Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 12:09 PM | 8 comments  
http://uk.gamesplanet.com/buy-download-pc-games/Rift:-90-Day-Game-Time-Card-2785-37.html

Someone in my guild bought this and said it worked fine. It took about 24 hours for delivery. You have to buy it from the UK so you're paying in pounds sterling, but at the current exchange rate, its about $18. Not bad for 90-days. I just bought this myself.

I'm making no warranties or claims about the validity or trustworthiness of this offer, by the way. Just passing along something that was passed to me.
Posted by Dunsparrow
Monday, December 19, 2011 at 2:57 PM | 4 comments  
Posted by Dunsparrow
Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 10:48 AM | 5 comments  
So any good dominator can trash ye olde NB/RS spec. But can they beat Sin? Turns out nope. This spec isn't quite as versatile as NB/RS but it has the advantage of being strong in the current mage-heavy metagame.

BlinkBlood
32 Sin / 18 RS / 16 NB

The main advantage to this spec is that its not really expected. With permastealth and vanish, you'll have the opener when you want it, and between Fell Blades and Leeching Poison, you get a good amount of healing. I've been experimenting using this with the Hammerknell 2-pc Assassin crystal instead of the PvP crystal and it does seem very powerful in some situations.

This spec is really a 1v1 spec and should be used for world PvP and in Warfronts like Whitefall and Codex where 1v1 and small group situations are more common. Its a lot less useful in Libarary or Scion.

Here's the builder macro I use:

#show Puncture
cast Backstab
cast Puncture
cast Dusk Strike
cast Twilight Force
cast Primal Strike
cast Fiery Spike

For finishers, keep Impale up and use Final Blow the rest of the time. Don't forget about Foul Play.

On a caster, usually I open with Jagged Strike, do an immediate Shadow Assault, then Foul Play, Impale, Backstab, Puncture, before they are even able to get out of Foul Play or CC me. Then I'll Shadow Stalk out of their CC and finish them with a Final Blow or use an offensive Slip Away to re-open with Assassinate to finish.

I'm still not a huge fan of the Assassin soul, but who wants to play FOTM specs all the time? A little variety never hurt anyone.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels: ,
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 7:37 PM | 6 comments  

I made this post on the SWTOR forums:
*CONFIRMED* Guaranteed Trick for Early Access 
I'm not sure if this will work for everyone else but it did work for me.
Negative Ghostrider is currenty recruiting a Tank/DPS warrior for Hammerknell Fortress. Normally, we have a 2 week recruitment process, but because we have an immediate need, we can guarantee early access to our raids, beginning this week.
We could also use a rogue. 
For more details please check my blog: http://dunsparrow.com
The thread got 10 replies and was deleted within 45 second. This site got 16 referrals from those forums in that time. If you don't know why I'm amused, its because they are only letting a few people into SWTOR at a time, so the vast majority of pre-orders can't play now, but they can rage on the forums. Its pretty funny, unless you care a lot about the game.

Troll on, bros.
Posted by Dunsparrow
From Ailion, the Rogue lead.
In 1.6.1, I will be adding a new ability, Planar Reversal, which will be unlocked when 14 soul points are invested into the RS soul.

This is a non purgable toggle ability and causes you to Plane Shift behind the target when using Shadow Stalk, Shadow Assault or Shadow Blitz.

Shadow Stalk, Shadow Assault and Shadow Blitz now causes you to Plane Shift towards the target by default, regardless of whether you are in Stalker Phase or Guardian Phase.

With this change, Rogues can now use targeted Plane Shift abilities without being forced into a detrimental situation.
And here I was, so happy not being forced to use some stupid blink'tard spec.
Posted by Dunsparrow
Sunday, November 27, 2011 at 11:42 AM | 14 comments  
Nightblade is back in PvE with the latest patch. Its been discussed a lot on the forums, but in case you missed it:

Raid Nightblade
49 NB / 17 Sin

The macros and rotation are all pretty standard, but there are a few things worth mentioning. Even with Fervor, you'll be energy starved if you're spamming Expose Weakness on CD, since its off the GCD. This means you should use a tablet with this spec. Any tablet will work, since they all give the same amount of energy regen. You don't need Elder (although Elder gives more strength). If you don't have a tablet, then Expose doesn't really increase your DPS much at all.

Macros

ST Macro 1

#show Puncture
cast Puncture
cast Dusk Strike
cast Twilight Force
cast Primal Strike
cast Fiery Chains
cast Fiery Spike
cast Expose Weakness


ST Macro 2 (use with 4 CPs)

#show Twilight Force
cast Twilight Force
cast Primal Strike
cast Fiery Chains
cast Fiery Spike
cast Expose Weakness

Macro 3

#show Scourge of Darkness
cast Scourge of Darkness
cast Dusk to Dawn

Synching up your SoD and DtD is very important for boosting DPS and thats the point of this macro. You want to cast Scourge on the rotation when your Nightrage falls off, and then go right into DtD to re-apply Nightrage. This way you'll never have that sad rotation where you have to use a Blazing Strike without Nightrage up.

Comments

Its still a very awkward spec to use in raids because of how stupid it is for a melee class to have to use a channeled ability to get a necessary buff. It would be much better for Nightrage to proc on Scourge of Darkness and last 35 seconds, or from Twilight Force / Dusk Strike and last 10 seconds. Whatever. The point is that Dusk to Dawn is a stupid ability for rogues to need to use in raids, and its not something that Warriors or any other Rogue spec is saddled with.

Still, the spec is probably our highest DPS at the moment (still putting us firmly behind equally geared/skilled Mages and Warriors). Rogues need a buff, but this is our best current option.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels: ,
Yes, this spec still works in 1.6 and is more important than ever for surviving alone on Ember Isle, and many other things.

Lightning Ragnarok Shining Majesty
20 BD / 22 RS / 24 Sin
This build's strength lies in its versatility. Here is what I use the spec for currently:

  • Soloing Major Rifts
  • Soloing Ember Isle
  • Handling tomes on Matron Zamira encounter in HK (so I don't have to bring a separate Sin/NB spec)
  • Tanking encounters for which I'm overgeared
  • World PvP (unless it gets serious)

Macro


#show Precision Strike
cast Precision Strike
cast Phantom Blow
cast Puncture
cast Quick Strike
cast Keen Strike
cast Flash of Steel
cast Expose Weakness
cast Reprisal

If you're on something tough, make sure to use Guardian Phase. It reduces the damage you take but the Leaching Poison healing remains constant, so you gain survivability and still deal damage constantly with Planar Vortex. Don't skip the point in Shadow Mastery. This alone is about 10% physical damage reduction.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels: ,
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 6:04 PM | 7 comments  
Trion thought they nerfed Nightstalker in 1.6. They thought wrong. The new Nightstalker has more survivability than ever, and only slightly reduced damage. Feel the power.

Nightstalker 1.6
38 Nightblade / 28 Riftstalker / 0 Infilitrator

This build has it all. Defensive cooldowns, offensive cooldowns. CC breaks. Solid offensive power, Fell Blades. Nom nom. From 1.5 version, you gain about 10% physical mitigation from the new Shadow Armor, Rift Prison and some other stuff. Its highly versatile. The talents on Zam don't exactly match live, but the points are in the right place.

Macro

#show Dusk Strike
cast Dusk Strike
cast Twilight Force
cast Phantom Blow
cast Fiery Chains
cast Primal Strike
cast Fiery Spike

Play it basically the same as originally Nightstalker. You have slightly less offensive punch, because of the changes to cooldowns, but your defenses are rock solid and mobility is even better than 1.5. Enjoy.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels: ,
In case you didn't notice, Tier 2 Air planar attunement lets you use a weapon buff for +30 dex to one-hander. Pretty nice for ranged. If you were smart and saved your points, congrats. I didn't. Here's the GM response to my request to have my points reset.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
On November 16, 2011 14:39:23 [Customer Service] wrote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello Dunsparrow! Thank you for contacting us regarding Planar Attunement! Please note that the period during which we offered limited Attunement resets has concluded. This feature is designed to offer permanent, unique character advancement past level 50: your paths to Planar Attunement—and the benefits you unlock along the way—are shaped by the irreversible choices you make and the Planes with which you choose to align. However, we continue to read your feedback about the issue and take your suggestions into consideration when discussing the future of endgame advancement! Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any further questions or recommendations. Thanks again for your continued support of Trion Worlds and for playing RIFT. Your reference number for this question is *redacted*. Sincerely, GM Lasaira Game Master Trion Worlds Inc.
Really, a permanent choice based on incomplete information, because Trion chose to add abilities after we chose where to put our points? Great logic.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels:
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 2:29 PM | 9 comments  
I saw this one coming. Trion is looking to nerf Rogues in PvP and lower our damage in PvE by nerfing the MM crystal to 30% bonus damage on electrified munitions.

We are aware that certain Nightblade related specs are creating issues in PvP. We are looking to address the issues that we perceive.
I'm not going to discuss the issues in this thread - I'm just popping in to let you know we are looking at things.
~Daglar

No, its not because rogues are overpowered, its because idiots from other classes don't know what to do with themselves when rogues are competitive DPS in PvE, and aren't free kills in PvP. So, they head to the forums and whine.

Prior to 1.5, healers could -- quite literally -- ignore rogues, keep themselves alive and heal their team. Rogues were a non-factor in PvP. Even as the old 51 MM, Improved Hit and Run only gave Rogues brief periods of time to do competitive damage. They still were no threat to high-rank healers or warriors.

Obviously, any change to rogues that takes them into the realm of playability is going to present some growing pains. Of course that P8 rogue is going to kill the P6 cleric who previously ignored him. It's obvious. The cleric is not used to rogues being a threat, and the rogue has been fighting an uphill battle for 3 months in PvP. It's like someone finally took the weights off the bat.

When that happens, some players run to the forums to cry, and some dig in and work on improving. If Trion listens to the whiners, who are complaining with obviously incomplete information about mechanics that they obviously don't understand, then nothing good will ever be accomplished.

Maybe the next time that cleric runs into the rogue, he'll be a damn sight more careful. He might even have to start using abilities and cooldowns he didn't use before or he might have to focus heals on himself instead of letting hots do all the work.

Eventually, each class will come up with new strategies to adapt to the new gamescape. I've already seen it happen with equal-rank members of every class. I've beat them, they've adapted, they've beat me, I've adapted, etc. That's why we play.

It's not supposed to be easy for you to trash an equally skilled and geared player from another class. If it is, that is a problem. Rogues were in that untenable position in 1.5. Now we're not. Its imperative that Trion gives everyone time to adjust, and not make knee-jerk changes to put rogues right back in the crapper.
Posted by Dunsparrow
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 10:59 AM | 3 comments  
Got back from vacation and there's a lot of new changes on the PTS. For Rogues, these are tanking changes, but other classes are getting some DPS tweaks as well and mages are getting worked over quite a bit. Let's start with what will effect DPS the most, and that is the new lesser essences on PTS that will cost 150 Inscribed Sourcestones each, or 900 for 6. Yikes.
Some of these are pretty amazing, and there are basically 5 AP-based lessers that massacre anything in the game right now. This works great for Marksman, because you can keep your Ranger greater for 100 AP on Shadow Fire, which is still going to be awesome.

If you're putting together a water resist core for Inquisitor/Darktide or a PvP core, then these will be able to help you as well, but there is a hell of a lot of Inscribed needed for it. Hopefully the new Tier 2 Raid Rifts in 1.6 will offer more inscribed, and a greater challenge as well.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels:
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 2:20 AM | 30 comments  
In my travels across Telara and the interwebs, I have discovered many powerful secrets. Some I must keep to myself, but I at last feel free to reveal a great boon to rogues: a new spec that I have humbly dubbed...

Lightning Ragnarok Shining Majesty
22 RS / 24 Sin / 20 BD

The best part about this spec is everything. With it, I can clear all 3 Chronicles in 20 minutes (most of that waiting for boring RP sequences to finish). With it, I can solo level 50 elite Rifts. With it, I can farm planar attunement levels without ever drinking, stopping (except for scheduled breaks for food and romance), or otherwise doing things that lesser beings consider necessary to their gaming. Rift Scavenger takes care of my healing and Twin Strike takes care of the bad guys not being dead.

I have successfully tanked Tier 1 (and some T2) instances while being the #1 DPS in every fight, even in Guardian Phase. Rift Barrier sends damage back at my attackers, while Planar Vortex aggros and kills everything that is foolish enough to attack me instead of drinking cyanide. Yes, I wear super-amazing P8 and some Hammerknell tanking gear and your results may vary. Sorry if I'm too awesome for your "accurate testing." Whatever.

When some git decides they think they can gank you in the midst of killing the patrolling commander packs in Stillmoor, they find out that they are simply caught in the whirling dervish of teleporting carnage that your blades deliver. Because it lacks a healing debuff, you are susceptible to high rank chloro/lock type mages or hybrid clerics. Don't cry to me about this. It's not even a dedicated PvP spec. Just avoid them.

Macros

Name: I-WIN
#show Dunsparrow's Avatar
cast Precision Strike
cast Puncture
cast Quick Strike
cast Keen Strike
cast Reprisal

#show Shadow Blitz
cast Shadow Blitz
cast Shadow Assault
cast Shadow Stalk

However, you really won't be using these much. Mostly you just teleport into a pack of mobs (bigger the better) in Stalker Phase and massacre them with Twin Strike, using combo points to self heal and regen energy. Trion will probably nerf this because they are big jerks and hate rogues. Warriors can do 3000 DPS on Murdantix. How about you nerf them instead?

BRB soloing Regulos.
Posted by Dunsparrow
Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 10:08 AM | 9 comments  
I'm doing some good damage in raids with 51mm/15rang but I don't see the reason for the AOE nerf with Electrified/Silver Tip Munitions. These munitions deal good damage, but by no means was 51 MM the top AOE DPS spec. Cabs, Stormcallers, etc. still crush Rogue AOE damage.

Also, its not even possible for them to nerf Rending Munitions the same way, so they are only nerfing the munitions that scale with points in MM. I don't really get it. Also, it was clumsily implemented, with the munition only proc'ing on the target closest to you, instead of your main target, so you can't even keep stacks on your main target when AOEing. Annoying.
Posted by Dunsparrow
Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 6:00 AM | 8 comments  
I've found that my theorized top MM spec (51 MM and 15 Inf) didn't pan out nearly as well as I hoped. Nightstalker is doing awesome though. The problem with it is that on BG and PS, you really need a ranged DPS spec and try as I might, I can't find a bursty-enough Gunblade spec for the new patch, although some variants are decent.

Reluctantly I gave up NB for Sin and I'm relatively pleased at the results.

Cut and Shoot
44 MM / 22 Sin / 0 x
This utilized MM ranged abilities with Assassin openers. You can do enormous damage on a single target with your openers and it has a good amount of utility. You should be running Vamp and Elec munitions and Baneful Touch works great with Elec. I find rending a bit lacking.

Macros

Finisher 1
cast Expose Weakness
cast Rapid Fire Shot
cast Deadeye Shot
cast Hasted Shot

Finisher 2
cast Expose Weakness
cast Bull's Eye
cast Deadeye Shot

Gameplay

This spec has a ton of viability now. With Baneful, your munitions damage is very nice, and then adding in Cut and Run really de-emphasizes the need for Infiltrator. If you want you can run 0 Inf for a 2nd Break Free, but I prefer Side Steps or Shadow Shift, making this the first PvP spec I've ever run that doesn't have Infiltrator. You also have Foul Play if a warrior or 51sin-type closes to melee on you and if they break it, you can immediately hit them with Static Shot which is on a different DR.

I tend to open on tough targets in melee if I can, to get the Cloak and Dagger bonus. Ideally, things go thusly:

EW > Assassinate > Barbed > Swift x2  > RFS

This combo will kill the crap out of anyone 2+ ranks below you. If its a mage, I might use Paralyzing Strike instead. A good burst rotation:

Having 5 CPs > Finisher 2 Macro > Strafe > RFS

This combo frequently clears 7k damage for me with a string of crits. It does very well in the open field as well because of the crit bonuses in assassin and it isn't bogged down with stacking debuffs that 51 mm/15 inf suffers from. The problem with Silver Tip in PvP is that by the time you get the bonus up, its often time to change targets. This one frees you to choose targets of opportunity and that flexibility is very nice.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels: ,
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 8:00 AM | 19 comments  
1.5 is here. I have a brief wrap up of what you can expect, what you should do and what works and doesn't in PvE and PvP. First, the obvious:

Planar Attunement

AKA "So you thought you were done leveling" this basically requires you to earn tons of experience to get marginal upgrades that are nonetheless necessary for min/maxers. I'm not thrilled with the system and before you ask, no one has seen the 2nd/3rd tiers. There are 6 elements and you have to max the first tier in an element before you can unlock the 2nd tier. My guess is the 2nd tier isn't even implemented yet. Its a very long grind.

Chronicles

You got that chronic-what? -cles of hammerknell! Hooray for 2 player instances. They're easy and although I hated the idea of them, they're actually pretty entertaining and give Attunement points, yeah! Good for running with a noob friend that you just forced to level to 50. Gogo casual content.

Sourcestones

All your Crystal Sourcestones were just converted to Inscribed. Grats. Prices were tweaked and so were rewards for Rift dailies. Experts give 6 inscribed, Raids give 10 and there's a new weekly for 25. Costs were increased as well and you can now buy gear and synergy crystals with Inscribed (60 each) which work with your Raid 1 gear.

PvE Specs

Whet your whistle, your DPS just went up. Here are the parses I made. All parses were 5 min with fervor and the same gear (no greater essences or synergy crystals) unless otherwise noted. No other buffs or stones, etc. Bear in mind that some talents have changed, but the points are in the correct location. Just waitin on Zam to update. Thanks to Geriatrix and Bloatality for theorycrafting and Woetoyou for bardbotting it up after he went to bed.

Deep Nightblade - 1550 DPS
38 NB / 18 Sin / 10 MM
This is a relatively fun spec, and the synergy crystal is pretty good for it. Run the macro and Scourge every CD. Make sure to use Dusk to Dawn right after a finisher. You need the time to regen energy while it channels.


cast Dusk Strike
cast Puncture
cast Twilight Force
cast Primal Strike
cast Fiery Spike

Full Marksman - 1650 DPS
51 MM / 15 Rang / 0 whatever
Finally, a viable ranged spec. The Shadow Fire greater essence (100 AP) is amazing for this and so is the synergy crystal. This is more than likely what I will be raiding as. The reason for no Head Shot is you basically have to choose between 2/2 Head Shot and 3/3 Exposure, and if you don't max Exposure, you will overwrite the warrior's armor debuff with your inferior one. With 3/3 yours is better. This also simplifies the rotation, as you no longer have to mess with Head Shots for the 5% damage. Use Bull's Eye with Deadeye Shot.


cast Empowered Shot
cast Shadow Fire
cast Crippling Shot
cast Piercing Shot
cast Quick Shot

cast Rapid Fire Shot
cast Deadeye Shot

Blinkblade - 1650 DPS
25 Sin / 21 BD / 20 RS
This is a fairly complex spec and with skill, patience and practice it may be tops. However its simply too complex to run successfully in raids, especially since I am raid leader. It likely won't be used on much progression by anyone but will top meters on Murdantix, so people will claim its good. If you're interested, check out the thread by the spec's creator.

Dundancer - 1600 DPS
26 Sab / 20 BD / 20 Sin
If you fear change, fear not. Dundancer still rocks the house and is solidly competitive. You need to make a few changes though, to grab improved blast charge. You'll also need another macro or two, since Expose Weakness is now off the GCD. Otherwise, your rotation and skills are largely unchanged. Swap in Shrapnel for AOE (and prepare to be disappointed).

cast Blast Charge
cast Expose Weakness
start attack

cast Precision Strike
cast Keen Strike
cast Expose Weakness

PvP Specs

Marksman may not prove viable in its new form, but that's not stopping me from rockin' out. We'll see how NB does too. Gunblade variants could be promising as well. Followup posts are a certainty.

Full Marksman
51 MM / 15 Inf / 0 whatever
The spec hasn't changed, but the play style has. Gone is Improved Hit and Run. We'll see how bursty the spec can be without the go-to burst ability. Damage is up overall and Silver Tip Munitions go nicely with Focused Intent. New strafe aint bad either. *Not responsible for deaths by warrior when mashing Hit and Run fails to produce results.*

Nightstalker
38 NB / 18 RS / 10 Inf
Nightblade is back. I think this spec will kick ass, but I haven't been able to test it. I also think every damn person in the universe is going to have RS in their builds. Joy.

cast Dusk Strike
cast Twilight Force
cast Primal Strike
cast Fiery Spike

Teleporting Sniper
38 MM / 18 RS / 10 Inf
I almost wish I was joking. This build could annoy the crap out of people, and has better survivability than 51 MM. Not sure if the burst will be there, but you have a lot of tools at your disposal. Didn't I see this in the Rogue preview for Rift like 5 months ago?
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels: , ,
Monday, September 26, 2011 at 7:14 AM | 3 comments  
Here's a little preview, for your amusement. I'll probably be doing the podcast weekly and I would like to spend at least part of the time answering your questions or responding to your comments. Leave em here if you like or tune in to the podcast. Times and dates will be announced soon!
Posted by Dunsparrow
Friday, September 23, 2011 at 1:58 AM | 5 comments  
The Devs did a really thorough content dump that you should take a look at if you have time. A lot of is just documenting stuff that's already been reported by players, but at the bottom, they list a lot of the rogue specs that they used for testing, and they made a huge list of specs that they believe are competitive with Sabdancer.

The Full Post by Elrar

The interesting part (dev testing specs) is at the bottom, but some of the specs are honestly pretty ludicrous and would never be competitive with any top-tier spec. However, I think the post is very informative to the devs line of thinking, and there are some specs I had not thought of, but are at least worth looking at. Here are some takeaways:

  • The devs key in on 51 point specs. If you notice, every souls they tested and said was competitive with Sabdancer had 51 points in at least one variation. They clearly balance around 51 point specs, and if anything significantly beats it, they look to nerf it.
  • The devs prefer to change damage modifiers, not mechanics. If you look at what led to the rise (and fall) of the blinkblade, it was completely due to changing damage modifiers. They solved energy starvation by increasing rogue energy regeneration across the board. They "solved" the low damage of 51 BD by increasing the BD strike damage. On the other hand, they did change mechanics in MM, but once the first pass was done, everything else was just tweaking and juggling.
  • The devs don't understand what makes Warriors so far superior to rogues in PvP. Like it or not, these classes are comparable, because they have largely the same function. Warrior damage, health and mitigation is so far above rogues, and so much less dependent on cooldowns and gear, that the dichotomy is almost humorous. Yet the patch does really nothing to address it. The lackluster Infiltrator soul is untouched and while warriors can't unload as many off-global abilities as before, their damage and mitigation are still tremendous.

Rogues will certainly be in better shape when 1.5 hits this Wednesday than they are now, but by no means will we be on even footing with Warriors in PvE or PvP. I'm okay with that, because it will make success all the sweeter when its not handed to me, but I'm concerned that Trion will see it as "mission accomplished." The job ain't over.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels:
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 4:25 AM | 7 comments  
With the changes to souls still in flux and more probably still to come, a few specs are beginning to emerge.

Blinkblade
25 Sin / 21 BD / 20 Rift
This is one getting a lot of attention and it is definitely going to be one of the strongest contenders for top DPS. The talents are changing with the patch, but these are where the points will go.

This spec is strong because it takes advantage of the buffs to Stalker Phase in RS to rotate teleports and keep 25% additional damage and 15% additional crit active 100% of the time. The spec is a mess and the teleports don't fit well in any rotation, but you can't argue with results. Unfortunately, this is probably the top melee spec.

Deep Marksman
51 MM / 15 Rng
Variant 38 MM / 28 Rng
Marksman is getting a whole lot of love. With the new Silver Tip Munitions (15% extra damage), and less reliance on burst cooldowns, this spec is going to provide some extremely competitive ranged damage.

Also check out the new 4-pc synergy crystal (HK crystal has the same bonus as 2-pc)

Nightstalker
38 NB / 18 RS / 10 Inf
Variant: 44 NB / 22 RS / 0 Inf
For PvP, I'm working on some variant of NB and RS. It may or may not be what you see above, and it will likely take some warfronts to sift out what works and what doesn't. I don't think the 4th port is necessary in PvP like it is in raids.

This spec will have incredible mobility and damage output, plus the reflective shield in RS. I expect it to shred a lot of things.

More to come as D-Day approaches.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels: , ,
Monday, September 19, 2011 at 6:45 PM | 0 comments  
New mount in 1.5 and the way to get it. No damn Mossy Tartagon this time.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels:
Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 8:21 PM | 5 comments  
This is the reason I didn't want to start speculating on builds. A new wave of changes have hit PTS and they appear to be both good and bad.

First, the bad. Rogues now get .5 crit from str and .5 crit from dex. Same for AP. This makes str and dex the same for rogues and makes a huge nerf to our crit, since we're dex-heavy. This might be a bug, but its not clear from what Trion is saying.

Apart from that, Marksman is receiving additional buffs, which should lead to significantly increased raid damage, possibly having the best single-target damage of any spec. Master Archer is scaling now to 35% increased damage with 51 points in MM, and the new 51 point talent gives a new munition for a stacking buff of 20% more damage. Not bad.

Riftstalker mitigation is getting increased with a new ability called Shadow Armor, that reduces physical damage taken by 5% +1% for every 1000 armor, up to 20%. It won't bring RS in line with warriors, but its a start.

Big one: Flash of Steel is now a root Bladedancer ability with 10 points in the tree. The 21 point talent now gives you temporary CC immunity when you use FoS.

More to come...
Posted by Dunsparrow
Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 2:39 AM | 8 comments  
Finally, a silver lining in the rogue cloud. Still early yet, but keep an eye on the PTS. Rogue changes are starting to appear. Here's what they've put on the launcher for now:
General gameplay goals for the Rogue update:

* Competitive PvE Alternatives to Sabodancer, both melee and ranged.
* Competitive PvP DPS. You should fear seeing a Rogue the same way you see a Warrior. Of equal Prestige Rank, the two should be capable of providing a similar amount of PvP threat.
* Survivability improvements. Some self heal improvements and vampiric-type Healing Siphons - Abilities that reduce the healing intake capacity of one's target, with a portion of the stolen amount going to the rogue.
* Better synergies between souls
* More utility without giving up the majority of their DPS to get it, bringing them closer in line to the flexibility that other callings have.
* Large pack tanking improvements - Improvement to threat on multiple mobs
* Running capacity remains -- BUT, Double-teleport-invulnerable runner (the "bugged" one) goes away.
* Reduction in required reliance on "unfair" tactics (invuls, slips, etc) via adding true competitive power

Themes used to arrive at the goals:

* Marksman: No longer suffers an identity crisis around being the mobile-soul-that-requires-mostly-stationary-play. Pedestals are gone. Sniping remains. They get enchanted Ammo buffs (via their new "Munitions" line), and can bring one more ability into an AE rotation. New survivability as well. Better synergy.
* Ranger: Synergizes with other souls better. No longer overly dependent on Shadow Fire.
* Riftstalker: Offensively synergizes through +AP and reflect shields. Some new multi-target threat coolness here too. You should be able to take some RS without flooring your DPS, as melee souls' ability to close all currently lives in this tree.
* Saboteur: Use of bombs should not be a DPS downgrade.
* Bladedancer: Should be a viable in-your-face combat rogue.
* Nightblade: Some more survivability, without having to rely on pure immunities.
* Assassin: More up front damage, less reliance on super-long, annoying DoTs. Better poisons. Less "waste a finisher to apply a short buff." Slip away should not be a requirement to compete. Slip away will be receiving changes in a future update as well.
* Bard: A little more low level survivability - More of a reason to take this as a 3rd solo soul if you're inclined to get some more survivability back.
This thread lists many of the changes in detail (posted at the start and throughout the thread), but no notes have been posted yet. I've looked and all the changes on the first 10 pages are accurate as of tonight.

Some highlights:
  • Marksman - New "Munition" weapon enchantments that give extra damage or healing debuffs (pedestals removed) and now synergizes with non-ranged souls.
  • Ranger - Shadowfire: now buffs all ranged weapon damage and scales with points spent in ranger.
  • Bladedancer - Contra Tempo: Now gives a 25/50% chance for Quick and Precision to add an additional Combo point (just as I wished for??)
  • Nightblade - Enkindle: Increases AP contribution of fire abilities by 10/20/30% (and Primal Strike is now Death damage!)
  • Assassin - Backstab: AP contribution increased to 150% (the highest of any CP builder)
  • Riftstalker - Annihilate: Now increases AP by 20% (instead of a fixed amount).
  • Saboteur - Improved damage/scaling of bombs. Doesn't mesh with Sabdancer at all. Not sure what they were thinking here because the soul is still worthless without Deadly Dance.
Still missing?
  • Anything to address Riftstalker's horrible tanking situation. If you're planning to tank HK as a rogue, cross your fingers that more changes to this soul are in the pipe.
  • Anything to address the CP builder AP contribution disparity. NB builders still get 50% AP contribution, while BD gets 100% and Sin gets 100-150%.
More to come...
Posted by Dunsparrow
Friday, September 2, 2011 at 4:59 PM | 2 comments  
Posted by Dunsparrow
http://forums.riftgame.com/official-rift-news/news-announcements/250095-valor-updates-vengeance-arrive-tomorrow-9-1-a.html

This patch is now live. Here's what you have to look forward to upon logging in.

Old Words of War - 20 Endurance + 16 AP + 250 AP on use
New Words of War - 20 Endurance + 60 AP/Vengeance on use

Old P7 Synergy Crystal - 500 HP + 200 AP
New P7 Synergy Crystal - 500 HP + 75 AP/Vengeance

If you haven't heard of Vengeance, its a new stat. Essentially, its Attack Power that only works in PvP.

If you're like me and did the grind in Codex and to P8 so you could have the best gear possible for PvE, you just lost 141 AP in a single, shining moment. Really, its more than that, because you won't have the use function of Words of War anymore. The trinket is now garbage for PvE and basically anything else is better.

The Cold Heart (final boss of DH) remains best in slot, but now there is nothing else even close. Start running DH and hope your luck is running hot.

Top 5 Trinkets, ranked:
Its hard to say if the P8 gear will remain BiS until HK. At the very least, you will be more inclined to break the set earlier in HK, so having the Raid 1 pieces to use when that happens will be important.

I parsed 2049 DPS on Murdantix this week, using Dundancer. We'll see next week how much these nerfs have hurt.
Posted by Dunsparrow
Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 12:51 AM | 6 comments  
If you haven't seen the "improvements" to PvP, brace yourselves.


Trion has obviously never heard of incremental change. Hope you didn't grind to P8 yet.
Posted by Dunsparrow
Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 2:51 PM | 3 comments  
Now to start on my warrior, the real PvP calling. :/
Posted by Dunsparrow
Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 1:03 AM | 0 comments  
Well, its finally confirmed. Whetstones are bugged and have no effect. I thought I was just going crazy. A Trion poster confirms, its not just your imagination.
Atrius
We are currently looking into what is causing this, and as soon as we find the culprit it will be dealt with. Thank you all.
How comforting. Save your stones gents.
Posted by Dunsparrow
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 10:47 AM | 10 comments  
I've been working on squeezing as much DPS as possible from the general Sabdancer spec, and I've come up with a Puncture-less spec that has been giving me slightly better results on both single and multi-targets. I have humbly interjected my own name into the spec:


The only real change in this from the standard Sabdancer, is that you don't get puncture, and instead get another point in Ambidextrous for 3% more dex. The real refinement is in the rotation:

Spike x4 > Keen > Deadly > Precision > Spike > Detonate
Shrapnel x5 > Detonate

What this does is allow you to use the "extra" Deadly Dance charge in the standard Sabdancer rotation to power a Precision Strike. This offers superior single target damage compared with standard Sabdancer, both by utilizing this strike and by no longer needing to take Puncture, to get more dex.

For AOE situations, such as Zilas and Matron, you can still just drop Precision from your rotation to maximize AOE damage.

This isn't going to move you from #7 to #1 on the damage meters, but it should help you eek out an additional few percentage points of damage. With HK's tight tuning, this can mean the difference between victory and a 1% wipe. Hope it helps!
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels:
I usually keep this blog focused on rogue PvP and DPS, but as I spend a good amount of time tanking, I wanted to chat briefly about Rogue Tanking.

Anyone who has played Riftstalker for any length of time knows the severe limitations it has compared to the shield-tanks. Without blocks or any self/reactive heals, rogues are not able to mitigate/offset the damage of multiple mobs nearly as well.

Many rogues consider this a tradeoff as the difference is not as noticeable on single targets, like raid bosses, and Riftstalkers have increased mobility and magic mitigation compared to warriors and clerics.

However, as the bosses have scaled higher in physical damage output, we quickly saw the inferiority of the rogue tank. Rogues in Hammerknell take approximately twice as much physical damage as a similarly geared warrior or cleric. They tend to have more health, so they can survive these hits, but they quickly become a mana sponge for healers that makes them by far the most difficult tank class to keep alive in all those physical HK boss fights.

Our Riftstalker had been our MT from the beginning of GSB, through RoS and all those T2s and 10-mans in between. He was our raid leader, friend and stalwart shield and he never wanted to be anything other than a tank. As we moved into HK and he could see that his class was a liability, it had a negative effect on our raids and progression and was no doubt the reason he quit the game.

I'm sorry to lose a friend, but glad we're no longer being held back by our full-T3 best-in-slot everything Riftstalker tank that spent so much of his time getting geared for HK only to have his efforts overshadowed by T2 warriors with much better mitigation.

Our guild now uses 2-3 Warrior tanks, depending on the boss fight and I step in to tank a couple magic-damage fights in RoS. It's good for progression, but not so good for the game, if Trion really wants to keep all tanks roughly equal. Riftstalker is largely dead.
Posted by Dunsparrow
Sunday, August 14, 2011 at 5:48 PM | 15 comments  
You know, I was thinking the other day as a warrior was killing me from 100% to 0% during a Titan Strike stun that Rogues don't have a lot to offer in PvP that isn't done better by another class.

For single target damage, we are outpaced by warriors, and warriors have much greater survivability. For AOE damage, all the other classes outpace us completely. Warriors can even apply an incurable AOE healing debuff.

When it comes to healing, bards are light years behind chloro/lock or almost any healing-type cleric.

In fact, the only areas where rogue has an advantage are speed with the flag runner specs, and Eradicate, which is the best offensive dispel in the game.

Nightblade used to be an exception to this rule, but the other classes are so far outpacing NB damage now that it feels like your spitting into the wind.

Just some thoughts. Anyone have a PvP spec or style that doesn't feel like you're a massive underdog? Let me know!
Posted by Dunsparrow
With the changes to Nightblade in 1.4, many players are coming into the NB fold from other specs. Since this spec was already on the ascendancy due to its burst cooldown and defenses, NB is definitely the most common spec to see a rogue in WFs at this point.

However, the new buffs to NB are weighed down by the nerf it received through the changes to Anathema. No more 75% reduction in healing. Since Anathema + Fell Blades was really required to kill healers most of the time, NB really lost its edge in a key area, although all-around it is still very strong.

With the predominance of the spec but the loss of surefire healer killing, I have decided to venture into the Marksman tree. MM is very powerful and while I rarely had Marksman rogues kill me as NB, it always felt vulnerable to them. And vulnerable it is. Here is my group PvP and NB-slaying spec I've embraced after various MM build tests:


While many MM like to go 38 + x and spend points in Ranger or Assassin, I feel the final 13 points in MM are just too good to make up anywhere else. Adding Retreat, Eradicate and Sniper Pedestal is well worth the additional points.

Key abilities: Swift Shot, Barbed Shot, Rapid Fire Shot, Empowered Shot, Deadeye Shot

Macros

#show Improved Hit and Run
cast Improved Hit and Run
cast Empowered Shot
use Words of War

#show Deadeye Shot
cast Deadeye Shot
cast Bull's Eye

Playstyle

Like Nightblade, Marksman is cooldown-dependent to a degree. However, the major MM cooldown, Improved Hit and Run has a shorter cooldown (86 seconds) and adds an incredible amount of damage, especially if you remember to put down Sniper Pedestal (naysayers be damned, its awesome).

MM is very powerful in group situations with its ability to assist melee and add huge amounts of damage, or pick off wounded targets without putting you at great risk. The biggest downside is that it is very squishy, so you need to rely on your speed and maneuverability to stay out of trouble. If you get pinned down, you're done.

This spec massacres Nightblades. Eradicate will remove nearly any cooldown they pop (Ebon Fury, Nightrage, Blackout, Twilight Shelter, etc.). Without Ebon Fury, a NB has no chance of killing you, as you can keep him at range all day. If needed, Cleanse Soul can get you out of a sticky situation, as 90% of NB damage is magic, but you really shouldn't need it. A NB can protect another buff for 6-9 seconds by popping Cleanse Soul or Twilight Transcendence himself, which makes him immune to eradicate, but this is fairly uncommon and with Getaway, you should be able to still get to range and remove his CD as soon as this ends. Plus, you just made him waste 3-4 cooldowns and not even survive.

I'm not giving up on Nightblade. I still love the soul and the play style. I am currently toying with a spec that abandons all reason and drops Infiltrator entirely, but its not ready for prime time yet (if ever). For now, I think the sustained damage of NB is not quite there, and its damage is too easily mitigated by kiting.

I still have Gunblade, but the current metagame makes killing Nightblades a priority and this spec does that just fine. There are a few Gunblade variants that are now more viable since the patch, including a MM-heavy Gunblade. I think the synergy between NB and MM still exists and that you can weight these 2 souls to your liking. I'll post a few of them soon.

Oh, and Deadeye crits for 2000 on 900 valor targets. Weee.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels: ,
Posted by Dunsparrow
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 3:27 AM | 12 comments  
Looks like 1.4 is tomorrow which means new raid-quality crafted items, new Unseen PvP quests and items (including PvP Rifts) and a new 10-man instance - Drowned Halls. We cleared this instance on the test shard and I'll post those videos up later today. I'll also be posting my new Nightblade PvE spec in a bit. I doubt it will beat Sabdancer, but it will be fun and interesting to play NB in raids for a change. I'll be giving it a shot.

With Fell Blades and Anathema no longer stacking, a few things will shift with rogue PvP specs. My only new spec is a variation of Gunblade that is more defensive, if you're lower rank or feel a bit too squishy in standard Gunblade spec. I'm not sure which I'll use yet.

Gunblade 2.0

Because Anathema no longer stacks with Fell Blades, this spec drops 5 points from Infiltrator to pick up Blackout in Nightblade. You lose a bit of damage from Focused Intent and Murderous Thoughts, but make up for it with defense:


Original Gunblade will still be viable as well. Either way, you probably don't want to use Hasted Shot anymore, because you'll be better off waiting to get in range to Flame Thrust with the Nightrage buff.

Living Flame

This spec will remain relatively unchanged. While Anathema no longer stacks with Fell Blades (and is inferior to Fell), it will still be worth getting 15 Inf, because you need at least 10 for Cleanse Soul and there is really nothing else you would get with 5 points.

This leaves you with the standard Living Flame spec: 51 NB / 15 Inf / 0 BD.

Since I haven't gone over macros and play with this spec, I'll go over it here. Although most things are the same as with the Deep Nightblade spec.

Macros
#show Dusk Strike
cast Dusk Strike
cast Primal Strike
cast Fiery Spike

#show Twilight Force
cast Twilight Force
cast Fiery Spike

#show Scourge of Darkness
cast Scourge of Darkness
cast Blazing Strike
cast Flame Thrust
Gameplay

Unlike the Deep Nightblade spec, this spec relies heavily on being in melee range. You can do reasonable damage at medium range but your damage output is much lower than melee. This spec has a wide array of defensive and offensive cooldowns.

Offensive CDs
Living Flame
The namesake of the spec is also a great ability. This creates a physical damage AOE around you that pulses for about 400 per tick for 5 seconds. Its not channeled so you can continue doing your DPS rotation, which is what makes this spell worth getting.

Ebon Fury
Know it, use it, love. This is your greatest damage CD and allows you to spam Dusk Strike and Twilight Force, so it allows you to deal good damage even at range if needed.

Dusk to Dawn
It's barely a cooldown, but with the new Nightrage buff it grants, you'll want to pop this puppy ASAP when its off cooldown. Nightrage gives your Blazing Strikes and Flame Thrusts an additional 40% damage. Should be badass, but its purgable so its not reliable against dispel classes.
Defensive CDs
Twilight Shelter
Reduces incoming damage by 80% and outgoing by 40%. You generally want to use this one against assassins to deal with their dots while you kill them. Also useful to time with a mage popping their own damage shield.

Blackout
This one is awesome against any non-dispel class, though marginal against Assassin. Best used against warriors and Marksman who pop Hit n' Run (cover it with Cleanse Soul).

Twilight Transcendence
Makes you immune to all damage for 3 seconds. Also removes magic-based stuns/cc. I tend to use this right when an Assassin jumps me to prevent him from applying Impale. I also use it against casters if I get a huge number of debuffs.

Cleanse Soul
Makes you immune to magic for 6 seconds. Its awesome against Duracell-type clerics and any mage. Also very good when fighting another Nightblade.

Sidesteps
Most useful against any other rogue. I generally pop this any time a rogue opens on me, if its up.
This spec is vulnerable against talented Marksman (not many of those) because of their long range and dispels, and against Riftblade warriors. Anyone with a mana bar is a target.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels: ,
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels:
Posted by Dunsparrow
As Usual Suspects moves into Hammerknell, I've been very impressed by the complexity and difficulty of the instance so far. It's also very cool looking. There is a lot for rogues to do in this instance, but so far, one thing is clear: Sabdancer is king.

Murdantix is going to be the new benchmark for raid DPS in Raid Tier 2, just as Plutonus was in Raid Tier 1. It's a single target fight with good uptime on the boss and not too many secondary mechanics to worry about. It looks like 2.2k DPS is the highest benchmark being floated about.

Matron Zamira is a fun and challenging encounter that basically requires Saboteurs for AOE and has a few mixed mechanics as well. We were able to get Shard First on this encounter and if you see "skull" talk on the forums, you know what its about. I don't anticipate the fight will be much more difficult next week.

We haven't done any of the other bosses, but judging from videos and discussions, there is a wide array of mechanics and strategies that should keep us busy for a long time. However, if you're a rogue DPS, it really looks like Sabdancer is the only spec you need.

Oh, and a little humor.


Posted by Dunsparrow
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 2:18 AM | 0 comments  
From the rift forums:
I understand everybody's disappointment that we're not allowed to reveal the date of HK's release. I will say that we've had a very solid release date for many months and that we plan on meeting that date.

As a reward for your patience... here's an image from one of our dungeon team white boards.

So it seems like HK is today.
Posted by Dunsparrow
Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 1:40 AM | 2 comments  
As you can see, the PvP synergy crystal will add 125 AP at Rank 5. This makes the 4-piece PvP gear best in slot for raiding until Hammerknell 2-piece.


Good amount of favor/prestige for closing PvP rifts.

Posted by Dunsparrow Labels:
...Still Sabdancer.

Yes we have some new changes to potential viable specs and they are all nerfs to prospective "sab-beater" specs.

Currently fast weapons are better than slow weapons, because whetstones add a flat amount of damage, so daggers get a much larger boost than, say, maces. Also, Spotter's Order benefits fast attacks and pet classes for basically the same reason - it adds a flat amount of damage to each attack, so the more attacks you have, the more DPS you will do. This all changes, come 1.4:

So with the new Spotter's Order, it will add a fixed amount of damage every 3 seconds, meaning it will be about 170 DPS for everyone in the raid, regardless of their spec.

With some specs, this will mean as much as a 300 DPS nerf, just from this change alone, but Sabdancer will not be greatly affected.

Combine this with the new whetstones now adding DPS to the weapons instead of a flat amount of damage, and daggers will not be any better than axes or maces.

Incidentally, the new Oilstone means that two-handers will be good for warriors once again. It's too early to tell if anything will beat paragon, but at least 2h specs won't be far behind.

The specs that will be greatly nerfed by these changes will be the Hoko Spec (because pets won't proc Spotter's) and the raiding bleed spec (Because Spotter's can only proc every 3 seconds).

For now, this will leave Sabdancer as the king of DPS mountain.

Also, if you're like me, you probably already use multiple pieces of PvP gear while raiding. Next patch, this will pay off big time, as the new PvP synergy crystals for rogue will add a nice smattering of attack power:

Rogue PvP Synergy Crystal
2-piece: +500 Health
4-piece: +200 Attack Power

This bonus is for Rank 7/8 gear, so we'll get a bit less, based on our current rank, but this will still put 4-piece PvP gear as best-in-slot until we start getting PvE synergy crystals out of HK. Glad I wasted all my DKP on stupid tanking weapons!

While this AP-boost will be nice, eventually we'll still want to use PvE synergy crystals in PvE and PvP. I'll take 30% increased Blazing Strike and 7 extra stacks of Scourge of Darkness over 200 AP any day.

Oh Trion, why can't you balance anything properly.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels:
Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 11:09 PM | 1 comments  
From my youtube video comments:


Don't wait 48 hours bro. Act now!
Posted by Dunsparrow
Sunday, July 17, 2011 at 11:01 AM | 6 comments  
From the Rift forums, some rogues have been doing some good investigations on the new crit cap and I want to summarize the situation here. According to Trion, the "soft" crit cap is 45% crit. This includes any stat increase buffs, but not any % increase buffs/talents.

What this means is that anything that increases your stats (Fanfare of Power, Powersurge Vial, Vitality of Stone, Ambidextrous, etc.) pushes you toward the soft crit cap of 45%.

Anything that increases your crit percentage by a fixed amount (Ruthlessness, Eagle Eye, Motif of Focus, etc) does not count toward the crit cap.

This means that the soft crit cap is actually a crit rating cap. The crit rating to reach the cap is currently 1187 crit. This is easily reachable in Raid gear if you're using a crit sourcestone and if you are heading into HK, its a virtual certainty you'll be reaching it.

What happens after the crit cap? Normally, its 26 crit rating for 1% crit. After the crit soft cap is reached, its 132 crit rating for 1% crit. That is a 5x increase in rating to get the same 1% crit. This means you want to avoid at all costs going over the crit soft cap.

The best way to avoid this is to swap out all your crit essences for AP essences. Here are the top 7 AP essences that every rogue should be using once they start approaching 1100 crit rating fully raid buffed (and where to get them):
As you can see, your main goal should be to amass Inscribed Sourcestones, and if you run any extra rifts, they should be death, for a chance at Shade Slice or Final Cut. Good hunting!
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels:
So 6 months after Rift is released, someone at Trion finally observes "Hey clerics might be healing too much" Hurrr.

As a result, Cleric instant/reactive heals are getting shitcanned. Finally. I think the way they are doing it is stupid, though. Heals will be normal until the player enters PvP, then many of his heals are nerfed.

Clerics in PvP
  • All instant and reactive heals reduced in PvP only.
  • Barb of Shackles (Templar) removed. Replaced with...
  • Nysyr's Brand (1o point Templar root). Increases target's chance to be crit and prevents stealth for 30 seconds. Eat shit Assassins. Blahaha.

Seriously, it does seem strange to single out stealthers in this way, but whatever. Anway, the healing nerf is stupid for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that new players won't understand why their heals start to suck when another player attacks them. It will amount to a Fell Blades-style debuff for all classes in PvP. Kinda... clumsy.

I also don't think that Healing clerics need this much of a nerf. It's pretty OP for hybrids to heal out the wazzoo, but pure healers should be able to have a few instants at their disposal, especially self-heals. I think this patch goes too far.

Also Dominators are finally getting a good old fashioned nerfing. They were way overpowered, as I mentioned weeks ago.

Dominators

  • Split Personality damaged reduced
  • All energy/power drains reduced by about 50%
  • Transference no longer completely prevents energy/power regen

Dominators will still be good, but you might actually see a mage or two with a different spec. Gasp. Drama.

If you want to see my thoughts on the viability of rogue builds in 1.4 and the general outlook for rogues, check my post from a couple days ago.

Posted by Dunsparrow Labels:
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 4:44 PM | 0 comments  
http://forums.riftgame.com/showthread.php?225785-PVP-1.4-Discussion

Got plenty to say on this, but its a lot to sift through. For now digest the pvp spec analysis below.
Posted by Dunsparrow
1.4 Notes: http://forums.riftgame.com/showthread.php?225786-Rogue-1.4-Discussion

Seems like Trion is faltering once again on the PvP front. I hope you like Assassins, because that's all you will see.

Highlights:

Assassin
51 Assassin/15 Inf will be getting a massive buff in PvP. I hate Assassin, because its impossible to be extremely good at it, like you can with NB. The worst Assassin is decent, and the best Assassin is pretty good. Here are the relevant bits:
  • Impale now increases Final Blow by 30% instead of 8%. This amounts to a 20% increase in an already hard-hitting ability.
  • Anathema now works exactly like Fell Blades. Because Assassins did not get Fell Blades, this amounts to a huge buff to Assassin, as they now get a much-improved healing debuff with the same cookie-cutter spec.
Assassins are going to seriously destroy anyone.

Nightblade
Nightblade is getting a mixed bag. While the Anathema change is (apparently) a direct nerf to Nightblade, it is getting a bone tossed its way that could even make it raid viable... maybe. Deets:
  • Dusk to Dawn - that pesky problem where it didn't work if the target was immune to snare is now fixed.
  • Nightrage - When you use Dusk to Dawn you get a 1m buff called Nightrage, which increases your Blazing Strike and Flame Thrust damage by 40%. Bear in mind that Blazing Strike already gets 30% extra damage when a target is below 30% and the new set bonus gives it another 30% all the time. Get ready to one-shot everyone for 2 days until they nerf it. Except Assassins, who will kill you in stunlock.
  • Fell Blades - It appears that this ability will now be redundant with Anathema. If so, you won't use it anymore, since Anathema can't be dispelled. You would instead just use Molten Blades, I guess. This means that healers will be significantly more effective against you, which won't be a big deal until they nerf Nightrage and you can't one-shot them anymore.
The reason I say "apparently" when talking about Fell Blades/Anathema redundancy is that I have a sneaking suspicion that a big change is coming to Fell Blades. If you look at the post, Fell Blades is not mentioned as a redundant debuff, but debuffs from other classes with identical functionality are mentioned. This is a strange word choice, seeing as its the rogue thread.

This leads me to believe that Fell Blades may get reworked into something different (like a power drain or something) or removed entirely and replaced with a new ability. I'd settle for an immunity to power drains.

There's also the outside chance that Fell Blades will stack with Anathema for 100% reduction. If so, that will be nasty, but like Nightrage, it will be nerfed. I don't think anyone wants a complete healing shutoff.

Marksman
Who cares, bunnyhopping suckbags. But seriously, nothing is changed.

Other PvP Specs
Do not exist.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels:
Posted by Dunsparrow
Monday, July 11, 2011 at 4:55 AM | 0 comments  
Still quite a few PvP bugs floating around that need fixing
  • Any stun/disable effect will interrupt someone trying to capture a flag, even if they are immune to the effect. This is especially annoying with rogue Lost Hope as they can spam it at range from stealth indefinitely in a place like Vault.
  • Similarly, clerics can cast Circle of Oblivion on the flag while being out of line of sight. This likewise needs a fix.
  • Dominator Split Personality scales far, far too well with gear. The dominator soul is extremely powerful, with the ability to crush and/or disable entire groups on their own. The extra damage from the Split Personalities is much too high. In 750 valor, these pets crit me for upwards of 700 damage each.
I post about these bugs because Trion has a propensity to ignore bug reports until they reach some kind of critical mass. Just like the old bunnyhopping bug, the more people that are aware of the bug, the more likely it is to be fixed.

I'm really tired of rogues sitting in stealth and chain sapping at vault.
Posted by Dunsparrow
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels:

These crystals look fairly amazing overall for those of us who enjoy melee rogue. Obviously some things are unfinished or bugged, as they show a bonus of +0 but we can still extrapolate some data.

A poster on the forum said he tested and the MM bonus is 10% energy reduction and the BD bonus is 1% per stack up to 20 stacks, and it self-refreshes.

This makes the BD crystal the best one by far, especially considering every raiding spec right now uses BD. The 4 piece bonus is junk, but thats fine.

The Nightblade crystal will be extremely awesome for PvP. I'm not sure if their will be a way to get multiple synergy crystals, but if so, running 4 piece R2 in PvP as Nightblade will rock, with 30% bigger Blazing Strikes and 15 stacks of Scourge of Darkness. Pretty awesome right there.

The Saboteur 4 piece bonus looks very good as well, but unless they nerf Sabdancer, the BD crystal will be better. I'm not sure why Trion keeps putting Frag bomb bonuses on Sab things. Frag bomb is garbage for everything. Very strange.
Posted by Dunsparrow
I've received a surprising number of people asking me about specs and one thing that seems to come up in conversations is some variation of "whats the best way to get ready for raiding?" I decided to address that here. Behold: everything you need to know about getting ready to raid.

Goals
  • 100 Hit for T2s
  • All T1 blue or better gear
  • 200-220 Hit for Raids
  • Weaponating your Weapon slots
44-49

In this level range, you need to spend 100% of your time in instances or in the following 3 zones doing quests: Ironpine Peak, Shimmersand, Stillmoor. The reason is simple: you need the reputations from the major factions in these zones for important items that will help you not be a 300 dps charity case when you get into T2s or Greenscale. Once you're 48, the only instances you should be running are Charmer's Caldera or Abyssal Precipice.

Day 1: Ding 50!

Grats! Now shut the hell up. We have to work to do.
  • Buy at Wyrmbane Spire (requires Decorated with Dragonslayers): Drake Scale Choker for +26 hit
  • Run Chamer's Caldera (CC) at least once (preferably before 50) to complete the quest and get: Wind-Touched Mace for +26 hit
  • Buy at Zareph's Return (requires Decorated with Mathos): Sapphire Studded Mathosian Band x2 for total of +40 hit
  • Crafted: Spined Compound Bow with augment. +30 hit
  • Crafted: Wayward Breeches with augment. This is equivalent to T2 leg.
  • Get your 6-slot Sigil/Core and throw some cheap level 40+ lessers in there with dex/crit. Get as many Agile Reflex as you can afford, and fill the rest with whatever is on the AH. Put lessers in your greater slots. Greaters are bad.
  • OPTIONAL Crafted: Sword of the Order or Callous Blade. +25 hit. Only do this if your weapon is particularly bad.
If you're not decorated with Mathos and Dragonslayer yet, get there. Its very easy. In the rest of the slots your questing/leveling items will suffice. You now have over 100 hit and are set for Tier 2 dungeons. Do not spend time in Tier 1s unless you just want the experience.

Runes

Now that you have some shiny (and some not-so-shiny) gear. What runes to use? Eventually, you'll want to be using the Mathos, Icewatch and Dragonslayer runes for your Belt, Helm and Legs, but you're probably not there yet. Runecrafters can get you started and the vendors in the zones you leveled through can fill in the gaps:

Helm
Get the Radiant Accurate Rune or Luminous Accurate Rune if you're not hit capped. If you are hit capped, grab Icewatch Bandit's Rune if you have the notoriety, otherwise the Redscar Strider's Emblem from Perspice.

Shoulder/Chest

Gloves

Belt
Get the Mathosian Pugilist's Rune if you have the notoriety, otherwise the Runeguard Battlemaster's Emblem.

Legs
Get the Radiant Accurate Rune or Luminous Accurate Rune if you're not hit capped. If you are hit capped, grab the Crafty Dragonslayer's Rune if you have the notoriety. Otherwise, get the Arcane Sneak's Rune from Lantern Hook.

All Weapons

Day 2: Tier 2s

If you are LFG for T2, you stand the best chance of finding one if you can queue as both DPS and support. You should have at least 2 roles.
  • Your DPS role should be ranged saboteur. This will allow you to crush the DPS meters while having maximum awareness to not stand in fire and do other stupid crap that will make people hate you. The rotation is 5x Shrapnel > Detonate, 5x Spike > Detonate. Cake.
  • Your support role should be raid bard. Focus on learning to be a good bard, keeping Motifs active, group healing, timing cooldowns and not dying.
You may have different ideas about these specs. You might think you know better or you might have a pet spec that you used while leveling. Maybe you really are smarter than everyone else, but I encourage you to learn to use the cookie cutter specs first and then once you have the basics down, you can use them as a baseline to compare with whatever you want to try. You will find that the cookie cutter specs are there for a reason: they are best in the vast majority of situations.

Which T2s to run?

As a DPS rogue, your weapons are of paramount importance. Expert Runic Descent should be your #1 priority and I encourage you to queue for that first before using the random queue function. RDx has the Eyemangler and Blackheart Blade for weapons, the trash drop Rune-Carved Bow (best for a long time) along with the Cover of Night, Loop of the Dangerous, Shard of Planes, and several excellent blue items. Its a rogue item bonanza.

There are great upgrades in every T2, and eventually you'll want to run them all many times. Your best items will come from RDx and DSMx.

Once you run 2-3 T2s, you should have the hit required for Greenscale/RoS.

Day 3: Ready to Raid

Your target hit is 220. On the off chance that your T2 runs didn't put you over the 200 hit soft cap, craft Mask of the Hunter for +20 more hit. You can then stick this in the wardrobe slot when you find an upgrade.

Before you march off into Greenscale and RoS, make sure you are doing the Daily Raid Rift each day. The quest is available in your faction's capital city and doing this will get you 7 Inscribed Stones, and a chance at some nice items each day. Every 3 days of doing the Daily RR will allow you to purchase one epic lesser essence and start tricking out that source core and replacing those blue/green essences. Nice!

Good luck in your raid career!
Posted by Dunsparrow
From the Rift forums, we get this genius.
Since the patch I seem to be having a problem with intermittent pulls when prestacking my 5 bombs prior to pull.

I'm using the 44/20/2 sabo/assasin/ranger build and I have made two macros to use specifically to load bombs pre pull that I "thought" were supposed to force melee auto-attack mode and make sure that ranged auto attack did not kick in. Macros are:

/cast Spike Charge
startattack

and

/cast Shrapnel Charge
startattack

but it seems like every now and again when I'm stacking bombs or even when I just click on the boss I seem to pull.

Never noticed this pre-patch, and I've never "seen" an arrow from me, but others say they have, and its clear i'm occassionaly pulling somehow. Others having isssues or am I just special.
To summarize his problem: he is targeting the boss and attacking, and can't figure out why the boss is getting pulled.
Posted by Dunsparrow
When PvP'ing, its often difficult to tell what class you're facing, much less what souls he is using. This makes it difficult to know your enemy, so what's a rogue to do? Continue reading.

Melee Clerics

These guys come in 2 flavors: Shaman and Druid. Both rely on melee weapon attacks to deal primary damage, so avoiding melee range can significantly reduce your incoming damage. Shaman-Druid is a common PvP spec, and in this spec, kiting and/or healing debuffs are your best friends.

Shamans
Easily identifiable by the snowflake buff, or if they charge you, Shamans deal combination melee and magical damage. Of their damage, the magic damage is more "bursty" so preventing it with Cleanse Soul is extremely helpful. Avoiding melee damage can be a big help as well, especially when they use Faceroll of the North. Shamans have self-heals and shields so healing debuffs and/or Eradicate can help quite a bit.

Druids
If they have a Satyr demon pet, they're a druid. Druids also do combination melee and magical damage, and their pet is full-on melee and does solid damage. Because druids are so often paired with Shaman, and because, like Shaman, druids primarily rely on weapon strikes to deal damage, moves like Side Steps are extremely effective against druids. Druids also have self-heals and shields.

Caster Clerics

Caster Clerics come in 3 flavors: Inquisitor, Cabalist and Cherry. These Clerics deal heavy magic damage, and thus having Cleanse Soul or some other form of magic avoidance is crucial to surviving. Like all clerics, expect some self-healing even if they are full-out DPS oriented.

Inquisitor
This is an extremely popular choice because of the high damage, versatility and AOE. You can identify them through the shield buff and when you see it, expect bursty-magic damage. Most of them mindlessly try to cast AOE Soul Drain or Circle of Oblivion in groups of your teammates. If you're ranged, go ahead and kill them, otherwise don't eat the damage. These guys spam the high-damage instant Sanction Heretic, which is the biggest thing you have to worry about. Cleanse Soul is vital.

Cabalist
This rare animal is not spotted much on the PvP battlefield because it sucks, except as a support soul. If left alone they can deal heavy burst magic damage, so if you see one of these, just go fucking kill it.

Healing Clerics

Warden
Wardens are really the only healing soul that is a major threat. With their major hots and reactive healing from orbs, they are a big pain in the ass. Typical they will be difficult to kill, and so should be saved until last, as their healing output is not as high as other healer souls against focus fire.

Not Warden
Purifiers and Sentinels are much easier to kill than Wardens, and are also much better healers. As a result, Purifiers and Sentinels should be priority targets in an engagement, which an emphasis on interrupting their castable heals and Eradicating if you have it to remove shields. If warden is also sentinel, they will have less damage reduction abilities and should be treated like a non-Warden. Just kill them.

Support Souls

Justicar
This is easily identifiable and immediately tells you that the cleric is spec'd into passive-healing and damage reduction. You most often see this paired with Warden and Inquisitor but it can be done with anything. Anyone sporting the Justicar soul will be harder to kill but also deal less damage or do less healing.

Templar
Templars are hard to quickly identify because they don't have any tell-tale buffs. Typically if you see a Warden-Justicar, this will be their third soul. The giveaway is that most of the time, when they cast a heal, they will receive a golden shield buff. Treat them basically like Justicars.

Putting it Together

Obviously, you can't think of someone as "just" an Inquisitor or "just" Druid. Instead, categorize them by their playstyle. Do they intend to cast on you from range? Treat them like a caster. Do they try to hang back and heal? Healer. Do they try to melee? You get the idea. You can then isolate their abilities by their buffs, as I've outlined and get an idea of what options and they have, and thus how they will try to kill or survive you.

For example, Shaman-Inquisitor is very common. This type of cleric will attempt to melee you, but he has a lot of magic damage at his disposal. Recognize the Inquisitor soul, despite his melee attacks, and be ready to use Cleanse Soul at the right time to survive his onslaught.

The key is being versatile and observant. Knowing what your opponent can do is the first step to knowing what he will do. Don't be surprised when that Druid self-heals to full. Don't be shocked when that healer suddenly hits you with Sanction Heretic for 2k. Be ready.
Posted by Dunsparrow
If you're like me, you hate drinking. I refuse to do it in raids and I'm constantly running out in the world and fighting things with 3% HP so that a random scrub rogue with a name like Darkshasta or Mugger can come along and one-shot me with a 200 damage Assassinate.

So to combat this I have been using what might be the ultimate solo PvE spec: 32 BD / 18 Sin / 16 RS this build relies primarily on Rift Scavenger and Combat Culmination which restore your energy and health if you have combo points left on the target when it dies. Combine this with the massive CP generation from having mobs attack you as a BD, and you can tear through packs of mobs that would leave any other spec dead, and come out with 100% HP.

Macro

cast Reprisal
cast Precision Strike
cast Puncture
cast Quick Strike
cast Disengage
cast Keen Strike
cast Flash of Steel
cast Blade Tempo
cast Double Coup
cast Poison Malice

Press repeatedly for victory. Keep False Blade and Dauntless Strike up, but make sure to have combo points on the mobs as they die for health/energy boosts.

It's sick for closing Rifts solo, farming, doing dailies or whatever. I don't recommend it if you expect PvP though. You'll get trashed by anyone except champ or beast warriors (and maybe bad assassins). Props to Archaego for originally coming up with the idea.

I'd also recommend this spec for anyone thinking of leveling a rogue. The key idea is to get 3/3 Rift Scavenger in RS, then put the rest of your points in Bladedancer up to 32, then build up Assassin or RS as you wish.

Leave your water in the bank. You won't need it.
Posted by Dunsparrow