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About GoldenAnkh

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    (1) Prestidigitator
  1. Dude, don't you know what happened last time Obsidian rushed to get a product out in time for Christmas? ...Why is everyone looking at me like that? What, too soon?
  2. Watch my post get approved right after the thread is moot, like the other posts I've had lately. I can't wait for the delay to be lifted. I recommend Zealous Charge -- for the humor factor. Get your party into combat ASAP, then watch as they are slaughtered more quickly/kill more slowly without a decent paladin buff! Like WWII cavalry charges into Panzers! ZFocus reduces miss chance by 6% and increases hit/crit by 6%. A nice but not staggering DPS difference for most characters, BUT it also means you can land CC and other effects more reliably. And for your high-Accuracy characters who never miss anyway, it's adding +6% crit, and those characters are probably already optimized around critting, so that's gravy. However, no matter what happens, your party will take AOE damage and adds/teleporters will get to your squishies. ZEndurance can mitigate these problems to some degree and give you a better chance of swigging potions/getting a healing spell out. And of course it keeps your front-liners alive longer. But it does nothing to stop cc/statuses from screwing you. For an in-game set of companions, excluding your PC from considerations, who will you have in your party? Your melee combatants are Pelligrino [i can't stop calling her that], Eder, Sagani's pet, Kana, and/or if you go temporarily insane and use wildshape Hiverash [another bad naming habit] Your ranged options are Grieving Mother, Aloth, Durance, Sagani herself, and/or a casting Hiverash If you have four melee combatants (including Sagani's pet) and/or two tanks (one of whom is not a fighter), then ZEndurance could be the better choice. However, ZFocus's effectiveness rises geometrically based on the number of DPSers/CCers you have. I usually have 3-4 DPS/CC-focused characters (usually GM, Durance, and Aloth, plus Sagani when I decide to turn my brain off), Eder-tank, Pelligrino, and one (sometimes two) off-tank/melee utility players (Kana and/or a monk/rogue/barb), so ZFocus is almost always the much better choice with this composition. (And Eder's DPS is meh, but hitting with knockdowns is key to mitigating damage; now that I think about it, three prones during a battle may reduce incoming damage -- and definitely incoming CC -- more than ZEndurance does in total.) I thought Zealous Endurance had a talent, but if it does I can't remember it right now.
  3. One thought -- the OP didn't specify POTD in his requirements, and he's not soloing (he says he's building a companion). Granting there are exceptions to the rules in boss fights, etc., here's a more general answer why melee rogues need deflection for two reasons 98% of the time: (1) Not so obvious: The PC with the lowest deflection often gets specifically targeted by monsters (especially teleporting shadowy undead). If the rogue is targeted (e.g., he doesn't get a deflection buff, the squishies drop/are too far away/behind the tank(s), etc.), he's probably running/Shadowing Beyond, and thus not DPSing. (2) The obvious one: Not only does deflection cause misses, but it turns crits->hits and hits->grazes. This is key to survivability. It may not be the the optimal rogue weapon, but a hatchet gives +5 deflection. Dual-wield two of these and you boost Deflection by 10. Take a rogue whose deflection is 15 less than the accuracy of his opponent. The rogue will always get struck (35% graze, 50% hit, 15% crit). Now, give the same rogue two hatchets and he'll be missed 10%, grazed 35%, hit 50%, and crit 5% of the time. That's a 1/6 overall reduction in incoming damage, solely because it's a 2/3 reduction in crits that either debilitate the rogue for a longer time and/or splatter him in one shot. A rogue still needs a set with mace/stiletto/sabers/etc. for dual-wielding against high-DR opponents, of course.
  4. You can create a rogue with a decent Deflection. (Sacrifice Might, not Dex, to get Resolve/Perception -- attacking more often means more opportunities to take advantage of status conditions, avoid overkill, get crits for spellstrike weapons, etc. -- just make sure you have a second set of maces/stilettos for high DR targets, where Might is more useful.) You do have to manage yourself in combat, though, to make sure you don't get zeroed in on -- CC is the way to go here. Backstab is terrible -- maybe when v2.0 comes out that'll change. You can also play "The Pool Guy", as I call it, to remove 95% of your glass cannon worries. You know those long-handled skimmers they use to scoop leaves out of a pool? Give your rogue a quarterstaff or a pike, and turn on reckless attack. Fire a sneak attack shot in the 1st two seconds with an arbalest/arquebus,. Then park your rogue behind your tank. It gets ridiculous when you get Tall Grass. You only really lose out on the flanking bonus, and with a Cipher and/or other party members, you'll get that anyway after the battle starts. Just make sure you know which conditions qualify you for sneak attack.
  5. From my experience, in order: 1. Rogue. Rogues tear stuff up and can be played in many different ways, from dual-wielding skirmisher to "The Pool Guy" (like using a cleaning skimmer rod -- hiding behind the tank and swinging a pike/quarterstaff with reckless attack active -- and it gets ridiculous when you get the Tall Grass pike). If you play it any way besides Pool Guy, a rogue takes a lot of smart micro and attention to (1) maximize damage, (2) put the rogue debuff (= death) on as many targets as quickly as possible, and (3) most importantly stay alive (your DPS sucks when you're dead). But this view is coming from the guy whose main in Dragon Age and most MMOs is a tank, because the other classes are just more...static to play. Plus, a Rogue to start with Mechanics +3, meaning you only have to spend 28 skill points to get to the magical Mechanics +10 skill level, and the best anyone else can start with is a +2 (requiring 36 skill points to hit the target). When they fix stealth in v2.0, Rogues will be even more fun. 2. Ciphers, in addition to the comments below, are fun to play because they have "tactical" resources, not "strategic". You get focus from scratch in each fight. The most enjoyable part of playing a Cipher in combat isn't crippling the enemy team; it's figuring out where you're going to get more focus now that you've blown all of yours. And you don't have to rest because your cipher is out of spells -- you start each fight with a set amount of focus based on levels and talents. 3. Wizards rule the battlefield, drop a ton of DPS if they're not CCing targets/dropping terrain, and the 3rd level spells are when the fun really starts. Their grimoires are customizable to boot. My problem with wizards is that I'm always wondering whether I really need to cast a given spell. So I either end up resting a lot because my spells are gone, or returning home with half my spells still uncast (usually the latter). On the other hand, there's also the challenge of picking the limited set of spells to have ready, especially if you don't use a grimoire in a quickslot. Someone who's less uptight about resources would probably enjoy wizards more. 4. Rangers...yawn. Make sure you didn't accidentally turn your modals off, fire wounding shot at the target most likely to have a lot of endurance & not engaged immediately, don't send your pet in until you know it'll be safe for it to attack, auto-attack the same target as your pet (and to be fair, you usually hit the target), watch your pet get killed by AOEs or whatever and finish the rest of fight with a -20 accuracy penalty, and then repeat on the next fight. But your pet gets special abilities at 9th(?) level, like 2/encounter knockdown! (However, it rarely hits.) For excitement, you can take two extra weapon slots, fill at least the first three with slow-loading/slow-recovery weapons, and fire/switch three times to get off three fast shots! There's my completely biased personal opinion. But I like to play a certain way -- if I'm not engaged during a fight, then it's boring. There's no rogue in the game and Grieving Mother is a perfectly fine cipher. Rogue seems to be the way to go, unless you're set on a Wizard or Ranger (especially because the two in the game are not optimized).
  6. All, I hate to post so close to the prior topic, but that seems to have devolved into discussions of how to play a barbarian. What I'd like to do is understand some basic mechanics for the barbarian and was looking for help regarding Carnage, Barbaric Blow, and Brute Force. (At INT 10, etc.) Is Carnage's circular AOE 1.5m in radius/7.1m in area? I've seen this (e.g., wiki) but didn't see it in a tooltip, etc. Is Carnage's AOE centered on the target you attack? (I would assume so, but just wanted to make sure it wasn't, e.g., 7.1m of circular area not counting a "hole in the middle" for the selection circle of the primary target). To be effective at attacking adjacent multiple targets (in a line-up or a chokepoint situation), I would assume Carnage's AOE just needs to be a little bigger than the target's selection circle. For targets spread out a little bit (e.g., when they hit your tanks and space a little), what's the gut feeling on needed AOE size to hit them with Carnage most of the time? (I'm not talking about distant targets, but when 3 guys mob your fighter from slightly different angles.) To verify: weapon reach (quarterstaffs, pikes) has no effect on Carnage's AOE, right? (only in terms of hitting the primary target, correct?) Likewise, the barbarian doesn't need a reach weapon to hit an enemy opposite the target with Carnage, correct? (I.e., touching in a row like BTC, where B=Barb, T=Target, C=Carnage victim) -- or to put it another way, ignoring the main target, Carnage's AOE is not limited by weapon reach or lack thereof? Dual-wielding barbarians: each attack with either weapon triggers a Carnage attack, and a Full Attack with two weapons (e.g., Barbaric Blow) triggers two simultaneous carnage attacks, right? Do Barbaric Blow's +Crit and Hit->Crit apply to the resulting Carnage attack? Is Brute Force worth it? (I.e., How many front-line enemies have Fortitude lower than Deflection, except for Shades and the like? Mopping up the casters isn't that big a deal.)
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