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Thread: Build Options as Bard, RS, and Sab?

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    Rift Disciple Lorx's Avatar
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    Default Build Options as Bard, RS, and Sab?

    Okay so I came back in the Raptr wave, and have been thumbing through the laundry list of changes since I last played. I stopped with like, Hammerknell still being new content, so what I know is very outdated. Looked through the first couple pages of the Guides area, tried to get a grasp on what's decent, what's not, and why. What I found made sense sometimes, and conflicted others, I can only assume due to patches. So hoping to get answers here on what's current.

    Also, I am full PvE focus, couldn't care less about what's viable or decent in PvP. I like raiding, dungeons, etc, from a casual approach.

    Questions in order from simplest to broadest I guess;

    1. Riftstalker
    Muspel's guide seemed pretty complete and answered a lot of my curiousities about how the spec should be played. I'm currently running 61RS/13TAC/2BD since Tac is new to me and I want to experiment around with it's possibilities. Is it a huge major difference to run 8RNG/7BRD, will I get slapped for trying to bring this into a raid? Is there any other hugely viable build that I should be aware of?

    2. Bard
    So I saw two big specs, and most of what I read was this thread and it's responses. It seems like 40BRD/36TAC is a poor man's Chloro (down from being OP due to some bug), and 61BRD/(idk what goes here) is better DPS and provides a tad bit of extra raid buffing capabilities, in OoP/VoJ/Occlusion. But overall Power Core seems better than OoP, half the cooldown for more than half of the damage bonus. So...the only reason to run 61/X/X would be for higher DPS? Is that something a raid even looks for in a Bard right now?
    Also, can somebody explain why Tactical&Expanded Torrents are sometimes taken in these specs? Doesn't seem like the skills offer anything useful at all to a healing-oriented spec, just point dumps to get to Primer Amplification?

    3. Sabo
    I love Sabo, and understand it's basically pointless right now besides for spike AoE and Instigate which is not worth taking a class over and will probably rarely prove useful if you're tank knows what he's doing. I like it, and I'm no hardcore player, so I'd like to make it...work. My old build was the common Sabsin melee build that relied a lot on Sin procs to keep up DPS, basically ignoring most bombs, all traps, etc. What should I be doing with Sabo now (besides dropping it)? Doesn't seem worth it to dig past 51 at all, and even then that's throwing in 7 points for Rapid Setup and gaining a worthless trap for group content. Could probably slip with 44 easily unless there's so much in the upper tree now that you need to dig deeper. Opinions? Even by "Ha you picked Sabo!" standards, is 61 even worth it? Rapid seems like almost a necessity with Spike Charge no longer having a nice even duration, but idk if that's actually worth 7 points just to secure.
    Epic Gendo

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    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorx View Post
    1. Riftstalker
    Muspel's guide seemed pretty complete and answered a lot of my curiousities about how the spec should be played. I'm currently running 61RS/13TAC/2BD since Tac is new to me and I want to experiment around with it's possibilities. Is it a huge major difference to run 8RNG/7BRD, will I get slapped for trying to bring this into a raid? Is there any other hugely viable build that I should be aware of?
    There isn't a single encounter this tier where I'd recommend using 13tact/2BD. The only fight where Barrier Remote is noticeably useful is Crucia, and Side Steps is not much good there. Plus, you're better off with 8Ranger/7Bard on that fight anyways.

    Running that spec will cause you to lose about 4% effective health, which means that you'll be more susceptible to damage spikes. You'll also require more healing. It's not so massive that you'll notice just by eyeballing it, but it is worse in every situation you'll encounter.
    Last edited by Muspel; 05-02-2013 at 09:23 PM.

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    Rift Master Ymirson's Avatar
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    2. 61 Bard is the DPS heavy group heal option whereas tact/bard does more heal. Power core and Orchestra stack, so you can have both.(Power Core has been changed to a 10% damage taken debuff on all mobs in the vicinity, same mechanic as Wild Growth. Also, the don't stack) Any raid wanting to push their DPS to the limit will include a bard, as orchestra and Verse of Joy are invaluable.


    3. Sab is dead for all intents and purposes as a tact/marksman hybrid does equal AE DPS in most circumstances, brings Power Core and does more ST damage then a sab, which is basically useless if there is nothing to bomb. I heard in it's still fun and possible to blow people up in PvP, but i don't care. Sab hybrids trying to exploit charges or whatnot are not raidviable anymore.
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    Rift Disciple Lorx's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses!

    Quote Originally Posted by Muspel View Post
    There isn't a single encounter this tier where I'd recommend using 13tact/2BD. The only fight where Barrier Remote is noticeably useful is Crucia, and Side Steps is not much good there. Plus, you're better off with 8Ranger/7Bard on that fight anyways.

    Running that spec will cause you to lose about 4% effective health, which means that you'll be more susceptible to damage spikes. You'll also require more healing. It's not so massive that you'll notice just by eyeballing it, but it is worse in every situation you'll encounter.
    So basically a choice of;
    4% healing increase, 4% eHealth
    2% Dodge, Two Cooldowns, Curative Engine
    With both options being realistically viable. If a boss could spike 96% of my HP as 8RNG/7BRD, I'm doing something wrong. Either by not being geared enough, being hit in the face with something I should have used a CD for anyway, or generally being out of the casual raiding setting. All three of which is boo on me. On the flip side, neither of the CD's/C-Engine are super awesome, so it's not like they would perhaps make or break those same situations. In a roundabout way confirming that I should be fine with either spec, and not be laughed out of anything that isn't a hardcore raiding group, which is the kind of group I don't run with anyway.

    Also I just want to say again, the thoroughness of your information in that guide was phenomenal.

    An additional question; any advice for how to get the most out of Defer Death in pub groups who may not know what it is? Having a macro that yells "just let me die" seems too vague to actually...work, but announcing nothing means it's likely the healer will also pop a CD if they don't notice it's cast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ymirson View Post
    2. 61 Bard is the DPS heavy group heal option whereas tact/bard does more heal. Power core and Orchestra stack, so you can have both.(Power Core has been changed to a 10% damage taken debuff on all mobs in the vicinity, same mechanic as Wild Growth. Also, the don't stack) Any raid wanting to push their DPS to the limit will include a bard, as orchestra and Verse of Joy are invaluable.


    3. Sab is dead for all intents and purposes as a tact/marksman hybrid does equal AE DPS in most circumstances, brings Power Core and does more ST damage then a sab, which is basically useless if there is nothing to bomb. I heard in it's still fun and possible to blow people up in PvP, but i don't care. Sab hybrids trying to exploit charges or whatnot are not raidviable anymore.
    2. So it is simple choice of HPS vs DPS, okay. How useful is VoJ now? Seems like energy starvation isn't so much a thing anymore, with more rogues having access to regen abilities, and I haven't seen a mage cry about being out of mana ever yet. Before I stopped playing all it was ever really used for was to let rogues go nutty without starving, and provide regen to the mage brigade.

    3. I understand Sab's dead, I'm just trying to figure out where it's...least dead? Only down three limbs instead of all four? I never really liked DD Sab anyway, or actually used it beyond testing. So seeing that gone is not really something I cry over.

    Follow up question on a more general scale; If you're in melee range as a ranged soul, getting the "too close ****" message, do you lose out on autoattack animations? My rogue will switch to daggers after the message and swing, before whipping out the bow again when a move is cast, is that harmful to DPS? It seems like it would mess with the animations and kind of hinder the consistency/frequency of AA's, at least from my observations. (If so, is there a way to fix it so it forces melee AA's and has good flow, or is it just not possible)
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    Ascendant Mayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorx View Post
    3. I understand Sab's dead, I'm just trying to figure out where it's...least dead? Only down three limbs instead of all four? I never really liked DD Sab anyway, or actually used it beyond testing. So seeing that gone is not really something I cry over.

    Follow up question on a more general scale; If you're in melee range as a ranged soul, getting the "too close ****" message, do you lose out on autoattack animations? My rogue will switch to daggers after the message and swing, before whipping out the bow again when a move is cast, is that harmful to DPS? It seems like it would mess with the animations and kind of hinder the consistency/frequency of AA's, at least from my observations. (If so, is there a way to fix it so it forces melee AA's and has good flow, or is it just not possible)
    The best spec for sab is 61Sab-10mm-5NB, here's a link to the spec:

    http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#BkGiGBllaa8/wg/Ah0

    The playstyle is a lot different then the old sab. You'll need to use your bombs a lot more then previously. What I found works best is 5x spike - detonate - spam bombs/traps, rinse and repeat. Use chemical on cooldown, it's a single target dps increase.

    I say spam bombs and traps because you'll need to use the new trap immolation trap in your single target rotation. It's a large dps boost, and you can place it at range with trap extension. Spike trap is garbage, never use it. Cloud maker is a single target dps increase when you have 5 mobs up (or mobs to aoe off of) but otherwise shouldn't be used in a single target rotation.

    I can't recall what I did with rapid setup; I believe it's either to use 5x caltrop after spike, or to use it to apply x5 spike charge after using carpet bombing, after carpet bombing you'll be throwing bombs for a while so spike will almost drop by the end of it.

    I wish I still had my macro or could remember how I ordered my bomb macro, but I can't. What I suggest you do is head to the dummy and check how much each bomb hits for, then order the abilities from hardest hitting to lowest hitting in your macro.

    Another thing, detonate hits like a truck so you'll want to use detonate in a single target rotation, but fragmentation bomb and annihilation bomb detonate your spike charges. The best way to use them and still be able to build up to 5 spike before detonating is to throw them right after detonate only. So you'd go spike x5 - detonate - frag - annihilation. You might be able to macro them this way too, you'll have to test it out yourself.

    For abilities you'll need ST bomb macro, AoE bomb macro, detonate, frag/annihilation macro, chemical bomb. If you enjoy min-maxing and tweaking specs play with it and then post a guide! Worst thing that can happen is you'll overlook some things others will notice and will point out, your build can only improve. From what I've seen most rogues haven't had a sab spec in so long they've forgotten how to play it, so doing some work with it will likely help the community.
    Last edited by Mayi; 05-03-2013 at 03:14 AM.
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    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorx View Post
    If a boss could spike 96% of my HP as 8RNG/7BRD, I'm doing something wrong.
    It's not just about dying from full health, it's about requiring less healing in between hits. There's an example I use a lot to illustrate this concept, and it applies pretty well here.

    Let's say that you have two tanks. One of them has 10 health, the other has 15. Both tanks take a hit for 8 damage.

    Both of them survive, but the first tank is suddenly at critical health levels. The healers panic every time he gets hit so hard, and they immediately scramble to get him topped off. Emergencies are common. The second tank, on the other hand, can survive two hits with minimal healing in between.

    Now, obviously, the situation here is much less extreme, because the health difference is nowhere near 50%. Still, the basic concept holds-- having higher effective health means that some situations that would be terrifying become merely routine.

    Barrier Remote often isn't enough to absorb an entire melee hit, unless you're fighting bosses that you outgear quite a bit. And Side Steps doesn't even work on life-threatening boss abilities like Lighting Breath or Lacerating Cascade.

    Overall, BR will help you a bit when you use it, but you're making yourself squishier for every single tank-killing ability when it's not up, and on most fights, you just don't have enough cooldowns to cover all of those. It makes the worst-case scenario a bit worse, and that's not the kind of thing you want to risk.

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    Rift Master Ymirson's Avatar
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    On a completely unrelated note: I like your new sig.
    And now, a scotsman on a horse.
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    One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork.
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    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    I requested it.

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    RIFT Guide Writer TheGrinnz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorx View Post
    2. So it is simple choice of HPS vs DPS, okay. How useful is VoJ now? Seems like energy starvation isn't so much a thing anymore, with more rogues having access to regen abilities, and I haven't seen a mage cry about being out of mana ever yet. Before I stopped playing all it was ever really used for was to let rogues go nutty without starving, and provide regen to the mage brigade.
    Just some further info on this since I'm not sure it was clear. Tact/bard is dead as a raid support spec. Orchestra of the Planes is now only in the same stacking group as Lava Field so it's pretty much a required buff for the burst phase of the boss fight (i.e. when Flaring Power is up). Tact/bard is still useful as it's one of the highest healing rogue specs in addition to providing most other bard buffs, it's just not useful for anything in particular in 20-man raids, and it's usually not useful in the 10man either unless your raid makeup is odd. Full tactician can also be useful for healing and tactician buffs if the bard buffs are already covered.

    Also, verse of joy is nice. For mages it's not for mana, it's for charge, it's the rogues and warriors that have energy/power issues now.
    Last edited by TheGrinnz; 05-03-2013 at 11:30 AM.

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    Rift Disciple Lorx's Avatar
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    @Muspel (RS)
    I get where you're coming from, I'll be sure to try 8/7 at the least. You mention healer mentality a lot, but frankly that seems...bad? I mean yeah a 50% health difference would be a huge difference, but if a boss is doing what is effectively like a 4% difference in my HP, it shouldn't blow up any healer's cooldowns as a waste. That just seems like terrribly bad play.

    Actually found a nice little use for SS today in Power of the Planes, helps builds the stacks very nicely.

    ---

    @TheGrinnz (BRD)
    I see. I'll double-check with my guild and make sure to know what they expect from bards. Basically what you're saying is BRD/TAC isn't dead due to statistical follies, it's just not needed in basically any raid setting if you have Chloros/raid healers to fill already (which is basically any raid). Whereas 61BRD has enough unique-listed skills in VoJ+OoP that it doesn't have that overlap.

    ---

    @Mayi (SAB)
    I tend to not macro much, just because it makes the game feel less...fun. I generally run two macros on Sab, one for Incrim (target_focustarget, cast incrim, target_lasttarget), and one on Det. I know it's technically "better" to run macros just because automation reduces the chance for failure, but again, casual player, I'm okay with that. It allows me to better understand the spec I'm using and pull better knowledge.
    A bomb macro would probably show up as Embers>Splinter>(Chem)>Annih>Frag, skipping over Adhes, Gas, Spike, Time. Embers will boost most bombs, Splinter will take care of the rest + charges, four not on rotation are CC or Time bomb, which needs to be off a macro anyway so it can be cast before you enter combat. Chem's in () since it's ground-target and mixing that in with skills that aren't seems...annoying.

    Totally agree on Det, I noticed that in practice, generally my opening has been bomb spam in the above order up through Chem, then Det, then Annih+Frag.

    Did they ever change bombs being counted as Poison *abilities*? I remember that used to be a thing so they'd be cleansable in PvP. I might try this. If I enter melee it'll probably result in un-fluid AA's, but I didn't notice much of an animation change for weapons, may be able to outdo it with the poisons. There's a couple options in Sabo it seems for pointless skills, most of them traps as per usual I guess. You didn't ever mention Molotov, so I assume it's kind of...not worth salt as well.

    It's annoying, Sabo got understandably a little left out in everything in seems because it's really the only soul where you can't use builders from other classes, and you can't use their finishers either, making it really hard to mesh with anything. From a non-glitch standpoint all it's ever meshed well with are like, MM and SIN, since they have passive boosters you can utilize. But Sab being changed so it's listed as Ranged specific instead of Any Weapon screws over SIN a fair amount, for like absolutely no reason. On top of Spike lasting <12s so it actually fits cleanly in any builder rotation, just seems like they took a baseball bat to the class.
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    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorx View Post
    @Muspel (RS)
    I get where you're coming from, I'll be sure to try 8/7 at the least. You mention healer mentality a lot, but frankly that seems...bad? I mean yeah a 50% health difference would be a huge difference, but if a boss is doing what is effectively like a 4% difference in my HP, it shouldn't blow up any healer's cooldowns as a waste. That just seems like terrribly bad play.
    What your healers do actually plays a huge role in tank theorycraft, because they arguably do even more to keep you alive than you do.

    Like I said, it is a lot more minor than the example I gave, but the basic idea holds. Having more effective health can be the difference between surviving two hits with no heals and dying. Or maybe it makes it so that you only need 2k healing instead of 3k. Et cetera. Sure, it's minor, but it's still the least minor of any of the talent choices you could make.

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    Rift Disciple Lorx's Avatar
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    Healers are important to be sure, but if I'm queuing with healers so derp that they believe 55% is awesomely fine but 51% health is the sign for an emergency, I have bigger problems. Namely a healer who is apparently thick enough where they'd probably just waste cooldowns anyway. Theorycrafting a build specifically for people like that is kind of a waste imo. I'd like to consider the possibility the majority of healers I run with, especially in a raiding setting, are competent.
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    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    You seem to be misunderstanding my point.

    EDIT: I've got to head out the door right now, but I'll try to come up with another way to explain it when I get back.
    Last edited by Muspel; 05-03-2013 at 05:28 PM.

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    Ascendant Mayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorx;4232900
    @Mayi (SAB)
    I tend to not macro much, just because it makes the game feel less...fun. I generally run two macros on Sab, one for Incrim (target_focustarget, cast incrim, target_lasttarget), and one on Det. I know it's technically "better" to run macros just because automation reduces the chance for failure, but again, casual player, I'm okay with that. It allows me to better understand the spec I'm using and pull better knowledge.
    A bomb macro would probably show up as Embers>Splinter>(Chem)>Annih>Frag, skipping over Adhes, Gas, Spike, Time. Embers will boost most bombs, Splinter will take care of the rest + charges, four not on rotation are CC or Time bomb, which needs to be off a macro anyway so it can be cast before you enter combat. Chem's in () since it's ground-target and mixing that in with skills that aren't seems...annoying.

    Totally agree on Det, I noticed that in practice, generally my opening has been bomb spam in the above order up through Chem, then Det, then Annih+Frag.

    Did they ever change bombs being counted as Poison *abilities*? I remember that used to be a thing so they'd be cleansable in PvP. I might try [URL="http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#BkAAGlaFhh0/w/ykw10"
    this[/URL]. If I enter melee it'll probably result in un-fluid AA's, but I didn't notice much of an animation change for weapons, may be able to outdo it with the poisons. There's a couple options in Sabo it seems for pointless skills, most of them traps as per usual I guess. You didn't ever mention Molotov, so I assume it's kind of...not worth salt as well.

    It's annoying, Sabo got understandably a little left out in everything in seems because it's really the only soul where you can't use builders from other classes, and you can't use their finishers either, making it really hard to mesh with anything. From a non-glitch standpoint all it's ever meshed well with are like, MM and SIN, since they have passive boosters you can utilize. But Sab being changed so it's listed as Ranged specific instead of Any Weapon screws over SIN a fair amount, for like absolutely no reason. On top of Spike lasting <12s so it actually fits cleanly in any builder rotation, just seems like they took a baseball bat to the class.
    First thing I did with Sab was test out a bunch of hybrids, they all fell short but that was a long time ago. One ability that might possibly be good for sab is Physical trauma, that ability has been buffed since I tested any hybrids out.

    If you're going to try to make a hybrid using spike charge (assuming you're looking for a single target dps build) one thing you can do is try 15 sab - 61 assassin with spike.

    http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#B92/t/ykFlliGAGl4

    If you look at the sab tree it's mostly new abilities and bonuses to bombs, only charge booster boosts your charges and it's possible to make up that damage with other passives. Myself I'm not interested in a 61 sin spec with charges, I liked the old spikeateur though... actually maybe I'll play a bit with sab to try and come up with a gorloch spec (ST epeen raiding encounter). The only issue with using sab with assassin is poisons only activate on ability casts now and not autoattacks. Might lose a lot of poison procs which will kill the dps.

    Another thing, sab does work with other finishers and combo point generating abilities. Once you've built 5 charges you can use a regular finisher. Using the regular finisher consumes your combo points but the charges are left on the target (it should show 5 on the class button thing). You can then detonate the charges with frag/annihilation or build 1 combo point and use detonate.

    Some other things:
    - Molotov cocktail is good. It's not a bad option to use with carpet bombing.
    - I also think charges still count as poisons.
    - You can macro time bomb, you just have to put it right at the bottom of your bomb spam macro. It just happens to work out that by the time you've applied time bomb it's time to cast charges again.
    - I think sab counting as a ranged spec is a buff, not sure what you mean by that nerfing it
    Last edited by Mayi; 05-03-2013 at 09:12 PM.
    I rite a gooded guide for rouges.

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    Rift Disciple Lorx's Avatar
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    Sin Poisons proc on abilities only now?
    *crumples paper up and throws it out the window*

    Before when I used to play Sabo, abilities in the tree were marked as Any Weapon, not Ranged. The game ran calculations based off what weapons you had out. Meaning Sabo could ranged or melee based purely off what the player wanted to do. With it being hard-defined as ranged, you can no longer have as much synergy with other souls. It's a nerf by limiting options. It's not like you're actually using a bow or daggers when throwing charges, so letting the player choose what they were using when not placing charges, allowing for more kinds of builds. And not in the "hue hue DD is funny" way, stuff like choosing between MM Ammo and SIN Poison procs, or NB if you were a little more bomb heavy, etc. Opened up possibilities a lot, and was definitely one of the best things about the class in my opinion. I loved the openness that allowed.
    Last edited by Lorx; 05-03-2013 at 11:23 PM. Reason: clarity
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