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So how do you build a blaster, anyway?


Dauntless

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Admittedly I've always been more of a scrapper or dominator player.  I had a sonic/fire blaster back on live that I pushed all the way to 50, sure, but it wasn't a too that I identified with or reached for very often other than the insistence that I'd get at least one blaster to 50.

But today, a decade later, I've been playing a few blaster toons that I actually really enjoy (and one that I don't, lets just ignore him).  As I'm getting them into the higher levels and the cooler/fun sets are opening up as options, what should I aim for?  Dominators are easy, recharge->permadom.  Scrappers aren't much harder, make them survivable.  Is there anything else worth aiming for?  Blast IO set bonuses are unappealing to my eye compared to what I look for with melee sets.

Frankenslotting lets you get more oomph while being efficient on slots, but what am I saving those slots for now that I actually have them in abundance?  Or do I actually need to stop and think about powers other than "just take all of them" to see what they do?  
 

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Here are a couple takes, a beam rifle with high ranged defense and the ability to stay at range.  An AR built for +range to help lay down the cones, but built for damage, and a fire fire fire blaster built as a kamikaze murder machine

Blaster Beam Temporal Munitions w ach.mxd Blaster (Assault Rifle - Devices) 2024 v1.01.mbd Blaster (Fire Blast - Fire Manipulation) 2024 v 1.51.mbd

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The blast sets aren't all that bad. Range increases like in Artillery can do wonders for your cones, as do general range increases (these are additive, not multiplicative, with the snipe buff). Many offer some ranged defense, which is the most important positional if you spend a lot of time hovering or at least letting a tanker eat the brunt of enemy fire.

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So..how you build a blaster varies with what you do with them when you play. Someone like me, who tends to solo a lot during the work-day, I don't have a tank to take the alpha, no kin to boost my endurance or attack speed. I have to be sufficient. I get to know my limitations pretty quickly. Some players would take my build and do poorly, and some would take it and do much better than I can. Player skill and knowledge do count for something in this game. How much that counts depends on the content you're doing. 

For me, there's a balance between DPS and survivability. Most blasters push the edge closer to dps, relying on teammates to shore up their survivability. It all depends on what you're comfortable with, as a player. 

Lately, my blasters have two builds. One has the attuned IOs for exemplaring, the other is the 50+5 build for hard mode stuff. If you told me three years ago, I'd be slotting for psionic defense and resistance, and using Control for my Hybrid, I'd have looked at you like you were crazy. 

Here's an example of some of my builds. Some more recent than others. 

For the Excalibonk, it's important to share that while it can handle "normal" content, it's not ideally suited for it. The pursuit of various combat stats left other areas lacking. And, the character also took advantage of various temps like Frost Bite, Winter Ward, and numerous SG empowerment buffs from the buff stations. Getting through that probably has more to do with team composition than any skill I had, that's for sure. 

The fire/fire build is an example of what I consider a "survival" over dps type of build. It's got Max HP, like the fire/mental, but the resists aren't even fussed with, but it's close enough to soft cap defense for s/l, and the recharge is sufficient to get out of most trouble I might find myself in. 

None of these builds are optimal. But, none of them are trash - at least, not for what I use them for. They may work for you; they may not. But you can look at various slots and take what you like and change what you don't. 
 

UkaseisMental- Blaster (Fire Blast).mbd Apache Fright-Water_Blast-Fire_Manipulation.mxd UkaseExcalibonk - Blaster (Ice Blast - Ice Manipulation).mbd Ukase Fire - Blaster (Fire Blast - Fire Manipulation).mbd

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I almost always build Blasters following one of two paths, depending on (mostly) the chosen secondary:

  1. Blappers, who will engage in melee combat
  2. Ranged attackers, who will almost never engage in melee combat

As I wrote above, it depends on what the secondary offers. Some combinations of primary/secondary don't have melee attacks, so blapping with such a combo would be working against what the character is best suited for.

 

For all Blasters: I want enough global recharge to have hard-hitting powers up ASAP.

 

For Blappers: I will generally try to get some layered Defenses, along with something like Combat Teleport to get in-and-out of melee.

 

For ranged attackers: I will try to get all the attacks at a common range number. I also like to mix in more (ranged) control options.

 

If I want to lean hard into something else (the control, the surviving) and still use "blasts" I will roll a different AT (Sentinel, Dominator/Controller/Defender).

 

18 hours ago, Dauntless said:

 Is there anything else worth aiming for?  Blast IO set bonuses are unappealing to my eye compared to what I look for with melee sets.

Frankenslotting lets you get more oomph while being efficient on slots, but what am I saving those slots for now that I actually have them in abundance?  Or do I actually need to stop and think about powers other than "just take all of them" to see what they do? 

 

If I take franken-slotting to mean adding %damage, Ranged AoE attacks is where the payoff is IMO. There are three ranged AoE pieces that can be used in every such attack (Javelin Volley, Positron's Blast, Bombardment). Each does a different type of damage (good against different resist critters) and one of them is a PVP. doing more damage. There is also the %-Resistance proc from Annihilation, plus any other additions that can be made if the attack has a secondary effect like Knockback/Knockdown, -Defense, whatever. There are HOs/DSyncs for Accuracy/Damage, Accuracy/Range, and Damage/Range to support franken-slotting. I think there are a number of excellent set bonuses to be had in Ranged AoE attacks. I quite like Annihilation and Bombardment as sleeper choices.

 

I agree with the general sentiment that bonuses from ranged-attack enhancement sets for single-target strike me as being somewhat lack-luster aside from full-ish Apocalypse and Winter's Bite, but I think mileage varies. Thunderstrike is an excellent inexpensive option for single-target ranged attacks.

 

Snipe slotting  is something of a mixed choice for me. I like the set bonuses from Sting of the Manticore best... but they only kick in at levels 32+. I'm almost always slotting something other than Sting of the Manticore in a Blaster's Snipe. I'm about evenly mixed across my Blasters if I use an ATO, PVP Experienced Marksman, or a Winter/Very Rare set in a Blaster's Snipe.

 

Something I notice about my Blaster builds is that I usually have enough attacks to be able to split the Blaster's Wrath ATO, fully slot the Defiant Barrage, mix in a Winter set and still have room to add in set bonuses all over the place.

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Posted (edited)

I may be in the minority but I enjoy ranged stabbing via arrows through archery/tactical arrows. When built well it seems to be a murder machine and that vanguard bow is just cool!

 

Archery also has innate accuracy buff so you don't have to chase tohit so much.

Edited by MizuUeumatsu
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Dynamite in one hand, claymore mine on your chest, carrying a can of gasoline on your back, and a finger on the detonator with a wicked crazy looking grin; devilish laugh isn't required but does help.

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"Farming is just more fun in my opinion, beating up hordes of angry cosplayers...."  - Coyotedancer

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