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A guide to Battlecast Brawler Hyper Roll for patch 10.13

A guide to Battlecast Brawler Hyper Roll for patch 10.13

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This is a guide to a battlecast brawler hyper roll build I've been working on in patch 10.13. (Or HyperBeam HyperRoll as i like to call it)


Down below I've shown what the comp should look like at various stages of the game, as well as the general strategy and itemization.

Hyper roll builds have disappeared from the meta with the introduction of set 3.5, mostly to to the nerfing of key 1 cost units like Poppy and Xylah, the removal of the Void alliance, and level 4 rolling odds changing from 60% to 55% for 1 cost units.
However, I think with the massive buffs to Illaoi and the battlecast synergy and it's units, as well as the massive increase in odds for 3 cost units from 10% to 15% at level 4 make this build viable if you abuse those odds to find an early Cassiopeia, and get 4 battlecast online early after hyper rolling at stage 3-1. You're almost guaranteed to have her on round 3-2, often you will even find 2 copies or a 2 star Cassiopeia on your first hyper roll. I think by shifting the focus of hyper roll builds away from 3 starring a board of 1 and 2 cost units, and focusing more on abusing the 15% odds for 3 cost units, and focusing on 3 starring a few one cost units, and getting super early 2 star 3 costs who unlock important synergies, hyper rolling can be quite good again.
Anyways, here's the rundown of the comp:

The build focuses on building Illaoi and Cassiopeia as your carries. The compound effect of all the buffs to Illaoi and battlecast have made her tankiness and power increase exponentially, especially at 3 star. Combining the buffed heal from battlecast with the bonus HP she got this patch, 10% more armor and magic resist steal and the massive 50% increase from 4 second to 6 second steal duration, allowing her to stack up much more at a single time makes her a way stronger unit at 3 star than she was in 10.12. Combining this with the right set of items easily rivals Poppy in the golden days of the Candyland build. As for Cassiopeia, despite getting a nerf to DPS, the amount of damage instances she does is very powerful with the battlecast synergy. With Blue Buff and Morellonomicon, you'll be dealing 2 instances of tick damage on your opponents entire team very early into the fight, triggering tons of blasts/heals. When played in this comp, she is a way stronger carry than she is in the Vanguard Mystic build, despite being nerfed. The 4 battlecast synergy has been buffed enough that it can crush early game and carry you through mid, until you find Urgot later, and the 6 battlecast alliance has been buffed enough to make this build viable in the late/top 4 portion of the game. Buffs to Nocturne and Kog'Maw aren't huge, but still relevant. This comp also makes great use of spatula. If you can get battlecast spat, you can run 6 battlecasts at level 6, without needing to to wait all the way to level 8 to find Urgot. The 480 damage blasts/heals at earlier stages of the game will pretty much ensure you steamroll.
In summary, the comp wants to have long fights with an unkillable Illaoi and Malphite 3 star in the front, buying time for Cassiopeia's damage over time, and your battlecast procs to do work, while the combination of Ionic Spark and Illaoi's resistance reductions massively increase your damage output as your tanks run endlessly into the opponents units and debuff them to oblivion.

Super Early Game (Stage 1-2)

In the super early game, you should econ as much as possible. Focus on making interest at all times, and only deviate from this if it means picking up an Illaoi, Cassiopeia, Malphite, or Nocturne. You want to hang onto as few units as possible that don't go into the level 5 comp shown below. Holding onto one Kog'maw is a good idea, but 2 starring him before you roll down your gold at 3-1 isn't worth it. It costs way too much in interest gold and you will always be able to 2 star him very early with your hyper rolls, and having him 2 star isn't the most important thing. What really matters is having him for an early 4 battlecast synergy. If you can sell Cog'Maw to make interest it's generally worth it, as you can always find another copy during your hyper roll. You want to streak for maximum econ without ever breaking your streak, which usually means loss streaking until the crug round. This also ensures you get first/early pick at the carousel. Getting the right items, specifically an early bramble for your Illaoi, is important for this comp, so it's normally the best approach. I wouldn't recommend committing to win streaking unless you're entering the first PVP rounds with 2 star units and some solid completed items, or if you lucked out and got Cassiopeia on stage 1. Ideally you want between 40-50 gold for stage 3-1, at which point you hyper roll to 0 and try to 3 star Illaoi Malphite and Nocturne, while 2 starring Kog'Maw, and finding Cassiopeia 1 or 2 star. Consider holding onto Blitz crank and Vi during your roll, until you find the 4 battlecasts so you can play a 4 brawler start as a backup plan if need be.

Sidenote: picking up as many 1 cost and 3 cost units as possible while you're rolling down your gold will slightly increase your chances of 3 starring units and hitting Cassiopeias by removing some units from the pool. This isn't huge but it can be the difference between hitting a 3 star unit a round or two earlier, which does matter.

Early Game (Level 4-5)

Level 5
You want to get Illaoi to 3 star as your top priority, while looking for Malphite and Nocturne 3 star along the way. Kog'Maw 3 star is nice but it isn't worth the bench space and gold and will ultimately slow you down too much. Getting him to 2 star early is all you need. The other goal is to find Cassiopeia 2 star early during the hyper rolls, but never roll specifically for her, as a 1 star Cassiopeia is all you need early on, and you should get her to 2 star extremely early naturally with your hyper rolls now giving you 15% chance for 3 cost units in the early game anyways. The only 3 star unit that is absolutely crucial to the comp is Illaoi. Malphite makes the comp much stronger if you can 3 star him, but the comp can function without him. 3 star Nocturne is much like Zoe in Candyland; a nice bonus if you find him, and quite useful with his 4 second stun, but you don't need him 3 star. It's always worth the econ and bench to hang onto him though. Since this is a hyper roll build, you never spend money on exp until you are fully ready to go to level 6, where your odds for finding 1 cost units decrease drastically. Once you find Illaoi 3 star, you should go to level 6 if you aren't anywhere near finding Malphite and nocturne 3, but if you have 5 or more copies of either of them, and if the units aren't being heavily contested, it's worth staying at level 5 longer and rolling down again for 3 star on all your 1 costs first. Be patient with your gold, and try to econ up to 30-50 gold before rolling down each time, instead of rolling all your gold as you get it, unless you are dying and have no other option. You usually want to run the 5 units shown above, however if you failed to find 4 battlecast, you can run 4 Brawler instead, although this isn't as good. The other main thing to consider is running Zed instead of Malphite. Zed can be worth it if you ended up with a 3 star Nocturne, or if you somehow didn't find 2 star Malphite on your first hyper roll, which is incredibly unlikely. Otherwise the 2 Brawler front line with 4 battlecast is your best option.

Mid Game (Level 6-7)

Level 6
level 7
At this point, hopefully Illaoi and as many other 1 costs as possible are 3 starred, or 1-2 copies away from being 3 starred, and you have 2 star Cassiopeia. The best option at level 6 is to add a Mystic to further increase your units durability. Soraka is great, and her healing has great synergy with the innate tankiness of your units. Karma is also great to link to your Cassiopeia. If you can't find a mystic the option of throwing in a 2 star Zed or a Fizz is also okay. Running Infiltrator in the place of Mystic can actually be better up until late game if Nocturne is 3 starred. At this point in the game, you don't want to be rolling any more. Just econ up and pick up more brawlers, and finish 2 starring everything you can, and finishing 3 star units unless it becomes unrealistic to keep looking for them. At level 7, you want to add in two brawlers and take out the mystic, for 4 brawler 4 battlecast. Adding Vi and Gnar provides much more valuable front line to buy time and drag out the fight for your Cassiopeia and battlecast procs to do work, as well as providing you with lots of CC. If the game is going well, i prefer to econ up to 50 on level 6 and slowly pump gold into exp, while remaining at 50 gold, then pump all my gold into levels to jump strait to level 8 right after, but if you are being pressured it's fine to go to 7 sooner if you're taking too much damage.

Late Game (Level 8-9)

Level 8
Level 8 alt
Level 9
At level 8, add your Mystic back in (Soraka being the best). You don't have much to do here as far as your build, aside from trying to find Urgot and Viktor, if you don't already have him, to go to 6 battlecast. Once you find Urgot, either replace Cog'Maw with him (or Nocturne if you never 3 starred him) or take out 2 of your brawlers and go for 6 battlecast, 2 brawler, 2 mystic. If the game goes to Level 9, you can simply play 4 brawler 6 battlecast. If you're facing heavy magic damage lineups that don't require you to strengthen your front line as much (such as Gangplank/Riven and 6 sorcerers) you can consider 4 mystics instead of 4 brawlers. This is especially effective if you have dragon scale on Illaoi, and practically allows her to 1v9 against those kind of comps.

Spatula Variation

Level 6
Level 9
If you get a spatula, you can make battlecast spat and put it onto your Malphite. Malphite carries Ionic spark in this comp, so giving him the ability to output some magic damage is nice while hes tanking for you, but more importantly he has tons of hp to work with so he will survive on the front line for much longer with battlecast heals and keep that ionic spark aura up for longer.
With battlecast spat, you can add Viktor in at level 6 for the 6 battlecast synergy. The DPS increase to 480 for each battlecast proc at this early in the game is brutal, and also makes Illaoi unkillable with the increase heal. You can play 4 brawler 6 battlecast at level 8 now as well, and at level 9 you can play a mystic on top of the normal comp, while dropping one of your less useful battlecasts.

Items

Carousel Priority is Spatula > Chain Vest > Cloak > TeaRod > Belt/Gloves

It's essential that you prioritize getting Bramble first, Blue Buff second, then two additional tank items for Illaoi and Morellonomicon as a third priority, and lastly Ionic Spark or Rapid Firecannon are luxury items (they help you win more if you're ahead, but don't stabilize you if you're behind).

Basically, Bramble vest is the most important item in the comp, with Blue Buff being a close second. They are the only irreplaceable items. Bramble plays a crucial role in carrying you through all stages of the game. It's value on tanky units, especially at 3 star, is too great to ever pass up. It will do a ton of AOE damage, and it creates quite a lot of damage instances throughout the fight to fuel battlecast.

Ideally, Illaoi wants Bramble, Dragon Scale and Quicksilver. I believe these items best leverage her stolen resistances from her spell and increase her survivability.
The armor from vest, plus the negating of crits, coupled with 20% evasion from quicksilver, makes her very durable against physical damage.
The magic resist provided by Dragon scale and Quicksilver bring her magic resistance extremely high, and she ends up taking almost no damage when incoming magic damage is reduced by 50% by scale before even considering her resistances.
The immunity to crowd control from Quicksilver is very important on her as well, as it allows her to cast without interruption, and she can't be stunned before she has a chance to steal resistances. Stacking up a few casts in the first 10 seconds of the fight is enough to make sure she is always working with added armor and magic resist.
Getting these 3 items isn't imperative though, as long as you have bramble you can replace one of the other slots. Warmog's works fine in giving her more raw HP to leverage her mass stolen armor and magic res, and gives her more HP to stay alive and heal back up with battlecast procs. Titan's resolve is also an acceptable replacement as she is one of the units who can actually get it to 50 stacks and then stay alive and heal back up for a long time thereafter to make good use of the item to its full potential.

Cassiopeia wants Blue Buff and Morellonomicon. With this combination of items, she can dish out tons of damage over time as long as she has a tanky front line to buy time for the damage to do its work, as we've seen in builds like Vanguard Mystic and Mystic Protectors. Given two sources of tick damage on every unit that she casts on, not only does she melt entire teams, she goes rapid-fire with the battlecast procs, even managing to stay alive through rapid healing if she gets jumped on the back line.

The last item is Ionic Spark. This is best on Malphite 3 star, but can be on any Brawler. I don't recommend putting it on Illaoi because it offers less defensively and we just want to make her as tanky as possible with her 3 slots. Combining the magic resistance debuff aura and Illaoi stealing 60% resistances every cast from whoever she hits, your team will be able to easily melt enemies.

Almost all item components have good use in this comp, but BF Sword is quite a dead item. The best you can do is make a Zeke's Herald or GA with it.

Other notable items if you happen to get them:

Rapid Firecannon - Great on Cassiopeia, and allows you to position her as safe and far away as possible. Any Bows you pick up should go towards building this item. It didn't make the cut for the item build, but it would be the next best thing that isn't on the core 6 item list. Don't prioritize bows on the carousel over anything else for this item, but it's nice if you end up with one.

Protector Spat - Spatula should be built into battlecast spat, but if that ends up being impossible, or you pick up the full item on a later carousel, it can be great for Cassiopeia to perma-shield once you activate protector synergy with Urgot. Jarvin and Karma can be played until you find Urgot, to get protector and dark star.

Thief's Gloves - If you end up with extra Sparring Gloves you can just combine them onto Nocturne or victor to get some value out of them.

Frozen Heart - If you have spare chain vest and tear drops, this is a nice item to have on either a brawler, or on Nocturne.

ZZ'Rot Portal/Redemption - If you end up with these, they're nice on Nocturne, as he will jump to the back line, cause havoc, then give you benefits for dying.

Positioning

Depending on what brawlers you're using, there are two general approaches to positioning Cassiopeia. If you have all your brawlers up front, it's best to have her to the second row against one of the edges, with a brawler directly in front of her. If you're running Blitzcrank, you can put him in the corner with Cassiopeia next to him. This will give her a target to attack in between casting her spell. Since she only needs to hit once to gain full mana with blue buff, she should be able to distribute her poison to most of the enemy team from the safety of the back row before the pulled unit dies, forcing her to move up closer.

Malphite (or whoever ends up with Ionic Spark) should be towards the center to maximize the aura's effect. Illaoi should also be centered. Her and Malphite are the tankiest units assuming they're three starred, and it's also best to have her near the Ionic spark to ensure she stacks magic resistance reduction from Tentacle Smash and ionic spark onto the same units, helping your team burst down targets better.

Nocturne can typically kill off a target during his 4 second stun duration, so having him jump onto a key spell caster such as Lulu/Xeraph or a carry is important. In the top 4 and above, his positioning becomes increasingly more important as you can target specific players more easily.

Cow'Maw isn't the most impactful unit, so he should be positioned in such a way that he will tankenemy Blitzcranks.

In general, I prefer to play towards one side in the early game, to better help your units focus fire, and cause battlecast to target the same unit. later on, I typically prefer to spread out more.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

- Counters Vanguards and Mystics. Cassiopeia with Morellonomicon melts them, and Illaoi's spell turns their own strength against them, making her ridiculously tanky and stripping them of their alliance bonuses.

- Counters Protectors due to Cassiopeia 50% shield reduction.

- Not Super contested in general. Not many players are 3 starring these units, and with hyper rolls you can get your hands on the highly contested Cassiopeia before anyone has a chance to empty them out of the pool.

- Good in Trade Sector, Neekoverse, Star Cluster, Superdense Galaxies.

- Easy Top 4 if you get some 3 stars at a reasonable time, or hit your items on Cassiopeia and Illaoi

Cons:

- Easy Bottom 4 if you get unlucky with your hyper rolls

- Can struggle against Blasters with the 80% true damage from Giant Slayers against your High HP units, and heal reduction from Red Buff. If more than two players are going blaster brawler, you shouldn't go for this comp, as your units will be contested as well and 3 starring the important ones could become impossible.

- Can be weak against sorcerers. Burst damage comes in less, more intense damage instances, and doesn't let you proc enough battlecast heals. Their units often don't have much resistance to steal making Illaoi less effective and more vulnerable, as well as losing value on HP% burn from Cassiopeia since their units are fairly low hp.

- Bad in Binary Star and Galactic Armory. Risky in Littler Little Legends Galaxy. If you snowball early you can crush the game easily, but if you take a bit too long hitting your power spikes, you'll be in a rough spot.

That's it for the guide, thanks for reading! I hope you give this comp a try and have fun!

If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to DM me!
submitted by vice4862 to TeamfightTactics [link] [comments]

Completing the Abyss of Legends with Stark Enhanced: A Breakdown of an aegon-less run

I recently completed the Abyss and felt like my experience might be a useful reference for those without Aegon. Most of the recommendations about the abyss say that you need high sig Aegon or you might as well not bother, and as someone with only a 6 star unduped Aegon, this was quite annoying.
With the recent lunar new year event being a great level 1 revive farm, and the Love is a Battlerealm side event giving quite potent health potions, this seemed like the perfect time to give Abyss completion a go. I recorded everything and uploaded them so if you want, you can see how the fight actually went.
Full playlist of all the fights: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjvXd0r8th7YSgJlz0kn_ph4KHk1GbJTi
This breakdown is quite big so it might be worth skipping to parts you are interested in such as the final revive total or specific fights.

The Team:

The plan was use Stark Enhanced to handle the regular fights (healing him up when neccessary) while using Nick Fury for any fights he can handle as his ability to deal damage against champs that can bleed is pretty insane. I used Stark Enhanced for most of labyrinth when I explored it, so I'm very confident in using him and his taunt + special evasion help a lot in staying aggressive.
Symbiote Supreme was needed for the cosmic fights as they can be very tricky without some form of nullify, while Void was needed for Mephisto and also to help against both ducks due to being able to reverse their regen.
Finally, the most unusual pick, Corvus was brought because I noticed that some people running the abyss without Aegon ended up using 50 or more revives against the Collector due to how "fun and interactive" he is, and my other champs would not be able to handle him effectively once he got past 55% which disables evade, autoblock and miss from his specials. Since you can gain all four charges on the easy path, I planned to gain charges throughout the abyss and then switch to a full suicide setup once Stark Enhanced could no longer dodge his specials and try and burst him down before dying, which would happen way before Corvus ran out of charges.
Prepared units and revives:
Potions:
Also opened 147 free crystals (Found a total of 5 level 2 revives, 1 level 1 revive, 68 level 2 potions and 27 level 3 potions.)
Mastery setup:
If going for the abyss, I highly recommend maxing courage (20% attack below 50% health, which you'll most likely be at most of the time) and maxed Limber (there were several times I got hit and stunned but recovered in time to then deal significant damage that saved revives).
I also run maxed Assassin for the 60% attack boost below 18% health but you only really need 1/5 at least. The rest is optional besides the core masteries although since I was using nick fury, maxed Deep Wounds is a must for maximizing his damage. If using a mystic nullifier (which you should be ideally), having Mystic Dispersion can improve your damage output by a lot so I had it at 4/5.
Despair is also good to have maxed when reversing regen with Void but ideally need at least 1 point in it. 1 point in Unfazed gives a 17% chance anytime an evade occurs to go unstoppable which allows you to instantly react, and while not essential it is noticeable when every enemy has a chance to evade and can potentially save you taking damage.

The Fights themselves:

THING: Used stark enhanced for this fight. Quite a difficult start due to needing to manage his rock stacks, and also he disables Stark Enhanced's L2 with his protection shielding and shock immunity. The fights I had against him went really well but lost a lot of damage due to protection shielding and also losing the above 50% health crit bonus pretty easily. I used lower tier potions here as some were expiring.
4 level 1 revives, 15 level 1 potions, 10 level 2 potions, 5 level 3 potions. Used 1 of each middle tier boost to start off.
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OMEGA RED: Stark enhanced again, but Corvus was used here to finish him off for the glaive charge. Omega red is easier than Thing but he has a tendency to continue attacks after his medium is dodged which can catch you out using stark. Died a lot in this fight due to this and mistimed dodges, as well as 1 case of dying to the spores. At least 2 deaths I almost did no damage while trying to build poise, so probably one of the fights I did the worst on despite it being easier than the others.
5 level 1 revives, 1 level 2 revive, 10 level 1 potions, 15 level 2 potions, 5 level 3 potions, 2 love juice
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QUAKE: Nick fury for this fight. He is an absolute beast with how potent those light ending bleeds are combined with deep wounds. Having the permanent unblockable and ignoring the abyss evade makes this fight even easier.
First attempt took about 2mil health. Second attempt took a further 1.5mil but accidentally pushed her to SP3. Finished her off in 3 attempts which was nice to see for a champ with such a high health pool.
2 level 1 revives. 1 set of mid tier boosts.
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MEDUSA: Symbiote Supreme for this fight. Pretty easy with mystic dispersion since you can just fuel your power with her buffs and use the L3 to spam back to back L2s. Dealt about 2mil in first attempt. Finished off remaining health with nick fury alive from the previous fight. This meant waiting out the 15 second unstoppable but she died quite soon after that.
No items
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MEPHISTO: The main fight Void is needed for. Easy enough to fight mephisto with incinerate immunity but void is not a top damage champion so needs some patience and revives for this fight thanks to the hit cap.
Void at D140 can deal between 700k and 800k before the enrage kicks in. Died once due to mistimed dodge of the L1. In the final fight, Void survived with 1% thanks to maxed Limber preventing Mephisto from hitting me after I mistimed the L1 dodge. Pretty decent fight overall
3 level 1 revives, 15 level 1 potions.
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CAPTAIN MARVEL MOVIE: This fight absolutely sucks. Degenerating any time you're above 1.5 bars of power is bad enough but then giving you power gain so you have to spam your own specials while also needing to deal with Captain Marvel spamming her own specials is not fun at all and overall a pretty frustrating fight. Very easy to die to fun and interactive damage or CMM deciding she wants to use the L3.
My plan here was to use team revives and try out different champs to see who could deal the most damage before dying. Void can reverse the power gain making the fight easier but I struggled to survive long enough to apply fear of the void with how you need to use the SP1 to avoid the degen but hitting her with the SP1 causes her to gain charges and eventually go into binary ignition and shrug all debuffs off.
I attempted Corvus and using the power gain to spam SP2, but overall healing SS and just tanking the energy damage was my best solution. The first 2 team revives did about 2.5mil, but then just focused entirely on reviving and healing SS. Used a third team revive when CMM was low health to have my other champs ready for the next fights.
3 level 2 team revives, 20 level 3 team potions. 1 of each greater boost.
1 level 1 revive, 7 level 2 revives, 14 love juice, 1 lesser love juice.
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GHOST: Nothing too special here, just some annoying power drain and power gain to watch out for when not using an armor break champ. Can lead to her getting an SP3 easily if you don't keep an eye on the charges. All of the damage done here was from the team revive used in the last fight, mainly with Nick fury and Stark Enhanced. Corvus was also used at the end of this fight to gain another charge.
No items
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IMIW: Most of the time this is not a very fun fight due to non contact attacks preventing parry and also how often he spams his specials, especially in the final 15%. My original plan for this fight was to use stark but I ended up trying Corvus since he had 3 charges and his armor break would disable the power drain.
He ended up dealing 1.6mil damage in a single fight.
The tactic was to use Corvus as normal (so MLM combos and L2 when possible) and afterwards delay the fight as much as possible and only hitting him once occasionally to stop charges falling off. I waited about 4 total cycles (so 200 seconds) so took some patience but overall it was a very good fight and being able to disable the enigmatic ability makes the fight far less annoying.
I got evaded in the second fight, but the third fight went really well too, and the final 15% was significantly easier since you can armor break him just by parrying and stop the power gain and autoblock. I still had the greater boosts from the captain marvel movie fight active however, so this reduced the duration of the fight by quite a bit. I expected to use quite a few more revives for this fight so it was a nice surprise to get it done in 3 attempts.
It's a good idea to learn how to double parry IMIW for this fight as it gives you a lot more openings to attack when you can stun his light attack after he uses a medium.
2 level 1 revives.
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JOE FIXIT: Normally an easy fight for Aegon, but quite a pain otherwise. I originally planned for Nick fury to destroy this fight, but realised that one of the debuffs Joe fixit can apply is fate seal meaning your fury is gone reducing your damage output significantly. If you get lucky and avoid being fate sealed then the other debuffs generally don't cause any issue especially as you can shrug them off so easily, and most of the buffs just increase Joe fixit's power gain.
I tried him several times with Fury but kept getting unlucky so ended up trying Stark enhanced which went alright but didn't go as well as I'd hoped. I probably could have saved revives by healing up stark enhanced and trying with him more, but instead opted to continue with Nick fury after I had one run where I didn't get fate sealed until the enrage kicked in.
Theres also the chance he triggers hearts and regenerates for an insane amount so this is something to be careful of. I revived and healed up Stark to finish him off after nick fury left him with 200k health
7 level 1 revives, 10 level 1 potions, 11 level 2 potions, 15 level 3 potions. 1 of each mid tier boost.
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MORDO: One of the more annoying things about the Abyss is that Mordo appears on every single path and you can never avoid him. His enigmatic ability also fate seals you after 10 buffs which hurts Nick Fury quite a lot, a champ I'd normally use for him. The abyss evade also causes astral evade to trigger, meaning you'll degenerate any time it happens which is not ideal. This combined with the inability to attack after a parry without very specific timing and the boosted SP3 damage from the abyss global make this fight pretty dangerous for a 2.6mil champ
I used stark enhanced from the previous fight but ended up losing a lot of charges as Mordo would consistently stay very passive even without the power gain buff. I tried twice with Nick fury but didn't go well after being fate sealed, and ended up finishing him off with Void as mordo can't astral evade while fatigued. Didn't use any potions for this fight.
4 level 1 revives
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VENOM THE DUCK: This fight is quite fun with mystic dispersion as he gains an insane amount of buffs which can all be fueled into power for Symbiote Supreme. Void is also a great counter to this fight because while Venom the duck can't trigger regen from his buffs gained off special attacks, he can trigger it from his Abberation timer. It heals about 10% of his max health so reversing this deals quite a lot of damage.
The first attempt I used void who was alive from the previous fight, and ended up dealing about 2mil damage from reversing 3 regen buffs in the fight. Revived SS afterwards and managed to deal another 2mil damage with back to back special spamming which was incredibly satisfying. Expected a few more revives for this fight so was quite happy after this.
2 level 1 revives. 1 of each lesser boost.
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HOWARD THE DUCK Mostly just an annoying fight, the enigmatic ability serves no purpose besides wasting your skirmish charges and time. Not that enjoyable even after the charges are gone. You can't afford to push him to the SP2 as it does a lot of block damage, and you have to keep an eye on the 60% and 30% health thresholds as otherwise he can trigger a very potent regen buff which you would need to quit the fight if you can't stop it.
Dealt about 900k damage with SS to start, and then wasted a revive due mistiming the dodge on Howard's SP1. Used nick fury afterwards. At around 65% health, I brought void in and managed to reversed 500k health from the regen. This didn't help as much as I initially thought but it was satisfying either way. After a few more deaths, used a team revive to finish him off and have my champs alive for the next fights.
5 level 1 revives, 25 level 1 potions. 1 of each mid tier boost
1 level 2 team revive, 5 level 3 potions
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HYPERION: Nothing too special about this Hyperion when using SS. Managed to do around 1.2mil damage in the first fight but ended up getting L3'd and stunned. While SS with the shield can survive the L3, you can't avoid Hyperion punishing the stun afterwards even with maxed limber. Finished him off in 2 attempts, which is really good.
1 level 1 revive, 5 level 3 potions
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THE CHAMPION: Same as above, nothing too special. Had some issues with SS not applying stagger and ended up dying due to block damage in the first fight. Besides that, just using the L3 with buffs active and spamming L2s immediately after will melt him pretty quickly.
2 level 1 revives, 5 level 3 potions, 2 lesser love juice
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CYCLOPS: This fight is probably the best example of a skill based encounter in the abyss and I wish there was more fights like this. The constant management of the power gain timer and needing to keep track each of his modes made for some interesting gameplay and you get rewarded for parrying his special correctly with perfect block throughout it. I really enjoyed this fight even though I got clipped by his special 1 several times. Just seems like a great example of how to make content difficult but not unfair.
The way I approached this fight was to only focus on the spreadshot mode (green icon) and know that I needed to parry that special, and then treat cyclops as normal otherwise while keeping an eye on when he would gain an SP1. Stark enhanced can evade the unblockable version of the L1 so didn't have much trouble dodging the special normally. I found void can reverse the power gain buff meaning he can't trigger any specials, but this made for a very long fight and it was easier to use stark.
I attempted nick fury once but wasn't worth the attempt and probably should have saved him. Mostly just died either to not blocking the SP1 correctly or taking too much block damage. Overall a decent fight though.
1 level 1 revive, 3 level 2 revive, 1 level 3 revive, 5 love juice, 4 lesser love juice. 1 of each mid tier boost
__
LOKI: Most of this fight is just dodging his SP1 constantly and also being aggressive to ensure your power isn't at 0 for more than 4 seconds. Your power being constantly drained makes it difficult to use specials but otherwise it was pretty manageable since the power drain is not that strong.
Mostly used Nick fury for this fight, and had two good runs where I hit the full enrage. Did end up dying once though to a mistimed L1 dodge.
4 level 1 revives, 1 lesser love juice. Greater health boost + lesser attack and health boosts
__
AEGON: This fight would normally be quite annoying as he reduces 100% of your offensive ability accuracy except during special attacks. This disables things such as Starks taunt or Nick fury's bleed.
However, because of how Aegon gains 6 fury buffs when being struck, this makes him excellent Symbiote Supreme food with mystic dispersion. If you use your special 3 too soon after attacking, the ability accuracy reduction will affect it so you need to back off slightly before using the SP3 so it consumes the fury buffs correctly but otherwise it was just non-stop specials one after another.
I also started off both fights by hitting him 5 times, and letting the fury buffs expire to gain a burst of power so I had my L3 faster. Using the L3 with 5 fury buffs active means you can go straight into an SP2 and then back to back SP2s with the power steal, and then after the L3 phase is done go right back into another L3 after hitting him 5 times. Still ended up dying to evade but this fight should be possible to solo with SS.
2 level 1 revives, 10 level 3 potions
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INVISIBLE WOMAN: Normally she wouldn't be a problem for Nick Fury but her shield in the abyss is very hard to break and I didn't practice fully dodging her specials so made quite a lot of mistakes. Without a champ like nick fury, this fight can be super rough as she power stings you constantly and stuns you when they expire unless she has a debuff. The power sting did almost no damage though so its better to just use specials than risking getting stunned. She also goes invisible very frequently so being able to avoid this helps a lot.
The first couple of fights went well but then had several fights where I either failed to dodge her SP1 or got hit after trying to attack after her heavy. Probably could have done this fight in 3 revives, but mistakes happen. Worth practicing dodging her SP1 before going into this fight as its very sudden and has a travel time, or just opting to block it completely.
5 level 1 revives, 5 lesser love juice
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CULL OBSIDIAN: Kabam decided to be nice and give us a gimmick fight before absolute suffering. Cull Obsidian takes 1% of his max health whenever his buffs are nullified, so takes significantly more damage than most champs with a strong mystic nullifier.
I expected this fight to be a breeze but Cull was not keen to throw his specials and forced some charges to fall off, so only managed to get him down 50% in the first fight with SS. I used nick fury in the second attempt since he was still alive and managed to almost kill him which just showed how powerful he is in matchups where he can bleed. Ended up reviving SS and finishing him off but overall a very easy fight.
1 level 1 revive, 1 lesser love juice
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UNIT COLLECTOR: No other way to describe this guy besides a massive revive sink. Since you always have class disadvantage, he has a 10% chance to evade from the abyss node making this fight significantly harder. You have to always be careful of him just deciding to evade your attack and countering you, and this hurts even more if he dodges your special 2 which happened multiple times. His specials also make him pretty unfair as you can't dodge the SP1 fully and very few people can consistently dodge the SP2 fully. Eventually he just starts ignoring part of your block proficiency and going unstoppable constantly. Most people attempting the abyss can mitigate some of the bs by using Aegons heavy tactic to nuke him down, but I didn't have this option so had to try something else.
My plan for this fight was to use a full set of greater boosts, revive and heal Stark up to around 70% health, and then use his auto-evade to reduce the damage from his specials significantly and wear The Collector down. Then, once he reached 55% and his specials could no longer be evaded, I would switch to a full suicide setup and go in with Corvus with the plan to just burst him down as much as possible and hope for the best. At this point I had used up the majority of my stashed revives but spent almost no units besides a couple of team revives.
The stark strategy worked as well as I expected against him and managed to get him to 55% in 13 revives. Most of the death was either being stunned by the SP1 or block damage. As for the final 55%, the plan didn't go quite as I had hoped.
Corvus with greater health and attack boosts + full suicides does a huge amount of damage, however the Collector goes unstoppable "periodically" and so anytime I hit him with a medium he went unstoppable instantly. This made it pretty difficult to do decent damage as I had to wait out the unstoppable and usually this meant taking damage from the time warp charge and also blocking a special.
Almost all the deaths in the final phase were either due to being hit while he was unstoppable as it happened so frequently or block damage, but each revive usually took off 1-2% of his max health so I was committed to getting him down especially as I hadn't spent much units up until this point. Attempting with Stark just caused him to use a special and kill him due to his low block proficiency.
I would expect to die at least 30 times if using anyone but Aegon, and even with him I'd plan for 15+ deaths minimum. Not a fun fight at all but considering Kabam didn't want this beaten for months I can see why they made such a revive sink boss.
Total collector item count:
  • 33 level 2 revives, 2 level 1 revives
  • 4 love juice, 2 lesser love juice
  • 50 level 3 potions + assortment of level 2 and level 1 potions
Total revive use before Collector:
  • 1 level 3 revive (1 total)
  • 11 level 2 revives (44 total)
  • 53 level 1 revives (55 total)
  • 4 level 2 team revives (4 total)
Units spent breakdown:
  • 133 on initial mastery swap
  • 200 on team revives (No units spent besides those up until collector)
  • 600 on level 2 revives for stark enhanced and some of Corvus
  • 143 on second mastery swap to full suicides
  • 520 on level 2 revives for rest of Corvus
  • 125 units to reset masteries back

TOTAL UNIT COST: 1721 units

(Without the revives farmed in the lunar event, likely would have costed an extra 1440 units at least)
Rewards:
6 star skill awakening gem (I have 6 star Aegon so most likely this will go on him, but I can only get him to D8 right now so might hold it until I get more sig stones)
T5CC tech (I have 6 star ghost so this is another great pull)
6 star Hawkeye and Ronin (Both new, not sure I'm getting any value out of either of them but got lucky earlier so not too bothered)

Final thoughts:

I don't consider Aegon mandatory for abyss completion, but it definitely saves a lot of cost and this run would have been a lot more expensive if not for the Lunar new year event and also the love juice potions from the valentine event, which helped especially against Captain Marvel Movie. <2k units is far under expectation for content such as this without the best champs. I think the team I brought did really well and had a lot of really good fights that only ended because of the hit cap.
Stark enhanced is still a god tier champion, but he did cost a lot of potions due to needing to be healed above 50% for his crit bonus, although sometimes I just ignored this as he still does great damage without it. Nick fury is one of the best champions in the game right now and I absolutely love him. His damage alone did so much work throughout the run. SS and Void also did super well but I'd easily replace them with Dr Doom and Human Torch if I had either of them, just because of how much of a difference those champs can make.
The Corvus strategy is somewhat viable but I didn't expect the collector to go unstoppable the second I hit him. There might be a better strategy besides Aegon for this dude but I think I did as well as I could for a champ designed specifically to milk you of revives. Killing IMIW in 2 revives was also a nice added bonus of bringing Corvus, since I hate fighting him.
Hopefully this breakdown gives some people a bit more confidence in attempting Abyss completion without waiting months just to land Aegon, although you still need great damage dealing champs, a strong mystic nullifier and an incinerate immune as well as at least 5-6k units to safely do it.
submitted by Sifakaster to ContestOfChampions [link] [comments]

Everything we Know About KSP 2: Post-PAX edition

I'll be honest, I didn't expect to be doing another one of these so soon. As some of you might remember, last week I gathered together everything we knew about the recently announced Kerbal Space Program 2 into a single post, and now that PAX is over, I'm back. If I missed anything, please let me know and I'll edit the post to include the new information.
So, a quick summary of everything we had learned by the time of my previous post before we get to the juicy new stuff. Those of you who would like to see my previous post in full can do so here.

Everything we Already Know

The New Stuff

Sources

(1) Scott Manley Interviews Nate Simpson
(2) The Struts of the Community Discussing their Talks with the Devs
(3) Kerbal Space Program 2: First Look from PAX 2019
(4) Twitter User @badnewsbaron's Infodump on KSP2
(5) 7 Big Questions About Kerbal Space Program 2 Answered
submitted by Cornflame to KerbalSpaceProgram [link] [comments]

2019 Report - 89 games down!

2018 report
2017 report
Despite the solid number, this was a bit of a mixed year. Free/nominal fees for subscription services meant I spent a fair bit of time on games which were not on my backlog (albeit most were on my wishlist, so I can treat them as a preemptive elimination!). I also had a few timesinks which I regularly went back to as I found many new games to be unsatisfying.

Completed Games

Game Hours
The Lion's Song 4
AER Memories of Old 3
Mad Max 35
Quantum Break 11
Hitman - The Complete First Season 12
Grim Fandango Remastered 6
The Deadly Tower of Monsters 5
Overfall 12
Rock of Ages 2 5
Battlefield 1 6
Soul Gambler 1
Stikbold 3
Cultist Simulator 14
Ziggurat 5
Tyranny 18
Orwell: Ignorance is Strength 3
Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure 10
Train Valley 8
Rakuen 6
Dangerous Golf 7
Mutant Year Zero 13
Dishonored 2 18
Finding Paradise 5
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GoTY 85
SteamWorld Dig 2 6
Batman: Arkham Knight 30
West of Loathing ~15
The Flame in the Flood 7
Monster Prom 7
Yakuza 0 38
Dominique Pamplemousse 1.5
South Park: The Fractured But Whole + DLC ??
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice 8
Pizza Express 8
Yoku's Island Express 6
The Darkside Detective 4
Tales of Berseria 47
The Outer Worlds 21
Agents of Mayhem: Day One Edition 26

Other Games

Game Hours
PixelJunk Nom Nom Galaxy 4
Action Henk 2
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse 4
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition 5
Sheltered 12
Sid Meier's Civilization VI 31
Porno Studio Tycoon 3
Aarklash: Legacy 2
Intergalactic Bubbles 2
Tom Clancy's The Division 21
Kingdom: New Lands Royal Edition 4
Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition 9
FIFA 18 22
Seven: The Days Long Gone 7
Age of Wonders 3 12
The Dweller 1.4
Out of the Park Baseball 19 30
Niche: A Genetics Survival Game 3
Royal Heroes 4
Endless Space 2 - Digital Deluxe Edition 41
Monster Slayers 11
Dark Train 0.5
State of Decay 2 ~5
The Banner Saga 3 ~2
Gremlins, Inc 5
Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf 8
Strider 2
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War 2 9
The Painscreek Killings 2
Road Redemption 8
Moonlighter 7
Shelter 1
Mainlining 2
Reassembly 5
12 Labours of Hercules V: Kids of Hellas 3
Aaero 2
Purrfect Date 5
Space Hulk Ascension 3
Super Daryl Deluxe 8
Think of the Children 2
Legend of Grimrock 2 4
FIFA 19 18
Out of the Park Baseball 20 1
Oriental Empires 6
Iratus: Lord of the Dead 9
Into The Breach 5
There Came an Echo 1.3
World of Mixed Martial Arts 5 ~120
Star Trek Timelines ~180
Football Manager Touch 2019 ~80

Favourite games of the year

1) Rakuen
2) Finding Paradise
3) Monster Prom
4) Witcher 3 GotY
5) Yakuza 0

Most disappointing games of the year

1) The Outer Worlds
2) State of Decay 2
3) Warhammer 40,000 – Space Wolf
4) Purrfect Date
5) Tom Clancy’s The Division

Thoughts on each game

The Lion’s Song
Quite an interesting little game. It manages to link stories about music, painting, mathematics and war in a clever and engrossing way. The choices are genuinely impactful and make for tough decisions at times.
AER: Memories of Old
A short game, but quite relaxing and pretty – especially in the flight sections. I had no interest in the story, but the relatively gentle puzzles and enjoyable flights made it worthwhile.
Mad Max
Much like Mafia III, this is a 10-hour game elongated into a 30+ hour game by copy-pasting tasks. While in theory most tasks are optional, the slow progress and gating of upgrades essentially requires completion of much of them. This becomes a grind, and the gameplay isn’t quite enough to keep it interesting.
Quantum Break
A mediocre story and a mediocre shooter, yet somehow more than the sum of its parts. Maybe I’m just nostalgic for the days of FMV integration in games, but this wound up being quite entertaining.
Hitman – season 1
My first and only other Hitman game is Absolution, which apparently was a departure for the series. That leaves me in the position of finding this return to normality for the series as rather jarring. I prefer the linear and tighter nature of Absolution – since I don’t care enough to go back and complete them in different ways, it felt like a bit of a thin and shallow experience with a threadbare story.
Grim Fandango Remastered
I’m dreadful at P&C puzzle games, and quickly realised I wasn’t going to get far without a guide. As such, I cheated my way through most of it and just played it for the writing. Thankfully, the writing is so good that it was still fun. I wasn’t keen on Full Throttle, which I played last year, but this was amusing throughout.
The Deadly Tower of Monsters
A fun concept – a B-movie spoof – combined with surprisingly forgiving platforming mechanics. I’m not a fan of platformers generally, but the frustration-alleviating features and general sense of humour in the game made for a good experience.
Overfall
Solid roguelike tactical combat, marred by some sloppy writing [I don’t think English is the first language of the writers, but at least a spell-check would have helped], a wonky interface [pertinent information like resistances is obscured] and a strangely harsh unlock system. Not a bad game by any means, but could have been better with a bit more care.
Rock of Ages 2
Bizarre concept, even more bizarre writing, but entertainingly so. It’s surprisingly good-looking and quite fun, but five hours was quite enough for me.
Battlefield 1
I haven’t played a Battlefield game since Vietnam, so this took a bit of adjusting. The campaign is very well presented and offers a nice bit of variety, but it’s over so fast. I had no interest in multiplayer, so this made for a brief, if fun, experience.
Soul Gambler
A very brief visual novel, but at least it had distinct story paths. The writing was decent, if a bit awkward. My main gripe was that you had to individually click through each line on subsequent playthroughs, which is something many visual novels these days manage to avoid.
Stikbold
A rather strange dodgeball game. I didn’t find the strangeness nearly as amusing as Rock of Ages 2, but it was a moderately entertaining experience with a bit of variety through the different settings and objectives.
Cultist Simulator
I’m a bit mixed on this. On one hand, it had a surprising amount of content and complexity to it. On the other, it drastically inflated the complexity by veiling basic gameplay aspects. That could mean a lot of wasted time – or worse, inadvertently wrecking a multi-hour playthrough - because it wasn’t clear what you should be doing next. Walkthroughs and guides were essential. While there’s merit to a game which rewards experimentation and discovery of mechanics, there is a point at which it’s just too obtuse, and at times the game did go a bit too far in that respect.
Ziggurat
A quite clever blend of roguelike and FPS. I’m not much of a fan of the latter, but the gameplay was fun and the roguelike elements softened the blow of failure.
Tyranny
I disliked Pillars of Eternity and went into this with some trepidation. Fortunately, it was a more enjoyable and accessible experience. Where Pillars just threw a mindnumbing amount of lore at me, this offered a relatively comprehensible story doled out in appropriate chunks. While it did have some of Pillars’ mechanical issues, like poor pathfinding in combat, they did not seem nearly as bad (perhaps due to the smaller scale of battles). The base management stuff seemed tacked on, confusing and wholly unnecessary. It was far from my favourite RPG, but solid enough – and didn’t overstay its welcome.
Orwell: Ignorance is Strength
I enjoyed the first Orwell game and initially found this a similarly good experience. The few changes were worthwhile ones, and the story seemed to be building up well. Then it suddenly ended. Surely I done something wrong and met an early endgame? Nope, that was it – a mere few hours of gameplay, with an ending so abrupt that I had no idea it was one until the credits rolled. There are different endings, requiring additional playthroughs, but after that disappointment I wasn’t interested in going back to it.
Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure
This was my first game in the series, and I found it enjoyable. I only had to cheat a few times (which is remarkably good by my standards!) and the cheesiness of it was all rather endearing. The sequel is now on my wishlist (though it seems to be a fair way off).
Train Valley
A decent puzzle/strategy game, which quickly escalates from rather placid to chaotic. The simple concept still requires a fair bit of thought to succeed, and while I bumbled through somewhat, it was fun.
Rakuen
Beautiful. One of my favourite games, evoking the spirit of To the Moon by dealing with weighty topics in a whimsical manner. Wonderful soundtrack and great design.
Dangerous Golf
I enjoyed this more than I’d expected. It’s all a bit messy, as one would expect from a heavily physics-based game, and almost throws in too many variations, but it is fairly satisfying. In some levels it’s all too easy to get a platinum medal through sheer luck, but in other levels it takes a fair bit of skill and thought to get a good score, which is rather more satisfying.
Mutant Year Zero
This was frustrating. It has the ingredients for a solid game – great presentation, imaginative world, decent writing and voice acting and the core of a solid tactics game. The problem is that it is structured essentially like a puzzle game. The odds are so intensely stacked against you in a group battle that you must pick off enemies one by one. This makes for a slow and tedious process, especially when combined with the impact of RNG and the unsatisfying ending.
Dishonoured 2
I felt a little let down by this. Presentation was good, story was fine, but the powers were mostly unengaging and the combat was frustrating. The combat issues were partly my fault in that I tried a non-lethal run, but while there were a few more non-lethal options, I would have loved an option to just punch someone in the face rather than having to stand around waiting to parry in order to launch a non-lethal attack.
Finding Paradise
This had a lot to live up to – To the Moon and A Bird Story are among my favourite games – but once again Kan Gao delivered. Touching, funny, surprising and engrossing.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – GotY Edition
I went into this with a bit of trepidation, having strongly disliked the first two games in the series. While I am a big fan of the books, the gameplay never clicked with me. This was an improvement to some degree, but I still found the combat in particular frustrating and relatively shallow. I wound up just playing it as a story, and it delivered in that respect – even many of the side quests were more memorable than the main storylines of a lot of other RPGs I’ve played. While I certainly won’t be joining the “Praise Geraldo” crew, I at least had a better experience than I did with the other games in the series.
SteamWorld Dig 2
I loved the first game. This was certainly enjoyable but did not reach quite the same heights; perhaps through lack of ambition if nothing else. Solid enough, but lacking the impact of its predecessor.
Batman: Arkham Knight
This felt like the weakest of the three main Arkham games (I didn’t like Origins much at all, but that is somewhat separate). The combat, setting and presentation were all as interesting as ever, and the story got genuinely interesting towards the end, but the damned car seemed to drag down everything it was involved in. From puzzles to battles, it always felt a bit wonky to me – a particularly sharp contrast to the famously smooth and refined movement and combat the series is known for. Unlike Asylum and City, I didn’t complete the Riddler challenges. This was primarily due to the car, which I was thoroughly sick of by the end. Perhaps I was rendered a bit grumpier than usual by that, but I also found the Rocksteady tendency to lead the player by the nose at some points, and then leave things utterly oblique at other times, to be particularly grating.
West of Loathing
Genuinely funny at times, and I loved the art style, but it did drag on a little.
The Flame in the Flood
Quite an atmospheric and appealing game. The presentation is gorgeous, albeit marred by irritating pop-in even on a GTX 1080. The gameplay is pretty easy to pick up, and while it can be frustrating in the way that a survival game with randomisation inevitably can be (and why the hell can’t I boil water to remove the bugs?!), the checkpoint system is generous enough to ameliorate this.
Monster Prom
I am not usually one for VNs, but this is great. Entertaining characters, often hilarious (and oh so wrong) writing and easy enough to play through in 15 minutes (it says the short game is 30 minutes, but it doesn't take me anywhere near that). There is plenty of content, some of which is unlockable, meaning there is substantial replayability.
Yakuza 0
The first in the series for me, and quite enjoyable. It was funny at times, though the main plot did cause me to drift off towards the end – I wound up doing crosswords during some of the interminable cutscenes. The combat got a bit repetitive, but it was easy enough to get the hang of. I didn’t enjoy it enough to get stuck into the numerous side activities, but the main game was decent enough.
Dominique Pamplemousse
This is a curious game. It is brief (barely an hour long) and linear. The puzzles are simple. Much of the dialogue is sung, for no apparent reason - and not particularly well. The art style has been described as "claymation noire"; there's little er..."mation", and it all looks a bit muddy. Writing is fine. I chuckled at a few bits, but it's hardly memorable.For all that, I quite liked it. It's original and there's heart to it. In a sea of lazy asset flips, generic AAA games with no respect for your time and visionless projects, here's an example of people actually daring to have a go with a unique vision.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Not nearly as well-written as its predecessor, but with significantly better combat. The badge progression system was clumsy, and at one point I was left with a stack of grinding to do. Generally a solid experience, though.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Wonderful presentation, with some of the best voice acting I’ve heard in games. The gameplay itself was decent. Combat was a little too simple, and puzzles could be frustrating at times, but it’s really all about the experience.
Pizza Express
I feel a little silly having spent a lot of money on a gaming rig when I use it to play stuff that looks like something out of the early ‘90s. Nonetheless, this was good fun – amusing story, addictive gameplay and a surprising amount of content.
Yoku’s Island Express
Cutely presented and an interesting concept. It can be infuriating at times, requiring a degree of precision which is perhaps best not associated with pinball, and getting around can be a bit confusing. Overall, though, it’s quite fun.
The Darkside Detective
A pretty simple point & click adventure (aside from one strangely hard instalment), broken into small episodes to make it easy to get through a portion at a time. Nothing exceptional, but a decent way to spend a few hours.
Tales of Berseria
A surprisingly engrossing tale. It's frequently funny and features likeable characters. The voice acting is excellent - it's a tour de force for Cristina Valenzuela in particular.
That helps mitigate a convoluted combat system. It was still throwing tutorials at me after 15 hours; I wound up ignoring them and button mashing, which seemed to work fine on Normal difficulty anyway.
Performance is rock solid. Smooth FPS, fast loading and limited pop-in.
I have never played a Tales game before, and may not play another one, but it doesn't take a love for the series to enjoy this game. Perhaps the group best warned to stay away are achievement hunters - some of them seem to take a heck of a lot of work.
The Outer Worlds
Disappointing. The simplistic combat not only makes that portion of the game dull, but also weakens the RPG aspects since you can pour all your upgrade points into speech skills, making those challenges a breeze. The writing is one-note (everyone is quirky, snarky or both), the choices are binary and rarely provoke thought (indeed, the hardest choice was one of the very first) and the characters aren't particularly interesting - nor are they given much chance to be in their shallow quests. It also performed poorly on a decent rig - though that's to be expected from Obsidian.
Agents of Mayhem
It's...not that bad. Sure, it's flawed - repetitive quests, buggy at times and nowhere near the level of Saints Row's writing - but it has an enjoyably distinct set of characters (sadly enough, the character missions were more interesting than those of Outer Worlds) and the combat is enjoyably free-flowing.
PixelJunk Nom Nom Galaxy
I liked the idea of discovering ingredients and turning them into various products, but it quickly became centred around ever more complex process designs which were of no interest to me.
Action Henk
A fun runner; gorgeously presented. I sucked at it though!
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse Presented in an enjoyably light-hearted manner, but it felt like it was dragging on even after four hours.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition
I was quite excited to play this, since it featured three of my favourite actors – Patrick Stewart, Robert Carlyle and Jason Isaacs. That’s the only reason I managed to last five hours. I hated pretty much everything about it; the shoddy fixed camera, the tedious fighting, the cringeworthy writing… The sad thing is that I bought another two games in the series.
Sheltered
A solid little survival management game. I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as Zafehouse Diaries or Dead State, mainly because the RNG was a bit too impactful. It’s far too common for a game to simply be unwinnable due to a lack of rain and/or the distribution of resources in nearby locations. When things are fairer (or the difficulty is lowered) it becomes quite a grind – with no real winning condition and little in the way of variety (there are a few shallow quests of minimal value or interest) tedium ensues.
Civilization VI
Quite liked the new mechanics and enjoyed playing as Australia (though Walzing Matilda is so distinctive that it gets a bit grating). Having spent many hours in its predecessors though, there was nothing particularly groundbreaking which compelled me to play more than a few games.
Porno Studio Tycoon
I’ll give pretty much any management game a go! Unfortunately, things weren’t particularly well explained and while there seemed to be a bit of depth, a lot of it was blocked off (to add to the confusion, the tutorial focused on mechanics which were blocked off for much of the early game).
Aarklash: Legacy
I normally like tactical games, but this was just too unforgiving and there was no ability to grind to reduce the difficulty.
Intergalactic Bubbles
It’s basically Bubble Bobble, which is fine. It’s quite nicely presented. The problem is that each level is meant to be completed in a certain number of moves, but since the bubble colours are randomly generated, it’s mostly down to luck – you might be able to wipe out half the bubbles on your first move, or might struggle to get any matches at all.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
I got fairly close to the end of this game but was just so fed up with it that I couldn’t push myself to get through it. The story was forgettable, the shooting mechanics were mediocre, all the extraneous gameplay elements were just an annoyance and I felt the game was balanced against me as a solo player (only twice did I find a co-op partner, and both of them screamed in Korean throughout). It looked impressive, at least.
Kingdom: New Lands Edition
I really thought I’d like this game, and had it on my wishlist from release. I love management games, and have no issue with passive management. It also looked gorgeous; this is one of the best-looking pixel-art games I’ve played. Unfortunately, it did not click at all. The AI was not bright, which is inevitably a source of a lot of frustration in a passive management game. Further, the gameplay was just dull. I felt like I was running back and forth endlessly for little reward – pretty though it may have been, I found myself wishing for a button to speed up time. The positive reviews suggest it is a relaxing and chill game – I just found myself frustrated with the AI and bored by the gameplay.
Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition
For some reason I thought this was more of a starbase management sim rather than a tactical space battle sim. The starbase elements are there, but they are pretty thin. Most of the game is about the tactical space battles, which were interesting and varied enough early on, but after nine hours and no end in sight I was sick of them.
FIFA 18
I haven’t played a FIFA game since ’98, so it was interesting to give this a go. The story mode was okay – quite well presented, but the player rating system was infuriating at times (the out-of-position penalties in particular). I did find that there was a huge gap in the difficulty settings – one was ludicrously easy (insultingly so; the AI kept missing from close range), but the next was a bit too steep for someone essentially new to the series. An option between the two would have been nice, or at least an easier difficulty which at least tried to mask how easy it was making things! I also tried management mode, but having been used to Football Manager’s detail I was not able to get into this.
Seven: The Days Long Gone
This was a frustrating experience. I really liked the concept of an isometric thief RPG, and did my best to give it a fair chance. It had its positive aspects; freedom of movement, decent voice acting and reasonable graphics. However, the freedom of movement also worked against it; confrontations with enemies often spiralled into circular chases suited to Benny Hill music and I lost count of the number of times I plunged to an untimely death through a misstep. Moreover, it didn’t really work to its premise. The game started with a tutorial centred around a stealthy heist, which seemed to be the central premise of the game. The next time I encountered a situation close to that was six hours later.
Age of Wonders 3
I loved Shadow Magic many years ago but struggled to get into this. Maps seemed to take an inordinately long time to the point that armies were monstrously large and there was no research left. Maybe I was too defensive, but the AI was very passive.
The Dweller
A decent little puzzle game with minimal assets.
Out of the Park Baseball 19
A slight improvement on its predecessor. The main addition was an online card-game mode, but I’m not sure that works well in a management game. My squad was rapidly full of high-end talent and I felt no real connection to the team.
Niche: A Genetics Survival Game
Nice concept, but a rather wobbly execution. The genetics aspect tended to be lost due to the fast paced and tough nature of the game; the focus was so much on just keeping any creature alive that genetics didn’t come into my thinking. Apparently the best strategy is to sit on the first island for ages and build up a tribe, but the tutorial didn’t make that clear at all.
Royal Heroes
A grindy and buggy mobile game.
Endless Space 2 – Digital Deluxe Edition
I thought I was falling out of love with the space 4X genre, having been very disappointed with the last few I placed – particularly Stellaris – but this hit the mark. The alien races are distinct, making for significantly different gameplay. The gameplay itself is always interesting; unlike Stellaris, it doesn’t hit a dead patch mid-game. I found the combat a little frustrating – seemingly even contests would often have completely one-sided results for no apparent reason – but aside from that it was a solid game.
Monster Slayers
An enjoyable little rogue-lite deck builder. While I normally prefer a bit more flexibility in deck building, tying cards to characters meant that each one had a distinctive feel which gave the game plenty of replayability.
Dark Train
This sounded interesting in concept, but was way too oblique for me.
State of Decay 2
This seemed like the perfect game for me – I love survival management and settlement building. Unfortunately, it wound up feeling rather like a shallow MMO – trite dialogue, grindy tasks and no real sense of purpose or direction. I just found myself engaging in long, dull runs between locations, engaging in the same shoddy combat over and over again.
The Banner Saga 3
I played the first two games in the series to completion and seem to recall enjoying them, but something about this did not click at all. I had zero interest in the story – the time between instalments has dulled my memory of it – and the gameplay just felt so flat. I’m not really sure what changed between playing the last two games and now, but I had no motivation to keep playing.
Gremlins, Inc
A reasonably enjoyable but forgettable board game.
Warhammer 40,000 – Space Wolf
This is a game plagued by odd design choices. It has turn-based combat (which I love), but it is deprived of so much of its strategy by the way it is designed. Enemies appear at arbitrary moments from arbitrary locations (including amid your troops) without warning or logic, meaning that success requires either a degree of fortune or grinding missions to know when and where enemies will appear. Perhaps this is to compensate for the weak AI, which is prone to boneheaded acts, but it just makes things irritating and dull.
It also has a card collecting and deck building mechanic (again, which I love). The distribution of cards, however, is bizarre – completing tasks in missions (which can take 30+ minutes each) will give a couple of low-level cards. In contrast, activating one of numerous codes from the forums provides a pile of high-level cards. “Legendary” cards are so readily available in this form that a deck can be filled with them with a few minutes’ effort. There is a clumsy system for upgrading each card, none of which is explained in the shallow tutorial.
There is also an upgrade path for your squadmates – again poorly explained – which is reliant on grinding missions. They don't use your custom decks, so while you're flooded with Elite and Legendary cards for the leader, you have to grind just to eke out a few more Uncommons for the rest of your squad.
There's really nothing else to recommend the game. Graphics and sound are serviceable and the story is barely there. It just feels like yet another Warhammer game pushed out for the sake of it.
Warhammer 40,000 – Dawn of War II
Another disappointing Warhammer game.
Again this had things I liked – a strategic layer with character progression, equippable loot, choice of missions and ebb and flow of the wider battle. However, I found this constrained by the limits placed on that strategy, with constant time pressure funnelling me into the key missions . I’m not sure how much that time pressure would have impacted on the outcome – would doing side missions result in overall failure – as it was never properly explained.
Moreover, I found the RTS gameplay really quite dull and repetitive, such that I didn’t feel compelled to continue.
Road Redemption
Incredibly dumb – horrible dialogue, clumsy gameplay (trying to aim guns while riding was a nightmare) and buggy (the one round which I won was as a result of a bug which caused me to be invincible for most of it), but it did have some entertainment value.
Moonlighter
Having spent 125 hours in Recettear, it's fair to say I am very much open to the burgeoning shopkeeper-by-day/dungeon-crawler-by-night genre. Unfortunately, this fell flat. Even after a relatively short period it became a dull grind.
Much of that is due to a distinct lack of charm; it looks nice in screenshots, but lacks any real character or presence in game. The absence of any decent writing is another problem; what there was of the story didn't interest me in the slightest. In contrast to a game like Recettear, filled with charm and heart, this was utterly bland. Add in the clumsy storage system, shallow shopkeeping, sluggish combat and irritatingly repetitive music, and seven hours was more than enough for me.
Shelter
Was rather surprised to dislike this. I found myself getting lost far too easily, which given that it was a very linear game meant a lot of frustration. The visual presentation was grating and confusing.
Mainlining
Moderately interesting hacking game, but too shallow, linear and not particularly well written.
Reassembly
Took a while for this to click, but once it did it was decent enough. I could have spent many hours playing this in the ‘90s, but it didn’t have enough of interest for me to do so now.
12 Labours of Hercules V: Kids of Hellas
Cute enough, I suppose, but quickly became repetitive.
Aaero
A music-based shooter with poorly explained shooter mechanics and music which was very much not to my taste. One track really stood out as effectively blending the music and game mechanics, but that should have been the standard rather than the exception.
Purrfect Date
This game is presented as a cutesy, tongue-in-cheek game and for the most part it pulls that off pretty well. If that was the sum of it, I'd be reasonably satisfied. Instead, there is a dark, unpleasant story underneath, with numerous descriptions of animal abuse.
It's utterly jarring - a game which is presented as being for cat lovers (not that kind of lover), yet featuring descriptions of them being victims of torture, experimentation and killing.
The closest thing to a warning on the store page is a reference to "black humour", which doesn't cover it in my view. There is no humour in these scenes, so it’s not “black humour”. I don’t know what it is, other than a simply bizarre choice. Even putting aside the lack of warning, it's an unpleasant and jarring experience. I'm at a loss as to what on earth the devs were thinking.
The writing is otherwise reasonably good. The structure of the game, however, is poor. It requires multiple playthroughs to get a proper ending, and there is no way to quickly skip the text. Prepare for RSI, clicking through page after page of dialogue, if you ever want to get to the ending.
Suffice to say, going through this once is quite enough for me.
Space Hulk Ascension
I normally love turn-based combat, especially with RPG progression, but this was just dull and frustrating. Not having a good year with Warhammer games.
Super Daryl Deluxe
All very QUIRKY, and constantly at pains to remind you of how QUIRKY it is, without ever being particularly amusing. The art style is at least eyecatching, and some of the music is decent, but the writing didn’t grab me at all. The combat was a grindy battle of attrition – the only thing worse than “kill x monster” quests are “collect x items which randomly drop from only a small percentage of monsters after you kill them” quests. Add in the ever-frustrating boss fights where you had to win through repeating an unintuitive set of actions several times, and I didn’t feel like going much further.
Think of the Children
Nice idea, and it’s good to play a locally-made game, but it’s dreadfully designed for a single player. Although it can have up to three co-op partners, it doesn’t adjust the difficulty in the slightest to cater for a solo player rendering it near-impossible.
Legend of Grimrock 2
Obtuse puzzles, clumsy combat and bland design made this quickly unappealing.
FIFA 19
I mainly just played for the story mode, which was fine. Didn't notice much of a difference from 18.
Out of the Park Baseball 20
No discernible improvement upon its predecessor.
Oriental Empires
Some nice ideas, but thoroughly dull. In six hours I was attacked three times by bandits and spent the rest of the time painstakingly building farms.
Iratus: Lord of the Dead
An enjoyable little strategy game. I will probably go back to it since it's in early access and is constantly being rebalanced.
Into the Breach
Moderately interesting strategy, but not enough to keep me coming back.
There Came An Echo
Iridium's previous game, Before the Echo (aka Sequence) was a flawed but enjoyable hidden gem.
There Came an Echo has a similar level of charm, but two fundamental problems.
The first is that it was simply unplayable on my PC. A black screen after loading; no way past it. Apparently it was due to an incompatibility with my microphone which is rather problematic when I don't HAVE a microphone.
The second is that (having used my partner's computer to run it) ultimately it's a very raw proof of concept. Like its predecessor it has charm in the voice acting and writing, but unlike its predecessor it is just not a lot of fun to play. Put aside the gimmick of giving voice commands and you're left with a short, clumsy, shallow and frustrating experience.
World of Mixed Martial Arts 5
As usual for the series (indeed, the dev in general), a stack of good ideas marred by fundamental flaws. Good as a hypnotic experience between other games.
Star Trek Timelines
I tried this briefly a few years ago and didn't get into it, but I certainly did this year. It's all pretty shallow, but as a fan-friendly timewaster it's decent enough.
Football Manager Touch 2019
Endlessly infuriating, and a bit buggy, but always manages to draw me back in.
submitted by Donners22 to 12in12 [link] [comments]

Chromie's latest rework - a mathematical breakdown, where it failed, and what it can improve on moving forward.

So, as I'm sure some of you have noticed, I post a lot about Chromie, and frankly have for a very long time. To clear the air about my position and expose any bias I might have, I will state that I don't think the hero has ever been OP or "unfun to play against", probably because I played her a lot and thus when going up against one on the enemy team had a pretty good idea of how they would play and how to counter them. I do respect the viewpoint though, and that's why my upcoming post on her rework and possible changes that could be made to it does it's best to keep that in mind. I'm not even close to GM, I'm not even the highest-leveled Chromie on this sub by a long shot, I'm just someone super passionate about the hero who nerded out over the past few days and did some MATHS and shit.

Thus, the stated goals of this post:


-Make Chromie more fun to play for the people who enjoyed playing her prior to this or other reworks. From my general anecdotal experiences in various Twitch chats, it feels like most players including many former pros and GM players say that while the hero is stronger numerically, she's much less fun to play, and IMO her pick rate sitting at a fairly lackluster 11% in Storm League confirms that. She only has a 50% winrate, so it's also clear that she's not excelling even when played by those still enthusiastic about the hero or in situations that would be good for her to be drafted, as is the case with most niche picks. She's not the WORST hero in the game by a long margin, but if the dev comments on her 8-28 buff patch are any indication, it's clear that Blizzard's internal data probably has her struggling a bit too.
-Make her emphasis fully on spells rather than her current combination of spells and sand clone auto-attacks. She's a mage hero, and one with the longest range in the game. Nobody plays her to be a right-click bot, and yet right-clicks are a pretty big part of her damage - more than half her Q DPS if we're being exact here. This obviously isn't Whitemane rework levels of AA-focus, but it's still pretty high and if we look at other mage AA talents as any indication, it's obvious that people don't prefer or like those talents and prefer the focus for mages remain firmly on their spells. Yet because Chromie's AA gimmick is a baseline part of her kit, and not just an individual talent, obviously other parts of her kit were made deliberately weaker to compensate for that. I'd like to see that addressed, and think it would go a loooong way towards achieving stated goal number 1, which is to make her more fun to play.
-Buff her slightly in ways that aren't straight numerical changes. See my above point about why she could probably use some slight tweaking. I think throwing numbers at Chromie is exactly why her last rework (with Temporal Loop/Timely Surprise one-shot shenanigans) grew to be so problematic, and I don't want to see that become the case here and see this sub fill up with posts again about how she needs to be dumpstered. Frankly she's finally almost at a good place in the game and I think with some slight changes she could basically be almost perfect, or at least as perfect as she can be without pissing off people en masse.
-Fix her problematic level 1 and level 18 talent tiers. There are no real choices at 1 or 18, and I personally think this is a shame because if those tiers were fixed, the hero could actually have THREE separate, viable builds IMO - a Q build, a W build, and a generic "spellpower" build that doesn't hyperfocus on either ability but rather buff them both mildly.
-What these changes are NOT proposing are increasing her burst, range, or other factors that players typically associate with frustration when playing against her. I can't stress that enough. I think her current damage is fine for the most part, albeit a bit too reliant on Q pierce at 18 to do anything meaningful. I think Loop is a nice setup ability but the full one-shot potential behind it again, isn't realized until 18 and even then only on the squishiest heroes in the game. As I've said already, Chromie is MOSTLY fine and my goal isn't to make her OP, just improve her talent diversity on certain tiers and make her a bit more fun to play for people who liked playing her previously.

The numbers breakdown:

-Q = 122 damage per second, reliant on a line skillshot that can be blocked by PVE, structures, or other enemy heroes other than your intended target. 20 mana cost, 15 range. Q damage per second calculated assuming you land both the primary Q missile as well as the sand clone Q missile that does 40% damage.
-W, assuming all 3 drops land on a single-target = 43.71 damage per second. Unlikely that all 3 drops will hit, however has the benefit of being AOE. That said, even assuming a unicorn situation where all 5 members of the enemy team potato into all 3 hits of the ability it is still only a baseline 218.55 DPS...that's sad, IMO. Slightly less than double damage per second compared to hitting both Q missiles, a situation that is far more likely to occur, though obviously significantly more mana-friendly due to W's cooldown vs Q's cooldown. 65 mana cost, 13 range, but due to the nature of the vector can reach around 21 range (rough estimate). I wouldn't consider the max range that valuable given the drop delay - enemies will be able to predict the drop of the third hit and dodge it completely, making that range useless.
-AAs = 76.5 damage per second during Q setup period (basically casting a Q first to set up the sand clone), then 114.8 damage per second for every second thereafter, point and click, can't miss barring blinds or evade abilities/talents. No mana cost, 7.5 range.
So we can already see two things: number one, that Chromie's AAs are not an insignificant part of her damage, even assuming you are a god and can constantly land both the primary Q missile AND the secondary Q missile, and number two, that her W unless operating under basically impossible conditions is very lackluster damage-wise. This leads to a pretty boring playstyle where your Q feels like a clone setup for braindead free AA damage until level 18 when suddenly your power spikes off the charts, and your W feels like something you just use for waveclear, and MAYBE to pressure an enemy team in a chokepoint.
A "waveclear-only" ability isn't strictly a problem for a mage except that Chromie's has the unique advantage of getting completely dicked by long CC chains - unless someone is actually capable of moving you will only hit someone with 2 W hits (there's a small Venn diagram area where the hitboxes of two Ws overlap). This "Venn diagram" area is actually so small that you cannot fit two hero hitboxes into it, meaning you'll only get that particular value on a singular target, even if there are multiple people caught in something like a RoF/Mosh Pit. Other mages do not have this issue, not even Gul'dan due to the size and drop speed of his vector spell. Note that I use Corruption as the comparison here because not only are Corruption and Dragon's Breath both triple-drop circular vector spells, they also share an identical cooldown and identical damage on each hit (lmao). The original comparisons to new Dragon's Breath being "Sand Corruption" were not far off, even though Chromie mains were called hyperbolic for saying as such.

Fundamental problems with Chromie's rework:

-To put it simply, auto-attacks on sand clone are too strong and thus make the level 1 Q talent where you gain a third sand clone auto-attack too valuable to pass up. They also make Mobius Loop at 5 wholly unappealing because it does fuck-all for your sand clone autos, though Proper Greeting and Bronze Talons mathematically both have their strong suits and have a healthy competition with one another (tl;dr Talons is good if you have a target you want to hit who is unlikely to be affected by CC or your spells and the enemy has an easy fat target like tanks/Azmodan/Fenix that you can nail with Q to get the proc - so basically hypermobile heroes and heroes with spell shields who can pop them to as a response to Proper Greeting procs, OR in comps where you have literally 0 CC outside of your own Trap slow and Slowing Sands).
-Because the level 1 Q quest is so good, it basically makes taking Piercing Sands at 18 somewhat inevitable to get maximum value out of the triple Qs you can set up. Bear in mind, I think Chromie's Q hitting PVE was fundamentally a nerf and I don't think it was a good idea in retrospect. I get that the goal was to "increase counterplay/reduce frustration" by making it so that players could juke behind minion waves or their buildings and not get gibbed over walls and whatnot, but because of this change the hero is now very reliant on her AA gimmick to deal consistent damage AND you could argue that she honestly doesn't feel like a real hero until you get pierce at 18. Regardless, I understand that this change is probably here to stay and I think there are ways we can work around her jank power distribution while still keeping the PVE Q block in. (More on this in "Proposed Changes" below.)
-Building into W just feels like shit because of how lackluster the damage is. It's clear that her power pie was distributed based on the rare unicorn chance that she will hit all 3 Ws on a single target, but given the winrate and pickrate of W talents we can honestly see that this isn't a winning strategy, especially when Q gives you more consistent value (and probably would even if sand clone AAs were removed tbh). To clarify, W would have to hit at least 6 times (as in, any combination of players in any combination of hits that would equal 6) to match the DPS of just Chromie's primary Q missile...saying nothing of her sand clone AA damage and secondary Q missile damage. Obviously Chromie talenting into W doesn't mean she can't use Q, so I did the math on simply the bonus 3rd sand clone AA and tertiary Q missile, and landing each one is an increase of 67.66 DPS. W talents are only an increase of 32.14 DPS, though bear in mind this is for 3 hits on a single target only. Here's where it gets stupid: the third sand clone AA by itself is an increase of 32.8 DPS. This means that unless you are consistently hitting at least two people with W for multiple hits of the ability or you simply cannot stay in 7.5 range to AA* at any given time it is universally better to build into Q talent at 1 solely for the extra AA, even if you never land a single tertiary Q missile in your goddamned life. See where this is a problem?

The Proposed Changes (aka the meat of this post):

Suffice it to say, I think Dragon's Breath at this point needs a fundamental change to its design to not only be effective at what it is supposed to do, but also in general just to be fun to use. Its current design is a move that largely punishes potatoes or players stuck in a "no-win" situation where they either have to eat the second and third W hits or face greater threats like CC chains for trying to facetank it by not moving during the first hit. My proposed change is to simply turn Chromie's W into a single ability with 3 separate charges, keeping its current damage, radius, and drop speed, giving each charge an individual mana cost and allowing all charges to return at once similar to Junkrat Q/Zarya grenade. What this does by default is make W talents more appealing by allowing good Chromie players who can "read" their opponents correctly the option to build into that move and deal respectable damage, especially as an alternative to matchups where Q may not be a reliable source of damage (into summoners, Anub'arak, Nova/Samuro/Rexxar, etc). What this would NOT do is bring back Loop one-shots, because with a .75 drop delay the Looped target will only eat one charge of the damage same as they do now...they will have to be more careful on how they move immediately after Loop though to make sure Chromie doesn't read their movement and plop another in their path. I think this is a fair change, even if it comes with slight numerical nerfs to W to compensate. (I don't think she will need this though due to other proposed changes I have below.)
To follow to that, I think that the sand clone gimmick should either be scrapped, or if nothing else the AA component of it needs to be removed. I actually like the sand clone thematically and am fine with it mirroring Q - I think it would be neat if it could go further and also mimic her W, adding further dimension to Chromie's "prediction mage" theme. I get that two invisible Ws dropping anywhere would definitely be tilting AF for the enemy team though, so this change could either come with W returning to being visible or, as I stated earlier, simply keep the sand clone mirroring only Chromie's Q and nothing else.
What this change would aim to do is frankly tone down how stupidly effective her AAs are compared to her actual abilities. I can't think of a single person who originally picked up this hero to be an auto-bot; IMO there's Hanzo and Junkrat for that long-range/AA hybrid flavor and they were both designed around that purpose (Junkrat with splash AAs, Hanzo with AA-related talents/build). Nothing about Chromie's 2016 release hinted at "right-click guys for the same DPS as your spells", not even OG Bronze Talons which for the record I do think suffered from a lack of meaningful competitive options until Timely Surprise in 2018 and that's why it was picked all the time.
Regardless, I think Sand Blast should have 1-target pierce made baseline if sand clone autos are removed. I think if you remove clone autos the damage numbers will simply default to W being unilaterally the best build outside of playing for the very binary power spike at level 18 from Piercing Sands, which I don't think is super healthy for her design. Chromie's autos paired with clone autos were actually one of the few ways the hero could damage people standing behind a Zagara minion, and if you remove the strength of those she'll need some sort of extra power to compensate, IMO. That said, this is a change that might not wholly be necessary if other aspects of her kit are made better, such as the W change I proposed above. This could be a wait-and-see sort of change, I admit.
Alternately, if 2-target Q is too strong baseline, it could be an alternate reward to her level 1 quest, removing the tertiary missile altogether. Incidentally this would give her more power in the early game by completing the quest, while not completely dumpstering the 18 talent's viability, while also giving players the freedom to pick something else on 18 if they feel like 2-target Qs are good enough to pressure the enemy team. I think this is a pretty healthy change that makes her a little less hot-and-cold when it comes to damage dealing, especially when it comes to early game vs late game.
Her level 5 talent tier will need a bit more parity, especially if clone autos are removed. Bronze Talons' power budget currently factors in the extra autos from clone, including if you complete the level 1 Q quest - while I like the synergy between the two talents, I think if clone autos are removed Bronze Talons as a whole will need to be redesigned. I think the simplest change is to bake in a functionality that mirrors the strength of her old sand clone when this rework originally went live, which is that sand clone's Q damage is increased from 40% to 50%. This was originally nerfed in an attempt to increase parity between her level 1 talents, but failed miserably, and I think with the other changes I've proposed here the extra 10% clone damage could probably come back.
Mobius Loop in its current form is really bad, and even with a full mana refund or something added in will probably continue to be bad. While my proposed changes to W would make it get more value by default, I think we can do better by making the ability an active on a 60-90 second cooldown that returns all her W charges at once instead. This seems kind of strong and I'm open to feedback on this one, but I think without some bold changes to W and W talents that Q will still be the dominant build and this was just one thing I could think of to make W more appealing.
For her heroics, I think Slowing Sands could probably use the level 18 functionality made baseline to make it more appealing compared to Loop. I like Sands as an easy way to proc her current Greeting talent at 5, but since the straight nerfs that came with her latest rework that made it only a 5% slow baseline it just has really minimal use outside of Greeting procs, and you can rely on your Time Trap slow talent or allies for those procs. It could probably use some slight buffs. I honestly have no idea what to make the 18 upgrade if the spell armor reduction is added to the level 8 version. Suggestions more than welcome here.
Her survivability options on 11 are actually okay except for Here and There. This is where I actually make a pretty bold change for her baseline Q sand clone, which is actually that rather than leaving a clone where Chromie previously cast her last Q, sand clone is now an active that Chromie can choose to place anywhere within 7.5 radius of her, with say a 10-20 second cooldown. I think this is a bit of a "berf" in that it's probably a nerf to fairly aggressive/mobile Chromie players who are constantly moving and placing new Qs in very forward locations, but probably a buff to more strategic Chromies who want to aim their shots at the perfect angle to hit their intended target. The change is kind of playstyle-defining and I'm not 100% sure it's what she needs, but I also think this could not only serve as a way of making Here and There more appealing (by giving more control over where you teleport to), but also a decent workaround to Q being blocked by various things until level 18. This might serve to reduce reliance on her level 18 pierce talent as well, which I always welcome.
Fast Forward is in a similarly poor spot compared to the other 14 options. By 14 Chromie basically has zero mana tension, making half the talent effectively useless. With some simple MATHS we can see what sort of DPS increase Fast Forward is vs the other two:
-Fast Forward, assuming you always get the proc and ALWAYS hit your secondary Q missile from sand clone, turns Q from a 122 DPS move to an 282 DPS move. This however doesn't affect her W, so the overall total DPS is 282 from this talent under perfect conditions - basically spamming because the CDR is so fast, never moving, and always hitting Q WITH also hitting the secondary Q missile. Bear in mind that this talent does not proc from a long-range sand clone Q, meaning you must position in such a way that the primary missile will always travel 50% of its distance. Shifting Sands works similarly so I don't factor that into DPS contributions, though Quantum Overdrive does in fact get CDR from all sand clone hits, making its actual DPS higher than what I calculated in theory.
-Quantum Overdrive, assuming you always achieve the CDR from Sand Blasts for it (again, we're assuming perfect conditions for everything here), will be available every 24 seconds and is a flat 25% spellpower increase for 8 seconds - or basically, two Q casts and one W cast (we won't factor in Loop usage here for simplicity's sake). Factoring in the CD, this is a 54.1 DPS increase - not nearly as impressive, though worth noting that the upfront damage is much larger AND and as I stated above, you actually get CDR from every sand clone missile, meaning its value increases exponentially with the Q quest on level 1 as well as how good you are at landing multi-Q hits.
-Shifting Sands has math that is much harder to calculate due to its stacking increase, but because I love you all I did. Suffice it to say, assuming you do not let the stacking spellpower buff fall off, it is a 151 DPS increase on Q until it ramps up at 38.5 seconds (not directly, mind you, this is just on average, I wasn't calculating 10 individual DPS increases and pasting them here lol), then a 181 DPS increase for each second it remains fully stacked. This is actually less than Fast Forward, though you can also add in 58ish DPS for W hits (again, assuming all 3 hits on a single target only), making the total value of the talent 209 DPS until stacked, then 249 DPS after.
So this is still less than Fast Forward, right? So why the hell are people picking it, you might ask? Simply because at any point if you miss a Q, the entire value of Fast Forward is lost, whereas with Shifting Sands you retain the spellpower unless you whiff a second Q hit in that original 8-second window. Basically, you have to land 1 Q every 8 seconds to get value out of Shifting Sands. Fast Forward, if you ever don't proc it, you don't have a level 14 talent during that and the window between your next Q.
(That said, doing this math actually made me realize that Fast Forward might be better than I think it is and I might give it a try in my next match, hehe.)
To be honest, all Fast Forward might need to be competitive is for the CDR to occur even if a secondary or tertiary Q missile hits, rather than requiring it to be the primary one. Since Fast Forward only buffs Q and not W, I think this is a fair buff that would reward consistently good aim with more sustained damage relative to Q, while still leaving Shifting Sands the favorite for a more forgiving slow spellpower increase and Quantum Overdrive for Loop/burst shenanigans.
As a final point, while I think that a lot of my proposed baseline changes to the hero would by default make Piercing Sands mildly less appealing at 18, I'm still not sure what to do to completely increase her talent diversity on this tier, especially because her ulti upgrades are frankly kind of lackluster. This is an area where I sort of ran out of steam brainstorming, to be completely honest with you. I actually think both of her ultis are really boring baseline and couldn't come up with interesting 18 upgrades for either. Lend me your brains on this one, HotS subreddit! What would you do to make Chromie's Piercing Sands talent less appealing while making her ulti upgrades more appealing? I'd love to see what we can all come up with!


In Closing:

These changes, whether implemented as a whole or by their parts in certain areas, would IMO serve to give the hero three viable build paths:
-1st build path, "Q path": Q talent at 1 for second pierce target, newly-designed Bronze Talons at 5 for the extra clone Q damage, Here and There at 11 for mobility shenanigans thanks to being able to manually place your clone target in advantageous locations, Fast Forward at 14 to put a further emphasis on landing good Qs and edging out W as a big part of your damage pie, and Piercing Sands at 18 for obvious reasons.
-2nd build path, "W path": W talent at 1, Mobius Loop at 5, any survivability option at 11, Quantum Overdrive at 14 to take advantage of the new Mobius Loop W charge reset, Piercing Sands at 18 could still be appealing with this build but I also think Blessing of the Bronze or Temporal Loop upgrade depending on your ulti choice could be good here.
And a final "generic spellpower path" that doesn't build strictly into improving Q or W separately and would instead opt to modestly increase the damage of both, with perhaps less binary gains than building fully into one spell: which would feature Timewalker's Pursuit at 1, Proper Greeting at 5, any survivability option at 11, Shifting Sands at 14 (though I think Quantum could work here too), and maybe Q pierce or Blessing at 18.
While I appreciate anyone who has read this far, for those who don't have the fortitude here is a simple tl;dr:
-W is no longer 3 vectored hits that drop at the same time but rather 3 circular AOEs that can be dropped individually but all return on the same cooldown similar to Junk Q/Zarya Q. If this is OP, reduce the size of the AOE so opponents have greater windows to dodge, or (possibly) make the landing point visible again (less a fan of this though tbh).
-sand clone autos removed to put more damage back into her spells and less into boring right-click talents/builds (her right-click damage is about 2/3rds the DPS of Q!). Her current design with sand clone AAs means that the level 1 Q quest that adds an extra sand clone is dramatically more value than the other two quests simply for the extra AA damage, which is a bongos DPS increase in comparison. Rather than gut the entire sand clone thematic, which I think is cool, I think simply removing the AAs would do loads for her talent diversity.
-manual sand clone placement on a modest cooldown to work around the newly-implemented Q PVE block. An alternate solution is to change her level 1 Q quest from a third sand clone to a singular pierce upon completion, allowing her once the quest is completed to have Q hit two targets for each missile instead of just 1. Either way if sand clone placement is made manual I think the level 1 Q quest will have to be changed, because otherwise manually placing two clones would probably make her a bit too "busy", and I don't want her to be butt-blastingly difficult to play for anyone who isn't a main. I think both manual Q placement and changing the Q quest at 1 to reward one-unit pierce would be fine, without sending her balance out of control, but obviously I can't say for sure.
-Some talent retooling and rebalancing to promote better diversity on certain tiers (namely 1, 14 and 18). I could use some help on brainstorming better ult upgrades at 18 than what she currently has.
-NO increases to damage or range except incidental increases from things like easier Q secondary missile hits or more control over W landing points. These would be offset by the removal of sand clone autos, as well as less reliance on Q pierce talent at 18, making her power curve less exponential.
-no changes to Time Trap, which I think after the rework is a beautifully-designed ability as-is and the talent tier representing it (level 2) is one of the most balanced talent tiers we actually have in the entire Heroes of the Storm game.
If you made it through all this without rage-quitting over the mere mention of Chromie, I appreciate your time, and am looking forward to having some discussions here. Are these changes too much? What do you think the hero needs to become a bit more fun to play, while not dramatically increasing her power level or the frustration factor that other people have playing against her? How would you improve her talent diversity with her current design? I look forward to seeing what everyone has to say!
submitted by Thundermelons to heroesofthestorm [link] [comments]

Escape from Tarkov - New Player Guide!

Introduction

NEW VERSION: https://www.reddit.com/EscapefromTarkov/comments/ffyynf/escape_from_tarkov_new_player_guide_20_75_pages/

Greetings, this is dumnem, also known as Theorchero, but you can call me Theo. I'm an experienced Tarkov player and I'm writing this guide to try and assist new Tarkov players learn the game, because it has one hell of a learning curve. We'll be going over a lot of different aspects of this guide, and it is going to be huge. Feel free to digest this in parts.
Additionally, this is a work in progress. I will write as much as I can in one Reddit post, but subsequent parts will be in additional comments. Google Docs Version (Note: Link is placeholder atm)
Disclaimer: I haven't played Tarkov regularly in a couple months. It's possible there has been extensive changes that I have not kept up with. If there is anything I have gotten wrong or may have omitted, please let me know.
This is Primarily directed towards Tarkov Novices. It hopefully includes everything you need to know to be able to go into a Raid equipped for success and to successfully extract with gear.
Want to play with friends? Want to have fun and learn Tarkov? Check out my discord here.

Changelog

WORKING ON UPDATING FOR .12, HANG TIGHT.
6/2:
  • Added Veritas chart
  • Fixed Vaseline/Star Balm stats, lab key card.
  • Adjusted formatting slightly, spelling adjustments.
  • Added additional resource, updated old ones.

Table of Contents

  • Tarkov Overview - What is Escape from Tarkov?
  • Tarkov Resources - Useful links
  • Tarkov's Maps
  • Tarkov's Health System
  • Tarkov's Quest System and Progression
  • Tarkov's Hotkeys to Know
  • Getting Started
  • Player Scavs
  • New Player's loadouts - LL1 Traders
  • What to Loot - How to get the most money per slot
  • Stash Management - How to combat Gear Fear
  • What now?

Tarkov Overview - What is Escape from Tarkov?

Escape from Tarkov is a tactical, realistic, FPS with MMO elements developed by Battlestate Games. It is currently in closed Beta. The game features several maps in which your primary character, your PMC, goes into Raids in order to find and salvage loot and useful equipment to survive and thrive in Tarkov. Death is very punishing in Tarkov. If you die you lose everything you had on you when you die (with the exception of what's inside your Container and your melee weapon) including any equipment you brought with you or what you found inside the Raid.
Enemies can be players (PMCs) or 'Scavs' (Scavengers) that are either controlled by AI or by players. Unlike many shooters, AI enemies in Tarkov are deadly - they can and will kill you on sight.
It features beautiful and immersive environments, intricate and in-depth weapon modification system, a complex health system, attention to detail with loot placement, and options for combat. Do you want to play slow and stealthy, to avoid fights, or set up a deadly ambush on an unwary foe? Or do you prefer to raw combat, where only your quick wit, placements of shots, and tenaciousness determines who gets out alive? It's your Tarkov. You make the rules.

Tarkov Resources - Useful links

I take no credit or responsibility for any of the content in these links. To the best of my knowledge, these are updated consistently and are accurate, but user beware.

Quick-Reference Ammo Chart

Created by SirKilljoy, you can find it here. Note: As of 6/2/19, Outdated. Searching for updated file. Send if you have one!
An updated ammo chart can be found here. It's not fancy or quick reference though. Sorry!

Tarkov Wiki

Absolutely fantastic resource. You can visit them here.
It is a massive collection of everything that we players have been able to find.
They contain trades, user-created maps, lists of ammo, parts, weapons, loot, etc. If it's in the game, it's on the Wiki, somewhere.
I highly recommend opening the wiki page for the Map that you plan on raiding in.
Factory
Customs
Woods
Shoreline
Interchange
The Lab ('Labs')

Map Keys and You

Huge collection of all the keys in the game. These are also on the wiki, but this page has them all on one page, and tries to inform the user if the key is worth keeping or using.
Check it out here.
This section is open to revision. Mention me in a thread (or in the comments below) about a resource and I'll see about adding it here.

Tarkov's Weapon Compatibility Guide

Pretty self explanatory. Also includes a Key guide and a Mod guide.
Check it out here.

HUGE Reference Bible by Veritas

Courtesy of Veritas (Send me his reddit username?), It's located here. (Open in new tab.)
Contains: Detailed information about: Ammunition, Health, Firearms, Body Armor, Helmets, Rigs & Backpacks, Labs & Quest keys.

Tarkov's Maps

Tarkov features several maps - ranging from wide, beautiful vistas to ruined factory districts, to an abandoned laboratory where illegal experiments were being conducted. It is important to learn the maps you intend to play. In order to keep your gear, you must 'extract' at one of your designated exfiltration points. Not all exfils will be active every game, and some are conditional.
To see what extracts are available to you, double tap 'O' to show raid time and your exfils. If it has a ???? it might not be open.
You can load Raids in an OFFLINE status, which allows you to explore the map or practice against AI without losing gear.
You do not keep any EXP or gear you find in the OFFLINE Raid, though.
To access OFFLINE Raids, head into a Raid normally until you see this screen.
Simply check 'Enable OFFLINE mode for this Raid' and you're good to go! You even have a choice on whether or not to add AI. You can also control how many AI enemies spawn, fewer than normal or a great deal more! You can even make Scavs fight each other. (Framerates beware.)

Factory

Gate 3 Extract
A small, fast-paced map that was primarily created for PvP. Scavs spawn in all the time. Very close quarters, shotguns and SMGs tend to dominate here. PMCs can only access one Exit (Gate 3) without the Factory Exit Key. Good place to