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400K+ WZ Damage... I'm Missing Something

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Gunslinger / Sniper
400K+ WZ Damage... I'm Missing Something

Cosyc's Avatar

03.11.2013 , 11:36 PM | #1
Only recently came back after a year hiatus. Prior to the break I was respectably at or near the top of the damage board in WZs. Obviously there have been gearing changes since then and initially I was extremely outclassed, but I was stunned to see my output has dropped significantly and I seem unable to bring myself back on par with the better Sharpshooters out there. I've poured over forum posts and recent guides, to no avail. Looking for some feedback.

The vast majority of the time I am a 33/5/5 Sharpshooter. My unbuffed Cunning tips 1950 (2200+ with stims & buffs). I have re-geared with all 61 mods, all but two of which are WH. I've crammed aug slots into every conceivable nook and cranny, all +12End/+18Cun. My Expertise hovers around 1200. I have a solid Flourish, Vital Shot, Charged Burst, Speed Shot+Burst Volley, with optional Aimed Shot rotation (plus Quick Draw and Trick Shot where appropriate). I'm not a turret... prefer way more mobile. Stick and move, rinse and repeat.

I was initially concerned the Expertise wasn't higher, but upon examining the 400k+ GS I note they have very close to same, sometimes slightly lower. I have tried stacking power up to 600, adjusted my Crit between 35% and 40%, even tried pushing Surge upwards of 80% even though I knew it was fruitless to do so because of diminishing returns. I can readily pull 200K. Occasionally I'll crest 250K. On rare occasions I'll top 300K. But I get nowhere close to 400K... and it's frustrating the hell out of me. What am I missing?

I'm not interested in the high numbers for their own sake. I generally post in the top 25 percentile for number of kills. I'm specifically interested in increasing my damage efficiency. It seems logical to me that if other SS are able to put out at those levels, I could be performing considerably better than I am currently.

Your input is greatly appreciated. Let me know if I need to provide additional or more detailed information.

Thanks in advance.

Sokee's Avatar

03.12.2013 , 12:59 PM | #2
Getting high damage numbers depends a lot on your team. If your constantly getting hassled because the rest of your team sucks well your not gonna see 400k. Saying that with your gear you should consistently be the top damage on your side.

If you are say three or four on your team it should mean that you played with some other good players and the game is a win, if I'm ever three or four I'm giddy in pugs.

The things I see that your doing wrong.

1) You are a turret, if you do not want to be a turret roll DF or Sab. Of course you should still refresh ballistics and move if you are getting focused from ranged and the like. Basically if you need to move then move if you don't be a turret.

2) Flourish and Vital - I see this as your main problem.

a) Only use flourish in a 1v1 situation, on a healer or high armor class. Also, always on the ball carrier in huttball. Any other time your wasting your global cd.
(1) Good time to use Flourish in a 1v1 is Leg Shot, Sab Charge, Flourish, Instant CB, Trickshot, etc..

b) You should hardly ever use vital as a SS spec. Only two occasions where its appropriate imo. One on a stealth class and two someone trying to kite and or run away from you where Trickshot and Quickdraw are unavailable. Also someone trying to pillar hump you, but your gonna lose that war of dots and instants better to just move and los that person as well.

Also, you didn't mention it but you should be using Sab Charge alot in pvp. Sab Charge > Aimed Shot > Instant CB > Trickshot is one of the best burst in the game.

Cosyc's Avatar

03.12.2013 , 02:45 PM | #3
This is solid advice, and it's appreciated.

I do indeed use Sab... just neglected to mention. The most intriguing portion of what you've mentioned is the overuse of Flourish/Vital. I honestly hadn't even considered removing them from the rotation. I suppose I theorized the -20% plus DOT was worth the additional seconds. I generally use them on-the-run/approach, before I plant (not when Hunkered). I'm going to back off on their application as recommended and see where that takes me.

I do understand the need to plant as a SS. My "not a turret" comment was more to illustrate that I try not to lock myself into a static position for too long. You use of "refresh ballistics" is an excellent descriptor. I was Sabo spec for a long time prior to changing to SS, and I'll admit I sometimes have difficulty purging the joyous dancing flame tossing pyro mentality.

And to answer your question: I am hassled quite a bit so 'setup' rotations are difficult most times. I find myself on defense about 50/50 compared to offence. So in retrospect I think need to pick my battles & position(s) more intelligently.

Again, many thanks. I'll report back after some "theory application".

Cosyc's Avatar

03.12.2013 , 03:38 PM | #4
Initial results favorable. Entering WZ with only basic buffs (no Xeno stims) to gauge the difference. In the few I've played I'm easily pulling 250K (again, only basic buffs), with a fair amount of self-imposed screw ups due to adjusting to the new rotation. Seeing improvement.

ViridianVex's Avatar

03.12.2013 , 03:52 PM | #5
I would suggest going for more than 600 power. IMHO you could get away with between 27% and 33% crit buffed. Also, if you are interested in doing as much damage as possible, you may want to try DF/lethality. The single target is actually very good if you have time to put up your dots before the target dies, and on top of multiple dotted targets its really very easy to top the charts. Finally, are your barrels 61 or 63? If they aren't 63s yet, shell out the creds for the pve or grind for the pvp barrels. This is the most important upgrade you can get.

Dracokyaku's Avatar

03.12.2013 , 06:13 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Cosyc View Post
Only recently came back after a year hiatus.


I have a solid Flourish, Vital Shot, Charged Burst, Speed Shot+Burst Volley, with optional Aimed Shot rotation (plus Quick Draw and Trick Shot where appropriate). I'm not a turret... prefer way more mobile. Stick and move, rinse and repeat.
Welcome back

One of the major changes since you last played would be the decrease of TTK (Time To Kill), while in the past, around 1.2 and the like, you would have had a lot more time to set up your initial shots, you'll find a lot more burst being thrown around the game these days.

With the rotation you've listed above (and, as a few other posters have touched upon) you're limiting yourself somewhat with your initial burst - while you're setting up with Vitalshot and Flourish other players are more than likely opening with heavier hitting attacks, thus killing your target before you can move on to the more substantial attacks.

Make a few alterations to something a little more bursty and you should see things improve substantially, Cover, Instant CB, TS, AS can be a great Opener on a target enabling you to get a large percentage of the damage done to a target before teammates burn said target down.

How are your key bindings at the moment? That's another aspect that can make all the difference - for SS especially and if you're using the Coverbar - a great combination is placing the ability Takecover on (for example) 2 with Charged burst also on the 2 key of the Coverbar, as the Coverbar and Mainbar overlap, you'll find that you get that initial Chatgeburst off substantially faster than you would waiting for the Coverbar to transition.

Keep us up to date with your progress as you get back into the game
Winter Silverwing | Red Eclipse
Smugglers Alliance:The home of Beer, Pie and Scoundrel minded folk.

Cosyc's Avatar

03.15.2013 , 07:54 PM | #7
First of all, really appreciate all the comments, suggestions, and 'welcomes'. One of the reasons I decided to come back was the community. Thanks for proving me right.

Considerable improvement. Taking my Critical down to 30% was troublesome (mentally). It bothered me to no end and it just seemed wrong. But when you're right, your right. And you guys were spot on. Just pulled a 317K in Void Star, 3rd after a Trooper and a Lightning Sorc. Previous two WZ I only pulled 250K, but was no. 1 on both.

I stacked Cun/Power (775), removed Vital from the rotations, and now open with Cover -> Charged -> Sabo -> Trick -> Aimed (with Quickdraw popping more often than not after that). I re-spec'd 29/9/3 and rely on Aimed a lot more. Had to forgo Burst Volley, but haven't noticed any detriment. Almost never used BV, so I don't miss it.

Will continue to update as my gear improves (ever so slowly... too slowly).

Many Thanks again.

Josewales's Avatar

03.19.2013 , 07:36 AM | #8
In full WH gear as a SS...I find myself always flirting towards 300k. And I hardly aoe except on nodes. And I do idle lots based on objective and team needs. If I just followed a micro zerg around only looking for dps, I can see myself 350k easy...which once in a blue moon it happens. Plus pugs in 15k hp and 1k exp helps. Ever notice how top dps are on the losing team often? Tis why.

I wouldnt worry much about dps...I take pride setting up cover in right spots to bounce the melees off and back. Either to death or off my healers/carriers.

There is more to the slinger than dps.

Plikk's Avatar

03.19.2013 , 09:57 AM | #9
Just out of curiosity OP, what's your accuracy sitting at? I've found that you generally need to run a little bit higher when playing SS than DF or Sab. Most of the other posters are correct, power is the way to go for SS. Dat power is what will give your shots the umph you need, although I would disagree with some and say that 30-35% crit is still sort of low, even for SS. Are you using illegal mods off CD with aimed shot?

Just a few tricks I've learned playing slinger: (anybody is free to correct me, I'm no expert but I pull my weight in damage in warzones.)

- Don't go for targets that will mitigate most of the damage you do unless it's absolutely necessary considering that a majority of your damage as SS is white damage. ie. tanks. You'll want to be shooting at things like sorcs, sages, other squishy slingers/snipers, that guy with no expertise :P.

- Don't go after targets that are almost dead if someone else is already sitting on them unless it's going to benefit your team objectively. ie. the healer. Nothing more frustrating than getting to the last 0.5 secs of an aimed shot only to have your target die and then choose a new one. Situations like that will cost you a tremendous dps loss. DO go after healers more often than not. Your spec is designed to burst them down efficiently even if it's difficult to 1 v 1 a well-played healer. In the case of sages/sorcs, wait for them to blow the force speed before leg-shotting and blowing your full load on them. Drop scoundrels/operatives to the last 30% before getting in close and stunning them to finish them off. Commandos and troopers...well yeah, leave the poor bastards alone. They have enough problems as is. ><

- Unless you know sharpshooter like the back of your hand, you're going to have a difficult time fighting against sab/DF. The best thing I'd recommend is hope you get the jump on them as they can do all sorts of crazy sh*t that you can't do, and they can do it while not in cover so diversion doesn't do crap on them. They'll LOS you as soon as you hunker down and they'll LOS you when you try to aimed shot them. Other slingers/snipers also tend to pop dodge and the absorb screen when they see you going for your big shot, make sure you keep an eye out for those cool downs or you'll have wasted dps on that target.

- Never hesitate to find a large group of people all nicely clumped up for you, and then flash-banging them and dropping XS freighter on the whole lot of them. This is of course, highly dependent on your ability to judge a situation. If your teammates are capping the door in VS, and you drop a freighter on a group of CC"d players, I'm fairly certain your popularity rating will boost...and not in a good way. Dropping it on one of your healers while 2 or 3 melee are attempting to gang rape them is a good alternative to that. As well, you can protect your healer by standing on top of them and dropping your scrambling field while hunkered down and watch people get fried by XS freighter.

- Don't be that guy that runs first into mid and promptly gets used as a welcome mat by the opposing team. Hang back slightly, let your team go forward a little as the buffer, and get yourself into position before you start going kamikaze on people. That pretty much applies to all the warzones. Unless you know exactly where you're going to set up and where you'll be moving to next, don't rush in like a fat kid in a donut shop. On that note, despite SS being more a more stationary spec than the other two, you'll still want to adjust and move your position every minute or so unless the other team is completely ignoring you and continues to ignore you like that kid that accidentally pooped in Jimmy Wheaton's swimming pool during the drunken after-grad party. MENTALITY STATUS REPORT: I AM A NINJA, YOU CANNOT SEE ME. (Use the force, Luke. :P)

That's really all I can think of right now, from my experiences anyways as a gunslinger. If I think of anymore, I'll post them for you OP. I just can't operate at 9am in the morning without coffee.

Hope this helps and good luck!

Josewales's Avatar

03.19.2013 , 10:35 AM | #10
This ^^.

Especially hanging back. We have the tools to survive if we do get jumped....but at least we are there to protect healers who actually hang by ya for protection, while both are spamming heals and dps.