SWTOR 4.0 Advanced Prototype Powertech PvP Guide by Pre

SWTOR 4.0 Advanced Prototype Powertech PvP Guide by Pre.

Intro to AP Powertech

AP PT retains significant burst potential with moderate raw damage mitigation DCD’s in 4.0. This guide is intended to help players to gain greater understanding of how to play/gear AP PT correctly in a dynamic PvP environment. I’ve tried to cater for new players while also adding in information relevant to those more seasoned with the game. As such, consideration is given to both ranked (solo and teams) and regular game-play (including playing objectively). I will continue to add further information, particularly on play-style and ranked considerations. I’m also working on ‘Countering Classes’ section focusing on identifying and appropriately responding to CD’s, DCD’s and anticipated strategies likely to be observed when playing against other Advanced Classes. This will probably be a fairly large section, so make sure you check back soon! If you have any questions or would like to see something specific added, I’m always open to feedback.

Abbreviations

General Terms:

CD: Cooldown GCD: Global Cooldown AoE: Area of Effect
DoT: Damage over Time MS: Main Stat DPS: Damage Per Second

Abilities:

FS: Flame Sweep RS: Rail Shot TD: Thermal Detonator
RP: Rocket Punch MB: Magnetic Blast SC: Shoulder Canon
EB: Energy Blast ED: Explosive Dart DfA: Death From Above
RPS: Rapid Shots RB:Retractable Blade VH: Vent Heat

Cooldowns/Buffs:

EF: Explosive Fuel TSO: Thermal Sensor Override HO: Hydraulic Overrides
KO:Kolto Overload EL: Energy Lode

Gearing & Stat Builds

Gearing

The Combat Tech set bonus is the only applicable to AP.

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Information pertaining to stats in the next section assumes Exemplar Adept Ear Piece and Implants (High Power/Critical Rating) are used in addition to the following enhancements and mods in all slots (with the exception of the final build option, High Alacrity/Critical Rating, which uses  x1 Alacrity Advanced Quick Savant Enhancement).

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Note: All Combat Tech Exemplar gear pieces come with Advanced Lethal 40X Mods (Item Rating: 208). A total of 4 Accuracy Enhancements will initially need to be replaced (3200 commendations in total).

Stat builds:

The above gearing set-up preferences power and critical rating as a baseline from which to swap to other stat builds (Note: I prefer to keep Exemplar Adept Ear Piece and Implants so I can easily swap back to a high power & critical rating build if desired). Assuming you do the same, enhancements or augments can then be swapped out to for high critical rating, alacrity or blended stat builds (depending on whether you have more credits or commendations!). Do not use accuracy in your gear. At this point, people commonly want to get straight to the point of determining what is ‘best in slot’ for PvP purposes? Objective testing is required to definitively address this question. Although we can look to Parse programs, diminishing return curves and theory crafting as a guide, fluctuating PvP dynamics make it almost impossible objectively determine which stat totals yield the best results. Ultimately, your stat build should reflect your personal preferences and what you’re trying to achieve. Quite simply, if you want to see crits more frequently, opt for the critical rating build. Likewise, if you enjoy faster GCD’s, lower CD times and speedy game play, opt for the alacrity build.  The next question, of course, is how much of each stat should be used? Again, this is personal preference. I’ve experimented with the following builds outlined below with good success. Please note that if you gear yourself exactly as I have for any given build below, your stat totals may still be slightly out to those provided due differences in ascertained Datacrons.  Prior to 4.0, I had acquired all relevant Datacrons for PT but have not sought any of the other Mastery Datacrons since Patch 4.0 which saw old class specific Main Stat Datacrons converted to Mastery. This is worth doing however.

High Power Build

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  • X9 Advanced Lethal Mod 40X
  • X7 Advanced Adept Enhancement 40X
  • X14 Advanced Overkill Augment 40X

A solid and safe bet for regs, solo or team ranked. I’ve seen some really good AP players pull high DPS in team ranked situations with this build. However, there is some evidence to suggest that Power augs result in a DPS loss over Critical or Alacrity augs.

Power / Alacrity Build

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  • X9 Advanced Lethal Mod 40X
  • X7 Advanced Adept Enhancement 40X
  • X7 Advanced Overkill Augment 40X
  • X7 Advanced Alacrity Augment 40X

Consider the effects of alacrity carefully before deciding on any related build. Alacrity reduces almost every metric related to time. This includes durations related to the GCD, CD, debuff, and internal CD’s on certain passive abilities. I’ve seen some argue that alacrity is the only stat that is still ‘working for you’ when stunned because of these effects related to time. Others have argued that high ability executions are needed per minute to gain a DPS advantage from the stat. Food for thought. However, I’d probably advise against alacrity in 4v4 DPS solo ranked situations given that AP is often focused first and may go down early so the effects of alacrity may be underutilised vs. a high power or a critical rating build.

High Power / Critical Rating Build

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  • X9 Advanced Lethal Mod 40X
  • X7 Advanced Adept Enhancement 40X
  • X7 Advanced Overkill Augment 40X
  • X7 Advanced Critical Augment 40X

Suitable for regs, solo ranked or team ranked. If you enjoy seeing crits hit more frequently and harder, this would be the suitable option. This is especially the case since Surge was rolled into Critical Rating in 4.0.

High Alacrity / Critical Rating Build

My personal stat preference for group ranked is as follows:

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  • X9 Advanced Lethal Mod 40X
  • x6 Advanced Adept Enhancement 40X
  • x1 Alacrity Advanced Quick Savant Enhancement 40X
  • x7 Advanced Critical Augment 40X
  • x7 Advanced Alacrity Augment 40X

I haven’t tested this build since the 20% nerf to the passive surge bonus in the 4.03 patch. Prior to this, I saw extremely good results with this in sustained fights without breaks, especially team ranked. It may still be viable, but I certainly enjoyed this build for fast paced pressure with moderate but frequent crits.

Again, consider these builds as guides. Tinkering with these to suite your own objectives is encouraged. But I wouldn’t go too extreme (e.g. x14 Alacrity).

Relics

Exemplar Relic of Serendipitous Assault is a must. But you can opt for either Focus Retribution or Devastating Vengeance. The choice is yours. However, there is some evidence to suggest that both Power and Mastery relics are a better choice over Crit.

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Utilities

Different utility configurations are justified for varying situations and to suite particular play-styles – there is no single ‘golden bullet’ utility set-up. Nonetheless, some utilities are undoubtedly better overall options than others. Taking on feedback from my last guide, I’ve outlined small annotations elaborating on the usefulness of each possibility for your own consideration. Use this information to think about what you want to achieve and configure your utility set-up as you see fit. However, if you’re just looking for something to get up and play with, then I’ve provided a my personal utility set-up for team ranked at the end of this section. I’ve also provided ‘quick and nasty’ subjective ratings out of 10 (higher is better) for each utility based for frequency of use and overall significance of impact.These values are subjective and strictly a quick reference.

Skillful

Bracer Propellant – Frequency 7/10, Significance 6.5/10

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AP PT is inherently a mid-ranged AC with 8 of its 10 regular DPS abilities executable from 10 meter range. This utility is mildly complementary to this end.Best combined with Suppressive Tools, giving MB a 30% slow debuff, together these are useful for kiting melee, especially when HO is on CD. To really take advantage of this utility, excellent positional awareness is needed (i.e. there isn’t much point in taking this if you don’t utilise maximum range to your advantage). For example, in 4v4 DPS solo ranked situations, I always try to maintain as much distance as possible while putting out pressure so as to make myself harder to close on.

Gyroscopic Alignment Jets – Frequency 9/10, Significance 8/10

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This utility is not about saving you from overheating; rather, it allows you to chain high DPS abilities in succession without overheating. For example, you might a ‘lose’ a couple of GCD’s due to a stun, pushback etc. With this utility, coming out of an incapacitating effect basically means you’re able add an extra couple high DPS abilities in succession without resorting to your auto-attack or relying on PPA to procRS in order to manage heat. Remember that AP is foremost a burst pressure spec and so being able to chain abilities in this manner is important. With the number of stuns, knock backs and other incapacitating effects this utility is of frequent benefit. I basically see this as mandatory regardless of ability level.

Iron Will – Frequency 7.5/10, Significance 8/10

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Because AP does not benefit from any significant resist/deflection orientated DCD’s, positioning is that much more critical to survivability. HO is frequently the first DCD used to create time/space from sustaining damage. This will take HO’s CD from 45 down to 35 seconds. Coupled with Torque Boosters, it’s possible to have a total HO up-time of 10 seconds, meaning it essentially has a 25 second downtime.

Suppressive Tools – Frequency 7.5/10, Significance 8/10

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There are already a lot of slows in the game, many originating from regular rotational abilities. However, because AP is often a desirable first target, this utility can be of enormous benefit to assist in kiting. This is especially the case if you don’t take Iron Will or Torque Boosters. A worthwhile option for reg or ranked game-play, especially involving melee opponents.

Pneumatic Boots – Frequency 8/10, Significance 2/10

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Pneumatic Boots does not work out of combat. To put the benefit of this utility in context, you will only gain a 2 meter advantage on your opponent across 30 meters if both moved in a straight line. For kiting purposes, Suppressive Tools is more valuable. If you’re a regs orientated player, this utility might be useful for moving between nodes that little bit faster (again, keep in mind though, this does not work out of combat) or possibly carrying a Huttball (I haven’t tested if it stacks with HO but I get the feeling it doesn’t).

Reflective Armor – Frequency 3/10, Significance 2/10

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The important thing to note here Close and Personal is a Passive that can only be triggered by AoE attacks on a rate-limit of 3 seconds. When I’ve checked back over game logs after team ranked games, I’ve seen some players have taken this to maximise their damage output. I feel there are better utility options worth taking.

Neural Delay – Frequency 2/10, Significance 1/10

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It’s really hard to justify this utility,let alone compare it to Suppressive Tools which causes MB to do exactly the same thing. The only difference is Neural Dart has a 30 meter range with a 15 second CD. The only situation I can think this may be of benefit is assisting an ally being chased at 10-30 meter range from your own position. Or possibly to slow a single target coming towards you just as they come within 30m range. But again, I feel Suppressive Tools is more valuable to this end because its slow effect on MB is not bound by a CD as Neural Dart is.

Engulfing Flames – Frequency 1/10, Significance 1/10

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I never use Flame Sweep in my rotation nor do I recommend it to anyone for AP. Running a high power gear build (see Gearing), FS is capable of doing a measly 1870-2085 without this utility. However, I’ve seen some AP’s use FS in groups of players. Because AP is squishy in the sense that it doesn’t really have a big escape DCD (i.e. combat stealth, phase walk, bubble etc.), I try to avoid stacking like the plague. For this reason (and others!), I can’t justify this utility selection in any circumstance.

Masterful

Torque Boosters – Frequency 6/10, Significance 7/10

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Without this utility, HO only lasts for 6 seconds or 3 GCD’s. If you don’t take Torque Boosters, but do take Overdrive, 6 seconds of HO is more than enough to evade an opponent when white barred. But if your resolve bar isn’t filled,and you decide to popHO without this utility, don’t be surprised if you get stunned out of its benefit. My point is your personal use of HO partly dictates whether or not this utility will benefit you. If you’re someone who pops HO almost on CD without really considering your resolve bar, you’ll find this utility useful. From another perspective, if you enjoy playing objectively in regs games, this selection is also great for moving quickly between nodes when coupled with Overdrive or great for carrying the Huttball. Although 4 seconds may not seem like much, I certainly feel a difference in playstyle between a 6 and 10 second HO.

No Escape – Frequency 3.5/10, Significance 4/10

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If you enjoy peeling/assisting teammates, the grapple immobilize is suited to that end. Catching people in Stealth Scanis rare, but even if you did, immobilising for 3 seconds at that point of reveal seems invaluable and kind of random. I don’t take this utility.

Pyro Shield – Frequency 3/10, Significance 2/10

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In 1v1 situations, if someone tunnels you for entire duration of energy shield that’s potentially 13040 (x10 GCD’s = 15 seconds); possibly useful for duelling. However, smart players will often try to CC / mezz you out while your ES is running. Other than that, I feel other utilities present stronger cases for inclusion.

Accelerated Reel – Frequency 3/10, Significance 3/10

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This selection takes Grapple from 45 down to 30 seconds (Note: Grapple fills 20% of resolve). Pulling someone out of position at the right time can be a massive blow to your opposition in reg or ranged situations allowing your team to collapse for an easy kill. In team ranked situations, running a reduced CD on Grapple is beneficial on two fronts. The first is for a Carbonize & Cleave set-up (running with at least one other PT, tank or AP). That is, pulling in targets together, Carbonizing and then cleaving with DfA. Keep in mind however that Carbonize has a 45 second CD so running the reduced Grapple CD for a double PT cleave comp may be pointless for the purpose described.

Sonic Rebounder – Frequency 4/10, Significance 6.5/10

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I don’t mind this utility in team-ranked situations where burst windows or abilities are somewhat foreseeable. For example, it’s possible to reflect an Ambush (Marksman Sniper) because it’s casted or TD (AP PT or Innovative Ordinance Merc) due to delayed explosion. If you feel confident in your awareness to foresee large burst windows fairly frequently, opting for this selection may leave your teammates better off rather than hitting Sonic Missile taunt on CD.

Prototype Electro Surge – Frequency 4/10, Significance 6/10

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Taking Electro Dart’s CD from 1 minute down to 50 seconds, bringing it closer in line with Carbonize’s CD of 45 seconds. Personally, I like to stun lock people out with overlapping CD’s, especially in solo and team ranked situations so having AP’s two stuns closer in line with each other is useful for burst windows.

Hitman – Frequency 3/10, Significance 3/10

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This takes your interrupt, Quell, from 12 down to 10 seconds. Without this utility, I do seem to notice instances fairly often where I was <2 seconds away from a possible interrupt window. (Note: Quell has a 4 meter range). However, keep in mind this only equates to one extra interrupt every minute providing you’re interrupting on CD.

Explored Area – Frequency 5/10, Significance 7.5/10

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Stealth Scan has an AoE of ~12 meters. This is really useful for peeling for a team mate in reg or solo ranked situations or helping your teammates to move between reg nodes faster. This provides no personal direct benefit however and keep in mind that AP tends to be a first target of choice so there may be other utilities worth considering for solo ranked in particular.

Heroic

Enhanced Paralytics – Frequency 8/10, Significance 8.5/10

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A must for team-ranked in order lock out opposition for longer burst window opportunities. Without this utility, stun durations are 2.5 seconds for Carbonize and 4 seconds for Electro Dart. Keep in mind that a 5 Electro Dart will completely fill resolve whereas the baseline 4 seconds fills 80% of the bar. A 2.5 second carbonise fills 50% of the resolve bar and 3.5 seconds fills 70%. With or without this utility, it’s worth noting that if your goal is chain CC for a burst window, it’s almost always better to start with Carbonise and then Electro Dart to manage this resolve effect appropriately. Also, starting with Carbonize may bait and early CC break thus allowing you to potentially lock your target out for 5 seconds with Electro Dart in order to drop them.

Overdrive – Frequency 8/10, Significance 9/10

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Among DPS classes, AP is one of squishiest without doubt. Although HO only lasts for 6-10 seconds (depending on your utility selection) 45% movement speed allows you to kite significant distances very quickly.

Automated Suit – Frequency 2.5/10, Significance 8.5/10

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Two stuns are generally enough to fill resolve and as such, having two stuns breakers may seem nice for 4v4 solo ranked DPS matches. However, keep in mind that AP benefits from 30% damage reduction from all sources when stunned.I don’t take this for team ranked situations. When KO is activated, it remains on your bar for 1 minute after which point it goes on CD for 3 minutes. I prefer not to break unless a) My resolve has just been filled b) I believe I can mitigate more than 30% damage after breaking.

Liquid Cooling– Frequency 3/10, Significance 3.5/10

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Thermal Sensor Override allows your next ability to cost no heat. To put the benefit of this utility into context, AP PT abilities range from 13-20 heat, with most being around 15 heat (RB, TD, MB, RP, ED). I don’t feel this treated as an answer to accidently overheating, rather as I’ve mentioned for Gyroscopic Alignment Jets, it’s a means to chain together one extra DPS ability in succession for burst purposes rather than resorting to Rapid Shots to manage heat.

Shield Cannon– Frequency 3/10, Significance 7/10

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This utility is particularly good for solo ranked in 4v4 DPS games. With the ability to pre-load 7 Shoulder Cannon Missiles, this basically equates to a second med-pack with each missile healing you for 5% of your health. Note however that a debuff called ‘Trauma’ is applied in PVP whereby your healing and damage is reduced by a certain percentage. I’ve tested it and it seems that each Shoulder Cannon missile will heal for XX health. Still very decent and worth consideration for solo ranked in particular.

Fuel Additives– Frequency 2.5/10, Significance 3.5/10

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EF has a 15 second duration. Probably the best use of this utility comes for 4v4 DPS solo ranked situations. However, taking this utility should not change the ultimate purpose of when you use EF (i.e. as an offensive CD for greater burst). Think of it as more of an incidental dmg reduction bonus. If you’re inexperienced in solo ranked and find yourself getting dropped fast and regularly, I think this utility could be somewhat helpful to learn the intricacies of this spec (especially if you’re finding it hard to land your stuns at the correct time to prolong your life). I don’t recommend this for experienced players however.

Jet Speed– Frequency 3.5/10, Significance 4/10

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A nice little utility for reg games, especially in Huttball. Nothing too special about this though.

Efficient Suit – Frequency 2.5/10, Significance 4/10

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Electro Dart and Carbonize both cost 5 heat. Most single target DPS abilities for AP cost 15 heat. To gain the most out of the stun component of this utility, you’d be aiming to overlap stuns for a burst window whereby you may be able to chain an extra regular rotation DPS by saving on 10 heat from the stuns. The extra range on pull is nice but really not essential.

Rotation

PvP dynamics make adherence to any set rotation highly difficult. Adaptation is required depending on fluctuating circumstances. In no order of importance, I’ve outlined three simple rules for successfully executing AP’s rotation in a PvP environment.

Rule 1: Prioritise DPS abilities.

Assuming Retractable Blade has been applied to the target (discussed further under Rule 2); the following priority system rotation is intended for maximum DPS potential based on a sustained single target engagement (AoE abilities are discussed later in this section). DPS abilities are therefore prioritised according to damage output from highest to lowest.

(Retractable Blade) Energy Blast* > Thermal Detonator > Rail Shot > Rocket Punch > Magnetic Blast

*Only use when Energy Blast is fully proc’d via x4 stacks of Energy Lode (granted by x4 Rail Shot). EB can be fully proc’d by x4 stacks of EL (granted by x4 RS). It also benefits from an auto-crit every 1 minute via the 6-piece set Combat Tech set bonus. Although you don’t need to wait for the auto-crit to use it, it should ONLY be used when fully proc’d with x4 EL stacks.

Rule 2: Proc Prototype Particle Accelerator (Passive) on CD

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This is the key managing heat in the AP rotation. There are two main points here

  1. To achieve maximum DPS potential by managing heat optimally, it’s important that this proc is activated on CD. This basically means that every 4th DPS ability should be Rocket Punch, Magnetic Blast or Explosive Dart. This is actually hard to mess up unless you use Thermal Detonator, Energy Blast, or Death from Above the same GCD that would have proc’d PPA.
  2. Although it’s important to proc PPA on CD, Rail Shot should not always be executed in the next GCD. Thermal Detonator & Rocket Punch should be prioritized, if the PvP situation allows, ahead of Rail Shot. This is because these both have static CD’s, do more damage than MB and they have debuffs attached to them. This is linked to Rule 3 and explained further there.

Note: A proc’d Rail Shot on target with Retractable Blade bleed reduces heat. A proc’d Rail Shot on a target without Retractable Blade bleed has no effect on heat. An unproc’d Rail Shot increases heat. The heat reduction from RB’s bleed effect is very handy; it is not absolutely necessary in reg games, but is vital in group ranked.

Rule 3: Rapid Shots need to be used to keep heat under 40%.

Taking advantage of Prototype Particle Accelerator passive correctly is half the story to managing AP’s resource pool.The other half is using Rapid Shots at the appropriate moment. This is probably the hardest aspect of the AP rotation as the best time to use Rapid Shots to manage heat occurs on an irregular basis; the best time is when both TD and RP are on CD AND your next GCD isn’t one that procs RS. Rapid Shotting when TD and RP are available for use is a DPS loss. As explained under Rule 2, this is because these both have static CD’s, do more damage than MB and they have debuffs attached to them. As such, you can understand that using Rapid Shots at the appropriate moment is not only relevant to managing heat, but also maximising DPS/avoiding DPS losses. Using Rapid Shots at this moment sometimes means that it will occur when you’re nowhere near diminishing returns on heat (> 40%).

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The whole point of this is so that you can delay RSin the scenario that TD and RP are off CD at roughly the same time and so via this conservative heat managing method, you can continue to keep TD and RP CD 100% of the time or as best you can/the situation allows.

Note: You’ll know you’ve entered diminishing returns on heat when you lose one of the 4 small errors on your heat scale. The image below depicts heat balance just prior to entering diminishing returns. I often scan my eyes towards this bar to keep track of my heat visually. Never enter diminishing returns (>40 heat) unless using a high burst rotation with VH available.

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Maximum Surprise Burst Considerations (Explosive Fuel Rotation):

Before outlining burst rotation information, it’s important to be aware of debuffs associated with AP’s DPS abilities.

1. Sundered: 20% armour debuff applied by RP. 45 second duration.

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2. Susceptible: 5% increased tech damage debuff applied by TD. 45 second duration.

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3. Bleeding: 3% increased damage debuff applied from RB. 20 second duration. Refreshed by RS and ED. Either direct or splash damage.

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Preferably, it’s better to apply the three debuffsbefore going into a maximum surprise burst rotation. Sometimes this may not always be possible or appropriate to apply all debuffs however. For example, in team ranked or solo ranked games involving tanks and healers, I know I’ll most likely be alive long enough to apply all debuffs before firing off my EF rotation. In 4v4 DPS situations, depending on whether or not I’ll be targeted first, I may not live long enough apply the debuff from TD and wait for TD to come back up again to use EF. Hence, the use of the EF rotation is entirely situational. The following rotation assumes RB has been applied.

TD>(EF) >RP>EB>SC (x7)>RS>MB>RS> MB.

*Proc’d from x4 stacks of EL and, if available, the auto crit. from the 6-piece Combat Tech set bonus.Note: Using this combination is resource costly, so be prepared to use VH or at least TSO for EB.

With this rotation, TD will explode within the same GCD that EB is unleashed within – potentially hitting for ~35k, if both abilities crit.RS can replace EB when it’s not fully proc’d with x4 EL stacks.

EB is the preferred option however for 3 reasons:

  1. It hits far harder!
  2. Unlike RS, it is a tech attack. As such, it benefits from the Susceptible debuff (in addition to others).
  3. You get an auto crit. every minute via the 6 piece set bonus.

Note that SC does not respect the GCD. This means you can use other abilities as SC is firing off. I’ve arranged my key binds so that I can easily spamSC while simultaneously hittingMB and RS keys. If you’re fast enough, you should be able to get off x2 RS’s and x2 MB’s just as SC finishes unloading. Also note that SC needs to be preloaded. Initial activation grants 4 missiles, with an additional 3 missiles loading gradually over 18 seconds. Preloaded missiles last 5 minutes on your bar.Only when all 7 missiles have been depleted will SC go on CD.

AoE Damage:

You can break from the single target rotation to use AoE abilities in the following situations:

1. Explosive Dart:

Use ED if its explosion will hit at least 3 targets (excluding tanks). It’s a 4 second timed explosion and the radius is ~4 meters, so you have to pre-empt opponents remaining within that radius. For example, if you see melee players focusing one teammate this could be a solid opportunity, as they are likely to remain clumped until it explodes.

2. Death from Above:

Use DfA if you’re able to catch at least 2 targets for its entire 3 second channel. It has 6 ticks, so even catching 2 targets for 2 seconds can deal a significant amount of damage. Heat cost now occurs over gradually over cast duration, so don’t freak out if you’re interrupted/need to cancel out of this ability early.

3. Flamethrower:

DON’T USEUNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE as AP. It does minimal damage, has no slow effect, andi s resource hungry.

4. Flame Sweep:

I’ve seen people playing AP use this in solo ranked and reg arenas in grouped situations. However, I never do this. My view is that AP is foremost a single target DPS burst class and should therefore be played as such. I see this as ‘fluff’ damage because it’s not sustained/significant AoE pressure.

Defensive Considerations

AP is largely a mid-ranged ranged spec and should be played as such! Of AP’s 10 attacks, 8 can be used from 10m range! Good AP PT’s take advantage of this. The closest I’ll get to a target is 4m when applying RB or RP. At all other times, I’llmaintain a 10m range from which all other abilities are executable. This provides space and therefore time between me and sustaining melee attacks in particular. Keeping distance may also make you an undesirable target to swap to. I’ve unbound my back-pedal key, and for good reason! It’s much faster to strafe in, out and around your target, rather than back-pedal away. If you want to maximise damage mitigation, get used to strafing!

Cooldowns:

Good players cycle CDs! This means using defensive abilities conditionally, thus minimising the time you’re left without any mitigation options. Generally, defensives can be prioritised according CD length and duration. But as with anything in PvP, fluctuating game dynamics will ultimately dictate the best method of use.

1. Kiting/Hydraulic Overrides:

This should be your most frequently used CD, and your first priority in most situations. As HO is often up, it can be easy to pop it on CD, especially with the amount of time you may spend rooted/slowed in this game. Try to avoid doing this, as 35-45 seconds (depending on your utility selections) can be a long time to go without a much-needed increase to movement speed in certain situations. HO should therefore only be used when your movement speed becomes so inhibited that your damage potential/mitigation becomes compromised.

2. Sonic Missile:

This doubles as a taunt, but is not generally acknowledged forits personal defensive capability (30% defensive chance for 6 seconds). It’s ‘best’ use is ultimately situational. In group ranked, I try to keep it on CD to mitigate damage to my teammates. Solo ranked and regs are a different story – if I see TD, Ambush or even Cull coming my way, it offers a decent chance to resist considerable damage. Not many people realise this, but it also offers the chance to resist stuns. Note that taunts don’t require a GCD so there is no reason not to use them! To take complete advantage of this fact, consider keybinding your taunts in a physical location on your mouse/keyboard that does not interfere with you missing a GCD in your regular DPS rotation.

3. Energy Shield:

The same applies here as it did in 3.0. With a 180 second cool down and only 15 seconds duration, you’d want to pop it just as you begin to take significant sustained damage.Don’t save it when you’re getting tunneled – pop it! Sustained damage reduces its CD by 3 seconds on 1.5 second a rate limit,so it can be used effectively every 50 seconds in heated games.

4. Electro Dart and Carbonise (stuns):

For new players in particular, try not to use your stuns on CD for the sake of it. Although stuns can obviously be used offensively, keep in mind that AP is a relatively squishy class and therefore do not use your stuns defensively while you have raw mitigation CD’s running. For example, in a 1v1 situation you pop ES or Adrenal and then decide to stun your target! This is an unnecessary overlap of CD’s from a defensive perspective.

5. Kolto Overload:

Sometime before 3.0, KO benefited from 30% increased damage reduction while active. This was almost God mode, I almost never died through Kolto. Now, it’s possible to get taken down from some unlucky crits from two decent opponents. Although I’ve mentioned the importance of cycling DCD’s, I don’t think it’s such a bad idea to stack Adrenal with your KO window under extreme burst situations. I’ve found a single player can almost burn though KO, rendering it almost useless. As such, running Warzone Adrenal with KO isn’t a terrible idea.

Note: KO does not have its cooldown reduced through taking damage for AP.

6. Determination (CC breaker):

Stuns are often used in conjunction with burst to prevent damage mitigation via DCDs/kiting. AP has a nifty 30% damage reduction while stunned, which is greater damage mitigation than Energy Shield! While a good offense is often the best defence, it’s not entirely the case at times for this class.Try not to break hard stuns unless you can mitigate more than 30% damage via other means and/or the burst is too great(i.e. you need to pop medpack/Kolto or you’ll die). Breaking to gain time or space via an AoE stun or HO (but NEVER both at the same time) can be worth it,depending on how much damage you’re taking (i.e. if you would otherwise die without using further defensives). This requires careful attention to the situation. For example, you might take a heavy 14k Raging Burst while stunned from a Fury Marauder. In situations like these, it can be easy to get rattled and instinctively break +medpack. However, it’s unlikely that any follow up attacks from the Fury tree will drop you while stunned. Thus, although it might be scary for a second, riding out the stun and eating 30% mitigated damage may be the better option rather than breaking. Remember that even exceptional players can unlucky in these situations! Accept that you’ll sometimes die when it would have been better to break. But if you follow this logic, you’ll win most, lose some.

User Interface

Having a good UI set-up can assist your performance immensely. Everyone has their own preferences which may work well for them. I’ve listed some changes I’ve made over the seasons which I found help to improve my performance.

swtor-4.0-ap-pt-pvp-guide-71

Target of Target set-up

Enabled via the UI Editor.As the name suggests, enables you to see who your target is targeting. For example, a solo ranked match has just commenced, you’ve left the gates and your opposition is rushing your team. In this situation, quickly tabbing to each of your opponents will reveal you who they have targeted. This can provide you with valuable information to either begin kiting before they come into range or start to set-up peels for another target.

Focus Target

Enabled via the UI editor. You’ll also need to go into Preferences > Controls > and ensure ‘Enable Focus Target’ is checked under the General heading. You’ll also need to setup a Focus Target key-bind. I normally put Healers on Focus Target for solo or team ranked games. Thisallows me to more easily see when an opposition healer is stunned or casting a heal as resolve and cast bars are located at this area. Depending on the situation, I can hold down a Focus Target Modifier key-bind (I use S key) to target the healer and then hit my leap or pull to interrupt at a critical moment (i.e. a target is low/out of DCD’s).

Ability groupings for efficient reference

I’ve grouped frequently used DPS abilities together on my bar. I feel this helps me to spend more time focusing on reading the fight as my eyes only need to quickly can this area of my UI, perceive several CD timers located in close proximity to one another, and then focus back on the engagement. Locating these left of screen means that I only need to use my peripheral vision to do this. I do the same for defensive CD’s, deliberately located just beneath my health bar. I locate all abilities that do not have a CD on bars hidden in the background. I find this removes unnecessary clutter, further assisting me to more quickly perceive CD timers.

Solo ranked considerations

Positioning at the start of a match.

Note: This Solo Ranked Considerations section is unfinished. I’ll continue to update and add further information. Presently, I’ve only covered positioning at the start of solo ranked matches. If you want to see something specific added here, please leave a comment. Also, I’ll add in a team ranked section so make sure you check back soon!

AP PT is one of the squishier Advanced Classes in the game. This is because it lacks a big escape DCD (e.g. combat stealth or port) and does not benefit from any major resit/deflect/dodge DCD’s (e.g. deflection, shroud, saber ward) besides a 30% increase to defence chance from the Sonic Defence passive for SM. Keep in mind that most DPS set-bonuses have an auto-crit on a significant ability which is activated in the regular rotation. Also, remember that relic procs are triggered by DPS/healing abilities and confer significant stat boosts. Because of this, the start of any solo ranked match is the most dangerous/critical.As such, careful consideration must be given to positioning at the start of a match to confer an advantage (or at least not put you at a disadvantage) off the bat! The following sub sections outline recommendations for positioning at the start of DPS, healer and tank games.

4V4 DPS matches

You cannot charge into a 4v4 DPS situation and expect to survive long regardless of skill level. Because AP PT is almost always targeted first, I’ll almost always let my teammates engage ahead of me by a good 30 meters. Target of Target can be useful by providing some indication of who will be targeted first. Keep in mind that teammates in any given game may not always be keen to rush ahead of you and don’t rely on asking anyone to do so, as a general rule. As the opposition begin to close space, I’ll normally hang back a bit and try to stay near a LoS pillar. If you have a strong idea that you’ll be focused first, don’t feel the need to rush in and begin applying pressure immediately. In the scenario that my team engages in combat ahead of me, I’ll monitor health pools to see if any focus is occurring. If not, I know the opposition either haven’t decided on a target or are potentially waiting for me. If there is focus occurring and one teammate is being tunneled, I’ll move immediately from my LoS position and begin doing as much as I can from 30 meters before closing to melee range. This means firing off TD, ED, RS, & DfA prior to moving in. If I can, I’ll normally Grapple someone (preferably the focus target) and apply pressure. In the scenario that you’ve pulled someone and it’s basically a 1v1 away from the main group, be mindful that smart players may try to CC you out once you’ve popped ES and return to the main group, basically rendering your major CD useless. This doesn’t happen too often though. Normally, I’ll use SM as a personal DCD 4v4 DPS matches – because this offers the chance to resist incoming attacks, never overlap with ES.

Healer matches

On Harbinger, tunneling healers in solo ranked matches doesn’t occur to often unless it’s a merc or operative target (by in large, sorc healers are most common). Assuming a healer is decent, the more common and ideal strategy is to CC them out and focus a squishy DPS. This normally means AP! In healer games, it goes without saying that you must be mindful of your healer’s positioning so as to not LoS. As I’ve mentioned previously, the start of any solo ranked match is one of the more dangerous moments in the game due to auto-crits and relic procs. In healer games, it’s also the moment your healer has empty resolve! If I’m almost 100% sure that I’ll be focused first, I’ll typically try to position myself to keep my own healer between myself and the opposition at the start of the match. My aim is to bait the opposition into white barring my healer early before they reach me. This gives me a little more confidence that I can engage without concern over receiving heals. It also means that if my healer is competent, I might be able to hold back on ES until their full resolve ends, prolonging my life.

Tank matches (with and without healers).

Prior to getting into positioning at the start of tank matches, it’s critical to be aware of the Guard mechanic conferred by tanks. Guard is can be placed on ally, enabling 50% all incoming damage to that target to be redirected to tank. The image below depicts the visual animation for guard, a faint blue circle shimmering around Lana Beniko in the first image below.  Guard has a maximum 15 meter range – once you become separated from your tank by more than 15 meters, the guard mechanic will no longer redirect any damage to your tank. You’ll know you’re out of guard range when the debuff shown second image below appears on your bar.

Screenshot_2015-12-24_16_14_51_805309             gaurd

Your positioning at the start of these matches really does rely on how your tank will play the game. In tank games without healers, there are two ways you can position yourself at the start of the game. The first is very similar to that provided under the 4v4 DPS subsection above. A potential pitfall of this strategy in letting your teammates engage ahead of you however, is that if you chose to keep ~30 meter range, you may potentially leave yourself opened to being focused without the guard mechanic from your tank being in range (maximum 15 meters). Your tank may get stunned or mezzed out of moving back to guard/peel for you with this strategy. The second strategy is stay within 15 meters of your tank right from the start of the match. This is usually a safe option if you have guard at the start or are somewhat confident that guard will switch to you fast if required. Deciding on which strategy is a judgement call in the moment as the best strategy is often dependent on where your tank moves and how the opposition engage you.

Using ES & exploiting full resolve.

If you happen to get opened on first by multiple players ahead of your teammates, popping ES straight away to negate auto-crits and relics procs is critical. More often than not, I’ll be stunned early on in any game (4v4 DPS, tanks, or healers involved). If you pop ES prior to getting stunned, you’ll negate 55% damage! Ride this damage out and don’t stun break unless you can mitigate more than 55% damage otherwise (basically never). You can typically count on inexperienced players stunning you and sometimes filling resolve early on. In an ideal scenario, your resolve will be filled while ES is active. Then, after ES ends, popping HO with full resolve is a free license to do anything you want. I normally use this to continue kiting as much damage as I can while using ranged abilities. Try not to overlap HO with ES either.It’s counterintuitive to pop a mitigation CD only to kite away from sustaining damage.

 

About the Author

Some may know me better as Bangers from Seasons 1-3 on Bastion or maybe my Operative Pre’med which I played regularly last season (S6). I moved to Harbinger at the end of S3 and began playing other classes more regularly and renamed all of my characters to some variation beginning with ‘Pre’. I’ve achieved Tier 1 on PT in every season, in addition to T1 playing healing, tanking and other DPS classes across the seasons. My hardest achievement on PT came in placing 6th World playing the unfavorable old school Flamethrower Spec (now acknowledged as Pyro) in an era with a much healthier PvP population than exists presently. I was defiant to make it work in a season dominated by AP PT’s as is the case today.

 

  • Patchy

    Great guide, look forward to gearing my PT and kicking ass in pvp 🙂

    • Its Me You Fool

      And you will but it wont be because you are a AP PT, it will be because republic side is atrocious at pvp. #fact

      • RepublicFTW

        Empire side showing their evilness as always.

  • TheHarbingersKwerty

    Hooray! No more getting hundreds of messages about how2PvP on a PT!

    Oh and great job on the guide. I especially liked how you went in depth on each of the utilities explaining the pros/cons of them and giving a ‘usefullness’ rating. Convinced me at least to stop grabbing Pyro Shield in PvP (when I do sometimes do it) in favour of Prototype Electro Surge

  • Raw ass guide. This is my favorite toon next to my sorc and extra ideas on how to tackle certain situations always helps. Appreciated.

    • Pre

      Thanks. Are you commenting the guide is raw (i.e. lacking) on a certain areas such as tackling certain situations? If so, I can try to address this within potential new sections.

      • No raw as in “excellent”. My slang has taken over for the moment. Really great guide bruh.

        • Pre

          Ah, lol. Thanks for the kind words! 🙂

  • Secrus

    Why is there only 8 enhancements mentioned in gearing section? It should be 10 of those(including ear and 2 implants)

    • Pre

      Hi Secrus. Ear and Implant pieces do not hold Enhancements. There are a total of 7 Enhancement slots (Head, Chest, Hands, Legs, Feet, Off Hand & Main Hand).

      • Secrus

        But they hold stats. If you mention x8 of “z ennhancement 40X” i don’t know how to spend rest 2 slots.
        Head, Chest, Gloves, Legs, Feet, OH, MH, Implant1, Implant2 & Ear. Its 10 stats slots

        • Pre

          I think maybe you’re getting confused with terminology regrading gear piece slots (e.g. Ear Piece slot) & Enhancement slots (that fit within certain gear pieces). I’m sorry, but I’m still not quite sure what you mean. Which ‘two slots’ are you referring to exactly? *There is only room for 7 Enhancement slots so I’m confused with what you’re referring to.

          I provided information about which Ear Piece and Implants are used within the gearing section (Exemplar Adept Ear Piece and Implants).

          • AdjeYo

            You do have 8 enhancements in the high alacrity critical build though 😉

            • Pre

              Adjusted this typo. Thanks.

  • branky

    nice guide Thx!

  • Whalerus

    Very nice guide Pre. I still remember fighting you 1v1 on my PT in some random WZ. You really showed me what you can do with the class, and how much farther I have to go. This guide helps a lot in that respect.

  • Jezz

    Nice indepth, for both inexperienced as well as more seasoned veteran PVP players.

    I can confirm that going crit+alacrity makes around 200 dps more, on average, than high power+crit on TR with the same utility package (both without Reflective Armor utility). The only way i would go power+crit would be the moment when i would know i would face AOE fest (with Reflective Armor).
    The only real difference in burst is with EB (On average it hits for 4k lower), but it’s very much offset by the fact you can reliably fit more of them into your rotation without overheating.

    I think Enhanced Paralytics is way overrated for a coordinated TR gameplay (fine for solo). The significance of going overboard with resolve fill makes it meh at best, and can ruin your life when running triple PT/VG (as it fills resolve on Double carbo, making 3rd hit the fan).

    • John Doe

      This class has only one option in solo ranked if you wanna win High Power build , everything else is a wash. Althought that that shiz u mentioned might be viable in unranked.

      • Pre

        I agree that the alacrity build might be questionable in solo ranked as I outlined in the guide, mainly due to the short length of most matches. However, it has been used to good effect in team ranked, and I certainly advocate for it there if you enjoy the associated faster play style.

        • Jezz

          I surely do, but i found recently that i am often missing 2-3k to finish of the target, which means i need to use another gcd. As much as i like alacrity being fast the ping+cc/stun can make it very much irrevelant, and the fact that you need one more gcd to burst someone fast on a swap, or split made me swap to power+crit again. Yes, the dps is higher, but sometimes you just need that supercrit to finish off the target instead of leaving him on couple of thousands of hp. If they will change the sorc, and we will see more healers going for ranked alacrity+crit will become more relevant, but now you just want to burn through a sorc with as few gcd as possible.

          On a side note: it’s a pity that alacrity doesn’t reduce the quell cooldown…

  • Tykè

    What about armoring in gearing

    • Pre

      Hi Tyke. At the start of the gearing/stats section, I outline that the The Combat Tech set bonus is the only applicable to AP (this set bonus is attached to Armorings). Keep in mind that 6 pieces of Combat Tech armorning are required to ascertain the set bonus for AP.

      • Tykè

        Ok thx!

  • Close Shave

    Will there be a plasmatech PvP guide? I know it’s considered bad, but I really like it…

    • Pre

      Sorry, I only just saw this and am usually pretty good with responses. I’m pretty busy IRL atm, but I might consider it if I can find some time.

      • Close Shave

        I’ll be looking forward to it if you get the chance.

  • wolf 536

    Hi, i have a small problem, i went for the high power build but my stats are different i have:

    mastery:4185
    endurance:5393
    power:3310

    even with stims it’s not high enough.

    • Pre

      Hi wolf 536,
      I just logged and swapped back to the high power build on my PT to double check and the numbers provided in the guide are correct. So I’m assuming then you’ve missed something in trying to meet this build. Double check you have:

      X9 Advanced Lethal Mod 40X
      X7 Advanced Adept Enhancement 40X
      X14 Advanced Overkill Augment 40X

      As stated in the guide, your totals may vary slightly to mine due to ascertained Datacrons. But the numbers you provided suggest you’ve missed something with your gear. If you still can’t see where the mistake has occurred, I’m happy to inspect your gear. Let me know which server you’re on and toon name.

      • wolf 536

        the only thing that is different is that i have advanced overkill augments 40 without the X, dunno if that makes a big difference but i could not find the X version for the life of me.
        Also i’m on tomb of freedon nadd and my name is Bregol. and i would like to point out that i use the guide it for my vanguard, since there is no guide for a tactics vanguard but there is for a AP PT, cus reasons?

        • Pre

          Advanced Overkill Augments should not have an X at the end, apologies. I’ll adjust this typo. Your Power and Endurance values are within 100 points of mine, so this could probably be due to Datacrons – it’s difficult to easily account for which ones you have but do you think this could be a possible reason? One other thing that slipped my mind was the passive stat bonuses associated with maxing companion affection + finishing their story line conversations. See this link for more info: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=447293. I did this prior to 3.0 so I’m not sure if the process has changed to ascertaining these bonuses. However, Power and Mastery are not among these but Endurance is, which may help to explain the difference there too. Your Mastery stat is way off mine (by ~300) – are you sure your using ranked Armorings (item level 208 – Exemplar gear) rather than the regular PvP Armorings (item level 204 – Cynosure)??? Regarding a guide for Tactics Vangaurd: PT and VG are mirror classes across factions. The only thing that would change is terminology. I guess if there is another demand I could go over the guide and simply replace the terminology and post again for Republic players….it’s just time. Let me know if this solves the issue over stat differences….

          • wolf 536

            The datacrons could be a reason and yes i’m fully geard in 208s,
            and when you say max out the companion affection does it mean until you get the 10 Presence from that companion or all the way to level 25?

            • Pre

              Glad we finally worked out the discrepancy in stats!

  • phineas

    Hi Pre.

    Great guide. You said you’d post your preferences as far as combat proficiencies go, but I’m not seeing it anywhere. Also, if it’s a matter of interest, I’d very much like to see a mirror vanguard guide so I’m not stuck referencing the pt equivalents. Thanks for the work.

    • Pre

      Hi phineas, thank you. Apologies, I actually decided to omit my own preferences because I didn’t want the guide to be too prescriptive – I missed changing the wording earlier on this. But given the request, I’m happy to add in a my own team ranked and reg preferences just for insight. I’d still encourage players to read the annotations on each possible utility selection and decide on something that suits your play-style etc. But I also understand some people just want something to get up and go. I’ll try and do this when I get back to my computer in the next couple days. I’ve had a few requests to transcribe the guide for VG’s, I’ll get around to this as soon as I have some spare time on my side!

  • Ijosorio

    Hi pre, one question: what build are you using right now?

    • Ijosorio

      I mean what stats/gear 🙂

  • Tykè

    whats the vanguard version of this?

  • Or’parguur

    Hello, I came here looking for an actual rotation but I didn’t find it. I know you say everything for this spec is based on the situation but that doesn’t really help me. So I’ve came up with a rotation that builds the 4 lodes and keeps heat below 30%. I’m not entirely sure about how much dps it does because I’m stuck at lvl 60 and PvP on Jung Ma is non existent for my lvl. (this has been modified for 4.5) My personal rotation follows Jet Charge>Rail Shot>Thermal Detonator>Explosive Dart>Rail Shot> Shoulder Cannon while spamming Rapid Shots, Rocket Punch>Rail Shot>Retractable Blade>Explosive Dart or Missile Blast, Magnetic Blast, Rail Shot> Energy Burst. After you discharge Energy Burst you’ll see that rail shot is still on cool down. My only suggestion for that is to max out of power and alacrity augments and to use filler. Filler meaning Shoulder cannon (if you didn’t waste all 7 missile) and Rapid Shots. Also Rocket Punch can be replaced if you’re fighting a mob. Flame Sweep Procs Rail shot just like Rocket Punch does and adds slows if you have the Suppressive Tools utility. I do not use Flame Sweep in 1v1 encounters. To me it’s pointless in 1v1 fights mainly because Rocket Punch does more dps. I use this rotation because it keeps my heat below 30% also because it allows the player to load energy lodes quickly. If at any time you mess up in the rotation you will see your heat rise about 30% but that is easily remedied. Just time your proc 6 seconds apart and use rapid shots. Don’t try to spam Flame Sweep hoping it’ll proc faster. Your heat will ramp up so high you’ll be defenseless. I believe heat management and maximizing dps is the hardest thing to master about this spec. At the same time it’s hard to follow the rules. I needed something to show me how to acquire the lodes without using Recharge and Reload. That is not always a reliable way of attaining lodes. I think everyone can agree on that because everyone has been attacked just as they are healing up after a battle. I’m not a pro or a veteran by any means. I don’t have the the best gear in the game nor do I have augments for my gear. This is just what works for me personally in PvE and in duels that I have with my brother. If anyone has any questions or comments please feel free to share. If you want to find me on Jung Ma my AP PT’s name is Or’parguur.

    • Or’parguur

      My new rotation follows Jet Charge> Rocket Punch> Retractable Blade> Rail Shot> Thermal Detonator> Explosive Dart, Rail Shot, (Rapid Shots x2 +Shoulder Cannon)> Rocket Punch> Rail Shot> Retractable Blade> Missile Blast> Magnetic Blast> Rail Shot> Energy Burst. I eliminated the need to wait for Rail Shot to come off cool-down after discharging Energy Burst. This rotation can be used infinitely and its heat only goes up to 34% which is awesome. It can be modified for extra DPS with the help of Explosive Fuel.

    • Pre

      The rotation is given under the heading rotation. It’s the bold font heading with a big red line under it. It says rotation. It’s halfway down the page if you scroll. In case you’re still unsure, I’ve included an image of the rotation heading for your reference.

      “I know you say everything for this spec is based on the situation but that doesn’t really help me” – Fluctuating dynamics is kind of inherent to whole idea of competitive player vs. player combat. I’ve provided rules and information that you need to adapt to dynamic circumstances that cannot be entirely predicted. It sounds like you might be better suited to PvE content.

      Closing distance with jet-charge before using your ranged abilities is putting you in melee range unnecessarily/too early if you’re talking about opening rotation. AP PT is squishy due to a lack of deflection or escape based DCD’s and positioning is key to survival.

      Missile Blast is far too costly on heat to be used in your rotation. The only situation it might be used is to stop multiple players trying to spam a cap if you’re into playing objectively. But should strictly never be used as part if your regular rotation.

      You suggest using Shoulder Cannon as filler. AP PT is foremost a burst class. As such, Shoulder Cannon’s best use comes in combining with a burst window phase of TD/EB/RS as the ability can be used off the GCD. Never use as ‘filler’. This contradicts the whole point of maximizing burst windows for this class.

      The information on rotation I provide in the guide (if you have trouble finding the heading, see above), considers building energy lodes via appropriate management of the Prototype Particle Accelerator proc. Manage it properly = EB as frequently as possible. Manage it incorrectly (by using abilities like Missile Blast) = anyone with half an idea on AP will laugh at you and you won’t be using EB at the proper rate.

      As always, sorry for the undertones of elitist cynicism. In truth, it was really hard to write a response to your post without sounding as such. Oh, well. I think ‘RIP’ is the best expression to use here. Anyway, best of luck in your quest to reach level 65 and/or find the rotation section. I’m not sure which will come first but GL and HF regardless.

      • Voice Of Reason

        Pre you’re an ass. Or’parguur already established their limitations and imperfections but you still insult him/her by saying stuff like “anyone with half an idea on AP will laugh at you” because he/she likes using Missile Blast. Maybe you’re right or maybe you’re wrong. I found Or’parguur’s rotation to be very effective. It flows like water and by the time I use EB my heat is at 24% which eliminates the reliance of Vent Heat. Unlike your rotation starts off which heavy DPS, resource hungry abilities. Most low level or inexperienced players can’t afford to start off with those. Frankly, Pros can’t either. There is nothing worse than being at 100% heat which forces you to only use RPS. If anything Or’parguur’s rotation validates everything you said in this guide. His rotation stacks the debuffs you mention in your rotation section, His rotation loads 3 lodes by the last move in your rotation vs yours that only does 2 (refering to TD>(EF) >RP>EB>SC (x7)>RS>MB>RS> MB.) All of this doesn’t matter the point is he/she found something that works for them personally. You may disagree but that’s no excuse for a lack of manners and common courtesy. Also, I find it childish and counterproductive for you to say “RIP” after you apologized after being a cynical elitist. If you were truly since “RIP” would not have existed in your reply. These guides are meant to help people not insult them. I’ve checked your stats for Ranked season 6 & 7 solo and group matches. You aren’t anything special or impressive. You’re not even in the top 5 or top 500 for that matter. Being Humble goes a long way.

        • Pre

          “anyone with half an idea on AP will laugh at you” because he/she likes using Missile Blast” That’s not an insult, that’s the truth. Sorry if it was worded as such that you were offended. I can only give direction and advice on the realities of class mechanics as they exist, apologies if you’re taking it as insult once again.

          “Unlike your rotation starts off which heavy DPS, resource hungry abilities”
          I never referred to this as a rotation. The heading used was:
          “Prioritize DPS abilities” rather than “DPS rotation” i.e. this is NOT a rotation, it’s a priority order (yes, there is a difference). All three rules that I’ve outlined under the major heading of rotation need to be read and applied together. Each is as important as the other. It sounds like you’ve just scanned over the rotation section rather than grasping each rule in their entirety.

          ” If anything Or’parguur’s rotation validates everything you said in this guide”
          I never once suggested using Shoulder Cannon as filler or using missile blast. For these and other reasons, Or’pargurr’s rotation is completely different that I’ve suggested in my guide.

          “His rotation loads 3 lodes by the last move in your rotation vs yours that only does 2 (referring to TD>(EF) >RP>EB>SC (x7)>RS>MB>RS> MB.)”
          Once again, I never referred to this as a rotation. The heading used was:
          “Prioritize DPS abilities” rather than “DPS rotation” i.e. this is NOT a rotation, it’s a priority order (yes, there is a difference). All three rules that I’ve outlined under the major heading of rotation need to be read and applied together. Each is as important as the other. It sounds like you’ve just scanned over the rotation section rather than grasping each rule in their entirety.

          “All of this doesn’t matter the point is he/she found something that works for them personally”
          Working for them is different to working as intended for the class. I can only comment and what it optimal and I’m sorry if that doesn’t align with what people think is best (using missile blast and shoulder cannon as filler etc.).

          “Also, I find it childish and counterproductive for you to say “RIP” after you apologized after being a cynical elitist. If you were truly since “RIP” would not have existed in your reply”
          Common expression used in many games. Sorry if you were offended on behalf of someone else again. If I wanted to be insincere, I wouldn’t bother replying.

          “These guides are meant to help people not insult them”
          Never insulted anyone. I replied to each of the points raised referring to the class mechanics.

          “I’ve checked your stats for Ranked season 6 & 7 solo and group matches. You aren’t anything special or impressive. You’re not even in the top 5 or top 500 for that matter”
          I was busy getting top 3 on my operative in S6 (I get bored of playing PT constantly). Still managed to reach 1900 rating in S7 on my PT before in addition to T1 across 3 other toons including merc in under 50 games in S7. With that said, I rarely play this game now but was asked by Dulfy and Krea to produce this guide so I obliged.

          Apologies if you were so offended on behalf of someone else once again. Not my intention, but I hope you’ve found this information useful. GL HF.

  • Al’Ori’Ramikade

    Hey Pre, 4 questions. How come you have Energy Burst before Magnetic Blast in the Explosive Fuel Rotation? The Set bonus says “Activating Magnetic Blast will grant you Combat Tech’s Critical Bonus making one of your next Energy Burst Critically hit once every minute.” If I fired EB first I would not get the CTCB. Second Question. Are you aware or 4.5 Powertech change that made Rail Shot and Missile Blast’s range only 10 meters? Additionally are you aware of the changes that were made to Shield Cannon and Suppressive Tools? Suppressive Tools only last 3 seconds instead of 6, and Shoulder Cannon only heals 3% instead of 5%. I’m having trouble keeping my distance and staying alive in 4v4 and 8v8 regs. I have full reg gear w/ implants relics, and earpiece, no augments. My only long range abilities are RPS, TD, Grapple, ED, Neural Dart, and Sonic Missile. What would you suggest I do as far as a rotation that I can do over and over regardless of the situation?

    • Pre

      Hi Al’Ori’Ramikade,

      “How come you have Energy Burst before Magnetic Blast in the Explosive Fuel Rotation? he Set bonus says “Activating Magnetic Blast will grant you Combat Tech’s Critical Bonus making one of your next Energy Burst Critically hit once every minute.”
      Great question! My answer has two parts. The first is from an efficiency perspective (gaining the maximum possible potential benefit from CD’s). The second considers practicality and acknowledges situational PvP dynamics.

      1) Given that Explosive Fuel does not increase Critical Multiplier (only Critical Rating), its inefficient and a DPS loss (all be it, probably minor) to activate the auto-crit in an Explosive Fuel rotation. When you consider that the SBAC occurs every minute, whereas Explosive Fuel is up every 2 minutes, it seems intentional in the AC design that one would cycle the auto-crit with an Explosive Fuel rotation that includes Energy Blast. This approach does require some micro-management in tracking the activation of the SBAC and keeping this outside Explosive Fuel activation. Fluctuating PvP dynamics may ultimately trump this approach and dictate a different use of Explosive Fuel and/or SBAC – this leads onto the second answer

      2) The second part of my response to your question takes is more practically orientated and acknowledges that the best use of Explosive Fuel and the SBAC can be situational. For example, if you find yourself in an opportune moment to hard-swap to a target in ranked gameplay, and both the SBAC and Explosive Fuel are ready for use, you may decide to take advantage of both simultaneously to boost your chances of dropping your target. As explained above, although it may make little sense to pop both of these from an efficiency perspective, you may want to ensure you not only have the SBAC on your side but also have significantly increased chance that other abilities within your burst window rotation critically hit to get the kill. Since health pools were recently increased relative to damage output (Just after 4.0 sometime) 100-0%’s in a 3-4 GCD’s are even more infrequent. As I mention in my guide, you need to adapt to fluctuating circumstances. So in summary, sometimes you might include it, sometimes you might not. My intention is not to be condescending when I say ‘use your brain’ and this information to decide on the best moment.

      If I have the time, I’ll try to summarise this information and add it into the guide because I think you’ve raised a good point worth acknowledging in more detail within it.

      “Are you aware or 4.5 Powertech change that made Rail Shot and Missile Blast’s range only 10 meters? Additionally are you aware of the changes that were made to Shield Cannon and Suppressive Tools? Suppressive Tools only last 3 seconds instead of 6, and Shoulder Cannon only heals 3% instead of 5%”
      Yes, I’m aware. This title of this guide acknowledges that it was written at the time 4.0 dropped, not 4.5. I’ll update the guide if I can find some time.

      “I’m having trouble keeping my distance and staying alive in 4v4 and 8v8 regs” This is probably the most common issue I hear from people learning to play AP. It’s made harder now by the range reduction on RS in 4.5. The issue of survivability is multifaceted. Positioning, target selection, opponent/teammate awareness, and DCD management all play a part here. I do make reference to all of these points in the defensive considerations section of the guide. The largest piece of advice I can provide here is that you make conscious efforts to evaluate mistakes or moments in your survivability that didn’t pan out and why they occurred. Exceptional players are able to recognise these moments and deliberately consider the how and why of what happened. Also recognise that sometimes shit just happens, maybe unlucky crits, maybe you had no other possible options etc. and you accept that will die sometimes. If you play on Harbinger, feel free to add me and we could do a few reg games together and I could probably actually see what you’re doing. I still play every so often.

      “I’m having trouble keeping my distance and staying alive in 4v4 and 8v8 regs. I have full reg gear w/ implants relics, and earpiece, no augments”
      Augments make a huge difference! Try and get a hold of a full set!

      “My only long range abilities are RPS, TD, Grapple, ED, Neural Dart, and Sonic Missile”
      As explained in the guide, you need to move/kite moving to, and away from your target as different abilities become available (e.g. Rocket Punch and Thermal Det). But even if you execute this properly, you might still take huge amounts of damage from ranged classes. Kiting still helps to some degree in negating damage regardless. This takes a lot of practice because you need to be aware of your ability CD’s in addition to your targets position simultaneously. Anything that splits your attention is a challenge.

      What would you suggest I do as far as a rotation that I can do over and over regardless of the situation?
      Honestly, you need to read rules 1-3 under the rotation section and make sure you apply these rules together. Each is as important as the other, they collectively acknowledge the dynamics of PvP engagements, and they collectively mean you’ll be executing the AP rotation as effectively as possible. I’m often asked what I think is a ‘quick and easy’ rotation for AP. My response remains the same: you’re rotation is either optimal or it’s not. There is no ‘quick and easy’ rotation. Follow rules 1-3. This is your rotation.

  • Thyria

    Hey bro ! So what u recommand about your Build? Because i serach the best!

    • Pre

      Hi Thyria,
      Stats or utility build? I’m currently running high crit + alacrity in terms of stat build. I’m currently at work. I’ll post my utility build next time I’m in front of my comp.
      Cheers,
      Pre.

      • Thyria

        Pre Hey!
        Thank you for responding quickly enough, I’d have the best build for the ranked, and the best template ..
        I confess to you that I am French, so I’m sorry in advance for my English, I like to know if you think I played pretty well the specialist?
        I put you a video of my ranked ago few weeks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLAS4clQTFU

        • Pre

          Hi Thyria,
          Utility set-up does depend on the type of team you’re playing in group ranked. The game you linked is what most people would refer to as ‘pressure’ rather than hard-swap for example. For pressure related games, I’d take the utilities in the image I’ve linked. You can see I’ve selected Reflective Armour but in my guide, I state that I don’t really preference it. I’ve changed by tune on this, in AoE games (especially where Sorc is concerned), it can contribute to sustained pressure output decently. I have a similar rationale for Pyro Shield but I admit that it’s personal preference and I can see reasons not to take it.

          In terms of your game, good work on getting the win. Feedback wise I picked up on the following points you could improve on.

          – Don’t pop explosive fuel until you’re at full resolve. At the start of the match, you popped it but got double stunned out from taking advantage of it for ~5 seconds. It only lasts 15 seconds so you really want to pop this uninterrupted.

          – You’re movement/strafing was good. I’m not sure if you’re using a keyboard or some kind of game-pad style peripheral with a joystick. If you’re using a keyboard, unbind your back peddle key. I think I only saw you back peddle very slightly a couple times. Remap your existing back peddle key to something more useful. For me, my back peddle key was S. I remapped to focus target modifier allowing me to taunt, pull, leap to a focus target easily.

          – I notice you had your own healer selected as focus target. Personally, I almost always select an opposing DPS as my focus target so I can taunt them easily with focus target modifier. Your own healer should communicate to your tank if they need assistance.

          – Your rotation seemed solid enough. But at times I felt like you could have reapplied after switching targets a little more frequently.

          – You swapped targets off guard which is good to see. A lot of players don’t do this well. Sometimes you may have spent a little too long tunneling into a guarded target. Provided range isn’t an issue (i.e. the opposition clump together within ~ 15 meters), you can actually swap pretty much as frequently as you please depending on how the opposition tank is swapping guard. This can actually be a decent DPS gain because you’re able to keep Retractable Blade refreshed on two targets via Explosive Dart and Rail Shot. But again, this depends on range and if you miss GCD’s having to move between targets.

          – Your team had double carbonize. Although some consider it dumb and requiring little skill, if you’re going to run double PT you should aim to coordinate your carbonizes (in succession) and use Death from Above in that Carb window. If you’re able to catch all four opposition players, you’ll put the other team under huge pressure.

          – Single target taunt. I’m guilty of this at times, but make sure you use this on CD.

          I hope you find this feedback useful. If you’re having trouble understanding any of it, please feel free to follow up with more questions. What server do you play on?

          I’ve been doing a lot of ‘friendly’ team ranked matches this season between friends. Although your rating can take a hit from being grouped with less experienced players, it can be a good time to practice these things without the pressure of it being highly competitive.

          p.s. Nice music, I’ve added it to my gym playlist 🙂

          • Thyria

            Hey thank’s really for reply !
            Hmmm, i am playing on Mantle of the Force, with now 3 Americans (Best Operative World), and 2 others american, i’m Waïtana (from guild “Final”)
            If u want to play with us, we got 2 teams ranked.
            By the way some reply, i don’t understand.

          • Thyria

            Thank you for this little romance!
            I play on the server Mantle of the Force, I’m Waïtana (guild “Final”).
            You will have just to contact me in-game and TeamSpeak come!
            I did not understand everything, it would not hurt you to come TeamSpeak for once, and then bind the “s”, I did not understand either.

            • Pre

              Hi Thyria,
              You’re welcome 🙂 Send me your Teamspeak details and I’ll try to jump in when I get a spare moment. Hopefully your English is better than my French and I clarify anything you’re unsure about haha. Link your Teamspeak details to my gaming email. prejrpvp@gmail.com
              Cheers.

              • Thyria

                Hey Pre ! Done.

  • Mr. F.

    hi Pre,

    is this info still valid for 4.7? thanks

  • gilberto_dopiento

    Hello Pre, look I’m really confused. You say you have to equip 14 augments total for the power/critical build. Just how? I can only equip 9 augments and my stats are nowhere near those you show. I’m a total noob right now and still don’t understand how things work in this game but I want to get better. Or maybe my English isn’t good enough and I don’t understand what you are saying.

  • Selicitus

    Hi, I’m curious as to why you don’t make any mention as to using Neural Dart. I know AP PTs are a high priority target so often you’ll be the one focused but for the times you are not getting focused it would be a good idea to be using Neural Dart and Sonic Missile to basically give your team a 30% DR for 6 seconds.

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