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Overclock

Hardest Blaster Combo to Solo With?

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Blasters have a reputation of being "hard to solo" and "floor magnets" with but as a high damage AT they can handle a lot of solo missions simply via overwhelming offense. 

 

I want to put together a video series for new players showing how to handle  both the basic missions and some of the tougher ones you can reasonably take on solo (aka not soloing a MoITF, just normal stuff, like soloing a Posi 1 or the regular arc missions). My feeling is that those can be done with basically ANY Blaster combo.

 

But which one is the hardest? Which, in your experience or estimation, is *THE* worst combo of Primary and Secondary for surviving soloing content. Not "completing", since a combo can be miserable because it's sloooow, but rather the combo which makes it the hardest to avoid debt entirely.

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Energy/Fire.  The whole setup is counter-productive.  The primary relies on knockback and the secondary relies on doing heavy damage with point-blank AoEs in order to survive.  The two sets have no synergy whatsoever and actively work against each other.   Teams hate you because you're a scatter machine with the KB and Hotfeet prevents enemies from bunching up for AoE effectiveness.  And with Hotfeet+Cauterizing Aura and constant AoEs, you're a giant aggro magnet.

 

Energy/Fire/Electric was my first 50 on live.  Every AT and setup since then has been an objective upgrade.  

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I can't think of anything terrible. I find Energy to be quite solo friendly, especially now with the KB>KD IOs.

 

How about Sonic/Fire?

 

  • No snipe power
  • No possibility of stacked stuns (except for DW+Screech)
  • Sleep Cone won't be that effective because /Fire only has 2 ST powers (T1 and T2), which makes killing enemies one by one quite slow (and 6 out of 9 powers from /Fire are PbAoE which would break the sleep effect)
  • No big ST hitters. Sure, the -res is there, but I don't see enough dmg to quickly take down a nasty Boss
  • Sonic's sfx will deteriorate your brain, slowing your performance over time

 

I'm sure it'd still be very playable, just not optimal. Which, I believe, is what you're looking for you masochist weirdo.


Winter's Wrath - Ice/Ice Tanker

False Fiction - Illusion/Storm Controller

Bohemian Rhapsody - Time/Sonic Defender

 

Reunion

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According to the "Flavor of the month 50" thread the Assault rifle / Ice Manipulation combination has been the least likely to get to 50 over the last 4 months. That may just be a thematic thing where few people even make such a character because they don't have a concept. But you might check out the bottom 20 and see if any of those suck extra hard.

 

Looks like Sonic Attack and Ninja training are individually the lowest primary and secondary respectively

 

 

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57 minutes ago, quixoteprog said:

According to the "Flavor of the month 50" thread the Assault rifle / Ice Manipulation combination has been the least likely to get to 50 over the last 4 months. That may just be a thematic thing where few people even make such a character because they don't have a concept. But you might check out the bottom 20 and see if any of those suck extra hard.

 

Looks like Sonic Attack and Ninja training are individually the lowest primary and secondary respectively

 

 

 

I would love to give Sonic a good shot, I have some great hero ideas for it, but each time I try it the screaming/sound effects put me right off.

 

 

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On 10/7/2019 at 9:14 PM, Omega-202 said:

Energy/Fire.  The whole setup is counter-productive.  The primary relies on knockback and the secondary relies on doing heavy damage with point-blank AoEs in order to survive.  The two sets have no synergy whatsoever and actively work against each other.   Teams hate you because you're a scatter machine with the KB and Hotfeet prevents enemies from bunching up for AoE effectiveness.  And with Hotfeet+Cauterizing Aura and constant AoEs, you're a giant aggro magnet.

 

Energy/Fire/Electric was my first 50 on live.  Every AT and setup since then has been an objective upgrade.  

 

57 minutes ago, Falsey said:

I can't think of anything terrible. I find Energy to be quite solo friendly, especially now with the KB>KD IOs.

 

The difference is definitely "Live" versus "Homecoming" with Energy/Fire. You may end up paying a very heavy slot tax for all the Sudden Accelerations, but chain-flopping everything with Explosive Blast and Nova, then continuing the shenanigans at 35 with Bonfire if you go Fire Mastery (and getting a better opener) is definitely effective at slowing down the rate of incoming fire and keeping things mostly in place for all the PBAoE.

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Well, yes, this is Homecoming. But even without the said IOs, Energy has always been very solo friendly because of the added survivability. But I can understand the frustration of pairing it with /Fire. It's just not the worse combo I can think of (to me).


Winter's Wrath - Ice/Ice Tanker

False Fiction - Illusion/Storm Controller

Bohemian Rhapsody - Time/Sonic Defender

 

Reunion

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35 minutes ago, archgemini24 said:

 

 

The difference is definitely "Live" versus "Homecoming" with Energy/Fire. You may end up paying a very heavy slot tax for all the Sudden Accelerations, but chain-flopping everything with Explosive Blast and Nova, then continuing the shenanigans at 35 with Bonfire if you go Fire Mastery (and getting a better opener) is definitely effective at slowing down the rate of incoming fire and keeping things mostly in place for all the PBAoE.

Yes, this is what I was thinking as well. I thought actually this would be one of the most synergistic because the KD keeps enemies within the PBAOEs fire provides.

 

For a truly awful pairing I'd go with Elec/Ice. Elec as a primary is a "don't pick this" type of primary in that its secondary effect is either minimally effective or entirely resisted. It possesses nothing that another set doesn't have any much better (minus Sonic but Sonic has a few decent tools.) There's just no synergy, you consistently get a wonky playstyle with this between the in and out of melee range due to SC. There's really not enough damage with this set to be worthwhile unfortunately. Elec suffers from low base damage, doesn't offer a very beneficial secondary effect, and ice offers no really good AOE except the PBAOE sleep at the very end, and provides damage mitigation which I guess Elec needs but still isn't enough to make this "well rounded."

 

/Ninja as a secondary quite often forces you into Melee range which can be really counter-productive for lots of primaries that would keep you safely in range, while not offering enough incentive most of the time for me to choose this (unlike mental manip, martial, fire, etc.)

 

Unhonorable mentions: Archery/Ninja (again, this is so counter-intuitive due to the ranged primary now being forced to be in melee for little to no reason) same with Water/Ninja, Sonic/Ice (not enough damage)

I should note that while I may have said a pairing or listing that you like or feel is "OP", that doesn't mean that with the right choices it can't be or in the context you're using it that it's not adequate, but from my personal observations, this is what I have concluded are some of the worst pairings.

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2 hours ago, archgemini24 said:

 

 

The difference is definitely "Live" versus "Homecoming" with Energy/Fire. You may end up paying a very heavy slot tax for all the Sudden Accelerations, but chain-flopping everything with Explosive Blast and Nova, then continuing the shenanigans at 35 with Bonfire if you go Fire Mastery (and getting a better opener) is definitely effective at slowing down the rate of incoming fire and keeping things mostly in place for all the PBAoE.

I agree that a modern Energy/Fire wouldn't be nearly as bad with Sudden Acceleration, crashless Nova and Bonfire in //Fire.  But you'd have to pay me to relive that horrible set up after dragging it to 50 during i1.  

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Posted (edited)

I guess since the point of this exercise is to show how to handle solo missions with even the "worst" combo, that I should also put in the rider for "no IOs" since solo only players are also likely to cry "but I'm too poor to afford IOs" (to which I would point them towards @Shinobu and her amazing guides on working the AH for 100M in a week).

 

I should say "no IOs"...but with one caveat* for Sudden Acceleration. I'm almost morally opposed to playing - or seeing someone else play - an AoE KB set and not have the KB->KD proc slotted. If it's a teammate, I'll usually suck it up and just bear with it, but AoE KB, *ESPECIALLY* Radial AoE KB, is a level of evil I simply cannot be party to.

 

The other thing I need to work out is which missions would be the best to showcase? As in which missions/enemies are people the most likely to give up on playing their blaster after facing? I don't think I need to literally solo to 50 to prove out that it's possible (the old MAN builds proved you didn't even need powers to get to 50), and this is more to show *how* to handle  the rough patches, rather than prove that they can be handled (with Blasters soloing Mo{Everything} I think the proof's already there).

 

*other caveats may apply - some builds just demand certain IOs

 

Edited by Overclock

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I would think any group heavy in CC would make a good showing. So maybe CoT for low levels?

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21 hours ago, Eirwen said:

I would love to give Sonic a good shot, I have some great hero ideas for it, but each time I try it the screaming/sound effects put me right off.

I don't actually know how, but I often see people on Reddit talking about changing files to make Sonic, or any sound effect, much less ear-rapey.  With a Sonic/Mental Blaster myself, I do agree that Sonic Attacks are not something I want to constantly listen to for extended periods; up there with Psychic Blast (and Fortuna psi attacks by extension) as well.

 

That said, Sonic/Mental is actually pretty sweet.  The mix of Smash, Energy, and Psi damage is a solid amount of coverage. Psychic Scream is helpful to add an extra ranged cone (I personally see Sonic as one of the weakest in terms of raw damage output and lacking in AoE damage, so extra attacks are helpful) and Sonic's -Res help out with the frequent Psi resistances you run into late, plus Siren's Song pretty much guarantees Drain Psyche can be used without fear of death.

Edited by ZorkNemesis

Currently playing on Indomitable as @Zork Nemesis; was a Protector native on live.

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I'm kind of leaning towards Sonic/Nin based on the thoughts above. 

 

When the "Flavor of the Month" post came out, I rolled up a Fire/Fire Stalker because those were the lowest picked sets for Stalker Primary and Secondary to make it to 50 and the combo turned out to be wonderfully fun to play. 

 

I'm not expecting Sonic/Nin to be anywhere near as enjoyable but I think it fits the bill of not being a (positive) outlier in terms of performance (aka no worries about "well of course Sonic/Nin Blasters can solo, they're the OP exception").

 

The other bonus is I've never played Sonic or Nin on a Blaster (only Sonic on a Defender) so it'll be nice to run with some sets that are new to me.

 

I also like the idea of facing mezz heavy foes. CoT should work fine at low levels, and there's *plenty* of other options at higher ones. I'll have to eventually tackle Carnies, Malta, and Knives probably since those can be a nightmare even under good circumstances. At +0/x1 though (which is all someone who's having trouble soloing should really be trying) I think they should be fine.

 

The only thing I think it's fair to avoid is Praetoria. Praetoria is a great set of zones, with some well written story arcs and interesting missions, even more so when you add in the First Ward and Night Ward, but it's definitely not where players who are having trouble surviving should be dipping their toes.

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I find Assault Rifle, Psychic Blast, and Electric Blast the most difficult to solo with as a Blaster. 

-Assault Rifle suffers from problems landing hits due to its damage type, long animation times, and comparatively low damage.

-Electric Blast has high endurance costs, a largely ineffective secondary effect for blasters which doesn't mitigate much in the way of incoming enemy attacks, and comparatively low damage.

-Psychic Blast has long animation times, fairly low AoE, and its damage type means that the high number of robots in this game are going have massive resistance to your entire primary.

 

For Secondaries, I feel like Ice Manipulation is probably going to be the bottom of the barrel, with an honorable mention to Ninja Training.

-Ice Manipulation relies way too hard on soft control, which won't actually prevent enemies from attacking and especially won't prevent enemies from attacking often enough to kill a Blaster. Its level 38 capstone is an AoE sleep, and not just any AoE Sleep, but one that requires you to be in melee to use. 

-Ninja Training has the same issues with damage typing as Assault Rifle, and the same issues with incredibly weak control that Ice Manipulation has. Its main saving grace is that you can slot a LotG: Global Recharge IO with it, which alone makes it more useful than all of Ice Manipulation by comparison.

 

I would say that an Assault Rifle/Ice or Assault Rifle/Ninja Blaster would be the hardest Blaster combo to solo with, overall. Not enough damage, not enough control, not really enough anything. 

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2 hours ago, Mercurias said:

I find Assault Rifle, Psychic Blast, and Electric Blast the most difficult to solo with as a Blaster. 

-Assault Rifle suffers from problems landing hits due to its damage type, long animation times, and comparatively low damage.

-Electric Blast has high endurance costs, a largely ineffective secondary effect for blasters which doesn't mitigate much in the way of incoming enemy attacks, and comparatively low damage.

-Psychic Blast has long animation times, fairly low AoE, and its damage type means that the high number of robots in this game are going have massive resistance to your entire primary.

 

For Secondaries, I feel like Ice Manipulation is probably going to be the bottom of the barrel, with an honorable mention to Ninja Training.

-Ice Manipulation relies way too hard on soft control, which won't actually prevent enemies from attacking and especially won't prevent enemies from attacking often enough to kill a Blaster. Its level 38 capstone is an AoE sleep, and not just any AoE Sleep, but one that requires you to be in melee to use. 

-Ninja Training has the same issues with damage typing as Assault Rifle, and the same issues with incredibly weak control that Ice Manipulation has. Its main saving grace is that you can slot a LotG: Global Recharge IO with it, which alone makes it more useful than all of Ice Manipulation by comparison.

 

I would say that an Assault Rifle/Ice or Assault Rifle/Ninja Blaster would be the hardest Blaster combo to solo with, overall. Not enough damage, not enough control, not really enough anything. 

I agree, I think an AR/Ninja blaster would be a nightmare to solo with.

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You make a compelling case @Mercurias. I've played AR before on live and haaated it, pretty much for the reasons mentioned. 

 

Looking between /Ice and /Nin, it's a harder call. Both have their issues and their strengths. /Ice I think has a perk over /Nin in this case though -> Ice Patch has some synergy with Ignite and packs higher damage in it's early attacks, where /Nin offers control. Also, since I won't be using Set IOs (apart from a KB->KD proc potentially), the LotG slotting advantage to /Nin goes away.

 

So...since at least a few seem to be voting for it, I guess AR/Nin is the least survivable solo Blaster option?

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19 minutes ago, Overclock said:

You make a compelling case @Mercurias. I've played AR before on live and haaated it, pretty much for the reasons mentioned. 

 

Looking between /Ice and /Nin, it's a harder call. Both have their issues and their strengths. /Ice I think has a perk over /Nin in this case though -> Ice Patch has some synergy with Ignite and packs higher damage in it's early attacks, where /Nin offers control. Also, since I won't be using Set IOs (apart from a KB->KD proc potentially), the LotG slotting advantage to /Nin goes away.

 

So...since at least a few seem to be voting for it, I guess AR/Nin is the least survivable solo Blaster option?

I was going to say for damage AR is better and AOE than Sonic but... the damage is still on the lower side and as sad as that is, there's still very little mitigation from either your primary or secondary, and your secondary highlights this issue even worse by FORCING you into melee range. At least with Sonic you get Siren's song and you can take them out one by one and it won't be sooooooo bad. This combo has literally nothing going for it to prevent faceplants and it offers not great damage to go with it. Good luck.

 

Even your "nuke" T9 is a small arc cone that takes a really long time to finish, is a DOT, and can leave enemies hitting you the entire duration of it.

Edited by 3333053222

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Fire/Fire.  Death.  Dead.  Death.  Dead.  I've been in Hospital a lot with it.  I  found it the hardest on live.  Causes a lot of aggro.  'Lack' of mitigation for about 34 levels.  Unless you count Rain of Fire and your Ring of Fire.  Which can...be used to good enough effect.  There is a slow and hold effect between them.

 

I might have to resort to using tactics.

 

Azrael.

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22 hours ago, 3333053222 said:

I agree, I think an AR/Ninja blaster would be a nightmare to solo with.

I have an AR/Ninja blaster that's 50 and did more solo on that character than almost any other that I've leveled.  I guess it depends on what level of missions you're talking about too, I usually do +2 or so.  I just snipe one, damage and stun another, hold and kill the third, then finish the second and move on.  It's always felt good to me; more tactical.

 

Ninja was very good I thought, though Shinobi's damage bonus seems baffling and unpredictable.  I haven't had endurance issues since Kuji-Rin (or whatever it's called), I can't remember the last time END became a non-issue so early.    

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I have yet to find a way to make the /Dark secondary work. Your damage increase, Soul Drain, requires a PBAOE drain effect. Your regen/end increase power is a click that has to hit, so it’s tough to make it work reliably with higher level enemies. One of the melee attacks, Shadow Maul, locks you into a long animation. Touch of Fear? Dark Pit? I think this secondary is worse than Ice, which I think works pretty well with Water primary.

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Hi. Sonic Blast vet here. The answer to worst Blast set is absolutely not Sonic, and it continuously amazes me how often people misunderstand or underestimate the set.

 

That said, it wouldn't really matter if it was the worst Blast set or not for the purposes expressed by OP, because Sonic doesn't play like other Blast sets. If you're goal is to teach people how to play a Blaster, then to me that means you'd want something with the least deviation from the Blast formula: 3 progressively harder hitting STs, a cone and targeted AoE (one of these probably has a chance to KB), Aim-like, snipe-like, an ST CC, and a nuke. Most sets only deviate in one or two areas from this for X-factor. I'm not saying its the worst Blast set, but it sounds like you want Archery. The only thing it doesn't have is a proper big-boom-style nuke.

 

For similar reasons, I'd go with Electricity Manipulation. Archery/Electric.

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On 10/10/2019 at 4:28 PM, Mercurias said:

 

For Secondaries, I feel like Ice Manipulation is probably going to be the bottom of the barrel, with an honorable mention to Ninja Training.

-Ice Manipulation relies way too hard on soft control, which won't actually prevent enemies from attacking and especially won't prevent enemies from attacking often enough to kill a Blaster. Its level 38 capstone is an AoE sleep, and not just any AoE Sleep, but one that requires you to be in melee to use. 

-Ninja Training has the same issues with damage typing as Assault Rifle, and the same issues with incredibly weak control that Ice Manipulation has. Its main saving grace is that you can slot a LotG: Global Recharge IO with it, which alone makes it more useful than all of Ice Manipulation by comparison.

 

I would say that an Assault Rifle/Ice or Assault Rifle/Ninja Blaster would be the hardest Blaster combo to solo with, overall. Not enough damage, not enough control, not really enough anything. 

No way. Ice Manipulation is pretty strong solo, from the early level 10 sustain that is arguably the strongest such power in all of blasterdom, and able to  AoE soft control efficiently from level 20 with Ice Patch shenanigans as a pseudo hard control. Add Shiver and all you need ever worry about is the alpha, and it has a decent hold that is particularly useful if set on auto, and can be further stacked with the thematic primary. Frozen Aura is nothing if not totally underwhelming though (even with heal proc). I would rate /Ice over /Devices, and the latter has been know as THE soloist set since the inception of the game.

Ninja Training's problem isn't that it's typed; it's that it's UNDERPOWERED in all objective measurements (heavily resisted lethal damage just adds insult to injury); that said, it's a stronger soloist set that Fire Manipulation that lacks pretty much any control/mitigation. Mental Manipulation can become a solo farming powerhouse with a high global recharge IO build , but is a very weak and high risk soloist before. Plant Manipulation is another underpowered set that like Ninja cries in the corner in need of buffing. 

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3 hours ago, atletikus said:

 

No way. Ice Manipulation is pretty strong solo, from the early level 10 sustain that is arguably the strongest such power in all of blasterdom, and able to  AoE soft control efficiently from level 20 with Ice Patch shenanigans as a pseudo hard control.

My only problem with the Blaster version of Ice Patch is that it’s a PBAoE, at least according to what I remember (and Paragon Wiki when I checked). I could certainly be wrong, and if I am then that would up its solo capability immensely.

 

Freezing Touch is also a solid hold except for the need to be in such close range, and for what Shiver is, it isn’t a bad power.

 

This is likely just a matter of personal preference, but I tend to only appreciate slow effects in CoH when their purpose is to keep enemies away from me. In that, needing to be in melee to use said control powers feels a bit counterintuitive to how I play the game.

 

in teams where a Tanker/Brute is drawing enemy attention or Controller/Dominators have enemies largely mezzed down, I feel more emboldened to step into melee as a Blaster and use powers like Ice Patch as an extra support layer. That was sort of where I found a spot in my playstyle for Ice Manipulation back on Live when I rocked a Dark/Ice Blaster for a while. 

 

I kinda miss that Dark/Ice. He was pretty fun.

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3 hours ago, Mercurias said:

 

My only problem with the Blaster version of Ice Patch is that it’s a PBAoE, at least according to what I remember (and Paragon Wiki when I checked). I could certainly be wrong, and if I am then that would up its solo capability immensely.

 

Freezing Touch is also a solid hold except for the need to be in such close range, and for what Shiver is, it isn’t a bad power.

 

This is likely just a matter of personal preference, but I tend to only appreciate slow effects in CoH when their purpose is to keep enemies away from me. In that, needing to be in melee to use said control powers feels a bit counterintuitive to how I play the game.

 

in teams where a Tanker/Brute is drawing enemy attention or Controller/Dominators have enemies largely mezzed down, I feel more emboldened to step into melee as a Blaster and use powers like Ice Patch as an extra support layer. That was sort of where I found a spot in my playstyle for Ice Manipulation back on Live when I rocked a Dark/Ice Blaster for a while. 

 

I kinda miss that Dark/Ice. He was pretty fun.

It is PBAoE, but trick is to pull them around the corner for solo use or on the more tricky spawns on a weak team. They will beeline towards your corner and into the relatively small patch (can cast either in advance or while waiting) as well as your PBAoE slow from sustain and even high con enemies will easily be at slow cap. If you put the hold on auto, oftentimes it will hit before the enemy can melee to do serious damage - or just use the hold while the enemies are busy flopping on the floor or fleeing in slow motion. This made me want to roll a Dark/Energy....some nice synergy going with Boost Range for the cones and Power Boosted secondary effects. Hoping to get over my addiction to Fire Blast. ^^  

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