About construct weapon upgrade mechanism of Techpriest

7

With recent rework and  balance, we are excited to see that Techpriest has become quite charming, he now has various potential builds, is no longer weak at end game and fun to play.

 I feel, however,  some parts of current mechanisms are still keeping people away from this character:


1. You know it before I say , the construct weapon upgrade costs a lot, perhaps a little too much.

We need about 2000000 "Tech-fragment" to upgrade one single Lv125 construct weapon. 

We found the Valorius Heart map is perhaps the best place to gather this material. If we have 7000-8000 kills, that would be 25000-30000 materials. Which means, we need to fight for ~66-80 times to upgrade a single Lv125 weapon. That's a whole day.

(As a comparison, purging a 15+ large map in intel mission gives ~20000 materials, but usually slower than Valorius Heart)

I can only imagine what awaits before, perhaps 10 millions from Lv149 to Lv150 (300-400 Valorius Hearts) ? That's a little scary for even the most hard-core players.


2. Even if we're willing to pay the price (because indeed it is worth it, a Lv 125 weapon is ~3 times stronger than a Lv100 weapon), it is upsetting that the spent materials cannot be recovered, and the upgraded weapon cannot be shared across characters.

Consider that most game time is spent in season, the situation becomes a little unfair to Techpriest players: 

For each season we need to create new characters. 

For other characters, all the items could be shared and it is OK.

If they want to change their builds, they could just spend some resources to reroll the enchants, that's also OK.

But for Techpriest, once the materials are spent, it could never be recovered. He could neither cancel the upgrades and reuse the materials on other constructs, nor share the upgraded weapon across characters. 

In the long term, I can imagine I have several techpriests, each one has some upgraded constructs, but none of them could upgrade all the constructs (before I could do that, a new season comes). 

And if I have to delete one techpriest character (if I don't have enough character slots), that could be especially painful because I can't recover the resources spent......That is a sad future :(


Please consider these suggestions:

1. Make the construct weapon level shared across characters :

(but no higher than each character's level,  say character A has a Lv130 construct weapon, when new character B is at Lv 20, the construct weapon would automatically be Lv20. When character B reaches Lv100, he would automatically get Lv130 weapon ).

2.  Add a feature , enabling people to cancel the upgrades and reuse the matrials on other construct weapons.


3. Reducing upgrade requirements, if possible. 

We love this game, but if an end game character takes several thousand hours to build, that would be too hard.


Still, I believe the first 2 suggestions are more important than simply reducing the upgrade requirements. (I could just be content with Lv130 weapons and pretend that the higher levels don't exist. )


Thanks !


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About construct weapon upgrade mechanism of Techpriest
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1 year 90 days ago
+1
aelix

I haven't really played in weeks, tbh. And my build is far from optimal - it manages to beat missions up to +18 to +20 without major issues and since tech fragments farming really requires missions around or a bit over +10, there's not much motivation for me to try min-maxing my build.


Anyway, like Distemper wrote, relic modules are the easiest way to slap some AoE on your single target constructs. The ones below are what you will be looking for (click for a larger version):


However, while running a vivisector build gives you the awesome advantage of having to level up only one weapon (saving you a HUGE grind in later stages), it also means you will not have much room for a more varied modules build. The best dps modules are generally the explode ones (they can literally tear the Soul Grinder to pieces in seconds if there are enough mobs around him) and the 'x% damage bonus for every debuff on the target' (max is 27% per debuff I think).



Most vivisector builds I've seen focus on the TA tanking, while ranged vivisectors do the damage. I haven't seen many melee vivisector builds, they're not very durable to withstand all the melee punishment (+random AoEs) at higher mission levels.


My build is 2x kataphron vanguards and 3x destroyers. I use 1 power axe + 1 greataxe (for variety and GA's extra melee AoE) and grav cannon + phosphor blaster for destroyers. Grav cannon is an absolute beast, tearing through mobs like hot knife through butter, and you can give it AoE (Mass Manipulation in the construct offense tree).


My TA is built as a back-line target designator and debuffer, while constructs do the real work. I use Noospheric targeting, Cull the Weak and Deversive tactics as perks. I don't think they're really optimal, but they're good enough for all the content I run, so I've never really bothered looking into them more deeply. With attributes I am now at 20/20/15.


As a debuffer, the best weapon for me is the plasma caliver alpha (beta for focusing bosses), since it hits enemies next to your target, allowing you to debuff whole groups of mobs in quick succession. You want all your gear rerolled to boost constructs, of course.


All doctrines are also +construct / physical / heat damage. Additional uncreator psalm per item (their effect doesn't stack in the same item) and then armour reducing ones for the annoying heavily armoured missions.


As for construct modules, I use damage reduction, resistances and life leech on my vanguards, as they're always in the biggest mess on the battlefield. You can reroll your relic forcefield module to have up to 8% life regeneration per second (in addition to life leech), which is huge when your vanguard has 15 - 20k+ health. But obviously, as your weapon level goes up, the life leech enchant will be gaining more value.


Destroyers have two dps and one motive modules each - extra dmg per debuff is the biggest dps contributor. Normally it's not necessary to give them survivability modules, as they should not be getting hit too much and it's easy to re-position them if needed (unlike the vanguards, who just charge back into the fray).


In terms of skill trees - all construct-enhancing ones are a priority, obviously. Skip the talents for constructs you don't use. I also use (almost) maxed-out debuff tree and defense, since otherwise it's too easy to get killed in a split second if you don't pay attention for a moment. But otherwise my defenses are not that high, currently at 59/50/36/52. The Aegis Protocol (in Bionics) also helps a bit with that.


That should be it, I suppose. As I said, I don't really play Martyr these days - I'm sure there's plenty of tinkering possible to improve my TA, but even with this fairly generic build missions are easy. Kataphrons are by far my favourite constructs this season and the aggressiveness of the vanguards is just so beautiful to watch. Kataphrons can survive almost anything even in higher level missions, they have excellent dps and generally put great pressure on the enemies. Vanguards' charge also acts as a cc, sometimes knocking down whole groups of enemies (or sending them flying).


Your biggest decision as far as TA class goes will be about which constructs to use. You can go for a more varied build like mine, but you will hit the tech fragments brick wall very fast - with up to six weapons to level up, it just makes no sense to continue the grind with the current system. Or you stick to a vivisector build and will have a much easier time, since they only use a single weapon type. At some point your weapon level will be so high you will faceroll anything.

1 year 93 days ago
+1
aelix
Before Lankester shares his build, maybe I could provide some info as well.

==============================================================

For melee vivisector build, relic module enchants  like "15% chance on hit to create electric arcs" could be very useful. It provides the AoE you desire. Be aware that  it is heat damage.


You may also wish to try self-destrcut build, although according to dev guys this is no longer the best way to play vivisector. But you'll need to invest 15 attribute points in Mindlink to activate the feature to recover Data-flux on construct death. Perk "Mechasapient" summons 4 vivisectors, so after you reduce the summon cost to 20, you will be able to summon constructs forever without running out of Data-flux. You simply charge into the crowd and keep summoning vivisectors.


Red Inoculator or red purity seal could provide "Shield gain with Data-flux spent" enchant,greatly improves survival rate. 

=============================================================

By the way, Kataphron Destroyer is more  friendly to new players. They have decent ranged damage.


I use Plasma cannon and Phorsphor blaster.  4 Kataphron Destroyer  + 1 Support Tower. The Tower is used to draw enemy fire. Why didn't I use a Kataphron Vanguard? Because it's already expensive enough to keep the 2 weapons  of Kataphoron Destroyer upgraded  !


====================================================

Relic module  for ranged constructs:

Use offense module.

Try to get various debuffs: hallucination, shock, knockback, poision, bleeding, burning. Hallucination is especially important.

explosion on enemy death , or damage increase by debuff number are also good.


Normal enchant for ranged construct:

 damage increase  and life leech.

=======================================

Relic module for tank constructs:

Use force field module and endurance module.


The enchant: "Fabricatus Scatter Field on taken hit " is very good. It knocks down enemies and controls the battlefield.

Use other enchants to increase supreme damage reduction, life regeneration, etc.





1 year 93 days ago
Lankester
Can you share any more info about your TA build? I have just started out (about level 40) and I am finding a melee vivisector build extremely slow because it has no AoE damage.
1 year 99 days ago
+1
Distemper
I should probably add that so far I have only tested regular missions - intels + random missions. I have not tested any special missions or assignments.


I copy here a link to the whole spreadsheet with a bit over 100 missions tested. Use filters to have a closer look at different categories.


The best missions for fragments seem to be Void Brethren missions, as they have average drop rate of 17186, vs the global average of 13.7k. However, the Soul Grinder maps are pretty mediocre in terms of tech fragment drops. Without them, the VB mission average would be 19897.


So I would say that as far as the regular missions go, the best tech fragment yield would be from level 110 - 112 Void Brethren assassination missions. They seem to be fairly rare, but if you have plenty of tier 2 insignias, just keep clicking until you get them.


I should probably do some testing of special assignments, including Valorous Heart, to check the tech fragments vs time spent in mission ratio. If I find the will to do it, that is - for now I have moved to different games, as I'm not in the mood to spend days grinding away just to get 1 extra weapon level for one of my construct weapons.

1 year 99 days ago
+2

I personally agree with the suggestion that weapon upgraded should be made account-based, not character-based. I will consult over the matter with our designers.

The drop-rate is still under consideration, so I cannot say anything more about that. But the 3rd request is quite interesting that upgraded weapons should be cancelled. There are pros and cons in this regard as players are responsible for their decisions and this affects their progress. I don't think we will make this possible. But the first two suggestions are worth consideration, yes.

Thanks for the feedback! I will support this on our end.

1 year 102 days ago
Lankester

Thanks for sharing this detailed information Lankester! 


I was a little blind before and only aimed at 15+ missions when I was out of Valorius Heart. Maybe I should rethink about my strategy and go in 12+ assasination missions more often.



1 year 102 days ago
+2
Indeed, the tech fragment system is definitely the weakest aspect of the TA rework. Overall, the TA changes have made the class much better, especially at higher level missions, than before, but the way the fragment system and its levelling up has been designed is poor.


Functionally, it works just like an alternative XP system, which brings nothing special to the class, nothing that would add to the TA specialty and mechanics. The levelling requirements are just completely out of touch with the game itself. The only thing that this system brings is thus an obscure and extremely grindy addition to the game, which brings nothing to the class itself.


I am nowhere near your level 125, having so far only managed to level up one weapon to 100. I use 2 vanguards and 3 destroyers in my build, with 2 melee and 2 ranged types of weapons. Two million tech fragments per weapon at level 125 is just absurd. Not because in itself it is a steep mountain to climb, but because we are allowed to climb that mountain slower than snails.


I have been keeping a track of all the tech fragment gains in more than 100 missions, all of them +10 to +12 with some higher levels for experimentation. The average drop rate per mission is 13777 fragments. The highest gain per mission was 33792, which was a level 111 assassination mission against the void brethren in an open map. Apart from that one, I only had one more mission with 30k+ fragments. The lowest number of drops was 4462, which was a level 112 purge mission. Overall I found assassination and callous hunt missions to be the best in terms of tech fragment yields vs time spent in mission.


Mission levels 110 - 112 are the sweet spot for fragments farming, as there are no additional gains from higher level missions. In fact, one of my level 117 experiments yielded only 6596 fragments, which is pathetic. If you're only running the missions for the tech fragments, there is zero reason to go beyond level 110 - 112.


As per @MARCOPOLOCS‍'s clarification, the mission level and the number of enemies (not all of them will drop a fragment, apparently they each have a drop chance) are the only factors that determine the tech fragment drop rates, so there's no method to influence them in any other way. I suspect the tech fragment drop rate update a few weeks ago capped the increase at 700% for all 10+ missions, so it doesn't matter if you run +18 missions, your drop rate will always be limited to 700%.


The system and the levelling pace as it is now is a full time job anywhere beyond levels 100 - 110, I would say. And I do mean full time. Even when I farm 2-3 hours in a day, I now manage to get 1-2 levels and that's at my measly level 100 weapon (I only have one, the rest are level 90 max). If you want a varied gameplay and weapons for your constructs, anything beyond level 100 - 110 is completely unrealistic, unless you are planning to grind this game 8 hours a day for the whole season. Which is pretty pointless, to be perfectly honest, as my constructs manage even level 117 missions with their paltry level 90 weapons just fine.


The tech fragment levelling needs re-thinking, as it just doesn't work the way it is currently implemented.