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Thread: 61 Marksman in PvE - Ranged DPS in Storm Legion

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    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    Default 61 Marksman in PvE - Ranged DPS in Storm Legion

    NOTE: Despite the thread title (which I can't edit), this spec is now somewhat behind 61 Ranger's DPS on an uninterrupted ST burn. Marksman is still superior on any fight that involves target swaps, though, and its utility is a big help on a lot of encounters. I'd still recommend this build over Ranger in a lot of situations, particularly expert dungeons.

    You will find the updated spec and thread here.


    So, 61MM. This is probably one of the most-used rogue builds, but I see a lot of people who don't really know what they're doing with it, or just need a little help to bring their DPS up.

    Like the title says, this guide is focused on PvE, especially dungeons and raids. Some parts of it may be applicable to PvP, but you'll need to figure out which parts on your own. And, just so we're clear, this is not a soloing build-- while you can technically solo with it, it's really bad at it.

    The Build and the Buffs

    There are two options when it comes to builds. They pull nearly identical DPS, but are slightly specialized for different situations.

    61 Marksman/10 Ranger/5 Nightblade is the first option. This build has a tiny bit stronger AoE (by less than 1%) and slightly better target switching, but will do slightly lower damage on a pure single-target burn. I recommend using this spec for dungeons and any raid boss where you switch targets (which is most of them). Thanks to Gery for finding this spec.

    61 Marksman/10 Assassin/5 Nightblade is the other choice. If you have particularly high crit power, then Ruthlessness is better than Murderous Intent with full raid buffs (without raid buffs, Ruthlessness isn't worth it no matter what). This spec is good for any fight where you can sit on one target and never stop attacking, ensuring 100% uptime on Magnify Pain. There are boss fights where this happens (like the important phases of Crucia), but they're relatively uncommon.

    For buffs, use Silver Tip Munitions and Static Shock Munitions. If you're using the 10 Ranger spec, use Predatory Instincts, as well.

    What about 15 Ranger?

    Not worth it. Ranger has a lot of passive damage bonuses, which stack additively with other passive bonuses. Because Marksman has a lot of passives already, this means that Ranger's passives are weaker than you'd think, and that lets Nightblade and Assassin pull ahead (particularly Magnify Pain, which is multiplicative with everything except Silver Tip Munitions).

    What about 5 Riftstalker instead of 5 Nightblade? They both give 10% AP/WD, and Riftstalker also gets you a teleport and some endurance.
    5RS is actually less DPS than 5NB due to the passive "Gift" bonuses that the souls give. Each point in Nightblade boosts damage by 1%, while each point in Riftstalker only gives a .5% increase (while also boosting endurance, resists, and armor). That being said, Riftstalker may still be worthwhile if you really need that teleport, or if you need more health to survive bursty raid damage.

    Priority and Macros

    Let's start by taking a look at the basic priority. I'll explain it more in detail afterwards.

    Finisher Priority: Rapid Fire Shot> Hasted Shot (when Free Recoil is active) > Deadeye Shot (when standing still)>Hasted Shot (when moving)

    Non-Finisher Priority: Free Recoil>Strafe (only if Shoot to Kill is up)>Decoy>Empowered Shot>Swift Shot

    Quick Reload also figures into that, but it's a bit more complicated, so I'll talk about it more below.

    The one macro that you should absolutely have is fairly simple:

    #show Rapid Fire Shot
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Rapid Fire Shot
    cast Hasted Shot

    Marksman's basic rotation is fairly simple, but all of the cooldowns you have make it a bit more complex to deal with. Just remember that your goal is to get as many Empowered Shots and finishers (especially Rapid Fire Shots) as possible.

    The fundamental rotation is Empowered Shot->Swift Shot x3->Finisher. However, after using Free Recoil, your next finisher will only cost two combo points, which lets you go Free Recoil->Finisher->Empowered Shot->Finisher, then go back into the standard rotation. One more caveat: when you use Deadeye Shot, make sure that you use Swift Shot before Empowered Shot on the next builder sequence, because Empowered Shot isn't actually usable until the server realizes that Deadeye Shot is finished, meaning that latency will cause a brief delay if you try to use it right away.

    Free Recoil is really the cornerstone of Marksman's rotation, so you'll want to pay close attention to it. Because it's not on the global cooldown, you can macro it into your builders and finishers if you want to simplify things, but you'll see some minor DPS gains if you separate it out for reasons the reasons listed in this post. It's up to you whether or not you want to go through that hassle. (Also take note of how you can "store up" for a double Free Recoil like I mention in that post, if you want to get really fancy.)

    If you do choose to use it manually, then make sure you use it the instant it comes off cooldown, unless you're in the middle of Strafe, if it's already active, or if you won't get to use a finisher before the 15-second buff expires. (The latter two will generally only happen if you're not attacking something or if you're AoEing).

    You also have four other cooldowns: Strafe, Bull’s Eye, Decoy, and Quick Reload.

    Strafe does more damage per second than Swift Shot, and it also lets you regenerate all of your energy over its duration. Because instant finishers will cause your energy to slowly empty out, you'll want to use Strafe as often as possible to let it fill back up. Use it right after a finisher, let it channel as long as it takes to reach 100 energy, then use Empowered Shot and a finisher, even if Empowered Shot will take you past 5 combo points. It's also worth noting that you should NOT use Strafe at the very beginning of the fight-- wait until you've used at least your first finisher so that it's buffed by Shoot to Kill.

    Bull’s Eye should be used with Deadeye Shot. If, for some reason, you're on a fight where you're never going to be able to stand still long enough to use Deadeye Shot, then use it on Empowered Shot or Hasted Shot instead.

    Decoy's damage is increased by Silver Tip Munitions, and it attacks the enemy you have targeted when you use it. If that enemy dies, it'll target a new one at random. Wait until you have three stacks, and try not to use it if the enemy you're targeting is about to die and it could switch to something that you don't want it to (for instance, using it during Zaviel's Power Core phase probably isn't a great idea). If you refresh this ability with Quick Reload, don't use it again until the first Decoy's duration is over, because it'll despawn the first one if you try to have two out at once. This ability is not on the global cooldown.

    Quick Reload resets the cooldown on all of your Marksman abilities. Ideally, you want to use it when Strafe, Decoy, Bull’s Eye, Free Recoil, and Rapid Fire Shot are all on cooldown. Even more ideally, you want them to have been used as recently as possible, so that you can get more benefit out of it (for instance, use it right after you use Free Recoil and Rapid Fire Shot so that you get to use them again immediately). Within reason, though-- you don't want to sit on Quick Reload for thirty seconds waiting for Decoy to come back, just so that you can squeeze out a double Strafe.

    AoE Rotation

    AoEing as Marksman is simple. Use Sentry Battery once, then use it again. Interrupt the second channel of Sentry Battery with Chain Destruction when your energy drops below 50. If you can't get a good lineup on mobs, then just spam Chain Destruction instead of bothering with Sentry Battery.

    Lightning Fury is also worth using if there are other people doing physical AoE damage.

    If you're going to be single-targeting on the next pull, it can be worthwhile to store up 5 combo points for the next fight before killing the last mobs, so that you can get Shoot to Kill up right away.

    Don't use Crossfire unless you need the knockback (and in general, the knockback is just going to annoy the tank. And don't use Fan Out, period.

    Other Abilities

    Marksman has great DPS, but it also has incredible utility. Anyone can memorize a rotation, but knowing when to interrupt, purge, or knockback makes the difference between a good DPS and a great one.

    Deaden is an interrupt. It's pretty obvious what to do with this. It also silences mobs if you interrupt them with it, which will cause casters to run towards the person they have aggro on (ideally the tank). If you use this to help the tank gather up mobs, they'll love you forever. There's also a few bosses that cast spells when the tank might not be in range to interrupt themselves (like on Tzul after the purple bubbles), so backing him up on those can save the group.

    Repelling Shot and Crossfire don't see much use in dungeons. I mostly use them when the tank dies on trash and we're trying to kill the mobs before they finish off the rest of the group. They're also useful if the tank loses aggro and stuff is attacking the healer, but be very careful where you're punting enemies. Lastly, in extreme circumstances, you can use these to save the tank's life if he's about to die, because mobs obviously stop hitting him for a few seconds while they run back into melee range, but don't do that unless you're certain he'll die otherwise.

    Eradicate lets you remove enemy buffs. There's a couple of bosses where that's useful, like the last boss of Storm Breaker Protocol, but it also lets you remove some buffs from trash mobs. Defensive cooldowns like Healer's Covenant are well worth purging, but even damage buffs like Hellfire Blades or Electrified Munitions can be good targets if the tank is squishy. For instance, I make it a habit to purge the archers in the first pulls of Golem Foundry if the tank has under 45k health.

    On the Double and Retreat let you move around faster. Not much to say here. If you use Retreat while On the Double is active and you're holding forward, it'll jump you straight ahead instead of backwards. It'll also do this sometimes if you do it while in the air, although that one isn't always reliable.

    Strafe makes you immune to stuns, roots, and snares while it's channeling. This generally doesn't matter, but there may be boss encounters in the future when it does.

    Static Shot lets you root mobs. Usually, this just makes life harder for the tank if you root them outside of where he's standing, but you can also root mobs that he doesn't have aggro on while they're standing next to him. Just as an example, if mobs are attacking the healer, I tend to use Repelling Shot->Static Shot to knock them into the tank, and by the time the root wears off, he'll have threat on them.

    Barbed Shot does more damage than Swift Shot if the target is moving for most of its duration. You can make use of this on a handful of fights, like the first boss of Unhallowed Boneforge during his charge phase.

    Karuul Alert

    If you're using Karuul Alert (which I cannot possibly recommend strongly enough), try using this alert set:

    Code:
    KA::AUR7/eNqllMGOmzAQhl+FW29bbGMb5JODbanSdqUSeouEvOBtrFJIwTlQ9eFrHNJNVlkpyWp
    AMow9/ubXb6/2bftpjORkGGAl27V6MgODfqh8rF6znPA0S1aQihzmMiEJi/2KeVLso7Avjgnt9Of
    N9y8b/Wxb66bK1n03brZGN+O2d/ChaUZGccZSlLAknR/gg+XyqZTFPAIhUOy3L4+/w1cGwkbq79p
    pZ+tove3rn9HXfWed9Xucsh+gSvbOTK5EqlKUU0pEEguCr+6j1V1tQKVDGxhShhBmIIPh9XI84Hd
    aUWetkKWTx5nrKXrsdXOOXwb80zRXeSoolxlICaKYi+u1t67SXVMN+y5gE4zuUP+IrAZjosLUvW0
    vueU07WWOMUryLEUQQSDg1cjO/NqZ0VXPg67NwTIxYTQF91qm0DvbRMoOZjaDu0T+dgpXXFBEMM1
    yKBOBrzf7MFea3Q70f7vfzg7wwi68mtMl4kPCqwwBpjTJkOeERN6s8m47jbbWbeUGbTvb/aj+BO4
    UwI8c02976+1bmPaNu4/4Z3l/tUgiYUYg51Ctbuji91ymGkKZ5WDODv+AWdZeh5eLd+GS4UpKKiS
    GXCaYUJ4zci3tGCosnLOp7ziJC+c/WdGwBg
    This will give you alerts with the cooldowns for Free Recoil, Quick Reload, Strafe, Decoy, Rapid Fire Shot, and Bull’s Eye. Lastly, it shows if you have a Lock N Load proc. You may need to move the alerts around, depending on how your UI is set up. There's also one that tells when Static Shock Munitions isn't active-- delete that one if you don't want it, I use it so I know if someone is purging me in PvP.

    Stats and Gearing

    I don't have any conclusive info on this, so please don't ask me. Archyface and Mayi have done some math on this, so check this thread for what they've come up with.

    Final Words

    If you think anything is missing from this guide, let me know. If you think I'm wrong, explain where and why, and I'll get it fixed. If you have questions, ask away.
    Last edited by Jester; 11-17-2013 at 05:56 PM.

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    You left out this build variation: http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#AkGlllkGGyy/z8L/wg

    At least for me it's parsing right up there with the sin versions but without the added target switching penalty.

    Also I think it's worth mentioning that using Deadeye Shot with Free Recoil is a bad idea since Lock N Load will only reset the cooldown on Empowered Shot at the end of the cast time. This means you can't queue Empowered Shot but instead you have to wait for the server to process the Deadeye Shot first and then you can use your Empowered Shot. This is slow and will kill your dps even when timed perfectly but even more likely you will have your builders macroed and end up using Swift Shot instead of Empowered Shot as a result. Deadeye Shot should only be used when Free Recoil is not up.

  3. #3
    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gery View Post
    You left out this build variation: http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#AkGlllkGGyy/z8L/wg

    At least for me it's parsing right up there with the sin versions but without the added target switching penalty.

    Also I think it's worth mentioning that using Deadeye Shot with Free Recoil is a bad idea since Lock N Load will only reset the cooldown on Empowered Shot at the end of the cast time. This means you can't queue Empowered Shot but instead you have to wait for the server to process the Deadeye Shot first and then you can use your Empowered Shot. This is slow and will kill your dps even when timed perfectly but even more likely you will have your builders macroed and end up using Swift Shot instead of Empowered Shot as a result. Deadeye Shot should only be used when Free Recoil is not up.
    That's why I don't recommend macroing builders.

    I'll test that build next time I'm on the PTS. Looks interesting.

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    What does your ability breakdown look like with the 10 sin / 5 nb variant?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muspel View Post
    If you're going to be single-targeting on the next pull, it can be worthwhile to store up 5 combo points for the next fight before killing the last mobs, so that you can get Shoot to Kill up right away.
    This probably should not be on the AOE section as it is rather a question of pre pull preparations than trash mob rotations. You might also want to mention the more consistent way of getting combo points pre pull - carrying 61 Tactician spec around and using 3-5 restorative bolts on other raid member (usually no more than 3 is needed because the pull starts with hardcast Empowered anyway). It is as important to get Shoot to Kill buff asap for 61 MM as it was for good old hybrid.

    The other thing is that you recommend using Bull's Eye on Deadye while most people say that it should be used for Empowered. Have you tested that?
    Last edited by kyrsquir; 02-11-2013 at 11:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyrsquir View Post
    The other thing is that you recommend using Bull's Eye on Deadye while most people say that it should be used for Empowered. Have you tested that?
    Im not sure why you would do that, deadeye hits harder than empowered. Unless there is a way to guarantee that i wont run out of energy during a fight im going to be using DES so may as well use bullseye on the hardest hitting skill.

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    Thanks for this much-overdue guide.

  8. #8
    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archyface View Post
    What does your ability breakdown look like with the 10 sin / 5 nb variant?
    The breakdown should be virtually identical regardless of spec. Or at least, there's nothing in there that should make it vary.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyrsquir View Post
    This probably should not be on the AOE section as it is rather a question of pre pull preparations than trash mob rotations. You might also want to mention the more consistent way of getting combo points pre pull - carrying 61 Tactician spec around and using 3-5 restorative bolts on other raid member (usually no more than 3 is needed because the pull starts with hardcast Empowered anyway). It is as important to get Shoot to Kill buff asap for 61 MM as it was for good old hybrid.
    61tact is a good strat for raids, but I'm talking more about dungeons in that section, when you don't have time to switch specs twice between each pull. On a few fights, you can also store up combo points before a phase transition (Kain is probably the best example, but you can also do it as you move into phase 3 of Crucia).

    Quote Originally Posted by Archyface View Post
    The other thing is that you recommend using Bull's Eye on Deadye while most people say that it should be used for Empowered. Have you tested that?
    Yeah.
    Last edited by Muspel; 02-12-2013 at 07:38 AM.

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    Thank you for taking the time to put this together, Muspel. It's pretty much spot on with everything I've found.

    I've tested Free Recoil in and out of the macro extensively. As long as you have it on a bar elsewhere to watch the cooldown and occasionally use to line up a 'double free recoil', there really isn't a reason to not macro it (in both the builder & finisher). As you noted, it's really personal preference, but with a spec that already uses 12-15 abilities, it isn't necessary, in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gery View Post
    You left out this build variation: http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#AkGlllkGGyy/z8L/wg

    At least for me it's parsing right up there with the sin versions but without the added target switching penalty.
    Thanks, Gery - I haven't parsed this point allocation and will give it a shot tonight.
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    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    Okay, I just did a bit of math. I checked ES's tooltip damage in each of the three specs with self-buffs and Increased Fire Power (and Shoot to Kill, although that doesn't affect the tooltip damage and doesn't matter for this test anyways).

    Conclusion: 6ranger/9sin is not worth using. 10ranger/5nb's empowered shot damage is about 5% behind 10sin/5nb, but has 5% more crit and gets slightly more damage from Static Shock Munitions (and anything else that does Air damage, like Chain Destruction). 10sin/5nb is also reliant on Magnify Pain, which makes it slightly worse on fights with target swaps.

    Relevant math here.

    So. Use 10ranger/5nb on any fight with target switching or with AoE, and 10sin/5nb if you can ensure 100% uptime on Magnify Pain (I'd estimate it pulls ~2% more DPS in that situation). For the vast majority of situations, this just means using 10ranger/5nb. Either way, though, the difference is minscule, so you can just respec based on whichever boss you're progressing on and use it for farm bosses without worrying.

    These numbers may vary depending on how much attack power you have. With high crit power, it's possible than 6ranger/9sin would pull ahead (if you took Ruthlessness instead of Murderous Intent), but I'll need to do some more math to test that.

    EDIT: 6ranger/9sin should pull ahead of with ~31-32% crit power.

    EDIT 2: Hang on, no, it doesn't. Maybe. I need to do more complicated math.
    Last edited by Muspel; 02-12-2013 at 09:46 AM.

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    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGrinnz View Post
    Thanks for this much-overdue guide.
    To be honest, I was just tired of needing to explain the whole rotation to every rogue I tried to help. Now I can send them here and save a bunch of typing.

  12. #12
    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    Triple post fun times.

    I just tested out the two specs in the Dummy Foundry on the PTS (in my own gear), and as expected, 10sin/5nb did slightly more damage than 10ranger/5nb (about 150 DPS more). Again, though, 10ranger/5nb is probably better for general use due to superior AoE and better target swaps.

    Parses: 10sin/5nb and 10ranger/5nb.
    Last edited by Muspel; 02-12-2013 at 04:04 PM.

  13. #13
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    Top Ranged spec is still Tactician.
    Can u pls stop posting fail threads?
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  14. #14
    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    If Tactician were the top DPS spec, it wouldn't be a secret. It would be well-known. People test this stuff exhaustively. Even with pure torrent spam, Tactician STILL can't match Marksman's DPS.

    It's a great spec for any fight where you need to AoE a lot, or where the execute phase is particularly important, but that's only Gelidra, Matriarch, and Progenitor. Maybe Regulos, too, I don't really know much of anything about the fight. It's bad for Zaviel because of the lower single-target, and because keeping torrents on the boss in phase 2 is a pain with all the movement involved. It's bad for Kain, because torrents don't work on bloods and you don't want to be AoEing in phase 1. It's bad for Twins because they're moving a lot and it's easy to lose torrent ticks. It's decent for Crucia, I guess, because of phase 1 and 4, but neither of those are hard to begin with.
    Last edited by Muspel; 02-13-2013 at 04:31 PM.

  15. #15
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    You obvsly cant play tactician if u really think MM is better for any fight.
    Cant say it more politely sry.
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