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Everything posted by cctobias

  1. Well that mother did also like slaughter a bunch of people out of the blue just to build a nest. But yeah you can only do one or two superb enchants. The people complain that a fully enchanted weapon is just as good as uniques and that is a bad thing are indulging in a bit of hyperbole. Any uniques with superb on them are a serious thing because its one less weapon type that competes for the eyes.
  2. It would probably be best to boil down the flaws in the current design to as simple and elegant a statement as possible. I would the two following statements are the main issues (keeping in mind other design intentions maybe desireable to keep): 1) the length of chants and invocations cannot possibly scale in a practical sense when compared to encounter length 2) Invocations/chants scale both negatively and positively and other classes do not. This means that a higher level chant is both more powerful and take more of a non-increasing resource to cast. All other spell casters either a) have no special cost for more powerful spell or b) recieve more resource to balance out the higher cost These are two different issues although #1 does currently impact #2. When taken in conjunction they make the current design obviously completely out of whack when compared to wizard/druid/priest spells. #1 is a problem that is a basic flaw that has no upside at all. Its just flat out bad. #2 is something some people like in that it can, from some points of view, be an interesting trade off. However since #2 is dependent on #1 this gets a little hard to discuss. Therefore #1 must be tackled first. #2 could be solved via blaancing powers OR by a slightly different design. But you cannot consider balance on #2 until #1 is solved and #1 is flat out bad and must be solved.
  3. Its not a beautiful design decision. I know some people will say that is a matter of opinion but its not. It would be OK if it was static, for example it had 3 tiers and these tiers were INDEPENDENT of level. And those tiers were available from level one. Maybe use them as an adjustment on invocations and chants, where these have no inherent tier and you actively assign the tier on them. But when its dependent on level its inherently a poor design because encounter duration must necessary have a finite length and in general is most likely fairly invariant. At level 6 invocations/chants the numbers are completely ridiculous and impractical. Its just obvious a poor design since it becomes literally useless and unusable. Perhaps the basic idea behind (which is not "design") is fine, but since its something that essentially is tied to something that is invariant (or at least varies within a constrained range) then the design must also be this way and its not. This is the crux of the design flaw.
  4. Yeah I made a post about a month ago basically saying exactly what the OP does, I think most people who care to do the numbers on the class realize its flawed in the long run. The class needs another design iteration. There are a number of ideas to address stuff. A number of ways to go. But bottom line the class can't possibly scale right given the way encounters scale. Its pretty much inarguable. They are mostly effective and fine as far as the released game of POE as is right now, although problematic at around level 9 still perfectly usable and useful. But if we had a POE 2 that went to level 20 the class would absolutely have to be reworked.
  5. No. The interrupt duration is solely based upon the weapons interupt "strength" rating, i.e. a morning star is 1 second. I do not believe crits increase the duration but its hard tell. Crit certainly affect whether the interrupt happens.
  6. For interrupt wands and sceptres are same as hunting bow. Also my experience with hunting bows is that very large hit you take due to DT is not worth the modest improvement in interrupt, just use a crossbow in stead. Good Friend is a great xbow since its Coordinating.
  7. I thought recovery was only reduced by dex and other attack speed bonuses only affected how fast the actual action was
  8. Yeah its all been done solo, just having 6 idiots and enough traps/scrolls/figurines could work. So I haven't bothered. I did clear all of Od Nua up to adra dragon though. And I killed Sky Dragon in 30 seconds going purely range and having the companions tank with nothing below 75% end at the end. The strategy worked for hard solo encounters and hard group encounter such as Ogre Shaman bounty. Note: that my party was an interrupt build and my rangers were actually specced for melee interrupt so they sometimes switched to 10 melee actors in certain circumstances. But the main point here is multiple animal companion and a support caster is a very viable tanking strategy, not saying its the best, but saying they are useless is provably wrong. And against things like Dank Spores they are very useful. I can't say this would work on POTD, I seriously doubt POTD scales well do the math behind the systems of POE. But on hard is a perfectly viable strategy. If you can't make say 2 animal companion tank 3 guys when you have a priest in your party then you are doing something wrong probably. I wasn't even using bears I was using stags for their aoe carnage.
  9. I have killed the Sky Dragon (on Hard) with a party using 4 rangers and no tank characters. Note I didn't truly have the AC's tank the Sky Dragon rather I interrupted it and stunned it via Stunning shots. People seem to forget about stunning shots. Multiple rangers lays down an ass ton of stuns from range. A priest + multiple animal companions actually works pretty well. You can tank ogre spawns with it. A single AC that gets focused will die of course. But multiple AC's, as far as Ican tell, pretty reliably spread out targets and provide a pretty good meat shield that requires no resting. This might sound weird but rangers actually do well with more rangers. Also the +50% reload speed on Swift Aim is pretty amazing with arbalests etc and a chanter. A party with 3 rangers and heavy hitting slow reload stuff can offtank much better than I think most people realize and with Gunner + SA + chanter have +90% reload. You can take out caster VERY fast with that setup and three AC's are possibly the best offtank in the game, considering they are quite decent damage. If you lay down a consecrated ground or a druid heal thing for your AC's they can deal with 3 things no problem. Getting em to work with a real tank will take some micro of course. But in general with 4 actors you can obstruct a lot of things. I had an AC hit sky dragon for 26 damage, considering its DR is over 20 that's pretty nice and its deflection is rather high. People saying Ranger's do no damage if pet dies are just being silly. Its about 15% less damage. And hopefully if you are doing things right your pet isn't dying at the beginning. And if they die near the end you still have plenty of damage to finish. Anyway if you do it right you can make a Ranger heavy party that barely needs to rest at all and kill very fast. Don't use warbows, use the hardest hitting thing you can and get a ton of reload speed and use clothes. Tank+priest+druid and 3 rangers can wreck things (don't need the tank actually, but you could do it anyway, o really just make chanter tank).
  10. Peasant is great. Spears are really good, a number nice uniques. Accuracy is a great special. The only unique with choosable qualities etc etc. Quarterstaves are really good. It is weak for ranged though. Dual wield hatchets is a very unique and interesting options, its more deflection than a small shield. They all have their pros and cons. Noble is weak for two-handers. Peasant is weak for ranged. But Knight is actually problematic because for every weapon class there is a better option (in a general sense) in another focus. Knight probably should have had mace and instead of battle axe so they had a crushing options (of course that would screw noble pretty bad).
  11. Pretty much, I find Knight the least likely to take for things that I do. This can be modified by specific builds due to uniques or already having a party member with a focus of some sort. One of the problems with Knight is the one-handed weapons are both slash with little return. The slash/pierce is inferior to crush/(slash or pierce) and the effect on axe is kind of mediocre. The only two handed weapon is morningstar whose special effect is extremely marginal and specialized. And there are no fast weapons in it. Its just a really limited focus in comparison. Of course if you are targetting a specific unique sword or whatever its still fine.
  12. Most of the bounties are fairly fine once you have a decently hard hitting weapons and some OK to good CC/AOE. If you can deal with casters and a large crowd then you are fine except for the ogres which hit too hard and have to many HP but are otherwise similar so you need either to be tough or have some really overwhelming damage to deal with the Ogres and that cave is like the bear cave so you basically have a room with a chokepoint entry Most bounties you can, say, kill a couple casters pretty fast by having 3 people alpha spike them with arbalests and then AOE/CC/tank (w/e) everyone. When you get that sort of thing will depend on your build and where you have gone, but basically you will have a crowd of about 8 things and there will be some casters you want to kill fast. You will want to tank and/or AOE burn down/CC the melee/ranged guys. The caster could be wizard or priests or pwgra. You could kite too, that is a somewhat specialized strategy and depends on class and/or gear. Generally 6-8 should be doable for most.
  13. I don't think ancient memory is a buff, maybe I missed something, but I have only seen periodic hits in the combat log. It seems to just pulse out from the chanter every few seconds. It says something like 1 endurance per second but it seems to pulse out like once every 6 seconds and hit for 6 endurance.
  14. its 10% more xp per open slot so a 3 man party is 30% more xp, however the xp display does some kind of multiplication by followers so it can be misleading. Try disarming the traps in Cilant Lis alone and then with full party and it will tell you radically different xp numbers in the log
  15. I'd say tanky chanter is pretty nice for a small party, which might seems wierd as more people = mor fomr chants, but your fights are probably longer with less chars and the chanter is rather easy to make very tanky without taking too much out of its core abilities.
  16. Well that party can reduce interrupt a decent amount with chanter stuff, frighten/terrify and perception boosts. But you only have so much time to buff and throw that stuff out. I didn't use the chanter -10 concentration although I could of (really should have on the melee try) I used the fire/slash aoe chant. And which is better having my priest try to put out a debuff or have them actually attacking and puting out moe interrupt? Lowering conecntration by a few is not necessarily better than have a fast melee attacker putting out more. I dunno, the problem with interrupt especially melee interrupt is you need to get to the guy as fast as possible and put as much pressure as you can (obviously this changes if you combine in a pure tank). And in the end my experience is that the way things seem to work you can't really reliably prevent something from doing some really problematic things, like the dragon taillash or the cean glwa aoe paralyze. Even with really good interrupt while you do "slow" them alot one unlucky thing and they get it out then everyone is stunned/paralyzed and the interrupt stops. In the end stunning shots is actually probably very superior to interrupts. But that is also a level 11 ability. Stunning shots on say 3 rangers with swift aim+ ranged chant + good accuracy on a hunting bow/wand/sceptre will stun even something like Sky Dragon a whole heck of a lot and stunning stuff actually cancels their "cast" I think. I also think this party is perhaps overstocked on interrupt on single targets in that I suspect interrupt can only do so much, its fine as a "slow" and it can shutdown but the shutdown is not reliable or preictable no matter how much interrupt you throw at somethings. Even one of my guys does really quite a lot of slow actually. I think people can see a lot of returns from maybe just two rangers+chanter. Bottom line one DW max speed ranger slows things by a lot and having many guys interrupt can spread out a lot of pressure onto an encounters, but concentrated interrupt works rather funky due to the mechanics of interrupts. In the endgame I think pumping accuracy and using stunning shots would be vastly more effective against something like UD Raedric than any kind of interrupt (of course you can have both). My rangers have: max Might con 5 max dex max per int 10 resolve 5 So you can have interrupt and stunning shots if you want. Stunning shots is a 2 sec stun, so a graze(on the stun roll) is one second which is like a strong interrupt. Yes its against Fort which is high for many things but you can get rangers accuracy to 110 or higher if you concentrate on it and there is a hunting bow with speed and a sceptre with speed as well. With the right debuffs and buffs a set of 3 fast shooting rangers should be able to stun even the Adra dragon's 120 fort quite a lot. I don't think any amount of interrupt can compete with that due to the way interupt works, if interrupt times actually added that would be different but they don't certain so debilitating AoEs can get through your interrupt even when you put out tons of it. Another thing I will note for melee vs ranged is the pathing in POE is terrible so getting all your melee to attack the sky dragon can be problematic even on something as large as the dragon. For melee interrupt you really need everyone attacking as much as possbiel and its easily possible to get half your guys sitting around picking their noses even if you told them to attack not that this isn't something some micromanagment can't help with but its a real problem with melee. I think my final verdict is that in the end you should go for ranged with max accuracy on a ranger due to stunning shots and use interrupt as a secondary thing (possibly including melee but not making large sacrifices for it) Also priest of skaen with interupt is pretty badass.
  17. Killed Sky Dragon and Undead Raedric with above full interrupt party (no figurines used and only pro fear scroll as consumable): Sky Dragon - 105 concentration Did not use scalebreaker. I only prepped with devtion for the faithfil (+20 acc) and prayer against fear. It did that inital hop away while I bum rushed it, so it got off its breath attack off. I started punding on it, I interrupted most attacks it got the tail lash off which wrecked one guy and seriously hurt the two others and stunned some, but it was mostly dead at this point anyway. Died fast and pretty easy really, Devotion of the faitful has 21 sec left over a duration of 43 so about 22 seconds to kill it. Not a shutdown really, my ragners were attack with about 90-105 accuracy(depending on buffs), and many still got terrified due to the piss poor implementation of counters in the game. 105 vs 50 is about 50/50 chance of interrupt, and with the accuracy issues its probably closer to 40%. But that is still pretty good with so many attacking so fast. I had a companion hit(non-crit) the sky dragon for 21 peirece damage with sneak attack hit (accuracy 92 versus def 91). My kith were all dual wield except chanter with estoc and they generally hit for 4-9 damage and critted for about 15. One thing I noted was that the speed of the bar decrease seemed to vary alot this make me think that perhpas interrupt times compete with each in a race condition. If a weak interrupt attack and strong interrupt attack are fired at close to the same time, if the weak hits firts then you get a fast bar, if the strong hits first you get slow bar. Ican't confirm this Edit: I tried doing pure ranged with stags as melee, worked about the same slightly slower kill time maybe safer(about 30 sec). The interrupt is clearly worse (not using hunting bows), but stunning shots from multiple targets makes up the difference, nothing was knocked out including animal compansions. Undead Raedric - 135 concentration This is a messy fight and the way the chrms from the Fampyrs work is complete BS and really bad design by Obsidian. The charms are cast immediately and you can't pre prep prayer against betrayal, strike one. Prayer against betrayal is pointless anyway, they have an accuracy of 78 on hard and it only needs to graze, plus they will all immediately target your priest so there is almost no chance in hell they do not get charmed. Really bad implementation. Anyway I "fixed" obsidians poor mechanics by simply sending a ranger forward for the dialog then sending a stag to die while my ranger ran back around the corner. Fight was messy the fampyrs like to bum rush casters and won't stay on stags, they axed my priest afte she fot a couple AoEs off I made everyone go full melee and they cleaned stuff up. Raedric himself I barely interrupted him at all. I didn't prep with accuracy bonuses or against terrified. So between grazes and his really high concentration I did very little interrupt. But even with 100% hit rate you would only interupt him on a roll of like 80 or so with max perception and interrupting blows talent. So like 1/5 chance to interrupt on a hit, impossible on a graze.
  18. if they get stuck behind someone slow they stay in formation, if not they zoom, and I mean zoom, ahead. The pathing in POE is pretty terrible so it can happen a lot. According to my observation, the members with boots of speed just walk rather than run, thus keep exactly the same speed as their slower teammates. Try it in stealth.
  19. noble is fine since it has maces. crush and/or pierce will cover most bases and maces have DR penetration. Noble can dual wield two weapon with +speed daeenysis Rapier and march dagger and is very accuracte. The only real issue is that it has poor ranged and two handed options. There are actually some good sceptres so its not terrible, but you have no hard hitting options. Against high DR your best option is basically mace and many high DR things are extra DR against slash/pirece (plate armor, adr animat) so in general DW mace is probably comparable to an estoc on those guys. For the most part its pretty good. It sounds like you want to dual wield and I would say your main concerns should be a option against high DR and to a lesser degree a high accuracy option for certain opponents. Noble is fine on accuracy. As for sabres since they do extra damage they essentially have DR penetration but scale on %damage a bit better. They are ok for ruffian as a nedium DR option (like 12 or lower), but really using slash against an Adra Animat is just pretty poor unless you hit like a truck anyway (arbalest/guns). But ruffian does have pistol for that. Clubs are actually pretty good weapons. Anyway I see no reason not to go for noble, I personally really like peasant for the DW spears. Some excellent spears exist. DW hatchets is intersting options and quaterstaff with reaching is nice for rogue. Edit: Keep the following in mind an Exceptional weapon with Coordinating is better than a Superb if you are always attacking with a friend. You can enchant Excpetional yourself pretty much as much as you need, but Superb you can only enchant yourself once. So when considering weapons for endgame take into account that you can only make one non-superb unqiue into a superb and also that some non-superbs are still "better" than a supreb for certain playstyles. For example when I craft cladhailth I purposely chose marking/coordination and then I enchanted it to exceptional. But one of the option for that spear will swap that Marking for for Excpetional which is a complete waste since you can enchant exceptional but not marking. Since this was for a ranger the coordination+Exceptional make that spear the same accuracy and more damage than flat superb. The same (well not quite since its only damage) can be said for the Vicious brand especially for rogues and rangers(due to flanking). So for example even though there is only one superb unique club I know about, there is a Fine unbique club with vicious brand. By enchant this to Exceptional you are essentially wielding something very close two superb clubs (one has more damage by less accuracy) and could save the Superb for a stilleto or whatever (for ruffian focus). Similarly the Daenysis Rapier has both speed and Rending which combined with upgrading to exceptional is enough to make it close to a superb rapier. Some weapons types seem to have no naturally superb occurences (like flails and stilletto) at least that i am aware of. If you plan to use those, then you want to save the superb enchant for them.
  20. if they get stuck behind someone slow they stay in formation, if not they zoom, and I mean zoom, ahead. The pathing in POE is pretty terrible so it can happen a lot. As far as "random" is concerned there is no such thing in computers. There are algorithm for computing pseudo-randomness and many of those require a "seed" which will cause certain computations to reliably return the same numbers even of the spread of possible numbers is "ranom-ish". It appears that Obsidian chose to seed their loot generation algorithm (which may not even be pseudo-random) with the day of the month. This was probably a conscious design decision and all things considered not a terrible way to go. This gives variance without creating the slot machine by save scumming behavior that is extremely prevalent in the "new loot each tiem you open" phenomenon. This game is not an ARPG with huge lists of prefixes and suffixes that you can infinitely grind until yoy get what you want. Certain items are very important to get and can make or break your capability (+2 mechanics gloves are huge and can affect 10-20 things in Od Nua alone). Being able to have reliable, even if rather hidden, way of obtaining such things is actually good IMO. Although really the mechanics gloves should just be able to be gotten is a less fiddly manner. However I would also say that a game that winds up with a large number of people save scumming for loot is probably designed with some flaws anyway. Generally people save scum to achieve some build goal. RPGs are generally very deep when it comes to how characters can be made. Its a fundamental of the genre. Undermining this by putting in mechanics to randomly give you interesting items is IMO a design flaw. Rather what should happen is things that have interesting/unique/best in class properties should be placed behind interesting challenges and be non-random. Yes random loot gives variance in player power and therefore variance in gameplay. So its a way to make a playthrough feel more unqiue and less predictable. However a game like PoE has static content and the more intesting thing to do is to playthrough the game with different builds that use different tactics or story mechanics/choices. Not make each build randomly be mediocre or close to optimal. In a static game like POE you should essentially be able to make a close to optimal build and the main challenge should be knowing how to get the stuff you would need and knowing enough about the game and how it works to come up with a build that will work tactically for what you want to do. Randomness on a number of minor things is fine and may add some spice (although personally I don't really think it does). But if you are building a tank and miss out on say 10-15 extra in defenses due to missing out on an item or two then you have actually lost a lot of effectiveness due to the expenential growth of defenses as you get towards the high end. That last extra bit of 15 deflection is ideally a matter of tradeoffs and not randomness. Similarly this true for boots of speed, they are a very large speed increase and therefore a very large impact on a kiting tactic. Personally I have not run any build that use serious kiting tactics but kiting can be an incredibly strong tactic and these are obviously a key factor. Suppose I want to run a party with 3 rangers who kite using boots of speed (I doubt this is an amazing strong party but the Benny Hill nature of it would be pretty funny you gotta admit and it might even work well). Fortunately since this game uses seeded loot this is actually possible even if it is unecessary wonky. But if things were actually random, this build idea would actually require stupid amounts of save scumming.
  21. I got this "interrupt" party to level10 and in act 3. I put that in quotes as while that was the original idea, in practice its more of a "let the stags take aggro" party. I have completely cleared Od Nua 1-13. As in everything is dead. Although I have multiple figurines I have never actually used any yet. Every character has max perception and dex and a might of at least 15 and most have 18 might. Everyone wears clothes so no DR other than special items. None of this may apply to PoTD, but I am not that interested in PoTD per se, since I am not a big fan of inflated stats as "difficulty", especially since some aspects of the mechanics are exponential and other are linear, this means that PoTD is probably a lopsided and poor experience, even if it handles some overpower builds less trivially. Does anyone know concentration numbers in POTD? As a point of reference if you hover over an interrupt in the combat log it will tell you the values of the roll so you can see things concentration that way. So here are my lessons learned so far: - Swift Aim + chanter ranged speed + arbalest is very strong and the fast killing/DR "penetration" (i.e. big damage numbers) is just plain better than trying to interrupt with wand/sceptre/hunting bow. I am pretty sure this party is extremely strong early game with just this combo. I used hunting bows an early game was still pretty solid. With arbs you can one shot multiple phantoms fast. The 50% reload on swift aim seems to be extremely effective. Holdwall is available extremely early if you have the money and is good to endgame when enchanted. - Multiple Animal Companions can tank very well with support. They do real damage as well. Part of the reason this works is the AC get the targets spread out. This is one thing that is likely to be profoundly affected by PoTD. - There is, essentially, no way to interrupt everything you want to interrupt (for many encounters, for 3 or less its possible I think) in a sufficient amount to allow "squishy" things to do well without something grabbing most of the aggro. Due to this sacrificing damage for interrupt is generally a lower performance option. This is most applicable for ranged. If you are fighting a spawn of Corrupted Druid where there are 3 druids and two pwgra, you will simply never interrupt them enough to stop at least a few very annoying and problematic spells. Can you make them cast half as many spells? Yes, absolutely. But if you switch to arbalests instead of hunting bows, you can take out two druids in the first few seconds of the fight. In general I have my rangers with heavy to medium damage ranged and my priest/chanter are using wand/scepter (good enchants same speed/interrupt as hunting bow). So I am combining things to some degree. Interrupt one caster and spike another. In general I send out my stags fairly far ahead in the hopes any spell target them and do not bleed over to the party. Once mostly matured out this strategy was sufficent to completely clear Searing Falls and kill Cail the Silent with my Party taking minimal health damage (everyone still green and no resting after all of SF and Cail encounter). Edit: I think some people may take issued with this and say 4 barbarians could do it, I think this is not feasible due to multiple factors: 1) they won't be ableto reliably get to everything 2) they are vulnerable to disabling/charming (I don't care if a stag gets confused and dank spores always confuse a stag if its at the front) and 3) you need both coverage (large AoE) and amount (many consecutive interrupts) to really spread out enough to pressure an entire encounter. - With this many actors (10) it is not pracical to try to melee with everyone in many fights. It is an important strategy sometimes, but sometimes you just jam up. - Most thing have concentration between about 65-85. 5 of my guys have an interrupt rating >45 some with low 50s. This means they interupt 2/3rds of the time or on low conc about 80% of the time. With zero interrupt rating against weak concentration of 65 you would interrupt about 1/3rd of the time. So against a weak target the difference between strong and weak interrupt is about 4/5 vs 1/3 - Many large effects interrupt rather well when you have an int rating of 50. For example spell strike:jolting touch will usually interrupt everything it hits. I think so does 3rd level Dragon roars hazard phrase. Edit: I haven't confirmed this but based on stag carnage I suspect barb carnage has lower interrupt rating. - Once my priest hit mid-level and especially once Chant has dragon roars phrase and combined with large ranged spike (two arbalest rangers reguarly hit for 50 damage and reload stupidly fast, turning a crank that fast is kind of funny looking, with Gunner talent it would be downright hilarious.) AoE is not a real problem. Certainly its not the most AoE, but a priest can shell out a whole heck of a lot of burn damage and since I rarely actually cast spells on this build for damage, off loading multiple Pillars of Fire and Shining beacons is fine. Additionaly the things you really want to AoE, like multiple Cean Glwa spawns in Od Nua are weak to fire, aother things are neutral to it. With maasive arb spike and say 3-4 priest burn AoEs you can take out 4 cean glwas pretty fast. This is another reason you generally wind up using ranged a lot, the Od Nua level with many Cean Glwa mixes them with Adra Animat which don't do that much damage but have huge defense/DR. You won't really be able to interrupt 4 Cean Glwas enough to make them not able to get off their AoE paralyze from range, and as melee getting to all 4 (and they teleport too) is problematic at best when there are 4-6 adra animats too. Preist has a select of 3 nice burn AoEs, Searing Seal (with blind), Pillar of Fire and Shining Beacon (short range). Laying down all three is enough to seriousl mess up Cean Glwa and blind them. You can then spike whichever one is trying to cast the paralyze, they should die and will almost certainly be interrupted (although you may graze them alot). Generally here I do both, fast shooters interrupt one while arbs+GoodFriend kills another. The stags can tank Adra Animats pretty much fine. - This build is mostly ranged even though I have it specced as melee. This isn't a bad thing really since my response to, say, a shade teleporting into my back line is to get in the things face and mess its stuff up. Due to the amount of interrupt all my guys can put out, they are not "squishy" even though they have literally zero DR and poor-medium defenses. In many cases staying ranged is more efficient in that only the stags take damage and it conserves health, but also you kill faster as you don't need to run around the battlefield and in many cases, due to chokepoints, its not really feasible to have stags engaged and still be able to melee without a lot of overhead. However there are various fights where I go full melee and in this fights I feel good that they are melee specced, a couple ranged talents (especially since they are wood elves) are not that key, but IW+DW is key. For example in Od Nua there is a room that spawns like 6 shades and a Cean glwa as a sort of ambush. In this fight I specifically went all melee on everyone. I would do the same for a "boss" with few adds (not really many fights like that though). - A well built/equipped interrupt melee ranger is a complete beast on a single target. I have one ranger using Vile Loner's Lance(1.0 sec interrupt) + Cliad(coordination/marking), she has 67 deflection and 52 interrupt rating and 74 accuracy(w/o buffs), if you get the stag to grab aggro she has 84 accuracy. Swift Aim and 22 dex +20% DW means fast attack. Against an ogre the stag can hit for 20+ damage, the ranger will hit at 20+ damage and crit a good amount and puts out enough interrupt that the stag will probably come out half dead at worst. For single targets I suspect it may be the best "offtank" in the game, when you consider it probably does double the damage of a paladin and that a real tank should be getting spell attention etc. Note that I have never run into anything where the stags did not do decent damage(hitting for 10-20 crits at 30 or so, better if you dot things;the two Big dragons are probably obvious exceptions) so I think its reasonable to say that the AC is roughly equivalent to a x1.2 damage boost + the 20% speed increase + pure damage stats maxed. This makes the build about double the damage of a hybrid paladin build which need to make significant stat sacrifices. However the paladin offtank is superior when things get sloppy a ranger like this gets paralyed easily by the AoE paralyze of a Cean Glwa. In Elmshore at the cave where Nalrend is there is a spawn of 2 ogres, 2 ogre druids and an ogre matron. I was messing around so I did a rather messy approach on them. I wound up with the following 3 stags on the matron in melee, my Vile Loner's Lance DW ranger + her stag against the 2 ogres + 2 druids(in a in a line 2 vs 4 druid in middle, normal ogres on outside). My other guys were shooting. 2 shooting one druid 2 shooting another druid. The melee ranger was attacking one druid, the stag the other each with a normal ogre attack them. I think each druid got one or two spells off. Eventually Iswitched one shooting ranger (my warbow/flail ranger) to melee the matron. I moved priest forward and casted consecrated and a couple other heals ground to support the melees. Priest switched to melee the matron after 4 spells The melee ranger and her pet against 4 ogres both finished the fight with half endurance left. One of the stags on matron was knocked out. I used 1 AoE spell (pillar of fire on the druids) and no figurines. I didn't mean for the melee ranger to go against 4 ogres and I was surprised they didn't die. Things I want to find out still: - Can I "shutdown" the Sky dragon - How do interrupts work on top of each other? This is my current working theory. When you interrupt, a progress bar that repesents the remaing delay is shown. If you interrupt for 0.35 sec then that bar is 0.35, if it went to 50% there is 0.17 left on the delay. If you interrupt with a weak interrupt again you will reset that bar to 0.35 sec. Thus your interrupt was actually only a 0.17 sec delay. However if someone else interupted the opponent for a 0.75 sec delay weaker delays will fill up that bar additively up to the 0.75 delay. I am not sure if this is true, but if it is true then a mix of delay strength is probably best. A Strong delay to establish a "longer bar" and weaker faster delays to add to it relliably. Pure weak delays add very poorly on their own and they are also decline so fast that one bad roll can let something through, however fast/weak on a "long bar" adds very well and can keep that "long bar" from reaching the end for quite some time. Other than the Vile Loner's Lance most Strong interrupts are too slow on their own as well. This theory may be wrong, it is mostly speculation based on watching bars. But I am mostly certain that you can never "add" interrupts to a delay past a threshold, multiple 1 sec delays do not come out to 3 secs. They just reset each other, the only way they come out to three is if they are timed perfect. My main evidence for this theory is that if you put a lot of interupt on something you can see partially empty bars get partially filled by weak interrupts and when this happens and the other interrupt was stronger I have not noticed a change in the rate of the progress bar. The progress bar is noticeably faster on a pure weak interrupt. If interrupts overwrote each other then you would see a "long bar" get replaced and then decline very fast if it was a weak interrupt. Due to the nature of this observation I could easily be wrong about the rates and perhaps it is merely overwritten. - Due to the way interrupts add (or fail to add) there is quite a bit of an open question as to what is best (besides hearing the lamentation of the women of those being interrupted). Almost certainly one interrupt character is inferior (unless there is a happy medium, like one average speed one fast speed weapon ). Strangely a very good interrupt combo could in theory be something like a Morningstar user backed by a huntng bow ranger, even though they may put out similar number of attacks/interrupt to a DW+fast weapon+swift aim ranger. Due to the way things add up the first combo may add duration better and wind up the same/better. However I can say that one fast attacking interrupt ranger is sufficient to take a lot of pressure off whoever is being attacked by the guy he his hitting. The main question is one of efficiency per interrupt and reliability. As a pure speculation I am willing to believe that a fast/fast DW combo may lose as much as 50% of the their interupt durations due to the duration not fully adding. So this may be a rather important thing to figure out. Edit: basically doing the analysis by (number of interrupts)*(weighting by interrupt delay) is almost certainly a misleading analysis IMO.
  22. I finished DAO, I didn't finish DA 2 or DA: Inquisition. I even rather like playing a knight enchanter in DA:I it was fun gameplay but the MMORPG gameplay is so soulless I just didn't pick the game back up after a couple days break. It feels pointless, I think I made it almost to 2/3rds through. Maybe I will finish it one day. On the other hand the story is so painfully, shallowly and tritely a paen to modern/popular sensibilities. And the singing oh god the singing, make it stop. IMO PoE is better than DAO. The story is better, the presentation of the stoary is better. DAO's mechanics were not really that great so I am not going to bother comparing them, both have flaws, both were somewhat enjoyable. DAO was actually balanced worse, there were combos in DAO that were boringly overpowered. Note: I would say the same about BG games because they are in D&D 2nd ed which had many many flaws as well. D&D 3rd ed was a much smoother and comprehensive experience and much more elegant and powerful way of doing things than 2nd. It could even handle sticky things in a mostly decent manner like making drow player characters in a way that worked fairly well rather than just watering them down because "Loth revoked her favor" or whatever. Anyway many games development houses are no longer making games. They are just following some money making formula and then pat themselves on the back that they are making games or art or whatever. There is a reason almost all of them are written so shallowly. The two things go hand in hand.
  23. I don't see how the lore/backstory/setting of Forgotten Realms is better than PoE, in fact I think its worse. Sure FR has a lot of breadth going for it but it also has a lot of pulp shlock in it too. Now if you wanted some 5th ed. mechanics maybe I could see that; I think PoEs mechanics are mostly OK but they clearly have to some real flaws. The attributes really need another iteration. Some of the idea about defensive/affliction counters need another iteration.
  24. well I have gotten my 4 ranger/preist/chanter party through od nua 8 (just hit level 8 and I can make the following observations: - switching to higher damage ranged was a good idea. - Ithink rangers with swift aim (50% reload) and chanter chant (20% reload) may shoot arbalests almost as fast crossbows - 4 animal companions is WAY better at tanking than I figured it would be from forum complaints about AC, with some support they can do fine against that 5 adra beetle spawn on Od Nua 8 (keeping in mind they are weak to pierce so favorable to ranged ) - now that i have level 4 priests spells and a few figurines I am fairly sure I can deal with things that can be problematic due to large numbes of opponents or two many spellcasters, basically the priest can spam out a burn/blind trap and beacon for a good 100 burn aoe, and then shoot that 25 point heal/freeze lvl 2 spell for around another 100, summon 3 wood, 1 adra beetel and 3 shades from figurines + 4 stags and there are just so many targets that your NPCs can melee pretty well and since they all interrupt enough on their own to slow down attack by about 50%, it can be much more effective. Usually preface this startegy by a massive ranged spike on something annoying spellcaster or charmer. - I have not actually been able to successfully stop fampyr's from charming my preist, they do it immediately, always target the priest and even with a spike from stealth I have stopped them. I think perhaps I need to spike from stealth without sending stags forward - ranged interrupt helps but you can't rely on it to stop spells, even with a lot of it. You can seriously reduce ranged damage with it. 3guys shooting at two rangers will reduce damage you take a whole lot. If your stags did not grab aggro from some rangers then shooting at them is usually pretty good, you probably want to do that anyway. Currently I am using 1 warbow(adv focus), 1 fine crosbbow and 2 fine arbalests on the ragners(may switch xbow to arba), Priest has that fine scepter with +20% speed and chanter has fine warbow(adv focus). Ranger always have swift aim going. In certain circumstances the entire (or partial when there is not enough room) party goes melee (most fights in wailing banshee). This seems like a good mix as its decently damaging but has varying attack speeds to low down large pressure on things. Another thing to note is the Vile Lone Lance has 1.0 interrupt but is a spear, not sure if that is accurate(it seems to be from eyeballing the progress bar), but it has morningstar level interupt on a average onehander, which is pretty amazing. Also another thing to note is with Noble focus and Deaneys + march dagger you have two accurate weapons with +20% speed, so on a ranger with swift aim you attack pretty fast with really high accuracy (especially if you pet is attacking same target). The damage often sucks though. Having a ranger setup like this is not enough to shut something down, but as a pure guesstimate it seems like it slows things down by like 75% maybe, even so a phantom hits hard and attacks fast, so a ranger like this will still take a lot of end damage when they have no real DR to speak of (like mine do) against such an opponent. At the same time they last a while and rarely get stunned in such a one-on-one. All in all its actually a pretty fun party, its effective and versatile but also needs to be used right, do it one way things go south fast do it another and you are fine and only your stags took damage. You often lose one stag, sometimes lose 2, in some cases lose em all but usually if you go full melee press and accept some health damage you can extend your stags a lot if you are in a bad situations (and also be smart with the priest). And while I often use the stags to tank I also sometimes do a full on 10 actor brawl as well. Its definitely a bit of a different play through than a typical tank and caster playthrough. It wouldn't work well without the stags doing tanking duty, interrupt alone is simply not enough. It can be enough on one large thing, but for most encounters you still need something to take some hits/afflictions.
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