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Lithobraker

The Graveyard Shift- EBs near-impossible to solo

Poll: Had a similar experience?  

28 members have voted

  1. 1. Have you had similar difficulty with Pathogen?

    • Yes, it was as bad for me as it was for you
    • Maybe too tough, but not as bad as your experience
    • Kind of tough, but nothing crazy
    • The fight seemed normal to me
    • It was a bit too easy, but only a bit
      0
    • This boss was very easy
    • I had absolutely no trouble at all
    • Haven't fought this boss yet
  2. 2. Have you had similar difficulty with Cortex?

    • Yes, it was as bad for me as it was for you
    • Maybe too tough, but not as bad as your experience
    • Kind of tough, but nothing crazy
    • The fight seemed normal to me
    • It was a bit too easy, but only a bit
      0
    • This boss was very easy
    • I had absolutely no trouble at all
    • Haven't fought this boss yet


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Build at a glance is attached. Rad/Rad Sentinel, Level 28 at the time of playing TGS, 29 now. Build at the time lacked End reduction on any of my Rad Blast powers. Default Notoriety, except Solo Bosses was set to Yes.

Basically, I had a very poor experience with the two Elite Bosses in The Graveyard Shift- Pathogen Evolved, or whatever his second form was, and Cortex.
Pathogen Evolved has enough HP to weather tens of alpha-strikes from me. Granted, Sentinel's damage appears to be more lacking than necessary in my experience, but this one was especially troublesome. His health regeneration made matters worse, because he hit me just hard enough that I had to periodically retreat, kite him around to avoid line of sight except when attacking, hover above him, the whole shebang.
With his regen and the necessity to kite, the fight took well over ten minutes, maybe twenty. Couldn't weather his attacks, nor deal enough damage to make up for it- so I had to whittle.

It's also worth mentioning that the Vahzilok Wasting Disease had debuffed my Endurance to the point that I could only get out a tiny bit more than one alpha strike before running out, so I had to juggle my health, end, and his health simultaneously.

Cortex, meanwhile, was 100% impossible to beat solo for me (he was one level higher, so he barely conned purple). Even before I knew he had Double Team clones, I could barely take off a 20th of his health before he kills me- with my setup, I had roughly 14% psi resist and he was dealing over 60% of my health in damage with a single attack. If I remember right, the actual number was around 450 damage.
Obviously, taking hits like that and dealing damage like that, there's no way I could've soloed him without grinding. I had to get three other people for help.

To be honest, I'm not certain this isn't just a problem with Sentinel specifically. First playthrough of the arc, and despite these setbacks I loved it to death. But if these are Frostfire-type missions where you need friends, I think that, like the Frostfire arc, the contact should tell you to bring buddies with you. If not, then I think these guys probably need some tweaking.

Seriously though, the arc was amazing apart from this. Loved the bit where you questioned Pierce and had to deduce what to do next like an Ace Attorney game. Story was well-written, it was funny, everything I had hoped for.

muon-build.png

Edited by Lithobraker

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I duo'd it with my scrappa and a friends Rad corr. We didnt die, during the fight, but it WAS pretty crazy. Especially the first time he clones himself (like 20 times) and you see a billion mental blasts coming in.

Also..NO xp at all for all those clones? If something gives zero xp, it should have zero change to kill or damage you.

I may have skimmed the mission text, but a warning about the Cortex fight would be nice for some people?

Given that Cortex is NOT the last fight, the actual final mission felt like a bit of an anti climax to us.

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I'm so thankful these missions are harder - theyre better reflective of our power levels now. Theyre certainly not too hard, though - imo. Please, please, keep designing new missions in the same way, devs, your writing and general design is so impressive and very appreciated.

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35 minutes ago, AxerJ said:

I'm so thankful these missions are harder - theyre better reflective of our power levels now.

Let's be honest. A good portion of people do NOT play at +4 and 8, or want harder content. Also, the arc is level 25ish, so unless you have a 50 full of attuned IOs, your power level is hardly gonna be that far above what is normal at that level.

Edited by Razor Cure
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2 hours ago, Razor Cure said:

Also..NO xp at all for all those clones? If something gives zero xp, it should have zero change to kill or damage you.

 

Usually that sort of thing has the XP transferred to whatever summons them (Comm officers summon a portal - anything coming from that gives no XP, comm officers are boosted.) So that wouldn't really work. If this needs to be looked at here...


Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

 

Please, if you feel the need to shoot down someone's suggestion by saying "It's not worth the devs time," don't. The devs are big boys and girls and can determine for themselves what is or is not worth their time, they don't need you to do it.

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You needed an option for haven't done them yet.  I haven't done Cortex yet.  Can't vote without picking an option, and picking an option invalidates your data.

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28 minutes ago, Gavric said:

You needed an option for haven't done them yet.  I haven't done Cortex yet.  Can't vote without picking an option, and picking an option invalidates your data.

Added!

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I ran the arc at natural level on a lvl 27/28 WM/WP brute. I've got common IOs in all my powers, as well as Tough and Weave, but obviously nothing is fully slotted yet. Had been running the arc at +1/x2, which was tough but doable (not much toxic resist in WP). For Pathogen, I loaded up with a full tray of medium/large purple and blue inspirations and couldn't take him down before I burned through those despite knocking him down repeatedly. A brute with a full fury bar should be able to pulverize a +2 EB in under 2 minutes, but he has some power that enables him to regen from almost zero back to full health. Ended up going up the elevator, exiting the mission, reloading and trying again. After the 3rd attempt I auto-completed the mission. 

 

Cortex was less difficult, but requires some strategy. I had picked up a level, he spawned at +1, and I no longer had the Vazhilok wasting disease. After I died on the first try, I realized that the clones and ambushes spawn upstairs. If you go through the door at the top of the stairs toward the elevators, Cortex won't follow and you can clear the ambushes and clones without dealing with him at the same time (the clones were inconsequential for WP). Still needed a couple of purples for Cortex.


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I saw this on discord and went to work immediately.

A few things have already changed in the pipe to fix all your outstanding issues:

 

1) Viral Cocktail rolled back to reduce only 10 endurance.

2) The Medical Research buffs in Pathogen's fight room (and everywhere else) are there to help with the debuff. I'd recommend leaving those in his room for part two of his fight, and then stacking them up when he shows - to have the muster to hand him his butt. They're now greatly offsetting the debuff so the fight will be easier. They last for a full minute and stack.

3) Cortex has had his damage rebalanced. I specifically went and made a local testing character named Gavric, a Rad/Energy Sentinel, and went into the Cortex mission with only a handful of regular damage IOs at 25 and nothing else. It was the right kind of difficult against that testing metric, and should be very doable now. A lot of those errors were on me, but based on balancing them against Mind Stab, which was an OG power and way out of balance. Damage numbers and recharges have changed and his primary-use powers should be controls and ranged attacks.

4) The Cortex illusion spawns, solo, show up in smaller numbers. I'll look and see why they're not rewarding anything, though. That's odd. I might have built him off a summoned Rikti monkey, which doesn't award XP because the Comms officer awards greater XP instead.

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"Science. Science, my friend, requires radical gambles and adventures in malpractice sometimes. Take solace in the fact that I tested the majority of these things on the dead, the re-dead, and the nearly departed before I went to live trials.

 

Honestly, most of my "specimens" were several iterations past being considered a human being with their original fingerprints, teeth, or IDs. So it was rather a lot like experimenting on moaning clay putty."

 


Got time to spare? Want to see Homecoming thrive? Consider volunteering as a Game Master! For science and community!

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And yes, the illusions were oops'ed on rewards. Added in.


"Science. Science, my friend, requires radical gambles and adventures in malpractice sometimes. Take solace in the fact that I tested the majority of these things on the dead, the re-dead, and the nearly departed before I went to live trials.

 

Honestly, most of my "specimens" were several iterations past being considered a human being with their original fingerprints, teeth, or IDs. So it was rather a lot like experimenting on moaning clay putty."

 


Got time to spare? Want to see Homecoming thrive? Consider volunteering as a Game Master! For science and community!

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Personally, I found the fights easy, BUT, that's only because I was playing an IO'd out level 50 Mind/Kin.

I didn't have to fight Cortex's illusions, I made them fight themselves! Or I held them. Or put them to sleep. I had plenty of AoE control tools to stop them dead in their tracks. I've yet to try the arc on any other character(s), though, so, take my feedback with a grain of salt!

Edited by EmperorSteele

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I fought Cortex at +0 on an Earth / Time Controller on SO's.   Thanks to my Controller's abilities I was able to accidentally separate / area deny the Illusions from entering the room where I was fighting Cortex.  Only after I defeated Cortex did the Illusions gain entry, and alpha strike me with numerous mental blasts - leading to Controller's defeat.

 

  • The Illusions persisted beyond Cortex's death.  This seems -- odd.  Is this intended behaviour?
  • The number of Illusions and the effectiveness of Psi in general led to my hero's quick defeat.
  • The attacks from the Illusions came in near-simultaneously.  For a squishy AT this was a mean test.

 

Evolved Pathogen was also fought at +0.  Heavy controls allowed me to win the fight, but I ran out of inspirations and Endurance after heavy hits.  I was forced to kite around the room furniture whilst key powers and Endurance recharged.

 

Edited by Tath99

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I played hit and run with them both, on +0/1 difficulty.  They were challenging fights and I enjoyed them.  I mentioned in a review post that Pathogen killed me, but I actually meant Cortex (that super-illusion copy power was the one that caught me off guard.  I froze up and hit the wrong buttons and wound up eating the floor.).  Pathogen did come awfully close, and I had to run around in circles around the medical curtains for a while, when I was really beat up, waiting for my bars to recharge.  

 

I still haven't tried the arc in a team yet, but I'm looking forward to it.  I'm fine with the difficulty, as-is, but not averse to a bit of tweaking to tone it down, either.  I can always ramp up my notoriety rating if I want more of a challenge.  I would not want it toned down so much that it becomes easy to beat in group combat, though. 

 

One thing I would offer as a bit of advice to people:  Retreating and running are always options.  Even super heroes need to cut and run sometimes, so they can regroup, come back, and win the day.

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I have a friend who told me he was having difficulty clearing the Cortex mission solo on his level 24 Illusion controller. So I hopped on my level 28 Dark/Rad controller and we started the mission at +0/1. The recovery debuff was insanely punishing -- even without my Rad toggles off, as soon as Accelerate Metabolism wore off we were out of endurance against the normal mobs. Before this, my controller never had an issue with endurance (in the low levels, I usually slot End Reduction in most of my powers).

 

The fight against Cortex was not a fun fight for us. Both of us were one-shotted when we found him (Cortex was hidden down the stairs so we didn't know to be smart about our approach until it was too late). We were able to get to the clones phase, but with no endurance left, we died pretty often. I had to switch to my level 50 IO'd out brute just to finish the encounter, and even my Brute ran out of endurance. Thank goodness I was at the defense soft-cap or else I'm sure my Brute would've died too.

 

I think most of my gripes with the mission are related to endurance issues. Without those, I felt like the fight would have been challenging but not frustrating. (I see that it looks like Viral Cocktail might've been scaled back some, here's to hoping that does the trick!)

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-The Bad Minotaur

'tis your birth or faith that wrong you, not I

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On ‎11‎/‎29‎/‎2020 at 12:34 AM, Razor Cure said:

Let's be honest. A good portion of people do NOT play at +4 and 8, or want harder content. Also, the arc is level 25ish, so unless you have a 50 full of attuned IOs, your power level is hardly gonna be that far above what is normal at that level.

 

I'm seeing a disturbing pattern where all the new story arcs from HC, while excellently written, seem inappropriately balanced for the stated level range.  That makes me a bit worried about the future direction of the game.

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1 hour ago, Ghost said:

Id love it if the devs could come up with a TF that was impossible to solo

 

The closest at the moment is Barracuda Strike Force.  It can be done solo, but it requires a specific AT with a specific power set.

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