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Thread: Battle of the Builds, Round 1: 51MM/15NB vs. 38MM/17SIN/11NB

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    Rift Disciple Unit Five's Avatar
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    Default Battle of the Builds, Round 1: 51MM/15NB vs. 38MM/17SIN/11NB

    I spent around 10 plat speccing into different Marksman builds yesterday to try and find the perfect PVE DPS build. Here's a quick breakdown of some of the builds I tried.

    BUILDS THAT DIDN'T MAKE THE GRADE
    44MM/17SIN/5SAB
    44MM/17SIN/5RS
    44MM/14NB/8SIN
    44MM/22SIN/XXX (Tested my PVP build just for grins)

    BUILDS THAT CAME A LITTLE CLOSER
    51MM/10NB/5SAB
    51MM/8SIN/7RNG
    38MM/17SIN/11NB

    THE BEST OF THE BEST
    51MM/15NB/XXX

    In 3rd place was 51MM/8SIN/7RNG. It had a very high parse of 705DPS on one test, but looking through the parse, there was a very high crit rate compared to what you would expect with that particular loadout. Other parses ranged from 640-660. I suspect once the bugged "Killing Focus" talent is fixed, this loadout will be worth revisiting. Still, if you like seeing a lot of crits, it's one I think you would enjoy and certainly has its place as a 51MM PVP build.

    38MM/17SIN/11NB produced by FAR the highest crits on Deadeye and Rapid Fire shots, critting in the 2450 range on DE in my gear. No other build came close as far as that is concerned. It was the only build where the average damage of Deadeye Shot was over 2k. However, it loses around ~25-30 DPS from Master Archer scaling and also does not include range-increasing talents. The DPS loss from Master Archer was more significant than the DPS gain on Deadeye and other shots in the rotation. I'd rate this build as 2nd, as it is less pedestal-reliant than the build listed above and provides the fun factor of seeing really really big numbers flying across your screen.

    Which brings us to our champion: 51MM/15NB/XXX. This build provided the highest consistent damage, parsing within 5 points of 675 DPS in my gear on SIX SEPARATE TESTS. I like that kind of consistency in my damage and though it is lacking in crit rate, it makes up for it with its consistently high damage. The Nightblade talents used add +23% to all shots used in a single-target rotation. Add that to the +30% from Sniper's Pedestal and the DPS gain from Master Archer, and you have your winner. Bonus points for having the nice 0pt soul option, which can be used for Adhesive Bomb, Shadow Shift, Side Steps, or Break Free. Compared to the 38MM build, it also adds Eradicate to your arsenal - very useful for PUGging and in a lot of PVE situations in general.

    ...

    Later on, I tested the 51MM build against the 44SAB/20SIN +2 build that's flying around the forums and found Sab to be pretty superior for DPS, especially in AOE situations. I now have both roles in my hotbar and need to save up 60 more plat for my 5th.

    Thanks for reading, add your comments below. No flames or trolls, let's be constructive.
    Terk - Expert Marksman - Eternal IRON (Belmont)
    Eikke - Justicar (L4x) - Eternal IRON (Belmont)

    My Marksman can beat up your Pyro...
    Terk's Guide to Marksman PVP (Cloak and Arrow style)

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    RIFT Guide Writer Ninjahax's Avatar
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    0 point Assassin for Virulent Poison would be best in a 51 MM/15 NB build. Extra dps fw.

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    Shield of Telara
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    Yeah. pretty much same findings I found. Though, it should be noted 51 MM/15 Asn/XXX will do compariable damage to 51 MM/15 NB/0 Asn but requires you stand within 20 yards of your opponent and keep the expose weakness buff up on the target. It is a tad bit of a pain and not really worth the effort.
    Tsarin - Sunrest (PVP-RP) - Eth DPS Cleric (50) - Static

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    Rift Disciple Unit Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahax View Post
    0 point Assassin for Virulent Poison would be best in a 51 MM/15 NB build. Extra dps fw.
    Yes, forgot to mention this. That was what I used for the test and would most likely be what I use in a raid or dungeon.
    Terk - Expert Marksman - Eternal IRON (Belmont)
    Eikke - Justicar (L4x) - Eternal IRON (Belmont)

    My Marksman can beat up your Pyro...
    Terk's Guide to Marksman PVP (Cloak and Arrow style)

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    Soulwalker
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    Quick couple of questions.

    Regarding the 51 MM/8sin/7ranger build, would the last point for sin be placed, or is it just a filler point to access the lethal poison? Might give that a try if they get killing focus fixed to see how it preforms.

    and for the 51mm/15nb/x build, would you recommend unstable state + 2/2 melted, unstable state + 1/2 melted + 1/3 FnD attune, or 3/3 FnD and 2/2 Melted?
    Last edited by Spartanx9; 05-24-2011 at 01:12 PM.

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    Rift Disciple Unit Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartanx9 View Post
    Quick couple of questions.

    Regarding the 51 MM/8sin/7ranger build, would the last point for sin be placed, or is it just a filler point to access the lethal poison? Might give that a try if they get killing focus fixed to see how it preforms.

    and for the 51mm/15nb/x build, would you recommend unstable state + 2/2 melted, unstable state + 1/2 melted + 1/3 FnD attune, or 3/3 FnD and 2/2 Melted?
    I ended up going with FND and Melted Skin. Unstable State would be a buff for AoE damage since Fan Out and Crossfire are air-based damage, but it's a loss for single target. Single target is more important in the long run. Marksman doesn't have the AoE capabilities of the other ranged trees, and US won't change that.
    Terk - Expert Marksman - Eternal IRON (Belmont)
    Eikke - Justicar (L4x) - Eternal IRON (Belmont)

    My Marksman can beat up your Pyro...
    Terk's Guide to Marksman PVP (Cloak and Arrow style)

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    Soulwalker
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    Wouldn't Unstable State also affect Master Archer damage procs as well? Or it doesn't proc enough to outweigh 3% on everything?

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    Rift Disciple Unit Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartanx9 View Post
    Wouldn't Unstable State also affect Master Archer damage procs as well? Or it doesn't proc enough to outweigh 3% on everything?
    It does increase MA damage, but only 6 percent more than FND which boosts everything. MA is around 10 percent of total damage, so the flat 3 percent to everything outweighs it.
    Terk - Expert Marksman - Eternal IRON (Belmont)
    Eikke - Justicar (L4x) - Eternal IRON (Belmont)

    My Marksman can beat up your Pyro...
    Terk's Guide to Marksman PVP (Cloak and Arrow style)

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    Telaran 2Tib's Avatar
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    Default Cool :)

    I have a few questions, though.
    • What are your stats? (AP/Crit/ranged weapon DPS)

    • What greater essences, trinket, and weapon enchants were you using?

    • What about your rotations?

    • What buffs did you have? What about target debuffs?

    • How long did you run the tests for?

    • You mentioned that the 51 MM/15 NB/0 Sin build provided very consistent DPS. How much did the other specs vary?

    • Basically, what all would I need to know so that I could exactly repeat these tests myself?

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    Plane Walker GreenStoned's Avatar
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    i havent parsed since patch day and i dont think i saved ss or parses but for me mm 38 sin 17 nb 11 won

    it ended up really slightly ahead

    to be fair tho, the difference was thin enough to play whichever i felt the most comfy with...
    also dummy parsing is one thing, but theres a few bosses out there where managing to keep the pedestal buff is a bit tougher, and if for some reason that happens to you as mm 38 instead of 51 ur loss will only be 10, not 30... im pretty sur both will parse really close to each other, but the 38 build is less pedestal dependant
    Down the rabbit hole...

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    Rift Disciple Unit Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Tib View Post
    I have a few questions, though.
    • What are your stats? (AP/Crit/ranged weapon DPS)

    • What greater essences, trinket, and weapon enchants were you using?

    • What about your rotations?

    • What buffs did you have? What about target debuffs?

    • How long did you run the tests for?

    • You mentioned that the 51 MM/15 NB/0 Sin build provided very consistent DPS. How much did the other specs vary?

    • Basically, what all would I need to know so that I could exactly repeat these tests myself?
    Happy to help.

    I have switched my gear around a tad since doing the tests but these numbers should be relatively accurate as it was only a minor change to my Sigil. I am now running with 6 lesser essences, all of them being of the +str/+dex variety with some having +AP and others with +crit.

    I ran self-buffed, which in this spec means I used Hellfire Blades and Virulent Poison from 0pt Assassin. There were no debuffs on the target dummy (Boss dummy) during any of the tests. I had it all to myself.

    DEX: 475
    AP: 442 (not including my trinket proc, Devil's Luck, which adds 35AP. I do not know what the specific uptime of this trinket is, but it procs fairly often).
    CRIT: 639
    WEAPON: Rune Carved Bow (36.0 DPS)

    The test I ran was simple and easy to replicate.

    Drop pedestal. Open with Strafe, then Rapid Fire Shot. Burn IHR immediately and cycle through Empowered and Deadeye until it wears off. Normal rotation was to use Empowered whenever it came up, and Swift Shot for filler to get to 5CP's. I used Deadeye Shot as my normal finisher, unless RFS was available. If Strafe or IHR came off cooldown, I would use them on the next rotation.

    I don't use Quick Reload during testing (unless I'm testing for burn phases) just to make everything consistent. I also only use IHR twice in each test, even though it's usually back up at the end of the test. Again, for consistency's sake.

    Once the pedestal disappears (the actual pedestal, not the 15s buff that lasts after the pedestal disappears), finish whatever rotation you are in the middle of and end the test on your last finisher. Alt+Tab out and stop the parser. Doing it based on the pedestal means all the tests are identical in length and it's an easy visual indication of when to stop the test. Each test was somewhere between 3:00 and 3:10.

    Just a disclaimer, there is a school of thought that SS --> Empowered Shot for DPS. I have always found that my rotation is smoother if I use Empowered in it and believe it to be superior since it builds combo points at a lower energy cost than Swift Shot does. Since finishers are where you make your money, that's how I will always run my rotation. How you do the test is up to you and your playstyle, and it will hold up as a test as long as it's consistent from run to run.

    The other specs typically had a range of ~20DPS across multiple tests. 51MM/15NB was the only one with a consistent damage profile.

    I'd be happy to help you look through your tests if you want some advice or analysis
    Terk - Expert Marksman - Eternal IRON (Belmont)
    Eikke - Justicar (L4x) - Eternal IRON (Belmont)

    My Marksman can beat up your Pyro...
    Terk's Guide to Marksman PVP (Cloak and Arrow style)

  12. #12
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unit Five View Post
    It does increase MA damage, but only 6 percent more than FND which boosts everything. MA is around 10 percent of total damage, so the flat 3 percent to everything outweighs it.
    Thanks for that tip, another respec tonight heh.

    A quick question concerning your testing rotation and real world stuff. While I do know that you do not use Quick Reload for consistency, in raids (as I'm just starting to gear out in experts, so my raid experience is none), you would want to do a strafe, RFS, IHR, QR, repeat to maximize your dps output, unless you need to save QR for a burn phase correct?

    Thanks for the thread Unit, it's been pretty helpful in nailing down the last few details for speccing this build.
    Last edited by Spartanx9; 05-24-2011 at 08:50 PM.

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    Rift Disciple Unit Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartanx9 View Post
    Thanks for that tip, another respec tonight heh.

    A quick question concerning your testing rotation and real world stuff. While I do know that you do not use Quick Reload for consistency, in raids (as I'm just starting to gear out in experts, so my raid experience is none), you would want to do a strafe, RFS, IHR, QR, repeat to maximize your dps output, unless you need to save QR for a burn phase correct?

    Thanks for the thread Unit, it's been pretty helpful in nailing down the last few details for speccing this build.
    The dummy test is for repetition. I don't advise blowing cooldowns right on a pull in a dungeon, especially if you don't know your tank's capabilities. MM DPS during Improved Hit and Run is pretty damn high, and you will probably pull aggro if you open up with this. This will probably result in death (at best) and a tank that's irritated with you (at worst).

    Here's a little Marksman Boot Camp for you (and any new Marksmen who were drawn to this thread) since you are just starting with the spec as well as just starting to gear out in dungeons.

    STEP ONE: Get proficient with your rotation. This is where the dummy comes in handy. The rotation for MM is very easy to manage as there aren't a lot of buffs to juggle. Make an assist macro so you can press one button to assist your tank and use that for target switching so you don't accidentally pull something and you'll be golden.

    STEP TWO: Use your mobility. One of the nice things about Marksman is that you can sustain your DPS while moving as long as you know how to work your camera with the mouse. On the Double is a fantastic skill in any boss fight that doesn't allow you to stand in one place. Use it, run to an appropriate spot, re-drop your pedestal, and resume pew-pew. You have 15 seconds after leaving a pedestal before you lose your damage buff, which is more than ample time in any fight. Just make sure it never drops.

    If you're willing to give up a little bit of damage, switch your 0pt soul out to Riftstalker for Shadow Shift. On fights like Caelia and Plutonus, it's worth it.

    STEP THREE: Learn to manage your long cooldowns.

    Only use Quick Reload if all of your skills are on cooldown. If IHR or Strafe is coming back up again soon, just stay with your normal rotation until you can use them again and, if the fight allows, pop QR after and really lay into the boss.

    Different boss fights call for different usages of cooldowns. I'll give you a few examples here so you can get the gist of what I mean, but this is something that is best learned through experience.

    CARETAKER ARCANIS (xDSM): Make sure you have IHR up when you have to break the 3rd crystal. It's a DPS race, so it's best to save it for that phase rather than using it on the boss.

    JULTHARIN (xCC): Open with Strafe and Rapid Fire Shot and blow IHR immediately. After IHR is done, blow Quick Reload and repeat. Hope that your tank is competent and has a good threat lead. If the fight lasts long enough for you to use IHR again after that, you will definitely need it!

    ELIAM (xRD): Make sure you have IHR up for the 8-ghost phase, no matter what. If you have QR up during that phase, even better. You can save the group from a wipe by being able to take down 5-6 of the ghosts by yourself just by using that cooldown and running around to burn the ghosts with incredible efficiency and grace.

    STEP FOUR: Eradicate and Deaden! Learn to use these. Yes, they don't add to your DPS but getting good with timing them is part of becoming an awesome Marksman. Being able to use these skills competently in a group scenario is what truly separates good Marksmen from scrubs.

    Eradicate does not strip the buff until your projectile hits the mob. On boss fights where you have to, say, strip a damage reflect shield, you want to time this as precisely as possible. If you have a gun, it's easy. With a bow, it takes a little practice. You aren't going to wipe a group if you aren't perfect, but people will be impressed if you are spot-on. Also, get in the habit of purging buffs from trash. A lot of mobs have damage-reflect abilities, and stripping them makes your healer's job easier. This doesn't matter much in the current state of dungeons, but on raid trash it's very helpful.

    Clever use of Deaden makes the tank's job easier by allowing him to group mobs that they are unable to silence. Most Rogue and Cleric tanks don't have a silence or single-target force pull, so if you can nail that stray caster with a silencing shot and draw them in to the tank, you've made their job less complicated. Note that Deaden will always land right when you fire it, regardless of if you are using a bow or a gun.

    Happy pewpewing and shoot me a PM if you ever have further questions!
    Last edited by Unit Five; 05-24-2011 at 10:16 PM.
    Terk - Expert Marksman - Eternal IRON (Belmont)
    Eikke - Justicar (L4x) - Eternal IRON (Belmont)

    My Marksman can beat up your Pyro...
    Terk's Guide to Marksman PVP (Cloak and Arrow style)

  14. #14
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unit Five View Post
    STEP FOUR: Eradicate and Deaden! Learn to use these. Yes, they don't add to your DPS but getting good with timing them is part of becoming an awesome Marksman. Being able to use these skills competently in a group scenario is what truly separates good Marksmen from scrubs.
    Having them in another game, I was quick to master these, although I wish it Deaden was a bit cheaper (wishful thinking).

    Quote Originally Posted by Unit Five View Post
    Eradicate does not strip the buff until your projectile hits the mob. On boss fights where you have to, say, strip a damage reflect shield, you want to time this as precisely as possible. If you have a gun, it's easy. With a bow, it takes a little practice.
    So the bow has a bit of a longer travel time than the gun? Interesting. Also thanks for the holding on IHR tips.

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    Telaran 2Tib's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for the answers about your test method! :)

    Although I do have a thought. (just one )

    If you're only using 2 Improved Hit and Run cooldowns per three minute test, rather than the 3 Quick Reload would allow for, then that may be affecting the results.

    More uptime on IHR means more Empowered and Deadeye Shots fired. ES and DS have a inherently higher chance to crit, so firing more of them would increase the value of anything that benefits from crits, namely the points typically spent in the 3rd and 4th tier of the Assassin tree. I'm interested to see if that makes a difference.

    (Edit: I forgot about Bull's Eye, which means 1 more guaranteed crit over the course of those 3 minutes. Admittedly not much of a big deal.)

    I do agree with your decision not to use Lethal poison on either test, since in a typical fight that raid debuff will be present whether we bring it or not.

    I'll probably have some time to do some testing myself this weekend.
    Last edited by 2Tib; 05-25-2011 at 05:16 AM. Reason: Forgot about Bull's Eye! D:

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