This guide will walk you though a Driller build and play-style I simply call … HELLBAT. Inspired by Hellbats in Starcraft, it focuses on … you guessed it, FIRE! Particularly surrounding yourself and causing max AOE damage in your immediate area.
HELLBAT AT A GLANCE
The HELLBAT is an up-close and personal flamethrower build that takes advantage of perks and mod synergies based on AOE damage and close quarters to set everything on fire. Don’t use this build if you don’t love being surrounded by bugs … and roasting them.
- Oversized valves
- Triple filtered fuel
- More fuel
- Sticky flame damage
- Heat radiance
- Improved alignment
- Extra ammo
- Quickfire ejector
- Hollow-point bullets
- Volatile bullets
- Extra satchel charge
- Extra satchel charge
- Rock mover
- Hardened tool tips
- Magnetic refrigeration
- Increased tank pressure
- Grenade variant 3
- Improved generator
- Temperature insulation
Berserker is going to make your melee attacks do a very noticeable amount of damage and since you will be up close and personal there will be plenty of opportunity to make use of this. This perk is going to enable you to get more value from vampirewhich will also synergize with the increased health from your armour modification Healthy which give you +20 health. More health means you can afford to lose more which is going to synergize with berserker to give you even more melee damage at low health.
Vampire is all about restoring health while remaining in combat. This perk works particularly well with this up-close and personal Hellbat build. Use your pick to finish any low health Glyphid Grunts or larger. As stated above, this perk synergizes with Berserker because you can kill Grunts quite easily with a pick given the extra damage you will be doing. Use your picks power attack with the shockwave (+1 area of effect) mod often and when surrounded. Doing this you can heal yourself for a substantial amount in times of need.
Iron Will synergizes with the first two perks as it can provide you with an increased opportunity to live on when you would otherwise join Karl and the rest of the fallen. Note: this takes quite a bit of skill to pull off successfully. Given the high risk of this builds play style it’s worth having. Iron will also enables things like reviving fellow dwarves as a last ditch effort and to relocate yourself to a more favourable position where your team can more easily revive you.
Weekend Athlete provides an escape option. With this build you will sometimes need a breather for shield recharge. Running away to keep shields up is important as it allows the shield mod shockwave (area damage) to proc more often. I call this run-charging.
Veteran Depositor increases your survivability substantially so long as you keep Molly right next to you. Since you won’t be running far away from the fight area using this Hellbat build it is likely you can easily keep Molly near you or circle back around to her when run-charging your shields. This works well with the burrow method sometimes used with this build which I will describe later.
WEAPON AND ARMOUR MODS
Since a Hellbat’s aim is to surround themselves with bugs you may as well heat things up around you making them more likely to catch fire with heat radiance. Sticky flame damage is quite simply for more damage. More fuel because you need it. Triple filtered fuel means hotter flames and more ignition potential. Oversized valves just means more damage again. With this kit bugs will ignite extremely fast, simply tap the flamethrower on them and finish them off with a melee. This will conserve ammo and maintain your health.
Use your Subata when you want to save them flames for a more sizeable group of bugs or to kill annoying spitters or macteras. Improved alignment (accuracy) plus hollow-point bullets (weak point bonus) is going to give more reliable damage potential both up close and at range. Quickfire ejectoris going to allow you to spam out those volatile bullets more before the flame damage over time effect wears off.
You want the shockwave mod (increased area of effect) because firstly, you don’t need the extra damage in this build, secondly, with the larger area of effect you can sometimes kill multiple bugs in one strike which will heal you from the vampire perk for each bug killed.
Sometimes getting surrounded by bugs is not as easy as it seems due to poor pathways or lack of flat ground. These C4 charges is going to enable a unique option for you as a Hellbat. Dig into a wall a good 5 seconds worth, place a satchel, step back and blow it up. Boom, you’ve got yourself a deadly little hidey hole. Make sure Molly is in there with you so you get the 30% damage reduction from veteran depositor. CAUTION: Use this method at your own discretion. DRG is not responsible for what may happen should you perform this madness. Not recommended against exploders.
Personal preference here. I like mining speed because with the hidey hole method you may need to make one very quickly.
Pick up the neurotoxin, obviously.
An improved generator means less time waiting for your shield to charge, which means you can proc shockwave (area damage) more often. Healthy is going to give vampire and berserker improved value. Having a few more health points to lose means more damage that can proc from berserker. In turn, enabling you to get more pickaxe kills and heal yourself with vampire.
PLAY-STYLE AND CONCLUSION
The HELLBAT is so much fun. You can just sneeze on bugs to set them on fire and the follow up damage makes short work of glyphids. The synergies between berserker, iron will, vampire and veteran depositor really increase survivability allowing you to be surrounded by bugs for enough time to do the damage. A HELLBAT is a fine addition to any team, especially potent in the Glacial maps as bugs take increased fire damage. The hidey hole method is not as viable in the lava maps because the ground left behind by C4 burns you. You have to drill the charred ground after you C4. If you have the teamwork flowing, see if your engineer will throw a lure into your C4 hole. Conserve your ammo with this build by just tapping the flamethrower, it’s all you need most of the time, unless you’re in your hole and being overwhelmed, then spray for your life! The hidey hole can be used to bring macteras in range and clumped up for your flames as well but generally speaking this build can be weak against flyers (drillers usually are a bit anyway).