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Dagger Pistol - Why this noob thinks it's the best single target thief weapon

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#1 SpelignErrir

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 04:43 AM

I've been looking for a single target weapon, because shortbow is kind of meh when it comes to killing a single enemy. I've tried P/P, P/D, S/P, S/D, D/D, and last but certainly not least...D/P. So far, dagger pistol seems to put all the other weapons to shame. With it, I can deal amazing damage while taking negligible amounts with the healing from Signet of Malice. When reading this, keep in mind that I'm only level 35 and a complete noob, so take my comments with a grain of salt.

-Dagger Pistol...on top of having a suggestive acronym that makes me giggle, it's a very mobile set with great damage as well as survivability. The dual skill is kind of boring though, a blind and a gap closer. It's still better than Sword 2, but I'd rather use steal. But it's the synergy between Dagger and Pistol that makes this so appealing to me. Steal into combat, set down a Black Powder for the blind and Smoke Field, HS to stealth, backstab. Not only does this provide amazing damage, the blind will keep you alive and if they do hit you, you can lay down a few auto attacks, which are lightning fast. Stack precision and trait right, you'll be doing massive damage at low initiative costs (More into traits later)

-Dual Pistol is a decent set. The dual skill is great - lots of SoM regen. Unfortunately, what killed this set for me is that there's no cripple or immobilize. I'm not particularly great with kiting, and even if I were, there's nothing wrong with something to help with it. Also - very spammy. I don't use most of the skills. Body Shot is mostly useless, Head Shot is just as useless, and Black Powder is useful in melee range, but I'm pretty sure the point of dual pistol is to stay out of melee range. Not my weapon.

-Sword and Pistol is nice as well, but it's clumsy and the stun of pistol whip lasts about as long...ehrm...as something short. The auto attack is SLOOOOOW. Pistol Whip's health regen from Signet of Malice doesn't compare to how much damage I take (I have 10 points in shadow arts but no healing gear). Also, it's just...boring and unskillful. If I wanted to spam a skill, I'd go GS warrior.

-Sword and Dagger was bad. Synergy? Not on S/D's watch! The great thing about a dagger offhand is the stealth - well, too bad, the sword stealth attack is a heaping pile of steamy donkey crap. Dancing dagger is great for crippling mobs and keeping them away from you - oh, wait. Dancing dagger is the only ranged skill on this bar. Infiltrator's strike is a gap closer that does as much damage as a gentle breeze and immobilizes for one second. Hhm...yeah. Can't see much use for that. Steal doesn't cost any initiative, so I'd much rather use that. The dual skill isn't too bad of a skill, but it's not half as good as most other dual skills. I don't see why anybody would use S/D.

-Dual Dagger is my second favorite single target set - death blossom annihilates everything. Mostly a bleeding set, though, and I run out of initiative fast. Going to try this again when I get to higher levels, but I can't really say much about it. DB spam, get initiative back, DB spam some more, HS to finish. Boooooring. Nice animations, though. http://www.guildwars...le-thief-build/ if you want to see stuff about Dual Dagger.

-Pistol and Dagger is another one of my favorite sets, largely because it's very convenient to switch to from D/P if you need to keep your distance from a boss or something. Shoot things, get to melee range, Cloak and Dagger to stealth, lay down some bleeds, repeat. Dual Skill to retreat if you need to.

  Like I said, I'm only level 35, so I can't delve very far into the topic of traits, seeing as I've only got access to the first major in each line. However, I notice some pretty awesome early traits that go good with D/P:

-Shadow arts gives toughness and healing, good for helping you get away with messing up. The extra healing from Signet of Malice is nice, too. The first minor gives a free stealth and blind if you hit 25% hp - a nice built in "Oh crap" button. You can use the stealth to make like a tree and leave (lolsylvari) or use the stealth to finish off a foe. There is a major that is pure awesome, however. Infusion of Shadow returns 2 initiative every time you use a skill to enter stealth. This means the effective cost of HS used in a smoke combo field is 1 and Cloak and Dagger is 4, though you still need 3 and 6 initiative respectively to actually use the skills. Pretty awesome.

-Critical Strikes is a nice tree. At my level, critical damage isn't an easy stat to find, so it's nice to have. And of course, the precision. Precision is always awesome. The first minor is an extra 5% crit chance over 90% health. Alright, nice skill. Extra crit chance is always handy. For the major, I'd pick Side Strike - this means that your backstabs are 7% more likely to land a crit. Again, extra crit chance is always handy. Not much more to say.

I've poured the other 5 points I have into deadly arts. Stacking power for extra damage, the points in Shadow Arts I have are all I need for survivability. The poison on steal is nice too, because I initiate a lot of fights with it.

For gear, I go nuts with ravaging. With runes, I look for precision and condition damage. The D/P set doesn't use much condition damage besides the third chain in the dagger auto, but the bleeds are for the SB switch when I'm fighting multiple enemies. I have Penetrating Krytan pistol and dagger (Lol penetrating DP. Ahem, sorry) with accuracy and force sigils. In the story quest, I took the back brace that gives vitality and toughness, mostly because in the future I might decide to try a different build with different stats, and tough/vit is universally useful.

For utilities, I have Shadow Refuge - Oh Crap button with stealth and heal, signet of shadows because travelling is a pain, and signet of agility is pretty self explanatory.

Any improvements you guys would like to suggest? Comments? Try it and see if you like it.

#2 CatMountainKing

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 06:56 AM

I agree with most of what you've said, though I'll come to the defense of Sword/Pistol.  It gets less clumsy when you play with it for some time and get used to the timings.  Number 2 is great for entering and retreating, especially in WvW, and Pistol Whip is great -- interrupt, tons of damage, aoe, and evade all-in-one.  So you can't move when doing damage with it, but so what?  You are evading, and can get out with 2 if you are in a bad position when it's over.  Spamming it is a bad idea if you can't kill with 2 rounds of Pistol Whip, and it's a good idea to get some ground before using it a second time, to give it time for the induction.  It's a good weapon for being "safe" all the time and putting out good damage.  You can blind with 5, get in/get out with 2, and evade/dps with 3.

#3 Bard The Kid

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 07:59 AM

I haven't actually used D/P and will definitely try it out at some point (currently use S/P and P/P off-spec at level 80) but as CatMountainKing said S/P is a lot more dynamic once you're used to it.  Sure sometimes you miss your pistol whip, generally only when with a group or in PvP and it's frustrating but when you do hit it becomes so rewarding.  The stun lasts 1 second which is slightly less than the damage swing overall but you can combo it with various skills to ensure they remain in position, that's only really relevant in PvP anyway.

Also something PvP related is the fact that one of the auto-attacks of the S/P slows the target which is invaluable.  The shadowstep frees up one of your skill slots and immobilizing targets is another great way to ensure your pistol whip hits.

Attacks like heartseeker pull slightly more burst DPS but the stun can help stop them from going invisible (or hitting them while invisible) or healing which may prove to be the difference rather than the extra DPS.

#4 Effigy

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 05:49 PM

D/P definitely has good skills, although for PvE I prefer Death Blossom for the AoE damage and evade. Leveling with only single target damage is a pain.

#5 dreamex

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 06:38 PM

S/P is good primarily for the high damage cleave. Sure it can be boring, but I honestly don't see what D/P brings over D/D for solo play, since it can't be Black Powder AoE blind tanking if you only have single damage output and Death Blossom/Cloak and Dagger/Bouncing Blades seem more useful to a solo grind-y style of play.

#6 SpelignErrir

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 07:17 PM

Read the first part of the post - I use SB for multi target. In my opinion, it's the best multi target weapon and should be a staple on all thief builds.

#7 dreamex

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 08:43 PM

SB is good for mass multi target, for 3 or less, S/P cleave clears the fastest.

But again, that doesn't answer why you prefer D/P over D/D, since every skill D/P has is inferior to D/D for single target.

#8 Capn_Crass

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 10:26 PM

I like D/P as much as the next guy for general PvE content (probably more, given the general opinion of these forums), but by no stretch would I say it's the "best set" or that it does "amazing damage". It's a hybrid set, and it performs like one. You get OK performance in all situations rather than good performance in most situations and poor performance in a small handful.

I really wish P/D wasn't so focused on DoTs. That set has some mean synergy, but I'm not a fan of DoT-and-kite gameplay.

#9 DataPhreak

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 12:23 AM

I'm sorry guys, but I have to go with the OP on this one. (Great writeup, btw. You should do a video.) D/P is far more INI efficent, and puts out pretty much the same DPS as DD. Death blossom is a moot point. If i'm facing more than 1 mob, I'm popping smoke screen, switching to SB and spamming 2. 12 stacks of bleeds, plus decent direct damage. If i'm feeling frisky, i'll put out choking gas for the aoe weakness too. Also, D/P is by far the tankiest thief setup there is.

I do have to correct the OP on one point though. Shadow shot is a great opener, especially against elites. It's a 5 second blind, instead of a 3 second blind. I find that mobs with larger models are often able to attack me without stepping into black powders aoe field, even if I catch them with it at first. Often, the blind will wear off before their next attack. So i'll open with 3, let auto attack apply poison while i wait for them to use the first blind, THEN i'll drop black powder.


But seriously? Every D/P skill being inferrior to D/D for single target? Lets evaluate that. Skill 1, the same.... Skill 2, the same... Skill 3, well, for DP it's single target blind gap closer, for DD it's aoe.... so no. Skill 4, for DP it's an interupt for DD its.... aoe again.... Ah, but the last skill. For DP it's a persistent smoke field that applies blind about 3 times with negligible damage. For DD its a cloak that does just as much damage as a heart seeker when the target is below 50% health. yeah, sure, at face value it seems better, until you realize that if you heart seeker inside black powder, you get the same amount of damage, you still get the cloak, and you get 3 blinds. Nope, sorry.... not seeing it.

And for those of you who are going to try to say that DD is better dps because deathblossom is a good single target attack, no. Just no. I get the same DPS from cluster bomb for less INI and, AND, it's a blast finisher. GG.

#10 dreamex

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:01 AM

View PostDataPhreak, on 24 September 2012 - 12:23 AM, said:

I'm sorry guys, but I have to go with the OP on this one. (Great writeup, btw. You should do a video.) D/P is far more INI efficent, and puts out pretty much the same DPS as DD. Death blossom is a moot point. If i'm facing more than 1 mob, I'm popping smoke screen, switching to SB and spamming 2. 12 stacks of bleeds, plus decent direct damage. If i'm feeling frisky, i'll put out choking gas for the aoe weakness too. Also, D/P is by far the tankiest thief setup there is.

I do have to correct the OP on one point though. Shadow shot is a great opener, especially against elites. It's a 5 second blind, instead of a 3 second blind. I find that mobs with larger models are often able to attack me without stepping into black powders aoe field, even if I catch them with it at first. Often, the blind will wear off before their next attack. So i'll open with 3, let auto attack apply poison while i wait for them to use the first blind, THEN i'll drop black powder.


But seriously? Every D/P skill being inferrior to D/D for single target? Lets evaluate that. Skill 1, the same.... Skill 2, the same... Skill 3, well, for DP it's single target blind gap closer, for DD it's aoe.... so no. Skill 4, for DP it's an interupt for DD its.... aoe again.... Ah, but the last skill. For DP it's a persistent smoke field that applies blind about 3 times with negligible damage. For DD its a cloak that does just as much damage as a heart seeker when the target is below 50% health. yeah, sure, at face value it seems better, until you realize that if you heart seeker inside black powder, you get the same amount of damage, you still get the cloak, and you get 3 blinds. Nope, sorry.... not seeing it.

And for those of you who are going to try to say that DD is better dps because deathblossom is a good single target attack, no. Just no. I get the same DPS from cluster bomb for less INI and, AND, it's a blast finisher. GG.

Every single skill for D/D does more damage than D/P Including comparing Shadow Shot to Death Blossom and Headshot to Dancing Dagger. Despite the D/D skills affecting multiple targets, they still do more damage to a single target than their D/P equivalents.

A single blind from Shadow Shot is functionally equivalent to a single dodge from Death Blossom, only the blind does less damage and can't be used to evade AoE or spell damage.

You want to say that Black Powder (6) + Heartseeker (3) is LESS ini to get a backstab than Cloak/Dagger (6)? Really? Even if you manage to get two Back Stabs in the 4s Black Powder field duration (Which is hard mind you) they only just break even on ini to backstab, and C/D does more damage than Heartseeker at every bracket except for 0-25% execute range. Dagger mainhand damage output is hugely reliant on Backstab + Hidden Killer.

No one is arguing that Black Powder is excellent UTILITY and the primary reason anyone goes /P at all, but from a pure single target DPS perspective D/D is higher than D/P.

I'm not even sure where you're going off comparing Cluster Bomb to Death Blossom in a discussion of D/P vs D/D. I'm just going to assume you haven't read any of your skills and are going off "feel," rather than what's accurate in reality.

Edited by dreamex, 24 September 2012 - 01:17 AM.


#11 SpelignErrir

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:21 AM

Shadow shot isn't a damage skill. It's a blind and a gap closer. Comparing it with DB is like comparing a foot to a panda.

And as for the cloak and dagger vs black powder/hs, with black powder and hs, you get more than just a backstab. It's not difficult to get a full auto attack chain, plus the damage from HS, then a backstab. In that time, you'll have regained about 5 initiative assuming you have 15 points in critical strikes.

I hope that all skills scale like I think I do, because this next part won't make sense to anyone that doesn't have my stats if they don't. In any case...

Cloak and Dagger - 4 initiative, you can probably get 2 back by the time you're out of stealth. Vulnerability and about 3x auto attack damage, then backstab for about 4x auto attack damage (7x total). You won't be able to stealth again for a few seconds and are totally exposed unless you want to waste a bunch of initiative to spam DB, which means you won't be able to perform more backstabs or you'll lose a bunch of hp. 7x (Let's say 8 because of the vuln) auto attack damage for about 2 initiative over 4 seconds. You have to either run and wait to be able to stealth again or DB spam your initiative away, leaving you open to get owned afterwards. Better hope that another 2 death blossoms can kill your enemy, or thpppbbbttttt.

Also, C/D misses. You waste initiative if it doesn't land, which means you don't get the 2 initiative back from infusion of shadow (which I assume you have because we're talking about backstabs). That sucks.

BP/HS - 6 + 1 initiative, about 3-4 initiative from regen over time and attacking. You're essentially invulnerable for 4 seconds, in which time you can unleash a chain of auto attacks (1x, 1.5x + 10 endurance regen, 1.5x + 2s poison that does 1.5x auto attack damage for a total of 5.5x + 10 endurance regen and a lot more healing from sig of malice). HS for 2x (assuming the target has more than 50% hp) auto attack damage and get a stealth, then a backstab for 4x auto attack damage. 11.5x auto attack damage for a cost of around 4 initiative over about 6 seconds. You can set up a black powder up again immediately after and start another by the time it wears off, so you'll never be taking much damage, if any at all. All damage received will be healed by signet of malice.

So yes. Dual dagger will start out with more burst damage, but D/P's survivability and sustained ability to deal damage makes it more effective overall.

Also thanks Data for the compliment to my writeup c:

Edited by SpelignErrir, 24 September 2012 - 01:26 AM.


#12 dreamex

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:11 AM

View PostSpelignErrir, on 24 September 2012 - 01:21 AM, said:

Shadow shot isn't a damage skill. It's a blind and a gap closer. Comparing it with DB is like comparing a foot to a panda.

And as for the cloak and dagger vs black powder/hs, with black powder and hs, you get more than just a backstab. It's not difficult to get a full auto attack chain, plus the damage from HS, then a backstab. In that time, you'll have regained about 5 initiative assuming you have 15 points in critical strikes.

I hope that all skills scale like I think I do, because this next part won't make sense to anyone that doesn't have my stats if they don't. In any case...

Cloak and Dagger - 4 initiative, you can probably get 2 back by the time you're out of stealth. Vulnerability and about 3x auto attack damage, then backstab for about 4x auto attack damage (7x total). You won't be able to stealth again for a few seconds and are totally exposed unless you want to waste a bunch of initiative to spam DB, which means you won't be able to perform more backstabs or you'll lose a bunch of hp. 7x (Let's say 8 because of the vuln) auto attack damage for about 2 initiative over 4 seconds. You have to either run and wait to be able to stealth again or DB spam your initiative away, leaving you open to get owned afterwards. Better hope that another 2 death blossoms can kill your enemy, or thpppbbbttttt.

Also, C/D misses. You waste initiative if it doesn't land, which means you don't get the 2 initiative back from infusion of shadow (which I assume you have because we're talking about backstabs). That sucks.

BP/HS - 6 + 1 initiative, about 3-4 initiative from regen over time and attacking. You're essentially invulnerable for 4 seconds, in which time you can unleash a chain of auto attacks (1x, 1.5x + 10 endurance regen, 1.5x + 2s poison that does 1.5x auto attack damage for a total of 5.5x + 10 endurance regen and a lot more healing from sig of malice). HS for 2x (assuming the target has more than 50% hp) auto attack damage and get a stealth, then a backstab for 4x auto attack damage. 11.5x auto attack damage for a cost of around 4 initiative over about 6 seconds. You can set up a black powder up again immediately after and start another by the time it wears off, so you'll never be taking much damage, if any at all. All damage received will be healed by signet of malice.

So yes. Dual dagger will start out with more burst damage, but D/P's survivability and sustained ability to deal damage makes it more effective overall.

Also thanks Data for the compliment to my writeup c:

There isn't any argument against Black Powder being a very strong utility spell.

The problem is that it's not efficient to use D/P and single tank mobs in Black Powder when you can either A.) Blow them up using D/D or B.) pull 3-4 of them and cleave them using S/P.

You're wasting efficiency and potential as well as killing power by going D/P instead.

#13 SpelignErrir

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:18 AM

Are you...going to back your argument up?

#14 dreamex

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:44 AM

View PostSpelignErrir, on 24 September 2012 - 02:18 AM, said:

Are you...going to back your argument up?

Sure, if you assume dagger 1 is 2x min then damage approximations are:

Dagger chain is 2, 1.5, 1.5, 0.9 poison for 5.9 total scaling to one target.

Sword chain is 1.5, 1.5, 2.3 for 5.3 total scaling to 3 targets.

BP/HS/Backstab is 9 Initiative for 2.6 + 4.2 or 6.88 to a single target again.

C&D/Backstab is 6 Initiative for the same 6.88 to a single target.

Death Blossom is 5 Initiative for 3.2 + 6.7 Bleed to multiple targets (lets just assume 1 for D/D comparison)

You lose out on the BP pulsing blind, but assuming you alternate C/D and DB based on available initiative and Recently Revealed Debuff your damage output is much higher for less initiative in both cases.

Pistol Whip is 5 initiative for 5.45 to 3 targets.

Against single targets, if you don't have enough endurance to dodge major attacks and use C/D every time you can stealth with DB to fill in initiative gaps (which is more damage than keeping Black Powder up obviously) then you're not very good at dodging.

Black Powder tanking is incredibly inefficient for single targets when you could be using S/P to cleave instead, total sword chain inside of a black powder is 31.8 effective min damage, since you can complete two whole chains, without using any extra initiative other than Black Powder, which you can chain indefinitely with 20 acrobatics and Quick Recovery along with Infiltrator's Signet.

Yes it's possible that C/D can miss, but that is fairly rare in PvE as mobs do not evade or dodge...

Edited by dreamex, 24 September 2012 - 02:48 AM.


#15 Rachmani

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 03:25 AM

As much as I like D/P, I'm with dreamex here.
In short, since the heartseeker nerf D/P lacks a distinguishing attack to be worthwhile for the damage it brings. Now, granted it's not a bad set, and quite tanky, but all in all it's a dmg/utility hybrid that lacks a good damage skill.
Apart from that the dagger is a rather mobile weapon, while the offhand pistol is quite stationary.
Not a big flaw, but compared to sword/pistol it just doesn't synergise that well.

D/D on the other hand has lots of mobility, good synergy and no problem to control multiple mobs (I know, SB, but at least where I'm farming I rarely fight only one mob at the same time, and D/D against 2 mobs is faster than SB. 3+ SB time... ).

#16 BakaB

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 04:33 PM

Sorry, but its been pointed out over and over that S/P brings much more to the table then D/P (condition removal, PBAoE, evasion). I really don't get where this 'clumsy' stigma about S/P comes from.  

The only amazing part about D/P is the Black Powder - Heartseeker - Backstab combo but you'd probably be better off just Pistol Whipping twice.

Is it boring? Yes. But that shouldn't be a factor if we're evaluating which build is better (dps & ability to survive)

Edited by BakaB, 24 September 2012 - 04:40 PM.


#17 Alzun

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 05:01 PM

View PostBakaB, on 24 September 2012 - 04:33 PM, said:

Sorry, but its been pointed out over and over that S/P brings much more to the table then D/P (condition removal, PBAoE, evasion). I really don't get where this 'clumsy' stigma about S/P comes from.  

The only amazing part about D/P is the Black Powder - Heartseeker - Backstab combo but you'd probably be better off just Pistol Whipping twice.

Is it boring? Yes. But that shouldn't be a factor if we're evaluating which build is better (dps & ability to survive)
Pretty much this.  Why do people say S/P is clumsy?  Cause the auto-attack is slow?  Also, the S mainhand 1 skill hits  a HECK of a lot harder than the dagger 1 skill, even with the poison.  (At level 80) I routinely crit for 3k damage on the last skill in the 1 skill chain.  1.5k to 2k is very easy to achieve on the first two strikes as well.  S/P does everything D/P does but better, except for getting into stealth.  Also, the last auto-attack skill applies Weakness and Cripple, allowing you to easily stay on top of your target or land Pistol Whips, which hits very hard.
Also, don't diss the Sword 2 skill.  It's amazing and Shadow Shot doesn't even begin to compare.  Sure, SS is good for opening, but thats it.  Infiltrator's Strike offers a gap closer with an immobilze and a 1200 range stun breaker with condition removal.

#18 Maxtofunator

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 05:14 PM

I don't understand at all how you think that D/D is a condition damage weapon only. The same thing could be said for P/D, which is an excellent weaponset for condition damage in my opinion, but backstab on D/D is such high damage, I'm level 80 in most 60 gear and I crit for around 5k damage every couple of seconds if I do it right, and still have ini to save to death blossom out of bad areas or throw a dancing dagger and HS spam as well if I need to make ground fast and dont want to switch weapons in combat to my shortbow.
Don't get me wrong, I agree that D/P is an excellent weapon set, just you seem to be overlooking the other strength in D/D, free access to a stealth skill so you can use different utilities or heal skills and still get what you want.

#19 abzoluut

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 05:45 PM

I think there are numerous threads duscussing D/P (sorry to use the acronym which makes you giggle). I would check them out before saying P/D puts everything else to shame. We would like an example, something like: "I did this boss with D/P and D/D. D/P came out on top because...."

I myself find D/P, for single target usage, very usable on random mobs (trash in dungeons for example). When it comes to playing in dungeons ex mode, not so much. I'd play it on bosses which I know are doable staying melee range which aren't an awful lot.

I suggest you keep messing around with your build. At your level there isn't much you can do in terms of tweaking. Later on you will notice how everything synergizes or don't go together that well.

Toughness, why? Are you planning to tank mobs taking hits? On a more serious note, it's nice to have a Toughness bonus since you have points in Shadow Arts. I would certainly not build towards it. Shadow Arts is a waste of points when thinking PvE according to me. I can't see how it's viable (I'm talking lvl 80). So if anyone has a build around this tree, let us know!

You don't play SB?

Edited by abzoluut, 24 September 2012 - 05:45 PM.


#20 Capn_Crass

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 06:05 PM

View PostBakaB, on 24 September 2012 - 04:33 PM, said:

I really don't get where this 'clumsy' stigma about S/P comes from.

I wouldn't say it's clumsy, but it's certainly static. IS is more fight control than mobility, and the rest of the skillset lends itself to standing in one place and pushing buttons as necessary. Also, S/P has no native access to stealth (not that it needs it), which further cements it as a "stand in one place and murder things or die trying" weapon set.

Mind you, I'm very happy that S/P is available and plays so differently from the other weapon sets; I'm just not a fan of it.

View PostBakaB, on 24 September 2012 - 04:33 PM, said:

Is it boring? Yes. But that shouldn't be a factor if we're evaluating which build is better (dps & ability to survive)

The problem is "better" is a pretty subjective term, even when discussing quantifiable things like DPS and incoming damage. Factor in things like enjoyment or engagement and you can pretty much toss "better" out the window. It's much better (*snicker*) to discuss comparative advantages/disadvantages than absolute "bests" any day.

#21 TGIFrisbie

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 06:10 PM

d/d is the best single target weapon for dps.  Period.  No other combo offers the burst dps, now if you want to crutch in some defense add a pistol or heck, dual pistols for kiting range.  d/d still has more dps.

#22 ugghe

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 06:57 PM

I have a couple videos demonstrating some.of the techniques mentioned here. For anyone interested in learning a bit more about D/P or a deeper look at deathblossom check these out.





#23 SpelignErrir

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:54 PM

View Postabzoluut, on 24 September 2012 - 05:45 PM, said:

I think there are numerous threads duscussing D/P (sorry to use the acronym which makes you giggle). I would check them out before saying P/D puts everything else to shame. We would like an example, something like: "I did this boss with D/P and D/D. D/P came out on top because...."

I myself find D/P, for single target usage, very usable on random mobs (trash in dungeons for example). When it comes to playing in dungeons ex mode, not so much. I'd play it on bosses which I know are doable staying melee range which aren't an awful lot.

I suggest you keep messing around with your build. At your level there isn't much you can do in terms of tweaking. Later on you will notice how everything synergizes or don't go together that well.

Toughness, why? Are you planning to tank mobs taking hits? On a more serious note, it's nice to have a Toughness bonus since you have points in Shadow Arts. I would certainly not build towards it. Shadow Arts is a waste of points when thinking PvE according to me. I can't see how it's viable (I'm talking lvl 80). So if anyone has a build around this tree, let us know!

You don't play SB?

I think I mentioned in the main post that I use SB for multiple targets...

The points I have in shadow arts are for Infusion of Shadow (returns 2 initiative on stealth) and Meld with Shadows. I suppose Meld isn't required, but I find it's somewhat difficult to position myself right behind my opponent with such a short stealth. I'm certainly not trying to build a tank thief, but the bit of bulk does help when I muck up and get hit.

View PostMaxtofunator, on 24 September 2012 - 05:14 PM, said:

I don't understand at all how you think that D/D is a condition damage weapon only. The same thing could be said for P/D, which is an excellent weaponset for condition damage in my opinion, but backstab on D/D is such high damage, I'm level 80 in most 60 gear and I crit for around 5k damage every couple of seconds if I do it right, and still have ini to save to death blossom out of bad areas or throw a dancing dagger and HS spam as well if I need to make ground fast and dont want to switch weapons in combat to my shortbow.
Don't get me wrong, I agree that D/P is an excellent weapon set, just you seem to be overlooking the other strength in D/D, free access to a stealth skill so you can use different utilities or heal skills and still get what you want.

Yeah, I recently began using D/D. I'm dishing out more damage, but I've grown used to having a blindness on my opponents and get carefree sometimes.

#24 abzoluut

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:50 AM

View PostSpelignErrir, on 25 September 2012 - 10:54 PM, said:

I think I mentioned in the main post that I use SB for multiple targets...

The points I have in shadow arts are for Infusion of Shadow (returns 2 initiative on stealth) and Meld with Shadows. I suppose Meld isn't required, but I find it's somewhat difficult to position myself right behind my opponent with such a short stealth. I'm certainly not trying to build a tank thief, but the bit of bulk does help when I muck up and get hit.



Toughness helps, of course. Is it worth swapping toughness for let's say precision or crit? No. I know it helps when the lvl 35 mob hits you with it's strongest attack. When doing dungeons you just don't want to get hit, toughness gives a too small advantage over any other stat you can get.

#25 DataPhreak

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:29 AM

Thank you for the video Ugghe.

View PostTGIFrisbie, on 24 September 2012 - 06:10 PM, said:

d/d is the best single target weapon for dps.  Period.  No other combo offers the burst dps, now if you want to crutch in some defense add a pistol or heck, dual pistols for kiting range.  d/d still has more dps.

Nobody ever said that DD doesn't have more dps. That doesn't make it the best single target weapon. I'm not going to argue that DD doesn't have it's place, but dps isn't everything. That being said, i'd never take DD over DP against ettins for example. DD is not the end all be all though. Lets break it down:

1. Kiting - Shortbow is king. if you think otherwise, you are wrong.
2. 3 or more targets - Short bow WILL have better dps from just spamming scatter bomb inside the poison field.
3. 2 targets - DD is more INI efficient, but shortbow is still going to put out higher dps.
4. PVP - DD wins here, hands down. S/P can perform, but it's immobility can be a liability. Nobody has ever presumed to state otherwise.

Which leaves single target mobs that are spaced out evenly. I'm sorry, but Skill 4 has longer range than steal (when neither are spec'd), with no cool down. Never getting hit means no downtime between mobs. It may take .5 seconds longer to kill a mob than DD, but being able to just teleport from one fight ot the next without stopping more than makes up for it in a 30 minute period. THIS is why the OP said that D/P is the best single target theif weapon. Not because it's the best DPS, but because it's better. And in all honesty, you're not sacrificing very much dps at all. Death blossom does less damage to single targets than auto attack. It does less damage per initiative to single targets than heart seeker. in fact, the only thing it does do is evade. Why would you use this for any other reason than evasion on a single target? Oooo... 10 seconds of bleed, big freaking deal. Mobs don't last more than 3 seconds. And if you're trying to stack bleed damage, shortbows scatter shot stacks bleed faster anyway. But seriously, dps vs. never taking damage, i'll take the immortality any day.

The only reason I would run DD/SB instead of DP/SB is for boss fights that are immune to blind, mobs that attack incredibly fast, or lots of ranged mobs. Or to put it more simply, dungeons. Even then, the DD would be my fallback weapon with the bow as primary putting down combo fields and applying aoe weakness and bleed.

One last thing, the HS nerf wasn't that bad.

#26 SpelignErrir

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:32 AM

View Postabzoluut, on 26 September 2012 - 12:50 AM, said:

Toughness helps, of course. Is it worth swapping toughness for let's say precision or crit? No. I know it helps when the lvl 35 mob hits you with it's strongest attack. When doing dungeons you just don't want to get hit, toughness gives a too small advantage over any other stat you can get.

I don't think you're getting my point. The trait points I have in shadow arts is for longer stealth and making stealth cost less initiative, not for the toughness. Reducing the cost for CD form 6 to 4 is worth 10 wasted points.

#27 Capn_Crass

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:59 AM

View PostDataPhreak, on 26 September 2012 - 01:29 AM, said:

1. Kiting - Shortbow is king. if you think otherwise, you are wrong.

I think you could make a pretty solid argument for P/D. Long-duration AoE cripple, comparable mobility, stealth, easy access to bleeds... SB has the advantage of flexibility, but strictly for kiting it's not so clear cut.

#28 DataPhreak

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 04:10 AM

View PostCapn_Crass, on 26 September 2012 - 02:59 AM, said:

Snicker-snack

All truth

#29 Deepsky88

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:43 AM

D/P maybe have less dps that D/D but have more utility, but i see here that trait "shadow embrace" is like unknow to you guys!
U can go area-blind every enemies near u with D/D too,yes only one time, not like black powder but we can enter stealth like every 3,5 secs plus u have more damage,i've tried D/P a lot (with shadow embrace too xd) and i've found my road with D/D plus shadow embrace,any opinions on this? (i liked a lot the playstile of D/P,but it seems like "same things with more time" respect of D/D)

EDIT:post above is only for PVE scenario;for PVP D/P is superior for me because shadow shot and black powder really make difference both against melee and ranged ones that are unpredictable (not like mobs).

Edited by Deepsky88, 13 November 2012 - 05:00 AM.


#30 Gaaroth

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:33 PM

if u are carefull with D/P here's a chain to be virtually immortal in a 1v1 encounter (pve side...in pvp foes tend to be...smarter :D)

ShadowShot > AA 'till a mob clears out blindness with an attack, then repeat. on low health kick HS
if 1vMany pop first BlindingPowder attacking first ranged foes.

Used that for 40 long lvls and had GREAT FUN....but then switched to S/D (partially cuz i wanted to learn well for pvp) and with coordination u can keep the same virtual immortality (perma daze instead of perma blind)

Why that?
-SwordAA is slowish but hits hard and the cripple+weakness on the #3 hit is really good. Look at the damage of a pistolwhip and a full SwordAA combo: ain't that lower ;)
-ShadowShot is better than Infiltrator'sStrike for gap closing but misses the StunBreaker + 1CondiRemoval so i prefered the latter.
-FlankingStrike is basically a ini based evade, don't treat that as a damage move, use it if u are out of endu or if u want to strip a boon and still making fair damage.
-DancingDagger hits like a truck if you are facing exactly 2 foes (2 hit each) + the cripple
-CnD...it's CnD...comboed with SwordAA,Infiltrator'sStrike and steal you havent hard times staying near targets, hits hard and hides you....

I'm testing out this set in dungeons and i'm not a blind whore anymore (xD) i'm turning myself to a daze-whore (except those cases where the boss as buffs like "resist next 3 CC" but even there i'm still usefull to strip those thinks)

Edited by Gaaroth, 13 November 2012 - 01:33 PM.






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