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Thread: Riftstalker - A Spec Comparison

  1. #1
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    Default Riftstalker - A Spec Comparison

    Over the last couple nights I've been trying to get a handle on tanking as a Riftstalker. I have tanked a couple T1's as well as Akala, Baron, and a ton of rift bosses. I keep an eye out here on the forums trying to make sure the ideas I have in regards to tanking are correct and in line with what other people are seeing. Unfortunately, while many people say what spec's to use they are only backing up those statements by saying "endurance is king", "mitigation is king" or something equally vague.

    So it's my hope that we can get a discussion going to get some idea of the true value of our soul abilities in relation to each other. I have some initial information that I'd like you to consider and let me know what you think.

    This build has been recommended many times as the "best" build as it has "highest" mitigation:
    51/7/8 RS/Bard/Rngr

    I'm proposing that another build actually provides a more stable, versatile tank:
    50/8/8 RS/Rngr/BD

    For the theorycrafting I am using my personal stats which include several crafted items, all level 50 blues as well as 4 epics. I would consider this very average for someone doing T1's but everything relevant scales so this should hold true through T2's and Raids. I will also be assuming all finishers are maintained, a 2.5 minute fight with a 1.5 sec interval between hits of 3000 damage, on a tank and spank fight. I will also be leaving out armor reduction as I'm not sure where it falls in the calculation but since it is the same in both specs won't affect the outcome. So we have 300,000 incoming damage as a base.

    Using the first spec:
    100 Swings - 8% Dodged = 92 Hits - 3% Parried = 89.24 Hits - 3% Miss Chance = 86.56 Hits taken = 86 Hits Taken
    (Decimals carried through for accuracy have to be dropped in a smaller sample size to reflect actual hits taken)

    86 Hits taken X 3,000 Damage per hit = 258,000 Incoming Damage - 12% Damage Reduction = 227,040 Incoming Damage - 35% Absorbed by Rift Guard = 147,576 Damage Taken


    Using the second spec
    100 Swings - 18% dodged = 82 Hits - 3% Parried = 79.54 Hits Taken = 79 Hits Taken
    (Decimals carried through for accuracy have to be dropped in a smaller sample size to reflect actual hits taken)

    79 Hits taken X 3,000 Damage per hit = 237,000 Incoming Damage - 12% Damage Reduction = 208,560 Incoming Damage - 34.5% Absorbed by Rift Guard = 136606.8 Damage Taken

    147576 Damage Taken - 136606.8 Damage Taken = 10970 Less damage taken

    Health Pool - With no buffs not having the bard soul cost the second build right around 400hp in my gear. While this affects the total amount (basically the duration) of rift guard but not the actual amount of damage reduction I do not consider this a negative.

    Cooldowns - Scatter the shadows is the equivalent of 6000 (3 sec duration / 1.5 swing timer * 3000 Damage) damage reduced versus Side steps which is the equivalent of 15,000 damage reduced (15 sec duration / 1.5 swing timer * 3000 damage)

    Hit - I have read that the hit ability is not working properly so it will require testing to make sure. But given that it's supposed to reduce the amount of hit needed it is entirely feasible to think at least a portion of the missing health pool could be made up for in the second spec due to needing less hit on gear/runes.

    Addition Points in Blade Dancer - If you were to give up 4 additional points from Riftstalker (2% less absorbed by shield) to get Compound Attack and Strike Back for AoE and Weapon Barrage to have an intterupt you would still be nearly 7,000 less incoming damage as well needing even less hit further making up for the difference in health.

    I still need to do some work on stat priority for gearing purposes but I believe this is the place to start. Let me know what you think.

    --Pharazon

  2. #2
    RIFT Fan Site Operator Starseeker's Avatar
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    Those look good. I don't have the break down in numbers that you do, however this is my Riftstalker build:

    44 Riftstalker/12 Blade Dancer/10 Nightblade

    Reason I took the things I did:
    Bladedancer for their dodge abilities, as well as strike back, and weapon barage.

    Nightblade for the 10 point aoe ability weapon flare which lets me keep aoe agro alot better, as well has having increased damage to my combo generators and finishers.

    I didn't see the point in 51 points in the riftstalker tree since the last ability is only 3 seconds. I've done rather well with this set up, although I haven't tanked any t1 or t2 dungeons yet.

    I may have to try your set ups though

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starseeker View Post
    Those look good. I don't have the break down in numbers that you do, however this is my Riftstalker build:

    44 Riftstalker/12 Blade Dancer/10 Nightblade

    Reason I took the things I did:
    Bladedancer for their dodge abilities, as well as strike back, and weapon barage.

    Nightblade for the 10 point aoe ability weapon flare which lets me keep aoe agro alot better, as well has having increased damage to my combo generators and finishers.

    I didn't see the point in 51 points in the riftstalker tree since the last ability is only 3 seconds. I've done rather well with this set up, although I haven't tanked any t1 or t2 dungeons yet.

    I may have to try your set ups though

    The only real problem you are going to have is that you are giving up the mitigation from your shield but not gaining anything defensive for it. Damage output is irrelevant when tanking. While I think you can get away with around 46 points in the riftstalker tree as the drop in mitigation is only 2.5% I am picking up 6% damage reduction or 5% dodge depending on how you look at it. Your build is missing a total of 9.5% mitigation which will hurt you in the long run.

    Also I can say pretty definitively that 6% more dex is much worse than getting hit from the first tier. I have around 300 dex so even at the full 15% you are only getting 45 more dex which is 45 doge rating or just over 1% dodge and you only have about a third of that.

    Keep in mind this is more about T1's and up as everything else in much more forgiving.
    Last edited by Pharra; 04-05-2011 at 05:42 AM.

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    RIFT Fan Site Operator Starseeker's Avatar
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    Thats true, didn't realize that rangers had that reduce damage thing (my ranger is full dps mode without the survivability stuff).

    I am going to fiddle with it tonight, thanks!

    I do have a question though...how do you keep multiple mobs off mages with very little aoe agro?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starseeker View Post
    Thats true, didn't realize that rangers had that reduce damage thing (my ranger is full dps mode without the survivability stuff).

    I am going to fiddle with it tonight, thanks!

    I do have a question though...how do you keep multiple mobs off mages with very little aoe agro?

    This is my personal build atm - 12/46/8

    I use quick shot to pull and build up combo points to get guarded steel up. When the mobs are on me I use rift distrubance and shadow blitz to get initial aggro as high as possible then put up a two - three point rift guard and get false blade up as quick as I can.

    Prioritizing guarded steel + Rift Barrier over rift guard gives you stronger initial threat. Once you get everything rolling strike back and weaving in compound attack should be enough.

    If a mage opens up too early on theres not a lot you can do except use planar attraction and aoe everything again. It takes getting used to be you should be able to weave everything you need to while still tabbing through targets. Hit a mob 2-3 times with planar strike/phantom blow then tab and use planar switch to keep from hurting your finishers.

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    The issue with your build is that you are losing alot of EH.

    I don't think RS tanks should go anything but 51RS/8RNG/7BRD due to the extra health + straight up reduction for T1 and some T2s. Threat isn't much an issue until really T2s along with avoidance. In most of T1s, bosses won't hit hard and it is best to get as much EH as possible before working on avoidance. Going 50RS/8RNG/8BD is indeed very good for avoidance, but thats if you have good enough EH and I only believe you should go that type of role solely for raids (even then, I think that Scatter the Shadows is still damn good despite being 3 seconds).

    For T2s, I think having at least 10k HP is a good amount, anything less can be very dangerous for a rogue tank in most cases (especially trash). For Greenscale and Raid Rifts, 10k is also enough, but at this point, you want pretty high avoidance (most bosses in Raid Rifts + GSB hit over 3k with shield on, air raid rift boss cleave for 7k FUUUUU).

    You have a good mindset for the builds, but I think you should try 51RS/8BD/7BRD due to good avoidance + decent HP pool. You will find this build alot more effective (I am currently using this one) in Greenscale + Raid Rifts, due to the necessary to sacrifice stats for hit. Hitting the target effectively is very important, especially the first 3-5 seconds of going on the boss/mobs.

    The 51/7RNG/8RD is really only used for much more geared rogues (something I plan to switch to ), because they have the gear and health to support most of the fights.

    This is just an opinion of mine.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magia View Post
    The issue with your build is that you are losing alot of EH.

    I don't think RS tanks should go anything but 51RS/8RNG/7BRD due to the extra health + straight up reduction for T1 and some T2s. Threat isn't much an issue until really T2s along with avoidance. In most of T1s, bosses won't hit hard and it is best to get as much EH as possible before working on avoidance. Going 50RS/8RNG/8BD is indeed very good for avoidance, but thats if you have good enough EH and I only believe you should go that type of role solely for raids (even then, I think that Scatter the Shadows is still damn good despite being 3 seconds).

    For T2s, I think having at least 10k HP is a good amount, anything less can be very dangerous for a rogue tank in most cases (especially trash). For Greenscale and Raid Rifts, 10k is also enough, but at this point, you want pretty high avoidance (most bosses in Raid Rifts + GSB hit over 3k with shield on, air raid rift boss cleave for 7k FUUUUU).

    You have a good mindset for the builds, but I think you should try 51RS/8BD/7BRD due to good avoidance + decent HP pool. You will find this build alot more effective (I am currently using this one) in Greenscale + Raid Rifts, due to the necessary to sacrifice stats for hit. Hitting the target effectively is very important, especially the first 3-5 seconds of going on the boss/mobs.

    The 51/7RNG/8RD is really only used for much more geared rogues (something I plan to switch to ), because they have the gear and health to support most of the fights.

    This is just an opinion of mine.
    The only problem I have with this is that I have all the same mitigation -.5% for the one less point in RS. The crit reduction from the bard soul ability is useless with toughness so you only get the 3% miss chance and the 10% boost to max health. Blade dancer is giving 5% dodge which is better than the 3% miss and with the extra hit I can make up for a good portion of the missing health by needing to itemize less hit.

    Also having a bard or other endurance buff negates the fact you can cast your own, and the bard offers no defensive cooldown. So the question then becomes how much health is 2% dodge and additional cooldown worth. If you have a tank with 10k hp and using the build you recommend and I'm tanking with my build at 9500 is that too low? How about 9250?

    I'm not arguing to be difficult I actually think we need to explore these facets of our role.

  8. #8
    RIFT Fan Site Operator Starseeker's Avatar
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    Thank you for the help, I'm just starting to do T1 dungeons, right now i'm running with a plate tank as a bard role, but I do see a time where once I get geared I may have to fill a tank slot for my guild. I prefer playing my tank role (tooting a horn just is so...lack luster to tanking )

    What you guys say makes alot of sense!

    I'll post any other questions I have, but thank you again for the help.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharra View Post
    51/7/8 RS/Bard/Rngr

    50/8/8 RS/Rngr/BD


    Using the first spec:
    100 Swings - 8% Dodged = 92 Hits - 3% Parried = 89.24 Hits - 3% Miss Chance = 86.56 Hits taken = 86 Hits Taken
    (Decimals carried through for accuracy have to be dropped in a smaller sample size to reflect actual hits taken)

    86 Hits taken X 3,000 Damage per hit = 258,000 Incoming Damage - 12% Damage Reduction = 227,040 Incoming Damage - 35% Absorbed by Rift Guard = 147,576 Damage Taken


    Using the second spec
    100 Swings - 18% dodged = 82 Hits - 3% Parried = 79.54 Hits Taken = 79 Hits Taken
    (Decimals carried through for accuracy have to be dropped in a smaller sample size to reflect actual hits taken)

    79 Hits taken X 3,000 Damage per hit = 237,000 Incoming Damage - 12% Damage Reduction = 208,560 Incoming Damage - 34.5% Absorbed by Rift Guard = 136606.8 Damage Taken

    147576 Damage Taken - 136606.8 Damage Taken = 10970 Less damage taken
    Your math is wrong in a few places.

    Additionally, I don't know if avoidance is single-roll or multi-roll in this game, but that has an effect on the results as well. If anyone has proof of which way it works, I'd be interested in seeing it. For this example I will assume that it's single-roll, and that the tank in question has 45% mitigation from armor.

    Spec 1:
    100 - 8 - 3 - 2 = 87 hits taken. 87 * 3000 = 261,000 incoming raw damage.
    261000 * 0.55 * 0.65 * 0.94 * 0.94 * 0.94 = 82,446.5 damage taken.

    Spec 2:
    100 - 18 - 3 = 79 hits taken. 79 * 3000 = 237,000 incoming raw damage.
    237000 * 0.55 * 0.655 * 0.94 * 0.94 * 0.94 = 70,914.6 damage taken.

    Also keep in mind that this is only for physical damage, as Spec 1 will be flatly better against casters.

    I'm currently BD/Bard because I like having 5 digit HP (even though it's irrelevant), but I'll probably switch to BD/RNG once I get a little bit more base HP.
    Last edited by PessimiStick; 04-05-2011 at 06:35 AM.
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  10. #10
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    This looks to be a very interesting thread and I will be book marking it.

    I have been playing Riftstalker as a mainspec and have tanked nearly all t2's and some rift raid bosses but I seem to use a soul build very different to other people on the forums here and I'm interested in finding out what the differences are.

    My confusion is in regards to the so-called holy grail riftstalker build which is the 51point rs/bard/ranger, but in terms of looking at the Riftstalker tree theres a ton of abilities there that you have to put points into for 51 that really offer limited use. But yet everyone claims a 51point build has the "highest mitigation/e-health" of any build.

    What I run with currently is this:
    29/28/9 - RIftstalker/Bladedancer/Bard

    What I lose in RS:
    - 13 second damage immunity from Defer Death + Scatter the Shadows
    - Planar Switch (I tried some builds with this and found I used it too rarely to be worth the points in it)
    - Flashback, use is really only in pulling mobs round a corner for LoS pulls on trash and clever use of Shadow Shift/Walk/Stalk can do exactly the same thing.
    - An AOE grip of 5 mobs to the tank location. This is probably the most useful thing I miss, however some elements of BD make up for this.

    What I lose from no ranger:
    - 5% Health
    - 6% Damage reduction

    What I gain from such a deep bladedancer, as a tank:
    - 5% dodge from 1st tier soul
    - Strike Back helping considerably with AoE threat when mutliple mobs are hitting you.
    - 15% Dexterity converting into more dodge+AP and scaling a lot with gear.
    - Combat Culmination giving me +3% dodge/parry/hit every time a mob with just 1 combo point on it dies.
    - Turn the Tide is almost always up, helps with threat gen.
    - Contra Tempo is THE most useful talent of being deep into BD as a tank, depending on how many mobs are hitting you, you can sometimes get 5 combo points in 2 globals, letting you throw those buffs up super fast. Or even on single target, throwing up Side Steps as you pull lets you get those 2/3combo buffs up super fast, steadying out incoming damage that much faster.
    - Using Disengage on CD is great for reducing incoming damage since its always up as a tank.
    - Blade Hustle makes side steps give you 19 seconds of +50% dodge.
    - A ranged interrupt.
    - A 6sec disarm
    - Dauntless Strike is great when you dont have a bard in your group.
    - Extra 5% doge and 6% parry from Improved False Blade
    - Cleave (3target) Twin Strike that keeps generating threat (and builds combo points while doing an AoE ability!) when Rift Disturbance/Shadow Blitz are on CD , on aoe packs, and then Compound Attack hits for roughly 500 in my gear at 5 points, 3 targets again, great for keeping aoe threat.
    - +40 Dex buff for whole group
    - 10 second snare


    I have considered a lot of the soul points in Riftstalker like Freedom of Movement, Hasted Time, Shadow Mastery, Ruthless stalker being worth taking to get that 51point 3second immunity. Nor have I really understood what it is that makes 51point Riftstalker so amazing compared to the extra 13% Dodge 9% Parry, I have from BD when Flase Blade + Combat Culmination are up (Let alone the breadth of situational abilities that are used regularly, compared to RS situational's which are used rarely, and the AoE capabilites of the BD tree). I have read in passing that its not about the extra abilities or soul points when it comes to the 51point RS holy grail, its the improved Guardian Phase and Rift Guard abilities you can train at the 50/51 point RS mark that offer that extra mitigation that makes 51point so superior to other builds. However I don't know any of the details around this and what makes 51point so good, and would really like to be enlightened on the matter, particularly in the details of the comparative health/mitigation that a 51point RS build offers compared to a deep BD tank build.

  11. #11
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    Like I said, the initiation build BRD/RNG is really done for T1s when some rogues are still gearing to tank T1s. Changing RNG to BD is much better for T2s. I think having 9k is still good tho, I won't deny that, but there are multiple cases especially tanking trash that they hit for a good 4-5k + another 3-4k back to back (think DSM) which will drop you instantly. You can switch the builds around such as taking off BRD for RNG again (for BD/RNG) depending on your T2 party setup as well. Some people don't run with clerics that have END buff, some do, some runs with Chloro/Archons, some do. It really comes down to the setup that you have. For GSB and Raid Rifts however, having 10K is considered the min. HP to alot of the tanks (warriors AND rogues), since they do get hit like 6-7k hits back to back and when you not running more then 2 healers, and some instances where they hit for like 4-5k and healers just can't heal you, it can get messy.

    I think I hit like 11k self-buffed with my current build 51/8BD/7BRD, and most likely will drop to 10k or less even self-buffed 51/8BD/7RNG, but that is fine due to it being a raid-tank role (I can probably still hit over 10k being raidbuffed). Your build you use is generally dependent on the people who you run with. You can always try to fill up the slots you have in a party with certain roles (such as cleric END or archon/chloros) but it's alot easier if you just have these yourself sometimes. I just feel, sometimes, having that abit of extra HP will just manage to save you. Then again, that 2% extra into RNG might save you too, shrug. It really comes down to 1% more END, .5 mitigation, and a superman CD or 2% more mitigation (which might even be less since its not addictive <---haven't been truly tested yet). Your choice.

    I personally enjoy using Scatter the Shadows when I'm in an "oh ****" moment and there isn't anything I can do but pop it (haven't come up yet but I'll find it!).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sequence View Post
    What I lose in RS:
    - 13 second damage immunity from Defer Death + Scatter the Shadows
    - Planar Switch (I tried some builds with this and found I used it too rarely to be worth the points in it)
    - Flashback, use is really only in pulling mobs round a corner for LoS pulls on trash and clever use of Shadow Shift/Walk/Stalk can do exactly the same thing.
    - An AOE grip of 5 mobs to the tank location. This is probably the most useful thing I miss, however some elements of BD make up for this.
    You forgot the 11% flat damage reduction and 22% Endurance that you're losing as well. That's why people go 51 RS.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PessimiStick View Post
    You forgot the 11% flat damage reduction and 22% Endurance that you're losing as well. That's why people go 51 RS.
    Appears I misread the Improved Guardian Phase tooltip and I understand where this extra endurance comes from now. Can you tell me where this 11% flat damage is comming from, assuming 6% of that is from Ranger?

    How does this "11% flat damage reduction and 22% Endurance" weigh up to 13% Dodge 9% Parry in terms of harder t2's with Skarn (who's the only boss I havent been able to tank with a 29/28/9 rs/bd/brd) or GSB bosses.

    -Edit for stupidity-
    Last edited by Sequence; 04-05-2011 at 07:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sequence View Post
    Appears I misread the Improved Guardian Phase tooltip and I understand where this extra endurance comes from now. Can you tell me where this 11% flat damage is comming from, assuming 6% of that is from Ranger?

    How does this "11% flat damage reduction and 22% Endurance" weigh up to 13% Dodge 9% Parry in terms of harder t2's with Skarn (who's the only boss I havent been able to tank with a 29/28/9 rs/bd/brd) or GSB bosses.

    -Edit for stupidity-
    You misread Imp. Rift Guard as well.

    You're basically trading 6% Parry, some Dex scaling, and some threat for 22% End and 11% Flat DR. That's a bad trade.
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    Great thread. I'm new to the game, and I've been leveling my RS (lvl 19). I don't have the end-level content experience, but I know mathematics and RPGs.

    The question about comparing the trade-off of the endurance and mitigation vs. the parry/dodge requires some testing. As someone pointed out in the first page, we need to first define how avoidance is calculated per hit. If, for example, the parry and the dodge rolls each have a chance on any hit, that means that a parry could happen on the same "turn" or "swing" as a dodge.

    I don't have enough opportunity or large enough avoidance numbers at this level to really test this, but I'd be interested in finding out the answer. It has significant implications when it comes to questions of gear and souls.

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