I haven’t felt like I’ve had much to say lately, and my gaming has been kind of in a rut and not very interesting, so… well, it’s been just shy of 3 months since my last post. Such is life, no?
I always at least log in to Warframe each day to advance the login counter, but I don’t necessarily play each day. I still grabbed the new Hildryn frame when it came out last week. My overall impression is “it’s fine, but doesn’t do anything that makes me prefer it to any other frame.” Having its #1 be its exalted weapon is kinda kewl, as exalteds tend to be the 4th ability, but it’s just a Staticor-analog that pretty much requires you to do charged shots, and costs shields when you use it. I’d rather just use a Staticor with no penalty, thanks. #2 strips armor and shields from enemies and gives them to you as overshields. Mag does this too, combined with a better overall CC kit. #3 is a shield heal for your allies or a shield strip on enemies, all while draining your shields. Most people have the Shield Charger mod on their sentinels so this is pretty useless. And #4 lets you fly slowly around and CC mobs around you while doing some minor damage to them. *grumbles in Nekros/Nyx/Nezha/Rhino/Excalibur/Mesa/and a lot more AE CC frames to boot so I think you get the picture.* So yeah… she’s fine, but to borrow Brozime’s phrase about a different frame — “aggressively mediocre.”
I also tried out the new event. It’s kinda boring. Basically just a mobile defense mission in the Vallis where you don’t get a waypoint marker to your next spot to defend. I soloed it no problem on the run I did, so I imagine doing it in a group will be really easy. I just need to do it 14 more times within the next 10 days to get the amalgam mods and the Opticor Vandal. Can’t say I care about scanning data hashes either, but there’s a map for that, so I suppose it wouldn’t take long to just fly around and hit all the spots.
The new “Wolf of Saturn” daily/weekly goals that replace the alert system are fine, and quite a few simply reward you for playing how you normally would anyway, and give you a bit better control over the rewards you get instead of being totally random and hopefully you’re signed in when an alert with the rewards you want comes up like the old system, so I think this is an overall positive.
My daughter got me to re-sub to FFXIV a couple of months ago. I really only played it since then on a single Saturday. I advanced the MSQ up until I hit a trial where I don’t have the gear level to enter and just didn’t feel like going back and running the new-to-me dungeons that would have the higher gear I would need, so that walled me off at that point. I jumped on Blue Mage that 1st weekend it came out, but since you can’t really use it for anything other than an oddity, I didn’t jump in all the unsync’d extreme primal groups in order to get the last few skills to round out my book, so again, that was a single weekend for me, and I just haven’t felt inspired to jump back in since then. My daughter’s logged in a few times to fly around, but she doesn’t actually play the game, just uses it as inspiration for stories she plays out verbally that sorta reflect what she’s got her character doing on the screen.
I bought the Civ6 expansion in spite of it not sounding like it would be very good, and after a weekend of going hard at it… yeah, I’m not impressed with it. I won’t say more about it here as it deserves its own post, but the TL;DR is exactly the impression I got from their announcement videos — it’s just a bunch more to micromanage and not in a fun way.
And finally…. not really sure why I did this, but I reinstalled Tera Online about a week ago and have been mucking about with it. Since I’m more used to the non-tab-target type of controls anymore I’m enjoying the combat more than I did back when it 1st came out. The new player experience isn’t how I remember it — it might actually be, but you know how memory is a fuzzy thing. But anyway, it now only takes about a half-hour to get through that and you’re level 12 with a decent-ish skill kit when you’re dumped into the actual game world. So where back in the day I was quitting after feeling like it was a grind to get a character to level 6 I’ve now got a Valkyrie to level 52 (in a single weekend and there was still also time for) and a gunner to level 31. Yeah, leveling’s pretty quick it seems. Running dungeons seems to get you about 3-4 levels at a time up until the upper 40’s when it slows down to only 1-2 levels per run. But still…. if you accept the “don’t make a perfect party” option in the queue then you can usually get in to a dungeon pretty quickly and they only take about 20-30 minutes. I still don’t like the Castanic Female running animation, but you’re mostly zoomed out so far you can’t really see it or you’re on your mount anyway, so… not a deal breaker. The equipment looking more like S&M fetishwear as you level up isn’t really a selling point either, but as mentioned… you’re mostly zoomed out anyway, so not too big a deal either.
Anyway… that’s what I’ve been up to for the last 3 months. Happy gaming out there!
[Edit: I shared this post to the r/warframe subreddit to see what people there thorught of it, and it turns out I was wrong about a couple of things, so I’ve done an editing pass. Edits will be highlighted in the square brackets like this.]
Baruuk is today’s newly released warframe. His “spiel” is that he’s a pacifistic martial artist who can be provoked, so his powers focus on self-defense and crowd control, but culminate in an exalted weapon that he uses to strike back once his “restraint” is exhausted. And while you might think that as an Eastern-themed monkish type that his signature weapon would be a staff, kama (or two), or perhaps even tonfas, you would be wrong — he gets the “Cobra and Crane” which is a sword/shield combo. Here’s what he looks like (with my color scheme, and his alternate helmet. Yes, I bought his “collection” with plat.):
For his abilities we have this screenshot:
Elude is simply a damage shield. It’s in effect only so long as you aren’t actively attacking anyone, which falls in line with the frame’s pacifist lore. The angle on it starts at something like 160 degrees when the frame is unranked, and at rank 3 the skill’s got about a 260 degree protection angle. Modding for range increases this, and you need 200 range to get the full 360 degrees of coverage. Overextended + Augur Reach will more than get you there. The shield seems to go back into effect about 1 second after you make an attack, so the vulnerability window isn’t very big, so long as you aren’t spamming out attacks. His abilities aren’t attacks, so you can cast them without fear of being hit. The shield “avoids” both direct fire and melee attacks but it does *not* prevent AE, so a Heavy Gunner’s ground slam will still inflict damage and knock you down, as will an Arson Eximus’s fire wall. A Bombard’s rocket will fly through you, but its explosion will still affect you if you’ve got a wall (or a groupmate?) behind you or something. This is a constant energy drain ability, so you can’t use Zenurik’s Energy Dash nor energy pizzas while it’s active. [Someone said I sound like I was complaining about this ability. I’m not — I think it’s an amazing defensive ability with a fun twist on it (unlike Wukong’s “press 2, never die”), and I think you should have this up 100% of the time. The energy use mention was simply to point out that if you want to use Zenurik or a pizza you need to turn it off 1st.]
Elude has a nice “blur” effect and you also hold yourself “exposed” like you’re inviting them to hit you, as seen here:
The 2nd ability is a large radius sleep effect. Unlike Ivara or Equinox, however, *any* damage on a mob will wake it, though it still acts “groggy” for about 3 seconds and kinda stands there for that time. The sleep takes a long time to affect the mobs (seems to be about 5 seconds) and there’s an energy-colored border that appears around affected mobs and works its way from their feet up to their heads. Once their “bar is full” so to speak, then they finally fall asleep. I thought that reducing duration on the ability would make it take effect faster, but it doesn’t seem to. The sleep effect travels outward from you in a wave after you cast it, and the duration seems to simply be how fast the wave goes out to the effect radius, so shorter duration means the mobs start to be affected sooner, but the time to make them fall asleep still seems unchanged. They are subject to finishers while asleep, as you would expect. At rank 30, the wave takes 5 seconds to travel to its max distance and the sleep effect lasts for 20 seconds (or until a mob is hit), and then your duration modifies those values.
[Apparently I wasn’t clear on how duration affects this ability. I don’t see how I can change that last sentence to be more clear, though. Duration makes the 20 second sleep time shorted or longer, and the “wave pulse” takes either less or more than the base 5 seconds based on your duration. The time taken to put the mobs to sleep, however, didn’t seem to change based on the duration stat at all. I could be wrong, but that’s how it felt, both when ranking the skill in the “real game” and also in the simulacrum.]
The 3rd ability summons 4 “daggers” at base, and 8 when at max rank. Increased power strength increases the number of daggers summoned. They give you damage reduction of up to 90% if they stay around you, but they do like Nova’s #1 and actively try to go out and hit mobs. They seem to give preference to mobs with guns and will destroy the gun for a permanent disarm on the mob. Melee mobs are unaffected — the daggers only go for guns. They do a small amount of damage, but not enough to actually notice. The reason to cast them is for the damage reduction to yourself and for the disarm. Not that you really need it since your #1 makes you essentially invulnerable . . .
[Nobody mentioned this ability in the replies on reddit, but I also want to add that the daggers will hit any mob, they just prefer to hit ones that need to be disarmed first.]
Finally, we have the ultimate ability, which summons his exalted fist weapons. They have a 50% critical chance as a base, so tossing True Steel or better yet the umbral mod Sacrificial Steel takes the crit chance up nice and high. Hitting your melee attack button while the exalted fists are equipped sends out a giant blast wave in front of you, doing ok-ish damage (about 7K per critical hit on level 100 mobs, more like 4800-ish on level 160 mobs). It’s enough to 1-shot mobs up to about level 50, anyway, even armored units. though not Nox. Even level 30 Nox mobs were only taking about 140 critical damage, and you can’t get a headshot (that I noticed) with the blast wave, even with aiming high. Being that he’s a martial artist, the weapon combos throw in kicks as well as punches, so that’s nice to see. And the blast wave is literally a blast wave, throwing mobs down and/or back, so if it doesn’t outright kill them, then it does some good crowd control too.
The weapons look like this:
Summoning the weapons costs no energy, but you must 1st drain your “Restraint” meter to zero.
[Apparently I misread the ability description — You can use this whenever your Restraint is below full — it does *not* need to be zero. I never tried this, as it never occurred to me to do so…. Bad me! ] This is done by letting the mobs shoot at or swing at you with your #1 active, putting mobs to sleep with your #2, or disarming mobs with your #3. The quickest method by far is getting in the middle of an enemy swarm and letting them attack you while you don’t do anything. Once you’ve summoned the exalted fists, the restraint bar begins to fill back up (which you can see in the screenshot above with the red meter). It fills slowly, so you can use them for quite some time. Or you can hit 4 again to turn them off whenever you want and the bar will stop filling at whatever point it was at, so you have less Restraint to drain back out before you can use them again. [Again, no need to drain, as long as it’s below full, you can pop your 4 back on. Sorry! ]
I didn’t have any trouble when using Baruuk in Helene or Hydron when leveling him up. In the simulacrum, he was just fine using just his abilities vs level 100 trash mobs, though armored units were largely unaffected by his 4. The blast wave doesn’t really seem to hurt the armored units much, just tosses them around. I also tried out level 160 mobs, and the trash… he could take them out with his 4, but even the trash took several hits. For the armored units at 160 there wasn’t much point to his 4 (I built corrosive, but status chance is low so there wasn’t very little armor-stripping happening), it was far better to simply sleep the mobs and then take them out one by one with headshots. Obviously this is solo play. In a group it might be better to simply run out in front of your team and draw fire leaving your team able to do more unmolested, assuming you’re in a mission that supports that kind of play.
As it was, in the defense missions that I used to rank him up casting 2 and 3 was a waste of time, since the AOE group damage output would instantly wake mobs up, and things would die in the lower levels quickly enough that the limited number of disarmed mobs per cast of #3 was completely irrelevant. #1 was good for self-defense, and #4 was excellent for clearing large groups of mobs (other than Nox, at least), so in missions up to level 100 or so, I can see him being a rather good dps character using his #4 — it’s just a matter of using his #1 and then letting himself be attacked and hoping your groupmates don’t clear them off too quickly so that you can drain your Restraint resource so you can actually use your #4. [And again, this apparently isn’t that necessary since you can use it a lot more often than I previously thought.]
Overall verdict: Middle of the Road. He’s fine, but I just can’t really see a place I’d rather use him than several other frames instead, so he’s more one to bring out when you want a little variety and he’s “good enough,” not becuz he’s the best frame for the job. [My overall rating hasn’t changed, in spite of knowing that his 4 is up a lot more. Sure he’s able to kill low level things easily with his 4, but any frame can do that, so this doesn’t make him stand out.]
Happy gaming out there!
I had my Day 350 login 2 days ago, and that also happened to be the day that this happened:
When I started playing this game just shy of a year ago, and I had no real idea of how to gain new weapons and warframes, had you told me that less than a year later I’d have played with/tried out 457 / 468 (according to my profile, but it doesn’t include 2 Wraith versions, 4 Vandal versions, nor 2 archwing weapons, so 457 / 476, really) of the items in the game, I’d have said you were crazy.
But here we are:
The test was one of those “run next to the moving item until it says it’s captured while tanking the damage from the enemies” ones. Though I used Limbo, so I just dodged out of phase and could simply ignore the mobs. Except one who somehow got into the Rift with me, but I killed it easily enough and then was completely safe the rest of the time. Worked out nicely.
In Fortuna news… I’m done with it so far as the current content goes. I’ve maxed the 2 factions that can be maxed, built all the kitguns, moas, sentinel weapons, the new sentinel, and even all 3 of the K-drives and all the k-drive mods. I don’t have all the floofs yet, but I don’t really care about them either. I have no reason to go get standing with Solaris United or the Vent Kids anymore, as I’ve got everything that standing gives me. I know that there’s a “Fortuna 2” coming, though, which will unlock the giant spider fights and allow for the Vox Solaris faction to come in to play, but until then, I’m pretty much just done with Fortuna.
Of course with Mesa Prime and her weapons coming next week as well as the new Baruuk (sp?) frame, there will be more to try out soon…
In the meantime – Happy gaming out there!
This post will try to encapsulate what I’ve learned about the kitguns so far.
My 1st kitgun was one of the “daily specials” that I bought with platinum. Several people in public groups I was in during that day and also in my clan chat said that the daily special was “one of the best possible combinations.” So I bought it. It was the beam chamber called “Gaze” along with the Splat grip and the Thunderdrum loader. Since plat-bought weapons come gilded, I was able to immediately throw a potato on it and start off with 50 mod space (go go MR 25, right?) And the gun was fine. I’d shoot things and they’d die quite quickly, but it’s a beam weapon, and I’ve never really liked the “feel” of the various beams with their requirement for pinpoint accuracy as you hold the reticle on target as it’s moving. So while sure, it killed things quickly, I didn’t really like the gun.
I started ranking up my faction level and more options became available, and the idea of a rapid fire auto-pistol sounded fun to me, so I chose my “free reward” from each level up on the Rattleguts, Gibber, and Thunderdrum pieces. I knew that it would be lower damage per shot than might be possible otherwise, but with max fire rate, I figured that wouldn’t matter much. And it didn’t. I simply loved how it felt, even when un-gilded. Mobs died pretty much instantly when hit, and after I gilded it and tossed forma into it, it just got better.
I put together a Catchmoon chamber since people were calling it a “pocket Arca Plasmor,” but I didn’t look up what was supposedly “the best” combo for it, just picked parts that sounded like they’d be good for a shotgun with the highest possible status chance. This worked very well for me when ranking it up in Helene and Hydron, though whole it would clear a hallway of trash, I noticed it struggled a bit vs the Nox and the various Eximus mobs in the later waves. It’s also got a kinda weird feel becuz while the Arca Plasmor will go as far as it can until it hits a wall, but allows pieces of the shot to clip out earlier, the Catchmoon doesn’t do that — if a piece of the shot clips a wall, the whole shot ends there, so it’s not an “aim in the general direction” weapon like the Arca is, but still requires some precision in the aiming.
And finally I built a gun using the “Tombfinger” chamber and the “Haymaker” grip since both said “Maximum Damage.” I did this because I thought it would serve as a substitute for a Lex Prime with a big single shot. I went with the Stitch loader, as I thought that it sounded like a good balance of magazine size and fire rate. It worked fine. The projectile’s larger than on a Lex, so it didn’t require quite as much aiming precision, but it’s also a projectile weapon, not hitscan, so it actually ended up being a little harder to aim anyway, since I have to lead the targets a bit. I noticed if I aimed at the mob’s feet that there was a bit of an area of effect, so when firing in to groups I’d often do that instead to get more hits in. I’ve since learned that the AE is a “reverse cone” so if you hit something (or a wall) then it splashed in a cone back toward you, so if firing into a group you want to fire at the back of it to get the AE on the rest of the mobs. Seems to have about a 3m range for the splash. Overall, I’d say the feel of the gun was fine, but it didn’t quite sit right with me.
And after having done this, I decided to research what the community feels is the best kitgun combinations. I looked up videos, but they tended to just be people saying “here’s what I threw together to test” but that was about it. So off to teh interwebz instead. There I found these charts that someone had put together. The TL;DR is that the highest “paper dps” comes from these part combinations:
- Tombfinger, Haymaker, Splat
- Rattleguts, Lovetap, Splat
- Catchmoon, Haymaker, Splat
- Gaze, Haymaker, Splat
The difference between the Lovetap and the Haymaker on the Rattleguts was only 18 dps, so very minimal – less than a hundredth of a percent. So as you can see… pretty much the “Haymaker/Splat” grip/loader combo is “best” for paper dps. And I’ve gone ahead and built all 4 of those combos now and tried them out. I’ve also done some testing in the simulacrum for kill times and whatnot.
In all cases, a “perfect” mod build requires 4 forma and will include Hornet Strike, Lethal Torrent, Barrel Diffusion, Primed Target Cracker, Primed Pistol Gambit, 2 dual-stat elemental mods to make the combo of your choice (generally corrosive, as usual), and a final slot that you can play with a bit. Augur Pact is popular to toss in there, though I’ve found I like to toss a 90% elemental mod in to increase the corrosive status for armor stripping and that seems to better my kill times by a touch in testing. So yeah, not a lot of build variety going on with the kitguns. I’ve tried a few other things and played around with the final slot, tried using more slash/puncture instead of the elementals and they just don’t work as well.
In simulacrum tests vs level 100 enemies (since that’s about as high as you’ll ever realistically see in a sortie) this was how everything came out:
- Tombfinger – 1 shot vs trash mobs. 5-6 headshots vs armored mobs.
- Rattleguts – trash mobs explode on a quick trigger pull, armored mobs take about half a clip.
- Catchmoon – 1 shot will clear an entire line of trash mobs (pocket Arca! ), armored mobs take 10-12 headshots
- Gaze – trash mobs go down on quick trigger pull, armored mobs take about a half a clip.
From this we see that all of the chambers can clear trash with no problems, but the Rattleguts and the Gaze seem to have an easier time vs the armored units. The difference between those guns is that the Rattleguts is hitscan and has unlimited range, while the gaze is a beam weapon with only 20m range, so there’s still a different feel. And Gaze is comparatively ammo inefficient, though bringing Carrier along fixes that up.
Speaking of the Rattleguts, I’m finding that in testing my “Rapidshot” gun actually kills slightly faster than the “best paper dps” version. There are 2 reasons that I can see for it:
- There’s no Impact damage, so the mobs don’t ever stagger and throw off the headshot aim
- It has lower recoil so it’s easier to start a stream of headshot fire and hold it in place
However, in practical application in “the real game” with body shots since the mobs are running around both seem to have the same instantaneous kill time. The same goes for any of the kitguns. Mobs in the 30-50 range like you see in Hydron all simply melt/explode when hit by a fully modded kitgun, so it all seems to come down to “do you like how the gun feels to play with?”
For me, the gun I like the feel of best is.. well… I go back and forth between my 2 Rattleguts kits. I think I’m leaning a bit more toward my “Rapidshot” one since I like the feel of less recoil, but both work wonderfully. For the other chambers, since I don’t like them as much, I ended up trading in my “less than optimal” guns for standing so as to not be clogging up my equipment slots.
Out in Orb Vallis, I find the Catchmoon and Gaze are too short-ranged to really be useful, and the slow projectile on the Tombfinger is hard to aim, but the Rattleguts absolutely owns out there. Mobs die instantly, range is unlimited, and it simply wrecks all the dropships that are flying around too. Yeah… Rattleguts kitgun is now my go-to secondary in most cases anymore.
If you like a different chamber better, more power to you. I also found a reddit thread where a lot of people said that they liked the Lovetap grip with any chamber more than the Haymaker as the slightly faster rate of fire it gives “felt smoother” to them as they played. I guess the whole “paper dps vs practical application” dichotomy is still in full force.
I’ve not done much with the arcanes yet. I’ve looked up videos on them, and the consensus is already emerging that the only one worth using is the one that deals additional damage when you get a headshot kill, with a possible case to be made for the “Pax Charge” one that eliminates ammo and reloads itself when you aren’t firing it. That one might work well with the Gaze chamber, as Gaze is incredibly ammo inefficient. I did buy one of those and test it out, and… it seems that the wait time until it begins to reload is the same as your reload time, and then it takes 4 seconds to charge up to full. Ranking it up reduces the reload wait time, but the 4 second fill time looks to be set in stone. In testing, it’s much slower than simply reloading, but in the “real game” there’s plenty of downtime, so it seems more practical there, perhaps.
Happy gaming out there!
So a couple of days ago Firaxis announced that Civ 6 is getting its 2nd expansion in February. They’re calling it “Gathering Storm” as they’re adding in random geologic and weather events. Floodplains can actually flood, volcanoes can erupt, tornadoes can sweep the plains, dust storms in and around deserts, droughts will apparently be triggered if you cut too many forests, etc. They’re also adding in an overall “world climate” section that you’ll have to manage, and revamp of how strategic resources work.
Here’s the announcement video. It opens with a short intro from Sid Meier, but the volume is very low so he’s hard to hear, then it goes in to the 3 minute trailer, then finally cuts to the developers talking about it. I didn’t watch the full hour, as by the half-hour mark I knew I didn’t care about this expansion at all.
As I watched the video, I kept thinking to myself “Hoo boy, just that much more to micromanage.” Nothing really excited me about any of what they’re proposing at all. And considering that in my “1st impressions” post about the “Rise and Fall” expansion I said that I felt it made the game worse and thus I had buyer’s remorse…
I can’t say that I’m looking forward to this expansion at all.