The Sith Assassin’s Codex

THE SITH ASSASSIN’S CODEX
v0.0.0h (updated 13-Dec-11)


I know that treachery can break even the mightiest foe.


Speed and deception are the tools in the Assassin’s arsenal. Whether using stealth to infiltrate a Republic base and remove a high-profile target or tactically entering a large-scale battle, the Assassin’s dual-bladed Lightsaber flashes with deadly precision to provide a relentless offense and when necessary, a formidable defense. The Assassin can channel the Force just as easily, mentally assaulting an enemy and manipulating a confrontation to ensure his side maintains the upper hand.


——————————–


INTRODUCTION

This guide is free for reproduction by others on any website, in part or in whole, under the following terms: a link to this guide’s official location on the official swtor.com forums or ForceJunkies.com is provided, and access to the guide does not require or imply a need for payment of any kind from the end user. I do not require (but do appreciate!  ) being told when you have mirrored my guide.

This handbook is intended to be a comprehensive guide to gameplay competency with the Sith Assassin. As such, it will provide data on effective Player-versus-Player gameplay, Player-versus-Environment gameplay, and some general tips on leveling as a Sith Assassin. It is not intended to be a walkthrough or guide to any specific World, Flashpoint or Operation, and will only contain some brief looks at specific Warzones and Conflict Regions. Skill Calculator builds are merely my opinion, and though I do my best to learn as much as possible, I cannot know everything. If you have contradictory ideas, please post them here. While this guide will never be perfect, it will be more perfect with each version than the last. We get better through sharing ideas, after all.

This guide will also go over the basics of gearing as a Sith Assassin, and highlight some notable pieces of equipment.

The version numbering will correspond with that of the most recent live version of the game, followed by a letter indicating a major revision to the guide’s contents. e.g. 1.0.1c would be the third major version of the guide intended to correspond to game version 1.0.1. Minor wording changes and stylistic editing will not be considered.


——————————–


TABLE OF CONTENTS

01. [Introduction]
02. [Table of Contents]
03. [Assassin Basics]
04. [Specialization: Darkness]
05. [Specialization: Deception]
06. [Specialization: Madness]
07. [Assassin Companions]
08. [Equipping an Assassin]
09. [Crew Skills]
10. [Appendix: FAQs]
11. [Appendix: MMO Glossary]
12. [Appendix: Keybinds]
13. [Appendix: Shadow <-> Assassin Dictionary]
14. [Appendix: Changelog]
15. [Appendix: Advanced Reading]

——————————–


ASSASSIN BASICS

Parent Class: Sith Inquisitor
Sister Class: Sith Sorcerer
Mirrored by: Jedi Shadow
Primary Weapon: Double-bladed Lightsaber, Electrostaff
Off-Hand Items: Shield Generator, Force Focus
Armor Class: Light
Aesthetic Inspirations: Darth Maul, Exar Kun, Satele Shan, Bastila Shan
Story Inspiration: Emperor Palpatine. “First and foremost was the Emperor/Palpatine inspiration. To be just bat-**** insane or to be subtle and clever.”
Skill Trees: Darkness (Defender), Deception (Melee Striker), Madness (Hybrid Striker)
Resource: Force Points. (Base Max: 100; Base Recovery: 8 Pts/Second)
Playable Species: Human, Zabrak, Rattataki, Twi’lek, Sith Pureblood
Voice Actress: Xanthe Elbrick
Voice Actor: Euan Morton

The Sith Assassin does not fear wasting her Force Points early in a fight; she has few long cooldowns, and a steadily refilling resource bar. Unlike Agents and Bounty Hunters, this resource bar does not regenerate at variable rates. The challenge in playing a Sith Assassin correctly is careful management of several short-term cooldowns and interspersing low or no-cost abilities with medium and high cost abilities, to avoid missing a vital window of opportunity.
careful balancing of your basic attack – which requires no Force to use – versus your more costly abilities is essential to success. While many of your abilities have very short or non-existent cooldowns, spamming a low-cost ability whenever available will prevent you from making effective use of the higher cost abilities.

The Assassin can access up to three different combat modes, or charges, which alter the majority of her relevant abilities. Each of these modes adds a chance to affect each of her melee attacks (though no more often than once every 1.5 seconds). Melee attacks which hit multiple times or multiple targets have a better chance of activating the technique once per ability. These modes are off of the global cooldown, but have a high resource cost. It is possible to switch modes and then immediately benefit from the change, but you can do so only with careful forethought and planning, and at the expense of restricting yourself heavily for several seconds prior.

While these techniques are active, the Assassin is able to use the ability Discharge, which has a variable effect based on which technique is active. When Dark Charge is active, Discharge becomes an AoE strike that debuffs the opponents’ accuracy by 5%. Lightning Charge creates a periodic damage effect discharge, and Surging Charge delivers a sharp burst of damage via Discharge.

Generally speaking, the Assassin is very comfortable with Melee to Short-Range play. In proper specs, the class appears to be the least kiteable melee and an excellent kiter due to high mobility options, snares, knockbacks, Force Pull, and ranged abilities. You’ll always be at your very best in Melee Range, but if someone goes out to 5 meters and farther, you are still doing very reasonable until they get to 11 meters. A completely successful escape from a properly built Assassin is nearly impossible, as should be expected from their archetype.

People familiar with Rogues from World of Warcraft will find only some similarities in the Assassin. For the most part, it is far more survivable with fewer hard controls (such as stuns) and more range as well as self-healing. While it will always be optimal for Assassin to attack from behind, it is by no means expected or necessary for any but a Deceiver.

Generally speaking, stealth is more difficult than in other games. Stealth detection is a bit easier for your targets when you get close in, which is why you get the Blackout ability. It’s a pretty neat little ability that greatly improves your stealth level for a brief window of time, with a one minute cooldown. When you absolutely have to get in close for a Mind Trap, use Blackout and get in and out of there fast.

At level 15, you get the ability Channel the Force, which is the power-up music ability for the Sith Assassin and Sith Sorcerer. Channel the Force has a 20 minute cooldown and lasts for 1 minute; it is extremely powerful, and can allow you to solo otherwise impossible challenges.

Mass Mind Control and Mind Control are great abilities in PvP, and should not be forgotten. Unlike Guard it does not require you to be in Dark Charge, so any Assassin can make use of it; clever use can severely reduce the output of someone attacking an ally. Pair it well with Force Cloak and Overload and other abilities to keep them from immediately beating up on you, however.


——————————–


DARKNESS ASSASSINS

Jedi. Their order is a fading light in the dark. Corrupt and arrogant. They must be punished. The Jedi shall fall!


Playstyle: High threat defender; melee with some ranged moves.
Mode: Dark Charge
PvE Builds: Standard (31/0/10)Madness Variant (25/0/16)
PvP Builds: PvP Harnessed Shadows (27/14/0)Hybrid Madness (23/0/18)Hybrid Stealth (22/19/0)Shock Spam (22/12/7)

Priority List:

0. Saber Strike (Out of Force)
1. Dark Ward (1 charge or about to expire)
2. Discharge (Every time it’s up)
3. Wither (5 seconds after cooldown ends) or Death Field (every CD)
4. Force Lightning (3 stacks of Harnessed Darkness)
5. Assassinate (Target at 30% health or less)
6. Crushing Darkness (Raze buff)
7. Shock (Energize buff) or Lacerate (2 or more enemies)
8. Thrash

I’m sorry, but every time I say ‘Darkness Assassin,’ I can’t help but think of My Immortal. The fanfic, not the song. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, good for you. Keep it that way.

Welcome to our tanking tree. The Darkness Assassin is the most offense-oriented of the three tank styles available in the Old Republic. We possess a mix of battlefield control, mobility and range that makes the playstyle a blast. The bulk of its survivability is defined by its high blocking chance, while it has moderate avoidance, stable mitigation, and the unique ability among tanks to self-heal. Though its armor seems initially low, Dark Charge and several of its specialized skill brings the class armor values on par with the Sith Juggernaut, and it has superior damage reduction for Elemental and Internal damage, the two types not covered by armor.

The heal granted by Dark Charge’s passive bonus is minor, and typically functions more like mitigation than damage; you won’t even notice your health crawl up. However, Overcharge Saber can be modified into an instant self-heal as well as greatly improving the healing generated by this passive.

In addition to the unique ability to self-heal, the Darkness Assassin is easily the highest damage of any defender specialization in the game, tied with the Kinetic Shadow. AoE threat is not an issue after obtaining your primary area attack, Lacerate, and as awkward as ranged tanking can be in PvE, the Assassin still handles these situations with more aplomb than the Guardian ever can hope to.

Personally speaking, I found the default User Interface to be lacking as a Tankasin; most of my time is spent checking the lower bar to watch multiple cooldowns, expiring buffs, whether or not Energize had activated, the range of a selected target, as well as estimating how much of my Force Points I had remaining in order to execute the next move. This is not good, as ranged tanking – which the Assassin will be doing a lot of – is very complicated. Fun, but complicated. Some of these issues will go with time; as you get into a steady rhythm, you won’t have to look at the bar so often to predict how soon you can use your next attack.

PVE

There are two builds presently available for Tankasins in Player-versus-Environment content: the Standard (31/0/10), and the Madness Variant (25/0/16). The Standard will likely prove superior to the Madness Variant for difficult group content, due to the psuedo-mitigation provided by Wither, as well as the additional 12% healing provided by Force Lightning through Harnessed Darkness. Note that the first 6% of the heal, along with half of the damage, occurs during the very first second of the ability; if you have to move, your Force Lightning will not be wasted, and the ability does significant damage. Even so, the Madness Variant has significant benefits which should be discussed.

Most notably, ranged tanking is a pain. The Standard only has one ability at greater than 10m range: Force Pull. Force Pullis not a move that you use to start a fight, that is what stealth is for. Instead, Force Pull is to allow you to bring one enemy closer so that you can use your death spam AoEs easier. If you have multiple enemies wielding ranged attacks, however, this can prove inadequate; this is not a game that often allows for the ‘pull around a corner’ strategy tanks would use to deal with this in the past, due to slightly smarter enemy AI. It is true that Recklessness has a (clumsy) range increase built into it for Force Lightning, but your Force Lightning can be easily interrupted. Even if you have Harnessed Darkness up, the power is still cancelled by movement, and you can only do this twice every 90 seconds; it is not an adequate solution.

This is where the Madness Variant comes in. Death Field is a location-targeted AoE attack with a 30m range, that also comes with the benefit of moderate self-healing. While it is limited in the number of targets that it can affect, at 3,Lacerate is quite spammable. Additionally, even within the 10m range, the variant is considerably more capable; Razeallows Crushing Darkness to avoid the difficulty of using Shock: the high Force cost.

Of note, the Madness Variant build is extremely close to the PvP version of the same build, and you can do an alright job tanking with the PvP version, as it picks up an extra 30m stun in return for a minimal loss in self-healing.

PVP

As a warning note, if you’re planning on PvPing at low levels, I recommend doing it as Deception. Darkness and Madness suck before 20, and respecialization is cheap your first several times.

Player-versus-Player on a tank is different in this game than in World of Warcraft, which you may be accustomed to. Mind Control and Mass Mind Control are your taunts; when used, they reduce the target’s outgoing damage by 30% for 6 seconds unless they attack you. Useful tools to prevent incoming damage on an ally, and you usually do not have to worry about an immediate backlash, because it’s nearly impossible to point out who delivered the taunt. Guarding is another story – Guarding allows you to share your HP pool with another player, which subjects you to taking more impact from Area of Effect abilities, but can make killing your partner an absolute pain. Due to a Darkness Assassin’s unique ability to break slowing effects with Force Speed, Tankasins make good partners for a huttball carrier – they can Guard the target, push and pull enemies into firewalls and off ledges, and also run the ball very effectively themselves.

Unique to the Assassin is the ability to both Guard a target and hide in stealth until attacked, allowing them to perform an effective defender duo with a healer, or part of an offensive ninja trio on enemy objectives in Alderaan and Voidstar. It’s always advisable to open in stealth if possible, in order to Mind Trap potential targets.

Another peculiar strength of the Darkness Assassin in PvP is the ability to use Spike out of Stealth. This may seem like a mediocre ability – it’s a 2s stun, and induces a 1.5s global cooldown. Well, think again. It is actually a knockdown, and not an incapacitate effect. There is no ability in the game which can break someone out of a knockdown – they have to recover normally. While it is a tricky ability to use, a well-timed Spike is guarantee of 2 seconds where there is absolutely nothing the target can do, no matter what, as long as their resolve bar is not overcharged.

As you may’ve noticed, the questionable PvP value of the top of this tree has led to a lot of potential different builds. Widely stated, the many builds are splintered around these key points: Harnessed Shadows, Force Slow, Circling Shadows, Find Weakness, Upheaval, Force in Balance, Containment and Force Strike. There are many notable skills in each of these PvP builds, but those are the most central ones.

Harnessed Darkness (go to the PvE segment for a quick look at it) is cumbersome to properly build up, but results in an extremely high spike damage/slow/self-heal that is one of the ultimate expressions of force power, and it is only ever paired with Induction for easier Shock activations. Knowing when to save a Harnessed Darkness in conjunction with Recklessness can be crucial to victory. Force Slow allows the Tankasin to be a more effective harasser, especially against an opponent with cleanse support. Induction makes casting Shock a simpler task, requiring less prediction, and improves the burst off of Exploit Weakness. Exploit Weakness sharply raises your burst output; a single Maul under its effect can deal double the damage of your Thrash, even moreso under a critical.

Due to the weakness of Guarding a target and then having you both get blasted by AoEs, it may be advisable for a defensively-playing Hybrid Stealth to drop the two points in Static Cling or Fade and opt instead for Entropic Field, which reduces your incoming AoE damage by 30%. It’s ordinarily not worth it at all, but as many AoE attacks in the game are balanced around hitting two or more targets (rather than three or more), Entropic Field can prevent you from dropping too fast.

Chain Shock randomly improves the burst off of Shock a significant amount, and Death Field allows you to finish off runners or break multiple capture attempts simultaneously in a Warzone. Haunted Dreams pairs with Death Field as an answer to runners, allowing the short-ranged Tankasin to control enemies on a whim, at the cost of filling their resolve bar. Finally, Raze in a Darkness build partially makes up for the awkwardness associated with using Shock without Induction by adding a second source of 10m range burst damage, this one free of cost, though with backloaded periodic damage.

GEARING

As with all Inquisitors, Willpower is your primary stat, and you use both physical and Force abilities, so you would rather take the Power statistic rather than Force Power. Alacrity will increase the speed of your Force Lightning attacks, but it is not something you should try to do; it has no other benefit to you. You will obviously want to build up defensive statistics – Absorption, Shield Rating, Defense and Endurance. Absorption and Shield Rating will provide the biggest bang for your buck. The hardcap on bonus for Shield Rating is around +50% chance – you’ll experience diminishing returns well before then, but it gives you a wide margin to reach for.

This is important, because the Sith Assassin has the least amount of survivability cooldowns relative to other specs, but has a significant advantage in how often it shields, thanks to Dark Ward. (Note also that a shielded attack cannot be a critical. This could mean that the Tankasin is vulnerable to auto-crit abilities, or could also theoretically reduce the critical chance of a received attack, if the chance is not 100% but the sum of shield chance + critical chance is greater than 100%.)

Because Dark Ward has a limited number of charges available, a higher avoidance chance will increase its longevity, as well. Therefore, the type of encounters we face will direct the next most important survivability statistic. If we constantly see high-end content with multiple enemies which require tanking, there will be a strong lean – a higher avoidance chance will reduce the number of charges eaten up on Dark Ward, improving your AoE tankability. If, instead, the Shadow is constantly facing a limited number of attacks, armor and absorption rating will take precedence.

Endurance is of low priority at current itemization schemes, because the endurance multiplier in the Darkness tree is so low.

Offensively, the Darkness Assassin wants Surge Rating, to take full advantage of auto-critical Shocks. Critical Strike rating should be a non-priority for gearing.

In PvP, Expertise Rating will be your single most important statistic. Accuracy Rating will also come into consideration; while you previously could only miss with your basic Saber Strike attack, every class has a minimum of 5% defense, and tanks can have much more. I would strongly consider getting at least 10% accuracy, to make sure that you do not miss with a vital Crowd Control or interrupt against enemy Jedi Sages and Sith Sorcerers, who have a base defense of 10%.


——————————–


DECEPTION ASSASSINS

You were deceived.


Playstyle: Spike damage striker, harasser; melee skirmisher.
Mode: Surging Charge
PvE Builds: Armor Piercing (5/33/3)Chain Shock (2/31/8)
PvP Builds: PvP Standard (5/33/3)PvP Chain Shock (0/33/8)Variant (11/30/0)High Regen Backstab Spam (18/23/0)

Priority List:

0. Saber Strike (Out of Force)
1. Assassinate (Target at 30% health or less)
2. Maul (Exploit Weakness buff about to expire, behind target)
3. Lacerate (3 or more enemies)
4. Discharge (Every Cooldown)
5. Shock (2x Induction buff… so near basically every CD)
6. Maul (Exploit Weakness just proc’d)
7. Voltaic Slash or Thrash

Deception is the most martially-based of the three Assassin trees, eventually becoming extremely flashy as a melee combatant. It’s the tree the Assassin was built for, and thus levels the most effectively of any Assassin tree early on; where the other trees are grasping for their basics before level 20, the Deceiver already has most of what he needs. It also is unique, as it is the only spec among all 24 Imperial specializations that has no good 30m offensive abilities, and essentially, no method of gap closing beyond Force Speed. In return, it has the most effective control while it is on a target, and the highest damage of any Assassin specialization. The basic conceit of the tree is that you use your martial strikes with a lightsaber to either buy time for your powerful, Force-driven attacks; or that you use those abilities to get into position for a particularly vicious Lightsaber stab in the back.

Since Surging Charge has a chance to activate on each hit, even though it’s capped at a maximum of 1 activation per 1.5s, all of your multiple hit moves get more benefit from Surging Charge than it appears. Surging Charge would apparently do similar average damage as Lightning Charge, right? About double the damage and half the activation rate? Think again. Your main two abilities strike twice every period. The chance of at least one activating Lightning Charge is 75%, which is a 50% relative increase from the base activation chance of 50%. However, the chance of at least one activating Surging Charge is 44%, which is a 75% relative increase from the base activation chance of 25%. This difference becomes even more distinct with Saber Strike, which has a 58% chance to activate Surging Charge, and an 88% chance to activate Lightning Charge – relative increases of 130% and 76% respectively.

Incidentally, this means that if you follow the pattern Voltaic Slash, Voltaic Slash, Shock, you will only reliably have one instance of Static Charges saved up. Static Charges gain very slowly. You’d need six or seven full cycles to get a stack of five with high certainty – that’s around 30 seconds, and Discharge will be up every 12 to 15 seconds. Some math will have to be done versus reliable gear levels, to show what the optimum amount of Static Charge stacks is to release in a maximum DPS cycle. My suspicion is that Static Charge should be simply considered a bonus rather than a need in a maximum DPS cycle, and that Discharge should only be held back, waiting for a full stack, when in burst damage phases.

Overload and Shock deserve special mention with this tree; their secondary effects are useful to allow you time to go behind the target and stab it. Overload’s knockback can even pull this off in PvP; don’t expect that effect from Shock in harder PvE or any PvP, however.

PVE

In Player versus Environment content, the Armor Piercing (5/33/3) damage rotation is pretty evident. As with Darkness, it is a very erratic priority list, as the key of the tree has you watching your rotation. The Deceiver is surprisingly good at Area of Effect damage for a single-target specialist, but only in bursts; while it still has the awesome Lacerate, the Deceiver can most efficiently use it when just coming out of stealth, or under the effect of Blackout. For those of you playing along at home, in a group situation, the Infiltrator can get 18 consecutive seconds of vicious, vicious AoE slashy goodness: coming out of stealth, blackout, Force Cloak.

When not being a whirling dervish, the Infiltrator still hits really, really hard. Starting out, you’ll find that you like to stab people in the back. It’s not as necessary as you think, though. Without the Exploit Weakness buff which comes from your other attacks, Maul typically does not do enough damage for its crippling Force Cost versus the combination of Voltaic Slash or Thrash followed by a Shock. Even under the effects of Dark Embrace, you’ll only regenerate enough Force Points for another full-cost Maul about every third GCD.

Entropic Field is not a strictly necessary skill, but it is an advisable one for group content due to the prevalence of PvE splash damage. While leveling, those points can be otherwise assigned. The 2 points in Entropic Field, Fade, Resourcefulness or Avoidance can be moved to any of the slots as you see fit.

The Chain Shock (2/31/8) build has recently been brought to my attention, and on targets which have less armor (below about 20% armor), it looks like it may overtake the Armor Piercing build (which has been renamed from Standard for that reason). This is pending on how much armor reduction enemies are calculated with on average.

PVP

The PvP Standard (5/33/3) is pretty fun, and also startlingly close to the PvE version of said build.

People keep asking me about openers. Allow me to stress that unlike Rogues and similar classes from other games, there is not a specific opener or set of abilities which can be recommended. Not only has BioWare taken pains to avoid ‘out-of-stealth alpha strike’, but there aren’t even a lot of options. Here are the basics:

– You open up with a Maul, which hits hard and – as a single one – does not put too much of a strain on your regeneration since you’re coming out of stealth with 110 FP and a high regeneration.
– You open up with a Spike, which is a knockdown (not a stun, and therefore cannot be escaped by a cooldown) for 2s. Not advisable unless you really, really need the person to not be doing something for two seconds and none of these alternatives are suitable:

– Jolt costs no Force, does not use a Global Cooldown, and for you it has a fast cooldown of its own. And it also doesn’t increase the resolve bar, which Spike does.
– Mind Trap uses a lot of Force, causes a lot of resolve bar cost, and can’t be used if your opponent is already in combat/isn’t advisable if you want to engage them in combat. It’s a great CC, however.
– Low Slash can be escaped, does damage, costs the same amount of Force, but has a 15s CD. You will probably want this for later.
– Electrocute has a 30m range, can be escaped, has a long CD. You probably want this for later.

– You open up with a Voltaic Slash, which does good damage, and sets up your chains early.

That’s really it. There’s no great complexity here. I’d go with Maul or Voltaic Slash for most situations personally, but that’s me.

That aside, you will want to keep Force Slow on your target at all times, using it every cooldown or close to it. Once the person is out of your 10m grasp, they are out of your reach forever. That’s it. Though you may be interested in frying a runner every now and then by using Force Lightning with Recklessness, as it gets 30m reach under the effects of Recklessness, and does good damage under its effects, as each tick will benefit from the 60% added chance to crit.

Discharge’s damage may seem to be a bit low relative to Shock’s; remember that Discharge deals internal damage, which bypasses armor entirely, and typically only tanks have a resistance to internal damage. It’s also on a separate cooldown from Shock, which means that it can be fired in quick succession, while Shock has to contend with its internal cooldown.

For example, an Assassin ready to torch his opponent at low health can use the combination of Recklessness, Assassinate, Shock, Discharge, Low Slash, Maul, Assassinate in rapid succession, a combination which is nearly impossible to survive.

Of note is that even though you’re not a tank, you can still use Mind Control, your taunt, which reduces the outgoing damage of the taunted foe by 30% unless they attack you – this is a great addition to teamplay dynamics, because it is entirely possible for you to use Mass Mind Control when everyone is beating on your healer or huttball carrier, and then using Force Cloak to vanish into nothingness.

The PvP Upheaval (0/33/8) build is the most notable alternative; it trades off more damage on every single attack that you do (by losing the armor penetration of Charge Mastery in Darkness) for a larger burst out of Energize. It may even be better in PvE than the standard, due to the way Shock scales, though I would not be willing to put money on it without a combat log handy.

There are two other alternative builds: Variant (11/30/0) and High Regen Backstab Spam (18/23/0). Variant works exactly the same as normal, but gives up a lot of its burst for better motion. Your mileage may vary, I don’t personally recommend it.

Neither do I recommend High Regen Backstab Spam, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – it gives up a lot of its burst for the ability to shank someone really, really sithing hard. A lot. Under the effects of Dark Embrace, you’re regenerating 15.6 FP/s, which means that in a teamplay situation, where someone else can keep the guy from paying too much attention, you’ll get a few more Mauls. To elaborate on why this isn’t worth it – roughly speaking, Maul is only half as efficient at damage as Shock and Thrash in this specialization, at least when Exploit Weakness isn’t active. You’ll run out of Force far too quickly for the energy difference to likely do its job. I don’t think it will last long enough to deliver its damage, but as I don’t claim to be a PvP god, I’ve included it for the sake of information.

GEARING

As with all Inquisitors, Willpower is your primary stat, and you use both physical and Force abilities, so you would rather take the Power statistic rather than Force Power. You do not need Alacrity as none of your abilities of note have cast-times. Critical Strike Rating is your single most important statistic, as your critical hits with Maul, Discharge and Shock do significantly more than the base +50%. While Surge Rating is also nice, you flat-out crave critical strike more than anything else until diminishing returns kicks in hard, because you have no method of ensuring critical strikes to keep Exploitive Strikes up aside from Force Potency.

Surge Rating is still valuable as well, because the built-in diminishing returns on Surge do not account for your flat bonuses to critical from your specialized skills. You can easily sport another +20% critical strike damage from gear.

In PvP, Expertise Rating will be your single most important statistic. Accuracy Rating will also come into consideration; while you previously could only miss with your basic Saber Strike attack, every class has a minimum of 5% defense, and tanks can have much more. I would strongly consider getting at least 10% accuracy, to make sure that you do not miss with a vital Crowd Control or interrupt against enemy Jedi Sages and Sith Sorcerers, who have a base defense of 10%.


——————————–


MADNESS ASSASSINS

Power… Unlimited power.


Playstyle: Periodic damage, self-healing; versatile range.
Mode: Lightning Charge
PvE Builds: Standard (7/3/31)
PvP Builds: Standard (3/7/31)

Priority List:

0. Saber Strike (Out of Force)
1. Death Field (Even single target, every CD)
2. Force Lightning (Under Recklessness)
3. Shock (If Unearthed Knowledge is not active, or about to expire)
4. Assassinate (Target at 30% health or less)
5. Maul (Exploit Weakness, behind target)
6. Crushing Darkness (Raze buff, preferentially on an unafflicted target)
7. Creeping Terror (On a target not currently afflicted, or about to expire)
8. Discharge
9. Force Lightning (if you need healing or are low on Force)
10. Thrash or Lacerate

The Madness Assassin is the only Melee/Range hybrid out of all six Sith specializations; obviously, Balance Shadows hold the same distinction among their kin. As you can see, it uses the largest range of completely unique skills as part of its damage rotation. Past readers will notice the addition of Force Lightning to the priority rotation. Force Lightning’s status as a periodic damage spell is currently in debate.

PVE

There’s not too much to say or watch out for here that the priority list doesn’t already cover.

Standard (7/3/31) has been altered from previous builds, because my assessment is that Discharge is simply not used enough on multiple targets in most situations to make a faster cooldown worth it, versus a bonus to the critical melee skill of Thrash. The basic idea behind the Madness playstyle is to drop Death Field on your target and go to town with periodic damage effects. On a single target, its damage is less relative to Deception, though decent; on multiple sustained targets, the damage can rack up quickly.

Abuse the fact that Death Field and Creeping Terror have full 30m ranges rather than 10m, and consider switching targets early in a group situation. Likewise, abuse your instant cast Whirlwinds as well as the fact that you get a stun if someone is damaged while contained within them; Whirlwind is normally risky to use mid-fight in PvE because it will heal the opponent, but if you Whirlwind a multiply DoTted opponent, it is unlikely a heal pulse will get off, making it an effective interrupt.

There is an alternative version of this build for leveling that takes two points out of Electric Execution and into Oppressing Force, which lets your Whirlwind affect two additional targets. It’s of no use in PvP or endgame PvE, but can be very nice for managing large crowds while soloing.

PVP

As a warning note, if you’re planning on PvPing at low levels, I recommend doing it as Deception. Darkness and Madness suck before 20, and respecialization is cheap your first several times.

Standard (3/7/31) is standard. There’s really not much to say here, honestly, given the currently undeveloped state of the metagame, making it difficult to speak of specific counters.

The biggest thing to note is that Creeping Terror can be a great way to nail someone who thinks that they’ve just gotten out of your range, for a minimal resolve cost; you can save it if you suspect that someone is going to flee in short order, or you can save it to backstab someone who’s gotten low, then chain into a Electrocute or Whirlwind to stab them some more..

Of note is that even though you’re not a tank, you can still use Mind Control, your taunt, which reduces the outgoing damage of the taunted foe by 30% unless they attack you – this is a great addition to teamplay dynamics, because it is entirely possible for you to use Mass Mind Control when everyone is beating on your healer or huttball carrier, and then using Force Cloak to vanish into nothingness. You can even get away with using Dark Charge rather than Lightning Charge in order to Guard your ally, as you have a wealth of self-healing available. Guarding allows you and your ally to share a health pool, which is a fantastic way to help keep them alive; 50% of their damage intake gets redirected to you as long as you remain within 15 meters. It’s not recommended for large periods of time as you are not a tank and your self-healing goes down without the ability to Discharge someone with a DoT, but you’re more capable of it than Deception Assassins, so take advantage of it from time to time.

You’re going to take the role of a Pressure Player; though you have burst, it’s significantly less than that available to the other two Assassin trees, so you are unlikely to get the burst damage necessary to down someone quickly. Crushing Darkness is significantly weaker than Shock for direct damage, and your Shocks lack the power of Darkness and Deception. You don’t have the force regeneration of Darkness, or the efficiency in burst of Deception – but your DoTs are extremely efficient, and you have the hardest hitting Thrash of any Assassin.

GEARING

As with all Inquisitors, Willpower is your primary stat, and you use both physical and Force abilities, so you would rather take the Power statistic rather than Force Power. Critical Strike Rating is your single most important statistic, as your critical hits with Thrash, Death Field, and all periodic damage abilities do significantly more than the base +50%. Alacrity will increase the speed at which your periodic damage takes effect, making it a useful ability in PvE for straight up damage, but only up to a point, due to the limited charges that Force Suppression leaves.

There’s a geometric progression on keeping Exploitive Strikes up with a higher critical chance; more Force criticals lead to more melee criticals lead to instant cast Crushing Darknesses which increases the chance that you’ll get a critical from at least one of your Force attacks. The more targets you can fight simultaneously, the easier it will be to maintain Exploitive Strikes. And all of this says nothing of the benefit to your health regeneration.

Surge Rating is extremely valuable as well, because the built-in diminishing returns on Surge do not account for your flat bonuses to critical from your specialized skills. You can easily sport another +20% critical strike damage from gear.

In PvP, Expertise Rating will be your single most important statistic. Accuracy Rating will also come into consideration; while you previously could only miss with your basic Saber Strike attack, every class has a minimum of 5% defense, and tanks can have much more. I would strongly consider getting at least 10% accuracy, to make sure that you do not miss with a vital Crowd Control or interrupt against enemy Jedi Sages and Sith Sorcerers, who have a base defense of 10%. Finally, Alacrity will be much more important since it will improve the rate at which you get health return, and ensuring that periodic damage takes effect quicker prior to being cleansed by enemy healer.


——————————–
ASSASSIN COMPANIONS

To assist you in your missions, you’ll build a small team of helpers over time. While they will remain with you regardless of how you treat them, making sure that they like you is important; a companion who likes and respects you will craft faster and perform skill missions more successfully. To avoid accidental spoilers, each companion is listed in a dropdown beneath their planet.

KORRIBAN

Spoiler

DROMUND KAAS

Spoiler

TATOOINE

Spoiler

TARIS

Spoiler

HOTH

Spoiler

VOSS

Spoiler

SECRET COMPANION

Spoiler
——————————–

EQUIPPING AN ASSASSIN

Handling your way across your starter world of Korriban as a Sith Inquisitor should be pretty simple, for the most part. However, your masters and lessons do not really explain a lot about gearing, and I feel that it is useful to have a reference list available here. If you’re looking for specific gearing instructions per specialization, look back at the final paragraph for each specialization instead. This is general information.

All characters use one primary ability score of Aim, Cunning, Strength or Willpower. All four of these abilities has a specialized purpose. Aim will only increase your ranged damage and critical chance, Cunning will only increase your tech damage and critical chance, Strength will only increase your melee damage and critical chance, and Willpower will only increase your Force damage and critical chance. Normally, anyway.

Each base class has a different primary ability score. A primary ability score equally improves both of the damage vectors which your class will use. Through the Force, all things are possible; Willpower is the primary score for Consulars and Inquisitors, and grants both Melee Damage and Force Damage, as a result.

Presence measures your ability to inspire, lead, and guide your companions. A higher presence score will increase your companion’s health, damage and healing. Companions take up the party slot of a player, but are less effective than a player; if you intend to do a lot of content which requires full or nearly full groups, it’s not wise to invest much into presence.

Endurance, simply enough, improves one’s raw health.

Secondary stats are available, which add more complexity to the matter.

Absorption Rating: Increases the amount of damage blocked by a successful shield reaction. More rating is required to achieve the same percentage bonus at higher character levels.

Accuracy Rating: Grants additional hit, and then reduces the opponent’s defense once past 100%. More rating is required to achieve the same percentage bonus at higher character levels.

Alacrity Rating: A secondary stat which improves the speed of activation time for non-instant abilities. It does not affect the Global Cooldown for instant abilities. More rating is required to achieve the same percentage bonus at higher character levels. It may also increase the rate at which periodic abilities take effect.

Critical Rating: Improves the chance of a critical hit. More rating is required to achieve the same percentage bonus at higher character levels.

Defense Rating: Improves the chance of a avoiding an attack. More rating is required to achieve the same percentage bonus at higher character levels.

Expertise Rating: Increases damage and healing done, and reduces damage taken, but only in PvP. A maximum of 10% effectiveness. More rating is required to achieve the same percentage bonus at higher character levels.

Force Power: A secondary stat which improves Force Ability damage and healing only.

Power: A secondary stat which improves damage and healing from all sources.

Shield Rating: Increases the chance that a shield reaction is triggered against an attack. More rating is required to achieve the same percentage bonus at higher character levels.

Surge Rating: Improves the effect of a critical hit. Base Surge is +50%. More rating is required to achieve the same percentage bonus at higher character levels.

Tech Power: A secondary stat which improves Tech Ability damage and healing only.

——————————–

CREW SKILLS

Money can get you everything.

Those of you coming from World of Warcraft post-Classic are familiar with the skill layout of that game, where every single craft skill had to have a mechanically advantageous thing that it ‘owned’ (each of them being roughly as good as the others). Several of the crafting skills in that game effectively were worthless to anyone besides the wielder, to boot.

That is not how this game works, mechanically. Every single crew skill mechanical perk originates from the fact that you’re getting the benefit cheaper or earlier than someone who does not have your craft skill. For example, anyone can use medpacks; only a Biochem producer can get a reusable medpack, which costs more to craft but will never get used up. You do not need to be an artificer to upgrade your lightsaber; artificers make the upgrades, you just buy them and insert them into the lightsaber yourself. Etc. The other thing is that all of the crafting skills have some sort of aesthetic option which is unique to them, and these are among the rare bind-on-pickup items that cannot be given to anyone else.

Therefore, there are three approaches to take when choosing your Crew Skill layout: Do I want to get something that will save me money on a reusable I want a lot of, do I want to get something that will make me a lot of money, or do I want to get something that will give me a unique visual perk? It cannot be stressed enough that crafting of any kind while leveling up will only be of limited use; you will always end up ahead in credits while leveling by not crafting anything. It becomes a question of time and money spent now, versus time and money spent later to either level up your own craft skill or constantly purchasing everything you need.

To make your decision, you need to have a good grasp of what can be made by each craft skill. You have access to three crew skills per character; a maximum of one may be a craft skill, and it’s recommended that the other two be a gathering skill and a mission skill which support that craft skill. Everything is oriented around the crafting skills; mission skills provide a nice little bit of flavor, but are essentially a second gathering skill oriented around the rarer materials that cannot be obtained through direct gathering.

It’s important to note that you will not automatically get all of the important recipes for Craft Skills from the skill itself, even by reverse-engineering; you will need to get some of these schematics from the Galactic Trade Network. It’s also important to note that you will always lose money by sending crew members to do missions, as the point is more to raise your skill and gain materials while not being out in the field yourself. If it was strictly superior to self-gathering, no one would ever do it.

I’ll go over each of the Crew Skills in brief – each section will contain the Crew Skill’s codex entry, followed by my input.

CRAFTING SKILLS
You may only have one of these skills on your character. If you take one of these, it is your most important skill. As noted above, once you get to endgame, you are not getting unique mechanical perks from what you make via these skills; you’re just getting it cheaper, easier, prettier, faster, or reusable. For leveling content, they do create some unique stuff for lower levels, so rich rerollers will make purchases from dedicated crafters a lot.

Spoiler

GATHERING SKILLS
Gathering skills are skills which you or your companion may employ in the field, when you see an appropriate resource. They supply the basic materials used in crafting skills. You may send your companions on gathering missions which cost money, but provide you with skill-point appropriate resources. There is a chance for your companion to fail when deployed on missions (I believe it is related to their affection), but it will always give you a skill point even if they fail. Out of your maximum of three crew skills, all three may be gathering skills.

Spoiler

MISSION SKILLS
Mission skills function identical to Gathering skills which cannot be personally collected; you need your companion to do them. They provide the rare resources used in crafting skills as well as providing a host of other benefits, such as giving you companion gifts to raise their affection, rare schematics, and sometimes rare equipment. Out of your maximum of three crew skills, all three may be mission skills.

Spoiler

If you read all that and are confused still – or didn’t read all of that, because it’s a lot to chew through, that’s okay. You just want the bottom line on which three crew skills I recommend, right? I’ve arranged them into sets of three based on what your main selling market is.

PvE Endgame: Biochem, Bioanalysis, Diplomacy.
PvP Endgame: Biochem, Bioanalysis, Diplomacy // Cybertech, Scavenging, Underworld Trading
Self-Leveling: Cybertech, Scavenging, Underworld Trading // Artifice, Archaeology, Treasure-Hunting // Synthweaving, Archaeology, Underworld Trading
Simple Money-Making: Pick any three: Slicing, Investigation, Diplomacy, Bioanalysis, Scavenging
Selling to Roleplayers: Armormech, Scavenging, Underworld Trading // Synthweaving, Archaeology, Underworld Trading // Artifice, Archaeology, Treasure-Hunting
Do not pick: Armstech

——————————–
APPENDIX: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: How do I become a Sith Assassin?
A: Reach level 10 as a Sith Inquisitor, and find Lord Lokar in the Imperial Fleet or on Dromund Kaas. He’ll give you a mission that will further your class training.

Q: I just became a Sith Assassin. When do I get a Double-Bladed Lightsaber?
A: You should already have one. Look in your inventory for a bag item that contains a small starter kit full of things any growing Assassin needs. Be forewarned: The shield generator is useless (does not offer a shield chance) unless you are in your tanking stance, Dark Charge, which is not available until level 14.

Q: I just became a Sith Assassin. Where do I train my Shadow skills?
A: Same trainer as your base class. Click the tab at the bottom to select your list of trainable Adv. Class abilities.

Q: Where can I respecialize my character?
A: There is a respecialization trainer standing in the banking area of Dromund Kaas, as well as in the Class Trainer area of the Imperial Fleet, with the subtitle <Skill Mentor>. He’s near the person who accepts Guild Charters.

Q: When can I get my speeder?
A: After turning level 25, purchase Speeder Piloting from your trainer for 25,000 credits, then go to your fleet. In the shopping area, there should be a vendor who sells vehicles. You can also purchase them on Tatooine. Your first speeder will cost you 8,000 credits; you can get upgrades at level 40 and 50.

Q: I’m coming from WoW. Do these skill specializations have any resemblance to stuff from there?
A: The Darkness tree resembles Paladin or Bear tanking, loosely. Deception is somewhat similar to a Mutilate Rogue. Madness is a cross between an Affliction Warlock and an Enhancement Shaman. None of them are identical, but these should help to give you an idea of whether or not you’ll like the playstyles.

Q: I’m coming from Star Wars Galaxies/other MMO. Do these skill specializations have any resemblance to stuff from there?
A: I am not sufficiently familiar with most of those games to say. If someone would like to suggest things for me, I’d appreciate it. Games like City of Heroes are too different from your average MMO, and thus don’t really bear comparison well.

Q: Do I have to use a Double-Bladed Lightsaber?
A: If you want a lightsaber, yes. Not all of your abilities require it – most don’t, in fact. But your Charges and Discharge do, and every single spec relies heavily on its techniques. Sorry to break it to you. The Electrostaff is an alternate weapon intended for Jedi Shadows and their Imperial mirror, the Sith Assassin; however, it faces the exact same issues as the single-bladed Lightsaber. So yes, you are stuck with a DBLS.

Q: Do we have to wear robes? Can we wear pants?
A: Pants are rare, but exist. If you want to keep the pants look, find a moddable pair and you’ll be able to keep them all the way up into endgame.

Q: Can we really keep stuff the whole game and just keep modding it?
A: Yes and no. As soon as you find a chestpiece, pants, hat, weapon, gloves, and shoes – the most important stuff – with four upgrade slots, you can keep modding it for the whole level up game. It is rumored that Endgame, however, starts getting items with extra slots, and PvP gear has its expertise as a built-in, rather than a mod granted, stat. So you can keep it for most of the game. Endgame is where you will have more difficulties.

Q: Do the lightsaber animations ever look better?
A: Yes, at higher levels, particularly as Deception.

Q: What’s the best Skill Specialization for leveling?
A: Deception is, without question, the best Skill Specialization until about level 22-ish. Energize and Dark Ward for Darkness, and Death Field for Madness, are lynchpin skills. Deception is good right off the bat. Madness is the weak link until you’re in your 30s, in my opinion, though it’s still quite tolerable to level with.

Q: What’s the difference between Sith Sorcerer and Sith Assassin in the Madness tree?
A: They are both proc-heavy, DoT self-healing builds. It’s a question of whether you want to use your lightsaber and Shock, or Force Lightning and Lightning Strike. The Assassin gets better procs to compensate for its lower range and smaller Force Pool.

Q: Is the Sith Assassin a main tank or an off-tank?
A: The Sith Assassin is a main tank; it can off-tank, but there are no skill specializations devoted towards becoming an off-tank among any class. Fully developed, it has roughly the same standard survivability as a Sith Juggernaut or Powertech who was specialized to tank. The only guild in the general beta to test endgame operations used a Jedi Shadow main tank, however, and are quite happy with the Jedi Shadow’s performance there.

Q: What’s the difference between the three types of tanks?
A: Sith Warrior tanks have the most survivability cooldowns, and once they get rolling, they have the most forgiving resource mechanic. They have the most issue generating threat, especially in ranged or AoE situations. Sith Assassins have the fewest and weakest survivability cooldowns, but have the ability to self-heal regularly, a very high block chance, strong AoE threat and okay ranged threat. Shield Tech Powertechs have a moderate amount of survivability cooldowns, okay AoE threat, great ranged threat/battlefield mobility, and the best straight mitigation. Their resource mechanic is very punishing if mishandled. The two force-users have more apparent flaws at lower levels, but grow into the role fully later.

Q: Should I play a Sith Marauder or a Sith Assassin?
A: I assume that if you’re asking this question, tanking is not seriously on the table as a primary interest for you, in PvE or PvP. The Marauder offers the three different types of specializations: the ability to play a survivable, elite-killer melee damage, an erratic high-burst melee damage specialization, and the ability to increase its battlefield control and mobility as a melee damage dealer. In comparison, the Assassin’s damage trees offer a steady pressure melee/range hybrid with minor erratic burst, or a controllable burst melee class with target lockdown options, along with both Assassin specializations having minor tanking options.

Q: Should I play an Operative or a Sith Assassin?
A: That depends. The Operative is a more stealth-dependent class – while they both have multiple Stealth abilities, the Operative is flatout dependent on Stealth for specific tactical openers, while the Assassin is more willing to engage in straight-up combat. The Operative has more control, the Assassin has more survivability under fire. Someone seeking more traditional Rogue control-and-combo-based play may prefer the Operative. Also, the Operative has the ability to respecialize as a healer or throw out tactical support as a striker, while the Assassin has the ability to respecialize as a defender or throw out tactical control as a striker.

Q: Can the Sith Assassin PvP builds tank in PvE?
A: I have not tried it myself. I’ve heard that it’s doable in flashpoints and easier heroic content, but not advised for harder ones.

Q: I’m going to do PvE. Does the Madness or Deception tree do higher max DPS?
A: Until we have damage meters or extensive theorycrafting of some kind, we cannot actually say with too much certainty which is the higher damage spec. Generally, they’re accepted to be competitive with one another in PvE. In PvP, they perform different roles – Madness is a steady pressure build, and Deception is a burst kill build.

Q: Madness?
A: Forgive me if my response is spartan.

Q: What’s the difference between an Assassin and a Shadow?
A: There are the obvious ones – different stories, companions, and titles. Visually, an Assassin’s Force Powers are centered around violet lightning, while a Shadow is reliant on golden energy and rocks or other environmental elements. Late game, the Shadow obtains Unity, which works great for Balance and Kinetic, while the Assassin gets Sacrifice, which is more suited to Kinetic and Infiltration.

Q: I want to play a Movie Sith; is this the class for me?
A: You can get fairly close to the Cinematic Sith. Darth Vader is represented well by the Sith Juggernaut. Palpatine as ofReturn of the Jedi works well for the Sith Sorcerer. The Assassin itself, however, is slightly off on its portrayal of Maul; Maul never used Force Lightning. You’re outta luck for Count Dooku. Asajj Ventress, though not from the movies but from the shows, maps very well to the Sith Marauder.

Q: What’s the story like?
A: I haven’t tried it myself, this is a conversion of a Jedi Shadow guide.

Q: Why don’t tanks take the Insulation skill?
A: That passive skill does not apply when an Assassin is in Dark Charge, which is our defender mode; it’s meant to improve the durability of an Assassin in Lightning Charge or Surging Charge, our striker modes.

Q: Who is the best target to Guard, as a tank?
A: Pretty much anyone who’s going to get focused. This is usually the healer or a ball carrier in PvP; in PvE, the healer is probably the wiser option at low level, but as you get more AoE threat tools, you should instead be guarding the most effective DPS, in order to give them a higher threat ceiling while damaging. An AoE focused DPS is often a good choice.

Q: Which abilities are off of the Global Cooldown?
A: Recklessness, Overcharge Saber, Dark Ward, Jolt, possibly others. Need to test more later.

Q: Does Force Lightning qualify as a periodic damage ability?
A: Unsure!

More questions to be added as needed later.

——————————–

APPENDIX: MMO GLOSSARY

Activation Time: The amount of time used before an ability finishes its animations and triggers. Generally, being attacked during an activation causes pushback, and movement will cancel the activation.

AoE: Area-of-Effect ability. Refers to an ability that strikes an area, hitting all targets within that space. AoE abilities which only affect targets in melee range of the user are called Point-Blank Area-of-Effect, or PBAoE.

CC: Crowd Control. In the MMORPG context, it is used to refer to abilities which can reduce the number of opponents being faced at a given moment, without actually defeating one of them. Several abilities have crowd control effects which only trigger on Weak and Standard enemies, and will not work on Strong, Elite or Boss NPCs, or enemy players.

Channeled Ability: An ability of this kind begins triggering immediately, but does not finish until the activation bar is entirely depleted. If this ability is ended early for any reason, then you will not get the full effect of the ability, even though you have paid the full cost. Pushback on a channeled ability will cause the ability to end early. Moving, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, will always end a channeled ability prematurely. Alacrity does not affect channeled abilities.

Defender: See TANK.

DOT: Damage-over-time. See PERIODIC DAMAGE.

DPS: Literally, damage-per-second. It is also commonly used to refer to those characters who have damage-dealing as their primary mechanical mission. See STRIKER.

Global Cooldown: Global Cooldown: A 1.5 second delay after activating any instant ability, preventing you from activating the majority of other abilities. Successfully triggered non-instant abilities do not induce a global cooldown (or if they do, they generate one that is too low to reach via current alacrity values.) A rare few abilities are not affected by the Global Cooldown.

Interrupt: Broadly, any reason that an ability with an activation or channeling time is suddenly cancelled. More specifically, an ability that always causes cancellation of the target’s non-instant ability, and adds a cooldown before the target can attempt that ability again. They are sometimes sorted into the mutually exclusive categories of Soft Interrupt (which does not add a cooldown to the targeted ability) and Hard Interrupt. Mind Snap is a Jedi Shadow’s interrupt, and Jolt is a Sith Assassin’s.

Kiting: Using abilities and careful positioning to force a melee-primary opponent to follow another person at a distance like a kite – a successful example of kiting minimizes the amount of close-range time the melee-primary character is able to get.

Knockback: Not the same as pushback, knockback refers to a character being forcibly moved by another character (usually backwards).

OOF: Out of Force (points.) When you’ve exhausted your resource bar.

Periodic Damage: An effect which causes damage over time on a regular basis, such as every second or every three seconds, without further input from the user.

Proc: A “Programmed Random Occurence.” Essentially, a proc is any ability which activates randomly. If you have an ability which has a 10% chance to heal you in addition to its primary effect, that heal effect would be considered a proc.

Pushback: Not the same as knockback, pushback refers to an unexpected delay during the activation of a non-instant ability, or causing a pulse on a channeled ability to fail. Pushback is caused by taking damage from any hostile source during the activation of the ability. Several skills mitigate or remove pushback on specific abilities.

Resolve: A bar which fills up whenever a character is limited in their actions against their will by another player character, in any way, proportional to the severity of the limitation. It slowly depletes when not recently increased. When the bar is completely filled, the character becomes immune to all limiting effects for the next eight seconds, before the bar drains entirely.

Root: An ability which forces a character to remain stationary.

Snare: An ability which slows down a character’s movement speed, but they are still capable of moving.

Striker: A character whose primary role in a group setting is to deal damage to the opponents. See DPS.

Tank: A character whose primary role in a group setting is to attract the enemy’s attention and keep harmful damage away from other squad members.

Utility: Reference to abilities which do not directly relate to healing, damage dealing, or tanking but are combat-useful nonetheless.

——————————–

KEYBINDS

Warning: I have a Razer Naga mouse, which has a NumPad on the side of the mouse, so my bind layouts will not be that useful to someone without the same mouse. If someone would like to offer their own bindmaps with common mice (incl. the standard two-button), I might post them.

ASTRALFIRE’S BINDS

Spoiler
——————————–

SHADOW <-> ASSASSIN DICTIONARY

If an ability name isn’t included, it is identically named across the two classes. Some of the more common skills are included as well.

Shadow to Assassin

Spoiler

Assassin to Shadow

Spoiler
——————————–

CHANGELOG

v0.0.0h: Cleared up some clutter in the tanking guide segment. Added a blurb at the top explaining about reproduction. 12/6/2011.
v0.0.0g: Accuracy stat corrected, as it no longer gives armor penetration. Crew Skill information overhauled. Minor PvP updates to gearing guides. 12/1/2011 || Added voice actor information. 12/2/2011 || Reorganized and summarized Crew Skill stuff for clarity. Updated the PvP tank builds to reflect new thoughts on Harnessed Shadows. 12/3/2011
v0.0.0f: Major overhaul of all spec analysis, as it was pretty cluttered with a bunch of useless babbling on my part, as well as some outright incorrect information. More companion data added. Changelog added. 11/29/2011
v0.0.0e: Prettified and cleaned up formatting. 11/25/2011
v0.0.0d: Translated to Sith Assassin equivalent and posted. 11/20/2011
v0.0.0a: Original versions up to v0.0.0c. Very rough internal documents in beta. Unknown date.

——————————–
ADVANCED READING

Tanking: A Primer is an essential guide to the comparative abilities of tanks. End-game PvE tanks should consider this a must-read.
The Jedi Shadow’s Handbook, the Republic (and original) version of this thread.
MainTankasin.net is a Jedi Shadow and Sith Assassin-oriented tank discussion site.
Sith Warrior is quickly turning into the numbers place for Star Wars: the Old Republic, if you want the people who do the real hardcore thinking I can only paw at.
The Consular’s Codex is a resource for Jedi Sage Healers run by a friend of mine, if you’re looking to run another Consular or find that the Shadow isn’t for you.
TORHead is always full of good information.
CitizenSnipe has a useful channel that contains a lot of video of infiltration PvP, some balance hybrid PvE, and some tank hybrid PvP. (deception, madness and darkness respectively, for you Sith.)

More to come later. But don’t forget to follow the signal!