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Put together a dark / stone sentinel Mids build, looking to improve it


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First time putting together a draft of a dark / stone sentinel build. A bit out of practice, as well, not having made any new sentinel builds in months. It seems that it might be somewhat light on single target damage with a basic single target attack chain of

 

abyssal gaze, antiumbral beam, life drain, repeat

 

Also wondering whether defenses will be in a good place, especially with both (dark) energy defense and resists looking a bit low. The healing powers, regen, and ability to run at maximum hit points should help to compensate for some lowish resistances. Not sure how well it's likely to go, though. 

Also, defense debuff resistance seems a bit low at about 33%. Is that all that stone armor gets, or does slotting need to be re-thought?

Suggestions for improvement welcomed, thank you in advance.

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot (36).png

Sentinel (Dark Blast - Stone Armor - No mastery).mbd

Edited by EnjoyTheJourney
Fixed some obvious slotting problems, and for order in taking powers
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I theorycrafted an Electric/Stone Sent and came up with some similar issues.

 

Stone is slightly awkward with the large Fire/Cold defense hole. I shuffled some things in a build and you can fix the hole with lots of full Winter sets, it just gets very expensive and you can't proc very well. Even excluding that, in order to fill defense/res gaps and still get something like perma Hasten you have to utilize more full sets. I personally think Stone is easier to achieve multiple build goals with if you don't proc too much.

 

Around 33% DDR is all I managed to achieve with it either. I don't think you need to worry about resistances to a huge extent, a solid baseline and being at hp cap should do a lot.

 

In general I think your end usage could use some work, it's relying very heavily on Incarnates. I'll throw out some quick suggestions I spotted:

  • Crystal Armor is your end mod. Add at least 1 50+5 endmod and that will pull most of the work.
  • Terra Firma is your accuracy and is auto. Just add a 50+5 tohit. Drop Tactic's entirely, don't think you even need it.
  • Maybe pick up a melee Epic attack for Tactic's?

I'll attach my Elec/Stone for a slightly different take on a Stone. I pretty much accepted the Fire/Cold defense hole (partially covered by melee and ranged def) as a sacrifice for perma Hasten. I also went overboard on end management cause I was working with Voltaic Sentinel.

 

I really like Stone Armor as one of the higher dmg Sent Armor's due to the dmg proc. It's just a bit finicky to work with in a more defensive capacity.

Sentinel (Electrical Blast - Stone Armor)$$.mbd

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  • 2 weeks later
On 4/3/2024 at 6:44 PM, Wimbochismo said:

In general I think your end usage could use some work, it's relying very heavily on Incarnates. I'll throw out some quick suggestions I spotted:

  • Crystal Armor is your end mod. Add at least 1 50+5 endmod and that will pull most of the work.
  • Terra Firma is your accuracy and is auto. Just add a 50+5 tohit. Drop Tactic's entirely, don't think you even need it.
  • Maybe pick up a melee Epic attack for Tactic's?

 

While I agree with most of what you said, including the 50+5 ToHit being in Terra Firma since the other stats of the D-Sync Elusivity are doing nothing in a passive skill, I would say that Crystal Armor should not get a 50+5 END Mod IO over Stamina. Stamina has a base 25% recovery, while Crystal Armor only has 20%, so he'd get more gains with END Modification in Stamina first. The only time Crystal Armor should be picked over Stamina is to finish a set bonus or because Stamina is already hitting the ED cap. Regardless of that, Performance Shifter: Chance for +END is also not unique, so another one of those should be able to go into Crystal Armor instead, which I believe is more gains overall than any single END Mod enhancement.

 

Lastly, while he himself doesn't need Tactics, it could still be more useful than another attack if he parties a lot, so it's circumstantial as to how good a pick that is. However, if he's just focusing on his own stats, I'd say to get rid of it for Assault, and if he wants to keep the full Adjusted Targeting set bonuses, as well as a little extra +ToHit, he could just put an END Reduction into Assault and move the slots over to Terra Firma.

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I appreciated the feedback and looked over the build in light of it. Thank you for taking the time to provide it. 

Unfortunately, I ran into a basic problem when testing out the build. A pylon test came out with 246 DPS, which caught me off guard with how low it was. The build is already a bit lower on AOE than I would have preferred. That fact, when added to lower end single target damage, has led me to put this possible build on hold for now. 

I have a few more projects I've been theorycrafting and after those have been worked through I'll take another look at this primary / secondary combo to see if damage can't be improved somehow without substantially reducing survivability. 

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EDIT: I slept on it, and figured I should edit into a quicker, more accurate method of DPS calculation. Doing all of the damage together means less calculations, which is more accurate since it reduces the amount of rounding done between equations.

 

Yeah, it seems Sentinels just have low DPS overall, which makes it not surprising that so many people crap on them. But, there's a few extra steps you can take before you bother testing out a character in-game. First is to open a Notepad document with a calculator and note the actual average DPS of your skills by dividing the damage displayed by the cast times. The original rotation of AG -> AB -> LD has 637.7+608.4+439 damage, which equals 1685.1 damage. Divide this by the total cast times of each skill, which are 1.67 + 2.07 + 1.93, which is 5.67s, and you get 1685.1/5.67s, which is 297.2.

 

However, you have to check cast times versus cooldowns. Abyssal Gaze has a 4.13s cooldown, but if you combine the cast times of Life Drain and Antumbral Beam you only get 4s of cast time, which means you have .13s floating.  Likewise, Antumbral Beam has a 4.12s cooldown, while Life Drain and Abyssal Gaze have a combined 3.6s cooldown, so you're losing a whole .52s of downtime. .13+52 = .65s lost. This means each rotation could be 5.67s long, but with a .65s loss per rotation it is now 6.32s. So, your total damage versus cast time + recharge time is actually 1685.1/6.32, or 266.6, which accounting for 95% accuracy is only 253.27. Factor in latency, inconsistency of procs, and potential for human error, and 246DPS in-game makes sense.

 

However, if you add Gloom into the mix, you're adding another 1.67s cast time into your rotation. Gloom may have a lower DPS than all other skills individually, but you can remove the DPS loss by plugging any holes in recharge/cast time. So, start with your highest cooldown power, which is Abyssal Gaze at 4.13s, and end with your second highest, which is Antumbral Beam at 4.12s, and put everything else in between. This way you start with AG at 4.13s CD, and in between you have 1.67+1.93+2.07s, for a total of 5.67s total cast time, meaning it will be off cooldown when you get back to it. Likewise, you end your rotation with AB at 4.12s, and in between you have 1.67+1.67+1.93s, for a total of 5.27s of cast time, meaning it too will be off cooldown when you cycle back to it.

 

A rotation of AG -> G -> LD -> AB has 2029 damage, while the original 5.67 +1.67 Gloom CD = 7.34s. So, the damage of this rotation is 2029/7.34=276.4, which with 95% accuracy = 262.6DPS. So, AG -> AB -> LD has 253.7DPS versus AG -> G -> LD -> AB having 262.6DPS, which means the latter is a 3.5% DPS increase without changing the build and just by optimizing the rotation of skills that you have.

 

Of course 3.5% isn't a massive increase to the point I say it saves the build if you find the initial DPS unacceptable, but it is an indicator to keep an eye out on your cooldowns when theorycrafting other builds in the future, and to not underestimate the value of your weaker attacks in rotations. Plus you can immediately know that if the baseline DPS of your rotation is only hitting around 300DPS before factoring in any cooldowns or accuracy, there's no way you're actually hitting 300DPS in-game, so if you must reach that point then you already know the build's a flop.

Edited by JooceBocks
Revised calculations
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An adjustment that I eventually learned needs to be made is to use the arcanatime casting times to figure out how long each power takes to cast, when calculating DPS. The arcanatime adjusts for delays in CPU processing for activating powers. The arcanatime casting times for the five main sentinel dark blast single target attacks are as follows:


dark blast - 1.188 seconds

gloom - 1.848 seconds

abyssal gaze - 1.848 seconds

antumbral beam - 2.244 seconds

life drain - 2.112 seconds


When I did some calculations using these totals the chain looked like as follows:

AG --> AB --> LD = 653 + 625 + 473 = 1751

1.848 + 2.244 + 2.112 = 6.204 seconds for one rotation (DPS = 1751 / 6.204 = 282 without the use of aim or the vulnerability inherent)

Looking for gaps using arcanatime casting times ...

AG: 2.244 + 2.112 = 4.236 seconds arcanatime cast times for AB + LD vs AG recharge of 4.17 seconds (4.236 > 4.17 = no gap)

AB: 1.848 + 2.112 = 3.960 seconds arcanatime cast times for AG + LD vs AB recharge of 4.15 seconds (3.960 < 4.15 = 0.19 seconds gap)
LD: 1.848 + 2.244 = 4.092 seconds arcanatime cast times for AG + AB vs LD recharge of 3.04 seconds (4.092 > 3.04 = no gap)
 = total gap across all 3 powers of 0.19 seconds

Adjusted DPS calculation, accounting for the 0.19 second gap ...
6.204 + 0.19 = 6.394 seconds (DPS = 1751 / 6.394 = 274 without using aim or vulnerability)

If I always took the base attack speed upgrade I'd get 20% more recharge and then recharge for abyssal gaze would be 3.94 seconds. Then the attack chain would be seamless. But, I'm way too lazy to be doing that on a regular basis to eliminate a 0.19 second gap in an attack chain. Also, with an attack chain this close to seamless trying to add in powers with lower DPS seems likely to lead to lower overall DPS. 

I was discouraged because the "on paper" DPS seems noticeably higher than pylon testing showed, given that using aim and vulnerability when they are available should boost pylon DPS higher than the initial calculations suggested. Since the attack chain is dead simple to execute (just 3 powers, always the same order should work fine, 2 others to substitute when they're available) it was surprising when DPS was noticeably lower than expected. 

If there's an improvement to make that can be guided by some napkin math, it would be to check on where to insert aim and vulnerability to get as much value out of them as possible. Perhaps I'm missing something about the way in which I went about using those. 

Thank you for taking the time, nonetheless. 

Edited by EnjoyTheJourney
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Did a bit more "napkin math" on the vulnerabilty inherent and on aim + the Gaussian proc. They both boost DPS, especially when they're stacked.

Vulnerability has an animation time of 1.167 seconds and it lasts for 15 seconds in total. After subtracting out the animation time it still comfortably covers two full cycles of the 3-power single target attack chain (abyssal gaze, antumbral beam, life drain), which means 2 * 0.15 * 1751 * 0.95 = 499 DPS added at the cost of 1.167 seconds of animation time (15% resistance debuff = 0.15, 0.95 represents 5% chance to miss). That should increase overall DPS, even if not by a large amount on its own, given that 499 extra DPS is well above the baseline DPS of 274. 

Aim + the gaussian build up proc can't possibly lower overall DPS. An arcanatime casting time of 1.32 seconds leads to AG = 822 damage, AB = 844, LD = 603 DPS while the Gaussian proc is active (realistically, just AG and AB will be affected because the Gaussian proc has a short activation period). With aim active and the Gaussian proc not active AG = 718 damage, AB = 709 damage, LD = 523 damage). The total extra damage done with aim + the Gaussian proc is way higher than 274, which means that using it should push DPS up beyond 274. Vulnerability pushes all of these numbers up by another 15% and, since vulnerability is up more often than down, overall DPS should be noticeably higher than 274. Instead it's lower. Not sure why. The build tested is attached, in case any are curious and would like to explore further. 

COD entry for vulnerability: https://cod.uberguy.net/html/power.html?power=inherent.inherent.vulnerability&at=sentinel

Sentinel (Dark Blast - Stone Armor - Mu mastery),v2.mbd

 

Screenshot (43).png

Edited by EnjoyTheJourney
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In case some are curious about how to get arcanatime casting times to show up in Mids, below are a few screenshots showing what screens to access to make that change.

You click on the "options" menu at the top, then "configuration", then click on "effects and maths", then toggle on "Use Arcanatime for animation times." Then close the menu. 

 

Screenshot (44).png

Screenshot (45).png

Screenshot (46).png

Edited by EnjoyTheJourney
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1 hour ago, SeraphimKensai said:

Using that same screen you can click options under the suppression window to simulate being in combat, so you aren't relying on builds using the not in combat values for stealth or evasive maneuvers, etc.

I can't seem to find the toggle that explicitly simulates being in combat. Perhaps it's "damaged" or something like that in the "suppression" window?

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9 minutes ago, EnjoyTheJourney said:

I can't seem to find the toggle that explicitly simulates being in combat. Perhaps it's "damaged" or something like that in the "suppression" window?

Damaged, attacked, or glowy clicked should suppress. It's honestly been a while since I've done it. A quick way to test make a new toon and pick stealth and then check the values on defense as you click through them.

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