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    Bloodsail Admiral Jaronicity's Avatar
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    Sith Assassin: Deception Starter Guide

    Disclaimer: This is mainly geared toward PVE. My assassin is50(Huzzah! Time to gear) but I felt like writing this up and getting the community to consolidate its ideas so that we have some discussions for future patch notes, new discoveries, and just specialization ideas. That, and everyone thinks double-bladed lightsabers are amazing. I may add Darkness stuff later after I've had a good chance to play it. This is also my first guide so I stole the template a bit from the Jugg DPS Compendium, the author of which whose name I have since forgotten while writing this all up. But anyway, thanks for the template .

    PS: Précis is just a fancy name for summary if anyone was confused


    EDIT: Added a couple FAQs/Tips as well as Companion se



    Preamble:

    The Sith Assassin is one of two Advanced Classes one can choose by initially picking the Sith Inquisitor as their base class. The other is the Sorcerer - but we don't like them because of their long range OP lightning snare. Also, they smell bad. Assassins rely on stealth to gain the first strike and, through a lethal medley of Force and melee strikes, decimate their opponent(s) before disappearing into the shadows to sit in wait for the next assault.

    Saber Charges:

    Much akin to "forms" you'll see Jedi Knights or Sith Warriors using, these imbue your saber with one of three (spec dependent) "charges". Only one may be active at a time and you NEED a double bladed lightsaber to use them:

    Lightning Charge: This is the initial charge you get as you level up your Assassin. It charges your weapon with lightning and lets you deal additional energy damage on a proc.

    Dark Charge: This is the tanking "stance." This increases armor, but lowers the damage you deal. This proc will damage the opponent and convert it into health.

    Surging Charge: Only by speccing into the Deception tree will you be able to pick up the third charge. This charge deals internal damage to the enemy based on a proc. This is the charge you should be using while playing a Deception Assassin. Now, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that internal damage ignores armor thus making it extremely ideal. Anyone who knows otherwise please correct this.


    Discharge Ability:

    All Assassins will gain the ability to Discharge the lightning that is affixed to their saber. Before anyone asks, no you do not have to reapply the charge after you Discharge. Depending on what charge you have on your saber will determine the effect it has on the enemy.


    Lightning Charge: Discharging this will add a DoT that ticks over 18 seconds which can be improved via talents (Charge Mastery: Darkness tree Tier 1) for an extra 3 seconds.

    Dark Charge: An excellent way of AoEing groups, this Discharge will hit up to 5 enemies dealing damage and reducing their accuracy for 18 seconds. Charge Mastery will increase internal and elemental resistance by 9%.

    Surging Charge: Deals straight up damage to the target. Charge mastery will add 9% armor penetration to all your attacks.


    Resource and Abilities:

    Assassins require the use of Force to activate their abilities. We have 100 unless you take Deceptive Power for 110. No force means no attacking except for Saber Strike which costs nothing and you start with at level 1. Through specific talent speccing, one can increase Force regen with cooldowns as well as procs on attacks. I will be listing most abilities you get while leveling an Assassin even if they're mostly irrelevant to the spec.

    Shock: 6 second cooldown. Requires 45 Force but can be reduced through the talent Induction for up to 50% cost free when we Thrash or Voltaic Slash. We will see the synergy between these two abilities later on. Stuns weak and standard targets.

    Force Lightning: All Assassin ranged attacks have a 10m range. If I recall correctly, melee range is 4m. There are no talents worth taking to improve this ability unless you're specced Darkness. It does have its uses in PVP though with its slow and if you're out of range and snared on a mob. A channeled attack that has a 6 second cooldown.

    Electrocute: This is the obligatory 4 second stun that, as far as I know, every class has (at least some form of it). Deals damage and stuns for 4 seconds.

    Whirlwind: 2 second cast time that engulfs a target in a whirlwind making them unable to act. Damage breaks the effects prematurely. Some targets will be healed while being crowd controlled.

    Maul: For those of you that played a Rogue in WoW or any other MMO, this ability is essentially Backstab. High Force cost, high damage, and can only be used from behind. When we get into speccing we'll see that it's only useful some of the time.

    Overload: AoE with a knockback. Good for use in conjunction with Force Lightning for adds on fights.

    Discharge: See above.

    Jolt: Your interrupt. It has 10m range on it which is nice.

    Mind Trap: Again, going to reference my beloved WoW Rogue. This is a sap. You MUST be in stealth to use this and it incapacitates an NPC mob for 60 seconds.

    Crushing Darkness: Another ranged attack with a 2 second cast time that deals initial damage followed by a DoT. Again, I see this being useful if you are just out of melee range and have no way of getting to a mob.

    Deflection: Increases melee and ranged defenses by 50%. Pseudo-evasion tanking, right?

    Lacerate:
    A sweeping attack that does damage to multiple enemies.

    Assassinate: What would we be if we didn't have an ability named after us, right? This is your execute mechanic. Below 30% you will be using this to mow down your foes.

    Force Shroud:
    Removes all hostile effects that are classified as "removable." Additionally, increases your chance to resist Force and tech attacks by 100%. Can you say "Skill Shroud?" Essentialy Cloak of Shadows. Does not break stealth.

    Spike:
    One of the few true stealth abilities we have. This is ability will deal damage and knock a target to the ground for 2 seconds. I can see it being useful for add control and PVP as an interrupt. With a 1.5 GCD those 2 seconds go away mighty quick.

    Low Slash: Picked up in the upper tiers of the Deception Tree. This will deal damage and also incapacitate the target (breaking on damage). Yet another ability I see as great for some quick crowd control on adds.

    Tumult: A force-free ability that is only usable on targets who are incapacitated. Damage varies based on what type of enemy the target is (weak vs. strong).

    Voltaic Slash: Essentially Thrash's replacement once you have enough points for it. It does more damage, has the same cost, and also has a sexy bonus effect built in wherein 2 of these will increase your Shock damage by 15% (stacking 2 times). Remember what I said about every two Thrash's and Voltaic Slash's also reducing Shock's cost?


    Cooldowns:

    Assassin's have quite the myriad of cooldowns at their disposal and it is important to see what they do and what abilities they affect.

    Recklessness: The first cooldown you will learn. Grants you 2 charges and increases your Force critical chance with direct attacks by 60%. Oh, it also increases Force Lightning to 30m. One charge will be used when something like Shock or Discharge crits. If you use Force Lightning AT ALL it consumes a charge. Lasts 20 seconds.

    Force Cloak:
    See Vanish. I kid, I kid. But really, that's what it is minus the whole 100% reduction in healing received thing. That can be removed via talents though. Drop combat, enter improved stealth, reset fights.

    Blackout: Without talents this ability is meh and I have only found use for it while soloing the 2-man heroic quests. It increases your stealth level by 15 for 8 seconds. With talents however, it becomes a fantastic way of regenerating your Force.

    Overcharge Saber: This is a straight up damage buff to your saber charges. Using Lightning or Surging Charge and activating this ability will increase the damage of either of them by 100% for 15 seconds (Dark Charge is 300% to its heal factor).


    Other Abilities:
    Mark of Power - This is our 60 minute buff we bring to the group. Increases Strength, Aim, Cunning, and Willpower by 5% as well as increasing damage reduction by 10% against internal and elemental attacks.


    Specs:

    I am currently in a debate with someone over this and so it is obviously not a done deal (I think I'm right, though :P). Having no logs or ways to find out what is the best makes these things somewhat guesswork. That said, I feel that the spec I have put together for level 50s is not terrible and makes sense based on the abilities we use, the type of damage we deal, and where that damage comes from.

    Armour Penetration Spec



    http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#20...hGMRkhMrtzZc.1

    I put together this spec around the synergy between Voltaic Slash, Shock, and Discharge. As you can see, it will rely heavily on critical strikes and that is why I believe that is the Assassins stat to go for. There is much Force>Melee synergy here and that is really what the Assassin is all about. Being able to manage your Force properly will allow you to dole out some insane damage. Manage cooldowns like Blackout to keep regen up.

    Below I will go through the talents in each of the trees that I opted to pick up followed by some for of reasoning that at least made sense to me.

    Deception Tree
    Tier 1
    Duplicity 3/3 - direct damage attacks i.e. not Dots have a 30% chance to give you Exploit Weakness. What EW does is cut the Force cost of Maul in half as well as have it ignore 50% of the target's armour.
    Dark Embrace 2/2 - Much like Overkill in WoW, this talent, upon exiting stealth will increase your Force regeneration by 50%.

    Tier 2
    Obfuscation 3/3 - Increases your stealth level by 3 and movement speed by 15%. I guess you could put points into Avoidance thus reducing the cooldown of Jolt and Unbreakable and that will leaving you an extra point for Insulation or Obfuscation. I opt for the maxed out movement speed increases.
    Recirculation 2/2 - Reduces cooldown of Discharge by 3 seconds making it 12 instead of 15. Means you discharge more (ew that sounds gross) and have some heavy hitting Surging Discharges.

    Tier 3
    Induction 2/2 - Increases your critical strike damage via Maul by 30%. Additinally, your Thrash and Voltaic Slash will reduce the Force cost of Shock by 25%, stacking twice. That means, Thrash once and your Shock is 34 Force. Do it again and it will drop to 25 Force. This talent is a must because Shock is a heavy-hitter and we will do anything to use it.
    Surging Charge 1/1 - Our main saber charge. Its effects are explained above.
    Darkswell 1/1 - This talent lets you use Blackout (remember, it increases stealth level) out of stealth. That means that it will give you the 6 second Dark Embrace regen buff as well as giving you a flat +10 to Force. It also gets rid of that pesky 100% reduction to healing received/done that comes with Force Cloak.
    Deceptive Power 1/1 - Exactly the same as Rogues' Vigor. Just increases max Force to 110. Nothing insane, I just needed to get to the next tier.

    Tier 4
    Saber Conduit 3/3 - Your Surging Charge has a 100% chance to restore 10 Force when it damages an enemy. Any form of regeneration is always good especially when it comes from us attacking.
    Fade 2/2 - Lowers the cooldowns of Blackout and Force Cloak by 15 and 60 seconds respectively. More Blackouts means more regens and the drop in Force Cloak is icing on the cake.

    Tier 5
    Resourcefulness 2/2 - Reduces the cost of Lacerate by 10 and drops Overcharge Saber's cooldown by 30 seconds. More AoE attacks as well as being able to use one of your cooldowns more.
    Static Charges 2/2 - When Surging Charge deals damage you have a 100% chance to add a static charge. Each static charge increases your next Surging Discharge by 6%. This will stack up to 5 times for a total of a 30% damage increase.
    Low Slash 1/1 - See abilities description. I picked this up because you need it to get Voltaic Slash.

    Tier 6
    Crackling Blasts 5/5 - Critical strike damage of your Discharges and Shocks is increased by 50%. Obviously critting often is going to be key to this class.

    Tier 7
    Voltaic Slash 1/1 - As I mentioned above, this will replace Thrash which is awesome because it's like Thrash's mutated (for the better) sibling. And it has a sick animation to boot.

    In my opinion, picking talents in the Deception tree is not that difficult. It's where you put those other 10 points that seem to be the points of debate and it is my hope that I can spark something here. I use both the Darkness and Madness to complement my Deception spec.

    Darkness Tree
    Tier 1
    Thrashing Blades 2/2 - Increases damage dealt by Voltaic Slash, Thrash, and Lacerate by 6% (a no-brainer, in my opinion)
    Charge Mastery 3/3 - For the purposes of our spec this will give us a 9% armour penetration to all of our attacks. I feel like these passive damage talents are going to eliminate some of the RNG that I see some other players taking from talents.

    Tier 2
    Electric Execution 2/3 - Increases damage dealt by your saber charges by 6% (9% if fully talented). I will be raising a point of contention shortly with the next tree.

    OR

    Deception
    Entropic Field 2/2 - Reduces damage taken from area effects by 15/30%. These last two points are really up to you. My reasoning for EE was 6% damage from a proc (Surging) is still 6% more than someone else. However, if it turns out that there is a lot of splash AoE damage in Operations then it would probably be better to take EF.

    Madness Tree
    Tier 1
    Exploitive Strikes 3/3 - Critical hits by Force attacks (i.e. Discharge or Shock) will increase your melee critical chance by 9% for 10 seconds. Now here is the issue I posit to you all. Is that worth it? If you can load up on crit then I can see this being fantastic. Does it outweigh the potential to do more damage overall than, say, the full 9% damage from your charges? I have not determined yet. I only picked this up and maxed it because more Maul crits are better and since you're already buffing it through Induction, I felt this was more necessary. That, and using Recklessness will aid in getting the melee crit buff.

    Now I was in a discussion, as I've mentioned several times already, about the viability of Chain Shock which is, in essence, a Shaman's Lightning Overload only with Shock. Each Shock has a 45% chance to trigger a free Shock of 50% the damage. Sounds great, right? Now, I'm gonna play a little bit of devil's advocate and ask, what are you giving up to get that talent 3/3? To me, it's too much. I'm losing 6% charge damage and 9% ArP to gain...2% damage reduction from Sith Defiance and, what I see as more randomness than I want, a talent that could be great 45% of the time.

    Chain Shock Spec



    http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#200MZhGMRkhMrtzZf0c.1

    More testing is being done, however, on targets that have low armour, it is very likely that the Chain Shock spec (2/31/8) will pull ahead. Essentially, what you do is pick up Sith Defiance and then max out Chain Shock instead of taking Charge Mastery and wherever you wanted those extra two points. This is where I curse Bioware and their lack of a combat log.


    As always, weigh in here because I'd love to hear thoughts on this. To me, more consistent damage sources make things better.


    Rotation:

    This is still a work-in-progress, but I feel I have looked at enough of the abilities to have some semblance of what ought to be done. I'm still looking for a suitable stealth opener. Currently, I am using Discharge because Maul costs too much without EW buff up. It's also possible you could just open up with VS and go from there. My goal is to use Saber Strike as little as possible, so use Blackout if you feel you're running dry on Force.

    Here's how I have been doing things or would do things at higher levels things:
    Discharge --> Voltaic Slash x2 --> Shock

    Essentially what the rotation/priority becomes is Voltaic Slash twice and then shock. You now have 6 seconds to fill in with other abilities. You will Maul when you have EW up and never any time else (usually after the above it will be up). Discharge because of the internal damage and its buff from Recklessness should be used on cooldown. Below 30%, you will add Assassinate to list of things to do since it hits like a truck...or speeder...or Imperial Walker.

    Basically, don't shock unless you've VS'd twice. Don't Maul unless you have EW up. Discharge on CD. Saber Strike in between to regen or if you're getting too low on Force and want to fill in GCDs.

    Maul normally does not do enough damage per Force and thus should only be used when Exploit Weakness is up. A typical Voltaic Slash/Thrash + Shock is normally going to be better.

    In a nutshell it should be something like this:
    0. Saber Strike (Out of Force)
    1. Assassinate (Target at <30% health)
    2. Maul (Exploit Weakness buff about to expire, behind target)
    3. Discharge (Every Cooldown) **Up for debate**
    4. Shock (2x Induction buff... so near basically every CD)
    5. Maul (Exploit Weakness just proc'd)
    6. Voltaic Slash or Thrash

    This of course is after you get the ball rolling with your first Induction stacks. This just shows, once that ball IS rolling, how to prioritize your attacks.

    AoE Packs: I just Discharge all over them and then you would Lacerate that all day. On large groups of high HP mobs, throw up Blackout for extended Dark Embrace followed by a Force Cloak and more Lacerates. As deception, it's really your only AoE but you can spam it if cooldowns are used properly. Only Lacerate with 3+ targets around.


    What Stats?

    Here's a great site that outlines all the stats and what they improve! Great for ANY character you level!
    http://swtorstrategyguide.org/swtor-...s/#power-stats

    New information has been discovered and here is what seems to be a consensus among the general public. You will opt for Power over Force Power as you use both Force and melee. Critical rating is also what you want to strive for since many of your abilities (through talents) have their critical damage already bumped up. As with WoW the higher your level gets the more you need to gain 1% of crit. My guess is once diminishing returns kick in, that is when surge rating becomes a bit more attractive.

    Aside from those two Accuracy Rating has now entered a lot of the discussions. There is some discussion going on stating that bosses apparently have 10% defense. This would require you to get your accuracy up to 110% to eliminate the resists you would get. After that it is believed to continue to take Critical Rating (+30% untalented potential soft cap) and Power wherever you can get them and Surge Rating. I also found out that Surge Rating diminishing returns is unaffected by outside influences like Crackling Blasts. This potentially makes Surge an attractive stat as well.

    This is possibly what we are looking at in terms of stat priority:
    Accuracy (to 110%)> Crit (until approx 30% untalented) > Power > Surge
    It is possible that Power and Surge could switch, but I'm inclined to think that since Power benefits everything, it stays there.


    Companions
    As you get higher in level, you'll gain more and more companions in your quest to basically tell everyone, "I really am the best." Reflecting on the companions you get, it's quite a ragtag group of people/aliens and I wouldn't have it any other way. They really do complement each other in the story and Bioware did a great job with them.

    Korriban - Khem Val. You get him at the end of your class quest on Korriban. He's big on consuming things and destroying them, but, be forewarned, not every DS choice will gain affection with him as being honourable is also important to him.
    Tatooine - Andronikos Revel. You pick him up in the middle of your questing on Tatooine. He's a pirate who's rough around the edges. Sporting dual blasters, he becomes your first, legit DPS companion. He also likes being tough and hates sissies.
    Taris - Ashara Zavros. Our only female companion is a Jedi Sentinel. She's another DPS companion and one I used more often than that smelly pirate. She's also very Light Side oriented so if you plan on being a dick, don't have her around. Win her affection like you would any other female and shower her with gifts (I kid, I kid).
    Hoth - Talos Drellik. A quirky man whom you meet whilst exploring tombs on Hoth. Finally, we get our healer. He can help in a pinch with group quests. He loves exploring and discovering new archaeological artifacts.
    Korriban - Xalek. Just pure badass. He is an Assassin tank and speaks very little as he likes to do the talking with his lightsaber. He's like Khem and prefers fights and all that Sith Code stuff. Oh, and he is our new apprentice.


    Frequently Asked Questions
    Q:Should I pick an Assassin or a Sorceror?
    A: That depends on if you want to cast/heal or melee/tank. I prefer the melee aspects in MMOs so that's why I went Assassin.

    Q: What is the main stat of the Assassin?
    A: As with all Inquisitors, our main stat is Willpower since, as an Assassin, it increases both Force and melee damage.

    Q: What secondary stat is the best for Deception Assassin?
    A: Simply put, Critical Rating. As I stated above (Even though most people don't read 75% of this) while Surge Rating - the one that increases actual crit damage - sounds tempting, we have talents that already increase that from 50% baseline. We want to crit more to proc buffs and whatnot. That said, Surge is not terrible and I am not forbidding anyone from taking it. Just know that Critical rating is where it's at.

    Q: Is it easy to level as an Assassin?

    A: Depends on your definition of "easy." Sorcerers get heals and ranged attacks. If you're having trouble with mobs, I might suggest speccing into Darkness and using a DPS or healing companion. I have not run into any problems, though, in PvP I do feel very much like a glass cannon unless I get heals and am guarded by a tank.


    Q: How on earth do I complete "that" encounter at the end of Act I?

    A: I'm assuming if you've uncovered this part you're okay with spoiling the story. Darth Zash is a bitch and a half as an Assassin. This is because Khem isn't entirely the smartest tank in the world (hooray for standing in lightning storms!) and it becomes exceedingly difficult to damage her if you miss an interrupt. After, I think, 4 tries I decided to have no tank. Switch Khem to DPS stance and have some medpacs ready (Channel the Force doesn't hurt either). Make sure you interrupt her lightning storm, her whirlwind and her other lightning attack. You have Electrocute, Low Slash (hopefully), and Jolt. Stagger those and don't worry about her little heal, you can outdamage it. Just keep the DPS pumping, use your cooldowns early. If she focuses you, use Deflection. I beat her the second I changed Khem's stance - with health to spare on both of us, I might add. Now, sit back and enjoy the cinematic finale of Act I!


    Q: How do you get the "Darth" title?

    A: At the end of your story, after you have defeated Thanaton (again) in front of the Dark council, Darth Marr will give you a Darth title depending on your alignment. I got Darth Nox (which was crazy because my character's name is Nox'atra) with DS alignment. The other two are Neutral/Occulus and LS/Imperious. Hope you enjoyed the story!

    Q: How do I beat <insert elite NPC here>?
    A: I'm talking about the Class story ones that can be challenging. Now, admittedly, Assassins (especially Deception) do have a rougher time dealing with elites than say Tank specced or Sorcerers. However, with careful use of CC and proper companion choice you can kill them easily. The way I dealt with these nuisances was to use Khem (sometimes tank, sometimes dps) and rotate taunts with him while using my stuns to interrupt. It also helps to use Channel the Force for the extra stun and to give Khem some time to regen a bit while you tank. That said, fighting Thanaton at the end is a pain in the ass for two melee, so I swapped him out and brought my good buddy, Talos. When Thanaton does is lightning immune channel just make sure not to stand near Talos otherwise you'll have to put him on passive to follow you. Never went below 50%.

    This guide will be an on-going project. This is the first MMO that I have been in since launch (technically before hehe EGA ftw!) and thought it would be nice if I actually helped out around the community. That said, I'm going to devote some of my free time to updating this as more information is gathered, discussions had, Jedi slain, galaxies conquered etc. Look for updates on gear to be had including a BiS list and all that good stuff.


    Resources
    The Sith Assassin's Codex a fantastic guide. Much better than mine and where a lot of the discussions take place and where I get a large part of my information.

    Power Stats Linked again so that people can skim and find the website. Details all of the stats and what they increase.

    TORhead the SWTOR version of WoWhead. A great place to look up abilities, quests, talent calculators, etc.

    Constructive criticism is always welcome and any discussions to be had would be spectacular. Don't be a knob and say "lol ur guide is teh Suxz0Rz!" At least tell me, in regular English, why it "Suxz0Rz." Also tell me about spelling errors. As an English major I never re-read my essays prior to handing them in and I've barely skimmed over this .

    Enjoy the read.
    Last edited by Jaronicity; 2012-01-25 at 01:40 AM.

  2. #2
    This is a nice starter guide for the assassin, certainly covers most of the points new players should know about.

    I've found there's a nice synergy with the talents when rotated correctly, what I normally do is use recklessness to get the crit buff on my initial discharge which then gives me a further 9% crit from Exploitative strikes, 2 x voltaic strikes and then a shock to use the second charge of recklessness and to keep the 9% buff running. I try and keep the 9% for my next shock or discharge so increase the chance of critting again and continuing the exploitative strikes buff running.

    With regards to Maul, it's really our main ability and we should be using it as much as possible. I normally maul whenever duplicity procs because for 25 force the damage it does is amazing, i'll also use it if the mob is on lowish health and it's not worth going through the 2 x vs then shock rotation. I've found that with the force regen buff when you first leave stealth you can get away with using 2 full cost mauls without it effecting your rotation too much overall.

    I've been searching loads recently looking for some input on the secondary stats to see which would be best for the assassin. Considering the massive hype and sales of this game I'm incredibly disappointed with the lack of information available, no where can I find a decent discussion on whether we should be stacking crit / surge / power / alacrity / whatever else with our enhancement slots. I'm imagining we want to stack crit and surge but that's based on similar classes in other games rather than anything else.

    If anyone knows of any websites where you can preview the models of the available lightsabers / armour sets please let me know because torhead, r2-db and the rest of them are pretty bad at the moment. Quite annoyed that you can't preview the weapons in game really.

    All I want is a plain black robe with a hood! I can't even find a site with pictures of the available speeders, really disappointed by this

  3. #3
    Thank you so much for posting this, i just created a Inquisitor last night and was going into the assassin AC so this will be really helpful!

  4. #4
    I'm level 42 and still I found this helpufull, thanks

  5. #5
    Great guide.
    I recently created an assassin alt I plan on leveling from time to time and this helped clear things up for me.

  6. #6
    Bloodsail Admiral Jaronicity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snave View Post
    This is a nice starter guide for the assassin, certainly covers most of the points new players should know about.

    I've found there's a nice synergy with the talents when rotated correctly, what I normally do is use recklessness to get the crit buff on my initial discharge which then gives me a further 9% crit from Exploitative strikes, 2 x voltaic strikes and then a shock to use the second charge of recklessness and to keep the 9% buff running. I try and keep the 9% for my next shock or discharge so increase the chance of critting again and continuing the exploitative strikes buff running.

    With regards to Maul, it's really our main ability and we should be using it as much as possible. I normally maul whenever duplicity procs because for 25 force the damage it does is amazing, i'll also use it if the mob is on lowish health and it's not worth going through the 2 x vs then shock rotation. I've found that with the force regen buff when you first leave stealth you can get away with using 2 full cost mauls without it effecting your rotation too much overall.

    I've been searching loads recently looking for some input on the secondary stats to see which would be best for the assassin. Considering the massive hype and sales of this game I'm incredibly disappointed with the lack of information available, no where can I find a decent discussion on whether we should be stacking crit / surge / power / alacrity / whatever else with our enhancement slots. I'm imagining we want to stack crit and surge but that's based on similar classes in other games rather than anything else.

    If anyone knows of any websites where you can preview the models of the available lightsabers / armour sets please let me know because torhead, r2-db and the rest of them are pretty bad at the moment. Quite annoyed that you can't preview the weapons in game really.

    All I want is a plain black robe with a hood! I can't even find a site with pictures of the available speeders, really disappointed by this
    I don't know if I would qualify Maul as our main ability (I'd say VS would be). I certainly don't use it willy-nilly because of its high Force cost. I used to Maul right out of the gate and I can't say that I had much left after to really do anything. Like I say in the guide, you're going to use it when Duplicity procs. If a mob is low on health (and you still have more to kill) you might as well just Saber Strike and build up some Force for the next target.

    As for stats, I have an inkling that crit or surge is what we will go after. So much of an Assassin's power comes from critting hard and critting often. Though, that all remains to be seen and is going to tough to determine without combat logs and all the stuff we are accustomed to. I have a website that I probably should have added in the OP - and will do so when I am finished replying here.

    Thanks for the replies everyone! Really appreciate it!

  7. #7
    Interesting guide, especially because I just started on a new server (finally agreed with all friends to get on ONE server ) as a Sith Assassin. Can you give me a hint why you think that the Deception tree is the best available? And how about leveling, I read that Madness is a good tree to choose because of all the decreasing abilities?!

  8. #8
    Nice guide, but force lightning isn't 'just a sorc attack'. You'll find darkness assassins using this on cooldown as it regenerates 9% of their health after they've built up a certain number of buffs on themselves.
    WoW PvP; Where DPS are healers, tanks are DPS, and healers are tanks!

    RETH RETH RETH!

  9. #9
    Bloodsail Admiral Jaronicity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dundebuns View Post
    Nice guide, but force lightning isn't 'just a sorc attack'. You'll find darkness assassins using this on cooldown as it regenerates 9% of their health after they've built up a certain number of buffs on themselves.
    If this was a Darkness guide that's probably something I would not have overlooked , but I changed it anyway .

  10. #10
    nice guide although the title...

    anyway hoping to see more of these types of posts

    nice work
    Mannoroth nodded. "The warrior shows much promise... I would see more of his kind, learn their potential..." WoTA

    gee thx Brox...

  11. #11
    Bloodsail Admiral Jaronicity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triklops View Post
    Interesting guide, especially because I just started on a new server (finally agreed with all friends to get on ONE server ) as a Sith Assassin. Can you give me a hint why you think that the Deception tree is the best available? And how about leveling, I read that Madness is a good tree to choose because of all the decreasing abilities?!
    I don't think I said it was the best tree available :P, but I went with it because I thought it seemed more melee-oriented like my old WoW rogue. Madness has more AoE at it's disposal. It really comes down to what kind of playstyle you want. People are saying Madness is some what of a short-ranged caster (due to abilities like Crushing Darkness and Lightning Discharge). I like to be right up in the action so that's why I went Deception. I have heard as well that it takes a bit of time for the Madness tree to come into its own (say level 20 or so) but that's when it really starts to shine. AoEing mobs down appears to be the thing for the Madness tree. So, if that's your thing then go with it.

    ---------- Post added 2011-12-29 at 09:43 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by sleekit View Post
    nice guide although the title...

    anyway hoping to see more of these types of posts

    nice work
    :P had to look up what a precis was, eh? Guide was too bland imo and I saw two "compendiums" already and I thought I would be exotic.
    Last edited by Jaronicity; 2011-12-29 at 08:41 PM.

  12. #12
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    From what I've gathered the priority pretty much looks like this, based on most damage per ability:

    1. Assassinate
    2. Discharge (5 static charges)
    3. Maul if proc very close to running out
    4. Shock (2 charges)
    5. Maul on proc
    6. Voltaic Slash (not 2 stacks)
    7. Saber Strike

    That should be max DPS. You never want to use Voltaic Slash above 2 stacks even if you can, you're much better off saving that Force with a Saber Strike when you wait for your Shock to come off cooldown (Normally only 1 gcd). You also never want to use Discharge without 5 stacks, because it doesn't do very good damage. Use the Force elsewhere.
    Last edited by Khanjin; 2012-01-01 at 05:08 PM.

  13. #13
    Has anyone discovered the importance of the secondary stats yet?

    Should I be taking my accuracy to any particular % or just try to stack crit / surge? I must admit in the absence of a combat log / damage meter I'm struggling to get the most out of my play style.

  14. #14
    The Lightbringer Firebane's Avatar
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    I have just dinged lvl 10 on my Inquisitor alt, and am now pausing to reflect on which spec to choose.

    Is there a clear winner between Sorceror and Assassin ? I'm still leaning towards Assa since I don't like the fact that my lightsaber would just be a statstick otherwise.
    How decent is Assa for levelling and flashpoints while levelling ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Boubouille View Post
    I'm just being a smart ass at this point.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebane View Post
    I have just dinged lvl 10 on my Inquisitor alt, and am now pausing to reflect on which spec to choose.

    Is there a clear winner between Sorceror and Assassin ? I'm still leaning towards Assa since I don't like the fact that my lightsaber would just be a statstick otherwise.
    How decent is Assa for levelling and flashpoints while levelling ?
    Assassin is quite brutal for leveling, to be honest. Sorcerer with Khem is much easier. However, I think assassin is a lot more fun in Warzones and mechanics in general. I like melee more. They probably do about the same DPS, but Sorcerer just has an easier time leveling since they can heal and kite as well as get out of mobs AoE. I wouldn't worry about leveling though, if you're thinking about your main. You will play a lot at level cap, that's what you really should be thinking about. Also, think about if you want tanking as an offspec or healing as an offspec for the future. You might want to switch it up at some point.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Snave View Post
    Has anyone discovered the importance of the secondary stats yet?

    Should I be taking my accuracy to any particular % or just try to stack crit / surge? I must admit in the absence of a combat log / damage meter I'm struggling to get the most out of my play style.
    Special attacks don't miss and as an Assassin you should be using them pretty much all of the time.

    Willpower > Crit > Surge > Power

    The Spec the OP posted is more of a General PvP spec as well, for some reason taking Electric Execution? For a PvE Deception spec you're going to want to go with a 2/31/8, similar to this: http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#200MZhGMRkhMrtzZf0c.1 as you're using Voltaic Slash to 2 charges and using Shock, in between 5 static charge Discharges, Maul when you have Exploit Weakness etc. VS/Shock are your highest damage contributor as Deception, even though Maul and Discharge are like "WHOA HUGE NUMBERS!" their Force cost and cooldowns lower their effectiveness.
    Last edited by Tradewind; 2012-01-01 at 09:13 PM.

  17. #17
    Bloodsail Admiral Jaronicity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TradewindNQ View Post
    Special attacks don't miss and as an Assassin you should be using them pretty much all of the time.

    Willpower > Crit > Surge > Power

    The Spec the OP posted is more of a General PvP spec as well, for some reason taking Electric Execution? For a PvE Deception spec you're going to want to go with a 2/31/8, similar to this: http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#200MZhGMRkhMrtzZf0c.1 as you're using Voltaic Slash to 2 charges and using Shock, in between 5 static charge Discharges, Maul when you have Exploit Weakness etc. VS/Shock are your highest damage contributor as Deception, even though Maul and Discharge are like "WHOA HUGE NUMBERS!" their Force cost and cooldowns lower their effectiveness.
    It is very general, but extra damage from anywhere is good. The Chain Shock spec (which I will add to the guide) is not THE spec and the one I linked has been coined as the Armour pen spec. I have noticed a lot of talk about the CS spec and it is possible that it will pass the ArP one on targets with lower armour. There just hasn't been enough testing to determine how much armour targets have - word on the street is less than ~20% armour it could pull ahead). Those 2 points in EE could go anywhere really. If you want more survivability throw them in Entropic Field for 30% damage from AoEs. I didn't really take one key PvP skill. This just happens to work well in both.

    ---------- Post added 2012-01-02 at 11:21 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Khanjin View Post
    Assassin is quite brutal for leveling, to be honest. Sorcerer with Khem is much easier. However, I think assassin is a lot more fun in Warzones and mechanics in general. I like melee more. They probably do about the same DPS, but Sorcerer just has an easier time leveling since they can heal and kite as well as get out of mobs AoE. I wouldn't worry about leveling though, if you're thinking about your main. You will play a lot at level cap, that's what you really should be thinking about. Also, think about if you want tanking as an offspec or healing as an offspec for the future. You might want to switch it up at some point.
    I have not had that many problems leveling, but I can see how the Sorc would be great with the healing. PvP is great on the Assassin and tanking is something I figured I would want to try down the road.

    ---------- Post added 2012-01-02 at 11:50 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Khanjin View Post
    From what I've gathered the priority pretty much looks like this, based on most damage per ability:

    1. Assassinate
    2. Discharge (5 static charges)
    3. Maul if proc very close to running out
    4. Shock (2 charges)
    5. Maul on proc
    6. Voltaic Slash (not 2 stacks)
    7. Saber Strike

    That should be max DPS. You never want to use Voltaic Slash above 2 stacks even if you can, you're much better off saving that Force with a Saber Strike when you wait for your Shock to come off cooldown (Normally only 1 gcd). You also never want to use Discharge without 5 stacks, because it doesn't do very good damage. Use the Force elsewhere.
    I don't know if that is entirely true, I have not yet experienced the Static Charge yet, but talking to other Assassins they say it takes a long time to build up 5 charges and my impression thus far is to use Discharge on CD (12-15 seconds) unless you are one stack away. I'm not saying you're wrong. I just want to bring these issues up. It's also important to note that, while it's damage is low when standing next to Shock, Discharge does deal internal damage in addition to gaining +50% increased critical damage from Crackling Blasts. If you can use Recklessness with it.

    It's good we're bringing these issues to the table though .

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaronicity View Post
    I don't know if that is entirely true, I have not yet experienced the Static Charge yet, but talking to other Assassins they say it takes a long time to build up 5 charges and my impression thus far is to use Discharge on CD (12-15 seconds) unless you are one stack away. I'm not saying you're wrong. I just want to bring these issues up. It's also important to note that, while it's damage is low when standing next to Shock, Discharge does deal internal damage in addition to gaining +50% increased critical damage from Crackling Blasts. If you can use Recklessness with it.

    It's good we're bringing these issues to the table though .
    Of course that's subject for number crunching. I'm only 36 at the moment and talking from experience without fully specced out Crackling Blasts. The problem with using Discharge on cooldown is that you most certainly delay Shock more, you will be Force starved either way, but delaying a fully charged Shock for a non-charged Discharge looks, to me from my limited experience, like a loss of dps. Again, need number crunching.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaronicity View Post
    It is very general, but extra damage from anywhere is good. The Chain Shock spec (which I will add to the guide) is not THE spec and the one I linked has been coined as the Armour pen spec. I have noticed a lot of talk about the CS spec and it is possible that it will pass the ArP one on targets with lower armour. There just hasn't been enough testing to determine how much armour targets have - word on the street is less than ~20% armour it could pull ahead). Those 2 points in EE could go anywhere really. If you want more survivability throw them in Entropic Field for 30% damage from AoEs. I didn't really take one key PvP skill. This just happens to work well in both.
    Any speculation as to the "effectiveness" of a spec right now is exactly that, speculation. Since we have no idea on damage numbers :\ Which kind of sucks, but in a way just lets people choose which feels right. As for deception yeah you're right there's really just the AP or CS spec for PvE. Personally I've been spending more time PvP'ing.

    Something to keep in mind with the AP spec, a good chunk of our damage is Internal (Shock/Discharge), which already ignores armour.
    Last edited by Tradewind; 2012-01-02 at 07:54 PM.

  20. #20
    Bloodsail Admiral Jaronicity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khanjin View Post
    Of course that's subject for number crunching. I'm only 36 at the moment and talking from experience without fully specced out Crackling Blasts. The problem with using Discharge on cooldown is that you most certainly delay Shock more, you will be Force starved either way, but delaying a fully charged Shock for a non-charged Discharge looks, to me from my limited experience, like a loss of dps. Again, need number crunching.
    The more I think about it, the more I think it actually might be more akin to Enhance Shamans and their Maelstrom weapon procs. That said, I've come across enough situations where I have no Maul proc, Shock is still on cd with 2 stacks of Induction and nothing to do hence my use of Discharge regardless of stacks. Of course, I could always Saber Strike but that hits like a wet noodle in comparison. It's also possible that the stacks are sort of an "icing-on-the-cake" deal wherein anything you have to buff Discharge is viewed as good and should be used as such. I understand the problem with delaying Shock - in which case, using Discharge anywhere from 12-15 seconds is acceptable - but I just haven't found it to be that problematic.

    This is the fun of a new game coming out and people only having some semblance of what to do .

    ---------- Post added 2012-01-04 at 12:14 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by TradewindNQ View Post
    Any speculation as to the "effectiveness" of a spec right now is exactly that, speculation. Since we have no idea on damage numbers :\ Which kind of sucks, but in a way just lets people choose which feels right. As for deception yeah you're right there's really just the AP or CS spec for PvE. Personally I've been spending more time PvP'ing.

    Something to keep in mind with the AP spec, a good chunk of our damage is Internal (Shock/Discharge), which already ignores armour.
    That is probably my biggest problem right now. I see numbers go up and fly across the screen and I remember big crits (had a 1337 Maul earlier today ) but I can't go back and say "Oh, my abilities are doing this much damage right now. What happens if I change things up a bit?" Speculation is fun, but can only get us so far. I think, for the time being, these slight variations will be acceptable and, for now, is mostly the purpose of this guide. People who have not played an MMO or have no clue about an Assassin (or Shadow) will have a much better grasp starting off than someone who just jumps in and does whatever they want.

    Yeah, I realize that some of our attacks inherently do ignore armour, but Maul's that are ignoring 50% already can hit even harder. Even still, it'll be like beating a dead horse until more concrete information can be had.

    On a side note, what are your experiences in PvP so far? Are you PvPing as Deception? I find that I am so squishy it brings me back to my Rogue days when they were pure glass cannons. I do love being guarded though and healed, but I find a severe lack of healers sometimes.

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