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I have a grav/dark controller and I am seeing "IMPACT!" flash above enemies heads when I damage them. I do not remember seeing this before and I have questions. It seems to only happen when the enemies is both held AND immobilized, is that a correct assumption? Is IMPACT! specific to Grav controllers? I don't remember seeing it on my ILL/Kin, but I haven't actually looked for it. Is this something new to Homecoming or was it in Live also? Thanks in advance 🙂
So ... a while back (as in, May 2019) ... I took a stab at making a Gravity/Time Controller build. Some of you may have read it and made your own. Other people were inspired by it, and for a little while we had a bit of a ... craze, I guess you could call it ... of people trying out playing Gravity/Time and enjoying the Well of the Furies (WotF?) out of the combination. Well ... a little time has passed since then ... and a fair amount of research has been done in the meantime on how procs work (credit to @Bopper for a lot of that research!) and how a variety of different powers ACTUALLY work, particularly when those procs get slotted into those powers (*ahem* ... Tactics with Gaussian's!) ... and ... you get the idea. In other words, it's time for brushing off the old build and giving it a touch up for the sheer amount of knowledge (and let's be honest, cleverness!) that has been (re)discovered since Homecoming burst onto the scene like a meteor falling onto Galaxy City (help keep Galaxy City clean!). Which is a long winded preamble to say, if you've read my previous thoughts on this specific subject, don't worry ... I didn't shift the goalposts THAT far down the field regarding the build. However, if you're still interested in knowing the "shape" of my current thinking (and playstyle) on this topic, now that I've gotten a few Levels into my Controller, feel free to read on. Oh and this won't QUITE be (quite as much of) a WALL OF TEXT CRITS YOU!!! situation as usual, since I'm dealing with somewhat well tilled ground here, but the build will be in the next post down below after this one if you just want to grab the data and run with it. So one of the BIG discoveries of the past few months was the research into procs and how they inter(re)act with various enhancement options. At the same time, credit needs to be given where credit is due for little discoveries such as this one ... So wait ... You can slot a Sudden Acceleration KB>KD proc into Wormhole ... and it won't negate the aggro-less aspect of how Wormhole works? And it will cluster up widely dispersed (within 20ft radius of the selected $Target) spawn groupings and dump them out in a neatly collected PILE without needing to resort of use of terrain/corners to keep them clustered up and avoid Knockback scattering? You still have 5 remaining slots left over ... which is EXACTLY how many slots you'd want/need to 5-slot the Overwhelming Presence set and ITS proc into Wormhole, where it will do you the most good? And you can use it as an Alpha Strike ... to prevent retaliation? So ... aggro DENIAL by use of Wormhole? And as if that wasn't enough of a gravy train, @Sir Myshkin had to go out and discover this ... So let me get this straight. It's not only possible, but also desirable(!) to use Wormhole AND Dimension Shift (of all things!) to neutralize an entire spawn group AND prevent them from wandering away? So ... Stun + Immobilize = (ghetto) AoE Hold that you can deploy more than once per minute?!? Um ... yeah ... I'll take two (per minute) ... and call me from the Zig when you figure out you've been arrested and just haven't gotten the memo yet (see above, Space and Time Controller!). /em polite cough Oh and by the way ... that Overwhelming Presence proc is going to have a really nice and high chance to spawn an Energy Font pet that will broadcast a PBAoE Stun aura around itself to help keep everything in lockdown. Have a nice day (being arrested before you even know what happened, $Targets). Okay, that's enough of an EBIL IDEA™ that it seems like something ought to be done to make this happen pretty routinely. Now, one of the side effects of pulling such a ... stunt ... is that needing a full suite of Defensive oriented protection powers stops being quite AS important when you can just "neutralize $Targets into a compost heap for disposal" TWICE per minute using Wormhole ... meaning that Maneuvers in the previous builds turned into something of an unnecessary set mule power given the overall context of the build. City of Wormholed Statues in a Dimension Shift anyone? So with that in mind, one of the things that I've been noticing while playing my Gravity/Time Controller is that, of all things, I miss not having Crush available (see previous builds). I say that simply because I've run into situations where sure I could just rely on Gravity Distortion, Lift, Propel (and have) ... but Propel now has a Target AoE Knockback component to it, which widens its aggro "reach" potential. Fighting Vahzilok zombies, I found myself frustrated by the fact that I could defeat them one by one using single target ranged attacks, but as soon as I'd use an AoE I'd have to deal with the entire dogpile all at once. If I had Crush available to me, I'd be able to manage them with a 3 power rotation of single target attacks only, rather than trying to make do with 2 singles and a single target that splashes Knockback (and aggro) around my $Target. Is Crush "all that great" on its own as a power? Well, maybe not, if you're talking about "perfect attack chains" and so on. But if you're looking for a single target ONLY attack chain (for ... reasons), you really want to be using a 3 power rotation rather than just 2 for that. And while Propel is technically a single target attack and takes single target Ranged set slotting, the Knockback "splash" around your $Target makes it an "aggro noisy" single target attack that can draw the attention of more than one $Target onto yourself. Now, granted, Vahzilok are kind of unique in this regard, in that if there are no "leaders" for the zombies (Reapers, Mortificators, Eidolons, etc.), you can pull off the single target sequential pickoff strategy with relative ease because they won't "communicate" their aggro state to those around them (while the "leaders" would do so to give the zombies their marching orders). Point being, there's an edge case where Crush can be more useful than the alternative ... and that's not even including how Immobilize works on AVs and GMs to keep them pinned in place where you'd want them. So I dropped Maneuvers out of the build and replaced it with Crush as the Level 1 power pick for greater flexibility in use of the attack chain, both in the early game and in the Incarnate Trials endgame. Research done by myself and others into the interactions of Build Up relative to straight up damage procs yielded some interesting islands of stability in unexpected places/combinations of powers. For Defenders and Masterminds this synergy tended to manifest when carrying the Build Up proc through multiple attack rotations in a way that would offer multiple bites at the apple (so to speak) and when that attack rotation included an AoE attack of some kind (in my Defender and Mastermind builds this wound up being a mix of Cones and Target AoEs) the increased damage throughput became multiplicative rather than merely additive like you'd see with a straight damage proc. Well that logic changes in the context of a Controller ... because of Containment. That's because the +64% damage bonus of a Build Up proc modifies the damage produced BEFORE it gets doubled by Containment. Well, I've worked out that with an attack chain of Crush (1.33s), Gravity Distortion (1.83s), Lift (1.03s) and Propel (2.07s) ... in that order, for a total of 6.26s of animation for all 4 attacks (a rate of better than 1.6s per attack, on average), yields 4.19s of time elapsed before returning to Propel ... meaning that from a single Build Up proc out of Propel (in this case) you can "wrap back around" to activate Propel again(!) while the Build Up buff remains active. So if you're just chain casting on a 132413241324 type rotation, so as to get the most out of Containment and Impact against hard(ish) $Targets that aren't Minions (who will crumple "too quickly" for this kind of damage appreciation!), you'll be able to leverage a single Build Up proc for +64% damage through Containment AND Impact for both Lift AND Propel ... even if the Decimation Build Up proc is put into Propel! The attack chain will animate fast enough(!) for Propel to benefit "directly" from the Build Up proc slotted into it! In a lot of cases, you won't get that kind of return on investment going with the Decimation Build Up proc (although I seem to have started to make a specialty out of it in my builds). This then yields an unexpectedly robust single target attack chain for a Controller ... especially if both Lift and Propel are also slotted with Force Feedback procs for the bonus recharge needed to make Chrono Shift effectively perma in this build. There are a few other aspects of this revision that will be "familiar" to anyone who has been following the evolution of my build plan schemes ... such as the slotting for Chrono Shift (now a "standard" on all of my Time Manipulation builds) and also Health and Stamina for maximizing yield on endurance recovery. I put the Decimation set into Propel, rather than into Lift, in this build for the very simple reason that the Build Up buff duration of 5.25 seconds doesn't begin until the power it's slotted into completes its animation. Essentially, the buff doesn't "start" until the next power gets used, that way it doesn't buff the power that procs the Build Up during the use that triggered the proc. The animation times of Crush, Gravity Distortion and Lift add up to 4.19s of duration before getting back to Propel, meaning that Propel "gets to use" the Build Up buff's remaining duration to apply to Propel on the repeat of the attack chain. The same does NOT hold true if Decimation is slotted into Lift! The animation times of Propel, Crush and Gravity Distortion combine to be 5.23 seconds ... which makes it extremely likely(!) you'd have a situation where the Build Up buff would only apply to 3 attacks, instead of 4(!), by slotting the Decimation set into Lift instead of Propel. It CAN be done, of course ... at the expense of the "yield" derived from the Build Up proc (3 attacks instead of 4). However, if you REALLY want to push your recharge, it can be done by simply dropping Crush from the rotation, which having Force Feedback procs in both Lift and Propel may very well be able to do for you (depending on Exemplar Level at the time). Which then brings up the point that not everyone would want to add Crush to their build (let alone slot it) like I'm doing here, which is a fair criticism. However, if you're the type of Player who would easily ditch Crush for something else/better/anything(!) then this build offers a ready made alternative (although some serious power picks and slot shuffling will be needed to implement it). Swap Crush for Enflame from the Sorcery pool(!). Since Crush is 6 slotted in this build, if you swap it for Enflame you'd be able to 6-slot Enflame without needing to pull slots from other powers, so all of that would stay relatively the same. However, the "yield" of the overall build would change rather markedly ... thanks to the ready made combo of Wormhole and Dimension Shift. Why? Because you could Wormhole a group into a unified "compost heap" to defeat them without drawing aggro. Cast Enflame onto your $Target, who will presumably be in the center of the dogpile after the Wormhole. Cast Dimension Shift to "close the oven door" and let your $Targets "cook" until done while they're Stunned by Wormhole, Immobilized by Dimension Shift and can't get away from the burn patch lit up by Enflame. As an added extra spice for your flambe cuisine preparation ... you can dump the "compost heap" onto your Singularity (or any old aggro magnet you have handy) and then "light 'em up" with Enflame before you "slam the oven door" on them with Dimension Shift and sit back and wait in relative safety for the (cosmic) microwave (background) to finish turning them into an accretion disk of XP and drops for you. And that's not even including the added seasonings of Distortion Field and Slowed Response for additional tenderizing. "Feed them to the Sharkticons!" indeed ... Dimension Shift will reach its 20 second expiration just in time for Wormhole to be recharged ... so you can wash/rinse/repeat if needed. And if that kind of EBIL IDEA™ sounds like just the fresh baked XP kitchenware you're looking for ... you might want to consider taking the build I'm posting below and make a few ... alterations ... to it, in order to achieve that outcome. You're welcome. There are of course a couple other bits of trickery involved in this build, but compared to the above, they're pretty minor ... mainly just ways to stay relevant during AV/GM battles and attacks on Hamidon where stacking Holds is the answer to a lot of questions. Anyway, they're there for any Disinterested Observers™ to find for themselves, if they're so inclined. Oh and pay attention to the proc chances I calculated, since there's some interesting stuff there too ...
I had a question about Impact! for Gravity Controllers and I was told that in Issue 22 it was added: Impact! introduced: Enemies attacked with Lift or Propel will have bonus damage applied if the enemy has been recently held by Gravity Distortion (regardless of who cast Gravity Distortion). Last night, I got my controller the Gravity Distortion Field power.. which is Gravity Distortion multi hit. When I used it and the followed up with Lift and Propel on an enemy, I did not get an Impact! bonus. Is this working as intended or should I get it for the AOE as well as the single target?