Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing - Hunter Skills - Tricks


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 - Tricks
We aimed to play the game without using potions, and we did not also farm for gold to maximize Essences on every inventory item.

Tricks are good because they need neither Rage (which can be depleted if there are no easy minion kills when you are face a boss) nor Mana (some creatures can inflict a continous Mana drain). You can have several, but in practice you are limited to how good you are with manipulating your quickslots.

Arcane Healing Heals all player characters within its range for 200% - 680% Spellpower.
  • A single level with no upgrades and no perks is good enough for the early game. By mid-game, this is moderately useful even if you don't level it and don't increase your Spellpower as you might still get 10%-20% healing out of it.
  • Once you get more continuous/frequent healing from Skills, Auras, and gear, save it for emergencies because of its long cooldown. Or dump it altogether and go with Ethereal Embodiment.
  • Succor Base cooldown (30 seconds) is reduced by 5 seconds. Cooldown effects modify this amount, so if you have -10% cooldown and Succor, Arcane Healing cooldown is still 22.5 seconds.
  • Spirit Healing The spell also recharges 10% of your maximum Mana.
Ghostly Mirage Summons two illusionary copies of Lady Katarina. These copies will fight just like her, even dealing damage but they will disappear if reduced to 0 HP or if the duration is over. They will take Lady Katarina's current fighting form. Base HP 35 % - 95%, Duration 20 - 34 seconds, Cooldown 60 - 42 seconds.
  • You can activate Ghostly Mirage and then order Lady Katarina to switch to Ghost Form. The illusions will stay in their fighting forms.
  • Try to wait until Katarina is in a good position before activating. If she is pinned by enemy fire or enemy attacks, the illusions won't last long. If she is too far, they waste time flying.
  • Notice that at maximum level, and especially if you have a -10% Cooldown (e.g., from a Perk), the Duration is almost as long as the cooldown.
  • Great to use on a Ranged Katarina with focus on damage and with Van Helsing tanking so that she can keep up uninterrupted fire.
  • Just 1 level of this Trick is good enough for most of the game as Van Helsing should be able to handle most enemies alone. Keep this around for insurance against large mobs.
  • The mirages appear to be immune to Harmful Sigils.
  • Persistent Mirage Duration is increased by 10 seconds.
    • This can exceed the Cooldown period, effectively giving you three Katarinas.
Last Stand You and all your allies within a 10m range gain a 2% - 6.9% bonus to Damage and Critical Hit chance.
  • Mana Fortress You and your allies also gain a 30% increase to your maximum mana. Your allies lose this bonus if they go out of range.
Sphere of Timelessness Freezes time for 8 to 20 seconds. Attacking, moving or casting spells causes this bubble to shrink, other actions like shuffling items in your inventory are completely free. When the bubble shrinks away completely, the world returns to normal.
  • This also freezes continuous effects on Van Helsing, such as HP Regeneration.
  • Timeless Rush Moving during the spell only costs half as much time than before.
Ghastly Shape You partially fade into the Ink and burst forward a short distance with blinding speed for 1 - 10 seconds. Any enemies you pass through take 4 - 16 damage from the shock.
  • You get one level of this for free after defeating the Drill Worm. Until that time, you cannot have any levels in this Trick.
  • You will probably rarely use this Trick, especially as the cooldown is 30 seconds. However, it has specific applications that can be useful and make it worthwhile to keep:
    • It allows Van Helsing to pass through enemies. There is collision checking in the game, so if you are surrounded, you cannot normally just run out. Combined with the speed increase, this is an interesting emergency-extraction Trick.
      • You CANNOT, however, go through barriers, including temporary barriers erected by enemies (such as a bone hand that comes up from the ground).
    • You can quickly close the distance to some dangerous enemies that are better engaged up close, such as Batrachiantaur and their big grenade launchers.
    • When you are slowed by an effect, this can give you the burst of speed necessary to get to a safe distance.
  • If you have 2 points to spare, 1 level of Ethereal Embodiment is probably better overall.
  • Fade Acclimatization Cooldown is reduced by 5 seconds.
  • Chilling Touch Enemies hit are slowed by 50% for 2 seconds.
Mystic Shield Increases your Defense by 40% Spellpower, and causes 7% to 70% of the Damage done to you to be taken from your Mana.
  • Even if your Mana is zero, you still get Damage Reduction while this Trick is active.
  • This could potentially be tricky to use if you are heavily reliant on Mana for attacks as it can continually bankrupt you of Mana.
    • You can pair it with the Diamond Essence (5% damage is converted to Mana per 10 Essence capacity), but it appears that the net damage taken is converted, instead of the raw damage. Experiments with 80% Mana Conversion and 70% Damage Reduction from Mystic Shield showed net Mana loss.
  • We recommend you NOT use this Trick unless you really want to ruin your game with too much risk reduction.
  • The Shoot ability of Mana Leech can make an interesting combination here.
  • The Cooldown can be equal to or less than the Duration. This is actually NOT useless because you CAN have TWO instances of this Trick active, for up to 140% Damage Reduction.
  • Mystic Armor You gain +10% to your resistances for the duration.
  • Concentration Duration is increased by 15 seconds.
Ethereal Embodiment Turns you Ethereal for a short time, making you invincible but also unable to attack. When you become corporeal again, enemies around you take 25% - 53% Spellpower damage from the shock.
  • This is an interesting power that can help in Borgova when there can be sudden-death situations if your health is less than 500 on Heroic difficulty. You can try to activate it as soon as Van Helsing starts getting dragged into danger by the many enemies that can pull. A single level of this, instead of Ghastly Shape, is highly recommended as a fallback for Arcane Healing.
  • When active...
    • Enemies act as if Van Helsing is not there and can start to wander off.
    • Van Helsing runs very fast.
    • Van Helsing can move through enemies and barriers created by enemies (e.g., spiky walls) that would normally require attacks or time expiration to collapse. Does not appear to work with bone hands that some Champions can use.
  • Chill Shock The fadeback shock slows enemies by 50% for 2 seconds.

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