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Reader Comments (18)

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 1:45PM pcgneurotic said

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Fascinating! It so happens that my Silver main is a marksman (13), and I have found that she is highly survivable as long as she's at range (duh). There are lots of things you're saying in here that I never would have thought of though, and since I'm having sooo much fun with Champs now, this column is also suddenly +10 Interesting to me! I remember you going on about glass cannon syndrome last year, but I wasn't playing then.

I'm looking forward to reading what you have to say about the Soldier too, because although I want to make one (to replicate my CoH main), I've avoided it so far because I've already got this Marksman going. Is there a lot of difference between the two archetypes? Also, is the Specialist just a Blade/Soldier mashup, or does it have hidden depths?

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 4:05PM Patrick Mackey said

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@pcgneurotic Soldier and Marksman are similar mechanically, but Soldier gets good damage earlier (thanks to SMG buffs) while Marksman is more survivable (since Quarry gives dodge benefits). I feel like Marksman peaks a little bit later, and is a little harder to play at lower levels. Both are a bit different than Inferno, which has literally no defense other than making peoples' lifebars go down, but outshines everyone in that respect.

Regarding the Specialist, quite frankly I think it sucks. LR without BCR, Bullet Beatdown is its primary damage dealer, etc. It's slow to get good and when it gets good, it's nowhere near say, Savage or Glacier, both of which are tougher and output good (if not better) damage.
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Posted: Feb 11th 2011 3:18AM pcgneurotic said

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@pcgneurotic

Thanks for the insight P. I'm coming to my mid teens with this Avenger, which is where people seem to be reporting the start of The Troubles, so we'll see. Thanks again. :)
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 1:45PM ShivanSwordsman said

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Eh, while the archetype system was cute, and definitely a good way to let users know what builds worked and what didn't, I felt terribly nerfed as well. I can't help but feel I'd bring a group down being in it, to the point that they had to segregate PvP ques. For all intents and purposes, I feel I'm stuck on an overglorified infinite trial.

I played as a Soldier, and he did get energy from blocking, which was fine. He could waste groups easily with Submachine Gun Barrage. However, the lack of heals reminded me where my place was in the grand design of things. I have less total skills than a free form, less functionality, and no choice over my skills, save for a choice between one or the other.

The $12 pricetag on the eextra Archetypes make the cash grab aspect even worse, and in my mind, sets a new, lower standard in how dumb companies think players are. Whilst the game was fun, I cannot recommend it until they provide some way to get a permanent free form character, be it free for hitting level cap, or carrying the extreme price tag they want for certain archetypes.

I'd have less to complain of if Perk Points gave you Atari tokens, much like LOTRO's Deed system or DDO's favor, but alas. I lost all drive to play this game after level 20.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 2:25PM Luk said

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@ShivanSwordsman
There is no such thing as a "free lunch", and CO is offering quite a lot of the game for "silvers" already. I am playing lvl 20 grimoire and it is quite good at dealing with any mission or boss. While I am sure archtypes are nowhere near as effective as freeform builds, they are still quite capable and fun way to experience the game without paying a dime. Actually the lack of balance and direction of FreeForm builds was the thing that turned me off originally in CO. Particularly when everyone was picking the same uber powers just because they allowed for that,which resulted in even less variety of builds than if players were playing archetypes. Weird, huh?
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 7:23PM Protoavis said

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@Luk "There is no such thing as a "free lunch", and CO is offering quite a lot of the game for "silvers" already"

I think it's funny when people say things like that, like it's out of atari/cryptics niceness.....reality is they're offering it because they NEED people to play and they NEED them to cough up cash. Nothing about it is them being nice.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 1:49PM pcgneurotic said

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Edit: I've managed to solo all the bosses so far (Kevin Poe, Zoe Trope, Fox Bat etc), and in some cases it's taken a few goes. In fact, I had a brilliant 3 use item that dropped off a Purple when I was farming for pants (!) - 'Call Up a Gang War' - that summons a bunch of Purple Gang dudes to fight for you. They tore Kevin and Zoe apart, it was amazing.

One oddity though: Foxy beat me down the first time (it was a close thing though!), and the second time around I SWEAR he went down much easier. Is there some hidden 'helping' mechanic, or was it just my screwy perception?

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 2:03PM gandales said

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Some ATs are more vulnerable to some bosses. Something I find odd, is that many people used to complain that the game was too easy and quit over that. Now, when they have a little less than minmax character then it is crying loud. This article is nice to show that you can use crafting to complement characters, so now crafting has more meaning for leveling.

ATs are more specialized to either tanking, dpsing or healing so the same way that happen with wow mages, the glass canon syndrome is usually disappointing for former freeformers.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 2:40PM Slayblaze said

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I'm loving my silver AT glass-cannon Inferno and have been able to easily solo all bosses other than the 5-man super elite ones, and do everything set to a minimum of Hard difficulty otherwise it's just too easy. Usually if I ever die even with such a low HP pool, it's my own fault for being careless or underestimating my foe, but most fights are pushovers. I also really stack my superstats for max damage but I certainly do use both crafted consumables and crafted summonable pets for the harder bosses.

I went Mystisim though so I do have to deal with the damage spike after 90 seconds but honestly that hasn't been a problem whatsoever. Never died from that spike and most fights are over by then when having such massive damage output.

I suppose it woul be nice to have the self-heals of a Freeform (but then again you're sacrificing something else right?), but I look at it two ways 1. In real SuperHero lore there are very few Heros who can regen or heal themselves, especially IN combat (not even Wolverine can) and 2. I'm considering my Inferno to correlate to a traditional fantasyRPG Fire Mage, and Mages *never* get self-heal spells.

Teleport is coming in handy as my 2nd TP for escaping and as an "oh sh*t button" too. Just gotta play smart.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 7:11PM Patrick Mackey said

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@Slayblaze That's good to hear. I've been hearing a lot of complaints from people playing Avenger that the game is too hard to solo, but when I was playing my Avengers it didn't really seem to be the case, even without consumables. Still, if other people are having trouble, it's good to point out some good ways to close the gap, but even if you ignore consumables, good stats (high CON) and good tactics (blocking and kiting) make up for most build issues in the Normal and Hard difficulty game.

Very Hard is kind of a different story, though, and obviously Elite is pretty rough for Avengers.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 5:22PM Stormwalker said

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I'm a sub, but I follow this column's advice anyway when i play my electrical avenger. Healing and force field stims help a bunch. Gigabolt is also like the finger of God, so that helps clear henchmen away fast.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 6:51PM Arcadian said

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How are you possibly having problems soloing with the Inferno?

Fireball is so brutally OP it's shameful. It's a Tier 2 power that does more damage than most T3 powers. With the Inferno's Rec/End setup, you can always open combat with a huge Fireball alpha strike and just tap it until everything is dead. Throw all your advantage points early into Fireball and Firey Form and you can kill everything before it matters.

This means you can put all your defense gear into Con, too. Press Fireball button to win.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 8:39PM Caerus said

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@Arcadian Well, there's two big issues here:

1) Inferno is supposed to be a glass cannon, so when *I* built my Inferno I played it like a glass cannon: I put every single bit of gear into offense, aiming to totally overwhelm my enemies before I died. I got gear with END/REC first (or whatever the SS are), then DEX (for crits), EGO (crit severity), etc - CON was literally last on my list of stats to pick up. Veteran players may know how important it is to stack CON, but newer players, the target for silver archetypes, won't necessarily make that connection. It's just not how you play a glass cannon in any other MMO.

This strategy just flat out doesn't work past about level 15. Ranged mobs that don't group well (like VIPER) eat you alive. Multiple Villians or above who aren't stacked just destroy you. Fireball is amazing... when you're alive to cast it.

2) The archetypes are locked into their role I believe, and Avenger is just terrible right now. Look at the role:

Can use only Offensive Passives
(+)Ranged Damage increased by 20%
(-)Healing Powers and effects reduced by 20%
(-)Hold and Root Powers reduced by 20%
(-)Resistance to Hold and Root Powers reduced by 20%
(+)Energy decays at 50% normal rate
(-)No Energy generated when Blocking
Standard Threat generation
(-)Base health points are reduced by about 17%

Threat gen and slotted passives aside, look at how many negatives the role gets - it's absurd! Melee got a developer pass a while back which not only fixed a great deal of problems they had, but honestly went above and beyond to the point that melee is overpowered as all get-out in freeform builds. The biggest contributor to this is that the melee role (Brawler) has no meaningful downsides for a melee character:

Can use only Offensive Passives
(+)Melee Damage increased by 20%
(-)Ranged Damage reduced by 30%
(+)Snare on single-target melee attacks
(-)Energy decays faster than normal rate
(-)No Energy generated when Blocking
Standard Threat generation

Avenger gets shafted so hard it isn't even funny, so it's totally unsurprising that people are having issues, especially if they expect ranged to be on-par with melee.
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Posted: Feb 11th 2011 6:23AM klunks said

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I rolled an inferno and pve-wise I'm doing perfectly fine (lvl 25 now), I hardly ever had to use consumables, the above mentioned more spread out VIPER groups are still easily manageable with fire breath if you position yourself right and everything else, conflag takes care of. Master and Super villains aren't hard to kill either since fireball as a fightstarter is very effective. The only hard time I had was with Poe on which I wiped several times until I was able to kill him.

Posted: Feb 11th 2011 9:55AM sorbon said

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I feel this article failed to mention something of huge importance: advantages.

For the Marksman, if you pick up Fair Game (of Quarry) you will heal off of every henchman you kill. Sonic Arrow has an enhancement that makes it stun all targets when fully charged. With a small amount of recovery you can keep groups almost perpetually stunned and what little damage they get in you heal from Fair Game.

Posted: Feb 11th 2011 1:19PM Luk said

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A question for the author regarding consumables and stores:
I cannot locate Millennium City's Ren Center or Westside Store on the map, is it because you have to physically find it first or is it only available for Arms specialists?

Another question: I have been making mystical consumables which as it was mentioned in the article are not that good at all, but since my skill is over 300 now, and I would not want to lose that, so what exactly is mystical crafting is good for? Because so far everything it makes is pretty mediocre and bonus attack powers have pretty long recharge to make a difference.

Posted: Feb 11th 2011 3:50PM Patrick Mackey said

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@Luk - Ren Center is the "town square" area in the very middle of Millennium City, where all the tailors are. Both the Westside Store and the City Center Store are right next to the tailors. I would have included a screenshot of the map, but the blimp covers most of Ren Center, including the Westside Store. If your crafting is over 300, you'll probably want to use the City Center Store, or even higher level stimpacks in Vibora Bay (the store is near the crafting vendors, on the south end of the crafting area), as the Westside Store caters mostly to lower-level heroes.

Mysticism's bonus attack powers aren't meant to replace your attacks, they're made to supplement them. I've found that the Dragon Fire attack (forget the exact name of the device) is pretty handy, and the very high level consumables that summon temporary pets are amazingly good. While they have long cooldowns, having a few temp pets for a few minutes can make a big difference in a fight. Also, Mysticism has the coolest costume unlocks (IMO) and the coolest crafted travel (also IMO). I'm a huge fan of Mysticism, so I'm a little biased, but if you have healing covered the extra attacks are nice to fill little gaps in your attack chains. If you change your device hotkeys to something easy to use, you'll get a lot more mileage out of them.
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Posted: Feb 11th 2011 4:58PM Luk said

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@Patrick Mackey
Thanks for the info.
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