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For bounce, Whips only have s3 and it is pretty spotty with where it will work even among those it works on (not very useful). More for some stagger on this it can apply to (still not great). It is a weird case, but the air L1+s pulls foes into the sky not quite like a bounce or launch (ground L1+t can glitch and get even a Cyclops off the ground with some tactical value depending on whether you can partially petrify it during this or not for the insta-kill). CoH has Curse (variation on Plume that has slightly less reach, but a lingering AoE multi-hit with slightly better damage *no super version ala Spirit*). Believe it was like the BoE in having its air t2 bounce (same, but slightly slower than just using t1 while dealing more direct damage). Cestus has t2 (I believe it was the second heavy), which is serviceable (and does good damage with surprising coverage). BoE have t1 (Bravery), air t1, Plume and Spirit. All just fine (quick enough, good range, etc.)
For knockback (typically for collisions *nerfed, but still good*, ring-out, breathing room, etc.), BoE obviously have CG (seemingly with i-frames at one point) and Valor (s6). Has the held light for a s***ty string (no way around it to go just for the ender or string into Spirit unlike Might of Hercules in GoW1) to access another. Counters are tied to BoE, so that gives them a boon regarding upgrading, but not required use as a weapon (as all weapons have access to the counters once unlocked). lvl2 for Ram (AoE knockback) and lvl4 for Rise (AoE launch). Both with i-frames. CoH has a s***tier Valor (less reach *a little wonky*) and a held special for quicker access to that move (same problem as the BoE held light) made worse by lack of control for when it will be a hit or a grab (regarding shallow or deep hits). The CG has no knockback (just generates souls that build hit count, very lightly damage and have very little hit stun *some ability to juggle* as with GoWII's BH flicks/legions). Whips can knockback with air L1+T, but that's a hassle. Its s5 is not unlike CoH (lesser option to Valor for just accessing the desired hit property *but far stronger thanks to Tirades*). The ground L1+t not being able to improve with tirades or do knockback on-demand (like SoD in GoWII *which was odd also for a few others abilities like ignoring Power % and not working the same modifier path as other moves*) is a missed opportunity. Cestus did fine with knockback off its light ender if I recall right (quick enough access, decent damage, etc.). The specials have knockback (one is AoE knockback and the other is ranged knockback with wide coverage), but I don't heavily advise them just the same (both could use canceling like the exploit in GoWII with 'cycling').
NOTE: Devs always defend 'specials' not canceling with how 'good' they are, but that seldom hold (even with damage). They are often dedicated moves with little redeeming value (though clearly not always the case *GoW1 LotF had insta-full charge tech for the air use that gave it a huge coverage bonus plus knockback on the AoE while dealing good damage*).
While other weapons can be good alternatives (Cestus are somewhat forced upon you by Onyx, but don't let that push you into upgrading it), the system is made for the Blades (the chain weapons of GoWIII were born from the idea casual players didn't use sub-weapons for being too different from the beloved default *GoW:A saw they still weren't often used, so it went with elements while introducing tertiary tools, but the fact remains casual players just use the default in whatever game generally*). Rarely will they be outclassed (as with Whips for set-ups that are more for those trying to juggle, float, score OH/air OS, ring-out, etc.). They are the advised tool of one just getting started. Not like there is a powerhouse weapon in this entry (BH in GoWII was so much stronger *and so simple with what you should use from it* you pummel the game to death with 't,t' *t1,t2* only maybe canceling to do this with greater speed and safety aside from rage as a potential boost to non-MAX while enjoying hyper armor, immunity to petrification, etc.). GoWII's SoD is like the Whips in that it is a set-up weapon (excellent for launchers, stunlocking, collision city, working around Power % in extreme run conditions, etc.). Artemis in GoW1 has all its moves from the start and doesn't gain any real perks (sadly). It is still a pretty incomplete tool with glaring faults, but has plenty of useful tech (we can go over it in detail another time, but just know it can break AI, provides its own invincibility and can achieve ring-outs where they shouldn't be possible for insta-kills in some critical battles like Hades Bridge A with the 11 Hades Satyrs*).
>haven't reach that point
Whoops. Didn't realize you were so fresh off the boat (so to speak) with this entry. Suppose I forgot the clue (topic title). Most of what I'm talking about will read like nonsense until elaborated on anyway (needing to know jargon, nomenclature, abbreviations, etc. *which I can and will explain easily enough when asked*), I suppose. Regarding the 'claws' you've heard about, I've given some idea of them, but I'll summarize here:
-Higher base damage
-Less growth (balances out)
-Similar light string (less inputs to it)
-Has full heavy string from start
-More complicated spell lacking i-frames (no casting time)
-Combat Grapple is far less useful
-Specials are less worth upgrading towards
-Has its own variation on the heavy ender (Plume) but not a stronger version (Spirit)
-Better air attacks
-Better evade with more range and speed (and eventual evade attack)
NOTE: Pretty sure it doesn't let you chain from the penultimate heavy into light ender (unlike with BoE), which is a point against it. Lots could be done to improve on it, but ultimately, it is what it is. While still good, I do not recommend you use it as a focus. Instead, you should consider working unpatched for the NG+ glitch and doing a fun run focusing on it (still early enough you could do a New Game run with plenty left to experience while upgrading normally, I suppose) after the first.
Without upgrades, it isn't competing against the upgraded BoE. If both weren't upgraded, sure. It has a good case (as all the weapons outclass lvl1 BoE). Whips at base have their t1 for a super fast and safe launcher (very helpful when trying to set-up the likes of air OS for a certain difficult fight later into a run for VH though you can still work without it easily enough using up rage, magic, etc.). Cestus at base is strong enough while breaking Onyx. CoH just don't have a lvl1 appeal against their upgraded competitors, I'd say. BoE's launcher can be safe if you have enough time to reach the i-frames, but there is a point where the animation becomes dedicated (can't cancel) and it can be punished. Not the fastest thing (and less means to get the quicker version outside GoW1).
Wow thanks for all the input! I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of the combat depth and versatility lol.
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You should seriously work as a gameplay designer
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>scratched the surface
You really don't need a lot even on vanilla VH to 'survive' the setting. Mastery asks much more, but one tends to need enough 'challenge' to get creative much less general inspired to give their all. Part of why self-imposed restrictions are such excellent tools to this end, I'd say. I fancy using a quote (excerpt, really) from a certain chap explaining to a nun the value of his work on the matter of doing 'specialty runs' and such: http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/08/why-explore-space.html
That being, "...significant progress in the solutions of technical problems is frequently made not by a direct approach, but by first setting a goal of high challenge which offers a strong motivation for innovative work, which fires the imagination and spurs men to expend their best efforts, and which acts as a catalyst by including chains of other reactions". - Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger (Associate Director of Science with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center)
There are a number of things to learn about. Depends on your familiarity with this type of Action game (or games in general, really). Even something like i-frames might not always be safely assumed as well understood, for instance. You would have to ask questions (to get answers). For something like what we refer to as 'collisions', that is in reference not to just boundaries stopping you from clipping through walls or whatever, but an impact between one thing and another. Originally, this was just for one foe (agent) colliding with another (target) where just the latter took bonus damage (10 at default with half worth cases at 5 as with knockbacks).
In GoW1/GoWII, this scaled with Enemy Power % as if the mechanic were an attack of enemies against one another (rare friendly fire that was more than just knocking people *actually had direct damage*). On VH, they are at 500%, so 5x damage. Five-fold knockback of one guy into another would then go from 5 to 25 damage (in GoW1's VH, Power % controls many of our attacks *not nearly all as with grabs, spells, etc.* so the first strike in the light chain *s1* deals 1 damage *base is 2 at lvl1 with 1.0 modifer, so the 50% Power brings us to that point for a reference point with the collision value noted*).
You're playing GoWIII, which removed the scaling (sadly) while it did have a unique collision damage instance or so (I believe all 'dogs' are set to 20 damage). This is owed to how powerful the (then new) Battering Ram (grabbing a Sentry or Guardian and running with them) was and their unwillingness to nerf it alone (instead the whole system to keep it comparatively better than other options). The ability was good enough just by virtue of running the agent into a wall for an insta-kill and having the option to mash for extra hits (even without gaining EXP orbs *would approve that if it meant no i-frames, so you take a risk*).
Going further (and back to collisions), if foes were thrown into walls in this entry, they would wall splat (allowing juggles, but also taking 1 point of damage per instance just from the wall *GoW:A continued that, but had them bounce hard off the wall rather than just making soft and hard instances as they should have*). Said small bonus damage also exists on object collisions (rapid pushing a big object into foes would knock them away while dealing this to the target).
Returning focus to normal collisions (between foes) with BR talk, BR multi-hit (around 5) before it would cancel into a toss (same as the X option during grab select) for another. They should have made the ramming portion not scale (maybe even made them half collisions *5 each* in value). That would still be a decent bonus before throwing foes away for the real thing (GoW:A made this value different and lesser than just regular tossing *just to note it*). The move let you run around while invincible for tons of hits with the option to throw (early) at any point. A bit good, admittedly.
Where classic collisions are 'Target ONLY' for damage (half or full), this entry has 'Agent ONLY' and Agent/Target (think these could only ever be 5/5 *both 'half'*). What a pity the system got nerfed just to leave BR sitting pretty. While having 5 damage per splat (on VH *if it scaled*) wouldn't be amazing, it does add up as you could toss a foe into the wall (15 damage or so from the throw, then the 5 from the impact) before peppering with arrows (2 per arrow and 5 per wall splat between arrows). It could add up, I'd say. Object collisions would still just be a cute bonus. The real money would remain with collisions from things like grabs (though knockback is also good) throwing/tossing/slamming enemies into one another. For fun runs, we would have low Armor (thus high Enemy Power %) costumes for VH (unlike in GoW1) to really spike their value (as with Fear Kratos). If they were so afraid of the 'balance', they really should have made a damned 'cheat' (whatever they want to call them *urns and such*) for returning the scaling vets loved.
NOTE: Part of veteran affection for collisions was that typically our damage takes a dive on VH (and output naturally suffers more with challenge runs restricting to 1.0 and maybe just the default weapon). While not everything scales with Power % (thus standing out just by virtue of not being nerfed like our normals), some things being buffed by the setting makes them stand out even more (changing focus in tactics more towards these things if you want efficient killing of enemies). One could praise ring-out, petrification, etc. for similar reasons (helping to give ways around low dps from the player on targets that begin to feel bloated).
In your Normal (or Hard *Glorified Normal, which I can explain why I call it that should you like*) first go at GoWIII, you may not have too much use for collisions (on purpose) beyond maybe some Battering Ram use when not wanting to splurge resources (magic, rage, etc.). On VH, you'll have slightly more reason to consider the option. Far more so in NUR and higher (where you're better encouraged to master the basics). While true that you need upgrades to take advantage of what they offer in 'MAX' strategies (extensions and such), you can often learn better ways from more extreme conditions (requiring less skill meaning 'better', generally).
NOTE: For your first run, you probably are best off with just MAX BoE. The rest doesn't actually matter for what you'll be doing (just dicking around with the extra EXP) as I can explain regarding Items (regenerating yellow bar). This holds even for vanilla VH (as the simple path is easiest until you really know what you're doing, but even then you might create some bits that become harder for using more specialized tools *Whips are great, but if you can't launch enemies at all, you might start to have issues controlling things as one example*).
Sort of dull to do that two runs in a row, mind you. Maybe you can take advantage of this lesser run to horse around a little with other options first (if you don't plan on using NG+ glitch or something to try the others)? Focus on the default for vanilla VH before more serious run work demands you use tools where they are best at MIN. Just suggestions, really. Your call.
I'd have to move to the West Coast among people I'd politically have little common ground with aside from the uncertain path into the industry (likely requiring programming I'm not interested in). Less troublesome would just be Q&A, but even then they like you to have programming ability (so you can tell them what might be the problem *and offer a solution* rather than just point it out in laymen terms). It wasn't a course for me with my own obligations. Wasn't meant to be. Not entirely sure what about the light breakdown so far gave this impression though. Wasn't offering much in the way of suggestions (though I have old topics to that effect) or evaluations.
NOTE: Where are you now?
Hello guys, I just want to show my appreciation for this game. It was my favorite. Excellent gameplay and visuals.
Show you really mean it. Let's get you good. Do it for your "favorite" (though I'll have you signing GoWII's praises before long).