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Old 04-06-2010, 07:34 AM   #1
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Ratius' Guide to Brigandry (Part 1 of 3)

 

This guide to brigandry is based on my experience of raiding a brigand through tiers 7, 8 and 9.    I don't claim the advice here to be the best, rather the guide is intended to give players a feel for various aspects of what is rather a fun class to play, and maybe to provoke some discussion.

 

The Basics

 

Brigands specialise in getting in up close and personal with melee attacks, having many combat arts (CAs) that make it easier for melee and casting classes to hit and do damage to a target, most usefully debuffing its resistances to all damage types.    We have all the usual scout abilities including sneak, tracking and evac, but it's our debuffs that make us popular in groups and raids.    We can also solo pretty well.  

 

Brigand dps can be very good, especially on single targets, but we're weaker on AE encounters compared to many other dps classes.   We have five attacks that are rear-only, more than any other scout, so you need to be happy with a certain amount of dancing around to get in position while raiding.    

 

If you want a scout that will more easily top the parses, go play an assassin or ranger.    If you want easy mode scout dps on AE encounters, go play a swashbuckler and watch Reach combined with Hurricane do its thing.    But know as a brigand it's your debuffs that help everyone else look good!

 

What's new in Tier 9

 

Perhaps the most notable change is the major consolidation of stats, which means there's no separate itemisation for melee crit, heal crit, spell crit, etc.  Instead all crits are now listed as 'crit chance'.   The crit bonus skill makes your crits hit for more, and each class has different base modifiers, e.g. brigands have a base 150% crit bonus, and your crit bonus gear stacks on that, so if you have gear giving you a 30% bonus that means your crits will hit for 180% of the normal damage.   The new potency skill increases base CA damage.   Obviously the effects of potency and crit bonus combine - raise potency and crit bonus and your CAs will start hitting very hard.

 

For brigands there's now, with enough Alternate Advancement (AA) points, an AE version of dispatch, there's a single target damage skill called Dance of Metal that can add increasing damage procs on each CA for 11 seconds (I have already seen the final proc hit for over 50k), we get the ability to debuff a mob's dps skill, and the extra AA totals (250 max) allow us to now have three of the rogue tree lines at the same time.   

 

Understanding brigand stats

 

To make the most effective use of your brig you need to know what all the combat-related stats do.   Tier 9 has consolidated some stats, and added some new ones, so here's a quick breakdown of what matters:

 

Agility - primary stat, more agility means more damage, and there's no cap for tier 9.   Look for agi now not str.

Crit chance - the chance to critically hit with a CA or autoattack.  

Double attack (DA) - the chance to autoattack twice from one hit.  

Ability modifier - adds damage to CAs, up to 50% bonus cap.  

Potency - adds base damage to CAs, up to 100% cap.   More potency effectively raises the ability modifier cap.

Crit bonus - increases the damage done by both CA and autoattack crits.   No cap.

Melee AE - the chance to AE autoattack targets within melee range

Flurry - the chance to strike a target multiple times with one hit

Accuracy - improves your chance to hit, and thus your dps

Weapon skill - reduces your opponent's chance to block

 

There is some dev explanation of these here: http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/...topic_id=471667

 

There has been some discussion since tier 9 about how much crit chance skill you need to hit a L98 raid mob 100% of the time.   In tier 8 you used to need around 120% for an effective 100% crit rate, because the game scaled crit rate to mob level.  My own testing suggests that, against a L97 epic named, that 102% is not enough while 111% is, so at the moment I plan to keep my crit chance around 110% to get 100% true crits.    I'll update this info with more testing.   The dev link above doesn't really help on this issue.

 

In my view, the best stat to work on in tier 9, assuming your crit chance and DA are capped, is crit bonus, followed by potency.   This is because we do a large chunk of our dps from autoattack, and crit bonus helps both autoattack and CAs, while potency only raises base CA damage.    Predators would benefit more from potency than we do.    But you need to consider each item like for like, for example 2% potency is similar to +100 ability modifier for a CA that has a base damage of 5000, except that potency raises the effective ability modifier cap and potency isn't capped at 50% like the ability modifier is.

 

Tier 9 gear seems to have plenty of crit chance and DA, and there's now crit chance and DA white adornments, so you should find it easy to get capped on these skills, allowing you to focus more on crit bonus and potency.

 

Deity

 

The two best choices are probably Rallos Zek or Anashti Sul, although Bristlebane is quite a fun one that actually has a +AGI pet where Zek and Sul do not.   There don't seem to be any new L90 blessings or miracles yet.    There's no more contested avatars in tier 9, so faction issues are no longer a consideration.

 

Crafting

 

I am an alchemist for crafting my own poisons/potions.   It doesn't really matter what profession you choose, but in tier 9 we seem to run through poisons at a surprising rate, so being able to make your own is welcome.    You can also make poisons/potions in the field with a portable chemistry set - useful if you run out.     You can now be a tinkerer, transmuter and adorner as well.   Tinkering has a few advantages, including feign death items, call of the tinkerer, repair bots, and power recovery items (20% power on a sub 10 minute recast).  

 

Global chat channel

 

There is a cross-server brigand chart channel on Guk.brigandworld, though it seems pretty quiet.

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Old 04-06-2010, 07:35 AM   #2
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Ratius' Guide to Brigandry (Part 2 of 3)

 

AA spec

 

Before Tier 9 (Sentinel's Fate expansion) I used to have a separate raid and solo AA spec, but now that we have the ability to spend 100 AA in the rogue tree I've just run with one build for all play.    But you can certainly pick a spec that's better for soloing if you want, I just find I solo well enough that it doesn't matter.

 

Character spec:

 

Here take the +HP and +physical mitigation increase choices, for 5% extra hp and +810 physical mitigation.   With agility uncapped, you can pick what agility options there are for the dps stat buff.

 

Rogue tree:

 

There are two options here.   The more conventional option is to run with STR-AGI and enough STA for 10% hp bonus and at least one point in INT for Boot Dagger (for an extra stealthing attack to use with Rob).     At the moment though I'm actually running with a full STR-AGI-INT build, because I like the extra deaggro from the INT line, coupled with its feign death which is also a guaranteed AE avoid once a minute.   

 

The STR line is pretty much a must if raiding because of its endline Traumatic Swipe, even though many AEs don't seem affected by swiping any more.   The extra crit chance from STR isn't so valuable in tier 9, but if you do spend 10 points on crit chance you then have more freedom to wear potency and crit bonus gear.   AGI is nice for the Avast Ye proc and Sailwind, which can let you squeeze three CAs in before a Double Up rather than just two. 

 

So the conventional build for the 10% hp bonus and Boot Dagger is:

STR 10-4-10-1

AGI 10-4-10-1

STA 4-10-0-0

INT 3-0-0-0

Cunning prowess +10% potency (8 pts)

Capo Ferro +10% reuse speed (8 pts)

Coordination +8% accuracy added to Battery and Assault  (8 pts)  - Note you don't need WIS line to get this!

Dance of Metal - an increasing proc with each CA for up to 8 triggers over 11 secs (4 pts)

Total 97/100

 

This leaves 3 AA of the 100 unspent - you could put this into INT for extra Boot Dagger dps or invest it in the brigand or TSO trees below.   Note you can now spend up to 10 points in the starter Pickpocket skill, but you only gain +4 agi/sta per point.

 

The less conventional spec I'm currently using gives full STR-AGI-INT for deaggro and FD/AE avoid:

STR 10-4-8-1

AGI 8-4-10-1

INT 10-4-8-1

Cunning Prowess (8 pts)

Capo Ferro (7 pts)

Coordination (8 pts)

Dance of Metal (4 pts)

Total 100/100

 

Brigand tree:

 

So here I spend points maximising our debuffs, but also getting some valuable extra abilities, including Tenure (potency line) for extra debuff/CA duration and Safehouse (tactics line) which is a really useful death save and teleport ability.    The new Detect Weakness AA is nice as it gives 29 dps reduction for 5 AAs, while Cornered is a really useful AE mini-dispatch, even though it only debuffs all resistances for about half of what dispatch does.  I also put points into higher dps where possible, but since we're in groups and raids to debuff, that's what I focus on.  Obviously it's up to you if you want a different balance between dps and debuffs.  

 

Here's what I have:

Potency line - Murderous Rake (5), Desperate Thrust (5), Debilitate (5), Dispatch (5) and Tenure (total 22)

Defending - Enhance Street Smarts (5), Barroom Negotiation (5) (total 10)

Tactics - Sneak (5), Evade (5), Shadow slip (5), Amazing Reflexes (5) and Safehouse (total 22)

Afflictions - Puncture (5), Rob (5), Gouge (5), Mug (1) and Battery and Assault (total 18 )

For the new tier 9 options I have Advanced Strike (5), Murderous Intentions (5), Detect Weakness (5) and and Cornered (1).

Total 88/100

 

TSO tree:

 

The TSO tree has some gems, though could have been better.   Evasive Manoeuvres is a really handy one position deaggro, and Positional Mastery ups the damage of a lot of CAs, but Will to Survive could have been so much better.   I used to run with Poison Master for +15% poison damage, but now that poisons don't crit any more I'm trying Noxious Toxin instead - at 5 points this debuffs a target against noxious damage for around 1500 which will itself add more poison damage but also benefit all poison-using scouts and any class that does noxious damage (SK, warlock, etc).

 

Here are my choices:

General: 0-0-0-5-5-0-0-0 (of course you can go +power rather than +mount speed!)

Scout:  0-0-5-5-0-0-1 (Quickstrike, Sinister Strike, Evasive Manoeuvres)

Rogue 0-5-5-0-5-0-1 (Rogue's Flurry, Circle of Blades, Battle Endurance, Thieving Essence)

Brigand 5-0-5-1-5-5-2-2 (Noxious Toxin, Dispatch, Stunning Blow(1), Distracting Weapon, Plank Walker, Positional Mastery, Will to Survive)

Total 62/70

 

A final question is what order to build your AAs in when levelling.   I'd probably start with STR and then take INT if soloing or AGI if grouping.   The rogue tree is probably still the strongest of the three.

 

Gear

 

There is still a lot of nice tier 8 gear that's good for tier 9, for example for raiders the Collected Memories of a Betrayer charm off hard Miragul that gives +100% melee range, and the Coif of Tolled Bells from Gozak in MMB, which has a really nice damage proc on CAs.   Your tier 8 mythical can now be converted to a tier 8 fabled weapon and a separate buff, so you can use tier 9 weapons and keep your mythical effects.   The conversion quest only requires the fabled havoc, and is called Fiery Jewel of the Underfoot - speak to an NPC near the spire in TT then head to the building at Lavastorm dock.

 

The best place for new jewelry, and some good weapons, is the Vigilant x2 zone.   To gain access you need to clear the three Vigilant instances and the complete the warden NPC's quests in them, though only one person in raid needs access to zone everyone in.   There's a really nice weapon there for example called Rib Separator which has good stats and also procs decent AE damage.

 

All equipment now has white adornment slots, replacing the old adornment system, and only Adorners can make these - regular tradeskill classes can no longer make adornments.   Adornments can be lesser (treasured), greater (legendary) or superior (fabled).   Here's some brig-oriented options for each slot:

Head: Agility or Endurance (health)

Chest: Damaging (dps), Heightened Power (ability modifier) or Weaponry

Shoulder: Agility, Haste or Heightened Power

Cloak: Critical Chance, Extra Attacks (DA) or Haste

Legs: Agility, Critical Chance or Extra Attacks

Forearms: Agility, Criticial Chance or Extra Attacks

Feet: Haste or Weaponry

Gloves: Endurance or Weapony

Neck: Damaging, Agility or Weaponry

Ear: Endurance or Heightened Power

Wrist: Endurance or Weaponry

Ring: Heightened Power

Waist: Agility, Haste or Damaging

Ranged: Critical Chance or Extra Attacks

Weapon: Increased Criticals, Blasting (damage proc) or raw Power (potency)

 

Crit chance and DA adorns allow you to use more crit bonus and potency gear, or if you're capped from gear look for Heightened Power adorns to raise your base CA damage and and crit bonus adorns for both your weapons.    You'll usually be capped or close to cap on haste and dps for raiding, so you should be able to invest in agility, weapon skills and ability modifier, while also perhaps adding some extra health.

 

Legendary armour and fabled raid armour now also have yellow and red adornment slots respectively.    A full set of gear allows you to have 7 red adornments.   These replace the set bonuses of TSO gear.   Yellow adorns can be bought for tier 9 instance marks (replacing tier 8 shards) and the red adorns cost 10pp and 5 raid 'shards' each (1-3 shards drop in each raid named chest).    

 

The red adorns I'm using are:

Head: Focus: Thieving Essence - faster reuse (though I do use tier 8 helm Coif of Tolled Bells when up)

Chest: Focus: Street Smarts VII - gives 10% more HP

Shoulders:  +5% melee AE

Legs: +5% melee AE

Forearms: +5% melee AE

Hands: Focus: Debilitate IV - faster reuse/more damage

Feet: Focus: Dispatch III - adds 7 secs duration to Dispatch

 

If you want to focus on single target dps/capability, then you could drop the autoattack AE adorns for alternatives, e.g. on shoulders there's 2% flurry, 2% crit bonus or 3% reuse speed.   If you took the 2% crit bonus on legs, shoulders and forearms you could have 6% crit bonus instead of 15% AE autoattack.

 

The yellow adorns tend to be half the effect of the red ones, but don't include the class-specific red slot effects.   They are a useful step-up towards raid gear though.    All yellow/red adornments can be bought in Paineel in the area up the ramp from the council area.

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Old 04-06-2010, 07:36 AM   #3
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Ratius' Guide to Brigandry (Part 3 of 3)

 

Soloing

 

Brigands solo pretty well, but you won't be able to wade into rooms full of mobs quite the way a shadowknight would.   The INT line feign death is great for bypassing lots of mobs to get to where you need to be, but remember it's not like the brawler FD, with a typical AA build it only lasts 33 seconds every 55, so you will have to get up and fight whatever is in aggro range of where you feigned.   Make sure you're eating good food to regen health quickly while feigned.    To make training safer, use a Totem of the Sabertooth to up your run speed.

 

Against heroic single targets the trick is to keep the mob stunned or facing away from you as much as possible.  Use walk the plank (rogue AGI line) to turn the mob for rear-only debuffs/attacks.   You also have cheap shot, stunning blow and black jack to help keep a mob stunlocked.   Use dance of metal early if you have it.   You can burn down some pretty tough targets without even getting hit if you learn how to mix the locking CAs with damage CAs.   Make sure you get double up off on three good CAs, ideally including a master strike.   Double up repeats the last two seconds of CAs you used on a target - with Sailwind AA you can repeat 3 CAs if the gods of lag are smiling on you - it's a very useful CA and should be mastered so any mastered CAs are doubled up at master proficiency too.

 

Against larger groups of mobs we'll tend to take a little too much damage, but for the biggest AE hit you'll want to use cornered followed by barroom negotiation and double up.   Our band of thugs can taunt mobs, so you can use them to distract at least one enemy.

 

When soloing I use vitality breach poison, and other gear that procs heals.   Gracelessness poison makes mobs easier to hit, and turgur stops them hitting you so hard.    If you need to kite mobs, fettering poison is useful.    Brigands don't kite that well, but we do have two snares, so if you're patient it can work.   You can always use safehouse as a free 'escape' - this will teleport you away from danger if you cast it at a safe location nearby and then take a killing blow, but it won't save you if you have too many dots on you.

 

Group play

 

Group play can be a little frustrating due to the large number of AE encounters in instances.    While we do have an extra AE in tier 9 (cornered), and there are AE autoattack adornments, we'll not top any dps parses unless other dps classes are being slack.   And with five rear-only attacks (murderous rake, dispatch, debilitate, will to survive and backstab) getting on the tail of the mob the tank is on is a pain.   

 

So if the mobs you're fighting aren't too tough, one trick is to use those locking CAs we have, pick your own target, stunlock it and burn it down.   Unless you have a very sensitive pickup tank, the tanks will be fine with this - they'll see you have aggro on one mob, but it won't hit you (and if it does and you start taking too much damage, just use either your evasive manoeuvres one position deaggro or your INT line feign death).   Against harder mobs, and in raids, it's much more important to take the tank's target.

 

When grouping I use caustic poison, usually with gracelessness and turgur.    If you get too much aggro you can use ignorant bliss deaggro poison.   If power is an issue, mental breach poison trades dps for more power, but with a few good power proc items not too hard to get this shouldn't be necessary.

 

Raiding

 

Most raids will want to run with one brigand.  In some encounters it can be good to have two brigs to burn multiple targets quickly, so most guilds will want two brigs on their roster.   Our role in raids is usually simply to debuff targets as fully as possible while also contributing as much as we can to raid dps.   The trick is doing this while maintaining position on mobs and jousting or avoiding AEs.

 

Brigs have two ways to avoid AEs.  One is to use amazing reflexes, which procs off CAs and stays up for about 6 seconds, so if you know an AE is due (from ACT or other parser timers or your raid leader calling them) you can hit 3 or 4 CAs quickly to have a good chance that reflexes will proc and protect you.    The guaranteed alternative is to use the INT line feign death as, unlike brawler feign, it also gives AE immunity while you're down.   You can also ask other classes to help - if you're grouped with an inquisitor they can protect you from AEs reasonably frequently.

 

When raiding you should be capped on crit chance and DA, look for about 110% crit chance (see above) and 100 DA.   There's no point getting DA proc gear, just get your DA rating at the cap and look for more crit bonus and potency equipment.   Bear in mind that you'll be in a group with crit and DA buffs (or should be!) so your gear macros can assume a certain amount of buffs, allowing you to use more crit bonus and potency items.   I usually have a troub and an illusionist, so my raid gear macros are based on their buffs.   You're wasting dps if you run over crit or DA caps.

 

The best classes to be grouped with for buffs are dirge and illusionist.   Dirges have good melee buffs and also battle cry for increased double attack and flurry.   Illusionists can buff DA and now also have a buff that adds 20% melee AE.   If you also use red melee AE adorns in the maximum 3 slots, and have the illusionist AE buff, you can now be at 35% AE autoattack.   Other classes can help too of course - get familiar with their buffs and ask for them if you don't have them.

 

Good dps doesn't come from spamming your CAs.  You should have a preferred casting order for raiding, and balace it to help the raid as well as your own dps.    Getting defensive debuffs out early (mug, desperate thrust) helps everyone, and these are also good to use before traumatic swipe to make it more likely to stick.     You should also react to other players' buffs and debuffs, and try to coordinate your CAs and attacks with these.   There's some new tier 9 abilities that can boost dps quite a lot, e.g. the bard Victorious Concerto and the new paladin potency/crit bonus temporary buff.    

 

Always try to time CAs with autoattacks, so you don't delay autoattacks by using CAs.   The ProfitUI has an autoattack timer bar which can help, otherwise just look for the autoattack hits (turning off other raid member's dps numbers can help make this clearer).   Also of course make sure you're in autoattack range - if not you'll lose a ton of dps.   If the ProfitUI timer is refreshing, you're in range.   In typical lag and haste buff situations, you'll get 2 CAs per autoattack.

 

Other Tips

 

To finish, a handful of other tips for brigs…

* Remember your red snare debuffs elemental 3k, and can also proc damage with PoTM (as can your taunt)

* If you switch targets fast for double up, you can dispatch two targets

* Use safehouse either to be ported to your healer on a deathblow or to teleport to a marked location in a zone

* Remember to use your mount before zoning in - all buffs are useful

* With no cap on agi, always use agi potions for more dps

* When doing a dance of metal chain, use battery and assault with the +accuracy AA early to help all CAs hit

* If you need interrupts on mobs, remember your taunt interrupts as well as your bum rush side attack.

 

I hope you found this useful.  Feel free to post suggestions, improvements etc and I'll try to update the text from time to time.

 

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Old 04-06-2010, 07:36 AM   #4
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Ratius' Guide to Brigandry

(this post reserved for future info if needed...)

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Old 04-06-2010, 05:05 PM   #5
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Nice post(s) especially with the currently outdated sticky info.Only issue I have is that the AA spec you list is rather sub-optimal for raids.

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Old 04-06-2010, 06:56 PM   #6
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Well, my build is one I use for solo and raid play, but it is raid-oriented.   Can you be more specific about what you'd change and why?    Would be great to get some input from other players.    Also note my build tends to favour debuffing over personal dps, so if you want to max your dps you'd do it slightly differently.    You could also take STA over INT if you wanted more survivability instead of INT for deaggro and an AE avoid.

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Old 04-07-2010, 11:21 AM   #7
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I'd go something more like this for raiding/DPS currently.

http://www.beetny.com/eq2aa/[email protected]@355511

I tend to go the Honor Among thieves spec currently in Brig tree.. just because with our current raid setup it lets me snap agro easily for a sec if a tank happens to drop.  Safehouse would probably be more benefitial for most.

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Old 04-07-2010, 11:53 AM   #8
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Thanks for the pointer to your build, I must copy my build there too SMILEY  

So the differences are:

In rogue tree you went STA for extra hp rather than INT for deaggro and FD/AOE avoid, and you took Evading Awareness for extra deaggro procs rather than Coordination for +accuracy.    I hear Evading Awareness may be bugged and adding 10% chance to all procs rather than ust deaggro procs, but otherwise I'd personally rather have the +accuracy and the guaranteed AE avoid.   If Evading Awareness is still bugged then ofc it's a bit more dps - but when it's fixed +accuracy will be better.

In brigand tree you got Gouging Strikes and Debilitating Strikes where I got Detect Weakness - I prefer the dps debuff to a shade more dps on two attacks, and you got Shenanigans and Beg for Mercy to get Honor Amongst Thieves rather than Sneak and Evade to get Safehouse.   I like the faster cast Sneak because it lets me use Rob faster, and Safehouse is really nice - in effect another AE avoid but there's also at least one T9 raid encounter where it is very useful for the teleport.

In TSO tree you got offensive prowess where I got enhance Sinister Strike - I prefer the extra dps from faster reuse on the master strike to +15 melee skills (when a greater adorn now gives +21 skills).    You went with Poison Mastery not Noxious Toxin, but I think now Noxious Toxin is better for the raid overall given poisons don't crit any more, but I'm still testing that - all poison-using scouts, our SK and warlock benefit at least.

Overall it's down to whether you think a guaranteed AE avoid and extra deaggro is better than 10% more HP (we have a red adorn for +10% hp too) and whether you prefer honour amongst thieves to safehouse.    And on how long Evading Awareness remains bugged (if it still is even?).   The other differences are very minor.

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Old 04-07-2010, 12:18 PM   #9
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[email protected] wrote:

Thanks for the pointer to your build, I must copy my build there too  

So the differences are:

In rogue tree you went STA for extra hp rather than INT for deaggro and FD/AOE avoid, and you took Evading Awareness for extra deaggro procs rather than Coordination for +accuracy.    I hear Evading Awareness may be bugged and adding 10% chance to all procs rather than ust deaggro procs, but otherwise I'd personally rather have the +accuracy and the guaranteed AE avoid.   If Evading Awareness is still bugged then ofc it's a bit more dps - but when it's fixed +accuracy will be better.Evading is still bugged at the moment, and it is the only reason why I use it currently.  When they finally do fix it, those AAs will be moved to accuracy again.

In brigand tree you got Gouging Strikes and Debilitating Strikes where I got Detect Weakness - I prefer the dps debuff to a shade more dps on two attacks, DPS debuffs are easily capped in raid situations.and you got Shenanigans and Beg for Mercy to get Honor Amongst Thieves rather than Sneak and Evade to get Safehouse.   I like the faster cast Sneak because it lets me use Rob faster, and Safehouse is really nice - in effect another AE avoid but there's also at least one T9 raid encounter where it is very useful for the teleport.  Yeah like I said, most people probably should to safehouse line.  I only have Honor Line to fill in as back up tank when needed.

In TSO tree you got offensive prowess where I got enhance Sinister Strike - I prefer the extra dps from faster reuse on the master strike to +15 melee skills (when a greater adorn now gives +21 skills).    You went with Poison Mastery not Noxious Toxin, but I think now Noxious Toxin is better for the raid overall given poisons don't crit any more, but I'm still testing that - all poison-using scouts, our SK and warlock benefit at least.  Mit debuffs cap rather easily in raid situations, so if everyone is actually using their debuffs, the extra nox on poisons wont do anything, while the base damage will always be effective.

Overall it's down to whether you think a guaranteed AE avoid and extra deaggro is better than 10% more HP (we have a red adorn for +10% hp too) you shouldnt -need- the extra deagro if raid if your tank isn't slacking.  If he is, then yeah, going Int line just for the 15% passive deagro is worth it.  However, keep in mind there is also a red adornment that adds 10% hate reducting to our befuddle buff, as well as -5% hate adorns you can put on hands and wrists.  But there is no such thing as having too much HP in raid situations.  The more HP you have, the better buffer you have against dying.and whether you prefer honour amongst thieves to safehouse.    And on how long Evading Awareness remains bugged (if it still is even?).   The other differences are very minor.

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Old 04-07-2010, 12:57 PM   #10
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OK, fair enough on Evading - not sure how long it'll stay though...

The thing with debuffs is yes they are in effect a diminishing return but I would say that there's enough raid mobs that periodically remove all debuffs or encounters that require multi-mob/named tanking that having more debuffs ready to land is a good thing.   But it goes back to what I said in the guide - you can lean more towards personal dps rather than debuffs, but my own view is our class is there to debuff, and I don't think my dps suffers much for it.

I really like the AE avoid of INT line, it lets me stay in longer on bigger AEs if AR doesn't proc, and that will certainly boost your own dps if you're not jousting or dying, or at least take some pressure off your healer(s).    The deaggro is just a bonus really - but it also means our coercer can peaceful link other high dps classes instead of me.    I've added a STA variant to the guide anyway SMILEY

If you're backup tanking raid mobs, I can see why the extra hp helps... brigtank ftw! SMILEY

Anyway, good to have extra views, given how quiet these forums are!

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Old 04-07-2010, 02:13 PM   #11
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I'll have to post up a full listing of my AA builds at a later point.  For the moment, my EQ2 Players profile is reflecting my Soloing / Harvesting / Crafting AA build.

http://eq2players.station.sony.com/...0DLere/Dareena/

I personally only use the Int line for soloing.  The ability is FD is invaluable for training zones and farming dungeons.  But having said that, I don't use it for my BG / Heroic / Raid build.  Like Geothe, I put the 10 AA in Sta for +10% Max Health.  A dead brigand is a worthless brigand since our debuffs drop when we die.  I find that the AA upgrade to Amazing Reflexes (M1) to be more than enough to cover my AE surviving needs.

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Old 04-07-2010, 02:58 PM   #12
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I think EQ2 Players is borked for tier 9... doesn't seem to show tier 9 equipment or discos... so not sure if it will reflect AA builds accurately either.   Annoying as it is or was rather a useful service.

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Old 04-07-2010, 03:01 PM   #13
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Oh, and if you have the current version of Evading Awareness in your build, that will likely mean AR is up a lot more than it is intended to be.    Another 'feature' bonus SMILEY

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Old 04-09-2010, 05:58 AM   #14
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Evading Awarness was changed again, after enough of certain people cried it's changed back to a useless ability! Quite a shame, I sorta was hoping SoE would leave it as is...

About the Int line, I ran it during TSO, so that I had Thief's Prowess, while it was noticable on Avatar fights (loads of AEs and Control effects), it wasn't really that big of an issue after I specced out of it.

Thought the AE immunity of the INT line only applies if you are FD! So if you need to FD to avoid an AE, then you also joust and turn on range attack. Ranged Dps > no Dps, being feign.

With SF, if you ask me it is really not needed anymore, unless you are charmed you usually have much more control, and can keep AR up - so having no AE hit you makes TP usless.

In racial: use both 2.5% hp increase, and I used the other +4 to something as AGI. (I used so many other STA options that I can grab the AGI here).

Brig tree, I am thinking of using only 1 point in boot dagger, and use 7 points in PickPocket, so i get 24 more points in Agi.

Shadows, now here is something to consider if you follow Bristlebane:

-The Pet will give 38.5 AGI, but if you spend 5 points into it you increase the attribute gain by 50%! So you can gain 57 AGI from your god/deity pet.

So that would lead to the following spec for me (am running a slightly different setup, as that was stored in my mirror last night, after i switched back to max cooridination)

http://www.beetny.com/eq2aa/[email protected]@355511

Note: I choose to take Battle endurance as well, for a bit more resist and another small sta bonus.

About Adronments, if you ask me Flurry > AoE Attack on the shoulders!

Tradeskilling: Alch and Tinkerer (Tinker FD for soloing)

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Old 04-09-2010, 11:04 AM   #15
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Excellent comments Durancer, will work those into the text.

Yes you need to FD to get the AE avoid.  I am finding in some encounters it's just darn useful to avoid dying (especially if safehouse has triggered) because you can't always rely on AR, and I suspect AR has seemed rather too good of late for people using the bugged 10% proc bonus.   Yes you can joust but a quick flop and stand up I find gets me more time doing dps than if I run out and in again - if the timer is good you shouldn't even lose an autoattack.   Our guild is at the point of doing more T9 hardmode mobs now (Waansu down yay) so I'll keep the STA build in my mirror so I can experiment with both.     

Good spot on Bristlebane, didn't know that.    The 2% flurry is certainly better for burning single targets, so will add that too in next update SMILEY

Cheers! 

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Old 04-09-2010, 12:26 PM   #16
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[email protected] wrote:

The 2% flurry is certainly better for burning single targets, so will add that too in next update

I've always been kind of divided on the shoulder adornment slot.  When a Flurry kicks off, it's awesome to behold.  But at the same time, just how valueable is it to bank on a 2% proc chance when your average brigand isn't getting any other Flurry chance (outside of group / raid buffs).

To me, the +3% Reuse adornment has always seemed more attractive.  It will up our CA dps by a hair, but I really believe in it since I want to be able to use my debuffs as quickly as possible.  If people wanted a pure dps class, why take a brigand over another assassin?  Between the Rogue AA +10% reuse, the shard mount +3% reuse, a T8 cloak with +5% reuse, and a couple of +3% reuse adornments (on the shoulders and forearms), it really starts to add up.  Also I know that the BG hand armor also has some reuse (like +1.6% or something like that) if people want to use it for Heroic or low level Raiding use.  I'm honestly not familiar enough with the T9 armor to know about which pieces might provide +% reuse.

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Old 04-09-2010, 01:51 PM   #17
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My spec looks about the same as the others here. The only difference is i put the extra points from into boot dagger not pick pockect. I may change that but not sure it will be much different. My agi is already pressing 2K in raids.

The question I have is why not use crit bonus on shoulders ?

I doubt many peeps are at max crit bonus yet.

I would think that would do more dps than flurry since it helps CAs and Auto Attack, with max crit chance.

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Old 04-09-2010, 04:13 PM   #18
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I don't think there is a cap on crit bonus.

Interesting point though - AE autoattack is nice for dps in general given the amount of multi-mob encounters in T9, but if you want to boost your effectiveness on single target nameds there's better.    Will reflect that in text too when I update.

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Old 04-09-2010, 07:06 PM   #19
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I forgot to say nice writeup

I shoot for 110 crit chance and 100 DA like you. Pretty easy in SF to hit that.

I keep my dps and haste up also, but I depend on buffs somewhat.  I got the weapon with the 20% dps and haste buff.  I am not sure its great, but I needed to replace my mythical with a lvl 90 126 dps weapon.  I may get one later with a better proc for raiding.

then bonus > potency.

The one thing I dont know what to shoot for is +damage.

Im currently around 700 but i think that might be low. Does anyone know what is a good number for +damage.

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Old 04-10-2010, 10:07 AM   #20
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Well +700 ability modifier isn't bad, but there's room for more.    The question is how much you go for that, as opposed to crit bonus or potency.

Ability modifer is capped to 50% of the CA damage.

Potency raises base CA damage, so it raises the modifier cap, e.g. a CA hitting for 2000 has an ability modifier cap of 1000, but with 25% potency the CA hits for 2500 and the ability cap becomes 1250.    At that damage level, 1% potency is the same as +20 ability modifier, except potency also raises the modifier cap.

So I think the best advice would be initially try to at least get the ability cap to 50% of your weakest CAs, then as you raise potency you can gain more by raising it further.

The order/priority is probably:

a) get 100% crits and DA rating - probably need about 110% crit chance for that in practice, and 100 DA

b) raise crit bonus - this benefits both CAs and autoattacks all of which are critting

c) raise CA damage by increased potency and ability modifier - the two are related

I'm doing a little more of my damage via CAs rather than autoattack now than I did in T8, in part due to dance of metal and cornered.   So while potency isn't as great for us as for assassins or rangers, it's still important.

Not quite sure where flurry works into that.    As someone said above, 2% crit bonus may do more for you than 2% flurry, but the fact that SOE made the bonus for red adorns 2% for both probably means they're not too dissimilar in dps effect.

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Old 04-10-2010, 10:14 AM   #21
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Very nice write up!  I wish the swash community was a bit more active in this regard.  One minor correction though, Swashy's also have five CA's that are rear/flanking only.

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Old 04-10-2010, 09:45 PM   #22
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Thanks!

Those brig attacks are rear only, not 'rear or flank'.    So a brig has to dance to the rear arc of a mob to land any of those five, while of course any 'rear or flank' attacks can be used much more easily from the side.    Brigs have a few flanking attacks as well, the problem is the number that can only be landed from the rear arc.    Being able to flank more easily, together with Reach, makes a swashie's job a little easier SMILEY

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Old 04-22-2010, 11:40 AM   #23
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Figured I'd post mine for kicks and giggles.

http://www.beetny.com/eq2aa/[email protected]@2555511

As for my reasoning it is this.

ROGUE TREE

My rogue tree is meant to maximize any dps I'm getting from it, the 10 percent hitpoints would be nice but doesn't seem to matter in the long run on survivability from what I've noticed.

BRIGAND TREE

As for the Brigand tree it seems we all take the same stuff, almost. The new tree seems to be the difference in most peoples setups. With my current gear I don't put points into the new Debilitate AA because it is maxed on base damage, and therefore doesn't add anything for me. I know it adds a stamina debuff but I can't seem to care enough to spend points here. I put points into Murderous Rake only because of the critical damage addition on it. Adding another dps debuff doesn't appeal to me with all the debuffs in raid so I don't take that either. I only put 3 points into the offensive stance increase because it goes to max at 3 points with my current gear. Stopping it at 600 damage per proc with 3 points into it.

SHADOWS TREE

For the Shadows tree everyone took the same thing from what I can tell the only major difference is some people took the noxious debuff which I find pointless. Also some people took the sinister strike upgrade rather then offensive stance stats.

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Old 06-10-2010, 04:27 AM   #24
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First thanks for the great write, another site I used to frequent has not updated since TSO, and I just rolled my brigand to replace my sk.

http://www.beetny.com/eq2aa/[email protected]@[email protected]

I am aiming to run this once I have enough aa's and was wondering about thoughts, I have noticed I am not having any survivability issues in raids so rather to boost any dehate and the extra ca dmg.

Thoughts and opinions.

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Old 06-10-2010, 04:25 PM   #25
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MaxDaft wrote:

First thanks for the great write, another site I used to frequent has not updated since TSO, and I just rolled my brigand to replace my sk.

http://www.beetny.com/eq2aa/[email protected]@[email protected]

I am aiming to run this once I have enough aa's and was wondering about thoughts, I have noticed I am not having any survivability issues in raids so rather to boost any dehate and the extra ca dmg.

Thoughts and opinions.

I would not pick up thiefs prowness.  If you pull agro and get hit in a raid/group you have already messed up.

I think conditioning is alot better. I skip alot of jousts hoping safehouse+reflexes saves me, +10% adds a little cushion. Plus since gu56 the AoEs still seem to be hitting harder. Dont believe 13.5K is the new resists cap. Up to 18K helps from what I can tell.

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