A very simple, easy guide to some of the game's basic gameplay patterns and how one may improve themselves accordingly or discover new, viable ways to embark on their journey through Outriders' campaign, even partially the Expeditions at end-game.
How to Start
For all that it is worth, this is not an in-depth explanation about core game mechanics, but rather a way for newer folks to have a more streamlined, smooth experience whilst progressing through the campaign and the World Tier system, as I've heard just a few of my friends and myself at times included suffered greatly due to misunderstanding the appropriate ways to handle a situation, or rather a specific enemy that has you 'outgeared', so to speak.
As such, we'll solely be discussing some of the 'core' mods that will, roughly speaking, see the most play. Please do note this details specifically weapons only due to armor mods being class-dependent and fitting more specific builds than what we're actively trying to achieve here, though they are equally as vital! That said, there's little point in using an armor piece beyond it's raw defensive value unless you are making use of a specific mod upon said armor. Devastator's Gravity Leap 15% heal through damage dealt, with 30% upon kill comes to mind, but it serves you no purpose if you aren't running Gravity Leap at all. Just little things to consider!
Weapon Modding & What to Look Out for
There are some very, very basic mods that will help you out at any point throughout the campaign, some more than others, as is ever the case, though these differ greatly from class to class. Technomancer's innate healing ability through any form of damage dealt won't quite require as much raw healing through kills against something such as a Trickster, which only gains raw health through killing enemies in close range (And shield!).
Quite early on into the game you'll come across Dr. Zahedi, whom once saved will allow you to modify your weapons & armor at the cost of Leather & Iron, as well as Titanium for specific purposes such as upgrading rarity or leveling up an item to keep it relevant. He's an extremely vital piece to creating an enjoyable and smooth transition from early to mid-game and even endgame as he's the one you'll be chatting with often to create and toy with specific builds.
Every killing blow dealt by a weapon with Soul Devourer will regenerate a specific portion of your health that varies by the level of the weapon you are using.
The simplified version of the above Soul Devourer mod, Essence Thief serves to generate health for every shot that connects with an enemy, albeit with a singular second twixt as a 'downside'. This fits superbly well for weaponry that deals high damage in a single shot; or can even be combined with Skill Leech & Weapon Leech to further increase your healing and thus overal survivability, as there's no condition of an enemy being slain!
A perfect mod for nigh any weapon, beyond maybe shotguns, but it's also best suited to builds based more around gunplay and firepower than anomaly based builds due to the fact it's solely dependent on critical hits, yielding a, surprisingly powerful, 30% critical hit damage gained as health. If you aren't too bothered about hitting your headshots or hitting weak points in general, this likely won't be for you!
Utility & Status
Clip Roller is essentially one of those utility mods that helps out tremendously when you're dealing with slower reloads such as with Light Machineguns & Full-Auto Shotguns. When under 50% magazine capacity with the selected weapon that has this mod you may roll to reload all of your equipped weapons, essentially nullifying any reload you may require in tight situations, which may just occur midway through the game when the World Tiers start to weigh in a little harder.
Almost a must-have on Tactical AR's for gunplay oriented Technomancers and on Full-Auto Shotguns when paired with a Magazine skill such as Twisted Rounds due to the massive plausible uptime it can provide. Essentially, these magazine modifying skills count for the entirety of your magazine, but aren't currently limited to a set number of bullets, thusly, killing an enemy whilst you're under 35% ammunition in your magazine will refill the entire magazine without taking from reserves, essentially nullifying the downside of these abilities and thusly allowing them to serve for what is essentially, as an example, ten magazines instead of one or two if used correctly.
Who doesn't like freezing enemies in place, leaving them unable to react in any way? That's right; freezing bullets does exactly what you think it would do. Whilst not quite as efficient against Elites due to them often growing immune before they are killed for a time, it may yet save yourself from an untimely demise at times. Whilst it doesn't interrupt enemies specifically, it does give you extra lee-way in how you'll approach a situation, or how you may instead advance forward. Simple, but effective! It also combos quite well with Icebreaker, but that's a more endgame oriented mod you won't come across often unless you get lucky.
A little more 'damage' oriented than Freezing Bullets due to the intricacies with Pyromancer and specific armor mods, it is essentially the same as the aforementioned with a downside of not quite lasting as long. This is somewhat off-set due to the Pyromancers skill tree, but generally with the right armor mod combinations and an Ashen Bullets modded weapon you just might find yourself locking down enemies, especially those pesky Alpha's.
DPS & Raw Damage
Yes, Gravedigger's Frenzy & Striga share the exact same picture, but they are vastly different. Gravedigger's actually grants you an additional 50% damage increase to your Critical Damage upon hitting a critical hit for five seconds, with a ten second cooldown. Essentially it's an Elite-focused mod that can help you burst down stronger monsters through focused fire and hitting your headshots consistently. It might not seem like much; but just imagine your shotguns or sniper rifles hitting for 50% extra per shot whilst they already absolutely decimate enemies, just like tactical AR's.
As simple as; "Free damage!" - Storm Whip offers you a set amount of free lightning bolt damage every two seconds, regardless of distance, as long as you connect with said enemy. This allows even pistols to serve dutifully at AR ranges if you're out of ammunition or ill-equipped, and it serves even better on weapons that don't possess a massive damage-output such as LMG's to really give them that bump of damage to make suppressing fire all the more worthwhile.
Just like Storm Whip, Anomaly Surge is essentially a free DPS increase, albeit at the cost of only activating through critical hits. However, unlike it's partner-in-crime, Anomaly Surge has a relatively small AoE to it (2M's), which may just bring enemies out of hiding or tear apart groups of enemies such as the small Perforo's.
Beyond this any and all mods have their respective use and can fit into an awful lot of builds, but these were personally the most worth keeping an eye out for with my current playtime, with which I'm already working on a third character to bring it through to the endgame. As mentioned as well, these mods are meant more for early to mid-game than they are endgame, as you'll inevitably find better mods or the upgraded versions of some of the listed mods as you progress, just use these as a guideline for when the going gets rough!
DPS & Raw Damage
There's a myriad of ways to increase either, but the most prominent one simply has to be summed in one word; Mods!
Mods make up the majority of the ability of a weapon to deal either massive damage, serve to keep you alive or outright support a party of friends or randoms due to the amount of mods that can suit whichever you require it for. From the simple Storm Whip offering you damage to the 'play-it-safe' Essence Thief granting you health for every hit, you may readily imagine the possibilities when double-modded weapons come into play.
White & Green weapons offer nothing but their base values, whilst Blue weapons offer a singular mod slot whilst Epic & Legendary weapons will always offer you two slots, of which only one can ever be modded as to not build broken weapons or armor combinations right out of the gate. That's where loot comes into play, after all, but nonetheless! The latter two will be your go-to for the endgame and late mid-game, allowing you to start properly building your character up to your playstyle.
For example, a purple weapon may drop with Anomaly Surge as it's first mod, whilst the second one is some random, 'useless' mod to you personally or simply one you'd wish to replace, you may then find Zahedi and switch around the mod you wish to change into one that fits you best. To that end you can even end up with an Anomaly Surge & Gravedigger's Frenzy tactical AR, which thusly becomes one mean headshot-machine with free damage through the Anomaly Surge mod whilst also buffing your DPS by 50% with Gravedigger's Frenzy to absolutely destroy enemies.
Likewise, you can combine Essence Thief with something such as Freezing Bullets to dampen your DPS output, but instead make for a supportive build that's meant more to keep you alive. Experiment at your own leisure!
Item Level can make a surprisingly massive difference in your raw DPS due to the loss of damage you'd have if your main weapon falls behind. Keeping weapons up-to-date allows you to be dealing the 'correct' amount of damage to your opponents for your specific level & World Tier, which becomes extremely noticeable the further you go. Combining the correct Item Level with good mods makes for a far easy-going ride through the campaign, so don't be afraid to hold on to items if you're willing to put in the Titanium to level it up along with you! It's fair to note that the further you get into the game, you'll also be gaining more Titanium. Just a little FYI!
Surprise, surprise, the top-tree of all four classes is gunplay oriented and thusly buffs the capabilities of your weapons beyond what just good gear and mods allow. These passive buffs can range from extra reload speed to armor piercing, resistance piercing (for status builds!) and even raw damage percentage increases by a set amount or increasing the duration of specific useful debuffs, further kicking up your DPS if you're willing to invest in them.
Survival & Recommendations
Surviving the battlefield
Where to get started.. Truly, it depends primarily on what class you chose to play. In my honest opinion, Technomancer may just be the 'easiest' to keep alive out of all four, whereas the Pyromancer is, again in my opinion, difficult to start with until you unlock Volcanic Rounds, at least.
As such, let's first discuss that what you already know:
- Technomancers gain health through any and all damage dealt.
- Pyromancers gain health through killing enemies affected or 'marked' by their skills.
- Tricksters gain health & shield through killing enemies at close-range.
- Devastators gain health through killing enemies at close-range.
Knowing such, Technomancers have a myriad of ways to keep themselves topped off, whilst Trickster will have to enter the fray and get up close and personal the same as the Devastator to ensure survival when we exclude mods. Pyromancers are a little inbetween as some of their skills can be used long-range, as well as the fact that Volcanic Rounds kills count as 'marked' kills, so they benefit more from mods such as Essence Thief when the going gets rough so they may avoid being absolutely decimated by bosses pinning them down in one spot.
Now, how do we handle this per class.. Well, let's get started with my own main, the Devastator into the Trickster, Technomancer & Pyromancer, in that order.
For the Devastator, being in the thick of it is your go-to. To this end I personally made far too much use of an auto-shotgun modded with Perpetuum Mobile and Anomaly Surge to swiftly deal with enemies and keep my ammunition topped-off. Essence Thief and any mod of your choosing on a tactical AR at this time will definitely aid in longer-range engagements to make up for some of those unavoidable sniper hits whilst you charge forward.
LMG's are also a perfect choice here when paired with Clip Roller and Storm Whip, Anomaly Surge or any other major damage mod you may have, whichever ends up fitting your playstyle. Pair any of these with your Golem skill and the "Heal for 15% of damage dealt, 30% on kill" Gravity Leap mod on your armor to avoid damage as best you may, but also healing yourself back to full right away with just one leap.
Much like the like-minded Devastator, you're going to be right in the thick of it all if you intend to keep yourself up and running. Luckily there's skills such as the Barrier that'll slow down time and catch bullets for you, allowing you to essentially have free-reign for as long as it's up. Intertwine this with the overtly powerful Twisted Rounds & Perpetuum Mobile on a narrow or slug auto-shotgun and you'll be absolutely demolishing content as long as you watch your ammo count. This becomes even easier once you gain an armor piece that adds one or two more magazines to Twisted Rounds to essentially keep it up throughout any content you may wish to indulge in. You really won't need much more than that, so use whatever you like best and you'll be through the game in no time.
By far the simplest for survival, any and all damage has a percentage that is returned as health, that being through weapons and skills. Better yet, as a support oriented class, the cryo-turret and rocket launcher/minigun are extremely effective in locking enemies down, taking down entire groups or just providing a continuous stream of healing to keep you up. Blighted Rounds makes this even easier due to the Firepower increase and the poison that'll just light enemies up until you run out. Truly, any weapon can be an effective weapon in the hands of a Technomancer.
A little bit of an iffy one, but early on Pyromancers are generally speaking the 'weakest' right up until they unlock Volcanic Rounds and slowly but surely build up their arsenal. To make up for this, they have extremely high kill potential to begin with and when played right, can end up yielding better results than the others, solely due to the fact that Anomaly Power & Firepower play a surprisingly large role for them in equal measure, which when paired together creates a symphony of destruction. If I was to give out slight recommendations, early on absolutely consider running Striga, Essence Thief or Soul Devourer to keep yourself upright. Later on, further building on your ignite abilities with armor and maybe even weapon perks, you'll be burning nigh everything to a crisp.