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Elec primary has a bad rep


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Good day fellow City of compatriots.

 

I'm here to spread the electrifying good word.

Jokes aside, I've come across some pretty hard-line negative opinions on the viability and use of Electric primary in COH. And also running into Galaxy Brains standardised test for Blaster Primaries this has probably compounded that sentiment. I'm here to present a case for Electric Primary, as I've not only been playing electric primary for quite a few years I've noticed a trend within the game and outside of it.

Nobody seems to use electric for its purpose.
(edit I accidentally submitted this topic before I even finished it)

This is entirely a PVE oriented write-up and does not consider pvp benefits or drawbacks.


City of heroes, as we all know, is an incredibly dynamic game that allows players to enjoy the game how they see fit. You can create a mix of powers to play how you want. You CAN be a low-powered hero who only helps out in C-list level threats. You can practically be an immortal demi-god that can take on pretty much any challenge. But in this pursuit there are definitely sets and powers that people disregard, and electric is one of them.

Electric Primary is a generally ranged power set (as most primary's) that appears at first glance to be all about endurance draining, but most would-be electric blasters will find it doesn't actually effectively accomplish this. The most effective endurance drainers leaves enemies with endurance left over in many cases that still allows them to BLOW. YOU. UP. And this is of course NOT IDEAL.

Like many may have already surmised Electric primary isn't meant to be paired with Electric alone. This is where the secondary power comes in and where City of Heroes allows powers that are considered "Under performers" to excel.

Meet: /Energy. The Secondary that actually allows Elec Primary to do what it was meant to do. Drain endurance.


Power boost is the electric blasters friend.

Power boost takes that Short-circuit and turns it into a "No more attacks for you" button. This single power takes Electric from Mediocre to Overbearing in PVE. You can shut down entire groups in Solo play or Group play for LONG periods of time. A well enhanced blaster can also Chain it to perma drain tougher enemies like Elite bosses making their time actively doing damage near 0.


Time for -recov - YouTube
 

In custom mission or large open missions with Huge Enemy caps Short-circuit may come up a little ...short. And this is where attacks like Thunderous Blast comes in. Combined with Power boost it's your second biggest end drain (second only because of TB's recharge time. It's stronger end-drain than Short Circuit) and your biggest AOE. This generally shuts entire groups down immediately, and because TB does not Knock-back or launch enemies, follow up attacks are pretty much guaranteed. Power-boost. Thunderous. Ball Lightning. and you're looking at a Boss with 0 endurance and a slither of health left. If they're alive.

 

image.png.57c116ffd3896973b11d7e379e121f4e.png
"But Gatling Enemies only need a slither of Endurance to attack"
Again this is a dire miscommunication of the effectiveness of Short-circuit and TB. Other moves in the Electric arsenal do not really prevent enemies from recovering their endurance. But Short-circuit/TB DOES and not for a short time either. For 15 seconds. That's not only plenty of time to kill an entire group, that's enough time to use short circuit again. Shutting down endurance recovery again.
image.thumb.png.ef67d34b1d6b8913d01540f1101a16cc.png
This combination takes Electric primary from middle of the pack, to a buttery smooth experience with little threat to the group. Additionally it's not mixed-in with Smashing damage so you will find fewer enemies resisting your DPS. And if you Do find you're lacking a little bit of Oomph, Energy melee attacks + Power boost also make you a stun DPS machine. You can stun EB's and SOME Av's too.

P.S.: Some additional benefits!
Enemies with No endurance means Archetypes that don't get to enjoy being in the middle of the pack can roam more freely. So you will find that Defenders and controllers will have an easier time actively attacking and debuffing freely with less stress.


All in all, despite this wordy rant, please remember City of Heroes is a game that allows you to mix and match. Try not to judge a Cape by their Primary.

Edited by Gatling
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4 minutes ago, Chelsea Rorec said:

You are preaching to the choir here.

Elec/elec on excelsior at lvl 40 atm

Got one on Torchbearer at 50

 

Love it.

 

I'm also on Torchbearer! Go go Electric!

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Admittedly I play Elec on Sentinels where it has obvious advantages, but I could not agree more.

 

I feel end drain pays a heavy tax in perception, in that the tick of end the enemy finally gets and attacks is easy to notice, while the time during which the enemy was out of end and under -recovery may require active attention.

 

One could argue this is similar to -recharge effects. But -recharge often comes with movement slows, and because you clearly see the slow running of enemies, it is easier to convince yourself -recharge is working.

In that light, it would be nice if enemies at 0 end had a distinct visual effect way more obvious than an empty blue bar, to let players know this is happening. I'm willing to bet this would quell much of the complaints against the supposed inefficiency of endurance drain.

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I remember my first time pvp in coh. I'd fallen in love with ice tanking and was hangin out in pocket d trying to figure out how to get in the cage when a player asked if i fancied a cage match...guess what he was running. 1 power boosted attack chain later and i faceplanted. 0 energy 0 recovery. i made 2 elec/elec blasters, one on torch and one on everlasting i can't believe i forgot to make an elec/energy. Thanks for the post and reminding me how great they are for both pve and pvp. Elec blast was my favourite for years but its a little harder to keep up with teams nowadays by the time i'm hitting short circuit and it finishes animating teams onto another mob. So i really like the new dynamo option in /elec it seems to pop off damage numbers depending on how much extra endurance you have while keeping your endurance filled but i don't think elec/elec can come close to elec/energy for the drain which is a bit odd but also kinda cool. Good post thanks for reminding me of some memoreis of live and that i should be rolling one right about....now. 

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17 hours ago, Meknomancer said:

I remember my first time pvp in coh. I'd fallen in love with ice tanking and was hangin out in pocket d trying to figure out how to get in the cage when a player asked if i fancied a cage match...guess what he was running. 1 power boosted attack chain later and i faceplanted. 0 energy 0 recovery. i made 2 elec/elec blasters, one on torch and one on everlasting i can't believe i forgot to make an elec/energy. Thanks for the post and reminding me how great they are for both pve and pvp. Elec blast was my favourite for years but its a little harder to keep up with teams nowadays by the time i'm hitting short circuit and it finishes animating teams onto another mob. So i really like the new dynamo option in /elec it seems to pop off damage numbers depending on how much extra endurance you have while keeping your endurance filled but i don't think elec/elec can come close to elec/energy for the drain which is a bit odd but also kinda cool. Good post thanks for reminding me of some memoreis of live and that i should be rolling one right about....now. 

It is quite strange how elec/energy is the best end drainer, and a bit counter intuitive (Which explains why there aren't that many elec/energy).
While I usually don't need to use short-circuit in normal groups. I do use it a lot in high level high volume content. It depends a lot on the group. If it's a super high DPS group I probably only need to throw a Ball lightning and then A couple zaps to the boss or an energy melee combo. But sometimes groups get over-zealous and underestimate the contribution you make to damage mitigation (And or entirely ignore it).

I forgot what Rikti storyline it was, but there was an area of Extremely high density high level enemies and they ran ahead of me while I sorted some stuff out in real life. Everybody died except 1 Brute (or was it a scrapper? I think my friend was with me and it was him, I forget.  I went into the room, 1 TB and I cleared what was left of the room. If I had been there initially nobody would have died. While it was my fault for being partially AFK I do find people just don't care that I'm doing anything. But sometimes you do catch people who notice, and it feels good to be appreciated.

Edited by Gatling
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I think the real issue is replacing the higher end ST blast with that lame voltaic sentinel 

 

Other than that it would be so much better. 

 

The effects are of course, awesome. 

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If done right and built for it, Endurance Drain can be very effective.

If not done right, it's completely ineffective.

Meanwhile, -ToHit or more damage is always useful, and you don't have to set up specific combinations and power uses. That's the real complain about endurance drain.

 

I run Electric on a Sentinel and also Electric Control, so I didn't feel the need for an Electric Blast character... but if I did, then either Poison (for the -Recover from Poison Trap) or Energy Manipulation would be the ideal sets to pair with it. Because then endurance drain turns from "didn't matter because the damage killed the mob before I drained it" to "I shut them all down in 5 seconds, even though it took me 20 to kill them all".

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I love the electric blast primary.  My main on live was Electric/Electric, mostly because he was my first character but also because he was fun.  I inevitably learned how to actually play him effectively.  I remember doing a TF with a group of five and I was always leaping in at the start of combat and draining.  After the final mission I was complimented for my blapping/draining.  That was a good day.  You don't usually get noticed for that sort of contribution. Of course there were a couple of times that I bit off too much, but that is part of blasting.

 

Electric/Energy is a little bit of a different animal but just as much fun and effective.  /Energy power boost is a very valuable tool and may be the best reason for taking that secondary.  It can be a game changer.

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First blaster I ever had was Elec/Nrg/Elec. She was pretty awesome and I have mostly duplicated her on Torchbearer. MOF, Nemu replied to my request for help with the build (here in this forum) and the build has worked extremely well. I do not go in with the goal of draining enemies, but it can be a nice side effect especially if someone else on the team is also doing a drain. I did go Musculature Radial Paragon for alpha and picked up pre-emptive for the Interface slot.

 

She is a beast and is a lot of fun to play.

 

 

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16 hours ago, ranevan said:

I have an electric/fire primarily because I made a "jedi/sith" style character with fire sword melee attacks and force lightning. 🙂

Even more Sith(tm) is Ninja secondary with lightsaber Katana model and sound FX mod that makes it sound like a Lightsaber, just sayin....

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5 hours ago, brasilgringo said:

Even more Sith(tm) is Ninja secondary with lightsaber Katana model and sound FX mod that makes it sound like a Lightsaber, just sayin....

I really have to make one of those.

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My main on live was an Elec/Elec/Elec blaster that was a blast. I can relate to @TNT's experience where teams would actually take notice of my Sapping and Blapping, and it's awesome.

 

That said, as @Gatlingalluded to by mentioning me... it is a very odd set when you look at it by itself. My testing does not take secondaries into account on purpose to isolate just the primary performance and it sort of shines a light on the main issue with Elec: you *need* to synergize with it for it to work.

 

As @Coyote said, -End is all or nothing. So, if you have Elec/ by itself... outside of Thunderous Blast it's got nothing..... sorta

 

image.png.165a2eb63f5e955d8cd5c9b43d5caa70.png

 

The graph above I made many moons ago and it details each Elec Blast power with 95% Damage enhancement and 33% End Mod enhancement. The left side shows the damage dealt, the right the % drained. In between is the % of damage dealt to each rank of enemy per power, if the portion is Green then you will deal more damage than you drain when using this power on an enemy, if it is Red then you Drain more than you Damage per hit. For most powers on a Blaster, you WILL kill Minions and LT's (the majority of enemies on screen) before you drain them if you do not have a 1-2 combo to drain with. On bosses and above, you will drain faster than you damage on average. Though lets break that down a bit more. 

 

On average, Defiance will give you about ~15% sustained damage buff, lets apply that and look at the % values of the attacks you zap a boss with:

 

image.png.99c93770bd1f0f927b21ba1ea72580b5.png

 

If you happen to have Thunderous Blast on deck and open with that, and you are mopping up the boss after with SC, then sure you will likely keep them pinned. But lets say you and just 1v1'ing a boss and dont have your very-slowly animating nuke on deck.  Running through each power, Charged Bolts could be used twice and Voltaic Sentinel can fire about 4 times if it fires at the same time as your first shot, taking around 11.24 seconds total (ignoring arcanatime for right now), using Tesla Cage in there as well as Zapp Combat version, we're looking at:

 

54% damage dealt on Boss, 27% damage dealt to an EB in 11.24s

 

If you lead with SC, then you will deal 103%  Drain to both within ~8s as Sparky will help simultaneously. If you do not lead with SC, it will take roughly 11.24s like above.

 

If you enhance end drain by 95% on all powers, the fastest will be in about 4 seconds if you have VS active as SC = Charged Bolts with VS hitting twice during that time should drain 101.4%. 

 

Using some of the new Enhancement sets that boost End Drain AND Damage will pretty much get you somewhere between 4s and 11s vs a single target. Sounds great!

 

 

 

But, this requires you to land multiple attacks on a single guy in quick succession before you get your payoff, which with the best case still has a random 5% chance to fail, and at worst.... well you're working with Voltaic Sentinel who has ADHD if there is more than 1 guy in range and a limited duration + lengthy resummon combo. Time is the BIG factor here as you do need to survive for X amount of seconds vs a boss before your secondary effect kicks in, which depending on the encounter can be daunting. Remember, the purple patch effects all effects vs enemies so at +4 your Damage and End drain are reduced to 0.48x effect!

 

Other effects are available immediately and get better as you stack through a fight such as -Rech/-ToHit. On top of this, they are usually attached to sets with powers that deal a bit more damage per hit and/or animate faster than needing a 3 second close/mid range power to apply the effect / weird pseudo-pet. Comparing it to say, Ice/Psy/Dark Blast, all of those get immediately useful stacking debuffs per hit, on top of proper t3 blasts they can control AND mez blasts that deal real damage. They each also have more effects than Elec Blast does with Psy and Dark having AoE knocks that are up very reliably, Ice having movement slows and an AoE fear (kinda) to keep distance, and dark also having an AoE immobilize + a self heal alongside a comparable Nuke in Blackstar that at least hits faster than either SC or Thunderous Blast and applies -35% ToHit in an AoE even on a Blaster-Scale. 

 

This is circumvented if you can pair Elec with /Elec or /Energy in order to stack Power Sink/Lightning Field + SC, or Power Boost and SC, but that makes basically every other secondary choice sub par for this one primary, while the other sets mentioned can enjoy them + the other secondaries just about the same if not more due to not needing a "Strict" synergy for their secondary/main effects to work, as well as bringing more to the table. In my latest test Elec did outperform Ice/Psy/Dark in x8 missions, but that was also while I was invincible and so the end drain and secondaries didn't matter... and at that point you'd shoot for higher offense. 

 

As for End Drain's effect of "oh, 1 tick and they can do everything!", this is due to enemies not using 100 endurance:

 

image.png.f451fe9adbe0ab412ac8b11e7003af08.png

 

I didn't include AV's in the other chart as their 85% resistance to Drain AND -Rec makes it silly, and the massive HP means everything would be like 1% lol.

 

What we see here with the different endurance amounts normally doesn't actually matter since all end drain we use is % based. Charged Bolts will drain the same portion of End from a Minion or an EB. What's different is actually what is the same funnily enough: Recovery and Endurance Costs. Enemies have the same recovery values and endurance costs for powers as we do, its just they nor only cycle through attacks slower but each tick of their endurance brings back far more fuel due to their different pools. Focusing on a Boss, each tick of their recovery is about 2x as strong as our's, so lets say if a player recovers 5 end they would recover 10, allowing them to use some of their bigger powers even with a sliver of end recovered. An Elite boss cranks that up to 8 times, with 1 tick giving 40 endurance and letting them use even the hungriest of powers. Below bosses don't really matter here as they should be dead before drained in most cases.

 

 

Well, that was longer than I thought but to sum everything up though, Elec Blast should be great on paper and it does have great strengths. Attacks generally hit instantly which is a rare perk, and when everything lines up it can do really cool things! Its just the on-paper version where you rely on Voltaic Sentinel + slow animating or bad DPA powers to accomplish these things can be tricky to say the least where other sets can be just as if not more effective given similar circumstances. Yes, if you pair it right this task becomes a lot easier but that is almost gimmick status to me where on the flip side elec is "Bad" if you do not pair it right.

 

 

 

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I've had a lot of fun with an elec/mental. Drain psyche helps with sapping but importantly it also massively boosts your survival while doing so. You won't sap as quickly as an /energy or /elec but I think it's safer overall.

 

On the subject of elec blast and its lower damage. Yes it does lag behind other sets but I'm strongly of the opinion that all blasters do plenty of damage. The trick is surviving long enough to output that damage. Having so much damage that you burn everything to the ground before they can harm you is one way to go but not the only way. Elec has been helped enormously by the fast snipe changes and given a melee power or two from the secondary does just fine.

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After seeing an elec/nrg blaster teammate keeping mobs drained, it rekindled my interest in playing a drain blaster. Below is an electric / nrg / electric blaster build that can hopefully be "crowdsourced" to make it better. 

 

Power boost is up over half the time, with power boosted vengeance, power boosted energize, and power boosted drains (and defense) all being possible for much of the time. 

 

Feedback to make the build stronger is highly welcome!

 

Hero Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer 2.6.0.7
https://github.com/ImaginaryDevelopment/imaginary-hero-designer

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Shock Jock: Level 50 Magic Blaster
Primary Power Set: Electrical Blast
Secondary Power Set: Energy Manipulation
Power Pool: Flight
Power Pool: Fighting
Power Pool: Speed
Power Pool: Leadership
Ancillary Pool: Electrical Mastery

Hero Profile:
Level 1: Lightning Bolt -- SprBlsWrt-Acc/Dmg(A), SprBlsWrt-Dmg/Rchg(15), SprBlsWrt-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(23), SprBlsWrt-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(25), SprBlsWrt-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(25), SprBlsWrt-Rchg/Dmg%(27)
Level 1: Power Thrust -- OvrFrc-Dam/KB(A), FrcFdb-Rechg%(48)
Level 2: Ball Lightning -- SprDfnBrr-Acc/Dmg(A), SprDfnBrr-Dmg/Rchg(5), SprDfnBrr-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(11), SprDfnBrr-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(13), SprDfnBrr-Rchg/+Status Protect(13), Ann-ResDeb%(15)
Level 4: Build Up -- HO:Cyto(A)
Level 6: Short Circuit -- SynSck-EndMod/+RunSpeed(A), SynSck-Dam/Rech(7), SynSck-EndMod/Rech(7), SynSck-Dam/Acc/End(9), SynSck-Dam/Rech/Acc(9), FuroftheG-ResDeb%(11)
Level 8: Aim -- RctRtc-Pcptn(A)
Level 10: Hover -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), Ksm-ToHit+(43), ShlWal-ResDam/Re TP(46), Rct-ResDam%(48)
Level 12: Zapp -- StnoftheM-Dmg/EndRdx(A), StnoftheM-Dmg/ActRdx/Rchg(27), StnoftheM-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(29), StnoftheM-Acc/Dmg(29), StnoftheM-Dam%(31), GldJvl-Dam%(31)
Level 14: Boxing -- SprBlsCol-Acc/Dmg(A), SprBlsCol-Dmg/EndRdx(34), SprBlsCol-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(48), SprBlsCol-Dmg/EndRdx/Acc/Rchg(50), SprBlsCol-Rchg/HoldProc(50)
Level 16: Energize -- Prv-Heal(A), Prv-Heal/EndRdx(17), Prv-EndRdx/Rchg(17), Prv-Heal/Rchg(19), Prv-Heal/Rchg/EndRdx(19), Prv-Absorb%(21)
Level 18: Tesla Cage -- GhsWdwEmb-Acc/EndRdx(A), GhsWdwEmb-Dam%(37), UnbCns-Dam%(40), GldNet-Dam%(42), NrnSht-Dam%(43), GldJvl-Dam/End/Rech(43)
Level 20: Hasten -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(21)
Level 22: Tough -- StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(A), GldArm-3defTpProc(23)
Level 24: Weave -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(31)
Level 26: Maneuvers -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A)
Level 28: Power Boost -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 30: Tactics -- HO:Cyto(A)
Level 32: Thunderous Blast -- Rgn-Dmg(A), Rgn-Dmg/Rchg(33), Rgn-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(33), Rgn-Dmg/EndRdx(33), Rgn-Knock%(34), SynSck-EndMod/Rech(34)
Level 35: Shocking Bolt -- GhsWdwEmb-Acc/EndRdx(A), GhsWdwEmb-Dam%(36), GldJvl-Dam/End/Rech(36), GldNet-Dam%(36), NrnSht-Dam%(37), SprEnt-Rchg/AbsorbProc(37)
Level 38: Bone Smasher -- Hct-Dmg(A), Hct-Dmg/Rchg(39), Hct-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(39), Hct-Dmg/EndRdx(39), Hct-Dam%(40), Mk'Bit-Dam%(40)
Level 41: Charged Armor -- UnbGrd-Max HP%(A), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx(42), UnbGrd-ResDam(42)
Level 44: Voltaic Sentinel -- ExpRnf-Acc/Dmg(A), ExpRnf-Dmg/EndRdx(45), ExpRnf-EndRdx/Dmg/Rchg(45), ExpRnf-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(45), SlbAll-Build%(46), PrfShf-End%(46)
Level 47: Super Speed -- BlsoftheZ-Travel/EndRdx(A), BlsoftheZ-ResKB(50)
Level 49: Vengeance -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A)
Level 1: Brawl -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Defiance 
Level 1: Quick Form 
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 -- Flight-I(A)
Level 2: Health -- Pnc-Heal/+End(A), NmnCnv-Regen/Rcvry+(3), Mrc-Rcvry+(3)
Level 2: Hurdle -- Jump-I(A)
Level 2: Stamina -- PrfShf-End%(A), PrfShf-EndMod(5)
Level 50: Musculature Radial Paragon 
Level 50: Pyronic Core Final Judgement 
Level 50: Reactive Radial Flawless Interface 
Level 50: Vanguard Radial Superior Ally 
Level 50: Clarion Core Epiphany 
Level 50: Assault Radial Embodiment 
------------

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On 1/26/2021 at 4:30 AM, Galaxy Brain said:

That said, as @Gatlingalluded to by mentioning me... it is a very odd set when you look at it by itself. My testing does not take secondaries into account on purpose to isolate just the primary performance and it sort of shines a light on the main issue with Elec: you *need* to synergize with it for it to work.

I will say, this is definitely why I made sure to point out /energy.  I have absolutely no issues with end draining. SC is over 100% by default WITHOUT Power boost, and enemies who have end drain resistance cannot stand up to the power boosted version.

 

On 1/26/2021 at 4:30 AM, Galaxy Brain said:

Charged Bolts could be used twice and Voltaic Sentinel can fire about 4 times if it fires at the same time as your first shot, taking around 11.24 seconds total (ignoring arcanatime for right now), using Tesla Cage in there as well as Zapp Combat version, we're looking at:

I do not use Voltaic sentinel or Tesla Cage.

This is where I strongly feel COH Cannot be judged appropriately on a primary set alone. Secondary's especially secondaries like Energy Completely replace these Powers from needing to be used. They're single target and low reliability.

Also if you're talking Number crunching, This is where stuff gets even more convoluted. Because COH isn't just theory crafting, it's practice.

Lets remove Complications for now as I am writing this during works lunch break and i'm running out of time.

Elec damage has a huge bonus (And also technically a huge negative) to its damage, as it is ALL energy damage. (excluding TB)
If you take a Base Ice blast vs a Base elec blast they do the same damage on Paper (same recharge time, same damage, same activation time etc). But in practice Ice does Less damage to most enemy types. Because Ice has smashing damage mixed in. Most enemies have higher smashing resistance than energy/elemental resistances. This gets even more pronounced with the tier 2 powers. Ice blast vs Lightning Bolt. Factor in that Ice blast has travel time vs Lightning Bolt does not, and you're looking at a completely different scenario for both blasters.

  • Positioning
  • Time to kill at certain distances
  • Damage received
  • DPS solo
  • DPS in groups

Keep in mind I'm not saying these things as if you do not know this. We all know this, but this is where things get so Murky the number crunching begins to go out the window.
Power interactions and synergy is one of the main driving forces behind Hero effectiveness.

Take Ice storm vs  Ball Lightning AOE set up. (lvl 50 enhanced primary only)

Elec (+Aim):
Rush into group before AI alpha's
Short circuit + Ball Lightning
(You can also reverse this while hovering and Shortcircuit before they aggro and shortcircuit again after SC. Only really works with hovering or flight)

This will not only kill all the minions but end drain absolutely everything to 0. There is no massive alpha damage (This does depend on some Enemy groups. as some alpha very quickly and some like to stare at you). you are free to DPS.

Ice Blaster Cannot do this with their primary.

Ice (+Aim)
If you open with Ice storm. You WILL get alpha'd, and hit with a second volley. In a big enough group. You die.
If you open with Frost breath. You WILL get alpha'd and hit with a second volley. In a big enough group. You die.

ice Storm aggro's enemy on cast.
Ice storm into Frost breath has to be at a range where you can actually cone Frost breath.
This puts you at massive risk.
Blizzard also does this (but is strong enough to kill minions very quickly so its less of a risk, but bosses can still cut a Blaster down)

In a group however, this is absolutely not an issue.

I've failed pretty bad at quoting your posts but the above argument is: On paper things seem good, in practice it never really turns out that way. And in practice other blaster sets just have not delivered to the heights people have been touting.

P.S. Thank you for your concise and detailed explanations. While I do not agree with the conclusion, on paper the numbers are very well represented thank you. Maybe run with me some time on Torchbearer?

On 1/26/2021 at 4:21 AM, Wravis said:

Electric Blast does bad damage but can drain endurance well IF paired with Energy? I'd say it deserves its bad rep still.

If you actually look at the base numbers. Power-for-power (For same type of powers) The base damage is the same.
then factor in resistances and then quirks. and you're looking at very similar numbers. Especially with how secondaries flatten that damage difference curve. Again, only fire truly has crazy DPS because of the fire tick chance and that is still included in the Over-all DPS so it isn't actually THAT crazy. And that is only in small groups or solo, because in large groups Killing a group in .3 seconds with one team configuration vs killing a group in .3 seconds in another is not a good way to justify build snobbery.

Same goes for NOVA's. Killing 15 minions and Lieutenants and having 1 boss survive your Thunderous vs Killing 15 minions and lieutenants and having 1 boss survive your inferno. Is the same thing. Only Thunderous will also have the Boss standing around doing nothing. But in a group. that boss is already dead.


Edit edit edit:
A lot of people have pointed out how crappy Voltaic and Tesla cage is, and they really are. I do not use these moves at all already. Perhaps they can be moved and replaced with something more suitable and reliable in a rework of sorts (Emphasis on Of sorts, I do not think Elec needs that much tweaking)?

Edited by Gatling
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1 hour ago, Gatling said:

I will say, this is definitely why I made sure to point out /energy.  I have absolutely no issues with end draining. SC is over 100% by default WITHOUT Power boost, and enemies who have end drain resistance cannot stand up to the power boosted version.

This is false. SC at base is -35% end drain. With essentially max enhancement, it can be boosted to about -70%. Very few enemies in the game outside AVs have specifically end drain res to boot.

 

 

1 hour ago, Gatling said:

 

I do not use Voltaic sentinel or Tesla Cage.

This is where I strongly feel COH Cannot be judged appropriately on a primary set alone. Secondary's especially secondaries like Energy Completely replace these Powers from needing to be used. They're single target and low reliability.

It cannot be judged 100% alone no, but you have to look at the pairings. Every other blast set "works" paired with every secondary, but Elec Blast essentially NEEDS 2 secondaries else it doesn't "work". If elec blast is "bad" unless you go out of your way to pair it with only 1/7th the available secondary sets... that is an issue.

 

 

1 hour ago, Gatling said:

 

Also if you're talking Number crunching, This is where stuff gets even more convoluted. Because COH isn't just theory crafting, it's practice.

Lets remove Complications for now as I am writing this during works lunch break and i'm running out of time.

Elec damage has a huge bonus (And also technically a huge negative) to its damage, as it is ALL energy damage. (excluding TB)


If you take a Base Ice blast vs a Base elec blast they do the same damage on Paper (same recharge time, same damage, same activation time etc). But in practice Ice does Less damage to most enemy types. Because Ice has smashing damage mixed in. Most enemies have higher smashing resistance than energy/elemental resistances. This gets even more pronounced with the tier 2 powers. Ice blast vs Lightning Bolt. Factor in that Ice blast has travel time vs Lightning Bolt does not, and you're looking at a completely different scenario for both blasters.

  • Positioning
  • Time to kill at certain distances
  • Damage received
  • DPS solo
  • DPS in groups

Keep in mind I'm not saying these things as if you do not know this. We all know this, but this is where things get so Murky the number crunching begins to go out the window.
Power interactions and synergy is one of the main driving forces behind Hero effectiveness.

This is true, for the T1 and T2 powers. Where it goes out the window though is when you look at Freeze Ray, Bitter Ice Blast, etc, in conjunction with the rest of Ice Blast's kit. The fact that elec blast attacks hit instantly is actually really cool, as is the pure energy Damage... its just that those X factors only apply on the "basic" attacks that all blast sets get while the rest is questionable.

 

 

1 hour ago, Gatling said:

Take Ice storm vs  Ball Lightning AOE set up. (lvl 50 enhanced primary only)

Elec (+Aim):
Rush into group before AI alpha's
Short circuit + Ball Lightning
(You can also reverse this while hovering and Shortcircuit before they aggro and shortcircuit again after SC. Only really works with hovering or flight)

This will not only kill all the minions but end drain absolutely everything to 0. There is no massive alpha damage (This does depend on some Enemy groups. as some alpha very quickly and some like to stare at you). you are free to DPS.

Ice Blaster Cannot do this with their primary.

Ice (+Aim)
If you open with Ice storm. You WILL get alpha'd, and hit with a second volley. In a big enough group. You die.
If you open with Frost breath. You WILL get alpha'd and hit with a second volley. In a big enough group. You die.

ice Storm aggro's enemy on cast.
Ice storm into Frost breath has to be at a range where you can actually cone Frost breath.
This puts you at massive risk.
Blizzard also does this (but is strong enough to kill minions very quickly so its less of a risk, but bosses can still cut a Blaster down)

In a group however, this is absolutely not an issue.

I've failed pretty bad at quoting your posts but the above argument is: On paper things seem good, in practice it never really turns out that way. And in practice other blaster sets just have not delivered to the heights people have been touting.

P.S. Thank you for your concise and detailed explanations. While I do not agree with the conclusion, on paper the numbers are very well represented thank you. Maybe run with me some time on Torchbearer?

If you actually look at the base numbers. Power-for-power (For same type of powers) The base damage is the same.
then factor in resistances and then quirks. and you're looking at very similar numbers. Especially with how secondaries flatten that damage difference curve. Again, only fire truly has crazy DPS because of the fire tick chance and that is still included in the Over-all DPS so it isn't actually THAT crazy. And that is only in small groups or solo, because in large groups Killing a group in .3 seconds with one team configuration vs killing a group in .3 seconds in another is not a good way to justify build snobbery.

Same goes for NOVA's. Killing 15 minions and Lieutenants and having 1 boss survive your Thunderous vs Killing 15 minions and lieutenants and having 1 boss survive your inferno. Is the same thing. Only Thunderous will also have the Boss standing around doing nothing. But in a group. that boss is already dead.

 

There is a lot of nuance that goes into it for sure, but as somebody who has run every blast primary with the clear intent to make them compete against each other across hundreds of missions.... Elec Blast has base issues. 

 

Fire, Dual Pistols, Rad Blast, Water Blast, Archery, Beam Rifle, and possibly Energy and Dark Blast with adjustments (mitigated KB) all performed better than Elec Blast across multiple tests where I simulated x8 "team" content to measure offense, which included mobs + boss fights to test AoE and ST output. For defense, Elec Blast *NEEDS* to be paired with Power Boost or Power Sink to "work" in the split seconds where you are either fine or defeated, while other blast sets can either out-damage it in AoE or have better immediate side effects like Knockdowns/ToHit/Slow. The ST damage is also very poor in practice, though in longer fights it does have an edge if you can maintain the drain.

 

Its weird, come to think of it the set relies VERY hard on SC to do it's thing while the rest of the attacks really do not do much when it comes to Sapping, and since Sapping is really only relevant when enemies are at 0% for extended periods it turns into that synergy catch 22. Its ok, awesome even that Elec/ pairs amazingly with /Elec and /Nrg, but it is not cool that it in contrast flounders with other secondaries by comparison while all other primaries can basically do "their thing" without *needing* synergy. 

 

I am not saying elec is *awful* by any means. It's a blast to play when it works, and especially paired with Elec or Energy as mentioned in the OP. Like I said, my main for a long time was an elec3 blaster! However, it is a shame that Elec blast is one of the few sets in CoH that gets kind of shoehorned into needing synergy while other sets are in the camp of "oh cool! We synergize and it's better" instead of "oh, I need to pair this with something that clicks else it is worse". Those both sound like two different ways to say the same thing, but the difference is there.

 

On top of this, Elec's AoEs tend to take a bit more time to apply their damage due to DoT's, and the lack of a "true" 3rd blast hurts the set (Tesla Cage buff pls). Sparky is unreliable as you said, and the end drain is super focused on one power. Honestly the set could get by with basically "Number Tweaks" where:

 

  • Tesla Cage buffed to be a "real" attack. Even if it's similar damage to the T1/T2 that'd be a big boost.
  • Voltaic Sentinel should be more user friendly. The guy works when he works, but the short timer + long cast time (on a power that is perma out of the box) is compounded by how he likes to target random people / has issues following you around. Either it should just last way longer/be a toggle, or maybe allow multiple of them and keep the other downsides.
  • the DoT application on the AoE's sped up a tad (3s and 4s for Ball and SC, shorten those by half?)
  • End drain across the set should be more consistent, or at least offer more "Key Drain" powers. Thunderous is awesome here but is not up all the time, SC is up more often but you gotta get closer / animation time / you still need another power to pair with it. If Elec Blast's "Aim" was changed to "Charge Up" or something, where it lost some +ToHit in exchange for +End Mod that'd be cool, or even take away some of the end mod from SC and TB and give it to the other powers so that combined it makes more sense?

 

To me it just feels like a set that's *almost* there.

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3 hours ago, Galaxy Brain said:

This is false. SC at base is -35% end drain. With essentially max enhancement, it can be boosted to about -70%. Very few enemies in the game outside AVs have specifically end drain res to boot.

You're right, I meant I have mine boosted over 100% (Which is 75.25%) pair that with a Ball lightning and it gets the job done. But I generally don't use it without power boost. Which highlights the issue you said.  The primary relies on Power boost.

I guess in a lot of ways I've played Elec/Energy so Long I disregard the third blast. Because I always end drain in an instant and nothing recovers from it. In a lot of ways it's a Bit over powered in most situations. PB-SC and all you took was a tiny amount of damage. But without PB you're looking at a ton of incoming damage regardless.

However, that is also why I wanted to make this post. Elec is so underrated, I do my job extremely well, but often get ignored or disregarded in coordinated attacks in high level difficult content. Sometimes groups do not realise they are surviving because I've been 100% end draining those mega pulls. And will attack groups without me only to end up face down. But in the end, I do agree. /Energy is definitely pulling my weight. and My Blapper status kinda seals that deal.

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  • 3 weeks later
On 1/25/2021 at 5:25 PM, brasilgringo said:

Even more Sith(tm) is Ninja secondary with lightsaber Katana model and sound FX mod that makes it sound like a Lightsaber, just sayin....

I made my toon based off a character I had from before CoV was a thing, and I like my blade burning through people.  But I did just look at the katana customizations, and I think I know the next villain I'll make. 🙂  Pardon me while I go make a toon 🙂

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I have a question about the fabled Power Boost + Short Circuit technique --

 

I have a lvl 40 elec/energy, and my Short Circuit is even 3-slotted with lvl 40 end mods (I'll change em later), so Short Circuit drains 69% (gig) of end before Power Boost.

 

Power Boost should increase that by 78% or something, taking end drain over 100%. 

 

But I'm finding even with these enhancements, it's not enough to completely 100% drain even an orange minion. I have to couple it with Ball Lightning. And I can't even drain reds/purps when adding Ball Lightning.

 

Is this working as intended? I was under the impression this combo could just knock out people with Short Circuit -- but is that ONLY for white groups and with a max end-mod-enhanced Short Circuit? Is it something that only works at lvl 50? I won't be getting -that- much more out of Power Boost at 50...

 

Your video shows the attack on a green lieut, Lord Gatling... if the secret techniques are only meant to be used on white enemies, surely they'd have all melted before the circuit could be shorted?

 

Guidance would be appreciated, oh demigods of sappage. How can I reliably sap red groups as an elec/energy? Is this not what was meant? Don't we fight red groups, though?

Edited by AxerJ
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3 hours ago, AxerJ said:

But I'm finding even with these enhancements, it's not enough to completely 100% drain even an orange minion. I have to couple it with Ball Lightning. And I can't even drain reds/purps when adding Ball Lightning.

This is due to the Purple Patch. A +4 enemy will take 0.48x less effect from end drains, so with that 69% boosted by 78% > 122.82% * .48 = 58.95%. It gets better with the lower con, but yeah...

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My main gripes about Electric Blast are the animation times on both Short Circuit and Tesla Cage as well as the Voltanic Sentinel ability as a whole.

 

If you're looking to sap endurance using Electric Blast, I would advise getting Energy, Kinetics, or Poison as your secondary. I have yet to see someone run an Electric/Poison character in-game despite it seemingly having what I believe to be synergy with the sets.

- Poison not only has a Recovery Debuff, available slotting for the -Recovery Proc (It's a -ToHit IO).

- Contains what is essentially a -Power Boost debuff on monsters that will make them more susceptible to secondary effects.

- Both sets are moderately close/short ranged.

 

... and if you're looking for a concept, may I suggest something that revolves around high pH content such as Battery Acid to conduct electricity. 🙂

 

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