If you don't run hammer or AR, good luck

I’m a blade user. I’ve been a blade/ele user since day one. I was a blade/ele user in the old game. It seems like every single thing that this game has done since New Dawn came out has been to alienate/make life impossible for anyone running anything but hammer or AR. I have a hammer, I have an AR. I see the usefulness of both, but I don’t enjoy the playstyle of either. A cabal member was trying to beat Tank Commander main-handing blood. I think we all know how that went. I personally can’t manage Dark Agartha above e14 with a blade or I just run out of time. Thanks to all the new implemented mechanics, e14 now is looking impossible, as well.

I’m going to be frank. If it wasn’t for the friends I’ve made in this game and the status I have in my cabal, I would have rage-quit this whole thing after my experience today. This is why there is beta-testing; to see if the mechanics hold up for everyone, or are unacceptably out of balance to players of other builds. I’ve beta-tested many MMO’s that are still on the market today, and, quite bluntly, any other company would have fixed the damage imbalances before it even went live. No one can tell me this was solidly beta-tested without realizing how game-breaking/OP hammer and AR were at the time this game went public.

I’m not calling for a nerf on AR or hammer. I’ve always hated nerfs and they generally do more harm than good. What I am calling for is to make other weapons at least somewhat more viable in end-game play. This isn’t hard. Blade already has a fiddly gimmick with ‘Spirit Blade’; if it was reworked right, it could be a burst-damage weapon that could at least be a little more playable than it is now. The same with other weapons; they could all get one-two main or passive powers reworked so they wouldn’t be relegated to the closet once the player realizes they’re wasting their time on anything but AR or hammer.

I’m just frustrated right now. And what I witnessed in Dark Agartha today isn’t helping.


I feel your pain being a fist/blood player from the start. Thing that really gets me is 1 of the fist weapon agents can only be obtained by buying an agent pack. like really?? fist weapon is so OP that you have to buy the last 7% + damage agent o.O. Life as fist blood user is difficult. Like you I can not go past E14 in DA with claw/blood build. I have a elemental + AR build now too and like is so much easier…to much easier. I guess we will have to wait and see what the new owners of SWL do to the game mech and balance once they decide to have a look at things because atm melee weapon users are playing nightmare mode. Blood is weird…a weapon that kills you the more damage you do yet its not the top damage making weapon in the game. That;s like huh, why even use a high risk weapon like that?. Taking damage from your own weapon to do damage while being attacked o.O. Seeing its obvious the game weapons are way out of balance, we would expect a re-balance at some point. despite all this I really enjoy the game still and just have to mix and match weapons sets to the environment Im in at the time. HF \o/.

1 Like

I’m a hammer user and I run E12 typically (qualified for 14) so idk. I run a very dps-focused build though, no heals. All the hammer heals are purgable so it’s not reliable, may as well run a difficulty I don’t need heals.

[edit] they’ve definitely made the Anima channel more effective, on E14 it healed him for 800k hp (of 1.6 million) when I interrupted Anima Drain instantly and had nothing to interrupt the heal. I was worried I wouldn’t actually be able to take him down cause I was doing 1 million damage and then he was healing 800k, but he only cast it twice. It used to literally heal for 0.


I ran it at e12 with hammer/blade and it was easy. I probably could have done it at a higher e, but I just wanted it over. The new GK mechanic pretty much ensures you need to run 2 interrupts.

So, looking at it like that, that means a blade user has to run Snake Bite. Since it’s suicide to go into GK without some sort of shield, you’ll want your offhand to be hammer, shotgun or chaos. Then you have your basic attack. Then you’ll want Soothing Spring for a last-second purge/heal. There’s Supreme Harmony for speed/damage boost, and then you have the ever-present Spirit Blade. Lastly, the gadget better be an interrupt.

So, uh, what do I attack with here in this scenario? I’m basically just going to be whiffing along with a lone basic attack. Yes. This was clearly thought out.

I don’t envy the other weapons. Blood’s damage should either be higher, or get rid of the stupid self-crippling mechanic altogether. Fist should be an amazing dps weapon, but it has always had a nerfed feeling to it. Which is sad, because it looks like it could be a ton of fun to mainhand dps, but I usually only see it as a random offhand. There are plenty of die-hard pistol users, but their dps output is usually considered subpar.

Something that I think is long overdue is for there to be some community outreach to the players and see what weapon(s) they play, what weapons they stay away from, why and what could be done to increase build versatility.

I think unfortunately the answer is as it’s always been, “the entire gear leveling system inhibits build diversity”. I use a hammer and I stay away from every other weapon because my signets require me to use a hammer, and I would be giving up 20% of my dps to use generic signets. My red 70 weapons are a hammer and a shotgun, and that inhibits me using anything else too. And then even if you did level more talis, it costs money to have the inventory space to hold them.

I didn’t even choose hammer when it was the meta weapon of choice, I’ve just always used it since day 1, with slightly varying offhand weapons. I picked it because its gimmick works most like the TSW energy system, where you cast 2-5 builders, then a consumer.

I have a fundamental disagreement with Tilty and the game designers about what makes combat “fun”: for me, it’s being able to do repeatable combos for big damage, without any RNG. The problem with RNG is simple: I have to look at my resource bars instead of the enemies I’m fighting, because I don’t know when they’ll fill. It still leaves plenty of room for challenges, figuring out how to hit a boss for 5 seconds in a row, etc. but I can know where I am in the sequence while watching the boss.

Good luck finding an RPG where there’s no RNG. Crit and probability of things to happen exists everywhere and is a staple of all the games out there, it’s not just Tilty’s design.

If i were to actually criticize SWL’s combat design, it would be for its “streamline-ness” that doesn’t even manage to achieve balance. And procs. Boring procs that don’t even alter your gameplay, but just passively add 0.5% - 1% to your total damage. Procs are everywhere - from passives to extraordinary talismans or weapons. The latest example would be the new summoning talismans - one just calculates if their procs are stronger than the older talismans, and boom, new bis. Even if they don’t require any gameplay changes from the player (especially now since you have no collision anymore with the summons). That’s very resident sleeper design.

We need more greatly designed passives or items such as the Shriven Souls, or Fast and Furious, or Odds & Evens, or Emergency Loader, that actually make you alter your gameplay if you want to use them.


Huh? Why would you need a shield?
I’ve run DA with many different weapons, and blood and shotgun are the only ones which trip me up. I keep derping the reloads for shotgun, and get too heavily corrupted for blood, but I know people who are better practiced with them who don’t have the same problems.

DA’s main requirement is a signet of Cruel Delight and crit rating. If you’ve got that sorted, then that’s most of the battle won.

GK’s anima drain doesn’t need to be interrupted. You can just keep on DPSing through it, and Cruel Delight will keep you up. That means you can save an interrupt for Anima Redistribution, which you can stop as soon as it starts being cast. You then may need to dodge away from GK as he’ll often cast Malfunction or Destruction straight away, but that’s not too bad a thing, as it’s good to drag him over the other side of the area anyway.
If you’ve got a weapon with good cleanses, you can take an interrupt gadget, or use a weapon interrupt and take a cleansing gadget. That’s true for all the weapons.

AR and hammer have an edge because their DPS is higher, but that doesn’t stop the other weapons from being good enough to clear it.

Well, TSW had crit/pen without it affecting your rotations (other than if you slotted the ~3 passives that gave you energy on crit or pen, which they buffed several times to get any players to pick them, which players ignored cause players don’t like rng)

I don’t mind probability in damage outputs, just when it’s “every cast you have 25% chance to load a grenade you need to shoot within a second to do effective dps”

That was really just because Elemental Force allowed you to structure your rotation around a guaranteed crit. That meant that we could pretty much ignore crit rating as a stat and focus on hitting the hit and pen caps. It also massively reduced build diversity, as if you weren’t using EF, you were gimping your DPS (unless you were spamming blood shot).
It’s not that players don’t like RNG - it’s that players like big numbers. If it’d been possible to do more damage without EF, it would have been left alone, like the majority of the ability wheel.

I can’t actually recall any passives that gave resources on crit or pen though, I remember ones that’d buff your crit/pen rating when you crit or pen, but not give resources.

It was one of the things that made TSW’s combat dull, as you were always doing the same rotation without any real variation (unless you had to hit cleanup). It almost didn’t matter which weapons you were using, it was pretty much the same for everything.

Yeah not sure, only one I could find easily was Vital Fluids (10% chance to gain 1 resource on hit, as of the version with forced crit EF)

Anyway I’m just saying why I preferred Hammer over pretty much every other gimmick, full control over when gimmick damage is sent, not rng. Without even needing extra ability slots, since it just relies on your basic/power move sequence. It’s not the primary factor (#1 I tank, #2 I like blunt weapons, #3 instants > cast times) but it’s why as the game evolved I haven’t really been tempted to move to anything else. Whereas in TSW I had blood/ar, hammer/blood, hammer/chaos, etc. dps builds cause it was easy to make the weapons and they all let me construct a build the way I wanted.

1 Like

The new mechanics seam to be causing me problems with my blood / pistol build to. Just come back from a break for a while, but I used to do DA alternative timeline on e10 with a few mins to spare. Handy in case I fell off a ledge or something.

I know im a little rusty so used a pure anima as well, my ip is 1173 in this build. Got to the gatekeeper with a little of 6 mins to spare and ran out of time to kill him (tried twice) best I did was got him down to 25% before running out of time.

He did not seam to heal or anything that I noticed and have checked the patch notes that I missed but can not find anything saying why it should take well over 6 mins to kill now.

I must be missing something, but have not worked it out yet and leveling up a hammer from scratch to replace my blood focus just to beet one boss can not be the best option.

GK has a new mechanic. If you don’t interrupt Anima Drain and you don’t interrupt Anima Transfer, he will basically heal up to full. I heard it’s not so bad on the lower e difficulty, but he can heal up a crazy amount if you let him do that transfer.

Maxed red Cruel Delight.

And, I think you’re missing the point.

Technically, for my IP, I should be doing these at e17. I’m not saying I should be walking through it at e17; yes, there should be some challenge. But when you’re consistently dying simply because you are running out of time, that’s not a challenge, that’s just annoyance above and beyond reason.

Thank you.

Really, this isn’t hard to do.

So allocate more damage and drop defensive glyphs? Buy more time?

1 Like

Being a blood user until e10 was frustrating complete scenarios dark agartha occult, there was days i just skip them ><, the first time i use hammer i was able to complete my highest elv easily with blood signets in my gear

Tbh, I don’t know what you’re doing wrong, and I don’t really know enough about blade to offer much relevant advice.

Having 80/20 AA or 90/10 AA gives me enough DPS to get through my highest elite tier with weapons other than AR and hammer. Having a red cd and maxed crit rating glyphs provides all the healing I need, except for during Malfunction, where I just back off. I DPS straight through Anima Drain, and stop the Transfusion/Redistribution cast using my only interrupt. The heal only happens when GK has the Redistribution module, but I normally cba waiting for him to channel the heal, because I’m impatient.

If you’re failing due to time, I don’t really know what to say tbh. But I don’t agree that you can only complete it using AR or hammer - yes, you’re probably going to be fastest with those weapons, but the others are still viable. Just like people can do the tank commander fight using blood, (though most seem to swear never to do it a second time…).

1 Like

Go ahead and try blade at your highest tier, record it, then tell me it’s possible. Then I’ll coincide I’m doing something wrong. Until then, I’m staying by the statement the mechanics are overly punishing if you run anything but hammer or AR.

1 Like

Yeah, it’s not going to go well with a lvl 15 mythic Stormbringer of Efficiency with a lvl 1 mythic fierce glyph in it, but I’ll give it a go tomorrow.

With an ip of 1253, I did e12 with blade/ele. My ip would have been higher, but both my weapons were mythic and have glyphs I haven’t really got round to levelling yet. I was using a Stormbringer of Efficiency and an Orochi Thermal Inverter of Energy.
I have a red lvl 20 Ascendant, red lvl 1 neophyte, journeyman and nemain, lvl 5 red Cruel Delight, lvl 2 red Time and Space and lvl 1 red Quickness.

I didn’t die at all, and had 3:50 left on the clock when I killed GK.

It’s been over a year since I last used blades, so I’d expect an experienced blade user to have better DPS than me. There were several times when I let my spirit blade break, mostly because I wasn’t watching it properly, and I’m fairly sure my crystallised flame up time sucked.

There’s some NSFW language on the video, my apologies, I tend to swear a fair bit!
The video:

Tbh, I’m kinda thinking that I should have taken the challenge timeline after all and got the extra loot!