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+95% passive damage amp from talents has to be abusable in some way. Wounding Shot itself triggers +50% pet damage, Flanking the target activates the other conditional +30%. If Ghost Heart companion counts as a summon, it could benefit from Animancy Cat's summon buffs.

Exoduss, on 14 Apr 2015 - 11:11 AM, said: 

 

also secret about hardmode with 6 man party is :  its a faceroll most of the fights you will Auto Attack mobs while lighting your spliff

 

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I feel like the issue with animal companions is they have very low base damage and action speed. Due to how they scale, their talents can't really buff their damage too high, since all the bonuses are additive. In my Ranger/Chanter playthrough, even with double fire lashes from chanter and Paladin, the attack rate is way too slow for the companion to contribute anything meaningful.

 

That said, bears with Resilient Companion make for decent off tanks, with some party support their armor and hp pool goes a long way. For my money they are not much more than a distraction to the enemy, a far cry from their glory days in the first game.

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In PoE their base damage scaled. That was powerful. If in Deadfire they only get additive dmg bonuses with scaling that's a lot less powerful.

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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It takes a ton of skill points into their passives to make them more than a passing distraction for enemies and their pathfinding can be downright infuriating at times.

 

I wish their passives were a little more focused and less all over the place, especially at low levels. Right now when you start the game with a Ranger, your skill page is pretty much 75% pet passives for the first few levels and it's kind of hard to see what's good and what's not in that whole mess. Not to mention the fact that passives are not exactly the most exciting things in which to invest.

 

It really seems strange to me that you can invest that many skill points in the pet and have it still be that middling in effectiveness. If you're putting so many eggs in the same basket, it should reward you in a more significant way.

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Looking at a log from the final fight (vs. RDC), Ishiza was grazing the boss for 17 Slashing, counting the passive damage amps on top of +45% damage scaling from being level 16. Average base damage roll was around 12. Ishiza has low Might, so that hurts his damage a bit, and he has a highish base armor of 8. If the devs took a short cut and stuck a creature version of armor on pets, that could be why their action times suffer. As it stands they seem pretty effective as damage supplements and as off tanks, and of course as extra bodies they get better the more buffs your party throws around.

Exoduss, on 14 Apr 2015 - 11:11 AM, said: 

 

also secret about hardmode with 6 man party is :  its a faceroll most of the fights you will Auto Attack mobs while lighting your spliff

 

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I can't speak to the PoE2 details of animal companions.  However, if you want to put up with a A/C, they can be quite useful in a number of ways.  Don't think of them as DPS monsters or hardcore tanks.  They're useful as distractions, allies that can be a damage supplement. 

 

To make an A/C useful, first you want to buff the A/C directly with the Resilient and Vicious Companion passive abilities.  The Merciless Companion ability (+30% sneak attack damage). Then you want to add abilities like Predator's Sense (+50% damage for the A/C against targets with an active DoT) and Stalker's Link (+10 Accuracy for the Ranger vs any enemy the A/C has engaged).  And Survival of the Fittest (+10 ACC vs targets under 50% HP), and Superior Camouflage (+8 DEFL vs Ranged Attacks for both the Ranger and the A/C).  Marked Prey and its upgrade, Marked for the Hunt, both give +10 ACC for both the ranger and the AC on the marked target.  Also, if you take Predator's Sense, taking Wounding Shot (and perhaps its upgrade, Hobbling Shot) are worth taking to generate the required damage over time effect for the Pred Sense to trigger.

 

In short, there are a lot of abilities you can take to produce a really effective ranger/pet team.  But it does take an investment.  Overall, it's probably worth it, mostly because if you don't, you'll either have a rather useless pet, unless you take the Ghost Heart subclass.  And if you do take the GH subclass, your options for making a really effective GH ranger are quite a bit more limited, in large part due to not needing to take all those A/C related abilities and not having nearly as many left to build a pure GH character around.  Kinda makes me wonder if Ghost Hearts are better off multiclassing, perhaps with Fighter, just to gain access to more non-pet related abilities.

 

EDIT:  Forgot to include this point.  One other value that an animal companion can bring is, *IF* you have a cipher in your party, the A/C can make a handy ally for the cipher to use when casting one of those spells that require they be targeted upon an ally.

Edited by Crucis
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In PoE their base damage scaled. That was powerful. If in Deadfire they only get additive dmg bonuses with scaling that's a lot less powerful.

Yeah. I fondly remember Itumaak critting in the 80s, and doing it fast and frequently. In this game, they seem to be mostly poking the enemy or just dying. I haven't tried to seriously play a ranger or micro one, though.

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They are super bad. They scaled much better in POE1 and they actually were doing great damage later in game. Don't know why they changed it - in PoE1 Ranger wasn't really that good of a class but at least his pets were much more useful.

They also have waay to low defenses and health and attack speed, and damage. They are garbage right now, which is quite ironic, considering how many things are brokenly OP- companions went other way around are totally UP.

If you want to make build with succesfull pet as tank- make Paladin Shieldbearer/Ranger Stalker or Sharpshooter. Focus on building your ranger for damage and just cast Sworn Rival (as kill with return Zeal) and Lay on Hands on your pet. With 20 INT your Lay on Hands will give your pet 10 seconds of immortality so you can keep him alive forever while doing your ranger job which is to snipe people + you have your Ranger heal and you have +1 armor from Paladin aura later. With Stalker that will be +2 armor for pet if 4m from you. It's not really that funny to burn all Zeal to keep your pet alive after first few seconds of fight, but I didn't find anything better than that for solo Ranger build if you want to use your pet.

 

Becuase you can always go Chanter/Ranger and just use summons and forget about you pet since it sucks, but that is not the point of Ranger I think....

Edited by Voltron
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I went Chanter/Ranger with bear pet, with resilient companion and some party wide buffs (exalted endurance, ancient memory) he stays alive fine. He doesn't do too much damage but he fits the theme (lots of creatures fighting for you with lots of party buffs). I did take vicious companion as his damage is really too sad to watch without penetration. With Pallegina as Herald we are 2 kiths commanding an army. The other party members can sit back and watch if they want a break :grin:

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I think a large problem is the difficulty mod I'm running makes it apparent how awful the pet is. Was use to poe when I ran a melee tanky ranger and my pet was actually putting out some good damage, and now it feels more so like a liability to have me debuffed

 

I think aside from some buffs to the pet to make it useful they need to look st there subclasses a bit too and talent tree. There just seems to be do many useless talents it's crazy. Maybe even consider combining some of the pet passives together

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I never played a ranger main character in PoE 1, but Itumaak was terrifying. I'd run him around to the enemy back line, have sagani tag archers or mages with persistence or wounding shot, then watch Itumaak just eat them. The pet was fairly fragile, but it felt worth it considering how much damage he could do. I haven't played a ranger to high levels in this game, but at low to mid levels, the point at which the pet started to really shine in PoE 1, the attack speed and damage is really disappointing for something that takes up an enormous amount of the class's identity, skill choices and purported strength.

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I did a BleakWalker/Ghost Heart setup when I did my play through.

 

Dual Wielding 1 Handed Spears, would run up on enemies, summon my pet behind them (which gave them flanked) and activated the Flank damage passive on my Spear as well. He was a decent dot and would wreck a lot of the monsters fairly easily. 

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I tried to run the same area (Fort Deadlight) as in my Bleak Huntress build video with Lvl 8 Stalker/Shieldbearer. Even with Paladin +1 Armor Aura, +1 Armor from Stalker, Lay on Hands with 10 sec immortality It was a chore to keep pet alive and not waste a lot of my "time" and trying to keep it from dying as opposed to shooting enemies.

The best part was in when fighting with Ben in Deadlight - I had to load game twice because I was unable to cast Lay On Hands fast enough to prevent my pet from being insta-deleted by room of enemies. On third time I manged to keep my Bear alive there for whole fight by using Lay On Hands but he was constantly on 0 HP pretty much and I had to waste all my Zeal on him, slowing me down, wasting my resources and generally making it more like "keep your virtual pet alive simulator".

So yeah, if we talk from solo perspective or wanting your pet to be frontliner- they are absolutely useless.

Companion needs a lot of buffs. They should also get -10% recovery and +1 armor per your Power Level and huge increase in dmg and healthpool as right now they are just paper figurines.

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While I would like to see animal companions buffed, balancing them around solo play is not the way to go. Also it's not really fair to compare your performance with a build to the one you were using that exploits the fast reload glitch and enemy AI resetting due to invisibility. Without those crutches, that build would struggle to solo an encounter like that at level 8.

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I've never actually played any game pnp or crpg where ranger companions and wizard familiars aren't either useless or OP (usually the former).

 

Personally I don't think they should be a class focus. There are great in pnp for non-combat purposes - sneaking, getting spaces, nightvision, scouting etc. Fun for role-play. But in a crpg, as the class focus of ranger? No, I'd rather not.

 

To me, a ranger isn't a companion class, or indeed merely a ranged class - but a nature skill based warrior with some rogue skills. More of a hunter or wilderness survival expert.

 

For poe, I'd probably have given a subclass with druid spells, and a subclass with backstab.  Although you can multi-class most combinations are not optimal, and some are OP. Multi-classing is not an ideal system IMO either. That said, druids also have a shapeshift focus, that I also feel should be optional. That every nature focused class has to have some animal tag along is limiting. 

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While I would like to see animal companions buffed, balancing them around solo play is not the way to go. Also it's not really fair to compare your performance with a build to the one you were using that exploits the fast reload glitch and enemy AI resetting due to invisibility. Without those crutches, that build would struggle to solo an encounter like that at level 8.

 

Companions are useless and weak in general, also in team play. The bring nothing apart from free Flanked on enemy, which Cipher can do with Level II spell for whole screen... And on PotD pet won't tank much unless you have some priest or paladin baby sitting it.

 

And rnemy AI resetting due to invisibility is not an exploit, it's how the game mechanic works. Blame Obsidian for it.

 

As for reload, i would just have to use hit-n-run tactic with smoke veil and wouldn't have any problem with solo run. Not to mention Spearcaster with Skerwer. If you want I can do rerun of this area for you without reload trick- it will be longer but I will have no problem soloing it.

Edited by Voltron
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While I would like to see animal companions buffed, balancing them around solo play is not the way to go. Also it's not really fair to compare your performance with a build to the one you were using that exploits the fast reload glitch and enemy AI resetting due to invisibility. Without those crutches, that build would struggle to solo an encounter like that at level 8.

 

Companions are useless and weak in general, also in team play. The bring nothing apart from free Flanked on enemy, which Cipher can do with Level II spell for whole screen... And on PotD pet won't tank much unless you have some priest or paladin baby sitting it.

 

And rnemy AI resetting due to invisibility is not an exploit, it's how the game mechanic works. Blame Obsidian for it.

 

As for reload, i would just have to use hit-n-run tactic with smoke veil and wouldn't have any problem with solo run. Not to mention Spearcaster with Skerwer. If you want I can do rerun of this area for you without reload trick- it will be longer but I will have no problem soloing it.

 

It's how the game works because the game was explicitly not designed based on solo play. Using a loophole that is clearly overperforming in a scenario the developers did not design around, then trying to compare it to something that doesn't overperform in that specific scenario, is a bad basis for comparison. Try comparing them without using combat reset mechanics or the reload glitch and get back to me.

 

That said, I wholly agree that animal companions are very lackluster, they are terrible without talent investment, and investing in them is not worth the opportunity cost, since investing in your own character gives much better returns. The only passives I consider worth it are the +armor and +penetration talents, due to how those systems work in this game.

 

And by the way bears with Resilient Companion make for very decent offtanks in PotD (with difficulty mod), in a full party. But that's not saying much unfortunately.

Edited by GuyNice
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While I would like to see animal companions buffed, balancing them around solo play is not the way to go. Also it's not really fair to compare your performance with a build to the one you were using that exploits the fast reload glitch and enemy AI resetting due to invisibility. Without those crutches, that build would struggle to solo an encounter like that at level 8.

 

Companions are useless and weak in general, also in team play. The bring nothing apart from free Flanked on enemy, which Cipher can do with Level II spell for whole screen... And on PotD pet won't tank much unless you have some priest or paladin baby sitting it.

 

And rnemy AI resetting due to invisibility is not an exploit, it's how the game mechanic works. Blame Obsidian for it.

 

As for reload, i would just have to use hit-n-run tactic with smoke veil and wouldn't have any problem with solo run. Not to mention Spearcaster with Skerwer. If you want I can do rerun of this area for you without reload trick- it will be longer but I will have no problem soloing it.

 

It's how the game works because the game was explicitly not designed based on solo play. Using a loophole that is clearly overperforming in a scenario the developers did not design around, then trying to compare it to something that doesn't overperform in that specific scenario, is a bad basis for comparison.

 

 

It's still not exploit. Game can be played solo - check. AI resetting on stealth as game design - check. Creating full party with Smoke Veil to do it with whole party- check. Overperforming because of bad developers design - check. 

 

It's game mechanic and it works how it works. In game there are always mechanics that works better/overperform vs others. There is a difference between exploit (like infinite empower on Drakes or reload cancel) and simply bad design (AI resetting on stealth, enemies scalling bad, weapon effect procing on things like Carnage or R.Pain). 

 

It's a video game after all. There is always over and under performing mechanics.

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While I would like to see animal companions buffed, balancing them around solo play is not the way to go. Also it's not really fair to compare your performance with a build to the one you were using that exploits the fast reload glitch and enemy AI resetting due to invisibility. Without those crutches, that build would struggle to solo an encounter like that at level 8.

 

Companions are useless and weak in general, also in team play. The bring nothing apart from free Flanked on enemy, which Cipher can do with Level II spell for whole screen... And on PotD pet won't tank much unless you have some priest or paladin baby sitting it.

 

And rnemy AI resetting due to invisibility is not an exploit, it's how the game mechanic works. Blame Obsidian for it.

 

As for reload, i would just have to use hit-n-run tactic with smoke veil and wouldn't have any problem with solo run. Not to mention Spearcaster with Skerwer. If you want I can do rerun of this area for you without reload trick- it will be longer but I will have no problem soloing it.

 

It's how the game works because the game was explicitly not designed based on solo play. Using a loophole that is clearly overperforming in a scenario the developers did not design around, then trying to compare it to something that doesn't overperform in that specific scenario, is a bad basis for comparison.

 

 

It's still not exploit. Game can be played solo - check. AI resetting on stealth as game design - check. Creating full party with Smoke Veil to do it with whole party- check. Overperforming because of bad developers design - check. 

 

It's game mechanic and it works how it works. In game there are always mechanics that works better/overperform vs others. There is a difference between exploit (like infinite empower on Drakes or reload cancel) and simply bad design (AI resetting on stealth, enemies scalling bad, weapon effect procing on things like Carnage or R.Pain). 

 

It's a video game after all. There is always over and under performing mechanics.

 

I still think it's a bad basis for comparison. It's like saying 99% of abilities in the game suck compared to swift flurry with multi-hit weapons (or other cascading effects like Sun and Moon). The outliers are problematic, not the baseline. Same with invisibility and out-of-sight AoE from stealth. They trivialize content. Not a good comparison.

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While I would like to see animal companions buffed, balancing them around solo play is not the way to go. Also it's not really fair to compare your performance with a build to the one you were using that exploits the fast reload glitch and enemy AI resetting due to invisibility. Without those crutches, that build would struggle to solo an encounter like that at level 8.

Companions are useless and weak in general, also in team play. The bring nothing apart from free Flanked on enemy, which Cipher can do with Level II spell for whole screen... And on PotD pet won't tank much unless you have some priest or paladin baby sitting it.

 

And rnemy AI resetting due to invisibility is not an exploit, it's how the game mechanic works. Blame Obsidian for it.

 

As for reload, i would just have to use hit-n-run tactic with smoke veil and wouldn't have any problem with solo run. Not to mention Spearcaster with Skerwer. If you want I can do rerun of this area for you without reload trick- it will be longer but I will have no problem soloing it.

You could easily argue that it's clearly not intended like infinite bouncing projectiles but with how the state of balance is it doesn't matter to much stealth tends to be tricky.

 

I think the talents needs to be fairly large increases so a Rangers base pet isn't to powerful but an invested one is. They do need some base stats added though

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