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grasida

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Everything posted by grasida

  1. My first play through was with a helwalker/life giver multi class and I thought it was really nice. You have to be very cautious with the PC at the start of fights, because helwalkers can be burst down very quickly by multiple enemies, but once you get all your heal over time powers active, your whole party heals so quickly it’s pretty hard for most enemies to damage you meaningfully at all. The character is very versatile, with strong healing, strong melee and spell damage and strong control. You just have to make sure to protect them and never let them get surrounded, though with heals all active, they can handle moderate pressure.
  2. Primary attacks come out faster if you use two weapons in RTwP, making dual wield good for monks or soul blades. Losing that is a harsh enough penalty. They don’t need a damage penalty on top of it. It is pretty weird and inconsistent that bread and butter monk attacks like torment’s reach, skyward kick and force of anguish do better with two handers than monk fists, but I’m mostly okay with that given how overpowered monks are in RTwP. One thing that does really annoy me about dual wield in turn based is that free full attacks make even the rare few uses of single weapon style mostly irrelevant. In RTwP, you might choose a single weapon, or melee/ranged if you have something with really good on-hit or on-crit effects like scordeo’s edge or seeker’s fang. Now you will always hit with both weapons regardless, so single weapon style is even more pointless.
  3. Regarding points 1 and 2, single rapier will be better as long as your accuracy is around 25 points higher than enemy deflection assuming no hit-to-crit other than the single weapon passive. Past that, the two attacks from dual wielding will result in more crits overall. If you're using your invocations and your parties' abilities to lower defenses or you're attacking paralyzed enemies, two weapons are probably better after the early game. Regarding 3, the rapier modal and the small shield modal don't stack because we can't have nice things. Regarding 4, as Elric Galad mentioned, sun and moon is excellent for building crits on a skald. The singing scimitar is also amazing for skalds since it lets you cast back to back top-tier damage invocations in every fight. Given the current balance, a rapier with the modal will probably beat sun and moon in phrase generation unless you already beat the target's deflection by a lot and you have a priest buffing you with devotions for the faithful (which also doesn't stack with the rapier modal, so reduces it's usefulness). Maybe this is possible if you've equipped the ring of focused flame and are spamming flames of devotion. Anyway, the flail also boosts either the power of your melee or the power of your spells, depending on the time of day. I think the singing scimitar will beat out any other weapon on a skald, since it effectively gives the effect of 6 melee crits for free, allows you to empower every fight and it's shocking lash applies to everything you do, including attacks with the offhand weapon and your spells. TL;DR on the above, use sun and moon if you have a priest in the party, don't have a party member who wants the ring of focused flame more than your MC and you plan on spending most of your zeal on flames of devotion. Otherwise use a rapier. Sasha's Singing Scimitar is almost certainly the best skald weapon, unless there's some synergy I'm not aware of (e.g. disengagement riposte and AoE attack shenanigans with Whispers of the Endless paths). Regarding 5, I imagine whatever good ranged weapon you have access to is fine for a back up. Late game, the wand of the weyc is beautiful for chanters, since it gives you +3 power levels after empowering an invocation. I don't know what refreshing recovery does in turn based, but it's great in RTwP. With the robe of the weyc and the singing scimitar, you can open every fight with two super strong invocations very fast, give yourself +3 power levels and apply brilliant to your entire party. Be sure to bring a priest to cast salvation of time, since the brilliant has a very short base duration.
  4. I’ve played a soul blade with sun and moon before (for a while, I restarted without finishing the run) and I agree it’s really good. I’d prefer a different aesthetic this time, though. Something with a kind of magic swashbuckler feel. Also, I think a soul blade mystic with sun and moon is just a weaker soulblade with some priest tricks, which is good, but doesn’t feel all that stylish to me. Soul blade seems to make a lot more sense paired with street fighter or trickster. I was thinking ascendant already has great synergy with priest, then Seeker’s Fang can build up to higher than Disintegration level DoT after a few jabs, which then combos extremely well with cleansing flame. I’m still tempted by beguiler, though, since ascendant would probably do better just spamming damage powers, while beguiler could lay down AoE soft control without losing focus, then just attack with the rapier freely for single target damage. Beguiler/Priest of Wael has great flavor, too.
  5. I’ve gotten the idea that I want to play a mystic, probably a cipher/priest of wael focusing on melee attacks, possibly built around the soulbound rapier from SSS with the poison DoT on crit once I can eventually get it. I’m not looking to min max, just to make a fairly strong character on PotD. A mystic of wael should be able to maintain pretty solid defenses between borrowed instinct and arcane veil as well as tear down enemy deflection very well with divine mark and shining beacon to enable crits with the rapier. Against enemies with lots of hp, the rapier’s combined DoTs, shining beacon, maybe a disintegrate, topped off with cleansing flame should do massive damage. But I’m not sure what subclass to go for. Soul blade is obvious for melee and is one of my favorite classes, but doesn’t synergize with the rapier very well, since damage per tick from its DoT scales based on current focus and soul blades typically hover around zero focus. Ascendant seems the most synergistic since, for one, ascension can be prolonged with salvation of time, and for another, the higher max focus and the ability to stay there for extended periods means you leverage the on-crit DoT very well. The rapier has a nice per encounter that can apply 3 stacks of the on-hit DoT as well as the on-crit DoT in an AoE while building lots of focus. But once you’re ascended, casting cipher spells looks more appealing that jabbing with the rapier, however vicious your DoT. Beguiler seems like another interesting choice, but, again it looks more focused on casting than melee, since the point of the subclass seems to be to avoid using your weapon and focusing on spamming cipher spells. Any thoughts on what subclass looks good and how else to build the character? Any other creative ideas for a melee mystic or for interesting things to do with the soulbound rapier?
  6. Those didn't "become viable". They were already viable. Look at the builds forum. There are lots of builds using heavy armor and two-handed weapons in there. There are tons of really amazing two-handed uniques, and mechanically two-handers are very strong. Probably lots of people would say that the morning star is overall the best weapon type in the game, with high penetration, dual damage types and a fantastic modal. Heavy armor does require a trade-off, yes, but that's the whole point. The only way heavy armor has "become viable" in turn based is that it now allows characters that wear it to deal the same damage as characters in light armor, but it prevents far more damage as well. That said, I agree with people saying that a direct translation of the RTwP action economy to turn-based would also be awful. Even super efficient players in RTwP are going to waste some actions, but every action can be carefully considered in turn-based, meaning action economy advantages would be far more pronounced. Just look at how people are mentioning things like weapon swapping and free actions, actually not very meaningfully different from their RTwP implementations, as being problematic. But that doesn't mean that discrete rounds with initiative is okay either. Who is ever going to choose to use a rapier and dagger under this system? Some way to get extra actions in exchange for investing in speed is something a huge amount of the game is built on.
  7. That should just be a matter of implementation. FF X itself had turn delay powers that were really important to mastering the combat system and if I recall, they also had limitations so that it was impossible to delay turns enemy turns for ever. In the case of Deadfire, it’s really easy to envision a clear limitation: knockdown delays an enemy’s turn, but once an enemy is knocked prone and already lying on the ground, they can’t be knocked down again until they get their turn and get back up. You can still shut down casters, but you can’t permanently deny turns to any target.
  8. I’m not on the Obsidian team, but I think I can answer points 2, 3 and 4. 2. Escape is a teleport move with very short activation and no recovery time in RTwP. It gets translated as a free action in turn-based. There’s some debate about whether free actions should be limited, but so far, this is probably a feature. 3. This is just the same as in RTwP. It’s a feature of the ability. 4. Knockdown is still an interrupt against enemies casting a spell, but otherwise it seems much less useful than it was in RTwP since it doesn’t delay their next action. This probably isn’t a bug or a feature, just a result of turn-based being in beta and needing some polish.
  9. I don’t think pretty much every melee damage focused character dual wields. That’s certainly not what I would get from reading the builds forum at this point. It used to be true that dual wielding was clearly superior to other styles, but not because of action speed, but rather because of full attack mechanics. Now two-handed and dual wield are both good, and the choice is more about the specific skills and uniques you want to build around. That said, I agree with your last point. If Obsidian goes with an action point system, I propose that initiative be tied to resolve. Flavor it as characters having the steeliest nerves being able to react fastest. This has the advantage of not overloading dexterity with two powerful effects and increasing the number of builds that value resolve. I’m posting in response to your points in general, here and in other threads, not just in response to the quoted post. First, I’m not sure dex is some kind of god stat in RTwP. Surely most characters that are interested in dealing damage don’t typically dump dex, but there are tanks and support builds with low dex that do fine. And compared to might, perception and intellect as damage stats, dex only comes up as the most important on certain builds. DoT builds strongly prefer might and intellect over dexterity and spellcasters have a lot of reason to prioritize might. Only weapon builds with renewable resources really are heavily pushed towards dexterity. If you ask most players about a god stat, probably the typical answer would be perception. So the situation in the RTwP mode is already quite nuanced and balanced. Now, it’s important to distinguish between dexterity and action speed. Action speed is much more important than dexterity, since dex only contributes partially to the total action economy. There are builds that stack lots of action speed to become very powerful, but I hardly think those are the only strong builds, or even the strongest. Deleterious alactrity is a strong tool in the wizard’s kit, but it’s not the root of their effectiveness, and they’d still be a strong contender for the best overall class without it (remember that it was buffed to add action speed and wizards were still amazing before that). So, if action speed suddenly becomes unimportant, that won’t so much bring up other builds that had previously been weak as it will bring down many, many builds and items that relied on an action economy advantage to be strong. Second, you keep maintaining that a dynamic turn system with no rounds, where characters get a certain number of actions dependent on their speed, will be just the same as RTwP with pause enabled at the end of each character’s turn. This is a hyperbolic statement that really harms your overall argument. Turn-based play will still be completely different, since each action resolves one at a time, and players can carefully consider every move, spell or attack. A final fantasy X system in deadfire would play nothing like RTwP at all; the only similarity, in fact, compared to the current system of discrete rounds, would be the presence of action speed. Constantly asserting this just makes it seem like you’re militating against characters being able to go fast. In fact, there is good reason to worry about action speed becoming too important in a direct translation, but that’s precisely because turn based is so different. In RTwP, fast characters can take a lot more actions, but because of human limitations in micromanagement a lot of their actions aren’t used perfectly efficiently. Turn-based allows for much more efficient play from most players, so the advantage of taking more actions will probably be much more apparent when each action can be more meaningful. But that doesn’t we have to do away with action speed completely: simply too much of the game is balanced around it. In RtWP, a fast character can go three times as fast as a slow character pretty easily. The difference in turn-based doesn’t need to be that pronounced. Action speed could easily be nerfed in turn-based if it ends up too powerful.
  10. Yeah I talked to someone about this, the problem is then you're just playing the base game, there is no real difference you may as well just turn on all the pause options. They should look into adding addition auto attacks for martial classes (maybe give light weapons an additional attack) and look at increasing weapon damage as a whole. Doing "dynamic" initiative is just the base game we already have Giving extra attacks just to martial classes is a little silly, since some people might want to play pure casters with a focus on weapons (melee skald, shifter druid, melee wizard are not unreasonable at all). But giving extra attacks to all classes as a function of relative or absolute initiative is also problematic. There are lots of powers that aren’t weapon attacks and aren’t governed by your weapon recovery in RTwP, but also aren’t spells. Where would your proposal leave actions like barbarian shouts, weapon switching, scrolls or explosives? They would become far less desirable compared to just using weapon attacks, since those give extra attacks, and thus more damage. You need some way to determine which actions can be used frequently and which ones should be slow. Then you may as well just go with action points or dynamic turns.
  11. I’m sympathetic with this. Since RPGs gave players the ability to manipulate the action economy, particularly by giving their characters more actions, doing so has always been one of the most powerful effects available. Deadfire is no exception, anything that lets you act more frequently is incredibly powerful. But, I also think simply too much of the game is balanced around action speed. Initiative isn’t at all a suitable replacement. While I’m skeptical of those who say initiative is worthless, there’s simply no way it can be anywhere close to as important as action speed. Action speed is fundamentally a multiplier on the total power of a character, but what I haven’t seen mentioned yet is that under the RTwP system, action speed fundamentally has initiative built in as a bonus. Characters that act quickly will see their spells resolve faster than enemies, and because they spend less time in recovery, they can react more quickly to enemy actions, too. A holy slayer with high dexterity and a rapier, for example, could respond more quickly with lay on hands than a low dexterity herald with a saber. But the “initiative” in RTwP granted by action speed is so much less powerful and important than simply taking more actions that it’s hardly even mentioned. I believe initiative probably has powerful uses in Deadfire, but it’s simply no comparison to action speed at all, and too much of the game’s mechanics were built around action speed for initiative to be a sensible replacement. I think an action point system would make the most sense, since being able to take multiple actions per round would help with the issues people have mentioned of combat feeling a little too slow and misses feeling too painful. A Final Fantasy X like system, would be a more natural translation, though, and would dodge the current ugliness of intelligence and resolve breakpoints.
  12. If I recall, Josh Sawyer said on somethingawful that they asked backers to not only submit swords, but they did anyway, and that designers also ended up designing more swords than other weapons. It wasn’t just because of the backer gear. If I had to hazard an uneducated guess, I would say that production of the game was rushed and plans for equipment design changed during production, so things ended up unbalanced without time to adjust the distribution of weapons across categories. Personally, I think there are just too many weapon types to begin with. Swords, sabers and rapiers could all be merged to little loss. So could clubs, maces and flails, daggers and stilettos or even spears and pikes. I’d rather have more meaningful weapon categories with uniques distinguishing flavor and some specific properties.
  13. When I tried shifter / soul blade it was really bad because soul annihilation was counted as a spell and thus disabled while shifted. Some other type of life giver, ancient or animist could work with soul blade if you build around firebrand. You’ll get lots of penetration and accuracy and soul annihilation does well with the great sword modal. I’ve been tempted by arcane archer / soul blade as a fun, but probably not optimized class combo. But soul annihilation, while penalized for being a spell for shifters, doesn’t count as a spell for arcane archers, so doesn’t get around their accuracy penalty.
  14. They stack. Even buffs activated from items will typically stack with buffs granted from abilities, though modals granted by items won’t stack with active abilities.
  15. Is that true? If so, I’ll have to update my post on stacking rules. When I tested them, those debuffs stacked with -deflection debuffs. I don’t think I tested reflex specifically. Of course, it’s very possible that things have changed. are we talking about the same thing? i'm saying that if you have a debuff that adds -15 penalty to all defenses, and a -20 deflection penalty (somehow), you'll end up with a character with -20 deflection and -15 everything else (not that the entire defense penalty gets suppressed by the deflection penalty, just the specific stat). i haven't tested it thoroughly, but this is how buffs work (e.g. circle of protection plus some specific defense buff) and the narrow amount of debuffs i looked at at in passing in combat log also seemed to work like this. There is screenshot evidence recently posted in this forum that general defense buffs stack with specific deflection buffs. Check the megabosses thread. Someone made an invincible arcane knight that stacks +20 deflection from llengrath’s safeguard with +50 deflection from arcane veil. When I tested, these buffs all stacked (as in the deflection from borrowed instinct stacked with the deflection from mirror image). Debuffs also stacked. I’m fairly sure I only tested barbs of condemnation with divine mark, which stacked for -35 deflection. I did the testing some time ago, though, so I’m not totally confident in my memory, and things may have changed since then.
  16. Stalker’s patience with single weapon style looks like a nice choice for a monk/skald, since the chance to ignore recovery on crit will stack with swift flurry and heartbeat drumming in exciting ways. Scordeo’s edge might be even better since it gives tons of accuracy, and thus higher crit rate. But the premium skald weapon should be sun and moon, since it’s fast and hits twice, which means it should generate twice as many crits. Or, you could just go for the singing scimitar. Helwalker/skald with the singing scimitar and the two forgotten sanctum soulbound items should be capable of simply massive alpha strikes with back-to-back empowered “eld nary’s” that then turbo charge your phrase generation and also give brilliant to the whole rest of your party at the start of every fight. Have a priest with salvation of time ready to keep brilliant up on everyone. I suspect this build would work better with a single class skald, but helwalker will be better against big single targets (better at casting “seven nights”, but misses the upgrade to “eld nary’s”) and could possibly keep two chants up at the same time with high initial intelligence and turning wheel.
  17. Is that true? If so, I’ll have to update my post on stacking rules. When I tested them, those debuffs stacked with -deflection debuffs. I don’t think I tested reflex specifically. Of course, it’s very possible that things have changed.
  18. I can’t recall. I remember that I did specifically test this, I just don’t remember the result. Unfortunately, I’m swamped with work for the next week (procrastinating on grad school papers now, but I’m working outside precisely so I can’t do something like start up Deadfire and start messing around), then I’m going to be away from my computer for 3 weeks after that. If someone posts an answer, I’ll put it in the OP. edit: Actually, I reread the OP and I implied that flanking does stack in the section about -all defenses stacking with -deflection, but I didn’t address flanking directly. I’d still rather specifically confirm it before updating the OP. Both of those explanations make sense. Actually, I don’t know whether stacking is hardcoded, or whether there’s actually just a flag that someone sets that allows a buff to stack. I suspect it might be the latter. I might not have the time to test this, but if boeroer confirms this, I’ll put it in the OP. I take “I believe” as expressing some uncertainty. The personal pet buffs stack with everything except another pets party wide buffs. The party-wide pet buffs stack with everything except each other and personal pet buffs if you take the berath's blessing for an eder pet. i.e. if you take zorro and pozzi which are both reflex party wide, only the watcher pet bonus applies. if you take trixie which has a 25% personal stride bonus and eder takes epsilon which is 10% party wide stride bonus, the party wide bonus cancels out the personal bonus completely and you only get 10% stride bonus. There are odd instances where the watcher gets double the bonus for one but not the other when stacking pet bonuses. Pretty sure that's not as intended. When I get the time, I’ll put pet stacking rules in the OP. Have you found any consistency to the odd issues where the watcher gets a double bonus?
  19. I’m sympathetic to this feeling, but I think there really aren’t that many things that were overly nerfed in 1.1 that really need buffing back up. Gromnir mentioned on-crit items, which is one clear case. Also, if I remember, some kinds of graze-to-hit or hit-to-crit were nerfed, and in general, even in new additions, Obsidian is too conservative with those properties, likely because the designers don’t really understand the math of how they work. But generally things like charge, chanters with brilliant, recursively proccing crits with multi-hit weapons on monks etc., were changed to something pretty reasonable and don’t need further tweaking. You can’t make an unstoppable warcaller that obliterates everyone and is completely invincible, but it’s still a really tanky character with strong offense and utility. A new player who started a warcaller today without ever knowing about the situation before 1.1 would probably think they made a really strong character. I do somewhat worry that excessive backlash to 1.1 and Josh Sawyer stepping back from development led to a fear of further balancing at Obsidian, which is a shame and might have prevented more buffs than it has stopped nerfs.
  20. I’ve been out of the loop for quite some time, but hel beckoning and grave calling, the two weapons specifically asked about, used to benefit spells and in fact stack with each other. Sasha’s singing scimitar’s lightning lash upgrade also benefits spells. I think those are the only ones that do, though, barring some new DLC weapons.
  21. I’ve never played any tabletop D&D, but what you say about 5 really seems like a better way of doing it. The balance of subclass to main class rarely works out in Deadfire. It seems too difficult to design substantial situational advantages and disadvantages that can’t be manipulated by the player to always work out as an advantage. And that’s basically what the player is looking for from a subclass, too. People generally seem pretty happy with subclasses that are stronger than base classes, but complain a lot when a subclass is weaker. Of course, I also think a straight up classless system would be better still, but that’s too much to hope for. But that hardly means that the developers should design subclasses to straight up be better while still giving you the choice of the base class. Perfect balance is unattainable, and Obsidian seems less concerned with it overall in Deadfire than PoE 1, but that doesn’t mean that trap options should be an explicit design goal.
  22. I’d much rather arcane archer just not get the accuracy boost from arcana to imbue and also not get the accuracy penalty to most weapons. First, the current system arbitrarily pushes them into putting all points into one skill, which is not great design at the class level. Nalpazca has a somewhat similar issue, but nalpazca is also pretty messed up, balance-wise, and alchemy investment has a much softer incentive. Second, the weapon restrictions don’t serve as an effective power-check on the character, and only are a somewhat flavorful limitation on what weapons it can use. As Boeroer mentioned, an elemental ranged weapon is available very early, meaning as soon as you get the essence interruptor, you face effectively no downside except that you’re restricted to only use a random range of weapons that are all really good anyway. It might be fun to make a melee/ranged wanderer, for example, using arcane archer imbues for utility and melee for damage, but you’re dissuaded from this for no good reason by the accuracy penalty. The accuracy bonus and penalty have flavor, but they’re also confusing. I don’t think the extra complication added by these properties makes the class any more interesting or that the flavor is worth the confusion and unnecessary restrictions it causes. It’s just a design that’s complicated for complexity’s sake.
  23. I wouldn’t go to Final Fantasy as an example of how to build a creative, different, but popular setting. First of all, as a point of historical interest, the original Final Fantasy was a Dungeons and Dragons campaign with some different mechanics and with the serial number filed off. It has elves and dwarves, as well as mindflayers and beholders (renamed in the English release). Of course, it also has space stations and robots armed with nuclear weapons, so the imitation only goes so far. Regardless, the series clearly moved on from imitating traditional western fantasy, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not based on it’s own set of easily accessible cliches. Anime and Manga is to Final Fantasy what Dungeons and Dragons is to western RPGs. Final Fantasy games don’t demand all that much from the player, everyone going into one pretty much knows what to expect and will feel solidly within their comfort zone. People who don’t like certain aspects of the game, or who just like to post negative rants online, feel vindicated by the poor sales. But there are plenty of people in the thread saying that Deadfire will be remembered as a great RPG for a long time, in spite of the sales numbers.
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