How to Build: All Weapons

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.

  • Added instruction to set anima allocation.
  • Added note about the Hellfire Assault Launcher build template’s lower damage output.
  • Overhauled the generic build template as a result of feedback and further playtesting. The new build template has higher damage output, and better-captures the feeling of a mage harnessing the raw power of fire and lightning.

Thank you for this! Are some of these better for healing and surviving more so than others?

Still trying to understand how all of this works (new to SWL). I’m predominantly a solo player and past video games I’ve played more of a battlemage type. I like to take enemies down quickly (especially AOE) and have some type of healing.

The new build template for elementalism definitely has the best AOE, but is also the most lacking in defenses, so is closest to a glass-cannon mage.

I think the closest match to a “battlemage” (as I’m understanding it, a ranged class with good defenses) with good AOE would be either blood or assault rifle. Blood is closest to a “warlock” feel, with (AOE) DOT’s and passive healing, but will feel less bursty. Assault rifle, as long as you use grenades, will feel more bursty, and has passive leeching as well as an active heal, but its grenade fuse timer mechanic might feel clunky to some people.

You might also consider shotgun. Its AOE isn’t as consistently bursty (as it relies on its elite ability for burst, which has a 20-second recharge), and it’s short ranged, but it’s relatively well-rounded and its shells/reload mechanic is straightforward.

Your best bet will probably be to try blood or assault rifle first, and see how they feel to you.

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Thank you so much! Trying out “Mercenary” AR with Fist since it was one of the only starter classes with AR as primary. I would guess I can eventually change to whatever I want but it wanted me to choose one.

Yes, you need to choose a “class” to start with, but you’ll have enough Marks of Favour to unlock an additional weapon type as soon as you’ve completed a few daily challenges, and then you can buy a cheap weapon from the auction house (vendors don’t sell weapons).

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What would be a good secondary? Not sure if I need to focus on healing or if that’s taken care of by the leech passive from AR. I saw your list of weapons under AR, but wasn’t sure if all were good for what I’m going for.

The Anima Suffusion elite recommended by the build template for assault rifle is also a healing ability. Assault rifle also has the option of slotting Leeching Ray as its basic ability for more healing if you find it necessary (although I don’t recommend it by default, as it will lower your damage output and make fights take longer, which means you’ll often take more total damage due to enemies having more time to live and hit you).

In general, I’ve tried to design all the primary build templates (except elementalism) to provide enough healing/defenses on their own, so your choice of secondary (and which optional abilities to take from the secondary build template) is open to personal subjective reasons. If you want to adhere to the “battlemage” aesthetic, elementalism is a fine choice, as it also provides the option of slotting more AOE if desired in the future or for group content.

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Thank you for taking the time to explain and help me, it’s much appreciated. :blush:

  • Added fantasy archetype which best matches each weapon’s playstyle, to help new players coming from other games pick a suitable weapon.
  • Added note about the Hellfire Assault Launcher build template requiring Incendiary Grenade (2, 1) active to be unlocked for the weapon’s extraordinary effect to function

Great work! :slight_smile:
(and a few random characters to type more than 15 letters which are required to post)

@Descendent Hellfire Assault Launcher would be pretty good as an Offhand AR, right? Then you don’t have to worry about Grenade Slots, or the time to use them. The damage seems about even with Shunt+Mjolnir, only you don’t have to make sure to cast at 10s intervals, at the cost of only triggering 65% of the time if using Burst Fire instead of 100% of the time with Mjolnir.

Oh, I think I originally excluded it for secondary due to an issue that arises when you happen to load multiple grenades in a row and run out of energy (since it’s possible for the power ability which consumes a grenade, to also load a new one). Burst Fire costs 5 energy, so it would take 10 seconds to regen enough energy for another Burst Fire to consume the new grenade, which means even Explosives Expert won’t guarantee enough time to consume a grenades before it explodes, so you will often end up “wasting” a grenade.

Since using Hellfire Assault Launcher already results in lower damage output than using Incendiary Grenade, losing even more damage from wasting grenades (and the sound and visuals from exploding myself) felt bad, and made me reluctant to recommend it.

In general, I’ve tried to include only the strongest build options for each weapon. The Hellfire Assault Launcher build template for primary was only included because I previously noticed a lot of people asking around for an assault rifle build which didn’t use grenades (either because of the clunkiness of the grenade mechanic, or because of aesthetic reasons).

Ah, I see, that would make it fairly lame to use. Guess I’ll stick with Ele offhand for my alts then. Thanks for the info :smiley:

While your arguments are valid, there are also other things to consider for this weapon. The idea is to only start spamming Burst Fire when you reach 15 energy or are close to doing it, so that you have extra energy available when you load a grenade to use another Burst Fire - it won’t guarantee that you don’t proc another grenade again, but you’ll be ready with another 5 energy left if that happens. It allows for an efficient energy dump for a secondary weapon, and it is actually very salad for soloing since you’ll be getting back to 15 energy between each fight, you won’t have to use an extra GCD to dump your incendiary and you won’t have to stay longer in the fight since the mainstream Incendiary Grenades apply a dot in the first place (which is meh in short-paced fights), whereas the grenade replacement within Hellfire is an instant AoE proc.

You don’t even have to actually use Burst Fires back to back in case you load a grenade with a Hellfire since you still have the regular fuse timer to fire a grenade.

I’m a Blade fan, and I know it’s at the bottom of the meta, but right now I’m just leveling. I’ve got Blade Primary/Elemental Seconday, and I’ve set it up as per your templates, barring the Ele passive I haven’t purchases yet. I saw the secondary weapon recommendations, but was wondering if there was one you thought paired especially well, or does it not matter, since secondaries provide 1 active and 1 passive at most?

You bring up a good point about the Hellfire Assault Launcher’s extraordinary effect being instant damage, compared to Incendiary Grenade’s damage-over-time.

But other points in the weapon’s design seem to result in conflicting goals. As you say, the weapon is an efficient energy dump, which leads you to want to dump all your energy into Burst Fire quickly, but if you do that, you’ll likely end up unable to consume a grenade. On the other hand, if you try to hold back energy, you end up needing to micromanage your assault rifle again, except you’re managing energy instead of the grenade fuse timer, and without the big payoff of a cooked Incendiary Grenade.

Overall, I feel undecided about Hellfire Assault Launcher as a secondary. It has its advantages, but also has its disadvantages. I’ll need to review this weapon again (along with all the other build templates, as per your previous suggestion to offer offensive cooldowns as options to defensive cooldowns), though I’m going to wait until after the big patch next week to see what balance changes and new itemization options there will be.

Blade’s reputation of being at the bottom of the meta is largely a holdover from its performance at launch, before changes were made to Spirit Blade and Supreme Harmony. Guide: How to DPS currently ranks blade as “A” (along with most other weapons). The key is to maximize Spirit Blade uptime with the help of Supreme Harmony, and, for maximizing damage output in end-game group content, using Blade of the Seventh Son. For soloing, Stormbringer is best, as it makes maintaining 100% uptime of Spirit Blade trivial.

Regarding the choice of secondary, for soloing, you’re correct that it won’t make a significant difference. You’ll mainly be choosing based on how manageable its special mechanic feels to you, or whether you prefer its defensive active, or for aesthetic reasons. If you plan on participating in end-game group content, however, you should refer to the tier ranking in Guide: How to DPS.

What is the current weapon meta of the game? As in what tier is each weapon at exactly in its roles?