Jumping back in; SA questions.

#1eds41591Posted 10/22/2013 7:37:21 PM
So I played a while ago, when the game first came out. I made the dumb mistake of naming the character after a lady friend. Aside from the obvious problems, I also wouldn't know where to pick up if I started playing the character again, so I'm going to start over.

I tried hammers (which are fun, but I want something new), dual swords (which lacked the oomph I wanted in a weapon) and long swords (which I MAY give another go) but I really want to try the Switch Axe, mostly because it looks cool.

That said, is there anything in particular I should know about it? I know DS was supposed to dart in and out to deal quick strikes, and the Hammer users were supposed to stun the monster with blows to the head, but what would you say is the SA users' primary goal in a fight?
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PSN: owa415 Main: Sonorith Frithos - Male Lalafel
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#2RoxxtarPosted 10/22/2013 8:18:46 PM
The quickest answer is that the SA's primary goal in any fight is DPS. It gets a lot more in-depth of course, for example in many groups you will be commissioned with tail cutting, but really the SA is just meant to dish out huge amounts of damage. This is an amazing weapon to solo with, you can solo everything in the game quite easily with good times once you've mastered using it.

A few things to note:

- Don't bother with any SA that doesn't have a power phial (90% of the worthwhile ones are all power).
- Stay in sword mode as much as you can because of higher damage, axe mode is for utility purposes (like reaching Jho's tail).
- Get used to the side-step dodge, it will save your life a million times and you can dodge and keep attacking immediately.
- Discharging your phial deals CRAZY damage, but is risky. Do it only when you have ample time and won't hit teammates.
- In sword mode you can dodge towards a monster and do an immediate upwards slash (very fast) and go right into a combo.
- In axe mode you can do the forward thrust (stick forward + X), then hit R to switch directly into sword mode combo.
- You can unsheathe directly into sword mode by holding R and pressing X and A simultaneously.
- In axe mode you can do an instant upswing by pressing X and A simultaneously, good for hitting high tails or hovering monsters.
- In terms of specific weapons, start working towards Mizar's as soon as you can, it's arguably the best overall weapon in the entire game.
#3DeadlySanityPosted 10/22/2013 8:37:09 PM
Roxxtar probably covered some/most of this, but I already wrote it for someone else so I'm going to post it here too! :p

DeadlySanity posted...
Howatizer posted...
There is something to that SA though, the range and going ape with the sword when the opportunity arises. I also enjoy the swords ability to ignore bouncing quite a bit, allows me to get away with stuff I couldn't with other weapons.

SA isn't too hard to learn, but there are tons of different play styles for it. My personal favorite and recommendation is focus HIGHLY on in-fighting and sword mode.
in-fighting - staying right on top (or inside) of the enemy for the entire fight so there's never a point where you aren't doing damage. Usually requires evasion+1 so you can roll THROUGH (not away from) attacks then continue to attack right out of said roll / side-step.
sword mode - Don't use the axe. Use the sword. R+X to unsheath into Sword Mode. Use only the Up-Down slashes (A-button). When you're 1-2 attacks away from running out, do a sideslash (X-button), then press R to attack into Axe mode, then reload, then forward stab with the Axe (analog stick + X), then press R to attack into Sword mode, repeat. Also, note that if you're holding forward when you do the downward slash in Sword mode you'll inch forward. This is great for keeping pressure on the monster as it moves around and you're side-stepping through attacks.
Personally, I swear by evade distance which allows you roll up to the monster if it's a moderate distance so you don't have to sheath -> sprint -> unsheath. Plus the SA can attack right out of rolls so there's no delay.


If you follow this / what Roxxtar posted and get plenty of practice, you'll be a pro in no time.

The Switch Axe is easily my favorite weapon and probably my best weapon. I like to think I know every in and out to the mechanics of it and love to talk about it so feel free to throw me a PM or post if you have any questions at all. ^_^

Happy hunting!
#4DeadlySanityPosted 10/22/2013 9:13:09 PM
Roxxtar posted...
- Discharging your phial deals CRAZY damage, but is risky. Do it only when you have ample time and won't hit teammates.


I do have to disagree with this however. While it does do moderate damage, it also takes quite a bit of time and really doesn't hold up against the up-down sword combo. Some calculations below:

From start to finish the Elemental Discharge takes ~7 seconds.
Mizar's on a Great Baggi's head will do the following:
88 dmg for the stab + 7 * 40.7 for the discharge combo + 252.4 for the discharge finisher = 625.3 damage over 7 seconds

From start to finish one Up-Down Slash takes ~2 seconds.
Mizar's on Great Baggi's head will do the following:
100.9 for the overhead slash + 88 for the rising slash = 188.9 damage over 2 seconds

188.9 * 3.5 = 661.15 damage over 7 seconds, ~36 more damage than the discharge. Negligible? Perhaps. But considering the following:
The discharge uses half of your vial! This will force you to reload immediately after discharging taking another 3 seconds. In reality you're looking at ~10 seconds for a full discharge + reload to deal 625.3 damage, when you could've done the up-down combo for 10 seconds and deal 944.5, that's over 50% more damage per second!!



*small note, in MHtri the elemental discharge's combo hit 6 times, but I heard it does 7 in MH3U. Whether or not this is true, idk, I haven't bothered to test it. I used 7 to give the elemental discharge the best chance when in reality it might be doing even less damage than I listed.*
#5DeadlySanityPosted 10/22/2013 9:37:08 PM
Also note, if you do a discharge finisher prematurely (you can do so by holding down during the discharge combo) you'll only do 62.25% of the discharge finisher damage. This is not an effective use of vial! If you really insist on using the elemental discharge make sure you have time to connect with every hit. As shown above, the full discharge finisher is the bulk of the damage.
#6RoxxtarPosted 10/22/2013 10:30:44 PM
Very true, I totally agree. The math definitely tells us just to sword combo and forget the rest.

However, especially when it comes to the SA we really have to consider the "fun factor". If I don't go BOOM at least once per battle it's just not as fun, and fun is my main reason for playing. 36 less damage is definitely a worthy sacrifice for the occasional blast, especially when your discharge finisher lands the final blow of the fight... I love when that happens.

There's also so many other factors that come into play that makes it almost impossible to pinpoint just how much better sword combo is than discharge. For example, a reload wasn't factored into that 10 second equation for the sword combo, but the reload is going to be necessary when you run out of juice. So essentially if you do the same calculation over a longer period of time, the damage gap begins to close. At around 40 minutes the discharge method actually eclipses the sword combo in overall damage, but that is completely redundant since you'll never get the opportunity to complete discharges over and over again consistently for 40 minutes, or for even 2 minutes for that matter since you need to wait for the right openings. Plus I don't think I've ever had a 40+ minute battle in this game. So sword combo definitely still wins, just food for thought though.

Another factor is the discharge finisher's area of effect. I have no idea how wide it is but from my experience it can hit and stagger a monster even if it blows up a meter or so away from their head. So along those lines it would make sense that the finisher's damage could possibly be double/triple the actual damage if the area of effect includes multiple weak spots (such at the blast hitting both of peco's wings as well as the beak). I don't have any factual proof that the blast stacks like that, but I definitely have broken multiple parts from a single blast, so it appears to stack and do damage to multiple areas that are within range. Then on the other hand, the damage could be a set amount that gets divided between everything within range. Hmm.

This has all really got me wondering. I think I'll do some testing and research to figure out exactly how that blast works, and if you know anything I don't please fill me in.

BTW, the discharge definitely hits 7 times in 3U as opposed to the 6 in Tri. It was a part of Capcom's whole de-nerfing of the SA that they did in P3rd. They actually made all of the positive SA changes in that game, then decided the P3rd SA formulas were better than Tri, and used the modified version for 3U rather than going back to how it was in Tri.
#7eds41591(Topic Creator)Posted 10/22/2013 11:18:32 PM
Thanks for the advice, guys, didn't expect to receive this much. I'll definitely keep all this in mind.
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PSN: owa415 Main: Sonorith Frithos - Male Lalafel
I'll be on various servers. Let's play!
#8HowatizerPosted 10/23/2013 12:16:54 AM
I am a relatively new SA user, after maining a hammer for all my MH games and the SA I find to be quite good. I have gotten my times down on every single monster as opposed to my Hammer.

SA you want to be very aggressive and learn when to roll into attacks, infighting is they guy like the gentleman above says. You want to be under that monster landing as many attacks as possible along side cutting off the tail... something I had missed out on being a Hammer main.

I got smacked around a bit at first learning the ranges and dodge timings but I can now stay on top of a monster and focus it down hard, staggering and stunning monsters in chains. I don't even bother with the vial discharge, as soon as you get that sword out cut into that beast fast and often. Also try to use the sword at every opportunity you get.

That is my noobish advice;p But it is working extremely well for me. I sometimes have trouble on Diablos but I can put him down without a pot now.
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If you hack/mod/exploit/dupe in online games or are in support such things, you are the literal scum of gaming. Only a moron would argue otherwise.
#9DeadlySanityPosted 10/23/2013 8:26:14 AM
Roxxtar posted...
Very true, I totally agree. The math definitely tells us just to sword combo and forget the rest.

However, especially when it comes to the SA we really have to consider the "fun factor". If I don't go BOOM at least once per battle it's just not as fun, and fun is my main reason for playing. 36 less damage is definitely a worthy sacrifice for the occasional blast, especially when your discharge finisher lands the final blow of the fight... I love when that happens.


I can understand. I can't relate, but I understand what you're saying, lol. My personal idea of "fun factor" is "how efficient can I be!". But then again, I'm a very dull person. ^_^


Roxxtar posted...
There's also so many other factors that come into play that makes it almost impossible to pinpoint just how much better sword combo is than discharge. For example, a reload wasn't factored into that 10 second equation for the sword combo, but the reload is going to be necessary when you run out of juice. So essentially if you do the same calculation over a longer period of time, the damage gap begins to close. At around 40 minutes the discharge method actually eclipses the sword combo in overall damage, but that is completely redundant since you'll never get the opportunity to complete discharges over and over again consistently for 40 minutes, or for even 2 minutes for that matter since you need to wait for the right openings. Plus I don't think I've ever had a 40+ minute battle in this game. So sword combo definitely still wins, just food for thought though.


I knew I liked you. <3 This thought crossed my mind while I was writing everything, but I didn't bother to address it for two reasons:
1. I'm much too lazy right at the moment to do more experimenting on how long the up-down combo lasts with different size bars.
2. The point I was trying to make was that the discharge forces you to reload because it puts you into Axe mode without enough juice to switch back. Even if you went through half a vial hacking and slashing you can continue until you're 100% out or stop to reload at any point below halfway. While this may seem like a useless fact because you could look at it from the side that "I'll just reload every time I got through half the bar", there's really just too many more variables to consider with timing and monster placement and behavior. For example, when a monster is going to do some sort of attack that puts him out of reach, I'll attack into Axe mode, dodge through the attack, and reload. This is especially efficient against things such as Ludroth's running + shooting attack. Just the fact that you can control when to reload with the sword can often lead to more efficient reloads as opposed to the forced reload of the discharge.
There's MUCH more I could and want to say on this^ topic alone but I'd sooner run out of available characters before I finished. :/


At around 40 minutes the discharge method actually eclipses the sword combo in overall damage

I do have to say that I respectfully disagree with this statement. I believe that under any circumstances, even if you had an infinite vial and an immobile punching bag for both techniques, the sword combo would still win in overall DPS.


Roxxtar posted...
BTW, the discharge definitely hits 7 times in 3U as opposed to the 6 in Tri. It was a part of Capcom's whole de-nerfing of the SA that they did in P3rd. They actually made all of the positive SA changes in that game, then decided the P3rd SA formulas were better than Tri, and used the modified version for 3U rather than going back to how it was in Tri.


This is very nice to know for sure. Thank you! ^_^ <3
#10CaoSlayerPosted 10/23/2013 11:57:41 AM
About axe mode, It is not that useless at people here use to say. Besides the fact that your movement is not hidered, you don't have to waste time either stopping or switching or worry about charges is that have two very good attacks: Upswing and stamina combo.

Upswing beats the sword equivalent in range and speed at the cost of some power and recovery that can be negated by sidestepping or comboing into stamina combo. It is the best attack for cutting tails with SA, period. When trying to cut tails with sword mode, you will usually find that you will take ages to move at position and swing the sword, monsters will usually move before you can target the tail.

The other is stamina combo. stamina combo have the highest dps of the switch axe from five hits AND is the fastest attack, that means that slime (Dios series) and poison (Mizarīs) will apply faster than any other attack boosting further the dps advantage, so is the top go combo if you happens to be in axe mode and the monster trips, get staggered, inside a trap or otherwise. Since it is the follow up from upswing and you can cancel its recovery with the stamina combo, it is a good tactic to upswing-swing twice and then either keep axing or dodge (you can cancel every two blows) depending what the monster does. Note that the stamina combo can stun lock some monsters. If you run out of stamina, do X A X A and you will get back some to keep mauling the monster non-stop (useful for punching bag monsters like Jhen).

About skills I really love evade distance of the switch axe, evade distance makes your evade longer in the sense that you will move a 50% faster since the rolling time is still the same. This means that rolling forward in sword mode is faster than walking with the weapon shealthed so you eliminate the second backdraw of sword mode, so if the monster gets away, you can roll once or twice and keep attacking without having to put your sword down or position you in a blind side of the monster faster to keep attacking safely.


So, don't limit yourself to get into sword mode and spam the same attack, if you have the chance and are on axe mode, use it.
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Caoslayer, butchering english language since 6/9/2001