Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by heldred

  1. The more I play, I keep wondering why I would ever use a two-handed weapon, other than using LDV for lightning-builds. Choosing a weapon style should be a harder decision for a min-maxer. Even a casual player will be underwhelmed with two-handed weapons. The slow recovery time combined with the lackluster damage makes for a confusing experience...
  2. I think the issue is base damage. For some reason, damage-to-recovery ratio just doesn't make sense. Add in the fact that dual-wielding or shield wielding provides TWICE the buffs, bonuses, ancillary powers... yeah, 2-H weapons need a base damage buff. Skip the full-attack nonsense (this game needs less micro...) and just buff the baseline damage for all 2-H weapons. In the cost-benefit analysis you have one pro (looks cool) and three or four disadvantages (slower recovery, less overall damage, less magical buffs, etc.) The other solution is provide two additional magical buffs on two-handed weapons, to make up for the magical effect gulf.
  3. Potions and scrolls in their current state are BROKEN. My definition of "broken" usually involves phrases like: 1) ...trivializes encounters 2) ...steals class-defining abilities/traits 3) ...ruins the overall feel of the game etc. Solution, cut effectiveness in half, possibly by a third for others.
  4. Not that anyone asked, but I have a fresh cup of coffee in me and I was thinking... The easiest fix is to assign a max Value for each weapon Class (1H and 2H weapons = Class) Max value 2H = 50 (arbitrary number) Max value 1H = 30 (arbitrary number) This becomes the total value to assign any weapon (excluding enchants). Next, assign a point range for each weapon in the following categories: Damage: 1-30 pts Armor Pen: 1-25 pts Recovery: 1-20 pts Next assign a Value range for each weapon Class (fixed by Devs, can't be changed once set). For example, a 2H weapon Class could be: Damage: 5-61 damage Armor Pen: 1-18 pen Recover: 8-1 secs Once you have a the formula, assign Points for a weapon Type (example: Greatsword) - This enables some variability, but everything is a somewhat linear tradeoff: Damage Max = 25 (out of 30) Armor Pen = 16 (out of 25) Recovery Max = 9 (out of 20) Now convert the value on a percent basis (example: Greatsword from above) - Note: round down on Damage and Armor Pen, keep value on Recovery Damage = 33-50 (note: formula for dmg range = Max Damage / 3) Armor Pen = 11 Recovery = 4.4 secs (note: 1-X% = recovery) Next, every weapon can assign a Miscellaneous Attribute to the weapon (random ideas, can be anything): a) Improved Range (e.g., Pike, Spear) b) Improved Penetration: -1 Armor Pen (e.g., Estoc, War Hammer) c) Improved Defense: +7 Deflection (e.g., Hatchet, Quarterstaff) d) Improved Reliability: -60% damage range (e.g., Mace, Club) e) Improved Critical: +15% damage on crit (e.g., Greatsword, Axe) Lastly, assign a Modal... Final values for this Greatsword would become: Damage = 33-50 Armor Pen = -11 Recovery = 4.4 secs Improved Critical = +15% on Crit Modal: +20% damage, -10 ACC (suggestion only) Now you can have weapon variety, even for the same weapon Type (think Greatsword Claymore vs. Greatsword Odachi), but some rationale for balance the players can appreciate or evaluate for efficiency. Finally, for overall balancing, I would put a Global Hard Cap on: Number of Attacks, Damage, Penetration, and Recovery. For example: 2H Weapon Damage Max = 120, Two Weapon Number of Attacks Max = 6, etc. This way, you can Min/Max, without breaking the game, due to the impossibility of properly evaluating every combination. If you don't like hard caps, install diminishing returns, but harder to calculate with order of operation on stacking effects, talents, abilities, etc. Not that it really matters, but I was bored while eating breakfast...
  5. 1) I honestly don't remember, but you don't need to be exact with the stats. The main thought on the Barb build was to dump DEX/CON (you don't even need to go all the way down to 5) and ensure you have a high starting MIG (17-18), combined with a good INT, PER, RES (14-16). 2) Early on, I didn't rely on the Chanter to do much more than to hum Ancient Memory and to be a roadblock for enemies (keep mobs busy). You really don't care too much about the other chants (pick anything you like). Later on, you "must" insert Dragon Thrashed (lvl 9) and just play that track over and over and over... This is a low-maintenance build, which is nice, because the three primary casters (Priest, Wiz, and Druid) will keep you busy during your boss or more difficult fights. Regarding invocations, you really don't cast too many, but I listed my favorites under chants (will correct to invocations) 3) Hellwax Mold enables you to clone one item... Little Savior is a great option. 4) I didn't respec if there was redundancy on some skills, I just kept it as back-up. If you wanted to optimize further, you could observe your play-style and see if there is any need for the additional ability(ies). 5) If there was anything left over on the Wiz, Athletics would be the place to put the points.
  6. Yes, these melee builds intentionally dump DEX, because they were created to endure damage and utilize passives/pulse abilities (Chanter = Dragon Thrashed, Paladin = Sacred Immolation, etc.). The "normal" melee attacks should be viewed as an added benefit, while the primary damage comes from the passive abilities/pulse-attacks.
  7. For low levels, he was on support duty with weapon/shield and used grimoire slam on grouped enemies. Once spell mastery is achieved, you have an extra spell or two to throw each encounter (note: you can give times/rest items to wiz as well to offset a lack of abilities in the early stages of the game). Once you have all four levels of mastery, you are extremely productive on all trash fights (especially with shadow flame). Overall, the wiz uses 1-2 mastery spells on trash mobs (sometimes none, when lazy), but on a boss fight it literally becomes the WIZ Show. Hope this helps!
  8. I add as many party members as I can in Gilded Vale. I'm usually not concerned with being poor, since I'd rather have the additional party members (compared to buying weapons/armor). I usually have 4-5 people in my party after my first night of sleep in the Gilded Vale, which could be higher (6) if you aren't concerned about your reputation in the Gilded Vale... On my last run, I had 4 and added 2 more more after I leveled again. I tend to make sure I add adventurers right after I level, to keep the XP-gap small. Later on, the XP-gap becomes less noticeable at higher levels.
  9. Enjoyable overall. For me, the use of shields made most encounters less of an emergency and easier to manage. Combined with the casters' CC and debuffs, as well as the passive/active healing, most battles were fun with a full team. When I had only 2-3 party members, I would need to rest a bit more, but nothing excessive.
  10. Glad the guide was helpful. I always liked the concept of a Bleakwalker, which helped justify some of my decisions in game (things I did solely to gain power and were clearly immoral). I also like Rakhan and Black Path abilities. I don't really see a clear "winner" in the paladin sub-classes, they are all competent and share the abilities that really matter. On POTD, I tend to focus on hitting accurately. The high PER on my Paladin and Chanter is less about the weapon and more about abilities. Later on, with Chanter (Dragon Thrashed) and Paladin (Immolation), I like hitting everything more efficiently (not sure of exact mechanics, but assume it isn't auto-hit). Hope that helps.
  11. I agree, with the shifter druids you definitely want to dual wield! My thought is to go with both Weapon and Shield for when you are alone or in trouble. Two Weapon to bring the pain. No reason you can't focus on both styles by max level for most casters (at least for the way I tend to play).
  12. Quick thoughts: General Suggestions: 1) Give everyone Lore 6+ (can buff, heal, etc.) 2) Giver everyone Veteran's Recovery (passive healing mitigates need for active healing) 3) Shields mitigate need for active healing Party Recommendation (no repeat classes): 1) Paladin 2) Chanter 3) Fighter or Barb 4) Druid 5) Cipher 6) Wiz Low micro option (repeating classes) 1) Paladin 2) Chanter 3) Paladin 4) Chanter 5) Paldin 6) Chanter If you wanted a Priest (to be less priest-like), build a Two-Hand Sword wielder, focused on self-buffing.
  13. As always, Boeroer nailed it. Blights are helpful during the mid-stages of the game. Blights provide a reliable offensive spell for when the wizard isn't quite ready to venture out, alone, on the battlefield.
  14. If there was a creature or encounter that spammed Arcane Dampener, you would simply lead with CC (this party has tons, even if excluding scrolls and items). In addition, unless it is an auto-hit, Arcane Dampener still needs to land. Finally, if buffs were removed, takes a few seconds to recast the 2-3 buffs you need to dominate most combats. If there was an encounter that had Auto-hit, Multi-spammable, Arcane Dampeners it would be fun for this party, since everyone is built to melee (tank-like). This party also takes advantage of numerous contingency melee/crit items stacked on everyone: Swaddling, Ryona's, Shod, Drag's Maw, Black Sanct, Royal DeadFire, Echoing Misery, Autumn, Master Mystic, etc. In the end, even if everyone's buffs were suppressed, they should be able to adequately handle the engagement. Personally, I favor melee classes and I would enjoy an encounter that fully suppressed magic, even stripping item enhancements. This would be an interesting challenge and make the melee classes shine a bit. Maybe Pillars 2 has something up its sleeve...
  15. There are a few different Cipher builds out there that are very effective. For this particular party, I would try to keep the Cipher somewhat tank-ish. Using same constraints above (Tower +3 PER resting bonus) I would recommend the following: NAME: template RACE: Human Meadow BCKG: Deadfire - Mercenary CLASS: Cipher ATTS: MIG 19, CON 10, DEX 17, PER 17, INT 19, RES 10 SKILLS: Stealth 3, Athletics 8, Lore 10, Survival 8 ABLTS: Fighting Spirit, Second Wind, Soul Whip, Torrent of Flame, Firebrand, Harbinger TLNTS: Vets Recovery, Weapon and Shield, Weapon Focus Ruffian, Savage Attack, Superior Deflection, Biting Whip, Draining Whip, Greater Focus WPS: St. Wygelts (superb/vessel/fire/durg) + Redfield (superb/durg) / Silver Flash or Scon Mica (note: if limited enchanting resources, could use Blesca or Mataru clubs, and swap shield) ITMS: Sanguine Plate Helm (head), Sanguine Plate (chest), Marked Amulet (back), Guantlets of Swift Action (hands), Royal Deadfire (waist), Shod-in-Faith (feet), Ring of Prot/Ring of Deflect (fingers) SPELLS: Eyestrike, Tenuous, Whisper, Amplified, Mental, Mind, Psycho, Puppet, Secret, Soul, Lance, Between, Scream, Instinct, Detonate, Ringleader, Tactical, Wave Disintegrate, Plague, Stasis, Parasite, Mindweb, Reaping ACC: 99 / 90+ (depends on enchants) DEF: Defl 115, Fort 92, Refl 132, Will 92 PWR TEAM: 8 PWR INDIVIDUAL: 7 I would need to look through the parts bin to optimize the gear better, relative to the current party's inventory. However, the identical equipment swap with the Barbarian is perfectly acceptable and works well with Ruffian weapons (saber, club, blunder, etc.). In combat I would fire the blunderbuss once (unless buffing with a scroll for a boss fight) and then switch to club and shield. For most battles your role is to unload CC through charm, paralyze, frighten, stun, or dominate. All of the status effects listed can be unleashed without the need to gain focus. You could easily forego the blunderbuss, just launch an initial CC attack and simply enjoy melee while listening to calming sounds of Twin Scythes. For tough fights (bosses), I would save focus and hit Mindweb as early as possible. Overall, the build offers slightly more depth to the team (compared to the barbarian) and certainly makes early levels easier to clear (just my experience). After taking the time to revisit the Cipher, it became clear that adding another Priest provides an measurable increase to the party's power. However, if you're like me and you don't like have two of the same class in a party, the Cipher is the best option.
  16. My first run was a Bleak Walker that drew his weapon to end most conversations. After a while it became a bit cumbersome, but I powered through just to see how screwed up the world became from my selfish decisions. It wasn't pretty...
  17. Think of it as a beneficial feature... you can check your email or Twitter feed. At least I hear this "feature" is being removed in P2.
  18. You can't go wrong building a melee-oriented Priest, Druid, or Wizard. They can handle melee combat competently and still offer great flexibility.
  19. After playing hundreds of hours of Pillars, I decided my last POTD run would focus on the greatest level of efficiency (less micro, less resting), boss handling (straight-up, no pulling destruction), and thematic flair (team looked heroic). To achieve my efficiency goal, I developed a team that didn’t have any weaknesses (everyone could solo melee or defend), provided excellent synergy (little overlap), and maintained a sense of style (I couldn’t bring myself to utilize certain weapons or armor). The result was a party that was joy to level at all parts of the game and dominated every encounter with ease. This was "the best" party I personally ran, but there is always room for improvement, especially if you don't care what your team looks like in the end game. Please note: a) many of these topics have been discussed in the past and I thought it would be helpful to have one unified party build, b) the party only has one temporary attribute buff (Tower Resting Bonus for +3 PER), and the Power Ratings (scale: 1-10) are simply an opinion developed through play time. NAME: Kylix RACE: Coast Aumaua BCKG: Aedyr - Slave CLASS: Paladin (Bleak Walker) Starting ATTS: MIG 17, CON 10, DEX 5, PER 16, INT 16 RES 13 Ending ATTS: MIG 20, CON 12, DEX 7, PER 23, INT 21, RES 15 SKILLS: Athletics 10, Lore 10, Survival 8 ABLTS: Faith and Conviction, Flames of Devotion, Inspiring Triumph, Liberating Exhortation, Healing Chain, Sacred Immolation, Watchful Presence, Litany Against Minor, Triggered Immunity, Reinforcing Exhortation, Second Wind, Sworn Enemy, Tower Physique, Zealous Endurance TLNTS: Weapon and Shield, Weapon Focus Knight, Vets Recovery, Deep Faith, Black Path, Scion of Flame, Bloody Slaughter, Vulnerable Attack WPS: Steadfast + Outworn (legend/durg) / St. Ydwen’s Redeemer ITMS: Company Captain’s Cap (head), Ryona’s Breastplate (chest), Lilith’s Shawl (back), Ryona’s Vambraces (hands), Sentinel’s Girdle (waist), Longmarch (feet), Ring of Prot/Ring of Deflect (fingers) ACC: 101 / 97 DEF: Defl 122, Fort 120, Refl 145, Will 133 PWR TEAM: 8 PWR INDIVIDUAL: 7 NAME: Heldred RACE: Coastal Aumaua BCKG: Old Vailia - Colonist CLASS: Barbarian Starting ATTS: MIG 18, CON 5, DEX 5, PER 16, INT 18, RES 17 Ending ATTS: MIG 21, CON 7, DEX 7, PER 19, INT 21, RES 17 SKILLS: Stealth 3, Athletics 8, Lore 6, Survival 14 ABLTS: Barbaric Yell, Carnage, Heart of Fury, One Stands Alone, Dragon Leap, Infestation of Maggots, Vile Thorns, Blood Thirst, Echoing Shout, Dragon’s Breath, Torrent of Flame, Firebrand, Savage Defiance, Second Wind, Thick-skinned, Tower Physique TLNTS: Vets Recovery, Weapon and Shield, Weapon Focus Ruffian, Savage Attack, Stalwart Defiance, Bloody Slaughter, Spirit of Decay, Superior Deflection WPS: Bittercut (legend/durg) + Dragon’s Maw / Blesca’s Labor (superb/kith) + St. Wygelts (superb/vessel/fire) ITMS: Sanguine Plate Helm (head), Sanguine Plate (legend/durg/crush, chest), Marked Amulet (back), Guantlets of Swift Action (hands), Royal Deadfire (waist), Shod-in-Faith (feet), Ring of Prot/Ring of Deflect (fingers) ACC: 96 + 91 / 102 + 102 DEF: Defl 116, Fort 96, Refl 121, Will 115 PWR TEAM: 4 PWR INDIVIDUAL: 7 NAME: Cira RACE: Moon Godlike BCKG: White that Wends - Laborer CLASS: Chanter Starting ATTS: MIG 18, CON 10, DEX 5, PER 16, INT 18, RES 10 Ending ATTS: MIG 18, CON 10, DEX 5, PER 20, INT 18, RES 14 SKILLS: Athletics 6, Lore 10, Survival 8 ABLTS: Brisk Recitation, Dancing Bolts, Overwhelming Wave, Clarity, Clear Out, Recall Agony, Second Wind, Silver Tide, Chant 1-4 INVOCS: Reny Daret’s Ghost, We Would Not Rest, Thunder Rolled, White Worms, As the Sound of His Voice, Lover Cried, Gernisc’s Beast, Seven Nights, Champion Braved, Boil Their Flesh or Called to Bidding (I like Boil better, but both decent) CHANTS: anything you like, just pick Dragon Thrashed at LVL 9 (this is your primary weapon going forward... and it hurts!) TLNTS: Ancient Memory, Gallant’s Focus, Beloved Spirits, Weapon and Shield, Vets Recovery, Weapon Focus Adventurer, Bloody Slaughter, Scion of Flame WPS: Starcaller (superb/durg) + Badgradr’s Barricade (legend/durg) / Grey Sleeper ITMS: White Crest (legend/durg/pierce, waist), Swaddling (back), Siegebreaker (hands), Boots of Stability (feet), Looped Belt (waist), Ring Prot/Ring Deflect (fingers) ACC: 94 + 92 / 98 DEF: Defl 118, Fort 95, Refl 119, Will 103 PWR TEAM: 7 PWR INDIVIDUAL: 8 NAME: Malakai (main) RACE: Nature Godlike BCKG: Living Lands - Colonist CLASS: Druid Starting ATTS: MIG 16, CON 7, DEX 16, PER 10, INT 18, RES 10 Ending ATTS: MIG 23, CON 10, DEX 20, PER 18, INT 20, RES 10 SKILLS: Stealth 4, Athletics 8, Lore 10, Survival 14 ABLTS: Crucible of Soul, Dominion of Sleepers, Druid Boar Regen, Visage of Concelhaut, Nature’s Vigor, Withdraw, Carouse, Second Wind, Speaker Restless, Spiritshift Boar, Steps to Wheel, Wellspring Life MASTER SPELLS: Form Delemgan, Returning Storm, Sunbeam, Woodskin TLNTS: Wildstrike Shock, Greater Wildstrike Shock, Weapon Focus Peasant, Second Skin, Two Weapon Style, Gift from Machine, Flick of Wrist, Dozen’s Luck, Vets Recovery, Heart of Storm, Scale-Breaker, Effigy’s Resentment Maneha, Weapon and Shield, Sever Soul, Bloody Slaughter, Blooded Hunter, Galawain’s Boon, Song of Heavens WPS: Cladhaliath (superb/shock) + Black Sanctuary (legend/durg) / Unlabored Blade + Captain Vic’s Anger (superb/shock/kith) ITMS: Wayfarer’s Hide (superb/durg/slash/intellect, chest), Mantle Excavator (back), Glittering Gauntlets (hands), Vietto’s Footwear (feet), Girdle of Eoten Const (waist) Ring of Prot/Pensiavi mes Rei (fingers), Concelhaut (pet) ACC: 96 / 106 + 91 DEF: Defl 118, Fort 115, Refl 154, Will 109 PWR TEAM: 9 PWR INDIVIDUAL: 9 NAME: Sidra RACE: Island Aumaua BCKG: Old Vailia - Mercenary CLASS: Priest (Berath) Starting ATTS: MIG 15, CON 8, DEX 15, PER 15, INT 16, RES 8 Ending ATTS: MIG 19, CON 11, DEX 18, PER 20, INT 21, RES 8 SKILLS: Athletics 6, Lore 6, Mechanics 13, Survival 1 ABLTS: Holy Radiance, Blessing, Second Wind, Restore Moderate Endurance, Armed to Teeth MASTER SPELLS: Armor of Faith, Consecrated Ground, Devotions, Dire Blessing TLNTS: Interdiction, Pallid Hand, Vets Recovery, Weapon Focus Noble, Weapon and Shield, Painful Interdiction, Scion of Flame, Bloody Slaughter WPS: Aimoranet (superb/burn/wilder) + Little Savior (superb/durg) / Hours of St Rumbalt (burning/kith) / Gyrd Hae Stenes ITMS: Autumn Fire (exceptional/perception, chest), Maegfolc Skull (head), Cloak of Comfort (back), Mechanics or Swift Action (hands), Echoing Misery (feet), Eoten Constitution (waist), Gwyn’s Band/Ring of Thorns (fingers) ACC: 103 / 97 / 112 DEF: Defl 104, Fort 105, Refl 152, Will 103 PWR TEAM: 10 PWR INDIVIDUAL: 9 NAME: Tyrus RACE: Death Godlike BCKG: Old Vailia - Mercenary CLASS: Wizard Starting ATTS: MIG 18, CON 10, DEX 12, PER 12, INT 17, RES 8 Ending ATTS: MIG 20, CON 14, DEX 15, PER 15, INT 20, RES 10 SKILLS: Athletics 4, Lore 12, Survival 8 ABLTS: Arcane Assault, Death’s Usher, Minor Arcane Reflection, Second Wind MASTER SPELLS: Deleterious, Eldritch Aim, Mirrored, Ninagauth’s Shadowflame MEMORIZED SPELLS: (1st) Chillfog, Staff, Ghost, Double, (2nd) Bewildering, Blackened, Infuse, Merciless, (3rd) Expose, Blights, Displaced, Visage, (4th) Shadowflame, Physical, Confusion, Tentacles, (5th) Blast, Lance, Safeguard, Cloud, (6th) Hex, Martial, Gaze, Blunt, (7th) Doom, Image, Bolt, Orb, (8th) Rake, Bulwark, Wall, Wind TLNTS: Arcane Veil, Hardened Veil, Weapon and Shield, Vets Recovery, Bloody Slaughter, Weapon Focus Knight, Savage Attack, Two Handed WPS: We Toki (legend/burning/beast) + Little Savior (superb/durg) / Adydon’s Hammer ITMS: Blaidh Golan (legend/intellect/pierce/durgan, chest), Master Mystic (back), Celebrant’s Gloves (hands), Boots of Stability (feet), Broad Belt of Power (waist), Ring Thorns/Iron Circle (fingers) ACC: 91 / 94 DEF: Defl 108, Fort 108, Refl 131, Will 100 PWR TEAM: 8 PWR INDIVIDUAL: 10 Observation #1: No weak links By building everyone into a greater deflection, shield tank, the computer AI found it difficult to understand who really was a soft target. I would chuckle when a mob would finally decide to attack my wizard and he would calmly cast a deflection buff (which stacks with Priest debuffs/Druid armor buffs). Once in melee mode, my wizard would simply slaughter targets and if required he could pull out the big guns (alacrity, citzals lance, llengrath’s shields, citzals martial power, etc.). Side note, for kicks I had my wizard solo the Kraken while everyone watched, discussing what to do with the freeloaders (Aloth, Durance, Eder, etc.) hanging out at Cad Nua. Even better, was if someone engaged off my Druid, he would deploy delegman (if not already cast), unleash a storm, and spirit form. The pali, chanter, barb and priest were also rock solid, capable of splintering from the party and safely soloing any mob(s). After level 9, there was no fear of dying, regardless of the encounter and everything was upscaled. Observation #2: Twin scythes At level 13, the paladin’s immolation and the chanter’s dragon chant trivialized most fights. With a party full of buffers, using shields, most encounters died upon approach. With this combination, the party simply becomes a fire and forget threshing machine for basic encounters. Should you actually put some work into it, the combined buffing, de-buffing, cc-ing, nuking, and melee (really an afterthought) enables the team to literally pull entire maps on POTD without breaking a sweat. My Barbarian’s dragons leap was literally relegated to a double or triple pull tactic to clear maps. Even bosses eventually succumb to the Twin Scythes. For example, in the final “scaled-up” battle with Thaos, I was in the middle of buffing and I decided to move my Paladin into melee range to keep Thaos busy, while my casters finished buffing/debuffing. My Barb and Chanter took on the Statue Twins, but they were still close enough for party auras to be shared. I looked over at my Paladin about 7 seconds into the fight and she wasn't doing anything… WTH? That’s when I noticed Thaos was already dead. Seriously? I had to pause and check the combat log to understand what the heck happened. The combination of sacred immolation, dragon thrashed (with Priest buffs), combined with a lightning bolt or two from the druid’s storms, torched him before my wizard was fully buffed! It didn’t help that Sunlance procced on my Paladin, but that was just overkill for poor Thaos. Perhaps I should call it Triple Scythes if the druid chucks a storm into the mix. For the record, the statues only lasted 3-4 more seconds and were decimated when the fully-buffed/hasted/veiled wizard came on line with a summoned weapon. The final encounter melted in under 15 seconds, but I’m sure someone has done it faster. It wasn’t the speed as much as the lack of trying that shocked me. No potions, no food, no summons, no one-time skills… just one round of group buffs/master spells, self-buffed the wiz, and unloaded. Observation #3: Lore is invaluable My melee trio, the Barb, Pali, and Chanter each had Lore 6, Lore 10, and Lore 10 respectively. Yes, I classify chanters as melee since they rarely have a chance to cast anything worthwhile in a competent party. The reason for the Lore is because the melee classes (lesser mortals) can now do something useful while my Priest, Wiz, and Druid buff, debuff, and CC for the first 3 seconds of combat. I use this tactic for boss encounters and the occasional map pull, but for everything else it is not needed. This enables my melee squad to have a purpose and cast protection scrolls to counter “most anything” the game can throw at you. Nothing makes me happier to see five group buffs going off… while my selfish wizard just buffs himself. By the time thee opponents are truly engaging the party, we are adequately buffed and can proceed to eviscerate all enemies (or just watch them miss with everything and die via the Twin Scythes, please see #2). Scrolls become so cheap to produce and plentiful by level 10, it is absurd not to utilize scrolls. To summarize, “every” difficult fight becomes a non-event if you just have your melee classes buff with your casters. Think about it, with one round of 5 group buffs, the party could have immunity to the nastiest status effects, pump defensive numbers +15-20%, and improve targeting considerably within 2-3 seconds. Observation #4: Spell mastery There are obvious winners and losers, but full spell mastery, twin scythe (point #2), and periodic scroll use enabled me to handle 10+ fights without resting. The key for me (and my play style) was to have my Priest fire off Dire (good), Devotions (unreal), Consecrated Ground (good) and Interdiction (good). The Druid does Delemgan (great), Woodskin (ok), and Storm (good), while the Wiz does Llengraths (good), Alacrity (great), Eldritch Aim (good), and Shadowflame (unreal). The order might change depending upon the encounter, but I tend to dump mastered spells unless I’m feeling lazy. The mastery buffs/debuffs/cc-s, combined with scroll buffs (if needed to counter fear, confusion, etc. of bosses) are invaluable. Add in a barbarian shout, twin scythes (point #2), etc., and the party is prepped for anything. Now, if you have a potentially challenging fight (Bog Dragon Party), you can continue to buff (actually use casted spells) and become completely unstoppable. For anyone who can’t hit 180+ deflection (non-wizards), you can always drink a wizards double or displaced image potion to ensure complete domination. Side note, I don't bother with food or potions after level 9, because I find consumables a clumsy mechanic that eats too much time (for me). Observation #5: Healing overcomes all odds Passive AOE healing abilities from a Chanter (+racial Silver Tide) and Paladin are helpful, especially if everyone in the party has a high MIG and takes Veterans Recovery to improve passive healing. Add in one or two active healing spells (Priest and Druid), Shod-in-Faith, Survival 2, 8, or 14, and nothing can harm you. I forget to use active healing spells sometimes, since passives are stabilizing anything that actually grazes/hits. I can’t believe I first played Pillars with no Priest and I never used a Chanter until my third play-through. Wow…what a difference. Observation #6: Why take melee? This final play through has made it abundantly clear that Priests, Druids, and Wizards are absolute deities, while everyone else is a mortal. If we wanted to further refine the rankings, Priests are game-changing, Druids have incredible flexibility, while Wizards are one-man armies. My fully-buffed wizard (in melee mode) decimated Llengrath, Concelhaut, and the Kraken. It may take 5-7 seconds, but once buffed, an eldritched, alacrity-ed, citzaled, llegngrathed, Wizard makes any melee class look like a mediocre sidekick. In short, I took melee for thematic reasons, but if I wanted to create the ultimate party, a Cipher would probably replace my Barb. If I wanted to go for pure power (discarding pure melee classes entirely), I would make a strong argument for Priest, Priest, Druid, Druid, Wiz, Wiz. The only reason I wouldn’t do this combo is because it is too micro intensive for me. The classic melee fighters can contribute, but only through Twin Scythes (point #2), and the Barb sticks around since his yells are decent and HoF is OK on trash mobs… but then again, what isn’t OK with trash mobs in this party? Seriously, sometimes when my Wiz chucks Shadowflame a crit will incinerate the trash mobs on POTD. In short, the melee classes are competent and fun, but they are not in the same zip code as the aforementioned power casters. Perhaps this is why Pillars 2: Deadfire is trying to make melee more powerful (opinion only, hardly a fact). To be clear, all classes can contribute and there are folks who Triple Crown Solo with Rangers or Rogues, but for me nothing will ever compare to a pure caster (level 9+). Especially a party with 3+ casters... and Twin Scythe. Observation #7: Damage dealers My Druid finished with the most damage 220K+ while my Wizard was right behind him with 190k. The rest of the party did fine, with the lowest damage being my Priest. In ascending order, my Chanter, Pali, and Barb took the middle spots. To be fair, the Chanter is not being appropriately credited for chant damage (dragon thrashed), which would dramatically change the bottom rankings, possibly rivaling the Wizard. A good measure of the chanters contribution is that she had the most kills in this party. In addition, if I had to measure damage from levels 13-16 (end game), the paladin’s and chanter’s damage dramatically increased, while the barbarian cooled off significantly. To make this clearer, let’s dissect damage dealing by levels: Levels 1-6 Druid > Barb > Wiz > Paladin > Chanter > Priest Levels 7-12 Druid > Wiz > Chanter > Barb > Priest > Paladin Levels 13-16 Wiz > Druid > Chanter > Paladin > Priest > Barb To be fair, if I spent less time buffing/debuffing with my priest and more time nuking and entering melee, my priest could be at the top of the damage dealers after level 10. However, no one buffs or heals like a priest, and my personal analysis suggests I receive far greater efficiency when focused on augmenting the party (and/or debuffing the enemies). However, the fact that the priest can unleash as much damage as my wizard is a testament to the classes otherworldly capabilities and unmatched flexibility. For kicks have a priest, cast Dire, Devotions, Crowns, Shields, Shining, Sparks, Beraths, Minor Avatar and if anything is left standing, swing a weapon. Or just debuff and launch the fire-spell artillery barrage. The priest is an absolute titan, especially within a competent party. In comparison, a wizard is equally deadly. What makes the wizard so ridiculous, is that a wiz can become untouchable (stack Hardened Veil in a pinch), hasted (alacrity), status immunity (llengs), buff stats (citzals martial) and wield a summoned weapon (take your pick, but I still love citzals lance for looks and damage). With decent MIG/INT/DEX (and light armor), the Wiz can easily transition between chain-nuking or CCing (confusion is borderline broken). Finally, the druid starts strong and finishes strong. The priest definitely starts slower and the wizard suffers from a limited number of spells, while the druid just works right from the start. Yes, the druid also has a low number of spells to start, but “beast mode” is available in every encounter. In late game, with 2-3 storms active, including avenging storm, a Druid is second to none in my book (melee mode). I truly believe, if I gave a priest, wizard, and druid 4-5 seconds to buff/debuff and then enter combat, I believe the following ratings (1-10) would be realistic (level 9+): Wizard: Survivability = 10 / Melee Power = 9 / CCing = 10 Priest: Survivability = 9 / Melee Power = 8 / CCing = 6 Druid: Survivability = 7 / Melee Power = 10 / CCing = 9 My MVP for Pillars has to be the wizard, for both doing it all and better than anyone else (short of healing, but who needs healing when you really can’t be hurt… deflection buffs + safeguard is also borderline broken). If this game had PvP, I would be a Wizard (solo), my second choice a Priest (team), and my third a Druid (either role). If I had to pick a low-micro runner-up (level 9+), the Chanter would be my pick, but the power output and flexibility doesn’t come close to the prior choices. Observation #8: No ranged weapons After level 9, the concept of pulling seemed lame and I preferred my wrecking crew to take a more direct approach. There are some nice ranged weapon builds, but they weren’t for me. In a hard fight I would simply park my party at the edge of combat and "announce their presence" by jumping out of stealth. When I needed range, my wiz, priest, or druid could bring the nukes, but most enemies died grinding on my shield wall. My standard operating procedure for boss encounters entailed: jump out of stealth (3x2 formation), combat begins, nobody moves (no AI), everyone buff, everyone buff again (if the fight is mildly challenging), debuffs away, activate twin scythes (point #2), melee engaged by this point, CC or nuke back line (if needed), melee opponents should be dead by now, move forward and clean up stragglers and enemy casters (wolf pack – all attack). Lazy mode on trash mobs consisted of: unstealth, combat begins, priest casts Devotions, twin scythes, auto-melee attack… yeah, no one is hurt. Observation #9: Items I believe the game had a “nice” selection of weapons and armor, but I found myself wasting too much time considering what “end game” gear to use, since the choices were limited. Let's be frank, how many times do you see an end game build with Bittercut, Shod-in-Faith, Abydon's, etc. If I could change anything about the system I would: a) Allow all weapons, armor, and items to be dyed, b) Create a random stat system on some items, this way there is something unique about each play through, c) Less junk items after level 9 and greater selection (more worthwhile drops/fixed treasure), d) Enable the option to suppress enchanted effects (fire, frost, etc.), and e) Provide a way to purchase some components (durgans, bog scales) at a high price, since there are times you simply ignore a cool item because you don’t have the resources to make it viable for the outer levels. Observation #10: Parting Thoughts The game offered great tactical battles, grand adventures, interesting moral dilemmas, and enjoyable plot lines. With experience the game became much easier over time, yet I found myself returning for multiple runs. There were no lame classes, but there was some disparity on the top end. I know Pillars 2 will have similar issues, since the additional choices will make balancing a factorial nightmare. However, I believe the Obsidian Team had the right approach in Pillars 1 and understood if you made all classes viable, players will be more forgiving of the overpowered options. I would like to thank the developers and producers for crafting an excellent game. In addition, the community has proven very helpful over the years and Obsidian should probably buy a free copy of the sequel(s) for several contributors on the forums! Hopefully, this guide, which was long overdue, will benefit a new player or entice a veteran to take one more run. Cheers!
  20. Another option is to: 1) initially side with the Crucible Knights, gain the store 2) help the Doems briefly, to access items 3) complete the Crucible Knights tasks (gain the main rewards), forever forging your alliance and alienating you from all other factions 4) stroll into the Dozens, kill everyone, and take Cloudpiercer... while selling another 3-4k in stock armor/weapons 5) visit the Doems, slay everyone, and sell the spoils of battle for another 10-12k Yes, this requires you being "cruel" and suffering a hit to your reputation, but nothing is more satisfying than wiping the smugness off of the Doems' faces and eradicating all occupants within the Dozens' own guildhall. My favorite raid is to go door-to-door in Brackenbury and lay waste to the two noble houses (Doems and their neighbors), followed by the Hall of Wonders (start the quest first)... property is a bargain in that district. Quite often I depart Defiance Bay and the city has a population of zero (or close to it... unfortunately you can't kill the people in the court proceedings). Then again, my evil party leaves most villages and towns with a population of zero. Anyway, a decent rule of thumb for an evil party is, "help strangers just enough to get what you need, then kill them and take the rest." I give Obsidian credit for leaving most items on the NPCs... so if you grow tired of a quest, you can still walk away with a prize or two.
  21. This is my third run through the game and each time I've had a paladin in my party (main and hired party members). I enjoyed the class, but it is obviously underpowered (Paladin wouldn't be my first pick to solo or if I needed to min/max a party). My primary recommendations for 1.06 paladin changes: 1) Make Lay on Hands healing scale with level and gain more uses (1 use for 1st-4th level, 2 uses 5th-9th, 3 uses 10th+) - Optional ghetto fix: just scale the healing by level 2) Make the Black Path an aura similar to Barbarian's Sickening Presence (let the Bleak Walker live up to its name and fill the world with dread) - Optional ghetto fix: increase the radius and duration of existing power. 3) Bond of Duty is fairly lame and should be reworked to something much more useful... like target can't die, regardless of the amount of damage taken, while Bond of Duty is active... like it was "their duty until death." I can't remember a battle when I said, "thank goodness for Bond of Duty..." Optional ghetto fix: make it reflect all hostile status attacks (charm, confuse, etc.) while active. From a developer standpoint, adjusting numbers is always an easier fix than reworking a skill (e.g., changing an attack from death triggered to an aura), but I think it is a worthy investment to balance the classes/subclasses. Overall, Paladin doesn't have a godlike power that some classes possess, but maybe the expansion will address that issue. Just a wish list... nothing to lose sleep over.
  • Create New...