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Ding, level 50!Follow

#1 May 01 2012 at 8:07 AM Rating: Good
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I dinged 50 last night by discovering the spaceport on Corellia. I loved the fanfare that played when you dinged 50. It made it feel like it was truly an achievement. Now I have a few questions.

I pretty much just did the quests in the first area of Corellia and my first class quest on the planet. Do I have to continue doing the planet quests to open up the dailies? If not, where do I go to find the dailies?

I know there are dailies on Ilum as well. Are there any other dailies anywhere that are worth doing?

How do I go about gearing up to do some of the hard mode FPs and normal mode Ops? I'm a tankassin and currently I have about 14.5K HP, 23% defense chance, 22% shield chance, and about 24% absorption. I know there are four tiers of gear, Tionese, Columi, Rakata, and the new one from the new Op, but where do each of them come from?

For PVP, I'm going to buy the entire recruit set since I didn't do any PVP while levelling and don't have any warzone commendations saved up. When I do start getting warzone commendations, is there a recommended order to buy the battlemaster's gear in?

What's the order of FPs? So far the most recent one I've done is Colicoid War Games. I have the quest for Red Reaper, but haven't bothered looking for a group yet because I was busy levelling.

Sorry for all of the questions. Torhead is woefully short on information at this point and none of the other database websites function properly on my work computer.
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#2 May 01 2012 at 8:42 AM Rating: Good
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I don't know the answers to a lot of that Smiley: smile

However:
Unless you finished your Chapter 3 before Corellia (which seems unlikely. The trooper one needed quite a few quests on Corellia) you have quests to do to finish that.
There are dailies on Ilum and Belsavis which are worthwhile at 50.

And I never heard the fanfare as I was fighting Smiley: frown
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#3 May 01 2012 at 8:45 AM Rating: Good
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Grats!

So, dailies open up by different needs.

Ilum dailies will open up when you complete chapter 3 of your class quest. Then the quest chain to unlock them will be available on the fleet.
Belsavis dailies open up when you complete its bonus series. I do not know if there are other criteria here (like completing chapter 3, being level 50, etc).

You can use the daily commendations from these to buy ear/implant upgrades.

There are now Corellia dailies, and I imagine you need to complete Corellia to unlock them.

Level 50 has 3 normal FPs that you might want to run for some gear as well. You probably don't want to jump into Hardmodes without some gear (it's definitely doable, but it will be hard. I have no clue what your stats mean in terms of gearing level).

Hardmode FPs will drop a token for a piece of Collumni gear, which is the first tier. These aren't meant to have strict progression, but some are definitely harder than others from what I hear. Completing the daily/weekly missions will give you Collumni/Tionese commendations that can also be used to purchase gear, in case you're struggling with drops.

You can also do normal-mode 8-man Operations. These drop the same level gear as hardmode flashpoints, iirc. There are two tiers above these correlated with the harder Op levels.

1.2 added Corellia dailies, which I imagine you want to unlock ASAP. I'm doubting they'll be available until you finish the main quest (don't think Corellia has a Bonus Series).

For PVP, you'll earn WZ Commendations just by playing. If you earn at least 3 medals (easily done if you aren't afk), you'll get valor and commendations at the end of the match, win or lose. Winning gets you more, earning more medals gets you more. You also want to do the PVP dailies on Ilum.
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#4 May 01 2012 at 8:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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Belsavis dailies for sure. Is your character female? If so, Belsavis is a great way to raise Ashara's affection since she basically hates all gifts from a female character. You can get like 960 affection per day through those. Also, running through the lowbie version of Boarding Party will net you 120 affection with Ashara if you pick all #2 responses. You make about 30-40k/run just killing the bosses and opening chests and zooming past everything else.

Sith Inquisitor Daily Affection Guide

Edited, May 1st 2012 11:09am by Spoonless
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#5 May 01 2012 at 9:18 AM Rating: Good
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Man, why does Ashara hate women so much?
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#6 May 01 2012 at 10:05 AM Rating: Good
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Spoonless wrote:
Belsavis dailies for sure. Is your character female? If so, Belsavis is a great way to raise Ashara's affection since she basically hates all gifts from a female character. You can get like 960 affection per day through those. Also, running through the lowbie version of Boarding Party will net you 120 affection with Ashara if you pick all #2 responses. You make about 30-40k/run just killing the bosses and opening chests and zooming past everything else.

Sith Inquisitor Daily Affection Guide

Edited, May 1st 2012 11:09am by Spoonless


My character is a male. I'm not too concerned with Asahra's affection because I don't think she's seen the light of day since I acquired her. I only use her for UT missions and I'm almost at 400 so I'm not sure how many more missions I'll be running. I like to use Andronikos for those since he has UT +2 crit, anyway.

I guess I'll just go ahead and finish Corellia and my class quest then go and do the bonus series I didn't do (Alderaan, Hoth, Belsavis) and start my dailies once I've done all of that. At some point I'll have to pop onto the fleet and buy my recruit set so I can start grinding WZs while questing. I have a feeling the recruit set will also be an upgrade to my PVE armor as most of my stuff is moddable gear with Voss-level mods in it.
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#7 May 01 2012 at 11:04 AM Rating: Good
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Looking forward to level 50. At the rate I'm going right now, I should be there sometime next Christmas. The good news, though, is that I'll hit 50 on every single character at the same time.

Oy vey.
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#8 May 01 2012 at 11:12 AM Rating: Good
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Lol, Maz, seriously--just get a character to the end of Chapter 1. It won't take long, and then you can at least work on Legacy progression as you level all your other toons.
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#9 May 01 2012 at 11:24 AM Rating: Good
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Companion affection affects mission time and crit rate, too. You can probably still run them for purple materials to sell on the GTN.
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#10 May 01 2012 at 11:25 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Lol, Maz, seriously--just get a character to the end of Chapter 1. It won't take long, and then you can at least work on Legacy progression as you level all your other toons.


Yeah, I'm wishing that I had taken my mara the last 3 or 4 levels to finish chapter 1 before starting my tankassin. Now the 29 levels of exp my mara got don't count at all towards my legacy. They should change it so that when you add an already levelled character to a legacy, your legacy gets an experience bump. This would help people like Maz who are altaholics and people like me who just can't decide what class they want to play.

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And I never heard the fanfare as I was fighting


It's not a whole lot, just what sounds like some trumpets playing. But it's definitely more than you get for dinging levels 2-49.

Edited, May 1st 2012 12:27pm by Bigdaddyjug
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#11 May 01 2012 at 1:08 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Lol, Maz, seriously--just get a character to the end of Chapter 1. It won't take long, and then you can at least work on Legacy progression as you level all your other toons.


Easy for you to say. I took my Juggernaut to 24 in one day and I could almost taste Legacy, but then my brain did whatever it is it does, and I felt compelled to light some people up with my Assassin. Now, 22 levels later, my brain is trying to convince me that playing my Operative is the best thing in the world.

I want to finish Chapter 1 more than anything, but it's like an invisible wall you bump into all of a sudden. You lose all motivation, all desire, to continue playing that class. I could power through it if I wanted, but then the game would be reduced to a chore and I'd be at the place where I left WoW.

Each class is just so much fun that I can't stick to just one for more than a few levels. I'll admit, part of it is due to the way they went about handing out new abilities. Some classes get their stuff in the first 10 levels, others get theirs spread out over 40 levels. Take the Mercenary and the Juggernaut, for instance. Mercenary is a blast for the first 20 levels, with all the new stuff you get to blow up people every other level. Then it sort of reaches a plateau for the last stretch. Juggernauts, on the other hand, are horrible for the first 30 levels. The class just feels awkward and boring for the longest time.

And then there's the Assassin. I really like the Assassin, with the mix of ranged and melee abilities. The problem is, each spec is so completely different from each other that an indecisive altaholic like me spends more time at the Skill Mentor than anything. I imagine I'll be finishing Chapter 1 on my Juggernaut first, but my Assassin and Operative will be within two levels of finishing their Chapter 1 as well when the time comes. When the time comes depends on whether or not I start on my Mercenary first, or if I can hold off the urge until then.

It's mental.
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#12 May 01 2012 at 9:10 PM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:


It's mental.


You're right Smiley: smile

Then again it could be Alderaan

I like the place, its pretty. The missions are no better or worse than elsewhere but somehow my characters seem to spend a long time in the cantina while I play different planets. I currently have a Scoundrel, a Jedi, and an Inquisitor stuck there (possibly more but I'm not going to log in and look Smiley: smile)
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#13 May 09 2012 at 3:28 AM Rating: Good
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I'm actually having a blast on Alderaan (that's right, baby, I'm almost done unlocking my Legacy!), perhaps because there are so few quests, or maybe I'm just in the wrong place. Smiley: dubious

Juggernaut is now level 32, which is the highest level I've ever been on any character (previous record was my old Assassin at 31). According to Torhead, I've got two or three class missions left until I'm done on Alderaan (story wise), which feels a bit weird, considering how long Balmorra and Tatooine (god, I hated Tatooine) took.

But damn is this class a late bloomer. By the time I can get all the talents I want for leveling up, I'll be level 50. And I'm not even exaggerating. Luckily, I seem to have found a sweet spot right now. I'm using Soresu stance, but with a Vengeance build (minus Shien stance) and it's actually pretty good. DPS is way higher than Immortal and survivability is pretty much the same, except for during extended fights (due to lack of cooldowns), but since I roll with a pimped out Vette (I take care of my ladies), fights never last that long.

Just wish they'd give us some of the key skills earlier. 30 levels is a long time to feel gimped as hell. Rage and Immortal don't really shine until they get their final skill, which is at level 40. Vengeance becomes viable at level 30 when you get Impale. Until then, you're mashing your single-animation Vicious Slash and filling in the spaces with your basic attack that hits for almost negative damage.

Class is in dire need of a makeover. You're essentially forced to dump your first five points into the tanking skill tree, regardless of what you want to do, because otherwise you run out of resources mid-fight. Most of the resource efficiency skills are in the top tiers of the trees. Being inefficient for 30 levels is just too long.

I'm just glad I decided to level up a Juggernaut instead of a Guardian. Having a healer at level ~18 allowed me to go DPS and burn through some levels. Definitely glad I chose Sentinel for my Jedi Knight now. Smiley: grin
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#14 May 09 2012 at 5:32 AM Rating: Good
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Yeah Jugg is a very late blooming class. You don't get your aoe fear CC until level 42, and your execute throw until level 46. Plus Intercede is your level 50 skill, and honestly, out of all the skills, that one is what makes the Jugg class. It's also the reason why I consider Juggs to be the best true tanks in pvp. I just wish you got it earlier so you had time to practice with it before 50. I mean, even Orbital Strike/XS Freighter Flyby are acquired pre-50, and that's about as defining a skill you can get for a class.
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#15 May 09 2012 at 9:02 AM Rating: Good
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I like Rage spec for DPS and PvP Juggernaut, personally.
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#16 May 09 2012 at 9:04 AM Rating: Good
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I don't see why you'd level in Soresu, though. It would be fine if it just buffed your defenses, but it reduces your rage generation by 50%. Now that you have whatever the analog to Overhead Slash is, you're going to want

Quote:

Class is in dire need of a makeover. You're essentially forced to dump your first five points into the tanking skill tree, regardless of what you want to do, because otherwise you run out of resources mid-fight. Most of the resource efficiency skills are in the top tiers of the trees. Being inefficient for 30 levels is just too long.


Because of this, I'm guessing you didn't know that? Effciency isn't bad when you aren't in Soresu form, because Sunder and your standard attack both generate 2 Rage. Shien form also generates an additional focus/rage when you take damage (ICD of 6 seconds).

I never had any resource problems. I'm only just starting to now that I have Overhead Slash and want to use it on CD, but haven't really adjusted my priority list to include it properly yet.
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#17 May 09 2012 at 11:39 AM Rating: Good
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No matter how you look at it though, Jugg (and Guardian) don't come into their own until 40. Ideally, every single Jugg or Guardian spec wants two points into the talent that grants more rage on Sunder, simply because it has the highest returns of any talent for any class (or at least top three, but my money is on #1). After that, you can go deep Veng/Vig all you want.

At forty though, you respec and pick up Shatter/Plasma Brand and go from there, eventually, as you level, filling back in the 2 points you took out of improving Sunder when you respecced.

And don't complain to me about respec costs; wait a week, possibly less, and it dials back down to 0, and the first respec is always free (meaning if you wait long enough between respecs, you never actually pay anything to respec).

Anywho, the point of this is, the two dps trees for Jugg and Veng don't really come into their own until you hit 40. For Veng/Vig it's not only about getting a pair of hard-hitting abilities, but about the talents related to them that support you. Rampage/Zen Strike are AMAZING talents now, thanks to the refund you get on your two big heavy-hitters. With Shien form refund, you're looking at an effective 1 rage/focus spent per OS/Impale and 2 rage/focus for Shatter/PB. That makes a major difference now. It wasn't bad before, but it's leaps and bounds better now. The fact that Ravage/MS now hits like the force of a thousand suns (give or take a few suns) and you can see how that one talent makes such a big difference.

Added on to the bonus rage you get from the Sunder talent and you'll find that the dps trees for Jugg's and Guardians really need level 40+ before they shine. Rage/Focus gets the ability to drop big Smashes and Sweeps more often, and Veng/Vig gets the resource generation to truly keep a dps rotation going.

As for the class being in need of a makeover, I strongly disagree. It's a late-blooming class, yes, but it works just perfectly when all of the pieces are in place. It's not terribly forgiving as far as speccing goes (as in, there are effective things for each tree and ineffective things, and both have clear reasons to take/avoid based on your goals) but even then there is a degree of hybridity you can get away with.

Edited, May 9th 2012 10:40am by Quor
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#18 May 09 2012 at 12:14 PM Rating: Good
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I disagree. At least, I disagree when we're talking about early levels. I had no rage/focus issues at all at earlier levels, because I just didn't have many skills that required it.

Blade Storm takes 3 (but requires you have 4), Riposte takes 2 (3), and Saber Slash takes 3 (2).

That's really quite easy to keep up with--I almost never had to use Slash. I might have lost a few Ripostes here and there, but not enough to warrant getting skills (Shien Form, free Force Sweep) later. Not by a long shot. You at least want those two skills before you grab it.

Once you get some other focus-costing skills, particularly in the early 30s, it is definitely a good investment. But I wouldn't bother before that. Return isn't nearly as high as Shien Form, and free Force Sweep means you start fights with 3 Focus instead of 0.

Force Leap > Force Sweep > Sunder Strike > Master Strike > Sunder Strike > Blade Storm.

That leaves you with 4 Focus. You can't riposte during Master strike, but if you can after that brings you to 2 Focus. You'll use a basic strike here instead of a stronger one, yes. That's the first point of variance, and you're probably nearly done with the fight.

So without the talent, you use your basic strike and end up with 4 Focus. Then you use the stronger attack, go down to 2, then the basic, back up to four. That alternation (weaving in Sunders instead of the basic attack) can last forever. At lower levels, anything but gold mobs should die before BS (Force Scream) is back off CD. You don't have the focus to riposte freely, but you can riposte before the GCD for your stronger strike, if it will kill the mob.

With the talent, you use a stronger strike here, and go down to 1 Focus. Then you use the basic attack, go up to 3, then stronger, down to 2, repeat. The one (or max, 2) sunders you can weave in shouldn't make any difference at all. At best, you are afforded one additional riposte. But, really, if your fights are taking long enough for it to give you more than that, you really need to upgrade your weapon or your companion (particularly if you are a Knight, since Kira's forcequake is beastly).

Once you get to higher levels, I agree it will make a world of difference. Because, at that point, you're trying to gain the focus/rage you need for several strong abilities. At early levels, Blade Storm/Force Scream are really your only one, and you can easily fuel them. Your basic force strike isn't strong enough to prioritize focus for, and Riposte's cost and CD means you probably won't really have an issue there until fights are lasting longer--at least the mid 20s.

To tell the truth, until you hit Alderaan enemies shouldn't be giving you enough time for it to make a difference. There's a big difficulty leap with that planet. Whether or not you want to take the talent before/after Plasma Blade is a matter of preference. But until you reach that, I'm going to say those points are just making your life more difficult.
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#19 May 09 2012 at 12:23 PM Rating: Good
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I know the difference between Shien and Soresu, Digg. Smiley: tongue

Shien vs Soresu 101:

Shien gains 1 rage every 6 seconds, assuming you're taking damage.
Shien gains 1 rage per incoming AOE attack.
Shien refunds 1 rage per attack used.
Shien provides a 6% damage buff.

Soresu gains 1 rage every 6 seconds, assuming you're taking damage.
Soresu increases shield chance by 15%.
Soresu increases armor rating by 60%.
Soresu provides a flat 6% damage mitigation.

Most importantly, though, is that Soresu allows you to use Vette instead of Quinn for later levels. Shien increases your rage efficiency, but you're stuck with Quinn for the last 15-20 levels. I don't like Quinn. I even dislike him. I heart Vette, though, and Vette more than makes up for the loss of DPS from using Soresu.

When I said that the resource efficiency skills are in the top tiers, I was referring to (using Guardian names so you know what I'm talking about):

Defense: Courage and Cyclonic Sweeps
Vigilance: Narrowed Focus, Zen Strike and Effluence.
Focus: Gravity and Through Peace.

It's true that each stance gets a rage efficiency boost early on in the talent tree (Shien in itself, Soresu when you get Lunge and Shii-Cho when you get Visionary), but it's not enough.

My spec won't become efficient until I get Lunge (Lash Out for us Immortals) and later on Stasis Mastery (Force Grip for Immortals), but the added survivability still allows me to use Vette over Quinn for regular fighting. I could use Vette with Shien, of course, but I'd have to heal up between every pull. With Soresu and Vette, I lose 5-10% health per fight and can take down an elite in 10-15% of my health.

It should be noted that I'm working towards the 16/23/2 build, which is currently one of the most popular Juggernaut builds for Warzones. It gives damage (Impale/Overhead Slash) as well as survivability (Invincible/Warding Call). Like I said in my previous post, though, it unfortunately requires you to be level 50 to be the ideal leveling build. Smiley: tongue

At level 41 I'll switch to Rage, though, so it won't matter. Maybe level 42 so I can get Enraged Sunder and use Soresu instead of Shii-Cho.

Edited, May 9th 2012 8:27pm by Mazra
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#20 May 09 2012 at 12:53 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I disagree. At least, I disagree when we're talking about early levels. I had no rage/focus issues at all at earlier levels, because I just didn't have many skills that required it.

Blade Storm takes 3 (but requires you have 4), Riposte takes 2 (3), and Saber Slash takes 3 (2).

That's really quite easy to keep up with--I almost never had to use Slash. I might have lost a few Ripostes here and there, but not enough to warrant getting skills (Shien Form, free Force Sweep) later. Not by a long shot. You at least want those two skills before you grab it.

Once you get some other focus-costing skills, particularly in the early 30s, it is definitely a good investment. But I wouldn't bother before that. Return isn't nearly as high as Shien Form, and free Force Sweep means you start fights with 3 Focus instead of 0.

Force Leap > Force Sweep > Sunder Strike > Master Strike > Sunder Strike > Blade Storm.

That leaves you with 4 Focus. You can't riposte during Master strike, but if you can after that brings you to 2 Focus. You'll use a basic strike here instead of a stronger one, yes. That's the first point of variance, and you're probably nearly done with the fight.

So without the talent, you use your basic strike and end up with 4 Focus. Then you use the stronger attack, go down to 2, then the basic, back up to four. That alternation (weaving in Sunders instead of the basic attack) can last forever. At lower levels, anything but gold mobs should die before BS (Force Scream) is back off CD. You don't have the focus to riposte freely, but you can riposte before the GCD for your stronger strike, if it will kill the mob.

With the talent, you use a stronger strike here, and go down to 1 Focus. Then you use the basic attack, go up to 3, then stronger, down to 2, repeat. The one (or max, 2) sunders you can weave in shouldn't make any difference at all. At best, you are afforded one additional riposte. But, really, if your fights are taking long enough for it to give you more than that, you really need to upgrade your weapon or your companion (particularly if you are a Knight, since Kira's forcequake is beastly).

Once you get to higher levels, I agree it will make a world of difference. Because, at that point, you're trying to gain the focus/rage you need for several strong abilities. At early levels, Blade Storm/Force Scream are really your only one, and you can easily fuel them. Your basic force strike isn't strong enough to prioritize focus for, and Riposte's cost and CD means you probably won't really have an issue there until fights are lasting longer--at least the mid 20s.

To tell the truth, until you hit Alderaan enemies shouldn't be giving you enough time for it to make a difference. There's a big difficulty leap with that planet. Whether or not you want to take the talent before/after Plasma Blade is a matter of preference. But until you reach that, I'm going to say those points are just making your life more difficult.


I see what you're saying, but my point still stands; you get the most return out of Enraged Sunder/Victory Rush compared to any other talent out there. And you can have it maxed by level 11 (which I did) with the option to respec to Shien at 20 if you want.

Course, I went for a full 7 in Immortal because I wanted my free spammable aoe snare, but that was a personal preference thing.

As for the early levels, I dunno, maybe things are different now. I didn't exactly have rage problems leveling up, but I do know that Enraged Sunder and Battle Cry made my early levels go much smoother than they did on the beta PTR (where I went full Vengy for 10-25). Course, that was back in December. Maybe if I did it again I wouldn't feel the need for the extra resource generation, but I sure as hell liked it while I was leveling up.
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#21 May 09 2012 at 1:59 PM Rating: Good
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Quor wrote:
And don't complain to me about respec costs; wait a week, possibly less, and it dials back down to 0, and the first respec is always free (meaning if you wait long enough between respecs, you never actually pay anything to respec).


It would take more than one week, though. Every week, the respec cost (RC) is bumped down one notch and everyone is given a free respec (FR). It looks something like this:

FR > RC1 > RC2
Weekly reset
FR > RC2 > RC3
Weekly reset
FR > RC3 > RC4

Quor wrote:
As for the class being in need of a makeover, I strongly disagree. It's a late-blooming class, yes, but it works just perfectly when all of the pieces are in place. It's not terribly forgiving as far as speccing goes (as in, there are effective things for each tree and ineffective things, and both have clear reasons to take/avoid based on your goals) but even then there is a degree of hybridity you can get away with.


The class is horribly bloated at the moment and Powertechs/Vanguards still blow it out of the water in terms of pretty much everything (including the leveling experience). I like my Juggernaut, despite its quirkiness, but it still needs some love. I liked my Druid in Vanilla WoW, too, but you remember how Ferals were before the talent revamp, Quor.

1.2 helped, but it's not enough. We shouldn't have to cycle three abilities just to regenerate resources. And there are generally too many abilities that require constant management to make the class efficient. I've got so many buttons I can't even press them all before I die in PvP anyway. If you think the Juggernaut/Guardian class is fine, I strongly encourage you to play any of the other tanking classes. Level up a Powertech and/or an Assassin. Better DPS for the first 40 levels and better survivability. Primarily because you don't need to blow 30 skill points to "shine."

As for leveling up a Juggernaut/Guardian (or any class for that matter), you can level to 50 without ever choosing an Advanced Class, so it's not like the class is impossible to level with. I set out to find a build that made Vette more efficient than Quinn, because I prefer Vette as a companion. Soresu increases survivability at the cost of damage output, which makes it more efficient with a DPS companion than a healing companion. The DPS loss isn't that bad, anyway. Cycling Force Choke, Ravage and Force Push (+ Charge/Leap), I can churn out enough rage every pull to kill everything just as fast as if I used Shien. Whether you kill something with a 1,000 Impale crit or a 1,300 Impale crit doesn't matter, as long as it kills it.

Edited, May 9th 2012 10:01pm by Mazra
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#22 May 09 2012 at 3:13 PM Rating: Good
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I have a 34 Powertech and 33 Shadow, Pyrotech and Kinetic Combat respectively, and while I don't really fear dying on my Shadow, thanks to the life leech on Combat Technique, I never really had a problem doing any of the the soloable quests on my Jugg. Even the odd 2 person heroic was doable with Quinn or Vette and some proper kiting.

Point being, I don't think Jugg is weak so much as PT (and to a lesser degreem tank Shadow/Sin) is strong. Powertechs and Vanguards are REALLY strong now, and the rotation of skills is downright inane in it's simplicity. The challenge doesn't come so much from the order of skill usage as it does from managing resources for the classes, but even that isn't terribly hard to do. Intersperse a Rapid Shot/Hammer Shot every other skill and you'll never get into the second tier of resource regen.

But the way Jugg and Guardian are built now they're fine. I didn't level as Soresu yet I hardly used Quinn past the end of Tattooine. It was always Jaesa or Vette from then on, up until I hit Ilum and things got markedly harder (and I lacked the gear, for myself or my companions, to kill things without risking the odd death). Again, I was in Shien from level 27 onward (Shii-cho the rest of the time previous to that) except when I was tanking heroics or FP's, and I leveled almost exclusively with dps companions.

And this was before Enraged Defense and the longer duration on Endure Pain.

And it wasn't hard. It was challenging, and I did die a few times, but that was more bad thinknig/execution on my part than anything else. Yes, the class is backloaded talent wise, but that doesn't mean it isn't viable. Just that it peaks later compared to, say, a Pyrotech.
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#23 May 09 2012 at 3:26 PM Rating: Good
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But even when it peaks, it's still got issues.

Regardless, my point was that leveling a Juggernaut/Guardian is painful -- in comparison to other classes -- for a very long time. I can't even imagine how you leveled with Vette and in Shien form at these levels. I've got 41% mitigation and I still take a royal beating whenever I go up against multiple non-standard enemies close to my own level. Taking on a level 31 elite will bring me near death if I use Vette and don't pop every cooldown I've got. I remember my Assassin tanking multiple elites while Andy was all pewpew.

Maybe I should give Immortal a go. It's just that Backhand is severely lackluster when compared to Shockwave and Impale. 4-second stun on a 1-minute cooldown. I can toss it into the 1-minute cooldown pile along with Force Choke, Force Push, Endure Pain and Enrage.
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#24 May 09 2012 at 3:44 PM Rating: Good
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It depended on the elite. There are a few out there that have an Overload Saber-like DoT that stacks on you. Most of those tend to have 2-3 other DoTs they stack on you, and that would always tear me up. Any melee class sucks against those guys if you can't wipe the DoTs, but that's nothing new, and now that I know what to look out for I adjust accordingly. Vette is a great turret for when you're kiting with Chilling Scream. But those guys are cake for my Sniper or my Sorc.

Meanwhile, any ranged elite my Sorc or PT has a field day with, since they can abuse the crap outta LoS to avoid most of the damage without issue. My Jugg needed to be more aggressive, typically sending Vette or Jaesa in for a bit to soak the first 1/3 of their life in damage (blowing their defensive CD in the process as well, which helped a lot) before I taunted off of them and tanked it the rest of the way. Usually by the time I had to take it off it was around half life, and I was able to down it before i got much under 75%.

Generally anything that had some kind of DoT attack was worse for my Jugg (and my Sent) than anything else. Stuff that had a lot of casted things tended to be pretty easy as long as it wasn't out in the open (and my Jugg could change that generally with Push). Just requires a bit of forethought and planning to engage guys with the most effectiveness.
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#25 May 09 2012 at 4:16 PM Rating: Good
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Switched back to Rage and while I'll miss Impale (Obliterate just doesn't feel as epic), it's definitely easier to manage rage wise:

Obliterate costs less rage and has a longer cooldown. Obliterate makes Force Scream free. Smash is guaranteed to crit every time and will do 200% damage at least once per pull. Shockwave Smash crit does more damage than Impale and hits everything around me.

I'll miss the free Smash, though, but the added rage generation (or saving) means I always have rage to Smash, so it's meh.

Now I just need to figure out if going Soresu is worth it if you go Rage. You lose 3% damage from Shii-Cho and have to spend two more points in Immortal to keep up the Sunder rage generation, but it seems like Soresu is penalized less when you go Rage, especially with the free Force Screams and the emphasis on attacks that cost less rage and have longer cooldowns.

Charge > Sunder > Choke > Sunder > Smash
3 rage > 5 rage > 8 rage > 10 rage > 7 rage

Scream > Sunder > Obliterate > Sunder
7 rage > 9 rage > 6 rage > 8 rage

That leaves you enough room for two Vicious Slashes if you need to finish off a strong, or another Smash in case there are more of them (the Obliterate makes the Smash a guaranteed crit). If there's an elite, Ravage and call it a day.
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#26 May 09 2012 at 4:24 PM Rating: Good
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Keep in mind you lose the 20% armor pen from deep in Rage, which affects Smash as well (since it's classed as kinetic damage, and thus armor mitigated).

With practice, it's not hard to just swap to Shii-Cho, Sunder once, then Smash, then back to Soresu if need be. Just takes a bit of timing. But you kinda invalidate some of the earlier talents as well.
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#27 May 09 2012 at 4:32 PM Rating: Good
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I've never had any problems at all on my tankassin and have been soloing Heroic 2s since whichever planet comes after Tatooine. Getting my healing companion just made it easy cheesy. I was planning on making my first Republic side character a Jedi Knight and going the tanking route, but you guys are making me reconsider now.

Anyway, I've barely got to play at all since I dinged 50. I did manage to finish Corellia and am heading back to the fleet next time I get to log on (hopefully tonight) to pick up the daily breadcrumb. I think I'll knock out Corellia and Ilum dailies and then go and start on the Belsavis bonus series so I can unlock those dailies as well. I need to figure out if my Recruit Survivor's gear is good enough to start tanking normal mode FPs and if it isn't I need to find some better gear. I should also queue up for a WZ or three tonight.
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#28 May 09 2012 at 4:40 PM Rating: Good
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True about the armor penetration. Hadn't thought about that.

Might just stay at 22 points in Rage and work my way up the Immortal tree. Getting some more defense sounds like it could be useful once I leave Alderaan, plus it would give me an 8% damage boost on Smash from Heavy Handed. Once I hit level 50, I'll have to respec to something else anyway.
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#29 May 09 2012 at 5:24 PM Rating: Good
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If you want to try out a Guardian, I suggest going Defense and pimping out Kira once you get her. You take the beating while she does her thing. That's how I did it back when I was playing Guardian and it worked okay.

The main difference between a Juggernaut and an Assassin (or Powertech for that matter) is the ramp-up time and lack of AOE. A tanking Assassin can pick up Death Field at level 20, giving him three AOE attacks at that level (Discharge, Overload and Death Field). A Powertech is rocking Death From Above, Explosive Dart and Flame Thrower at level 10 and gets another core AOE ability at level 24. A Juggernaut has one AOE attack until picking up Sweeping Slash at level 32 and it's pretty underwhelming (it's similar to the Assassin's Lacerate).

Having one true ranged attack is also pretty lame at times. Force Scream is nice and all, but just one ranged attack until you get Force Choke at 24? I mean, seriously. that's it? Then 22 levels later they introduce the iconic saber throws, but still on a huge cooldown compared to the ranged attacks from the Assassin and Powertech.

If you enjoyed the Warrior from WoW, you'll probably enjoy the Juggernaut as well. More cumbersome resource management, but the armor looks nice, so there's that.

Edit: I'm not bitter, I just find the class very unimpressive. Messing around with Force Choke, Force Push and Force Charge is fun, but it feels pretty dull, at least for the first 32 levels (can't speak for the rest), whereas the Powertech and Assassin are all pimped out by the time they get to Balmorra. Juggernaut (Guardian) is melee combat with emphasis on melee. If that's your thing then you'll enjoy it.

Edited, May 10th 2012 1:28am by Mazra
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#30 May 09 2012 at 8:12 PM Rating: Good
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Meh, Shadows only really have one ranged attack as well. Telekinetic Throw's channeling requirement makes it far less useful for everything a Shadow needs a ranged attack for. Okay, Mind Crush too, but same thing--it has a cast time. If you're melee, you only really want instant ranged attacks.

Anyway, on the one hand Knights to take slightly longer to come into their own. I think that might be somewhat intentional. Jedi Knight generates a ton of hype on its own, where Trooper and Smuggler need to work harder to win the player over. But if you're in the late 40s, you probably don't need to be won any more. And you can't give the Knight the best skills early, or else you have the same issue--Trooper and Smuggler remain unattractive compared to the Knight.

Less true with the Sage, definitely. But Shadow is, without a doubt, WAY too slow at getting their main skills. It's easily the worst offender of all the classes. They don't end up with that many skills in general, and they're so spaced out that you're only really using 3-4 skills (one of which has a huge CD, the other a positional requirement). It's even worse if you go infiltration--I don't know if it has remained this way, but when I was leveling my first shadow optimal dps in the early teens was to do nothing but basic strike and shadow strike with a breach every 15 seconds. Talk about boring.


But it's definitely unfair to say that only knights come into their own that late. Things might not be linear in general, but 34-38 is the level range where nearly all classes really develop. Guardians get Saber Throw, Sentinels get Guarded by the Force, Sages get Forcequake, Gunslingers get Speed Shot, Scoundrels get Shoot First. They generally also get 21 point skilled abilities, though that's less true.

Only Vanguards and Commandos don't fit this skew, having all their major non-skill abilities by 24. Generally, they don't even get a level 30 skilled ability. But they both get Adreneline Rush and Stealth Scan, which can be very nice, in the 30s.

The problem isn't the end point, its the rate at which they get major skills. Maybe the skew favors Smugglers/Troopers more (well, definitely Troopers), but it isn't by a TON.
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#31 May 09 2012 at 11:33 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, I've had all the tools to kick ass and take names on my BH and Trooper since before level 10. Rail Shot, Explosive Dart, CGC, Rocket Punch and Unload are all cool, useful abilities that synergize very well. They also form almost the entire core of my gameplay as both my Commando and my PT. My Commando adds in the odd Charged Bolts here and there, while my PT relies heavily on Flame Burst, but that's about the only difference.

In a sense, I think the BH/Trooper classes are the first gen "pally" equivalent from WoW. That is to say, it's a class that's easy to get into and easy to do well with. The skill usage isn't terribly difficult to figure out (push button, receive damage for the most part, with one or two conditionals) and most fights can be won with a minimum of normal attack usage Compare this to classes that need to utilize their normal attack for a variety of reasons like Assassin, Jugg/Mara, or Sniper and I can see why BH/Trooper are seen as stronger early on.

The flip side is that leveling doesn't gain them all that much. You don't get any really core moves that change how you approach combat. Even going AP/Tactics as a PT/Van doesn't really change things so much as it just alters your pattern of skill usage. Meanwhile, getting Saber Throw and Vicious Throw on your Jugg make a world of difference in terms of how you approach a combat situation. That's part of why I'm fine with Maras and Snipers being quite strong when they're played right; because they're difficult to play right. They require skill usage and resource management that is far more difficult in comparison to most other classes, and they literally live or die based on that management (whereas other classes, like BH, have a lot more room for mistakes made).
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#32 May 10 2012 at 3:16 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Meh, Shadows only really have one ranged attack as well. Telekinetic Throw's channeling requirement makes it far less useful for everything a Shadow needs a ranged attack for. Okay, Mind Crush too, but same thing--it has a cast time. If you're melee, you only really want instant ranged attacks.


Lolwut? Telekinetic Throw is fairly important as both a Kinetic Combat and Balance Shadow. And with a tank as your first companion, you can effectively pull off a rotation in which you only use ranged abilities.

I found it great fun to send in Qyzen, use Force Breach (Force Technique), cast Mind Crush and then channel Telekinetic Throw, or use Project, and kill stuff just as fast as if I'd just spammed Double Strike. It's not as efficient in terms of Force use, but seriously, who gives a crap? Force regenerates from zero to hero in the the time it takes me to reach the next pack of enemies.

On my Madness Assassin, I regularly just skip melee combat all together and just cast Crushing Darkness, Discharge and Force Lightning. Why? Because LIGHTNING! The point being that you have options. You can pull off a theorycrafted rotation that delivers the maximum possible DPS, which requires a mix of ranged and melee abilities, or you can mess around and enjoy yourself. On the Juggernaut, you're forced to hit the same abilities over and over, in the right order, just to generate resources that you can then spend on enjoying the class.

idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
But Shadow is, without a doubt, WAY too slow at getting their main skills. It's easily the worst offender of all the classes. They don't end up with that many skills in general, and they're so spaced out that you're only really using 3-4 skills (one of which has a huge CD, the other a positional requirement)


You don't use Shadow Strike, ever, unless you go x/3/x. And what ability has a huge cooldown? Project and Telekinetic Throw both have a 6-second cooldown. Force Breach has a 15-second cooldown, which puts it up there with Obliterate and Force Scream for a Rage Juggernaut.

It's true that Shadows/Assassins don't end up with that many offensive abilities, but how many abilities do you need? By level 30, I've got just as many keybindings on my Shadow as I do on my level 32 Juggernaut (if not more). Yes, the Juggernaut has more short cooldowns (Force Choke, Force Push, Enrage, Ravage), but the Shadow has a lot of utility abilities (Mind Maze, Force Cloak, Force Speed).

I'd rather have 3-4 offensive abilities that I can choose between than 9-10 of which I have to use three just so I can use the other ones. And that's why I recommend Balance/Madness for Shadows/Assassins. You get Force in Balance at level 20 and Mind Crush becomes part of your rotation at level 25. Now you're up to 5-6 abilities, of which five of them are ranged (Force in Balance, Force Breach, Project, Telekinetic throw -- and Mind Crush, though it requires you to use a melee attack to become instant and free). The last ability is Double Strike and you can sort of throw it in there if you feel like it.

"Shadows only really have one ranged attack," psh!
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#33 May 10 2012 at 8:06 AM Rating: Good
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I never had a problem on my Assassin leveling up. You don't get any real threat abilities 'til around 20ish if I remember right, but you don't really need a tank until then anyway. Leveling as Deception was super smooth, as it's the spec the class was designed for, but I never really had any issues swapping to Darkness to tank a FP or whatever.

What are you guys defining "ranged" as, anyway? Shock has a 10 meter range, as does Crushing Darkness and Force Lightning. You don't use CD as tank or Deception, but Madness is built around using your mid-range abilities, plus Creeping Terror and Death Field. Tanks get Wither, which also has a 10m range. Pyrotech-specced Powertechs have a lot of mid-range abilities, but AP is all about having maximum melee-range uptime (similar to Deception).

Edited, May 10th 2012 10:12am by Spoonless

Edited, May 10th 2012 11:25am by Spoonless
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#34 May 10 2012 at 9:03 AM Rating: Good
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Spoonless wrote:
Leveling as Deception was super smooth, as it's the spec the class was designed for


Eh, what?

As for defining "ranged," I consider anything that isn't melee range to be ranged, which would be 10-30 meters in this game.
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#35 May 10 2012 at 9:25 AM Rating: Good
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In which case, Shadow/Assassin gets plenty of ranged abilities.

Oh, I had read that previously, but it's probably hyperbole on the writer's part. I'll strike it from my previous post. I still stand by leveling as Deception as going remarkably smooth.
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#36 May 10 2012 at 11:28 AM Rating: Good
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Well, to rerail the thread back to my original derail, I just hit level 34 and finished Chapter 1. Legacy unlocked.

Time to go level up some alts. I've had cravings ever since I set out to unlock the damn thing. Smiley: lol
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#37 May 10 2012 at 11:56 AM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
Well, to rerail the thread back to my original derail, Smiley: lol


Hey you kids, quit derailing my threads!!!

Edit: On that note, I started the Corellia dailies this morning before work as I spent the couple hours I got to play last night helping out some friends to do Red Reaper and then pumping my synthweaving up to 400. I have the mats for my Rakata pieces, just need to check on the price of Biometric Crystal Alloy since it is now tradeable. The dailies so far seem a lot less tediuos than WoW dailies ever were.

Edited, May 10th 2012 12:58pm by Bigdaddyjug
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#38 May 10 2012 at 12:53 PM Rating: Good
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Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Mazra wrote:
Well, to rerail the thread back to my original derail, Smiley: lol


Hey you kids, quit derailing my threads!!!

Edit: On that note, I started the Corellia dailies this morning before work as I spent the couple hours I got to play last night helping out some friends to do Red Reaper and then pumping my synthweaving up to 400. I have the mats for my Rakata pieces, just need to check on the price of Biometric Crystal Alloy since it is now tradeable. The dailies so far seem a lot less tediuos than WoW dailies ever were.

Edited, May 10th 2012 12:58pm by Bigdaddyjug


Yeah, they feel a lot more natural, and you don't feel like kicking yourself for missing them either. The addition of weekly stuff also helps.

Incidentally, the new pvp daily change at 50 (and sub-50 too for that matter) is probably one of the smartest things Bioware could have done. For those that don't know, it used to be win 3 WZ's for the daily at 50, which was either relatively easy or laughably hard depending on whether or not you had a pre-made of decent players to run with, Now they've changed it to where you just need to play six WZ's, but if you win a WZ, it counts as playing two. So in other words, winning is no different, but even if you lose terribly, as long as you get 3 medals per WZ (thus showing you wern't completely AFK) you'll get credit for the daily even if you lose. And this way you can still advance your character via coms, even if it'll take longer.
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#39 May 10 2012 at 1:08 PM Rating: Good
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Since we were talking specifically about low levels, here are some numbers from a level 14 Shadow (no skill points invested):

Saber Strike: 124-159 damage, free. Average of 141.5 damage per GCD (94.33 DPS)
Double Strike: 120-137x2 damage, 25 force. Average of 257 damage per GCD (171.33 DPS, 10.28 Damage per Force)
Shadow Strike: 384-439 damage, 50 force. Average of 411 damage per GCD (274 DPS, 8.23 DPF)
Force Breach (FT): 409 periodic damage, 20 force. 409 damage per GCD (22.72 DPS, 20.45 DPF)
Project: 223-245 damage, 45 force. Average of 234 damage per GCD (156 DPS, 5.2 DPF)
Telekinetic Throw: 474 damage over 3 seconds for 30 force. Takes two GCDs, (158 DPS, 15.8 DPF)

Going off of this info, Shadow Strike is not the best DPF skill, but it's best for burst. You can very easily plan to use it to execute an enemy so you can move on to the next. But, you're right, it is no longer best to use it on CD if you aren't using the Infiltration proc. Still, there's definitely a place for a high DPS ability like SS when you are fighting packs of mobs.

Project just shouldn't be used unless you have to move or attack an enemy at range. It takes over 5 seconds to recoop its force cost, so figure out if its worth it by the amount you'd regenerate between the time you cast and the time it takes to get to your target. If you're stationary, you simply don't want to use it--Double strike does better DPS and has better DPF. Tier two of Balance might make it better, but since it also increases the DPF of Double Strike it might not.

Force Breach, as expected, is great... if your opponent will live 18 seconds. And it really shouldn't live longer than nine. Enemies need to live around something like 10 or more seconds for FB to be a better choice than Double Strike.

I was wrong about the extent to which Telekinetic Throw was undesirable. It has good damage per force, but lower damage per second, when compared to Double Strike. But you almost definitely don't want to use it. One lost tic (from an enemy attack or an incomplete channeling due to enemy death) destroys both DPF and DPS, making Double Strike better. But fights should not be lasting long enough for the better DPF to be influencing anything, imo. And it becomes even less desirable for Balance Shadows, who have a higher DPF Double Strike. This trend continues with Tier 3 of the skill tree for both Infiltration and Balance, who further buff Double Strike.

Yes, TT does better DPF than Double Strike. But I seriously doubt your fights will be lasting long enough for that additional efficiency will actually ever really translate into additional damage. For longer fights, it's worth using. Not for everyday activities, and not once you can buff your Double Strike. And the fact that it requires your shadow to stand still and channel, and becomes it far worse with just one incoming hit, makes it a poor choice, imo.
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#40 May 10 2012 at 2:34 PM Rating: Good
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Force Breach, as expected, is great... if your opponent will live 18 seconds. And it really shouldn't live longer than nine. Enemies need to live around something like 10 or more seconds for FB to be a better choice than Double Strike.
OK argument if you're talking about fighting a single mob, which you rarely do. Slap it on a silver or gold to open a fight, and go to town on the weaker mobs in the pack. You certainly get plenty of usefulness out of it.

I used Force Lightning in harder fights against melee mobs, because it has a slow component to it. AoE knockback with FL followthrough on a harder mob does decent damage while keeping it from hitting you.

Edited, May 10th 2012 4:37pm by Spoonless
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#41 May 10 2012 at 2:48 PM Rating: Good
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Anyway, theorycrafting for early levels in a MMO is kind of pointless in my opinion. The game is tuned so you can basically use whatever attack patterns you want and get by. Rotation/priority barely matters until mid 20's, and even then, you can level to cap without even picking an AC.

Even if using only one ability is the "best" way to level for say the first 20 levels, that's just not fun for me. I'd rather be less efficient but have more fun by using a variety of attacks and abilities. Don't get me wrong, I like to min/max at higher levels, but I'm not digging into the DPS/DPR of abilities at level 14. Abilities like Shock have other utility for leveling. Shock stuns regular and weak targets. Force Lightning slows movement speed. Looking at these abilities from a pure damage standpoint when talking about low levels is kind of misguided, because you aren't using these abilities purely for their damage.
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Banh
#42 May 10 2012 at 3:35 PM Rating: Good
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I use Project all the time on my Shadow, simply because it's one of my favorite animations in the game. Nothing is more rewarding than ripping rocks out of the ground and delivering them at high velocity to someone's face.

DPF sucks, but I have yet to find myself Force starved while fighting regular enemies. On boss fights I skip Project for Thrash so I can use the instant, free Mind Crush. My typical boss fights is me cycling through TT, FB and MC while weaving in Thrash for the MC procs. Probably not the most efficient way to do it, but the style is right up my alley. I love using a mix of lightsaber and Force abilities.

Edit: Force in Balance is in there as well on boss fights. Doesn't cost a lot of Force and crits for sicko damage.

Edited, May 10th 2012 11:47pm by Mazra
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