My brother, when first handed the baby that is my son Devon, spontaneously broke into song, making up this lullaby on the spot:
Sleep little cuddlefish
Bloop. Bloop. Bloop.
No one said it was a good song, but clearly it was a memorable one, Devon turns 30 this year but that moment stands as clearly in my mind as if it had happened yesterday.
I was reminded of this earlier this week when my amazing artificer Sparksy hit level 16 and grew into the DoubleCross Bow I’d had stashed for her. Sparksy has acquired quite a selection of repeating crossbows in the short time that I’ve been playing her; she quickly accumulated a disruptor, a banisher, a smiter, but has not had a clear, must-use crossbow and has had to carry a large collection of loot generated weapons for situational use.
One determined-looking Artificer and her Doublecross Bow
The Doublecross has greatly simplified things for me. I still carry the Smiter for constructs, Banisher for outsiders and elemental, and the Silver Slinger for undead, but everything else gets the Doublecross. Everything else.
It does less DPS than the loot-generated weapons I’d been using (mainly Seeker of Laceration) but that is not the whole story. At level 16, lots of opponents are affected by the Nightshade poison and fall asleep, and if so, take extra damage for being incapacitated. Only for a moment, the damage also wakes them and removes the incapacitation, but even so, the extra damage plus the time the target monster loses falling asleep and awakening (often more than once) is enough to keep the charging target from ever reaching my character.
Sleep little hobgoblin boss. Bloop. Bloop. Bloop.
There is a rhythm to using the crossbow. If you time it correctly, you leave your target sleeping for awhile (up to 20 seconds according to the Wiki) freeing you up to hit other targets. But if you hit the target again it awakens. Yet you are firing the crossbow in several shot bursts; the rhythm comes in knowing when to [Tab] to another target and give your original target a chance to fall asleep without instant re-awakening.
But even when you miss the rhythm it is not really bad, it is just slightly off of maximum possible effectiveness versus a large group. But you’re probably going to just kill them all like crazy anyway, this combination of weapon and character is exhileratingly overpowered even still at level 16, and a slight perturbation in effectiveness will not even be noticeable in the long run.
Got to go, my amazing Artificer calls to me. She and her amazing spells and amazing crossbow and general overall amazingness. All those monsters ain’t gonna slay themselves.