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Missile vs melee guardian


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Is one specifically better than the other? Is there an advantage to training both? In past geneforges batons seemed to always do much less damage than melee, and quick action doesn't do the same thing in this game, looks like missile seems to be the way to go?

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Missile weapons always do less damage than melee weapons.

 

You need the skill to be able to use the better versions on that weapon type up to level 8. After that it is purely damage bonuses.

 

Missile weapons are better since there are more exploding unstable creations that you don't want to be nxet to when they die and to unlock the spay baton for a guardian's physical area attack. You no longer get bonuses to wands and crystals so they become less effective at higher levels.

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I think you realistically need to be able to do both although heavy investment into your non-primary probably isn't necessary. Certainly at higher difficulty levels where enemies can leap to you, being able to melee for slightly higher damage can be helpful. On the flip side, there are areas where you cannot reasonably melee your way through (e.g. groups of turrets on Southbridge) even if you focus on it.

 

It's probably also worth bearing in mind that some enemies do more damage from a distance than they do when you're at melee range (e.g. roamers), whereas some do more damage in melee (e.g. serviles).

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Yeah, it's really not possible to say which is objectively better in every situation, if that's what you're looking for. At least in original Geneforge and GF1:Mutagen (though I'm only about a third of the way through), I've had no significant issues with either Agents or Guardians focusing on melee almost exclusively, with magic for occasional ranged needs. But I do play on Normal, and YMMV.

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Bot new stores, but Jeff sometimes changes the inventory in existing stores. He decides that he wants to add, drop, or change an item to better fix the game.

 

This isn't likely to happen, unless players want something really bad like buying more of a consumable item because they keep running out like living tools.

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36 minutes ago, alhoon said:

What is the Spray baton?

I play a Shaper. Would I need it? Or I can trust my trusty cryoas and Fyoras to spray cold and fire for me? 

 

Not worth it as a shaper since batons have Missile Weapon skill requirements now, spray baton I think is 8 missile weapon points. 

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I've found that even though the Guardian's magic skills are "weak", adding magic skill points - beyond the 3 needed in each magic "school" to actually use all spells - isn't really necessary to get significant benefits from e.g. Airshock (stunning), Searer, etc. I find the need to a) invest many points into Missile Weapons in addition to already useful Melee and magic skills, b) collect thorns (plentiful though they are, it's just another layer of inconvenience and they can instead be sold for a significant profit in the long run), and c) constantly switch between melee/missile weapons instead of just holding onto the sword and using spells from the quick bar, as well as d) the statuses/elemental advantages of magic, all make a melee/secondary magic "spellsword" Guardian build much more viable and interesting than a Melee/Missile hybrid. But again, I'm not talking about Torment, though I don't see how missile weapons would be relatively better there either.

Edited by mikeprichard
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Right, but I was referring to the minor weapon-switching annoyance from the user interface perspective. That's easily the least of the several reasons I'm not a big Missiles fan, though. That said, I could see a use for the spray baton when AOE physical damage (not available through magic) is needed.

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I got through the game with a solo (no creations) missile guardian on torment difficulty using only leadership 5 from the Girdle of Leadership so I didn't get NPC assistance or avoid the fights with Oroborus, Goettsch, and Trajkov. It is possible, but hard in some places.

 

A neat trick was to use Dominate on foe's battle creations. This avoids them joining the fight against you and you taking as much damage.

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16 hours ago, mikeprichard said:

I've found that even though the Guardian's magic skills are "weak", adding magic skill points - beyond the 3 needed in each magic "school" to actually use all spells - isn't really necessary to get significant benefits from e.g. Airshock (stunning), Searer, etc. I find the need to a) invest many points into Missile Weapons in addition to already useful Melee and magic skills, b) collect thorns (plentiful though they are, it's just another layer of inconvenience and they can instead be sold for a significant profit in the long run), and c) constantly switch between melee/missile weapons instead of just holding onto the sword and using spells from the quick bar, as well as d) the statuses/elemental advantages of magic, all make a melee/secondary magic "spellsword" Guardian build much more viable and interesting than a Melee/Missile hybrid. But again, I'm not talking about Torment, though I don't see how missile weapons would be relatively better there either.

 

 

Came here after I read the other thread. 

If I may... If you want a Spell-sword / Fighter mage... why not go with an Agent that is modest in fighting and good with magic, instead of good with combat and bad in magic? 

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Part of the reason is because I did solo Agent runs for G1-G3 original, and wanted something different. But the main reason I've found - at least on Normal, though I don't see why it wouldn't scale similarly on harder difficulties - is despite the misleading "Strong"/"Weak" stat point requirement labels, you only need a few points in Magic skills to do well for secondary uses, whereas Combat/melee skill really shines at higher levels in terms of damage and double attacks. So, the Guardian ends up being the better combo - Strong where it counts, Weak where it's not nearly as important, and Average for Shaping for those times when you just need a cryoa bud (also not as practical for Agents). Just my personal experience/play style, but I think people may be led to assume that higher Magic skills are much more impactful than they really seem to be, especially for the fairly anemic +8% duration-only buffs on both the Blessing and Mental schools. What's more, energy isn't really a limiting factor in my experience - you want essence, which again the Guardian is OK with, while to-hit chance for magic as well as melee/ranged is apparently purely based on character level.

Just pop 3 total points in each of the Magic skills and collect the spell canisters, focus on Strength and Melee to a point and spread a few boosts around Agility/Essence/Shaping as desired, then melee/airshock/daze your way to freedom.

Edited by mikeprichard
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When you say the attack chance is based only on level, do you mean that a level 10 shaper with firebolt 1 and battle magic 1 would have the same chance to land a hit as a level 10 agent with firebolt 3, spellcraft 3 and battle magic 4? 

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To hit chance was changed from the original game to be the same for a guardian and agent. The damage bonus is based on battle magic and spell craft levels so an agent will usually do more damage than a guardian because of skill point allocation.

 

I found a solo agent is superior than a solo guardian in the middle and end game because you don't waste action points shifting between range single target and area effect attacks. You can do more damage with aurshock at greater range than a guardian using a spray baton.

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Still not a fan of batons anyway, so the switching was irrelevant to me - I just stuck with the sword, with spells for all ranged, as mentioned above. Better Shaping for occasional creation support was the icing on the cake. But on a slightly related tangent, will the upcoming patch change the Endurance health formula such that Guardians will have proportionately more health per Endurance point? Or will all classes benefit equally?

Edited by mikeprichard
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I'm getting my butt KICKED on Veteran, and even when I drop down to Normal. I'm a level 7 guardian with most points into strength but almost as much into agility, endurance is 4. Melee and ranged weapons are at 6 and 5 respectively, I have 5 quick action, 4 leadership and 6 mechanics. My creations end up freaking out too much and dying too fast, so I've been going solo and keep hitting insane difficulty walls. I really want to re-spec this character. Any pointers?

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At that level evasion is cheaper and more useful than agility. You won't be able to kill most foes in one shot, so you want to increase your chances of not getting hit. It is better to have stronger creations than more of them. Having more levels and abilities will help them kill things.

 

At this point the order you go through zones is significant. Do ones where you can retreat quickly to a safe place after killing a few each trip.

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It's definitely the case that Agility isn't as needed at low levels. I would advise against putting too much into Evasion, though - even though it's a "strong" skill for a Guardian, there are probably other better uses of your limited skill points early on (keeping up with Leadership/Mechanics, some Strength/Melee, etc.). Maybe a personal preference, but for similar reasons I wouldn't bother with Missile Weapons - I'd focus more on Melee to avoid making a jack-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none.

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Anyone try a Guardian w/ 8 Missile W-s (to use the Reaper baton and all the others) but also at least 8 Melee W-s for up close and personal combat? Combined w/ whatever Strength & magic (probably 3 points in each school) + leadership & mechanics, of course? Or is that spread too thin (probably just a Normal run)??

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Assuming you get the combat training from Swan, and all the other combat bonuses, you'll end up with 6 Melee Weapons and 4 Ranged Weapons before accounting for spent skill points (also not counting item bonuses, but they don't count toward the skill points required to equip a weapon). Getting to 8 Melee weapons has a cost of 5 skill points, while 8 in Missile weapons will have a skill point cost of 12. Not an unreasonable investment, although 7 of the points are from getting missile weapons from 6 to 8. So are Reapers worth the extra skill points? Let's take a look at baton damage dice (X is character level):

 

Thorn Baton: 2 + (X+2)d3
Venom Baton: 4 + (X+6)d3
Tranquil Baton: 4 + (X+6)d4
Spray Baton: 8 + (X+6)d4
Reaper Baton: 8 + (X+7)d6

 

Reapers are a decent step up from the Spray Baton due to their increased damage dice, and it's always nice to have a powerful weapon that won't hurt your own creations. At level 18 (a typical end game level, in my experience), a Reaper Baton's average damage is 95.5 (before % increases) compared to 68 for a Spray Baton or 64 for a Tranquil Baton. I'd definitely say that's an increase worth the investment.

 

While we're at it, let's compare Reaper Damage to some end game weapons:

 

Purifying Blade (3 canisters): 2 + (X+14)d5
Shaped Blade/Guardian Claymore: 2 + (X+9)d5

 

At level 18, the Purifying Blade is an average of 98 damage. A bit higher than the reaper baton, but you have to get close and personal to use it - occasionally meaning you're missing out on a second action due to having to spend AP to get to your target. On the other hand, there are no ammo considerations for it. The Guardian Claymore, meanwhile, has an average base damage of 83, although you should consider the extra 10% damage you're getting from strength.

 

So, that's my long-winded way of saying I think it's pretty reasonable to get to 8 points in both weapon types on a Guardian. I did do that in my first playthrough of the game, but that was in a beta where the sarcophagi worked differently, letting me get an extra 2 skill points. So I'd rather look at the numbers than my personal experience in this case, at least until I try it again on the latest version of the game.

Edited by Mechalibur
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From actually playing a torment missile guardian with v1.0.0  and now v1.0.1, reaper batons are best used to take out pylons and for endgame single targets. You don't need to invest in stealth to destroy pylons in two shots at the Eastern Docks and crossing the Mines. In the Shaper Crypt you can do pylons in one or two shots. Spray batons are for groups where you trade a lower damage for the ability to hit several targets at once like the Front Gate or groups in the Shaper Crypt. Note these are all places where you don't want to get up close to avoid damage to yourself.

 

Having twice as much missile weapon skill to melee works fine in most places, Sure you kill things faster with more melee weapon skill, but when you are facing things with high mental and/or stun resistance, you don't have the chance to fight them one at a time. For instance the Guarded Docks.

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Ok, thank you very much, Mechalibur & Randomizer. I'll finish my Shaper/Normal run today, and then will start a Guardian/Normal or Veteran run soon afterwards (3rd game will be Agent). I'm edging towards a slight preference of Missile over Melee just b/c, w/ fewer creations, ranged attacks will be extra important to me. But there are of course plenty of times when something's in my face and I need to whack it; not to mention some great melee weapons. And I should be equally strong as a Shaper in magic skills.

 

As for Reapers, yes, pylons are a particularly annoying opponent and I'd save those for special occasions like them & bosses.

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Unrelated question.

 

Playing a Shaper, I find that once I have all my pods/spores (even after dumping the ones I prefer to just cast as normal spells) and my perma-buff items and some gear-swap items (tinker's glove, leadership belt thingie) and my living tools and my crystals and my wands...

 

I have barely any inventory space left.

 

So how do you handle carrying around the different types of batons and thorns for a missile guardian?

 

Skip out on carrying wands or crystals? Take a lot of trips back to town to pick up your reaper baton?

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Easiest is to dump loot into the junk bag and then return to a town and transfer from the junk bag,

 

Pick two or three batons and their thorns so you only us unto 6 slots. Eventually you only need spray baton and one other type, The only crystals to have are spray crystal (acid), airshock (stun), and sometimes blest (fire) since icy doesn't do enough damage after 15 zones. Discipline wand for daze and jeweled wand fro stun are most useful. Terror means you have to chase down healing foes and pacification isn't as effective as Wrack.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/7/2021 at 9:58 AM, BenS said:

Ok, thank you very much, Mechalibur & Randomizer. I'll finish my Shaper/Normal run today, and then will start a Guardian/Normal or Veteran run soon afterwards (3rd game will be Agent). I'm edging towards a slight preference of Missile over Melee just b/c, w/ fewer creations, ranged attacks will be extra important to me. But there are of course plenty of times when something's in my face and I need to whack it; not to mention some great melee weapons. And I should be equally strong as a Shaper in magic skills.

 

As for Reapers, yes, pylons are a particularly annoying opponent and I'd save those for special occasions like them & bosses.

I believe I'll be ready for a 4th run later today, after wrapping up a Veteran Agent run (late-bloomer but worth it). At this point, I think I've done all builds of note save a melee/sword Guardian and a missile weapon Guardian, so it's the latter I'm coming around to. I also think I'll shoot for both Torment (my 1st ever in a SW game over the last roughly 20 years) and solo (which would net me 2 of the last 3 Achievements save for Pacifist). 

 

This will be an obviously double-ramp up in difficulty for me, so if anyone has any tips beyond "don't get hit" and "save often" (that I do), I'd appreciate it. I'm thinking Evasion will be more important to me than otherwise for a Guardian, blessed w/ high hp as they are. I don't think I can completely ignore Melee Weapons b/c of the leapers, but will try and focus on Missile W-s and Evasion, along w/ my usual predilection for high Mechanics and decent Leadership (so helpful in the early levels especially).

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