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Lethality vs. Engineering vs. MM for PvE Ops

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Gunslinger / Sniper
Lethality vs. Engineering vs. MM for PvE Ops

Rischardo's Avatar


Rischardo
07.14.2012 , 05:06 PM | #1
Future Nightmare content has been described as content that only the "best of the best" can accomplish. With the growing popularity of Snipers, I think it would be helpful to break down our three trees and analyze what each spec has to offer. I have ranked each spec (1st being best, 3rd worst) in 5 categories. Almost all of my experience comes from playing Lethality, so any added insight for the other two trees would be especially appreciated. Please keep discussion limited to PvE specs in an Ops situation.

Lethality (http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#400bIZGbbkrMGdhRZb.2)

Sustained Single Target DPS: 1st
Burst Single Target DPS: 2nd
AOE DPS: 2nd (tied with MM)
Mobility: 2nd
Survivability/Raid Utility: 3rd

Discussion:
Spoiler


Marksman (http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#400bfZhZbsrbdRsRGo.2)

Sustained Single Target DPS: 2nd
Burst Single Target DPS: 1st
AOE DPS: 2nd (tied with MM)
Mobility: 3rd
Survivability/Raid Utility: 2nd

Discussion:

Spoiler


Engineering (http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#400rI0bRorRrsZhZbcM.2)

Sustained Single Target DPS: 3rd
Burst Single Target DPS: 3rd
AOE DPS: 1st
Mobility: 1st
Survivability/Raid Utility: 1st

Discussion:

Spoiler


Conclusions (TLDR)

(Note: I will update these as I get more information from either personal testing or discussion from other snipers)

-If you are the only sniper in your Ops, Lethality is the way to go. Our primary job is DPS and the Burst/AOE DPS categories are specific to only some of the Ops fights. Sustained ST DPS will always be important, so Lethality is the best overall PvE spec.

-If there are multiple Snipers in your Ops group, consider going Marksman. Further testing needs to be done, but stacking Lethality Snipers may be a DPS loss for the raid in the end and MM is the next best choice.

-If the fight is healing intensive and your healers are struggling, consider going Engineering. While Engineering probably has the worst DPS of the 3 specs in most situations, it also has the best survivability for both you and your Ops. Never forget the old MMO addage: "You can't DPS if you're dead".

In the end, if your Ops group can consistently down all the end game content, play the spec you most enjoy! This post/discussion is intended to help those looking to squeeze out every advantage for the needs of their particular Ops group. Discuss away!

Tibbel's Avatar


Tibbel
07.14.2012 , 05:53 PM | #2
You have posted some good points. I think you've covered most of the qualitative comparisons between specs that are frequently discussed. In my opinion, however, your quantitative conclusions (i.e. sustained DPS, burst DPS) are not strongly supported with evidence.

As a counterpoint to these quantitative conclusions, simulations do not agree with your sustained DPS rankings. Simulationcraft, for example, ranks Marksmanship first, Engineering 2nd, and Lethality 3rd in sustained DPS. Valid arguments can surely be made as to why the simulations are inaccurate, but of course that should not preclude people who disagree with the simulations from needing to show why instead their own conclusions are accurate.

Rischardo's Avatar


Rischardo
07.14.2012 , 06:52 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Tibbel View Post
As a counterpoint to these quantitative conclusions, simulations do not agree with your sustained DPS rankings. Simulationcraft, for example, ranks Marksmanship first, Engineering 2nd, and Lethality 3rd in sustained DPS. Valid arguments can surely be made as to why the simulations are inaccurate, but of course that should not preclude people who disagree with the simulations from needing to show why instead their own conclusions are accurate.
Thanks for the reply! As far as simulations are concerned, I question their validity (as you predicted that many would). Simulationcraft, for instance, must have had a really weird Lethality rotation because SoS was my top damage in the scenarios I tested. For the "sit still and do nothing" option, I can achieve about the same DPS that Simulationcraft averaged using the standard Lethality rotation. I honestly don't have the time nor the desire to figure out how to tweak the priority system of these simulators. In the end, we are humans and cannot perfectly emulate what the simulators suggest due to server lag, user lag, and user ability. Conversely, a computer cannot make the same split second decisions that a human can depending on the particular situation at hand.

The evidence I can offer (or anyone else for that matter) is at best, anecdotal. For example, even if I was able to dig up the Denova parses between myself and our (now former) MM sniper, there are simply too many variables. Perhaps the other sniper had an off day and wasn't using the "optimal" MM rotation or maybe his stats aren't "balanced" correctly. In any case, despite our similar gear level and player abilities, the MM sniper consistently did a little less DPS than my Lethality sniper. Personally, I also do less overall DPS on the test dummy as a MM (I haven't seriously tried since 1.2 though).

Engineering becomes even more hectic. As a priority based build, the spec lends itself even more to human error as there is no simple rotation that lets you go on "auto pilot". A computer can instantly determine the best next ability that should be used based on the CDs of the other skills and current energy level. A human can only go by a VERY vague ranking system.

Again, my personal parses show that Engineering does about 100-150 less DPS than Lethality on the Ops test dummy. (http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/combatlo...ew#d=0,t=1,b=1) The only time Engineering could match Lethality was if I opened up with OS and if I was lucky with those OS crits. I admit, given my lack of experience with the build, I may be doing it wrong and I welcome the advice of experienced Engineering Snipers who can do better DPS than Lethality. In fact, I hope that someone can show me otherwise, as it's always fun to perfect a new build.

That all said, anecdotal evidence is really all we have to go by. Simulations cannot account for the specific mechanics of each fight or the particular situations a Sniper may find him/herself in. Perhaps my ranking system is incorrect if each spec is played to absolute perfection, but some things just aren't possible for 99% of the player population.

marineopferman's Avatar


marineopferman
07.14.2012 , 08:55 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Tibbel View Post
You have posted some good points. I think you've covered most of the qualitative comparisons between specs that are frequently discussed. In my opinion, however, your quantitative conclusions (i.e. sustained DPS, burst DPS) are not strongly supported with evidence.

As a counterpoint to these quantitative conclusions, simulations do not agree with your sustained DPS rankings. Simulationcraft, for example, ranks Marksmanship first, Engineering 2nd, and Lethality 3rd in sustained DPS. Valid arguments can surely be made as to why the simulations are inaccurate, but of course that should not preclude people who disagree with the simulations from needing to show why instead their own conclusions are accurate.
While my grammar will not be that good I can tell you already that the simulationcraft is WAY off or the snipers are naked lol mainly because I myself avg 2100 on bosses and simulationcraft says lethal only avg 1590?? why the 410 dps difference so eithor its WAY off or the gear you put in their is horrible cause I know for a fact that MM and Lethal and Egineering all have to gear differently. also one more thing I just looked over their simulationcraft thing and it has cull as the worst dps out their and from what it show they are spamming SS.....cull should be doing atleast 30% of your dps not 10% and SS should not be doing 45% of your dps.

marineopferman's Avatar


marineopferman
07.14.2012 , 08:59 PM | #5
Sorry one more thing it also shows weak corrosive grenade and dart ....ANY lethal sniper worth his salt who doesnt refresh his poisons before they hit weak should go MM thats a HUGE dps loss...going from 1k a tick to 200 a tick

marineopferman's Avatar


marineopferman
07.14.2012 , 09:03 PM | #6
Sorry one more thing (I know I know I should just shut up :P) but I looked at the gear your simulation craft did and ANY sniper who wears ALL field tech...needs to just stop being a sniper the mods are just wrong for us need to switch out gear mainly. Also remember 90% of the bosses out their have STRONG kinetic defense and weak internal defense so that might be why simulation craft goes for straight dmg while in game life it isnt like that the kinetic dmg reduc hurts MM ALOT and wont hit as hard as it did their. while lethal dmg reduc is MUCH MUCH smaller so it might be the difference thier not sure as I am still reading up on simulationcraft. (once again sorry about the grammar)

marineopferman's Avatar


marineopferman
07.14.2012 , 09:17 PM | #7
lol noticed another thing...what is up with these stats for this place?? what sniper only has 1306 cunning? a sniper wants 2k cunning unbuffed. eithor way I think whoever put that gear togethor needs to take another look.

Rischardo's Avatar


Rischardo
07.14.2012 , 09:35 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by marineopferman View Post
While my grammar will not be that good I can tell you already that the simulationcraft is WAY off or the snipers are naked lol mainly because I myself avg 2100 on bosses .
You average 2100 DPS? Sorry, I have a tough time believing this. Most min-maxed Snipers claim/show parses of around 1800-1900 DPS on a single target for an Ops test dummy. Let's not even talk about how most boss fights have some sort of mechanic that lowers your DPS (movement, periods of immunity/down time with nothing to DPS etc.) I think the one time I had 2100+ DPS on a mostly single target fight was the last fight in HM LI, but that's because of the increased damage the boss takes in phase 3.

My DPS can spike past 2000 DPS in the opening moments of a fight with OS and adrenals, but I don't know anyone who can sustain that. I'd like to see a parse showing you actually do 2100 DPS over at least 3 minutes on a single target.

Rischardo's Avatar


Rischardo
07.14.2012 , 10:24 PM | #9
Also, Tibbel, you seem to be a household name in the Sniper community. I know absolutely nothing about the MM/Engineering hybrid. Could you share your thoughts on how MM/Engineering hybrid stacks up against the 3 "pure" specs in the 5 categories?

Hxxr's Avatar


Hxxr
07.14.2012 , 10:31 PM | #10
Nice quadruple post there. ;>

Anyway as with other classes Snipers have gotten a great gift with the Field Respec. Discussions like this have to be done on a boss by boss basis and even then your role (and spec) in the fight can differ occasionally.

For example Marksmanship is better when being part of the team dealing with Zorn and Kephess.
Engeneering is nice for the Colonel but a no-go for Nightmare Pilgrim.
Just to put some examples out there.

This is the one thing a simulator won't be able to show (even if you update the equipment and rotations). This is more important for Snipers than for other classes because the specs are a lot closer together.
Quote: Originally Posted by Rtwozero View Post
Just remember that combat logs only state mathamatical facts. They are not rude or arrogant.