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Alacrity? (From a scoundrel, but opinions from other classes welcome too)


Dawncatcher

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In all the confusion about bolster, has anyone tested post-2.0 alacrity much? I've heard vague rumors of activation skills becoming instant cast, but haven't actually seen it happen. I understand that it now lowers the GCD, increases animation speeds, and increases energy regeneration to compensate, but I am unclear how it compares to other tertiary stats like surge.

 

I have a 55 scoundrel, and my healing rotation is primarily slow-release medpack/emergency medpack/kolto cloud/triage, so I avoided alacrity where possible before 2.0 (not that I had a great deal of time to twink from the time I hit 50 to the time 2.0 came out, but still), and have been trying to increase the alacrity on my gear as I switch up to Partisan/Conqueror, but I'm not sure how far to take it. I strongly prefer power over critical, so I don't really consider surge an important stat, except in so far as it's more useful than many of the alternatives (my base healing is high enough that I can get the medic medal just from a single non-critical Underworld Medicine, and, while the trauma surgeon medal would be nice too, I'm not going to centre my build around it).

 

Currently, I have a 5.88% alacrity bonus to global cooldown, activation speed, and channel speed. 4.88% of that comes from 360 alacrity rating, and 1% comes from the single spec point I spent on Black Market Mods in the Dirty Fighting portion of my spec tree. With that, the activation time for Underworld Medicine is 1.89 seconds, and 1.42 seconds for Kolto Pack. Kolto Pack is 1.5 seconds without alacrity, which if I understand it is the same as the global cooldown, so, if I'm not mistaken, my global cooldown is also 1.42 seconds now. Which is great when I'm spamming Emergency medpack at someone with less than 30% health.

 

I have 234 surge for a 14.43% bonus, or a total of 64.43%. 18.26% critical chance with both Lucky Shots and Force Valour. The Force Valour is from another player, so my critical chance will go down slightly when it expires.

 

I'm tempted to replace all my surge with alacrity as I switch to Partisan/Conqueror just to see how low I can get my global cooldown, and if I can get either Kolto Pack or Underworld Medicine to be instant cast, but I understand there are soft caps / diminishing returns to discourage people from doing that sort of thing. Has anyone figured out where that "soft cap" is?

Edited by Dawncatcher
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I believe the general consensus is that alacrity is pretty useless beyond one or two pieces.

 

I would think that 300+ alacrity is certainly too high, when you're losing out on power/surge/crit.

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As a sorc healer I have 8.88% alacrity (2% of it from talents); I am willing to sacrifice surge because surge is pretty useless without crit to back it up, and crit got nerfed pretty hard in 2.0. I'm very clearly not trying for the biggest single heal on my server. I do go for power though, and have just a bit more than a token amount of crit.

 

I still find that I'm able to put out the heals I need to. Then again, sorcs will get a bit more out of alacrity than scoundrels because they have more casts (that can be interrupted) and fewer instants. Proccing instant AOE heal with 3 stacks does narrow that disparity significantly, however.

 

I should note that the stats are paired, so in every case I've seen, you choose between:

 

Power and crit

Surge and alacrity

Edited by AdrianDmitruk
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I believe the general consensus is that alacrity is pretty useless beyond one or two pieces.

 

I would think that 300+ alacrity is certainly too high, when you're losing out on power/surge/crit.

On enhancements, alacrity isn't competing with power or critical. The only place where alacrity could compete with those stats is on augments.

 

On enhancements, alacrity competes with accuracy, shield, and surge. Shield is obviously utterly useless for a scoundrel since we have no shields. Accuracy is basically a damage stat, and, as I understand it, of limited use even for damage scoundrels in a PvP setting -- they may have added resistance to PvE bosses, but not to players so far as I know, and I've heard most scoundrel skills count as tech not ranged. (I'm not sure which ones -- if the tooltips make the distinction anywhere, I haven't noticed.) I guess it would be nice to have accuracy for Flurry of Bolts when all I want to do is interrupt a bomb plant or node flip or what have you, but I would rather keep the damage and tanks alive so they can take care of the interrupts. (And if I'm the only one paying attention enough to interrupt for any extended period of time, we're probably going to lose anyway.) Which means the only real competition for alacrity is surge. And since I stack power over critical whenever I get the chance, surge is of limited use. (Critical heals often fail when you need them and are wasted when you don't need them, so I prefer a good base healing output from power. And if the critical is wasted, the surge would just be even more wasted.) If I were damage, crit/surge would help create spiky damage to cut through heals, but since I focus primarily on healing, except for the offensive portion of Voidstar or when I'm busy being a ninja (stealthing at Huttball endzone or whatever), I choose power over critical when I get the chance.

 

I see surge as nice to have, if there's nothing better to put on, but lowering the global cooldown so I can spam everything faster, including emergency medpack, has tangible benefits. At the same time, I realize Bioware is only going to let me reduce the global cooldown so much before diminishing returns kick in... not sure where that point is.

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As a sorc healer I have 8.88% alacrity (2% of it from talents); I am willing to sacrifice surge because surge is pretty useless without crit to back it up, and crit got nerfed pretty hard in 2.0. I'm very clearly not trying for the biggest single heal on my server. I do go for power though, and have just a bit more than a token amount of crit.

 

Cool.

 

I still find that I'm able to put out the heals I need to. Then again, sorcs will get a bit more out of alacrity than scoundrels because they have more casts (that can be interrupted) and fewer instants. Proccing instant AOE heal with 3 stacks does narrow that disparity significantly, however.

 

Alacrity no longer affects only activations/channeled skills. It now also lowers the global cooldown and increases energy regeneration by the same amount. One of the things a scoundrel healer can do is a skill called "Emergency Medpack", which a moderate instant cast heal with no energy cost. It requires and consumes a buff called "Upper Hand", however, on targets with less than 30% health, it immediately regrants Upper Hand (specced properly). Thus on a target with less than 30% health, a scoundrel who already has at least one stack of upper hand (which is fairly easy to get) can spam Emergeny Medpack every time the global cooldown is over. This is how scoundrels can do crazy healing on low health targets. Sometimes, it's very close whether or not the scoundrel can keep up with the damage, so even a slight reduction in the Global Cooldown can make the difference between life and death for the target.

 

I'm curious how you manage to turn the AOE to instant cast? What is the activation normally, and how much alacrity does it take to make it instant?

 

I should note that the stats are paired, so in every case I've seen, you choose between:

 

Power and crit

Surge and alacrity

 

Right.

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the only dif alac has made for me is I don't actively avoid it...basically for the passive resource regen and reduced gcd. it's nothing I would use to replace any other stat. and I'm not having any trouble with the magnitude of my heals, so there's no burning desire to dump alac for power either.
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I'm curious how you manage to turn the AOE to instant cast? What is the activation normally, and how much alacrity does it take to make it instant?

 

Sorcs/sages got one of their healing talents reworked in 2.0. For sorcs, it's called Force Surge. It used to only proc one stack (critting our channeled heal is what procs it), and it was only used to improve the efficiency of our consumptions. Now, the proc can stack up to 3 times, AND each stack reduces cast time on our AOE heal by a third, so if we have 3 stacks up, it's instant.

 

Normally the activation is 2.0 seconds and reduced by alacrity. The AOE heal used to be VERY hard to cast because it was so frequently interrupted, which made the ability nearly useless for PVP. (Also part of why so many sorcs went hybrid.) Now, the AOE is far more useful than it used to be.

 

(We can still use that proc for consumption, too--it goes by whichever ability is used first.)

Edited by AdrianDmitruk
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Sorcs/sages got one of their healing talents reworked in 2.0. For sorcs, it's called Force Surge. It used to only proc one stack (critting our channeled heal is what procs it), and it was only used to improve the efficiency of our consumptions. Now, the proc can stack up to 3 times, AND each stack reduces cast time on our AOE heal by a third, so if we have 3 stacks up, it's instant.

 

Normally the activation is 2.0 seconds and reduced by alacrity. The AOE heal used to be VERY hard to cast because it was so frequently interrupted, which made the ability nearly useless for PVP. (Also part of why so many sorcs went hybrid.) Now, the AOE is far more useful than it used to be.

 

(We can still use that proc for consumption, too--it goes by whichever ability is used first.)

 

So the instant cast sage AOE comes from a temporary 100% effective alacrity buff (with three stacks) only on that one skill. So it's not something other classes are likely to see just from stacking alacrity, without any procs like that. Good to know. :-)

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I have actually been curious about this only because much like wow this game features global cooldown which is absolute **** and only geared to people with **** internet connections.

 

Point is how much alacrity would you need to get the GCD down to 1 second which is the average animation time and projection of any game. I rather cast 2 abilities in the time it takes my opponent to cast 1 even if they both his for 1k thats 2k dmg in the time it took him to cast 1 and with rng i might get lucky and crit both or 1.

 

again its personal flavor. I did try out an alacrity heavy build on my sorc and did notice one wz i changed from power surge to alac heavy and i went up almost 200k more in the charts with both games being almost identical in play. So it seems alacrity isn't as bad as people say its just a matter of playstyle / good connection and making sure you use ur alacrity/procs effectively.

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I only take the alacrity from the skill tree (2%) as a sage and the rest goes into power/surge, with only 2 mods & 2 enhancements using crit over power (the enhancements are crit/surge) for my pvp healer suit.

 

Why is everyone missing the key ingredient here?

 

As a sage pvp healer, your primary heal is Healing Trance, which ticks 4x per full channel, and each has a chance to proc Resplendence when it crit heals (up to 3 stacks).

 

If you read the tool tips on your abilities, rejuvenate is necessary to be used before healing trance, as it will increase your crit chance on EACH tick inside of Healing Trance by 25%.

 

In my gear setup, I have ~27.8% crit (admittedly, most of that crit % comes from the talent trees in Seer), meaning that if I use Rejuvenate + Healing Trance, I'm giving myself a 52.8% crit chance.

 

I will say, I almost never produce less than 2-stacks of Resplendence when I use this approach.

 

That means, at least, I'm either (a) producing a puddle heal immediately after HT with a 0.9s cast time (virtually uninteruptable) or (b) channeling those 2 stacks into more force to keep my HPS up.

 

My HT crit hits will land for 3000/tick because of my crit/surge combo.

 

Further, if you HAVE to focus heals on a friendly about to die, you can actually do it quickly with: Force Potency + Mental Alacrity (alacrity boost + uninteruptability for the duration) + 2x Deliverance heals to almost ALWAYS crit for a powerful heal burst landing between 7-9k / heal.

 

Lastly, a force potency + force mend (instant cast self-heal) will essentially auto-crit to give me an instant heal for somewhere between 7-10.2k (yes, that was my largest heal).

 

In summary: You can go stack alacrity as a sage healer, but your anemic heals (although hitting for roughly a half second when maxed on that stat) than I am, while I out-burst you and keep people with more up time if you want.

 

Final note, I did stack upwards of 400 alacrity at one point, but the force regen was absolutely awful. Without much oomph behind heals, I felt the moderate increases in alacrity weren't warranted because there was too much "downtime" waiting on cooldowns for heals to finish.

 

Benevolence is nice when paired with rejuvenate (again, big crit chance increase with this pair), but with based power, it was weak & I was burning way to much force using that heal to try to fill the downtime between healing trance coming off of cooldown.

 

This setup flows perfectly with a rotation of:

 

Rejuvenate > HT > Salvation > Rejuvenate > HT > Deliverance > repeat

 

Note: to eliminate down time, be sure to use the 2-piece PVE sage healer bonus (-1.5s CD on HT), but don't have mods, enhancements or armorings above level 63, or you will take a big expertise drop for it.

 

Final word: Alacrity blows for PVP. Don't use it for Sage Healing (IMHO).

Edited by adiwantinova
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Further, if you HAVE to focus heals on a friendly about to die, you can actually do it quickly with: Force Potency + Mental Alacrity (alacrity boost + uninteruptability for the duration) + 2x Deliverance heals to almost ALWAYS crit for a powerful heal burst landing between 7-9k / heal.

 

I'm somewhat confused, because although most of your post seems targeted towards sages, unless I missed something, I'm the only one who specifically discussed rescuing low health targets, but I'm a scoundrel and obviously have different skills and buffs than those. If this was directed at me, then I'm really not convinced such a combination is any substitute for the scoundrel's emergency medpack, which is instant cast, has no energy cost, and has no cooldown other than the global cooldown, with the only limiting factor being the requirement of a buff called Upper Hand (which is easy to get, plus on targets with under 30% health emergency medpack will automatically re-grant Upper Hand upon use, so you can just spam it again without having to wait for more stacks of the buff). With Emergency Medpack, I can rescue someone who runs into my healing range at 1k health and keep them up as long as my heals exceed the damage they are taking (or my heals combined with other people's, as the case may be). A 1k health target would often be dead before a sage could get through a Deliverance activation, if the sage were the only healer trying to help. However, such a skill combination could work if there were a scoundrel around to keep the target from dying until the sage had time to get the big heal off and get them out of the immediate danger zone.

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^ Not at all re: the question to if I was addressing you as a scoundrel healer.

 

That skill is key to keep a low health target alive (part of the reason why they are the prime healer in rated WZ's). I'm talking to only sage healers in my reply re: alacrity.

 

Re: alacrity for scoundrels, our rated player in that position tested it & he concluded it was a wasted stat, as well. I don't have a frame of reference, but trust his judgment, as 1.8k HPS is a pretty average value that he throws down.

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^ Not at all re: the question to if I was addressing you as a scoundrel healer.

 

That skill is key to keep a low health target alive (part of the reason why they are the prime healer in rated WZ's). I'm talking to only sage healers in my reply re: alacrity.

 

Re: alacrity for scoundrels, our rated player in that position tested it & he concluded it was a wasted stat, as well. I don't have a frame of reference, but trust his judgment, as 1.8k HPS is a pretty average value that he throws down.

 

Ah, I see. Cool.

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