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Shai Hulud

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Everything posted by Shai Hulud

  1. Yep I've tried some solo builds that can do all the megabosses but can't clear sissak's nest. It likely isn't as bad with a party but there are high level vithrack plus moon spiders that come in waves and sissak himself hangs pretty far back so often you get surrounded by animated weapons while being pelted with missile salvos and even if you manage to kill the vithrack through the moon spiders casting robust on everything, they (and the moon spiders) come back. I've found it unwinnable with lot of builds. If you fail that first check and they go hostile it is super super hard. If you pass and come back to kill them it is more manageable since you can alpha strike with a bunch of high damage AOEs (though you can't start stealthed since they're blue). Rough fight. Yeah and expert mode, though expert mode isn't too bad, except it makes placing walls of draining tough since you can't see them. Woedica/eothas abydon and hylea are the hardest. Especially hylea since Velais tricky to control and gets one shot by lots of things. I'm thinking about making an ultimate guide but haven't really started. I went from not playing the game for a few years straight to ultimate lol. I mean I did a practice run first but while it is quite tough it is doable with preparation and research. I dislike the fighter part of fighter/chanter more than chanter. Chanter/x probably make the fourth best tanks after paladin/x wizard/x and monk/x (particularly combos that combine these are great tanks). They can fulfill almost any role including tank though I like them more as casters and support. My favorite chanters are troubadour/psion, bellower/blood mage, bellower/priest, skald/berserker, and troubadour/FF. FFs make the tankiest monks since they can heal themselves with their basic attack. They also easily maintain max wounds (for iron wheel armor) since you mostly just spam FF which costs 0 wounds. The most important thing about tanks is having high armor but that doesn't necessarily mean wearing plate. Mythic plate is 14 armor while mythic leather is 11. The difference is not as significant as some items and abilities. Iron wheel can give up to 3 armor, stoic steel 3 armor, exalted endurance 1, llengraths safeguard 5, and they all stack iirc. You want enemies to graze or miss but especially underpenetrate. If they underpen your armor by 1 (e.g. 16 pen vs 17 AR) it's -25% damage, -50% and -75% for underpen by 2 and 3. So if your armor is high enough enemies always underpen by 3 you take very little damage. Grazes -50% stack but not additively, combined a graze and underpen is like -80% damage. On POTD upscaled you generally need 20+ armor for most things to underpen. 24ish to be super safe. So FF/SG can get Reckless brigandine (mythic) - 14 to 16 (more armor when bloodied or near death) Akolas Apex ward and kapana taga - 2 Giftwrapper 1 Exalted endurance, stoic steel and iron wheel - 1 to 7 So they can get armor in 24+ range pretty easily. Arcane knights even easier but I find them less effective solo. Sages also make great tanks. Engagement is not a problem since shield + kapana taga + reckless brigandine gives you 5 engagement. Can wear blackened plate helm for 6, mauras belt for 7. I dont know of any build guide for ff/sg though I can outline it. Can check this build by @Not So Clever Hound for an effective solo arcane knight (would work well as tank in parties). It can't handle *every* encounter though, like dorudugan or fights like sissak nest, at least i couldn't figure them out using tactics in the build.
  2. Probably cumbersome because you don't like scripting. I agree a lot of potions are cumbersome given short durations, limited effects, and most important for a wizard not enough quick slots. Potions of ascension though are once/fight item. I have a consumables scripting block that uses a number of potions or consumables and all I need to do is put a potion of ascension in a quick slot. I use them in hard fights but there are enough quill leaves I could use them more. Nothing else you'd want to use quill leaves for really. Scrolls and potions are pretty standard crpg fare. Sometimes there's a class check or use magic device check. In Deadfire it's a deterministic arcana check. Makes sense to me someone who studies arcana sufficiently can use scrolls, regardless of class. Even with 20 arcana the scrolls are still typically worse than native caster spells. If you don't like scrolls that's fine but it's no reason not to recommend them if they're effective. I agree, but we have no reason to think OP is against consumables, or that anyone is unless they state so. The default position should be to assume consumables are fine given they're all over the place and craftable. Making them a part of a build is fine. In some games not using consumables in builds is outright crippling your character (e.g. tyranny or pathfinder). In deadfire they aren't quite as necessary but the same principles apply, and IMO one should use them when beneficial for optimal results. Yeah that's all fair enough. My perspective on "late" is biased from playing smaller parties or solo. Also with high stealth it is pretty easy to save combat for when you're high level, regardless. This isn't a game where you're forced into low level combat or even mid level combat. I've had runs even with a full party where I reached l20 before hasongo. Probably shouldn't plan to play like this in most situations though, I agree, and I wouldn't do that for this character unless it's a solo run, but id still typically have over half the game left by l19 without even trying for optimal pathing. I never thought to use magnificent escape cape in that way. If it stacks with other deflection buffs that's pretty cool. I have no arguments against wellspring of life. I have arguments against (nature) godlikes. The abilities comes at too high a cost. You lose access to helmets and another racial bonus for a conditional +1 power level. Losing helmet access is a big negative. For wizards it means you can't use the grimoire of vaporous wizardry without risking constant interrupts since you can't wear rekvu's fractured casque, ever. And you can't use the Horns of the Bleak Mother when it benefits you, or cap of the laughingstock etc. And you also forgo other racial bonuses. Fighting spirit and elemental endurance by themselves are competitive with wellspring, in many builds outright superior. Add helmets and you tip the scales against godlikes further. I'd only even consider using godlikes for expert game users like you who know exactly what they're trading off and have already planned their entire parties. It would be frustrating to pick a godlike and find at some point you really need the casque for example. With the balance polishing mod godlikes are significantly better and I would recommend them for some builds.
  3. Well I certainly understand the "kill everything" approach, though I usually try to avoid killing the regular librarians since they aren't hostile. Pretty sure I killed everything during ultimate run, though I was trying to build max focus and killing things helped. I think with the vithracks and luminescent spore though since the game has built in peaceful solutions you shouldn't feel obligated to kill them all (unless you just want to). It's not like sneaking past enemies and leaving them there, because once you turn them friendly they aren't enemies anymore. The FS enemies are just miles tougher than you find elsewhere IMO. Infested librarians and luminescent spores are pretty nasty, but not as bad as the enclosures. The vithrack are bad but the vithrack + moon spiders are worse. Even some of the prisoners, if you attack them or turn them hostile, become ridiculously tough fights. The enemy groups are well-balanced in composition and their AI tends to be more complicated with them supporting and healing each other. Also that whole top level of vithracks is nuts, especially if you mess with the spider eggs. And Sissak's Nest is one of the hardest fights in the game IMO because there's no way to start it stealthed and you start in a cramped area so it's basically an ambush with the moon spiders doing massive healing on the vithracks, and there's several waves of them. You need big AOE damage like missile salvo, great maelstrom, etc., or if you have a FF they can melee through these encounters because enfeeble is incredibly strong when these fights rely so much on the enemies healing each other. Arcane Dampener is also really useful. Frightened Child is also really tough, but you can use the librarians as meat shields if you rush out of the room so it can be made just "hard" if you fall back, use the librarians as bait, and cast long-range high damage spells or bow attacks. The rest of the encounters in FS are "easy" by comparison. I expect you'll have quite a few wipes if you try these tougher fights, but the feeling of satisfaction of beating them at least once is worth it. --- Oh and crusaders are okay tanks but the really top tier tanks are votaries and arcane knights IMO. I mean crusaders are good tanks due to unbending being busted but they don't have the armor or damage of the best tanks. A FF/SG can solo FS with the right gear. You can easily get armor in 20+ range and still do decent damage. All enemy attacks (save some rare special abilities like skyward kicks) will underpen and miss/graze so you easily outheal them, plus FF interrupts and enfeebles, and you get 15% damage returned as health plus 10 to 15 per FF attack, which combined with exalted endurance makes you unkillable. Arcane knights can tank just as well (better, even) but it's much harder to kill things. I don't love chanters for tanks but a paladin/chanter would be better than a fighter/chanter. Fighters can only tank as long they can keep up unbending, and even then you need lots of things hitting you.
  4. Using slippers of the assassin and strand of favor can remove most of the tedium, as I'm sure you're aware. I don't really advocate strand of favor use in general but in places where it reduces tedium without affecting overall gameplay much I'm all for it. If you have Loaded Pockets on you can get especially good stuff from pickpocketing. The highest sleight of hand check I've seen is around 8, so you mostly need stealth (or the slippers). It makes no sense how items are marked with sleight of hand. Gems are usually easy to steal at least. I usually don't invest anything in sleight of hand. If you have hylea's bounty + luminous adra potion + carlo's training + rokowa's fingers that's 6. If you have a chanter/x cipher/x or rogue/x you get +1 (or +2) for 7 to 8. I might put ONE point in sleight of hand if I don't have any class bonus to get to 7, but the gems and money are always easy to steal. The hard stuff tends to be food and weapons but sometimes it's loaded pockets items. Very strange that unlike every other active skill you really don't benefit from maxing sleight of hand, except very rare interactive checks. I think the pickpocketing would have made more sense if you had to roll to steal, and your chances of success depend on item value and weight and your sleight of hand skill. I don't like games where if you fail a pickpocket everyone tries to murder you, though, so a better solution would be to just make it so you can only pickpocket a character once regardless of success. Money seems too easy to come by in Deadfire IMO. Also you sometimes find peasants carrying around emeralds and the like.
  5. Assume you're talking about FF / SG. What weapons would you use here? I only used weapons for bonuses, like kapana taga, squid's grasp, or daggers with modal. Spamming forbidden fist seems a lot better than using weapons since you gain wounds and health, it enfeebles, and it does more damage than normal weapons given huge bonuses from transcendent suffering and forbidden curse. Or did you mean FF / assassin? And in that case how do you gain wounds with grave's calling + scordeo's edge?
  6. Potions are part of the game, not even removed by ultimate challenge, why not use them? None of them are particularly broken besides potion of final stand. And there aren't that many difficult combats, I've never had trouble creating enough potions of ascension for them. Quill leaves are their most rare component but if you buy them when you come across them you can get 40+ per game even without wait-cycling vendor inventories. I guess you're one of those guys who hordes consumables in games where they're meant to be used? I used to horde consumables and ingredients but games are really better if you use them... The +1 power level from wellspring of life would be more impactful at lower levels where the +1 focus per second is more meaningful. From my testing at L20 it didn't make any difference at least with the items I was using, which had me at 7 focus per second with or without wellspring (I'm assuming you don't gain fractional focus for power levels in between). But with some combinations of items it could make a difference, I just don't think it's worth losing the versatility of a helmet. Even without the helmet some other racial bonuses are really good like fighting spirit and elemental endurance. But to each his own. Wall of Draining does not necessarily come that late. It is dependent on pathing and party size. I've played games where I have wall of draining before doing a single fight. Wand of the Weyc does come pretty late, admittedly, but the hardest fights are also very late. Besides wall of draining a priest can also extend as early as level 11, though by itself lord of the forest probably doesn't merit the cast, but it's an AOE so could be useful when multiple party members want things extended. With blood mages I usually blood sacrifice to half health anyway to trigger llengrath's safeguard and regain spell slots. One can easily heal with party spells, healing hands, or even the blood mage passive. I've found you can cast pull of eora and wall of draining while invisible so if you have arkemyr's brilliant departure it is very easy to extend effects rapidly, even from just one wall of draining. I really don't like godlikes but I'd rather use a death godlike than nature. Potion of Final Stand + WOD = invulnerability. And the potions can be scripted to be consumed at any health so it isn't actually that risky at that point. But yes would be very risky early. I can see how thematically that would be interesting I guess. I generally just recommend what I think is most effective. I acknowledge there are some benefits of nature godlikes here but helmets provide so much versatility that losing one is not worth the tradeoff IMO (and you also lose the other racial which can be very good like fighting spirit). None of the godlike abilities are strong enough to warrant the tradeoff barring some special builds with death godlikes, and I doubt I'm the only one who sees it this way since godlikes were, for example, buffed in elric's balance polishing mod.
  7. Good point. Yeah I thought about mentioning WOTEP, it is pretty good pre-lance and can distribute soul annihilation with the cone. One thing to be aware of though, making the sword forces a rest for some reason, so you can't get it in no-rest runs (which I always advocate) without a no-forced-rests mod. I'd install the mod but an alternative solution would be to skip the per-game buffs like dawnstars until you get WOTEP, then rest with chosen food and swing back to port maje to pick up the blessing. Xoti has to be alive though or no blessing for you (found this out in a recent iron run with a fury, waenglith was pretty mad and cursed me). https://www.nexusmods.com/pillarsofeternity2/mods/354 If you don't care about stacking as many buffs as possible don't worry about it, just be aware it forces a rest with no bonuses.
  8. I used a blood mage / soul blade for the ultimate and am a big advocate of the build. It is extremely strong with good defenses and super high DPS once you hit L13 and get citzal's spirit lance plus borrowed instinct. It does so much DPS because the lance both collects focus from multiple enemies and distributes soul annihilation to multiple enemies (I've hit as many as 10, but usually you hit about five). So once you have the lance you can typically refill your focus in one attack. Here is the build I used. Since it was an ultimate run I used cheese like strand of favor but it isn't necessary on normal runs and the build picks should still apply, though I'd recommend taking wall of draining at L19 and pull of eora at l10 or l11 in place of secrets of rime. I took secrets of rime mostly because I stole watershaper chill fog, but it isn't really needed. Also I'd take phantom foes and not heart of the storm. So the picks are the same except L11 - pull of eora, L12 - phantom foes, L19 - wall of draining and echoing horror. And I'd probably take whispers of treason at L1. In general you hit things with the lance to build focus rapidly, then use soul annihilation with the lance to do tons of damage, while using llengrath's martial mysteries wizard buffs and cipher buff / debuffs (mostly borrowed instinct, but also psychovampiric shield, phantom foes, and secret horrors) to greatly buff yourself and debuff enemies. Before you get the lance you can use the parasitic quarterstaff, or any weapon really, but you'll see a huge dps spike once you get the lance due to it hitting multiple enemies. I went coastal aumaua in this build for the might affliction resistance, but you could go anything but godlike. Could even go godlike if you don't mind losing the nifty hats. Probably nature godlike would be the best choice if you go that way. My top picks for race would probably be pale elf, human, wild orlan, coastal auamaua, wood elf, and mountain dwarf. Let me know if you have any questions And here is another thread discussing hierophants, mostly blood mage / ascendant but also blood mage / soul blade in my posts. And another thread talking about hierophants, with me rambling about blood mage / soul blade some more
  9. FF/Soul blade is one of my favorite builds. Can solo the game without cheese. Would be able to do the ultimate challenge if FF worked correctly without community patch.
  10. @Torm51 has good suggestions, but pathing and stealth can also be of great help to you. You don't need to fight the vithrack at all. If you do quarantined section first, you can stealth that and don't kill any normal librarians, you can avoid the first oracle fight, then sneak up to sissak's nest and hand him the warden contract. Most of the FS fights are so tough because the enemy parties are really well-balanced. Like they often have paladins or moon spiders doing massive amounts of healing to their strikers / wizards / ciphers. I've found killing the support characters first makes these fights a little easier. Soloing I've actually encountered some FS fights that appear unwinnable, at least with certain builds. Like had a super tanky arcane knight that simply could not kill certain groups though they couldn't kill me either. Sissak's Nest is good example, the moon spiders provide massive amounts of healing to the vithracks. It appears impossible solo unless you have abilities that can stop healing like forbidden fist.
  11. Frightened Child is very difficult, I agree worse than oracle. I don't recall her exact abilities but she is a high level cipher who likes to spam death of 1000 cuts, and if you're hit by that plus hit by her minions they will mess you up pretty fast. She presumably has access to disintegration as well, which destroys. There are various other enemies that have high level cipher spells as well in FS. I didn't see llengrath's teachings listed in the abilities for the giant luminescent spore on the wiki, but that would definitely explain it. Something like spore cloud charmed your character and then that ability was used. With frightened chlid I like to run back where the librarians are and then throw down spells like great maelstrom, storm of holy fire, minoletta's missile salvo, etc. Can also use CC spells around the door to make a choke point, but it's usually enough to let them murder the librarians while I stand back and use farcasting AOE spells to take her out. Don't forget about scrolls, even if you don't have a druid you should have a character with high arcana to cast scrolls. For an ironman run you're probably better off skipping these fights. Giant luminescent spore doesn't give you anything for fighting it. For frightened child you get a neat crossbow, so could be worth it. Still, I usually kill frightened child even though I never use the crossbow, just because loot, even did so on an ultimate run.
  12. Don't forget about scrolls. Great Maelstrom scrolls are pretty easy to make (1 palm slat + 1 primal wind + 1 primal water). There's also storm of holy fire and meteor shower scrolls though the range and AOE isn't as large so they aren't as good for these specific battles but still very useful. I'd recommend you always have one character with maxed arcana. I think fangs and fur fight must be artificially much more difficult with galawain's challenge so my impression of it is probably not accurate. With that challenge they all have ridiculous buffs that provide a range of nasty effects like a bunch of inspirations, immunity to interrupts, invisibility, super high armor, immunity to all afflictions, etc. Normally galawain's challenge doesn't seem like it makes the game that much harder but in fights where it is nothing but beasts it is definitely felt. If you include all the optional SSS fights where you chase down artifacts then SSS is probably the hardest. I usually skip those unless I'm looking for a specific item because it's too much "run and fetch this" nonsense. Installed a mod by @Noqn that lets you do these fights without completing the fetch quests, and I'd definitely recommend it. Some of the fights are pretty tough, though I can't recall which ones are slayer. You can do all of them if you got all three artifacts from the island. https://www.nexusmods.com/pillarsofeternity2/mods/631 Most of the hardest FS fights are optional. Well, really they're nearly all optional since you can stealth but I mean like Sissak fight can be incredibly hard but avoidable if you give him the warden contract. Frightened Child fight is super hard but totally avoidable. Giant luminescent sporeling fight is pretty tough but also avoidable, and you can also make any remaining spores and infested librarians friendly. A friendly solution also makes one of the upper bowels fights avoidable, while the other two can be stealthed past. Also first oracle fight is avoidable if you do the stacks first and don't kill any librarians IIRC. I think the only truly unavoidable fight is last oracle fight and fyonlecg. If you get reanimated maura you can have a peaceful solution, though I'd recommend killing her for her belt.
  13. The best way to take out the totems is to use a huge AOE attack like great maelstrom. You can cast it before they start summoning anything, and It's large enough with high INT to destroy both totems and will usually mess up the snakes pretty bad as well. Sending one character to deal with them is dangerous unless they have movement abilities to get them out of there. I guess you're on slayer path? The Fangs and Fur one is IMO the hardest (changeling dance is hard solo but probably not with a party) but I always have galawain on so maybe without it isn't. Battles against the humans are pretty easy, and the end boss. I think the DLC difficulty goes BOW < SSS < FS, though SSS is arguably the hardest because you can stealth past a lot of the tough fights in FS while you can't do that in SSS. But if you choose to actually fight things, FS has some really hard encounters.
  14. I've never had this happen and looked through the giant luminescent spores' abilities and don't see anything that would destroy a character. But his spore cloud can charm your allies, and he has a "storing magic" ability that causes him to do a variable amount of retaliation damage on being killed. I wonder if it's possible there's an interaction the storing magic attack on alliance-flipped characters that causes them to die rather than become unconscious? I'd have to see it happen and check the log to really be sure, but since I haven't seen it happen I can only speculate. Did you see anything in the log? It's pretty easy to avoid combat with him if you want.
  15. Yes but not much. It's 1 power level (that wouldn't even always be up--easiest way would be keep up infuse or deleterious), not worth losing access to helmets, but you can build around it I guess. Should note if OP wanted to use vaporous grimoire it is a very bad idea to go godlike since you can't wear rekvu's fractured casque. Even if you don't use vaporous that helm is extremely useful in some battles. Even ignoring the casque I question whether one power level is worth losing 4 accuracy from acina's tricorn and other racial bonus, whether that's fighting spirit or elemental endurance or defiant resolve. Better ways to gain power levels: drink potion of ascension, switch to lance of the midwood stag when bloodied (then wall of draining / salvation of time), stone of power, wand of the weyc, etc.
  16. Yep, should get 4 scales IIRC? 1 scale per upgrade so they help a lot. Also kraken's eyes can be used in this manner though it requires 2 eyes per upgrade. I usually don't find enough eyes to get more than one upgrade out of it but there should be four in the game. So 6 possible exceptional -> superb upgrades without money or gems. And for superb -> legendary there's the magma dragon gizzard stone, plus up to four (five?) culmination stones from SSS
  17. Exactly what you want probably depends how you intend to use the character and on which party members you want to bring. A blood mage / psion works best as a ranged caster (as opposed to blood mage / soul blade which is a melee char) so I'll assume that's the intended role. pale elf, old vailia (can take any race but not a big fan of godlikes, I'd take an elf, human, wild orlan, or coastal auamau) MIG/CON/DEX/PER/INT/RES - 13/12/12/19/19/3 - doesn't need to be this exact, but generally this character does not need resolve, so you can dump it. You want max PER and INT so spells hit and last longer. And the rest you divide up among middling levels of MIG/CON/DEX. For most chars I'd lower CON some more but you want enough to be able to blood sacrifice. And normally I'd use higher DEX but since you build spells passively it is not as important to have high DEX to generate focus. For grimoires you could pick the grimoires with the best spells (ironclasped, ninagauth, jernaugh's, llengrath's, arkemyr) and memorize few spells or use the grimoire of vaporous wizardry which gives you one more cast per level but basically requires you to carry an injury and wear rekvu's fractured casque so you aren't interrupted when you take damage. If you go vaporous route you have to memorize more wizard spells as its spell selection isn't the best. For this build I'm going the route of using the grimoires with the best spells so I can pick more cipher abilities. 1 - whispers of treason, eldritch aim (or chill fog or slicken, though these are easy to find in grimoires) 2 - lingering echoes 3 - penetrating visions 4 - mental binding (!), weapon and shield style (or a wizard spell like chill fog, slicken, or combusting wounds) 5 - mind blades 6 - psychovampiric shield 7 - soul ignition (!), bear's fortitude 8 - secret horrors 9 - recall agony 10 - pain block, pull of eora (!) 11 - iron will 12 - phantom foes 13 - borrowed instinct (!), farcasting 14 - echoing shield 15 - tactical meld 16 - disintegration (!), tough 17 - the empty soul (!) 18 - rapid casting 19 - ancestor's memory (!), wall of draining (!) 20 - echoing horror You could take scion of flame, spirit of decay, etc. if you find you're using a particular element a lot, but the best offensive cipher spells do raw damage and I'd generally rather have more spells. You also don't have to take tough, rapid casting or farcasting but I find they help a lot. The best wizard spells you can just cast out of grimoires and switch to another during the recovery phase of a spell, so you don't really have to memorize ANY wizard spells, but I like to take pull of eora because it is good and not in any of the major grimoires, and wall of draining because it is really good and of the major grimoires only in vaporous and jernaugh. These are IMO the best non-unique wizard spells for a caster L1 - Chill Fog (!), Slicken (!), Eldritch Aim (when you need an accuracy boost) L2 - Miasma of Dull-Mindedness (!), Combusting Wounds (!), Concelhaut's Corrosive Siphon (!), Arcane Veil, Infuse with Vital Essence L3 - Deleterious Alacrity of Motion, Llengrath's Displaced Image, Arcane Dampener, Fireball L4 - Pull of Eora (!), Essential Phantom, Maura's Writhing Tentacles, Ironskin L5 - Ryngrim's Enervating Terror, Ninagauth's Bitter Mooring, Call to Slumber, Llengrath's Safeguard (!) L6 - Minoletta's Precisely Piercing Burst (!), Arcane Reflection, Gaze of the Adragan, Ninagauth's Freezing Pillar, Arkemyr's Capricious Hex L7 - Delayed Fireball, Wall of Draining (!) There are also several spells limited to certain grimoires, of which these are the best IMO L2 - Concelhaut's Draining Missiles (!) - Ironclasped L4 - Ninagauth's Shadowflame (!) - Ninagauth's Teachings L6 - Jernaugh's Equalizing Burst (!) - Jernaugh's Careful Calamities, Arkemyr's Brilliant Departure (!) - Arkemyr's Grimoire / Arkemyr's Illuminating Discoveries L7 - Concelhaut's Crushing Doom (!) - Ironclasped And this is probably the equipment I'd wear (going top down left column then right) Acina's Tricorn - gives +5 accuracy to most spells Charm of Bones - +2INT, +5accuracy vs vessels Fleshmender - for bonus quick slot mostly, so you can carry more grimoires and potions, also has good armor for leather Kuaru's Prize - +1 INT/PER, 5% spell damage Boots of the Stone - +1DEX/RES, resistance to might aff giftbearer's cloth - +fort/ref/will scaling with history (+17.5 here with 20 history), +1 weapon sets, +1 quick item slots grimoires - jernaughs, arkemyr's, ironclasped, ninagauth, llengrath (also have vaporous here, but you need to wear rekvu's casque if using that) gauntlets of accuracy - +3 accuracy (healing hands also nice) chameleon's ring - +1INT/PER, +1 arcana/insight upright captain's belt - +1 con, start with concentration, but mostly for its immunity to push/pull so you aren't affected by pull of eora and similar spells/abilities blinky - resistance to PER afflictions, +5 melee accuracy which also applies to most spells. It's a late game pet, earlier you can use harley or abraham weapons - you won't be using them, so they're mostly stat sticks or defensive shields slot 1 - griffin's blade with hound's courage, outworn buckler slot 2 - kapana taga (mostly for club modal will debuff), lethandria's devotion slot 3 - lance of the midwood stag - cast wall of draining after getting woodskin to maintain lord of the forest's +2 power levels slot 4 - griffin's blade with hound's courage + sun and moon
  18. Konstanten's class choices being skald, skald/barbarian, and barbarian, means he was intended as a melee character, though his meh perception is not great for getting phrases back. You could definitely run him as a ranged howler. Won't be the best chanter since he can't get phrases back ranged but he isn't going to crit a ton anyway. Sure-handed ila + frenzy and he'll attack pretty fast. Barbaric Blow should apply ranged but there isn't as much benefit so I probably wouldn't take it. Give him a high dps bow and have him summon instruments of death now and then. Fassina works well as a pure wizard. Just cast caedabald's blackbow and essential phantom and she'll wreck things. Would probably be fine as a loremaster, but loremaster is redundant if you're taking konstanten as a howler. Also it doesn't pair that well with conjurer since she can only summon one thing at a time, meaning she can't use both wizard and chanter summons. Could do wizard summons and use chanter side for buffs and CC invocations, would probably work all right. Sorcerer does have some interesting synergy like combusting wounds + infestation of maggots... I think any of her class choices are fine, just depending what your party needs.
  19. Which challenges? This is kind of my specialty actually. Be aware if you have on Abydon's Challenge you can't really use any weapons at all besides summoned weapons and fists, as they'll break (though I expect flames of devotion doesn't apply damage to weapons). Woedica + Eothas (or even just Woedica) makes using per-rest classes very difficult, unless they're used for solely some passive bonuses, or you proc mind over matter and extend it with strand of favor. You'll have to use strand of favor (if abydon is on anyway) because just waiting for things to proc it by hitting you they'll break your gear. Exceptions are classes with extension abilities like blood mage and priests, though it is still tedious to proc each fight. And Hylea I think can actually be done with just about any build but controlling Vela is very tedious. The other challenges don't change the run that much from a standard solo POTD upscaled except a general increase in difficulty. Also the builds I mentioned earlier won't do well solo potd upscaled. Not tanky enough. Votaries are a good choice, IF you proc brilliant and wear the right gear this could definitely work by spamming flames of devotion. I made a L20 test build KW/helwalker. With dawnstar's blessing and practiced healer plus helwalker bonus I was getting about 44 health per attack and healing the dichotomous souls as well. Still I got killed in "tactical ogres" fight in SSS. When I gave myself brilliant and extended it I was able to muddle through the fight, though keeping alive the duplicates is difficult. Animancer's Energy Blade doesn't seem necessary for this build though, except possibly in rare circumstances... crush damage is rarely resisted. Still your penetration isn't great (12 PEN at L20, can bump to 13 with potion of ascension and 15 with hot razor skewers). With the razor skewers and potion that is enough to penetrate nearly everything. And fists do more damage. Keeping the summons alive while you use long pain from behind them is difficult in some encounters. I expect it will work in many encounters, particularly if you give them +engagement gear, but sometimes enemies will break past anyway. The most effective votary I've played solo (or otherwise, really) is SG / FF, though you need the community patch for it to work right. Enfeebled triggers the SG 15% healing passive, and the FF attack heals you anyway when the curse runs out, so it is a brutally effective melee build. Doesn't even depend on armor, though it's probably easiest if you build it that way. Also FF attack has much better penetration than standard fists. It is high enough to penetrate everything that isn't outright crush immune. I don't mean to dissuade you though, I only tested this for like 30 minutes and I think there's promise, though I'd probably use fist + tuotilo's palm with instruments of pain rather than animancer's energy blade, unless crushing were resisted. Hmm yeah I tried the encounter again, this time with blackened plate helm for +engagement, and with fist + tuotilo's palm and I survived. I may mess around with this later, very cool build idea. I just quickly scraped something together, human with 15/3/9/18/13/19 stats. After buffs, items, and helwalker + iron wheel it's 32/24/21/24/20/31 Think in retrospect I might drop MIG a bit for more INT, but this works pretty well. Definitely want two weapons most of the time, since Flames of Devotion triggers twice per use for like +88 healing with two fists or fist + tuotilo's palm (with instruments of pain). I'm unsure if flames of devotion healing gets triggered on swift flurry or heartbeat drumming. I'm going to guess...no. I didn't notice it anyway. The more I test this build the more I like it. But if you're planning to proc brilliant every fight that will get tedious, I'd definitely extend it even though it's "cheesy".
  20. Animancer's Energy Blade is top tier against certain enemies. Since it does raw it is never resisted by anyone nor is anyone immune. And versus enemies with very high pierce/slash resistance like say Dorudugan, or any of the dragons, a regular sabre user is going to struggle to do much damage unless they crit most hits (crit gives a +50% penenetration). Against regular enemies where you would penetrate most hits a regular sabre will do more damage, but the universality of animancer's energy blade is extremely useful. Same idea with Eccea's Arcane Blaster though I haven't used it as much. You can enchant both up to mythic. What changes is the weapons gain bonus damage and accuracy. With the blaster the imbued ammunition gains penetration since it does crush/corrode, and also you can add certain effects like interrupt/knockback chance and chance for bullets to split. They're both mid to late game items though so you might think about importing them from another run if you want to use them the whole game. Just put the weapons on a character and go to export tab on the character sheet, then export. Then in another run you can import the adventurer at an inn and take the weapons. It can be very expensive if you give him too many items so I'd just give him the energy blade and the blaster. Or if you don't mind disabling achievements you can just add the weapons via console. As Boeroer has indicated the builds that would benefit the most from these weapons specifically are ones with mediocre penetration and accuracy. When you do raw damage penetration is meaningless, and accuracy is not as important since crits don't affect penetration of raw damage. Classes with high penetration: devoted, berserker, cipher, monk (with fists anyway). Classes with high accuracy: rangers, ciphers, sometimes monks (if you can maintain enduring dance), and priests, fighters with conqueror stance and disciplined barrage. Also a spellcaster class probably wouldn't need the sabre since they have spells, unless you built the class to be a martial caster like a wizard, who has many defensive buffs. So...I'm thinking the classes that would benefit the most would be regular barbarians, rogues, paladins, monks, and maybe chanters and wizards. There are some interesting multiclass combinations there. A barbarian/rogue would be interesting thematically with the sabre if you take blood frenzy and blood storm, since you will do a lot of raw damage. Barbarian / streetfighter in particular would wreck things meleeing. If you want to use the blaster more then a SC paladin could be pretty strong in the right party, particularly a kind wayfarer since you can spam flames of devotion and heal allies with white flames, and at higher levels will gain back paladin resources whenever allies die (including summons from a chanter). Holy slayer (pal/rogue) is also interesting, particularly steel garrote, since it is easy for a melee character to trigger the healing passive. Bleak Walkers could work as well since persistent distraction + flames of devotion gives two afflictions and triggers deathblows. For rogue half if it's a melee character I'd be tempted to do streetfighter since it is easy to get flanked, but trickster has some nice defensive buffs. A blood mage / rogue using wizard side for defensive buffs and occasional debuffs to trigger deathblows could also be good. I must note it's kind of weird to think about building a character this way, since normally I try to maximize accuracy and penetration, but they are just not as relevant here. Accuracy is still good, just not as essential, but penetration does nothing. Still the only classes where high penetration comes with large tradeoffs are berserker and devoted, so really I think you'd be fine with anything else... I could give better feedback if you provided your other party members, what difficulty you're playing on, and the envisioned role for the character (DPS melee, ranged, melee/ranged hybrid, caster/melee hybrid, etc.?)
  21. You can also start fights stealthed, or alternatively lure away a weak enemy, then use this time to cast combat-only buffs, before going in and killing everyone. Sounds like it may not be necessary in your party on that difficulty. For the megaboss fights you're probably going to run out of useful spells even on "regular", but I'm unsure. Dorudugan has like 16k health on POTD upscaled, Hauni O Whe can split and regrow indefinitely, etc.
  22. Presumably these beasts don't have higher level abilities available unlike kith who are modeled after the same classes as players. With the skeletal sorcerers and such it does matter what level you meet them. I figure they don't have to be kith just set as one of the kith classes like skeletal sorcerers or risen mages are wizards so they eventually get high level spells even if they're meant to be like level 10. But I'm just guessing based on experiences running into them at higher levels. Haven't really tested spawning level-scaled characters, not actually sure how to spawn anything besides rotghasts...
  23. Mods don't disable achievements. Also you can use lots of console commands just not the ones tagged as <cheat> Only thing I'm aware of that requires mods be turned off is the ultimate. And yes you can change mid-way. Just put the files in your override folder, check under options -> mods that it's enabled, and that's it. Most of the changes are minor and pretty transparent and you won't notice the difference unless looking for specific things.
  24. I think casters scale up their spells. Like pretty sure I've run into risen priests that had minor avatar. And I know Katrenn has cast Concelhaut's Crushing Doom on me. She's meant to be level 12 so shouldn't have it. I was trying to steal spells from her and was annoyed she kept killing herself because the AI doesn't check if you have on arcane reflection before casting something like CCD, so eventually I just cloned my script and turned off Arcane Reflection when doing spell thefts. This was playing vanilla game. I've found it doesn't make a ton of difference what order I do things in besides DLC content. What matters is when the build comes together. Once you have your abilities and gear that make it work, as you say the enemy gaining a bit of stats doesn't affect you as much.
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