PVE Powertech / Vanguard DPS Guide
Table of Contents: 1) Heat / Ammo 2) Cylinders 3) Specs 4) Use of Cooldowns 5) Gear Thanks
This guide will be all about how to maximize DPS. I will dive into advanced protype as well as pyrotech, but before we get into the optimization of your role as single target dps, I want to ensure that everybody has atleast a small understanding about the basic resource mechanics.
Please note that I have only been an Imperial and will be happy about any hint towards mistakes I did to translate the corresponding talents and abilities.
1. Heat / Ammo
Bounty Hunters and Troopers share a similar resource mechanic, with a few key differences. Heat, which is specific to Bounty Hunters, starts at 0 and ranges up to 100. Using abilities generates a certain amount of heat, which is then dissipated passively, with talented procs, or manually using certain abilities. In this sytem, you are unable to activate an ability that would push your heat above 100. Our main source of resource regeneration is passive dissipation, which works on a tiered system; the less heat you have the quicker you’ll dissipate, as noted in the chart below. Heat regenerates one tick every second.
Current Heat Level Dissipation per second 0-39 5 40-79 3 80-100 2
Troopers, on the other hand, use Ammo. Ammo functions nearly identical to Heat, except it’s inverted. Instead of starting at 0 Ammo, Troopers start with 12 Ammo, which is then consumed by attacks. For all intents and purposes, 1 Ammo is equal to about 8 Heat, and regenerates at the same rates as Bounty Hunters. With this in mind, Trooper Ammo regeneration can be represented as:
Current Ammo Level Regeneration per second 12-7.2 0.625 7.2-2.4 0.375 2.4-0 0.25
Resource regeneration for Powertechs and Vanguards follow these rates at all times, in and out of combat. The passive regeneration rates shown are not affected by any talents or skills, and cannot be slowed or stopped by any external force. Any additional Heat/Ammo regeneration seen in talent trees is added to these numbers.
Using this model for our resources means that we want to always maintain under 40 Heat or over 7.2 Ammo in order to maximize regeneration. This is best done by setting a Heat/Ammo Limit that, once crossed, means you will no longer use any attack that costs resources. The generally accepted Heat/Ammo Limit is 20-25 Heat/2.5-3 Ammo. If you cross this threshold, do not spend any more resources!
One thing to note, however, is the ability Vent Heat / Recharge Cells, which regenerates half of your resources over a 3 second interval. With a cooldown of 120 seconds, this skill is more of a DPS cooldown than a real resource management tool. The regeneration effect granted is in addition to passive regeneration.
2. Cylinders / Cells
Powertechs/Vanguards come equipped with cylinders and cells respectively, acting as self-buff “stances” seen in other MMOs and granting effects based on which buff is currently active. These buffs are:
- Combustible Gas Cylinder / Plasma Cell – Grants a chance for ranged attacks to proc a powerful DoT on the target
- High Energy Gas Cylinder / High Energy Cell – Improves internal/elemental damage done.
- Ion Gas Cylinder / Ion Cell – Tanking cylinder which improves defensive stats and adds a chance for a small shock effect to ranged attacks.
In the current design, each talent tree focuses on a single cylinder to do it’s damage: Ion Gas for Shield Tech/Specialist, High Energy for Advanced Prototype/Tactics, and Combustible Gas for Pyrotech/Assault Specialist. Due to this design, and the fact that changing buffs requires a 1.5 second cast, it is not necessary or viable to ever swap cylinders.
3a. Advanced Prototyp / Tactics
This Spec is all about you, your Flame Thrower/Pulse Cannon and 12 seconds to make it strong. This spec is heat/ammo-wise the most forgiving of both skilltrees, because of the high amount of passive resource regeneration provided by Prototype Cylinder Ventilation/Cell Generator. There is only one widely-accepted spec for AP/Tac characters to use with 3 points to juggle between some utility:
Bounty Hunter: http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/p...i-9d7fe82292-c
Three points can be shifted around between Stabilized Armor/Shock Absorbers, Power Armor and Hitman/Frontline Defense and Hamstring.
With the patch 1.4 following talents got changed:
- Prototype Flame Thrower/Pulse Generator: Each stack now causes 20% additional damage. This can stack up to 3 times.
- Stabilized Armor/Shock Absorbers now additionally reduces damage taken from area effects by 15% per point. Damage reduction while stunned has been increased to 15% per point.
The self-buff you’ll use in this spec is High Energy Gas Cylinder/High Energy Cell. By default you’ll gain +5% Internal/Elemental damage dealt, and when properly specced you’ll activate Prototype Cylinder Ventilation/Cell Generator, an additional 3% dmg on top of a constant resource regeneration buff (a key factor to the spec).
1) Flame Thrower Pulse Cannon (buffed) 2) Rail Shot High Impact Bolt (procced) 3) Retractable Blade Gut (DoT refresh after the last tick) 4) Rocket Punch Stockstrike (procced) 5) Immolate Fire Pulse 6) Rocket Punch Stockstrike 7) Rail Shot High Impact Bolt 8) Flame Burst Ions Pulse 9) Rapid Shots Hammer Shot
Why did I mention 12 seconds? Easily because thats the CD of your Flame Thrower/Pulse Cannon. This tree is completely based around this ability. With Patch 1.4, this spec got simplified. Before the goal was to stack the buff through Prototype Flame Thrower/Pulse Generator five times in 12 seconds without getting too much heat. After the latest Patch you will only need 3 Attack to ensure that your next Flame Thrower/Pulse Cannon will do the maximum damage. Thats a huge buff, because you will need fewer attacks and can control your heat/ammo a lot better.
It all comes down to always using the triple buffed Flame Thrower/Pulse Cannon, use procced abilities over the DoT and Immolate, blow out the other CD's you have and fill holes with Flame Burst. Control your Heat with Rapid Shots/Hammer Shot if necessary.
As always, stats weights revolve around your current gear set. Depending on your current rating, you might see different results than someone else. The following statement is focused on high end build with the latest avaiable gear.
3a) Accuracy - 200-285 rating
Crit and Surge are somewhat difficult to place in. First, all enhancements have a lvl 1 stat (power or crit) and a lvl 2 stat (accuracy, surge, alacrity). Because Powertechs/Vanguards have no need for alacrity, your surge rating will automatically rise after you hit your preferred accuracy rating. Accuracy only effects Rail Shot/High Impact Bolt and Rapid Shots/Hammer Shot. Crit% from Crit Rating has a nasty diminishing return rate, also each crit rating will cost you power in the same slot. After all, you will want to get about 250 rating before diminishing returns pushes power above it.
In Short: Use Aim augmentations, in Long: Augmentation Slots on your gear have no value restriction, theoretically you can use each stat you want. After all, you will get enough acc and crit from your already obtained gear that you only want to improve your damage output thus it comes down to Aim vs. Power. Power scales linear with about 0.23 dmg per rating. Aim scales lower in direct dmg, but gives you +crit in a lower manner as direct crit rating. But this +crit does't follow diminishing returns and strengthens the relative value for aim. The key factor to flip the balance in favor for aim is the talent Steely Resolve (increase your Aim amount by an additional 9%).
NOTES ON THIS SPEC:
Resource management in AP/Tac is almost completely negligible. Due to the low cost of Immolate/Fire Pulse and the passive regen granted by Cylinder Ventilation/Cell Generator, you can go an extremely long time without ever having to fire your basic attack. AP/Tac is the “easier” of the two specs, but has much steadier DPS and is nowhere near as proc-reliant. If you find yourself overheating constantly as a Pyro/Assault or want a more reliable output, definitely go with this spec. Only flaw is the channeling of Flame Thrower/Pulse Cannon which never should be canceled by moving.
3b. Pyrotech / Assault
This Spec does focus on DoT and high burst trough the possibility to reset the CD on Rail Shot/High Impact Bolt. Overall the heat/ammo management and attack priority needs more attention than AP/Tac. The highest possible dps build is sacrifices the 31 pts talent Thermal Detonator/Assault Plastique:
Bounty Hunter: http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/p...i-32-32ikdccif
There again can be 2 points shuffled between Infrared Sensors/Nightvision Scope , Sweltering Heat , Degauss and Integrated Cardio Package/Soldier's Endurance.
With the patch 1.4 following talents got changed:
- Sweltering Heat's snare has been reduced to 30%.
- Incendiary Missile's/Incendiary Round's range has been reduced to 10 meters.
- Thermal Detonator's/Assault Plastique's range has been reduced to 10 meters.
- Thermal Detonator's/Assault Plastique's and Explosive Dart/Sticky Grenade no longer chare cooldowns
Because Thermal Detonator's/Assault Plastique's range nerfed, there is no reason to spec 31 pts anymore into pyrotech/assault.
The self-buff used by this spec is Combustible Gas Cylinder/Plasma Cell, which has a chance to proc a heavy-hitting DoT effect that ends up doing about a quarter of our overall damage! Talented properly, Flame Burst/Ion Pulse will *always* proc this effect, and Rail Shot/High Impact Bolt will refresh it.
Also note, that only with this cylinder/cell activated your CD on Rail Shot/High Impact Bolt can be resetted.
1) Incendiary Missile Incendiary Round (DoT refresh after the last tick) 2) Rail Shot High Impact Bolt 3) Rocket Punch Stockstrike 4) Flame Burst Ions Pulse 5) Rapid Shots Hammer Shot
Overall it comes down to the above named priority list. But to give a perfect play, Pyrotech/Assault needs to monitor the Prototype Particle Accelerator/Ion Accelerator procs. This effect cannot occur more than every 6 seconds. When the last proc is more than 6 seconds ago, it is more beneficial to give Rocket Punch/Stockstrike and Flame Burst/Ions Pulse priority over Incendiary Missile/Incendiary Round.
When things are moving you can also encounter a moment where your last procs was even later and the cd on Rail Shot/High Impact Bolt is nearly over, it is benficial again to prio Incendiary Missile/Incendiary Round again if the DoT isn't up and maybe use 1 gcd for Rapid Shots/Hammer Shot. This way you will use a non procced Rail Shot/High Impact Bolt but have the chance to proc it immediately after with your next Rocket Punch/Stockstrike or Flame Burst/Ions Pulse.
And to shake things even more, when your target isn't fully armor debuffed Flame Burst/Ions Pulse does more damage than Rocket Punch/Stockstrike. Just look at the current amount of armor debuffs and shift the priority between this two. Without armor debuffs on the target, its better to use Rocket Punch/Stockstrike only to benefit of their higher PPA/IA procchance.
As always, stats weights revolve around your current gear set. Depending on your current rating, you might see different results than someone else. The following statement is focused on a high end build with the latest available gear.
2) 100%/110% Accuracy cap
All enhancements have a lvl 1 stat (power or crit) and a lvl 2 stat (accuracy, surge, alacrity). Because Powertechs have no need for alacrity, your surge rating will automatically rise after you the accuracy cap. Accuracy effect Rail Shot/High Impact Bolt and Rapid Shots/Hammer Shot, because the former named is your main damage ability, you'll need accuracy cap! You will want to get about 250 crit rating, before diminishing pushes power above.
In Short: Use Aim augmentations, in Long: Augmentation Slots on your gear have no value restriction, theoretically you can use each stat you want. After all, you will get enough Accuracy and Crit rating from your already obtained gear, that you only want to improve your damage output thus it comes down to Aim vs. Power. Power scales linear with about 0.23 dmg per rating. Aim scales lower in direct dmg, but gives you +crit in a lower manner as direct crit rating. But this +crit does't follow diminishing returns and strengthens the relative value for aim. The key factor to flip the balance in favor for aim is the talent Steely Resolve (increase your Aim amount by an additional 9%).
NOTES ON THIS SPEC:
As Pyrotech/Assault specced player you have a lower passive resource regeneration compared to a AP/Tac specced player and will have to always keep your heat in check. You will use Rapid Shots/Hammer Shot and Rail Shot/High Impact Bolt way more often. Because of this, Accuracy Rating is way more importend. This Spec shines through high burst possibilities, no movement restrictions and the possibility to perform 99% of your dmg still at 10m range (Yes, Rocket Punch/Stockstrike don't provide much more dps).
4. Use of Cooldowns
The following are DPS-enhancing cooldowns available to us:
- Explosive Fuel/Battle Focus
- Thermal Sensor Override/Reserve Powercell
- Vent Heat/Recharge Cells
Thermal Sensor Override/Reserve Powercell is best used for your high Heat/Cell consuming CDs from the spec of your choice. As AP/Tactics use it for Flame Thrower/Pulse Cannon and as Pyro/Assault use it for Incendiary Missile/Incendiary Round. This way your will always avoid 25 Heat/3 Ammo and can use more Flame Burst/Ion Pulse instead of Rapid Shots/Hammer Shot.
In order to achieve maximum usage, these abilities should be used in line with each other and adrenals or Bloodthirst/Inspiration whenever possible, and used immediately when available if no combinations are available. During a cooldown phase when you have one or more of these effects active, you’ll want to ignore your resource limit to quickly build up to a high Heat/low Ammo level, at which point use Vent Heat/Recharge Cells to return to normal resource levels and continue with your standard priority list. If Vent Heat/Recharge Cells is not available, do not be tempted to dip into the second tier of resource regeneration while your cooldowns are active… this will lead to an overall DPS loss!
There are two types of DPS-enhancing consumables available in the game right now.
Stims are the “flasks” of SWTOR – large stat boosts that last an hour or more, giving you a boost for entire Operations or Flashpoints. Buying stims is the single largest DPS boost you can get from a single item! The type of stims we use are Reflex stims, and give either Aim or both Aim and Power.
The best rank of stim available is the Exotech Reflex Stim (128 aim / 52 power - for 120 min).
If stims are flasks, then adrenals are potions. You can use one of these every 3 minutes for a temporary huge stat boost, best lined up with other cooldowns. There are 3 types of adrenals available: Attack (Power), Crit (Crit), and Force (Surge). If your critical multiplier is under 60%, definitely go with Force adrenals, otherwise stick with Attack. Remember, Power isn’t hit by diminishing returns, so you’ll benefit from every point.
The best rank of adrenal available is the Exotech Attack/Crit/Force Adrenal (535 rating - for 15 secs/3m CD). CD is shared with Medpacks.
This askmrrobot profile shows the Campaign BIS Pyro/Assault Gear. PVE Only is in the Gear Sheet, Total BIS with PVP relics is visible in the Wish List:
I will provide a updated 1.4 BIS in the next weeks.
You can try to maximize your character with the following simsheet: http://mmo-mechanics.com/swtor/forum...nt.php?aid=345
First off, a huge thank you to the entire community and people over in the Game Mechanics forum who provide us the basis for some serious theorycrafting. Also kray for his awesome work on the first simsheet and guide, kaedis for his global knowlegde, Safyra for naming things others didn't think about yet and Forsedar to check my bad english and grammar.