Author Topic: Pistols, I don't get it  (Read 5754 times)

Frank

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Pistols, I don't get it
« on: July 13, 2015, 10:34:30 PM »
I made a pistol build that looks something like this at level 8:

Str 6
Dex 12
Agi 3
Con 3
Per 8
Will 3
Int 7

Skills I'm maxing:
Guns
Throwing

Hacking
Lockpicking

Mechanics
Electronics
Chemistry
Biology (Occasionally take points from throwing and lockpicking with the final goal being bio 50-60)
Tailoring

Feats in order:
Gunslinger
Recklessness
Power Management
Grenadier
Mad Chemist
Steadfast Aim

The purpose of this specific build is to use chemical pistols and energy pistols. One will obviously be the electroshock pistol and I'm not sure about the second one.
Truthfully, the reason I was interested in pistols is combining electroshock with rapid fire. Three bouncing electric projectiles with a high initial critical hit sounded pretty good, apparently too good, since it obviously not so obviously doesn't work. Thing is though, without that, I don't see what pistols bring to the table that other guns don't when it comes to effectiveness.

Yes, chemical pistols have their on hit effects. Yes, the crit chances you can get are quite high. Neither of those things seem to matter.
The damage source of pistols is high crit chance, but how high is it? At best it gives you +30% with a weapon that can shoot 3-4 times at different targets. The more useful option is probably the electroshock which gets +20%, it has the added disadvantages of being potentially harmful to you up close, depending on enemy position maybe even far away. Even with crits damage can be lackluster due to high damage spread.

After getting commando assault rifles can reliably kill two targets per turn, depending on positioning it might be possible to use burst as a pseudo aoe. SMG's are in a league of their own being able to fire as much as 28 shots per round as early as level 8 if you don't mind munching on burgers.

Seeing as I didn't take the build very far all of this might change but burst capable weapons seem much better. One shot did minimal damage? One shot missed? There are 7 more coming after it.With SMG's constantly fire with chances as low as 40% and it makes no difference, all that happens is that everyone gets hit anyway, and again, you have 3 more bursts to follow up with.

Are my opinions correct or am I doing something wrong?

Fenix

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Re: Pistols, I don't get it
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 12:58:42 AM »
Well, I'm playing right now similar build.
First - I would not take Grenadier and Mad Chemist, at least in early game.
Looks like there are better feats for such build.
Then you can consider about Sharpshooter, which require 10 Perception.
I don't know if it worth it or not, but I did that.
I can say that .44 Hammerer is my main weapon, with 7.62 Hammerer as secondary.
I'm using firearms for now (and possible I'll use it till the endgame), but I don't pick feats which are specifically for them.
Instead, I picked Aimed Shot (guaranteed crit on first turn) and Practical Physicist (and Sharpshooter, Critical Power and Opportunist, Execute will be next).

Pistols get good crit chance, they can damage as good as sniper rifles (at close range), and can fire faster, have special tricks like Electro Pistol, or Plasma Pistol (the last is devastating in comparison to firearms), chemical (didn't used it yet).
Also pistol uses not so much bullets obviously, which mean less hussle which is good for me.

epeli

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Re: Pistols, I don't get it
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2015, 08:21:13 AM »
Well, to be honest, pistol crit builds can get ridiculously powerful in the current version. :P

Assalt rifles can reliably kill two targets per turn after level 14? Well, pistols can easily do 3 or even 6 (provided you have enough enemies around!). And on top of that they can deal up to 4k damage on a single hit - in case there's ever a tough boss fight.

The thing is, amplified energy weapons are stupidly powerful on a crit damage build. You can get up to about 8x crit damage and 105% crit chance with plasma pistols, slightly less with electroshock pistols. But going for such high crit chance is overkill and needs some sacrifices. Just getting all the crit damage bonuses and 50-60% crit chance is enough.

But you've got a point about assault rifles. They are very straightforward and powerful with all the new feats and gun parts. I suspect their damage will be lowered a bit and smart mods will be adjusted so their behavior matches their flavor text (they are meant to add bonus damage to "precision shots" only, which should include special bolts, but not include reduced precision attacks like burst)
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Frank

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Re: Pistols, I don't get it
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2015, 09:32:18 AM »
First - I would not take Grenadier and Mad Chemist, at least in early game.
I dropped chemist. I was interested in chemical pistols but found them underwhelming.

Then you can consider about Sharpshooter, which require 10 Perception.
I don't know if it worth it or not, but I did that.
Is it multiplicative or additive?

I can say that .44 Hammerer is my main weapon, with 7.62 Hammerer as secondary.
I'm using firearms for now (and possible I'll use it till the endgame), but I don't pick feats which are specifically for them.
I don't like the hammerer because it's so random. It can either make sweet love to you or it can rape you. That damage spread is insane.

Instead, I picked Aimed Shot (guaranteed crit on first turn) and Practical Physicist (and Sharpshooter, Critical Power and Opportunist, Execute will be next).
I didn't pick aimed shot because it seems wasteful in the long run.

Assalt rifles can reliably kill two targets per turn after level 14? Well, pistols can easily do 3 or even 6 (provided you have enough enemies around!). And on top of that they can deal up to 4k damage on a single hit - in case there's ever a tough boss fight.
The former sounds very impressive, but the latter seems like an incredibly specific strength that probably doesn't come into play a lot.

The thing is, amplified energy weapons are stupidly powerful on a crit damage build. You can get up to about 8x crit damage and 105% crit chance with plasma pistols, slightly less with electroshock pistols. But going for such high crit chance is overkill and needs some sacrifices. Just getting all the crit damage bonuses and 50-60% crit chance is enough.
taking survival instincts would require too many points. so realistically speaking it would go something like this for electroshock:
 Recklessness(10)+Steadfast Aim(20)+Goggles(15)+Focus stim(15)+Infused Rathound Armor(10)=70 but more realistically you'll probably be running without stim most times so it's either 45-55. How do you get to 8 times more crit damage? Can you run me through the math?

But you've got a point about assault rifles. They are very straightforward and powerful with all the new feats and gun parts. I suspect their damage will be lowered a bit and smart mods will be adjusted so their behavior matches their flavor text (they are meant to add bonus damage to "precision shots" only, which should include special bolts, but not include reduced precision attacks like burst)
If that happens than SMG's are going to get hit much harder.

Anyway can you provide me a level 10 build template and the gear it should use?

epeli

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Re: Pistols, I don't get it
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2015, 11:14:19 AM »
The former sounds very impressive, but the latter seems like an incredibly specific strength that probably doesn't come into play a lot.
Yeah, electroshock pistol triple kills are the most powerful aspect of pistol crit builds. I like to use the ridiculous execute crit numbers for comparison because nothing else gets even close. It gives a rough idea how crazy the damage output of this thing can be. In any case, execute is a great tool against tough single enemies at any level.

taking survival instincts would require too many points. so realistically speaking it would go something like this for electroshock:  Recklessness(10)+Steadfast Aim(20)+Goggles(15)+Focus stim(15)+Infused Rathound Armor(10)=70 but more realistically you'll probably be running without stim most times so it's either 45-55.
Survival Instincts actually fits by level 20, with 1 point to spare! You just have to drop dex to minimum required by your feats - 7. But like I said, getting >100% crit chance is overkill and requires sacrifices - less base points to spare and you'd be running around with low health. No point doing that when the first Aimed Shot often kills everything you want dead. I also prefer smart goggles over seeker goggles, because your on-demand crits from Aimed Shot are doing almost all the killing. Better boost its damage rather than unreliable crit chance boost for the occasional secondary shots. You also forgot to add the weapon's base crit chance to your calculation, so that's +5%.

How do you get to 8 times more crit damage? Can you run me through the math?
Certainly, this is one of those things that needs to be repeated.

The feats:
- Sharpshooter (+50% to your critical damage bonus)
- Practical Physicist (+25% critical damage bonus to crafted energy weapons)
- Critical Power (basically multiplies the part of your crit damage bonus that exceeds 100 by 2.5)

Get a high quality Circular Wave Amplifier and start crafting your energy weapon. You should see around 290% critical damage bonus on the weapon, depending on the exact quality of amplifier and your emitter type (plasma has 120% base crit bonus, others have 100%). Equip your new toy. Without Critical Power, you would have about 340% critical damage bonus at this point. Bam! Critical Power increases that to 700%. There you go, 8x crit damage.

If that happens than SMG's are going to get hit much harder.
I don't think so. Before Expertise existed, Smart goggle bonus was a godsend for SMGs to compensate their low per-bullet damage against armor thresholds, but Expertise pretty much doubled SMG damage output. Losing the inappropriate bonus won't be such a big deal for SMGs anymore.

Anyway can you provide me a level 10 build template and the gear it should use?
I don't like to tell people how to play the game and pistolero has plenty of room for choices, unless you take the restrictive route towards >100% crit chance. If you wish to go for the crazy crit damage of energy weapons, the key thing is to pick the crit damage feats and guns & electronics skills. The rest is really up to you. It can work with any armor, stealth or no stealth, crafting, psi, high dex focus, however you want to play it.
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Frank

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Re: Pistols, I don't get it
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2015, 02:28:42 PM »
Yeah, electroshock pistol triple kills are the most powerful aspect of pistol crit builds. I like to use the ridiculous execute crit numbers for comparison because nothing else gets even close. It gives a rough idea how crazy the damage output of this thing can be. In any case, execute is a great tool against tough single enemies at any level.
I don't know how close range execute is but I'm intrigued to try it with electroshock, but I have a sneaking suspicion it will kill you as well.

Survival Instincts actually fits by level 20, with 1 point to spare! You just have to drop dex to minimum required by your feats - 7. But like I said, getting >100% crit chance is overkill and requires sacrifices - less base points to spare and you'd be running around with low health. No point doing that when the first Aimed Shot often kills everything you want dead. I also prefer smart goggles over seeker goggles, because your on-demand crits from Aimed Shot are doing almost all the killing. Better boost its damage rather than unreliable crit chance boost for the occasional secondary shots. You also forgot to add the weapon's base crit chance to your calculation, so that's +5%.
To me that's too many points. I don't want to rely on aimed shot too much because it spoils the purpose of the build for me. I view it as a crit fishing build so I want to play it as such. That means getting your crit chance as high as you can and attacking as often as possible, but that's obviously as subjective as it gets.

Certainly, this is one of those things that needs to be repeated.

The feats:
- Sharpshooter (+50% to your critical damage bonus)
- Practical Physicist (+25% critical damage bonus to crafted energy weapons)
- Critical Power (basically multiplies the part of your crit damage bonus that exceeds 100 by 2.5)

Get a high quality Circular Wave Amplifier and start crafting your energy weapon. You should see around 290% critical damage bonus on the weapon, depending on the exact quality of amplifier and your emitter type (plasma has 120% base crit bonus, others have 100%). Equip your new toy. Without Critical Power, you would have about 340% critical damage bonus at this point. Bam! Critical Power increases that to 700%. There you go, 8x crit damage.
I'm actually not sure about Practical Physicist anymore. If you're Focused it comes out to additional 94% crit damage, without focus it's 56%. Both are nothing to sneeze at, but when you are dealing with numbers like 500-700 I'm not sure it's very important. If you're not going the survival instincts route I think it's a good idea to start with 10 dex raise dex until at least level 12. 14 dex allows you to shoot 3 electroshocks a turn. In the long run 16 dex with burgers allows you to shoot 4 shots per round.

I don't think so. Before Expertise existed, Smart goggle bonus was a godsend for SMGs to compensate their low per-bullet damage against armor thresholds, but Expertise pretty much doubled SMG damage output. Losing the inappropriate bonus won't be such a big deal for SMGs anymore.
By hit I mean nerf. Let's just look at the numbers. Let's say you have 35% goggles and 35% mode. If the interaction is addictive than you lose 35%. If it's multiplicative you lose 47%. considering that 5mm aren't the only variety of SMG's and that expertise probably get's calculated before the mod then it's a serious chunk of damage.

I don't like to tell people how to play the game and pistolero has plenty of room for choices,
???
Even when someone is asking for your advice?

Fenix

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Re: Pistols, I don't get it
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2015, 03:37:13 PM »
I didn't pick aimed shot because it seems wasteful in the long run.

It is a prerequisit for Sharpshooter and in my opinion it in itself is reliable feat.

epeli

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Re: Pistols, I don't get it
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2015, 08:40:58 AM »
I'm actually not sure about Practical Physicist anymore. If you're Focused it comes out to additional 94% crit damage, without focus it's 56%. Both are nothing to sneeze at, but when you are dealing with numbers like 500-700 I'm not sure it's very important. If you're not going the survival instincts route I think it's a good idea to start with 10 dex raise dex until at least level 12. 14 dex allows you to shoot 3 electroshocks a turn. In the long run 16 dex with burgers allows you to shoot 4 shots per round.
Every bit of damage helps if you try to make all electroshock jumps fatal, as each one does 35% less damage than the previous. Smart goggle bonus is also very helpful in achieving that. Doing things this way is very reliable and solid, as you don't have rely on RNG luck, drugs, dex food or low hp. I guess the high dex crit fishing approach would work as well if you like that. But wouldn't 4 shots (12 AP) require 17 dex?

By hit I mean nerf. Let's just look at the numbers. Let's say you have 35% goggles and 35% mode. If the interaction is addictive than you lose 35%. If it's multiplicative you lose 47%. considering that 5mm aren't the only variety of SMG's and that expertise probably get's calculated before the mod then it's a serious chunk of damage.
Yeah, fixing the smart bonuses would be a nerf for SMGs as well. But it certainly wouldn't make them bad, they would still be much better than they used to be before 0.1.14. Expertise, smart modules, half of assault rifle feats, half of firearm enhancements, craftable special bullets, all that stuff is new. 0.1.14 was a pretty huge balance changing patch, and I'm used to how things worked for couple of years before it. Right now Underrail is the easiest it has ever been, with a lot of extremely powerful stuff in the hands of the players.

In any case, the main thing I envisioned would be directly nerfing assault rifle damage. Fixing smart bonuses would be just one small part of that, and another way of fixing them could be simply changing the fluff text to match their behavior (if they are supposed to apply to things like burst)

??? Even when someone is asking for your advice?
Ahh no, it's not like that. You have a good grasp of the game mechanics and I can see you have a clear idea on exactly how you want to make/play your character. I'm sure you can make a better build yourself than I ever could. :)
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Frank

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Re: Pistols, I don't get it
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2015, 09:13:24 AM »
I guess the high dex crit fishing approach would work as well if you like that. But wouldn't 4 shots (12 AP) require 17 dex?
Yeah it would. Start off with 10 and add 1 every four levels. The last one comes from burgers which you will have to eat forever.
This variation has to sacrifice any crafting feats because it would look something like:

STR 6
DEX 10-11-12-13-14-15-16
AGI 3
CON 3
PER 10
WIL 3
INT 5

Honestly, the more I play with pistols the less I like them, but the final judgement should be made at level 14. I just got used to burst weapons so much that I forgot about the illustrious 95% hit chance miss. I don't want to go into the whole discussion whether yo miss more often than you should or not, but the amount of misses you get can really mess up your plan. It's not as important when you have 4-8 more bullets coming. 

BTW. The Dexterity page on the wiki doesn't say that the jaguar has different point cost than other SMG's.

Fenix

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Re: Pistols, I don't get it
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2015, 03:18:31 PM »
Wiki is a bit outdated, there aren't many info about quest for example nothing about pieceful resolution with Rat King quest. I suggest it will be fixed in next wave of update.

Btw guys - can someone tell Styg that "speed reloader" (or how it is called) for firearms need a bit of re-make, because it looks so nondescript (I hope it is a right word) that I absolutely sure 50% of players will miss it like I did it.
I only found out about it after dozens of hours, and only from wiki, basically I confused it with "pneumatic barrel retractor" (or some other mediocre gear) and never even point a mouse coursor on it.

Good thing, and that's putting it mildly - char able to fire 3 shots from Hammerer .44 and take drugs hehe. Just devastating.

PS Oh well  :D new status "Tchortist" haha. Love it.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 03:27:06 PM by Fenix »

captainmeow

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Re: Pistols, I don't get it
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2015, 11:26:12 PM »
Yeah, electroshock pistol triple kills are the most powerful aspect of pistol crit builds. I like to use the ridiculous execute crit numbers for comparison because nothing else gets even close. It gives a rough idea how crazy the damage output of this thing can be. In any case, execute is a great tool against tough single enemies at any level.

wait... so if you throw a flashbang into a crowd of enemies and then use execute on one of them, the jumping electricity will apply the execute damage bonus to everyone it hits?

Fenix

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Re: Pistols, I don't get it
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2015, 02:02:57 AM »
Well... yes.

epeli

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Re: Pistols, I don't get it
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2015, 04:12:37 AM »
wait... so if you throw a flashbang into a crowd of enemies and then use execute on one of them, the jumping electricity will apply the execute damage bonus to everyone it hits?

Actually it's even better: you only have to disable your primary execute target to get more damage on all jumps.

The damage of subsequent jumps is simply based on the damage of the first hit, no matter how that damage is done. That's also why crit damage is applied to all jumps. Electrokinesis works the same way, but it doesn't have all these zany options to increase its damage.
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UnLimiTeD

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Re: Pistols, I don't get it
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2015, 10:05:50 AM »
In other words:
If you wanna use pistols, you have to just accept your inner munchkin.
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