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beradical

How do Sniper attacks work?

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I'm slowly fleshing out my Elec/Shield Stalker, which is easily the most fun toon I have ever played. It's an active set to play, and does unreal damage. It's such a different play style, and so strange to have 2 separate attack chains for ST & AoE.

 

However, I've been trying to find a balance between solving (1) endurance problems, (2) lack of ranged and (3) a nice ST attack chain. So far I've settled on Body Mastery so I can get Superior Conditioning and Laserbeam Eyes, which solves all 3 problems. I just got T4s in Agility & Ageless, so these might fix my endurance issues alone without needing Superior Conditioning?

 

I see a lot of people taking Sniper attackers from their Epic pools, but how do these attacks work? Can they be used in a standard attack chain in the midst of battle? It says Insta-cast at 97% To Hit, but I have 0% To Hit (unless I'm misreading Mids). Plus it looks crazy endurance expensive (~18 end unslotted), and they have a long recharge, so what am I missing? Can they be part of a ST attack chain and useful each fight? What does the Fast Snipe enhancement do? Does it make it viable as a standard attack?

 

Here is what I'm running right now so you can get an idea (currently working on ATOs and Purples to replace cheap sets):

Villain Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer 2.7.2.10
https://github.com/Crytilis/mids-reborn-hero-designer

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Collateral Damage: Level 50 Technology Stalker
Primary Power Set: Electrical Melee
Secondary Power Set: Shield Defense
Power Pool: Leaping
Power Pool: Fighting
Power Pool: Speed
Power Pool: Leadership
Ancillary Pool: Body Mastery

Villain Profile:
Level 1: Havoc Punch -- Mk'Bit-Acc/Dmg(A), Mk'Bit-Dmg/EndRdx(3), Mk'Bit-Dmg/Rchg(3), Mk'Bit-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg(5), Mk'Bit-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(5), Mk'Bit-Dam%(7)
Level 1: Hide -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A)
Level 2: Deflection -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(7), LucoftheG-Def(9), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(9)
Level 4: Battle Agility -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(11), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(11), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(50)
Level 6: Assassin's Shock -- Mk'Bit-Acc/Dmg(A), Mk'Bit-Dmg/EndRdx(13), Mk'Bit-Dmg/Rchg(13), Mk'Bit-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg(15), Mk'Bit-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(15), Mk'Bit-Dam%(17)
Level 8: Super Jump -- Jump-I(A)
Level 10: Combat Jumping -- BlsoftheZ-Travel(A), BlsoftheZ-ResKB(27), BlsoftheZ-Travel/EndRdx(50)
Level 12: Kick -- Empty(A)
Level 14: Spring Attack -- Obl-Dmg(A), Obl-Acc/Rchg(23), Obl-Dmg/Rchg(23), Obl-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(25), Obl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(25), Obl-%Dam(27)
Level 16: Active Defense -- RechRdx-I(A)
Level 18: Chain Induction -- Mk'Bit-Acc/Dmg(A), Mk'Bit-Dmg/EndRdx(29), Mk'Bit-Dmg/Rchg(29), Mk'Bit-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg(31), Mk'Bit-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(31), Mk'Bit-Dam%(31)
Level 20: Build Up -- GssSynFr--ToHit(A), GssSynFr--ToHit/Rchg(33), GssSynFr--ToHit/Rchg/EndRdx(33), GssSynFr--Rchg/EndRdx(33), GssSynFr--ToHit/EndRdx(34), GssSynFr--Build%(34)
Level 22: True Grit -- GldArm-3defTpProc(A), UnbGrd-Max HP%(48)
Level 24: Hasten -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(34), RechRdx-I(36)
Level 26: Thunder Strike -- Obl-Dmg(A), Obl-Acc/Rchg(36), Obl-Dmg/Rchg(36), Obl-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(37), Obl-%Dam(37), Obl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(37)
Level 28: Tough -- StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(A)
Level 30: Weave -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(39), LucoftheG-Def(39)
Level 32: Lightning Rod -- Obl-Dmg(A), Obl-Acc/Rchg(40), Obl-Dmg/Rchg(40), Obl-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(40), Obl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(42), Obl-%Dam(42)
Level 35: Shield Charge -- Obl-Dmg(A), Obl-Acc/Rchg(42), Obl-Dmg/Rchg(43), Obl-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(43), Obl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(43), Obl-%Dam(45)
Level 38: Maneuvers -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(45), LucoftheG-Def(45)
Level 41: Against All Odds -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 44: Superior Conditioning -- PwrTrns-+Heal(A), PwrTrns-EndMod(46)
Level 47: Laser Beam Eyes -- Thn-Acc/Dmg(A), Thn-Dmg/EndRdx(46), Thn-Dmg/Rchg(46), Thn-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(48), Thn-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(48), Thn-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(50)
Level 49: Assault -- EndRdx-I(A), EndRdx-I(39)
Level 1: Assassination
Level 1: Brawl -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Dash -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Slide -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Quick -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Rush -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Surge -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Sprint -- Clr-Stlth(A)
Level 2: Rest -- Empty(A)
Level 4: Ninja Run
Level 2: Swift -- Run-I(A)
Level 2: Health -- Mrc-Rcvry+(A), NmnCnv-Regen/Rcvry+(17), Pnc-Heal/+End(19)
Level 2: Hurdle -- Jump-I(A)
Level 2: Stamina -- PrfShf-End%(A), PrfShf-EndMod(19), PrfShf-EndMod/Rchg(21), PrfShf-EndMod/Acc(21)
Level 1: Quick Form
Level 50: Agility Core Paragon
Level 50: Pyronic Core Final Judgement
Level 50: Reactive Radial Flawless Interface
Level 50: Banished Pantheon Radial Superior Ally
Level 50: Ageless Core Epiphany
Level 50: Assault Radial Embodiment
------------

Edited by beradical

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Sniper attacks are instant in-combat, you no longer need to get +22% to-hit.  Instead, your damage will increase as you go from +0% to hit to +22% to hit.

 

Base recharge of Moonbeam is 24 seconds, so getting it down to 8 seconds is pretty trivial and to 6 seconds is doable with effort, especially since you're using Agility.  It's unlikely that your attack chain is less than 8 seconds, so using it once per rotation is pretty simple.  Meanwhile, the long base recharge helps in terms of damage and procs.

 

It's expensive in terms of endurance, for sure.  There are lots of different strategies for handling your endurance economy in CoH, but thinking about how to get there is important, especially for Stalkers who also have the relatively chonky Assassin's Strike in their attack chain.

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Thank you Aethereal. I can have 6 seconds immediately with my current build, and once I get my 2 Stalker ATOs and a purple set or 2 it'll get even lower. The question is endurance, since its switching to a more expensive attack and losing Superior Conditioning. But now that I know how sniper works, it sounds like its worth a shot, so maybe I'll go to beta and go at a pylon and see how it does.

 

Much appreciated!

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31 minutes ago, beradical said:

I see a lot of people taking Sniper attackers from their Epic pools, but how do these attacks work?(1) Can they be used in a standard attack chain in the midst of battle?(2) It says Insta-cast at 97% To Hit(3), but I have 0% To Hit (unless I'm misreading Mids). Plus it looks crazy endurance expensive (~18 end unslotted), and they have a long recharge (4), so what am I missing? Can they be part of a ST attack chain and useful each fight? What does the Fast Snipe enhancement do?(5) Does it make it viable as a standard attack?

1: how do these attacks work? - sniper powers are single target ranged attacks that have a "slow form" and a "fast form".  The slow form has a 3-4 second interruptible windup animation before the actual attack animation, and deals additional damage compared to the fast form.  When you use the "slow form" in-game, you'll see a little "Sniper Shot!" callout above your target when you hit and you can see the additional damage in the combat log.

2: Can they be used in a standard attack chain in the midst of battle? - yes, absolutely.  You get the "fast form" if you are considered to be "in combat", aka if you've attacked or been attacked in the last 8 seconds, using the same timer as Hide.

3: It says Insta-cast at 97% To Hit - In earlier versions of the Snipe mechanic, you indeed only got access to the quick form when you had over 97% tohit.  Your base tohit is 75%, so that means you needed 22% from other sources (the kismet +6% IO and tactics are the most accessible).  This is outdated since they tied quick sniping to 'combat'; however, snipe powers get a damage bonus that scales with your tohit up to 22%.  This bonus applies to both the slow and fast forms.

4: They are quite expensive and on longer recharges, but as powers that you get towards the end of the career they are pretty manageable.  As aethereal mentioned the long recharge means they take damage procs very well and on stalkers they're great places (and often the ONLY places) to slot ranged damage sets like Apocalypse. 

5: The "fast snipe" enhancement basically removes the "slow snipe" utility and means so that whenever you use it, in combat, out of combat, etc, it will always be the fast form.  Frankly I can't think of a reason to use it, since it's not like you can somehow goof and accidentally wind up using the slow animation like you can with AS.

 

In general, snipe powers are a 'nice to have'.  They do tons of damage and sometimes you really want a long distance ranged attack, and they hold useful sets (apocalypse for 10% recharge, winter sets for defense, etc) and proc out super well.  Also, on Stalker sets that don't have a great "heavy hitter" power to use from Hide immediately after Assassin's Strike (Kinetic Melee / Dual Blades come to mind), AS w/Hide proc into guaranteed critical Snipe hit is a ton of burst damage. 

 

One caveat is that the power doesn't build assassin's focus.

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I just went to Beta, respec'd (taking Moonbeam + Grant Cover) but without upgrading my current enhancements, and I had no endurance problems at all, even with the extra toggle. So it seems the Incarnates really addressed that issue. I was able to kill a pylon faster with Moonbeam than Laserbeam Eyes, but not substantially faster. Moonbeam is a touch slow even at 6s recharge. It works if I throw Havoc Punch between attacks to buy a bit more time, which is awkward but functional.

 

So I added the 2 Stalker ATOs, plus a Purple, and I was able to chain in Moonbeam more seamlessly, requiring less reliance on Havoc Punch, and I was able to take down the pylon noticeably faster. So thank you both for your helpful input. My conclusion is that I will be taking Moonbeam, later, once I get my final sets. Without the crazy awesome recharge, Moonbeam is only slightly better and moderately more annoying if I don't time the attacks right and have to stand there d$%k in hand waiting for an attack.

 

So then when planning out my final build, I guess i need to see if I can eek out some more To Hit. Good call on the Kismet +6%, and maybe since I'm doing fine on endurance I can get Tactics instead of Grant Cover.

 

You people are seriously so awesome.

 

 

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Consider taking Zapp from Mu Mastery instead of Moonbeam. Mids' is incorrect and all snipes from the Ancillary Pools do the same amount of damage. Zapp has an end drain as a secondary effect. It might be enough so that you can stray away from Agility Alpha.

 

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What would be better alternatives to Agility? Musculature is sexy with it's damage, but most of the other effects are not super useful, though Mids says Radial boosts Endurance Mod which might help. But if I'm going damage let's go the 45% route, all or nothing right?? But that Agility recharge is pretty awesome on this toon specifically, since I get telenukes back faster. So which does more damage, in this aoe build - damage boost or recharge boost? Maybe once I get my 2 ATO sets and purple I'll have enough recharge with Ageless to get Musculature.

 

Also, yeah, the Endurance return from Zapp is probably not much, but would help to offset it's high endurance cost and it really does make a lot of sense; and as Croax says, it definitely fits thematically.

 

You know what I find so fascinating about the Elec/Shield Stalker? There are SO many variations of builds posted. Most ATs tend to slowly consolidate to one standard build with a few minor deviations for personal play style. But this one is all over the place. I think it's because this build requires so much compromise. I have 8 6-slotted attacks lol. What the f$&k.

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1 hour ago, beradical said:

What would be better alternatives to Agility? Musculature is sexy with it's damage, but most of the other effects are not super useful, though Mids says Radial boosts Endurance Mod which might help. But if I'm going damage let's go the 45% route, all or nothing right?? But that Agility recharge is pretty awesome on this toon specifically, since I get telenukes back faster. So which does more damage, in this aoe build - damage boost or recharge boost? Maybe once I get my 2 ATO sets and purple I'll have enough recharge with Ageless to get Musculature.

I think the overall distaste for Agility comes from two things:

 

1.  You can get a LOT of global recharge from sets and of course Hasten (+87.5% recharge just from LotG and five +10% bonuses from ATOs/Purples, and that gets you most of the way to perma-hasten in and of itself).  You can not reasonably get +20% to +45% damage from sets.  So why not use sets to get your recharge and free up your alpha for something only it can get.

 

2.  Agility potentially reduces the efficacy of proc builds.

 

I think #2 is pretty overstated, honestly.  First, there's a fairly narrow range of powers that are going to be hurt in their procability by Agility (like your telenukes wouldn't, though they won't be great at proccing anyway).  Second, most people don't end up having build space for real proc-heavy builds anyway.  Third, on stalkers at least, proc-heavy builds aren't obviously super powerful anyway.  See for example the StJ Attack Chain thread also up towards the top of the forum right now -- I've been building with a real eye towards maximizing proc value and, like, maybe it's mildly useful?  Or maybe it's actually disadvantageous to DPS.

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9 minutes ago, aethereal said:

You can not reasonably get +20% to +45% damage from sets.

Ok, that's really true. Total damage output is certainly damage x recharge, but right now I'm all recharge buffs with little damage buff. So Musculature would increase damage buff more than it would decrease recharge. Looks like I have to grind out another T4 lol. Hello Heather Townshend.

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Man, just when I thought I was done with my build I made the mistake of asking on the forums...

 

So I really dig what Croax said, and it has me wondering about Mu. I could swap Laserbeam Eyes for Zapp, but would it be worth it to swap Thunder Strike with Ball Lightning?? Does Ball Lightning crit from hide? It seems like a terrible drop in damage, but my god Thunder Strike sucks. I get it, we need another AoE, and it's dmg is awesome, but 7ft radius and 3.3s cast time really harm it's effectiveness. In today's high speed game, a lot has changed in 3.3 seconds. It takes a lot of finagling to get lined up to make it really shine, even on something like ITF where the mobs clump so well.

 

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15 minutes ago, beradical said:

Man, just when I thought I was done with my build I made the mistake of asking on the forums...

 

So I really dig what Croax said, and it has me wondering about Mu. I could swap Laserbeam Eyes for Zapp, but would it be worth it to swap Thunder Strike with Ball Lightning?? Does Ball Lightning crit from hide? It seems like a terrible drop in damage, but my god Thunder Strike sucks. I get it, we need another AoE, and it's dmg is awesome, but 7ft radius and 3.3s cast time really harm it's effectiveness. In today's high speed game, a lot has changed in 3.3 seconds. It takes a lot of finagling to get lined up to make it really shine, even on something like ITF where the mobs clump so well.

 

Just checked Rubi's powers API, assuming I'm interpreting it correctly (which is never guaranteed), here are the relevant effects of Ball Lightning:

 

1.  16.68 energy damage

2.  4 ticks of 10.01 energy damage

3.  7% chance of 56.72 energy damage if NOT hidden

4.  50% chance of 56.72 energy damage if hidden

 

So, basically, it's a totally normal Stalker AoE attack in this respect: 50% chance critical out of hide, critical damage is the sum of all the DoT in one up-front package.

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Went back to beta with your collective advice, and yeah, Mu and Musculature are pretty awesome.

 

I was using a 4x8 S&L Farm to test my AoE, and a Pylon to test my ST. Musculature made a significant improvement in both, with no sustained endurance issues. Sets and Ageless alone are plenty. It does start to dip down near the end of Ageless, but I never ran out.

 

I really do like Ball Lightning. It hits more mobs and casts fast, awesome to follow 3x telenukes w/plenty of crits. But really where it shines is that Ball Lightning's cast time is so fast I can use it in the ST chain: along with Chain Induction to hit multiple bosses after my alpha; or when waiting on AS, CI, HP & Zapp to fill in the gap.

 

The negatives are less damage, the knockdown/disorient was decent damage mitigation, and Zapp & BL don't gain Assassins Focus. I think it's worth these trade-offs.

 

So now I need to read through the guides on AH and making money...and learn how the hell procs work.

 

Until then, here is what I'm working towards:

Spoiler

Villain Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer 2.7.2.10
https://github.com/Crytilis/mids-reborn-hero-designer

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Collateral Damage: Level 50 Technology Stalker
Primary Power Set: Electrical Melee
Secondary Power Set: Shield Defense
Power Pool: Leaping
Power Pool: Fighting
Power Pool: Speed
Power Pool: Leadership
Ancillary Pool: Mu Mastery

Villain Profile:
Level 1: Havoc Punch -- Mk'Bit-Acc/Dmg(A), Mk'Bit-Dmg/EndRdx(3), Mk'Bit-Dmg/Rchg(3), Mk'Bit-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg(5), Mk'Bit-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(5), Mk'Bit-Dam%(7)
Level 1: Hide -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A)
Level 2: Deflection -- LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(A), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(7), LucoftheG-Def(9), LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(9)
Level 4: Battle Agility -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(11), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(11), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(50)
Level 6: Assassin's Shock -- SprStlGl-Acc/Dmg(A), SprStlGl-Dmg/Rchg(13), SprStlGl-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(13), SprStlGl-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(15), SprStlGl-Rchg/Hide%(15), TchofDth-Dam%(17)
Level 8: Super Jump -- Jump-I(A)
Level 10: Combat Jumping -- BlsoftheZ-Travel(A), BlsoftheZ-Travel/EndRdx(50), BlsoftheZ-ResKB(50)
Level 12: Kick -- Empty(A)
Level 14: Spring Attack -- Obl-Dmg(A), Obl-Acc/Rchg(23), Obl-Dmg/Rchg(23), Obl-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(25), Obl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(25), Obl-%Dam(27)
Level 16: Active Defense -- RechRdx-I(A)
Level 18: Chain Induction -- SprAssMar-Acc/Dmg(A), SprAssMar-Dmg/Rchg(29), SprAssMar-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(29), SprAssMar-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(31), SprAssMar-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(31), SprAssMar-Rchg/Rchg Build Up(31)
Level 20: Build Up -- GssSynFr--ToHit(A), GssSynFr--ToHit/Rchg(33), GssSynFr--ToHit/Rchg/EndRdx(33), GssSynFr--Rchg/EndRdx(33), GssSynFr--ToHit/EndRdx(34), GssSynFr--Build%(34)
Level 22: Against All Odds -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 24: Hasten -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(34), RechRdx-I(36)
Level 26: Tough -- GldArm-3defTpProc(A)
Level 28: Grant Cover -- Ksm-ToHit+(A)
Level 30: Weave -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(39), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(39)
Level 32: Lightning Rod -- Arm-Dmg(A), Arm-Dmg/Rchg(40), Arm-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(40), Arm-Acc/Rchg(40), Arm-Dam%(42), Obl-%Dam(42)
Level 35: Shield Charge -- Obl-Dmg(A), Obl-Acc/Rchg(42), Obl-Dmg/Rchg(43), Obl-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(43), Obl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(43), Obl-%Dam(45)
Level 38: Maneuvers -- LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(A), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(39), LucoftheG-Def(45), LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(45)
Level 41: True Grit -- StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(A), ImpSki-Status(46)
Level 44: Zapp -- SprWntBit-Acc/Dmg(A), SprWntBit-Dmg/Rchg(36), SprWntBit-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(36), SprWntBit-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(37), SprWntBit-Dmg/EndRdx/Acc/Rchg(37), SprWntBit-Rchg/SlowProc(37)
Level 47: Ball Lightning -- Rgn-Dmg(A), Rgn-Dmg/Rchg(46), Rgn-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(46), Rgn-Acc/Rchg(48), Rgn-Dmg/EndRdx(48), Bmbdmt-+FireDmg(48)
Level 49: Assault -- EndRdx-I(A), EndRdx-I(27)
Level 1: Assassination 
Level 1: Brawl -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Dash -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Slide -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Quick -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Rush -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Surge -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Sprint -- Empty(A)
Level 2: Rest -- Empty(A)
Level 4: Ninja Run 
Level 2: Swift -- Run-I(A)
Level 2: Health -- Mrc-Rcvry+(A), NmnCnv-Regen/Rcvry+(17), Pnc-Heal/+End(19)
Level 2: Hurdle -- Jump-I(A)
Level 2: Stamina -- PrfShf-End%(A), PrfShf-EndMod(19), PrfShf-EndMod/Rchg(21), PrfShf-EndMod/Acc(21)
Level 1: Quick Form 
Level 50: Ageless Core Epiphany 
Level 50: Musculature Core Paragon 
Level 50: Pyronic Core Final Judgement 
Level 50: Reactive Radial Flawless Interface 
Level 50: Banished Pantheon Radial Superior Ally 
Level 50: Assault Radial Embodiment 
------------

 

Edited by beradical

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My Stalker (and Scrapper) opted for Moonbeam (Soul Mastery). Those characters weren't going to have a pet, and weren't going to take another (non-primary) attack or a control... and each build felt that Shadow Meld (Soul Mastery) was the better choice. One wanted it as an IO mule, the other wanted it as and insurance policy for Defense debuffs.

 

I like having the Snipe available, both fast and slow. I'll use the snipe (slow) when the opening Assassin's Strike misses; Streakbreaker will guarantee it hits. I'll toss it in my attack chain when I have a runner or otherwise the next target I've tabbed to is one that I don't want to move towards. Both Epic snipes are very proc-friendly as well.

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4 hours ago, beradical said:

Man, just when I thought I was done with my build I made the mistake of asking on the forums...

 

So I really dig what Croax said, and it has me wondering about Mu. I could swap Laserbeam Eyes for Zapp, but would it be worth it to swap Thunder Strike with Ball Lightning?? Does Ball Lightning crit from hide? It seems like a terrible drop in damage, but my god Thunder Strike sucks. I get it, we need another AoE, and it's dmg is awesome, but 7ft radius and 3.3s cast time really harm it's effectiveness. In today's high speed game, a lot has changed in 3.3 seconds. It takes a lot of finagling to get lined up to make it really shine, even on something like ITF where the mobs clump so well.

 

I had the same debate myself, thinking "Do I need Thunderstrike when I have Ball Lightning?" and I tried a rebuild without TS. In truth, you don't necessarily need TS.  BL is a more flexible AoE, crits from Hide at 50%, is a great followup after procing Hide from the ATO and all that jazz.  BL was better than TS at all of those things.

 

But the issue for me was that after burning my LR and popping BL, I just had a hole in my followup where TS would fit great, but I had specced out.  LR and BL would drop all of the minions, but then I'd have a boss and a few Lts closing in and no TS to hit them with.  So I specced back into it and haven't looked back.  Yes, its a small AoE, but with practice, you can hit 3-4 targets once you know how to position yourself.  CJ helps a lot as you can do a little hop over to the other side of your target if needed, or hop back slightly to kite the stragglers together a bit to line them up. 

 

It takes some practice, but I was once in your shoes and hated TS.  Now I'd bever drop it again.  

 

Edit: Although, with Spring Attack in there too, maybe you wouldn't miss TS as much.  Not sure, haven't played with SA much.

 

DOUBLE EDIT: Drop Spring Attack, unless you really like it for the cool factor.  It does less damage than Thunderstrike in a smaller area with 5 times the recharge.  See below: 

 

Regarding your Zapp slotting, may I recommend proccing it out instead of using the Winter set.  I have mine with 5 Apocalypse (no Dam/Rech) + Manticore proc.  

 

Also, no need to 3 slot Hasten.  2 lvl50 Rech IOs at +5 give you 95% recharge on the power.  The third slot is just bashing up against the ED wall hard.  

Edited by Omega-202

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4 hours ago, tidge said:

I'll use the snipe (slow) when the opening Assassin's Strike misses

Ok, that's actually brilliant. ty for this.

4 hours ago, Omega-202 said:

Regarding your Zapp slotting, may I recommend proccing it out instead of using the Winter set.  I have mine with 5 Apocalypse (no Dam/Rech) + Manticore proc.

I really, really want to, but I need the huge defense bonus from Winter's Bite to stay soft-capped. Let me see where else I can find that defense so I can proc Zapp.

4 hours ago, Omega-202 said:

DOUBLE EDIT: Drop Spring Attack, unless you really like it for the cool factor.  It does less damage than Thunderstrike in a smaller area with 5 times the recharge.

Spring Attack doesn't break Hide, so it stacks super well with the other 2 telenukes, then giving me 50% crit chance on my 4th AoE, which is looking like Ball Lightning now.

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2 hours ago, beradical said:

Spring Attack doesn't break Hide, so it stacks super well with the other 2 telenukes, then giving me 50% crit chance on my 4th AoE, which is looking like Ball Lightning now.

No offense, but that logic doesn't add up and I think you might be confused on how that all works.  The whole point of the "doesn't break Hide" is so that the follow up attack can crit.  However, just because the tele-nukes don't break Hide, that doesn't mean you don't draw aggro from using them.  And if you get hit by the return volley, that does break Hide, and ruins your crit.  That's why its best to do Build up>Lightning Rod>Ball Lightning>other AoEs.  If you wait and try to sneak in LR>SC>SA and then BL, odds are you're going to get chipped by the return strike and lose your Hide status before you use BL.

 

In simpler terms, which scenario is better:

LR>BL(crit)>SC>SA, vs

LR>SC>SA>BL(hopefully crit if you haven't been hit already)

 

None of LR, SC or SA can crit either way, so it doesn't matter where in the chain you use them.

 

Let me know of you need a more in depth explanation.  

Edited by Omega-202

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40 minutes ago, Omega-202 said:

No offense, but that logic doesn't add up

None at all, I'm here for help, and really appreciate the advice and excellent explanations. My thinking was that at least while Hide is active I get a pretty massive boost to defense which really does help, more often than not I get a crit on Thunder Strike, but dear lord it seems so obvious now, why the hell have I been waiting til the end. Hahaha, I am a slow learner. Thank you.

 

So really what you're asking is which of the AoEs available to me will have the highest dmg output in a chain...LR, SC, SA, BL & TS ignoring some other pools. I really can't get any data on SA, but in game has it quite low. I am 99% certain you are right, but I'm going to go back to Beta and look at the damage logs, then scrub the data and will post my findings.

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4 minutes ago, beradical said:

None at all, I'm here for help, and really appreciate the advice and excellent explanations. My thinking was that at least while Hide is active I get a pretty massive boost to defense which really does help, more often than not I get a crit on Thunder Strike, but dear lord it seems so obvious now, why the hell have I been waiting til the end. Hahaha, I am a slow learner. Thank you.

 

So really what you're asking is which of the AoEs available to me will have the highest dmg output in a chain...LR, SC, SA, BL & TS ignoring some other pools. I really can't get any data on SA, but in game has it quite low. I am 99% certain you are right, but I'm going to go back to Beta and look at the damage logs, then scrub the data and will post my findings.

Awesome.  

 

2 additional points/answers to your questions: 

1) Hide status isn't granting you much extra defense to most things.  Hide grants 5.5% defense base while hidden and 1.875% base while unhidden.  You only lose 3.5% base which is not what I'd call "massive"

2) The thread I linked has numbers for you to check outside the game.  Bopper (praised be his name) has put together spreadsheets with all of the damage numbers.  In short, TS does 1.96 scale damage to your target and 0.96 scale in a 7 ft radius, with 3.3 s animation and an 18 s recharge; Spring attack does 1.5 scale damage to your main target and 0.5 damage in a 5 foot radius, with a 1.5 s animation and 120 s recharge.  On paper, I'd say TS is more useful, especially since it can also crit, while SA can't.  

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K, I am standing 7ft away from the middle Rikti Test Dummy. Thunder Strike hits the middle 3 targets, Spring Attack doesn't hit any targets, and all other AoEs hit all 5. Man, you haven't been wrong today.

 

I'm running calculations on the raw damage right now, maybe SA will still have some redeeming qualities?

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Long story short, my brother wrote a python script to calculate various attack chains, seeing which is the best attack available (including waiting if that improves DPS). This doesn't calculate procs or crits, so we have to manually infer that data. I plugged in all 11 attacks from Elec/Shield/Mu/Jumping, based on values from in-game on Beta, including base numbers and pylon attacks. We then set it for a 3 min fight.

 

On ST chains, script likes Zapp, Chain Induction, Charged Brawl, Assassin Shock, with AoEs to fill in the gaps. Assassin Shock & Zapp are beasts, and this isn't even including crits and procs.

    [Name, # times used, total damage, dps]
    Chain Induction, 29, 6793.25, 37.66/sec
    Zapp, 20, 6266.20, 34.74/sec
    Assassin Shock, 26, 3867.76, 21.44/sec
    Charged Brawl, 48, 2399.04, 13.30/sec
    Lightning Rod, 6, 1066.02, 5.91/sec
    Pyronic Core, 2, 983.14, 5.45/sec
    Jacobs Ladder, 11, 981.75, 5.44/sec
    Shield Charge, 6, 850.86, 4.72/sec
    Ball Lightning, 11, 667.59, 3.70/sec
    Spring Attack, 4, 333.68, 1.85/sec
    Havoc Punch, 2, 157.08, 0.87/sec
    Thunder Strike, 0, 0.00, 0.00/sec

 

On MT chains, using guesses on # mob hit, again script likes Chain Induction, but also Jacobs Ladder & Thunder Strike. Spring Attack scores way down the list.

    [Name(#mobs hit), # times used, total damage, dps]
    Chain Induction(4), 29, 33966.25, 185.65/sec
    Jacobs Ladder(3), 22, 9817.50, 53.66/sec
    Thunder Strike(5), 13, 7580.95, 41.44/sec
    Lightning Rod(10), 6, 5330.10, 29.13/sec
    Zapp(1), 17, 5326.27, 29.11/sec
    Pyronic Core(10), 2, 4915.70, 26.87/sec
    Shield Charge(10), 6, 4254.30, 23.25/sec
    Ball Lightning(10), 13, 3944.85, 21.56/sec
    Spring Attack(5), 5, 2085.50, 11.40/sec
    Assassin Shock(1), 7, 1041.32, 5.69/sec
    Charged Brawl(1), 3, 149.94, 0.82/sec
    Havoc Punch(1), 0, 0.00, 0.00/sec

 

Some suggestions from this rough data:
(1) Chain Induction scores high on both ST & MT, and is the real hero in this set?
(2) Zapp is a beast. Not even counting procs or crits.
(3) Jacobs Ladder scores really high. Even set at 3 targets, it's dps outperforms Thunder Strike set to 5 targets, but TS gets a bigger burst out of hide...
(4) Havoc Punch has lower dps vs Charged Brawl, but performs better in actual attack chains.
(5) Although Zapp & Ball Lightning add no Assassin Focus, both score well and can crit from hide. I think this really is a winning Pool.
(6) Thunder Strike scores pretty well, even if it often hits less than 5 targets. I will try it 2nd in attack chain so more mobs are alive when it goes off out of hide for it's big burst dmg.
(7) Spring Attack straight up sucks (for this particular build).

 

So Omega-202 was definitely right, Thunder Strike & Ball Lightning are each better than Spring Attack, and Zapp is badass. Havoc Punch vs Charged Brawl is a bit of a wash, there's a slight gap with HP, but overall higher DPS.
    Havoc Punch, Assassin Shock, Chain Induction, Thunder Strike, Lightning Rod, Shield Charge, Zapp & Ball Lightning.

        For ST chains, BU > Zapp > CI > HP > AS > BL
        For MT chains, BU > LR > TS > SC > BL > CI

Edited by beradical
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@beradical awesome analysis.  

 

...Now if I was a jerk, I'd throw a wrench in and mention how much damage a procced out Electric Shackles can do, while also being a solid hold...

 

Edit: Also regarding BL or TS out of Hide, I find the best option is to react to the situation.  If you LR into the mob (ideally targetting the most central boss) and notice you have an Lt or two close by, hit TS.  If you LR in and get lucky on procs and see that you wiped out everything close to the boss, hit BL for the wider coverage.  Then, usually I'd just use the other of the two because either I used BL and the Lts are closing in, or I used TS and might as well hit BL to mop up.  Then its usually AS>CI>Zapp on the targetted boss.

Edited by Omega-202

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3 hours ago, Omega-202 said:

...Now if I was a jerk, I'd throw a wrench in and mention how much damage a procced out Electric Shackles can do, while also being a solid hold...

lmao, don't do this to me!?! But seriously, this would be an awesome replacement to HP or CB. Too bad you're forced to take one =/

 

40 minutes ago, Croax said:

can you this with Street Justice?

I don't have a SJ, and never played it, so I can't verify dmg in-game, and don't know how the combo system works. But I can plug in the attacks based on Bopper's data, calculating base dmg, and you'll have to infer the crit/combo/proc stuff. Give me a bit and I'll try to get it on this evening.

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18 hours ago, beradical said:

lmao, don't do this to me!?! But seriously, this would be an awesome replacement to HP or CB. Too bad you're forced to take one =/

It's pretty nasty if you squeeze it in.  The 1-2 punch of Zapp>Shackles can drop running Lts or damaged bosses like a sack of twitching potatoes.

 

I'll post my Stalk-tinel Elec/Inv/Mu build later, which is a "not quite optimal" concept character that has all 4 Mu ranged attacks, but still tears it up in melee and at range.  Just realized I never shared it on the forums. 

 

EDIT: Build here

Hero Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer 2.7.2.10
https://github.com/Crytilis/mids-reborn-hero-designer

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Stalk-tinel: Level 50 Science Stalker
Primary Power Set: Electrical Melee
Secondary Power Set: Invulnerability
Power Pool: Fighting
Power Pool: Speed
Power Pool: Sorcery
Power Pool: Leaping
Ancillary Pool: Mu Mastery

Hero Profile:
Level 1: Charged Brawl -- KntCmb-Acc/Dmg(A), KntCmb-Dmg/EndRdx(3), KntCmb-Dmg/Rchg(3), KntCmb-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(5)
Level 1: Hide -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), Rct-ResDam%(5), Ksm-ToHit+(7)
Level 2: Resist Physical Damage -- ImpArm-ResPsi(A)
Level 4: Kick -- FrcFdb-Rechg%(A)
Level 6: Assassin's Shock -- SprStlGl-Rchg/Hide%(A), SprStlGl-Dmg/Rchg(11), SprStlGl-Acc/Dmg(13), SprStlGl-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(13), SprStlGl-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(15), SprStlGl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(15)
Level 8: Build Up -- GssSynFr--Build%(A)
Level 10: Dull Pain -- Prv-Absorb%(A), Prv-Heal(17), Prv-Heal/EndRdx(17), Prv-EndRdx/Rchg(19), Prv-Heal/Rchg(19), Prv-Heal/Rchg/EndRdx(21)
Level 12: Hasten -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(21)
Level 14: Temp Invulnerability -- UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(A), UnbGrd-ResDam(23), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx(23)
Level 16: Unyielding -- StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(A), Ags-Psi/Status(25), Ags-ResDam(25), Ags-ResDam/EndRdx(27), GldArm-3defTpProc(27)
Level 18: Chain Induction -- SprAssMar-Rchg/Rchg Build Up(A), SprAssMar-Acc/Dmg(29), SprAssMar-Dmg/Rchg(29), SprAssMar-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(31), SprAssMar-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(31), SprAssMar-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(31)
Level 20: Environmental Resistance -- ResDam-I(A), ResDam-I(46)
Level 22: Tough -- ImpArm-ResPsi(A)
Level 24: Mystic Flight -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 26: Thunder Strike -- Obl-%Dam(A), Obl-Dmg(33), Obl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(33), Obl-Dmg/Rchg(33), Obl-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(34), ScrDrv-Dam%(34)
Level 28: Weave -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(34)
Level 30: Reinforced -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), ShlWal-ResDam/Re TP(36), ShlWal-Def/EndRdx(36), ShlWal-Def(36), ShlWal-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(37)
Level 32: Lightning Rod -- Arm-Dam%(A), Arm-Dmg(37), Arm-Dmg/Rchg(37), Arm-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(39), Arm-Acc/Rchg(39), Arm-Dmg/EndRdx(39)
Level 35: Tough Hide -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(50)
Level 38: Mu Bolts -- SprWntBit-Dmg/EndRdx/Acc/Rchg(A), SprWntBit-Acc/Dmg(40), SprWntBit-Dmg/Rchg(40), SprWntBit-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(40), SprWntBit-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(42)
Level 41: Zapp -- Apc-Dmg(A), Apc-Dmg/EndRdx(42), Apc-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(42), Apc-Acc/Rchg(43), Apc-Dam%(43), StnoftheM-Dam%(43)
Level 44: Ball Lightning -- Rgn-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(A), Rgn-Knock%(45), Rgn-Dmg/EndRdx(45), Ann-ResDeb%(45), Ann-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(46), Ann-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(46)
Level 47: Electric Shackles -- GhsWdwEmb-Dam%(A), NrnSht-Dam%(48), UnbCns-Dam%(48), Dvs-Hold%(48), Dvs-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(50), Dvs-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(50)
Level 49: Combat Jumping -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A)
Level 1: Assassination 
Level 1: Brawl -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Dash -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Slide -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Quick -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Rush -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Surge -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Sprint -- Empty(A)
Level 2: Rest -- Empty(A)
Level 4: Ninja Run 
Level 2: Swift -- Empty(A)
Level 2: Health -- Pnc-Heal/+End(A), Mrc-Rcvry+(7), NmnCnv-Regen/Rcvry+(9)
Level 2: Hurdle -- Empty(A)
Level 2: Stamina -- PrfShf-EndMod(A), PrfShf-End%(9), EndMod-I(11)
Level 50: Barrier Core Epiphany 
Level 50: Musculature Radial Paragon 
Level 50: Ion Core Final Judgement 
Level 50: Degenerative Radial Flawless Interface 
Level 50: Assault Radial Embodiment 
Level 50: Banished Pantheon Radial Superior Ally 
Level 1: Quick Form 
Level 0: Freedom Phalanx Reserve 
Level 0: Portal Jockey 
Level 0: Task Force Commander 
Level 0: The Atlas Medallion 
------------

Edited by Omega-202

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