Monday, December 15, 2008

This is my rifle

This weekend, I decided to shake things up and try something new with Tirew, who is now BR 34/RR 34. For all of his life, he had been a grenade spec Engineer. So took a trip to Altdorf and became a Rifleman. I took the full tree with the skills: Snipe, Crackshot, Hallow-Points and Phosphorous Shells.

Snipe is a very nice ability. Combined with Unshakable Focus, I managed to hit a Sorceress for ~2,600 damage in one shot. It felt good to get some payback for the huge numbers they have hit me with in the past. That isn't to say the skill is without drawbacks.

The skill description claims Snipe cannot be defended against, yet it has been dodged multiple times. Also, the range of 150 seems great at first, but we do not really have any other abilities to use at that distance. So it is most useful when when folks try and run away. Otherwise, if I didn't finish them off, I'd have to get closer after the shot.

Crackshot is also pretty nice. Being that it is a ranged disarm, I could actually help out my teammates that had a melee character on them. I have not found it too useful for me yet, as keep melee off my back is extremely rough now with my ineffective root and the plethora of disables.

Phosphorous Shells seem just marginal, I guess I am spoiled by the Grenade spec damage, but these do not seem very good for how high they are in the rifle tree. The mortar animation is nice. I do like the Hallow-Points tactic, a free DoT (non-stacking) on my gun skills. Signal Flare benefits nicely from a full rifle spec, giving damage of ~1.3k over 21 seconds.

So far, I rate the tree as marginal. I do like the burst damage potential, but other than that I feel weak and not very useful. The long cast times (3 sec on Snipe, 2 sec on Crackshot, 2 sec on Gun Blast) leave me vulnerable and make me feel very sluggish on the battlefield. Without Unshakable Focus my damage also seems weak, Snipe will hit a lightly armored target for ~700 and ~1000 crit. Forget about armored targets, as I've hit them for ~300.

I will be sticking with the spec for a bit longer, but I will soon be headed back to grenades. While the burst damage is not as good, I feel more useful and less vulnerable.


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