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1 hour ago, Sunsette said:

yeaaaaaaah. I can do +4/x8 on my Energy/Energy.

but that doesn't mean it's actually fun to do it at +4/x8.

 

imo no one but scrappers and brutes should just default to thinking they can +4/x8. A lot of ATs can, but Scrap/Brute is the only one where the majority of combinations make it possible, I'd say (and even then there are definite exceptions). Part of the disappointment with Sents is that they have everything you'd think they need to be one of those, but it turns out they need a bit more than that.

 

Wow, it's @Sunsette😍 The OG Sentinel guidance counselor from 2019!  You inspired me to try out Sentinels in the first place, and I learned so much from you.  I've missed seeing your posts recently.  Of course, that could be just me, because I haven't been on as much, myself.

 

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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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29 minutes ago, Rathulfr said:

 

Wow, it's @Sunsette😍 The OG Sentinel guidance counselor from 2019!  You inspired me to try out Sentinels in the first place, and I learned so much from you.  I've missed seeing your posts recently.  Of course, that could be just me, because I haven't been on as much, myself.

 

 

Hey! I remember you. 😆 Yeah, I've been gone a while. Been working on a book and busy with my day job. 

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Why do people put Psionic Mastery on some god-tier pedestal?  No really, why?

 

Sure, it has a lot going for it, I get that.  It's definitely one of the better Sentinel epic sets.  But, I get the feeling that most people think every other set is complete trash.  I can assure you they're not.

 

Heck, you can proc up your Primary T3 or T4 single target attacks in basically the same way as you do dominate and get more-or-less the same effect on average.  Sure, the procs don't fire as often in a faster recharging primary attack, but the primary attack's extra base damage easily makes up for it in the long run.  Not to mention they'll do even MORE damage while under AIM.  Sure, you -can- go with 6 procs in dominate and use Alphas to make up for some of loses you take by not slotting any enhancements into those powers.. but you still have a power that costs more END and doesn't recharge nearly as fast.  Sure, not all of the primary sets have the ability to add a bunch of damage procs to their T3 or T4 single target attacks but a good number of them offer debuffs that have sets that -do-.

 

So damage-wise, it's a wash really.  The cast-time is a plus, but not enormousness huge in comparison to the T3 and T4 attacks.  I guess it'll make a different in pylon times?  *Shrug*

 

burstproc.png.8c64e1cece40d117ef78748d25346d89.pngdominateproc.png.38f4b088fcd539d44c13bfbc6765093f.png

 

Mind-probe isn't even the most damaging Melee attack that Sentinels can get.  Sure, it has a rather quick cast-time but not too much quicker the most of the others.  The -recharge is nice, but not amazing.  I would say that it only ranks about the same as the other melee attacks.  Yes, it is in the sweet spot of recharge to get procs off at 90% of the time, but few of the the others aren't far behind.

 

And, as far as Psychic Shockwave goes.  Yes, it -is- and amazing power, which you can load up with some good proc'age.  ...But it's the only AOE power of the set.  Many of the other sets have 2 and some even have 3 AOE powers and we all know that AOE powers are generally king around here.  Although, I will say that most Sentinels builds maybe only need one more AOE power to round out their cycles which is why Psychic Shockwave is quite good.

 

That all being said, there's no mass immobilize (Which, admittedly, not everyone cares about, but I like them. ) and it's only a 25% change for a 2 Mag stun.  Moreover, I've ran some RWZ repeatable mission runs with /Psionic Mastery and compared them to my normal build with /Electric Mastery.  And, for me, at least, I was able to do more over-all DPS with /Electric Mastery.  Even though each AOE in Electric is nowhere near as good as Psychic Shockwave, the fact that there's two with plenty of chances to proc just a interface radial can seemingly push it ahead.  And each only has 3 slots with no damage procs.  Heck, the ones in Electric are pretty meh so I bet the other sets can do better if people tried and compared.

 

Electric run:  https://www.carnifax.org/?uuid=f1137f15-c671-453b-aeb6-1bdf5c8c9f21

Psionic:  https://www.carnifax.org/?uuid=e1221de6-a1d2-4c4e-9db3-a48eb3533855

 

Definitely do love Carni's Combat Parser for sure.

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Posted (edited)

You're right that the Psi epic is a bit overrated because Dominate parses really well in pylons and it's so hard to get a solid idea of combat DPS outside of it in this game. Nevertheless, it's just an exceptionally strong epic pool that every sentinel can take and potentially benefit from.

  • The extra AoEs generally are insufficient to make a huge difference to clear time as far as direct damage; that they allow you as Energy Blast to save slots on KB to KD is something I enormously appreciate but which becomes a lot less important outside of it, imo. The AoE immobs do really anemic damage and there are only three damage procs they can take
  • ST damage, otoh, does make a big difference in AV killing, which I personally feel is a more a salient measure of how powerful people kill: their ability to handle AVs at the end of story arcs without having to call in friends. I think my big souring moment on Sent was when I ran into one AV after another my SO'd MA/SR Scrapper could handle with more ease than my IO'd En/En Sent
  • There is literally no bad power in psi; Link Minds is a great way to reach softcap and provide team assist. That's a lot better than I can say for the Electric and Fire capstones, forex.

So while it is spoken of in more glowing terms than it deserves, and there's some value in the other sets, at the end of the day Psi, Dark, Elec for End Drain, and Fire for Energy Blast specifically are the only Epics I can think of that really can change a Sent build for the better, and Psi is the most universal of those.

Edited by Sunsette
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Having one ability like Power Burst is great, but having more abilities on that level is better, which Energy Blast doesn't really have. You'd be surprised how potent a <1.2s activation time is. So Adding two low activation time abilities to Energy's two existing abilities will help flesh out the rotation.

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12 hours ago, Teirusu said:

The cast-time is a plus

that's the entire reason for me.  The other sentinel epics are great, but I love the quick cast times in psi.  It's also nice that psychic shockwave hits 16 since that's so rare for sents.

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18 hours ago, Teirusu said:

Why do people put Psionic Mastery on some god-tier pedestal?  No really, why?

 

Sure, it has a lot going for it, I get that. 

*snip*

 

There might be a disconnect here.  There are certainly conflicting goals in builds that need to be addressed to make sense of things.  By things, I mean your combat logs and what people often ask for.  The results are polar opposites.  

First off, let me address why at least I recommend Psionic Mastery as much as I do.  There are few reasons.  

1) I used to ask folks about what their target DPS goal was.  I always was left without an answer.  - People do not have a clear idea on how much damage they should be doing.  They just want to do "the highest".  
2) I try to understand context of #1.  This is almost always due to someone struggling to take down a boss solo *and* wanting to push their character as far as they can.  

3) Psionic Mastery is the best epic for this.  

 

So, that said I'll explain my position and then I want to point out some things from those parses.  

*Why* does Psionic Mastery excel so well?  It has a lot do with animation and recharge times combined with baseline damage.  You are 100% correct that Mind Probe is not the highest damage attack per hit.  However, its per activation damage is on par with Havoc Punch and Knockout Blow.  However, Mind Probe recharges in *half* the time that Knockout Blow does.  Havoc Punch is close, but that mastery doesn't have a hold.  Paralyzing Jolt is not on par with Dominate (though the combo isn't horrible).  

So Mind Probe has a benefit of fast animation and recharge while retaining a throughput in a level of other heavy hitters.  That still makes Mind Probe a really solid power, but it doesn't become exceptional without procc'ed out Dominate.    

Dominate also has a fast acting animation AND recharge.  Dominate's recharge is *half* that of Char and Netherworld Grasp.  I consider both of those latter powers to be pretty good alternatives, but there is no discounting that Dominate is available *twice* as often while having nearly the same damage potential with identical slotting.  

So, all things considered (animation time, recharge time, etc.) it is no surprise Psychic Mastery can start pulling ahead in single-target damage options.  Then on top of that it comes with Link Minds which is another potential source of +5% defense to everything that can be made permanent with high global recharge.  

When it comes to individual power comparisons like Power Burst and Dominate, it really isn't a wash when considering damage per activation.  Dominate has a clear advantage and it isn't even close.  Higher single-target DPA powers used consecutively over time will yield higher damage output in the end.  So this too is why the combo is talked about so much.  Yes, this kind of touches on the Pylon comment you raise.  

Now, I think there is a layer of absolute absurdity in the hyper focus on the highest possible DPS through the use of DPA like this (if that is your thought process, then I very much agree with you).  You kind of touch on this by saying Mind Probe isn't the hardest hitter.  There is value in taking bigger chunks of enemy life because enemies in this game are largely minions and their health total is smaller.  Taking them out faster, even one-by-one, is a noticeable event vs trying to gain the highest DPS when facing a wall of hit points.  It is the instant gratification effect.  

The other factor to consider is that Sentinels can layer multiple sources of resistance debuff which compounds high DPA powers and especially so with procs.  So once again the ability to rapidly fire off Dominates twice as often as Char becomes a boon when stacking debuffs.  However, this only really matters for enemies that can survive this.  So I recommend Psychic Mastery for both Mind Probe + Dominate because it seems to be the best option out of all of them for the highest benefit of single-target damage.  This is not to say I think the other sets are trash because I don't.  This is a mixture of people not being clear in what they want and the current DPS meta being what it is.    

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


OK, the parses.  So, I just finished my commentary on the merits of Mind Probe + Dominate as being what I find to be an excellent choice for resolving a common single-target issue.  Now, why is it that the Electrical Mastery parse had higher DPS than the Psionic Mastery one?  

Area of Effect and maybe style of play...?  There is a lot to unpack in those parses.

Edit: Changes based on a re-eval of the parses. I need to be more clear...  

What immediately stood out was the time in combat difference.  The Psychic Mastery run spent more time in combat, but some of the activation metrics suggest something happened (pause, lack of positioning, etc.).  The Electrical Mastery run appears FAR more aggressive than the other.  Some of this is a little skewed by how often Chain Fences and Lightning Field contribute damage.  Every instance of damage is recorded as an activation, but it is really unlikely Chain Fences was clicked on 519 times.  

Also, somewhat telling on the time difference is the usage of Energy Torrent and Explosive Blast.  These are both very close in activation numbers.  Since these powers are direct damage these are a bit more relatable to actual clicks/activations of the power.  Even more interesting, is the Electrical Mastery run had both Energy Torrent and Explosive Blast contributing more damage per target than the other run.  Their activation times were already really close but the increased damage per hit put them over the Psychic Mastery run despite slightly more activations.  

 

Furthermore, Ion Judgement was used one more time in a shorter combat period than Psionic Mastery was.  There was enough time running to have used it more often, BUT circumstances may have prohibited this.  That missed activation was a damage loss.  

 

There are far more uses of Mind Probe than there are of Havoc Punch.  This suggests that the combination of AoE powers being used in the Electrical Mastery run *may* have reduced a need for a single target power.  However, Psychic Mastery is an opposite power set, and Mind Probe by itself isn't really going to pull enough weight vs Havoc Punch in this build.  It doesn't look like Dominate with procs was used.  Dominate shows up in the list as 0 damage from the player and this is a power Rikti have.  

So the data here doesn't really tell a clear picture.  It is biased information on AoE which is something the Electrical Mastery set is good at, but Psychic Mastery is weak against.  This really isn't a big surprise.  The parses are very interesting to read through though and I appreciate that they were shared.  It isn't really conclusive that Electrical Mastery would be stronger for say, soloing an AV.  The results between the two may have been different, but it is also important to remember that Havoc Punch and Mind Probe are very similar DPA-wise.  Their cooldowns may make a difference, but the real strength in Psychic Mastery is leveraging both Mind Probe and Dominate.  Not just one or the other.  

 

 

Edited by oldskool
Lots of stuff and probably still some typos.
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Let's take the new city of data for a test drive shall we?

Mind Probe: 103.54 damage in 1.32 cast time (arcanatime) gives us 78.4. Very respectable. There's only 3 primary powers which exceed this:

Blaze 114

bitter ice blast 101

will domination 87

 

So it is a bit hyperbolic to say that the primaries don't matter. 

 

It is also interesting that someone mentioned knockout blow in a dismissive tone. 

It does 188 damage in 2.376, for 79.1 damage, well damn, it beat that mind probe in DPAS. Of course the problem with leviathan is the rest of the set is crap, unlike psi where you can make dominate into a proc monster. 

 

Personally I often use cremate and fire sword circle because I want more AOE (have to take the bad to get to the good). The AOE in psi is pretty much utter garbage. However cremate kinda sucks too at 50 DPAS. Guess you have to choose one or the other. 

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6 hours ago, Pzn said:

that's the entire reason for me.  The other sentinel epics are great, but I love the quick cast times in psi.  It's also nice that psychic shockwave hits 16 since that's so rare for sents.

Yeah but it hits about as hard as a kitten on quaaludes. 

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15 hours ago, drbuzzard said:

Yeah but it hits about as hard as a kitten on quaaludes. 

I slot out psychic shockwave and mind probe with procs.  Both can be loaded with them just like dominate.  the PBAoEs in the epic pools definitely feel weak with just their regular damage.

Edited by Pzn
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Yeah, but psychic shockwave has a pretty fast recharge, so proccing is a bit iffy, though it certainly has to beat the innate damage. I admit I've not tried that, so perhaps I will. Thing is I usually build for recharge with agility, so I ruin proccing. 

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6 hours ago, underfyre said:

20 seconds on a 1.97 activation is enough to get a 90% proc rate as far down as 2ppm

It's not quite that high.  There's that part of the PPM formula that accounts for AoEs and you get penalized for a larger radius.  Mids does a good job of estimating how much damage they'll add on average.

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3 hours ago, Pzn said:

It's not quite that high.  There's that part of the PPM formula that accounts for AoEs and you get penalized for a larger radius.  Mids does a good job of estimating how much damage they'll add on average.

 

Ok fine. Let me be more clear.

 

An ability with an activation of 1.97, an arc of 360 and a radius of 15 can have an enhanced recharge time as far down as 10.1 seconds before a 3.5PPM proc will drop below 90%.

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11 hours ago, underfyre said:

 

Ok fine. Let me be more clear.

 

An ability with an activation of 1.97, an arc of 360 and a radius of 15 can have an enhanced recharge time as far down as 10.1 seconds before a 3.5PPM proc will drop below 90%.

Even with no slotted recharge it's not that high of a proc chance.  It's about 50% on 3.5ppm

Edited by Pzn
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4 hours ago, Pzn said:

Even with no slotted recharge it's not that high of a proc chance.  It's about 50% on 3.5ppm

 

Ok fine. Let me be even more clear.

 

Equation from Bopper is:

PPM * (Cast + ModRecharge) / (AreaMod * AreaFactor)

 

3.5 * (1.97+10.1) (0.25 0.75 (60 15 (11 * 360 54030000)) = 90.00266%

 

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1 hour ago, underfyre said:

 

Ok fine. Let me be even more clear.

 

Equation from Bopper is:

PPM * (Cast + ModRecharge) / (AreaMod * AreaFactor)

 

3.5 * (1.97+10.1) (0.25 0.75 (60 15 (11 * 360 54030000)) = 90.00266%

 

It's not that high in game.  Try it yourself.

 

Probability to Proc = PPM * (MRT+ CastTime) / (60 * AreaMod)

 

So 3.5(1.97+20)/(60(.25+.75(1+.15(20))))

 

solve and you get 39% chance

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An approximately 4 in 10 chance every minute is pretty good if you've got a power loaded up with 5 different procs (for my rad/sr sentinel, Neutron Bomb is my choice for this).  If you've got more than one proc-bomb going, it can be surprisingly effective.

 

But if people are really obsessed with doing the "most" damage above all things, they need to play a Blaster or Stalker or Scrapper.  I want to do a decent amount of damage, but doing the "most" damage is not a priority for me.  I'm more concerned with building my hero/villain to represent the character concept that I'm going for.

 

I also tend to view Sentinels as a support class that supports in a pure combat role, so I'm expecting tanks and blasters to have most of the AOE issues covered in group combat and the Scrappers and Stalkers to zero in on the heavy hitters to bring them down.  My job as a sentinel is to lend combat strength to whichever of these needs the most support, be alert for when squishier toons need to be defended, and otherwise just blast and batter down foes as opportunity provides.

 

Of course, the reality is, combat in CoX is almost always less tactical and more frenetic and chaotic than that, but I do my level best to perform the above-mentioned functions and I enjoy doing them.

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Hmmm... I know I'm late, but there is a lot I don't understand here. I mean, first, if you want to play an armored, melee DPS, why not a scrapper, or even stalker? You can use the epic to add a few ranged attacks to your scrapper, so you still feel like a hybrid. 

 

On the Rad/Regen build, why does a power called Neutron Bomb to SO little damage? Why did you skip MoG? I know it's not for everybody, but I wouldn't skip Second Wind, either. It allows you to take bigger risks.

 

What is considered the "best" Armor or combo for a Sentinal?

 

Lastly, why does Dual Pistols do SO much less damage than Radiation Blast, yet also has shorter range?

 

 

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53 minutes ago, VV said:

why does a power called Neutron Bomb to SO little damage?

 

Some where in the sacred time stream a younger oldskool building a Rad/Rad Defender is asking this question. 

 

53 minutes ago, VV said:

What is considered the "best" Armor or combo for a Sentinal?

 

Here is a way to walk through some decisions.  
 

Having either 45% defense to one or more positional/types or 75% resistance to one or more types is a great thing to shoot for.  The armor sets considered "really good" are the ones that have the easiest time doing this and may even do more.   

Easy sets can be ones like Invulnerability, Super Reflexes, Ninjutsu, Energy Aura, and Electric Armor.  (These can check at least one box of either defense or resist)

If a set has you searching for all the possible IO sets to raise either defense or resistance up, then the worst that set is going to feel.   Hard to work for sets can be ones like Dark Armor, Regeneration, and even Willpower.  (These have to work either a bit harder [Willpower] to a lot harder [Regeneration] to close some gaps)

Some sets, like Bio Armor, Radiation Armor, and Fiery Aura, may be difficult to build comprehensive defenses on, but they come with additional damage.  That additional damage is a consideration worth taking when picking an armor set.  

So you have offensive heavy sets (Bio Armor, etc.), and defense heavy sets (everything not Bio/Fiery/Rad).  The easier the defensive set to deal with the better it is.  

Combos move from "good" to "great" when either side of the equation allows the other to close some gaps or really push a strength further.  

So like, in this pairing here for Radiation Blast you see my previously poo-pooing a bit on it for damage.  That's just because I don't find the baseline damage all that great with full sets (something Regen wants).  However, if you put procs in some attacks Radiation Blast's potential goes up really fast.  Armor sets that enable that kind of build are going to be the easier ones.  That's Invulnerability, Super Reflexes, and the like.  Those sets are fairly self-contained and don't need much help from full set bonuses.  

The reverse of this is also true.  Fire Blast can perform decently without procs, and it has few anyway, allowing you to build more full sets.  That works really well for armor sets that need the mitigation help.  So, for example,  a Fire Blast/Willpower build could potentially soft-cap multiple types of damage while still having OK damage.  This is not me saying that baseline Fire Blast with full sets compares identically to Radiation Blast with procs.  That'd be stupid.  This is more like baseline Fire Blast damage is higher than baseline Radiation Blast.   

Now, even if you want to build on full sets you could still push single target damage higher by using an Epic Pool hold with damage procs (so only one power needs it).  That combined with a melee power (you need it to unlock the latter) can really push your DPS higher.  Well, push it for single-target DPS at least.  If you want more AoE options you can go that route instead.    

Anyway, this is not a simple question to answer even if Fire Blast or Electrical Blast combined with Bio Armor works out really well in hypotheticals.  Some other combinations can still be really good, even great, if you're using one set to close gaps of the other.  

I guess the 500lb gorilla to the question is, does this limit build diversity?  Yes, it does and it has a remarkably dramatic shift for Sentinels vs other ATs.  All ATs have winners and loser combos, but I've never played an AT where the difference really punches you in the stomach like it can with Sentinels.  That aspect of removing some player agency is a failure of the AT.  Still, there are plenty of possible combinations that can be real gems to play even if you're not making Stalkers/Scrappers/Blasters blush with envy.

Side note:  

None of my explanation is to say Rad/Regen is trash.  It isn't.  However, the combination is going to have a real hard time being the most uber defensive powerhouse (without some outside support) while doing the highest damage it is capable of.  This is just a combination that doesn't do both (solo) so a player should pick one and go with it.  Some combinations don't have such a stark difference in choice.   

 

53 minutes ago, VV said:

Lastly, why does Dual Pistols do SO much less damage than Radiation Blast, yet also has shorter range?

 

Dual Pistols has to pay for its homage to Equilibrium.  How else does Taye Diggs pay his rent?

Edited by oldskool
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1 hour ago, Galamane said:

Christian Bale you mean? 

Batman?  Batman you say? 

Nah, I think he's OK.  Plus, he's about to have that mouse money from Thor 4.  

Poor Diggs played Brandt in Equilibrium and no one remembers... 😞 

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On 6/8/2021 at 2:18 PM, Sunsette said:

yeaaaaaaah. I can do +4/x8 on my Energy/Energy.

but that doesn't mean it's actually fun to do it at +4/x8.

 

imo no one but scrappers and brutes should just default to thinking they can +4/x8. A lot of ATs can, but Scrap/Brute is the only one where the majority of combinations make it possible, I'd say (and even then there are definite exceptions). Part of the disappointment with Sents is that they have everything you'd think they need to be one of those, but it turns out they need a bit more than that.

 

I’d likely add HC Blasters to that equation.  The new Blaster here can be built to really sturdy levels via IO set bonuses, temps and (eventually) incarnate levels.  I’ve got three that frequently solo entire TF’s on +4/x8, inclusive of the AV’s.  The glass cannons of yore are largely gone now.

 

I can easily solo +4/x8 on my Fire/Rad/Fire Sent and I’m currently able to do so with a couple of other Sent builds also.  But its not fun.  It’s a slog actually.  It’s not a survivability issue in the least.  It’s a DPS issue, and I follow all the advice of heavy proc-ology.

 

For now, I guess the reason I keep playing Sents is simply the power sets that are uniquely available here just aren’t available in other AT’s yet.  So I wait for the promised damage (and maybe just maybe aggro) upgrades and I simply play for theme, looks and backstory fulfillment.  I know I’m not contributing a bunch to any team but I’m not detracting from them either.  Damage is damage.  I just have to get comfortable with a boss taking FOREVER to whittle down relative to the real boss killers out there.  I’m more like the beer cart on the course.  I’m wearing the right attire for the course.  I’m driving a cool golf cart.  But yeah, I’m just here to serve you some beer and be the punchy eye candy you want to see at the 7th hole.

 

Hey....that’s my role!  I’m gonna go make a new alt now called “Beer Cart Girl.”

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