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Level 80 Thief - An Opinion on Weapons & Armor (Runes and Sigils)

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#1 Larkenis

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 07:23 AM

First of all, I write this mainly from the perspective of a level 80 thief, and thus, some concepts would not be applicable to leveling or beginner thieves.

I’ve taken a slightly different approach to gearing my thief, and have pretty much played with most trait specs. Before I get into the beef of my post, I’m thinking an elaboration of my gear choices would make the post clearer.

As of now, I’m wearing 5 pieces of Knight gear, 2 Valkryie, and 5 Berserker Jewels, and all my weapons are Berserker distributed (1 sword, 2 daggers, 2 pistols, and a shortbow) . I have an exotic Carrion set (for condition dmg) as well as a set of Carrion weapons (2 daggers).

As you can see, I have pretty much all the weapons I need to achieve all the combinations possible. I spec in 30 crit/20 Acro/20 Tricks distribution.

At 80, there’s probably a few things that a thief will be doing:
1.    Farming Orr Events
2.    Clearing maps for 100%
3.    Running Dungeons
4.    Orichalcum ore runs (?)
5.    WvWvW
6.    General arsing around J
7.    SPvP (I don’t do this at all, so discount my opinion for SPvP)

What I do the most is 1, 3 and 4.

1.    Farming Orr Events
Let’s face it. At this stage of the game, Dynamic Events are all about tagging as many mobs for loot as we can. I don’t usually ask for parties in a DE mob (although I recommend it), and I usually don’t have a problem tagging mobs with my shortbow in my current gear. The crit from my berserker and knight gear puts me near 55% crit, and my power resides around 1.9k, and although I recognize that my damage could be a lot higher if I went full berserker, I don’t find that damage all that beneficial. Others are trying to tag the mob, and I deal enough damage as it is. Berserker and Knight pieces synergize in precision, and Knight provides supplementary Power and Toughness (Toughness is hardly needed in DEs imo thought). Shortbow is pretty much all one needs for DEs, and a single target weapon set for Bosses (I use DD)

3.    Running Dungeons
Now, this is kind of a pain for me. I believe that glass cannons can survive pretty well in dungeons given the ability to dodge properly. But I find that toughness does help when you get hit, and the little bit of extra vit from the Valkyrie pieces, I put in as a buffer for reaction time when I am afflicted with conditions. (I would love to try glass cannon, which I am working towards atm, but I didn’t think it was a good set to start out with).

Weapon choices for running dungeons are slightly more complicated.
Sword/Pistol – I’m not a fan of pistol whip. It gives high damage numbers, which I always like. But the immobility is something I am not good at dealing with. What really shines for me for the S/P set is the on-demand conditions remover using 2. It means I can free up one utility slot (I use shadowstep when I go D/P, or D/D)

Dagger/Pistol – By far my safest set in dungeons. First of all, blinds are insanely good in dungeons for normal pulls (this applies to S/P too). But what I like about this is the ability to stealth in a cycle (5, 2, 1) – Blind, Heartseeker into Stealth, Backstab. Repeat. The drawbacks of this are that you spend more initiative than D/D stealth/backstab situations, which imo lowers your damage. But it is the all around spec for me – (3) acts as a distance closer,  (5) is defensive, (2) attacks and triggers most field combos, and (1), for its inherent backstab and autoattack. The main advantage of D/P over S/P is that D/P doesn’t lock you into the animation of Pistol Whip, and mobility imo is by far better in dungeon situations. (But this still means I gotta run Shadowstep for conditions removal)

Dagger/Dagger – my favorite set. I used to play a conditions build while leveling and when first hitting 80. Bleeds deal a lot of damage. But DB’s animations requires you to close in the boss, and lose control of your character for a few seconds, which I find somewhat deadly if I mistimed it. So I switched to a crit/backstab build. I hardly use DB anymore, but rather, I tend to focus on CnD, Backstab, Heartseeker and the snare from (4) is really useful. I also find that I use autoattack a lot more on this build than playing DB/conditions, which synergizes with certain trait choices I’ve made – mainly the 7% chance to recover init with autoattack from Trickery line. But the main problem I have with D/D is the lack of conditions removal, and possibly a higher skill curve (crippling  at the right time, timing stealth/revealed gaps etc.

Pistol/Pistol – I actually like this for most of the bosses. Now, I haven’t ran every dungeon so far, in fact I did probably around half of them. But I found that closing with the boss for melee combat is by  far, a dangerous thing to do. Pistol/Pistol is mainly used for (3), reasonable damage at range which works with my gear choices (focusing on power/precision/crit dmg with toughness thrown in), for only BOSS fights.

Pistol/Dagger – I never quite found a reason to use this at all. CnD/Auto attack is nice for the instant 5 stack of bleeds, but CnD requires you to melee hit the mob to go into stealth. Bleeds require condition gear to be effective. Now you see a problem, don’t you? CnD hits pretty hard if your power and crit is high enough, BUT, gearing for power/crit is not efficient for the bleeds that’s gonna come from stealth + (1). This applies vice versa. Another reason is that, if I’m willing to go in and CnD in melee range, I’d much rather just put a dagger in my mainhand as well for that huge backstab, which synergizes better in term of gear.

Shortbow is pretty much always equipped as an offset for sudden AOE requirements.


4.    Ori ore runs – This mainly revolves around me running around in Orr past mobs that cripple/hits and all sorts of nasty things to you. To be honest, this is but a minute part of annoyance, but I found that wearing that extra 6 pieces of Knight Gear – increases my survivability a lot; whatever they hit me for, I could keep running on, and heal to full with one signet of malice trigger (all the while in combat). I did the same with full Carrion gear, which works out fine too, but with the difference that carrion gives you a larger HP pool to work with, and to recover, it meant you have to go out of combat (my HP is not always full when I do the runs, as compared to the Knight set up). I believe the glass cannon set up doesn’t do this very well – I do run around with a  MF set, which doesn’t have toughness or vitality, which is pretty much the same as full Berserkers. Full Berserkers are awesome – when you are dealing damage. Not so much when what you want to do is run past the mobs (and there’s lots in Orr) to get to your precious Ori nodes. That 10k HP pool means there will be times when you’d be struggling survivability wise.

5.    WvWvW – The thing about WvWvW is, if your side has the bigger zerg, it doesn’t matter what weapon set you’re using (lol). As it happens, I’m currently on a server where we’re getting dominated by the opposition. And my goal (for this month anyway) was to get enough kills to finish the monthly completion. Now, when you have the smaller zerg, you’d never ever want to MELEE. In fact, you’d never want to get close to the other group.

a.    This means S/D, S/P, D/D, D/P is probably out. The Shortbow is alright, but due to the large distance you’d be (2)ing into, its relatively slow and easy to avoid.  (4) doesn’t work well for the same reason.


b.   What I did sometimes was to (5) into the crowd and start opening up Dagger Storm with Haste (which is pretty damaging to a lot of people, but leaves you in danger if the opposition is able to take the hits). Since then, I’ve improved on this tactic using Shadowstep (either from S/P, or the utility, Haste – Daggerstorm, Shadow Return back to safety). Which is good every 90  seconds or so. The rest of the time -


c.    I go with P/P – spamming 3 with haste can net you a few kills here and there (when you’re getting outnumbered and your only goal is pretty much to get the kills) and like I said, if you have the numbers, you can pretty much use any combinations.


d.   The toughness from Knight gear and some Vit from Valkyries means that you die slower, and in fact, I’ve been able to port out of danger several times after getting snared or poisoned. I do know that many think that going pure Vit is overrated and I agree. But having some Vit gives you breathing room against players who focus on conditions, which of course, isn’t an issue if you play swords. But I don’t.

Traits

Trait combinations is a whole new can of worms to open up. There can be so many combinations, and so many pros and cons to consider. Instead of giving a holistic view, I’ll opt to just give a summary on what I’m running at the moment.

30crit/20acrobat/20trickery

Crit – 5 stacks of might for 5 secs upon signet activation. Recovers 2 init upon activation. Executioner.
Acrobat  - 20 secs of might when dodging. Recovers 2 init every 10 seconds.
Trickery  - Grants might, swiftness and Fury when stealing for 10 secs. 7% chance to recover initiative from autoattack.

I’ve built my gear around one thing, Might stacks. I have moderate crit % at about 55%, and I do think that power scales the best (gut feeling, didn’t get sciency.)

My armor are slotted with Superior Runes of Strength:
(1) + power
(2) + 20% duration for Might buffs.
(3) + power
(4) 5% chance to get might upon getting hit
(5) + power
(6) +5% dmg when under the effects of might.

My weapons -
Dagger (1) : Superior sigil of strength (on crit 30% chance to gain might, tested ICD is 1 sec)
Dagger (2): Superior rune of accuracy 5% crit.
Sword : Major Rune of Fire
Pistol (1): Superior rune of accuracy
Pistol (2): Superior rune of rage (3 seconds haste on crit (10% chance) and ICD of 45 seconds).

As you can see, I’m almost always buffed with might stacks –
from signet activation,
from dodging (which I can do a lot with acrobatics + signet of precision),
from getting hit,
from one of my daggers
from stealing.

20% duration on all might buffs prolongs it, and while I’m under the effects, I get a constant 5% dmg increase.

I’m pretty much looking into synergy for weapon sigil choices –
Dagger/Dagger – going for huge hits, so I would find random applications of might stacks from the sigil would just increase my power more. Crit rune is to increase the chances of that proc, and largely because the first sigil would not work with any other rune with a cooldown (air, water, fire).

Sword/Pistol (1) – the thing that players go for when using S/P, is Pistol Whip.  The damage is amazing.  But you have to be in melee range. And used efficiently, you would be fighting 3 mobs at a time. Fire sounded good (aoe on crit). Rage would be really good in quickening the animation once in a while, but Fire cannot proc while rage is on cooldown (bit sucky to be honest).

Dagger (1)/ Pistol (1) – Same reason as Dagger/Dagger.

Pistol/Pistol – remember the only time I’d ever use P/P is on singular bosses where its dangerous to melee, and for WvWvW. This is where the random haste kicks in. (3) for P/P has an animation time, and when hasted, quite a large amount of damage in a short time. Granted I’d much rather go sigil of strength for the might stacks on one pistol but let’s face it. That sigil ain’t cheap J and I got my Rage sigil free (and I don't use P/P enough to justify replacing the Sigil). Besides, I could do Dagger (with crit chance)/ Pistol (with Rage) to do a hasted heartseeker spam :D

Summary:
Here, I’ve got a reasonably tanky thief, able to deal high dmg backstabs for single targets (granted not as high as pure berserker),  deal critting AOEs for tagging mobs in DEs, that can run through Orr ignoring mobs, all the while dodging (with swiftness) and at times, 20 stacks of mights that last 20% longer (depending on proc rate – 10 from 2 signet activations, a couple from procs and a couple from dodges – which in truth, I’ve only see up to 17 stacks self-buffed).

Initiative wise – To be honest, I do okay without the extra 3 init from Trickery. But it does help in terms of short fights – there are times when I get really lazy and just throw dancing daggers at 2 mobs standing next to each other, and the bounces pretty much kills them. That extra 3 init from the start lets you throw an extra dagger, which can end the fight before you even close in, which is always nice.

Another reason is thefact that I’m running a pretty high initiative recovery build. Signets give me 2 init every 12 seconds, and I have 3 of them on (Malice, Precision and the %25 run speed). Acrobatics gives me 2 init every 10 seconds. Steal gives 3 init every 40 seconds. And since I do use auto attack a lot, and with 50% odd crit, I trigger the 20% chance on crit to recover init a lot, and that 7% to recover init on autoattack. In short, my initiative recovery can come in bursts of 4-5 every now and then. Being traited in Critical Strikes would mean that you deal 10% more damage  when your init is over 6, which is extreme hard to manage without capping initiative wastefully (without that extra 3 init cap from Trickery).

Much thanks to Minion and The Shadowed –

I’ve used Minion’s guide as a leveling build, and played as conditions D/D Shortbow, which was awesome, but didn’t quite cut it as an all-around build for my playstyle. Invincible is the right word to use for his build while leveling – I hardly died pulling 5-6 to bleed when I used it. The only reason I stopped using it was because how DEs worked in Orr – bleeding is just not as efficient for tagging mobs compared to  outright damage from shortbows. And with the situation on my server, bleeds and burns are a no no given just how many players are camping certain events. You can find Minion’s guide here for a great leveling experience.

http://www.guildwars...le-thief-build/

The Shadowed has a great writeup on the weapon choices, and I agree with most of his points, which is why I didn’t write general benefits of the different weapon combinations, but rather the specific situations that I use them in. Anyone looking for a introduction into the class should read it at
http://www.guildwars...-a-basic-guide/

Edited by Larkenis, 29 September 2012 - 07:26 AM.


#2 Quack530

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:40 AM

Dude, you mentioned needing to run Shadowstep for condition removal.  THe precision signet is great condition removal in dungoens.  TY SOOO much for your experience.  I've been looking for someone mentioning what they think is worth it in thief stats.  Many people write guides on how to spec thieves, but they themselves haven't, yet, obtained their full exotic set, so their advice basically is based on their experience with less-than-optimal gear.  Thank you very much for this guide.

#3 Larkenis

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 03:08 AM

I do run with signet of agility all the time, and I agree its great condition removal. But I often find that for condition heavy fights, I get afflicted more often than I can remove it with the signet, which is why I only run Shadowstep in dungeons and WvWvW. Basically, I get 2-3 rounds of removal (Signet first -> Shadowstep as a failsafe -> be extra cautious until signet cooldowns -> fight normally and remove as needed).

Of course, if you choose to use sword/pistol or sword/dagger (who would? lol), then condition removal is pretty much on demand, which is really awesome. But I do prefer mobility + utility, which brings me to dagger/pistol. I play safe and for survival over high dps, because the group I usually run with are numbnuts (my friends) who focus purely on dps. Thus, a need for self sufficiency and possibly be the one who resses everyone else.

I'd prefer to be running signets of shadow and agility all the time - mainly because it gives me 5 stacks of might every 12 seconds on activation, and recovers 2 initiative each too. But I find Shadowstep immensely  useful for survival in dungeons, which is why I mentioned it. That 25% run speed out of combat isn't going to help in a boss fight, nor is the blind a clutch factor. Conditions removal on the other hand, could be a deciding factor between life and death.

#4 DataPhreak

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 04:43 AM

Great freaking guide! I'm glad to see someone take a more practical approach to thief as opposed to all the glass cannon sPvP nubbery running around right now. Also, you pick the weapon combo based on situation, as opposed to minmaxing damge. It seems like sometimes D/D is the only thing that exists for theif and everyone ignores the massive situational advantage that thieves have access to by changing their weapons out.  Although you did cover it a bit, I would like to see a subsection on Utility skills. Not necessarily all of them, but an overview of the good ones. I use ambush trap, smoke screen, caltrops, shadow refuge, haste, and signet of shadows, and swap between them all as the mood/situation dictates. I also switch back and forth between Thieve's guild and dagger storm. Would like to see your take on it.

#5 Larkenis

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:11 AM

View PostDataPhreak, on 30 September 2012 - 04:43 AM, said:

Great freaking guide! I'm glad to see someone take a more practical approach to thief as opposed to all the glass cannon sPvP nubbery running around right now. Also, you pick the weapon combo based on situation, as opposed to minmaxing damge. It seems like sometimes D/D is the only thing that exists for theif and everyone ignores the massive situational advantage that thieves have access to by changing their weapons out.  Although you did cover it a bit, I would like to see a subsection on Utility skills. Not necessarily all of them, but an overview of the good ones. I use ambush trap, smoke screen, caltrops, shadow refuge, haste, and signet of shadows, and swap between them all as the mood/situation dictates. I also switch back and forth between Thieve's guild and dagger storm. Would like to see your take on it.

This wasn't actually intended to be a guide, but thank you for the compliment. I'm no expert on utilities, mainly because I tend to stick to what works for me. I did use almost all of those that you've mentioned, with the except of smoke screen and caltrops. I heard good things about both of those, but they just never fitted into my playstyle.

Open World
While running out in the open world, I opt for 2 signets (Shadows (25% run speed) and Agility - removes conditions and that extra endurance on trigger, which synergizes with my might buff on dodge). My third is almost always Shadow Refuge - useful for ending combat if I bit off more than I could chew in a fight, or just a lazy man's tool for mining orichalcum ores undisturbed without having to clear the area of mobs. The precision from signet of Agility is beneficial to my build too.

Dungeon
I run with Shadowstep if I'm using dagger/pistol, Signet of Agility as a dps buff, condition removal and to allow me to dodge very often, which I found very useful in most boss fights. The third, Shadow Refuge again - which I believe every thief should run with in any dungeon, to revive downed allies undisturbed.

Elites
Dagger Storm - I typically keep this on while I explore anywhere, and for DEs. It's one of the best mob tagging AOEs which allows me to rack up stacks of power from my sigil of strength, or magic find from lucky. When clearing lower level maps, going into a crowded spawn area could finish up one quest in about 10 seconds (rare, but it happens).

Thieves' Guild - I switch to this in all dungeons (pulls in dungeons typically don't go over 3 mobs (silver) and even if its largely normal mobs, the shortbow AOE is more than enough in any case) and for open world fights such as single target events (skill point fights mainly).

My thoughts: Thieves' Guild is extremely good, but only in situations where you know you won't be fighting a swarm. The cooldown difference in both abilities is why I run with Dagger Storm most of the time; Dagger Storm is just there more often when you need it (for clearing mobs/tagging in DEs). Even if you do not anticipate situations accurately, dagger storm's cripple, bleed gives you some breathing room when paired with signet of malice's healing, and allows you to outpace melee mobs for a while.

Dagger storm in dungeons, on the other hand, while still viable, is not as beneficial. A typical 3 mob pull would take some damage from the aoe, but I don't think it is particularly optimized.

Ambush Trap - I ran with this while leveling for some time - the problem with ambush trap is that it is difficult to trigger it sometimes, especially when concerning ranged mobs. I had ran dungeons where I laid a trap down and had it not trigger for the whole fight due to the mob just chasing other players (which sometimes, can't be controlled or coordinated without some effort).

Caltrops - I believe this works very well for bleed builds, but I don't think the cripple is particularly much in terms of utility - D/D has a cripple (which is what most condition builds would use*), Shortbow has a cripple, and dagger storm has a cripple. In terms of damage, I would think that bleeds could come from else if you're a conditions build, and if you're a backstab build like me, I wouldn't bother with caltrops - I need to be in melee range, so I don't kite. I focus on power/crit, and my bleeds wouldn't deal much.

*unless you go P/D, where I think caltrops would be good - (3) ports your thief away and caltrops seem like a good idea then

Haste - I only use this in PvP so far. I don't believe in burst damage in this game - Bosses have too much HP to be dented on a burst every long cooldown, normal mobs would die in a short while anyway given the thief's damage. PVP on the other hand, rocks with haste. A hasted dagger storm is - woosh. Hasted pistol whip, or the double pistol dual skill, could kill an opponent easily in 1 cooldown.

Blinding Powder - This is great utility imo. However, if I require blind, a constant source would come from an offhand pistol, rather than a 60 second cooldown. And as for stealthing my allies, I prefer Shadow Refuge, which is on a shorter cooldown, provides a lifesteal, and heals my downed companions. Only applicable in clutch situations in PVP, which I don't do much - it seems that I hardly have a need for it, and when I do need it, I probably don't have it available. That brings down the value of it imo.

One thing I  would have to mention is the use of Assasin's Signet - it provides a nice boost to power, as well as the trigger effect of 150% of the normal attack for the next blow, which seems like a good choice for the critty, backstab thief I am. However, I don't use it - reason being 45 secs for one huge hit is not dependable for me in PVE - bosses last too long, overkill for normal mobs. And there is the consideration that it has a longer cooldown than Shadow and Agility (45 seconds vs 30 seconds). I get 5 stacks of might and 2 initiative on triggering a signet. I want to trigger as many signets as I can as fast as I can, which rules out Assassin's.

Honestly though, talking about utilities and slight nuances of trait builds is a whole new can of worms which cannot be analysed in a 1 page post, especially  when referencing what a player can be doing in the GW2 world. DEs, Dungeons, Farm runs all require different set ups, build, gear, weapon wise to be optimal, which is honestly a hassle.

What I aim for is a build that is sub-optimal, but all rounded that can be tweaked to most situations. I.e. I only switch out utilities and elites. And one thing I do sometimes is switch out Executioner in critical strikes to Hidden Killer where I'm downscaled to a point where my crit chance isn't too hot. A guaranteed crit from stealth essentially lets me 2 shot a mob in a 10-30 zone.

Honorable mention - one thing I'm very interested in, but haven't a slightest clue about is a Venomshare build. I'm sure there are some uses of Venom that can be really effective, but I really just haven't been able to fit it into my playstyle, or even how it works. But I'm sure it's pretty interesting.

#6 chinmi

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:47 PM

gonna sub for further reference... gonna try the built here asap :)

#7 awesomedor

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:35 PM

Which armor pieces were knight and which ones were valkyrie?
Great guide by the way, will be useful for me.

#8 Larkenis

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 02:34 AM

View Postawesomedor, on 30 September 2012 - 07:35 PM, said:

Which armor pieces were knight and which ones were valkyrie?
Great guide by the way, will be useful for me.

I wrote the thing offhand, and I'm afraid I got the numbers slightly wrong. I have 5 pieces of Knight Armor (only pants is Valkyrie) and 3 pieces of Berserker Jewellery (Amulet, 1 ring, 1 Earring), 1 Knight Earring, 1 Valk Ring, if you want me to be specific. Its a little random, and I feel that there is no requirement to follow the distribution exactly - the deciding factor is how much of a middle ground you want:

i.e. You want higher damage with some tankiness without the need for some HP buffer and feel comfortable with it, go for 6 Knight Armors, and 5 Berserker Jewellery pieces. Add Valk if you want more HP, as you wish.

#9 Getcapefly

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:16 PM

Such a comprehensive guide. I assume your gear isn't exotic, and you only have an exotic carrion set? I would like to hear how going glass-cannon fares for you while in dungeons.

#10 Larkenis

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 03:04 AM

View PostGetcapefly, on 04 October 2012 - 11:16 PM, said:

Such a comprehensive guide. I assume your gear isn't exotic, and you only have an exotic carrion set? I would like to hear how going glass-cannon fares for you while in dungeons.

Actually, no. All of my gear is exotic. I mentioned the carrion gear specifically as a fair nod to having tried a condition build at 80 with half condition gear.

As far as glass cannons go, I believe you should check out Zerj's DPS thread. I'm running 5 Knight, 4 Berserker and 2 Valkyries in armor and jewels and berserker for all weapons. So far its doing fine.

But if you're good in dodges and evades, I believe a full glass cannon will do fine too.

#11 Getcapefly

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 11:31 AM

I have seen Zerj's thread as well, but you said somewhere that you were going to try it, which is why i said what i said. Its nice to have more perspectives.

I did read your guide fully, and twice, so i know what your gear is, and i know you said you thought full glass cannon is capable. You didn't specifically say your gear was exotic, you just said your carrion set was. Possibly silly for me to ask, but i am unsure whether or not rares or even 78 exotics are fine in dungeons.

I left my response short yesterday as it was getting late and i was rushing to come offline.

You mentioned that you feel the Dagger/Pistol being the safest of all, what would your idea be using that weapon-set, or would you stick with how you are now? There's another person that uses this weapon-set, so again, just looking for another perspective.

Edited by Getcapefly, 05 October 2012 - 11:41 AM.


#12 Rachmani

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 12:24 PM

You won't notice a difference between lvl 78 exotics or lvl 80 rares and the 80 exotics most of the time.
They do make a difference but in my experience "group wise" (5 chars in lvl 80 exotic compared to 5 chars in lvl 80 rare).
Our ranger for example can't decide on which gear to craft. So he's still in lvl 80 rares (sitting on top of 100 globs) and we rarely get into trouble.

#13 Larkenis

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 01:03 PM

View PostGetcapefly, on 05 October 2012 - 11:31 AM, said:

I have seen Zerj's thread as well, but you said somewhere that you were going to try it, which is why i said what i said. Its nice to have more perspectives.

I did read your guide fully, and twice, so i know what your gear is, and i know you said you thought full glass cannon is capable. You didn't specifically say your gear was exotic, you just said your carrion set was. Possibly silly for me to ask, but i am unsure whether or not rares or even 78 exotics are fine in dungeons.

I left my response short yesterday as it was getting late and i was rushing to come offline.

You mentioned that you feel the Dagger/Pistol being the safest of all, what would your idea be using that weapon-set, or would you stick with how you are now? There's another person that uses this weapon-set, so again, just looking for another perspective.

Berserker vs. Knight in Dungeons
Ah, I see where the confusion comes from. I mentioned the carrion gear specifically because I didn't feel like I had given the condition dmg build a fair shake, and was no longer going to build for it. To clarify, my the rest of my gear (armor, jewels and weapons) are all exotics.

I've actually made my Berserker gear - and I must say that I do enjoy the big hits. Like I've mentioned earlier - being glass cannon typically requires you to know when to evade and dodge.

The difference between full berserker and the choice to add knight  and valk pieces largely chalks down to one point - the normal mobs in dungeons. The toughness definitely does help for the silver mob pulls where I feel comfortable going in with pistol whip and generally be locked in that attack animation, taking some damage if it happens. On the other hand, being in full berserker still requires me to pay attention to the silver mob pulls - a mistake can still lead to me being downed rather easily.

What toughness generally helps with is the stray hits from bosses and the relatively normal mobs. I think you'd find that certain abilities of bosses is meant to kill if it hits at all (and meant to be totally dodged), with or without toughness/additional HP. I found full Berserker manageable, but I do find myself downed a little more occasionally should I adopted a 'charge in and spam pistol whip approach', whereas on half Knight's, I can 'charge in and spam pistol whip' and retreat should I start taking a reasonable amount of dmg and follow it up with a safer approach and heal up before charging in again.

The thing I debate the most is the actual gain from going full glass cannon - largely because if the thief was squishy, there would simply be a higher chance of you ending up downed/dead vs actually dealing damage. If you can stay in the fight (in both boss fights and other dungeon pulls) in full Berserker gear without getting downed much/dead much, I'd say go for full glass cannon. That Knight gear is not going to make much of a difference for bosses, but noticeable for other fights. If you find yourself needing a revive  more often than not, I'd suggest some HP and toughness. As it is, the players I run with typically requires me to stay alive more often than not to revive them (on normal dungeon pulls no less), which is why I opt to run with toughness gear most of the time.

Dagger Pistol
I might actually spec differently if I intended to run with D/P as my main weapon set, but to be honest, I haven't given it much thought. The reason being that I went with a build that is relatively well rounded for most weapon sets, but probably not optimized for all of them. So to answer your question, personally, I would just stick with what I have at the moment for convenience's sake. Generally power/precision/crit dmg is pretty well rounded - you could use s/p, d/d (minus death blossom), d/p and p/p without much loss in the damage department.

I said d/p is the safest mainly due to 2 reasons. 1. Blinding Powder 2. The mobility of the dagger mainhand as compared to a sword. The main aim of a pistol offhand is for that consistent blind. Having a pistol offhand with a sword mainhand often means you'd be spamming BP and PW, which could leave me initiative starved for one, and locked into PW's animation for another. Autoattack wise, daggers is much better than swords in terms of single target dmg. In fact, when going d/p, the only thing I'd do in groups is Blinding Powder, Heartseeker into stealth (if I can spare the intiative), and backstab. Auto attack deals a good amount of damage even if I decide not to HS -> backstab.

Against bosses, I'd actually just go for full berserker dagger/pistol as 1 set, and dual pistols as your ranged set. In cases where you have to go full ranged for a single target fight, shortbow isn't good, neither any other set. Dual pistols spamming 3 probably scales the best until you figure out how to engage in melee without dying. That extra toughness isn't going to help you if you don't dodge when you need to. And I find going into melee range can be quite dangerous unless you've already learnt the fight. (3) in p/p can be quite effective in terms of damage when you find meleeing to be dangerous. D/P will deal lesser damage than D/D due to the higher initiative required to cycle backstabs, so I'm wondering what effect does blindness have on most bosses at the moment to consider going D/D and P/P.

Lastly, Rachmani is right about the 80 rares and 78 exotics. It was previous calculated (not by me) that exotics are generally 13% stronger than rares of the same level. As it stands, 80 exotics > 78 exotics > 80 rares in terms of stats. I ran dungeons fine in rare gear. Exotic level gear helped in increasing the damage dealt, but I wouldn't say that they're a clutch factor (i.e. if the group doesn't dodge properly in boss fights in rares and dies, giving them exotics probably changes nothing).

Edited by Larkenis, 05 October 2012 - 01:04 PM.


#14 Getcapefly

Getcapefly

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 01:03 PM

View PostRachmani, on 05 October 2012 - 12:24 PM, said:

You won't notice a difference between lvl 78 exotics or lvl 80 rares and the 80 exotics most of the time.
They do make a difference but in my experience "group wise" (5 chars in lvl 80 exotic compared to 5 chars in lvl 80 rare).
Our ranger for example can't decide on which gear to craft. So he's still in lvl 80 rares (sitting on top of 100 globs) and we rarely get into trouble.

That's good news for me. I couldn't decide what to buy to begin with, and was looking at how others play prior to taking a gamble and buying level 80 exotics, but now i know, i can a mixture of 78 exotics and even have enough to buy them for my two alts. :D





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