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Thread: In-Depth Raiding Defiler Guide

  1. #1
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    Default In-Depth Raiding Defiler Guide

    Similar to my Shaman guide, I am posting my Defiler guide as I feel there is a lot of good information spread across multiple guides and posts. This guide is intended to help you as a RAIDING defiler. Refer to one of the other 5 man Defiler guides if you are interested in using the spec in a dungeon.

    Defiler Philosophy

    The Defiler is difficult to define, but its closest comparison is the Chloro. The Chloro deals damage in order to heal. This is more or less true for the Defiler. Generally, the only time you should ever do a "hard cast" foul growth is pre-pull. In a raid setting, you will be primarily dealing damage in order to get and maintain stacks of foul growth on the target of your links.

    The difference between the Defiler and Chloro is that Defiler does not provide the Chloro's small, but consistent healing while dealing damage. Instead, the Defiler chooses when to trigger our stacks of foul growth stacks for a massive heal. Also unlike the Chloro, we can only reliably heal 2 targets (the targets of your 30% and 20% links).

    Thus, the philosophy of the raiding Defiler is to DPS while saving the tanks from spike damage. Your job is to to keep one eye on the tanks' health and the other on your DPS rotation. You won't get the highest HPS or DPS, but the Defiler is invaluable as it passively reduces tank damage through its links while providing spot heals for the tank and solid DPS.

    Spec and Stat Priority

    The Defiler is a flexible spec and there are many variations of it. The variations all have their strengths and weaknesses; some specs deal better single target damage while others do better AOE damage and even some raid healing. Generally speaking, all raid Defiler specs should be 61 as Unstable Transformation is hands down the best healing CD in the entire game. This spec is the one that I believe is most in line with the philosophy of the raiding Defiler:

    http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree.j...kllliEGkG8/nAd

    This spec bolsters our DPS with the 9 points in Inquisitor while increasing our single target healing capabilities through healer's blessing. This spec also provides us with the maximum amount of spell power.

    As far as stats are concerned, Defilers should prioritize spell power over crit power. While we primarily DPS in raids, Defiler does not have the +crit chance talents found in Inquisitor or Shaman. Since the crit rate for Defilers is far lower, favor spell power over crit power when the gear is of the "same level" (IE: when choosing between two raid pieces).

    Macros

    Spoiler!


    Add Ons

    Defiler is the one spec that you must have an add on for. This add on will allow you to keep track of how many foul growths stacks are on the target of your links. This way, you know if you should just trigger your foul growth stacks (2 or 3 stacks) or need to use explosive growth first (1 or no stacks).

    http://www.riftui.com/downloads/info323-DefilerFG.html

    How to Play

    Spoiler!


    DPS Rotation:

    At first glance, the Defiler rotation may seem hopelessly complicated. Most specs have 4 dots to maintain, Marrow Harvest, Pain Transmission, and Somatic Desecration. As with any DoT heavy spec, it's a huge DPS loss to "clip" your dot by reapplying it before it has fallen off. Well fear not, there is a way to break down the rotation to make it manageable.

    Think about how you play Inquisitor for a second. In most situations, the rotation revolves "around" Sanction Heretic. Sanction Heretic --> Scourge --> Vex --> Spam till Bolt of Depravity --> Bolt of Depravity --> Spam till Sanction Heretic and do it all over again. Yeah, it's a little more complicated than this, but that's the basic idea.

    For Defilers, everything in our single target rotation revolves around Marrow Harvest. It's a little more complicated because there are more dots to maintain, but let Marrow Harvest be your "timer" just as Sanction Heretic is your timer for Inquisitor.

    I'll write out the ST rotation in two ways. The first is for those who just like to memorize and the second for those who like to think of rotations in "blocks" (I recommend the latter).

    Memorization:

    Spoiler!


    Blocking:

    Spoiler!


    Hope that makes things easier! Know your rotation cold, because now we get to the interesting part: how to heal as a Defiler.

    How to Heal

    So you got your DPS rotation down, but how do you know when to heal?

    Tank Healing

    Spoiler!


    Raid Healing

    Spoiler!


    The Beacon, Links, and You

    Spoiler!
    Last edited by Eskatol; 06-20-2013 at 11:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    Not going to criticize the entire guide, but your dps rotation can be improved.

    Obviously Marrow Harvest should be initially applied due to the magic debuff, but to work it into a "rotation" is flawed and will result in lower dps.

    I run a defiler/warden spec due to higher spread damage (tidal surge>unholy nexus and ridiculous Pain Transmissions)

    The dps priorities for Defiler/Warden are basically as follows

    1. Marrow Harvest (Tenebrious Distortion inactive)
    2. Bond of Pain
    3. Pain Transmission (much higher dps than your alternatives from this point)
    4. Vex
    5. Siphon Vitality
    6. Dehydrate
    7. Marrow Harvest (Tenebrious Distortion active)
    8. Somatic Desecration

    It's not exactly the same ability list (dehydrate instead of SH), but you should be able to see that Pain Transmission needs to be prioritized better than your current rotation, and vex needs to be prioritized over Siphon Vitality unless you need the absorb proc faster. I may eventually write a complete defiler guide, but there's just so bloody many of them around that I feel all the points have been made, at least across all posts.

    edit: also, your views on itemization are incorrect. CP gear > SP gear even for defiler. You only need around 30% crit chance for CP gear to be equal.
    Last edited by Ahov; 06-20-2013 at 12:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahov View Post
    Obviously Marrow Harvest should be initially applied due to the magic debuff, but to work it into a "rotation" is flawed and will result in lower dps.

    It's not exactly the same ability list (dehydrate instead of SH), but you should be able to see that Pain Transmission needs to be prioritized better than your current rotation, and vex needs to be prioritized over Siphon Vitality unless you need the absorb proc faster.
    The only PT that is delayed in my rotation is the very first one. Otherwise, my rotation is designed so that if you follow the rules, PT will be used as soon as it's up...that's why it's rule #1. Don't knock before you try it... I know that PT is the Lion's Share of Def DPS and have prioritized accordingly .

    As far as the opening PT is concerned, there a few things to consider:

    1. You probably won't have 5 stacks of Rage Blight up by your third GCD.
    2. Not likely, but for whatever reason, all of your link targets may not yet be in range to emit PT.
    3. Raid wide temp buffs probably won't be cast just yet.

    Again, it's minor since it's only your very first PT, but the slight delay is made up for by guaranteeing 5 stacks of Rage, having all link targets in range, and being under the effects of Flaring Power etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahov View Post
    vex needs to be prioritized over Siphon Vitality unless you need the absorb proc faster
    Personally I like to play it safe and prefer to have my husk up one GCD sooner than the tiny DPS loss of delaying vex by one GCD, but that's just me. You can certainly swap SV and Vex, but I honestly don't know if there would be even a noticeable DPS increase.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahov View Post
    also, your views on itemization are incorrect. CP gear > SP gear even for defiler. You only need around 30% crit chance for CP gear to be equal.
    Is it really that low? I'm sure there is some disagreement about stat prioritization, but according to Bowler the values are (correct me if I'm wrong):

    Healers: .456 CP to 1 SP
    Inquisitors: .732 CP to 1 SP
    Shaman: .920 CP to 1 SP

    According to Bowler, none of our specs have a 1:1 CP to SP ratio. Of course, CP tends to be more generous than SP on equal level gear, hence why CP items are BiS for the majority of Shaman slots.

    That said, there are 2 reasons why I recommend SP over CP for Defs.

    First, from my experience, the Defiler's crit rate is pretty abysmal. Self buffed on the dummies, I usually parse around 20% crit chance. So the Def's value depending on your spec should be somewhere between .5..maybe .6 to 1 SP at best, .456 at worst. I've parsed on the PTS with both my CP heavy gear and my SP heavy gear with many different Defiler specs. Generally speaking, SP heavy was better.

    Second, the Defiler doubles as a healer. Everything from our heals to our husks are better served by SP. This is also why I prefer the Inq/Sent sub souls for my primary Defiler spec.

    Given the low crit rate of Defiler and the possibility of maxing out SP bonuses from Inq and Sent, I just feel that SP is overall better for both healing and DPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahov View Post
    I run a defiler/warden spec due to higher spread damage (tidal surge>unholy nexus and ridiculous Pain Transmissions)
    I ran the warden off shoot for awhile, but once I got more SP gear, I found that at least for single target DPS, the Sent/Inq subsouls did slightly better and was definitely more consistent (at least on the PTS testing area). I am curious though: will Tidal Surge buff the Unholy Nexus spread AND PT in the same TS? If so, I'd definitely run that for something like Matriarch and Kain.

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    I didn't mean to imply that at 30% crit, 1SP = 1CP. I meant that, in terms of itemization, the CP will usually win out due to it having 1.7x the stats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahov View Post
    I didn't mean to imply that at 30% crit, 1SP = 1CP. I meant that, in terms of itemization, the CP will usually win out due to it having 1.7x the stats.
    Oh no, of course not, I didn't think that. I just question if the 30% figure is accurate seeing how much of a drop off there is between Inq and Shaman in CP value (almost .2) and the crit rate difference is only like 5-7%. I figure dropping the crit rate by another 10-15% on top of that would put it more in line with the healer's value of CP.

    I know you run a lot of tests too Ahov, but I just didn't see a DPS increase by stacking CP in the Golem Foundry test area. In most cases it was a DPS loss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eskatol View Post
    Oh no, of course not, I didn't think that. I just question if the 30% figure is accurate seeing how much of a drop off there is between Inq and Shaman in CP value (almost .2) and the crit rate difference is only like 5-7%. I figure dropping the crit rate by another 10-15% on top of that would put it more in line with the healer's value of CP.

    I know you run a lot of tests too Ahov, but I just didn't see a DPS increase by stacking CP in the Golem Foundry test area. In most cases it was a DPS loss.
    I haven't really looked at Bowlerhat's weights in a while, nor do I really care to. I do know that in Inquisitor my effective crit rate is 50%+, so surely the drop off from shaman won't be that harsh.

  7. #7
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    Looks really similar to my guide...I do relatively the same thing...I usually put up BoP before the pull though since it doesn't aggro mobs...might mess up rotation slightly but whatever...I've used the same spec for about 3 months, haven't tried Ahov's spec since if they ever fix Tidal Surge + Nexus...it's prolly gonna be obsolete. I love Healer's Blessing though...flashes get redic with it...wouldn't wanna go without it. I usually start fights as primarily DPS...on Twins I spike to around 16-20k...then as the fight drags on if I have to take a more healing centric role I'll finish between 10-14k...if I was allowed to stay DPS 100% usually 14-18k...which I think is decent for this spec...I'm still really interested in trying Warden...just seems like so much SP to lose though...

    Wuv

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    I would not suggest macroing Marrow Harvest with Somatic Desecration. Since the cast time blocks it from queueing it appears to introduce lag same as macroing Inferno with Fireball in Pyro.

    As for CP you could go either way on this. One could argue that the emergency healing component is important and thus like other healers you should prioritize the more reliable Spellpower. For solely DPS then CP gear is usually better.

    For the rotation, I much prefer to think of it as a priority, and use Kalert to keep track of marrow harvest, siphon vitality and the bonds. You can throw up all three bonds pre-pull as well (useless as the others are).

    The beacon is a full pet and thus is unphased by most AoE damage mechanics. A notable exception is oneshot mechanics such as when the first platform becomes inaccessible on Crucia. You should have your beacon out whenever possible, it's free DPS.
    Last edited by TheGrinnz; 06-21-2013 at 06:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGrinnz View Post
    I would not suggest macroing Marrow Harvest with Somatic Desecration. Since the cast time blocks it from queueing it appears to introduce lag same as macroing Inferno with Fireball in Pyro.
    Good point. I've been using full ability queues (cuz I'm too lazy to switch it just for the spec) and I think it's been less of a problem. However if you use short ability queues, definitely consider taking MH out of your spam macro.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGrinnz View Post
    As for CP you could go either way on this. One could argue that the emergency healing component is important and thus like other healers you should prioritize the more reliable Spellpower. For solely DPS then CP gear is usually better.
    I just don't see it. Most of my dummy tests show that high SP gear (raid level gear) coupled with a max SP spec did just as well, if not slightly better DPS than gear and specs balanced around CP. But since Ahov and Grinnz are both saying CP is better for DPS, I suppose it's time for me to test again.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGrinnz View Post
    For the rotation, I much prefer to think of it as a priority, and use Kalert to keep track of marrow harvest, siphon vitality and the bonds. You can throw up all three bonds pre-pull as well (useless as the others are).
    At first I tried to think of it as a priority system as well and it frustrated me. Quite frankly, it can be overwhelming for new Defilers to try and use a priority system while watching the tank's health simultaneously. That's why so many Defiler just "link and forget" I think.

    This is the reason why I made an actual rotation based off the priority and developed the 3 rules as a mental checklist to keep my rotation in line. Once you have a rotation, you can practice it till you know it cold, allowing you to focus on making clutch heals on the tanks and even other raid members.
    Last edited by Eskatol; 06-21-2013 at 09:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eskatol View Post
    At first I tried to think of it as a priority system as well and it frustrated me. Quite frankly, it can be overwhelming for new Defilers to try and use a priority system while watching the tank's health simultaneously. That's why so many Defiler just "link and forget" I think.

    This is the reason why I made an actual rotation based off the priority and developed the 3 rules as a mental checklist to keep my rotation in line. Once you have a rotation, you can practice it till you know it cold, allowing you to focus on making clutch heals on the tanks and even other raid members.
    It works for some people but a rotation will almost always have to be interrupted when raiding. If you can determine in an instant what needs to be used next then a priority system will always be more effective when you need to recover. Kalert is very useful for this as I mentioned since you can set it up to basically tell you what needs to be done at any given time.

    It's really just two ways of looking at the same thing, since if nothing goes wrong a priority system will always go in a rotation, and a rotation is developed based on a priority. But I find the priority way of looking at things much more exact and a better way to teach new players what they are actually doing instead of hitting 1/2/3 in a certain order. It's also much more flexible with things like Defilers having to take GCDs to heal, and Mages having to react based on charge usage and procs. Anyway listing out the overall priority is simple enough -- my Cabalist guide could probably benefit from it as well but I can't edit the post anymore...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGrinnz View Post
    It works for some people but a rotation will almost always have to be interrupted when raiding. If you can determine in an instant what needs to be used next then a priority system will always be more effective when you need to recover. Kalert is very useful for this as I mentioned since you can set it up to basically tell you what needs to be done at any given time.

    It's really just two ways of looking at the same thing, since if nothing goes wrong a priority system will always go in a rotation, and a rotation is developed based on a priority. But I find the priority way of looking at things much more exact and a better way to teach new players what they are actually doing instead of hitting 1/2/3 in a certain order. It's also much more flexible with things like Defilers having to take GCDs to heal, and Mages having to react based on charge usage and procs. Anyway listing out the overall priority is simple enough -- my Cabalist guide could probably benefit from it as well but I can't edit the post anymore...
    I certainly am not hating on kalerts or people who use them, but personally, I really don't like the idea of having a program to tell me what to do next. I know that kalerts don't have to be that detailed (and yes, I do use add ons like KBM etc.), but I do draw a line somewhere and I'm sure others feel the same way.

    As with any rotation, the first unwritten rule is that you should be ready to break the rotation. The nice thing about making a Defiler rotation that "revolves" around MH is that it only takes a few GCDs to get back into it if you know what you're doing.

    That said, you're right...it's just two different ways of approaching the same thing. However, I don't see too many guides with kalert scripts written out. Since I know it can sometimes take a long time to set up these alerts, I bet Clerics who would prefer the Kalert style would love you if you posted a guide that included alert scripts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eskatol View Post
    I certainly am not hating on kalerts or people who use them, but personally, I really don't like the idea of having a program to tell me what to do next. I know that kalerts don't have to be that detailed (and yes, I do use add ons like KBM etc.), but I do draw a line somewhere and I'm sure others feel the same way.

    As with any rotation, the first unwritten rule is that you should be ready to break the rotation. The nice thing about making a Defiler rotation that "revolves" around MH is that it only takes a few GCDs to get back into it if you know what you're doing.

    That said, you're right...it's just two different ways of approaching the same thing. However, I don't see too many guides with kalert scripts written out. Since I know it can sometimes take a long time to set up these alerts, I bet Clerics who would prefer the Kalert style would love you if you posted a guide that included alert scripts.
    This argument isn't really going anywhere, but I do need to point out that following a strict priority system will always result in better dps than relying on a rotation which can become broken.
    Last edited by Ahov; 06-21-2013 at 09:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eskatol View Post
    That said, you're right...it's just two different ways of approaching the same thing. However, I don't see too many guides with kalert scripts written out. Since I know it can sometimes take a long time to set up these alerts, I bet Clerics who would prefer the Kalert style would love you if you posted a guide that included alert scripts.
    Honestly I would consider copying someone else's Kalert nearly as unproductive as following someone else's rotation, it's really not that difficult to set up. But it is something I would consider adding to my Cabalist guide if I update it in the future.
    Last edited by TheGrinnz; 06-21-2013 at 09:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGrinnz View Post
    Honestly I would consider copying someone else's Kalert nearly as unproductive as following someone else's rotation, it's really not that difficult to set up. But it is something I would consider adding to my Cabalist guide if I update it in the future.
    Again, some people don't like/ think like you and Ahov do. I know I could probably squeeze out maybe another 1-200 more DPS if I did it your way, but that's just not how I play.

    It's just different learning styles. I agree with you to an extent that simply memorizing a rotation is not very effective. That's why if people prefer a rotation, I included and recommend that they use the "block method" rather than straight up memorization.

    Anyways, you don't have to use it if you don't like it, my feelings won't be hurt lol. I figured the rotation out for the people who prefer rotations over a priority list or kalerts. Do with it what you will.

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    Is there any way to get more information on how a defiler is suppose to tank heal in raids?

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