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Voltaic Sentinel (Dom) Slotting quandry


tidge
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My question will be about the /Electricity Assault Dominator T9 Secondary power available at level 38. This is a Recharge-Intensive Pet, with all the limitations/timers/lifetimes associated with such.

 

The question involves a single slot that I'm not quite sold on. The current slotting of Voltaic Sentinel for my (level 50, perma-Dom) Plant/Electric is:

  • Expedient Reinforcement (Accuracy / Damage)
  • Expedient Reinforcement (Damage / Endurance)
  • Expedient Reinforcement (Accuracy / Damage / Recharge)
  • Expedient Reinforcement (Endurance / Damage / Recharge)
  • Soulbound Allegiance (%Build Up)

 

Monitoring the logs, I can see that usually the Sentinel gets the benefit of Build Up for one attack; occasionally it will happen twice. Against level 50 carnies, when %Build Up is triggered, it is about 30 extra single-target damage. I like the little sparky guy, but it's already something of a high-maintenance power that isn't something I always keep up.

 

Normally: My attitude is MOAR DAMAGE is MOAR DAMAGE. However... in this case, as the delivery is single-target in a completely uncontrolled manner... 

 

What do y'all thing about pulling that %proc out of Voltaic Sentinel and using the slot somewhere else in the build where it can have more impact across all levels?

 

As far as where I would put the slot, the primary candidate power is Health. Currently, I have neither Preventive Medicine (%Absorb) nor Miracle (+Recovery) slotted. The extra Recovery translates to ~ 0.25 End/second... with perma-Dom and no Incarnates I'm on the knife's edge of button mashing, so "dulling that blade" may be useful. %Absorb is pretty much just a warning sign that I'm taking (too much) damage and need to refocus attention. I can use unslotters to switch between those choices.

 

There are lower tier powers that could take a %damage enhancement (or the %Fiery Orb ATO) but I'm otherwise comfortable with the powers/slottings in those powers and don't feel that either of those types of options would really help performance.

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I'm a fan of the absorb proc.  There have been quite a few times that I suddenly took a burst of damage, HP dropped dangerously low, and it fired bringing me back into a more comfortable range.  Might not have meant the difference between defeat or not every time but without a doubt it has saved me many times.  Since the odds of the proc firing go up as my HPs go down, it tends to fire just when I need it.

 

Especially if you can use incarnates when you get there to address the end issue, seems like the way to go to me.

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Yeah that Absorb proc in Health is really nice. One of the best things about it is the sliding scale where it is more likely to trigger if you are low on HP. Sometimes it firing is my signal that I'm about to drop dead, so even if the proc itself isn't lifesaving, the on-screen alert it triggers can be useful.

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Posted (edited)

So what I (ultimately) did was pull the 5th slot from Voltaic Sentinel, and the 6th slot from Thunder Strike to put BOTH of my options (%Absorb, +Recovery)  into Health. I like pairing %Absorb with Scaling Damage Resistance... I still get this character in deep doo-doo, but I want to believe that I've improved survivability at least fractionally.

 

I found Thunder Strike to be such a disappointing attack that extracting the 6th piece (was %-Resistance) to be a no-brainer.  Besides being slow enough to do nothing against defeated targets, it appears that the mechanics were such that missing the actual target meant no chance to trigger against adjacent enemies, and RNGesus is a cruel master. The (PB)Aoe also seemed to be small enough that my typical controls made it rare that MOBs would be close enough to each other by the time I decided to pop in to throw the attack.

 

I'm having trouble remembering a time when I've been so utterly disappointed with a secondary's T8 power. I hate to do it, but because I use that attack so rarely and because I'm thinking about (further) delaying the choice of Thunder Strike... I think I may simply just replace it with an alternate attack from an Epic/Patron power pool. In the case of this character, it would be Psionic Tornado (from Psionic Mastery). This is much less potential damage, but I am already NOT using the melee AoE attack very efficiently.

Edited by tidge
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FWIW I found thunderstrike quite useful. It affects up to 16 enemies, unlike the target cap of 10 for almost all other AOEs in dominator secondaries (except psychic shockwave from psi assault). The damage for the AOE isn't great at all. But, it's useful for taking that last bit of hit points off mobs, it cuts down noticeably on runners, and knocking down up to 16 mobs at once is quite helpful to reduce incoming damage.  

 

Regarding procs and thunderstrike, the AOE is a pseudopet, IIRC, which means it's chances of activating PbAOE procs are probably very low. You may have better luck with procs intended to affect the primary target. 

 

For voltaic sentinel either as little as 2 IOs (ie: +5 dmg / end soulbound allegiance and +5 dmg soulbound allegiance, or perhaps an efficiency D-synch IO in the second slot if you have a damage alpha) or the slotting you used should work just fine. Which to choose may be best determined by how many slots you have available for it.  

Edited by EnjoyTheJourney
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1 minute ago, EnjoyTheJourney said:

FWIW I found thunderstrike quite useful. It affects up to 16 enemies, unlike the target cap of 10 for almost all other AOEs in dominator secondaries (except psychic shockwave from psi assault). The damage for the AOE isn't great at all. But, it's useful for taking that last bit of hit points off mobs, it cuts down noticeably on runners, and knocking down up to 16 mobs at once is quite helpful to reduce incoming damage. 

 

Thanks for the info on the Thunderstrike %procs! I so rarely hit the actual target that I haven't even been able to notice any %proc behavior on adjacents.

 

As a practical matter: after my character brings the control (typically Seeds of Confusion and Roots, also Carrion Creepers), I'm simply not having enough enemies near one another to even notice the PBAoE aspect of Thunderstrike. Part of the issue for my play of this character is that the best control (Seeds of Confusion) and my best non-pet %debuff %damage (Static Discharge) are both cones, so popping into Melee (even after picking an optimal target) is rarely helping clear spawns. More often than I even connect (ehem, corpse-blasting and RNG), it is just opening me up for a melee counter-attack.

 

As for runners... that's what Voltaic Sentinel is for!

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23 minutes ago, tidge said:

 

Thanks for the info on the Thunderstrike %procs! I so rarely hit the actual target that I haven't even been able to notice any %proc behavior on adjacents.

 

As a practical matter: after my character brings the control (typically Seeds of Confusion and Roots, also Carrion Creepers), I'm simply not having enough enemies near one another to even notice the PBAoE aspect of Thunderstrike. Part of the issue for my play of this character is that the best control (Seeds of Confusion) and my best non-pet %debuff %damage (Static Discharge) are both cones, so popping into Melee (even after picking an optimal target) is rarely helping clear spawns. More often than I even connect (ehem, corpse-blasting and RNG), it is just opening me up for a melee counter-attack.

 

As for runners... that's what Voltaic Sentinel is for!

Understood. 

 

My limited experiences with the electric secondary on a dom were when it was paired with a melee-centric primary. It makes sense that you could have a quite different experience with thunderstrike when plant is your primary. 

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