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P/D Viable for DPS

pistol dagger dps

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#1 Phenn

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:28 PM

So I've been playing S/D recently and have been loving the uncatchable nature of the constant stealthing, stunning, dancing, etc.

My build is leaning toward the 0/30/30/10/0 standard set up, with Berserker everything, ad nauseum.

But!

My question is as follows: Is the P/D set up viable as a ranged DPS format of the S/D playstyle?

I ask this for several reasons:
  • I really, really like S/D and the Shadow Arts skill tree. The playstyle is lotto-fun compared to what I'd run in the past (DB spam anyone?).

  • I love the concept of being able to do the same irritating "can't catch me" style of play but from a ranged distance--hence P/D.

  • As much as I loved Condition Damage, I can't force myself to give up my Power/Precision S/D build. But the only builds I've seen cater to its conditions strengths (a la Lowell's venom build, etc.).

  • I would like to have P/D as a swap set over against my S/D in WvW.
That all being said, its it worth it? I know that short bow still outclasses pistols for general DPS, but shortbow doesn't have access to stealth--which I want--so it's out for now.

As far as I can tell, the mini-unload Sneak Attack does just a little more than half the damage of D/D's backstab, but it's ranged plus bleed implying safety.

If the answer is "No, silly, P/D was never meant for DPS!" (as I'm afraid it's going to be), my final question is: Is it viable to build a hybrid? Run with Rampager's instead of Berserker's to pick up some Condition Damage, etc.?

And if the answer to THAT question is still "no," should I just bite the bullet and go for a venom build with P/D and S/D?

Looking forward to the discussion.

Edited by Phenn, 04 December 2012 - 10:36 PM.


#2 zp3dd4

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:36 AM

The only thing I'd see as difficult is restealthing from range.

#3 Rachmani

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:41 AM

I don't really think so, as it isn't a true ranged set, but rather dependand on getting into melee range to C'n'D.
Sadly, we don't have a true range set for those of us who put points in shadow arts.

#4 Phenn

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:56 AM

View PostRachmani, on 06 December 2012 - 04:41 AM, said:

I don't really think so, as it isn't a true ranged set, but rather dependand on getting into melee range to C'n'D.
Sadly, we don't have a true range set for those of us who put points in shadow arts.

That's kinda what I figured after messing with it for a day or two. It's like you get caught in this "in-between" state where you're not really sure how to proceed. I just figured I'd run whichever I felt like for the day. Either way, I like the Shadow Arts tree.

#5 Iratus Mumbo

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:31 PM

I'm sure you've all seen by now Wild Bill on YouTube (P/D)...

I'm yet to reach 80, but I've messed with P/D in sPvP and I can't accomplish what he does.  I don't seem to produce enough DPS to simply counter their heals or their AoE dmg/conditions that hit me while in stealth.  Wild Bill has some mad skills (and I think he's like any other YouTuber in that he's mostly going to post his wins and not his fails...).

I look forward to trying it in WvW when I'm 80.

#6 Alien Creed

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 03:50 PM

lol i love the forums. i love reading them and usually i do it in silence but i feel like i needed to reply to this slightly old thread for all the thief youtube watchers / build readers. so i literally created an account just to reply to this (disclaimer im not trolling you this is mostly a humorous post)

so first to be on topic and answer the OP. can p/d be viable dps? i think the answer in short is yes for what you will need it for, but most hardcore people will probably disagree.  will you outdps a full zerker 30(25)/30/0/0/10(15), probably not.  you will live more with a similar wild bill spec in pve thats for sure. you can easily stack 10-20 bleeds on a target ticking for 100-130 depending on the situation, plus if you count direct damage from application thats 1k-1.3k dps per 10 bleeds on top of DD, thats pretty good probably around 2-3k dps from range. i actually run p/d currently for pvp and pve and i do fine dmg and i feel especailly in the non-hardcore dungeons that i contribute quite a bit and am usually the last one standing.

so long winded answer, but short answer is yes you can make p/d a viable spec for pve and deal decent damage. in aoe fights spam cluster bomb which stacks bleed too along with caltrops and u are doing just fine, but probably will get a ton of aggro and die. oh wait stealth and regen no you wont

now to address the part of this post that i really wanted to YOU GUYS CRACK ME UP. everyone watches wild bill or jinzu or nemeric (whatever the spelling on his name is) and you are like OH if i spec like him i will faceroll zergs by myself! then you try and are like oh wait why cant i do that?

let me answer that for you. 1) these people are epicly good players with a ton of practice, 2) you arent getting their same damage? i wonder why, oh wait a) you arent even level 80, but lets assume u were, B) in wvwvw gear matters and there is no way you are geared like them. they are full exotic at least. not to mention their builds call for REALLY expensive runes and sigils that you probably don't have.  also if you do have them you will notice (especially in jinzu's videos of omgzzlolzzorz backstab damage) he has 25 stacks of power from his superior sigil of bloodlust. that is ridiculous to think you can maintain unless you NEVER DIE in wvw. some guys like nemeric actually dont die and you can literally watch his stream and him gain stacks of bloodlust and not lose them BY ONLY KILLING PLAYERS, but like i said these guys are epic.

wow point 2 was long.  but yea wild bill does have mad skills, i have taken my p/d into wvw and ive facerolled a few people pretty bad in the middle of a zerg and not died and im not that awesome, but definitely above average.  the point of this one is a lot of people in wvw are REALLY BAD which makes it SO EASY to post videos like this. this is probably why you dont see more videos of tpvp faceroll specs because its much harder to do and you cant count on 25 stacks of bloodlust to make your numbers ridiculous and 3 shot ppl.

bottom line is, gw2 rewards skill probably more than any mmo ive ever played and thats a ton. also GEAR. happy hunting guys i hope you play p/d in pve its a ton of fun and i barely ever die unless im in a terrible group and put the team on my BACK! lol

#7 Iratus Mumbo

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:46 PM

View PostAlien Creed, on 09 January 2013 - 03:50 PM, said:

"In wvwvw gear matters and there is no way you are geared like them. They are full exotic at least. Not to mention their builds call for REALLY expensive runes and sigils that you probably don't have."

Welcome to the forums and thanks for contributing to the hilarity we all enjoy so much!

I forgot how much gear and level make a difference in WvW.  I had forgotten from when I leveled my other 2 toons to 80.  Now that I'm 80 again with fully exotic with superior upgrades I can pretty much get enough DPS from any weapons/build to win more than I lose.

PS- Not sure why you think there is "no way we are equipped like Wild Bill and others" - that did make me laugh though so thanks again!

PPS- P/D is a pretty boring build to play... :/

#8 Drtrider

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:56 PM

Full condition D/P | D/D thief here...

Some other's mentioned the issue of being caught in that "Middle Zone" with the venom build.
I had the same issue when playing with my build in the beginning. Venoms are nice in 1v1 situations, however even there they can lack.
Most venom builds are something like 30/0/20/20/0 <-- This kinda nature is good, but not ideal.

My suggestions, try going something like 0/0/30/20/20 Lots of healing, initiative, more condition damage, and mobility.
If you're looking to out-live or "catch me if you can" kinda thing. Drop the veoms, get black powder, and shadow step.

Black powder for those moments in that mid range, and then shadow-step to keep them at range while you wait for cool downs or what ever. With Shadow Step I can kite a mele for almost 15 seconds. Buying me time if needed in those dire situations. Much better then the venoms imo, if you're going for a bit more survivability.



View PostIratus Mumbo, on 09 January 2013 - 07:46 PM, said:

PPS- P/D is a pretty boring build to play... :/
On the contrary, it's simple yes. However quite fun kiting people through my dodge-caltrops and doing around 15k damage in about 7seconds of bleed. People tend to not notice their blood pouring out of  their back, rather than a wtf-lol-spike.

Edited by Drtrider, 09 January 2013 - 07:57 PM.


#9 Iratus Mumbo

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:09 PM

View PostDrtrider, on 09 January 2013 - 07:56 PM, said:

On the contrary, it's simple yes. However quite fun kiting people through my dodge-caltrops and doing around 15k damage in about 7seconds of bleed. People tend to not notice their blood pouring out of  their back, rather than a wtf-lol-spike.

Yes, I should have clarified this was IMO only... to each their own I suppose.  It's definitely a viable build and at times it can be humorous watching them limp around and swing at air only to be shot in the back by bleed stacks.

View PostDrtrider, on 09 January 2013 - 07:56 PM, said:

My suggestions, try going something like 0/0/30/20/20 Lots of healing, initiative, more condition damage, and mobility.

+1 on this build.

#10 Rachmani

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:19 PM

The OP asked for P/D as a secondary Set to S/D specifically.
I know reading the entry post is hard, staying on topic even harder, but oh well...

#11 Phenn

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:33 PM

View PostRachmani, on 09 January 2013 - 08:19 PM, said:

The OP asked for P/D as a secondary Set to S/D specifically.
I know reading the entry post is hard, staying on topic even harder, but oh well...

As he said, my question wasn't about the P/D build, it's viability, or its potential for damage. Thanks for those anyway...I guess?

To the topic, I was wondering how viable P/D can be as a SA-based ranged set when not built for conditions, specifically as Shortbow lacks any synergy with the SA tree. To that end, the conclusion I reached after playing with the setup for a while is roughly approximate to Rachmani's post--it just lacks the SB's staying power and true range. SB outclasses it regardless of lack of stealth. So that being said, I switched back to S/D with SB.

Interestingly, I did try a Acrobatics S/D build that put heavy emphasis on the Acro and Trickery lines (similar to a P/P build), and with this P/D became a decent counterpart. Even in that situation, however, P/P served better.

My conclusion is simply that P/D is a set to be built around specifically, and really doesn't come into its own unless you build for conditions. Which I'm not.

#12 Rachmani

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:44 PM

Acrobatic heavy S/D & P/P reminds me of my "early days" as S/P & P/P (roughly looked like, 30 crit, 20 acro, 20 trickery).
Unload & BP basically have the same requirements (Quick recovery, initiative on crit & 15 initiative) and so do PW & BP.
But you can easily substitute S/P with S/D here.

#13 Drtrider

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:45 PM

View PostPhenn, on 09 January 2013 - 08:33 PM, said:

As he said, my question wasn't about the P/D build, it's viability, or its potential for damage. Thanks for those anyway...I guess?

....

My conclusion is simply that P/D is a set to be built around specifically, and really doesn't come into its own unless you build for conditions. Which I'm not.

1. My apologies. Should have read a bit more carefully.
2. I would agree. However, it would seem a little silly if the P/D auto attack hit hard and added a bleed to it. Thus why it's not the best for a crit build.

However! Total 'what if' statement here. But what if bleeds could crit? That would be interesting...

#14 Phenn

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

View PostDrtrider, on 09 January 2013 - 08:45 PM, said:

However! Total 'what if' statement here. But what if bleeds could crit? That would be interesting...

To be honest, I'd love to see something like that introduced to the game--even something like "if bleeds are applied by a hit that crits, they are more powerful." Makes logical real-world sense to me, but who knows?

My biggest issue is that any build falls roughly into either DPS or conditions (at least in the different professions I've played). So you're either crap against a high-vitality opponent when you play conditions or you're worthless against a high-toughness if you play DPS. That's not to say you can't shoot for a hybrid of sorts, but there's really no motivation to do so...

#15 Drtrider

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:01 PM

View PostPhenn, on 09 January 2013 - 08:53 PM, said:

To be honest, I'd love to see something like that introduced to the game--even something like "if bleeds are applied by a hit that crits, they are more powerful." Makes logical real-world sense to me, but who knows?

My biggest issue is that any build falls roughly into either DPS or conditions (at least in the different professions I've played). So you're either crap against a high-vitality opponent when you play conditions or you're worthless against a high-toughness if you play DPS. That's not to say you can't shoot for a hybrid of sorts, but there's really no motivation to do so...

That would be interesting... Hmm maybe one day.

However, each build is different. What you bring to the table, and what you're good against. My P/D build eats mele for breakfast, and most ranged builds okay. However, for example, I have no way in all high hell to counter a mesmer with high phantasm damage.
So with that said, just depends on what you bring, what they bring, and how well you can counter each other.

#16 Iratus Mumbo

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:05 PM

View PostRachmani, on 09 January 2013 - 08:19 PM, said:

The OP asked for P/D as a secondary Set to S/D specifically.
I know reading the entry post is hard, staying on topic even harder, but oh well...

This posts cracks me up!  It is the least on topic post of them all!

#17 Alien Creed

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:40 PM

View PostIratus Mumbo, on 09 January 2013 - 07:46 PM, said:

Welcome to the forums and thanks for contributing to the hilarity we all enjoy so much!

I forgot how much gear and level make a difference in WvW.  I had forgotten from when I leveled my other 2 toons to 80.  Now that I'm 80 again with fully exotic with superior upgrades I can pretty much get enough DPS from any weapons/build to win more than I lose.

PS- Not sure why you think there is "no way we are equipped like Wild Bill and others" - that did make me laugh though so thanks again!

PPS- P/D is a pretty boring build to play... :/

well a couple of things:

1) my bad if i misread the post but even going back reading it he said p/d dps viability in a s/d format and then posted a build 0/30/30/10/0 and i assumed the build was the format, so my bad.  i didnt think he meant an alternate weapon swap, but rather an alternate set within the same build (i.e. switch out zerker gear for carrion gear and weapon swap). so my bad if i misread / misunderstood

2) it was supposed to be funny so im glad you thought it was funny if even for different reasons of my intent so cheers!

3) oooo you have so many level 80s you are so AWESOME i love it. in my defense you posted that you werent yet 80 and couldnt wait until you were 80 to test and then posted about how u couldnt replicate wild bill. what was i supposed to assume here?  EVEN IF my statement wasnt applicable to you, it is applicable to a large number of readers / viewers who watch videos of these thieves and then expect they can replicate and are disappointed when they cant.  gear does play a factor.  i am a pretty good thief in my opinion and even in some of my opponents opinion, but even i dont have all the gear required to pull off these builds flawlessly because it totals up to 50-100g or so depending which build and i just dont have the cash flow and i assume most dont either.  so i stand by my assumption that most people who post that they arent 80 yet and cant wait until they are to try would MOST LIKELY not have the same gear as wild bill or jinzu.

id share my p/d build with you but i dont like cookie cutting so id just say run wild bills with some personal touch tweaks to your play style it works.  i love p/d and i hope you try it as an alternate set (whatever you meant by that)!

#18 The Shadow

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:06 PM

On the topic of Wild Bill. I thought I'd just point out. It's not his build or his gear that makes him good. He is a good Thief because of how he reacts to different encounters. His play-style emphasizes the importance of movement and placement. That allows him to take on multiple, not-so-skilled, un-organized foes.

Another thing that should be considered is that he makes montages. Essentially a collage of various clips probably taken over the course of a few days/ weeks. Not to diminish his skill or anything but it's not "real" footage. You have to take these things with a pinch of salt.

That being said, his gear setup is actually really quite cheap. Carrion with x3 pairs of bleed runes.

#19 Iratus Mumbo

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:20 PM

View PostAlien Creed, on 09 January 2013 - 09:40 PM, said:

oooo you have so many level 80s you are so AWESOME i love it.

Oh thanks!

View PostAlien Creed, on 09 January 2013 - 09:40 PM, said:

in my defense you posted that you werent yet 80 and couldnt wait until you were 80 to test and then posted about how u couldnt replicate wild bill

Eh, no worries.  You misunderstood me is all...  I never said I tried to replicate Wild Bill in WvW under 80 w/o exotics.  I said I was not 80 yet and looked forward to trying it in WvW, but that I couldn't produce enough DPS in sPvP where I was trying it out (during which time I realized most of my lack of DPS was simply bunker builds eating damage, not lack of DPS output).

View PostAlien Creed, on 09 January 2013 - 09:40 PM, said:

so i stand by my assumption that most people who post that they arent 80 yet and cant wait until they are to try would MOST LIKELY not have the same gear as wild bill or jinzu.

I make sure I have full exotics waiting when I reach 80.  I feel like I'm doing myself or my group a disservice if I'm running around under-equipped at 80.  My assumption was that others do the same... maybe not.

#20 Alien Creed

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:31 PM

all good misunderstandings make the world go round, i misunderstood a few things on this post as well.

its not that im not well equipped, i just half all armor/weapons exotic with rare jewelry because its expensive is all... and i find zerker gear much more expensive as im currently saving for my 2nd set of armor ( i know you feel me on multiple sets of gear shadow haha from your guide i know u do this too )

wild bill is an extremely good player i agree shadow and i posted that... i cant replicate him either. i think nemeric's videos might be more impressive because they are streams that he uploaded and arent cut up which is cool.

my point about spvp lack of dps was more related to jinzu's backstab build and not wild bill's.  the issue im highlighting here is in spvp you cant really maintain 25 stacks of bloodlust like jinzu constantly has in wvw which is why he crits so effing hard...

anyways guys cheers, thieves rock and i love mine. cant wait to play him - oh wait thats right now. hit me up on maguuma if u want to chat.

#21 Sinnacle

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:50 PM

Ok I have tried this DPS P/D

i ran 10/10/30/0/15  I had mostly all valk armor pieces with trinkets all zerker, scholar runes, precision foods the best ones curry butternut and maintenance oil, Precision stacking sigil. superior sigil of fire.

Traits I used where mug,10% more damage from pistols, the normal SA traits, condi, blind, and regen,  in trick i took thril of the crime cause fury only helps the build more.

i ran it for a while I think bleeds where about 67 or so per tick.  The damage is better compared to condi p/d against glass cannon thieves I would usually 2 shot them just from the CnD steal combo same with underlevel sneak attack would be butter on top.  I ran baslisk venom with it too sometimes it works.  Against another P/D thief condi you probably will come out on top since you just out dps him with the same skills.

You will just die more I could have tried 15 in acro for FG but I never tried it there might make it work.  I still have that set and run it sometimes.  

Can a P/D dps work kind of the problem is vital shot just isnt fast enough damage you can do it don't get me wrong.  Its just not efficient.

i prefer condi over dps

Edited by Sinnacle, 14 January 2013 - 08:51 PM.






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