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Author Topic: Arsenal Merc / Gunnery Commando End Game DPS Guide  (Read 1984 times)

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Arsenal Merc / Gunnery Commando End Game DPS Guide
« on: February 25, 2012, 10:09:06 AM »

Offline Dubhar

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Been doing a bit a research this morning and found a couple decent guides online. I was asked by Sotiras to post my findings. Here is what I have found to be the most sound end game guide.

You may find the guide here : http://sithwarrior.com/forums/Thread-Arsenal-Mercenary-Gunnery-Commando-DPS-Compendium
Arsenal Mercenary | Gunnery Commando DPS Compendium

 If you are in need of a mirror dictionary to go from Arsenal Mercenary to Gunnery Commando and back again, check this out. Alternatively, click the name of the ability, and it will tell you the name of the Trooper equivalent. Nifty, eh?
 I. Introduction
 II. Core Abilities
 III. Skill Trees/The Build
 V. Gear - Stat Priorities
 VI. Companions, Crew Skills
 VII. The Unknown Brother: Pyrotech DPS
 VIII. Closing, credits, additional resources

 In short, as an Arsenal Mercenary or Gunnery Commando, you are an artillery platform. You find a place, you plant there, and you shell the bajeezus out of your target. If that still doesn’t help you get an idea, think of the Artillery and Rocket units in the Advance Wars series. You can’t attack with them the turn you move, but the turn after...bring the hurt, baby (also, if you played it...Grit + Artillery Spam = insta-win). It’s kind of like that. Your DPS output is crazy, but you are on the immobile side.
 What distinguishes the Arsenal | Gunnery trees from the Firebug | Assault Specialist trees?
 The Arsenal and Gunnery trees utilize the tracer/vortex mechanic, where you get extra damage via armor penetration based on how many tracers/vortexes you have on an enemy. It makes for a more interesting game style since you will likely have to weigh getting extra stacks of Tracers and Locks vs. using those or doing other things.
  High Velocity Gas Cylinder   - This ability/stance/cylinder grants us tons of armor penetration and is required for many of our abilities to be as awesome as they are.
  Tracer Missile/ Gravity Round(My edit) - The bread and butter of an Arsenal Mercenary. Tracers give armor penetration, Tracer Lock buffs  Rail Shot like a champ. Very efficient, and with no cooldown becomes our very very spammable ability...heat allowing.
  Heatseeker Missiles - Demo Round - Another core part of the rotation, it gets a huge damage boost based on the number of Tracers on the target. It's a must-use when you have the Tracers and it's off cooldown.
  Rail ShotHigh Impact Bolt - A hard-hitting skill that can be used when an enemy has a Tracer from  Tracer Missile on them. With Tracer Lock,  Rail Shot hits EVEN HARDER. Must-have, must-use.
  UnloadFull Auto - This 3s channel has reasonable DPS, but with the Barrage proc, it becomes much better and much more usable. It also receives crit buffs and will proc Terminal Velocity, saving us some heat, meaning that when Barrage procs it becomes a key cog in our rotation.
  Rapid Shots/ Hammer Shot - as it has no Heat Cost, is our basic attack and lets us vent some heat on the free before we get rolling with our rotations again.
 Take note of this Heat regeneration table, because it is our primary resource constraint. You will want to live by this table...kind of. You know what I mean. How fast we work through our rotation will depend on our heat levels, because our heat level determines our heat regen.
 I'm not sure what raw values these heat numbers correspond to in terms of Trooper ammo, so you may have...approximate your Ammo bar as best as you can.
Current Heat LevelRegeneration
 per second

 Single Target
For the Arsenal Mercenary, the Rotations work on a priority system rather than a strict A to B to C path. Here’s what we know:
  Rail ShotHigh Impact Bolt-  receives buffs from  Tracer Missile /  +  Tracer Lock /  (talented,  Rail ShotHigh Impact Bolt costs 8HC)
  Heatseeker Missiles /  receives buffs from  Tracer Missile /Tracer Missile  / is the rug that ties the room together (talented,  Tracer Missile /  costs 16HC)
  UnloadFull Auto receives buffs from  Tracer Missile  / (sometimes)
 Therefore, this is how our priority order should work:
 1.  Tracer Missile /
 2.  Tracer Missile /
 3.  Tracer Missile /
 4.  UnloadFull Auto
 5.  Heatseeker Missiles
 6.  Tracer Missile /
 7.  Tracer Missile /
 8.  Rail ShotHigh Impact Bolt

 *If you find yourself at/right by 40 Heat, use  Thermal Sensor OverrideReserve Powercell into  Death From AboveMortar Volley. The channel and free cost will do more than enough to put you back to acceptable heat levels. If  Death From AboveMortar Volley
 is not available (CD, range issues), use  Fusion MissilePlasma Grenade

. Both have acceptable single-target DPS.
 After this you will be at 5 Tracers/Vortexes, 0 Tracer Locks/Barrel Charges. Then, consult the following:
 1. If you are at 23+ Heat (if you have PvE set bonuses, consult the Item Set notes), use  Rapid ShotsHammer Shot.***
 2. Use  UnloadFull Auto every opportunity you get. This includes non-Barrage procs, though non-Barrage'd Unloads are few and far between.
 3. Use  Heatseeker Missiles /   every opportunity you get.
 4. Use  Rail ShotHigh Impact Bolt at 5x Tracer Locks/Barrel Charges (if you have PvE set bonuses, consult Item Set notes re: Rail Shot/High Impact Bolt)
 5. Use  Tracer Missile /  when the above 3 are on cooldown.
 ***Use  Vent HeatRecharge Cells as much as possible unless you are anticipating boss-unique circumstances i.e. enrage timers, beating boss self-heal periods, requiring you to save Vent Heat for those occasions. Otherwise, use Vent Heat as much as possible, as it allows you to push out as much DPS as possible.
 ***Use  /  Reserve Powercell as much as possible, especially if you find yourself gravitating towards 30-40 Heat. TSO/RP + DfA/MV or Fusion Missile/PG will help manage heat and sustain your DPS as much as possible.
 Item Set notes:
 -If you have the 2pc PvE set (Tionese/Columi/Rakata), Tracer Missile /  gets +15% Crit. You can be more liberal with your  spam, using  Rapid ShotsHammer Shot at 30+ Heat or so. This shouldn't really overhaul the priority flow, however, as it just means you skip Priority #1 more often.
 -If you have the 4pc PvE set bonus,  Rail ShotHigh Impact Bolt is now completely free. In this case, I would use  Rail ShotHigh Impact Bolt on CD, because it's free and it'll hit at least reasonably hard since you'll have at least a few Tracer Locks up. Basically it becomes a really, really nice  Rapid ShotsHammer Shot
 Of anything, we’re more heat constrained since different breakpoints imply different heat regen rates, so keep that in mind.
 There are four major AoE abilities in the Mercenary's arsenal:
 1.  Death From AboveMortar Volley: The big kahuna of the tree, this packs a wallop.
 2.  Fusion MissilePlasma Grenade: This ability provides a DoT burn effect, which is pretty nice. As an activation time ability, remember you are charged with Heat on the back end.
 3.  Sweeping BlastersHail of Bolts: Without a cooldown, this is our "spammable" AoE, but keep in mind its heat cost.
 4.  Explosive DartSticky Grenade: Small damage up front with a lot more in the caboose. Relatively short cooldown.
 Generally, as long as you are sure your tank has the requisite threat, you can lead off with  Death From AboveMortar Volley (since its damage output is so high, you will aggro very, very fast if you're not careful and not coordinating with your tank). After that, use whatever is not on cooldown, but be sure to intersperse your single-target rotation and/or  Rapid ShotsHammer Shot to ensure that you still regenerate heat at a reasonable rate.


Pretty much every piece of gear comes with at least +Aim and +Endurance. Since those are important stats...sounds good. At this point, we mostly need to start looking for secondary stats. Secondary stats of importance are:
 +Accuracy (up to 108%)
 +Crit Chance (up to approximately 30%)
 +Surge (up to approximately 80%)
 +Tech Power/Power
 Some quick explanations on the suggested sweet spots:
 Accuracy: 108% to push off the 10% base defense chance that bosses have.
 Crit Chance: Far past 30%, the diminishing marginal returns are far too steep to keep stacking it.
 Surge: Like Crit Chance, stacking past 80-85% Surge is far too prohibitive for what you give up)
 Tech Power/Power: I don't list a value here because Tech Power/Power does not exhibit diminishing marginal returns. Therefore, once you have enough of the previous three stats as they are more important to grab, you can go ahead and start looking for the gear with the best +Power/Tech Power.
 I list Alacrity last because all of our major activations are 1.5s in length, which means if you stack too much +Alacrity you’re going to be GCD-capped in your rotations, which is not helpful.
 NOTE: A BiS list will be determined when more about itemization and/or equipment set stats are revealed.
 Bounty Hunter
 (1) Mako (female Human)
 Planet: Hutta
 Companion type: Healer
 Crew Skills Bonuses: +15 Slicing, +5 Cybertech
 (2) Gault (male Devaronian)
 Planet: Tatooine
 Companion Type: Ranged Damage
 Crew Skills Bonuses: +10 Underworld Trading, +2 Critical Biochem
 (3) Torian Cadera (male Human, Mandalorian)
 Planet: Taris
 Companion type: Melee DPS
 Crew Skills Bonuses: +10 Research, +2 Critical Bioanalysis
 (4) Blizz (Jawa)
 Planet: Hoth
 Companion type: Ranged Tank
 Crew Skills Bonuses: +15 Armormech, +1 Critical Armstech
 (5) Skadge (male Houk)
 Planet: Belsavis
 Companion type: Melee Tank
 Crew Skills Bonuses: +10 Scavenging, +2 Critical Treasure Hunting
 (1) Aric Jorgan (male Cathar)
 Planet: Ord Mantell
 Companion Type: Ranged DPS
 Crew Skills Bonuses: +10 Armstech, +2 Diplomacy Crit
 (2) Elara Dorne (female Human)
 Planet: Taris (Republic)
 Companion Type: Healer
 Crew Skills Bonuses: +10 Biochem, +10 Bioanalysis
 (3) M1-4X ("male" Droid)
 Planet: Nar Shaddaa
 Companion Type: Ranged Tank
 Crew Skills Bonuses: +5 Cybertech, +5 Scavenging Crit
 (4) Tanno Vik (male Weequay)
 Planet: Balmorra (Republic)
 Companion Type: Melee Tank
 Crew Skills Bonuses: +5 Armormech Crit, +1 Underworld Trading Crit
 (5) Yuun (male Gand)
 Planet: Hoth
 Companion Type: Melee DPS
 Crew Skills Bonus: Slicing +10, Investigation +10
 Crew Skills
 With Mercenaries, there are really four main options for crafting: Biochem, Armstech, Armormech, Cybertech. One will make you stat stims, implants, and healing items, one will make you weapons, and one will make you armor, and the last will make over/inlays, grenades, and the like. It's up to you which one you take. Which one you take, however, will likely determine the other two crafting skills you take:
 Biochem will require Bioanalysis and Diplomacy
 Armstech will require Scavenging and Underworld Trading/Investigation
 Armormech will require Scavenging and Underworld Trading
 Cybertech will require Scavenging and Underworld Trading
 This does not mention Slicing because this is for endgame crafting. When you level, DEFINITELY take Slicing, or else you'll end up a po' boy at lvl50.
 I want to take a brief section to talk about the Pyrotech tree. It used to be a "PvP" tree, but they have made many strides in making Pyrotech more universally applicable. It's not different enough to require a brand new Compendium, so it gets this tiny section instead. We also don't know if it's actually comparable to Arsenal DPS, which is why it's relegated here until Pyrotech proves itself...but it may be promising.
 Here is a sample spec for Pyrotech DPS: 3/7/31
 Your 4 points between  Rapid VentingAutomated DefensesEnergy RebounderInfrared Sensors, and  Gyroscopic Alignment Jets  can be distributed as you please, I personally went for the first two.
 What Pyrotech DPS looks like it revolves around is, obviously, the  Combustible Gas Cylinder and maintaining it and various burn effects. Many abilities gain extra "stuff" if you use it on burned targets.
 Once you apply a burn (normally via  Incendiary Missile or  Fusion Missile in AoE instances), you use  Rail Shot and try to get its CD refreshed via  Power Shot or  Unload. This way, using  Rail Shot from the  Prototype Particle Accelerator will give you good damage on a net heat vent of 8. Pretty slick if you ask me.  Thermal Detonator is a much better version of  Explosive Dart, and  Incendiary Missile will be a key component of our rotation as it allows us to consistently apply burn effects when we need to (opening up not only  Rail Shot but especially a huge DPS boost via  Rain of Fire, which gives a flat +9% damage boost to  Rapid ShotsPower ShotRail ShotUnload
, and  Sweeping Blasters.
 Overall, I am of the opinion that Pyrotech DPS is still weaker that Arsenal DPS because of the sheer apen floating around in the Arsenal tree, hence it's a small section of a thread as opposed to its own thread. It is an alternative method of DPS though, so I wouldn't say it's "unusable," it's just "suboptimal," in a sense. Once we have more numbers we can put it to rest, but at the worst I wanted to raise the subject matter.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 10:20:15 AM by Dubhar »