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oldskool

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  1. I just pop it every time it is up and I don't give a lot of thought to the specifics any more on most of my Sentinels while leveling. For my Dual Pistols/Ninjutsu, I only ever use Dual Wield to trigger Defensive Opportunity for the endurance management. I have a sort of logical flow chart where I evaluate doing constant damage vs the animation lock of the endurance click heal. For Ninjutsu, the endurance power is a click that will animation lock you for a bit. That's a damage loss and sometimes I cannot afford to lock myself in an animation or take the damage hit. So I use Dual Wield as a replacement in my attack chain just to leverage the benefit. If I am fighting a singular tough opponent, and endurance isn't an issue, then I will just use my normal attack chain which includes Offensive Opportunity every 13 seconds. For my Dark Blast Sentinel I just have Gloom and I don't think too hard about it. Same goes my Water Blast Sentinel. I use Aqua Bolt as a set mule and have no need to ever click it. I'd say be real careful of looking at defensive as "the best" at high levels. Just how good Defensive Opportunity is depends a lot on a few factors. Some secondaries like Regeneration, Willpower, and Super Reflexes have a lot of passive endurance gain. Some Primaries may yield more efficient endurance spend than others and so on. For sets like the ones I mentioned, things like Pine's do not represent how those procs (or the Panacea's proc) influence endurance returns. You could be hypothetically swimming in endurance and at that point Defensive Opportunity doesn't really matter for it's endurance return. Some Primaries have a Tier 1 power that is higher DPA than the Tier 2 and vice versa. Some Primaries have powers later in the set that are so good you'll never use the T1 or T2 outside of clicking for opportunity. Archery and Beam Rifle are both examples where their T1 and T2 can be dropped from their ideal attack routines with high recharge. Dual Pistols has a T1 better than the T2 (Pistols vs Dual Wield). Dark Blast has a T2 (Gloom) that is better than the T1 (Dark Blast) but no other power to replace it outside of Epic/Patrons (Lifedrain is pretty terrible). Both Offensive and Defensive Opportunity impose the same -20% resist.
  2. Answering that would require me building that, and I don't currently have that combo. Instead, I'll throw out some general advice. Try to get around 29%+ on Smashing/Lethal Defense. You can get there with 4x Unbreakable Guards in High Pain Tolerance, Mind Over Body, Tough, and Strength of Will. Add in Weave, Maneuvers, and Combat Jumping/Hover to go along with Heightened Senses. I generally don't add slots to Combat/Jumping but use a total of 3 slots for the others. If you can add more, then great, but for simplicity 3 is enough. The 3% defense globals are highly recommend and put them in High Pain Tolerance (so 6 slot it to mule it) For more survival ideas, Buckshot (if taken) and M30 Grenade should get a Knockback-to-Knockdown IO. Knockdown is great for giving you time to regenerate. Disorienting Shot stuns and can stack with itself in magnitude to eventually stun bosses. AR should be adding a lot of active mitigation to WP to help it survive. Toss in Hover to play keep away from melee and it should be pretty safe. With Assault Rifle, recharge is you goal. The set does pretty poor overall damage in single target and you'll want as much recharge as possible for Disorienting Shot spam. Burst should, at a minimum, take on an Achilles' Heel for adding additional resistance debuffing. That's more relevant to solo play but it still has group benefits too. The issue with that proc and groups is that if others are running, the selfish-personal value drops. If you can swing it without really hurting your defenses, then consider some damage procs in Burst since it can take several. But streamline your attack routine down with recharge as that is going to be the most likely way to improve your damage without getting crazy.
  3. Great, I'll assume a bulk use of both the primary and secondary. I won't get too out in the woods just to keep it simple and run Flight + Hover. If I can squeeze in Afterburner, I will. I generally don't care for the put-away-my-weapons game play that including Epic/Patron pools brings. In the case of a set like AR, those Epic/Patrons can add a lot of damage. I doubt that's necessary in a duo and such high levels of performance are generally unnecessary for those not pursuing a push on extreme content (e.g., soloing AV/GM, solo TaskForces, etc.). Just stating this openly to set expectations appropriately.
  4. Solo'ed Penelope Yin's TF on DP/Nin and noticed I was gaining about double the Opportunity from Opportunity Strikes from the lowbie minions vs the usual 54's I face. I hadn't exemplared in a while and I will probably add this in my experiments. The test server has target dummies in the Rikti War zone which has been baseline place for viewing numbers so far. I'll just need to go into the wild next and work on parsing the log results and cutting down on informational noise. And I just went into Yin's TF on a whim since no one was running it and I wanted to knock it out. I didn't prepare for it at all and so I died once to Clamor during Phase 2. The debuffs + adds just were too much. Tried again, and took her out with -9% defenses (LOL).
  5. Its not a combo I play, but I could take a stab at putting something together based on what I might do. I generally don't take travel powers. Are there powers your wife likes? With some parameters I could put some ideas together that might be more of a guideline.
  6. First, bravo. I know that the times aren't melee Pylon smash, but you really should be proud of what you have done. Stop and consider the advantage of the Dominator (whom we share the same scale with) and the Blaster. I lump both together because they have similar build opportunities in some ways despite different build outcomes. Both of these can leverage some of their controls for added damage like Plant Control for Doms or any single target Immobilize/Holds on Blaster secondaries. Second, both ATs here have mixes of range/melee easily available if they so desire due to how their kits lay out. That mix up allows for a lot of build shenanigans. It matters. Scrappers just straight up do monstrous damage as do Stalkers. I'd never expect to match either on a damage dealer with sub 1x modifier. BUT.... The build proves a few things. First, Sentinels have potential to not only perform well, but perform higher than expected by the general community. That's important! Second, this shows a ranged proc buzzsaw is very competitive in damage on just ranged attacks alone. No extra shenanigans needed. That's not something to casually dismiss. The one thing I think I'd be bummed about is how it shows that damage might be necessary to reach those levels of performance. That's a whole different level of shenanigans and in a lot of ways it absolutely destroys build diversity within the AT from a general performance perspective. Then again, you didn't test without the procs, but math can give inferences on how much DPS it is adding. That is the one thing that really bothers me about Sentinels. While we don't get as many creative options as some other ATs, we need to really bend over backwards to push a certain level of performance. It makes the AT seem like it is all over the place in world of game balance, but I'm probably doing some early morning exaggerations. 😉
  7. A good DP/WP build should practically build itself. In WP you can skip Resurgence. You can potentially skip Strength of Will. In DP you have a lot of options and it really is to big a variable to make a quick response. Sentinels can potentially skip Piercing Rounds, but again... it's going to be a your mileage may vary thing. Have you read the Dual Pistol and Willpower write ups?
  8. PSA: The Opportunity Strikes ATO absolutely reports what it grants in the combat log and it state the precise amount of meter generated. The individual attacks are pains in the ass to gauge where you have to click the bar and see where the meter is. My testing methodology was to fire an attack, quickly check the bar, and let it decay*. I spent about 4.5 hours yesterday, since I was stuck at home, just clicking and waiting for decay. I didn't want to clutter the results and the individual power gains do not vary. Out of 30 hits with Opportunity Strikes in Pistols, the ATO never fired. Not once**. It is worth noting, I also have historically bad luck and table top RPGs have been a constant reminder with natural 1's. 😉 *Meter decay at lower amounts happens pretty quickly, but only to a certain extent. For example, a Tier 1 will almost always generate 8 opportunity which will last several seconds before the first decay tick. Any +13 powers will decay quicker. At 80 meter, the decay tick delay seems a little longer and the amount isn't as severe (its about 1 per tick). In actual game play the decay rate is slow enough that meter will last between spawns with enough generation via attacking to not really notice it. Loose estimates though. I'm not using a stop clock. I'm not that invested. **That's all Justin testing. I actually had the ATO slotted in Dual Wield on live purely to mule it. I only ever use DW to trigger Defensive Opportunity so the proc is wasted. The logs will still tell me the result. Enhancement unslotters used to shift a damage proc from Pistols and the ATO out of DW to check proc rates. It behaved as oddly as I express above. I've now moved the Ward set into Dual Wield, and the Strikes set into Bullet Rain. Ultimately the choice doesn't matter. Empty Clip isn't great for it, and Armageddon + Fury of the Gladiator in Hail of Bullets is straight up superior in my opinion. So I just mule the set bonuses. Bullet Rain has a chance per 10 targets to give me some amount of opportunity or a chance to grant a tiny shield. The Strikes set in Dual Wield was just completely wasted and now it is only slightly less pathetic.
  9. Does the combat log actually have that? I'll keep a look out when I get to those sets. First edit to express some observed variance in powers with proc. Current thought, most of us knew it wasn't exactly great, but it REALLY sucks when you take a deep dive on it. It can be ridiculous though in Tier 9's if your best choice is Ragnarok. So there could be some salvaging its use with creative placement. I haven't talked about the Ward proc. I think most of us know it too, sucks. The ablative shield it generates is so small as to not really exist. It will absorb about 1 hit from an enemy. Its PPM value is the highest of our ATO's but for a defensive utility that is conflicted with the i25 interactions of recharge enhancement.... this too really sucks when you take a deep dive on it.
  10. Disclaimer: I have not tested the following on every Sentinel Primary, and I am probably going to make some inferences based on current observation. I'll update as I find out more things but this thread is to encourage discussion. I'll edit this later, but I just wanted toss out some initial weird as hell findings. Hail of Bullets in Dual Pistols will generate 1 Opportunity per activation. 1. With the Opportunity Strikes ATO proc, Hail of Bullets generates 94.5. Actually, every power I put the ATO in for the Dual Pistols generated 94.5 Opportunity. It's weird. -- Edit 1: On live, Bullet Rain also granted 37.5 despite hitting multiple targets. Dark Blast's Antumbral Beam generated 64.5 Opportunity... why? Water Blast's Whirlpool generates 37.5 Opportunity but will attempt to proc on any targets in its AoE. It's cooldown aligns with the duration of Opportunity and dramatically improves uptime. It's not guaranteed everytime, and especially not on single targets, but it is neat. Edit 1: So far, Opportunity Strikes seems to have a range of effect. It can cause what appears to be double the standard Opportunity build-up (this happened with Pistols and Dual Wield live server vs test server), it can grant 1/3rd a bar, it can grant 2/3rds a bar, or it can fill it (90% is the minimum necessary so 94.5 = full). The effect does not seem standardized like the Brute +Fury ATO and then adds another layer of randomness due to its very low PPM value. This ATO can provide some offensive increase due to better uptime on the 20% resistance debuff but it is so dependent on specific powers as to be nearly useless in the general sense. I still need to experiment more, but my gut feeling is this ATO is in serious need of a revamp as it current stinks for a lot of Primaries. I'll eventually go into more detail about the actual Opportunity values per set, but that will be a project. Right now I'm sharing the above weird findings as Opportunity generation doesn't seems to have a real rhyme or reason but has trends within its own set. Edit 1: Specific details on Dual Pistols Opportunity Generation per attack: Pistols = 8 Dual Wield = 13 Suppressive Fire = 13 Executioner's Shot = 13 Empty Clips = 13 Bullet Rain = 13 Piercing Rounds = 18 Hail of Bullets = 1 I only recorded a few of Dark Blast: Dark Blast (the Tier 1 power shares the set name) = 8 Gloom = 13 Abyssal Gaze = 13 Antumbral Beam = 14 Umbral Torrent = 21 Dark Obliteration = 13 Life Drain/Blackstar not bothered with yet. Water Blast: Aqua Bolt = 8 Hydro Blast = 13 Dehydrate = 13 Water Jet = 13 Stopped as I started to see a trend. I'll revisit with more time. The reason I was looking at this is for ways to improve up time. Some sets really do make good use of the Opportunity Strikes proc, and some don't. Dual Pistols has a hard time proccing it in my tests, but when it does go off it is enough opportunity to activate a mode. What's absolutely silly here is that Dual Pistols can build 90 Opportunity (the threshold to activate) every 13-14 seconds like clockwork. So the ATO adds clunkyness and too much randomness to the rotations. It also didn't improve overall up time as much as I would have hoped.
  11. Short answer: Yes. Tongue-in-cheek answer: Why not both? Longish (or just straight up irrelevant and way to much of a ramble) answer: TL;DR caveat: I could be misunderstanding the question with the giant response below. Maybe that is because not all Dual Pistol powers can accept 6 slots worth of procs. Either way I feel that the original query is a big question to ask and it is not one I would answer in a vacuum. A Nucleolus Exposure + level 50 IO is going to get you 75.13% damage modification without enhancing either. Enhancement Diversification will kick in before 100% and further efforts are going to lower returns on investment. Thunderstrike 3 pc nets you some minor set bonuses that can have some value plus 47% endurance discount on the power it is slotted in. That's 73.78% damage and also slightly more accuracy. Under Musculature Core Alpha, that is 118% for the first configuration and 117% for the second. Realistically, no one is going to invest in a Hamidon O without adding some levels to it or use a default 50 common IO. You'd want to +5 the latter at a minimum. That's 86-88% damage modification normally and 125% under Musculature Core Alpha. That's not insignificant per power at all. That's not where the real damage comes from though. It's the damage procs. Pistols has a base damage at level 50 of 52. The first level 50 IO will modify that by 42%, a second 83.32% and a third 99%. I've read some of your posts, and I know I am not expressing anything new to you here. This is just illustration. 😉 A basic damage proc is PPM 3.5 at 71 damage and a purple is PPM 4.5 and 107 damage. The baseline IO damage procs have to compete against that first and second damage modification since those net the largest increase (and could be enhanced further). However, that doesn't use up all the slots. So there is little reason to not add damage procs past that point. Pistols has around a 30% chance per activation to trigger a PPM 3.5 proc. My attack chain can use it between my other 2 attacks (every 1.848 seconds) or after them (every 3.696 seconds). That is a lot of Chuck a Lot of Dice opportunities to make more than 1 proc trigger. Each activation of Pistols is functionally allowing it a chance to critically hit seeing as how the damage per proc exceeds the damage of the baseline power. For Suppressive Fire its even better. Suppressive Fire has an animation and recharge combination that yields a rough 70% chance to trigger a purple PPM 4.5 proc at 107 dmg per trigger. The base damage of SF is only 89. SF can take TWO purple procs. There are pretty good odds that every activation will trigger at least 1 and nearly a 50/50 chance at 2 purple procs. The odds are obviously going to be lower for each 3.5 proc, but it isn't unlikely to have multiple go off relatively frequently. That's considerable damage over time and it certainly more damage than a shift from 83% to 99% damage modification. This is also assuming virtually no recharge mods in these two powers. The above feels it is worth stating just to talk about general damage interaction. It is also worth noting how modifications interact with the damage cap. All powers do 100% damage by default which also counts towards the cap, per Paragon Wiki. All additional damage modifiers count towards the cap too be it from enhancements or global IO set bonuses. Damage procs are separate damage calculations on top of whatever the power brings to the table. That's fundamentally why damage procs work so well. I don't think that is the REAL question though. Straight up damage is trivially easy to enhance in two slots. I think the underlying question is really about the difference between a complete, or nearly complete, IO set in an attack vs turning a power into a Frankenslot buzzsaw. Not all Sentinel combos will be created equally. I know, duh. It is really worth stating though. As awesome as reading the Silly Sentinel Tricks thread is, not all Sentinel combos can do that. That same logic gets down to more granular pairings too. Not every Dual Pistols build will have the ability to maximize damage since they might have different weights for pursuing defense. That is also a fundamental Blaster build consideration (and for some Defender/Corruptors too). Any set that can get you at least a baseline 15% defense (Ninjutsu, Super Reflexes, Energy Aura, Ice Armor) can be built to the soft-cap of 45% (or exceed it). You can get there by stacking IO sets and other powers like Weave/Maneuvers. You should be able to free up at least 2 powers for multiple procs without impairing their core damage enhancement. That makes a real safe character that can mulch enemies all day long. Even powersets like Archery, Fire, or Psi that don't have a lot of procs can still include at least 1 per attack without hurting their defense. Some other defensive sets that build on Resistance will likely want to layer other mitigation like defense. This means you need to start weighing the opportunity costs of damage vs defense. That decision making process is almost exclusive to a discussion on primary sets only though. When you add in the potential for Epic pool choices like Char or Dominate the damage spectrum changes. You can use your primary to mule defense, and still improve base damage, while squeezing multiple damage procs into an Epic Hold. That's a big damage increase as some of those holds can yield a 80+% chance to trigger a even a PPM 3.5 proc. Odds are pretty good multiple procs go off every activation. As always, every build is about compromise. Dual Pistols as a set can make great use of procs because the attack rotation can be simple at 3 powers cycled every 4.884 seconds. Even though those powers do not carry a 90% chance to trigger a proc you attack so frequently that it doesn't matter. If you wanted to build for more defense in those attacks, then you could potentially weave an Epic hold that can virtually guarantee extra damage. Those Epic holds are also great places for Decimation: Chance for Build-Up which gives you 5 seconds (exactly enough for 3 attacks) to gain a substantial damage increase. That specific proc loses value at the damage cap, but it is a nice idea.
  12. Secondary Powerset: Ninjitsu Ninjutsu* High Defense, Medium Healing, Medium Endurance Restore, Medium Resistance to rare damage types (Toxic/Psionic) Low Crowd Control/Debuff Potential (Blinding Power) Low to High clickyness, Low Resistance to common damage, Comprehensive Status Protection This includes some unique categories that Super Reflexes lacks, like Fear. Knockback/Down protection comes late and isn't as strong as other Secondary Powersets. Low Defense Debuff Resistance (DDR) *Ninjutsu in romanized English isn't spelled how the game does it. There are other Japanese words used in City of Heroes that do not mean what the designers think it means and comes across like someone was browsing Black Belt Magazine. This is both a little insulting and a little entertaining as comics have a long history of cultural exploitation (entertainment media does in general). Anyway, for the remainder of this guide, I will not be using the spelling of the set as how it is presented in game. Ninjutsu! So you want to be Naruto? You watched any number of 1980's ninja movies and you want to live that fantasy in City of Heroes (or Villains)? You've come to the right place! Ninjutsu was released way back in October of 2005 with the release of Along Came a Spider aka City of Villains. Ninjutsu was originally an exclusive set to the Stalker archetype and appeared alongside its cousin set, Super Reflexes. The version of Ninjutsu that is available to Sentinels is quite a bit different and it has the exact same powers as the Scrapper version. Both the Sentinel and Scrapper trade out some of the original Stalker powers into their own respective Epic Pool choices (Ninja Tools and Weapon Mastery). The conversion from Stalker set to Sentinel/Scrapper set came with some very nice quality of life changes that I will get into in the Beginner's Overview. Ninjutsu is a positional defense set just like Super Reflexes. Due to changes of set proliferation, Sentinel Ninjutsu is nearly as strong as Super Reflexes for many of the same reasons. Sentinels have lower starting hit point totals than their melee cousins which tends to pair very well with the ability to raise defense values very high. Super Reflexes is still stronger at resisting defense debuffs. Ninjutsu needs its Tier 9 power, Kuji-In Retsu, to get 50% defense debuff resistance, yikes! Ninjutsu brings with it a far more active play style than Super Reflexes and options for controlling the flow of combat (like any good ninja should). In the above simple synopsis, I place clickyness as low to high. My experience here was sort of like how Bruce Lee defined the 3 stages of martial arts learning. "Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch, and a kick, just a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick. Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick." - Bruce Lee When you start off with Ninjutsu you will won't have many click powers. In the teen level range you start to add several click powers. You won't have the slots to fully cover your defenses and you will end up clicking a lot. Eventually you master your build, soft-cap your defenses, and you click occasionally. Mostly that's maintaining your crowd control defense. Beginner's Overview Ninjutsu, why take this over Super Reflexes? Why am I even talking about Super Reflexes? Well these are the only two positional defense sets available to Sentinels as of this writing and they are so close in power that their game play is the only real difference. Ninjutsu offers the following: - A clickable heal that can be enhanced to nearly 50% health. - A clickable endurance power that can be enhanced similarly to the health heal. - A clickable crowd control resist power that also provides Psionic Resistance and is fairly comprehensive in scope. (There is no knockback/down protection here, but it can come later in Bo Ryaku.) - A full range positional defense power (all categories) that provides stealth, a large movement increase, and a surprise strike damage buff (Unique to Sentinels/Scrappers). - A clickable control power which involves Sleep, Confusion, -To Hit and -Perception - You get your area of effect defense earlier than Super Reflexes. 😉 - Generally matures early at as core powers appear before 28th level. Ninjutsu offers players the opportunity to control their resource pools and the opening of battle. If that interests you, then read on! Ninjutsu shares so much with Super Reflexes that the beginner advice is practically the same but with different power names. You want to prioritize attack slots first and develop your Ninjutsu skills as you advance in levels. The core defense powers of Ninjutsu (Ninja Reflexes, Danger Sense, Shinobi-Iri) do not require a lot of slots. Three slots is enough for most of the leveling experience and you can leverage inspirations to fill the gaps. You don't want to push off Kuji-In Rin as it is your crowd control resist and should have it by 14th level (enemy crowd control gets more dangerous in the teen levels). You can also get away with a few slots in your resource restore powers. By level 28 you've gained the core powers of the set and the rest becomes optional. Slotting Ninjutsu is pretty straight forward on basic slotting. Ninja Reflexes, Danger Sense, Shinobi-Iri all take on defense sets. Shinobi-Iri can allow for a lot of creativity, but that is more in the realm of Advanced Slotting. For the basics, we'll start simple. 3-4 slots is enough that's 1 endurance if you feel it is necessary and 3 defense enhancements. Easy. Kuji-In Rin only ever needs 1 recharge modifier. Both resource heals can be fine with 3 slots using a combination of recharge and their respective resource modifier. Ideally, you want 4 slots to at least have 1 recharge and 3 of the resource (Endurance/Heal Modification). Bo Ryaku (an odd choice of terms to use in this set, but I digress) doesn't really offer a lot of resistance and is fine with the default slot. You take this for the knockback/down resistance. Blinding Powder, if chosen, isn't bad to enhance for -to hit from a building on basics stand point. It can take sleep or confuse enhancements but those effects aren't necessarily worth it in my opinion*. *I will totally turn this opinion around by 180 degrees under Advanced Slotting but that is strictly about IO muling and not the default effect! Skippable Powers You could get knockdown/back resistance from IO uniques. These kinds of uniques are available in the travel, defense, and resistance (would require Tough) category. That lowers the value of Bo Ryaku somewhat and it could potentially be skipped. Blinding Powder's greatest benefit is adding in IO set diversity and allowing it to mule some really exceptional sets. The practical uses of it (-To Hit, or even the -Perception) aren't that thrilling. Kuji-In Retsu is a tier 9 defensive power that isn't particularly useful if you are at the defensive soft-cap but it does add defense debuff resistance (DDR). You could skip this but it does hold some value due to the DDR. This is not a consideration for those playing Super Reflexes as that set more DDR built in to the toggles already. Advanced Slotting Ninjutsu's real ultimate power (click "yes") is IO set diversity. You can get very creative with Ninjutsu because many powers can grab from a wide range of IO sets. Here are some categories you can select from: -Defense -Resistance -Healing -Endurance Modification -Sleep -To Hit Debuff -Accurate To Hit Debuff -Confuse -Run Speed -Jumping Are you pumped yet? (did you click yes?) Ninja Reflexes and Danger Sense are pretty standard for defense sets. Build these up with at least 3 slots. Ideally those 3 slots are Luck of the Gambler, but you could push more slots with Red Fortune (or any other set really) if you can afford to do so. Shinobi-Iri is one of the creative powers for IO sets. Do you want 3 Luck of the Gamblers and 3 Blessing of the Zepher? Go for it. You want 6 Reactive Defense to cover Melee/Ranged/AoE plus a nice side of endurance cost reduction, recharge, and scaling resistance? This is your power. There are so many ways to slot this that I cannot go into all of it here. If you 6 slot any of your powers, then it should be this. Shinobi-Iri also grants 20% more damage when you attack from stealth. You can never re-stealth like a Stalker but it is a nice touch. The damage buff cannot be enhanced. Your two resource restoring powers have really amazing set opportunities. The heal sets include Doctored Wounds, Numina's Convalescence, Miracle, or Preventative Medicine. Endurance has the wonderful Performance Shifter and Efficiency Adaptor sets. Bo Ryaku can mule the global 3% defense IO's or any other global uniques you like. The base value of the resistance isn't very high to begin with so enhancing that generally isn't worth the cost, but mule the hell out of it if you can. Blinding Powder can take any of the to hit debuff sets (non-accurate and accurate) these all have options for more global recharge. Enhancing the -to hit isn't a bad strategy. The Confuse and Sleep category both have very rare sets that usually aren't that expensive. Coercive Persuasion is a real gem. It has everything a little ninja or kunoichi could want. I highly recommend the cost of the set and all 6 slots into the power, but you can probably get away without it depending on your Primary Powerset. Complementary Choices In all of my building of Sentinels, Ninjutsu is one of those sets that just blows the doors off build creativity. Ninjutsu pairs with all offensive sets and doesn't favor anything which is similar to Super Reflexes. Any blast sets that offer more damage mitigation will always be a welcome choice. Defense-based sets are quite good for the entire Sentinel archetype. Most Ninjutsu players will likely want to soft-cap their defenses and really create that fortress feel of dodging attacks. Ninjutsu pairs very well with Power Pool picks that enhance defense like Fighting and Leadership. You do not need the Concealment pool due to Shinobi-Iri. Shinobi-Iri can make you run incredibly fast and it works with Ninja Run for even more speed. You can run as fast as other heroes fly. You'll jump higher than players that use Superspeed and Combat Jumping. Shinobi-Iri is really that good and can let you skip travel powers in PvE if you wish. The Epic/Patron pools don't offer a lot to Ninjutsu. If you like a Psychic Ninja, then Psi Mastery leads to Link Minds, but you really don't need to go through that trouble. Explore Link Minds if you want to avoid some other pool powers for your soft-cap needs. Dark and Soul Mastery bring other to hit debuffs which can pair with Blinding Powder. None of that will make you a Defender replacement but Darkest Night is a good power. Finally, Ninja Tool Mastery lets you add back all of the things that were pruned out from the Stalker version. That includes Caltrops (which is a very flexible power) with a replacement name that is inappropriate to what it is and Kemuridama (literal translation: Smoke Bomb -- it's appropriate!). On the way to picking up those powers you can get 2 Katana powers which are OK and Paralyzing Dart which is a Hold. Ninja Tools is generally going to be for offensive choices, but it is worth mentioning to complete the entire shadow warrior experience. Incarnate Abilities There are a number of options for Incarnates and there isn't truly a right or wrong answer. What you take will depend more on which blast set you are pairing it with as well as general character goals. Alpha: Generally, I'd avoid Agility on Sentinels. I'd avoid it with Ninjutsu too. I'd let my primary drive my choice here and likely take Musculature (Core or Radial). Other defensive inclined Alpha options like Cardiac, Vigor or Spiritual don't bring a lot to the table for Ninjutsu. Ninjutsu simply doesn't stack enough resistance for Cardiac to be worth it and the endurance modification isn't necessary for most Sentinels. Vigor and Spiritual enhance health and endurance but these are situational benefits and not worth spending the Alpha slot on. Let your primary thrive with a defense-base set. Try to incorporate the damage Alphas. Interface: You do not need the -to hit from Diamagnetic but that is the only defensive option worth talking about. I also let my primary drive my decision with this slot as many of the Interface benefits are largely irrelevant to Ninjutsu. Destiny: Destiny is also a fairly open slot. Barrier gives you resistance which you lack, Rebirth regenerates while you dodge bullets, and Clarion adds DDR which you aren't capped on. Ageless is also a potential choice and will depend on which blast set you're using. Hybrid: As always, both the Melee and Support Hybrids may interest more defensive minded Sentinels though these aren't really necessary for Ninjutsu. In melee range, of which some builds work best, the Melee options can add more survival based on the number of enemies. The Support hybrid brings more defense to the team since the Ninjutsu Sentinel doesn't really need it. For more offensive oriented builds, the two different Assault versions are the best choice.
  13. Secondary Powerset: Willpower Medium Elemental Defense, Medium Smashing, Lethal and Psionic Resistance, Low Clickyness High Hit Point Increase, High Health Regeneration, High Endurance Recovery, Low Defense Debuff Resistance, Low Defenses to Smashing and Lethal Damage, Low Resistance to Elemental Damage Willpower: A Fireside Chat I'm starting this write-up a little differently. I'm starting it with the title referring to the communication protocol from Franklin D. Roosevelt. When FDR went on the radio in the 1930's and 1940's the intent was to have a heart to heart talk. When you think of being near the fire place of a home, the fireside portion of the chat, you think warmth and comfort. That warmth and comfort is Willpower. I remember when Willpower was introduced in Issue 11. That same issue brought with it so many wonderful customization changes as well as the Dual Blades set. Both of these new power sets were created for the melee archetypes. This bit of City of Heroes history is important. Willpower was designed as a melee set and as a Sentinel defense set it still has many roots from its melee cousins. There is good and bad to this and the rest of this write-up will shed some light on what that is (and how to overcome some of the short comings). More on that in a moment though. The creation of the Willpower set has roots in a lot of lessons learned from the core armor sets to the CoH game. Willpower ended up being a hybrid concept of ideas spanning several sets and offered new solutions to many complaints which are now out dated. For example, Tankers never had a version of Regeneration. That archetype had players that wanted to make a tougher version of a Wolverine-esque character but just couldn't. Willpower offered a solution for that. Psionic damage was a hole in many, but not all (e.g., Dark Armor), power sets. Willpower offered a solution for that. Almost all defensive sets, with the exception of Regeneration, were very toggle heavy. Stamina used to come much later than it does now. Willpower offered a solution for those endurance issues. Willpower can also be summed up best by its own flavor text on Paragon Wiki: "You aren't Invulnerable. Bullets don't bounce off of you, and if you are cut, you bleed. You are, however, tough, grizzled and strong willed. It takes more than a little cut to keep you down! Willpower offers a strong balance of healing, damage resistance and defense. While you have no real vulnerabilities, you can't quite deal with 'alpha strikes' as well as some other protective powers." Its still true in 2019. Beginner's Overview Willpower is very likely the easiest power set in the game to play. You have nearly zero reactive powers to deal with. The only reactive power in the set is Resurgence, unlocked at level 35, which requires you to be defeated first. Once used, you pick yourself up off the floor and gain some bonuses to retaliate against those that put you down. It is very much in theme of the set but also one that requires you to face plant first. The only pro-active power in the set is Strength of Will and that is the capstone found in level 38. That's it. That is how active Willpower gets and it isn't all that active even with those powers. Willpower's simplicity and almost entirely hands off game play lends itself well to completely casual play. This is going to be true from level 1 to 50 and every step between or beyond. Its as warm and comforting as sitting by a fireside. Do you want to just turn your brain off and enjoy the ride? Willpower is for you. If you're looking for an ultimate defense set to really push the boundaries, then Willpower is probably not for you. In fact, Willpower comes out a little behind its melee cousins with the conversion to Sentinels. A quick critique and word of warning. As stated earlier, Willpower was designed for melee and it has inherent issues with that legacy. That legacy is also tied to the invention system. Willpower responds very well to invention origin (IO) set bonuses. Specifically it responds very well to MELEE invention origin set bonuses. Note how Willpower grants low levels of Smashing and Lethal defense natively but grants higher levels of resistance to that type. Melee powers have multiple sets to address this but the ranged blast sets do not. Sentinels can work around this but you may need to be creative with your slotting. Furthermore, Willpower's premier regeneration tool, Rise to the Challenge, was designed to increase the regeneration rate per enemy. The Sentinel variant to this power is called Up to the Challenge and it does not grow in strength per enemy. Instead of power growth per enemy, Up to the Challenge has a higher baseline regeneration at all times, but this baseline regeneration does not compete with a fully saturated Rise to the Challenge. Then there is the issue of maximum hit points which Sentinels do not have a lot of naturally. So with no reactive shields or heals Sentinel Willpower can come across as somewhat thin at times. This can seem a little worse as well when you combine lower max hit points with a lower max regeneration rate. I do not intend for the above to crush your dreams of playing Willpower. This is a fireside chat, and I want to be realistic. Willpower is still a good set. It can even be a great set for a certain style of play and mindset, but it is not nearly as potent as its melee counterpart can be. Slotting Willpower builds should practically build themselves. It is not a complex suite of powers or effects and it doesn't really require a lot of attention. The one power that brings some dual purpose is High Pain Tolerance. This power provides both maximum health and resistance. On common IO, or even Single Origin, you can put 3 health and 3 resistance here. For your passive regeneration and endurance recovery 2-3 slots is fine. Your toggles will only ever need 3-4 slots. Resurgence needs nothing at all, and Strength of Will can function just fine on 1-3 slots. Willpower really is that simple. The only reason you'd ever 4 slot your toggles is to include 1 endurance modification. If your endurance needs can be met without that, then just focus on the defense bonuses or resistance bonuses. Willpower's simplicity allows you to focus more on your offense not just in game play but in slotting too. Skippable Powers Most players actively build their characters to avoid the annoyance of defeat. Resurgence lets you bypass the load screens and hospital trips but post-defeat powers often aren't ideal picks. You can completely skip this power as Awaken inspirations will also do much of the same function. Resurgence does grant damage, to hit, and recharge bonuses in its package of effects. So it isn't completely terrible, but it is very niche. Strength of Will is another choice to consider skipping. This power grants a boost to all resistances, increases your endurance recovery, and actually boosts your resistance to crowd control further. It does come with a mild crash and the power cannot be improved with recharge modification from any source. It does last several minutes and it can cap your Smashing and Lethal resistance which doesn't happen naturally otherwise. Advanced Slotting Willpower is easy to play but IO building can be a lot more art than science. I am going to present several options below. It's the most complex part of the Willpower set and even then it really isn't that challenging when you have an idea of what you need to shop for. As mentioned earlier, Willpower does very well when picking and choosing IO sets that actively seek to close some of its gaps. One of Willpower's most notable gaps is Smashing and Lethal defense which is the most common damage type in the game. Players will want to increase their defense to this category but there is no need to try to soft-cap. The defense soft-cap is 45% for most content and the Incarnate soft-cap is 59%. There are significant opportunity costs in both power choice and slotting that come with raising defenses. This also doesn't include influence (which is tied to your personal time) costs to buy more potent sets. Sentinels benefit a lot from engaging in ranged combat where retaliation fire is often weaker than melee attacks. Use that to your advantage and plan for that with inspirations. With complementary power pools, you can realistically push 30-33% defense to most types which is 1 small inspiration (12.5%) shy of that 45% soft-cap. Basically, don't go overboard on building defense but do consider building more of it. It is also worth mentioning that Willpower does not have much in the way of defense debuff resistance (DDR). So no matter how much of a buffer you build, that defense will come crumbling down from certain enemy factions. Plan ahead when facing those groups (Arachnos, Devouring Earth, etc.) with inspirations vs trying to break the bank covering all the bases. First thing to note when browsing IO sets for defense bonuses is that these bonuses are almost always paired. Typed Defense (Smashing/Lethal/Fire/Negative/etc.) will almost always pair with a corresponding Positional Defense (Melee/Range/Area). Willpower's core defense power, Heightened Senses, is Typed Defense. Ideally, you want to build on that strength but sometimes you can work around it with the defense pairing system. The pairings work as follows: Melee pairs with Smashing/Lethal Range pairs with Energy/Negative AoE pairs with Fire/Cold The Resistance Set category has several options to help raise your defenses. Reactive Armor has several small typed defense bonuses in its 3rd, 4th, and 5th tier bonuses. Unbreakable Guard has a larger melee defense bonus at the 4th tier of bonuses but this comes with moderate Smashing and Lethal defense. Aegis offers a lot of large AoE defense which pairs with moderate Fire and Cold defense. The other resistance sets do not offer much in the way of defense that really matters. Impervium Armor offers Psionic defense and resistance but this is rarely worth pursuing. Of these choices, I often recommend Unbreakable Guard since there are 3 powers native to Willpower which can take it and it is pretty easy to find enough slots for the 4 piece set. All characters have access to Brawl and that power can be enhanced for slotting. You'll never really use it but it can hold a set. This is known as "set mule". Kinetic Combat has a large melee defense bonus at 4 pieces which brings with it a moderate Smashing and Lethal defense. The bonus provided by Kinetic Combat is slightly larger than Unbreakable Guards and this means that you can stack 5 each of both sets. You don't need to do that but it is possible. If you're trying to push your defense numbers up, then these sets will likely be core components to your strategy. The defensive powers, Indomitable Will and Heightened Senses, can take on any of the standard defensive sets. I generally don't recommend enhancing Indomitable Will since its purpose is very narrow. However, Indomitable Will can be a worthwhile place to socket multiple Defense Set uniques (Shield Wall 5% Resistance, Reactive Defense 3% Resistance, Kismet 6% Accuracy, etc.). I tend to recommend a full slotting arrangement for High Pain Tolerance since the power is quite diverse in what it can take. I often prefer to place the 3% defense global uniques (Steadfast/Gladiator) along with 4 each Unbreakable Guard (one of which is the Hit Point increase). The base resistance to High Pain Tolerance is low making a it a nice place to put these uniques that would detract the enhanced value of stronger powers like Mind Over Body. You could also put these uniques in Strength of Will if you wished since pushing enhancement there will quickly take your Smashing and Lethal resistance beyond the 75% hard cap for Sentinels. How you slot Quick Recovery, Fast Healing, and Up to the Challenge is going to depend a lot on what you feel is missing from the build. The Healing and Recovery categories have a number of really great set options at varying levels of influence cost. Sets like Numina's Convalescence or Miracle have some low hanging fruit benefits in their tier 2 & 3 bonuses. Doctored Wounds, Panacea, and Preventative Medicine have global recharge which is going to benefit your primary more than anything. Health and Stamina are both weaker versions of Fast Healing/Quick Recovery. This makes Health/Stamina a better place for muling IO sets and the other two better for enhancing the power. Complementary Choices Willpower is not that hungry for slots and it will do well with any Primary Power Set. However, since Willpower does not have a lot of active mitigation it tends to do best with sets that bring some other form of defense with it. Any form of crowd control (e.g., Stun, Hold, Knockdown/Back, etc.) will give you some valuable seconds for your regeneration ticks to restore any lost damage. Any sets that actively slow (e.g., Ice, Water Blast, Dual Pistols - Cryo Ammunition, etc.) attack rates will give a similar amount of breathing room though not quite as dramatic. Lastly, sets with other debuffs (e.g., Dark Blast, Dual Pistols - Chemical Ammunition, etc.) will either create miss chance or lower incoming damage which work well with the layered defense nature of the set. Willpower offers a lot of low to medium defenses and it gains a substantial amount from power pools that add to its defense (e.g., Concealment, Fighting, or Leadership). Even though there is no active heal, I would not recommend Medicine. Aid Self comes with an interrupt mechanic and most often enemies will hit you which defeats the purpose of the power. Hasten does nothing for Willpower, but it may compliment your Primary. Willpower is so versatile that there is often something from each of the pools that can work with it. Even if those choices are just for set mules. Epic pools are nice to have but not necessary. There are some power items worth a look though. Any immobilize will help keep enemies out of close range and will spare you from the more severe melee damage hits. Psionic Mastery is a fantastic all around pool with good offensive choices, Mass Hypnosis (if you like Sleeps), and Link Minds which can help close the defense gaps even more. Darkest Night, in both Dark and Soul Mastery, is also an option bringing both a damage and to hit debuff. Incarnate Abilities There are a number of options for Incarnates and there isn't truly a right or wrong answer. What you take will depend more on which blast set you are pairing it with as well as general character goals. Alpha: Vigor and Spiritual both improve healing which relates to regeneration. Cardiac will mostly be noticeable with Smashing/Lethal resistance and the endurance modification isn't necessary though it will certainly streamline offensive game play. Cardiac is an option but not necessarily an optimal one. Agility will improve defense but it requires several defense powers to see real benefit. Other Alpha options will largely benefit your Primary Power Set like Musculature, Intuition, or Nerve. Spiritual and Agility also have recharge modifiers which will benefit your Primary Power Set far more than it ever will for Willpower. Interface: I often reserve this slot for the Primary Power Set. Diamagnetic is an option to add -to hit and this can be somewhat effective for run of the mill enemies (e.g., minions/lieutenants) but won't really do much against more powerful enemies that are the real threat. Destiny: Destiny is also a fairly open slot. You won't typically cap your elemental resistances without Barrier. You won't cap your regeneration rate without Rebirth. You don't really need Ageless for Willpower, but the recharge may be welcome to your offense. Clarion offers Defense Debuff Resistance which is also a weakness of the set, but you may be better off with Barrier or Rebirth. Hybrid: The Hybrid slot is often reserved for damage dealing, but the Melee and Support options deserve a mention too. Willpower has no need to ever be in melee range but some Primary Power Set do have Point-Blank Area powers. The Epic/Patron pools bring some very powerful melee attacks. If you think your hero/villain/rogue/vigilante will be more of a brawler, then the Melee hybrid slot can make you tougher for a duration. Melee Hybrid improves based on enemy count. The Support option might interest some builds that are taking a more laid back approach, do not care for the Assault Hybrid, and wish to add more defense without taking Barrier.
  14. Also worth noting that Brutes and Tankers have a cap of 2500% which compounds with their high hit point caps. I've played both a WP Brute and Tanker. The Tanker build before shutdown was designed for max hit points and high regen with full saturation of Rise to the Challenge. It was pretty godlike back then. Rebirth Incarnate also makes Brute /Regen look like the original game version when Instant Healing for melee was an overpowered toggle that capped or nearly capped regeneration rates all the time vs what it was transformed to. @Ghost907I think it is a good thing to take a deep dive look in to Regeneration on Sentinels to see if there is a way to optimize the set. I played the original game off and on for years. I've played melee AT Regeneration to 50 before, and it's cousin set, Willpower, to 50 about 6 times now. My asking about hit points for your build vs raw regeneration numbers was a little more like Socratic questioning. ;) Sentinel Regeneration comes with an actively restoring absorb shield which translates into its own form of health returned per second. When designing a Regen Sentinel, that should also be taken into account to determine just how much damage is restored after the fact. Regeneration has always had thin values for resistance and defense. Building up defense is almost always more effective mitigation than building for resistance and that had been a long time strategy for general building best practice. Due to how regeneration ticks work in game, the real strength of Regeneration as a set was the clickable heal backbone powers. Since those powers often come with long-ish recharge by default other methods of increasing availability via global recharge in turn increase survival. Increased recharge has a side effect of increased damage out put. That matters considerably more for /Regen than many other sets since the playstyle becomes an arrest the targets before they send you to the hospital. Regeneration can handle battles of attrition but struggles against initial retaliation (aka the Alpha strike) and is susceptible to large singular hits (mostly Bosses+). I came from mostly playing melee in the early years and eventually moved to playing control sets before original server sunset. I still have a get them before they get you mindset when making characters, but I am very interested in other takes on how to go about it.
  15. Reading over my other post I realize it is a little misleading, and this is correct. It wasn't my intent, but that's what I get for trying to respond quickly. 😉
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