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Wotcha

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  1. I'm thinking a separate thread should be started to memorialize the honorable dead. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing quite a few of these posts before somebody reaches the finish line.
  2. The "big money" combo requires separate priest and cipher, because a cipher cannot cast Ancestor's Memory (for the Brilliant buff) on themselves, and that is the buff that potentially allows unlimited casts of Salvation of Time (and thus indefinite durations for any other buffs). Ascendant works well either solo or multiclass, but you should think of it more as a tradeoff, where you sacrifice -1 PL to get significantly increased focus generation. Ascending for the +3 PL bonus can take quite a while to assemble the focus at the start of the fight, which is generally the part of the fight that you most want to be spending your time casting actual spells (like, say, Ancestor's Memory on your Priest so you can get the sweet, sweet SoT spam going). Once you get things under control, you can either Ascend (and stay there forever with SoT spam), or don't bother because there aren't all that many fights where you aren't already well on your way to mopping up before you finish ascending. That's true for single-classed, anyway, if you multiclass rogue or ranger, you will gain focus a lot faster and it becomes a little more feasible to Ascend soon enough to really make a difference. Because action speed is so worthless in turn based, Time Parasite is not the sexy thing it is in real time, so the only real draw in my mind for a SC cipher is Driving Echoes, which basically makes penetration as a mechanic a nonissue. However, if you are paying attention to gearing and spell choices, penetration isn't as big a deal as all that. Beguiler is interesting as well, because you can basically spam Deception spells to gain focus instead of weapon attacks, at least early in the fight when there are many enemy targets. Once the board clears, they instead gain focus SLOWER because they get a lower total multiplier on their damage. But they are more friendly with caster multiclassing, spending the first couple of rounds maxing out their focus (and throwing around AoE debuffs while they're at it), and then rationing out their focus for the rest of the fight along with spell casts. Psions get a bad rap because their focus generation is slower than you can get from the other options, but it's automatic, and in turn based mode it has the extra benefit that you get your focus gen for the round up-front rather than trickling in per second. They also pair well with casters, particular casters that hang back from the fight (because they lose their focus gen for a round if they get hit). Psions in turn-based get 6 focus per round, and an additional 6 per round at every odd PL. So at max level, a MC psion will get 24 focus each round. Which means that as long as they aren't getting hit, they can spam PL 1 or 2 powers indefinitely, which is something other ciphers can't do (except for Ascended Ascendants receiving SoT cheese). If they are instead spending rounds casting spells from their other class, they can bank up a bunch of focus for dropping bigger spells. A minor note, if you are abusing SoT for endless buffs, you are also in the position of abusing Barring Death's Door, and casting BDD on your psion, extending it with SoT, and leaving him at 1 hit point without healing, will mean that he technically doesn't take damage even if somebody hits him, and so he will not lose his focus generation. All that said, a Beguiler is probably better than a Psion in most situations. I personally don't think Soulblades or vanilla ciphers offer any real advantage compared to these three options. Dumping focus on melee strikes just isn't that great. TL;DR: go Ascendant/Trickster, you'll probably be pretty happy with it. Once you play through and see how things work, you'll be able to judge for yourself what you'd like to try.
  3. Dex is not quite a dump stat in TB mode because you will lose a significant amount of Stride if you fully tank it. But otherwise it's pretty terrible. They could have made it slightly better if, when you delayed your turn, you decided exactly when you would re-enter the initiative order instead of just going straight to the end. But as it is, if you really do need to interrupt some crucial thing, having an initiative that is too low is just as useless as having one which is too high. 10 dex is fine. In practice, the way to make sure you can interrupt at need is simply to make sure every one of your characters has a ready method of interrupting at will. If their class doesn't provide one, a single point of Arcana will let anybody use Thrust of Tattered Veils scrolls, which are super cheap and will do the job on any opponent except if they put up Spell Reflection. Note that ToTV even works on skeleton mages who are immune to the piercing damage- they take no damage but still get interrupted. Ciphers still work well for ranged. Good weapons are the Red Hand (arquebus), which is still very good even if it isn't the ridiculous monster it is in real time with pause, Scepter for enemies weak against bludgeoning, Hand Mortar/Fire in the Hole (special Blunderbuses you can get from Serafen's starting equip & personal quest) are good, and in RTwP particularly, Rod with the Blast modal enabled is a pretty decent weapon for clustered enemies, so long as it gets sufficient penetration (which Rods are relatively weak at). There's a unique ring that gives +4 ranged ACC and +1 ranged PEN, which on top of Hammering Thoughts gives ciphers reasonable penetration even with the weaker weapon types. There's also a late-game pistol doing Raw damage (with a modal to also do Crush/Corrode with VERY high penetration), which is also pretty awesome in turn-based because the initiative penalty of the modal doesn't matter at all. For a ranged cipher, pure single-classed will work well enough. Multiclassing either rogue or ranger would give good performance at range. Damage-wise Ranger doesn't really take off until Driving Flight though.
  4. Could it be something like all spells that target Deflection? Because there's other stuff like Talon's Reach which could benefit from that particular combo. Although being tied to Instruments of Pain and multiclass, it's strictly an endgame combo, and stealth is an early-game strategy, because anybody making it as far as the endgame is spoiled for choice when it comes to brutally overpowered combos. Incidentally, if it is that spells targeting deflection that benefit from IoP... the first defense that Jernaugh's Equalizing Burst targets is Deflection. That's a spell that I'm dying to come up with a ridiculous combo for. I think I'll test that this weekend.
  5. I have been focusing just on otherwise-vanilla PotD stealth runs as opposed to going full-monty Ultimate, but Sunbeam's range had NOT escaped my notice. It makes Eothas priests surprisingly good at stealth, because of the utility of long-range distraction. Particularly since priest spells otherwise have such crap range. For full-fledged druids, Burst of Summer Flame (an otherwise disappointing spell) has additional utility for this particular task, due to the very fast cast time allowing you to hit precise time windows for your distractions, on top of also having 15m range. Since Fury druids are stuck with that as their level 2 bonus spell, it's a way of getting some use out of it. For stealth runs where you can get back out of combat (i.e. no Berath challenge), Fury druids also have the benefit of the teleport encounter power on their shapeshift, which helps them reach a favorable position to drop combat from after the occasional stealth failure. Wizards aren't entirely out of the range game either, as Arduous Delay of Motion has 15m range so it can be used as a long-range distraction spell as well.
  6. Sunbeam only has one Reflex attack roll, which if it hits does both the damage and the blind. So that roll is going to get the +acc bonus because of the blind, and incidentally get the damage coming along for the ride. There are a couple of damaging spells that work like this (the damage and affliction on the same roll), but not all of them. The spells like that are going to be particularly nice for the helm, compared to the ones where the affliction comes only on a secondary attack roll.
  7. Dumb question, but last time I checked (which was definitely post-5.0 release), the penetration of the corrosion AoE from Rot Skulls was still a base of 0, which makes the spell pretty pointless. I know that particular bug came up in the turn based beta testing and it seemed like a simple one-liner fix was all that was needed. Is that fix included in the polishing mod anywhere?
  8. The one weakness of Beguiler from a focus-through-casting perspective is that they are dependent on multiple enemies to rapidly generate focus. They can fill up super-fast while the board is full, but against big solo or small groups, they have to earn their focus the hard way. Additionally, when doing that they have a lower focus multiplier than other ciphers. They only get a base 25% focus gen from attacks. If the target is afflicted, it goes up another 25% (to bring it back to par with base cipher's 50%). But Draining Whip only doubles the BASE focus gen, giving them a total focus generation of only 50%/75%-with-affliction, compared to 100% for a normal cipher, or 150% for an Ascendant, both of whom additionally don't need to worry about getting an affliction on before attacking.. Oh, and other ciphers can fill up extra-fast against multiple enemies as long as they're clustered, via rods or mortars. Not that Beguilers can't do that too, mind you, but a Beguiler is probably just going to spam Deception spells in that case. Also, if your point is to synergize Helwalker, the big multi-target Deception attacks that are so sweet for focus generation with Beguilers do NO DAMAGE, so the might bonus is wasted on those. For a build like this, Ascendant has more to offer. Incidentally, people often mis-play Ascendants feeling like they have to wait till they Ascend to start casting spells. But in many cases you're better off thinking of it as a trade for faster focus generation against very slightly nerfed (-1 PL) spell effectiveness. For big long fights against few enemies (the bane of Beguilers), you additionally have the prospect of ascending to drop a few big spells, but don't feel like you have to. Sometimes ascending even feels like a mistake, because it means that (unless you're cheesing SoT/Brilliant) you will eventually DE-ascend, and that means at least one turn of weapon attacking even if you want to cast a spell just then. Additionally keep in mind that unlike normal ciphers, you still get Soul Whip damage bonus when full of focus as an Ascendant, and additionally your damage bonus goes from 10% to 30% while ascended. You're probably still better off casting spells, but attacking shouldn't feel like a complete waste.
  9. I seem to recall that you're even good with 8m weapons if you're very careful about where you stand. Might want to test that first. It's got a ton of AR, but I think it's weaker against slash, so choose your weapons accordingly if you're worrying about weapon degradation due to Abydon (war bow would probably be best choice if it's slash you need to beat, and you'd want to have bow proficiency or another source for +2 pen). I'm speaking from a position of ignorance regarding the God Challenges, because I've never had the patience to deal with them. I don't know how fast the degradation happens, and whether it would be a material concern for a fight of this length. There are two or three regular grubs which aggro in the fight, which can be pulled out of the room and killed safely. I think you might also wind up with a small number of grublings spawning from the grub nests too, but I think that the grub nests only spawn grubs if you get closer to them, so if you properly hang back at the entrance you never have to deal with them (or perhaps just one or two from the initial start of the fight). Worst case, it might be worth testing to see if you can stand somewhere safe in the room and kill the grub nests from range.
  10. Furthermore, the giant grub fight is pretty cheeseable. If you can survive clearing out the little grub adds, you can whittle the big grub down in perfect safety by sitting out of its range and plinking away with an arquebus or whatever. Don't know if that's common knowledge on the forum.
  11. Also, if you're already burning time sailing around for explore xp, it might be worth investigating how many Sanza quests you can rack up without (or with minimal) fighting. You don't ever need to actually complete the dungeons to get island naming credit, you can just hop in and out, name the island, and then make it back to Sanza to get XP and payment. Might have other location fights/skill-checks that you need to pass to GET to the dungeon.
  12. Stupid question, but are you considering the exploration XP for sailing around the map? You can get a pretty solid whack of XP particularly in the endgame stuff on the north end, without fighting anybody. It does cost sailing time though, and I don't know how hazardous it is to do with Ondra challenge. But particularly if that time is otherwise going to waste if your worry about act timer clipping is valid, you might be losing the time no matter what you do, might as well burn it to get some no-combat XP. My game exploration lately hasn't been for The Ultimate (I have only so much free time!), but I was able to pretty easily get to 16 solo, via steath and exploration xp. Although that includes Ashen Maw, which I did NOT fight the dragon in, because I'm not on an Ultimate run and don't have to.
  13. I wish I'd paid attention to exactly what I'd done, but following the "passionate and clever" options, and also choosing wisecracking options not otherwise attached to reputations (if those make any difference, who knows?), but I did indeed obtain Acute after the second, and Brilliant after the third god conversation in my current playthrough. I quick-tested my choices after the fact by casting the ability on a crew member after each god convo to verify that the inspiration upgraded. So it's possible, and next time I'll be sure to write down the full series of conversation choices.
  14. In fights against Yseyr or other Death Guards with their Shroud of Darkness aura (applies Blinded and Shaken while in melee range), when a character with both Perception Resistance AND Resolve Resistance comes into melee in TB mode, the combat log gets constantly spammed with messages noting that the Blinded portion of the aura was resisted due to Clear Head (or whatever is granting Perception Resistance). Also the floater text spams the strikethrough text of Blinded and Shaken constantly. The resistance abilities are functional, in that the paladin is unaffected by the Shaken as it is completely resisted, and affected only by the Disoriented effect which was successfully resisted down from Blinded. So it's functional, but super annoying to deal with. A more annoying secondary effect of this bug, is that even after leaving melee range of the Death Guard, and even after the combat is over, the paladin remains debuffed with Shroud of Darkness (at the resisted Disoriented level and no Shaken due to full Resolve resistance) indefinitely with no duration. This aura does clear on resting, so you can work around it unless you're limited on your rests due to challenges or whatever. I suspect this is an unintended side effect of aura effects refreshing in real time, as noted in the 5.0 patch notes. This does not happen if the character has only Resolve Resistance or Perception Resistance. In those cases, all the game interactions appear to operate normally. The nature of the bug seems to be handling combinations of multiple resistances, where one is fully resisted and the other is only partially resisted. I can see how this could get missed in testing. Out of thoroughness, I also tested Perception Immunity along with Resolve Resistance, via a character with Effigy's Husk and the Perception Immunity enchant, along with Horns of the Bleak Mother for resolve resistance. That resulted in constant floating text spam of strikethrough Shaken, but nothing in the combat log, and after the combat there was no lingering aura. Also applying full Resolve Resistance through Rejoice, My Comrades, Two Fingers of Daylight stopped the floating text spam in that case. Super easy to reproduce: 1) in TB mode, build paladin with Clear Head (for perception resistance), and equip with Horns of the Bleak Mother for resolve resistance. 2) spawn a Death Guard (CRE_deathguard) with the console. 3) initiate combat, and move the paladin into melee range. 4) behold the spam. 5) Kill the deathguard, either normally or with the console, while the paladin is still in melee and affected by the aura. 6) check the paladin's status and see the lingering Shroud of Darkness debuff with no duration.
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