How to unlock Artificer's new skills after the update, and a rundown on them.
Hey guys, so I've played an awful lot of Artificier, easily my favorite character in this game. Insane boss damage, managing cooldowns, and kiting like a professional (or die trying).
Skills 2.0 came out and I had my objective.
So let me give you a quick rundown of what you want to do for each Skill 2.0 challenge. Quick foreword though, just play on Drizzle. Unless your pride gets in the way, these are all just phenomenally easier on Drizzle. So why make it more difficult for some already obnoxious challenges compared to "Kill this boss" cough MUL-T cough
Kill 15 Enemies Before Landing
This one is easiest on Rally Point Delta due to how tall it is, how open it is, and the abundance of wisps to snipe. Just start at the top, and hope there are enough enemies on your way down. This one is a little luck, a little going far enough to make sure you can get enough enemies spawning.
Your primary and second fires are good for this, just make sure you're targeting enemies ready to die. Also helps to have multiple people as it increases spawns, and they can weaken the big enemies for you to finish. Just coordinate appropriately with them.
Kill 20 Enemies in a Multikill
This one is another "Just kinda get to that point where there's an insane amount of enemies". Helpful items are Primordial Cube for obvious reasons (Throw Cube, throw secondary fire, nuke them all), or the Preon Accumulator. Preon, on detonation, explodes in a large radius, and hits a bunch of enemies on it's way in with tendrils similar to Artificer's secondary fire. So if you can get a buddy to group them up, or there are so many they're doing it naturally, that'll be a good way to kill enough that quickly.
But, you have to play to the point where that many are spawning. It's really just a time sink, just make sure you can nuke a group, and get to the point where groups are that big. Good luck.
Kill a Boss in <1 Second
The big pain in the peepee. This one took me forever, and I finally got it after the following setup.
- 2 Shaped Glass
- 18 Crowbars
- Preon Accumulator
I was playing with my brother, who 3D printed all his whites into Crowbars just for me to get this.
I would not recommend playing with someone else normally unless they are entirely devoted to helping you farm items just to do this. Otherwise, it's of no benefit to you to have them buff the bosses.
You're building for instakill damage. Also, it's important to note, you have to kill the boss(es) in under one second.
Not within one second of the teleporter being activated. You can activate the teleporter, run away, and as long as none of the bosses are damaged, you haven't started the challenge.
But you need to be wary there are no accidents. Like from the following:
Use items that target randomly and multiple enemies (Disposable Missile Launcher for example)
- Fireworks (So don't grab them unless you can 3D print them away for sure)
- Tesla Coil
- Happy Mask
- Ceremonial Dagger
Anything that would accidentally target an enemy or do area damage. So your best bet is to pop tele, run away, line up your big abilities, and get ready to burn him down in a second.
Now, I learned another mean lesson. Preon Accumulator that I mentioned? It's big tendrils will hit things before the blast does if you're not careful. And if you're running Crowbar, it will ruin the bonus damage from it's initial hit.
You want to build the following items:
- Crowbar (More damage to enemies over 90% health).
- Lens-Makers Goggles (Caps at 100% chance for crits at 10 lens).
- Armor-Piercing rounds (Bonus boss damage).
- Shaped Glass (Lunar Item, x2 damage, you have 1/2 health).
- Preon Accumulator (Guaranteed if you reach Rally Point Delta in <10 min, and get timed chest. So just speed run first levels more than anything, I'd say restart if you don't get Rally Point).
The strategy you want to run is have Preon ready, pop tele. Make sure nothing hits it while it spawns, and once you're sure you have a bead on it, run right into it's face, and fire Preon. If you've built enough damage, that's it. You'll instakill it, you win.
I got very close on a bunch of runs, but was trying to kill the boss too soon because I didn't realize that it wasn't limited by 1 second of spawning.
You've got to kill the boss either really early in a good run, so that their health is still really low, or else once you've gone so many rounds that you're basically a walking nuke. But, the problem with getting a later round means that you're betting on killing multiple teleporter bosses in <1 sec. That's why I'd suggest trying to get it fast, and if you don't want to hope to make it that far, just restart.
In theory, if you get enough guillotines, you could hope for an elite boss of a Shrine of the Mountain, but Guillotine is now rarer, making it much harder to get an insane stack of them. The crowbar is the way to go, and go for it soon.
Skill Rundowns (Spoilers)
You did it! You unlocked all the skills! But... What do they do? And are they better or worse than the initial abilities?
Spoilers Ahead Obviosly
New Primary Fire - Plasma Bolt
So, it does the same damage, and explodes in a sphere! Great, right?
Well... I don't think so. I don't have numbers on this, but I've played probably at least 30 hours of Artificer so... I feel like it fires slower, it travels slower, and it's certainly worse in terms of damage. Flame Bolt gives you the same damage, already has a little splash damage I think (I think I've procc'd multiple enemies with it before, but without an official wiki to reference I won't promise that), but it has bonus damage in the form of "Ignite", which lights enemies on fire for an additional 50% over 2 ticks in 1 second.
Meaning you can kill a wisp in 1 Fire Bolt, or the Lizards in 2 or 3, vs the slower and less damage Ion Bolt. After unlock I never used it except the initial try because it's just worse. Sorry guys.
New Secondary Fire - Nano-Spear
So, new Secondary Fire. It's another charged power, but this time it's a freezing, piercing spike. It also travels much faster. Sounds cool, except....
Your utility skill already freezes. Now, to be fair, far easier to get Backup Magazines than Hardlight Afterburners, and it's a far shorter cooldown. And if you can line enemies up, this would be better than regular Nano-Bomb.
But you normally don't line enemies up in a straight line. You very normally just nuked a group. Additionally, Nano Bomb can proc arcs, and can stun enemies. Meaning a Greater Wisp, or Stone Golem, you can stun. You can't freeze Greater Wisps though. The point of Nano-Bomb was great crowd control by proccing arcs on enemies it passes on its way to explode at the big group of enemies. And Cryo Spike gets rid of both of those, making it a much more singular target weapon, which really Nano-Bomb could already do anyway. Just a little slower, but with collateral damage.
So once again, I don't think it's any better. Even as a playstyle change, it's just worse, because it's redundant with Artificer's current only Utility (3rd) skill. When/if they add a new third skill, it may very well be worth it, but as it stands, I wouldn't run it in my run for Monsoon Obelisk.
New 4th Ability - Ion Surge
Now let me preface this with I don't hate this ABILITY! Finally, after the other two I said were just downgrades! This one offers a viable playstyle change and a reason to use the damn thing!
You now deal 800% damage and launch into the air. You launch high enough that if you held in Space for your ENV suit to hover, you could go infinitely high.
Where your Flamethrower was a good way to get good healing back in an emergency (w/ Leeching Seed, or Harvester's Scythe+Lens-Makers), this ability is better to pack your ♥ and leave. I use it now normally. It finally gives the Artificer a way to run away, which was always his weakness (hence they added ENV suit). Your Flamethrower was designed as a dangerous last resort namely, or get dangerous and go for some close damage. But, in higher level runs, you rarely use the Flamethrower anymore. You just run, kite, and Nano-Bomb bosses and enemies. It's the safest way to play your glass cannon. This skill changes that though, and oh it's glorious. I run it now pretty much always. I went back to Flamethrower once, but missed being able to traverse vertical levels faster, and scout out the map very first thing to find tele or chests.
So I rate this ability 10/10. It sacrifices your last resort damage for a dodge of sorts. It changes your playstyle, and is fun to use.
Closing Comments (Spoilers)
So yeah. The first two challenges are mostly just time sinks, and the third is a very specific build to go for. And unfortunately, the two new primary/secondary fire skills are just downgrades IMO, while the new 4th ability is very much worth it (I think that's the kill 15 enemies in air but I don't know cause I got 20 kills and 15 kills in same run).