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Shai Hulud

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Posts posted by Shai Hulud

  1. 4 hours ago, Boeroer said:

    Counterintuitively my most useful pistolero was a single class Kind Wayfarer. The main reason is that you can achieve inexhaustible Zeal which you can spend at very high speeds for damage and party support and healing. In detail:


    • If it's not the main character it requires almost no micromanagement and can function vey well with simple AI settings. As main char you can use nice decision making to pick certain enemies apart and which party member to support mist effectively.  
    • With pistols you can stay near the rest of the party all times to make the best use of White Flames (AoE healing) and Shared Flames (AoE burning lash buff).
    • With Ring of Focused Flame you will have +20 ACC for your FoD pistol shots which outbalances rushed reload (pistol modal) should you want to use it. In combination with Scordeo's Trophy (its stacking recovery bonus) and two weapon style+dual wielding you will be reloading incredibly fast - while your accuracy is still okay. Against tough enemies you can turn off the modal to hit more reliably. In a second weapon slot you can carry a single pistol for even more accuracy against really tough nuts.
    • Add Acina's Tricorn for even shorter reloading time and more accuracy. Also add the Ring of the Marksman for even more ACC (and +1 PEN which is useless for Eccea's main attack but nice for the elemental additions and of course for Scordeo's Trophy).
    • Staying in the back line makes most of the self-defensive passives of the Paladin class rather pointless - so you can skip those which frees up a lot of points for the support- and offensive abilities.
    • Even without most of the defensive passives a Paladin is still most likely not the weakest link in the backline, so you don't have to worry too much about getting targeted by shock troops/skirmishers and that sort of ranged- or high mobility enemies that try to disrupt your backline.
    • It is possible to take almost all exhortations (they have instant casting time und no recovery) to cover tier-2 inspirations for all attributes. Normally spreading your actiuve abilites like that would also spread your Zeal thin and I wouldn't recommend it - but your high level goal is to get infinite Zeal. So it's useful to have a big portfolio of active abilites in order to be very versatile.
    • The trick to gain unlimited Zeal is to have a Chanter buddy in the party and to take "Devine Retribution" at PL9.
    • Devine Retribution gives you 2 Zeal once an ally goes down. This includes party summons(!). Which means that when the party chanter sings "Many Lives Pass By" and also summons "Ancient Brittle Bones" there will be a ton of potential Zeal on the field - especially because all of those summons, while being great bait and distraction, die pretty fast if enemies even look at them sharply.
    • Before that you can gain a bi Zeal back if you constantly snipe enemies near death and trigger Virtuous Triumph. Doing that also triggers Inspiring Triumph for your party members so it's a nice strategy anyway.
    • Having so much (endless) Zeal lets you shoot FoD with While Flame and Shared Flames (or Eternal Devotion if you prefer the damage for yourself) at all times at very high speed and good ACC. This means good dps - and more importantly constant AoE healing for your party. It's pretty difficult to go down if your Pal is shooting healing into the air every few secs. 
    • Once you get to the "unlimited Zeal" part you can cast exhortations on all party members in no time (remember: instant casts, no recovery) and become a super-supporter. 
    • You an also put Brand Enemy on every enemy in no time. "Burn in hell y'all!" 😄
    • If you have a Ranger in the party you will be his best friend - because you can revive his pet instantly and without limits. ;)

    You can also use a different sublcass of course. Bleak Walker would be more about damage, Steel Garrote can paralyze lots of foes with the Garrote ability, Shieldbearer can use Lay on Hands to barr Death's Door all the time and so on... I found Kind Wayfarer to make the most use of this pistol/FoD combo.

    I played this as an hired adventurer from start to finish. Originally only hired that guy in Port Maje just to test out the concept, but it went so well I stuck to it until the credits roled.   

    Very interesting, I haven't played paladins much and single class not at all really, besides to test Divine Retribution which yep is super broken. I made a party with two paladins and a troubadour, the troubadour did nothing but many lives pass by and summon squishy things to get killed while the paladins just burned divine immolation and healed each other and the troubadour. They chewed through Hauani O Whe in 3 minutes with zero input from me. Probably the most busted party one could make would be a troubadour and 4 paladins. Or maybe 3 paladins and 2 troubadours. Probably troubadour/psion is better than SC, can cast pain block, resolute shield etc. though wouldn't be needed at all, the skellies provide one zeal per 4s against enemies that can insta-kill them, otherwise I guess 3 paladins a troubadour and a berserker who could attack targets while simultaneously damaging skellies. Crazy busted though.

    So the Flames of Devotion attack gets +10 accuracy and Exalted Focus +5, ring of focused flame +10 for +25 total, not bad at all (though you'd have to lose ring of prosperity's fortunte or ring of of the marksman). Accuracy way short of a seer (can get around +75 without counting items or nature's resolve, also aware, also +1 to 5 pen depending on buffs and sharpshooter, plus shots can interrupt and bounce) so not the best for a crit build, but has some damage buffs from FOD and mark enemy, uses Divine Retribution in a somewhat less busted way that could allow for still meaningful gameplay, unlike spamming Divine Immolation. I like it. Too bad Divine Retribution doesn't work multiclassed, because if it did I can think of some really badass builds like bleak walker / FF getting massive self-healing from instruments of pain forbidden fist attacks, which would attack at +25 of the already super high accuracy buffs like enduring dance, transcendent suffering (assuming they stack). Or don't even really need instruments of pain since FOD works on melee, but I like putting dichotomous souls between me and the enemy when possible. 

  2. 2 hours ago, Garuruga said:

    Im going to play on veteran since this is only my second playthrough and i was already planning to get Eccea's Arcane blaster for the piercing resist enemies but i didnt know that It worked with Arcane archer

    After all you said i think im going with some Ranger (probably Arcane archer)+ some cipher, stacking ACC seems like a fun idea and i will probably take a chanter with me, thanks a lot for the equipment suggestions, i wasnt so sure about some, stat wise i reached a similar spread

    Again, thanks a lot for the help!


    The "imbued ammunition" from Eccea's Arcane Blaster actually still gives the -5 accuracy penalty. This seems like a bug to me, or else just unfortunate similarity in wording between the Blaster's "imbued ammunition" and the imbued ammunition used for arcane archer attacks like imbue: missiles. It is only a -5 accuracy malus though for regular shots, but using the "imbued ammunition" modal for the blaster can do a lot of damage on foes immune or resistant to pierce. And you will still crit the great majority of the time with a arcane archer / cipher (even on potd upscaled, so on veteran I'd guess you'll crit nearly every shot vs most enemies), as long as you keep up borrowed instinct for +20 accuracy and slightly less important, psychovampiric shield is effective +10, though you don't need to cast it on the easiest foes. Can also cast Phantom Foes which is a huge AOE and a good opener spell to cast from stealth, it gives flanked to enemies in AOE, which nets you another +10 accuracy and +1 PEN. Also take protective companion -> stalker's link and get in the habit of shooting what your animal companion is attacking, this will give you another +10 accuracy. And use marked for the hunt to coordinate your initial target, then when that dies the mark is transferred to the next target, this gives another +10 accuracy. There's a handful of things to juggle if you want to absolutely maximize crits but it is pretty easy, you'll get the hang of it. Even with rushed reload modal you should be getting tons of crits.

    Having a chanter companion will definitely help, in addition to sure-handed ila the summons and extra CC are great in a pinch and ancient memory provides decent healing. Give the chanter sasha's singing scimitar, it allows one free empowered cast per fight and refills your chanter phrases with refreshing finale upgrade. It isn't super important but will allow the chanter to do invocations more often. Assuming the chanter isn't a troubadour, I'd probably chant sure-handed ila alternated with ancient memory, and have another chant with sure-handed ila with many lives pass by, and choose based on whether you need healing or skeleton summons at the moment. With a decently high intelligence the linger duration should be high enough you'll benefit from both. If the chanter is a troubadour, you might want to turn on brisk recitation so you get more invocations, but it disables linger so for troubadours with brisk recitation you usually want your chants to be one song.

    Arcane archer should be highly viable and not boring, remember to put skill points in arcana to get more damage, if you have high arcana the imbued shots do crazy damage (minoletta's minor missiles and fireball for damage). Web is sort of useful, but once you get pull of eora I'd be using that one pretty often to group enemies. Once grouped you can immobilize them with mental binding, then shoot a fireball, lots of cool stuff. Since you're range focused I'd probably take a generic cipher or maybe an ascendant, but I haven't played ascendants much and am less familiar with whether their drawbacks are worth the ascended phase. Besides psychovampiric shield and borrowed instinct, you'll probably want phantom foes, secret horrors, mental binding, echoing shield, tactical meld, pain block, lingering echoes, draining whip, hammering thoughts, the empty soul, and echoing horror. Disintegration and soul ignition are nice damage spells but not necessary if you focus on weapons and buffs / debuffs. You may not have room for all of these but you can always respec for particular battles. But you probably have room. You get 27 points for abilities total, so yep, should be fine. I can recommend the ranger side abilities if you like but besides the ones I mentioned they're pretty obvious, take anything boosting accuracy, reducing reload time, etc., and take 2 to 4 abilities for the animal companion so it doesn't die (resilient companion, heal companion is probably sufficient, can also take revive and/or vicious). If you have space concussive tranquilizer is rather useful, as is evasive roll since cipher doesn't have a quick movement ability and evasive roll is instant with no recovery. You'll also want tough, uncanny luck, and improved critical, which you can get from either side. Personally I always take bear's fortitude and iron will but on veteran I'm sure you can get by without. 

    Have fun :)

    • Like 1
  3. 2 hours ago, Elric Galad said:

    -5 RES from an active affliction does not stack with -10 RES from another active effect.

    It might from a passive affliction though (Echoing Horror Frightened stacked with PVS in vanilla, but BPM tweaked it for clarity - as well as buffed Echoing Horror). BPM tweaked most afflictions from abilities so they don't stack with untyped debuffed. But not from passive items affliction (such as Willbreaker)

    Hmm. I think I see. They do stack but only the extra 5 resolve from psychovampiric shield is added to the afflictions. I just tested it. I checked on an easy target with will 88. Tenuous grasp rolls against that, both shaken and confused hit. I then cast psychovampiric shield, it rolls vs 68, hit. I then cast borrowed instinct, rolls vs 58, hit. Creature now has will of 52. So the -10 resolve from PVS and -8 intellect from borrowed instinct don't stack with the inflictions for the initial -5. 

    Confusing...I thought they'd stack because it's untyped. Like I know you changed the chanter ability "each kill fed his fury" which gave +5 might, con, and resolve to giving strong, fit, steadfast, but the old one definitely stacked with might, con, and resolve inspirations. I abused this in a spiritualist build using strand of favor to extend "each kill fed his fury" and also extended inspirations like hardy from "death and taxes" and tenacious from "call to arms" and courageous from "symbol of courage" and the inspirations stacked cleanly.

    Why is it different with afflictions? IMO they should stack. That's generally the rule with untyped isn't it?

    Also while on subject of chants:

    "The Brideman slew thirty fore they crossed half the hall" -> 4 phrases, allied + self: strong, steadfast 30s
    "Each Kill Fed His Fury" -> 4 phrases, allied + self: strong, steadfast, fit 30s, kills extend duration

    "The Bride caught their ruse and set to make them pay" -> 5 phrases, allied + self: quick, insightful for 30s
    "Set to their purpose they all knew their part" -> 6 phrases, allied + self: quick, insightful, smart for 30s

    I know you partly addressed this by changing "Set to their purpose" to 5 phrases, but still, why the asymmetry? The mind buffs cost 1 phrase more than the body buffs. Also "Each Kill Fed His Fury" can be extended while "Set To Their Purpose" cannot, making it clearly better, and it still costs less. Also, these chants are considered "non-offensive" like "Their Champion Braved the Horde Alone" was, but you changed that one, which gives Energized for 30s, to "offensive invocation", so why is that buff offensive but the other four buffing invocations are non-offensive? Because they affect allies and not just self? I guess that's sort of justifiable, but I don't get why the mind invocations cost more.


  4. 1 hour ago, Elric Galad said:

    It is soul ignition indeed. All BPM Cipher DoT targets different defence.

    Nice to ear BPM Tenuous Grasp is used 🙂 And exactly the way it is meant to be.

    Oh right you decreased the recovery time. Yeah the spell is even more useful than I thought given that, and I forgot it also causes shaken in addition to confused, so if the target doesn't resist both then it is -20 will debuff. I think Auranic resists half of it (confused) so it does -10 will. And since PVS doesn't actually cause an affliction it stacks which is awesome. 

  5. 11 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

    Always has been.

    Oh, right. Think I was confused because I cast it a ton when stealing spells since it debuffs fortitude, and minor grimoire imprint also targets fortitude, so in my mind I associated the spell with fortitude. I remember reading in the change notes one of the spells was changed from fortitude, but now I'm pretty sure that was soul ignition

    11 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

    It is probably not that hard on focus to maintain them, but it still decrease DPS a bit due to cast/recovery. But well, it also debuffs. Critting all the time has its own merit though. 

    In some cases it slows DPS, mainly vs weaker enemies. When you need high accuracy it is worth it, especially if using weapons with powerful on-crit effects. But even with like forbidden fist, crits extend enfeeblement duration which in turn extends other debuffs, lots of benefits of crits even if they're put out a bit slower. 

    11 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

    Soulblade ney ? Only subclass that should NOT pick it IMHO.

    Yeah that's all I play in POE2, on main character anyway. I mean I play other classes, just not other cipher subclasses.

    11 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

    It is great, I would not count it as an absolute must pick. It is still some "advanced user pick" I think. You have to combo it a bit to make it worth it. My point was really that you can make a Cipher work with a raw minimum of abilities, it is not even meant to be an optimal build.

    But yeah, it is almost as good as Enfeebled BUT goes through affliction resistance, helps weapon accuracy, is fast cast, benfits from all cipher vs will passives (that sweet +10 acc), is spammable and even provide a bit of defense. It is among the very best boss debuff, if not THE best and synergizes with  bunch of stuff.

    IMO it's a must-have if your party has melee users at all, or they want to target will vs enemies with higher will. Ciphers have so many will debuffs you can land stuff even against hardened megabosses like Auranic. I usually take Tenuous Grasp at L1, if you can't land PVS you can spam Tenuous Grasp until it at least grazes (I think auranic is immune to confuse but you get the point), instant -10 will debuff, cast PVS, now you're at -30, at this point you can recast PVS for a crit or go onto Borrowed Instinct, which I'd then recast for a crit if necessary.

    11 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

     I did mean Bonded Fury. I think Bonded Fury is comparable to Shadowed Hunter in raw power, although arguably a bit weaker (and of course, I take into account to it is only 2/3 of the price). It really grants a bunch of buffs. I would say twice more in raw power. Of course, it only applies to the pet. Ranger can really build around Intuitive from shadowed Hunter, which makes SH more central in a decent SC ranger build.

    I also think that the Pet to Ranger comparison is really more defavorable in solo, since you really have to stack all the good stuff on the single character, and the pet can't benefit from any party buff that could come from another source.

    Finally you have been playing for a long time with pet type (the boar) which was secretely 1.42 less damaging than it should have been until BPM 2.5. Which may have gievn even worse impression. 


    Anyway, that's not a very important debate since we both agree that Bonded Fury is strong enough (not even counting the pseudo-passive bond regen).

    Sorry, I'm bored, wasn't really my intent to draw you into a debate. Still I have to get in my 2 cents, though you don't have to respond ;)

    The way I'd evaluate buffs is whether they're useful. Like on paper, bonded fury buffs sound fantastic. All Tier 2 inspirations for pretty long duration? Sign me up! But wait, tenacious is only sometimes going to make enough difference on the pet to stop underpenetrating (energized upgrade is nice since with intuitive can crit, which *will* penetrate and interrupt), hardy is either already up or the +2 armor still may not be enough to make a difference, nimble on a pet that mostly tanks is very meh since it can't break engagement (swift would be nice), aware is meh because the pet doesn't do that much damage anyway except on crits, and we usually have up intuitive, and acute and resolute are "big who cares?" Which leaves, in the modified version, things that we actually care about on a pet: energized (particularly if intuitive is up), sometimes hardy (if we don't have hardy companion), nimble is a tiny DPS boost, that's basically it. The whole package is a small combat improvement, which with intuitive can lead to a moderate combat improvement. 

    True about the boar, if he does 42% more damage now my estimate goes up to like 1/6. I've been using the bear some but he may have had same issues.

    But yeah agree it is probably good enough to want to cast, though shadowed hunters is higher priority not just for healing the ranger, but because intuitive on the ranger is a significant DPS bump, AND it allows pet to crit and interrupt things with bonded fury, giving him some utility even if he doesn't do a ton of damage. And invisibility allows time to drink potions or otherwise regroup


  6. 10 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

    For MC, Duality of Mortal Presence can give +10 INT which can act as a baby substitute. Even some INT inspiration is decent to abuse AoE.

    It isn't TOO hard to reach 35 INT without it, though the reason I usually take iron wheel is because I like forbidden fist monks and variable intellect makes them too unpredictable (also makes scripting things harder since you don't know the duration). Start with 18 or 19 INT, Old Vailia 20, Konstanten's Boon 21, Alchemic Wits 23, Effigys Resentment Kana/Aloth 24, Cauldron 25, inspiration 30, Charm of Bones 32, Kuaru's Prize 33, Milx 34, Heaven's Cacophony 36. Probably forgetting some things. I usually take a different pet and helmet though so for me I have more like 32 - 33 on non FF builds. That's enough to hit a lot of things with citzal's lance but I want the screen to shake

    10 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

    SC must get something anyway.

    They are all a bit niche (more that than utterly bad), and vanilla Haunting Chain is plain bad.

    Death of 1000 Cuts is a combo version of disintigrate. BPM made it target Deflection rather than fortitude, and we all know how high fortitude can be on foes that you wish to target with DoT.

    Yeah I actually just discovered Death of 1000 cuts is better than I thought. I didn't realize it targets deflection which is vastly easier to hit for most builds. Found out the hard way when running through forgotten sanctum, the frightened child is tearing me to shreds. The initial hit is not that bad, but then her dozen imaginary friends poke you and oh you're dead. Doesn't work as well for a solo character since you can only poke the enemy so fast, but each hit extending the effect would certainly add up, could kill anything as long as you hit it once per 10 seconds. Maybe not dorudugan and HOW but they're "special" because dorudugan has insane healing that barely cares about damage and HOW cheats. 

    But I'm starting to think single class cipher might be stronger than I thought for solo runs. Probably pick soul blade still, keep up buffs / debuffs, cast death of 1000 cuts, punch things, soul annihilate. Only hard thing is you have no innate healing so would need to carry tons of healing potions. Not sure if this would work in the longest fights where you may need many healing potions.

    10 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

    Driving Echoes is caster support version of Reaping Knives. Situational but can be really devastating in the right circonstances (many AoE spells have meh PEN and will be turned into armored targets bane - even Chillfog starts doing damages with Driving Echoes !).

    Agree it could be useful on casters because spell pen is bad, but how is it like reaping knives? It doesn't generate focus does it? Or do you just mean it's like buffing spells the way reaping knives buffs weapons? The main thing I care about with reaping knives is it returns focus without me doing anything so I can spam soul annihilation more. :)

    10 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

    BPM Hauting Chain has super high duration. I think it is interesting as the only Terrified inflicting cipher spell. The neat part is that it can "silence" offensive abilities of a Resolve Resistant boss for a great duration (and it target Will, which benefits from nice Cipher passives), especially if "opened" with Psychovampiric Shield. 

    Eh... it is still 90 focus and single target. For 20 focus I can paralyze someone for 20s and immobilize his buddies. I might occasionally use haunting chain if ascended vs. very specific enemies who are not resistant to resolve but have powerful abilities. Why is it called haunting chain? That sounds like it is a chain spell like mind plague. Now if it worked like that, then it would be worthy of tier 9. 

    10 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:


    The beauty of Cipher spells is that you can always use the right one in the right circonstance and then you have plenty of ressources to spend on the right spell. It doesn't matter if a spell is a bit niche, when you are in the battle that requires it, you can spam it like crazy. Ciphers have enough bread&butter abilities anyway, so the most important for the other spells is to be able to offer new possibilities. 

    Yeah if you're single class this is true. I usually run MC ciphers and only take 2 to 5 spells because points are often better spent elsewhere. Still...I find cipher damage spells kind of limited in that most do basically the same thing, just some version of burn or raw DOT, besides a couple low level ones. Silent Scream was badass in POE1 but they nerfed it to hell. Amplified Wave was awesome too, kinda sucks now because very low penetration, rolls v fortitude, and prone is not as strong as it was. Screaming Souls is too specific, it might be good but I'm not going to memorize it for spirits/vessels only. 

    10 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

    But the raw power of SC Ciphers IMHO come from Shared Nightmares, Additional PL and the bread&butterness of Time Parasite (which is arguably the only SC Active Ability that is useful independantly of party build and specific battle).

    Even Time Parasite was nerfed a ton, though it's still good enough to use. Used to be +50% action speed and it had 10 meter jumps. Ciphers in POE1 were something else...especially with psychic backlash broken. Oh and I do take Psychic backlash now, semi-passive abilities like this are one area where I can support cooldowns.

  7. 1 hour ago, Elric Galad said:

    My own pet build is SC Cipher with Rod modal.

    Shared Nightmare + Rod modal (+Time Parasite) is hilarious. Usually refill focus takes one strike

    Mortars or WotEP work too, but the range convenience is neat. 

    I've been wanting to run a pure soul blade for shared nightmare. With Strand of Favor expanding our focus, every spell would cover the screen. I wonder if shared nightmares works with scrolls...

    Too bad it isn't a multiclass ability. Shared nightmares + citzal's spirit lance would be pretty hilarious (and game-breaking, but still). One hit fills focus, next hit soul annihilation clears screen. I guess that's what you're doing with rods and blast, basically, on a slightly smaller scale.

    If only there were anything worth spending that much focus on. The tier 9 spells are really meh, though the tier 8s are really, really good. 

  8. 1 hour ago, Elric Galad said:

    This one is debatable. A ranger can grab +20 Accuracy (non stacking with Borrowed Instinct) through Hunter's Claw line. Pros and Cons, the best part is that when it's done it's done on Hunter's Claw side. For sure it's really inconvenient for ranged ranger, but not having to rely on hitting / refreshing / Lasting debuff is huge, especially vs Megabosses. Not sure where from the remaining +10/+15 comes from. I can think of tactical meld for +5 from Aware, +10 acc vs Will (quite conditional, esp when considering weapon attacks). 

    Huh. I thought they stacked. Could have sworn I used both in vanilla. But I might have just assumed they stacked and not checked the logs as much as I do now. I agree BPM Hunter's Claw and friends are worth using, if a bit tedious. In my ranger builds during harder fights I start with just beast's claw over and over, then pop a potion of invisibility and wait for potion of enlightenment to replenish my bond. Still Borrowed Instinct isn't just +20 accuracy and +20 all defenses, it also debuffs enemy intellect and perception by 8, giving +16 additional accuracy to anything targeting reflex or will. 

    Borrowed Instinct is usually better. You do have to recast it every 40 to 60 seconds but it doesn't cost frontloaded 10 bond (all of it). In very long fights one could argue Beast's Claw is better, particularly in those fights where the enemy has resolve so high that you can't maintain borrowed instinct (some megabosses). So yeah I guess it really depends on the nature of the fight.

    Psychovampiric shield doesn't boost accuracy but it debuffs enemy resolve by 10, making it effectively +10 weapon accuracy and +20 spell accuracy (minus the spells that target fortitude, which I never cast). Well I cast secret horrors. But that targets will in BPM which is niiiice. 

    Last 5 I mistakenly added Tactical Meld for cipher but not Shadowed Hunters for ranger. But I forgot to add phantom foes, which I often cast as an opener given the huge AOE, and that gives flanked. So, technical accuracy difference is 0, with PVS it is 10, with PVS and Phantom Foes it is 20. My test seer which is built completely legit with normal items has effective bow accuracy of 219. My accuracy with spells targeting will like Mental Binding is "just" 152, but taking into account debuffs PVS and BI that becomes 188. Throw down secret horrors now and then and if it lands that's 198.

    Of course keeping up all these spells takes some effort, but my script tries to keep up psychovampiric shield and borrowed instinct, secret horrors and phantom foes I typically cast manually. In my hierophant ultimate run I did script them though, so those four spells were always up. Not too hard to keep them up since they crit a lot. That's about 120 focus but I crit nearly every weapon hit so that's like 1.5 attacks worth of focus, easy to keep up and still spam soul annihilation now and then. 

    1 hour ago, Elric Galad said:

    Not to say Seer isn't great. As I always say, a Cipher MC adds tremendous utility with just a couple of points spent on Cipher side (Hammering Thought, Draining/Biting Whip, Ancestor's Memory, Pain Block, Disintigrate, Whispers of Treasons, built-in +20% damages, et voilà !) 

    I don't normally memorize Disintegrate or Ancestor's Memory (would certainly grab the latter in a party). But you definitely want psychovampiric shield. Steadfast, super cheap long duration buff / debuff. All you *really* need as a weapons fighter is psychovampiric shield and borrowed instinct. The rest is gravy. Where ciphers really start murdering things is with soul blades. A properly built soul blade multiclass can use soul annihilation every 3 to 4 weapon attacks for massive raw damage. A hierophant can refill focus in one attack sometimes using citzal's spirit lance, which also does us the favor of distributing soul annihilation to everyone it hits, so you can just blow up groups sometimes.

    Ciphers are awesome and soul blades are doubly awesome. 

    1 hour ago, Elric Galad said:


    I'm always reluctant to overbuff stuff. 

    Understandable. If it ain't broke don't fix it and all that. 

    1 hour ago, Elric Galad said:

    But as stated, my main concern was about other SC Buffs.


    BPM Shadowed Hunters vs BPM Enduring Shadows is an interesting comparison.

    Intuitive                                                    vs Swift                                                       => Quite similar

    12hp/3s + -50% hostile effect duration vs +25 Deflection                                       => Quite similar (+25 Deflection is huge)

    Tier 4 + Tier 8 ability point                     vs super scarce Tier 9 ability point          => Quite similar

    Affect self + pet vs Affect pet only (but arguably both count as 1 party slot)       => Quite similar

    Both invisible (better synergies with Rogue class)

    No Teleport                                              vs Teleport

    45s for 3 Bonds (with some flexibility to get Intuitive after the invisbibility)                     

                                                                      vs 20s for 2 Guiles (but the later has a native Tier 4 PL, so duration at PL 9 is 25s).

                                   => I would say the last 3 items have a comparable level of power when summed up. Invisibility is more useful per cast than based on duration so better to have it for 2 ressources than for 3 ressources. 

    So Bonded Fury comparing well to Shadowed Hunters should be enough to establish that it is roughly OK as a SC buff.

    You mean compared to Enduring Shadows right? Shadowed Hunters is definitely better than Bonded Fury (the buff part anyway). But that's okay, shadowed hunters is a tier 9, I think at 45s 2 bond the bonded fury ability is good enough to want to cast. 

  9. 22 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

    Ok, go for Inspired Discipline 45s duration. The ability feels sometimes annoying to build around so it kind of derserve of reward. Great duration would be. 


    Ok for Bonded fury buff 45s (I'm still considering the infinite duration bond regen as a bonus passive for SC Ranger and I'm leaving it out of the cost / duration equation). 

    I think this duration would compare well to Shadowed hunters. Bonded fury as a twice more powerful effect in my book, but only to the pet which is vaguely 1/3 of SC Ranger power. 1/3 x 2 = 2/3 the effect for 2/3 cost feels eventually right. 


    I felt it could have compare too well to some other SC only buffs, such as Enduring Shadow or Hastening Exho upgrade, but the first has a lots of utility (and +25 deflection / Swift for character is really strong) and the later can target anybody else than Pal. 

    Anyway SC locked abilities can slightly be over the top. 

    All sounds good Elric. The pet's value is indeed hard to quantify, because in my builds at least he typically does at most 1/10 of the damage of my character but he's often taking 3 or 4 times as much damage (infinitely more in some one on one fights). But even buffed like crazy the pet is about the same as one animated weapon, so I don't think the pet has been made too powerful.

    Also I think it's fine if SC abilities are really strong, since you give up a lot by not multiclassing. Like ranger not multiclassing to a devoted for instance gives up +2pen, 15% hit to crit,+20 accuracy, confident aim, unbending. Not MC to cipher gives up +30 to +35 accuracy, +20% damage from soul whip, tons of CC and damage spells, etc. So to me it is fine if Inspired Disciple or Shadowed Hunters are really good. 

  10. 13 hours ago, Garuruga said:


    All 3 of the unique pistols seemed very fun so i want to make a character for them but im a little lost with the classes, what SC or multi would you recommend?

    Devoted Warrior seemed good, with the Bonis to %crits and other Warrior skills

    Ranger helps with the reload and ACC

    Rogue seemed good for dirty fighting, passives and maybe the assassin bonus?

    Chanter mainly for the reload chant and other party buffs + invocations

    Cipher seemed like It could work but i have no experience with them so idk

    Monks i heard are really good but again, i have no experience with them 

    I dont see casters, paladin and barbarians using pistols well but i might be wrong

    1 handed style + the modal seemed like a very good combo, is this better than dual wield?

    Again, i want to make this character for the weapons, so i guess a crit build ? It Is possible to perma-paralyze with the thunder pistol?


    You should keep in mind pistols only do piercing damage and there are quite a few enemies immune or highly resistant to piercing, so you'll either want Eccea's Arcane Blaster for them or have a secondary weapon like a bow (Essence Interrupter is awesome, get it in Port Maje). Or your fists if you go devoted. 

    So I'll discuss some specific builds but first a rundown of the subclasses

    Devoted - gets intuitive from disciplined strikes, +2 pen and some hit to crit with chosen weapon (also fists), effectively +20 accuracy with Conqueror stance, good survivability with rapid recovery and unbending, some graze to hit with confident aim, quick switch. Accuracy penalties for non-chosen weapon.
    Black Jacket - gets intuitive from disciplined strikes, effectively +20 accuracy with Conqueror stance, decent survivability with rapid recovery (weaker than other fighters) and unbending, some graze to hit with confident aim, can switch weapons instantly with quick switch.
    Troubadour - Sure-Handed Ila gives -20% reload time, lots of summons and CC, can give self Energized with Their Champion Braved The Horde Alone for +2 pen and interrupt on crit.
    Cipher - Psychovampiric Shield is effectively +10 accuracy and +5 resolve, Borrowed instinct gives +20 accuracy +20 all defenses, Hammering Thoughts gives +1 penetration, many CC and party buff spells as well as direct damage. Generic cipher is sometimes the best subclass.
    Soul Blade - melee focused cipher, gets soul annihilation, could work with devoted, switch to fists when focus is full and use soul annihilation for massive raw damage
    Ascendent - weak while focus not full, once "ascended" you do lots of damage and have infinite casts (for a while anyway)
    Ranger - TONS of +accuracy abillities (+25 to +35), -20% reload time, pistol shots bounce, and an animal companion to take some of the heat off you
    Sharpshooter - Slight recovery (10% IIRC) and deflection (-10) maluses, gets bonus +1 penetration for targets nearer 4m and +hit to crit for farther targets. 
    Ghost Heart - ranger without permanent companion, have to summon, benefit is you can't get bonded grief
    Arcane Archer - an interesting caster/ranged hybrid, has some very cool imbued ammunition effects but they tend to cost a lot of bond. You get -5 accuracy when firing non-imbued ammunition (including on eccea's arcane blaster which fires imbued ammunition)
    Rogues - Have lots of +damage modifiers assuming you can apply one or more afflictions. They have bad accuracy so you'd want to supplement with another class with high accuracy, like a scout or mindstalker. I haven't played rogues much so I don't mention them in the below builds.
    Monks - Gunfu monks do better with mortars or blunderbuss, IDK about using them with pistols, though here is a build if interested (paladin/helwalker). I guess it stacks a lot of +damage from helwalker, and enduring dance gets you +12 accuracy, but this is weak compared to what you can get from other classes IMO.

    Casters, paladins, barbarians. Role-playing it doesn't seem like they'd use pistols does it? Also not a lot of synergy I'm aware of with druids, priests, or wizards. Paladins have a bit but not as much as other classes IMO. Most of barbarian's cool stuff requires a melee weapon (carnage and carnage related talents), also their accuracy is bad, but they do get a ton of action speed and damage buffs, could possibly work in some multiclasses.

    And now I'll ramble about various combinations of these classes and subclasses

    Devoted/troubadour is great if you don't have a chanter in your party already.  Troubadour/anything tends to be awesome actually. Run with brisk recitation on so you can use invocations more often. Also, with devoted/troubadour, you can keep a wall of skeletons running away from you with the tier 7 Many Lives Passed By, and enemies will attack these skeletons which provides you cover in a manner similar to a ranger but more effective because you don't care if the skeletons die.  Devoteds like all fighters get disciplined strikes for intuitive which is really, really good.

    Devoted/cipher for big accuracy buffs (psychovampiric shield is effectively +10 vs the enemy targeting, and borrowed instinct another +20) and penetration bonuses (+2 from devoted, +1 from cipher's hammering thoughts), can run devoted/ascendent if want to focus on the spellcasting side. Could also run a devoted/soul blade, pick up monastic unarmed training, and switch to fists to use soul annihilation. Devoted also gets the +2 pen and hit to crit conversion for fists. The way to play ciphers depends on subclass, soul blade is mostly about using soul annihilation, besides that you just keep your accuracy buffed  with PVS and BI and buff party members with tactical meld, pain block, resolute shield. With an ascendant it's more about spell-casting, so you'd pick CC stuff like Mental Binding, Silent Scream, and damage spells like Disintegration, can also hand out brilliant to party members with Ancestor's Memory. Pistols won't develop focus quite as well as some other weapons but as long you aren't trying to set records they're fine.

    Black jacket is a decent subclass if you want to be able to swap guns quickly. Works well with cipher alpha strikes. But devoted gets the bonus pen and hit to crit so if you know you want pistols it is hard to beat. 

    Devoted/sharpshooter would have top-tier accuracy and penetration. Take Conqueror Stance and Weapon Mastery on fighter side, plus Disciplined Strikes (or Tactical Barrage) for an effective +20 accuracy on fighter side, +2pen on fighter side, and whatever the hit to crit is (15?). Then on ranger side sharpshooter gets +1 pen against close targets and some more hit to crit for distant targets. Take Marked Prey / Marked for the Hunt, Marksman, Gunner, Protective Companion / Stalker's Link, Driving Flight, and Survival of the Fittest. With these you get effectively +15 accuracy against marked targets, +25 against marked targets your companion is attacking, +35 against marked targets your companion is attacking that have < 50% health, -20% reload time, and +1 weapon bounces. In addition to the devoted side. Sharpshooter does have a slight downside in a small recovery time bump and deflection malus, so devoted/generic ranger is also perfectly acceptable, or devoted/ghost heart if you prefer, though you only get the stalker's link bonus if the companion is summoned and attacking what you're shooting at. Bears and boars are the strongest animal companions, bears for high armor and boars for high health pool and health regen. Take resilient companion for +2 armor and vicious companion to make them a little less bad at fighting. 

    If you want super top tier accuracy, a ranger/cipher is the best choice. This build will crit more than any other as you should have stacking +55 to +65 accuracy as long as borrowed instinct is up and you cast psycovampiric shield on things. Can get that up to +60 to +70 accuracy if you cast tactical meld on your animal companion. Cipher goes really, really well with ranger because you can use the "ally only" spells like pain block, resolute shield, tactical meld, amplified wave, stasis shield etc. on your animal companion (some of these buff you as well, like tactical meld and echoing shield). And the stacking accuracy bonuses. Ciphers also get bonus damage while soul whip is active, +20% with draining whip. A devoted would have effective +45 to 55 accuracy, some graze to hit from confident aim, and comparitively +2 penetration and some hit to crit. But the devoted accuracy bonuses are passive and work on everything, you don't have to keep up borrowed instinct and psychovampiric shield.

    A ranger/troubadour would also be interesting, and you'd have stacking -40% reload time from sure-handed ila and gunner. With rushed reload you'd attack quite fast indeed. (Though they don't stack linearly, you wouldn't have -90% reload time, it's some complicated double inversion thing). 

    Another idea is a single classed ranger. They are kind of meh in vanilla game, but if you use @Elric Galad Balance Polishing Mod (available at nexus mods) they are much better and become competitive with some of the best ranger multiclasses. What distinguishes the SC ranger are abilities like twinned shot (costs 1 bond in BPM), stunning shots, bonded fury (provides bond regeneration and buffs pet in bpm), and shadowed hunters (provides invisibility, healing, and intuitive buff). Shadowed Hunters works well with Ajamuut's Stalking Cloak which allows you to stun things from invisibility. 

    Monks are indeed very good but personally I never liked the idea of gunfu monks since monk fists are so good. Also gunfu monks work better with mortars.

    With your pistol at legendary quality, you'll have effectively 13 pen with devoted / troubadour, 14 pen with devoted / cipher, and 14 pen with devoted / sharpshooter, 11 or 12 pen with ranger / troubadour or sharpshooter / troubadour, and 12 or 13 pen with ranger/cipher or sharpshooter/cipher. So what difficult you're playing is important. If you're on POTD upscaled high penetration is important so I'd probably go with the devoted/cipher, devoted/sharpshooter, or sharpshooter/cipher. 

    Devoted/sharpshooter will play the most straightforwardly. You shoot things, your animal companion attacks things. If you like the idea of caster hybrids, a devoted/cipher or sharpshooter/cipher is hard to beat. Devoted/troubadour is also quite good.

    I've tested most of these builds to some extent. They'll all work. If you want to be a crit machine you'll want ranger/cipher, devoted/cipher, or devoted/ranger. And keep in mind the only way you're going to reliably crit with rushed reload on is to have tons of stacking accuracy. Personally I really like seers (ranger/cipher) but devoted/cipher would also be really good and a bit more straightforward since you aren't worrying about the pet dying. Devoted also has better pen and armored grace allows you to wear armors with no or little penalty (though robes are fine for ranged builds). But devoted is less flexible when you can't use the pistols. Another thing about cipher's borrowed instinct is it gives +20 all defenses which is insanely good, and psychovampiric shield gives +5 resolve so dumping resolve is safe.

    Your stats for any of these builds should be roughly the same, since they all have similar functions. I like wild orlans and wood elves for ranged builds but you can use whatever you want. My approach is generally like this. Max perception, high or max INT, dump resolve, spend 20 to 25 points on might and con, and put the rest in dex. So for instance

    MIG 14
    CON 8
    DEX 15
    PER 20
    INT 18
    RES 3

    You don't need to max dex since there are diminishing returns the more action speed you get, but you can max it if you want (just not at the cost of perception and intellect). You could dump CON even more if you're pretty sure you won't be getting hit, whether that's because your party can keep you in the backline or you have summons or an animal companion to protect you.

    Critical items for a ranged build are the ring of the marksman (+4 accuracy, +1 pen), Sky Dragon Wurm (+3 accuracy, deflection, reflex, +10%damage with ranged) or Harley if you can't find him, ring of prosperity's fortune for 15% hit to crit (if you're rich), high harbinger robes for +10% damage and no recovery time (can wear devil of caroc BP with armored grace), ajamuut's stalking cloak in some cases, acina's tricorn, and gauntlets of accuracy.


    Finally, can you perma-paralyze with Thundercrack pistol? Hmm. I doubt it, but possibly. With maxed INT you can get the paralyze effect to last 4 to 5 seconds. A fire and reload takes (unmodified) 6.1s. You can reduce that quite a lot through combinations of Gunner, Sharpshooter Garb, Sure-Handed Ila, and Rushed Reload modal. Might be possible to perma-paralyze weak enemies, but it's going to be hard to crit against tougher enemies with rushed reload on (unless you're running one of the super high accuracy combos like a seer, psyblade, or hunter). 

    I'm going to do some testing and get back to you on this


    First of all, items that stack -recovery don't work as well as you'd hope. You can't get to -100. I stacked shootist from Acina Tricorn (-10), sure-handed ila (-20), rushed reload (-50), and with modified 30% attack speed get .6 attack time and 1.8 reload. Then added the effect from mahora wraps (another -20) to get recovery 1.6. So clearly there are diminishing returns, the base of 5 was only reduced to 1.6 with reductions totaling 130%. With max dex of 35 (barely possible if specced for it, plus items, boons and dex inspiration), the attack goes down to .6 with recovery 1.5 for an attack every 2.1s. With rushed reload off I have same .6 attack and recovery 1.9 for total 2.4. 

    Also, Thundercrack doesn't actually paralyze on CRIT, it CAN paralyze on CRIT. So if you crit vs. deflection, it then rolls against fortitude to see whether you miss, graze, hit, or crit. On my character with modified 30 INT, in the best case where I crit/crit, I get 5.2s paralyze vs a human, 6.1s vs a summon (it is modified by the enemy resolve as well as your INT). So if your accuracy is stacked high enough (can probably get to around 180), you could perma-paralyze weaker foes, though fortitude tends to be higher than deflection so even then you likely won't crit/crit that often. 

    If the target is already paralyzed, you can't see the roll for the paralysis, though in my limited testing once paralyzed he does seem to always get paralyzed if you crit. But I mostly get an additional 2 to 3s, so either I'm not critting on the paralysis roll or the mechanics are different when already paralyzed. This was a high level enemy (Tumako the Tanager in SSS) and he stayed paralyzed once I got the first crit/crit, until near death when I missed the crit roll. My character has super high accuracy and lot of hit to crit. 

    I'd definitely recommend ranger as half of your combo if for no other reason than your attacks bounce. So thundercrack can for example paralyze two characters at once, as you see happens below.

    My test character is an arcane archer / troubadour. Arcane archer is pretty interesting. You do get -5 accuracy when using non-imbued ammunition, but my accuracy is so high this isn't that big a deal. The Pull of Eora shots are particularly good. They work well enough with Thundercrack pistol, you can see here I have multiple characters paralyzed and the rest flopping around doing nothing (my bear is just standing there since he got hit with thorny roots so my accuracy isn't even maximized). This kind of thing would probably work better with mortars though, so your mortars would hit the enemies clumped together by the pull. For something really broken you could make an arcane archer / monk (normal in vanilla game, shattered pillar with community patch) and use Stunning Surge on pulled groups with mortars. You will usually crit at least once and get the surge cost refunded, as well as gaining more wounds.

    Eccea's Arcane Blaster is really good also. The Imbued Ammunition types have some cool effects, and it does raw + crush/corrode, and that combination is generally going to be resisted very poorly, so in cases where Thundercrack pistol isn't working, the blaster should do it. 


    • Like 1
  11. 12 hours ago, Dmitri said:

    Necroposting time. :)

    Ydwin is absolutely fantastic as a rogue/cipher, 2h melee. At higher levels, with buffs from Tekehu/Xoti she's the best single-target damage dealer in my group now.

    Personally I like her as a pure cipher just so the party has access to defensive mindweb and reaping knives. Give her a high DPS bow like Essence Interrupter or gun like Red Hand.

    But I usually don't run sidekicks because they're relatively boring compared to companions and relatively bad compared to custom adventurers. So if I really want a cipher I'll make one or just run Serafen that way, though Seraphen's subclass sucks.

  12. 3 hours ago, Kaylon said:


    Didn't realize you could block them like this. I tried before but they managed a merge. I may not have had them far enough apart when the merge attempt started. Also I think I had the wurms not the instruments of death, and the wurms can't engage.

    I'm surprised you are able to stay alive with nothing but ancient memory and her courage thick as steel. In my memory HOW hits like a truck. Then again I've played with Abydon so much any fight where your weapons and armor don't break seems like cheating. 

  13. 6 hours ago, dejavu619 said:

    Thanks for this thoroughly written strategy. I also had a couple of more questions:

    1. Can I summon BOTH phantoms at the same time?

    2. Do invisible and withdrawn characters not take AOE damage (from spells like meteor showers) ?

    3. Am I correct in understanding that spamming insect swarms will prevent the soul mirrors from ever getting an ability in?

    4. It's difficult to focus on the Oracle entirely when the Soul Mirrors are the ones dealing the most damage to my party. Keeping them occupied using summons is hard too since they just default to using huge AOE spells that demolish my party as well as the summons.

    1. Not from the same caster. Limit is one summon spell per caster, though that summon can be multiple things (like animated weapons for chanter).  I would prioritize Essential Phantoms, since they do weapon attacks where Substantial Phantoms throw in low level spells that may or may not be effective. What you want to do with phantoms is summon a good weapon then make the phantom, and they'll have the weapon. For instance you can cast Concelhaut's Draining Touch, which is normally good for one attack, but if you cast Essential/Substantial Phantom before using it then the phantom has the Draining Touch for the duration, which is one of the most damaging attacks in the game (only beaten by forbidden fist I think). It does target will though, which normally is one of the lower defenses but not in Oracle's case. Probably good vs the soul mirrors though. Caedelbald's Blackbow is also a really good weapon for phantoms, and Citzal's spirit lance as well. Kalakoth's Minor Blights for things vulnerable to elemental damage. So basically at one time you could have up a phantom from Fassina, a phantom from Aloth (or tentacles if you prefer), and a spiritual ally from xoti. 
    2. Withdrawn characters do not take damage. They are untargetable, stunned and invisible and AOEs will miss. Invisible characters are also untargetable and shouldn't take damage from AOEs, but you have to be careful because as soon as that character does something construed as an attack, they lose their invisibility, though sometimes the graphics make them still appear invisible. And this isn't limited to just attacks, could be something as innocuous as a flame shield or using blood sacrifice. 
    3. No, insect swarm just removes their stacks of concentration and does raw damage over time. The DOT doesn't interrupt them though. Unless they have a lot of concentration stacks I wouldn't bother with insect swarm. You would have to be casting something else to interrupt them (check spell description to see if something interrupts on graze/hit/crit or nothing), or using abilities like a fighter's mule kick (interrupts on graze). Arcane Reflection does a lot to protect you from their nasty spells. Personally I'd focus the Oracle first but whatever works for you. One way to kill everything at once is make sure Eder has Hold the Line, give Aloth Upright Captain's Belt, and have those two fight the Oracle up close, Eder with his weapons and Aloth with Citzal's Spirit Lance, which hits in a fairly large AOE. Fassina can throw down a pull of eora on top of or near the oracle, and it will pull the oracle as well as any scavengers of vision and soul mirrors who get close by. This groups them close enough together that Citzal's Spirit Lance attacks will hit five or six at once. Another spell you may find useful here is Concelhaut's Corrosive Siphon, it targets fortitude, does decent damage on a small AOE, so pull of eora helps, and it drains them. Have Fassina cast Combusting Wounds as well, that damage can rack up really fast with hazard spells like Wall of Thorns or spells that hit a lot like Minoletta's Minor Missiles, pulsing spells like Chill Fog, etc. Concelhaut's Draining Missiles is also really useful in this fight. It is like Minoletta's Minor Missiles but does raw damage vs fortitude and restores as health to the caster. It's in the Ironclasped grimoire. 
    4. This is where stacking defenses will help. Like if you cast all those spells I listed for Aloth he will be very hard to hit, and some of the soul mirror's spells will be reflected (not AOEs though). They cast Meteor Shower which seems nasty but it targets reflex, and reflex is usually very high. One's approach to a fight depends on the capabilities of your party. I don't know what level you are, how items are distributed, abilities picked and so forth, so it's hard to say exactly what's optimal for *your* party. When I've fought the Oracle I always had enough defenses to just blitzkrieg the thing, by the time the soul mirrors are hassling me he's already dead. But if that doesn't work for whatever reason, use some CC spells. Have Fassina cast Slicken. Aloth can cast it too if you want. It's great for interrupting groups of enemies and has a fairly long duration, and Slickens from multiple sources stack. If you had a chanter or cipher you'd have some more CC options, like various charm, mental binding, thunder rolled like waves on black seas etc. Pull of Eora isn't hard CC but it does disrupt their movements and interrupt them sometimes and make landing attacks easier. You can also try hard CC like Gaze of the Adragan, but my experience with this is the duration is usually not long enough to bother, and it rolls vs fortitude which is normally pretty high. You can also try the 2nd level spell Fetid Caress. It paralyzes the target for about twice as long as Gaze of the Adragan, but it is single target (much lower spell level though). Also you could try Maura's Writhing Tentacles, they don't last as long as Phantoms but the tentacles immobilize things they hit. Rynrgim's Enervating Terror is an AOE weakened/terrified (if they're terrified they can't use abilities). Wall of Many Colors is really really good but it's an Illusion spell so Fassina can't cast it. Aloth can, but he can only have one wall up at once so it would take down a wall of draining. If you have Ninagauth's grimoire, there are some good CC spells in that also. It has slicken, Ninagauth's Shadowflame (ice fireball that paralyzes), Ningauth's Freezing Pillar. Death Ring will kill things Near Death in a very large AOE. 

      You might also try using Temporal Cocoon on the oracle or soul mirrors. It doesn't do damage but it takes them out of the fight for a decent duration. And if any of your guys have arcana you can use scrolls. Great Maelstrom does a LOT of damage in a big area, Tornado is a large AOE that does damage plus long knock up interrupt. I haven't tried it but Scrolls of Great Abjuration should theoretically destroy the soul mirrors so long as they are below your level, which I think they would be if you're on normal difficulty and L20. They're a little expensive to craft and require a lot of arcana but scrolls of great maelstrom and tornado can really turn around fights. If you have The Left Hand of The Obscured gloves (from memory hoarder) that gives like +3 arcana in addition to the chance to terrify, would be great gloves for a fighter/mage like how I'm envisioning Aloth. 

    TLDR -- try scrolls of tornado and great maelstrom! And maybe scrolls of great abjuration. And to get an idea of what I'm envisioning for Aloth, watch my buff routine and how I use pull of eora to group enemies for the lance to hit them. Granted this was an ultimate run and I had procced a bunch of things that make me like Super Aloth, but maybe it will help? When you stack enough buffs the lasers just bounce right off of you. In retrospect I misplaced the Pull of Eora slightly, should have cast it in front of the Oracle instead of on top of him, but you can see when he dies how the soul mirrors instantly get sucked in, losing concentration and being interrupted. It's a really fantastic spell and the only one I memorized in this run. 

    6 hours ago, Boeroer said:

    Iirc it has an enchantment upgrade that takes away the reflection but makes you completely immune to gazes (100% miss). Would a Monk's Soul Mirror reflect those rays then? 🤔

    Never tried...

    Oh you are right. You can pick 50h reflect gaze or "immunity to gaze attacks". My guess is the immunity works like spell resistance and the log says you're immune or resisted it, whereas reflections first show as misses i think.

    I'm actually not sure how gazes are treated. I'll test this out later but I don't have any convenient saves near this fight so will have to go through whole DLC.

    Does Arcane Reflection reflect gazes? I would think soul mirror would. It reflects all kinds of things including instant attacks like thorny roots. I definitely feel like Arcane Reflection is immensely helpful in this fight though. Even if it doesn't help with the gazes it blocks a bunch of crap from the soul mirrors. 

    • Like 1
  14. 1 hour ago, Kaylon said:

    Cantor should be able to deal with Hauani the same way as a herald. 

    You can also try to deal with the merge using Mechanical Marvel (with Sure Handed it should be easy enough to keep the oozes interrupted with modal activated) and later with scrolls of Tornado.

    How does a herald defeat HOW? Brand Enemy + Marux Amanth? I haven't played paladins much. But I'm not coming up with any ideas where the paladin part is relevant. My dexterity as a FF cantor is very low. Even with Sure-Handed Ila I don't think I can keep them interrupted with Mechanical Marvel, but, maybe...unfortunately Mechanical Marvel requires resting for The Survivor path, and backtracking to whatever fetch quest. Trying to avoid resting. Big stacks of tornado may be promising. 

    I figured out the changeling's dance with the transcendent. Took me some thought and a lot of tries to get where I can do it consistently without losing Vela. This should work for any class capable of soloing the encounter.

    1. In the Pool of Memories room, stack some alchemy gear and use Thief's Putty. Stealth should be 20. Equip +beneficial effect and +INT gear and attack Vela with The Eye of Wael until you proc Obfuscation. Go stealth, heal Vela, enter the fight, going through the screens as rapidly as possible, which should leave you with just enough time to flee if you have at least 13 intelligence. 
    2. Kite the fighter to the southwest end of the screen and kill him. This is actually quite tedious and difficult. My stealth was 29 with the training, thief's putty, luminous adra potion and hylea's bounty. And Kaz. And dissident background. This is high as it can get (I think) for non-stealth classes. Since you can't use items, the only way to kite is to skirt the edge of the stealth detection zone. You want to be outside the sight cone and just in the hearing circle. When the fighter starts approaching you, run perpendicular to his movement direction, i.e. across the sight cone, minimizing stealth lost. You want to end up just outside the hearing circle and sight cone, on the side the fighter will turn when he turns around. He usually turns clockwise, at least until he is a few reps from the center, then it is hard to tell. You will briefly enter his sight cone when he turns but he continues back a couple steps before turning around with the detection icon. This time is useful for losing stealth detection buildup. Eventually the fighter will turn counterclockwise, and if he does this and you're on the wrong side you have to chase him back a bit to get him to come back. After 6 to 8 repetitions he should be in the correct position where you can attack him. The cipher and monk are also easy to kite (easier, actually) but they are more dangerous to Vela. The cipher sometimes clubs her or when near death runs away to cast spells on the fighter. The monk summons dichotomous spirits who can quickly murder Vela. The fighter just attacks you as long as you stay engaged. But you have to be at the very southwest of the room, maybe like 2 or 3 meters away max, or the cipher spots you and everyone comes.  
    3. After fighter is dead, Vela is frozen in fear in hopefully the far southwest of the map. You can approach the rest of the group from the northeast or northwest. If you approach too far northeast the cipher may run off towards Vela, so I approached from the northwest, then once I saw they were all attacking me, ran to the far northeast of the screen.
    4. From here, finish the fight as usual. In this case, kill the monk, then cipher, then wolf, then ranger, then rogue if he is still alive. 

    This is the most tedious and technical challenge I've encountered but it is not in fact impossible :)

    I am fairly confident my transcendent can solo all the content without rest (except at Ukaizo). Have tested SSS, all megabosses, Concelhaut, Nemnok, The Messenger, cave grub, and the sea dragon and fire dragon. Have not tested FS content or fought lich dragon a second time, nor the Beast of Winter, but I don't recall these being too challenging compared to the likes of Dorudugan or Hauani O Whe, so...should be fine. 

  15. 4 minutes ago, abot said:

    I have a trick for the Oracle rays, get the reflecting small shield in the Xaur Tuk Tuk cave if you can, there is an enchantment with high reflection probability, he does not like his rays reflected

    Ah yes, Shimmer Scale. Never actually used it. I guess you could give it to Eder and have him fight weapon and shield? Or give it to Xoti, or your rogue if using a pistol. 

    You don't really need it but it could well make things easier. 

  16. 9 hours ago, dejavu619 said:

    Party composition: Eder (Fighter), Me (Ranged Rogue), Aloth (Wizard), Fassina (Conjurer), Xoti (Priest). Playing on normal difficulty.

    1. The beams don't seem to ever stop, even if I interrupt the Oracle or knock it prone

    2. The Soul Mirrors cast very dangerous spells (Tayn's Chaotic Orb, meteor shower). To what extent can I control when / where they spawn? It's easy to interrupt them using insect swarms if they spawn at the same place but not if they spawn all over the place

    3. Should I spend any time destroying the arcane devices around the Oracle?

    4. How do I keep the Oracle paralyzed for as long as possible? I have 4 'Gaze of the Adragan' scrolls. Aloth & I can cast it too.

    What level are you? I don't know this fight as well as some others, maybe I will try it again later. I've always been L20 when fighting it and didn't have problems. There are a lot of ways you could win this fight, but follow this strategy and you should definitely be fine.

    The oracle is immune to interrupts and int/res/per afflictions, and resistant to mig/dex/con. So yes you can use gaze of the adragan which is downgraded to paralyze, but really this kind of fight is more about stacking buffs and defenses and then physically attacking, vs trying to put afflictions on him. Also keep in mind the oracle can target your will instead of deflection if it is lower (his abomination power), so watch for characters with low will.

    I wouldn't bother destroying the devices. I mean you can, but to get frequent stuns you need to destroy all four.  The oracle has low deflection and fortitude, so you want to hit it and cast spells targeting fortitude. It is particularly weak to pierce damage I believe.

    You have two wizards. Are they both configured as casters? Wizards actually make excellent fighters.

    I'd consider making Aloth a fighter. Give him Llengrath's Martial Mysteries or Katrenn's Grimoire plus Arkemyr's Illuminating Discoveries. You should start throwing down a wall of draining that hits the oracle and as many henchmen as possible, then cast every fast cast in Llengrath/Katrenn grimoire when the fight starts (Infuse with vital essence, spirit shield, deleterious alacrity of motion, llengrath's displaced image, ironskin, Arcane Reflection or llengrath's reflection, and llengrath's superior elemental bulwark), you can cast all of these in a couple seconds, follow with citzal's spirit lance and llengrath's safeguard, switch to arkemyr's grimoire, and cast arcane veil. Wall of Draining will build up these defensive buffs making Aloth quite hard to kill. You can use Arkemyr's Brilliant Departure if you need to escape or want to confuse things.  The oracle is weak to pierce so Aloth would then just attack it repeatedly with the spirit lance. Throw up another wall of draining if your buffs are running out. 

    I'm not very familiar with fassina as a caster. But I'd have her cast Arcane Veil, Arcane Reflection, Caedebald's Blackbow, and then summon Essential and Substantial Phantoms (Essential is better), and the phantoms will attack with the powerful bow. Also the spell Pull of Eora is really useful for grouping enemies, it will pull Scavengers of Visions to it, just don't cast it on top of your guys unless they are immune to push/pull (hold the line talent, upright captain's belt). Minoletta's Precisely Piercing Burst will do a lot of damage also.

    Give Eder a couple of high quality sabres (or your weapon of choice, lots of good choices) and have him fight the Oracle head on. You should have Unbending and its upgrades. This ability is far more powerful than it appears if the character is getting hit a lot, because each hit stacks with itself. 

    For your rogue, I'd just shoot the thing repeatedly with The Red Hand or Essence Interrupter with the hunting bow modal on. These weapons have extremely high DPS and do pierce. 

    And lastly Xoti should focus on buffing your party members. First summon the spiritual ally, it has unlimited heals and can let xoti focus on buffing and debuffing. Start with Devotions for the Faithful, spark the souls of the righteous, throw down a consecrated ground, use salvation of time to extend Aloth's buffs if necessary. Continue throwing down buffs like crowns for the faithful, Shields for the faithful, dire blessing, champion's boon. You can try to debuff the oracle's deflection with divine mark but the oracle has high will defense so I wouldn't bother. When there are no more buffs, cast damage spells like cleansing flame or storm of holy fire. Try to keep the spiritual ally as long as possible. Use withdraw as emergency cast on party members being shredded by lasers. You can also cast wall of thorns which targets fortitude and should sicken the oracle and weaken scavengers who hit it.

    The soul mirrors can be really dangerous and depend how you've configured your characters, control them with maybe a pull of eora and a slicken or two, I'd ignore them and just focus down the oracle, then clean them up after he's down.

    • Like 1
  17. 14 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

    I don't understand your concern about 0 bond, but maybe I expressed it confusingly.

    Well my counterproposal was because you don't seem to like bonded fury costing 1 bond. I think you mentioned previously this was because you could run out or something and then the ability can't be used for bond regeneration. 

    14 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

    My proposal for bonded fury (second thought taken into account) :

    - 2 Bonds, no cooldown, 0.5s/0s cast/rec
    - Energized and all tier 2 inspirations for 30s (not 45s or it would compare too well to some other active)
    - 15% chance of bond on Graze/Hit/Crit until the end of encounter. This effect won't require any refresh. You will just have to refresh the Inspirations.

    So once Bonded has been cast once, there won't be any issue about zero bond anymore. Your pet will always get %15 Bond chance, and when you hit zero, you will still have as much chance to generate bond.

    Still for people who actually want to use the ability for the buffs this seems like a move in the wrong direction. If anything was overpowered about Bonded Fury it was the resource regen aspect, not the pet buffs. This makes the pet buffs less desirable compared to spamming twinned arrows or whatever.

    14 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

    Granted you may have to make some choice to maintain Bonded Fury all the time, but you will generate more bonds than currently (chance 10% to 15%, and 100% uptime for the bon regen). So in a way it is more versatile (it would be super easy to have 100% Hardy Companion uptime).

    In the rare case you hit 0 Bond without having cast Bonded Fury even once, well... you still have Empower point... or Potion of Enlightenment... or just you shouldn't have made this mistake anyway.

    Right I don't see why it hitting 0 is an issue, maybe I misunderstood you in a previous post.

    14 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

    Well, I've made clear why I don't want 1 bond cost for Bonded Fury.

    Hmm...not to me 🤔

    Not trying to be difficult I just don't get it why 2 bond buffs infinite bond regen is better than 1 bond buffs bond regen per 30s? I mean I get you'd prefer that if you don't want to actually use Bonded Fury for the buffs, because you can cast once and get bond regeneration throughout the fight, but...this is almost making the ability superfluous after the initial cast. There really isn't much use case for occasional recast of tier 2 pet inspirations compared to being able to sustain them. Not at 2 bond. And I realize it initially cost 3 which was just absurd. For 3 bond it better give me AND the pet tier 2 inspirations. And at 2 bond it is still too much just for pet inspirations unless you increase the durations. 45s is a reasonable compromise between 2 bond 30s and 1 bond 30s. You say "not 45s or it would compare too well to some other active". Not sure what you mean. Which actives, and why is the comparison problematic?

    The way I'm looking at it is Bonded Fury looks very weak (after initial cast) compared to say Shadowed Hunters + Heal Companion, so if I can't keep up Bonded Fury because its cost has doubled then I'll use more powerful abilities. 

  18. I've been testing the cantor build some more. Its main weakness is relatively low accuracy and no obvious way to deal with Hauani O Whe. I've managed to get one of the gigantic oozes down to near death a couple times but just barely, and the fight is so frustrating to practice since solo it takes over half an hour to get through the first stage.

    With INT buffed the cone from The Thunder Rolled Like Waves On Black Seas (and it's crash could not be denied upgrade) can just barely hit both gigantic oozes if you get them next to each other. Stuns from hits last about 10s, but pretty often you graze against one, and occasionally outright miss. I tried a few times using the Gloves of the Dungeon Warden. If I had infinite reloads I think I could win eventually if I get a crit on lockdown, but more often I graze, which buys you about 18s. Also BPM nerfed troubadour's brisk recitation (not sure it's justified honestly) to -33% phrase duration instead of -50%, so instead of taking 12 seconds to get the 4 phrases for the stun cone, it takes 16. Eventually you graze both or miss one.

    Have tried various scrolls with max arcana. Meteor Shower does a lot of damage but it doesn't seem to interrupt, even when I drink a potion of impediment beforehand. Same with scroll of storm of holy fire. Tornado does interrupt but the knock up period is fairly brief. Maybe if I read like 10 in a row I can finish a gigantic form. Have also tried Avenging Storm scroll with potion of impediment, but this doesn't seem worth it as the scroll only lasts 35s and doesn't seem to proc that much anyway. And have tried using Their Champion Braved the Horde Alone but it seems pointless since I can't really crit the things except vs deflection, and forbidden fist already interrupts on hit. 

    I'm stuck . I assumed since Lockdown makes the enemy untargetable this would mean the other ooze couldn't merge with it but I'm not sure this is the case, I believe on my last playthrough they merged while one was still in the stasis field...


    Also stuck on changeling fight with transcendent. I've worked at it from two paths

    1) start invisible + stealthed in RTWP, try to lure one combatant to left side of screen, make vela afraid, kill enemy, then circle around and kill others from right. This is easy with cantor because of the skeletons but with transcendent my only way to kite the baddies appears to be to stand at the edge of their detection radius until my stealth goes red. I have 24 stealth but I'm still only to pull a character to two points before I'm discovered.

    2) start turn based with a 200+% conduit proc. It is a bit tedious to get the proc but doable, and in turn based it lasts 3 rounds. I lose a round clicking on the memory pool, and I lose 2 rounds while the slaying face gives his speech, leaving me with just the current round. Occasionally I can one-shot a character (3 attacks technically, but in one round) but the golem thing's accuracy isn't great so this usually doesn't happen. If I could extend conduit duration to 4 rounds, then I'd have an extra round and could easily kill the monk or ranger. But...even with strand of favor, ooblit, and cabalist's gambeson equipped when I proc obfuscation it is 3 rounds or 17.3s in RTWP. Not sure the point where I get an extra round is. My intellect with items, boons and such is 20 (base 13). If I go any higher my forbidden fist attacks build up too much curse. If I could proc Acute before casting conduit, that might do it. Only way I can think of to do this is with the ring Whispers From The Depths, which gives 8s Acute 30% on kill (modified this is 17.3s). Kind of tedious, I'd have to start a fight near the memory pool, get the last enemy to nearish death, then summon things and kill them until I proc it, either using dichotomous soul or charm of bones. I'm still not sure that would be enough to get the extra round. I could also start a fight and proc conduit near the end with turning wheel at 10 wounds. You lose some time ending the fight so not sure if this would work either. Maybe if I cast great maelstrom to simultaneously strike myself and the last enemy...

    Very tedious and technical, either way. I'm wondering if there isn't a simpler way like a keyboard combination to skip the slaying face's speech and the memory pool transition, but I see nothing like that in the controls and other settings. 

    I should give up because this is probably impossible with this build, but that's the challenge, right?


    It has occurred to me I can use wit of death's herald to proc acute / brilliant, though I don't have it, console creation of the character removed it. I can re-add the ability using addability player[tab] wit_of_deaths_herald but it is just tier 1. If I add the ability again it is tier 1. I don't know how to upgrade it...

    I guess I can simulate acute with hot razor skewers +1 power level + smart. 

    So I figured out with ooblit, strand of favor, cabalist's gambeson, and effigy's resentment zahua, you need a modified INT of 33 to get to 2 rounds of conduit in turn based. For me this was proccing acute + 7 (konstanten, SOF, kuaru's prize, alchemic wits, berath's blessing) and ripple sponge (and/or cauldron shard, old valia). This required my base INT be 18, or at the very very most 16, which is still too high for a forbidden fist build. Possibly I could do this with turning wheel maxed at end of combat.

    Anyway I suspect a lot of builds can do this fight with high INT and proccing conduit, which makes it fairly easy to zerg a bad guy since you do a bit over triple damage. Still sort of random whether they go after Vela. Seems to happen mostly if her position isn't perfect or you get hit with a skyward kick, so monk is top zerg priority.

  19. 5 hours ago, Elric Galad said:

    Okay, for Bonded Fury, an alternative idea would be to :

    - Set it back to 2 Bonds with no cooldown
    - Set the Bond regen mechanism as lasting till the end of battle. So once you cast it once, you won't have to think a lot about whether casting it again will result in a big Bond gain, marginal gain or loss

    I would consider being a bit more generous with other parameters (inspirations set to last 45s instead of 30s, 15% Bond gain when dealing damages) to compensate for the upfront cost. Better than 1 Bond cost in my book to avoid a "semi immunity" to Afflictions.

    Basically it would be "2 abilities for 1 Point", an active to reasonably buff your pet and a passive to regen bond. Both would fill balanced as individual abilities, so it is a bit generous to get both for 1 point, but you still have the constraint of casting it once to get the passive effect.


    I would aslo set back Healing Chain to 2 Zeal with no Cooldown, with a minor buff to 12 health per tick.

    I had the concern that even at 2 Zeals it could be too strong in favorable conditions (targetting only 2 narrow targets) granted the potential infinite Zeal of SC Paladin, but this issue was solved by Divine retribution rework. The recent Jump range reduction was also made to allow easier focusing.

    The ability isn't easy to use, but giving 300 base health to 2 targets for 2 Zeals feel quite good to me.


    This would completely eliminate Cooldowns, except for Spiritshift and Holy Radiance since I have no good alternative for them (and Cooldown is a strict improvement from once per encounter anyway).


    Since I'm buffing Bonded Fury to 45s, I plan to do the same with the sorta similar Inspired Discipline. It feels sometimes hard to optimize since Tier 1 inspirations feel a bit redundant with some Fighter self buff or Party buff. 

    I guess this sounds preferable to current implementation? Assuming I can still actually keep up bonded fury. The bond regen is the main thing bit it does make the pet a bit harder to kill, and energized helps him do a little damage and potentially interrupt things at hen combined with shadowed hunters. Also liked the risk reward of on hit resource return. 

    Hmm. Can you make a passive that gives back bond at some rate when you hit zero? Idk if this is possible.

    Then bonded fury costs 1 bond, gives back resources like now (bump proc rate slightly, maybe 10 to 15?), no cooldown. 

    To me this seems quite clean. The only potential issue is you could run out of bond if not paying attention, though this happens with a lot of classes. Also somewhat negated by potions of enlightenment. 

    Another possibility is bonded fury costs 1 bond no cooldown returns 15% on graze or whatever, AND has a until battle ends bond return of like 1 per 60 seconds (or 30), to mitigate the issue of running out of bond.

    I like the proposed healing chain


  20. 4 hours ago, abot said:


    I don't know, I think it would be feasible with my full buffed build as chanter skeletons chant (and probably the healing one too) still work as cannon fodder so if you rush the enemies you have a good chance Vela is only hit max once.
    But if you are using the community patch / no strand of favor like buffs prolonging then you might not be fast enough killing them.
    Maybe try a monk/troubadour
    also no idea how in this f* editor you can edit/insert a link to a specific video time so remove the h ttps space after copying the link in browser

    h ttps://youtu.be/q9tBtjCur8g?list=PL7Rqzk0KXtVxElgWZQtRXrtYaUO6qH-N4&t=8375

    So chants keep going? Bizarre, since nothing else outside passives works, but yeah a ff / troubadour would absolutely crush this fight in that case. You can start invisible and stealthed even without strand of favor etc. using A Whale of A Wand, then you back away from the fight, the skeletons may actually still run towards the enemies and fight them (this seems to depend how close you are). If they don't you just circle around to the ranger, zerg the ranger asap and hopefully enough skellies to keep enemies running past you if you're skyward kicked. Pretty sure this will work.

    But this cantor build might have some trouble with Hauni O Whe. I suspect with Hauni O Whe it will be very hard next to impossible stopping the merges, unless you keep up Their Champion Braved The Horde Alone at that point AND energized interrupts apply to spells, which I'm not sure it does. There's stunning surge and raised torment for smaller oozes, but can't reliably hit the gigantic ones. Start casting stacks of scroll of storm of holy fire or something, I guess, if energized works on spells at least some of those should interrupt.

    Dorudugan should still be beatable as I easily did so without invoking any cipher spells besides soul annihilation. It would be grindy given lower accuracy and no soul annihilation, but I think doable. Probably the rest of megabosses doable, so just Hauni O Whe potentially as a problem. 

    I really like the transcendent build though, seems to fit more naturally, get the huge accuracy bonuses + very frequent soul annihilation for massive damage. I played this type of cantor a little bit. Was mostly using Instruments of Pain to make FF attacks from behind summons. Landed on transcendent as a better build because you can already do this with dichotomous souls, plus get other cipher goodies.

    I like spiritualist also but I'm almost certain a spiritualist can't beat Dorudugan in modded game. You need things like Conduit or Blade Cascade. Just casting Pain Link on the summons would work if Pain Link worked as advertised, but it only really procs correctly on disengagement attacks. And I've tried doing that in slow mode with very intense micromanagement over probably like 2hours, and could never get him bloodied.

    Noticed in your ultimate run you do SSS early. Did you go ahead and pick up Nature's Resolve and Dawnstar Blessing and just go rest of the game without after SSS, or did you skip the boons and come get them later? I think with survivor's path I can probably do SSS without these boons, then circle back in a weird way.

    Would prefer I could just win this fight though...I have done it a few times with Vela in tow but it pretty much has to be turn based mode and she has to start directly behind you. Then you rush the ranger, who is the biggest threat to Vela. If she is directly behind you as far as she can go then he probably won't target her until you get hit with Skyward Kick, so killing the monk is also very high priority. Or you could build for like 200 fortitude so he always misses. I think this is barely possible with max might, 35 CON from iron wheel and buffs, plus bear cub, would have to dump INT completely, could use turning wheel in fights where I want some INT I guess...

    One tactic that could work is to proc a very high damage conduit (like 200%). I think that gives about 23s with ooblit so you'd start the fight with like 8s of conduit, in turn based that could be translated into 2 rounds which would be enough to zerg the ranger. Hmm. Going to try this. Proccing conduit for one fight is really annoying though... gotta crit oneself scrolls of chain lightning which can take a lot of scrolls. Alternatively crackling bolt scrolls work but do less damage. Scrolls of great maelstrom do the most damage but it is easy to die from them.

    Ah I don't this will work. Actually lasts 19s since my INT is as high as it can go already (13 base) without running into curse problems, which translates to just the first round of attacks unfortunately, so I get one attack at triple damage. Better than nothing I guess. 

    I can't think of much else I can proc that would be of benefit without being able to extend it. Blade Cascade only lasts 5s. Maybe could have some stacks from adaptive.


    Well, with the right items (arcanist's balm, chromoprismatic quarterstaff -> chain lightning self for elemental induction -> drink healing potion ->switch to griffin's blade, nemnok's cloak, left hand of the obscured, kuaru's prize, sash of judgment, ooblit, sandals of the water lily, high harbinger's robe, the third eye, and deltro's cage helm) and improved critical I self damage +150% damage on a roll on crit. If the roll is good I can get like +250% weapon damage, which is enough to one-shot the ranger unless I'm really unlucky and graze him a bunch. But if the monk hits me with skyward kick they rush vela. I can also one-shot the monk, then attack the ranger I guess. He will land a couple thorny roots but by itself that isn't enough to kill vela. 


    Actually tried with a cantor and the fight is possible to do 100% with vela though it is kind of weird. You have to start stealthed + invisible, which leaves about 2s of invisibility from obfuscation (eye of wael) at the start of the fight. You can't have any hostile chant going or vela gets scared (and visible), so I had ancient memory, many lives pass by and got far enough away before the skeletons spawned that they didn't go hostile. I thought I might be able to just send the skeletons in but they don't do this until someone in the party is threatened, otherwise they just stand there. 

    But, the skeletons spawning in stealth procs the enemy's stealth detection like laying a trap, so I was able to lure away the monk to the far left, kill him, vela gets scared now and won't leave this area, switch to pure many lives pass by chant, the skeletons run towards the center and the fighter etc move towards to engage. But you don't engage, instead circle around using the skeletons to pull the enemies to the far right of the map. If you do all this correctly the only time vela is threatened at all is during the monk fight and one on one with ancient memory going she is fine. 

  21. Also, I found what I assume is a bug with transcendent suffering and monastic unarmed training. The effects stack. This is true in vanilla and BPM. Effects are slightly more severe with BPM since penetration is calculated as 0 base + 11 TS + 11 MUT vs 7 base + 4 + 4. Accuracy and damage stacks seem the same. 

    It doesn't naturally happen in vanilla only because having transcendent suffering tends to prevent the monastic unarmed training button being available on level-up. Not a big deal as you can just not take monastic unarmed when you have transcendent suffering. And I really like the option of having it on the classes that didn't already, so I hope there's a solution besides removing it, and if there isn't, my vote would be "let them stack" 

  22. On 3/21/2023 at 4:40 PM, Elric Galad said:

    Version 2.5.1 just released to tweak down a couple of overtuned ranger stuff, correct the immortal Paladin bug and make Wall of Flashing Steel Guile gain less confusing.

    Deadfire Balance Polishing Mod at Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Nexus - Mods and Community (nexusmods.com)

    Back at home and my computer and I playtested the ranger some more and compared to 2.5. I don't actually think the SC ranger is overpowered, even in 2.5. Resources came a little too easily in 2.5, seems better now. In some types of fights (like Dorudugan) it does extremely well because you can maintain buffs and resource regen. With bonded fury, heal companion, revive companion, and shadowed hunters, combined with a high DPS bow like Essence Interrupter and +accuracy +damage abilities and items, the build is top tier at single target damage. It's not much different in 2.5.1 except because of the weird Bonded Fury cooldown it becomes necessary to spend more time invisible using Shadowed Hunters. A 90s cooldown on an ability that with maximum int and a potion of ascension lasts 60s is just weird IMO. Even with 35 INT I tested it as lasting 73s IIRC. 

    Also tried some other types of fights like in SSS and I got absolutely murdered in some of them. The animal's ability to tank is improved significantly but even in 2.5 he can't tank the trial of the naga for instance. Which is fine. There are few builds that can facetank everything. Just means we'd benefit more from kiting here. 

    I still find the 0 bond 90s cooldown overly confusing for Bonded Fury. I'm probably not the only one. It seems perfectly acceptable to cost 1 bond to prevent spamming, and increase the resource proc rate to compensate. I plan to do this anyway if you leave it as is, though I'll have to fiddle with the values a bit to get it right. But overall I find the SC ranger interesting and believe it's now competitive to some of the stronger ranger multiclass builds like seer, wanderer, savage, and hunter. I have not tested the SC fighter or paladin since 2.5 changes. 

    I am also starting my attempt of an ultimate style run with this mod. I will record and put up video, but depending how busy I am it could be a while before it's finished. 

  23. 6 hours ago, Kvellen said:

    Vela is summoned to the player using a hidden ability so can be added with the following console command:

    AddAbility b1a8e901-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 2bb3ebf1-9630-4417-b0f5-6a674be27a88


    Okay so now I can practice with Vela (thanks!), and I've made some progress but still haven't figured out this fight. 

    If you start the fight stealthed, you immediately get unstealthed but you get initiative. If Vela happens to be directly behind you, you can sometimes keep the ranger and rogue from priority targeting her with thorny roots and eliminating blows. But she has to be like directly behind you as far as she can spawn, and I'm pretty sure her movements are random. 

    If you start the fight stealthed AND invisible, then you can move far enough away to allow repositioning. In my ultimate run I did this to circle around and kill the ranger then rogue then the melees. But, I had procced conduit and blade cascade so I could down them in like 6s. Without these, circling around to zerg the ranger + rogue may not work. 

    I did figure out how to start stealthed and invisible, though. With equipped Heaven's Cacophony, Kuaru's Prize, Strand of Favor, and Ooblit, I then use The Eye of Wael against Vela until I proc Obfuscation, which with these items and my INT score lasts 16.3s. After switching pets, rapidly opening The Changeling's Dance and mashing spacebar I then have about 1.8s of invisibility to run away from the fight.

    Some problems

    1) It is much easier to protect Vela in turn based mode because I will act first and can keep Vela as far behind me as possible while rushing the enemy. But in turn based mode, I have 1 round of invisibility left (more like 0, but in effect one). But Vela just stands there even if I run away.

    2) In RTWP, which I normally use, she immediately follows me and gets out of harm's way, but it is hard to get her to stay far enough away from the ranger that he doesn't hit her with thorny roots

    3) If I weren't a stupid golem, I'd have options like take Vela to corner of map and use A Whale of A Wand on her to charm her so she stays there

    4) If combat hadn't already started, I could get Vela where I want and then use console settactical mode 1, but you can't change from RTWP to turn-based once combat starts, even if nobody has done anything. 

    So either she sits there in turn-based and gets murdered, or she follows me in RTWP, where I can get her far away but haven't figured out how to get her to stay there. This is tricky, may still be impossible to do with a high probability of success. If I start turn-based and am lucky enough for her to be behind me, then yeah I think I can do it, but it's freaking random so I guess I have to do RTWP. 

    Ideally you just keep Vela out of range of everyone and then kill them in order @Kaylon suggested, monk, cipher, fighter, wolf, ranger, rogue, but if Vela wanders too close she gets hit with Thorny roots and everything falls apart. So one solution is to go ranger, rogue, monk, cipher, fighter, wolf, but they still may kill Vela before I can kill them and it makes it harder for me to survive.

    Definitely the trickiest fight to do under ultimate conditions...

    Also tried using A Whale of a Wand to charm Vela, but I guess that just works once combat is started? I was able to turn her into a pig. Thought maybe that would change her AI into running away, it actually does the opposite. She charges straight in and attacks, doing surprisingly good damage (for Vela). Even after the pig effect wore off she kept fighting for a few rounds before becoming terrified. Very strange. 

    I'm also trying to kite the rogue, ranger, or wolf but the only kiting method I have is to stand on the edge of their stealth detection radius, let the circle go red, then run away, then try that again. Haven't been able to get far enough away to isolate anyone. 

    @abot I figure if anyone knows how to deal with Vela here it would be you. Though I saw in your ultimate run you did Survivor path so maybe it is hopeless.

    • Like 1
  24. 2 hours ago, Kvellen said:

    Vela is summoned to the player using a hidden ability so can be added with the following console command:

    AddAbility b1a8e901-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 2bb3ebf1-9630-4417-b0f5-6a674be27a88


    Oh my God thank you!

    10 minutes ago, Kaylon said:

    With the right build a FF is one of the few classes able to solo Changelling Dance 100% of the time. The secret is to keep the rogue alive because his Deep Wounds work like a healing battery. The killing order should be monk>cipher>fighter>wolf>ranger (the rogue should be already dead from Soul Mirror).

    Thanks, I sorta accidentally figured this out after a couple more hours of testing. I'm not at 100% yet but my best success so far was monk cipher wolf fighter Ranger rogue

    Rogue was not already dead though, only hurt.

    I think switching to prissy as pet may have helped also, as with her you get about 20 health per kill and 34 per round from deep wounds. Blinky seems like a good option as well.

    In turn based there still seems to be some luck involved in whether I can kill the monk before some bad combination happens like sundering blow > all the melees hit me > rogue hits with eliminating blow or skyward kick > they get a couple free rounds.

    Once monk was down and the rogue was out of abilities it was easy as the other chars couldn't do more damage per turn than I was healing.

    My stats are 14 / 8 / 3 / 19 / 13 / 19

    I realize for this particular fight I'm probably better off with dumped INT and higher dex (and more CON), but I like this spread for other fights, have enough resolve buffs to get to 35 and with clarity of agony and swift flurry the curse is about 2s and I attack every 2s (naked or with robes).

    I could increase CON some, dump INT and use turning wheel...

  25. Broadening topic scope. Trying to practice this fight with Vela in tow. noqn's Seeker Slayer Survivor standalone mod seemed like a good idea but Vela doesn't spawn if you select Hylea's challenge. Must be some way to console her in but I can't figure it out.

    Next fastest thing would be I guess to teleport my party to SSS right after picking up Vela at the beach, not sure how to do that either.


    I found a save where I just needed to go to Ashen Maw, so did that, opened SSS, unfortunately using OpenCharacterCreation() causes Vela to disappear after one fight, so it is pretty tedious to practice. I think I have more control in this fight in turn-based mode, assuming I can't start invisible. When I'm able to engage all the melee characters and get close enough to the ranger and rogue, Vela is (relatively) safe, at least until I eat a skyward kick and they run off to kill her. 

    Been practicing this fight and it is harder than I remember with a transcendent. I thought I was winning like 9/10 or so when last I tried, but maybe that was with a SC monk, not entirely sure. I have lots of good passives like soul mirror, rooting pain, forbidden fist which heals me about 32 per wound, heartbeat drumming (rarely procs sadly), enervating blows, etc. Basically rebuilt the character with no active abilities besides iron wheel and took as many passives as I could. Only seem to be winning like 1 in 5. 

    So in this fight there are six enemies. It would be trivial if I weren't a stupid hunk of metal that is really slow and does like no damage. 

    Enemies are

    cipher - center and closest, probably the least threat though she can go after Vela sometimes

    fighter - left center, lowish threat though hard to kill, and if sundering blow hits while his buddies are near can take off a good chunk of health

    monk - right center, seems like the highest initial threat as has absurdly high PEN at 19 and skyward kicks will mess you up for rounds if they hit. His health isn't as high as some of the others but I think attacking him first is the wrong idea, most times I attack him first I do kill him but by then my health is low and the rogue finishes me off.

    wolf - starts near ranger but quickly closes distance. Should be low threat but has very high accuracy and frequently uses shadowed hunters so he either does almost no damage on graze/hit or a lot of damage on crit. One of the harder enemies to kill, as he has 11 armor vs my wimpy 9 / 11 pen attacks. 

    rogue - starts far and fires dual pistols. Doesn't seem like much of a threat initially. Does low damage and soul mirror causes him to hit himself a lot. Besides blind his debuffs aren't that bad, except for gouging strike. If hit with gouging strike the fight becomes very hard to finish, that 3 tick per round as you finish off the fighter makes things that much harder. Also he starts using eliminating blows and deathblows eventually doing massive damage, so I think the rogue is probably the most urgent threat, however I have to basically waste a turn to get to him first. 

    ranger - not much of a threat, bow has bad penetration and hits get reflected a lot. 

    Doesn't seem that hard, but I have little control over the stupid metal thing. Only item that does anything is the pet. I can't decide whether I prefer Blinky (+5 accuracy), Bear Cub (+8 fort and some damage, makes harder to get kicked by monk), Amanita (some extra armor and health, though armor rarely makes a difference), or Retina (requires 4 to flank, so it is a little harder for the enemies to maintain their +10 accuracy flanking debuff. Probably some argument for others, maybe Prissy for the healing? Though the pet alone probably isn't going to decide this outcome and tactics are limited. 

    This may be a true gating encounter in BPM. Will update if I figure it out, would appreciate suggestions.

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