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Everything posted by hobbitmonk

  1. Avoiding spoilers as much as possible... most of the assassins you fight in the street are not from any of the factions you can ally with. First time I played the game I assumed they were all from the Doemenels since I'd had a run-in with them before. So, exasperated, I kicked in their door and massacred everyone in the building. A bit embarrassing when I realised they weren't actually behind the attacks. Whoops! The reputation system doesn't really matter too much. Which faction you side with is determined by choosing their second quest; dialogue from the questgiver warns you that those quests will commit you to one faction and alienate the other two, but a lot of people still don't realise that they've already committed to a faction. Ultimately you can't please all the factions. You will eventually have to pick a side.
  2. I can't say with any real certainty on this one, since in the case of Deadfire I knew a sequel was coming so I kept an eye on it. Tyranny just came from nowhere for me. But I think you're right, the marketing wasn't very proactive for Deadfire. If you were interested, you had to actively look for info about it. Add that to the list of reasons I suppose. That's interesting, I didn't know that. One of the challenges in any creative project is knowing when to really put your foot down on something. Maybe Josh should have been more stubborn about the pirate stuff. But I'm not here to judge past decisions, I just hope we can learn from them for a more promising future for the franchise. I don't think it's controversial to say that part of PoE's problem, all the way back to the original, was too many stretch goals, too many concessions to the mob. Everyone knows the unfinished castle management. The one that stuck out to me though was Josh saying somewhere that elves and dwarfs were only added because people expected to have them in a fantasy setting. Consequence being, creatively elves and dwarfs in PoE had nothing going on, literally feeling like skinny humans and short humans. I don't think it's a coincidence that they're absent from Tyranny.
  3. I've heard this before, but I think it oversimplifies things a little. Mainstream audiences want familiarity yes, but not TOO familiar. Using Marvel as an example, the difference between the early Marvel films and the later films is actually quite significant imo. Imagine jumping blind into a recent Marvel film, with universe-shattering stakes and a miasma of different characters and settings messily slapped together. Viking gods? A talking raccoon in space? Why is the green man so angry? It would be absolutely nonsensical. You'd have no idea who these people are or what's going on or why you should care. The Marvel formula works because the similarities and differences between the individual films work together effectively to keep audiences coming back. Familiarity with just the right amount of novelty. PoE was an indulgent nostalgia piece (I mean that in a nice way) that captured genre interest at a time when CRPGs were not really popular. Things are different now. Would changing the setting to something more familiar (or exotic) have been sufficient to make Deadfire a success? I don't know. Probably not. Imo Deadfire's lack of success is down to a confluence of smaller failures, not just one magic bullet. The pirate setting is my personal bugbear, and it seems to be a significant enough problem that lots of people mention it. But I think the biggest problem financially was being a direct sequel to a nostalgia piece. The nostalgics in the audience were satisfied with PoE. The newbies to the genre have other CRPGs to choose from now. So where does that leave Deadfire? Trying to sustain interest from a depleted audience of people who played the first game. It's not a recipe for financial success. As for Tyranny, that one's a bit trickier to explain, but part of it is probably poor marketing. It completely passed me by when it first came out. I've seen other people mention the same problem. It wasn't until it popped up in a Steam sale that I even knew it existed. I have played it, though not to completion, and the setting and concept seem more interesting than Deadfire. It's sad if developers feel they can't take a risk or experiment because everyone is chasing the mainstream audience. I hope that isn't the case. There's something to be said for knowing your niche, being part of that niche, and developing for that niche. Not every game has to aim to be the gaming equivalent of Marvel or Bond. But while we're on the topic of films, successful independent films tend not to have stuff like bloated and unnecessary stretch goals. The best independent films have the confidence to be the authentic vision of the writer or director, and be tightly focused on that, to the exclusion of unnecessary fluff. Or is that too much to hope for in the Kickstarter age?
  4. Fair enough. I'm not against that kind of texture. But there's more ways of achieving it than a direct sequel. Personally after completing PoE I didn't feel any sense of narrative incompleteness or lack of closure. Did you? Returning characters could have been integrated in other ways. For the record, I'm not necessarily opposed to PoE2 being a direct sequel. I don't think it was financial prudent though. And narratively it feels unnecessary to me. You're right, it's not fair. And yet it does make a certain kind of sense. This is an awkward point to explain, so bear with me. I think the difference is that Tolkeinesque settings can get away with it because it is the "every day" setting. For most people playing these games or reading these books, it's the default setting not just because of Tolkein's long shadow over the genre, but also because it roughly mirrors their own culture, their own history, and their own environment. As such, it's easier to drop into, and it's easier for an author to modify without confusing or disturbing the reader/player too much. So it made a good first setting for PoE, and it's likely to remain the standard in other fantasy settings for the same reason. The more complex the modifications you want to make to our own world in terms of ethics, theology, metaphysics, magic, technology, philosophy, politics, and so on, the less safe changing the environmental flavour of the setting becomes. It's another layer the reader/player needs to get acclimatised to. Not impossible of course, but the more you deviate from the standard setting, the more talented your writing team is going to have to be to do it elegantly and with minimal confusion. In PoE's case, the writers needed to convey some fairly unusual ideas like the way souls work in this setting and the nature of the Hollowing. That's the narrative focus. Having a heterodox setting could have muddled the focus. Keep in mind I'm not defending this per se, just explaining it as I see it, and why fantasy settings so often play it safe, even if in other ways they try to experiment with things. I think part of it is financial considerations. Try too many things at once and you risk creating a mess that people stay away from. So anyway, along comes the sequel. Now your setting is established. You can start experimenting more with the setting. You have a huge fantasy world to explore. You've already dropped some hints in the last game. Interesting possibilities you could explore; I like Raedceras and the Living Lands myself, but I'm sure there's others you could think of. And they chose... pirates. Maybe the second safest setting after Tolkeinesque? Maybe PoE3 will be zombie apocalypse... Why pirates specifically send a lot of people to sleep is difficult to say. It's a very subjective problem. It should be cool. But somehow it just feels tired. Blame Pirates of the Caribbean perhaps.
  5. I'll clarify then. My point with Discworld was merely that they had a choice of direct sequel (Harry Potter) or expand the scope (Discworld). Or if we're generous, they had a third option, quasi-sequel (Hobbit/LotR).
  6. I'll just throw my 2p in about why I personally still haven't got around to playing Deadfire, despite loving the first game and White March. For context, that makes me a lost customer I suppose. As a disclaimer, I feel some people in these threads (I've skimmed a few threads, so I'm not picking on anyone in particular) are getting a little defensive. Devs and fans should both wonder why the success of the first game didn't translate into the second game, or this community will continue to dwindle and any hope of PoE3 will dwindle with it. I hope in 10 years time, the PoE community is thriving, and doesn't just consist of a few bitter fans sniping each other over where things went wrong. Anyway, my post is purely an explanation of my own opinion. But if you get enough opinions, you have data. There's lots of reasons I could talk about. Some have already been discussed at length elsewhere. The most important one for me personally, and the one that probably biased me against the game from the outset, is that Deadfire as a setting is boring. I loved the setting and lore of the first game. Digging through the books and scrolls you find, learning about this world that you're only exploring a tiny fraction of. And most of it (Twin Elms not so much) is really interesting. The world is intriguing, and explores ideas that are normally only skimmed over in fantasy. It made me hope there would be sequels where you could see more of the world. Raedceras and the Living Lands in particular stood out to me as interesting and unusual as far as fantasy settings go. I was eager to see more. Instead, they went with Deadfire, and a pirate motif that was already feeling tired years ago. My enthusiasm deflated. A few secondary issues that I'll skim over quickly to save boring you: - The Eothas statue storyline didn't hook me. Core story seemed uninteresting and uninspired. That's a big problem for a rpg. - I'm older now. I have a career and family that keep me busy. I don't have the same kind of time any more to dedicate to long rpgs. For instance, I loved FF7 as a kid. But I'm older now. The remake came too late for me. I don't care any more. Rpgs are a serious time investment, and I don't have that kind of time any more. Is the audience for CRPGs ageing out of viability? I don't know. Maybe? At least those in it for nostalgia. - But if you're a young whippersnapper, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, just coming to CRPGs for the first time, there are a lot more CRPGs to choose from now. What makes Deadfire special? If you're in it primarily for the gameplay, PoE doesn't stand out as much as it did when it was released. - Unlike, say, Zelda or Final Fantasy or Fallout, Deadfire is a direct story sequel. It's like picking up the third Harry Potter as your first Potter book. Sure you can, but I can't imagine why you would. It sort of sets a cap on what your audience is going to be. What they should have done was Discworld, creating new stories with new characters in a shared world. I know there are fuzzy examples that don't fit neatly into either category, but I don't think Deadfire is one of them. This is turning into a ramble, so I'll end on some positives. I still have a lot of hope for PoE as a setting. There's so much potential there. Hell, I'd even be up for some novels. Think about what makes PoE unique. Because it's not pirates.
  7. It's doable, but since a priest is normally best when spamming spells rather than hitting things with a hammer, the traditional frontline cleric priest isn't ideal. Paladin is probably closer to what you're looking for, you lose spells but you retain the holy warrior gimmick. The best 'caster' for sitting on the frontline hitting things is probably chanter, since their 'casting' is mostly done passively, so you can still hit things at the same time without issue; probably not quite what you're looking for though, although from a fluff pov a chanter could make for an interesting shaman cleric. If you still want to do a battle priest anyway, take a look at Dr <3's Pale Knight build as something to get you started. If you don't mind playing an evil character, there's also Skaen.
  8. You have a few options. 1. Hands down the easiest - and imo best - method is to stealth to the door with Stealth 5. The convo with the statue triggers, drop the animat summon as a distraction, run through the door, and wait for combat to end. Done. This fight is not worth the hassle imo. Respec out of Stealth 5 later if that's your style. 2. There's a summon distraction method that doesn't require Stealth, but I found it to be quite picky to get to work. Expect to have to try it a few times to get it right. 3. If you're determined to do the fight the manly way, then you'll need as much Fortitude as possible to endure those stun attacks; max Might and Constitution and take the Bear's Fortitude talent. After trying it a few different ways with a few different classes, my take is that the Deflection strategy isn't ideal. You want to try to out DPS the phantoms and pray your high Fortitude gives you some reprieve against chain-stunning. Dual-wield fine weapons, don't forget fire lash and spirit-slaying. It should go without saying that you should be hiding in the corner, fighting them one-on-one only. Fan of Flames scrolls are your friend too, just make sure you're being attacked by a shadow, and Fan of Flames over his head (though I've done it without scrolls before, so they aren't required if you'd rather not). Try to open combat with a fine arbalest, which should at least knock out or weaken one enemy straight away. So you want max Might and Con for Fortitude, and high Perception for accuracy. Coastal Aumaua is my favourite race for soloing mostly because stun and prone is so common, their racial is a great quality of life bonus in the early game where such things matter the most imo. Iirc, One-handed no longer works with a shield.
  9. I ran through most of PotD solo with a monk (one day I'll wrap it up, but life got in the way and I'd rather just start a new run right now), and I've used monks in regular party play too. My observation with Clarity is that most of its use is as an emergency escape button. If you're playing a full party, you probably have a paladin or a priest who can do anti-CC duty (and enemy CC normally isn't as dangerous with a full party anyway), so you can normally safely skip it imo. Monks have no shortage of tasty abilities, so unless you're dead set on having a very defensive monk, I'd go for something else most of the time. That said, Clarity does have niche utility, but it's mostly of interest to soloers or party monks who spend most of their time behind enemy lines targeting casters (combo with Long Stride and Flagellant's Path). If you have high defences/Res, the enemies are probably just grazing you most of the time, so even dumped Int is fine to make CC quickly expire. re your bug, I don't recall seeing it myself, or maybe I just didn't notice. Maybe report it if you haven't already, though I don't know if there are any more patches forthcoming. Clarity does have other buggy problems I found. One particularly irksome one was that if you tell your monk to, say, Torment's Reach, but before your monk has executed the ability you change the order to Clarity... the monk will do neither and just stand there doing nothing. I haven't run into this problem with anything else, so it seems to be a bug with Clarity. Buyer beware. tldr I don't regret using it on my solo run exactly; it made some tough fights go more smoothly, but there are issues with using it. If you're content to reload when fights go against you anyway, then Clarity loses even its niche use. If you're playing with permadeath though, I'd say it's worth it. You really don't want to die due to CC you could have escaped with Clarity. I'd make sure you practice with it first before doing a permadeath run so you know where it's bugginess is going to let you down.
  10. If you don't mind cheesing it a bit (and I didn't mind, after carving through all those mercenaries outside all bets were off), he's one of the easiest bosses in the game imo. Use a monk with Long Stride (or a paladin with Zealous Charge, or iirc you can do the same thing with a ranger's pet) and kite the enemies out in manageable chunks, or even one at a time. Boots of Speed are always handy for kiting, but I don't think they're absolutely required here. Then dogpile Concelhaut and chop him into sushi. Without his goons to play meatshield, he's nothing special, and should be down in seconds. No buffing/food/scrolls/needed, just a good old fashioned beat down, consistent and reliable, if cheesy. If you're still having issues, I'm pretty sure he isn't immune to prone, so have your melee characters grab prone weapons like Tall Grass pike and the Hours of St. Rumbalt/Temaperacl greatswords, flank him, and beat him down.
  11. Just fyi, the ring isn't particularly interesting, and certainly not worth the loss of the warm fuzzies I get by not looting the poor woman's ring. In fact, the ring is so meh, I'm convinced it - and the whole burning building event - is only there as a "f**k you" by the developers to compulsive looters. PoE in general suffers a bit from high effort/low reward loot at times, but the burning building feels deliberate. See also stealing Captain Fortanero's hat (though that one is at least funny). Also, spells granted by equipment don't seem to work. I tried that with the blizzard estoc from Crucible Keep during a solo run, but no luck.
  12. To be honest, stats aren't THAT important unless you're planning something specific, such as solo or doing something funny with status effect weapons or so on. Most builds wont fall apart if you tinker with their stats a bit (e.g. taking 1 point out of each stat to boost a talky stat sky-high). Hell, nothing will go cataclysmically wrong if you just slap 13 on every stat for any class and call it a day. So don't be disheartened when you compare your character to builds online. Also remember that a lot of builds posted online make use of late-game equipment/talents/abilities which you'll be spending most of the game - and certainly all of Act 1 - without. Paladins also have a bit of a rough power curve in that they're titanic gods when they hit lv13 and get per encounter Sacred Immolation, but until then are mostly jack-of-all-trades, so some people get frustrated and assume they suck. I've always liked them though, even when most of the internet seemed to think they were underpowered. They grant permanent buffs with their auras, they can heal, they're quite resilient, they have some nice damage dealing potential with Sworn Enemy and so on; they're team players for much of the game. If you just want a convo-centric PC, that's your focus and you should think mostly about that imo, the rest of the team can pick up the combat slack. Something like 10/10/10/16/16/16 is fine. If you want to make sure you're getting all the best convo options, then focus on boosting Int and Res; Per is a nice bonus, but not as important as Int and Res. If you're dead set on having a build to work from, there are some builds out there that focus on talky stats, but they tend to be weird tanks (Res for defence, Per + Int for status effects). I quite like NerdCommando's pr0n tank monk for that: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=416939844
  13. I ran a 3 paladin party that was a lot of fun. 2 Kind Wayfarer pikers (Tall Grass, Lost Thayn's Reach) behind a Coastal Aumaua tank (I hate prone-spamming enemies, and there are a lot of them). Tank takes Zealous Charge for kiting mobs into doorways. Kind Wayfarers' Strange Mercy heals help keep the tank alive. Even with just 3 paladins, even on PotD, Sacred Immolation breaks the game in half when you get it, it's grotesque really. I love 'em. The biggest issue was enemy casters, so keep some ranged sidearms around for annoying casters and enemies immune to pikes. I have thought about a 6 paladin party in the past. 5 Kind Wayfarers for stacking heals (make sure you're standing close enough together that the healing aura covers the frontline) would provide an absurd amount of healing even for the toughest fights, though I found even 3 paladins ample for healing purposes. Whatever tanking paladin takes your fancy to camp doorways. You could easily include Pallegina in a party like this if you wanted to. Ranged paladins aren't really optimal, but they're resilient and consistent damage dealers at least. Sworn Enemy is now per encounter, so that's an added nicety for sniping irritating casters. Alternatively, spec another paladin with a prone/stun weapon and Zealous Charge and send him caster-hunting. With 6 paladins, you have the redundancy. In that case, making him Kind Wayfarer might be a bit of a waste. You could even spec a pair of paladins this way so they can flank casters and beat them down in no time at all (Apprentice's Sneak Attack for added fun).
  14. This probably wont be the most helpful answer, but for me my motivation is laziness, so my Mechanic is always my tank. He's at the front of the formation anyway, so he's also my Mechanic, two birds with one stone. I dislike having to rearrange my party for every mob, pulling my Mechanic back into formation and so on. So my party moves around like a phalanx who can immediately jump into combat. It's probably not the most optimal choice, but for me it's a great quality of life boost.
  15. The faction system in Pillars is a little strange in some ways. Near as I can tell, unless you actively try to murder people in a faction's home building, then you can always accept their first quest. Accepting the second quest from a faction locks you out of the other factions' second quests. The Doemenels are a little bit strange in that to even get through the door you need a reason for being there. From what I recall, there are a few options: 1. kill the thieves in Copperlane, and bring the AD letter to the Doemenels' mansion. The doorman will then let you in. 2. Help Medreth in Dyrford Village. The game is a little nonlinear here, so you can visit Dyrford village before even entering Defiance Bay, and his quest is quick and straightforward to complete (you can even lie to him and you'll still get a good rep with the Doemenels anyway). Mention Medreth to the Doemenels' doorman, and he'll let you in. 3. Side with Danna against the merchant. 4. When helping the Salty Mast's owner against the local thugs, don't take a quick resolution to the quest. Instead, talk to the thugs' leader, agree to talk to the Mast's owner about reducing prices, and she'll send you to Bricanta Doemenel to ask about reducing prices. The quest takes longer this way, but is another way to get through the door. You can actually get access to their shop without completing any of their faction quests (or delivering the letter to Reymont instead); Bricanta has her own sidequest, Hard Feelings, that grants access to their shop instead. As far as I can tell, killing Danna doesn't matter in the long run as long as you have another way of getting through the door. They'll still send assassins after you at one point, which is kind of funny. Like I said, the faction system is strange, and there are odd little oversights like this. But the tldr is, you should be fine killing her as long as you haven't otherwise resolved the other routes through the door.
  16. Anslog's Compass is doable early on, I usually do it around lv4. Movement speed breaks a lot the game's difficulty in half, and while it's harder to exploit in caves, it is doable. Start combat with the fine arbalest, then run all the way to the far south-east corner, as close to the cave entrance as possible; if you did it right, all but the closest of the sporelings will stop chasing you, allowing for a one-on-one fight. Rinse and repeat until they're all dead. The remaining dank spore towers are tiresome to fight due to mind control, but otherwise don't pose much of a threat. Monks and paladins get easy +2 movement with Long Stride and Zealous Charge respectively; other classes can achieve the same result with Survival 3 and the Fast Runner talent. If you're still having trouble, consider taking the Bear's Fortitude talent, which helps against Prone. Note when dealing with the spore towers, there's STILL a bug that means the towers get to keep your buff auras after mind control has expired, so if you're, say, a paladin with Outworn Buckler equipped or a Zealous aura, either remove it before fighting them, or better yet just slowly plug away at them one at a time from a nice safe distance with the fine arbalest. You can do the same trick with the bear cave, but it's a bit more erratic there (sometimes the big bear doesn't turn back), so it may take a reload or two, but otherwise it's reliable. I normally do the bear cave at lv3. If you have no RP preference one way or the other, it's usually worth killing Raedric for the unique armour you can only acquire later if you kill him, since it's one of the better pieces of armour in the game imo. There's no real rush on finishing that quest though. If I recall correctly, on my last solo run I eventually wrapped up Raedric around lv7, although there's no harm in doing as much of the quest as you can asap, it's a good source of early cash and some fine equipment. Whatever triggers this convo must be incredibly picky, because it must have taken me close to a dozen attempts to duplicate this without any points in Stealth. For those like me having trouble getting this to work, here's how I managed it: kite the ghosts down towards the entrance a little bit, pop the summon as far down as you dare (top of the stairs or so on my successful effort), making sure to leave enough room for you to run past to the statue. When the summon is dead, assuming you kited them down far enough, the statue convo will trigger, and you can dash through the now-open door before the ghosts have even returned to their positions. Popping the summon too far up the room will result in the statue convo not triggering, leaving you high and dry against angry ghosts. As far as I can tell, hiding in corners etc doesn't help trigger the convo either. From what I can tell, the trigger is some sort of timer, so if insufficient time has elapsed before the ghosts return to their positions, the conversation wont trigger, even if you're hiding out of sight. It's a pain, but once you know what triggers it, it seems to be fairly reliable, you just need to make sure to kite them down towards the entrance before deploying the summon. The more reliable approach if you can't be bothered with that is with Stealth 5. With Stealth 5, you can safely stealth all the way to the door, triggering the conversation, which forces you out of stealth. Combat starts, pop summon, run through the door, job done. If you don't care about respeccing (always feels scummy to me so I avoid it, but whatever floats your boat), respec out of Stealth 5 later if you want to save the points for something else.
  17. If memory serves, on my playthrough at least, the only way to get the cape was to give her money to help her escape. All other resolutions ended without the cape. Are you saying you didn't get the cape even when you gave her money?
  18. Since I'm in the probation purgatory allotted to all newbies, you may have missed my post above, but I'll reiterate that I don't use scrolls, potions, or food. Shod-in-Faith was sufficient for my healing needs before Boots of Speed, and I haven't really missed them since. My revised build of Voltron's was originally an experiment to see if Moon godlike was actually indeed required, and I feel so far that that's definitely not the case. I think it comes down to how much status effects annoy you. I know status effects annoy me a lot, which is why I was attracted to Voltron's build in the first place and sought to build on it, and race choice is part of that for me. Anything that will soften the blow of status effect annoyance helps my sanity. Now that said, Moon godlikes are far from bad, just not the go-to requirement they're often made out to be imo. There's also opportunity costs involved. Building on healing in the way you suggest means equipment slots are increasingly funnelled to that endeavour at the expense of other possibilities, in this build's case anti-CC measures. If we take your example, to get that level of healing we're losing a helmet slot (godlike), cloak, belt, and any benefit a different racial might grant. I'm not denying the utility of a build with that much healing (particularly if you're determined to tank every tough mob straight up rather than kiting/splitting), but in that case you're probably already looking at a different direction for the build anyway. For one, Long Stride might become a bit redundant in that case. Of course in all this, I have to admit I'm biased, since I just personally really dislike the look of the Moon godlikes, so if at all possible I'd rather use something else in most builds. The ones I feel most sorry for are Nature godlikes. Someone throw them a bone and buff them already! I think if you can beat the game on PotD then revisiting the game on solo is definitely worth a try. Knowing what to expect, where you might struggle, particularly dangerous enemies etc definitely helps a lot. Broadly speaking the tactics involved aren't too different, but it does make you pay more attention to your build! So far the worst part was Act 1 (no surprise really), mostly because some enemies just can't be dealt with safely any other way than running away and plinking them with a bow or wand or whatever. Becomes very tedious at times, but that does give way and become a lot more fun in Act 2.
  19. In Act 1, high Constitution/Deflection and Second Wind (monks start with Athletics 1) were sufficient for most fights. With Long Stride you're kiting/splitting tough encounters anyway which is your main source of longevity, you don't fight tough mobs straight up. You split them, or kite them into a more defensible position. I used Healing Hands gloves for tougher fights (boss fights especially). The animat summon also has a weak heal, though otherwise he's mostly just there to provide a flanking bonus. In Act 2, especially to begin with, Shod-in-Faith boots definitely help. I'm not sure they're required exactly, even without Moon godlike, although it's not like there are compelling alternatives at this stage really. I used them until I found Boots of Speed. The main issue is that as time goes on and you rack up levels, the healing from Shod-in-Faith is just felt less and less imo. Either an encounter is easy enough to tank in a doorway without Shod-in-Faith mattering, or the fight is tough enough that you're better off kiting/splitting because even Shod-in-Faith probably wouldn't be enough otherwise. Also, eventually your Deflection will be high enough that enemies might not be critting you at all, they'll just wear you down with regular hits, meaning that sometimes Shod-in-Faith wont even trigger at all. I suppose this might be part of what Voltron meant by managing Deflection so it isn't too high, but personally I'd rather get hit less and not need the healing. Building specifically around Shod-in-Faith seems a bit of an ugly solution when you could just crank Deflection as high as you can and use greater mobility to manage tough encounters instead though. Though I think when Voltron wrote his guide, Boots of Speed might not have been in the game yet(?), I don't recall. In White March part 1, imo Boots of Speed have more utility than Shod-in-Faith. It makes splitting even more effective, and also makes getting mobs of enemies to fight each other easier. I did most of Act 2 before White March and did the higher level scaling, and by this point I just wasn't feeling Shod-in-Faith much at all, so I switched to Boots of Speed and haven't looked back. so tldr: kiting/splitting adds more to your survivability than healing does, and Boots of Speed only build on this. Note though that I did Endless Paths before White March, so I did that with Shod-in-Faith. Potions? I don't use potions, scrolls, or food. Call it personal masochism. I'd rather have more summons in my item slots anyway.
  20. I hate to be "that guy", but at least for me on Linux, the stacking bug appears to still not be completely fixed. One of the mercenary wizards in Cragholdt had Deflection so high it was impossible to hit him (somewhere around 250, 300 when he decided to be funny and throw up Arcane Veil too). Luckily I could avoid him and get past him and in to fight Concelhaut. In a weird kind of irony, when I came back out of the tower I used my newly acquired skull summon to kill the mercenary wizard because there's no way my monk was getting through such sky-high Deflection any other way. Point being is I'll still be a bit wary myself, since it seems this particularly bug still hasn't been definitely squashed. So I do sympathise with OP's frustrations (newbie here though I am) when it appears that known bugs just aren't getting fixed between beta and release.
  21. :D Well, thats how build are born! :D Good luck mate! At least take Shod-in-Faith boots with you :D Hopefully this isn't seen as necroposting, but since this is more of a build review/tweak/respin/3.0 update rather than a new build itself, I figure it's better just to piggyback here rather than start my own thread. I suppose if a mod feels differently they can spin it off. Now first off, a disclaimer: I haven't finished my run yet, but since I've managed to beat Concelhaut with it, I'm fairly confident that it'll carry me to the end of the game, though whether it can beat all superbosses I can't personally vouch for yet. I'll edit accordingly when (or if!) that happens. I also never use potions, food, or scrolls, but I do use summons, so if you're the sort to stuff your face with food and guzzle potions before every tough fight, things will be even easier for you. PotD, because self-inflicted misery is the only way to play games like this. Secondly, props to Voltron for the build, it's a really solid platform to work off, made soloing a much less frustrating experience than I was anticipating, given this is my first solo run. Now that said, and due respect to Voltron, I'm just going to run through the changes I made to the build for 3.0 and where I feel it works and doesn't work, some things I changed etc. Anyway, wall of text time. Race war: Probably the biggest single change I made was to change the race from Moon godlike to Wild Orlan, but lets just have a quick race overview of the contenders (or the highlights thereof anyway): Moon godlikes' free heal is nice, of course, but I'm not sure Moon godlikes are quite the be-all and end-all race they once were now. White March introduced a swathe of new helmets, some of them quite tasty, that I feel has made godlikes of any variety, even Moon godlikes, a lot harder to justify (pity the poor Nature godlike, now even more thoroughly cursed than before). The Executioner's Hood, introduced in WM2, looks like it might come close to almost totally deprecating Moon godlike; I haven't got it yet to test though (I'll edit later just to confirm). I mean sure you could stack them for even more healing, but there's other options that are opened up now. Some of the helmets in the vanilla game, like the Stag Helm (immunity to Stuck) and Hermit's Hat (immunity to Confuse), got updated to be more useful too. That said, if you want things to be easier in Act 1, then Moon godlike is still nice, I just feel its usefulness is on the wane, and just continues to be felt less and less as you go through the game. I never really felt like I was missing it. Also, I'm sorry, but Moon godlikes just look like dorks. Wild Orlans have the advantage of more defensive stats, first with +1 Resolve, second (and more importantly) with Defiant Resolve. When playing solo you'll be barraged by Will attacks of one sort or another. Now imo I found (a bit surprisingly) that most Will attacks aren't that punishing, but they're common enough that Defiant Resolve will trigger pretty often. It's not the most 'felt' or obvious of racials, but it helps to prolong the life of your PC anyway. I'm not a mathamancer, but I doubt the boost to defenses is sufficient to entirely offset the loss of Moon godlike racial healing, but non-godlikes can wear hats, so pick your poison I suppose. The anti-orlan racism in the game also provides some funny dialogue at times. There's also something that just tickles me about the idea of a kung fu hobbit. Coastal Aumaua is probably my favourite tank race in regular party play, but I wasn't sure if the big guys' racial would bring enough to solo. In hindsight, I totally think it would have worked, maybe even my race of choice for solo if I were to try again. I just really hate Prone, it's super common, and while Heldrik's Coat (+30 to resist Prone) plus maxed Might/Con/Fortitude make you very resistant to Prone, enough enemies still knocked me over to annoy me. My previous PotD run with a 3-man party included a Coastal Aumaua tank who was basically immune to Prone and I loved watching the enemies futily try anyway. Coastal Aumaua also has the Might edge over Wild Orlans, 9% extra damage (assuming Might 17 vs Might 20) is nothing to sneer at. Boreal dwarf might be an option if you really hate the Lagufaeth in White March, but personally I didn't find them too much trouble (you'll have Boots of Speed around that point anyway, so Long Stride + Boots of Speed will grant you +5 movement, plenty to kite/split them). Ogre druids are something I despise and the Boreal racial allows you to carve them up more easily, but hard to justify taking for that alone, especially when you can get +10 accuracy from a measly Survival 4 now. Wilders and Primordials as a group are pretty common but probably not threatening enough to justify taking over a different racial imo. Still, if you want a more offensive oriented tanky monk, Boreal dwarf might be an interesting contender. You can also hit Might 21 with the Living Lands background, so there's that to consider too if you want more damage. Mostly I'd just like to emphasise that Moon godlike is no longer quite the default race it once was, not even when soloing. On musing I'm not sure race really matters all that much. Just choose what you like. Sadly my usual favourite, Hearth Orlan, is probably the most useless on solo. Sure you can do some cute things with summon flanking, but not enough to warrant choosing them. Most other races should be fine. Now lets talk a little more about Will status effects. The worst offenders are, of course, Charm/Dominate/Confuse/etc, but on solo I really found these not to be much of an issue. The way it works is as soon as you're charmed (or whatever), the enemies will just mill around or start wandering off, the charm will last about 1 or 2 seconds then deactivate, and you'll be back to fighting like nothing happened. Mildly annoying, but not annoying enough to warrant pumping Will over Fortitude. My anticipation before soloing was that my PC would go wandering out of position when charmed while trying to tank a doorway, but that turned out not to really be an issue in practice. Probably the biggest problem is that if you have a summon out then the charm wont immediately deactivate and you'll fight your own summons until they despawn, so don't expect to get too much mileage out of your summons against persistent charmers. Other than that there's Frightened/Terrified, but with high accuracy this isn't actually too much of a problem. Unfortunately Frightened/Terrified is most annoying when the enemy has it as a passive aura in which case even with Wild Orlan and high Will, you'll still have it on you almost permanently since it just keeps getting reapplied enough for it to be permanent even when grazing I found. Better to just try to overcome it with more accuracy imo. This is also why I skipped Mental Fortress/Bull's Will in the end. Apparently there's now a Soulbound weapon that grants immunity to fear/terror, so that would be an interesting left-hand weapon for the monk (will edit when I've tried it). What changed: Since Voltron's build was originally posted, Perception changed to granting accuracy rather than Deflection, so accuracy is more abundant these days, though still not enough for my liking (I hate strings of misses with an intensity to scare a Bleak Walker), and conversely Deflection is now a bit harder to easily acquire. There have also been prominent changes to some skills. Fatigue is out (praise Wael), so Athletics, previously an automatic 3-4 investment, is now borderline useless, adding a piddly per-encounter heal. Not bad at the start of the game (functions similarly to one of Moon godlike's heals but only to yourself), but quickly approaches uselessness after Caed Nua, especially when you get Shod-in-Faith boots. Also added are changes to Survival, which is worth more consideration. Now on solo, you don't really have the skill points to be funding both Survival and Mechanics to the hilt (it only gets more awkward if you're trying to juggle Lore in there), and you really can't afford to neglect Mechanics. That said, imo you'll want Survival 4 for +10 accuracy against the most annoying enemy type on the map, or just +1 movement speed or +1DR when the only thing you're fighting is humans. You can probably just about squeeze Lore 2 in there, but I wasn't tempted to go any higher personally, I just passed on Lore entirely myself. I also decided to dump Dex, not so much because it's bad, but because I needed something else to dump other than just Int in order to free up points for some min-maxing nastiness, and there just isn't much competition for cutting except for Dex. If slow attacks make you reach for the bleach, then feel free to go Dex10/Per10, but I'd rather have slower but more accurate attacks every time myself. Con has been buffed from +3% to +5% since 2.0, so I maxed that. More Con helps resist those annoying Fortitude-targeting status attacks anyway. Speaking of which, many annoying status effects target Deflection before they target Fortitude, so high Deflection adds an extra layer of defense against those effects. Note that with high Deflection there will be times when your Wound count wanes a bit, but Lesser Wounds alleviates that somewhat, and in tough fights you'll never be short of wounds anyway. Stats: 17/18/3/17/3/20 If you decide to change the race, then adjust accordingly. Basically dump Int and Dex, max Resolve for Deflection and conversation options, max Might+Con for damage, health, and Fortitude, then put whatever is left into Perception (should be enough for a nice accuracy boost and some conversation options). e.g. if you go Coastal Aumaua, something like: 20/18/3/15/3/19 etc. Or a simple 18/3 spread if you like symmetry, all good choices. I went with the Drifter background for +Mechanics +Stealth, but whatever works if you want something else for RP reasons. Just keep in mind that Mechanics is king in solo if you aren't going for a pacifist run. Some more Dex and accuracy would have been nice, but there's just too much to squeeze in to a solo build to have everything. Particularly more speed would have been nice to interrupt casters, but oh well. Gear highlights: Heldrik's Coat - I'm really fond of this armour. You can get it early (Crucible Keep in Defiance Bay), and it'll serve you well throughout most of the game. That easy bonus to defense against Prone is just really nice given how common Prone is as a status effect. Stacks with Coastal Aumaua racial btw, so the two combined make you almost impossible to knock down. The oft-recommended Sanguine Plate has had a very ugly makeover since its glory days and is now thoroughly deprecated imo, swapping Retaliation for Frenzy, so pass. Stag Helm - relatively easy to acquire (one of the bandits in the dragon egg quest at Dyrford has one, seems to be random drops elsewhere too), recently had immunity to Stuck added to it. Not the most amazing immunity perhaps, but I like it. There's also the Hermit's Hat which grants immunity to Confuse if that annoys you. Shod-in-Faith boots - really helpful for prolonging your longevity early on, but wanes in usefulness as you progress through the game imo. I replaced them with Boots of Speed when I got them because I'm a sucker for greater mobility. pet skull - this summon is pretty overpowered. I try not to use it too often since it stomps just about anything. I keep it in reserve for the most annoying fights, when someone absolutely has to die to ensure I'm not overwhelmed, especially when kiting/splitting isn't viable or would take too long. An aside: anyone else disappointed that no one mentions your pet cackling floating skull when it's following you around? Especially given the distaste for animancy from many in the game, you'd think SOMEONE would mention it! sidearms - 3.0 introduced enemies with outright immunities rather than high DR, including to Crush, so our monk is now in a bit of a pickle, since he can't even tickle his enemies to death with his bare hands anymore. Just use whatever pierce/slash weapons you prefer, it doesn't matter too much. I'm currently rocking Edge of Reason axe (Superb, Draining) and Drawn in Spring dagger (Superb, Wounding). Vile Loner spear is underrated, since -5 accuracy to the enemy is basically the same as +5 Deflection for you in many situations, I used that for a while before free Superb weaponry began to appear. Revised build and notes: I tweaked the build a bit and and went with: • lv1 - Torment's Reach ∘ even with dumped Int, this still rocks. Note though that with low Int, especially fat enemies make hitting anyone behind them almost impossible, but it does chain comfortably through smaller regular enemies. The low Int didn't matter most of the time though, and it's for that reason that I dumped Int to spare some more points for other things. • lv2 - Weapon Focus Peasant ∘ For an early accuracy boost; at this stage you want every drop of accuracy you can eke out. ∘ Survival 3 for kiting wolves into bandits in Valewood, rest into Mechanics (Mechanics 3 for me). • lv3 - Long Stride ∘ Survival 4 for more accuracy, rest into Mechanics (Mechanics 4 for me). • lv4 - Vulnerable Attack ∘ At this stage, the ability to punch through DR really helps a lot, and with dumped Dex we're a bit on the sluggish side anyway, a bit less speed barely matters when you're slow anyway, but hey, slow and steady wins the race. Or slowly grinds the enemies to bloody dust anyway. ∘ Stealth 3 (in prep for Caed Nua), Mechanics 5. • lv5 - Clarity of Agony ∘ Not exactly a game changer, but a nice panic button, saved my ass a few times, even with the mongoloid Int. Probably safe to change to Turning Wheel if you want though. If you don't mind loading a lot when fights go against you due to status effects you can't escape from, then you can probably skip Clarity and swap it for something else (Turning Wheel is the obvious candidate since we're taking it later anyway), but on balance I'd say Clarity is probably still worth it, just about. My main gripe is it just feels a bit buggy. There are times that, for whatever reason (bug? My own idiocy? Possibly an AI issue if this wasn't a problem in 2.0) it just refuses to fire. It seems to be something to do with you (or the script AI) telling your PC to Torment's Reach, then before they've done it to Clarity instead... and often they'll just stand there and do nothing at all instead, getting punched and stabbed in the face all the while. Quite frustrating, especially since I liked to use it as a panic button - what's the point of a panic button if it isn't sufficiently reactive? So take or pass, but just a friendly heads-up about its limitations. Unfortunately Turning Wheel doesn't truly thrive until later imo when you're often taking enough damage to wrack up a ton of wounds quickly anyway. This early in the game most enemies aren't hitting hard enough to get Turning Wheel humming. ∘ You should be hitting lv5 before Caed Nua if you've been wrapping up all the local quests around Gilded Vale. If you get lucky (or you've been save-scumming like a wretched hobgoblin) and found Boots of +2 Stealth in Raedric's Hold, you'll only need Stealth 3, otherwise you'll need Stealth 5; then rest into Mechanics, and more for every level after this. White March added some unpleasant traps so Mechanics 10 is no longer fully sufficient, I haven't fully tested yet but you'll want at least Mechanics 12 if possible to clear all the traps (this was on PotD, so mileage may vary on lower difficulties, maybe the game is more forgiving with traps there). Alternatively there's always respec, but I feel that very much goes against the spirit of the game. You want Stealth 5 so you can sneak past the perma-stunning phantoms in Caed Nua's hall. Stealth to the door to the dungeon, the statue will talk to you, forcing you out of stealth and into combat when the conversation is over. Use the animat summon to distract the ghosts, run through the door to the end of the corridor and wait for combat to end. Then you can safely go down the stairs. It's possible to beat the phantoms, but it's really not worth the hassle imo. In my tests I only managed it once, so I'd rather just stealth past them and call it a day. • lv6 - Savage Attack ∘ accuracy issues wane a bit here, so perfect time for easy increased damage. • lv7 - Duality of Mortal Presence ∘ I almost never made use of the non-Deflection defense modal, so really this was just a +8 Deflection talent taking up an ability slot. Totally worth it! Smarter use of this one probably could have helped in some fights, but oh well. Whenever I used the second modal I ended up just missing the Deflection more. • lv8 - Body Control/Bear's Fortitude ∘ By this stage I was getting really annoyed with perma-paralyzing Xaurip skirmishers sending me fleeing in embarrassed terror whenever they appeared, so I took Body Control and finally stomped their heads in with ease, allowing me to comfortably breach Endless Paths floor 2, and surprisingly enough managed to keep going deep enough to beat everything there (minus Adra dragon). ∘ Body Control probably edges out Bear's Fortitude slightly since some of the most annoying status effects don't solely target Fortitude (druid lightning Stun doesn't for instance), though Bear's Fortitude has the advantage of being able to be taken earlier if your rage against perma-stun eclipses mine, and also helps against common status effects like Prone. You can swap Savage Attack here if you like and take the defensive bonus at lv6 instead, but personally I favour early Savage Attack just to get damage output up. You can always kite/run-and-gun perma-stunners before then, embarrassing as it is for a monk to resort to that. • lv9 - Crucible of Suffering ∘ combos really nicely with Wild Orlan's Defiant Resolve, but I prefer more Deflection, hence Duality at lv7 and Crucible at lv9, but feel free to swap them if you prefer. • lv10 - Lesser Wounds ∘ At this point, Wound accumulation was becoming something of an issue so this is a good time for it. Before now, low Dex meant I was getting enough damage for most of my attacks to be Torment's Reaches anyway, but around this point it was no longer always enough. • lv11 - Iron Wheel ∘ Helps suffer through some tough fights, and the usual annoyances like paralysis or Petrify become less traumatic, which is nice. In principle you can combo it with lighter armour to scrape out some extra attack speed, but personally I always missed Prone resistance when I moved away from Heldrik's Coat. ∘ I passed on Swift Strikes for a couple of reasons; first, I found managing both Reach and Swift Strikes awkward on testing (yeah I'm lazy, sue me), and second, my PC's rock stupid Int meant the Swift Strikes duration was pitiful anyway. I'd rather spend the Wounds on more Reaches, or stacking Wheel. • lv12 - Two-Weapon Style ∘ By this stage, I wanted more speed one way or another to crank my dps, and since Swift Strikes is out we'll take this instead. • lv13 - Turning Wheel ∘ more damage. Stacks with Iron Wheel! By this stage you'll probably be taking enough damage, especially in tough fights, to have some Wounds in reserve and still have plenty for Reaches. ∘ Around this point I killed Concelhaut (really annoying fight, whenever I saw him sparking up his hammer spell, I'd flee in terror and he'd still get me most of the time, that thing has a brutally fast cast time) and switched to using Boots of Speed. • lv14 - Gallant's Focus ∘ a few more drops of accuracy for helping against bosses. Misses have always annoyed me, so I always like to eke out a few more points of accuracy where I can. With low Int, your radius wont help your summons too much though, unless you're standing right next to them. • lv15 - Enervating Blows ∘ not really so much for the status effect itself, which is a nice little bonus side effect but relatively minor imo, but rather for what it allows us to make use of: • lv16 - Apprentice's Sneak Attack ∘ more damage! Overall, fun build!
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