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View Full Version : Assassins in Boss Fights - what do you do?



Phaeton_Seraph
09-15-2013, 09:56 PM
I'm finding my Shadar-Kai Assassin to be much less squishy and generally meaner than my Helf (who has been nothing but a bank for some time now).

However, I'm still feeling squishy at boss fights where things refuse to die. Don't they know who I am?!

Harry clobbered me and generally wasn't very nice at all today, so I've got to ask how do most Assassins deal with end fights?

I'm actually more used to casters and ranged characters, so I'm a bit out of my depth.

SSFWEl
09-15-2013, 10:20 PM
I'm finding my Shadar-Kai Assassin to be much less squishy and generally meaner than my Helf (who has been nothing but a bank for some time now).

However, I'm still feeling squishy at boss fights where things refuse to die. Don't they know who I am?!

Harry clobbered me and generally wasn't very nice at all today, so I've got to ask how do most Assassins deal with end fights?

I'm actually more used to casters and ranged characters, so I'm a bit out of my depth.

Get more HP.
Get more self heals.
Get more DPS so the fight is shorter.
Get more DPS so the fight is shorter.
Get more DPS so the fight is shorter.

Boss's are the reason that a long time ago I stopped trying to play Assassin on my Assassin ;)

Specifically regarding Harry, you are never alone there, so keep moving to stay on his flank and backside and avoid agro. Harry twists and turns like a water hose gone wild, so that means YOU are non-stop moving. You cannot just stand there and beat on him.

Soulfurnace
09-15-2013, 10:29 PM
Get more HP.
Get more self heals.
Get more DPS so the fight is shorter.
Get more DPS so the fight is shorter.
Get more DPS so the fight is shorter.

Boss's are the reason that a long time ago I stopped trying to play Assassin on my Assassin ;)

Specifically regarding Harry, you are never alone there, so keep moving to stay on his flank and backside and avoid agro. Harry twists and turns like a water hose gone wild, so that means YOU are non-stop moving. You cannot just stand there and beat on him.
Eh. DPS is good, but at the cost of int.. idk.

So obvious answers - hp. Aim for over 800 at level 28 when somewhat-geared.
Defences - dodge. 20% is an easy enough goal, and will help immensely.
Displacement - lots of shroud displacement clickies. (Or, at the LEAST, keep blur up 24/7 through scrolls. Again, easy.)
Prr - you can get an easy 30, but at least get an augment for 10. (even that helps)
Hp. Moar hps.

All of those are just the basic ones, you can get much more, along with incorp.

For beatdowns like harry, those will keep you fine with a hjealz bot. Without one, twist cocoon (do it. End of story.), get heal scrolls. (shouldn't be hard to hit 39 UMD.)

At the end of the day, defences+practice (in regards to looking out for yourself as a melee) will serve you fine for any content. Melees just have it a li'l worse off than rangers/casters.

Gizeh
09-15-2013, 11:27 PM
As said previously, boost your defenses - dodge, blur/displacement, ghostly/incorporeality, PRR.

In addition an (Improved) Deception weapon and accessory help a lot - they stack in that combination, which makes the bluff effect proc quite often, and every time it procs the enemy turns around for a few seconds and cannot attack you (in addition to letting you deal SA damage, which should shorten the fight).

SSFWEl
09-15-2013, 11:40 PM
So obvious answers - hp. Aim for over 800 at level 28 when somewhat-geared.
Defences - dodge. 20% is an easy enough goal, and will help immensely.
Displacement - lots of shroud displacement clickies. (Or, at the LEAST, keep blur up 24/7 through scrolls. Again, easy.)
Prr - you can get an easy 30, but at least get an augment for 10. (even that helps)
Hp. Moar hps.



All great advice.
But displacement wont help for bosses, they got true seeing!

Soulfurnace
09-16-2013, 12:05 AM
All great advice.
But displacement wont help for bosses, they got true seeing!
Not every boss is like harry though - fair few have trash around, and keeping displacement up is typically worth it.

Dmnqwk
09-16-2013, 03:21 AM
Don't get hit.

As an Assassin you're likely bottom of the pile for health, prr and armor. Sure, some assassin will say "not me" but he's failing to realise if he was anyone else he'd have access to more than an assassin does.

To compensate for this, you get the following:
Uncanny Dodge - for those moments when you don't trust the healers (either someone is dead and noone is scroll rezzing, or the healer's going oom/lagging)
Improved Evasion - reduces the damage you take from the spells bosses toss out. This is the reason having the lowest hit points doesn't always mean you can take the least damage.
Bluff - Very important to ensure the boss is facing a direction you are NOT standing. Bosses often cleave, so getting behind is important. If you get aggro, bluff him onto that annoying Pally you don't like.
Dodge - It's going to be rare that dodge will save your life. If you're at 20% dodge, it'll help when stacked with blurry, ghostly, incorporeality but ultimately just bluff it onto someone else!

Mix in your scroll healing, Rejuve Coccoon (with devotion. ensure you've 100-150 positive spellpower so the rejuve hits around 50 a tick) and the PRR blue augment you've socketed (someone mentioned 10+) and you'll find things are a lot less dangerous.

Finally, consider using Undying Sentinel for a hit point buffer on certain bosses where you feel they're going to smoosh you otherwise.

Soulfurnace
09-16-2013, 03:26 AM
As an Assassin you're likely bottom of the pile for health, prr and armor. Sure, some assassin will say "not me" but he's failing to realise if he was anyone else he'd have access to more than an assassin does.

Finally, consider using Undying Sentinel for a hit point buffer on certain bosses where you feel they're going to smoosh you otherwise.
You haven't met my unarmed wizard, have you? Silly people, thinking rogues have the least hp.

And don't do this. Please. Don't.
You sacrifice everything for 200 hp.. better off in fury. At least you have no-save CC (adrenaline) and dps. Lots of dps.

Phaeton_Seraph
09-17-2013, 08:54 AM
Thanks for all the replies!

This Assassin has only just reached 20, so he's not as well armoured as he should be. Right now he's got the light armour from Harbinger, with the symbiont a and the +10 reflex upgrade to the armour.

At lvl 23, he's got some Terrorweb waiting for him, and I'm only half way to some black dragonscale.

As for incorporality and deception, he's wearing the Golden Guile and a Drow Pwiwafi.

He's got more Dex than Int, which may be hurting his Assasinate, but I'll check out his Reflex Saves and look at ways to increase his PRR when I get home to the PC.

Tactics-wise:
So, basically, dash in, poke him in the behind, dash out?

When you say "bluff him onto [someone else]" do you mean just bluffing while cowering behind some tough guy, or the monk who sets off every trap ("evasion FTW!")?

I'll also look into using Uncanny Dodge and the new racial incorporeal/concealment enhancements in combat scenarios more.




Any tips for when there too many mobs in one place and pulling them one by one isn't possible?

In situations where the party, or specific party members go rushing in to masses of mobs, I find myself running into and out of. The combat area, stealing kills and sometimes using my short bow while waiting for my cool-downs, and sometimes placing myself at the edge of an obstruction and using my Whirling Chain. Is there a better way?

Soulfurnace
09-17-2013, 09:02 AM
Any tips for when there too many mobs in one place and pulling them one by one isn't possible?

In situations where the party, or specific party members go rushing in to masses of mobs, I find myself running into and out of. The combat area, stealing kills and sometimes using my short bow while waiting for my cool-downs, and sometimes placing myself at the edge of an obstruction and using my Whirling Chain. Is there a better way?
The first part... try avoid it? If you're forced to fight a group at once, you really want defences up. Aside from that, standard logic. Back into a narrow passage if possible, a corner, or even a wall so only a few can hit you at once. Focus on one, rip it to pieces, move onto the next.

Avoid the short bow, just TWF more.
Aside from that, unless you have the defences and self hjealz to deal with agro, not reaaally. Same deal as normal. Pick one, rip it apart, move onto next.

Phaeton_Seraph
09-17-2013, 12:37 PM
The first part... try avoid it? If you're forced to fight a group at once, you really want defences up. Aside from that, standard logic. Back into a narrow passage if possible, a corner, or even a wall so only a few can hit you at once. Focus on one, rip it to pieces, move onto the next.

Avoid the short bow, just TWF more.
Aside from that, unless you have the defences and self hjealz to deal with agro, not reaaally. Same deal as normal. Pick one, rip it apart, move onto next.

LOL, of course I want to avoid it. But, unless I could get an all Assassin party going, it's hard to convince a party to move like an Assassin. Needs must when...



As I move up in Epic Levels, is there a Trinket I want more than others?

ReaperAlexEU
09-17-2013, 05:14 PM
you're basically learning how to off-tank in the situation where the PUG gets into an almighty scrap.

2 things, mobs get weak aggro when they spot a player, then strong aggro when a player damages them. aggro is recalculated every few seconds.

so, first up don't be first to get spotted (stand behind the zerging barbarian/monk or just sneak). secondly try to attack mobs that are already wounded to avoid getting strong aggro until it's too late (it isn't uncommon for a rogue and a barbarian to bounce the aggro of 1 mob between them).

once you get the hang of this you find you can move about the battle with impunity, picking on targets at your leisure. sure it's not always perfect, sometimes a mob on the periphery will take a shining to you

if you have the spare skill points you could also max out diplomacy. that is an AoE skill that attempts to put you lower in the aggro list. only works if other players are on the aggro list and close enough for the mob to retarget.

you can also zip about knocking off the hostile archers and other such mobs that aren't being obliterated in the main scrum. casters are prime targets as i'm sure you know, especially with fort being a weakness, but normally a PUG has a few other players who also know the importance of killing casters first freeing you up to go after other targets.

Phaeton_Seraph
09-27-2013, 08:14 PM
you're basically learning how to off-tank in the situation where the PUG gets into an almighty scrap.

2 things, mobs get weak aggro when they spot a player, then strong aggro when a player damages them. aggro is recalculated every few seconds.

so, first up don't be first to get spotted (stand behind the zerging barbarian/monk or just sneak). secondly try to attack mobs that are already wounded to avoid getting strong aggro until it's too late (it isn't uncommon for a rogue and a barbarian to bounce the aggro of 1 mob between them).

once you get the hang of this you find you can move about the battle with impunity, picking on targets at your leisure. sure it's not always perfect, sometimes a mob on the periphery will take a shining to you

if you have the spare skill points you could also max out diplomacy. that is an AoE skill that attempts to put you lower in the aggro list. only works if other players are on the aggro list and close enough for the mob to retarget.

you can also zip about knocking off the hostile archers and other such mobs that aren't being obliterated in the main scrum. casters are prime targets as i'm sure you know, especially with fort being a weakness, but normally a PUG has a few other players who also know the importance of killing casters first freeing you up to go after other targets.

Thanks for the reply.

Whenever possible, I have started "padding" my kill count and clearing out the lesser threats and I think I'm using much of the ideas you suggest.

But let me ask you this:

What about when soloing?

ReaperAlexEU
09-30-2013, 08:47 AM
Thanks for the reply.

Whenever possible, I have started "padding" my kill count and clearing out the lesser threats and I think I'm using much of the ideas you suggest.

But let me ask you this:

What about when soloing?

hehe, well my post was more about grouping, so it's good to hear you're on the right track with that.

as for soloing, i guess it's down to gaining control over the fight before it has even happened. knowing how to split the mobs up to butcher them one at a time is the biggest tool in your box. obviously there is sneaking into the room to slit a throat of two before you're even spotted. most of it you will have worked out already, but i'll just check a few points with you. you can assassinate to the face, but only if you have a short distance to cover in open ground before their spot bonus ramps up too high. when a mob dies it is a bit like a barrel getting broken, other mobs may come over to investigate the death. so bumping off mobs that are out of sight/vision will be the easiest ones to take out first.

if you are out of throats to slit there are other ways to break up a big group. noise and bluff. bluff is the easiest, it will cause one mob to walk away from the others to come meet you, where you can promptly 1vs1 then round a corner (ie in your chosen kill zone). noise is a bit trickier to use, but if the mobs hear a breakable break, or a projectile hit the wall/floor then will move over to investigate. get the range just right and you can peel 1-2 mobs off a group with this. just remember to turn auto-target off! you can also use the noisemaker traps to turn mobs away from a lever you want to pull if you just want to sneak past, it distracts for longer than a broken barrel does (ok, i must admit i've not tested this, so take it with a pinch of salt).

i think you can now use a ranged attack to hit a single mob when you are out of aggro range (ie they have line of sight but are too far away to go hostile and run at you) without aggroing the whole group, but i'd not want to rely on that as it might change in another patch.

all of this is largely useless in a boss fight, which i'm guessing is that you are really after. for that you only have bluff and (improved) deception. ok for some boss fights if you enter it unspotted you can mop up a bit before you have to drop sneak and face the boss, but once you are in that fight with the red-named then it's just methods to proc sneak attacks that work. so, spam it with bluff checks and get an improved deception weapon in your off hand and an improved deception item in a slot (ring of lies or golden guile are 2 firm favourites). other than that you will just have to grin and bare it hopping out of battle to UMD some healing as needed.

in this regard my mechanic is easier to solo with as i can at least stay just out of melee range to avoid the bulk of the boss's wrath! i guess you could experiment with dropping some points into the mechanic tree to get the free repeater feats and INT to xbow damage then just peppering a boss with bolts to see how you feel about it. a TWF assassin should be a better killer than a mechanic when the mobs have a ton of HP as their raw DPS is higher, but a mechanic will find dealing with unwanted aggro that little bit easier due to not being in face hugging range when the aggro lands on them! as we can now be both it might be worth messing with on a pure assassin just to give yourself another option. i'm loving being able to assassinate on my mechanic, though i'm still ranged by default. you might enjoy having the ranged option as a backup.