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Could someone explain Blaster secondaries to me please?

It seems they are just for two things;

  • Blapping and,
  • One Build Up skill.

 

Other than these they seem rather pointless.

 

... can someone put some nuance on this or explain secondaries in a more eloquent manner please?

Edited by Herotu
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In the nicest possible way, what did you expect them to be?

 

Most powersets basically do one thing. Unless you've come from one of the epic archetypes (which are all hybrids), almost all powersets are one of the following: support, control DPS, melee DPS, range DPS or protection. Masterminds and dominators each have one hybrid powerset.

 

Most blaster secondaries are very powerful melee attacks, usually with a debuff, with Build Up later on. Tactical Arrow has a lot of debuff and soft control and Devices offers a little bit of everything if you absolutely don't want to get into melee range. 

Edited by Gulbasaur
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I'll respond to the question "what did you expect them to be".

 

I expect them to be something complimentary to a ranged dps play style, preferably a set of self buff powers along with a build up.

 

 

 

Edited by krj12
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Blasters are ranged damage/melee damage (damage/damage)

Sentinels are ranged damage/armor (damage/armor)

Corruptors are ranged damage/support (damage/support)

 

I tend to think of AT's in terms of the simple classifications in parentheses, but figured I'd be a little more precise for the boards.  That said, there are secondaries that have immobilizes, holds, and other crowd control possibilities, and epic pools with things like Bonfire as well.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Herotu said:

Could someone explain Blaster secondaries to me please?

It seems they are just for two things;

  • Blapping and,
  • One Build Up skill.

 

Other than these they seem rather pointless.

 

... can someone put some nuance on this or explain secondaries in a more eloquent manner please?

All secondaries also have some sort of additional endurance and regen to help keep you alive and constantly attacking among other various buffs. There's also generally some sort of crowd control power like an immobilize, hold, patch, end drain, etc. They are all about helping you stay alive longer, and part of that is punching people really hard in melee.

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If you’re asking, that means you’ll probably prefer /Energy and a whole lot of pool powers for survival instead of the damage abilities. I’ve actually got a Dark/Energy Blaster like that who just stays at range and blasts cones from really far away thanks to Boost Range.

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All blasters have unique secondaries to keep you alive with various abilities and thanks to sustain, more survivability.  However, they all carry one similarity:  MOAR DAMAGE.

 

Whether you choose to use less or more of the secondary pool is on you but any experienced blaster will tell you that their secondaries are lifesavers.  It’s a great way to punish stray melee foes as well.  My suggestion is to play on the test server and play with a few sets.  A quick gaze at a few sets and not giving it a legitimate test is doing more harm than good.

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Some secondaries do actually have some minor controls in there. Most sets have a slow or immobilize as a T1, and some of those have also a -fly effect which can be surpisingly handy, especially for a flying blaster. Some have also additional ranged attacks, that often carry debuffs, such as psychic scream in mental. Others, like fire, have hot feet, which has both crowd control and damage functionality. Some other sets have holds such as time stop in temporal, martial has several mobility powers, and plant again holds and debuffs. And then you even got tactical arrow which has all ranged powers that provide both control and damage, plus several nifty buffs. Ditto for devices.

 

Overall, however, the thing I like the most about blaster secondaries is that they are all different, and thus provide very different playstyles. And if you do not like some powers in one of the secondaries, well, no big deal, skip them and take epic or power pool powers. When looking for old guides for fire manipulation I was quite a bit suprised to find that the main praise it received was that it left plenty of room for other powers to pick. Well, I am glad that powerset has been reworked since the time of those guides. 😛
 

Personally I would rather suggest that you analyze accurately what those secondaries provide and then make your informed decision on whether you really dislike them or not. And then if you truly dislike some of their powers, you can decide which powers or which secondary you want to take, or whether you want to play a blaster in the first place.

 

PS

Also, seen now, OP, in the first post you are making a big oversight on the secondaries, and this is represented by the various sustenance powers provided by them. Stuff like cauterizing aura, frigid protection or eagle eye, which increase your recovery substantially, thus sustaining your damage. In addition to that they often provide other important benefits, such as healing, absorb, accuracy, damage, etc. The sustenance powers along with the buildup are pretty much the core of the blaster secondaries. The rest tends to be more optional depending on playstyle, but it is rarely useless. Some sets, also, are more suited for blapping than others.

Edited by Itikar
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Look to the newer sets (atomic, plant, tactical arrow and temporal) have excellent AE holds/stuns and a ranged hold/stun. This is in addition to a sustain power that basically removes any endurance issues and provides healing/survivability over time. The "blaps" tend to be some of the higher "damage per second of animation" attacks as well. 


My water/atomic spends a lot of time in melee to benefit from Beta Decay and is usually rocking about a 250% global recharge as a result. 

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I hate the term blapping. I don’t see forums for other ATs with a pervasive attitude towards skipping so much of their secondary or categorizing so much of their secondary as undesirable. This needs to stop and I am happy to see people posting here defending the usefulness of the whole of blaster secondaries. 
 

Blasters are damage incarnate, by whatever means possible. Melee or no melee we are blasters. Those who maximize their use of secondary skills understand when to capitalize on opportunities, and I don’t mean as a last resort to punish mobs that get too close. IOs dramatically enhanced blaster survival but even before IOs good blasters used game mechanics and smart play to maximize their effectiveness. I can count only a handful of other players on torch that can joust pbaoes or melee attacks. Why is that not taught on blaster forums? Instead we focus on builds as if that will compensate for lack of understanding of game mechanics and good fundamentals.


I can understand if players do not have the capacity or the manual dexterity to play at that level but to denounce certain powers just because they can’t/won’t make them work is not conducive to other players looking to explore the blaster AT.

Liberty, Torchbearer, Excelsior, Everlasting

Jezebel Delias

Level 50 Fire/Elec/Mace Blaster

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I have to partially disagree, Nemu. Sure, there are good powers in the secondaries and leveraging those powers separates the good from the merely ok blasters.

 

The problem is that secondaries from the other ATs add to a cohesive whole and support the primaries in ways that blaster secondaries do not. 

 

The newer secondaries and the sustains do a much better job of it, yes. But secondaries mostly just add another attack, that places you in a range that is disadvantageous, rather than setting the conditions to allow you to attack with greater ease. 

Edited by Procellus
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39 minutes ago, Procellus said:

The problem is that secondaries from the other ATs add to a cohesive whole and support the primaries in ways that blaster secondaries do not. 

 

The newer secondaries and the sustains do a much better job of it, yes. But secondaries mostly just add another attack, that places you in a range that is disadvantageous, rather than setting the conditions to allow you to attack with greater ease. 

I have to disagree. Blaster secondaries are varied in the same way that Corruptor secondaries vary. Generally speaking Blasters deal ranged and melee damage with some light control, light debuffs, and strong self offense buffs but vary widely in technique (generally, Corruptors deal ranged damage with team buff/debuff and light control, but they vary widely in technique).

 

Both ATs secondaries have a wide variance in how they work, with Blaster /Devices and /Tactical Arrow working much differently than /Electric and /Fire. It is likely that Corruptor secondaries are much more varied, with /Trick Arrow being different from /Traps being different from /Storm being different from /Rad being different from /Kin being different from /Cold being different from /Empathy (etc.). They fit the overall goals of the Archetype, but get there with a great variance of gameplay. This is, IMO, one of the greatest strengths of CoH and it is why for me, the end game is Alting (I play my incarnates quite a bit as well, but without the variety of leveling alts that play differently from each other, this game would become boring for me. I get sick of endgame content if I play it too much (as the weekly strike targets have been recently making me feel, so I have started foregoing them and just play what I want without regard to the extra rewards)).

 

I love my Defenders, it is the AT I have the most alts at 50 and is tied for the most total alts (with Blaster). Blasters are likely my favorite AT, although Defenders and Blasters are like Pluto and Neptune, they vary in closeness to my heart. I love the feel of being able to mix ranged and melee attacks, although I do play a few ranged only Blasters. My Rad/Martial blaster, OTOH, the first 6 attacks in my tray are melee or PBAoE. So good.

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I will only speak to Devices, since that is the secondary I know best. Here's why I love it.

 

Devices is a tactical power set with control and defensive powers.

 

Toxic web grenade to ground fliers and now damage.

Area denial with caltrops, plus proc damage.

Taser, get off me power.

Targeting drone

   Quasi-build on first snipe that I do not have to think about.

   Plus accuracy and perception. Try fighting high level archanos w/o +precp. You'll be popping a lot of yellows.

Smoke grenade for clicking on glowies with mobs nearby.

Field Operative, sustain, stealth, and def. How I love this power.

Trip mine for soloing.

Time bomb... ok it still sucks.

Gun drone, useful aggro magnet and extra damage.

 

These help my damage or keep me alive. That too me is a very useful secondary.

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It takes good fundamentals and understanding of game mechanics to leverage these powers that work at disadvantageous ranges, and those can be both melee or ranged. Enemy mezzes happen more with ranged attacks and melee attacks hit harder, take your poison.

 

Take fire sword circle vs council, say when you are leveling and on a citadel TF. Tank got a good bunch of baddies and blaster goes in and stands right next to the tank and gets blown to bits with AOE KD from council grenades before they can even get the animation finished. Learning how to hop in and hop out and land FSC while minimizing your exposure to melee and aoe splash damage, no one talks about that on the forums. 
 

Same thing with PBAOE nukes, it puts you in melee and I die a little inside everytime I see a blaster sprint/hover in without stealth and get get shot to bits before they even start the animation.

 

Pulling mobs when you are leveling is kinda relevant in some cases, not every team steamrolls and I just see people “pull” by shooting a mob then proceed to stand there.


No one talks about confusing mob AI to have them switch from range to melee and chase you to buy time.

 

No one talks about the fear that sets in when you defeat most mobs in a group that causes even bosses to run.

 

All I see is this range = good and melee = bad mentality. Even before IOs my blaster was maximizing her melee abilities, even thunderstrike with it’s ridiculously long animation time that locks you for 3+ seconds.
 

I am not trying to make the argument “I can do it so everyone else can do it too!” I have a very active but fluid playstyle that weaves in and out of melee range. I can offer to show people some of the techniques I use. It may not be for everyone but I hope it will bring awareness of ways to minimize risk when you try to leverage these powers. Those that prefer a ranged playstyle can do whatever they want but I think it’s poor to tell others to shun melee just because you (I don’t mean you personally) can’t make it work.

Edited by Nemu

Liberty, Torchbearer, Excelsior, Everlasting

Jezebel Delias

Level 50 Fire/Elec/Mace Blaster

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On 10/23/2019 at 6:24 AM, Herotu said:

Could someone explain Blaster secondaries to me please?

It seems they are just for two things;

  • Blapping and,
  • One Build Up skill.

 

Other than these they seem rather pointless.

 

... can someone put some nuance on this or explain secondaries in a more eloquent manner please?

Certainly.

 

Blaster secondaries house their survival mechanics.

 

Most of their survival mechanics are varying degrees of "kill it faster". Dead enemies don't fight back.

 

The heaviest hitting attacks are melee, so a Blaster survives a longer engagement by killing enemies faster, which they will do in melee.

 

A Blapper is a Blaster that lives in melee, like a Scrapper. Otherwise, a Blaster usually only goes into melee to "exercise their survival mechanic" toward the end of an engagement.

 

There are secondaries with more utility in them if you'd rather stay at range. Energy Manipulation is a great example. As someone else mentioned, TA is entirely ranged. On the other hand if you'd like to give the open range/close melee playstyle a chance, /Martial is fantastic. It has it's own dedicated gap-closer button and the absorb shield will protect you, in my experience, more than the other secondaries in a 1v1 situation.

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It seems to me that every other archetype has damage mitigation  as their secondary ( or primary if you are a defender ) that works WITH their primary. 

 

For Scrappers, tanks, Brutes etc. You get some kind of armor.

 

For controllers you get buff and debufff that help you do more damage with your attacks, heal yourself or hold stuff. Similar with defenders and their primary

 

In the case of blasters half of your secondary is often melee attacks? Which is in direct CONTRAST to your primary damage mitigation method; which is doing damage at range. SOME of your secondaries will boost your primary attacks, sure. SOME will hold your enemies or allow you to heal in a limited way.

 

But whoever thought that a glass cannon need to be carrying around a pair of brass knuckles in his pocket in case someone comes at him with a hammer is a moron.

 

I have run a Brute, controller and a blaster to 50 and I cannot think of another archetype that has LESS survivability than a blaster. And it is primarily because most of the secondaries are half useless. There is absolutely no time when a melee attack would be more useful to me than, well, almost anything else they could replace it with. Probably better than a heal power.  But that is it.

 

It kind of forces you into playing the lame comic book characters. Cyclops is the only guy from comics who's only power was a ranged attack. Even Dagger from Cloak and Dagger had something with her "light power" that would stun people.

Edited by quixoteprog
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I think that most of the people commenting are speaking about Blasters in general without incarnating them to their maximum potential and I really do not agree that Blasters are the "weakest" AT for soaking damage by any means. 

 

In all secondaries there is a major endurance recovery and regen booster power (some are more powerful than others, situationally, Drain Psyche is the absolute king, Cauterizing Aura in Fire Manipulation is the lowest). This is supremely important, because this allows you to run BARRIER for your destiny. Barrier is a godsend for blasters for survivability.

 

Now... What if say I used Drain Psyche and Barrier and was softcapped to a couple different damage types... You're extremely survivable. Add in a primary other than fire with a useful secondary effect that stops damage? You may survive better than Scrappers and Stalkers in a lot of cases.

 

The effects in the secondaries are really important. Also, all secondaries are NOT created the same.

 

Mental manipulation will hands down give you amazing survivability. -Recharge and Drain Psyche and an AOE that has a possibility to stun enemies that can be used mob-to-mob? 

 

Ice is also worth mentioning for the damage mitigation while having a great AOE at the end, it arguably can make you as survivable if not greater than Mental.

 

Another true winner of an option if you want a pure ranged character: Tactical Arrow, this is the best "stay at range" secondary. None of its moves force you into melee whatsoever and the entire set actively works to buff your defense, recharge, perception, accuracy, and gives you EXTREMELY good control, this can make you easily as survivable as the two above.

 

Other secondaries are better for AOE damage. Fire Manipulation is the best example of this. This set gives you Burn, FSC, AND Combustion (though I personally feel Combustion is skippable) along with two damage auras. There's no competition. This set though is by far the least effective at preventing damage and getting you killed easily.

 

The melee attacks (usually the T2) are usually some of your best DPA, but by all means, these attacks are *not* required for high ST damage (meaning you can skip them and use your primary for range damage only), and ST damage can even be largely irrelevant now thanks to lore pets being kind of an equalizer against hard targets.

Edited by 3333053222
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1 hour ago, 3333053222 said:

I think that most of the people commenting are speaking about Blasters in general without incarnating them to their maximum potential and I really do not agree that Blasters are the "weakest" AT for soaking damage by any means.

I don't think the OPs argument is that blaster cannot be successful. It is certainly not what I was saying. Like I said, I have gotten one to 50 and he has T3s in everything but his Hybrid slot. And you point out that one or two of the options for secondaries are actually worthwhile is also quite true. And Incarnate powers make him stronger

 

The problem is that this is the case with EVERY other class. But with all of them all of their secondaries are designed to work WITH their primary power set.

 

As a blaster your primary attacks are all RANGED attacks. You would think that your secondary powers, ALL of them not just freaking Tactical Arrow, would be designed so that any power I pick would in at least some demonstrable way work WITH my primary powers. Melee attacks DONT DO THAT. They can be effective, sure. They can do enough damage to finish off a mob or knock it back or stun it. But that doesn't change the fact that they are worthless up until the mobs have bypassed my primary means of fighting. Attacking at range. Controllers mitigation, control, works at range, like their attacks do. Scrappers, Brutes and Tanks armor works just as well on ranged attacks as it does on melee attacks.

 

And if you say, yeah, but those melee attacks you get do some REALLY good damage. And some of them stun and stuff. Sure. But I have RANGED attacks that do that too. And they are just as effective as melee attacks in melee range. Why not give me another thing to make THEM more effective. If something gets into melee range on me then I am kind of toast. Because you won't give me ANY armor at all. I need to take 2-3 powers in a pool to get that.

 

And yes. Having an incarnate panic button power makes that less of a problem.  But none of the other archetypes need to wait until level 50+2 to be able to stand toe to toe with a boss mob for more than one attack.

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On 10/23/2019 at 6:24 AM, Herotu said:

It seems they are just for two things;

  • Blapping and,
  • One Build Up skill.

 

Other than these they seem rather pointless.

Tell that to /temp.

Without Pause Claws/wp brute, Nothing But Flowers Plant/storm, Waterpark Water/temp blaster, Sneakers StJ/en stalker,

Current obsession(s): Earth/earth dom, Rad/bio brute.

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I tire of this back and forth about melee = bad so I made a quick and dirty video showing some techniques I use to maximize melee effectiveness.

 

You can see where my health dips to red it was not melee attacks that got me there but rather Gloom and other ranged attacks. I have a very good build, softcapping helps a ton, but you can see the MVPs in that video are Thunderstrike and Force of thunder which allows me to chain KD, and both powers require me to be in melee. In the second mob I jousted Force of Thunder twice, and for all the mobs I jousted Inferno when it's up. So to think that melee powers and PBAOEs mean that you are stuck in melee is a fallacy.

 

https://youtu.be/ujd684GnS8M

 

 

Edited by Nemu
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Liberty, Torchbearer, Excelsior, Everlasting

Jezebel Delias

Level 50 Fire/Elec/Mace Blaster

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Ok, kids, let a veteran weigh in on this one.

 

Back, far back in the deep mists of time, there was the City of Heroes Beta.   After their initial attempts on a more flexible power system (Basically, imagine having no primaries or secondaries or even archetypes- just power pools) failed (People either built unstoppable tank mages, or disorganized, unplayable messes), they created archetypes to help guide people into more cohesive builds, one of the archetypes they came up with was the Blaster- the idea behind them was they they were *all* about damage, giving them ranged damage powersets (Many of which they shared with defenders), and melee damage powersets (Many of which they shared with Tankers-  efficiency is key when you want to get a product out the door and a good chunk of your development time ended up wasted).   Keep in mind, these powersets aren't the ones we have now- some weren't invented yet, of course, but more to the point-  they were *identical* to the Tanker melee sets they were copied from.  Though, back then, they liked to make sure that each archetype had one unique set, so Electricity Melee was unique to Blasters at that time.

 

Now, you might guess, this didn't work out too well.  Blasters back then and now didn't operate well in Melee where everything hits harder.  If you could imagine, Blasters faceplanted even more back then than they did in live, because they had an entire half of their archetype urging them to do something that didn't work great for them.

 

Live was approaching rapidly, and the devs rapidly attempted to cram utility powers into the secondaries, grabbing them from controller or tanker primaries or making them from whole cloth-  Ice melee got Chilblain, Chilling Embrace, Ice Patch and Shiver, and got redubbed "Ice Manipulation", Energy Melee got Power Thrust, Conserve Power, Power Boost, and Boost Range and became "Energy Manipulation", Fire Melee got Ring of Fire, Combustion, Consume, Burn, and Hot Feet and became "Fire Manipulation", and while I don't have records of the original powerset, I'd guess Electric Melee got Electric Fence, Lightning Field, Lightning Clap, Power Sink, and Shocking Grasp and became "Electricity Manipulation", and lastly, because they realized they had no options for Natural or Tech heroes, scraped together Devices right before live.

 

We have, of course, have had powersets added since then-  Darkness Manipulation, Martial Combat, Mental Manipulation, etc-  You might notice that they're somewhat different than the originals, largely because they were made under less time pressure and with lessons learned from their initial attempts.

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10 hours ago, Procellus said:

The problem is that secondaries from the other ATs add to a cohesive whole and support the primaries in ways that blaster secondaries do not. 

 

2 hours ago, quixoteprog said:

As a blaster your primary attacks are all RANGED attacks. You would think that your secondary powers, ALL of them not just freaking Tactical Arrow, would be designed so that any power I pick would in at least some demonstrable way work WITH my primary powers. Melee attacks DONT DO THAT. They can be effective, sure. They can do enough damage to finish off a mob or knock it back or stun it. But that doesn't change the fact that they are worthless up until the mobs have bypassed my primary means of fighting. Attacking at range. Controllers mitigation, control, works at range, like their attacks do. Scrappers, Brutes and Tanks armor works just as well on ranged attacks as it does on melee attacks.

Gonna have to disagree here. Ice/Fire is a good example as that combo extremely complementary. Various slows and knockdowns to keep things either away from you or in your burn/hot feet patch. Sure if somebody wants to remain strictly at range not all secondaries complement that specific play style. But that means those secondaries don't complement that specific player, at that point the primary doesn't really matter. And that's ok, nothing wrong someone not caring for the way a powerset plays.

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Blaster is the epitome of 'the best defense is a good offense'.  They are primarily damage.  They are squishy as hell and that's where your strategy and being a good player comes in.  Someone above said it right...kill faster.  Blasters are the 'hold my beer, watch this' AT.  So are scrappers.  You just gotta revel in the joy of damage.

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