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Emperor-Norton's Guide to Watchman

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Sentinel / Marauder
Emperor-Norton's Guide to Watchman

Emperor-Norton's Avatar


Emperor-Norton
12.07.2013 , 09:05 PM | #1
The Guide is out of date as of the 3.0 Expansion, and unfortunately I have no desire to write a new version as I no longer enjoy the spec after the changes made in the Expansion.

Are you tired of converting Focus into Blade Rush and Blade Storm? Does your Slash, Force Leap and Cauterize button stare at you from your quickbar with sad, underused eyes? Watchman may be the right spec for you!

The challenge of playing Watchman well is less of moments that require split second decision making (though it does have them); it requires planning ahead, features little change in tempo, and is a consistent challenge compared to Combat's periods of frenzied action and ponderous buildup. To be successful with Watchman you will need to keep up a pretty constant vigilance over your Focus but also the cooldowns for your abilities to be successful. You will also need to learn to change plans on the fly and adapt to bad RNG.

Since non-combat action matters are boring, I will direct you to Oofalong's Guide here (Edit: the site it is hosted on is down, so you are stuck with my sadly ) for questions you have about what may not be covered in my Guide. I would also like to thank him for advice and help in formulating this guide.

Terminology

Marauders can read my Annihilation Guide here. I update both and they should be as up to date.

The Spec

For general purpose DPS, 36/8/2 is the optimum spec to use. What is best can change depending on fight. When maximum DPS is not absolutely necessary and there is a lot of AOE Damage going out, 36/10/0 would be better. However you should switch things around depending on the fight. If you don't need to Interrupt nor do you need Pacify, taking the points out of Watchguard and into Zealous Ward would be better. I almost always take 2 points in Force Fade since it makes Camo an excellent gap closer if Leap is on CD or if I need to get somewhere that I can't Leap to.

Learning to Play

For the main Sentinel PvE trees, RNG is a part of life. While bad RNG can cripple Combat's DPS, the same can be said for Watchman.

On another note, if you want to be good with Watchman you need to keybind (if you already do, ignore this paragraph). With two important abilities that require precise timing and are off the GCD, it is inefficient to click with this spec. You need to move your mouse to hit 2 things, I can just hit 2, V, and R to activate both and an ability on the GCD in the same tenth of a second. While keybinding will suck and you will want to rewire your brain, as a former clicker, it is definitely worth it.

I make no statement that how I play Watchman is the absolute ideal way to play the spec, or that there is theory crafted Math to back this up. This Guide is for the purpose of taking the way in which I play Watchman on a high level, and distributing that method to other players to improve their play of the spec (and not long ago I was one of the less successful players who thought the spec was very underpowered relative to Combat). I make no guarantees that this is the absolute optimum way to play, other than the way I play puts me up with the best players in the World. I will also say this Guide is subject to change as I learn more about the spec and find ways to improve my play. Without further delay, let us begin.

The Basics

The rotation for Watchman can be summed up as using Merciless Slash, Cauterize, and Overload Saber on cooldown while making sure you have the Focus to use them. Slash, Twin Saber Throw, and Master Strike are nice; but they aren't the cornerstones of the spec and should generally be treated as fluff damage for when you have what you need for your core attacks. Master Strike I may make an exception for, but I will elaborate more on that later.

The rotation of Watchman can be broken into 6 second Merciless Slash windows. The spec consists of nothing but these Windows. The usual Window will be as follows:

Merciless Slash > Cauterize > Filler > Filler.

Your filler can be any of the following: Force Leap, Zealous Strike, Strike, Slash, Twin Saber Throw, or Master Strike. 6 Focus is required to execute that window. Overload Saber is on a 12 second CD, so you need to know when it will be coming off CD and plan for it accordingly, this obviously increases the focus cost to 9.

Of course Cauterize could not proc, in which case you place a filler in its spot.

One of the things you will need to do is learn to look at multiple abilities CD's, translate those seconds into what GCDs they will come off in, and then create a mental picture for what order you will use them. Deciding you only need 1 focus generating ability to generate what you need, then deciding Leap gives you enough focus so you can save Zealous Strike for later, and that you can use Twin Saber Throw before you need to use Merciless Slash again. This is what you should be thinking around the time you are starting that Window, if not before. To be successful with Watchman you can't be too caught up in the moment.

While this may seem basic, it requires consistently perfect execution and the ability to juggle multiple ability cooldowns simultaneously.

How 2.0 changed things

We all know that 2.0 added Burning Focus, 4 stacks of Merciless (bringing the CD of Merciless Slash to 6 seconds at full stacks), and changed the 2 piece PvE set bonus. The result of this was making the spec tighter, require more focus, and more reliant on RNG. Another noteworthy thing was to allow Dispatch to proc Mind Seer. In my opinion these were all good changes. They made the spec more difficult and engaging to play and when I practiced pre-2.0 Watchman for the heck of it (just don't spec into Burning Focus or Inexhaustible Zeal) it felt pretty slow and ponderous.

Focus on your Focus

In 2.0 both Sentinel specs were changed to make their rotations more challenging and were given a lot of RNG to deal with. The RNG added to Watchman to in 2.0 was focus generation. Knowing how much focus you have, how much you need, and when to rely on RNG is crucial to playing the spec well.

Your DoTs

They are your most focus efficient attacks you have and, outside of Master Strike, are the hardest hitting abilities you have (yes Overload Saber and Cauterize do more damage than Merciless Slash or Dispatch). What makes them the key to high sustained DPS is they will usually pay for themselves in either their high uptime making Burning Focus able to proc often (Overload Saber) or having enough ticks to allow Plasma Blades to recoup their cost (Cauterize). Naturally the spec plays the easiest when these have a high uptime and once they get rolling focus management gets easier.

Overload Saber

This ability does the second most damage per cast and does around between 9000 - 10000 damage in full 78 gear. It will typically pay for itself in Focus cost not so much from Burning Focus, but from its high uptime allowing you to consistently get focus from Burning Focus.

Each stack of the dot hits for as much as a single tick of Cauterize (So 3 ticks of Cauterize does as much damage as 1 tick of Overload Saber at three stacks) and it ticks either once every three seconds or when a new stack is applied. The dot lasts for 6 seconds if no new stack is applied. The ability should last for 9 seconds before it wears off, so it should have a 75% uptime.

Delaying Overload Saber is definitely a bad thing and should at all times be kept on cooldown. Good play of the spec requires you to know its cooldown and prepare for the additional focus cost when it comes off CD in addition to your normal attacks.

A bit of an oddball thing I recommend is to keep the abilities you use the most bound to the same modifier key. In other words, if your keybind for Overload Saber is 3, it is good to have your Merciless, Cauterize, Strike, Slash, Zealous, Leap, etc. not be bound to a key plus shift or ctrl. The reason for this if you are trying to simultaneously press Overload Saber, which is bound to 3, and Merciless, which lets say is Shift + R; the game won't recognize you as trying to hit them at the same time like you would if you were doing R and 3. It is thinking you are either doing Shift + 3 or R, which can cause problems. Just a little suggestion for people to think about.

Cauterize

The Sentinels short duration dot, it does slightly more damage than Merciless Slash and is very focus efficient. The net focus generation this ability gives from Plasma Blades I would say is probably somewhere between 1.5 and 2 per activation, but closer to 1.5. The dot is pretty simple, ticking once every second for six seconds. The lockout for Mind Seer makes things pretty simple where a good phase simply keeps this dot ticking continuously. You never want to clip the end of the dot, so only apply the ability 3 GCD's or more after the last activation.

Technically speaking, it doesn't really matter where you place Cauterize in the window (provided it doesn't naturally come off cooldown at some point). So long as it procs, you can put it at the end or the beginning of the window. However right after Merciless is best since if it does naturally come off cooldown, it will skip a window and appear at the end of the second. The alternative would be to skip two windows and appear in the third window at the spot for Merciless Slash or its normal spot, which means you can lose possible use of Cauterize. Think of it this way, with Cauterize naturally coming off cooldown you can either do:

Cauterize > Merciless Slash > Filler > Filler > Cauterize > Merciless Slash > Filler > Filler > Cauterize > Merciless Slash (fail proc) > Filler > Filler > Filler > Merciless Slash > Cauterize > Filler > Filler

or

Filler > Merciless Slash > Cauterize > Filler > Filler > Merciless Slash > Cauterize > Filler > Filler > Merciless Slash (fail proc) > Filler > Filler > Filler > Merciless Slash > Cauterize > Filler > Filler

Both examples have 4 uses of Merciless Slash, but the former has 4 uses of Cauterize while the latter has 3. Another advantage is since Merciless requires 5 but uses 4 focus, the required focus of Cauterize first is 7, while Cauterize after only needs 6.

However having it in the third or fourth GCD doesn't matter if the following Merciless Slash fails to proc Mind Seer, but the one after that does. Putting it in the third GCD is bad because if you get lucky with Mind Seer you have no place for Master Strike. In a case where I was first able to use Cauterize in the third GCD, I would just wait and place Cauterize at the fourth GCD in the window, unless something like ZS or Leap was coming off CD in the fourth GCD.

Zen

Of course Zen isn't a dot, but it is related to them so I am placing this here. The optimal time to use Zen from a damage standpoint is when you have two stacks of OS and are about to activate the ability that will apply the third stack (at which point the dot immediately ticks). Usually this will also be with Cauterize up, which means Zen will be consumed in three seconds with your dots critting in this fashion:

OS - - - - - - - - OS
CA - CA - CA - CA

The other good time to use Zen is when OS at three stacks is just about to hit its halfway point. It will still be consumed in the above fashion, but the above will still be better. The reasons for that is that if you don't have Cauterize, you may get all the ticks of OS at 3 stacks to crit.

If Cauterize isn't up the effect will linger for a while which will push back your next Zen considerably. I have noticed that if Zen is used up quickly you will be at 30 stacks again in around 24 seconds, which will allow it to be up for about your every other Overload Saber.

The best place to use Zen in terms of in your GCD bound rotation for me is after either of the two attacks before Merciless Slash. That way the 15 second 4% damage buff from Weaponmaster would affect 3 Merciless Slashes instead of 2. However I wouldn't delay Zen to miss out on a tick just for this. It is just something to be aware of when you are DPSing.

Your Damage Attacks

Merciless Slash

The capstone ability for Watchman, it does a considerable amount of damage (slightly more than Dispatch, yet less than Cauterize). The need to feed the focus cost of the ability is what gives the spec most of its challenge, but what makes the attack worth it is its synergy with the as powerful but cheaper Cauterize. Its high chance of resetting the CD on Cauterize allows Cauterize to have a high uptime and playing the spec on a high level requires that you use this ability on cooldown every single time. This ability gets less important in an execute since Dispatch does the same job for cheaper, but still needs to be used (both for its damage and high chance of proccing Mind Seer).

This ability_needs_to be used off of cooldown essentially all the time. If it spends a GCD without a number on it, bad Sentinel.

Master Strike

This ability is hard to use in the Watchman rotation (at least the 2.0 version). It hits for a lot, but finding a place for it in a tightly bound rotation is difficult. The ideal spot to use this ability is after Cauterize with enough focus to pay for Merciless Slash when the channel ends. Alternatively, using it when Mind Seer doesn't proc works quite well; since you have a GCD for focus if needed and many times that will allow you to keep the damage rolling with no delay to the core rotation. Ideal rarely happens however. The thing about Master Strike is that it hits hard. Really hard. The DPS done by Master Strike is slightly higher than the total DPS the spec can put out (which includes Master Strike), so delaying it by much is a bad thing.

Seeing what the CD on Master Strike is when it gets under 10 seconds, comparing it with other cooldowns (what the CD on Merciless is to see on what window it will come down in, where it is relative to other focus builders like ZS and Leap, etc) is important to playing the spec well. The biggest way to shoot yourself in the foot with Watchman is to tunnel vision what you are doing and not plan things out. Playing well I will use it within the first 2 windows where it comes off CD.

One thing I don't like to do is channel MS where there is 3 seconds or less on the CD for OS, or if I won't have the focus for OS. The reason is that will delay OS, which is a bad thing.

An important thing to do is clip the channel of Master Strike at 2.7 seconds, since that is when the third tick hits. Channeling after that is wasted time. This is also a convenient way to correct for lag with abilities (it puts the GCD back on par with the Cooldowns).

I will note that if I am channeling Master Strike, and Merciless Slash will be coming off CD (this also applies to the time between GCD's) at the end of the channel, and I only have 4 Focus, I will still be prehitting my keybind for Merciless going into the final tick of Master Strike, even though I don't currently have the focus for it. Since many times I will get that 1 focus just in time and allow me to use Merciless Slash. If it doesn’t work I immediately switch to Strike and then use Merciless.

Dispatch

Your execute ability. 2.0 changed it from a really cheap, free damage ability to a cheaper version of Merciless Slash (by giving it the same 66% chance to proc Mind Seer). It does the same MH damage as Merciless Slash but Merciless has an off-hand attack, so Merciless Slash does a bit more damage. One of the things I am trying to think through is whether the offhand makes Merciless a more important option than Dispatch. The arguments broil down to higher uses of Dispatch is cheaper, which allows more frequent uses of Merciless Slash (so more combined uses), versus the damage of Merciless makes it more important. Currently I lean on the former, but my opinion can change. Its proper use is explained in the Execute section near the end of the guide.

Twin Saber Throw

The 30 meter, AOE, and filler attack given to Sentinels in 2.0. It does higher damage than Slash and if you can aim it at multiple targets it does an incredible amount of damage. It is still certainly useful for Single Target however.

Preferably I would put it in the second position aka Merciless Slash > Cauterize > Twin Saber Throw > Filler as this should keep it from interfering with the cooldowns from other abilities and would make it so it can be used off cooldown, although don't use it if you need the GCD for focus generation. Before I had shrugged the ability off as fluff damage but I think I am coming to the realization it should be used as much as possible if you want to maximize your DPS.

This ability should be used over Slash whenever possible, the only exception should be if you are going to go over 12 Focus. Use if and only if you have the Focus for Merciless Slash, Cauterize, and/or Overload Saber.

Slash

Your general focus dump. Has a fairly low chance to proc Mind Seer, but before the execute phase it is a decent enough ability. For the record, 2 Slashes aren't as good as Merciless for proccing Mind Seer, combined they only have a 55% chance of proccing Mind Seer. Use it if and only if you either have or will have the focus for your Merciless Slash, Cauterize, and Overload Saber.

Focus Builders

The abilities that feed the Merciless Slash engine.

On another note, don't use Zealous Strike and then Force Leap with one attack in between, since that will give both abilities the same cooldown and cause a conflict. Plus usually using them together will put you over 12 Focus, which is a waste. If possible use Leap before Zealous Strike as this will keep their cooldowns reasonably spaced out. Eventually they will end up coming together again, but until then it spaces out rage generation and makes it easier.

Zealous Strike

2.0 made Watchman line up perfectly, everything fits into the cooldowns that are factors of 6... except Zealous Strike. This ability gives a large amount of Focus (and gives the most Focus per second when used on CD) and I would preferably use it either after Merciless or right before it. The reason for this is that the ability will appear in the opposite spot when it comes off CD. If used after Merciless, it will skip a window and appear at the end of the second. If used before, it will skip two windows and appear right after Merciless. Using it between those GCDs will simply have it come off CD at the same time as Merciless, so if you can't use it after Merciless you might as well just wait until the attack before Merciless.

An interesting thing to note is that this ability has three separate hits, 1 MH and 1 OH happen instantly, and an MH that happens 1.5 - 2 seconds after.

Force Leap

Your Gap Closer that has been re-purposed to feed the Merciless Slash engine. If you can get the necessary focus with just using Leap and have both Leap and ZS available, just use Leap. The reason is that the abilities will remain in separate windows when they come off CD, which evens out future Focus generation. Never use Leap two attacks after ZS as that will give both abilities the same cooldown.

Using the ability for bosses that move around is tricky since you need to balance its use as a gap closer with its use as a focus generator. Good play of the spec usually involves learning when you will have to move and use the ability in between those times, but still have it up when movement is needed. Like only being able to use it in place once for Brontes on Council since you will need to use it for movement every other time. Using it for anything other than movement while "tanking" Tyrans on Council is a bad idea in my opinion.

When you don't need it for movement I would just about always put using Force Leap over Zealous Strike for Focus generation. The reason is that the naturally shorter cooldown on Leap puts a greater gap between it and Zealous Strike when it is used first, which just about guarantees they will come off cooldown in separate windows down the line, which will even out focus generation. This assumes either ability can give you the focus you need to pull off a window.

I am debating whether I would want to save Force Leap for the third GCD in each window instead of TST. The advantage of this is it should always keep Leap and ZS separate and allow for greater gross focus generation. Either way, this shouldn’t be the most important issue ever.

Strike

Your standard focus builder with no cooldown. It builds two focus but because it has so many little attacks (4 in total; 3 MH, 1 OH) it will very often generate 3 focus per use due to Burning Focus. Beyond that, there is not much to say about this ability. Use it when you need Focus but Leap and Zealous aren't available.

You shall know the RNG, and the RNG shall set you free

Lots of the difficulty for Watchman is knowing generally how often you get focus from RNG and knowing when it is a safe bet to assume you will get it.

Here are just a few things I typically do rely on RNG for. Most of the time, Strike will generate 3 focus due to Burning Focus, it is usually good to channel Master Strike after Cauterize when you only have 3 focus left and that RNG will get you the other two to immediately use Merciless Slash. There have been times where I have channeled MS with 1 Focus and ended up with 5, and times where I do channel with 4 focus and get 0. There will be times where I have 4 Focus and Merciless Slash is coming up, but a focus is generated .2 seconds before the GCD for Merciless is coming up, but I am still hitting Merciless in anticipation of this happening. Obviously if that doesn't work I immediately hit the keybind of an attack that generates focus. But you would be surprised how often that works out for me. Mostly predicting RNG requires practice, and paying attention to your focus while practicing.

Getting started.

The best way to begin to practice ideal Watchman for someone new is to parse and only use Merciless Slash, Cauterize, Overload Saber, and your Focus Builders. No Master Strike, no Slash, no Twin Saber Throw, etc. The point of this is to form a priority of those being absolute priority (this should obviously be done on a dummy). From there work in other attacks and the objective is to always to use Merciless, Cauterize, and OS on CD every time. A lot of people I meet have mucked up priority systems and need to focus on using those abilities over all else. In this way I would actually say that being experienced with Watchman puts you at a disadvantage, since you have your own priority system that may not be ideal.

The building stacks phase.

This is without a doubt the easiest part of the rotation for me to play and execute. Simply do the beginning attacks up until Master Strike and then keep hitting everything off cooldown, things should work out perfectly. Use Slash and Strike in the filler slots to make sure you have the focus for Merciless and the possible Cauterize.

The basic opener for Watchman that just about everyone agrees on is the following:

Force Leap + Overload Saber > Zealous Strike > Cauterize > Merciless Slash > Master Strike > Cauterize (if procced)

The basic build up to a 6 second CD on Merciless should be the following. However don't really try to memorize this, just do the above then basically hit everything when it comes off of cooldown, if you do things right you will do this sequence.

Force Leap + Overload Saber > Zealous Strike > Cauterize > Merciless Slash > Master Strike > Cauterize (if procced, if not ignore) > Twin Saber Throw > Force Leap + Overload Saber(if no cauterize proc, there will be a filler before) > Filler > Filler (normally Slash then strike) > Merciless Slash > Cauterize (if not ignore) > Zealous Strike > Filler > Filler > Force Leap + Overload Saber > Filler > Merciless Slash > Cauterize > Twin Saber Throw > Filler > Filler > Zealous Strike > Merciless Slash > Cauterize > Master Strike > Force Leap + Overload Saber > Merciless Slash

Of course whenever Cauterize doesn’t proc you can just add a Slash.

After that point Merciless Slash has a 6 second cooldown so you can begin the regular rotation.

It is worth noting that assuming Merciless Slash and Overload Saber are used precisely off CD, Overload Saber will always come off cooldown in the time between the attack before and Merciless Slash in the sustained window. However due to lag and the fact that no one is perfect, OS will slowly show up later and later in your windows.

Execute Phase

The most difficult part of the rotation to play is the execute, or sub-30% rotation. The basic idea I have for the execute is to utilize Dispatch in addition with Merciless to help you proc Mind Seer as often as possible. So the idea for this phase is using both Merciless Slash and Dispatch for the purpose of proccing Mind Seer and giving you higher uptime on Cauterize. Along with eliminating lower damage attacks like Slash and TST (generally) from the rotation.

In this phase Dispatch is generally the main vehicle I use for proccing Mind Seer, if I have a choice between it and Merciless, I use Dispatch. I like to use Merciless often in the downtime between Dispatch and Cauterize. If Mind Seer is proccing well, then the rotation becomes a case of using Focus builders and Merciless in between the usual Dispatch then Cauterize.

Master Strike should be used pretty close to CD, and it can serve the useful function of naturally realigning Mind Seer with Dispatch. Essentinally Dispatch > Merciless Slash > Cauterize > Master Strike > MaS continued > Dispatch. TST and Slash generally won't be used much, but if you are almost full on Focus, and have a spare GCD, TST is a good choice.

The difference of this phase is that Cauterize gets used more, your direct damage hits harder, and focus management isn't that much more difficult. The problem is you have more attacks to juggle and slipping up somewhere is easier.

I try to do this but I can't see what am I doing wrong?

When looking at other people's parses I rarely check their crits and look more at their ability activations. Specifically I judge people on how often they use certain abilities, and then I take a look at how lucky crits can help their parses (in how high their average hits are and how high their crit % are). Your APM in Watchman should be between 45 and 46, anything less and you either aren't hitting abilities fast enough or have real bad lag. A BA relic will also boost your APM by .5 to 1 depending on your time in the parse.

Assuming a 5 minute dummy parse you should have between 88 and 92 hits from Merciless Slash (which means 44 to 46 activations) but playing very well you should be between 90 and 92 (92 is the most you can have in a parse). Overload Saber should have somewhere between 123 and 125 hits, which means you activated the ability 25 times. Cauterize being RNG based is harder to map on a good parse should be a bit over 70, bad RNG can definitely keep in the 60’s however. Force Leap should be used just over 20 times (there is no offhand hit so each hit is an activation), while Zealous Strike should have around 54 - 57 hits (there are three hits per cast, so 18 - 19 casts). Master Strike depends on how people view how to use it. I am pretty sure Gorband is more conservative with it than me, but you can at most have 60 hits from it (so 10 casts) but anywhere from 48 to 60 is good. Those are my averages anyway.

I don't use the TTK Dummy since activations are related to how long it took you to kill the dummy. For example if both of us have 72 Merciless hits, but if your parse 12 seconds longer, your rotation is flawed (although activations seem the same).

And finally, that ends my guide. Hope you learned something and this will increase the number of Juyo Forms I see out there.
Macedonicus
plz Fix Watchman

Emperor-Norton's Avatar


Emperor-Norton
12.07.2013 , 09:25 PM | #2
Reserved.

Original Guide:
Spoiler


Change log:
Spoiler
Macedonicus
plz Fix Watchman

AngusFTW's Avatar


AngusFTW
12.08.2013 , 09:15 AM | #3
Nice guide!
I personally prefer watchman in pve simply because i am better at it then combat in pve situations since i play a lot of combat in pvp where my mindset is just try get off as much burst as possible when not stunned which doesn't translate to pve.. at all! So i am much more comfortable with watchman since on a single target i'll do more dmg xD I do change to combat for some fights where burst is needed though.
That guy with all the fat pink twileks with bleez in the name.
TOFN/TRE/much eu much wow
twitch.tv/bleezlord

Emperor-Norton's Avatar


Emperor-Norton
12.09.2013 , 12:28 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by AngusFTW View Post
Nice guide!
I personally prefer watchman in pve simply because i am better at it then combat in pve situations since i play a lot of combat in pvp where my mindset is just try get off as much burst as possible when not stunned which doesn't translate to pve.. at all! So i am much more comfortable with watchman since on a single target i'll do more dmg xD I do change to combat for some fights where burst is needed though.
Thanks.

I learned Combat for PvE then used that priority for PvP. Pretty sure that works out a bit better. I mostly prefer the better playstyle, all of the little utility (better Camo, interrupt, Pacify, self-heals), and consistent damage that Watchman has compared to Combat. Plus Watchman has cooler animations
Macedonicus
plz Fix Watchman

K_osss's Avatar


K_osss
12.11.2013 , 11:12 AM | #5
Nice guide! I have been looking for a bit of a guide since the QoL changes to Watchman with Patch 2.5. I mainly PvP but have been looking to mix things up as I've played Focus for nearly 2 years now.

Leafy_Bug's Avatar


Leafy_Bug
12.13.2013 , 06:28 AM | #6
Very nice guide. Must have taken some time to write . Good to see some input on this spec and in my opinion you need to emphasize its utility a bit more so people understand why watchman is our choice.I am a watchman player to the bone, have been since 1.3, but I will admit without any reluctance that combat is superior. I run with a 3800 dps combat sentinel in my late night raiders group and I have no chance to catch up with him. Watchman ramp-up time takes too long and in today's content by the time you catch up, the 30% mark makes combat pull ahead again.


Another drawback for watchman is lack of armor penetration. Granted our highest hitters are overload saber and cauterize but when your group composition does not have an armour debuff on the boss you will lose quite a bit of white damage. I do believe white damage for watchman is more important than people think and when you run with a combat sentinel and your raid has no commando, no slinger, no guardian, combat will not suffer.



You mention watchman is a dynamic spec and this cannot be more accurate. Having said this, I do believe there is no perfect way of playing the spec. Why do i say this? Well I pull pretty high numbers while doing certain things differently than you mention in your guide. You may be correct on the dummy where everything is static but when the boss is moving or you have to get out, gravity field on coruptor, i apply my dots with twin saberthrow on him, for example. There are these nifty tricks that you need to figure out on the fly in order to have the highest uptime of your dots.

Critical-'s Avatar


Critical-
12.13.2013 , 10:14 AM | #7
I have been using Watchmen spec for a week now on my Sentinel and this will certainly help me!

But i have to admit 45/46 APM on dummy is alot since i hit around 41/42 and i consider myself pretty fast and ive got everything on keybinds.

No alacrity in my gear btw and i use UW SA and Obroan FR relics.

Perhaps some Alacrity in my gear?

But its something to work forward to!

oofalong's Avatar


oofalong
12.13.2013 , 10:18 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Critical- View Post
I have been using Watchmen spec for a week now on my Sentinel and this will certainly help me!

But i have to admit 45/46 APM on dummy is alot since i hit around 41/42 and i consider myself pretty fast and ive got everything on keybinds.

But its something to work forward to!

No, alacrity in my gear btw and i use UW SA and Obroan FR relics.
Bear in mind that TORParse's 45/46 APM includes any click of a button such as adrenals, relic, Valorous Call, Zen, Inspiration, etc.
Oofalong | Oofawrong | Incendiari | Uriyah | Litlah & More
Repoofalong | Tuamara | Liolami & More
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
You are correct Oofalong.

Emperor-Norton's Avatar


Emperor-Norton
12.13.2013 , 07:15 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Leafy_Bug View Post
Very nice guide. Must have taken some time to write . Good to see some input on this spec and in my opinion you need to emphasize its utility a bit more so people understand why watchman is our choice.I am a watchman player to the bone, have been since 1.3, but I will admit without any reluctance that combat is superior. I run with a 3800 dps combat sentinel in my late night raiders group and I have no chance to catch up with him. Watchman ramp-up time takes too long and in today's content by the time you catch up, the 30% mark makes combat pull ahead again.
I wrote it while I was bored over the course of the last several weeks or whenever I saw someone under performing with Watchman.

You are correct, but I wrote the Guide since I saw a dearth of information about the specs rotation. Not to be a tell all resource to every facet of the spec/class.

I will say I think they should remove the Merciless Stacks, because the opener is stupid easy, and also because it puts the specs performance for boss fights all over the map.

How does Combat catch back up by the 30% mark? From what I have seen Watchman is much stronger in the execute phase than Combat.
Macedonicus
plz Fix Watchman

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Zenmar
12.20.2013 , 02:11 PM | #10
Hey Macedonicus!

Great guide; you gave me some tips weeks ago and I was actually surprised you had not yet written a guide, since you're one of the best parsers for the spec.

Clear and well written, gj!

When RNG assists I can sustain 3.450+, but I still need some pieces to finish my gear. Not sure about my relics combo, tho. Currently running with a DF FR and a UW SA, what do u think?
Aldiar
Rebel Dream