Note that the GM is *absolutely supposed* to do one of those three things. WBL is a guideline, but its a guideline for the GM: "If this PC does not have around the WBL, then you are not giving them enough loot". 'Because someone blew up their expensive armor' is not a valid reason for ignoring WBL.
In starfinder this isn't true. Its VERY possible for a character to frivolously spend their way to well under WBL. The Dms responsible for income, not wealth. In pathfinder one lead almost invariably to the other but in starfinder not so much..
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If the GM applies the loot guidelines, WBL should work out fine. The guidelines result in about 50% more loot than necessary to accumulate your WBL. So a certain amount of waste is assumed. Waste such as using consumables, replacing low level gear with higher and selling back the low-level gear for only 10%, and yeah, losing some gear due to damage or theft.
If your expensive armor gets sundered, that's going to set you back a bit, but with normal loot, it should take only 2 levels or so for things to be back to normal.
As piercing weapons, the syringe stick (basic) and needler estoc (advanced) make excellent bayonet options using the bayonet bracket from Armory. At higher levels the needler estoc has enough damage that I think even attacking KAC it probably beats the DPR of energy options handily.
While this comment was a while ago...
Has anyone actually used the Estoc? Like it looks awesome.. but it feels very antithesis to most of biohacking stuff. It feels like it should be Melee+Handgun style. Because Biohackers don't really have the tools to melee (or at least I don't feel like they do).
Using the Syringe Stick is a bit doable because it has Operative. But Estoc is STR only ya?
So I haven't figured out a way to actually use that one meaningfully. I'd like to cause its considerably cooler visually than the Stick. The stick I can't really feel like using "in combat" but rather "in surprise" or for faking medical stuff. Like Doctor from Star Trek Voyager
I did use a melee and shuriken biohacker in the playtest, and it worked fine. I didn't see any changes in the published version that would make it stop working, especially since bio hacker is so front loaded that it is as easy to multiclass with as soldier.
Ah, any advise? I didn't think about shuriken for ranged! I don't even know the rules for throwing.. str based? I need to look that in. I just know it is for grenades so probably is for shuriken too.
Hum. I guess the 'auto hit" on allies within the Kit range would work for shuriken too right?
I wonder if I could finagle a version that could pull the Sword Gun version off...
maybe the Estoc+the hand held acid injection one for EAC targeting? though hard to load injectables that way so Shuriken are probably a better idea.
Weirdly really want to figure out a usable REvolver (nightarch) + Estoc biohacker somehow. but crossing streams isn't that useful. Could use the revolver and Quick draw/stow as a team mate buffer maybe.. though shurikens more usful.
I just did a test build for a combo Soldier 3/Shield Solarian 2 with max Charisma and a starting 13 in Strength (so you can get Power Armor prof at 5 and use that for Strength). At level 5 I come up with 25 average (min 21/max 29) damage, assuming a level 5 crystal and maxing Charisma and taking melee striker and photon mode. A power-larian (solar weapon + power armor prof) at the same level is looking at 21 average damage.
It looks to be pretty weak before that, but if you can GM-Baby your way through the lower levels, or are playing a game that starts at level 5 or higher, it might just work out.
I always have a need for a chronicle repository -- GM Babies are how most of my characters start. Can you go over your build for this? Is it intended to be an even mix, or just a dip for the Shield Solarian?
You probably wouldn't want to go even split with that (though it would still be ok, just not exceptional), but you'd be fine with either class being a limited dip.
If you're only taking 3 levels of soldier, you can take Ascetic Warrior. Now you'll be adding an extra half of your strength mod and 1.5xlevel specialization on your solar shield. You then have enough solarian progression left over for things like plasma sheathe to be worthwhile.
If you're only taking 2 levels of solarian, the 2nd level was probably just for stellar rush (or plama sheathe that serves mainly as a damage type changing option, rather than a big damage boost). 1 level of solarian gets you a solar shield, and therefore the ability to add crystals to your unarmed attacks, which, when combined with IUS and 1.5xlevel specialization, will only barely lag the damage of a fully progressed solar weapon (though the shield actually beats the weapon at some earlier levels).
Whichever class you continue with can be built in a very standard melee manner from there.