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Is Dark Manipulation Doing It Wrong?


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My character history is littered with attempts at making Blasters which invariably bore me and end up discarded somewhere in their 30s. Only on my last attempt did I manage to take one to 50 (Beam/MC). Rather than leave well enough alone, I have foolishly gone back to the well. Only as she reached her mid-20s did I think to wonder what forum wisdom is on the combination Fire/Dark.

 

Turns out there isn't any. 

 

I admit to a bit of misgiving at the thought of having to run in to use Soul Drain (and Dark Consumption) but it came to me, "People make Blappers, cap their defenses, and there is Dark Pit." But I am not going to have IOs at low levels and Dark Pit does not come available until level 35. Figured 35 comes quickly enough and started to play. But still, not a lot any mention of Dark Manipulation outside of Dark/Dark or DP/Dark.

 

Is Dark Manipulation that unloved? Because what few times I've run up on a group and pushed my own damage up by 100% for 30s has me dizzy with joy.

 

What am I missing?

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Dark is most certainly a melee centric set.  But there's no reason for fire to not be in melee as well (pretend fire breath doesn't exist. most of us do.)  Fireball and rain of fire hit in a sphere around a target... and inferno is PBAoE anyway, so with all those powers you can stand in the middle of a spawn and hit 360 degrees around you.   (tip,  hit soul drain before infernal.... and then go ahead and move on to the next spawn because this one is dead.)

 

Also, something I did with my blapper... I turned rain of fire into a PBAoE power with this bind:   /bind 6 powexec_location self Rain of Fire    ...This way I don't have to do an extra mouse-click to set it down... and I don't even have to have a live enemy targeted, it just casts centered on me.  

 

 

 

 

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Lode Monkey - Fire Blast / Energy Manipulation Blaster (Blapper), Flaming Doom Monkey - Shield / Martial Arts Tank, Xero-Ranger Monkey - Energy Melee / Energy Aura Stalker

 

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Reached the level where I got to try to do what drew me to Fire/Dark in the first place. 

 

The following is more test of concept. No doubt I will find strange new ways of committing suicide when trying this against something like Carnies or Malta.

 

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Are you enjoying it? Because if you are then you are most definitely not doing it wrong!

 

No doubt there are 'better' secondaries than dark, but I found it to be great fun and very serviceable - even before they made the sustain power less reliant on hitting its target. Soul Drain, as you point out, is really interesting on a blaster because it lasts for a long time and can provide a big boost when there are several targets. Also, it can be quite a serviceable PBAoE attack by itself, and seeing you are in melee anyway... ☺️ With all the other gadget-y powers that come with it there are a lot of good concepts for a melee focused blaster. 

 

I made one with Radiation Blast last year and it was a lot of fun. You might find some interesting bits in here: 

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I actually ended up going all in, using Spring Attack to zoom in to Drain position, and rounded it out with a PBAoE incarnate nuke as well. Not a lot left after all that. Since that time combat teleport has also come into play (non-damaging, but available much more often).

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Metatheory said:

Are you enjoying it? Because if you are then you are most definitely not doing it wrong!

 

Yeah, I really am. I have had a miserable history with blasters over the years, only taking one to 50 on Homecoming (Beam/MC). This feels as much fun and fires my imagination. Of course being a better IO builder may help a bit on that last bit.

 

6 minutes ago, Metatheory said:

 

No doubt there are 'better' secondaries than dark, but I found it to be great fun and very serviceable - even before they made the sustain power less reliant on hitting its target. Soul Drain, as you point out, is really interesting on a blaster because it lasts for a long time and can provide a big boost when there are several targets. Also, it can be quite a serviceable PBAoE attack by itself, and seeing you are in melee anyway... ☺️ With all the other gadget-y powers that come with it there are a lot of good concepts for a melee focused blaster. 
 

 

Touch of the Beyond surprised me with its significant boosting of Regeneration and Recovery. Its a real perk. Dark Consumption has been useful but I wonder if in the end it will be necessary. Of course that somewhat comes down to the speed at which you/the group moves.

 

As for Soul Drain...oh my. Even just doing Soul Drain without a follow up Inferno, I can tell a real difference in how quickly a spawn melts when using Soul Drain (assuming I hit a nice number of targets). And then there are those times when I do follow up Soul Drain with Inferno. 

 

6 minutes ago, Metatheory said:

 

I made one with Radiation Blast last year and it was a lot of fun. You might find some interesting bits in here: 

 

 

Will definitely check the thread out!

Edited by Erratic1
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18 minutes ago, Metatheory said:

I actually ended up going all in, using Spring Attack to zoom in to Drain position, and rounded it out with a PBAoE incarnate nuke as well. Not a lot left after all that. Since that time combat teleport has also come into play (non-damaging, but available much more often).

 

I guess once one has sufficient defenses to survive long enough to trigger everything while being attacked Combat Teleport would be a real plus. Currently I'm Fly/Hover and sometimes the Hover portion is handy while the one-two is recycling. 

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I think it can be worth thinking about trying to knock the enemy down before you have high melee def available so that you can get time to trigger your attacks without taking return fire. So even though you won't need Dark Consumption really, when you have Touch, you can treat it as an attack with a side effect of replenishing endurance... and it can take an Overwhelming Force chance for KD proc too...

 

Similarly why I included Spring Attack, which inherently does KD. So double chances.

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I made a fire/dark a while back mostly because i love dark melee and damage auras. Softcapped it with mace to s/l/e/f/c which didn't leave a lot of recharge for soul drain but it let me melee the attacks i wanted smite/midnight grasp/death shroud. I realised why i didn't like /dark on blasters, every other secondary the +regen/recovery/absorb etc is a toggle even the new /elec dynamo is better than the /dark one. Its a clicky and while it may have a decent range on it i'm playing in melee anyway and felt like it would be much better as some sort of melee attack but thats not the biggest problem-i'm lazy and it needs monitoring so i tend to overclick it which slows down the dps. Unlike every other dark melee toon it feels lacking somehow possibly because you get used to smite/siphon life/midnight grasp combo and here you are with the wimpy touch of the beyond and its duration is......pitiful. Try remembering to click that every 11-12 seconds and you'll be wishing for any other secondary. It seriously hampers your attack chain.

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On 3/22/2021 at 10:05 AM, Meknomancer said:

I made a fire/dark a while back mostly because i love dark melee and damage auras. Softcapped it with mace to s/l/e/f/c which didn't leave a lot of recharge for soul drain but it let me melee the attacks i wanted smite/midnight grasp/death shroud. I realised why i didn't like /dark on blasters, every other secondary the +regen/recovery/absorb etc is a toggle even the new /elec dynamo is better than the /dark one. Its a clicky and while it may have a decent range on it i'm playing in melee anyway and felt like it would be much better as some sort of melee attack but thats not the biggest problem-i'm lazy and it needs monitoring so i tend to overclick it which slows down the dps. Unlike every other dark melee toon it feels lacking somehow possibly because you get used to smite/siphon life/midnight grasp combo and here you are with the wimpy touch of the beyond and its duration is......pitiful. Try remembering to click that every 11-12 seconds and you'll be wishing for any other secondary. It seriously hampers your attack chain.

 

Oh yikes, I just checked the power and you're right about Touch of the Beyond and its measly duration. To think that nearly everyone else (sans Elec Manipulation?) gets a fire and forget toggle of equivalent value whereas Dark has to constantly refresh their regen/recovery power with a short duration melee-based ability you would think they'd give Dark more oomph to make it worthwhile. I just recently started a young DP/Dark Blaster (barely out of DFB range) that I may have to reconsider. 

 

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I got a energy/dark/soul blaster that let's me essentially play a warshade but on a blaster 🙂

Dark manipulation isn't the strongest secondary imo, and for the most part elec manip just does it better since I personally think Build Up is more valuable for blasters...but I would be lying if i said dark wasn't a damn good aesthetic. Soul Noir costume selection for the win. Edit: I should probably shout out Smite, that power is love.

Dark Manip is a weird secondary but i find it damn good fun. It would have been amazing if the sustain got put onto dark consumption and performed similarly to drain psyche.

Edited by Ratch_
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Thats a great idea but you'd have to lower dark consumptions recharge to match DP  and then add regen/absorb its hard to see that happening and what happens to touch of the beyond. Wishful thinking but it would make it so much more playable.

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It definitely is wishful thinking. Maybe one day though 🙂

To me it is more fitting of a power to become the sustain over Touch. The sustain just feels tacked onto Touch while at least with dark consumption there is some resemblance of sustain already having existed on the power. I can see for consistency's sake Death Shroud just becoming the sustain power but Dark sets to me have always run a bit different and I enjoy keeping them on the more unique side of things

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