Update: Since I have been starting this thread, I see a lot of people using my advices and also the opinion about certain skills on this class have been changed enormously. It makes me happy to see how I could be part of how using a Rogue's skills has developed in this time and how I could help people with their skills. Thanks for considering my ideas and sharing/debating with me over them to improve them further!
Moonlight Drive and Mark of Death finally have been fixed, that also means I am on my hard way finding back into the game (missing almost 3 month of archieving stuff from the newer content, as well as finding a guild)
I see a lot of people here struggling with some skills / bringing stuff into question. And speaking for myself, I found a lot of skills being pretty over- / underrated. Also I've tried to bring all possible informations together, making this post quite long. Anyways, if you bother about a certain skill, this may (or may not) help you.
Everything is based on my experience and therefore my opinion, meaning it might not fit your opinions.
In my first playthrough I maxed this skill, and it was very helpful, until I got Rogue and Combo Mastery outshined Combo Training. I left this skill at 1 on my second Rogue and never missed it. It's 10% higher chance to get a single Combo Point, only ending up in using more Deadly Blows. Someone here also calculated the DPS over time and there was barely any difference.
Update: It may or may not be helpful in Colosseum. It remains as a roulette-skill but if you feel like a lucky guy, this skill might help you creating combo points faster, since your best chance to get kills are bursts, and thatrequires building combo points fast. Combo Mastery is unreliable for this, because the duration where it procs is too short to calculate it a bit.
I often read in Ranger Builts that Camouflage can be maxed or not, depending on personal taste. At the same time, every Rogue Built out there says you should leave Hide at 1. While I never missed a lvl3 Combo Training, there were soooo many situations when I thought "damn, moving faster while in hide would rescue this situation". You could of course, blindly waste Wind Elixirs. However, right now they're damn expensive. Also I don't think you should be forced to use consumables to get the most out of your skills. It is a skill depending on taste, but I wouldn't call it a luxury tool. In Colosseum, it depends on playing style. If you prefer the sneaky Hide-play, using SB and DI all the time, lvl3 Hide is absolutely worth it. For PvE, this skill is great for farming maths in dungeons (considering you are already able to solo Dungeons up to 40+).
I think the single skill point you need for activating Rolling Cutter is worth to be considered. It's dealing 10% damage (compared to assassin's Shadow Fang, dealing 9% damage, don't ask me why) to 6 surrounding mobs, less if it's more than 6. I don't know how much less. Still, assuming there are 6 adds from a boss or more, your DPS will be eventually higher than by attacking one after another. One downside might be that you will kill them all at the same time. This means, all are dead faster together, but their number stays the same in total until then, and 6 adds are more dangerous than 5 (assuming you kill one after another). At the same time however, it might help a priest chased by the whole mob if you aggro all of them at once. Of course, a wizard or sorcerer will outdamage you in this situation without a doubt, but it's merely a single skill point you spend, so what more to expect?
On a sidenote: Some people say this skill can be used to poison targets. I am not sure if it really works. I so far never saw any of the targets being poisoned by this skill, but this needs confirmation.
First off, I did max this skill because I came to the final conclusion that it is worth a lot more than what else I could have spent my skill points on. But still, you might be interested in some informations about what raising the skill level really affects:
As you know, the main effect of Doping is the Adrenaline Rush buff, adding a total of 30% attack/ equipment stats. Also the chance to activate the 20%attack or critical boost. Now the important thing is, all of these effects stay the same from level1 to 5. The only thing that changes is the CHANCE to activate the attack/crit buff and the amount of HP converted into attack power per potion. This ultimately means, a higher doping level raises the chance to activate the 20%attack/critical boost, but not the effectiveness. It also means you merely have to use more potions to reach the same attack bonus from Adrenaline Rush (at level1 it converts 2% of your healed HP). The most pots are spent for holding the effect, not pushing the effect to its limit. Take into consideration, that certain situations might ask to push your Doping fast, like after you died (Colosseum). Overall, still worth maxing if you ask me, but I think it's good to know about this, especially if you're still leveling and wonder which skills are priority to max.
On a Sidenote, if you got trouble seeing the Adrenaline Rush timer because of the target window overlapping with the buff icons:
For some reason, this version of the game always prefers buffs behind the target window. By clicking on one of your buff icons, you can push the buff list one layer above the target window. This means, you can see your buff icons in front of the target window, and therefore Adrenaline Rush timer. Peferably click a buff that can be recast easily (MoG/Poisoning Weapon), because clicking a buff makes them dissappear. Otherwise, if you have a VIP card or Khara Title Scroll, click one of those, they wont dissappear. BTW you have to this again every time you change maps or channels.
If you want to read more about the calculcations, (like if 1 point in DB or Doping makes a bigger difference) go down to the section, "Spending Points"
Even though you're using this skill the second often after Double Attack, maxing it might not be the best choice later on. Here is a simple calculation: Every levelup, the damage of DB raises by 2%. The 7% per Combo Point stay the same. This means, every time you use Deadly Blow level4, you lose 2% Attack Power. Let's compare this to Deadly Poison. For example, the level up from 4 to 5 nets you 2% attack power on Deadly Poison. These are applied every 2 seconds. This happens more often than you're going to cast Deadly Blow, simply because you're not able to cast Deadly Blow with 5 Combo Points every 2 seconds. This is important for later, because when you read on, you might realize there is a lack of skill points, decision have to be made.
Moonlight Drive has been "fixed" (I find this term more fitting than "buffed" for the following reasons), instead of 110% at Level5 it now deals 150%. This is great, but still, don't get your expectations too high. Looking farther than those players crying about how much Rogue has been improved and how unfair it seems to them, the actual question is, why has this skill been improved, when no other class got any improvement like this?
I want to quote mysticalre at this point:
I recorded the animation lengths and skimmed through some footage, here's some info (did about 10 test runs of each):
- the moonlight animation ranges were 3.15s low - 3.25s high
- 2 double attacks + 1 deadly blow took me 3.20s low - 3.30s high
(I was too lazy to filter the frames and crap to be more exact, that`s too much work)
Assuming you had 5 combo points at the beginning of both sequences, then both do 110% damage. I guess the rest is up to you to decide, it's mainly a question of "do you want to have a 110% damage burst skill?"
This was before the patch. Meaning, you are unable to move for more than 3 seconds, being very vulnerable to certain boss skills (mainly AoEs) just to have a worse result than without even bothering with MD. Simply because using DA and DB instead was raising Combo Points beside the damage it dealed, left you with the possibility of moving while attacking, and also added a higher chance of applying Doping buffs and Deadly Poison. Yes, in those times, many Rogues decided to remove their points from MD.
But now, with the "new" MD, we have a damage boost of 40%.
BTW the numbers are:
What can you archieve with a 150% MD?
Basically, from earlier calculations, subtracting the possibilities of applying PW and Doping buffs more than once (Even though MD is made of several hits, execution counts as 1 attack in terms of triggering certain passive skills and buffs), you could say that using MD instead of DA and DB results in a DPS bonus of ~35-40% every time you use the skill. This is somewhat comparable to a DB with ~2 Combo Points). That means using MD raises your Damage over time quite a bit.
Other uses for MD:
When Combo Mastery triggers, use Smoke Bomb to hide first, and then Moonlight Drive out of hiding state. This will double your damage, meaning a whooping 300% attack power. This only works if you are not the target, aka not attacked by the opponent, so primary for fighting bosses in party and squad.
We have a hard time with running targets. Being Melee, our only ranged attack for targets running away is Daggr Throw, or trying to stun them with CM. But all of this has to be done while any second, someone else could KS your target. A lot of kills can be saved by using MD on a low HP target (mostly if they run away, otherwise, the 3 seconds you take for execution are more than enough time for other people to interfere and steal your kill). As soon as the first hit of MD connects, all other hits will too, no matter what. Even if the target runs to the other end of the arena, the damage will be dealt. I'm not 100% sure but I even think that if you die before the skill was executed completely, the other hits will still apply.
Using it in a bossfight resets your threat, it also makes bosses stop attacking you;
Using it when your Combo Mastery Procs, to cast Moonlight Drive. This will make the skill deal double damage.
Use it when you are caught in a blue circle (those that are following you, like Prophet of Doom and Baphometh), you wont receive any damage.
This is again depending on taste a lot, and on your playing style, but something I've learned was, everyone will go for you. It's like you have a big sign on your head that tells "kill me, I give 5000 points more than other targets". I had so many situations where I was thrown out of Colosseum because someone had to kill me in the last seconds only to lower my rank. People prefer you over any other target. I had moments where I served them a K.O.ed 1st place and they still attacked me instead.
GP for some reason doesn't heal the HP it is supposed to (considering your Colo max HP), and your fixed stats there make you unavoidably squishy. Moreover you are a melee, you can't trap/freeze or backflip/tele. This makes you the favorite target of any PvP-class (ranger, sorc, priest).
However, when you're invisible, nobody can chase you.
Disadvantages: Debuffs reveal you. Continuous attacks reveal you. AoEs reveal you
In Colo, you get debuffed often enough, and sometimes when your debuff is about to end, someone else will cast the next. Sometimes you will be revealed without having any idea what happened (can be lag, delayed attack or whatever buggy stuff). If you're under attack, don't trigger this skill, you will probably waste it because of a debuff or attacking chain.
Using SB effective:
Combined with Dark Illusion and the possibility to recast it quickly. Always Hide at the start of the round, so SB stays available. Search a target that is under attack (preferable someone who runs away or isn't attacked by many players, especially sorcs and priests who can kill them with 3k+ HP left), follow it, pay attention to other players and their AoEs, especially Warriors, they love to spam Brandish Storm. As soon as your target's HP drop to 900~1,8k HP (depending on gear/skill/buffs), use DI on it and instantly cast SB afterwards. This is a great way to get first place and make nobody chase you. If you get revealed, preferably use the skill again when you died or are absolutely sure nobody attacks you and no debuff is on you. Also, try to stay patient. Sometimes it's better to miss out a kill than being reveiled and then murdered.
I try to stay hidden as much as possible, and when I'm revealed, I try hiding under mobs (pay attention, sometimes they switch targets for no reason) and players, move around a lot, snag around, just to make it hard to get me targeted. I tend to kill monsters when revealed, because it's less likely to get someone steal them.
This infamous skill is the main reason I am able to keep up with other classes in Collosseum. I never regretted maxing it along with Smoke Bomb/Hide. Of course, playing style. But personally, I love it. Staying hidden stops others from chasing me down over and over. And Dark illusion is the best burst we have for Colo. Mine does, with my current Gear and skill level, up to 1,9k damage. It directly takes you to the target, can be cast instantly, and you don't have to worry about getting attacked (only stay away from AoEs). With Hide at the start of every round, SB at lvl3 and Dirty Plan, I have 4 chances minimum per round to use DI. At best, this means 4 kills.
It's bad luck if you miss, it doesn't trigger, or you don't deal the double damage for some reason. And it happens. I didn't win Colosseum twice because DI missed on a low HP first place in the last seconds. But let's not forget, Deadly Blow can miss too. And it's this game - You can do everything right and still lose because of random bad luck.
Mark of Death
The second fixed skill, finally not just doing what it is supposed to, but also been improved, based on the understanding of calculations mysticalre did. Let's take a look at the skill before the change. What it did was adding mere 10% more attack power to Rogues (nobody else!)
so I re-did the tests, not believing my old tests, and it's the same thing over again. I tried to make my damage as consistent as possible, removing as much RNG as I can
My stats (if anyone tries to re-do)
http://i.imgur.com/iaItrld.jpg // 2094 ATK, 40.27 crit unbuffed
- Double attacks till 5/5, then deadly blow
- deadly blow any time combo master procs
1. Use Explorer's Concentration (+7% hit so that you never miss)
2. Poisoning weapon / Crit buff only
3. NO Doping (+20% ATK/+20% crit is a huge inconsistency)
4. ONE AGI Boost potion allowed per 5minute test (to help MoD damage)
5. Use http://www.online-stopwatch.com/ to countdown 5 minutes per test
6. Screenshot when you hear the annoying ring after 5 minutes
1. No Mark of Death
- http://i.imgur.com/ybMEYbT.jpg (363,980 Damage)
- http://i.imgur.com/E5hmkPy.jpg (364,827 Damage)
- http://i.imgur.com/V4ibYgH.jpg (372,515 Damage)
Average: 367,107 Damage
2. Mark of Death (5/5)
- http://i.imgur.com/AhvG1wJ.jpg (369,345 Damage)
- http://i.imgur.com/BVDcoN0.jpg (359,885 Damage)
- http://i.imgur.com/qOqOoSu.jpg (353,451 Damage)
Average: 360,893 Damage
I'm willing to say that this is basically the same, it could be just +/- 2 crits of a difference. If anyone else wants to re-confirm, feel free. It's totally lame and counter-intuitive to think that +10% damage doesn't help ...
This is NOT the first time I tried this - I did this before a few times, and it's always roughly the same, I did it over 10 minute periods too, so I really don't know what else to say. I like this skill, but every time I try it results say otherwise
The only thing I can 100% say is that with 2 rogues, it's a benefit if both have it
Summarized, the 10% bonus was barely enough to deal enough damage to be at around the same amount of damage you would have been dealing without casting MoD. Simply because using MoD takes the time needed for 1-2 Double Attacks, which would be missing otherwise.
With the current update, Rogue gets a 20% bonus. Based on above's calculation, for the caster this means, 20% instead of 10% to have a fair bonus, based on losing time from casting the skill. Everyone else in the party gets 10%, without losing time as they don't have to cast MoD.
Okay, the crazy ath aside, what does this skill do at all?
It is a core-skill for Raid. It is what finally gives a function to Rogue, namely - the control of DPS in Raid. Rogues have the potential to increase DPS on bosses enormously, and decide when to cast this skill. Honestly, now I can tell this because it wont destroy anyone's dreams anymore: Before MoD was changed, Rogue was probably the most unneeded class for raids. But with this skill changed back into what it's supposed to be, Rogue's importantce in Raids skyrocketed, imho they became a must-have class.
Keep this in mind. If there is anything I can say for sure, than this - MoD is a mandatory skill now and I can't see any reason why to not max it out. Even if you share your raid group with another Rogue who already learned MoD, max it. It simply means that your group has twice the amount of MoDs per boss.
Looking back at the beginning times on Sea, everyone told you to leave PW at 1. This opinion changed when people noticed that MD and MoD were useless, leaving you with some points for PW. Now things changed, meaning MD and MoD are probably 10 manatory skill points in most Rogue builts. This also means, less space for other skills, including PW.
However, those 5% make an enormously huge difference in your damage over time. That's why it's still worth to sacrifce points from somewhere else.
Also, in Colosseum it's absolutely possible to win some kills with PW. Weather or not you're lucky with random poisoning people, I can't count how many times I lost a kill because my attack left the target with like 50HP. This wouldn't happen if PW procced and dealed that little bit of damage left.
Another important thing to mention is the reliability (once it procs). PW always hits, it never misses and you don't need to stand next to the opponent for using it. And a lot of bosses require you to stop DPSing sometimes.
The stats for this skill are:
L5 15% (notice the 2% jump)
Overall, based on attack power alone, maxing this skill is probably raising your DPS a lot more than for example DB or Doping. However, this is depending a lot on your crit rate. If you crit a lot, 8% of DB already have to be considered as 16% (as far as level1-5 changes the damage of it). At the very same time, DB doesn't crit, and misses the STR you don't have as an AGI built.
Honestly, I can't see any reason anymore why to bother with maxing this skill, or even spending a single point to it (beside the 1 you have to spend). The 1,6% higher crit is close to nothing. Even less on lvl50+ Monsters, where critical rate gets lowered based on the level difference, and on top of that, a lot of criticals are lost by missing the target. 1% crit means 1 more critical hit in ~100 attacks. It might be "polite" to serve with a maxed GM in raids, but this comes from times when there wasn't anything else to offer from our side. Now, if anyone is annoyed by your eventual 0,4% crit buff, simply counter with the argument "what do you prefer? 1 1/2 more criticals in 100 hits or 10% more damage from MoD?" It's simple as that, we don't have enough points to spend anymore, and people will learn to understand that, especially because 1,6% higher crit can't be felt by anything more than imagination.
This skill has been quite useful for Colo and even some Boss Fights (like Ratmaster, not on himself though). Since we have pets, this situation has changed a lot. You can substitute skills with pets. Crescent Moon remains as the longest possible K.O. effect anyone in this game is able to cause, using it at 5 Combo Points. That however doesn't require level5, as the level up only raises the cooldown. It might be possible to combine this skill with Executer Undead, especially if you don't have a ~24 second cooldown from possessing 98+ pets. But overall, by now this skill isn't even in my skill shortcut window anymore, coming from massive space problems thanks to pets.
It only raises your DPS by 2% per level. And it isn't recommended to use a DB with less than 5 Combo Points anyways. A lot of assassins leave DB at level1, because every combo point adds a 7% higher damage to the skill. The difference however between us and them is, we use DB a whole lor more often because of Combo Mastery (and Combo Training, if you really maxed it). In total, you can be lucky as hell and have like 5+ additional DBs per minute thanks to CM, on the very same time it might not even pop once in a whole minute. Every time you're using DB means a loss of ~2% attack power per level. I left it at 1 now, meaning I lose 8% attack power per DB. This might not be in everyone's favour of course. The thing is, you archieve a higher DPS boost by maxing Deadly Poison, but of course, nobody ever said you have to decide between those 2 skills. If you have enough points, nothing speaks against maxing DB. Just keep in mind, it is possibly the last skill (althought still better than CT) needed to max in order to raise your DPS.
I can't speak for how necessary GP is when having a 24second cd with Lamort/Lapparman or Assassin Elder. If you got one of those pets, you might be able to decide for yourself, weather or not you need GP/ a maxed out GP. For everyone else:
A lot of things in this game have changed, and solo farming became a lot more interesting. And every level on this skill lowering your cd means a higher chance to survive stronger boss fights without a healer. And even then, by having GP at 5 I'm able to farm Wanderer/GOb Leader / Eremes/Embus DNA without wasting any Master Reds. While at the same time, in Raids I doubt you will need a level5 GP. You merely use it to help the healer, but the lower cd wont decide the battle.
What to do now with all those useful skills if we can't max them all?
It's not possible anymore to be perfect in both, PvE and PvP at the same time. You have to make decisions, and if you're like me, interested in both, PvP and PvE, you're probably struggling now.
To decide this, important to know would be what exactly changes with every skill's level up, and I've been detailing this a lot in this guide.
Let's figure out where points can be sacrificed and where not:
Let's start with easy decisions:
Hide: Level3 Hide has a place in my heart, I can't play this game without it. Many things I do in this game are almost based on the possibility of moving that fast while in hide. However, this might be diffrent for you. Do you need moving in hide outside of Colosseum? Are you rich enough to substitute Hide with Wind Elixirs? If this applies to you, ditch 2 points.
Dark Illusion: An obvious choice, this skill has only 2% attack power change per level and can't be used a lot. Well, not at all - DI (if it doesn't bug around) is supposed to be a critical hit, and also is supposed to deal double damage out of hide. This means, it deals 4 times the damage. So 2% attack power are actually 8%. And because stats by gear and cards wont count in Colosseum, skill level matters the most. In most cases it's probably a question of weather to keep it at 1 or 5. For everyone else: I had a level3 and a level 4 DI both for a very long time, and it worked quite well for me in Colosseum. In fact, I never really noticed a practical change in damage. But before putting too much weight in those words - I remember my DI bugged in over 50% of the time I used it (dealing less damage than supposed, like not critting/not applying the 2x damage).
For everyone else, the crucial question here is: Do you have a full Colo set or not? If yes, it means you don't need to go into Colosseum anymore (though, be warned that Tier2 Gear will be implemented soon). It also means, you have less hit bonus from your gear, meaning you miss a lot more in CoA, yet even more often in AoD. That STR potential of yours is lost and re-found in a maxed PW. PW wont miss and is STR based.
Rolling Cutter: Only a single point to find here. I found a lot of use for this skill. And I might regret removing it. But the good news is - most people probably haven't even considered spending a point here before reading this guide. So, if you haven't been putting a point here, or can liver without it, you've just saved another skill point.
Smoke Bomb: Even if you're a PvE player, SB is not just there to reset threat, but dealing double damage with Moonlight Drive. 1 point = 60 seconds cd, meaning 1 point = 150% attack power lost every minute (highly theoretic, based on CM).
Doping: Like mentioned before: The skill level doesn't change stats, it only changes the CHANCE of activating the 20% buffs (they stay constant at 20% from 1 to 5), and you gain less attack% per potion consumed (2%). This ultimately means, you need to use 20% more potions to get to the limit of attack bonus from this skill. It's annoying enough at 5, always keep this in mind. The worse part is, chances to activate the buffs lower from 20% to 16%. Primary, this is luck based, but based on numbers, this means almost 1/4 lower chance of activating those buffs per hit. Personally I don't think I want to sacrifice any point here, but this decision can be made by experiencing the difference after using a skill reset vellum (which could be one of the reasons you're even reading this).
Deadly Blow: Like I mentioned above, Deadly Blow gives 2% attack power per level. If you keep it at level4, you lose 2% every time you cast Deadly Blow. However, Poison Weapon from 4 to 5 gives you 2% attack power aswell. If it's about deciding for where to take away points for PW, consider Deadly Blow as an option. The 2% of Deadly Poison are going to be applied more often than those by Deadly Blow. You'd have to trigger Combo Mastery pretty much permanently to get an evan bonus for both skills from L4 to 5.
Absolutely woth to consider, and my personal first choice for removing 1 point. You might even consider removing more than 1 point if are really, really need some other skills at a certain level, but don't overdo it, because it hurts your max DPS. And we're aiming for highest possible DPS in raids.
Since I was curious, I made some highly theoretic, very hardcore calculations, what raises your attack power more, 1 level of DB or Doping. I had results of Deadly Blow giving like ~16% attack power per minute, Doping ~18% (this only for 1 level, NOT the whole skill!!), though, this is enormously based on Combo Mastery and Attack Speed (Haste/Vigor). In the end, they're probably both close to be the same, and the decision is better off to decide what you are personally favourizing. To add might be, Doping also increases the amount of attack converted from potions, making it probably the better choice.
Deadly Poison: Probably the whole reason why you're struggling. Leave it at 1 or max it. Anything between feels bad because it gives 2% at level5. I think, after all, it's mostly a question to decide between DI and Poison.
For the STR buff, we get 20% bonus on every single hit. This is a lot harder to calculate, and based on STR and current Attack Power, which makes everything even more random. So I wont even bother calculating it.
Edited by Velouce, 05 October 2013 - 08:24 AM.