PDA

View Full Version : Is Expertise *really* better than Critical Strikes?



shaktiboi
07-04-2006, 22:09
I regularly see the statement given as "fact" that Expertise is obviously better than Critical Strikes in terms of energy-efficiency.

Is it?

I don't fully know the answer to this question, but hopefully we can get to a *real* answer by the time this thread peters out.

First, I'll throw out some factual numbers about the overal energy regen of Critical Strikes, Critical Eye (which is a useful CS skill that many Assassin primaries will take), and even Siphon Strength, which looks to be pretty strong based on the FPE stats (recycled every 10 seconds instead of every 30 seconds during FPE).

Assume the optimum Dagger Mastery / Critical Strikes stats, which is 16 DM and 13 CS (much better than 13 DM and 16 CS, see the Dagger FAQ for why this is so). With these base stats of 16 DM and 13 CS:

Your dagger speed is 1.00 seconds per swing
Your crit chance is 34% and you get back 3 energy per crit.
If you stack Critical Eye on top of that, your crit chance goes up to 40% and you get back 4 energy per crit.
If you further stack Siphon Strength on top of that, your crit chance goes up to 73% (4 energy per crit) for every 7 seconds out of 12 if you have the energy to keep spamming Siphon Strength during combat.


So with these numbers, here is your effective energy regen per second (EPS):


34% crit chance: + 1.02 EPS (3.1 pips) (.34 x 3)
40% crit chance: + 1.60 EPS (4.8 pips)( (.40 x 4)
73% crit chance: + 2.37 EPS (7.2 pips) ([[.73 x [7/12]] + [.40 x [5/12]] x 4])


How do regen numbers like these compare to the energy savings of Expertise?

At 12 ranks in Expertise, we have a 48% reduction in energy cost for most of your skill types:


A 5 energy skill costs only 3.4 energy
A 10 energy skill costs only 6.8 energy
A 15 energy skill costs only 10.1 energy



Let's do a few comparisons now:

Repeating Strike is a great skill to start with because it's instant cast and you can keep spamming it until you miss or run out of energy. Let's assume a lucky run with no misses, so we just spam it once per second till the energy's gone:


34% Crit chance: Expertise > Critical Strikes

Expertise : 3.40 energy cost per Repeating Strike
Critical Strikes: 3.98 energy cost per Repeating Strike (5 - 1.02)

40% Crit chance: Expertise = Critical Strikes + Critical Eye

Expertise : 3.40 energy cost per Repeating Strike
Critical Strikes: 3.40 energy cost per Repeating Strike (5 - 1.60)

73% Crit chance: Expertise < Critical Strikes + Critical Eye + Siphon Strength

Expertise : 3.40 energy cost per Repeating Strike
Critical Strikes: 2.63 energy cost per Repeating Strike (5 - 2.37)



Our Repeating Strike example isn't realistic, though, because eventually Repeating Strikes does miss, which brings up the real factor to consider when comparing Expertise to Critical-based regen. Which is...

Dead time between hotkey attacks. Time when you're waiting for skills to recycle. Time when Expertise is doing nothing for you, but critical-based regen is still working for you because you're still making normal attacks once per second and still getting crits.

So let's look at a more reasonable attack chain from a build with three attack skills in it (a nice, fast dagger combo, of course) and some kind of damage mitigation skill thrown in after the combo, because you've got nothing else to do while waiting the the combo to recycle

Mantis Sting > Jungle Strike > Twisting Fangs > Shadow Refuge
5 energy > 5 energy > 10 energy > 5 energy.... Repeat after 12 seconds.

(This is one of the faster repeating dagger combos, btw. Other combos will take longer to recycle, and will actually provide an even better margin over Expertise than what I'm about to demonstrate.)

To compare the efficiency of Expertise versus critical-based regen in examples where you've got down time between hotkey skills, it's useful to add up the total "extra" energy gained over time. In this case, we're looking at 12 seconds.


34% Crit chance: Expertise < Critical Strikes

Expertise : 6.4 "extra" energy during 12 seconds (1.6 energy > 1.6 energy > 3.2 energy > 1.6 energy)
Critical Strikes: 10.2 "extra" energy during 12 seconds (1.02 EPS x 12)

40% Crit chance: Expertise < Critical Strikes + Critical Eye

Expertise : 6.4 "extra" energy during 12 seconds (1.6 energy > 1.6 energy > 3.2 energy > 1.6 energy)
Critical Strikes: 19.2 "extra" energy during 12 seconds (1.60 EPS x 12)

73% Crit chance: Expertise < Critical Strikes + Critical Eye + Siphon Strength

Expertise : 6.4 "extra" energy during 12 seconds (1.6 energy > 1.6 energy > 3.2 energy > 1.6 energy)
Critical Strikes: 28.44 "extra" energy during 12 seconds (2.37 EPS x 12)



Unless I'm totally missing something very important, I think these two examples pretty clearly show that overall, Critical-based regen from the Critical Strikes attribute (and its related skills) is FAR superior to the efficiency gained from Expertise.

I could be missing something, however. If so, please help us all out by explaining where I'm wrong. Whatever the outcome, it will end up in Version 3 of my Dagger FAQ.

Bravo
07-04-2006, 22:13
Energy doesn't go into decimal numbers. See Ranger expertise chart linked to on the left side of the screen at the home page (www.gwonline.net)

It works out that 13 expertise will make a 5 energy skill cost 2 energy etc...

shaktiboi
07-04-2006, 22:21
Energy doesn't go into decimal numbers. See Ranger expertise chart linked to on the left side of the screen at the home page (www.gwonline.net)

It works out that 13 expertise will make a 5 energy skill cost 2 energy etc...


Sorry, I beg to differ here. The energy reductions from Expertise is a floating point number. See the comments thread on that very chart you referenced:

http://www.gwonline.net/contentcomments.php?p=130&pagename=Expertise%20-%20Modified%20Energy%20Costs&id=130

Syes
07-04-2006, 22:28
The advantage of Expertise for an Assassin isn't in overall energy use, but in short term ability to cast more skills for less energy. An Assasin can empty his bar very quickly with just a few of the more expensive skills, and be forced to wait for crit hits to recharge him to finish his opponent. Expertise, however, makes that same set of skills cheaper, and therefore can use more on one load of energy. Particularly in PvP, where the ability to spike quick is vital to getting kills, this is not a point to be over looked.

I should probably point out that I still prefer the A/X and critical strikes, but it does mean that one isn't necessarily always better than the other.

shaktiboi
07-04-2006, 22:36
The advantage of Expertise for an Assassin isn't in overall energy use, but in short term ability to cast more skills for less energy. An Assasin can empty his bar very quickly with just a few of the more expensive skills, and be forced to wait for crit hits to recharge him to finish his opponent. Expertise, however, makes that same set of skills cheaper, and therefore can use more on one load of energy. Particularly in PvP, where the ability to spike quick is vital to getting kills, this is not a point to be over looked.

I should probably point out that I still prefer the A/X and critical strikes, but it does mean that one isn't necessarily always better than the other.


That's an excellent distinction to make.

If I were to boil that down to a comparative statement, would something like this seem correct?

"An Ra/A based on Expertise can pull off longer, more expensive combos before using up your initial energy bar, but an A/x based on Critical Strikes has more available energy over time. The rule of thumb is that if your attack chain is short and cheap, and/or it involves moderate downtime while waiting for skills to recharge, then Critical Strikes is superior to Expertise."

Or perhaps this is better:

"Expertise works in your favor when you have a long, expensive attack chain that tends to run out your energy bar immediately. Critical Strikes works in your favor if your attack chain is short and energy-cheap, or if your attack chain has moderate amounts of downtime where you are waiting for the next hotkey to recharge."

Syes
07-04-2006, 23:04
Well put Shaktiboi. Another factor worth mentioning is that expertise only affects skills. Want to use some of those nasty Deadly Arts hexes ? Then CS is the only way to go.

shaktiboi
07-04-2006, 23:29
BTW it is easy enough to test whether or not Expertise is using a floating point value or the chart's rounded values out if you take a 20 Ranger/Elementalist to the unnamed island.

Give the Ranger exactly 13 ranks in Expertise and 0 ranks in Fire Magic (so you don't do much damage).
Take off all your armor so that you have only 20 energy and 2 pips of regen (.66 energy per second regen)
Find a target dummy and spam Flare at it as fast as Flare recycles until you run out of energy, while counting the total number of Flares you can fire off.


If the Expertise chart is indeed accurate and each Flare costs you only 2 energy, you should be able to fire off 15 Flares before you run out of energy.

Each flare takes 1 second to cast, recycles instantly, and costs 2 energy.
You are gaining .66 energy each second from your normal 2 pips of regen.
Therefore your net energy drain per Flare is - 1.33.
20 energy / 1.33 drain per Flare = 15 Flares before you run out of energy


If the Expertise chart is *wrong* and Expertise indeed is tracked by the game as a floating point number, you should be able to fire off 10 Flares before you run out of energy.

Each flare takes 1 second to cast, recycles instantly, and costs 2.6 energy.
You are gaining .66 energy each second from your normal 2 pips of regen.
Therefore your net energy drain per Flare is - 1.94.
20 energy / 1.94 drain per Flare = 10 Flares before you run out of energy



The difference between *my* expected value of 10 Flares versus the chart's expected value of 15 Flares is large enough that even if you can't spam Flare exactly as fast as the skill recycles, you'll still fall very close to a value of either 10 or 15 Flares before running out of energy.

If anyone wants to try this test and post their results here, that would be great. I don't have an ascended Ranger primary to test this myself.

Bravo
07-04-2006, 23:32
Flare is a spell so isn't even effected by expertise...

The true method of testing is to take a ranger/monk and use up all your pips on maintained enchantments (you only need 1 like mending - you can cast on the friendly dummies).

Then you can test for instance:

2. unguent (5 energy)
3. Power shot (10 energy)
4. Pin down (15 energy)
5. dust trap (25 energy)

arredondo
07-04-2006, 23:33
Good topic for conversation. Heh, I guess the setup for 73% chance of Crits I stumbled onto really shows some significant differences between the two class combos.

However, I have a new wrinkle to throw in that may work its way into the number analysis game.... stay tuned for my next theory build.

shaktiboi
07-04-2006, 23:45
Flare is a spell so isn't even effected by expertise...

The true method of testing is to take a ranger/monk and use up all your pips on maintained enchantments (you only need 1 like mending - you can cast on the friendly dummies).

Then you can test for instance:

2. unguent (5 energy)
3. Power shot (10 energy)
4. Pin down (15 energy)
5. dust trap (25 energy)

Gah! I always forget that part. No worries, forget the mage secondary. Just use Barrage instead of Flares, with a low damage bow and no points in Marksmanship. Should yeild exactly the same results. You'll get either 10 Barrages or 15 Barrages off.

Although you're right, using Mending on two targets is a better way to go. Then you should be able to fire off exactly 10 5-energy skills if the chart's right, or more like 7 5-energy skills if the true numbers are floating points.

Bobross
07-04-2006, 23:49
I absolutely agree. I was going to add something along those lines but you guys beat me to it.

Another point people may argue in the above examples is that some of the critical strikes examples rely on skills to help replenish energy. This is true, however a build based on expertise would still wind up with energy problems after going through a long chain once or twice, and then would have to wait to recharge energy...unless it had some other energy management skill like assassins promise (which may work out well at the end of one of those long spike chains.)

The other thing to mention about critical strikes is that in addition to adding bonus energy, it adds bonus damage. hitting for max damage with 20% armor reduction is significant and ads up to be a lot of damage over time. Look at shakitoboi's dagger faq http://forums.gwonline.net/showthread.php?t=392864 for details on that...not to mention, you're using daggers so as an assassin primary you can get dagger runes, and with high dagger mastery, not only can you do more damage more often with your regular attacks, but those chained dagger attacks will each do more damage as well.

So even if you can spike a bit quicker...the R/A will get worn out much quicker than the A/X and while they may kill one target by being quicker than the healer...afterwards, they may find themselves somewhat hard pressed to stay in the fight. Also by going R/A exclusively to get access to expertise, you are giving up some decent skills in the critical strikes line, which decreases the range with which you can play your assassin(if you get bored of your uber dagger combo, you may even find yourself using a bow before long)..Likewise the spells from deadly arts and shadow arts will be just as expensive with expertise but your energy regen will be lower.

You also lose access to secondary class skills you could have gotten with A/X. I mention this because many of the ranger and assassin skills are somewhat similar, as opposed to say monk or necromancer skills/spells. And neither Ranger nor assassins have very good ways to deal with hexes or conditions, which will likely be the bane of all dagger weilding hybrids...so those aternate classes may be necessary to balance a character out...rather than being a one trick pony.

shaktiboi
08-04-2006, 00:15
Okay, it turns out that the Expertise Chart is CORRECT. The comments about the game using floating point numbers are wrong. That will teach me to believe what I read, instead of testing for myself.

I hadn't rolled up a PvP only char in a while so I didn't realize they started on the Nameless Isle now. When I figured that out, I rolled up a custom Ranger/Monk with a +1 Expertise helm, 12 in Expertise, and zero in all other attributes.

Laid Mending on myself and an NPC. Let my energy regen fully, then took off all armor but my helm. So now I'm at 20 energy, with 13 expertise.

Sure enough, 5-point skills now cost me exactly 2 per use. 10-point skills cost me exactly 5 per use.

Put on leggings to regen my energy to full again, took the leggings off, took the helm off. Now at 12 Expertise. 5-point skills now cost exactly 3 per use, and 10-point skills still cost 5 per use.

The chart is right on, and therefore the numbers in my first comparison are off by quite a bit for expertise. I'll rerun the numbers using the chart values when I next get a chance (could be tomorrow sometime now - Friday night is upon me).

Reikai
08-04-2006, 00:22
yay~ something to end this everlasting arguement! was a good read, hope you guys come up with more!

shaktiboi
08-04-2006, 00:27
Bah! I couldn't wait. I just had to know before dropping this.

Re-crunching the numbers, assuming 13 in Expertise (the sweet spot).

--------------------
Assume the optimum Dagger Mastery / Critical Strikes stats, which is 16 DM and 13 CS (much better than 13 DM and 16 CS, see the Dagger FAQ for why this is so). With these base stats of 16 DM and 13 CS:

Your dagger speed is 1.00 seconds per swing
Your crit chance is 34% and you get back 3 energy per crit.
If you stack Critical Eye on top of that, your crit chance goes up to 40% and you get back 4 energy per crit.
If you further stack Siphon Strength on top of that, your crit chance goes up to 73% (4 energy per crit) for every 7 seconds out of 12 if you have the energy to keep spamming Siphon Strength during combat.


So with these numbers, here is your effective energy regen per second (EPS):

34% crit chance: + 1.02 EPS (3.1 pips) (.34 x 3)
40% crit chance: + 1.60 EPS (4.8 pips)( (.40 x 4)
73% crit chance: + 2.37 EPS (7.2 pips) ([[.73 x [7/12]] + [.40 x [5/12]] x 4])


How do regen numbers like these compare to the energy savings of Expertise?

At 12 ranks in Expertise, we have a 48% reduction in energy cost for most of your skill types:

A 5 energy skill costs only 2 energy
A 10 energy skill costs only 5 energy
A 15 energy skill costs only 7 energy



Let's do a few comparisons now:

Repeating Strike is a great skill to start with because it's instant cast and you can keep spamming it until you miss or run out of energy. Let's assume a lucky run with no misses, so we just spam it once per second till the energy's gone:

34% Crit chance: Expertise > Critical Strikes

Expertise : 2 energy cost per Repeating Strike
Critical Strikes: 3.98 energy cost per Repeating Strike (5 - 1.02)

40% Crit chance: Expertise > Critical Strikes + Critical Eye

Expertise : 2 energy cost per Repeating Strike
Critical Strikes: 3.40 energy cost per Repeating Strike (5 - 1.60)

73% Crit chance: Expertise > Critical Strikes + Critical Eye + Siphon Strength

Expertise : 2 energy cost per Repeating Strike
Critical Strikes: 2.63 energy cost per Repeating Strike (5 - 2.37)



Our Repeating Strike example isn't realistic, though, because eventually Repeating Strikes does miss, which brings up the real factor to consider when comparing Expertise to Critical-based regen. Which is...

Dead time between hotkey attacks. Time when you're waiting for skills to recycle. Time when Expertise is doing nothing for you, but critical-based regen is still working for you because you're still making normal attacks once per second and still getting crits.

So let's look at a more reasonable attack chain from a build with three attack skills in it (a nice, fast dagger combo, of course) and some kind of damage mitigation skill thrown in after the combo, because you've got nothing else to do while waiting the the combo to recycle

Mantis Sting > Jungle Strike > Twisting Fangs > Shadow Refuge
5 energy > 5 energy > 10 energy > 5 energy.... Repeat after 12 seconds.

(This is one of the faster repeating dagger combos, btw. Other combos will take longer to recycle, and will actually provide an even better margin over Expertise than what I'm about to demonstrate.)

To compare the efficiency of Expertise versus critical-based regen in examples where you've got down time between hotkey skills, it's useful to add up the total "extra" energy gained over time. In this case, we're looking at 12 seconds.


34% Crit chance: Expertise > Critical Strikes

Expertise : 14 "extra" energy during 12 seconds (3 energy > 3 energy > 5 energy > 3 energy)
Critical Strikes: 10.2 "extra" energy during 12 seconds (1.02 EPS x 12)

40% Crit chance: Expertise < Critical Strikes + Critical Eye

Expertise : 14 "extra" energy during 12 seconds (3 energy > 3 energy > 5 energy > 3 energy)
Critical Strikes: 19.2 "extra" energy during 12 seconds (1.60 EPS x 12)

73% Crit chance: Expertise < Critical Strikes + Critical Eye + Siphon Strength

Expertise : 14 "extra" energy during 12 seconds (3 energy > 3 energy > 5 energy > 3 energy)
Critical Strikes: 28.44 "extra" energy during 12 seconds (2.37 EPS x 12)



So with the tested, proven values for Expertise, it seems that the summary comparative statements I wrote earlier in this thread are still true. Expertise can indeed be better in the short term if you are a spam-o-matic build. But if your build is more rounded and has downtime between skill use (or if your build relies heavily on spells/hexes and other things not affected by Expertise, then Critical Strikes is clearly better.

ALTHOUGH... I should highlight the fact that you need that extra push from Critical Eye to start seeing a better return on Critical Strikes. If you're running a 16 DM / 13 CS build without Critical Eye, your efficiency isn't far enough ahead of using Expertise instead. The difference with Critical Eye stacked on top is dramatic.

arredondo
08-04-2006, 00:47
Don't forget boys and girls... if your R/A is made up of mostly Assassin skills, you'll likely lose a decent chunk of potential damage and efficiency in your attacks & special abilities by not going A/R instead. L16 in an attribute for an A/R is often a 25% improvement over L12 stats in that same attribute for an R/A. Something to think about.

Viri
08-04-2006, 00:57
You are comparing expertise without skill with critical strikes+skills (which one of them is elite). It's like comparing expertise+marksman wager(or melandus arrow or other energy management skill) and critical strikes alone -_- . Also with increase of expertise more expensive skills are even cheaper. With 14 expertise 10e skill = 4e. How about temple strike for 6e with 15 expertise ? And critical strikes above 13 doesnt give you extra mana (a little increased crit chance only). So Expertise is more effecient with higher lvls.

The Boz
08-04-2006, 02:47
I think CS is actually better at energy management than Expertise. First off, it's beacuse on a ranger with 3 pips of energy regen, once he's done, he needs to wait for some recharge. He doesn't have the passive ability of necros or assassins to regain energy from basically nothing. Once you e-denial an assassin, he latches on to his nearest target, lands a few criticals and he is back in play. Once you e-denial a ranger, he has to wait for his 3 pip regen to get high enough to use his energy management, if present. So basically, I can't imagine a scenario where Expertise is better than Critical Strikes.

Scutilla
08-04-2006, 03:01
I'll rerun the numbers using the chart values when I next get a chance (could be tomorrow sometime now - Friday night is upon me).


Bah! I couldn't wait. I just had to know before dropping this.

So that's what you do with your Friday nights... :wink: (Says the guy who's spending his forum-browsing while waiting for America to get Favor...)

Very interesting stuff, though I think I'll base my class choices off of other things and have faith that ANet has them balanced well. I think of it as like Energy Storage versus Soul Reaping- both have their situations where one is better (Soul Reaping is better in extended battles for example), but neither is innately superior.

jamesmackswell
08-04-2006, 05:18
Trying to figure out whether or not expertise is better at saving energy than critical strikes seems very pointless to me. Make an effective build, and experiment to find the best way to manage your energy. Simple.

shaktiboi
08-04-2006, 06:03
Trying to figure out whether or not expertise is better at saving energy than critical strikes seems very pointless to me. Make an effective build, and experiment to find the best way to manage your energy. Simple.

Some people play the PvE game. Kinda rough to play a PvE Ra/A all the way to 20, just to find that Expertise isn't giving you the desired effect. Or vice-versa playing an A/Ra to 20, only to find that Critical Strikes isn't to your liking.

Reikai
08-04-2006, 06:05
makea PvP char first :D

BLAHHH
08-04-2006, 06:26
I spent pretty much the entirity of both preview events just trying to work out what was most effective out of R/A (E) or A/R (CS), plus have been spending a lot of time trying to work it out on paper since the details of the Assassin were revealed, and I've found that both on paper and in the reality of the game Expertise works out better than Critical Strikes, and in fact in terms of the actual game itself Expertise tends to have quite a huge lead on CS.

On paper it does indeed seem very close between the two, Expertise seems superior at first but add in a couple of skills and CS wins. However there are a few things you have to take into account when working out which is better:
- for CS to be better you have to dedicate a skill slot or two for it; you don't have to do this with Expertise. Obviously this is a disadvantage to CS.
- Expertise is always in effect. CS is not; you have to be attacking in some capacity, and you have to actually hit that critical strike (and face it even with a 99% chance to get it, there is still a chance you just hit normal strikes all the time) to get the benefit.

In in-game practise with both - sharing first a mostly A build, then a mostly R build, then an even mixed build, across both R/A and A/R - I found energy problems came up a lot more often with A/R than with R/A, simply because no matter how high your CS stat is the game always seems to decide to be mean and not let you land any, and the sheer nature of how they work (Expertise always being on, CS only being effective under stricter conditions) meant there were often times when I found myself having to wait for regen or dearly hoping for a luck critical strike, which overall meant many disjointed attack strings, and a general unfortunate inconsistantcy with performance. On the other hand with R/A (Expertise), whilest I did eventually run into energy problems in most fights, unlike the A/R I was usually able to get a very respectable 5 attack skill chain off without waiting for anything, then still have energy left over for utility skills (self-heals, shadow stepping, hexing, etc etc).

The only exception with this came when I tried a zealous dagger, which I found meant neither ever had any energy problems at all.

Overall it seems to me that Critical Strikes can be superior to Expertise, but you have to be willing to take large risks and possibly reduce your all-round effectiveness (needing to dedicate at least one skill slot) for it to really pay off. On the other hand Expertise is the safer, all-round more effective attribute which lends itself to more varied builds and tactics, and is what I would choose to go with when picking a long-term PvE character.

I am sure there are going to be some specific builds where CS turns out to be more effective, and obviously going R/A over A/R isn't without it's own downfalls. However it seems overall in terms of actual in-game effectiveness, Expertise does indeed turn out superior in the majority of situations.

Zaxares
08-04-2006, 10:53
Nice research! /applaud :smiley:

I tend to aim for more balanced builds that are capable of damage and self-sufficiency, so it sounds like I'm going to stick with assassin as my primary profession. I can always roll up a R/A in PvP to see how they function too.

Xunlai Agent
08-04-2006, 12:33
Can I make a touch Ranger with Critical Strikes?

No, I know you posted this with the Ranger/Assassin vs Assassin/X in mind and for that Critical Strikes wins every time in my opinion. But Expertise affects Weapon Spells, Touch Spells, Binding Rituals etc. which allows for interesting multiclassing, that Critical Strikes cannot offer. So Expertise solely for an Assassin is a no-go for me but Expertise is not inferior to Critical Strikes overall!

Nanashi
08-04-2006, 12:45
Ehhh, I would just get a pair of daggers with zealous mod. As stated, there were little to no problems and I used these quite a bit during the pvp weekend. With a zealous mod + ammount of hits per round + CS = quite a bit of energy regen. Technicly if you were to have a four skills that cost 5 energy and have a pair of daggers with zealous mod, you're only wasteing 2 energy per skill since each hit would give you back 3. The total would come up to 8 energy per round of skills, which is less and more preferable than some skills that cost 10 energy. Add a high CS to the point where you gain 2 energy per critical hit, well one skill is bound to cost nothing.

shaktiboi
08-04-2006, 22:07
Ehhh, I would just get a pair of daggers with zealous mod. As stated, there were little to no problems and I used these quite a bit during the pvp weekend. With a zealous mod + ammount of hits per round + CS = quite a bit of energy regen. Technicly if you were to have a four skills that cost 5 energy and have a pair of daggers with zealous mod, you're only wasteing 2 energy per skill since each hit would give you back 3. The total would come up to 8 energy per round of skills, which is less and more preferable than some skills that cost 10 energy. Add a high CS to the point where you gain 2 energy per critical hit, well one skill is bound to cost nothing.

Does Zealous give you back 3 per hit or just 1 per hit? I know Vampiric is 3 health per hit, at the cost of 1 tick of health degen (net gain 1 health per second at a weapon speed of 1.00).

But I thought Zealous was 1 energy per hit at a cost of 1 tick of energy degen, which is a net gain of 0.66 energy per second at a weapon speed of 1.00)

arredondo
08-04-2006, 23:53
Zealous is +1E unit per hit (+3 pips at 1 hit per second) with a -1 pip penalty.

Nanashi
09-04-2006, 02:58
Unless if they changed it since the PVP weekend it's 3E gained versus 1P loss. To rival that of the vampiric mod which is the same only with health. Atleast that's what I thought. It's the same as weilding the axe as well no? Since it has the 3v1.

I could of sworn those Sais said -3 vs. 1

Erasculio
09-04-2006, 03:36
Between Runes to increase Critical Strikes and Dagger Mastery to more than 12, and the ability to have one more pip of energy regeneration (the 4 the Assassin has versus the 3 the Ranger has), and the flexibility of having an Assassin/X instead of a Ranger/Assassin (both classes are too similar - try playing a Ranger/Warrior to see what I mean), I would rather have an Assassin/X, even if it means losing one or two points of energy.

Erasculio

Mraezk
09-04-2006, 03:49
I PvP'd both a R/A and an A/R in 4vs4 during the BWEs. The A/R with Zealous Sai's never really came close to matching the dmg/spammage of the R/A with vampirics. Expertise really is one of the (if not the best) primary attributes in the game. Not to mention it has some pretty nifty skills on its own. If most Warrior skills worked off energy rather then adren, it would more or less be the same for them as well. I was really hoping for CS to be changed to lessen the gap somewhat, but it appears it won't be.

Although its not related specifically, an R/A also tends to give you a lot more variety in builds.

Nanashi
09-04-2006, 05:51
But you're compareing an energy gainer with a life gainer. Not to mention the update to vampiric which causes weapons to now steal health rather than just boost your own. On a bow, aside the normal bow shots you make, add 5 extra damage to that. It's not much but then use something like kindle/Winnow/FW and you're going to own anybody with any sort of zealous weapons.

If you are talking about a Ranger/Assassin useing daggers, the answer is still the same. You're compareing a health beneficial mod with an energy beneficial mod so in terms of staying alive longer you're always going to have the upper hand against some one trying to save energy.

But yes, I agree with the R/A haveing more builds. That's because Rangers have more than one purpose. Assassins are strickly damage so the only thing you can get out of them are different forms of damage builds.

ShadowKntSDS
10-04-2006, 19:48
Unless if they changed it since the PVP weekend it's 3E gained versus 1P loss. To rival that of the vampiric mod which is the same only with health. Atleast that's what I thought. It's the same as weilding the axe as well no? Since it has the 3v1.

I could of sworn those Sais said -3 vs. 1
The difference is that a health PIP is 2hp/sec and an energy PIP is 1/3sec.

A zealous mod on a sword is +1 energy per hit, -1 energy regen. you hit 3 times in 4 seconds, giving 3 energy, but you only lose 1/3s*4s = 1.33 energy due to the degen.

ShadowKntSDS
10-04-2006, 20:15
You guys are forgetting half of the benefit of Expertise: Expertise makes energy worth more. A Ra/A can do twice as much with 10 energy than a A/Ra can because the Ranger primary's skills cost 1/2 as much. Whats more, is that the 3 regen provided by ranger armor effectively turns into 6 because the skills that it fuels cost 1/2 as much as they used to. This is why As's NEED 4 pip of energy regen.

Comparing 20 extra energy from CS vs 15 extra energy from Expertise is not valid when you can launch 3x 10e skills with 15 energy with Expertise, and only 2x from CS. Sure you can claim that CS will recoup so of the 20 energy, but that relies on critting.

Also, last time I checked, weapon attribute only adds to the crit% of attack skills, not autoattack (read a recent post in the warrior forums). You will still get the benefit of CS on normal attacks, but not the added crit from dagger skill. Looking at it that way, if you view CS as merely a reduction in the average cost of attack skills, then you may see good returns on 5e skills, but you will never come close to Expertise on 10e skills.


I'm not saying that R/A is better or worse than R/A, but you seriously underestimate Expertise in terms of energy managment.

arredondo
10-04-2006, 20:36
Heh, you may underestimate Critical Strikes... it provides up to +3E for every Crit hit, and Critical Eye adds another +1E. In my Ultimate Critical Assassin build, I get about a 70% chance at achieving a critical, which fuels my skills to the tune of almost +13E pips, which completely overshadows the +6E pips (relatively speaking) of an R/A.

ShadowKntSDS
10-04-2006, 22:04
I'm not saying CS is garbage, just that people in this thread missed half of the point of Expertise.

I beleive that Anet was probably smart enough to balance the two, and make both viable.

* +13E pips while attacking (w/ CritEye and Syphon Str which is elite)
vs.
* effectively 2x energy pool and +6E pips all the time

is choice individuals will have to make. Anything conditional is bound to be stronger if its specfic conditions are met.


Me personally, I lean towards expertise. Heaven forbid someone uses hex removal. Not to mention that no one bothers to take into account that spamming Siphon Strength is effectively -3.75E pips.


Edit: I think it goofy to begin with to compare Expertise vs CS when you give CS two energy managment skills, one of which is elite.

ShadowKntSDS
11-04-2006, 03:14
In my Ultimate Critical Assassin build, I get about a 70% chance at achieving a critical, which fuels my skills to the tune of almost +13E pips, which completely overshadows the +6E pips (relatively speaking) of an R/A.


While I like your build (and it has great potential) , saying you have +13E pips is misleading when you need to arcane echo an elite, and spend 15e every 7 seconds to maintain it. Just spending the energy for that gives you -6.4E pips, nevermind that added need to use arcane echo. And then you have 30s w/o the full effect. If you want to compare burst strings, then Expertise effectively doubles your energy pool.

Let try to keep it to expertise vs. CS, not expertise vs CS+specific secondary+4 skills.



I still think that both skills are balanced, but have there pluses and minuses.

Reikai
11-04-2006, 04:29
Expertise + Archer's Signet = ZOMG 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 pips of energy kuz everyshin is phree!

Sarision
11-04-2006, 04:43
Expertise + Archer's Signet = ZOMG 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 pips of energy kuz everyshin is phree!

For bow attacks, yes. Everything else = phail.

arredondo
11-04-2006, 06:43
While I like your build (and it has great potential) , saying you have +13E pips is misleading when you need to arcane echo an elite, and spend 15e every 7 seconds to maintain it. Just spending the energy for that gives you -6.4E pips, nevermind that added need to use arcane echo. And then you have 30s w/o the full effect. If you want to compare burst strings, then Expertise effectively doubles your energy pool.

Let try to keep it to expertise vs. CS, not expertise vs CS+specific secondary+4 skills.



I still think that both skills are balanced, but have there pluses and minuses.

I would concede your point except that the build has evolved a bit since then. I no longer need Archane Echo to get that amount of energy (check the last few pages). Still, for the Ranger it is constant while mine admittedly spikes up and down depending on the battle situation. Still, the more I fight, the more energy I generaate, and the energy I get can be used for skills, spells, etc. while R/A energy is best spent on skills or you are back to using normal energy (with 1 less pip).

It depends on the needs of the build to determine what is best. I like the A/R for builds that use more than skills to succeed, but strict use of spells MAY be better with R/A, unless I can work in my the SS elite as the base for generating energy like I do in my build.

Nanashi
11-04-2006, 09:15
The difference is that a health PIP is 2hp/sec and an energy PIP is 1/3sec.

A zealous mod on a sword is +1 energy per hit, -1 energy regen. you hit 3 times in 4 seconds, giving 3 energy, but you only lose 1/3s*4s = 1.33 energy due to the degen.

Zealous on the daggers is 3 energy gain per hit not 1 though. You lose 1 pip of energy but unlike the vampiric mod you're not loseing it at a constant rate. All a Zealous mod does is decrease the ammount of time it takes to reach full energy again.

I can see why vampiric would be dangerous because it's stealing one point of health per second so if you're not in combat then you're still at some sort of battle with it. Of corse with assassin's dps rate, they could easily regen health lost in mere seconds because of how many times they strike per round.


I play a ranger so I don't underestimate Expertise. I know the beauties of this attribute since I go around with nothing lower than 10 in most group/solo builds. All my skills are basicly decreased by one half at this point (not really but it's close) But after playing the assassin in the PVP weekend I had come to relise that energy gain wasn't to bad.

Reikai
11-04-2006, 09:44
whoa whoa whoa. wait.

3 energy gain per hit?!?!

i scream IMBA!

if anything should be 3 energy regen per hit, its bows. wtf.

shaktiboi
11-04-2006, 16:16
whoa whoa whoa. wait.

3 energy gain per hit?!?!

i scream IMBA!

if anything should be 3 energy regen per hit, its bows. wtf.

We have conflicting reports on the stats for Zealous. Some people say it's 1 energy gained per hit. Others say it's 3 energy gained per hit. Everyone agrees that the penalty is -1 pips, which equates to -0.33 energy.

My *guess*, until I can verify the facts for myself, is that 1 energy gained per hit is more likely the true case. This is the more logical value of the two, because that's a ratio of 3:1 gain:loss, which is more equivalent to how Vampiric worked before the more recent update (3 health gained per -1 pip, which was also a 3:1 gain:loss ratio).

Slepivis
11-04-2006, 17:51
the Zealous mods for every weapon type are 1:1 (unless its changed at release)

Bickety Bam
11-04-2006, 19:33
Also worth throwing into this pot is the fact that Rangers have superior armour and better evasion, especially with a high expertise.

My experience with A/X and R/A was that I could continuosly attack with an R/A whereas spike and run was the best tactic with the A/X unless I wanted to be squished.

That's not to say one tactic is > than the other. Whatever else happens with 'sin it is a welcome additional melee class that adds some interesting angles.

Anyone come up with a critical hit axe mastery build yet?

Raven Flameheart
11-04-2006, 20:19
To anyone talking about all the nifty CA line skills : Remember that Expertise does have a number of useful skills too. LIghtning Reflexes would be the greatest one - the A line lacks any "you attack +33% faster" skills, and whilst LR doesn't last long, it gives you that AND some solid melee/projectile defence. Add onto that other skills like Throw Dirt (whilst A skills can blind, this one has an area effect, useful in PvE), and the new (Elite) Archer's Signet which, unless the description I'm reading is wrong) applies to all attacks, not just bow attacks. At 12 expertise, this gives 6 free attacks, enough for a pretty tasty combo.

ShadowKntSDS
11-04-2006, 22:08
Both R/A and A/R will be very viable. Anet seems to be determined to never make one combo always better than another in all cases.

arredondo
11-04-2006, 23:38
I'll make it clear because I used it in BWE:

Attacks with a Zealous mod on your Daggers gives you +1 unit of energy with every hit (look for the purple +1E every attack), but you lose one pip of energy regen while you hold them. This takes you from regening 4 pips of mana, or +1.3E a second, down to 3 pips of mana, or +1E a second).

1 pip = +0.33E a second regen
Zealous mod = +1.00E every hit

If you can continuously hit an enemy once per second with Zealous mods on, you earn 3 pips from normal regen AND +1E from every hit. Since 1E = 3 pips, hitting him every second gives you a net earning of 6 pips a second or +2E a second (it's the same thing).

Sarision
12-04-2006, 00:57
To anyone talking about all the nifty CA line skills : Remember that Expertise does have a number of useful skills too. LIghtning Reflexes would be the greatest one - the A line lacks any "you attack +33% faster" skills, and whilst LR doesn't last long, it gives you that AND some solid melee/projectile defence. Add onto that other skills like Throw Dirt (whilst A skills can blind, this one has an area effect, useful in PvE), and the new (Elite) Archer's Signet which, unless the description I'm reading is wrong) applies to all attacks, not just bow attacks. At 12 expertise, this gives 6 free attacks, enough for a pretty tasty combo.

I went to GuildWiki to check out the description of Archer's Signet, and you're right, it does affect all kinds of attack skills, not just bow attacks. However, it also disables your non-attack skills. That's really makes me want to throw up, but I guess to the majority of people, you just have to know when to use it. :/

ShadowKntSDS
12-04-2006, 20:04
But gwonline.net has it listed as bow attacks only. We'll have to wait an see.

Xunlai Agent
25-04-2006, 19:37
It should and hopefully will be bow skills or I'm making a new warrior Build...