Bluhman's Comprehensive guide to creating the optimal captain!
So, this is a general guide to making the captain a captain that just flat out rocks adventures. A captain that can rush through missions at high speed, defeat all the enemies it comes across with ease, and even have some diplomatic value so that it can invite some allies to join. There's quite a bit to cover here, a bit more than you might expect, too, since it will include some number-crunchy stuff as well in some cases! Let's get started!
Step 1. Creating a base creature.
Now, why, you ask, would you want to create a new base creature for your ultimate captain instead of just using your favorite one as a base? You can earn all the different abilities by getting captain parts! Well, if you already have said abilities, you will not have to spend your precious points on parts that could easily grant you abilities you could much easier just have to start with!
So, let's look over what you can give your base creature for stats and parts:
Creatures can get up to four different usable abilities through either creature parts, or captain outfitter items: Sprint, Sneak, Flight, and Jump. Let's discuss how each of these will work for you in adventures:
This is a good ability to have, not only because it allows you to get around quicker, but it's very easy to apply to your creature; several feet give you this ability, as well as some detail parts. If you have Cute and Creepy, an entire line of creature parts is devoted to the Sprint ability, which is just great, and will easily give you a sprint score of 5. Personally, If you had to pick only one type of foot, I'd stay away from the ones that give you sprint and instead opt for a detail part that offers sprint, for a very special reason I'll state later. Overall, I could say this is optional, especially for those who aren't particularly interested in making time records (or sometimes getting stuck into walls by accident), but it's a nice option to have.
A unique ability offered only by four sets of wings under the details section. Interestingly enough, this is one of the movement abilities that you can go without, especially if you already have a respectable jump score. Wings will allow you to fly through the air longer, but will inevitably always run out at some point, and they don't slow your fall, meaning that they don't make you jump quite as far as you might want to go. They do seem to make your controls a bit more sensitive in midair, though, which is a bit of a boon. If you want wings, go and get them, but I personally don't see them as entirely necessary.
If you're opting to create a captain that has a low speed score, though, flight can be very useful in enabling your captain to move quicker, since every other flight boost you do will also help increase your creatures forward momentum in the air, allowing you to move at a respectable rate.
This ability just breaks adventures. I didn't really try anything lower, but at sneak level 4, I could permanently stay hidden and just waltz through crowds of enemies without resistance. So long as you don't take damage (from natural hazards, for example), you will remain hidden, regardless of what awareness score the enemy might have. If you're going to use lots of sneaking, make sure you stay away from any potential damage hazards, such as NPC's being shot at by missile fingers or other area of effect attacks, or lava pits, and you can stay hidden for the entirety of a mission.
This is my personal favorite ability. It's also one of the most exclusive ones by part availability, with only feet giving you any jump score higher than 1. What can I say? It's very useful, and can make you feel very graceful. It quickly enables you to leap out of melee range, can allow you to do some jumping puzzles much more easily, and is just generally lots of fun to be able to play with. I'd say it's very important that you get a good jump score, even if many missions don't inherently require it; it just simply makes getting around a lot easier. Like sneak, this ability can break adventures, especially early, uncovered mazes, where one can just simply jump over walls to reach the goal.
Once again, creatures have four choices for their natural attacks, and when it comes down to it, none of the choices you make here will really be important. Why? Because even if you do get a bite score of five, or a strike score of five, unless you're going up against enemies with about 10 hit points, they aren't going to be terrifically useful. Let's look at some examples here...
The basic creature attack. Every creature has to have it, since every creature must have a mouth. It's a basic melee attack that does very low damage (Bite 5 does a whopping 3 damage!
), and gets instantly replaced the second you get your first captain attack part. Because of this, it's not particularly important you get a mouth with a strong bite ability.
The 2nd creature attack to be replaced with a captain attack part. Due to the nature and appearance of the spit parts, I don't use them often, but to their credit, they do do a bit more damage than the bite (5 damage for a level 5 spit). However, it takes longer to do the damage, due to the DOT nature of it. Again, this ability gets replaced very quickly by a captain attack part, so overall, I wouldn't invest in getting a spit part.
The 3rd creature attack to be replaced. Strike does more damage than the bite (9 damage at level 5), but this is still quite inferior to what the captain attack parts can do. To make matters worse, Strike has a very slow recharge, meaning it just doesn't add much punch to your attacks. Sure, it has an area of effect, but so do the bladed knuckles! That, and it still does really cruddy damage. You don't need it on your base creature.
The last creature attack to be replaced, and interestingly, the most useful. It seems to do the same amount of damage as a bite at similar level (3 damage at level 5) and also stuns your opponent for a period of time. That stun, right there, is the whole reason this attack is quite useful; for melee brawlers, it allows you to get a good first strike in on your enemy, while you lay the smackdown with your more powerful captain weapons. While it is reasonably good, there are some drawbacks on it. If you and an enemy happen to both have charge, for some reason, the enemies charge will almost always trump yours. Epics are immune to the stunning effects of charge, so that is another major drawback. However, it's still got some use, even among your other advanced gadgets. Overall, I can recommend taking this ability if you can.
At heart, social abilities are almost never going to be used in adventures, simply because most creators don't really create adventures that use them. However, in the rare instances you do come across them, it's very good to have social abilities at your disposal! Throw in as many good social moves as you can to ensure success.
I'm not really going to include specific sections on how these work here, simply because they're all equally useful; you never know when a social adventure will show up, nor will you know what kind of creatures you will be socializing with, so it's generally a good idea to have all at your disposal (for good measure, I'd say you should have your social abilities all be 3 or more) to make sure you do fine in these missions.
Ah, yes... Speed. This is the only part of your creature that cannot be improved by any new parts or additions. Once your creatures' speed value has been given to it, it cannot be increased or decreased by any new outfitter parts. Obviously, because of this, you'll want to make sure you get parts that promote high speeds... Meaning, get a high-grade pair of feet. Simple as that.
Any health bonuses you try and work towards using armor parts in the creature creator have a slight effect. At most, a level 5 armor piece will give you an extra 10 health... Which isn't bad, but considering enemies equipped with other captain parts are going to be doing upwards of 50 damage, it isn't that big of a boon. When enemies are doing damage in the single digits, though, it can be of some use.
An interesting tidbit, though, is that equipping tribal armor parts will also count towards your base health value! Equipping the singuard (which gives a +5 health bonus) will give you another extra 10 health! This adds up to 120 health if you have both the creature armor part, and tribal armor part! That's 1/5th the bonus you'd get from the stam-booster... No laughing matter!
In the end, I guess it all can add up. If you get the level 5 creature armor part, you should make sure you try and tag on the singuard tribal piece as well to further boost your health value!
That covers pretty much everything I need to generally state about creating the base creature. Now, for some pointers on how to get the appropriate scores for this creature:
-What mouth you choose just really doesn't matter. The bite ability will be replaced very early on if you get the appropriate attack part, and the sing score can be on the lower end, especially if you back it up with some better social skills in other areas. My recommendation would simply be to pick what looks good. (which, in the end, is the overall rule you should obey. If you can create a captain that looks good and plays decently, you've got yourself a winning combination!)
-Eyes and senses... As far as I can tell, lack of eyes actually does not have the same blinding effect it does as in the creature stage, so if you really want to, you can skip over picking a pair of eyes. Again, in the end, it all depends on if it looks good.
-Limbs are silly. Again, pick what looks good. A word of wisdom, though, is that if you really just want to minimize your complexity on your creature, remove extra segments of the limbs using the ctrl key. This will greatly reduce the complexity of your creature!
-Picking a pair of graspers is mainly a dilemma of picking which ones have a good pose score, or just have that ability in general. Since you won't get the replacement for the strike attack in a while, it might be a good idea to take a grasper type that also has strike, simply because it can add a little to your attack routine while you're waiting for your main damage output to recharge, but again, that's not entirely necessary. Pick what looks good and works well, blah blah blah!
-Picking feet is VERY important; you want a pair of feet that have a good dance score (since it's the only part type that offers that ability), a good speed score (since it's the only part type that offers that ability), a good jump score (since that's the only way you can even GET a good jump score), and some charge ability (though, admittedly, that's optional). Quite a bit of whether your captain works well or not lies within those feet, so pick good ones! The two I'd pick would be between The Toadening (which has good dance abilitiy, the highest jump in the game, and some decent speed), or Raptorclaws (which are some of the fastest feet in the game, and have a very high jump to back it up as well. However, raptorclaws do lack the dance ability, so if you really want to be socializing, then I'd say go with The Toadening to stay safe). A third choice would be the Scarmaker feet, since they also have some pretty good speed and jump, and can also dance quite well, but they don't quite stand up to the overall mobility of the other two feet pairs I mentioned. I really can't recommend feet that give you sprint or sneak, since those abilities can very easily be given to you through other means, and in general, those feet don't have any jump ability. Pick one of the three I listed if you want to have some fine mobility in jumping and running. Otherwise, pick what looks good and all that.
-Weapons... Um, they're really not all that useful, aside from the horns, which can give you the charge ability, as well as some armoring. However, you can also get charge from a mouth that has that ability, and overall, you only really need one charge, since all higher levels of charge only seem to make the attack do more damage, and since the damage for charge is already pitiful, there isn't much reason to make it do more damage. Mainly, I see weapons as a chance to add some little decorations on your creature here and there, so go ahead and do some... But make sure you leave some complexity for captain parts!
-Accessories are the other doodads and details you will add on. This is the main area you will probably get your sprint, sneak, and flight abilities, if you want them. It's also where you can get the charm ability, which is always useful. Choose what's good and what will work well with your playstyle, and once again, make sure you don't go overboard with the details! Want to save some complexity for captain parts!
Now that you've created a base creature you're happy with, it's now time to discuss what parts you'll take on your galactic adventures!
Step 2. Outfitting
To get your captain's parts, you need to level up your captain, from level 0 to level 10. Through this process, you will recieve up to 10 parts to put on your captain and improve your abilities. Each part, if warranted, will get their own in-depth discussion here, as well as some information on their values in terms of damage output and energy usage. Let's get this party started!
Warrior line - Weapons
Lineage rating - *****/*****
Aside from mission-placed grenades, Warrior parts are the best way to do damage, hands down. They have the biggest damage output, and will take down enemies the quickest overall. Granted, they do cost energy, and can't really be used as creatively as other weapons, but they definitely get the job done.
Tier 1 - Bladed Knuckles
Level 1 - 30 damage for 55 energy
Level 2 - 50 damage for 70 energy
Level 3 - 90 damage for 90 energy
The very first weapon you get from this line, and if you're a melee person, you'll love it. It does straight up damage to the targets surrounding you, for an energy cost. Pretty simple. No stun, just a simple AOE attack.
When you add up the numbers, Level 3 is the clear logical choice that you should take for this weapon, because it does the most damage for the comparatively least amount of energy; it cuts equal, while the others cost comparatively more for less damage. If there is anything else to fault level 3 for, it's that its animation comes out slower than the other, lower levels. If that's so much of an issue, then the other choice would be to go with level 2.
Oddly enough, the position of this weapon, as well as the length of the arms of your creature, seem to have an effect on the AOE effect of this attack... If a creature does the 'head slash' animation, associated with a bladed knuckles positioned off of the arms of the creature, the AOE effect of this attack seems to be a lot shorter ranged. Odd...
Tier 2 - Plasma Pulser
Level 1 - 20 damage for 80 energy
Level 2 - 35 damage for 100 energy
Level 3 - 55 damage for 125 energy
The 2nd weapon you get is a staple... A sort of underpowered staple when you really look at the numbers, but one nonetheless. It shoots a single shot of plasma energy at the target, damaging that target alone.
As you can see, all three levels do very low damage; only the level 3 shot will outright kill a basic wild animal in one shot, but once again, despite the very bad energy efficiency of this weapon, level 3 is still the way to go, since it's ratio of damage to energy use is still the best. However, if you're going to be using the crazy hopper method of combat, which involves hopping away from your enemy and shooting them, level 1 can be a good choice here, because it's the only version of the plasma pulser that doesn't have any recoil, and because of this, it will not kill your momentum in midair.
Tier 3 - Lightning Striker
Level 1 - 35 damage for 80 energy
Level 2 - 70 damage for 110 energy
Level 3 - 115 damage for 135 energy
Your 2nd melee attack is no laughing matter; this melee attack stuns the target it hits, and deals some critical damage to them. The attack also deals some much diminished damage to targets adjacent to the one you're hitting (a lot less. It also doesn't stun them). Overall, a very worthy companion to the Bladed Knuckles in a closeup brawl. With both the bladed knuckles and the lightning striker, you will be nigh undefeatable in close combat!
Once again, level 3 is the way to go due to energy efficiency. Like with the bladed knuckles, the level 3 animation comes out the slowest, so if that's an issue, level 2 can work well.
Tier 4 - Missile Finger
Level 1 - 35 damage for 150 energy
Level 2 - 60 damage for 175 energy
Level 3 - 90 damage for 220 energy
The final attack you get... Well, it costs a LOT of energy, as you can see, but it can very well be worth it. It is a ranged attack that has a full area-of-effect damage effect on it, doing equal damage to everyone that gets caught in the blast. It also seems to have a little bit of stun to it, though, not terribly much.
The clear choice, once again, would be to opt for level 3, which does have one big disadvantage to it; it is the only iteration of this attack that has any recoil to it, meaning it can be a hinderance when attacking from the air, and when running away. However, when you consider that the area of effect of this attack grows with each level, this once again emerges as the clear choice. Simply put, in the right situation, the level 3 missile finger can wipe out or soften up huge crowds of enemies. Wicked. Of course, if you feel that the hit and run style is the style for you, definitely go with level 2.
Shaman Line - Weapons
Whereas the Warrior weapons were more concerned with just outright killing enemies, the Shaman's weaponry is more concerned with keeping the enemy stunned, frozen, or otherwise incapacitated... While you're killing them. The warrior line weapons kill a lot faster, but the Shaman weapons can be just as effective in the end, if not moreso, since they can prevent damage from coming in, especially if you time each of your attacks well. The biggest advantage that these weapons have over the warrior weapons, though, is that none of them cost any energy, making them perfect companions for the other equipment lines that do require energy.
Tier 1 - Toxic Crystal
10 base damage, total of 48 damage after DOT effect.
The base weapon you get for choosing the Shaman line is... Sort of underwhelming, but more effective than one would realize. 48 damage is no laughing matter, it's just that it takes way too long for it to fully kick in. The Poison blade also has no area of effect to speak of; it only hits one target. To put it quite simply, I find this to be a very inefficient weapon; it can waste your time, dealing potentially fatal damage over time, during which you could easily be accidently throwing more death attacks at them while they die, wasting time and energy that could much better be used on targets that aren't yet hit!
Note that DOT effects do not stack with consecutive hits of this weapon; logically, this should kill an enemy with 120 health in 3 hits if DOT stacked. However, 3 hits with this weapon only managed to bring it down to 32 health.
Tier 2 - Swarm Magnet
10 base damage, total of 48 damage after DOT effect, long stun.
This attack does the exact same amount of damage as the toxic crystal, but is quite different in every other aspect. Of all attacks you'll ever get, this one has the longest windup of all of them, making it not that great of a damage dealer when you think about it. However, the added stun it has is extremely useful (though, it can be a bit inefficient, and very annoying, especially if the target accidently ends up running inside a wall or other place where you can't normally reach it to finish it off). Once again, this attack has the same damage issue as the Toxic Crystal does, except that it is very much redeemed due to its stun effect.
Still, it's not a wise idea to use this attack in rapid succession. Like with the DOT damage effects, the stuns of the swarm magnet do not stack, meaning if you let loose with a Swarm Summon too soon, the enemy will only take damage from the 2nd attack, and not be stunned properly.
The long windup of this attack also makes it very bad for hit and run strategies; moving while you're using this attack will interrupt it, meaning it will not come out properly, and you'll have to wait for the attack to recharge before you can use it again.
Tier 3 - Ice Band
This is a melee attack that stuns a single target, and unlike the swarm magnet, it doesn't cause them to run around like crazy people. It's actually a bit useful when fighting two enemies at once; one can be frozen with your ice blast, while the other is dealt with using swarm summon and poison blade. The biggest drawbacks to this attack is that it's melee, and that it doesn't do any damage. Regardless, this attack has the longest stuntime of any attack in the game, and with proper damage output, it can really mess up an enemy fast.
Once again, the rule of stuns not stacking applies; using it too soon on the same target will actually cause it to be ineffective, so time carefully!
Tier 4 - Hypnomelder
The Hypnomelder causes a single target to ally with you for a limited amount of time. Just from that description, and from what I can deduce, this seems like a very situational ability; if you're in an adventure where you are fighting in a three-way battlefield, with two separate enemy factions, I actually could see some VERY good uses of this ability; it could easily lock one soldier from the red enemy faction into battle with a soldier from the teal enemy faction, and they would continue to fight after the effects of the hypnomelder wears off, due to opposing factions. However, in the case of a 1 on 1 battle, the Hypnomelder has no uses whatsoever, other than to waste time; you can't attack enemies you've used the hypnomelder on, so what can you do? Lure them into lava?... Actually, that's a very good idea. I guess that's why the rating of this part is four instead of three!
Scientist Line - Batteries
The Scientist line parts offer parts that increase your energy reserves and energy regeneration. If you're using Warrior, Trader, or Zealot line parts, having this is a necessity to run your cool gadgets... A sad necessity, but it is a necessity nonetheless. It means giving up some part slots for just some extra longetivity for hovering or fighting, but unless energy powerups are readily available, they are going to really save your life.
Ecologist Line - Stamina Boosters
This is probably the best part line available; for any mission that involves any potential risks of taking damage, this part line can have dramatic effects; just being ABLE to regenerate damage using the Invigorator is a huge boon, especially in missions where random hazards are involved. The Stam-Boosters are also really useful, because they literally DOUBLE and TRIPLE your health reserves. Seriously. If you're a fighter, and you're using the warrior weapons, take up these parts instead of zealot armor pieces; they don't cost a single drop of energy, and work just as well, if not better, than the zealot armor pieces.
Diplomat Line - Social Clothing
These are the Shaman equivalents to the Social side of Spore... Seriously, how often is there going to be SERIOUS socialization missions occuring? As long as you have decent natural abilities in the social realm, you will not need any of these parts. They do retain a 2/5 rating, though, because they do look very stylish with their gold trim, and don't cost any energy; they don't have those unecessary bells and whistles that... *sigh*... come with the...
Bard Line - Clown Clothing
I really can't think of any better way to describe this part line. These items all look so goofy, nobody is going to take you seriously if you wear these parts; caps that shoot out confetti or musical notes? Silly. To make matters worse, these can be considered as the 'warrior' equivalent to the Social side of Spore; these parts can be levelled up and cost energy to be used. To put it quite simply; nobody has made a crazy-go-nuts all socialization adventure yet, and it seems unlikely in the near future, considering the way people have been constructing their captains so far. Again, if you chose your social abilities well when creating the base creature, you should do fine with just that. If you really need the social boost, choose the diplomat line; at least you'll look respectable.
Trader Line - Movement Packs
This is really a mixed-bag set; some of the movement bonuses offered by this line can actually be quite useful, while others are the exact opposite, being trumped in every possible way by their natural counterparts. Regardless, you will be surprised to see what some of these parts are capable of!
Consider taking these parts carefully; none of them add anything to your captain in means of combat or socialization. If you followed the guidelines I laid out for making a good base creature for your captain, you shouldn't even need to touch this line.
Tier 1 - Sprint Pack
Requires at least 40 Energy to enable Sprinting
The Sprint Pack gives you a souped-up sprint ability; it gives you the trademark sprint's boost to speed, with an energy cost. It's that last point that makes this entire part fall to pieces; if you have natural sprint, there is no reason in hell you should take this part; it just causes you to use up energy when sprinting! I will give it one thing; it recharges very quickly, meaning you can easily toggle on and off sprinting as you go along.
Another very annoying side effect is that, if you run out of energy while using the Sprint Pack, you can't come out of sprinting until your sprint meter runs out; the button won't work. Why? Because you're out of energy! This is super annoying, because while you're stuck sprinting, you're still using energy, meaning, if you were running from enemies while using the pack, it means you can't recover energy to turn back and fight the enemies (if you were using warrior weapons), or even use energy to use any other trader gadgets you picked up to continue escaping! Don't take it unless you have to, and if you do take it, don't equip it.
Tier 2 - Glider Pack
Costs 100 Energy for consecutive jumps
The Glider Pack is actually a really good item! Basically, on paper, it appears to be the equivalent to natural wings; it allows you to use multiple bursts of extra jump to fly. In addition, it actually just gives you the ability to jump if you don't already have it, which in itself can be enough of a reason to get it. However, when you begin to look at the specifics of how this item works, you begin to notice some things;
The Glider Pack slows down your fall speed. This can be both a blessing and a curse; if you're trying to do a prescise landing, it will help. If you're trying to attack an enemy equipped with missiles and guns from above with your melee weapons... Not so much. If you're trying to drop down into water so that you can swim under an obstacle? Again, it's a curse. But it's because of this that the biggest selling point of the Glide Pack shows up...
It enables energy-free flight.
No, I'm not even kidding. If you played the adventure "Jetzo the Flyer" You'd know how to do this; basically, because of the slowed fall speed that this item gives you, if you gather up enough forward momentum, you can keep flying forward without having to use extra bursts of the glider pack, once again meaning that you can maintain a steady altitude without having to use any extra energy. The uses of this ability are innumberable; cross a deadly jumping section of an obstacle course effortlessly, or fly right over a crowd of angry chickens that would have otherwise killed you. The possibilities are great! If you want to be able to fly endlessly, without using up energy or extra flight jumps, then by all means, get this part!
Tier 3 - Stealth Helmet
Requires at least 50 energy to enable sneaking.
This part is prety decent; it enables you to sneak for an energy cost. This seems fine and dandy to you; you can walk wherever you want, without having to fight or deal with anyone! It's awesome! And then you realize that having the stealth ability naturally has the exact same effect without the energy cost, driving the usefulness of this item to dead zero. So why does this get a higher rating than the Sprint Pack, which is basically the same shtick? Well, first off, the Sprint ability is not a very selective ability; there are so many ways you can get sprint; about half of the feet you can get offer sprint, and there are two detail lines that are specifically devoted to giving out high sprint scores. Meanwhile, only one line of feet offer the sneak ability, and even then, those pairs of feet really lacks any good jumping or sprinting abilities, so the only real way to have any good sneaking abilities on your captain is to take the foliage detail part that offers the sneak bonus (which is a really good idea; 4 sneak + 4 charm is a really great deal). The other main reason is that the stealth helmet looks really cool. So there.
Tier 4 - Jump Jet
Requires at least 200 Energy to enable jumping
The Jump Jet is the replacement for jump; it allows you to jump up into the air, and keep going up as long as the spacebar is held, and as long as you have energy. This sounds really great, until you realize that it uses up energy for every single little hop and skip you might do. In my opinion, if you have a jump skill of 3 or more, there is no reason you should get this part.
Granted, this is the single best way to get altitude in the game, but you're rarely going to even need such drastic measures. Ever. Heck, even on Parkaboy's Jump Jet Challenge, you can actually get by just fine using the Glider Pack!
Zealot Line - Armor
The Zealot armor pieces are very annoying; they look cool, and by their descriptions, they sound like they would really be awesome. However, when trying them out, they don't really live up to their hype. True, they do satisfy what their descriptions said, but in the end, they just aren't that effective. As I said before, the Ecologist parts were the non-energy costing alternatives to zealot armor pieces, so these would technichally be the 'more effective' energy-costing versions. Well, let's see if they live up to their title...
Armor is tested on creature equipped with the appropriate parts, as well as a full-size battery, and are hit with an 70 damage mine. As far as I'm concerned, this will be the most number-crunchy part of this guide.
Tier 1 - Protecto Shell
Reduced 70 damage to 52 damage (75%)
There is no reason that you shouldn't take this, if you get the opportunity. I generally hold that the Ecologist parts are a bit better, but if you can shoehorn this in, this will further backup your large health reserves and really make you a walking tank. At the same time, this is the only armor piece that isn't concerned with energy in any way, making it, therefore, a fine choice for any character.
I was surprised with this; it actually did a very good job at reducing the amount of damage it did to the captain; the end result was roughly 75% damage to the captain, which is not bad at all, considering the nonexistant energy cost.
Tier 2 - Danger Reductor
Reduced 70 damage to damage 26 with Protecto Shell (37%)
Reduced 70 damage to damage 35 without Protecto Shell (50%)
Costed 878 energy to protect.
The Danger Reductor is a bit of a double-edged sword. It certainly does a very fine job of stopping damage, but has an added on energy cost. Given that cost of energy, It's actually quite effective, driving the damage down to 50% on its own, and even furhter down with the prior armor part. Still, the energy cost required to do that was astronomical (then again, I'd assume getting hit by attacks of lower magnitude would sap less energy), so unless you've taken a lot of scientist parts, or you're opting to use shaman weaponry, this can't really be recommended.
Tier 3 - Power Shield
Reduced 70 damage to 30 alone (42%)
Reduced 70 damage to 22 with Protecto Shell (31%)
Reduced 70 damage to 12 with Danger Reductor (17%)
Reduced 70 damage to 9 with all other Zealot armor pieces (12%)
Costed ALL energy (Out of a 2000 energy battery).
Wow. This is a very silly piece of armor. From what I can gather from what is implied from the description, it uses up all energy to stop as much damage as it can, and as you can see, it actually can do a very good job!... For one attack. The thing is, against repeated attacks, it will try and stop all damage from each and every one of them, and as soon as energy runs out, then the power shield will no longer work properly. Perhaps the standings will change when I use this with the final zealot piece, but from what has been gathered, I can say that alone, this piece of armor is very much useless. If you use this part with warrior weapons, for example, you are going to be a sitting duck in battle; no amount of armor is going to do you any good unless you can kill your enemy!
After testing this piece of armor with an onslaught of oncoming enemies, I can confirm that this stops all incoming damage until the battery has run dry. If you're doing some sort of race through a dangerous warzone, there could be some value in this part. However, in a heated battle, the usefulness of this part is in serious jeopardy. In the case of a falling boulder, moving vehicle, or other attack that would prove fatal to most creatures... Yeah, this armor isn't going to stop anything (Boulders and Moving Vehicles easily deal fatal damage to creatures with 2000+ health).
Tier 4 - Regen Deflector
Enabled full-armor loadout to reduce 70 damage to 5 (7%)... Still at the cost of 2000 energy, though.
Reduced cost of Protecto Shell usage to 790 energy for the 70 damage attack (same amount of damage taken)
The Effects of this piece are quite neglible. It says that it restores some energy when you take a hit, meaning that it technichally reduces the amount of energy it costs to use your armor pieces. In the case of the mine test I'm doing, it's not enough for the full-armor loadout to handle completely. If you really need the extra energy control for your character, then go ahead and take this to top the cake. The Protecto-Shell, Danger Reductor and Regen-Deflector together can work quite worthily at reducing damage, while still keeping some energy ready for use.
As you can see, there are so many choices to make when creating a character... Which weapon set to take? How much energy do I need? Should I take Ecologist parts, or Zealot parts? This shall all be figured out in part 3!
Step 3. Part combos
Now, if you're going to create a captain with good parts, you will need to combine them in the right manner to get the maximal results! Overall, it really all depends on what you're going for. Most missions that involve getting a high-level captain are combat-related. Thus, to do well in these missions, you'll need a captain that has offense, defense, and endurance.
is simply how good your captain does in keeping enemies at bay, or simply getting rid of them.
is how well your creature can take damage; the two ways to increase effectiveness are to add armor to reduce damage, or add stam-boosters to increase the health pool that you can draw from.
is how well you can withstand in a battle before having to retreat. Long story short, it's your energy supply and how well you can handle it.
Now that we've separated the essential traits of a good captain into the proper parts, we'll see what each part row falls under:
Warrior - Offense
Shaman - Offense
Scientist - Endurance
Ecologist - Defense
Zealot - Defense
If you've given your creature good social and movement abilities, then, as you can see in this diagram, you, once again, do not have to worry about drawing any parts out of those sections (unless you really want to). Now then, to discuss in depth...
- As we've discussed before, The warrior weapons work very well in just outright killing enemies. These weapons work great against giant groups, and can work fine against a single target as well, if you have appropriate defenses. The only drawback is that this costs energy, so make sure you take some scientist parts to keep the fight going on.
- The shaman set of weapons is somewhat inferior to the warrior set in terms of flexibility, when it comes down to it. It does great against a single target, though it might take a while to kill it outright. Against multiple enemies, the shaman set requires a lot of micromanagement, which is a drawback. Regardless of this, the Shaman weapons do not cost any energy.
- If you're going the warrior path, there is little reason to advance in the shaman set; damage output is already very good, and if you took lightning blade, you will be able to stun just fine. On the other side of things, if you go the shaman path, you could plausibly swap out your toxic crystal for bladed knuckles, thus giving you one good outlet for damage.
The way that the two weapon sets work out, consecutively overwriting old attacks and replacing them with better ones, does not work well in general when creating a captain. If you want all your captains attacks to be useful in the end, the most simple and effective way to pursue that is to simply stick with one weapon set and go with it.
- At the top tier, The ecologist set causes you to recover 2 health per second, and have up to 320 health (if extra armor pieces are applied to the character). This actually makes for some VERY good defense, truth to be told. The best part about it, though, is that none of it costs any energy at all.
- This is the opposite of the Ecologist Set.. In more ways than one. At top tier, with all parts applied, the zealot armor pieces can cut a 70 point damage blast down to a single digit, but of course, at a huge energy cost. The end result of this is that the Zealot set ends up being quite inflexible...
- Now heres where number crunching comes in once again. When it comes down to it, there are two mainly acceptable mixes you can take here; a 3 ecologist, 1 zealot mix, or a 2/2 mix:
The 3/1 mix
results in your health pool doubling (cutting damage in half), giving you a 2 health/second regen, and further cutting down your damage taken to only 75%, giving us a final turnout of only taking 35% damage... Good, but if you compare that to a pure ecologist loadout, which TRIPLES your health pool into the 300s, the end result is reducing damage further to only 33%, due to the tripled health pool. Still, both strategies here can work fine, and some of my calculations might be off, so this makes the 3/1 defense split a completely fine choice, especially if you want a snazzy looking golden plate to wear.
Now the 2/2 mix
is a bit more of a dilemma; the doubled health pool will enable you to take only half of the damage, but you still lose the ability to regenerate 2 health per second; you only regenerate half as quickly, which can be a bit of a drawback defensively. On the other side of things, you are now going to have to have extra energy reserves to be able to use this layout properly, so prepare some scientist parts. What are the results? Very gratifying is all I can say; calculations seem to indicate that you will only take 18.5% damage with this layout, which is as good as the power shield layout worked... EXCEPT without the ludicrous energy cost to try and stop all damage! If you're willing to put aside some levels for extra energy generators, then this could very well be a useful layout for you.
- Of course, this is the only way you're going to be able to increase your energy pool, so it's going to be needed if you take either the Warrior Set or Zealot Set. How much endurance you'll need, though, depends on what combination you end up using:
None of these parts will be needed if you go for an Ecologst/Shaman combination, since neither cost any energy. If you do opt to use this route, you actually can go ahead and take any other parts you might feel like taking to round off your captain!
Some scientist parts will be needed with a full warrior and full ecologist set. Since the ecologist set offers some rather uncanny defenses, and the warrior set does good damage overall, this layout certainly can be a solid choice for any well-made captain.
If you take a full shaman set and full zealot set, you will need some endurance parts... This might not be a fully advisable plan, though, since a full zealot armor setup will not do you much good if you run out of energy... And as we saw, it can run out pretty fast. If you decide that you want zealot pieces, you might want to opt to split your level-ups between zealot and ecologist pieces, getting two of each.
Full zealot set with full warrior set is just stupid. Taking all of both worlds will result in you only being able to use two scientist parts, which will, no doubt, end up in tradgedy. An alternative that *might* work well, though, is getting only the 1st two zealot armor parts, and then maxing out on warrior and scientist parts. With plenty of energy for your shields to draw energy from, using this layout could be quite plausible.
When it comes down to it, it's all a matter of balancing out the different sections. Will you opt for more offense, more defense, or more endurance? Overall, there's some general rules to follow here:
-You are going to need at least 2 scientist parts to handle a full warrior loadout on its own. In my opinion, you'll need more to handle a full zealot loadout on its own.
-The warrior set, when only equipped with the 1st two tiers, works decently, but keep in mind it's the lightning blade that the true power of this set really begins to show. It's a similar case with the shaman set, getting ice blast really increases the capabilities of the attack set. Thus; 2 tiers of weapon = Decent. 3 tiers of weapon = Good. 4 tiers of weapon = Great.
-You should generally only have either the attack or defense set draw from the energy pool, thus making Shaman/Zealot combination or Warrior/Ecologist combinations the most ideal choices.
I think I touched on everything here. Remember. This is a guide to make an optimal captain. There are plenty of ways to make effective captains, but this is an exclusive guide on how to make the captain that can blaze through brawls at top speed, have enough skills to properly defend a target in need, and still be competent in plenty of other areas at the same time, in case the situation arises.
Ryuujin's "Captain Equipment 101: Armour, what it does and how it works."
More interested in how Zealot armor pieces work, and what the optimal defensive combos are? Read up here!