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Modern Force Fields Guide


MonteCarla

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Force Fields for Defenders (and others)

I started putting this together after the September 2022 changes to Force Field, and played a couple of FF Defenders to 50 to test out the two main approaches. Force Fields was always one of my favourite powersets, and is even more so now with the improvements.

 

My approach to Defending
I always take a good number of attacks from my secondary and slot them. This does not compromise your ability to use your Primary. I believe every team member should contribute direct damage, as that is what leads to mission completion.
Even "half a Blaster" is better than none. 
Defenders have a great potential to be "Sentinels who buff" and build up their own defences, since they get the best bonuses from pool powers, equalled only by Tankers! (Any powerset can soft-cap their defences, FF makes it super easy though)
Leadership powers are highly recommended as extra team buffs.
Nukes and Aim are great to have, and to get them recharging as quickly as possible.

 

For me, the best thing in CoH is the widely varied support sets.

Whenever I get on a team or task force, I count the support sets (Defender, Corrupter, Controller, Mastermind, Arachnos) and feel joy over some broad categories. 
The big things you can bring to a team are
- Team safety (+Def, +Res, -To Hit, Heals, Mez protection) - Yay! Our green bars won't be moving much
- Team killing speed (-Res debuffs, +Recharge, +Damage, Mez Protection) - Yay! The enemies are going to melt in front of us
- End management (+End, +Recovery, end drain resistance) - Yay! Our blue bars won't be moving much

Where does Force Fields fit into that?

 

Force Fields overview
Safety 5/5 - its a top-tier defensive set
Killing Speed  3/5 - has decent -Res debuffs
End Management 2/5 - Insulation Shield adds big End Drain Resistance, which makes Penny Yin and Synapse much nicer for teammates
Ease of Use 5/5 (very easy to use well, leaving you lots of time to devote to your other powerset)

 

Defence buffs

Force Fields do one thing really well - add Defence to your allies so they don't get hit.
Enemies have a base 50% chance to hit you. You subtract your Defence from this and cap at 5%, and then multiply that by accuracy bonuses/level difference mulitpliers.
So 45% Defence lowers your chance of getting hit by an even con enemy from 50% to 5%!! It pretty much reduces all incoming damage (and other effects like debuffs and mez) by a factor of ten 

The following four powers, 3 slotted for Defence, will give your teammates close to the 45% soft-cap on a Defender (number shown are base values and fully slotted values for ally Defence buffs):
- Deflection Shield and Insulation Shield 15%/21% 
- Dispersion Bubble 10%/16%
- Leadership: Manouvers 3.5%/5.5%
That's +42.5% total defence once all are 3-slotted! As long as someone else is running Manouvers, or each teammate had Hover or Combat Jumping or something, you've put everyone at the defence soft cap. You can do this by Level 13 now.
In order to maintain this, you need to use two powers every four minutes!

Controllers, Corrupters and MMs get 75% of these values, so they add around 32% Defence to all teammates, which will still take many allies to the Defence cap.

If you really want to nudge everyone over the edge yourself as a Defender, grab Concealment: Grant Invisibility, an ally only buff that makes the target invisible and adds 2.5% Defence for 2 minutes. (This is also thematically on point if you want to be married to a silver fox scientist with a stretchy body, and have a kid brother who can set himself on fire! 🙂 )

In Incarnate content, NPC's base hit values are higher, so 59% is the soft cap for defence.

 

Other Force Multipliers for teams

As of September 2022, FF has been given some offensive debuffs. 
Force Bolt is a low damage attack that does hefty knockback. It now also does a Resistance debuff, so anyone hit by it takes 20% more damage for the next 30 seconds.
Force Bolt is low recharge, low damage, high accuracy and really needs very little slotting. Maybe KB -> KD, or a single end redux or acc?

Repulsion Bomb is a low damage knockdown AoE, which also does -Resistance now. 
It's a great power to proc out. It does knock up (so KB->KD not required) and can take:
- Force Feedback +Recharge
- Annihilation -Res proc
- Positron's Blast, Bombardment and Explosive Strike damage procs
- 1 accuracy is probably a good idea
 
These two are must-haves because of the -Res debuff they provide!

 

Other Force Field Powers
Personal Force Field (2/5) - It adds a lot to your defence, but, means you cant attack, and your ally buffs from Dispersion and Manouvers go down. You're better building for defence that works while you attack.
Detention Field (1/5) - very situational. It traps an enemy but makes them unhittable. This is very bad for almost all gameplay. (Great for Consiglieres with Singularity pets - Detention the Singularity and then kill the boss to make it disappear. But that's about it.)
Repulsion Field (3/5) - combines knockback on close enemies with a large scale Repel. Protects you from melee attacks really well and can be fun and useful for herding and positioning enemy groups. A KB->KD IO will turn off the repel, meaning anyone who comes into melee range gets repeatedly knocked up and down. If you're going for  a tanky build, this power can remove the need to get your Melee Defence up to the soft cap. Also vewry useful for a few situations like stopping 30 Fir Bolg getting through the gate, or planting a bomb in a Mothership Raid.
Damping Bubble (2/5) - static bubble that debuffs enemies and buffs allies inside it. Provides some Defence Debuff Resistance, which is nice (see below). The fact its static placement and longer recharge makes it better for AV fights than steamrollering missions. I've heard some people sing its praises, but I never felt it make a difference.

 

FF Defender Type 1: The Sentinel Who Buffs
You don't get all these bonuses yourself, because Deflection Shield and Insulation Shield are ally-only.
But it's not hard at all to get to 45% Defence yourself, since Defenders get the best Defence bonuses from pool powers,
equal to Tanks!
- Fighting: Tough, slotted with two unique +Def IOs (+6%) - needs Kick or Boxing to unlock
- Fighting: Weave, fully slotted for defence (5%/8%)
- Combat Jumping and/or Hover (2.5%/3% with one LotG unique or SO)
This (and Dispersion Field and Manouvers) gives you personally 38.5% Defence. Its not hard to get to 45% from there with a few set bonuses.
Gaussian's Synchronised Fire Control in Aim adds 2.5% to all positions.
Two Thunderstrikes, or the Defender ATIO sets will then cap your Ranged Defence

Unbreakable Guard (4 pieces) in Tough, Obliteration in PBAoEs help with Melee Defence

 

FF Defender 2: The Consummate Supporter
The solid defences you provide are much better than reactive healing, but aren't much use if a teammate is low on health and damage is still trickling through.
Medicine: Aid Other - can be very handy for spot-healing. Also unlocks Aid Self. Also breaks sleep, which your Dispersion Bubble does not protect against!
Sorcery: Spirit Ward - provides an extra layer of defence on an ally in the form of an Absorption Shield. I haven't experimented with this too much.
Teleport: Teleport Target - always a useful support power, could have some good applications with a Stealth power or "Tank Stealthing" with Personal Force Field. Always handy for rescuing dead teammates, or dealing with an enemy you've Force Bolted into a cave wall!

 

Healing IOs:
Defender's Bastion - Chance for Healing Aura. Put this set in a long recharge blast or snipe to provide regular healing pulses for yourself and allies nearby. This complements Force Fields really well.
Power Transfer - Chance to Heal. This can be slotted in an extra slot in Stamina to give you small frequent healing pulses to recover from the unlikely hit.

 

Endurance management:
Doing your job requires running two toggles (Dispersion Bubble and Manouvers) and attacking, which can drain your endurance. The usual tools for End management available to you are:
- extra slots in Stamina
- the Performance Shifter: Chance for +End Proc in Stamina (average return is better than an End Mod SO)
- Recovery Serum from the P2W Vendor
- Epic powers like Conserve Power, Power Sink, Consume
- The Atlas Medallion accolade for more Endurance (and Portal Jockey later)
- Leadership: Victory Rush (not fantastic in my experience)

 

When Defence breaks down...
You don't get to turn your team into completely indestructible gods ALL the time. The following enemy factions will cause problems:


1) Defence Debuffs
- Circle of Thorns Earth Thorn Caster. They drop Quicksand, which has a big -Def debuff and doesn't need to hit. Only appear at levels 35-39
- Arachnos Spider Mistress Lieutenants do a psychic cone attack that drops Defence quite harshly

- Clamor in Penny Yin (and Dreck) use Radiation Blast attacks with -Def

- Gamma Tanks in Crey use Radiation Melee attacks with -Def

Damping Bubble will mitigate some of this by providing Defence Debuff Resistance to you and your team

 

2) To Hit Buffs
- Nemesis Lieutenants (except Snipers/Tirralieurs) do Vengeance when they die, giving all nearby allies +30% To Hit! One application is bad, but this stacks!! Defeat them last, and try not to pull multiple groups
- Devouring Earth Quartz Lieutenants drop little Quartz emanators that give every ally +100% To Hit!! (You read that right) One little emanator will completely neutralise your powerset, so try to mez the Guardians immediately*, and target and destroy any emanators quickly (or just rely on AoE to do that). 
*Note that Fungi Lieutenants drop mushrooms that make nearby DE immune to mez, so this tactic has its limits in large groups.

Damping Bubble does not help here


Blast Powers
You can now skip your Tier 1 power as a Defender, which is usually a good thing. I usually aim to have Tier 2, Tier 3 and Snipe blasts, two AoE's, the nuke and Aim.
Attacks with IO's: 3 Damage, one acc, one end redux, on recharge roughly in that order
Blasts: Thunderstrikes help you cap ranged Defence with some other nice bonuses
Snipe: Thunderstrike or Sting of the Manticore.
AoE attacks: Good place for the Defender special IOs.
Aim: Slot a Gaussian's Synchronised Fire Control: Chance to Build Up. This takes Aim from +50% damage to +130% most of the time (since it has around 90% chance to proc), giving your Nuke much more power!
Slotting the full set gives you +2.5% Defence to Melee, Ranged and Area, which is great of you're chasing the defence softcap
Nuke: Obliteration is a great set here. With IOs 3 slot damage, then recharge. Has very high base accuracy. Use Bombardment for ranged Nukes?

 

Power Boost/Build Up and Epics
Defenders and Corrupters get Power Build Up in Power Mastery (+98%/+78% to Defence Buffs)
Controllers get Power boost in Primal Forces Mastery (+122% to Defence Buffs)
These are short lived buffs like Aim/Build Up that increase buff strengths and heals. If you activate these before Deflection Shield and Insulation Shield, those bubbles will stay buffed for their entire lifetime!
So this increases ally buffs by:

Defenders: 98% * 15%  = 14.5%      = 57% Total
Corrupters: 78% * 11.25% = 8.8%    = 41% Total
Controllers: 122% * 11.25% = 13.7% = 46% Total

This pushes a FF Defender into capping against Incarnate content, and a Controller into capping against normal content!

If you go this route, be aware that re-applying Insulation Shield or Deflection Shield after Power Build Up/Power Boost has worn off will result in the boosted shields being replaced with un-boosted shields. My preferred method is to hit Power Build Up when it recharges, and only ever apply shields immediately after.

 

FF/Energy Defender example build
1   Deflection Shield (3 slot Def)
1   Power Blast (5 or 6 slot)
2   Repulsion Bolt ( 1 slot Accuracy)
4   Energy Torrent ( 5 or 6 slot)
6   Insulation Shield ( 3 slot Def)
8   Manouvers ( 4 slot, 3 Def + End redux)
10  Power Burst ( 5 or 6 slot)
12  Dispersion Bubble ( 4 slot, 3 Def + end redux)
14  Kick ( ignore)
16  Sniper Blast (5 or 6 slot)
18  Tough ( 2 slot for +Def IOs)
20  Aim ( GSFC: Build Up )
22  Force Bomb 
24  Weave ( 4 slot, 3 Def + end redux)
26  Hover/Combat Jumping
28  Explosive Blast
30  Nova (5 or 6 slot)
32  Fly/Superjump/Hasten

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8 hours ago, MonteCarla said:

- Fighting: Tough, slotted with two unique +Def IOs (+6%) - needs Kick or Boxing to unlock
- Fighting: Weave, fully slotted for defence (5%/8%)

 

Fighting is a poor choice on most FF fenders.

 

1) set IO builds easily softcap without weave.

2) SO builds struggle to afford the endurance cost.

 

Dispersion bubble, maneuvers, either CJ or hover, both 3% uniques, and agility core paragon bring you to about 32.5% def to all.

 

6x gaussians makes that 35%, so we only need 10% more def.

 

The ATIO sets offer 5% ranged and 5% aoe defense bringing us to 40%. The remaining amount is easily made up, for example 6x t-strikes 2x botzs for another 5% ranged def.

 

9 hours ago, MonteCarla said:

Blasts: Thunderstrikes help you cap ranged Defence with some other nice bonuses

 

If you plan on capping aoe def in addition to ranged, a set of winter's bite can be more valuable (especially since aoe def is generally rarer).

 

6x t-strikes is 3.75% ranged def.

6x winter's bite is 2.5% ranged and 2.5% aoe def, a total of 5%.

 

The tradeoff is that winter's bite does not have the acc but with the added slot-efficiency this can be made up elsewhere and still result in a net gain.

 

9 hours ago, MonteCarla said:

Defenders and Corrupters get Power Build Up in Power Mastery (+98%/+78% to Defence Buffs)

 

For fenders/corrs the power boost in soul mastery is generally better:

  • Lesser recharge resulting in higher uptime.
  • Soul mastery has more valuable powers such as an epic toggle with exotic resists and soul drain (albeit weaker than the one in dark mastery).

 

 

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All good points, Zect. Thanks!

 

I skipped fighting on my "Consumate Supporter" character but took it on my "Sentinel who Buffs" partly to get to high def values quicker. Without Fighting I'd have had to wait until the late 30's early 40s to slot the two Unique IOs. But I agree, its not worth it for an end-game build.

 

I hadn't looked too closely at the Winter's Bite set (or any Winter's sets). Huh, cool. Can't argue with that!

 

And yeah, Soul Mastery is a better choice for getting the Power Boosted shields up more often.

  

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  • 3 months later

Revisiting a not-too-old thread....

 

I'm noodling around with a Force Field / Beam Rifle Defender. This is not a primary I've used since some early days on Live; I've only played with Beam Rifle on Blasters. Here's the Power picks I think I'm going with (spoilers for shrinkage):

 

Force Field

Beam Rifle

Sorcery

Leadership

Leviathan Mastery

 

Spoiler

1 Single Shot

1 Deflection Field

2 Charged Shot

4 Cutting Cone

6 Mystic Flight

8 insulation Field

10 Disintegrate

12 Dispersion Bubble

14 Repulsion Bolt

16 Maneuvers

18 Spirit Ward

20 Rune of Protection

22 Lancer Shot

24 Penetrating Ray

26 Tactics

28 Piercing Beam

30 Overcharge

32 Damping Bubble

35 Shark Skin

38 Hibernate

41 Personal Force Field

44 Vengeance

47 Assault

49 Victory Rush (??)

 

There are more attacks than a Defender needs, but I found myself wanting to leverage:

  • -Resistance in Repulsion Bolt
  • %-Resistance in a few Beam Rifle attacks
  • more Beam Rifle attacks to spread Disintegration
  • multiple quick-fire attacks (again Disintegration)
  • I wanted the Stun from Lancer Shot (it felt weird not having any sort of mezz)
  • I am juggling the ATOs and %damage
  • I felt like it fit the concept to be spamming the Beam Rifle attacks.

I'm running Dispersion Bubble as my Kismet +ToHit Mule (plus 3xShield Wall and a LotG), and Maneuvers with 6xReactive Defenses.

 

I'm not sure where I'll land with Epic/Patron. I won't have an extra slots once the Resistance toggle is 4-slotted... so the leading candidates were Leviathan or Soul Mastery. I like Power Boost (Soul Mastery) but aside from the Defense buffs I don't really have anything worth boosting, and I know if the short-duration boost is something I could pull off reliably for teammates. I think with some juggling of slots (by swapping out Victory Rush for another LotG mule) I could get the recharge time down to about 42 seconds on Power Boost.... but I am never sure if I want to make those compromises for a high-level power pick... with those kind of returns.... since I'm selfish, I wonder if Mu Mastery's Power Sink (at 42 second recharge) isn't a better option?

 

I'm not sold on the order of the final 4 powers.

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Hibernate and PFF do seem to be a bit redundant. 

Top 10 Most Fun 50s.

1. Without Mercy: Claws/ea Scrapper. 2. Outsmart: Fort 3. Sneakers: Stj/ea Stalker. 4. Waterpark: Water/temp Blaster. 5. Project Next: Ice/stone Brute. 6. Mighty Matt: Rad/bio Brute. 7. Without Pause: Claws/wp Brute. 8. Emma Strange: Ill/dark. 9. Nothing But Flowers: Plant/storm Controller. 10. Obsidian Smoke: Fire/dark Corr. 

 

"Downtime is for mortals."

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Mmmmm Skittles.

Girls of Nukem High - Excelsior - Tempus Fabulous, Flattery, Jennifer Chilly, Betty Beatdown, Totally Cali, Two Gun Trixie

Babes of War - Excelsior - Di Di Guns, Runeslinger, Munitions Mistress, Tideway, Hard Melody, Blue Aria

 

Several alts and of course my original from live on Freedom, OG High Beam (someone else has her non OG name)

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On 9/5/2023 at 2:26 PM, tidge said:

 

I was going to use each of them as a mule, but the mule options for Hibernate are mediocre.

Unusual but I believe you could mule a Preventative Medicine proc in here.  I know my support types are often looking for alternatives to adding yet another slot to Health.  Not sure about the Power Transfer proc as I'm on my phone atm

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The Power Transfer %heal appears to be tagged as "on cast", which was the big reason for changing my mind on Patron pools. I have been playing with Mu's Power Sink and I rather like it for my button-mashing-pew-pew Defender. I don't have the character at its level 50 build yet, so Endurance management is currently "ok", with a forecast of being "even better". If that is correct: think the only other "global" I could drop in would be the Synapse Shock Run Speed piece.

 

I have the Preventive Medicine %Absorb into Spirit Ward, so I'm not doing without it. If I didn't have that power I agree that its a good option for a high-level mule power.

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Hey tidge!

I had a FF/Beam Defender a while back, and like you didn't take the Fighting pool and took Damping Bubble, and it all worked out rather well.

 

My biggest question with your proposed powers is what are you getting from Sorcery? Often people build towards Rune of Protection for the mez protection, but you already have Dispersion Bubble giving you that all the time. I'd probably swap that pool out for Flight and Hover and free up a power pick. I found Aid Other really useful - your allies leak health very slowly with your Force Fields, and there have been plenty of times on teams when someone's dying slowly and I've patched them up with it. And that can hold your Preventative Medicine proc.

(And Aid Other visually matches Beam Rifle as sci-fi equipment)

 

You're missing Repulsion Bomb, which does area -Res debuff and knocks everyone over, so its a great opener on teams. (And take the FF +Rech proc, which makes your nuke and Aim come up faster). Its biggest downside is a long animation, and it looks like you're throwing a telekinetic beachball. 🙂

 

And you're missing Aim. Add in the Gaussian Build Up proc and this typically gives you +130% damage for your nuke. The extra +80% damage will trigger 90% of the time in Aim or Build Up, and only lasts 5 second, but it boosts your nuke. I'd been skipping Aim but respecced a number of Defenders when we were allowed to drop our Tier 1 blasts, and really noticed the additon of Aim with this proc.

 

I'd drop the Leviathan Mastery Pool.

Charged Armor and Power sink are great epic powers.

Charged Armor protects vs Electric (very common) rather than Cold (uncommon), and Power Sink is the best end recovery tool for a FF Defender I've found. I've tried Victory Rush and always been a bit disappointed.

Mu Mastery gets you these two very early, but Elec Mastery also gives you Thunderstrike, which is always fun with a KB to KD and the FF +Recharge in it.

 

That's my 2c. Happy bubbling! You'll be a huge help to your teams whatever you choose! 🙂

 

Edited by MonteCarla
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Rune of Protection is the mule for the two pieces that give me +6% Defenses. Don't overlook that it is a hefty +Resistance (All) as well! Dispersion Bubble is not protecting me from all mezzes (e.g. Sleeps, Confuses).

 

Force Bomb: I've used this power on other characters. Generally, even though this is a fine %damage power... I don't like having to slot it with KB->KD (to keep enemies grouped) AND have to slot it with Accuracy (to help the) also slotted %damage pieces.  It simply too much of a slot investment in a power I won't use in this build. I am aware of the extra -Resistance, but I have two powers (from Beam Rifle) that (a) I have slotted anyway and (b) have the Annihilation %-Resistance piece in them. I am also sour on the animation of Force Bomb!

 

I purposely skipped Aim. I wanted 6x Gaussian's for Defense bonuses, and I simply decided that (as a Defender) I would rather keep Tactics up all the time (sacrificing a 90% ceiling %Build Up, I know) and so leverage all the enhancements to Endurance reduction and +ToHit from Gaussians. If this was a Blaster, I'd keep Aim, but as a Defender I felt that Tactics was the better of the two choices... It helps my team plus my (Fast) Snipes get the extra damage boost from Tactics. When I'm playing solo, my sense is that an occasionally used Aim (plus %Build Up) isn't going to make a significant difference in the "number of attacks of I have to click" to defeat enemies in a spawn. That sort of thing does make a difference for my Blasters, but I'm just not convinced that for the Defender (remember: Beam Rifle) I'm going to save myself (m)any clicks but have a short duration boost to damage. I could be wrong of course. I'm not quite ready to take on +0x8 content yet to test.

 

As I wrote above, I've been using the first two powers from Mu Mastery Patron pool (Power Sink, Charged Armor) and liking them. Victory Rush is going to be replaced with a Concealment pool power as my 5th LotG global +Recharge mule as I need to make a slight compromise on slotting to get the Power Sink's recharge times to where I want.

 

My concept is essentially driven by wanting to have all the Beam Rifle attacks. Usually I would never recommend such an approach, but here I am. There is one interesting 'meta' side effect: I have three single-target powers that I usually open with against hard targets when solo: Repulsion Bolt / Disintegrate / Lancer Shot. My Accuracy is such that I never miss two these three attacks (streakbreaker for class +95%)... any two of them have me in set up pretty good shape against that target. None of these are the tier one attacks of course. I realize I could do without one of the two initial secondary attacks and free up a power choice (and some slots) but I haven't worked myself to that yet. I need to see what the attack options look like in the level 50 build.... if I am never casting one of the first two attacks, I will probably make some changes.

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I really do wish there was an alternate animation for Force Bomb 😄

 

I'm going to have to experiment with Rune of Protection for the Resistance Bonus. It's got a fixed uptime of 1/3, but there's got to be some interesting mileage in it either for mega-Resistance Brutes (one of my other hobbies!) or a Resist focused Defender with Rune, Epic Armor, maybe with Sonic Resonance or Pain Dom..? Hmmm...

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Oh, that's good to know about the KD... my past experience has been with the similar power from Epic pools that scattered enemies. I still won't go with Force Bomb on a primary build. There are too many things about the power that don't appeal to me. Number one being that I'm sour on the animation; number one-point-five being that this build is already wielding nine attacks. Keep in mind: I'm not trying for a min-max build as much as I was an angry laser-gun-wielding character.

 

Does anyone know what End Mod does in Power Sink? I'm guessing that it increases the drain on enemies and not on the Endurance granted to the caster?

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1 hour ago, tidge said:

Does anyone know what End Mod does in Power Sink? I'm guessing that it increases the drain on enemies and not on the Endurance granted to the caster?

 

6 minutes ago, Onlyasandwich said:

Both! 

 

Oh, that is nice to know... I may change up some of my thinking on slotting that power. I don't think "sapping" is a good strategy, but recharging myself is peachy keen!

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hello, i was just trying things out with my lvl 37 FF/beam rifle defender, the angle of dorkness, and i tried putting in a KB2KD sudden acceleration in repulsion field and i am extremely disappointed. i know it supresses repel, but testing the knockdown on level 1 mobs in atlas it was hardly ever hitting and not doing terrible much. so i went to brickstown for more near level mobs and they only got knocked down occasionally. i popped out the KD enc, and they were repelled all over the place, often. is this how it is supposed to work? because it's not at all good with a KD, and while i like the repel solo, i rarely use it in teams since it scatters everything. any ideas what to do? i am afraid it will go back to only a rare occasion power... 🤥

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1 hour ago, Ridiculous Girl said:

hello, i was just trying things out with my lvl 37 FF/beam rifle defender, the angle of dorkness, and i tried putting in a KB2KD sudden acceleration in repulsion field and i am extremely disappointed. i know it supresses repel, but testing the knockdown on level 1 mobs in atlas it was hardly ever hitting and not doing terrible much. so i went to brickstown for more near level mobs and they only got knocked down occasionally. i popped out the KD enc, and they were repelled all over the place, often. is this how it is supposed to work? because it's not at all good with a KD, and while i like the repel solo, i rarely use it in teams since it scatters everything. any ideas what to do? i am afraid it will go back to only a rare occasion power... 🤥

 

I want to say I tried this on a Blaster (using an Epic Force Mastery) and I was similarly unimpressed.

 

Toggles are generally bad places to put anything like a %proc, because the chance to proc are usually not good. There are a handful of exceptions.

 

It is possible that this is one of those cases where you might need to also slot some Accuracy, from a Knockback set (because that is the only set the power takes IIRC), in the power in order to improve knockdown. Even if true, this is one of those cases where you will probably have to invest in more slots than you want, in order to make it work... something like a couple of boosted 50+5 Knockback/Accuracy pieces (Kinetic Crash, Sudden Acceleration) to be useful against the enemies you want it to work against.

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Here is my first (current) build of my FF/Beam Rifle Defender. This is a slightly selfish build; more about that later.

 

Spoiler

Primary Power Set: Force Field

Secondary Power Set: Beam Rifle

Power Pool: Sorcery

Power Pool: Leadership

Ancillary Pool: Mu Mastery

 

------------

Level 1:                 Deflection Shield             

 (A) Luck of the Gambler - Recharge Speed

 (*) Luck of the Gambler - Defense

 

 

Level 1:                 Single Shot         

 (A) Superior Defender's Bastion - Accuracy/Damage

 (*) Superior Defender's Bastion - Damage/Recharge

 (*) Superior Defender's Bastion - Damage/Endurance/Recharge

 (*) Superior Defender's Bastion - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance

 (*) Superior Defender's Bastion - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance/Recharge

 (*) Superior Defender's Bastion - Recharge/Chance of Minor PBAoE Heal

 

 

Level 2:                 Charged Shot    

 (A) Superior Vigilant Assault - Damage/RechargeTime

 (*) Superior Vigilant Assault - Damage/Endurance/RechargeTime

 (*) Superior Vigilant Assault - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance/RechargeTime

 (*) Gladiator's Javelin - Chance of Damage (Toxic)

 (*) Explosive Strike - Chance of Damage (Smashing)

 

 

Level 4:                 Cutting Beam    

 (A) Superior Frozen Blast - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance

 (*) Annihilation - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance

 (*) Annihilation - Chance of Res Debuff

 (*) Bombardment - Chance of Damage (Fire)

 (*) Shield Breaker - Chance of Damage (Lethal)

 (*) Touch of Lady Grey - Chance of Negative Damage

 

 

Level 6:                 Mystic Flight      

 (A) Blessing of the Zephyr - Knockback Reduction (4 points)

 (*) Blessing of the Zephyr - Run Speed, Jump, Flight Speed, Range/Endurance

 (*) Blessing of the Zephyr - Run Speed, Jump, Flight Speed, Range

 

 

Level 8:                 Insulation Shield              

 (A) Luck of the Gambler - Recharge Speed

 (*) Luck of the Gambler - Defense

 

 

Level 10:              Disintegrate      

 (A) Apocalypse - Damage: Level 50+5

 (*) Apocalypse - Accuracy/Damage/Recharge: Level 50

 (*) Apocalypse - Accuracy/Recharge: Level 50

 (*) Apocalypse - Damage/Endurance: Level 50+5

 (*) Apocalypse - Chance of Damage (Negative): Level 50

 (*) Gladiator's Javelin - Chance of Damage (Toxic)

 

 

Level 12:              Dispersion Bubble          

 (A) Kismet - Accuracy +6%: Level 30

 (*) Shield Wall - +Res (Teleportation), +5% Res (All)

 (*) Shield Wall - Defense/Endurance: Level 50+5

 (*) Shield Wall - Defense: Level 50+5

 

Level 14:              Repulsion Bolt  

 (A) Gladiator's Javelin - Accuracy/Damage: Level 50+5

 (*) Gladiator's Javelin - Chance of Damage (Toxic)

 (*) Overwhelming Force - Damage/Chance of Knockdown/Knockback to Knockdown

 (*) Explosive Strike - Chance of Damage (Smashing)

 

 

Level 16:              Maneuvers        

 (A) Reactive Defenses - Defense

 (*) Reactive Defenses - Defense/Endurance

 (*) Reactive Defenses - Endurance/RechargeTime

 (*) Reactive Defenses - Defense/RechargeTime

 (*) Reactive Defenses - Defense/Endurance/RechargeTime

 (*) Reactive Defenses - Scaling Resist Damage

 

 

Level 18:              Spirit Ward         

 (A) Preventive Medicine - Chance of +Absorb

 

 

Level 20:              Rune of Protection         

 (A) Gladiator's Armor - TP Protection +3% Def (All)

 (*) Steadfast Protection - Resistance/+Def 3%: Level 30

 

 

Level 22:              Lancer Shot       

 (A) Absolute Amazement - Stun: Level 50+5

 (*) Absolute Amazement - Stun/Recharge: Level 50+5

 (*) Absolute Amazement - Accuracy/Stun/Recharge: Level 50+5

 (*) Absolute Amazement - Accuracy/Recharge: Level 50+5

 (*) Absolute Amazement - Endurance/Stun: Level 50+5

 (*) Damage Increase IO: Level 50+5

 

 

Level 24:              Penetrating Ray               

 (A) Superior Vigilant Assault - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance

 (*) Superior Vigilant Assault - RechargeTime/PBAoE +Absorb

 (*) Superior Vigilant Assault - Accuracy/Damage

 (*) Gladiator's Javelin - Chance of Damage (Toxic)

 (*) Sting of the Manticore - Chance of Damage (Toxic)

 (*) Explosive Strike - Chance of Damage (Smashing)

 

 

Level 26:              Tactics  

 (A) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - To Hit Buff

 (*) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - To Hit Buff/Recharge

 (*) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - To Hit Buff/Recharge/Endurance

 (*) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - Recharge/Endurance

 (*) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - To Hit Buff/Endurance

 (*) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - Chance of Build Up

 

 

Level 28:              Piercing Beam  

 (A) Annihilation - Accuracy/Damage

 (*) Annihilation - Damage/RechargeTime

 (*) Annihilation - Accuracy/Damage/RechargeTime

 (*) Annihilation - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance

 (*) Annihilation - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance/RechargeTime

 (*) Annihilation - Chance of Res Debuff

 

 

Level 30:              Overcharge       

 (A) Superior Frozen Blast - Damage/Endurance/Accuracy/RechargeTime

 (*) Javelin Volley - Accuracy/Damage/End/Rech: Level 50+5

 (*) Javelin Volley - Chance of Damage (Lethal)

 (*) Bombardment - Chance of Damage (Fire)

 (*) Touch of Lady Grey - Chance of Negative Damage

 (*) Shield Breaker - Chance of Damage (Lethal)

 

 

Level 32:              Damping Bubble              

 (A) Luck of the Gambler - Recharge Speed

 

 

Level 35:              Charged Armor

 (A) Unbreakable Guard - Resistance

 (*) Unbreakable Guard - Resistance/Endurance

 (*) Unbreakable Guard - Endurance/RechargeTime

 (*) Unbreakable Guard - +Max HP

 

 

Level 38:              Power Sink        

 (A) D-Sync Conduit (End Mod/Recharge): Level 51

 (*) D-Sync Conduit (End Mod/Recharge): Level 51

 

 

Level 41:              Assault

 (A) Endurance Reduction IO: Level 50+5

 

 

Level 44:              Summon Adept               

 (A) Recharge Reduction IO: Level 50+5

 

 

Level 47:              Personal Force Field      

 (A) Luck of the Gambler - Recharge Speed

 

 

Level 49:              Vengeance        

 (A) Luck of the Gambler - Recharge Speed

 

 

Level 1: Brawl    

 (A) Empty

 

 

Level 1: Sprint   

 (A) Endurance Reduction IO: Level 50+5

 

 

Level 1: Vigilance             

 

 

Level 2: Rest      

 (A) Interrupt Reduction IO: Level 50

 

 

Level 2: Athletic  Run     

 

 

Level 2: Swift     

 (A) Run Speed IO: Level 50

 

 

Level 2: Hurdle 

 (A) Jumping IO: Level 50+5

 

 

Level 2: Health  

 (A) Panacea - +Hit Points/Endurance

 (*) Miracle - +Recovery

 

 

Level 2: Stamina               

 (A) Performance Shifter - Chance of +End

 (*) Performance Shifter - EndMod

 (*) Endurance Modification IO: Level 50+5

 

 

I'm a little uncertain about the last slot in Stamina: The character still has several long-duration buffs affecting both Health/Regeneration and Endurance/Recovery from missions. If those buffs were not in play I would easily do something different with that slot. The advice on slotting (End Mod / Recharge) in Power Sink has me not fretting about endurance at all for content when Power Sink is available.

 

Besides whatever I do with Stamina, I think the next place I might pull slots are the %damage pieces from Charged Shot. By my calculations the %proc chances are in the low 40%... better than Repulsion Bolt's rate in the high 30%, but Charged Shot is the attack I use the least (above a certain level). If I was committed to only playing 21+ content I could easily drop the Kismet piece from Dispersion Bubble. I join/run a lot of +Nx8 lower level content, so I am generally reluctant to not have the +6% ToHit bonus.

 

I was originally going to do something slightly different with the Vigilant Assault ATO (split them 4x, 2x) and use a 5x Ragnarok set in Overcharge... but while leveling up (and not having access to the Very Rare sets) I found the %damage rates to be too good to pass up.

 

Re: Selfishness. I know I could do better for my teammates by adding slots to Deflection Shield, Insulation Shield and Damping Bubble. I could also "do better" by leveraging boosted Defense IOs and/or Hami-Os in different locations. I wanted to use a (combined) Membrane Exposure in Damping Bubble, but I ended up not having the slots. It turns out that with the build's global +Recharge Damping Bubble is essentially "perma" when slotted as-is. I'm not totally selfish, as I could pull one of the slots currently in Deflection Shield or Insulation Shield to improve recharge time on Summon Adept.

 

I can easily see myself making a second  "less selfish" build, starting with pulling %damage slots (from single-target attacks) and moving the slots to the team-oriented powers. I would probably drop Single Shot and shuffle the ATOs among Charged Shot and Repulsion Bolt, to get Tactics and Assault earlier in the build. This approach would probably invite Force Bomb into the build for the extra-Resistance, despite my misgivings)

 

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I'd swap the slotting on Dispersion Bubble and Manouvers.

If you're going to underslot one of them, Manouvers has much smaller base values for Defence. (3.5% vs 10%)

 

And the underslotting of ally shields will only drop ally's defence by... 5% or so? You're still going to be protecting your team really well despite the "selfish" build 🙂

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On 9/16/2023 at 9:46 PM, MonteCarla said:

I'd swap the slotting on Dispersion Bubble and Manouvers.

If you're going to underslot one of them, Manouvers has much smaller base values for Defence. (3.5% vs 10%)

 

And the underslotting of ally shields will only drop ally's defence by... 5% or so? You're still going to be protecting your team really well despite the "selfish" build 🙂

Just going to point out "just 5%" could be a large difference in overall mitigation because of the way defense works.  Going from 45% to 40% will, for example, double incoming damage.  Running on a small team at +0 vs similarly small mobs it's probably not nearly so impactful as vs +4/×8's would be admittedly even though incoming damage would be doubled.

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On 9/16/2023 at 9:46 PM, MonteCarla said:

I'd swap the slotting on Dispersion Bubble and Manouvers.

If you're going to underslot one of them, Manouvers has much smaller base values for Defence. (3.5% vs 10%)

 

And the underslotting of ally shields will only drop ally's defence by... 5% or so? You're still going to be protecting your team really well despite the "selfish" build 🙂

 

The Dispersion Bubble slotting is for the peculiar reason I want to have the Kismet +ToHit piece active for low level content. I felt it was my best option given the powers I was picking and at what level I was taking them.

 

As @Doomguide2005 noted: at more extreme settings, the extra defense for teammates would be valuable. I run with teams that don't mind turning up the enemy levels on low-level content.  The 'selfish' build was just fine for a team running an even level Master of Khan run; I need to try it for some other similar content.

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16 hours ago, Doomguide2005 said:

Just going to point out "just 5%" could be a large difference in overall mitigation because of the way defense works.  Going from 45% to 40% will, for example, double incoming damage.  Running on a small team at +0 vs similarly small mobs it's probably not nearly so impactful as vs +4/×8's would be admittedly even though incoming damage would be doubled.

 

Yeah, agreed. I'd absolutely worry about that for my own defence, since I solo sometimes and would like to halve my incoming damage when I do.
Teammates defence values are less under your control, and I suppose I've relaxed a bit in thinking that my Defender is going to be the only source of buffs on a team. There's probably someone else running Manouvres on a Task Force team, or people are hovering or running Combat Jumping, or have their own set bonuses or something, making 40% as good as 45%.

(Or you rock up and there's already a Cold Dom and Time Manip and everyone's at 70%+ Defence. That's happened often enough to me :D)

 

And I see your point about the early access to Kismet, tidge. Nice thinking!

 

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