This morning I am struggling more than I do on the average morning. I did not sleep well last night and wound up not falling asleep until almost midnight. Then that got compounded by the fact that I kept waking up every so often for unknown reasons. It was one of those “the bed is not comfortable” sort of nights. As such I feel like I can’t really get into any higher logic yet. I didn’t even make coffee this morning until my wife noticed that she didn’t have a cup… I knew something was off but could not quite put my finger on it. That has since been remedied, but suffice to say I am not firing on all cylinders… which is evidenced by the fact that I just backspaced the word cylinders several times until I got it right.
Last night I spent some time testing out the new loot system and it does in fact seem to be giving better options. Gone are the days of getting a Light Machine Gun with weapon only (gear icon) Heavy Pistol effects on it… but what has arrived instead are a lot of instances where you just get a suit wide weapon bonus in general rather than it being something specific. I have not gotten anywhere near enough items to test this out more thoroughly but it seems like they might have dropped some of the nuance and landed on the side of “make this more universally useful”. In fact those gear only inscriptions seem to be the exception rather than the rule now, with most things just simply giving Javelin wide effects.
During the course of the night I ran three strongholds, still focused almost entirely on Hive Tyrant since it is fast and predictable. The first first one lead me to believe that they maybe tweaked the drop rates at the same time as applying this patch. That first stronghold rewarded me 1 weapon, 2 abilities and the every so sought after component. However after tweeting that out and making a fool of myself… the second stronghold rewarded only the guaranteed masterwork ability that you get for completing the mission. On the third stronghold however, I did manage to get one additional masterwork to drop… meaning I got a weapon and an ability. This is still better than Wednesday night when I chain ran strongholds and got nothing but the same ability over and over.
As such I thought I would go over my build this morning and talk about my choices a bit.
Primary Weapon – Cycle of Pain – LMG
This is one of the new acquisitions of the evening, and I am largely using it because the Sledgehammer with its slow rate of fire but decent punch with little recoil is my favorite archetype of the Light Machine Guns. The perk called Marksman’s Swiftness makes it so that weak point hits increase weapon rate of fire by 10% for 10 seconds… and this stacks to 10. In practice what this seems to mean is that if you can nail the weak point you get an improved rate of fire without added recoil making this thing just melt targets. It reminds me a lot of how it felt to tear through things in Destiny 1 with Fabian Strategy, which is a weapon that only I seemed to like… but I loved it.
Secondary Weapon – Ralner’s Blaze – Assault Rifle
I’ve dropped Thunderbolt of Yvenia from my secondary slot for the time being only because this is also a brand new weapon and I am getting used to playing with it. The perk is really vague, but what it means in practice is that you seem to constantly seem to be igniting targets given that it is fairly easy to hold this on target. I like the feel of it quite a bit and it seems to do a reasonable job of just deleting lower tier trash mobs, which admittedly is nice that Grandmaster finally feels like that for me.
Assault Launcher – Recurring Vengeance – Seeking Missile
This is a new acquisition from the night… Recurring Vengeance which is an impact detonator and seems to pack a much harder base punch that the Argo’s Spite. In my experience lots of people rock crowd control abilities, like frost or fire fields… which means with double detonators I can just constantly sit back and be always blowing things up. If I do need to prime my own targets, this allows me to use my melee way more liberally given that I get one of the primer melee options as a ranger. So far the one two punch of melee to Seeking Missile can just delete a lot of targets, or at the very least make them hurt significantly. If need be I can follow up with another melee and my next attack to finish it off. While I don’t have any of my favorite combos in Masterwork form… this works well enough for the time being. I love the perk on this one that allows me to get back my charge if I can finish off an enemy with this attack.
Grenade Launcher – Last Argument – Frag Grenade
I am super thankful that I managed to pull this ability, because Frag Grenade is sort of the most basic utilitarian detonation option for Rangers. It doesn’t have the best package of inscriptions…. namely I wish it had something other than sniper seeing as I will probably NEVER use sniper in a serious way. However the fact that it buffs my E ability by 31% speed is pretty phenomenal… so even if I don’t manage to kill the target I am going to get it recycling pretty fast. The perk of Last Argument which is hitting enemies causes you to gain 700% Ultimate Charge… which I assume is 700% of the amount you would normally gain for hitting someone with a grenade? Whatever the case what this means in practice is that my ultimate charges really fast… and I love this. For those who have fought Hive Tyrant, you will know that it disappears every so often and you have a trash round to fight through. I got enough ultimately during the trash out to predictably have my Ultimate or as I keep trying to call it… Super… up for the next Hive Tyrant burn phase. This is so damned amazing and makes me way more free with using my Ultimate knowing I can get it back pretty fast by lobbing grenades.
As far as the components go… right now I am just using the ones that fit this build the best for the moment. However only having two Masterwork components so far greatly limits me. As I said at the start of this… doing group content… having double detonators makes this work insanely well as someone is constantly applying a status effect that you can exploit. In solo play however I find myself priming with melee a lot more often to get my own combos… which still makes double detonators a very viable option. I like to always be making things explode, even though the ranger explodey options are nowhere near as over the top as the other classes. What I need to improve on is more efficient use of my DPS boost aura during burn phases.
What are your thoughts about a double detonator build? What are you finding that is working really well for you… and more important if you are a Grandmaster Ranger… what the hell build are you leaning on? I am just happy that I feel like I have pushed out of that “high center” feeling phase to where I finally feel like I am a contributing member of the stronghold and not just being hopelessly carried.