[Commando] Need skill advice for high levels

My Rifle Commando has just reached lvl69 and I have absolutely no idea where to invest my skill points from now on. I feel like I already have everything useful, and a few things not-so-useful. My build so far:
I do not know the exact breakdown, but I have invested most of my attribute points into Physique, with a few into Cunning (perhaps 5 or 6) and (I think) none in Spirit. I am sitting on 16 or 17 points unspent.

I am late Elite with self-found gear (mostly Yellow). I am not having any particular issues at the moment, but anticipate things will step up a notch soon. I am just looking for some advice on which skills to put the remaining points into as I approach the level cap. In terms of the skills I have been using:

  • Fire Strike: My LMB attack, makes a mess of everything. Not the most dynamic or exciting skill to play with, but it gets the job done. With all modifiers maxed, this kills the screen in less than a second.

  • Flashbang: My RMB attack. This was really good in Veteran, but has felt fairly worthless in Elite. I use it as a general debuff/crowd-control, but it seems to have little impact and I am not convinced further points would help it.

  • Warcry: My panic button/secondary attack. I have Terrify, which feels like a lot of points for not much benefit, but it sometimes helps. The % damage is nice, but does not seem to add much. I mainly use it for the damage debuff and hope that it is helping.

  • Field Command: This is another that was great in Veteran, but feels largely worthless in Elite. The OA/DA boni are almost negligible, so I am not convinced further points would be terribly meaningful.

  • Flame Touched: This buff is paying its dues! I get around 2K interface DPS out of activating it and feel a huge difference between having it and not. Sadly, already maxed the main skill, and not sure if maxing Temper is worth it for this build.

  • Vindictive Flame: Even one point feels worthless; I doubt investing more would be a good idea. Honestly, I keep questioning if I should just refund the point, as the buff feels completely useless.

  • Blast Shield: Looks obscene on paper, but I have no real feel for how it performs in actual play (I rarely notice it). It seems like I am already getting 90% of the benefit, so I am not sure further points investment is worth it.

  • Decorated Soldier: Probably not optimal, but it is nice to reduce my gear reliance a little.

  • Fighting Spirit: The builds I have looked at only seem to invest a single point here. I have been debating adding a few more, to maximise uptime, but am not sure whether or not I need to given its long cooldown.

  • Military Conditioning: I have health up the wazoo, so I am confident this was worth every point.

  • Veterancy: I felt this was worth one point, but I seriously doubt there is any value in further investment.

I am happy enough with my devotions, but for completion’s sake:
Scholar’s Light
Sailor’s Guide
Solael’s Witchblade
Empty Throne
Hydra (not yet finished)
Will do Ulzuin’s Torch next (need Ultimate shrines to finish it).

I have to disagree with you on some points here:

  • Normally I would not max Firestrike and Explosive Strike, most of your damage will be flat fire/lightning damage from Brimstone+Static Strike, the %WD is really small compared to those two. It is recommended to push those two as high as possible, preferably at 22/12.
  • Flashbang is super good, you can spam it and the fumbling chance works against boss. You will need it against Nemesis.
  • Kymon’s Will augment may replace the whole War Cry here.
  • Field Command is good, not sure why do you think flat 90 OA/DA and +25% Armor are negligible here.
  • Vindictive Flame: The regen + % total speed is worth it
    -Blast Shield: This is broken, you are invincible when you have it on. If you understand how this works then you will see why. Best defensive passive in the whole game.

Furthermore you will need to max both Scars of Battle and Oleron Rage later.

^ This.

Also, Flashbang at 12/12 reduces their DA by 250. That is effectively increasing your OA by 250 (works against bosses). How can that not be epic?!?

Additionally, if your resists are too low (or your HP is, whatever), then you may want to respec some of your devotions into more defensive ones (Light of Empyrion gives nice buffs to fire damage, along with lots of resist).

With all the Fire/Burn and bonus Physical damage these two provide, they seem like they would be well-worth the investment. Obviously, +skills to Brimstone/all Demolitionist would be desirable, but I never felt like the other skills were a waste. I felt a huge difference in play as I increased these (not as much as Brimstone, granted, but still pretty darn good).

I have 1500 OA/DA prior to activating it; activating Field Command provides a very tiny bonus. According to the interface, my chance to hit is already at (or close to) 100% without Field Command, and my chance to crit goes up by 0.5%. My chance to be hit is almost unchanged too. That seems like a poor return on investment. Presumably, the inverse from Flashbang’s debuff is much the same: a less than 1% increase.

My base regen is 95, and movement speed is 116%; Vindictive Flame brings it to 99 and 118% respectively. This is only one point, but even at 6 points it would only be 110 and 123%, which seems negligible on paper.

Both of those surprise me, as I thought it was generally not advised to go so deep into both Masteries. Scars of Battle seems a bit of a no brainer, if I went that deep, but Oleron’s Rage seems less useful. None of my skills do Internal Damage, and Pierce only makes up a tiny proportion of my damage. According to the Interface, Fire Strike does 2200-2600 fire, 900-3700 physical, 990 lightning, 430 burn, 280-440 chaos and only 160-640 pierce.

[QUOTE=Elric of Grans;389723][/QUOTE]

It would be too long to explain, but that’s how i see your build at 85 level:

I have a dual pistol fire strike commando, and the weapon based part seems to be worth more than the flat damage at this point (just finished my first ultimate clear, hit 85 at the beginning of act 4, all self found gear). This is despite having about twice the +fire as +physical. I would assume it would be even more pronounced for a rifle build.

MA and ZT both work with fire strike, and seem to contribute quite a bit to my single target damage.

The +damage and dot on olerons rage are a nice bonus, but it is not the sole reason to take it. The combination of the dot, 12% offensive ability, and 12% movement speed is pretty good. Squad tactics is also quite good, as it works with all of your damage sources.

I believe the total speed on vindictive flame includes both movement and attack, so it is a large damage boost.

Soldier mastery gives a lot of decent stats, but I could see not maxing it and sinking more points into demo. There are several good places to put points, and not nearly enough for everything you would want from both trees.

I think you end up with some pierce on most if not all guns, so enhancing it is not useless even if it is not as good as physical or fire.

I had not even considered Markovian’s Advantage. On paper, it sounds like a huge DPS boon vs Heroes/Bosses, but getting it too high might hurt vs mobs (less Fire Stike AoEs). What have you found to be a good balance between power and chance to trigger?

I have considered Squad Tactics before, because it seems like it is pure gravy (more DPS + more DPS = trololol). My hesitation has been the +7 mastery points to unlock it. I was undecided if those 7 points were worth it or if I would be better to use them on skills. Similar with Scars of Battle and the +15 mastery points it requires.

Rifles do have some pierce (never looked at how it compares with pistols), but it is a very tiny proportion of my total damage (assuming the interface is accurate).

I am pretty sure you get the explosion and the MA or ZT proc, ZT seems to scale much better than MA. After moving some points around the damage ranges no longer overlap at all for me, ZT is much higher.

I am kind of wishing I had not filled soldier… then again health is one of my biggest needs right now, and it provides that.