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r0y

Forcing myself to play a Sentinel to 50 and beyond!

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Right up front:  I do not like Sentinels, they are too low damage, low armor to fill either niche, and there is no needed niche for them in team play.  I might be persuaded to believe they're ok for solo play, but I rarely play solo.

 

That said.  I made several Sentinels and two of them survived.  I might even say I really enjoy playing them.  Even in teams...

 

The first Sentinel I made was Dual Pistols (DP) / Willpower (WP):  Walt Longmire (yes, that Walt Longmire!):  DELETED

  • I love WP on all ATs except Sentinel.  WP's greatest asset is no clicking, and that came through on the Sentinel version.  The main difference between other sets' WP and Sentinels is:  Rise to the Challenge becomes Up to the Challenge, and it's a fair and solid implementation.
  • My biggest regret is that WP isn't very strong for other ATs without a lot of help and a lot of mobs to boost regen, take that away, and one really sees the set as sub-par survival, as there's no "Oh, sh¡t" power to click.  Yes, I skipped the self rez and Strength of Will (the only two click-powers in the set, both pretty unimpressive).
  • With one's regen being fixed, that can be good; however, when things heat up, one wants MORE regen.  You won't get that in the Sentinel Version.  This is pretty limiting, especially paired with DP and it's PBAoE nuke, Hail of Bullets.  In a purely ranged build, it would be fine.  WP is not terrible, but it just cannot handle it when things go south (e.g. taunter drops, over-herds, etc).
  • Dual Pistols, like most every primary for Sentinels is pretty low-damage.  Thus, a purely ranged build would do even less damage, as most Sentinels play around their nuke(s) which are often PBAoE.  So there's usually some in-and-out of the mobs.  DP is a very fun set on all AT's, Sentinel included, but the damage is far too weak - a problem with Sentinels.

 

My next Sentinel was Archery (lol) / Energy Aura (EA):  Standing Bear (cool Navajo toon):  DELETED

  • I kind of knew that Archery would be lack-luster, and it was.  It is lackluster on every AT, it's only saving grace is a short-recharge "nuke" (used in the most generous way).  The Sentinel version extended the recharge.  So... yeah.  Archery is crap, 100%, start to finish.  Most everything seems to have lethal resists, and Sentinel damage is low anyway, thus, crapfest.  Still, this was for concept and to have fun.  I almost did.  The set was so bad, it distracted me from the "as close to RP as I've ever gotten" aspect.
  • Energy Aura is a very decent, under-rated set on Brutes, and is excellent on Stalkers (I have both).  On Sentinels, it is very good, and can be easily soft-capped to typed defense (except Psi and Negative, which are hard to do); however, it's layered defenses (good thing) so there's a really solid resist backup, and a small self-heal (and end-discount) power that really rounds it out.
  • The Sentinel set has only the first three shields in common with its brethren, the set is pretty unique to Sentinels - though they don't get the +Stealth (Energy Cloak) which is goofy on Brutes, and seems a good idea on Sentinels... go figure.
  • EA for Sentinels has to be one of, if not *the* most survivable armor set.  I would go so far as to say, I prefer the Sentinel's version over the Brute's (easily) and barring the cloak issue, it's even better than the Stalkers!  Mainly due to the reduced recharge of Energize (90s for Sentinels, 120s for Brutes/Stalkers).  I really like EA on Sentinel.

 

Next up, I made a Beam Weapon (BW) / Bio Armor (Bio):  YoY (little space-insect-like concept):  KEPT and LOVED!

  • Beam Weapon is not super-exciting for me, with respect to AoE, but because of the disintegrate mechanic, it is very enjoyable to play and the AoE-ness™ of it is not bad.  On blasters/corrupters, I skip the cone (Cutting Beam), as it's a very under-performing dps loss for what it should do.  I also skip the not-really-a-cone Piercing Beam, as the 2.33s activation is a dps-killer.  So on blasters/corrupters, I basically have disintegration spread and the nuke for AoE.  Sentinels also get Refractor Beam, which is an excellent AoE for this set (fits thematically and is unique to blast sets).
  • So my BW/Bio Sentinel has better AoE than my Corrupter and Blaster.  BW is a really strong single target (ST) set.  This remains for Sentinels, as well.  It feels like it's keeping up enough (not a blaster, but...) and is a solid set to take for Sentinels.
  • This Sentinel was made specifically to try out Bio, as I wanted to play with Athletic Regulation; and, it's freaking AWESOME!  I am not the type of player to sacrifice forgoing a travel power on tight builds, I always take one, as ninja/beast run + sprint is not really enough.  Except here.  Athletic Regulation is so awesome, I'm at the speed cap with just Ninja Run, don't even need sprint.  In fact, just sprint (and in Offensive mode, ofc) gives me over 78mph (cap is 92 or so).  WOW!  I also like hover-blasting with my beam, as it has no PBAoE, so I took Hover (only) and am at the fly cap with it (no fly speed IO's anywhere).  VERY nice.
  • Bio is click-intensive, but a few well-placed /bind's take care of that (e.g. /bind w "+forward$$powexecauto Hasten", /bind a "+left$$powexecauto Ablative Carapace", etc)
  • Bio is reasonably survivable, I'm never in anything but Offensive and have a lot of mitigation, Defensive doesn't seem to be too much gain for the drastic -25% damage on an already low-base damage AT, so it's offensive adaptation all the way (plus, that's good for travel via Athletic Regulation).  Reasonably OK layered defense/resists/heal/absorb.  Good endurance.  Nice set.  FUN set.  While not as strong as EA or Rad Armor (see below), Bio is great for the +damage and turns "meh" Sentinels into "not bad" sentinels.

 

Finally, I made a Fire/Rad Armor/Fire since everyone likes to talk about it:  Firad Almeyni (ancient alchemist, concept/theme toon):  KEPT and LIKE it.

  • I really know Fire Blast as a set.  I have MANY level 54's (that's what I call T3+ slotted in all four incarnate slots that effect level).  Blaster, Corrupter, Defender.  I have them all.  Sentinel Fire Blast feels on par with Defenders.  It's OK.  However, compared to other Sentinels sets, it's strong.  Compared to blaster/corrupter:  forget it. 
  • I took Flares, Fireball, Blaze, Aim, Blazing Blast and Inferno (basically what I take on all Fire Blast sets).  The main difference (apart from mob-caps) is Blazing Blast.  It's a decent snipe-replacement, except for the REPEL of it.  However, I think it's a Good AND Bad addition.  Good when one can use it for the utility it provides (positioning mobs, or "get out of mah face!"); Bad for moving mobs that should not be moved (anchors with the debuff, etc).  I don't mind it.  It is usually not an issue (or very rarely).
  • Fireball and Inferno:  my AoE's.  Like all Sentinels (and mentioned above), Sentinel play style should revolve around the nuke(s).  Sentinels suffer from smaller caps and shorter range, but benefit from quicker recharges.  Inferno is no exception.  I'm always firing it off, not just saving it for "that sweet mob all dog piled up!"  Fireball is Fireball, but shorter range (and mob cap).  Decent AoE with just these two powers.
  • Fire is an impressive Sentinel set, and I'd love to see it with Bio for the +25% damage!  Heck, I think ALL damage sets would pair well with Bio for just that reason.  Offensive Adaptation + Assault (leadership pool) = consistent +35% damage is nothing to sneeze at.
  • Radiation Armor (Rad) is a very impressive set, indeed.  While lacking the aforementioned +damage, it does have a +Recharge (and +Speed) power via Particle Acceleration.  The "Quickness" of the set.  Always love those!  It pairs with blast sets well because of this, more recharge = more blasting, so who knows if +recharge > +damage - I'll leave that to the math folks.  The set feels very damaging for a Sentinel.  Comes nowhere close to a Blaster, and feels in between a Corrupter and Defender (soloing!).  I suppose for the trade-off of better-than-scrapper survivability it's worth it?  Yes, this feels more survivable than many scrappers I have (even Bio Armor ones).
  • I am not a fan of pure resist sets (which is, basically, what Rad Armor is on Brutes/Tanks/Scrappers), but on Sentinels, it has a shorter heal (Proton Therapy vs. Radiation Therapy) which I feel is better, overall than the melee sets' version and really adds to the survivability of the set.
  • Defense is tricky, and there isn't ANY defense from the set, which is harsh.  I'd rather be missed than absorb or resist, as that also means the secondary effects (slow, to-hit debuff, etc) aren't all hitting, all the time.  However, with careful slotting, I got my melee defense up to 41+% so that's not bad, as I play this toon strictly in melee range (it's that survivable) and brings me to the last point of Rad Armor:
  • Ground Zero is a mini-nuke, and can be fired off right after or before Inferno, as their recharge times are the same.  It hits reasonably OK:  better than Fireball, but 90s vs 16s base recharge is huge, thus treat it like a mini-nuke.  More PBAoE, more defense to melee is helpful here.  Blasting in Melee range = no issue with Sentinel's shoter ranges.

 

I kept the BW/Bio and the Fire/Rad/Fire.  I didn't mention pool power or epics, but for BW/Bio I used NO epic, and used the standard fighting/leadership picks with hover and combat jumping (single picks from their pools).  Fire/Rad/Fire (obviously) took fire epic (cages and fire sword circle - more pbaoe / melee!), along with standard fighting, CJ/SJ, hasten, stealth.  I've posted the builds (click the datalinks above) of the two I kept, they're not bad, my first attempt.  They're "on the cheap" meaning no purples, ATO's etc.

 

In closing, I started out LOATHING Sentinels, but found two (so far) that are enjoyable enough to play and keep.  Not bad.  Hopefully if you're on the fence with them or are hesitant to roll one, maybe give them another try?  Don't expect blaster- or even corrupter-damage, but realize you'll get (at least) scrapper-level survivability, if not more.

 

Edited by r0y
fixed Fire/Rad link, changed link colors
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The epic pools is where I feel the sentinels shine. We have the much OP mind probe/domination combo that does crazy st damage or any number of AoE heals/utilities.

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The only Sent I’ve taken to 50 and fully T4’d out and still keep playing is a Fire/Rad/Fire.  It’s sturdy, does fairly good damage and can tank pretty well.  
 

The ones I’ve not deleted are parked in their 40’s with the eventual hope the Devs will make good on their promised damage buff.  Really that and and a aggro buff are all they need.

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I still play and greatly enjoy my fire/bio sent. Enough damage to get the job done in a decent amount of time and he never dies.

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Harm no other and do as ye will. It ain't rocket surgery.

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9 hours ago, Geister said:

Both links are Beam/Bio - fyi

Thanks!  Fixed the link!

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11 hours ago, Destlin said:

The epic pools is where I feel the sentinels shine. We have the much OP mind probe/domination combo that does crazy st damage or any number of AoE heals/utilities.

I agree.  I think that Sentinels get a lot of unique power combo tweaks.  Mostly in Armor (secondary) and Epic/Patron pools.

 

Psionic Master is understandably the go-to epic because Mind Probe / Dominate feel like they didn't get "normalized" as other Sentinel epic melee/holds did.  Adding a strong and fast melee attack to Sentinels not only fills a hole, but opens up nice slotting and set bonus options; Dominate is just OP for it's accuracy, activation, recharge, duration... damage... everything.  It's a ranged single-target nuke that holds when fully proc'd out with 5-6 damage procs!  Amazing.

 

Fire Mastery is nice due to the AoE Immobilize, which is a great set for Enfeebled Operations, as well as a helpful utility to keep things in place.  Fire Sword Circle is nice for an additional PBAoE and meshes well with Fire/Rad or any other combo that is in melee a lot.

 

Other epics have a nice variety, but clearly are not as impressive as fire and psi.

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2 hours ago, r0y said:

 

 

Fire Mastery is nice due to the AoE Immobilize, which is a great set for Enfeebled Operations, as well as a helpful utility to keep things in place.  Fire Sword Circle is nice for an additional PBAoE and meshes well with Fire/Rad or any other combo that is in melee a lot.

 

Other epics have a nice variety, but clearly are not as impressive as fire and psi.

Agreed.

 

On Fire/Rad/Fire, every spawn gets pretty much the same treatment, although it does become a bit repetitive.

 

Aim+FIre Cages as I close in+Inferno once inside spawn+GroundZero+FIreSword Circle.  Fireball for mopup (usually required due to Sentinel aggro cap more than lower damage levels).  I have Superior Avalanche set in GZ, which pretty much gives me Knockdown of spawn reliably.

 

High recharge and it's up again almost every spawn.

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Try water/SR, fully io'd and incarnate I run at +4/8, always take the alpha, nuke up every 23 seconds+whirlpool and steamspray is just huge AoE.

 

I run into a group, hit BU, drop whirl, nuke, and steam, minions all dead, Lt's at 1/5th or dead and a few ST attacks to finish them, on the the next group.

 

People are shocked at how good it is when I'm in before the tank, blow up the room before anyone can get there and moving to the next group.

 

It's really good 😊

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11 hours ago, SwitchFade said:

Try water/SR, fully io'd....

 

It's really good 😊

I do that with my water/bio Sentinel. It's amazing.

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I'm working on that with my Water/Regen. Slow going cause I kinda shelved him for a while. Recently respecced into KO Blow and Arctic Breath, both fully procced out, and man do those add to his capabilities.


@Cutter everywhere

 

Tanks: Electric Daisy Elec/Staff | CryoForge Fire/Ice | Armoogeddon Rad/Fire | Misadventure Shield/Elec

Not Tanks: Splash Damage Water/Regen Sentinel

Alts: Too many

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I've been playing a water/rad

I made the toon just to have a funny toon, but now I'm loving the power combo and will definitely be taking him to 50. 

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As a mostly solo player, I'll throw my hat in as loving the Sents once I found a combo that worked.  That was how I got hooked on NRG/EnA.  The combo clicked for me and was a fun ride up to 50 (including one of the few times I was able to knock the Incarnate unlock upside the head).

 

I'm one of those "only slots basic IOs" people, so your mileage will vary.  I'd imagine that, with proper sets, I'd've been able to do it quicker, but it worked for me.

 

**Note that "basic IOs" also means that I don't slot KB>KD pieces, not a fan of them in any of my builds.  I want to watch mobs go flying, not bounce in place.  If I wanted that, I'd take Air Superiority

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Formerly of Infinity, Currently residing on Everlasting

 

50s:  Necro/Kin MM, Ill/Storm 'Troller, Kin/EnA Stalker, NRG/EnA Sentinel, Grav/Elec Dom, Invuln/Staff Tanker

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3 hours ago, wyldchyld said:

As a mostly solo player, I'll throw my hat in as loving the Sents once I found a combo that worked.  That was how I got hooked on NRG/EnA.  The combo clicked for me and was a fun ride up to 50 (including one of the few times I was able to knock the Incarnate unlock upside the head).

I enjoyed my Energy/Energy Sentinel as well.  Unlike the OP, I also liked my Energy/WP Sentinel.

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@Rathstar

Energy/Energy Blaster (50+3) on Everlasting

Energy/Temporal Blaster (50+3) on Excelsior

Energy/Willpower Sentinel (50+3) on Indomitable

Energy/Energy Sentinel (50+1) on Torchbearer

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On 5/3/2020 at 11:04 PM, Rathulfr said:

I enjoyed my Energy/Energy Sentinel as well.  Unlike the OP, I also liked my Energy/WP Sentinel.

WP is just fine on a sentinel, it's better if always at range of course and Energy Blast tends to keep things away, so I can see how it may pair well with Willpower.  However, if one is strictly range, then that changes a lot of things and opens up a lot of armor sets (SR, Regen, etc.) especially since capping ranged defense is somewhat easy on a ranged damage toon, thus making most armor sets just fine on a sentinel.

 

Maybe I am just spoiled as my WP/TW tank is rocking around 3,000 hp which is massive for regen, as the high-end (10 mob) regen is 1171% or 141 hp/s - as well as having high defense and resists, it's just god-mode.  I've stood alone in the monster wall (no outside buffs, etc) and went AFK as a test.  No problems at all.  That's tanking giant monsters at (and maybe slightly beyond?) herd cap.

 

Willpower is amazing when it works!  Debuffs kill it.  Period.  Get hit with a -regen and you're kind of done.

 

On my DP/WP sentinel (often was in melee, who I since deleted), I had about 1800 hp, and regen was around 767% or 57.5 hp/s - which is not bad, very solid.  Best numbers for a sentinel I believe (I'd never play regen, but it might come close but it's still regen, lol).


For comparison: my BR/Bio sentinel (who I love playing, and is ranged only) which has 1688 hp and regens 511% or 36 hp/s.  Also decent, especially for ranged only.

 

WP is a nice set, as it allows one to focus on their primary and pool powers, but can be over-whelmed due to lack of regen scaling and high health pool (which is so mandatory for regen-based stuff).  I do love willpower on tanks and brutes, just not as much on sentinels, as it lacks the awesome regeneration numbers coupled with high health pool that the melee ATs get. 

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On 5/3/2020 at 7:29 PM, wyldchyld said:

As a mostly solo player, I'll throw my hat in as loving the Sents once I found a combo that worked.  That was how I got hooked on NRG/EnA.  The combo clicked for me and was a fun ride up to 50 (including one of the few times I was able to knock the Incarnate unlock upside the head).

 

I'm one of those "only slots basic IOs" people, so your mileage will vary.  I'd imagine that, with proper sets, I'd've been able to do it quicker, but it worked for me.

 

**Note that "basic IOs" also means that I don't slot KB>KD pieces, not a fan of them in any of my builds.  I want to watch mobs go flying, not bounce in place.  If I wanted that, I'd take Air Superiority

I think you hit the nail on the head:  find the combo that works.  I love EA on brutes and stalkers (loving my StJ/EA stalker at the moment), and would have loved it on my sentinel had it not been archery.  To me it feels like EA doesn't get as much praise.  It's one of the coolest sets in the game!  It has LAYERS and a heal/end discount power (also +def/mob on stalker).  Truly amazing set.  Yeah, there's a Psi Hole, but that can somewhat be filled.

 

KB is fun on teams that tolerate and enjoy it, as well as solo.  I rarely find those teams, most hate it.  I get it.  I do the KB-KD change across all my ATs, and when I am teamed with KB, I simply move a mob ahead of them.

 

Also, with "proper sets" EA gets some impressive numbers.  Sentinels have REALLY GOOD secondaries, unique and decent.  It's the primary/damage scale that seems to be an issue (and why Bio Armor is so popular).  I mean, bio+assault = near "normal" ranged damage (unenhanced blaster damage, maybe?), and I'd rather have fewer defenses and more damage.  I think the RANGE limit is a good direction, but the CAP limit nor the damage scale is not a good direction.  Maybe limit the damage of AoEs, put the caps back to normal, shorten the range even more (from 60' to 40') and bring up the damage scale for ST attacks.  That way, they'd be closer to a ranged tank and not so close to a blaster/corrupter.  I don't know.

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1 hour ago, r0y said:

I think you hit the nail on the head:  find the combo that works.  I love EA on brutes and stalkers (loving my StJ/EA stalker at the moment), and would have loved it on my sentinel had it not been archery.  To me it feels like EA doesn't get as much praise.  It's one of the coolest sets in the game!  It has LAYERS and a heal/end discount power (also +def/mob on stalker).  Truly amazing set.  Yeah, there's a Psi Hole, but that can somewhat be filled.

That's how I got hooked with Energy Aura, just toying around with it on a Stalker back on Live and re-rolled her here (KM/EnA).  Just one of the more safe sets out of the box for both Stalkers and Sentinels *if* you can go without Energize for that long.  Brutes, on the other hand...  I really want to like */EnA, but I think I picked a bad combo going Rad/EnA because this is just draining on the End bar, but it fits the concept, so I'm sticking with it!


Formerly of Infinity, Currently residing on Everlasting

 

50s:  Necro/Kin MM, Ill/Storm 'Troller, Kin/EnA Stalker, NRG/EnA Sentinel, Grav/Elec Dom, Invuln/Staff Tanker

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