The following notes based on the character below:
This is my first Embers of Rage character. Just wanted to poke around the new (to me) campaign and get some unlocks. There were several old guides on gunslingers online, but it seems like many talents have been changed through recent patches.
General Impression: Embers of Rage
- Loot is a bit sparse in the EoR campaign. Not being able to get a wand of clairvoyance anywhere early on was a direct cause to my first death.
- With fewer zones available, it is sometimes necessary to fight through enemies that one would normally just retreat from in the Age of Ascendancy campaign. This can increase the overall difficulty of the campaign if you run into a strong random enemy.
- Final boss battle in EoR was epic.
- The new system to unlock generics through the Mystery of the Yetis quest is very nice, and relieves a lot of anxiety induced by escorts in the main campaign.
- EoR campaign really doles out the generic unlocks generously. This makes even better too.
General Impression: Gunslinger
- Gunslinger was pretty fun to play, with many interesting and consequential choices to make in battle. Even the talents that looked like duds at first saw some situational use.
- All the shooting talents will hit twice when dual wielding steamguns, so is actually two shots with two guns, for four total hits.
- Gunslingers do not care about fatigue, so it's worth aiming for Power Armor
- The prodigy really saves a lot of points from the tinkering trees, as a single point will get you to talent level 3, enough to unlock most of the recipes.
Some suggestions for class talents. Raw talent level in brackets, assuming Adept prodigy has been taken.
- Gunner Training
-  : Main weapon mastery talent, must be maxed.
-  : This will actually hit 4 times while dual-wielding steamguns, so the damage is actually decent. 3 points with will yield a 3-turn stun. Can target two enemies too.
-  : Steamguns and ammo can come with reload bonuses that far surpass this talent, so it is generally best to spend your talent points elsewhere.
-  : A good AoE attack that also strips non-magical effects. 4 points with will remove 2 effects. The lightning element is a good complement to the physical/fire element on most gunslinger attacks.
-  : Allows one to shoot and move in the same turn, also refunds nearly all the ammo used during the process. This will not be used as often late game as you learn more talents, but having the option available is still very handy.
-  : Can be useful for setting up a stronger attack like .
-  Embers of Rage campaign, these conditions do pop up sometimes against Anorithils that have active. Not sure if this works with the projectile deflection provided by ; will have to test that some time. : A very situational sustain. If you are fighting enemies with projectiles, and the projectiles are naturally slow or you have gear that slows projectiles, then this talent will add a decent amount of damage. In the
-  : Will only target visible enemies, so you cannot use it to shoot around corners. Makes a good combo attack with against tight clusters of enemies.
- Bullets Mastery:
- This category seems to get overlooked a lot, but there are good uses for every bullet type. The duration and cooldowns also work out in such a way that you need to invest in several bullet types in order to maintain the buff during longer battles (e.g. final boss). If one dose not choose the prodigy however, it would be possible to cut some points here.
-  : Use this for highest total damage on single targets
-  : Allows bullets to pass through enemies, helpful if you can get your targets to line up in a corridor, does not need too many points since enemies rarely stay lined up for long
-  : Turn this on against high threat melee attackers to keep them stunned and knocked back
-  : Higher instant burst damage than , works great with to clear dense clusters of enemies, as the AoE damage can trigger twice on every target hit
- [1-5] sawbutchers in the Embers of Rage campaign for example, and they can hit 4 times per turn with . If the enemy also spawned with equipment that grants on-hit procs, this can quickly stack up a tremendous amount of damage. The flat damage reduction provided by this talent is the perfect counter to that. While Steam Powered Armour will provide a much higher flat damage reduction value, the projectile deflection bonus from this talent will still remain useful. : A very strong defensive sustain DoTs or any multi-hit attacks. There are many dual-wielding
- [1-3] : Allows one to break visual contact with enemies, which can also activate . 3 points with will also clear the target of any enemy that was chasing you. Just be careful that DoT effects will cause them to retarget you immediately, so one has to time this correctly.
- [1-4] : Actually gives a pretty decent amount of healing, provided there is enough terrain cover to break line of sight with enemies, or you can use to achieve the same effect.
-  : A very strong stealth effect that can remain useful even on higher difficulties. The duration is limited to 10 turns with a 25 turn cooldown, and the steam cost is quite high, but turning this on before a battle starts can give you a decisive advantage. The stealth effect can also be used as an escape option and help you deal with stair traps.
- [1-4] : Allows instant movement in 8 directions. This is an important tool for dealing with stair traps and patrol ambushes. 4 points plus will give you 8 tile range on open ground.
- [1-3] : Grants a movement bonus based on the number of visible enemies. This is a situational sustain that can be quite helpful during the final boss battle, where there is no option to retreat and quick repositioning against many visible foes is important for survival.
- [1-3] Automation or Avoidance talents, place a toxic canister, or use a tool. : This used to fire your guns every time you moved, which turned movement infusions into a huge damage burst, but that has been fixed now. The talent is still pretty useful anytime you need a few turns to use
-  : Can only be used while Awesome Toss is active. It's a nice disengage, but it requires an enemy to be in melee range too.
-  Ritch Hive). : Fires a slow projectile that deals moderate damage, and can knockback and daze. Most useful when aimed close for a quick area knockback when you do not have room to backup (e.g. in the
-  : Can deal a decent amount of damage any time there are multiple enemies around. If you aim it towards enemies further away, it can pull back those that were trying to close in on you too. Still pretty situational, but it is free damage if you just activated .
- [1-5] : Pinning effects are great for ranged attackers, and this one even comes with a resistance debuff. The main downside is that it uses a lot of steam and can be completed resisted by saves.
-  : This talent has the highest total damage potential of all gunslinger attacks. It deals physical bleed damage each turn, which means it will deal the listed damage as physical each turn, and tack on a 5-turn bleed for 50% of the listed damage. The bleed effect will stack across multiple turns too. Sawfield will not hurt yourself, but it will damage friendly entities like toxic canisters / voltaic sentry / fatal attractors.
Some suggestions for generic talents. Raw talent level in brackets, assuming Adept prodigy has been taken.
The Embers of Rage campaign has the Mystery of the Yetis quest to replace escorts in the Age of Ascendancy campaign. This makes it very easy to unlock generic categories without spending category points, so it pays to spread out the generic talent points a bit.
- Combat Training
- Other talents not relevant to gunslinger
- : great on any character being played for the first time, especially where there aren't any two-prodigy combos worth pursuing
- : pretty basic pickup on any ranged weapon user, that damage and debuffs are just great
Deaths and Threats
- Died once on the 3rd level of Ritch Hive due to unfamiliarity with map setup. Was digging through the sand carefully at first, but could not find anything at all. Got impatient and just held down the movement key and let my character zoom across the map. Promptly ran into a cavern of monsters and was obliterated before I could even lift my fingers of the keypad. For whatever reason, the lost life warning I was counting on did not trigger and lock out inputs to the game. Returned to clear the area after finally locating a wand of clairvoyance in an AAA.
- Other than the final boss, the hardest fight was actually against a random Whitehoof Sun Paladin rare in Krimbul Territory. The Sun Paladin talents gave it big melee damage, and allowed it to heal quickly if left alone for any amount of time, while its racial death momentum mechanic made it nearly impossible to maintain distance. It took multiple engagements, and the rare healing up to full in between, before I managed to land several CCs in a row to finally finish it off in one go.