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1 Lion or 100 Chickens


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When solo leveling, I often set  the difficult to -1 and then start ramping up the team size to get more and more opponents. To my playstyle and my mind I imagine having more kills (arrests?) gives me more goodies, exp and chances for drops.

 

But in trying out a tank with super strength, I find that they are not great with crowds (but really good on singletons) until they start getting their AOEs around 22 or 24.

What about setting the team size at one and ramping up the difficulty level instead?

 

I can probably tell you the effect after enough play on it, but I wonder if someone has experience on this already that they want to share.

 

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For me it depends on the archetype.  I find for Stalkers, I have a much easier time increasing the enemy difficulty, than increasing the mobs.  I'd rather fight a +3 or +4 Lt and two minions, than say 1 yellow mob and 5 white.  

 

Currently on my level 23 Ice/Energy tanker, I'm fighting at +0x3 because I have icicles, Chilling embrace(with some dmg procs) and Whirling hands.  So usually by the time I take out a Lt etc, most of the mobs are dead or nearly there.  I sometimes gather 2 or more enemy groups this way, and it's working pretty good.  

 

For a Blaster, I generally go with more mobs.  Once I'm at -1x8 or 0x8, I'll start bumping up the difficulty.  I seldom do something like +2x3.  At that point I'd rather go +4x1, or -1x6 etc.  

 

If you have a lot of single target damage, then try increasing difficulty.  If you have a lot of AoE, try increasing the team size.

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1 hour ago, luxlorica said:

What about setting the team size at one and ramping up the difficulty level instead?

 

I can probably tell you the effect after enough play on it, but I wonder if someone has experience on this already that they want to share.

A key here, as you touched on, is availability of AoEs and other considerations.  For instance, a dark melee character, who wants to leverage soul drain, wants more targets rather than a few really tough ones.  Similarly, there are several armor set toggle powers that provide a greater benefit the more enemies that are around them.  On my sentinels, which tend to be more single-target focused, I'll prefer fewer, tougher opponents.  It all comes down to AT, powersets, level, and play style...

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While leveling: I will always ramp up spawn size before ramping up difficulty.... exactly when depends on the character and how I've been slotting its powers.

 

In solo play, I almost never ramp up difficulty except in the following cases:

  • For Incarnate content, I will minimally increase difficulty to match Incarnate shifts.
  • For level 45+ content, if I have an Alpha shift, I will increase difficulty to account for that.
  • If I'm facing enemies that take a LOT of knockback without me doing anything differently, I will turn up difficulty to keep them from scattering too much.

There are two reasons for this personal behavior:

  1. I don't enjoy endless slugfests
  2. As near as I can tell there is no difference in recipe/salvage drop rates between +0 vs. +3
  3. Generally: XP/Inf is better for more defeats in less time..

The only exception is when I know I will be facing an AV in a mission and for some reason I want the AV to be more powerful, I have turned the settings to +3x1. I don't do this often.

 

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Even if you want less enemies, I find upping to at least x2 team size is better because you will get the occasional Boss spawn, and they're much better xp. I find certain enemy groups (like the Lost) spawn Bosses more than others.

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Doing what you enjoy is (to me) the paramount rule in this game.

 

I enjoy leveling quickly (if I choose to do that on that character) and I enjoy *some* level of challenge.  Every single alt I make starts out at +1/x1.

 

Recently I started leveling a Stone/SS tank, and I put it at +2/x8 out of the box.  Was that tedious in the beginning?  Heck yeah.  As you say, SS lacks AoE until Foot Stomp.  But it was fun because I had to play strategically because I'd get several bosses in each mob at a time when three minions could take me out if I'm not careful.  At early levels, x8 has you levelling 2-4 times in a single mission, so that's interesting as well!

 

As far as raising your difficulty, on a melee character I'm generally at x3 in early teens, x5 in mid 20s, x8 by low 30s.  That's going to have the biggest effect on how quickly you level.  I usually try to avoid +4 until I'm at 50, since +5 mobs (half the time that's how they spawn, I believe) can be a pita unless you are slotted for accuracy.

 

But if you enjoy being Andre the Giant against a large number of toddlers, have at it and run -1/x8!  I can see how that could be fun.  Do what you enjoy, no one is judging you except you!

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Someone's obviously never fought a chicken. Much less 100 of them.

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SS is pretty sucky at lower levels especially if you follow an end game build which skips either jab or punch and even haymaker which means you'll only have 1 attack until level 20. There's definitely a case for taking all the attacks for leveling and then respec them out as your build matures with this powerset.

 

For lower level xp the trick is to run story arcs and focus on mission completion and story arc completion bonuses. Killing everything is the more inefficient way to level up through arcs and unless you are gunning for mob defeat badges you can get through a lot of story arcs, earn lots of xp and merits without a heavy focus on fighting.

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