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Are melee focused blasters facing an identity crisis, or is that just how you should play?


Blapper, or Just Blaster.  

102 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think Blapping is a subclass or just the way you should play a blaster?

    • Subclass.
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    • Normal Blaster Gameplay.
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There should be another option that just says "Melee focused Blasters are the way you are supposed to play it if it makes you happy."

 

The only thing that matters in this game is to do what makes you happy. If that means playing a melee only Blaster ever other month while eating cookies... then that is the way the game is meant to be played for you.

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2 hours ago, Hopestar said:

Just a general correction, the Sub- prefix of Subclass means "a part or division of", not that it's less.


right-on, man. i'm lookin at it from the definition of "beneath/below, lower rank / secondary level, smaller part of".
good idea to clarify.

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I don’t think Blapping is a sub-class. Blapping also isn’t the normal way to play blasters, otherwise the AT would be called blappers. So I guess my answer is neither. 
 

I tend to view my blasters as primarily ranged but with some situational melee attacks too. I am loathe to describe either ranged or blapping as a ‘playstyle’ tbh, as think it’s up to players to adapt to a character to get the most out of it. I certainly don’t think players should be trying to shoehorn a powerset into a rigid style of play. 

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Feh, I'm not voting on this one simply because my opinion is that playstyle depends both on the player attitude and the construction of the character via power choices and slotting.

 

I also would like to note that with my favorite Blaster, when I am solo I will usually end up "Blapping", but on PUGs it performs much better when he holds back and uses its cones, AoEs and controls to support the team... and if I am being honest, speeding up clear times by drawing distant spawns (via Snipe) towards the area where the fun is.

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1 hour ago, tidge said:

Feh, I'm not voting on this one simply because my opinion is that playstyle depends both on the player attitude and the construction of the character via power choices and slotting.

 

I also would like to note that with my favorite Blaster, when I am solo I will usually end up "Blapping", but on PUGs it performs much better when he holds back and uses its cones, AoEs and controls to support the team... and if I am being honest, speeding up clear times by drawing distant spawns (via Snipe) towards the area where the fun is.

 

Think what you are fighting when solo makes a big difference too. When soloing an AV, for example, you will likely strip them of half their attacks or more if you stay at range. Even with my most robust blasters, there have been times I have tried to go toe-to-toe with an AV and taken too big a hit in melee to last the fight. 

 

For me, melee attacks on blasters are very situational. Great, but situational. 

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Way I've always viewed Blasters was high risk and high reward.  You have all these high damage powers that, coupled with fairly low Health, puts you constantly in a state of kill or be killed.  Unlike my scrappers who just wade in and smash things with little concern for tactics or even self preservation since the high defense and high damage basically make those cruise-control kinds of toons.  

 

However, with the last couple of Live releases and the IO sets, plus a bunch of stuff Homecoming tweaked, Blaster's are far more defense oriented.  I don't think I have single blaster in my stable of AT's that isn't at least softcapped to S/L/E or Ranged, and most have very high resists and regen/recovery as well.  So blapping is NOT the risk it once was.  Blasters still aren't scrapper-easy AT's to play, but they are far more durable than they were pre-issue 15 or so.

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1 hour ago, DarknessEternal said:

And then still do less damage than Scrappers.

They do less single target damage. In actual game play, they deal significantly more AE damage due to the ultimates. Because the ultimates cram so much damage into such a narrow window of time, you can benefit from both Aim & Build Up while burning off the long recharge between spawns.

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8 hours ago, DarknessEternal said:

And then still do less damage than Scrappers.


I’ve seen the arguments but having played many kinds of each it’s not universally true.  A War Mace scrapper will deal a lot more ST damage than an AR blaster using just their respective ST attacks perhaps but that’s not the entire story.  And since it’s a very old argument I’ll leave that subject for other threads to tackle.

 

But I play my blasters for the unique play style that they enable.  Fast, agile, dash in for blipping, spin and throw a bolt of something over your shoulder as you kite around corner, drop a nuke/rain on the mobs that are dumb enough to follow, then BuildUp and snipe that one fool that is thinking he will get away.  There’s not much else I’ve found that even closely resembles this play style other than maybe Corruptors and Defenders built for DPS but even they don’t feel the same as a well tuned blaster.  And vs my scrappers, the ability to engage equally at range and melee adds a whole third dimension to game play.

 

I mean we have virtually unlimited slots for alts available to us, and every character can have a second build.  I just keep a big library of tricked out AT’s and some nights I feel like just punching things and then others I want the edge-of-my-chair feeling of playing a Blaster full-on carnage while waiting to get two shotted.  Nothing prevents anyone from having whatever they want in this game short of a tank mage.....and even that’s possible with Sentinels (if you can stomach the lower damage output, aggro limit etc).

 

AT’s should -feel- different to me and necessitate differing types of gameplay.  Otherwise why not just have a single chassis and let players just build Controlling-Tanker-Kheldian-Blasting-Crabbermindominators with full-time autoCrits?

 

We had those once upon a time but LOLnerfregen.

 

 

 

 

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On 3/26/2021 at 6:45 AM, TurboRaptor said:

So I've seen people mention the term 'Blapping' a lot.  Didn't really pay attention to it much, and honestly there's no reason to.

 

But I'm gunna make a poll anyway because I'm curious.

Blasters don't have an identity crisis. They are about damage at ANY position. Melee, range, PBAoe, Aoe you name it, they bring the pain. If they weren't meant to be able to get up in your face they wouldn't have powers like bone smasher and eagle's claw. If you want to know what a pure ranged damage dealer feels like try a  sentinel. Blasters were made to go pew pew, boom, and smash face. So of course that means you could build a purely ranged blaster and still be effective, but nothing says you can't mix it up.

 

 

Edited by GhostDawg
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On 4/7/2021 at 6:16 AM, CaptTastic said:

 

Think what you are fighting when solo makes a big difference too. When soloing an AV, for example, you will likely strip them of half their attacks or more if you stay at range. Even with my most robust blasters, there have been times I have tried to go toe-to-toe with an AV and taken too big a hit in melee to last the fight. 

 

For me, melee attacks on blasters are very situational. Great, but situational. 

I would say that fighting an AV is HIGHLY situational as you can simple choose not to solo the vast majority of them.

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9 hours ago, GhostDawg said:

I would say that fighting an AV is HIGHLY situational as you can simple choose not to solo the vast majority of them.

This is true, of course, but you have to at least have a go, right? Think in general the solo element here is a tough one to reconcile, as MMOs are not designed to be played alone. 

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"Have you ever played a character that never got stuck in melee?" is a paraphrase of something someone said to me years ago when questioning why one of my blasters was purely ranged. The general intent was to argue for me having melee attacks. They are part of the AT design and you do often sacrifice some DPS in a build by not leveraging them. My take was that you need to be prepared for those times when your character is in slapping range of the enemy. I don't think you have to be ready to slap back, but you do need to be ready to avoid face planting.

 

Blapping is a totally normal and intended part of the AT, but so are a lot of other things like power sets being balanced around secondary effects. Not all of my blasters have been fire since launch (well, a few weeks after launch) either. I'll punch things with a blaster when I want to, or not. Both are fine so long as the team isn't getting screwed over because of my decisions.

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Well, these days, there are multiple ways to easily disengage from melee, retreat and regroup, so I don't think it's as much of an issue.  Also noteworthy that secondary's such as devices are not really "blapping" oriented, so there is some idea that the devs considered people might want to play them as more purely ranged.

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10 hours ago, LlyranKeen said:

"Have you ever played a character that never got stuck in melee?" is a paraphrase of something someone said to me years ago when questioning why one of my blasters was purely ranged. The general intent was to argue for me having melee attacks. They are part of the AT design and you do often sacrifice some DPS in a build by not leveraging them. My take was that you need to be prepared for those times when your character is in slapping range of the enemy. I don't think you have to be ready to slap back, but you do need to be ready to avoid face planting.

 

Blapping is a totally normal and intended part of the AT, but so are a lot of other things like power sets being balanced around secondary effects. Not all of my blasters have been fire since launch (well, a few weeks after launch) either. I'll punch things with a blaster when I want to, or not. Both are fine so long as the team isn't getting screwed over because of my decisions.

In end-game, though, say you have a high recharge perma-hasten build as many, or even most, blasters do now, your big ranged attacks work just as well in melee as they do from range. My Fire/NRG for example has Blaze or Blazing bolt, or both, up every 4 seconds, so never far away from firing off a big attack. 
 

That said, I do also have Smashing Haymaker in the build because, you know, sometimes it’s just nice to punch something in the face 😂

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And some Blaster pairings just scream "go ahead and just try to play me at range"

 

You could build an Electric/Fire blaster from day 0 in this game.  You could build lots of other */Fire blasters but 8 of the 9 powers in the secondary are not ranged or targeted AoEs.  They're either PBAoEs, self targeted buffs or melee.  Only the t1 Immobilize can actually directly effect a foe at range.  Playing one strictly at range, well sure you could do it, you could play an Empathy defender with 1 blast or a Pool Boy pool attacks only build or a petless Mastermind.  But it's a real hard sell saying those are anything other than concept oriented builds that are largely ignoring a significant portion of their powers.  To my mind they are part of the beauty of this game, you can build and play in almost any manner and have fun.

 

I also think blappers aren't so much a subtype as an easy term to get across the concept of a certain playstyle and rolls off the tongue a whole better than Rangster 😜 does for a blaster who prefers to play at range.

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As someone who plays blasters more often than not, I cringe whenever I read/hear the term "Blapper". Sure, it just implies the specified blaster plays more in melee, but that's a ridiculous distinction to make. 

Spines scrappers have Impale and a cone called...throw spines, if I recall correctly. Do they call themselves Scrasters? No. 

A blaster (any given player that makes one) can play their character any way they choose. Melee, ranged. Makes no difference as long as the opposing foes are defeated. They are still a blaster. If you play at range, you're a blaster. If you play in melee, you're still a blaster. There's no need to make the ludicrous distinction. Why would you? 

It's like introducing yourself as being left-handed instead of right-handed. 

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On 3/26/2021 at 3:21 PM, Hjarki said:

 

Unfortunately, Blasters don't really get much to help them survive in melee range. With full IO set builds and Scorpion Shield, they can S/L/E/R soft-cap and not immediately flop over dead in most content. But there are few good ways to get status protection and you're not going to see Blasters solo'ing +4 AV without a whole lot of temporary powers and other widgets.

 

As a result, 'Blappers' tend to exemplar poorly and don't scale well into difficult content unless they've got someone with support abilities to keep them operational. You can build them for specialized content (such as fire farms) or for intermittent bouts of trouble (such as with Rune of Protection), but you can't really make the dps-for-all-seasons type of build you could with, say, a Scrapper. This tends to lead to the "why not Scrapper?" question. After all, Scrappers can use ranged attacks just like Blasters can use melee attacks.

 

This survivability issue also means that almost everyone starts out with a 'Hover Blaster' - a character designed to operate purely at range and blow stuff up before they can be blown up through their very narrowly focused ranged defense.

 

However, certain Assault sets tend to open the possibility for 'Blaster Controllers' - Blasters who can operate in safety not just because they're (primarily) at range but also because they have the ability to neutralize spawns in some way. Not having to take Mace or Cold Mastery also opens up significant control options in Epic/Patron pools. This sort of approach trades off single target dps for often better AE possibilities and better scaleability across the range of all possible content.

 

On 3/26/2021 at 5:47 PM, Hjarki said:

20% S/L is still pretty weak for jumping into a mass of melee enemies. If your build is structured around the expectation of being in melee range, your going to have a lot of weak/useless abilities in many circumstances where the pure Ranged Blaster - who has every bit as much Ranged Defense as you - would simply be doing what their build is designed to do.

 

On 3/27/2021 at 12:13 AM, Hjarki said:

Bear in mind, it only takes one attack to effectively kill you. That single disorient is likely to lead to a corpse on the floor.

 

No matter how you spread the spawn around to avoid concentrating attacks, a defense that relies on avoiding 100% of melee attacks and soft-capping against range is going to be more reliable - especially at low levels - than a defense that relies on 20% defense against some melee attacks and soft-capping against range.

Blasters absolutely do not need to build for softcapped defenses to be effective, whether teaming or solo. Damage and death is not only damage mitigation by reducing the number of attacks an enemy can get off (sometimes to zero) but higher kill speed means more inspiration drops that can last you through multiple spawn encounters.

 

20% positional defense or 32.5% def are very valuable numbers to hit for blasters because it is 1-2 purple insps from softcapping, where you then have solid layered mitigation with a resist shield and the absorb or HoT or regen from the blaster sustain. I've found scorpion and ice armors to be very ineffective at true tank-magery because your one dimensional survivability is more likely to fail, fail more often, and fail more quickly.

 

You need 0% def to aim/bu/nuke. Timing your nuke cooldown to delete a spawn when your insps are not active extends what you can do with your insp load, and will likely drop you a few more.

 

Rune of Protection is also super valuable for blasters, and will continue to be even after an (excessive) nerf to its performance. It functions as an extra ~4 insps, and can be rotated with your nuke. Nuking when your RoP is down reduces the effective downtime of RoP, because it isn't needed at the time. When both nuke and RoP are down pop 2 purples and continue going to town. 

 

I have a fire/ta blaster that i built as "pure ranged" and honestly it constantly feels lacking in output and fluidity of combat. Being able to just spam blaze/blazing bolt from your primary and fill in the gaps with hard hitting melee attacks makes the fire/ta feel pretty weak in comparison to fire/fire fire/em fire/elec etc that have full rotations of all high dpa attacks. Getting OSA was pretty great though. Being that my other blasters dont suffer a survivability issue by playing in melee, it isnt a trade off that i would ever consider again.

 

Also "blasters exemping poorly" is probably the most hyperbolic of your statements. Blasters fly through low level content like nobody's business.

 

And scrappers cannot use ranged attacks like a blaster can use melee attacks. Scrappers outside specific primaries cannot build effective dps chains at range only. Scrappers cannot deliver aoe output like a blaster can, not even including their nuke.

Edited by DreadShinobi

Currently on fire.

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On 4/7/2021 at 12:12 AM, CaptTastic said:

I don’t think Blapping is a sub-class. Blapping also isn’t the normal way to play blasters, otherwise the AT would be called blappers. 

 

Blasters existed before the term Blapper.  The term wasn't needed until the scaredy pants ranged only Blasters showed up.  

 

They should have called those Brangers.  

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I mean, player derived nicknames and acronyms always crop up in games.  It's not like the common parlance that evolves in the game is the law of god, or anything.  People really do get their panties in a bunch about phrasing, sometimes.  Tis just a game, after all, folks.  😛🤷‍♂️

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