[WIP] HCE Shotgun Blind build

embermanemberman Posts: 729
edited August 2015 in Outlander Discussions
I have been experimenting with a shotgun outlander build in **** Elite, and am documenting my experiences here.

Current Progress

Netherlord cleared (NG0 beaten). No farming was done at all up through the Netherlord fight, and no cleared dungeons were repeated.

Twitch videos

Act 1
Part 1
Part 2

Act 2
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Act 3
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6: Automaton, Alchemist and Netherlord

Build overview

The core idea of this build is to abuse Shotgonne Mastery's blind and prevent everything from attacking. When it works it feels incredibly overpowered, but setting up blind-locks can sometimes be difficult or nearly impossible.

Skills

Since I have not yet reached level 100 with this build I can only discuss what has worked so far for NG0 (levels 1 - 55).

The centerpiece of the build is Rapid Fire + Shotgonne Mastery. For clearing NG0, 5 points in each are probably sufficient. The knockback in this combo will be extreme, and in open fields you will end up doing more sweeping than killing, so you will have to compensate with positioning enemies between you and walls / obstacles to block the knockback. I also took 5 points in Glaive Throw to have an efficient way to clear small numbers (2-4) of scattered enemies that aren't lined up for Rapid Fire. At 42 pick up 1 point in Venomous Hail. I would not recommend putting more points into Venomous Hail because a reflected hail will easily kill you, and the shotgonne mastery knockback makes the skill much harder to use.

If you upgrade Rapid Fire to level 5 as soon as possible (requires level 10), you will blaze through Act 1 at record speed as the skill shreds most things in Act 1.

Defensively, this build relies a lot on blind. Against lone enemies Rapid Fire with Shotgonne Mastery will disable enemies completely, which is the best possible defense you can get as long as you don't run out of mana. However there will be plenty of situations in which you simply cannot blind everything. For those cases, you can use Cursed Daggers (5 pts) to apply damage reduction to enemies, Stone Pact (5 pts) to heal, Bramble Walls (5) to distract and block enemies, Shadowmantle (5 pts) to survive ranged attacks, Dodge (5-10) to avoid auto attacks, and Rune Vault (1) to escape bad situations. In addition, I recommend fully abusing the range of Venomous Hail to blind and kill things that can't hit back.

Additionally I'd recommend a point in Poison Burst (for extra damage), and 5-10 points in Share the Wealth (to increase the benefits of the charge bar).

Stat points

When going for a gun build, always start with 40-50 points in dex, which will let you jump ahead to a higher level gun and make the early game go faster. Once you stop finding high level guns in the shop, switch over to primarily str for damage output, but don't neglect dexterity either. You'll want just enough dex to keep up with the best blue-quality shotguns you can find in the shop, which ends up being roughly 2-3 dex per level.

Gear

In Act 1, the affix that makes the biggest difference seems to be mana and hp regeneration. HP regeneration saves potions so you don't have to use them to top off damage. Mana regeneration lets you use more skills to kill things faster. By mid-Act 2 enemies have become much more dangerous so you will want as much +HP armor as you can find, and for the rest of the game you will be looking for +HP over just about everything else. As for weapons, go for the highest damage shotgun you can use. Avoid extra knockback since you will already be suffering from too much knockback most of the time. In Act 3 I was able to find blue shotguns with 10% chance to cast Glacial Spike. This combined with Rapid Fire makes for a truly overpowered combination, so if you find a glacial spike weapon use it. Even if its raw weapon damage is lower the Glacial Spike area damage combined with immobilization utility (to negate your excessive knockback) will more than make up for it.

Comments

  • GeistGeist Posts: 128
    Shotgunner was my most recent character as well. It was certainly effective, but also the least satisfying to play of everything I've done so far. Blindlock never failed against any boss which made them all dull, and knockback wasn't an issue cause there are always walls nearby.

    It was annoying how every piece of worthwhile gear required massive amounts of dex to the point you have to choose between them or actually getting some str. Then the legendary shotguns don't even give you that choice - mandatory 480 dex after Marksmanship VI. You could enchant your other gear for str, but not until you've already met the huge dex requirements. Either way you're gonna be missing a key factor for a good chunk of the character's career.

    I would definitely go for 10 Rapid Fire if only for the range increase. Take full advantage of all your knockback and nothing should get close enough for Dodge Mastery to matter.

    Spell trigger shotguns are indeed excellent (Earth's Roar, Tri-force Catalyst). Avoid the hassle of chance-to-flee and chance-to-charm effects (Tesla's Lament, Bloom's Margin). With all the hits of Rapid Fire/Venomous Hail they will trigger a bit too often.
  • embermanemberman Posts: 729
    Not all boss fights can be easily cheesed with blind. Some boss arenas continue to summon minions even when you are blinding them, and soon enough those minions will become a problem, at which point you have to either try to run away from them while maintaining a blind lock on the boss or be forced to deal with the minions allowing the boss to get out of the blind.

    What shotgun blind does is trade passive defensive (passive chance to block damage with a shield) for active defense (0% damage taken from everything you can manage to blind lock). It's a tradeoff. In situations when you only have a single enemy, shotgun blind can permanently lock them down making the fight trivial and boring. A shield build would be more exciting because a 70% chance to get hit is more dangerous than a 0% chance to get hit. In other situations when you can't permanently blind everything on screen, the shotgun build is more dangerous because you have a 100% chance to get hit by anything you can't blind, which is worse than passively blocking 30% of incoming hits by doing nothing but holding a shield, and you have to work for your defense by spreading the blind around.

    This run came out of an experiment to see if shotgun build could be done in **** Elite. Sure blind is overpowered at level 100 and there have been multiple shotgun builds posted before but they are all softcore level 100 builds, and the early game (levels 1-50) is what makes or breaks a **** Elite build.
  • GeistGeist Posts: 128
    emberman wrote:
    Not all boss fights can be easily cheesed with blind.
    That's exactly what happened. Minions weren't a problem. Just hold down Rapid Fire without actually clicking on an enemy and you can freely pivot to fire at anything. Tag them a few times, they're blind too, then switch back to boss to maintain the blindness. Chug mana as needed.
    This run came out of an experiment to see if shotgun build could be done in **** Elite. Sure blind is overpowered at level 100 and there have been multiple shotgun builds posted before but they are all softcore level 100 builds, and the early game (levels 1-50) is what makes or breaks a **** Elite build.
    Does Elite significantly increase blind resistance? Because that's really the only way it could be less viable. I didn't even play beyond level 55 cause it was already getting stale.
  • embermanemberman Posts: 729
    I added level 10 Rapid Fire to the build recently and am having second thoughts. The mana cost is really intense, makes it incredibly hard to sustain and I don't know if the range increase was worth it.
    Geist wrote:
    Does Elite significantly increase blind resistance? Because that's really the only way it could be less viable. I didn't even play beyond level 55 cause it was already getting stale.

    I don't think Elite does anything to blind resistance, but what it does is shrink your margin for error by a lot and increase the opportunities for errors by a lot. Rapid Fire forces you to stand still for extended periods of time. On Elite everything hits so hard that you often don't have that luxury. Once you are forced to move to get out of the way of an attack, you have less time to Rapid Fire, which gives more things time to attack. On Elite with a blind build you feel like a circus performer balancing on a stack of assorted objects. If one enemy gets out of blind for a moment there is a real chance it sets off a chain reaction that brings down the whole structure.

    As another example, if you don't think archers are a major problem for shotgun builds then you haven't been playing elite, because with no shield and very short range on both rapid fire and shotgun, archers will drop your health very fast which doesn't give you much time to deal with them on top of any harder hitting melee enemies that happen to be in front of them. I try to mitigate this with dodge and an aggressive pet but in the early game but the threat remains. If you still are not convinced I'd refer you to this clip.

    In addition, it takes so much longer to kill things on Elite that there is plenty of room for error. If you are juggling blind by trying to sweep RF across a whole pack, now you have to do that without any mistakes or lapses for twice as long. You might even be forced to buy mana potions eventually because blind costs mana but passive shields do not.
  • GeistGeist Posts: 128
    Yeah, turns out charging into a huge wave of them doesn't go so well for you. No surprise there.
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