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CS GO knife: a weapon or a cult?

Counter-Strike has been around for over 20 years. During this time, both the game and the weapons in it were constantly changing. Only melee...

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NASA restarts moon rocket wet dress rehearsal countdown

NASA restarted a two-day dress-rehearsal countdown Tuesday for the agency's new Space Launch System moon rocket after a series of unrelated glitches, mostly involving ground systems, blocked two earlier attempts to fully fuel the huge launcher to verify its readiness for flight.

First crew of private astronauts welcomed aboard International Space Station

A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft docked at the International Space Station on Saturday with four private astronauts, beginning a planned stay of at least eight days -- and maybe longer -- while becoming the first mission with an all-commercial crew to visit the orbiting research complex.

Latest Manus VR Gloves Promise New Levels of Finger Tracking Accuracy

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At GDC 2022 this week, VR glove creator Manus revealed its new Quantum Metagloves which the company says delivers significantly more accurate finger tracking than its prior solutions. Though priced for enterprise use, the company says it one day hopes to deliver the tech to consumers. Manus has been building motion gloves for use in […]

The post Latest Manus VR Gloves Promise New Levels of Finger Tracking Accuracy appeared first on Road to VR.

Every Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Color Released So Far

The Nintendo Switch continues to be a massive hit more than five years after its launch. It's a console that's perfect for use at home or when you're on the go. One of the cleverest elements of the Switch's design are the Joy-Con--detachable controllers that amplify the hybrid nature of this hardware. That detachable focus also gives the Switch a highly-customizable format, one that Nintendo has capitalized on over the years with special-edition console bundles and unique controller color schemes.

While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, every Joy-Con does look great when in hand. Whether it be standard gray or vibrant green, they're eye-pleasing expressions of creativity. We've gathered up every official release below, just in case you felt like taking a tour through Switch history. Some of these sets are hard to find nowadays for a number of reasons, so completing your North American isn't super straightforward. And yes, sometimes Switch owners do have to purchase new pairs of Joy-Con not because they want a new color scheme but due to the unfortunate issue of Joy-Con drift. At least Joy-Con controllers look cool, right?

Original Gray Joy-Con

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While it's easily the plainest color possible for a console that's capable of transmitting beautifully vibrant images, the gray Joy-Con still have an air of sophistication and quality to them. Nondescript and classy, it's the best shade of gray that Nintendo could have chosen when the Switch first hit the market, and five years later, they're still a handsome pair.


Original Neon Red and Blue Joy-Con

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On the other side of the fence, the original Neon Red and Blue Joy-Con simply screamed "Nintendo" as loud as they could from a nearby mountaintop. Compared to the glossy and matte black color schemes chosen by Sony and Microsoft for their controllers, these Joy-Con stood out from the pack as they blended a unique design with eye-catching colors.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Gray Joy-Con

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For those of you who wanted the gray Joy-Con with a hint of flair but didn't want it to be too flagrant, this Super Smash Bros. Ultimate controller would meet those very specific needs! A splash of 90- and 180-degree gray lines that tie into the game, the same gray aesthetic as the original Joy-Con, and a reminder that drab can be delightful were hallmarks of this design.


Pikachu and Eevee Pokemon Let's Go! Joy-Con

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The special-edition Joy-Con for Pokemon Let's Go Eevee and Pikachu were…kind of weird. With both of them attached, the end result looked like a caramel bar in your left hand and a slice of custard cake in your right hand. Still, the colors looked great and unusual, so they had some charm.


Super Mario Red Joy-Con

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How red can a Joy-Con get? Really really red as evidenced by these Super Mario-themed special-edition controllers. Dashing in their bright crimson design, this pair of peripherals were perfect for expressing your fondness for Nintendo's favorite plumber, and they stood out from a mile away with their daring design. These red Joy-Con were only available with the Mario Red and Blue edition Nintendo Switch console, which came with a matching red console, dock, and carrying case. While you can't find this console for retail price nowadays, it's not as expensive as you might expect through third-party sellers.


Neon Pink and Green Joy-Con

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You don't see a watermelon combination of pink and green too often when it comes to accessories, but this daring combo of primary colors found a perfect home with the Nintendo Switch. More neon than the set of Blade Runner, this duo made for a delightful pairing on the hybrid console.


Neon Yellow Joy-Con

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They're…yellow Joy-Cons. I honestly don't know what else I can add to that revelation, other than the fun fact painting your room in the color is great because studies have shown that it can stimulate the mind. Or make you crave a banana for some unknown reason. Science. Unfortunately, a pair of Neon Yellow Joy-Con aren't available for retail price nowadays. Though you can still get a Neon Yellow right Joy-Con paired with a different color.


Neon Blue And Yellow Joy-Cons

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They might be considered clashing colors, but there's something oddly mesmerizing about having both blue and yellow Joy-Con on a single Switch. Great for drawing attention and being visually upsetting when presented to a pedantic art school teacher.


Neon Green Joy-Con

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These aren't just Neon Green Joy-Con, they're a pair of controllers that celebrate the true star of Nintendo, Luigi. Specifically, this peripheral pairing was a Best Buy-exclusive that released close to Luigi's Mansion 3's launch. They kind of look like Gooigi, the delightful pile of goop that looks like Luigi. As you might expect, these Joy-Con aren't available to purchase at retail price any longer.


Neon Purple And Orange Joy-Cons

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Rounding out the neon collection of Joy-Con in bright purple and orange, this duo might just be the most vibrant of the lot! Plus, they're obviously Wario-approved.


Animal Crossing: New Horizons Joy-Con

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Sure, you've seen the blue and green controllers on this list already, but they sport a shade of color that's more energetic than a raccoon after it discovered sugar. The Animal Crossing controllers on the other hand are pure visual relaxation with its more muted usage of those colors, although if you want a pair, you'll need to shell out some cash for the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch bundle that they came with. Thankfully, the "limited-edition console" is still readily available at major retailers for its standard $300 list price.


Fortnite Limited Edition Joy-Con

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Functionally identical to the Neon Yellow and Blue Joy-Con, the only other extra to tie into Fortnite was an image of the battle royale's iconic party bus on the right-hand controller, which was later replaced by the face of that creepy banana fella. There was also some included DLC such as 500 VBucks and the Fleet Force bundle, but otherwise these Joy-Cons were exhibiting some big Malibu Stacy new hat energy. You can still purchase them now for slightly above retail price.


The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD Joy-Con

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Now we're talking unique! The Skyward Sword Joy-Con consists of a left controller with a serene blue finish, while the right controller has a royal purple color scheme. Each controller also has Zelda iconography present, such as Triforce and Link symbols that emphasize the Hyrulian heritage to make them stand out. You don't need to buy a brand-new console to own them either, as this pair of Joy-Con was released alongside Skyward Sword HD and sold for the regular $80 price. It's not always easy to find the Skyward Sword Joy-Con in stock, but they pop up at various retailers every few weeks or so.


NES Joy-Con

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While these controllers sported a premium price--$200 to be exact--they still deserve a spot on this list for being an incredible representation of the NES era. A much better application of the color gray that's capped off by vintage design elements and red face buttons, they're the perfect devices to use when you're reliving Nintendo's past with Switch Online games.


Monster Hunter Rise Joy-Cons

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To celebrate the launch of Monster Hunter Rise on the Switch, Nintendo released a special-edition console bundle that was pure art. The game's unique aesthetic looked like it had been carved into the Switch and its dock, while the Joy-Con controllers took the default gray base and added some exotic pizzazz to them with even more etchings and elegant lines. Much like the Mario Switch bundle, the Monster Hunter Rise special-edition console isn't available for retail price these days. You can, however, purchase the console at a premium from third-party sellers. Big Monster Hunter fans may still be interested, especially since it also comes with a digital copy of the game.

Historical pioneers brought back to life as NFTs depicting how they could look today

Pionauts, one of the most unique and groundbreaking NFT art collections, is set to launch on 28 April 2022, announced Johan Van Asperen Vervenne, the founder and visionary behind the team that created the series.

Today, Pionauts is the world's first company to create large-scale photorealistic appearances of historical pioneers, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Nefertiti, Aristotle, Cleopatra, and so many more.

"Pionauts began as an idea for an NFT collection. Most NFT collections have about six different backgrounds," Johan said. "My team used 84 different 17th and 18th-century paintings to create many of the backgrounds used."

The 150 original pioneers selected by Van Asperen Vervenne and his team mostly lived before the invention of the camera. The team behind Pionauts are artificial intelligence, 2D and 3D graphic design specialists from nine countries.

“People of all ages are fascinated by pioneers that lived before the invention of the camera,” Van Asperen Vervenne said. “Before Pionauts came to life, we only saw old paintings and could only imagine what they looked like when they were alive.”

Van Asperen Vervenne felt it was time to bring them back to life today and go beyond the “stories we read about what they accomplished and go beyond imagining what stories they would tell about themselves if they were alive today.”

With that in mind, Van Asperen Vervenne and his team brought to life “the best-known pioneers with the latest 3D and artificial intelligence (AI) technology.” Applying Deep Learning technology and months of manual retouching, a collection of 8,500 unique variations was created with modified characteristics such as age, facial features and expressions.

Voting utility

Each of these NFTs comes with voting powers that grant holders of the breath-taking digital art collectibles the right to voice how they want the Pionauts comic stories told. They also come with copyrights and many of the photorealistic pioneers' portraits are already trademarked, said Van Asperen Vervenne.

“These portrait trademarks safeguard against infringement of copyrights increasing the value of the Pionauts project,” he added. “Pionauts owns the copyrights for commercial and non-commercial use.

 Royalty income

The Pionauts team sees a positive future in collaborating in various entertainment, marketing and educational projects. Johan and his team's goal is to create more 3D models of pioneer's faces and explore collaborations with Metaverse games, brands, educational- and the movie industry.

“Our goal for Pionauts NFT holders is to share in our future success as the Pionauts brand expands. Pionauts will share 25% of its royalty income with its NFT holders that are KYC (Know Your Customers) compliant,” Johan said.

Pionauts allows all Pionaut NFT holders to exclusively co-create new storylines about breathtaking interplanetary journeys and have a voice in choosing where the story goes next, Johan said.

"The ambition of the Pionauts team is to create a series of pilots, blockbuster movies, similarly as Pixar's Toy Story franchise and the Marvel cinematic universe," Van Asperen Vervenne said. "Pionauts has some very exciting announcements in the pipeline," he said.

The Pionaut's inception

Van Asperen Vervenne one day became intrigued by musician George Aquilla Hardy's depiction of what the first US President would look like today. But Johan went further. He dove into the topic of facial recognition and researched facial reconstruction techniques for digital illustration.

After he concluded his investigation, he decided to see if he could recreate the faces of a few famous people throughout history. After forming a dedicated team of international designers, he looked at historic pioneers regarded as some of the world's greatest minds.

With the help of some of the world's best artificial intelligence (AI) experts, including the founding father of the AI Gan source code, Johan added movements to the face of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle from the image of a statue representing his likeness.

Patience paid off, and it enticed Johan and his colleagues to continue with more restorations. They chose several more famous personalities of the past, that also include Socrates, Beethoven and William Shakespeare.

After many hours of meticulous attention to detail, the talented group transformed the faces of several of the most renowned pioneers worldwide into a photorealistic likeness of them thanks to groundbreaking AI. And then the decision to make them Pionauts.

"Earth is explored by the greatest minds in history. Imagine the progress we can make if these brilliant people help us explore space?" Johan asked. "And thus, the pioneers from history became Pionauts."

Utility

Each of the 8,500 NFTs comes with great utility. They come with voting rights on comic stories with the pioneer characters, their stories, the possibility for holders to input their stories, royalties from their sales, and future movie deals from which we like each NFT holder to profit.

“The goal is that holders of any Pionauts NFT will enjoy passive income as the Pionauts brand expands,” and “This 'army' of thousands of Pionauts NFT holders will undoubtedly help signal, prevent and protect Pionauts portrait rights for the benefit of all those invested in the collection.”

The unique Pionauts NFT collection launches on 28 April 2022

www.pionauts.com         Discord: https://lnkd.in/eQktanmD         Twitter: @pionauts 

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Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands Classes: Which Class Is Best For You?

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands has arrived, and with it, Borderlands fans have their latest colorful adventure to embark on, albeit with a fantasy twist that turns grenades into spells, psychos into skeletons, and arch-nemeses into fairies and mushroom people. This makeover to Gearbox's long-standing formula also means the game's class system has been tweaked, reimagined, and often just plainly blown up in favor of the game's D&D-inspired world. Need some help picking the right class for you? Don't fret. Here's your complete guide to Wonderlands classes.

Which Wonderlands class is best?

There are six character classes in Tiny Tina's Wonderlands at launch, and though some have similarities to Borderlands classes you may recall from past games, none of them are so cleanly equivalent, so they take some getting used to. The classes are:

  • Stabbomancer
  • Graveborn
  • Spellshot
  • Spore Warden
  • Brr-Zerker
  • Clawbringer

Multiclassing explained

Before we dive into each class thoroughly, also note that once you get a few missions deep into the game, you'll be given the chance to assign your multiclass. This allows you to attach a second skill tree to your character, giving you four total Action Skills to pull from, in addition to all the added benefits you may unlock in the new skill tree. It's important to think about which classes pair well together, so we've included a section below for each class where we also recommend some seamless multiclass options.

Stabbomancer

The Stabbomancer is the first class that appears when you see the class menu, and that's no coincidence. It's the de facto solo or starter class and great for beginners or people who haven’t played Borderlands in a long time. Built to deal frequent bonus damage, playing as a Stabbomancer can almost feel like taking a co-op partner with you.

Early skill unlocks focus on melee attacks, movement speed buffs, and amplified critical hit damage. Collectively, that gives the Wonderlands Stabbomancer a swift and deadly skill set that makes dungeon-crawling on your lonesome more manageable than with other classes.

Class Feat

The Stabbomancer Class Feat is Dirty Fighting, which gives this class a higher critical hit chance than the rest. That's something that can quickly be improved upon too, thanks to some crit buffs available at the base of the skill tree.

Action Skills

Like other classes, the Stabbomancer's two starting Action Skills are built with different situations in mind. Using Ghost Blade, the Stabbomancer will unleash a massive spinning blade (made of…magic, I guess?) that does several seconds of area-of-effect damage at a rate determined by their equipped melee weapon. If you'd rather get sneaky than stabby, you should consider the Stabbomancer's other Action Skill: From The Shadows. With this, the Stabbomancer will go invisible for a few seconds, during which time all damage you deal counts as a critical hit, though a less powerful crit than you'd have when not in stealth. Still, the bonus damage plus invisibility can be the deciding factor in vanquishing a fierce pack of foes or toppling a tricky boss. You could even just use it to escape a dicey situation and get your Fatemaker out of harm's way.

Passive

The Stabbomancer's passive skills largely focus on buffing critical hit damage, critical hit chances, and the severity and longevity of status effects

How to build

When selecting your Twist of Fate, the game's starter builds, consider whether you want to make your strengths even stronger or patch up weaknesses. If you're playing solo, you should design a character background that doesn't hurt your constitution. However, the best preset in this case is the Failed Monk, which is built mainly for magic casters. The route I went was to select Raised By Elves, which gives me above average dexterity (and thus, even more crit damage) at the cost of my constitution, but then patched up that blemish by pouring my 10 free-standing extra points back into constitution and strength. In the end, this made my already impressive critical hits that much stronger without sacrificing my own health pool as a solo player.

Multiclass

When selecting my multiclass for Wonderlands, I was a few hours into the game and feeling like my gameplay wasn't distinctive enough from just another Borderlands, I was promised fantasy, but the weapons tended to feel like Borderlands guns in a witch's hat, so to speak. so I went with something that would give me a new perspective on the game's combat: Spellshot. While my build wasn't yet suited for becoming a part-time conjurer, I started pouring Hero Points into Intelligence, which increased my spell cooldowns, giving me more chances to fling magic around the battlefield.

For me, this made a world of difference. No longer was I just swapping among a sea of guns that didn't really feel at home in a fantasy game. Suddenly with multiclassing, I was firing critical hits from one hand and, well, literal fire from the other. If you're a tried-and-true Borderlands fan looking to mix it up in this spinoff, adding some magic to your repertoire makes for a well-rounded (but still quite literally sharp) Fatemaker.

Your build is up to you, but keep in mind who you'll be playing with and try to offset group weaknesses.

Graveborn

The Graveborn is an interesting class that might not be the most attractive on paper, but damn if it isn’t effective. Siphoning away enemy health through Dark Energy is the bread and butter of the Graveborn and it’s easier said than done. The key is to go all out. Fully sending your character into the heat of battle, barely keeping the balance between sacrificing your health and regaining it back, is the most effective and fun way to play Graveborn.

In my mind, the Graveborn is an excellent class for risk takers--players who don’t really want a class that's fully reliant on the spell casting cooldowns like the Spellshot, but aren’t interested in a melee brawler like the Brr-zerker. You’d think that the Graveborn is perfect for an average player that wants the best of both worlds, but the reality is that it’s probably better suited for veterans who aren’t worried about a whittling health bar, and can reliably break themselves out of a Death Save or two in the heat of the battle if they go down.

Class Feat

This floating companion will follow you around and hit enemies at range with Dark Magic, which is a new element in the game that leaches health from enemies and gives it to you. Whenever you cast a spell, your Demi-Lich will cast Hellish Blast, which chases down enemies and hits them with an area attack using the same element you just used.

Early on, the Demi-Lich is mostly just good for cracking jokes, but later you can stack certain upgrades to improve its efficacy. Some skills will even grant you more companions with specific perks increasing your own damage output based on how many companions you’ve got with you at any given time. It's messed up, but you can even use your Demi-Lich as a kind of bait where damage that would normally go to you becomes redirected to the companion’s health bar instead.

Action Skills

If you find the Graveborn to be kind of bare and dry with its abilities, Dire Sacrifice is the one action skill that looks pretty rad. Using this, you sacrifice some health to deal Dark Magic damage and leech health from enemies. The more health you sacrifice the more bonus damage you do. This skill is perfect for when you are surrounded by lots of small enemies or have a large boss down to a sliver of health and want to go in for the kill.

Conversely if you want a strong opening attack, you can use it as a starter and then quickly combine certain spells or even leeching weapons to quickly regain any health lost. Reaper of Bones is basically a game of extending your timer for as long as you can. When this is cast you get an increasing bonus to Dark Magic Damage which can heal you and extend the duration of this attack if you keep getting kills. The catch is you are constantly losing health with seemingly no end.

Once you run out of health you become invulnerable for a couple of seconds, and then come back with a small amount of health. If enemies are still alive by the time you run out of health, then GG my friend, because you are most likely going down. Combining this with health-stealing magic and guns is a must in case you deal with enemies tankier than your usual skeleton archer.

Passive Skills

Graveborn’s passive skill tree mostly focuses on leaching more health and outputting more damage to keep you alive in those full-send moments. There are some fun things that you can unlock later down the tree such as one skill that has a chance to summon a Dark Hydra, but the majority of your upgrade points will be invested into maximizing your dark magic life stealing, reducing your cooldowns, or increasing the damage output of your demon-lich companions.

How to build

When you choose your class you can pick an origin story that gives you certain buffs and debuffs to particular attributes. Graveborn players should go with “Failed Monk” which depletes your starting strength and dexterity, but dramatically improves upon intelligence and wisdom.

In terms of upgrade paths, a specific skill you should look into early on is the Faithful Thralls which buffs your damage based on how many active companions you have fighting on your behalf. Most of the skills are under-the-hood improvements that can activate on kills, or are passively activate in the background. Your Graveborn's usefulness overall though is heightened by your companions so prioritizing those that spawn more companions on your side is a must.

You’ll also want to consider which action skill you prefer. Do you gamble on the Reaper of Bones? If so, definitely put on a health leeching loadout. This means focusing on weapons, spells, and any gear that gives you more efficient health regeneration. This can apply to Dire Sacrifice, as well, but I would not recommend completely abandoning health-leeching weapons or gear from your arsenal.

Multiclass

Combining Graveborn with Spore Warden creates the Horticulturalist multiclass and the two work together beautifully. The more companions that Graveborn has, the better you'll be, because they’re constantly causing chaos, distracting enemies, and ideally leeching health back. That means Graveborn could use friends…a lot of them.

This makes Spore Warden an excellent choice since it comes with a little mushroom companion right off the bat. If I found that the action skills of Reaper of Bones or Dire Sacrifice were too risky, especially in more difficult situations, swapping to Spore Warden’s barrage attack of bows was a nice change of pace, but primarily it’s the mushroom buddy that does the heavy lifting.

You might be tempted to try Stabbomancer as the secondary class to combine with the Graveborn, but it’s important to consider the main stats that go into each class. A Stabbomancer can benefit from greater dexterity and strength, which is not the main focus of Graveborn. Graveborn players are better off leveling up constitution, wisdom and intelligence for faster spellcasting cooldowns. That combines nicely with Spellshot should you decide Spore Warden isn’t your forte.

Spellshot

The Spellshot, is a gun wizard who can dual-wield magic or turn enemies into Skeep. You can also make some big mistakes mid-tree so this class is for more advanced players who don’t mind a stats-focused build. That’s because partway through Spellshot you become a glass cannon reliant on building damage stacks and firing off spells to recharge your shields, now called Wards. Another huge thing to note is that if you play with a controller, this class is physically demanding because you’ll be mashing triggers and both bumpers on almost every attack. All that being said, a well-built Spellshot is a blast to play.

Class Feat

The Spellshot’s Class Feat is Spellweaving which means casting spells or reloading weapons builds stacks of increased spell damage. Understanding Spellweaving stacks become vital mid-tree.

Action Skill

The Spellshot's action skills are used to either place one particularly badass enemy on timeout or find powerful combinations of magic spells to melt enemies before they get the chance to fight back. Unlike other classes, the Ambi-Hextrous action skill allows the Spellshot to equip two magic spells at the same time and this can be used for some pretty rapid-fire situations. The Polymorph skill lets you turn one enemy into a Skeep which is some kind of alien sheep that floats. You can attack them while they are transfigured, but if you don’t, they will turn back to normal after a time. If you cast Polymorph on an enemy that is too high level to transform, you wind up just casting another equipped spell instead.

Passive Skills

The Spellshot passive skills all focus on casting and reloading weapons more quickly while escalating damage output through Spellweaving stacks. If you like to maximize damage through stats and aren’t too worried about unlocking flashy new abilities then this is your jam. If you’re a newer player or just experimenting, do not select Glass Cannon mid-tree, which boosts spell damage but stops your shields from automatically recharging. Make sure you fully understand Spellweaving stacks first--or skip the skill for a while--or you will die a lot.

How to build

It sounded fun to fire spells as fast as possible and cover wide areas of the field in elemental damage so here’s what I did. You may want to focus on more powerful spells fired less often--as always, decide what’s best for you. For the fastest rate of spell casting under Twist Of Fate, I went Failed Monk to boost Intelligence and Wisdom which reduces spell cooldown and increases elemental damage at the cost of critical hits. I then dumped all my points into Intelligence for the first portion of the game until I could fire off spells with the smallest possible time in-between. The only negative I noticed to this build was my melee attacks seemed to be weaker. It seems not to be explicitly stated, but this is probably tied to strength.

Multiclass

Multiclassing the Spellshot depends on what you want to do, but consider two ideas with ranged offensive glass cannon builds or more powerful defensive builds that let you get closer. I tend to like to do things that feel fun but many of you like to maximize stats. For a ranged fffensive Spellshot, go Clawbringer, mostly for the Wyvern companion that can reach out and set things on fire but also because if you’re fighting behind a team this class also hands out elemental team buffs. As a matter of fact, a glass cannon build behind a few friends can be insanely powerful. A great defensive Spellshot can go Spore warden to gain a tanky Mushroom buddy to give you space to step back and use your magic at a more casual pace. There’s really no right answer, I didn’t try this but even going Stabbomancer to vastly improve critical damage could really amp up a high damage build. Our reviewer even suggested leaning even more into the glass cannon build by going Graveborn, but proceed with caution if you go that route.

Spore Warden

From previews and trailers, the Spore Warden looked like just another druid/ranger class, but as it turns out, things get silly fast in the best way. This character is great for beginners and anyone who just wants to have fun. The companion is tanky and gives you a lot of space to try different playstyles. You’ll quickly be casting cyclones and smashing through fields of enemies turned snowmen with your best mushroom friend who also has a habit of farting things to death.

Class Feat

The Spore Warden’s Class Feat is the Mushroom Companion, and to be honest the Spore Warden isn’t really sure how to feel about that either. (Clip of Spore Warden asking if they will get infected). You can ping enemies for your mushroom friend to lunge at and they deal poison damage great for melting armor.

Action Skill

When it comes to Action Skills this class has Barrage and Blizzard. Barrage summons an ethereal bow that fires seven arrows dealing ability damage on impact. Arrows can be fired multiple times and ricochet off surfaces. They also take on any gun damage buffs you might have going.

Early in the game, the bow isn’t that impressive. At range, it fires arrows in a wide spread and too few arrows hit any targets. It’s only effective as a finisher, which a new class of melee weapons are already good at. It’s possible that later in the game certain builds might be able to turn the bow into something more like the Golden Gun from Destiny but the second Action Skill, Blizzard, is way more effective for most of the game. Blizzard spawns three Frost Cyclones that persist for a while slowing and freezing enemies. The cyclones can even chase flying creatures. As a matter of fact, once you get your cyclones going and level up your Mushroom Companion you can set a battle in motion and just kind of sit back. There are so many status effects going on that everything pretty much dies although it can sometimes be hard to see what’s happening--which is very Borderlands.

Passive Skill

The passive skill tree for Spore Warden is pretty straightforward, mostly increasing the damage and health of you and your Mushroom Companion but there are also two Skills you should go for. Early on, Spore Cloud lets your buddy do their fart attack and then just a bit later Medicinal Mushroom will let your mushroom friend come revive you. This is great for solo players.

How to build

There’s no one right way to do this since this is a very forgiving class. I went for a close-range build and chose the Twist Of Fate called Village Idiot which jacked up strength and critical damage but more importantly seemed to amp up the stagger effects of melee weapons. Then I dumped my extra points into dexterity for a higher critical chance and intelligence to mitigate the negative stats from Village Idiot and get a more neutral spell cooldown rate. In the early game, this made a hard-hitting build that would freeze enemies with cyclones, tank with mushroom friend, and then finish with staggering melee blows or critical shotgun hits. This build didn’t need a lot of Constitution to boost health and shields because enemies often aggroed on my companion. That being said, critical hits are more associated with the Stabbomancer so you may want to maximize the Spore Warden in other ways or build a more ranged class to take advantage of Barrage.

Multiclass

Multiclassing can also go in a wide number of ways but for this build, the Brr-Zerker's boosted frost damage from the Warden’s already very effective cyclones gave the option to essentially aim a much more targeted cyclone of sorts with the Brr-Zerker’s action skill.

Many spells require you to merely snap your fingers, Thanos-style, and we'll admit that such power feels really good.

Brr-Zerker

Everything you need to know about the Brr-Zerker comes from the word play that makes up its name. It is, at its heart, a riff on the Berserker, Borderlands' version of a heavy tank class, with a twist of frost-focused magic.

One of Wonderlands' new features is the dedicated melee weapon, and if you're interested in using it often, the Brr-Zerker is the perfect fit for you. Combine that with the enraged mechanic to deal bonus frost and you have a powerful closed-ranged fighter that’s all about jumping into the middle of the action. If you like having a large health pool, telling your enemies to “chill,” and close-ranged weapons, the Brr-Zerker is for you.

Class Feat

The Brr-Zerker’s Class Feat is Rage of the Ancients, which activates enraged every time you use an action skill. What does enraged do? It adds bonus frost damage to all your attacks. The duration of base enrage lasts 15 seconds, however it doesn’t deplete while an action skill is active. So if you use Dreadwind, which last 6 seconds, enraged will proc at the start, giving you a total of 21 seconds. You can also increase the duration of enraged by 35% if you activate an Action Skill, something you can take advantage of with Feral Surge, detailed below.

Action Skills

Your starting action skill is Dreadwind, where your Fatemaker will spin around for 6 seconds, dealing damage based on the stats of their equipped melee weapon. While in effect, you have increased movement speed and immunity to the slow status effect, so you can keep up as enemies move around and still hit them. You might notice at the start of the game, Dreadwind… doesn’t seem that effective. Damage doesn’t hit as hard as you’d like and enemies can still attack you, while getting put into Save Your Soul state ends your Dreadwind. Because Dreadwind is tied to the damage of your equipped melee weapon, this is a skill that only gets better the further into your playthrough, and you’ll want to prioritize passive skills that boost melee and close range damage, as well as scavenge vending machines for better melee weapons.

Your second action skill is Feral Surge, a single use lunging attack that will deal area frost damage to enemies. Feral Surge is a great way to get into a group of enemies faces quickly, apply frost damage to them, and then follow up with a close ranged weapon like a shotgun. However you can also chain Feral Surge, as its cooldown will reset if you kill an enemy with it. In fact Feral Surge will instantly kill an enemy if their health is below 20%. If you play this right you keep chaining Feral Surge over and over, bypassing its 32 second cooldown. This pairs beautifully with enraged, which as previously mentioned, can have its duration prolonged every time you activate a skill. To truly take advantage of Feral Surge requires more thought and planning then Dreadwind, but if that sorta ability chaining excites you, it's a really cool skill.

Passive Skills

As you might have guessed, the Brr-Zerker’s passive skills are about increasing the power of frost damage and melee damage, boosting states like enraged, and improving health and damage reduction so you can stay up close and personal. Blood Frenzy restores health and increases your enraged timer for every kill. The Old Ways deals bonus damage when very close to an enemy

How to build

The core to an effective Brr-Zerker is strong melee damage, plenty of health to keep you alive, and using your action skills as much as possible. That means allocating points into Strength, Constitution, and Attunement. For your twist of fate, Village Idiot is perfect for giving you that raw damage output upfront while keeping everything else you need neutral. Recovering Inventory Hoarder is also a potential option as it gives you a skill cooldown boost but you are gonna be sacrificing some Max HP and will want to put your extra points into that to even things out.

Multiclass

If you decide you want to pair Brr-Zerker with another class's action skill, pick one that has a skill you can use frequently so you are still activating Enraged all the time. For example, Spore Warden is a great option with Barrage which can be fired multiple times. Or you can take advantage of Blizzard and use your passive frost boosts to increase the power of the cyclones further.

Clawbringer

The Clawbringer is an elemental powerhouse and perhaps the most well-rounded of the classes. With a fistful of fire in one hand and lightning in the other, Clawbringer can bring a little bit of everything to the table, including their trusty Wyvern Companion.

There really aren’t any tricks to Clawbringer, which might make it a bit dull if you're looking to be a little more weird or active with your class. However, if you rather focus just on shooting and letting elemental magic happen with no extra effort on your part, the Clawbringer is a good choice, and can be a great class to pick second and pair with any of the others.

Class Feat

The Clawbringer’s Class Feat is Wyvern Companion, a cute little flying companion that will claw out your enemies eyes and reign hellfire down on them. Any increase in your damage also increases your companion's damage, which makes boosting fire damage very important if you want your Wyvern to be as effective as possible. You can’t control your Wyvern, and as a result it can be easy to forget they are there. If you want a feat that feels more active than passive you might not like the Wyvern, but if you rather have a buddy that deals bonus damage with no effort on your part, Wyvern is a good option.

Action Skills

Your starting action skill is Cleansing Flames, a massive hammer strike that slams the earth or nearby enemy skulls with large melee damage as well as a fire nova, creating a fire area-of-effect attack. Even at the start Cleansing Flame is a powerful skill and can deal some heavy damage, making it really fun and satisfying right out of the gate.

The second action skill is Storm Dragon’s Judgment, which gives the Fatemaker what is essentially Thor’s hammer. It's a ranged skill you throw that deals area of effect lightning damage for 8 seconds wherever it lands. You can also recall it back early, refunding some cooldown, and yes any enemies in its path back to you do take damage. Boy!

Passive Skills

When it comes to passive skills, the Clawbringer’s focus is on its three core attributes. Fire damage. lightning damage, and their Wyvern Companion. Rather than splitting your points into both fire and lightning, you're better off picking one element and focusing on it to maximize its potential. Fire might seem like the better choice because your wyvern breathes fire, however there are passive skills that give your wyvern lightning damage. Ultimately, you should pick the element based on which Action Skill you prefer.

How to build

Which Action Skill you end up preferring is also going to affect your build to some degree, which is a bit of a bummer because you pick the skill first. However, you can respec in Brighthoof if you change your mind later. While not quite as melee heavy as the Brr-Zerker is, melee and critical damage still play a key role in the Clawbringer’s action skills and as such Strength is good to invest in. The class can also be quite tanky, not with HP but with its Ward thanks to a few passive skills, so constitution is another place to put points, especially if you use Cleansing Flame, which requires you to get up close and personal. Wisdom is a great option if you want to go all in on the elemental side of them. For Twist of Fate, you can pick Village Idiot if you want to go big on the melee and crit damage, or for a slightly more risky option, Rogue Alchemist gives a large boost to Status Damage, at the cost of constitution. This can work out well though if you favor long-range weapons and Storm Dragon’s Judgment.

Multiclass

Because of how straightforward Clawbringer is, and because most of its skills don’t require extra work to activate, it can make a great multiclass option. It's always nice to have more elemental damage on your attacks and pretty much any class can benefit from having a Wyvern follow you around, setting stuff on fire. I find it to be a solid companion to the Brr-Zerker, who I played as my main class. I would focus on chaining Feral Surge and Enraged, while my Wyvern would just mop up everyone else.

For more on Gearbox's new looter-, uh, spellcaster, check out our Tiny Tina's Wonderlands review.

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