I'm thinking of having my captain duel wield shield and sword, he'll lead from the front. I've only completed the first few levels, not sure when I want to switch him from the pistol to shield. Probably soon. Any thoughts or pointers appreciated.
I got in fair way in the game about a year ago, but i'm basically a newb.
Last Edit: Jun 13, 2018 15:25:04 GMT -5 by tenbsmith
Post by drspendlove on Jun 13, 2018 15:53:18 GMT -5
This depends heavily on your difficulty. It also depends a bit on whether you took Hydra, Neptune or Berserk. Also, if you're one of those nutbars that play the game without using a Paladin, that would be helpful to know.
difficulty level is normal, though i'd prefer advice that would work on higher difficulty, as I may start a new game at higher level once i get the hang of things again. Due to my interest, plodding pace and limited playtime, I can NOT do multiple playthroughs.
I'm leaning toward hydra, but could be convinced otherwise. Sort of want to take the efficient, easy, vanilla path. If Paladin works well, i'll certain use one. Leads to another question, which requisition tree paths should I take? can i take hydra and paladin and ignore berserker/neptune?
Last Edit: Jun 13, 2018 18:21:37 GMT -5 by tenbsmith
The captain part of the requisition tree has one side for melee combat. You'll get a lot of good attacks and armor+shields from it. To get some of the other really good armors and shields, you'll want to develop the paladin tree also. Fortitude, Strength, Warrior, and Tactics are what you want to focus on the most. Thanks to the Respec system, it's easy to switch between a melee and ranged attack style on the fly.
As for what other types of templars to use for battle and back up the captain. The only one I would say is a must is a good paladin. All the others are just fine. What strategies you use to beat a level depends on who you bring with you. So far I've never seen any squad setup that wouldn't work.
Post by drspendlove on Jun 13, 2018 19:42:52 GMT -5
On a normal difficulty play-through you will have less RP than on higher difficulties. But you'll have much more forgiving foes that will allow you to play with some unusual builds better than on the hardest of settings. One thing to note right off the bat is that the very best players tend to eschew shield/melee captains in favor of ranged ones on the hardest settings. That said, I prefer melee captains anyway, so let's give this a shot:
The Iron Bulwark -- A Captain that will hold the line against nearly any foe for an absurd amount of time, allowing allies to deal damage and make tactical moves with great liberty:
Shield: If you take a Paladin to the RQ tree "Paladin 5" you'll unlock one of the most defensively powerful objects in the game, the "Defender's Shield". This shield grants +6 Parry and +26% Autoblock for 7 Equipment Levels. If you want the ultimate in tanky goodness, I recommend it highly for your captain, even though it is a Paladin unlock.
Sword: If you take a Paladin to the RQ tree "Warrior 1" you'll unlock a powerful defensive sword for a low equipment level cost. It is the Drakos Sword. It gives +6 Parry and +14% Autoblock. It has +4 Accuracy (not great), 51-70 damage (okay), and 14% Penetration (terrible). This costs 3 Equipment levels. The Captain's Blade (and early unlock for the Captain) will give almost the same defensive benefits with better offense but costs 2 additional Equipment levels. A reasonable alternative.
War Gear: If you take the "Pilot Suit Relic" for the Captain, you'll unlock the Wraithbone Kit Relic. This gives 6% Auto-block, +12 Plasma Damage, and +12 Plasma Resist. It does this for a measly 2 Equipment Levels. Granting a little Plasma damage will pay out against most foes when you counter-attack via auto-block, which you'll be doing a lot of. The Plasma Resist is icing on the cake but doesn't matter very often.
War Gear 2: Aegis Wiring is unlocked pretty early for the Captain and gives +8% Auto-block for 2 ELs. I recommend that for more auto-block. If you're using other templars that boost auto-block, you might instead prefer to save a level and stick with the Security Ocular which gives +2% Auto-block +3% Counter-attack (not helpful for our build but why not?) and +3% Deflection for a single EL.
Armor: A sweet spot for well-rounded protection is found in the Legion Command Armor, early in the Captain tree. It gives 38 Armor, 78% Deflection, +12 Fire Resist and +16 Radiation Resist. The resists will help against bursty damage from certain foes. Because this armor only requires 5 ELs it should be easy to equip in a normal-playthrough.
Heavier armor or a stronger sword are where you want to spend your additional ELs once you've exceeded level 14, which is what you'd need to use the gear I've listed.
You should have 3% (Focus) + 14% (Sword) + 26% (Shield) + 6% (Wraithbone Relic) + 8% (Aegis Wiring) = 57% Auto-block, without any buffs. That will protect you from ranged attacks better than almost any amount of Dodge, and will give you plenty of opportunities to strike back with an auto-counterattack against melee foes.
Attributes for this build should be Fortitude (primarily), followed by Focus. This will give you a mix of even more auto-block to ignore attacks, damage soak from the Toughness, and higher HP to survive the softened blows that do get through.
Skills for this build should be Warrior up to maximum first. This will give the accuracy your counterattacks will need and helpful strong dice for melee defense. After this, focus Tactics. Because your Focus is going to be high, your critical damage on sword hits and grenades will be outrageous. Increasing the odds of such critical hits will give you some offensive bite.
Slash is your top priority for counter attack accuracy and damage. It's also a low heat option for attacks in general.
At least one point in grenades should be used. Never target a foe with grenades. Always hit the ground next to them. Then accuracy wont matter as much.
A few points in Bladeweave should come next as you'll want some AoE to deal with groups of foes. Your offense isn't strong here, so having a way to deal with the hordes of foes you will slowly defeat will be needed.
Finally be sure to get a single point in Warrior's Wrath eventually. It will help you catch up to speedier allies when needed, and will give a nice damage and accuracy boost.
This build won't do well on higher difficulties primarily because it doesn't address overheating much. It isn't using high heat talents, but having low willpower is still a pretty scare thing on the hardest of settings. Also, you'll be a higher level and have more ELs on higher settings so this mid-level gear won't be top of class anymore. However, some of the principles from this build can still be helpful. Also, this build assumes you will have little if any support in terms of +auto-block buffs from allies. If you DO have that, you'll be wasting a good portion of your gear's auto-block as you are nearly maxed as-is.
I'll write up alternative build-styles that should work on the lower half of the difficulty spectrum when I have more time.
War Gear: Prowess Wiring +3 Melee Accuracy, +12 Damage
War Gear 2: Wraithbone kit again (+12 Plasma Damage, +6% Auto-block, +12 Plasma Resist) This goes over my target of 19 Gear Levels, so you'd need to be level 16 to get this added.
Attributes: Strength and Fortitude 1:1 (Never miss with melee and some survivability. The Strength will give us some +crit damage as well.)
Skills: Warrior and Tactics 2:1 (Melee accuracy and melee defense with critical chance baked in to take advantage of our strength bonus.)
Slash up to rank 3 for single target hits and counter-attacks.
One point in Frag Grenades for an extra grenade per deployment.
One or Two points in Discerning Eye to weaken foes.
All the rest in Bladeweave.
You should have 35% Autoblock here which is nice but not a ton. Some defensive buffs from allies will be needed on you pretty regularly. Your penetration from Bladeweave and your swords natural moderate penetration and your Discerning Eye will give you reliably high damage on most foes. Positioning yourself such that you can kill off groups at a time without getting overwhelmed will be tricky but fun.
The real differentiation happens at high levels (19+) so these two are about all I can come up with for interesting builds for Normal. In my serious playthroughs I usually run all attributes into fortitude and willpower because accuracy can come cheaply from talent points and overheating is so much more dangerous. But on the lower settings, some neat alternatives can work.
Post by drspendlove on Jun 15, 2018 14:49:04 GMT -5
Well, yes. But it is a lot of fun to auto-block and damage soak everything. It just becomes less practical on the highest settings. Now, there's also a concern of pairing your Hydra with your Captain if the latter is melee. When the Hydra attacks leave patches of flame, it makes it tricky to move your Captain forward as quickly without sustaining some damage. Berserk or Neptune pair better with melee Captains, IMO.
So now i'm thinking my captain will carry a shield until I can get a paladin. Then the paladin will be my shield and sword soldier. We'll see, I'm going to flow with this 'normal' game. I'm not reading ntsheep's detailed tactical guide. My goal is to do all missions only once, not go back and perfect the play through. I did redo the Bomb Escort mission though; my first play through I maintained a rear guard so I'd be able to get out quick, and that was wasted effort.
Am I right that you can NOT respec your requisition tree? If so, I'd think that would lessen your ability to switch your captain between melee and ranged builds, especially late game.
Last Edit: Jun 18, 2018 8:49:15 GMT -5 by tenbsmith
Reaching the 75% AB cap is a priority for sword and shield templars. It effectively quadruples their health. So definitely max focus, at 59% AB (cap without focus) the effective hp increase is ~250%. It’s a massive difference.
Reaching that cap by gear will eat into your offence ridiculously. It’s not worth it. Invest in a group buff for AB, either Defensive Stand on soldiers or Warding Fire on paladins. DS will reduce the AB you need from gear to 35% which allows you to invest strongly in offence or to boost your defence massively. AB’s EHP increase stacks multiplicatively with natural increases in health, for example relliars shield’s +38 hp turns into an effective +152 hp. Rather than having to invest in a defensive sword like the palace blade, you can equip an offensive blade like the arcum blade, taking you to 32% autoblock. Wraithbone kit will bring you to 38%, so more than necessary and your tact spot is free for the likes of cascading tact or battle tact for high damage. That combo of gear takes 7+9+2=18 gear score, maxes your AB, provides additional defence and doesn’t skimp on offence.
Compare that to no buffs. Defenders shield 26% AB. Palace Blade 22% AB. Wraithbone kit 6% AB. Aegis Defence 8% AB. You lose your tact spot, 152 EHP, 16 to all resistances, 10 minimum to 14 maximum damage. Capping AB by gear is a bad idea.
If you want even more offence than the balanced captain provided, ditch relliars shield for the 3 gear knights shield and change the blade to the rakeens warblade relic. You’ll be 1% off the cap, which isn’t the biggest deal. Or maybe for one more gear, cap with the hunters shield and null devastation blade.
Post by drspendlove on Jun 24, 2018 7:27:16 GMT -5
AB via buffs is superior, I agree. However, it does dictate that you use particular builds alongside your captain. So long as you are careful with your entire team composition, you're probably right in saying that it is better to get your auto-block from buffs primarily.