From playtesting biohackers at all levels.. I actually agree with this. Personally buffing is the weakest thing they can do in the game. Biohackers are fully capable debuffers who have higher odds of hitting their enemies than their allies. Not only that but Biohhackers are capable of considerable amount of damage over the course of a fight and this is especially true in a "Boss" fight if they want that "Boss dead." Between Super Serum (only at level 20), heart stopper, and bleeding injection they don't even need a long arm to do damage.
"Dr." Cupi wrote:
When I playtested, the only ally I had any problems hitting was an AC maxed Vanguard. I still hit on a 13+ under the assumption that I didn't get the flat-footed benefit. I think that many of the critiques are armchair theorists and not people actually playing.
Bonuses to hit for biohacker, especially early on, usually provide really good chances to hit on allies but eventually AC keeps going up while your bonuses to hit don't scale anywhere near as effectively. This means as you approach higher levels the odds of you hitting your allies becomes less and less. Even in your scenario, while it is a vanguard, you have less than a 50% chance to hit the vanguard. Flat Footed provides a -2 to AC so effectively you are hitting at a +11.
It is only going to be more difficult from there. I played a game where we went from 1-20 and our players had anywhere between 37-42 AC by the end. This isn't armchair theory but actual gameplay and I can tell you that unless you take the theorem to increase your attack by +3 and have at least a +8 from your dex you aren't going to be reliably hitting your allies.
You're probably better off focusing more on debuffing than ranged buffs. Now, of course, you could have an injection glove as your off hand to provide battlefield buffs in melee since it doesn't require a roll to hit and the ranged buffs only for emergencies but I don't think it's viable long term as a primary gameplay strategy.
Not attacking you but I have the same concerns based on a campaign that actually reached the highest level range. :)
P.S. That all being said Biohackers are fine debuffers and can really put down the hurt on an enemy. This is probably their strongest suit so it might be intentional for them to be less reliable at ranged buffs.
To be quite honest as the class is written right now I would make the argument that a melee biohacker is superior to a ranged biohacker. Especially with the difficulty hitting your allies as the AC situation scales at higher character levels.
Dragonchess Player wrote:
If he is talking about alternative to soldier and not necessarily better I'd also recommend a drone Mechanic in this regard. In terms of raw damage it can beat out the Exocortex Mechanic especially if the party has an Envoy.
Level 20 Stealth Drone with 15 BAB +5 dex bonus is 20. Weapon focus 22. Coordinated assault +2 for +24. With an energy longarm can hit 35 AC on an 11. Flat footed enemy is hit on a 9. Can reduce that number to 8 if you're using a hover drone. I noticed Drone Mechanics are usually left out of equations and are underestimated. Only using level 20 data to show that a drone scales pretty well.
It's no soldier but I think in terms of range damage might be the second highest DPR. I know people did calculations early on but many of those only gave +1 to coordinated shot rather than +2 (which it turns into at 17) and didn't factor in things like flat footed AC or Party Buffs. Have, say, an Envoy with Get 'em and you can comfortably full attack with the drone.
Only responded the way I did early on because he asked for better than soldier and right now clarifying what I meant on the Drone. You'll also have the advantage of having plenty of other things to do that don't include combat.
Now as Dragonchess pointed out:
Exocortex is amazing if you want to boost your party damage and not rely on full attacks. In terms of single target damage you can do some pretty nifty damage with a heavy weapon and the overcharge tricks.
His technomancer build seems pretty amazing for AOE damage. Not that familiar with technomancer but it makes me want to try that out.
P.S. I love how helpful this community is and without the bickering other RPG forums has back and forth. :)
Don Hastily wrote:
I've had groups like that and I'm like that myself. I usually see death as a finality. Gives more weight to character death. Especially in Starfinder where it's very hard to die to begin with.
I was wondering what class would be the best to optimize damage with long-range weapons. I know that the Soldier's gear boosts can increase damage, but is there any other build that would be better?
Better? No, that I'm aware of. Soldier is going to be king of long range damage. If you asked about melee I would have said Solarion but to be fair I don't have any experience with long range Solarions. A drone Mechanic can do considerable amounts of damage and rival a soldier but only at the very early levels then that gap closes quickly.
Don Hastily wrote:
This is very thematic but I think there might be an issue. I know some players who would probably rather stay dead than play an alternate reality version of themselves under the grounds "Then it isn't really my character and my real character is really dead." Mechanically it won't matter but from an RP perspective it does. On the other hand this could lead to some interesting development where a person has an excuse to RP the character slightly differently. After all.. it isn't really his/her original character.
I get that their chance to hit their allies shouldn't be 100% but as someone who has experienced the level 20 range (we had a campaign that stretched from level 1-20 I see an issue to properly hit their allies in combat at the higher levels. While most campaigns never make it there a few do and it'd be nice to address this issue.
So correct me if I'm wrong but we have a theorem that gives +3 chance to hit allies, they have a +2 from using injection weapons that stacks with + 2 from weapon focus and a BAB of 15. You also have allies being flat flooted for another essential +2. This adds up to +9. So 24. Plus 8 dex if fully optimized takes your chance to hit an ally to 32. This means we hit an AC of 42 on a 10 and AC 40 on an 8. Anything higher (which is possible) and we have less than a 50% chance to hit.
This is specializing entirely on hitting our allies and going full optimization to do so. Is there something I am missing? Because according to this math (which might be wrong I admit) it looks like not only is the theorem required for party support but so does full optimization. Ally AC is always higher than enemy AC and enemy hit chance is higher than party hit chance.
At level 20 our party had between 37-42 AC but we saw ways to push that a bit higher.
Can Cybernetic Bridge allow a Drone to take a Personal Upgrade to boost one of it's stats? I'm assuming not because it specifically states you must select an augmentation that is in one of these categories arm, brain, ears, eyes, hand, legs, or throat and I believe Personal Upgrade isn't any of them but it's own special category. Is this correct?