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Post your top 3 ATs

I wanted to know what archetypes are most popular now at the end of 2022.
Please post your top 3 and maybe write a few words why you choose these ATs.
Thank you.


  • savetheplanetnowsavetheplanetnow Posts: 53 Arc User
    1. Savage
    2. Devastator
    3. Behemoth
  • nickcave33nickcave33 Posts: 34 Arc User
    1. Tempest
    2. Blazing
    3. Tenebrous or The gunslinger
  • miorummiorum Posts: 29 Arc User
    edited December 2022
    1. The Rockstar (Tank)
    It has literally all-but-one thing that a good Tank needs: great Superstat choices, great recovery options, decent AoE *and* an Ultimate power. If you're the type of person who doesn't mind dealing slow-but-heavy hits while being able to take a ton of damage as a trade-off, then this one's your best bet. No interrupt power, but that only comes into play at end-game.

    2. The Fist (Melee Damage)
    Despite it being called 'The Fist' it can also attack with its feet. Decent Superstat choices, decent AoE. Downside is choosing between recovery OR a Threat Wipe ability. I have a Melee bias.

    3. The Soldier (Ranged Damage)
    This one's weirdly versatile thanks to the Abilities and Advantages those get. I guess it's kind of weird to be in a superhero setting and your "superpower" is "Gun. Sometimes more gun.", but at the end you can choose to use a Rocket Launcher... and causing collateral damage is what heroes do.
    In-game, I'm The_Kef -- ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It's amazing: we're all still here.
  • thisiscraftaaathisiscraftaaa Posts: 72 Arc User
    edited December 2022
    So, apparently this was something like one and three fifths times the character count limit for a post, so I'm just going to split my list up into three different posts and keep it relatively neat. I'd like to disclaim that my statements regarding going full R9s is based off more of a blend of what I've seen people bother with since I'm not the type who can afford to spend five hundred dollars per character, having way too many of the things myself and not exactly having enough money to burn two lifetime subs on one character on this game or the motivation to do so, and my own lack of regard for minmaxing nearly obsessively enough to script my own spreadsheets and calculate the nearest optimal split of different stats, from gear and mods and specs and all, per character. I don't have the interest or motivation to spend that much time for an increase of two or three percent performance, or to spend that much money for another ten or twenty percent higher performance, half of which is also adhering to a very strict meta of what exact powers to use for every single character. The same exact powers. And the same exact gear. And the same exact mods. Though fortunately, for those out there that care, it's easy enough to find those mixtures! Plenty of people can tell you, and you can always parse some Cosmics and get a solid handle as well. That, of course, is not what I'm here to talk about; I'm merely explaining my take on why I'd gear the three following ATs the way I would instead of adhering to something more exacting and specific.

    With that said! Here we go. Staggered a few minutes apart each just in case; don't want to accidentally trip any spam filters. Not that I... even know there are any, but I'd assume there are!

    1. Mind

    Depending on your personal experiences with the game, your response to this pick is absolutely going to be either "damn straight!" or "what the hell is wrong with you?!" and there's... probably no in-between there. And firstly, I will grant you this: the Mind is actually a very flawed healer AT. It lacks Con as a secondary, has no built-in self-rez or rez-other and has to rely on clunky or time-consuming-to-grind-for devices to make up for that lack, and while it has a decent single-target heal (or a choice of two decent single-target heals) it almost completely lacks AoE healing outside an adv on Psionic Healing which isn't good and Mental Leech for Dependency which is centered in very close range on an enemy target, applies slowly initially, heals for less than most traditional AoE heals and only heals one person at a time, but okay, hear me out on this.

    Firstly, all the support/healer ATs (sort-of excluding The Witch) are varying degrees of scuffed. I'm not going to go into detail on using the healing side of hybrid ATs, but for that, just trust me on the fact that the Void is just a worse (and older) Tenebrous, and the Grimoire is actually decent in most content but suffers both from the curse of hybrid-role AoPM and from lacking a dedicated single-target heal, though it has good utility and it's got the best (at least in my experience, since drains heal for less and require you to aim them at an enemy with a specific debuff for best use but give you full mobility while using them instead of self-rooting you) maintained heal in the game, strong enough that in most situations you wouldn't even need a single-target heal because of it.

    The Radiant is milquetoast to the max though still a very good healer as far as ATs go, having a good AoE heal and a tolerable-ish single-target heal (with 100' range, and that's worth noting,) a choice between weak healing+defense sigils and a self-rez circle, a rez-other as a forced power, an... eh?... ult, and some very light CCing capabilities. Very straightforward, absolutely not a gamechanger but I absolutely would not complain if I had to work with a Radiant running through most content, though with a lack of AoPM or AoAC and no Con secondary, as well as questionable single-target healing, I don't think it'd be reliable at the utmost extreme of something like TT, not for a solo-healer run, though for double-healer or for any less-overtuned content, it'd be good.
    The Inventor is an actual crime against both God and Man, and we do not acknowledge its existence as it is the worst support AT in existence.
    The Witch has some crazy CCing shenanigans going on and wild utility, being... honestly, almost perfect as far as healing ATs go if you ask me. A few tweaks, a few unnecessary powers swapped out, and it'd be perfect. It has Constitution as a secondary, it can lean into Venomous Breath along with all its other CC powers for Sentinel Mastery shenanigans or lean into Sigils of Ebon Weakness for shutting down large crowds of mobs, it's got a self-rez and a rez-other and it has that ranged heal/drain cheese going on; it's only real weakness is a lack of dedicated single-target healing and some healing-specific utilities like a Dependency applier, Bionic Shielding and the likes. It even has Aura of Arcane Clarity, which meta DPSes love because it actually pads most of their parses hard, unlike other auras. I'd honestly put it here instead if I wasn't partial to the more... shall we say "wacky funny quirky bizarre" playstyle of The Mind.
    The Blazing, I... honestly cannot speak for since I've kind-of redacted the existence of fire healing from my mind, and I've been told by other people it's good but have also been told by other (admittedly different) people that Inventor is a strong support because it "heals even when you aren't pushing any buttons" so I'm just not going to address it.
    Lastly, The Tenebrous falls into a similar niche to The Witch, albeit it is (at least if you ask me) mostly worse. No Con secondary, a self-rez but no rez-other, almost no CC shenanigans in favor of more traditional "look at me ma, I have DPS powers, I'm helping!" AT clutter, but it does have a strong AoE heal in the form of Lifedrain bolstered by Harbinger and effortless Fear application, as well as an (admittedly mostly redundant because drain-heal) Active Defense. No aura, but it could be much, much worse. Looking at you, Inventor! And of course, it can apply Dependency through Soul Vortex, which otherwise as far as healers go only the Mind can do, and the Void if you count hybrid ATs. (But again, the Void is just a weaker Tenebrous anyways.)

    Secondly, Aura of Radiant Protection is good. I'm going to be blunt, our devs talk about how current auras are overpowered but then they always talk about how crazy-strong Aura of Primal Majesty is, and I don't get it. Aura of Primal Majesty mostly just makes bad builds not suck as badly (while being more beneficial in general than the rather-underpowered-except-for-making-tanks-go-crazy Aura of Ebon Destruction,) but for anything pushing high into diminishing returns, which is almost every single good build in existence, it's mostly just something that gives you more breathing room with energy and a slight boost to survivability. Aura of Radiant Protection is something where only tanks, and specifically defense/health tanks at that, suffer from the diminishing returns. It's been a while since I bothered looking at an AoRP in high-end gear, but you're probably looking at something between 120% and 160% defense for your allies, and since the way Def% works is ID / (1 + Def%) = DT where ID is incoming damage before your Def% (and technically other layers that don't matter to this statement) and DT is damage taken, you're dividing incoming damage by half if not more for up to nineteen of your chums in semi-close proximity, and giving yourself a smaller but still significant bonus. And in most, most situations, mobs shouldn't be looking at you for long if at all, compared to DPSes and tanks, and even tanks will enjoy the extra defense, but for DPSes and other healers, they'll love having more than twice the survivability. Anyone out there who's an aggro-magnet of a player can attest to that. Defense is absolutely a force multiplier for healing, and if you ask me, people sleep on AoRP. If you have AoRP, then even if you're not doing well with healing output yourself, you're making it much, much easier for everyone to survive just by proxy of jacking their EHP up to the heavens. Actually, if I might be blunt, right now, I'll raise the fact that The Witch and The Mind are incredibly complimentary in my experience, and pair together very well for squeezing two healers into one place for any reason whatsoever, assuming you're excluding FF healers typing gibberish in Zone while mashing Iniquity.

    Thirdly, outside of the aforementioned Iniquity, which drastically outperforms everything else in exchange for eating health rather than energy, the Mind does have access to the single best single-target heal in the game. Depending on how you look at it, you could say it has access to the single best energy-burning single-target heal in the game, which makes it safer to use than Iniquity, even if Iniquity outperforms everything else that badly. What am I talking about, you ask? Psionic Healing. It's got 50' range but puts out slightly more healing than other sustained or charge-up heals, with a particular niche: it takes ages to charge up (3s charge + 0.5s activation) but can put out a massive, and I repeat, massive burst of healing all at once. And let me just say, seeing ginormous crits of 20k+ of the funny green number? That's fun. Psionic Healing is best used preemptively, when you see something coming or know a fight well and start charging it up just in time to let it loose when your target of choice suddenly drops down low. "Backloading" healing that way is effective in the same way "backloading" damage can be for things like Teleiosuarus DPS checks, though in using Psionic Healing, you need to be careful; you don't have fast on-demand healing and you can be knocked or CC'd out of charging up a heal, which is bad since that runs the risk of letting someone else in your party die. It's risky but rewarding, and does require that you, for a lack of better words, "git gud" as it were. It also synergizes with a friendly Witch because of AoAC reducing charge time, would you look at that. Your alternative is Empathic Healing, which starts with much lower healing and winds up towards the end of its maintain, like a less-mentally-deranged healing version of Pulse Beam Rifle, and which roots you in place while aiming it at someone else but lets you run and jump around if you use it on yourself, contrasting Psionic Healing rooting you in place regardless. It is, unlike Psionic, limited to 50', which is worth noting. No matter which you use, the Mind has access to a choice between Ego Sprites and Mental Leech at level 6. Always pick Mental Leech. Dependency doesn't scale off Mental Leech's rank, and in 90% of situations, a tank will be in melee range and benefit from Dependency's trickle-healing, which while not nearly as strong as dedicated healing, was clearly intended to tide a tank over while Psionic or Empathic Healing ramps up.

    Fourthly, the Mind is arguably the best AT for CCing precisely. The Witch was clearly intended to be better, what with having the actual CCer Toggleform as an option instead of Compassion, not to mention Constitution as a secondary, but from what I've seen of both and been told of both? The Mind is better suited for "mandatory" CC segments; namely Kigatilik's hounds and Qwyjibo's hearts. In this situation, the Mind can keep these pinned down, even if it's a bit finnicky due to the AT's Con-less low health pool (which AoRP's diminished bonus towards self in support role only partially makes up for.) Despite the Witch having the dedicated CCer Toggleform as an option, from what I've seen and been told at least, and I'll keep this short since I readily admit to currently having almost no experience with proper/Cosmic CCing, the Witch is self-sabotaging, and and tends to throw off its own rhythm with the DoTs it applies to things with practically everything it does; intended to whittle down and kill whatever it CCs or have others do that for them, which doesn't work when something's supposed to be CC'd without being killed. Take that with a grain of salt; and do note that the Witch is still better for just going ham with Sentimastery (which isn't to say the Mind isn't good with Sentimastery too; more just good for using it on a single heavy target instead of harrying an entire room with it.)

    Fifthly and finally, and another strong note of personal preference; the Mind is... efficient, as an AT. There are three choices of different powers you can pick, and two of them are no-brainers (Mental Leech instead of Ego Sprites, Ego Storm instead of Summon Nightmare,) while for Psionic Healing versus Empathic Healing, I'd say Psionic is better but both are plenty usable and have their own strengths and weaknesses, but beyond those, every single power here has its uses. Many ATs have a lot of dead space where quite a few different powers, you'll never reasonably use or won't ever have the spec points to use properly. The Mind? Just don't rank Mental Leech at all because 99% of that power is the PBAoE healing debuff on enemies you hit it with, which doesn't scale with rank. Everything else? R2 it, or sometimes R2+Adv. R3 both travel powers or R3+Adv one and keep the other at R1. You have room and reason both to use three different CC powers, a shield, a single-target heal, a Dependency applier and a Blast (even if you wouldn't be using quite all of those exactly in that way on something that's been meta'd straight into the depths of hell itself.) And, if I might be brutally honest? The lack of self-rez and rez-other can be partially fixed with devices that provide self-rez and rez-other capabilities, and in an optimal situation, nobody ever dies in the first place. That's not to say that if anyone dies, you're utter trash at your job, or they're braindead fodder who should uninstall the game and go back to playing fortnite and eating legos and glue, despite what... some individuals might say. But ideally? In a perfect or near-perfect scenario, nobody dies. Sure, you want to always take a self-rez and rez-other on a FF healer, but you aren't going to ruin the game for everyone if you play the Mind and can't pick up everyone who dies instantly; you just have to put more effort into being preventative about it, and make sure that neither yourself nor anyone else dies in the first place, and trust that your team is capable of doing their part in staying alive.

    My personal recommendation for Mind: https://aesica.net/co/herocreator.htm?v=38&n=Mind&d=Q6850P6VZOgi063013G000G105G500MC03GH03OC00G703FE03GC00FN03GL05GN03000000000mTP04LV05RS60000000000&e=

    Gear rule of thumb: Personally, the way I do healers? Or at the bare minimum, healers with auras? I stack entirely Pre. Pre all the way. The only exception is if I'm running some sort of weird, jumbled-up pseudo-healer pseudo-DPS in which case I'll blend Pre and Dex, or if I'm taking a healer up into some nasty content like Therakiel's Temple in which case I'll be mixing Pre and Con for the extra survivability necessary to not get instantly obliterated in such a place as a healer. So, starting out, in either stock/throwaway 40s (blue 40 primaries and a green 40 utility primary,) you're going for Presence all the way. For your secondaries, depending on how comfortable you feel, you're going to... ugh... have to stat something that isn't a Superstat. Either pure Presence, or splitting Presence/Constitution, I'd say. Probably R5s in your primaries through and through to start with; all Pre mods like I said but beyond that either a Sentinel's Brooch (a direct boost of healing) or Growth Amulet (more PSS, which is Presence, so stronger aura and slightly stronger heals) in your offense piece, a Growth Amulet (more health) in your defense piece, and really any throwaway mod you'd like in your utility piece since you won't be strapped for energy, but probably a Gambler's Lucky Gem to start with just to play it safe. Once you move up, you're probably running either Justice for a slightly stronger aura and healing or Distinguished for moderately more survivability, and have moved onto a mixture of Onslaught and Determination (once again the holy meta of Onslaught Gloves (of the Savior this time,) Onslaught Tights of Fitness and Bolstering Eyepiece of Determination.) R7s in primaries, R5s in secondaries, all Presence mods in primaries while your secondaries, depending on just how much you're flirting with more scary content like Therakiel's Temple as well as how confident you feel in yourself, might be pure Presence, or split Pre/Con, or even pure Con. That established, you're probably running any combination of Sentinel's Brooches and Growth Amulets in your primary offense, and then just purely Growth Amulets in your primary defense, and whatever throwaway mods you feel like in your primary utility (though now, Impact Prisms might be more ideal, or an Impact Prism and a Veteran's Core if you're a lifetimer or long-time subscriber.) At that point, you're already fully fit to handle the entire game. Once you push up to the R9s, if you bother minmaxing and going that far? Still Justice or Distinguished primaries, but you're looking at Eidolon secondaries, which means R9s in both your primaries and secondaries. Probably triple Growth Amulets or triple Sentinel's Brooches for your primary + secondary offense, two Growth Amulets and a Brilliance for your primary + secondary offense, and a Qliphothic Energies (for the flex) and two Impact Prisms in your primary + secondary offense (or Qliphothic Energies, an Impact Prism and a Veteran's Core.)

    Devices: Healers in general really aren't that hard-pressed for devices, though there are always ones that are absolutely worth taking if you are bothering with devices.
    Become Doomlord and Become Celestial cover your rezzing for Mind as well as any build, FF or AT, that doesn't have a rez-other but you still want a rez-other on, though with their semi-lengthy cooldowns, you're not exactly going to be popping in and out of your Become a lot to rez people, so do note you're using that one sparingly.
    The Phoenix Tear device requires you to have, to my understanding/according to the scuffed in-game tooltip that may or may not be horribly broken, acquired 1000 of any one of the three primary Recognition types (UNTIL, Silver, Gold,) and costs 750GCR to obtain, making it probably one of the least-used but decidedly useful devices around; you can self-rez with this device at the cost of 3 GCR per use; it has an incredibly low cooldown for a self-rez otherwise and provides you a hefty energy spike upon rezzing as well as health and energy regen (60% over 6 seconds) making it that much better than regular self-rezzes, and debatable on whether it's better than Rebirth or not. That said? Phoenix Tear is your go-to for a self-rez device if you want to be able to pick yourself back up all on your own.
    Triumphant Recovery as an alternative to Phoenix Tear; a consumable self-rez that instantly refills your health and energy but is, well, consumable, and comes very limitedly from, if I recall correctly, the Level (XX) Supply Kit, which scales up from 10 to 40 the more you open it and I thiiink? is only available to subscribers/Lifetimers. Otherwise available in tradable form from the Boosts section of the Zen store, for a price of 400 for 4 or 800 for 10. Rather overpriced; mostly just a luxury that the people who spend several hundred a month on the game care about since Phoenix Tear is... well, better.
    Ice Grenades, Banishment and similar devices, and triply so Psionic Accelerator are good for having extra CCing to keep groups of mobs pinned down; the latter useful to such a degree that even some ranged DPSes use it, and it's also, to my knowledge, considered mandatory for CCing at Cosmics.
    Draysha Gas Pistol, distinct from Draysha Supercharge in that instead of making you 'roid out but killing you if you don't turn it off within 20 seconds, Draysha Gas Pistol just buffs the damage of up to five of your chums for three minutes straight when you hit them with it.
    Cupid's Arrow, which buffs the maximum health and energy of one player you hit with it by 5% for 5 minutes. Obviously, you slap the tank with this so they can be tankier. Very nice, this one sparks joy.
    Beyond that, you're looking at slot fillers, really. Other more throwaway healing devices like Nimbus of Force and trickle-heals like Necrullitic Elixir that let you not have to pay quite as much attention to yourself, panic devices like the Heroic/Lifetimer healing devices and Experimental Artificial Life Injection, minor survivability-centric conveniences like Feline Metabolic Serum and/or Amazing Grace, pet devices and Sidekick devices, and other little utilities. If you're expecting to be attacked frequently, and have a source of Sentinel Mastery application, especially multiple or an extremely reliable/easy-to-use one like one of several different cone maintains (namely Electrical Current, Venomous Breath and Flamethrower, none of which Mind has but this will be relevant to you for other healers, both ATs and FFs alike) you can use a reflect device such as PRIMUS Sparkshield to proc self-heals en masse.
    Post edited by thisiscraftaaa on
    Defender save my soul, for I have sinned...
  • thisiscraftaaathisiscraftaaa Posts: 72 Arc User
    2. Soldier

    Yes, yes, the Soldier. There's a whole heap of higher-parsing DPS ATs I could pull from. Why not Disciple, which is already (almost) meta built? Or Predator, for effectively the same reason? Why not something more flexible and newbie-friendly, like Devastator or Wrecker, who are pretty decently set up for tankiness by DPS AT standards? Well, hear me out.

    Firstly, it's the nature of DPS ATs to be drastically outshined by FF DPSes, far more than tanks or supports. Personally, I think tanks are outshined the least there while DPSes are outshined the most, because tanking is the most influenced by just raw gear while DPS is influenced the most by picking specific powers, and sure, if you really want to be "the best" then you have to use specific pieces of gear in full R9s, a tray of only the most optimal devices for your build, and usually one of the few select "best" builds (usually melee) since anything else falls behind drastically in performance. The difference is, a tank is in a position to stack mostly Con on their gear, build for survivability, throw on Confronts and use, blimey, any good R3 attack power on its own and be fine. Even better if it's R2 with whatever specific setup it requires, like Massacre with a bleed+shredded refresher on the side and something to apply initial bleeds, or Annihilate with anything reliably applying Clinging Flames (of which there are a myriad of good options there; I and most people I know go for Incendiary Grenade for obvious reasons.) For a DPS? Well gee whillickers mister, you aren't running specifically Massacre or Burning Chi Fist plus Eviscerate and Reaper's Embrace with Vorpal Blade ult and Will Of The Tiger Cub plus Draysha Supercharge plus Neuroelectric Pulse Generator plus Anagogic Aspect and one other thing I'm forgetting off the top of my head (so let's just say a PRIMUS Sparkshield for some free damage (which is score, and score is all that matters in life) against ape and dino) in devices? Specifically Str/Dex/End Dex-stacked with full Justice R9 Onslaught R5, a Veteran's Core in one of your defensive core slots and a Brilliance in the other, a DUC and a R9 Coruscating Might in your offense primary and an Unarmed/Bestial damage core and 1H-Blade damage core in your utility primary? Well you must not care about the game and you clearly hate the game and it's totally because you're not as good as me at the game, loooser! You're the reason your parents got a divorce, quit the game and go die in a ditch where you belong! Yada yada, I'm sure you've heard that before if you've played this game for more than a few weeks.

    Soldier is, at least personally to me, an AT that doesn't care jack about that. While Targeting Computer is godlike for tech powers, Assault Rifle is always going to be outpaced by Two Gun Mojo within muni alone, let alone things like Soul Beam, Defile, the entirety of PA (for now, that'll get nerfed some time in the future,) Force Cascade even post-nerf and the likes competing with or else surpassing that, to say nothing of many other sets having ranged options that match it well as it is. So, what does Soldier have? Well, it's Ego/Dex/Rec with a toggleform that scales with Ego or Int, so clearly you're going Ego-stacked, which isn't as high-damage as Str/Dex/??? Dex-stacked for melee or Ego/Dex/??? Dex-stacked for ranged, but does more than well enough unless you're score-chasing. Running Vindicator/Avenger, it is admittedly in a bit of a weird spot specs-wise (Vindicator/Guardian would be better here) where the specs seem to want to reward alternating between Shotgun Blast and... something else that does a big spike of damage in an AoE, in what is essentially a Force Cascade-esque setup, but Sniper Rifle's damage is low even without losing a rank for its AoE advantage, Rocket Launcher has a long cooldown and serves a better use quickly building Furious stacks going into a fight, Shotgun Blast itself is best used to refresh Furious and keep Armor Piercing up on single targets, usually bosses.

    Ultimately, what you're meant to be doing is that: using Rocket with Red Hot Fury for your initial Furious application, Shotgun Blast with Breaching Round and Armor Piercing to refresh that and apply some defpen, and Assault Rifle with R2 and Uncompromising plus Frag Grenade at R3 for your single-target damage, while your AoE damage is mostly just Rocket (which needs Red Hot Fury, and so is probably either R2'd or running Scorched Ground) and Submachinegun Burst at R3 (or R2+Wall of Bullets if you don't trust healers as far as you can throw them.) It does hurt to have to choose between Lock 'N' Load and Smoke Grenade, but in most situations, you don't really need a threat wipe per-se, so generally, you want Smoke Grenade with Escape Artist if you ever, ever plan on running Eidolon or Therakiel's Temple, and if you plan on running Cosmics in general, as well as Lairs other than Therakiel's Temple, it's still highly recommended that you take that. Otherwise, if you aren't touching those, you can take Lock 'N' Load instead. A bit counterintuitive to lose out on a tiny bit of extra damage for dealing with harder content, I know, but that's more down to how ATs really, really aren't built optimally, which is intentional; the game wants to strongarm you into buying FF slots or Lifetime (RIP Gold, you will be missed) after all.

    Soldier's single-target damage is quick, easy and convenient: using ranged maintains means positioning is easy for you, especially since Assault Rifle (much like Two Gun Mojo and Pulse Beam Rifle) doesn't self-root you while in use, and Submachinegun Burst likewise doesn't do so. (Unlike many other powers, both single-target and AoE, which lock you in place.) Here, you don't have to sacrifice damage to move, and you don't have to sacrifice movement/take unnecessary hits to do more damage. Running Ego-prime Ego-stacked with a comparatively low-cost powerset and an EU that, unsurprisingly, works just fine when you have Dex secondary floating around on top of Targeting Computer and some chance-increasing specs on top of whatever your gear is (which might have some extra Critical Strike or a little bit of Dex modding on top of what should be mostly Ego modding,) and you have an AT that doesn't have to constantly stop to catch its breath when geared right, even without any friendly AoPMs or AoACs around. Your AoE DPS is sorely lacking, noticeably, but that's a problem you'll only start to feel when running Lairs, and for those, it's highly recommended that you have a Psionic Accelerator device handy to keep some particularly feisty mobs (like literally anything Therakiel's Temple related) pinned down to pick off more steadily, or to give time for the tank to grab them, and other CC devices can also be beneficial, as can pet devices like Loyal Sidekicks for distracting some mobs. Not exactly optimal for the crowd-clearing, but again, for regular gameplay, it's not an issue, and for anything that's explicitly tuned towards minmaxers, well... if I might be blunt? At that point, either you have a strong-enough roster to grind Questionite to trade for Zen to get a FF slot or three with, or you've been around long enough to pick up a FF slot from one of the few giveaways there's been over the years. You can afford to build something more optimal than a Soldier, or any AT for that matter, and if not, Soldier is still more than good enough to work with with some careful finagling.

    Lastly, I'd like to make a simple point: Ego/Dex/Rec means you can sacrifice (probably) some cost discount for a little extra Defense if you need, and Targeting Computer gives you a little extra damage resistance against any mobs you've applied its effect to, and obtaining Holdout Shot early on, you do have an (admittedly slow, if more noticeable when used on low health) source of healing on demand, not to mention a tiny bit of passive healing whenever you take damage from Furious applying a small trickle-heal in response. (It used to be 150 points twice, now it's 300 points twice, neither of which was/is (and neither of which can be) affected at all by any sources of healing strength.) These numbers are tiny, I get it. Healers heal ten times as much with a single button-press. PvPers running buggy and heavily-tuned gimmick builds see it all as just one brick in the wall. Sentimastery tanks feeding themselves ten thousand points of health a second... are probably too busy running screaming from Black Fang to give it much thought admittedly, but yes, my point: those seem like tiny numbers, but those are sustain. They're extra chip healing and on-demand healing you can use in solo play, and that you can use so the healer you're with doesn't have to multitask as hard and split their focus as much or waste unnecessary time on you if you're somewhat damaged but still at passable levels of health, as well as dragging things out further while turtling behind your (R3 specifically, always R3 unless you know for a fact you can get away with less, or are a dodge tank) block. Without Con to hide behind, I personally believe Soldier is a good AT because of all I've just described: it's simultaneously easy to use getting into it but forces its player to pick up basic elements of resource management without having to spend too much focus on unnecessary complexities like overly-complicated builds, energy management when energy is a naturally sluggish thing due to how janky energy builders are and 90% of builds when geared right never have to worry about energy at all even on their own if you have a good rotation, and more. Of course, resource management, in a game centered around getting as much value out of very limited spans of time as possible (like most MMOs really) is a very, very good thing to know how to do.

    Having said all that, this is my personal recommendation for Soldier: https://aesica.net/co/herocreator.htm?v=38&n=Soldier&d=85270K25cIKW06301081008A0385059903A800870KJD038R098E008N048J038I0H000000000Cqn0CAT0EB650000000000&e=

    Gear rule of thumb: Go ham on Ego. You're probably running, as I've described once already and will definitely describe again for my third AT on the list, random/starter level 40 blue primaries with a random level 40 green primary that happen to match your Ego stacking, and the cheap starter level 40 purples that drop randomly from level 40 mobs or can be bought for 15 SCR each from the GCR vendor. Just slap mods in those primaries, probably R4s or R5s to start with through and through. Go all Ego, all the way. You don't need a single bit of Rec if you're playing these right, and let your secondaries (Ego/Dex split-stat) feed you a little extra Dex for crit chance. A Severity Core (which doesn't need to be beyond R3 here) in your primary offense, or a Gambler's Lucky Gem, and then a Growth Amulet for your primary defense, and your choice of a Gambler's Lucky Gem for energy cost, an Impact Prism for lowered cooldowns on powers that have them (which is better for DPS but doesn't help your energy costs,) or an ASCII's Precision (probably R3 here but you can bump it to R5 if you need to) for extra damage. Once "fully geared up" (as fully as you consider anything that costs less than five hundred US dollars to make) you're probably running full Justice and full Onslaught. At this point, I'm going to be blunt; I've seen people launch into multi-hour arguments with each-other both in Zone and on certain Discords (people share funny screenshots with me, it's great) in regards to exactly how much of your toggleform superstat you should get to before you start branching out into others; arguments that invariably spiraled out into all sides hurling insults, and then racial slurs, accusations of attempting to kill the game by "misleading lesser players," repeated spamming of "parse against me bro, I'm better than you, I'll parse higher" and similar such posturing. I completely ignore all of these and stick to the braindead simple method of "all Toggleform stat in primaries, split Toggleform + non-energy secondary-superstat in secondaries," and it works so well for me that, surprise surprise, things die when I shoot them! Who knew?! Someone could probably squeeze an extra one or two percent DPS out of really, really going crazy with spreadsheets figuring out the exact optimal balance down to the individual point, only to then have to do it three dozen more times depending on exactly how many points a friendly AoPM is giving them, but for all practical purposes, just knowing "make your whole build revolve around stacking your Toggleform's stat really high" is a good idea in 90% of situations is more than enough. Buuut I'm getting sidetracked, so let me digress. At the "R7 level" you're running the gear I just described. At this point, probably Ego R7s in your primaries and Ego/Dex R5s in your secondaries. Definitely Justice primaries, and Onslaught secondaries are the best by far at this point (the Sniper gloves, Fitness tights, and Speed mask are your ideal pick for DPS and survivability both.) You're running probably any mixture of Growth Amulets, Gambler's Lucky Gems, and potentially a Severity Core in your offense primary, two Growth Amulets in your secondaries, and then an ASCII's Precision and an Impact Prism in your utility primary. If you have a Veteran's Core, you're putting it in your utility primary instead of the Impact Prism if you care about survivability, or replacing one of your defense primary's Growth Amulets with it if you crave DPS. At the "R9 level," you're still running Justice and Onslaught. If you had a good ult to use and/or were running a ranged build that likes to closely hug its target, like a 2GM build or any build that's dropping Sigils, then Eidolon gear would be more useful to you, but you have no ult and your powers don't need you snuggling up into melee range so Onslaught (especially with eyes on Sniper gloves) will still be your best pick. Still R5 Ego/Dex dual-stat in those. Still Justice, since Justice/Distinguished is BiS for DPS/survivability respectively. R9 Ego mods ahoy for these, and a Depleted Uranium Core and R9 Coruscating Might in the offense piece, a Brilliance and R9 Growth Amulet (or potentially Veteran's Core) in the defense piece, and an ASCII's Precision R9 and Impact Prism R9 (or potentially Veteran's Core) (or potentially Qliphothic Energies for the flex) in the utility piece.

    Devices: Anything of your choice, as ranged damage isn't nearly as demanding as melee damage on using specific devices, and many ATs aren't going to line up with what happen to be meta damage devices directly. Generic "free extra damage" devices like Draysha Supercharge and Target Locked will always have a place here, as will passive pet-spawner devices like Anagogic Aspect or Cerebro-Stimulator, and pet/summon devices or Sidekick devices can always fill the void too. Self-healing devices are hard to go wrong with in general, but especially as an AT that doesn't have access to Resurgence as a panic button. If tackling Lairs, something like Psionic Accelerator is very, very high on your "want" list. If you're really pushing yourself, then a travel device power might fit here, but as a ranged DPS, you are probably the least likely out of any role to need one (whereas melee DPSes care about them the most, and healers and tanks can go either way.)
    Defender save my soul, for I have sinned...
  • thisiscraftaaathisiscraftaaa Posts: 72 Arc User
    3. Glacier

    If the current PTS patch notes are anything to go by, the devs want to take away Glacier's ability to do the tanking portion of Cosmic tanking entirely. As it stands right now, though, I'd say Glacier and Rockstar compete for the position of "best tank AT," and while Rockstar has much better specs for tanking (str/con/??? protector-warden is currently the best for tanking hands-down) Glacier is the only ranged tank freely available to Silvers without having to unlock via spending, Q-grinding or events, and on top of that, is the only tanking AT at all that has access to an Interrupt, which is an annoyingly necessary little tidbit for tanks explicitly because of Kigatilik. Beyond that, Glacier honestly just has good utility for general play. Con/End/Ego Invuln with Guardian/Protector (soon to be nerfed to Overseer/Protector unless ye olde devs change their mind on that) means that while Glacier isn't going to be soaking hits as well as something more optimal (hello there Rockstar) and needs babying at Kiga and a soak at Qwyjibo and Teleiosaurus, it still serves perfectly fine in the triple-tank ball at Eido, and can handle anything less than those solo just fine if geared right. Invuln + a wide, easy-to-aim low-to-moderate-damage AoE in Frost Breath means Glacier is good for sweeping up groups of mobs and keeping them pinned down, while using exclusively ranged attacks means it doesn't suffer extreme existential suffering when going up against bosses like Therakiel's Temple Valerian Scarlet and all versions of ASCII Oakley who constantly backpedal out of melee range. Its spread of powers is, admittedly, questionable; Unbreakable at level 30 means Ice Barrier (an objectively poorer AD) at level 35 is worthless and you'd be better off taking Ice Burst, and the choice between Shatter and Icy Embrace is a no-brainer since as tempting as Shatter spam could be for aggro you need an Energy Unlock to keep going unless you have both an AoPM and AoAC glued to your backside at the same time, which almost never happens, and in most situations just R3+Challenge Frost Breath is enough to grab crowds of mobs long enough for DPSes to do their jobs if, again, you're geared correctly. Your choice for aggro on bosses usually boils down to, at least to my understanding, Ice Blast R3+Challenge or Avalanche R2+Serrated Shards+Challenge, the latter of which is only even remotely viable if you 3/3 Find The Mark in Guardian; otherwise Ice Blast pulls ahead in most-any situation. (Avalanche still burns much more energy than Ice Blast though, which is worth noting when you're a tank and are inherently energy-challenged unless running with specific powersets, which ice definitely is not one of.)

    All in all, Glacier is, while not the tankiest tank in the books, still a strong contender for tanking that, I personally feel, is only outdone by Rockstar, and is quite simple to use if a bit low on aggro given how it's set up. Here's to hoping the coming patches don't make Glacier unusable for Cosmics and Lairs, since right now it's a good Cosmic tank and, at least in my personal opinion, the best TT tank AT.

    My recommendation for Glacier, which might not be relevant for very long according to the PTS: https://aesica.net/co/herocreator.htm?v=38&n=Glacier&d=93850O35NQXi06301050005116550K9A03530JA800560359035A009K035B0B5F00000000002JhD3Svt0rWq30000000000&e=

    Gear rule of thumb: Stack Con up into the heavens. My personal go-to, and what I've seen many tanks do, is to stack pure Con on primaries, and then Con+Toggleform (in this case, Con+Ego) on secondaries, which will likely just be the 15-SCR secondaries that can also drop from random mooks to start with (while your starter primaries will probably just be cheap starter blues and a starter green utility, unless you go for a basic set like Fortuitous or Vikorin, or splurge and go Heroic,) running R5s to start with. Go for Confront(s) (or Icy Grasps) in your offense primary, Growth Amulet(s) in your defense primary, and likely a Gambler's Lucky Gem in your utility primary for cheaper powers or a Kigatilik's Wrath (recommended R5 for helping with aggro.) Once you're in Distinguished and Onslaught+Determination, you're probably running double Confronts (or Icy Grasps,) double Growth Amulets, and a Growth Amulet or Gambler's Lucky Gem and a Kigatilik's Wrath, as well as full Constitution mods, while your secondaries are, almost guaranteed, an OV Defender's Glove, OV Tights of Fitness, and Bolstering Eyepiece of Determination, likely running Con/Ego split-stat R5s. You're likely (and ideally) running full R7s in your primaries, here, and your secondaries, R5s. At the utmost upper limit, if you push from R7s to R9s, then you're likely looking at Distinguished primaries still, but full Eidolon secondaries (even though you don't have an ult for them to benefit off of,) which means triple Confronts (or Icy Grasps,) double R9 Growth Amulets and a Brilliance, and a Kigatilik's Wrath R9 plus, at this point, really any two utility slot mods of your choice since you aren't really hard-pressed for energy at this point; probably a Qliphothic Energies for the flex as one of them though.) If you're a Lifetimer and have a Veteran's Core, then you're definitely using that instead of a R7/R9 throwaway energy mod in your utility primary for the second and third mentions.

    Devices: Reflect devices. Always, always reflect devices. As a tank, you are the bulwark. You benefit from anything that reduces enemy damage or punishes it directly. To that end, your first device will always, always be a PRIMUS Sparkshield or equivalent device (Thorn Shield, and the reflect device Talisman drops that I forget the name of are both just as good, and merely do differing damage types) and anything else is likely going to be either an emergency heal (like the Heroic/Subscription devices,) an emergency defense boost like Experimental Artificial Life Injection, a passive defense-boosting device like Inborn Tenacity, Anagogic Aspect, Voltanic Potential, Elder Worm Humidity Dome or others, or something that lets you replace/get rid of a power slot, like Banishment or Terak Generator for Toxic/Electric tanks respectively, though sadly, Glacier doesn't have anything that really works for that here. If in melee range, devices like Pestilent Cloud or especially Neuroelectric Pulse Generator are popular picks for tanks to generate extra aggro for very little effort if any at all, though at range, these are worthless to you. Target Locked does give a short spike of extra aggro to tanks when used, which is worth noting, and works at all ranges.
    Defender save my soul, for I have sinned...
  • renegade0renegade0 Posts: 97 Arc User
    I could never get into the ATs. When they took away the ability to pay monthly, I stopped playing the game entirely until they gave away a free Free Form slot for the first time. Then I'd play my old gold character only. Then when they gave away the second one, I played my current main. then eventually got the life time.

    I played a bunch of different ATs during one of the Training Program events so i could unlock those emotes. Out of all the ones I tried out, i think the only one I can even remember was which ever one uses a bow and arrow. I liked how the attacks feel I guess. But it just makes me want to make a freeform that uses the bow, lol.
  • bringmeaslabbringmeaslab Posts: 183 Arc User
    1. Hexslinger. It actually has the core of what you might use for a freefrom of its set, along w/ resurg, Int prim, and a TW.

    2. Nothing. The others are all pretty much bullshit w/ purposeful build problems to try to motivate FF sales.
  • metalheart#4270 metalheart Posts: 1,055 Arc User
    edited December 2022
    I like the three mehs. Impulse, Savage and Inventor. Not the greatests but fun to observe I guest.

    The thing about ATs is you need to understand the roles and limits of these. They don't all need to be equal but gives you a sample of what building should be like. For example. We have Batman and Superman on the same team. It is unfair for Superman but they work together well.

    If I'd advise three to purchase I'd say Samurai, Invincible and Rockstar are pretty decent. They are sexy tanks with decent survivability. Might be easier for a new play to you to solo 'some' contents. You should know when to block and how to manipulate the battlefield to your benefit.

    But don't stop there, get a sidekick and devices. Supernatural Possession, Nimbus of Force and Demonic Flesh Graft provides extra healing and defence. Psionic Accelerator is a good crowd control. Teleiosaurus Pheromones for extra hit. Fists of Complmiance great for tanks.

    Lifetime sub is way better though.
    Post edited by metalheart#4270 on
    nJ54tmw.gifThis Is The Ghetto Gothix
  • savetheplanetnowsavetheplanetnow Posts: 53 Arc User
    Well, to all who said FF is the only thing. Please consider that every power belongs to an AT. And even a FF needs to stay within a category (or 2) to be competitive with endgame content.
    But in general the question was: What are your top 3 ATs and not tell us how bad ATs are.

    *Thank you @thisiscraftaaa for your detailed postings. Very helpful for new players which are overwhelmed with building a FF at the beginning.
  • nbkxsnbkxs Posts: 753 Arc User
    1. Hexslinger. It actually has the core of what you might use for a freefrom of its set, along w/ resurg, Int prim, and a TW.

    2. Nothing. The others are all pretty much bullshit w/ purposeful build problems to try to motivate FF sales.

    This is pretty much how it is, I just call them garbo free trial - because that's what they are.

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