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Help me love my ice tanker


siran

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I have more tankers than any other archetype. Several dark/, several fire/ a couple of rad/, a shield or two, a SR/, a stone/. I am now looking to try a new flavour of tanker, and selected ice/

 

I have to admit 'I don't get ice'. Numerically it looks just inferior to every over tanker (except maybe fire... but fire has lots of compensatory things). It has terrible DDR. It has terrible defences against nearly half the attack types: toxic/psi/fire and even the cold isn't great (it's just resistance).  The resists are poor if not non existant.

 

When I compare it to Stone or darkness it looks like a joke. Dark gets capped (most) resists, decent defences, soft controls and a total heal many times a minute. SR gets fantastic DDR super capped defencses, scaling resist (which scales all the way up to 90%). And so on. 

 

So what makes ice special? What is it that makes it worth playing one. What is the special gem that I can't see to compensate for it's massive shortcomings? I want to love my characters, and so far my experience with ice tankers is that a shield or SR scrapper is tougher in most situtations. 

 

Is it that I have to pair it with 'the right' offense to compensate? I've tried with fire for damage, and now am trying with kinetic melee as it's 'debuff damage' looks to stack with ices chilling embrace. I'm trying an ice scrapper at the same time to see (and especially to see the difference between hibernate and the scrapper ice T9 - which looks far better than hibernate on paper). Do I need to do 'some special slotting'? I can see how to get to def caps.. with the the terrible DDR - 50%? really???? I can't imagine surviving an ITF without a faceplant or two. It's a far cry from a stone tanker that can afk tank in the middle of crowd of Rularuu...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by siran
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Ice is about Mitigation and Aggro-grabbery.
With Icicles, you should be able to grab aggro off just about anyone.

Just remember that you are, primarily, a Defense-Centric Tank.
So if someone can reliably crack your Defense, you're in <Boss Nass> DEEP DOO DOO! </Boss Nass>

 

Spoiler

This Hero build was built using Mids Reborn 3.0.5.6
https://github.com/Reborn-Team/MidsReborn

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Cold Hard Steel: Level 50 Magic Tanker
Primary Power Set: Ice Armor
Secondary Power Set: Dual Blades
Power Pool: Fighting
Power Pool: Leaping
Power Pool: Leadership
Ancillary Pool: Energy Mastery

Hero Profile:
Level 1: Frozen Armor -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(3), ShlWal-ResDam/Re TP(3), Rct-ResDam%(5)
Level 1: Nimble Slash -- SprMghoft-Acc/Dmg(A), SprMghoft-Dmg/Rchg(5), SprMghoft-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(7), SprMghoft-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(7), SprMghoft-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(9), SprMghoft-Rchg/Res%(9)
Level 2: Hoarfrost -- UnbGrd-ResDam(A), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx(13), UnbGrd-Rchg/ResDam(15), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(15)
Level 4: Ablating Strike -- SprGntFis-Acc/Dmg(A), SprGntFis-Dmg/Rchg(17), SprGntFis-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(17), SprGntFis-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(19), SprGntFis-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(19), SprGntFis-Rchg/+Absorb(21)
Level 6: Chilling Embrace -- PrfZng-Dam%(A)
Level 8: Wet Ice -- RechRdx-I(A)
Level 10: Taunt -- PrfZng-Dam%(A)
Level 12: Permafrost -- UnbGrd-ResDam(A), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx(21), UnbGrd-Rchg/ResDam(23), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(23), GldArm-3defTpProc(25), StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(25)
Level 14: Icicles -- SprAvl-Acc/Dmg(A), SprAvl-Dmg/EndRdx(27), SprAvl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(27), SprAvl-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(29), SprAvl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(29), SprAvl-Rchg/KDProc(31)
Level 16: Typhoon's Edge -- ScrDrv-Acc/Dmg(A), ScrDrv-Dmg/EndRdx(31), ScrDrv-Dmg/Rchg(31), ScrDrv-Acc/Rchg(33), ScrDrv-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(33), ScrDrv-Dam%(33)
Level 18: Glacial Armor -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(34)
Level 20: Blinding Feint -- SprBlsCol-Acc/Dmg(A), SprBlsCol-Dmg/EndRdx(34), SprBlsCol-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(34), SprBlsCol-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(36), SprBlsCol-Dmg/EndRdx/Acc/Rchg(36), SprBlsCol-Rchg/HoldProc(36)
Level 22: Kick -- FrcFdb-Rechg%(A)
Level 24: Tough -- UnbGrd-ResDam(A), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx(37), UnbGrd-Rchg/ResDam(37), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(37)
Level 26: Energy Absorption -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(39)
Level 28: Vengeful Slice -- Mk'Bit-Acc/Dmg(A), Mk'Bit-Dmg/EndRdx(39), Mk'Bit-Dmg/Rchg(39), Mk'Bit-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg(40), Mk'Bit-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(40), Mk'Bit-Dam%(40)
Level 30: Weave -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(42)
Level 32: Combat Jumping -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(42)
Level 35: Sweeping Strike -- ScrDrv-Acc/Dmg(A), ScrDrv-Dmg/EndRdx(42), ScrDrv-Dmg/Rchg(43), ScrDrv-Acc/Rchg(43), ScrDrv-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(43), ScrDrv-Dam%(45)
Level 38: One Thousand Cuts -- ScrDrv-Acc/Dmg(A), ScrDrv-Dmg/EndRdx(45), ScrDrv-Dmg/Rchg(45), ScrDrv-Acc/Rchg(46), ScrDrv-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(46), ScrDrv-Dam%(46)
Level 41: Maneuvers -- ShlWal-Def(A), ShlWal-Def/EndRdx(48)
Level 44: Conserve Power -- Empty(A)
Level 47: Laser Beam Eyes -- SprWntBit-Acc/Dmg(A), SprWntBit-Dmg/Rchg(48), SprWntBit-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(48), SprWntBit-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(50), SprWntBit-Dmg/EndRdx/Acc/Rchg(50), SprWntBit-Rchg/SlowProc(50)
Level 49: Physical Perfection -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Gauntlet
Level 1: Brawl -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Sprint -- Empty(A)
Level 2: Rest -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Swift -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Hurdle -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Health -- Pnc-Heal/+End(A), NmnCnv-Regen/Rcvry+(11), Mrc-Rcvry+(11)
Level 1: Stamina -- PrfShf-End%(A), PrfShf-EndMod(13)
Level 50: Cardiac Core Paragon
Level 50: Ion Core Final Judgement
Level 50: Diamagnetic Core Flawless Interface
Level 50: Polar Lights Core Superior Ally
Level 50: Rebirth Radial Epiphany
Level 50: Melee Core Embodiment
------------

 

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|-------------------------------------------------------------------|

 

Edited by Hyperstrike

If you want to be godlike, pick anything.

If you want to be GOD, pick a TANK!

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Been forever since I played an Ice Tanker and I don't recall it being bad once I got IOed up.

 

I do recall still getting aggro ripped from me with both auras and taunt in use though, which I just found odd, but I was being sidekicked up at the time.

 

 

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I've tried Ice Armor twice with HC since my one tank back on live was an Ice/Nrg and I've determined that it just plain sucks. Defense based mitigation with horrible DDR and a penchant for HAVING to use Hibernate way too often just to keep from faceplanting.

 

Both shield and sr kick the crap out of it on the mitigation front.

 

That said, concept rules all and I hear the ice T9 for scrappers and stalkers might not suck as bad.

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I think I am with you Bubba. I was in an ITF (+3x8 not +4x8) with what looked to be a twinked  ice tanker last night, and obviously watched quite closely. So Hibernate stopped him dying quite a few times, but he still died twice. .. and while he was hibernating he wasn't really tanking.  Still it's a challenging project and I'm going to see what i can get out of it!

 

Mitigation

======

The mitigation is 14% less damage on Mids (from chilling embrace), and the recharge reduction...  Perhaps the -recharge will actually cause a measurable game effect . I'm certainly thinking of building for it, and maybe looking for procs that do more -recharge. Any advice on how to improve the mitigation would be greatly appreciated! When I get to patron powers I'll see if ice (and hence more recharge minuses) or darkness (and more tohit/damage reduction) are better.  Most of my tankers don't need this help, but I suspect the ice tanker needs all the help it can get.

 

Aggro management

=============

I've got to the mid 20s and I don't see the magic in the chilling embrace and icicles keeping aggro: lots of other people seem to get the aggro off me. Mind you  I don't normally have any problems with aggro management though: most people that get the aggro are twinked and can handle it for the few seconds that the monster exists post aggro being pulled

 

Mitigation from primary

===============

One reason I picked kinetics was that it's damage reduction should (hopefully) stack with chilling embrace, and the knockdown will help a lot (there's a lot of knock down!).  Plus I've not played it a lot! So far the kinetics is great: looks cool, does decent damage and does lots of knockdown/range and other goodness

 

Stalker/Scrapper

===========

Again I heard the same thing Bubba. I'm doing the parallel leveling up: Kinetics/Ice scrapper and Ice/Kinetics tanker. We'll see how it works out. The T9 for scrapper does look nice.  Especially as you can have shadowmeld as well... that's a lot of 'emergency powers that are actually good'. And I do like moonbeam on scrappers... 

 

Hyperstrike

========

As ever your builds are nice to see. Thank you. It's quite a bit better than one I have half worked out in my head. With a couple of stacks of the tanker resist IO it will look even nicer. I'm doing kinetic melee, but I think the core slots will be similar

 

Brandx

=====

Thanks for that encourage.I'm looking forwards to the magic when I get to the end of the journey and get IOed up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ice is like Energy Armor for Tanks - defense + utility. Easy to soft-cap to the big 4 S/L/E/N, and a bunch of utility powers to buff your hit points and endurance. 

 

I think it works best with Stone Melee. Stone has fast attacks so you can use your heal in a pinch, and Energy Absorption gets all your endurance back with a nice +def buff to boot. Stone's knockdowns help keep you on your feet. And you can make the Crystal rocks look kinda like ice.

Or with Ice Melee, dropping Ice Patch prevents ITF dudes from hacking away your defense. The snooze in Ice Melee's foot stomp helps too.

 

It works just fine for most stuff. Sure, Rularuu will poke you in the eye instead of vice versa, but Carnies and Sappers will usually miss you with their end drain and you can still tank just about everything. We don't know what build that guy in the ITF had, whether he was soft-capped or had resist bonuses. Ice is great for exemping the low-level TFs too.

 

That said, I like it but usually wind up playing my other alts. Right now I'm on my Fire/Savage tank and having a blast. Fire Armor isn't the toughest either but still fun.

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I've found that Ice Armor is pretty good up until you get to the very highest levels (and incarnate stuff). Like Force Field for Defenders, it could use a little help in the form of some DDR, maybe a little Absorption. One piece of advice that I found helped me in my playthrough - Hoarfrost is less a heal or "oh shit" power (though it can be used as such), more something to be clicked right before jumping in.

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On live, mine was at 60% s/l and went surprisingly well.

Maybe try to reach like 55% numbers ?

Don't bother about -rech (imo) : all is about tanking the alpha strike.

On high lvl, the golden Soul Mastery got the very welcome Darkest Night (+Gloom and Dark Oblit') : more -dam/-to-hit and another aggro tool as anchor.

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On 8/10/2021 at 11:44 AM, siran said:

have to admit 'I don't get ice'.

 

Slow.

Ice is about slow.

You slow down your opponents so they can't hit you as often.

Ice patch is essential.

You slow down your opponents so they can't regen as fast.

Ice is about slow.

Slow.

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I have an Ice/Electric/Ice tank. Capped typed defenses (except for Psy and Toxic) and without using Energy Absorption. His resists are46% S/L, 53 Fire,90 Cold, E/N.E/P/T 14%.  His DDR is 51.9%.

Chilling Embrace+ Icicles = all the aggro.  I dual box, and I had my tank following my scrapper. Even as my scrapper was decimating everything in sight, noone ever attacked my scrapper bc my tank was taking all the aggro. With CE and Icicles, you don't need Taunt....it would be overkill.

   For most of the game, I haven't really noticed any drawbacks to my tank. Sure, he can't just stand in a Farm while you walk away, but if that's what you want, then roll something else. It's been a fun toon to play, even the few times I've died. Is he my sturdiest tank? Absolutely not. Is he a fun tank, absolutely. And in all honesty, that's all that matters....that I have fun and enjoy the game.

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I did mine as Ice/Elec/Fire. The amount of aoeness I can put out is just ridiculous. He was a pain to get up to 50, and before IO's it was hit or miss, but once slotted it grabs aggro like super glue. To be honest though, if it wasn't for the concept I had, I probably wouldn't have gone with him. Concept trumped playability in this case.

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I played an Ice/Fire tank on Live, and an Ice/Stone tank here on HC. I believe the key is EA. 6 slot, fit as much def rech and EndMod as you can. Use it at initial engagement. Use it when just the boss is left. Use it as much as possible. Use it. On a tank it is the key power.

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The good stuff

==========

Well I played a little more. I'm now level 27 so have Energy Absorbtion. And wow... I have to say that even though (IMAO) ice armor is the weakest armor set of all (including fire)... EA is fun. It certainly transforms the set. Even though it's hardly slotted yet it solves all endurance problems (most of my tanks at this level are clicking blues and recovery serum like mad).. Kinetic melee is very synergistic. Lots of knockdown. Against hard targets there is a lot of -damage going in. I'll be getting the 'soul'  for darkest night and that will be around -60% damage to most things in the debuff range. That sounds quite interesting. It's like KC4800 said about EA  'use it...use it lots'. It's interesting that it can be proced for stun, and for heal self... as well as a bit of damage. Since I will be casting it every single time it comes back it would be nice if it had that extra utility. I think I will try that 'double stun proc' and see just how effective it is (might be a dud might be game changing)

 

The bad

======

I faceplanted three in the same mission. Arachnos at +2 just ate me alive... I had capped defences to everything but psi, had hoarfrost on for extra hps, but it didn't matter. They just ate me up and spat me out. There were two healers in the party and it's only because of them that I didn't just eat carpet in every encounter.I have no idea how this will survive against high level banished pantheon  / circle of thorns / rularuu. 

 

Ideas from above

===========

I don't have a feeling for how much 'recharge slowness' enhances survivability.   My feelings at the moment are in line with Frankenstein's above. BUT this is a place where I could easily be wrong.  The source of my doubt is because.I've played a lot of psi and while I know that (as a player) recharge debuff utterly sucks, I've never seen it really have any effect on the bad guys. I think the ones that you want to be debuffed are the ones either immune to it, or with such high resists they might as well be immune. That said I am very tempted to try ice/ice now.  I like ice melee (I have a ice/bio stalker that can +4/8 almost everything  - I haven't tried the 801 etc though). It would be interesting to get as much -recharge as I possible can and see if that measurably impacts survivability: my test will be to go into a S/L farm at +4/8 and see how long the character survives. Every other tanker I have the answer is 'however long you want and the baddies will just be arrested'. This one... not at all sure but at the moment I would be willing to bet a beer that it wouldn't be long.. I can get a good feeling for it from the patron pools I think as ice 'shiver' will stack with chilling embrace and hit the cap (I think)

 

A couple of people mentioned electric. I was REALLY surprised at how much endurance EA saps. If that was slotted for End Mod, and the electric attacks slotted with a little end mod. Plus a little agility Alpha slotting (another 45% end mod) then... well... I suspect that the bad guys aren't going to have a lot of endurance. I've found sapper more hit than miss in general if you view it as 'just another layer that reduces the damage a goodly amount'. I never thought of ice armor before this. My best sapper by the way is a sentinal. Elec/elec/mu.... Prior to that it was an electric controller, but the sentinal is just far more brutal in getting the sapping done, and does plenty of damage as well.

 

I heard stone melee mentioned as well. I think kinetic melee and stone have a lot in common. Lots of bad guys bouncing around. Kinetic Melee puts in the -damage, Stone melee has some more hard controls. I haven't played stone enough to know how it would feel... One observation is that stone melee is traditionally end heavy... and ice armour solves that problem with EA... so it might be really nice. (Same argument with TW as well)

 

Build

====

I am aiming at a build similar to Xandr above. It looks very easy to get super-capped E/N/S/L. Hyperstrike was far more resist than I've managed to easily do, so I might see about canibalising his.  Psi will of course be an absolute pain all the way down the line, especially with very little psi defence, but usually that can be managed by paying attention I find. I do have a stone/granite build with 80% psi resist most of the time (part of my 'can afk tank the rularuu goal') and that could probably be done with ice armor if I wanted... but I think the number of slots it takes is too limiting.

 

What's next

=======

I need to get my scrapper up now.  See how the ice armor feels when 'you aren't the main aggro magnet'. It's mainly for the T9 so I think it will only be at ITF that I really get a feeling for how potent, or more importantly, how fun ice armor is. I'm also keen to get to hibernate and see how long I can keep agro while hibernating. If the answer is 'long enough' it might be that it's transformational in turning the weakest tanker in the game to somewhere in the middle

 

 

 

 

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On 8/11/2021 at 1:51 PM, OmegaOne said:

I've found that Ice Armor is pretty good up until you get to the very highest levels (and incarnate stuff). Like Force Field for Defenders, it could use a little help in the form of some DDR, maybe a little Absorption. One piece of advice that I found helped me in my playthrough - Hoarfrost is less a heal or "oh shit" power (though it can be used as such), more something to be clicked right before jumping in.


Uh.  Ice DOES have DDR.  Something like 51% or so...

If you want to be godlike, pick anything.

If you want to be GOD, pick a TANK!

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34 minutes ago, Hyperstrike said:


Uh.  Ice DOES have DDR.  Something like 51% or so...

Really? Huh I never really checked - I just assumed as much as some high level enemies just crew through the toggles, but then that could have been simply high accuracy/to-hit buffs. Then that kind of reinforces my opinion that Ice Armor needs a bit of a buff. Like I said - a little Absorb could go a long way. Maybe just change the +HP in Hoarfrost to Absorb and sprinkle some more in one or more other powers, or a mechanic to generate it (like x amount per target affected by Chilling Embrace or icicles).

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2 hours ago, Hyperstrike said:

Uh.  Ice DOES have DDR.  Something like 51% or so...

 

Unfortunately, that's like a resistance based tank only getting 51% damres debuff resistance. It's gonna fold hard under heavy defense debuffs.

 

That said, there's, what, ageless radial to bump the DDR up? Or is it rebirth radial? Either way, it'll certainly help end-game.

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On 8/10/2021 at 8:29 PM, Bill Z Bubba said:

I've tried Ice Armor twice with HC since my one tank back on live was an Ice/Nrg and I've determined that it just plain sucks. Defense based mitigation with horrible DDR and a penchant for HAVING to use Hibernate way too often just to keep from faceplanting.

 

Both shield and sr kick the crap out of it on the mitigation front.

 

That said, concept rules all and I hear the ice T9 for scrappers and stalkers might not suck as bad.

 

Since Energy Aura for Brutes was based on Tanker ICE, due to them not wanting to mess up Fury with ICE's slows ...

 

Then later Energy Aura got buffed way way up, it stands to reason that ICE is now proportionally weaker, outdated, and needing some TLC.

 

Of Course you can make it work with lots of IOs, and it grabs ton of aggro, and the slows are handy, Tankers are super tough, so its not really impressive ICE can be made to work for them.  

 

But I think its got weak, early Issue balance compared to the Power Inflated monstrosities of today.  

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7 hours ago, siran said:

The good stuff

==========

Well I played a little more. I'm now level 27 so have Energy Absorbtion. And wow...

 

How's your build coming? You should be able to soft-cap smashing/lethal by now and should be really close to E/N cap with a build similar to this. Burst with three Eradications gets you to the E/N cap. Energy Absorption will cap you if you use it when entering a spawn.

My standard flow is to enter a spawn, EA to cap defense.

Fight 'till nearly everything's down and you're almost out of endurance.

Run to the next spawn (the critters that are left will follow you) and pop EA on the fresh spawn to top up end and cap defense.

 

image.thumb.png.f66da843211c22e6760ac1c2dd3c17ac.png

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Ice DDR

=====

Just what Bubba said.  50% Damage resist halfs the debuff. Say we have a debuff of 20 defence, then it's halved to 10. If you are just at defence cap you are already into cascading defence failure. Two hits and even if you were 10 over the cap, then you are into cascading DDR failure and there is no comeback (apart from hibernate or death or somehow getting a break). Compare that with Super Reflexes who have (I think) 95%+/- a point or so DDR. That 20 defence loss normally (which ice would take 10 from) is actually just 1 defence lost. SR has a lot more defence anyway. Summarising that SR basically doesn't suffer from cascading DDR, ice suffers from it terribly. That's what killed the ITF Ice tanker I saw before.  Most of the time he was fine, but every now and then he was unlucky, and once unlucky because the DDR resist is so poor he has no real comeback. Adding surplus defence over the 45% helps of course. But with such puny... almost non existant Defence debuff resistance it's not something that is really viable.. All that said I have been on teams in the ITF where we all had over 100% defence. With that kind of team... well even the weakest tanker is fine

 

Long term I think hibernate will help enormously with this. As soon as you go red in the defences (that's about two hits after you loose your cap in my experience) then you click the hibernate button. Everything resets. And hopefully the aggro that you had lasts while you are hibernating. You just have to be watching and be really really quick because with poor resists and every blow landing, and 'you have all the aggro' you aren't going to last long. My controllers do this a bit already: just need to be quick

 

Ice Patch

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Ninja surprise was saying 'use ice melee' and that ice patch was very synergistic. If I was starting again I would go ice melee and explore if that works. As I've started, I'm going to run to 50+ and see how the ice/kinetic melee works

 

Haijinx's comments on energy armor

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Yes. EA is just better. It has just as good endurance management (I think), it has really only got psi as a hole. And instead of slowing down their recharge it has a great stun aura that stacks with your primary power stunning. Handclap/lightning clap/or similar, plus the stunning aura mean that even bosses spend a lot of their time stunned.  It doesn't slow them down, and it doesn't do the 'damage reduction debuff', but I think in general it's tools are better. 

 

Edit: forgot that tankers don't get it. And I think only stalkers get the stun power... so most of the above doesn't matter. 

 

Build

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It is a little ad-hoc as I tend not to respec very much and just get things as they seem good. I think I am at 41..42% S/L/N/E. That's not bad because in every team I go in there is at least someone with manuvers! I'd post it, but I am in a hotel today and can't log in (firewall issues) to check what the build is. All of my damage resists except ice are terrible. 

 

Your build is much better than mine at this level. I have really just got the tanker ATOs and put them in places, got a few nice IOs and stuck them in places, and don't have much in the way of IO bonuses yet. As an example I really like the KB-> KD in repulsing torrent, and I do like the big recharge buffs when the ... I forget the name ... knockback -> recharge bonus. The combination lets the hoarfrost and Energy Absorbtion come back quicker, as well as keeping the baddies bouncing lots. 

 

 

 

Edited by siran
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14 minutes ago, Haijinx said:

The real EA insult is you can generate much higher Def numbers on a Brute thanks to EA energy drain than you can on an ICE tanker.

 

High enough that the DDR isn't an issue.  

Energy Absorbtion provides (base) .45 defense per enemy for a scrapper on a 60 second recharge/45 second duration

Energy Drain provides (base) .38 defense per enemy for a scrapper on a 60 second recharge/45 second duration.

 

How is Energy Drain better than Energy Absorbtion?

 

I used scrapper because it gets both Ice and Energy Aura

What this team needs is more Defenders

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