This looks to be super helpful, Descendent, thank you!
Elementalism should also include popular Crystallised Flame + Crystallised Blaze passive combo when using Orochi Thermal Inverter as it’s very popular and strong when elem is 2nd weapon.
I would definitly change Condensed Anima shells for munition Expert in shotgun primary.
Condensed Anima Shells just isn’t worth it in it’s ability to keep you alive compared to it’s malus forcing you to use green shells.
Else I personally thing for a generic starter build not bad. All the rest is more stuff for when you got used to the weapon.
I didn’t include a build template for the Crystallised Flame + Crystallised Blaze + Orochi Thermal Inverter combo as I didn’t feel it was appropriate for the primary audience of this guide (new players who are still soloing their way through the story), due to a few points…
In general, I don’t feel abilities which have a 20-second recharge are consistent enough while soloing, since fights in solo content tend to be shorter than the recharge time. (The exceptions are elite abilities, and defensive panic buttons, which have a large, immediate impact on a fight, and meant to be situational.)
The combo only shines in builds which don’t slot any other heat-generating ability. This point, when combined with Crystallised Flame’s 20-second recharge, and the combo’s high damage, means the player will end one fight quickly, and then have no elementalism abilities available for the next fight.
Alternatively, if an additional elementalism power ability is slotted in addition to the combo, Crystallised Flame would need to replace the special/utility slot in a build template, which I try to reserve for defensive panic buttons.
Lastly, due to how above-the-curve in terms of power level the combo is, I suspect it has a high chance of getting nerfed in the future. I don’t feel comfortable recommending a build/weapon which is likely to get nerfed to a new player, as leveling a weapon takes a long time when you have limited Marks of Favour and lack access to high-level distillates.
Thanks for the input!
Do you feel Munitions Expert should replace both Condensed Anima Shells and White Phosphorus Shells as options? I originally included those instead of Munitions Expert because I was under the impression the choice of shells to reload was consistent enough with shotgun as primary (although I have not tested this thoroughly).
Short answer: I would switch it against both, and bring back white phosporus in case restorative reload isn’t needed (for elite dungeons for example)
Long answer: If you want rough values I point you to my shotgun thread which has some values for rough shell chances and how likely it is to have at least one purple reload option: Shotgun (dps) Shortguide
I see where you list the probabilities for each shell type. I’ve updated the guide with your suggestion.
I agree with all your points for the secondary/inverter build, yet CF + Passive is far better dps than using fire bolt + 2 ice abilities for dps for main hand. It should at least be noted somewhere in any case.
Alternating Overload & CF means there is very little downtime between two massively damaging aoes, something quite useful in solo content.
Mostly agree with Leo here since this looks to be a soloing/questing guide although I’d probably run Blast Barrels. Granted I’m at the stage where I can run roughshod over story content so PBS is overkill but BB can be the difference between 1 or 2 shots.
Yeah…I thought of it but since Double barrel is one of the first thins I would drop as primary shotgun I didn’t even think of it.
It’s one of the areas of shotgun where I have a strong opinion about. I think the area of effect makes all the extra damage you get from Double Barrel and it’s passive compareable harder to use. I use dread sigil for ages and fair far better with it. Dread sigil while providing less damage especially since it’s without passive has far better range, greater area of effect and doesn’t tax the same bar you run your single targets with, so you can soften up stuff. Even than it’s only the second choice agains groups since you still have full salvo.
Running the numbers Double Barrel has an effect area of 25,6 m² and dread sigil 78,5 m². On top of double barrel having no chance to hit enemies in your back or side while dread sigil hits stuff in your back or side if you hit an enemy in front of you.
Not saying one cannot use it, it’S just that double barrel has some issues you have to deal with if you use it.
This is a weird way to see it, because recharge-based abilities actually matter MORE on shorter fights - you end those fights faster by using those abilities, and they are recharging during downtimes between fights, which gives them a lot of value. For reference, the average value of a cooldown is the value you get out of its usage divided by the average time between usages spent in combat using other abilities. Imagine you use Eruption to oneshot a mob, then you spend 20 seconds looking for the next mob to kill, and use Eruption again on the next mob and kill it immediately - you just, in practice, used 2 “back-to-back” Eruptions, so you “doubled” the base value of Eruption.
Spammable abilities on the contrary get value once you get into longer sustained fights. If a cooldown-based ability allows you to oneshot (or finish the fight a lot faster, or to pull more mobs and aoe them down, the case of Crystallized Blaze fits here) every 2nd or 3rd pack of mobs, and recharge inbetween, then it has higher value compared to its average value in a sustained fight.
Another point to make here. While i myself sense a nerf of the Blaze, even if Funcom gets the skill in line with the rest, the whole cooldown will still have value as its main strength would be to allow the player to pull giant packs of mobs every 20s or so, and use the snaring property of the Blaze to kite the mobs around it and AoE them down. This makes the overall killing faster and efficient.
you don’t need inverter. But you pick elemental for blaze and/or cold abilities with Frozen Figurine (be it beam or storm). Voltaic + Mjolnir are underwhelming.
You pick voltaic ONLY if you can spend two slots, blaze (necessity) and mjolnir for heat building (with a note that Vali is STRONGLY suggested for this, without it, pick inverter instead).
If you can’t have two slots then you pick inverter (it’s easier to get then voltaic).
If your primary doesn’t require elite, then you can pick Frozen figurine.
In my previous playtesting, I often ran into heat issues without a second cold ability, due to recharge times. Although I am supposedly on break from the game (since the end of last year, while waiting for season 2), I went back and did more playtesting with a few different setups, and found that replacing a second cold ability with Crystallised Flame + Crystallised Blaze was manageable in shorter fights as long as I removed Blazing Bolts and Calorimetry (longer fights required Supercooler to be manageable).
I will make the changes to the build template, pending further comments.
I should probably clarify that my assertion is based on the assumption that the duration of fights, including travel time between fights when in a populated mission area, take less than 20 seconds. I’m willing to accept this assumption might not hold true in enough cases, but I have not been able to give it thorough testing without starting a new character.
In general, my design philosophy for the build templates in this guide is to optimize for the common case rather than the best case (a higher floor, rather than a higher ceiling), so consistency in performance was prioritized over maximum value.
Regarding your follow-up post, pulling giant packs of enemies isn’t something I would expect new players (the intended audience for this guide), who likely lack the additional health from passives and capstones, to be doing.
My intention isn’t to refute any of your points, but to clarify the assumptions I’m working with, which I believe changes the conclusions. Again, I’m willing to accept—and actually would greatly appreciate—feedback that my assumptions might be incorrect in some or all cases.
Yes you will have a lot of heat issues regardless. Even with 2 ice abilities i can overheat at least twice waiting for both to cooldown.
I found that using CF at the start of the fight, then using offhand twice then using fire bolts until overheating, then i use ice beam, then firebolt or basic then CF around 75 heat which overheats me instantly then use icebeam again. With careful attention the rotation goes more or less smoothly, throwing in an offhand shot or two if nearing overheat before CF/Ice is ready. I use AR in offhand so I’ve learned to adapt.
Probably my dps is nowhere near what it could be if elemental weren’t so touchy and unwieldy but without CF its far lower for sure.
The 20s interval was just an example. It can be 5-10 seconds, in which case one could use the cooldown every 2 packs of mobs, etc…
I get the idea, the thing is that putting defensive cooldowns as part of the build isn’t a necessity either. For the hammer example, i’d put Seethe + Outrage instead of Thick Skin + Rock Hard for the common soloing content, since killings things faster just makes the whole experience more enjoyable imo, and there’s the fact that killing faster will actually make you take less damage as well. To make us agree, maybe the best idea would be to extend the builds into 2 paradigms: the damage-oriented one, and then, if it fails, the more defensive one? Since most of the time, on easy content, one might not ever or very rarely use the defensive cooldown, by comparison, offensive cooldowns can always be used, this is something i’d consider (if i were you ).
Aggroing extra mobs can happen to anyone, and my commentary can be applicable to such cases. Then the outcome might vary from one person to the other obviously.
For what it’s worth, Chaos is, in particular, because of Winds of Change + Consequence reactive healing, Evulsion + Mass Evulsion, and Pandamonium + passive, is just as good at handling mobs as it is handling single targets. (Possibly better; while I was playing for the first time, I found it just as fast to gather a handful of mobs and kill them all at once as it was to do one at a time, and with just as much danger involved.) That’s coming from the perspective of a new player; in the beta, some people had issues staying alive with the chaos/pistol starting set up, and advising them to use Winds of Change with the passive fixed their issues. Having lots of stuns helps with melee since mitigation via not being there isn’t possible.
It’s a slower way to use Chaos primary, but it’s definitely safe, since accidentally pulling extra is also a new player thing.
Your point is taken. The concept of defeating enemies faster to remove a “damage source” and reduce total damage taken is something I try to encourage. In my experience, I’ve found that many new or casual players tend to be “afraid” of dying, and end up sacrificing offense for defense (in the context of this game, through defensive talismans or, now, anima allocation). My inclusion of a defensive active in all the build templates was to ensure players knew they always had a defensive panic button to fall back on, so could safely go all-out on offense.
However, I see not all players are this way. I will review all the build templates and add appropriate offensive cooldowns as options in the slots where defensive cooldowns are specified. I will make changes to elementalism first, as it lacked a defensive cooldown to begin with, with the rest to follow later.
Thanks for informing me of your experience with new players back during the beta! I’ll keep your suggestions regarding chaos in mind for when I go over all the build templates for revision based on the feedback I’ve received so far.