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Shadow/Assassin Optimal Rotation Analysis

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Shadow/Assassin Optimal Rotation Analysis

RLWalker's Avatar


RLWalker
11.23.2012 , 05:36 PM | #11
Quote: Originally Posted by grallmate View Post
Kitru's is really the best "catchall" rotation. Thrash-less + Thrash when excess force is available. That said, in my experience I don't usually get to Thrash more than once every 2 or 3 rotations.
This is the rotation I use. And as you say, there is maybe a few chances for thrash per minute.

KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
11.23.2012 , 09:38 PM | #12
Actually, it looks like the optimum is no Double Strike/Thrash at all, if the goal is to achieve TkT as frequently as possible. I had a bit of a play with function optimization: http://imgur.com/VDojU

Code:
NMinimize[{((x + y + 3) / 2) + 3, x >= 6 - 1.5(0.4931 * z) && y >= 7.5 && z > 0 && (23 / z) + (39 / x) + (30 / y) + (30 / (((x + y + 3) / 2) + 3)) + 0.5495 + 1.1111 < 13.4162}, {x, y, z}]
In this context, x is the average frequency of Project/Shock, while y is the average frequency of Slow Time/Wither and z is the average frequency of Double Strike/Thrash. Kinetic Ward/Dark Ward and Force Breach/Discharge are considered. The assumption is that DS only reduces the timing of Project/Shock by at most one GCD. It's a somewhat unfair assumption, but the frequency in DS is so low that I can't imagine it would make a difference.

As you can see, DS is literally never used (within the bounds of rounding error). Oddly though, it's only Slow Time/Wither that is used on cooldown. Project should be delayed by nearly a full GCD (on average) in order to avoid force starvation. This scheme gives us TkT every 12 seconds, which is the absolute fastest it can be achieved under average regeneration rates.

The implication here is that Double Strike/Thrash usage only happens when regeneration spikes (due to an unexpected burst of m/r attacks). At all other times, *any* use of Double Strike/Thrash results in a very direct loss of HPS, though potentially a gain in damage/threat.

I'm still not entirely sold on the "thrash-less" rotation. However, it is categorically undeniable that it provides the best survivability. This is a shame, because it implies that a major proc in the Kinetic/Darkness tree is useless. The reason for this seems to be the cost on Project/Shock, which is insanely high. If PA/Energize reduced the cost of Project/Shock (perhaps down to 25-30) instead of finishing the CD, it would suddenly become a dramatic benefit, boosting DPS/TPS without affecting HPS at all. DPS balance could be restored by reducing the (surprisingly high) damage done by Slow Time/Wither. This would reduce AoE threat slightly, but I would argue this would be more balanced, seeing as shadow/assassin AoE threat is already quite a bit higher than what the other two tanks can (sustainably) generate.

Edit Here is a slightly different take on the same idea, this time allowing DS to reduce the cooldown on Project/Shock by 3 seconds (it makes very little difference from 1.5): http://imgur.com/5IivI

The really interesting aspect of this particular expression is what happens when I let the lower bound on z go to 0. Effectively, I can take DS off the GCD: http://imgur.com/GWJ0O

Thus, if I allow DS to be used off the GCD, the frequency of TkT goes through the roof (once every 5.75 seconds) while Project/Shock is never, ever used without the proc. Forcing at least 1.5 seconds between each DS is all it takes to swing the optimization completely in the other direction, resulting in a complete abandonment of DS in favor of proc-less Project/Shock every 7.5 seconds and Slow Time/Wither exactly on cooldown.
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Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
11.24.2012 , 07:54 AM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
This is a shame, because it implies that a major proc in the Kinetic/Darkness tree is useless. The reason for this seems to be the cost on Project/Shock, which is insanely high. If PA/Energize reduced the cost of Project/Shock (perhaps down to 25-30) instead of finishing the CD, it would suddenly become a dramatic benefit, boosting DPS/TPS without affecting HPS at all.
This has always been one of my problems with Project/Shock. It costs *way* too much Force for what it ends up doing as a baseline attack, especially considering it's on a CD. By default, Project does about as much damage as Double Strike, even factoring in Double Strike's chance to miss, but costs, as a net loss in resources per GCD, slightly more than 3 times as much as Double Strike. The only real "benefit" it gains, by default, is the ability to stun standards and weaks. If Project didn't provide HS stacks, I doubt Shadow tanks would use it at all, even with PA and Bombardment, since it's so magnificently bad in Threat Per Force. Balance Shadows shouldn't even be using it because Twin Disciplines doesn't provide a substantial enough buff to actually justify Project's cost. The only Consular spec that *does* have an appreciable use for Project (other than a simple "cast on the run" for Sages that is only useful because they don't have any others) is Infiltration and that's almost entirely because they drastically reduce the cost of it, such that it *doesn't* cost an arm and a leg *and* gets a substantial increase in damage dealt.

While I think Shadows/Asssassins are one of the best designed classes overall, I honestly believe that Project/Shock is one of the least sensibly designed abilities in the game, from a balance perspective. It has a CD and an inordinately high cost, but it really has no redeeming factors to make up for those 2 aspects thanks to low damage, a standard range (10m for Shadows, 30m for Sages), and a stun on targets that, honestly, you don't really need the stun on.

I'd be a lot happier if the developers tweaked PA to, instead of reset the CD, simply extend the duration of the effect to 10-12 seconds and reduce the cost of Project by some amount (25-50%). Infiltration has the right idea as to how a good Project talent should operate: CS>CS>Proj reduces the cost of Project by 50% and increases the damage by 30%, increasing Project's base efficiency by a factor of 2.6. PA simply provides an improvement of 50% (since it's not like a Shadow tank should be stacking surge at all).
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KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
11.24.2012 , 12:00 PM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
I'd be a lot happier if the developers tweaked PA to, instead of reset the CD, simply extend the duration of the effect to 10-12 seconds and reduce the cost of Project by some amount (25-50%). Infiltration has the right idea as to how a good Project talent should operate: CS>CS>Proj reduces the cost of Project by 50% and increases the damage by 30%, increasing Project's base efficiency by a factor of 2.6. PA simply provides an improvement of 50% (since it's not like a Shadow tank should be stacking surge at all).
QFT. Changes to PA to make it actually worthwhile would be very, very welcome.

The only question remaining is whether it is worthwhile to switch to the hybrid-PA rotation for a single cycle following FP in TkT to get the added damage from the FP+PA proc Project/Shock. Clearly not from a HPS standpoint, but the damage boost is not insignificant (100% rather than 50%). It might be worth a temporary reduction in HPS.
Computer Programmer. Theory Crafter. Dragonslayer on The Ebon Hawk.
Tam (shadow tank) Tov-ren (commando healer) Aveo (combat sentinel) Nimri (df scoundrel)
Averith (hybrid sniper) Alish (lightning sorcerer) Aresham (jugg tank) Effek (ap powertech)

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VigDiath
12.05.2012 , 07:06 PM | #15
Apparently I should be using this as a guide to tanking on my Shadow. I'm gonna refer to this and use it often.
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Omophorus
12.06.2012 , 02:10 AM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by VigDiath View Post
Apparently I should be using this as a guide to tanking on my Shadow. I'm gonna refer to this and use it often.
Especially Kirtu's part.

KN has some funky mathcraft in here, but the "catch all" is generally the best compromise between resource management and DPS+TPS. I'm a big proponent of KN's work on the gear/relic side of things, as they're black-and-white optimization questions. However, over-optimizing rotation can lead to the very real risk of encountering a situation you did not plan for and which breaks your model, so read and understand what KN is saying, but also recognize the caveats.

To my mind, the more automatic (and, by extension, less innately complex) your rotation is, the more attention you can focus on the battlefield around you to make more impactful play choices than tiny rotation optimizations. Voluntarily accepting a slightly sub-optimal rotation in exchange for simplicity is a worthwhile trade-off in my mind due to the mostly tolerant threat mechanics in this game.

KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
12.06.2012 , 11:05 AM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by Omophorus View Post
However, over-optimizing rotation can lead to the very real risk of encountering a situation you did not plan for and which breaks your model, so read and understand what KN is saying, but also recognize the caveats.
Very, very true. People should always keep this in mind when judging the value of the sort of theory crafting that I did here.
Computer Programmer. Theory Crafter. Dragonslayer on The Ebon Hawk.
Tam (shadow tank) Tov-ren (commando healer) Aveo (combat sentinel) Nimri (df scoundrel)
Averith (hybrid sniper) Alish (lightning sorcerer) Aresham (jugg tank) Effek (ap powertech)

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Shadowseve
12.12.2012 , 02:52 AM | #18
This is an awesome thread as I'm about to make a tank. Now if I can only decide between shadow and sin.

Omophorus's Avatar


Omophorus
12.12.2012 , 01:09 PM | #19
Quote: Originally Posted by Shadowseve View Post
This is an awesome thread as I'm about to make a tank. Now if I can only decide between shadow and sin.
Which faction is stronger for PVE endgame? That should probably be the deciding factor.

From a looks perspective, lightning > little rocks. Conversely, nearly all endgame Assassin PVE and PVP gear looks awful. Luckily, however, you can get 4 piece set bonus without using body slot (and put something better looking on), hide headslot, and then you're left with inoffensive hands/feet and a silly skirt until you're at a point where you can customize your look however you see fit.

Shadowseve's Avatar


Shadowseve
12.12.2012 , 11:50 PM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by Omophorus View Post
Which faction is stronger for PVE endgame? That should probably be the deciding factor.

From a looks perspective, lightning > little rocks. Conversely, nearly all endgame Assassin PVE and PVP gear looks awful. Luckily, however, you can get 4 piece set bonus without using body slot (and put something better looking on), hide headslot, and then you're left with inoffensive hands/feet and a silly skirt until you're at a point where you can customize your look however you see fit.
Consular gear isn't any better, IMHO if anything it's worse O.o. Since I'm just now coming back to the game and I was moved to a new server by Bioware, I have no idea the difference in progression on either factions, I can tell you that both sides see about the same amount of people on the main fleet at any given time.