Railmaster is probably one of the worst classes in the game as the train constantly lags behind rather than being the cool fighting buddy it is advertised as being but what if we could use that to our advantage? With this one simple trick, we now can!
I have a past time, a really weird past time. I like finding underdog characters or classes and seeing if I can make them work. Developers usually have a reason for why they nerfed or ruined a skill or character outside of joke characters and I am a huge fan of discovering things and that is where my journey into Railmaster began.
Unlike other classes, Railmaster wasn't nerfed and then became rubbish, rather they just didn't work! The gimmick was you hold down a button to build train tracks and your train fights for you, or forgo the train and be a generic melee fighter. So far so good, but the train was glitchy and holding down the train track button made it harder to hit the other buttons that made the damage happen. Not only that but it was also unrewarding! You couldn't pick a target for the train (you still can't) so you had to hope the train and the bad guy you wanted dead were one and the same and when bosses spawn adds, it only got worse.
Railmaster was then reworked but it was not re-balanced and it still, well, sucked frankly. Players overwhelming invested in the train, realized the train was terrible and went melee, only to think to themselves "I could just play melee as Forged instead" and so they did. Even I hated Railmaster starting out, I hated it so much that I had to know just why it was so bad and I found my answer, the train just doesn't deal enough damage, ever, and on top of that its attack range is too small and it trails behind the player when enemies are in front of the player usually.
Nothing but negatives until one day something unrelated to Railmaster happened, relics were changed and were given a balance pass. This made many of them really strong but more than that they because available from level 1! Don't like your characters skill tree? No problem just use the Relic skill as your main instead! Provided you can generate enough relic energy...
Suddenly the train lagging behind you and doing poor damage was no longer an "issue" because relic energy is generated as long as you deal damage even if that damage is as low as 1 and as long as your train is hitting something, you are gaining relic energy to the point that only Duskmage can generate relic energy as consistently and even then it can't do it out of combat unlike Railmaster.
- Level 2, we won't be taking anything here or you can take a skill to help you level faster and refund it later, our main prize is at level 5 so for now try to save skillpoints.
- Level 5 this is where we get our main bread and butter skill, Chaotic Strikes and if you managed to save your earlier skill points you will be dumping them all here until this bad boy is level 10. The way this skill works is that it shoots out 2(3) lighting bolts in a V shape and these trigger 5 times which isn't mentioned anywhere. Each of these hit for 400%(580%) weapon damage so as you can imagine that is already a lot of damage but we can do much more with these because if we pin an enemy against a wall, all those additional bolts will hit the wall and anything pressed against it, usually melting them. This becomes really easy to do as many enemies tend to spawn from alongside the wall so when you see that Champion or Legendary coming out, you can melt it before its animation to appear has even finished! This only works in the early game as later everything has too much health but the ability to stack damage against walls is the key to this until you can craft knockback on gear.
- Level 10 we want 1 point in Lightning Barrier and can fill it later but from Level 5 onwards we really aren't looking for much from our skills, Chaotic Strikes is just that good!
- Level 15 Nothing to see here but now we have more points,but you can consider placing 1 level in Lantern Flash as its damage over time serves to generate relic energy. Despite its description, Shocking Rounds causes your Gun Turret's basic attack to passively hit a second target or a third when taken to lv3 so you may also consider this skill when you have points to spare however regardless of how many targets any attack or skill does, Relic generation rate is fixed.
- Level 20 we want 5 points in Energizer as we need that sweet relic generation but other than that you have a good idea that we don't care about much else. In my personal opinion, I found taking the base train gun to lv3 to increase its rate of fire was helpful, Flamethrower Turret lv3 is also really helpful as damage over time also generates relic energy. Thousand-Volt Burst really only shines when taken to lv10 and will often be ready due to how much we rely on generating and using relic energy.
It may look like an unfinished levelling guide but the truth is that Chaotic Strikes is just that good! It absolutely trivializes the early game and stands strong all through the game basically offering power rivalled only by Dusk Mage and once you get good at pinning enemies against walls its power is undeniable but if you can't (or don't want too) then make sure to get knockback on your gear! This should be your goal regardless of wall shenanigans but with Chaotic Strikes its game-breaking because each bolt will push enemies back into the next bolt meaning it is much easier to reach the full damage potential.
First of all, we want our train to constantly be dealing damage, you will notice I didn't advise which train guns to take and that is because you should take the ones that work for you. Mortar's active creating fire on the ground is fantastic for generating relic energy but so is Lantern Flash and our only concern no matter what other skills we pick is to always be generating Relic energy.
To this effect I have 3 guns on my Train and I take them up to lv3 for the 25% faster firing rate but honestly it is overkill, I don't want them for the damage I want them to just hit things. With that said, Chaotic Strikes is easy to max out and we have nothing left to invest in once it is. Our main handicap is not having any relic energy left and even then the option to take Shocking Force to love-tap an enemy for relic energy still exists.
It might even be the better option honestly but I would really have to test it and find out however even without testing it I can tell you this, Act 1 and 2 become a complete joke once you have enough relic energy to bully bosses so make generating it via your skill selection, your goal and also skills like Blasting Charge help to boost the damage we deal which I personally always open fights with but I can't stress enough how nothing can stand up to the power of Chaotic Strikes.
I couldn't fit it in the levelling guide but you will also want to get your hands on Egg of Mayhem for its passive. It casts another random relic skill every time you use Chaotic Strikes which can include another Chaotic Strikes but it has some rules to understand first. Any relic skill it uses is limited to any active skill that in turn would Trigger Egg of Mayhem, in other words it won't trigger any Shield skill or summon any minions. Secondly the skill it chooses to use will always be level 1, so you can't get two lv10 Chaotic Strikes out of it, it will be your Lv10 and a lv1 version simultaniously.
In my opinion Egg of Mayhem is the best legendary for this build because despite only being lv1 versions of those skills, they all have really high base multipliers anyway in addition to some having secondary effects as well but double Chaotic Strikes is the real winner here as 4(5) lightning strikes hitting 5 times for 480%(580%) has made getting through the game for me insanely easy and while I never state this in any of my guides, I only ever play on the highest difficulty, this makes it feel like you are playing on casual difficulty its that good.
Words can not describe how much it removes the challenge in the early game, you just have to see it for yourself. Late game enemies have more health to chew through however and chew through it this skill does but you may have to accept the glory days of one-shotting bosses are over.
I also have to say that the difference between two-hand vs sword and board is night and day, a two handed weapon offers much more damage by far and is the clear winner in early game but as enemies gain more health, you need to be able to survive and even with 40% evade (capped) and 40% block (capped) you still take a lot of damage. If it gets too much for you, take Hammer Spin to lv10 as it gives you a -50% damage shield buff called Evasion which is separate from the -50% damage shield you get when you hit something in melee while also counting as a melee skill itself so in turn granting you two separate damage reduction effects for the price of 1 skill. Trust me, as you get further in the game, enemy damage just gets stupid so even with all these layers of protection things can get rough.
Railmaster started out as the class I wanted to like the most but I ended up despising the train and even after heavy investment the train was clearly not designed to be your main skill no matter how hard you try. That said the relic changes really saved Railmaster because now you are no longer dependent on either ignoring the train completely or having to hope the train will stop being buggy if you depend on it, now it can be the battery you need, when you need it. It can also trigger your on-hit effects which is useful, as any damage an enemy takes will give you relic energy.