SWTOR 3.0 Sentinel Watchman DPS Guide by Oofalong
SWTOR 3.0 Sentinel Watchman DPS guide written by Oofalong of The Shadowlands. This guide is adapted from Oofalong’s Annihilation Marauder/Watchman Sentinel Compendium.
- 1 Intro to 3.0 Sentinel Watchman
- 2 How to Play
- 3 Stats and Gear
- 4 Key Game/Mechanic Concepts
- 5 Impact of Release & Patches
Intro to 3.0 Sentinel Watchman
Quick Gear Recommendations
I do not have proven recommendations for gear in 3.0 as I have not been able to test as much as I need to. Still, as a starting point I am comfortable recommending:
- 7x Accuracy, 2x Surge Enhancement & 1x Alacrity Enhancement
- 13x Power & 1x Accuracy Augment
- Minimal Critical Rating
Expect further refinement on gear recommendations.
This compendium is meant to help you understand how to play and gear your Watchman Sentinel for elder game PvE. The recommendations presented here are derived from the model I built, which is also available as a Google Spreadsheet: here. (Please note: while the model is theoretically accurate I do not have much 192/198 gear at this point so I have not been able to validate all of the assumptions.)
I have created this as a publicly available google doc as that is the easiest for me to maintain. This information may appear on other sites, more often than not the site has my permission to use this guide. I will attempt to answer questions about this guide via the SWTOR forums or my Reddit Post. Alternatively, you can email me at email@example.com or PM me via SWTOR Forums, Enjin or Reddit where my username is oofalong.
My approach to theorycrafting combines modeling expected results based on relevant factors then analyzing actual results to ensure my model and hypotheses are accurate. Or, doing spreadsheet math and checking the combat logs to make sure it is right.
Thus, for all of my conclusions and recommendations I can, and will if asked, explain the math and mechanics behind it. Where I cannot prove something, I may still offer my opinion and I will try to be clear when this occurs. I do not pretend to know everything, and when someone has a different perspective I attempt to understand their point of view and either incorporate it into my recommendation or dismiss it with data/facts.
There are lots of potentially valid theories to optimize a Watchman Sentinel. However, I believe there is only one – or a very limited number of – truly optimized specs, gear, etc. I aim to identify the most optimal, yet also identify and quantify sub-optimal options.
Overall, Watchman is one of the best sustained single target DPS builds in SWTOR. The SWTOR Devs have stated they intend for it to be the highest sustained damage spec for Sentinels. In addition, the build offers high survivability due to a passive proc self-heal. A properly spec’ed and built character will do ~45% of their damage as DoTs. Marauders deal bleed (internal) damage while Watchmen deal burn (elemental) damage. This spec is melee exclusive and suffers from poor burst damage although 3.0 gave it formidable area-of-effect (AoE) potential. Also, it is a very mobile class as nearly everything is an instant ability.
What is new in 3.0
About Watchman in 3.0
Shadow of Revan (3.0) introduced numerous changes to the spec and play style of Watchman. The spec now centers on consistent, but restrained, play compared to the dynamic adjustments required in 2.X. For instance, neither Cauterize nor Force Melt have a cooldown; however, incorrect use of either can leave you very resource starved. Also resource generation is more limited and more of our GCDs are spent using resource neutral abilities. These factors combine to make the spec play very differently than 2.X. Some will prefer the changes while others will long for the return of 2.X features.
Relevant Global Changes
- Disciplines have replaced Skill Trees. I believe this is a superior system as it removes the illusion of choice and introduces true freedom. For Watchman, the actual Discipline path closely mirrors the Skill Tree talents we are already familiar with, and now we have the choice of selection of our ideal Utility talents.
- Damage output has been reduced. While there were changes to the damage variables of each ability, often the bigger change was to the magnitude that talents/buffs provide. For example, Repelling Blows previously offered a 30% increase to the direct damage of Rupture | Cauterize, but now only offers a 5% increase.
- Everyone lost their +3% Accuracy Skill, which means we will need to stack more Accuracy Rating than previously.
- Stat Formulas were unchanged; however, one of the variables in the formula is level. Thus, holding all else constant your stats will go down slightly at level 60.
- Alacrity is now useful.
New & Changed Abilities
Every attack had their damage coefficients adjusted slightly, and in most cases the net effect was less than ±5% in expected damage. Below I have outlined the exceptions to this:
- Force Melt: This is our new level 57 ability; it is a 10m force attack. It is an 18s DoT that ticks every 3s including at application so we get a total of 7 ticks per use. It does the second most damage per use. The ability is very useful as it gives us a bit more range as well as another DoT, which is good considering the changes in resource generation.
- Twin Saber Throw: The base damage for this ability has been reduced by ~45%; however, with the change to Mind Sear we should always expected a 2x hit. Thus, its expected damage is a bit higher than we saw in 2.X. It remains an integral part of our single target rotation.
- Dispatch: The damage for this was reduced by ~7%. Plus, it is no longer needed to reset the CD on Cauterize. Given our limited resources as well as our prescribed strict rotation you will not be able to use this on CD in the execute phase.
- Master Strike: The damage of this was reduced by ~20% and its cooldown has been reduced to 18s.
- Cauterize: The DoT duration has been increased to 12s although its DoT tick every 2s now.
- Inspiration buff has been reduced to 10s.
Only three of our abilities provide Focus:
- Force Leap
- Zealous Strike
While we generate ~70% of our resource from using these abilities, we have two opportunities to generate resource through procs. In total, these procs should generate ~10 total resource in each rotation. The two procs are:
- Plasma Blades: This proc has a 20% chance to generate resource from each tick of our burns, but can only happen every 4s. This has a slight edge in resource generation compared to Burning Focus.
- Burning Focus: This proc generates resource when our melee hits crit against a burning target but can only happen every 4s. We should have 100% uptime considering all three of our burns and several of our abilities hit the target multiple times so we are able to generate considerable resource this way.
Both were changed to 4s lockouts in 3.0. Plus, the success rate of Plasma Blades has been reduced to 20%, and we have less melee hits compared to 2.X. This culminates in very limited resource generation although it is enough assuming you follow the prescribed rotation.
Disciplines vs Skill Tree
For the most part, the Watchman discipline has access to every ability/talent we had via our respective skill tree. Some – Focused Slash – have become a passive talent available to all Sentinel. Some appear as direct replacements in the Discipline path such as Juyo Mastery and Merciless Zeal. Some have been merged with other talents, like the reduced Force Leap’s reduced CD from Blurred Speed being combined with Close Quarters. And, some are available as Utility talents now like Defensive Forms and Watchguard.
While each Discipline talent is listed in the table below, I do want to highlight a few.
- I love Burning Sweep for clearing mobs, just charge in use Cauterize then Force Sweep and watch as your DoT ticks everywhere every second.
- Accelerating Victory really helps with our ramp-up time and the free Force Melt is a must given our limited resource.
- The 20% chance to gain Mind Sear from your DoTs may appear to introduce some dynamism to the spec, but it can only happen every 18s – the same CD as Twin Saber Throw. In practice, you will have the Mind Sear buff for nearly every use of Twin Saber Throw.
|Burning Sweep||12||Smash | Force Sweep spreads your Cauterize and Force Melt burns to targets it hits, if it hits a target already affected by those bleeds | burns.|
|Repelling Blows||16||Increases the direct damage dealt by Cauterize by 5%.|
|Close Quarters||20||Reduces the minimum range of Force Leap by 10 meters and its cooldown by 2 seconds.|
|Searing Saber||24||Increases the critical strike damage of your burn effects by 5% | 5%.|
|Juyo Mastery||28||Your burn effects are 2% more likely to critically hit per stack of Juyo Form.|
|Focused Leap||32||Force Leap builds 1 additional Rage | Focus.|
|Merciless Zeal||36||Critical hits with burn effects heal you for 1% of your maximum health.|
|Plasma Blades||40||Your burn effects have a 20% chance to build 1 Focus when dealing damage. This effect cannot occur more than once every 4 seconds.|
|Burning Focus||44||Your direct damage attacks that critically hit a bleeding | burning target build 1 Focus. This effect cannot occur more than once 4 seconds. In addition, Merciless Slash makes its target assailable for 45 seconds. Assailable targets take 7% more elemental and internal damage.|
|Inexhaustible Zeal||48||Juyo Form can now stack up to 6 times, and Merciless Slash can now stack up to 4 times in total.|
|Mind Sear||52||Your burn effects have a 20% chance to grant Mind Sear, which increase the damage of your next Twin Saber Throw by 100%. This effect can occur once every 18 seconds.|
|Blazing Ward||56||Dealing burn damage to a target increases your damage reduction by 5% for 3 seconds.|
|Accelerating Victory||59||Juyo Form and Merciless build two stacks at a time. Merciless Slash also builds up to 3 Accelerating Victory stacks, which reduce the cost of the next Force Melt.|
At level 60 you will be able to invest in seven of these talents. I have highlighted the talents that will generally be the most worthwhile for PvE although you can’t take them all. Thus, you will need to adjust them based on each fight’s required mechanics and/or damage profile. I think the only two that are always beneficial are Defensive Forms and Contemplation (although you can spec out of this after building 30 stacks of Centering).
|Jedi Enforcer||Increases the damage dealt by Rebuke by 15% and increases its duration by 4 seconds.||This is one of the many buffs to Rebuke.|
|Debilitation||Master Strike immobilizes the target for the duration of the ability.||This is one of many abilities that immobilizes/slows your target, which has little to no effect in PvE.|
|Jedi Crusader||While Rebuke is active, it generates 1 Focus whenever you are attacked. This effect cannot occur more than once every 3 seconds.||This is one of the many buffs to Rebuke.|
|Defiance||You generate 4 Focus when stunned, immobilized, put to sleep, or knocked around.||This has situational benefits.|
|Defensive Forms||You build 2 Centering when attacked. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. Additionally, the effect of your lightsaber forms are improved while they are active: Shii-Cho Form: Further increases damage reduction by 2%. Juyo Form: Increases internal and elemental damage reduction by 5%. Ataru Form: Increases your movement speed by 15%.||This is always beneficial.|
|Trailblazer||Cyclone Slash deals 25% more damage.||While this sounds great for clearing trash mobs, the cost of the ability still makes this fairly unattractive for this Discipline.|
|Stagger||Increases the duration of Force Leap’s immobilize effect by 1 second.||This is one of many abilities that immobilizes/slows your target, which has little to no effect in PvE.|
|Incisor||Force Leap, Force Melt, Clashing Blast, and Zealous Leap snare their target, reducing its movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds.||This is one of many abilities that immobilizes/slows your target, which has little to no effect in PvE.|
|Jedi Promulgator||Each use of Strike, Zealous Strike, and Leg Slash reduces the active cooldown of Rebuke by 3 seconds.||This is one of the many buffs to Rebuke.|
|Defensive Roll||Reduces damage taken from area effects by 30%.||This has situational benefits, but many of the fights in the current Operations have AoE damage making this pretty useful.|
|Watchguard||Reduces the cooldown of Pacify by 15 seconds and Force Kick by 2 seconds.||This has little to no effect in PvE.|
|Pulse||Reduces the cooldown of Force Stasis by 15 seconds.|
|Displacement||Increases the range of Pacify by 6 meters and allows Rebuke to be used while stunned.||This has little to no effect in PvE.|
|Force Fade||Increases the duration of Force Camouflage by 2 seconds and further increases the movement speed bonus of Force Camouflage by 20%.||This has situational benefits as it increases the utility of Force Camouflage as a gap closer.|
|Fleetfooted||When Transcendence is applied or refreshed, it purges movement-impairing effects. Additionally, the movement speed bonus of Transcendence is increased by 30%.||This has situational benefits.|
|Expunging Camouflage||Force Camouflage removes all cleansable effects when activated.||This has many situational benefits.|
|Force Aegis||Increases the duration of Guarded by the Force by 2 seconds.||While this is obviously beneficial any boss strat that relies on Guarded by the Force is flawed.|
|Just Pursuit||Leg Slash consumes 2 less Focus. In addition, using Leg Slash against a target already slowed by your Leg Slash immobilizes that target for 3 seconds. This immobilizing effect cannot be applied to the same target more than once every 10 seconds.|
|Enduring||Reduces the cooldown of Guarded by the Force by 30 seconds.||While this is obviously beneficial any boss strat that relies on Guarded by the Force is flawed.|
|Zealous Ward||Getting attacked while Saber Ward is active heals you for 3% of your maximum health. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds.||This has situational benefits.|
|Contemplation||Reduces the cooldown of Awe by 15 seconds. In addition, you build up to 30 Centering over the course of using Introspection. This effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds.||Being able to pre-stack Centering before a boss fight is a welcome addition to the Discipline. You can also spec out of this once you have built your stacks.|
How to Play
We now have a rigid and static rotation; it is also not very comparable to our 2.X rotation. Personally, I reorganized all of my keybinds and retrained myself to avoid falling into the comfortable routine of 2.X play.
There are 11 essential abilities which you will use on a regular basis. Our core abilities based on total damage done per activation are:
- Force Melt
- Master Strike (uses 2 GCDs)
- Overload Saber
- Merciless Slash
- Twin Saber Throw
- Zealous Strike
- Force Leap
In order to achieve our steady-state rotation we need to reduce the CD of Merciless Slash with two uses of the ability thanks to Accelerating Victory. Thus, our opener spans 24s/16 GCDs. Unlike many classes we will not be doing our peak damage during this opener as we have to build stacks of Merciless and Juyo plus we need to get to the 6s CD for Merciless Slash.
All of our core abilities have a cooldown (CD) of 6s (4 GCDs) or some multiple of this. Thus, we can create two similar 18s/12 GCD cycles. These are designed such that you can repeat them indefinitely. At most, there is one GCD where you will have a choice. In other words, we now have a very rigid and repeatable rotation. Immediately below I have outlined the rotation, and further below I have offered some comments on the rotation. Please note this picks up right at the end of our Opening Rot
- The rotation is very limited in terms of resource and available GCDs. At most 7 of our 24 GCDs are used for weaker resource generating abilities. Assuming you have the new 2-piece set bonus, Zealous Strike is essential to use once every 24 GCDS cycle; other than that all of our resource generating abilities are fungible.
- The actual sequencing of abilities might need to be fine tuned for maximum DPS although I am pretty sure this is the portfolio of abilities to use.
- Every use of Force Melt should be free due to the proceeding 3x uses of Merciless Slash
- Nearly every use of Twin Saber Throw should benefit from the Mind Sear buff.
- This rotation should provide 100% uptime on both Force Melt as well as Cauterize.
- Each cycle should reliably result in 5 proc’ed resource, which is essential to sustaining this. However, it is theoretically possible that using this rotation you will still be resource starved and be required to insert an extra Strike in the cycle. Unfortunately, this will only delay the rest of the cycle and leave you even more resource challenged.
Once your target falls below 30% you gain access to Dispatch; however, given our constrained GCDs and resource there is only one spot in each 18s/12 GCD cycle where we may be able to use it. The third GCD of each cycle allows us to replace Slash with Dispatch resource permitting. Given the reduced damage of Dispatch we do not benefit much from this ability anyway.
We don’t have an AoE rotation per se, and depending on the health of the targets we need to determine how many DoTs to spread via Force Sweep. For weaker mobs just spread Cauterize, and for bigger mobs you will want to spread will want to also spread Force Melt.
- Zen: Given how frequently our DoTs tick now it is harder to maximize your 3-stack ticks of Overload Saber although it is still optimal to do so. On a dummy parse you will be able to use this approximately three times every two 24 GCD cycles.
- Inspiration: This is still a strong offensive CD. For maximal results you can align this with the other raid-wide CDs,
- Rebuke: Timely use of this will provide a good DPS boost as well as extra resource to help you maintain your rotation. This performs best with steady amounts of incoming damage like those found in Temple of Sacrifice’s The Underlurker.
- Adrenal: Try to overlap your adrenal use with Inspiration as well as Zen.
Stats and Gear
Our primary stat is Strength. Our damaging abilities – specifically the Damage Bonus – all benefit from more Strength. Each point of Strength contributes 0.20 to Damage Bonus. Plus, Strength also contributes to our Critical Chance or Crit %. Strength may come from hilts, armorings, mods, augments, earpieces and implants.
We also have a less important primary stat. Willpower. Willpower affects our Force Damage Bonus and our Force Critical Chance the same as Strength. Your character will naturally have some Willpower, and this can be increased by finding datacrons. However, none of your gear should have Willpower on it.
The secondary stats are everything else. There are effectively two different stat pools for us to consider. The relevant secondary stats for Marauders | Sentinels color coded by stat pool are:
- Power: This is one of the factors of an ability’s Damage Bonus, it specifically contributes 0.23 Damage Bonus for each point.
- Critical Rating: This is one of the components of Critical Chance or Crit %. Note that Critical Chance or % is not a stat – read this for more information.
- Accuracy Rating: This increases our basic attack’s, special attack’s and force attack’s chance to hit. The base numbers for these are 90%, 100% and 100% respectively.You can earn a 1% legacy-wide accuracy boost by reaching max affection with Lord Scourge or a melee tank DPS companion on any of the other characters in your legacy. Operation bosses also have a 10% defense chance or chance to avoid your attack, which means we want the Special/Force to be as close to 110% to ensure we never miss with our heavy-hitting abilities. Our target rating will result in basic off-hand accuracy of 66.67% and 76.67% for special attacks so you will see numerous misses here, but it will be from the less important off-hand. The exact Accuracy Rating needed is 758 although this is not a readily obtainable amount.
- Alacrity Rating: This effectively allows us to go through your rotation more quickly. It will increase the speed with which your DoTs tick as well as shorten your GCD. It is much better than 2.X.
- Surge Rating: This determines the total damage of your critical hits, specifically this percentage is the amount of additional damage your critical hits do. You can earn a 1% legacy-wide surge boost by reaching max affection with Kira or a melee DPS companion on any of the other characters in your legacy.
I need to do more analysis and research to understand how to optimally allocate these Secondary stats although getting at or above 758 Accuracy is a must.
The stat allocation on the various modifications are actually pretty simple even if it seems like a lot of choice:
- Hilts & Armorings of the same quality provide the same amount of Primary Stat – Strength – and Endurance. As DPS we always want the high Strength version, which is named Might.
- Mods provide Strength and Endurance plus one secondary – either Power, which is named Deft, or Critical Rating, which is named Potent. Further, mods come in three varieties A, B or Unlettered. The Unlettered mod version is superior. The B version favors Endurance over the other stats. The A version favors the Primary Stat stat but it does so at the expense of a lot of Power/Critical Rating.
- Enhancements offer Endurance plus Power or Critical Rating and Accuracy, Alacrity or Surge. These optimal choices include Adept, Initiative, Battle, Quick Savant, Insight and Acute. In each of these cases, the secondary stats are favored over Endurance, which is important. Most of the items purchased with elder game commendations offer the Endurance-heavy version of these enhancements, which are Assault, Efficient, Finesse, Proficient, Savant and ???.
- Implants and Earpiece offer Strength, Endurance, Power or Critical Rating and Accuracy, Alacrity or Surge. Noteworthy, the stat budget of the Accuracy, Alacrity or Surge is equivalent to the stat budget of Enhancements for the same tiered item. Thus, we can effectively think about 10x Secondary Stat slots.
The augment debate became more complicated in 3.0. For one you will probably want to devote some of your augments slots to Accuracy Rating. My preliminary math indicates that Overkill (Power) Augments are superior to Might (Strength) Augments now. This confirms my gut feeling as we previously valued the Strength’s incremental Critical Chance due to the 30% free Surge on our DoTs, but this has been reduced to 5% now.
It also appears as if using some Alacrity Augments in place of Overkill Augments will be a DPS gain.
In any event, I plan on doing more research and analysis here.
You will want equip the best Serendipitous Assault and Focused Retribution relics you have access to. Review this analysis for specifics on relics.
The new purple stims provide an eight hour boost to your Strength and Power, which is superior in duration and benefit compared to the blue ones.
Adrenals provide a short term – 15s – increase to your DPS. For maximal effectiveness use an adrenal with the Weaponsmaster buff and hopefully Inspiration. If you use your adrenal just before Merciless Slash, you should be able to get three uses of this ability with the adrenal buff. This is explained in more detail later.
Armor Set Bonus
Set bonus were broadly redesigned in 3.0. There are now seven qualifying slots: Head, Chest, Bracers, Gloves, Belt, Legs and Boots. And, there are now benefits for 2, 4 and 6 pieces. As before they are cumulative such that if you have the 4-piece bonus you also have the 2-piece bonus.
3.0 Weaponmaster & Challenger Set Bonus
- 2-piece: Zealous Strike increase damage dealt by 2% for 15s. Cannot occur more than once every 30s.
- 4-piece: Reduces the cooldown of Valorous Call by 15s. Additionally, activating Zen increases all damage dealt by 3% for 10s.
- 6-piece: Master Strike will grant Challenger’s Critical Bonus making your next Dispatch, Concentrated Slice or Merciless Slash critically hit. This can only happen once every 60s.
2.0 Weaponmaster & Challenger Set Bonus
- 2-piece increase the damage dealt by Master Strike by 8%.
- 4-piece: Reduces the cooldown on Valorous Call by 15s. Additionally, activating Zen increases all damage dealt by 4% for 15s.
Obviously, the 3.0 4-piece bonus is inferior to the 2.0 4-piece bonus ignoring the Strength difference. Plus, the 2.0 2-piece is very strong. Generally speaking, you won’t want to break your old 4-piece Set Bonus until you have the pieces for the new 4-piece Set Bonus. Also, if you have the old 4-piece Set Bonus tier 186 keep it intact until you get at least the new 192 6-piece bonus.
A Brief History of Set Bonuses
From Launch till 1.2 set bonuses were tied to the armor shells. This was pretty limiting for a number of reasons; it also meant that every elder game player looked exactly the same. However, this did allow you to equip a PvP armor shell and insert PvE armorings granting you the PvP set bonus but with PvE optimized stats.
With the release of new gear in 1.2, the new PvE gear set bonus was tied to the Campaign armorings while the new PvP gear set bonus was tied to War Hero armorings. This allowed people to better customize their appearance. This also gave Sentinels access to the set bonus of Guardians.
From 1.2 to 1.6, you could mix and match shells and armorings to achieve whatever set bonus you wanted. However, in 1.6 they eliminated all set bonus PvP shells meaning that the PvP set bonus was exclusively available via PvP armorings that sacrificed Strength and Endurance for Expertise.
In 2.0, there are identical set bonuses derived from two different sets of armor – Weaponmasters and Challengers. Further, all set bonuses became tied to the armoring, and any set bonus that was on the shell will be transferred to armoring if you extract it.
Now in 3.0, there are all new set bonuses although still called the same thing – Weaponmasters and Challengers – and the available pieces have expended to 6. Also, PvE and PvP gear now have the same set bonus although the pieces do not mix to grant the bonus. For example, 3x PvE and 3x PvP do not combine to create one 6 piece Set Bonus.
Key Game/Mechanic Concepts
Raid Damage Buffs
Each DPS spec now applies two damage buffs to targets it hits. There are a total of 7 different buffs. Our two buffs are:
- Assailable: Increases damage taken by 7% from internal/elemental sources; our DoTs are internal/elemental.
- Beat Down: Increases melee attack damage by 5%; all of other other core attacks are melee attacks.
In addition to these we will benefit greatly from:
- Vulnerable: Increase force attack damage by 5%; our DoTs are force attacks.
- Sundered: Reduces target’s armor by 20%; this reduces the damage mitigation our melee attacks suffer from the target’s armor.
You must be in Juyo Form. Once you enable this form you stay in it until you disable it. For a properly spec Sentinel, Juyo form does many things. First off, it increases attack damage by 1% up to 6 stacks with the Inexhaustible Zeal. Further, each stack of Juyo Form increases the critical chance of our DoTs by 2% up to 12% via Juyo Mastery. Using Zen when in Juyo Form makes our next six DoT critically hit automatically. In short, if you are not in Juyo Form as a Watchman Sentinel you are doing something wrong.
A melee attack’s critical chance is a function of Critical Rating and Strength; a force attack’s critical chance is a function of the same plus Willpower. Each of these inputs contribute based a different exponential equation, which means the diminishing marginal rate of return varies. Said another way, there is no such thing as a Crit % DR. You should not think about a target crit %; instead you should target a certain critical rating as well as Strength total.
Everyone has a base 5% critical chance and the Smuggler class buff grants another 5%. You can also earn a 1% legacy-wide critical chance boost by reaching max affection with Sergeant Rusk or a ranged DPS companion on any of the other characters in your legacy. This provides an effective base 11% critical chance. Plus, we can add additional critical chance from Strength of at least 8%. This gives us a total melee crit chance of almost 20% with 0 crit rating.
Centering & Zen
Anytime we activate an ability that spends Focus we will build 4 stacks of Centering. Plus, any time we kill something we build Centering. And, Defensive Forms will grant us 2 Centering when we are attacked. Once we have 30 stacks of Centering we can use a few different abilities. The exact number of Zen uses varies fight to fight. For instance, practicing on the training dummy, we must use eight Focus consuming abilities to build 30 stacks of Centering. The most commonly used ability with 30 stacks will be Zen, which causes our next 6 burns to automatically critically hit. Plus, each of these 6 ticks will also heal your 4 person group for 1% of their max health. Zen will always increase our DPS, and well-timed use of it can dramatically increase our DPS.
I think there are worthwhile mechanics to understand even if you don’t want to do your own theorycrafting.
The melee attack formula is:
Main Hand Damage* + Damage Bonus* + Standard Damage* + Off Hand Damage
* These three attack components combine for one entry in your combat log.
The ability’s tooltip will state if it attacks with both hands. There are two one-handed melee attacks Force Charge | Force Leap and Deadly Throw | Dispatch.
The force attack formula is:
Force Damage Bonus + Standard Damage
Let me briefly explain how each of these components is calculated:
- Main Hand Damage is a function of the hilt in your lightsaber as well as Amount Modifier Percent (Amt Mod %). The tooltip of your hilt will list its minimum and maximum damage. This – plus the Standard Health Damage – accounts for the variance in ability damage.
- Off Hand Damage is by design 30% of main hand damage so every Off Hand Hit needs to be multiplied by 0.30.
- Melee Bonus Damage is a function of Strength and Power. Our class buff boosts this damage by 5%. This amount is than multiplied by the coefficient of the ability.
- Force Bonus Damage is a function of Strength, Power and Willpower. Our class buff boosts this damage by 5%. This amount is then multiplied by the coefficient of the ability.
- Standard Health Damage is standard amount based on the level when you last trained on the ability. This is why when you hit 50, 55 and 60 you re-train nearly every ability. This amount is then multiplied by the Standard Health % Min or Max.
Impact of Release & Patches
Each release or patch may include changes to class abilities. This is done to balance game play across all classes and roles. Since the game’s release there have been a number of impactful changes to Watchman Sentinels.
3.0 Shadow of Revan (Dec 1, 2014)
- New Max Level, 60.
- Skill trees have been replaced by Disciplines
- New ability Force Melt
- Many other changes…
2.8 Spoils of War (10 June 2014)
- Increased Merciless Slash‘s damage dealt by 7% as well as reduced its cost by one resource to 4.
- Increased the damage increase of Inexhaustible Zeal up to 7% per point.
- Corrected the double proc’ing relics which decreased DPS of this spec.
2.5 Galactic Starfighter Early Access (10 December 2013)
- Increased the duration of the Merciless buff to 24s.
2.0 Rise of the Hutt Cartel (11 April 2013)
- New Max Level, 55.
- Skill tree redesign
- New ability Twin Saber Throw
- Many other changes…
1.6 Ancient Hypergate (11 December 2012)
- Eliminated Battlemaster Gear so now all PvP set bonuses are tied to armorings just like Campaign & Dread Guard.
1.5 HK-51 Activated Start of Free-to-Play (11 November 2012)
- Merciless Zeal heals for 0.5% down from 1% per talent point.
1.4 Terror From Beyond (9 September 2012)
- Guarded by the Force reduced to 4s.
1.2 Legacy (12 April 2012
- Force Kick, Awe and Pacify are all free to use. Plus, Force Kick and Awe were taken off the GCD.
- Master Strike uninterruptable and 15% more powerful.
- Dispatch usable for 30% and less.
- Transcendence is Operation group-wide.
- Force Camouflage reduces damage by 50% replaces Force Fade skill ability.
- Force Fade no longer reduces damage but increases duration and speed
- Valor was moved to tier 1.
- Quick Recovery has been removed from the game. It reduced the rage cost of Sweep and Cyclone Slash by 1 and reduced the CD of Sweep by 1.5 seconds.
- Focused Pursuit has been removed from game; however, its effect – Increase Transcendence speed by 15% – has been added to Fleetfooted in the Combat tree. Focused Leap, which increases the resource generated by Force Leap, was moved from the Combat tree to replace Focused Pursuit place.
1.1.2 Rise of the Rakghouls (7 February 2012)
- Pacify cannot be used on Operation Bosses.
- Searing Saber Fixed.
- Plasma Blades increases damage by 5% per point compared to 2% previously.