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@Alesia Great post. That corner in Caed Nua is the exact spot I park my character. If you get it perfectly right, you can be engaged by 1 shadow only (and for heaven’s sake don’t attack it, it shields you from the phantoms). Even if you don’t get it perfect, only 1 shadow and 1 phantom can attack you. That’s a lot better than 3 phantoms + 4 shadows surrounding you.

 

What is slightly ironic is that I often switch off Soft Winds for that fight in favour of At the Sight of their Comrades (extra FOR buff!).

 

Another thing I am seeing on some of the character builds is high RES. Now I understand some people are roleplaying and some are not min-maxing and that influences stat choices. I personally do not like dumping RES (which many people would advocate) because of Concentration; but there is a difference between not dumping and having a high score like 15 or 19.

 

RES is one of the weakest stats. People can argue all day about what is needed for certain roles, but RES is one of those that is widely detracted. There is even a priest spell that gives your entire party +25 RES (that’s PLUS 25, not 25 fixed). If a spell did that for any other stat it would be the most broken thing ever.

 

I am guessing people are choosing this either for increased deflection or because the character creation screen tells them it is an important stat. We’ll avoid comment on the latter but for the former, my view is that while DEF is important, increasing DEF through RES is not the best option. It’s a 1:1 ratio between RES and DEF which is not great, considering how much you can increase DEF through abilities, talents and spells. Stat points are precious and throwing them at RES is a bad deal if it means you could have had more MIG or PER or INT.

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That corner in Caed Nua is the exact spot I park my character. If you get it perfectly right, you can be engaged by 1 shadow only (and for heaven’s sake don’t attack it, it shields you from the phantoms). Even if you don’t get it perfect, only 1 shadow and 1 phantom can attack you. That’s a lot better than 3 phantoms + 4 shadows surrounding you.

 

What is slightly ironic is that I often switch off Soft Winds for that fight in favour of At the Sight of their Comrades (extra FOR buff!).

 

Another thing I am seeing on some of the character builds is high RES. Now I understand some people are roleplaying and some are not min-maxing and that influences stat choices. I personally do not like dumping RES (which many people would advocate) because of Concentration; but there is a difference between not dumping and having a high score like 15 or 19.

 

RES is one of the weakest stats. People can argue all day about what is needed for certain roles, but RES is one of those that is widely detracted. There is even a priest spell that gives your entire party +25 RES (that’s PLUS 25, not 25 fixed). If a spell did that for any other stat it would be the most broken thing ever.

 

I am guessing people are choosing this either for increased deflection or because the character creation screen tells them it is an important stat. We’ll avoid comment on the latter but for the former, my view is that while DEF is important, increasing DEF through RES is not the best option. It’s a 1:1 ratio between RES and DEF which is not great, considering how much you can increase DEF through abilities, talents and spells. Stat points are precious and throwing them at RES is a bad deal if it means you could have had more MIG or PER or INT.

 

The opposite courner (near the vases) works just fine as well (my party was parked there). The one (quite serious) downside of 'cournered' approach in my mind is that when a player get used with it, see it's effectiveness, and not consider/develop another/different options and then suddenly face a pack of phantoms (or whatever serious opponents) in the open space without any walls/courners in the vicinity then this player gets troubles...

 

On the Resolve matter - my personal choice of 'natural' 13 Resolve on character creation is indeed based on roleplay approach (and to pass at least some of those 'stat checks' which, if I'm not mistaken, only consider 'natural' un-buffed values). And I'm definitely not a min-maxer math calculator. But for purely defensive purposes it's indeed not so great stat, of that I completely agree with you.

 

@Alesia: out of opportunity - you might want to check a PM message I've sent you with a link to be placed in OP.

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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I think even conversation stat checks use modified stats, not base stats. I know in past playthroughs I have managed to go the peaceful route in banshee quest by raising PER from 10 to 13 with Blacsonn drink.

 

Seems, you are right. But anyway, Resolve has the highest number of checks through the game with highest value around 19-20. I don't think one could buff base 10 RES to 19-20 with items, inns/courtesans and food alone. And spell buffs only work in combat.

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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Base RES 10

Chapel rest: +3

Dragon meat dish: +3

Any equipment bonus, e.g. armour +2 or more

Salty Mast boon: +1 or +2

 

So getting +10 to RES 20 is doable ;). But I take your point and you are not going to know to have these buffs running all the time to pass RES checks. But then again passing RES checks in dialogue isn’t even important, other than perhaps the one to avoid nasty fight in WM1.

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I'm not sure I agree that Intellect is very useful for thieves, though I'm definitely very inexperienced with Intellect, thieves, and PoE in general. Intellect can influence potion buffs, but how significant will a 30% difference in potion duration make, compared to bonuses from other stats? If you use three potions or scrolls in a single fight, a 30% decrease in duration is roughly equal to using one extra potion, which costs one more item and one more round. In a fight with 10 actions, that's only a 10% drop in power--meaningful, but that only applies to really major fights, and taking a 30% drop frees up 7 points of Intellect (my thief has 3 Intellect). I'd think that Intellect would be important primarily in classes whose class-based abilities (as opposed to just items) rely on duration.

 

Speaking of duration: since the outcome of a fight tends to rely on events in the very first few seconds, I'm not sure if longer-duration spells really need an Intellect boost. I think the shorter-duration but stronger-impact spells like paralysis need Intellect more. A couple extra seconds of paralysis at the beginning of a fight sounds more important than 10 extra seconds of Bless at the end of combat.

 

I was under the impression that Resolve was very important because higher difficulty enemies had much stronger Accuracy, and that Deflection needed to be as high as possible. But now that you mention it, a single point of Resolve buying a single point of Deflection (which would be, what, 1% increase in physical defenses?) isn't as significant when you compare it to, say, Dexterity, where a single point of Dexterity buys 3% faster action speed.

 

I min-max, but I'm not sure my stat distribution is exactly optimal. PoE is all about tradeoffs in power, so dump stats aren't nearly as productive as they were in BG1. Dropping one stat to an unusually low value lets me gauge its importance--that's how I learned that Intellect was less important for ciphers.

 

I'll pay closer attention to the littler factors and try to see defense as more complicated than Deflection and some basic Will and Fortitude defenses. And I'll start trying out "cornering" as an alternative to conventional choke points.

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I think you will change your mind on INT with more experience, it is AoE as well as duration. However, as it happens, the Rogue is the class best suited to dumping INT to a minimum, but for a reason you may not have considered. I will put it in spoiler in case you want to figure for yourself.

 

 

Deep Wounds ability and draining weapons in general, such as Drawn in Spring, Tidefall etc. They do their full draining damage in a shorter time with lower INT, i.e. DPS increases with lower INT

 

 

For a Cipher I would never dump INT. You have so many offensive and defensive abilities with a duration: why would you not want Whisper of Treason to last longer? Psychovampiric Shield? Borrowed Instinct? Time Parasite? Even damage abilities with a duration effect, such as Silent Scream and Disintegrate (+ the bigger of AoE of Silent Scream). I can’t think of many classes that would benefit more from INT.

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@Jaheiras Witness: I'd not thought about Deep Wounds, but I did consider that Envenomed Strike would deal its damage faster with a low Intellect. Pity that Deep Wounds doesn't stack.

 

I can definitely see the reason to increase Intellect on a cipher, but in my triple cipher party, low Intellect was worth the benefit (we dropped it to 7 or so). Cranking up Might, Dexterity, and Perception allowed us to generate Focus extremely quickly and reliably, which meant more Whisper of Treason and Puppet Master spells. Also, many of the best cipher powers are damage spells with no duration, which meant we had alternatives that relied on our high Might instead of our low Intellect. Intellect is great, but unlike Might, Dexterity, and Perception, Intellect doesn't contribute to Focus.

 

A lot of my experience might have been due to the sheer number of ciphers we had. With three of them in the party using ranged weapons, we were able to break a certain threshold: we dealt so much damage at the start of the fight that we always began with a solid advantage, and fights were so fast that a low duration for Puppet Master didn't really matter much. In a party with fewer ciphers, I think low Intellect would be a bigger loss, since fights would last long enough for duration to be more important.

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 And I'll start trying out "cornering" as an alternative to conventional choke points.

 

'Cornering' and choke points (when they are available) both have advantages and disadvantages depending on opponents you are facing. Say you park your whole party in some corner, squishes hidden behind sturdy tanks, and think they are safe. But then, suddenly, you have your whole crew affected with Infestation of Maggots (Raw DoT), Shining Beacon (Fire DoT) or Pillar of Faith (Knock out + Prone). Those spells have small AoE but with your party all cramped together it's enough to cover them all. And believe me, Infestation of Maggots really hurts and has decent duration (20 base seconds). Enough to drain your Endurance in due time. In this situation you better might want your crew to be spread out. Choke points in turn have little advantage vs opponents able to teleport behind your tank and right to your squishes. And it's always doesn't hurt to have high Fortitude/Reflex/Will saves to at least minimize the duration of status effects. That's why I, personally, highly appreciate talents like Bear's Fortitude/Snake's Reflexes/Bull's Will

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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I'm not sure I agree that Intellect is very useful for thieves, though I'm definitely very inexperienced with Intellect, thieves, and PoE in general. Intellect can influence potion buffs, but how significant will a 30% difference in potion duration make, compared to bonuses from other stats? 

 

 

It depends on your build. If your intention is to use potions to buttress defenses and scrolls to provide AoE offense -the specific context I was referring to- then Int becomes relatively important, via both duration and AoE. If you character is a specialized single target DPS machine, then Int is less important- even counterproductive, in some respects, in light of the considerations Jaheiras Witness raised.

 

You haven't said so explicitly, but I suspect you're building a DPS rogue, in which case Int is of less value.

 

And to be clear, in the general case, min-maxing, I'd rank Perception, Might and Dex above Int for a rogue. I'd value Int over Resolve. 

 

Best,

 

A. 

 

Btw, another thing to consider is the extended duration on afflictions, and thus the additional Sneak Attacks enjoyed by Int rogues.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Another thing I am seeing on some of the character builds is high RES. Now I understand some people are roleplaying and some are not min-maxing and that influences stat choices. I personally do not like dumping RES (which many people would advocate) because of Concentration; but there is a difference between not dumping and having a high score like 15 or 19.

 

 

My first character, Ashoka, had a Resolve of 16. The logic there was as follows: 

 

1) She was my first character, and to ease the learning process I wanted her to have no glaring defensive weaknesses, so I balanced her stats across the Fort, Reflex, Will pairings. That left the choice between Int and Resolve

2) She was going to be tanking and running Zealous Endurance (while Pallegina handled Zealous Accuracy) with Zealous Endurance being most important to frontliners, whom she would be in close proximity too

3) She was not going to be using scrolls or potions extensively and her abilities were going to be mostly duration independent

4) On RP grounds, Resolve made more sense than Int for her

 

Considering all of the above, I ended up with a Resolve of 16 and an Int of 10. Her Fort pairing was Might 16, Con 10. Her Reflex pairing was Dex 10 and Perception 16

 

I think the thing to keep in mind in any and all stat discussions is that context matters- even setting aside RP considerations. One of the beautiful things about the character creation system in PoE is that it affords the opportunity to sculpt a wide variety of characters from the raw materials of class. I, personally, find it unwise to talk about the best stats for a "rogue" in general. I'd want more details before rendering a judgement. What type of rogue? Melee? Ranged? Specialized DPS? Well rounded? Is the character solo? If the character is partying, who is the character traveling with and what role will the character play in the party? There are tendencies that correlate with class, true, but even within each class there is enough variation to compel consideration of the details.

 

Nonetheless, I do agree that Resolve is, generally speaking, less important than other stats.

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Liresh, wild orlan Shieldbearer of St. Elcga, Update 7

 

Previous updates:

 

 

This post includes spoilers for The White March 2 for those who haven't played it yet.

 

There are two bounty fights considered to be somehwhat difficult on upscaled PotD in WMII: Magran's Faithful and Brynlod. The first one was among the first things I did in the second expansion. My main concern was monitoring the enemy caster bars: I had to make sure that no super-dangerous high level spells like storm of holy fire would hit my party. I used strategic stormcaller attacks to interrupt some of the priests until I got Kerion into position to keep the enemy backline prone with calling the world's maw while also disrupting spells on the frontline with relentless storm:

https://imgur.com/revhFF1

That way, nothing but a few firebug spells ever hit my party, and this battle was won.

 

Before going for Brynlod, I did some more sidequests, such as the Stalwart Mines. Breathing in some spores greatly reduced any potential difficulty in fighting the Radiant Spore: After all the sporelings were dead, I essentially just had to go for the main threat with full offensive force.

https://imgur.com/Qy5TvjB

After re-activating the cannons at Durgan's Battery (no trouble here, and some more durgan-forged upgrades, this time for a few pieces of armor), I entered Whitestone Hollow, where I was able to fully upgrade Steadfast:

https://imgur.com/lCytjm2

To get to 27 might, I simply had to add champion's boon to the Caed'Nua +3 buff, the Salty Mast +2 boon and the +4 helm. After clearing that area, my final bounty did lead me to face Brynlod. His backline is actually very strong and deals a ton of damage (lots of mages using summoned weapons and duplicates etc.), which resulted in my animal companions not surviving for long. I also wasn't able to get some good crowd control in on them, mainly due to positioning problems and some interruptions:

https://imgur.com/TDT2ciz

However, once Brynlod's frontline was finally destroyed (which was difficult with all the damage coming in - I had to retreat and heal up with several characters while dealing the neccessarry damage), I was able to disrupt the archers by calling statue summons right in their face - they finally stopped attacking my vulnerable characters, and that was their downfall:

https://imgur.com/nitxP8v

Victory was ours - and we resumed with the WMII main questline. At the abbey, I went for the non-combat approach, even doing my job as "tidebringer", so I only had to face 2-3 groups of monks before the battle against the abbot. That one was fairly easy, especially since I managed to sway some of the monks to my side:

https://imgur.com/cTd9bvW

Finally, I fought my way through a bunch of eyeless (super easy with some cipher powers, such as mental binding) to face the kraken - not exactly the most difficult boss, because it doesn't have great defenses or a great endurance pool. It was already at injured when I barely got started buffing up my party:

https://imgur.com/ltcXGGG

When the three eyeless appeared, I just kept focusing on the primary foe, and it fell shortly before they reached my party:

https://imgur.com/FoWHviS

After switching to some defensive equipment, my cipher was quickly able to gain control of the situation:

https://imgur.com/NblWvVT

And we got to upgrade Persistence to legendary. We used the diving helm and made our way to the final part of the expansion: Mowrghek Îen.

 

Most combat there was relatively trivial by now. Even though the opponents had levels as high as my party, I was easily able to keep them disabled with stormcaller, cipher powers or druid spells:

https://imgur.com/aC1Jb2e

Now, of course, I wasn't going to fight Llengrath. That would be crazy, especially after I sought peaceful solutions for the adra dragon and alpine dragon encounters as well (always making sure to have the right attribute buffs to gain the right dialogue options beforehand, of course - in this case, 16 intelligence) - so I made a nice and very helpful deal with the archmage:

https://imgur.com/3eIantN

Every single area is now explored, every battle fought or resolved otherwise, every quest completed - except for Sun in Shadow. We're more than ready.

Edited by Enuhal
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Congrats on your first success, semiticgod. Regarding your experiences on PotD, I think that maybe a six paladin party isn't exactly the easiest way to go about things - they just can't provide the utility, damage, crowd control etc. that a well-balanced party will give you. It certainly can be done, but it requires a certain amount of experience. The easiest formula I can give for PotD success is: Stack accuracy, use positioning to your advantage, don't be afraid to throw out massive amounts of buffs and disables, take out/disable enemy spellcasters (or other kinds of foes with disables at their disposal) quickly and know which fights to avoid/delay.

 

Regarding the stats discussion: I think intelligence is quite important for nearly every build in the game (except for the mentioned DoT-based builds), not only for spellcasters (and I would never create a cipher with, let's say, less than 14 int, usually going for 16+). As Jaheiras Witness mentioned: It is universally agreed upon that it is one of if not the most important stats for barbarians (carnage is amazing and enables a ton of super fun builds - I can confirm this from personal experience), and it is great for certain fighter/rogue builds as well. Even if you don't use scrolls and potions on a rogue, the class will try to apply various debuffs with the usual per-encounter full attack abilities, and if they last longer, that's great for you. Certainly, a damage-dealing rogue barely needs constitution or resolve at all, so there are usually points available to increase Int if the build calls for it. I do, however, like resolve for my primary tank, even though I agree that it isn't a very strong stat over all. I just think that in the early game (pre Caed'Nua), every point of deflection is helpful, and I don't care what my paladin's damage potential is until much later in the game (and lay of hands is strong enough for the early game even without high might).

Edited by Enuhal
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Yeah, I'm relying on wizard spells to impose blindness and enable sneak attacks. The wizard is covering that Intellect deficit. As for optimal stats, I agree with Alesia_BH that the importance of stats is very context-dependent, especially for characters like rogues, who can serve multiple different roles. PoE imposes a lot of tradeoffs about stats, which means that min-maxing has much more complicated effects than it does in other games. While some stats are more important than others, every class stands to benefit at least a little from each stat; no stats are completely irrelevant.

 

Anyway, here's our new rogue, Frost. Coincidentally, she has exactly the same background as Aotha:

 

Frost

Hearth Orlan Rogue, Drifter from the White that Wends.

Might 16

Constitution 10

Dexterity 14

Perception 20

Intellect 3

Resolve 15

Difficulty: Path of the Damned
Settings: Maim on Zero Health; No Injuries on Zero Endurance (I think)
Mods: None

 

2Y10ypC.jpg

 

She has the same portrait as Gray Sidoh, simply because I think it's cute. She's going to be dual-wielding hatchets to stack the Deflection bonuses and is primarily a damage dealer. I like high-Accuracy characters because their attacks are reliable (I don't like relying on luck), and since Frost deals 50% extra damage whenever Calisca knocks an enemy down, Frost lands some respectable hits very early on.

xd1ylWm.jpg

 

Micromanagement gets us through the prologue, and at levels 2 and 3, Frost takes Two Weapon Style and Reckless Assault to further increase her offensive abilities. I pick our early game fights carefully, making sure we don't run into too many enemies at once, and recruit Aloth, Eder, and Durance. Eder is the only one I like, but I'm trying to avoid using a lot of custom characters in this run. Whenever we enter combat, I send Eder forward so all the enemies gang up on him, then wait a second to see whether the enemies are mostly circling around his left or right. If the enemy is approaching Eder's right, I send Frost to the left so she can hack away at a single enemy without too many enemies engaging her.

 

Whenever she's not under much pressure, she activates Reckless Assault. This allows her to quickly bring down single enemies and start clearing the field. Meanwhile, Aloth throws out Curse of Blackened Sight so Frost can land sneak attacks and axe the enemies one by one.

Mp0a9GF.jpg


We can only carry two Camping Supplies at a time, but I've learned to be extremely generous with resting. It might seem like a hassle to travel all the way back to Gilded Vale for a free rest, but it actually doesn't take that much time, and being able to cast level 2 spells on every moderately difficult fight is a major boon.

 

Blindness is really, really good for our party. That -25 Accuracy is crushing to the enemy and helps keep Frost safe from all of her targets, and it lasts long enough for Frost to land lots of sneak attacks before it runs out. For enemies that don't get blinded, Frost just doesn't engage with them.

 

Aloth's ranged damage spells also give us more control over which enemies die first. The burst damage from Fan of Flames is really useful, and the range is remarkably high. All Aloth has to do to avoid hitting the party during the fight with Ludrana and the paladins is to walk a few steps to the side. A few spells later, he can polish off Ludrana with a simple Arcane Assault.

pbDtZk8.jpg
Ka145EZ.jpg


Burst damage appears very useful in Path of the Damned. Enemies are especially accurate, and it really helps to keep fights quick.

 

Durance begins all major fights the same way, casting Armor of Faith followed by Blessing. Sometimes I throw in Holy Power or Consecrated Ground depending on the situation. I try out Iconic Projection against some wolves and once again find that the area of effect is surprisingly wide--more so than the projectile's appearance.

I1gI2P1.jpg


Before we tackle the Xaurips on the beach, Eder gets the racial Accuracy bonus against Wilders from resting, but it proves largely meaningless, as we use him to soak him the Xaurip Skirmishers' paralysis attacks. Durance keeps him afloat with Consecrated Ground (it's nice to have a regeneration effect so we don't need to worry about the right timing when casting heals spells) and Aloth blasts the enemy with more Fans of Flames.

b7I59z9.jpg


Aloth actually suffers some pressure because of his positioning in this process, but Frost quickly disposes of the enemies attacking him. She's a good lancer; she gives us great control over which enemies die first.

 

We sell off Durance's armor (at over 500 copper pieces, it's a major boon for the early game), stomp on the bandits to save that cook from the Gilded Vale inn, and have Aloth learn Chill Fog from Ludrana's Grimoire, giving us a cheaper blindness spell.

 

In the temple below the Gilded Vale, Durance buffs the party with Holy Meditation to block the confusion effects of the local Will o' Wisps. Turns out a +15 Will bonus just ain't gonna cut it--and we have no real defense against the shock damage. Right off the bat, our primary tank is nearly dead.

RCLeVN1.jpg


With Eder confused, we can't use Second Wind to heal him up, so our only hope of saving him is to use Withdraw, which has the unfortunate side effect of robbing us of our primary tank for the duration of the battle (a factor I hadn't considered). Thing is, Aloth can blind the Will o' Wisps with Chill Fog, and Frost quickly cuts down one of wisps.

ZlfLcjw.jpg

 

The sheer speed of Frost's kills is really quite remarkable. It might be the only thing she's really good at, but she's really good at it. I didn't know Will o' Wisps could be slain so quickly.

EIUiDWL.jpg

 

Dual-wielding hatchets offers a nice balance of offense and defense. With her extremely high Perception and rogue class, Frost doesn't really need the accuracy bonuses of dual-wielded daggers or the 30% graze-converted-to-hit chance from flails, so she can choose a more defensive weapon instead.

 

We butcher some trolls in the woods, I think in large part because we kept interrupting their attacks, and run into the bandits guarding the supplies for the Gilded Vale shop. Apparently one of the ranged attackers in this fight can deal 51 damage in one hit with a roll of just 63.

NUoCqoq.jpg


But like all slow-loading ranged weapons, he can't keep it up, and Eder's high Athletics lets him recover with Second Wind. Aloth wrecks the enemy fighters with Curse of Blackened Sight (man, PoE spell names are long) and Fan of Flames.

ondRplP.jpg

 

Aloth is proving much more useful than I thought he would. Those spells of his are having a very strong impact now that I've gotten accustomed to using them liberally, instead of saving them to minimize resting.

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Frost, Orlan Rogue

 

While wandering around, we run into a pair of Forest Lurkers, and while I remember that they're very different from Forest Trolls, who look very similar, I don't really appreciate just how much tougher the Lurkers are. They nail Eder with three hits, and since the first one knocks him down, he can't heal himself--and Durance doesn't act fast enough to bail him out. Our primary tank goes down.

YojgcoD.jpg


But then, by virtue of marvelous luck, Eder's special armor revives him! Second Wind brings him back up to speed. Frost gets hit pretty hard in the interim, but her own Second Wind keeps her in good condition. Aloth deploys Fan of Flames for burst damage.

SxXWfKh.jpg


Unfortunately, Aloth's Chill Fog spell repeatedly fails to blind the enemy, and without blindness to thwart the enemy's attacks, Eder can't stand up much longer. He's quickly going down.

NKLuVZe.jpg


Consecrated Ground keeps him afloat for a few seconds, but his luck only lasts so long. Frost makes slow progress on the Lurkers with her wand, but when Eder falls, our only remaining tanks are a wizard and a priest, both of which have exhausted their spells.

Ddq6G9W.jpg


Aloth and Durance aren't tough enough to stand up long on their own, but they're all we've got. Aloth's Chill Fog spell is still lingering, which gives Frost some crucial sneak attacks with her wand.

WPZAihL.jpg


In a desperate attempt to bail out at least one of her party members, Frost uses Crucible of the Soul to finish off one of the Lurkers. It's not enough to save Aloth, but it does buy Durance a little time.

yEuc1PY.jpg


Durance uses Second Wind, his very last ability, and he survives for a few moments longer before the Lurker's overwhelming power crushes him.

ZXqOQM5.jpg


That's it. Frost is the only one left, and the remaining Lurker is still in pretty good health. A single knockdown effect could seal Frost's fate. With dual-wielding hatchets and a bit of luck, Frost has a chance at interrupting the Lurker before it puts her down. It's a long shot, but it's our only remaining option.

Well, that and kiting. Lurkers and trolls have always had lousy movement rates. When all other tactics fail, we just run away and pepper it with our wand. Not very epic, perhaps, but practical (I forget where that quote is from).

6J8d3ko.jpg


Dealing damage takes forever, but somehow, we end the fight by running away, and Eder, but not Aloth or Durance, climbs back to his feet to resume the fight! I don't know why only Eder got up, since we got an auto-pause suggesting that combat ended and immediately re-started when he regained consciousness, which ostensibly would revive everyone who got knocked out, but it doesn't matter. Eder helps Frost kite the Lurker to death with his bow.

IG1QUY8.jpg


Done! Not really how I wanted that fight to go, but whatever.

Eder is at 1 Health and 1 Endurance, and the whole party is out of spells, so we can't fight anything until we rest. First, though, I want to go grab Kana from Caed Nua, and on the way back to the Gilded Vale, I stop by the bridge area...

...forgetting that there's a single Xaurip Skirmisher who appears the moment you enter that map. It makes one bad attack roll against Eder and our only fighter dies instantly.

wcsMu7a.jpg


He's not just knocked out; he's dead--really dead this time. Completely gone. I thought you had to tick a special option to enable permanent deaths, but I guess this is just a normal feature in Path of the Damned.

Meh. The loss doesn't bother me very much. In fact, I'm honestly more bothered by the fact that the Xaurip Skirmisher fails to kill Durance before we put it down. At any rate, our fighter is gone, and we can't get any new party members without creating our own until after we beat the Phantoms at Caed Nua, kill Maerwald, and reach the next area. I'm going to have to create a custom party member to get past Caed Nua, I think.

I had hoped that we could create 5 level 1 Aumaua priests with 21 Might to spam Holy Radiance and deal 200 damage to the Phantoms, but it looks like that spell only deals fire damage to Vessels; not Spirits.

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I'm really enjoying your run so far, Semiticgod! it's fun to watch another PoE newcomer run a PotD rogue broadly similar to mine. 

 

I think what I'll do is put coverage of Ashoka's run-on hold, skip over Alikae, and start covering Aotha. She's still early enough in her adventure that she could qualify for the Hall, I think. In the alternative, we can, I suppose, make a one time exception, in light of the fact that the rule was newly initiated. 

 

I'll get too it ASAP!

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Ok, everyone! Meet our new heroine: Aotha the Hearth Orlan Rogue

 

G2VXlpw.jpg

 

Game Version: 3.7.0.1318 with White March I & II

Difficulty: PotD

Settings: Maim Before Death: On; Injuries: On; Expert Mode: OFF 

Mods: None

 

Character Description: As a Hearth Orlan with a furry face, Aotha, has struggled to find acceptance in Orlan society. And where, exactly, does an Orlan who can't find solace among her people go? Few kith embrace them. Preferring solitude to scorn, Aotha set off for the White that Wends in her mid teens. Living in the wilds, she has become, keen, perceptive- sharp as a razors edge. She maybe loved by none, but none doubt her skill with bow and blade. She is destined to be known, destined to be respected, destined to be a hero, but also destined to be alone.

 

Gaming Notes: Having by now completed NRs on Normal and Hard (both out of challenge), I now feel ready to attempt my first run on PotD.  I, for one, am nervously optimistic. Aotha has potential, and my skill set is by now balanced to the challenge of PotD. Success is not assured, but it does seem possible. We'll see how it goes!

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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@semiticgod: regarding Eder and his death, when he revived wth 1 health and endurance, he was really dead: the only reason he woke up is because you have maim before death selected (so the game maimed him rather than kill him). This is the free second life you are giving your characters by having that option selected. But next time they die, it counts and that is what happened with the skirmisher.

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Ok, everyone! Meet our new heroine: Aotha the Hearth Orlan Rogue

 

 

Game Version: 3.7.0.1318 with White March I & II

Difficulty: Hard

Settings: Maim Before Death: On; Injuries: On; Expert Mode: OFF 

Mods: None

 

....

 

Gaming Notes: Having by now completed NRs on Normal and Hard (both out of challenge), I now feel ready to attempt my first run on PotD.  I, for one, am nervously optimistic. Aotha has potential, and my skill set is by now balanced to the challenge of PotD. Success is not assured, but it does seem possible. We'll see how it goes!

 

So is this run on Hard or PotD? It's not entirely obvious from your message.

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Aotha, Hearth Orlan Rogue: Caravan Camp to Guilded Vale

 

In the interest of getting Aotha upto date, I'm going to cover her early adventures quickly. You can expect more detail later on.

 

So! Caravan camp. I hadn't intended to cover Caravan Camp, really. But after reviewing the screen shots, it became apparent that they provided a stripped down context within which to display the fundamentals of Aotha's tactics.

 

Aotha is a lightly armored, melee, crit build rogue who uses precise positioning to insure safety. She opens at a distance, with a slow, heavy damage ranged weapon and then, as the battle field evolves, selects a safe location from which to attack hand to hand, using a range 1.8m melee weapon.

 

With a Perception of 21, it didn't take Aotha long to score her first ranged crit. Chunkilicious!

 

tpj7Oob.jpg

 

We're in the ruins now. Calisca has closed. Aotha has fired her first bolt and has taken position directly behind Calisca. You'll see a lot of this, going forward 

 

6pE8Pq2.jpg

 

Variation on the same theme here, but this time -with Aotha out of Crippiling Strikes- she is taking a position directly behind her enemy, flanking her foe and triggering Sneak Attacks. Flanking is, incidentally, my favorite means of triggering Sneak Attacks. Virtually anything can be flanked and the duration is indefinite.

 

UoQ8mSD.jpg

 

Just one last hurdle before we reach Guilded Vale: the lonely outlaw. Believe it or not, I was nervous about this, seeing as how I've never tried PotD before and didn't know how the enemy bonuses would play out in practice. Foruntately, her simple strategy (shoot heavy, then close) proved upto the challenge. Weapon Focus: Soldier, recently acquired, increased her odds of landing in melee. No damage here.

 

aBUt3vG.jpg

 

Upon arriving in Guilded Vale, Aotha sought to build a party. She recruited Aloth and Eder and an oddly familiar elf, who she met at the Black Hound. Perhaps they knew each other in a past life? Or perhaps they ran across one another in the White that Wends?

 

zIkif2c.jpg

 

We added Durance next, and then proceeded to our first quests: 1) recovery of the fine arbalest in Esternwood; 2) recovery of Fulvano's gloves; 3) the liberation of Tenfrith.

 

First, the arbalest. Aotha has teamed up with Ashoka here, flanking from a safe distance

 

4Bz4q9R.jpg

 

Next, the gloves. We used Armor of Faith and Blessing here

 

IA3SFxl.jpg

 

Finally, Tenfrith. Armor of Faith + Blessing once again. Aotha spent more time ranged fighting than she should have in this fight, but can you blame her for wanting to play with her new toy?

 

Opening

 

UdczAHH.jpg

 

Finish

QhmSrxl.jpg

 

Our next stop was Caed Nua, seeking Kana. We stopped to kill a troll along the way. Once again, Aotha is flanking at range 1.8m.

 

zYhbmyo.jpg

 

With the crew assembled, Aotha took on her first minor quest: Ferry Flotsam. Our next post will cover A Mother's Plea and Burried Secrets

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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So is this run on Hard or PotD? It's not entirely obvious from your message.

 

 

It's on PotD.

 

(Good catch. That was a typo. I had cut and pasted the intro from Ashoka's run and neglected to edit the difficulty entry. Fixed now.)

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Liresh, wild orlan Shieldbearer of St. Elcga, Update 8 (final update)

 

Previous updates:

 

 

No spoilers for WM here, this post only covers Sun in Shadow.

 

So I was writing this lengthy conclusion post to my run and was almost finished when my PC randomly crashed and everything I wrote was gone. Here's the short version:

 

Entering Sun in Shadow, we scaled up difficulty once again, hoping to make things interesting. Nonetheless, no challenges awaited us on our way to Thaos - shadow drakes and engwithan shades, even upscaled, did not deal any damage to the party despite us only using spell mastery abilities and cipher powers. The final battle remained the only interesting part of Chapter IV:

 

We start with lots of buffs, including all of the food (including dragon meat), some drugs (svef is great for our damage dealers) and start combat by sending our animal companions to tank the two statues while buffing up with flasks of war paint, delerious alacrity of motion and the like. Liresh tanks Thaos, Kerion and Selissa start applying AoE buffs and debuffs:

https://imgur.com/ZLsIhrV

While Thaos is able to get one dangerous spell through, he is soon forced to enter Woedica's Judge:

https://imgur.com/HS5vkzY

Liresh takes this opportunity to use gLoH+Shielding Touch on the one injured wolf, and we take down the Headsman first:

https://imgur.com/x3eI6T9

I propably should've taken this time (with the opponents dealing next to no damage) to heal up and apply some more buffs with Selissa, but I was eager to end the battle and took down the Judge right away:

https://imgur.com/J9YWfHU

Thaos returned to his body and caught me off guard - a confusion spell affected parts of the party, and I had no prayer against bewilderment active - luckily, with Andur being affected, Thaos ended up getting stunned himself via psychic backlash:

https://imgur.com/jC4RqYL

Our foe was able to heal up, but even with confusion forcing some of the party in melee range, we still could deal significant damage - their respective weapon focus applies to our damage dealer's melee weapons (Tidefall, Abydon's Hammer, Wend-Walker), and Liresh starts taking this opportunity to heal up everyone:

https://imgur.com/aoz4HUb

Being huddled up does give Thaos a chance to deal significant AoE damage with a Pillar of Holy Flame. However, he is already near death at this point, and Selissa has now applied prayers against bewilderment and treachery:

https://imgur.com/1yYaf2g

Finally, Thaos falls:

https://imgur.com/PwxCqMZ

Mira, one of our animal companions, was the one to get in the final hit:

https://imgur.com/56us1WX

 

We honor our deal with Berath, though not before taking a screenshot of the final party stats:

https://imgur.com/Gx4Ym2s

So, there we have it: 9 months of ingame-time, 4000 enemies defeated. Liresh has the highest damage hit - this has to be a Steafast Sunlance proc. For those wondering, Selissa's high number of hits is due to her opening up combat with Interdiction quite often. Why did Andur get knocked out 7 times (mostly in the early game)? Well, a) he sometimes has to get closer to our opponents than our rangers to apply some cipher powers, b) for a while, I was using him as a very squishy melee damage dealer (to power up his soulbound belt), c) as our mechanics guy, he did end up walking into a deadly trap once or twice.

 

Final observation: Megaira, our Stormcaller ranger, was able to defeat Amria, the Persistence ranger, when it comes to total damage done, even though Amria had better support equipment. While it is math-informed consensus here that Persistence is the weapon with higher damage output, I have always disagreed with this sentiment based on personal experience and how things actually play out in the game. These rangers have the same stats, almost the same build (heart of the storm is the one exception), the same animal companion, and Amria even has better equipment. There might be factors in favor of Megaira (it's possible that she has spent more time in the party, as I sometimes swapped out party members to complete companion quests - though I always switched around who would stay in and who would stay out), but if there's truly a significant difference in the damage potential of both weapons, shouldn't Amria still be ahead? I remain a Stormcaller fan.

 

I won't be able to continue this run in Deadfire unless I'm able to fix the current performance issues that make the game almost unplayable for me right now, which is not likely to happen until I get a new computer (which might take years), so let's consider Liresh's adventures to be done for now.

 

Edit: It seems that, in hindsight, the Caed'Nua throne room battle was indeed the most dangerous fight for Liresh in the entire game (and it was really, really close). I think that the dragon battles might have been more dangerous, but anything else didn't really hold a candle to the early game, which confirms by previous thoughts on the PotD difficulty curve.

Edited by Enuhal
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Jazz Wit, Solo Coastal Aumaua Chanter (Hard), Part 6

 

Caed Nua...and since Jazz Wit just fought a very topical battle against phantoms which turned out to be an edge of seat experience, I'll go into a lot of detail for this one battle.

 

With Kana's warning of dangerous spirits ringing in our ears, we use stealth to scout a safe route to the doors of Caed Nua, fighting only this one Will-o-the-Wisp:

 

 

51.jpg

 

 

You can see from the map below that the safest way in is to skirt the southern wall as far east as possible.

 

 

52.jpg

 

 

The Whispers of Yenwood, to which I add the Fine and Burning Lash enchantments:

 

 

53.jpg

 

 

This is going to be my main weapon for the majority of the game (until Drawn in Spring probably). The main reason is the +2CON bonus, which gives me even more health and endurance as well as +4 to my FOR defence. All the other bonuses are incidental but nice.

 

Having spotted shadows and phantoms from stealth, it is time to prepare for the main battle (in some people's opinion this is the toughest battle in the game when going for a solo no-reload attempt):

 

 

54.jpg55.jpg

 

 

+3 MIG and +2 CON give me an additional +10 FOR, as well as boosts for health, endurance and DEX. I have also prepared a custom chant of 'At the Sight of their Comrades' mixed with 'Soft Winds'. This will give me an additional +10 FOR on top of everything else, and you can see there is only a tiny gap where I will not be covered by it when I alternate to Soft Winds.

 

Time to initiate battle:

 

 

56.jpg

 

 

As the first phrase of the chant kicks in, let's have a look at my FOR defence (which is what the phantom stun attack will target):

 

 

57.jpg

 

 

My FOR score is now 96...and as a coastal aumaua, I get an additional +20 to resist prone and stun. So my effective FOR is actually 116. Not bad for level 4.

 

We are not done buffing yet: next we add Potion of Minor Recovery (which will reduce the duration of any afflictions we get by 20% for the next 30 secs) and Spirit Shield (+3 DR and +30 Concentration). I also notice there are actually 4 phantoms in this battle (I thought it would be 3) :o

 

 

58.jpg

 

 

Jazz Wit retreats into a defensive corner to avoid being swarmed, allowing only 2 opponents to attack him simultaneously. There is a lot going on in this screenshot:

 

 

59.jpg

 

 

Note that we have already built up 2 phrases in our chant by the time engagement starts, I only need 1 more to summon my own phantom to redress the odds. But I have been a little unlucky with the first phantom stun attack faced: the phantom's accuracy is 50 vs my FOR of 116, which applies a -66 penalty to the phantom's d100 roll; but it rolls a 96, which is a net 30 after the modifier, enough for a graze (graze is the best the phantom can do, even a roll of 100 would only be 34 after modifiers, it needs 50 for a hit; moreover there is an 80% chance it will miss, since it needs to roll at least 81 for a net score of 15, the minimum for a graze). The stun graze duration is only 1.8 secs (thanks also to the Potion of Minor Recovery). But being stunned for any duration stops my chant...

 

I throw out a Fan of Flames: phantoms do not have that much endurance, so they can be killed quickly if you have the damage potential. I injure a couple of them and kill one of the shadows.

 

 

60.jpg

 

 

My chant counter is still at 2, I am not avoiding the stuns for long enough to get the 3rd phrase completed. So I try Crucible of the Soul for more AoE damage:

 

 

61.jpg

 

 

And then another Fan of Flames (still stuck at 2 phrases!):

 

 

62.jpg

 

 

I am down to just 2 phantoms remaining, one of which is badly injured, but now they can both engage me and things start to go south.

 

This is the point at which I finally reached the 3rd phrase. Look at the combat log from when I last cast Fan of Flames:

 

 

63.jpg

 

 

I got hit by 4 sneak attacks, including a crit for 28 damage: I had to drink a healing potion to recover (circled in red). It has taken 6 consecutive misses from the phantoms attacks (circled in yellow, either missing the original attack vs DEF or the stun attack vs FOR) to get the last phrase out. That was uncomfortable.

 

Summon phantom = win fight :)

 

 

64.jpg

 

Edited by Jaheiras Witness
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Fantastic work, Enuhal! Congratulations!

 

Your run gives our young thread a legitimately impressive PoE achievement: a completionist, PotD, Expert Mode, No Reload (Trial of Iron Mode). It was a pleasure to read. I look forward to re-reading it now that I understand the mechanics better.

 

Please do message Serg with the details for our Hall of Heroes. And note well everyone: our emerging Hall is now online! There is a link on page 1 of this thread, in the second post, just after the challenge introduction.

 

Congratulation once again, Enuhal!

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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