Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gadgeteering 101

The 101 series is a short information segment providing some in-game information on some of the starter tier skills for various power sets. This will give a little insight into use early character building so people don't get stuck rerolling due to high retcon prices.

Suggested Role
Gadgeteering does very excellent DPS, but does not provide much in the area of healing or crowd control. In addition, there are no passive or active defenses in this power set, so unless you plan on a lot of cherry picking, DPS will be your go to role.

Suggested Super Stats
As always, you can choose whatever super stats you want for a character, but the suggested super stats for Gadgeteering are Endurance and Intelligence. The only melee attack is the Gauntlet Chainsaw, so Strength is also not optimal. There are no real benefits to critical strikes in this build, so Dexterity and Ego are not suggested. Gadgeteering has a very good energy builder, but recovery can give enough energy to start each fight with a strong opener. Presence will reduce your threat and Constitution will keep you alive longer, so those are also good secondary stats.

Primary Stats: Endurance, Intelligence
Secondary Stats: Recovery, Constitution, and Presence

Sonic Blaster - Energy Builder
This power is excellent at generating energy. Like many energy builders, once you toggle it on, it will use it whenever you're in range and not using another power. In addition, an advantage to this power makes it a cone attack for some good AoE damage.
Pro - Nice range, Excellent Energy, AoE with advantage.
Con - It's a channeled skill, so it makes blocking more difficult.
Rating - 5/5 Hard to find a better builder.
Note - Get the AoE advantage as soon as possible.

Experimental Blaster - Basic Ranged Attack
This power is awful. It has a very long charge time, and damage is comparable to that of your energy builder. It has a small chance of confusion and turning enemies into teddy bears, but beyond being a novelty, it has no use.
Pro - Interesting, Quirky Effects
Con - Poor Damage, Long Charge Time
Result - 1/5 Retcon this power as soon as you get out of the tutorial.

Gauntlet Chainsaw - Tier 1 Close Area Attack
This is the power they should have started you out with. High AoE damage and high energy consumption give you something to pair with your sonic blaster. Get used to lining enemies up, because it does AoE, but in a very small cone.
Pro - High AoE damage, no cooldown
Con - High Energy cost, short range and small cone of damage.
Result - 4/5 You should replace Experimental Blaster with this power.

Sonic Device - Tier 1 Self Buff
Sonic device is a great example of how to scale powers. While this power adds excellent damage to the next attack and provides an opportunity for exceptional AoE damage with an advantage, it has a significant cooldown and requires a bit of intelligence/recovery to use pre-fight. Once you have that energy, you'll start every fight with this attack.
Pro - High damage, can cast before combat, AoE with advantage
Con - Long Cooldown, medium energy cost
Result - 4/5 This should be the first power you get (after trading Experimental Blaster for Gauntlet Chainsaw), unless you're diving into other power sets.
Note - Grab the AoE advantage once you have the AoE Energy Builder. Every mob hit with sonic blaster explodes, so three close mobs will each explode, doing 3x the damage.

Bionic Shielding - Tier 1 Healing Buff
As far as healing powers go in Champions, this is possibly the worst. It provides a mediocre heal the next 5 times you are hit for the next 16 seconds. Worst of all, it has a 60 second cooldown, making it difficult to mix in your standard rotation.
Pro - Reactive healing makes overhealing less of an issue
Con - Short uptime with a long cooldown, only heals 5 times.
Result - 2/5 I would suggest going out of the power set or waiting for Medical drones if you want to heal.

Particle Mine - Tier 1 Close AoE Attack
This skill lays a particle mine in a location that will explode when enemies come into proximity range. Good damage, but a 30 second cooldown and long casting animation reduce it's usefulness.
Pro - Good Damage, Large AoE range
Con - Long Cooldown, Slow Cast
Rating - 2/5 Nice damage, but by the time you lay it and it explodes, you're either taking serious damage or the mobs are running away.

Molecular Self-Assembly - Tier 1 Slotted Passive Energy Regen
This skill returns energy whenever any power comes off of cooldown. While this power may be useful, there are better slotted passives for energy gain, at least until you have more skills with cooldowns.
Pro - Gadgeteering has a lot of cooldowns, so there is energy gain.
Con - Underwhelming for a slotted power.
Result - 2/5 You are better off getting a defensive or offensive passive power.

Nanobot Swarm - Tier 1 Self Buff
Nanobot Swarm is a skill that can be used every 60 seconds to reduce the current cooldown of all your other skills by 30 seconds.
Pro - Refreshes most gadgeteering skills
Con - Doesn't help very short or no cooldown skills
Result - 3/5 Nice skill for later, especially with active defensive skills, but early on is not necessary.

The Gadgeteer has a very strong power set right from the beginning. The major downside to playing a gadgeteer is the lack of defensive powers. However, very strong AoE and a healthy cycle of skills can make this class entertaining.

Suggested Powers:
Level 1: Sonic Blaster, Gauntlet Chainsaw (instead of Experimental Blaster)
Level 5: Sonic Device
Level 8: Toxic Nanites or Munitions Bots
Level 11: Toxic Nanites or Munitions Bots
Level 14: Defensive Passive (out of set), Block power (out of set), or Orbital Cannon

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