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[Sorc] AoE Builds Discussion

Black Guard, Sorceress, Witch Elf, Disciple of Khaine

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Caduceus
Posts: 71

[Sorc] AoE Builds Discussion

Post#1 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:31 am

Hey everyone,

The sorceress as a class seems very straightforward. A group-oriented damage dealer with good options for both single-target and AoE damage. However, having played my sorceress a fair deal, primarily in RvR (rr62, so nothing special), I have realized that the Path of Destruction and the sorceress' AoE builds are still a great enigma to me. In this post I would like to outline the things that I find hard to understand about the Path of Destruction tree and the sorceress' AoE in general.

The Enigma

The first thing that caught my attention when considering the Path of Destruction is the sheer amount of AoE abilities the sorceress has.
Even without any career points spent one could argue the sorceress already possesses over a variety of AoE abilities that allows her to tackle any situation:

We have the semi-long range (80ft) Shattered Shadows and Pit of Shades,
The medium range (65ft) Ice Spikes and Infernal Wave
And the close range (30ft) Surging Pain.

A respectable arsenal of five spells, which, given the lack of long cooldowns (PoS being the exception) will give the sorceress something to cast at any range, at any time.
It should be noted that Frozen Touch, especially with the Frozen Fury tactic, can almost be considered a 6th AoE spell, since it procs of AoE damage and significantly increases the sorceress' damage output. Consider then that the sorceress' AoE arsenal is spread over all three different paths.

Looking at the career trees we can see that the sorceress is able to greatly bolster her arsenal with another four spells, one from the Path of Calamity and the others from Path of Destruction:

For semi-long range (80ft) we gain Black Horror, Shadow Knives and Gloom of Night,
For close range (30ft) we gain Disastrous Cascade.

And this is where my confusion deepens.

How does the sorceress benefit from these four additional spells?
I felt my toolkit was already fairly complete, and these abilities do not seem a significant improvement in terms of damage, nor do they seem to be particularly synergetic with each other or anything else within the sorceress class.

Black Horror seems alright, providing some AoE debuffing that the sorceress is otherwise woefully lacking.

But the others?

Shadow Knives is horribly AP intensive, and does comparable damage to Pit of Shades.

Disastrous Cascade seems hardly an upgrade over Surging Pain, with the caveat that it does not consume Dark Magic. On the other hand, it also does not benefit from Lengthening Shadows which increases Surging Pain's radius by 33%. I also have trouble seeing how either of these stand up against the combination of Shattering Shadows and Focused Mind and/or Close Quarters to simply hammer the foe into oblivion. This combination is powerful and works at any range.

Finally, Gloom of Night. This spell is located in the Calamity tree, which makes it awkward to say the least. It's damage per second falls horribly behind other AoE spells, but it makes up for it with it's long duration. Together with Pit of Shades this spell finds use in sieges where it allows the sorceress to hit targets on walls or behind cover, by targeting players next to them, or turrets, etc. The issue is the cooldown, which makes it unreliable.

All in all, these spells feel underwhelming. In fact, not just the spells, but also the tactics in the Path of Destruction tree seem underwhelming.

Currently I'm trying to find a reason not to simply put 15 points in the Path of Destruction and all the rest in Path of Agony (not picking any spells or tactics), to max out the damage dealt by Shattered Shadows, Pit of Shades and Frozen Touch.
A point could be made for including Black Horror. Perhaps a point can be made for including Lengthening Shadows and Neverending Agony so Infernal Wave can be part of my rotation, but that would also cost two tactic slots....

Honestly, I am at a loss. Can someone explain to me what I am missing?

Thanks for reading.
Last edited by Caduceus on Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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nanakaros
Posts: 27

Re: [Sorc] Questions about AoE builds

Post#2 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:10 pm

1. The devs forgot to put dmg in Shades of death skill (13th ist tree)(5timesx90dmg)
2. Nobody in warhammer history ever casted Black Horror.
3. Nobody in warhammer history ever casted Gloom of Night ( stupid low dmg every....3 seconds?!)
4. Why gloom of night isnt in path of destruction (with some kind of rework)?
5. Shadow Knives is a semi-joke skill as well. Basically you should use it as instant 1tick skill because it does dmg every 2 seconds ( gcd 1 second).
6. Infernal Wave 5sec hard cap cd. I'm laughing.
As someone who invested hundreds, if not thousands, of hours playing sorc, I strongly advice you to reroll, to save your time.

Zxul
Posts: 912

Re: [Sorc] Questions about AoE builds

Post#3 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:18 pm

nanakaros wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:10 pm
2. Nobody in warhammer history ever casted Black Horror.
Actually wouldn't be so sure about this one. With Destruction maxed it should debuff init aoe by 75, 75 init less its a lot of chance to be crit added to all targets.
"Can we play with him, master? He seems so unhappy. Let us help him smile. Please? Or at least let us carve one on his face when he stops screaming."

— Azeila, Alluress of Slaanesh

Omegus
Posts: 477

Re: [Sorc] Questions about AoE builds

Post#4 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:37 pm

nanakaros wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:10 pm
5. Shadow Knives is a semi-joke skill as well. Basically you should use it as instant 1tick skill because it does dmg every 2 seconds ( gcd 1 second).
GCD is 1.5 seconds, and it doesn't matter if the damage bonus from Shadow Knives is good enough (I have no idea if it is or not)
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Caduceus
Posts: 71

Re: [Sorc] Questions about AoE builds

Post#5 » Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:21 pm

Since this thread has not received the amount of input that I had hoped for, I will share some of my own findings in RvR over the last few days:

I have tried several types of builds, here's a list of them:


1. Close-range build, focusing on Surging Pain, Disastrous Cascade, Ice Spikes and Infernal Wave,

This build, in my experience, turned out to be a failure. Even though in a decent warband a Sorceress with some tank can survive at close-range, the build lacks synergy, especially because the Piercing Shadows tactic does not proc on Surging Pain, because Surging Pain doesn't trigger Backlash (despite the tooltip stating it does). On top of that, Surging Pain cannot be cast indefinitely because it requires Dark Magic, and Disastrous Cascade does not build much of it and is on a fairly large cooldown. Most importantly, despite a hefty investment of career points, the build seems to lack any true hard hitters.


2. Medium-range build, focusing solely on Shattered Shadows,

Focusing solely on Shattered Shadows, which is available by default, enables one to spend many points in the other trees, potentially maxing out both the Path of Destruction and Path of Agony, which means maximum damage on Shattered Shadows AND Frozen Touch. No other spells or tactics from the career trees are necessary. If one adds Piercing Shadows (and Close Quarters, which is available by default. Also possibly Paralyzing Nightmares?) this can also become a flexible/close-range build.

Even though this build shows some promise, I ultimately found it unwieldy. The problem for me is the cast-time on Shattered Shadows, even under the effects of Focused Mind or Close Quarters. The Sorceress has to be stationary, and the target has to remain in LoS for the spell to go off. Also, in fort/keep defenses it can be a real problem to find the right target to cast on, and this difficulty often wastes precious time at the start of a push. Furthermore, single-target casts like Shattered Shadows are also very susceptible to being resisted. This build shows promise, but is not without some glaring problems.


3. Medium-range build, focusing on Pit of Shades,

For RvR, this seems to be the build that is most easy to use. The only tactic from the Path of Destruction that is required is Neverending Agony, allowing one to cast Pit of Shades every 10 seconds. And that is basically all there is to it. Shadow Knives can be added for flexibility, making it easier to damage moving targets, but is by no means necessary. I don't think one can go wrong with this build.


4. Medium-range build, focusing on Ice Spikes and Gloom of Night,

Now this is where things get interesting. Strangely, some of the Sorceress' AoE spells are located in the Path of Calamity, rather than the Path of Destruction. These are Ice Spikes and Gloom of Night. With the right build, these spells can be made quite potent. Putting many points into the Path of Calamity and taking the Chilling Gusts tactic turns Ice Spikes into a real powerhouse of a spell. Points in the Path of Calamity also strengthen Gloom of Night (Importantly, Frozen Touch procs off Gloom of Night ticks).

Ice Spikes and Gloom of Night can prime a cluster of enemies, only to finish them off using other AoE spells like Pit of Shades or Shattered Shadows. This 'priming' can be further increased with Blast Potions, causing a scary amount of AoE DoT ticks, upon which one can cast their direct damage AoE spells.

This build has been the most effective of the ones I have tried. Not only do Gloom of Night and Ice Spikes hit like a truck when cast together, they will also keep the Sorceress fairly mobile. The kicker? You can build your Sorceress pretty much into single-target caster with Hand of Ruin, Shadow of Disaster, Chilling Gusts and Vision of Domination, and still this build will work like a charm for AoE purposes. To put it plainly, this type of build can produce very strong AoE capabilities without spending a single point in the Path of Destruction tree, and without sacrificing single-target damage.

Here's the link to the build: Path of Calamity Hybrid Build

So far, this is my favorite build out of all the ones I have tried with the Sorceress, and the one I have been having most success with. The fact that this build works better for me than dedicated AoE builds seems counter-intuitive to me, but somehow it just works. The damage and killing blows speak for themselves. Further, it makes me wonder what exactly the Path of Destruction is trying to be. It lacks synergy; it lacks abilities that bring something to the table that the Sorceress doesn't already have.

I'm curious about the experiences of others, and what thoughts they might have about the builds I've tried.

Caduceus
Posts: 71

Re: [Sorc] Questions about AoE builds

Post#6 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:44 am

Expanding upon my last post, I've created a build that is almost entirely AoE focused, which seeks to combine the AoE potential of both the Path of Calamity and the Path of Destruction.

Path of Calamity/Destruction AoE build

The basic concept behind this build is to prime an area with Gloom of Night and Ice Spikes (also blast potions, if available), and then follow up with Pit of Shades for maximum AoE DPS.

When playing with the hybrid build I linked earlier, I noticed the AoE potential of combining Ice Spikes and Gloom of Night. However, having no points in the Destruction tree nor the tactic that puts Pit of Shades on a 10 second cooldown made any further AoE somewhat weak. This build seeks to remedy this by spending a lot of points in the Path of Destruction to add some punching power to Pit of Shades, and enabling the Sorceress to cast it continuously. As a kicker, Infernal Wave is also put on a 5 second cooldown giving some extra medium-range burst.

Frozen Fury and Chilling Gusts were chosen for obvious reasons; these procs get much more potent when hitting multiple targets, making them exceptionally useful for AoE builds.

Neverending Agony was taken to give the Sorceress more up-time on Pit of Shades.

The last tactic slot is up to preference. Potential candidates are: Endless Knowledge, if the Sorceress is not yet capped on intelligence; Glorious Carnage, for quicker morale build-up; Devour Energy, for longer sustainability without having to sacrifice Dark Magic or a GCD; Infernal Gift, for some group-wide damage buffs, or Dark Blessings, for extra survivability.

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adamthelc
Posts: 832

Re: [Sorc] AoE Builds Discussion

Post#7 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:04 pm

Infernal wave and ice spikes are your bread and butter.

You can use pit of shades on a fight with no movement, specifically around a bottleneck. Shadow knives is alright for the first tic and to build combustion.

You can try to use SS or BH in moments of opportunity but I always found build based around them seriously wanting. They are decent when you know a single disrupt won't kill all of your damage.

Same thing goes for gloom of night. Except thats essentially an AoE dot with a large cast time that can be totally undone by a single disrupt and then get dispelled quickly with a single dispelleven if you manage to land it.

The most reliable damage is infernal wave on CD, ice spikes as a filler. Wait for an opportunity to dive and then add Disastrous Cascade and surging pain to that.

Spec you can either get the proc on ice spikes or you used to be able to get the absorb shield and impending doom, but I have no idea how good the absorb tactic is anymore.

Caduceus
Posts: 71

Re: [Sorc] AoE Builds Discussion

Post#8 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:07 pm

adamthelc wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:04 pm

You can try to use SS or BH in moments of opportunity but I always found build based around them seriously wanting. They are decent when you know a single disrupt won't kill all of your damage.

Same thing goes for gloom of night. Except thats essentially an AoE dot with a large cast time that can be totally undone by a single disrupt and then get dispelled quickly with a single dispelleven if you manage to land it.
Honestly, even with a modest -8% chance to disrupt I don't find disruption to be a huge problem for Gloom of Night, as long as I take care to select my target and avoid tanks who are HotL. The cast time for Gloom of Night isn't that long, 2 seconds, meaning it doesn't hurt quite as much when it gets resisted. Also, I don't see Gloom of Night gets dispelled too often, though I'm speaking from an RvR perspective mostly, so it may be very different in city. With Shattered Shadows the disrupts certainly felt a lot more painful.

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adamthelc
Posts: 832

Re: [Sorc] AoE Builds Discussion

Post#9 » Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:38 pm

Using gloom of night is not the end of the world. There is just almost always something better worth doing. I use it in PvE since over the full duration it can do more damage to and individual than doombolt. It counts as direct damage so every tick can proc frozen touch, so its good with frozen fury.

I wouldnt give it very high priority in any type of PvP outside of like a siege where you can throw it on oil or something.

Caduceus
Posts: 71

Re: [Sorc] AoE Builds Discussion

Post#10 » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:41 pm

adamthelc wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:38 pm
Using gloom of night is not the end of the world. There is just almost always something better worth doing.
I'm not sure if I agree with this.

Putting multiple DoTs on a target before bursting will inadvertently increase your DPS and your chances of killing your target. It is no different with AoE DoTs, which is why priming an area with multiple DoTs like Ice Spikes, Gloom of Night and blast pots is so effective. Remember that for the 'price' of a 2 sec cast or a single GCD, you're getting a lot of damage.

It's not without difficulty. If you Gloom of Night the wrong target or blast pot the wrong area, you may end up very little benefit, but this goes for all AoE spells. Ultimately, in somewhat static situations, Ice Spikes and Infernal Wave alone lack oomph. And stacking GoN, Ice Spikes, Blast pots and Pit of Shades ontop of each other brings a lot of oomph.

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