Here I wanted to take a moment to start a trend. This is my Soul thread; there are many like it, but this one is mine. In it I would like to do something I have seen few others do, which is explain WHY I chose these Souls. The whole reason why Elitist Jerks, etc, and cookie cutter specs are bad is because people do not know the reasoning behind the spec and what it will do for them. It is my hope that if people do end up copying my specs, or any others for that matter, that they will at least know how to put them to good use. Because face it, although this system has incredible amounts of play room for creativity, there are always going to be people who just aren't able to think it through for themselves. Or, the type that I am hoping get the most use out of my ramblings, are the people who just need a springboard, a starting point, to get them familiar with things so they can get their own creativity flowing.
After playing around with all four Callings, and all the souls except pvp ones in Beta event 6 (cleric 23, warrior 19, rogue 18, mage 15) and a bit of experience from other MMOs (prot/holy pally, disc/holy priest, blood/frost dk in WoW, along with numerous alts covering all the other classes, some multiple times -_-) I theorycrafted quite a few potential specs.
With all of these specs I will not be discussing the +15% strength/whatever/etc talents because they are self-explanatory.
champion 34, riftblade 7, paragon 25
Even though the majority of points in this build are in Champion, a 2handed spec, I went for dual-wielding from Paragon because this build focuses on crits to make the most use of the Riftblade's Blade buffs, but also because with dualwielding there will be more basic hits, benefiting the 15% chance to proc Storm Blade on basic hits. Storm Blade is the main focus of the build, in my opinion, and is what will make the final determination as to whether it is a dual-wielding or 2hand build, because with all my experimenting in the beta I could not determine if it was the damage of the weapon that hits, or main hand, or if it averages the damage when dual-wielding. If anyone has any solid info, please let me know because it will redesign the entire build. If it is main hand damage, then having a quick offhand and slow/strong main-hand will be the advantage, whereas if it is the weapon that hits, it will either require 2 slow weapons or rebuilding to a 2hand spec for greater base damage. Also, I am unsure how the DoT functions, whether it overwrites the previous one, adds to it, refreshes it, or creates a new DoT.
-Relevant talents- Grim Satisfaction: crits regain 15 power/5 seconds
Lingering Wounds: crits cause a MS 50% healing debuff/15 secs
Intense Training: Slayer's Bearing provides 30% increased crit damage
Surging Energy: reduces power cost of next ability by 50% after crit.
Flowing Strikes: crits increase crit chance 5% for 6 seconds (NOTE: this build avoids Imp flowing strikes for a reason... you will be critting so much you will not need it to last 4 more seconds, it will overlap).
-Build-specific buffs- Mark of Extermination: 20% more damage from crits on primary target (maintain at all times/costs).
Slayer's Bearing: buff that increases crit damage by 15%.
Storm Blade: crits deal 100% of equipped weapon damage as air damage over 6 seconds.
Focus of Body: raid-wide strength buff.
Way of the River: adds 3% crit chance (this may be interchangeable with Way of the Mountain, personal preference. I prefer Way of the Mountain, even though it is a crit build, because follow-up attacks make up a good deal of this build's damage)
Way of the Mountain: follow-up attacks deal 20% more damage and you cannot be knocked back.
-Abilities- Flinching Strike and Bash: two interrupts, on 10s and 6s cooldowns; as per your needs, you can use one or the other based on power cost or frequency of interrupts, or both if needed.
Debilitating Strike: increases finisher damage for 15s; use right before finisher, imo.
Inescapable Fury: guaranteed crit follow-up after one of your other attacks misses, not on the Global Cool Down (GCD) this means if you are using Way of the Mountain, you hit for the attacks standard damage +20% damage, +30% crit damage, plus weapon damage over 6s as air damage, regain 15 power/5s, debuff healing on target 50%/15s, gain a 5% crit buff for 6s, and reduce the power cost of your next attack point generating ability by 50% *THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT ATTACK*... use it every time it comes up.
Bloodthirst: basically the same as Inescapable Fury except procs from killing blows instead of missing; equally important.
Deathblow: an execution attack, deals great amounts of damage to a target below 30% hp. Leg Sweep: slows enemy run speed for 15s; use this to keep monsters from running in terror when they see you coming.
Frenzied Strike: follow-up attack that does a lot of damage, procs from crits, not on GCD; with the amount of crits you will be doing, it is a good thing it has a 6s cooldown or you'd be overpowered as heck from spamming this.
Fiery Burst: your next attack will deal fire damage over 4 seconds; uses combo points for more damage; not on GCD.
Flamespear: ranged fire attack with a DoT, makes a good opener before charging to get an extra combo point early on; more useful than Path of the Wind, but Path of the Tempest is better if you have combo points to spend; Path of the Raptor is a follow-up, so doesn't really compete for this type of use.
Bull Rush: a charge that with this build roots the enemy and stuns them for 3 seconds; usable in combat, deals damage.
Dual Strike: attack that deals damage, procs a second hit for 24% damage, and increases crit chance by 6%.
Thunderous Kick: deals damage and knocks the enemy back. Proper Timing: your next attack is guaranteed to crit, 30s cooldown.
Strike Like Iron: combo/finisher, increases damage by 10/20/30% for 12s.
Path of the Raptor: follow-up attack, deals damage at range.
Path of the Tempest: attacks at range, combo/finisher uses points to increase damage; if you have the points to spend at the opening of a fight, use this to get an attack in before closing with Bull Rush, but if you cannot waste or do not have points, use Flamespear.
Shifting Blades: your next three attacks proc a hit from your other weapon for 25/50/75% damage, combo/finisher.
Titan's Strike: combo/finisher with 1m cooldown that deals massive damage to one target, stuns it, and deals even more damage to 5 nearby enemies. Wrist Strike: follow-up attack that disarms an enemy for 5s, 30s cooldown.
Bladefury: combo/finisher that deals damage to 6 nearby enemies.
-Cast Priority- (this is not a rotation, it is a ranking of which abilities take precedence; if they are not on cooldown and common sense says the situation is correct for them, use the first one in the order. Italic means only if there are multiple targets in range, bold means it is a combo/finisher.) It may seem like there is a lot going on with this priority cast system, but most of these abilities will be on cooldown or inappropriate for the situation.
Flamespear/Path of the Tempest > Bull Rush > Wrist Strike (make your tanks/healers happy ^_^) > Inescapable Fury > Bloodthirst > Deathblow > Frenzied Strike > Strike Like Iron > Debilitating Strike > Titan's Strike > Bladefury > Shifting Blades > Mighty Blow > Punishing Blow > Dual Strike > all else based on personal preference or needs of the situation.
For example, on initial pull with no combo points to spend and only one target, this would look like: Flamespear > Bull Rush > Wrist Strike(at this point you have two combo points, from Flamespear and Bull Rush; part of what I meant by "common sense says the situation is correct" applies to using combo/finishers at 3 points, so you move on past all the finishers. Many of the other abilities are proc based; for this example we will assume none of them procced.) > Debilitating Strike (now you have 3 combo points and therefore the situation has changed; start over at the beginning. you are in melee range so no need to use the ranged opener or bull rush; wrist strike is on cooldown; assuming the enemy is not already below 30% health, you cannot use Deathblow yet; we are still assuming nothing procced for purposes of the example.) > Strike Like Iron (you have spent your combo points, Debilitating Strike lasts 15s so no need to use it again yet) > Dual Strike x3 (because nothing has procced, there is only one enemy, you are in melee range, Wrist Strike and Debilitating Strike are still on cooldown, and you do not have enough combo points to use a finisher) > Strike Like Iron (it should be off cooldown now).
So, all totaled, you only used 5 abilities in that fight before reaching a point where a "rotation" would occur. In a real fight, you would have procs, and therefore have more things to do, but it still will not be near as confusing as it looks on paper. And once the "rotation" starts, you will only have 3 real constant attacks, being Strike Like Iron, Debilitating Strike, and Dual Strike; all others are procced/used on cooldown.
Edited, Feb 10th 2011 6:26pm by ehlionney