Simple Warmaster Guide:
I wanted to write a guide to help out in the hunt of the Warmaster. The goal of this guide is to promote more successful runs. So what is a successful run? The run is a success if the Warmaster is killed no matter what your score is. Why do we want to kill the Warmaster? So we have the opportunity to get some very cool and rare legendary weapons (Needlers, Breachers, and Springers among others) that only drop in kill as well as you receive an additional 15,000+ points to your score which mean more Keys, more Arkforge, and more loot.
So I wrote this guide not with individual score as the primary goal but a successful kill as the primary goal. However, if you follow the recommendations in this guide and with practice you will be able to pull your weight and score very well.
That said how do we go about defeating the Warmaster?
1. Get Organized. What does this mean? You need to organize groups ahead of time before the arkbreak is called down. One strategy can be seen here. Another is holding off killing the Volge upstairs until you have the ideal number of people for the instance. Or you need to be fast at inviting friends, clanmates and group members when you are inside the instance. If you need more people call for help from friends or your clan (or myself if you are on PC NA: IGN=Logain). You can invite friends from outside to join you via group but the limit is back to 24 people after patch 3.0.
There is less of an opportunity to zerg the Warmaster to death, so proper setup and technique is needed to defeat the WM.
2. Turn Team chat on. So you can talk with other people in the instance. (Esc -> Settings -> Chat.)
3. Turn Damage numbers on. So you can see how much damage you are doing. (I love it when my Wolfhound starts hitting for 130,000+ per shot) (Settings -> Gameplay -> Show Damage Numbers -> On.)
4. Agree beforehand to shoot one target crystal armor (either the WM's right arm (hanging) or the back). I currently recommend the back but it can be done with the arm.
5. Choose a high DPS weapon (like a VOT Pulser, Castithan Springer, VOT Tachmag Pulser, Hog Leg, Needler etc.) with either fire, radiation or bio nano close to your ego. SMGs benefit greatly with a falloff mod and I highly recommend it if you are space averse. However, a DMG barrel and staying within 20m of the WM will maximize your DMG output. Shoot your high DPS weapon until the crystal armor breaks.
6. For the other weapon choose a high Crit DPS weapon (like the VBI HP-6 Wolfhound or VBI HP-7 Wildcat) ideally with fire or radiation (to increase damage and group DPS) close to your ego. Although syphon will help you stay alive if you die a lot. A VBI SS-2 Ranger is also a high crit DPS weapon but suffers from having a limited ammo pool. So I recommend using the Wolfhound. Shoot your high Crit DPS weapon at the crit spot after the crystal armor breaks.
7. Perks: Choose Overcharge, Quick Charge and Killing Machine Perks. Also equip Blast Shield, and Sucker Punch (for back attack). Fortitude and Kill or Be Killed work well together. Choose the rest of your perks to keep you alive (Thick Skinned for example) but also focus on crit damage perks. Some examples: Nano damage increasing perks from (DLC5) can increase DPS for guns with that nano (i.e. Radiation Burns, Conflagration, Deadly Apparition etc.). Gunslinger works well shooting from the hip. Pumped Up and Kinetic Transfer is also very useful to recharge EGO power. Description of perks can be found here. The selection of perks that I use are in the next post.
8. Choose Damage spikes and Power stims unless your group needs more protection or ammo spikes. Or choose ablative armor stim to survive bombings during the bomb phase.
9. Use spikes liberally when the Warmaster is hanging from the wall, but do not be wasteful by covering an area with the same kind of spike that has already been put down. Cover another area of players with it, use a different spike (i.e. ammo or protection), or wait to use it the next time the Warmaster is hanging. That said do not hang out right by spikes as enemies can destroy them (here).
10. When the Warmaster drops from its hanging phase is it important to switch to a Bio weapon or throw a Bio grenade to destroy the Armor Plates (small yellow shields) because it regenerates the Armor Plates every time it drops from the ceiling thus reducing damage dealt to it.
11. Still better to self revive/extract and run back as fast as possible. Only 3K points lost for dying (1K) and extracting (2K), which is not a lot compared to the 20,000+ points you are earning in a Warmaster run (plus another 10,000-15,000+ if you kill the Warmaster). Be strategic when you use your self revive to when you can jump back into the fray immediately and do damage (i.e. the hanging phase is one.)
12. Have Fun! and Happy Hunting!!!
Need help selecting a high DPS and high Crit DPS weapon?
Since EGO on weapons now matters it can be a daunting choice. Go download Dux’s DPS Calculator for help.
Why no Volge Weapons?
Low DPS compared to other guns (see here) and Volge weapons tend not to damage the Warmaster’s crystal armor but splash on back damage. Thus not helping remove the armor first.
Why no BMGs?
Low DPS when used as a weapon. Not damaging the Warmaster when healing and all damage matters. When healing it is counter productive to the perk Kill or Be Killed thus lowering group DPS. Plus there is the VFX effect that can blind other players who are trying to shoot.
Why no detonators?
Lower DPS compared to other weapons and detonators do not damage the Warmaster’s crystal armor similarly to the Volge weapons.
What nano to use?
Good summary of Nano Effects are found at DefianceData.
Need a good mixture of Fire, Radiation, and Bio in most kill groups.
- Radiation when proc'ed (indicated by little tick damage) increase all damage from everyone.
- Biological removes the armor plating more efficiently and when proc'ed all damage is increased to armor plating.
- Syphon when procs repairs your shields and increases health but suffers a damage deficit compared to other nanos. (So use only if you die a lot).
- Fire does more damage to health than all other nanos (+50%).
- Nano-Less does the third most damage to health after Fire and Radiation.
I recommend fire and radiation guns and a bio grenade.
TLDR: Use FIRE. If you don't have fire use Radiation. If not those two use Bio/Syphon/Nano-less. And equip a Bio Grenade.
Why Fire?!? I like Bio!?!
The Blue Crystal Armor of the Warmaster is HEALTH based. Much like the Crit Spot when exposed.
If you look at Nano Effects on Defiance Data in the previous question you will notice that Fire does 50% more damage than nano-less while Bio does 15% less than nano-less for a net result of 65% lower DMG if you are using a Bio Weapon compared to Fire.
Why a Wolfhound?!? I like my SMG!?!
If you just compare the base Wolfhound versus the base of the best SMGs out there (VOT Pulsers and VOT Tachmag Pulsers) the Wolfhound does 40% more damage per second! If you add in additional Crit Mult rolls for the Wolfhound that difference gets even Larger!
If you are using the best Bio SMG (like a VOT Pulser or Tachmag Pulser) to farm points by removing armor plates versus using a Fire Wolfhound you are ~65% less damage than a Wolfhound that does not have crit rolls! If you add crit rolls to the Wolfhound that difference gets larger.
TL/DR Use a Fire SMG for the Blue Crystal Armor and then Use a Fire Wolfhound when the Crit Spot is exposed and equip a bio grenade to remove armor plates.
But I score X all the time, why change?
Score no longer reflects how much damage is done. However, when you kill the Warmaster you get a bonus 10,000-15,000+ which means more loot (more keys, arkforge, etc.) plus a chance at a cool legendary weapon. Successful kills commonly have everyone in the top 20 with over 40,000 points because of the kill. So by adjusting your loadout and perks you can score more loot.
Fun fact: The maximum health of the Warmaster is 195,639,124. So to be pulling your own weight you need to be able to do approximately 9-10 Million in damage (assuming about 20 in your instance).
I suspect that the Warmaster's Crystal Armor is approximately 20M in health.
Practicing what I teach, my setup is in next post for those who care.
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I hope this helps. Good luck all and happy Warmaster hunting!!!