PTS 1.5 – First Look

September 10, 2011 - 3:14 pm No Comments

Playing on test server is a bit like watching preseason football: outcomes usually don’t mean squat when the regular season starts. But I’ve been painfully playing my Ranger for awhile now wondering when they were going to finally get buffed to be competitive; considering they fall far short of the dead-simple Hoko and Sabdancer builds, getting competitive in-class would be a great first step in getting the whole class competitive with warriors and mages. So I decided to roll up on PTS and see what’s new.

First Impressions

This is all from the first test build, which I’m sure will be far different then what hits live 2-3 weeks from now. Basically, bow using ranged rogues now find synergy between Marksman and Ranger – having to rely on Assassin for crit-enhancment is gone. In fact, relying on crit for DPS seems to be gone. Essentially now the trick is to find a balance between Ranger and Marksman so that you get enough bonus from Shadow Fire and Electrified Munitions to outweigh the crit bonuses from Assassin. Hit the jump to read the details on the first round of PTS testing.

From my testing so far, going beyond 41 points in either RA or MM ends up returning a DPS loss. For a RA-focused build, 20 points in MM is the ideal number. For a MM-focused build, hitting the 38 points in MM is critical, as the burst from Hit and Run (HnR) is vital. I would say that right around 21 points in RA is the break point for a MM-build; that is an even 20% damage bonus from Shadow Fire.

For my testing, I have been using the Normal Dungeon dummy because I’m wearing R5/6 PVP gear atm and have only 39 hit. These numbers should be more representative once they drop the PVE armor vendor again. So far, these are some numbers I’ve parsed.

Marksman

Build: 38 MM / 24 RA / 4 RS
DPS: 1020

Relevant Stats:
AP: 719
Crit: 927 (35.15+5 = 40.15)
Bow: 41.7 DPS

Eradicate Marksman

Build: 44 MM / 22 RA
DPS: 1019

Relevant Stats:
AP: 653
Crit: 927 (35.15+5 = 40.15)
Bow: 41.7 DPS

Buffs:
Invigorating Munitions
Electrified Munitions
Predatory Instincts

Rotation: Shadow Fire > Crippling Shot > Piercing Shot > Quick Shot > Head Shot > Strafe
Finisher: Rapid Fire Shot > Head Shot
3-min Burst: HnR > Empowered Shot > Empowered Shot > Bull’s Eye > Deadeye Shot > Quick Reload > repeat
2-min Burst: HnR > Empowered Shot > Empowered Shot > Bull’s Eye > Deadeye Shot

Comments on Marksman:

The most exciting thing here is the fact that Rogues have a viable support option other then Bard. The Eradicate Marksman does respectable, viable DPS and brings a boatload of utility options to a group. The 44MM build provides a raid with: spamable purge, 15s CD single-target interrupt, 30s CD 8-target interrupt, 30s CD 3-target knockback, and a 20s CD root. In addition, they are the single most mobile build (discounting the fact that they lose the 20% damage buff when moving) in the game – they have a 20-meter retreat leap along with a 5 second duration 70% movement speed buff that breaks and immunizes against roots and snares on a 21s CD, and can swap in the Infiltrator soul in 0 slot for yet another escape CD.

The drawbacks for the Marksman lie mostly in the fact that the sustained DPS is reliant on the burst CDs as well as slightly relying on an energy regen buff to smoothly incorporate Strafe (60 energy) and Shadow Fire (50 energy). This build uses the dire wolf pet mostly for the damage bonus to the rogue, but also for the 100 or so DPS the pet provides, making it just one more thing the Marksman has to pay attention to.

Marksman Overall:

Marksman is going to be pigeon-holed into that “pro-player” slot. It requires a lot of focus and attention to maximize DPS through maintaining Shadow Fire, burning CDs, supporting the raid, and keeping the pet alive.

Ranger (+Assassin)

Build: 38 RA / 20 MM / 8 AS
DPS: 1214

Relevant Stats:
AP: 607
Crit: 927 (35.15+13+5 = 53.15)
Bow: 41.7 DPS

Buffs:
Electrified Munitions
Feral Instincts
Lethal Poison

Ranger (+Riftstalker)

Build: 41 RA / 20 MM / 5 RS
DPS: 1196

Relevant Stats:
AP: 653
Crit: 927 (35.15+8 = 42.15)
Bow: 41.7 DPS

Buffs:
Electrified Munitions
Invigorating Munitions
Feral Instincts

Rotation: Shadow Fire > Crippling Shot > Piercing Shot > Quick Shot > Head Shot > Strafe
Finisher: Rapid Fire Shot > Head Shot
Burst: None

Comments on Ranger:

The Ranger build seems to pull a bit more DPS then Marksman and has a far easier rotation to maintain it. No cooldown management and a simple three button hotbar setup. I imagine this will be the build that comes out in 1.5 as the de facto ranged cookie-cutter build. There is no change in play-style between this and the Sozu ranger build – it’s simply more DPS. In comparing to my current Sozu build, it does around 150-200 DPS more (in the same gear, on PTS).

Ranger Overall:

The Ranger build has been and remains the ranged sibling of the melee saboteur build. It’s insanely easy to play with or without macros and pulls the best DPS in the category.

Random Comments

It seems that going 8 points into Assassin (to get 5% passive crit and 5% crit from Lethal Poison) is about equal to gaining 15% AP from Riftstalker, which requires only 5 points. I’d say the balance here is that for a fresh 50, you’d want to go Assassin to bolster your crit and switch to Riftstalker at some point in gearing once the crit benefits diminsh. Note, this has nothing to do with crit caps – the Assassin crit bonuses are percent bonuses thus they do not suffer diminishing returns.

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