I wrote this guide to share with everyone my experience as a lvl40 FF/EB Offender. I use the term offender because this build concentrates on our offensive energy blast secondary power set. This guide is not meant as the defining build of a Force Field defender, but it is a very fun build for people that are interested in soloing some missions and mobs, but also enjoy contributing to a TF or team now and then. All right, let’s get started.
My character, Guardian, lvl40 on Protector:
Lvl 1: PFF, Power Bolt
2: Power Blast
4: Energy Torrent
6: Force Bolt
8: Detention Field
12: Dispersion Bubble
22: Sniper Blast
24: Deflection Shield
26: Power Burst
28: Insulation Shield
32: Force Bubble
35: Explosive Blast
Choosing Power Burst before Sniper Blast would be a wise move as well. Sniper is useful for pulling but Power Burst is one of your three main attacks. This is up to you.
Energy Blast Powers
Since these don’t seem to be posted elsewhere on the defender forums, I will list the damage my attacks do at lvl40 to even con Crey Minions. To my knowledge, they do not have any smash or energy resistances. All attacks are six slotted with one accuracy, five damage. All enhancements are SO lvl40+. No Aim or inspiration was used. The first number is smash damage; the following numbers are energy damage:
Power Bolt: 18.18 / 72.73 = 90.91
Power Blast: 58.19 / 90.92 = 149.11
Power Burst: 90.92 / 101.83 = 192.75
Sniper Blast: 69.1 / 181.85 = 250.95
Energy Torrent: 27.27 / 60 = 87.27
Explosive Blast: 45.45 / 36.36 = 81.81
Nova: 92.57 / 185.15 / 138.86 / 138.86 = 555.44
92.57 / 185.15 / 92.57 / 185.15 = 555.44
92.57 185.15 / 138.86 = 416.58
Nova has a 50% chance to add a third energy damage, hence the data with only three figures. Nova does not give constant damage, but in my experience, the damage was always one of these three combinations. The first two Nova’s differed in their distribution of damage, but the end total is the same.
Your main three attacks are Power Bolt, Blast, and Burst. These are your bread and butter. Once you get explosive blast you can start working this into your attack combos.
Both Torrent and Explosive are at knockback. As an Offender, knockback is invaluable as a defensive tool. Enemies picking their butts up off the floor cannot attack you. When teaming, be conscientious of the fact that melee characters may hate knockback as it removes enemies from their range. I found an effective tactic is to attack from the opposite direction of the melee characters in my team. That way, if knockback hits, the enemy will be knocked towards the scrapper/tanker, maybe a little behind them, but will still be in melee range.
Power Bolt and Blast:
Basic ranged attacks. Bolt does less damage but recharges quickly. Both have equal range.
A very short range attack, but with your Dispersion Bubble, you will have the defense to get in close to make effective use of it. This is your strongest single target attack so learn to use it. Power Burst also consistently does knockback.
Energy torrent is not an essential attack, but it basically does Power Bolt damage in a cone area. Once you get used to quickly moving around the battlefield lining up your shots, Energy Torrent is a very effective power.
A great ranged AoE attack. Does slightly less damage than torrent but has much better range. It’s like throwing out a mini Nova. Works well to knockdown large groups and soften them up for Nova.
Useful for pulling and to weaken bosses and lieutenants. Once you get Dispersion six slotted, you can frequently get Sniper Blast off in close range, as your defense will prevent you from being interrupted. Sniper works great as part of a combo with Force Bolt. Hit someone with Force Bolt, and queue up your Sniper Blast. By the time Force Bolt hits and send them flying, your Sniper will have started charging. You will always be able to get your Sniper off before they have finished standing back up. Since Sniper can also knockback, you may knock them back down and be able to continue your next attack in safety.
Ah, the name says it all. This thing kicks ass. The damage is great and it’s a riot to use. As defenders, our Nova isn’t as good as a blasters. Use your Explosive blast and Energy Torrent to knock some health off, let the bad guys regroup on you, and let Nova rip. Personal Force Field works great in this situation, as the agro from your Explosive and Torrent will draw them to you long enough for the group to reform. Drop the PFF and set off Nova. If you are fighting even con mobs, your dispersion, if six slotted, will be enough to protect you while the group picks themselves up after your Explosive and Torrent.
It’s like a mini Build Up. It works great with Nova and Sniper Blast. I took it on respect and it’s great.
Is identical to Force Bolt, except Push costs more endurance to use and takes longer to recharge. It looks pretty cool, but Force Bolt is better overall. I don’t recommend this power.
Force Field Powers
Personal Force Field:
As an Offender, I recommend this power. It will save your butt so many times. There is nothing better than knowing that if a fight starts to go bad, you can hide in your bubble, pop some inspirations, recover your endurance and get right back in there. It’s great for setting up Nova against higher con enemies, and as a travel power through difficult areas. It prevents any buffs you have toggled from helping your teammates, but as an Offender you are more worried about soloing ability, and in the instances where you have to use PFF and are on a team, it is usually to save yourself some debt. Being a good teammate doesn’t necessarily mean you have to die with your team if you can avoid it.
I recommend this power. I use it consistently even at lvl40. It’s great for sending minions flying out of the fight to reduce their numbers or knocking down bosses and lieutenants. Force Bolt recharges quickly, costs little endurance and has an inherent accuracy bonus.
I say take this power. Being able to remove an enemy (including bosses since the last update) from the fight is invaluable, especially if fights start to go sour. Once you get SO’s you will be able to cast detention field before the last one expires. With two recharge SO’s, my detention fields overlap for a few seconds. This is a power that can annoy teams, especially ones that can kill groups quickly, so be considerate in its use.
This power is a little piece of heaven. It is the most valuable power in the set for an Offender. Get it at lvl 12 when it becomes available and six slot it as soon as possible. Put in 5 def. buff and 1 end. reduction enhancements. There is no discussion about whether you need this power or not.
Deflection and Insulation Shields:
These are great team powers. I took them later on in my build, so that I could contribute something to my team beyond my Dispersion Bubble and blasts. I soloed a lot up until my early to middle twenties so I didn’t really need them before that. If you plan on doing more teams earlier in your characters levels, I’d recommend you pick these up sooner than later. In a more team oriented build, you could substitute out Detention Field, and either Energy Torrent or Force Bolt so that you could have these earlier. Either way, I’d recommend them. Even with their single initial slot and a def. buff SO in them, they are extremely effective. They add so much to your utility that there isn’t any reason not to take them.
A great situational power. It is an endurance pig, so try to figure out some way to add at least one slot to it for endurance reduction if you plan on using it a lot. It is great against big mobs to keep the bad guys away and when you don’t have any melee characters on your team. It’s useful versus powerful melee opponents like WarWolves and Freakshow Tanks. It doesn’t work against Paragon Protectors using Moment of Glory, as this makes them immune to knockback or swarms. Force Bubble doesn’t work against swarms either, those pesky little bastards. This power is not absolutely necessary. It has a large radius, so be careful of drawing unintentional aggro to your group. As well, when it’s up, be prepared for every enemy with ranged attacks to focus on you. Force bubble works well with knockback and knockdown powers. If an enemy is knocked down they are pushed out to the limit of the field while they lay on the ground. This is great for when you use Force Bolt on a tough enemy and they get knocked down. Some enemies, if they are significantly more powerful than you (+6 or more levels) can sometimes slowly force themselves through your bubble and get in one shot before they are pushed back out. Be careful of this as an enemy strong enough to get in is probably strong enough to one-hit kill you.
I have never tried Repulsion Field. Some people swear by it, so that it is an option instead of Force Bubble. They both have the effect of removing enemies from melee range. I’ve never even seen Repulsion Bomb, but with the new disorient effect it’s supposed to have in the last update, it’s attractiveness as a power is increased. I might pick up Bomb later in my 40’s.
I went with flight for my travel power as it fit my character concept and I think it’s cool. It’s not the fastest travel power, but at lvl 38 with 3 SO flight speed enhancements, I’m pretty much as fast as a super jumper. Its prerequisite, hover is useful too. If you hover above a fight and shoot directly down, knockback basically functions as knockup; the enemies bounce up towards you before they land and pick themselves up. Hover has a nice defense bonus too and costs hardly any endurance to use.
Really, any travel power is acceptable. Pick one you like. Super speed has the advantage of having hasten as a prereq, which is a great power. I plan on getting hasten at lvl 41 and six slotting it for perma hasten. Combat jumping offers a good defense bonus too, and super jump is cool.
I strongly recommend getting Stamina. Our attacks are more endurance costly that blaster attacks so be able to recharge our endurance more quickly is invaluable. Hopefully this power isn’t as needed in the next update with our reduced endurance cost to our secondaries. Running Dispersion bubble and blasting a lot can run you out of endurance quickly. I’d recommend getting this power and six slotting it by lvl 25. Stamina’s prereqs, swift, health and hurdle are all useful. I went with swift and health because hurdle is useless with my travel power. Pick what works best for you.
As a defender we receive the largest bonus from the leadership powers. Assault is only good when stacked with other Assaults. If it fits your concept, Maneuvers and Tactics are great powers.
I’ve never tried any powers from the fighting or concealment pools. The defense from Dispersion Bubble and Hover has proven enough for me. In the instances where the poop hits the fan, I throw up my Personal Force Field and run like the coward I am
By lvl 40, ALL my attacks, Power Bolt, Blast, Burst, Energy Torrent, Sniper Blast, Explosive Blast and Nova are six slotted. One accuracy enhancement and five damage. As an Offender, you need to concentrate more on slotting your damage than your defense. Our attacks are weaker than a blasters and need all the boost they can get if you plan on soloing.
The only Force Field powers with slots are Dispersion Bubble with six (1 end. reduction and 5 def buffs), Detention Field with 2 recharges, and Force Bolt with 2 knockback.
Stamina is six slotted with endurance recovery. Flight has three speed enhancements.
Concentrate on putting your slots in Power Blast and Bolt, and maybe Torrent up until lvl 12 when Dispersion Bubble becomes available. Max Dispersion as soon as possible. By lvl 19, Dispersion should be maxed, and possibly Power Blast as well. Once you get Stamina at lvl20, max that as soon as possible as well. Then start slotting your other attacks as you see fit.
This is a very fun build. Some people complain of being bubble-bots with their Force Field defenders. With this build you won’t ever be stuck in such a boring role. You will always be able to contribute damage to the team, and defense through your bubbles. You will probably find the slowest part of the game will be your late teens, early twenties until single origin enhancements become available. Once you put SO damage enhancements into your attacks, your soloing speed will pick up again. There hasn’t been a mission I couldn’t solo in a long, long time.
Hunting isn’t a problem either. Pick your groups wisely and you should be able to handle them. Your Dispersion Bubble will protect you so handling mobs of even con enemies is easy, even with a lieutenant thrown in. You will never kill as fast as a blaster, but if you want to hunt at blaster speeds, go be a blaster =P.
This is a great build for people that like to play with higher level friends. Having Deflection and Insulation shields will probably be necessary so you can contribute something to the team. The experience will be great unsidekicked, but being a bubble-bot can get boring. Once you are sidekicked you can contribute some damage to the team. With this build you will have the choice of your role on the team.
Hope this is a useful guide to any potential Force Field / Energy Blast Offenders out there. Please post any replies and comments. Thanks.