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Should I prioritize Dexterity over Perception for a Ranger/Druid?


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#1
Jayd

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Hello, I haven't started POE II yet, but I love theorycrafting and building so I've been planning out my character. I want to try to make a good Shifter/Stalker Beastmaster. I plan to prioritize Res as a defensive stat (to capitalize on the Stalker deflection buff) and Int for shift duration and the duration + AOE of Druid buff and debuff spells.

 

I'm having some trouble deciding whether Per or Dex should be focused for offence. I reason (and it seems to be common wisdom) that Per is better than Might because more hits and crits trumps a damage bonus, so that's why I'm not really considering Might.

 

The issue is that Rangers seem to have a lot of strong, easy-to-apply buffs to Accuracy, which suggests that the Per attribute itself is less important, and those valuable points could be invested in Dex instead to increase attack rate. Dex also has the benefit of helping with Druid spells' cast times. Since this character will be trying to quickly cast spells before shifting, this could be invaluable.

 

Does anyone have the experience to say definitively whether focusing on the Dex instead of Per attribute would have a significant effect on my hit/crit rate (assuming I am using Ranger abilities optimally)? Would Dex be more valuable anyway? 

I want this character to be good on POTD.

 

Thanks for your time.


Edited by Jayd, 16 January 2019 - 11:15 AM.


#2
Marigoldran

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Why not both and dump res? 



#3
Steezbucket

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I would dump Res completely.  It is basically an all or nothing stat that is only useful for the absolute main tank.   A shifter stalker does not have the passive buffs necessary to even sniff being the main tank in PotD, so you are much better off focusing on all of the other stats.

 

I'd go with something like:

 

18 MIG

8 CON

18 DEX

14 PER

18 INT

3 RES

 

(not sure I got the numbers exact here but something similar to this)

 

This stat allocation will allow you to focus on the strengths of druid and the lower PER will be made up for in all the goodies rangers offer.



#4
Jayd

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Why not both and dump res? 

The character's supposed to be in melee range. Dumped Res and average Con would get me destroyed, wouldn't it?

 

@Steezbucket: Interesting, I didn't realize deflection was so all-or-nothing at a high level. But with defenses like that, how do I (and my animal buddy) not get deleted in melee? Rely entirely on CC and smart tanking?


Edited by Jayd, 16 January 2019 - 12:12 PM.


#5
Razorchain

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Why not both and dump res? 

The character's supposed to be in melee range. Dumped Res and average Con would get me destroyed, wouldn't it?

 


Is he going to be in melee or in melee range?  There is a big difference, because often I position squishy characters close to melee to use a cone spell or an ranged assassin 2 meters away to get backstab bonuses



#6
Harpagornis

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Mukurome has done a complete run with Ghost Heart/ Shifter but he used the Shifter Mod where spells like Eagle Eye (+20 Accuracy) and talents like Beast Master (+15 vs Beasts) will boost your total Accuracy into the sky. It was even enough to kill some Megabosses. Personally i nearly always push Dex, Per and Int when playing any kind of Shifter but - at the end of the day - its up to you. So if you are not going to play on highest difficulty with something like Deadly Deadfire Hardcore Edition (nearly) anything should work regarding attributes. ;)


Edited by Harpagornis, 16 January 2019 - 12:14 PM.


#7
Steezbucket

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Why not both and dump res? 

The character's supposed to be in melee range. Dumped Res and average Con would get me destroyed, wouldn't it?

 

@Steezbucket: Interesting, I didn't realize deflection was so all-or-nothing at a high level. But with defenses like that, how do I (and my animal buddy) not get deleted in melee? Rely entirely on CC and smart tanking?

 

 

 

You just need to position this character so that he is only being attacked by 1 enemy, and that enemy is the focus of CC and the rest of your DPS.  Con is also kind of a worthless stat because might increases healing which over the course of a fight is going to add a lot more hit points to your character than con.  



#8
thelee

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Does anyone have the experience to say definitively whether focusing on the Dex instead of Per attribute would have a significant effect on my hit/crit rate (assuming I am using Ranger abilities optimally)? Would Dex be more valuable anyway? 


edit: holy crap, the forums ate my post.
 

here it is again, as best as I can remember:

 

Dex is the best stat in this scenario. In terms of net damage, it gives you very close to the stated 3%. Perception is ~2% but drops off at very high accuracy. Might is also ~2% (slightly worse than perception), but doesn't drop off with high accuracy. I would max out dex and then put remainder in might if you're going the high-accuracy route, unless you care about crits specifically and not just net damage (e.g. proccing stunning shots for a single-class ranger).

 

Re: advice about dumping Res to 3. Personally I find that dangerous on PotD+upscaling. There are more enemies, and they will target low deflection, low health, back-of-line party members if they can (ranged rogues especially). I personally do not go below both 8 Con/Res unless I have a very good reason otherwise (e.g. I have great other defenses or support spells/abilities). While it's true that deflection is only really good at extremely high values, it still is free damage you are handing over to the enemy (e.g. almost literally the inverse of perception), and don't forget in Deadfire it also increases debuff durations by +3% per point below 10 (which even if you are extremely good at avoiding enemy attacks--impossible in some situations frankly--you will still get hit by spells and effects). It's basically the difference between a challenging fight and a frustrating fight.


Edited by thelee, 16 January 2019 - 03:10 PM.

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#9
Jayd

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Thanks everyone - you've given me a lot to think about. I will experiment on my own to see what works (I've never been one to copy+paste builds) but now I'm thinking along the lines of middling Con/Res (neither totally dumped), max Dex and high Int, with a bleed off into Might/Per. I am concerned about leaving Per at 10 because it should be important for this character to land AOE spells (Plague of Insects proccs both big animal damage buffs), which don't benefit fully from the ranger's single target accuracy buffs. So I might be leaving Might at 10.

 

I got convinced by Dexterity because if it is the best damage scalar and it speeds up cast times, it's going to be the core of everything this character does. I'll need to work around squishiness by coordinating CC and flanks with my animal and dropping dudes quickly. 

 

Please keep giving more advice if anyone has it - I appreciate it!



#10
Ensign

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If you play the character focused on offensive spells I'd prioritize PER over DEX, especially if you are dual wielding. The recovery bonuses from dual wielding dilute the DPS bonus of DEX down from 3% to ~2%, putting it closer to par with the other damage increasing stats.

Also when it comes to cast speed, the big advantage it gives is the tempo of finishing casts before your foes do. From a damage perspective, unless you are chain casting the entire fight the extra attack speed is ultimately giving you more basic attacks, not more effective spells. When you are casting important heavy hitting spells making sure those land is more important than having them finish a little faster...because if they finish faster you get to auto attack more. Woot?

If you aren't dual wielding it's a trickier trade off because the extra weapon DPS from DEX matters more. Then it really comes down to your identity as an attacker or as a spellcaster.

#11
Jayd

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If you play the character focused on offensive spells I'd prioritize PER over DEX, especially if you are dual wielding. The recovery bonuses from dual wielding dilute the DPS bonus of DEX down from 3% to ~2%, putting it closer to par with the other damage increasing stats.

Also when it comes to cast speed, the big advantage it gives is the tempo of finishing casts before your foes do. From a damage perspective, unless you are chain casting the entire fight the extra attack speed is ultimately giving you more basic attacks, not more effective spells. When you are casting important heavy hitting spells making sure those land is more important than having them finish a little faster...because if they finish faster you get to auto attack more. Woot?

If you aren't dual wielding it's a trickier trade off because the extra weapon DPS from DEX matters more. Then it really comes down to your identity as an attacker or as a spellcaster.

The plot keeps thickening. About how high should my natural PER be to ensure that I can hit enemies reliably with spells? I feel like getting the most of this class must involve some of the good Druid spells like Plague and Relentless Storm.



#12
thelee

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If you play the character focused on offensive spells I'd prioritize PER over DEX, especially if you are dual wielding. The recovery bonuses from dual wielding dilute the DPS bonus of DEX down from 3% to ~2%, putting it closer to par with the other damage increasing stats.

Also when it comes to cast speed, the big advantage it gives is the tempo of finishing casts before your foes do. From a damage perspective, unless you are chain casting the entire fight the extra attack speed is ultimately giving you more basic attacks, not more effective spells. When you are casting important heavy hitting spells making sure those land is more important than having them finish a little faster...because if they finish faster you get to auto attack more. Woot?

If you aren't dual wielding it's a trickier trade off because the extra weapon DPS from DEX matters more. Then it really comes down to your identity as an attacker or as a spellcaster.

The plot keeps thickening. About how high should my natural PER be to ensure that I can hit enemies reliably with spells? I feel like getting the most of this class must involve some of the good Druid spells like Plague and Relentless Storm.

 

 

There's no real good cut-off at which point you hit "reliably." Scratching my perceptions/memories of the early game, a neutral 10 PER on PotD will give you ~1/3 hit odds (plus graze), and therefore going up to e.g. 20 PER can get you close to coin-flip odds of hitting (plus additional graze chance). But there's no significant threshold, each PER gives you a marginal increase in accuracy (kind of the point of the whole pillars system to avoid the stupid cut-offs of older D&D systems).

 

Though Marked Prey and Stalker's Link (and Hunter's Claw, if you go that route) grant their accuracy bonus to spells as well, so you could be diminishing the impact of PER for spells (though to really benefit you need to have a way to boost your pet's engagement limit for synergy with Stalker's Link but I can only recall one effect that does that, priest AL5 spell EDIT: also there's a chanter chant that gives +1).

 

I would also disagree very slightly with Ensign in that dex is also important outside of chain-casting spells because it reduces the window in which your caster can be interrupted, which could be an extremely liability for a caster that you plan on putting into melee range with a stalker/shapeshifting setup (and IIRC druids don't have as many easy sources of concentration unlike a priest or wizard). It's much harder to quantify than a straight-up x% damage bonus or something, but it's a strong enough influence in my play that I only consider Ensign's line of thought on dex for casters I plan on keeping in the back, away from immediate danger.


Edited by thelee, 17 January 2019 - 08:45 AM.


#13
Jayd

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There's no real good cut-off at which point you hit "reliably." Scratching my perceptions/memories of the early game, a neutral 10 PER on PotD will give you ~1/3 hit odds (plus graze), and therefore going up to e.g. 20 PER can get you close to coin-flip odds of hitting (plus additional graze chance). But there's no significant threshold, each PER gives you a marginal increase in accuracy (kind of the point of the whole pillars system to avoid the stupid cut-offs of older D&D systems).

 

Though Marked Prey and Stalker's Link (and Hunter's Claw, if you go that route) grant their accuracy bonus to spells as well, so you could be diminishing the impact of PER for spells (though to really benefit you need to have a way to boost your pet's engagement limit for synergy with Stalker's Link but I can only recall one effect that does that, priest AL5 spell EDIT: also there's a chanter chant that gives +1).

 

I would also disagree very slightly with Ensign in that dex is also important outside of chain-casting spells because it reduces the window in which your caster can be interrupted, which could be an extremely liability for a caster that you plan on putting into melee range with a stalker/shapeshifting setup (and IIRC druids don't have as many easy sources of concentration unlike a priest or wizard). It's much harder to quantify than a straight-up x% damage bonus or something, but it's a strong enough influence in my play that I only consider Ensign's line of thought on dex for casters I plan on keeping in the back, away from immediate danger.

 

 

That miss chance on spells sounds brutal - and frustrating. I'll keep that in mind. I feel like Hunter's Claw and its upgrades might be really good, since I assume each dungeon will have you coming across the same type of enemy over and over again. Rangers seem to have so many (too many) abilities to get, though, so I'm not sure yet whether to prioritize it.

 

Your points about DEX were exactly what I was thinking when I was talking about it being important for spells; I don't want to get bumrushed while casting, and I want to have the option of getting a spell off in a pinch if I must (I have the fantasy of Evasive Rolling out of melee and using Quick to get a spell off before being attacked again. Not sure how well that will work - maybe OK if my pet is engaging, idk). After what Ensign said, though, I wonder how often the speed increase from DEX will really be the difference between getting caught casting and not. I probably won't be able to get a good sense of it until I start playing.



#14
thelee

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There's no real good cut-off at which point you hit "reliably." Scratching my perceptions/memories of the early game, a neutral 10 PER on PotD will give you ~1/3 hit odds (plus graze), and therefore going up to e.g. 20 PER can get you close to coin-flip odds of hitting (plus additional graze chance). But there's no significant threshold, each PER gives you a marginal increase in accuracy (kind of the point of the whole pillars system to avoid the stupid cut-offs of older D&D systems).

 

Though Marked Prey and Stalker's Link (and Hunter's Claw, if you go that route) grant their accuracy bonus to spells as well, so you could be diminishing the impact of PER for spells (though to really benefit you need to have a way to boost your pet's engagement limit for synergy with Stalker's Link but I can only recall one effect that does that, priest AL5 spell EDIT: also there's a chanter chant that gives +1).

 

I would also disagree very slightly with Ensign in that dex is also important outside of chain-casting spells because it reduces the window in which your caster can be interrupted, which could be an extremely liability for a caster that you plan on putting into melee range with a stalker/shapeshifting setup (and IIRC druids don't have as many easy sources of concentration unlike a priest or wizard). It's much harder to quantify than a straight-up x% damage bonus or something, but it's a strong enough influence in my play that I only consider Ensign's line of thought on dex for casters I plan on keeping in the back, away from immediate danger.

 

 

That miss chance on spells sounds brutal - and frustrating. I'll keep that in mind.

 

 

Just remember I was talking about actual hit chance. The game will show you combined hit-and-graze chance, so you will likely do something more often than not (a 35% hit ends up being a 60% "do-anything" chance), but it's important to make that distinction because a good number of spells and abilities have things that only trigger on an explicit hit instead of a graze. Keep in mind that your normal attacks will also have a lowish chance to hit on PotD (by default enemies are generally balanced at similar stats as you if you're at the target encounter level and PotD will buff enemy defenses by +15, so an average 50% "normal" chance to hit becomes only a 35% chance to hit on PotD) so everything will have a harder time connecting on PotD :)


Edited by thelee, 17 January 2019 - 09:25 AM.


#15
Ensign

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The plot keeps thickening. About how high should my natural PER be to ensure that I can hit enemies reliably with spells? I feel like getting the most of this class must involve some of the good Druid spells like Plague and Relentless Storm.


Attributes don't have *that* big of an impact. You don't swing wildly from unreliable to reliable through your attribute choices.

I think there is a strong case for MGT DEX and PER. Damage spells scale very well with might as they don't get diluted by weapon damage modifiers as well, and while dexterity is overrated as a damage stat it is underrated for its effects on tempo and reactivity.

So you can shift between DEX and PER but I imagine the differences are going to be extremely marginal. Just be sure to invest in both!




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