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About tenfrith'ssavourypie

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  1. I actually think veil is a very strong wizard talent and at this point would probably always take it on a custom wizard. It does have two main problems. First, it commits you to spending two talent points. Veil is alright if you take it as your first talent at level 2, but mid-to-late game you need to also grab hardened veil or you may as well not bother. That's impossible to know ahead of time without metagaming. Second, in some sense it's a bad pick for Aloth because he already has blast and it's probably not a great use of points to get both. So without a custom wizard you're not going to see much point in getting veil. That said, after playing a wizard twice I personally believe veil beats all the other wizard-specific talents hands down. * The bonus spells which I took on my first playthrough are not very compelling in retrospect: there's easily obtainable rings of wizardry, strategic planning (ie when to blow your spells and when to rest) is a lot more straightforward once you're used to the game/have played through it before, and the talents come at an awkward time between being really powerful when you first unlock the spell level and being less powerful when the spell level becomes per encounter. I don't think it would break the game to open these up earlier, which would make them slightly harder to turn down. * Grimoire slam, which many people seem to like, is probably the worst option in my opinion. A per encounter damage spell is nice, particularly early game, but the melee range and pushback/disengagement mechanic make it as much a defensive ability as an offensive one. And it's terrible as a defensive ability: it's single target, it has a cast time and can be interrupted, it attacks deflection meaning it fails all the time, and unless you have everything else set up the way you want the enemy will just re-engage. * Blast is actually quite good, particularly with the blights combo, but it's a win more or win faster ability. If damage is actually important you'll be using a spell, not an autoattack. It doesn't help you win a difficult fight or turn a bad situation around; veil can. As a minor note veil complements Crucible of the Soul nicely if the wizard happens to be your main. Veil has no cast or recovery time. (Side note, it's also the only buff I can think of that can be cast out of combat, which is funny because no cast or recovery time means it's also one of the only buffs that doesn't benefit from being castable outside of combat).
  2. You seem to be focusing on the casters, and there's things to do differently there as others have mentioned, but I thought I'd point out it sounds like your biggest problem is actually your tank. For me, after about level 5 Eder became next to untouchable - on PotD - until I met Ogres. And he's a mediocre tank stat-wise. Big fights might need some heals but regular groups rarely need any kind of extra effort. I'd look into how you're handling your tank - gear, talents, positioning. 90% of the combat difficulties in this game can be overcome by finding a doorway and standing in it.
  3. That's such a specious argument. Firstly the old IE games were constrained by the D&D ruleset, which has several meaningful implications: the devs didn't have the flexibility to rebalance spells anyways, and that ruleset is designed for higher level abilities to obsolete lower level abilities. PoE has a different design goal where higher level abilities are usually meant to complement lower level ones, not upgrade them. There are some exceptions (missiles come to mind, so do the priest direct heals), but many PoE spells do fall into this design. Fan of flames is not upgraded by fireball, frost blast, or anything else. (I like that, personally.) Instead those spells have trade offs: fireball does not upgrade the damage of fan of flames (in fact it's significantly lower), but it's supposed to have a positioning advantage. That way both spells are useful and remain viable into end game, instead of fireball completely replacing fan of flames like fireball completely (more or less) replacing burning hands in D&D. Secondly when we talk about balance, most of us just mean we want combat gameplay with interesting choices: unbalanced spell design removes or prevents interesting choices. For most of the game (particularly after the early levels where chill fog is comparatively powerful) there is never a valid tactical reason to use any level 1 wizard spell besides Fan of Flames or Eldritch Aim (now that slicken is nerfed - which is not a bad thing because before that happened there was rarely a valid tacitcal reason for using any level 1 wizard spells besides slicken). Most of the people here seem to be arguing that fan of flames has drawbacks due to its positioning that make it inappropriate or less efficient in certain situations, which would be tactically interesting and would would help the case if it were true, but it's not - you can safely and reliably flame just about every combat encounter in the game without complex positioning of any kind. The only time this is notably not true is against teleporting spirits at low levels, and so it seems like a lot of people get an initial impression early on from the gilded vale temple that simply doesn't apply to the rest of the game.
  4. It's funny to see so many people saying FoF has a high risk, my personal strategy for almost the entire game has been to just flame the tank. 1) walk Eder into a clump of enemies, 2) walk my main and Aloth slightly behind and flame everything, 3) repeat flame, 4) collect loot. It really takes off at level 5 once you can grab vigorous defense. Silly mages couldn't actually hit Eder if they tried. And they have, hundreds of times. Guy doesn't even get grazed without a reflex debuff. Of course, the mages on the other hand will instagib each other if the positioning gets too sloppy. This is on PotD with a non-bugged Eder. It's a bit silly, honestly. I can't comment on mage balance vs druid or cipher as I haven't mained them yet, but in the context of other mage spells I would argue that FoF could use a slight alteration. I like that it's so powerful, damage wise (devs have done a great job keeping at least some spells from each level relevant throughout the game), but it outclasses so many other damage options and all the other level 1 spells that something needs to change. Possible changes from best to worst: Better encounter and monster design - why is burn damage basically the best damage type throughout the whole game? Why are 90+% of encounters pure tank and spank (for which FoF's positioning disadvantages are irrelevant)? Buff the competing level 1 spells. Most of the single target alternatives do less damage and do not have strong enough debuffing effects to compensate. They're also riskier to use: any aoe on a group of enemies is almost guaranteed to be of some use because of multiple hit rolls, but single target spells are often completely wasted by a miss, particularly at low levels when wasting a spell is particularly detrimental. I think this risk is actually a bigger problem than either the low damage or effect. Increased accuracy on these spells might help. Better effects might help too (priests can inflict stuck at level 1 with halt, which is ridiculously powerful - halt doesn't do damage, but also isn't a touch attack). Slicken probably needs to be completely reworked at this point, the old version was lol, the new version is terrible (not sure why so many are still supporting it - am I missing something?). Buff the competing nuke spells. As others have mentioned, the missile spells are essentially all completely outclassed by everything else. Like much of the itemization problems they seem to have suffered from the DR changes before release. They need better damage, possibly in the form of increased DR reduction, increased accuracy, or even auto-hit. Fireball could use an aoe buff considering it usually hits the same number of enemies as FoF but does far less damage (1 to 1, fireball does have its uses but its more of a niche spell than FoF). Nerf FoF. Last resort. I wouldn't want to see the damage reduced, but honestly one idea that might actually make for more interesting strategy would be to block damage behind targets. It would actually make sense and could even be tactically interesting, eg when a ghost teleports into your group you could flame into it without hitting the squishy caster directly behind it. However that would require there to actually be more tactically interesting encounters in the game, of which there are few, otherwise it would be too hard a nerf.
  5. Since we're talking about optimised npcs, we can presume we are rushing them. In that case everyone but Pallegina can be gathered at level 2 or 3, before they have their second talent. Pallegina is always at least level 4, which can put her at a higher experience level than the main character if you do this. (I have tested this.) So only Sagani and Pallegina have a weapon focus pre-chosen. Here's a list of everyone's pre-chosen abilities and talents (at as low an experience level as I was able to attain them): Aloth - various spells; blast Eder - knockdown; rapid recovery Durance - spells; bear's fortitude Kana - Hearts Grew Bold, Quickest of His Tribe, Harbingers Doom; Bones Still Slept, Thunder Rolled Like Waves; ancient memory Sagani - wounding shot, marked prey; weapon focus: peasant Hiravias - spiritshift staelgar; bonus 1st level spell Grieving Mother - eyestrike, fighting spirit, mindblades, mind wave, phantom foes, soul whip, whisper of treason; draining whip Pallegina - flames of devotion, lay on hands; intense flames, weapon focus: soldier So Eder need not have ruffian specialization (or any specialization, for that matter, since accuracy is next to useless for tanks if that's how you plan to use him). Only Sagani and Pallegina have specializations picked. Sagani's is non-optimal if you plan on a firearms party with Kana, but is okay otherwise. Soldier specialization seems half-decent on Pallegina. "Optimised" probably has a wide range depending which npcs you want, what your character is, etc. For Aloth I honestly think blast is worthless but since he already has it I took penetrating blast for the Kalakoth's exploit. Intense flames and soldier spec means Pallegina hits insanely hard with an arquebus right off the bat. I dunno. The game's easy enough as it is.
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