Monday, November 9, 2015

Borderlands 2 and Krieg (and mild DF)

If you don't have any interesting in video games, skip this one. This is one of my occasional off-topic-ish discussions of video games.

So I've had a little more free time, so naturally that meant diving into Borderlands 2. For those of my friends who were in on getting me an XBOX360, know it's not stopped being used yet.

I started two new characters - Gaige the Mechromancer, and Krieg the Psycho. Gaige is fine, but I'm not a "summon monster" kind of guy so I'm less excited by her power.

Kreig, though - I love a high-risk high-reward character. I love how he's built to make near-suicidal (and actually suicidal) tactics rewarding. I spend so much time in Fight For Your Life mode it seems weird to have a fight without multiple Second Winds.

Overall, I love Krieg. He's a lot of fun, even if he does snarl out stuff I can't make out over my own gunfire. And even though he's so big I can't see my own equipment when I'm comparing pieces.

Still, I have a lot of issues with the guy.

I tried going for the fire tree, but that kind of got old quickly. I spent way, way, way too much time on fire, burning to death with no enemies nearby because I'd self-ignited in a small fight and didn't have a chance to Buzz Axe Rampage and heal up. Bleh. It was fun to be on fire and attacking, but unless I had a very large swath of foes I couldn't really make it work. And fighting a swam of Buzzards was terrible because I needed regen, not self-inflicted damage that just shaved off the damage I was taking. Maybe if I had different gear, or developed the tree further, but still.

So instead I went for the whole Light the Fuse thing.

And promptly died three times in otherwise easy chances to Second Wind - as in, I've got a high ROF accurate corrosive shotgun and I was point-blank with Gun Loaders. I could cut a Gun Loader into three pieces in three shots with any character by this point . . . but instead I was tossing totally anemic dynamite and only marginally damage the Loader and died. Then I ran back into the fray three more times - two more deaths where my dynamite couldn't cut it, and then finally I finished off the last of the enemies without dying. Grr.

I don't mind powers that need some development, but I feel like Light the Fuse really needs maxed-out bonus explosive damage before it'll matter. So I got my self to a station and Respec'd my skills and left off LTF. I may take it later, but yeah . . . I feel like it's too weak to start with.

I'm sure I'm missing something - but with the other five characters even some sub-optimal choices left with a powerful character who could be better for my play style. With Krieg, and the need to basically melee guys to death and having a long Cooldown that only speeds up from taking damage . . . it's been tough even with swapping points around to maximize my combo. Gear seems to play a bigger role here, too.

That's making it tough. But I'll admit - still fun. Charging full speed in a Buzz Axe Rampage into certain death with a nova shield firing and all of that - awesome. Finishing a fight and knowing only vaguely how many guys were in it - also awesome. It's a big change from Zer0 (as a sniper), or Maya (as crowd control), Axton (as anything, really), or as Salvador (as a point-blank high-risk Gunzerker).

(As for Gaige, I'm thinking of respec'ing her into a maximum Anarchy-stacking character with 5 levels of Close Enough and giving her the Madhous assault rifle with its rebounding bullets. Because, why not?)

I do seem to have found a mesh between my usual play style (divide-and-conquer plus area affect attacks) and Krieg, mostly by downplaying the actually suicidal skills for now and uprating the ones that enhance my weapon loadout. And which extend the delay recharging shield (meaning, less defenses for longer - trust me, for Krieg, this is a survival strategy.)

Pulling this back to my usual topic - GURPS Dungeon Fantasy - it feels like I need to find the cool synergies that will make it work. Like how Follow-Through gives a free Intimidation roll after knockdown, making it work so well with Cleaving Strike. Or how Sacrifical Parry works so well with a heavy two-handed sword. Dirty Fighting plus Stealth. And so on. Synergies make it all go. It's generally not the additive ones that makes a real difference - stacking DR makes you have more DR, stacking damage is more damage. It's stacking abilities that make one ability work better and vice-versa or which fundamentally change your options that really shine.

I just need to find the Krieg synergies that I like, is all.

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