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Rank the varieties of elemental sets


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A lot of times when I'm trying to build a character based on concept, there are a bunch of possible archetype and powerset configurations to consider. In particular, Fire, Ice, Electric, Dark, Energy, and Psi are used over and over.

 

This got me wondering how people would rank the various elemental varieties of sets. Most of these elements appear in the following configurations:

 

  • Blast
  • Armor
  • Melee
  • Manipulation 
  • Control
  • Assault 

 

 

You can do a write up of just one element or multiple elements if you like. How would you rank each elemental variety? If you need to, you can split the sets by archetype as well.

 

 

To start us out, I'll go with with ELECTRIC. Personally I'd rank Electric like this:

 

  1. Electric Melee. A popular melee set with good AoE and a powerful teleport-nuke that is both useful and extremely cool looking. I've heard the version on Stalkers is especially attractive although I haven't explored that too much. Only real downside is a lack of tools to leverage the endurance drain secondary effect, but the set generally hits hard enough that it doesn't matter.
  2. Electric Armor. A mid-tier Resistance based armor that does the job well enough with few significant failings. One big plus is strong endurance management tools that make it comfortable to play for most of the character's career.
  3. Electric Control. An unusual control set that was created late into the OG game. Capable of being a "true" sapper in a way few other builds can achieve. I ranked this lower than Electric Armor for two reasons: 
    1. On Dominators, Synaptic Overload does not Dominate beyond the first target. This is a strange implementation that exists because of a technicality with pseudo pets; other Dominators don't struggle with this.
    2. On Controllers, this set has very very low damage.  
  4. Electric Manipulation. This Blaster secondary just "is." It's not amazing, it's not terrible, it does its basic job at providing a sustain power and pretty good melee thwacks.  
  5. Electric Blast. Ah, Electric Blast, launcher of a thousand threads about "Is this the worst blast set?" IMO it's not the worst, although it's also not a standout. Electric Blast has a reasonable chance to crash enemy endurance bars with its nuke and with Short Circuit, which at least makes the endurance drain potentially a factor. What makes it better than the next item on the list is at least it is interesting, and there are conceivable ways to play it strategically.
  6. Electric Assault. This may be the weakest of the Dominator Assault sets. Has all the issues of Electric Blast and Manipulation while being lower damage than either and has no tools to crash endurance, making the endurance drain on the attacks meaningless unless Electric Assault is played specifically with Electric Control. On top of this, it's sort of dull. There's no cool teleport + damage like Lightning Rod, no endurance crasher like Power Sink, no close range endurance crasher like Short Circuit. 

 

 

How would you rank other sets and do you agree/disagree with my ranking of Electric?

Edited by oedipus_tex
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Oh wow.  I like this question.  👍

 

I'm about to faceplant on my desk so I'm heading to bed.  I'm real interested what you all come up with here.  

 

I have several elemental builds (or builds with the powers listed) and never even gave it much thought including my main (my actual main main, not one of my alt mains) who is an E3 blaster.  I think I pretty much agree with your evaluations of the electric set.  I will ALWAYS love my blaster but my elec/elec and elec/shield brutes are just really fun.  Overall I find the end drain part of elec a bit gimmicky - but I love it for the feel and the visuals honestly.

 

I am curious about fire and ice too (well, all of them you listed really).  Will check back in here before work tomorrow.

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I will throw out the first complaint.  Because...yeah.  Hi!  

 

Blaster sets are sold as "Ranged"  Horsecrap.  The entire Archetype was built from the ground up as Blapper and there are some pure ranged sets.  Not in secondaries.  But Primary you have Electric which is almost all ranged and Ice.  I just got tired of the 100x variation on Ice Machine concept.  I mean, I love Ice...but running an ice machine is only so entertaining.  Also the damage is meh. 

 

I did discover one bit of gold.  An Ice/Cold Corruptor is the MOST powerful configuration of Ice in the game, in my opinion.  The debuffs in Cold are insanely good, and the Corruptor inherent works well with the DoT rains.

 

Disappearing/Reappearing weapons.  I am not a big fan of any graphic that cannot keep track of a weapon.  Where does it go?  Where does it come from?  If you have a giant Ice Sword why dont you use that all the time instead of punching people?  Why do i have to spend all my mental energy trying to justify this stupid graphic issue.  Weapons are not my theme in CoX due to many of these issues.  The ice and fire melee sets have been auto avoided ever since I saw that stuff years ago.

 

I run a Dark/Dark Brute as my main.  Yes, it is that good.

Edited by Snarky
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Fun idea for a thread @oedipus_tex. Also guaranteed to start many arguments!

 

I more or less agree with your electric rankings but I think I like electric control more than you (its damage can be shored up a bit with procs on controllers and it seems to suit the blappy nature of most dominator pairings). Electric melee is top tier on stalkers but it's held back by weak single target and long animations on other AT's. Electric armour is great most of the time but the toxic hole can really hurt - I think I liked the set more before we had radiation armour to compare it to. Blast, yes loses too much damage for an unreliable secondary effect but I do love my elec/mm blaster where drain psyche keeps her alive long enough to actually do the draining, it does need the right pairing though. I can't really comment on the other versions.

 

I'll have a go at Dark I think (all very much IMO of course!):

 

  1. Melee (tanks) - This set is so very good on tanks now. Really solid single target damage and really surprisingly good aoe (with some proc use for both). No longer needs shoring up with epic attacks (particularly if you can get some kind of aura damage or proc bomb out of your secondary) and still has all the fun and useful secondary effects. Soul drain is great with the tanks new meaty melee modifier. I rank this as the best tank melee set available and have it paired with five different primary sets so far.
  2. Armour (tanks/brutes) - A great armour set. Second only to radiation in potential resistance coverage and has the insanely good dark regeneration to fall back on time and time again. End issues are justifiably famous but easier to manage these days than ever before, kb has to be mitigated too and cloak of fear is sadly lacking in all areas. It is testament to how well the rest of the set works that it can carry those problems and still be top tier. Tanks and brutes have by far the better version because of the taunt aura and res caps.
  3. Miasma (all) - Still a good set but it is better solo than teamed in today's game. It is held back by slow animation times but if you have the time to get yourself set up you can do things that other support sets can't. Using darkest night to toggle pull into tar patch and then hitting the mobs with fearsome stare is a combo that I'll never get tired of.
  4. Blast (all) - Two different versions of this between blasters and defenders/corruptors but I think they function about as well as each other. Takes procs really well. If you're not going to proc then the set will likely drop right down the rankings (damage wise - still good for safety). Torrent/umbral torrent makes a very handy place for reliable ff+rech and tenebrous tentacles allows you to reliably play at range.
  5. Control (all) - This is a good control set but I prefer the miasma version. My biggest gripe is probably how the spectral hound doesn't seem to fit into any concept I come up with for a dark controller.
  6. Melee (scrappers/stalkers) - Great modifier for soul drain, much smaller aoes than tanks.
  7. Melee (brutes) - Brutes sadly miss out here - low modifier for soul drain which gets a bit lost in the fury bonus and small aoes.
  8. Armour (scrappers/stalkers) - No taunt aura and 75% res caps are a major handicap.
  9. Assault - Suffers from my biggest bugbear with the entire dominator AT - crappy mismatched aoe. Night fall is rubbish on all AT's but at least defenders and corruptors can ignore it and proc out torrent instead.
  10. Manipulation - Well at least it's an interesting set! The sustain is high maintenance, the damage aura is asking for trouble, soul drain isn't a good fit on a burst damage AT, shadow maul is less user friendly than any other manipulation pbaoe and dark consumption is totally unnecessary if you can remember to keep the sustain up.
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2 hours ago, Snarky said:

Blaster sets are sold as "Ranged"  Horsecrap.  The entire Archetype was built from the ground up as Blapper and there are some pure ranged sets.  Not in secondaries.  But Primary you have Electric which is almost all ranged and Ice.  I just got tired of the 100x variation on Ice Machine concept.  I mean, I love Ice...but running an ice machine is only so entertaining.  Also the damage is meh.

 

This is a truly odd paragraph.

 

Electric has just as much ranged as the rest (1 PBAOE). Yes, most of the sets have a PBAOE nuke, but that's really not a defining power which makes them mixed or melee. Yes, you can pull the recharge down pretty low, but you're starting with a fairly high number, and are not cycling the attack in terribly often.

 

But let's look at primaries which are pure range:

Archery

Assault Rifle

Ice

Beam Rifle

Water Blast

 

Then we have primaries with a single PBAOE

Electric

Fire

Energy

Dark

Psionic

Dual Pistols

 

And then the single primary with more than 1 PBAOE

Radiation

 

Now to say that the primaries demand blapping is rather specious. 40% are pure ranged. Most of the rest have a single PBAOE, and in most cases it's the nuke on a long timer. For electric you can skip it since endurance drain is an iffy prospect.

 

Yes, you can argue that radiation blast is a blapper set, but it's hardly the king of the hill, and something you don't see a lot of for fairly good reason.

 

Heck, there's devices which can be played as a purely ranged secondary without missing much of anything. Heck, as I see it only some of the secondaries have good enough attacks to really justify blapping in any case. I play blasters as purely ranged, and I really don't suffer for it.

 

Oh yeah, and calling ice damage meh? Huh, it's the best single target primary, and blizzard is damned good.

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45 minutes ago, parabola said:

Armour (tanks/brutes) - A great armour set. Second only to radiation in potential resistance coverage and has the insanely good dark regeneration to fall back on time and time again. End issues are justifiably famous but easier to manage these days than ever before, kb has to be mitigated too and cloak of fear is sadly lacking in all areas. It is testament to how well the rest of the set works that it can carry those problems and still be top tier. Tanks and brutes have by far the better version because of the taunt aura and res caps.

Interesting thing I learned from the forum the other day.

 

Rad's melee heal is waaaaaaaay better than darks heal. Plus rad gets a damage patch which stacks with dark goodness. Rad/dark I could see as pretty impressive on a brute.

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I have a feeling Assault sets are going to be ranked near the bottom by a lot of people. I don’t really agree that Electric Assault is a bad dominator secondary, but most dominator secondaries are going to struggle to look attractive next to pure ranged with nukes and pure melee with heavier hitting attack chains. It’s just an awkward comparison.

 

Agree on Dark Manipulation ranking towards the bottom. Only being able to build up in melee range is seriously limiting for a blaster. It’s pushing you harder towards “build as a blapper or avoid set like the plague” than any of the other sets because of that. Not that blappers are bad, but yeah, that’s all you can justify doing here.

Edited by arcane
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45 minutes ago, Hew said:

Interesting thing I learned from the forum the other day.

 

Rad's melee heal is waaaaaaaay better than darks heal. Plus rad gets a damage patch which stacks with dark goodness. Rad/dark I could see as pretty impressive on a brute.

Yeah it would be but I wouldn't like to try to manage the end problems!

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1 hour ago, parabola said:
  1. Armour (tanks/brutes) - A great armour set. Second only to radiation in potential resistance coverage and has the insanely good dark regeneration to fall back on time and time again. End issues are justifiably famous but easier to manage these days than ever before, kb has to be mitigated too and cloak of fear is sadly lacking in all areas. It is testament to how well the rest of the set works that it can carry those problems and still be top tier. Tanks and brutes have by far the better version because of the taunt aura and res caps.

My pedantic nature won't let this stand. Honestly, electric has the best resistance coverage in the game. The only thing you can't cap resistance for with that set pretty easily is toxic, which is pretty uncommon. On a tanker you start with 35% base for lethal, smashing, fire, psionic, and cold. You also have 30% for negative energy, and 82.5% for energy. With slotting it's very easy to get quite high resistances even on just SOs, and with sets, capping all those to 90 is not a challenge. You are left with the toxic hole though, and outside of the tier 9, it's just there.

 

Compare this to dark: lethal, smashing, fire, and cold are all at 30% base. Negative energy is at 40% base and psionic is at 50% base. Energy and toxic are at 20% base. Thus you really have both energy and toxic holes.

 

Radiation: you have lethal, smashing 30%, fire and negative energy 35%, energy 45%, toxic 50%, psionic 15%, and cold at 7.5%. These are strong numbers, but you basically have 2 holes in cold (especially) and psionic.

 

Both dark and radiation armor have holes, and start with lower base resistance numbers for most things. Dark has a rather (IMO) glaring energy hole, and radiation has a cold damage hole (and psionic), both of these energy types are a lot more common than toxic (especially energy).

 

Now this is not to say that electric is superior, as it surely is not. The heal is on way too long a timer, and it is far lower in actual survivability than the other two. Personally I think it could use a reduction in the timer on the heal to at least get it into the ballpark, because right now it is one of the weaker armor sets in actual play .

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1 minute ago, drbuzzard said:

My pedantic nature won't let this stand. Honestly, electric has the best resistance coverage in the game. The only thing you can't cap resistance for with that set pretty easily is toxic, which is pretty uncommon. On a tanker you start with 35% base for lethal, smashing, fire, psionic, and cold. You also have 30% for negative energy, and 82.5% for energy. With slotting it's very easy to get quite high resistances even on just SOs, and with sets, capping all those to 90 is not a challenge. You are left with the toxic hole though, and outside of the tier 9, it's just there.

 

Compare this to dark: lethal, smashing, fire, and cold are all at 30% base. Negative energy is at 40% base and psionic is at 50% base. Energy and toxic are at 20% base. Thus you really have both energy and toxic holes.

 

Radiation: you have lethal, smashing 30%, fire and negative energy 35%, energy 45%, toxic 50%, psionic 15%, and cold at 7.5%. These are strong numbers, but you basically have 2 holes in cold (especially) and psionic.

 

Both dark and radiation armor have holes, and start with lower base resistance numbers for most things. Dark has a rather (IMO) glaring energy hole, and radiation has a cold damage hole (and psionic), both of these energy types are a lot more common than toxic (especially energy).

 

Now this is not to say that electric is superior, as it surely is not. The heal is on way too long a timer, and it is far lower in actual survivability than the other two. Personally I think it could use a reduction in the timer on the heal to at least get it into the ballpark, because right now it is one of the weaker armor sets in actual play .

Yes you are absolutely right. It is the heal that lets electric down badly comparing the three sets not the raw resist values. I do think that rad wins out on holes though. You can get quite a bit of psi res from impervium armour and the aegis unique to shore up that hole and almost nothing does enough cold damage to bother you. The energy hole in dark is much more of a problem and elec is never going to be able to really close that toxic hole without making build compromises (having to go 6 slot on lots of sets).

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5 minutes ago, arcane said:

I have a feeling Assault sets are going to be ranked near the bottom by a lot of people. I don’t really agree that Electric Assault is a bad dominator secondary, but most dominator secondaries are going to struggle to look attractive next to pure ranged with nukes and pure melee with heavier hitting attack chains. It’s just an awkward comparison.

While this is true and completely fair, I think I'd rate Earth Assault above a lot of other Earth sets, and Psionic Assault is probably up there too (are we counting Mind Control as a Psi set? Illusion Control? Willpower?). If we're giving a bump for sets compared to other sets on the AT, I think some of the assault sets could come out on top.

Earth Assault - Everything I've ever wanted in a melee Assault set, only held back by having some of the absolute worst ranged attacks, most notably no Snipe. But Seismic Smash + Mud Pots gives this melee DPS potential far beyond essentially any other assault set. Seismic Smash's synergy with Domination is also pretty nice.
Earth Control - Extremely reliable control set that is negatively impacted by long animations. The AoE Hold puts most other AoE holds to shame.

Stone Mastery - Seismic Smash has ridiculous DPS (a recurring theme), Rock Armor is nice for getting S/L defense, but Controller Ancillaries have very stiff competition.
Stone Armor - Extremely meh set in a modern environment, Granite Armor is overkill in most content people do without IOs, and redundant in content most people are doing IO'd out. Has essentially no niche. Non-granite builds are just sort of mediocre.
Stone Melee - Has essentially nothing over Earth Assault but several negatives in comparison to it, is relatively forgettable as a set, only saving grace is that Seismic Smash exists.

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1 hour ago, parabola said:

Yes you are absolutely right. It is the heal that lets electric down badly comparing the three sets not the raw resist values. I do think that rad wins out on holes though. You can get quite a bit of psi res from impervium armour and the aegis unique to shore up that hole and almost nothing does enough cold damage to bother you. The energy hole in dark is much more of a problem and elec is never going to be able to really close that toxic hole without making build compromises (having to go 6 slot on lots of sets).

Cold is fairly uncommon, but BP Ravagers can be trouble, and CoT ice demons are bad as well. The fact that ice damage is usually from a 1/2 lethal source is probably the saving grace.

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7 hours ago, drbuzzard said:

 

This is a truly odd paragraph.

 

Electric has just as much ranged as the rest (1 PBAOE). Yes, most of the sets have a PBAOE nuke, but that's really not a defining power which makes them mixed or melee. Yes, you can pull the recharge down pretty low, but you're starting with a fairly high number, and are not cycling the attack in terribly often.

 

But let's look at primaries which are pure range:

Archery

Assault Rifle

Ice

Beam Rifle

Water Blast

 

Then we have primaries with a single PBAOE

Electric

Fire

Energy

Dark

Psionic

Dual Pistols

 

And then the single primary with more than 1 PBAOE

Radiation

 

Now to say that the primaries demand blapping is rather specious. 40% are pure ranged. Most of the rest have a single PBAOE, and in most cases it's the nuke on a long timer. For electric you can skip it since endurance drain is an iffy prospect.

 

Yes, you can argue that radiation blast is a blapper set, but it's hardly the king of the hill, and something you don't see a lot of for fairly good reason.

 

Heck, there's devices which can be played as a purely ranged secondary without missing much of anything. Heck, as I see it only some of the secondaries have good enough attacks to really justify blapping in any case. I play blasters as purely ranged, and I really don't suffer for it.

 

Oh yeah, and calling ice damage meh? Huh, it's the best single target primary, and blizzard is damned good.

*taps foot.  stares at carefully constructed argument.  "screw it"  kicks...you are leaving out the entire structure of every secondary set except devices.  which you sort of cherry pick and then admit it is not truly ranged.
 

saying most of the primaries are ranged except for the crashless nukes is lying claiming to be a virgin if you ignore all the butt stuff

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3 minutes ago, Snarky said:

*taps foot.  stares at carefully constructed argument.  "screw it"  kicks...you are leaving out the entire structure of every secondary set except devices.  which you sort of cherry pick and then admit it is not truly ranged.
 

saying most of the primaries are ranged except for the crashless nukes is lying claiming to be a virgin if you ignore all the butt stuff

Yes, it is clear that you discarded any argument which might have been carefully constructed.

 

PBAOE Nukes are on a long base timer, and even with perma hasten pop around once every 30+ seconds. Now maybe I'm playing wrong (I'm not), but I'm not standing around waiting to pop off my nukes, and to be quite honest they are hardly the focus of the sets. They are best used at optimal times, since the recharge is long and in many cases the DPAS isn't all that hot if you're down to one target (some are standouts, but not most). The rest of the PBAOE nuke primary powers (except rad) are all ranged. Yes, for most secondaries you are expected to blap, but you were making an argument that primaries drive blapping which is specious.

 

How about I quote you and take it apart directly?

 

<quote>Blaster sets are sold as "Ranged"  Horsecrap.  The entire Archetype was built from the ground up as Blapper and there are some pure ranged sets.  Not in secondaries.  But Primary you have Electric which is almost all ranged and Ice.  I just got tired of the 100x variation on Ice Machine concept.  I mean, I love Ice...but running an ice machine is only so entertaining.  Also the damage is meh.  </quote>

 

'some pure ranged sets' - about 40% of the primaries only some? The rest of the sets minus one have 1 PBAOE. That looks pretty ranged in focus since it is the, well, primary.

 

Then you go on to complain about ice which is actually excellent damage, and ignore the other 4 pure ranged primaries.

 

Yeah, no point in expecting a carefully constructed argument.

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Ice/Cold Corruptor main here, gotta agree Ice Blast pairs the best with Cold Domination from the Corruptor AT. Defender's version has higher debuff values in Cold Dom. and they've got a nice solo dmg boost, but Scourge is just too good once you get your target's health down enough. It turns most every fight, even solo against AVs and Giant Monsters in to a snowball rolling down hill. Ice Blast offers actually useful secondary effects in -speed and -rech that stack well with the primary effects from Cold Dom. Great ST damage and mez effects too. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm gonna try PSI. For these purposes, I'm going to consider Mind Control a Psi set. I don't personally feel Willpower is a Psi set (it seems more likely we'll get a 'real' Psi armor set one day) so I will leave that out.

 

  1. Psionic Assault. Psionic Assault is a Dominator secondary that can truly be called good. Dominators as an archetype normally struggle with both healing and recovery. Drain Psyche covers that ground and allows them to operate on the field in a way you might imagine a very powerful supervillain to act. The set has low damage ranged attacks but makes up for it with pretty good melee attacks. New players rolling a Dominator who choose Psi as their secondary are likely to end up with a very powerful character no matter which primary they choose. It's not all freebies--you still need an expensive build. But at least that build matches up well with what Dominators need (Recharge). 
  2. Mental Manipulation. Blaster Mental Manipulation shares the key Drain Psyche power with Psionic Assault. The only thing that makes it lower on this list for me is the fact that other Blaster secondaries already offer great survivability. (In fact, they were given that survivability based on observations about how effective Drain Psyche is). The things that made this set great before the Blaster buffs are still there and it is a solid performer.
  3. Mind Control (Dominator). I will be the first to tell you I think Mind Control deserves a buff. 240 seconds is too long a recharge on Mass Confusion and the set leans heavily on achieving an end game build so that you can lean on Total Domination to cover its control holes. Still, it can be situationally effective. 
  4. Psi Melee. This set doesn't offer the best damage. It's not terrible, not great. What it does offer is a single target Confusion power similar to what a Controller would. This power makes this set stand out as special to me. The reason I'll rate this decently is the appeal it may have to players who don't normally play melee characters. If you're normally a Controller or Dom player and want to branch a bit into the melee world, this will be attractive, especially paired with a control-y armor.
  5. Psi Blast (Sent/Def/Corr). Psi Blast on these archetypes is a mid-to-low performing set. The -Recharge secondary effect doesn't really come into play in most real life situations. I will give props to Psionic Tornado being very fun to cast. 
  6. Psi Blast (Blaster). The Blaster version of Psi Blast loses its second AoE power. I really wish I liked this set more because I like the idea of a Psionic Blaster. However I've never been happy playing a Psi Blaster and always find myself wishing I'd built the character somehow differently.
  7. Mind Control (Controller). I don't want to spend a whole lot of time ragging on these boards. Mind Control on Controllers is a truly low performing set that could use love. Rather than just neg on it I'd prefer to see this as an opportunity to make something interesting.
Edited by oedipus_tex
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8 minutes ago, drbuzzard said:

PBAOE Nukes are on a long base timer, and even with perma hasten pop around once every 30+ seconds. Now maybe I'm playing wrong (I'm not), but I'm not standing around waiting to pop off my nukes, and to be quite honest they are hardly the focus of the sets. They are best used at optimal times, since the recharge is long and in many cases the DPAS isn't all that hot if you're down to one target (some are standouts, but not most). The rest of the PBAOE nuke primary powers (except rad) are all ranged. Yes, for most secondaries you are expected to blap, but you were making an argument that primaries drive blapping which is specious.

 

Lets call it 45 seconds.  And we can ignore PB AoE Incarnate nukes.  Pesky facts like bringing that up.  tsk tsk.  So, 45 seconds.  You do ACTUALLY want to USE this power, yes?  Often?  So.  How long do you wait to strategize how / where to be?  Do you immediately pop back out to 80 feet and hit with long range attacks when not PBAoE nuking?  Because, (pesky facts) I am thinking you might jump into a fresh spawn, nuke, then start cleanup.  With team or solo.  This will take, ....some time.  45 seconds.  hmmm.  Almost time to nuke again.  Do I run back out to 80?  or....just set up for my next PBAoE nuke?  

 

I have run Blasters.  You Nuke, you incarnate Nuke, you hit a few AoEs, you ST one or two things, then you Nuke again.  Which means you are at close range to PB range nearly all the time.  And i softcap all my Blasters to Ranged Def, because I try to stay 8+ feet away.  But truly ranged?  hmmm.  Not much in the modern game.  Chain cones at 30-40 is about as ranged as you get.  Then jump in to Nuke.  Cleanup.  joust, cone, jump in, nuke.  

 

So, how do you play a character with PB Nukes.  You are saying you play them ranged?  Or....you are saying they are theoretically a ranged character?

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Posted (edited)

I don't solo blasters all too much. On teams things move fast, so (normal)nukes might be around every other spawn or so. Yes, you drop them when you have them, and if PBAOE, you move in to do it. Then <gasp> you move back out so the critter AOEs don't take you out. Not sure why you're talking about 80' since it's rather hard to maintain that. You stay at a reasonable range so you can get in with the nuke when needed, move back out to avoid damage. 

 

Personally I prefer the sets which let me ranged nuke altogether though. In fact I actually like nukes enough that my favorite blaster is archery/dev so I have my nuke on a 17 second timer and I nuke constantly, from range. 

 

I have a few blapper builds (at 50, IOed), but don't much care for them. If I want to be in the thick of things I like ATs with actual defenses (like a secondary or primary). 

 

But to get back to the claim that the primaries were designed with blapping in mind, one should recall that the nukes initially crashed out your endurance hard. That's hardly a blapping incentive. 

Edited by drbuzzard
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5 hours ago, drbuzzard said:

But to get back to the claim that the primaries were designed with blapping in mind, one should recall that the nukes initially crashed out your endurance hard. That's hardly a blapping incentive.

To be a little bit of a devil's advocate, the hard-hitting, non-snipe attacks (Power Burst, Blaze, et al) were originally 40 feet without range enhancements which did encourage players to get closer and could somewhat lead into the idea that Blasters are "meant to be blapping" as they just got more and more dangerous the closer they got to you (ie: their hardest hitting attacks were almost all short-/melee-ranged).

 

That said, the point that nukes would bottom your endurance, excluding Archery (which used to be one of the main reasons to even use the set back then), is a huge point against his dogmatic opinion. The existence of Devices, Boost Range, and newer sets like Tac Arrow, combined with the lifting of the endurance crash and pushing the range of things like Power Burst out to "normal" blast ranges certainly run counter to his opinion as well.

 

Honestly, I think it's just a problem with player perception when combined with the game's own narrow categorization. I've never seen Blasters as "just ranged" or "built for melee"; to me, a Blaster is "just damage, at all ranges". Even the term "blaster", used to describe the AT, feels like a misnomer to me. Blasters just bring damage regardless of the range. Getting into a fight about whether they're "meant to be range" or "meant to be melee" is just silly. They're meant to be damage and that's what they do. They hurt things. A lot.

 

To the thread topic, I'll pick the supposed "element" my first character ever had, which was Energy (Blast and Manipulation, if you were curious).

 

  1. Kinetics - May be a stretch, but Kinetic is the manipulation of kinetic energy, so it fits the theme in my opinion. Obviously the best "energy" set in the game as the quintessential force multiplier. There's not much to dislike about any of the powers, though Inertial Reduction and Siphon Speed are sometimes left out of tighter builds that also pick up different/more permanent travel options. Repel with a KB - KD enhancement can also wreck havoc on your endurance if you're not careful.
  2. Energy Aura - What was once one of the weakest armors in the game became one of the best, at least for Stalkers. It's still strong on everyone else, though it's reduced access to DDR hurts it somewhat. Then again, we wouldn't have "Strong and Pretty" without this set. Each version of the set, barring Brute/Tanker (though some powers are swapped around, even there) are unique enough to have their own problems, but none of them prevent the set from performing well.
  3. Energy Melee - After the update, this set is much better than where it used to be. That said, I still don't like the "hit the lit up ring!" minigame but that's a story for another time. You'll be hard pressed to find someone telling you that EM is weak these days, outside of the still sort of middling AoE (though I prefer it that way).
  4. Energy Manipulation - While not as good today as it used to be, that's due mostly in part to the addition of new sets and changes to Blasters as a whole. It's still one of the hardest-hitting secondaries Blasters have access to and can support a "full range" playstyle due to the entirely unique Boost Range power. It even comes with Power Boost if you're looking to amp "secondary" effects, which is a pretty rare power in its own right, too.
  5. Energy Blast - Even though Energy Blast is on the low end of this list, it's certainly not a weak set by any real margin. What holds it back is teammate perception regarding knockback and how heavy you're willing to invest in KB - KD enhancements to appease others. Personally, I'd only put them in the AoEs since AoE knockback scatter is hard to leverage properly, but this set does make up for that by having a bevy of powers that will take the Force Feedback proc. The huge amount of player safety inherent in this set also lends it well to a ranged playstyle and you really can't go wrong with it. It's just hard to compete with Fire in the damage department and Dark Blast is much safer overall.
  6. Energy Assault - Personally, I think most Dominator Assault sets are lacking and I find this one isn't really an exception. While it does have some of the better blasts/melee attacks from both Energy Blast and Energy Melee, the change to Whirling Hands made it far less attractive than it used to be. Power Boost does get some added bonus for generally being more useful to a Dominator than a Blaster, though with Domination existing already, Power Boost manages to lose "usefulness points" in a high-recharge build. It can help bridge the gap between leveling and min/maxing, so that's something I suppose.
  7. Force Field - Another stretch, like Kinetics, but the game describes Force Field as "shells of energy" so I'm counting it. With that out of the way, it's low on the list because of the nature of the game today. Force Field, while still a great set on paper (and one of the few ways some squishies can get access to mez protection), the +Defense it offers is really great... until it isn't. In the late stages of the game, Force Fielders have a hard time finding a niche to fill on their teams when many of them are rocking the defense softcap themselves without their help, relegating shields to just a fancy defense debuff offset. Of course, FF also has access to some very powerful knockdown/knockback effects so it's not all doom and gloom; you just won't feel like your primary purpose is really being leveraged on a "built" team. While leveling, though, you'll be an asset.
  8. Kinetic Melee - If Kinetics counts, and since Energy Melee also obviously counts, then Kinetic Melee can be allowed in the theme party. It's a different kind of "generic energy" after all. That said, it's bottom of the barrel for a bunch of reasons. Only Stalkers can seem to get anything out of this set and that's due almost entirely to an interaction with Burst and Hide Crits. Only this set's initial attacks are worth using, making the whole set underpowered, and with the devs wanting to normalize all Stalker AoE to be 50% crit chance from hide (this change was going to happen to Burst, but due to backlash, got shelved for now), Kinetic Melee will need a set overhaul to be worth picking at all. People like the animations of the early powers, but the rest are too slow and the set's gimmick with Power Siphon is far too weak to be leveraged at all. Stalkers, again, prop the set up due to having a traditional Build Up in addition to the 100% crit chance Burst from Hide... but the whole set needs a rework and hits the bottom for that reason.
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exChampion and exInfinity player (Champion primarily).

 

Current resident of the Everlasting shard.

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4 hours ago, ForeverLaxx said:

Honestly, I think it's just a problem with player perception when combined with the game's own narrow categorization. I've never seen Blasters as "just ranged" or "built for melee"; to me, a Blaster is "just damage, at all ranges". Even the term "blaster", used to describe the AT, feels like a misnomer to me. Blasters just bring damage regardless of the range. Getting into a fight about whether they're "meant to be range" or "meant to be melee" is just silly. They're meant to be damage and that's what they do. They hurt things. A lot.

 

Quite an accurate statement.

 

Again, a lot of talk about T9s.....  No talk about Blaster's Secondary sets.  The only way to build a ranged blaster with the original sets was an AR/Dev.  Every other combination of power sets have PBAoE and Melee attacks. 

 

You can either

1) Choose not to take a lot of hard hitting attacks for design reasons

2) Pretend this is not designed to Melee.  

 

Yes, Ice is all ranged.  Although the Breath is very close range.  What do you pair it with?  Ice Secondary has 4 Melee attacks and a PBAoE Toggle...  Similar with Elec/Elec,  Or any other original combo  (that is not AR/Dev) has even more melee attacks and PBAoEs.

 

Most people do not need a long explanation that Blasters were designed to be "Blappers"  Some people will not listen to the facts.  Yes, new sets like Water Blast are all Ranged.  If SS/Inv Tank is what an iconic Melee character is then Energy/Energy Blaster is what an iconic Glass Cannon would be.  Energy Energy is a Blapper build.  The original Developers built the Blaster Archetype as a Damage Dealer class designed to do a lot of work in melee range.  Strange outlier power set choices and gimped builds notwithstanding.  

 

One of my pet peeves (he has grown up so big now!) is they slapped "Ranged Damage" on the character choice screen.  Saying "This is pretty ranged focused" shows you just accepted the label somebody down in marketing slapped on at the last minute or a genuine deep misunderstanding of how Blasters were originally designed.

 

The Devs (and we all love what the created...mostly) were not spot on with all their creations.  They give one thing.... we take it, try it, drop it on the floor sideways and do our own thing with it.  Players have no choice in what the Devs give us and Devs have no choice what we do with it.  When they developed Redside the Developers thought MMs would be the Tank over there.  No one had the patience for that.  We slapped hard armor Brutes out front (most without taunt) and started cannonballing mobs.  That does not mean that MMs were not designed as a Tank class.  Because they were designed to be able to do that.  They just did a slow mediocre job in normal play and have not improved at the job in the current environment.

 

Any look at Blasters that is not tongue in cheek or obtuse will yield an understanding they were designed to Melee hard.  Very hard.  

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43 minutes ago, Snarky said:

Any look at Blasters that is not tongue in cheek or obtuse will yield an understanding they were designed to Melee hard.  Very hard

The disconnect you're potentially having is that just because the melee hits hard, that doesn't mean they're meant to hang out in melee for long. "Being ranged" was touted by the (admittedly misguided) original lead Jack as their primary mode of self defense. Would not high power melee attacks, then, be assumed to be "in reserve" for when things got too close for comfort? Blasters, especially those in the early days, had zero ways to stave off incoming damage without going into the Fighting/Leadership pools. Things being in melee range with a character that had zero defensive abilities is essentially a death sentence if you can't A - lock it down, B - get the hell away quickly, or C - blow it to sky high. The melee attacks certainly helped explode things that got too close.

 

Consider the introductory powers in each secondary. They're either all immobilizes, or they're knockbacks. Powers designed to keep things away from you. Powers that don't synergize well with a "melee them, stupid" mindset. Devices is already mentioned, but Energy Manipulation has Boost Range, a power that only helps your ranged attacks by making them, well, even more ranged than before. Blaster secondaries, while primarily favoring melee attacks overall, are a smattering of ranged control, PBAoE control, and even damage auras (personally I think the damage auras are a bad fit for something that needs things to die ASAP, but I digress).

 

Blasters are designed to "melee hard" because they originally needed to in order to survive tough opponents. They're also designed to "range hard" because they have an entire other set, their Primary, that's almost entirely ranged in focus. Some of those ranged sets have a PBAoE that isn't a nuke, and frankly it deals damage too slowly for my tastes but it does supplement the melee attacks.

 

My point is, Blasters are both focused on range and focused on melee, because they're focused on damage as a defense. It's really not that complicated and arguing about which "range" is the one they're meant to be in seems like a waste of time.

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exChampion and exInfinity player (Champion primarily).

 

Current resident of the Everlasting shard.

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1 hour ago, ForeverLaxx said:

The disconnect you're potentially having is that just because the melee hits hard, that doesn't mean they're meant to hang out in melee for long. "Being ranged" was touted by the (admittedly misguided) original lead Jack as their primary mode of self defense. Would not high power melee attacks, then, be assumed to be "in reserve" for when things got too close for comfort? Blasters, especially those in the early days, had zero ways to stave off incoming damage without going into the Fighting/Leadership pools. Things being in melee range with a character that had zero defensive abilities is essentially a death sentence if you can't A - lock it down, B - get the hell away quickly, or C - blow it to sky high. The melee attacks certainly helped explode things that got too close.

 

Consider the introductory powers in each secondary. They're either all immobilizes, or they're knockbacks. Powers designed to keep things away from you. Powers that don't synergize well with a "melee them, stupid" mindset. Devices is already mentioned, but Energy Manipulation has Boost Range, a power that only helps your ranged attacks by making them, well, even more ranged than before. Blaster secondaries, while primarily favoring melee attacks overall, are a smattering of ranged control, PBAoE control, and even damage auras (personally I think the damage auras are a bad fit for something that needs things to die ASAP, but I digress).

 

Blasters are designed to "melee hard" because they originally needed to in order to survive tough opponents. They're also designed to "range hard" because they have an entire other set, their Primary, that's almost entirely ranged in focus. Some of those ranged sets have a PBAoE that isn't a nuke, and frankly it deals damage too slowly for my tastes but it does supplement the melee attacks.

 

My point is, Blasters are both focused on range and focused on melee, because they're focused on damage as a defense. It's really not that complicated and arguing about which "range" is the one they're meant to be in seems like a waste of time.

i like this, and believe it is incredibly accurate.  thank you

 

Sometime soon I will attempt to make a "Melee Blaster"  Just hardest hitting short animation attacks, depending on team to hold agro and assassinating w/e is distracted.  I usually attempt ranged/cone Blasters.

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20 hours ago, Snarky said:

*taps foot.  stares at carefully constructed argument.  "screw it"  kicks...you are leaving out the entire structure of every secondary set except devices.  which you sort of cherry pick and then admit it is not truly ranged.
 

saying most of the primaries are ranged except for the crashless nukes is lying claiming to be a virgin if you ignore all the butt stuff

Many of my blasters would just take the build up and sustain toggle from the secondary and anything else that works at range like the holds. I have a couple of blappers too, but the implication that you are forced to blap is incorrect. You have more than enough ranged abilities to justify building for all ranged if you want.

 

I actually like, for one thing, building ranged blasters because the builds are so easy to work your pool picks in - since you’re probably wanting only 3-5 secondary powers in most cases.

 

TL;DR: you seem to have a strong desire to make an all ranged blaster and yet.. some peculiar aversion to just going ahead and making one.

Edited by arcane
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