15-20 stacks on OP8? Friggin' yeah!

From @Overload’s post in the discussion on Gaige’s post-patch ranked skills:

"New Death From Above LVL 72 DMG:

Rank 1: 129K
Rank 2: 258K
Rank 3: 388K
Rank 4: 517K
Rank 5: 647K
Rank 6: 776K
Rank 7: 906K
Rank 8: 1035K
Rank 9: 1165K
Rank 10: 1294K
Rank 11: 1424K
Rank 11 + Explosive Relic 37%: 1945K
Another 244%ish buff in damage!"

@Chuck80 and @Wingsday suggested in another thread that looping Rational Anarchist and Death from Above could be a worthwhile playstyle.

I’m typing this up quickly as a placeholder topic in the interest of not derailing that thread further.
I’ve literally only had time for a 20-minute run with 5 points in DFA, where I purposely used up my stacks on Digisplosions, replenished 25 of them while slagging the next few victims and then repeating.

I had excellent DPS and survivability on OP8 with very little attention paid to the best gear to quickly cycle these skills. At a mere rank 5 of DFA and stacks seldom getting higher than 30, everything died - and that’s taking into account that my kill weapon (Twister) just had its splash nerfed.
A CC did excellent work as well, while a Butcher seemed less satisfying.

These are just some quick notes off the top of my head: with better ideas for slagging tools, general loadout and so forth this playstyle could well become very viable indeed.
There’s definitely going to be a learning curve involved in making the most of it, but a brief and casual run seemed very promising
Nobody is more surprised than I, but then this patch has already opened up the game in several ways.

If someone wants to follow up this quick and sloppy post with suggestions for build, gear and tactics to make the most of DFA/RA-looping (that’s a word now) I look forward to that.

At the very least I’ve kept my promise and stopped derailing the thread in the Maya forum.

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The only COM that boosts DFA is the Anarchist. It comes with a gun damage bonus and an accuracy penalty, mimicking a few stacks of anarchy that can’t be lost. Too bad that the 2 other skills it boosts are meh.

The weird thing is that DFA consumes more stacks the higher level it is, so getting it to higher level might not actually be a good thing as it may throw off the cycle’s timing.

Can you post your build and gear ? let’s see if there is something to be learned from this.
Have you tried with anything else beside the twister ? (the twister is very powerful to begin with, so it might mask some of DFA’s shortcomings)

I’m excited about this thread (and build!)
I’m in the middle of leveling up my Gaige and I was planning on making her a EB DoT beast, but this might change my mind.

Another thing to add to the ever growing list of things I need to try out. now I jsut need to get a gaige to 72…

I actually roll with a point in Death From Above with my Bandit allegiance build as a standard, and have a +6 to DFA Anarchy COM that I bring out on occasion just to confirm that the damage level is still as low as I thought (I love the way it looks, and it’s easy to not hemorrhage Anarchy inadvertently if you pay attention during combat). Anyway, I thought I saw it wreck something last night… will check now.

edit - heck yeah! I see slightly higher numbers at OP8, but with slag and a damn fine explosive damage relic, Death From Above is hitting the target dummy for 7569K at 11 stacks (no BAR). I’m not sure this will sate the “everything must die within two shots” players’ thirst for damage, given how much a standing stack of Anarchy adds to weapon output, but this brings this game mechanic back into a viable place for me for sure.

Here’s how I build out the Anarchy tree when playing like this myself: I use Rational Anarchist as the source for all my Anarchy, whose sole purpose is DFA stacks. Because of this, I’ll get two +11 explosions per stack of 25, and will dump the remainder by reloading without Discord, immediately setting me up for a fresh set of 25. Discord isn’t terrible here (there may be situations where I’d rather burn the 25 Anarchy as Discord instead of DFA, and it is just one point), but if I wind up with some Anarchy count less than 11, I have to wait for Discord to burn it off before I can get a fresh pile from Rational Anarchist for more DFA explosions… it makes the looping take longer. The spare points go into Annoyed Android because:

  1. I won’t be going over 25 stacks, so don’t need for Preshrunk Cyberpunk
  2. I don’t want to accumulate more stacks than 25 (and this won’t bring me to 33 fast enough), so no need for Typecast Iconoclast
  3. I don’t use Fancy Mathematics (personal preference, I’m sure it’s a better skill then Annoyed Android).

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Between IO (which also got a boost in the update) and DFA, Gaige seems to have a thing for added damage that triggers by just tagging your target, and both are time-dependent (IO requires time to stack and DFA has a 2 second cooldown) so you don’t lose anything by not shooting in full-auto (and spending time doing other things like aiming for crits, reloading or throwing grenades). This, combined with skills that rely on DoT (which also require time to work) and an action skill that acts on it’s own, paints a very different portrait of what Gaige is “supposed” to play like. I can almost imagine a Sniper Gaige that uses both Tagging skills and Shock storm (along with all DoT skills from that) to one-shot everything with a Shock sniper or with Longbow grenades.

The frantic in-your-face style we are used to may not be the only one worth considering.

Right now this is just broad strokes, but I see a very different Gaige possible since the update.

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This didn’t occur to me when I was respeccing. Will try it soonest.

I do love frantic and in-your-face, but you’ve summed it up very nicely.

It seems a shame to give up SiC both for DT’s survivability and bonus damage from his kills now that Shock Storm is buffed, but there’s no way around it if we want the benefit of I/O when unleashing hell on ‘tagged’ targets.

While @Adabiviak 's two-times - +11 setup seems like something I want to try at once, it’ll be interesting to see whether the higher ranks are ideal. For a low-anarchy build like this, points in N:th Degree might go elsewhere if one isn’t aiming for With Claws, but it’s still not enough to get full points in DFA (whether that ends up being 5/5 or 11/5) as well as I/O and SiC.
Even if we used a Catalyst COM to boost I/O, we’d be one point short of the capstone in BFF.
I expect DT’s survivability to drop like a brick, but how much that matters is down to taste.

Since I mentioned trying things at once, I’m going to do that right now rather than type up half-formulated ideas (^_~)

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I was merely pointing out one possible way to do things.

I think I would go pick Nth degree and go all the way down the LBT tree and almost ignore the BFF tree.

But with a more frantic playstyle in mind, one could go without LBT completely and focus on BFF instead.

In any case, WClaws seems useless since it’s damage is based on how many stacks you have.

Agreed on all accounts. Shame that annoyed is such a lackluster skill, but we don’t really have a choice. However, I would go for a COM that boosts fancy maths instead: 3 points in AA us more than enough and it allows us to benefit from 6/5 fancy maths for a single point.

I would spec like this: http://bl2skills.com/mechromancer.html#551000100000505005150251411152101550

Ignore the point in PS, it goes in AA… Stupid fingers. Didn’t feel like starting over.

Seems like a new way to play LBT/OC. Also, I think it is better to leave DFA at 5 and boost IO with the Legendary Catalyst COM. Too bad we cant boost both of them.

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Agreed, LBT builds can benefit from 5/5 DFA RA loop, but they can’t ignore everything the Leg. Catalyst does for them.

OC/BFF builds however don’t have much to lose as the Anarchist COM is not that bad.

Instead of having DFA at 11/5, you could consider only putting it at 7/5 or so. Yeah, you’re going to do less per activation, but it would consume 7 stacks at a time instead of 11. 3 activations would leave you at 25 - 21 = 4 stacks left. You could either reload to wipe them out, or chances are you’ve gotten a few kills / reloads in the mean time to generate 3 more stacks to do a 4th DFA activation per RA loop.

Disclaimer: I don’t even have a Gaige… not even a mule.

DFA and IO got a boost?

I may need to go give Terra a visit with my Flakker again…

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POKA!
faints

This will be fun to try out sometime. But first I’d like to see the improved SS in motion on my own Gaige('s).
Definetly something I will be trying in the future though.

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:open_mouth:
He’s alive!

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Welcome back buddy :smile:

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the damage from 2 shots at 11/5 and 3 shots at 7/5 are about equal and they consume about the same amount of stacks. The difference is in DPS: DFA has a 2 second cooldown. at 11/5 you can get your 2 shots out in 2 seconds, while it takes 4 seconds at 7/5 to be at the same point.

You might make a case for 8/5 stacks as they combine for 24 stacks, making the reset faster…but since stacks accumulate when you kill too, you will always be slightly over anyway. My money is on 11/5 to be the best pick. :smile:

I’m running this right now (normal mode with 5 ranks, but whatever :stuck_out_tongue: ) and I have to say, It’s really fun, only downside is the lack of god-complex quotes.

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They can still get all the boosts from the Leg. Catalyst and still DFA-loop with RA as they dont need Anarchy as much as BFF builds.
BFF builds are, usually, all about Anarchy + TBH and a Roid shield for DT. This way, they spend more time shooting to benefit from the fire rate boost and to stack faster.
LBT builds can spent less time shoting as they have other damage source (DoT) so it is easier to wait for IO and DFA stacks.

Also, what about a gun that shots exactly 5 times? With DFA at 5/5 the loop will be perfect and the first shot could slag and add damage due to IO.

Kills also give you stacks. There is no perfect number because of that. The only thing you can try to get is good “timing” with the 2 second cooldown based on your fire rate/mag size.

Yeah, forgot about the kill thing. My bad!
This should work if you could get a kill with every shot thou, so a 6 shot gun would loop RA perfectly.

But what shots 6 times with enough punch to one shot kill? Blockhead, Bandit shotties maybe?