Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing - Hunter Skills - Gun

This post has general tips and tricks for The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing played on the PC at Heroic Difficulty. For a list of all our Van Helsing posts, click here.

Hunter Skills - Gun Skills
See our post on Sword Skills for basic notes about combat skills.
  • The basic build is Explosive Shot and Shoot in the early game, and Poisoned Shot and Shoot when you reach Borgova and level 14.
    • Icicle Shot could replace Shoot but Mana requirements, especially once you start increasing levels for Poisoned Shot and Icicle Shot, tend to result in Mana shortages if you start levelling up both skills and don't pay attention to Mana recovery items.
    • With some HP Regeneration and by prioritizing HP-per-hit items, this is a fairly easy build to play on Heroic. The hump appears around the end of Croakwood. You might want to proceed to Gallows Bog to get money, gear, and a level before coming back to finish the Ink Well and the Scarecrow.
    • If you are having a hard time balancing Mana and Health, opt for Health -- as long as Van Helsing is kept alive, you can win with attrition.
  • Explosive Shot and Poisoned Shot are both very useful at melee distances against a lot of enemies, because they tend to fan out in order to be able to hit Van Helsing, and the explosive radius means Van Helsing can hit enemies all around him if the shot connects with a very close target. In this way, it is better than Cleave, which has a limited arc of effect and therefore requires occasional repositioning. Watch it in action in the Rookery against the huge swarms of rats.
  • An interesting idea is Poisoned Shot paired with Explosive Shot, which uses the cheaper (in Mana cost) Explosive Shot to exploit the vulnerability inflicted on multiple targets by Poisoned Shot.
Mastery Bonuses
10 levels: Quickness +5% Bonus Speed, -10% Cooldown
20 levels: Arcane +5% Arcane Damage, -10% Cooldown
30 levels: Vigor +5 Dex, +5 Willpower
40 levels: Brutality +3% Critical Chance
50 levels: Leech +3% Life Steal
  • The bonuses are all very good and generally hard to get elsewhere. Even just for this reason alone, investing in the Occult Hunter skill tree is generally the stronger choice than the Mystic Warrior skill tree.
  • Bonus movement speed is a very rare magic item attribute generally only found on epic gear.
  • In the very late game you can reach 50 levels if you do not take Perks that give skill points, IF you complete the sidequests, some of which give skill points. This is possible by level 29 or so, assuming you give up a lot of other powers. Lightning may have to be dropped because using it to get Mastery levels may increase its Mana cost to unfeasible amounts. Poisoned Shot can be dropped in favour of Explosive Shot just to get cheaper levels. +3% Critical Chance and +3% Life Steal is really very good and may in the long run be worth it if you can handle Van Helsing without a lot of skills.
    Shoot Ranged weapon base damage is 100% - 175%.
    • If you have at least one Power Up, you can use Hidden Reserves to heal with Rage even when you have no Mana left, because this skill costs no Mana. (Remember that you also do not need a target to activate a Power Up).
    • A high-level Shoot, especially with Quickdraw, can be a viable alternative to Icicle Shot for taking care of single targets. You don't get the mass-slowing effect, however.
    • Explosive Round This shot will explode on impact, causing 50% of its Damage to everyone within 1.5 meters of the target.
    • Tar Shot The target will be slowed down by 75% for 2 seconds.
    • Dum-Dum Round +50% Damage.
    • Mana Leech Each shot with Shoot regenerates 10 Mana.
    • Quickdraw Attack speed with Shoot increased by 10%.
      • The attack speed bonus might not be reflected in the "Detailed Info" summary, but it does work.
    Explosive Shot Explosive shot dealing 70% - 100% ranged weapon damage to all targets within 1.5 meters of the target. Mana 10 - 24.
    • This area is really quite small. Unless targets are massed together (such as when they can melee you), the area may not be wide enough to affect more than one target.
    • Against destructible non-opponents (e.g., crates), you must hold down SHIFT to fire in place in order to get an explosion at the target location.
    • It is still good as an early game skill pick for kiting and supporting Katarina if she is tanking.
    • A good substitute for Cleave since you can kite and still hit multiple targets.
    • Shrapnel The explosion is 1 meter larger.
    • High Explosive The explosion becomes more ferocious, causing 50% more damage.
    • Hex Round The explosion steals mana from the target, equal to 20% of the damage dealt.
    • Phosphorus-Tipped Rounds Adds 15% Fire damage.
    Icicle Shot Ice damage equal to 125% - 197% ranged weapon damage, and target is slowed to 50% for 3 seconds. Mana 16 - 30.
    • Touch of the North Slowed targets suffer 25% of the initial damage per second while the slow effect lasts. (Does not stack).
      • This lasts a flat 3 seconds. The duration is not extended by extending the slow effect by repeatedly shooting the target. Basically it inflicts +75% to +225% damage on one target.
    • Kiss of the Vila Targets will be frozen for 2 seconds. (Nemeses will only be slowed to half their movement and attack speed.)
      • This differs from Paralysis in that some Champions, Elites, and bosses appear outright immune to Paralysis effects.
    • Wrath of the Vila Adds a radius of 1 meter to all effects (including those from other Powerups.
    • Rupturing Shot The shot goes through the target hitting any other enemies along its path. The first target is injured, the others only slow down.
      • This is somewhat superior to Thunderstruck because it requires no Rage. However, Thunderstruck paralyzes for 2-6 seconds and has a wider radius, which may be better overall--IF you have Rage.
    Scattershot Fires a burst of 8 shots at once in a 50° arc. Each bullet hits for 85% - 119% of ranged weapon damage. Mana 100 - 120.
    • At level 1/5, it inflicts 85% damage per pellet. Theoretically 680% damage to one target is possible if fired at extremely close range so that all shots hit the same target. The mana cost of 100 can make this a rare occasion, however, though by the time you qualify for this skill at level 14, two shots before depleting your Mana reserves is probably doable.
    • This power is best at very close range where multiple shots can hit the same target. However, at such ranges, you might as well use Bash and Crushing Blow to inflict enormous damage on the toughest targets.
    • Steel Pellets The shots have a 30% chance of flying right through the enemy and potentially damaging another target.
    • Wide Barrel 4 more shots are fired, and the firing arc is widened by 10°.
    • Level 3 fires 12 more pellets, for a total of 20, or 17x damage if all of the pellets hit the same target.
    • Potent Gunpowder +30% Damage.
    • Killing Shot Increases the critical chance by 5% per shot (NOT per pellet).
    Poisoned Shot Poison Damage equal to 50% ranged weapon damage in a 3 meter radius area. Targets also suffer Poison damage over time and become more 10% - 29% more vulnerable to further attacks for 10 seconds. Mana 25 - 42.
    • Because the damage over time does not stack, this is good for kiting as you can let the targets lose health from poison while you are running away, possibly running around cover to prevent them from shooting at you.
    • Against destructible non-opponents (e.g., crates), you must hold down SHIFT to fire in place in order to get an explosion at the target location.
    • Viper's Bite Increases the per second Poison Damage to 50% of Ranged Weapon Damage (does not stack).
    • Scorpion's Sting The vulnerability lasts 5 seconds longer.
    • Gorgon's Breath The area of effect is increased by 1 meters.
    • Potent Venom Increases the base damage of the shot from 50% to 75% of Ranged Damage.

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