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Ensign

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Everything posted by Ensign

  1. Why the preference for Sanguine Greatsword over Effort or non-greatswords? I presume the self heal on crit is valued highly?
  2. I mean that (Wizard) Aloth and (Theurge) Tekehu are versatile classes that aren't dependent upon tricky synergies to make effective. Aloth can nuke or debuff or use summons, there are a variety of ways to take him and with the composition of the party any of them would work. Theurge Tekehu isn't so versatile, but gets free spells on both the chanter and druid side - if you use those and don't try and do anything too crazy he'll be very effective. I don't think you need feedback there. Summons don't need to be a priority or your main play pattern. I just mean that if you see a lot of enemies breaking past the front lines or you are dealing with shades that dive your casters you have a lot of sources of cheap summons to clog things up in a pinch. With respect to Herald Pallegina, it's not just tank vs offtank building but WotEP in particular, which requires you to play certain ways (take focused fire for offensive parry, pile in close to tight packs of mobs to benefit from the cleave) that you are not necessarily suited to. Thus you might find yourself having to pay a lot of attention to microing the character without a lot of payoff for that micro. A generic two hander has more flexible positioning and target selection which makes it less intensive and more versatile. For various Cipher subclasses it really depends on what you want to do with it. If you are a spellcaster you probably want to be ranged and stick with core or Beguiler or Ascendant, since there's generally no benefit from casting in melee range. If you are more about weapon attacks then neither of those will be as good as a vanilla cipher, and Soul Blade would give you an additional tool for weapon attacks if you are melee. None of these are obviously better given the comp. The question I like like to ask though is who is your 3rd engager if someone breaks into the backline. Mindstalker is great at fighting one guy in melee due to all the damage bonuses so I keep a melee set on them so they can step up for that. But it could be Aloth with shields and stuff too. Just have a plan. I would make the Fanatic the main. Melee and martials benefit more from the bonus stats and abilities the main accumulates.
  3. Quick thoughts: Theurge Tekehu and Wizard Aloth are staple characters. Single class wizard (no subclass on Aloth; could be Evoker or Blood Mage custom) is really flexible with lots of good options. Theurge Tekehu is a bit less flexible given the subclasses but the guide you link is solid for building around his strengths. Two weapon Fanatic will be solid. This is your primary engage in this composition. There is a bit of cross purpose between the two classes, as the dual wield works wonders with Flames of Devotion but less amazing with the Barbarian's resets. Still a good call, wants to wade in deep and should be pretty survivable. WotEP Herald Pallegina is tricky. As you caught it is not a main tank - Herald takes a while to become naturally durable, and in so will be work to make tanky enough to go wild with Offensive Parry procs. You also lack natural damage adds to make those WotEP parry procs sing. Also as an off tank recognize that you lack engagement here. None of this is to say it's bad and this character will do a lot of work, but be prepared to focus your tactics around it to make it work. On the bright side Pallegina Herald is a versatile character with a lot of good builds, and if you find WotEP isn't worth trying to make work it's easy to equip a different weapon and fall back to a lot of different patterns. Mindstalker ranged is a popular build, strong and pretty simple. Something to keep in mind is that melee (flanking) and ranged mindstalker builds are nearly identical, with the only real question being whether or not you take persistent distraction. So even as a ranged character it's easy enough to put melee weapons in the other weapon set and swap / push escape when you need another melee or if you want to dive. It's true that you lack a high engagement tank to handle aggro, but you have a lot of summons (Pallegina can chain summon; Aloth and Tekehu will have a summon up a lot of the time late) and a lot of CC to pull weight there instead - which I personally think is a better option. The Fanatic will likely end up being built pretty tanky given that it is your primary engage while your other control comes online, but after that is up you have plenty of tools to keep your casters safe. Biggest question mark for me is the Pallegina build. The build you linked is pre-WotEP nerf I believe, and the payoff may not be there for the effort anymore. If it isn't no big deal, she is easy to pivot to a different build, but she's definitely the attention focus of this composition.
  4. Also a big Pain Block fan here on pretty much any Cipher. The nature of the class is to spam whichever power is most relevant, and the ability to transition into a spot healer on demand for the cost of a single ability point is really strong. You don't need to build around it as a Cipher healer or whatnot, let someone else do the heavy lifting and use it as a complement as necessary.
  5. I wouldn't want it to blow out in combination with Sneak Attack on a Mindstalker. That said it would be worth considering converting it from a 20% vanilla damage mod into a 10% raw lash (which would then be doubled by Biting Whip).
  6. Stat priority is pretty straightforward - for a ranged Mindstalker you can safely dump resolve as far as you are comfortable, and constitution is fine in the low to mid (8-10) range. For your other stats, perception and intelligence are always good for accuracy, area, and duration of powers. Might is really important if you are using a lot of damage dealing powers, but if you are more focused on control might isn't all that important (you will get plenty of +damage from your rogue abilities). Dexterity is also always nice, and higher priority if you use a two hander, but generally not as important as perception or intelligence. Generic recommended stats would be something like 10/10/16/18/18/3 for a control focused build and 16/10/13/18/15/3 for a damage focused build (before racial / culture bonuses). As for two hander vs two weapons, the options are pretty well balanced so it is a matter of taste. I have a preference for firearms on a Cipher since you can fire then immediately cast before reloading, which makes it much easier to be responsive with control effects. The top two handers will maximize your basic attack damage, while dual wielding will play nicer with spamming crippling strike. It largely depends on what unique weapons you have and want to use - blunderbuss is popular for the Kitchen Stove unique, which has an upgrade Fire in the Hole which is a big cone attack that tends to fill your focus instantly.
  7. A properly scaling imbue: missiles should blow twinned shots out of the water. Besides the base damage IM will presumably get a big accuracy bonus which will easily push it over the top of the (rather pedestrian) twinned shots.
  8. I can only assume this is one of the many shop bugs in the game. I would think these would want to work like Royal Bronzers from the gunsmithy - one available initially, then additional ones popping up every few days - and the flags are just not set properly. ...and yeah, it's unfortunate, they'd be a fun cannon to play with.
  9. Well, the main design problem with the PEN vs AR system is that the possible range of AR and PEN values you can achieve increases as you progress through the game, but the effective range continues to be constrained to that 3 point difference. That makes it feel like it unravels late game, where you either stack so much that it defends everything or you don't bother since marginal investments don't do anything for you. PoE1 had a similar problem, where the DR made a big difference early game, but as you progressed damage scaled up much more quickly than armor could, leading to a situation where pretty much everyone wore robes at max level. Regardless of the system you need to design it with the possibility of accepting a wide range of values as you move through the game without breaking down, which neither did particularly well.
  10. You can scale AR and PEN with difficulty or with upscaling but not both. Even 'end game' enemies are usually level 16, so on PotD upscale they'll get +2 from PotD and +2 from level scaling. I think the +2 ar/pen at par is important to keep the mechanic relevant to modest optimization but the +4 you frequently encounter really narrows down the range of acceptable options.
  11. I agree with this, and I think it's more to do with some of the map levels being set too low for the foes in them. The Neketaka transition encounters for instance seem like they have an almost absurdly low level, since I see full upscaling on them every time even if you hit them at level 7.
  12. The only parts I would fiddle with are over penetration thresholds and the bonus penetration from crits. Those two mechanics are multipliers of armor instead of arithmetic differences, which makes them behave differently throughout the game. I'd fiddle with changing those to a flat AR difference threshold for overpen and a flat penetration bonus on crit.
  13. Ranged DPS weapons are 100% the highest priority. Melee martial characters have a bunch of good options for swapping to different damage types or a higher penetration set, but ranged attacker's options are a lot more limited. There are only so many good scepters to go around after all. I'm a little skeptical of using it on armor. It's nice in principle to shore up a heavy armored character, though for a main tank / primary engage that is usually overkill - I can't remember the last time I had a party wipe from a tank being overwhelmed. That said I can definitely see it on say a Barbarian tank with Barbaric Retaliation, where you are trying to take a bunch of mitigated hits to power your offense.
  14. As obviously good as a full 5% anything to crit conversion trait paired with 5% auto miss would be...I hesitate to call it out as obviously a must have just because it doesn't scale amazingly with really min-maxed characters. If you have already pumped accuracy through the room and debuff effectively does a bunch of miss to crit conversion really help you that much? Who am I kidding that trait would be sweet and you'd take it at high priority on everyone.
  15. You got me! 5% conversion on all rolls would be nice. I'd price that at about a 4% (real) damage increase, as compared to the current 1.7%. That's worthwhile. Or hey go real natural 20 style - 5% of all rolls are converted to crits regardless. Miss to crit gogo! Yeah, it'd be well over budget (especially when you tack the defensive bonus on), but that's the flavor of it, right?
  16. Uncanny Luck is at best 1 in 40, since it only triggers on hits, and at best you roll a natural hit only half the time. Then unlike the defensive side of the trait, which will sometimes convert what would otherwise be crits to misses, UL only promotes hits to crits, which limits its value. In a best case scenario, that 5% hit to crit is worth about as much as +1 accuracy. Yay?
  17. Eh. I've played with all of 'em a decent amount (it's not like points are tight on a single class Priest) and the only one I've found at all valuable is Litany of the Spirit - and that owed a lot to the situational nature of everything else at PL5. A good chunk of my dissatisfaction stems from their ostensible use as protective shields against effects or as emergency counters to dangerous afflictions. I have seared into my mind a fight in the Sepulchers where skeleton rogues were hammering on the frontline, and enfeeble kicked in on someone at low health. Perfect situation for Prayer for the Body to kick in and nullify that! Except it had long since been stripped, and the clutch Prayer on a withdrawing ally...hit one of the redundant stacks of weakness, doing nothing. I pretty much gave up on it after that. Similarly I liked the concept of Prayer for the Spirit as a tool to deal with charm and dominate. The problem? Most of the fights where you have charm and dominate problems are full of Fampyrs, where vulnerable targets get hammered by free-action charm gazes, or some flavor of spores that charm as part of their regular attack pattern. Prayer did basically nothing if a charm-vulnerable party member drew aggro, buying a few seconds before the re-application came in. Plus you can't cast it on a charmed or dominated ally to remove the effect, as they're hostile! I played around with Valorous Echoes for similar reasons, and was left disappointed. The core of it is that very few encounters have diverse threats, and outside the highest tier afflictions anything a set of foes is going to throw at you is going to be thrown enough that it'll stick if you aren't immune. The main thing though is the tempo. Your first actions in a fight matter so much more for the outcome than later ones, and Litany is a low impact buff that cedes priority to a ton of other spells in your repertoire. It doesn't create a new angle of attack or solve a problem for you. Now sometimes you are pulling foes to you and have plenty of time to pre-buff, and in those cases dropping Litany for the Spirit on a monk or wizard can be a good use of an otherwise pretty niche PL. Once the fight is joined, though, putting up a Litany has a priority just above auto-attacking. Again, it's not like you're hurting for ability points on a single class Priest. Taking LftS over one of the more marginal passives is a reasonable use of an ability point. I wouldn't touch any of the others though - the Prayers aren't worth your time, and there's too much gas in PL4 for LftB to get more than a glance.
  18. I don't think prayers and litanies are workable at just one inspiration. 'Free action' speed would feel bad and the effect isn't worth the cast time for just one, even with ridiculous duration. I think you have to move them to two, but then you get into design decisions.
  19. The major problem, design-wise, with uncanny luck is that it looks like a balanced minor boost to offense and defense, but the bulk of the power of the talent is on the defensive side. You have to have great systems knowledge to even evaluate it correctly! Also let's not talk about Dirty Fighting like it is some amazing talent that you should prioritize. I'd price it at as comparable in value to Weapon Mastery's 5% damage bonus. Sure you take it on most builds, but that just demonstrates how low value a passive offensive talent can be and still be picked up consistently.
  20. The level a power appears as has as much, if not more to do with pacing of character development and managing cognitive load for the player as it does the strength of the ability. I wouldn't see an issue with putting most of the generic passives in the first tier of abilities, for instance. Doing so would present players with an unnecessarily complex set of decisions almost immediately at level 2, however. So I don't feel any pressure to make the PL5 passives stronger than PL2 passives. For universal passives in fact I feel the opposite - put the character defining stuff (like weapon styles) in the early tiers so players can build around them, and the niche and modest generic fillers (like the empower traits or uncanny luck) later in the trees as something to pick up once you have everything important. Sure there would be value in taking some of those niche traits super early, or more realistically respeccing into them, using your earlier points once you have access to the high tier powers you want to use regularly. But really allowing a player to grab Uncanny Luck at level 2 is going to act as a trap more than anything.
  21. The nice thing AL5 has going for it is a couple really strong spells (Champion's Boon, Barring Death's Door) that you can absolutely build around for maximum effect, and Skaen is fortunate to get Shadowing Beyond here. On the other hand if you don't have elements in your party to take advantage of those it's pretty thin. AL6 ends up being pretty generic but all 4 spells are both solid and possibly excepting SoT general purpose, so I have never had trouble getting value out of this tier. Big difference between AL2 and AL5 is you can build around the AL5 stuff to good effect, while there's nothing in AL2 worth building around. How good is your Spiritual Weapon maybe? Holy Meditation is really good sometimes but most of the time...eh. Withdraw story NPCs you want to keep alive, it lasts too long on player characters. It's crazy because AL2 had a ton of good stuff in PoE1, they just moved it all out of the tier for Deadfire. Consecrated Ground was fantastic in the original, then moved to AL3 here and the nuked from orbit in the balance patch. Suppress Affliction still quite good, but moved down to AL1. Divine Mark, pushed up to AL3. No more Restore in higher tiers (in favor of a powerhouse Restore in AL1). Iconic Projection goes from a generic but modest and super spammable with its fast cast to a slow spell. So there's probably some juggling you could do with spell levels and cast times to clean this up. But the current list...blech.
  22. There has been a lot of good discussion about the state of priests, and some options there with their own pros and cons. Aside from those discussions, the priest spell list lacks the workhorse spells other casters have in the early levels. While martial characters get their core abilities from the very beginning and other casters have a mix of niche utility and general purpose power picks for their spells, the early priest spell lists are noticeably lacking in staples that you can fall back on to always get some value out of that spell level. This isn't so much a problem later in the game, as spell levels 6-9 contain a variety of high value spell picks despite their small selection. Early on though priests really struggle to pull their weight, as spell levels 2, 5, and to some extent 3 are pretty thin. More than mechanical changes, the low hanging fruit for the priest is some more depth at those spell levels, either via reworking existing spells or expanded spell lists.
  23. As others have said Blood Mage really wants to spam Blood Sacrifice, both for the +PL and to keep your spells full so you have some control over what you get back. I would start with stats something like 10/10/18/18/18/3. Keeping CON from dipping too low and MIG from getting too high limits the vulnerability from spamming Blood Sacrifice. Resolve is safe to dump, and that allows you to max or near max everything else (you get one more point over the listed spread but racials and background will push a bit higher).
  24. Sure, mechanically you could just have each Druid or Priest you roll come with a holy symbol and stick the rest on the vendor in Port Maje. But if it's going to be a core part of the game, style matters, and that means going through and sticking them on all NPC priests etc. I do see that it takes very little to solve it from a raw mechanical perspective, but if you're going to re-design and balance a core class around that being their mechanic it really should feel like an organic part of the game, not just something kludged in. This is something reasonable people can disagree on, but the amount of polish, especially on the critical path with core classes, is an experience that should reflect top quality production. Kludging in a solution for your most dedicated players isn't worth damaging that.
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