So, I wanted to have a thread that I could post all of my consolidated opinions about the Dual Wield Raider spec, and the benefits of playing the class in the current version of ROSE
[Patch v.620 at the time].
So, what is my opinion? Well as the title of the thread would suggest, they are without a doubt the absolute most balanced, useful and over-all perfected spec in ROSE.
I base this off many factors, which I will go ahead and start listing off now.
A Dual Wield Raider has unrivaled utility when it comes to the methods and access of dealing damage.
To break it down, here's a list of the Damage methods.
Auto-attack: As a Dual Raider, you have a fairly fast baseline attack speed when compared to all other weapons. Before any passives or augmentations like buffs etc, 0.7 attacks per second is actually quite fast.
Single Target Direct Damage: Dual Raiders have a quite good collection of High Skill % Power abilities, and a good amount of them. This allows them when positioned correctly in combat, to unleash devastatingly strong bursts onto a single enemy.
Single Target Damage over Time [DoTs]: Duals also have access to 2 standard DoT's in their Knife path, leading to a strong Hard CC [Mystic Knife]. They can also opt for a Unique version of Bloody Assault to pick up a third DoT, though strictly for PvE uses, it's another option.
Area of Effect: While they lack any form of AoE DoT, they still have 4~ AoE Damage spells, one of which can prove annoying when stacked long enough [Circle Break Wounded]. Somewhat trivial benefit, but having the AoE in some cases can help quite a bit.
What about Augmentations to Damage?
[Attack Power] Well, for starters Dual Raiders have the top tier Attack Power [AP] Passive, resulting in 30% AP p/ Passive, 60% once maxed. They can also opt for the Unique Passive Fury, for an additional 5% AP.
[Skill Power] Dual Raiders are also one of very few classes that gain access to Skill Power Passives. The only others are Mage, Cannons, and Sword Champs. Not only does this scale perfectly with their top tier AP Passives, but is only further enhanced by their well balanced Skill Power on their active Abilities.
[Pierce Defense] Another modifier that works quite well with their AP and Skill Power passives, this enables Dual Raiders to not need to find a weaker target, they can flex from a light armor, to heavy to medium at the flick of a whim, no questions asked.
But wait, there's more~
[Shattering Blows] (PvP Only): This unique passive only serves to enhance the Dual Raiders utility. Where-as a Defense Pierce may help you attack high Defense targets, this effect can also stack onto Defense Down status', which means once at full stacks, a Defense Buff will be fully canceled out, and you'll still retain the Status Advantage.
[Enhance Damage]: Though not gained through Skills directly, your natural class abilities do allow you to opt into this via equipment and gems. Not only does enhance work great for a class that has so much passive utility, it adds another layer that can only be countered by gear or strong CD effects. This means while they're burning CD's to hopefully win the Status Advantage, you're free to over power them offensively.
So, what about Defensives and Survival?
Dual Raiders can be and possibly are one of the best Defensive DPS classes you can chose. And here's why.
Defense: For a medium Armor class, they have the highest Defense Possible in ROSE. [Hawker + Dealer both considered 'Medium Armor' weight classes] Not only are they top tier defense stat wise in their own tier, it is possible to be the highest Defense Stat class in the entire game. Quite right, more Defense than a Knight. This is only true thanks to [Evasive Guard] granting a 75% Defense buff.
Due to Duals using STR as a secondary AP stat, they grant themselves some extra Defense. If you happen to not only give yourself 1 or 2 defense stat pieces, but a strong buff as well; when you consume [Evasive Guard] your Defense will skyrocket. This does come with a catch obviously, as large percentage based Defense Downs will now take off significantly more Defense. Not only that, but due to the softcap scaling of Defense and it's reduction to Physical Damage, it's not as much of a Benefit as you'd think.
Dodge: Obviously being the highest Dodge class, this one almost doesn't need to be explained at all. This statement does come with the caveat that it's about build, but none-the-less true when those conditions are met. It's also only true whilst under the effects of either [Mirror Phantasm: 100% Dodge] or [Evasive Guard: 75% Dodge + Defense].
Maximum Health: Granted not nearly the highest Health Pool spec in the game, it is still very nice when compared to classes in the Muse Tree or Scout Tree. Courtesy again of the STR stats incorporated into the Dual Raider build, you do accrue some extra HP's and when buffed, those extra can go a good way. And thanks to the option of back shields, can even be made higher. Easily the best Health Pool when compared to the rest of the Hawker's 2nd Job Specs.
Stealth [Optional]: Don't even need to explain this one. You can't be hit if the enemy can't see you. That is unless you take damage from a stray AoE, but after AoE Damage Mitigations when hitting multiple targets and your Dodge Rating/Defensive amounts, it's not a problem at all.
Healing: Yes, a signature move of the Dual Raider is its ability to self sustain off the skill 'Bloody Assault'. Not only does having a self heal change up everything about this class's interactions in combat, but it has options tied to it!
Default Bloody Assault: 50% Absorb + High Scaling Static Amount. Great for situations where you can't bank on landing the attack, facing an enemy with a very small health pool, or are suffering from accuracy downs. The static amount guarantees that even if the skill misses, you'll be refunded a small portion of Health for the Mana Spent. It's purpose on small health pool classes is thanks to the Maximum Damage limit in PvP, which would limit you to small heals, due to your Damage being gated or limited.
PvP Bloody Assault: 100% Absorb + Min Scaling Static Amount: Great for situations where missing the skill is highly unlikely, or when facing targets with very large health pools. As previously stated, using the Default on small health pools is to avoid the maximum damage limiter in PvP. Likewise in PvP when facing a target with a very large Health Pool, that damage limit is a much higher number, often not able to be hit at all by a Dual Raiders BA. This means though that you won't be limited to 40% of per-say 14k HP [5,600] but instead will get 100% of a 8k Hit [or, 8k Heal].
PvM Bloody Assault: Not particularly effective for Healing yourself, however in open world PvE you can use Food to supplement the healing loss, but take advantage of the quite nice Bleeding Status attributed to this version of the skill. Handy for those pesky tank-spec Bosses.
What else could there possibly be?
Some of the more experienced Duals may notice a very large factor missing, but we'll go over that now.
The Status Down Kings.
Dual Raiders have always been known for their potent, and sometimes crippling status downs. I also saved this for last as a portion of it ties into Defensives. I'll cover that now.
Dual Raiders have plenty of wiggle room with Stat Points, thanks to them needing a bit of everything, sometimes even a smidge of INT. This includes CHA.
Now, Defensively, CHA adds Critical Defense, and while the numbers are still being speculated, it has been proven to be effective in reducing the likelihood of taking/receiving a critical hit. This adds another Defensive Utility to their Toolkit.
Now, CHA also does a myriad of other things, ALL of which blend meld and go hand in hand with a dual Raider perfectly.
1: Healing Power: YES, CHA does increase the amount of healing on your standard Bloody Assault, even the tiny amounts on PvP and PvM Unique versions.
2: Status Downs: Dual Raiders have access to the following status downs, all of which scale. [Accuracy Down, Defense Down, Movespeed Down, Attack Speed Down]. Making CHA very worthwhile as all help you survive longer.
3: Buffs: Dual Raiders have access to 4 Class Buffs, 3 of which scale off CHA [as well as DEX]. Those obviously being Attack Speed+, Dodge+ and Movement Speed+.
[They also have +15 DEX but that doesn't scale, so point moot]
4: DoT's: CHA does help scale DoT's still, meaning your 2 Poison DoT's and your Unique PvE BA Bleed will get a benefit from having some CHA.
How about Summons hahaa!
That's right, The Beast Summons; and are actually viable for a Dual Raider, and here's why.
Summons base stats are based on the summoner's stats. Not only that, but the stats that are actually tracked by a Summon, are all stats you use and can either buff directly, or indirectly.
Here's what I mean.
Summons Damage comes from 3 things.
Attack Power, Critical, Attack Speed.
Attack Power you have the top tier Passives for.
Critical can cause nearly double the damage when it hits, and can really hurt if the Beast uses it's lunge special skill.
Attack Speed that you can buff [This however is NOT based on your attack speed as the summoner*]
Defensively, they also have:
Health: Scales based on Summoners Health, and as earlier discussed is the top HP Pool class for all Hawkers.
Defense: Scales based on your Defense, again also something you have top tier access to.
Critical Defense: Pretty sure this is scaled on summoner, and as a CHA class, odds are you have some decent critical Defense.
Dodge: Scaled based on your Dodge.
So, what the catch? Nothing, well, except that you can buff-set the summons.
Yup! that's right, summons, can be made better via a summon buff-set.
With a small niche anyway. You're going to need to pick exactly which Two Stats you want to buff-set the summon for.
Either Attack Power, Critical, Health, Defense, Accuracy or Dodge.
Once you decide, go ahead and get the best suit for your class for those two stats you can get, and get ready for another tip.
Before* you summon the mob, use your Evasive Guard [or if you chose dodge mirror phantasm*] then summon it. Since both are a "passive" it'll greatly increase the scaling.
After you've summoned the Beast, swap to either your combat set [or buffing set if you use one] and buff them for the Dodge+, Movespeed+ and Attack-Speed+.
The scaling should stick, and you now have a viable and usable summon that's worth having on the combat field, especially in PvE if flames are present.
Nope not really.
So, some of you might be wondering, why the hell did Feuer write a massive essay on Dual Raiders.
Well, I do have a small underlying point, and that is this.
If you were to incorporate the flexibility, sheer utility and over-all toolkit size of Dual Raiders to all other classes, ROSE would instantly become one hell of a fun game. Not because of any one particular reason, but because of the massive amount of issues that culminate in the word we all know and hate, 'Balance'.
So what were those key features?
---Number of Attack modifiers. [Example of this not being correct: Axe Champions. Completely and utterly rely on Critical, and when that's not possible, they have nothing to make up for it]
---Number of Defensive Utilities: [Example of this being wrong: Artisans. Once an Artisan is caught, they have really only 2 options, Sleep and Run, or if the Sleep fails,  Kill it before it kills you]
This also extend to Defensive or Survival Cooldowns.
---Self Healing: This is a MASSIVE issue with ROSE. Not having a useful and flexible method to Heal yourself on a class is detrimental to any cogent idea or notion of strategy.
---CC Utility: CC [Crowd Control] is fundamental for strategy, and is not optional once you've incorporated CC into some sections or classes. Once even a single class has been given access to CC, not giving it to all other classes is quite literally pitting them against unfair odds. [Example of this being HORRIBLY WRONG: Spear Champions, Cannon Bourgeois*]
*They do have 1, but it's completely unreliable, and that's putting it nicely~
==have not proof read yet, will re-read shortly to fix grammatical errors if any exist, thank you==
Edited by Feuer, 21 September 2016 - 10:11 PM.