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  3. The Ranged Enthusiast -- Discussion and Research into Ranged Combat in Nioh-2

User Info: AlekTrev006

AlekTrev006
1 week ago#1
Hello fellow Nioh warriors :-)

I became enamored of Nioh-1, after picking up the digital deluxe version (with all the DLC's out already by then), later in the game's life-cycle. As a general fan of history, I found the setting really interesting - and the mix of real events and characters, with Japanese mythology, was something I'd not really experienced before. Now, having played the Souls series extensively beforehand, I at least had a general concept of action-RPG play -- though Nioh ended up feeling and playing vastly differently than those games, I discovered. My general approach to these kinds of games, however, is to try and find a hybrid style, if the game-engine / weaponry, etc - allows for it -- that permits a player to use both Melee weaponry - AND Ranged attack options. Instead of just bashing things with a Mace or giant Axe, I find dancing artfully around them, while firing off magic spells, thrown weaponry, or other such methods - to be more.... liberating ? Or, at least, it breaks up the usual "hack and slash" that you can still engage in, if you want to.

With Nioh-1, I was thrilled to find that the game actually had a very well-developed "Ranged Game" for those that were willing to put the time and effort into setting up their character for that style. Not only did the actual long-range projectile weapons (Bow, Rifle, and Cannon) perform very well, against a variety of the enemies you'd run into ..but with the amazing inclusion of "Unlimited Ammo" - as a Skill...and my beloved Saika's Yatagarasu Set and Guardian Spirit... I was able to make Ranged combat a genuine treat to behold - as I blew through the last several difficulties in the game, got the Platinum, and eventually punched through about 750 Floors of the Abyss, till I eventually ran out of time (with Nioh-2 releasing - lol) !

So...that intro aside... what I'd like to do here is try to lay out some of my thoughts on Ranged Combat setups and options here in Nioh-2...for those that, like me, enjoy following the path of Yatagarasu. I'll keep updating the thread as I go along and note new ideas or options - and would Greatly appreciate feedback / thoughts / discoveries from all of you as you too go on through the game (I realize many are in NG+ already, while I'm only wrapping up Region-3 on NG). Hopefully this thread could become a sort of "handy resource" for people joining the game later on - and eventually we could combine all the info into an actual FAQ or something (if it got substantial enough to warrant that).

------

To begin, I'd like to give just my general thoughts on starting out with Ranged play, in this game. I consider "Ranged" combat to be the full spread of "Magic, Throwing, and Projectiles" - though personally I focus on (Bow / Rifle / Cannon) in the end-game stages, once you have access to more Sets and Spirits, and inheritable or more easily roll-able Unlimited Ammo (Untouched Ammo, is how they term it here in N-2).

If you're just beginning though, I really would recommend the Hatchets as at least one of your starting weapons....as they afford a new wonderful "innate" ranged attack option, that Nioh-1 didn't really have. You get "unlimited" distance weaponry, from the very start of the game - and it only uses your Ki bar ! This is much like the Simon's Bowblade ranged weapon in the Bloodborne DLC, where you can "Charge up" your Throws and do increasingly more powerful hits, when you release them. I've not personally charted out the exact % increases, but the "full charge" high-stance does the most damage, while costing the most Ki to hurl out - as a balancer.

Because the Untouched Ammo perk (special ability you can find or Temper onto certain gear) is very limited early on, I find that running with a decent amount of Ninjutsu for the first playthrough at least, allows you to still get that "ranged" feel, without having to lean too heavily on your Arrows / Rifle Rounds / or Cannon shells. Magic is also an option for ranged attacks (at least with the Elemental shots), but they do take a while to actually "cast" (animation) and without strong investment into Magic - you aren't really going to get a lot of raw damage from them (compared to what you can pull off with early to mid-game Ninjutsu or Projectile weapons). Still, a few Fire shots always on-hand makes any "blob" enemies vaporize quickly, and it's handy to set off Bomb-on-the-Back Dwellers or similiar stationary powder-kegs you find in certain levels.

Relatively soon into the game though, you can get enough spare gold to start buying extra ammo stock, and just put it to your Storehouse. After you have a decent amount on-hand, feel free to start using your Bow and Rifle more often (at least against Human opponents, who typically are slain in 1-headshot from one of those weapons, if they are reasonably well-leveled). I'll share a few more thoughts and early observations below - and again, welcome all Ranged thoughts from everyone :-)

User Info: AlekTrev006

AlekTrev006
1 week ago#2
(continued from above)

Some early things I noticed in the Tempering menu of the Blacksmith is that the game now has two new abilities... one called "Rifle Damage" (or Bow Damage, etc) ...and then the more generic "Ranged Damage". While I'm not 100% sure, I believe the Ranged Damage one would / should cover ALL forms of projectiles that fly outwards from your character - including Bombs, Kunai, Shurikens, Arrows, Cannon Blasts, etc....

Ideally, you'd pick this one, on most of your Ranged Weaponry then, to better benefit the rest of your offensive options.

----

There's also the interesting "Bullet and Arrow Ki Damage +13.4%" (or whatever value you might see as an option)... and the curious thing about this, is since you could only ever have EITHER your Bow OR your Rifle / Cannon out in-hand, at any one time... I'm not sure how this "dual ammo type" benefit would every help you ? Unless I'm missing something obvious, it would make more sense to temper just the Rifle / Bow / Cannon specific Ki-damage boosting skills on, because you seem to get higher %'s from those anyways, and -- again, unless I'm missing it - you can never have your Bow and Rifle out at the same time (so to speak) ?

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The new ability to temper Accessories should actually make Ranged Combat options even broader in Nioh-2, than in Nioh-1. From what I could see - on a random "purple" Fan or such, I was able to temper on 12.9% Shuriken and Kunai Damage...with basic Umbracite. I don't recall perfectly, but I'm struggling to think you could get such high rolls on Nioh-1 Accessories...and certainly you couldn't Temper them "on demand" like we can now ! Being able to do the same thing - potentially - with Untouched Ammo or Untouched Ninjutsu holds a lot of promise, I think.

-----

Clan Thoughts from a Ranged Perspective:

After getting to the 3rd Region and getting access to the Clans, I did a quick overview of the options this time around, and could suggest a small handful for serious Ranged Enthusiast contention:

  • Imagawa: Bow Damage at Close Range +30% (strong, but 'forcing' you to be at close range somewhat limits the overall viability of the Clan Bonus)
  • Mohri: +2 Max Arrows able to be carried around (handy, especially for extra Hamaya / Sacred arrows, which do enormous damage against Yokai foes)...and Bow Damage +20% (I think for Bow fans, this is the better pick, not only for the extra arrows, but more so that the Damage bonus is "flat" and affects your shots no matter the distance. Over the course of the game and various engagements, I think 20% "all the time" is better than 30% "only when they are close-in" - in the Imagawa case)
  • Kuroda: +9% Hand Cannon Damage (useful....but I find Hand Cannons to be very powerful naturally, and rarely ever have felt - in Nioh-1 or here, so far, that "if only they could hit harder...")
  • Otomo: +1 additional Hand Cannon rounds (not worth it, considering some of these other strong bonuses)
  • Shibata: +20 Attack / Defense when holding Hatchets and +6.5% Charge Attack Damage (this is naturally playing into the 'hold Triangle button to charge up your Throws' with these new weapons, and IS an overall useful and strong bonus - especially considering there's no Ki penalty or downside -- it's just flat damage increasing, and you have "unlimited" hatchets, so it's certainly an interesting option)
  • Akechi: +40 to your Onmyo Magic Power and +7% to your Bulls-Eye Bonus (while a strong early-game boost to Magic Damage, the Bulls-Eye bonus is somewhat small, considering you need to strike the enemy Weak-Point to get any boost at all, and you can already get strong Bulls-Eye Bonus skills on your Ranged Weapons - naturally, or by Tempering. Still, for someone focusing on a Magic / Ranged approach, this one seems usable)
  • Saika: +14% Rifle Damage and +1 additional rifle rounds able to be carried around (ah...my love. Saika. At the risk of playing favorites, let me just say that I generally find the enhanced damage of Rifles - at least for most of the main game - over Bows - to be a strong selling point. That, combined with Roaring Gun Rounds - which suffer no Damage Drop-Off at range, unlike Arrows... makes a 14% damage boost rather powerful. In the late-game, when Untouched Ammo is more accessible, I think this could really shine.)


----------------

Keep in mind for the above Clan Bonuses, that I believe -- just like with Nioh-1 -- that as you rank up in the Clan, by contributing Glory each week, you can actually see these bonuses rise too. I know, one week at least, I came in 2nd in the Saika Clan rankings, and ended up with something like +19% extra Matchlock Rifle damage (up 5% from the starting 14 value). Granted, it's not "earth-shattering" in its difference from stock, but every little bit helps, right ?

----

Additional things I'm curious to test would be if the game considers all forms of your Hatchet's attacks to be "Melee" strikes...which I 'think' it does ? In other words...would things like the Okuri-Inu (dog spirit) flat bonus of 10% Melee Damage to Unscathed Enemies, boost the first strike Throw from your Hatchets, on an enemy ? I believe it will / does - but interactions like that (the behind the scenes mechanics) ended up being quite in-depth in Nioh-1, so I'm sure there will be a lot of fun discoveries we'll all make here, in Nioh-2, as time goes on.

:-)

User Info: AlekTrev006

AlekTrev006
1 week ago#3
-- some additional findings / thoughts, as I've been progressing a bit more:

Tachi Arts skill - which basically does the same thing here as it did in Nioh-1 (increases damage against Full Life Enemies, essentially giving you a stronger First Strike on them)... SEEMS to also perform (against its actual in-game wording), with Ranged Attacks as well...

This discovery was made at some point in Nioh-1's lifetime, but I only discovered it in conversations with a Nioh-1 GFaqs forum member, D_Slayer, last year. In Nioh-1, Tachi Arts worked "passively" when you unlocked it in the Dual Swords Skill Tree. In Nioh-2, however, they allow you to still access it...but force you to get it in every single skill tree you choose to use a weapon from (or if you only use 1-2 weapons for the entire game, you can just use them, of course).

Now, it's hard to tell precisely, as I think the damage mechanics / calculations the game is using might have been tweaked from Nioh-1... but I definitely am seeing MORE damage coming out of my Rifle shots / kunai hits, etc - when I have a higher "Melee Damage to Unscathed Enemies" %... (this is the re-named version of the skill / effect, in Nioh-2).

------

With just 9% "Melee Damage to Unscathed Enemies" ... I was able to fire on the head of an enemy Samurai Knight / warrior (unaware of my presence) and deal 5708 damage (1-hit KO), with my Sakai Rifle.

With nothing changed, I then selected the Okuri-Inu Dog spirit, which gives +10% bonus to "Melee Damage to Unscathed Enemies".

With my newly displayed 19% "Melee Damage to Unscathed Enemies", I re-did the test and fired on the enemy warrior again... this time, the shot hit for 6091.

This appears to be an increase of 6.71% ... give or take ;-)

So...unless I'm mistaken, the game is giving us at least "Some" of the benefits of this skill, even when hitting with our Ranged Attacks (though it's modified to be less than the full bonus you'd get for actually hitting them first with a melee weapon). In Nioh-1, this wasn't the case - and you got the full bonus with Ranged Shots too (which may have been a bug - or at least was something the TN devs didn't want, so it looks like they modified it here for N2).

Still, it's something to note for fans of Ranged combat to keep in mind - as every bit of extra damage is helpful when going for those 1-hit KO's (so you can proc' the Frugality skill, and ideally pick up a replacement round from the defeated enemy).

User Info: dthomas125

dthomas125
1 week ago#4
Any idea what is the % chance for Frugality to proc? Also are ammo considered items? Would +% to item drop cause Frugality to proc more?

Hatchet throwing attacks are considered melee attacks as stated by a poster in the first few days of release. Early set options would also be 3 pcs of the First Samurai Set gives you +30% to bullseye damage.

Something that really hurts ranged combat this time around is no shadow round (unless I just can't find it).
China is putting up facial recognition AI cameras in schools to monitor the moods of their students.

User Info: jediblaster

jediblaster
1 week ago#5
here we go.

just kidding.
Why's the rum gone?

User Info: AlekTrev006

AlekTrev006
1 week ago#6
jediblaster posted...
here we go.

just kidding.

Mwhahah - Love ya, Jedi :-)~ /// You know I find the theorycrafting one of the funnest parts of Nioh - and love that the Devs seem to have only expaned on our Options in Nioh-2 !

dthomas125 posted...
Any idea what is the % chance for Frugality to proc? Also are ammo considered items? Would +% to item drop cause Frugality to proc more?

Hatchet throwing attacks are considered melee attacks as stated by a poster in the first few days of release. Early set options would also be 3 pcs of the First Samurai Set gives you +30% to bullseye damage.

Something that really hurts ranged combat this time around is no shadow round (unless I just can't find it).


Good questions, Thomas. I forget if anyone actually "cracked the code" (behind the scenes numbers from the PC of Nioh-1 or not), but my "unofficial" estimation was / is that it runs about 50%. So for every headshot kill you pull off, it seems to be a rough coin-flip if you'll see an ammo drop for you.

This changes a little based on the type of enemy you are firing on, of course. The best targets to get the "Frugality Train" rolling, are enemy Archers / Riflemen (including their Skeleton counterparts). These guys have a huge chance to drop ammo 'normally' - so I have had times already where I killed one with a Roaring Gun special shot, and then went over to the loot drop and got back the Roaring round (Frugality), plus 2-3 additional Rifle Rounds (his normal drop), for instance. Quite handy if you can ever find a mission where lots of those types of enemies are posted up.

(My favorite of this sort was the Graveyard mission in Nioh-1 - I forget the exact name, but you basically cleared out that large graveyard, filled almost entirely with Humans. Humans are perfect 'victims' for headshotting antics, so I would use that early on, to keep my Special Ammo rounds well-stocked, via Frugality proccing'. Of course, you need a high enough Untouched Ammo % to actually make this worth your time -- so it tended to be a late NG effort, back then -- and probably the same would be true here in Nioh-2).

---

Hatchet Throws being Melee is quite handy -- I kind of presumed as much, from the damage I can get with them, but thanks for the confirmation. Unfortunately, unless I missed it in their Skill Tree, I don't think they allowed them to get a Tachi Arts equivalent, like most of the other weapons. I am guessing the Devs felt it would be a bit too OP when stacked with all their other potential buffs, and the fact you can hurl them from 10 meters away from a foe ;-)

That said, I believe any OTHER sources of "Melee Damage to Undamaged Enemies" - such as the 10% the Dog spirit provides, WOULD actually work fine with the throws then -- making it a potentially strong early to mid-game option, for a ranged fan.

----

On Shadowround, @dthomas125 , you are right that we are REALLY missing that - so far....but Lupinos and other knowledgeable posters here have informed me that it WAS visible at points in the Beta and other pre-release versions of the game, suggesting that it should be present somewhere.... I personally was wondering if it's one of the "greyed out" Skill Bubbles on the Onmyo Tree, that we simply don't know how to get to yet (or it may be included in future DLC - so they can market it like "1 new Weapon, 3 new spells, 4 new Ninja Arts, and a level increase ! Get the Nioh-2 First DLC now - for only $$ !" --- something like that, lol.

We really DO need it though - unless the base Untouched Ammo %'s in N2 can be brought up to a higher level than was possible in Nioh-1. Cause, Shadowround allowed my personal final build to get something like a 94% chance to not consume ammo (including devastating Roaring gun blasts !) - which was just glorious to experience. :-)

User Info: jediblaster

jediblaster
1 week ago#7
No I look forward to watching you snipe in this one too. I love these games and you make them look so easy.
Why's the rum gone?

User Info: StormysWay

StormysWay
1 week ago#8
I enjoy seeing footage of your sniping stuff. Between you and @Lupinos , you guys made Nioh easily enjoyable for me to play.

User Info: Lupinos

Lupinos
1 week ago#9
I'll have to read this later - but yeah; shadowround appears to be missing. There's only 4 unfilled bubbles at this time - and I just 100% completed dream of the samurai - and no shadowround...

I swear I used it in either the alpha or beta, but it's totally missing.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again, while expecting different results. (As defined by Einstein)
Maybe we're all a little crazy.

User Info: alexamster

alexamster
1 week ago#10
Ranged combat is a really practical way to get through any stage (excluding duel stages). Hit an enemy from far, and it's almost always one round per enemy... and a player can carry 13 arrows + 7 rounds + 5 cannonballs. That's 20+ mobs taken care of.
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