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  1. Hello there forum , so with upcoming Patch 1.05 bringing ton of changes to our game , i decided to start my 3rd Playtrough for the new patch , with Min/Maxed Ranged Rogue PC meanwhile using "story companions" to support this character as hard as they can . I am going to play simple Path of the Damned , without any strings attached ( no Trial no Expert ).Here i make this topic so you could help me find best choices for this build , also to discuss anything that is related to Ranged Rogue and Player Character specific buffs and Min/Max'ing .Try to keep the discussion about Ranged Rogue only ( No Ranger , no Cipher discussion and no melee Rogue either) , also keep in mind that Max damage is the key and the point of this build not dialogue choices or anything else like that , so dont mix it into this thread . Thank You ! Spoiler Heavy ! Let's begin. Race Choice : Hearth Orlan Living Lands(Might 18 Con 3 Dex 18 Per ? Int 18 Res ?) OR Wood Elf Living Lands (Might 19 Con 3 Dex 19 Per ? Int 18 Res ?) We got two Race choice's . At the moment i am leaning towards Hearth Orlan(Full Crit focused Build) but Wood Elf and its +Accuracy is always an option(This is POTD and Accuracy=Crit),also Wood Elfs tend to get better attributes and you can start 19 Might 19 Dex or 18 Might 20 Dex , meanwhile Orlan can get as good as 18 Might and 18 Dex only, but their racial is BEAST . Any1 choosing Wood Elf over Hearth Orlan ? Why ? Why Not ? Attributes : Max Might , Max Dex , Max Int - These are the obvious choice's not much to discuss here tho ATM i am prioritizing Might over Dex all the way (Speed is nice but the damage just gets real with more Might and it doesnt scale that good with more Dex imo) Anyone maxing Dex over Might ? Going something like 18 Might 20 Dex Wood elf builds ? Why ? Why not ? Min Con - No use for constitution at all , this character is supposed to never get hit and use Shadowing Beyong if he does get targeted . Attributes choice : Perception or Resolve ? So After Maxing MIGHT,DEX,INT , Minimazing Con , we still got arround 12 Points left to almost max either Perception or Resolve . If interrupts were any good ( Maybe they will be after 1.05? ) Perception would be obvious choice ( also fits the class in general rpg sense ) , How Valuable is Some concentration(Resolve) if we never getting hit , also having high resolve would help WIll defense ( paired with max INT = much will , no charms ? ) . I am lost here , what would be your prefered choice ? Both seem to have little impact . That is why it is always hardest choice for me here when making a ranged rogue . Skill Points Distribution : Stealth X , Athletics 3 , Lore 0 , Mechanics 2(Class) , Survival 10 . So the idea here is to get 3 Athletics for basic needs , and Max Survival ( Using potion or two every fight on this character is gona be a thing , even on trash fights etc , more into that later ) , after survival i put rest points into Stealth, 2 Points in Mechanics from Class will be enough to cover early game needs , after that just gona dedicate one of the companions to have 10 , not planing to use even single scroll with my ranged marksman so Lore = 0 . Talent Build : Marksman > Shadowing Beyond (OH Sheet button, not gona run full glasscanon without this, getting it as early as i can either) > Vicious Fighting > Penetrating Shot > Bloody Slaughter - Self Explanatory Here Max Red Numbers . Last Talent Choice: Weapon Focus Adventurer / Devastating Blows / Envenomed Strike / Interrupting Blows(If Maxed Per over Res) . Last talent choice is unclear , what would be your choice out of these ? Devastating Blows +2% seems pathetic kinda... Interrupting Blows might be a thing after 1.05 ? anyone tested it ? WF: A is always a decent choice so is Envenomed Strike's ( Not that good with a bow tho ) . What is your opinion here ? what would you choose ? why this and not that ? Skills Choice : Level 1 : Blinding Strike / Crippling Strike ? - Which one is better for ranged rogue ? why do you think so ? Blidning clearly better debuff but Crippling is 2 per encounter . Level 3 : Dirty Fighting - Obvious Choice Level 5 : Finishing Blow / Deep Wounds / Level 1 Skill ? - Confused Here Level 5 and 7 you can take 2 out of these 3 skills which ones you go for ? Why ? Level 7 : Finishing Blow / Deep Wounds / Level 1 Skill ? - Same as above Level 9 : Withering Strike / Fearsome Strike ? - Same choice like lvl 1 , which 1 is better ? 1 Per rest ( sets up deathblows ) or 2 per encounter ( 1 debuff only ) Level 11 : DeathBlows - R.I.P Enemy Weapon Choice : War Bow - Borresaine / Cloudpiercer - Which one is better ? Stunning seems to be way to go for me is Jolting Touch striking worth it ? and The Rain of Godagh Field for endgame. 2nd Set : Arbalest for Alpha Strike - Is it worth to open with arbalest and switch to war bow? Too time Consuming maybe(Without quick switch it takes long to recover) ? What is your Opinion ? Other Items : Best i can get (+3Might , +3 Dex ,+2/3 Int , +2/3 Perc/Resolve , +Crit) Armor : Clothing + Gwisk Glas /Jack of Wide Waters - When i need more armor/survival/2nd chance ill swap clothing for those 2 . Any other good armors to consider ? Buffs Choice,Faction Choice, PC Talents Choice : In general i am leaning towards stacking might with every buff possible ( Inns,Courtesans) , any1 consider to stack Dex instead ? A little bit of Both ? Why and why not ? Here are the Buffs and Talents available trough the game : Mob Justice ( Dozens +5 Acc ) or Merciless Hand ( Doemenel +0.3 Crit Dmg ) - This is important choice , what would be better stacking even more accuracy or going for crit damage ? does this one stack with Dungeon Delver ? I am leaning towards Merciless Hand , but going Merciless Hand + Hearth Orlan over Dozens+Wood Elf is huge accuracy loss in the end , that is why there is a decision here . Galawain ( +1Might+1Athletics ) or Skaen ( +1Dex+1Survival) Wild Running (+Defenses ) or Dungeon Delver ( +0.1 Crit ) - Does this stack with Merciless Hand ? Salty Mast Boon Choice(Much faction them courtesans) +2Might+2Const (Alternative +2Dex+2Const) Sacrifice Companion Choice (SO CRUEL :D) Sagani(+1Per+2Accuracy) or Hiravias (+1Dex+1DT) Food Choice : +2/3Might Egg/Beef or Dragon (Alternative +2Dex) Inn Choice before Important Fights : Dragon's Lair +2Might+2Int+2Cons (Alternative+2Dex or +4 Int) Gift From the Machine(+1Might) ,Blooded Hunter(+1Stealth),Song of the Heavens(+1Per), Scale-Breaker Potions Choice : 1 Healing + 3 DPS / 2 DPS + Figurine - Most Likely 3 DPS Potions and 1 Healing that restores alot of endurance instantly Eldricht Aim(Stacks with what? What does this potion replace which buffs ? ) , Potion of Power , Potion of Merciless Gaze(Stacking? Does this Stack with Paladins Crit Aura ? if it replaces paladins crit aura there is no point to take pallegina as companion then ) , Potion of Deleterious Alacrity of Motion ( This is beast but only available from mid game in big quantities ) Companions : Eder Main Tank , Aloth 2ndOT+Debuffer+CC ,Durance Buffer/Healer+Gunner Arquebus(+Marking for PC from that endgame Arquaebus), Kana 1st OT+Buffs+Summons+Reload&Fire Chants ( Does Fire weapon chant enhance ranged ones ? ) Last Companion Choice : Pallegina (Crit Aura ) / Grieving Mother (Cipherlol) - If Merciless Gaze Potion replaces Palladin's crit aura there is no choice here then , just taking GM .( Question here is if Palladins Crit aura is Exclusive is 5% of crit worth whole cipher maybe it is if thats 5% i cant get anywhere else ! ) Planing to use Wizard to setup Sneak Attacks for Rogue and Control the fight , priest to buff the rogue and heal the others , Eder for maintanking , Kana for Reload and Fire weapon chants . Going to do first part as a party of 5 until i can get trough Caed Nua then picking either Pallegina or GM , leaning towards GM at the moment . Post your insights , advice and criticism , and help me make those choices , i know most of them seems pretty small but all of them together forms that one max damage build . I Will try to update the thread with your ideas and keep it documented , for people who want to min/max a true marksman .
  2. Time and culture may have shaped Eora’s borders, piety may have strengthened them, and conflict may have shattered them, but all things sprout from a shared root in the vast unknown. Pillars of Eternity Guidebook, Volume One A few days ago I bought the game and launched it. In return, the game launched a volley of numbers at me. Numbers I did not understand. But I like numbers. You can depend on numbers. They are always there for you. So I asked myself: how do I make those numbers sing? After some time spent nudging them here and there, I realized that my past experience with Infinity Engine games and their AD&D mojo wouldn't get me far on this particular journey. And, frankly, that's great – it means that PoE will possibly be an exciting and refreshing adventure in terms of gameplay mechanics. But still, what do I do with those unwieldy numbers? So I started reading [1, 2] and it seems the news (OK, it's pretty old news, but new to me) is fantastic: the devs at Obsidian are experimenting with the ancient RPG formulas in an attempt to make something fresh, approachable and enjoyable for newcomers and veterans alike. So far so good. But how do I navigate this brave new world of Might, Constitution, Dexterity, Perception, Intellect and Rhesuses? (Or was that Resolve?) In other words, how do I build a character? How do I build a party? A lot of talk about character/party builds gravitates around the so-called min/maxing. For me, this is really just another flavor of good ol' optimization problems. And actually it's pretty natural. Every time you level up a character or equip some shiny new gear, you're optimizing something. What? On the meta-level, I'd say it's your enjoyment. You build a better character, so that playing with it gives you more pleasure. But what makes one character better than other? This whole “enjoyment” thing seems pretty subjective and ethereal. Most people talking about min/maxing use hard facts, objective truth and gargantuan Excel spreadsheets. In fact, there are many things you would want to optimize, which makes min/maxing a multi-objective optimization problem [3]. For example, two of these objectives could be damage output and survivability. For brevity, let's assume these are the only two – I find two dimensions easier to visualize than seventeen, or one hundred twenty-three, or lady-knows-how-many-there-actually-are. So, you could have multiple builds, each with different scores in damage output and survivability. Cf. Figure 1., where build B has the highest damage output, while build C is the most survivable one. Figure 1.: Character build configuration space Based on these ideas, we may try to divide all possible builds into classes, e.g. offense-oriented and defense-oriented, cf. Figure 2. Figure 2.: Different classes of builds in the configuration space We can also try to establish a notion of how good (powerful) a particular build is. This could be analogous to Pareto frontiers [4]. Builds lying on the same “frontier” would be similarly powerful, however they may achieve their power in different ways, e.g. one build would be more offensive, another more defensive. This is pretty intuitive – usually you have a limited number of attribute points to spend, and so if you want to increase one parameter (e.g. damage output) you have do decrease another (e.g. survivability). See Figure 3. Figure 3.: Frontiers of build power If I understand this correctly, the problem with D&D is that there are many “trash builds”, i.e. legal character configurations which are not powerful enough to be comfortably playable. Similarly, there are possibly some uber-builds, which make the game too easy. We may call such a situation a Variably Balanced System (VBS), cf. Figure 4. Figure 4.: Variably Balanced System (VBS) The opposite of a VBS would be a Uniformly Balanced System (UBS), i.e. a system in which every character build is equally powerful, cf. Figure 5. Figure 5.: Uniformly Balanced System (UBS) I presume that Pillars of Eternity is not strictly a UBS, for the following reasons: It would be practically impossible to ideally balance such a complex system. When creating an RPG system, you probably would want to give advanced players some space to optimize their builds. So, as far as I understand, Obsidian were aiming at a situation depicted in Figure 6, i.e. eliminating the “trash builds”, while still leaving some space for build min/maxing. All builds are equal, but some builds are more equal than others Figure 6.: PoE-type system? As far as I know, many people are trying to analyze PoE character and party builds in various contexts, e.g. Let's talk race balance... http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/74777-lets-talk-race-balance/ Ultimate DPS class? Rogue/Cipher/Barabarian? http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/74642-ultimate-dps-class-roguecipherbarabarian/ The architecture of the Pillars. http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/74451-the-architecture-of-the-pillars/ Let's figure out an ideal ironman PotD party! http://www.reddit.com/r/projecteternity/comments/30xymw/lets_figure_out_an_ideal_ironman_potd_party/ Yet, a number of open questions persist: Is the above reasoning about the game system correct? It seems pretty basic and straightforward, but maybe I'm making some wrong assumptions here. Did anybody analyze the equations the game uses for computing various variables (damage, defense, etc.)? Which parameters are the most important? What should I pay attention to? Did anybody do any number crunching in the context of optimizing PoE builds? Do you have any idea how big the configuration space actually is? What criteria do you use when min/maxing your builds? A fellow researcher suggested that a good criterion could be to maximize DPS while maintaining a certain level of survivability. What are your opinions? I'm thinking about playing a Cipher. References [1] Sawyer, J.: How To Balance An RPG, 2014, URL: http://kotaku.com/how-to-balance-an-rpg-1625516832, accessed on: 2015-04-02 [2] Hall, C.: How Pillars Of Eternity Rewrites The Rules For Role-Playing, 2015, URL: http://www.polygon.com/2015/3/25/8284763/how-pillars-of-eternity-rewrites-the-rules-for-role-playing, accessed on: 2015-04-02 [3] Wikipedia, Multi-objective optimization, URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-objective_optimization, accessed on: 2015-04-02 [4] Wikipedia, Pareto efficiency, URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_efficiency, accessed on: 2015-04-02
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