Here's a Dragon Nest guide written by Revertible and originally seen on freedomplays which tackles on how to build an Ice elemental Shooting Star in the game (level 80 cap).
Been asked this same question a lot as of lately. Which is better, Shooting Star or Gear Master?
So i figured i’d job change to Shooting Star for a bit ( cause shanda gives waaaaaaaay to many free job change scrolls lol..) and show the difference between the two.
Here is when i solo-ed Guardian Nest as a Gear Master
And here is when i recently solod Guardian Nest as a Shooting Star.
In both cases i’m using ice build and have pretty much the same stats and gear for both ( mostly). Only real difference is that in the shooting star video, i’m slightly more geared because about 4 days ago i got a free L grade Velskud ring from free eggs ( gives bonus %6 to every ele) and replaced my cannon tower tech on my earrings to a pure wind earring and got extra damage from our lvl 65 passive ( %10 perm physical damage increase iirc). But if you watch both videos you’ll clearly see that even though i’m stronger as a Shooting Star by a bit and i am using ice build in both cases, i still took longer to clear Guardian Nest than i was a Gear Master ( took me 13:43 to solo Guardian Nest as a Shooting Star but took me only 12:24 to solo Guardian Nest as a Gear Master)
Before i go any further of which is better, let me cover some things about shooting star post revamp that most people probably don’t know about.
Firstly lets talk about Reload EX.
Reload EX pretty much gives you 2 things when you use it. Firstly it reduces the cd of Cannon Blaster to 2 seconds ( which is a HORRIBLE Skill and a pointless effect since most engi’s won’t even look at taking that skill in their build) but the more important thing is that it gives you a buff that increases the damage dealt by skills that consume bullets ( such as splash and mine thrower) by %30. This buff lasts for 4 seconds and refreshes itself every time you use reload ( even if you have maxed 10 bullets). The %30 unlike MM mode does not affect your stats but affects the damage dealt to the target. So if you hit 500k splash on 1 hit without reloading before hand. But then you reload and use splash again, the same single hit will deal 650k ( i.e. 500k *1.3 = 650k). This is because the effect of reload ex is similar to that of something like snipers flower buff. The %30 is a direct additive increase to your FD for those 4 seconds and thus in a situation where your stats are capped ( such as in dragon raids 2x cap) this buff will still let you do a further %30 damage compared to other dps classes. However, this buff unlike reload can be buff cleared by things like froggys green light, bdn minos roar and so forth. But since it refreshes every time you use reload, just wait 3 seconds ( or less) and you can re-put the buff on. Furthermore since this buff is a direct additive to your FD, it works well with MM mode and if you use reload EX first then switch to MM mode, you can do even more damage compared to if you only used either of them separately ( for those 4 seconds since you can not reload while in MM mode but the buff remains if you used it before entering MM mode).
Secondly lets talk about mp consumption.
Ya lol…. lets just say that SS probably has the highest mp consumption in the game atm lol. Reload consumes %4.1 of you base mp per use and splash take about %5 of your base mp per use. But since those two skills will be where your main damage rotation comes from, it can cause you to run out of mp pretty fast. And since vigor was removed with 80 cap, it makes mp a continuously large concern for most SS post revamp. Unless you have at least 200k mp or someone who can use Meditate in the party, you’ll find your mp draining fast ( and this is defiantly not something you want in Volcano Nest where apparently the boss has 800 mill hp lol…)
Thirdly lets talk about Splash EX.
It is broken. Even more so in party play IF you can spam 5 or more straight. Main problem with it though is that you NEED to be up close to the target to get full hits in just like a shot gun. And since it consumes only 1 bullet compared to the other SS skills that use 2 bullets per use, it becomes your main skill to use for your bullets compared to Mine Thrower EX or Chemical Missile EX due to much much MUCH higher damage potential and less bullet consumption. Tech it. Crest it. Love it. Your life will become all about Reload, Splash and Massacre. Also as a little added note. Just like MM Cannon Tower EX, if you spam left click on your mouse while clicking your key for splash ( in my case key 3) it will increase the action speed of the skill allowing you to spam the bullets faster compared to not spamming left mouse click.
And lastly lets talk about Chemical Missle EX.
It sucks. Not even joking here. Yes it got a nice damage boost, but for 2 bullets, the damage is not worth it when you can just use Splash instead ( which will most defiantly out damage CM EX for 2 bullets). Also the debuff it got is only for enemies DEFENCE like Ravens Appluase EX or Punishment Ex and does not increase damage dealt like something like Force Users Mirror or SM’s Luring Slice. It pretty much means that you are using 2 bullets to deal a minor %4 or so extra damage for 10 seconds when you can out damage that minor boost significantly with 2 extra rounds of Splash EX.
Ice Shooting Star Skill Build
And before people ask about the build for a Ice Shooting Star, i’ll leave it here for now before moving onto the main topic:
Side note: had a lot of spare sp after getting the main skills taken care of. But feel free to move sp around to suit your own playstyle
Wearing Techs for mecha duck ( cash wep bonus sadly…..) and splash
Pros and Cons
Now to the main topic, which is better?
Which is better goes back to the question of high burst damage vs high consistent dps. This is reflected by both SS and GM post revamp where SS is clearly high burst and GM is clearly high consistent DPS.
The main cons of each are very clear.
Cons for Gear Master:
1- A lot of our damage comes from our towers. If our towers are unable to function properly for what ever reason, we lose a lot of our dps like that. If they die to anything ( like party mechanics or something like black dragons side breath), then there goes a lot of our damage for 15 seconds or so.
2- No real high burst damage. Other than Big Mecha Bomber EX, most of our skills aren’t able to deal HUGE amounts of damage in a short time span ( like majesties switch gravity EX for example). This can hinder our damage output in an environment where the enemy does not give you much time to set up ( such as black dragon phase 4 and 5 where he can spam mechanic after mechanic straight).
3- Turrets are not affected by damage duplication effects such as crow or dancers elf dance which can result in lose in total dps.
Cons for Shooting Stars:
1-VERY HIGH dependency on reload => Spam Splash. Other than splash and Super Ball EX ( which is op), we don’t really have any other skills that can deal good damage for us ( maybe if you are willing to throw a cannon tower for some additional damage but up to you on that much). Your life pretty much becomes all about reload. Clicking it every time it comes off cd so that when a burst opening comes, you can burn an enemies health with spam splash.
2- Need to stay close to the target most of the time so that you can connect your Splash EX’s full bullets. If a boss is mobile, you might miss some damage if he moves away from you.
3- Extremely high mp consumption making it not the idle class to solo content with unless heavily geared else you will run out of mp before the target is dead in a solo environment lol…
4- Rotation under FF for Shooting Star is…weird… It’s pretty much spam reload reload reload reload ect then splash splash splash splash splash and maybe throw in a superball while you’re at it. Not really a con but…it’s wierd lol. Gonna take a bit of getting used to.
Now if we look at the main pro’s of each.
Pro’s for Shooting Star.
1- Can easily have one of the highest burst damage in the game compared to every other class in a party or solo situation. The only problem is the time taken to reload and the setup needed but once you get that burst out there, it will push your contribution to one of the top in the party.
2- Mostly unaffected by consistent enemy mechanics and since their damage is not reliant on summons and reload can not be buff cleared, they can deal damage without having to worry about if a target will use a mechanic that will affect most of their dps ( such as GM’s turrets being removed from something like black dragons side breath).
3- Since Reload EX’s buff is a direct additive to your FD, if you’re in something like a dark party, and you have party buffs that put you to the max 2x cap ( from things like meditate, blessing of strikes, ect), you will be able to do a further %30 extra damage ontop of the gain you get from from the dark % buffs (and even more if we consider MM mode) compared to the other dark converted classes in the party.
Pro’s of Gear Master.
1- One of the highest consistent dps class in the game atm. Before the revamp, towers died to a lot of things ( such as stomps and all) but post the revamp, they don’t die so easily as before except for a couple of boss attacks ( such as black dragons breath, fel guardains 270 degree black vine attack, fel guardains triple/5x stomp, ect). Things like stomps don’t even scratch them. So given you are experienced and know where to put your towers, they can be quite a powerful source of consistent dps.
2- Towers can be double buffed. So if you have a light fury using meditate while you have your turrets near him, they also will get the %50 damage increase.
3- MM cannon tower and MM Chainsaw tower are freaking broken. MM cannon tower has no cd, high range and can be spammed if you spam left click while clicking MM cannon towers button meaning that if you have lvl 16 MM cannon tower, you can litterly deal about %1k every 0.4 sec to a target. In 10 seconds thats about %20k dealt quite easily. This is something that a SS can’t abuse unfortunately cause they can not use reload during MM mode meaning they need to stay out of MM mode so that they can load up their bullets to burst. And as far as Chain Saw MM mode, if you use it while standing next to a target, it deals quite a lot of additional damage that can provide a scary amount of damage every 6 seconds.
4- GM burst under FF is scary lol… You have 3 Chainsaw towers dealing 2.5k%+ per hit EACH as well as you using MM Chainsaw tower which will have it’s cd reduced by a lot ( it becomes about 1 sec cd iirc) so you as well will be dealing further damage with your turrets during that 10-15 second window.
5- Does not have a high mp consumption such as SS so soloing on her is much more easier. Added the fact that your ducks can be used as semi tanks to grab agro ( from mecha shock ex) makes her one of the best classes for soloing content.
Overall those are just the main cons and pro’s i’ve seen from playing as both in 1, 4 6 and 8 man parties.
If we ask which is better? For most of the content so far that we have available to us, i’d honestly have to say GM is better than Shooting Star for now based of what i’ve experienced, tested and researched as both. Why do i say this?
Although burst damage is defiantly more favourable than consistent dps in general, it is only really applicable to a couple of situations such as black dragon phase 4 and 5. When the SS is not bursting, she requires some time to setup. During that setup, an equally geared GM can squeeze some more damage that can, in the long run, overide the contribution that a SS can provide in the overall nest/raid. And this has been proven before with cdn’s dps meter where the GM contributed slightly more damage than the SS in raid and nest setting with similar party setups and relatively equal gear.
Additionally, in a party situation, anything a Shooting Star gets, a GM gets more and better off due to double buffing of towers. Shooting star getting %50 damage increase from Meditate? So is GM and her turrets. Shooting star getting scar makers damage increase? So is GM and her turrets. ect. Let’s not forget the fact that if a GM uses Chain Saw tower and then goes straight into MM mode, it buffs the Chain Saw tower to deal %30 extra damage on top of any other buffs the party is giving. The only thing that SS and GM both get realitivly equally are buffs from damage duplication effect ( i.e crow, raid, dance 2). If the team is coordinated, then the SS will be able to take full use of damage duplication effect during her burst. If not, a GM gets it just as easily ( even though turrets are not affected by them) if she enters MM mode and uses MM chainsaw tower or MM cannon tower.
Both suffer from mobile boss situations ( unlike what people believe lol). Yes a GM loses a lot of her damage if the boss runs away from her turret, but the same issue applies to a shooting star ( although not to the same degree) if he runs away while she is spamming splash and loses some of her damage due to bullets missing which she will need to spend 3 or less seconds reloading to make up. But in both situations this can be problem can be dealt with through proper experience ( such as knowing when and where is the best time and place to put all your turrets such as fel guardains 3x ). That’s exactly why i used Guardian Nest as the comparison nest for the two ( which is the nest most people relate to the whole “mobile boss issue”).
In the end though, it all comes down to a persons own preference of burst vs consistent dps. Through my experience i’ve seen which is better in my own opinion and understanding. But to someone else they might see SS being better or GM being better and so forth. It is very subjective and comes down to your own experience with both classes. For now imma just play around with Shooting Star till Volcano Nest comes around then most likely will go back to GM ( I love the whole one man army thing lol <3)