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The "Copper Cannon" Experiment


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I have made a new Sentinel as a sort of thought experiment.  It is the "copper cannon" -- more robust than a blaster but less than a full sentinel.  I know he starts out as a less offensively powerful blaster.


The copper cannon's secondary is Regeneration, and he only takes its auto-powers and Integration, granting him mez and knockback protection as well as additional regeneration.  The other powers taken from the set  are Fast Healing, Quick Recovery, Dismiss Pain (increases max hit points), and Resilience (providing a little resistance to all damage).  The experiment allows for any primary, but my guy chose Dark Blast, eventually taking all powers except its tier 1.   I know Life Drain will not make up for the active healing powers not taken, but it is something.


His pool powers will be:

  • Combat Jumping
  • Boxing, Tough, Weave
  • Assault, Tactics, Manuevers
  • Hasten

And from Soul Mastery

  • Soul Tentacles
  • Soul Storm
  • Summon Mistress


I know this is a crazy thing to do on a character I would solo regularly.  But he is in an active SG with a lot of opportunities for teaming with friends.  His damage potential is as strong as any Sentinel, and his Leadership skills will improve the team overall.  (Not by a lot, admittedly, but some.)  Yes, teammates may have to keep him alive from time to time, just as they would a blaster -- but not as often.


Would you be okay with teaming with someone with such a build, or think he's some dumba** who has no idea what he is doing?  Any optimization suggestions within the copper cannon concept?

-- Rock

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I would never mind having a copper buddy as my teammate. I don't think it is all that efficient, because you are going to be bound by your animation times at some point. So dropping the weakest (DPA, whatever) 2-3 attacks and picking all your relevant secondary clicks almost always makes you stronger, even if you 1 or 2 slot said clicks. At least my money is where my mouth is, because this is how I build most of my Sentinels. But I'm willing to bet your approach will be fine.

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9 hours ago, cohRock said:

Would you be okay with teaming with someone with such a build, or think he's some dumba** who has no idea what he is doing?  Any optimization suggestions within the copper cannon concept?

I'd be OK with teaming up with anyone running an experimental build.  In fact, I don't bother to check people's builds and then lend advice without their asking for it at all.  That's just being a jerk.  I'll just be a jerk on the forums where people share builds openly. 😁


Since you've opened up the idea for "optimization" suggestion, then let's go with that.  You're proposed idea is not optimized, but I think you know this.  Let's look at the glaring holes in the plan and see how it can be fixed (and it can - somewhat).  


You're skipping Reconstruction and replacing it with Life Drain.  You're also skipping Instant Regeneration.  The logic behind this is that your team mates may need to babysit you.  OK, so while I may not get annoyed with a player doing this, you can put money on it that it will piss off some people.  You're essentially making a glass cannon Sentinel with subpar defenses and an unknown qualifier for damage.  If you're just running vanilla sets and no procs in Dark then the damage could potentially be lackluster.  You're purposefully skipping Instant Regeneration which is a power that sets Sentinel Regeneration apart from its melee counterparts for kicks and hoping no one cares.  You're swapping Reconstruction, a cornerstone power of the set, for Life Drain.  That latter part does sound bizarre.  


Most folks know that Reconstruction's 25% heal is better than Life Drain's heal.  What most folks probably don't know is that the Sentinel version of Life Drain is only 2/3's of every other version of the power in the game.  That's right, in the dev's infinite wisdom the defensive modifiers on the Sentinel apply to *everything* including its version of Life Drain.  This makes that skill far, far, weaker for healing than I think you really understand.  If you need to use Life Drain in combat, and slot it as a heal, then you're hurting your damage potential further.  


Fast Healing, Health, and Integration alone are not enough.  Passive regen in this game isn't a great means to avoid kissing the floor.  You need to layer other mitigation strategies in order to help.  The Regeneration power set has very shallow options for mitigation layering.  You can build up some defense and resistance but you still benefit from an active heal like Reconstruction.  


Can you build a character with powers you want as outlined above and still include the options in Regen that make it work?  Yes.  You're going to have some slotting issues so you'll need to prioritize the important powers, but you can certainly make this work.  


Dark Blast (Take these): 

Gloom, Umbral Torrent, Abyssal Gaze, Aim, Dark Obliteration, Antumbral Beam, Blackstar 


Regeneration (Take these): 

Fast Healing, Reconstruction, Quick Recovery, Instant Regeneration, Dismiss Pain, Integration, Resilience 


You can still take every pool power, include Soul Mastery, that you listed originally.  However, with the planning above you'll have access to a much stronger heal and a passive absorb barrier that will regenerate on its own timer.  

Edited by oldskool
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33 minutes ago, cohRock said:

Thank you for the feedback, guys.

@oldskool I especially appreciate the time and analysis you gave to my idea. I will continue to pursue the copper cannon idea for a while, knowing I can always respec later.

No problem.  It was easy because I've played this combo and used it to test a number of things.

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