I don't seem to be able to find any recent guides so forgive me if I am asking an obvious question, but I am looking for information on how the different DPS specs actually play (PvE), and which are the key powers they use.
I like playing at range, so that means Powertech is out I think because it has a 10m max range? After playing an Assassin I have realised that 10m is nothing
and moving around annoys me.
So that leaves Mercenary, but I am not sure on the differences between Arsenal and Pyrotech. I like the name Pyrotech, and the idea of setting lots of things on fire, but are the main powers all hard casts aside from Railshot? Arsenal has Tracer MIssile, which I know is hard cast, but is everything else mainly instant?
Does one rely on procs over rotations? Are there any particular advantages to each tree?
If anyone can link some good up to date guides it would be appreciated as well
Since you want to stay at range, be stationary and plan on doing PvE content, the Mercenary Advanced Class (AC) is what you want.
It is a "hard cast" class. Arsenal more so than Pyro, but even Pyro needs to "hard cast".
Pyro has a more "proc driven" game-play. Everything you do is built around trying to proc a free Rail Shot (RS). Most of your Pyro abilities are instant *but* you proc a free RS using 2 hard casts. Having said that, you do have a rotation that will optimize heat usage and proc generation.
Arsenal has a more "rotation driven" game-play. Your rotation will initially debuff your target so they take more damage, and then your rotation will keep the target debuffed. Having said that, you do have a proc mechanic that will reset the cooldown on Unload and increase the damage of the next Unload. All your abilities are "hard cast".
Most of the guides are still pretty much valid for PvE even if they are old. The rotation hasn't really changed. There have been some tweaks here and there. (If you were more concerned with PvP, then that would be a different matter.)
Having said all of the above, if you are up to it, I would actually suggest trying both ACs out (at least until about level 20).