DC Universe Online Gadgets Guide

DC Universe Online Gadgets Guide by Lipe82

Gadgets is a very interesting powerset with an efficient bag of tricks – and besides, it looks really cool and is fun as hell. This “guide” was made for those also interested in this awesome Powerset. Here, you should find some tips and suggestions regarding the Gadgets Controller on general, and a mini-review on each power on both trees. I will follow the powers paths to avoid confusion about requirements. If you need, you may use DCUO Source Build Calculator (http://dcuosource.com/skillplanner/) to plan while you check this guide.

This guide’s objective is to present the Gadgets powerset so players can decide which powers they want and how they work. This isnt any definitve or ultimate compedium; there are in fact other good guides out there. Tinygod’s one (http://forums.station.sony.com/dcuo…?topic_id=10847) is pretty straightforward and efficient on its purpose: displaying efficient builds using Gadgets. This one is more of a general overview of the powerset so you can make your own attempts on combinating it with Skills to fit your own playstyle, so I didn’t go too deep with number crunching and focused on practical effects instead.
So lets get this show on the road.

 Gadgets is a Control oriented set with great DPS potential as well, depending on which Role you are playing. Many powers in Gadgets set will inflict a certain ammount of damage while also incapacitating or hindering the target for a while – in DPS role, the damage will be boosted, while in Controller role, the stuns will last a bit longer (derp). It gives access to Stealth, which (while not very popular) allows some creative approaches/playstyles for both PvP and PvE. Also has access to some “pet turrets” that you can drop to deal extra damage (currently their value is arguable however), efficient buffs and great “Supercharge” dumps.

You should aim for tier gear at lv 30, which will take care of some of this for you anyways. Still, you want to know what they are about, why you want them, and how much you might invest:

  • Dominance – determines how much damage your target can sustain until it breaks a “control” effect. In practice this means “time to freely hit someone unable to do jack about it”. And remember- in controler role, your Dominance is increased by 65%. For raiding endgame content, a value around 400+ would be optimal; for PVP, dont bother (see below).
  • Vitalization – increases how much Power your group will regenerate when you use your power-regen abilities (such as the direct effect of Defibrilator, or the over-time side effect of Sticky-Bomb). You gain 350 Vitalization while in Control Role.
  • Might – increases the “yellow numbers”; as in, any damage caused by you with non-Weapon attacks (such as the damage component of Gauss Grenade).
  • Precision – improves all the damage caused by your Weapon. As a controller you will be chaining Hits to regen your Power and build Supercharge, so the more Precision, the more damage it will also cause.

For DPS Role, prioritize Might, followed by Precision. For Controller Role, balance between Vit / Might/ Precision . If you notice your team never runs out of Power in their fights, you may drop some Vit in favor for more damage-oriented stats.

Attention! In case of PVP Dominance doesn’t work against players (they can always “break free”); and since fights are quicker than boss fights, the proper use of your Sticky Bomb/Taser Pull alone should suffice to feed power, so dont bother with Vitalization either. Add Toughness to the list; the more, the merrier. It is worth it sacrificing some firepower to favor survival.
The other stats don’t really have much use for you; you arent going to soak boss damage with Health/Defense boost (thats a tank job), for example.

Despite what the title “Controller” might imply, while in Controller role your priority isnt doing “crowd control” effects, but controlling the flow of the battle with buffs and debuffs. You surely will be stunning/shutting down enemies to pick up later, and this will grant the survival of you and your group – but you have to make sure teamates are properly buffed, and enemies are properly weakened.
In PVP these things become even more noticeable. All players may break-free of your stuns – but doing so costs power. That beefy Tank might be a lot less troublesome if his healings are hindered due to your debuffs on him. On some group fights, a team may win simply because their controller did a better job with keeping Power regen up while the other’s ran dry. Finally, your role also encompasses the following rule: SCREW THE GODAMN HEALER (as Controlers have chance at extra damage when attacking then; and if they are breaking free of your stun, they aren’t healing).

Any weapon will work with any powerset so feel free to pick whatever you find cooler – but be aware of what your choices will imply. Gadgets’ powers have some really great interaction with either Ranged or Melee playstyles so its a matter of taste. More experienced players have pointed out that, for endgame content such as raids, being a Ranged Controller is generally “safer”.
The higher is your Hits count, the faster you regenerate Power and Supercharge. But note that while “fast” Weapons to allow for faster “Hit” build up, its power generation is normalized, so that shouldnt be our defining factor on choice either(thanks sinosleep007). This is very important in Raids on whichever role, since Power will equal to more skills used (either to rock the DPS… or keep everyone properly buffed while rocking DPS).
Each Weapon has an bonuses spread throughout the attacks avaliable. These bonuses wont make or break your character, but they DO help. Patches may change which bonuses are granted by which weapons, so you might wanna check your skills pane to achieve the bonuses you need. And remember: more Feats = more skillpoints.

Many Gadgets powers will cause Electrified, Frostbitten or Burning. These are called “Power Interactions”. In practice, its a set-up status that when exposed to a certain condition, will trigger an extra minor effect. Notations where made on each individual power regarding these Interactions. Also notice that these Interactions may come from different sources – if another player Electrifies your target, you can still benefit from that Electrified Interaction with your own Powers.

Every power allows the player to fill 2 roles. In Gadgets case, its either Damage or Controller. When out-of-combat, you can switch your roles by pressing “T” on the keyboard or up arrow on the controller. Now most powers have on their description a field indicating [Damage Role] and/or [Control Role]. These buffs are often shown as green icons under your power bar.
All [Damage Role] extra effects works similarly: it will buff your damage for a certain X% for the next 5 seconds OR until your Hit Counter stops building up (whatever happens last). What this means is after activating any of these powers, you have 5 seconds to chain as many weapon hits as you can – all of those hits will be affected by this damage bonus. This damage buff is displayed as a green spiky icon below your Power bar.
[Control Role] Important Extra Effects:

  • Sticky Bomb / Taser Pull:Regenerates Power over time (Top importance! Keep it up at all times!)
  • Gauss Granade:Reduces enemy’s Defenses
  • Sleep Dart / Gag Glove:Reduces enemy’s Damage output
  • Cryo-Foam / Bomb:Reduces enemy’s ability to Heal (this debuff is more important against Healers, FireTanks or players with “pocket healers” at their disposal)

And now, lets check the powers themselves.

Specializing in this tree will grant +5% Crit and +35 Power
•Taser Pull – Pulls your target to your melee range with an electrified whip, dealing damage and stunning then. Great power for melee users, as it will keep your target from running or flying away (which comes handy PvP). It also causes your target to become Electrified. This power has a fairly long range, but consider lag and positioning and don’t wait too long to use it if your targer it retreating.
Notice that you CAN use this power in melee range if things get messy and you need to stun someone. Gadgets will give you a couple of other stuns though, so ideally you wanna save this power for runners.
Note: If you ever played Mortal Kombat, you’ll want to scream “COME HERE!” every time you use this power. 

•Fear Gas – Sprays a short ranged cone of gas in front of you, stunning its target for a while – which should be the primary use for this power. It may affect more than one target if they are lined up. It has a small “casting time” and can be interrupted.
On itself it causes a small DOT (damage over time) and BurningElectrified opponents (wink wink, like the ones pulled via Taser Pull) will explode and be knocked back giving you another second to act; Frostbitten enemies may become Encased for a while, but this effect doesn’t seem to happen often enough on my personal experience.

•Gauss Granade – This awesome granade will travel a long range to its target; once it hits, it explodes in an electrical AoE, stunning and dealing decent damage to opponents on its wave. Excellet AoE for either damage or crowd control, but costy on Power, so use with care. The targets affected by it will become Electrified.

•Neural Neutralizer – This power works like a boosted version of Gauss Ganade, except that its AoE happen on the spot its cast… and has a cast timer. A long cast timer. Its purpose is dealing actually good Damage and knockbaks to a group of enemies, but in practice that will only happen if someone else is tanking the enemies for you – a group of enemies would easily interrupt it before its triggered, and would all jump at you if they aren’t dead from it.
It causes a burning DOT on Electrified targets. I know what you are thinking and no, using Gauss Granade in point-blank and Neural Neutralizer right after to kill everyone isnt as practical as it sounds. This power could be useful in Raids/Alerts/Etc if you get used to it, but its almost worthless while by yourself.

•Stealth – Allows you to walk unnoticed (will break by attacking or being attacked). Players and mobs alike will be able to see you if you get too close to their general frontal direction. While stealthed, you walk slower than normal and can’t use Movement powers. Stealth Mode grants its own loadout, so you can select which power you want on your bar while stealthed; and the following powers:

  • Cuff’Em: handcuffs the target (melee range) stunning it out of combat while the effect persists (attacking will break the handcuff, and players may attempt to breakfree). Doesn’t break stealth mode.
  • Surprise Attack: very powerful, sure-Critical melee-range attack. Breaks stealth.
  • Implosion Mine: plants a device that will trigger if a hostile target gets close to it, stunning them. Mines will be stealthed and “invisible” to hostile units; technically they can notice it, but by then its too late for them to run. Doesn’t break stealth.
  • Return to Normal: deactivates stealth mode (derp)
  • You may get the follow-up powers “Thermite Mine” and “Sleep Dart” to add to your arsenal (see below)

Stealthed characters have the option to prepare the field with mines, then lure (or Taser Pull) enemies into them, and/or put one enemy out of combat for a while, AND/OR start the fight with a big fat critical hit. You can try to save yourself from being ganked also, by running away then stealthing up. This is very satisfying when everything works out as planned (especially on PVP, you’ll cackle maniacly when someone steps on your line of mines and start exploding), but all this setup takes considerably more time than jumping at your enemy with tasers and granades and so on – so its not very popular currently. PVP-wise, it will take a lot of Power to plant enough Thermite mines in order to actually hurt someone who steps on them, mind you.
Stealth can be effective or frustrating, and it depends majorly on player’s playstyle and taste.

•Thermite Mine – As name implies, a device that will explode when close to enemy targets, blasting them with decent damage, inflicting Burning, and sending them flying. You can deploy this device multiple times (each time costs a fair share of Power though), either packed closely (for a bigger blast) or around the field (to lure enemies into it progressively). PVP-wise, it will take a lot of Power to plant enough Thermite mines in order to actually hurt someone who steps on them, mind you. Doesn’t break stealth (in fact is intended as a tool for stealth approach), and has an activation time.

•Sleep Dart – Shoots target with a dart that will put them to sleep; targets will stay out of combat until damaged, and any damage will “wake them up”. Works similarly to the stealth power “Cuff’Em”, but it is ranged instead. It also can be used from stealth without breaking it, which again seems to be its main purpose. It is useful to “shut off” mobs out of a group to work on it later, or to keep an enemy player out of the fight for a while, but since it requires/focus Stealth playstyle, it isnt a very popular power as well.

•Defibrilator – Oriented for group gameplay, this power will instantly recover a portion of your group member’s Power (not your own, however) but costs a fair portion of your own Power. For any group activity (pvp, alerts, what have you) its a very valuable power to keep everyone able to cast their heals/survival/DPS skills. It has no effect on solo gameplay (except for the “[Damage Role]” bonus, which is nearly pointless given the cost), and you can safely remove it from your Loadout bars when playing as DPS, or when playing single at all.
If you are grouped on Controller role, keeping your group “well-fed” power-wise is one of your responsabilities, so make sure you have power to cast this ability whenever needed. More about this on the next session.

•Cryo-Foam – Sprays a cone of ice that will affect enemies in close proximity. This is a kind of traditional crowd control, as it wont deal damage or keep them from attacking, but will keep them in place for its duration (Root effect). It also inflictsBurning on previously Electrified foes. Some people seem to enjoy this power a lot, as it will potentially dismantle mobs trying to lynch you, while other people find its duration and usage too limited to be of any value.

•Cryo Field – Summons a whirlwind-like aura of frost air around you. At first glance, its a personal field that will stay up for a decent while, dealing damage to anyone in contact to it.
But then comes the Interactions: affected enemies are considered Frostbitten; if Frostbitten enemies get affected again, they may be turned into a block of ice for a short while (although one could complain this effect doesn’t really happens often). Additionally, Electrified enemies will receive Burning. And Burning enemies will explode, being knocked back. In practice, you may Electrify your foe(s) (Taser, Gauss Nade, etc) then run into them to see them being repelled and damaged. This is especially useful if you can corner them in a build junction or something… which isnt really always possible, mind you.
Naturally, this power has more usefulness for melee-oriented builds in PVE. Or in PVP, to get an extra damage from those who try to melee you. The thing is, Gadgets has some measures to deal with PVP, so this isnt a power you see a lot, but has its uses.

•Bunker Buster – You call for a missile attack at your spot, generating a fairly big AoE that will keep knocking enemies back and deal massive damage to any hostile on its wake. In PVP it generates a good ammount of “[Removed for Content] hit me” if people cant leave its area (or keep stuck/stunned/pulled onto it). It has a serious weakness though – it consumes a full Supercharge to activate, so you wont be doing it very often. Therefore, if you pick Bunker Buster you might want to skip the other Supercharge moves (Asphixiation Gas/Battle Drone/Anesthetic) – this one will take long enough to activate.
It is still worth investing on it for the destruction it causes, in which case players should save it for decisive moments: when a boss is on low health, when you’re surounded and would die otherwise, or when that PVP opponent simply needs to go down right now.

•Battle Drone – Summons an automated flying cannon that will follow you; when you attack a target, it will also attack it with ranged shots/grenades until the target dies. Only costs 25% Supercharge, but many players find its damage (and resistence, as it may be attacked/destroyed) lacking. This power needs some tweaking to be more competitive (but thats true to all pets in game right now).
Some players simply need to grab some powers to fit their character concepts, and thats understandable. Just be aware that if you choose to pick Battle Drone, it will require some extra care or it ends up just a lame extra DPS.
Specializing in this tree will grant +1% Crit Chance and +35 Power
•Sticky Bomb – Very useful starting power, long ranged and overal effective. You throw a bomb that will stick to an enemy, stunning him/her briefly and then exploding, knocking them back and inflicting 3 ticks of damage. When it explodes, it will also stun AND damage those nearby the primary target as well. Its a reliable and unexpensive way to stop incoming/running enemies, crowd-control one NPC while fighting another, or stunning that PVP opponent that tries to blockspam. Note that besides what the Power’s description says, you cant actually attach it to any surface; you need a selectable target to have it working.

•Intimidation – One of the best self-buffs from Gadgets, from a DPS standpoint. Intimidation lasts for 15 seconds. While its active, each of your attacks* have a chance to trigger an extra damage (it will pop as a yellow number with the regular damage when it happens) and/or Stun your target. Since it is a “on hit” chance-based power, if you are using a fast Weapon (such as Rifles) or multiple hitting Weapon Skill (such as Bow Flurry), you get better chances to trigger these effects more often. It works with Powers and regular attacks (melee and range). Ideally, you want it active as much as possible – even as a controller, since you’ll use your weapon very often after all.
This power has awesome application in PVP. If you do a certain ammount of melee hits on a blocking character, the attacking character gets knocked down, so some players will simply stay Blocking, waiting to work on you when you fall. However, a stun effect will break a block. You see where this is going, right? If your opponent is perma-blocking, pop Intimidation and break through his defenses with a Stun from your regular attacks.
Just be aware that its activation animation keeps you from doing anything for a good second, so use it with care to not disrupt a combo or stay open under enemy fire.

•Gag Glove – A decent attack with short range (about the same range of the previous Cone Powers) that will knock your opponent back. Additionally, while in Controller Role it will debuff the targets’ damage output for a while. This may be very helpful for the Tank to soak boss damage on certain fights, and is a good extra for pvp with the knockbacks.
And yeah, it looks super stupid for everyone else not playing a Joker themed character.

•Bomb – Summons a huge bomb for you to carry, then (ideally) throw or use to smash enemies. When it explodes, it deals a small AoE knocking targets back, dealing decent damage and causing Burning. Good way to finish a single enemy or even a group of enemies with low health. You can’t really spam this power, as it takes some time to actually “hold” and throw the bomb, but other than that its a reliable spiky damage.
Too bad its a bit bugged as of the writing of this. Sometimes, casting it will cause problems such as leaving your character stuck, unable to throw it, or outright crashing the game. Possibly SOE will adress this problem… soon.
Also, thisSorry, I had to.

Sentry Turret, Supressor Turret and Warden Turret – Allows you to drop stationary turrets to attack the enemy you are attacking. You can only drop one of these at a time. These turrets are basically similar, except for the fact that each one is a bit improved above the other, and have chance to inflict one of the Interactions or effects on its targets:

  • Sentry Turret:Burning and Electrifying effects (DPS);Frostbite (Control)
  • Supressor Turret: None (DPS); Frostbite, Electrify, Stun (Control)
  • Warden Turret:Burning and Electrifying effects (DPS); Frostbite, Encasement (Control)

Maybe this guide could have used more testing with these cannons, but frankly the general opinion is that they are subpar for group gameplay. It takes time to drop them, they are immovable, they are easily destroyed by enemies and its side-effects happen unreliably. It seems to be more of an annoyance than actual threat.
As mentioned, these powers seemed lackluster in general. Player Vallis however makes a remark about Warden Turret’s CC capacity as a great life-saver for PVE while solo-leveling, due to its freezing/encasement effect, and its built-in”mini taser pull”, being able to stop as much as two enemies at a time.

Hide – Oriented for PVE group gameplay, Hide will remove you from the NPC’s aggro list for its duration. What it means in practice is enemies will ignore you until you either move or attack. This may useful on group fights when you accidentally drag too many enemies toward you, or is about to die and have an enemy targeting you. However that might just make the opposition swarm another group member instead, so you should use it with caution. Ideally, in raids/duos/alerts you should have a dedicated tank, attack with care and kill stuff fast – so this power works more as a “oh s*it” button.
Notice that this doesn’t actually puts you in Stealth mode, and most importantly, do not affect other players – enemies on PVP will be able to see and attack you just fine.
Observation for WoW fans: this power is not a Vanish, its a Feint. Enough said.

Stasis Field – Encases your enemy (roughly in Melee range) in a big rat’s ball of force-field (lolwat), rendering them unable to move, attack, or be attacked during its duration. An encased enemy becomes a world object – you may carry it, use it as a weapon or throw it at enemies. It is affected by Weaponization, improved by the Super Strenght Iconic Power.
Its a decent way to leave a target out of combat for a while, as it wont break immediatelly if something damages it (unlike Sleep Dart). And you can simply throw the encased enemy miles away before the effect fades to build distance / delay them. It will annoy people in PVP, but isnt practical at all: holding and throwing animations will leave you open to enemy fire for a while. Finally, it actually protects the target from incoming damage so communicate with your teammates before using it to prevent shielding someone’s target – or having an encased target being swarmed by damage and breaking free right on your shoulders.

Clown Box – “Traps” you in a huge green box, making you immune for a while, but rendering you unable to do anything while trapped on it. When the box takes enough damage, it will free you and explode, stunning, knocking back and dealing decent damage to enemies surrounding it. You can cause the box to explode prematurely by holding its button for 3 seconds.
It is a very effective “oh crap” button in case you are swarmed by enemies and needs to avoid certain death. It will give your group a couple seconds before they focus the mobs attacking you, and the stun will give you a chance to heal and/or attempt to escape.
Additionally it will ruin the mood of your dark/super serious/angst/anti-hero character. Or any non-clown themed toon for that matter. Sigh.

Anesthetic – A self-heal that costs 50% of your Supercharge meter. It will also make you resistant to Control effects for a short while. You can use it while you’re stunned to break free and gain the aforementioned effects. Due to its cost, you will seldom use it, but it can and will save your life a couple times…
…until you hit level 30, that is. By then, all your stats (or damage received also) outweight your Regeneration by a lot, rendering its heal x cost very unnefective. It is a great life-saving tool for solo leveling, but at endgame it loses its appeal greatly.

Asphyxiation Gas – You spread gas in all directions around you, generating a decent sized AoE. Hostile units on it will be stunned and receive some damage. It is a great tool for crowd control and/or finishing enemies, either PvE or PvP wise. This power has a short post-activation animation, but its effect will hold most enemies in place giving you time to either finish your target or run for cover.

There are a couple things that you should always keep in mind to optimize your perfomance. These tips apply to both PVE and PVP.
As a Controller:
– Always keep the Regeneration buff up! The buff affects you and any group members alive. You can verify that its up by the green lightning icon right below your Power bar. You can trigger it by using either Taser Pull or Sticky Bomb (even without a target) so make sure you do it every once in a while to keep the group’s Power constantly regenerating.
– Get used to Defibrilator’s cost and returns so your group never is Power-starved. As a general rule, if you’re above 60% Power, use it. And if a healer or tank is too low on Power, feed them via Defibrilator no matter what. In PVP you may prefer using it less so you reserve some Power for your own needs.
– Your powers wont deal a lot of damage in Control Role, so you’re better off using your Weapon for DPS and Hit build-up. That said, casting Intimidation whenever you can will add significantly to your damage output, and with the Regeneration buff it almost won’t impact your Power pool. Just do NOT make it a priority.
– Gauss Granade or Bomb are great crowd control AND damage against enemies packed together, but its costy.
– Learning how to manage your Power pool among stuns, group support and personal use is key.
(PVP Oriented) Consider using either Bomb or Cryo-Foam; both will reduce heals received by their affected targets for a while, and this sometimes is simply NEEDED to take those annoying tanks down.
(PVP Oriented) Tanks have bonuses against you; engage with care. You have bonuses against healers; don’t let them escape!

– Intimidation will add to your damage (and survival, via Stuns) nicely. Try to keep it up, but mind the small activation animation as it will leave you defenseless for a while, and interrupt any Hit chain you’re building up.
– Gauss Granade or Bomb are great crowd control AND damage against enemies packed together, just do not abuse it due their cost in Power.
– If using Neural Neutralizer, make sure you are “clear” to cast it without being interrupted, but close to as many enemies as possibles to spread havoc.
– Bunker Buster and Asphyxiation Gas are very powerful tools at your disposal, but not always avaliable. If a fight is long enough to build a full Supercharge bar, you may consider using it at beginning and then at the end; as that isnt much common, your best bet is saving it as a “finisher” – of bosses and players alike. Also remember they will control AND hurt a large group of enemies if things get really messy.

Great Tip, especially for PVP – Yentz wrote:

Activate another power as soon as you press Intimidate. Don’t do Sticky+Intimidate, do Intimidate+Sticky. Animations overwrite each other in this game(And no, this is not exploiting). I like doing Intimidate+Gag Glove for an ultra fast opener.

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6 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great guide, however the trick hide isn't feint. It's evasion.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What does a clown box look Like

  3. Dimac9 says:

    This is a really well detailed guide, and was a pleasure for me to read. I now have 2 mains, both controller roles and i love it control has so many different styles to choose from and you have showed me why they are best at what the do. Thank you for making this and i am favouriting this page for future reference!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Very nice, an informative guide for me to reference for my first character :D

  5. Anonymous says:

    very nice, it was a pleasure for a noob like to me read it and learn something:)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Good tutorial, very informative

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