damage. With the skill to reduce the cooldown of Undying Rage, it makes the Marauder almost unkillable. Rage is more of an AoE spec, but can be good for bosses as well.
The Marauder has many abilities to reduce damage taken. If they were given more permanent armor rating, they could pretty much be a main tank. To reduce damage, Marauders have Cloak of Pain (20% damage reduction), Saber Ward (+50% melee and ranged defenses), Undying Rage (99% damage reduction), and Force Camouflage (threat reduction, and 100% damage reduction if spec’d for it). Some other abilities to increase survivability are Obfuscate (reduces target’s accuracy by 90%) and Intimidating Roar (all nearby enemies are frozen in fear). Marauders can also crowd control droids, but there aren’t many of them in Operations. Because of their survivability, I’m normally the last one standing in boss wipes.
For interrupts, Marauders are one of the classes with the shortest cooldowns. Disruption only has an eight-second cooldown and can be brought down to six seconds with skills. They can also interrupt or crowd control with Force Choke, Force Charge, and Smash, but some of those only work on standard or weaker enemies. Marauders are one of the easiest classes to level with because of the number of interrupts they have. For other classes, I had a hard time in early levels because enemies would keep healing and I couldn’t interrupt all of them.
Marauders are also fun because of the buffs they can bring to operations. Bloodthirst (+15% damage and healing) is huge for operation groups. Sometimes it’s even possible to use it twice before the boss dies. Annihilation Marauders can also use Berserk to heal the entire group. It’s fun to see health bars go up because of me. The main buff, Unnatural Might (+5% damage and healing), isn’t the best, but it’s still pretty good.
Final Thoughts on Being a Marauder
While leveling, playing a Marauder was really fun because of the speed in which I could kill enemies. For groups of enemies, I could just charge a weak mob and Savage Kick him, and Smash and Pommel Strike another. That’s two mobs down in just a few seconds. For the rest of the pack, I have my main damage abilities to use. Although I can’t kill packs of enemies as fast as Bounty Hunters’ Death From Above, I still feel that Marauders are really fun, especially for operations and pvp. It’s a lot of fun to use Vicious Throw in pvp. When someone is low health and tries to run, I could just throw my saber at them and they usually die. Too bad the range is so short though. Marauders, or Warriors more specifically, also have an awesome storyline, but I won’t spoil that for the people who haven’t been through it. The Marauder is one of the hardest classes to master, but is really fun when you do.