UC: Ex, Ax, or Sling? (in General)

AdminNightStrike October 30 2006 2:03 PM EST

As the title says, which is best? Given the giant Evasion present in UC strats, I'm guessing that the Axbow is out. I didn't even consider the Elbow, because it requires archery for full effectiveness. So, Exbow to make the melee blows less powerful, or Sling to do damage in ranged?

QBJohnnywas October 30 2006 2:11 PM EST

My ranged of choice was the ELB before the changes.

What you really need is damage. If your UC is high enough you won't need to worry about tanks at all - if they can't hit you it doesn't matter how hard or how fast they are. So from that point of view, as I've said elsewhere you're wasting your ranged attack.

A UC tank whilst being able to specialize by targetting tanks can be very effective against mage teams if you up it's ranged damage. So, the Sling of Death is the best choice now. Excellent damage, even without the Explosive shot.

Of course this is purely my choice!

AdminShade October 30 2006 2:34 PM EST

Damage wise: ELB > Compound > SoD > Ex = Ax = Hx.

If you need the DX/ST gap: Ex/Ax

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] October 30 2006 2:40 PM EST

I'm not that heavily experienced with UC, however I always considered the AX the obvious choice. While the more experienced UC folks have always said you didn't need the extra dex gap, I've always suspected that you might find that the extra few hundred k dex could mean the difference between single and double hits on both sides.

QBJohnnywas October 30 2006 2:45 PM EST

I don't disagree with Nov's comments. My version comes from what has worked best for me. Other people have done differently.

(As an aside, I was fairly convinced that Elb and Comp weren't much use without archery since the changes. Anyone want to chip in differently? Because the more damage the better would be my choice...)

What you really want to work out is who your victims are going to be. Nov's right, that extra dex gap could be the difference between a big ToA tank with a morg hitting you or not. And only one strike at the upper levels can be deadly.

So, if you're planning on specializing then the axbow/exbow can be a help. But more damage in ranged can help you be a more all round fighter...

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] October 30 2006 2:48 PM EST

the elb is barely usable with archery...
I'm stuck fighting only those teams who've either been left to rot,
or people kind enough not to train a token evasion.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] October 30 2006 2:59 PM EST

UC is better off without any form of ranged, but if you must, don't use the axbow, because of the latent evasion the dex gap isn't needed.
Exbow, doesn't do its job like the axbow. The STR drain isn't great. And the damage reduced is almost next to nothing.
Elb is pretty much useless without archery as for any bow.
Your best bet is to use the sling with plenty of pth.
Sling doesn't need a skill and you get splash damage if you use exp shot.

AdminNightStrike October 30 2006 5:09 PM EST

Henk, how can you say don't use ranged? You can dump your entire weapon allowance (which is massive) into ranged. It's not going to be a paltry amount of ST damage, either -- it'll be a metric ton. Heck, even a few hundred k is quite effective.

Why use a sling?

QBJohnnywas October 30 2006 5:43 PM EST

NS, I fully agree with you on the ranged issue. If it's there and available why not use it?

Sling over bow? I may have misunderstood the changes to ranged, but from my understanding the penalty to chance to hit is greater for an (archerless) Elb than it is for a sling. The SoD has a pretty damn good damage output and the bonus of being able to use ex shots. Ex shots are second only to FB in their ability to take out more than one minion at a time, which is nice when your UC guy isn't as strong as other tanks.

So, the chance to hit more times in ranged for less damage maybe, but the ability to hit multiple targets as you're hitting more times. I've run with an Elb on a UC tank before and I'm running with the SoD now and they're pretty equal actually. I'll let you know my final judgement when my SoD is a lot bigger though...

AdminShade October 30 2006 5:44 PM EST

UC could be very effective without ranged, though you'd have to have AMF then for sure to last long enough against mages.

It's the same thing I am running against, no AMF = hurting!!!

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] October 30 2006 5:54 PM EST

I see my chanter getting consistent double hits with his SoD, even with archery trained and PTh nearing +50 I'm still not always getting double hits against 0 dex minions...use the SoD

QBJohnnywas October 30 2006 5:59 PM EST

Oh and my x22 SoD does more damage than my UC (22)....

QBJohnnywas October 30 2006 6:01 PM EST

Oops, my mistake. It only does more damage some of the time. The average damage per round at the top of the play by play is based on the spread damage....

Still it does do more damage some of the time!

AdminNightStrike October 30 2006 6:33 PM EST

JW, Sling over bow, no question. You can't use an ELB without Archery, so that's out for UC. Xbows still are viable, however. The idea is to use ranged to augment melee with stat draining bows.

novice, Archery only affects bows, not slings. I'm not sure what you mean in your post.

Miandrital October 30 2006 6:37 PM EST

SoD all the way, the damage outweighs any drain that the xbows could provide.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] October 30 2006 6:37 PM EST

I was saying the SoD doesn't have anything like the PTh penalty of the ELB, even with archery trained. My enchanter using an SoD gets more consistent double hits from dex than my tank with elb/archery...

AdminNightStrike October 30 2006 6:40 PM EST

There is no pth penalty when you have archery + ELB.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] October 30 2006 6:45 PM EST

Not true, not in the slightest, read the change log.

AdminNightStrike October 30 2006 6:49 PM EST

Ah.. ok, there is no pth penalty in the 3rd ranged round with an ELB + archery. There are no specifics on the effects in rounds 1 and 2.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 30 2006 8:11 PM EST

I'm gonna throw my weight behind the 'SoD, Don;t use an ELBow without Archery' crowd! ;)

QBOddBird October 30 2006 8:17 PM EST

"Damage wise: ELB > Compound > SoD > Ex = Ax = Hx. " Except UC is a skill, so no Archery, sooo:

For UC: SoD > Ex > ELB > Compound.

Ax/Hx = trash

SoD is fantastic for its spread damage. With UC characters, hitting past those annoying walls is VITAL.

Ex can also be good, reducing the amount of damage done in case you've got a wall yourself - great defensively, but really not as useful as offensive power.

ELB can be good if $$$ is pumped into its +.

Compound is good if you're cheap and you don't care about winning those extra few battles that you could get with a SoD/Ex/ELB.

AdminNightStrike October 30 2006 8:24 PM EST

Ok, the ELB isn't part of this discussion... without Archery, it's useless. I don't consider non-rare equipment, either, because I don't care what happens at low levels. The discussion is between, as you can see from the title, the Ax, Ex, and SoD.

Given how Evasion works with defensive dex, I think it's fairly safe to narrow that down to Ex vs. SoD.

The question then becomes, what is the focus of the UC minion's ranged weapon? Is it to make melee easier, or to be a whole secondary focus? I would think that this game revolves around singularity focii, so I would lean towards an Exbow. I would think it'd be better to use ranged to augment the primary focus of melee combat, ie, to make melee easier. And now that Exbows work (3 rounds of firing, no AoI in the way, etc.) it would seem logical. I don't know, though, as I'm not a UC expert (or any type of expert).

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] October 30 2006 8:25 PM EST

I'm actually still confused about PTh penalties for the elb, or maybe I'm missing something about dex based hits. I still see single hits in round 3 of ranged fighting 0
dex minions using my elb, which leads me to believe there is an additional penalty somewhere.

AdminNightStrike October 30 2006 9:17 PM EST

# Archery is different: it no longer affects being able to fire during round 2 of ranged combat. Instead, it affects the ability to use a bow during all rounds -- without archery you will have about 20% of the chance-to-hit that you would have with maxed-out archery. Interpolation between these extremes is linear. (That is, 20% of both DX and non-DX based chance.)
# Bows (with maxed out archery) now have 90% base to-hit in the 3rd round of ranged combat, except the ELB which has 100% to-hit. Odds are still slightly lower in 1st and 2nd rounds.

PirateKing October 30 2006 10:03 PM EST

BBQ wrote:

"SoD is fantastic for its spread damage. With UC characters, hitting past those annoying walls is VITAL."

You left out a minor detail. Namely, spending time hunting down explosive shots for said SoD. Without them, there is no 'spread damage'.

AdminNightStrike October 30 2006 11:03 PM EST

Yeah, that's something that gives a 1up for the Exbow. The only thing more available than Slayer Bolts are the utterly useless Seeker Bolts. I really think the Exbow outweighs the sling, as ex shots are nowhere to be found. I have 911 of them.... I bought them a long time ago, and haven't ever been able to since.

Miandrital October 30 2006 11:10 PM EST

If you could manage it, a x1000-x1500 exbow would probably be enough to completely negate most team's strength in ranged. Given that that would only cost ~15 mil (for the x) I could see how exbow might be more useful if you just wanted to make your UC minion's life easier. However, if you want damage, you obviously must go with SoD.

QBJohnnywas October 31 2006 1:11 AM EST

UC's biggest weakness is mages.

This statement is not actually completely true. It seems like much smaller mage teams can take on your UC guy and win. There is a reason for this. The UC skill is made up of the UC weapon and Evasion. Evasion is useless against mages. A complete waste of time and XP if you're facing a mage team. If you take a single UC tank and a single FB mage of the same PR/MPR, what you're actually seeing is the UC guy is smaller during that fight, because the evasion is wasted xp. The amount of PR during that fight (during any fight) is not what you home page shows, it actually varies fight to fight. AMF is useless against tanks, so if you have a large AMF in a battle with a tank you're smaller by the amount of XP contained in that AMF.

UC guy is actually good against mages, so long as the 'invisible' PR is more equal. He's just not that good against equal sized mage teams...

UC guy becomes smaller when he fights mages. So why make him even smaller by equipping a weapon that really is only good against tanks? Give him decent ranged damage and even out the PR difference where mages are concerned. Make him more of a good all-rounder....

AdminNightStrike October 31 2006 1:49 AM EST

That sounds like an argument for a heavy crossbow with seeker bolts......

QBJohnnywas October 31 2006 1:51 AM EST

Lol, it might be, it might be!

AdminNightStrike October 31 2006 2:02 AM EST

You might be on to something.... although remember that the damage applied by an Exbow is the same as a Hxbow. They're both 4x1. So if the only mages you have to worry about are single mages, then the Exbow with slayers will still hurt those single mages pretty bad.

To Miandrital re: making UC minion's life easier -- that's the idea. The UC minion's focus is melee damage, not ranged damage. Why focus on two things with one minion? Make ranged augment melee, not run alongside it.

AdminNightStrike November 13 2006 6:29 AM EST

Is the Hxbow cheaper to upgrade than the Exbow?

muon [The Winds Of Fate] November 13 2006 6:55 AM EST

Probably. But, as has been eloquently stated before, the ranged should augment melee.

So, against a mage, the ex bow is just as effective as the heavy crossbow; but against a tank, the exbow is the better option. Ergo, the exbow is the better choice.

After all, you have a massive weapon allocation that is begging to be used. And if money is your concern, then why aren't you running a mage team? :-)

AdminNightStrike November 13 2006 7:37 AM EST

Your point is valid, though it seems counter-intuitive to have an Exbow with seekers shooting at a tank. I know what you mean, though.

QBRanger November 13 2006 8:37 AM EST

If, and only if, the RBF would be boosted, a great strat would be UC with a RBF using an exbow.

But that is only if Jon boosts the RBF's damage to appropriate levels.

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] November 13 2006 9:32 AM EST

All 3 of the top xbows have the same upgrade costs as far as I am aware therefore making it generally pointless to have a hxbow unless you want to go mage hunting rather than fighting off tanks :)

AdminNightStrike November 13 2006 10:48 AM EST

If the upgrade price is the same, then as muon stated, there is no point, as an Exbow with seekers will still hit a tank when there are no mages.

AdminNightStrike November 13 2006 10:59 AM EST

"If, and only if, the RBF would be boosted, a great strat would be UC with a RBF using an exbow."

That was Sefton's strat for a while, as I recall. I thought it worked well, despite the drawbacks of such a weak tattoo.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 13 2006 11:07 AM EST

that was before the RoBF worked on a per strike basis...
Jon did recently point out that I was incorrect about archery, it only effects
the PTH and Base weapon CTH, not dexterity based hits. So a UC minion with high dexterity could still make good use of an ELB.

AdminNightStrike November 13 2006 11:09 AM EST

Query: "per strike"?

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 13 2006 11:40 AM EST

My understanding is that now every hit verses a minion causes a back lash from the RoBF, previously it was one return per round. To make the most use out of the RoBF now, you'd want 0 dex minions with huge AC/End.

Kong Ming November 13 2006 12:19 PM EST

Since we are on this topic, how much backlash does a RoBF return?

AdminNightStrike November 13 2006 3:52 PM EST

The Wiki says 10% of level.

Xenko November 13 2006 8:24 PM EST

"My understanding is that now every hit verses a minion causes a back lash from the RoBF, previously it was one return per round. To make the most use out of the RoBF now, you'd want 0 dex minions with huge AC/End."

I assume that by AC/End you mean AC and Endurance.

If so, could you please enlighten me as to how you would get Endurance on a minion equipped with an RoBF, because I think that would be an awesome combo!

If not, what does the End stand for?

AdminNightStrike November 13 2006 8:33 PM EST

"End" means "Protection" :)

How would you go about getting a huge AC on a minion wearing a tattoo?

Also, does the Aura effect apply to backlash, or just fire absorption?

Xenko November 13 2006 11:07 PM EST

How do you get Protection from "End"?? It boggles the mind!

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 13 2006 11:13 PM EST


AdminNightStrike November 13 2006 11:17 PM EST


Read between the tattoos :)

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