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Cannon main talents: Deadly Cannonball vs. Steady Bombardment

05.03.2012

When the talent system was introduced, the first choice was easy. My main’s destination is to be a mean killer machine, so Mighty Offense was the obvious choice for the 130+ talent.

The second choice is somewhat trickier. There are basically two talents sounding good:

Deadly Cannonball (DC): “Basic attacks deal 50% additional damage against buildings. Grants a 50% chance to fire a deadly cannonball that poisons your target and decreases your target’s Attack Power.”

Steady Bombardment (SB): “For every Combo Count the target has, increases damage by 15%.”

The descriptions in quote marks are from Atlantica Online itself, and those for maximized talents (level 10).

I chose DC because other players told me that SB only works if your cannon main hits the target continuously. That a cannon main rarely does because his strongest feature is Devastation Shell, the reason the whole world envies us. Especially against a boss you will spam this skill roughly every 3rd turn, thus breaking the steadiness of the bombardment.

I recently learnt that this is wrong. As long as the target is continuously hit, the combo count of this target increases. A typical example:

Turn 1: Cannon main shells the boss. Sheriff hits the boss.

Turn 2: Cannon main hits – and gets already a bonus damage because the sheriff caused one combo count for the boss.

The main feature of DC is the extra damage to the building. Read “summon portal” instead of “building” because that is where this talent shines. After the Three Gateways patch African summon portals do their duty quite diligently and you really don’t want to spend more turns than necessary to take out one summon portal while the other(s) spawn. Examples where that can be critical are: Revenge Of The Spirits, Into The Spirit Realm, and as non-African mission: Battle Of The Red Cliffs.

For testing reasons I fought five battles with maximized SB and five with maximized DC against the Giant Erymanthian Boar. Buffs, gear, formation – all other conditions were as similar as I could make them. I fought in a main+5 formation. Here are the videos about it:

Deadly Cannonball:

Steady Bombardment:

If you play them slowly in your player you can see how the damage of the cannon main increases during the fight when it uses SB. With DC the fights lasted 7 turns (one exception: 6 turns). With SB the fights lasted 6 turns (one exception where the boss died in his turn after turn 5 from the trusty devastation shell).

In TBS missions the damage contribution of the cannon main is even larger because there are only 3 (in 3k: 4) toons who are fighting on your side. On the other hand: Mini-bosses die usually after two turns, whether you have SB or DC. It is no advantage that the hit point bar of the mini-boss is shorter after the first turn with SB than it is with DC – the decisive fact is that it is not zero, and that it will be at zero after the second turn. Of course that’s me… your gear may be just so that SB makes the difference. And there are missions where it is valuable for me, too. Last Stand for example, where I don’t have to shell the mini-bosses and can kill them with 2 hits from my cannon main now, instead of 3 (or waiting for my sheriff).

Concerning building damage: my sethed cannon main with DC makes more than 8.000 damage to a summon portal in Battle Of The Red Cliff. My sethed cannon main with SB makes about 5.500 to 6.000 damage.

So the decision remains a hard one. Without DC I lose 2 turns (1 at each summon portal) in Battle Of The Red Cliff and risk additional spawns. In Into The Spirit Realm I lose 3 turns (1 at each SP) and risk additional spawns. In Revenge Of the Spirit I lose 2 turns and risk additional spawns. The rest of the missions are uncritical for me (Troy’s Last Battle, Act Of War and other missions which contain summon portals – it is not important if I lose turns there, and the more spawns, the more drops). In skirmish and classic PVE DC is practically meaningless (yeah, there is this poisoning feature but really – who cares…).

With SB I gain additional damage when I hit a monster more than once. That helps a bit in skirmish, PVE and missions and may even shorten the life of certain mission bosses and thus gains turns.

Here a short overview about the effects of both talents:

Area Deadly Cannonball Steady Bombardment
PVP no clue no clue
PVE classic More or less useless (only poison “dot”) Helps (especially against bosses)
Skirmish More or less useless (only poison “dot”) Helps (especially against bosses)
TBS mission Good chance to save a turn against summon portals Chance to save a turn against bosses (or very resilient monsters)

I will try SB for a while longer and see if I miss the building damage so much that I have to go back. It is only 20 Atlas Ore to reset the talents anyway.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. 08.03.2012 23:34

    Thanks for this. I was seriously debating which to go with. Thus far I’ve put 2 into Steady Bombardment because I am always wanting more damage. I think I will keep SB for now as I struggle more with African bosses than anything else.

  2. Mike permalink
    09.03.2012 14:43

    Did you put all 130-140 points into Mighty Offence? I shared them around but now I’m considering specialising in MO or Hearty Endurance (18k extra hit points for Cannon Main is good).

  3. 09.03.2012 15:55

    Yes, somewhere in the videos you can see my point distribution. 10 points into Mighty Offense. 10 points into SB or DC, but I would never divide them between the two.

    I decided against Hearty Endurance. 18k extra hit points sounds good but I prefer to kill my opponents before they get to my last 18k hp…

  4. Nicodim permalink
    18.03.2012 18:37

    In PvP (free league) deadly cannonball reduces attack for 1700, which is quite useful
    against enemy high-damagers like sheriff. Its quite a big reason for me to
    choose this talent.

  5. TRON permalink
    23.03.2012 06:19

    Hi claudia, do you have any idea or web site to talk about Saw Main talent?
    if got please let me know.
    thank in advance.

  6. 24.03.2012 12:51

    No, sorry.

    A good place to ask is the atlantica-db forum (see my link list).

  7. Senex permalink
    14.05.2012 19:53

    To be utterly honest I started with SB and it was so irrelevant that I last week had enough and reseted for DC… Small difference if any – to say the least level 140 talents for cannon main suck… Though as I use Cannon main-tarkan-Oracle trio bosses go down quick enough as it is. The 50% extra against portals are more handy – saving a few turns while bombardment usually saved none… in pve and stuff the bombardment sounds better but the game barely contains that at all anymore. and skirmish mobs dont really last more than 2 turns tops…

    As for saw main i took damage buff then after level 140 i added the talent for instinct. the other 2 was kinda lame. the extra 50% chance for an extra attack sounds nice but it only triggers if you have ALREADY had a multi hit. so you dont get 2 instead of one just 3 instead of 2 or 4 instead of 3 – as rare it is… Also the multiple multi hits are debuffed by 20% each. – Well it can be nice with a seth if you can max it. I would advise you for taking the talent for instinct and then around 150 you can switch for the extra hit if you still need it.

  8. damon permalink
    17.05.2012 00:36

    for DC its not really that useful in pvp actually… theres a certain rate of it coming out and it only last for 1 turn, and on ONE single target =x

  9. Senex permalink
    17.05.2012 07:11

    Well in pvp the steady bombardment has a severely dominished effect like 5%? per stun counters( i dont remember to be honest may be a bit more or less..) and in pvp ypu can have 2 stun counters at most as the 3rd hit erases them and triggers the stun…. so this isnt a big deal either…

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