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oldskool last won the day on May 1

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About oldskool

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    Two Smoking Barrels
  1. oldskool

    Dark/DP Help

    I went Dark/Dual Pistol/ Dark Mastery vs Soul Mastery. I wanted pretty much everything Dark Mastery had to offer include Soul Transfer (sue me, it fits the concept). Anyway, the pros for your approach... You have a lot better resistances and slightly better defense than I managed. I wasn't too worried about hard capping S/L resist though. Still it is cool to see it here. I took Hasten because I love me some recharge. It also happens to bring Piercing Rounds down to 4.2s recharge which makes it nice and neat with Pistols -> Executioner's Shot -> Pistols. I didn't really do this for the most damage. I did it for the debuff potential when stacked with standard ammo. Piercing Rounds is fairly generic slotting of boring old Ragnarok plus Annihilation res debuff. Pistols has Achilles' Heel. All of that is intended to be used with Tar Patch where applicable. Darkest Night already has a nice damage debuff and chem rounds can raise it a bit more. So that was another reason I decided not to push resistance too hard. Perhaps not the best approach for what you want, but felt it was worth mentioning. One of my goals was to use the Swap Ammo mechanic to fill in gaps as I felt I needed. Conceptually it is fun and the debuff stacking isn't too horrible. The damage isn't tops. Fearsome Stare is worth taking. That plus Darkest Night is pretty massive to-hit debuffing. Intuition Radial isn't a bad Alpha option either. At one point I dabbled around with Rune of Protection too.
  2. Here is a thread (kinda old) that has some build ideas being tossed around. The epic pool is Soul Mastery, but it shouldn't be that hard to figure out how Dark Mastery might work. https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/8631-darkdarksoul/ Looking over it pretty quick, some of my opinions may have changed, but I think my general sentiment still holds true even now. I ultimately stopped playing Dark Blast entirely on the Sentinel more due to character conceptual reasons and not so much "effectiveness". Plus, my Water/Dark project ended up overtaking my interest and so I didn't see a need to maintain two Sents with Dark Armor. I may revisit the character again later down the road though.
  3. General PvE - Its fine. Just about anything is. Fighting AV's - assuming solo? Don't expect to do this on max difficulty without some really extreme planning. Can probably be done, but won't be easy (more on this in a minute). Fighting GM's - Probably not by yourself. Solo - Fine. Teaming - Fine. Pro's - Dark Blast: - Decent damage in either single target or AoE respective to Sentinel modifiers. Do not compare this with other ATs like Blasters/Scrappers/Stalkers unless you're wanting to be disappointed. Still, Sentinel Dark has some advantages in its AoE powers that aren't available elsewhere which makes it an interesting set. - To-hit debuffing counts as a form of mitigation - Due the secondary effects, there is room to explore advanced slotting techniques Con's - The baseline damage isn't likely going to wow a min/max player without going after advanced slotting techniques. Even then, you'd do more with a different AT. - To-hit debuffing gets resisted the higher you push difficulty. The mechanic known as "the purple patch" reduces the effectiveness of this tactic. So a +4 AV will practically ignore your debuffs. - Life Drain's health contribution is the lowest modifier across every AT and its base damage isn't that great. Without procs or creative slotting it kind of sucks. - Blackstar, while amazing, is a PBAoE putting you right into the thick of things if you're not careful and has a 10 target cap. It will likely blind the targets it does hit, but anything that was missed by the effect is still going to hit you. Pro's - Dark Armor: - Its thematically fun. - Soul Noir is worth its own "pro" rating. It is the reason why I personally have so many characters with dark power sets. - Its able to grant moderate resistance across a wide spectrum - It has a number of skippable powers around 28+ allowing for some flexibility - Built in endurance sustain which other versions of Dark Armor do not get - Cloak of Darkness gets you some aggro reduction and can stack with the Stealth IO making Blackstar use a lot safer. Con's - It is incredibly difficult to max out resistances, defenses, AND explore advanced damage slotting with Dark Armor. You're going to give up one or more of those things. Pick your poison. - Knockback hole needs to be plugged with IOs. - Energy and Toxic resistance hole are very difficult to increase beyond a certain point without hindering another area of the build. - Fear is a weak form of mitigation, works on limited enemies, and has nothing else to stack with like Dark Melee's Touch of Fear. You could go into Presence for the pool powers, but... yuk. 😉 More to the point here is there is not a lot of synergy with Cloak of Fear outside of to-hit debuffing which has its limits depending on difficulty scale. - Cloak of Fear has very high endurance costs in relation to its accuracy check though its pulse rate is pretty fast to compensate. - Oppressive Gloom's stun can be helpful, but has no synergy with Dark Blast - The endurance sustain power is not nearly as strong as other passive options in other secondaries and has its own set of unique mechanics (for better AND worse). - Sentinel Dark Armor does not have the clutch heal that Dark Regeneration is from the melee versions. Pro's - Dark Mastery: - Power selection is pretty good overall. Con's: - Darkest Night can be a trap option if you think you're going to floor enemy to-hit checks on max difficulty. - Darkest Night has a high endurance cost which compounds with Cloak of Fear I don't mean to scare you off the idea of a D3 if you want to do it. However, you just need to temper your expectations on what you're getting (hence why you asked, right?). If you're looking for an AV hunter, then this combo probably isn't what you want if you wish to do it solo. Its not that it cannot be done, but you're going to need to plan your build out carefully. That's also going to be expensive because on cheaper IOs you're not going to close enough gaps in order to both survive and do enough damage in a short enough time frame. I do enjoy Sentinels quite a bit, but I am also realistic when it comes to their limits. GM's will likely regenerate far too fast for you to solo. They will also ignore your debuffs. If you're not also soft-capped to a defense type they do (which is not easy), and pushing some resistance over 50% to their damage type (which isn't easy either), then they'll likely drop you before you drop them. /DA on Sentinels does not include a burst heal at all. So it gets very risky to do this kind of thing. For all other regular mission running it will be fine though. There are a LOT of ways to build a solid Dark/Dark/Dark Sentinel. There are so many extra tool to explore that helps close some gaps or give you new options like Rune of Protection from Sorcery. That said, Dark Armor on Sentinels isn't nearly as powerful as it is on Tankers. It isn't really that powerful at all when you look at its baseline numbers. It ends up being an OK set and perhaps even pretty good depending on how you build it. As it is almost everywhere else, Dark Armor loves IO sets and the more expensive you can make it the better it will be. Still, Brute, Scrapper, and Tanker versions can be a lot better for reasons beyond just Death Shroud (which they get and Sents don't). Sentinel Dark Armor has a lot more in common with Stalker Dark Armor with many of the same challenges while missing out on several of the solutions (i.e., melee/PBAoE IO set bonuses geared towards melee/smashing/lethal defense). In my roster I have a Dark Armor/Titan Weapons Tanker, a Dark Melee/Dark Armor Stalker, and a Water Blast/Dark Armor Sentinel. I have since retired a Dual Blades/Dark Armor Scrapper and a D3 Sentinel.
  4. Which just goes into the argument of how Blasters can be played safely by stacking additional defensive measures. That particular outcome boils down to "no $#!%" kind of observational ability.
  5. @BrandX The low tier Red Fortune benefits are capped. It's the same S/L benefit in Reactive Defenses. So one of the sets could swap out 2 slots for some other set or even go for a 3pc LotG for minor HP gains. Everything else looks great though. I think the concept of Dark/Nin is pretty awesome @EnjoyTheJourney. Let us all know how it turns out!
  6. "Effective" should be defined. There is a scale of difficulty in this game that can be chosen by a player. Not every AT, or even every build within an AT, is capable of accomplishing all of the same content by itself. When it comes to team contribution there are a number of issues inherent in the current meta, the IO system, and general balance disparity.
  7. @Galaxy Brain, this is really good stuff. I for one, like the "safety" metric as it is. I think the methodology chosen gets the point across. The amount of defense added by CJ and Hover is minimal. The mobility aspect of each is obvious to me. It helps to try to ensure effective use of the various kinds of range attack (cone, TAOE, standard, etc...). The outcome of which sets are safer than others is the entire point of how the test was designed. To go back and re-do all of it with a more substantial defensive stack is to skew results for a certain outcome. If the concept of reading the results was "X set is actually safer than this because with Y defensive stack makes it so", then I think the test was successful. There is no need, in my opinion, to go back and placate others to prove that Y defense stack makes X set better. Doing this treads more into the realm of establishing how a build comes together to resolve a problem vs highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each individual power set.
  8. Then I misunderstood. That changes my response to your build is fine then if you're happy with it. Defining goals is where the refinement happens. So dumping a ton of cash is easy. Using that cash to make sure it meets your standards is something different from fully optimizing the use of said cash. You can squeeze a lot of performance out of a character with an unlimited budget. That performance doesn't even need to be tuned to the point of peak optimization since the game doesn't require that. Furthermore, the difference in damage often isn't that big a deal. Improving your total DPS over a long period of time by 10% sounds like a lot. However, in reality we're talking about shaving off several seconds of time here and there. In a group situation you're probably not going to notice the difference from a moderately optimized build vs a fully optimized build. And, it looks like your understanding of recharge impact is fine. So, new rhetorical question. What is your goal? Is it softcapping with a bit of damage improvement? Is it really pushing damage to the limits? Is it exploring set bonuses to their fullest? If it is something in between that then you're already on track.
  9. The use of AOE + clean-up mess tactic is the vast majority of play and the general focal point of team play. So worrying too much about rotations isn't necessary, but I do elaborate on it a lot to explain my slotting logic. Also, understanding how those powers interact becomes useful when you do face off with a singular enemy while solo, or if you want to burn down a target on a team. As to the above, you're learning. From the macro level perspective you're not really using a proc build. It is just that the sets happen to have a proc. It really just becomes a fairly common build tactic vs one that is actually focused on using procs. The slotting of Dehydrate could use refinement. It has 18% recharge modification which lowers the chance that the two procs would fire off. That lowers the potential damage of the power which is counter productive (only if the goal is to maximize the procs... otherwise it doesn't matter). Still, the two procs there raise the damage of Dehydrate in those two slots over what you would have gotten from raw damage % increases. If you swapped out the Acc/dmg/end/rch from Dehydrate and used a dmg/end enhancement you're overall damage would go up a bit. Is it worth it to you to improve the average by 16 pts? We're talking such small numbers here it can get a bit silly to be highly critical of it, you know? Still Dehydrate is the only power that is running procs which isn't a major focus. Going all in on procs would be including procs on multiple powers that you use frequently. Whirlpool, Steam Spray, Dehydrate, Hydro Blast, Water Jet, and maybe Geyser. Doing that is giving up set bonuses for gimmick. Sure, it is a gimmick that will increase damage, but it is still a gimmick. Also, a build like that is likely going to require Tactics to bring your accuracy back up since you could give up a lot of native to-hit chance from slotting even at the basic level. I do not want to say such a build is impossible to pull off with Ninjutsu, but it probably would be stretching things very thin if you want to soft cap positionals. Super Reflexes is easier to do this with since the secondary isn't nearly as reliant on other sources of defense as Nin may potentially be. I think most people start to notice that Nin, while gaining access to AoE earlier, can potentially struggle to soft-cap AoE positional defense due set bonus availability in Sentinel powers. That statement is a little generalized because I cannot assume all builds are the same. Melee PBAoE sets can help fill that gap, but if you're not using those your options start getting pretty limited. P.S. -- Going with a really heavy proc slotting approach can go one of two ways. It can potentially add a significant punch to your damage. It can also potentially make your character worse. It is my opinion, that Sentinels aren't quite the proc monster potential AT that ones like Defenders, Controls, or Tankers can be. Sentinels just don't always have the defenses to get to the more obscene levels, EASILY, like the aforementioned ATs can. Sentinels can however, find plenty of room for balance to use procs to enhance a weakness or further boost a strength. Again, BIG generalization because a proc-centric build can exist with some power combinations and appropriate planning. However, it is an advanced way to do it. It also requires some very specific planning. That planning doesn't jive with how I like to play. It forces me to plan a power like Tactics at points where I personally may not want it when I wish to exemplar down for lower level Task Force or even general door missions. Yes, I have fully Incarnate kitted out purple set monsters and I still like running Positon 1 and 2. So sue me.
  10. Just another way to think about it... When you start pushing recharge into the realm you the following thing can be run without much of a gap: Water Jet -> Dehydrate -> Hydro Blast. You'll build enough Tidal Force for double Water Jet on the first pass. Double Water Jet has an internal cooldown of 15 seconds. By the time that happens, the same sequence will align with that barring no missed hits. This also means Hydro Blast would automatically trigger Defensive Opportunity since you'd also be building meter to 90% before that event happens. Aqua Bolt becomes a mule or just the occasional Offensive Opportunity trigger. Water Burst gets pruned because Whirlpool + Steam Spray is plenty of damage as it is. Have fun deconstructing it.
  11. Fair points above. Geyser, and most T9's, will have high chance to trigger a given proc despite how area factor may influence things. That's the benefit there for having a very long cool down. This makes certain proc effects, like Force Feedback: Chance for Recharge, pretty interest effects to place there. You can have a high degree of probability that the effect will go off on the cast and it being an AoE helps in this case. However, you're also right that due to the nature of a power like Geyser, you probably want to reduce its cooldown for more frequent availability. A nice benefit for most Sentinels is having a T9 available in a 23 to 26 second cooldown range if you build a lot of recharge. That's potentially very significant when you align that with Aim's cooldown plus the Gaussian's Build-Up. It ends up being quite a bit of damage and even more so since Water's version of Aim buffs Geyser. Whirlpool has a lot of potential, but do exercise some caution there. Don't conflate chance to trigger on cast as being the same as chance to trigger per target. The proc effects are not guaranteed to hit all targets. You can have a situation where a target does not receive a proc effect at all and others might. Whirlpool does offer the chance to improve some general damage output by combining both the Achilles' Heel and Annihilation resistance debuffs. Due to the factors of Whirlpool, it is also pretty good at triggering Opportunity Strikes even with the full 6 slot set. Whether or not you decide to proc out your AoE attacks or your ST attacks is a matter choice. Single target damage on Water Blast is one of the lowest out the sets and compensates by having fairly high AoE damage. You can potentially even this disparity out by putting procs in some of the single target attacks. At least, that is what I opted to do. Dehydrate, even with common PPM 3.5 procs, is still going to trigger those effects over half the time. That's not bad. Steam Spray may be pretty close, if not a little better, but the decision to build that way is just one way of doing it. Another thing to be mindful of is your attack chain and how coherent it will be pushing tons of procs. Then, on top of that, your endurance drain per cast. Steam Spray has a base 20 second cooldown. Whirlpool has 60s. Steam Spray costs 18 endurance per cast. Whirlpool costs 15.6. On the other hand, Dehydrate costs 8 end and recycles every 8 seconds. If your goal is create situations where your have large moments of burst, then procs in attacks like Steam Spray aren't a bad way to go. However, if you have to give up some recharge in the attack then your attack chain can suffer. On top of that, when you fight the big bad guy you'll still need to leverage an AoE as a single target attack which will drain your end. That means you need to rely more Seishen-teki Kyoyo where the cast time is going to be a DPS loss. My Water/Dark character has 162.5% global recharge. Steam Spray recharges in 6.08 seconds for me with 66.25% recharge modification since it carries a set. It still costs me 15.62 end per cast due the endurance reduction of the set which isn't a lot. Dehydrate does slightly more average damage per cast due to the procs it carries potentially every 3 seconds for 1/3 the cost. If I change my build slightly I can get 3 procs in Steam Spray with some better end reduction at the cost of 5% global recharge (157.5%). The average damage goes up by 30 pts over Dehydrate yet has a 7.77 second recharge time and still a high end cost though slightly reduced from how I currently slot it. However, Dehydrate still maintains a better damage-per-activation metric. Hell, even Hydro Blast can. Water Jet most certainly does. You're ideas aren't wrong if AoE burst is what you want, but the above is just there as stuff to think about. Its burst vs sustain damage. I know that concept can be casually dismissed at times, but things like bosses, elite boss, and arch-villains do exist. I find it very inefficient to pound away at those kinds of enemies with a high reliance on area attacks. Some sets can be exceptions to this like Fire Blast's Fireball is just too good not to use (and mine has procs there too).
  12. Animation times and base recharge times influence chance to trigger procs. Aqua Bolt is a very fast casting (1.188s Arcanatime) and fast recharging (3s) power. This means that the default chance to trigger a given proc, even like Lady Grey, is actually fairly low. The Build-Up proc's innate chance to trigger, the proc-per-minute rating (PPM), is even lower than the Lady Grey. Other powers in your kit like Hydro Blast, Dehydrate, or even Water Jet will have high chances to trigger those effects. The high the chance to trigger the effect, then the more average damage that the proc will contribute. For Aqua Bolt to be truly worth slotting in that manner you'd have to use it very frequently in order to roll the dice as often as possible. Even then, Aqua Bolt is likely a better carrier for a set bonus and the proc plan pushed to a different power that can abuse the mechanics like Dehydrate.
  13. I run heavy proc caltrops on some characters. I find it fun, but do temper your expectations. What generally doesn't happen is this... "You cast caltrops" -- ALL procs go off against ALL targets. The above isn't reality. You may find a target doesn't get hit by a proc at all or a target may get hit by multiple procs at once. The ability to potentially get another -12.5% resistance from the Annihilation proc is pretty fun but just don't count on it being a constant. I'm usually only looking for the procs to do anything relevant at the point of the pseudopet spawn vs constant proc explosions over the duration. That isn't realistic either. If you have the slots left over to explore this option, then go for it. It can be fun, but it may not be as potent as it looks on paper.
  14. You're welcome! Keep the ATO that you got with merits. You can convert them into superior with a catalyst (each enhancement needs a catalyst). Those can be a little pricey if your budget is tight right now, but you can basically make what you have into the purple (superior) quality version later on. So all is not lost!! Maximizing procs is really just loading up on them. If a power can take multiple procs, then you put those procs into the power. Now that's really dumbing it down, but it is a general concept. What's tricky about that strategy for slotting is the more procs you add the less general enhancement benefit you gain AND you lose out on set bonuses. What I mean by general enhancement benefit is attributes like accuracy, endurance, recharge, and damage. You could load a power with nothing but procs (if it had them available - not all powers do) but there is a high chance that your average chance to hit a higher level enemy would run in 60% range. With that big of a hit gap the benefits of stacking damage procs becomes more of a liability than it does a benefit. Also, since you're missing out on direct recharge enhancement you'd want to have global recharge enhancement to ensure your attacks still have smooth transitions with little downtime. The more recharge you gain the less likely you need to hold onto powers that don't compare well to your heavy hitters (since they're available more often). So in order for a build idea like this to work you'd need to look for sources that can give you back everything you lose out on to procs. [I'm also generalizing here. There is a lot more to proc calculations than this and there is a guide for it around the forums.] The easy, but expensive, way to build recharge back is stacking Luck of the Gambler with as many purple sets that make sense. That's 5 x 7.5% from the LotGs and 5 x 10% from the purples (or as many as you can get away with). There are potentially other sets to boost your recharge too and these might be sought after sets (Positron's Blast, Decimation, Preventative Medicine, Reactive Defenses, Red Fortune, and so on). To build back some missing accuracy you can use powers like Tactics and/or an IO like the Kismet +6% to-hit. Ninjutsu can be tough to deal with on streamlining your attacks down by skipping set bonuses to allow for proc stacking. Even then, Sentinels don't always do that well with trying to proc out every single attack. Defenders/Corruptors may get away with that a little bit better since certain support sets dramatically alter the fundamentals I just listed (i.e., Time Manipulation or even Kinetics). So Sentinels probably want to pick either their single-target powers or their AoE powers to get silly with procs. Do not take that as gospel (anyone reading really) because I've seen the occasional build that goes all in. Anyway, having a much higher budget for the stronger IO sets gives you a lot more wiggle room to close gaps while exploring alternative damage options like procs. All that said, its a mouth full, you do not need to do any of that. If you are happy with what you have, then that is all that truly matters. It can be fun to talk about min/maxing, but that is just a different side set of end game. Costume slots and design being the other side of true end game. 🤣
  15. I guess Mids still lets people use both the regular version of the ATOs and the Superior. That doesn't work though. You could change the set in Hydro Blast to just Thunderstrike. That'll get you your ranged defense back up. You could slot Steam Spray in a similar manner to your other AoE powers. To make sure the procs trigger as frequently as possible you want to be mindful of recharge from enhancements, not sets. So in the case of Detonation you could replace the Damage/Recharge with Damage/Endurance/Range. You're not maximizing procs for damage here. You're just adding a proc here and there to add a little something extra. Its a totally fine way to go, but if you wanted to get more extreme then it would also require a vastly different approach. Since you stated that this is about the budget you're willing to tolerate there isn't a whole lot else I'd change. Your melee defense would be a little lower, but that could be fixed by a Steadfast or Gladiator's 3% defense to all. I would not recommend using another Shield Breaker in a power like Dehydrate just to get your melee defense up. Aqua Bolt is a pretty lackluster power and the loss of enhancement to damage isn't that big a deal. Screwing over Dehydrate would be far more noticeable for very little gain. Having 43% melee isn't that bad when enemies have to get in your face. You have Whirlpool to slow, and knockdowns to reduce that threat. It wouldn't be worth the hassle to hinder any of your big hitters for minor defense boosts. Money making is an understandable hurdle if you've just come back. While money making can be pretty boring for some, there are a few guides in the Market subforum that you may find helpful. As you run content, like Task Forces or complete stories, you can get reward merits. You can use reward merits to either A) make money passively or B) bypass the high cost of market-based enhancements. So while you don't have some of the more expensive IO's right now, and the ATO's tend to be in the same price range as things you've mentioned, you could afford it. IOs sets like Winter or Purple ones run around 20+ million per slot. Sounds like a lot now, but it probably won't be so bad months from now. Still, for a budget build what you have works within the confines of the limits set. Also, keep the slotting in Water Jet and Geyser. Neither of those Superior ATOs are game changing. You could swap either, but its not going to move the needle much.
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