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#9383404 Apr 15, 2014 at 03:40 AM · Edited 4 years ago
34 Posts
iTech – A Guide to Engineer DPS

Wildstar Version

So you’ve got a fetish knack for gadgets, eh? You’d choose a wrench over a sissy magic wand, and a blaster over an impractical girder sword any day. You find schematics more aesthetically appealing than classical art. You’re just a regular Joe who likes their bots more than their friends, their beer cold, and their laser guns to say “pew”. You’re an Engineer.

Engineers in Wildstar are a ranged class sporting heavy armor and an arsenal full of technology-based weapons. Making use of their armor they can either wade into battle as tank, or sit back and melt faces without a fear for their life. What the Engineer lacks in subtlety or nuance, they make up for in raw fire power and ass-kickin’ attitude. This guide will cover the basics of bots, explosions, lightning guns, bulls-eyeing womprats in your T-16 Exo Suit, and everything else you need to know to play a DPS Engineer.

In PvP, Engineers are resilient damage dealers with fantastic damage output and solid defenses. They excel at fighting in relatively small, open areas, as they lack many of the tools necessary to chase fleeing enemies, disengage when the going gets rough, or kite their more agile opponents. But between their high damage, strong defensive capabilities and sustained damage, they’re a force to be reckoned with in head-on battles.

In PvE, Engineers are much like any other ranged damage class. A bit less mobile than their Esper and Spellslinger counterparts, but more equipped to take down large numbers of enemies. The Engineer’s telegraphs tend to be quite large, allowing you to tag and burn though large packs of enemies simultaneously. Their heavy armor shouldn’t really come into play when fighting enemies at a range, but can be a real boon if your tank loses threat or you take an unexpected hit.

Though Engineers don’t have particularly large bursts of damage, they have a lot of fast-ticking channeled abilities and excellent sustained damage, letting them stay relevant throughout an entire fight. You’ll be something of a shock trooper, able to wade through combat dishing out large amounts of damage while taking a beating, but unable to out-maneuver your opponents. Below we’ll take a look at the core abilities for an offensively-oriented Engineer, as well as some sample builds.

Assault Abilities

Pulse Blast
This ability is the go-to Volatility builder for DPS Engineers, and has a slew of nice features. The skill’s hitbox is comprised of 3 overlapping cone-shaped telegraphs that do decreasing damage as your target moves further away from the center of the cone. It has a great range and amazing angle of impact, and builds Volatility in a hurry so you can afford to use your other abilities.

Tier 4 Bonus: While between 30 and 70 Volatility, generate an additional 5 Volatility.

Tier 8 Bonus: Increases outgoing damage by 9.5% for 6 seconds.

PvP Thoughts: (Tier 0, Tier 8} Pulse Blast will be your primary Volatility builder, and deals reasonable damage for a spammer. Though you will want to primarily be using Volatility spenders to push out as much damage as possible, you’ll need to refill your reserves fairly frequently with this ability. The telegraph is gigantic, so you should have no issues landing it, but should you miss, you still gain the Volatility while in combat so you can pool your resource if your target disengages. Generally, keep it at base tier, but this is a great place to dump extra points, since the tier 4 bonus grants you extra Volatility per use and the tier 8 bonus grants you a very powerful damage buff.

PvE Thoughts: (Tier 8} Again, this ability is your spammer and Volatility generator. The tier 8 bonus provides a massive boost in DPS, and can be maintained 100% of the time, making it an excellent investment. You’ll still want to be using your other abilities more frequently and dumping Volatility, but be sure to use this ability at least once every 6 seconds to keep that buff rolling! Note that some builds maintain their Volatility gain through alternative skills and skip Pulse Blast altogether, so don’t feel like it’s ever mandatory!

The primary Volatility dump for most DPS Engineers, Electrocute is a fast-hitting attack that is great for sustained damage and proccing your on hit or on crit effects. As you tier it up, it greatly increases in efficiency, causing you to pump out much more damage and cause damage ticks even more frequently.

Tier 4 Bonus: Increases your technology damage by 2.5% for several seconds. Stacks 6 times.

Tier 8 Bonus: Foes affected by Blind or Stun receive (10.87% AP) technology damage every 0.25s for 0.5s

PvP Thoughts: (Tier 8} Electrocute scales moderately with Assault Power with each ability tier point, and gives great major tier bonuses. At tier 4 you’ll be able to buff your outgoing technology damage quite substantially without trying, and at tier 8 you gain a strong boost to your damage output on CC’d foes. Since it ticks so frequently, it’s excellent for proccing weapon specials and crits so you can keep hammering away on your Quick Burst. The range is somewhat lacking and the telegraph is a bit small, but this skill is fantastic for burning down both individuals and groups of players.

PvE Thoughts: (Tier 7) The tier 4 bonus is amazing, while the tier 8 bonus is useful in solo or small-group content where you know you’ll be able to inflict blind and stun with some regularity on enemies, but doesn’t offer much in raids and content where your targets have lots of Interrupt Armor. It’s still a great ability, but don’t bother wasting the extra 5 points to cap this ability out. Instead tier this skill up to 7 and use it to blow through enemies with ease.

Quick Burst
The Engineer’s “on crit” ability that you can sneak in between attacks for some extra damage. Quick Burst is off the global cooldown, but still triggers the GCD, so use it wisely (or pop it during another skill, like… Electrocute). It has excellent base damage, but incredibly poor scaling up until tier 8, so tier it up judiciously.

Tier 4 Bonus: Pierces 40% Armor.

Tier 8 Bonus: While above 80 volatile, deal an additional (109.5% AP) technology damage.

PvP Thoughts:(Tier 0) Quick Burst is one of the few ways you can make your damage a bit burstier, to spike someone down more quickly. The armor penetration received at tier 4 provides a small damage boost, while the tier 8 bonus cranks up this ability’s damage substantially when used at high Volatility levels, but neither is really worth the investment. If you have spare points and find yourself capping out on Volatility often, then tiering this ability up can be worthwhile. Otherwise, since so many bonuses rely on keeping your Volatility between 30 and 70, leave it at base tier.

PvE Thoughts: (Tier 0) If you use Quick Burst while channeling or charging another ability, it won’t invoke the global cooldown, so you can sneak it in for free DPS. To this end, you’ll want to pop it after roughly 1 second of Electrocute or Target Acquisition or the like so you aren’t stuck sitting there for a full GCD without doing anything. Again... this ability scales terribly with Assault Power, and the armor penetration is too little of a damage boost to merit the investment, so keep it at base tier.

Artillery Bot
Artillery Bot is the most offense-oriented summon available to the Engineer, and can offer some strong buffs to the Engineer’s DPS while it’s alive. In PvP, the bot suffers from a low health pool and dumb AI, so it typically won’t live long enough to justify a spot on your LAS. In PvE, the bot can be summoned in relatively safe locations to fire away at the enemy offering you “free” extra damage.

Tier 4 Bonus: Increases the critical hit chance of yourself and he Artillery Bot by 6.5% while active.

Tier 8 Bonus: Barrage now applies a snare on hit, reducing move speed by 70% for 1s.

PvP Thoughts: (N/A) While the crit chance is welcome and the active ability Barrage can do some nice damage, the bot is a bit too unreliable, and your LAS slots are too valuable to bring this skill along. Often the bot will get annihilated by stray telegraphs that were aimed at you, and its auto-attack isn’t overly impressive. Skip it.

PvE Thoughts: (Tier 4) If you can keep your bot alive, it will deal excellent damage that requires relatively little micromanagement. On top of that, they boost your critical hit chance by a rather large amount, which will provide a noticeable DPS increase. The bot isn’t smart enough to move out of hostile telegraphs on its own, but most boss encounters have been designed to leave pets unscathed, so you generally don’t need to worry about random telegraphs annihilating it. The tier 8 bonus is worthless in PvE, but the tier 4 is pretty potent, so bring this little guy along, and try to keep him out of harm’s way. This is relatively easy to do by binding the pet movement keys for quick and easy control over your mechanized pal. The ‘Stop’ command will cause your pet to cease their current action, and immediately return to you upon a second press, while the ‘Move’ command will allow you to direct your bot to the location you would like them to stand.

Energy Auger
A relatively slow-casting (and extremely visually obvious) attack that deals strong up-front damage, generates Volatility, and leaves behind a brief field that damages enemies passing through it. Energy Auger gains additional effects as you tier it up and scales quite well, but is somewhat awkward to use given its cooldown.

Tier 4 Bonus: Each time the field ticks it deals (6.7% AP) technology damage to affected foes every 1s for 3s.

Tier 8 Bonus: Field now applies a 35% snare for 3s to affected foes.

PvP Thoughts: (N/A) Given the high amount of movement in PvP, it’s hard to make use of the field generated by Energy Auger. The ability does decent initial damage, but its true strength lies in the lingering field it generates, which will be tough to capitalize on. In large-scale fights you can get multiple ticks out of each field, making it worthwhile, but for smaller engagements, enemies will just run around the field, or pass through it quickly, only taking a tick or two. As such, you’re better off sticking with abilities you can aim for the duration of their effect(s), or skills that deal all of their damage in one go.

PvE Thoughts: (Tier 4) This ability is fantastic for sustained damage, so long as you can keep targets in the persistent field. Most PvE encounters have relatively stationary targets, so you’ll be able to make full use of the residual field generated by this ability for extra damage, but if your target is moving, you’ll face a large loss in DPS. Tiering it up is a wise idea due to its relatively strong scaling with Assault Power (on both the initial hit as well as the field damage), but the tier 8 bonus is wasted in PvE, so save those points for something else.

Bio Shell
A hard-hitting ability with a long windup that applies a tech resistance debuff to any targets hit, amplifying your follow-up attacks for several seconds. Both of these effects improve with tier points, making it scale quite well.

Tier 4 Bonus: Instant cast while between 30 and 70 Volatility.

Tier 8 Bonus: Now reduces Armor instead of Technology Resistance.

PvP Thoughts: (Tier 4, Tier 7) As an instant cast ability, you can pack some serious punch with Bio Shell. Since you’ll want to keep your Volatility between 30 and 70 anyways, the tier 4 bonus should always be active, letting you burst reasonably hard. The tech resistance debuff will make your Electrocute ticks hit a good bit harder, and buff the technology damage of your party members as well! The tier 8 bonus is a small damage boost for your teammates in PvP, but isn’t really worth the investment, so keep the tiering between 4 and 7.

PvE Thoughts: (Tier 4, Tier 7) An instant spike of Volatility with high damage is a welcome addition to any Engineer’s DPS loadout. The Tier 8 bonus reduces the target’s armor by 15%, which is nice damage boost for the party/raid, but may actually be less beneficial than directly decreasing the target’s technology resistance. Resistances are a stat derived primarily from armor, so you’ll potentially do less damage with tier 8’s debuff than tier 7’s, depending on your target and the primary damage sources for the raid. Moreover, most bosses in PvE have both armor and resistance stats, so it’s important to keep a healthy mix of both flavors of debuff for maximum raid DPS. Both are good, but you can probably put the ability tier points required to max this ability out somewhere more beneficial.

Mortar Strike
Mortar Strike is an instant cast, mid-range nuke that bears a large Volatility cost. It launches a projectile that can only detonate on targets that are between 7m and 17m away, so you cannot hit targets that are within melee range. At the point of detonation, there are two circular telegraphs, with large heavy damage being dealt to foes enclosed by the center circle, and moderate damage being dealt to foes enclosed by the larger, surrounding circle.

Tier 4 Bonus: Center damage area increased to 3m.

Tier 8 Bonus: Targets in the center area are pushed back 4m.

PvP Thoughts: (Any) Mortar Strike is a tricky one when it comes to PvP, since its damage is heavily reliant on hitting targets with the small inner telegraph, rather than the larger outer telegraph. With the amount of dodging, ducking, dipping, diving, and dodging present in PvP, using Mortar Strike to its true potential is difficult. If you can overcome these limitations, however, it hits quite hard, and has no cooldown allowing you to dish out the pain as quickly as your Volatility will allow. At tier 4 the aiming becomes a touch easier, and at tier 8 it gets a soft interrupt built-in that doesn’t trigger a diminishing returns timer. If you can swing it, by all means take it. If not, take a more reliable approach to damage dealing.

PvE Thoughts: (Any) Landing the center of the telegraph is a lot easier in PvE, but the ability tier bonuses do very little for this side of the game. In spite of that, this ability scales extremely well with Assault Power, making it a decent place to dump points. You’ll have trouble using this ability frequently due to the high Volatility cost, but every time you land it, a giant number pops up to reassure you of your investment.

Unstable Anomaly
The Engineer’s wound effect applies a strong healing reduction debuff to enemies and has some extra incredible utility built in for PvP. This ability doesn’t have much use in PvE, but is a game-changer against other players.

Tier 4 Bonus: Overloads shields, disabling them for 4.5s.

Tier 8 Bonus: Healing Reduction reduced to 75% on Blinded or Stunned foes.

PvP Thoughts: (Any) Unstable Anomaly is incredible at every tier. At base tier, it applies a 30% healing reduction debuff that can be maintained on 1-4 targets 100% of the time. At tier 4, this ability disables enemy shields, opening them up to a world of pain when a battle first starts or after they’ve disengaged for a while. At tier 8, the healing debuff rises to ludicrous heights on targets who are suffering from the stun or blind CC, effectively negating any incoming heals. Since Electrocute deals significantly more damage on foes suffering from these same CC effects, pairing these two together will seriously compromise the structural integrity of your target’s bones.

PvE Thoughts: (N/A) Healing debuffs and shield overloading have very little place in PvE, so pass on this ability and spend your points elsewhere.

Target Acquisition
The Assault capstone ability is a long channeled ability that applies a stacking debuff to enemies over the course of 3 seconds, dealing damage at the end of the cast based on the number of stacks received. When fully stacked, this ability does ridiculous amounts of damage, but have an extremely thing telegraph so building stacks can be quite the challenge. Target Acquisition generates 36 Volatility over the duration of tis cast.

Tier 4 Bonus: Deal (5% AP) technology damage to marked foes and up to 4 others within 5m of the target per stack.

Tier 8 Bonus: Deal an additional (26.4% AP) technology damage per stack to targets over 50% health.

PvP Thoughts: (N/A or Tier 8} Landing this ability is hard. A 3 second cast is an eternity in PvP, and the telegraph is incredibly narrow, so building up ticks on a moving target is a Herculean feat. If you or your teammate can lock the target(s) down long enough to get the full channel off, however, this ability is going to *hurt*. We’re talking 5 digit numbers non-crit. Despite its fantastic damage potential, though, his ability is tricky to use without as player movement and the slightest amount of server latency will cause you to miss the majority of your stacks during the ability’s initial channel.

PvE Thoughts: (Any) Target Acquisition is an interesting choice in PvE, as it can be used to build Volatility and nuke targets simultaneously. The tier 4 bonus gives this skill slightly more of an AoE feel, to try and offset its ridonkulous telegraph, but isn’t really worth it. The tier 8 bonus, on the other hand, causes this ability to scale with Assault Power like nobody’s business, but only for half of a fight. How high you tier this ability is largely dictated by why you’re bringing it, but it has a lot of potential.

Bolt Caster
Bolt Caster fires five low-damage projectiles at one foe, consuming 25 Volatility each cast. At base tier, Due to the spread of the projectiles and width of the ability’s telegraph, it is inefficient to target smaller foes, as only 3 of the 5 bolts are capable of hitting them. Larger bosses, however, can be reliably hit with all 5 shots, causing this skill to be fantastic for single-target damage.

Tier 4 Bonus: Each shell that hits a foe will reduce Bio Shell’s cooldown by 0.5s.

Tier 8 Bonus: If foes has no shields, deal (27.4% AP) bonus physical damage.

PvP Thoughts: (N/A) Players are too small to land this ability on effectively, so it’s not worth bringing along. Each shell can only strike a single target, and an individual player is only large enough to be struck by 3 shells at a time (regardless of race), so this skill lags far behind your other Volatility dumps in PvP. The tier 4 bonus is nice, but won’t be brought down quickly enough for it to merit a spot on the bar, and the tier 8 bonus is something of a crapshoot in PvP with players constantly emptying and replenishing their shields. Leave this ability to the PvE’ers.

PvE Thoughts: (Any) Bosses tend to be large, meaning you can hit them with all 5 shells, causing significant damage, and reducing Bio Shell’s Cooldown by a fair amount. Most targets don’t have a shield either, so you’ll be able to make use of the extra damage at tier 8. Single target DPS rotations using Bolt Caster will place a heavy emphasis on spamming the ability as much as possible with Bio Shell recovering large chunks of the Volatility spent, so be sure to combo these skills effectively!

Utility Abilities

Zap is your basic CC skill that applies a brief stun from a range of up to 25m. Neither the damage nor the duration scale very well with ability tiers, so it’s generally best brought at base tier for locking down targets, breaking Interrupt Armor, and boosting Electrocute damage.

Tier 4 Bonus: Destroys 2 Interrupt Armor.

Tier 8 Bonus: Reduces enemy deflect critical chance by 37.65%

PvP Thoughts: (Tier 0) Stuns don’t last very long in PvP due to breakout gameplay, but provide a substantial boost to your Electrocute damage and Unstable Anomaly debuff. Tier 4 can be useful against enemy teams or targets that stack Interrupt Armor, or if you’re paired with a Stalker or another class who cannot effectively bypass IA on their own. The tier 8 bonus is too expensive, and is somewhat odd. I am unsure if deflect critical can go negative, effectively increasing your crit chance against a target, but I assume it cannot and most players have a very small deflect crit chance anyways…. Making this tier bonus largely worthless. Tier 0 is worth bringing in general, but can be dropped if you’re struggling to land your CC because of Interrupt Armor.

PvE Thoughts: (Tier 0) As a DPS class, you’ll be responsible for helping lock down mobs in PvE to blow them up, or tear through large stacks of Interrupt Armor on bosses or raid trash. Tier 4 is a bit excessive in most cases, and tier 8 is useless as PvE monsters do not have deflect critical ratings, so keep this skill at its base level.

Urgent Withdrawal
Mobility! Kind of. Urgent Withdrawal provides you a short but powerful snare and a way of disengaging from targets via a short backwards hop. As you tier it up, the snare scales in magnitude and the backwards leap scales in distance, while the major tier bonuses offer additional utility.

Tier 4 Bonus: Remove root and snare effects from yourself.

Tier 8 Bonus: Increases number of charges to 3.

PvP Thoughts: (Any) Urgent Withdrawal is handy at all tiers for opening a little bit of space between you and a target. Tier 4 allows you to get out of most movement impairing debuffs easily, so you can waddle away more easily or trudge after a fleeing opponent unimpeded. Keep in mind that roots have diminishing returns, so if you get hit by a Flash Freeze or Restraint or the like, you can pop Urgent Withdrawal to clear it, and still be immune to roots for several seconds following that. With 3 charges at tier 8, you can remove roots as fast as they can be applied to you, making you essentially immune to them.

PvE Thoughts: (Tier 0) The leap and snare will help you kite enemies without taking damage, as well as provide a little bit of a leap should you get knocked off of an edge or out of range of your target. The major tier bonuses do very little as 2 charges is plenty for PvE, and roots/snares are uncommon and hardly game breaking, and therefore won’t need to be cleansed. This ability is low priority for most PvE builds, but can be useful to keep on your bar. Using it before you hit the ground will negate fall damage as well, so it’s a must have for base jumping.

Recursive Matrix
Applies a buff that reduces the duration of incoming CC and increases deflect chance for you and nearby allies. This is more of a niche ability that has few uses in PvP and PvE, but can be very powerful in those situations.

Tier 4 Bonus: If between 30 and 70 Volatility, grants an (87.5% AP + SP) absorption shield for 10s to yourself and nearby allies.

Tier 8 Bonus: When attacks are deflected, deal (59.5% AP + SP) physical damage to the attacker.

PvP Thoughts: (N/A) The magnitude of the deflect buff is very small, and the CC duration reduction is powerful but probably not worth the LAS slot. Reducing the length of CC on yourself and your teammates is very valuable, but this ability has a poor uptime, and is therefore hard to make good use of. The absorption shield granted at tier 4 is decent, but not gigantic, and not really worth the cost. The tier 8 bonus is very interesting, and has a lot of potential, but requires high deflection chances to be useful. If coupled with Unsteady Miasma, a blind effect, and/or a Stalker’s Amplification Spike, this ability can reflect enormous amounts of damage, especially in larger-scale PvP. This can be hard to set up, so I’d skip it for general use, but it should definitely be considered for tankier group compositions, or grandiose battles.

PvE Thoughts: (N/A) Since CC resilience is the primary function of this ability, it has little use in PvE. The deflect buff is nice, but too small and on too long a cooldown to be worthwhile. The tier 8 damage reflection is nice, but relies on RNG and high deflect chances to be of worth, and is far less valuable than your other abilities at tier 8, so pass this one up.

Shatter Impairment
A low cooldown CC breaker that applies a strong absorption shield to the Engineer for several seconds.

Tier 4 Bonus: Increases critical hit chance by 5% for 10s.

Tier 8 Bonus: Cleanses 2 debuffs.

PvP Thoughts: (Tier 0) This ability will remove any and all CC effects, and has the shortest cooldown in the game for such a skill. With CD reduction AMPs, this ability can be used once every 17 seconds, which is far more frequently than the crowd control ability that was used on you in the first place. The tier 4 and tier 8 bonuses are extra fluff, but not worth the investment, so keep it at base tier and never take it off your bar.

PvE Thoughts: (N/A) Very few fights require a CC breaker in PvE, so this ability typically isn’t worth it. The tier 4 buff can be kept up at a reasonable rate, but is too small for its cost. If you need a CC breaker, bring this skill, otherwise, you can pass it up for something more useful.

Volatile Injection
A hybrid offensive / defensive self-buff that generates 5 Volatility per second and boosts critical hit and deflect critical rates for 10 seconds on a short cooldown.

Tier 4 Bonus: Gain 1 Interrupt Armor for 10s.

Tier 8 Bonus: On Interrupt Armor loss restores (100% AP + SP) shield capacity.

PvP Thoughts: (Tier 4) This ability boosts your damage output and applies an Interrupt Armor whenever you need one for bursting or protecting a cast. The deflect critical buff is nice for shrugging off some damage, but isn’t too flashy and can be considered fluff. The tier 8 bonus restores roughly ¼ of your shield, and should proc regardless of whether an enemy broke your Interrupt Armor or it simply expired, but isn’t worth the cost. Bring it a long for its excellent offensive and defensive capabilities, but don’t sink too many points into it.

PvE Thoughts: (Tier 0) The critical hit buff is a nice bonus, but it only applies to yourself and can only be maintained at roughly 50% uptime. The deflect critical buff is relatively useless in PvE, because you don’t want to be taking hits in the first place, regardless of whether or not they crit. Interrupt Armor is also fairly useless in PvE, so you’re missing out on the vast majority of this ability’s effects making it a relatively poor pickup. Either way, a damage boost is a damage boost, and the Volatility generation is very strong, so this skill definitely deserves a spot on your bar, but doesn’t merit any ability tier points.

Personal Defense Unit
Personal Defense Unit deploys a small buff on the ground that will apply a powerful damage mitigation buff to the first friendly unit that touches it for 5 seconds, followed by a beefy absorption shield. The probe lasts for 30 seconds, so it can be used on a player immediately, or deployed in preparation of an imminent battle. If a player affected by PDU is dealt a fatal blow, the player will not be killed, and the absorption shield will immediately be applied, allowing this ability to save players from death.

Tier 4 Bonus: Personal Defense Unit will now last 60s.

Tier 8 Bonus: Restores (24.4% AP + SP) health every 1s for the duration of the buff.

PvP Thoughts: (Tier 0) This ability is a strong defensive pickup for both yourself and your teammates. Even at base tier, it reduces incoming damage monumentally while still providing a power shield to block incoming damage. The major tier bonuses aren’t too appealing, as you’ll probably be using this ability in combat negating the need for the tier 4 bonus, and won’t gain enough health to justify the cost of the tier 8 bonus. Even so, its ability to prevent a killing blow is incredible, as it allows you to cling to life just long enough for a healer to rescue you, or save a teammate in a similarly dire situation. Whenever you have a free slot in your bar, this is one of the first abilities you should think of bringing.

PvE Thoughts: (N/A) the damage reduction is great, but it only applies to 1 target, and you should have healers any way. If the PDU applied its buff in a small AoE, this would be an incredibly powerful ability that could mitigate large spikes of damage from bosses and trivialize many difficult fight mechanics. As this is not the case, you’ll find that the absorb effect and damage reduction are too small to be of any particular use in PvE, and on too long a cooldown to keep on your bars. There may be a place for it as an “oh crap!” button for hardcore speed runs or gold medal dungeon runs, but you have better things to put on your bar.

Obstruct Vision
A multi-faceted CC ability that causes enemies to miss their attacks and literally hinders other player’s view of the battlefield. Between its strong effects, incredible ability tier scaling, and tier 4 bonus, and synergy with Electrocute and Unstable Anomaly, this ability has something for everyone.

Tier 4 Bonus: Grants 1 Interrupt Armor to yourself and up to 4 allies within 20m for 10s.

Tier 8 Bonus: If the blind goes full duration, the target is hit with an Interrupt.

PvP Thoughts: (Tier 4) Whoever thought using a CC ability should give you an Interrupt Armor was straight up crazy. But that works in your favor. Blind is incredibly powerful in PvP, as it greatly impairs your opponent’s ability to see the battlefield for several seconds, and causes their attacks to be harmlessly deflected if they still manage to land their skills. At tier 4 you grant nearby allies one stack of Interrupt Armor making your onslaught even harder to stop. The blind is 5 seconds long at base tier, and gains 0.25 seconds of duration at every tier, making it a potentially 7 second long CC at max level. During this time your tier 8 Electrocute does a good deal more damage, and targets afflicted with Unstable Anomaly can barely be healed, multiplying the effect of this ability by crazy amounts. The only drawback is that this skill can only be used to hit targets within a 10m radius of you, so you’ll have to be up close and personal with your foes in order to blind them.

PvE Thoughts: (Tier 0) The debuff applied to enemies for the duration of the blind causes them to miss a great deal of their attacks, which can greatly boost the survivability of your party members. Other than that, the visual effect with blind has no effect on NPCs, and the tier bonuses do very little to benefit you in PvE. Bring it along to help your tank out, or to break IA stacks, but don’t expect it to wreak the havoc it would in PvP.

Sample Build – PvP Shock Trooper ( Link )

In PvP, you’ll want to sit at mid-range, laying on the pain from a safe distance but ready to intercept anyone trying to get to your squishier back line. You can take much more of a beating than an Esper or a Spellslinger, but lack their mobility and defensive cooldowns to stay alive if you get focused. Blanket CC players with blind and stun to set them up for massive damage from Electrocute or coordinated burst with the rest of your team. Leave runners to your other teammates as you won’t be able to catch up, and be wary of getting too close to the front lines, as your heavy armor won’t protect you as much as you’d think. In essence, think of yourself as a defensively positioned cannon, blowing holes in the enemy health bars, but just out of reach of their damage.

1. Pulse Blast – Builds Volatility quickly to fuel your Electrocute spamming. Deals poor damage on its own, so just use it for a shot of Volatility between your electrical onslaughts.

2. Electrocute – Your primary Volatility spender that should be constantly used. It deals extra damage to stunned / blinded foes, so capitalize on that whenever possible.

3. Quick Burst – Some extra damage that can be added in on top of Electrocute whenever you crit. If used on its own, If used on its own. Quick Burst will trigger the GCD, but if used during a channel like Electrocute it will fire without affecting the current channel or triggering the GCD.

4. Zap – A stun used for CC’ing enemy targets for bursting. Increases Electrocute’s damage for its duration.

5. Urgent Withdrawal – A snare and gap opener for dealing with melee classes, or just a personal cleanse for dealing with roots and snares.

6. Shatter Impairment – Your CC break and emergency absorption shield if your health is dangerously low.

7. Personal Defense Unit – A defensive cooldown that can be used on yourself or a teammate to help mitigate an incoming damage spike or to save them from dying when extremely low.

8. Obstruct Vision – A long-lasting blind effect useful for getting melee opponents off of you or a teammate, and for amplifying your Electrocute damage. The tier 4 bonus causes it to grant 1 Interrupt Armor to you and nearby teammates, so you can use this skill both offensively and defensively with great results.

The Assault tree is used to maximize your damage output. In the base tier, Assault Power, Crit Chance, and Crit Severity are all maxed out to make sure you hit as hard as possible. In tier 2, Volatility Rising is taken to give you some passive resource generation to fuel your Electrocutes, while Shrapnel Rounds, Harmful Hits, and Explosive Ammo are all taken to boost your damage capabilities. In tier 3, Unstable Volatility is taken to crank out extra damage with the fast ticks from Electrocute.

The Utility tree provides more combat flexibility. Cooldown reduction and CC Resilience are both taken in tier 1 to let you deal with your opponents more handily. IN tier 2, Reckless Dash is taken to increase your resource generation and minimize the need for Pulse Blast, while Keep It Moving is taken to give you incredible resilience to root effects, instantly negating every other attempt to immobilize you.

Sample Build – PvE Single-Target DPS ( Link )

In PvE, you’ll want to sit in the back and focus on maximizing your damage. To that end, you’ll bring along a single Volatility spender, and enough Volatility generation to form a comfortable rotation between building and spending that maximizes the number of times you can use your spender over the course of an encounter. Pulse Blast, Bio Shell, Energy Auger, and Target Acquisition are all Volatility builders, while Electrocute, Mortar Strike, and Bolt Caster are your options for spenders. Which combination you use is up to you, as they each have very different pacing requirements but here is a sample of a single target build that uses Bolt Caster as its primary damage ability, with AMPs, Bio Shell, and Volatile Injection providing your Volatility generation.

1. Quick Burst – Free damage whenever you crit. Use it on cooldown so long as it doesn’t interrupt your rotation.

2. Artillery Bot – A passive increase in crit rate and DPS. Use the Barrage ability on cooldown, and move this guy out of dangerous situations to keep your damage up, but don’t sacrifice your own damage to optimize the bot’s.

3. Bio Shell – An instant-cast Volatility builder that deals fantastic damage and bears an incredibly short cooldown thanks to Bolt Caster. Use this on cooldown while between 30 and 70 Volatility.

4. Bolt Caster – Your main Volatility dump that will deal excellent damage on larger targets and subpar damage against smaller targets or multiple targets since the shells do not pierce the first target they encounter. Replace it with Electrocute for AoE fights, or spam it like crazy in single-target fights.

5. Zap – A simple stun used for CC-locking enemies or breaking IA stacks.

6. Diminisher Bot – Another bot to add some more “free” DPS. Diminisher Bot doesn’t deal great damage and isn’t of much worth utility wise, so just deploy him and let him pew-pew your targets passively. This is the first skill to replace if you need an additional CC or defensive cooldown.

7. Volatile Injection – A 10% crit rate buff that replenishes Volatility on a low cooldown. Pop it regularly to keep spamming Bolt Caster.

8. Personal Defense Unit – A defensive cooldown that can be used to protect yourself or your tank from heavy-hitting attacks. This is a free slot, so carry whatever you like.

The Assault tree grants you passive Volatility generation and boosts your damage significantly. In tier 1, Assault Power, Crit Chance, and Crit Severity are all maximized to boost your DPS. In tier 2, Harmful Hits, Shrapnel Rounds and Explosive Ammo are taken to give you a bit more damage output. Volatility Rising is taken to help you maintain the “sweet spot” of 30-70 Volatility and maximize the amount of Bolt Casters you can fire off. Extra points are dumped on Extra Hurtin’, as it offers very little bonus. In tier 3, Unstable Volatility is taken to improve your overall damage output, stacking quickly due to the multiple shots from Bolt Caster.

The Hybrid A/S tree provides 3% strikethrough chance to help reach the hit cap for end-game dungeons and raiding.

The Utility tree provides cooldown reduction to help tighten up rotations, and a backup source of Volatility through dodge rolling. If you’re unable to attack for a few seconds during an encounter, you can use rolls to build up Volatility on the move, or simply sprinkle them in between attacks if you’re finding yourself Volatility-starved.


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