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Not So Clever Hound

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  1. Interesting. I just tested this and Assassinate works perfectly well with Killing Bolt, as the Blightheart lash and any other DMG goodie I have. By the way, to your earlier point about Minoletta's PPB: it can reach a PEN of 33 on crit with Assassinate, potentially more. Guaranteed overpen on all enemies with up to 16 pierce AR, which means more DMG and more lash from Blightheart. EDIT: Actually with Crusted Swordfish you can reach 36 PEN with Minoletta PPB! I just got the overpen bonus on Ikorno who was at Pierce AR = 18. Cool!
  2. First, my apologies @Boeroer as this goes somewhat off-topic with your thread, we can totally take the discussion somewhere else . @HaplokI totally agree with you, the one minor annoyance that I was trying to solve is that as a solo assassin/bloodmage when you re-stealth several times in a fight and decide to stay where the action is, ranged enemies can sometimes get very reactive and ruin your day the very second you break stealth. Killing one squishy ranged enemy to immediately spam a Spectre that will aggro everybody around him could be a nice way to do several jobs at once: disrupt the enemy and diminish the threat while you continue your stealth/AOE nuking routine and stay close to the action all the time. I'm just trying to find a way to make Killing Bolt interesting since it fits very well with the Assassin/Bloodmage theme but is otherwise not that useful. With that in mind, I think that the Blightheart lash would be best way to maximize the Killing Bolt damage. Regarding Rogue resources, you are almost only using your Guile for stealth so you have quite a bit to spare. But you can also just stay out of range and use AOE spells with stealth .
  3. In case this is of interest: I was wondering if the lash would be considered as a weapon effect, and if as such it could benefit from Sneak Attack or Deathblow which otherwise don't interact with damage spells. Short answer is, it doesn't. It makes me sad, but not as sad as when I discovered that Three Bells Through could not apply Gouging Strike in a line. I have a troubled history with Arquebuses. The multiplicative lash is still pretty cool though on big damaging spell crits with the Assassinate +50% bonus. It does indeed work as your total damage done x 1.1.
  4. Early on you take on enemies 1 by 1 or 2 by 2 using 1 or 2 arquebus shots to eliminate them, then use stealth to deaggro, run out of sight and reset the fight. This was my main concern when trying out The Glimmer Man originally, but it actually goes pretty quickly and enables you to break down challenging fights without taking a single point of damage (e.g. Gorecci Street, the old Druid that gives you Wise Teeth Necklace). By the end of Port Maje, you can deliver 100+ DMG per shot on crit and you can already reach an ACC > 100 with a Fine Arquebus, with lots of PEN. Then you get Gouging Strike which is basically a death sentence (it can eliminate the pierce-immune skeletons at the dig site for example). Later on once you have more options, it is very fun to see how many enemies you can finish in one assault before resetting. It's also a good way to prepare for the few fights that you can't reset throughout the game. Regarding those, apart from the specific DLC situations that I listed in the build, nothing really required me to pause and rethink the strategy. You always have the tools to win with your resources.
  5. That way you turn the lack of (consistent) focus generation into a strength. And when you need it, you can still get all the focus you want. Remember you will have Thunderous Report later
  6. Hi dgray62, thanks for your interest! Indeed at Vilario's Rest and throughout Port Maje you get a lot of flavor from this build and playstyle already. The alpha strike/ burst part is quite front-loaded (hello Gorecci Street folks). I have considered Ascendant as a strong candidate for the Cipher half but as I briefly mentioned in the build, you mostly use rogue alpha strikes from stealth which don't (consistently) generate focus. So in my experience you're better off with the vanilla Cipher, also as your alpha strikes benefit from your full 20% DMG + 20% Raw Lash right away. That being said I think Ascendant is a fully viable way to play this little dude. As I said my build did his job admirably in carrying me until the end but there may be a lot more interesting synergies with the core Cipher class(es) that I haven't much touched. To this toon the Cipher half was: Biting Whip, Hammering Thoughts and Disintegrate as a means to nuke Hauani before it splits and others. Oh and WoT for the occasional enemy with an Intellect affliction weakness. That's it. But I reckon it can be a lot more! Especially because some of the late DLC fights force you to be more of a would-be caster.
  7. Yes true! if you like to slay feisty blue/green Ewoks on your deck for breakfast. Indeed, you can get one hand mortar which will fulfill the same role as Fire in the Hole. You could then get the weapon mod that increase close range damage, which would then make backstab potentially more interesting. But I wouldn't go that way especially if you take Guilty Conscience on the Red Hand. You will get a lot immediate retaliatory damage unless you stealth all the time
  8. Yes if you're flexible, no if you enable the Solo challenge. The same it true for the other hand mortar held by Serafen, because both are tied to him. You can totally make this build work with other options to go along Kitchen Stove, like the Empirical Explanation IIRC.
  9. I didn’t want to put too much content in the original post, but here is some additional roleplay fluff for the aficionados, and I know there are a few lurking around. Heard at the Wild Mare during Happy Hour: Adaryc: So Edér, as much as I love to see your scrawny face I’m surprised to meet you without your beloved Watcher! Edér: Nice to see you too buddy. Well, the Watcher and I are still sailing together these days, but in the field he prefers to go solo. Can’t say I blame him, I don’t move as fast as I used to. He won’t say it to my face, but he’s faster and safer on his own right now. Adaryc: So it is true what they say, about his new found “abilities”? Edér: Pal, you don’t know the half of it… The other day, we were aboard the Defiant on our way to Dunnage, clear skies and all that crap. Next thing we know, we are being chased by a Crookspur ship, with a captain probably too stupid to understand what our flag means… so everybody scrambles to get the royal bronzers out when the Watcher tell us to stand down. He tells the crew “I’ve made some upgrades to my new toys and I want to try them out”. Then he grabs a big holster made from Mohora leather and gets some weapons out. I see an anti-materiel, incendiary long-range arquebus, a double-barreled arquebus that reeks of necromancy, a goddamn grenade launcher and then… a shotgun that looks like a blunderbuss had a baby with a flamethrower. At this point, I’m having a real bad feeling about this whole thing but the slavers are already upon us. They board, the Watcher starts shooting and then believe me friend, it was Evon Dewr all over again… As I saw the Crookspur guys explode one after the other, I came to realize that 1) Never underestimate the amount of blood and other fluids contained in a human body) and 2) never get on the wrong side of the Watcher. Because if he’s after you, he will not only find you and shoot you in the face… he will snipe your very soul into oblivion. That’s why we call him the Soul Sniper, the Shadow of Gorecci Street, the Bane of Megabosses. Adaryc: I see… so when you say “other fluids”… Edér: Yep, that too. Let’s just say that I was grateful to not be on deck cleaning duty on that particular day aboard the Defiant. Pallegina: Yikes! Per complanca boys, let us change the topic of this riveting conversation.
  10. [CLASS BUILD] The Soul Sniper - Mindstalker - Solo PotD Full Playthrough with Megabosses Class: Assassin/Cipher (no subclass) Concept: Ranged glass cannon (ab)using stealth mechanics and highly synergistic skills, weapons and items to deliver high burst damage and DoT while staying in the safety of the shadows. Game Version: Works with latest updates and DLCs as of v5.0.00040. I recommend the Full Community Patch and the No Forced Rests mod (otherwise just metagame around them, it’s fully viable but just a bit annoying). POTD Solo: Yes. Base Game, All DLCs, All 4 Megabosses completed. Some strategies below. Companion: Nope (really meant to play solo by definition) Important Opening Notes: 1) This build originated from playing Kaylon’s excellent Glimmer Man Tactician/Assassin build. I reused a lot of his findings here, and other thoughts from Boeroer, Thelee and others. 2) This build will NOT work with Berath’s Challenge. 3) I would not recommend this build for a first playthrough in the Deadfire. It relies upon a niche type of gameplay that you will most enjoy if you are a returning player with some understanding of the combat mechanics of Deadfire. 4) This is a long post… bear with me, I hope it will be worth the read! -----INTRO------ The idea of this build came to life while trying out Kaylon’s Glimmer Man build. I was really interested in a solo PotD capable ranged Assassin and Kaylon’s build was extremely appealing. As I played it up to lvl 20, I got really impressed by its potential and it turned out to be a lot more versatile than I thought. I also realized a few things along the way: - Brilliant Tactician was very nice but maybe not that crucial, even for a full playthrough. - Some of the drawbacks of Tactician were not optimal (lower PEN and ACC mostly) - There were lots of synergistic Fighter skills, but some not as much (e.g. the +ACC bonus of Stances doesn't stack with Arquebus modal, Constant Recovery doesn’t do much for this build). - Most importantly, this weapon user, high damage build could really benefit from having all 4 mythical adra stones, but Hauani o Whe can’t be reliably dealt with as Kaylon pointed out. I decided to try something different, and the Mindstalker made sense because of class synergies (Biting Whip, Hammering Thoughts and Disintegration cost 3 skill points and are on their own very incremental/transformational to the Assassin), plus you can easily take Hauani (Disintegration + Marux Amanth), and it has a nice thematic fit. From there, I decided upon vanilla Cipher because of the lack of drawbacks and because it brought the best Whip ability for weapon damage. It’s probably debatable, but since you mostly attack with Rogue skills, you don’t consistently generate focus so you have a permanent 20% DMG increase and a 20% Raw Lash on top. Nice. From then, the big questions was: can you complete the game, the Megabosses and the DLCs solo on PotD with a resource-intensive toon that mostly doesn’t have resource regeneration? The answer is yes. From the heights of Vilario’s Rest down to the rectum of Wael’s Titan body, this toon performed far above my expectations. As I’ll explain in a bit, it is one of the most synergistic build I’ve played, in the sense that every skill point invested or item equipped brings something specific to the build. Nothing is wasted, even if certain skills aren’t used that often. The build can basically trivialize 95% of the game including Megabosses. It slows down a little bit in the last 5% which are the DLC fights where the game suddenly puts you in a small enclosed space with lots of respawning enemies and no way to reset the fight. Even then, you just have to slightly adapt your build and you basically turn on God Mode again. The key then is to keep your Guile for stealth and to have high Arcana to nuke everybody with AoE Scrolls (which will benefit from your bonii of attacking from stealth). I’ll detail everything below after a quick rundown of the skills and items specs. -----SPECS------ Race: Wood Elf (optimal, doesn’t matter too much) Background: The White that Wends – Hunter (doesn’t matter much) FINAL STATS WITH ALL PERMABUFFS AND NO-REST BUFFS AS OF 5.0 (without combat buffs): MIG 25 (18 Base +2 Berath +1 Gift from Machine +2 Alchemic Brawn +2 Hot Razor Skewers) CON 9 (3 Base +2 Berath +2 Alchemic Brawn +2 Konstanten Boon) DEX 22 (15 Base +1 Elf +2 Berath +2 Alchemic Guile +2 Amira’s Blessing(?? To be investigated, apparently it has to do with the Neketaka burning house event. Never got the bonus before although getting the event 100% of time. This time I didn’t pursue the arsonists…) PER 29 (18 Base +1 Elf +1 White that Wends +2 Berath +1 Konstanten Boon +1 Effigy: Sagani +2 Alchemic Guile +1 Savage Cunning +1 Cauldron Brew +1 Ajamuut) INT 25 (18 Base +2 Berath +1 Konstanten Boon +2 Alchemic Wits +2 Charm of Bones) RES 11 (3 Base +2 Berath +2 Alchemic Wits +2 Nature’s Resolve +2 Rikuhu’s Blessing) ADDITIONAL PERMABUFFS: Food: Hot Razor Skewers Adratic Glow All Trainings Dawnstar Blessing Luminous Adra Potion Nature’s Resolve (Accuracy) Savage Cunning (Survival) Galawain’s Gift x3 (Acc. against beasts) BERATH BLESSINGS: I am not ashamed of investing all 105 points. BUT none is required to win with this build. SKILLS: I like to roll Diplomacy, Survival, Athletics, and Mechanics (and a bit of Stealth of course) over the course of the game as they enable important stat checks early on. After level 20 and once I’m in the thick of the DLC’s, a stronger focus on Arcana is very helpful and mandatory for the biggest cheesy fights. ----- ABILITIES ------ ASSASSIN Core to the build: Crippling Strike, Fast Runner, Arms Bearer, Smoke Veil, Blinding Strike, Dirty Fighting, Two Handed, Debilitating (or Arterial) Strike, Gouging Strike, Finishing Blow, Deep Pockets, Withering Strike, Devastating Blow, Tough, Uncanny Luck, Deep Wounds, Toxic Strike, Improved Critical, Deathblows. CIPHER Core to the build: Whisper of Treason (just to make Krovix of the Deep your pet), Biting Whip, Hammering Thought, Disintegration. Situational Skills: Borrowed Instinct, Empty Soul (both for Hauani), Farcasting, Rapid Casting (for end-game, Arcana heavy build). Caution: NEVER Take Echoing Horror, it will make you come out of Stealth/Invisibility! A Couple of Notes: -You don’t need the Shadowing Beyond tree. Smoke Veil and the occasional Potion of Invisibility or Scroll of Withdraw are all you need in stealth. For extra mobility, you can consider the Bounding Boots with Boeroer’s tricks. Not required at all, but fun if you’re really into Arterial Strike. I prefer Debilitating Strike because I have already a lot in the DoT department, and because it enables Deathblows which can synergize with Thunderous Report. -Backstab doesn’t fit the playtstyle of this build and is in my experience buggy with Arquebus. -I really don’t spread much into the Cipher’s skill tree, but what I take is incredibly helpful, and then it allows me to invest heavily in the Assassin skill-intensive tree. This is synergy! -----GEAR------ Weapon Set 1: Dragon’s Dowry, Mythic, Volatile Runelock, Serpent’s Rage. Weapon Set 2: The Red Hand, Mythic, Double Tap, Unburdened Soul (trust me on the long run Unburdened Soul is the better choice. See notes below). Weapon Set 3: Main Hand Fire in the Hole, Mythic, Chain Shot and Off-Hand Kitchen Stove, Mythic, Thunderous Report, Everything and Anything. Also keep handy: Marux Amanth. And True Lover’s Kiss if you want. Acina’s Tricorn Charm of Bones Devil of Caroc: whatever enchantments. With permabuffs, it gives us 12 Guile/Encounter. Ajamuut’s Stalking Cloak: amazing! Killer’s Gloves (keep Burglar’s Gloves and Firethrower’s gloves handy) Ring of Focused Flames (synergizes with Dragon’s Dowry and Thunderous Report) Ring of the Marksman (keep Kuaru’s prize handy) Slippers of the Assassin (free stealth once per encounter when you kill your first enemy: this item is amazing!) Sash of Judgment Harley Dog (keep Eviee handy) Potions and Scrolls: Invisibility, Withdraw, high level elemental and physical damage scrolls, anything that can also paralyze/ petrify. A couple of notes: -On the Red Hand, I initially went with Guilty Conscience. Even if it fits the idea of the build, +40% damage taken still sucks. The Red Hand doesn’t need the extra-extra 20% DMG to be awesome. Also, Guilty Conscience will make the (very) optional fight in SSS where you are turned into an Ironclad impossible to win. -Double Tap and especially Thunderous Report are some of the most powerful, transformational weapon effects in the game. Worthy Sacrifice also, but just for one fight. -Overall, just keep unique stuff you come across to have options, especially if you haven’t played PotD a lot. If you come across items with immunities/resistance, hold on to them. You will have more than enough money anyway. -----GENERAL STRATEGIES------ Our Defense is dismal, and we will take a lot of damage because of our passives. Our only option is to stay hidden in the shadows, and to strike hard. Luckily we have a pretty serious and flexible offensive potential: long range single target, short range AoE, both able to apply Burst or DoT, plus afflictions that enable more damage. Lots of combos in perspective. Our ACC will routinely reach 200+ and our PEN is always above 20. So you will always crit and so you will always overpenetrate etc. Thunderous Report is usually critting at 182 ACC with 33 PEN and 400+ DMG. The arquebuses can reach higher ACC and PEN of 36 and hit for 200-300 DMG a shot – and then you can add the DoT! All in all, this build always has the PEN mechanic working in his favor, and will crit 99% of enemies 99% of the time. BURST DAMAGE: -Debilitating Strike: Cheap, big damage, enables Deathblows. Nice opener for Burst DMG. -Devastating Blow: Very strong finisher on enemies with lots of health and closer to the end. Thunderous Report: Outstanding damage in a BIG AoE cone. -Any combination of those will obliterate most enemies. With Dragon Dowry, you can routinely do about 600 DMG on a single target with Debilitating + Devastating in a double tap. -Debilitating Strike with Fire in the Hole immediately followed by Thunderous Report from Stealth is ridiculously strong and will result in potentially 3,000+ total AoE damage depending on the size of the crowd, in less than 5sec of combat. -The Red Hand’s Double Tap will instakill all vessels… except Dorudugan, Concelhaut, the Fampyr’s in Splintered Reef, maybe a few others. But the other Ancient Fampyrs in their cave, the Ancient Liche Battlemage, the Ancient Deathguards, the Steel Ironclads, the Engwithan Titans… all instakillable. -Pierce Immunes are never a problem between double tap for vessels and the lashes/additional effects, especially if using Dragon Dowry. -Do not use Dragon Dowry on Fire immunes. All its attacks are keyworded as Fire which is on the other hand great with Ring of Focused Flames. (Also works with Thunderous Report). OVER TIME DAMAGE: -Gouging Strike: will prolong combat and work until the enemy is no more. Amazing. -Toxic Strike: will increase in potency over time, scaling to incredible damage. -Disintegration: one of the strongest single target damage spell in the game. You can apply all 3 DoTs above to the same target. It works very well at absolutely obliterating enemies that thought they could out-heal your offense, and can speed up boss fights. We are concentrating in this build some of the stronger DoTs in the game. Sure you could also have Arterial Strike, and team up with your Priest, Paladin and Ranger buddies for a crazy DoT-fest. But you have all you need there already to make any enemy a dead man standing. -Deep Wounds: always on, and pretty cool! -----MEGABOSS/HARD FIGHTS STRATEGIES------ You may argue that I use very cheap tactics against those magnificent beings. But if I can’t even abuse Gouging Strike with an Assassin, then who can? Dorudugan: Equip upright captain belt, shoot Doru in the face with Gouging Strike, Stealth and retreat to the exact South East corner of the map (right in the corner). Come back an hour later, it’s cooked. Belranga: Shoot her in the face with Gouging strike, Stealth and retreat at the beginning of the map. Once she’s done, proceed to finish the remaining spiders with Thunderous Report on the biggest cluster and stealth+snipe on the stragglers. Hauani O Whe: Shoot it in the “face?” with Gouging Strike, then retreat to the south of the beach and chill. Once it’s at Near Death, take a +ACC potion/scroll, gulp a potion of invisibility, fire Borrowed Instinct on Hauani. Restealth and use your additional +ACC to land Disintegration (Empower ok but not necessary). Restealth, walk to Hauani and make sure it’s not moving and it’s under the effect of Disintegration. Yank it with Marux Amanth for a nice instakill. Auranic: It’s actually pretty easy even with this build: you need potions of invisibility, the Eviee pet, one Empower point, and do NOT damage Auranic from the beginning. Keep her for last. First, go kill the bodyguard that can charge/stun. Stealth and Thunderous Report + maybe a normal followup attack will do. This will trigger your invisibility from the boots. Go slightly south while switching to the Red Hand. Fire on the Sigil that opened (obelisk of terror) and the remaining bodyguard both with Gouging Strike. Yes, even if obelisks are pierce DMG immune they will take the hit, triggering lashes and additional effects. Drink a potion of invisibility and retreat to the entrance to chill a bit. Now you will repeat this strategy to apply Gouging Strike to all the remaining obelisks but never attack Auranic. It’s actually really easy, walk up, Auranic opens an obelisk, shoot, stealth, run away. Use potions of invisibility and replenish 6 points of Guile out of your 12 Max when needed. Once all obelisks have the Gouging Strike, wait at the entrance for their destruction. Because Auranic is still relaxed, she won’t open the obelisks unless provoked. Once they’re gone, shoot Auranic in the face with Gouging Strike from Dragon’s Dowry and retreat to the entrance. Wait until she’s done. Of note, you can use the same strategy without using the Empower points and the True Lover’s Kiss, but it’s probably very tedious. SSS Hard Arena Fights /BoW Bridge Ablaze/FS Oratory and Oracle: Those fights might seem impossible at first but respec to max Arcana and load up with the strongest AoE scrolls with potions of invisibility and use your Guile to stay invisible or Gouging Strike key opponents. The fights will become a cakewalk. As an Assassin, you retain your bonii from striking from stealth when you use scrolls which leads to devastating AoE strikes. -----THE END------ Happy to read your thoughts and potential for improvement. Retrospectively, I may have underutilized the Cipher half of this toon, but at the same time this version is very effective!
  11. Nice, I had never cared much for this weapon but actually it could be interesting on a Bloodmage/Assassin, possibly even better with one that mixes weapon attacks and spells from stealth. You could do fun sequences like: open with a debilitating strike with Blightheart to enable deathblow, restealth, finish the target with Ninagauth Killing Bolt which will spawn a friendly Spectre, and repeat (if you use the vaporous wizardy grimoire that will give x2 level 7 spells to a MC Wizard). I'm not much into Chanter gameplay so I can't comment on that but this part sounds powerful indeed.
  12. As soon as you start praying to this particular shrine, slavers will approach and threaten you. You can pass a Diplomacy 12 check to tell them that you'll just pray and leave. That way, you get the prayer bonus without the resting component that is attached to the other shrines. +2 Resolve does not seem that huge it's true, but because high defenses have increasing returns, those +2 DEF and +4 WILL can go a long way in making you impervious to certain attacks . That can be the difference between getting Grazed sometimes or consistently Missed all the time by an Arcane Dampener from a pesky ancient fampyr... just saying!
  13. Thanks. I don't know what your generalist Wizard build was, but I can guarantee that playing solo with this build (or another optimized Blood Mage one) will be a new experience and a new and very rewarding way to play around with spells and strategies so if I may, good idea to go back . To your questions: Griffin Blade got Hound Courage (optimal choice) Lethandria got Sheltering Light (optimal) and Captivating Crystal (or Lustrous is great, you're not getting crit in melee anytime soon anyway) Miscreant Leather I went with Chest Guard but again both are OK All were upgraded to Mythic by end-game I did not enable the Solo option (I don't think it provides anything besides the weird owl's glowing eyes on the HUD). I like to hire companions and keep them on my boat (as in real life ). If only to get some of the unique weapons to test out new builds and such. I also like to enable them to actually do things (besides dying) in boarding events but to be clear, you don't need them at all. I keep them usually levelled up and go as martial as possible with Monastic Unarmed Training and all the passives that can give them a low-key, easy time beating Slavers to a pulp on the deck of the Defiant. If you want to enable the Solo challenge, this build is 100% viable. EDIT: If you go full solo, you will have to respec to meet the Religion skill check for the Bleakrock Shrine permabuff on Crookspur. Otherwise, just bring Xoti along.
  14. It is nice indeed to come back to it in a second playthrough with a different and/or fully optimized character. Gives you something to look forward to - at least that's how I did it . In order to unlock all 105 points of BB, there are a couple posts lying around on the internet that compile them and how-to's. There are two that are a bit time consuming IMO: getting to survive a mutiny, and an achievement from the SSS DLC (Archivist of Kazuwari) if I recall correctly. Overall though, most achievements get unlocked pretty naturally in a full playthrough.
  15. Nope, you don't get any achievement. You get some trinkets (not very useful) and mythical adra stones to further upgrade your weapons to mythic lvl. Megabosses are purely optional.
  16. I can't think about Firebrand without thinking about Boeroer's build The Cauterizer, which i loved in PoE1. Maybe you can emulate it in a viable way considering a lot of the Barb passives are still consistently there? Personally my attempts to run solo SC Barbarians in PoE2 haven't been very convincing. This could be the secret sauce that brings a fiery barb build together.
  17. Completely agree, just finish them once if you fancy and then do move on . Those fights are about intricate, borderline absurd meta/power-playing strategies against absurd hit-sinks (like heatsinks but with hitpoints), though they are still entertaining to finish at least once. If you run out of ideas I recently compiled a few lines on how to take every one of them down with (relatively) no stress on solo PotD in this thread. With a SC Bloodmage. There are many more noble ways to deal with them if you want on this forum and youtube. Honestly, if you want Dorudugan's hide badly... just use True Lover Kiss. It's weird, but again it solves an absurd fight in the most fittingly absurd way: arguably the sturdiest, most gigantic and least forgiving opponent can be eliminated with one sloppy poke of a tiny dagger. Go figure!
  18. That is indeed a neat use of your bounding boots trick (cancelling the leap mid-air). BTW I'm using those boots in a solo playthrough with Kaylon's Glimmer Man Tactician Assassin build that I'm trying to tweak to see if it can solo the entire content, and if I can find even more synergy/efficiency with the build idea. Bounding Boots Trick + ranged Arterial Strike on dumb melee enemy AI is almost too good.
  19. That's correct, you just need to time it right with the patrolling construct and the bookshelf isn't locked. Just keep clicking on it until it isn't marked as "stealing". For the rest of the stuff in the shop though you need a little bit of stealth (3 or 4 is enough I think) and mechanics to get everything. For the Ring of Focused Flames you need a firecracker too.
  20. Great! I hope you'll have at least as much fun as I did. So here is a little bit more about the survivability of the build including healing (hard to talk about healing in isolation because it is intertwined with other things to prevent death). You will stay alive most of the time because: 1) Your defenses can reach very high levels and you can tailor your buffs to the opposition (more on that in a second). 2) You have a lot of health (end-game I clock in at Health = 401 without buffs and Health = 449 with Infuse with VH). 3) The build is all about quickly inflicting severe AOE damage and debuff/CC (sometimes all 3 at the same time) so combat doesn't drag on. 4) If combat does drag on, you have healing over time. Not a lot, true, but infinite: your Bloodmage ability heals you, as well Sheltering Light from Lethandria's Devotion, until combat ends. It's nothing crazy, like a combined 10HP every 6 sec or so as I just reloaded a save, but in close calls it can make a difference. In few situations I used potions of healing but VERY rarely, and when I did it was more out of laziness than because I couldn't have pulled through otherwise. If things drag on, wall of draining will also extend your buffs as required. 5) If all else fails... well you have potions of the final cheese at the ready . On defenses and buffs I typically did the following: - Lower Risk Fight = Infuse with VH, Deleterious Alacrity, Displaced Image, Ironskin, Arcane Veil, Eldritch Aim, Blood Sacrifice. (it takes about one second to cast everything and then you can go to town on the enemy with your hardest hitting spells). - Higher Risk Fight = Same as above + Arcane Reflection, Llengrath's Safeguard and Wall of Draining to keep everything up just in case things drag on. And be ready to gulp a PotFS if things go south, but I never had to use a PotFS in a fight where I hadn't planned to use one (and I definitely used less than 10 in the completionist playthrough). With the Safeguard and your Human passive, you get a big power and survivability surge if you get to Bloodied, which still leaves you with 200+ health points so you can finish up everybody.
  21. Indeed, your idea opens up a lot of possibilities - a key thing to keep it fun IMHO is to avoid creating a one-trick pony, which is hard when crafting this kind of very specialized builds. I like the SC Paladin idea, there hasn't been a lot of builds based on it. A lot of synergy and RP potential there, for example wielding Magran's Favor and Magran's Blessing. Your comment about your old Engineer build reminded me that I tried at some point to emulate your PoE1 Bilestomper build (adorable ) in PoE2: my idea was to create a low DEX/RES, high CON/STR Wizard that stacked the thickest armor and AR buffs while killing enemies with powerful retaliation effects like Piercing Sigil, Cloak of Death, Flame Shield and staying alive by avoiding PEN/OVERPEN, having a big health pool, high FORT saves... It worked well up to a certain point but was boring, plus I would have needed more AR for end-game survivability at least on PotD. Could have multiclassed with something like Unbroken but most of my offense were Wizard PL8+ spells. Didn't work out in the end!
  22. Thanks Boeroer, indeed I had read your detailed thread on the topic . This reminds me of how in Infinity Engine games you could replenish depleted charged items by selling/buying them back from vendors, enabling you to exploit powerful consumables like the Rod of Resurrection. Anyway, wrong game... Regarding the char export/import trick, I can see how it would be highly convenient with one of the builds that (ab)use Heaven's Cacophony. Stack two of those and cast Avenging Storm in every fight. Although, I'm with you and others on this forum that Avenging Storm is a class-defining ability that shouldn't be "democratized" via items or scrolls. But it is ridiculously strong on blunderbuss Monks and the likes as many have demonstrated before. I'm wondering with this trick, what do you think would be the most powerful/useful item to abuse the charges? The Ring of Reset? EDIT: After looking into this a bit more, I think that provided you have a build that can use it well and you are OK using it, Heaven's Cacophony is the strongest item to basically make per-encounter instead of per-rest. Even better if you also stack Stone of Power. Ah, if only you could also stack PoE1 Rings of Searing Flame...
  23. No worries at all, thanks for posting and glad you enjoy playing it! I agree with you and made the same small mistakes here and there. This build allows for some error, experimentation, non-optimal gear/point allocation... this is still Solo PotD though so against top-tier end-game enemies you will still run into trouble if you go to battle wearing only your underwear. The necklace of Fireballs is indeed a nice complement to pull through in style in the beginning, in tough Digsite encounters for instance (just as with many other builds) but is not required.
  24. Maybe compulsive shoplifting doesn't befit the roleplaying of a masochistic, arcane mobile artillery platform? But indeed with a decent Mechanic skill, minimal Stealth skill and a couple firecrackers, there is no item locked in a container that you can't steal in this game. @yogaman28734 just in case you didn't know, the Grimoire of Vaporous Wizardy is stealable in the circular bookshelf in the middle of the Dark Cupboard.
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