Ive enjoyed using the Skeleton Mortarman’s ability Mortar Combat on my Brim Smith, which does 40-60% of the attack damage to all, instead of 100% on one target. Now, as I was creating my nether, I decided I wanted to try and make it a speed based damage dealer with this ability.
I was lucky enough that my 28-10 pure topaz egg even turned out to be a nether demon (used up a demon dust though). So today I thought I would see what I could make this badass do.
Now, my impression of the ability Mortar Combat was that it checks what your attack would have dealt in damage, but I realized a little too late that this does not include any buffs to increased damage, only to stats (as opposed to how minions and splash work). It only does base damage to all enemies since it seems that all bonuses are only included when an attack lands on a target. This now leaves my “not so badass anymore” Skeleton Mortarman with very limited amount of damage increasing options. (the only damage increase I have seen do anything with this skill is when critical procs)
So are there any hope of getting some use out of this creature? The only thing I can see him being useful for is getting off a Crawl Through Knives early on, and just go with one extra party buffing ability. Other than that I can see no way I can make this creature do any sort of damage at all. I know it bypasses certain defences, but with 0 damage that wont help much in my case.
On the skill itself, is it competitive with splash (which you can get as a buff from another creature)? I ask since it does not include increased damage bonuses, in addition to occupying an ability slot that could have been used to increase damage further. The only abilities that bring anything to this are the ones that increases your attack stat.
Quick illustration comparing the aoe effect of SoTW with splash and the mortar combat ability:
Mortar Combat: 0.5 * base
Splash + SoTW: base * (1 + 2.4) * 0.25 = 0.85 * base
The difference only increases if you add more abilities since nothing boosts the damage from mortar combat, in addition to the one making use of splash dealing 4 times the aoe damage on a single target.
What a total failure.
Better do more testing next time I guess, and make it a Skeleton Triggerman or something instead…