Content Type: Gaming Guides
When it comes to encounters with predators, we really only have the following options to settle them: Avoid the conflict entirely, take the predator down from afar, sneak in, or taunt it for a close confrontation.
Are you an in-your-face kind of a prospector? Do you find that decisive ranged weaponry often requires too much tech development? Then be assured that with the right talents, a prospector can develop impressive close combat power, very quickly. This guide will suggest some key and optional talents to build your close-combat commando.
Best Melee Talents
There are two primary melee weapon families: spears and knives. However, we found that spears cannot match the DPS of a knife’s rapid slashes to a weak point. So, in this build we will focus on the [Combat — Blades] tree instead. Indeed, you will find that every regular predator and most bosses on Icarus can be handled readily with a knife, some mid-tier armor, and a portable defensive structure.
This build includes 21 Talent Points for key Blades talents, including a master ability. The optional talents section that follows will further support the close-combat playing style, increasing the point total to a maximum of 29 Talent Points. Not all 17 Talent Points are needed to get all the perks. It takes only 13 Talent Points to acquire the stunning perk “Stay Right There,” a Rank 4 skill.
Note that the [brackets] indicate the Tree — Tab that the listed talent is found in.
- Running With Knives [Combat — Blades]: 3 points
- +2/5/10% movement speed with a knife equipped. Your knife is always out anyway… you might as well get a benefit from it. This talent also helps when kiting a predator to open ground or a defensive structure.
- Reinforced Blades [Combat — Blades]: 1 point
- +25% maximum durability of crafted knives. With how frequently you will be using your blades you want them to last. Stacking the effect with Hardy Blade from the optional talents you could get infomercial-level toughness.
- Swift Stab [Combat — Blades]: 3 points
- +5/10/15% melee attack speed with knives. Important for maxing out knife DPS, as well as maximizing the number of chances to activate special skills.
- Heavy Hand [Combat — Blades]: 3 points
- +5/10/15% melee attack damage with knives. This is the other talent to max out knife DPS. If you put more points into Deadly Stab, then Heavy Hand becomes even more valuable.
- Deadly Stab [Combat — Blades]: 3 points
- +2/5/10% critical damage with knives. Trying to make every slash hit a weak point is important for close combat. Since hitting a weak point causes 4x the melee damage, the Deadly Stab bonus compounds for an even greater damage bonus.
- That Was Quick [Combat — Blades]: 1 point
- +5/10/20% chance to instantly skin creatures with a killing blow. There is no practical use for this skill, but it is entertaining! Dependencies force us to invest one point in this talent on the way to better skills.
- Silent Blade [Combat — Blades]: 3 points
- +4/8/12% perceived threat while in stealth with a knife equipped. Whether sneaking to avoid a predator or to get a critical sneak attack, maximizing stealth is very useful. These percentages are significant, and you will notice the difference.
- Stay Right There [Combat — Blades]: 1 points
- 10% change to immobilize target per melee knife hit. This is where Swift Stab pays off, giving you an extra chance to stun your target about once a second. It also works on bosses (tested in the beta) if you can attack from safety.
While the key perks focus on melee damage, the optional section below with 9 Talent Points helps prospectors safely execute even more dangerous and extended close encounters.
- Deft Hands [Combat — Blades]: 1 point
- +10% aim speed with knives. Unfortunately, with the current Blades Tree layout, you need this talent to unlock 1000 Cuts, a much more useful perk for this build. As far as this one goes, it’s all windup, no pitch.
- 1000 Cuts [Combat — Blades]: 3 points
- -10/15/20% stamina cost for knife actions. It can take well over 10 slashes to take down high-HP enemies like polar bears and bosses, especially if not all of the hits are targeting weak points. Reducing the stamina cost helps you add more slashes and maneuvers before you need a rest.
- Hardy Blade [Combat — Blades]: 3 point
- -5/10/15% durability loss from knife attacks. On extended missions to remote and dangerous regions, you will wear down even the metal knives. Increased durability means you don’t need to carry a spare, opening up inventory slots for more important cargo.
- Discount Blades I and Discount Blades II [Combat — Blades]: 1 point each
- -25%/-25% resource cost of crafted knives. When you go beyond the Iron Knife, things get costly. If you keep crafting high-tier knives for your close combat character for various missions this will save you a lot of resources, and even more so if you are crafting spares for your teammates.
- Stone Hauling [Construction — Building]: 3 points
- -10/20/40% carry weight of stone buildables. By dragging around some stone walls and floors, you can construct a portable pillbox near a target. A mid-tier knife will carve up a polar bear before it gets through 1/3 of the of a stone doorway’s 2500 HP.
We hope this ICARUS build was helpful, and we’re happy to read your questions and comments! Please leave them below, and then enjoy getting up-close-and-personal with the apex predators on Icarus.