Used a few of the free respecs over my lunch break today — mostly on my bad guys, where I had the most re-thinking to do.
With Dolmen, the real problem is the balance between surviving combat and holding aggro — he does the latter just fine with his current build, which in turn makes the former task REALLY difficult. Further, endurance is an issue, and will continue to be until he gets stamina at… 26th? Oy. I could get it sooner, at the expense of him being boring to play. Thank you; no.
Brutes are basically designed to be able to solo darn well — they’re facing group sizes they can handle, and automatically get all the incoming aggro to build fury — but unless they pick up a bite-me aura or taunt, they don’t contribute the same level of SMASH to a team, because they don’t have enough attacks coming in at them to build fury. The downside is that if you build you brute to GET the group aggro that’ll build fury, you’re pulling a whole team’s worth of damage, and frankly, brutes just. can’t. take it. Not without help, and sometimes not even then — most corruptors and masterminds with support abilities just don’t think in terms of those abilities most of the time.
((For example: Markov is an AR/Kin. Lots of folks have to change their tactics somewhere when they get into a group versus soloing, but if a corruptor wants to support well, their role changes DRAMATICALLY. Hiding behind a brute last night, letting her take the aggro, and helping her SURVIVE it meant switching from 80-90% attacks and the rare heal, to 80% support powers and MAYBE one or two attacks in a WHOLE combat — that’s what I DID, but in my experience with my Brutes, VERY FEW corruptors switch modes like that when they’re in a group — you are ON YOUR OWN most of the time as a brute, which the Corruptors circle the fight looking for some beat-up schmuck to get Scourge going on.))
Not entirely thrilled with what I did on Dolmen’s respec, since it essentially amounted to a fine-tuning of the build he already had — things I could just as easily have fixed with the next odd-level slot allocations — and of course I thought of what I *should* have done a few minutes after I saved the respec and moved on, but c’est la vie. Not like I ever said I was patient.
Thing is, what I SHOULD have done was drop the taunt-aura power and pick up boxing — more fury built, more quick and low-endurance damage, and I don’t have to worry about pulling too much aggro in a team setting.
Couldn’t do it. Without that aura, I had no real way to protect the team, and while I’ll never build a brute with taunt, I can’t abandon EVERYTHING — my tank instincts are too strong.
Also, that damage aura means a LOT fewer attacks I have to use to finish off the last couple guys in a group, so it’s an endurance thing also.
That said, I probably WILL Respec and drop the damage-aura at a later time — probably the same level I pick up Cloak of Fear. 🙂
Tested in Play: Not really, but like I said, I didn’t really change much. Nice thing: I was able to sell off all his yellow enhancements and pick up lovely green ones for all his powers, and still had a whole 4k left over. Woo!
Markov’s problem is simple: too much aggro, not enough endurance — a problem compounded by the fact that I’d like to keep stealth running, both for concept reasons and because Markov works with a Stalker most of the time, and with your partner either Hidden or placating, you do NOT need help getting aggro.
Solution: move flamethrower to later in the build to pick up a LITTLE less aggro. Moving that, plus committing the heresy of not getting Siphon Power (burn me! burn me now!) means that I could get Markov into Stamina at level 20 — a power he didn’t even HAVE in the current build — and get anther endurance reduction into Stealth. Honestly, flamethrower looks great and has a fine area of effect, but damn it’s slow and damn it’s an endurance hog and it only REALLY pays for itself in big groups with large crowds… which I’m not doing right now — I’m actually considering pushing it off a few more levels and maybe getting siphon power back at 24 — the damage boost is meh, but the damage REDUCTION versus your target will be huge when fighting bosses and Signature Heroes — like a 25% boost to everyone’s resistance armor.
In play: I ran a quick mission with Markov after the respec and reslotting (had enough money to get into green DO’s with a few SO’s here (Stamina) and there (Stealth). Granted, I ALWAYS have fewer endurance issues when I solo with Markov (hell, I’d probably never hit the ground if not for bosses, where he just doesn’t do enough damage), but between Stamina, the extra slot in Stealth, and no flamethrower, his endurance bar never went below half, and neither did his health. Sounds good to me. Maybe it won’t help a bit — here’s hoping it will.
Kethos was another respec where I basically just wanted to tweak his slotting more than his power selection. In this case, I have the same powers, but picked them up at much different levels — Touch of Fear at level 8; cone attack at 24, for example — and reallocated slots to (a) max out his armor and (b) get another slot in brawl.
I ran some HeroStats analysis a few days back and noticed that plain ol’ Brawl is very good damage for Kethos — makes sense — between the speed of the attack itself, the Fury Bar, and the fact that I FORCE myself to let it autofire between every one of his real attacks to keep his endurance costs manageable (he doesn’t have Stamina), the damage really adds up.
The only thing that keeps it from being a leader is the fact that Brawl only hits about 75% of the time (one accuracy, fighting at invincible), while everything else hits about 94% of the time (2 accuracies). So… let’s do that math: one more slot for 20% increase in damage for that attack. MmmmmmOHkay.
In play: I dunno. Haven’t had a chance to run with him yet, but again, this is just a tweak to a build that, basically, works damn well.
What I was REALLY happy about? He’s level 27. I sold off ALL his level 25 Single Origin enhancements at the end of the respec, got ALL level 30’s, and STILL had 400k left over to bank against the next big upgrade at level 32. That right there is going to really help him out right now.
Yeah, I know this is exciting stuff (yawn), but it’s where my head’s at right now.