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Author Topic: Pimp my Rocket: Rocket Launcher Builds  (Read 6482 times)

Creepy

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Pimp my Rocket: Rocket Launcher Builds
« on: March 26, 2012, 23:08 »

I've read that Rockets are generalist mid-game weapons that go well with anything but lack the same overall power as, well, every other option. Best use of a secondary slot, not good choice for primary weapon. Also, the only trait that screams "rocket launcher!" is both bugged into not working and also is a shotgun trait, right down to requiring shottyman (Which is useless for rockets, though it's prereqs are not). So even the one RL trait is placed to keep it barefoot in the kitchen, making shotguns a sandwich.

Why use rockets? They are awesome, yes. The blow the fuck out of things. Of all the standard weapons that aren't BFGs, they do the most damage in one shot. They blow up walls. The blow up crowds. They can miss and still hit things, if the target is silly enough to stand next to a wall. They are actually available relatively early, in the Arena, and the Wall gets an exotic version along with a backpack and fuckton of rockets. Rocket Jumping can be the fastest mode of transportation in the game on a good roll, if you can afford a spare rocket and a pile of damage.

But rocket do have serious problems, and a lot of them are based on the fact that they are the compliment of shotguns. Shotguns are close-range crowd-eaters that are bad at taking armor. Rockets are long-range crowd-eaters that alright at taking armor. They both have reload time issues. Rockets can miss, unlike their cousins. Rockets at close range have a MUCH bigger penalty than a shotgun at long range. Plasma rifle beats rockets for overall damage, but it's on a different weapon track... but so does Double Shotguns, which is on the same track. And most damningly, while all the shotgun weaknesses get traits and whatnot specifically to correct them; MAD removes armor problems. Shottyman removes reloading problems. A double shotty can be assembed into a weapon with more damage potential and much less damage drop-off. Rocket have no equivalent traits, except Fireangel, which doesn't work, and the tactical rocket launcher is basically the missile launcher (which is guaranteed at the wall). Excepting Eagle Eye, any trait that improves rockets are also useful shotgun traits, while traits that improve shotguns are not necessarily going to improve your rocket any. As far as I can tell, shotguns are essentially better than rockets at what it is rockets are intended to do, except for removing walls. There really is no reason to focus on rockets when you could use shotguns.

But fuck that, let's make a rocket launcher build. Not a shotgun-build-with-a-dash-of-rockets-sometimes, but a build designed entirely around taking maximum advantage of sexy, sexy rockets.

...except I'm not a great player and have no idea what would work. I've got ideas, but not really big experience in fixing builds. Most of my character "builds" are "pick a master trait you want this time, beeline it" and there AREN'T any rocket masters. Anyway, ideas:

Scout Rocketeer:
Levels 1-4: Reloader 2, Intuition 2
Levels 4+: Finesse2> Whizkid1, Eagle Eye2

The idea is that you use a shotgun and intuition to survive the early levels, particularly the Arena, until you have the rocket launcher. At that point you're on tactical mode, using Intuition to hit things at long distance and Reloader to keep your rocket's tummy full. Cornershooting tactics rule the day. If the enemy is near a wall but too far from an opening to get at, blow through and use the new opening instead. You want to kill things before they're close enough to actually get a shot off, and use cover at all times and knockback to keep them at bay. Later levels revolve around getting Whiz1, so you can powermod that rocket as far as you can: Powermods are the only way to boost up rocket damage appreciably, as SoB is nigh-worthless for a single-hit rocket and they don't have SoG or Bru-type traits that pump it up by more than one per level. Eagle Eye makes it that much easier to hit things at distance or even in the black, which goes with the "kill them at a distance" plan very well.

Technical Rocketeer:
Levels 1-4: Reloader2, Whizkid2, Shottyman?
Levels 4+: Shottyman?, Hellrunner2>Dodgemaster

This is an early offense build. Reloader and shotguns get you though the first levels, then you use Whizkid to start whipping up classy gear. Shotguns remain important longer, since you need them for radar shooting, so Shotty is an attractive Level 3-5 option. After that is mostly defense; Whizkid is expected to carry your rocket to victory, while Hellrunner and Dodgemaster keep you healthy. When Fireangel is fixed, this build can be reshuffled to work with it.

Melee Rocket Surprise:
Levels 1-4: Brute2, Reloader2
Levels 4+: Finesse2, Whiz1, Berserk

This build relies on shotguns and melee until it hits the chainsaw and rocket launcher, at which point it goes melee with rockets, or rockets with melee, whichever is more useful at the moment. At a distance you throw rockets at their face, close up you chainsaw them. This uses a very split build, which is something of a problem; neither rockets or melee is maxed out, obviously, and this leaves defense wide open. I'm not sure how to fix it to work well, but I love the idea of melee and rockets coming together, and they do compliment each other nicely. Also, I have no clue which class to throw on this, which would make a difference; Melee master traits can be terrifying, if you want to use this as a melee/rocket baseline instead of a rocket/melee baseline. It could be pretty nasty on Ao100, with Malicious Knives and rockets, but that would probably require fiddling when you want to grab what.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 23:29 by Creepy »
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Re: Pimp my Rocket: Rocket Launcher Builds
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 23:17 »

I expect melee MVm build will largely complement rocketeering. Bru-Bru-Fin-Jug-Ber-Bad-MVm-Fin-WK, you rocketjump and likely get berserk from the very fact of it, then you RIP AND TEAR anything you decided to rocketjump at. WK is needed for double chainsaw/ripper and tactical rocket launcher.
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Creepy

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Re: Pimp my Rocket: Rocket Launcher Builds
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 23:45 »

I'm not so sure about the Tactical Rocket Launcher. It's basically an inferior Missile Launcher, except that it reloads a whole clip instead of one at a time. The fact that you have to assemble it is sort of a problem, since the only way to get a good boost to rocket damage is Power mods; SoB isn't very good on non-rapid weapons. A Missile Launcher with a pile of powermods is probably going to be a lot more useful than a Tactical Rocket Launcher.

Though I guess if the tacrocket is being used as a berserker pogostick, you don't want a million damage. I'm not sure why Missile Launchers don't have a rocket jump option, either.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 23:47 by Creepy »
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AlterAsc

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Re: Pimp my Rocket: Rocket Launcher Builds
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2012, 00:23 »

you rocketjump and likely get berserk from the very fact of it
No berserk.
Rocket jump deals to you halved damage, meaning max = 18, and to trigger Berserk for Marine you need to get hit at least for 20.Also VERY unlikely for scout and tech (min ber damage =17).

Also rocket launcher build should have EE.Accuracy +4 is a joke to use it fully.Or if you say missile launcher is good, then name it Missile launcher build, since it's not always accessable.
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spacedust

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Re: Pimp my Rocket: Rocket Launcher Builds
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2012, 04:22 »

First of all, thanks Creepy! I like this topic a lot and am eagerly awaiting lots of interesting responses on it.

I think you've captured the essence of using rockets very well and that they are usually a complement to a shotgun build, not the main focus. As I see it, the reasons why I don't use rockets so much are:

1) ammo - shells vs rockets, I'd rather have more shells. A stack of shells can kill more enemies than a stack of rockets generally.

2) collateral damage to useful items - this is horrible, and feels like the main reason why more players don't use the RL. Though I suspect that you don't really have to pickup every single item in the late game, which makes the damage easier to stomach.

I completed a recent game of HMP AoLT using mainly an elephant gun, with a modded RL as backup. I think modding the RL with an A mod is the way to go, simply to give it a boost of accuracy. I found using the vanilla RL to be great for knocking back crowds of tougher derps when I couldn't get to a cornershooting position in time. It was a scout build going like this: int->int->rel->rel->SM->hr->-hr->DM etc etc.

Anyway I'm waiting for the reintroduction of MFA to really do a RL-based build. I am looking forward to firing rockets point blank, left and right. It will feel like playing quake free for all again lol.
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Klear

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Re: Pimp my Rocket: Rocket Launcher Builds
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2012, 04:24 »

I recently completed a AoHu game with nano modded missile launcher and it was great! Since I didn't care about health/armour pickups at all, and infinite ammo meant I had no reason to restrain myself. Int 2 also helps to pick targets. It was great, especialy against formers and imps (yeah, might seem like a waste of rocket, but it's so much fun!¨)
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Ander Hammer

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Re: Pimp my Rocket: Rocket Launcher Builds
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2012, 12:05 »

Melee Rocket Surprise really needs Juggler. I personally don't really like the trait, but it would be good for keeping your rockets always equipped while still letting you chainsaw everything.

Otherwise, yes... at least a few of the people here know my feelings concerning the Rocket Launcher. This is a good thread.
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spacedust

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Re: Pimp my Rocket: Rocket Launcher Builds
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2012, 17:31 »

How about we try to lobby for making Fireangel overpowered? Shifting it to take the place of Scavenger, and making Doomguy immune to explosions, and also making items on the floor immune to explosions? That would make RL very palatable.
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Creepy

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Re: Pimp my Rocket: Rocket Launcher Builds
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2012, 18:14 »

Fireangel making items immune to your own explosions would be awesome. With your mastery over the art of boom, you can ride explosions harmlessly and place them so that you do not hurt the items you want. No more having to fear your own destructive potential!

Making items immune to mancubus shots would be a little harder to explain, though.

Though if you want crazy trait improvement, try thinking about that required level in Shottyman giving it's auto-reloading prowess to the rocket launcher.

Quote
Melee Rocket Surprise really needs Juggler. I personally don't really like the trait, but it would be good for keeping your rockets always equipped while still letting you chainsaw everything.
I would think there's a small gap in tiles where you're outside melee but too close to safely use a rocket. In that gap one could switch without juggler and not worry over the lost time, maybe? I don't exactly have the timing down on weapon switching. If I'm wrong then yeah, a level of Juggler is probably needed.
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spacedust

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Re: Pimp my Rocket: Rocket Launcher Builds
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2012, 19:57 »

Actually, I rarely take Shottyman now because I'd rather hide behind a corner and play the cornershoot game with 2 levels of reloader. The only time I really feel any need for SM is when facing Cyberdemon, and if my reload speeds are ok there's no real need for it too. If SM reloaded rockets too I'd be pretty happy to take it.

And yes, it would be pretty hard to justify item immunity to mancubus shots, so nix that. But it would be wicked to have items be immune to your own shots. I would go pretty hog wild with rockets if that were the case.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 19:58 by spacedust »
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Ander Hammer

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Re: Pimp my Rocket: Rocket Launcher Builds
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2012, 22:05 »

I would think there's a small gap in tiles where you're outside melee but too close to safely use a rocket. In that gap one could switch without juggler and not worry over the lost time, maybe? I don't exactly have the timing down on weapon switching. If I'm wrong then yeah, a level of Juggler is probably needed.

Having an ever-ready chainsaw does eliminate the need to pause and think about switching or positioning - nothing is less manly than having to dive for cover just to pull out your chainsaw, putting your rockets away in the process.

Subtlety and strategy have their places, and they're with tactical assault troopers shooting shotguns from behind corners, not crazed berserkers swinging a chainsaw from one hand and shooting explosions with the other.
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spacedust

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Re: Pimp my Rocket: Rocket Launcher Builds
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2012, 22:18 »

Subtlety and strategy have their places, and they're with tactical assault troopers shooting shotguns from behind corners, not crazed berserkers swinging a chainsaw from one hand and shooting explosions with the other.

Can I sig that? That is awesome!
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Ander Hammer

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Re: Pimp my Rocket: Rocket Launcher Builds
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2012, 01:46 »

Hey, Not Too Rough Angel of Purity Rockets/Melee full win. This kind of build can work out pretty well after all, thanks to The Wall.

Can I sig that? That is awesome!

Sure.
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Oh goody, the thread I've been waiting for!
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2012, 09:19 »

The Rocket Launcher doesn't get enough respect. At all. First MAD run I did, I headed to The Wall, confident in my devastating, armor-piercing shotgun - and almost got killed. When I busted out my [A] - Modded Rocket Launcher, I started kicking tail. Knockback sent them out of sight, and they'd step forward just in time to catch another rocket to the face. Rinse and repeat. I've lost track of the times this has happened to me - situations my build couldn't handle, but the sweet wrath of high-explosives could.

As for Rockets/Rocket Launchers being inferior...

Spoiler: Wall O Text Analysis (click to show/hide)

tl;dr Great thread. The Tactical Launcher is much better then you give it credit for, though, and could easily be the base of a highly-effective build. A suggestion for Tactical Launcher builds: since the Tac launcher doesn't need Reloader, go ahead and take Fin->Fin->Wiz to start with. Since the Shotgun has a fire/reload time of 1.0 each, saving time in either category increases your effective attack speed. Or EE->EE->Int-Int and hope for a Captain on the first few levels, or grab the one that spawns during Hell's Arena to finish the Barons.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 09:24 by Demetrious »
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Ander Hammer

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Re: Oh goody, the thread I've been waiting for!
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2012, 13:54 »

The Tactical Launcher is much better then you give it credit for

Thank you.

I have no idea why, but I know I've seen people saying the Tactical RL is bad because of its tiny blast radius. What?
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