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Thread: Effective DPS in PvP (and rogues)

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    Default Effective DPS in PvP (and rogues)

    This thread is too long again, and you didn't read it. I'd like to talk about effective DPS in pvp situations, by which i mean the dps that callings are able to put out while running around after people, being randomly snared, stunned or mez'd, getting interupted or silenced, etc. And how it differs from dummy DPS. It's typical in MMOs for class mechanics to work in a way that, if left alone to do their thing, allows classes to be much more effective than they are in a pvp scenario where they are continually having to move or getting interupted, for example:

    - A typical caster class can be forced to move in pvp and may have to rely generally on instant cast abilities that are less damaging than their casts / may also get stunned silenced or interupted (Although Rift is light on interupts).

    - A typical ranger style class usually loses some amount of their damage when moving, for example they may lose their autoshot (and weapon enchant procs from it in Rift), they may also be unable to use harder hitting cast time abilities, in addition to stuns/mez/disarms.

    - Typical melee classes tend to lose the most dps in pvp scenarios as they also have the difficulty of staying in melee range on their target, in addition to mechanics like stacking damage dots/temporary damage boosts being less usable or unusable in situations where they are unable to continually melee their target. Plus CC and disarms.

    This all contributes towards DPS output for everyone being significantly weaker than it is on a dummy, but the amount of damage which is lost also differs with the indivudal mechanics of the classes, consider the following example:

    - Class 1 is a class with several big hitting abilities on cooldowns (say 8-10 seconds), and weak hitting 'filler' abilities used when their cooldowns are unavailable. They also have a resource system that refils over time regardless of what they are doing, and a large number of abilities that are off the Global cooldown that allow them to burn through this resource quickly if it pools up. They have finishers available after a short number of regular attacks have been used, which hit harder than their regular attacks, but not 3 times as hard, and their point system transfers across targets.

    - Class 2 is a class with a short GCD that relies on firing off a constant stream of weak attacks, and then deals a significant amount of their damage through finishers that require them to have landed a large number of weak attacks. They also have weapon enchantments and temporary damage boosts that make their auto attack deal plenty of damage through procs. They have a resource that also fills over time, but their abilities are cheap and their common builds lack attacks that are off the GCD, making it difficult for them to burn through the resource.

    Ok, so rogues and warriors then. Lets imagine that the above 2 theoretical classes deal the same amount of damage to a dummy (In reality, Class 1 deals more, but lets ignore that for now). What happens when you put them in a situation where they can only spend a portion of their time attacking a target, due to stuns, being out of range etc? Well, class 1 opens on a target with big hitting abilities that trigger cooldowns, they put out a fair bit of front loaded damage as a result of this, they then get snared, stunned or disabled in some way. While they are unable to attack, the cooldown on their heavy hitting abilities is running down, allowing them to hit hard again as soon as they are able to get back on their target. Since a significant amount of their damage comes from attack point builders, rather than just finishers, and their attack point builders are limited by energy and cooldowns, the effect of not attacking a target constantly is diminished - as their energy and cooldowns replenish while they are being CC'd or out of range.

    Class 2 opens on a target, and begins to build combo points, initially they can only attack with rapid weak attacks as they rely on finishers to deal a significant portion of their damage. They get disabled in some way - while disabled their energy refils, but as their attacks are all cheap and burning through a bar of energy takes some time, this offers them minimal advantage. They have a few abilities on short cooldowns, but they barely deal any more damage than their regular attacks. While disabled they get no closer to using their next finisher, and also lose the damage from their auto attack and weapon enchantment procs. In a dummy scenario procs from their auto attacks would be a significant amount of damage, but this is cut completely while disabled in pvp.

    So that's the situation in rift right now, regardless of dummy damage the mechanics of melee rogues are also badly suited to pvp, so their effective pvp damage is low. In 'certain other similar games' this is not a problem because the energy mechanic is handled differently - Rift rogues have weak CP builder attacks that cost minimal energy, meaning burning 100 to 0 energy takes quite some time, and to maximise DPS they need to be constantly ontop of their target mashing buttons. This is in contrast to the design of a certain other game that for ex. the Assassin tree was ripped wholesale from, where CP builders are much more expensive, and also more damaging. This gives a rogue with a full energy bar a substancial amount of burst damage, which means the energy recovered while CC'd is actually worth something.

    So if you wanted to, say, help the damage of melee rogues in pvp without dramatically increasing their damage against a target dummy, you could look at the damage and cost of their regular abilities, while keeping in mind that more expensive abilities would also reduce their combo point generation, which you might want to compensate for in some way. Just an example. If on the other hand, you wanted to reduce the PvP damage of a class that is actively encouraged to stand in 1 spot casting their highest damage abilities as if they were attacking a target dummy while being immune to silences and CC, essentially making them deal as much damage in pvp as they do in a tank and spank pve fight - contrary to the design of every other spec in the game.... Well, you know what to do.
    Last edited by Teoh; 04-05-2011 at 04:58 AM.

  2. #2
    RIFT Guide Writer Hokonoso's Avatar
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    /clap

    well done thread that really sums up everything.
    Useful Rogue guides since I don't want to answer 50 billion questions anymore:
    Marksman, Ranger, Nightblade, Blink'Blade, Asstalker, Assdancer, and finally The Hoko Spec™
    Hoko, teaching noobs the way of rogue pve until 12/20/11.

  3. #3
    Telaran Hemotosis's Avatar
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    why not just go assassin/sab and have the best of both worlds? op initial burst from assassinate followed by some stuns and when they get range, blow them up with some op bombs followed by more stuns and roots?

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    Prophet of Telara Banthaz's Avatar
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    Exellent points, all of them.

    Simple solution: Make combo points work like Warrior attack points. End of Story. Rogues will STILL be doing less effective damage but it would bring them closer to warrior levels.

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    Champion of Telara Arcshayde's Avatar
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    Or decrease the energy cost of our combo builders so that we can consistenly fire off finishers immediately at 5pts.

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    You did a great job writing this thanks.

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    Soulwalker Takayo's Avatar
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    Very well written post, at this stage I would be happy with any input at all from Trion about some kind of update on the status of rogues. We are all waiting on the entrance to GB waiting to get picked for the raid and we don't even know if there IS a raid...

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    Bumping this because it's good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcshayde View Post
    Or decrease the energy cost of our combo builders so that we can consistenly fire off finishers immediately at 5pts.
    I agree here. I can barely get 5 combo builders off, before I am waiting to refil to use a finisher.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcshayde
    Or decrease the energy cost of our combo builders so that we can consistenly fire off finishers immediately at 5pts.

    I agree here. I can barely get 5 combo builders off, before I am waiting to refil to use a finisher.

    Not sure you followed the discussion there, so let me elaborate. What matters isn't so much how many finishers you put out, or how many combo points you generate in a fight, instead we're talking generally about how much damage you are able to deal in pvp. Instead of thinking about how long it takes you to reach a finisher, imagine your damage wasn't entirely reliant on the finisher in the first place, and all the other attacks you did meant something.

    Combat mechanics that leave you 'waiting to refill' in pve or on a target dummy, are stronger in pvp, because while you are stunned feared or out of melee range, you do 'refill'. This goes for both energy and cooldowns. If you are able to front load damage in a short space of time, and then have brief periods of low damage before you're able to put out high damage again, then a situation where you are continually interupted or prevented from dealing damage does not hurt you as much. In comparison to a design that deals average damage all the time with a continuous string of attacks.

    The 2 resources rogues have which refill while they are unable to attack are energy and short cooldown abilities, the same applies to warriors. The difference is that for rogues, their short cooldown abilities are relatively weak, and a pool of energy cannot be quickly spent in a 'burst', in general their damage is heavily focused on finishers, which are limited by combo points. A full pool of energy even with a 1 second global cooldown does not quickly translate to a 5 point finisher.

    So, suppose rogue's overall damage was shifted slightly away from the finishers, and onto abilities which make more use of their ability to 'refill' when disabled. What if Dusk Strike, Puncture, Quick Strike, Precision Strike, Backstab and Twilight Force (and similar ranged skills) dealt more damage, while costing slightly more energy. Not in a 1:1 ratio, because increasing the cost of these abilities reduces rogue combo point generation, which reduces overall dps: instead their damage would be increased by more than the cost increase. Finisher damage would not have to be changed, instead it would simply be less relevant due to the damage of other attacks being comparatively larger, and fewer combo points meaning fewer finishers.

    Example: Imagine Backstab deals 50% more damage, and costs 40 energy instead of 30. Actually for backstab you might need more than a 50% damage increase, because backstab is pants. I mean it's really ****ing pants, no joke. Now with this heavier hitting backstab, imagine you've just come out of a fear and had to run back to your target, apply a snare, and then get behind them. All the time you were unable to attack due to not being in melee range your energy has pooled up, and you have a full bar. In 3 seconds you pump 3x 40 energy backstabs into them, the same as you would in 3 seconds with a 30 energy backstab, only now those 3 backstabs have dealt some substancial spike damage. After you've used that pool of energy you're now energy starved and your damage over time drops down to the same sort of level it usually is with 30 energy backstab. If you then get stunned by the other player, your energy is refilling again, as soon as you come out of stun you then benefit again from the burst that comes from your stored energy.

    Imagine as well that your puncture now also hits for a good amount of damage, you used it before you were feared, while you were away from the target your cooldown is expiring, you now get to use that good amount of damage again once you can attack. This is the sort of benefit warriors enjoy in pvp scenarios as their non-finishers deal significant damage, and are limited by energy and cooldowns. If rogue damage is focused around finishers which are limited by combo points, that do not regenerate while they are unable to attack, their damage in PvP will forever be adversely affected by the flow of a normal PvP fight. This doesn't mean they couldn't ever deal good damage in pvp... it would just mean their general damage on target dummies and in tank and spank pve fights would have to be abnormally high for their Effective DPS in PVP to be competitive. Changing the focus of damage more towards short CD abilities and energy use increases damage in pvp without impacting pve damage on a stationary boss, it also helps rogue damage in pve in situations where they have to run in and out of melee.

    Infact, the change to backstab i mentioned above may actually end up as a DPS loss on a dummy, so silly is the current situation that finishers are often 3-4 times as damaging as each CP builder attack. For the change to work the damage increase to these attacks would have to be quite significant, to properly offset the loss of CP generation. You can also instead temper this with things like, backstab generating an additional CP on crit as a deep sin talent, which is a nice change because it breaks fixed rotations. There are also some nice implications of higher energy cost, like rogues deciding to intentionally pool energy before using foul play, to push out high burst damage in the stun. Or not mashing a primal strike/backstab macro as soon as you are in range, because it pays to save some energy and go for the back when you can. I've lots to say on how you can make these class designs more interesting, but there's never enough space to ramble for long enough.

  11. #11
    Ascendant ShalarLight's Avatar
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    Good post.

    Basically what he is saying is expensive cool down abilities are far more effective in PvP than cheap attacks, doing chunky damage is much stronger than doing flowing damage.

    This is very true. What I do not see you taking into account however are any debuffs the rogue can apply with his non finishers. Stacking a bleed, a snare, and a healing reducing debuff on a target right before your uptime is interrupted makes up a lot of ground that is (correctly) theoretically lost to the warriors chunkier abilities. Also, rogues generally have higher mobility, thus their uptime is both longer, and harder to interrupt than a warriors up time. CC ability is another area that rogues typically shine in that greatly change the hypothetical situation, locking in damage or uptime by CC'ing your target when you can not damage them again covers ground. Warriors in rift do have a plethora of CC, so this may be a wash (but there are some very CC heavy rogue specs for sure, what are the tradeoffs?).
    Last edited by ShalarLight; 04-06-2011 at 12:50 PM.

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    Fixes...

    1.) Make the Rogue's 5 combo points work just like Warrior's 3 combo points. So they can be xfered to the next attacker. More finisher would effective increase dps.

    This would require a rework of several abilities in the RS tree (Rift Scavanger, Planar Switch) and 1 in the BD tree (Combat Culmination); however, those are minor fixes.

    2.) Make finishers FREE. This will effectively result in more Rogue attacks actually being on 1s timers instead of 1.5s. This also increases burst since its not uncommon to actually have to wait an extra 1/2s for power to use finishers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShalarLight View Post
    This is very true. What I do not see you taking into account however are any debuffs the rogue can apply with his non finishers. Stacking a bleed, a snare, and a healing reducing debuff on a target right before your uptime is interrupted makes up a lot of ground that is (correctly) theoretically lost to the warriors chunkier abilities.
    Yes traditional dot(bleed) abilities function much like an ability with a cooldown, you reapply them when they've finished ticking so not being able to act for some time 'refills' that cooldown. However the current rogue abilities don't really match this traditional dot mechanic. Aside from the sin stealth opener, the main bleed available is a finisher - see previous post on the issues with finishers, and also lasts for an abnormally long time dealing moderate dps over 24 seconds talented, so it isn't something you can just reuse after you get back into melee. Aside from those bleeds the other dot mechanics are Puncture, which is one of the rogue's current cooldown abilities used whenever it's available, this deals low damage and is something i suggested increasing. Then Serrated Blades and Fiery spike, these work on a stacking mechanic, that deal most dps when they are being refreshed at 3 stacks. In PVP where the fight is broken up, these stacks fall off and are required to be stacked back to 3, which is actually a dps loss for being CC'd.

    The healing debuff is available only to deep Nightblade, and procs from weapon enchants on auto attacks, it functions nigh-identically to the Champion ability that procs a healing debuff on crits... or it would do, except that champ also gets a couple of abilities with high boosted crit rates or 100% crit chance that serve as a reliable way to apply the debuff right at the start of the fight. Nightblade has no way to force a proc of this debuff, so its uptime is reliant on the NB staying in range and landing a large number of auto attacks. Again this is limited in pvp, and the general idea of higher damage melee auto attacks through poison procs is again poor in a pvp scenario.

    Also, rogues generally have higher mobility, thus their uptime is both longer, and harder to interrupt than a warriors up time. CC ability is another area that rogues typically shine in that greatly change the hypothetical situation, locking in damage or uptime by CC'ing your target when you can not damage them again covers ground. Warriors in rift do have a plethora of CC, so this may be a wash (but there are some very CC heavy rogue specs for sure, what are the tradeoffs?).
    This is the normal archetype, it's how rogues generally work in other MMOs, in rift however it's not true. Rogue mobility is actually limited in comparison to a champ, due to only BD having a proper champ style charge at 21 points, and the need to go deep into RS to actually benefit from their teleports. If you take deep RS to get a couple of teleports (You need a couple, they're on 45 second cooldowns instead of 15) you'll find that, because the teleports put you where the other player was at the time you pressed the button, minus latency, and also trigger GCD from the instant you teleport, preventing you from pressing snare immediately after you warp, a significant number of your teleports on moving players will leave you out of range and unable to close the distance. You find yourself relying on the speed boost which is 22 points into a tank tree to try and 'chase down' people who are already out of melee range, hoping you can snare them before the 4 seconds of very slightly increased speed dissapears.

    The big one for mobility though, is Ruthless Pursuit. Champ specs get a CC breaker in their primary pvp damage tree with a 30 second cooldown, in addition to their pvp soul breaker should you decide to use it. This massively increases warrior mobility, and because it and all the other useful PvP utility such as snares, multiple stuns on different DRs, aoe CC, healing debuffs, distance closer, damage cooldowns and spell interupt are all available in the same pvp focused damage tree, they get all of this utility with no trade off. To compare, if you wanted CC in a rogue build you can go into Assassin, which gets you a snare, a 4 second stun on a 30s cooldown (which shares DR with your stun opener, making it a 2 second stun if you opened with Para strike) and a Mez which disorientates 1 target on a 60 second cooldown that breaks on any damage (You are a soul that leaves minor bleeds on everything it melees). Warriors get an AoE mez on half the cooldown which CCs everyone around them and roots their current target, without any of the issues sin has with this breaking, and that same tree has 2 stuns that add up to the same total stun time due to no DR, and can be reused later without having to restealth, as well as all the other utility above.

    Rogues aren't the pvp utility kings, that's champs. Rogues have access to most of the utility champs can get, only it's impossible to have it all at once because it is spread between the higher talents of 9 different souls. The only utility advantage they have, is stealth. You can try playing some warfronts to see how valuable that is in the current meta game.

    I didn't want this to turn into yet another general balance argument because they all end up devolving into the same mush, i'm trying to focus on the underlying mechanics of why rogue damage in pvp is poor regardless of any dummy parses. The real way to resolve various gameplay issues is a lot more subtle that just 'buff rogues'.

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    Lets look at Energy useage...

    Sin:
    0s Opener 50pts
    1s Puncture 40pts
    2s Finisher 35pts
    3s Anytime 30pts
    4s Anytime 30pts
    5s Anytime 30pts (out of Energy)
    6.5s Anytime 30pts (out of Energy)
    8s Anytime 30pts (out of Energy)
    9.5s Finisher 35pts (out of Energy might be 10s)
    11s Anytime 30pts (out of Enegry)
    12.5s Anytime 30pts (out of...you get the point)
    -----------------------------
    12.5s, 11 attacks @ 370 Energy

    Champ:
    0s Bullrush 10pts
    1.5s Disruptive Strike 40pts
    3s Titan Strike 10pts
    4.5s Anytime 15pts
    6s Anytime 15pts
    7.5s Anytime 15pts
    9s Finisher 15pts
    10.5s Anytime 15pts
    12s Anytime 15pts
    ---------------------------
    12s, 9 attacks @ 150 Energy

    In a 12.5 second comparison, the Warrior has 2 only less attacks and uses 120 less Energy. Both of those 2 attacks happened in the first 6s of the fight.

    So...after about the 6s mark any advantage that a Sin has from having 1s recast is gone because he is out of enegry. This may be a major factor in why Rogues fall so far behind in DPS calc.

    In a 1 minute fight a Rogue should have 60attacks. (60s/1s) In reality he only has 42. (6s/1s + 54s/1.5s)
    In a 1 minute fight a Warrior should have 40attacks. (60/1.5)

    Thats 18 attacks missing from the Rogues logs...
    Last edited by Nfrad; 04-06-2011 at 02:09 PM.

  15. #15
    Telaran
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    I want to shake your hand for these well thought out and written posts.

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