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Documenting how spells and abilities work. Also character changes from DQ Heroes 1 to DQ Heroes 2.


AzureZoa
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On 8/24/2020 at 1:58 PM, AzureZoa said:

You’re welcome. I’m just trying to learn this game, and share what I’m learning. I’m a firm believer in knowledge is power, and I share what I enjoy doing. So far I believe spear is passable on practically every normal enemy, and some of the stronger enemies like Pazuzu, Belial, Wight King, with it losing more efficiency on bosses like Estark, Dragonlord, Fractos, etc. Essentially the big bads, superbosses, or enemies with simply too much HP. I don’t think most enemy health is unreasonable for spear to deal with, even for an endgame priest or Kiryl. 
 

I think Uber Maulstrom is an absolute must on this set because it really turns up its zoning potential, clears crowds really well, and you can instantly go into a Maulstrom right after a Thunder Thrust. Lightning Conductor is also solid. Especially for stunning machine enemies. Chain Lightning is awful though. The damage ranges per hit are nothing special, locks you in place, and only the final hit does decent damage. For priestess (Teresa is my primary go to for this vocation), I run Kabuff, Multiheal, Reheal line, and Maulstrom line. Maulstrom is such a game changer for offense that it’s helped a bunch for her offensive pressure. 
 

For gladiator I tend to run the usual skills like Hurt Convertor, Blind Man’s Biff, and Maulstrom. The last skill just depends on the situation, but this is generally enough to get everything done. Gladiator has a natural +20 dodge, which really works off the back hops. Priest on the other hand has the worst dodge alongside the likes of mage at a mere +5. So what I do is run the Dark Orb on Teresa or Kiryl to give them an extra +10 frames for invincibility. Otherwise the back hop is really bad for escaping pressure. It costs some defense, but their defense stat is still enough for endgame, and they can cast Kabuff to remedy it no problem. 

Yeah, I feel you on Kiryl. I kept him in my party for the majority of the game just for his healing. 

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Actually I should take back something I said because I was horribly wrong: Blind Man's Biff saves the spear's DPS like crazy. Sub six minutes is possible on Estark Extreme lmao. That's a really good time. Especially for spear because it lacks the safety versus him, and by that, I mean his sleep explosions. You have to tank them. There's no dodging them. Despite the crappy dodges, spear is definitely a solid weapon for priest and gladiator. I've been going through so many weapons lately, and I feel like spear is actually much better than I should give it credit for.

Like, I feel incredibly exasperated at how bad all of the sage's weapons are. The best two are bow and whip, and even then their kits are pretty mediocre. There's no good DPS for single targets aside from Hyper Sniper. They have good crowd tools, but after experimenting with mage, there's literally no reason why anyone should seriously considering running a spell set on sage over mage. Mage running Arcane Echo and Ring of Ruin literally ruins crowds of endgame enemies no problem. Sage is a bit tankier, with a health option, but why would anyone run an all out offensive set and do that? That's what the spell set up is. And mage has support with Kasap.

Gladiator got access to ALL the best weapons, and I really mean that...minus axe of course. Axe is just...axe. It's terrible. Anyways, that aside, gladiator gets access to four good offensive weapons: claws, sword and shield, twin swords, and spear. Spear obviously isn't as high as the other three, but with the unique abilities to gladiator, with that good +20 dodge, Blind Man's Biff, Hurt Convertor for healing, and the Maulstrom line, you have a very well balanced weapon for every scenario you could think of. It doesn't have the DPS options that twin swords have courtesy of A Cut Above and Blind Man's Biff, or that AMAZING +36 dodge, but it does offer better crowd clearing over twin swords I would say. The Maulstrom line is just that good. Plus much more reach in general, courtesy of Thunder Thrust/Spear of Influence/Maulstrom line, so you can keep your distance with it over twin swords. Plus twin swords can't chain that invincibility off those back hops like spear can. :P

Claws are much more specialized for single target killing, and horrendously lack crowd options, or ranged options period. It has everything else you're looking for that spear doesn't offer though, so that's another example of spear being able to carve itself a niche. Last sword and shield are probably what might do the spear in. Both are extremely good move sets, but sword/shield offer incredible ranged offense that even supersedes the might of Thunder Thrust: Whirlwind Reaper. Plus it has access to perfect blocks that increase tension, and the same dodge attributes of +20. And then you have the close range offense combination of Flame Slash and Blind Man's Biff. I think sword/shield are probably what straight up outclass spear compared to the other move sets, though I will test more on it.

Also, after finally testing out all classes thoroughly, I think there's a few to consider looking into if you're looking for specific play styles. However, this might seem a bit controversial, but warrior and sage are not that good. Sage is one of the two unlockable classes...but there's literally nothing for it to offer over the offense of mage with 300% damage critical spells, or some close range option that it sorely lacks. Warrior is a well balanced class, but that's it in stats. Its move set is outdone in damage by gladiator, and outdone even by Luceus and Aurora. And Terry especially. And its abilities are either very weak, or not very useful. Morale Masher is a marginally less expensive Disruptive Wave...but Psaro quite literally has it, and a far better move set.

So for the good classes: gladiator, mage, and priest. There's no literal use for thief. It is outdone is every respect by any other vocation or niche you're looking for. Martial artist is outdone by gladiator. Even its best move set, claws, is outdone in DPS by gladiator with claws, and it requires less set up on superbosses with Blind Man's Biff. Gladiator has lower stats in general, but much better dodges, access to more move sets for versatility, and it has basically everything you want in claws taken to the next level. The niche for martial artist is just not there. The tests with Estark Extreme taught me a lot.

Mage I already broke down quite a bit. 300% spell damage with a bit of set up that can level groups of endgame enemies. It's the best spell move set you can access. You can get 100% critical spells for each of its three weapons since Ring of Ruin is a vocation based ability, and not a weapon based one. Arcane Echo is tied to heavy wand though, but 100% critical spells for each weapon completely outstrips anything sage can try to do to touch it. However mage has the lowest HP, doesn't hit 300 defense even with the Metal King Orb, and has only a +5 dodge. If you want to fling highly destructive spells, you will need to balance out the dodges and defense on this move set.

Priest offers even better support than Kiryl due to Multiheal, though priest has lower stats in general. Multiheal is one of the most potent healing options in the game, plus it is tied to spear no less, so you have a good weapon for offense and for support. Kabuff combined with the Reheal line and Multiheal gives a lot of versatility to help the party, and Maulstrom is there to help shore up crowds of normal enemies in the way.

 

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On 8/26/2020 at 12:05 AM, AzureZoa said:

Actually I should take back something I said because I was horribly wrong: Blind Man's Biff saves the spear's DPS like crazy. Sub six minutes is possible on Estark Extreme lmao. That's a really good time. Especially for spear because it lacks the safety versus him, and by that, I mean his sleep explosions. You have to tank them. There's no dodging them. Despite the crappy dodges, spear is definitely a solid weapon for priest and gladiator. I've been going through so many weapons lately, and I feel like spear is actually much better than I should give it credit for.

Like, I feel incredibly exasperated at how bad all of the sage's weapons are. The best two are bow and whip, and even then their kits are pretty mediocre. There's no good DPS for single targets aside from Hyper Sniper. They have good crowd tools, but after experimenting with mage, there's literally no reason why anyone should seriously considering running a spell set on sage over mage. Mage running Arcane Echo and Ring of Ruin literally ruins crowds of endgame enemies no problem. Sage is a bit tankier, with a health option, but why would anyone run an all out offensive set and do that? That's what the spell set up is. And mage has support with Kasap.

Gladiator got access to ALL the best weapons, and I really mean that...minus axe of course. Axe is just...axe. It's terrible. Anyways, that aside, gladiator gets access to four good offensive weapons: claws, sword and shield, twin swords, and spear. Spear obviously isn't as high as the other three, but with the unique abilities to gladiator, with that good +20 dodge, Blind Man's Biff, Hurt Convertor for healing, and the Maulstrom line, you have a very well balanced weapon for every scenario you could think of. It doesn't have the DPS options that twin swords have courtesy of A Cut Above and Blind Man's Biff, or that AMAZING +36 dodge, but it does offer better crowd clearing over twin swords I would say. The Maulstrom line is just that good. Plus much more reach in general, courtesy of Thunder Thrust/Spear of Influence/Maulstrom line, so you can keep your distance with it over twin swords. Plus twin swords can't chain that invincibility off those back hops like spear can. :P

Claws are much more specialized for single target killing, and horrendously lack crowd options, or ranged options period. It has everything else you're looking for that spear doesn't offer though, so that's another example of spear being able to carve itself a niche. Last sword and shield are probably what might do the spear in. Both are extremely good move sets, but sword/shield offer incredible ranged offense that even supersedes the might of Thunder Thrust: Whirlwind Reaper. Plus it has access to perfect blocks that increase tension, and the same dodge attributes of +20. And then you have the close range offense combination of Flame Slash and Blind Man's Biff. I think sword/shield are probably what straight up outclass spear compared to the other move sets, though I will test more on it.

Also, after finally testing out all classes thoroughly, I think there's a few to consider looking into if you're looking for specific play styles. However, this might seem a bit controversial, but warrior and sage are not that good. Sage is one of the two unlockable classes...but there's literally nothing for it to offer over the offense of mage with 300% damage critical spells, or some close range option that it sorely lacks. Warrior is a well balanced class, but that's it in stats. Its move set is outdone in damage by gladiator, and outdone even by Luceus and Aurora. And Terry especially. And its abilities are either very weak, or not very useful. Morale Masher is a marginally less expensive Disruptive Wave...but Psaro quite literally has it, and a far better move set.

So for the good classes: gladiator, mage, and priest. There's no literal use for thief. It is outdone is every respect by any other vocation or niche you're looking for. Martial artist is outdone by gladiator. Even its best move set, claws, is outdone in DPS by gladiator with claws, and it requires less set up on superbosses with Blind Man's Biff. Gladiator has lower stats in general, but much better dodges, access to more move sets for versatility, and it has basically everything you want in claws taken to the next level. The niche for martial artist is just not there. The tests with Estark Extreme taught me a lot.

Mage I already broke down quite a bit. 300% spell damage with a bit of set up that can level groups of endgame enemies. It's the best spell move set you can access. You can get 100% critical spells for each of its three weapons since Ring of Ruin is a vocation based ability, and not a weapon based one. Arcane Echo is tied to heavy wand though, but 100% critical spells for each weapon completely outstrips anything sage can try to do to touch it. However mage has the lowest HP, doesn't hit 300 defense even with the Metal King Orb, and has only a +5 dodge. If you want to fling highly destructive spells, you will need to balance out the dodges and defense on this move set.

Priest offers even better support than Kiryl due to Multiheal, though priest has lower stats in general. Multiheal is one of the most potent healing options in the game, plus it is tied to spear no less, so you have a good weapon for offense and for support. Kabuff combined with the Reheal line and Multiheal gives a lot of versatility to help the party, and Maulstrom is there to help shore up crowds of normal enemies in the way.

 

So, do you think Mage is the best offensive option for the environments that are just swarming with enemies? Melee just doesn't seem to cut it in those situations....or at least that's how I felt. 

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It depends honestly. If your character or someone in your crew is capable of reliably stunning larger enemies, then it's not as bad. Psaro is easily the best character for absolutely shutting down swarms of larger enemies given his kit doesn't need MP for it, and he can rampage without it, but he can still do it with Liberation as well. A Cut Above from him also stuns for the last two hits, or for all hits when enhanced with Liberation. Cesar with Solar Flair is a colossal move that does a lot of damage, and stuns larger enemies. Luceus and Aurora reliably stun larger enemies as well. This is why it's so important to have such an option in this game. It's one of the best things to have in the game.

Mage however can't stun with any spells. Only Kazammle stuns larger enemies. So you need a lot of room to set up and cast spells. Ring of Ruin into Arcane Echo is the quickest way to set up. Then you can start flinging spells. Plus you'll likely need one of the AI/a partner to act as bait. But once set up is done, expect to level endgame foes in like two to three casts of Kafrizz. It's pretty busted if you can get it going.

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Wow. Over a thousand views. Thanks everyone. I'm gonna start working at compiling a few planned projects after these others I get done with, so maybe you guys will look forward to the actual guide...but as a beta version. :P

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So here’s some plans for the guide, because this will take me lots or hours to do, so I will release it in stages.

1. First planned step is to gather all the character stats at level 99 for now. I’ll have complete pictures for them all.

2. Next step after is to get pictures of each unique spell and ability in the game, and give a detailed description of them all. 

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20200910024834_1.thumb.jpg.52e0e29e687d99683766ff55606e4e80.jpg

Finally freaking got this. Took forever to do, but sub six minutes with Terry solo. Possible to push it lower with less damage incurred. Sub five is possible. Finally have confirmation Terry has the most DPS of any sword user.

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20200915023527_1.thumb.jpg.e2c1fba7fd0d249addcfd533b3f2c306.jpg

So I keep managing to push Psaro's damage output more and more versus Estark Extreme. This is now my second best time versus him. Even beating out my no damage run with Teresa as a martial artist. I got it on stream as well. I'll include it with a time stamp below in case you guys want to get an understanding for how I use Psaro here.

 

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So for post #101, I got two things:

1. Guide will be started up this Monday. Get hype.

2. A gift from me to you:

This is extremely class, weapon, and skill specific, but they are two of the best in the game at what they do. So as a gladiator, with axe, you can skip the normally slow start up of Blind Man's Biff provided you do an offensive attack first. You can do this out of Crackerwhack and its variants, Scrap Mettle, etc. You can skip the INSANELY SLOW start up of Omniheal if you do an offensive skill first as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Couple updates:

1. Guide is coming along slowly, but surely. I'm trying to implement .mp4 files for each character to make viewing easier as it covers everything, and you can pause at any point to view the stats and spells/abilities available. Only have some characters done for right now.

2. I decided to look over the old sage vs. mage points I made some time ago. Boy was I wrong lol. Mage is very crippling to use. Sage outclasses mage across the board in stats, even when comparing its best weapon: heavy wand. The build's I have for this maximize spell and critical damage exponentially for both, but mage noticeably has lower magical might at 384 compared to sage's 424. That's a staggering 40 points higher. While mage can dole out more punishment with a proper set up, it requires a lot of support or space to get going, which just isn't always there. The extra lack of +10 on dodge and the extra loss of 105 HP, plus defense, means you're going to be crippled very defensively. Even if you shove on the Dark Orb to match sage's dodge ability, you're at like -40 defense compared to sage. Putting on a Metal King Orb still doesn't match that compared to a sage, and you lose out on extra safety without the Dark Orb boost. I think the extra bulk, utility with weapon variety, and access to the almighty Kazammle just put a damper on the little niche mage could muster. It's a much more consistent class. Would easily recommend any day over mage now. Even for support.

 

Also whoa. Major site changes. Looks sexy, Woodus. I dig it. :thumbsup:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been a while since last post. Got some tidbits of new info that a lot of you might like for axe and priest users.

So with some experimentation, I've got a lot of fantastic results with the priest vocations offensively using its best weapon: spear. I started experimenting more in depth with the Maulstrom line of abilities and another: Lightning Conductor. Lightning Conductor is very, very good. To the point I wouldn't recommend the Maulstrom line anymore for crowd options. Lightning Conductor is a very large, wide hitbox that surrounds your character. The damage on it is pretty close to Thunder Thrust fully charged. That's fantastic for damage output. Especially considering at endgame, priest is running much less attack than other physical move sets for what it's doing. A lot of spear's game plan really seems to revolve around Thunder Thrust and Lightning Conductor for its offensive presence on priests. This isn't too terrible. I've labbed it out versus Estark Extreme, Dragonlord (base version since his HP is much more reasonable than the other incarnations), and some other tougher bosses such the veteran Knight Aberrant. It definitely gets the job done. If you have enough time, you can even immediately cancel Thunder Thrust into a Lightning Conductor for more damage. And since it's an electric based attack, it has the added bonus of opening up things like Uberkilling Machines for chances to attack their weak points.

So good news for axe. Desdemona is a beast. Her Red Mist perk is practically mandatory for her I think. This ability is such a game changer I never could have predicted the impact it would have on her offense. First I should point out a few things: this does increase attack, so it's effectively a Muster Strength with the added benefit of making Hatchet Man available as early as the fourth hit versus the tenth hit without it. That's less than half the required hits of Rampage to pull it off. Red Mist also increases base swing rate before the actual swing rate increases during Rampage (second hit versus eighth without Rampage). And once you get the ability to dodge cancel out of Rampage, well, there's literally no reason to ever use the horrible and unsafe attack string on it ever again. To compound things a bit more, Strength Rings and Catholicon Rings do increase the duration of Red Mist's longevity and offense bonuses. Slap on a Catholicon Ring that's maxed out and you're getting essentially 200% the duration.

However there's a few more bonuses to consider. Desdemona naturally gets the ability in her skill tree to extend the effects of Kabuff/Oomph, and she gets a 10% boost to Oomph related effects, which translates over to Red Mist. So if you throw on a endgame maxed Catholicon Ring, plus Strength Ring, you're looking at 225% the duration Red Mist is active, and a 60% offense increase. Throw on a maxed out Champion's Choker for an extra +40 attack, and she will be causing havoc. Especially considering she can debuff defense and agility with Scrap Mettle, but because her standard kit becomes so much better with Red Mist active, and a lot of her offense with come from it, she will not be using MP like crazy. Meaning she sports a solid base kit, and will continuously have a healthy amount of MP for team support. This is really good because she gets the debuffs from Scrap Mettle, and she gets access to the amazing Heart Breaker which lets her stun larger enemies guaranteed. This doesn't rectify her terrible aerials, but her ground game becomes so much better, which is much more important because all your actions like dodging and using abilities are only usable on the ground (minus Maya but she's the sole exception in that regard).

As for the other best axe user, Yangus, I've got some news on him. I feel like Yangus doesn't have the offensive presence of Desdemona in a lot of the situations Red Mist will let her become a monster. Yangus' attacks are much slower compared to her on Red Mist, and he requires charging a lot of his attacks to really show his single hit damage values, and how much they shine. Yangus has amazing damage off full charge attacks, but they require a lot of time to charge. Yangus' Turbocharger ability from DQ Heroes 1 carries over, though I don't think they ever mention this in the game. Basically the more you charge his attacks, the quicker the following charges happen. So if I do his left swing and charge it, then charge his right swing, the right swing will charge and reach its following charge levels faster. Yangus really shines when he has ample opportunity to do this.

Despite all this, Yangus' DPS seems really slow due to the charge requirements, despite the damage of his hits being rather high. However he seems passable in this regard. Even on superbosses since he can debuff with Helm Splitter, and act as a paladin of sorts with Whistle and Defending Champion. And speaking of a paladin, this is where Yangus truly shines: his defensive capabilities. Yangus has an incredibly long reaching dodge with a +15 dodge, meaning it's pretty normal, or average for its invincibility frames. The i-frames end before his dodge completes though, but it's usually never a problem. I-frames start even before he shoulder barges forward, too. He also has access to the best defensive option in the game with Defending Champion. It's just amazing how strong this tool is. Any physical attack damage from Estark Extreme or other superbosses is just nullified from my Yangus. Literally anything except Estark's C-c-cold Breath or his Kafrizzle with damage Yangus. Defending Champion cuts damage from spells, breath based damage, and the like by about 50%. It's basically a 360 degree block that nullifies all physical/ability based damage, and from spells and breath based abilities by 50%. And you can cancel into this at any point from his attacks. It only costs 5 MP, and you can cancel at any point with the press of an attack button, though your MP does not recover while you're using Defending Champion. This is just like when you're in a state of super high tension.

Aside from his defensive options, Yangus has access to the best Parallax line. His speed from the original DQ Heroes remains intact, meaning his Parallax is the fastest in the game for any version, and his sky high attack means he has one of the most damaging, too. So he has a fantastic projectile. It's hard to say who's the better axe user, but overall I'd probably go with Desdemona due her versatility and offense. Not to discount Yangus, but I'll need to put him more into practice to reach a better conclusion.

Anyways that's it for this write up. Will work on another probably more this week.

Edited by AzureZoa
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Actually I did forget one character: Torneko. I love using him, and I legitimately think he's one of the best characters in the game in practically every aspect. So Torneko literally has any answer for any situation. He can be a healer with his Sage's Stone (though it doesn't have the level of healing Multiheal does, but it costs a staggering 12 MP less), cure status effects with Wonderwand for the whole party, and even support the crew by putting enemies to sleep with Dream Dagger which is huge. The sleep status effect is rare for any character, and the effect leaves larger enemies helpless for a while. This is better than just stunning them like Heart Breaker does. Only four characters get access to sleep options, and those other three are all bow users: Bianca and Lazarel/Teresa as sages using bows. None of them are melee users who have higher DPS, meaning Torneko has a massive advantage here.

His defensive options are really good. His dodge is at +21, meaning 21 frames of invincibility, and his is the quick shoulder charge meaning his dodge also does damage. Torneko also packs the highest HP stat at 590 with a decent bulk of 315 at endgame with a Metal King Orb. He's not as tanky as Carver, who has ten less HP, but also much higher defense. Still, Torneko is really beefy, and would survive attacks that would normally defeat most of the cast instantly like the charge attack from Fractos Unfettered, or getting struck by Dread Dragonlord's flame pillars after he roars.

Offensively most of Torneko's damage comes from two things: Assassin's Dagger and his Flail of Destruction (which I'll call the Destructiball from here on out). Both of these moves flow and cancel into one another insanely well even with his charging animation. Assassin's Dagger has a very high damage output, though not as high as his Destructiball, but costs 5 less MP to use (8 MP required). Meaning it's very cost effective even at endgame when his standard max MP is 115.  Destructiball is one of the more damaging abilities in the game, and really shines in damage output in super high tension with some ability buffs. Torneko's DPS is incredible in super high tension. Probably among the best in the game. Constantly swapping between Destructiball and Assassin's Dagger on the fly with very little cooldown between the two is amazing. Torneko does have the worst coup de grace because of the end lag. He cannot act and exploit the time frame given to him for more damage. He has to get up from being trampled by the thugs, and then say "How'd you like that, huh?".

His attack string and charge aren't terrible either, though charge should NOT be used for single target damage against larger enemies. It is very mobile, and the only thing you can't do out of it directly is dodge, but it becomes very easy to lose control and steer him off the target. Plus its damage is not very high per hit. Instead rely on his attack string or his C3 (the roundabout with his abacus). His second and third hits of attack string do a lot of damage, more than most attack strings actually, and the roundabout with his C3 does comparable damage. Both are good for single target damage in between using his abilities. Charge should really only be used for mobility with your weapon drawn, or taking down weaker enemies like Dark Skeletons. For his crowd control, Torneko has the Chain Sickle line of abilities, though I'd advise against it since it is very weak, and takes time to charge. You're better off using his limited four slots for abilities to further his damage output and support. I typically run Dream Dagger, Destructiball, Assassin's Dagger, and Sage's Stone for both support and to maximize his offense.

That's really it for Torneko. I love using him. Koei Tecmo really did a fantastic job pulling off his merchant characteristics. He's basically the weapon master of this game with everything he uses, and fulfills so many roles so well, with fantastic defense and offensive capabilities, that I'd really recommend using him in your crews quite a lot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a grasp on Torneko's DPS now. I am able to easily, and consistently, get below five minutes with him on Estark Extreme. His DPS is huge. He definitely is a power character.

Side note, anyone want anything in particular labbed out?

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Just a quick announcement, but testing will cease for quite a while. Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity is almost out. Any guide progress will be halted for the time being as well. I'm simply much more interested in this game rn, and with a lack of people to play with, it makes it harder to lab things out.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I'll be back to working on the guide this week. Finished Age of Calamity 100%.
Wow. It must have a whole lot less than the original Hyrule Warriors content. That one was 100+ hours of content.

I got the new one, but wrapped it as a gift for my son for Christmas.
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23 hours ago, Plattym3 said:

Wow. It must have a whole lot less than the original Hyrule Warriors content. That one was 100+ hours of content.

I got the new one, but wrapped it as a gift for my son for Christmas.

Took me 50 hours to 100% it.

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  • 4 weeks later...
6 hours ago, AzureZoa said:

20201223081120_1.jpg

Wouldn't let me edit the original post, so whatevs, but I got this with an Oomph sage lead team of AIs. Some stuff happened, but is possible to go lower. I thought of giving a physical sage a try, and it makes a world of difference. Strength Ring, Catholicon Ring, and Champion's Choker all maxed out with a +2 Uber Sage's Scourge. I'd really recommend a physical sage at this point. DPS is much higher, and you're not wasting tons of high end spells when all you need is Starstrike to consistently inflict higher damage at a much lower MP cost. Even just doing Twin Dragon Lash (end of attack string) sees a noticeable damage increase. Whipcrackle isn't affected by attack, though. It scales based on magical might is my guess, but it 100% does not scale off strength or attack. Tested with Oomph a few times to verify.

tl;dr version: Physical sage is best, and use whip with Oomph.

Edited by AzureZoa
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Okay so experimentation with the Oomph sage set up gave me clear insight into its potential. I had a bad run with Estark, where he was hopping around a lot, and spammed Disruptive Wave too many times where I lost count. I still ended up with 7:18, so with a more precise run, I could see this getting into the low six minute category. Maybe sub six if everything aligns, though I think that might be pushing it.

(If you're reading this later on, disregard the first paragraph. Sub seven is plausible but hard. Sub six is not.)

I could also use Starstrike more for better DPS, but it probably wouldn't help too much. I even kept Estark in max tension as much as possible to avoid the time his sleep explosions would cost time, and how sage has no way to counter them. Essentially the DPS is pretty doable. It's around what you'd expect from Luceus and Aurora (without Aurora spamming Helm Splitter to gain better DPS). It's nothing amazing, but it gets the job done. That's the important thing. Overall pretty average.

Also on the subject of potential, I found staff finally has offensive merit in the priest/priestess vocation of all things. Staff still as a mediocre attack string, and Whirly Burly is still extremely bad on single targets, but priest/priestess actually get access to a fantastic offensive ability to help it out: Furious Flurry. The damage is a lot higher than I expected. So using it in moderation is key, but really a good ability due to how bad staff is one single targets. In total one use does about 1.8K in damage at end game with 555 attack using the set up I have.

It's much, much better than Crushed Ice because there's no horrible start up lag, and does more damage. Plus it appears to just finish faster in general. Priest makes it a well rounded set with Kabuff, Multiheal, Deliverance, and Furious Flurry. Would recommend giving this a shot, too.

(Disregard the 1.8K damage, and saying Furious Flurry is better than Crushed Ice. I did some calcs later and the actual normal range is 1.2K for both of them. They're both as strong as each other. Crushed Ice is slower, but can freeze for a while, and costs 5 MP less. It's definitely better in most situations over Furious Flurry.)

Edited by AzureZoa
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Updating times and thoughts:

4:45 with Desdemona: Think this largely due to how many lucky criticals I got. Got around seven or eight the entire round. I think her actual DPS without as many crits is around Terry's, so pretty good. Factoring in Strength Ring, Red Mist, and Catholicon Ring with lots of Hatchet Man.

5:03 with Terry: Finally proof sub five is possible, but damn is this hard. It's really dependent on Estark being cooperative. Estark really will not give me the time of day. He tends to spam Disruptive Wave too much, or hop around too much, making it harder to keep up Terry's continuous DPS through attack string as that is where most of it comes from. He has the best normal DPS of any sword and shield user.

3:17 with Carver: Had a fantastic run with him, granting him my number two slot for best time now. Narrowly beating Psaro by eight seconds. It's hard to say who has better DPS to be quite honest. Most of Carver's benefits come from Strength Ring boosts and Muster Strength lasting a long time thanks to a Catholicon Ring.

 

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Got this time with sword and shield on Teresa. Gladiator vocation. It technically looks like Teresa and Lazarel do have the best DPS compared to Terry, but this is pretty much due to them spamming Blind Man's Biff in super high tension. If we take that out of the equation, they're definitely not catching up to Terry. It's basically the same thing why claws can get sub three minutes. Also liberally using Flame Slash and Blind Man's Biff without tension is key. Flame Slash can be cancelled out a lot faster, making it much safer as an offensive option compared to BMB.

 

Also after some testing, I learned a bit more about damage ranges for some moves. Hatchet Man and Terry's Uber Cutting Edge have around the same damage range. 598 attack Terry compared to 610 damage Desdemona. Also for Crackerwhack and Super Crackerwhack, you will see a noticeable drop in damage compared to Parallax/Super Parallax. However, Uber Crackerwhack hits noticeably hard than Uber Parallax. Also Super Crackerwhack is weaker than a Hatchet Man, so if you're running skills on Desdemona, I'd recommend the Parallax line. Gives her a very damaging projectile, and can still hit 2K damage on Estark Extreme with a Strength Ring plus Red Mist. Lastly, Yangus has the weakest Parallax line of any axe user. I think this is a tradeoff for the speed in which it comes out, but it noticeably does MUCH weaker damage than Parallax/Super Parallax coming off Desdemona with a lower attack stat (628 vs 610). We're talking like 500 damage range on Estark just for a Parallax between the two.

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Okay, I believe after a few hundred hours now, that I know what makes characters "the best": either very strong support, or very strong, continuous DPS through a strong melee oriented kit/abilities.

I finally figured it out after I couldn't for the life of me get why priest or sage without whip can't sub 10 minute Estark. It's not just due to their lack of answers versus his sleep explosions, but also because their move sets with actual power are beefy one to two hit moves. Like Thunder Thrust into Lightning Conductor with priest using a spear. Or why something like staff, despite it being a melee oriented move set as well, doesn't have a strong standard kit. It mostly relies on the slow Crushed Ice ability for damage output.

Carver, Desdemona, Psaro, Terry, Torneko, Luceus, Aurora, gladiator vocation, etc. These are all very strong characters with powerful melee kits. There's hardly any gap between their DPS. Though someone like Yangus is very strong, his charge mechanic makes him function like trying to use spells for DPS: there's simply too much charge time, and the damage isn't enough to make up for what others can dish out in that time.

Characters who can also sustain their offense with a Strength Ring/Catholicon Ring set up are also excellent examples because practically all of them, minus Angelo, are one of those characters who don't have a major lapse in DPS. Carver and Desdemona for instance. And each of these other characters have fantastic tools, too. Terry with his sustainability, sword and shield's general well balanced kit overall for any character, Psaro with his overtuned kit, etc.

I do not believe most bow user fit into this category because most bow users simply don't have the continuous DPS on these characters' levels. The one exception is Bianca with Plasma Dome. A lot of her DPS will come from it, and just firing at your opponent at the same time. It's really good. Bianca is the sole bow user able to compete with the lower end of the continuous DPS characters, because Plasma Dome provides that continuous DPS she needs, while also firing at the target she wants as well. Her time is much closer to that of sage with whip.

This isn't to say that things like spear are bad. Far from it. Spear gives priests a good offensive presence, and I can get within the five minute mark using spear as a gladiator, which is really good. Though it doesn't have the damage output of the other melee users due to the triple pokes low damage range. It is continuous, like bow, but both don't do a lot per hit.

Edited by AzureZoa
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