Vindicator Write-up/Overview Oct 21, 2013 16:42:22 GMT -5
Post by Crunch on Oct 21, 2013 16:42:22 GMT -5
I know only a few people have had the opportunity to play the Vindicator tank, so I thought I would share some notes I've made on how I've been able to use it and what some of it's shortcomings/advantages are:
"He's designed to be harder to use but with a bigger upside for those who can master him." - Rob
**Wall of Text**Attributes:
Basic Gun/Shield Stats:
- Radiation Burst
Burst: Base Min = 60 (6 dps), Max = 900 AoE damage (90 dps). With 15 shield segments, that's 56 damage per lowered shield.
10 sec cooldown
- Lambda Refresh
Shield refill: Refill 4*240, 5*250, or up to 6*240 shielding depending on the layer.
20 sec cooldown.
- Explosive Displacement
Blink: 250(?) damage at source and destination.
25 sec cooldown.
- Molecular Reconstitution
Heal: Rate unknown atm.
40 sec cooldown.
- Radiation Burst Damage
- Displacement Cooldown
- Molecular Reconstitution Repair Rate
Basic Vindicator Tactics:
Play Without Triggers:
- The shields of the Vindicator are its greatest innate assets. Being able to absorb 730 damage, it’s imperative that enemy fire is distributed across all shields. Make sure to rotate in place or run figure eights through enemies.
- The Vind’s guns may be small in comparison to most, but it’s still important to let them deal a much damage as possible. Make sure that the Vindicator is either positioned at an angle which allows 2 guns to hit, or spin for best results.
- The vindicator is adept at rushing through debuffed areas. Stay away from hard hitting enemies when possible, but know that minion damage will be pretty well distributed among its many shield segments.
- Radiation Burst is the primary source of damage for the Vindicator. It is at its best when all shields are down. This includes taking damage from enemies and switching tanks. It’s most effective on enemies it can kill with a single burst. The vindicator is mostly vulnerable after using it. Thankfully, it has a very short cool down.
- Lambda Refresh is a helpful trigger when either making your escape from enemies or buying yourself time for Radiation Burst to cool down. Using this trigger after a burst is probably most helpful, considering the refreshed shields detract from its overall damage.
- Explosive Displacement offers some flexibility in its use. It can either be used offensively or defensively, depending on player needs. Escapes using this trigger leave ‘parting gift’ for any enemy in the blast radius, in some circumstances, this can be enough to finish off a weakened enemy.
- Molecular Reconstruction is a very rapid health regen trigger. Its strengths lie in scouting and buying time for Radiation Burst to cool down.
- The Vindicator makes a strong scout in debuffed wilderness. It’s multi-segmented shields soak up damage quite equally, even while driving straight. This means that whenever you need a rest, simply drive over to the closet small tower and use Radiation Burst. The Lambda Refresh buys time for making it past larger enemies, as does the Molecular Reconstruction trigger. And Explosive Displacement can be used to leap over Security Tower blockades or preemptively smash into small towers before using Radiation Burst. The effectiveness of these tactics does lose its luster in a buffed wilderness, however.
- The Vind perhaps shines most as a solo tank, so long as it’s used on enemies it has an advantage over. Ringing regions and scouting are no great hassle for the Vindicator, especially when done in that order. Be sure to recharge after clearing a grid space, your Radiation Burst is your greatest asset. Other tanks may be more efficient at these tasks but the Vindicator is quite dependable if not just a little slow. If solo-clearing with a Vind, it’s best to target small enemies and switch tanks for larger ones.
- Large groups are not a great place for the vindicator, unless you’re leaching xp. It does much better in small teams (2-3 players) or solo. The main reason has much to do with damage absorption. As more players are present, it becomes increasingly difficult to lower the Vind’s shields to ideal levels. Since the Vindicator’s triggers are also tuned as supplements for the Radiation Burst, they cannot benefit other members of the team in the same way status effect triggers can. This leaves the tank as little more than a glorified shield whenever it can't deal its damage potential.
- Some tanks compliment the Vindicator better than others, of course. Paladins and other Vinds, for example, work very well together. Better strategies for Vindicator friendly groups will become more apparent as the number of Vindicators in use increases.
- Keep the shields "out of sync" a lot of the time. This allows you to keep damage near maximum, but have quick reaction time when you're getting dangerously low without any defensive triggers ready. Avoid getting hit on a side where a shield will soon start to regenerate, as it resets the delay without protecting you from any damage.
Vindicator Match-ups (assuming solo vs. single enemy, full shields/health/triggers, non-suicide):
- The Vindicator is at it’s most effective against multiple, weak enemies. Even large hordes drop like flies when the Vindicator rolls into the fight. In general, the Vind is much more effective at crowd control than single-target combat.
- Effectiveness: 5/5
Vs Small Towers (Alpha Processor, Beta Processor, Bore Auger, Supply Station, Extraction Facility, Triangulum):
- The minions in this match-up make or break the effectiveness of the Vindicator. If the Vindicator can evenly distribute the damage done by the enemies, it will be able to effectively destroy the tower without incident. With shields at a perfect zero, the Vindicator should be able to destroy all enemies of this type with a single Radiation Burst.
- Effectiveness: 5/5
Vs Medium Towers (Nova, Watchtower, Security Tower, Despoiler):
- While the increased HP of medium enemies diminishes the immediate usefulness of the Vindicator by some. It still does a good amount of damage with it's offensive triggers. Fights may take longer while playing solo, but they are doable. Novas and Despoilers are particularly vulnerable to the talents of the Vindicator.
- Effectiveness: 3.5/5
Vs Large Towers (GCT, Adjunct Drill Station, Delta Refinery):
- Like the Medium enemies, large tower’s overall firepower and HP may make the Vindicator a poor choice. The fights are long and far more dangerous than those against medium towers. Against GCTs, it’s difficult to lower shields evenly, and Deltas require a player to back out and wait for shields/triggers to fully recharge before re-engaging. Drills are the most Vindicator friendly, but still proceed with caution.
- Effectiveness: 2.5/5
- The Vindicator is a risky pick in this fight. While entirely possible to evenly drop shields, it’s made extremely vulnerable to the pulse-bomb of the main cannon. If driven perfectly, the Vind can be a real help during the early stages of the fight due to its AoE damage. However, it’s best to switch tanks near the end when single target dps becomes more important.
- Effectiveness: 3/5
- This is still a work in progress, but it appears to be entirely possible to wreak massive damage on both the minions and the main tower in this fight. Know that it's going to leave the Vindicator very vulnerable in the process, but it could open some holes for teammates to deal damage.
- Effectiveness: ?/5
- I haven't fought enough of these to be sure but, at this point, sticking to a tank which deals better single-target damage is probably most beneficial.
- Effectiveness: ?/5
Vs Region Bosses (Omicron, Zeta):
- The Vindicator can be effective in these fights, but mainly using suicide tactics. If you dont want to die, using another variety of tank is strongly recommended. The enemies hit very hard, and due to the time constraints put on the fight, sustained dps and the ability to get/keep loot is far more desirable.
- Effectiveness: 1/5
Vs Mobile Enemies (Dreadfangs, Convoys):
- While possible (and fun) to destroy the Dreadfang fighters with a perfectly timed Radiation Burst, the Vindicator lacks the facilities and firepower to take down the Dreadfang itself. Similarly, the Vind is a poor choice for fighting most convoys. Due to the directional nature of convoy enemies, it’s not really plausible to evenly wear shields down. Even with a full powered blast, the sustained dps of the Vindicator, coupled with its innate vulnerability, make it ineffective against most mobile enemies.
- Effectiveness: 3/5
Vindicator ‘Advanced’ Tactics:
“/drive vindicator” bombing:
- This utilizes the game’s tank switching mechanics to artificially lower the Vindicator’s shields to zero. It’s most effective when leveling a town or when in reach of the city tiles. Type “/drive vindicator” into your chat dialogue and press enter (use copy/paste for best results). This sets your tank to Vind, even if you were already driving it, and takes your shields to zero. Once your shields are down, use Radiation Burst to wreak havoc on your foes. It’s also possible, and very dangerous, to use this tactic before a teleport. If suicide tactics are part of your play style, using this on Zetas and Omicrons could be quite effective.
- I've recently been using this tactic against the Dreadfang's minions, while solo or in a group. It's proving to be very effective, but my technique is still a work in progress. The point is to target the minions, not the carrier. There are 3 ways this is working out for me:
- Be the first to the Patrol and try to take all aggro. When the fighters are swarming on top of you, hit them with the Radiation Burst. Quite dangerous, but very fun.
- Follow a teammate and use his aggro. This works well with cloaking tanks, as they will help to distribute the initial enemy attack, meaning you both are in less danger. This is safer, but prone to leaving stragglers who escape the blast.
- Puppy-guard the carrier and wait for the next wave of fighters to spawn. This is the most effective, but also the most dangerous, as the lag spike created by the fighters can cause you to instantly take lethal damage, or completely miss-time your Burst.
- Whether solo or in a group, the Vindicator it quite useful for incrementally leveling towns while using this tactic. Weave onto the city tiles to drop shields and off again to attack the enemy towers with the entire destructive power of your Radiation Burst. This makes short work of all small enemy towers and minions.
- This tactic is not specific to the Vindicator, but does utilize its very short cooldown on Radiation Burst. Simply switch tanks while on city tiles to take advantage of certain classes' short trigger cooldowns. Trigger cycling in general, is most effective/important when there are time constraints on a fight. Think: convoys and region bosses. The Trailblazer reaps the greatest payoff from the swap with the Vindicator, taking a cooldown of 40 seconds to a cooldown of 10. You can take advantage of this technique while either following a convoy through a town or teleporting back to the fight after a quick trip to origin. There are other, more important trigger cycles to learn and use too. I highly recommend experimenting and learning when/where they can be used, and how they might fit with your play style.
- Trigger cycling while leveling a town is also quite powerful and can shred enemies in moments, if used correctly. The Vindicator is naturally complimented by the Hornet, as the Vindicator has a naturally shorter 2nd trigger cooldown (which benefits Hornet use) and the Hornet has a naturally shorter 4th trigger (benefitting the Vindicator). Importantly, the most important of each classes' triggers don't overlap, meaning you can continue the action simply by switching tanks, without waiting for a cooldown. Both tanks work well without shields, as the Vind is at its most powerful and the Hornet can stay out of range to do damage, so rotating these tanks wont slow you down. Destroy minions with the Vindicator and mop-up with the Hornet. This method is effective on all but the hardiest of enemies (Drill/Delta). I recommend giving it a try when you get a chance.
- Does anyone else have an outside-the-box use for the Vindicator?
I must admit that I thought the Vindicator would somehow be a more aggressively functional tank. Naturally, airing on the side of dangerous/risky, but worth it if you were experienced and committed. However, what I've found is that the Vindicator is fairly cumbersome and even *if* you could roam around with no shields, while avoiding death, the damage output from it’s two triggers are simply not enough to warrant its use. There are several other tanks which can fill similar roles as the Vindicator. But in almost all cases, these tanks do the job more efficiently. Meaning, they take less time to kill enemy structures and don’t require the player to wait after every engagement. Also, most of these other tanks have the added benefit of being safer to use. At the moment, the Vindicator is a tank which doesn't have a payoff equal to the risk of use. It’s simply not a team tank and also not a tank you want to drive while in pursuit of high-end loot.
To be fair, though, my main grief has centered around the Vindicator not being able to kill things faster than other, comparably suited tanks. I must say, however, that the Vindicator can really be a lot of fun to just mess around with and drive. I have spent a large portion of time trying to find the 'most efficient' ways of doing things in the game. I'm not sure if that's a tester's attitude or a 'powergamer' (as SirNull mentioned) mentality, but the truth is that the Vindicator is functional and very amusing to play.
Shields regenerate faster than the trigger cooldown, and all at once:
- This makes it nearly impossible for the Vindicator to fluidly attack enemies. Once the Vind uses is main trigger, it requires the use of the others to keep its shields low until the cooldown has finished. What happens after those triggers have been used? You have to let your shields fully recharge before you can attack an enemy, meaning you must again wear your shields down before you can do any damage.
- This attack cycle is a bit grinding and slow. Most tanks suited for use against enemy towers can quickly leave the Vind behind, in a side-by-side comparison.
Other players ‘steal’ your damage:
- Because damage is dispersed among a group, the Vindicator is left without a consistent way of receiving/dealing damage when the number of players grows large. You, and the rest of the players, would be better off if another tank were used instead of the Vindicator, in this case.
- Vind has no triggers which benefit other players in any way other than damage output (no status effects, or damage absorbing properties). So, if/when the Vind’s damage dealing is limited, it’s no longer the best option for the team. Is there a point of using a tank if it nearly forces you to play solo or in small groups?
- This isn't a Vind-specific problem, but considering its rarity, it’s a bit of a letdown that it can’t outperform any other tank in any area I've been able to find (with the exception of killing small buildings, maybe).
Cost to get Vindicator is too high compared to its usefulness:
- The Vindicator simply can’t assist in acquiring high-tier loot as it only excels vs the most basic enemies.
- It requires a great deal of grinding to earn a Vindicator, and unfortunately, using this tank doesn’t reduce the amount of grind required to complete any other content. In the end, there’s not much benefit and it feels a bit like time wasted.
- As SirNull pointed out, there is no necessity for rare tanks to operate 'better' than lower tier tanks. But, IMO why should we care about difficult to acquire content if it offers us nothing or, worse, a reduction in play-ability?
- You simply can't deal enough damage. With skilled play you may get close to the standard 100 dps, but that does require constantly leaving yourself completely vulnerable(0 shields), so right now the Vindicator is "harder to use and with a smaller upside for those who can master him". This seems to be the fault of the famous Overnerf Syndrome, as the damage was nerfed before the tank release(according to the roadmap).However, this isn't even counting the biggest problem.
- Triggers are not affected by damage/cooldown bonuses. With damage and cooldown pulches, the theoretical 60 dps of the burst trigger is equivalent to 39 dps. Augments and region bonuses can bring that down further, to around 24 dps. Other tanks that rely more than average on triggers to deal their damage are affected by this, but none as much as the Vindicator.
- From my experience playing with a Vindicator in the group, I would honestly rather the person play any (with the exception of maybe two or three) of the other tanks available to them instead of their shiny Vindicator.
- Overall I think some tanks fall into the trap of generality. They're okay at many things to such extent as to be seen a mediocre, or even bad. When there are tanks that can specialize, [they should] group with other specialists to compliment one another. Why select a generalist that doesn't add or take away anything from the group as a whole?
The high risk/reward concept:
- I personally love this idea. Building skill should lead to rewards and this idea falls in line with that.
A lot of fun:
- As SirNull mentioned, it's a great bit of fun, being able to roll deep into a cloud of enemies and destroy them all instantly.
- The Vindicator looks like serious business, and the interlocking shields are gorgeous. It's a shame nobody else gets to see them.
It would be really great to have a tank like this made more feasible to use. What do you guys think? Did I miss something vital?
Thanks for the feedback so far, I've been updating this post with your thoughts/input.