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Thread: 2.4 Paragon Opener

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    RIFT Guide Writer Darkranger's Avatar
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    Default 2.4 Paragon Opener

    Using the Warrior spreadsheet allowed me to gain some insight into the exact damage of each ability and I came up with what I believe to be the optimal opener. The secret lies in pre-casting Shifting Blades. SB is our strongest ability and every second it remains on cooldown you're losing ~2k dps (using BiS gear). This stretches backwards before the pull.

    Warning: There's a very real chance of you pulling aggro off the tanks on the pull. This will really test your tank's ability to generate snap aggro.

    Opener:
    Precast SB + CF. Around 5 seconds before pull is normal. Ask for a countdown on the pull if your guild doesn't normally have one.
    Pull:
    Grasping the horizon + RH, RW, flamespear, RH (Strongest possible SB combo)
    RW, SM, Fiery Burst
    OtS, SS

    Now you have all your buffs up and you're cruising until SB comes off CD again. Continue normally until SB is up then:
    SB - RW - DT - RH

    "What rotation should I use after opener?" - From Byaku's post here:
    RW - DT - RH
    RW - SS - RH
    RW - FS - IB
    RW - SS - IB
    RW - SM - IB
    OS - SS - SB

    "Macros pls" - There's room for variation, but there is one cardinal sin of paragon macros: Do not have your finishers with your builders/follow ups. The macro format of Followup-Finisher-Builder fails because it does not deal correctly with the situation where you've just used a finisher and you can use follow-ups (something that happens after using CF, and can happen due to disconnects and mess ups).

    Here's what I use atm:

    Pre-pull1:
    #show Death Blossom
    suppressmacrofailures
    use Maelow's Loaded Dice
    equip The Empowered Death Toll
    macrowait 0.4

    (You are using Maelow's trinket, right?)

    Pre-pull2:
    #show Shifting Blades
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Shifting Blades
    cast Fleet of Foot
    cast Grasping the Horizon
    cast Combat Focus

    Feel free to remove Fleet of Foot, I like it there. Plus I like Grasping here as well eventhough you can use it on the actual pull (which is better depends on the fight).

    #show Combat Focus
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Combat Focus
    cast Shifting Blades
    cast Reaping Harvest
    cast Final Blessing
    cast Rising Waterfall

    #show Open the Stream
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Open the Stream
    cast Setting Moon

    #show icy burst
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Fiery Burst
    cast Icy Burst

    #show Shifting Blades
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Shifting Blades
    cast Reaping Harvest

    The following abilities have a macro with the format "Final blessing-RW-Ability":
    Flamespear, SM, SS, DT. You can optionally add Shock Pulse at the end of each, though personally I only use it in the SS macro.

    For the opener I like to spam CF macro for 2 GCDs, then flamespear, then CF macro again. There are other options as well depending on your key layout which is most comfortable.

    "What, you don't use DT in the opener?" - No. The reason is you want to use DT with SB always. If you cast DT as soon as you're in melee range (Even if that's instantly on the pull) it won't be synced with SB. You would have to either delay SB or DT for them to sync. Never delay SB.

    "Wouldn't it be better to use DT as soon as I can, even if it's not synced with SB?" -
    There is one scenario where delaying DT is not optimal and that is when you are going to get less than 2 SB casts in your rotation (1 SB precast + 2 SB in rotation), or roughly 25 seconds into the pull. If your DPS phase is going to last less than 25 seconds, then you should use DT as soon as you can even outside of SB. The reason is that it takes 2 SB to reach 2DTx1.75=3.5DT which is more DTs than you can get by using it whenever it's up.

    "OtS is so strong why do you wait so long to apply it?" - After using SB whenever it's up, keeping OtS up is our #1 priority. However it is more important to maximize SB damage that's why we use flamespear early to get the extra attack point for a second RH inside SB. Using OtS before SM is a mistake because OtS doesn't receive the 20% increased damage from SM retroactively. A 2 seconds delay is worth the extra 20% damage. Finally we don't want to use SM when we can use a followup instead, so that leaves us with the only option of using RW - SM - OtS

    "Okay let's see some parses" -

    *Added opener simulator to the BiS spreadsheet so you can try out and compare different openers*

    Openers are a tricky thing to parse. For one thing they are short duration and therefor highly susceptible to crit rng. Another tricky thing is what to use as the cut-off time. DoTs application and CD remaining length are both an issue. If you use a longer duration parse then the opener significance becomes smaller and smaller and it gets lost in noise. For these reasons you don't normally see opener parses. That's fine, because I did not use any parsing when coming up with this. I used the abilities data and some puzzle solving. Here's my methodology:

    I took the raid buffed skill damage from the spreadsheet. You can find them in the Calculations sheet if you wanna have a look. Add parity skill and way of the wind buff to followup damage. SB deals 75% of the damage of single target skills. DT receives synergy crystal proc, which does not get multiplied by SB (Caveat: The damage listed assumes full self buffs. ie SM, readiness stacks, double jepordy, etc. For an opener you need to subtract those buffs while they are not active.)

    Next we calculate the 'DPS cost' of having each ability sitting unused (meaning we can use it). To calculate that we take the skill damage and subtract from it the damage of the skill we would use instead of it divided by skill CD. For example having DT sitting off CD and using SS instead costs us (DT damage - SS damage)/15. Multiply that by 1.75 if SB buff is active. Then it was simply a matter of prioritizing the skills that have high cost associated with being kept off cooldown.

    "I keep dying on the pull" - Yeeeah... Firstly make sure you wait until the boss targets the tank, you owe him that much (after that it's fair game). you can do one of two things:
    1) Talk things over with your tank see if he can change anything. Tell him to prioritize threat generating abilities as much as possible. If you're real hardcore about it you can test with him outside of raid time on a dummy. Precautionary taunts work wonders as well. Depending on the fight, your tank might be able to chain his taunt with his aoe taunt.

    For VK Warrior tanks have your tank use 3 points Unstable Reaction on the pull appears to be the best opener for aggro.

    I am actually starting to learn the ins and outs of threat in this game as a result of discussions and tests I have with my guild's tanks over this. Perhaps I will get more into details about this in the future, as this really deserves it's own thread. As a general rule however, tanks generate threat by doing damage, with certain abilities/procs having higher threat multipliers. You need to overaggro by 30% to pull aggro.

    2) Change opener. The case can be made that the tank simply can not hold aggro vs this opener. In this case you would want to change your opener. DoTs are particularly good thing to use early as their damage gets applied incrementally giving your tanks time. If you're like me though, it will forever bug you that you are not doing the most DPS you can do and now you won't be able to sleep at night. I am truly sorry. As a consolation prize be content with the knowledge that you have now officially beaten the game by overaggroing your tanks.
    Last edited by Darkranger; 11-03-2013 at 05:46 AM.
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  2. #2
    Shield of Telara
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    have you tested opening w/ dt and transitioning to jopoks rotation (sb>fs>rw>rh>dt>...) for the 2nd sb block? im just asking because afaik the two rotations are functionally identical and parse the same except for one rw in jopoks rotation not being buffed by dj.

    also i think this is a good place to talk about optimal alacrity rotations in 2.5

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    RIFT Guide Writer Darkranger's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Could you elaborate? You should be able to transition into any rotation you want.
    sb>fs>rw>rh>dt strikes me as a bit iffy because if you use CF in the opener you're starting the fight doing followup-builder-finisher rotation and that should remain the case until something happens to change it (disconnect, rotation mess up).
    Why not sb>rw>dt>rh for the 2nd sb block? If that means flamespear has to fall for a few seconds than so be it, it is more important to maximize sb segment and not waste a followup GCD for a builder.
    The seeing, the true seeing, that is the heart of sword-play.

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    Shield of Telara seppy's Avatar
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    using the follow up>builder >finisher is just one of the dumbest things exist in the tree. Its plain stupid.

    As for opener, gratz for ur detailed work, but it doesnt matter how u open with paragon. Unleashed and crit rng is what matters in the opener.

    U might open with SB and 0 unleashed, i SB after 5 sec with 3-4 stacks of unleashed. its the same thing or so

    the only time i would think of open with SB would is Proteus.
    Last edited by seppy; 11-02-2013 at 06:28 AM.
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    Shield of Telara seppy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaionfm View Post
    also i think this is a good place to talk about optimal alacrity rotations in 2.5
    there arent many optimal
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkranger View Post
    I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Could you elaborate? You should be able to transition into any rotation you want.
    sb>fs>rw>rh>dt strikes me as a bit iffy because if you use CF in the opener you're starting the fight doing followup-builder-finisher rotation and that should remain the case until something happens to change it (disconnect, rotation mess up).
    Why not sb>rw>dt>rh for the 2nd sb block? If that means flamespear has to fall for a few seconds than so be it, it is more important to maximize sb segment and not waste a followup GCD for a builder.
    i mean instead of sb>cf>rh>rw>fs>rh, replace the fs with dt for more burst, and then when u get to the sb block after that go sb>fs>rw>rh>dt. dt wont be on cd for that 2nd block and u get sb procs off both dt. (edit: u will clip fs most likely)

    @seppy proteus sb is bugged so i usually pop sb before burn so i can fit 2 sb in during burn. as for alacrity im in the eu and play on na so i usually sit around 200ms, just trying to move abilities around in that rotation so i dont lose too many globals to lag.
    Last edited by archaionfm; 11-02-2013 at 06:47 AM.

  7. #7
    RIFT Guide Writer Darkranger's Avatar
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    You get an Unleashed stack on using follow-up attacks. Your first GCD can't be a follow-up, your second most likely is. Then even if you choose to use no GCD finishers (no SB + RH), you still can not generate an Unleashed stack faster than 1 stack every 2 seconds. It means it will take you 9 seconds from the pull to reach 5 stacks, at the earliest. After 5 seconds you'll have no more than 3 stacks (and 5th GCD is FU, so SB can only come after 6s).

    Fully buffed with all self buffs going (Unleashed included), you have 138% of your base AP and weapon contribution. Unleashed takes you from 123% to 138% in 3% increments roughly every 2 seconds. What you're doing is delaying your strongest damage ability (SB) by a good 33% of it's cooldown duration in order to use it at 129% instead of 123%. That's just a bad deal. Nevermind the fact that I suggestion using SB 5 seconds before the pull, so by the time you've used yours 6 seconds after the pull, mine is 4 seconds away from coming off CD.

    Aggro permitting, you should precast SB in every fight. Once on the pull, and during dead times during the fight as well.
    Last edited by Darkranger; 11-02-2013 at 06:55 AM.
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    Interesting. Doing the opener right on fights that have some downtime like breaker x-1 and eggtenders should lead to a significant dps gain. How much of this will stay relevant with the upcoming 2.5 patch?

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    RIFT Guide Writer Darkranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaionfm View Post
    i mean instead of sb>cf>rh>rw>fs>rh, replace the fs with dt for more burst, and then when u get to the sb block after that go sb>fs>rw>rh>dt. dt wont be on cd for that 2nd block and u get sb procs off both dt. (edit: u will clip fs most likely)
    This would work in one specific case, that is when you precast SB no earlier than 1 second before pull (you should aim for much sooner than that).
    Consider this:
    SB(CF) -> <x amount of time> --> (PULL) RH>RW>DT -> (15-(x+3)) seconds --> SB>RW>FS>RH>DT

    For DT to be up in time for the second SB segment, x must be 0 or 1. If x=2 then only 14 seconds have passed since the first DT.

    Then again in reality GCD is longer than 1 second. It's anywhere from ~1.03 to 1.09 seconds. That's why I am so sad Trion doesn't fix the server lag affecting the GCD system, it makes planning a perfect rotation/opener a lot of guesswork.
    The seeing, the true seeing, that is the heart of sword-play.

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    Shield of Telara seppy's Avatar
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    you forgeting the fact that in 5 sec i have 3x unleashed and all the buffs up rdy for 1st sb

    in 5 sec you have done a weak sb, with no sm no ots a wasted CF and couple unleashed stacks
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    RIFT Guide Writer Darkranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttlyevil View Post
    Interesting. Doing the opener right on fights that have some downtime like breaker x-1 and eggtenders should lead to a significant dps gain. How much of this will stay relevant with the upcoming 2.5 patch?
    A fight like x-1 is the perfect showcase for this indeed. Just watch aggro ;)
    I'm waiting for 2.5 to hit live before I'll comment on that. However if SB can still be precast, I expect precasting it to remain strong regardless of the rest of the ability order.
    The seeing, the true seeing, that is the heart of sword-play.

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    RIFT Guide Writer Darkranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seppy View Post
    you forgeting the fact that in 5 sec i have 3x unleashed and all the buffs up rdy for 1st sb

    in 5 sec you have done a weak sb, with no sm no ots a wasted CF and couple unleashed stacks
    Your opener:
    (0)x-(1)FU-(2)x-(3)FU-(4)x-(5)FU-(6)SB-(7)x-(8)FU-(9)RH

    My opener:
    (0)RH-(1)FU-(2)FS-(3)RH-(4)FU-(5)SM-(6)OtS-(7)SS-(8)RW

    Just so we're clear because you keep bringing up it up; You have 1 more Unleashed stack than me after the first 5 seconds. At 6 seconds we both have 3 and at 8 seconds we both get our 4th.

    Now determining which is stronger: Using a RH-RW-RH precasted SB 5 seconds before the pull, or getting SS-OtS-SM going, that requires looking at the numbers. I did and I say the former is stronger. If you disagree then I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
    The seeing, the true seeing, that is the heart of sword-play.

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    Well obviously the key now after reading this is unleashed stacks....now to talk my off tank into letting me duel him pre pull constantly so I can start with five stacks . Totally actually going to yet this tonight and hope I don't kill him
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    RIFT Guide Writer Darkranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drathek View Post
    Well obviously the key now after reading this is unleashed stacks....now to talk my off tank into letting me duel him pre pull constantly so I can start with five stacks . Totally actually going to yet this tonight and hope I don't kill him
    While your dueling your tank, if he's a Warrior he can farm you for 10 pacts so he'll have a better chance to hold aggro.
    The seeing, the true seeing, that is the heart of sword-play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkranger View Post
    While your dueling your tank, if he's a Warrior he can farm you for 10 pacts so he'll have a better chance to hold aggro.
    If you are a warrior tank running vk you should be swapping to para before pull and using cf to start with 3 ap so you can unstable on the pull for max threat, definitely helps if you spam the crappy paladin heal on yourself to start with some pacts as well. Doing it like this you should never ever lose aggro on the initial pull, especially if you throw a taunt in after your finisher is done
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