Challenging/nerfing yourself

VodageVodage Posts: 80
edited November 2011 in Vanquisher Discussions
So it occurred to me that while Explosive Shot is broken, I might as well try to make a build without it. That, and the sound effect for it is really ugly.

Has anyone else tried to make it through the game without Explosive Shot? My Hard character respecced out of it, and found different ways to AoE when necessary.

I just made a Very Hard character, and I'm not sure how much you can nerf yourself in VH before it just becomes impossible. Has anyone tried this?


  • There is a few ways yes :D, Instead of Explosive Shot, you could go for Arrow Hail, All depends on your Damage :S else a good option for that is Venomous dirks
  • How is explosive shot broken?
  • VodageVodage Posts: 80
    bradster91 wrote:
    How is explosive shot broken?

    When I say that, I mean that it's over-powered. It's a term often used in fighting games, where a certain character or move is considered 'broken' because it causes a significant unbalance.
  • teneratenera Posts: 49
    Frost Pilum + Guided Shot, for a frost vanq. Lots of fun if you have the Frost rifle unique, or other items that give big ice damage bonuses (particularly with a weapon with the base damage being ice based).

    Traps. With traps, as of the last patch, now scaling with points, and pet mastery, a summoner(spell selection) + traps build should be pretty solid too.

    Venomous Dirks is a solid choice, and Needle Arc remains fairly strong throughout a very big chunk of the game.

    I wouldn't really call those... nerfing yourself really, but compared to explosive shot, I suppose they are. In either case they are viable alternatives, if a bit more challenging.
  • dreamriderdreamrider Posts: 1,727
    Well, in point of fact Ricochet is in some ways MORE powerful than Explosive Shot, in parciular vs one-to-small numbers of high HP characters. It uses very little mana, so by the time you are level 20 or so you can essentially spam it forever. It is a very viable choice for playthough main attack. You just need to learn to do the Ricochet Target Line Dance.

    It is especially nice with Ricochet assigned to the left button and something complementary, like Flechette Trap, Devouring Trap, or Hail, assigned to the right button.

    Once I get Arrow Hail, I tend to use it as the hammer-for-all-nails. Works quite well.

    You can do the same thing with Flechette Trap, just with different maneuver pattern. This one is very mana efficient.

    If you emphasize keeping the best possible long-range weapon (rifle or especially crossbow) in the hands of your avatar, you can successfully pursue the campaign with a Big Gun and Wind of Justice approach.

  • OmnicideOmnicide Posts: 263
    I beat the game with my first character (Vanquisher) on Hard difficulty without using Explosive Shot, but it wasn't easy. I died quite a few times. I'm currently almost 80th level and down in the Shadow Vault. I have Explosive Shot maxed currently and am alternating between it and Ricochet, depending on the situation. But if I had to choose, I'd take maxed Ricochet over maxed Explosive Shot as being over all more efficient.
    Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil because I am the baddest mother****er in the valley.
  • VodageVodage Posts: 80
    Thanks for all the feedback! I dropped a 2nd point into ricochet just to get the dps up to 100% of weapon, and I can see the potential in it.
    I've been working on a way to get my character to take advantage of normal attacks and all the life/mana steal you can do with them.
    Seems like this game is really in the style of Diablo2, where a spell ends up on your left mouse, and you use it like a normal attack.

    I guess I've been trying for something akin to the Diablo1 rogue, who used normal attacks, with spells for backup only.
    BUT NO DUAL WIELD, I hate being stuck to one thing like that.
    So without the dual wield damage bonus, I figure I could stack attack speed.
    Something like haste (barely leveled) + Dervish (maxed) to get the damage output up there with vanquisher class skills.

    But yeah so far my experience with VeryHard suggests that I'm not gonna be able to get away with what I did on my level ~50 Hard character.
    Arrow Hail definitely interests me... It's not connected to your weapon damage like most of the other stuff in the Marks tree.... weird.
    And I'd love to figure out how to use Hamstring properly. So far all it seems to do is get me hit like 20 times in a 2 sec period as I run by everyone ><
  • targrentargren Posts: 495
    If ES is broken, then there are no words for Flechette + Devourer. I didn't even know Exploding Shot existed. I just threw down my little machine gunners and autoattacked anything lucky enough to survive the razor rain. It was truly a thing of beauty...
  • VodageVodage Posts: 80
    Nice! Glad to see there are a bunch of good alternatives to ES. Maybe the info I read about it being OP is out-of-date at this point?

    My Hard character only uses Devouring Traps. The stun chance helps a lot, and the armor reduction doesn't hurt either.

    I *just* added a point to Shock Trap, since I had maxed my pet mastery already. So if Flame and Shock are the two that scale, and flame is low level, I would only want shock, right?
    and that "+% to all damage", how is that applied? Is that adding damage to the Shock Trap? To my attacks? I don't quite get it.
    Another big difference I've noticed is that while Devouring Trap doesn't pull monsters, shock trap does.
    For some reason the monsters don't react to Devouring Traps, even after being stunned by one.

    I don't know why people keep saying needle arc is good "through a big chunk of the game". When does slowing your enemy by 25% for 10 sec stop being good?
    I've noticed that right after a WoJ, the enemy should still be in range to take a needle arc hit, without your character advancing on them.
    It makes a lot more sense to me than hamstring, which only gives you 6 sec of debuff. Hamstring is probably the more "advanced" skill, but I guess it's just a bit TOO advanced for me.

    My VH character has been taking full advantage of Web. I feel soo cheap using it. It stops almost everything,
    and you can make a little line of webs to trap larger mobs if you're far from a chokepoint.
    VH feels a lot more like the old Diablo, as far as difficulty. I really have to take my time moving through the level,
    taking like one or two steps then stopping to wait for the engine to draw the monsters.
    It's fun doing that too, though, since you can catch a monster standing within draw distance, but out of aggro radius.
  • dreamriderdreamrider Posts: 1,727
    There is a dev explanation elsewhere in the forums, but not anywhere within the game/manual, that Arrow Hail is one of a handful of powers with 'hidden buffs', mostly power formula additions that came in during tweaking/balancing that were never added to the item/Skill/Spell descriptions.

    For Arrow Hail, it may help to know that is does scale a bit based on Dex. Not enough to make single hits comparable to maxxed Ricochet, but noticeable. The other thing about Arrow Hail is that, if you are using it right, there is no such thing as single hits <grin>.

    An effect that I have never been able to prove, and one which is very mana intensive, is that it appears to me that Arrow Hail hits are multiplied a bit by mutiple overlapping casts of the Skill. As in, when single cast hits of Arrow Hail are doing 1500-2500 damage per hit, hits during the storm from several casts in rapid succession are both more frequent, and in the 5000-6000 range.

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