Shadowshot Outlander: A "Sniper" Guide *Elite NG+++*

CathulhuCathulhu Posts: 173
edited June 2014 in Outlander Discussions
PREFACE: To be entirely upfront, this build is probably not for a beginner to Outlanders, nor is it an optimal build. However, the Shadowshot skill is the closest an Outlander will get to being a "sniper". Shadowshot is the single highest DPS skill the Outlander has access to, dealing 132% DPS on the initial strike at 15/15 ranks. It has better range than Rapid Fire, it is more accurate than Chaos Burst, and is more effective in open spaces than Chaos Burst.

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Empyrean, for his Shooty Outlanders Guide, to Sweeters for his Shotgun Surgery Guide and for Xylonez for his constant criticism and high standards for all of us to meet.

Empyrean, you showed us that shooter 'landers were viable, Sweeters, you (uknowingly) provided me with the determination to finish this guide, and Xylonez.... this guide would never have happened if I didn't think that it would meet your minimum standards.

FIRST:I highly recommend that you have a higher level character to farm equipment for this character if you are playing on Elite difficulty. I began this build determined to avoid "twinking". However, the further into the game I got, the more difficult it was to remain functional without better gear. SO, once again, I reiterate: This build is NOT optimal, and it requires a little extra love to work well. HOWEVER, at high levels, the gameplay is extremely fun.

When i played beta, I played several Outlanders, and when the game was released, the first thing i did was roll up a Shotgonne Shadowshot Outlander.Then Rapid Fire, then Chaos Burst. I have leveled two characters to 100, both Outlanders. One, the typical glaive thrower, the other is this build. I have just shy of 200 hours between these 2 characters. I have also played many upon many different Outlander variations, a berserker (Storm Hatchet build) and an Engineer (2 handed Flame Hammer build). Im still trying to get into Embermages. I still feel this build is possibly the most fun one i have played so far.

I also freely admit to respeccing for testing purposes at end game. For example, I had too many points in Dodge Mastery. No more. However, I did not respec while leveling this character. I admit, it was not easy, and you will likely have an easier time with Rapid Fire or Glaive Throw.

THE BUILD:

ATTRIBUTES

No more than 110 Dexterity, put the rest into Strength.

SKILLS: This is the skill layout i am using personally at the moment: [LINK DELETED]

WARFARE

Rune Vault: 1/15
this is our escape and mobilty skill. In my opinion, you will end up using this even more than most other Outlander builds. One of the strengths of Shadowshot is its long range; you want to maintain that distance. Rune Vault gives you that distance.

Shotgonne Mastery: 15/15
This is one of the lynchpins of the build. With a 56% chance to stun, +42 knockback, and 90% chance to blind, this provides quite a bit of defense and survivability. Used in conjunction with Shadowshot, you should be able to blind your enemies long before they get near you. The knockback should help keep them at the edge of your range, where Shadowshot shines. Keep it maxed.

Cursed Daggers: 1/15

Great skill... but with a STR based build, just leave at 1 point. Since this skill is not DPS%, you need to pump Focus to deal any significant damage. However, we can still use it for the 20% damage debuff that it applies. At high levels you may skip this, but for leveling, an absolute must.

Venomous Hail: 15/15
This skill comes late compared to your other skills. However, its utility and power cannot be ignored. You can shoot up and down ledges and inclines, it deals 92% of your DPS. At 15, it shatters shields. Honestly, there are not many things that survive one or two uses of this skill. On my current character, it regularly crits for 70-80k. I currently have about 350 mana, and between mana regen, the 2 sec cooldown of VH, and the innate 4% recharge, I can spam VH infinitely . Try to keep it maxed, but don't worry if you are a few levels behind, this skill shines regardless.

Long Range Mastery: ??/15
I think certain arguments could be made for this skill... However, I feel you get much better returns from Master of the Elements in late game. The range increase doesn't do anything for shotgonnes, so that's moot. The damage increase may be worth it, but I am not sure where you would pull points from to put into this.

LORE

Dodge Mastery: 10/15

When I went through the game the first several times, I maxed this. However, once i reached high levels, I realized i was hitting the dodge cap anyway, and I was merely wasting skill points. put points here when you have nothing better to spend it on: rely on tactical movement and Rune vault to stay out of danger instead.

Poison Burst: 10-15/15

I initially did not like this skill. Eventually, I have come around to it though. Since we are trying to use Shadowshot at the limit of its range as often as possible, anything that explodes and kills more mobs helps us. This can also be a bit of a lifesaver when things inevitably get into melee range. At 15 ranks, you are getting a 68% chance to explode, dealing 92% DPS. Thats the same DPS as a maxed Venomous Hail, incidentally. I try to keep it maxed, don't worry if you have better things to spend on though.

Share the Wealth: 15/15

The main advantage to this skill is the buff it gives your allies. Awesome if you play multiplayer. Still great if you play solo, because it applies to your pet, and also to yourself. I do eventually max it, but i don't feel the need to keep it maxed the whole time i am leveling. I would though if I were leveling in a multiplayer group more often.

Bramble Wall: 0-1/15
This skill definitely has its use, but in my mind it is still somewhat optional. More often than not, i prefer to remain mobile, thus avoiding many incoming attacks. bramble wall limits your mobility as well, to a certain degree. However, this build really shines in open areas, and Bramble Wall can help even the odds in closer quarters. Especially useful for blocking corridors, it can also be used to "direct traffic", forcing enemies to approach from a certain angle. I have a point here, but I don't use the this skill as often as others do.

SIGIL

Blade Pact: 5-10/15
I really like Blade Pact, and i wish I had more points for it. my current build uses 10 points in it, but I think if you really wanted to you could shift 5 points somewhere else. Great armor debuff, but the star attraction here is the attack and movement speed debuff. remember, we want to keep things away from us when possible; Blade Pact helps with that. If they do get close, it gives us extra time to avoid attacks and escape.

Master of The Elements: 15/15
great skill. by the time you get 15 ranks, you are doing an innate +30% damage with all elements but poison, for which you get an amazing 60% damage increase. Just amazing. However, don't feel the need to keep it maxed. it only matters a bit later in the game when you have a weapon that deals elemental damage as part of its base damage. There are quite a few shotguns that deal elemental damage, but the premiere one is The Day of The Beast, a legendary shotgun with fire and poison damage.

Shadowshot: 15/15

Our primary skill. at rank 15, we are dealing 132% on our initial hit, 102% DPS on secondary shards. Shadowshot also procs blind, stun, and knockback from Shotgonnes/Shotgonne Mastery. Don't expect many of the shards to hit secondary targets. I have noticed that in conjunction with knockback, Shadowshot tends to hit the initial target, knocks it back, which puts it within the pathing of the secondary shards, causing it to be hit again.
This is not the AoE that Chaos burst can be, nor is it armor stripping shredder that Rapid Fire is. This is a high damage, single target skill. To expect any more of it will lead to disappointment. The fact that it has shards that split off is secondary. When they hit, be it another target or the same as the initial hit, awesome. When it doesn't, don't worry. Just keep shooting. With my current build and gear, I am dealing around 12k damage, and critting for 80-85k. The shards proc Shotgonne mastery and any weapon procs besides health/mana steal.
EDIT: Does not increase your Charge. Use auto-attacks (early levels) or Venomous Hail to create and maintain Charge. (Thanks TommyReslin)
Keep it maxed.

Repulsion Hex: 5-10/15

Good skill, every ranged outlander should have 5-10 points here. It helps keep things away from you, which is the whole point of a Shadowshot build.

Stone Pact: 15/15

Must have, no questions asked. This provides huge bonus to health regen, and when combined with a health pot, it can fill you back up from almost empty in seconds. Lay this area effect in places you are going to be fighting, and in places you might be retreating to. its great for you, and its great for your mates too!

Shadowmantle: 0-10/15
To me, this skill is somewhat hard to justify. I feel that there are multiple better skills to spend points on. However, as pointed out by Xylonez, one weakness of this build is returning ranged attacks. Shadowmantle does help mitigate this. However, i don't think this skill gives very good returns for what you invest in it. When I first saw this skill, I thought it was great, Outlanders need a method of mitigating return fire. After playing with it though, I just never felt it shine. When you know when you are being attacked, you can respond appropriately with movement. When you get surprise attacked is when you need this skill most, and thats when it won't be up. I personally use 2 skulls of 25% chance to reflect missiles instead. REMEMBER. This is a guide, not something carved into stone. What does/doesn't work for me and my play-style may have no bearing on yours.

SPELLS

YOU: Haste, Concentration, Armor Expertise, Marksmanship. (This is my current load-out.) Spells that are better in early game: Treasure Hunter, Adventurer, Dervish (really good, I might swap out armor for this now).

PETS: Anything with summons. Im a fan of Archers, too bad they don't move. HEAL ALL. Really great, actually. Your pet does it kinda... whenever, not necessarily when you need it most. However, it does turn your pet into a kind of half assed Engineer heal-Bot.

TACTICS
I wish i could bring a video a la YouTube, but I am currently living overseas at the moment, and my laptop overheats just with Torchlight 2 running if i am not careful, let alone with something like FRAPS.

Get used to Rune Vault. You will be using almost as much as Shadowshot. I know it is sometimes difficult to use for some; it didn't come naturally to me, I definitely had to practice a bit. To be honest, I still **** it up sometimes when things get really rushed. However, its still one of your best skills. Use it a lot.

Basically, take things slow at first. when things appear at the edge of your screen, shoot with Shadowshot. Rune Vault away when things get too close. Eventually I do suggest picking up Haste for a more dynamic and fast paced killing method, but I suggest getting used to Shadowshot and the long range action first.

Remember to lay down Blade Pacts at the edge of the screen. Enemies must pass through it to get to you, and thus become slowed, and easy targets for Shadowshot.

Stone Pact is for places you are going to be, think ahead. Don't necessarily lay one down where you are right now. However, if you are hurting, lay one down right away, and then run away through it. Remember that it also benefits party members, if you are playing multiplayer.

Keep Repulsion Hex all the time, just in case.

Venomous Hail can shoot up and down ledges, as can Shadowshot. Remember that, and use it to your advantage. This is an instance where the terrain is absolutely your friend. Make it your friend as often as possible.

Remember, try to play as a sniper: one shot, one kill. However, you often won't kill, so reposition and fire again. Maintain distance with pets, pet summons, Rune Vault, and finally Repulsion Hex. Remember to use terrain to your benefit. You can shine in open areas with clear shots, but if you acquaint yourself with Shadowshot and Venomous Hail, you can also do very well in areas with many ledges and cliffs. Eventually you will get in melee range. Escape and kill from a distance! If you don't follow that rule, you will die in NG +++.

GEAR

The usual things for elite gear goes here: +hp, damage reduction %, +damage%, find Borris The Stout, enchant with Strength bonuses. IF he also enchants with Focus, no big deal, you need the mana. However, Strength is still your number one priority. +attack speed% increases your damage, which is great, but +cast speed% increases how fast you can fire off Shadowshot. Sometimes, you are going to want to fire it quite quickly, so more cast speed is also big for this build. However, this also depletes your mana more quickly, so always make sure to leave enough for a Rune Vault or two if things get rough.

Any Shotgonne with a but of elemental damage is great, it goes well with Master of the Elements. Obviously poison damage is what you want, but anything will do in a pinch. Whatever gets your DPS as high as possible (use the arcane statistics page for real DPS) will get the most out of your skills.

Good early rare sets include Clovenhoof (+cast speed%), Estheria (+cast speed%, +all damage%), Janissary (+cast speed%, +all damage%, +50% ice damage, should you find a shotgonne with ice), Zeraphi Alchemy is basically similar to Janissary but with a bonus to electric damage instead, and of course Wildwood. if you manage to find a good shotgonne with elemental damage, a wildwood set and you pump Master of the Elements a bit, you can deal some good damage well into your 60's or 70's.

Later on, Sentinel is great, with the +33% cast speed and +22% all damage. I also think valkyrie might be alright, but I haven't collected enough of that set to say for sure yet.

As for unique sets... its a pretty mixed bag. Blue sets tend to have attribute bonuses, which I prefer over things like 5% chance to raise Shadowling on kill.

Someone is going to ask, so: WHAT AM I CURRENTLY WEARING: at level 100, I am wearing mostly Celestial set, just enough to get the 20% damage reduction. I have every piece enchanted with max sockets, though many are still not filled. I also have every piece enchanted with +Strength, and some with +Focus. I didnt have enough money to keep disenchanting, so some pieces still have +Dexterity and Vitality, but not much. I have a couple skulls of +1540 hp, and a few 5% damage reduction. (richlieu and limoany, respectively.) I have a Ring of Players (10% damage reduction). My hp is currently about 13.5k, and I am rolling with a total damage reduction of 50%. I haven't really been farming for skulls, mostly just playing with the build itself.

Otherwise, refer to Sweeter's Shotgun Surgery guide for tips on gear.

Remember, just because its says level 100, doesn't mean its the best thing to wear. The Unearthly Set is quite overrated for an Outlander, and would probably wear a well enchanted Sentinel set before wearing the entire Unearthly Set.

COMING SOON: At least some pictures, possibly a short video if i can make it work. I am not as tech savvy as some, but I will manage...eventually.

Thanks for reading... and good luck.

I do not aim with my hand. He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I aim with my eye.
I do not shoot with my hand. He who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I shoot with my mind.
I do not kill with my gun. He who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father. I kill with my heart.
— The Gunslinger's Creed, The Dark Tower
"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cathulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"
Shadowshot Outlander: A "Sniper" Guide *Elite NG+++*

Comments

  • I also want to point out that if you want to wear a full set the Labarinto set also out damages the unearthly set. Oh, and with good knock back and max shotgun mastery often you can send an enemy flying backwards which will allow the other shards to double back and hit that opponent. The shards track better against a moving an opponent and the knockback from shotgun mastery provides that "moving target." Also I really dislike armor expertise. Armor is almost useless in elite. It doesn't "Absorb" enough damage. You're probably better off with something else in that slot. You also might want to mention that shadowshot doesn't give charge so using Venomous hail first to build up charge might be ideal.
    Check out the Shooty Summoner here!
  • CathulhuCathulhu Posts: 173
    Thanks Tommy. I haven't removed Armor Expertise merely because i haven't found anything much better at the moment.

    You are absolutely right about the charge maintenance, I will fix that ASAP.
    "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cathulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"
    Shadowshot Outlander: A "Sniper" Guide *Elite NG+++*
  • SweeterSweeter Posts: 326
    Great guide, well written and informative. Nice to see more and more builds are popping up that use different skills.

    Three queries:
    1) No Bramble Wall? Never felt a need to use it, or things don't get close enough?
    2) How do you find survivability with this build, specifically with regard to no Brambles, Tangling, Shadowmantle and no front-applied AOE to mass Blind mobs? What would your typical tactics be in high-end dungeons? Is it a more 'destroy from afar and run if they get close' or do you find mobs are kept back by your superior range (relative to RF/BC).
    3) Have you tried Shadowshot with a Bow/XBow or Shotgonne only? I ask as I am finding SS with a Bow and +range gear/talents to be very impressive.

    Love n cuddles

    Okurina.
  • Just a few things I'd like to add to the discussion:

    1. You may not need 15 points in Shotgun Mastery. I find 7 or even 6 points to be enough. 45-50% chance to proc Blind is great already, especially when you consider how you apply it using multiple shots of Venomous Hail or Shadowshot. You can then easily move the few points you saved from SM to other skills.

    2. Bramble Wall and Tangling Shot are cheap utility skills that only need a single point. Bramble Wall is your go-to skill for protection against charging mobs, and as a barrier. Mobs generally attack Brambles. You can then easily fire any of your skills like VH or SS while they're distracted. Tangling Shot requires a bit of aiming, but it binds targets with a 100% chance if you hit them properly. A little known fact about Tangling Shot is, most mobs that teleport cannot do so while they're binded.

    3. You're working with what is essentially an STR build. Cast speed doesn't have much utility here. Glaive OLs and other builds like it (Prismatic Bolt EMs) use cast speed because it increases their skill-based damage. Your main attack skills are Venomous Hail and Shadowshot both of which derive damage from weapon DPS. Cast speed might increase SS damage a little bit because SS has no cooldown. VH is unaffected by cast speed because you're limited by its 2 sec CD anyway. What you should aim for then are attack speed bonuses that will increase your weapon damage by a direct multiplier, based on the ASPD increase, which will then bring up your weapon DPS. Do not use +% all damage gear. It does not increase your damage by that amount. Rather, it increases the % based multipliers for each damage type. You can see this by pressing J. Under the arcane stats panel, neither your weapon damage or weapon DPS increase by 20% after you equip gear with +20% all damage. What does go up are your elemental and physical damage multipliers. Say you had +50% fire, +30% poison, they will go up to +70% fire, +50% poison. +% to all damage does increase your damage, but not as much as +attack speed bonuses. Your maxed charge gives +15% attack speed. Check how your weapon DPS at J (arcane stats panel) changes when you have this +15% ASPD increase. It's a much higher increase than what CSPD or +% to all damage gives you.

    4. I'm rather iffy with Poison Burst. It was useful to me during my lower levels. After I got my endgame set though at lv 100, it wasn't too useful anymore. VH and SS killed mobs quickly enough that by the time the poison cloud came, the mobs were already dead. You're free to keep it if you want though. I'd recommend Rapid Fire myself in place of PB. It fires quickly over a reasonable area, procs a lot of effects rapidly, especially Blind, and even reduces mob armor, while pushing them back. It's a nice initiate skill, and my favored way of putting Blind on mobs.

    5. On the note of using SS with a bow/xbow, what I've been experimenting with lately is a hybrid weapon build using the 2h ranged weapons. The setup that's been working very well for me in Tartarus Extreme is an xbow/shotgun. The xbow is actually the highest DPS 2h ranged weapon, mainly because of its attack speed. What I do then is initiate with my shotgun, using Rapid Fire to apply Blind, after which I jump back with Rune Vault and switch to my crossbow, for dealing damage with Shadowshot and Venomous Hail. Bow can easily replace xbow in this setup. It has knockback which xbows lack (but RF easily fills in for), is a little slower and deals less damage. I prefer the xbow most of the time because of the increased range and damage, though that's just my preference.
  • SweeterSweeter Posts: 326
    Some good points generalfluff.

    I too have noticed the lessening need of 15/15 in Shotgonne Mastery, and had considered reducing it to 10 in my build. For now, I am keeping it 15/15 as CB is less than reliable in all hitting, all the time, but I think were I using RF or SS I would be tempted to just go for 10.
    Cast speed is pretty useless with any Str build, but have to echo what you said about Attack Speed, this stat is godly with 2h Str builds. I got a consoled Outlander to a fixed 144% Attack Speed with Bitter Moon and ****, that was some crazy numbers.
    As for PB I have to disagree. In my experience, at higher gear levels, anything less than a Champion is frequently 1-shotted, meaning that if you are constantly spamming your main attack, this creates a cascade effect where mobs explode and continue exploding even as they come into range on the screen. I noticed it less with RF as it was dealing less 'sudden death' blows, but with SS and CB, the hits are so large it can cause a chain of gooeyness with one click. PB explosions also appear to proc SM, which can be handy, but admittedly its mostly often overkill.
    Your final point is interesting. I have been doing something similar with Pistol/Claw instead of a Xbow. Maybe you would like to start a thread about weapon switching? I don't really see it mentioned often here or on any other Class Forum, but for Outlanders especially, there is a lot to recommend it.
  • About Shadowshot, how do the later levels get to hit the same target again?

    I don't have the shotgun mastery so I can't say with knockback on (thinking of going dual pistols and everything else with extra theoretical DPS), but with tier 0 it seemed to very often have two secondary bolts hit the primary target as long as he wasn't completely still. Tier 0 firing 3 at a triangle, one being directly behind the enemy in relation to you. I've only seen tier 1 after that, it fires 4 in a + shape, which seems to be as bad as they could be for this. I'm assuming tier 3 has its 6 in a cartoon sun-like angle? 1 behind, 1 in front, 4 in the corners. That looks like it would easily have 4 of the secondary bolts come back to the guy. That'd be a 132% DPS and 4 82% DPS hits per cast at 32 mana each. And because Shadowbolt doesn't convert its damage to one element like Venom Hail, you can pick your weapons for damage of multiple elements, so you could inflict several status effects.
    a +health gear a day keeps the death screen away
  • TaranTaran Posts: 494
    I might try this..good build. I currently have a Glaivelander..and kind of miss just being able to normal attack and enjoy a good weapon. This would be perfect for veteran(i play vet offline and elite online).
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    In every person there are 2 dogs fighting...1 Good and 1 Evil. The one that wins is the one you feed the most.
    Torchlight 2 Syenergies Mod forum / http://forums.synergiesmod.com/index.php
  • CathulhuCathulhu Posts: 173
    OKay, I'll try to remember to answer everything, haha.

    Bramble Wall and Tangleshot: Bramble Wall is great, no doubt about it. I just am not as huge a fun as everyone else, I am a coward and just run away. Bramble Wall certainly helps facilitate that, and there is room for it in the build. I also think LRM can fit into some builds as well. I mostly just skipped over it due to my own negligence, I'll edit to mention it. With the build I currently use i just use the blindness effects to run if necessary.

    Tangleshot however... I want to like it, better it has failed me most every time i have really needed it, and i just forgo it in my builds nowadays. I never use it at high levels anyway.

    Shotgun Mastery 15 is NECESSARY with Shadowshot in my opinion. Shadowshot is a single projectile, not 3-5 like Chaos Burst or a steady stream of fire as per Rapid Fire. Perhaps if the shards hit more reliably.... but as is, I feel you need that almost guaranteed blinding. Its not nearly as easy to lockdown an enemy with shadowshot+shotgun mastery. Plus, since you have less AoE, this again helps facilitate running away. The other thing is the Knockback. AMAZING with SS. I tell you, go console this build, then shoot something with maxed SS and SM. suddenly, the shards for SS are much more likely to do SOMETHING. Again, do not rely on those shards to save your ****. The knockback keeps things closer to the edge of your screen, where you and SS want them. Thats a big deal itself. Secondly, it puts them in the pathing of the shards, and I have seen mobs and champions knocked back and then hit with all 6 shards.

    As for Shadowmantle, I actually meant to mention it as 0-5 points. I really do want to like it, ranged attacks are a pain that it helps mitigate. However, i cannot justify it much with the limited time it is active. However, perhaps someoen else will/can.
    The playstyle here also helps. If you have seen Sweeter's Shotgun Surgery,this builds playstyle is generally slower paced. I will scout ahead. If i see something, I will VH or SS. If whatever it is already sees me and has ranged capabilities, I generally Rune vault back, then approach from another angle if possible. I will also shift+click to kill beyond the camera angle, or in anticipation of something following me. I do not have Haste on constantly, only in open areas where i am sure to have superior mobility, especially when a single shot will blind from long range with SS.

    Poison Burst.... i used to believe it was a one point wonder, maybe 5 at most. However, it provides a method to help clear out mobs in a build where you are basically using a single target skill for the first (and hardest) 42 levels of the game. Remember, you can rely on only one thing with Shadowshot: That the initial strike will hit. The fact that the skill has potential AoE-LIKE effects (not a true AoE in my opinion) is a happy coincidence that should be like critical hits: Don't rely on them to win. Thus, Poison burst provides that sort of AoE, and extra damage. when you kill one with SS, and all his mates are missing a quarter to half their HP bar, it makes the next SS that much more likely to be a "one shot" kill.

    As for Cast Speed and Attack Speed: Both are great, but for different things. Attack speed increases DPS, and right now I have +47% attack speed, and it rocks. my true DPS is about 11k.

    However, cast speed allows me to more quickly fire off Shadowshot. Though I call this a "sniper" build, it is a bit of a misnomer. The reality is that half the time I am rapidly spamming SS into a mob until it explodes. The other half the time I am moving in from another angle, firing once or twice, then moving again. The Cast Speed helps hugely with the former, and still helps a bit with the latter, in that I am not rooted in one place as long during skill animation. In any case, I currently have maybe +6% cast speed. I wish I had more.

    I am sure this build could work with a bow, but I got so much out of Shotgun Mastery with the Knockback and the blindness and Shadowshot shards... I couldn't say no.
    "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cathulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"
    Shadowshot Outlander: A "Sniper" Guide *Elite NG+++*
  • CathulhuCathulhu Posts: 173
    @ Sweeter, concerning my survivability, which I missed in my massive reply:

    I don't know. I try to stay the **** out of any mess. I Rune Vault out at the slightest provocation, or run manually. I mean, it happens sometimes where no matter how careful you are, you are suddenly low on hp, and gotta pop an HP pot, throw down a SP, and run. I would say that in comparison to your Shotgun Surgery build, I get low on health on a similar rate to you, during that video. I will qualify that, however, with my belief that you are a better player, and you use your skills more fluidly than I do.

    To make up for that, i use this build. I stay as far away as possible, and my kill rate is slower. I do feel that if someone better at gaming were to master this build, they would rarely be in danger of dying by high levels. I cannot say for sure though, i merely have my own experiences. All i can say is that it appears to be on par with your Shotgun Surgery build.

    Then again, that was NG5, I have only tested til NG3, so what do I know? :lol:
    "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cathulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"
    Shadowshot Outlander: A "Sniper" Guide *Elite NG+++*
  • xylonezxylonez Posts: 1,293
    It's pretty much a solid build, IMHO.
    There's a few things that have been pointed out by the others tho.

    Venomous Hail VS Shadow Shot
    I originally thought that VH would be your bread-and-butter skills, but I was wrong.
    Now here comes another one.

    PB VS BP,
    IMHO, maxing BP will benefits you more, especially since you are using SS as your bread-and-butter skills instead of VH.
    Not to mention that the debuff seems to worth more compared to the extra chances from PB.

    Last, but not least,
    This build is pretty vulnerable to the range mobs, or so it seems. Do you think Lv5 shadowmantle is enough? Maybe look into other skill?

    Oops, there's some more..
    Well, this one is concerning the guide itself rather than the content..
    • Try to color the skills so that it's easier to read
    • Put your build in the TL2 calc, so that people can read the skill build easier or so
    Just my 2c..
    "First player in the world that gets 133 skill points for some unknown reason"
  • CathulhuCathulhu Posts: 173
    Thanks Xylonez, I figured you would wander in here eventually.

    Poison Burst vs. Blade Pact
    I agree points could be shifted here one way or another. As of right now my playstyle depends less on Blade Pact. Normally I lay one down religiously, but for this build it just... hasn't happened as often. I always put one on bosses, but at the moment I use it pretty optionally, barring large mobs with ranged attacks. Those always get one as well.

    Weakness to Returned Ranged Fire
    Absolutely right, it is the main weakness of this build in my opinion. I mitigate this with much moving and repositioning, seasoned with liberal uses of Rune Vault. I just have difficulty justifying Shadowmantle; I don't feel the returns for whats invested are any good, I use two skulls of 25% chance to reflect missiles instead. If my math is right, that basically amounts to 37.5% chance reflection? Which is roughly equal to 3 or 4 ranks in Shadowmantle. Another skull would be reduced to roughly 6.25% reflection, but would bring the 'total" chance to 43.75% to reflect missiles... roughly equal to 5 ranks in Shadowmantle. (correct me if my understanding the reflection mechanic is wrong.)

    This reflection is always "active". Though it lacks the damage returns and secondary effects of Shadowmantle, It serves the primary function of defense equally well, at no skill point cost.

    In the end, this really amounts to a personal decision based on playstyle. I can see shadowmantle working for someone else.

    EDIT: Took me some suggestions and edited my OP to be easier to read, some other points of view on skills, etc.
    "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cathulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"
    Shadowshot Outlander: A "Sniper" Guide *Elite NG+++*
  • xylonezxylonez Posts: 1,293
    Cathulhu wrote:
    Poison Burst vs. Blade Pact
    I agree points could be shifted here one way or another. As of right now my playstyle depends less on Blade Pact. Normally I lay one down religiously, but for this build it just... hasn't happened as often. I always put one on bosses, but at the moment I use it pretty optionally, barring large mobs with ranged attacks. Those always get one as well.

    Weakness to Returned Ranged Fire
    Absolutely right, it is the main weakness of this build in my opinion. I mitigate this with much moving and repositioning, seasoned with liberal uses of Rune Vault. I just have difficulty justifying Shadowmantle; I don't feel the returns for whats invested are any good, I use two skulls of 25% chance to reflect missiles instead. If my math is right, that basically amounts to 37.5% chance reflection? Which is roughly equal to 3 or 4 ranks in Shadowmantle. Another skull would be reduced to roughly 6.25% reflection, but would bring the 'total" chance to 43.75% to reflect missiles... roughly equal to 5 ranks in Shadowmantle. (correct me if my understanding the reflection mechanic is wrong.)

    This reflection is always "active". Though it lacks the damage returns and secondary effects of Shadowmantle, It serves the primary function of defense equally well, at no skill point cost.

    In the end, this really amounts to a personal decision based on playstyle. I can see shadowmantle working for someone else.

    EDIT: Took me some suggestions and edited my OP to be easier to read, some other points of view on skills, etc.
    2x25% chance to reflect = 43.75% chance reflection
    3x25% = 57.8125% chance reflection.

    Putting the numbers aside, that's a satisfying explanation. Haha.
    "First player in the world that gets 133 skill points for some unknown reason"
  • CathulhuCathulhu Posts: 173
    i was under the impression that mechanically... each skull only amounted to half of its %reflection after the first, and halved again every skull after.

    I guess I am better off than I thought?

    In any case, would you mind explaining the mechanics and math behind it?
    "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cathulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"
    Shadowshot Outlander: A "Sniper" Guide *Elite NG+++*
  • xylonezxylonez Posts: 1,293
    It works by rolling them separately. In order for a skull/instance to proc, all of the previous instances need to fail to proc.

    if you have 2x25% chance to reflect skull,
    the first one will give you 25% chance,
    the second one will give you 0.75x25% = 18.75%chance
    So that's 43.75% chance in total.

    You can also make it easier by calculating what are the chances that all instances will fail(you won't reflect at all).
    So in this case, the chances that you won't reflect at all is 0.75*0.75 = 0.5625
    The chance for you to reflect is 1-0.5625 = 0.4375.
    "First player in the world that gets 133 skill points for some unknown reason"
  • CathulhuCathulhu Posts: 173
    Excellent, thank you.
    "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cathulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"
    Shadowshot Outlander: A "Sniper" Guide *Elite NG+++*
  • great build.

    your post made me want to try out shadowshot; works well for my playstyle. it does great burst damage, but is still spammable and easy to fire off. this is probably where my points from Blade Pact are going :D (I seldom use it anymore).

    I agree with bringing down Shotgonne Mastery to lower ranks.
  • yazshyazsh Posts: 145
    Why not drop the shotgun mastery points into range mastery and use a crossbow or bow? It would enhance your sniper style and increase your dps since shotgun dps is so low.
    I have an Outlander and generally solo elite.
  • CathulhuCathulhu Posts: 173
    edited November 2012
    yazsh wrote:
    Why not drop the shotgun mastery points into range mastery and use a crossbow or bow? It would enhance your sniper style and increase your dps since shotgun dps is so low.

    Yes, you could increase DPS with a bow or crossbow via LRM.

    FIrst: Shotgun DPS isn't that low. The Day of the Beast, for example, has a DPS of 893. Crossbow: The Peregrine Gun, 704. Bow, The Bruteslayer, 883.
    So Shotgun is ahead of Bows BARELY, so little that it doesn't matter. Shotgun is well ahead of Crossbow.

    Second: Shotgun Mastery Applies three extremely useful things: Stun, Blindness, and Knockback (which stacks with innate shotgun knockback). With Knockback, you keep things away from you, and it also puts the target into the pathing of the secondary shards of Shadowshot. with 15 ranks and nothing else on the screen, all 6 shards will often hit the primary target again. Thats 612% DPS, in theory. (I stress not to rely on these shards for damage, but it serves me in this point.)

    No Bow or Crossbow will have a 90% chance to blind, or a 56% chance to stun, things only Shotgun Mastery can give. These 2 things alone increase your survival chances massively, and you cannot get them in these high of numbers anywhere else. In Elite, DPS matters less than survival. With a decent cast speed and 15 ranks in Shotgun Mastery, I can keep a boss constantly blind. its not as easy as with Chaos Burst or Rapid Fire, but it can be done.

    As far as I am aware, that CANNOT be done with a bow.

    I think an argument could be made for using this build with a pistol and shield, since that is another method with which to massively increase survival, and could replace the Blind and Stun effects of Shotgun Mastery, and very possibly surpass it.

    With a bow or crossbow, you give up a huge advantage that cannot be easily quantified (remember, stunned and blinded opponents cannot effectively see or attack you, ergo no number can quantify the advantage that gives you, assuming you use proper tactics) for a 30% increase to DPS (assuming all 15 points in SM go to LRM).

    Bows do not grant additional sockets.

    I would take a blinded or stunned opponent that is knocked back every time I hit over a 30% DPS increase. (to be fair, at 15 rank Shadowshot, assume 1k damage... SS increases to 1,320. LRM DPS is 1,300. LRM and SS is 1,716. About 70% increase. Right now, my DPS is 11,913. with 132% SS, its 15,725. IF i added in 30% LRM first, 20, 442. Thats a significant almost 5k, damage, right?) I would still take blind, stun, and knockback over that. I would still take a pistol and shield over that. Damage won't save you on Elite. Rendering attacks moot (Dodge, shield+pistol) or rendering your opponents helpless and unable to attack, (blind, stun) will.

    TO BE CONCISE: Bows can add some damage, but lose out on far more valuable assets. You could use a bow as you suggest, but probably not on Elite NG+'s.
    "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cathulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"
    Shadowshot Outlander: A "Sniper" Guide *Elite NG+++*
  • xylonezxylonez Posts: 1,293
    Cathulhu wrote:
    I would take a blinded or stunned opponent that is knocked back every time I hit over a 30% DPS increase. (to be fair, at 15 rank Shadowshot, assume 1k damage... SS increases to 1,320. LRM DPS is 1,300. LRM and SS is 1,716. About 70% increase. Right now, my DPS is 11,913. with 132% SS, its 15,725. IF i added in 30% LRM first, 20, 442. Thats a significant almost 5k, damage, right?) I would still take blind, stun, and knockback over that. I would still take a pistol and shield over that. Damage won't save you on Elite. Rendering attacks moot (Dodge, shield+pistol) or rendering your opponents helpless and unable to attack, (blind, stun) will.

    TO BE CONCISE: Bows can add some damage, but lose out on far more valuable assets. You could use a bow as you suggest, but probably not on Elite NG+'s.
    There's no **** way LRM increase that much damage, lol. The damage increase is additive with all of your damage modifier such as str, focus(for elemental damage), blahblahblah.
    At the end of the day, if you have like 500 str, that means 250% damage increase. LRM will make it 280% instead of 250%.

    You are wrong when you said it increase your DPS by 5k, because you do the 1.3 * 15725 calculation. The 11913 DPS on your arcane statistics is the number after it gets modified by the damage and attackspeed modifier.
    Simply put, the 30% in LRM is so small that it's not worth it. It equals to 60 str, without the crit damage increase. That makes it, what?? 4 str per point?
    "First player in the world that gets 133 skill points for some unknown reason"
  • CathulhuCathulhu Posts: 173
    ah... i assumed it was multiplicative. I just multiplied the whole DPS number by 1.30.

    I was a bit surprised when I ran the numbers, but it didn't change my argument.

    I wish tooltips were clearer.
    "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cathulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"
    Shadowshot Outlander: A "Sniper" Guide *Elite NG+++*
  • Just a heads up, despite the new patch saying that Rifles (shotgonnes) use weapon damage now, instead of DPS, so that they're stronger, fast weapons still deal more damage than slow weapons. My Bitter Moon still hits a full 30-50k harder than my Day of the Beast. Can't deny that I love the Blind effect I get on my shotgun though, so I'll still be using it for blinding, it's the crossbow that finishes the job.
  • xylonezxylonez Posts: 1,293
    Just a heads up, despite the new patch saying that Rifles (shotgonnes) use weapon damage now, instead of DPS, so that they're stronger, fast weapons still deal more damage than slow weapons. My Bitter Moon still hits a full 30-50k harder than my Day of the Beast. Can't deny that I love the Blind effect I get on my shotgun though, so I'll still be using it for blinding, it's the crossbow that finishes the job.
    Obviously, because when your attackspeed is lower than 1, you will gets more benefit from damage skull/enchantments.
    "First player in the world that gets 133 skill points for some unknown reason"
  • TaranTaran Posts: 494
    Doing this build right now on synergies. Its pretty freaking awesome. I love it because i can get back to using my weapon and using skills..unlike my glaivelander build that just uses glaive and destroys everything.
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    In every person there are 2 dogs fighting...1 Good and 1 Evil. The one that wins is the one you feed the most.
    Torchlight 2 Syenergies Mod forum / http://forums.synergiesmod.com/index.php
  • embermanemberman Posts: 729
    Intentional necro in case the thread creator is still around: have you tested this build in the most sniper-unfriendly areas of the game? I'm thinking most dungeons, Grom's Arena of Slaughter, Luminous Area, etc. Are you relying on the shotgun to do mass stun, blind and CC? It seems incredibly risky. The idea of diving into caves and dungeons and other tight crowded spaces to destroy things is fundamentally incompatible with how snipers and long-range assassins work. A sniper would be hiding far away with crosshairs aimed at the building / cave entrance. This game is not for snipers.
  • CathulhuCathulhu Posts: 173
    ugh, I have actually just gotten back from living overseas, haven't touched the game since November and a different continent...

    Anyway.

    Yes, i have tried it in all areas of the game. I never had a problem, as long as was smart and pulled back to a more strategic position. No, you cannot stand there and spam a single skill a la Glaivelander; this build requires movement and tactical positioning.

    Try to remember good places with narrow points and open rooms, go back there. Narrow hallways are also nice, since you can shoot down them, never miss, and be guaranteed secondary damage effects. The knockback will keep them at bay. Run away if they still get too close.
    "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cathulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"
    Shadowshot Outlander: A "Sniper" Guide *Elite NG+++*
  • embermanemberman Posts: 729
    I've been trying this recently on **** Elite. I got to level 30 before I carelessly died to some archers. My observation is it is severely lacking in defense early game, and its Achilles' heel is large archer packs. The inability to use a shield hurts a lot. Shadow-shot has decent range but is not very efficient in damage dealt per mana spent, and certainly doesn't kill things very quickly early on. It may work well at higher levels with all the skills unlocked, but getting there without dying is pretty much impossible on Elite.
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