It is a time of uneasy tension between the Empire and Republic in Star Wars: The Old Republic. The Sith hold tight to their perverse code and bounty hunters, while largely siding with the Empire, do not always count themselves among the loyal. And Imperial troops, while functional, are also largely seen as cannon fodder; something the Emperor can send toward an obstacle when he wishes a battle of attrition. The skill within the Empire's military is sadly... lacking. That's where you, and this guide come in, Agent.
You Should Play An Imperial Agent If: If you ever thought James Bond was cool, but also thought wouldn't it be awesome if he was also an evil prick, then this is the class for you. Like the Republic's Smuggler class, this is also a tactical shooter role, one that feels quite different from the rest of Star Wars: The Old Republic. It's also quite different in that the Imperial Agent is the only class without a standout reference character from the films.
The Agent is a versatile little class that can pretty much be whatever you'd like it to be: healer, de-buffer, DPS, etc. The only caveat is that like the Smuggler, it's a bit more complex in how abilities function. You'll want to be conscious of your surroundings, looking for cover, analyzing enemy groups, and memorizing key cycles. Even positioning will be play a large role with this class.
Background: The Agent is the Empire's secret weapon. Everyone knows and fears the Sith Warriors and Sith Inquisitors, but only a select handful even within the Empire know just what the Agent is truly capable of. As a master marksman and spy, the Agent approaches no situation unprepared, eager and ready to sabotage, forge, and murder his way up the Imperial ranks.
The Agent has no scruples, no weakness he won't exploit. The tasks handed to him are of the utmost secrecy, and so his loyalty to the Empire must likewise be steadfast in determination. Still, so long as the Agent does his job well, no one will ever know he was there. That hutt found gargling, choked to death on a fried k'lorr slug larva? Agent did that. That Republic councilor who mysteriously disappeared? Agent. The Imperial starship officer caught in an impenetrable Republic prison who died before he could give up any information? I think you know who.
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The Agent is not a glory-hound. He does not often find himself at the forefront of any battle, choosing instead to play the cards and strategies at his disposal while staying hidden from his enemies and from history. Few will know your victories, Agent. Fewer still will honor them. But you are at the top of the military for a reason, and your efforts are needed.
How You Play An Imperial Agent: First of all, you need to wipe any notions of “fair play” from your mind. Choosing this class means a future of espionage and backstabbery. Many of the Agent's abilities play off this theme, allowing him to strike from a distance, plant unseen explosives, or even disappear. While the Sith may constantly seek out new battles to test their mettle, the Agent only sees those in his way as obstacles to be removed as quickly as possible. Take 'em down quick. Take 'em down clean.
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How To Plan Your Future As An Imperial Agent: This class receives some of the foremost training in the Imperial military, and the Advanced Class options for the Agent are proof enough. As an Operative, the Agent can act as either healer or infiltration specialist, and as a Sniper, he can become a master of ranged, burst DPS and de-buffs. Let's take a look at the Sniper first.
As a Sniper, the Agent has familiarized himself with the rifles with which he is trained, and subsequently found them lacking. To get the most bang for his buck, he moves up to sniper rifles, allowing for unparalleled distance in attack. He is not quite as battle-hardened as the Operative, so he will continue to rely on cover, much as he ought to for levels 1-10. He can also further define his role with these skill trees:
- Marksmanship, which will expand the Agent's long-range abilities, particularly those performed from cover.
- Engineering, a tree that improves the Agent's droids and probes, giving him a wealth of de-buff options.
- Lethality, the shared tree, which for this class focuses on damage over time abilities via the Agent's poisons.
The Operative could be considered the Sniper's more bloodthirsty cousin, though this Advanced Class for the Agent can also spec as a healer. The Operative's abilities will change the Agent class from a cover-based killer to that of a stealth-based assassin or back-of-the-battle healer. He also gets a totally freakin' suh-weet energy blade. The Operative skill trees are:
- Concealment, which does what you could probably guess by the name: conceals the Operative and gives him stealth abilities.
- Medic, which not only heals, but also doubles as a pretty good buff class. No sense keeping allies alive if they're ineffective, right?
- Lethality, the shared DPS tree, spilling out some nice, gradual damage from afar with poison.
Alright, I know you're getting tired of it, so this is the last time I say it: Choosing either of the Imperial Agent Advanced Classes in Star Wars: The Old Republic will not change your story. You are still an Imperial, you are still an Agent, you are still serving the Empire. Some tasks may be better suited to one playstyle than the other, but that's entirely personal; you aren't missing out on plot by choosing the class you want.
Imperial Agent Equipment: The Agent must be able to move quickly and freely, so their armor will not be as heavy as the Bounty Hunter's or the Sith Warrior's. Still, the Empire realizes that, should an Agent come under fire, their health ought to be preserved. That's why you'll be wearing medium armor for your adventure. It's nice blend of protection and ease of movement, allowing the Agent to do what he does best.
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The Agent is also trained in rifles, unlike his Republic counterpart, the Smuggler. This allows for some really great DPS, particularly if you can beef up your Aim stat in these early levels of 1-10. Finally, though the Empire and I have the utmost confidence in your abilities, it might not be a bad idea to hold onto some stim packs while out and about. The Imperial Agent is a bit softer than many of the other classes.
Imperial Agent Skills: The Agent, as said before, is a trickster and deceiver. He is a spy after all. His abilities will play on this, and exploit every weakness he can find on an enemy. He is a master soldier above all else though, so while the Sith call upon the Force and Bounty Hunters often experiment with dangerous, prototype tech, it's the Agent's own skill that gets him through most scraps.
Using such skill drains Energy, a resource pool from which the Agent will draw. This regenerates naturally over time, so just make sure to keep the rate at which you expend Energy lower than the rate at which you build it and you'll be fine. The Agent's abilities are focused on bringing down enemies quickly with burst DPS anyway, so you should only need to use a handful per group for levels 1-10.
Here are some of the most useful and recommended Imperial Agent abilities for levels 1-10.
- Shiv: A melee attack which deals moderate damage initially, while also dealing small damage over time.
- Snipe: Only usable from cover, this long-range attack deals a crazy amount of damage, taking some weaker enemies out in a single shot.
- Explosive Probe: My personal favorite and a great opener, drop an explosive probe onto an unsuspecting enemy and then nail it with a regular shot. You'll cause a good amount of AoE damage, even to those who were merely standing nearby.
Imperial Agent Closing Thoughts: The Agent was a surprise stunner for me. While just about as complex as the Smuggler – something of a turn-off for me – I found myself enjoying my indulgence in the bad girl fantasy infinitely more titillating. She walks about with a great sense of calm and certainty, without too much over-written, forceful dialogue.
The Agent has some truly fantastic scenes within its storyline as well. Little niceties pop up here and there, like disarming a room of bugs so that you can contact your superiors or losing the British accent when playing as a false identity. Humorous and light-hearted this class is not, but sometimes you just want to walk around, knowing you're the most awesome person in the room, you know?
Well, that's all of it dear friends and fans! We've gone through every class The Old Republic has to offer. We started with the Jedi Knight, moved on to the Jedi Consular, Trooper and Smuggler for the Republic faction, and now we've completed the Empire's class guides as well! In case you missed 'em, there's the Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter, and last but certainly not least, this guide on the Imperial Agent.