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Stamina Nightblade PvE in PTS v3.0.1

LiquidPony
LiquidPony
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Stamina Nightblade PvE in PTS v3.0.1

What's the point of this post?
I hope that by walking through the unique talents that Stamina Nightblades bring to the table, and then demonstrating the strengths/weaknesses of this spec via parses, I can demonstrate that there really is a problem with the design of this class and how that pertains to PvE content. And, hopefully again, that can help us figure out what kind of tweaks might help make Stamina Nightblades viable in end-game group PvE again. The scope of this post is purely end-game PvE, focusing on Trials and (to a lesser extent) Maelstrom Arena. I love my Stamina Nightblade. It's my original XB1 toon, my Master Crafter, my achievement hunter, my Flawless Conqueror. I don't want to be forced onto a different character in order to not hold back my raid team.

What do Stamina Nightblades do well?
1. Critical Strikes
* Pressure Points (passive) increases crit chance by 438 (~2%) per Assassination ability slotted.
* Hemorrhage (passive) increases crit damage modifier by 10% and grants Minor Savagery when dealing critical damage, which increases weapon critical by 657 (~3%).
2. Sustain
* Relentless Focus (active) grants Minor Endurance, which increases stamina recovery by 10%.
* Leeching Strikes (active) on PTS, returns 396 stamina for each light or heavy attack.
* Refreshing Shadows (passive) increases stamina recovery by 15%.
3. Ultimate Uptime
* Soul Harvest (ulti) or Incapacitating Strike (ulti) are extremely inexpensive ultimates, and Soul Harvest massively boosts ultimate generation.
* Catalyst (passive) grants 20 ultimate after drinking a potion.
* Transfer (passive) grants 2 ultimate when casting a Siphoning ability (4 second cooldown).
4. Burst & Execute
* Surprise Attack (active) which gives 100% operational uptime of Major Fracture, grants Shadow Ward, and is an excellent damage ability in and of itself (although it is inferior to Rapid Strikes for pure DPS in a group environment where a tank provides Major Fracture, especially in loadouts that include Maelstrom DW weapons).
* Killer's Blade (active) is one of the best executes in the game.
* Soul Harvest (ulti) and Incapacitating Strike (ulti) are also great burst skills.

In a group PvE environment (specifically in raids), the only active abilities of interest in the Stamina Nightblade's toolkit are: Relentless Focus, Leeching Strikes, and Killer's Blade. That's it. Three abilities. Sometimes Veil of Blades is used for mitigation. Most Stamina Nightblades won't run Incap/Soul Harvest in group PvE as Rend, Flawless Dawnbreaker, and even Ballista have more DPS potential.

In Maelstrom Arena, Stamina Nightblades have very high scoring potential. It may not be the easiest build to take into the arena, but given the strengths listed above (burst, sustain, execute, ultimate uptime), it's obvious that this build will excel there. Ironically, the change to Siphoning Attacks and its morphs actually does exactly the opposite of what the developers intended. A minor HoT is useless and counter to the Stamina Nightblade way: we kill stuff quickly and *avoid damage*. Death comes when we run out of stamina. Exchanging a solid stamina return for a small HoT is counter to the design of the class and IMO feels like a reactionary change that was only made to somewhat offset the increased cost of Vigor. It is, perhaps, also useful for newer players as it can be tough to stay alive on a low-level Stamina Nightblade ... but I'd prefer an active heal with a stamina morph in the class skill tree like Funnel Health/Swallow Soul. A 1k health return from Leeching Strikes isn't going to save me when I'm in the *** and low on resources and what I really need is to dodge, Vigor, and dodge some more.

There are many other useful skills in the Nightblade skill lines, but they are not relevant to end-game PvE.

What do Stamina Nightblades not do well?
1. DoTs. There are no stamina morph DoT abilities in any of the Nightblade skill lines.
2. AoE. Power Extraction has less DPS potential than Steel Tornado, and the buff is unnecessary in content where we run pots off cooldown. That is the only stam AoE skill Nightblades have.
3. Healing. There are no stamina-based healing skills in the toolkit. Vigor is 100% necessary.
4. Mitigation & Survivability. There are no shields. In Maelstrom, we can keep good uptime on Shadow Barrier via Surprise Attack, but in group PvE there are no useful stamina Shadow skills to keep those defensive buffs up.

Parse comparison: live versus PTS

Race: Khajiit
Attributes: 64 Stamina
The slight difference in gear (VO vs. War Machine) is due to the lack of VO or Alkosh on the PTS templates.
Gear (live):
5 x Twice-Fanged Serpent, 3 x Roar of Alkosh, 2 x Kra'gh, Sharpened Maelstrom weapons (5/1/1, all Divines, all Weapon Damage and Max Stam enchants)
Gear (PTS):
5 x Twice-Fanged Serpent, 3 x War Machine, 2 x Kra'gh, Sharpened Maelstrom weapons (5/1/1, all Divines, all Weapon Damage and Max Stam enchants)

Ability Bars (live):
- Dual-wield: Killer's Blade, Rending Slashes, Rearming Trap, Reaper's Mark, Rapid Strikes; Ultimate: Flawless Dawnbreaker
- Bow: Razor Caltrops, Endless Hail, Poison Injection, Siphoning Strikes, Relentless Focus; Ultimate: Flawless Dawnbreaker
Ability Bars (PTS):
- Dual-wield: Killer's Blade, Rending Slashes, Rearming Trap, Reaper's Mark, Rapid Strikes; Ultimate: Flawless Dawnbreaker
- Bow: Razor Caltrops, Endless Hail, Poison Injection, Leeching Strikes, Relentless Focus; Ultimate: Flawless Dawnbreaker

Champion Points (live):
* Mighty: 100
* Thaumaturge: 57
* Precise Strikes: 43

* Warlord: 100
* Mooncalf: 97
* Tumbling: 13

Champion Points (PTS):
* Mighty: 77
* Thaumaturge: 55
* Precise Strikes: 55
* Master-at-Arms: 23

* Mooncalf: 100
* Tenacity: 100
* Tumbling: 10

Character Sheet Stats (live):
* Max Stamina: 33,247
* Weapon Damage: 2,862 (3,360)
* Weapon Critical: 74.2% (84.2%)
* Stamina Regen: 858

Character Sheet Stats (PTS) with Superstar sheet unbuffed and buffed:
* Max Stamina: 34,797
* Weapon Damage: 2,858 (3,356)
* Weapon Critical: 70.5% (80.5%)
* Stamina Regen: 822

Rotation (live):
1. Relentless Focus, Siphoning Strikes
2. Heavy Attack (bow), Razor Caltrops, LA/Endless Hail, LA/Poison Injection, swap
3. LA/Rapid Strikes, LA/Rearming Trap, LA/Rending Slashes, LA/Rapid Strikes, LA/Rapid Strikes, LA/Rapid Strikes, swap
4. LA/Endless Hail, LA/Poison Injection, swap
5. LA/Rapid Strikes, LA/Rearming Trap, LA/Rending Slashes, LA/Rapid Strikes, LA/Rapid Strikes, LA/Rapid Strikes, swap
6. LA/Endless Hail, LA/Poison Injection, LA/Relentless Focus, LA/Siphoning Strikes, swap
7. LA/Rapid Strikes, LA/Rearming Trap, LA/Rending Slashes, LA/Rapid Strikes, swap
8. LA/Endless Hail, LA/Poison Injection, LA/Razor Caltrops, swap
9. LA/Rapid Strikes, LA/Rearming Trap, LA/Rending Slashes, LA/Rapid Strikes, LA/Rapid Strikes, swap
10. Go to #4 until execute
11. In execute, keep all DoTs running and LA/Killer's Blade weave

Rotation (PTS):
1. Relentless Focus, Leeching Strikes
2. Heavy Attack (bow), Razor Caltrops, LA/Endless Hail, LA/Poison Injection, swap
3. LA/Rapid Strikes, LA/Rearming Trap, LA/Rending Slashes, Heavy Attack, Heavy Attack, LA/Rapid Strikes, swap
4. LA/Razor Caltrops, LA/Endless Hail, LA/Poison Injection, swap
5. LA/Rapid Strikes, LA/Rearming Trap, LA/Rending Slashes, Heavy Attack, Heavy Attack, LA/Rapid Strikes, swap
6. LA/Razor Caltrops, LA/Endless Hail, LA/Poison Injection, LA/Relentless Focus, LA/Leeching Strikes, swap
7. Heavy Attack, Rearming Trap, Heavy Attack, Rending Slashes, swap
8. Go to #4 until execute
9. In execute, keep all DoTs running and Heavy Attack/Killer's Blade weave

Keep in mind that for all listed rotations, the in-game version is probably a bit different. I put together the rotations in a spreadsheet to come up with something repeatable with limited overlap/downtime, but optimization wasn't my goal here. A big part of that is that I don't know anyone on PC who can stand there with a tank to give me Major Fracture on PTS, so I whipped up a Reaper's Mark (Piercing Mark on PTS) rotation so that I could get a semi-realistic parse. Throwing in that debuff complicates things, especially on live, since the duration doesn't sync up with everything else. Also, human error, and I'm just not that good. My old brain gets confused and my old fingers get tired. Nonetheless, these should be fairly representative parses for my play-style. The Live parse could probably get up around 40k with a tank throwing fracture, and in the 41-42k range with optimization. There's Trap overlap because I was trying to build a rotation that would be exactly the same every time for testing (and I think I missed a Poison Injection as well). The videos/logs of the parses tell a more accurate tale than the textual descriptions, obviously. The PTS rotation I could see getting up to 35k or so with a tank and with optimization, but it's less viable in real PvE content because I'm scraping the bottom of my stamina pool constantly.

Also, if I try to run the rotation from Live on PTS, I can get the 3mil skeleton to 50-60% before my stam pool is drained.

Target Skeleton (3 mil) Parses
Live: 38.2k DPS with video
PTS: 31.5k DPS with Combat Metrics
I'll try to get a video of the PTS parse. Was having some trouble with tearing/choppiness.

Analysis
Clearly we've taken a serious DPS hit. It's no surprise that Nightblades can't run a Heavy Attack focused rotation as effectively as DKs (with the huge Heavy Attack buff from Molten Armaments) or Sorcerers (with the smaller Heavy Attack buff from Bound Armaments). It seems that Templars have better sustain now, and better group utility, along with a cheap ultimate and fast ultimate generation. So, why bring a Stamina Nightblade to a raid? We have one of the lowest, if not the lowest, single-target DPS potential. No unique AoE. No unique DoTs. Limited group utility in Minor Savagery and Veil of Blades.

So why do Stamina Nightblades suck?
It's the content, dummy. Many of the skills and strengths of the Nightblade class just don't have any benefit in the PvE content ZOS has designed. We can't go stealth or invisible in a boss fight. We can't stun bosses. We can't CC bosses. Burst is mostly useless, except in Maelstrom, as you can't burst down a boss with 50 mil health.

It's the class, dummy. The majority of Nightblade skills do not have stamina morphs (Strife, Agony, Cripple, Path of Darkness, and Summon Shades and all of their morphs are Magicka abilities that do magic damage). Minor Savagery is useless in group PvE right now because no one runs stamina characters, but it might be a little more useful next patch if we see more balanced groups. Shadow Barrier is a really great buff to mitigation but since there are very few Nightblade class skills that are useful for Stamina Nightblades in end-game PvE, we can't proc it.

How to fix it
I'm no Nightblade superstar like @Jeckll or @Gilliamtherogue. I don't have expertise in every stamina class in a top raid group like @Asmael. Nonetheless, I've got a lot of experience running a Stamina Nightblade in Trials and in Maelstrom. What I'd like to do is focus on tweaks that would help Stamina Nightblades in PvE without (hopefully) breaking PvP, with an eye towards aligning the changes with the theme of the class.

Some of these ideas are stolen or modified from suggestions I've heard/read from @Jeckll and @Gilliamtherogue. I'm a thief, sorry not sorry. That's why I play a Nightblade!

I am particularly drawn to the idea of buffing execute damage. I think this has the potential to really up the utility of both Stamblades and Magblades in group PvE without messing too much with any other content. I also think that there needs to be a way for Stamina Nightblades to use Shadow abilities in a PvE rotation to keep Shadow Barrier up. The (IMO) poorly conceived Leeching Strikes change doesn't help in that regard. We need increased mitigation to compete with Magicka DPS who can stand 50 feet away behind their invincibility shields waving their fairy wands.

1. Assassin's Blade (and both Killer's Blade and Impale morphs): Grants additional bonus damage when *standing behind an enemy*.
* Why? Fits the class theme perfectly, and shouldn't have a significant impact in PvP because if you're getting hit from behind with a Killer's Blade in PvP at less than 25% health, you're likely dead regardless. It also makes positioning more important in Trials fights, which requires good strategy and tactics rather than just balls-to-the-wall DPS rotations. Finally, it doesn't significantly boost Maelstrom scores because the execute phase is pretty short on all Maelstrom bosses and getting behind an enemy is more difficult without a tank.
2. Alternatively, modify the Master Assassin passive such that the bonus Weapon/Spell Damage is granted when standing behind an enemy.
* Why? Same as above.
* Why not? Likely has a larger impact on PvP than the proposed change to Killer's Blade.
3. Alternatively, modify the Master Assassin passive such that bonus Weapon/Spell damage is granted on all execute abilities during execute (but perhaps the bonus should be reduced).
* Why? Isn't this right up a Nightblade's alley? It would buff Killer's Blade, Steel Tornado, and Poison Injection. Buffing Steel Tornado would be a nice little boost to AoE DPS.
* Why not? PvP, I'm sure.
4. Alternatively, modify the Master Assassin passive such that *while doing execute damage*, the entire group's execute damage is buffed.
* Why? Same as all of the above suggestions.
* Why not? Might be hard to tune appropriately even with a very small buff.
5. Siphoning Attacks: Change Leeching Strikes so that it costs Magicka to cast. The return on investment for this skill is very low on PTS.
* Why? The version on PTS has really poor utility. We get 6-8k stamina returned over 20 seconds for a cost of 3k, meaning we gain 3-4k stamina over 20 seconds assuming a near-perfect weave. It's right on the verge of being useless.
* Why not? No idea, but it's been a while since I've seen anything done to this game that was positive for PvE Nightblades, so maybe ZOS really does hate us? ;)
6. Grim Focus: Tweak the Spectral Bow proc, either:
* Allow the bow to be procced multiple times per cast, or
* Reapply the buffs when the bow is procced
* Why? This has been discussed *ad nauseam*. It's a clunky skill and many people just ignore the proc altogether in PvE.
* Why not? I'm sure someone will tell me that changing Grim Focus will just totally ruin everything that's good and unique about Nightblades.
7. Replace Shadow Image and/or Refreshing Path with a stamina morph that does disease damage rather than magic damage.
* Why? Adds stamina DoTs (and an AoE DoT in the case of Path) to the repertoire and gives us Shadow abilities we can actually use in our rotations to keep Shadow Barrier up.
* Why not? IMO, additional DoTs and AoEs don't really feel like Stamina Nightblade abilities.

The general theme here is that, IMO, any buffs to Nightblade DPS should happen within the narrow scope of what sets Nightblades apart from other classes, such as critical strikes and execute damage. Additionally, of the 3 Nightblade skills that Stamina Nightblades actually use in end-game group PvE, 1 is clunky and in dire need of a usability tweak (Grim Focus) and the other was nerfed into the ground this patch (Siphoning Strikes).

An aside
I think War Machine could be a really great set on a Stamina Nightblade if Incapacitating Strike had the same Ultimate generation utility of Soul Harvest. As-is, it seems that raid groups will be better off using Magicka Nightblades with Master Architect or Stamina Templars with War Machine. Both have better group utility, AoE, and survivability. And I think that if a Nightblade is required to have a set from the new Trial in order to be end-game viable, well, then the classes are not balanced.

Closing thoughts on Stamina Nightblades
My PTS testing so far leads me to see Stamina Nightblades as a poor man's Stamina Sorcerer (which is the same complaint Magicka Nightblades have had for quite some time now). The new Leeching Strikes is like a crappy Crit Surge and none of the unique Nightblade attacks are useful for Stamina Nightblades in group PvE except for the execute. IMO, the raison d'être for Stamina Nightblades is high single-target damage and really effective executes, so I'd like to see some minor tweaks/buffs that push up our single-target DPS and execute efficacy. We have the worst AoE and DoT DPS in the game, so shouldn't we be the best at single target? The trick is doing it in such a way that doesn't adversely affect PvP. Finally, given the expectation that Trials content will take a bit longer now that DPS is reduced due to the across-the-board sustain changes, it would be really useful to have execute specialists in-group to help burn through those Enrage mechanics.

Closing thoughts on the PTS changes
Meh. Not sure what else to say. Just ... meh. Seems like what ZOS did here was "lower the ceiling" by a significant amount. If they "raised the floor," I'm seeing in my testing that it wasn't by very much. All they've done is make us swap out some spammables for Heavy Attacks and move CP around. I just don't see the point. We've brought the casual player closer to the top-end player (maybe), but primarily just by making the top-end player worse. The Heavy Attack mechanic is easy but it's boring and feels clunky. I don't like it, but I don't hate it either.

Thanks for reading! I would really appreciate feedback from the few remaining Stamina Nightblade players in the raid community. ;)
Edited by LiquidPony on April 28, 2017 9:13PM
  • LiquidPony
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    I'll update this post at some point this weekend with videos of the PTS parse and some AoE/cleave parses (likely only on PTS because I don't have multiple target skeletons on live). The AoE parse is important because it'll demonstrate how awful a stamina nightblade is in that regard, but I wanted to get this thing published because I've been working on it all week. :)
  • wizzo45
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    I'll double down here, since devs probably won't see comments from reddit.

    This is the perfect distillation of our class. It can be difficult to play without practice, but is exceptionally rewarding when you get it down. Yes, it's tough for newer players, but with juuuuust a little love - and all along the lines of what the class's identity really is - they can become more competitive again.

    But don't change refreshing path, my MagBlades like that skill. :)
    Nightblade DPS.
  • Dyride
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    Really like the idea of giving a directional boost to Killer's Blade. Fits well with the class motivation and doesn't really effect PVP.
    V Є H Є M Є И C Є
    ØMNI
    Solongandthanksforallthef
    Revenge of the Hist
    Revenge of the Deer

    Ḍ̼̭͔yride -- Sorceress of the Reach

    Remember the Great Burn of of the Blackwater War!


    #FreeArgonia
  • Akselmo
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    Such a good post!

    .. I don't have anything else to add, as stamina NB myself. Just wanted to bump this thread lol.
    [email protected] (EP-EU-PC)
    A fan of TES-series since 2005.
  • LiquidPony
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    Dyride wrote: »
    Really like the idea of giving a directional boost to Killer's Blade. Fits well with the class motivation and doesn't really effect PVP.

    @Dyride

    Yeah I think there's real potential there.

    Although I'm sure someone from PvP land will come rain on my parade!
  • LiquidPony
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    I've done some further testing using 5 x War Machine, 5 x TFS, Maelstrom weapons.

    DPS is about the same as the PTS setup listed above when factoring in the penetration loss from taking off Kra'gh.

    Interestingly enough, I get about the same DPS regardless of whether I use Soul Harvest, Flawless Dawnbreaker, Rend, or Ballista. With Soul Harvest on a Target Skeleton, I can get about 45% uptime on Major Slayer. Uptime goes down with the other ultis, obviously (35% for Dawnbreaker, 30% for Rend, and 25% for Ballista if I remember correctly ... will test more for the updated post on v3.0.2).

    There are Maelstrom implications there as well. I think in most Maelstrom fights we'll be able to keep near 100% Major Slayer uptime with Soul Harvest (unfortunately I haven't been able to do a really good test on that because I'm getting horrendous lag in Maelstrom on PTS, as in enemies take about 5 seconds to appear after spawning, and without 5 x VO I have no interest in spending more than a few minutes in there). Will have to see if something like that is viable (probably with Kra'gh) ... on paper I think the bonus damage from Major Slayer will outweigh the pen gained from, say, NMG, but that remains to be seen (current vMA setup on live is 5 x VO, 5 x NMG, 2 x Kra'gh).
    Edited by LiquidPony on April 29, 2017 5:26PM
  • Strider_Roshin
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    Just go to the 31:40 mark to hear their vision of Nightblades in PvE:
    And when I vest my flashing sword, and my hand takes hold in judgement, I will take vengeance upon mine enemies, and I will repay those who hase me. O Lord, raise me to Thy right hand and count me among Thy saints.
  • LiquidPony
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    @Strider_Roshin

    Yeah, I watched it yesterday.

    My problem is that, after spending the past few hours in Maelstrom with this hot garbage they sharted onto the PTS, I have a hard time taking anything they say seriously. I do find it amusing that they all seemed pretty defensive and very aware that the community at-large has had a negative reaction to what they did.

    "Fast-paced action combat" suddenly turned into "walk slowly because you can't afford to sprint and do 50% heavy attacks because you can't afford to use your abilities, oh, and don't bother trying to dodge-roll."

    It's telling that they opened the segment with a discussion purely about PvP balance. Playing PvE right now feels to me like I'm playing a game that was balanced for Battlegrounds.
    Edited by LiquidPony on April 29, 2017 7:32PM
  • argouru
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    My main is a stamblade (orc race) and survivability has always been an issue. They need a decent burst heal as well as a damage shield (dodging doesn't work for everything and is therefore significantly inferior to damage shields). No one wants stamblades in vet pve content because they die so often and need much more support than any other stat + class builds. If Bone Shield was stamina-based rather than health-based, it would help. Altering Blur or one of its morphs into a damage shield would help a lot as well.
  • silky_soft
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    77 in mighty is too much. I'd max it at 9%. Same with 55 in precise. Mobs don't have crit resistance and in pvp that's all anyone has got. This meta is now brute damage with crit chance and new direct damage passive. Needs to go into HA passive and direct damage. Since siphon is so poo now.

    The 120 passive that gives ulti is no longer bis. You need 120 off balance on dodge passive and 75 10% damage to off balance.

    You're rotation isn't that good. Insta skill swaps and double heavies. Yea, nah mate. LA bow powers your endless up, drop it last and change as your cancel. Medium attack cancel everything melee. Dot, rapid, dot, rapid, dot swap. Never rapid into a swap. Your wasting possible animation cancel time. Swap has been for a while the best cancel tool.

    I totally agree we should have the best execute capability in the game. Never knew why spectral was never made one or killers still has no range. Or the fact Sorc gets execute passive, undodgable execute and we don't.

    I'd like 6% chance of 6s major berserk on skills used on targets with less than 30% HP. Double chance for execute skills. Change killers to 50% execute and add spectral as execute 150% damage.
    Haha block, ha rip.
    Here $15, goat mount please. Not paying 45 : lol :
    Netch is free with a cleanse and free magika. You nerf siphon into the ground. Nice balance team.
  • LiquidPony
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    silky_soft wrote: »
    77 in mighty is too much. I'd max it at 9%. Same with 55 in precise. Mobs don't have crit resistance and in pvp that's all anyone has got. This meta is now brute damage with crit chance and new direct damage passive. Needs to go into HA passive and direct damage. Since siphon is so poo now.

    The 120 passive that gives ulti is no longer bis. You need 120 off balance on dodge passive and 75 10% damage to off balance.

    You're rotation isn't that good. Insta skill swaps and double heavies. Yea, nah mate. LA bow powers your endless up, drop it last and change as your cancel. Medium attack cancel everything melee. Dot, rapid, dot, rapid, dot swap. Never rapid into a swap. Your wasting possible animation cancel time. Swap has been for a while the best cancel tool.

    I totally agree we should have the best execute capability in the game. Never knew why spectral was never made one or killers still has no range. Or the fact Sorc gets execute passive, undodgable execute and we don't.

    I'd like 6% chance of 6s major berserk on skills used on targets with less than 30% HP. Double chance for execute skills. Change killers to 50% execute and add spectral as execute 150% damage.

    @silky_soft I'm not sure about the CP. I've been shifting the offensive CP piece by piece to try to test the difference but honestly I'm not seeing a huge change no matter how I do it when compared to basically evenly spreading the CP around on all the relevant stars. As far as Master-at-Arms goes, have to see how much to pump into that when I get a working rotation figured out so I can see how much direct damage is on a parse. The Tactition and Exploiter CP passives won't have any effect on a solo target skeleton test, anyway.

    As far as the rotation goes, the intent was to create something that would be as close to the same as I could get it on Live vs. PTS (with Reaper's/Piercing Mark thrown in just because I wanted to see what the "real" DPS might look like). It's not supposed to be optimal. In normal play I always Rapid/Trap/swap off of the DW bar but with the heavies and Mark Target and the extra DoT every rotation (12s caltrops) I couldn't find a way to make it work quite the same on PTS.

    The point of the doing the Rapid-->Trap-->(swap)-->Hail-->Poison Injection order is to empower both Trap and Poison Injection with Cruel Flurry and then apply the Hawkeye bonus to the empowered Poison Injection. Swapping out of Poison Injection makes that DoT calculate using weapon damage from the DW bar. Also, Poison Injection is instant cast but it still has an animation you can cancel with a swap. Instant cast != instant animation.

    I've changed the CP and the rotation quite a bit last night/today but there's still a lot of work to do. And like I said in the post, the point isn't whether the CP or rotation is optimal but rather how a given build generally performs on Live vs. PTS.
    Edited by LiquidPony on April 29, 2017 11:32PM
  • makreth
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    meanwhile warden .... hm..great passives
  • Avran_Sylt
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    Love the idea of making positioning an important part of the Nightblade class. Did you know that Assassin type NPC's receive a 20% damage bonus to their attacks when attacking the player form behind?

    On the idea of the Assassin's Blade, I do agree that being behind the enemy should deal increased damage. I also think it should get a flat damage bonus if you're in stealth as well (you know, assassin and all that). This giving PvE mob content more variety. (Did you know that a surprise attack deals more damage than an 'assassins' blade from stealth?

    This is what I'd love to see:

    Assassin's Blade: Thrust a magic blade with lethal precision to stab an enemy, delaing [x] Magic Damage. Deals 300% more damage to targets at or below 25% health. Deals [y] more damage if this attack is from stealth.

    Killer's Blade: Thrust a Caustic Blade with lethal precision to stab an enemy, dealing [x] disease Damage. Deals 300% more damage to targets at or below 25% Health. Deals [y] more damage if this attack is from stealth. If the target dies within 1 second, you gain Major Berserk for 4 seconds.

    Impale: Same as Assassin's Blade but ranged

    Mark Target -> Reaping Mark : Instead of gaining Major Berserk, the Heal is increased from 57% to 62%

    To me it always felt odd that the Reaping (harvest) made you deal more damage, and the Killer's (damage) blade healed you.

    Edit: Just realized I didn't give magicka a way to gain Major Berserk, so:

    Merciless Resolve: While active, hitting an enemy with 4 light or heavy attacks grants you Major Berserk for 2 Seconds. This would also remove the bow ability of the skill for this morph.
    Edited by Avran_Sylt on April 29, 2017 11:59PM
  • silky_soft
    silky_soft
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    That's why test dummies aren't that useful. As you can never test everything like in a fight with an npc. After all, stam unlike magika actually have to work for a kill. If you're not matching everything up that is possible you can't get same reliability for result comparison. Even the way you play. Muscle memory is pretty massive in dps.

    If you're not trying to be optimal you can't compare. A fight that took me 22-25s on live now takes me 33-38s on pts. I run out of resources and the fight is significantly prolong.
    Haha block, ha rip.
    Here $15, goat mount please. Not paying 45 : lol :
    Netch is free with a cleanse and free magika. You nerf siphon into the ground. Nice balance team.
  • LiquidPony
    LiquidPony
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    silky_soft wrote: »
    That's why test dummies aren't that useful. As you can never test everything like in a fight with an npc. After all, stam unlike magika actually have to work for a kill. If you're not matching everything up that is possible you can't get same reliability for result comparison. Even the way you play. Muscle memory is pretty massive in dps.

    If you're not trying to be optimal you can't compare. A fight that took me 22-25s on live now takes me 33-38s on pts. I run out of resources and the fight is significantly prolong.

    @silky_soft It's not hard to extrapolate what the "real" DPS of a given setup/rotation would be given certain buffs/debuffs/effects. Have to work with what I've got, which is a target skeleton.

    And it's not that I'm "not trying to be optimal," it's just that I didn't have time to make it optimal and give feedback while v3.0.1 was current. I will keep updating as I test various things. But IMO you're focusing on the wrong part of the post, which was not intended to be a "BiS stamblade build for Morrowind." The parses and stats are just to give people a rough idea of how their build will perform when Morrowind is released, i.e., players won't be able to sustain their current builds and shifting some things around to sustain will result in a fairly significant DPS loss.

    There's also little point in obsessively trying to optimize at the moment since a lot will likely change over the next 6 weeks. From what I understand, we're getting a Leeching Strikes change on Monday.

    But if you do have an optimized Nightblade build and rotation for Morrowind, feel free to post it.
  • silky_soft
    silky_soft
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    It's not about bis nb build. It's about correctly comparing live to pts. Same gear, same skills, same stats. Only that has really changed is CP. So you put where you think you'll get highest values. ATM 55cp seems to be the sweet first spot for CP that maxes to 25%. For those that only reach 15% it's much lower and 9% seems to be the tipping point.

    My build isn't bis, but it's what I think is optimal use of what I can offer. For me a comparison with only cp change on a fight is, (we'll use bad avg here), 23.5s live VS 35.5s PTS. My burst is better on PTS but my sustain is significantly reduced. Making a real word fight last 50% longer. This is the same conclusion I have come to see across the 4 standard stamina ESO classes, in pvp and pve.

    We've basically taken an overall 28% skill cost increase, (while wearing 7p medium and not including the redgaurd nerf and siphon nerf,) with no dps really lost. Which makes me conclude with a 50% increase in clear time, as a stamina pvp player that only pve for the gear, I will never return to pve after this update and return to a life of ganking, tbaging and hate tells.
    Haha block, ha rip.
    Here $15, goat mount please. Not paying 45 : lol :
    Netch is free with a cleanse and free magika. You nerf siphon into the ground. Nice balance team.
  • silky_soft
    silky_soft
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    As for changes:
    Assassination:

    Reapers marks(morph) - No longer grants major berserk on kill but can now be applied to unlimited amount of targets.

    Grim Focus - Returned this to 3 light or heavy attacks. Cannot be dodge. Can execute 150% damage if target is below 20%.

    Master Assassin (passive) - Increases Weapon and Spell Damage while invisible or stealthed by 10%. The stun from the Crouch ability stuns for 100% longer. Assassination abilities deal 10% more damage from behind and attacks from the side deal 20% more damage.

    Executioner (passive) - Killing an enemy with an Assassination ability restores [x] Magicka or Stamina over 6 seconds. (Which ever is higher). Damage to a target under 33% HP has a 6% chance to Major Berserker for 6s.

    Shadow: no changes.


    Siphoning:

    Prolonged Suffering(Morph) - Now a stamina skill that stuns and deals disease damage.

    Debilitate(Morph) - Now a stamina skill dealing physical damage.

    Siphon Strikes - revert changes.

    Drain power - If an enemy is hit grants major brutality and major sorcery to all allies with in 12m. Lower base damage. Each enemy within the skills radius increases the damage by 25%, up to a maximum of 250% increased damage.
    Edited by silky_soft on April 30, 2017 2:00AM
    Haha block, ha rip.
    Here $15, goat mount please. Not paying 45 : lol :
    Netch is free with a cleanse and free magika. You nerf siphon into the ground. Nice balance team.
  • wimhwimladimf
    wimhwimladimf
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    SImply remove most expensive dots/debuffs from your bar and you will be fine. Make one bar for burst dmg which can be used in pvp or short pve fights and another for long fights which abilities that doesnt burn your resource as fast. Swap from food which increases your max stamina to best Stamina recovery vial you can get and you should be fine.
  • LiquidPony
    LiquidPony
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    SImply remove most expensive dots/debuffs from your bar and you will be fine. Make one bar for burst dmg which can be used in pvp or short pve fights and another for long fights which abilities that doesnt burn your resource as fast. Swap from food which increases your max stamina to best Stamina recovery vial you can get and you should be fine.

    @wimhwimladimf I don't think that's going to work. The DPS loss is too large, especially in Cleave damage. Going that route is just admitting that stamina Nightblades don't belong in raids this patch.
  • Narvuntien
    Narvuntien
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    I just have very little reason to use any Shadow or Siphoning skills.
    I have been playing Stamblade for more than 6 months and I only started using a Siphoning skill just because I finally decided I should level that skill line. I am Bosmer so my Stam regen is higher than Khajiti, so I never even bothered with siphoning strikes
    There is just so many useless skills even for the Magblades.

    I think is is possible to have a Burst, retreat, Burst, retreat, Execute play style even in PVE. But as noted you need a Damage over time to take up that the time where you have backed out.

    NB already has a lot of Stamina morphs, the issue is... one of them... Power extraction... Is terrible.
    If i were to buff Stamblade the first place, no the second place after relentless focus quality of life buffs, I would go to.

    It is a class source of major brutality that I have never seen used... there is a lot of holes you can plug in stamblade with a change to that skill. First you can just allow you to use it as a buff without having to hit an enemy. It is a possible option for a Stam heal or stam drain. Making it a Class Rally, and that skill is strong. Or you could make it a Dot, giving you Major brutality until purged making it less strong in PVP.
  • aeowulf
    aeowulf
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    Just go to the 31:40 mark to hear their vision of Nightblades in PvE:

    "hmmm, yeah, so um" weren't the first four words I wanted to hear. It did sound like they were thinking about looking at the class in their long term goal though.
    Edited by aeowulf on April 30, 2017 5:23PM
  • LiquidPony
    LiquidPony
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    Narvuntien wrote: »
    I just have very little reason to use any Shadow or Siphoning skills.
    I have been playing Stamblade for more than 6 months and I only started using a Siphoning skill just because I finally decided I should level that skill line. I am Bosmer so my Stam regen is higher than Khajiti, so I never even bothered with siphoning strikes
    There is just so many useless skills even for the Magblades.

    I think is is possible to have a Burst, retreat, Burst, retreat, Execute play style even in PVE. But as noted you need a Damage over time to take up that the time where you have backed out.

    NB already has a lot of Stamina morphs, the issue is... one of them... Power extraction... Is terrible.
    If i were to buff Stamblade the first place, no the second place after relentless focus quality of life buffs, I would go to.

    It is a class source of major brutality that I have never seen used... there is a lot of holes you can plug in stamblade with a change to that skill. First you can just allow you to use it as a buff without having to hit an enemy. It is a possible option for a Stam heal or stam drain. Making it a Class Rally, and that skill is strong. Or you could make it a Dot, giving you Major brutality until purged making it less strong in PVP.

    @Narvuntien Power Extraction is a good skill it's just not relevant in the end-game. For running dungeons or just poking around it's great. Solid AoE + Major Brutality replaces pots + nado when you aren't looking for max DPS.

    I suppose making it an AoE DoT might be beneficial.
  • wimhwimladimf
    wimhwimladimf
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    LiquidPony wrote: »
    SImply remove most expensive dots/debuffs from your bar and you will be fine. Make one bar for burst dmg which can be used in pvp or short pve fights and another for long fights which abilities that doesnt burn your resource as fast. Swap from food which increases your max stamina to best Stamina recovery vial you can get and you should be fine.

    @wimhwimladimf I don't think that's going to work. The DPS loss is too large, especially in Cleave damage. Going that route is just admitting that stamina Nightblades don't belong in raids this patch.

    You think Sorc have it better? I run oom with 2400+ magic recovery and Lich set, using only 1 dot, 1 buff and Force Pulse.
  • LiquidPony
    LiquidPony
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    LiquidPony wrote: »
    SImply remove most expensive dots/debuffs from your bar and you will be fine. Make one bar for burst dmg which can be used in pvp or short pve fights and another for long fights which abilities that doesnt burn your resource as fast. Swap from food which increases your max stamina to best Stamina recovery vial you can get and you should be fine.

    @wimhwimladimf I don't think that's going to work. The DPS loss is too large, especially in Cleave damage. Going that route is just admitting that stamina Nightblades don't belong in raids this patch.

    You think Sorc have it better? I run oom with 2400+ magic recovery and Lich set, using only 1 dot, 1 buff and Force Pulse.

    @wimhwimladimf

    Yes, in my testing I am 100% confident that sorcs are in a better place than stamblades in this patch.

    Liquid Lightning + Blockade + Curse + Familiar + Lightning Heavy Attacks. Sustainable, solid single-target, best AoE in the game. With shields and range and the OP destro ult.
  • LiquidPony
    LiquidPony
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    Have the DPS up consistently in the 32-33k range on PTS with 5 x War Machine, 5 x TFS, Maelstrom weapons (self-buffed, with ulti, solo, with Major Slayer up about 40-45% on a target skeleton). Been testing with that setup as I figure it has more group utility. Single-target would be better with Kra'gh or Velidreth.

    I'm actually really interested to see what it would be like with 5 x War Machine and 5 x Alkosh, assuming raid debuffs (especially if stamina gets back in Trials and we see Sunderflame/NMG/Minor Fracture).

    I think there's some opportunity for some really cool DPS/Support builds this patch but unfortunately it looks like stamplar, stam warden, and magblade would be much better choices for those roles.
  • Uriel_Nocturne
    Uriel_Nocturne
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    Great post, OP.

    Very well done.

    Guildmaster: The Nightshade Consortium Join us, and play your way, your style. A Solo-Player-friendly, casual, easy going Guild of adult Gamers just looking to enjoy all that ESO has to offer.
    Lasombra rule the Shadows. Obtenebration is our birthright. We are the voice behind the Throne, and all Kindred and Kine will bow to us, whether they know it or not.
    ~ Morte Ascendo ~
    I've been playing MMO's since they first emerged. EverQuest, Asheron's Call, Ultima Online... these are the games that got me hooked. ESO? Just a good MMORPG. It's not the best I've ever played, but it's not the worst either. I'll hit Level 40 this year, and I've been Gaming since 1985 when I got my Atari 2600 and my Commodore 64.That's 30+ years of proud Gaming history, and I have zero plans to stop until I die.

    PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say no to Crown Crates!
    https://www.twitch.tv/vampire_nox

  • Code2501
    Code2501
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    Totally behind op on improving NB's.
    But... I caution flipping yet more mag morphs into stamina skills till zos pull their finger out and release spell crafting or more mag weapons or some such. As it is stamina have a choice of 4 exclusively stamina weapon skill lines vs 1 dps staff and 1 healing staff line.

    Fun fact, ignoring ultimate's and looking only at class skill morphs that either consume/scale from stam, deal physical/poison/disease or primarily restore stam (counting future version of siphoning strikes) DK has 2, Temp and Sorc have 3, Warden has 4 and NB have 6. So NB class already have the most Stam class skills, asking for more stam skills is not going to magically fix the NB, but working on making the existing skills useful may.
    Edited by Code2501 on May 2, 2017 12:35PM
  • MakoFore
    MakoFore
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    just wanted to bump this cos i thought it was a great post- though old. i just did vma with my stamblade- after doing it on most of the other classes- and it was the most enjoyable and gratifying of all the class. the limitations of the class meant i had to really up my awareness, i couldnt build a house of self healing like a stam sorc (caltrops, trap, hail- all healing of surge) and i couldnt reflect projectiles with wings . props to all players who can do it on this class- its a true test of skill.

    i have to agree with what your saying- the issue i think zos has is that paring a strong heal minor mending - with cloak would make the class too strong . cloak is meant to be the equaliser to that in mitigating damage- i mean ur going invisible for crying out loud. being able to evade by cloaking AND getting the heals of minor mend would make the class over the top the other way. the problem is that in pvp- it dosent work- and in pve- its useless. secondly - all our buffs that are specific and strong solo- are covered in a trial group.

    not sure what the solution is -i dont think there is one, but it is a perfect example and microcosm why trying to balance for both pve and pvp will alway s be the challenge for balance in this game.
  • ccfeeling
    ccfeeling
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    Everytime you ask buff , everytime u get nerf
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