Author Topic: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall  (Read 5050 times)

bati

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Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« on: July 02, 2015, 06:00:14 PM »
Hi

I'm playing a stealthy techhead that likes to get up close and personal with fist weapons. This build has worked amazingly well throughout the game so far - I just got to Core City but decided to turn back and head to Rail Crossing where I'm having huge issues fighting Faceless. Unless I crit I basically don't do any damage to them and my hit percentage versus them is relatively low as it is - about 70% (weapon is at ~90% durability, but I suspect difference in levels might play some role here - my 17 vs their 20). It feels like I'm missing something important but I can't quite figure out what it is. Fwiw, I noticed the first sign of things to come vs The Exploder in the arena.

My combat stats are as following (level 17):

7 strength
8 agi
9 dexterity
95 melee, dodge, evasion

Offensive stats:

Damage: 21-35
AP: 7
Impact Speed: Very low
Crit chance: 19%
Crit bonus: 225%
Initiative: 22

My fist weapon has 10-17 (8-13,2-4) damage range. I am also using Force Emission which adds 8-17 dmage to my strikes.

Relevant perks (the others are mostly to support stealth and lockpicking):

Nimble
Recklesness
Lightning Punches
Cheap Shots
Wrestling
Combo
Critical Power

Is there something I can realistically add to this build to make it more potent? Note that I don't have any points at all in crafting, so making my own fist weapons is out of the question for this run.

There are a couple perks that I think could help a bit:

Expertise (if it even works with fist weapons, when I took it for testing purposes I didn't see any changes on the Offensive tab)
Heavy Punch
Opportunist (I stun a lot)
Expose weakness
Bone Breaker (very unreliable)

I've also thought about getting a sledge hammer as a secondary weapon but if possible I'd prefer to stick with fist weapons.

Lastly, let me just say that this game is absolutely amazing. So even if my build is fucked I won't be mad at all if I have to restart :).

Thanks in advance for answers.

epeli

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Re: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2015, 07:22:21 PM »
Hey there and welcome to the forums!

The gist of your problem is that fast & small hits with poor armor penetration (like punching or stabbing) are easily stopped by armor threshold - Expose Weakness is a direct solution to that problem.

Expertise also works with fist weapons and is very powerful - it adds to every number of damage you do, so a single hit with (8-13,2-4) glove will get the expertise bonus twice. Its effect doesn't show up in combat stats as it doesn't add damage to all hits, only to non-critical hits.

Hit chance is based on your melee skill vs target's dodge skill. Higher level enemies will have higher dodge, so yeah, level difference indirectly affects it. Keeping your weapon skill maxed is obvious (it increases both damage and hit chance), but having a very high attribute (dex for fast melee) to increase the skill further is also very helpful.
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GJIG

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Re: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2015, 07:45:19 PM »
Expose Weakness would help a lot: if the enemy has 20 mechanical threshold and you hit for 21 damage, expose weakness will up your damage from 1 to 11, which is a pretty significant increase. Everything helps when you're dealing zero damage, so expertise would be very significant as well.

The problem is Expose has a 4 turn cooldown, so you really should have alternative means of dealing damage. The real problem you're running into is that you're relying upon a single damage type: mechanical. It stands to reason you'd have trouble with mechanically resistant enemies.

You have dex, so you could use grenades. Grenadier would allow you to drop heat-damage based grenades every 2 turns, and toxic grenades once every turn.

Alternatively, if you choose to rebuild, you could switch your strength to will. You'd lose damage from strength, but you'd also gain a lot of damage from a much, much stronger Force Emission (if you invested heavily in psychokinesis). Most importantly, you'd have a means of dealing cold/heat/electrical damage through psi. It also gives you more stuns, which disable the enemy's dodge and evasion.

If you choose to stick with your current build, I would also recommend Dirty Kick on top of Expertise and Expose Weakness --- stuns are very valuable if you are having any problems with hit chance at all. Also, an Electroshock Sledgehammer could be a useful addition to your arsenal, even if you plan on mostly using unarmed. You should at least have the option to deal something other than mechanical damage.

bati

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Re: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2015, 08:09:16 PM »
Thanks for suggestions. Unfortunately I can only pick two more feats before I hit the level cap so those two will likely end up being Expertise and Expose Weakness. On the other hand, my throwing is reasonably high so I might decide to take Grenadier instead of EW.

I did think about going with a Psi build as well, but I can't quite settle on a build. I don't want to take crafting but apparently you get some pretty crucial items through it (psi vest and such). I'd also hate to lose lockpicking, stealth and electronics which I'm currently using and loving all of them.

I was thinking of these attributes (please feel free to weigh in, even though it's offtopic :)

Dodge, Evasion (could drop Dodge if I'm gonna keep my range), Lockpicking, Stealth (also a candidate to be dropped), Electronics, Psychokinesis, Metathermics, Persuasion. Stat spread would be focused on Will and Dex. Is it generally recommended to focus on all 3 psi abilities since you're already heavily invested into Will stat? What about social, is one enough or should one generally get both persuasion and intimidate if going that route?

Your strength/will idea also sounds very appealing. If I can convince myself to drop container opening skills I might just go that route.

edit: missed a post

Hey there and welcome to the forums!

The gist of your problem is that fast & small hits with poor armor penetration (like punching or stabbing) are easily stopped by armor threshold - Expose Weakness is a direct solution to that problem.

Expertise also works with fist weapons and is very powerful - it adds to every number of damage you do, so a single hit with (8-13,2-4) glove will get the expertise bonus twice. Its effect doesn't show up in combat stats as it doesn't add damage to all hits, only to non-critical hits.

Hit chance is based on your melee skill vs target's dodge skill. Higher level enemies will have higher dodge, so yeah, level difference indirectly affects it. Keeping your weapon skill maxed is obvious (it increases both damage and hit chance), but having a very high attribute (dex for fast melee) to increase the skill further is also very helpful.

Somehow I completely missed your post, was scrolled down too far :). Thanks for the detailed info, very much appreciate it. It sounds like Expertise should be my first priority since I'm going to get 34 extra damage becase I'm using gloves with two different types of mechanical damage (blunt and spikes). Unless my math is wrong this will give me more benefit at this point - the enemies I ran into had about 20-25 mechanical treshold so adding 34 on top would put me at ~+30, EW would be at +~13-15 only.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 08:15:20 PM by bati »

epeli

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Re: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2015, 09:08:36 PM »
Unfortunately I can only pick two more feats before I hit the level cap so those two will likely end up being Expertise and Expose Weakness.
If you're playing the latest version (0.1.14.2), the level cap is 25. Four more feats!

Unless my math is wrong this will give me more benefit at this point - the enemies I ran into had about 20-25 mechanical treshold so adding 34 on top would put me at ~+30, EW would be at +~13-15 only.

Ah, no, not quite. You see, each hit has to pass the armor threshold seperately. Since your gloves deal two discrete numbers of damage, both the blunt hit and the spike hit will have to pass threshold separately, but both also get the expertise bonus.
And even when you crit and or deal with weaker enemy armor thresholds, your damage is still reduced by resistance. Expose Weakness halves both threshold and resistance.

Random tip: get Telekinetic Proxy if you can. It can mimic your psi-punches. ;) Especially nice if you reroll with will instead of str, but works just fine with your current character.
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bati

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Re: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2015, 09:15:22 PM »
Ah of course, I should've realised it works like that. Thanks for clarifying. 25 is the new level cap? Niiiiiiiiiice. This opens up a lot of possibilities.

Great protip on the TP, I'll try to get it asap. I think I'll turn away from Railroad Crossing for now and try to find more oddities (great system btw) and quests to complete in Core City so I can get that level up and with it an increase in power  8)

GJIG

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Re: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2015, 09:44:24 PM »
Your strength/will idea also sounds very appealing. If I can convince myself to drop container opening skills I might just go that route.

Actually, I meant putting points into Will instead of strength --- you'd still have 5 or more int and high dex, so you wouldn't be sacrificing containers or anything like that. What you would be sacrificing is Wrestling and 10% bonus damage to fists from strength, but you'd gain damage from better Force Emission, and you would of course gain all of the other advantages that a high-will PSI build has. The build would work on the principle that you'd use your bare fists with force emission for 4-5 AP attacks versus enemies with low mechanical resistance, and you'd switch to Neural Overload/Electrokinesis/Metathermics for enemies in metal armor.

In my opinion, strength is not a very important attribute for an unarmed build. I would only recommend strength on builds that rely on it for both offense and defense, e.g. Assault Rifle builds that use Metal armor + Full Auto. With Lightning Punches, you won't be wearing Metal Armor, so you only get a bit of extra damage from strength. You get much better gains from Dex/Agi/Will, based on my own experience. For example, something like 5 int, 10 will, 11 dex (4 AP fists with tabi boots + lightning punches), rest into Agi (you could go for 10 agi if you want to, Blitz is 5 extra fist attacks if your fists are 4 AP). Dex could work at 8 too, for 5 AP punches --- which meshes nicely with your 5, 10, 15, 20 AP psi.

Quote
I did think about going with a Psi build as well, but I can't quite settle on a build. I don't want to take crafting but apparently you get some pretty crucial items through it (psi vest and such).

The crafting requirements for Psi equipment are pretty low (somewhere in the range of 20-50, I think), and well worth it if you frequently utilize Psi.


Quote
Is it generally recommended to focus on all 3 psi abilities since you're already heavily invested into Will stat? What about social, is one enough or should one generally get both persuasion and intimidate if going that route?

Psychokinesis is so good you want to max it on pretty much all psi builds. Thought Control should be a priority if you have 10 Will --- Locus of Control is an amazing feat. Metathermics can be ignored, but it has some nice stuff in it like Cryostasis at 35 points.

Neither Persuasion nor Intimidate are necessary, unless you're playing a non-combat build that relies upon having a silver tongue for survival. You should pick Intimidate if you want to pick dialogue options where you scare someone. Pick Persuasion if you want dialogue options where you convince someone to do something. If you don't want to do either, you can live without them.

The good thing about dex/will/agi/int is they all affect a lot of skills, so you can spread yourself among 10-12 skills without any particular problems: you don't need to max every single skill. Just pick the lowest points you need for psi headbands, psi armor, specific breakpoints in lockpicking/hacking (like 100 effective skill with a huxkey, or whatever the highest lock is these days), and only max the stats you need to.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 09:54:02 PM by GJIG »

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2015, 11:12:49 PM »
Generally, go Psychokinesis, or go for broke.
PSI-builds are immensely powerful, you get offense, Support, Crowd control, 5 different damage types to chose from as you see fit....
Only bad point is Will isn't really good for anything. Yes, with very high will, even mediocre social skills allow you quite the silver tongue, but even then it doesn't help too often.
It's a bit late for your build, though. ^^
Oh, and against Faceless, EMP Grenades are your friend.
A bit of throwing can go a long way.
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bati

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Re: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2015, 11:19:27 PM »
A bit of throwing can go a long way.

sensiblechuckle.jpg

Ok, you convinced me. Which skills would you take to complement the three Psi skill lines?

Just pick the lowest points you need for psi headbands, psi armor

Do you know off the top of your head what those are? I've checked the wiki for components but I'm not sure how item quality plays into this.

edit: Do those items have static quality? Ie, is Proximal Neuroscopic Filter always quality 51?
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 11:26:33 PM by bati »

Atchodas

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Re: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2015, 02:22:24 AM »
Those items have varying quality you need high crafting skill to keep up with it .

And to complement three PSI skill lines i would go crafting and stealth , crafting will give you best items to enhance your PSI and to survive the incoming damage , stealth will let you position / avoid fights etc , also as a crafter you can always use Energy/Chemical pistols to double your CC .
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 02:26:48 AM by Atchodas »

Fenix

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Re: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2015, 04:09:20 AM »
As answer to your first post.

Yes, in this build you definitely need Expose weakness, also Opportunist recommended (because it is +30% buff to your damage if you stun a lot), at least my build which is the same Unarmed Pirate. ))
The thing nobody said about is gloves with Pneumatic Hammer, which solve all problems with Faceless and their nasty robots (also for Plasma Sentry better to use knife with Electroshock Generator).
But because you have no crafting, it would be difficult to obtaine, also such gloves sometimes sold.

Also, about skill - yeah, I didn't raised Dodge skill, and decide to do it later if I have extra skill points.

And I have Dexterity 13 (12) at lvl 16, so my to hit chance is higher.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 04:11:49 AM by Fenix »

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2015, 09:56:16 AM »
@ Crafting:
With very low, but still some crafting, you'll generally get subpar items, so might as well buy them.
You could get yourself a cheap armour, however, as I've never seen a Psi-Beetle Carpace exceed 40 quality.
On your current build, you should just try to get Psychokinesis to 40, or as high as you can afford, to get a damage boost, and rely on a few extra feats and emp grenades to carry you through.
Melee is... hard.
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bati

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Re: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2015, 11:43:56 AM »
Yeah I noticed :). I don't know if dodge and evasion are broken or just underwhelming but at lvl 20 with maxed out evasion and dodge (~110, 147 effective, 220 on defense tab) vs level 15-20 enemies I get hit with nearly every attack. Only enemies significantly below my level (10 or less) miss me a lot.

It doesn't matter though, this is one of the most enjoyable games I've played in the last few years so I'm really looking forward to start a new character.

One question though - how crucial is Neurology (+15 psi for crafted headbands) for a full psi build?

edit: just to be clear, I don't think melee is THAT bad. I've successfuly finished Arena and Gauntlet with my character as well as the first part of Core City oligarchy questline.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2015, 12:16:20 PM by bati »

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2015, 12:20:34 PM »
Neurology is useful for a full PSI build, because you will run out in large fights.
Given the base regen of around 20 points, you at best gain a single turn however, fo if you wouldn't pick the stats other wise, no biggie.
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Wildan

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Re: Fist weapons vs high armor - ran into a bit of a wall
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2015, 07:44:17 PM »
Bonus from Neurology is almost negliable. IMO it's a waste of a feat unless maybe for pure psionics. Armor made with beetle carapace is more important. Str based brawlers are stronger anyway. In case you don't know - metal combat gloves get 10% bonus per str instead of 5% like the leather ones. Thats better then for sledgehammers (which are ofcourse way stronger but also slower).