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Roles, Buffs and Classes

Despite the game depicting certain T-Dolls working together in the same echlon, it's actually an extremely bad idea to just throw in random dolls of all classes into the same echelon. See all those Griffin support echelons? Don't even look at them. They suck.

With that being said, let's see we have:

Assault Rifle#

These are your general purpose dolls. For the most part, they provide sustained DPS with burst damage from a variety of skills, with some having more unique roles (like M4A1 or M16A1).

ARs will be your primary DPS both during the day and at night. They can equip night battle equipment¹ and they should: ARs are your primary means of dealing damage to evasive enemies at night.

At day, you would most likely prefer them running with crit scopes in their accessory slot – their accuracy is, as a rule, decent enough that it would not warrant equipping red dot sights, and holographic sights give too little of a damage boost compared to crit scopes.

Similarly, always give them an X exoskeleton, not a damage-reducing T(ank) exo. ARs, generally, have too little evasion and HP to tank and should never be in the front line.

As such, the buffs you are interested in for ARs are damage (always good), crit rate (same), and RoF (as long as taking all the buffs into account, should not exceed 116).


¹: Despite their vagely binocular-ish looks, PEQs are IR laserpointers/flashlights, not night vision goggles.

Submachine Gun#

These are, for the most part, your designated tanks, having a shitload of HP and excellent evasion. Most of them are main tanks, equipped with self-buffing or enemy-debuffing skills that help their survivability or reduce the enemy's. Others have offensive abilities and are decent damage dealers in their own right, but since they're very likely to take damage, they shouldn't be relied upon too much, especially direct fire SMGs like SR-3MP – they specialize on enhancing the AR back line DPS and shouldn't replace them.

Due to the dual roles they can fill, their equipment choices are a bit more varied. Main tanks will most likely run T exos and suppressors to maximize their evasion; their ammo slot isn't their highest priority.

Off tanks very much want good ammo, and their other slots are situational. Grenadiers and molotovs prefer holographic sights for the damage bonus on their skill attacks, direct fire off tanks usually need red dot sights to help with their awful accuracy (or PEQs at night). T or X exo will depend on what enemies you're facing.

The buffs they want are similarly all over the place. Evasion can never hurt; RoF is mostly not interesting due to their high innate RoF, and crit buffs are not interesting due to SMGs' low base crit rate. Off tanks will like damage and sometimes accuracy buffs, though you mostly shouldn't pick your ARs based on what buffs they give – most of the time, it's better to pick a strong AR with weak buffs rather than the other way around.

Handgun#

Your go-to allround buffers. You want them in any echelon at night (to lift the fog of war and provide map vision – they do not need PEQs for this!); and they're excellent buffers for all echelon formations. A few of them are even damage dealers in their own right, and at higher levels they're a cheaper option to farm low-level content (e.g. for boss bully events).

Still, their main focus is providing buffs. Their low HP make them a poor choice for tanks outside special occasions, as they just cannot absorb damage as well as SMGs or SGs can.

Evasion helps keep your HGs alive, so those in the front line should run suppressors and T exoskeletons; for your rear HGs, the choice of exos doesn't really matter. In some scenarios (like RF echelons) HGs can also help clear low HP trash mobs, letting your real damage dealers focus on more important targets, so giving all HGs ammo and suppressors isn't a bad idea.

Buff wise, HGs don't really require much incoming buffs – evasion can help your front line, but most of the time you should worry more about what buffs they provide others.

Rifle#

Rifles are quite the odd bunch. They target the enemy's back line first, they can equip AP ammo – and they're slow as fuck when moving. The first two properties makes them desirable in quite a few distinct cases, while their speed limits their survivability in other situations (mainly certain boss fights). While you can, in theory, deploy them in regular daylight battles just like ARs, their lack of synergy with any tanking class makes them poorly suited for anything but a specialist role where they either can murder anything before a tank is needed, or any situations where the lack of synergy doesn't matter.

With their extremely high base crit rate of 40%, their preferred accessory is unsurprisingly a crit scope. This can raise their crit rate to 88% without buffs, and buffs will easily make them hit or exceed the 100% cap. The only exception to this are bamboo rifles, their skills usually cannot crit and are better buffed with an EOTech.

Since rifles cannot equip PEQs, their usefulness at night is limited to armoured enemies, who generally doesn't have evasion. (At least, as far as EN is concerned.) Exceptions happen and would need creative solutions.

Cloaks can be useful, since they give generous buffs, but they reduce your movement speed by a lot. This can be a problem, and you might want to unequip them for some fights.

Given the limited circumstances they're used in, buffs for rifles mostly boil down to "more RoF" (useful limit being 116 again) and "more damage". "More crit" is also nice (except for bamboos), but it's very easy to exceed the 100% cap.

(Later, we will get a handgun that reduces crit rate in exchange for generous buffs, which makes crit buffs more important.)

Machine Gun#

A trap that lures in new players, promising them the night of their lives, and leaving them bankrupt and bruised in the blink of an eye.

…Machine guns have very impressive stats on paper, but this is paired with them being hilariously expensive both to build and deploy. Their unique targeting also makes them spread their damage over all enemies equally, letting you neither focus on melee enemies nor on back-row snipers. Did I mention that they need over 4 seconds to reload inbetween bursts?

All this combined makes them, in practice, limited to fights that can be won before a reload is needed, or some special boss fights that need MGs to provide armour buffs to shotguns to keep them alive. (Not really relevant for EN yet, but will eventually become a major concern.)

As MGs are thrown at various situations, their desired equipment and buffs vary depending on what you're facing.

Shotgun#

They are your main armour tanks: While a lot of enemies can be tanked well by evasive SMGs (or shot before they can be a bother), there's quite a few enemies that have too high accuracy to dodge reliably, too high HP to just delete, and too high damage to ignore. For those battles, shotguns will shine, as their armour reduces enemy damage to 1.

With none of them having any defensive skill other than "more armour", nor evasion worth noting, and most of them being useless as damage dealers too, they're mostly restricted to buffing MGs and keeping them alive in fights that either want MGs or armour (or both). And since all of them have okay buffs and okay armour, they're mostly interchangeable, except for a handful fights.

It doesn't help that they're as expensive to field as machine guns, and even more expensive to build, being restricted to heavy production. There's also a few armour tanks that aren't shotguns (M16A1 e.g.), which makes them the least important class to invest in on EN.

Their blandness extends to their equipment; the only interesting combination outside specialized niche fights is armour + buckshot ammo + red dot sight; they aren't going to do damage anyway, the only interesting factor about their attack is the ability to knock back as many targets as possible to keep them from doing any damage.

This also means there are very few buffs that are interesting to shotguns: Armour buffs obviously help, evasion is useless (nothing multiplied with some buff is still nothing), damage buffs won't really make much difference. RoF should be interesting, but as with their evasion, multiplicative buffs are useless if your base stat is negligible. Most SGs either already hit the low cap of 60 on their own, or are so low that no amount of buffs can salvage it. It doesn't help that most MGs worth using don't have a great RoF buff to begin with, and RoF buffing handguns are useless for MGs. So, for the most part, don't worry about buffing your SGs except you're gearing up for a battle that needs ALL the armour.

 

Formations#

Due to the synergies of buffs and skills, for the most part you will deploy these in echelons segregated by class:

As time goes on and MICA throws newer, weirder enemies at EN, these formations will slowly be replaced with more specialized formations tailored towards specific enemies, but this won't be relevant for quite a while yet. Nevertheless, be prepared to tear up and reshuffle your echelons a lot. There is no single "meta" echelon of any category that's good against every single enemy, you will have to modify your formations and adapt.

Positioning is also an important part of building formations, since properly arranging your dolls lets you funnel enemy attacks against the units you want to be hit.


Author: Chiaki Matsuda
Tags: Getting Started
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