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All this talk about the Fighter makes me realize I'm probably an expert in singleclass Fighters pre-1.1, as my party featured three (!) of those by the endgame. I've refrained from talking too much about it because I didn't optimize the three builds I ran for beyond RP aspects, but eh, I still got to test the pros and cons of every ability, and there are a lot of misconceptions.

 

single-class Fighters are only ever superior damage dealers when they use a single one-handed weapon against enemies that the rest of your party can't reach because they suck. In other words, at the early game, when you fight higher level enemies with crazy defenses and you still don't have a good arsenal. Remember that time when Tekehu was dominating your run with foe-only chill fogs and Blizzards? Yeah. That's when a single-class Fighter dealt more effective damage, when each of their weapon swings dealt 30-40 damage every 3 seconds like a metronome, whereas the rest of your group takes bets on their supposedly stronger shots.

 

It's not flashy, but it gets the job done. Every fight, you're the main tank, and you deal higher total damage than everyone else, and you require less micromanagement. So by the time I got to level 10 or something, when the game became too easy and my Fighter's damage dealing services were no longer really effective because of the burst the rest of my party could do, I filled my rank with two more custom fighters, and experimented with other abilities. 

 

Here's what I found:

 

- Power Strike is not a damage dealer. I'm sure you guys noticed, it's crowd control. What matters is the Staggered debuff that you apply on pretty much everyone, and the Stun on the primary target. You use that, then you can move everyone around as you see fit, no disengage attacks. The main problem is that it costs too much, and the impact on the battlefield isn't worth the cost. It would be fine at 3.

 

- Clear Out's AOE is too small, and it doesn't benefit from Intellect (AOE is the same on both low and high Intellect fighters). You can generally only hit one target with that. It's not usable as it stands.

 

- Clean Sweep is too high level. It's what Clear Out should have been. Basically you spend two ability points to get a working version of an ability you should have had access to 8 levels ago.

 

- Clear the Path is great. Don't touch it.

 

- Inspired Discipline, as it stands, it's a powerful self-cleansing spell, clearing all afflictions and granting you a level of resistance to all future ones. Costs too much and gives too little. When you get it, you have like 10 discipline, It's like minor Avatar for the priest, except using it costs you all your level 4, 5 and 6 spell points on top of the level 7 you just spent. The terrible part is that's it's merely a sidegrade to your other two sources of inspirations. At the very least, for this cost, durations from existing selfbuffs (eg: Acute or Intuitive) should stack, so you don't have to recast your Barrage.

 

- All Empower passives: the only one that's worth looking at is Empower Duration. It's all complete garbage. That's fine though, Empower is always used on the Fighter for more of those really expensive abilities. Consider this though, Empower a Universalist and he gets to cast 14 more spells. Empower a Fighter and he gets to cast two.

 

- Unbreakable/Unrelenting: Actually useful because of the discipline regen. haha.

 

- Critical Defense: Critical Defense is counterproductive and will make your fighter worse, believe it or not. 

 

- Toughened Fury: Frankly, should be a level 1 passive for all Fighters. The chance is never specified, but it's roughly 10% on being crit. This passive ability, by itself, defines the Fighter, the way they tank, and the way they deal damage. Seeing it baseline at level 1 should tell the newbie that "hey, maybe wearing a shield might not be the best of ideas".

 

- Sundering Blow: best attack in class. Nothing to see here, move along, get it and use it, it's good. The damage is crap, but it's a good tool to have.

 

- Take the Hit: Should have been a modal. Right now it's 10 seconds buff that's buffed by 5% of your power level *beyond 9* and your intellect. It also costs 2 discipline, which is mind boggling. Empowering it makes it last for 17 seconds on my fighter with 17 intellect. And you have a cast time of 1 second, and a short AOE. It just doesn't work. Even if the effect itself is powerful, it's just not reliable enough to justify spending *any* discipline on this buff in battle.

 

- Vigorous Defenses: counterproductive pre-1.1, didn't test it after. See Unbending and Toughened Fury. Refreshing Defense upgrade is rumoured to not work, I can't confirm. My fighter that had it simply never needed it. Into the Fray upgrades are better.

 

- Into the Fray: best single target burst for the Fighter at high level, that's saying a lot. Before you ask, it doesn't have any reload/cooldown. The penetration upgrade applies to itself and the next attack. With moderate stats you're going to hit for 30 something, and crit for 50 something. But you can cast 5 of those in a row if you want, it's instant and no recovery. On a blackjacket you can open with Into the Fray accuracy buff shoot shoot into the fray shoot shoot into the fray shoot shoot into the fray shoot shoot into the fray. That's what I call blowing your load akimbo. It's of course completely useless to dump all your discipline on that, but you'll get bonus for artistic impression.

 

There are advanced fightering techniques involving poking your own teammate with dual dagger on parrying mode to give them discipline, but I never really got to that kind of advanced teambuilding and groupie management.

 

At the end of the day, Fighter single class was, believe it or not, more fun in PoE 1 because you had limited uses per encounter instead of a discipline pool. I no longer use into the fray because I use Inspired Discipline instead. I no longer Clear Out because I Charge. I no longer knock down because of Unbending Trunk, etc. In my opinion the class needs a complete rework, maybe make it use per-level abilities like a spellcaster instead of a global pool. The cool thing about Fighters in PoE1 was all the positioning shenanigans, you were the king of pushing, pulling, dazing, positioning, you decided who had engagement with whom, and who did not. Who was standing and who was down. Right now it's not about the numbers, as long as they nerf Unbending I'll be a happy camper, it's just there's something in the gameplay that was lost in translation from PoE 1 to PoE 2, and I'm afraid that when people say the Fighter is "bad now", they're not entirely wrong... I mean, charge spam/cleave is dead now, and with it the damage dealing nuker has nothing in the fighter class beyond utility and hit to crit. They're just sort of missing the mark by a mile. IMHO.

 

I'm at the stage where I'm not even sure reducing the discipline cost of Power/Inspired Strike to 2 or the cost of Into the Fray/Sundering Blow to 1 will even help there. I think the "all your eggs in one discipline pool" is the main offender, because you compare your abilities against each other instead of combining them. Right now it's better to use 4 penetrating strikes than 1 Power Strike.

 

It just doesn't fit the same "be proactive and commit" mindset of Rogues and Barbarian. Even rangers, another reactive class like the fighter, has a lot more versatility, because their abilities don't really compete against each other (that and they're far cheaper). I didn't play enough with a Paladin to be able to comment on them.

 

So what needs to be done for Fighters, if a rework of their resource system is out of the question? Here are my suggestions:

 

- nerf Unbending to 25% (done!)

- rework Unbending Trunk to give "+1 armor per heal in progress" instead of +33%

- rework Unbending Shield to give "static +1 armor and periodic concentration to teammates in the aoe". No one cares about resolve, because...

- make Toughened Fury a level 1 passive.

- rework Take the Hit as a free modal on demand. Somehow.

- give Clear Out the same range as Clean Sweep

- rework Clean Sweep as a primary attack that no longer pushes enemies so you can spam it if you choose.

- make Inspired Discipline refresh the duration of higher rank inspirations

- gain +1 engagement temporarily (like 5 seconds) and use it to immediately engage whatever you hit with Into the Fray

- rework Refreshing Defenses: now no longer buffs Deflection but instead gives 25% crit damage reduction

 

There you go, you now have a Constitution class.

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I tend to agree with Esajin about the PoE1 fighter, whose play revolved around the timing and sequence of ability use at pretty much every level, and whose abilities could afford to be strong specifically because you could not spam them. Even a very basic Knockdown + Charge fighter had a surprising amount of strategic play when you took into account that it would probably be able to fire all of its abilities, and that you needed to figure out when to do so.

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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I'm going Sage Nalpazca/Wizard for my first 1.1 potd solo. Prior to 1.1 I'd lean toward saying Nalpazca/Wael Priest was stronger but with nerfs to buffs and minor avatar coming so late I don't think its optimal anymore. Just have to find a way to elevate Will save to retarded levels so I don't get cucked by dampeners all the time. 

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That being said there's a reason why a lot of people of people are unhappy, when a game makes very large sweeping changes that strip classes of class defining features. The irony of this nerf first balance later is you basically create a never ending game of whack a mole. By dethroning what many consider the top tier choices, you logically elevate the next line of options. Already people are wondering when say the Barbarian is going to be considered "too strong" despite little to no complaints about his power level.

 

Thing is, it's not about there being no "top-tier" choice, it's about appropriate build diversity (i.e. "no trap builds"). The "no trap builds" design philosophy of pillars is very similar to the approach that Wizards of the Coast takes with their tournament-level Magic: The Gathering banning decisions. They know that banning a particularly powerful card or undermining a deck type is just going to produce a new #1 card or top deck type, but what they care about is making sure that no card or deck strategy is particularly dominant. The reason is two-fold: a. players find it boring when there's only one or limited dominant choices in deck types or cards and b. wizards of the coast sees less revenue when players drop out of playing because the metagame is too boring or static. it's win-win for wizards of the coast to prefer some diversity of cards/decks. So if barbarians are the new #1, that's fine, so long as it's not so the #1 that it renders any party without a barbarian a trap build.

 

I'm reserving full judgment until the ramifications of the patch are fully known, but everything so far sounds like a similar thing; obsidian is knocking down dominant (either too-good or too-prevalent) stuff and is doing only incremental improvements to lift stuff up so as to promote viability/diversity of builds (by them not having been overshadowed by some really good stuff). So Whispers of the Endless Paths gets knocked down a bit, but AFAICT any weapon that comes up to take its place isn't there because it got buffed to be #1, it'll just be a little better relatively speaking, so not-gaming your PoE1 history and not-getting Whispers of the Endless Paths if you do great swords is not going to be a trap decision.

 

I thought I chip in on your comment about trap builds. The elimination of trap builds in your analogy of MTG is valid as MTG games are primarily a PvP format. When there is a direct competitive nature in the game play, balance is always important to encourage diversity.

 

However, for single player CRPGs it is less important as there is no direct motivation for classes to outperform each other that is directly linked to nature of game play. Personally, I play builds that have interesting mechanics and interactions and not necessarily because they are top tiered. Have done so in PoE1, will most likely do so in Deadfire.

 

I think the targeted nerfs of the patch are warranted. What I am apprehensive about is the blanket nerfing of most items. Because it is just not well thought through. Even leading to items that were borderline useless to be nerfed to "why bother" level. Using MTG as an analogy, I think that the latest patch is similar to increasing all summoning and activation costs by 1 colourless mana.

Edited by mosspit
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So, I just got into an ambush in Neketaka.  It was the one where you have to sneak into the bath house room and grab a satchel for the dude outside, and then deliver it to the docks.  On the way to deliver you are ambushed, and this ambush was way out of my league.  So, I kept trying and trying and trying.  It is 2 rogues, 2 mages, 2 pistol using fighter types, a priest and a Barbarian for a leader.  Those rogues and mages were a problem.  I finally got Serafen to Dominate a rogue, the rogue went after a mage.  Then he dominated the pistoleer in the back.  While Aloth Dropped the other mage.  I had Xoti cast a scroll of Pull of Eora + Scroll of Insect swarm + Shining beacon all on top of one another hitting the barb, priest, and the other pistol guy.  Eder and myself (herald) kept the melee from closing in.  It took a loong loonng time.  However, I did it, and I feel good about it.  My point in posting this?  Even fights that seem impossible are possible.  Determination is key. 

 

@Enoch - good to know.  I don't save scum, but I only had trouble with Gorecci Street, and I just came back with Aloth and wrecked those punks.  I think it is a bit hard for 3 man party, but it is 100% doable with 4, and probably fairly easy with 5. 

 

Nice job. I found that fight impossible -- never got close, with many tries; should have thought of using charm -- and had to resolve it peacefully (you can, in dialogue, and you can still talk the kid out of betraying his ship).

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Some more impressions on 1.1 PotD difficulty: with armor and penetration scaling with PotD now, your penetration makes a MUCH bigger difference. It reminds me of what I remember reading in the comments on the beta, where people were saying that penetration mattered more than almost anything else. You have to be sure to keep your weapons upgraded to the highest point you can achieve and look for other sources of penetration; I can totally see using generic weapons over unique ones if they are an enchantment level above, just for the penetration.

 

Relatedly, I've found myself needing to outlast my opponents, as the fights last a lot longer. (Especially fights where I just can't reach the penetration level of the armor of the enemy melee classes.) From my experience (though this could be a function of the way I've built my party), the balance has shifted away from just going all-offense all the time to defense and healing mattering a lot. As a result, renewable-resource classes like chanter and cipher shine a lot more, if they can survive the initial onslaught. My battlemage Aloth is good at surviving the initial onslaught, but has often found himself completely out of resources for a lot of the fight; if my witch Serafen can survive the initial onslaught (which is harder for him, admittedly), the fact that he never runs out of cipher spells is huge. Most importantly, the fact that I'm mainly relying on Ancient Memory (and eventually Exalted Endurance) for my healing has saved me over and over, since my healing is still going strong long after I've used up all my resources, and can sometimes get to the point where the enemy has used up all their resources too and my healing literally outpaces all their remaining damage.

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Minor observation:  Did 1.1b change the way lockpicks work?  Situations where Mechanics Skill = Lock Difficulty are now using 1 Lockpick, which I don't recall being the case in the past. 

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That being said there's a reason why a lot of people of people are unhappy, when a game makes very large sweeping changes that strip classes of class defining features. The irony of this nerf first balance later is you basically create a never ending game of whack a mole. By dethroning what many consider the top tier choices, you logically elevate the next line of options. Already people are wondering when say the Barbarian is going to be considered "too strong" despite little to no complaints about his power level.

 

Thing is, it's not about there being no "top-tier" choice, it's about appropriate build diversity (i.e. "no trap builds"). The "no trap builds" design philosophy of pillars is very similar to the approach that Wizards of the Coast takes with their tournament-level Magic: The Gathering banning decisions. They know that banning a particularly powerful card or undermining a deck type is just going to produce a new #1 card or top deck type, but what they care about is making sure that no card or deck strategy is particularly dominant. The reason is two-fold: a. players find it boring when there's only one or limited dominant choices in deck types or cards and b. wizards of the coast sees less revenue when players drop out of playing because the metagame is too boring or static. it's win-win for wizards of the coast to prefer some diversity of cards/decks. So if barbarians are the new #1, that's fine, so long as it's not so the #1 that it renders any party without a barbarian a trap build.

 

I'm reserving full judgment until the ramifications of the patch are fully known, but everything so far sounds like a similar thing; obsidian is knocking down dominant (either too-good or too-prevalent) stuff and is doing only incremental improvements to lift stuff up so as to promote viability/diversity of builds (by them not having been overshadowed by some really good stuff). So Whispers of the Endless Paths gets knocked down a bit, but AFAICT any weapon that comes up to take its place isn't there because it got buffed to be #1, it'll just be a little better relatively speaking, so not-gaming your PoE1 history and not-getting Whispers of the Endless Paths if you do great swords is not going to be a trap decision.

 

I thought I chip in on your comment about trap builds. The elimination of trap builds in your analogy of MTG is valid as MTG games are primarily a PvP format. When there is a direct competitive nature in the game play, balance is always important to encourage diversity.

 

However, for single player CRPGs it is less important as there is no direct motivation for classes to outperform each other that is directly linked to nature of game play. Personally, I play builds that have interesting mechanics and interactions and not necessarily because they are top tiered. Have done so in PoE1, will most likely do so in Deadfire.

 

I think the targeted nerfs of the patch are warranted. What I am apprehensive about is the blanket nerfing of most items. Because it is just not well thought through. Even leading to items that were borderline useless to be nerfed to "why bother" level. Using MTG as an analogy, I think that the latest patch is similar to increasing all summoning and activation costs by 1 colourless mana.

 

 

When you have some choices that are overtly overperforming than other choices, that is not fun for the people like to play those "other choices." So even in a single-player, non-competitive setting, you have a comparison setting. I felt like this was always a major problem with BG/IWD because by the end-game not having a mage in your party was a major trap choice. You could still beat the game just fine without one, but if you saw just how face-melty other people experienced the game when they had an improved alacrity, time stopping, vomit-inducing-flash-of-colors mage clearing everything (with IWD2 it's different because no time stop or improved alacrity but no less insane with spell focused wail of the banshee), that basically says to players who don't like spellcasting "ha ha screw you your game is much harder."

 

Some quality variation is inevitable, because it's probably impossible to create a non-trivial yet perfectly balanced game (and frankly I'm not sure a perfectly balanced game is even desirable since it is fun when there's a particularly good item or spell or ability that players feel they've earned). But we can at least bound that variation to some small degree (such as by nerfing action speed bonuses across the board, or by having smaller magnitude deflection bonuses compared to PoE1). And it's not just me opining about it, the "no trap choices" philosophy is at the heart of what JE Sawyer was doing with the pillars system (there's a 1 hour GDC talk he gave about it).

 

Again, I'm reserving full judgment about 1.1 because what little I know is mostly people complaining about a nerf which is not exactly a neutral patch changelist, but a "blanket" item nerf, if indeed is the case (such as action speed) seems to me the designers thinking that they were just too good to begin with and something they either wanted to change before release but couldn't before code freeze, or only realized when a larger population than just backer betas started drilling into itemization and ability choices. To go back to an MTG analogy that I think would be more appropriate for this scenario, this would be like how countermagic and card draw has gotten more expensive, because they were just too good to begin with, a fact that everyone resisted/hated at the time of transition because they were used to how things were and how powerful they were was only really apparent to the designers because of their own data and the limited design space the undercosted countermagic and card draw enforced. (I.E. a hard counterspell was UU, but now appears to be more fairly costed at ½UU; a mana-leak type effect was 1U and is now more like 2U; there's a lot more conditional counters; card draw is across the board much more expensive and also more conditional--more "looting" effects or scry rather than pure unconditional card draw).

Edited by thelee
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So another PoTD no scaling ToI update:

 

* Hit level 4 again - but this time I had to go to the ruins because it looks like the quest experience wasn't enough by taking the '**** this guy' option when dealing with the dude who got beat up by the amuana chick.

* Grocery street pretty much requires stealth or manipulating where you enter the location from. If you enter from that northeast corner you'll need to abuse pathing.

* Level 4 definitely required for the ruins - the boars will be 2 skulls at level 3 and will just wreck your ****. It's not worth it.

 

* First boar fight was all 4 boars + 2 wyrms this time - very tough - but still beat it.

 

* I decided to go into the various ruins areas.

** The four skeleton (1 skull skellies, not the normies) fight was VERY tough and I had to use line of sight and juke aggro. BRING BLUNT WEAPONS FOR EVERYONE.

** You can get some fine quality gear and a couple nice items - such as the gladiator sword - definitely worth having. Also lots of components

* Because of this I was able to make scrolls like Moonwell' and 'Ray of Fire'

* Be warned - if you sneak into the arena, you'll get insta aggro'd when you exit - you better be ready to take on the drake fight. It was very very difficult, but I managed to beat it thanks to using all consumables.

 

Just as a note - these areas are still overtuned. But not by much - grocery street has one or two too many enemies that hit too hard but that's it. The ruins area could use a few less enemies.

However one of the most interesting things about Deadfire is how they balanced resistances - IIRC anything that targeted fortitude was usually garbage because PoE1 everything simply had a ton of fortitude defense. Deadfire is different - certain weapon modals offer debuffs on hit - which you can take advantage of with certain abilities/spells.

 

I think the game has a lot of balancing left to be done as a whole though - and I was sad to see so little balancing go into spells.

 

Holy Meditation gives resolute for 10 sec - not even worth the cast.

 

Fetid Caress just isn't worth using, etc

Edited by merkmerk73
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However one of the most interesting things about Deadfire is how they balanced resistances - IIRC anything that targeted fortitude was usually garbage because PoE1 everything simply had a ton of fortitude defense. Deadfire is different - certain weapon modals offer debuffs on hit - which you can take advantage of with certain abilities/spells.

 

I think the game has a lot of balancing left to be done as a whole though - and I was sad to see so little balancing go into spells.

 

Holy Meditation gives resolute for 10 sec - not even worth the cast.

 

Fetid Caress just isn't worth using, etc

 

Yeah, the #1 thing I had to unlearn about Deadfire was that fortitude is not the uberdefense for enemies. It actually seems to follow actual internal stat distributions (whereas in PoE1 even if they did they always seemed to have supernaturally high fortitude). So e.g. priest/wizard types tend to have higher will and low fort, others will have low reflex, and of course the front-line tanks will still have their own high fort.

 

re: Holy Meditation: I mostly see Holy Meditation as a way to get several instances of Concentration or Frightened/Terrified countering, not for the Resolve boost. Resolve is also a bit tricky (deflection is increasing returns) so even at 10s base (up to ~15s with modest intellect investment), +5 deflection can be god-mode in very narrow situations. But yeah, aside from that I think the short duration implies that it is mostly intended as a way to earn a couple Concentration layers or for countering Frightened/Terrified. I mean, that's how I've been using it.

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I personally just use suppress affliction for frightened and terror.  I guess it's nice to have other spells to counter things with, since you only get 2 uses of suppress affliction, but I really have to agree with others that the duration on Holy Meditation is to short for the amount of time you have to dedicate to using it.

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I personally just use suppress affliction for frightened and terror. I guess it's nice to have other spells to counter things with, since you only get 2 uses of suppress affliction, but I really have to agree with others that the duration on Holy Meditation is to short for the amount of time you have to dedicate to using it.

AFAICT suppression affliction doesn't tick down the debuff duration; they are merely suspended (and duration frozen) while suppress affliction is on. At least that's how it was in backer beta 4. Thus there is still a good reason to use specific counters over Suppress Affliction, especially for hard CCs like terrified. If this has changed though, I'd be curious to know.

 

Edit: though on pre-1.1 even on POTD some fights can be over fast enough that it doesn't matter that suppress affliction will run out of time.

Edited by thelee
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Nice job. I found that fight impossible -- never got close, with many tries; should have thought of using charm -- and had to resolve it peacefully (you can, in dialogue, and you can still talk the kid out of betraying his ship).

Yeah, I'm a kind wayfarer, and the guy was obviously out to hurt my client from my perspective. So, I really didn't want to let him do that by solving that peacefully. I sucker punched him at least 50 times.

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Thing is, it's not about there being no "top-tier" choice, it's about appropriate build diversity (i.e. "no trap builds"). The "no trap builds" design philosophy of pillars is very similar to the approach that Wizards of the Coast takes with their tournament-level Magic: The Gathering banning decisions. They know that banning a particularly powerful card or undermining a deck type is just going to produce a new #1 card or top deck type, but what they care about is making sure that no card or deck strategy is particularly dominant. The reason is two-fold: a. players find it boring when there's only one or limited dominant choices in deck types or cards and b. wizards of the coast sees less revenue when players drop out of playing because the metagame is too boring or static. it's win-win for wizards of the coast to prefer some diversity of cards/decks. So if barbarians are the new #1, that's fine, so long as it's not so the #1 that it renders any party without a barbarian a trap build.

 

I'm reserving full judgment until the ramifications of the patch are fully known, but everything so far sounds like a similar thing; obsidian is knocking down dominant (either too-good or too-prevalent) stuff and is doing only incremental improvements to lift stuff up so as to promote viability/diversity of builds (by them not having been overshadowed by some really good stuff). So Whispers of the Endless Paths gets knocked down a bit, but AFAICT any weapon that comes up to take its place isn't there because it got buffed to be #1, it'll just be a little better relatively speaking, so not-gaming your PoE1 history and not-getting Whispers of the Endless Paths if you do great swords is not going to be a trap decision.

I thought I chip in on your comment about trap builds. The elimination of trap builds in your analogy of MTG is valid as MTG games are primarily a PvP format. When there is a direct competitive nature in the game play, balance is always important to encourage diversity.

 

However, for single player CRPGs it is less important as there is no direct motivation for classes to outperform each other that is directly linked to nature of game play. Personally, I play builds that have interesting mechanics and interactions and not necessarily because they are top tiered. Have done so in PoE1, will most likely do so in Deadfire.

 

I think the targeted nerfs of the patch are warranted. What I am apprehensive about is the blanket nerfing of most items. Because it is just not well thought through. Even leading to items that were borderline useless to be nerfed to "why bother" level. Using MTG as an analogy, I think that the latest patch is similar to increasing all summoning and activation costs by 1 colourless mana.

 

 

When you have some choices that are overtly overperforming than other choices, that is not fun for the people like to play those "other choices." So even in a single-player, non-competitive setting, you have a comparison setting. I felt like this was always a major problem with BG/IWD because by the end-game not having a mage in your party was a major trap choice. You could still beat the game just fine without one, but if you saw just how face-melty other people experienced the game when they had an improved alacrity, time stopping, vomit-inducing-flash-of-colors mage clearing everything (with IWD2 it's different because no time stop or improved alacrity but no less insane with spell focused wail of the banshee), that basically says to players who don't like spellcasting "ha ha screw you your game is much harder."

 

Some quality variation is inevitable, because it's probably impossible to create a non-trivial yet perfectly balanced game (and frankly I'm not sure a perfectly balanced game is even desirable since it is fun when there's a particularly good item or spell or ability that players feel they've earned). But we can at least bound that variation to some small degree (such as by nerfing action speed bonuses across the board, or by having smaller magnitude deflection bonuses compared to PoE1). And it's not just me opining about it, the "no trap choices" philosophy is at the heart of what JE Sawyer was doing with the pillars system (there's a 1 hour GDC talk he gave about it).

 

Again, I'm reserving full judgment about 1.1 because what little I know is mostly people complaining about a nerf which is not exactly a neutral patch changelist, but a "blanket" item nerf, if indeed is the case (such as action speed) seems to me the designers thinking that they were just too good to begin with and something they either wanted to change before release but couldn't before code freeze, or only realized when a larger population than just backer betas started drilling into itemization and ability choices. To go back to an MTG analogy that I think would be more appropriate for this scenario, this would be like how countermagic and card draw has gotten more expensive, because they were just too good to begin with, a fact that everyone resisted/hated at the time of transition because they were used to how things were and how powerful they were was only really apparent to the designers because of their own data and the limited design space the undercosted countermagic and card draw enforced. (I.E. a hard counterspell was UU, but now appears to be more fairly costed at ½UU; a mana-leak type effect was 1U and is now more like 2U; there's a lot more conditional counters; card draw is across the board much more expensive and also more conditional--more "looting" effects or scry rather than pure unconditional card draw).

 

First and foremost, the point of the post is to point out there is a difference in purpose for balance in the context of competitive PVP 1v1 vs single player CRPG.

 

And sorry, but I have to disagree, at least partially, on the part of choices not being fun for builds that are not overperforming. Because I have in reality done so to a certain extent, to avoid using abilities in PoE1 like Relentless Storms and Mind Wave. And am still having fun (fun in itself subjective).

 

I am a firm believer that diversity and difficulty are 2 sides of the coin. By virtue of difficulty would mean that not all builds are capable of passing through content, at least in comparison to the lesser difficulties. But as from my comment that agreeing to some of the nerfs, I believe in balanced design behind abilities and grossly outperforming abilities deserves a second look. But balance is not in the same priority as with competitive settings. Because in 1v1 settings, success is very strongly tied in outperforming opponents and so trap conditions can occur. While in single player games, success is not tied in a build outperforming another build. Rather it is builds outperforming content. While builds does the job with varying effectiveness, balance does not have the same level of importance and motivations as with a competitive setting.

 

Again as I said, I am specifically against blanket nerf as Obs cannot possibly done moderate to in-depth QC on the effects of those nerfs. Well, I guess thats the point of beta test release for gathering the results (yup we are the QC people). But what are the chances of Obs sieving through the feedback and only getting those that are more grounded and also went through entire playthrough(s) before public release? Historically speaking, not high....

Edited by mosspit
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I personally just use suppress affliction for frightened and terror. I guess it's nice to have other spells to counter things with, since you only get 2 uses of suppress affliction, but I really have to agree with others that the duration on Holy Meditation is to short for the amount of time you have to dedicate to using it.

AFAICT suppression affliction doesn't tick down the debuff duration; they are merely suspended (and duration frozen) while suppress affliction is on. At least that's how it was in backer beta 4. Thus there is still a good reason to use specific counters over Suppress Affliction, especially for hard CCs like terrified. If this has changed though, I'd be curious to know.

 

Edit: though on pre-1.1 even on POTD some fights can be over fast enough that it doesn't matter that suppress affliction will run out of time.

 

 

 

In PoE it was like this, where the affliction has full duration after suppress affliction wears off.  That's not the case in this game as far as I can tell.  I have been successfully using it against afflictions of all types, they are usually gone when it wears off. 

 

The one problem I have with it is it can't suppress afflictions on a character in which it is already active.  So if a character is charmed and you clear it with suppress affliction, you can't cure them of a new charm until suppress affliction wears off.

 

Liberating exhortations works the same way, but I rarely need it since I use enlightened agony on Xoti so she's basically immune to afflictions herself.

 

I could be wrong I guess, and in that case... idk.  But for me it's been working very well as an anti affliction tool and unlike something like holy meditation it counters all afflictions.

Edited by Climhazzard
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I finally completed the ruins solo on POTD with a character that's not a rogue.

 

Sorcerer (Shifter/Transmuter): nevermind the classes/build, it was a proof of concept.

 

I gave the boars a couple tries and said **** it, let's see if one can stealth through it without being a rogue. I discovered something interesting: with 2 Stealth (and Berath Skills, I don't remember if they add to stealth), I was able to get through everything but the last room. The last room has: 3 wisps, 2 anomalies, 1 greater anomaly and 1 adra ooze. The thing is, you can rush through from stealth and only the three anomalies will follow you. Turns out the Shifter part of this class can tank them long enough to throw 5 Cinder Bombs into them, long enough to get one hit on each (better safe than sorry), long enough to kill them all. So Port Maje completed on Potd solo on a non-rogue, non-chanter class. After killing the anomalies I was level 5, and I had to put my next level up in Stealth. Stealth 3 is required to escape the ruins from what I could tell, because the annoying wisps are still there.

 

How did I get 5 Cinder Bombs, you ask? Well the injured dude in his house with his kid. Inside his bedroom, there's gunpowder! At the vendor on the top floor of the Kraken Inn, they sell spices and onyx. With that gunpowder, you can craft 3 more Cinder Bombs. This helps a ton, solo or in a party.

 

So for my final attempt to solo the Engwithian Ruins properly I'll try with a Chanter or a Herald. Also there are barrels of gunpowder that you can shoot south of the panthers/wurms/Drake. I noticed they get hit for like 60-70 damage when you destroy them. It's not much, but it should help a lot.

 

Another idea for inside the ruins, there is a room with a ton of barrels to the southwest. Maybe a specific tank build could aggro the entire floor, kite everyone to this room and somehow manage to detonate it all and survive. It might even be the optimum route, possibly with a ranger pet. The Adra ooze would still be a massive problem though. It's too slow to kite to the room, and it two-shots a level 4 with its ranged attack.

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@Esajin: Berath's Blessing gives +2 only to class skills. 

 

For solo I'd use all Blessings and invest in Stealth 3, +1 from Raider, to get to 5 (have not tried it with 4) with Theifs putty, for any class. The other options are to get lucky with ingredients and craft Potion of Invisibility, Scroll of Withdraw and kite/split.

 

The gunpowder barrel is indeed a major factor in the fight, however, I'd stealth around it simply because there is not much to be gained from fighting it.    

Edited by knownastherat
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My overall experience:  

 

1. They made the first island very hard.

2.  Once you leave the first island, and you know where to go, the game becomes a cakewalk again.  

 

Sadly I feel this patch doesn't really do a lot to address the actual problem: late game difficulty.   

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I think that Body Atument with -2/+2 is no longer worthy 40 focus, maybe at 10focus it would be acceptable. But at 40y it is pay a lot get a little (but it is not Iphone).

 

Soul Anihilaton nerf puts Soulblade in weird spot, where this sub no longer have good reason to play. Shred discounts are minimal, SoulAnihilation you may cast Destruction instead. Maybe if it was addition to primary attack as raw independent of weapon, or if succesful kill would grant Fit Inspiration that would open some fun, with kill stealing. Or "you can spend max 100 focus that way". That would be something. But now, why should i bother to play SoulBlade?

 

Wildstrike smashed is sad. It wasnt popular combo anyway. You loose all your legendary gear, and legendary doomsticks of awesome, for what? 

 

Also, nerf to Priest's Spiritual Weapons, somebody even used that?

 

Charge change could be a benefit for some sword and shield, at least neutral.

Rogue buff is a good thing.

Twin arrows buff, sure why not, just without pet companion resilence and end game killing power why not rogue?

Edited by evilcat
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Any changes to barbarian?

 

Off the top of my head, at work atm -

 

Barbaric Blow damage bonus was decreased by 5%

 

Berserker lost access to second upgrade to blood frenzy and both spirit frenzy upgrades

 

 

I believe that not being able to see Frenzy upgrades is just a bug (sometimes) showing up when creating a character.

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Any changes to barbarian?

 

Off the top of my head, at work atm -

 

Barbaric Blow damage bonus was decreased by 5%

 

Berserker lost access to second upgrade to blood frenzy and both spirit frenzy upgrades

 

 

I believe that not being able to see Frenzy upgrades is just a bug (sometimes) showing up when creating a character.

 

Hopefully. Anyway it existed prior to 1.1 as well.

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