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Party for upscaled PotD


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#21
MaxQuest

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Two ciphers is an interesting idea. My worry is whether the melee cipher would have much to contribute throughout the game until the hits the top-tier spells. Ciphers do not have that many direct damage powers, IIRC.

All my playthroughs had 2 ciphers so far. In the last one, I used a melee mc (plate; dw sabres, focused on damage powers + occasional cc) plus a ranged one (glass-cannon, warbow, focused on cc). It was great because:
- the ranged one was providing enough control such that barb and the rest could get more MIG&DEX instead of CON/RES.
- the initial build for barbarian was the interruption tank. But already on lvl 5+ I started noticing that I actually don't need these extra interruptions, plus he doesn't get low. So I have respecced him into a burst dpser: 17/10/14/13/18/6 with dw sabres. Plus with high MIG/INT he became even better wielder of Shod-in-Faith boots.
- stuns/paralyzes were greatly reducing enemy deflection, allowing for higher focus generation for both ciphers. Also it was amping carnage damage.
- there are many damaging powers: echo, mind lance, scream and especially detonate. Majority of them target reflex, which was already heavily debuffed, resulting in a lot of crits. Heh, even through barbarian was dishing out tremendous amounts of damage, this cipher always was 5-10% ahead of him.

But even through I liked this setup, there were few things that were not completely optimal:
- the ranged cipher was a 17/6/18/18/16/3 glass cannon. And since he was the first one responsible of cc, his might was a bit wasted during spell casting.
- I've found out that some cipher powers have really weird cast time / recovery time. For example Eyestrike, Whispers of Treason, Mental Binding and Ringleader have longer cast time than they should have, but also have really low recovery. So they can easily be casted by a plate encased cipher almost at the same rate.
- a cc cipher doesn't need might for cc-powers, yet he should still be able to generate focus fast enough. This brought the idea of using melee weapons (which almost always have higher dps), plus some DR penetration and TwoHanded Style to compensate for the lack of might. Basically BotEP.

Next time I am definitely going to reverse their roles. I.e. use melee cipher for cc, while the ranged for damage.
P.S. Even through that melee guy is going to primary cc, he will still dish some decent auto-attack dps (comparable to a dps fighter without charge).
 

What would you recommend for the barb? I am not a great expert but I figured the barb would have to stack those abilities that cause AoE afflictions on foes as well as pump carnage. I was planning to have high might, int and decent perception on a CC barb, the rest is average. What would change for a dps barb?

The already mentioned: 17/10/14/13/18/6 human with Shod-in-Faith boots, dw sabres and Swadling Sheet (unless you give it to your priest).
There are several per-encounter factors that heavily buff barbarian's effective accuracy:
- Brute Force + Painful Interdiction (good vs shades/spirits)
- AoE stuns and paralyzes thrown by ciphers
- Aspirant's Mark
So there is no real need to bump his accuracy to the max. Latter there will also be Gaze of Adragan, Swadling Sheet, Ring of the Ancient Forge.

I would also recommend the following formation:

__ba__
ci__ro
__pr__
wi__ci

plus making your priest a moon-godlike with 3 RES / Pierce-proofed armor, while wizard and cipher with 4-6 RES / Frost-proofed armor. This way enemies that don't have special targeting preferences will flock around your barbarian, while enemy barbarians and teleporting spirits will usually rush towards your priest. It will be easier to cover them with aoe cc, and shred them to pieces.

Edited by MaxQuest, 06 May 2017 - 04:23 AM.

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#22
r2d23

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Thanks for the thorough analysis, MaxQuest.

 

I went with 16/8/16/17/18/3 for the wizard and 20/7/17/12/19/3 for the priest. The former I actually found in one of your posts on reddit and the latter is from your fire priest guide. I'd rather go with the priest of magran just for some flavour.

 

My melee cipher is 10/8/18/18/16/8 pale elf. I'll go with the heavy armoured estoc build as you recommend.

 

For lack of better ideas I'll go with your suggestions for the ranged cipher and the barbarian. Maybe make the ranged cipher a bit more durable in terms of res, less of a glass cannon. Are there any particular abilities I should be aiming for in a barbarian except for those you've mentioned?



#23
MaxQuest

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God speed)

My melee cipher is 10/8/18/18/16/8 pale elf. I'll go with the heavy armoured estoc build as you recommend.

Pale elf's frost DR helps a lot vs spectres' frost attacks, also it allows to receive less attention from them due to their target preferences.
If you vice-versa would want more of them to attack this cipher, but less the other team members, boreal dwarf is good alternative. +15 acc vs all xaurips, vithraacs, etc is nice as well. Although with 18 starting acc + painful interdiction you will often crit with cc effects anyway.

Are there any particular abilities I should be aiming for in a barbarian except for those you've mentioned?

The only real must have abilities for barbarian are: Barbaric Blow and Heart of Fury.
Other passives, buffs and talents should increase the effect of these, plus barbarian's staying power.
Good stuff includes: Frenzy, Weapon Focus, Accurate Carnage, Savage Defiance, Two-Weapon Style
Once you for those you can pick: One Stands Alone, Brute Force, Savage Attack, Bloodlust + Vulnerable Attack, plus late stuff: Dragon Leap, Echoing Shout
Optional: Stalwart Defiance, Envenomed Strike, Veteran's Recovery, Wound Binding, +25% dmg vs Creature Type (spirits, wilder)

Questionable stuff (better avoid in your party composition): Blooded, Barbaric Yell, Threatening Presence, Eye of the Storm, Wild Sprint

#24
r2d23

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Thanks, MaxQuest.

 

Questionable stuff (better avoid in your party composition): Blooded, Barbaric Yell, Threatening Presence, Eye of the Storm, Wild Sprint

 

Why no Yell or Threatening Presense?



#25
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Because you have enough other guys who can cause frighten or sicken without having to sacrifice an ability point. 

 

If you use Vengeful Defeat (can be nice with a priest's revives and turned off knockout injuries) I would use Blooded.



#26
MaxQuest

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Why no Yell or Threatening Presense?

No Threatening Presense - because many enemies are immune to frightening which makes it quite situational, plus, as Boeroer mentioned, there are other members and items that allow you to frighten without losing an ability slot.

Similar stuff with Threatening Presense. Also, weakening from Painful Interdiction will suppress it.

#27
r2d23

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Thanks, guys. Will give this a go, maybe even post some feedback later on if I get far enough with this run.



#28
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Is there any point in Greater Frenzy? Also, should I pick Barbaric Blow early on? Judging on some initial combat, the char would benefit more from Stalwart Defiance or Veteran's Recovery. The barbarian only has accurate carnage right now at level 2.

 

Also, what's the point in Envenomed Strike? It carries over with Carnage and/or Heart of Fury?


Edited by r2d23, 07 May 2017 - 10:03 PM.


#29
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Envenomed Strike: nope, only single target.

Barbaric Blow is only good with dual wielding (or with special bashing shields). And it's good if you already have decent accuracy and crit more often. I like it with annihilating weapons like Resolution, Purgatory or Shatterstar and with the Merciless Hand talent (Doemenel).
So I would take it later. Savage Defiance will be very good in the early game. It's a strong heal over time at that point, it doesn't need much time to activate and also has no recovery (instant).

#30
r2d23

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What weapons are good for a rogue? Sabres as well? Or maybe it would be better to leave sabres to the rogue and equip barbarian with things that deal CC effects on hit (spears, hammers, etc.)?



#31
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For HoF you want dual weapons which do as much damage per hit as possible. So light weapons are out. Sabres are good, axes are good because of annihilating, warhammers are also good because they have two damage types, spears are good because of stunning Cladhaliath and so on...
For barb's auto-attacks two handers are also nice. Hours of St. Rumbalt or Tall Grass + Blood Thirst can be a lot of fun. Both are soldier weapons, so you could equip dual hammers just for HoF and switch to Rumbalt or Tall Grass for the rest. Tall Grass has the advantage that you can place the center of carnage more precisely so that you hit as many foes as possible. This also works for HoF. You won't do two HoF-strikes but you will reach more enemies with it most of the time.

If your rogue will use a lot of those "strike" abilities (Full Attacks) then go dual wielding or use a bashing shield (when doing Full Attacks, the shield strikes first, delivering the affliction, then comes the main weapon). If you like auto attacks more then I would use a two hander. Tidefall's damage with a high MIG/low INT rogue is very impressive. You can dump your INT to 3 and then wear the Ultimate Hat of Alluring Perfection (Yurdan, Stalwart) in order to reduce INT to 1. Also get Runner's Wounding Shot. You would have to cause afflictions with your other guys though. It's fun.
Dual wielding rogue with sabres is also nice of course.

Edited by Boeroer, 08 May 2017 - 12:54 AM.


#32
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I like the idea of WF: Soldier on Barbarian. It's very fitting thematically, has lots of good item options (hammers, swords, pikes) and coincides with the original idea of the barbarian being crowd controller. The rogue definitely needs high damaging weapons, I plan to use lots of single target attacks with him.

 

What's the difference between Blood thirst and Bloodlust, exactly? Why the need for two similar abilities?



#33
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Bloodlust triggers once you killed 2 enemies. At the moment it seems to carry the "kill counter" over to other fights: sometimes I kill only one enemy and it already triggers. However, it speeds you up by 20% for a few seconds, but more importantly: it stacks with everyting, including Frenzy. Since you will nealry always kill at least 2 enemies with HoF, this will triggeer right after HoF and speed you up for those enemies who are left.

 

Blood Thirst will give you 0 recovery after a kill. This means that no matter how slow you are, your next attack will follow immediately. You can use this to concentrate on damage per hit rather than damage per second - for example with an estoc and makex DR bypass with Vulnerable Attack and so on - and then speed things up with kills, circumventing your sluggishness. You can see how St. Ydwen's Redeemer + Blood Thirst on a barb makes most fights against vessels a joke. With every strike you will most likely trigger the destruction of a vessel, you next strike will come immediately because of Blood Thirst... and so on. Blood Thirst also gets triggerd by retaliation, spells and scrolls and so on. 

It is obvious that Blood Thirst looses its appeal if you are already very fast and near 0 recovery. As long as this is not the case, it's cool and also works well with Bloodlust.

This also means that after HoF you can immediately follow up with the next attack (I like Barbaric Blow for this).

 

Good items that substitute this on-kill-approach are the Executioner's Hood or the Tempered Helm. Mourning Gloves' on-kill-speed enchantment doesn't stack with Frenzy, but with Bloodlust.


Edited by Boeroer, 08 May 2017 - 01:41 AM.


#34
MaxQuest

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Is there any point in Greater Frenzy? Also, should I pick Barbaric Blow early on? Judging on some initial combat, the char would benefit more from Stalwart Defiance or Veteran's Recovery. The barbarian only has accurate carnage right now at level 2.
 
Also, what's the point in Envenomed Strike? It carries over with Carnage and/or Heart of Fury?

Greater Frenzy - I would say it's optional. Sure +2MIG/CON is not bad, but there is opportunity cost. Thus I would consider taking it only after picking all the "must-have" & "good" stuff.

Barbaric Blow - very early on, you have other priorities. For example Savage Defiance will greatly help with your survivability. But already on lvl 7+ Barbaric Blow (with dual-sabres) was usually killing barb's main target plus bringing all enemies in carnage range to half endurance, quite speeding-up trash fights.

Envenomed Strike - it scales with both MIG and INT, and barb has both of them at high values. It's a great source of damage vs single-targets with high endurance. Although you only need 1, maximum 2 team-members with it, because it doesn't stack. In your case that could be: barb, wizard or priest.

What weapons are good for a rogue? Sabres as well?

You have the rogue+ciphers combo. This means:
- ciphers will protect rogue via hard-cc'ing those who try to attack him
- ciphers will help stun/paralyze rogue's target, which lowers targets deflection, and thus rogue will crit a lot
- rogue will often sneak-attack/deathblow
- rogue has many full-attack abilities, which favores dual-wielding

Thus the following options come to mind:
- Rimecutter + WeToki. Prone will help with deathblows. While speed on main hand is good for full-attacks, because recovery of off-hand is wavered. Plus both have +0.5 dmg coef on crit, and you will crit very, very often.
- Rimecutter + Barricade. Barricade has a great proc, whose damage is increased by deathblows.
- The usual dual-sabres (Purgatories or Bittercuts)
- Also you can try dual Drawn-in-Spring. But this will require you to amp your MIG, because of the way wounding works.

#35
r2d23

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Thanks for the explanation, Boeroer. Does it make sense to take both abilities or just one depending on the build?

 

Envenomed Strike - it scales with both MIG and INT, and barb has both of them at high values. It's a great source of damage vs single-targets with high endurance. Although you only need 1, maximum 2 team-members with it, because it doesn't stack. In your case that could be: barb, wizard or priest.

 

Why wizard or priest if the ability affect only one target? I thought the rogue would be a better candidate since he only deals single target damage.

 

- Rimecutter + Barricade. Barricade has a great proc, whose damage is increased by deathblows.

That's a shield, right?

 

So far, the sabres seem more attractive to me. Should I consider taking another weapon focus for an alternative weapon set when sabres aren't applicable? I drafted a level progression table for the character and it seems I might have a free talent for another weapon focus.



#36
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It depends. :) As long as you don't hit 0 recovery with your weapon attacks you can take both and will be happy. After White Forge and all you might want to retrain and remove Blood Thirst. If you want to use Two Handers I would stick to it till the end.

A rogue with high deflection (via shield, and Weapon & shield Style as well as Escape and so on) and Badgradr's Barricade is actually very nice. You don#t have to babysit him because he's sturdy enough and once you get Deathblows the Barricade's proc will be deadly as hell. It's also the only setup I would recommend Riposte for. If you add Fast Runner, Graceful Retreat and a Cape of Withdrawal or Nightrunner Armor or Echoing Misery boots (+32 defense against disengagement attacks) you can run around freely and provoke attacks that most likely will graze or miss, resulting in some Full Attack Ripostes. It's a good build and not as boring* as the usual dual sabre rogue. It trades offense for defense but is still very potent - especially if you use a lot of those strike abilities (= Full Attacks). You can also add a retaliation item and use Deep Wounds (works through retaliation).

*not boring in itself, just because every rogue seems to use dual sabres. ;)

Edited by Boeroer, 08 May 2017 - 10:35 AM.


#37
r2d23

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Thanks for the ideas, Boeroer. I'll probably go with the more classic approach this time. I am not that experienced with the rogue class to explore such extravagant builds. Plus, I really enjoy the micromanagement, it's part of my personal play style :)


Edited by r2d23, 08 May 2017 - 12:40 PM.


#38
MaxQuest

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Why wizard or priest if the ability affect only one target? I thought the rogue would be a better candidate since he only deals single target damage.

It doesn't matter) because iirc Deahtblows do not increase damage dealt by Envenomed Strike, so it all comes to MIG, INT plus effective accuracy. And rogue is quite unlikely to bump both of the first two.

Edited by MaxQuest, 10 May 2017 - 03:38 AM.


#39
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Check out a priest with Minor Avatar + Aggrandizing Radiance, using Envenomed Strike on a boss! :)



#40
MaxQuest

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That's around 150 raw damage over 18s. And one can also cast Cleansing Flames to double the tick rate.

P.S. Another great source of raw damage is Disintegration: 240 raw over 15s (base values), or if cast by cipher with 22 MIG & 29 INT:
636 raw dmg over 29.2s, on hit
954 raw dmg over 43.5s, on crit
And it also can be boosted by Cleansing Flames.

Edited by MaxQuest, 10 May 2017 - 07:32 AM.





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