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Combat/Carnage Rotation for 5.6

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Sentinel / Marauder
Combat/Carnage Rotation for 5.6

captainwesson's Avatar

12.01.2017 , 10:07 PM | #1
Ok, ok, I was waiting for someone else to start the thread, or one of our fearless leaders to give us a strong rotation (or a few) to test out. But...I guess I'll start it off, lol

Does anyone have any parsings or working rotations at the moment that are different from our faithful "clipping" rotation? Since the clip is no more, the damage boost from it is gone as things I'm wondering are:

-How much Alacrity vs. Crit is best now (don't need huge alacrity for precision window)?
-What are your thoughts on getting a rotation down that is workable in Ops/PvP?

The only thing I've come up with so far is essentially a variation on the old clipping rotation, except swapping where Dispatch/Vicious Throw are placed in regards to Precision/Ferocity. Would look something like this:

Main burst - Zen>Zealous Strike>Blade Rush>TST(focus building)>Precision>Clashing Blast>Blade Barrage>Lance
Secondary (mini) Burst, waiting for larger cooldowns/zen - Zealous Strike>Blade Rush>Precision> Dispatch(proc'd)>Clashing Blast

Main burst - Berserk>Battering Assault>Massacre>DST>(focus building)>Ferocity>Devastating Blast>Ravage>Gore
Secondary (mini) Burst, waiting for larger cooldowns/berserk - Battering Assault>Massacre>Ferocity>Vicious Throw(proc'd)>Devastating Blast

Ideas? Critiques? Questions? Answers to the above questions? Ready....go!

WiththeForc's Avatar

12.01.2017 , 11:01 PM | #2
It's more of a priority system now. The building phases are relatively the same where outside of berserk/ferocity the priority is building your 30 stacks while having enough rage per ferocity window. But the priority under ferocity is more or less: DB (each window)> VT > Gore > Ravage > Mass.

Haven't bothered working out a rotation since I took a few months off from the game and just came back cuz of someone else, but Anni and fury are pretty much the go to specs now, so meh
<Hatred> <Zorz> <Failure><It's Lit>
All 8-man content cleared on-tier pre-4.0, 4.0, and

Machricar's Avatar

12.02.2017 , 12:51 AM | #3
Yeah pretty much what Beast said. Maintaining a strict rotation isnt nearly as important anymore, so just prioritize the hardest hitting abilities as much as possible. DBx2, VT, Gore, and Ravage should be the abilities you try to spend ferocity stacks on. Hell even if you mess up and don't have enough rage to finish a ferocity window, just throw in an assault and pick up where you left off since it wont use up a stack.
Radley-Walters - Marauder
Chernova - Mercenary

thepilk's Avatar

12.02.2017 , 01:30 AM | #4
I've found it pretty frustrating, partially because theres a lot of muscle memory to force my brain to stop using but mostly because I find myself running into timing issues with centering now, because its ideal to us precision with zen active. but centering doesn't build on a consistent timer, it builds on actually using moves (or on waiting for the opponents to hit you back via Stoic).. which costs focus and adds GCDs between bursts to force zen back around.

So, I end up having a lot of DPS loss form forced filler to try and keep zen built up for as many precisions as possible and the entire thing feels clunky and slow now. Id imagine there is a workable "juggle" of zen and non-zen precisions, but i cant really build a routine out of it yet that doesnt feel clunky.

WayOfTheWarriorx's Avatar

12.02.2017 , 08:41 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by thepilk View Post
I've found it pretty frustrating, partially because theres a lot of muscle memory to force my brain to stop using but mostly because I find myself running into timing issues with centering now, because its ideal to us precision with zen active. but centering doesn't build on a consistent timer, it builds on actually using moves (or on waiting for the opponents to hit you back via Stoic).. which costs focus and adds GCDs between bursts to force zen back around.

So, I end up having a lot of DPS loss form forced filler to try and keep zen built up for as many precisions as possible and the entire thing feels clunky and slow now. Id imagine there is a workable "juggle" of zen and non-zen precisions, but i cant really build a routine out of it yet that doesnt feel clunky.
Please excuse the length of the post, I've been banned from the forums for most of 5.x on and off and so I haven't been able to express my feelings on things til now.

The irony of this nerf which makes it all the more gauling [at least to me] is the fact that clipping DOES still work. You can still clip attacks into the window. The only difference is it doesn't let you get an extra attack into the berserk window.

Essentially what this mean us, instead of removing the ability to clip at all they decided to take the easy way out and ruin the playstyle in order to "stop clipping" which was their stated goal. Had the just made it so clipping no longer worked [DST/VT used a split second before you start the Ferocity window not being counted as being inside the window] and than left the spec be and leave it as it was just without the clip, the entire playstyle could have been saved and Carnage would still play the same.

The fact that you didn't need to clip in order to get a 3rd attack into the Ferocity window seems to be entirely lost on the combat team. If they had just removed the clip possibility and left the spec the same others, we wouldn't have lost the that third attack in the non-berserk ferocity window and the burst/DPS loss wouldn't have been as severe as it is and they still would have accomplished their stated goal in wanting clipping removed. They just wanted to take an extra attack from our ferocity window away without any pretext in doing so.

Power/Crit build works better than Alacrity heavy build from my experimenting so far but I haven't worked out the exact ideal proportions though. What I can say with some confidence is that alacrity in the proportions granted by Berserk is clearly completely unnecessary and we are essentially saddled with a berserk ability and a stance bonus that doesn't really do us any good. Had they just removed the possibility of clipping it still would have been valuable as fitting three attacks into the non-ferocity window was a tight fit. - They screwed us both coming and going. High APMs, insane speed, split second timing, the addition of a new attack being a DPS increase [Gore], these are all things that really don't matter as much anymore. This is not a spec based on speed anymore and thus the entire playstyle has been ruined for no good reason. - - - That said however, obviously all specs gain benefits from alacrity and so some it's always good to have, but for everyone else that's a gearing choice, in this case we are given it even though we no longer need it in those proportions.

When we had our DPS nerfed in 5.2, the difference wasn't really all that noticeable in PVP, after 5.6 the difference is extremely obvious. The berserk ferocity window is still strong, but the non-berserk ferocity window can be pitiful. The DPS difference in PVE will be more acutely felt however as maintaining ideal rotations is more realistic in PVE as opposed to PVP with all the CC and speed boosts that get thrown around constantly making full rotations unrealistic.

For me, the change in the playstyle is what I'm really upset about, but the massive DPS loss cannot be understated here. They have made Carnage into sub-par DPS in all regards compared to Fury, who now has better burst that we do, and Anni clearly has the edge on DPS over Carnage as well now. BW took from Carnage and gave to Fury. God forbid they had made all three specs competitive. Carnage is the only spec that was hit with a double DPS nerf in class balancing [5.2 and 5.6]. The 5.6 changes were suppose to be about utilities, Carnage was the only spec on that list that did not have a utility mentioned, compared, or had any basis on utility. Clipping had absolutely nothing to do with any utility at all. Thusly, the loss of the 3rd attack in the non-berserk ferocity window is completely baseless and has no justification based on their intended goal of removing the ability to clip.

Rotationaly, you can still clip VT into the Ferocity window, so 'old habits' won't hurt you or cause a DPS loss. Technically if you wanted to maintain a similar rotation you could still use DST right before Ferocity window, it won't clip into the window of course because it's not an attack that can be used in the ferocity window anymore, but it wont hurt you.

I personally am not prioritizing ravage in the berserk ferocity window given it's propensity to miss some of it's attacks and because using Gore in it will result in mid 20k ish damage. For the berserk window [using DST before the window for set bonus] I'm using VT[clipped into the window cause that still works]>Ferocity>Gore>Devistating Blast. This works well in PVP because of the hinder on Gore helps to keep the target from using movement buffs to get away from you, as this is less of an issue in PVE, Ravage still has it's priority. And the the non berserk window obviously would still be Ferocity>VT>Devistating blast. If the timing isn't right of course Ravage would be used than instead [in PVP].

As i'm more focused on PVP than PVE since 5.0 dropped, I haven't been working on an ideal rotation for PVE, but, I do intend to. As I don't have the mind for math as some of our theory crafters possess [Beast, Radley], I work solely on results, but I will share what I have found to work well for a rotation once I've given it the time and hopefully some of the better minds can give it their once overs.

Carnage has always been a high risk/hi reward spec to play, that combined with it's speed, it's potentials and it's challenges was always what set it apart from every other spec in the game, it was unique in that regard, and most of the people who loved Carnage loved it for those very reasons. The combat team in it's incompetence and not even knowing how the spec plays and with it's total disregard for the playstyle taken the identity of Carnage away. I would have been less critical of this had they not taken the 3rd attack in the non-berserk Ferocity window unjustly away, having not needed clipping in order to use it in the ferocity window. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that putting three instant attacks into a 3 second window is feasible, clipping simply made it safer because it is a tight fit, but than, that's exactly why alacrity was so useful for the spec, because with enough alacrity you didn't need to worry about getting those three attacks in the non-berserk window in it.

Speaking only for myself, having played the spec since 1.x, I am completely disgusted by the change in play style, a second DPS nerf for a pure DPS class with no baseline heals which can bring nothing to the table but DPS, which is now completely eclipsed by Fury both in PVE and PVP in every way. I cannot think of one reason why any progression group would saddle themselves with a Carnage Marauder rather than a Fury Marauder [and to a lesser extend Anni as well]. - The draw is completely gone and I find I play less and less each day.

This isn't Carnage.

captainwesson's Avatar

12.02.2017 , 10:18 AM | #6
Grim, don't you dare leave! I'll be mad at you

Lol, but seriously, we already lost some great ones in the past (Hayete). You, Radley, Beast, Vulkk, and others like you are an inspiration. I need you to continue challenging me to be a better Combat Sent/Carnage Mara!

And yes, you're very correct, the entire feel of Carnage is completely different now, even a little bulky perhaps. I'll definitely miss the super speed and smoothness that I've come to love. I've been wondering about that Alacity/Crit aspect as well (just don't really have the Unassembled Components to buy 1 or 2 new sets to mess around with yet). Do you think we might be looking at a completely different playstyle with Carnage now? Instead of high-alacrity and super speed builds with cramming 4 abilities into a window, maybe a Higher Crit build is now in order. Making a slower but larger burst. Yeah...Crit diminishing returns, but still...surely there's something we can do...maybe even trying to get them to change the way Zen/Berserk works now (instead of Alacrity boost, maybe a crit boost for 3-4 abilities or something, just enough to make it work well with the 3 ability limit in Precision/Ferocity).

We won't give up! Combat and Carnage forever!

AdjeYo's Avatar

12.02.2017 , 08:36 PM | #7
Now I don't really main Carnage. But I do play it on occasion and I have to say, does it really play that different than before? I mean the spec remains the same for the most part, keep massacre on and try to build enough fury for berserk outside of precision, and then dump all high damaging moves inside of precision. All that really changed is that Carnage took a big loss in sustained dps, which while imo earned might've been a bit too much. But on the other hand Precision no longer being tied to a 3 seconds window seems like a huge boon for pvp, making it way harder to shut Carnage down. Meanwhile Carnage can still enjoy 100% armour penetration Devastating Blast, probably the hardest hitting burst in the entire game, securing Carnage as the de facto melee burst spec.

EnzoForMe's Avatar

12.02.2017 , 10:26 PM | #8
From a PvE standpoint, I don't think I ever enjoyed playing a spec more than I did carnage up to 5.6. Now, there's really no incentive not to play fury, except perhaps to avoid falling asleep.
Caprica <The Squirtle Squad>
S-3/S-6 #1 Group Ranked Sniper
S-2/S-8 #1 Solo Gunslinger/Sniper

captainwesson's Avatar

12.06.2017 , 06:30 PM | #9
Hey all! So comparing different rotations and using notes and ideas from others (thank you Grim ) I have a rotation here that is very doable for PvE. Not sure how it works for PvP yet, but the Precision Priorities would remain roughly the same. I'll be using Combat terms, since that is my main and what I'm used to. Sorry Carnage folks, but please feel free to translate.

The rotation itself is pretty simple, and fairly similar to the Combat/Carnage rotation pre-5.6. The only difference is how the clipping works, since the new Precision is stack-based instead of time-based.


Opener (I use the Heroic Utility "Contemplation" to have Zen at the beginning, but YMMV):

Force Leap>Zen>Blade Rush>Zealous Strike>Twin Saber Throw>Precision>Blade Barrage>Clashing Blast>Lance>Blade Rush>Strike>Zealous Strike>Dispatch>Precision>Clashing Blast>Blade Rush>Blade Rush>Blade Rush>Strike>Blade Rush>into the full rotation

Rotation (Repeatable as long as you want, and fairly easy to pick back up if lost due to Boss mechanics, etc.) some names will be abbreviated:

Zen>Strike>Blade Rush>Zealous Strike>TST>Prec>BB>CB>Lance>BR>Strike>Zeal>Dispatc h >Prec>CB>BR>BR>BR>(back to the beginning of rotation with Zen>Strike>etc...)


It's a pretty easy rotation, focusing on one large burst of 3 abilities, and a smaller burst during the Zen-building phase. The Opener and the main rotation are very similar, with small changes in the pattern and where an extra "Strike" is placed, to maximize the Opening Burst and then build the Zen back up quickly.

If you notice the pattern, it's all basically in groups of 3 (Zen>Strike>BR) >(ZS>TST>Prec) >(BB>CB>Lance) >(BR>Strike>Zeal) >(Dispatch>Prec>CB) >(BR>BR>BR)> Not that the grouping matters much, but for those who like to think about simple steps like that, it can help break it down easier.

TST is still in front of Precision, even though it does not count towards it, because of many reasons. 1. Many of us are used to that, and it flows oh so nicely, if I do say so myself. 2. Focus-Building. 3. On the set bonus, TST procs the Critical on Lance, which is a great boost to the opener.

With the added time given to Hand of Justice for Dispatch, this rotation means that Dispatch no longer "floats" as we've seen it do in the past, and it will always proc before (sometimes right before) you need it. This is a strict but very easy rotation, no floating to worry about. I've tested this many times myself already, with many SM and HM Ops, Flashpoints, and the usual dummy parsing, trying to "force" it to float over long periods of time (at least 5 minutes). So far, I have not seen it float outside of the rotation. If you do see it happen, let me know and we can look into it together.

For the Dispatch>Precision, Precision must be hit immediately after Dispatch (within a split second) in order for Dispatch to "clip" into it and count toward one of the Precision Stacks. It helps smooth the rotation over and increase APMs slightly. However, if it's hard to clip due to Internet connection or Lag, simply swap it and use Precision>Dispatch>CB. It might feel a tad slower, but will essentially be the same.

Ideas? Critiques? Suggesions?
Happy Combating!

RACATW's Avatar

12.09.2017 , 08:40 PM | #10
Basically your rotation should be the carnage nerf attack into the anni or fury attack