Saturday, November 29, 2014

Defiance (Part Four)

Of all the things in Defiance, I've found that the weapons are the most interesting aspect of this game.

Defiance - Weapons Galore 001Defiance - Weapons Galore 002
From rocket launchers to detonators, machine guns to sniper rifles, pistols, shotguns and even bio-magnetic guns to boot, there's simply so many of them out there that you'll literally be spoilt for choice. However, that's not all though...

Even between the same type of weapons, there can be quite a significant difference in how they work. Like for instance, some rocket launchers are guided while some require manual aim. Some detonators fire sticky rounds and some fire bouncy ones. There's rapid-fire shotguns and then there's the ones that need reloading after every shot. There's burst-fire assault rifles and there's also full auto ones.
With that many kinds around, it is definitely a MUST for you to try all of them out and find the ones that you work best with. But I've digressed and so lets get back to the point, shall we?
Defiance - Weapon Info
The above shows two random weapons that I own. And out of all the stuff that can be found on the weapon's info, the most important ones to takeaway are as follows.
  • Encryption
    As far as I know, this tells you whether the weapon (or item) is encrypted or not. If it is, the weapon can no longer be upgraded in "rarity" (refer Salvage Matrix section on how to upgrade). However, an encrypted weapon will typically have a tiny bonus to their stats compared to one that is unencrypted (with all other things being equal).
    There are five ranks of rarity for any weapon or item found in Defiance. White represents the most common, Green represents uncommon, cyan equates to rare, purple means epic while orange depicts legendary. And just like in typical MMOs, the better the rarity, the better their corresponding stats...but the harder it is to find them too though.
  • Nano Effect
    Nano Effect modifies the type of damage that a weapon deals. Its like the elemental damages in typical MMO games. And just like in those games, it has its advantages and disadvantages (when used in certain scenarios) as well as its associated procs.
    Defiance - Nano Effect Biological
    Deals additional damage to armor plates.Places a black goo on the target, reducing its movement speed, jump capability as well as ability to deal damage.
    Defiance - Nano Effect Electrical
    Deals extreme damage to shields but little to health.Stuns the target for a brief moment, along with any other enemies nearby.
    Defiance - Nano Effect Incendiary
    Deals extreme damage to health but little to shields.Lights the target on fire, causing additional damage over time.
    Defiance - Nano Effect Radiation
    Damage bypasses a portion of the target's armor.Covers the target in an effervescent and debilitating kinetic gel, causing it to take more damage (than usual) from attacks.
    Defiance - Nano Effect Syphon
    Part of the damage dealt is returned as healing.Tags the target with a purple swirl, causing life and shield energy to transfer from the target to the shooter.
  • Mod Slots
    Needless to say, mod slots are slots in which you may insert various sorts of mods improve the stats of a weapon.

    There are four of these mod slots, Stock, Barrel, Magazine and Sight. And as you can see (from the Weapon Info pic), a weapon can randomly have none or up to four of these slots all unlocked.
    Defiance - Pistol Mod VendorDefiance - Automatic Mod Vendor
    The mods themselves can easily be acquired from their respective mod vendors like as shown (but will typically be of lower rarity), can be looted off monsters or gained as rewards from quests. However, what you must know is that there are certain "installation requirements" to obey.

    A pistol mod may only be installed on a pistol, rocket launcher mods on a rocket launcher, shotgun mods on a shotgun, sniper rifle mods on a manual/semi-automatic sniper rifle and automatic rifle mods on an assault rifle/submachine gun/light machine gun.
    I don't think its necessary to also mention that you can only install a stock, barrel, magazine and sight mod into their respective mod slots and nowhere else, right? Right?
    Defiance - Scope CommandoDefiance - Scope Tactical
    While most of the mods only affect the stats and nothing else, you must especially take note of the sight mods though. These have different magnifications to them (depending on the mod's name) and they also tend to alter/change the look when you use the weapon to zoom in.

    In my opinion, you should match the sight mod according to the optimal range of your weapon instead of just randomly attaching any. Its pretty pointless to use a high magnification sight on a close-ranged weapon, don't you think so? Its damage will simply fall off too quickly to be of much use anyway.
  • Synergy
    Synergy is something that's very closely related to the mods that you insert into a weapon's mod slots. If a weapon has a certain type of synergy on it and you attach mods with the same kind of synergy into the weapon, you will be able to unlock the bonuses associated with that synergy (as shown on the weapon itself).
    The number in brackets beside the bonuses reflects the amount of mods (of that synergy) that you will need to install into the weapon in order to unlock the bonus.
    However, if the weapon does not have any synergy at all, then installing any kind of mods with a synergy into it is useless and actually wasted.
  • Mastery
    The purpose of this "Mastery" thingy is two-fold as far as I can tell.
    Defiance - Weapon Skills
    Firstly, it has got something to do with your "ability" to use any type of weapons...otherwise known as your weapon skills or weapon proficiencies.

    As you use a particular type of weapon to kill monsters, your skills in that weapon type will gradually increase and rank up. And with this increase in rank, you will gain all kinds of weapon skill bonuses whenever you use that particular type of weapon to kill stuff.

    However, the increase in your weapon skills is limited by this "Mastery" on a weapon. The gradual increase will only happen if you use weapons which you have not yet mastered. Once mastered, your weapon skills will cease to increase (if you continue to use this mastered weapon).

    That is why you will need to change your weapons ever so often in order to facilitate the ranking up of your weapon skills. At least until you've hit the maximum of level 20 and have unlocked all the weapon skill bonuses (for that weapon type).

    Secondly, once you've maxed this mastery on a weapon, the weapon will also gain a random mastery bonus. But unlike the weapon skill bonuses, which are applicable to all weapons of the same type, this mastery bonus applies only when your using the mastered weapon itself.
  • Weapon Bonus
    These are random modifiers that affect the stats of a weapon and makes them fundamentally unique from one another. The number of these modifiers that a weapon may have is dependent upon the rarity of the weapon.
    A "Rare" weapon can have up to three of these (one white, one green and one cyan), an "Epic" may have up to four (one white, one green, one cyan and one purple) while a "Legendary" would have up to five of them (one white, one green, one cyan, one purple and one orange).
  • Weapon Stats
    These roughly tells you how well the weapon can perform. However, from what I've noticed, they aren't exactly that helpful to be honest and may sometimes misguide you in certain situations.
    Defiance - Weapon Stats
    For instance, take the two submachine guns above. The VOT Pulser shows a lower rate of fire than compared to the FRC Sub-Carbine and so one would think that the sub-carbine pumps out more rounds per second. However, if you really do take these two out for a spin, you would actually find that the pulser ends up firing at a faster rate instead...because the sub-carbine fires in burst mode instead of full auto.
    Defiance - Weapon Stats 01
    Now how about these two shotguns? Although they seem to have about the same reload speed, the FRC Berzerker Shotgun "appears" to reload faster and in one shot while the Blackened Hellfire Fragger requires a couple of "hand actions" to finish its reload.
    But the advantage is that the Fragger can interrupt its reload to continue firing while the Berzerker has to finish its reload action in order to resume fire.

Salvage Matrix
The following shows the "Salvage Matrix".
Defiance - Salvage Matrix
This is the place to go when you wish to tweak the equipment that you have. (Well...its usually just for your weapons and shields actually.)

For the most of this section, all you need to know about its uses are as follows.
  • Breakdown to Resources
    This option allows you to break down anything that is in your inventory into "Ark Salvage", a kind of resource that is needed when you mod things.
    But since there's already an abundance of it (Ark Salvage) when you hunt and loot monsters, this option is sort of redundant except for when your desperately in need of inventory slots and your too far away from an NPC Vendor.
  • Attach/Remove/Retrieve Mods
    These three options allow you to attach mods onto or remove and retrieve mods from a weapon.
    When attaching mods onto a weapon, what your doing is to insert the mod into the weapon (well, duh). However, if there is any existing mods in that slot, it will be overwritten.

    When removing mods from a weapon, what your doing is to clear the mod slots on a weapon. To this effect, all of the mods will be destroyed...although the weapon itself will be preserved.

    When retrieving mods from a weapon, what your doing is to take out the mods on the weapon. To this effect, all of the mods will be saved...but the weapon will be destroyed.
  • Add Mod Slots
    This option will usually appear for a weapon when it does not have the full number of mod slots (Stock, Barrel, Magazine, Sight). Each time you use the option, it will randomly add one more mod slot to the weapon until you've unlocked all four of them.
  • Upgrade Rating
    This option is used to keep the EGO Rating of your weapons and shields up-to-date with your character's. Each time you use this option, it will increase the EGO Rating of the item by 100.
    But because it uses a harder to obtain resource called "Arkforge", I would typically advise that you be selective in what you choose to upgrade.

    These "Arkforges" can be earned only if you perform very well (get high scores) in Arkfalls and Incursions.
  • Change Weapon Mastery Bonus
    This option allows you to reset the weapon mastery bonus that was given to a weapon that you've order to re-roll for a new one.
    However, in doing so, I believe that you will need to level that weapon all over again though.
  • Upgrade Rarity
    This option is used to upgrade the rarity of your items by one rarity rank (eg. a rare item will become an epic). However, each item may only perform this upgrade once...upon which it will be encrypted and barred from future rarity upgrades.
    As it is a very costly feature to use (requires quite a hefty amount of arkforges), I would recommend using this on only the best items that you have (those that you can't live without).

Previous: Defiance (Part Three)