Guide describing the awesomeness of the Sentinel Class in Hardcore and Insanity.
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Sentinels are like the equivalent of the Battle Mage in Mass Effect 2, they do massive biotic and tech damage and transform themselves into walking fortresses of death with their Tech Armor.
Depending on your play style and difficulty settings you can either blaze your gun at them while being invincible (and waste all your ammo) or hide behind your cover obliterate them with your powers and when they finally manage to shoot you, well, your invincible.
So, here's your know-how to be an Invincible Vessel of Awesome in Mass Effect 2.
My build is designed for the HARDCORE difficulty and up, in lower difficulties the game might prove itself a bit easy (invincible like I said).
Tech Armor: The first points you're going to invest playing in hardcore as a Sentinel will be in the Tech Armor tree. You don't have as much health as a soldier and the normal shield sucks, the where the Tech Armor becomes your lifeline on the battlefield.
It boost your shield 100% and recharges them while activated and on top of that it looks cool! Did I mention that it also pushes away your enemies while destroyed?
Rule of thumb max it out ASAP, say a point every 2 levels. At rank 3 it resets the cool down of your squad, apparently(thank you wiki, never saw that), but personally I just activate it at the start of the mission and when I have to reactivate it means that I'm in trouble so this is very handy.
As for specialization I go for Assault Armor, it makes the armor 'splosion damage your foes, that'll teach them! And an additional shield boost.
BONUS: You also look cool!
Defender: You NEED this too! For your sickly health and power cool down and shield boost, upgrade every 2 or 3 level the faster you get in the end the better.
For the specialization I go for Raider, it sounds cool and it reduce the cool down on top of giving a power bonus (in Hardcore even the tech shield gets blown off so it better be ready when it happens). Guardian is cool too for its paragon/renegade bonus especially if you want those points back while playing in New Game+ and lost your points from ME1 because of that. (that of course if you don't have access to a cough save editor cough to get them back, silly omission)
Not guns. Well, some of that but you're limited to two guns during the first half of the game, your sissy pistol and your sissy sub(-par) machine gun.
Though their upgrades are awesome, like the Carnifex Hand CANNON for the pistol and the Locust or Tempest submachine guns who are actually assault guns in disguise. Also the Sentinel doesn't have any special ammo so your main weapon remains: YOUR POWERS.
Trow: Not very useful in Hardcore, everybody has a shield or armor and it doesn't do much damage. Invest only to unlock...
Warp: The Undercover Power, you can trow balls of death from the safety of your cover, what else!? Invest in that as much as you do on your tech armor since it gives damage to all types of protection and do health damage.
For specialization I go Heavy Warp for more damage, that instead of Unstable Warp(group damage) I prefer to rely on Reaver for my crowd control if not specialize a squad mate into unstable warp. Also mixing warp with other biotics = 'splosion! Keep in mind that Warp is less effective against shield (though not that much with Heavy Warp), and super effective against armor.
That's were the second most useful power of the Sentinel comes in handy....
Overload: Pesky shields, sure your sub machine gun can blow them up but that's some precious ammo going away whilst not giving any pain to your enemies.
Overload solves that, even on low rank (at least 2) it can be very useful since your most of your squad mates have it too in them! Maxing it is not a bad idea since it comes with Area Overload or Everybody-Gets-Naked Power at the end of the tree. The heavy version is not very useful in my opinion as you can stack Overload with a squad mate's Overload; you can also specialize a squad mate this way too. Overload deals only damage to shields and machines, but it makes the flamethrowers gas tank explode!
Cryo Blast: Only invested in the end of my game just for the giggle of freezing an enemy, if you have heavy overload can be fun, but otherwise when an enemy has its health naked it gets too many bullets holes from my part to even freeze it up.
Warp Ammo: Biotic Ammos, what else! Your default guns kinda suck, so a little pick-me-up ain't bad. For specialization, I choose sharing with my squad mates.
Other Ammos: Same.
Reaver: My personal favorite, like warp, except it never misses, it is instantaneous, and it freeze the enemies in place in pain when they're stripped (perfect for finishing them off). I specialize in
crowd control again.
Energy Drain: if you didn't invest in Overload, but it is unlikely also it doesn't make the flamethrowers explode.
The rest is rather "meh" in my opinion, but it's just a bonus power so feel free to experiment.
Guns. Like I said earlier the default guns suck, yet their upgrades...
Pistol: Okay, the predator ain't so bad it has a good fire rate/damage ration but if you have the DLC take the Phalanx instead. If your a good shooter the Hand CANNON is quite effective but it has low ammo and when you're down to using your pistols its because your in trouble thus panicking a bit, so you're not very accurate in those situations.
Submachine Gun: Tempest, no other way around except if again you have the DLC and get your hand on the Locust (silent and precise). And upgrade the hell out of them!
Second weapon: My Shepard is an Ex-Soldier, and I missed those Assault Guns so much, I use the default one or the collectors' gun/pulse rifle as main weapon. The Vindicator is good if you want to snipe your enemies without a scope (hey, if I can do it, you can do it!). The Revenant is only for Soldiers :,( and the Mattock doesn't have ammo.
The pace of the game doesn't make the sniper much a good choice since you can't slow down the time like the Soldier or the Infiltrator. As for the shot gun, on lower difficulties where running into your enemies =/= death maybe but on hardcore, nooooo wayyyyy (even with triple tech armor).
Heavy Weapon: Arc Projector, hits everybody and paralyzes humanoids and robots alike, especially useful against robot bosses. It doesn't have much ammo though so tread carefully.
At least someone with Overload, especially for the geth missions (Tali), a biotic (Everybody else, almost). You can also replace your Overload provider with an Ammo provider.
The Perfect team: the Cerberus team. Jacob gives you biotics and ammo support and Miranda gives you biotics, overload and her Cerberus Officer many "talents"... including health and damage boost.
RULES OF THUMB
At the start of the mission ALWAYS activate your Tech Shield, during combat keep yourself in cover and blow your enemy's defenses with your power, only then you can start the real shooting (aim for the head or equivalent, groin shots don't seem to work in this game). If you have Reaver unlocked use it to keep your unshielded enemy in place and shoot at them while they're in their pain animation.
Also, remember to use warp's curve to attack your enemies behind their cover! For the robots you can use overload and Warp/Reaver indiscriminately as Overload will also give armor and health damage in this case. Blow those vorcha flamethrower with Overload and mix your biotics.
That should be all, wait, NEVER run between cover without Tech Shield and use it to recharge your shield if under fire (that before Unity (you know, the Health Restoration Power)).
That is all, thanks for reading, now go save the galaxy!
I would also like to thank Bioware for the game, the Internet for the wisdom, and Prima for hosting (and hopefully for the prize).
End of Line.
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