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The Bounty Hunterís Guide to PFT: An Advanced Prototype Special

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Vanguard / Powertech
The Bounty Hunterís Guide to PFT: An Advanced Prototype Special

Anavarra's Avatar


Anavarra
04.25.2012 , 12:02 PM | #91
[pulling the rotation conversation out of the CGC thread]
After spending some time looking at damage parses and simulators, I've noticed that the standard AP rotation can be tightened up to improve damage, maximize consistency and simplify heat management, within a PvE context. Please note that this is being approached from a purely PvE sustainability context, not a burst PvP context.

The primary change is to realize that PFT x5 is unnecessary for sustaining maximum damage in prolonged PvE fights. Why is that? Well, let's see.
I pulled these numbers from the BH DPS sim on Sithwarrior, but they match up with what I've seen from in-game parses. Since these are simulated averages, thereís some variation between sims, but usually not significantly.

Rail Shot (crit)
Average Damage: 2578
Average Damage per GCD: 2578
Average Damage per heat: 161.125
Immolate
Average Damage: 2296
Average Damage per GCD: 2296
Average Damage per heat: 287
Flame Thrower (1 PFT stack)
Average Damage: 4236 (3851 (BASE) + 385 (PFTx1))
Average Damage per GCD: 2118
Average Damage per heat: 169.44
Retractable Blade (initial + 5 bleed ticks)
Average Damage: 2384.4
Average Damage per GCD: 2384.4
Average Damage per heat: 149.025
Flame Burst
Average Damage: 1632
Average Damage per GCD: 1632
Average Damage per heat: 102
Rocket Punch (free)
Average Damage: 1642
Average Damage per GCD: 1642
Average Damage per heat: Infinite

What this shows us should be fairly obvious. Using high damage abilities whenever possible will increase DPS, while postponing higher damage abilities for low damage ones will decrease DPS. This is interesting though, because of Flame Thrower. Even with only one stack of PFT, Flame Thrower's average damage per GCD is pretty close to Immolate, and its damage per heat generation is better than anything besides Immolate. With more PFT stacks it's even higher of course, but there's an opportunity cost for stacking PFT up (past 1, assuming we get 1 stack every 15-seconds from Immolate); namely, you have to burn a GCD on Flame Burst, and incur the heat that entails. In order for that opportunity cost to be worth it, you would have to ensure that the DPS value of Flame Burst + 10% of the base DPS value of Flame Thrower (+1 stack of PFT) was higher than whatever else you would do, and that the heat generation is not prohibitive. Looking at the numbers though, if Flame Burstís average damage is 1632, and 1 stack of PFT is worth about 385, then the net damage gain is about 2017 per GCD. This is less damage than youíd get simply triggering Flame Thrower with PFT x1, and significantly less than anything else on the list except Rocket Punch. Now, practically, youíll probably never have Flame Thrower with less than PFT x3, which makes the problem elementary (DPS per GCD for FT PFTx3 is 2503). Itís much better to just burn Flame Thrower than to let it sit off cooldown and try to build more PFT stacks.
So, based on these numbers, it seems that postponing Flame Thrower (regardless of PFT stacks), Immolate, Rail Shot (crit), or Retractable Blade for Flame Burst would be a loss of DPS.

Which leads us to the AP rotation. In an ideal situation, we would do something like what's listed in the first post of the guide, which is:
08 - Immolate
16 - Retractable Blade
00 - Rocket Punch (Free)
16 - Rail Shot (CRIT)
16 - Flame Burst
16 - Flame Burst
16 - Flame Burst
16 - Flame Burst
25 - Flame Thrower (PFT x5)

This is, of course, an unsustainable rotation. Under ideal conditions, the first execution will push you past 40 heat when you hit Flame Thrower, and a repetition would leave you heat locked before your second Flame Thrower. TSO and Vent Heat can prolong this, but even with judicious application of those, you will still heat lock in <60 seconds. Thus, while useful for demonstrating a max DPS rotation for AP, the above rotation must be modified if we're going to develop a sustained damage rotation.

Based on the above values, we know that, regardless of PFT stacks, we still want to use Flame Thrower on cooldown. Thus logically, we have to cut enough heat generation from the 15-second rotation to make it heat neutral, while still triggering primary abilities on cooldown. Optimally, we would also want to space our no heat abilities so that we could use Rocket Punch as often as possible on cooldown. The only candidates to remove are Flame Bursts, since they have the lowest DPS contribution per heat generated.

By cutting two Flame Bursts from the rotation, and slightly reorganizing the abilities, we can achieve the following.

16 - Retractable Blade
00 - FILLER 1
16 - Flame Burst
16 - Flame Burst
00 - FILLER 2
16 - Rail Shot (CRIT) - Flame Burst if Charged Gauntlets isn't up
08 - Immolate
00 - FILLER 3
25 - Flame Thrower
<repeat>

The FILLER is, in priority:
Flame Burst (heat permitting, it usually won't)
Rocket Punch (FREE)
Rapid Shots

There are multiple advantages to this rotation:
1. It is functionally heat neutral. Simulating heat output, this rotation can go for 8-cycles (2-minutes) before having to engage TSO/Vent Heat. Simulating a minimum of 3% error in ability activation time (i.e. no human can actually achieve a perfect 15-second cycle due to server lag, ability delay, etc. so we assume it takes 15.5 seconds), the rotation becomes heat neutral. This is because our passive heat dispersion is constant, even if we're a half-second off on the rotation. In practice, any error margin over 3% makes the rotation heat negative, and allows for more FILLER to be Flame Bursts. For reference, my error margin with hitting training dummies was about 11%.
2. You can make it more bursty and stack to PFT x5 by replacing the first and third fillers with Flame bursts, and using TSO and Vent Heat to cool down. This makes it a little more bursty, since you get a Rail Shot Crit, Immolate, Flame Burst, Flame Thrower PFT x5 combination at the end of the rotation. Of course, this isn't sustainable without heat management cooldowns.
3. This rotation triggers all of our high damage abilities on cooldown (or refresh for Retractable Blade). It never pushes back triggering a high priority ability for a lower priority ability.
4. This rotation maximizes the use of Rocket Punch (free). The three Fillers are placed precisely so that, if you're reasonable lucky with Flame Barrage procs off of Flame Burst, you will be able to use Rocket Punch every other Filler, or, roughly on cooldown. For example, if you Rocket Punch on FILLER 3 (after Immolate), RP will be ready again for FILLER 2 on the next cycle, and, with two Flame bursts, you'll have ~51% chance of having Flame Barrage up. If you Rocket Punch on FILLER 2, then you Rapid Shots on FILLER 3, then Rocket Punch will be up for FILLER 1 to eat the Flame Barrage Proc from your previous Immolate.
5. This rotation maximizes heat dispersion by placing Flame Thrower (our most dangerous heat spike) immediately after a 3-second heat-negative period (Immolate followed by FILLER). This ensures that the Heat Spike from Flame Thrower doesn't push us into poor heat dispersion country.
6. Itís pretty easy to do. Tracking multiple cooldowns and dots is a pain with SWTORís UI. Trigging abilities on Cooldown in consistent sequence is significantly easier to execute without mistake.

The only downside is that youíll never stack PFT x5 without using 2-minute cooldowns to dispel your heat. On the other hand, as I pointed out with the damage numbers above, thereís no reason to stack PFT to 5 if it means delaying using it when itís off cooldown. Especially since youíll always have at least PFT x3.

Iíve played with this for DPS in live and it plays very well. All of your 15-second abilities go off on cooldown, Retractable Blade always stays up, Rocket Punch is used practically on cooldown, and Rapid Shots is kept to a bare minimum.

The DPS simulator sheet that I have canít execute this rotation correctly due to the fact that it was designed to work with a priority system. Attempting to force it to run this rotation sort of works, but it makes a number of mistakes that contribute to lower DPS. However, despite those mistakes, it still sims to .005% of the sheetís ďstandard APĒ priority system, which leads me to believe that, if executed properly, it would exceed a standard AP priority system, while being significantly easier to execute.

TheOpf's Avatar


TheOpf
04.25.2012 , 12:20 PM | #92
Thanks for moving this to here. I am hoping Mapex can take a look at it since he is the Deep AP guy. I use the Norse build.

Did you use Kray's spreadsheet from mmo-mechanics or a different one?

Just so you are aware, you are still using a 12 second rotation. You are just not focused on PFTx5. You are using FT on CD which is ever 12 seconds because Channel time is 3. So you are still following the 12 second rule except without worrying about getting to full PFTx5.

There are a few points that I would like to point out.

You stated that FT x1 = similar dps as Imm. However it's a dps loss so putting off Immolate, RS Crit, or reapplying RB in order to do FTx1 is a dps loss. But using it in place of RP or FB is a dps gain.

I am going to work on the spreadsheet and see what I can come up with.
The Bounty Hunter AP Guide: Always Learning -Vanguard Tactics Guide: Where is my PG Slow?
Anam Ithieor- 50 AP Powertech
Anbas Ithieor- 20 Operative (lethality/healer)

Anavarra's Avatar


Anavarra
04.25.2012 , 12:40 PM | #93
Quote: Originally Posted by TheOpf View Post
Thanks for moving this to here. I am hoping Mapex can take a look at it since he is the Deep AP guy. I use the Norse build.

Did you use Kray's spreadsheet from mmo-mechanics or a different one?

Just so you are aware, you are still using a 12 second rotation. You are just not focused on PFTx5. You are using FT on CD which is ever 12 seconds because Channel time is 3. So you are still following the 12 second rule except without worrying about getting to full PFTx5.

There are a few points that I would like to point out.

You stated that FT x1 = similar dps as Imm. However it's a dps loss so putting off Immolate, RS Crit, or reapplying RB in order to do FTx1 is a dps loss. But using it in place of RP or FB is a dps gain.

I am going to work on the spreadsheet and see what I can come up with.
For the sim numbers, I used Krayís sheet off of MMO-mechanics, yeah. Thatís where I pulled the average numbers for the abilities. For comparing damage between rotations, I ran a sim with Full Rakata and the ďstandard APĒ rotation that the sheet lists, and then ran another with the same stats, but an attempted reproduction of the rotation Iíve listed. The results were, as I mentioned, within .005%. The problem is that, because the sheet is built to simulate a priority system, it messes up this rotation. The primary issue is that it doesnít have a separate heat threshold to prevent it from using a high heat filler right before Flame Thrower. So it heats up more frequently, which postpones higher damage abilities and drops the theoretical DPS. It also seems to have a bug with retractable blade where it wonít refresh it until at least 1 GCD has elapsed since the DOT fell off. This reduces the DOT uptime (it should be 100% with this rotation in simulation), and again, screws up the rotation.

WIth regards to Flame Thrower, that's definitely true. However, if you're following this rotation, you'll never have to delay one of those abilities for Flame Thrower, since the rotation is heat neutral. Additionally, you'll never Flame Thrower at less than PFT x3, which puts its Damage per GCD at about 2503. Which is better than anything except Rail Shot.

TheOpf's Avatar


TheOpf
04.25.2012 , 12:49 PM | #94
Quote: Originally Posted by Anavarra View Post
For the sim numbers, I used Krayís sheet off of MMO-mechanics, yeah. Thatís where I pulled the average numbers for the abilities. For comparing damage between rotations, I ran a sim with Full Rakata and the ďstandard APĒ rotation that the sheet lists, and then ran another with the same stats, but an attempted reproduction of the rotation Iíve listed. The results were, as I mentioned, within .005%. The problem is that, because the sheet is built to simulate a priority system, it messes up this rotation. The primary issue is that it doesnít have a separate heat threshold to prevent it from using a high heat filler right before Flame Thrower. So it heats up more frequently, which postpones higher damage abilities and drops the theoretical DPS. It also seems to have a bug with retractable blade where it wonít refresh it until at least 1 GCD has elapsed since the DOT fell off. This reduces the DOT uptime (it should be 100% with this rotation in simulation), and again, screws up the rotation.

WIth regards to Flame Thrower, that's definitely true. However, if you're following this rotation, you'll never have to delay one of those abilities for Flame Thrower, since the rotation is heat neutral. Additionally, you'll never Flame Thrower at less than PFT x3, which puts its Damage per GCD at about 2503. Which is better than anything except Rail Shot.
I have been using Dardack's numbers for everything so just kept with them here.

PFT
AVG Dmg = 7208.33
DPS per GCD = 3604
DPS per Heat = 288.33

Flame Burst
DPS per GCD = 2110.67
DPS per Heat = 131.916

RP Free
DPS per GCD = 2262.05
DPS per Heat = N/A

immolate
DPS per GCD = 2880.82
DPS per Heat = 360.102

RS (crit)
DPS per GCD = 3087.41
DPS per Heat = 192.963

Retractable Blade
DPS per GCD = 3012.73
DPS per heat = 188.295
The Bounty Hunter AP Guide: Always Learning -Vanguard Tactics Guide: Where is my PG Slow?
Anam Ithieor- 50 AP Powertech
Anbas Ithieor- 20 Operative (lethality/healer)

TheOpf's Avatar


TheOpf
04.25.2012 , 12:51 PM | #95
Quote: Originally Posted by Anavarra View Post
For the sim numbers, I used Krayís sheet off of MMO-mechanics, yeah. Thatís where I pulled the average numbers for the abilities. For comparing damage between rotations, I ran a sim with Full Rakata and the ďstandard APĒ rotation that the sheet lists, and then ran another with the same stats, but an attempted reproduction of the rotation Iíve listed. .
The Standard rotation in Kray's Sheet is horribly incorrect. Please don't use it.

Use the Priority rotation listed here
FT_5
RP_Free
Immo
Rail_Crit
RB
FB

That will give you the highest theoritcal damage.
On the HS have RP_Free and RS on there.
The Bounty Hunter AP Guide: Always Learning -Vanguard Tactics Guide: Where is my PG Slow?
Anam Ithieor- 50 AP Powertech
Anbas Ithieor- 20 Operative (lethality/healer)

Anavarra's Avatar


Anavarra
04.25.2012 , 01:14 PM | #96
Quote: Originally Posted by TheOpf View Post
The Standard rotation in Kray's Sheet is horribly incorrect. Please don't use it.

Use the Priority rotation listed here
FT_5
RP_Free
Immo
Rail_Crit
RB
FB

That will give you the highest theoritcal damage.
On the HS have RP_Free and RS on there.
Cool, I reran my comparison with that priority and the Rakata BiS stats listed, but the variation is still only about .0051% between that priority list and the imperfect sim of the rotation setup. The issue I mentioned with how the sim refreshes Retractable Blade throws the rotation off immediately though, so I don't think that sheet is capable of actually demonstrating the max potential of this rotation.

TheOpf's Avatar


TheOpf
04.25.2012 , 02:25 PM | #97
Quote: Originally Posted by Anavarra View Post
Cool, I reran my comparison with that priority and the Rakata BiS stats listed, but the variation is still only about .0051% between that priority list and the imperfect sim of the rotation setup. The issue I mentioned with how the sim refreshes Retractable Blade throws the rotation off immediately though, so I don't think that sheet is capable of actually demonstrating the max potential of this rotation.
The reason you will always see a 1 sec delay between RB falling off and it because you want RB to fall off before reapplying it. So he added the time it takes to spot the fall off and reapply or factor in any lag delay. However, yes the sim will always be imperfect.
However if we simply take 20 percent off the damage or simply run it as FT used on CD instead of FT_5. It takes your total damage to 10 dps less. Which means it's completely equitable. As long as you use FT on CD as long as the stacks are between 3 and 5. You won't see a noticeable dps loss. However it's always a dps gain to wait for 5 stacks.

The dps lost by using it on CD between 3 and 5 stacks is less than 1 percent or 6-10 dps. The dps gained by having PFT at 5 and not using it for a GCD is a noticeable dps loss this means that unless you can use it on drop there is a greater possiblity of loss in dps by holding for 5 than by using it on CD.

The problem is I can't note all the various situations in a guide or it will be the longest book out there.

Technically speaking the maximum amount of damage you can put out in the Norse uses a Priority rotation Like this

Immo
RP_Free
FT_5
RB
FB

However the total dps difference between this rotation and the one listed is 3 dps. However not paying attention to PFT and/or using it before 5 stack is a net loss of 10 dps. So it's more important to make sure PFT gets off at 5 stacks than to use Immolate. Does this make sense?
The Bounty Hunter AP Guide: Always Learning -Vanguard Tactics Guide: Where is my PG Slow?
Anam Ithieor- 50 AP Powertech
Anbas Ithieor- 20 Operative (lethality/healer)

Anavarra's Avatar


Anavarra
04.25.2012 , 07:07 PM | #98
Well, the sim issue with Retractable Blade is that, if you're following a 15-second rotation, you don't need to watch the debuff. You know that you're going to use Flame Thrower on cooldown, and then the RB debuff will fall off just as Flame Thrower finishes casting. The dot ends exactly 15 seconds after it's cast, and recasting it exactly 15-seconds later doesn't clip the last tick. By not using RB every 15-seconds in the sim, it's losing DPS in an otherwise mathematically perfect scenario. That pushes RB out of its spot in the rotation, and then the priority system starts making sub-optimal choices, which delay more important abilities. In other words, as you said, the sim is assuming minimal human error in refreshing the DoT in a priority system. But the rotation system doesn't rely on recognition of the debuff dropping off to know when to reapply it, so the assumption of human error there in the sim creates a cascading ability selection failure in the rotation that reduces DPS. Of course there's the other problem I mentioned earlier, with the sim using less optimal filler abilities prior to Flame Thrower as well.

Since we know the sim doesn't properly execute the rotation, a possible correction is to run the sim ignoring PFT, and then use the average damage numbers generated along with corrected ability usage numbers to create a DPS estimate. If we assume that the rotation is executed perfectly, no fillers are replaced with Flame Bursts, and Heat Cooldowns are only used every two minutes to maintain the rotation (basically the worst possible simulated scenario for the rotation), then we can know precisely how many times each ability is used.

So, running a 6-minute sim with the Standard AP priority list you mentioned earlier, and the Rakata BiS gear list, I get: ~1542 DPS
If I rerun the sim to use FT on cooldown, rebuild the ability usage numbers using the worst possible case for ability usage in the rotation, multiply with the average damage numbers from the sim (and correct the FT damage output to reflect any changes in the amount of PFT stacks generated), and recalculate DPS I get: ~1549 DPS

So, a small net gain in DPS, which is what would be expected based on the original average damage numbers.

dardack's Avatar


dardack
04.26.2012 , 07:08 AM | #99
Ran Story Mode Denova 16 last nite (guild had already killed HM 8 man awhile ago). Constantly in top spot, however main mara wasn't with us. But with the moving/etc. Only avg'd like 1.2k maybe more. Wasn't too focus'd on the number, just saw my green name was 1 or 2 in the raid. Was awesome on trash tho to see 3k DPS cause PFT is so OP as an AOE.

I did add RB into my rotation after TheOrf pointed it out.

Yes I don't wait for it to fall off Cause I use it right after PFT. So flame sweep before boss to get 5 stacks, rush in, PFT/RB/FB/FB(if RP free RP otherwise IMM/FB/(if RP wasn't free before it is now so RP)/FB/relics and crit ability/PFT/RB.....

Not sure if it's the "proper" rotation, but knowing that RB is 15sec and your hitting FT every 15, it's good to be tied together.

EDIT:

BTW in HEGC the whole time. Maybe Cause I suck, dont' want to worry about heat, or w/e. I know with the rotation above I don't even need to look at my heat bar.
Doofensmirtz lvl 50 PTIn Erebus Drooga's Pleasure Barge. 4 Imps 50. Doofentrooper lvl 50 VG in Goof Troop DPB
Dear BW please have RS/HiB send me to other fleet Nekkid. TY. Also, don't allow 3 sin/shadow 2 sorc/sage teams in HB. That is all.

TheOpf's Avatar


TheOpf
04.26.2012 , 09:17 AM | #100
Quote: Originally Posted by dardack View Post
Ran Story Mode Denova 16 last nite (guild had already killed HM 8 man awhile ago). Constantly in top spot, however main mara wasn't with us. But with the moving/etc. Only avg'd like 1.2k maybe more. Wasn't too focus'd on the number, just saw my green name was 1 or 2 in the raid. Was awesome on trash tho to see 3k DPS cause PFT is so OP as an AOE.

I did add RB into my rotation after TheOrf pointed it out.

Yes I don't wait for it to fall off Cause I use it right after PFT. So flame sweep before boss to get 5 stacks, rush in, PFT/RB/FB/FB(if RP free RP otherwise IMM/FB/(if RP wasn't free before it is now so RP)/FB/relics and crit ability/PFT/RB.....

Not sure if it's the "proper" rotation, but knowing that RB is 15sec and your hitting FT every 15, it's good to be tied together.

EDIT:

BTW in HEGC the whole time. Maybe Cause I suck, dont' want to worry about heat, or w/e. I know with the rotation above I don't even need to look at my heat bar.
I ran EV last night, and was in Tibetan Candle. Outside of accidentally overheating on the one where we have to 1v1 people. I had no serious heat issues. I pracitced using rapid shots as my priority every time my heat crossed 20 and (free)RP was down. I am with you Dardack in that the ease with which Norse uses heat and the rotation is fluid is awesome.

The CGC build is more dps, as I can drop things much faster. I was running straight pvp gear except the three pieces of tionese gear that I actually have from pveing occassionally, and was only about 5-10 percent behind our guilds top dps'ers. Granted, weaving Rapid in every single time your heat crosses 20 is pretty tough to remember.
The Bounty Hunter AP Guide: Always Learning -Vanguard Tactics Guide: Where is my PG Slow?
Anam Ithieor- 50 AP Powertech
Anbas Ithieor- 20 Operative (lethality/healer)