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DP/Willpower help


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I started up a DP/WP sentinel recently after reading the guides. A slightly weaker blaster with higher suitability sounded like fun! I had a great time until about lvl 38/40. After that point, my DPS has seemingly nose dived compared to other ATs.  I don't mind other ATs being more effective, this is more like I am having an embarrassing time with DPS. I am still leveling and working on slotting out my toon. This is my first character, so I am sure I am doing something wrong. I used my first respec to remove some fighting and add in the fire pool for non lethal damage. It helped, but not much.


By bad damage, I am having a hard time killing bosses. It can take multiple cycles of Piercing Rounds->Executioners Shot -> Suppressive Fire->DP to kill one. Close to 5-6 rotations. I have even used the Offensive Opportunity on a boss and had it expire without me killing them. If the boss has a heal, it can often out heal my damage. This is even using the incendiary rounds.


I attached my build as it exists in game right now in the build.txt file.


I saw this thread on the blaster forums, is it just me? Or is there something wrong with DP damage?


I could really use some help here. First time I even got close to 50, and I feel like I have a dud. I am not expecting to compete with a fire blaster, just hold my own.


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Well, to start, your powers seem under-slotted.


You've got empty slots in two of the attacks in your attack rotation.  Dual Wield still has the low-level premium enhancements.  And the ones that are fully slotted are using common IOs.  Look, I get that not everyone loves to fuck around with procs all day long, but DP is a set that has kind of low base damage, no aim, and takes a ton of procs.  It's really going to help you if you slot sets for higher enhancement values and then have 2-3 procs in your best attacks.

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So none of what you described is what I experienced while leveling Dual Pistols/Ninjutsu so long ago.  I'm a bit hard pressed to see how it is that you're having such a hard time against a boss to the point where 5-6 cycles of the rotation you suggest cannot kill one.  On the low end of time spent, that's 40 seconds.  That's over 3,000 damage dealt with those powers, not accounting for resistances, and that's with the slotting you have in that text file.  

Some of this is a bit of growing pains.  You don't have all of your slots filled.  Some of the slotting you have isn't very efficient.  Some of your power choices are also not as effective.  I cannot promise you that the recommendations I'm about to make will fix everything.  


Not saying what difficulty you're leads to assumptions.  Since you're stating it is taking you that long, if you're being honest, to take out a boss you may be pushing beyond +3 solo difficulty.  Scale that back if that is the case.  You have neither accuracy nor the fluidity of an attack chain to be handling that difficulty.  


Even taking your statements and slotting at face value, you have more than enough DPS to take out +0 to +1 bosses.  You do not need to make a proc monster to do that.  I didn't even bother with procs until after level 50.  Prior to that I ran generic IOs and tangled with AVs on teams and held my own.  


Now is the time to take a real hard look at pruning some attacks.  You have too many.  They're stretching your slots too thin and you haven't even filled all of them with enhancements (if the empty slots are correct).  


Here goes.  

I'm not fond of Piercing Rounds on Sentinels.  It can be an OK power if you know how to leverage the debuff it brings, but that's really only effective on teams vs solo.  I'd highly recommend you dump it.  The 2.64s animation time is killing your effectiveness and how it is slotted isn't helping.  


Dual Wield.  Unless you plan to load this procs and do something creative with it, this too can go.  You can use Empty Clips as a filler if you really need to.  Start setting up Empty Clips as a carrier for Opportunity Strikes if you like.  You don't have to, but it will make sense in a moment.  


Bullet Rain is fine.  


Dump the Overwhelming Force pieces from Executioner's Shot.  You don't need that set, and it isn't that useful for you here.  When you run Incendiary Ammo the knockback is replaced by the fire damage-over-time.  You have more accuracy in this power than it really needs for handling lower level difficulty.  Consider swapping an accuracy with a damage mod.  


Suppressive Fire.  Dump that stun duration if you're running Incendiary Ammo all the time.  It is literally useless.  Suppressive Fire turns into a hold, not a stun, under Incendiary Ammo.  That's not a recommendation to enhance the hold either.  That's only about 2 seconds long and not worth the effort.  Go for a 3rd damage socket.  


Start enhancing Pistols with new stuff.  The training wheels IOs stopped being effective a long time ago.  Oh, and use Pistols.  Pistols may not hit hard, but it is still a better power than Dual Wield or Piercing Rounds.  You want an accuracy, 3x damage, end and recharge.  Weave that attack in between everything you do if you can manage it.  Get used to doing this because it helps to learn it now.  It can be a core component to your damage later.  


Consider embracing speed.  No, not the drug.  Don't do drugs.  Consider that Sentinel Dual Pistols has the opportunity to really lean heavily on faster animating attacks.  Leverage this by shortening the cooldowns.  Consider Hasten.  OK, Hasten is kind of a drug, but do consider it.  


Even better ideas.... 


Start looking into getting Thunderstrikes for Pistols, Executioner's Shot, and Suppressive Fire.  Look for the Accuracy/Damage, Accuracy/Damage/Endurance, and Damage/Endurance.  That's just 3 slots.  The remaining 3 slots start looking into damage procs if you like.  Pistols, Suppressive Fire, and Executioner's Shot can all take on several.  These will help add in damage types you don't currently have.  

For Pistols at least try to get your hands on a Lady Grey: Chance for Negative.  Get two while you're at it, and put the other in Executioner's Shot.  For Executioner's Shot look for Explosive Strikes and Impeded Swiftness.  Both of those procs are smashing damage.  For Suppressive Fire look into the Ghost Widow's Embace: Chance for Psionic damage, and Neuronic Shutdown: Chance for Psionic damage.  

If you cannot afford those right now, use the last three slots to run generic damage, endurance, and recharge.  Those will compliment the Thunderstrikes until you can replace them later.  Once you have more cash you can always attune the Thunderstrikes, or use unslotters to get high level versions.  

You should be able to run Pistols, Suppressive Fire, Executioner's Shot without much issue.  You will fill that downtime with another application of Pistols, and Empty Clips is actually a fine filler.  



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You are right @oldskool, my group has been slowly raising the fights to +3 and +4, and I have not been keeping up. Thanks for the suggestions on slotting, I appreciate the guidance. I had not bothered to update Pistols since I was not using it much. Based on advice here, I will change that. I will also invest in some procs.


I also spent most of my time leveling without using inferno. I only switched in the past few levels to try and and see if it made a major difference in my damage output. I saw that it definitely helped.  I generally preferred standard over the other ammo types. Do you recommend inferno all the time?


I really like the Sentinel's Ward in Bullet Rain, but am I wasting my inf on Opportunity Strikes?


What should I be looking at for epic power pools? Anything particularly stand out?

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On Sentinels and Blasters I spent 99.99% of my time running Incendiary Ammo these days.   I do have Dual Pistols on a Defender and Corr.  I feel swapping ammo can be a bit more exciting on those ATs due to higher debuff modifers.  That said, I spend a lot of time in Incendiary Ammo on those characters too.  


Sentinel's Ward in Bullet Rain is a fine choice.  I have it there myself.  Opportunity Strikes has some really good bonuses all the way through the full set.   The proc it comes with isn't that great, but it can work a little better in the area powers.  Since the proc isn't critical, I tend to prefer it in Empty Clips.  I find I would much prefer my single-target attacks to be bolstered with damage procs over a random chance to boost my Opportunity meter generation.  Opportunity as a mechanic isn't available enough to warrant worrying about with that proc.  If you keep improving the rate of fire with the attacks I suggest, then you'll find you can build Opportunity fairly quickly AND more reliably without that proc.  Still, it can trigger off multi-target powers so once again Empty Clips isn't a bad spot for it. 


Sentinel Epic/Patron choices all have possible value.  I don't know about you, but I really don't like having my weapon characters spontaneously sprout weapons.  So I tend to avoid additional attacks because it just messes with my groove.  This doesn't mean the attacks are bad, but it just creates an aesthetic I don't care for.  The elemental powers don't really fit with my weapon/natural themes either.  I will often take Tashibishi from Ninja Tools though because Caltrops is just a Swiss Army knife of good stuff.  It can force enemies off of you while making them move slowly, they'll take minor damage, but you can still pepper them with your ranged hits.  Its like an active layer of mitigation.  Its not for everyone, but it works for me.  


AoE immobilize powers can also have their merits.  If you like the idea of including a melee attack, then most of the sets offer a good choice.  You don't need to get super min-max about it either.  Havoc Punch, Knockout Blow, Midnight Grasp, Smite, Cremate, or Mind Probe are all good attacks in their own way.  The Ninja Tool attacks are pretty much hot garbage.  OK, maybe not caltrops or the AoE attack; though caltrops is the best choice there in my opinion.  Really the world is your oyster here and which one is "best" is going to depend a whole hell of a lot on your own preferences plus the end goal.  Another way to go is not bother with the Epic/Patron powers at all.  They can be good, but they are still just options.  

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Hero Plan by Mids' Hero Designer 1.962

Click this DataLink to open the build!

It Is By Will Alone I Set My Bullets In Motion: Level 50 Magic Sentinel
Primary Power Set: Dual Pistols
Secondary Power Set: Willpower
Power Pool: Fighting
Power Pool: Leaping
Power Pool: Leadership
Power Pool: Flight
Ancillary Pool: Electricity Mastery

Hero Profile:
Level 1: Dual Wield -- Apc-Dmg/Rchg:50(A), Apc-Acc/Dmg/Rchg:50(3), Apc-Acc/Rchg:50(3), Apc-Dmg/EndRdx:50(5), Apc-Dam%:50(5)
Level 1: High Pain Tolerance -- UnbGrd-ResDam:50(A), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx:50(7), UnbGrd-Rchg/ResDam:50(7), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg:50(9), Heal-I:30(9), Heal-I:50(11)
Level 2: Empty Clips -- SprSntWar-Acc/Dmg:50(A), SprSntWar-Dmg/Rchg:50(11), SprSntWar-Acc/Dmg/Rchg:50(13), SprSntWar-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx:50(13), SprSntWar-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg:50(15), SprSntWar-Rchg/+Absorb:50(15)
Level 4: Mind Over Body -- UnbGrd-ResDam:50(A), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx:50(19), UnbGrd-Rchg/ResDam:50(21), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg:50(21), StdPrt-ResDam/Def+:30(23), GldArm-3defTpProc:50(23)
Level 6: Suppressive Fire -- SprEnt-Acc/Hold:50(A), SprEnt-Hold/Rchg:50(25), SprEnt-End/Rchg:50(25), SprEnt-Acc/Hold/End:50(27), SprEnt-Acc/Hold/End/Rchg:50(27), SprEnt-Rchg/AbsorbProc:50(29)
Level 8: Fast Healing -- Heal-I:50(A), Heal-I:50(29)
Level 10: Swap Ammo
Level 12: Indomitable Will -- LucoftheG-Rchg+:50(A), LucoftheG-Def:50(31), ShlWal-ResDam/Re TP:50(31), Rct-ResDam%:50(31)
Level 14: Bullet Rain -- SprOppStr-Acc/Dmg:50(A), SprOppStr-Dmg/Rchg:50(33), SprOppStr-Acc/Dmg/Rchg:50(33), SprOppStr-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx:50(33), SprOppStr-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg:50(34), SprOppStr-Rchg/+Opportunity:50(34)
Level 16: Up to the Challenge -- Pnc-Heal/EndRedux:50(A), Pnc-EndRdx/Rchg:50(34), Pnc-Heal/Rchg:50(36), Pnc-Heal/EndRedux/Rchg:50(36), Pnc-Heal:50(36)
Level 18: Executioner's Shot -- SprWntBit-Acc/Dmg:50(A), SprWntBit-Dmg/Rchg:50(37), SprWntBit-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx:50(37), SprWntBit-Acc/Dmg/Rchg:50(37), SprWntBit-Dmg/EndRdx/Acc/Rchg:50(39), SprWntBit-Rchg/SlowProc:50(39)
Level 20: Quick Recovery -- PrfShf-End%:50(A), PrfShf-EndMod:50(39)
Level 22: Kick -- FrcFdb-Rechg%:50(A)
Level 24: Tough -- UnbGrd-ResDam:50(A), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx:50(40), UnbGrd-Rchg/ResDam:50(40), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg:50(40)
Level 26: Piercing Rounds -- SprFrzBls-Acc/Dmg:50(A), SprFrzBls-Dmg/EndRdx:50(42), SprFrzBls-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx:50(42), SprFrzBls-Acc/Dmg/Rchg:50(42), SprFrzBls-Dmg/EndRdx/Acc/Rchg:50(43)
Level 28: Heightened Senses -- LucoftheG-Rchg+:50(A), LucoftheG-Def:50(43)
Level 30: Weave -- LucoftheG-Rchg+:50(A), LucoftheG-Def:50(43)
Level 32: Hail of Bullets -- SprAvl-Acc/Dmg:50(A), SprAvl-Dmg/EndRdx:50(45), SprAvl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx:50(45), SprAvl-Acc/Dmg/Rchg:50(45), SprAvl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg:50(46)
Level 35: Combat Jumping -- LucoftheG-Rchg+:50(A), LucoftheG-Def:50(46), UnbLea-Stlth:50(46)
Level 38: Maneuvers -- ShlWal-Def:50(A), ShlWal-Def/EndRdx:50(48)
Level 41: Hover -- LucoftheG-Rchg+:50(A), LucoftheG-Def:50(48)
Level 44: Resurgence -- RechRdx-I:50(A)
Level 47: Havoc Punch -- SprBlsCol-Acc/Dmg:50(A), SprBlsCol-Dmg/EndRdx:50(48), SprBlsCol-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx:50(50), SprBlsCol-Acc/Dmg/Rchg:50(50), SprBlsCol-Dmg/EndRdx/Acc/Rchg:50(50)
Level 49: Fly -- BlsoftheZ-ResKB:50(A)
Level 1: Brawl -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Dash -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Slide -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Quick -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Rush -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Surge -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Sprint -- Run-I:50(A)
Level 2: Rest -- Empty(A)
Level 4: Ninja Run
Level 2: Swift -- Flight-I:50(A)
Level 2: Health -- Pnc-Heal/+End:50(A), NmnCnv-Regen/Rcvry+:50(17), Mrc-Rcvry+:40(17)
Level 2: Hurdle -- Jump-I:50(A)
Level 2: Stamina -- PrfShf-End%:50(A), PrfShf-EndMod:50(19)
Level 10: Chemical Ammunition
Level 10: Cryo Ammunition
Level 10: Incendiary Ammunition
Level 50: Agility Core Paragon
Level 50: Diamagnetic Core Flawless Interface


| Copy & Paste this data into Mids' Hero Designer to view the build |


If you want to be godlike, pick anything.

If you want to be GOD, pick a TANK!

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12 minutes ago, kiramon said:

All of the IOs oldskool are cheap and you probably have enough orange salvage to get the money for them already

I try not to make assumptions on what is or isn't cheap to others.  Buy it now prices aren't a problem for me, but they may be for others.  

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19 minutes ago, oldskool said:

I try not to make assumptions on what is or isn't cheap to others.  Buy it now prices aren't a problem for me, but they may be for others.  

Yup but you mentioned some relatively inexpensive IOS that they can probably afford just from selling salvage that they May not have been aware of!

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Thanks for all the advice. I was able to get much of what you suggested yesterday and will likely be able to afford the rest in a day or two. This has made a huge difference in DPS for me. I had no idea procs were so effective! 


Thank you so much for the help!

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