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KBN's Guide to Combat Spec (or: how to sentinel tank)

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Sentinel / Marauder
KBN's Guide to Combat Spec (or: how to sentinel tank)

KarethRiker's Avatar


KarethRiker
07.09.2013 , 12:03 PM | #21
One other question. Assuming no OA proc during a prec slash window and master strike is up, would you still go with BR, TST, BR or go MS + BR?

I'm assuming if it's the second window you'd use MS + BR, but if its the first window you'd go with BR, TST, BR (or even BR, BR, then TST and replace TST with BS if OA procs off the BRs). If second window and OA procs after do you immediately hit BS?
Kareth Kalzeth Kairieth Karzeth Karyeth
Kelschuz Staccia Karjeth Karxeth
The Last Centurions - The Harbinger

KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
07.09.2013 , 12:14 PM | #22
Quote: Originally Posted by KarethRiker View Post
One other question. Assuming no OA proc during a prec slash window and master strike is up, would you still go with BR, TST, BR or go MS + BR?

I'm assuming if it's the second window you'd use MS + BR, but if its the first window you'd go with BR, TST, BR (or even BR, BR, then TST and replace TST with BS if OA procs off the BRs). If second window and OA procs after do you immediately hit BS?
If you have no OA and MS is up for the first window, I would do PS + BR > MS. It's risky because of the third tick issue, but it has a much higher chance of procing the second window (and OA!) due to the BR Ataru buff. If you want to guarantee maximal damage in the first window at the possible expense of the second, you can do PS + MS > BR. I've done it that way on occasion. Honestly, it's a situational thing.
Computer Programmer. Theory Crafter. Dilettante on The Ebon Hawk.
Tam (shadow tank) Tov-ren (commando healer) Aveo (retired sentinel) Nimri (ruffian scoundrel)
Averith (marksman sniper) Alish (lightning sorcerer) Aresham (vengeance jugg) Effek (pyro pt)

December 13, 2011 to January 30, 2017

Ardarell_Solo's Avatar


Ardarell_Solo
07.10.2013 , 08:56 AM | #23
If you press the next key after channeled Master Strike in EXACTLY the right moment (Edit: which is about 0,2 secs left on the castbar), you can fit in the next attack right after third tick of master strike WITHOUT using another GCD. If you can pull that off, you can do PS - MS - BS in second window and PS - MS - BS - Dispatch under Zen.

This works just like Trickshot after Aimed Shot or Charged Burst for a slinger. The curious thing is, these are casted abilities and not channeled abilities: You can't do it after Speedshot which would be the equivalent to channelled Master Strike.

Anther funny thing: This should only work during Zen when you have alacrity running. In fact it's by far easier then. But this does also work without Zen. Strange...
El'ethon - Sentinel <Taking the Jawas to Alderaan> T3-M4

Scylarr's Avatar


Scylarr
07.11.2013 , 06:02 AM | #24
Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
IForce Leap with 100% accuracy: 9% chance
Zealous Strike with 100% accuracy: 9% on first hit, 6.93% on second (off hand accuracy at 77%): 15.3063%

Thus, danger of premature reset: 22.9287%

Annoying, but not probable enough to be a serious issue. If you go straight into Precision Slash, you have to waste a GCD under armor pen on Zealous Strike, which is a fair bit of damage lost (especially in light of inspiration, which should be up). I would have to sit down and calculate it out, but I'm guessing the expected value of the "Leap > ZS" opener is higher than the expected value of "Leap > PS", even accounting for the case where PS resets prematurely.
I have completely forgotten about the lower accuracy on the offhand in my guide, good point! Also my 21.96% was wrong.
Besides that, Zealous Strike has 3 melee hits (2 mainhand, 1 offhand if I can believe the combat log) making the chance to trigger Hand of Justice 22.93% resulting in a 29.865% chance.
I think this is a serious issue, definitely because you have used all cooldowns and Zen is up. Missing a Precision Slash window under those circumstances is a massive damage loss and I think it is worth having to spend one GCD during your Precision Slash window (of the 4 GCDs with Zen up) on Zealous Strike.

Another point where I think you are completely wrong is on the Master Strike. I recommend using it directly at the start of the first Precision Slash window after it comes off cooldown. If this appears to be at the start of the natural Precision Slash you will have to delay your Blade Storm 2 GCDs, but with 3 GCDs (which can be dangerous if Hand of Justice gets triggered fast) in between the two Precision Slash windows you will be able to use it again at the end of the second Precision Slash window. (http://puu.sh/3trIM.png)
In my parses, Master Strike is good for 15% of all DPS (probably more counting the ataru form damage) and that only for the 3 seconds (2.3 seconds with Zen) up time each 30 seconds!

Also nice to mention is that the 12 second cooldown of Zealous strike fits perfectly twice in the 24 seconds rotation of the 2 Precision Slash windows. So you would be able to use it between the 2 windows and 3 GCDs after the second window every time. (http://puu.sh/3u2Fu.png)

KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
07.11.2013 , 02:43 PM | #25
Quote: Originally Posted by Scylarr View Post
I have completely forgotten about the lower accuracy on the offhand in my guide, good point! Also my 21.96% was wrong.
Besides that, Zealous Strike has 3 melee hits (2 mainhand, 1 offhand if I can believe the combat log) making the chance to trigger Hand of Justice 22.93% resulting in a 29.865% chance.
I think this is a serious issue, definitely because you have used all cooldowns and Zen is up. Missing a Precision Slash window under those circumstances is a massive damage loss and I think it is worth having to spend one GCD during your Precision Slash window (of the 4 GCDs with Zen up) on Zealous Strike.
But in exchange, you're nerfing the damage of both windows *considerably*. We would need to break out the expected value calculations to be absolutely sure.

I have no idea where the third hit of Zealous Strike is coming from. The script files claim there should be only two (one from each weapon). The third hit does seem to be coming very late, with the same damage values as an Ataru strike (though separate from an Ataru hit). Very confusing.

Quote: Originally Posted by Scylarr View Post
Another point where I think you are completely wrong is on the Master Strike. I recommend using it directly at the start of the first Precision Slash window after it comes off cooldown. If this appears to be at the start of the natural Precision Slash you will have to delay your Blade Storm 2 GCDs, but with 3 GCDs (which can be dangerous if Hand of Justice gets triggered fast) in between the two Precision Slash windows you will be able to use it again at the end of the second Precision Slash window. (http://puu.sh/3trIM.png)
In my parses, Master Strike is good for 15% of all DPS (probably more counting the ataru form damage) and that only for the 3 seconds (2.3 seconds with Zen) up time each 30 seconds!
Using Master Strike first in the window delays your first Blade Storm in the pair by 3 seconds. This in turn either eliminates the Blade Storm in the second window altogether (a major DPS loss) or delays the second window by 3 seconds. Delaying the second window by 3 seconds is CATASTROPHIC if you happened to get the proc during Master Strike, which is possible, and it's very, very bad for proc alignment if you didn't (since HoJ will then proceed to drift significantly out of sync with your first window). Overall, this is just very, very bad.

I'll do some math at some point on the relative DPS contribution of Master Strike and the benefits of squeezing it under Precision Slash. It's tricky though, because you have to take into account its effect on timings, which are difficult to quantify in terms of DPS.

Master Strike is really, really overrated honestly. It's a great ability, and it does a lot of damage, but Dispatch and Blade Storm are far more interesting due to low CD, high damage, mobility and proc alignment. When I *can* get Master Strike under Precision Slash, I will, but delaying windows to do so is very much not worthwhile.

Quote: Originally Posted by Scylarr View Post
Also nice to mention is that the 12 second cooldown of Zealous strike fits perfectly twice in the 24 seconds rotation of the 2 Precision Slash windows. So you would be able to use it between the 2 windows and 3 GCDs after the second window every time. (http://puu.sh/3u2Fu.png)
Yeah, I've noticed that when I really have my timing down, Zealous Strike hangs out in exactly that midpoint of my rotation, which is a very nice property.
Computer Programmer. Theory Crafter. Dilettante on The Ebon Hawk.
Tam (shadow tank) Tov-ren (commando healer) Aveo (retired sentinel) Nimri (ruffian scoundrel)
Averith (marksman sniper) Alish (lightning sorcerer) Aresham (vengeance jugg) Effek (pyro pt)

December 13, 2011 to January 30, 2017

slowantics's Avatar


slowantics
07.11.2013 , 02:47 PM | #26
combat is my favorite spec i use for raids and pvp. Biggest hit i got was 13k from a dispatch. Stealing aggro is a joke from tanks even with guard. Be sure to use your force camo.
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K_osss's Avatar


K_osss
07.12.2013 , 10:06 AM | #27
Awesome awesome guide. I've read through it once. Want to read through it again. Honestly I pvp nearly exclusively in Focus spec (done SNV once and TFB once and am a founder) but I enjoy learning more about combat as it's my second favorite spec. Obviously in PvP the situation dictates some different play styles than PvE but I particularly like the opening recommendations as those are some of the easier situations to follow your guide. Thanks for the work you put into this!

g_mK's Avatar


g_mK
07.12.2013 , 10:17 AM | #28
I must say that I do love combat, nice burst and more interesting and fun than watchman.
My usual opener is: 30 stacks of centering>Force leap>zealous strike>Zen>Valorous Call>Inspiration>Relic>Adrenal>PS>MS>BR(BS if proc)>PS>Dispatch>BS>BR>Force Camuflage. This is usually enough to take agro from any tank except the best ones(when I want to be mean and don't give back agro). I'm so used to taking agro that I got my pinky finger over force camouflage. The problem comes when the tank dies and I got to move the boss(BTW TC 16man HM hits like a truck if you take agro from the tank during the Isotope 5 release)
Also I wanted to add regarding a question earlier about gear, most of the BM and verpine gear have enhancements with high endurance and low power, you are better of with 66 adept enhancements.
The ingenious gentleman Dón-Quijote de la Mancha

oofalong's Avatar


oofalong
07.12.2013 , 11:06 AM | #29
Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
But in exchange, you're nerfing the damage of both windows *considerably*. We would need to break out the expected value calculations to be absolutely sure.

I have no idea where the third hit of Zealous Strike is coming from. The script files claim there should be only two (one from each weapon). The third hit does seem to be coming very late, with the same damage values as an Ataru strike (though separate from an Ataru hit). Very confusing.
Zealous Strike is a confusing ability. It has three hits MH, OH, MH. It is also the only ability where the OH coefficient (-0.33) is different than the MH (-0.835). Its expected damage is roughly 96% of Strike's.
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You are correct Oofalong.

KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
07.12.2013 , 11:31 AM | #30
Quote: Originally Posted by oofalong View Post
Zealous Strike is a confusing ability. It has three hits MH, OH, MH. It is also the only ability where the OH coefficient (-0.33) is different than the MH (-0.835). Its expected damage is roughly 96% of Strike's.
Torhead doesn't appear to include this information in the effect details for the ability. Are you mining the script files directly, or is there something in torhead that I missed?
Computer Programmer. Theory Crafter. Dilettante on The Ebon Hawk.
Tam (shadow tank) Tov-ren (commando healer) Aveo (retired sentinel) Nimri (ruffian scoundrel)
Averith (marksman sniper) Alish (lightning sorcerer) Aresham (vengeance jugg) Effek (pyro pt)

December 13, 2011 to January 30, 2017