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Thread: Don't be a Target Dummy Hero.

  1. #1
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    Default Don't be a Target Dummy Hero.

    I've been playing Rogue since beta, and I thought I'd share some insight on a new problem that's becoming very prevalent on all shards: The Target Dummy Hero. The Target Dummy Hero is that guy who claims his spec does some arbitrarily amount of DPS, then can't break 400 on a t2 boss fight. They've become ubiquitous on Keenblade in recent weeks, ever since the 1.2 Rogue buffs were first announced. They've also exploded on the forums since 1.2 dropped. So, the purpose of this post is to highlight the difference between a spec that parses well on a target dummy, and a spec that works well in practical situations.

    I wish to highlight three common failures of Rogue specs in this post. Fixing them is the difference between topping meters and being just a Target Dummy Hero.

    SPEC FAIL #1: "...THEN JUST USE THIS (RIDICULOUS 9-LINE) MACRO."
    One of the biggest examples of Rogue Fail that I'm seeing is overloaded and/or ridiculous macros. I call these "Idiot Macros". The Idiot Macro is one that requires a set of idiotic and/or totally unrealistic conditions to work, which are met only on a target dummy. This is very easy to identify.

    To determine whether or not you just made an Idiot Macro, look at what you've written. Your macro always uses the first available ability; this is Rift equivalent of a "cast sequence". If the first available ability is something that costs only 30 Energy, and doesn't have a cooldown, that's what your macro uses.

    Some macro combinations simply don't work. Knowing what these are will help you pick a useful spec. In particular, the following combinations NEVER work well (and often don't work at all):

    1.) 40 Energy abilities redundant to 30 Energy abilities. Unless you watched your Energy bar until it broke 40, you just used the 30 Energy ability. Again. @#!&. Well, since you're now watching your Energy bar, why not make two separate key bindings and watch the boss?
    Example: Quick Strike and Precision Strike. You'll be spamming Quick Strike. Using #show Precision Strike to watch the timer is NOT a reliable workaround -- except on target dummies.

    2.) 40 Energy abilities before spammable 30 point abilities. As above, you have to watch your Energy bar for this to not use the spammable skill. You might as well make a new button.
    Example: Any skill on the same button as Fiery Spike. You'll space out and do 200 dps from Fiery Spike spam. Really. I promise. Don't feel bad -- extremely good players do this. The problem is that the moment you're distracted from your Idiot Macro, you push it reflexively -- and you recast Fiery Spike before you need to.

    3.) Multiple spammable abilities. It will always use the first one.
    Example: Keen Strike/Fiery Spike macros. You have to step out of melee range to refresh your DoT, then back into melee range for your Bladedancer sequences. Does that sound useful? Does that sound particularly smart?

    4.) Abilities with radically different functions.
    Example: You can put Shadow Assault on the same key as Disengage. You can also drive with your feet if you want to. That doesn't mean that it's a good idea.

    5.) Non-GCD overload. Just because you have 5 abilities that don't invoke the GCD doesn't mean they belong on the same key.
    Example: Serpent Strike and Poison Malice. If Serpent Strike comes first, it doesn't benefit from Poison Malice. If Poison Malice comes first, you're not using Serpent Strike every time it comes off cooldown. Either way, you're using a macro to make a decision for you, and losing DPS because of it.

    FIXING IT
    1.) 40 Energy abilities just don't work that well in real macros. You can macro 40 En skills to other 40 En skills. You can also macro 40 En skills to 30 En skills with cooldowns. But even those are non-optimal, and each will cause problems in a variety of commonly encountered situations. Ideally, each 40 En ability should have its own, separate key.
    2.) Never put more than one spammable ability on any button. If your macro has two abilities that have no cooldown and no "use" condition, pick only one. Include that as your macro's very last line.
    3.) Make a separate toolbar for utility skills, even if they help your DPS. Never put something as useful as a charge or interrupt on a button that you're spamming.
    4.) Don't include more than one non-GCD ability in your macro, unless they absolutely never conflict, under any (even theoretical) circumstances.

    SPEC FAIL #2: "THEN, AFTER YOUR 4TH COMBO, WHEN THE MOON IS IN SCORPIO AND THE SQUIRREL HAS FOUND THE MAGIC THIMBLE, YOU PRESS THESE KEYS:"
    Does the above sound familiar? Someone found a spec that does 1100 DPS on a target dummy. It uses 16 abilities. Okay, will it ever work for you?

    Well, ask yourself: Can you keep track of all a spec's abilities, and that entire priority system, while dodging adds, bombs, and instant death spells?

    Equivalently, ask yourself: Can you recite Pi to 100 places? ...while juggling objects of unequal mass? ...while configuring a Linux server? ...with your feet?

    Be honest with yourself. If you even have to ask if a priority system is feasible, the answer is probably "no". In fact, if your newfound spec has more than 6 or 7 buttons, it's going to fail except on target dummies. You're going to have a lot to think about when a boss is doing a PBAOE, and there are 3 adds up, and you need to pick the right add to interrupt and DPS down. Don't be a Target Dummy Hero. Avoid this entire situation with a spec whose priority system is straightforward.

    This is specifically a warning against deep Nightblade specs that use a full compliment of Bladedancer and Assassin skills, including juggling 4-5 finishers; melee Ranger" rotations that look like they were written by Norwegian prodigies from the Dragonforce music conservatory; and deep Assassin hybrids that include Slip Away followed by (different, successive, illogical) openers. They're not going to work in practical situations because they're simply too complex to execute while keeping track of what a boss does. Your attention needs to be on the boss you're fighting, not your keyboard.

    FIXING IT
    If your priority system includes more buttons than you can comfortably press by reflex, it's not going to work out for you. You can try macros to simplify, but if you find yourself needing an Idiot Macro, discard your newly created spec; it'll prove worthless in real situations.

    SPEC FAIL #3: "IT SUSTAINS 1200 DPS ON A DUMMY!"
    Sustained DPS on a dummy is applicable only on a tank-and-spank fight. There aren't many such fights in reality. If, for example, a spec does 10% less DPS, but has three more options for mobility, the mobile spec is better for 95% of real encounters.

    FIXING IT
    Ask yourself, "what happens to my spec when I can't melee for 10 seconds? What if I have to switch targets and burn down an add?". Intangibles like on-demand DPS cooldowns, distance closers, and teleports have practical value that outshines just another DoT.

    CONCLUSIONS
    Keep your rotation and macros as simplistic as possible, because you're always going to be focusing on more than just your rotation. This means you want a spec with minimal micromanagement, and a straightforward priority system. Ask yourself "can I do this while drunk or half-asleep?" You want a spec such that your answer is a confident "yes".

    I hope that helps. I also hope that this means an end to new posts involving eight-line rotations that roll 4 finishers, 2 buffs, and 6 cooldowns. Time will tell, I suppose. However, I find that by avoiding the three simple mistakes I posted, I'm beating out very talented Rogues while I DPS in a mix of Expert blues and t2 tank gear. I think that's all that needs to be said about the pitfalls of being a Target Dummy Hero.
    Kashta, 50 Rogue / Gwythiant, 41 Cleric / Ampere, 37 Mage

  2. #2
    Ascendant Credo's Avatar
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    The only two macros I use are on my Nightblade spec. One meshes Primal Strike and Fiery Spike together, and the other meshes Blazing Strike and Flame Thrust together.

    That said this is a good little guide.
    Even free cost too much now

  3. #3
    Rift Disciple SubM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ampere View Post
    This is specifically a warning against deep Nightblade specs that use a full compliment of Bladedancer and Assassin skills, including juggling 4-5 finishers; melee Ranger" rotations that look like they were written by Norwegian prodigies from the Dragonforce music conservatory; and deep Assassin hybrids that include Slip Away followed by (different, successive, illogical) openers. They're not going to work in practical situations because they're simply too complex to execute while keeping track of what a boss does. Your attention needs to be on the boss you're fighting, not your keyboard.

    Lol how did you know im a Norwegian ? :P And thanks for the laughs
    Nupsi Fatality Rogue - Bloodiron
    GSB Cleared | RoS Cleared | GP Cleared | TDH: Cleared | HK 3/10 + Prime

  4. #4
    Ascendant Adnoz's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you can't keep track of things properly OP. Maybe it's something you can go out and work on. No need to get butthurt about the people that can, though.

    (Gear)

  5. #5
    Rift Disciple Skarrij's Avatar
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    I can imagine your frustrations about some of those specs you described, but some people can actually dodge bombs and focus on the DPS / Debuffs. And thats why some people try to make the best and might hardest DPS rotation to be at the top.

    Having hard rotation and dodging bombs is just where skills comes in handy.

    I raid only 1 hour per week!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adnoz View Post
    Sounds to me like you can't keep track of things properly OP. Maybe it's something you can go out and work on. No need to get butthurt about the people that can, though.
    You're right, I can't. Instead, I top meters with a deep Bladedancer spec and half tank gear, because I'm not trying to do 14 things at once. Cool, huh?
    Last edited by Ampere; 05-16-2011 at 01:42 PM.
    Kashta, 50 Rogue / Gwythiant, 41 Cleric / Ampere, 37 Mage

  7. #7
    Plane Walker
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    A lot of your points are valid but also somewhat exaggerated. Complicated specs are viable with good awareness and practice.

  8. #8
    Telaran
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    This post actually hit dead-on for a problem that some new raiders face. If you're new to raiding DO NOT TAKE SOME UBER 31337 DOODS SPEC. Just don't do it. Make your own that fits your own needs and abilities. That guy didn't get that good magically over night. It took gear, focus, understanding, and the ability to do a boss so perfectly that he can do it with his eyes closed because his raid has the boss room mapped out in grids and everything is timed down to the second.

    And also, #2 made me lol.

  9. #9
    Rift Disciple Skarrij's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ampere View Post
    You're right, I can't. Instead, I top meters with a deep Bladedancer spec and half tank gear, because I'm not trying to do 14 things at once. Cool, huh?
    And how much DPS is that exactly?

    I raid only 1 hour per week!

  10. #10
    Ascendant Adnoz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ampere View Post
    You're right, I can't. Instead, I top meters with a deep Bladedancer spec and half tank gear, because I'm not trying to do 14 things at once. Cool, huh?
    Cool that you're playing with low tier players who get outdone by your fixed idiot macros

    (Gear)

  11. #11
    Ascendant Stigas's Avatar
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    Maaaaaaaajor props. Great post!

  12. #12
    Rift Disciple
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    On the dummy i can pull off 100 dps more with my melee-spec than with my sabo-spec.
    Today on our Alsbeth-kill i tried both specs. Sabo was about 50% more dmg and more mobile. The switching from singletarget to a boombastic aoe-phase with incriminate works while running from one target to another.
    Yeah, there is more than just dummy-numbers

  13. #13
    RIFT Guide Writer Hokonoso's Avatar
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    hey dont hate the melee ranger!!! most fun rotation yet! and if you cant do it while dodging bombs and whatnot, you should reroll cleric and have a 1 button rotation!
    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.

  14. #14
    Plane Touched
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ampere View Post
    You're right, I can't. Instead, I top meters with a deep Bladedancer spec and half tank gear, because I'm not trying to do 14 things at once. Cool, huh?
    Could you post just out of interest a parse of any gs/ros boss where you top dps in half tank gear?

    I am really curious to see how much dps is that we are talking about and even more curious to see what the dps in your raid is pushing off. Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kristoph View Post
    I think everyone already stopped expecting Trion to be even remotely competent when it comes to PvP balance.

  15. #15
    Shadowlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ampere View Post
    CONCLUSIONS
    Keep your rotation and macros as simplistic as possible, because you're always going to be focusing on more than just your rotation. This means you want a spec with minimal micromanagement, and a straightforward priority system. Ask yourself "can I do this while drunk or half-asleep?" You want a spec such that your answer is a confident "yes".

    Great post! For all the reasons you list, this is why I love Saboteur.

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