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Shai Hulud

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Everything posted by Shai Hulud

  1. Nice In case anyone else has the same issue, note there are two possible places to get the mask, depending on the route you took in the forgotten sanctums. If you did the stacks before the enclosures (east before west) then you'll find the mask of the weyc on fyonlecg's husk after fighting him, following his "argument" with maura, in the oratory of wael. If you did the enclosures before the stacks (west before east), then you'll instead fight maura in the oratory of wael, and you won't be able to pick up the mask of the weyc until just before the oracle of wael fight, when fyonlecg finishes his ritual. With some stealth you can grab it off the body before triggering the boss fight. Ultimately it doesn't matter which route you take, though doing the collections first is probably easier since you can get the warden contract and make the vithracks friendly, and if you managed not to kill any librarians you won't have to fight the oracle during your first encounter. Also you can still fight maura for her belt (maura's grasping belt) if you revisit the oratory after completing the enclosures as well.
  2. 1) Ha yeah, I put like 1300 hours into Kingmaker. I sucked at first but eventually soloed unfair with a couple builds. One was like sword saint 18 / don't remember (maybe arch 2?), used bloodhound dueling sword to great effect and stacked dex plus weapon finesse. Another vivi 14 / arch 2 / dd 4 I think, motherless tiefling with lots of bites and cloak of the white wolf or whatever it was called, serpent prince and then mastery fauchards. Both get pretty nutty but I cheesed through that door where the lich is to get all those awesome weapons while low level. I've never played a kineticist but I've heard deadly earth is just super broken. In WOTR I'm currently trying scaled fist 1 / seeker 16 / pal 2 / hellknight 1. Going angel this time but at some point I'd like to try legend so I can make a monk / seeker / paladin / stigmatized witch / hellknight / demonslayer or something lol. I really liked sword saints in kingmaker but they don't seem quite as good in WOTR. Vivisectionists either since no cloak of the wolf. The oracle is really annoying early on unfair. He's pretty untouchable but has bad damage output, only hits most things on crits... 2) You might have had a better time with blood mage / ascendant if you cheesed a little with scordeo's edge blade cascade. If you can remove recovery the cipher has tons of .5s casts so you can really machinegun wizard defensive spells and cipher CC. Also I tend to get like 1700 damage from a disintegration crit, if you just cast disintegration on everyone it tends to kill most things but it's kind of reductive I guess. If you want to be able to both fight and cast well then helwalker/blood mage is tempting, because you can wreck things in melee, then if you're too hurt fall back and cast with the +10 might bonus. Blood mage / soul blade also fights and casts but it's mostly cipher casts. Stats aren't nearly as important as in pathfinder though. Having enough resources and class synergy is what really matters (sage has both). Lance goes really well with monk abilities like stunning surge but even force of anguish applies through lance. Warlock seems like he should be able to regain rage via barbaric smash, which says +2 of each barbarian resource per kill on kill, so I figured combining with citzal's spirit lance if you take out multiple enemies in one attack you could regain resources, but in my limited testing you just get +2 even if you kill more than one enemy. Still, you can do very high DPS as all you really want to maintain is blood storm or spirit frenzy anyway, which can be extended with wall of draining indefinitely so that just costs 1 resource once you're high level, and before that it has fairly long duration anyway. And once you have blood thirst you can effectively spam barbaric smash, and as long as someone in the huge AOE is near death you trigger bloody slaughter plus barbaric smash bonus damage / hit-to-crit / crit damage, and are very likely to regain the 2 rage with no recovery from blood thirst. A berserker/blood mage is particularly strong, albeit squishy, but can do extremely high DPS with the lance and barbaric smash in this way. Probably not quite as high as blood mage / soul blade but I haven't crunched the numbers. barbaric smash bonus damage + carnage + lance + lance crush AOE + blood storm DPS is a lot of damage, especially when you proc blood thirst. But...if I were you I'd probably go with helwalker/blood mage, as it's pretty versatile and easy to keep up resources, or if you want to solo then tactician/blood mage. Blood mage/soul blade is my favorite but I don't think it's what you're looking for as it's almost pure melee build (can cast, it's just inferior to soul annihilation with the lance), so I don't use much more than pull of eora and wall of draining aside from defensive spells. ------ And to answer your question about mods buffing godlikes, there may be others but the one I'd recommend is @Elric Galad's balance polishing mod. It has a lot of cool buffs to various classes. Also has nerfs, but you can just install the buffs package. Makes godlikes substantially better and competitive with their helmet-wearing brethren. Boeroer mentioned one amazing helmet, the helm of the white void, but rekvu's fractured casque is also ridiculously good in some builds as it can prevent interrupts (necessary if you want to use grimoire of vaporous wizardry since that grimoire makes all received damage proc interrupts). You have to carry an injury but there are several injuries with minimal effects to gameplay like wrenched knee (from stepping on caltrops traps) or acute rash (just kill yourself with necrotic lance). https://www.nexusmods.com/pillarsofeternity2/mods/438
  3. Could try a solo run, or small party. I eventually got bored with full party runs. You level up faster with fewer people and either of these guys could solo. You and me both. POE3 apparently is still a maybe but I am skeptical it will happen. Also skeptical about Avowed since we've heard nothing in ages. All there is right now in the isometric CRPG scene is Pathfinder, which is good but dizzyingly complex with the zillions of classes, and not as well-balanced IMO. I played Pentiment recently. It's a very different kind of game but Josh Sawyer directed it, and IMO it's amazing.
  4. FFs are the best monks for tanking and offtanking. Ridiculously good melee class that multiclasses well with basically everything. Max attainable armor for votary (to my knowledge) Mythic plate/brigandine - 14, up to 16 with reckless brigandine into the breach enchant Iron wheel - up to 3, usually 2 to 2.5 (also gives up to + 10 CON) Stoic steel - up to 3 Kapana taga - 1 (lone champion) Akolas Apex ward - 1 (hide and tooth) Giftwrapper pet - 1 Fire godlike - 1 (2 in BPM) Hardy/robust - 2 (can proc hardy from death and taxes enchant on bardattos luxury with dichotomous soul, or some other source) So up to 28 bloodied (29 bpm), usually more like 24 Arcane knight - same except no iron wheel, and llengrath's safeguard (or ironskin) is +5 So max 30 for arcane knight, 31 in bpm, very easy to maintain 24+ since safeguard isn't dependant on wounds like iron wheel and has like 2 minute duration with good INT In effect 21+ is very good, normal enemies won't penetrate but bosses probably will, and 24+ is basically invulnerable especially when combined with high defenses both builds have, with defenses typically 200+ Kapana taga and akolas Apex ward are ship battle rewards, but you can get them quite early. Lone champion won't work with allies near though. Reckless brigandine also available early. Only item you get late is giftwrapper which is probably overkill at that point, I don't use it unless it puts me at a threshold value of armor where enemies no longer penetrate (check log attack resolutions for their exact PEN). I wouldn't recommend fire godlike for these classes since it's overkill (more attractive with bpm), but you might take it on builds with less but still solid armor that still want to take a hit, like maybe a FF / streetfighter fighting bloodied
  5. What do you like in WOTR? I'm playing an angel oracle atm, getting wrecked early game unfair. Played a sylvan sorcerer lich before, seemed a lot easier. Are you playing deadfire turn-based or RTWP? Most of us do RTWP and some builds work better/worse depending on this I can't seem to separate your paragraphs with double <enter> like normally so I'll just respond with numbers. You should try playing solo if the game is too easy. Or maybe a party of 2 or 3. Or add some magran's fire challenges. Like you I played Deadfire a bit when it came out, got bored, never finished the game, played other stuff, came back to it less than a year ago and started messing with solo builds and magran's fires. Well-built full parties are going to be overpowered in general. I've found builds that can solo everything with magran's fire challenges and deadly deadfire hardcore (even without cheese strategies), so if you add a full party to this type of character it could be overkill. 1) Why is tuotilo's palm a must? That shield is really only going to help you with a sage. Otherwise you're better off not using shields or if making a mage tank like arcane knight using akola's apex ward. 2) sage - you can use FF with the lance but the lance won't distribute the FF attack, it just works as normal single target FF, but if you trigger swift flurry or heartbeat drumming you do hit everyone. FF sages are best as tanks, using FF to heal themselves and wearing heavy armor while casting fast defensive wizard spells and using iron wheel. Helwalker sages are high DPS build, but you may need to deify yourself (potion of final stand + wall of draining) to not die given their squishiness. The lance is particularly good since it distributes monk abilities like stunning surge and skyward kick. In fact if you use it on a group and crit more than one enemy you can get back more than the cost of the surge. If your accuracy is high enough you can use stunning surge in this way to quickly rebuild mortification. Wounds build easily enough from blood sacrifices and damage, which is why it's best if you have a potion of final stand so you can really avail yourself of this incredible wound generation. Alternatively you could stay back and nuke things using dichotomous souls as fodder and +might for more spell damage. Shattered Pillar could possibly work okay with the lance since it hits multiple enemies, but I haven't really tried it. Any of these can solo the game once you get wall of draining, provided you use potions of final stand. 3) tactician blood mage can easily solo the game. DPS isn't as high as helwalker/blood mage but you are infinitely more tanky and brilliant is trivial to achieve if you have on berath's challenge. Just going invisible triggers brilliant, so if you're down on resources just use arkemyr's brilliant departure. You also get back fighter resources interrupting spells and abilities so the lance is weapon of choice given its AOE crush interrupt-on-crit attack, and you can also use mule kick with the lance to mule kick groups of enemies, which is pretty fun since it only takes a graze to kick them into the air. Can also interrupt with slicken and chill fog, I like to use these spells a lot with tactician battlemage. To stay alive unbending + wall of draining will eventually make you effectively immortal the way unbended stacks with itself, and even pre wall of draining it is extremely effective with max INT. Should note there are other ways to get tenacious/energized, like using slayer's claw. If you cycle the weapon it upgrades might inspirations, so even a "strong" inspiration (e.g. from lover's embrace) can be upgraded to energized and extended via wall of draining. Lance already interrupts on crit though so there's not a huge advantage of energized over tenacious unless you're casting offensive spells, which you mostly wouldn't need to do with a battlemage. Because of easy procs of brilliant you can theoretically cast lots of spells, you just wouldn't want to because mule kicking things with the lance is much more effective. 4) warlock - haven't played this one as much but it's interesting, would just go blood mage / barbarian personally (berserker if you use potions of final stand). Can theoretically do decent damage with lance + carnage, barbaric smash and crushing blow can be used with lance on groups to get back resources or recover very fast. Frenzy and other barbarian passives mean you attack very fast. Accuracy is not great. Savage Defiance can be extended with wall of draining for decent heals, but nothing approaching unbending so it's squishier unless you use potions of final stand. Should be noted with the lance though you can attack from behind your tank since it's a reach weapon, so you don't really need to facetank things. Can also do some casting with brute force and morning star but I pretty much always prefer the lance. 5) blood mage / fury is a top tier elemental caster, but you'll find it rather squishy. I guess blood mage / ancient (or animist or lifegiver) could be interesting once you're able to extend animal forms, though you will won't be all that tanky. There's some interesting caster interactions like combusting wounds with infestation of maggots, and lance of the midwood stag makes a superb stat stick for +2 power levels and woodskin. I generally prefer straight druids for their amazing tier 8/9 spells but if you want a caster sorcerers are pretty versatile 6) bellower / blood mage is quite strong once you get wall of draining since you can extend the bellower bonus power level and spam her tears. Probably works better with a wizard though due to the weyc items, sasha's singing scimitar, and least unstable coil, and their interaction with empowering abilities which allows you to get all tier 3 inspirations. bellower/wizard reaches its full power very late though since these are mostly dlc items. If you want to just cast tons of high damage spells this is a good choice, not as good as the others for beating things with sticks. Others you didn't mention 7) blood mage / priest of skaen - can easily solo the game due to barring death's door, salvation of time, and wall of draining. Used in many ultimate runs. One of the most versatile builds, probably best suited for solo. 8 ) blood mage / ranger - doesn't seem at first glance to have a lot of synergy but can give you a lot of accuracy bonuses and the pet makes soloing easier. @Boeroer has a geomancer build somewhere but I don't recall where it is. 9) blood mage / rogue - blood mage / assassin in particular is quite powerful, since you can use shadowing beyond and assassinate over and over. Can easily solo the game though personally I find the combat a little reductive. Blood mage / streetfighter is also interesting. You'll probably need potions of final stand but does a great deal of damage with streetfighter buffs and lance, also you can extend escape with wall of draining to make it pretty tanky. And again the lance applies abilities like gouging strike to everyone in the AOE. 10) arcane knights make top tier tanks. See this build for example a tank/caster (I'd probably go human not fire godlike unless playing with BPM) 11) Hierophants are incredibly strong. Blood mage / ascendant can extend ascended stage with wall of draining and murder things with cipher spells or just use bonus damage and lance, though this comes late and I don't really know how well they play before WOD. Blood mage / psion is a great caster, and there's a build I made here, though I haven't played it nearly as much as melee hierophants My favorite hierophant by far though is blood mage / soul blade. As far as I know this is the highest melee DPS build, possibly highest DPS period. I used it for an ultimate run. See this post I made and its links if interested
  6. Could try consoling in another akola's apex ward. Or possibly you can remove it with removestatuseffect player<tab> blood_rage_se_damage. Might take repeated applications if it's stacking.
  7. I don't know, I don't recall encountering it in FS. But even if they did have arcane dampener, arcane Knight will defense is so high it will never hit. I was only hit twice whole game with a hierophant (one with sigilmaster auranic) and I dumped resolve completely, in addition to lacking the paladin's faith bonus. In the build linked the stats are 8/15/7/14/13/18. Personally I'd go human over fire godlike unless you're using BPM, since you fight bloodied. This way could dump PER a bit. Also I might dump might for some more INT but even with this stat spread you have 240ish will in combat, nothing but auranic can hit and he'll mostly miss and graze (though the cleansing obelisk will hit if you don't take it out with other party members). But even if you're hit, with 35 resolve you recover very fast, especially since you're more likely to be grazed than hit. Crusaders aren't horrible, and for party runs if you have even one solid character they're good enough, but there are many better tanks. Not just arcane knights but votaries too (and sages). FF/SG would probably be my tank of choice. They have more armor (3 to 5 more depending on gear and wounds), more health, and heal themselves passively just spamming FF. They are quite indestructible, solo or party, and are trivial to script. Also do solid damage and enfeeblement is very valuable debuff as constitution affliction is rarely resisted and even more rarely immune. Crusaders have slightly better deflection if you use conqueror stance but it generally doesn't even matter if you get hit because it's always a grazing underpen for -80% damage where damage is easily healed just by attacking. And crusaders have armored grace, but keep in mind a robed arcane knight will have just as much armor. I've even run FF/SG naked solo (because abydon) and they do perfectly fine due to how fast they self-heal. Also crusaders have slightly more engagement but it's easy to get 5 to 7 engagement with any class, and if you really think you need more there's tactical meld for +3, assuming you have a cipher.
  8. Fair enough about godlikes and consumables. Moving on Pretty sure you can script magnificent escape at any health level. I havent checked but assuming it works like other consumables the AI overrides the UI conditionals which is pretty cool. Just use "always true" and the ability and put it near the top. Blightheart is weird. I don't fully understand it but it has some weird properties like corrupting beauty pulses for some reason proc avenging storm bolts and sasha's singing scimitar weyc items etc. You're probably aware of all this and maybe can explain it to me but here's a clip I made showing how it works with stormspeakers Are you sure wall of draining gives more time with beneficial effects? I havent noticed the slightest difference in time drained, it seems like it only depends on graze/hit/crit maybe...ive tested specifically with the cap because id heard it helped add time but I couldn't tell. Maybe it was patched out at some point? I could be mistaken my testing wasn't super rigorous
  9. Yep I've tried some solo builds that can do all the megabosses but can't clear sissak's nest. It likely isn't as bad with a party but there are high level vithrack plus moon spiders that come in waves and sissak himself hangs pretty far back so often you get surrounded by animated weapons while being pelted with missile salvos and even if you manage to kill the vithrack through the moon spiders casting robust on everything, they (and the moon spiders) come back. I've found it unwinnable with lot of builds. If you fail that first check and they go hostile it is super super hard. If you pass and come back to kill them it is more manageable since you can alpha strike with a bunch of high damage AOEs (though you can't start stealthed since they're blue). Rough fight. Yeah and expert mode, though expert mode isn't too bad, except it makes placing walls of draining tough since you can't see them. Woedica/eothas abydon and hylea are the hardest. Especially hylea since Velais tricky to control and gets one shot by lots of things. I'm thinking about making an ultimate guide but haven't really started. I went from not playing the game for a few years straight to ultimate lol. I mean I did a practice run first but while it is quite tough it is doable with preparation and research. I dislike the fighter part of fighter/chanter more than chanter. Chanter/x probably make the fourth best tanks after paladin/x wizard/x and monk/x (particularly combos that combine these are great tanks). They can fulfill almost any role including tank though I like them more as casters and support. My favorite chanters are troubadour/psion, bellower/blood mage, bellower/priest, skald/berserker, and troubadour/FF. FFs make the tankiest monks since they can heal themselves with their basic attack. They also easily maintain max wounds (for iron wheel armor) since you mostly just spam FF which costs 0 wounds. The most important thing about tanks is having high armor but that doesn't necessarily mean wearing plate. Mythic plate is 14 armor while mythic leather is 11. The difference is not as significant as some items and abilities. Iron wheel can give up to 3 armor, stoic steel 3 armor, exalted endurance 1, llengraths safeguard 5, and they all stack iirc. You want enemies to graze or miss but especially underpenetrate. If they underpen your armor by 1 (e.g. 16 pen vs 17 AR) it's -25% damage, -50% and -75% for underpen by 2 and 3. So if your armor is high enough enemies always underpen by 3 you take very little damage. Grazes -50% stack but not additively, combined a graze and underpen is like -80% damage. On POTD upscaled you generally need 20+ armor for most things to underpen. 24ish to be super safe. So FF/SG can get Reckless brigandine (mythic) - 14 to 16 (more armor when bloodied or near death) Akolas Apex ward and kapana taga - 2 Giftwrapper 1 Exalted endurance, stoic steel and iron wheel - 1 to 7 So they can get armor in 24+ range pretty easily. Arcane knights even easier but I find them less effective solo. Sages also make great tanks. Engagement is not a problem since shield + kapana taga + reckless brigandine gives you 5 engagement. Can wear blackened plate helm for 6, mauras belt for 7. I dont know of any build guide for ff/sg though I can outline it. Can check this build by @Not So Clever Hound for an effective solo arcane knight (would work well as tank in parties). It can't handle *every* encounter though, like dorudugan or fights like sissak nest, at least i couldn't figure them out using tactics in the build.
  10. Probably cumbersome because you don't like scripting. I agree a lot of potions are cumbersome given short durations, limited effects, and most important for a wizard not enough quick slots. Potions of ascension though are once/fight item. I have a consumables scripting block that uses a number of potions or consumables and all I need to do is put a potion of ascension in a quick slot. I use them in hard fights but there are enough quill leaves I could use them more. Nothing else you'd want to use quill leaves for really. Scrolls and potions are pretty standard crpg fare. Sometimes there's a class check or use magic device check. In Deadfire it's a deterministic arcana check. Makes sense to me someone who studies arcana sufficiently can use scrolls, regardless of class. Even with 20 arcana the scrolls are still typically worse than native caster spells. If you don't like scrolls that's fine but it's no reason not to recommend them if they're effective. I agree, but we have no reason to think OP is against consumables, or that anyone is unless they state so. The default position should be to assume consumables are fine given they're all over the place and craftable. Making them a part of a build is fine. In some games not using consumables in builds is outright crippling your character (e.g. tyranny or pathfinder). In deadfire they aren't quite as necessary but the same principles apply, and IMO one should use them when beneficial for optimal results. Yeah that's all fair enough. My perspective on "late" is biased from playing smaller parties or solo. Also with high stealth it is pretty easy to save combat for when you're high level, regardless. This isn't a game where you're forced into low level combat or even mid level combat. I've had runs even with a full party where I reached l20 before hasongo. Probably shouldn't plan to play like this in most situations though, I agree, and I wouldn't do that for this character unless it's a solo run, but id still typically have over half the game left by l19 without even trying for optimal pathing. I never thought to use magnificent escape cape in that way. If it stacks with other deflection buffs that's pretty cool. I have no arguments against wellspring of life. I have arguments against (nature) godlikes. The abilities comes at too high a cost. You lose access to helmets and another racial bonus for a conditional +1 power level. Losing helmet access is a big negative. For wizards it means you can't use the grimoire of vaporous wizardry without risking constant interrupts since you can't wear rekvu's fractured casque, ever. And you can't use the Horns of the Bleak Mother when it benefits you, or cap of the laughingstock etc. And you also forgo other racial bonuses. Fighting spirit and elemental endurance by themselves are competitive with wellspring, in many builds outright superior. Add helmets and you tip the scales against godlikes further. I'd only even consider using godlikes for expert game users like you who know exactly what they're trading off and have already planned their entire parties. It would be frustrating to pick a godlike and find at some point you really need the casque for example. With the balance polishing mod godlikes are significantly better and I would recommend them for some builds.
  11. Well I certainly understand the "kill everything" approach, though I usually try to avoid killing the regular librarians since they aren't hostile. Pretty sure I killed everything during ultimate run, though I was trying to build max focus and killing things helped. I think with the vithracks and luminescent spore though since the game has built in peaceful solutions you shouldn't feel obligated to kill them all (unless you just want to). It's not like sneaking past enemies and leaving them there, because once you turn them friendly they aren't enemies anymore. The FS enemies are just miles tougher than you find elsewhere IMO. Infested librarians and luminescent spores are pretty nasty, but not as bad as the enclosures. The vithrack are bad but the vithrack + moon spiders are worse. Even some of the prisoners, if you attack them or turn them hostile, become ridiculously tough fights. The enemy groups are well-balanced in composition and their AI tends to be more complicated with them supporting and healing each other. Also that whole top level of vithracks is nuts, especially if you mess with the spider eggs. And Sissak's Nest is one of the hardest fights in the game IMO because there's no way to start it stealthed and you start in a cramped area so it's basically an ambush with the moon spiders doing massive healing on the vithracks, and there's several waves of them. You need big AOE damage like missile salvo, great maelstrom, etc., or if you have a FF they can melee through these encounters because enfeeble is incredibly strong when these fights rely so much on the enemies healing each other. Arcane Dampener is also really useful. Frightened Child is also really tough, but you can use the librarians as meat shields if you rush out of the room so it can be made just "hard" if you fall back, use the librarians as bait, and cast long-range high damage spells or bow attacks. The rest of the encounters in FS are "easy" by comparison. I expect you'll have quite a few wipes if you try these tougher fights, but the feeling of satisfaction of beating them at least once is worth it. --- Oh and crusaders are okay tanks but the really top tier tanks are votaries and arcane knights IMO. I mean crusaders are good tanks due to unbending being busted but they don't have the armor or damage of the best tanks. A FF/SG can solo FS with the right gear. You can easily get armor in 20+ range and still do decent damage. All enemy attacks (save some rare special abilities like skyward kicks) will underpen and miss/graze so you easily outheal them, plus FF interrupts and enfeebles, and you get 15% damage returned as health plus 10 to 15 per FF attack, which combined with exalted endurance makes you unkillable. Arcane knights can tank just as well (better, even) but it's much harder to kill things. I don't love chanters for tanks but a paladin/chanter would be better than a fighter/chanter. Fighters can only tank as long they can keep up unbending, and even then you need lots of things hitting you.
  12. Using slippers of the assassin and strand of favor can remove most of the tedium, as I'm sure you're aware. I don't really advocate strand of favor use in general but in places where it reduces tedium without affecting overall gameplay much I'm all for it. If you have Loaded Pockets on you can get especially good stuff from pickpocketing. The highest sleight of hand check I've seen is around 8, so you mostly need stealth (or the slippers). It makes no sense how items are marked with sleight of hand. Gems are usually easy to steal at least. I usually don't invest anything in sleight of hand. If you have hylea's bounty + luminous adra potion + carlo's training + rokowa's fingers that's 6. If you have a chanter/x cipher/x or rogue/x you get +1 (or +2) for 7 to 8. I might put ONE point in sleight of hand if I don't have any class bonus to get to 7, but the gems and money are always easy to steal. The hard stuff tends to be food and weapons but sometimes it's loaded pockets items. Very strange that unlike every other active skill you really don't benefit from maxing sleight of hand, except very rare interactive checks. I think the pickpocketing would have made more sense if you had to roll to steal, and your chances of success depend on item value and weight and your sleight of hand skill. I don't like games where if you fail a pickpocket everyone tries to murder you, though, so a better solution would be to just make it so you can only pickpocket a character once regardless of success. Money seems too easy to come by in Deadfire IMO. Also you sometimes find peasants carrying around emeralds and the like.
  13. Assume you're talking about FF / SG. What weapons would you use here? I only used weapons for bonuses, like kapana taga, squid's grasp, or daggers with modal. Spamming forbidden fist seems a lot better than using weapons since you gain wounds and health, it enfeebles, and it does more damage than normal weapons given huge bonuses from transcendent suffering and forbidden curse. Or did you mean FF / assassin? And in that case how do you gain wounds with grave's calling + scordeo's edge?
  14. Potions are part of the game, not even removed by ultimate challenge, why not use them? None of them are particularly broken besides potion of final stand. And there aren't that many difficult combats, I've never had trouble creating enough potions of ascension for them. Quill leaves are their most rare component but if you buy them when you come across them you can get 40+ per game even without wait-cycling vendor inventories. I guess you're one of those guys who hordes consumables in games where they're meant to be used? I used to horde consumables and ingredients but games are really better if you use them... The +1 power level from wellspring of life would be more impactful at lower levels where the +1 focus per second is more meaningful. From my testing at L20 it didn't make any difference at least with the items I was using, which had me at 7 focus per second with or without wellspring (I'm assuming you don't gain fractional focus for power levels in between). But with some combinations of items it could make a difference, I just don't think it's worth losing the versatility of a helmet. Even without the helmet some other racial bonuses are really good like fighting spirit and elemental endurance. But to each his own. Wall of Draining does not necessarily come that late. It is dependent on pathing and party size. I've played games where I have wall of draining before doing a single fight. Wand of the Weyc does come pretty late, admittedly, but the hardest fights are also very late. Besides wall of draining a priest can also extend as early as level 11, though by itself lord of the forest probably doesn't merit the cast, but it's an AOE so could be useful when multiple party members want things extended. With blood mages I usually blood sacrifice to half health anyway to trigger llengrath's safeguard and regain spell slots. One can easily heal with party spells, healing hands, or even the blood mage passive. I've found you can cast pull of eora and wall of draining while invisible so if you have arkemyr's brilliant departure it is very easy to extend effects rapidly, even from just one wall of draining. I really don't like godlikes but I'd rather use a death godlike than nature. Potion of Final Stand + WOD = invulnerability. And the potions can be scripted to be consumed at any health so it isn't actually that risky at that point. But yes would be very risky early. I can see how thematically that would be interesting I guess. I generally just recommend what I think is most effective. I acknowledge there are some benefits of nature godlikes here but helmets provide so much versatility that losing one is not worth the tradeoff IMO (and you also lose the other racial which can be very good like fighting spirit). None of the godlike abilities are strong enough to warrant the tradeoff barring some special builds with death godlikes, and I doubt I'm the only one who sees it this way since godlikes were, for example, buffed in elric's balance polishing mod.
  15. Good point. Yeah I thought about mentioning WOTEP, it is pretty good pre-lance and can distribute soul annihilation with the cone. One thing to be aware of though, making the sword forces a rest for some reason, so you can't get it in no-rest runs (which I always advocate) without a no-forced-rests mod. I'd install the mod but an alternative solution would be to skip the per-game buffs like dawnstars until you get WOTEP, then rest with chosen food and swing back to port maje to pick up the blessing. Xoti has to be alive though or no blessing for you (found this out in a recent iron run with a fury, waenglith was pretty mad and cursed me). https://www.nexusmods.com/pillarsofeternity2/mods/354 If you don't care about stacking as many buffs as possible don't worry about it, just be aware it forces a rest with no bonuses.
  16. I used a blood mage / soul blade for the ultimate and am a big advocate of the build. It is extremely strong with good defenses and super high DPS once you hit L13 and get citzal's spirit lance plus borrowed instinct. It does so much DPS because the lance both collects focus from multiple enemies and distributes soul annihilation to multiple enemies (I've hit as many as 10, but usually you hit about five). So once you have the lance you can typically refill your focus in one attack. Here is the build I used. Since it was an ultimate run I used cheese like strand of favor but it isn't necessary on normal runs and the build picks should still apply, though I'd recommend taking wall of draining at L19 and pull of eora at l10 or l11 in place of secrets of rime. I took secrets of rime mostly because I stole watershaper chill fog, but it isn't really needed. Also I'd take phantom foes and not heart of the storm. So the picks are the same except L11 - pull of eora, L12 - phantom foes, L19 - wall of draining and echoing horror. And I'd probably take whispers of treason at L1. In general you hit things with the lance to build focus rapidly, then use soul annihilation with the lance to do tons of damage, while using llengrath's martial mysteries wizard buffs and cipher buff / debuffs (mostly borrowed instinct, but also psychovampiric shield, phantom foes, and secret horrors) to greatly buff yourself and debuff enemies. Before you get the lance you can use the parasitic quarterstaff, or any weapon really, but you'll see a huge dps spike once you get the lance due to it hitting multiple enemies. I went coastal aumaua in this build for the might affliction resistance, but you could go anything but godlike. Could even go godlike if you don't mind losing the nifty hats. Probably nature godlike would be the best choice if you go that way. My top picks for race would probably be pale elf, human, wild orlan, coastal auamaua, wood elf, and mountain dwarf. Let me know if you have any questions And here is another thread discussing hierophants, mostly blood mage / ascendant but also blood mage / soul blade in my posts. And another thread talking about hierophants, with me rambling about blood mage / soul blade some more
  17. FF/Soul blade is one of my favorite builds. Can solo the game without cheese. Would be able to do the ultimate challenge if FF worked correctly without community patch.
  18. @Torm51 has good suggestions, but pathing and stealth can also be of great help to you. You don't need to fight the vithrack at all. If you do quarantined section first, you can stealth that and don't kill any normal librarians, you can avoid the first oracle fight, then sneak up to sissak's nest and hand him the warden contract. Most of the FS fights are so tough because the enemy parties are really well-balanced. Like they often have paladins or moon spiders doing massive amounts of healing to their strikers / wizards / ciphers. I've found killing the support characters first makes these fights a little easier. Soloing I've actually encountered some FS fights that appear unwinnable, at least with certain builds. Like had a super tanky arcane knight that simply could not kill certain groups though they couldn't kill me either. Sissak's Nest is good example, the moon spiders provide massive amounts of healing to the vithracks. It appears impossible solo unless you have abilities that can stop healing like forbidden fist.
  19. Frightened Child is very difficult, I agree worse than oracle. I don't recall her exact abilities but she is a high level cipher who likes to spam death of 1000 cuts, and if you're hit by that plus hit by her minions they will mess you up pretty fast. She presumably has access to disintegration as well, which destroys. There are various other enemies that have high level cipher spells as well in FS. I didn't see llengrath's teachings listed in the abilities for the giant luminescent spore on the wiki, but that would definitely explain it. Something like spore cloud charmed your character and then that ability was used. With frightened chlid I like to run back where the librarians are and then throw down spells like great maelstrom, storm of holy fire, minoletta's missile salvo, etc. Can also use CC spells around the door to make a choke point, but it's usually enough to let them murder the librarians while I stand back and use farcasting AOE spells to take her out. Don't forget about scrolls, even if you don't have a druid you should have a character with high arcana to cast scrolls. For an ironman run you're probably better off skipping these fights. Giant luminescent spore doesn't give you anything for fighting it. For frightened child you get a neat crossbow, so could be worth it. Still, I usually kill frightened child even though I never use the crossbow, just because loot, even did so on an ultimate run.
  20. Don't forget about scrolls. Great Maelstrom scrolls are pretty easy to make (1 palm slat + 1 primal wind + 1 primal water). There's also storm of holy fire and meteor shower scrolls though the range and AOE isn't as large so they aren't as good for these specific battles but still very useful. I'd recommend you always have one character with maxed arcana. I think fangs and fur fight must be artificially much more difficult with galawain's challenge so my impression of it is probably not accurate. With that challenge they all have ridiculous buffs that provide a range of nasty effects like a bunch of inspirations, immunity to interrupts, invisibility, super high armor, immunity to all afflictions, etc. Normally galawain's challenge doesn't seem like it makes the game that much harder but in fights where it is nothing but beasts it is definitely felt. If you include all the optional SSS fights where you chase down artifacts then SSS is probably the hardest. I usually skip those unless I'm looking for a specific item because it's too much "run and fetch this" nonsense. Installed a mod by @Noqn that lets you do these fights without completing the fetch quests, and I'd definitely recommend it. Some of the fights are pretty tough, though I can't recall which ones are slayer. You can do all of them if you got all three artifacts from the island. https://www.nexusmods.com/pillarsofeternity2/mods/631 Most of the hardest FS fights are optional. Well, really they're nearly all optional since you can stealth but I mean like Sissak fight can be incredibly hard but avoidable if you give him the warden contract. Frightened Child fight is super hard but totally avoidable. Giant luminescent sporeling fight is pretty tough but also avoidable, and you can also make any remaining spores and infested librarians friendly. A friendly solution also makes one of the upper bowels fights avoidable, while the other two can be stealthed past. Also first oracle fight is avoidable if you do the stacks first and don't kill any librarians IIRC. I think the only truly unavoidable fight is last oracle fight and fyonlecg. If you get reanimated maura you can have a peaceful solution, though I'd recommend killing her for her belt.
  21. The best way to take out the totems is to use a huge AOE attack like great maelstrom. You can cast it before they start summoning anything, and It's large enough with high INT to destroy both totems and will usually mess up the snakes pretty bad as well. Sending one character to deal with them is dangerous unless they have movement abilities to get them out of there. I guess you're on slayer path? The Fangs and Fur one is IMO the hardest (changeling dance is hard solo but probably not with a party) but I always have galawain on so maybe without it isn't. Battles against the humans are pretty easy, and the end boss. I think the DLC difficulty goes BOW < SSS < FS, though SSS is arguably the hardest because you can stealth past a lot of the tough fights in FS while you can't do that in SSS. But if you choose to actually fight things, FS has some really hard encounters.
  22. I've never had this happen and looked through the giant luminescent spores' abilities and don't see anything that would destroy a character. But his spore cloud can charm your allies, and he has a "storing magic" ability that causes him to do a variable amount of retaliation damage on being killed. I wonder if it's possible there's an interaction the storing magic attack on alliance-flipped characters that causes them to die rather than become unconscious? I'd have to see it happen and check the log to really be sure, but since I haven't seen it happen I can only speculate. Did you see anything in the log? It's pretty easy to avoid combat with him if you want.
  23. Yes but not much. It's 1 power level (that wouldn't even always be up--easiest way would be keep up infuse or deleterious), not worth losing access to helmets, but you can build around it I guess. Should note if OP wanted to use vaporous grimoire it is a very bad idea to go godlike since you can't wear rekvu's fractured casque. Even if you don't use vaporous that helm is extremely useful in some battles. Even ignoring the casque I question whether one power level is worth losing 4 accuracy from acina's tricorn and other racial bonus, whether that's fighting spirit or elemental endurance or defiant resolve. Better ways to gain power levels: drink potion of ascension, switch to lance of the midwood stag when bloodied (then wall of draining / salvation of time), stone of power, wand of the weyc, etc.
  24. Yep, should get 4 scales IIRC? 1 scale per upgrade so they help a lot. Also kraken's eyes can be used in this manner though it requires 2 eyes per upgrade. I usually don't find enough eyes to get more than one upgrade out of it but there should be four in the game. So 6 possible exceptional -> superb upgrades without money or gems. And for superb -> legendary there's the magma dragon gizzard stone, plus up to four (five?) culmination stones from SSS
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