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Looking for feedback on this Condition setup

necromancer condition pve

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#1 Reverse Ghost

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:26 AM

Update: please see my most recent attempt

http://intothemists....JG6jwmAjwmA2VFB

A continuous work in progress, but this is what I have so far. Now I'm only level 52 at the moment, so a lot of this is theory right now, for me personally at least. Plague Form's conditions just don't last long enough for me to want to use it, so I went with the Lich.

I know that combining a focus on conditions with Death Shroud is a little weird, but I really like both of those aspects of the Necromancer and I'm not worried about total optimization. I could certainly see myself putting some more into Power if that's going to be a big deal with Life Blast.

In flux right now is my #7 slot. Really anything could go there so I'm open to suggestions as long as there's reasons behind them. Same goes for the Major Traits, some of them can obviously be switched.

I went with Runes of the Undead on my armor because I thought the extra durability could come in handy at higher levels. Same goes for the amulet and jewel, but of course my focus is PvE so those are just there to help give me an idea of what stats I want to increase. I don't know if you can achieve similar results through PvE gear but I assume so.

Sigils are pretty standard fare as far as I know. I very rarely end up using the Staff when I'm out adventuring so I figured a weapon swap sigil that gave some more damage seemed nice. Same goes for underwater weapons.

Well just let me know what you think. Like I said I'm really into using both conditions and being able to pop into Death Shroud with relative ease and frequency.

Edited by Reverse Ghost, 16 November 2012 - 03:58 PM.

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#2 Bloggi

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:17 AM

Agree that the combination of DS and conditions is quite unorthodox, but in PvE a lot of builds will work and I think it's a matter of building something that would be more fun for you to use. I personally would dislike using a cookie cutter build just because it's popular or considered the 'most powerful' for its time. DS is one of those neglected areas of the necro. Virtually all necros should and probably will know the basics of when and how to use it, but very few would trait in the SR line.

Have you considered perhaps removing the 10 points in BM and piling them into SR instead to gain access to Strength of Undeath and Near to Death? That could give you more damage and a greater ability to DS dance in a setup that would be generating a reasonable degree of life force. The choice of #7 utility is a tough one. I can see where you're going with the life force generation of that signet however, and it's a reasonable support skill in some situations (except it's very slow to cast). Other things you could consider are Spectral Walk and Spectral Armor (don't really like the long cd on this one), and trait Spectral Mastery. Or if you still want to remain in DS for even longer, take Vital Persistence.

I've generally found the damage from Life Blast to be pretty poor in a build not traiting heavily into Spite, but you may have got that covered with the might stacks from BiP, plus Master of Corruption to gain those might stacks more quickly.

With the weapon sigils it would probably boil down to personal choice, but I'm not a big fan of the ones that build up 'on kill'. Have you considered perhaps Sigil of Battle on the scepter to build up more might stacks? Or maybe Sigil of Agony? We'd need to test if the bleed duration from BiP is also increased (which I suspect will be the case) if you have Sigil of Agony on your active weapon at the time of casting.

#3 Reverse Ghost

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:26 AM

View PostXekk, on 09 November 2012 - 07:17 AM, said:

Have you considered perhaps removing the 10 points in BM and piling them into SR instead to gain access to Strength of Undeath and Near to Death?

Since I put up this topic I have played around with the build a little and actually did get rid of Blood Magic.

Now I'm considering either putting it into Spite to get more Power or Soul Reaping.

Spite basically has nothing I want in the 15 - 20 range, though. The major I would take would probably be Spiteful Spirit for the Retaliation. I would mostly pump points in it for the Power and Condition Duration bonuses.

I like the 25 point minor - Strength of Undeath in Soul Reaping, but there really isn't anything else in the major traits that I want from the line. Probably end up taking Near to Death but I don't find myself dancing in and out that quickly anyway.

* * *

I've also taken Corrupt Boon at my #7 slot. Since it's a Corruption it recharges faster, and I've been running into more enemies lately that give themselves Boons. Still in flux, though.

I tend to very rarely get Downed when I'm playing, and I like the Condition Damage boost from the Sigil of Corruption. I start almost every fight with Scepter/Dagger and rarely even switch to the Staff, let alone the other way around, so a Sigil of Battle is best left to my secondary set.

Current attempt: http://intothemists....JG6dZH9dZH97FFg

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#4 Dream Proxy

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:28 PM

You want to use plague form mainly for the chain-blind effect in situations with multiple melee-type enemies.  The conditions are supposed to be short; your supposed to have to sit there and keep re-applying them until the form wears off.

think of it this way:

plague form = use chain-blind for temporary invincibility (usually) to buy time/tank a large group of mobs while your party can deal straight damage to them, and do so without worrying about getting hit (usually).

*i say "usually" because you apply the blind every second, so as long as the enemy doesn't attack at an accelerated rapid fire rate (most don't) your blinds should gain you pseudo-invincibility from their hits.  don't forget you get double your health in this form as well

lich form = use for bosses or enemies that cannot be blinded.  your going to use him mainly for straight damage, and will want to use him on beefy single targets, despite the ability to pierce with the auto-attack.  this is because in situations where you have multiple enemies you will usually want to simply spread conditions through all of them, rather than waste the elite for a short burst of damage.

when fighting bosses it's useful because of the straight damage*, *most bosses can't be blinded, and the constant stability.

a good necro will always switch between the 2 elite forms depending on the situation, not focus on 1 to use as an all-around.


your traits are okay, but i would recommend losing the 10 points in spite.  it isn't doing anything for condition damage and isn't adding a huge amount of damage.  i also suspect you get the same feeling of "all these major traits suck" (in spite) for that first 10 point slot.

life blast (#1) is honestly slow and isn't really effective on many things other than buildings.  your better off going to death shroud, doing life transfer (#4), fear (#3), and then going back to your weapon skills & utilities, than sitting there trying to line up an extremely slow life-blast for only a few stacks of a might and some vulnerability.

30 points in curses is standard for condition builds, so that's good

i would advise you go at least 20 into toughness for the greater marks and the 20% staff cooldown.  they really are staples for any necro condition build and make a difference.  personally i'd go 30 in toughness, but everyone's welcome to their own playstyle.  if you MUST have 30 in soul reaping, then at least i'd go 10 in toughness for the greater marks.  but i still recommend at least 20

your weapon setup is the ideal staple sceptre/dagger and staff of a good condition build.  i like blood is power & epidemic, though, epidemic falls into the same situation as plague form.  in general it is very effective, but if you are going to face single-target enemies or bosses, or only two enemies, or enemies resistant to most status effects (where they only last 25-50% of the time), then your going to want to substitute it out for something else.

corrupt boon is pretty situational honestly, and unless your doing a dungeon or area for the first time, you should only really equip it when you know there's a specific type of enemy coming up where it will make a significant difference.

the options i would consider instead of corrupt boon and/or epidemic (when the situation calls for it to be switched) are:

well of darkness : 5 seconds of pseudo-invulnerability with the pulsing blinds

corrosive poison*:  this combos with your "corruption" setup and also has the combined effect of a 10 second weakness (that re-applies until the enemy is out of the AoE of it), something many people overlook.  it can help create a "shutdown" effect with the right combinations of blinds, weakness, and enfeebling blood.

^ those things can make you and everyone else able to tank things that would usually stampede over you

some situational defensive options to consider:


spectral walk*: situational-- not only does this give huge life-force generation without needing traits, but the increased speed can work as an extra dodge on some occasions. think of our friend giant lupi in the arah dungeon, you can outrun his slow projectiles in phase 2 fairly easy with the increased speed.

plague signet : situational-- use it occasionally for support; more often use it to reflect a particularly damaging mark or burn right back onto the enemy/boss for heavy damage-- damage that stacks heavily if your whole group was affected first


well of power: (a good combination with plague signet if used correctly, also another group condition-removal for when your other abilities are on CD-- though admittedly more situational than the preceding options)



i think the most important thing to remember about playing necro is that while we are pretty much confined to condition builds that trait into curses & toughness, we can be very versatile by moving our utilities & elite skills around a lot in-between fights, depending on the various situations.

good necros will always be changing their skills around depending on the situation-- sticking to one basic setup is often inefficient.  it's much easier and a lot less stressful than someone would think when it comes to switching utility skills & elites-- and it only takes a second.

#5 Reverse Ghost

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 01:04 PM

Really good post xxalucard.

I am going to try out Corrosive Poison Cloud next; I had completely overlooked it.

My problem with going in to Death Magic, at least at the moment, is that I very very rarely use the Staff. I'm talking like once every 20 fights. I mostly go solo, but I do try to use the Staff when I'm trotting around with other random people, helping them out if I can. But I will give the bigger Marks a try, see how that feels. I also don't like the Jagged Horror spawning, but it isn't a big deal I guess.

And I haven't done any dungeons yet, and every place I go is new to me, so I can't plan ahead for what types of enemies I'm going to fight (indeed I don't want to -- I like the "thrill" of the unknown), but I will try switching between elites when I can see what I'm about to fight up ahead. I'll stick with Plague most of the time and try to switch to Lich Form when I notice a beefy dude up ahead.

* * *

So, I'm going to move 10 points from Spite into Death Magic, switch my Elite to Plague, and try out Corrosive Poison Cloud.

http://intothemists....JG6jwmAjwmA7FFg

Do you have any advice on Stats? Obviously this character builder focuses on PvP and can't accurately represent the stat totals you can get from PvE gear.

I'm thinking: Condition Damage -> Precision -> Power and then either Vitality or Toughness (favoring Vitality at the moment for its impact on Life Force).

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#6 Dream Proxy

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:48 PM

I think your build is already looking better and you can probably see it forming a kind of "rhythm" with what your trying to do.

This is my current build for most situations if you'd like to compare:

http://intothemists....8;2jwmAjwmA7FFO


It may seem strange that I chose to not include the corruption recharge cooldown; that's because a lot of experience has shown me that the skills recharge rather quickly on their own.  you're also going to get the most use out of the corruption skills when you first use them-- by the time your going to apply them a second time the mobs are usually dead, or quite close to dead.  having that extra recharge felt like overkill more often than not, and also felt like something better could be subbed in.

i think the IV trait in curses for enfeebling blood whenever you enter death shroud is very very useful-- its an extra couple of stacks of bleed (not just a single bleed) AND weakness in a decently sized AOE circle.  it combos well with using Blood is Power, going into death shroud, hitting things with the automatic enfeebling blood, and then using a fury-powered life-transfer (now even more powerful with the 10 stacks of might from Blood is Power) + fear to deal some serious AoE damage in a matter of seconds.

unfortunately the enfeebling shroud has an internal cooldown of 10 seconds, or i would seriously consider going 30 points into soul reaping just for the XI trait that lets you go into it every 5 seconds (all that weakness and bleed constantly building up could be massive).  but, they don't let us do that, which imo defeated the purpose of having a quickening shroud at all.  (why am i going into ds early when most of the skills arent recharged even with the 15% cooldown and i have a trait thats got an invisible, longer, timer..?)

if they changed it to death shroud skills recharge 50% faster, or got rid of that stupid internal cooldown timer on the enfeebling shroud, i'd definitely want to work with a soul-reaping build because it would be much more devastating to dance in death shroud.


concerning stats i used to think the same thing; that condition damage, and -precision- and -power- would be the optimal damage-output for necros.  and, in theory, it might barely be so.  i say this because i underestimated those 6 runes of the undead-- that % of toughness going into condition damage adds a SHITLOAD of condition damage, especially with the 30 points traited in death magic (this is also why i recommend it) and armor focused with a subcategory of toughness.  so on top of much more survivability, with blinds, weakness, and overall defense from the toughness-- it now combos onto adding a lot more CONDITION damage in general which is the main focus of how, from my perspective, you want to be dealing damage with necro.

all those benefits to damage where survivability is almost a free bonus, not to mention the great major traits, is too much of a sell for me to ignore.  unfortunately, it feels like the -only- optimal sell (for condition necros), which is a shame since it kind of kills a lot of artistic creativity with build-setups when you go in that direction.  i never like the idea of one all-powerful stat setup-- but for condition necros, going condition damage, toughness, and precision seems to be the optimal course.  if it wasn't for those undead runes, i'd definitely reconsider. but, until they change how much condition damage it adds at the full potential of maxing your toughness-- it really makes a huge difference.  IMO much more of a difference than going straight power and going for a deathshroud/lich build could do, simply because of the recast times & dependence on those abilities (and how slow life blast is in DS) compared to simply doing what necro tends to do best-- spread deadly conditions and wreak havoc.

for jewelry i think you had it right-- you want carrion orichalcum jewels of chrysocola.  i know its vitality instead of power as the sub-stat, but if you actually compare it to rampager's jewelry, you might be surprised to see chrysocola jewels actually add more condition damage naturally than the rampager's, despite rampager's appearing at first like the optimal damage-dealing accessory.  at least i was surprised when i really took a look at it, since i thought the only difference was the main and sub-stats that were put together.  and, since condition damage is your #1 priority to buff, it leaves those jewels as, unfortunately, the only choice for maximum damage (condition wise).

precision is okay, but shouldn't be a major focus-- it should just be the 3rd sub-stat to look for.  you want to focus on condition damage > toughness > precision, mainly because toughness keeps adding to your condition damage as long as you have those runes of undead on.  the precision is good for adding to your natural criticals, but to be honest i would take a condition damage > toughness > vitality exotic armor if it existed (which, unfortunately, it doesn't).  the reasoning is because you already get fury when entering death shroud and most of your hits are about placing conditions rather than going for bonus base damage from a mark or another weapon skill when you happen to crit.  i mean its nice and increases the damage, so its definitely the best 3rd stat as of now, but if we COULD choose vitality as the third stat, i'd take that.  sadly tho, they limited us to a not very creative setup when it comes to a condition focus.


also by no means use what i'm saying as any kind of superior knowledge-- i'm always learning new things and finding that i was wrong about things i thought worked a certain way before.  the more you play though and make the connections between what "flows together" with stats, skills, weapons, and traits-- the more you'll easily see the crazy potential that can be there.


oh and as far as a staff goes-- you should really be using it -a lot-.  not as your "main hand - auto-attack" weapon, but more as an "opener weapon."  what i mean is you should open by casting the #3 chillbains (slow the crowd down if necessary) or the #2 mark, then using blood is power or some corruption (to enfeeble yourself), use the #4 mark to transfer that enfeeble (with stacked damage from the might), THEN go into your routine scepter/dagger / deathshroud / utility rotation that your used to using 90% of the time.  the opening marks place quite a few stacks of bleed, poison, & include a blast combo for pretty decent damage-- and thats before you even get started with your bread&butter weapons, the scepter  & dagger.  imo #3 chillbains works even better than the scepter #2 simply because of the greater-marks range it can have (if you trait for that), the fact that the mark is unblockable (again, if you traited for it) and it seems to work faster & have the extra condition infliction of poison-- as well as prepare for a combo finisher.

anyways i didn't mean to write so much but i guess it helps me think as well when i try and go over why i've chosen certain things for a class-- hope i could help

#7 Reverse Ghost

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 11:33 AM

I am going to try to get a better feel for the Staff with 20 points into Death Magic (let's hope this new patch takes some of the focus off Minions in this line... in the passive traits -_-).

This is what I've come up with so far: http://intothemists....JG6jwmAjwmA2VFn

I'm wondering about the sigils, though. Does the Sigil of Earth on my Dagger only work when I'm using that weapon set, or will it also proc when I'm using the Staff? I know the Sigil of Corruption does not work that way, which makes sense.

I have pretty much abandoned Power at this point (lol). Condition -> Precision + Toughness. But of course we'll have to see what happens with this "big" patch coming up, see if it opens up new options and builds for us... or at least fixes some bugs :P

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#8 Dream Proxy

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:45 PM

yeah, i agree that minor trait in toughness for the jagged horror is a pain in the ass.  i'm not sure what they were thinking by forcing such a shitty creature down our throats-- maybe they thought every necromancer, even... completely non-minion builds... would want it.

i believe all sigils only activate with the weapon skills from whatever weapon it's currently bound to.  so with sigil of earth on the dagger, it should only activate with a critical from one of the dagger weapon skills.


tbh though sigil of earth isn't that great-- and it has an internal cooldown of a few seconds.  the bleed only lasts 5 seconds, and you'd have to crit off a staff's mark or something to get an AoE bleed.

and i think your new build looks great!  let me know how it works for you

Edited by xxalucard, 12 November 2012 - 01:00 PM.


#9 Babyspiker

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:10 AM

Hey man.  Your original build idea was close to my design.  I go full 30 in soul reaping and do some dancing.

http://www.intothemi...JG6jwmAjwmA1VFI

It's a bit unorthodox but effective.  It basically is designed around laying out large amounts of AoE via scepter 2, dagger 5, corrosive poison cloud, and epidemic.  If you do that with a BiP and lots of bleed, things will HATE you.  That's when you pop into DS and hit them with a 4, and laugh at the gigantic mass of numbers streaming from your screen.

I generally use this as my "condition tank".  The 25% decreased DS drain has saved my life many, many times.  My ability to pop in and out of DS quickly and for longer periods of time gives me a ghetto invulnerability until Cosume conditions comes off cooldown.

No real need to skill slot for life force.  You'll get big amounts from feast of corruption and auto last gasp.  In an emergency you can just swap to staff and spam 1.  In real "oh shit" times, it's common for me to jump in DS, take a face beating until about 25-50% DS left.  Then pop out, regen life force very quickly thanks to last gasp, and pop right back into DS.  Intersperse a consume conditions in there and the real oh shit Plague with 2.  I flat out just don't ever die.

I'm like you in that I rarely swap to staff.  Only for the occasional finisher and condition dump.  I prefer dumping conditions with deathly swarm or consume conditions.  This build allows your to use DS as your weapon swap and build up some might when BiP is down.  And DS doesn't come with the weapon swap cooldown.  So you can pop in and pop right back out and start stacking conditions again.

One interesting tid-bit for this build.  It gives conditionmaners an alternative against objects since they don't take condition damage.  A BiP plus life blast will give your some nice dps against objects (e.g. pillar boss in CoF)

In short, this build sacrifices some staff utility for DS tankiness.  It's a nice change if you don't particularly like spending a lot of time in staff mode.

#10 Reverse Ghost

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:52 AM

I really dig what you've got going there, Babyspiker. I'm going to give it a try later, since I haven't been too happy with my recent attempts to incorporate more Staff use into my play. And it's more in line with what I was originally trying to do, which is a more unconventional Condition/Power setup.

Of course I'm just level 60 at this point, so who knows what will happen in the next 20 levels!

Edit: Here is what I'm thinking at the moment: http://www.intothemi...ZF6gk1Agk1A1FFk

Edited by Reverse Ghost, 13 November 2012 - 10:30 AM.

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#11 Heartlust

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:23 AM

I'd pick up 'Greater Marks' instead of 'Reaper's Might' as well as 'Mark of Evasion' instead of 'Dagger Mastery'.
As for heals, I personally think that 'Well of Blood' is better than 'Consume Conditions' for most PvE and some AoE healing for your party members in dungeons. Not too sure about 'Signet of Undeath', but I can definately see it being useful since you general have a low life-force gain from conditions build, but something you can do is change 'Path of Midnight' to 'Soul Marks', which is one of the most underrated traits for necromancers. Other than that, I'd just use Flesh Golem for general PvE but all the other elites are good in dungeons and PvP.

#12 Reverse Ghost

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:56 AM

I am now messing around with a Spite / Soul Reaping setup without the Staff. That's right, a Necromancer without a staff. Impossible!?

http://www.intothemi...ZF6cV198ZF11FFZ

So the idea is going Condition Damage -> Power + Vitality.

Condition Damage for main setup (Scepter/Dagger), Power for Death Shroud and secondary setup (Dagger/Focus), and Vitality for survivability and increased Life Force pool (compounded by 30 points into Soul Reaping).

Signet of Spite passively improves power and can dump a ton of conditions when needed, which is aided by Epidemic. Blood is Power grants Might, which also helps with Power, and of course puts on a long duration Bleed.

Runes are up in the air right now, I'm really not sure what direction to go with them, but at the moment I've got half Adventure and half Elementalist for the bonuses to both Condition Damage and Power.

I think this setup is much more inline with what I wanted in my original post and certainly a better version of it than I was able to come up with back then. I was hoping the recent patch would have fixed a few more things for Necromancers, but we all saw how that went...

One option could be to drop 10 points from Soul Reaping and put them in to Blood Magic for either the 15% cooldown reduction on Daggers or the Mark of Blood on a dodge. I haven't found myself Shroud-dancing much, so I'm not taking advantage of the reduced cooldown in there, but Strength of Undeath is a really nice minor I feel.

Weapon Sigils are my personal preference. I really like Corruption on there for the extra 250 Condition Damage, and the secondary set has 2 "on-swap" Sigils -- one to bleed nearby foes (which works because it's a swap to melee) and then stacks of Might to help the Dagger tear it up even more.

Unconventional, but I'm really having fun with it so far.

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#13 Babyspiker

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:20 PM

You're currently in the conundrum i'm in right now.  I grinded dungeons in carrior (cond, power, vit.) gear because it was the cheapest exotic to make.

In order to maximize condition builds, you need to crit for the extra bleed stacks.  So when you swap to (cond, crit, toughness,) gear, I felt like I was giving up a lot for not a huge return.

Here's why:

minor stats on armor will give you 224 for the total set.  So 224 precision / 21 prec per crit % = 10.5% more crit.

224 more toughness x 0.05 toughness converted to condition damage = 11.2 more condition damage

I don't like those returns for giving up thousands of health and lots of power.  Right now i'm running with a sigil of perception on my dagger.  That gives me a max precision gain of 250/21 = 12% crit.  Thats more than the base of switching to precision armor.  Of course, that's provided I don't get downed.  But that's why you run the death shroud dancing condition tank build to begin with.

Some people will argue that having the power is useless.  Maybe it's my preference, but i do feel it on the white hits.  Especially against weaker targets where conditions just don't have enough time to really set in.

However, my major reason for leaving the carrion set on, is it gives me an opportunity to drop the staff and go axe with the weapon swap.  Having a burst that's worth a damn can be a nice finisher.

#14 Dream Proxy

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 12:31 AM

Like i said in the mesmer PvE threads-- raising critical % chance a bit is nice, but you have to remember...your only raising the CHANCE.  theoretically you could have a 95% crit chance and never hit a crit.  most likely not, but the point is that even a 10 - 12% increase in crit chance shouldn't make a game-changing difference when compared to the consistency of straight damage.

my argument is always consistency over a small raise in chance.  i rather have more consistent condition damage than focus on either critical chance alone or the CHANCE to cause a small, 5 second bleed, (with an internal cooldown in between each time it procs), with the sigil of earth.

i'm also not sure if the rune of undead converts exactly like that with a .05 modifier to 224 toughness from armor.  I'm not that good at math, but i believe the 5% increase from the -total- toughness you'd have, after adding the 224, would be greater than calculating what 5% of 224 toughness is alone.  Have you tried comparing armor sets and looking at the condition damage?  I'd think the raise would be more than 11 condition damage.

Edited by xxalucard, 18 November 2012 - 12:34 AM.






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