fifa15guide | Tree of Savior International Version Final Release Date Is April 28

[Update]
IMCGames has finalized the Founder's Packs and server open dates for Tree of Savior, after asking for the community's feedback. If you don't want to purchase any pack, you can wait until April 28 when the Free server opens for everyone. That's the date the game officially launches.

You can purchase Founder's Packs here at Steam.

Now you can purchase 3 types of Founders' Packs and play in Founder's Server starting March 29, one month prior to final launch:
Founder's Server : Exclusive Access 1 $49.99  
Founder's Server : Exclusive Access 2 $29.99 
Founder's Server : Exclusive Access 3 $9.99

Or you can wait for April 28 when the game is available to everyone.

[Original Story]
The infinite waiting is over! Today, IMC Games announced that the schedule for Tree of Savior English version has been confirmed. The Tree of Savior English version will contain various customized contents that won't be seen in the Korean version.

fifa15guide | Tree of Savior International Version Final Release Date Is April 28

Offering 'Founder's Server: Exclusive Access', Tree of Savior English version will kick off on Steam. Players who purchase Founder's Server: Exclusive Access will initially get access to the game. After 3 months, this game will be open to everyone. There are 3 types of 'Founder's Server: Exclusive Access':

fifa15guide | Tree of Savior International Version Final Release Date Is April 28

The Founder's Server: Exclusive Access is roughly scheduled to start sale on March 16th. The Founder's Server: Exclusive Access are priced at $49.99, $29.99 and $19.99. Correspondingly, you could get access to the game one month early, two months early and 3 months early respectively.

fifa15guide | Tree of Savior International Version Final Release Date Is April 28

Full detailes

fifa15guide | Das Tal’s ‘March Mayhem’ alpha event kicks off today

fifa15guide | Das Tal’s ‘March Mayhem’ alpha event kicks off today

Das Tal has implemented a big patch just in time for its long-planned March Mayhem test event.

The patch focuses on resource distribution intended to “add a completely new layer of diplomacy and trade to the game” as well as on client performance, Linux and Mac patchers, and updated visuals for multiple game environments. “The game world is still harsh but also a bit less dreary and monotonous,” says Fairytale Distillery. “In some rare cases you might even find a cactus in full bloom or some rare ice flowers in the mountains.”

The studio wrote earlier this week that it had invited 300 new testers for this event.

MOP’s own MJ Guthrie will be streaming from the alpha event tomorrow at noon (Saturday, March 19th, at 12 p.m. EDT) and handing out keys for the test, so stay tuned!

Source: Official site, patch notes

Diablo III polishes legendary gems in next update – fifa15guide.net

Diablo III polishes legendary gems in next update - fifa15guide.net

Blizzard’s all-seeing eye has turned its attention to legendary gems as one of the foci of the upcoming Diablo III Patch 2.4.1. Basically, the developers looked at the field of gems and realized that some of them were underperforming and needed some love.

The team posted a new developer diary yesterday explaining its philosophy behind legendary gems and what it will be doing with these underperformers: “While we aren’t updating every legendary gem that might need a little help (and it’s possible we’ll re-examine other gems in the future), there are quite a few that stuck out to us as either needing more clearly defined roles or just that layer of new polish to keep them up to date in a Sanctuary that’s evolved over time.”

A few examples of legendary gem updates were given, such as a complete redesign to Taeguk, which should now have a better defined identity.

Source: Diablo III

fifa15guide – The Stream Team: Facing Path of Exile’s first Ascendancy trial

fifa15guide - The Stream Team: Facing Path of Exile’s first Ascendancy trial

MassivelyOP’s MJ got to sneak into Path of Exile’s new Labyrinth courtesy of the alpha server, but now she has to earn the right to go there on her own character! Today she faces the first — and possibly the second — of the Ascendancy trials. MJ is even playing in the new league. Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. to watch her witch wind her way through the traps.

What: Path of Exile
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 18th, 2016

The show is over now, but we’ve embedded it here just for you. Don’t forget to check out past streams and playlists posted to our videos collection!

fifa15guide – Betawatch: Landmark is getting storytelling and further wipes (March 18, 2016)

fifa15guide - Betawatch: Landmark is getting storytelling and further wipes (March 18, 2016)

The loss of EverQuest Next is bad news, but Landmark appears to be poised to absorb the strength of its fallen sibling with its further updates, like boss fights where you fight two things at once. The game is indeed getting a storytelling system, allowing everyone to jump in and craft stories, dungeons, and the like. Its next big update is due on Monday and will wipe characters and claims; two more such wipes are planned before the title finally launches.

The rest of the beta world, meanwhile, continued to move on full steam ahead.

  • Paladins has deployed another major build to the game’s test servers, including a new payload map, Serpent’s Temple. One wonders what sort of payload is being delivered. Serpents, perhaps. (Thanks to Sorenthaz for pointing this out to us!)
  • RuneScape Chronicle early access has begun, which means that the time has come for all closed beta testers to enjoy the benefit of their even earlier access. Stay tuned for normal access, slightly later access, and one-year delay access.
  • Is there room in your heart for another digital card game? Star Crusade has released its first official trailer, and it wants your affection. And your attention. Also it wouldn’t mind having your stepstool, like, if you weren’t using it.
  • Stronghold Kingdoms has released its trailer for its mobile versions, if you really like building castles all over the place but don’t like having to sit down in your actual home to do so.
  • You can buy a founder’s pack for the upcoming Paragon, but you don’t have to content yourself with just a bunch of digital goodies that might blow away in the digital wind! There are hard copies available with your purchase as well. They’re quite material and may be used to install the game, or simply as an entertaining conversation piece.

And just like we always do, there’s more stuff down in the list below. Did we miss something? Let us know down in the comments, if you’d be so kind. We appreciate it.

fifa15guide - Betawatch: Landmark is getting storytelling and further wipes (March 18, 2016)As always, we consider an MMO to be in open testing if it features free, public signups and will server wipe prior to launch. An MMO is marked in closed testing if it’s running a private test phase that cannot freely be accessed by the general public; it’s usually under NDA as well. Early access and crowdfunded MMOs whose tests we deem legitimate will be included. So-called “open beta” soft-launch MMOs with cash shops, no sign of launch in the west, or limited interest for our readers will not be listed; we also do not list expansions.

Albion Online: Closed beta
Ascent: The Space Game: Steam early access
Asta: Open beta
Beasts of Prey: Early access alpha
Boundless: Donor alpha
Camelot Unchained: Backer alpha, development in crunch for beta
Chronicles: Runescape Legends: Closed beta
Crowfall: Backer pre-alpha
Das Tal: Alpha expected in April
DayZ: Early access
Divergence Online: Alpha
Dungeon Fighter Online: Open testing
Eleven: Closed alpha
Eternal Crusade: Early access play on Steam
EVE: Valkyrie: Testing ends on March 12th, launch on March 28th
Ever, Jane: Closed beta
Gloria Victis: Donor pre-alpha
H1Z1: Paid early access, split into two games, launch expected in March
HEX: Unofficial open beta
Landmark: Paid closed beta, cash shop active, launching in spring
Life is Feudal: Early access beta
Line of Defense: Early access
MyDream: Closed testing open to donors
Nosgoth: Open beta
Origins of Malu: Combat module in early access
Otherland: Early access
Overwatch: Closed beta, launching May 24th
Paragon: Closed beta, early access starts March 18th
Pathfinder Online: Subscription “early enrollment”
Project Genom: Closed alpha
Project Gorgon: Free, open testing
Shards Online: Pre-alpha
Shroud of the Avatar: Steam early access, backer testing
SkySaga: Ongoing NA and UK alpha events
Star Citizen: Backer alpha
Stash: Backer alpha
The Repopulation: Alpha offline, moving to the Unreal engine, survival spinoff planned
Tree of Life: Paid early access
Tree of Savior: English beta testing events
Tribal Wars 2: Open testing
TUG: Steam early access alpha
Valiance Online: Pre-alpha testing
Venus Rising: Closed beta (adult/NSFW), currently on development hiatus due to Hero Engine issues

Yes, MMO gamers, you too can perform the unpaid quality-control work otherwise known as game testing! Check out Massively Overpowered’s Betawatch every week for a run-down of MMOs that are still on the road to reality.

fifa15guide | See Andy Serkis mimic zero gee for Squadron 42

fifa15guide | See Andy Serkis mimic zero gee for Squadron 42

There’s a theory out there that Andy Serkis was actually born in a full motion-capture suit as part of an educational series for expectant mothers. Whether or not this is true, you can’t deny that the man has done an awful lot of work for films by pretending to be all manner of aliens, Gollums, and King Kongs.

He’s been enlisted, so to speak, to provide the motions and animations for the always easy-to-spell Thul’Óqquray in Squadron 42. In a new video, you can see Serkis diving off of boards and chatting up Chris Roberts in between takes. He even uses a special harness to replicate the effect of zero gravity on his character.

See, believe, and be amazed that someone gets paid to do all of this (but it’s not you). It’s all there after the jump.

Source: YouTube

fifa15guide – SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri.

Contents

  • 1 Intro to Lightning Sorcerer
    • 1.1 Gear
    • 1.2 Utilities
  • 2 Abilities and Rotation
    • 2.1 Offensive Abilities
    • 2.2 Defensive Abilities and Cooldowns
    • 2.3 Other Abilities
    • 2.4 Rotation
    • 2.5 Solo Ranked Rotation
  • 3 Advanced Tactics
    • 3.1 Phase Walk
    • 3.2 Situational Awareness and Creating UI
    • 3.3 Kiting
  • 4 About the Author

Intro to Lightning Sorcerer

Lightning Sorcerer has become one of the most nerfed classes in PvP, but it can be a fun spec to play, having a 35 meters range with all your attacks, and barely worrying about running out of Force.

In PvP, Lightning Sorcerer is one of the less used specs, but you can put up quite a lot of damage, a decent survivability and amounts of healing.

The purpose of this guide is to help every Sorcerer improve their mastery of this class (as they say, Sorcerer is an easy class but hard to master). I will discuss optimal positioning, melee kiting tactics, as well as ways to maximize your survivability and improve your situational awareness.

Again, the target audience of this guide is quite broad, so hopefully Sorcerers of all skill levels will get something out of it.

Gear

The how to gear a Lightning Sorcerer is pretty much down to personal preferences, different sorcerers recommend different set ups. There is a single thing every sorcerer agree (for PvP) is that you don´t need Accuracy at all. The regular and ranked gear comes with some accuracy (enhancements) on it, you will have to change them.

The stats that you should take (in order of priority) are Power, Critical Rating and Alacrity Rating. More specifically, what I recommend is the following:

  • Power 2734 (All power mods, 5 Advanced Overkill Augment 40. Pretty much every slot and pieces includes power).
  • Critical Chance 1543 (5 Critical Enhancements, 8 Advanced Critical Augment 40, 1 Critical Earpiece, 1 Critical Implant).
  • Alacrity Rating 484 (2 Alacrity Enhancements, 1 Alacrity Implant, 1 Advanced Alacrity Augment 40).
  • Set bonus is Force-Master´s

You basically have 2 stats to pick up from, which are Critical and Alacrity. The amount you stack is really down to personal preference, but what I’ve listed is the most balanced you will get to maximize DPS, speed up global cooldowns, and force regeneration.

Critical Rating

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri

This stat increases your Force Critical Chance and your force critical multiplier (pretty much all of your abilities are “force abilities”). Force Critical is the chance that a successful Force Power will deal critical damage or critical heal. Pretty much the percentage of your Force Abilities to make a critical damage or heal.

Force Critical Multiplier is percentage by which Critical hits or heals increase damage health dealt.

What you should see on your Character Tab (under Force Tab) is Critical 39.3%+ (39.3% should be a base with the stats posted up there, difference is going to be from what Datacrons, companions buffs and class buffs. Same will apply to the rest of the stats). Critical Multiplier 70%

Alacrity

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri

Ever since 3.0 dropped, alacrity is one of the best stats available to you, it speeds up your global cooldowns, and affects how fast your damage over time (DoTs) ticks; it basically increases the speed at which abilities are executed. Furthermore, a higher alacrity rating will boost Force Regeneration, which can be quite helpful if you have force management issues.

This spec increases your alacrity by 1-5% (up to 5 stacks-5%) which will be seen later.

If you followed my stat recommendations, what you should see is Alacrity 5.48% and Force Regen Rate 8.4. Force Regen already has a base of 8 per second, which with 484 Alacrity rating gives an extra 0.4 force regen per second.

With 5 stacks of Focal Lightning, you will win a 5% extra alacrity and it will go up to 10.49%.

Power

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri

Power has become a basic stat for sorcerers and pretty much every slot or gear includes this stat. There is no diminishing return to it and it gives more bonus damage than Mastery. Mastery does provide some extra Critical Change, but it is a low amount. In the end, the difference between Power and Mastery is small.

What you should see (under Bonus Damage/Bonus Healing) is 2308 and 1670.

Relics

Lightning Sorcerer should only run Relic of Serendipitous Assault (chance to give extra power) and Relic of Focused Retribution (chance to give extra mastery).

These stats are my personal preference; you might see differences on the percentages on your character tab (Force Tab), because all the gear I show is ranked. There might be a difference of 100-200 points with the Regular gear, there might also be a difference since I have very fewDatacrons. Make sure to always wear an Advanced Anodyne Versatile Stim.

Utilities

Different utilities should be used in different situations, in the case of sorcerer you don´t have much to pick up on Skillful part, but you do on Heroic and Masterful. What you spec into should be influenced by what you are doing (i.e. Regular WZs, Solo Ranked or Team Ranked), every situation demands a different Utilities set up.

Keep in mind you are most easily to get interrupted and shut down playing Lightning than Madness, so you need to be smart with the utilities you pick in order to put out the highest damage you can.

Skillful

Skillful

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Empty Body – Increases all healing received by 10%. Does not affect stolen life.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Sap Strength – Targets stunned by your Electrocute suffer Sapped Strength when Electrocute wears off, which reduces all damage dealt by 25% for 10 seconds.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Oppressing Force – Lowers the cooldown of Electrocute by 10 seconds. And some PVE non related ability.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Dark Speed – Dark Heal increases the movement speed of the target by 50% for 6 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 12 seconds.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Sith Defiance – Increases damage reduction by 3%.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Force Suffusion – Overload heals you and up to 7 affected allies for xxxx-xxxx (Depends on your Bonus Healing).
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Chain Shock – Shock gains a 25% chance to produce a second Shock that deals 25% damage.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Tempest Mastery – Increases the damage dealt by Force Storm by 25%

Masterful

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Emersion – Force Speed grants Emersion, removing all movement-impairing effects and granting immunity to them for the duration.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Electric Bindings – Overload binds its targets in electricity, immobilizing them for 5 seconds. Direct damage dealt after 2 seconds ends the effect prematurely.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Suppression – Activating Cloud Mind grants Suppression, which increases damage reduction by 25% for 6 seconds.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Dark Resilience – Reduces the damage taken by the target of your Extrication by 25% for 6 seconds after you extricate them. Additionally increases the healing done by Unnatural Preservation by 30%.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Lightning Barrier – Increases the amount absorbed by your Static Barrier by 10%.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Corrupted Flesh – Reduces the damage taken from all periodic effects by 15%.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Conspiring Force – Targets affected by your Affliction are slowed by 30% for its duration.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Dizzying Force – Reduces target´s accuracy by 20% for 8 seconds after Whirlwind ends.

Heroic

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Force Mobility – Thundering Blast, Innervate, and Force Leech may be activated while moving
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Backlash – Static Barriers you place on yourself erupt in a flash of light when they end, blinding up to 8 nearby enemies for 3 seconds. This effect breaks from direct damage.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Haunted Dreams – If your Whirlwind breaks early from damage, the target is stunned for 2 seconds. In addition, Whirlwind activates instantly.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Shapeless Spirit – Reduces all damage taken while stunned by 30%.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Force Haste – Reduces the cooldown of Force Speed by 5 seconds, Force Slow by 3 seconds and Force Barrier by 30 seconds.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Surging Speed – Polarity Shift increases your movement speed by 50% while active. In addition, Force Speed lasts 0.5 seconds longer, and when Force Barrier ends, the active cooldown of Force Speed is finished.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Shifting Silhouette – Reduces all area of effect damage taken by 30%. In addition, using Phase Walk to return to its marked location grants Shifting Silhouette, keeping you from being leapt to or pulled and making you immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback for the next 6 seconds.
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Corrupted Barrier – Your Static Barrier, Force Barrier and Enduring Bastion heal you for 2% of your total health every second for as long as they last. This healing scales up to 8% with the charges for Enduring Bastion.

Different Utilities Setup

Regular Warzones

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri

Solo Ranked

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacrififa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri

The one on the left is quite basic and has all you need in case of an “emergency”. If you are not used to sitting still to cast force Leech, you may pick up Force Mobility. Other sorcerers with more experience could use the one on the right. Suppression is a really nice ability which you could use with a Warzone Adrenal, giving you a 40% damage reduction. While Haunted Dreams is not really a must, but you could pick it up to help the team or cc someone annoying you; healers, etc (remember to use it on targets that are not affected by DoTs, otherwise it is going to be a 2 second hard stun). Try a mix of all of these possibilities for solo ranked, just keep in mind Emersion and Corrupted Barrier are a must for solo ranked.

Abilities and Rotation

This is the fun part, but it is pretty basic, your damage rotation has to be complemented with helping teammates, positioning, kiting and situational awareness.

Offensive Abilities

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Thundering Blast – Sends a thundering blastwave at a single target that deals internal damage. Thundering Blast automatically critically hits targets affected by your Affliction.

Cast: 1.5s

Force: 45

Cooldown: 9s

Range: 35m

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Chain Lightning – Delivers an arc of lightning that deals energy damage to up to 8 targets within 8 meters of the primary target.

Cast: 2.5s

Force: 45

Cooldown: 6s

Range: 35m

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Lightning Bolt – Hurls a bolt of lightning at the target, dealing energy damage and slowing the target by 30% for 3 seconds. Replaces Lightning Strike.

Cast: 1.5s

Force: 28

Range: 35m

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Lightning Flash – Blasts the target with a quick flash of lightning, which deals energy damage and grants Force Flash, which reduces the activation of your next Crushing Darkness by 0.5s.

Cast: Instant

Force: 45

Cooldown: 15s

Range: 35m

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Crushing Darkness – Summons a dark cloud of energy to crush the target, instantly dealing kinetic damage and an additional kinetic damage over 6 seconds.

Cast: 2s

Force: 36

Cooldown: 15s

Range: 35m

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Force Lightning – Deals energy damage to the target and consumes 40 force over the duration of the channel. Also slows the movement speed of the target by 50%.
Cast:2s
Range: 35m
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Shock – Shocks the target with energy damage. Standard and weak targets are additionally stunned for 3 seconds.
Cast:Instant
Force:36
Range: 35m
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Force Storm – Calls down a Force Storm over the target area, consuming 60 force and dealing energy damage to up to 8 targets within 8 meter.
Cast:3s
Range: 35m

Defensive Abilities and Cooldowns

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Force Barrier – Projects a Force Barrier around you, granting immunity to all control, damage, and negative effects while channeled. This ability does not respect the global cooldown and can be used while controlled.Charges will build up and grant Enduring Bastion, a shield that absorbs an amount of damage based off the charges that are present when force barrier ended. Enduring bastion grants immunity to interrupts.
Cast: 8s
Cooldown: 3m
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Static Barrier – Surrounds the target in a lightning shield that lasts 30 seconds and absorbs a high amount of damage.
Cast: Instant
Force: 32
Range: 30m
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Overload – Deal damage and knock back up to 8 enemies within 15 m cone in front of you. Standard and weak enemies are additionally knocked down for 3 seconds.
Cast: Instant
Force: 10
Cooldown: 20s
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Electrocute – Electrocutes the target, dealing energy damage and stunning it for 4 seconds.
Cast: Instant
Force: 9
Range: 10m
Cooldown: 1m
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Unbreakable Will – Summons the unbreakable will of the Sith, immediately purging incapacitating and movement-impairing effects.
Cast: Instant
Cooldown: 2m
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Force Speed – Increases movement speed by 150% for 2 seconds.
Cast: Instant
Cooldown: 30s
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Recklessness – Grants 2 charges of Recklessness, which increases the force critical chance of your direct attacks and heals by 60%.
Cast: Instant
Cooldown: 1 min 30s
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Polarity Shift – Grants 20% alacrity and immunity to pushback and interrupts for 10 seconds.
Cast: Instant
Cooldown: 2m
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Phase Walk – Activating this ability marks your current location for 10 minutes. When this ability is activated again, if you are within 60 meters of the marked location, you instantly return to the marked location.
Cast: 0.5s
Range: 60m
Cooldown: 45s

Other Abilities

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Unnatural preservation – Immediately restores health to you. Cannot be used on others.
Cast: Instant
Cooldown: 30s
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Resurgence – Immediately heals the target, plus does additional healing over 9 seconds.
Cast: Instant
Force: 27
Range: 30m
Cooldown: 6s
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Dark Heal – Heals a friendly target.
Cast: 1.5s
Force: 50
Range: 30m
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Force Slow – Deals kinetic damage and slows the target´s movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds.
Cast: Instant
Force: 9
Range: 30m
Cooldown: 12s
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Whirlwind – Traps the target in a whirlwind for 10 seconds.
Cast: 2s
Cooldown: 1m
Range: 30m
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Extrication – If target is a group member, pulls the target to your location.
Cast: Instant
Force: 27
Cooldown: 1m
Range: 30m
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Expunge – Cleanses a friendly target of up to 2 negative mental or force effects.
Cast: Instant
Cooldown: 12s
Range: 30m
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Jolt – Interrupts the target´s current action and prevents that ability from being used for 4 seconds
Cast: Instant
Cooldown: 18s
Range: 30m
fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri Consuming Darkness – Restores 40 force. Utilizing Consuming Darkness makes you Weary, reducing your Force Regeneration rate by 2 for 10 seconds, This effect can stack up to 4 times.
Cast: Instant

Rotation

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri

Your initial rotation is quite simple: open with Affliction (because of Thundering Blast auto crit), then Thundering Blast (you get a proc for Chain Lightning, which casts it instantly), pop Recklessness (which gives you 2 charges+1 from set bonus), Polarity Shift and use Chain Lightning. Chain Lightning gives the target Overwhelmed which increases damage taken from area attacks (like Chain Lightning and Force Storm), also it reapplies Affliction to all the damage targets (targets need to have your Affliction on them in order to be reapplied).

Next you cast 2 times Lightning Bolt (this ability gives you a 50% chance of getting 1 stack of Focal Lightning which increases your alacrity by 1%, also it has a 25% chance to produce a second arc of damage that strikes the target for 25% of the damage dealt and also it gives you Fulgurous Fortification which increases your damage reduction in 3% for 10 seconds and can be stacked up to 3 times), use Lightning Flash right after the cast is over and hard cast Crushing Darkness.

To finish the rotation you can either use Force Storm or Lightning Bolt to get all of Focal Lightning Stacks, Fulgurous Fortification and proc for Chain Lightning.

Solo Ranked Rotation

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri

In solo ranked your rotation will deviate from the Basic one that is most suited for regular warzone matches. The difference for solo ranked is that you will have to try to maximize the survivability of your team mates. Here is the deal, Solo Ranked is about outliving the other team, when you understand that concept you begin to wonder what you can do. Sorcerers have some healing abilities that can be used on the players from your team, such as Rejuvenate, Dark Heal, Static Barrier, Pull (not a heal but can pull the target away from melee, then you can heal him to full, or half).

These abilities will make your rotation vary from what I or any sorcerer tells you, this is where situational awareness and peeling come in to play. Both of which are discussed later on in this guide.

The ideal rotation will go as follows: putting your Phase Walk in a safe place (will see this point further the guide too), Bubble (static barrier) your entire team (make sure to bubble only non-sorcerer players), and run towards the enemy and do the basic rotation. After using Crushing Darkness you will look out for your team mates health, throw them some bubbles (static barrier debuff should be down by now), and throw a rejuvenate or/plus Dark heals on a low target. You may pull him too depending on if he has his defensive cooldown up or not (if he has defensive cooldowns up DO NOT pull him).

Make sure you Line of Sight ranged enemies, you have a 35m range, it will help you to not take damage, not getting interrupted, and can off heal team mates without worrying.

After helping team mates return to your rotation and repeat till you win.

Make sure to keep Affliction on every target, Chain Lightning will reapply it, so you just have to do it once while enemy targets are 8 meters or less away from on who you used Chain Lightning. Also make sure to always have 5 stacks of Focal Lightning, it will increase your alacrity in a 5%, with stacks it should be at 10.49%, this will speed your casts, GCD and DoTs ticks.

Advanced Tactics

Phase Walk

4.0 gave you a new best friend. It is basically the most ridiculous ability ever created. Well to start off, you have to put your Phase Walk in smart places such as I will list below. You can put it in different places, but make sure to put it as central as you can (since PW has a 60 meter range) and in a place that you can Line of Sight Ranged, and avoid being close to Melee. After you use your PW to return to the marked position, all you have to do is HEAL TO FULL, make sure to heal to full or you are doing it wrong. Also never use Force Barrier before you use Phase Walk or both at the same time, it is a waste. In some situations where the enemy team rushed to you and you either didn´t have the chance of placing Phase Walk or you placed it and it is a few meters away from the fight you have 2 options, force speed your way out of there, far as you can go and then use PW, or you will have to bubble. In case you bubble, after it ends run way to the limit of your PW. You need to be as far as you can from it to use it as emergency and then heal to full, this way you will take the more damage that you can, praying that your team has killed 1 or 2 players.

Where to put your phase walk Solo Ranked:

Makeb Mesa

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri

Always use that thing to place your PW. Both sides has a pretty similar one, so place it in the point that you can LOS any ranged on the bridge. If melee is close to the PW placement, kite them away, go in a direction such as the other side of the map. The best thing to do is get the fight to beneath the bridge, close as you can to the other “pillar”, PW and heal to full.

Corellia Square

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacrififa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri

On Square use these walls to put your PW. If you use the boxes right down the base you are putting yourself in risk of being too far away and it won’t port you. These marked spots are the most centric ones with the capacity of LOS and getting away from the fight quite easily; giving you time to heal to full. There are more centric spots than these marked ones, such as the box in middle, but enemy players are probably going to catch you quicker if you port there than the places I’ve marked.

Tatooine Canyon

PW placement here has quite a lot of possibilities, you can either use the houses or down the huts. If you use the house it will for sure let you heal to full. In case someone comes closer you can knock them back right down, giving you even more time to heal to full.

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacrififa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri

Orbital Station

Best place to put the PW are these “walls”, try to put it in the center of this wall, making you untouchable by any possible AOE´s. Both sides have the same wall, just make sure to keep the fight away from sight so you can have some time to heal to full.

fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri

Situational Awareness and Creating UI

This is what is going to make the difference between a good sorcerer and an average or bad sorcerer. Average sorcerers will just straight sit on one spot and do damage while taking damage, having quite high damage numbers, but the healing done is going to be only from Force Barrier/Static Barrier heals or absorb, etc.

Situational Awareness is about knowing what is going on everywhere. You need to set up your UI to something where you can easily see your team´s health and where they are.fifa15guide - SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri

This is my UI, the scoreboard has to be close in case you need to CC particular targets (you have to either click on the scoreboard or use focus target modifier), and the operations frame has to be real close to the middle of the screen. In case any of the team mates need help, pull, heals, etc., you can do it quickly without having to move your mouse all over the screen. Other ways to do this is using binds assigned to each group member.

Something that is important too is that you need a quick bar with all of the most important abilities or the ones that you use the most, to know when they are off cooldown or available to use. You can set it even in the middle of the screen, just make sure you put it in a place that you can see quickly for emergencies.

Also I recommend playing at a 100% camera distance, giving you the chance to see all the panorama, be able to tell what is the enemy team going to do, try to predict and be one or two movements ahead of the others. Another important thing is interrupting healer or dps (in case of no healers in the match) using Focus Target Modifier. Focus Target Modifier is one of the best things of Swtor, pretty easy to use and set up. Try to use Jolt (interrupt) on cooldown when there is a healer on the match. You may also use Focus Target Modifier to CC targets, attack them without having the need to move to next enemy, etc. Here is a video from Kre´a that I highly recommend watching if you don´t know how to set up focus target modifier.

Kiting

Kiting is another pretty important aspect of Sorcerers. If you are able to kite well, by the time that you die, there will be 1-4 deaths on the enemy team. Why is this as important as a sorcerer? Well kiting is one of the most basic things that a sorcerer has to do. We are the squishiest class in the game, without force barrier we would pretty defenseless. What you have to do is kite all you can, until you have 5-15k HP with no choice but to barrier.

  • Force Slow is a really good friend. Try to use it on cooldown against melee, make sure the target doesn´t have movement impairing buffs or it will be a waste of global cooldown.
  • Chain Lightning slows the target for 5 seconds, Lightning Bolt slows it for 3 seconds and Force Slow slows the target for 6 seconds, so do your best and try to keep the target slowed to get away and kite easily.
  • You have 1 root which lasts 0.5s, this doesn´t helps a lot but it roots the target.
  • Force Speed has a 30 seconds cooldown, use this ability wisely. When melee jumps on you, they usually cc you instantly, and if you used force run in the same moment they jumped on you, you are probably going to get cc´d, wasting one Force Speed. So make sure you eat a CC or 2, then you Force Speed your way out.
  • How to use knockback while going to a different direction
  • Don´t use Smart Camera (it is on preferences-> Controls -> Camera -> Leave Smart Camera unmarked.
  • Bind Strife Left and Strife Right.

Here is a short video to use it as example. There are other ways to do this, this is a good one though.

I will try adding more videos doing duels against melee, to show some examples of effective kiting.

About the Author

I am Dacri, 23 years old, I’m from Chile and been playing Swtor for almost 3 years. I been quite active in the solo ranked scenario, been 2 times #1 Sage overall, and 1 time #2 Sage. I have 4 Sorcs and 2 Sages since season 4, and since then I’ve been all-star on each toon.

I really enjoy this game, I think it could improve a lot, it has had the potential for like over 5 years, but there doesn´t seem to be an interest from BW, which has made me play less and less.

I had like to mention my friend Obidion/Javelin, Glorfindel, Onzo, Reekü, Droid and a few others that have joined me on different servers such as Bastion, Harbinger, Pot5, Shadowlands, TEH, ToFN among others, and helped me to get better in different things within the game.

If you need any help, feel free to mail me/whisper me in-game, my toon names are Dacri (Sorcerer, no special letters), and Dacrí (Sage). I been only playing on Harbinger lately, and doesn´t seem like I´m moving servers anytime soon.

Here is my stream twitch.tv/Dacri1, I stream sometimes and I highly recommend Sorcerers to watch streams/videos to get an idea of what to do, concepts, etc. Thanks!

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion.

Contents

  • 1 Intro to Lightning Sorcerer
    • 1.1 Ratings
    • 1.2 Gearing
    • 1.3 Utilities
  • 2 Passives and Abilities
    • 2.1 Lightning Discipline Passives
    • 2.2 Rotational Abilities
    • 2.3 Non-Rotational Abilities
    • 2.4 Offensive and Defensive Cooldowns
  • 3 Rotation
    • 3.1 Opener
    • 3.2 Priority System
    • 3.3 AoE Rotation
    • 3.4 Some Notes on Offensive Cooldowns
  • 4 Sample Parse and Video
  • 5 Acknowledgements

Intro to Lightning Sorcerer

The Lightning Sorcerer is a ranged burst dps class that offers some of the best utility for a dps class in the game.  With our ability to self heal, off-heal, and bubble allies, Sorcs are valuable additions to any raid group.  Although Sorcs are not the top parsing by any means, a well played Lightning Sorc is very capable of competing with other dps classes.

Ratings

Single Target Damage: 4/10

Lightning Sorcerer is not the strongest dps class out there being a ranged burst caster spec.  We gained more mobility in 3.0, but in 4.0 we did not gain a new damage passive like most other dps specs (including madness) did. Because of this as well as Reverberating Force getting decreased, our dps is not the strongest, but if played correctly it is still plenty strong.

AoE Damage: 7/10

Although our AoE is not as good as it used to be, Lightning Sorcs still boast some of the best AoE in the game among dps classes.  With Chain Lightning and Force Storm, we have incredible burst AoE, and with very little resource management we can spam Force Storm for a long time without having to worry about running out of Force.

Burst Damage: 8/10

Lightning also boasts some of the best burst in the game. We have an autocrit in Thundering Blast that benefits from Supercrit every 9s, and while we may not have an ability that hits for 20k+, we do have more frequent burst windows in our rotation that make up for this.

Raid Utility: 9/10

Sorcs bring excellent raid utility with them into any group.  We bring with us a copious amount of abilities including our pull (though used almost exclusively for trolling raid members it does have its niche uses), battle rez, cleanse, raid buff, force and AoEdebuffs, self and off heals, bubble, and the ability to completely mitigate some mechanics via our Force Bubble.

Survivability: 7/10

Even the Sorcs have Light Armor, we are not as squishy as one would think.  We have a bubble that lasts for 30s that is refreshable every 15s, our new passive allows us to have 9% additional damage reduction, and we have another shield that gives us invulnerability for 8s.  Additionally we have utilities that make our bubbles stronger and our threat dump grant damage reduction as well. All of this combined with our ability to heal ourselves in a pinch, allows us to survive well in fights.

Gearing

The following numbers are taken from Bant’s Optimal Stats thread on the SWTOR Forums.  In case there is any confusion E=Enhancement (these include implants and earpiece), A=Augment, and C=Crystal.  These stat distributions are based off of token gear.

216 Defiant Gear

  • 4969 Mastery
  • 2639 Power
  • 1213 Critical Rating (6xE, 3xA, 2xC)
  • 730 Alacrity (10xA)
  • 681 Accuracy (4xE, 1xA)

220 Exarch Gear

  • 5158 Mastery
  • 2779 Power
  • 1247 Critical Rating (5xE, 5xA ,2xC)
  • 772 Alacrity (3xE, 4xA)
  • 685 Accuracy (2xE, 5xA)

224 Ultimate Exarch Gear

  • 5372 Mastery
  • 2931 Power
  • 1287 Critical Rating (5xE, 5xA, 2xC)
  • 796 Alacrity (3xE, 4xA)
  • 701 Accuracy (2xE, 5xA)

Although I never doubt Bant’s numbers, I do like to differ a little bit, and since you won’t see a significant dps change within 200 stat either way, my gearing looks like this:

  • 1265 Critical Rating (4xE, 7xA, 2xC)
  • 818 Alacrity (4xE, 2xA)

This is preference, and I am sure there is no real difference between my way and Bant’s, but I tend to lean more towards alacrity than crit with Lightning, which will be evidenced more in the Set Bonus section.

Set Bonus

Ever since 3.0 Sorcs have been a little weird when it comes to set bonus. In 3.0 it was preferable to use the Revanite Force Master 2-piece with the now unobtainable Dread Master 4-piece.  After some preliminary testing, it is my opinion that this still holds true, substituting the Revanite for the Ultimate Exarch of course.  The increase is not crazy. On the low end it is about 50 points higher, but I have also had parses that were a difference of 250 dps with similar crits.  I will continue to test this as I am only currently 75% 224 BiS gear, though I do not expect this to change, and until hard evidence is given to the contrary, I would recommend using the Dread Master 4-piece with the Ultimate Exarch Force Master 2-piece, provided you obtained the Dread Master set pre 4.0 as it is no longer obtainable.  Part of the reason this works, in my opinion, is because of the way the new 6-piece interacts with Thundering Blast, which is to say that it doesn’t.  If Recklessness increased the crit damage of Thundering Blast, there probably would be no reason to not use it, but as it stands that 3rd charge of recklessness is often wasted on a lightning bolt, which is not enough of a dps increase to warrant it.

Utilities

Skillful

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Force Suffusion: Overload heals you and up to 7 affected allies for X-X. Situational. An ok utility if not taking Tempest Mastery.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Chain Shock: Shock gains a 25% chance to produce a second Shock that deals 25% damage. Not worth taking, even if encountering long periods of high mobility.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Sith Defiance: Increases damage reduction by 3%. Always take this. With Light Armor any free damage reduction is welcome.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Tempest Mastery: Increases the damage dealt by Force Storm by 25%. Boss fight with adds? Take this utility. Works great with Storm Brewing passive.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Empty Body: Increases all healing received by 10%. Does not affect stolen life. I often take this for the same reason as Sith Defiance.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Sapped Strength:Targets stunned by your electrocute suffer Sapped Strength when Electrocute wears off, which reduces all damage dealt by 25% for 10 seconds. Extremely situational. This is mainly a PvP ability, but it is useful in mitigating damage from energy spheres in Brontes HM/NiM.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Oppressing Force: Lowers the cooldown of electrocute by 10 seconds. In addition, your Whirlwind affects up to 2 additional standard or weak enemies within 8 meters of the target. PvP/leveling utility. Not worth taking.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Dark Speed: Dark Heal increases the movement speed of the target by 50% for 6 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 12 seconds. This is more of a healer utility, and situational at that. It won’t do much for dps specs.

Masterful

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Suppression: Activating Cloud Mind grants Suppression, which increases damage reduction by 25% for 6 seconds. Very useful for mitigating large hits. I use this on most fights as an extra defensive CD.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Corrupted Flesh: Reduces the damage taken from all periodic effects by 15%. Take this on fights with non-cleansable dots.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Emersion: Force Speed grants Emersion, removing all movement impairing effects and granting immunity to them for the duration. Good for fights where you need to break out of slows. Can be helpful in Underlurker or Reaches phase in Brontes.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Dark Resilience: Reduces the damage taken by the target of your Extrication by 25% for 6 seconds. Additionally increases the healing done  by Unnatural Preservation by 30%. Useful because of the increased healing to Unnatural Preservation. I take this on most fights to alleviate some of the healing on myself.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Electric Bindings: Overload binds its targets in electricity, immobilizing them for 5 seconds. Direct damage dealt after 2 seconds ends the effect prematurely. Mostly a PvP utility. It does come in handy for NiMStyrak though.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Lightning Barrier: Increases the amount absorbed by your static barrier by 10%. Very useful, especially if there is not a Sorc healer in your group.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Conspiring Force: Targets affected by your Affliction are slowed by 30% for its duration. Also a PvP utility, but like Electric Bindings it is useful for NiMStyrak.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Dizzying Force: Reduces target’s accuracy by 20% for 8 seconds after Whirlwind ends. PvP utility. Not worth taking.

Heroic

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Backlash: Static Barriers you place on yourself erupt in a flash of light when they end, blinding up to 8 nearby enemies for 3 seconds. This effect breaks from direct damage. PvP utility.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Surging Speed: Polarity Shift increases your movement speed by 50% while active. Force Speed lasts 0.5 seconds longer, and when Force Barrier ends, the active cooldown of Force Speed is reset. Even in high mobility fights this is not worth taking. Too little benefit to use a utility point.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Shapeless Spirit: Reduces all damage taken while stunned by 30%. Situational. Useful on fights where the boss will switch targets and stun like Brontes.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Force Haste: Reduces the cooldown of Force Speed by 5 seconds, Force Slow by 3 seconds, and Force Barrier by 30 seconds. The reduced CD on Force Barrier is nice, but I find that there are other utilities that provide more than this.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Force Mobility: Thundering Blast, Innervate, and Force Leach may be activated while moving. This should be taken on every fight. Increased mobility is always a good thing.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Corrupted Barrier: Your Static Barrier, Force Barrier, and Enduring Bastion heal you for 2% of your total health every second for as long as they last.  This healing scales up to 8% with the charges of Enduring Bastion. This is good in fights where Shifting Silhouette’s damage reduction won’t get used. This will help out your healers as well so take this in fights with little AoE damage.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Haunted Dreams: If your Whirlwind breaks early from damage, the target is stunned for 2 seconds. In addition, Whirlwind activates instantly. This can be helpful in fights like Revanite Commanders or Colonel Vorgath (minefield assassin droids) but is not a must take.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Shifting Silhouette: Reduces all area of effect damage taken by 30%. In addition, using Phase Walk to return to its marked location grants Shifting Silhouette, keeping you from being lept to or pulled and making you immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback for the next 6 seconds. With 4.0 Sorcs finally have an AoE damage reduction. Always take this if there is any AoE in a fight. We have light armor, any extra damage reduction is always welcome.

Here are some example utility selections. These are not all of them, but I feel that they illustrate what I often do in fights. Keep in mind that these are my personal preferences. They are only here to give people ideas and starting points and are far from rules by which to live.

w/ or w/o AoE damage

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guideSWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide

Adds w/ or w/o AoE damage

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guideSWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide

Passives and Abilities

Lightning Discipline Passives

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Lightning Storm – Lightning Strike, Lightning Bolt, Thundering Blast, and Force Storm grant Lightning Storm when activated. Lightning Storm immediately finishes the cooldown on Chain Lightning and makes your next Chain Lightning activate instantly and consume 50% less Force. Cannot occur more than once every 10 seconds.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Storm Brewing – Increases the critical chance of Force Storm by 15% and its critical damage bonus by 30%.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Lightning Effusion – Direct Force attacks grant Lightning Effusion when they critically hit, reducing the Force consumed by your next two non-channeled Force attacks by 75%.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Subversion – Reduces the pushback suffered while activating Chain Lightning, Lightning Strike, Crushing Darkness, Thundering Blast, and Lightning Bolt by 75%. Additionally, you have a 25% when taking direct damage to gain Subversion, which causes your next Lightning Strike or Lightning Bolt to activate instantly.  This effect cannot occur more than once every 8 seconds and lasts up to 15 seconds.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Forked Darkness – Crushing Darkness has a 25% chance to tick twice and makes its targets vulnerable for 45 seconds. Vulnerable targets tak 5% more damage from Force attacks. In addition, when you activate Thundering Blast, there is a 25% chance the ability will produce a second blast that strikes the same target for 25% damage.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Lightning Swarm – Increases the maximum range of your Force attacks by 5 meters. Additionally, Chain Lightning immobilizes all affected targets for 0.5 seconds and slows all affected targets by 50% for 6 seconds.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Convection – Force Speed gives 2 stacks of Convection, which allows Lightning Strike and Lightning Bolt to be activated instantly.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Forked Lightning – Lightning Strike, Chain Lightning, Lightning Flash, and Lightning Bolt have a 25% chance to produce a second arc of lightning that strikes the same targets for 25% damage. Additionally, Chain Lightning overwhelms its targets for 45 seconds. Overwhelmed targets take an additional 10% damage from area attacks.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Focal Lightning – Damage dealt by Chain Lightning and Lightning Flash has a 100% chance and damage dealt by Lightning Strike and Lightning Bolt has a 50% chance to grant Focal Lightning, which increases alacrity by 1%. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts 15 seconds.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Chaos Nexus – Forked Lightning is twice as likely to trigger while Polarity Shift is active. Additionally, increases the duration of Polarity Shift by 5 seconds and reduces its cooldown by 15 seconds.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Reverberating Force – Increases the critical damage dealt by Chain Lightning, Crushing Darkness, Thundering Blast, and Lightning Flash by 10%.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Conduction – Each Forked Lightning and Forked Darkness reduces the active cooldown of Polarity Shift by 1 second. In addition, being interrupted grants unshakable for 4 seconds. This can only occur once every 15 seconds.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Charged Reaction – Direct damage dealt by your Crushing Darkness and Chain Lightning abilities refreshes the duration of your Affliction on affected targets. In addition, Lightning Bolt increases your Force regeneration by 10% for 10 seconds. Stacks up to 3 times.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Fulgurous Fortification – Lightning Bolt increases your damage 3% for 10 seconds. Stacks up to 3 times.

Rotational Abilities

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Crushing Darkness [CD]- Summons a dark cloud of energy to crush the target, instantly dealing X-X kinetic damage and an additional X kinetic damage over 6 seconds.

Range: 35m, Activation: 2s, Force: 36, Cooldown: 15s

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Affliction [Aff]- Casts a powerful Force affliction that deals X internal damage over 18 seconds.

Range: 35m, Force: 32

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Thundering Blast [TB]- Sends a thundering blastwave at a single target that deals X-X internal damage. Thundering Blast automatically critically hits targets affected by your Affliction.

Range: 35m, Activation: 1.5s, Force: 45, Cooldown: 9s

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Lightning Flash [LF]- Blasts the target with a quick flash of lightning, which deals X-X damage and grants Force Flash, which reduces the activation time of your next Crushing Darkness by 0.5 seconds. This effect lasts up to 12 seconds.

Range: 35m, Force: 45, Cooldown: 15s

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Chain Lightning [CL]- Delivers an arc of lightning that deals X-X damage to up to 8 targets within 8 meters of the primary target.

Range: 35m, Activation: 2.5s, Force: 45, Cooldown: 6s

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Lightning Bolt [LB]- Hurls a bolt of lightning at the target, dealing X-X energy damage and slowing the target by 30% for 3 seconds.    Replaces Lightning Strike.

Range: 35m, Activation: 1.5s, Force: 30

Non-Rotational Abilities

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Force Storm – Calls down a Force Storm over the target area, consuming 60 Force and dealing 1402 energy damage to up to 8 targets within 8 meters over the duration of the channel. Standard and weak targets have a 33% chance to be stunned by the storm each second.

Range: 35m

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Shock – Shocks the target for X-X energy damage. Standard and weak targets are additionally stunned for 3 seconds.

Range: 35m, Force: 36, Cooldown: 6s

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Dark Heal – Heals a friendly target for X-X health.

Range: 30m, Activation: 1.5s, Force: 50

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Resurgence – Immediately heals the target for X-X, plus an additional X over 9 seconds.

Range: 30m, Force: 27, Cooldown: 6s

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Unnatural Preservation – Immediately restores X-X health to you. Cannot be used on others.

Cooldown: 30s

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Expunge – Cleanse a friendly target of up to 2 negative mental or Force effects.

Range: 30m, Force: 12, Cooldown: 12s

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Extrication – Lowers the target’s threat by a moderate amount and, if the target is a group member, pulls the target to your location.

Range: 30m, Force: 27, Cooldown: 1 minute

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Force Speed [FS]- Increases movement speed by 150% for 2 seconds. Does not break stealth.

Cooldown: 30s

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Phase Walk – Activating this ability marks your current location for 10 minutes. When this ability is activated again, if you are within 60 meters of the marked location, you instantly return to the marked location
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Reanimation – Revives an incapacitated ally. This ability is usable while in combat. When used, all group members can neither use nor be the target of an in-combat revival for the next 5 minutes.

Range: 30m, Activation: 1.5s, Force: 27, Cooldown: 5 minutes

Offensive and Defensive Cooldowns

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Polarity Shift [PS]- Your connection to the Force shifts, granting 20% alacrity and immunity to pushback and interrupts for 15 seconds.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Recklessness [Rck]- Grants 2 charges of Recklessness, which increases the Force critical chance of your direct attacks and heals by 60% and increases the ranges of Force Lightning and Depredating Volts to 30 meters.  Each time a direct Force ability critically hits or a channeled Force ability is activated, 1 charge is consumed. Lasts 20 seconds.

Cooldown: 1m 30s

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Unlimited Power [UP]- Increases mastery, endurance, and presence for you and your Operation group members within 40 meters by 10% . Lasts 10 seconds

Force: 45, Cooldown: 5 minutes

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Force Barrier – Projects a Force Barrier around you, granting immunity to all control, damage, and negative effects while channeled.  This ability does not respect the global cooldown and can be used while controlled.  While you are protected by Force Barrier charges will build up and grant you Enduring Bastion, a shield that absorbs an amount of damage based off the charges that are present when Force Barrier  ended. Enduring Bastion also grants immunity to interrupts.

Cooldown: 3 minutes

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Static Barrier – Surrounds the target in a lightning shield that lasts 30 seconds and absorbs a high amount of damage.  The target becomes deionized and cannot benefit from Static Barrier again for 20 seconds.
SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Cloud Mind  – Wipes enemies’ thoughts, instantly lowering your threat by a moderate amount.

Additionally grants 25% damage reduction for 6 seconds. (with Suppression utility)

Cooldown: 45s

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide Advanced Anodyne Attack Adrenal – Increases Power by 750 and decreases all healing done by 20%. Lasts 15 seconds.

Cooldown: 3 minutes

Rotation

Opener

This opener applies regardless of whether you are using the Dread Master 4-piece and Ultimate Exarch 2-piece or the Ultimate Exarch 6-piece.

CD -> PS, Aff -> UP, Adrenal, TB -> FS, LB ->Rck, LF -> CL -> LB -> LB -> LB -> TB -> CL -> LB -> CD -> LF -> LB -> TB -> CL -> Priority System

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide

One thing to note is that in the opener I use Polarity Shift before casting Affliction.  This is done because the increased alacrity increases the tick rate of the DoT. This carries over whenever Crushing Darkness and Chain Lightning refresh Affliction as well. This allows us to squeeze a little extra damage out of Affliction. With the increased tick rate, Affliction can now tick right before a refresh from Crushing Darkness and Chain Lightning, which will then cause it to tick again, thus gaining just a little bit more damage from Affliction.

Priority System

The nice thing about Lightning Sorcerer is that it is a priority system. Because of this you don’t have to worry about where to pick up if you experience downtime due to boss mechanics. You simply use the ability with highest priority and work from there.

There are really only 5 abilities that factor into the priority system, but the caveat to that is Affliction must be on your target. That being said, the priority is as follows:

  1. Thundering Blast
  2. Crushing Darkness (with proc)
  3. Lightning Flash
  4. Chain Lightning (with proc)
  5. Lightning Bolt

Thundering Blast must always be used on cooldown. It is an autocrit every 9 seconds (with no alacrity) and therefore must take priority over everything else. This leads us into Crushing Darkness, which should be used only with the Force Flash proc.  Lightning Flash is next due to its decent damage and because of the Force Flash proc. Although Chain Lightning hits rather hard, its proc’s 10s internal cooldown pushes it rather low on the priority provided the proc is not about to fall off, which it never should.  When everything else is on cooldown, Lightning Bolt is your primary filler. I say primary because there are times when movement is a higher priority.  In cases such as these it is acceptable to use Shock while moving provided that none of your rotational abilities are available for use.

AoE Rotation

There are a few ways of going about this depending on the priority of the group of adds that are being killed. However, regardless of the scenario you want to prioritize Chain Lightning and Force Storm. If they will die pretty quickly this is all you want to do. If there is a higher health add in among lower health ones, then you can throw in Affliction and Thundering Blast and the continue with Chain Lightning and Force Storm. You should not be using Lightning Flash, Lightning Bolt, or Crushing Darkness though.

Some Notes on Offensive Cooldowns

Polarity shift is by far your best offensive cooldown.  I always try to use this right before a Thundering Blast. However, I will uses it earlier if a Lightning Flash will benefit from its use sooner than a Thundering Blast would. The reason is a combination of your Chaos Nexus and Forked Lightning Passives. You want to make sure you can fit as many of your hardest hitting abilities into a Polarity Shift block so don’t just use it on cooldown, but never delay it longer than one Thundering Blast cycle.  While talking about Polarity Shift, it is also worth talking about ability usage during the time that it is active. Traditionally, it has been considered important to prioritize Lightning Bolt over Crushing Darkness during Polarity Shift because Chaos Nexus doubles Lightning Bolt’s chance to proc. I have found, however, that it is still not worth delaying Crushing Darkness.  If you look at how much damage is done by each ability, Lightning Bolt would be better, when it procs, as far as instant damage goes. However, when you consider how much additional damage Crushing Darkness does with its DoT, that is still for only a 1 gcd cast, CD comes out ahead in damage even if it doesn’t proc once and Lightning Bolt does. This is under the assumption that they are critting more or less equally. Because of this, and what I have seen in my own parses, I find it more beneficial to never use Lightning Bolt over Crushing Darkness.

Next we come to Recklessness.  I try to use Recklessness when under the effects of Polarity Shift as often as I can, partially because of the reduced cooldown the increased alacrity brings me, but also because with the increased chance to proc on abilities we are making an almost guaranteed crit. As far as ability usage goes, always try to use a Recklessness on Chain Lightning and Lightning Flash. The next highest priority for a Recklessness charge is Crushing Darkness, followed lastly by Lightning Bolt. Always be careful when using Recklessness following Thundering Blaster however. Because of its travel time, Thundering Blast can consume a Recklessness charge even if Recklessness is used after.  This is why I often buffer these two abilities with a Lightning Bolt, as is shown in the opener above.  Using Recklessness is always a little bit of weighing your options with what you will have available. Delaying it for a short time is okay, if you will get your hardest hitting abilities to align, but like all your offensives, too long of a delay will make you lose dps. Each situation is different and it just comes down to knowing the fights and knowing your class in order to determine what to use and when.

Unlimited Power should not be used in the opener if you will need it later for a tight burn phase.  It is always important that you use your offensive cds appropriately for the maximum potential dps, instead of just when they are available. That being said, you don’t want to over delay these abilities either, and some discretion on the player’s part is necessary.

One final note for Force Speed is that there is no dps gain to use it on cooldown since you are simply making the damage of the Lightning Bolts come at the beginning of the gcd instead of the end. Where this does have use though is within proc windows, the most relevant being relic procs. When a casted Lightning Bolt would fall outside of the proc, but an instant wouldn’t, you would use Force Speed for the instant proc.

Sample Parse and Video

Here are links to a parse and the corresponding video for said parse. These are by no means perfect, but they do illustrate what the class can do in decent gear with good crit. I am using the Dread Master 4-piece, but the rotation really doesn’t change either way.

How to Analyze Your Parse

The most important part you should look is if you are using Thundering Blast, Crushing Darkness, and Lightning Flash on cooldown.  The way to check this is to look at the ability usage section and then look at the Avg Time. At the very minimum this should be the same as your abilities cooldown, heavily varying by alacrity. As a note, Thundering Blast’s cooldown only starts once the cast finishes.  This means with no alacrity, the average usage of Thundering Blast should be 10.5 seconds. While talking about Thundering Blast, the crit % should 100%. If it is not you have messed up somewhere.

As far as damage profile goes, Lightning Bolt should be your highest damage because of its high usage, followed by Thundering Blast, Chain Lightning, Affliction, Lightning Flash, Crushing Darkness (crushed) which is the DoT, and Crushing Darkness which is the initial hit per cast. What follows will be your Forked Lightning and Forked Darkness procs. Due to large amounts of rng, the amount of damage, and their occurrences, will vary heavily.

Visual illustration based on the above parse:

SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion on fifa15guide

Acknowledgements

I just want to thank Bant for his amazing work both on his Optimal Stats, but also in helping me editing this and telling me a few things that I didn’t know about Affliction. A special thanks to Vladishun as well for helping me edit the rambling mess that this guide originally was.

I owe a big thank you to all the other guide writers, without which this guide would have far less structure.

I also want to thank everyone in my raid group in Psy-ops for helping me to become a better player and for putting up with my shenanigans.

Finally, I want to give a special shout out to Apries, without whose particular skills as a test dummy, I would never have learned so many ways to kill someone with Extricate.

SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis – fifa15guide.net

SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis.

Contents

  • 1 Intro to Darkness Assassin
    • 1.1 Utility Choices
    • 1.2 Gearing and Stats Priority
  • 2 Abilities and Rotation
  • 3 About the Author

Intro to Darkness Assassin

Darkness is one of the 3 unique tanking specializations in SWTOR. It has, under optimal play, the lowest Damage Taken Per Second (DTPS) of any of the three tanks before counting Defensive Cooldowns (DCDs), and brings some nice utility and one of the cheesiest DCDs in the game to the table. To achieve this, though, requires a slightly higher level of awareness and precision than with the other two tanks.

The 4.0 shift of Absorb from being a secondary to a tertiary stat isn’t the most pleasant thing ever, but it’s not the end of the world. We’re also really feeling the cooldown increase on Force Speed, as it has cut our mobility handily, even with the addition of Phantom Stride. With a final nose-thumbing, we also had our Assassin’s Shelter utility changed to be just about worthless, as the heal is miniscule (<1.5k) and the DR, while potentially helpful, just doesn’t pack the same punch as 5% increased healing from anyone standing in your old love puddle.

Despite all this, Assassin tanks are still in a very, very solid place. Our Dark Ward, and Bulwark, is better than ever, we have middle of the road DPS compared to the other two tanks,good snap threat, and very strong passive threat. The change to critical has also helped a lot with snap threat, in that a Recklessness Energized Shock will now hit for upwards of 10k damage on a boss in full Hard Mode gear. Between these strengths, very high mitigation chances (upwards of 60% passively on Shield and Absorb!), and some pretty cheesy moves, a good Assassin tank should be welcome in any group.

Utility Choices

Utilities as an Assassin tank, after the 4.0 changes, are a little lackluster. The cooldown reduction on Force Speed isn’t as strong as it used to be, and we lost a really useful Heroic tier utility.

  • Misdirection/Obfuscation: Movement speed is love, movement speed is life. If you can increase your movement speed, you probably should. (Skillful)
  • Mind Over Matter/Disjunction: This utility takes one of the cheesiest abilities in the game (Resilience/Shroud) and makes it last longer. For bonus points, it lets you travel further with Force Speed. This utility is extremely useful as a tank. (Masterful)

The following utilities have varied uses, and can make certain fights or phases of fights much easier.

  • Shadowy Veil/Insulation: Useful for if you know at least one person in the raid is going to take continuous, somewhat frequent damage. Lots of boss fights throw raid damage out, keep your eyes open for those instances. (Skillful)
  • Mental Defense/Shapeless Spirit: Useful for the few occasions where you get stunned and beaten to near death, such as when tanking Pearl. 30% reduced damage is huge, and should not be underestimated if you’re going to take damage while stunned. (Skillful)
  • Lambaste: Lots of adds? Sick of trash pulls taking forever? This ability will help you significantly contribute to your group’s AoE damage, and will make holding threat much easier, especially with the Lacerate damage boost on Unsteady targets (the damage boostsare multiplied in threat by your stance, too!) (Skillful)
  • Egress/Emersion:This is a utility used to make DPS Assassins jealous for a reason. It’s invaluable on fights where there are persistent slows, back to back roots, or enemies leaping to you. This utility makes The Underlurker Hard Mode a little more bearable, as well as a few other bosses.(Masterful)
  • Fade: As odd a choice as this might seem, it can actually be quite useful for a tank. In fights where you take a lot of damage (as the tank, this should be all fights), and where you can spend time not actively tanking a boss, Assassins have the neat trick of being able to reset their once-per-fight medpack by using Force Cloak. Taking Fade allows you to synchronize the cooldowns of both Force Cloak and your medpack, allowing for the maximum amount of usage of that medpack. (Masterful)
  • Containment/Haunted Dreams: Very situational. In fights with non-CC immune enemies (read: Revanite Commanders), it can be very useful to point at an enemy and insta-mez them for 8 seconds. (Heroic)

With so many situationally useful choices, the utilities I pick for each fight can vary greatly, and rarely do I have the exact same set of utilities for multiple fights (though the utility point assignment bug makes this really annoying). Unfortunately, there are too many fights now to list a set of utilities for each one, but there are guides out there for each fight (conveniently on this website) to figure out which utilities work best on which fight.

Unfortunately, since so many of the utilities we have are only situationally useful in PvE, we see a few fights where there are only 5 truly good utilities to take, and so you have some room for personal preference, though it won’t really make a difference. I like Force Harmonics/Audacity for the little extra threat bump it provides, as well as helping me be less of a slouch in my DPS.

Gearing and Stats Priority

The spike damage present in the current hard mode and nightmare mode operations varies from being unnoticeable to being near one-shots. If you’re comfortable going with maximum mitigation, read on. However, if you wish to gear against these spikes, you’ll want to skip a little bit lower. I have always preferred the mean mitigation method of tank gearing for Assassins up until 4.0, but will be using higher endurance gear this time around. For the mean mitigation theory you’ll want to view this post by KeyboardNinja, an excellent theorycrafter with an excellent program written to calculate gear for the best possible mean mitigation at discrete gear levels. As of the writing of this guide, the post hasn’t been updated to 4.0 numbers yet, but provides an excellent primer for how things work. However, dipstik has stepped up and produced some numbers, here at each gear level. This guide mostly uses Bant’s work here, though, which I’ve done my best to interpolate through gear levels.

As a side note, dipstik’s numbers do not represent achievable gear ratings (there’s no way to swap 3 points from shield to absorb at the 220 B Mod with 224 enhancements option), which is why I’ve opted to use Bant’s work.

For specific gear levels, using all gear at that level, your stat budget will look like:

Defiant:Defense: 2639, Shield: 1204, Absorb: 1338 (Total: 5181)

Exarch:Defense: 2779, Shield: 1252, Absorb: 1370 (Total: 5401)

Ultimate Exarch:Defense: 2931, Shield: 1300, Absorb: 1402 (Total: 5633)

Spike Mitigation

If you favor having some more hit points to take bigger spikes without sacrificing too much in the way of mitigation, you will want to trade away your token mods for the B lettered mods that drop in Operations and come from the Commendations vendors on fleet. Updating the previous values for B mods, you would get:

Defiant:Defense: 2441, Shield: 1125, Absorb: 1417 (Total: 4983)

Exarch:Defense: 2581, Shield: 1165, Absorb: 1457 (Total: 5203)

Ultimate Exarch:Defense: 2670, Shield: 1212, Absorb: 1490 (Total: 5372)

Beyond this, you may wish, at whatever level you are comfortable with, to trade some Absorb back into Shield. You would want to do this because you’re trying to reduce spikiness in your damage profile. When you have high absorb, but lower shield, you absorb a lot when you shield, and take normal damage when you don’t, resulting in a large difference between shielding and not shielding a hit, and Defense is a bigger culprit, since you take no damage at all from a defended hit. However, if you trade Absorb for Shield, you will shield more attacks, even if you take more damage when you do, which helps to stabilize your profile, and will help you take the edge off of big hits. However, this causes you to take more damage overall, and will cause a little more stress on your healers since they have to heal you for that extra damage you’re taking.

Here is a link to a Google Spreadsheet I made to help you out with your gearing. It has a page each for B Mods and Maximum Mitigation. If you enter your total stat budget, with your stim active, into the appropriate cell, it will spit back out at you your ideal mean mitigation budget, based on Bant’s most updated values. Feel free to copy the formulas into your own spreadsheet to keep for yourself, or you can just continue to use this one. Please be considerate of others, though. If the calculations in the sheet can be edited because I messed up the protection settings, please let me know and I will fix that as quickly as I can.
Personally, though, for gearing, despite all of what I’m said, I’m not yet sure that even using just B Mods will be enough to survive the spikes from Raptus NiM in particular. I’ll be trying out a slightly different method for gearing, where I look only at the shield/absorb values at each level, and run high endurance, medium tertiary, low defense enhancements, and see how I feel with that. It will require my healers to be more on their toes, but it should prevent one shots.

A Visual Representation

The first graph represents how much of each stat you should have, by Mean Mitigation theory, at each gear level, and shows the interpolation between points in Bant’s data. It shows it as a percent of your total gear value. The second graph is for if you’re using B mods. Those of you paying close attention at home may realize that they’re not curves, they’re two just two lines passing through 3 data points, one of which is shared. I’m planning on making a quadratic interpolation graph at some point, but the results will barely be different when I do. Should KBN ever put out his tables again, I’ll be sure to update the guide accordingly.

SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net

SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net

Accuracy: 10% given from Tank Stance + 1% Companion buff = 101% Accuracy

Armorings: Force Wielder, you need the extra Endurance, which benefits from your 3% boost in your Discipline. Also, all of your set bonus armorings will be of this type anyway.

Mods: For Mean Mitigation Theory, you want unlettered mods. For a strategy that tries to survive spikes, grab those B mods. Either way, if you’re upgrading, and trading away less than 1 point of mitigation per point of Endurance you pick up, carefully consider the trade.

Enhancements: Immunity and Sturdiness enhancements are your bread and butter. Anything else trades away mitigation stats for Endurance at a poor rate. However, if you have the choice between a 186 rated Sturdiness vs. a 198 Bulwark, you should take the Bulwark. As you gear up, always ask yourself: “am I getting more than one point of Endurance for each point of mitigation stat that I trade away?” If you’re comfortable with the trade, then take it. If you really want to stack up on hit points for those spikes, though, going with the Bulwark and Bastion enhancements is always an option.

Implants/Earpiece: The commendation pieces are actually decent, they trade Endurance at almost a 1:1 rate with Mitigation. Mean Mitigation theory still says to take the token versions, however. The Mk-2 pieces this time are far, far better than in 3.0, and you may want to run them for the extra endurance.

Relics: Reactive Warding and Shield Amplification. If you’re crazy, you can also carry around a Fortunate Redoubt relic for those fights that are 95% or more melee damage, but the difference in mitigation is going to be pretty small, along with that meaning there are not going to be very large spikes. Personally, I will be using the two I suggested.

Set Bonus

  • (2) Slow Time/Wither increases DR by 2% for three seconds. You can pick this up without sacrificing the old bonus, and it’s a really nice boost, and worth more than armorings a few stages up, if you get it on your belt and bracers (you should). Consider it a free 0.66 time averaged DR.
  • (4) Slow Time/Wither reduces the CD of taunts by two seconds. This is pretty underwhelming, but can be useful to achieve a 3 taunt rotation in your opener with an 18 second duration of taunt on the boss.Otherwise, not terribly useful in PvE.
  • (6) The duration of Deflection is increased by 3 seconds and its cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds. It’s pretty nifty, and with the 3.0 6 piece now baseline, there’s no reason to not pick it up.

Getting the new 6 piece is essential if you want to tank Hard Mode operations in this expansion. Please note, the 3.0 and 4.0 bonuses don’t stack, and so you can’t run both and still get the 6 piece bonus.

Abilities and Rotation

Unlike the other two tanks, Assassin tanks have to pay close attention to their buffs and ability cooldowns in order to maintain their optimal mitigation, and their threat to less of a degree. They have to build and spend 3 stacks of Harnessed Darkness, manage their Dark Ward, and keep up their 2 tank debuffs on the target, which can be tough to get used to for new players, and with the changes to Kinetic Ward, potentially tough to get used to for experienced players. As a reminder, you should always open from stealth as a tank, due to the way the Conspirator’s Cloak talent works.

Abilities in your main rotation

  • Depredating Volts
  • Shock
  • Wither
  • Thrash
  • Maul
  • Discharge
  • Saber Strike

Situational abilities (out of range or AOE):

  • Lacerate
  • Force Pull

Maximum Threat Opener (no new 4 piece)

SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 1. Force Pull – this ability generates over a whopping 11k threat, and is your best immediate option, bar none. Proceed to Phantom Stride into range off the GCD (bosses are physics immune, so pull won’t bring them to you)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 2. Shock
 SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net+ SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 3. Wither + Mind Control (taunt immediately after Wither)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 4. Discharge (with proc, swap with next GCD if no proc yet)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 5. Thrash
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 6. Shock (if you triggered Energize, use Recklessness on this attack, for the insane threat boost from the extra damage from the auto-crit)
 SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net+SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 7. Depredating Volts under Recklessness (use Recklessness here if you didn’t use it on the previous global). If you have all 4 raidwide buffs present, along with the sunder armor and extra Force damage debuffs on the target, you may see up to 6,000 damage ticks on Depredating Volts, which generates a ludicrous amount of threat. Immediately use Mass Mind Control afterwards.
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 8. Maul (Thrash if you haven’t had an Energize proc yet)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 9. Shock
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 10. Wither
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 11. Thrash (Maul if you haven’t used it yet) and taunt again when it comes off of cooldown to ensure you maintain threat.

This rotation has a brief (2 GCD window) where you can lose top threat on the boss to burst dps, but is the best you can do without the new 4 piece set bonus.

Maximum Threat Opener (with new 4 piece)

SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 1. Force Pull
 SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net+SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 2. Shock + Mind Control
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 3. Wither
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 4. Discharge (with proc, swap with next GCD if no proc yet)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 5. Thrash
 SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net+SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 6. Shock (Use Recklessness first if you have Energize) + Mass Mind Control
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 7. Depredating Volts under Recklessness (use Recklessness here if you haven’t yet)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 8. Maul (Thrash if you haven’t had an Energize proc yet)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 9. Shock
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net+SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 10. Wither + Mind Control

While you don’t have your threat from Depredating Volts under your second taunt (and multiplied again under your third) you have 18 straight seconds of taunt on the boss with no gaps, and without help from your second tank, who is free to then use their high threat rotation with their triple taunt rotation.

Advanced tip: If you’re feeling a little cheeky, you can actually pre-cast Crushing Darkness before you use your Force Pull, so long as you leave stealth as you begin the cast. You will run very low on Force in the first 2 Depredating Volts rotations, but it will produce higher threat. The trick is to be just under 10 meters, and step back as your cast finishes so you can Force Pull and Phantom Stride right back in to melee range so the boss doesn’t even move. It’s pretty beautiful when orchestrated correctly.

Ability Priority:

SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 1. Depredating Volts with 3 stacks of Harnessed Darkness
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 2. Wither (builds stacks of Harnessed Darkness, maintains Weakened debuff)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 3. Shock (builds stacks of Harnessed Darkness) (with or without Energize)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 4. Discharge (very high threat, to maintain the Unsteady debuff)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 5. Assassinate (execute phase only ability)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 6. Maul (with Conspirator’s Cloak Buff, also triggers Energize)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 7. Thrash (triggers Energize)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 8. Saber Strike (< 35 Force with Shock or Wither coming off of cooldown)

AoE Rotation & ability priorities:

SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 1. Depredating Volts (if Dark protection duration almost out)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 2. Wither
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 3. Discharge
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 4. Shock (with Energize and at < 3 stacks Harnessed Darkness)
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 5. Lacerate
SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net 6. AoE taunt if you lose aggro on too many

Make sure to use Force Pull and Overload to group enemies up on AoE pulls/phases so that they can be more effectively killed.

Recklessness

Recklessness simultaneously gives you 2 stacks of the Recklessness buff and a 20 second long, 30% extra Absorb boost (that’s additive to your value). Unfortunately, you need the extra threat in your opening rotation, and so you’ll use it there, despite its value as a defensive ability. As for what to use it on, your first choice is Depredating Volts, since it does so much damage. For your second move, if you can, you want to use it on an Energized Shock, due to the incredible threat it generates, unless you’re in an AoE situation, in which case you would use it on Discharge. However, don’t delay Shock for Energize, as you need to build your Harnessed Darkness stacks as quickly as you can.

Harnessed Darkness

Your mitigation method that shapes your rotation is based around building and spending stacks of the Harnessed Darkness buff, which does nothing on its own, but provides 4% additive DR against all types of attacks when you use the 3 on Depredating Volts to maintain the Dark protection buff at 4 stacks. A single tick of Depredating Volts is enough to refresh the duration on Dark Protection, but it only lasts 12 seconds. The key to maintaining the buff is to use Shock and Wither as soon as they come off cooldown, while prioritizing Shock, since it has a much shorter cooldown. You also want to try to keep from getting stunned or knocked back during your channel, to give you as much time as you can get to use Shock and Wither again.

Dark Ward

Dark Ward is, hands down, your best mitigation mechanic. You get pretty good shield and absorb boosts from the discipline, but this ability pushes your shield another 18% higher, so long as you maintain the buff and keep at least 1 stack of the initial 15. It also does not respect the GCD, so you can use it as you use other abilities (aside from Depredating Volts) However, due to the Dark Bulwark mechanic, you should only be refreshing Dark Ward as it is about to fall off. Depending on the fight, the difference in mitigation between using it on cooldown and only as necessary can be almost as large as letting Dark protection fall off. It’s one of the things that separate the excellent from the okay Assassin tanks. To make tracking this buff easier, you can sort your buffs on your buff bar (great 3.0 quality of life change!) by duration, and by your own buffs first, which makes it much easier to find the Ward buff quickly, so you can get back to paying attention to the fight.

Sample Dummy Parse

SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net

As you can see, Depredating Volts is a massive portion of your threat, even as delayed as it was on this parse. You rely a lot on enemies hitting you to recover your force, and thus on a dummy parse, you see far more Saber Strikes than you would on a real boss fight. Beyond Depredating Volts, Shock and Wither are going to be your next highest abilities. Wither has much higher threat, but you can’t use it as often, and the longer cooldown makes you delay it for Shock, in order to make sure you can keep your Dark protection buff. Maul is a smaller percentage of my threat than it should have been (again, poor regeneration while not getting attacked), but per use is much higher threat than Thrash. Assassinate, once you reach the execute phase, will take precedence over any move that doesn’t generate Harnessed Darkness stacks, because it just generates so much threat.Discharge should have been a higher percentage, but with poor Force Regeneration, I could only use it enough to maintain the Unsteady debuff.

Cooldowns Usage

Defensive cooldowns are best used to mitigate large hits, or lots of small ones, and to buy the healers some time to get the situation back under control. As anAssassin, you also have an ability (Shroud) that lets you completely negate a large amount of nasty mechanics that other tanks have to deal with, but is mostly useful proactively, when you know the mechanic is coming.

  • Overcharge Saber: Grants you 25% additive damage reduction against all damage types for 15 seconds, on a 2 minute cooldown. It’s one of the shortest cooldowns and one of the strongest defensive abilities among any of the tanks, and works on all damage types. To top it off, it heals you for 15% of your total health (icing on the cake)
  • Deflection: Grants you 50% additive defense chance against melee and ranged attacks on a 2 minute cooldown. Not nearly so powerful as the previous ability, but still highly useful against packs of adds and against bosses who hit you very often with melee/ranged moves.
  • Shroud: 3 seconds (5 with the utility you should always have) seconds of immunity to Force and Tech damage, as well as purging you of all hostile, removable effects. Extremely useful in mitigating big hits from bosses, or ignoring mechanics entirely (such as eating all load lifters and Exonium carts on Bulo, or walking through the fires on Torque).
  • Recklessness: 30% Absorb boost for 20 seconds. Enough to make you feel invincible if you get a lucky shielding streak. Not so good against single, big attacks, but very useful against a large series of hits.
  • With the removal of Exotech Absorb Adrenals, I can’t really say what adrenal is best right now. When a consensus has been reached here, I’ll update the guide.
  • Prototype Anodyne Medpack – Heals you for 9743-11649 immediately, and an additional 2648 health extra over 15 seconds. You can reset your single use per fight by using Force Cloak, just beware of the consequences of dropping out of combat.

A very important part of learning how to tank is learning how to best use your defensive abilities to survive boss mechanics and which abilities are best against what. Recklessness and Deflection are very good against a large series of attacks (Deflection only being useful against melee and ranged), whereas Shroud and Overcharge Saber are far better for dealing with single, big hits. Overcharge Saber is also incredibly good for lots of small hits, but is your only ability that works on all damage types, and so you should always consider that when deciding on whether to use it or not.

Tanking and You & How to Improve

Milas wrote a very good section in his Powertech/Vanguard guide, labeled the same as this section. I suggest that you read it if you are new to tanking, as it’s quite informative, and anything I write here would be parroting him. Vanguard Guide/Powertech Guide. Please note, the guides are outdated, so do not follow any gearing or rotational advice in them.

About the Author

Aelanis is an avid forum-goer on theAssassin/Shadow forums, hailing from The Shadowlands. Despite having only raided Nightmare content since 2.8 released, Aelanis has been playing Shadow tank since 2.0 released and mained a Shadow tank since 2.3.If you play on the Shadowlands, you can reach him on Theraton, in Exit Area on the Imperial side, or Ellendra, in Death Mark on the Republic side.

SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis – fifa15guide.net

SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis.

Contents

  • 1 Intro to Hatred Assassin
    • 1.1 Ratings
    • 1.2 Gearing and Stat Priority
    • 1.3 Gearing Discussion
    • 1.4 Utility Choices
  • 2 Abilities and Rotation
    • 2.1 Abilities
    • 2.2 Rotations
    • 2.3 Sample Parse
  • 3 About the Author

Intro to Hatred Assassin

At the beginning of 3.0, Hatred was a respectable Discipline in PvE. It had respectable damage, could handle some mechanics in very interesting ways, and had some range over your typical melee DPS. It was a little squishy, but that was the price we paid to get the extra damage over Deception, and we could live with it. Unfortunately, it was also extraordinarily strong in PvP, and over the course of a few patches, we found ourselves a shadow (pun intended) of what we were at launch. 4.0 only made it worse with the loss of a lot of our surge bonus on our melee moves. However, since the burst nerf of 4.0.3, we stand in a, relatively, better place than before. We do slightly more damage than our sister, burst Discipline, Deception, and stand roughly middle of the road in terms of sustained damage, making Hatred the preferred Discipline for many fights. However, the vastly better defenses Deception possesses and the still-decent burst Deception offers make it a better choice on some fights.

Ratings

  • Single Target DPS: Average
  • AoE Damage: Moderate
  • Group Utility: Low
  • Rotation Difficulty: Moderate-High
  • RNG Dependent: Very Slightly
  • Burst: Low-Moderate
  • Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: Yes

As these ratings are relative to other classes, it will be a little while before “accurate” ones can be given.

Gearing and Stat Priority

  • **Must Have** Accuracy: As close to 682 accuracy rating as possible.
  • ~66%-67% Critical damage bonus (~1,050-1,200 Critical Rating)
  • Augments: All into Alacrity that you don’t use for Accuracy and Critical Rating
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
  • Set bonus: 6 piece Stalker’s
  • Lightning Charge

Gearing Discussion

  • Reaching the Accuracy cap should be your highest priority. You do no damage if you miss, and so reducing how much you miss increases your damage.
  • With the change in 4.0 for Crit and Surge to be rolled into one stat, the only thing to really talk about any more is what enhancements to use and how to augment yourself. With the large pools of Power and Mastery we passively have from our gear, the Tertiary stats have become the most valuable stats to augment for.
  • Critical Rating, now a tertiary stat, is extremely valuable, in that it combats its own diminishing returns, since it also affects our critical damage bonus. Despite it being bad in previous tiers, make sure to not skip out on it.
  • Alacrity is also good for this Discipline. Despite the changes to Critical Rating making it so good, we still have a high enough stat budget that the nature of diminishing returns causes the first few (many at this point) points in Alacrity to overtake Critical Rating in terms of damage increase above a certain value.
  • The stat bonus between the Boundless Ages and Serendipitous Assault/Focused Retribution is now so large that the Boundless Ages relic is strictly inferior, even if it controls burst better, and is even better than the tertiary stat relics, because they just give so much more stat.
  • Getting your set bonus as quickly as possible is highly recommended. It will increase your DPS substantially enough that having lower item level armorings with the set bonus is a better option than higher item level armorings without it.

Set Pieces

As in every expansion in this game, gearing a DPS character will require grabbing numerous pieces. However, at each tier in the game it’s possible to mix and match enough pieces that there are no longer any “best” pieces to get multiples of. With augments, it’s very possible to get close to best in slot gear without having to get a tremendous amount of extra drops in instances. Combined with the fact that there is now only 1 secondary stat, which leaves only 3 total different stat distributions for each piece in each slot, it makes gearing a significantly smaller hassle in this expansion than in others in the past. Basically: keep your old set until you get your full new bonus, and swap in new mods, enhancements, etc. as you get more pieces.

Utility Choices

Utility selection should go on a boss-by-boss basis, as we have a wide variety of abilities that can make certain situations go from challenging to sleep inducing. There are two utilities that you’re going to want regardless of the fight, and a bunch that have situational use, but are not always mandatory. Each boss you’ll probably want a different Utility set. However, there are a few you should have for each boss fight, due to them being so strong in general.

  • Misdirection/Obfuscation: Movement speed bonuses help you increase uptime on a boss by both being able to keep up with it and close gaps between adds faster. Any time you can take a movement speed increase as a melee class, you probably should. As icing on the cake, the extra 5 stealth levels help you to sneak up closer to enemies before being detected. (Skillful)
  • Force Harmonics/Audacity: As the only utility that increases your single target DPS, you should definitely take it. Despite seeming small (1 extra charge every minute and a half?) it’s actually a fairly significant boost in damage. (Masterful)

That leaves 5 more utilities to choose based on the boss.

  • Celerity/Avoidance: Reduced cooldown on our stun breaker is more or less useless, and Force Speed now has a long enough cooldown that it’s hard to justify the utility based entirely on that merit. Reduced cooldown on our interrupt, however, gives this utility serious use in fights that require lots of them, as it lets you and another person with an 8 second interrupt cooldown keep an ability from being casted permanently. (Skillful)
  • Shadowy Veil/Insulation: Good for if you have to take a lot of unavoidable damage as long as it can be mitigated by your extra armor rating. (Skillful)
  • Lambaste: Are there significant portions of the boss where you can do AoE damage? If yes, you should really take this talent, since 25% more damage on Lacerate is pretty massive. (Skillful)
  • Mind Over Matter/Disjunction: At an extra 2 seconds of Shroud, this talent is overall very strong, but gains even more use in some situations. It can help you survive, or even completely cheese, mechanics that you can’t with just a 3 second Shroud. (Masterful)
  • Egress/Emersion: This is a utility that DPS Assassins used to be very jealous of tanks for, it’s invaluable on fights where there are persistent slows, back to back roots, or enemies leaping to you. (Masterful)
  • Speed Surge/Kinetic Acceleration: 50% extra move speed with 50% up time that you get by properly using your rotation? It’s a pretty good deal if you have to chase a boss being kited by a tank, or move quickly between adds. The downside is that you can’t control when you get the buff, since it’s rotational, or else it would be mandatory.
  • Cloak of Resilience/Shroud of Madness: This talent comes in handy when you need an extra few seconds of immunity to Force/Tech attacks. Use it to eat otherwise nasty abilities so that you can keep better uptime on bosses or as a backup for if you need to use Shroud again. (Heroic)
  • Containment/Haunted Dreams: Very situational. In fights with non-CC immune enemies (read: Revanite Commanders), it can be very useful to point at an enemy and insta-mez them for 8 seconds. (Heroic)
  • Sturdiness/Dark Stability: Not terribly useful in Operations, as there are few times you will get stunned, which also makes Mental Defense/Shapeless Spirit a less than optimal choice, but there are lots of stuns in daily areas that can make these utilities still very useful. (Heroic)

Abilities and Rotation

Abilities

SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net Discharge (D) in Lightning Charge has a different mechanic from Deception, so instead of being an instant damage ability, it deals damage periodically over time. Having Discharge active on a target allows you to trigger your Raze ability, which is a very important part of the spec, and should have as close to 100% uptime as possible. Its duration is 18 seconds, which is important, as will be discussed later.
SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net Creeping Terror (CT) is your second long duration periodic damage ability. You should keep as close to 100% uptime on the ability as you can. It is your primary choice for long range abilities while gap closing, as it has a 30 meter range and no cooldown. Its duration is also 18 seconds.
SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net Thrash (T) is your general purpose filler ability, for if you have plenty of Force and nothing else to spend it on. Thrash, with the 6 piece set bonus, will also trigger your Stalker’s Critical Bonus, causing your next Assassinate to critically hit. This plays an important part in the opener, and causes you to use this ability even in the Force starved execute phase.
SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net Leeching Strike (LS) is a new ability given to Hatred in 3.0. It is a hard hitting ability that heals you for as much damage as you deal with it. It also triggers your 2 piece set bonus, giving you a 2% increased damage buff for 15 seconds on a 30 second lockout. It should be used on cooldown, despite the cooldown not lining up with the lockout on the 2 piece set bonus, due to the amount of damage it deals.
SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net Demolish (De) is one of your hardest hitting abilities. Due to the Raze talent you get, it should (almost) always be free and an instant cast. You want to maximize uptime on this dot, which dictates that you want to trigger Raze as close to its 9 second rate limit as possible. This heavily affects your rotation. Replaces Crushing Darkness. Since 3.0, this ability causes its target to take 5% increased Force damage from all targets. As such, you should put it on the boss as quickly as possible to benefit the rest of the raid.
SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net Death Field (DF) is an incredibly important ability. It does not hit quite as hard as in 2.10, but still packs quite a punch, and now hits up to 8 targets. It also leaves 15 Death Marks on its targets. For single target situations, it is best to use this ability on its 15 second cooldown. Since 3.0, this ability causes its targets to take 10% increased area of effect damage.
SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net Assassinate (A) should be one of your top damage contributors. Normally usable only under 30% in the execute phase, Hatred has the Bloodletting ability, that lets you use it on targets of any health, with a 30% trigger chance on any periodic damage effect. Pre-execute phase, it should be used in place of a Thrash only, while it takes priority over everything except Death Field during the execute phase. With Phantom Stride, you can now use trigger it reliably once every 30 seconds.
SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net Lacerate is your bread and butter AoE spam move. Use it when you have more than 2 targets in range for better effect, as it costs as much as Thrash, but will do far more damage, and will spread your Discharge and Creeping Terror effects to its targets that are not already affected by them.

Rotations

Opening Rotation

The opening rotation is a chance to deal quite a bit of damage in Hatred, as well as set you up for the entire rest of the fight. Before the fight, start with Phantom Stride. This will trigger Bloodletting very early, and not start combat (though it’s not recommended in boss fights without Blackout up!), allowing you to possibly fit another Assassinate into the fight. You move on by pre-casting Demolish into: Discharge > Adrenal + Death Field > Thrash > Assassinate > Creeping Terror > Demolish > Leeching Strike.

SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net

This sets you up for a very high damage first Assassinate, as the Demolish ticks combined with the Discharge ticks, Death Field, and Thrash give you a nearly 100% chance of having both relics going for maximum damage on your auto-crit Assassinate, which you know you’ll have from your earlier Phantom Stride. Unfortunately, Leeching Strike does not fit into the opener until later as losing a relic boost on the auto-crit Assassinate is a damage loss over the 2% damage boost.

An opener that does not hurt your Force bar as badly, and lets you open up from further away, would be: Creeping Terror > Phantom Stride + Adrenal + Death Field > Discharge > Thrash > Demolish > Leeching Strike > Assassinate. It does not pack the same punch as the first opener, nor does it flow into the normal rotation cleanly, but has a much easier Force recovery phase that follows.

SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net

Rotation Strategy

There are two ways to look at the rotation for Hatred: Move Priority and a strict Rotation

Rotation (previously dubbed “DoT Focus Method” by MKnightRider)

This is the method I prefer to use when I play Hatred. It’s a little tricky, but once you get used to it, it is quite easy to follow, and made life before debuff sorting much less of a hassle. Basically, your two 18 second dots will stay fixed at 2 points in your rotation, where nothing should interfere with them. This means you should have perfect uptime on Discharge and Creeping Terror, and they should consume more of your stacks of Death Mark, which is good, since they deal slightly more damage than Demolish per tick. Your rotation framework should look very similar to this:

Discharge > F > M* > F > Creeping Terror > F > M* > F > M > F > M* > F

SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net

Each F is a spot in the rotation where you will have Death Field rotate through, or where other things will happen that I’ll explain later. Death Field has a 15 second cooldown, Raze has a 9 second internal cooldown (a half multiple of 18 seconds), and Discharge and Creeping Terror both have 18 second durations. That means that if you look at the Hatred “rotation” in an 18 second block, Death Field will fall back 2 spaces each rotation. Example (MA = melee attack, De = Demolish):

D > MA > MA > De > CT > DF > MA > MA > MA > De > MA > MA
D > MA > MA > DF > CT > De > MA > MA > MA > De > MA > MA
D > DF > MA > De > CT > MA > MA > MA > MA > De > MA > DF

SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.netSWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.netSWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net

As you can see, you’ll occasionally delay Demolish in order to not delay Death Field. Previously, this would never happen, due to the 7.5 second lockout on Raze, but it is okay to do it now, because you can safely delay Demolish up to 2 GCDs after its Raze trigger and still not miss out on Demolish uptime. With that part of the rotation explained we go back to the framework:

Discharge > F > M* > F > Creeping Terror > F > M* > F > M > F > M* > F

SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net

Those Fs in there aren’t just for Death Field. Demolish will, if you go from the suggested opener, land on the second and fifth F spaces, and once in a while be delayed from the second space to the third space or the fifth space to the sixth space when Death Field passes through. Because of its 12 second cooldown, Leeching Strike, used in the M* spaces, will never interfere with Death Field, Creeping Terror, or Discharge, allowing for perfect usage on cooldown during the pre-execute phase. Assassinate and Thrash will always fall into spaces where nothing else interferes.

The main focus of this method is reapplying Discharge and CT right away, which you can flow right into from the suggested opener. You want to keep 3 GCDs between those two DoTs. The only time you will let either dot fall off or break your 3 GCD buffer is to use Assassinate in the execute phase, which has more priority at that point. As MK had said before, prioritizing Assassinate in the execute phase will definitely break the 3 GCD separation, and so at that point this method reverts to a priority method during the execute phase and moves Demolish up the priority. (A = Assassinate, T = Thrash, LS = Leeching Strike, SS = Saber Strike)

Execute Priority:

  1. DF on CD
  2. A
  3. De
  4. D (or CT)
  5. CT (or D)
  6. LS
  7. T/SS (likely SS due to Force Starvation)

Priority Method (coined by MKnightRider as well)

Most of this is quoted directly from MK’s old guide, and updated for 3.0, and the rotation hasn’t changed since. “The only difference in this method is it always prioritizes Demolish reapplication instead of the rigid Discharge and Creeping Terror reapplication. This means it can be a little harder to follow in an actual fight but this priority does flow perfectly into the execute phase and is exactly what you end up doing in the DoT Focus method during the execute phase anyways.”

Priority is this:

  1. DF on CD
  2. A
  3. De
  4. D (or CT)
  5. CT (or D)
  6. LS
  7. T/SS (likely SS due to Force Starvation)

Openers will be the same as the other method, the differences show up when you get to the second DoT applications and later.

In addition, regardless of what part of the fight you’re in, and regardless of how you’re playing Hatred, you could use Phantom Stride for the Bloodletting trigger if you’re getting unlucky and have passed the 15 second ICD, unless doing so would put you in danger. However, it’s stronger as a gap closer for Hatred, especially with the Force Speed CD increase.

Some extra things to note about Hatred priorities and rotations:

  • Saber Strike usage: Saber Strike will refund you 1 Force each time any of its 3 hits actually land. You need to always make sure you have enough Force to get through your DoT application. If you leave 3 spaces between your long duration dots, you have 2 moves you can always count on in there to recover Force, as Death Field may be coming through. The Death Field + Creeping Terror + Discharge combo will cost you a whopping 70 Force, and you naturally recover 60 Force over the course of the 5 GCDs. With a cost of 20 and 30 being possibly back to back, you need to start with at least 38 Force going into this block. If you have more, you may not need to Saber Strike. If you have less, you’re going to have a bad time. Keep aware of this, and use Saber Strike proactively, not reactively.
  • Dot application dos and don’ts: If your target isn’t going to survive at least 6 seconds of your dot, don’t bother; it will be a damage loss versus just hitting it with Thrash. Discharge may still be useful for Raze triggers, but that’s it. I’ll go more into this in the AoE section.
  • On Overload: With Overload now being limited to 8 targets, you generally won’t use it any more. Lacerate hits the same number of targets and does more damage without knocking enemies back.
  • We still have Shock and Force Lightning? Sometimes you can’t quite stay in melee range, but want to keep doing damage. That’s when these abilities come into play. They aren’t rotational, but they have a 10 meter range, and Shock can be used on the move. Useful if you have to, say, kite Raptus in the Dread Council fight.
  • About Recklessness: You want Recklessness to be used on Death Field more than you do on Demolish. If you have to delay activating it a few seconds, it’s not the end of the world, and will still net you more damage that way. Conversely, if you’re in an AoE situation, you want to use all but 1 stack on things other than Death Field to maximize the number of critical hits you get, because all critical hit chances are calculated before any of them remove the Recklessness stacks. Therefore, you can get 2 crits off of Demolish and any other Force move, and up to 8 more off of the last stack of Recklessness after only a single use of it.

If you mess up: It’s going to cost you a chunk of damage, but freaking out and messing up more will cost you even more. If you accidentally delay an ability (like Death Field) or mess up dot reapplication, do what you need to in order to fix it, even if it means clipping dots on your next application or delaying Death Field by a global to get it back on track. Don’t let things snowball out of control, or your damage will drop sharply.

AoE Rotation (DoTspread explanation and example by Evolixe)

With the advent of 3.0, you can now spread your long duration dots from one target to up to 7 more. You must simply have one target in your Lacerate’s range that has one of Creeping Terror or Discharge (or both) applied to it, and up to 7 additional targets will become affected by those dots. With more than 8 targets, the selection becomes random and which ones you hit is out of your control, save for targets that have your Creeping Terror or Discharge already on them. Please note: Demolish will not spread to other targets (which would be hilariously more overpowered), do not waste time applying it before Lacerate.

Case 1: You have some number of targets (Evo used 4). You hit one with Discharge and Creeping Terror. After you use Lacerate to hit them, all 4 have both dots, because none of them started with it.

SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.netSWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net

Case 2: You have some number of targets (Evo used 4). You hit one of them with Discharge and another with Creeping Terror. After you use Lacerate to hit them, all 4 will have both dots, since Discharge will spread to all targets without it and Creeping Terror will spread to all targets without it. This method is a little trickier but a little safer. Instead of risking killing your only “host” (has all the dots) if you crit when they don’t have a lot of health, you have less chance to crit and kill both of two hosts. The spreading works just as well, and it’s slightly less likely to kill low health enemies instead of spreading your dots, it just requires a slightly tighter grouping of your targets. It’s also less predictable in PvP. It can also ensure that you hit 2 different targets with Lacerate that you want to make sure die first (or get more damage dealt to them) by forcing the game engine to select them as targets for Lacerate, in the case that there are more than 8 enemies in range.

SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.netSWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net

After you spread your dots, if there are 3 or more targets, you want to spam Lacerate. If they all survive for 18 seconds, you can simply repeat this rotation (dot up, Lacerate, Death Field on CD). With no rate limit, as soon as they fall off the first, you can reapply them to that target, and from them, back to 7 other targets. In the case that they don’t all survive for 18 seconds, you still have a target with both dots on them and can begin your single target rotation.

Sample Parse

SWTOR 4.0 Hatred Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis - fifa15guide.net

  • Demolish (dot) should be taking first place. It ticks very quickly, resulting in roughly twice as many hits as your other two dots independently.  It’s worth roughly 16% of your damage.
  • Creeping Terror takes second place. It receives a lot of damage and crit boosts from the tree, and has very good uptime. It’s worth about 13% of your damage.
  • Assassinate should be the near the top. You use it fairly often, it hits incredibly hard, and you use it an absurd amount in the execute phase. It’s worth roughly 12% of your damage, down from 3.0 with the loss of 2/3 of its surge boost.
  • Death Field hits particularly hard, and has a very high critical chance thanks to Recklessness. Used on cooldown, it should end up in fourth place. It contributes roughly 11% of your damage.

Fifth place goes to Discharge, now, with the increased crit chance, and reduced melee surge boost, at about 10% of your damage, roughly tied with Demolish’s initial hit. 7th place is now a toss up between Thrash and Leeching Strike, largely dependent on their crit percents. Each pair totals roughly 16% of your damage.

The last 12% is split roughly equally between Lightning Charge and Saber Strike. Despite hitting very often with a very high crit chance, Lightning Charge and Saber Strike (not so much on the crits) just don’t hit very hard.

For damage breakdown, roughly 25% of your damage (Death Field and Creeping Terror) is Internal/Elemental, while the rest is Kinetic/Energy. A further split shows that roughly 64% of your damage is Force damage, while the remaining roughly 36% is melee damage. This goes to show that your dots (and Death Field) are an incredibly important part of your damage. Lastly, roughly 11% of your damage that Death Field is worth is Area of Effect damage. You can use this information to try to work out with your raid team what debuffs you want to try to include on your team

About the Author

Aelanis is an avid forum-goer on the Shadow/Assassin forums, hailing from The Shadowlands. Despite having only raided Nightmare content since 2.8 released, Aelanis has put up very competitive numbers on numerous boss fights and previously held a spot on the World DPS leaderboards. If you play on the Shadowlands, you can reach him on Theraton, in Exit Area on the Imperial side, or Ellendra, in Death Mark on the Republic side.