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Everything posted by Whipstitch

  1. I get that you're just trying to make illustrative examples but you're making an awful lot of mechanical assumptions that simply aren't true or useful when comparing well optimized characters. For one thing, well-built 2 handed weapon users aren't actually twice as slow as dual wielders since you get no benefit from going below 0 recovery and once both builds have met or approach that benchmark you're left with a situation where a 2 hander is only ~15 frames or less slower than a dagger while offering longer interrupts. That actually makes it pretty dang hard to outdo endgame worthy two handers when it comes to tekken juggling people to death, especially since the higher base damage makes it a lot easier to live with giving up enchantment slots for things like the CC effects on the Hours of Saint Rumbalt, Mabec's Morning Star or Tall Grass. At the end of the day, whether you should be dual wielding or rocking a 2 hander is actually pretty build and role specific. At endgame dual wielding is a great choice for builds that have powerful full attacks or wish to compensate for heavy armor with extra recovery speed while 2 handers tend to be better for builds that rely more on primary attacks than full attacks and have the durability/combat tricks to get away with wearing light armor. In the early game it's again an apples and oranges situation because dual wielding has a more pronounced speed advantage thanks to the lack of recovery reduction gear or alacrity potions while basic 2 handers are much, much better at chewing through armor than basic daggers or even stilettos.
  2. Illusions sound cool but the rest sounds pretty vanilla given my preferred rogue builds in POE skipped adding strikes and just used wounding shot and missile scrolls instead. I tried to cobble those guys into something cool, I really did, but like I said, the only thing that ever felt fun was grabbing Deathblows and pretending I had ranks in Use Magic Device.
  3. Personally, the only thing I really liked about Rogues in POE1 was deathblows. Its compatibility with non-weapon damage gave the class a much needed injection of versatility and I really enjoyed the idea that Rogues were at least as good as anyone at using scrolls, spellbinds and otherwise "cheating" their way to victory instead of just being flank monkeys. Did they build upon any of that at all or are the devs still fronting like the ability to attack from behind good is an adequate basis for an entire class? Because if they haven't I'm quite confident that rogues are going to be at the bottom of the class totem pole again because conceptually I don't think they did a good job of identifying niches for them to occupy in POE1.
  4. I feel like the key in the early game is just to be flexible and avoid prematurely throwing yourself into melee. After all, sneak attack is weapon agnostic and at low levels you haven't yet had an opportunity to sink a ton of talents, abilities and crafting supplies into any one particular style of combat anyway, so I never hesistate to shoot monsters right in the face if that's what the situation otherwise favors. That's why I'm a big fan of taking Runner's Wounding Shot and a big nasty ranged weapon in the early game even if the plan is to eventually spend most of my time dual wielding. Between sneak attack and the bleed damage you can routinely deal ~60 damage at level 2 with a basic crossbow from safer distances than what you get out of backstab. It's really nice because it lets you dump a lot of damage onto the biggest ugly without actually getting into arm's reach and once that first domino or two falls it becomes much safer to switch to your melee set and kick out some solid sustained DPS. The talent also works really well for two handed backstabbers, so it's not even like you necessarily have to spec out of it if you want to be a melee goon long term.
  5. My preferred recipient in the No Barbarians & Monks division is Pallegina, so no argument there. Big reason I don't use it on rogues very often is because I don't use rogues very often despite my "canon" PC from release day being a Natlan rogue from Deadfire.
  6. Firebrand has been nasty for ages. Even when I don't build around it i still usually spend a fair amount of time with the Forgemaster's Gloves on a tanky character so that I can have a shield, a gun and a damage set without blowing any talents on it. The base damage is good enough that you can lay down the hurt quite nicely even without much talent or ability support.
  7. 1. Ciphers do just fine on PotD. The drawbacks of the focus re-balance that freaked people out were often hilariously overstated. If anything I like Ciphers better on PotD than I do other difficulties since fights last longer and Focus is a renewable resource. That makes them MVP candidates in the early game when spell slots are limited and whiffing on spells causes your Druid to spiritshift into a sad panda. 2. I actually rather like Durance's stat spread. It's not optimal past mid-game when you spend more time casting than wading into melee but I'd argue it's better than pumping Dex and Perception in the early game and that's when the game is normally hardest for Priests anyway. I don't use him for true tanking but I do like to set him up as a brigandine/plate wearing dual wielder and basically treat him like a rogue that can cast Armor of Faith and Consecrated Ground even when things are trying to interrupt him. It's dead simple and really helps push the math in your favor until you get enough powerful spells to transition to casting full time. All Priests are OP at endgame so I wouldn't even call it a sacrifice. 3. Still does nothing. Chanters are fairly poor single target DPS but their AoE really adds up, so all around they end up pretty solid. Kana's stats are fine. Ideally you'd probably dump his Dexterity harder but otherwise his stats are concentrated in the right places. Soulbound weapons take any specialization, yes. What makes the best tank is pretty hilariously subjective. Personally, I mostly avoid the classic sword and board fighter build because I feel like it's way, way over-specialized. You don't need Constant Recovery AND defense talents AND a shield if have anyone else who is even moderately tanky or good at CC to take the heat off of your "main" tank. Personally, some of my favorite tanky NPC builds are the following: 1. Tanky Kana. You put Kana in heavy armor and give him Little Savior and you're basically done. He won't be the most durable tank in the world, but he'll be good enough with some support and as we already covered he doesn't actually give up much offense by having bad Recovery times. He just chants the Dragon Thrashed from behind his buckler and foes melt away. If you have any issues with health you can just take Wound Binding and some ranks in Survival for the resting bonus. People get weird bugs up their asses about doing that for some reason, but I'd take a Chanter with that setup over virtually anything else. 2. Marking Pallegina. Get a big nasty ranged weapon and put the Outworn Buckler and a debuffing/coordinating/marking weapon in your other set. You blast people with Flames of Devotion and Wrath of the Five Suns then when the survivors rush your front line you swap to your buckler and stand around looking pretty. Low sustained damage but stupidly high single target spike damage per encounter. It's a lot easier to get away with having crappy auto attack damage when you start the fight by hammering the most dangerous opponent right into the ground. Late game you get passive aoe damage that helps shore up your sustained damage too. 3. Offensive Eder. Give him +healing received gear, Might boosters, a ton of Survival and two sabers or warhammers. Knock down dragons, win the game. 4. Loud Maneha. Give her Badgradr's Barricade or the Dragons Maw then have her jump and yell until people die. Debuffs everyone and works great with other moderately tanky builds. At level 11 you still take Heart of Fury because you're not an idiot. 5. Riposte Devil. Badgradr's Barricade, Binding Rope and a stunning weapon. Not very good as a main tank because Recovery hurts rogues more than chanters and the class has even worse base deflection and no group buffs or built-in AoE. She does nice single target damage though and immunities make her a solid off-tank/tanky dps. Anything that tries to fight her head-on gets debuffed and Deathblowed into oblivion. 6. Zahua. Umm, he's a monk? The dude has literally built his lifestyle around getting punched in the face, so hell yeah he can tank. He's admittedly more rewarding as a DPSer though due to his race combo. The true majesty of monk tanking lies in creating a MC Fire Godlike with turning wheel.
  8. 20/20 with no recovery penalty and some DR is a contender on anyone, really, although I'd miss the proofing you can get with other armors. If anything I'd probably put the uniforms on my backline while Kana, Pallegina and Eder rock some plate, Pike's Pride, Sun-Touched Mail or one of the good hide armors.
  9. FWIW, I forgot that the Binding Rope gives the same amount of Con as the hat, so that takes some of the shine off of things. I say this not to really denigrate the hat--It's still quite decent--but to again marvel at how stupidly good that damn Rope is. It could give a point of negative Con and I'd still be one of my favorite belts since the Stuck effect is so nice.
  10. Frankly, I've found that going all-in on a particular strategy is usually more likely to break the game in your favor rather than produce a party that suffers from too much redundancy. In the case of two rangers you get a healthy dose of synergy just by taking Predator's Sense with both characters and having someone in the party who is good with DoTs. Which is awful convenient because you can fulfill that last requirement just by having someone wield Tidefall, Drawn In Spring or Persistence, three weapons which are already among the finest weapons in the whole game anyway. Kana Rua's also a great enabler since he can bring tanking, buffs and dots to the party while still having an extra weapon slot leftover for a pair of guns to hot swap with.
  11. Maegfolc Skull is always an endgame contender but otherwise the hat is especially attractive to a Tidefall melee rogue that dumps both Will defense attributes and relies on Con and Draining to stay standing. The immunity effects help paper over the glaring weakness to Will targeting crowd control--which is especially deadly to such rogues because their self-healing is tied directly to their damage output--and the build was unlikely to go out of its way to bogart 3+ Resolve or Con items anyway, so getting solid boosts to both one slot is a nice bonus. It'd be nice if the Dexterity boost was higher but honestly I could still see the hat being endgame worthy for such a build even if you override it with Formal Footwear, a Ring of Thorns or the new belt. Personally, I'll probably go with Pensiavi Mes Res, a situational ring slot and a Boots of Speed instead and mostly leave the Thorns and Formal Footwear to my party mates.
  12. I'd like to enter Spellblades into the race as a dark horse we should monitor. Blast is no Carnage, but it ain't bad, either, and neither is Deathblows. There's an alternate timeline somewhere in which implement wielding Rogue-Evokers and sneak attacking Ogre Assassins wreck everyone's weekend.
  13. Yeah, it's not a big deal, but it just vexes me because ideally it would be a good time to start dumping your wounds or spamming scrolls. Obviously you can still manage that by keeping an eye on your Endurance bar but still, consider me mildly annoyed when I'm running a monk and super annoyed when I'm running a Frenzy/Sanguine Plate build. Perhaps a low-int Tidefall human rogue, then, would work wonders. I've done this before and it works pretty well but unfortunately low Intellect rather hurts your Fighting Spirit duration. On PotD at least I actually prefer to keep Intellect at 10 or so. Losing a bit of Wounding damage stings but it makes you a better scroll/spellbind user once Deathblows comes online. That's kinda nice since otherwise the class's lack of inherent AoE damage really starts to sting over a full 16 levels. Plus, in the early game it's also good for using Veteran's Recovery to stay alive until you can get Tidefall in the first place. A minor issue there is that if you keep Veteran's Recovery and pair that with Tidefall on a rogue it means that you tend to have two settings, one called "Too healthy for Fighting Spirit to activate in the first place" and another I like to call "Critted into itty bitty pieces by Ogres." Still, you can respec out of Recovery easily enough if you're genuinely annoyed by being too tough, so I guess it's the very definition of 1st world problems when you get right down to it. Honestly, my biggest issue with the setup is probably that I don't think rogues are quite worth the micromanagement in the first place, especially if you're running a DPS fighter or monk on top of that. Which, is too bad, really, because thematically I've always liked the archetype. Still, you guys were right to point it out as a solid option, so thanks for the reminder.
  14. Just curious if there's some build I haven't thought of where they're really a standout. I usually pass on them since their racial ability and attribute scores come across as half-assed--lots of aggressive builds would cheerfully dump Resolve but Fighting Spirit is a DPS oriented ability that doesn't even display properly and is a pain to monitor. So the best I can really think of off the top of my head is a long pain monk, since they don't spend quite enough time at range OR getting punched in the face to make wood elves, moon or fire godlike into an absolute no brainer.
  15. Sorry, this is so late, but I'd recommend playing a Chanter with high Might and Intellect and "Come, come, soft winds of death" as your first phrase. That combined with Ancient Memories and Beloved of Spirits as your first talents will put your party in good position to grind out attrition victories in Story Time mode. Eventually you'll want to use "The Dragon Thrashed" as your phrase and then you'll really be in business.
  16. You don't need to go all or nothing. It helps a bit in the early game to be focused, sure, but there's virtually always some equipment/ability combination out there for each class that can paper over whatever weaknesses you might have with a given build. You can seriously just be a high Might Fighter with Tidefall and that's generally good enough.
  17. One thing I like about Backstab is that Jena's Lance is available very early but no other class really wants it very much. Reliable and Reach are just fine for rogues though, it since helps keep you out of harm's way and grazes make you want to cry big salty tears when they happen to your backstabs. First time I beat PotD with an all-custom party I made heavy use of a rogue-barbarian tag team that wielded Jena's and Durance's Staff/Tall Grass respectively. That was enough offense to breeze through the early game and then the casters carried me the rest of the way. It's not even like you need to respec out of it when better choices come along either, since the Soldier group is just plain loaded with great weapons across the board.
  18. Plus, as much as I like PoE, I've long felt like the Act 1 balance is frankly kinda derpy and PotD really shines a spotlight on how uneven it is. On PotD phantom packs have high all-around defenses, accuracy and sheer numbers to go along with their standard suite of immunities and nasty on-hit effects, so rushing Caed Nua on PotD is really more like a tedious personal challenge rather than a safe bet that'll minimize your odds of needing to reload. It's doable, but even by PotD standards you need to be savvy with your pulls. Let me guess: High might Rogue who shifts emphasis to scrolls and spell items once deathblows becomes available? I really wish rogues had more abilities and bonuses that highlighted their proficiency with items; deathblows goes a long way towards making them worthwhile, but it's not obvious that the spell proficiency was even intended. I'm still mildly disappointed that PoEII doesn't appear to have a utility belt rogue sub-class of some sort that gives you bonuses when using traps and scrolls. I wanted to defeat people with my wallet ingenuity like Batman.
  19. Knockdown isn't outright useless, it's just the very definition of "Decent early, blah later," which makes it especially irksome that you can't just take it for a few levels and eventually spec out of it. The core issue is that over the course of the game you'll acquire plenty of powerful weapons that knock prone or even stun enemies when you land a critical hit and Knockdown's direct competitor is Disciplined Barrage, a big fat honking accuracy bonus over a healthy duration.
  20. Spirit of Decay is also a nice bonus when using Minor Missile scrolls since that spell also deals corrode damage. Scrolls are nice on rogues in general for a number of reasons--not that I need to tell Boeroer that--but Minor Missiles in particular is a standout for melee rogues because it's only level 1 and doesn't need a boatload of cash, skill ranks or Intellect to be a handy toy. You just keep a handful around and when some annoying caster survives your party's opening volley you can whip out a scroll and crit them in the face for great justice.
  21. Thanks for the info. Yeah, I plan on grabbing both of those and was mostly curious because Weapon Focus always feels kinda vanilla. I ended up grabbing Veteran's Recovery instead since he's going to be at least a part time a melee goon and I actually slightly dumped Con rather than buffed it. Health will be a bit of a pain but I'm not playing PotD this run so whatever, I'll manage.
  22. Another weird talent question: how does the 1 handed style talent work with bashing shields? Do you get hit to crit for the weapon, the bash, or neither? Just curious because I'm toying around with playing a tanky high Might rogue that uses Badgradr's Barricade, Bittercut,* Riposte, Deep Wounds and a whole mess of scrolls. *I'm not married to this weapon choice, btw. Deathblows and spellbind gear go together nicely and Bittercut is a nasty weapon but Purgatory's Annihilation and Draining or We Toki's stuns wouldn't be bad either.
  23. Yeah, I really believe that the biggest reason people sometimes have trouble with monk builds is that sometimes they over specialize by only pairing mitigation & CC themed powers with tanking gear & attributes and discount everything but passive damage boosts when picking abilities for guys with dps stats and gear. In practice, it's often better to put some CC powers on the DPS guys and to give some wound hungry damage powers to the tanks--Stunning Blows & Force can go a long way towards keeping a lightly armored monk alive whereas tanky monks are already using their own faces as a form of ersatz crowd control and can quite plausibly run around burninating people to death with Turning Wheel instead.
  24. Actually, about the only thing you mentioned that really applies to rangers is the auto-attacking bit. They're practically disqualified from late bloomer status just by virtue of having a pet. Plus, the abilities and talents that buff your furry friend are strong enough that you don't even really have to truly pick sides between melee and ranged styles until level 7 when Driving Flight becomes available and even then it isn't a bad idea to have a weapon swap dedicated to sword 'n' board or smashing single targets with a fancy 2 hander. Heck, even in terms of attributes the biggest difference between a melee ranger and a stormcaller ranger is that the former may be more interested in throwing some points at Constitution or Resolve, but even that isn't terribly necessary because while Rangers have crappy Endurance their Health pools are still just barely decent enough that you can usually get by with some pet tanking, emergency potions or opting for Shod-In-AoE-Heals. The part where rangers get a sweet ass bow and start electrocuting people to death is absolutely hilarious but not strictly necessary.
  25. Did they ever change things so shield bash benefits from the two weapon fighting talent? I know it didn't benefit in most versions, but I vaguely remember people hoping that would change.
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