Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Tactic for Ranged DPS

Late last week, Mythic announced a career change affecting Engineers, Shadow Warriors and Squig Herders.  Basically, one of the lesser used tactics would be dropped in favor of a new one meant to improve their physical damage.  This has long been an issue of concern among players of those careers.  Read on for the details.

The new tactic does the following:

Increases your Strength, Ballistic Skill and Weapon Skill by 138, but reduces your Toughness by 138.  (RR 100)

The tactic it replaces is different for each class, so take a look at Steven's post.

The overall reaction to this has been pretty mixed.  I can only speak to it from an Engineers point of view but I like it.  First, a little background on the issue.

Physical damage is mitigated by Armor and Toughness.  Magical damage is mitigated by Resists and Toughness.  Armor caps at 75%, Resists cap at 40%... so you can already see a bit of inequity there.  Physical damage dealers can further reduce Armor mitigation with Weapon Skill.  There is no similar stat on the Magical side.

There is more to this issue, but it's early I don't want to go into the whole thing.  This tactic will be quite useful to my Engineer when he is using a Rifle spec.  I can use it in two ways:  With Masterful Aim (+Ballistic Skill tactic) or instead of it.

With it, I get 318 Ballistic Skill and 120 Weapon Skill from tactics.  Not too shabby and may be worth dropping Coordinated Fire (+15% damage on a target).  This would work with a Grenade build as well, since its skills are mostly Magical (Corporeal) damage and use Ballistic Skill.

If I want to keep my other three tactics, I can just drop Masterful Aim instead.  I end up sacrificing 46 Ballistic Skill for 120 Weapon Skill, which is worth it for a Rifle Build.  Making up the lost Ballistics Skill can be easily done through a potion or the new accessory set.

The Toughness reduction is a drawback, but my real defense is range.  If a Melee DPS is on me, the 138 Toughness is not going to save me.  If I wanted to, I could use some of the new accessories to make up for the loss.

This new tactic is on the PTS and will be going live with 1.4.3.  I plan on updating the career builder this week.