What I Would Do To FIX Blasters

 

Blasters as a whole aren't truly broken, but as an AT compared to their contemporaries, they are.  The real problem with Blasters is the disintegration of their function vision.  Unlike every other AT in the game, Blasters role has gone from being defined to being diluted.  Part of this problem was the confusing and contradictory nature of the Secondaries.  I stand firm on an unpopular, but dev and documentation supported belief that Blasters should not be weighing into melee very often.  Their Melee Powers should be crisis powers . . . the “Oh Shit” button.  But as time has passed, Blappers (Scrapping Blasters) have evolved due to the misplaced number of damage dealing melee powers in the Secondaries.  No other AT has this kind of creep from one power set to another.  Tankers don't have damaging attack powers in their Primaries, Scrappers don't have damaging attack powers in their secondaries, Defenders don't have it in their Primaries, Controllers don't have it in their secondaries.  They are out of place and to be honest, don't belong there at all.  The original text describing Blasters identified them at Ranged damage dealers with a SUPPORT function as a secondary, but with the exception of a few powers in a few sets, they were more damage oriented.  This led to the caving in with regards to the Blasters mission statement to an Offensive Juggernaught.  The biggest complaint by Blasters is the lack of any form of mez protection or resistance.  We have been told time and again that range is our defense, yet we fill the Blaster powers with melee powers.  Additionally, the enemy LoS infinite range capability means that we don't have that as an acceptable defense.  Now the Epic Pools give us shields, which are mostly resists, and that is nice and all but that does not address the core issue of Blasters problems.  Blasters are not meant to engage in melee.  So the only way to truly fix this is to remove, as much as possible, the melee powers from the secondaries.  The vision I describe below is what I view as a reasonable redesign of Blasters to both remove as many melee powers as possible, add a small level of mez protection and yet maintain the spirit and flow of the secondaries.  First, here are the secondaries as they stand.

 

Electricity Manipulation

 

1 - Electric Fence (Ranged Immobilize)

2 - Charged Brawl (Melee w/Sleep)

4 - Lightning Field (Toggle PBAoE w/DoT)

10 - Havoc Punch (Melee w/Sleep)

16 - Build Up (Self Buff ToHit and Dam)

20 - Lightning Clap (PBAoE Disorient)

28 - Thunderstrike (Melee)

35 - Power Sink (Self Buff, PBAoE End Transfer)

38 - Shocking Grasp (Melee)

 

Energy Manipulation

 

1 - Power Thrust (Melee)

2 - Energy Punch (Melee)

4 - Build Up (Self Buff ToHit and Dam)

10 - Bone Smasher (Melee)

16 - Conserve Power (Self Buff Endurance conservation)

20 - Stun (Melee stun)

28 - Power Boost (Boost secondary effects)

35 - Boost Range (Range extension)

38 - Total Focus (Melee)

 

Devices

 

1 - Web Grenade (Ranged Immobilize)

2 - Caltrops (Slow with DoT)

4 - Taser (Ranged stun)

10 - Targeting Drone (To Hot Buff)

16 - Smoke Grenade (Foe ToHit Debuff)

20 - Cloaking Device (Stealth)

28 - Trip Mine (Special)

35 - Time Bomb (Special)

38 - Auto Turret (Ranged Damage Pet)

 

Fire Manipulation

 

1 - Ring of Fire (Ranged Immobilize)

2 - Fire Sword (Melee)

4 - Combustion (Click PBAoE)

10 - Fire Sword Circle (Melee)

16 - Build Up (Self Buff ToHit and Dam)

20 - Blazing Aura (Toggle PBAoE w DoT)

28 - Consume (Endurance buff w foe damage)

35 - Burn (Mez break)

38 - Hot Feet (Slow with DoT)

 

Ice Manipulation

 

1 - Chilblain (Ranged Immobilize)

2 - Frozen Fists (Melee)

4 - Ice Sword (Melee)

10 - Chilling Embrace (toggle Aura)

16 - Build Up (Self Buff ToHit and Dam)

20 - Ice Patch (AoE Knockdown)

28 - Shiver (Slow Cone)

35 - Freezing Touch (Melee Hold)

38 - Frozen Aura (Melee AoE Sleep).

 

The devs envisioned and stated that the secondaries were for support purposes.  the problem is that the support function of the secondaries is hit and miss.  Some, like Ice are indeed team support tools while Devices, Energy and Fire are heavy with individual support/buff.  More importantly many of the secondaries are too heavy with melee powers (Especially Energy) and therefore encroach too deeply into other AT's.  Blasters are the only AT that has more than one attack power in a set that doesn't contain their major attack powers (not counting Epics).  Controllers (with the exception of EM Pulse from Rad) Blasters most commonly complain about mez issues yet one of the secondaries has a mez break power.  My desire here is to clean some of these up as best as possible.  Blasters really start getting their asses handed to them at level 40 and beyond once they start engaging the Rikti with Mentalists and Carnies and especially the Malta group.  But to have a freely available mez protection power encroaches on other AT's.  To put mez protection into a Blaster but allow them to continue to have melee powers is AT biased.

 

Though I tried to keep these sets reasonable the same and also maintain some of their unique nature, I had to go with at least some form of template.

 

1.  Soft control - Most Secondaries already give a form of soft control to Blasters in the form of a single target immobilize power.  Only Energy doesn't have one.  With soft control I debated weather or not there should be a damage component.  Web grenade does not deliver damage while the other preexisting ones do.  But Web Grenade slows recharge rate so I consider it an acceptable deal.

 

2.  One Punch Power - I left in one, low damage punch power.  Again I was trying to leave some wiggle room for this.  Of course if I was to go draconian, they would be gone too.  The one remaining punch is low damage so that it does not become part of an attack chain.  Additionally I have modified that attack so that the real function of the power is its secondary effect (stun, Knockback, slow)

 

3. Align Build Up across the board.  Energy getting it that early was bullshit.

 

4.  AoE Soft Control - The inclusion of a ranged AoE Immobilize was in my opinion required.  The nice thing is that it really doesn't encroach into other AT's because the Blaster is still getting his ass shot at, and with an AoE a larger number of people are pissed.

 

5.  Toggle Aura - This is to provide a small amount of Stalker defense in PvP as well as a little love tap to foes that do get into melee range.  But it has to remain only that, minor because you arent supposed to be in melee.

 

5.  Add Status Protection - Placing it at 38 is the most reasonable place.  At this point the number of strong mezzers in the PvE game are painful.  Rikti and Malta are everywhere at this level and beyond and the fact is that we have no defense against them.  This fixes it to a point.

 

Electric Manipulation

 

Electric is pretty well rounded and other than some position changed doesn't require a great deal of tampering.  Havoc Punch and Thunderstrike are dumped.  Shocking Grasp, though Melee is a hold and therefore as a Blaster should incur some risk to use.  It is moved to level 28 to accommodate the positioning of the Mez power at 38.  Also to be fair to the other AT's, the Damage component of Shocking Grasp is removed.  Build-Up is moved to an earlier level (10) and Lightning Clap is moved to 16 while a new ranged AoE Immobilize is placed at 20.  The Range on this power is less than their controller counterpart (which is 80) and is set at 40, again engendering risk while keeping the foes at range.  The net gain is Mez break/protection and a group control function to aid range maintenance (yet still allowing the Blaster to be attacked).  This means that the Blaster is not encroaching into the domain of Controllers too deeply without some form of risk.

 

1 - Electric Fence (Ranged Immobilize w/DoT) - No Change to Existing Power

2 - Charged Brawl (Melee w/Sleep) - Damage changed from Moderate to Minor. 

4 - Lightning Field (Self Toggle PBAoE Aura w/DoT) - No Change to Existing Power.

10 - Build Up (Self Buff ToHit and Dam) - Moved From Level 16 to Level 10.

16 - Lightning Clap (PBAoE Disorient) - No Change to Existing Power.

20 - Grounded (Ranged AoE Immobilize) - New Power.  Range is 40 with Recharge of 12 Seconds and Minor DoT.

28 - Shocking Grasp (Melee Hold) - Moved from 38 to 28.

35 - Power Sink (Self Buff, PBAoE End Transfer) - No Change to Existing Power.

38 - Reroute (Self Buff Magnitude 15 Mez bust with 60 Second Mez Protection) - New Power.  Essentially a Tier 2 Break Free (Exact stats in fact).  The Recharge on this power is 240 Seconds (4 Minutes)

 

TOSSED POWERS: Havoc Punch (10), Thunderstrike (28).

 

Ice Manipulation

 

A fairly rounded set that, like Electricity doesnt need to be tweaked too much.  In fact two of the changes are only minor changes to the powers effects.  Naturally the Mez power is the 38 which will flat out replace the Frozen Aura power.  Ice Patch is changed to the Ice Slick power of Controllers making it a ranged aoE vice a PBAoE but the deploy range is 40 vice 60 engendering risk.  Chilling Embrace and Build-Up are moved to earlier availability  (4 and 10 respectively) with the removal of Ice Sword.  Added to the Secondary is Frostbite (from Ice Controller) to compensate for the loss of the cheesy sleep from the higher level.  Like others its range is lowered compared to the controller version (40 from 80).  Chilling Embrace has a minor DoT added to it to sync up with other Aura powers.  The Net gain is mez protection and a group foe control power that still keeps the Blaster at risk.

 

1 - Chilblain (Ranged Immobilize) - No Change to Existing Power.

2 - Frozen Fists (Melee w/Slow) - No Change to Existing Power.

4 - Chilling Embrace (Self Toggle PBAoE Aura w/DoT) - Moved From 10 to 4.  Added Minor DoT component to mirror other equivalents.

10 - Build Up (Self Buff ToHit and Dam) - Moved From 16 to 10.

16 - Ice Patch (Ranged AoE Knockdown) - Altered Power.  Basically Ice Slick from Controllers.  Now has 90 Sec Recharge.

20 - Frostbite (Ranged AoE Immobilize) - New Power, Copied From Ice Control.  Range is 40 with Recharge of 12 Seconds and Minor DoT.

28 - Shiver (Ranged Cone Slow) - No Change to Existing Power.

35 - Freezing Touch (Melee Hold) - No Change to Existing Power.

38 - Iceblood (Self Buff Magnitude 15 Mez bust with 60 Second Mez Protection) - New Power.  Essentially a Tier 2 Break Free (Exact stats in fact).  The Recharge on this power is 240 Seconds (4 Minutes)

 

TOSSED POWERS:  Ice Sword (4), Frozen Aura (38).

 

Fire Manipulation

 

Fire is interesting because a lot of the powers are true self buffs.  They are also filled with a number of damaging aspects which are problematic when altering.  Build-Up is relocated to 10 while Blazing Aura is moved to 4.  Fire Cages is added at level 20 to provide a Ranged AoE Immobilize.  Again like the others the range of this power is lowered from the controller version (80 to 40) .  Burn, the Mez break power is swapped to 38 in order to sync up with the other set realignments and has its effects realigned to match its counterparts.  In order to not totally destroy Fires unique aspects, Combustion is maintained but gets placed at 16 rather than level 4.  Hot Feet goes to 28 while Consume is moved to 35.  The net gain is the AoE which allows fire to be more, well . . . fiery.

 

1 - Ring of Fire (Ranged Immobilize) - No Change to Existing Power.

2 - Fire Sword (Melee w/-RES) - Damage changed from Moderate to Minor.  Added Minor Resistance Debuff.

4 - Blazing Aura (Self Toggle PBAoE Aura w/DoT) - Moved From 20 to 4.

10 - Build Up (Self Buff ToHit and Dam) - Moved From 16 to 10.

16 - Hot Feet (Slow with DoT) - Moved From 38 to 16.  Altered from a PBAoE to a ranged power like Shiver and Ice Patch.

20 - Fire Cages (Ranged AoE Immobilize) - New Power, Copied From Fire Control.  Range is 40 with Recharge of 12 Seconds and Minor DoT.

28 - Combustion (Click PBAoE) - Moved From 4 to 28.

35 - Consume (Endurance buff w/Foe Damage) - No Change to Existing Power.

38 - Burn (Self Buff Magnitude 15 Mez bust with 60 Second Mez Protection) - Modified Power.  No longer just Immobilize resistance.  Also the DoT component removed.  Essentially a Tier 2 Break Free (Exact stats in fact).  The Recharge on this power is 240 Seconds (4 Minutes).

 

TOSSED POWERS:  Fire Sword Circle (10).

 

Energy Manipulation

 

Well this one is the most complex due to the tons of melee punching powers.  Power Thrust is flat out removed in place of a single target Immobilize power that mirrors its counterparts in nearly every other set.  Build-Up is moved up to level 10, replacing Bone Smasher.  In its place at level 4 is a toggle Aura Power with a DoT component, again matching the other sets.  Total Focus is removed and replaced by the Mez Protection power like the other sets.  Conserve Power is moved to 35 where it is more in keeping with its counterparts.  The existence of Boost range is foolish due to enemy LoS lock and their infinite range unless LoS is broken so it is dumped.  Power Boost is moved from 28 to 16 to better support the primaries and as a trade-off for the lack of some of the soft lockdown powers other sets have. While I would like to toss Stun it is realigned in position because again of the tricky nature of this set.  A Ranged AoE Immobilize is added at 20, again to sync up with its counterparts.  The end gain is mez protection, the correction for the lack of a single hold and yet no real dilution of the multi buff nature of the set and the removal of a number of melee powers.

 

1 - Power Cage (Ranged Immobilize) - New Power.  Single Target Immobilize with Minor DoT.

2 - Power Thrust (Melee) - Moved From 1 to 2.

4 - Energy Field (Self Toggle PBAoE Aura w/DoT) - New PowerSimilar to other Toggle Auras.

10 - Build Up (Self Buff ToHit and Dam) - Moved From 4 to 10.

16 - Power Boost (Special - Buff Secondary Effects) - Moved From 28 to 16.

20 - Energy Trap (Ranged AoE Immobilize) - New Power.  Range is 40 with Recharge of 12 Seconds and Minor DoT.

28 - Power Stun (Ranged Stun) - Changed power from Melee Stun to a Short Range Stun.  Range is 20 (Similar to Taser).  No longer deals any Damage. Name Changed as well.

35 - Conserve Power (Self Buff - Endurance Cost Reduction) - Moved From 16 to 35.

38 - Energize (Self Buff Magnitude 15 Mez bust with 60 Second Mez Protection) - New Power.  Essentially a Tier 2 Break Free (Exact stats in fact).  The Recharge on this power is 240 Seconds (4 Minutes)

 

TOSSED POWERS:  Energy Punch (2), Bone Smasher (10), Boost Range (35), Total Focus (38).

 

Devices

 

Is the hardest to mess with if trying to make it parallel up with the other Secondaries that were modified.  It is also tough because if it is messed with too much it becomes just another version of Traps (which is in truth a better devices set).  But there are too many damage dealing powers in this set and not enough support buffs for the team or even the individual.  There are certain powers that are total fan favorites and yet totally defy the spirit of what I am doing here.  Time Bomb had to go for a number of reasons and unfortunately, so does Auto Turret.  Trip mine is the only major Damaging power I have left in.  But Devices deserved an AoE soft lockdown and the Mez protection so I HAD to dump two powers for that.

 

1 - Web Grenade (Ranged Immobilize w/-RECH) - No Change to Existing Power.

2 - Taser (Ranged stun) - Moved From 4 to 2.

4 - Caltrops (Slow with DoT) - Moved From 2 to 4.

10 - Targeting Drone (Self Toggle ToHit Buff) - Changed to buff Damage to ANY Snipe.

16 - Smoke Grenade (Special - Ranged AoE ToHit Debuff) - No Change to Existing Power.

20 - Glue Grenade - New Power.  Essentially the same Grenade as PPD Ghosts have.  Ranged AoE Immobilize.  Range is 40 with Recharge of 12.

28 - Cloaking Device (Special - Self Stealth) - Adds a small amount of Taunt and Placate Immunity.

35 - Trip Mine (Special - AoE Damage) - Moved From 28 to 35.

38 - Injection (Self Buff Magnitude 15 Mez bust with 60 Second Mez Protection) - New Power.  Essentially a Tier 2 Break Free (Exact stats in fact).  The Recharge on this power is 240 Seconds (4 Minutes)

 

TOSSED POWERS: Time Bomb (35), Auto Turret (38).

 

Remaining Issues do exist.  I am still trying to find some workarounds for removing Combustion from Fire Manipulation.  I still do not like the Melee aspect, as well as its Aura nature.  I would like to toss Trip Mine from Devices for something else but cannot think of a reasonable trade for now.  I really dislike the Holds that remain with Ice and Electric.

 

THINGS I HAVE TO FIX

 

- Remove Holds from Secondaries (Electric, Ice)

- Fix Combustion (Fire)