I’m not necessarily basing this discussion on factual evidence, but I am coming from a position of relative security with regard to my own results and I’d like to see if others have tried this, if it’s accepted “canon” already or if, in fact, I’m really doing something wrong.
This post is about the value of prioritizing Sundering Assault and Ravage while playing PvE DPS as a Vengeance Juggernaut.
I’ve gone through a lot of posts, including some of the talk over at Sith Warrior, and I enjoyed reading Morsexy’s Juggernaut posts. With regard to the Vengeance “rotation” (a loose term at best), it appears that conventional wisdom is prioritizing certain abilities over others, but largely basing this prioritization off the average damage certain abilities do rather than any thought to their “role”.
Here’s what you get from cursory glances over the forums:
1) Juggernauts are underpowered – don’t play one if you want to be good.
2) Juggernauts are fine – don’t play one if you don’t want to put effort in.
3) Ravage, though a key skill in the tree, is rubbish – don’t use it at all.
4) Ravage, though not entirely useless, should be used but only two ticks.
5) Assault is what you use as a last resort when everything else is on CD.
6) Shatter and Impale are your best attacks, followed by Force Scream.
7) Smash is free and comes after Force Scream, but before it for AoE.
All told, this amounts to; subjective opinions are subjective; Ravage is underwhelming; Assault is a necessary evil; four skills are worth it, plus Sundering Assault.
Now, I totally accept that I may have been reading the guides wrong or misjudging the tooltips, but I was often finding that I needed Assault to prop up my rage income when there wasn’t much unavoidable damage, or Enrage wasn’t up. This was annoying, because Assault is garbage; sure, it does what it says on the tin, but I don’t want to use it because it’s terrible. I also found that either using Ravage for two ticks, or leaving it out altogether, was leaving dead GCD’s all over the place, GCD’s that needed filled with Assault again.
In short, Assault was seeing far too much use for my taste.
What I was starting to notice, however, was that Sundering Assault was lining up nicely with either of two things; two GCD’s, or a full Ravage. In other words, by prioritizing Sundering Assault (using it on cooldown) rather than just harder hitting abilities, you can slot in two attacks between each Sundering Assault and not actually lose much uptime on any of these attacks. The attacks I’m talking about are Shatter, Impale, Force Scream and Smash.
Ravage, though an anomaly, fits this category because it has no rage cost and fills the two GCD’s before you can use Sundering Assault again. This means that a general rotation looks like this:
SA > Sh > Imp > SA > FS > Sm > SA > Rav
The implication is that you can pretty much consider this as a four-attack rotation if you group up Shatter with Impale, and Force Scream with Smash.
SA > Sh/Imp > SA > FS/Sm > SA > Rav
And because Ravage frequently resets, it’s almost always available when you need it at no rage cost, and can be interchanged with FS/Sm. This made a huge change to my output, because I was never begging Enrage to come off cooldown and I never had to fall back on Assault (assuming the throw/charge start up). I’m not sure about DPS due to the lack of any reliable way of judging it, but the whole thing “felt” a million times better.
Ravage ceased being a crappy attack, and started being a cornerstone that made this work. Its final tick is stronger than Assault, which I’d only need if I was short on rage (which doesn’t happen) or had to fill a GCD prior to my next Sundering Assault (which I don’t if I use a full Ravage).
Now obviously, the odd Assault will probably still be needed in fights where there’s no source of incoming damage; most likely at the expense of Force Scream, because it’s the main rage burner outside of my best two attacks which I never want to delay. Ravage is never going to speed up because Juggernauts don’t stack alacrity, so it’s safely future proofed. All told, this realisation has made a large difference to me.
Anyway, I hope that was easy to follow. I was also hoping for commentary on this, even if it’s just “lol thats the way u shud do it nub” because, honestly, coming from a WoW background doesn’t really encourage you to look beyond the simple numbers of a DPS rotation.