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Solo 1-49 (without ATO or sets): Why Stalker instead of Blaster?


Greymistbc1
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So, the question in the title.  I've tried several different stalkers over the years, and they just seem...meh.

I _want_ to like them, but...   😞

Especially dislike the ambushes or scripted spawns that magically see you through your stealth and hunt you relentlessly -- very much a mood-killer.

Any advice (that doesn't involve teams, special Invention sets, or incarnate fixes?)

Thanks!

 

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You really want to get at least the 2 Stalker ATO Procs. They are pretty game changing for stalkers.

When you get them higher level and built out, they can be really sturdy, so ambushes are essentially free xp/inf that finds you.

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7 minutes ago, SeraphimKensai said:

You really want to get at least the 2 Stalker ATO Procs. They are pretty game changing for stalkers.

When you get them higher level and built out, they can be really sturdy, so ambushes are essentially free xp/inf that finds you.


Sooo... your answer would be, 'they really don't measure up without ATO's' ?

(I assume you mean the "Chance to build up" and "Chance to hide"?)



 

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6 hours ago, Greymistbc1 said:


Sooo... your answer would be, 'they really don't measure up without ATO's' ?

(I assume you mean the "Chance to build up" and "Chance to hide"?)



 

They are a lot better now than they were say back in i6 when they launched and they can be built to be fine on SOs alone in comparison to any other toon on SOs alone. That said when you actually start investing in IOs, those particular two IOs are IMO the 2nd Best ATO procs in the game after the Tanker ATO procs.

 

You're able to get rid of placate and drop back into hide during fights for guaranteed critical hits, and due to the other you can get tons of uptime out of buildup.

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While @SeraphimKensai is right about the ATOs, I'll try to leave them out since you asked about going solo sans sets. 

 

First, I'm gonna say the obvious thing. If your issue with Stalkers is about feel, then maybe you just don't like Stalkers. Like any other AT, they have their own particular vibe and playstyle. It's not for everyone and that's okay. Me personally, I can't deal with how binary Blasters are. The damage they bring is unmatched but they've only got one option in combat, kill stuff before it kills them. If they can't do that for whatever reason...☠️

 

Stalkers, OTOH, get to decide when and how they're gonna fight. Since the revamp a long time ago, they can scrap it out when necessary and aren't locked into the dichotomy of being either an ambush predator or a squishy waiting to get squashed. 

 

As for specific combos that work well without sets and Incarnates, I'd recommend Stj/EA. Stalkers are squishy in terms of their health pools so a Defense based armor set is a better choice than ones that rely on resists. Even with SOs, you'll be sitting in the mid to high 30s in terms of Defense numbers on EA. Not as good as softcap but better than most. You also get a heal for the damage that does get through and an Endurance refill on demand. Stj is a great pairing because, being a newer set, it doesn't suffer from the total lack of AoE damage that a lot of older Stalker sets have to deal with. 

 

All that being said, maybe you're just not a good fit for the Stalker playstyle. That's cool too but if you wanna give it another shot, please do. 

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Stalker does engagement control. You can pick and choose who, when and where to fight. If a fight is going south? Placate and take a breather. Want to start sans a Lt or Boss? You have the tools to make it so. And when teamed, you can just scrap it out and get bonus crit chance for it.

 

Why play a Stalker instead of a Blaster? Survivability and control.

 

And just because an ambush is tracking you doesn't mean you're visible. You can still run and engage in a better location.

 

All in all, if you haven't gotten into just trying stuff out of the ordinary and having fun with it, I don't know what to tell you lol. I play khelds because they are interesting and different as well as Masterminds for being management focused. Since the game is mostly going to be static, you're going to just have to take it or leave it. Either play around with Stalkers and get a feel for them your way or wait around until we develop ESP tech to infuse the mentality into your brain over the Internet. There's nothing inherently wrong with Stalkers that make then a poor choice or anything. They're just different.

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Me, one reason I prefer stalkers usually is that being invisible to nearly everyone, I can just waltz down a street without worry; my blasters, especially low level are cowering targets who have to hug one side of the street or another lest those scary guys over there see me.  I hate that.  My first toon ever was a blaster and got me pretty peeved trying to run across the Hollows without getting ganked (yeah, now I just buy a jetpack and feel less threatened from the air).

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On 7/12/2022 at 10:05 PM, Greymistbc1 said:


Sooo... your answer would be, 'they really don't measure up without ATO's' ?

(I assume you mean the "Chance to build up" and "Chance to hide"?)



 

The ATIOS are major benefits to all classes. But on stalkers the set bonuses and procs are the strongest. It's a carry over from live. They still function fine without them but the ability to guarantee crits with the hide proc and the buildup proc are massive dps increases. If you want to play the game without ios an unbalanced class with inflated numbers like tanker might be better. That said any stalker especially with energy aura/ NiN/ or sr should be able to solo to 50 with low difficulty.

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Most of my stalkers solo'd from 1 to 50.  They're excellent for that.   As people said, the ATOs work great for them, but you can go without.  One of mine did just SOs for most of it's run.

 

And some of those ambushes will come right to you, but still won't see you.  Even if they do, i always liked the run around a corner and pop them one when they come by.

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A Stalker dictates the initial strike. This means before the battle has started, it has already moved in favor of a Stalker. It is harder, but not impossible due to ranged attacks, to do the same with a Blaster.

 

A Stalker can do the minimum for a mission. Again, a Blaster could do the same, but it will take more effort to do so, and a Stalker can do it at level 1.

 

Stalkers have built in mitigation. Even if a Blaster can get similar or equal amounts of mitigation in the end(Incarnates), a Stalker gets it much earlier.

 

"What about ambushes?"

 

And? I get what Hide offers, but considering most of the time I'm attacking isn't while in Hide, then not having it isn't a big deal. I'm more annoyed if I'm trying to Stealth for speed reasons and I'm forced to fight, but again, a Blaster doesn't have an advantage here either.

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On 7/12/2022 at 11:05 PM, Greymistbc1 said:


Sooo... your answer would be, 'they really don't measure up without ATO's' ?

(I assume you mean the "Chance to build up" and "Chance to hide"?)



 

 

which you can slot at level 7 and they do turn you into a ST machine right away

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Stalker would still be better than it was on live without those ATOs but not nearly as fun. Without those extra crits you're likely to fall back into the boring ass. strike, placate or run, repeat pattern. I'd do the blaster if you're not willing to at least slot the chance to hide in AS.

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7 hours ago, Mr. Vee said:

Stalker would still be better than it was on live without those ATOs but not nearly as fun. Without those extra crits you're likely to fall back into the boring ass. strike, placate or run, repeat pattern. I'd do the blaster if you're not willing to at least slot the chance to hide in AS.

 

I'd probably go Scrapper.  

 

If you used the Ninjitsu Armor set, you could be a Stalker-Lite, with some hide crit bonus, but mainly scrapper style play.   

 

Thing is, if you solo 1-49 then you will have lots of Reward Merits, assuming you are working on Contact Arcs.  So getting the ATOs wouldn't be too hard. 

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On 8/13/2022 at 1:41 AM, Haijinx said:

 

which you can slot at level 7 and they do turn you into a ST machine right away

 

 *10, but yes, barring self imposed iron man challenges it's best not to fight against slotting at least the procs. Few ATs get game changing ATOs like Stalkers.

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On 7/12/2022 at 7:37 PM, Greymistbc1 said:

So, the question in the title.  I've tried several different stalkers over the years, and they just seem...meh.

I _want_ to like them, but...   😞

Especially dislike the ambushes or scripted spawns that magically see you through your stealth and hunt you relentlessly -- very much a mood-killer.

Any advice (that doesn't involve teams, special Invention sets, or incarnate fixes?)

Thanks!

 

  

#1 Don't skip Placate

This was one of the most powerful abilities in the game when it was single target. Now it is an AoE. It allows escape and can also increase damage through crits. Put a couple recharges in it. Now you're Stalkering.

 

#2 Lean into the additional effects of your primary

If you pick a primary that has +def, pair it with a secondary that is defense.

If you pick a primary that has crowd control like stuns, try and use it, don't ignore it.

 

#3 Pairing Primary/Secondary

Look for synergies.

Energy Melee loves recharge. Are there any secondaries which have +rech?

 

Suggested combos

Energy Melee/Energy Aura (hits hard, one of the best combos in game currently)

Electric Melee/Shield Defense (AoE goodies [which don't break hide])

 

Hope this helps. Stalkers are fun.

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