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Shai Hulud

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Posts posted by Shai Hulud

  1. Agree with @limaxophobiacq

    Battlemages are fantastic, and Aloth's stats are decent enough, just have Aloth cast unbending and a wall of draining and he's pretty much invulnerable. Citzal's Spirit Lance distributes mule kick which interrupts on graze so he is a great disruptor as well as damage dealer. It helps if you have someone in the party that can get resources back, like a cipher with ancestor's memory, but in most battles won't be necessary. 

    Xoti has a really nice monk subclsass sister of the reaping moon, which gives her +3 wounds on kill though abilities cost +1 wounds. Most abilities you want to use cost 3+ wounds anyway so going from 3 to 4 or 5 to 6 is not much of a tradeoff for her subclass, particularly since her shield is excellent for monks and provides another +1 wound per kill. In any fight with crowds she can completely wreck things. For something really broken give her ajamuut's stalking cloak yes, but also keeper of the flame and eder's armor with veteran's maneuver. This combo with imagined pain will cause her to do gain enough wounds to just spam WOTW endlessly. If her health is getting low give her aldris blade of captain crow + keeper of the flame in another slot (using copy function for keeper of the flame), alrdis blade procs on crits for every attack, so if she attacks 7 enemies in a WOTW she is likely critting a few and it does a full attack on each. 

    She's really good as a contemplative also, but pure monks are hard to beat if you don't have one in your party already.

    If you need a healer Tekehu can fulfill that role quite well as a watershaper/stormspeaker, as chanter he has ancient memory, the beams of light spell, can also revive people, and as stormspeaker he has moonwell and nature's balm which are AOE heals, he's really all a party needs for support though Pallegina as chanter/paladin is also pretty good. 

    I do like Serafen as a witch if you take him, but I usually don't take him. If you want a cipher grab Ydwin and run her pure cipher, she is much better at it than serafen. 

    Eder is good as fighter/rogue

    Maia is ridiculously good as rogue/ranger, her pet is immune to engagement and can fly around and flank things giving her insane accuracy + sneak attack, and if a party member throws down an AOE CC like mental binding or the thunder rolled like waves on black seas, this gives her deathblows for tremendous damage, and she reloads fast if you have a chanter chanting sure-handed ila as part of his chant, which procs TWICE for guns (-20% recovery, -20% reload, these are same thing for guns). And yes Red Hand is fantastic, usually she does about as much damage as rest of party combined, at least until Xoti gets WOTW. And unlike your rangers, she can interrupt things with guns, and has longer range compensating for the shorter range of Red Hand. She's basically built for that weapon. Take the enchantments Guilty Conscience for stacking +40% damage (the extra damage received doesn't matter since she is backline) and Double Tap which helps tremendously in dealing with vessels early game in the old city.


    So who I'd pick as companions depends on the MC, but in general you want 2 to 3 tanks / offtanks, a caster, a healer, and a CC specialist. Often one char can fulfill multiple roles (like Tekehu is a caster, healer, and does CC, Aloth as battlemage is a tank+caster). 

    I'd probably take one of Tekehu/Pallegina if Xoti is pure monk (maybe even if not), Xoti as monk or contemplative, two of Eder/Aloth/Rekke as your frontline, and Maia and/or Ydwin for backrow damage (and in ydwin's case support). Konstanten is also decent as a howler or pure barbarian and Vatnir is good however you build him though I'm partial to celebrant. Fassina is very bleh.

    I don't usually take sidekicks besides maybe one, since they don't have quests, but there are some really good builds for Ydwin (cipher), Rekke (brawlers and brutes are both fantastic), and Mirke (shadowdancer). Rekke in particular makes an amazing combo tank and damage dealer, though with Eder and Aloth you're really set for tanks. So consider taking one of them. Rekke is probably the best tank in the game and Ydwin as pure cipher provides a unique role for party support with high level cipher spells like ancestor's memory (gives someone brilliant), time parasite (massive speed boost + debuff), and reaping knives, which I'd give to one of your front-line DPS chars (Xoti is a good choice before you get keeper of the flame). Ciphers also have great lower level spells like mental binding (unparalleled CC for 20 focus), pain block (superb single target healing), echoing shield (AOE resolute and concentration debuff), tactical meld (great to cast on tanks who need more engagement and accuracy), and she can buff her own accuracy and defenses with borrowed instinct, which I'd keep up at all times for the +20 accuracy bonus so the other spells hit. Disintegration and Death of 1000 cuts also do insane single target damage over time, Soul Ignition a decent substitute before you get them. Give her the bow Frostseeker or Essence Interrupter (I prefer the latter thematically) and she does tons of damage and builds focus quickly. 

    I guess if my MC is a martial type, I'd probably take Eder, Tekehu, Xoti, and Ydwin

    If my MC is a caster I'd take Eder, Tekehu, Aloth or Xoti, and Maia. 

    Basically always take Eder for the Berath Blessing "...can i pet him anyway" which offers great party wide buffs due to the extra pet slot. If you don't take this blessing you can sub Eder for someone else. 

  2. 1 hour ago, elbe said:

    Fair point about mythical discovery.  I usually just find I don't have a pressing need for THAT many mythical weapons by the end game, as I'd normally have a caster or two with a stat stick anyway.  For me I prefer the convenience of a faster early game.

    The mod is great, I couldn't live without it.  If you enjoy running FF Monks you'll love the new Forbidden Curses Less Than X condition.  Can set it to use FF every time Curses are less than 1 which is a lot less fiddly then messing around with cooldown times.  Only issue is the AI only checks the condition at the time of queuing an action, so if it has queued a normal attack and the curse expires after the action has been queued the AI isn't smart enough to change the action to FF and will just follow through with a normal attack.  More of an issue with the AI system in general though rather than the mod.




    Yeah FFs are such a pain to script in vanilla, have to get the int/dex/res exactly right, plus if you're wearing ring of the solitary wanderer you have to take into account whether you have any summons nearby, which negates the -35% hostile effect duration, etc. I've been scripting it to cast enlightened agony when not smart and use FF only if has intellect inspiration, which usually works, unless ring of the solitary wanderer gets messed up. 

    Lately I've been working on a streetfighter / FF that is especially hard to script because of the heating up / looking for a fight differences in recovery time. I have her start intentionally building up the curse (but no more than 3) to get bloodied, then switch weapon sets from dual wielding to xoti's lantern, which slows recovery time and can be used to regain swift flurry (which I only use non-bloodied). When it works right it is amazing and does like +500% damage on crits and attacks very fast in heavy armor, but it has been so hard to get the scripting down, every time I think I have it down something happens and my character mysteriously builds up the curse and dies. I think there's some weird interaction with swift flurry or heartbeat drumming sometimes that can cause the curse to proc twice in one attack... otherwise I can't explalin why it's normally 1.5s long and I attack every 1.6s but still build up the curse sometimes (besides resolve afflictions and debuffs which I always look for)

    Also just all the conditions like checking if a cipher has max focus is so useful for when to use soul annihilation, and a million other things checking for specific spells, or the improved targeting. My hierophant which had a really good 35ish block script considering vanilla would still cast psychovampiric shield over and over on destructibles like the obelisks in sigilmaster auranic's fight (since they had the lowest will), now you can check if a target is immune to something. Would also frequently cast psychovampiric shield on the same target, which doesn't work if they still have any duration left, so I made two psychovampiric shield blocks, one cast on lowest will, one on highest will. Lot of messy solutions like that.

    So this is a fantastic mod, thanks again, though the most obvious thing to do wasn't done: add an "OR" condition in the conditionals. It's still just "AND" as far as I can tell. Also still no movement actions, and can't seem to script casting things on non-party summons (phantoms and dichotomous souls), but a vast improvement overall. I could completely automate a lot of builds now.

    And yeah I hear you about the AI checking conditions at the wrong time, this is why sometimes it won't do like an FF attack if you don't have any wounds, even though it will cost 0 once the curse expires, at the moment it costs 1 and it already ran the check to see if you could cast it and decided you can't. I miss the scripting of Baldur's Gate, it was complicated, no nice interface (just pseudocode basically) but you could script absolutely everything. I tried replaying it recently and was kind of overwhelmed by my old scripts, also the general speed of the game is like 3 or 4 times as fast as Deadfire. Should play it again, I've put way too many hours into Deadfire.

  3. 6 hours ago, Dalinoth said:

    Just curious why the dedicated build thread does not have detailed companion builds please?  Does anyone have links to some?


    These builds by Sin Tee are old but still pretty good. I figure most companions though you can just build similar to a MC of that class if you want, although some have unique subclasses or non-ideal stat spreads. 


    Also I figure in general there aren't as many because it is a lot more work to post builds for like 13 companions / sidekicks 

  4. 2 hours ago, elbe said:

    The most valuable Berath Blessings to me are the ones that give bonuses that can't be obtained in the game otherwise (Bonus Attributes, Bonus Skills, Can I Pet Him Anyway?, Unique Item Vendor (in terms of getting extra uniques)) or that are a real pain to obtain normally (e.g Infamous Past).

    The exceptions to this rule where I tend to skip the blessing are Legendary Crew (not that hard to level up regular sailors to rank 4 and prefer to just keep each sailor on a single role) and Mythical Discovery (I find it too expensive point wise).

    A lot of the other blessings like bonus gold, fine equipment, upgraded ship, start at level 4, are mostly for convenience in the early game.  I tend to pick these up if I have spare points left or if I just want to blitz through the early game as fast as possible.

    Agree in general, though mythical discovery is the only way to give everyone in your party a mythic weapon (or armor), it is eventually worth it IMO, unless you only have like 50ish points.

    2 hours ago, elbe said:

    On the topic of mods, one mod I recommend if you like AI scripting is the enhanced AI conditions mod, which adds a lot more AI conditions for things that would otherwise be hard to script (e.g. for buffs that don't provide an inspiration).

    Oh my god how did I not know about this? I've been wanting to make something like this myself because (also more actions) but didn't really have the knowledge. Thank you!


  5. On 8/1/2022 at 1:51 PM, thelee said:

    early on i thought builds w/out access to withdraw (and by extension, BDD) were effectively impossible b.c. of vela's fragility. it's made the successful runs without a priest all the more impressive. even with cheese, the ultimate is a massive test of patience and consistency and withdraw/BDD at least is a bit forgiving[1], so the fact that a few ppl have been basically able to tightrope without a net underneath them is all the more impressive. on paper, strand of favor/brilliant/etc exploit might seem trivial, but it really isn't :)


    [1] in my actual run, iirc i had two almost disasters, despite tons of practice. the ability to drop a withdraw on vela and yourself (and/or invisibility) can be quite literally the life saver.

    I've tested the hard parts of the game (all dlc content, all bosses and megabosses) with a naked transcendent without ever using withdraw or any cheese strategies. It is possible. Will require a ton of stealth until like level 16 probably, but should be doable. Have tested couple other builds that can handle the combat aspects but have no good way to control Vela besides fire blight or ray of fire scrolls with whale of a wand, which is kind of sketch given I'm not sure how many you'd need throughout the game and they can come pretty close to killing her. Casting psychovampiric shield over and over is a lot safer.

    Anyway, I am tempted to do another ultimate run "legitimately" but I am kind of very annoyed that Obsidian still has not even responded to my ultimate submission from four months ago, which I submitted twice just in case they didn't see it the first time.

    Does anyone still care about ultimate runs? 

    I actually think I can do it with deadly deadfire hardcore on as well, though that's a mod and therefore not technically an ultimate run so IDK. Conflicted about starting another. Was stressful enough with infinite withdraw casts...

    EDIT: Forgot transcendent needs community patch. Bleh. Well I have at least one other build that I'm pretty sure would work, though I haven't tested the battles as thoroughly. I've been using BPM a lot was originally planning to do it with that.

    Can definitely do it with several blood mage, skaen, and tactician combos but these are all arguably exploit heavy, Tacticians less than combos with outright immortality. Can possibly do hierophant without cheese (aside from wall of draining prolonging standard buffs). Very probably loremaster. 

    Psion / troubadour is a maybe, the one battle I havent figured out is dorudugan, despite quite a few attempts.

    Herald seems promising but havent tested enough.

    Pretty sure I can do FF / paladin but it is boring as hell and FF / SG healing doesn't even work with FF so I guess FF / gold pact is most promising. 

    Inquisitor is interesting but havent tested much.



  6. 16 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

    I also almost always use Edér's pet slot. There are a lot of nice combos in it. 

    For example +20 healing on kill pets and +10 healing on kill (party wide) pets also do stack. I mean that's not really surprising since healing sources never suppress each other. So if you have a offensively strong glass cannon character this can be a nice form of "passive" healing without wasting any time or character resources. The healing scales with items and so on as usual. 

    But I guess my primary Berath's Blessing is the combo of the Port Maje dealer + 50K.

    On the other hand: I have maxed out Breath Blessing points long ago so it's hard to tell what I would pick first nowadays if those points where scarce. Maybe lvl 4 now that I think about it. I start a new run so often and it really helps to speed the early game up. It would be more like a convenience thing. As a player who only aims to play once or twice I 'd probably pick attribute points because they feel the most special. 

    Do you know if Abraham + Nalvi stack? I'm guessing they do since recovery reduction usually stacks, but not sure. I don't have a party save handy with that blessing. 

    I decided to make an arbitrary blessings ranking for the party on a budget

    1) Bonus Attributes (player only) - +2 per attribute speaks for itself, at 15 cost expensive but worth it
    2) ...Can I pet him anyway? The extra pet allows things like +3 accuracy/deflection/reflex vs distant enemies for the whole party, which for five characters (plus the extra boost for eder) is a lot, and probably better than Bonus Attributes by the time you get the really good pets. Costs 15 but worth it unless you hate Eder
    3) Mythical Discovery - Allows you to get mythic weapons or armor (kind of wasted on a shield IMO) way earlier, which is really good, but expensive at 30, if you can't afford both this and numbers 4 5 6 maybe skip
    4) Discount Craftsman - Money isn't too hard to come by but this will save you a lot more than 50k throughout the game, especially for an entire party, expensive at 15 but best "save money" choice IMO
    5) Unique item vendor - More useful for a party than solo, very affordable at 5
    6) +5000 starting money - At 3 points this is affordable and 5k makes enough of a difference early to want to have it
    7) Loaded Pockets - Similar to 4, if you pickpocket a lot you can find some good non-unique items that you can keep or sell, helps gearing up early and also making money, kind of expensive at 12
    8 ) Explored World Map - if you don't know the world map perfectly or have on certain challenges like eothas or ondra, or just want to know where the deck of many things is this is super useful, for a solo run I'd rank more like #3, sometimes worth buying at 12
    9) Bonus Skills - A lot more useful solo but still good, and pretty cheap at 3 points
    10) Infamous Past - Also more useful solo, kind of expensive at 8 but pretty decent
    11) 50k starting money - Convenient but the other "save money" choices are better unless you want to splurge right away in Neketaka. At 15 points it is expensive and although per point cheaper than the 5k, I'd rank this much lower because 5k early is very useful, the extra 45k early is sort of useful and probably not worth the extra 12 points
    12) Start at Level 4 - considering how quickly you'll reach level 4 this is kind of worthless, but some builds are really bad pre level 4 so it can save you some headache if you insist on fighting things in the sea cave. Expensive at 12 points. 
    13) Fine Equipment - Very meh, can help you a tiny bit at the very beginning and can sell for like a thousand, but costs 5 points so much worse than the 5k
    14) Legendary Crew - Kind of useless unless you're doing an eothas run, in which case it is amazing for the instant access to a legendary navigator, also if you want to crew up a galleon or junk it is useful mostly for the extra legendary cannoneer (there are only 3 others you can train up to legendary), also only way to get a legendary surgeon but who cares. Costs way too much at 12
    15) Upgraded Ship Sails - Sort of useful on eothas run, but better to buy palm sails in neketaka, costs too much at 8
    16) Experienced Ship Captain - It takes like one or two ship combats to get to expert and it doesn't do that much anyway, 4 points

  7. I forgot, regarding the berath's blessing probably the best blessing for a party, maybe even before "bonus attributes" is ..."can i pet him anyway"? 

    This lets you have TWO pets and pets can provide enormous bonuses for the party, some combinations are crazy good. 

    Like blinky + nikki = +8 accuracy with melee weapons for party
    boras + milx = +5 spell accuracy and 5% ability/spell hit to crit for party
    retina + sky dragon wurm - +8 accuracy against distant enemies (applies to spells and ranged attacks), 3 deflection/reflex against distant enemies for party
    nalvi + abraham - reduces armor recovery penalty for party, restores health on kill for party, character with abraham also gets armor recovery reduction (unsure if they stack though)

    Some of the best pets are DLC or otherwise late (like nalvi and nikki) but there are good ones you can get early like harley, pes, sky dragon wurm, abraham, milx, and atlas

    For a ranged MC the best pets will probably be retina, sky dragon wurm, harley, and atlas.

    • Like 1
  8. 12 hours ago, dgray62 said:

    Ah, I see. In the past when I added potions to the AI they were usually at the bottom of this list. This would explain why the potion drinking animation was often interrupted by AI actions higher on the list. Thanks!

    Yep, the script always processes higher up blocks if it can, so the ordering is important. And you're welcome

    12 hours ago, thelee said:

    wow, impressive script, shai hulud. this is inspiring me to create a script that's just focused on consumables that i can load up on all my party members. (i pretty much always have one script slot empty)


    can't run into the AI consumable bug if the AI is always consuming when I need it to anyway

    Thanks. I've gotten pretty good at throwing together scripts like this, can make one for a build in about 20 to 30 minutes, bit less if I don't label things or aren't starting from scratch. The most annoying thing is when you add a new block it starts at the bottom and you have to move it up by clicking the arrow button, but each time you do this the script goes back to the bottom, so if you have 30 lines and want a new block near the top, it can take a couple minutes just to move it up the script. 

    At this point I have so many scripts I can usually just duplicate a long one and I just change the blocks completely rather than creating new ones at the bottom and moving them up, saves a lot of time. 

    Aside from the way you add blocks to the bottom, the most frustrating thing about the scripting is there's no OR for conditionals. This is why in that script I sometimes have two blocks that do the same thing but check for different conditionals

    11 hours ago, limaxophobiacq said:

    Is there a difference between 'Always True and (second conditional)' compared to just having the second condition as conditional alone?

    Nope, as @thelee suspects I maintain an "always true" so the block can be easily turned off if needed. I often play with Woedica challenge on so I may turn off certain expensive resources except in the more challenging fights.

    It doesn't take any more effort to change the always true block to the first conditional than to just add a second conditional so I do the second


    OH another scripting trick, you can use the giftbearer's cloth and/or fleshmender armor to carry extra items and weapons. You can script to change weapons on various conditions (for example I have a streetfighter / FF that switches from dual-wielding to fighting with a shield with block modal when bloodied, then back to the dual wielding at 75% health) and you will switch even with the slot locked out. Same with consumables, this way you can carry six consumables without having to wear the gear. 

    Be aware the game is kind of buggy and items can disappear this way so I'd only do it before and after a battle when you need extra potions or weapons, then remove them. 

  9. 7 hours ago, Caeyrii said:

    Yeah, compared to 1, the plot was too urgent without an actual breathing room. Maybe after 'He Waits in Fire', I can sort of see him just chilling out with the guardian while waiting for you. It also makes sense to stop chasing after him after your talk in the quest since you get the remaining parts of your soul. Finishing the quest has the effect of halting faction questlines too though, at least, that's what I understood from the wiki.

    Or maybe Eothas could have had some inner indecision and needed to talk to the watcher + the guardian at ukaizo before he decides to destroy the wheel (or not, depending if you could convince him). I think this could have been interesting and would also make the game less "Ahhhh head to ukaizo before eothas destroys the circle of life!"

    I liked the plot on POE1 better, even pacing issues of Deadfire aside. The way the hollowborn crisis was tied to the gods' conspiracy, woedica, the way all this was reflected throughout the dyrwood, it just seems to fit a lot better. The Deadfire seems kind of an arbitrary choice for where this game takes place, also unless you have a ton of game knowledge about where everything is it feels very disconnected and confusing about what to do when and where to go and so forth.

    He Waits In Fire only halts the earliest faction quests IIRC. Like you can still do Sayuka, Clearing Out Crookspur. I assume it's the same for the other factions. I haven't done the Huana line in a while (past Trade Secrets) but the prince always continues to ask me about Motare O Kozi late game. I'm unsure if I could still turn it in though. 

    One way you can naturally delay things in the early game is to do the faction side quests before going to the palace, so you don't know to go to Hasongo yet. You would delay getting Maia and Pallegina but you have lots of other options for a full party. Then you'd only have to do the Huana line once you found out Eothas' location, and I think only Trade Secrets is necessary before He Waits in Fire, though I might be wrong about Motare O Kozi...

    When to do the DLCs is tricky though. You can't do SSS or FS until after He Waits in Fire, which is kind of dumb because SSS is probably the easiest of them...

  10. 10 hours ago, thelee said:

    one thing i learned from taking doing physics and stats classes is that it's very important to be clear what your target units of measurement or that you are accurately selecting the correct metric. everything else will flow from that.


    the correct metric: the RETURNS you get from investing in dex or attack speed is how much effective damage you do over time (generally per second, since DPS is the normal way gamers talk about this stuff). Not recovery time. Tracking recovery time will give you a curve, because it's the denominator. it's not the metric, just a part of the metric.


    the correct units of measurement: what you should do is invert your attack speed, essentially, because that converts "seconds per attack" into "attacks per second" (which then is a straight-forward shot to "damage per second"). the original relationship is inverted (1/x), and an inversion will look somewhat loggy or polynomial, but it's neither, which is why neither a log transform or polynomial fit will work. there's a graph part way down this page which is a perfect line: https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/pc/227477-pillars-of-eternity-ii-deadfire/faqs/76599/action-speed-is-linear-returns

    edit: what bosmer said about relative differences is right, i'm speaking more generally about how those relative differences end up manifesting, mathematically, such that it becomes basically indisputable that action speed has linear returns.

    Ah. I have a math degree (one I haven't used in ages but still), and still I didn't invert the data set. Inverted attacks/second is indeed linear.

    Might is also linear, though, right? It is just offset by other sources of damage. Damage = roll*(1+(MIG*.03+ b + c + d + ...) where b, c, d, ..., are things like two-handed, critical damage, overpenetration, etc., which is still linear with respect to might. Why have I heard dex described as multiplicative returns on damage? I mean dexterity's contribution towards attacks per second is also offset by other sources of attack speed and recovery time reduction.

    Is there a DPS calculator using might or at least a thread talking about all this?



    Also, sorry @Boeroer for wasting your time arguing about the attack speed returns. Should have suspected I'd made a mistake when the data went against your experience, but I only thought to recheck data points, and made a pretty fundamental error in looking at seconds / attack vs attacks / second, which is rather embarrassing given how many math courses I've taken. 


  11. 4 hours ago, Bosmer said:

    Before @thelee chimes in: I think you need to account for the changing base, i.e. being faster by 1 second from initially 2 seconds makes you attack far more often than being faster by 1 second from initially 5 seconds. Hence, if you calculate the relative increase in speed, for example from 10->20 and from 20->30 you'd see: (4.7-3.6)/4.7=0.234 and (3.6-2.9)/3.6=0.194. So increasing dex is still worth it and at this stage the difference could also be partially explained by deadfire's rounding of seconds. 

    If you'd log-transform your y-axis (Attack Speed) you would see probably a rather linear relationship in your plot.

    I'm too tired to think about this clearly. The log transform does look *more* linear, though I'm not sure exactly what this means. And yes that is a good point about relative increases being more relevant. Not really following your relative increase calculations at the moment. I mean they seem to indicate that the attack cycle drops by 23.4% from 10 to 20 and only 19.4% from 20 to 30, right? Hmm...



    31 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

    Before doing extensive tests etc: If you use the attack speed calc (derived from game code) I linked you can see the results in frames - and see that the returns are linear (discarding little steps from rounding). 

    I did check the link and as far as I can tell it had the same values I came up with. What do you mean you can see the results in frames?


    • Like 1
  12. On 4/19/2023 at 12:22 PM, De_jesus said:

    Discovered an interesting FF monk + Liberating Exhortation quirk:

    1. If you cast Liberating Exhortation on your FF monk, you suspend hostile effects (FF is a hostile effect)
    2. If you strike an enemy with FF, they receive the Enfeebled debuff (fortitude check)
    3. HOWEVER, because FF is suspended, you do not get the damage buff in the damage calculation (regardless of the number of stacks) and you do not take Raw damage for the length of LE
    4. You do however continue stacking Forbidden Fist (I got up to x8 so far with a 44 sec length)

    What I need to discover is if I can take advantage of this somehow:
    - Option 1: Suspend, stack FF with no damage, wait for LE to end, then attack with a huge buff to damage (Kamikaze style)  but risk dying horribly
    - Option 2: Turn FF into an Enfeebled Debuff build and use it as form of CC (dash around with enhancements to stride, slap enemies with it, then have someone else drop a big CC, e.g. Blind, Paralyze, Terrify)

    Note: I feel like I typed this up last night. I'm having a weird Deja Vu about this post

    I think most enemies have too much health for the kamikaze strategy to be much value. You also lose a lot of damage along the way, the final big punch is likely not worth it. 

    I mean forbidden curse damage is an additive bonus right, so first punch does +50%, second +100%, third +150%, and so on, so your nth punch does +50*n %

    I.e. if you were to just punch someone 8 times without stacking the curse, you do regular damage plus 50*8 = 400% bonus damage, but spread out in 50% increments, and if you negate the curse seven times and then hit him on the eighth, you do regular damage for the first seven and then 400% bonus damage on the last punch.

    I wish barbarian still worked like in POE1, ravager would be pretty badass enfeebling on carnage. 

    Anyway you're probably better off just arranging your equipment and stats so your attack speed is the same or slightly longer than the curse duration. It's the same amount of damage but more predictable.

  13. On 4/19/2023 at 4:25 AM, Caeyrii said:

    Been having a really fun time (especially when not fiddling with the AI) returning to the game. So much fun-having times, in fact, that I have forgotten about why exactly am I in the Deadfire Isles in the first place! It has been this long since I've done a main quest (going to Hasongo):


    It crept up to my brain recently to sort of start back again and first get to a narrative point that makes sense to ignore chasing Eothas. Compared to PoE1's dead babies and slow ascent to madness, the plot of 2 seem a bit more dire. 

    I would think that going to Ashen Maw is a good enough point, but that locks quite a bit of content if I'm reading the wiki right. Would there be a better point to do things piratical?

    To give an example, in FNV when you give back the chip to House, you can just say no to everyone and just be free. The dam isn't your problem until it is your problem. 

    First time I played Deadfire I had like a year of playtime, everyone was L20, we had most of the gear, and I hadn't been to hasongo. Quit the game a few years, started playing again recently and actually finished.

    Playing with Eothas Challenge kind of makes more sense narratively, because it's not like Eothas is going to wait for you to complete his goals... That gives you like 86 days or something like that, which is pretty tough if you do much exploring. 

    Narratively it never really makes sense to ignore him...I mean he sort of implies he'll wait for you in ashen maw "he waits in fire" but he isn't really waiting for YOU, he's just sucking up souls from adra and you happen to show up. I think.

  14. I probably don't count as a veteran, though I've logged a lot of hours in the past year.

    dgray62 answered your questions well, I'd take mostly same berath blessings, I'd prioritize Bonus Attributes -> Mythical Discovery -> Bonus Skills -> Unique Item Vendor -> Infamous Past -> Discount Craftsman -> Loaded Pockets -> 5k -> 50k -> whatever

    Possibly I could elaborate on ranged builds if you're more specific what you're looking for, like pure DPS, mixed range / caster, etc., also are you playing with a full party? Because Maia has a ridiculously good ranged subclass in gunhawk.

    I also use the balance polishing mod most of the time. The single class ranger is quite good in the mod, significantly better than in vanilla. I would seriously consider playing that as well, but arcane archer / ascendant sounds fun

    Noqn has made a lot of nice minor mods like "no forced rests" "carnage indicator" "binary opposed dispositions" 

    I sometimes use deadly deadfire mod but that's kind of masochistic even for me

  15. 5 hours ago, dgray62 said:

    Would you kindly share how you do this? I am a novice when it comes to AI scripting.

    These are just two simple potion blocks from my blood mage / helwalker script. 

    You can use a conditional like "heatlh: self - health below 50%" if you want, which makes sense for healing potions, but for other potions I usually just use "always true" which is the default and it's always processed when the script reaches the block. I just put one potion of the type to be consumed in the quick slot so the script doesn't consume a whole stack of potions of final stand.

    If you don't have wall of draining or salvation of time and want to keep up a potion buff you could put a stack and then in the cooldown put the duration (it's alchemy dependent, usually like 60 to 120). Or if it's a healing potion just something like health: self - health below 25%, action potion of miraculous healing, cooldown 0.

    So the first screenshot just has me casting wall of draining with cooldown 23, then I cast spirit shield or arcane veil if I don't have concentration to ensure the potion of final stand isn't wasted, then I drink the potion.

    The second screenshot is less important potions or other consumables I may sometimes use, if I intend to use it during a combat I just place one in the quick slots. This block is much lower in the script because in between I have some more complicated blocks that proc brilliant, blade cascade, then various wizard buffs and clarity of agony. There's also a 3 second delay between drinking potions in case I have more than one which makes it less likely I'm interrupted, because the script will drink one potion, then go on to the other blocks, then come back after 3 seconds to the second potion on the list, etc. Just put what you want in the quick slots and script it under action -> consumables

    If you want the full script you can download it here (I hope I'm allowed to link to files), it's sort of complex and specific for blood mage / monk but I label everything so it isn't completely inscrutable, it may be instructive, just move it to C:\Users\<username>\Saved Games\Pillars of Eternity II\CustomAIBehaviors

    -----edit- some of the blocks may seem bizarre, like block 7, which I have turned off but can be used to clear hostile afflictions by rapidly swapping weapons with outworn buckler (and scordeo's edge) in slot 1. Also in some of the targeting blocks at the bottom I have it set not to target spirits, this is so I can proc the fire blight and use it proc brilliant while wall of draining it without killing it

    Also scripts are processed top down, so emergency actions like healing potions / spells (or potions of final stand) should go near the top, in the middle I have buffs I try to sustain, then I have longer casts (summoned weapons, llengrath's safeguard), then finally attack abilities (stunning surge, skyward kick) and a standard attack block at the very bottom.-----




    • Like 1
  16. 11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

    Heh - this is a case for inspector @thelee. 😄
    Looks linear enough to me, especially in the range of around 10 to 25 - which is the range we should be talking about when it's about deciding how to distribute attribute points at character creation. Besides that - I also often don't raise DEX too high. But not because of limited returns but because I value the effects of some other attributes higher for most characters (not all though - my Skalds for example often come with maximized attack speed). 

    By the way here is a an attack speed calculator (done by @MaxQuest) which makes it rel. easy to experiment with the attack speed variables, incl. DEX:

    Well it isn't linear. If it were linear you could draw a best fit line and it would match the points. The attack speed does become more approximately linear the higher the the dex values.

    11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

    Well - I did not. Berserker can lead to that no doubt, but I described the techniques with which I prevented this. 

    We are probably looking at different use cases. Like I said, if you are diverting sufficient healing resources I'm sure it's workable. 

    11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

    As was shown the main point is automatic wound generation when it comes to Berserker/Monk. And that - together with the spared ability point for Thunderous Blows, +2 AR and crit conversion is def. worth the downsides in my book. Esp. because you can simply circumvent the Confusion part which would be the biggest downside (if you don't want to turn it into a cheesy upside).

    I can see the synergy with the wound generation but it really isn't hard to generate wounds rapidly with a lot of builds. One spared ability point is nothing. And hardy is kind of worthless granted the defiance tree gives you Robust, and other characters can give you robust if they're diverting healing anyway, right? The main benefit for the berserker is tenacious and hit to crit. The tenacious part is largely irrelevant with the morning star except in vary rare cases because penetration is already good enough, and at the same time +2 isn't enough of a bump to start overpenetrating. The hit to crit is nice though, since a berserker/monk won't have great accuracy. 

    11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

     I don't think it's hard. I only think it's not the way most players tend to play the game. Hence I don't use no rest as a base for how to judge if a build might be enjoyable for other players (who didn't indicate that they are about to do a no-rest run - in that case I wouldn't recommend anything because I don't enjoy no-rest runs). 

    Fair enough, but if people ask for advice on builds I'm going to suggest no-rest because it is superior, and I figure if they're asking for powergaming builds they want what is most effective. 

    11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

     I wasn't talking about any mods - and I also said I didn't even need Savage Defiance. Clearly your build was a lot different from the one I described.

    If I can't get berserkers to work as well as generic barbs with a mod that doubles their healing, I probably can't do it in vanilla. Hence why I mentioned the mod. I wasn't running in a party with other characters diverting a stream of healing, but otherwise the build was similar.

    11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

    Yes - but as I described I didn't devote lots of healing resources to the Berserker/Monk. It was an amount of healing any regular party would be happy with and not excessive. That would be the case if I talked about a Berserker/Helwalker with dumped CON - did that, also was fun but was def. dying a whole lot without meticulous babysitting. 

    I don't even know what I'm arguing about at this point... just saying diverted resources as diverted resources. Berserker/monk may crit more but it requires your priests/druids/etc. to be doing less damage, debuffs, CC etc. compared to a regular ravager. All I'm saying is berserkers have serious downsides that are rarely (maybe never) worth the tradeoff, in my opinion, and if you're giving advice from the perspective of "the way most players tend to play the game" then I'd favor simpler builds that overall are as good or better and don't have hidden health and massively damage themselves. You can deal with it because you know the game inside and out, but I think most people are going to be happier staying away from berserkers, not worrying about their character dying all the time for some offensive gains.

    11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

    They are both considered active buffs and thus don't stack.
    No, Turning Wheel does not stack with INT inspirations.
    MIG from Helwalker does stack with MIG inspirations because that special MIG bonus comes from a passive.

    Not in my game. Clearly stacking here. And before you ask yes this is vanilla.

    (EDIT: I figured this out, buffs acquired from items stack, buffs acquired from abilities do not, so mind over matter stacks with turning wheel, death and taxes stacks with iron wheel, infuse vital essence stacks neither)

    11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

    One is always doing adjustments and resource diversion to make a build idea work. You will put lots on RES into a FF Monk, you will give high ACC to a Skald, you will put a melee weapon and high dmg bonuses on a Soulblade, you will give special healing care to the Bloodmage, you'll make sure your Psion doesn't get attacked so much and so on and so forth. It is nothing special to make certain adjustments in order to create an enjoyable (main) character.
    Besides that you ignored the main reason to bring it up: it was originally done to maximize the combination of Saru Sichr and Swift Flurry/HBD and I brought it up as an alternative for a single class Monk which was mentioned as a potential wielder for Saru Sichr.

    You don't have to divert resources from *other* characters to a barbarian/monk, unless it's a berserker. Ravagers are pretty solid solo builds actually.

    Maximizing Saru Sichr's crit chains is a really specific thing to build a character for, but if that's fun for you and works that's cool I guess. I just wanted to point out the downsides to OP. 

    Wouldn't a wanderer or transcendent also have really good crit chains? Or heck even a normal monk using fists...

    11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

    I think there is no easier way to generate that amount of wounds right from the start - there are more safe ways of course, but not easier. You just press Frenzy (which you would want to activate as a Barb anyway) and the wounds start acumulating very quickly. That's as easy as it gets imo. 

    Blood mage / helwalker just clicks blood sacrifice and gets 5 wounds plus spells. The build I'm currently running has functionally limitless wounds, can spam skyward kick with citzal's spirit lance, which is pretty awesome. Berserker is a good way to get wounds I acknowledge that, but I've made many monk builds and wound generation is rarely an issue for using whatever abilities I want to use. I don't mind scripting things, so admittedly it is harder in cases, but for berserker the downsides create a difficulty spike that I think outweighs easier wound generation in looking at the overall difficulty of running the build.

    11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

    I have no problem with that. :) 

    Yay :)


  17. On 4/18/2023 at 11:20 AM, thelee said:

    edit 2: also want to underline that this concern is probably mostly for solo, since if you have reasonable uptime and reasonable party DPS, even with dorudugan healing some tiny % of health every time the CON effect wears off, it'll get overwhelmed by what is a 12.8% multiplicative party damage bonus against it by virtue of good uptime on the con affliction.

    How do you calculate a 12.8% multiplicative damage boost? Maybe I don't understand CON afflictions but doesn't weakened just lower his max health (temporarily), lower fortitude by 10 and half his self-healing? I don't get why attacks would do more damage. I mean I guess attacks that target fortitude will hit more, and he won't heal as much, but since 12.8% is very specific I'm assuming you had something else in mind. 

  18. 26 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

    DEX has linear returns by the way, not limited. :) 

    Linear? This didn't seem right to me, so I did the appropriate hyper nerdy thing and graphed attack times (attack + recovery) vs dexterity values from 2 to 35, wearing robes and using a sabre. Not linear, it's some kind of polynomial fit. Clearly there are diminishing returns the more you invest in dexterity unless I am really bad at plotting graphs...
    2 6.2 3 6 4 5.8 5 5.5 6 5.3 7 5.2 8 5.1 9 4.8 10 4.7 11 4.6 12 4.5 13 4.3 14 4.2 15 4.1 16 4.0 17 3.9 18 3.8 19 3.7 20 3.6 21 3.5 22 3.4 23 3.4 24 3.3 25 3.3 26 3.2 27 3.1 28 3.1 29 2.9 30 2.9 31 2.9 32 2.9 33 2.8 34 2.7 35 2.7



    26 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

    Comparing Tenacious from Berserker with the effects of Slayer's Claw is pretty... wild. The Berserker's Tenacious via Frenzy comes at lvl 1 - while Slayers Claw is late game material. Then Slayer's Claw will upgrade your Tenacious inspiration to Energized like it would upgrade Strong to Tenacious, so it isn't really a substitute but an addition even for Berserkers (if one wishes).

    That's true, I tend to build based around how things can handle megabosses and DLC material (particularly FS which is harder than the other two IMO). If I were playing this character I would avoid difficult combat until I had the appropriate gear. I realize most people don't look at it this way. Still, given how easy it is to reach high(ish) levels with little to no combat I don't place a lot of value in getting tenacious at L1, especially since you don't have any healing at this point. I tried many builds trying to make berserker work and I couldn't find any where a vanilla barbarian wasn't superior. And if the raw damage is bad the health concealment is really bad.

    26 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

    Imo the best argument against Berserker/Monk would have been that Monks can get Tenacious via Thunderous Blows - which will come way earlier that Slayer's Claw normally. Of course I skip Thunderous Blow's when using a Berserker, spares an ability point...

    I meant in general, but yes there is absolutely no point in going berserker/monk given it is easy to keep up thunderous blows, and the remaining benefits (hardy plus some hit to crit) are definitely not worth the downsides. 

    26 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

    My Berserker was meant as an example for a Saru-Sichr/Swift Flurry option instead of SC Monk, not a general recommendation for Berserker. Berserker's self dmg combined with concealed health is indeed a dangerous combo most of times.

    I wasn't criticizing any specific build just pointing out berserkers in general have very steep downsides for their benefits. Also confusion limits uptime of buffs, debuffs etc., though it does have some niche uses that are interesting. 

    26 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

    Anyway, here the strong synergy of Berserker/Helwalker (or any monk besides Forbidden Fist and Shatters Pillar) comes from the fact that Berserker's self damage fuels wound generation... a lot. Forbidden Fist could also work bc. the confusion from Frenzy is separate from the beneficial effects and gets shortened by RES and Clarity of Agony, so you only become confused for a short time and then get healing + wound. This also works... but back to the Helwalker variant.

    I've tried to make berserker / FF work and the healing is insufficient to tank things that a barbarian / FF can handle easily, and transcendent suffering and especially FF attack have plenty of penetration without tenacious, can also be increased with potions of ascension and other methods if necessary. 

    26 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

    So as I said the self damage of Berserker fuels the wounds of the Helwalker. It already works well at low levels, but since the self damage scales so steeply while the wound threshold doesn't change, you will figuratively drown in wounds at some point. 

    I prefer blood mage / helwalker for a living on the edge monk ability spamming build. And you may drown in wounds with berserker / helwalker but you will also drown in your own blood :)

    Unless you have a priest casting BDD and SOT on you, then it would be okay I guess though I still don't see the benefit over a generic barbarian, particularly since morningstars already have really good penetration and do crush/pierce, with basically nothing having high AR vs both (Hauani O Whe has 16 on upscaled POTD, a rare exception). 

    26 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

    Now high accuracy is better than crit conversion most of times, but with a build I described that is about Saru Sichr and Swift Flurry/HBD the added conversion also helps. You want to create as many crit chains as you can after all. If one doesn't play juiced up with potions and special food and multiple resting bonuses in a "no rest" run but rather normally and with a party, it's not that easy to crit all the tough enemies all the time. Then a good base of conversion is not lost. Berserker's conversion does not additively stack with Bloody Slaughter, Willbreaker and Barbaric Blow - but it will stack. So in cases where a crit chain could end prematurely because you rolled low it still has a chance to go on bc. the roll gets converted up. It will not make a ton of difference but I take it. 

    Eh...the "special food" is available in Neketaka for under 1k, you can also craft it pretty easily, but even without the berath's blessing money it is affordable. You also start most of the time with 3 uses of hylea's bounty, so one can easily give half your party hylea's bounty and the rest buy hot razor skewers or captains banquet. Really isn't hard to do no rest runs, just takes a bit of knowledge, but once I learned where the boons were I never went back. The only aspect where this is harder with a party is you would probably want to circle back to Maje for dawnstar's blessing. All the companions are in neketaka and you don't get any boons before your opportunity to recruit them, besides potentially dawnstars. I used to rest a lot because that's how I always approached these kind of games, but since in Deadfire nearly all resources are per encounter and you can find/craft dozens of luminous adra potions there is really no purpose to resting aside from clearing drug crashes (but more drugs will also do that). 

    I know the berserker hit to crit conversion has some value in low accuracy builds, and it's probably the best reason to take one, but the cost is too steep. If the raw damage didn't scale with might and power level, or you could at least see your health, I'd bite on berserkers in some cases, but that combo (plus confusion which shortens stalwart defiance uptime) is pretty serious. 

    26 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

    Of course the combination of Berserker and Helwalker, even with maxed CON and damage reduction, is a dance on the edge, but that's also part of the fun for me. Of course more MIG via high wound count and up to +50% received dmg will raise the self damage of Frenzy even more - and that can hurt a lot while it also leads to a violent eruption of wounds. To mitigate frustration I described the variant of maxed CON and using some sources of damage reduction (helm, ring, maybe food) which works very well. If one adds some form of healing on the fly (like a pet with +20 healing per kill, maybe supported by an Edér pet that adds +10 per kill party-wide and then Devil of Caroc Breastplate for example, best armor for Berserkers in most cases anyway). Lastly taking Blooded makes sure you have an easy indicator for when your health drops below 50% - and you get +25% dmg (again good for wounds and bad for your health). I like to take humans for such a build because there are added bonuses when going blooded. To get a further indicator you can also use an item that triggers if you are near death. I didn't need it but they are there in case one needs more info about the health status.

    The blooded thing doesn't really work for me because I have so many indicators on my characters you literally can't see new statuses unless you pause and check the character sheet. I like fighting bloody with barbarians anyway, and agree humans are very good. Fire godlike would also be a decent choice for berserkers since they get hardy.

    I've tried scripting various indicators for health and the scripting isn't really versatile enough to work that way. One thing I came up with is to toggle modals on/off at various points, but they only toggle on so that doesn't work. With a ravager specifically one way to script it would be take both turning wheel and iron wheel, then use turning wheel above 50% health, switch to iron wheel below, and you could tell by the modal (very roughly) where your health is at. Your character usually says something about healing when they reach near death, so yeah that could work I guess. 

    As far as the healing I did everything you said and more, can't even get them survivable in BPM where savage defiance line heals for twice as much. Ravagers and brutes were the most promising berserker builds I made but still felt inferior to their normal barbarian cousins. Brutes in particular might work in vanilla since unbending is so broken. I wonder, does the self damage count towards unbending? I'm thinking it doesn't, blood sacrifice doesn't, but if so that would be nice. But anyway, if you had high intelligence, wear devil of caroc BP with mechanical mind to negate confusion, you'd have reasonable uptime on unbeding and could probably keep up that and stalwart defiance enough to not die. Still all those resources just for tenacious/hardy and what, like 30% hit to crit? Brute can go devoted anyway and get bonus penetration.

    26 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

    Since Barbs have such high base health and Barb/Monks are not far behind the maxing of CON adds a ton of absolute health. While I tend to drop CON in most builds in this case its a staple. A huge health pool means a huge wound resource in this case. And with the right approach (as I said I also added Amulet of Greater Health and the ability Tough to the mix) you'll have more health while Bloodied than Edér has when unharmed. ;)

    Yeah I have savage and brute builds where I have like 400 health bloodied, it's pretty nice. Amulet of Greater Health becomes kind of negligible after a while IMO though. Good early game. Later I'd rather have strand of favor or charm of bones. 

    26 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

    Now, it's still absolutely beneficial (I'd say mandatory) to have a good source of additional healing in the party. In my run Tekehu, who just cast Nature's Balm at the start of battle, was enough to substitute the Berserker/Helwalker with his additional self-healing properties via pet and stuff in most fights. Sometimes he had to get out the Moon well, too. Xoti dropped some additional healing as well. But I didn't even have to take Savage/Stalwart Defiance with the Berserker/Helwalker, which spared me some precious ability points again. Especially at the higher Power Levels there's just too much good stuff to pick.

    Sure if you devote lots of healing resources you can counter the self-damage. 

    26 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

    I didn't use Iron Wheel by the way - because neither the CON- nor the AR-bonus of it stacks with Frenzy's +5 CON and +2 AR. Turning Wheel doesn't have that problem. Since wounds are so plenty the wound counter is a 10 a lot of times. So you can get away with mediocre base INT - something that I normally don't do - but so is maxing CON. ;)

    Seems like Iron wheel and frenzy should stack. Turning wheel stacks with INT inspirations so I don't get this, though I've seen it and yeah it's annoying. 

    26 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

    Another upside of such a Berserker/Helwalker is the comically high fortitude defense. The MIG bonuses of Frenzy and Helwalker passive do stack and maxed CON + Frenzy and some items add on top. Fortitude is a nice defense to have. It works against most effects that mess with your health pool, like weaken. You don't want to get your healing restricted when relying so much on it and stellar fortitude is a nice way of not getting struck with such afflictions in the first place.

    Can still be a thrilling experience of course - but I liked that for a main character. I have played many Berserker variants in the past though (also Berserker/Helwalker before) and this was one of the most easy-going ones when it comes to dying from self damage.

    Still this isn't supposed to be a glowing recommendation. I found it enjoyable but it maybe isn't for everyone.

    Haha yeah seems like the argument is with enough adjustments and resource diversion you can make berserker/helwalker playable, when a barbarian / FF would probably outdamage the berserker/helwalker and still generate lots of wounds without requiring all the resource diversion. Also agree high fortitude is nice, but tenacious doesn't give you any more than fit. 

    I mean I can see the synergy with the wound generation, there are just easier ways to get wounds, and other suicidal classes like blood mage / helwalker can at least extend potions of final stand to not die while using blood sacrifice for both infinite wounds and spells. 

    Man this is way longer than I intended. My intent was not to draw you into a debate, and I know you are incredibly knowledgeable regarding Deadfire, but I just can't seem to help but respond to these things point by point

  19. 4 hours ago, dgray62 said:

    I don't use potions either, since the potion drinking animation is so slow, and is cancelled by the AI, requiring you to turn it off in order to use them. But if you're into this, you can get as many as you wish so long as you're into grinding.

    You can script drinking potions, it is pretty easy. What's interesting is the scripting AI will actually OVERRIDE the "near death" requirement of potions of final stand, so with a blood mage you can just script to cast your buffs, cast wall of draining every 30s prioritize on "greatest number of enemies" and the AI can make you immortal from the get-go.

    I actually made a script to deify blood mages and keep them deified. Can share it if interested, but the main thing is script drinking the potion, the automated casting of wall of draining and then blood sacrificing enough to get it back (has 50% chance in vanilla game to get tier 7 spell back, so after drinking potion of final stand just spam it to get spells back, can script this too).

    Tried to script proccing blade cascade with scordeo's edge but that part is a bit messy because the game can't actually tell when you proc the effect, so I made blocks that just attacked things if i'm carrying exactly a weapon and no shield, then my other weapon slots have a different weapon configuration, and I switch weapons once it procs. 

    • Like 1
  20. 10 hours ago, foxinspace said:

    Thanks, I have been considering a soulblade, perhaps it would be better for a stronger focus on melee. Would you recommend a no subclass barb? I really like the furyshaper totems, specifically the 'Fear' one - really fits the witch theme IMO. Also - why the low DEX?

    I've never played a furyshaper, but it does sound interesting. Also you don't have to go soul blade, but barbarians are melee focused anyway so it's a good match. If you want a more mixed style barbarian / ascendent would be a good choice.

    Low dex is not because we want low dex but because action speed has limited returns and for a barbarian there are so many ways to stack action speed you can get away with low dex. With berath's blessing, amira's boon, various items, your actual dex will be around 10 or 11 and with frenzy always active that's +25% action speed (equal to about 8 dex), bloodlust is frequently up (+20%, equal to about 7 dex), and when you get blood thirst that actually procs for two attacks in the vanilla game negating dex entirely for two attacks after killing something. Also I usually don't wear much armor with a barbarian, at most like devil of caroc BP with abraham so he still is pretty fast. Or even better high harbinger robes if you fight bloody will give you +10% or more action speed.

    You can certainly put points into dex but I don't think you gain a lot maxing it compared to say around 9 or 10. It's just a matter of priorities.

    I'd definitely max INT for carnage (blood frenzy and spirit frenzy effects are pretty good), longer duration of your self-buffs like frenzy + stalwart defiance + various cipher spells (including duration of body blows from morningstar)

    PER you want max so you cipher spells crit and so you will hit things early game and later crit things, which gives you +40% damage with improved critical, +70% if you overpen, and when the spells crit the effects last longer and don't have to be cast as often. 

    CON I usually have pretty high so I can take some hits dumping RES, but barbarians have high base CON and if you use hylea's bounty you could probably keep this pretty low if you want. 

    MIG you can really go however you want, if you fight bloody you get +25% damage from that, and one stands alone is +20% damage, you get +5 from frenzy for combined effect of roughly +65% damage, also bloody slaughter adds some damage, so you can get away with low might, or you can go all out with high MIG but MIG has diminishing returns, particularly late game when you have a mythic weapon and you're critting things, your damage will typically look like: + X from MIG, + 40% crit, +30% overpen, +15% two handed,+25% blooded, +20% one stands alone, +75% mythic, +5% infamous captain (if you use or get that), +Y% other item/armor buffs, so even with MIG at 35 the damage contribution for X is +75%, which is significant at this point probably only 1/3 of your overall damage, so you don't lose out that much if your ending MIG is 20 and X is +30%, and you can even dump it and still do okay damage. 

    RES you probably want to either max or dump, because to deflection tank you need really high resolve plus borrowed instinct up, I prefer dumping it with barb because frenzy makes high deflection harder and you tend to get hit anyway, if you have a party you don't really need your barb to face tank it's more of a striker role / off-tank

    So that leaves DEX, put whatever's left into it. One stat spread I used recently for a barb/ranger is 7/18/11/18/18/3, but this build focuses on interrupting things so high MIG was not a priority, there are lots of valid stat spreads for a witch, just definitely max INT and PER, the rest is mutable based on equipment and playstyle. 

    You do not need WOTEP, it does distribute soul annihilation (usually just to 2 or 3 enemies) but the base damage is meh and you won't crit as much with it. I never use it and it takes 3 to 4 hits to max focus at L20, plus soul annihilation is mostly for burst damage vs hard to kill enemies, your base barbarian /cipher abilities are fine for crowds. 

    I wouldn't mess with berserkers. Tenacious is easy to get with slayer's claw. Just stick it on your barb and switch weapons when you frenzy, then switch back, you can go up to energized with the game paused. Berserker / wizard is flat out going to die from the self-damage unless you have characters constantly healing it, and not being able to see your health is really bad with blood sacrifice (and in general). The gains are just not worth it. The hit to crit is nice for low accuracy builds but witches have very good accuracy, you can gain like +40 accuracy vs deflection from phantom foes, borrowed instinct and psychovampiric shield so you will crit most of the time anyway especially with the right items (cap of the laughingstock gives +10 vs deflection, blinky is +5 melee, gauntlets of accuracy +3), and with brute force and borrowed instinct + body blows + secret horrors + staggered you can debuff vs fortitude for effectively +65 accuracy (though cap of the laughingstock won't help v fort). Really you will crit even bosses most of the time if you spec for accuracy. Stacking accuracy is much more reliable than stacking hit to crit because accuracy stacks additively and hit to crit does not. 

    Oh and for the "hardy" part, you can put bardatto's luxury with death and taxes enchant in one of your weapon slots, just switch to this occasionally when a party summon is about to die (a chanter with many lives pass by will proc it quickly and reliably), once it procs you get hardy for like 90s, it isn't hard to keep up if you like micro, though personally I don't rely on high armor that much with a witch so I might not bother

    Make sure you get the nature's resolve boon. This gives +10 accuracy and +2 resolve. There's an encounter on tikawara island where the delemgan gives it to you if you're nice to her and don't have a cruel or aggressive disposition. The boon goes away on rest, like all boons, which is a good reason not to rest, ever, once you get the foods and characters you want. Dawnstar's blessing is also super useful with +50% healing, these two boons are the best but there are many more. Since dawnstar's is available so early you may want to skip it until you have the party you want and the foods you want, then come back to maje for it after resting. 

    No rest guide if interested. The only truly forced rest in the game is at the very end so it is pretty easy to avoid resting. If you get injured just drink luminous adra potions. Probably want to stay away from drugs.


    Boeroer makes good points about monks, ravagers are quite good. Definitely would not use mahora tanga though. It it a cheesy bug but more than that if you use it to proc crit effects it will likely crash your machine, maybe not always, but enough to be a pain, even if you have a pretty modern computer. 

    4 hours ago, dgray62 said:

    If you go with fighter/wizard you might consider tactician. A fun thing with tactician is you can get fighter resources back when you interrupt someone (with knockdown for example) casting a spell or activating an ability. Plus it's easy to proc brilliant with chillfog. Tactician is great if you like micro.

    This is true, the description says "restore discipline when successfully interrupting an enemy action", but to be clear the effect does not proc on most interrupts, it only procs when you interrupt spells and certain types of abilities. But it is very easy to interrupt with this build, cast slicken now and then and mule kick things (interrupts on graze) and you can have a constant supply of discipline, then as long as you keep unbending up you can blood sacrifice a ton on the wizard side, even without potions of final stand.

    Blood mage / tactician is an insanely good build, but I wouldn't use willbreaker with it. I like it for a lot of reasons but mostly because I can mule kick crowds with citzal's spirit lance and often it's free if at least one person in the crowd was casting something. If running with a party I'd seriously consider stealing party-friendly chill fog spell from a watershaper druid like Biakara, then you can just cast it on top of yourself. To do this you use minor grimoire imprint (from a grimoire like aloth's grimoire, do NOT memorize it), then when you get the spell swap to another grimoire and it's permanent. She also has nature's mark.

    I also like to steal escape from beina so I can use it to zip around the battlefield. Actually when I play multiclassed blood mages I like stealing just about everything I can. If I'm doing pure blood mage I don't use major grimoire imprint this way because it is considerably more overpowered when you're stealing things like shadowing beyond, barring death's door, and salvation of time. It is also more tedious stealing spells with major grimoire imprint since it targets seven spell tiers vs minor imprint targeting just 3. 


    • Like 1
  21. 2 hours ago, foxinspace said:

    Thanks! So far I've been thinking about either devoted / blood mage (with a heavy focus on illusion and various corrosive spells that target fortitude) or furyshaper/beguiler (great accuracy buffs from cipher, lots of cc, disintegrate & Spirit Tornado) and I can't really decide between the two. Haven't thought about combining beguiler and BM though. I would like to focus equally on willbreaker melee and casting, but with cipher and BM combo perhaps it would be easier to give the morningstar debuffing function to a different character and focus on casts?

    Witch is really really good with morningstars

    @Boeroer has talked about this build before, maybe he can elaborate.

    I can give you the gist, cast borrowed instinct, secret horrors, and use brute force with morning star modal plus spirit frenzy which applies staggered on hit, together you debuff fortitude by like 45 points. The "will" debuff in willbreaker is also good because most of these cipher spells target will. At this point you crit a lot, also could cast some disintegrations and such. 

    I like barbarian / soul blade for witch personally, not exactly sure the ideal stat spread but have used in the past max INT max PER low dex medium might high con low res. I feel like with frenzy barbarians have such bad deflection they're just going to get hit anyway so I usually dump resolve, but I guess you could also max it (lower con and might some) and with borrowed instinct defenses it wouldn't be that bad. You have pretty good healing once you get savage defiance and especialy stalwart defiance, which at 2 rage can be used multiple times per fight. 

    On barb side I mostly pick +damage and +action speed passives like blooded, bloodlust, one stands alone, bloody slaughter, blood thirst, and defensive stuff like unflinching and thick skinned. Only actives I usually take are frenzy tree (stop at spirit frenzy, spirit tornado is bugged with stagger procs) and defiance tree, though the shouts are okay. 

    On cipher side, spells mentioned already but also hammering thoughts, iron will, lingering echoes, draining whip, phantom foes, psychovampiric shield, mental binding, and one charm spell (i usually upgrade as i go along). Only direct damage spells you really need IMO are disintegration, maybe soul ignition, at least if you're a soul blade, because it's generally higher DPS to use soul annihilation

    Oh and morningstars have good penetration already, with hammering thoughts and phantom foes that gives you +2 pen so you're effectively at 15 pen legendary, 16 mythic and it does crush/pierce. There's almost nothing in the game that resists crush and pierce at 16+, and even if it did you can use slayer's claw to upgrade frenzy's strong to energized to get 18 pen at mythic, and that will get through everything. You'll also crit a lot which adds 50% pen, so even on upscaled POTD you don't really need devoted. Compared to a witch it's the same pen bonus anyway (at least when phantom foes is applied), so devoted gains a crit bonus but has a bit less accuracy, much less CC, less fortitude debuffs. Devoted is sturdier though, with unbending, and disciplined strikes is a pretty good source for crits. If I were going solo a witch might be tough until you get the defiance tree but in a party the healing is plenty. 

    I don't know much about warlock builds, I guess you would cast spells to debuff fortitude, otherwise I'm not seeing a lot of synergy there. 

    • Like 1
  22. 6 hours ago, Boeroer said:

    The easiest (and I guess mostly overlooked) solution is the pair of Healing Hands gloves. My Aloth almost always uses then at higher levels with WoD.

    Also Blightheart's Heartbeat can be a nice healing source to prolong with WoD because it doesn't rely on crits. It's a nice weapon for a Wizard to have anyway (bc. 10% corrosive lash for spells). 

    Hey I did forget about these, since they're once per encounter, but with WOD that may as well be permanent. And 12 health per 3s is a lot. That's about as much as the all the things I mentioned combined :)

    Literally never used Blightheart, kinda forgot it existed. If you did like 60 damage per shot I guess it would be equivalent to Healing Gloves. Soulbound weapons capping at superb is kind of a bummer, especially on POTD upscaled where 12 penetration isn't going to cut it. But would be useful just for the healing proc then summon a real weapon like concelhaut's parasitic quarterstaff.

  23. 4 hours ago, dgray62 said:

    A SC monk is fantastic against mobs due to WotW. However, as @masterty66 notes, monk/priest is also a great combo. It is particularly good against megabosses and other tough fights in the DLCs, and can handle mobs too although not as quickly as the SC monk. This is because a monk/priest is immortal (by prolonging Barring Death's Door with Salvation of Time) so long as you have a source of brilliant, which is also prolonged by SoT.

    Helwalker/priest is a good one.

    Helwalker / blood mage is also immortal and doesn't need brilliant, though admittedly laying walls of draining is slightly trickier than casting salvation of time over and over, and this doesn't come online until l19. Also not an unlimited number of potions of final stand, but even without any blood mage can do find in most battles just extending arcane veil, llengrath's safeguard, llengrath's displaced image, etc., and can always run away with arkemyr's brilliant departure to regen health. Helps to have some kind of passive healing like from devil of caroc BP which can be extended with WOD when you don't have the final stand potions. Also sanguine great sword. And unstable soul essence. And darkest before dawn.

    This combination also benefits from citzal's spirit lance being awesome with stunning surge. I suspect skyward kicks are also distributed by the lance but I haven't tried it. Mule kicks are, and they are mechanically similar, so maybe.


    LOL I already mentioned this build. My memory...sigh.

    • Like 1
  24. 1 minute ago, Elric Galad said:

    I'm more or less aware of this. There are indeed strange rules that apply to current health while max health is changed (mostly through CON buff).

    There was even a thread about it (started by @thelee if I remember well), but I wasn't able to find and necro it. The topic was more about CON Inspiration though.

    In general it isn't gamechanging, but in case of Megabosses, well, it is. And yeah, it's hardcoded.

    Gotta love this BPM SC Ranger permanent CON Debuff I guess. 

    Just that megaboss, I think. Most don't heal that much, or even if they do they don't have 50 resolve so maintaining enfeebled or weakened is far easier. When it only sticks for 4 or 5 seconds you have to hit nearly every time or he will "heal" too fast when you miss the roll v fortitude. 

    Honestly for FF builds Dorudugan would be easier if he were outright immune to constitution effects. The helfire barrages are easy enough to avoid, and effigy's husk can reduce the rest of his legit healing, but as for these mysterious current health to max health overcorrections, I've fought him with FFs before where he "healed" for like 80,000 damage...

    Yeah BPM ranger is pretty good in this fight. Though the main thing is the buffs to pet healing, shadowed hunters, and potions of enlightenment, in vanilla you run out of resources and get murdered at some point, usually shortly after your pet gets murdered or you run out of ghost heart summons. Heart Seeker debuff is just gravy. 

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