Doing heroic Elite, from 15 to 20 taught me something.
First – the idea that you can use tactical feats to deal with Champions is simply not true. Tactical feats ‘work’ but not reliably. What it also taught me was that most of the time it’s not worth it. Sure – if you don’t mind the big chunk of XP and the fact that it adds an extra challenge, it also comes with wasting a lot more time. Sometimes twice the amount of time. Ideally you run these quests with a group – but I soloed and I did so because I didn’t have time (ironically) to wait for a group to fill to run the content I wanted to run. And in turn ended up taking twice as long to complete.
The reality is that I should have contended myself with doing it all on Hard and just moved on. Sure – I have to do a few more quests to hit 20 but if the idea is to take twice as long I could just fit a few more quests in during the same time frame and not wasted time and resources just for the experiment.
Now if I had a semi permanent group of friends to run with this would be totally different. So that’s why I’m doing EH now and spare me to pain.
Now to further illustrate the issue with the idea of ‘defeating’ champions with ‘tactical feat’ I can tell you this. On Elite most of the tactical feats will fail. It’s downright dangerous to depend on that tactic when the best is simply to clobber something in the least amount of time. That’s the irony. But even on EH this represent a challenge. Especially between 20 and 21 before I had the use of the +10 stunning seal. Most of the trips landed – and that’s because the Blademark Docent adds an excellent +15 to Vertigo, but stunning just didn’t do so well. And that’s despite having max benefit of Bladeforged, Kensei, Vanguard AND Legendary. Thats A LOT of bonuses to stunning. (and a fair amount of strength of course). It was not until I added the +10 that I started seeing above average stunning successes.
Now that’s now – and the pinnacle of my stunning ability. First off; the best gear will be the boots with +12. That’s level 27. So between the docent and the ring, that’s it gear wise. I can add 1 more feat – an Epic that adds +1 stacking. I can triple TR fighter for +3. I can add some more strength; +1 exceptional and up to +11 and +4 insightful. That amounts to right now +3 more points. So at level 28 I could have about +5 or 6ish more to beat monsters with. Now anyone that have seen the explosion in CR between 20 and 30 knows just of miniscule that amount is.
Note – this is ONE stated important tactic to use against Epic Elite Champions.
Tactical feats. And why I’m downgrading myself to Epic Hard because I know that Turbine is simply blind to their own poorly implemented mechanic. Now if there was a realistic and gradual improvement of tactical feats that kept them relevant against high level Epic Elite critters – then yes. But no, it doesn’t. And to make things further complicated, some don’t even care. Take the orange named creatures in Epic Fleshmakers.
You can use any tactical feat on them and they won’t even blink. That was back when the DC calc for tactical feats was borked and it was REALLY hard to fail. Back then I was running on my Purple knight and he only had regular trip to use. It worked like a charm. Now when that bug is fixed you’re completely screwed (as if that really matters against these orange named anyways). And that’s the issue.
I gave an example before when I ran heroic Elite trackers trap. When almost all Shadar Kai in the end were champions and because of the borked DC on the tactical feats it was the reason I could at least survive. Because my regular trip worked when the stuns kept failing (with BORKED DC).
The point I’m making is this; the problem with champions are not that they don’t add a challenge. It is that every excuse given – and most prominently that one about ‘take it a little slower and use tactics’ doesn’t work. Because the arbitrary random ‘champion’ system is ultimately ontop of an already broken mechanic. Which is tactical feats. And if Turbine want to force champions on people they should at least make the remedy to deal with champions viable.
So for now I’m doing EH – and it doesn’t bother me at all but it is a pity that playing a tactical built is still not 100 percent viable.