This morning I thought I would do something a little different and try some show and tell. One of the data sets that I have been thus far unable to find is a list of all of the Masterworks that can drop in the sub Grandmaster 1 modes. The devs talked about this during one of the streams but there is a partial loot pool available before you enter the Grandmaster difficulty levels. There are a few Masterwork weapons that can drop in Easy, Normal and Hard difficulties as a sort of way to help ease your progression into the Grandmaster tiers. However no one specifically calls out what these Masterworks actually are. Seeing that GM1 drops you off the deep end into a pool that includes all of the the rest of the weapons, components and inscriptions… if you are wanting a specific weapon that CAN drop at lower tiers… it will be by virtue of a smaller loot pool much easier to get in a lower mode.
I apparently have been extremely lucky, combined with the fact that I have been running content with friends nowhere near my level range… which means we are choosing Normal difficulty instead of something more difficult. I am still seeing a significant number of Masterworks dropping for me personally, and as such have pieces together most of the weapons available in this loot pool. I have a sneaking feeling that there is an Auto Cannon and a Grenade Launcher available as well… but seeing as I do not main Colossus I have yet to see either of these. I have however been spending a lot more time on the Colossus in an attempt to get one of them to drop so I can complete the list. Additionally this will let you see what I mean by there is some Diablo DNA in the way this loot works.
Assault Rifle – Elemental Rage
I got my first masterworks to drop sub level cap… and this combined with the next one that I will talk about dropped at the same time. Unfortunately I have not earned a higher light version of this weapon, but I have been working on unlocking the pattern so I can craft one. The perk of this weapon is Veteran’s Furor which cause a buff to stack anytime you hit an elite enemy. When you gain a stack of 20 there is a audible sound queue to let you know that your buff is completely primed… at which point your next elemental damage ability deals 5% bonus damage per stack so more than likely you are going to use this for 100% bonus damage when you hit a full stack. Other than that it is based off the Defender Assault Rifle which is my favorite of the available options and full auto with manageable recoil.
Heavy Pistol – Avenging Herald
This was the second weapon I got and ever since have gotten a lot more of them. This is considered to be one of the stronger early Masterworks because of the fact that its perk can stack. The perk Raptor’s Deadeye gives you 200% increased weapon damage while hovering, and this is a suit level ability and not specific to this weapon. So that means you can throw this is your second slot and utilize it with whatever primary weapon you have equipped. Additionally the buff stacks if you are dual wielding these, which could be extremely brutal for storm builds given that the weapon has a shockingly long effective range for a pistol.
Light Machine Gun -Artinia’s Gambit
This was the third weapon that I got to drop, and honestly end up using it more than pretty much anything else because I tend to favor LMG/Assault Rifles greatly. If I spent the time to earn the Elemental Rage pattern, this would probably get tossed in the vault because it is not necessarily particularly good. The perk doesn’t have a name… but it causes a detonation to occur when you reload the weapon. However it specifically calls out “immediate area” which should instead be read as point blank range. This is useful if I am feeling froggy and decide to melee something as a ranger which primes the target… and gives me a fast way of detonating said target while I am still up close and personal. However for other uses it isn’t terribly effective. If it would detonate the whatever I was targetting… then it would be a really great option for detonatorless builds.
Machine Pistol – Unending Battle
Prior to getting this weapon I had never really used a Machine Pistol in part because it didn’t seem like an archetype that I really was super interested in. However this is effectively a submachinegun from any other game… up close melt machine that does nonsensical damage but you have to pretty much be at point blank range. The perk is called Gladiator’s Wrath and feeds into this role for the weapon because hitting an enemy in point-blank range increases weapon and melee damage by 110% for 5 seconds. It would have been better if it was some sort of a stacking buff, but I will take it and it really does make this weapon helpful for clearing anything that runs up on you.
Sniper Rifle – Wyvern Blitz
This is the weapon I have used the absolute least, but pairs nicely with the whole hovering makes weapons awesome trope. Snipers are just not my thing, but having used this a little bit it seems perfectly reasonable. Pending you can hit a weak point… doing so while hovering increases the damage by 40%… and if you have an Avenging Herald in the second slot… it gains another 200%. I really can’t say much since I don’t use this style of weapon much… it seemed adequate for sniping things.
Shotgun – Papa Pump
Papa Pump has probably the best name of any of the weapons I have encountered and is an upgraded version of the Scattershot… which is a weapon that really wants to be fired in close range. One of the interesting things about this weapon is that reloading gives it a 100% boost in damage… and this stacks to 2. What this means in practice is if you are in a situation where you can pump this twice in a row as it were you can get a 200% boost for 15 seconds which is probably more than enough time to unload one entire round of shots. I have not been able to use it much but this seems like it is going to be a boss melt weapon, or at the very least taking out elite and legendary mobs. It helps that it looks as cool as it sounds.
Marskman Rifle – Thunderbolt of Yvenia
While the “Scout” is not exactly my favorite of the Marksman Rifles it does a reasonable job of representing the closest thing we have to the Destiny Scout rifle in Anthem. The unnamed perk is that the weapon has a 33% chance to strike the mob with electrical damage… that does way more than the actual shot. In practice this just nukes whatever you are targeting whenever the proc occurs, and it also has a side effect of completely wrecking mob shields. This was the very last weapon that I saw drop in the list I am showing off today, but it has immediately become my secondary weapon because my preferred build out for Ranger is a LMG/Assault in slot one and a Marksman in slot two giving me a lot of flexibility of engagement range. So far I am super happy with how this weapon feels.
Just to summarize what I said before. All seven of these weapons can drop in any of the game modes, including Easy if you get lucky enough to see a Masterwork drop there. I am not really sure if there is any rhyme or reason about how Masterworks drop, but I have tended to see them most off from boss encounters and treasure chests at the end of world events. My first pair of Masterworks dropped from the encounter that asks you to fight three titans at the same time… and each one dropped from a different titan. I’ve been fairly lucky in that I am getting a couple a night regardless of what I happen to be doing. Where I am less lucky is in actually getting components and abilities to drop while doing Grandmaster 1 content. Regardless I thought I would give the players who might be reading my blog and have yet to hit the level cap a preview of what they can get from the lower level modes of the game.