Author Topic: Playing an assault rifle combatant  (Read 9703 times)

RailNomad

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Playing an assault rifle combatant
« on: May 08, 2015, 01:45:49 PM »
I've finished Gorsky's quest and am off to Junkyard now. I started with attributes
St 7
Dex 3
Ag 3
Co 7
Pe 10
Will 3
Int 7

I plan to specialize in Assault Rifles, heavy armor and crafting. I have put little points into Evasion and Dodge because I believe they don't help much when you have armor with penalty of 50%+. Finding or crafting such armor in the beginning seems difficult, so I wonder if I should have bumbed points into them anyway.

I got an extra attribute point at level up and I decided to put in into constitution. Is this a wise choice? Raising constitution up to 10? Again, I thought that if I'm going to walk in heavy armor I will not dodge the bullets anyway. However, at this point smg's seem to work better than assault rifles and I wonder if that extra point in agility would have helped me more than extra point in constitution.

About psionics. Should I try to learn a few tricks even with such low willpower or should I skip it entirely? Should I invest any points into these skills?

Persuasion & Intimidation & Mercantile. Powerfulness of these skills is difficult to determine, because the limit values are not shown. Worth the points or not?

Crafting: Finding gun and armor cases seems to be difficult. I propably just have to keep on looking. Mechanics is apparently the most important skill for my character. Is tailoring any good once I get access to metal armor? I believe Biology is useful for creating health hypos, but should I increase it above that?

And how do I craft ammo? I have lots of empty cases, but can't find blueprint for ammo.

I picked up recklessness feat. I guess it's just maths, but does it hurt more low-armor high evasion players or high-armor low evasion players?

Thanks. Amazing game.  :D

SadBaxter

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2015, 12:08:37 AM »
Well firstly my assault rifle build is rather different to yours. I started out with 6 strength, increasing to 7 to pick up full auto (although perhaps not too early, those extra two shots in an already ammo-expensive burst make things difficult...), plus 6 dex and 6 agility to get sprint at level 1 (hugely important, especially if you're using a high armor penalty build), and point shot later on (its damage is increase by smart modules as it counts as a special attack and you can use it every turn). all my other stats were the same apart from 3 Constitution and one less point in perception. Constitution isn't necessary for this build as you'll have options to avoid taking damage like high-quality armor (particularly tactical vests), and bear traps (the skill requirement to use them is super low and they will disable anyone for two turns). You need int 7 so you can pick up gun nut early, say at level 4 or 6, it's an indispensable ability if you're crafting your own guns.

The skills I chose for my assault rifle guy were

-guns (duh)
-hacking + lockpicking (It's the way I play every RPG. I like breaking into places and you'll certainly get your money's worth for these skills
-traps(You could probably leave this skill if all you're going to do is use beartraps but if you'd like to use mines and also disarm landmines for some small exp rewards (and so you don't get blown up) it's worthwhile throwing some points into this most levels.
- Mechanics, electronics, Tailoring (Increase all 3 to their max, but once you're starting to hit level 10 or so you can maybe skip a level and put the points you saved into some other skills to bring them to a useful level. Chemistry is worth taking to ~15 for armor crafting purposes, but that's an occasional thing. You could increase it more if you plan on crafting grenades/mines or special ammo

Feats to look out for are aimed shot, sprint, gun nut, suppressive fire, full auto, rapid fire+point shot, concentrated fire, and commando. Stuff like sharpshooter and critical power go well with any ranged build, and considering that you'll be putting out a large volume of fire expertise and recklessness would be good too.

as for your other questions:

-You don't need to put any points into evasion and dodge if you're using heavier armor, besides you can get some free points from a pair of tabi if you're using them.
-With 3 will psionics will not be worthwhile, don't waste feats or skill points on them when you've got other things you can be investing in.
-Depends, persuasion looks like it's a requirement to take certain quests and also to allow you to take some quests in the direction you'd like, whereas intimidate seems to be more useful to avoid fighting. I've often thought it may have been worth it to shave another point off my perception at character creation to give me 4 will, so I didn't have a penalty to my persuasion score (having 3 in a stat penalizes any relevant skills.)
-Mechanics, electronics, and tailoring are 3 extremely important crafting skills. Biology is more for people going to be crafting psionic equipment, or when combined with chemistry for people using crossbows. Try and end up with 15 chemistry at some point so you can craft using a particular kind of animal leather that's handy later on. Tailoring will be useful the whole game as you can attach overcoats to practically every set of armor and you can also make balaclavas and tabi. With high quality black cloth you can make a full set of stealth armor to keep in your inventory, and have some limited sneaking capabilities even without a single point in the stealth skill.
-The blueprints for gun ammo are rare and hard to find, some merchants stock them but it's extremely uncommon.
-Recklessness hurts low armor players more than high-armor ones. With strong armor crits aren't going to be that dangerous.

lastly even if you're concentrating on assault rifles, take a sniper rifle along with you as well. With some attachments combined with aimed shot you can one-shot a whole bunch of enemies which is very handy, for both opening combat and also for slowly taking out a bunch of strong enemies like sentry robots/turrets

RailNomad

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2015, 08:38:24 AM »
Thanks a lot! Now I've reached the point where I could craft my own metal armors and was suprised that I need 51 points in tailoring to put it together. The description of Tailoring skill is a bit misleading as it clearly is not just about putting leather and cloth pieces together.

Now that low Constitution high Ag&Dex seems counter intuitive, but guess I'll give it a try next time.

This is so great game in many aspects and offers so many possibilities.

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2015, 11:08:55 AM »
Let me just say this here:
If you pick Constitution and maybe Conditioning, you can play the game being as mobile as a brick.
Pick a high quality metal armour, or a really good vest, and you can tank most damage while dishing it out.
Mobility is crucial for a melee character, but Assault Rifles work while stationary.
Sad Baxter already mentioned the secondary sniper.
Tailoring is a necessity for basically all armour crafting, true.
You could obviously pick a low quality vest, but better is obviously better at this point.
You don't really need Psionics. Yes, they are useful, especially the non-combat stuff like putting up a temporary wall.
They cost a bunch of points, though.
While we're at points, mercantile is of... questionable utility. Given the current game economy, you just don't have a need for extra money. You already get so much you can literally melt it down.
Persuasion and Intimidation are skillsets that have their uses, and sure offer up additional RP, but you can do fine without.
They rarely have significant consequences.
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RailNomad

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2015, 11:27:49 AM »
Now that I've gotten a grip of how the skill points work, I wonder if there's a way for some cheating and altering your attribute/skill points. I'll propably start a new character soon, but I'd like to test a few things first.

So, any chance for save game editing?

SadBaxter

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2015, 03:04:22 PM »
Now that I've gotten a grip of how the skill points work, I wonder if there's a way for some cheating and altering your attribute/skill points. I'll propably start a new character soon, but I'd like to test a few things first.

So, any chance for save game editing?

Haven't seen any save editors and nothing's stored in plaintext. If you looked through it with a hex reader you might find some interesting stuff but I've never had the patience for it. All you can really do is use stuff like cheatengine to set your skill points on level up to a higher value or fix it in place. You might be able to do the same with feats as you get 1 feat point every 2 levels but searching for any integer with a value of 1 or 0 when you're memory searching is... next to impossible.

Wildan

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2015, 12:07:33 AM »
I have yet a different approach when it comes to the assault rifles.

One big advantage AR gunner has is that he can afford to dump more stats than anybody else. He only really needs 8 strength to wear metal armor which is also enough to fire ARs without penalty (beware of Crippling Strike), and highest possible perception for damage and precission. Everything else is optional.

That leaves us with extra 7 stat points. Putting any of those into agility is probably the worst choice. You'll want to have the strongest armor possible and will reach 95% armor penalty anyway. Any points and skill bonuses to dodge/evade/stealth are gone. Same to qualify for the Sprint feat. Unlike a heavy melee or a gunslinger this character doesn't need to get close to his targets. ARs have a good range and if you need more use a sniper rifle as a secondary as already suggested before. In my experience it's still better to carry two differently speced ARs - a fast precise Hornet, and an anatomically aware chimera to hit hard (especially with crits when combined with Critical Power).
At any given time if you have a mediocre chance to hit, the enemy is even worse off as you'll always have higher perception. You don't always have to burst just because you can. With ARs you also get movement penalty so if you use Sprint to get closer your chance to hit won't improve much in that same turn (the enemies will now hit you easier though). When you really need to move it's better to use all your AP for good strategic positioning and shoot in the next turn.

From the free 7 points one could use 4 for intelligence to have crafting feats. Better than agility but still not the best choice. Armor crafting feats are not needed at all. You're a fortress on legs and will reach the capped 95% damage resistance with ease, even if you don't craft but buy all your equipment. Gun Nut is nice indeed but is 20% upper damage range worth 4 stat points? Absolutely not, especially if you have to shed off perception for that.
One single point in perception is better than Gun Nut. Damage wise it's almost the same but you also get a higher chance to hit and are saving a precious feat slot. In my eyes not spending every single level up stat point for perception is the biggest mistake one can make with an AR character. Of all builds I played this one needs the least amount of crafting. You can make best possible (non - Gun Nut) assault rifles with as little as 3 int, just not early in the game.

The best choice for those last 7 stat points is constitution and it fits perfectly into a total of 10 points. You don't only get a much higher HP pool but by taking Conditioning also +15 mechanical, cold and heat damage resistance which will later on be enough to allow you to free your headgear slot for good smart goggles (bonus to special attacks like burst) and bullet strap belt (a must when you are able to burst 3 times per round) which will replace the lifting belt (usefull early on till you get to 95% resistance cap). Constitution also has one of the best feats in the game available - Survival Instincs which gives you +30% critical chance when under 30% health and this is when you need it the most. Heck, together with Juggernaut the HP pool is so strong one could deliberately walk with under 30% HP, crit with 60-70% chance and still have the same if not better survivability than a 3 con build (as a permadeath player I would never take that risk though).

So assuming you'll reach level 24 you'll have:
8 str
3 dex
3 agi
10 con
16 per
3 will
3 int

Big advantage of a heavy armor build is you don't have to put a single point into dodge, evade or stealth. That will make you swim in skillpoints later on. Even when you completely satisfy all your locpicking/crafting, throwing and crafting needs you'll still have enough points left to maximise at least 2 PSI skills, even all of 3 if you don't go overboard with chemistry and biology. There is no need to waste points in social skills. They will do nothing in combat and you'll have enough money anyway, even if you melt tons of Charons.

PSI system is still very broken to the players advantage. besides Locus of Control which is very expensive you can get the best PSI feats like Premeditation and Tranqulity (good for stealth/high initiative builds only) with only 3 will, plus you always have a 100% chance to hit. Both Electrokinesis and Cryostasis are currently bugged and nobody can resist their stun/freeze no matter how low your effective psi skill levels are. With Cryokinesis and those two alone you can keep the enemy in a 1vs1 fight stunlocked with as little as 30+35 skill. No reason to skip that for so little points. Like I said though, this build can afford way more. PSI skills synergize very well between each other. The more you have of one, the more you get out of other two. That helps alot to compensate for the skill penalty you get with 3 will plus Survival Instincts also works with PSI abilities - double win.

Feat-wise I'd progress like this:

L 01 - Conditioning
L 01 - Opportunist
L 02 - Suppressive Fire
L 04 - Thick Skull
L 06 - Full Auto
L 08 - Premeditation
L 10 - Concentrated Fire
L 12 - Recklessness
L 14 - Commando
L 16 - Survival Instincts
L 18 - Critical Power
L 20 - Rapid Fire
L 22 - Aimed Shot
L 24 - Juggernaut

RailNomad

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2015, 08:15:05 PM »
Great post, Wildan! What's the advantage of 8 Strength instead of 7? You get all the feats with 7... How is the armor and ar penalty calculated?

SadBaxter

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2015, 12:48:14 AM »
Great post, Wildan! What's the advantage of 8 Strength instead of 7? You get all the feats with 7... How is the armor and ar penalty calculated?

You need 8 strength for some metal armors, and it looks like metal armor scales better into lategame than tactical vests.

Wildan

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2015, 03:41:29 AM »
How is the armor and ar penalty calculated?

I did some testing with a 8 str character and used Junkyard Surprise as a way to apply the strength debuf. I made sure that the character was not encumbered (which adds AP penalty on it's own).

8 str + tsten armor (9 str min) = 44 AP
7 str + steel  armor (8 str min) = 43 AP
7 str + tsten armor (9 str min) = 38 AP
6 str + steel  armor (8 str min) = 37 AP
6 str + tsten armor (9 str min) = 35 AP

So we can conclude that the AP penalty equals the same decrease of str exactly, in percent ofcourse. (all values are rounded down):
9 str - 12% = 8 str. ---> 50 AP - 12% = 44 AP
8 str - 13% = 7 str. ---> 50 AP - 13% = 43 AP
9 str - 22% = 7 str. ---> 50 AP - 22% = 38 AP (its actually 22,2222... that's why the penalty is 12 and not 11)
8 str - 25% = 6 str. ---> 50 AP - 25% = 37 AP
9 str - 33% = 6 str. -->  50 AP - 33% = 33 AP (debuff cap reached so it stays at 35)

No matter how low your str is compared to the armor you always retain a minumum of 35 AP, not even when heavily encumbered. It's till a hefty penalty for a single Crippling Strike, very effective against characters with no additional strength buffer, especially when combined with Wrestling. Yes, NPCs use the same dirty little feats like the player does. Armored AR gunners should never underestimate melee opponents and always carry a few adrenaline shots as a "cure".

Oh, I almost forgot: One awesome thing about Junkyard Surprise and crafting. It gives +1/2 and -1/2 to random base abilities, so by eating it you have  about 7% chance to increase your intelligence by 2. If it gives you wrong stats just eat another one. It's temporarly ofcourse but thats all we need as a crafting buff. This way a 3 int character who previously had -10% in crafting skills now has +8,5%. Pretty neat for a bit of a food abuse. Just don't throw it up.  ;)
« Last Edit: May 11, 2015, 03:58:09 AM by Wildan »

epeli

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2015, 04:20:50 AM »
How is the armor and ar penalty calculated?

The precision penalty for weapons probably works just like the AP penalty Wildan tested, except there's no debuff cap and it's more complicated since enemy dodge/evasion is also involved.

So we can conclude that the AP penalty equals the same decrease of str exactly, in percent ofcourse. (all values are rounded down):

9 str - 33% = 6 str. -->  50 AP - 33% = 33 AP (debuff cap reached so it stays at 35)

That's a really interesting observation. Looks like debuffs can't drop your AP below 35. Just tested it - armor AP penalty, dazed and fatigue (from adrenaline wearing out) all give the same 15 AP penalty and they don't stack.


edit:
Both Electrokinesis and Cryostasis are currently bugged and nobody can resist their stun/freeze no matter how low your effective psi skill levels are.

Ah, no, not exactly. Electroshocks and freezing aren't unique to psionics, so they work differently than other psi.

Any source of electricity stuns for 1t unless it is completely resisted and there's plenty of those in addition to electrokinesis (electroshock melee weapons, electroshock pistols, shock bolts, tasers)

Duration of cold effects - chill and freeze - from any source (cold-based metathermics, cryo pistols, cryo traps, cryogas) can be mitigated with cold resistance.
I agree this is a poor idea for Cryostasis; it doesn't scale from psi skill at all and the breakpoints for its short duration are huge when split to 5s turns. It's one of those old abilities that really shows Underrail's RTwP roots.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2015, 05:37:45 AM by epeli »
[[Underrail Wiki]] // character build tool: underrail.info.tm (thread)

RailNomad

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2015, 03:04:53 PM »
Question about Perception: According to wiki Perception only affects combat skills by increasing Guns skill, but since you have lots of skill points to put into Guns, what's the point of going above 10 with this ability? Or what do you need this stat for besides feats (concentrated fire requires 8 ) if you can increase Guns as much as you please with skill points?

I still consider getting the gun nut feat with int 7 and putting all extra points into constitution.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 03:09:43 PM by RailNomad »

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2015, 03:42:21 PM »
Well, it allows you to spend less points in guns, or be even more accuracy against enemies that are tricky to hit.
You will, eventually, reach a level where more points in guns don't help, I suppose, so raising it above 11 or 12 is.... a matter of taste I guess.
Then again, you could just as well say that at some point you really don't need more hitpoints.^^
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RailNomad

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2015, 03:55:42 PM »
Well, it allows you to spend less points in guns, or be even more accuracy against enemies that are tricky to hit.
But this "even more" accuracy is due increased Guns skill, right?

Constituion is an attribute that gives something useful by itself with every level, so having high constitution enables you to safely play with hp constantly at 30% and thus getting the advantage of high criticals from Survival Instincts feat.

Or then you could put those points into Will and get some of the psi feats.

RailNomad

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2015, 04:06:46 PM »
I wonder what is the useful maximum of Guns skill. Since you want the Commando feat, you have to raise the basic Guns skill to 80. With level 8 perception this gives effective Guns skill value 107. Of course the extra perception helps on lower levels when the skill is capped to a lower limit.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 04:29:07 PM by RailNomad »