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Vague vanguard/powertech PVE numbers


05.26.2013 , 10:07 PM | #1
Edit: please continue discussion here:

I've been scrutinizing my Vanguard mechanical changes pretty closely and come up with some results that I think would be pretty exciting to theorycrafters. Here's the log upon which I would base most of my data:

My base stats without the knight buff are 555.8 ranged bonus damage, 94% acc, 0.1768 ranged crit/0.1810 tech crit, 1.51 surge, 2396 aim, 9952 armor/0.5055, 727 def/0.2025, 895 shield/0.3720, 476 absorb/0.3579. I've just been curious about the effects of energy blast/heat screen, which is why I've gone so heavily into shield rather than defense. I also looked at Pulse Cannon.

All damage was dealt against a level 55 operations training SHIP dummy. Damage was dealt by my Vanguard.

I've got a list of things to talk about; the first paragraph should be discussion, the final paragraph of each section should be a conclusion.
  1. Let's discuss Pulse Cannon first. My Pulse Cannon hits are reported at 3332 damage over 3 seconds, or 833 damage per tick. This report is with the +6 elemental damage already factored into its report, and before crits. In reality it's ticking for 887 damage/tick for 4 ticks, or 3548 total. This jump from 3332 to 3548 is a 6.482% increase from reported value to observed. Similarly my ion pulse spread is reported at 1187-1285, but my actual average non-crit damage was 1310.97 over 31 trials; this is a 6.065289% increase from reported to observed damage. Whereas on my Commando his pulse cannon reported non-crit damage was 4197, or 1049.25 per tick, and observed damage was 1037 per tick, or 4148 total. This is a 1.167% decrease in damage reported vs damage done. So my Vanguard is getting an unaccounted +6% damage on elemental damage. Additionally, factoring in a 0.94 acc and 1.51 surge for each of these attacks, and a +8 crit on Stockstrike/Rocket Punch at 30% kinetic damage reduction, +6 crit on Pulse Cannon, and +6 crit on Ion Pulse the expected damages for these attacks were 1476 damage for Stockstrike, 3517 damage for Pulse Cannon, 1304 damage for Ion Pulse, and 3663 damage for Mortars (which enjoys a 0.3 damage reduction and no crit bonuses apart from the inherent one for being tech).

    Conclusion: Pulse Cannon is good. For this reason I dropped my 36/5/5 spec (where I got +8% damage on Stockstrike) for a 36/7/3 spec (where I got +6 crit on Eblast, Ion Pulse, and Pulse Cannon).
  2. Ranged attacks have a 15% chance to proc two things in Vanguards/powertechs: Ion Cell/Ion Cylinder, and Pulse Cannon/Flamethrower. Your important ranged attack, which is called Hammershot for Troopers, has 7 ticks at 84% accuracy. We expect 0.84*7 = 5.88 hammershots to hit a boss. For 5.88 hits, p(getting a 15% proc) = 1 - p(not getting any procs in 5.88 hits) = 1 - (1-0.15)^5.88 = 0.61542302132, or 61.5% chance of proccing Ion Cell and Flamethrower while outside the Flamethrower internal cooldown. Since the internal cooldown on free Pulse Cannons is 7.5 seconds or 5 GCDs, and since this is such huge damage (3517 damage over 1.5 seconds = 2344 damage PER SECOND), you really want to be fishing for these procs every 5 GCDs. Since it's such an enormous damage boost, you don't want to push this proc back unless you have to.

    Conclusion: hammershot is good for proccing pulse cannon.
  3. Then there's that other thing that ranged attacks proc: Ion Cylinder. And Ion Cylinder procs HIB/railshot hits by bestowing the Ion Cell dot. Again at a 61.5% chance. The DOT damage is negligible, and mostly unrelated to the reported damage. My Vanguard's Ion Cell claims to deal 256 damage as a DOT, but here's how it's actually working: the damage "Ion Cell" in logs deals 179 damage, followed by one tick of "Shocked (tech)" 3 seconds later for 114 damage, followed by another tick at 6 seconds for 114 damage. However, these Shocked (tech) ticks hit for 913 threat, or 4x (after 2x for tank stance). This is... uh... competitive. It could be better, but anyway it's not the 1x that some others have claimed. Whereas Ion Cell, the first tick, only hits for 1x threat after 2x from stance.

    For this reason you want to segment your rotation into two phases: proccing things by spamming hammershot, and then casting built up procs (Flamethrower, eblast, stockstrike and HIB to reduce eblast cooldown) while your DOTs deal damage.
  4. In my log I saw 48 ticks of eblast over 11 minutes 6 seconds, or 48*6/(11*60 + 6) = 0.43. So that's a 43% uptime on our +25% absorb buff, with our +1..3% absorb also having some uptime. We can proc this Eblast reduced cooldown even faster by shielding attacks, so I think a 50% uptime on our 25% absorb buff is completely reasonable.

    Conclusion: control your cooldowns and rotation so that you can fire off energy blast as quickly as possible.

I have to go now, but I'm hoping to tackle Eblast in more depth at a later time. I want to discuss relics with eblast, changing augs for def into shield (because eblast can only be procced by shielding attacks, not defending, and def actually works heavily against shield chance because 1) def augs take points that we could have used in shield 2) attacks that are defended cannot be shielded.


05.26.2013 , 10:11 PM | #2
Reminder: Energy blast is an off-GCd attack that provides 8 ammo cells, +25% absorb for 6 seconds, and consumes 3 power screen stacks. The cooldown is on Energy blast is naturally 15 seconds, but it can be reduced by generating Power Screen stacks. Power Screen stacks can be generated by shielding attacks or proccing Ion Cell (through Hammershots at a 61.5% chance, or Stockstrike or HIB at a 100% chance).

I refined my "rotation" more and more, so it really looks nothing like what I was talking about in my first post:
  1. original post's log:, effective eblast cooldown 11min 7 sec / 48 eblasts = 13.89 seconds. DPS 1036.21
  2. refined rotation's log (using less storm):, effective eblast cooldown 9 min 24 sec / 43 eblasts = 13.11 seconds. DPS 1036.33
  3. simple rotation (only attacks that proc Ion cell, and pulse cannon when procced):, effective eblast cooldown 11 min 21 sec / 57 eblasts = 11.94 seconds. DPS 974.68.
In the lowest DPS/shortest eblast cooldown log, I was only using Ion Pulse occasionally to restore the damage debuff that it provides. I don't feel like I sacrificed much DPS in order to achieve this; essentially I exchanged a lot of Ion Pulses for more Hammershots and Energy Blasts, and my DPS dropped from 1036 to 974, or a change of 6%.

At 11 min 21 sec / 57 eblasts, this is an effective uptime of 57*6/(11*60 + 21) = 0.5022, or 50% uptime on our +25% absorb buff beforewe're even factoring in shield chance.

If I get good results, I'll post them... but for now it doesn't look good. With this rotation there's very little time in which enemies can proc our shield by hitting us. 11.94 seconds = 7.96 GCDs, and if we hammershot ~3 times in this rotation we only have (1-0.615)*3 = 1.15 expected GCDs in which enemies even have a chance to proc our shield. For a shield chance between 35% and 48%, the chance to increase eblast uptime by increasing shield doesn't seem worth ditching defense.


05.28.2013 , 02:32 AM | #3
I went into TFB HM tonight and got some good parses. Here's the link: For now I've given up my dream of foregoing defense in favor of shield, defense is just too valuable.

I saw some notable differences in eblast uptime and in HPS.
Eblast: Uptimes were mostly below 40%, compared to parses where I was able to maintain a normal high-threat rotation and maintain eblast uptimes of approximately 6 seconds /13.89 seconds, or 43% uptime. I don't consider this to be a failing, though; in these fights I'd be spending some of my time doing nothing, or not being attacked by enemies while the other tank is tanking.

HPS: I haven't really heard much about Vanguard healing, whereas Shadows/Sins are of course renowned for their self-healing and Guardian Bladestorm absorption is widely brought up as being something that helps put Guardians ahead of Vanguards. But I feel that the Vanguard self-healing has been tactically ignored; it's certainly tangible, and is competitive with Guardian Bladestorm absorption as far as I know. The specific HPS values will be listed for each fight, but notably all ticks of Into the Fray (+2.5% hp * 1.01 for +1% heals received) and Guard Cannon (+20% HP on a 95 second cooldown) had a 0% crit rate in all the fights that I checked. Also, the baseline appeared to be ~100 HPS, while on the Dread Guard and Terror HPS increased somewhat. Presumably these fights are aoe-heavy. Also note that Guard Cannon was providing ~(0.2*38871*1.01)/95 = 82.65 HPS in most of these fights, so Guard Cannon was doing the brunt of the work.

I suspect on Dread Guard and Terror, since AOE damage is so prevalent in those fights (Dread Guard is AOE heavy? Really?) it might be better to run a Vanguard Tactics spec in Ion Cell stance ( where the really salient things that you're trading are the +25% absorb at ~40% uptime for -30% aoe damage at all times and a 20% chance to project an energy redoubt every 10 seconds. I still need to determine or look up the formula for this energy redoubt, but it looks pretty attractive on some fights like Titan 6.
  • TWH: 0.423 eblast uptime, 111 hps, 700 damage taken / second
  • DG: 0.398 eblast uptime, 144 hps, 912 damage taken / second
  • OP: 0.393 eblast uptime, 101 hps, 678 damage taken / second
  • Keph: 0.349 eblast uptime, 99 hps, 712 damage taken / second
  • Terror: 0.395 eblast uptime, 173 hps, 955 damage taken / second

These damage taken values are effectively an average of times when I'm not taking damage (0 damage taken/second) and time when I am tanking, so really we ought to double the dtps values to get something more realistic.

It'll be interesting to see how SaV numbers break down for me as well. I suspect my effective damage taken will double; I haven't healed TFB HM, but we had almost 0 issues on bosses with sustainable healing under normal conditions.