Jump to content

Just how garbage are Mercs?


TheGentlemanGhostronaut

Recommended Posts

I think most people would say /Thermal or perhaps /Dark would help Mercs survive the best. /Dark has a lot of mitigation in its amazing cone Terrorize and -To Hit, Darkest Night with -DMG and even more -To Hit, Fearsome Stare as a decent hold, Twilight Grasp as an amazing heal, and Tar Patch to take down the resistance of enemies to... sort of help their piddling damage. /Thermal provides healing as well as damage resistance shielding, a buff, and some debuffs. Maybe you can make a... Mercenary Officer with magic or dark arts training or something. That's what I did with my Mercs/Thermal.

Mercs by themselves have no strengths relative to other sets at all. Their damage is low, and so is their durability. It's painful to look at with how much I'd like to lead a squad of soldiers as a character concept, and you can see that Mercs could be possibly decent if their survival powers, Spec Ops CC and debuffs, didn't take 2-3 minutes to recharge while only being good for 6 seconds of mez and 20 seconds of debuff. When that's not up, or the AI wastes it, Mercs without the Mastermind's secondary power set helping them take everything thrown at them. It also doesn't help that the Medic dies a lot and his one healing power is piddly anyhow. Plus Serum is crap, hands down one of if not the worst power in the game.

They feel weak as well, and not just because they are weak. Their attacks are burst/heavy burst/full auto, but it's six guys firing like that. Six guys mag dumping on one minion, with less damage than almost any other primary set, to kill it. If they did single shot/burst/heavy burst instead, maybe it at least would make it look like they cut down on the ridiculous amounts of ammo needed to kill a given thing by two thirds.

That being said, Masterminds are like pizza; even bad ones are still kinda good. Your soldiers are still worth something, still quite capable of doing a bit less damage than Necromancy with a tenth of the debuff and CC power and with the fragility of Ninjas, and if you invest procs for their attacks that all do -defense, which'll be Spec Ops and Soldiers mostly, I hear that it brings them up to... somewhat close to being competitive.

I'm really sorry to doo-doo all over poor Mercs like this. I love them for the concept, don't get me wrong, but that's exactly why I'm so vocal about their need for some improvement.

Edited by Shazbotacus
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, TheGentlemanGhostronaut said:

and also what secondary mitigates that?

Ideally speaking you're going to want a secondary that does multiple things for you.  You'll need it to heal your Pets, protect them from damage and debuff your $Targets so they have fewer opportunities to maim you and your Pets.  You'll also want to be "mobile enough" to be able to handle a (steam)rolling situation rather than being tied down into a single location.

 

Thermal and Dark can do these things, as can Time and (of all thngs) Nature ... although with a Nature build you're kind of looking at wanting to Plant The Flag and fight "there" a lot of the time.  Conversely, Nature has a PBAoE Hold aura available to it which can be "procced up" into something useful.

 

The biggest question though is going to be whether you want your ability to heal your pets to come from your Mastermind (Thermal, Time, Nature, etc.) or from $Targets (Dark, Kinetics, etc.) because that's going to make a HUGE difference in how you position and move with your Mercenaries, and thus the 'standard engagement" strategies that you'll develop.  Since Mercs are "ranged Pets" (except when they suicide into melee) it's probably best to either go with a PBAoE Heal secondary and keep the Mercs near you at a distance, or go with a Foe Target AoE Heal secondary and get used to "directing traffic" so as to get your Mercs close enough to "leech" healing off whatever it is you're fighting.

  • Like 1

IifneyR.gif

Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or if you want to basically overcome their lower damage problem, go mercs/storm.  You'll probably end up doing more damage than any other non-storm MM even while using mercs.  Storm is actually decent defensively as well, but not quite as safe as something like /dark or /time generally.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Redlynne said:

You'll need it to heal your Pets, ... You'll also want to be "mobile enough" to be able to handle a (steam)rolling situation rather than being tied down into a single location ... a Nature build you're kind of looking at wanting to Plant The Flag and fight "there" a lot of the time.  Conversely, Nature has a PBAoE Hold aura available to it which can be "procced up" into something useful.

 

I saw a Mercs/Nature synergy suggestion on the forums here and rolled one slightly out of nostalgia (had a Mercs/Traps back on Live) and this take looks about right.  Nature means staking out a spot, "I rule here!" and healing the bejeesus out of anyone you like standing there - and it the team is steamrolling?  Then you just set your Mercs for Follow Aggressive (or Follow Defensive if you're a yellow belly and worried about agro) and follow the team everywhere.

 

Mercs isn't perfect or super great, but it can be enjoyed nevertheless.  There's little in this game I've found unplayable, but there are some things that shine brighter than others and Mercs is probably not one of them. 

 

Now I just need t find a good build for my Mercs/Nature.  I frankenslotted out the pets for the +defense +resists etc. I learned about from these boards, but I haven't undertaken the time to rebuild the character from the ground up to proc out the Nature powers yet.  Heck, I haven't even started choosing Incarnate stuff yet!

╔═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗

Clave's Sure-Fire Secrets to Enjoying City Of Heroes
Ignore those farming chores, skip your market homework, play any power sets that you want, and ignore anyone who says otherwise.
This game isn't hard work, it's easy!
Go have fun!
╚═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╝
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Clave Dark 5 said:

Now I just need t find a good build for my Mercs/Nature.  I frankenslotted out the pets for the +defense +resists etc. I learned about from these boards, but I haven't undertaken the time to rebuild the character from the ground up to proc out the Nature powers yet.

If you're looking for inspiration/pointers on how to slot up Nature, may I recommend these posts by @SmalltalkJava:

 

 

And if you're REALLY desperate, someone named @Redlynne posted a Mind/Nature/Primal Controller build (called "Mind Over Vegetables" that ought to give you a clue how it feels to play) inspired by all the research on Nature being done by @SmalltalkJava ... so there's that reference point too.

 

I figure that ought to be enough to give you some clues on where you'd want to go with your own Mercs/Nature build, especially if you wind up going Mercs/Nature/Mace in order to get access to Power Boost for even greater Absorb shielding.

 

Oh and I'd honestly recommend you consider taking your 3 personal attacks as a Mastermind for reasons that can be found in my Ninja/Time/Mace build writeup.

  • Burst can be 5 slotted with Decimation (minus the Acc/End/Rch) and still add either the Winter's Bite proc or the Achilles' Heel proc (my preference would be Winter's Bite).
  • Slug can be 5 slotted with Entropic Chaos (or Apocalypse minus the Dam) and still add a Force Feedback proc.
  • M30 Grenade can be 5 slotted with Annihilation (minus the Dam/Rech) and still add another Force Feedback proc that will proc rather reliably against groups of $Targets.

You'll want those Force Feedback procs to keep rolling for you so as to "close the gaps" on perma-Hasten, perma-Wild Growth, perma-Overgrowth and more frequent refreshes of Wild Bastion for Absorb sheilding.  Also, since the damage output of your Mercenaries henchmen is going to be ... less than overwhelming ... having that Annihilation proc for -Resistance going off will certainly help you.

 

TAKE ALL THREE LEADERSHIP TOGGLES!

Do not skimp on Leadership!

I recommend planning on investing 6 slots of Reactive Defenses in Maneuvers, a single slot of endurance reduction in Assault and either 1 or 6 slots of Gaussian's Synchronized Fire Control (6 if you want all the set bonuses, including the +Defense) in Tactics but the absolute bare minimum is to put the Gaussian's proc into Tactics.  I've already given reasons why in multiple posts in these forums (including my own build linked above) so do not under any circumstances forget to take Tactics!  Vengeance is optional as a Luck of the Gambler global recharge mule (with occasional usefulness when teammates faceplant) and Victory Rush is completely optional (so take it if you've got nothing else better to do).

 

So if you take 8 Mercenaries powers (minus Serum because Serum is Just That Bad™) and 9 Nature powers ... for a total of 17 primary and secondary ... and add 3 Leadership toggles plus Hasten ... you'll have 3 power picks remaining.  You'll need 2 power picks to get to Power Boost in Mace Mastery ... leaving you with a single power pick left over for a travel power of some kind (pick your poison), with no restrictions on choice of pool to get that travel power from.

 

 

 

At least, that's what I would do ... 😎

  • Like 2

IifneyR.gif

Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Shoulung said:

If mercs are the only MM you’ve ever played they’ll feel just fine to you.

I've played more than one, thanks. 

 

Again, "Mercs isn't perfect or super great, but it can be enjoyed nevertheless.  There's little in this game I've found unplayable, but there are some things that shine brighter than others and Mercs is probably not one of them.  "

╔═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗

Clave's Sure-Fire Secrets to Enjoying City Of Heroes
Ignore those farming chores, skip your market homework, play any power sets that you want, and ignore anyone who says otherwise.
This game isn't hard work, it's easy!
Go have fun!
╚═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╝
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/12/2019 at 4:45 PM, Clave Dark 5 said:

I've played more than one, thanks. 

 

Again, "Mercs isn't perfect or super great, but it can be enjoyed nevertheless.  There's little in this game I've found unplayable, but there are some things that shine brighter than others and Mercs is probably not one of them.  "

My statement was meant for the OP.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, Shoulung said:

My statement was meant for the OP.

Indeed.  I apologize for the comment and the snarky tone.

  • Like 1

╔═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗

Clave's Sure-Fire Secrets to Enjoying City Of Heroes
Ignore those farming chores, skip your market homework, play any power sets that you want, and ignore anyone who says otherwise.
This game isn't hard work, it's easy!
Go have fun!
╚═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╝
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd go Mercs/Time/Mace as suggested by Redlynn.

 

PB'd Farsighted is 21% defense. Add in maneuvers and pet IOs and you're at 35 Defense Melee/Ranged, 50 AoE.

 

Then the -ToHit from Juncture, plus slows, and Mercs will feel pretty safe. 

 

Exactly how many of the +Res IOs you can squeeze in depends on how much you want to sacrifice your pet slotting further. 

 

I had a Mercs/Traps as my main villain back in the day. It was serviceable. I eventually went to Bots/FF. But this was before IOs. And Incarnate. And Time.

 

Live the dream. Your Mercs can be solid. 

  • Like 1

@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...