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Friday, March 09, 2012

Smuggler Gunslinger PvE Rotations

2 comments
Now that I have reached level 40 with Merec and have acquired the vast majority of major gunslinger abilities I thought it would be good to share my hotbar setups and rotations. These are by no means perfect or meant as my recommendations to anyone else, but they serve me very well in game, allowing me to maximise dps and respond to any unusual circumstances quickly.

I'll continue to tweak them as I find more efficient ways of playing. Hopefully they may be of use to someone, and if anyone has any advice on how I can improve things please let me know!

Hotbar Setup  ::  Rotations

Note: hovering over bright blue links will open a tooltip with a summary of the ability.

Let's start by looking at how my hotbars are set up. I have tried to set them up so that my rotations flow across the bars in order to make things a little easier to follow in the heat of combat.

Hotbar 1 - Primary Abilities
My primary non-cover combat abilities. Bound to the number row keys ("1" to "="). These are activated using the buttons on the side of my Naga mouse.
Click to enlarge

Cover Bar - Main DPS Abilities
This is the unique hotbar that pops up when my smuggler enters cover. The keys are bounds to the number row keys ("1" to "=") again, as it replaces Hotbar 1 when cover is entered. They are activated using the buttons on the side of my Naga mouse.
Click to enlarge

Hotbar 2 - Secondary Abilities
Bound to ALT modified number row keys ("ALT-1" to "ALT-="). These are activated using the buttons on the side my Naga mouse in conjunction with the ALT modifier key, or by pressing the ALT bound keys on my keyboard (as seen here).
Click to enlarge

Hotbar 3 -  Miscellaneous Combat Skills
These are items and skills that I may use occasionally in combat (grenades, med packs, relics, etc). They are bound to SHIFT modified number row keys ("SHIFT-1" to "SHIFT-=") and activated using the buttons on the side of my Naga mouse in conjunction with the SHIFT modifier key. The grenades are here so that I still have access to them on a hotkey ("SHIFT-7" and "SHIFT-8") whilst in cover.
Click to enlarge
Hotbar 4 - Miscellaneous Abilities
These are items and skills that have very long cool downs (long-term buffs) or are related to travel (fleet pass, speeder bike, etc). They are not hotkeyed as I don't need to use them in combat.
Click to enlarge

These are the rotations I commonly use in combat. I do not stick to them rigidly, but try to adapt to how the encounter is proceeding, using interrupts for example where required.

Rotation 1 - Start of combat
I try and attack mobs so that there is some natural cover to roll in to if possible. I will Take Cover (using a hotkey) at any point before I reach stage 4 of this rotation. Note that your companion will not start attacking until you reach stage 4 unless you manually instruct them to.
  1. Flourish Shot - for armour reduction
  2. Vital Shot - 15 second duration dot (damage-over-time)
  3. Smuggler's Luck - ensures Charged Burst will critical
  4. Charged Burst - dps ability, will fire instantly if two points in Snap Shot on Sharpshooter tree
  5. Trickshot - dps ability
  6. Aimed Shot - should have reduced activation time if two points in Quick Aim on Sharpshooter tree due to critical Charged Burst
  7. Trickshot - if off cooldown; dps ability
  8. Speed Shot - dps abilty
  9. Quickdraw - if mob is below 30% health, otherwise Flurry of Bolts if energy is below 60%, otherwise Sabotage Charge if other abilities on cooldown, otherwise begin standard dps rotation (see below)
Rotation 2 - Standard dps (assuming already in cover)
Fill in with Flurry of Bolts if energy falls below 60%
  1. Flourish Shot - if off cooldown, for armour reduction
  2. Vital Shot - if the dot is no longer active on the enemy mob
  3. Smuggler's Luck - if off cooldown to ensure Charged Burst will critical
  4. Charged Burst - dps ability, will fire instantly if two points in Snap Shot on Sharpshooter tree
  5. Trickshot - dps ability
  6. Aimed Shot - if Quick Aim is up, i.e. if Charged Burst criticals
  7. Trickshot - if off cooldown
  8. Speed Shot - dps ability
  9. Sabotage Charge- dps ability with stun and dot for normal targets
  10. Quickdraw - if mob is below 30% health
  11. Begin rotation again
Rotation 3 - Melee defence
When going up against a group of melee combatants a smuggler can get overwhelmed and it is difficult to keep them all at range. Here is a rotation I use when I'm forced into close-range combat.
If I am in melee combat with only a single mob:
  1. Dirty Kick - because it stuns the mob and it still makes me grin
  2. Cheap Shot - instant high dps ability with no energy cost, can be used when enemy is stunned from Dirty Kick
  3. Blaster Whip - dps ability
  4. then move on to group melee opponents rotation below
For group opponents:
  1. Take Cover - if not already in cover
  2. Pulse Detonator - blasts mobs back by several metres and stuns them
  3. Throw Cybertech grenades (Pyro/Firestorm grenades are the best AoE ones)
  4. Thermal Grenade
  5. Leg Shot - by this time the stun from Pulse Detonator will have ended, Leg Shot will immobilise target for a further 5 seconds
  6. Defense Screen - damage absorb
  7. Switch target to a different mob in the group
  8. Continue with normal dps rotation
Other Abilities
There are a couple of other small rotations I tend to use as the situation dictates.

For moments of panic when I'm up against a tough opponent and can't get any healing Dodge > dps ability > Defense Screen > Cool Head > All In gets used.

Of course I use my medpacks, relics and interrupts as required (interrupts and relics tend to get used a lot on boss mobs).

Anyway, those are the rotations that work for me and I can put out a good load of damage. I tend to spend most of my time playing in small groups with my wife or guild members, but these rotations seem to work pretty well for soloing too.

2 comments:

  1. You are missing Airstrike in your rotations which is our best Energy to Damage Ability... you really should check out the Gunslinger posts on sithwarrior.com... they have already crunched the math for Gunslingers and Gunslinger/Saboteur hybrdids... their two specs and rotations are spot on and keep me both energy efficient and VERY high on the DPS... Almost always finishing first on Infernal Council.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the advice. If by Airstrike you mean XS Freighter Flyby, the reason it is not in my rotations is that I am currently level 40 and don't have access to it. :)

    ReplyDelete

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