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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Sovera said:

Dark is probably not the best choice for a proc optimized build though. 

I read though the post more than once, and I get you were having breakfast, but I am not sure what this means. 

Is that just due to looking at how Dark/Nin performs against Sonic/Bio? 
 

Edit: What maybe throws me off about this is the word optimized.  Procs optimize Dark Blast as a set.  Dark Blast, among Sentinel Primaries, does have medium-low damage on basic IOs/SOs.  With damage procs it shifts up the food chain making it more firmly in a middle of the road realm.  So when it is said that Dark is probably not the best choice for a proc optimized build, this suggests that procs aren't beneficial.  So that is where I hope you can forgive me if I am misunderstanding, but procs are very beneficial to Dark.  All Dark powers can take a minimum of Clouded Senses and the PvP damage proc.  Additionally, one lucky power can take Apocalypse.  Abyssal Gaze can take any of those, and also can take any one of the 4 out of the Hold sets including the purple.  That is, in my experience, some pretty significant damage.  Pine's also misrepresents proc damage and how it interacts with global bonuses.  It's really deceptive.

Edited by oldskool
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3 minutes ago, oldskool said:

I read though the post more than once, and I get you were having breakfast, but I am not sure what this means. 

Is that just due to looking at how Dark/Nin performs against Sonic/Bio?  I want to be real careful with how I interpret this because I deeply disagree. 

I've been browsing your Dark proc oriented builds, @oldskool, and you seem to be on to something. Someone over the Defender part of the forums is also leaning on Dark as the best proc carrier. I've seen some good arguments towards Ice though, and at this point I am not sure which will fit better with that goal in mind.

 

That said Ice sins for the rains not carrying procs very well but in practical terms the rains work rather well in a Elder Scrolls sort of thing, which is basically throw both AoE DoTs on the ground and then start picking the hardier enemies while they tick. Even if someone T9 and killed most minions both slows in both rains would keep the hardier mobs slowed and keep on damaging them (the flee effect should not be ignored either. Slooooowly fleeing mobs are mobs not attacking back).

 

Someone over the Corruptor side of the forums showed an Ice build also very proc heavy that seemed interesting, but I have not placed both side by side to dissect which appears better (especially since both would need to be tweaked for a Sentinel).

 

Speaking of dissecting someone over the Scrapper side of the forums showed a Blaster doing some amazing under two minutes times. Well worth looking into though considering we too have Dominate.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Sovera said:

I've been browsing your Dark proc oriented builds, @oldskool, and you seem to be on to something. Someone over the Defender part of the forums is also leaning on Dark as the best proc carrier. I've seen some good arguments towards Ice though, and at this point I am not sure which will fit better with that goal in mind.

 

That said Ice sins for the rains not carrying procs very well but in practical terms the rains work rather well in a Elder Scrolls sort of thing, which is basically throw both AoE DoTs on the ground and then start picking the hardier enemies while they tick. Even if someone T9 and killed most minions both slows in both rains would keep the hardier mobs slowed and keep on damaging them (the flee effect should not be ignored either. Slooooowly fleeing mobs are mobs not attacking back).

 

Someone over the Corruptor side of the forums showed an Ice build also very proc heavy that seemed interesting, but I have not placed both side by side to dissect which appears better (especially since both would need to be tweaked for a Sentinel).

 

Speaking of dissecting someone over the Scrapper side of the forums showed a Blaster doing some amazing under two minutes times. Well worth looking into though considering we too have Dominate.

Yeah, it was maybe over a month or so ago that I made my Dual Pistols/Dark Miasma Corruptor with procs in mind.  My single target chain of Piercing Rounds -> Pistols -> Executioner's Shot -> Pistols has every attack with a minimum of 3 procs.  At least two of these procs are -resistance, and I often open with Soul Drain followed by Hail of Bullets which has a 3rd -resistance proc (Fury of the Gladiator).  Oh... correction.  I open with Tar Patch.  Then I hop in, Soul Drain, and mow everything down.  I kid you not, it does more damage than most Blasters I see. 

Abusing procs has been going on for a while.  I was just reading someone talking about how the Singularity in Gravity Control with damage procs becomes a buzzsaw (lol).  I've seen that kind of shenanigans with Dark/Dark Controllers too with their pets. 

Sentinels get both Dominate and Char.  It can get really impressive.  Soul Mastery has a version of Midnight Grasp with a 34 second recharge which can take Hecatomb, Clouded Senses, Mako's Bite, Touch of Death, and so on.  The damage can get up there pretty fast.  Oh, Knockout Blow is a Hold, which means it can take those damage procs too.  Leviathan Mastery let's you snag that. 

If we could have gotten Water Spout... omg.

Edited by oldskool
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Posted (edited)

Primary Powerset: Dual Pistols

Low-Medium* Single-Target Damage, Low-Medium* Area of Effect (AoE) Damage (2 Cones, 1 Targeted, 1 PBAoE), Medium* Control, Low-Medium* Debuff Potential

 

*Ammunition powers will add variance.

 

Dual Pistols is a unique blast set which was added during the Going Rogue expansion and was released alongside Issue 18.  Dual Pistols features some incredibly over the top gun fu inspired by Hong Kong action films.  Perhaps one of the most notable sources of inspiration stems from the 2002 cult classic film Equilibrium.  What makes Dual Pistols so unique from other blast sets is that it includes neither a snipe nor Aim.  Alternatively, Dual Pistols features an ammunition swap mechanic in place of Aim and Executioner's Shot in the place of a snipe.  The level 26 power, Piercing Rounds, is a unique cone with the "Narrow" quality giving it an area of effect more like a line.  Beam Rifle, introduced in Issue 21, is the only other set with a similar cone. 

 

Dual Pistols is often criticized for its low to mid tier damage and the powers it lacks (e.g., Aim).  However, what it does bring to teams is often ignored.  Dual Pistols is a fantastic support set with modest damage output.  All Dual Pistols powers have some secondary effect (sometimes several) which is improved by archetype modifiers.  Defenders have the highest of these values with Sentinels having the lowest of these values.  Sentinels can still contribute as minor support despite this if they so choose. 

 

The strength of Dual Pistols is its versatility.  This versatility can change how you use the set in various team compositions.  Invention Origin (IO) sets also open up a lot of build opportunity to close its damage dealing gaps.  

 

Beginner's Overview

 

So if my fantasy of being Mark Lee (A Better Tomorrow, 1986), John Preston (Equilibrium, 2002), Wesley Gibson (Wanted, 2008), or John Wick (John Wick, 2014) isn't met with WTFBBQ levels of damage then what gives?

 

Dual Pistols has several quick animating and recharging powers.  The speed of these powers comes with lower damage per hit, but this doesn't mean the powers are weak.  At first level you may chose between Pistols or Dual Wield.  Of the two, Pistols is actually the higher damage-per-activation (DPA) power.  In fact, Pistols is one of the strongest DPA powers in the entire set.  Pistols will trigger (pun intended!) your Offensive Opportunity Mode (OOM).  Dual Wield will trigger your Defensive Opportunity Mode (DOM).  For leveling, I would highly suggest taking both of these powers to get a feel for how they interact with your secondary choice.  You may change this decision at a later point with a character respec.  The Homecoming servers grant 1 character respec per 10 levels and there are other methods to obtain additional uses. 

 

In addition to taking both the tier 1 and tier 2 (T1 and T2, respectively), I'd suggest taking all the attacks as you level.  While I know exactly what I like and don't about each power, I have no idea what YOU like.  Each power in the Dual Pistols set has value but also an opportunity cost.  The balance of each power's value and its opportunity cost will vary from Sentinel to Sentinel.  For the remainder of this guide, I will try to give you as much information as I can in order for you the player to make an informed decision.  At no point do I suggest that you stop experimenting and trying out new ideas for what works in your own plan.  I toy with new concepts all the time and spend quite a bit of influence on materials to move enhancements around.  I also have a character on the test server to tinker with.  Experiment!  Versatility is a strength to this set!

 

About that versatility.  Unlike other archetypes, Sentinels gain access to Swap Ammo at level 8.  I highly recommend all players pick this up.  This is your Aim replacement and it grants you the ability to change how you play.  No other blast set in the game does this!  Sentinels may not have the highest numbers on the debuffs they can select from, but this isn't a good reason to ignore them.  Below is an overview of how the ammunition system works.

 

About 70% of every Dual Pistol attack is Lethal damage.  The other 30% of the damage depends on which of the 4 ammunition types are currently active.  The default ammunition is "Standard" which is also Lethal (so 100% Lethal by default).  Each power also carries with it some form of secondary effect.  These secondary effects are replaced based on the ammunition type being used.  Below is a list of each power's effect under Standard Ammunition.

 

Power

Secondary Effect

Pistols

Defense Debuff

Dual Wield

Chance to Knockback

Empty Clips

Chance to Knockback, Defense Debuff

Suppressive Fire

Stun

Bullet Rain

Chance to Knockback

Executioner’s Shot

Chance to Knockback, Defense Debuff

Piercing Rounds

Resistance Debuff

Hail of Bullets

Chance to Knockdown*

*During Standard Ammunition the chance to knockdown at the end of the animation is guaranteed but moves down to "chance to knockdown" with other ammo types.

 

Swap Ammo grants 3 toggle powers which cost no endurance to run.  If no toggle is active, then the default Standard Ammunition is used. 

 

  • Chemical Ammunition converts the secondary damage from Lethal to Toxic.  All secondary effects are replaced with a damage debuff except for Suppressive Fire which is changed to a Hold effect. 
  • Cryo Ammunition converts the secondary damage from Lethal to Cold.  All secondary effects are replaced with a slow (both attack rate and move speed) except for Suppressive Fire which is changed to a Hold effect.
  • Incendiary Ammunition converts the secondary damage from Lethal to Fire.  All secondary effects are replaced with a short duration fire-based damage-over-time (DoT) except for Suppressive Fire which is changed to a Hold effect.

 

Dual Pistols has a host of options.  Chemical Ammunition's -damage debuff may not be much, but it can contribute to damage mitigation for the Sentinel as well as teammates.  Slow effects and knockdown/knockback are good ways to allow regeneration effects to heal the Sentinel.  Even if these effects don't do much by themselves they do interact with other archetypes to magnify them.  Experiment! Explore!

 

Slotting

 

Basic Slotting

 

Dual Pistols is a set with higher than normal innate accuracy.  This partially makes up for not having Aim and can let many players get away with running 1 accuracy enhancement.  There are also 3 powers that can reduce defense with Standard Ammunition which should help reduce misses in the lower levels.  Most of the attacks in Dual Pistols recharge and animate rather quickly and it will create a significant drag on your endurance.  I recommend at least 1 endurance reduction in your attacks.  The amount of recharge reduction is going to depend based on how many attacks you have selected.  If you're taking everything in order to explore the set, then you should have at least one power available.  I wouldn't recommend enhancing damage beyond 3 Single Origin (SO) or basic Invention Origin (IO).  The diminishing returns on enhancements isn't worth pursuing.  This may leave 1 slot open if you are fully enhancing a power(s).  You could further enhance recharge or endurance modification.  You may also wish to enhance some of the secondary effects like defense debuffs.  Keep in mind that defense debuffs are linked to Standard Ammunition and those enhancements will offer no benefits with other ammunition types. 

 

Advanced Slotting

 

Dual Pistols is a set that is wide open for creative build possibilities.  Realizing this potential can also be closely linked to your secondary power set.  What this means is that some secondary sets may demand more defense potential from IO sets found within the Ranged Attack category (e.g., Thunderstrike).  If your Dual Pistols is paired with a resistance-based secondary, then you may want to consider the more defensive-based sets.  If your Dual Pistols is paired with a defense-based secondary (e.g., Super Reflexes), then your attacks should be enhanced to maximize their damage output.  Maximizing your damage output under this context is about using damage procs (e.g., Explosive Strikes (Knockback Set): Chance for Smashing Damage).

 

While there are a number of options to chose from, a Sentinel is primarily a damage dealing archetype and gains more out of damage enhancement over enhancing secondary benefits (e.g., Defense Debuff, Hold Duration, etc.).  I did mention that players should feel free to explore though.  So you should make careful consideration about the ramifications on fully enhancing a primarily damage dealing power with something that is not directly related to damage.  If doing something like this works for you and your teammates, then go for it.  However, for most players this is not an optimal path to take. 

 

  • Pistols - This can take a number of sets from the Ranged Attack, Defense Debuff, and Accurate Defense Debuff categories.  Ideally, you want a damage set here to enhance the primary function of the Sentinel.  However, you can accomplish this in a number of ways.  If you are running a resistance set (e.g., Radiation Armor) then look for sets that grant you some defense or recharge.  Thunderstrike is a good one for defense and Decimation is good for recharge.  If your defense is already covered by a secondary (e.g., Super Reflexes), then you have several options.  You can keep to running a complete or nearly complete set (5-6pc) or you can explore damage procs.  Pistols can accept the Achilles' Heel, Touch of Lady Grey, Shieldbreaker, and Gladiator's Javelin procs. 
  • Dual Wield - General slotting is going to be very similar to Pistols with the exception of which auxiliary sets it can access.  Dual Wield cannot access the Defense or Accurate Defense debuff category but it can access the Knockdown and Slow categories.  Sets of note include the Impeded Swiftness, Explosive Strikes, and Force Feedback for their available procs.  Force Feedback is a possible way to "cheat" in extra global recharge reduction to a build and several powers can take this. 
  • Empty Clips - This power accepts the Targeted Ranged Attack, Knockback, Slow and Defense Debuff categories.  Ideally, you will want to maximize the damage potential but there are some very good procs that work in this power.  Sudden Acceleration's Knockback to Knockdown makes for a welcome change in groups.  Force Feedback's Chance for Recharge has a chance to trigger per target hit.  This power can also accept Achilles' Heel's resistance debuff as well as several damage procs.  I recommend players stick to something that primarily benefits damage up to 5 slots, but a 6th slot is a good reserve for some form of proc.  Ideally that proc is utility-based like Force Feedback or Achilles' Heel.
  • Suppressive Fire - This power accepts Ranged Attack, Stun and Hold category sets.  The Hold category is the real gem here.  The Hold category has 4 damage procs available!  Damage procs are what makes Suppressive Fire potentially one of, if not the, hardest hitting powers in the set.  If you are not a fan of random chance effects, then this power loses a lot of effectiveness.  If you're running Standard Ammunition the most, then this power is still one of the strongest damage powers in the set.  It is worth enhancing the damage in some form.  I would not recommend enhancing the Hold/Disorient duration.  
  • Bullet Rain - Bullet Rain can take sets from the Targeted AoE, Knockback and Slow categories.  Ideally, you want to slot this with a similar strategy to Empty Clips which means enhance the damage.  However the 6th slot, if you 6 slot it, is just as flexible on utility proc opportunity.  If you prefer to run Standard Ammunition, then the Sudden Acceleration Knockback to Knockdown is just as welcome here as it is in Empty Clips.  Bullet Rain is an even better carrier for Force Feedback's Chance for Recharge.  Bullet Rain has a target cap of 10 targets vs the 6 with Empty Clips.  Each target has a chance to trigger a proc which makes Bullet Rain an excellent source to improve the consistency of that recharge effect.  Due to how procs work, you cannot guarantee a triggering of the effect, but having 10 rolls of the dice is as good as it gets on the Sentinel.  
  • Executioner's Shot - This power can take everything from the same categories as both Pistols and Dual Wield.  Executioner's Shot is the highest DPA power in the set.  It is not a great vehicle for adding more secondary effect duration.  It is a potentially good candidate for any number of damage procs as well as the very rare sets.  If you're enhancing this heavily with a set, then your choices are broad.  However, this power is so strong for delivering procs that I find it hard to pass up.  If you feel you need Thunderstrikes for your build, then try to do that in all of your other powers before you enhance this one.  If you can use a 5pc set, non-Thunderstrike, here and use the 6th slot for a damage proc, then you will get more mileage from it. 
  • Piercing Rounds - This power can take sets from the Targeted AoE and Slow categories.  The "Narrow Cone" quality creates a very unique opportunity under the procs per minute (PPM) rules.  The cone size is small enough that it doesn't hurt the PPM calculations nearly as much as many other area of effect powers do.  This means Piercing Rounds is a good power to accept the Annihilation proc for -resistance.  You won't make or break your build with this proc but it is a unique power with a higher probability to activate than most area powers. 
  • Hail of Bullets - This is a Point-Blank Area of Effect (PBAoE) and as such it has several options from some more melee-oriented sets.  These types of sets are great sources of additional recharge (Obliteration, Armageddon, etc.) as well as damage proc potential.  Hail of Bullets can also take sets from the Knockback category which means this power has a high chance to activate the Force Feedback chance for recharge.  Hail of Bullets can also take on the Fury of the Gladiator's resistance debuff with a very high chance to activate it. 

 

What a minute... I didn't mention the Archetype Origin (ATO) enhancements!  That's on purpose.  The Sentinel ATOs are very utility oriented which makes it difficult to prescribe blanket recommendations on where to put them.  In general, both ATOs have good global bonuses, but their special effect procs require some understanding to make use of them.  I'll explain what they do below and with that information you can decide where they work best for your character. 

 

  • Opportunity Strikes - This is a decent set and at 5 pieces you can access the global recharge benefit.  The 6th piece is a range defense perk.  The other valuable bonus worth noting is the enhanced range global bonus.  That's right, the range increase affects all your powers.  That means you can initiate combat from slightly greater distances and it will makes your cones wider.  The special effect proc from this set is a "Chance for Opportunity".  What this means is that the power that holds this has a chance to gain increased opportunity meter when it goes off.  Depending on the power used, this can potentially add enough to the meter to allow you to activate Opportunity instantly. It sounds great on paper, but the PPM value is low.  The regular version is PPM = 1 and the Superior (purple) is PPM = 2.  The concept behind this proc is to improve the up time on either flavor of Opportunity.  The low PPM value tends to favor slow recharging powers, slow animating powers, or both.  Dual Pistols doesn't really have any of those except for Hail of Bullets or Piercing Rounds.  Knowing that the proc rate won't happen often means you can put this set just about anywhere with Dual Pistols. 
  • Sentinel's Ward - The Ward set has a similar theme to the bonuses like what Opportunity Strikes grants.  You get a defensive bonus at 5 pcs and a recharge bonus at 6.  You also have access to another source of range bonus.  Either or both of these sets can be split to take advantage of that if you do not care for or need the higher tiered perks.  The proc, which is an absorb shield, in this set is a bit more functional than the Opportunity Strikes one for Dual Pistols.  The PPM value for the standard version is 5 and the purple version is 6 (meaning substantially higher probability to activate).  This set offers no real damage advantage for advanced slotting similar to the other ATO.  For Dual Pistols you can place this anywhere depending on the needs of your build.  It is worth noting that due to the higher PPM value this works very well in area powers.  Every target has a chance for the absorb shield to trigger turning a power like Bullet Rain into a hybrid of defense and offense.

 

Skippable Powers

 

This is a tough section for me.  All of the powers in set can do something.  In general, I recommend Pistols as the mandatory starter power selection as it is better in many ways to Dual Wield.  Executioner's Shot is the best single target attack power in the entire set.  Bullet Rain is the most efficient area of effect attack in the set.  Swap Ammo not only gives you options in combat but increases your damage output when running Incendiary Ammunition.  These 4 powers are the backbone abilities of the set.  Piercing Rounds, Dual Wield, or Suppressive Fire should be selected based on build decisions and preference.  The choice out of those 3 powers will influence your final attack rotation.  A discussion on possible rotations follows this section. 

 

  • Dual Wield - This power offers some soft control via knockback during Standard Ammunition only.  When using any other ammo type this power brings some other debuff or increased damage (Incendiary Ammo only).  Dual Wield's default cool down is 6 seconds but animates fairly quickly.  This allows Dual Wield to easily fit in any attack chains but generally won't be a large damage increase using complete sets.  For those looking to include some damage procs, Dual Wield can take on three.  Those damage procs combined with Incendiary Ammunition turn Dual Wield into a viable damage choice.  This becomes an attractive option for anyone that values the resource return mechanics of Defensive Opportunity.
  • Suppressive Fire - Suppressive Fire experienced some changes by being ported to Sentinels.  Suppressive Fire was blessed with a boost to base damage while still maintaining some crowd control functionality.  The damage increase was the real benefit to the power.  During Standard Ammunition, Suppressive Fire causes a magnitude 3 disorient (aka, stun).  During any other ammunition effect, Suppressive Fire causes a magnitude 3 hold.  The hold duration is notably shorter than the stun and either version of control is best used as an enemy interrupt.  The magnitude 3 value is enough to affect minions and lieutenants on the first application.  It is possible to stack crowd control magnitudes to affect bosses.  Stacking magnitude to effect Elite Bosses and Arch Villains is generally out of the scope unless using specific +hold procs found in some IO sets (e.g., Devastation).  Suppressive Fire's other damage perk comes from its slotting potential and its base recharge of 8 seconds.  Suppressive Fire can take damage procs from the Hold category which opens the power to 4 new sources of damage.  One of these sources is from the very rare set Unbreakable Constraint which is a substantial damage increase for the power.  Suppressive Fire has a lot of damage potential when slotted this way but that needs to be weighed against the value of Defensive Opportunity in Dual Wield or the AoE/utility of Piercing Rounds. 
  • Piercing Rounds - Piercing Rounds fits in an old meta attack rotation for Blasters/Defenders/Corruptors.  That attack rotation is available for Sentinels, but it isn't the only option.  The addition of Scrapper-style defensive sets allows Sentinels some opportunities to explore damage slotting that Blasters may not.  This means Sentinels have just as much opportunity to convert Dual Wield or Suppressive Fire into damage proc buzzsaws as some Defender/Corruptor builds without much (if any) loss to personal durability.  It is not a good idea to fully compare Piercing Rounds to damage proc enabled variations of Dual Wield and Suppressive Fire in a vacuum though.  Piercing Rounds is a high DPA power that gets even better under Incendiary Ammunition.  For any builds that are pursuing complete, or mostly complete, IO sets Piercing Rounds can potentially be the one of the best damage options against single targets.  Piercing Rounds also has the benefit of providing -9.6% resistance under Standard Ammunition as well as hitting up to 3 targets.  The power is sometimes underrated due to its long animation and long recharge.  It is a very unique power among blast sets and it is worth considering for a build. However, it is not a must have pick depending on how you plan to slot your attacks.  
  • Empty Clips -  It's a cone and many people hate cones.  If that person is you, then skip this.  This power does have several side benefits but that is irrelevant if you hate cones.  You may always supplement your AoE picks with the Ancillary/Patron pools which often have PBAoE powers to choose from. 
  • Hail of Bullets - Hail of Bullets has a reputation for being a weak Tier 9.  It has a long animation as well as being point-blank which creates risk of retaliation in melee range.  Hail of Bullets does provide some defensive benefits during its long animation though.  First off, you gain a defense bonus that lasts for 5 seconds which is longer than the power's animation.  Second, Hail of Bullets always has a chance to knockdown.  That chance is 100% guaranteed during Standard Ammunition, but even with the elemental ammo it is still a significant chance.  However, for those players that wish to try and play almost exclusively at range you could skip this.  I don't recommend it, but each build will have its own goals. 

 

 

Rotations

 

Originally when I wrote this section I wanted to be as comprehensive as I possibly could.  Since then, I have played through a number of respecs and quite frankly you can make several different rotations work.  I'm going to highlight some very common attack chains and try to keep my notes on the concepts as brief as possible.  All of these attack chains revolve around the cool down of the very first power used.  Its the backbone of how these work.  That said, I'm assuming you the reader will build for some amount of global recharge in order for these to work.  If you are the type of player that wants to completely hate on Hasten, that's cool.  There is a routine that works without Hasten but it uses purple sets for higher global recharge.  It also runs damage procs but I can attest that it can do some very good damage for not being a min/max option.  Here we go, and I'll try to keep it as short and sweet as I can.  

 

Piercing Rounds -> Pistols -> Executioner's Shot -> Pistols.  This is an option that is available to all archetypes without jumping through any crazy hoops.  You will need to build for recharge though.  Piercing Rounds needs to recharge in 4.224 seconds in order for this to be gapless.  If you love your Dual Pistols character and invest the influence, then you can pull this off with the Superior ATO sets and other purples.  If you do plan to go this route, then Piercing Rounds will actually make decent use out of the Opportunity Strikes set.  I'm placing this as the first rotation due to its familiarity across archetype, its uniqueness in being a decent option for an ATO, and just to get it out of the way.  Its an OK option for Sentinels, but it isn't the best in my own testing.  This option can be a nice one for those that wish to use Standard Ammunition for the debuffs.  Its not as good at this as a Corruptor or Defender, but its an option. 

 

Executioner's Shot -> Pistols -> Suppressive Fire/Dual Wield -> Pistols.  You don't need Hasten to run this.  You need Executioner's Shot to recharge in 4.224 seconds (just like the one above).  You can accomplish this though slotting recharge reduction or getting your global recharge into the 90%-100% range.  I run about 95% global recharge at the time of this edit and I can sustain this chain with very little downtime.  Dual Wield or Suppressive Fire will be chosen due to personal preference and final build goals.  Suppressive Fire will out perform Dual Wield when considering the more expensive IO options, but Dual Wield is a viable (not optimal) choice. 

Executioner's Shot -> Suppressive Fire/Dual Wield -> Pistols.  You might need Hasten to run this one.  That will depend on what kind of build you've gone with and if you can get Executioner's Shot to recharge in 3.03 seconds without it.  I run this attack chain during Hasten or I run the above if I don't feel like clicking on it.  Suppressive Fire, again, is going to be the best choice for the middle attack but that mostly matters with expensive IO options.  Dual Wield once again is a fine substitute if you prefer it, but it won't be the optimal choice.  

 

All of these attack chains can be adapted for either complete or nearly-complete sets or proc heavy builds.  The difference will be your global recharge goals.  A proc heavy build will want more global recharge in order to avoid reducing the chance to activate whatever procs you're running.  You don't necessarily need to build for perma-Hasten if you're intending to run the Ageless Incarnate.  You can let that pad out some of the recharge, but that is going to be a build preference.  

 

About Ancillary/Patron Pools:

 

There is a lot to unpack by adding in more complexity with the higher level pools.  I'm not going to go into all of the variations possible.  There just isn't enough space and there is just too much to go over.  Furthermore, discussing how these rotations work is less of a discussion about Dual Pistols and more a discussion applicable to the entire Sentinel archetype.  In short, there is absolutely nothing unique about adding Mind Probe -> Dominate to a Dual Pistols attack chain.  Any Sentinel can do this and it can potentially increase your damage dealt if you slot these right.

 

Complementary Choices

 

Dual Pistols is a skirmish style set and fits in with an idea of being in close quarters.  Any secondary which grants you a means of native stealth (e.g., Ninjutsu) will make positioning to drop Hail of Bullets easier.  You can also place a Celerity: Stealth IO into Sprint and this gets stronger with stealthy sets. 

 

Defense-based sets allow for the luxury to ignore set bonuses in your attacks and let you have free reign to load damage procs. 

Other defensive sets can make use out of the debuffs present in the ammunition mechanic.  Resistance sets may enjoy benefits of the -damage debuff on enemies.  Regeneration-based sets (Regen/Willpower) can benefit from -damage, or the slow from Cryo ammo, or even buy some time with knockdowns. 

 

Dual Pistols baseline damage is towards the lower end of the medium spectrum and moves to upper-medium with Incendiary Ammunition.  This means power sets that grant additional damage like Bio or Radiation Armors bring some welcome benefits. 

 

The Epic/Patron pools all have a lot to offer many builds generally speaking.  These pools don't necessarily bring anything specific to Dual Pistols though.  Ninja Tools does have additional defense debuffing, but again this is not specific to Dual Pistols.  Furthermore, using any of these powers may conflict with concepts or create annoyance of watching your pistols appear out of nowhere (the no redraw option). 

 

Dual Pistols has several fast attacks and the Sentinel version isn't nearly as reliant on Piercing Rounds as other ATs.  This makes Hasten potentially optional since you can easily have enough attacks available.  Hasten does allow for builders to push some extreme circumstances like abusing damage procs in a small number of rapid fire attacks.

 

Word of caution.  Ok, not really a complementary choice, but more a warning on a potential trap option.  Dual Pistols doesn't have Aim or Build-Up and many Sentinels may wish to squeeze these into their builds.  This doesn't work out as well as it sounds on paper if you're going at this solo.  This is especially true of using the Gaussian's Synchronized Fire Control + Tactics combo.  If you use that Build-Up proc in Tactics, note that the chance to have it activate is incredibly small... by yourself.  If you're on a full team, then each target of the buff (including pets that can receive Tactics) rolls a chance to proc that Build-Up effect on you.  So you could use this to squeeze in Build-Up randomly while teaming, but for solo it will rarely activate.  It is also completely uncontrolled no matter how you go about it.  Decimation also has a chance for Build-Up proc.  This one can work but again the caveat is that it is uncontrolled.  If you are already thinking of using the 5pc Decimation bonus for the global recharge modifier, then you may as well use the proc to get there.  The chance for it going off is fairly small (between 6-12% depending on power).  However, Sentinel Dual Pistol attack chains can be pruned to just the fast activating attacks.  This means the faster you hammer out your attacks the more chances you have to make that smaller probability into a reality.  So it will go off in your attack chain at some point.  Oh, and remember when I said that Epic/Patron pools Holds have long recharge times?  Know what sets they can take (hint: rhymes with Ranged Attack Sets)?  A Hold like Dominate can be a more reliable proc carrier for things like the Decimation: Chance for Build-Up if you are so inclined.  Experiment!  Explore!  My way of doing things is not the only way of doing things!

 

Incarnate Abilities

 

I'm hesitant to offer hard line prescriptions here.  Incarnates are best used to either shore up weaknesses or expand on strengths.  You're also not locked into how many Incarnate powers you pick up.  You're only limited to what you can slot at any given time.  I have multiple powers in the Destiny category that I can swap out as I see fit.  That said, it is tough to make blanket recommendations for a primary only and not a character.  I'll try though!

 

For Alpha slots, this is going to vary based on what defensive power set you use.  The Cardiac options can help resistances but also offer some endurance management.  End management can be a welcome choice since hammering fast attacks will drain endurance.  The Vigor options may be a nice perk for regenerating sets.  Agility and Spiritual both have good uses but also bring additional recharge reduction which does impact your chances to trigger procs.  If you're not heavily invested in procs, then either of those may be for you.  The Musculature options bring more damage, and Intuition Radial does too.  I lean heavily towards Musculature but these options are matter of preference. 

 

There are several good judgments like Void, Pyronic or Ion.  Pick one based on their secondary effects and/or if you like their targeting method (PBAoE, Cone, etc.). 

 

Interface is fairly generic across all damage dealers and Sentinels are no different.  The Degenerative chance for reduced hit points is a very good option for tough targets like Archvillains and Giant Monsters.  Reactive can be good for clearing out hordes of weaker enemies.  Diamagnetic can be good to add some defense due to the to hit debuff it brings. 

 

Lore pets were all standardized and as such there is no specific category I recommend for Dual Pistols. 

 

Destiny is going to vary wildly based on a complete character.  You can't go wrong with Barrier as a generic choice, but the others will have uses depending on your secondary choice.  Ageless works like another form of Hasten but the value of the effect degrades over time.  Ageless can be a good option for builds needing more recharge which is especially beneficial to ones heavily invested into procs. 

 

Hybrid options generally lead towards the Assault toggles.  You have two options of Radial or Core.  Radial adds a chance to do damage and Core adds a chance for a stacking damage buff.  The chance to do damage works off PPM rules (the value is PPM = 6) and the chance for the stacking buff is 65% (thanks @Hopeling).  Dual Pistols can make good use out of either option but your general build decisions can cause you to favor one over the other.  If you are already pushing damage procs in powers like Suppressive Fire/Pistols/etc., then Radial can very slightly edge out Core.  If you are using sets in your powers to enhance your defenses, and by extension adding more recharge modification, then Core will likely yield better results.  Another thing to consider is if you plan to team/solo or if you play at or near the damage cap frequently.  The Core option will be nullified if you play at the damage cap where the Radial option will not be.  Finally Core also favors AoE where Radial favors Single target.  Both options are so close on Dual Pistols that it doesn't matter that much except for the damage cap.  Other options for Hybrid include Melee and Support which may work for some builds.

 

Edited by oldskool
Fixing spelling/grammar errors as I find them.
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Looks good, oldskool, thanks! I have one comment: it might be helpful to mention that -res on piercing rounds is a group damage benefit even if it is neutral damage for you compared to incendiary.

 

I like how much you compare the set to its versions in other ATs, should be useful for getting people to adapt.

 

In the final, I'll do some minor copy-editing for spelling and punctuation and smooth out formatting on fonts and paragraph spacing for uniformity. 


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I RP Super Cutes1 on Everlasting2. Also I footnote sometimes3.

1 That is to say, characters that are both superheroes and, in my estimation, fairly cute.
2 The unofficial roleplaying server.

Approximately 2 to 5% of all of my posts, not counting those where all footnotes are the result of this signature.

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40 minutes ago, Sunsette said:

Looks good, oldskool, thanks! I have one comment: it might be helpful to mention that -res on piercing rounds is a group damage benefit even if it is neutral damage for you compared to incendiary.

 

I like how much you compare the set to its versions in other ATs, should be useful for getting people to adapt.

 

In the final, I'll do some minor copy-editing for spelling and punctuation and smooth out formatting on fonts and paragraph spacing for uniformity. 

I'll make that more clear.  I was drafting that and almost lost all of it.  So I'll go through and edit. 

 

The -res can potentially be a force multiple on certain teams, and I'll bring that up.  However, that may not always be the case (depends on who you're with).  However, it is not DPS neutral for solo damage.  It is a potential DPS loss to flip off Incendiary Ammunition for a -9,6% resistance debuff.  Incendiary Ammunition adds substantial damage to Piercing Rounds and the DoT is only 3 seconds.  The -resistance is 10 seconds long.  In order to squeeze your hardest hitting powers within 10 seconds you'll open with Piercing, then Executioner - Suppressive - Pistols - Executioner - Piercing Rounds.  Finishing that is 12.012 seconds but lets the next Piercing Rounds take advantage of the buff (it'll start at 9.73s mark).  Keeping Incendiary on all the time is a 12 DPS gain for me.   On the flip side, you can run Pistols -> [Executioner's Shot -> Pistols -> Suppressive Fire]*2 -> Pistols in 12.144 seconds.  The DPS difference for my set is 32 pts in favor of not using Piercing Rounds by toggle flipping and a 21 DPS difference vs using Piercing Rounds with Incendiary Ammo.  

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Ah, I misunderstood. Thanks for clearing that up. 


Sentinel Guide Collaborative Project | New KB IO Suggestions

I RP Super Cutes1 on Everlasting2. Also I footnote sometimes3.

1 That is to say, characters that are both superheroes and, in my estimation, fairly cute.
2 The unofficial roleplaying server.

Approximately 2 to 5% of all of my posts, not counting those where all footnotes are the result of this signature.

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Regarding the discussion of what distinguishes Sentinels from Blasters, there needs to be a section on Range, and ways to overcome the range disadvantage Sentinels have versus Blasters.  There are three ways Sentinels can boost their range via slotting - enhancements that boost range, enhancements with a global range boost (the archetype sets), and Incarnate abilities.  Unfortunately, the first option is very slot-inefficient - you're forgoing set bonuses to slot either a pure range IO or one of the few hybrid IOs that have a range component, and it only enhances that power.  The second option does limit set bonuses slightly by spreading the two archetype sets among a minimum of 3 powers (3 groups of 2 and 2 groups of 3) to get a +33% (+50% for superior) global bonus to range.  The Intuition Alpha is the best method (+20% range while still getting +33% damage, 2/3rds bypassing caps), but only opens up at level 50 and won't persist below level 45.

 

Personally, I frankenslot the archetype sets to give me a +50% global range boost at level 50 (and it was +33% before then).  That's more than enough to overcome the range disparity between sentinels and blasters, and it only gets better when you add the Intuition Alpha.

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I think calling range a disadvantage that needs to be overcome is a misunderstanding of what Sentinels are.  By all means, if you love staying far away and blasting, have a gas.  But Sentinels do not need this at all to be effective, and building for it will usually create inefficiencies.  It's not hard to have soft-capped defenses with some resistance, as well as full mez protection.  With the right build, stuff will be arrested way before you are at risk, especially in today's game.

 

I'm curious, if you are maximizing range it seems as though you are negating a Sentinel's advantages over Blaster and might as well go for Blaster and the better damage.  What do you like about a max range Sent that I'm missing?  Thanks!

 

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On 7/31/2019 at 7:52 PM, oldskool said:

Oh, Knockout Blow is a Hold, which means it can take those damage procs too.  Leviathan Mastery let's you snag that. 

One could achieve pretty fun things with Leviathan, given KO Blow and Spirit Shark Jaws together. Their impact on an attack chain wouldn't be so dramatic, given the recharges; but in regular gameplay, that one-two punch for massive damage + boss level hold? Mmm!

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9 minutes ago, Tankshock said:

I'm curious, if you are maximizing range it seems as though you are negating a Sentinel's advantages over Blaster and might as well go for Blaster and the better damage.  What do you like about a max range Sent that I'm missing?  Thanks!

There are multiple things I like.  First, my cone attacks cover a bigger area and are easier to use.  Second, I can engage foes even when a teammate uses knockback and catapults a foe outside of normal Sentinel range.  Third, it makes it harder for high damage melee foes to get to me, and gives me more time to use other powers (like Bonfire) to keep them out of melee range.  Fourth, I have ranged defense capped but not melee or AoE - it's to my advantage to stay at range (and long enough range that several enemy AoEs can't reach me).

 

Yes, with capped ranged defense and capped S/L resistances, I'm about as durable as a scrapper.  However, when facing larger, higher-level spawns, I still need to be careful.  Range is a useful tool in that regard - if nothing else, it gives me more time to react.

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8 minutes ago, nihilii said:

One could achieve pretty fun things with Leviathan, given KO Blow and Spirit Shark Jaws together. Their impact on an attack chain wouldn't be so dramatic, given the recharges; but in regular gameplay, that one-two punch for massive damage + boss level hold? Mmm!

I contemplated doing something like that with my Water Blast character.  That mastery is very much in theme. 

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19 hours ago, oldskool said:

Primary Powerset: Dual Pistols

 

·       Low- Medium* Single-Target Damage, Low- Medium * AoE Damage (2 Cones, 1 Sphere/1 PBAoE), Medium Control**, Low- Medium*** Debuff potential.

 

Great, great post.  I have to rethink my DP builds now because you have given so many points to consider.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/1/2019 at 10:05 PM, oldskool said:

Primary Powerset: Dual Pistols

 

·       Low- Medium* Single-Target Damage, Low- Medium * AoE Damage (2 Cones, 1 Sphere/1 PBAoE), Medium Control**, Low- Medium*** Debuff potential.

 

*Ammunition powers will add variance.

...

 


 

Great post ! I'm dual pistol Big fan. Tested others powers pool and always back on dual pistols.

I think dual pistol with fire ammo is more med-hight dammage.

Concerning Epic/patron pool, i prefer Ninja Mastering tool. Jump on liddle of battle, launch hail of bullet and finish with lotus drop !

Incredible style ! 

Edited by Necate

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@FedifensorWhile I agree that range needs to be addressed, I will have trouble wholeheartedly recommending breaking up the Sentinel sets at 50 to get additional range as that comes at the cost of a lot of recharge and defense bonuses, and Posi's Blast comes with range for your AoEs, which need them most. I think it's quite reasonable advice for low and mid levels, though. 

 

Given @Hopeling's stellar work on Radial here, I'll be updating my Energy Blast and Beam Rifle guides tomorrow, and I think incarnate sections should broadly touch on this as well. Tomorrow I will try to get up submissions for some of the secondary sets.


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I RP Super Cutes1 on Everlasting2. Also I footnote sometimes3.

1 That is to say, characters that are both superheroes and, in my estimation, fairly cute.
2 The unofficial roleplaying server.

Approximately 2 to 5% of all of my posts, not counting those where all footnotes are the result of this signature.

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49 minutes ago, Sunsette said:

@FedifensorWhile I agree that range needs to be addressed, I will have trouble wholeheartedly recommending breaking up the Sentinel sets at 50 to get additional range as that comes at the cost of a lot of recharge and defense bonuses, and Posi's Blast comes with range for your AoEs, which need them most. I think it's quite reasonable advice for low and mid levels, though. 

A wholehearted recommendation isn’t needed, but it should be mentioned as an option for those who favor a longer range playstyle than the Sentinel typically offers.  

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Is there a chance that Sentinels can get a blaster Ancillary set, say like Munitions Mastery? Reason I ask is because I've read that the sentinel ancillary power pools are bugged and were created at the same time. I know it's a slightly silly suggestion, but I thought it may be worth mentioning just in case. :)

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Panthonca7034 said:

Is there a chance that Sentinels can get a blaster Ancillary set, say like Munitions Mastery? Reason I ask is because I've read that the sentinel ancillary power pools are bugged and were created at the same time. I know it's a slightly silly suggestion, but I thought it may be worth mentioning just in case. 🙂

I wouldn't hold my breath. While Sentinel epic pools could be improved IMO most ancillary pools follow roughly the same pattern as each other on an archetype (and patron pools have a variation thereof to fit their pet powers in). So the Sentinel pattern is:
T1: AoE Immob/Melee Attack
T2: Ranged ability/AoE ability
T3: Team support ability

Blaster APPs follow a very different pattern, though they're also allowed more variance than the Sent pattern.

Edited by Sunsette

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I RP Super Cutes1 on Everlasting2. Also I footnote sometimes3.

1 That is to say, characters that are both superheroes and, in my estimation, fairly cute.
2 The unofficial roleplaying server.

Approximately 2 to 5% of all of my posts, not counting those where all footnotes are the result of this signature.

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It is insane to me that no one has posted on /rad armor yet, I guess the big dogs don't play it but so far I have found it to be my favorite. I would assume that there are people WAY more qualified than this stoned sent lover but I guess I'll start putting together the outline for it. be warned my high as shit brain ain't gonna make it pretty but if there isn't one up by tonight ill give it some proper time.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Destlin said:

It is insane to me that no one has posted on /rad armor yet, I guess the big dogs don't play it but so far I have found it to be my favorite. I would assume that there are people WAY more qualified than this stoned sent lover but I guess I'll start putting together the outline for it. be warned my high as shit brain ain't gonna make it pretty but if there isn't one up by tonight ill give it some proper time.

Is that the very very very top of Sean Connery's head in ZARDOZ when I hover over you? How do I know that? Not sure who that makes crazier...

Edited by Vulpoid

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1 hour ago, Vulpoid said:

Is that the very very very top of Sean Connery's head in ZARDOZ when I hover over you? How do I know that? Not sure who that makes crazier...

Oh you know it! And that means you know what he is wearing in that scene.

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First of all, I have had a hell of a day and I apologize. It looks like I won't get to my next write-ups until tomorrow. I am not in any sort of state of mind to crank out writing.

As far as /rad armor, it's new and offense oriented, but it's not as good as bio at either of those things on Sentinels given our scale values and caps, and it's not radically different conceptually from some of the existing sets. So it doesn't have a lot of built-in fans who are inclined to post on forums. Whenever you get around to it, though, it's appreciated!

Lastly, why the hell did you have to make me remember that movie exists?


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I RP Super Cutes1 on Everlasting2. Also I footnote sometimes3.

1 That is to say, characters that are both superheroes and, in my estimation, fairly cute.
2 The unofficial roleplaying server.

Approximately 2 to 5% of all of my posts, not counting those where all footnotes are the result of this signature.

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Posted (edited)

This is going to be as short as possible as i'm always baked out of my mind and if left alone with a keybord to long shit gets weird. I am here to just give my 100% biased opinion on /rad so here it goes.

                                                                  RADIATION ARMOR

 

SPECIAL QUALITIES-
 a. Meltdown: the T9 radiation ability is both offensive and devensive at the same time. It increases damage and gives a nice chunk of resist to all making it a good ability to use as often as possible.

 

 b.Ground Zero: The T8 radiation ability (it is why this is my favorite set). Ground Zero stands out because it can be slotted many different ways. I also mean drasticaly different. It can turn your sentinel into a team healer by giving you that extra AoE heal, mixed with pool and epic this becomes very powerful. It can be slotted for incredible damage turning into another full powered nuke on a 24 second CD. It can also be slotted to straight debuff the enemies. AFAIK no other armor choice has such an ability.

 

 c. Particle Shielding: The T7 ability is not only an absorb shield but it also gives a minute long regen and recovery buff. Making energy management simple.

 d. Particle Acceleration: The T6 is a flat 20% haste. A few armors have this but it is still worth noting.


CHANGES FROM OTHER AT's-
 a. Beta Decay is now Particle Acceleration. It becomes and auto ability and loses the AoE taunt and debuffs. Gains speed.

 

 

SKIPPABLE SKILLS-
 none

 

Drawbacks-

NO DDR- not that big of an issue for a resist set but still might be an issue for some.( or maybe it is a bigger issue for a resist set? I have not figured that out).


Thoughts-
 Radiation armor seems to be really good for any hungry primary set and it gives the sentinel something it really needs, which is another powerful AoE. Also meltdown will be up a minute at a time then down for about 2 minutes which makes it really good to stagger some with your hybrid incarnate. It is really easy to build your primary for dps and use w/e points are left over for radiation and still be tough. Heal other+ground zero(6 slotted for heals)+chain heal= yay. Also it doesn't seem to do much less than bio (would love to see a build that shows bio doing more than just a tiny bit, someone show me!) ST but because GZ is better for AoE.

 

 

I may come edit this later when not baked and take out anything that doesn't make sense or add w/e I forgot. (this may be a hot wreck idk, the pot compels me)

Edited by Destlin
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After a lot of consideration I am beginning to think that Assault Core Hybrid is a better choice to recommend for Sentinels than Radial. My reasoning is twofold:

 

  1. The Sentinel is a soloing archetype, and from @Hopeling's work it looks like typical Sentinel primaries do more damage with Core at 3 stacks than Radial, and we can get to 5.
  2. When we're reliably at the damage cap, there are multiple ATs that better specialize at either single target or multi target damage than us. Under those conditions our personal contribution is less important. When we're not reliably at cap, the team is probably not well composed, and that is when it is most important for us to bring our damage. The fact that AoE powers in particular are far weaker with radial is thus cause for concern. 

Sentinel Guide Collaborative Project | New KB IO Suggestions

I RP Super Cutes1 on Everlasting2. Also I footnote sometimes3.

1 That is to say, characters that are both superheroes and, in my estimation, fairly cute.
2 The unofficial roleplaying server.

Approximately 2 to 5% of all of my posts, not counting those where all footnotes are the result of this signature.

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