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Alac DPS build


Ycoga's Avatar


Ycoga
12.18.2012 , 07:27 AM | #1
I originally posted this on our guild site, thought I'd share it here. Sage/Sorc is a complex class. When I first started playing I thought the skill-tree abilities were very generic, none of them seemed to offer obviously powerful benefits when compared to, say, the Sent or Vanguard trees. I've played my sage since launch, have tried every possible role with it, and have come to (what I feel is) its most viable pvp build; the Alacrity-based Balance-TK hybrid.

Basically, no other build I've tried combines survivability with the ability to defeat enemies one-on-one and in groups. It also doesn't need to be Guarded by a tank... in other words, it can survive alone well enough. However, when I'm lucky enough to have a tank, I can still off-heal them when needed - and the alacrity helps pump the heals out faster.

I believe that the design philosophy of sages is that they are meant to do average damage over time, with no front-loading of damage, because they have a large Force pool and are meant to do sustained damage AND healing (not 'or'). Using high alacrity cheats this design a bit by allowing you to unload burst damage. Most would claim that Power is superior for this, but the reality is that it's very slow, and in pvp if you're slow you're on the back foot, and when you're on the back foot you've already lost and will be in the respawn box soon. (The exception to this rule is Ranked team sorcs that max endurance and power and have huge survivability, but that rely on their team to survive. This is important, because it helps identify why this alacrity build was developed: it can survive without team support if necessary).

PVP Balance-TK hybrid build (DPS).

What you'll need:
1. Base alacrity rate of (around) 20% from gear.
2. Expertise of around 1200.

The skill tree:
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#60...Rr0zZcRbRsMz.2

Important abilities in this build:
1. Weaken mind (Procs near-instant TKThrows (0.8 seconds instead of 3 seconds in this build), and procs +5% alac from Campaign gear).
2. TK Throw (Recharges Force. Proc's instant mind crush and disturbance. Primary damage ability).
3. Mind crush (Damage).
4. Disturbance (Damge. Procs instant TKWave).
5. Forcequake (AOE damage. Procs instant TKWave).
6. TK Wave (AOE damage).
7. Force in balance (AOE damage, minor healing).
8. Bubblestun (Defence).
9. Force speed (Defence).
10. Force potency (Use this as often as possible on TKThrow for auto-crit ticks).
11. Mental Alacrity (Boosts alacrity to 45% for 10 seconds, in best-case scenario. 40% the rest of the time).

Gear:
1. Base alac rate should be 20% (This is do-able if you have alac mods on all your gear, 2 x alac relics and some alac augments).
2. 4 x Campaign Force Master armourings, which add +5% alac when you use Weaken Mind, bringing your functional alac to 25%.

Rotation (highest priority first, don't re-cast dot's if they're still active. Cast procs as highest priority):

Single target:
Bubble > Weaken mind > Mental alacrity > Force potency > TKThrow > Mind crush (proc) > Disturbance (proc) > Force in Balance

AOE:
Bubble > Weaken mind > Mental alac > Forcequake (until MAlac wears off AND TKWave procs) > TKWave (proc) > Force in Balance

Strategy:
See this thread for the basic ways to use the build, and probably most other sage builds, in 1-on-1 pvp: http://www.swtor.com/community/showt...highlight=kill

Conclusion:
Not a lot of people really appreciate what Alacrity can do for sages (and commandos I suspect, but that's another matter entirely). Alacrity reduces cast times, channel times, and even makes GCD's faster (i.e. you can squeeze multiple abilities into a single GCD). Most sages and sorcs focus on power and willpower, then crit and surge. This is slow. This is okay if you presume you'll be left alone to free-cast, but that's not the case in pvp, where sages are considered easy kills. The alacrity build is a venus fly-trap - it attracts enemies close by appearing to be a fragile sage, traps them with bubblestun, then unloads damage quickly. Force Speed then allows you to get distance before unloading more damage via TKThrow at a safe distance.

Some examples of accelerated abilites (fastest possible in this build):
TKThrow = 0.8 seconds (normally 3 seconds)
Forcequake = 3.3 (usually 6)
Disturbance = 0.8 (usually 1.5)

You might not get top damage, because you're a sage: but you might get excellent kill to death ratios and medal counts. AOE damage in this build is particularly good.
http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/...psf01e6206.jpg
'Pre-2.0 PvP... The gear gap was too big and some players became non-contributors quickly because of the gear gap. It wasn’t fun for the majority of players' - Alex Modny

NoFishing's Avatar


NoFishing
12.18.2012 , 02:14 PM | #2
Alacrity is good, but because of the diminishing returns, it should be balanced with Surge. Also, there is no alacrity vs power argument, so your rational of not stacking power is wrong.

And alacrity does NOT reduce the GCD. Instants such as WM, SF, FiB, proc'd MC, and FA will activate the GCD, and it is still 1.5s.

CJNJ's Avatar


CJNJ
12.18.2012 , 02:32 PM | #3
Wouldn't say that alacrity should be balanced with surge, but i would stack around 75% crit multiplier before I load up on alacrity. Also the way you want to run your spec I wouldn't even go into Presence of Mind, just because you have so much into alacrity already. Just my opinion tho, no numbers to back it up
CJuice Sandwich-lazy sage seer || Cmeat Sandwich- fat blind engi sniper
lil'cmeat Sandwich- it's a lil Cmeat! Gunslinger || Naked-snake- looks more like plissken, scoundrel
Laziness is a skill

NoFishing's Avatar


NoFishing
12.18.2012 , 02:59 PM | #4
Some numbers. With end-game gear and augments, we have roughly 800 points to spend on secondary stats, and the only secondary stats that matter for sages are surge and alacrity.

If you put all 800 points into alacrity, it will give you 18.8% base rating, and a 50% crit multiplier. Taking 200 of those points from alacrity and putting them into surge gives you 15.6% alacrity, and 71.2% surge. So for 3.2% slower casts, you get 21.2% bigger crits. Assuming a crit chance of 30%, that is 3.8% more damage on all attacks ( a bit more for Tk throw given its higher crit chance).

If you drop your alacrity to ~400, it is 11.6% activation time. The other 200 points can be put into main stat augments that both make you hit harder and add to crit chance.

For PvP, I would see it as debatable whether augments with endurance, power, or main stat are more beneficial overall. But I think putting more than 400 points into anything with severe DR (ie, crit, surge, alac) is just gimping yourself.

Ycoga's Avatar


Ycoga
12.19.2012 , 04:08 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by NoFishing View Post
Alacrity is good, but because of the diminishing returns, it should be balanced with Surge. Also, there is no alacrity vs power argument, so your rational of not stacking power is wrong.
Didn't say you shouldn't stack power, I made no mention of requirements other than alac 20%. I'm comfortable running at about 850 bonus dmg with this build, which, for me, is a good balance of power and speed. However you're right in one other aspect: I'm currently using 19.4% alac, not 20%.

Quote:
And alacrity does NOT reduce the GCD. Instants such as WM, SF, FiB, proc'd MC, and FA will activate the GCD, and it is still 1.5s.
You misinterpreted my intent: what I meant was, that you can for example get a full TKThrow and TKWave off in the same GCD using this build. E.g. you can do 2xTKThrow and 1xFiB in 2 GCD's (if Throw ticks for 900 and FiB does 1.5k, that's 8700 damage in 3 seconds). However I'd normally use Mind Crush instead of FiB, for it's extra 20% damage from Presence of Mind, on single targets. Part of the main reason to invest so much alac is the ability to cram multiple casts into a single GCD - your opponent is, generally, not prepared for the speed of the attack.
Doing 8700 before your bubble pops is a good start to any 1-on-1.

Quote: Originally Posted by CJNJ
Also the way you want to run your spec I wouldn't even go into Presence of Mind, just because you have so much into alacrity already. Just my opinion tho, no numbers to back it up
Presence of Mind is vital for the burst, and it adds 20% dmg to those attacks. TKThrow makes you a turret, using PoM gives you more mobility.
'Pre-2.0 PvP... The gear gap was too big and some players became non-contributors quickly because of the gear gap. It wasn’t fun for the majority of players' - Alex Modny

Ycoga's Avatar


Ycoga
02.14.2013 , 03:21 AM | #6
The rumour mill suggests that most DPS improvements coming in future patches from BW (for sages) involve increased alacrity.
'Pre-2.0 PvP... The gear gap was too big and some players became non-contributors quickly because of the gear gap. It wasn’t fun for the majority of players' - Alex Modny

warstory's Avatar


warstory
02.16.2013 , 10:32 PM | #7
anyone thought about going with a crit build I think we can hit 40% if not more

SoonerJBD's Avatar


SoonerJBD
02.16.2013 , 11:53 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by warstory View Post
anyone thought about going with a crit build I think we can hit 40% if not more
You can certainly stack crit until you get 40 percent or more crit chance, but you are better off keeping those points in power, which increases the damage on all your attacks and not just crits.

Ycoga's Avatar


Ycoga
02.18.2013 , 07:13 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by warstory View Post
anyone thought about going with a crit build I think we can hit 40% if not more
You can hit 40% 'fairly' easily by getting up to 35% base (companion bonuses, abilities, gear, WP bonus, WP augments, +6% WP ability) then smuggler buff up to 40%. You'll have a fairly high WP score which will add some damage to your hits.

In this case though, surge would take priority over power - you'd rely on WP to provide damage (instead of power) but surge to pad out your crits. I can't imagine it'd be worth doing this build without at least 76% surge.

There are many sage abilities that add crit. In Balance, you have +6% crit on TKThrow and Dist. 'Mental scarring' adds surge bonus damage to FiB and Dots.
'Penetrating light' (seer) adds 3% base crit to all force abilities.
In Telekinetics, turbulence is virtually an auto-crit (making your crit rating irrelevant for turbulence), but reverberation would pad your surge damage out nicely.

If you sacrificed alacrity for crit, you shouldn't take telekinetics because of the Turbulence autocrit. It might work well in a full balance build, which has several abilities that proc off critical hits. (Sever Force does not get an autocrit - but as it does internal damage it would benefit from good Crit and Surge ratings). The downside to low alacrity in a full balance spec is that you spend more time casting and less time moving; and you are quite interruptable.
'Pre-2.0 PvP... The gear gap was too big and some players became non-contributors quickly because of the gear gap. It wasn’t fun for the majority of players' - Alex Modny

SoonerJBD's Avatar


SoonerJBD
02.18.2013 , 02:47 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Ycoga View Post
You can hit 40% 'fairly' easily by getting up to 35% base (companion bonuses, abilities, gear, WP bonus, WP augments, +6% WP ability) then smuggler buff up to 40%. You'll have a fairly high WP score which will add some damage to your hits.

In this case though, surge would take priority over power - you'd rely on WP to provide damage (instead of power) but surge to pad out your crits. I can't imagine it'd be worth doing this build without at least 76% surge.

There are many sage abilities that add crit. In Balance, you have +6% crit on TKThrow and Dist. 'Mental scarring' adds surge bonus damage to FiB and Dots.
'Penetrating light' (seer) adds 3% base crit to all force abilities.
In Telekinetics, turbulence is virtually an auto-crit (making your crit rating irrelevant for turbulence), but reverberation would pad your surge damage out nicely.

If you sacrificed alacrity for crit, you shouldn't take telekinetics because of the Turbulence autocrit. It might work well in a full balance build, which has several abilities that proc off critical hits. (Sever Force does not get an autocrit - but as it does internal damage it would benefit from good Crit and Surge ratings). The downside to low alacrity in a full balance spec is that you spend more time casting and less time moving; and you are quite interruptable.
This post displays a serious misunderstanding of how stats work in this game. Power does not compete with surge and alacrity does not compete with crit rating.

Crit and power are secondary stats. They compete with each other. You can trade crit for power and vice versa by switching out mods and enhancements. Surge and alacrity are tertiary stats. They compete with each other. You can trade alacrity for surge and vice versa by switching out enhancements. You CANNOT trade crit for alacrity or power for surge. The only way you could do this is if you were using augments with those stats, and you should only be using willpower augments no matter your spec.