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About Me

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  1. So ... it's that time again. Time to refresh another build of mine. The first version of my Gravity/Time build efforts can be found HERE. The second version of my Gravity/Time build efforts can be found HERE. And this version can be found ... well ... here ... Strap in kids, because we're about to warp the spacetime continuum in ways that can only be described as ... wibbly wobbly timey wimey ... And as always, fair warning (because it's obligatory at this point) ... WALL OF TEXT CRITS YOU!!! However, if you want to skip the wall of text (to avoid the crits) ... you can. Right ... moving on ... So I made a number of pretty radical changes to the previous builds in this rebuild effort. For one thing I broke up the Controller ATO sets to better leverage them across the entirety of the build ... specifically the Overpowering Presence set got broken up into 3 pieces of 2-slots each to maximize the global set bonuses to mez effects on ALL mez powers (it's not a lot, but it's better than the 3/4/5-slot bonuses for the set). This in turn allowed me to better tailor what was needed (and what wasn't) for slotting into Wormhole and Gravity Distortion Field, which then prompted a remarkable amount of reshuffling of slots between powers (as you'll be able to see below). Dropping from 6 slots to One Slot Wonder™ status for Tactics also helped in this regard (go figure, eh?). I experimented with dropping the Leadership pool in favor of picking up Primal Forces Mastery and adding Spirit Ward (for use along with Temporal Selection) on Singularity so as to make my Singularity as ridiculously bufftacular an aggro magnet as could theoretically be managed ... and I was playing around with that notion for a while, but I really wanted to keep Tactics so as to be able to buff damage output remarkably on Teams (and Leagues) via the Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-control Build Up proc slotted into Tactics. That's because the damage buffing from Build Up procs also affects the bonus (crit?) damage produced by Impact via Propel and Lift on $Targets affected by Gravity Distortion. So the Build Up + Impact factor is a serious force multiplier for this build in terms of damage production, so I really did not want to have to sacrifice Tactics if there was a way to be able to keep Tactics in the build. The problem was, I needed to dump a power pick if I wanted to fit everything into the build. 9 primary powers 9 secondary powers Mystic Flight Hasten (to synergize with Chrono Shift) 2 Leadership toggles (to get Tactics) ... and that's 22 out of 24 power picks ... and it takes 3 power picks to reach Power Boost in Primal Forces Mastery. So if I wanted to have Power Boost AND Tactics ... something had to go from the build. There just wasn't room to keep EVERYTHING. Now, for most people ... the answer if you're going to dump anything out of Gravity OR Time Manipulation is ... dump Dimension Shift. That's because Dimension Shift is (still) carrying a stigma from the earliest days of heroism in Paragon City, when Intangible powers like Dimension Shift lacked the necessary Player control(s) to expire the power early on command. The result wound up being more of a team griefing tool (back then) and although Dimension Shift is now FAR more multi-player friendly (although you can still grief people with it, much like how you can grief people using Knockback too), all too many Players continue to shun Dimension Shift for reasons of its bad reputation from days of yore that no longer align with actual in-game "reality" as played here on Homecoming. However, I noticed something rather unusual about Dimension Shift as I was working up this rebuild. It makes for an almost ideal way to proc the Overwhelming Presence: Energy Font, practically On Demand(!) ... with or without a $Target being present(!). Specifically, I figured out a way to frankenslot Dimension Shift with the Endurance/Recharge and Recharge/Energy Font proc enhancements ... and NOTHING ELSE ... and wind up with either a 66.57% chance (@ Level 27 enhancement) or a 90% chance (Superior Overwhelming Presence) to spawn an Energy Font pet upon CASTING Dimension Shift, assuming I've got my Proc Fu lined up right for how procs work for this power upon casting (so there's some speculative theorycrafting at work here). First of all, Dimension Shift is basically a Summon power, functionally speaking. What Dimension Shift "does" under the hood (I'm assuming) is it Summons a single (pseudo)pet at the specified location, just like a Mastermind Pet or even Controller Pets. The Dimension Shift (pseudo)pet then generates the AoE field around itself that causes the phasing effect within the AoE (of allies and foes alike) and imposes the Immobilize effect on foes within the field. The key point I'm wanting to make here is that the Summoning of the Dimension Shift (pseudo)pet is a ranged SINGLE target action, which is important for Proc Fu calculations, because within this context there's a VERY large distinction between procs that can affect a (pseudo)pet and procs that will "flow through" that (pseudo)pet to affect foes. We know, for example, because people have tested it, that you can slot a Force Feedback proc into Singularity ... but the only time when it will proc (to the benefit of a Controller or Dominator) is when a Singularity is Summoned. Upon Summoning there is essentially a (capped) 90% chance for the Force Feedback proc to actually proc (due to the 240s base recharge time for Singularity) for the caster, even though a Knockback power isn't being "used" in when your Singularity is Summoned (take note of this point). However, after being Summoned, the Force Feedback proc is functionally "useless" to your Singularity since like all other pets Singularity is "immune" to recharge buffing and debuffing ... so even if Force Feedback procs for Singularity after being Summoned, there's simply no benefit to your Singularity from a successful proc of Force Feedback (because: ignores recharge buffing/debuffing). However, slotting the Will of the Controller: Psionic Damage proc into Singularity WILL check for chances to proc on basically EVERY Crush and Gravity Distortion attack that your Singularity will make against $Targets. So that's a situation where with Singularity a damage proc is only relevant AFTER completing the Summons (not during), because the Singularity needs to attack in order to proc the relevant damage keyed proc(s) ... but some non-damage procs can be activated to buff the caster just from the act of Summoning the Singularity pet (as the Force Feedback example demonstrates). I therefore submit for consideration and testing the notion that the same (poorly documented!) "rules" apply to Dimension Shift as well upon casting/summoning the Dimension Shift (pseudo)pet. If so ... and I have every reason to think that this is so until evidence has been provided to the contrary ... that would mean that Dimension Shift has a "high" chance to proc an Overpowering Presence: Energy Font upon casting/summoning, due to the long base recharge time of 60s ... but then a correspondingly "low" chance for additional Energy Font procs once moving into a toggle/sustain mode of checking proc chances once every ~10 seconds. Now, if I'm right about this (and I might not be...) that means that simply doing a quick toggle on/toggle off of Dimension Shift (to avoid endurance costs of sustaining the power) could have a very high chance of summoning an Energy Font ... and in the build I'm presenting below that can be done again in less than 20 seconds(!) after detoggling Dimension Shift while under the effects of Hasten and Chrono Shift combined (to say nothing of the Force Feedback procs slotted into other powers speeding things up beyond that). Even more amazingly, the proc chance for summoning an Energy Font would not need a hostile $Target to cast against ... unlike how slotting the Energy Font proc into Crushing Field would require things to work. If you slot the Energy Font proc into Crushing Field you'll have a low chance to proc the Energy Font per $Target hit ... but Crushing Field is a Target AoE that can hit up to 16 $Targets ... and you only need ONE successful proc per use of Crushing Field in order to summon an Energy Font. So with the Energy Font proc slotted into Crushing Field you need to resort to the Chuck Lots of Dice!!™ strategy in order to get Energy Font to proc (reliably) by using Crushing Field against LOTS of $Targets to maximize your chances of a successful proc ... which is fine ... so long as you're in a $Target Rich Environment that allows you to do that. However, as soon as the number of $Targets drop, the chances of successfully summoning an Energy Font upon use of Crushing Field goes WAY DOWN. On top of that, Crushing Field is EXPENSIVE in endurance cost terms to cast. I've found that spamming Crushing Field is a great way to empty the blue bar in a hurry! So, Crushing Field as a means to proc Energy Font(s) works as long as you have (plenty of) $Targets to cast against, which will often be the case in Team-8 circumstances ... but Dimension Shift is different. I'm figuring that the chance to proc an Energy Font is greatest upon casting/summoning and Dimension Shift doesn't need a $Target in order to cast the power against. That means that you can cast Dimension Shift with ZERO $Targets and still proc an Energy Font, I'm thinking. You probably won't get more than one Energy Font at a time using Dimension Shift this way, but with the build I've made you don't exactly NEED to have more than one Energy Font summoned at a time. Besides, the Stun Aura that the Energy Font will project will combine with the Immobilize that the Dimension Shift is enforcing, creating a "ghetto hold" of Immobilize+Stun just when (and where) you need it when using Dimension Shift. Which is a long winded way of saying (and saying WHY) when it came time to drop a power out of the build ... I dropped Crushing Field and kept Dimension Shift. Now, for anyone who might think that is a TERRIBLE idea and they would NEVER do anything like that for their own character builds(!) ... rest easy. If you want to swap out Dimension Shift for Crushing Field in the build I'm posting below, you can ... although you'll very likely want to swap the Overwhelming Presence enhancements I've got in Time Stop with the ones I've got in Dimension Shift in addition to the powers swap. Reason for this is because Crushing Field NEEDS Accuracy if it's going to hit anything, while Dimension Shift neither needs (nor accepts) Accuracy enhancements, so a straight power swap while keeping the same enhancements probably won't end well. Word to the wise and all that. Part of the reason why I feel like I can get away with this kind of departure from the conventional wisdom is because of how Dimension Shift works now. Dimension Shift is a toggle Immobilize that also phases both friends AND foes within the area of effect ... and at 0.36 end/s in this build, over 20s it will cost no more than 7.2 endurance total before Dimension Shift automatically detoggles (and you can always toggle off yourself before that 20s duration if you want to). To get the same kind of low endurance cost out of Crushing Field per Click, Crushing Field would need to be slotted with 116.67% endurance reduction (good luck with that!). Basically, Dimension Shift "does the same job" that Crushing Field can (in Immobilize terms) at lower cost and admittedly less frequently overall, but often enough to be useful regardless of whether there are $Targets around to take advantage of for Energy Font procs. And because Dimension Shift can be detoggled early, dropping the effect, it's perfectly possible to quickly toggle on/off someplace out of the way (like say, BEHIND a team so you don't mess with where they're going if you need to) so as to spawn an Energy Font and THEN engage a new spawn group of $Targets. In other words, Dimension Shift can work as a proc mule (in a "vacuum" of $Targets) in ways that Crushing Field cannot. At the same time, Dimension Shift can "do" almost everything you'd want to use Crushing Field for in terms of Immobilization (the damage production by Crushing Field is so small as to be negligible in this comparison) and the number of (useful!) uses that Dimension Shift can be put to by a clever(!) Player who is experienced with using the power are remarkably broad and varied, including what amounts to non-combat "prep" uses, visual signaling, choke point protection/defense and even divide and conquer when faced with overrun situations due to ambush spawns. There are of course plenty of obnoxious uses that Dimension Shift can be put to, but I'm not interested in pursuing those kinds of group unfriendly applications. So ... for me at least, Crushing Field is OUT ... while Dimension Shift stays IN ... and just like that I had just barely enough power picks to take Tactics AND Power Boost and not feel like I'd sacrificed a core capability the Gravity Control OR Time Manipulation powersets. If anything, keeping Dimension Shift in the build when working with Gravity Control and Time Manipulation backed by Primal Mastery feels even MORE thematically synergistic than I was expecting (or I supposed is even standard for builds like this one). Needless to say, this radical departure from the Conventional Wisdom had numerous knock on effects for the rest of the build(!) and my description of all of this probably isn't doing the combinations and synergies that this unlocks adequate justice, since a lot of the applications that Dimension Shift can be put to amount to Creative/Clever Use Of Game Mechanics™ in a variety of situations, so how "good" Dimension Shift is for any given Player will be HIGHLY dependent upon that Player's level of skill and direct experience with how to use Dimension Shift, and how well teammates can be ... educated ... to understand its uses, applications, limitations and ways it can in effect both concentrate and defer aggro depending on relative positioning due to the "can't cross the boundary of the bubble" nature of how Dimension Shift works. Not everyone is willing to learn new things, let alone new tricks or ways to play the game ... but some people are, and the most effective way to do that is with demonstrations to SHOW HOW it can be done, because for some people they have to see it before they can believe it (let alone begin to imagine the wealth of possibilities). So yes, this TOTALLY means that in this build, Dimension Shift is not an "oh sh*t!" button used 0-1 times per gaming session. Instead, Dimension Shift is fully intended to be an integrated part of the entire "best defense is an unfair offense" strategy that this build uses to pre-emptively neutralize opposition before they can even respond to defend themselves. I'm looking at using Dimension Shift as often as "every spawn group" (or even just every other spawn group on a fast moving steamroll) even if that usage is not directly impactful on the active combat happening at the time, since simply casting Dimension Shift and toggling it off after a second or so will (I'm thinking) often times summon an Energy Font to assist the beatdown to be delivered. Go. Hunt. DS Skuls. Because as with so many things worth doing in life ... practice makes permanent. Make Dimension Shift a part of how you engage in almost every situation. Use it ... and then learn how to abuse it through tactical positioning to the detriment of your adversaries. What you get out of it depends on how much thought you put into it. The next really radical change that I made from previous builds was to slot up Distortion Field as something of a remarkably "pure" AoE damage proc monster power with SIX damage procs slotted into it. My reason for wanting to put all of those damage procs into Distortion Field instead of Time Stop is because I've already got perfectly serviceable single target attack powers that can be buffed multiplicatively by Containment, Impact and Build Up procs ... while damage procs slotted into Time stop would be boosted by NONE of those buffs. With 4 fully slotted single target attack powers in Gravity Control, I'm hardly desperate to add a 5th single target attack make up of nothing but procs ... however, a (location) Target AoE that will let me put it down anywhere I want every ~23s and lasts for 45s meaning multiple proc chances over the duration of each casting? Where's the dotted line for me to sign on? Because the one thing that Gravity sincerely lacks as an attack power set is AoE damage output. Gravity has single target damage output pretty well covered, but AoE damage output ... not so much. So slotting up Distortion Field with 6 damage procs so as to turn the power into a power that can "maim" multiple $Targets who remain "trapped" within the AoE gives the build something that Gravity alone was lacking. The key for me in this decision was that Distortion Field is relatively quick to cast (2.244s arcanatime) after which it does not require additional animation time to inflict its proc damage against an AoE, allowing me to concentrate on attacking/animating other powers while Distortion Field "burns stuff down" for me relatively hands free ... and it lasts a good long while (and you can have more than one out simultaneously, and they can stack!). I then provided ample "support" for this new use for Distortion Field as a means of damage delivery by radically changing the slotting on Slowed Response to turn it into not only a Target AoE damage power (90% chance to proc 2 damage procs and up to -42.5% Resistance debuffing!) but also something that can be recast every ~30s as an "accelerator" for damage dealing against an entire spawn group, speeding up the amount of time it takes to defeat all foes in a particular spawn group. The basic idea here is that doing Slowed Response followed by Distortion Field will magnify the amount of AoE damage that all the procs slotted into Distortion Field will be capable of producing, increasing the AoE damage throughput of the combination. And then ... on top of all of that ... I added Energy Torrent as a stepping stone in Primal Forces Mastery to be able to reach Power Boost, but in this case I fully slotted up Energy Torrent in such a way as to enable the power to have increased Range (out to ~62ft) producing decent damage (64.89 Smashing/Energy mixed) with a 17.37% chance per $Target to proc an additional -20% Resistance debuff along with an 11.58% chance per $Target for a Force Feedback proc. This means that in the late/end-game the build has a power, Energy Torrent, that can very nearly proc Force Feedback almost at will for increased recharge buffing across the entire build in a $Target Rich Environment. Combine the Force Feedback proc potential of Energy Torrent with the proc potential of Lift and Propel and it starts becoming relatively easy to close the "perma gap" for Hasten and Chrono Shift despite the relatively low global recharge amounts realized within this build. Another interesting point is what happens to how it plays after fully slotting out Wormhole by Level 31. Basically everything changes at that point (as it tends to do for Gravity Control builds in general). I say this because here's what I'm assuming happens when playing this build solo starting at Level 36: Wormhole > Slowed Response > Distortion Field > Dimension Shift ... begin single target rotation with Singularity and possibly an Energy Font while INSIDE the Dimension Shift ... ... season to taste with Energy Torrent if available. I figure that ought to ruin the day of pretty much any $Target that the Wormhole is capable of teleporting into a neat and tidy pile wherever you want ... after which the beatings will now commence until the faceplanting improves ... or words to that effect, and with all of that debuffing and proc damage going on, it won't take anywhere nearly as long to destroy entire spawn groups in detail. For one thing, Dimension Shift will Immobilize everything for you so as to establish Containment before you start "shooting the fish in the barrel" of your Dimension Shift sphere of "oh $Diety, they're all gonna drop for XP!" Note that this particular combination of powers to open with, with Hasten alone, can be done every ~35s (and about every ~30s with Hasten and Chrono Shift) or so and allows you to defeat foes on (presumably cleared) terrain that is safe for you to fight on without needing to worry about drawing additional aggro. That then allows you to control the battlespace (and battletime?) to your own advantage and circumstances. After all, why fight "fair" when you don't have to? After all, you're somewhat literally controlling the warping of the spacetime continuum through use of your powers, and needing to "fight fair" isn't one of the requirements for you in order to do all that. As seen in previous builds, I'm keeping the Decimation Build Up proc in Propel with the intent to score procs from use of Propel but also the Gaussian's Build Up proc in Tactics (which has an averaged 12.5% chance to proc every ~10s while Singularity is within 60ft of your Controller and being buffed by Tactics). The combination of these two procs ought to markedly increase the damage potential of Crush, Lift, Gravity Distortion and Propel, to say nothing of the multiplicative effects on Containment and Impact damage results when buffed by a Build Up proc. In a solo context, I fully expect to see a higher than normal number of Build Up procs when using this build because of how I've invested in powers and slots for those powers. However, those Build Up procs will not buff the damage output of any damage procs in the build, since damage procs are unaffected by damage buffs ... but ... those same damage procs will improve their damage throughput when resistance debuffing gets factored in, and both Slowed Response and Energy Torrent can deliver on Resistance debuffing (as will Crush, Lift, Gravity Distortion and Propel). I'm thinking that the combination of damage buffing and resistance debuffing that this build manages to put together ought to allow for significantly more overall damage throughput than might be expected just looking at the raw damage numbers in the build planner. Just remember that Dimension Shift is your AoE Containment setup power, since Dimension Shift will Immobilize $Targets caught within the field boundary. The one regret that I have with this build is that there simply wasn't room to fit in Spirit Ward for use on Singularity. Having both Temporal Selection AND Spirit Ward for Singularity would no doubt make Singularity absurdly difficult to damage sufficiently to threaten, short of AV/GM and/or Hamidon type incoming damage levels. However, in a choice between Spirit Ward and Temporal Selection, there's really no contest as Temporal Selection offers a greater benefit on teams (+Damage, +Recharge and +Regeneration!?) and 2 of those properties are useful for sustaining a Singularity. Even better yet, since a Singularity cannot be healed, but the Regeneration of a Singularity can be buffed, Temporal Selection becomes the "go to heal" power for avoiding the need to resummon your Singularity. So, although having both Temporal Selection and Spirit Ward would be "nice to have" ... if I can only take one (and in this build I can only take one!) then Temporal Selection wins the prize. Trust me, this way is better than the alternative. However, that said ... Here in the (now v3.0.1) build I've reshuffled some slots around (pulled 5 slots out of Tactics, leaving it a One Slot Wonder™ power with only the Gaussian's Synchronized Fire Control Build Up proc) so as to slot up Temporal Mending with a full 5 slots of the Regenerative Tissue set and then moved Preventative Medicine into Temporal Selection. What I'm hoping will happen as a result of this is to find out of EVERYONE gets the benefit of the +25% Regeneration for 120s(!) from the Regenerative Tissue unique IO, applied via PBAoE(!), and not just the Controller casting it so as to make Temporal Mending an even stronger Regeneration buffing power. However, the real prize of this shift is that by slotting up Temporal Selection with a full set of Preventative Medicine the Temporal Selection power adds a whopping +302.2% Regeneration (and +25% Damage buff and +30% Recharge buff!) to whatever Temporal Selection is cast upon ... which can include your Singularity(!) that can't be "healed" per se, but which can have its Regeneration buffed in order to "heal itself" over time, making Singularity an even beefier/tankier aggro magnet (which I have now slotted the Soulbound Allegiance Build Up proc into for even beefier/burstier damage production on top of what Temporal Selection is doing!). Now, if I'm right that the Regenerative Tissue +25% Regeneration will be "spread" through Temporal Mending, then that Regeneration buff can stack on top of everything else getting piled onto Singularity ... So ... yeah ... ch-ch-ch-changes ... from the v2.0 (and even v3.0) build ... There are a few other tricks and synergies to be found in the overall structure of this particular build, notably the Winter's Bite proc in Crush. Pretty much all of the Containment enhanced damage from this build belongs to Crush, Lift, Gravity Distortion and Propel, which even as early as Level 8 can make for a decently solid attack chain rotation that makes the most of Containment AND Impact mechanics. A HUGE amount of the way this whole thing is supposed to work involves opening up with Wormhole (to relocate $Targets where you want them and Stun them in the process) for Divide and Conquer. Follow up with Slowed Response and Energy Torrent to apply the most resistance debuffing possible and likely scoring a Force Feedback proc within 3.34s after using Wormhole. Lay down Distortion Field and Dimension Shift, in that order, and you've got everything Right Where You Want Them for being destroyed in detail after another 3.2s of animation (6.64s total after Wormhole at this point) and probably have an Energy Font summoned and proceeding to attack whatever you sucked through the Wormhole. Use Time Crawl and Time Stop against anything "obnoxious" in the soon to be compost heap before advancing into the Gravity Distortion, Propel, Lift, Crush, repeat phase of the beatdown you're primed to deliver to (presumably) helpless $Targets who can't fight back. Just remember that how you'll fight on a team will be QUITE different from how you fight solo. The last thing I'll mention is that this new v3.0.1 build incorporates the new Synapse's Shock set IOs into the build, exchanging 0.05 endurance per second for +15% Run speed relative to the previous build versions ... an "expense" that I'm willing to pay (since it's basically a loss of 1 endurance per 20 seconds). The reason that I mention this is because it means that the build can only be opened using the updated Mids' Reborn planner with (to my knowledge) the MRBU Update applied to it, as of the time of this posting (this may change as updates to the build planners get posted and people upgrade). And that's pretty much all I think I ought to be saying about this build at this point. So ... on with the build post itself! 💫
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