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Shai Hulud

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Posts posted by Shai Hulud

  1. 1 hour ago, Tomucci said:

    Just looked into strand of favor, looks like an exploit? Makes sense for meta gaming/solo play but prob wont use it for my regular team potd run, good to know though.

    If I remember correctly blade cascade only lasts like 5 secs (maybe 7.5 with 20 int) so without strand of favor is the idea to buff up with quick wizard martial buffs, proc it then cram in as many attack spells/spirit lance attacks as you can?

    I had a long response written about this when my cat stepped on my keyboard and quit chrome, lol...

    Yes SOF is an exploit. I used it in my ultimate run as it makes life easier, but it isn't really necessary. You can just proc blade cascade when you need it and extend it yourself with wall of draining, and/or have party members cast salvation of time on you. It's ultimately best to have a script, there is some initial setup but once you understand them they are pretty easy to make/modify, and I'll share mine and you can use it or modify it if you like. I had long explanations of everything but I'll just link the script and you can ask me about it if you want. The blocks aren't labeled so parts will be confusing unfortunately.

    In general scripts process thing top down, so you put high priority actions at the top and low priority at the bottom. So generally your block priorities are like this

    1. emergency heals (potion of final stand and the like)
    2. keep up wall of draining
    3. proc specific effects you want (my script procs brilliant from shroud of the phantasm and blade cascade from scordeo's edge, it also procs courageous from outworn buckler because I copied this from another build, hierophant doesn't need courageous due to all the +concentration from killing things)
    4. cast fast buffs, generally wizard spells from llengrath's martial mysteries (or celestial grimoire) + arcane veil
    5. cast slower wizard buffs, I just have llengrath's safeguard in this category
    6. cast cipher debuffs and buffs in roughly the order I have them
    7. use soul annihilation at max focus (base game doesn't have a conditional for max focus so instead you use focus > 90 and set a cooldown of 10 to 30 seconds, depending mostly whether you've procced blade cascade)
    8. standard attack block

    And here is my script. Note for it to work as intended, you need equipped shroud of the phantasm and ideally healing hands, a potion of final stand when not brilliant, and scordeo's edge. I also use minoletta's minor missiles to proc brilliant, but it probably isn't worth doing all this in a party except for megaboss fights. Even without these items, the bottom 2/3 or so should be useful, just negate the blood sacrifice blocks at the top because without the shroud and a potion of final stand, *they will kill you*, they blood sacrifice until you have an intelligence inspiration, that's how I detect whether I've procced mind over matter from the shroud. If you aren't trying to proc brilliant you probably want a block with infuse with vital essence among the fast wizard buffs (near the top, to get longer durations). Can't remember if I have one, I either negated the block or removed it when I equipped the shroud. The second half of the script doesn't trigger unless you've summoned a weapon, I believe. There's no conditional to detect blade cascade so when that procs I summon a weapon manually, usually the lance.

    If you want to examine the script or use it just place it in the customaibehaviors folder here
    C:\Users\<username>\Saved Games\Pillars of Eternity II\CustomAIBehaviors


    • Like 1
  2. 5 minutes ago, Tomucci said:

    You wouldn't be building around blade cascade though would you? Because thats a chance ability on a specific weapon hit and most of the time you'll have a summoned weapon anyway right?

    Not building around it, no, but once you get Scordeo's Edge your offensive abilities skyrocket should you avail yourself of the sabre. Blade Cascade is a *universal* recovery speed buff (remove it). This applies to every weapon as well as spells. You only need to proc the effect once if you use strand of favor to extend it. Without strand of favor you need to proc it once per battle (possibly less if the battles are close enough together), then extend with wall of draining. I just proc it near the beginning of hard battles. One in twenty isn't that bad, I have a script that casts wall of draining intermittently, casts lesser lay on hands, and drinks a potion of final stand if necessary, I go fast mode and meanwhile I just attack things with scordeo's edge until it procs. This takes up to a couple minutes but rarely more. Then I summon the lance manually (no way for script to tell when you proc blade cascade) and the script uses "has summoned weapon" as a conditional for the rest of the blocks (various buffs/debuffs, attack groups, use soul annihilation, etc.)

    Build works fine without blade cascade but things are a lot slower. If you want to kill Hauani O Whe in 2 minutes without disintegration you need it :)

    You can also stack -recovery time from Scordeo's Trophy opening barrage enchant, which also applies universally but doesn't eliminate recovery, merely reduces it by 5%. Also this recovery reduction never gets to 100, with every stack you get diminishing returns. To get something like 98% recovery reduction takes like 500 shots or something. Not really worth going that far IMO, also because each shot is such a small recovery reduction you really need to use strand of favor if you go this route, which I'm trying to avoid using at the moment. But Scordeo's Trophy is available quite early (steal from Uto in brass citadel) so if you want to supercharge your character early you can shoot companions or crew (they don't seem to mind lol) and extend the effect.

    5 minutes ago, Tomucci said:

    Good point, didnt realise the difference was so minimal but it makes sense given the multiclass, I might aim for (with berath bonuses) 10 mig / 12 con / 16 dex / 21 per / 21 int / 10 res. I don't like dumping resolve for rp reasons, and I kinda see dex as being important just because how much this build will be aiming to do at once, tbf that might also be due to me not understanding your process for minimising recovery on spells

    Blade Cascade is zero recovery on everything but weapon and grimoire switches which are coded separately. So casts that take a long time up front with shorter recoveries, like summoning spells, go down in value (since you only remove the short recovery), and spells that are fast (2s or less, preferably .5s or less) or have longer recoveries go up in value, when you proc blade cascade. You certainly don't have to use scordeo's edge, but it works especially well with this build because nearly all the casts we use are .5s or less anyway, with "miasma" taking like 1.5s which isn't bad, making the build lightning-fast.

    Those stats sound fine. The most important thing is maxing INT (old vailia, cauldron shard), then PER IMO. Don't have to dump RES. Do keep in mind though you should have psychovampiric shield up most of the time which gives steadfast, that and rikuhu's blessing with berath mean even if you dump resolve to 3 at character creation, your end resolve is still 12ish before items, and you can wear ring of the solitary wanderer if soling which is equivalent to 8 resolve for hostile effect reduction. 

    • Like 1
  3. 4 hours ago, thelee said:

    perception has diminishing returns in general, but monk in particular has synergy with crits, so it's worth investing in perception for many builds.

    example of synergies: you can weaken on crit, you can interrupt on crit, you can get resource refunds on crit. with swift flurry, you can even chain together free attacks on crits, an each free attack can trigger further free attacks if you crit. (only a 33% chance, so it's still diminishing returns, but point is for monk even if the returns are diminishing they are diminishing very very very very slowly)


    also, you should basically ignore from consideration that you get +3 accuracy upon level up. Because everyone also gets +3 defenses on level up, so they cancel each other out. All the accuracy bonus on level up does is help you keep pace with other targets at your level, and make it harder for lower-level characters to fight above their level.

    IDK. Going from never critting to critting even 1% is technically an infinite return on crits. After that it becomes linear (I thought).

    Looking at say the crit range, the returns vs accuracy are linear, aren't they? There is also the case of spells, and the opportunity cost of not landing a spell can be 6 or 7 seconds wasted, for ciphers not landing an attack means no focus, etc. Or in melee the opportunity cost of not interrupting something can lead to you getting hit. Maybe I'm looking at the wrong thing. Are you saying perception gives diminishing returns on damage or what? Please explain this to me or give me a link that does, because it seems very counterintuitive. In most builds I've made perception is among the two most important stats, and is nearly always maxed. Only exception is tanks, where it is still top 2 to 3. 

  4. 6 hours ago, anergyboy said:

    I accidentally bugged out "Blessed Was Wengridh..." with Strand of Favor and I was wondering if there way any way to remove it without casting Arcane Cleanse for 100 hours.

    Yes, with console (~) type (note <TAB> means press tab to autocomplete the name of your player)

    iroll20s <ENTER>
    RemoveStatusEffect player<TAB> Blessed_Was_Wengridh_MoveBoost_SE <ENTER>
    RemoveStatusEffect Player<TAB> Blessed_Was_Wengridh_Reflex_SE <ENTER>

    If it is a companion their names vary, but for instance aloth is c_aloth, you can find them by typing RemoveStatusEffect c_<TAB> and cycling through the various companions

    If that doesn't work type RemoveStatusEffect and place your mouse over the character in question then press <TAB> to get their exact name, then complete the commands as above. 

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  5. 7 hours ago, thelee said:

    I think it's important to note that despite the fact that Deadfire is relatively old at this point, a lot of metagame interactions are actually pretty recently discovered. The strand of favor, minor grimoire imprint, and in particular strand of favor with soul blade buff that are IIRC used by shai hulud's build are all pretty new discoveries (they in fact post-date many The Ultimate runs, you only start seeing Strand of Favor crop up in the latter set of runs), well after the bulk of players probably played and put together guides. Before then, I would imagine a hierophant would struggle a bit or require a higher player touch because of typical caster/cipher anti-synergies (namely, that a typical cipher needs to attack to build focus, but a typical caster wants to be casting spells, not attacking)*.

    Strand of Favor wasn't required for the blood mage / soul blade synergy, one can also extend focus quite a lot just using wall of draining (not to ludicrous levels, but pretty high), but the built up focus could go away on long sea voyages without out of combat extension. Still, you don't need the out of combat extension, I have tested the build just using wall of draining like with similar blood mage / x melees and it is extremely powerful. You can reach max focus (200 at l20) in one lance attack versus crowds, so you can literally go attack -> soul annihilation -> attack -> soul annihilation, and since each soul annihilation is applied to every enemy if you hit 5 enemies at 50 damage + 150 raw that's 1000 damage every ~6s (for example, made up these specific values). If you proc Scordeo's you absolutely annihilate things. Kalakoth's minor blights are also excellent for building focus, my 9 might hierophant was gaining 40 to 50 focus per target and the blast effect builds focus just like the lance. The lance has a larger AOE (1.5 base radius vs 1.3) but it is still large enough to hit 3 to 6 foes. 

    I hadn't realized strand of favor was a more recent discovery. I played Deadfire briefly closer to when it came out (like 50 hours maybe) and did a nalpazca where I noticed my drug effects kept going up, and I figured out it was from either the necklace or I might have been wearing cabalist's gambeson, can't remember. At the time I didn't think to extrapolate this to things like weapon and armor procs, however, and I had lost interest in the game to other things anyway.

    I don't really see the anti-synergy given wizards make some of the best melee characters in the game. Even the level 1 spell Concelhaut's Parasitic Quarterstaff is quite good and can be used behind tanks.

    And for casting they also make good ranged elemental damage dealers with kalakoth's minor blights. This spell actually goes extremely well with ascendants, you can stay out of the fray and still reach ascended in a couple of attacks. And at high levels they become supreme casters able to extend the ascended effect they can do nothing but cast.

    7 hours ago, thelee said:

    that being said, even without some of the newer metagame stuff, i think a hierophant that hooks into a psion would be very powerful. removes the basic anti-synergy between having two casters, and then you just have the nice mix of stuff between wizard and psion. but psion was also a pretty late addition - when the game was nearing end of life cycle, so again well after the bulk of builds and players were done.

    That is interesting. A blood mage / psion would be pretty good throughout the game, but you have to keep the caster from getting hit and psion is eventually eclipsed by an ascendant (maybe early even, I haven't tested ascendants at low levels). 

    5 hours ago, Tomucci said:

    This is probably the case for soloing but even at level 4 once you get miasma you already begin to get an amazing synergy.

    I guess, but most builds don't really become powerful until L10+ anyway. At L13 you get borrowed instinct as well as citzal's spirit lance (and safeguard, though the defenses don't stack with BI), and these spells give you huge accuracy and defense bonuses, plus enemy debuff, and ability to gain focus rapidly and spam soul annihilation, so there is a huge spike in power at L13. The next huge spike is at L19 when you get wall of draining and can sustain buffs indefinitely. From 14 to 18 you don't really get anything that significant besides some passives like the empty soul. 

    5 hours ago, Tomucci said:

    Maybe because of the low hp I guess but the other defenses are so good lol, and I feel like raising con is good for this build because the blood mage kinda uses it as mana, was actually thinking of having high con / int / dex and 10ish mig / per / res, which is a really unusual spread for me but the build already gets such great bonuses to accuracy and deflection (and might increases self harm from blood mage) I think its beneficial to boost the other stats that are conductive to its universal functions. If I decide to go full caster I'll prob swap con for per.

    I like to max PER so the cipher spells crit more (+50% duration). The less often you have to cast them the more you can attack things, and with high PER you also crit more. But I guess due to psychovampiric shield and borrowed instinct, miasma, you could get away with low PER if you need to, I just don't consider any of the other stats besides INT all that important. INT is a definite max for both effect duration and lance AOE. MIG is slightly more important than with most builds because soul annihilation's raw damage only scales with power level and might, I like around 12 to 15, but you can get away with less. RES doesn't really matter except for hostile effect reduction. With arcane veil + safeguard + displaced image + psychovampiric shield you eventually have like +85 deflection (95 with hylea's bounty) so you can dump it and be fine, or if you want to be extra tanky can go the other way. CON shouldn't be dumped but doesn't need to be maxed or anything. With 14 base CON I have 458 health with hylea's bounty + tough + fit (infuse) +boons, which is really more than I need, I wouldn't go below 8, so something in that range is good. With 18 CON it's just 496 health so IMO not worth the extra investment. Around 400 health is plenty, you just want to be able to get off a few blood sacrifices without dying, and if you use healing hands you can get off more because it will heal like 10 health per second with 10ish MIG and dawnstar. 

    9/14/13/18/18/3 is what I went with in a recent test build, but I think I like 14/9/13 better since you get more healing and soul annihilation damage. 

    5 hours ago, Tomucci said:

    Seriously so good lol, I'm a sucker for versatile builds, get bored with one trick ponies very quickly, I love that this can be a fantastic caster and then just decide to switch on melee when they want and be great at that too.

    I generally build it to cast only defensive spells on the wizard side, only spells I'd memorize are wall of draining and maybe pull of eora, can cast the rest out of llengrath's martial mysteries. My melee-focused "soul devourer" build casts a lot of cipher buffs/debuffs but mostly just zergs things with the lance. The wizard spells you need (besides safeguard and lance) are all .4s casts (.2s with buffs) All the cipher spells you need are .5s casts (.3s with buffs), so if you cancel recoveries with blade cascade you can cast borrowed instinct, PVS, phantom foes, secret horrors, and mental binding in 1.5s and they'll typically last about a minute. I scripted most of the behavior, it mostly pokes things with a stick but still 35 blocks long. I didn't use a lot of wizard spells except as openers mostly because they have longer casts, but if you haven't cancelled recoveries there's more incentive to mix in wizard spells like expose vulnerabilities, miasma, etc. Jernaugh's Equalizing Burst is also extremely good with this build, I like it as an opener, does mass weaken/immobilize/frighten/disoriented. Jernaugh + miasma is devastating, with those plus borrowed instinct and empty soul your cipher spells v will are going to crit nearly every time. 

    5 hours ago, Tomucci said:

    I'm actually taking a look at all the cipher subclasses and tbh they all look good. I'm leaning towards soul blade because I like having that strong melee option, and the tankiness of the build allows me to cast from the front line regardless.

    My favorite as well. Ascendants are interesting as casters but I tend to prefer fighter/mage type builds. Psion looks decent as caster also. Beguiler...

    5 hours ago, Tomucci said:

    Beguiler also looks great because of how well this build attacks will, so the synergy of casting miasma then deception spells also seems very strong, if casting deception spells refunds enough focus to chain deception > shred > deception then it could be a great option, im not sure if crits affect how much focus is refunded.

    I haven't really played beguilers, looks better than vanilla cipher, the decreased damage/focus vs things not subject to sneak attack isn't much of an issue if you just cast phantom foes or secret horrors now and then. Still, the benefit of increased range on deception spells is meh IMO, they all have good range besides WOT / Ringleader, and you gain +14 focus at L20 which is pretty good, but focus generation is really not a problem for hierophants as you can regain all your focus in 1 to 2 attacks with lance or blights. 

    You can cast WOT endlessly I guess. If you used potions of ascension it's 16 refunded. I guess 18 with power level from food, assuming they stack? Seems decent if you want to cast mainly and really like deception spells (they do tend to be the best non-damage spells). Soul blades do get refunds on shred spells but it's a flat -5. Really doesn't fit well either since soul blades don't use shred spells that often. Would have been better if they got mind-keyword refunds but the class is good enough without that. 

    I did some testing, psion is much better if you aren't getting hit. In the time it takes to cast the spells and recover you gain much more focus from soul mind. It's 6 focus per second with +5 cipher power level (what I have at L20). So if it takes about 3s to cast WOT you gain 30 focus back. Even if you proc blade cascade in the 1.6s it takes me to cast I get back about 14 focus, same as beguilers. And unlike beguilers psion works with all spells, plus while you're doing melee or casting wizard spells. 

    5 hours ago, Tomucci said:

    Psion looks good for the reason thelee mentioned, and ascendant also looks great for the reasons shai mentioned. Blood mage is the only wizard sub I'd want but every cipher subclass looks great for this build.

    Yeah makes a lot of sense for that high level of the game, but even at more mid / casual levels it doesn't seem like they've gotten much love. Maybe it's like you say and people find it anti synergistic because they feel like they're doubling up on casting when they could be adding something fresh and different to the build like rogue or monk abilities. Tbh the thing that appeals most to me is miasma reducing will by 40 and reflex by 20 combined with borrowed instinct for crazy accuracy bonuses.

    Thelee has a point, but at the more casual level I think it's mostly the learning curve. Like you have to be aware of all these inspirations and afflictions, what they do, which things stack, which wizard spells to use, like the casual player is not going to think to cast miasma of dull mindedness -> secret horrors -> mental binding, they'll just cast mental binding. Nor will they likely realize the lance and blights can gain massive focus and distribute soul annihilation, if they're aware of this kind of effect at all they'd probably just use WoTEP. Or that ascended phase can be extended indefinitely. Have to know which spells to use in order to really appreciate the monstrous cipher accuracy (unlike say a ranger). Etc... There is a ton of synergy between the classes but it isn't obvious without some deeper game knowledge

    Also ciphers in general are a new thing and not all players would be familiar with them like they would be wizards and druids and priests. I don't see loremasters talked about a ton eithe (chanter being another new type of caster). 


    5 hours ago, Tomucci said:

    Tbh I'm reluctant to choose ascendant for that exact reason, I feel like I'd be too tempted to just cast the most powerful option over and over

    You could do that, though if you proc blade cascade you can also do things like paralyze every enemy on the screen in a couple seconds, unload every cipher buff + debuff, etc. Can also be king of charming things, use puppet master and ringleader to gather an army, then cast disintegrate on the dominated ones (the charmed ones turn hostile). Or you can focus on wizard spell-casting once ascended is up and just cast cipher spells when you feel like it. Disintegrate does a lot of damage but it takes a long time for everyone to die. At L20 my guy is doing 378 raw damage over 38s. In that amount of time I could have beat him to death 10 times over. 

    • Like 1
  6. 9 hours ago, levees said:

    That's wildly appreciated, mate.

    Gracious me, this game overwhelms with possibilities. I'd probably have to play it 10 times, studying, to then maybe understand a half of "what's good", or even how calculations work.

    Good that there's a Story Mode. Wouldn't imagine playing it otherwise, without the help.

    Yeah I felt overwhelmed when it came out and decided not to play it at the time. But once you learn enough about the game it is very rewarding, and the replay value is outstanding given the staggering number of possible builds with all the multiclasses and subclasses. I think you'll find it's worth it, playing on a lower difficulty setting may be a good idea the first time. You can change it during the game if it's too easy or hard. 

    • Like 1
  7. Great points. I think maybe the build has a higher learning curve than most. They either require a lot of micromanagement or relatively complex scripting. And it takes a while for the build to come together (L13 mostly). Also it *seems* squishy at first glance as two casters but they can be pretty tanky if you want. But hierophants can use healing hands gloves lesser lay on hands to cast a powerful heal over time that can be extended with wall of draining. And you can use potions of final stand if needed, and extend those too. But between the high defenses (arcane veil + llengrath's displaced image + safeguard + borrowed instinct + psychovampiric shield + arcane reflection = +65 deflection, +20 all defenses/accuracy, +5 armor and 30% hit to graze and spell reflection) and healing hands there's few situations where you'd really need a potion of final stand. 

    I didn't start playing Deadfire a lot until a couple months before I posted that build, and I wasn't aware then whether hierophants were popular or not, I just theorycrafted something for maximum offensive power based around citzal's spirit lance + soul annihilation and extending various item procs. The lance both builds focus from everyone you hit and distributes soul annihilation to everyone you hit (like WoTEP but better because AOE is circular, larger, and lance does way more damage). I know more about the game now and I'd still say blood mage / soul blade is one of, if not the, most effective fighting builds, even without all my SOF procs. And unlike lots of fighting builds, it is very versatile with the wizard and cipher casts available. Only build that comes close (in my experience) in terms of melee damage is helwalker / blood mage, or possibly a monk spamming WOTW. If you use wall of draining to build max focus (or SOF) it eclipses them. And hierophant works amazingly well if you proc scordeo's edge blade cascade, because most of the cipher casts you want are .5s casts, so you can cast them very rapidly and go back to slaughtering things.

    I've also experimented some with a blood mage / ascendant and this build is ridiculously good as a caster. Wall of draining extends the "ascended" effect giving you basically infinite focus as long as you cast wall of draining enough to keep it up. Does vast amounts of single target damage with disintegration, and since focus cost is no longer an issue you can cast it as much as you want, as well as other high cost spells like amplified wave and stasis shell. 

    And I only really considered how the classes play solo. In a party it is even better because ancestor's' memory is one of the best buffs in the game with on-demand brilliant. Other great buffs, Pain Block, Echoing Shield, Tactical Meld, that can't be utilized solo.

    • Like 1
  8. 2 hours ago, foxinspace said:

    @Shai Hulud Thanks for the inspiration! I'll give his celebrant multiclass a go this time, particularly since I want someone to use sasha's singing scimitar. Of course he's no troubadour, but it will be very useful to delegate some of the chanting to him. Actually could be fun to have the gun line in the back -  Wildrhymer MC (spearcaster), Herald Pallegina (dragon's dowry) and Celebrant Vatnir (blightheart) with sure-handed ila/mith fyr or Stumbling words for bosses, thick grew their tongues, ancient memory and whatever else. Some summoning invocations to Pallegina, some offensive ones to Vatnir - hot damn, maybe 3 chanters is too much, but I just love this concept of three singing gunners :) 

    You're welcome. Vatnir's no troubadour but with "muse of mystery" proc from robes of the weyc he gains -50% phrase duration, same as a troubadour, except it doesn't disable the linger. So he does one phrase per 3s instead of 6s. A true troubadour could get down to 2s with muse of mystery I think. I've been testing a bellower/priest recently and today I soloed belranga, dorudugan, and hauani o whe pretty easily. Celebrant is very powerful with the right gear.

    Chanters are versatile enough you'll be fine with 3, especially since they're multiclassed. There's a whole group of invocations I rarely use because I don't have enough chanters, like shatter the healing and ressurection + immunity invocations, also there's summons I've never used. There's buffs, heals, a variety of summons, debuffs, and CC invocations. Can have one do stuns, paralyze, charm, another focus on party buffs and heals, another focus on the high damage spells like her tears and eld nary (probably vatnir since he'd be casting her tears a lot anyway). In POE1 it was fairly popular to run parties of six chanters lol. Top tier chants IMO are many lives pass by, ancient memory, old siec, her courage thick as steel, mith fir, thick grew their tongues, mercy and kindness. That's not even including the resistance chants, just diversify them. Or you can stack certain things, like pretty sure ancient memory heals stack...even if they don't, if one chanter is singing mercy and kindness while another is singing ancient memory + old siec your party will have a ton of healing, add courage thick as steel which is kind of preventative healing.

    • Like 1
  9. 2 hours ago, foxinspace said:

    Hmmm...I've never actually multiclassed priest companions because I love symbols and late-PL priest spells in general. I'm intrigued though - what makes Vatnir a very good chanter/priest combo? 

    Well Vatnir has better stats than Xoti, but mostly the multiclass combination priest/chanter is potentially extremely powerful. If you give him the least unstable coil he can proc all the tier 3 inspirations by empowering certain invocations (Her Revenge, Seven Nights, Her Tears), and he can extend the inspirations with salvation of time. If one of the inspirations is brilliant, which it should be if you placed the invocation to hit enough enemies, he then becomes unlimited resource. The Weyc gear also goes really well with this. The wand gives Courageous if bound as a priest, or +3 PL as chanter (the +3 PL is better since you likely get courageous from the coil) for 20s, which can also be extended. The robes give all nearby allies brilliant on empower, and they give vatnir "muse of mystery" ability that causes phrases to elapse 50% faster. The soulbound arquebus Blightheart also gives +1 phrase per kill so Vatnir can get phrases extremely fast. And Sasha's Singing Scimitar "refreshing finale" lets you empower an invocation and get the empower point back, so if he starts dual-wielding SSS and weyc's wand, empowers Her Tears, then uses salvation of time and switches to blightheart he can cast powerful invocations very rapidly and alternate with high level priest spells, which will interrupt on crit if energized, and intuitive gives good hit to crit conversion.

    Of course some of these items are DLC (but so is vatnir) so for his full potential you should start them relatively early. You can get the least unstable coil about halfway through seeker slayer survivor and the weyc's wand and robes you can get with stealth if not high level enough, so ideally you'd rush the gear right after ashen maw. 

    Until then it is still a very good combo. I think the seven levels of chanter are well worth losing the last two spell tiers. Also with him as a priest/chanter you can diversify your own chants and have him chant something else. Can also use vatnir to summon things and cast offensive invocations while you focus on buffs or whatever. 

    He's ultimately one of the most powerful companions IMO. 

  10. Different sources of +action speed and -recovery time may or may not stack, you can check this link for an attack speed calculator with various effects


    I like forbidden fist monks, but they don't work very well except with the community patch, which you can find here


    If you don't want to install the mod... nalpazcas are generally superior to vanilla monks, so long as you don't run out of drugs. Which it isn't that hard to do but takes some micromanagement. Otherwise vanilla monks are quite good. Shattered Pillar is relatively weak especially without community patch. Helwalkers have a higher learning curve due to the +50% damage they take at full wounds, but they also get +10 MIG.

    You don't really need CON with monks because you can take iron wheel which gives you bonus CON based on number of wounds (duality of mortal presence at L10 now gives +10 int or +10 CON, and is upgraded to turning wheel and/or iron wheel). Perception is probably the most important stat, gaining 10 accuracy from 10 to 20 may not seem like much but it could be the difference between never critting and critting 10% (also hitting and grazing more vs missing). Also could be the difference between always critting and critting 90%. This may not sound significant but with the swift flurry and heartbeat drumming abilities, you have a 33% chance and 25% chance respectively (which stack) to attack again on a crit, so with very high accuracy you can often chain crits. The higher the difficulty, the more important it is to max perception, but I would max it on all of them personally...

    Also MIG is not as important for damage as it was in POE1. It is good for +healing so FFs want high might for the extra healing from afflictions expiring (extra damage is nice too), but once you are mid level even with maxed might your might could be contributing only about 1/3 to your damage total. This is due to +damage from things like transcendent suffering, equipment bonuses, forbidden curse for FFs, criticals, overpenetration, etc. Max MIG if you can, I'd just prioritize perception and intellect first, and sometimes dexterity. Also monks have swift strikes which is equivalent to +10 dex so you don't need to max DEX. 

    This is the stat spread I'd use for a forbidden fist

    MIG/CON/DEX/PER/INT/RES - 18/3/9/18/10/19

    Other monks aren't as tanky and benefit more from intelligence and dex, and don't have to max resolve, so with them I'd do something like

    MIG/CON/DEX/PER/INT/RES - 12/7/13/18/18/10, alternatively with maxed resolve 9/6/9/18/18/18

    As thelee said it is hard to go wrong because monks are S tier melee chars, just always max PER, and max INT unless you're a FF (or if you plan to take turning wheel you don't have to max INT), don't max CON, other stats don't matter as much how you spread them (except FFs need max resolve). I've made FF builds with 3 dex that still were still DPS monsters.

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

    @Shai Hulud Obsidian's Product Services Manager, Samuel Chin, replied to me (for my timezone) in the middle of the night yesterday.  The message was very much personalised and said that he said that he would be looking at my submission over the next few weeks.  If you still haven't heard anything, I'm pretty sure there's a communication blockage between you and Obsidian - spam settings or something like that.  Definitely try to reach them again, maybe with a different email address.


    What email address did he send it from (the domain at least)? The spam thing doesn't make any sense to me. I get emailed from support@obsidian.net every time I get a forum notification. I also got the first auto-reply, just silence after that. And there's no spam filter for *outgoing* mail so they definitely got my email with attached files. I have a very common @hotmail.com email address, don't think their spam filter would flag it. Unless they're sending replies from a really weird email address I don't think they'd be tagged as spam, but I haven't seen anything in my junk folders anyway. 

    @SChin Has no one received my submission from way back on 12/29/22? I got an initial auto-reply and that's it. Have tried submitting twice since then. 

  12. 7 hours ago, foxinspace said:

    It has so far impressed me even more than your bleakwalker/AA build :) 

    Excellent - will definitely pick up Frostseeker then. It's a shame that elemental lashes that Spearcaster can get do not get rid of AA accuracy malus (though it still gets so much accuracy from arcane...).

    AAs are fun builds, I haven't tried an AA / troubadour but I like both AAs and troubadours so it sounds pretty nice :)

    And yeah not even the eccea's arcane blaster's "imbued ammunition" modal gets rid of the accuracy modal, though it sure sounds from AA description like it should!

    Though -5 isn't that bad if you stack all the ranger accuracy and use the right items. 

    Like you'll want ring of the marksman, gauntlets of accuracy (or the one from deck of many things), and a pet like sky dragon wurm, retina, or harley (can use more than one if you brought eder with "can i pet him anyway"), helmet is situational, vs dragons wear horns of the bleak mother, necklace also situational though charm of bones is great in general and super great vs vessels, precognition is pretty good too. Other stuff with +perception can give you a small accuracy bump like kuaru's prize

    Your party composition sounds good. Eder and Aloth can tank, Vatnir as chanter/priest is super good but you may not want a second chanter, he is good as pure priest also, xoti is probably better as contemplative or monk IMO though she is fine pure priest, and I really like Ydwin as pure cipher since she can do a lot of damage, CC, support, some healing with pain block, and hand out brilliant with ancestor's memory, plus defensive mindweb is one of the best spells in the game, and with shared nightmare her AOE size goes through the roof. She can also debuff enemies' deflection with psychovampiric shield and mass flank stuff with phantom foes.

    • Like 1
  13. 3 hours ago, Tomucci said:

    Reckon solo is possible with this build?

    Nope never used any of these before

    Hmm. I expect it depends on the difficulty settings. On POTD upscaled? Probably impossible to do all the content. Hauani O Whe and Dorudugan will be rather difficult not just due to their massive damage and armor but because of the length of the fights you'll run out of resources. If you skip the megabosses then...maybe. You'd have to do a lot of kiting though for large groups of enemies. Use traps to draw them out in smaller amounts. If you play on a lower setting it is probably doable though I'm not sure which one, POTD or Veteran, I've always just played POTD upscaled and there aren't many builds that can solo everything.

    On the other hand if you're willing to use cheese like strand of favor to extend item procs (like scordeo's edge blade cascade, deltro's cage helm conduit, brilliant from mind over matter or least unstable coil, retreat from rannig's wrath, damage reduction and healing from darkest before dawn, etc.) then you could definitely do it. 

    • Like 1
  14. 3 minutes ago, foxinspace said:

    I usually take stalker's link on all my rangers, but I just don't use my pet much with this character. It acts as a bodyguard sometimes or blocks some space on the frontline, if needed. I just felt so greedy spending 2 whole points for a very situational +10 accuracy...

    Concussive tranquilizer could actually be a good pick for the later levels, but I do have some debuffers (Xoti priest, Aloth and occasionally Ydwin) on my team, and as AA I rarely spend bond on something that's not imbue spells. 

    I mainly plan to take superior camouflage because of Maja's garb with 'return fire' enchantment. I also do tend to reposition quite a bit with this character to target dangerous casters, so this does come into play once in a while. But as you said, maybe worth giving up for stalker's link. I have some room towards the later levels to probably squeeze in two ranger abilities...


    Yeah you kind of have to get used to using the pet to do the targeting to fully benefit from stalker's link because the pet isn't scriptable. I just script the ranger to use his abilities and attack whatever the pet is attacking, then manually control the pet. Kind of micro intensive but flanked + stalker's link gives +20 accuracy and +1 pen. You can achieve flanked other ways though, like the spell phantom foes or perception afflictions. May not be worth it in your party, IDK, I generally try to absolutely maximize accuracy with rangers because of the increasing returns on crits. It is possible with a ranger to crit nearly every enemy close to 100% of the time with the right gear and tactics.

    I don't use concussive tranquilizer that much either but it can be a lifesaver since it interrupts on graze and removes 30 seconds of ALL beneficial effects. Kind of like a permanent arcane dampener, but single target, and never misses. But kind of expensive for a 2 point investment since you really want the upgrade and not the base attack. 

    Good point on return fire 15% hit to crit, although you can probably build so you crit nearly always from accuracy alone. Still I'm not saying superior camouflage is bad (at all), it's quite good, but if I were removing things from ranger side because you don't want to remove chanter stuff that would be my first pick. But if you don't want stalker's link there's no need I guess. 

    If you do use your pet a lot you probably need some kind of pet healing thing too, like heal companion or play dead, I forgot about that since I've been playing ghost hearts lately. 

    What pet did you take? I like bears. 

  15. 1 hour ago, foxinspace said:

    Thanks for all your helpful advice, @Boeroer, @thelee, @Shai Hulud
    I actually tried AA/Troubadour, got to lvl 11 or so, and this build absolutely slaps in terms of constant interrupts, usefulness to the team, damage, and I haven't even gotten to the energized invocation yet...

    With acina's tricorn, Maja's armor, gunner, and Sure-handed Ila reloading is pretty much a non-issue. So far it has been able to consistently bully bosses. The only tiny downside is the knockback from the Spearcaster which can sometimes make it difficult to consistently target far enemies.

    So far I went with these abilities:

    1. Marked prey > Hel Hyraf / Come,come...
    2. Resilient Companion
    3. Vicious Companion
    4. Marksman > One dozen...
    5. Two-handed style
    6. Gunner
    7. Marked for the Hunt > Sure-handed Ila...
    8. Ben Fidel
    9.  Killers Froze...
    10. Evasive roll > Mith Fyr
    11. Thick grew their tongues...
    12. The shield cracks
    13. Driving flight > Ben Fidel's neck... 
    14. Seven Men...
    15. Uncanny luck(?)
    16. Survival of the fittest > Their champion...
    17. Improved Critical
    18. Fampyr's Gaze
    19. Superior camouflage(?) > Instruments of death (?)
    20. Many lives...(?)
    I haven't completed the build yet, and not sure what will work best toward the later levels.  I would really like to fit "the bride" invocation and possibly the upgrade (as recommended by @thelee and @Shai Hulud), and I'm considering replacing uncanny luck and/or the last two chanter abilities. Instruments and many lives... are both excellent summoning abilities that I usually take on all my chanters, so I'm not sure. I also play with the community patch that buffs uncanny luck somewhat to make it at least worth considering. 
    The affliction resistance chants have been very useful so far, especially in combination with brisk recitation, as @Boeroer suggested, and I will definitely keep them as they add a lot of utility to the char. I wonder also, what would be the most efficient chant setup though - so far I have sure-handed Ila + mith fyr as a damage + reload speed and a separate song for each resistance chant, so I can turn them on with brisk recitation if needed. 
    Finally, I plan to add dragon's dowry and frostseeker as two alternative weapons to the build. Frostseeker doesn't benefit as much from the sure-handed Ila chant, but it is such a nice weapon to use with AA, and I assume its AOE also can interrupt with energized?

    I think you have slightly too much chanter stuff and not enough ranger. I mean you don't need much else on ranger side, but I'd take protective companion -> stalker's link (+10 accuracy, companion can engage more), mainly those two, also concussive tranquilizer unless you have party members already who can shutdown enemy buffs. Superior Camouflage is nice but not a must pick for back row rangers. If your tanks do their job you shouldn't be getting targeted all that much anyway. I usually still take it but I'd rather have stalker's link.

    Your chanter picks are mostly fine, but keep in mind you probably don't need that many in general as it is easy to respec for various fights. And you may want ancient memory. Can chant ancient memory + sure-handed ila with brisk recitation off and troubadour has enough linger to benefit from both. Could call that chant A, then have a chant B for sure-handed ila + mith fir, chant C for ancient memory + tongues, chant D for many lives (just for example). In a full party you may not need many lives, but if you don't have enough tanks it is super useful. Also very useful to paladins who get back resources when party members die, including the skellies. So if you had SC paladin pallegina that would be a good reason to chant it. Instruments of death are by far the best summons in 90% of situations, usually the only one I have by l20, unless it's a specific fight like Hauani O Whe who is weak to fire then I'd respec and take the wurms (gernisc). Sometimes the wisps are good too. If you didn't take many lives you might prefer mercy and kindness which greatly boosts party healing.

    Not sure about frostseeker but based on how energized works anything that crits should cause an interrupt. 

    • Like 1
  16. 7 hours ago, Tomucci said:

    My stat spread is similar, from memory (with berath bonuses) it's 10 mig / 7 con / 22 dex / 20 per / 20 int / 10 res

    When I originally made it I hadn't really factored in off tanking as a function of the build, that being said I don't think I'd want to sacrifice anything else for it anyway.

    Yeah I think both weapons are really good on this build for their crit effects, just gotten my character to lvl 13 for driving flight and got my weapons and armor so I can start playing around with how the build is meant to function :)

    Think I did 8/3/11/18/18/19, with berath 10/5/13/20/20/21. Also tried dumping resolve and putting more in mig / dex / con but the high resolve build works better soloing. Was surprisingly tanky for a guy that has 3 CON, no healing, and no class armor bonuses. I mean, not tanky compared to actual tanks like arcane knights or votaries, but in the right circumstances can be pretty untouchable vs normal enemies. The form phantasmic effects stacking can give you absurdly high deflection for a while. If you have a priest with salvation of time they could extend your form phantasmic procs as well as trickster buffs. 

    Seems like a lot of builds come together around L13, which is conveniently about the level I am when I leave Neketaka and have to start fighting things. Have fun

    EDIT: Did you know least unstable coil procs multiple times for blunderbuss shots with empowered abilities like gouging strike? Presumably also weyc items but I just tried the coil, I opened combat firing the hand mortars gouging strike and procced all 6 tier 3s. They last about 20s without extension which is still pretty good. Combine with ajamuut's stalking cloak and you can have quite an opening attack.

    • Like 1
  17. 6 hours ago, csjackson said:

    Sorry to necro this thread, but what does import mean in the context of the game? A search of the forums didn't turn up anything.

    First you export a character who has sasha's singing scimitar (it's under character sheet, export tab). Then in another game you can hire that character as an adventurer at inns, which includes whatever equipment they had I guess. I've never actually imported characters but I understand this is how it works. 


    I am curious about this build though. Let me see if I understand this correctly...

    • corrupted beauty has pulses every 3 seconds, and it's extendable via draining/SOT/SOF?
    • empowered avenging storm procs all the weyc stuff + least unstable coil every time a bolt hits?
    • corrupted beauty causes avenging storm to proc?
    • avenging storm is also extendable? 

    Is this right @Constentin Lévine

    And what is the druid trick? I looked through some of your recent posts but didn't see it

    • Like 1
  18. 2 hours ago, Tomucci said:

    Unfamiliar with this encounter but you were using the scout right, not one of the other multiclass variations you mentioned? Also is shrouded strike the other eye of wael bonus that procs on 10% of crits? I was looking at that and considering the amount of crits I aim to do with the build it looks really solid, and a good way to make up for how infrequent the invisibility proc is.


    Haha thats alright, makes sense that it works as described otherwise I think we'd be hearing a lot more people talk about the weapon being absolutely broken and itd be the centrepiece of any tank build. Still though, sounds like very good deflection and the build is primarily ranged anyway, cool to have that available at points during the fight for switching to melee. My int sits over 20 as well so any buffs I get should last a while.

    Yes with a trickster / ghost heart. I maxed resolve (also PER and INT) and dumped CON so it was kind of weird stat spread but it works in that fight since they mostly target deflection.

    It's a fight in SSS, one of the bonus fights where you have to fetch something to unlock it and you are rewarded with the changeling mantle armor. You have to do slayers path then find the item and give it to that guy who says "watcher I have a thing you may find interesting"

    Tactical ogres is a pretty difficult fight on upscaled POTD with like 12 level 22 ogres I think, but it is easier than soloing trial of the naga, that one I couldn't do with assassin / ghost heart. I don't think I could solo it with the trickster / ghost heart either though I used different stat spreads. Trial of the Naga has too many diverse attacks targeting different defenses so it is very hard to solo, near megaboss difficulty.

    From my brief testing I think trickster / ghost heart would do fine in a party (probably both would) and can tank a little if you build for deflection, but can't be a main tank.

    Also yes shrouded strike is the other enchant for eye of wael (its other choice is lidless gaze which is a 1 per rest attack) and it is 10% to proc a random affliction. The duration lasts pretty long with high INT, can get paralyze or charm for like 15+ s)

    So eye of wael overall has

    Obfuscation- 10% invis on crit

    Shrouded strike - 10% random affliction on crit

    Illusive spell - 5% random illusion spell on hit

    You should mostly crit with the right gear and tactics, and get a lot of double crits with crowds from driving flight, between the three effects you proc one of them quite often, maybe around 40% of attacks. 

    Stalkers Link is also really good, with high accuracy you proc mercy strike about 49% of the time (including triple quadruple etc strikes) and can get really good damage from that plus wounding / mortal wounds raw DOT)

    Could build around either weapon, the combo should be interesting 


    • Like 1
  19. 6 hours ago, thelee said:

    does this imply that successfully upgrading an item all the way to legendary makes it immune to degradation? i honestly never bothered because repairs were already ruinous at superb. or are you saying that every item was manually coded in to degrade, and they forgot about this legendary plate? if that's the case, i wonder if there's anything else they forgot (probably too tedious to check)

    It is only the generic legendary items. You can't upgrade the generic gear like in POE1 and the upgraded unique gear breaks. They forgot to code all generic legendary gear but I guess only the one piece of plate exists in the actual game. The other pieces I tested I had consoled in. At the time I thought there were more legendary items in the game and was trying things like killing dorudugan with a generic legendary war bow (can be done with overdraw + devoted + razor skewers for example). 

    Unfortunately I guess it is just this plate from contest of the slayer or more people would know where to find them

    Possibly there could be other similar oversights but I don't know how to check that

  20. 1 hour ago, thelee said:

    I honestly can't recall any generic legendary item, I don't even remember the SSS reward (though I guess I haven't done Slayer path in a while). As you probably have well-experienced, my casual understanding is that generic enemy gear maxes out at Superb, even in FS which probably has the consistently highest target level in the whole game. 

    The master ships definitely don't get up to legendary. I've only done one vengeance ship (Huana) and don't recall any legendary generic items.

    Yeah I did the other paths in SSS as well as every fight and they all max at superb gear. Never seen better than superb in FS or BW either. But I've gotten the legendary plate every time I do slayer's path in SSS, and I finally pinned it down to that specific encounter, contest of the slayer. It's the one you do against the dragonslayers, one of them has generic legendary plate. It's the fight after changeling's dance + trial by fangs and fur + cult of the naga shamen.

    I'm strongly suspecting now this is the only piece in the game...

  21. So I totally rushed my conclusions earlier regarding form phantasmic...

    It actually is 1 per encounter as stated, I forgot that I had used toggleresourcelimit for testing, which I also didn't know applied to items (apparently it does). 

    Also mirrored images and wizard's double do go away when hit. Forgot I had on god mode, which although the log states you are hit, doesn't seem to apply any effects of the hit. I did manage to stack my deflection to 230 though with wizard's double + mirrored images, which in the tactical ogres fight was enough that nothing could hit me. So in some situations it is basically permanent. Could get it to 250 with escape or shadowing beyond, though you'd need a source of brilliant to maintain that in this build. Could be interesting for like a tactician / rogue though, if you managed to get wizard's double you could stack deflection with conqueror's stance to around 263, maybe even higher. Wizard's double is still the best proc because it has no time limit, and it is fairly easy to stack deflection so high nothing can hit you, making it relatively permanent. Spellblade or rogue/priest could also extend effects like arcane veil. 

    Anyway, the only thing I'm sure about now is that form phantasmic does incorrectly stack deflection with abilities, though not with itself, e.g. mirrored images from form phantasmic doesn't seem to stack with mirrored images from trickster, nor llengrath's displaced image with llengrath's displaced image. 

    But...trickster mirrored images, llengrath's displaced image, escape, and shadowing beyond stack with everything from form phantasmic (as long as it isn't the same spell). So you can get absurdly high deflection while it lasts, though the per encounter thing is kind of a bummer. Still very good though. 

    I was able to solo the tactical ogres encounter. When you get a "gaze of the adragan" proc that is really nice. Also the "shrouded strike" upgrade procs a lot, I got some charms from it and also paralyze, apparently it can do tier 3s. 

    • Like 1
  22. 1 hour ago, ValkyOfApocrypha said:

    Unkitted Wizard is definitely better, strictly speaking, but I'm up for Evoker since the spell limitations will add a layer of challenge, thus forcing me to think more creatively (it already has done, a lot!) while empowering my favourite nukes :).  Personally, I don't propose going completely without cheese - after all, The Ultimate was introduced as a final update challenge so everything in the game is technically 'working as intended'.  From SOF to your generic legendary armor that never degrades.  If Pillars were a live service game, even the most esoteric means of bending the rules would be patched out eventually.  My point is, I think most people who look at The Ultimate and think 'yeah, I wanna put myself through that' are hoping to discover something unique and break the game in some original way that showcases a playstyle they invented.  I would consider any Ultimate run legitimate - good luck getting to level 16 and making yourself invincible without archmage-level knowledge of this game - but to be truly satisfied with my own run, I would need to know that I have done it with a build I created.  Sounds like that's what you've got going on with Godlpact / FF, so I hope it works out for you.


    Yeah I mean of course the ultimate runs are legitimate despite cheese, and I didn't mean to disparage your run or anything, so please don't take it that way. Maybe "legitimate" was the wrong word for me to use, I used "legitimate" with quotes initially because I meant tactics that people don't generally regard as cheesy. Because AFAIK nobody including myself has done an ultimate run with more straightforward tactics, so it's just a personal challenge really, to see if you can do a challenge that was intended as borderline impossible without even reaching for the broken tactics, which is regarded as particularly impossible (though I don't think it is).  

    Everything definitely does not "work as intended" though, certain things are bugs or oversights (imprints, strand of favor infinite extension). But yes other things like BDD + SOT or Temporal Cocoon trick while possibly unforeseen exploits are not bugs and arguably "work as intended". Temporal Cocoon thing for example is just a consequence of the spell listing paralyze as a hostile effect and the untargetability as beneficial.

    At this point I don't think anyone is breaking the game in some new way, however, outside of very minor discoveries like unbreakable armor or whatever. The blood mage deification, spell theft, etc., as well as priest deification, tactician cheese, strand of favor, the many items and their significant procs, all of it is well known (at least by like a dozen people lol). 

    There wasn't anything groundbreaking about my ultimate run. I mean nobody had done a hierophant to that point but the soul blade focus building was already known, grimoire imprinting, etc., I just combined it with citzal's spirit lance for maximum carnage.

  23. 4 hours ago, Tomucci said:

    My understanding is that duel wielding ranged and melee still gives you the duel wield weapon recovery and my plan is to be attacking quickly and proccing as many crits as I can, but also that when I do I'm able to run up and do my backstab combo without having to switch and cop the extra recovery time. It's def worth testing though because the extra one handed crits would be conductive to what I'm trying to aconplish and being invisible gives me time to swap weapons. Another thing to consider though is I need an extra slot for fire in the hole to apply gouging strike for my pet to combo with predator sense, so it might come down to how many ability points I have spare.

    That is a good point about dual wielding reducing the recovery time. I just like one-handing stalker's patience because you get so many crits and proc mercy strike so much. 

    I tested an assassin/ghost heart a bit. It was a solo run and I tried trial of the naga, so I got absolutely murdered and had to turn on god mode, but I was just seeing how often effects would proc and the kind of damage I'd do. Crits from the eye of wael didn't seem to proc obfuscation as much as they should. I was critting nearly every hit so that's about 20% per attack but it seemed less than that. Part of the problem was I kept getting swarmed though. With some proper tanks I think it would be fine. Stalker's Patience attacks from invisibility are extremely strong, especially comboed with Ajamuut's Stalking cloak. Very frequently I got double and triple strikes for a lot of damage and stunning things. Also tested gouging strike with dual wielding fire in the hole and hand mortar and I'd hit a lot of enemies, this would be very good as an opener because you can potentially stun all those enemies, if they're grouped close enough. So you could start combat stealthed and have other party members group enemies, then hit them with the gouging strike mortar attacks to mass stun / blind / DOT. 

    [EDIT - these conclusions about form phantasmic are mostly wrong, aside from the stacking, but I'll leave the original post, see my next post for correction]

    Another interesting thing I noticed was form phantasmic from eye of wael, the illusive spells incorrectly *stack* with active sources of +deflection like escape and shadowing beyond. So even though I dumped resolve and had no shield I often had like 190 deflection. So trickster/ghost heart is probably better than I thought, I didn't test that build specifically but I believe the rogue illusion spells like mirrored images and llengrath's displaced image will stack with form phantasmic illusion spells. Also, if you proc mirrored images or wizard's double from form phantasmic, the +30/40 deflection *stays when hit*. AND although form phantasmic is listed as 1/encounter, it is actually *unlimited*. It will proc every time you go from hurt to bloodied, so as long as you have some source of healing, whether healing potions or party healing, you can proc form phantasmic very easily, and with decent INT the duration is often quite long (over a minute).

    So although obfuscation procced less than I expected, form phantasmic was so good it sold me on the weapon because even without invisibility you won't be getting hit that much provided you try to maintain the form phantasmic buffs. All you'd need to do is stay near the hurt/bloodied border. I kept proccing it because I had devil of caroc's breastplate which provided near constant minor healing. Wizard's double is the best proc from form phantasmic because it has no duration and doesn't go away when hit, so if you proc that (will be listed as +40 deflection) it is basicallly permanent, at least until the next time you proc form phantasmic. 

    So I'd definitely take form phantasmic over hundred visions. 

    I'm now wondering about some tanky builds for other classes centered around this weapon, because you could deliberately proc wizards double then switch weapons and maintain the +40 deflection indefinitely...

    Also I had enough ability points by level 20 to take everything I needed plus arms bearer. On the rogue side only actives I took were escape, shadowing beyond, blinding strike and gouging strike but I took all the passives like dirty fighting, deathblows, slippery mind, persistent distraction etc., I also had room to give the animal companion vicious, merciless, and resilient companion, as well as protective companion / stalker's link, and for actives on ranger side took marked prey, marked for the hunt, evasive roll, and evasive fire. In retrospect I wouldn't take evasive fire if I had a better choice because it doesn't actually fire your weapon, it just does some piercing damage. But not a lot, like it doesn't benefit from your weapon's enchantment or anything, so not really worth it. I'd rather take something like concussive tranquilizer. Also took all the good ranger passives like survival of the fittest, superior camouflage, marksman, etc. Also took one-handed.

    Still you don't necessarily need arms bearer, it could be worth the dual-wielding bonus to forgoe the +12 accuracy and 20% hit to crit because your accuracy is quite good anyway, as long as you're attacking marked things your animal companion is attacking your ranged accuracy bonus is +10 (marked) +10 (flanked) + 10 (stalker's link) + 10 (survival of the fittest) + 5 (marksman) for average of +40 ranged. Assassinate gives an extra +25 when invis. Also equipped +accuracy items like cap of the laughingstock, gauntlets of accuracy, and retina. Crit like 90% of the time. 

    4 hours ago, Tomucci said:

    Good to know, I'll have flanked, marked enemy and other acc bonuses in my favor so I should crit fairly often with that too.

    The idea was to have soul annihilation as an option yeah, but mostly to play ranged and throw out big spells from stealth to capitalise on the assassin bonus, and soul blade doesn't seem particularly inferior to other subclasses in the context of attacking to generate focus and sporadically being able to throw out big crit spells, another reason I like cipher is the acc bonus from borrowed memory to boost crit chance with the eye of wael. As for squishiness you still have escape or that rogue invisibility spell.

    I think if your focus is on spellcasting ascendant might be preferable. I love soul blades but they have lower max focus and soul annihilation is the big draw, which I don't think benefits from deathblows or assassinate since it does raw damage. I mean the base weapon attack would, but the soul annihilation raw bonus I don't think would. Yeah ciphers can maintain accuracy rivaling rangers, you get +20 from borrowed instincts, +10 from phantom foes (flanked), +10 from psychovampiric shield (debuffs enemy resolve by 10), +5 from tactical meld and aware, so overall about the same as ranger but requires some setup. Ciphers also get +1 PEN from hammering thoughts and +20% damage from soul whip, plus can steal armor. Seers are extremely good too by the way.

    4 hours ago, Tomucci said:

    Yeah I think offensively the assassin is definitely better but aside from tankiness from mirror image I also like repulsive visage and some of the other spells, for example I could hit with my backstab combo then cast repulsive visage and between spear modal and persistent distraction I'll have at least two potential engagements for disengagement attacks which could also proc crits with the extra acc they get. Also I like the trickster more thematically, especially with this build conceptually, and I kinda feel like assassins make most builds one trick pony's.

    I may test a trickster / ghost heart later, like I said above I think it may be better than I thought initially mostly because I believe the defensive spells will stack with form phantasmic. Also I wasn't proccing invisibility as much as I expected so the assassinate bonus wasn't active as often as I liked. If you had a cipher in your party who could cast ancestor's memory on you that would help a lot, could use shadowing beyond more to go invisilble. 

    That's a good point with repulsive visage + disengagement attacks. That could work especially well with trickster / cipher since tactical meld gives +3 engagement, or even better if you have a cipher in your party they could cast it on you and your pet. Unsure if disengagements can proc mercy strike, but I don't see why not. And take mortal wounds for other upgrade, it stacks with itself to do a LOT of DOT and is much better than 10% hobble proc IMO, will also ensure predator's sense works on the pet if you haven't landed gouging strikes on everyone.

    Yeah overall I like the idea of trickster / ghost heart

  24. 3 hours ago, Tomucci said:

    So was thinking of a basic idea for a scout, and wanted to see what you guys thought.

    Basically it's a trickster / ghost heart that dual wields eye of wael scepter and stalkers patience (with fire in the hole and the other aoe shotty in the second slot for gouging strike). 

    Trickster: back stab, sneak attack, deathblows, gouging strike, passive that adds raw dmg lash to weapon attacks, mirror image and other illusion spells.

    Ghost heart: pet, acc bonuses, driving flight, takedown combo.

    Eye of wael: invisibility procs on crit, chance for illusion spells on hit, bonus power level to illusion spells.

    Stalkers patience: bonus dmg from stealth skill, raw dmg lash, bonus dmg vs flanked that can be set up with pet.

    Synergy: rangers acc bonus and driving flight makes eye of wael crit regularly, which procs invisibility, which you can use for stalkers patience backstabs that can be combined with takedown combo and deathblows. This is in addition to scouts regular synergy which ive found really strong for ranged dps in general. Also pet should be doing some decent dmg because everyone will have gouging strike applied.

    I know it'd be better offensively with assassin but the idea is for the character to be a hybrid ranged melee and I like the extra survivability from mirror image, as well as other illusion spells combined with eye of wael bonuses. Also thematically I really like the trickster ghost heart combo.

    Other ideas I was thinking of were assassin / soul blade and assassin / blood mage which would be using the invisibility procs to set up spells or other big hits from stealth. The ranger adds driving flight and acc bonuses to proc it a lot more often I think, but obv the single hit back stab isn't as great as a payoff as a fat AOE spell.

    I'm sure there's a bunch of stuff I'm forgetting here as well, just typing it up off the top of my head at work, but yeah interested to hear people's ideas.

    Should work, though dual-wielding ranged + melee is tricky, you could just switch weapons. Just take arms bearer or wear fleshmender and/or giftbearer's cloth to get 3+ slots.  This way you can also have a shield and be less squishy, or else crit a ton one-handing. 

    I've experimented with one-handing stalker's patience with a ghost heart and it is incredibly effective mostly because of mercy strike, which the description says procs 20% but it is actually 33% (meaning it procs on crits at least a double strike about half the time).  I am a big fan of ghost hearts since you can easily apply flanked to everything, which also procs ambushing, plus all the regular ranger accuracy bonuses. I've played it mostly as a pure melee, ghost heart / barbarian and ghost heart / black jacket mainly. Ghost heart / devoted with spear would also be pretty cool. 

    Have also played assassin / blood mage and it is incredibly powerful. Haven't tried assassin / soul blade. I am a big fan of soul blades but you'd have no way to proc invisibility aside from the wand. I guess the idea there is you attack ranged to build focus and then when you proc invis you move in for a soul annihilation from melee? This build might be a bit too squishy with no way to run off, but could be fine if a party has sufficient healing.

    Ghost heart / monk is also very good, particularly ghost heart / forbidden fist. 

    I think you could do any of these but I really like the rogue / ghost heart idea. Easy to zip around with escape + evasive roll, both of which are near instant casts with no recovery.  Unsure if the upgrade evasive fire will proc invis from wael, if it does that would be really cool.

    Personally I think assassin / ghost heart would be more effective though. From invis you'd proc mercy strike on stalker's patience a lot, so frequently you'd be hitting 2+ times with your sneak attacks + deathblows + ambushing. You can use escape, evasive roll, shadowing beyond, etc., to get out of danger and go back to ranged attacks. Trickster is less squishy, though it also means you can't use as many rogue abilities, since stacking e.g. mirrored images and llengrath's displaced image is 3 guile. It's a good idea though, I think either would be effective, you're just trading some tankiness I don't think you really need on trickster for more damage on assassin / ghost heart. The pet can take a lot of the pressure off you so you aren't super squishy, and the various movement and invisibility options help the assassin survive. Also keep in mind while the assassin is squishier, you do significantly more damage from stealth meaning encounters will be over faster, meaning you're hit fewer times over the duration.

    Another idea is streetfighter / ghost heart. Since you're using blunderbusses anyway you could possibly dual wield or switch weapons occasionally to proc flanked from powder burns. You gain a lot of attack speed when flanked, do higher sneak attack damage, and when flanked + bloodied you do massive crit damage, like +165%. Would be hard to keep this build bloodied without dying so you'd mostly just get the flanked bonus.

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  25. 8 hours ago, ValkyOfApocrypha said:

    I experimented a bit with AI scripting but decided to keep things manual.  I guess it keeps me awake lol.

    When I have the time, I'm going to try another Ultimate run on Evoker to get that same sense of 'legitimacy' you're talking about. This means I won't be able to (ab)use Cocoon so will have to work a bit harder in general at keeping myself and Vela safe.  I had a play around this evening on my test save and managed to steal all my core spells from Hanging Sepulcres without Cocoon by casting Binding Web (scroll, because no Conjuration) on Vela in a safe space then charge into combat while she's immobilised so she procs terrified far away and doesn't get aggro.  I also discovered that Major Grimoire Imprint doesn't cancel Arkemyr's Brilliant Departure, so the stealing itself was no biggie.  After this point, it's just a matter of managing affliction immunities and being aware of casters that use Arcane Dampener / Cleanse.

    Why an evoker? I've thought about using a vanilla wizard, particularly a vanilla wizard / bellower, which with the right gear is tremendously powerful even without cheese (unless you count wall of draining as cheese, which I don't unless it's combined with potions of final stand or BDD). I didn't know you could imprint from invisibility, that could have saved me some trouble, although I did most of my minor imprints before I had access to ABD. Main problem is I am pretty sure blood sacrifice breaks invisibility so you'd have to already have brilliant and use some cheesy method like strand of favor to prolong it, right? But I'm assuming imprints are out entirely for cheese free runs. 

    Binding web works for vela only on some maps. She will still tend to run out of the web unless she's terrified while in the web, and terrifying her while in the web is risky sometimes (like Hauani O Whe can usually symbiote her before you can pull him away). It is very useful though.  And best of all the spider silk robe from menzaggo has per encounter binding web. The best way to deal with her is to cast a spell on her while holding a whale of a wand, then web her when she becomes charmed (has a 5% chance per spell proc). She will stay in that spot until you leave the map. But you either need brilliant, or free spells like psychovampiric shield. For a wizard you could use minoletta's minor missiles and similar spells with high number of procs, but if unlucky could run out. But you can also use scrolls, including binding web, I am pretty sure there are enough scrolls to deal with her this way for any class. Can also use the fire blight. 

    8 hours ago, ValkyOfApocrypha said:

    I checked out a few fights from your run as well and the playstyle looks fun.  You have a serious point about Shadowing Beyond, I might have to pay Beina a visit sometime!

    Thanks. It was pretty fun. The parts between fights were kinda grindy, and I imprinted more spells than I needed to, but once the character was built up I could just blitzkrieg everything.

    Yep, insta-invis with no recovery is very nice, and escape is even better since you can steal that with just minor grimoire imprint.

    8 hours ago, ValkyOfApocrypha said:

    Waels challenge didn't bother me, tbh.  Once I had a sense of rhythm from my test save I just did what came naturally.  For me the stinker is Abydon's - I decided to do The Ultimate after a solo PoTD Herald run and I actually had a blast doing epic 1-2 hour fights against the megabosses.  I really wanted to stick with Herald (I love playing tank characters) so was bummed when I found out how rough this challenge is on your armour.  If I had to change class I was going to go meta, and all my research led me to regard SC Bloodmage as being the cheesemaster supreme.

    Wael makes ship combat impossible, it's just a bunch of ? it also makes watching ultimate runs very difficult to figure out what's going on because the logs are all a bunch of ? marks. I figured out a lot of stuff from watching other people's ultimate runs. I have enough experience now wael doesn't bother me as much but it was crazy annoying at the time, also figuring out how much money you had was annoying. I would see how many cannons I could buy and then do x = np where n is number of cannons and p is price per cannon to figure out the money. Wael is certainly not the hardest challenge (not even top 5) but IMO the most annoying. Ondra is similar, doesn't add much challenge but pathing around those giant storms means you have to be super cautious on the world map and sometimes take stupid routes because there's a giant storm blocking the direct path.

    My megaboss fights tended to take like two minutes lol, because of escape + citzals + soul annihilation. In fast mode some of them would have taken less than a minute, but I rarely used fast mode because vela is unscriptable. Used it some in sanguine harvest video, where I shamelessly farmed gold and focus.

    I think if you don't steal priest spells then priests are cheesemaster supreme, mostly because once you proc briliant, BDD + salvation of time makes the whole challenge including vela extremely simple. But given SC blood mage can steal priest spells, plus the temporal cocoon trick, they are potentially worse in this regard.

    Abydon doesn't matter for the classes best equipped to deal with the ultimate like blood mage and priest. But it does make tanky builds borderline impossible, however I think a herald could do it except there's no monastic unarmed training for paladins or chanters. So lacking any reasonable weapons including fists is the main problem IMO. You basically have to use something with monastic unarmed training or summoned weapons which is pretty limiting yeah. A herald could do nearly all of the fights just summoning things, but Dorudugan may be impossible, even with four weapons. I haven't been able to beat him with just summons anyway. Actually with the right weapons I think you could do it before they break, but you'd have to proc a 200% damage conduit or something, and extend it with strand of favor. I think with cheese it is possible, but legitimately, dorudugan is probaby the gating encounter. 

    I found some armor that doesn't degrade under abydon's challenge though. Generic legendary gear doesn't degrade at all. But I've only been able to locate one piece, some legendary plate armor you get from Challenge of the Slayer in SSS. You'd have to do a few SSS fights breaking your armor but after that you can just wear the plate which is pretty good protection. The main difficulty with getting it is completing The Changeling's Dance with Vela, which is super hard without cheesing the assassins of the slipper, but it is possible to do with 100% consistency, just very very technical.

    I was thinking about possibly doing a goldpact knight / FF. Vanilla FF is annoying because it doen't work with a lot of stuff (like steel garrote, swift flurry, or focus gen) and makes combat very slow but it is still the best monk for tanky builds. A goldpact knight / FF wearing the legendary plate and wielding kapana taga + giftwrapper with stoic steel and iron wheel can get armor in 21 to 23 range. Stacking deflection without shields is a little harder but you can use them, they'll just break in some fights but by the point they break there aren't enough enemies left to care about, especially if you wield multiple shields and switch when they get near broken. It also isn't against the rules to use "toggledurabilitydebug" which shows the state of your gear. The main problem with this build, aside being really boring (literally just stand there and spam FF), is dealing with Vela is extremely tedious, though possible. But I have tested most of the boss fights and they're doable. Dorudugan is problematic for FFs because there is a bug in the game that causes enemies to heal when they go from weakened/enfeebled to not. They only heal like 1% of their health, which for most enemies is not noticeable, but Dorudugan only stays weakened for 3 or 4 seconds and has a massive health pool so with FF / anything he will heal around 200 very often. I think it is still doable but requires respec and using plain fists, which makes generating wounds a lot harder, but OTOH you don't really need wounds, I think he'd go down eventually just standing there punching him it would just take 2+ hours. The hard part then would be ensuring he isn't hit by his helfire barrages, which is rather technical but doable. 

    I originally wanted to do a FF / soul blade which I know can do it without cheese with community patch (i've done it), but in vanilla FF doesn't generate focus. Very unfortunate because it is such a fantastic build, not simple either, requires a lot of game knowledge and a wide variety of tactics for different fights, but has enough tools to handle every situation, even without armor. 

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