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Grimoir's "Terminal Velocity" 0/23/18 PvP DPS spec

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Vanguard / Powertech
Grimoir's "Terminal Velocity" 0/23/18 PvP DPS spec

Grimoir's Avatar


Grimoir
05.27.2012 , 03:02 AM | #1
~~~Terminal Velocity~~~

Sadly, the forums won't allow me to change the title, but it should read as follows: "Terminal Velocity" 2/19/25 PvP DPS Hybrid

*SEE THE BOTTOM OF THE POST FOR ABBREVIATIONS*

Be aware that this is primarily a PvP build, but can of course be tweaked to excel in a PvE environment. See further into the thread for more discussion regarding this spec prior to 2.0



So I'm finally getting around to updating this build with the 2.0 changes. Although many things have changed about the spec, the principle remains the same as it retains the same fast-paced feel and amount of utility that the original spec offered. The main things to note about what is different in the spec are as follows, and I'll go into more detail about what those changes entail further on in the post:

-New talents in the skill trees are available
-5 more skill points to allocate amongst our 3 trees
-A new skill: Shoulder Cannon
-CT is now tied to HEC
-PC does a little bit less damage, but procs more often
-HtL no longer has to be specced into

So let's go ahead and start with the change to CT. Having Gut up on a target no longer makes HIB automatically crit. With the other changes to critical chance in the 2.0 patch, I find that the spec as a whole has to rely more on BF and the Eliminators 4-pc bonus to have consistent damage output from HIB. It's not as big of a hit as it might seem at first, but it definitely reduces the sustained damage that the spec was capable of putting out. So going forward, BF and stacking a bit more crit is going to be the best way to maintain HIB damage output, however I've found that the rest of the talent changes make up for this DPS drop.

With the 5 new talent points, and no longer needing to spec into CT and HtL, we can grab AT and RoF. This is a huge increase in the damage that we can do with not only HIB, but the rest of the skills that are boosted by those talents. The final 2 points can be thrown into either Steely Resolve or Brutal Impact depending on personal preference. I find BI to be a better choice considering the focus on getting in as many HIB's in on the target as possible, but others may prefer the blanket DPS increase from having more Aim.

On top of that, there is a new choice in the Tactics tree called Triumph that boosts all damage done to bleeding targets(i.e. those that you're keeping Gut up on) by 3%.

The other changes can be grouped as they have minimal effect on the spec. The stance change can be looked at as a buff considering the spec has never relied on the passive PC DoT for damage, but rather to make sure HIB is always able to hit the target, and increasing the rate at which it procs means more uptime in general. Shoulder Cannon is a nice new ability that I find myself using to help with Ammo management as the damage it does is nothing spectacular without being specced into higher up in the talent tree(s). Some of the other new talents like Electro Shield, Hyer Assault Cell, and Assault Frame are just nice passive bonuses that increase our damage output and survivability respectively.

So all in all, the spec plays almost the same as it did before with a few nerfs and buffs that require adjusting to.

Below, you can find an edited version of the guide written before the changes were put through, although the tactics did not change much with 2.0.



I came up with this spec shortly before making my Vanguard/Powertech with the advent of Patch 1.2 after studying the trees and noticing the synergy between certain talents. The most notable of said talents WERE: Combat Tactics and Ionic Accelerator. In my experience, CT procced often enough to make over 90% of my HIB automatic critical hits. With the changes from 2.0, the spec is now simply reliant on IA which allows you to use HIB approximately every 6 seconds. The fast paced nature of this spec is what led me to the name: "Terminal Velocity."

The build focuses on running circles around opponents utilizing the 3 available DoTs(Gut, IR, and PC), HIB, SG's, and SS's(occasionally even free ones) to quickly burn down a high-priority target as well as put HEAVY pressure on any nearby healers. Generally, my primary targets are healers(who should always be burned down asap anyways) in order to keep them on the defensive. I effectively limit their impact on the game by forcing them to use their cleanse on CD and also consume what might possibly be a very valuable GCD every 6 seconds. Tabbing over to other targets to throw up a DoT or two and then switching back to the healer also contributes heavily to my team by enabling them to burn down targets faster(thanks to the healer being occupied) and then being able to move on to objectives quicker.

Aside from the DoTs, this build takes advantage of the excellent utility that is Hold The Line. This ability not only breaks any currently applied snares, but prevents you from being re-snared, pulled, pushed, or knocked back; AND increases your movement speed by 30% for it's 6-second duration. To top it off, its only on a 30-second CD. Pop this baby and run circles around anything and everything. This skill has so many uses, I won't even bother listing them all, but lets just say this: HtL makes you one of the best kiter's in the game, and under the right conditions, one of the better ball carriers around.

Now TV is fairly close to the burst capacity of full Assault, but puts out superior DPS once you've got DoTs rolling on multiple targets. HtL used to be the tie-breaker for me, as it allowed TV(and full Tactics) to pull ahead of Assault Specialist in the utility category, but as we all know by now, all Troopers and BH's have access to those skills. I can't really stress it enough, but it's definitely one of the best utility skills for any class in the game IMHO. No one can slow or pull you when it's up, so you get to run circles around anyone and everyone all the while burning them down with your DoTs and frequent HIB crits.

Give it a shot in WZ's for a good week, and then post what you think or any constructive criticism that you can offer.

**ABBREVIATIONS**


-Ammo Types(Stances)-
PC = Plasma Cell
HEC = High-Energy Cell

-Talents-
BI = Brutal Impact
SR = Steely Resolve
Triumph
CT = Combat Tactics
IA = Ionic Accelerator
AT = Assault Trooper
RoF = Rain of Fire

-Abilities-
SS = Stockstrike
SG = Sticky Grenade
HIB = High-Impact Bolt
IP = Ion Pulse
Cryo = Cryo Grenade
HtL = Hold The Line
BF = Battle Focus
Gut
IR = Incendiary Round
~The Jykoor Legacy of The Bastion(PvP)~
Anasė - Terminal Velocity[Hybrid] Powertech - Level: 55
Jerīcho - Tactics Vanguard - Level: 55

Kllashaa's Avatar


Kllashaa
05.27.2012 , 03:56 AM | #2
Interesting spec. How much damage do you usually put out on a typical Voidstar?

Grimoir's Avatar


Grimoir
05.27.2012 , 12:30 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Kllashaa View Post
Interesting spec. How much damage do you usually put out on a typical Voidstar?
About 350k solo-queue, and 400-430k when running with a pre-made, in an average match. I've gone above 500k in a full match before, but neither side was able to get a door.
~The Jykoor Legacy of The Bastion(PvP)~
Anasė - Terminal Velocity[Hybrid] Powertech - Level: 55
Jerīcho - Tactics Vanguard - Level: 55

Fafryd's Avatar


Fafryd
05.27.2012 , 07:41 PM | #4
I ran a spec like this for a long time. It's a good spec. I think Oozo ran a spec like this a while ago as well.

StrykeHard's Avatar


StrykeHard
05.28.2012 , 03:44 PM | #5
Questions on "Hold the Line" and killing healers

Does HTL remove ALL crowd control and prevent crowd control too? or just snares?

Are there tricks or special considerations on using HTL?
I thought you had to activate HTL "before" someone hit you with a crowd control. and so, you really have to know when to use it.

...sick and tired of being chain- stunned-frozen-spun up in the air-snared,,, etc, etc,

And about killing healers? when fighting Imperial Sith Inquisitors (electricity ppl) is there a "best" method for killing them? meaning do they have a particular weakness? or way around there defenses?

Thanks,
(Vanguard full BM Tank build atm)

Citizen-Snips's Avatar


Citizen-Snips
05.28.2012 , 09:03 PM | #6
i used this build a while back on my old server as a PT and enjoyed it quite a bit. i did end up having to take a break and didn't quite get BM gear so now that 1.2 has been upon us for a while and ive rerolled to a more populated server, my question would be why you chose the armor you did.

is the combat tech BM gear really the best choice?? for a build like this which i plan on running along with full assault (just because its a lot of fun sometimes), would you still recommend the combat tech gear and why? it seems like the eliminator set with the HiB bonus would be much better.
==========================================
The dude abides....

Grimoir's Avatar


Grimoir
05.29.2012 , 02:50 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by StrykeHard View Post
Questions on "Hold the Line" and killing healers

Does HTL remove ALL crowd control and prevent crowd control too? or just snares?

Are there tricks or special considerations on using HTL?
I thought you had to activate HTL "before" someone hit you with a crowd control. and so, you really have to know when to use it.

...sick and tired of being chain- stunned-frozen-spun up in the air-snared,,, etc, etc,

And about killing healers? when fighting Imperial Sith Inquisitors (electricity ppl) is there a "best" method for killing them? meaning do they have a particular weakness? or way around there defenses?

Thanks,
(Vanguard full BM Tank build atm)


HtL/HO only breaks any current movement-impairing/snare effects, so no, it wont break any other form of CC.

I wouldn't say there are any tricks per say, but its useful in a variety of situations where you know someone is going to impede your movement in one way or another. For example: You have the ball and you're about to cross the final flame jet on your way into the goal. You know the other team will try to stop you in any way they can, but they don't want to whitebar(fill your resolve bar) in case you have your CC breaker up. More than likely, their first choice will be to knock/pull/push you into the pit/flames or otherwise, further away from the goal line. In apprehension, you can pop HtL/HO and make them unable to do anything to you other than kill you or fully stun you. A good healer can save you from the former, and the latter can be mitigated by your CC breaker if their stun fills your resolve bar.

Other situations that highlight its effectiveness would include: Chasing an opponent that attempts to get away from you by snaring or LoSing you. Use HtL/HO and all they can do to get away is stun you, which may or may not fill your resolve fully. Good players will know how to stop you without white-barring you of course, but it can still be helpful to catch them off guard with your speed and snare/knockback/pull/push immunity. It can also mean the difference between life and death when running AWAY from a player or group of players. The speed boost can get you out of range of any slowing, rooting, or pulling effects.

Also, be sure to save that CC breaker for when you absolutely KNOW you'll need it. Rome-Fu's Resolve Guide is an awesome resource for deciding when its good to use it and when its good to save it.

As for killing healers, I keep a really close eye on their buffs and debuffs. I always start out with either Gut/RB or Incendiary Round/Missle(sometimes both), and as soon as I see them cleanse the DoT(s), I immediately re-apply to keep the pressure up. Cleanses only get rid of 2 effects, so with two of my three DoTs also applying a snare, chances are they'll end up with a combination of debuffs/damage ticking still present even after the cleanse. Gut/RB in itself is fairly cheap to spam(and I use this term VERY lightly to describe my use of the skill) so applying it every couple GCDs to a new target, or again to the healer who cleansed it, remains ammo efficient. Not to mention that Gut ticks have a chance to proc CT which makes my next HiB/RS and automatic crit.

Interrupting is key to taking down a healer of course, just be sure to pay attention to what exactly it is that you're interrupting. Don't kick Diagnostic Scan for example. Good healers will start an insignificant cast-bar ability to bait an interrupt, and if you're the only DPS attacking them and you waste that skill, you more than likely just allowed for a big heal to go off. Sure you can stun them, but that builds resolve whereas Riot Strike/Quell do not.

Another tip is to space out your stuns, especially if you're the only person attacking the healer. If you wait long enough between stuns, your second CC won't push them over the resolve limit and therefore open up your usage of possibly a third form of CC, such as a yank, to prevent them from running away/casting/healing up/getting to a destination or objective. Particularly for Sorcs/Sages, I'll save my Harpoon/Grapple to pull them back when they try to run away. HtL/HO is useful when they do their knockback to get rid of the possible talented snare and to get back in range of course. Stunning them when you're waiting for a hard hitting ability to come off CD or to stop a cast/force run is a valid tactic as well. It keeps them in range, stops them from re-bubbling, and also allows you to get in a little more burst to drop them. One final tip: use the **** out of Gut/RB if you've talented the snare. It does a fantastic job of keeping people from getting out of your very short range.

Quote: Originally Posted by Citizen-Snips View Post
i used this build a while back on my old server as a PT and enjoyed it quite a bit. i did end up having to take a break and didn't quite get BM gear so now that 1.2 has been upon us for a while and ive rerolled to a more populated server, my question would be why you chose the armor you did.

is the combat tech BM gear really the best choice?? for a build like this which i plan on running along with full assault (just because its a lot of fun sometimes), would you still recommend the combat tech gear and why? it seems like the eliminator set with the HiB bonus would be much better.
I see no reason to get the BM eliminator 4-piece set with how often Combat Tactics/Charged Gauntlets procs in the this spec for the auto-crit on HiB/RS. The Combat Tech 2-piece set bonus is worth it to begin with for the extra .5 seconds to our AoE stun, and more importantly the reduced CD on our CC breaker. The Stockstrike/Rocket Punch crit chance is just icing on the cake as I see it, especially considering how often you'll use the ability with Battering Ram/Flame Barrage giving you a free hit and for proccing IA/PPA.

Now it's also pertinent to mention at this point that I also occasionally run in a 31/8/2 spec with DPS gear and a Shield. The Combat Tech 4-piece is great for this spec with the increased surge and ability reset talents in the tank tree, so it doubles its effectiveness in that aspect for me.

If you plan to run pure Assault/Pyro and TV, then grab the Eliminators set. You'll see a much larger benefit from the 4-piece HiB/RS crit chance bonus in AS/Pyro than when using the Combat Tech armor set, and it can potentially free up some points from the TV spec if you want to drop CT/CG and aren't too partial to the talented snare on Gut/RB.
~The Jykoor Legacy of The Bastion(PvP)~
Anasė - Terminal Velocity[Hybrid] Powertech - Level: 55
Jerīcho - Tactics Vanguard - Level: 55

Morath's Avatar


Morath
05.29.2012 , 06:22 AM | #8
How is the ammo consumption with this spec. While I love the idea of this spec, 2 things makes me wonder. If you are throwing out IR which is a 3 ammo skill on several targets don't you run into ammo probs? Does the free procs on HIB and SS help make up for this? Why not paralytic stims for the extra ammo. I find I get stunned enough to gain quite a few ammos per minute in pvp.

Plus you are losing the CD decrease in AS on the shield which adds a lot of survivability. It seems to be up about every minute for me. You lose Shock absorbers on tactics. I am assuming you mean the survivability is better than AS only not on a full tactics build now that I re read your post. Even the full tactics guy who wrote the tactics sticky post stated in one of his posts that he split 4 fights against an AS build 1 v 1.. Not an important point but I do think people tend to underestimate how much that shield helps on surviving at least for me.

I am only 35 currently and I am not being negative. I would like this to be a great build.. I am almost broke going back and forth as I love the utility of the low cooldown on RS and Harpoon and HTL is the bomb but love the dots and range of AS but hate getting snared all the time and Im getting over the Big Numbers on AS. I dislike being tied to PG every 12 seconds on the tactics side which makes this build very attractive to me. I do get decent numbers on tactics but unfortunately I tend to focus more on non dps items like pressuring healers and such and using the crap out of harpoon and RS.. this tends to be the reason my numbers drop more on the tactics build as I don't seem to use my area attacks as much as my AS spec. Sorry digressing here..

Thanks..

Grimoir's Avatar


Grimoir
05.29.2012 , 03:18 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Morath View Post
How is the ammo consumption with this spec. While I love the idea of this spec, 2 things makes me wonder. If you are throwing out IR which is a 3 ammo skill on several targets don't you run into ammo probs? Does the free procs on HIB and SS help make up for this? Why not paralytic stims for the extra ammo. I find I get stunned enough to gain quite a few ammos per minute in pvp.

Plus you are losing the CD decrease in AS on the shield which adds a lot of survivability. It seems to be up about every minute for me. You lose Shock absorbers on tactics. I am assuming you mean the survivability is better than AS only not on a full tactics build now that I re read your post. Even the full tactics guy who wrote the tactics sticky post stated in one of his posts that he split 4 fights against an AS build 1 v 1.. Not an important point but I do think people tend to underestimate how much that shield helps on surviving at least for me.

I am only 35 currently and I am not being negative. I would like this to be a great build.. I am almost broke going back and forth as I love the utility of the low cooldown on RS and Harpoon and HTL is the bomb but love the dots and range of AS but hate getting snared all the time and Im getting over the Big Numbers on AS. I dislike being tied to PG every 12 seconds on the tactics side which makes this build very attractive to me. I do get decent numbers on tactics but unfortunately I tend to focus more on non dps items like pressuring healers and such and using the crap out of harpoon and RS.. this tends to be the reason my numbers drop more on the tactics build as I don't seem to use my area attacks as much as my AS spec. Sorry digressing here..

Thanks..
Generally, I only use IR/IM on my primary target because of that high ammo cost. I also almost always pair RPC/TSO with my IR/IM, which of course makes it free. Now applying Gut/RB to multiple targets as they move in and out of range as I pressure my primary target is much more ammo efficient. This tactic provides utility in the talented slow and helps put quite a bit of pressure on any nearby healers as it ticks down on multiple enemies forcing the healer to expend resources and a GCD with either a heal, or more often than not, a cleanse. The free HiB/RS and SS/RP procs are amazing for keeping up ammo in my expereince.

Honestly, I rarely find myself going below 7 ammo with the way I utilize Hammer Shots/Rapid Shots. I think it mostly has to do with my practice and understanding of ammo consumption and regeneration from playing my Gunnery Commando since launch. PS/GAJ has potential to restore/vent quite a bit of ammo/heat, but think about this(trooper perspective): If I get stunned at or above 8 ammo, the duration of the stun without being broken will be long enough to regen back to 10 or 11 ammo, so I'll still be fine by the end of the CC. In the past when I've been stunned with low ammo, the 1 regen doesn't go very far in helping me when the CC wears off as either I'm almost dead or my opponent is far enough away that I wont have any abilities outside of HiB/RS or a wasteful IR/IM to hit them with. Recharge Cells/Vent Heat is also your best friend when you're low/high on ammo/heat. If you go through a burn phase and are forced to use RC/VH, then you need to focus on not going below/above an acceptable regen level of ammo/heat until it those come back up or you know you'll be out of combat long enough to use your OOC heal/resource regen ability.

This spec is not on the survivable side unless you know how to use your CDs. That goes for any spec really though. You need to know when to pop your shield and when to stun opponents in order to extend your life-span. Now with HtL/HO, we have an extra tool for keeping in and out of range of opponents which, when used properly, can lead to quite a bit of increased survivability. One of the most important things to learn when playing any MMO, is positioning. This is even more important in PvP, and especially so as a melee class. Be sure to watch your surroundings and know how to utilize your environment to increase your survival rate. In 1v1's its more about properly using CDs, which is not something this spec has any special talent buffs to, at least not defensively outside of a reduced CD on CG/ED.

I would recommend TV if you want to be in the thick of the action ALL THE TIME.

You're not missing out on long range DoT's at all, as this spec takes that half of the beneficial talents from AS. You numbers should also never be low if you're targeting a healer most of the game. With them attempting to keep themselves alive, you'll actually end up with more damage in the long run as the two of you play tug-of-war with their health bar. AS definitely isn't about AoEs either by the way. The spec focuses on single target damage, bursting down individuals as fast as possible in order to move onto the next target with very rare and situational use of AoE abilities like MV/DFG on a group of enemies crowding a door or a sticky grenade as your target flees towards a crowd of enemies.
~The Jykoor Legacy of The Bastion(PvP)~
Anasė - Terminal Velocity[Hybrid] Powertech - Level: 55
Jerīcho - Tactics Vanguard - Level: 55

Citizen-Snips's Avatar


Citizen-Snips
05.29.2012 , 06:24 PM | #10
Quote:
If you plan to run pure Assault/Pyro and TV, then grab the Eliminators set. You'll see a much larger benefit from the 4-piece HiB/RS crit chance bonus in AS/Pyro than when using the Combat Tech armor set, and it can potentially free up some points from the TV spec if you want to drop CT/CG and aren't too partial to the talented snare on Gut/RB.
that makes sense, but why would you want to drop CT and the Gut snare when choosing to go with the Eliminators set?

i really dont see anywhere to put those two points either.

also, i think we are in agreement that the HiB 4pc is much better than the Shockstrike 4pc bonus. really the difference seems to be do you want a .5 second increase on an aoe stun and 15 second reduction in our stun breaker for the difference in the DPS increase from the eliminators set. it sounds like with Hold the Line in this spec those CC increases dont really make up for how often crits are going to happen with your HiB.

knowing im not going to play the tanking spec, eliminators is surely the way to go for me.
==========================================
The dude abides....