when i13 launches, i plan on making a MM to try out the new pain domination and i'm thinking of straying from my normal route of thugs or zombies. which do you think is better and why: mercenaries or robotics? I want one of them for the pure range and light duty aspects, plus to jus try something new. I never took either to a high lvl and was looking for some advice or thoughts. thanks!
Robots. Because robots are awesome.
...oh, wait, you probably want something more substantial, don't you? Okay then.
Robotics has kind of a slow start. The battle drones are as poor as any other minion henchman, the problem is that they don't get any AOE until the second upgrade. The lieutenants are also poor attackers, being built for support and defense with the ability to shield your other robots (base defense: 7.5% each) and, once every thirty seconds, can restore about 30% of a robot's life (with the first upgrade). Things pick up a little at 26 with the Assault Bot, however, and the flamethrower it gets from the first upgrade is going to be your only AOE until 32. However, thanks to the Protector Bots bubbling and repairing, it's going to be quite durable. At 32, the AOE craziness begins because all your flunkies get an AOE from it. The minions get a cone, the lieutenants get a grenade with poor damage but a minion-grade stun, and the boss gets two kinds of missile. The level 18 power is a full henchman heal on a one minute timer -- probably not as good as Aid Other from the Medicine pool, definitely useless to a Pain Dominator.
I haven't played Mercs myself so I can't give the same kind of detail, but they deal a more commonly resisted damage type (lethal, which I'm sure you're used to as a Thugs user), lack the pure unkillability of Robotics, but make up for it by having more damage to throw around, some of it AOE. They do have a support henchman, but it's just the one minion who's a Medic instead of Soldier, rather than two full time support dudes like Robotics get. Unlike the repairing of the Protectors, however, a Medic's heal will work on anybody, including you. Handy if you're a Tankermind. The level 18 power for Mercenaries is actually rather useful, in that it's like Invincibility's Unstoppable on one of your mercs -- which includes the tremendous recharge and the crash when it wears off, but you can just dismiss the crashed merc and summon a new one if it's a problem.
Or, in short: Robots start slow and become unkillable, Mercenaries have more power but be ready to spend time keeping them up and fighting.
pLaY 2 kRuSh!
I have a merc/storm MM so I'd like to add to mecha's post.
-Two soldiers (decently powerful for first level minions)
-One medic (before the third upgrade the medic is identical to the soldiers but with an awesome heal)
-Two spec ops (not very good, but have an aoe disorient, a web grenade, and a powerful sniper shot)
-And the real reason you should roll a merc MM: the commando
Levels 1-17 will be very easy as a Merc, but once you have three soldiers, all two levels lower then you, you'll run into some dps problems as the one spec ops you have won't add enough dps. Levels 18-25 are pretty slow for that reason, BUT once you hit level 26... you get the commando.
The commando is ridiculously powerful. Getting the commando will basically double your dps. In addition to all the soldier attacks, he has full auto, buckshot, a flamethrower, and more.
Also, the level 32 upgrade adds considerable dps to all your troops, making you much stronger.
Bots aren't very strong overall, but they're defense juggernauts. That's fine if you solo, but in groups you'll find that bots are much worse then solo because all that def is wasted as enemies ignore them and beat on someone else.
About mercs using lethal, that's true, BUT you can slot in a Achilles' heel enhancement that lowers your opponent's resistance into a soldier and it has a chance to proc from almost every one of their attacks.
In conclusion, both are good. Bots has better def and more overall aoe, while mercs takes longer to get good but is very powerful when they do. I'd suggest you just pick whatever of the two that you like more.