Was just curious because some helix upgrades like the napalm vs child grenades confuse me as to which is better
Full tactical ammo by far, even in shield pen builds
Slow, because the laser is kinda meh.
Not taking into account mutations as I didn’t unlock all of them, and dont remember the first one I did.
I agree with the above post.
I’ve tried to compare child grenades vs napalm, and napalm is way more effective at holding enemies back and forcing them where you want to go. Every game I just focus on killing minions and building until I’m level 2, then I throw myself in the mix and can start doing some actual damage
I unlocked three of his mutations and want to add that I use the same build but with the 18% more assault rifle damage mutation at level 7. Bloody stings. The napalm is the real selling point though, it’s ridiculous how much damage he can surprise people with.
TL;DR: not taking instant nades + napalm nades is madness, and I’m hijacking this advice thread in the name of dev feedback.
Instant nades + napalm nades are the most obvious one-choice-only helix options I encountered in Battleborn. Since you get both within a minute of starting the game, they’re essentially parts of Mike’s basic kit. I did a bit of testing with the alternatives and they’re in a really rough place by comparison.
The first point working against sneak attack vs instant nades is the situational effect: instant nades help you out every time you fire one, but whenever you use cloak to run away and recover instead of using it to launch an attack, the bonus from sneak attack takes a raincheck, and it’s not that dramatic a bonus to begin with.
With non-instant grenades, it’s obviously harder to judge your shots because of the arming time, making their use much more difficult because you have to predict the movement of your target instead of point-and-boom. You also have to judge the angle of the bounce, further increasing that difficulty-of-use. It’s a similar skillset to playing grenade launcher classes in other games, except you don’t get multiple shots to help calibrate aim or saturate the area with booms. As another factor, firing a regular grenade at the ground within ~10ft of you will often cause the grenade to bounce up into the air at a severe-enough angle that the arming time will complete before it hits the ground and the airburst explosion will hit absolutely nobody. Which means it becomes very difficult to use the grenade against close-range threats like angry space vampires unless you’re in a confined area.
If you happen to take non-instant grenades but do take napalm at level 2, there’s an extra bonus: if the grenade airbursts higher than what seems like head-height from the ground it will also not leave behind a napalm field. Which is extra super useful when you’re desperately trying to ward off said angry space vampire.
The spawn-child-grenades alternative to napalm faces a very similar problem in that they’re simply far harder to achieve good results with, but it’s even worse in this instance. Even in testing vs bots while actively trying to watch for them doing their thing, it was very hard to track the effect child grenades were having. I saw some child grenades spread 20ft or so from the initial target point, in seemingly-random directions (it could be a set pattern, but it was hard to tell if so), and on the off-chance that one of them managed to land on something I think the explosion did 20% of a normal grenade’s damage? Which has a very minimal impact in the grand scheme of things, especially considering the inability to predict their point of detonation.
So, cluster grenades are bad, and sneak attack sits in a very small window of viability. The main troubles with non-instant grenades – timing and grenade bounce – are potentially able to be compensated for with player skill, so with practice maybe there’d be a place for the sneak attack helix? Personally, though, I’d still never bother, because instant nades negate the need for all that skill and allow shooting your own feet for AOE damage when swarmed, as well as opening the possibility of nailing people with nades mid-air.
As for napalm vs child grenades, though, there isn’t even a discussion. When you factor in the huge damage of the napalm field, the guaranteed full effectiveness vs PvE enemies that won’t leave its area and the psychological ability to zone players, the awkward-targeting, less-damaging, universally-less-effective alternative is just completely left in the dust.
Which is unfortunate in a game heavy on choice and variety, and though Mike was probably my favourite character, I’d love to see more viable options hit the field. Unless it’s a really meta decision to have him be a clone both in lore and in his viable builds, in which case, I officially see what you did there.
tbh, i kinda hate the fact your obligated to have a sight on his gun, i actually do like firing the gun without a sight, wish there was a 3rd augmentation for no optic but get another buff or something, same with WF