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Ranger advice


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#1
Arranvin

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Hello guys. I backed Deadfire and so got a PC copy at release, and I played a bit with a few different characters before deciding to wait for the console release to properly play through the game (I love the idea of having portable Deadfire on the Switch). However, as the console release appears to be taking forever and the Switch version may not even be this year (Versus Evil's 2019 line-up specifically mentions Deadfire on PlayStation and Xbox and Pillars 1 on Switch, but no mention of Deadfire on Switch), I've had enough of waiting and really want to get back into Deadfire!

My favourite class to play is a ranger, both in Pillars 1 and other games. I like doing solid ranged damage, having an animal companion and the overall feel of the class. I also like the look of the arcane archer as having more aoe damage and cc options looks more fun to me than sharpshooter's somewhat underwhelming bonuses. I'm aware however that arcane archer is awaiting a bugfix for Imbue's scaling.

Anyway, I'm trying to decide between a single class arcane archer and a multiclass arcane archer / soulblade. The idea behind multi-classing cipher is extra damage through biting whip, occasional power use (whisper of treason, secret horrors, pain block for animal companion, borrowed instinct, disintegrate) and to unlock any cipher specific dialogue options, and soulblade gives a hard hitting melee backup should I get cornered.

On the other hand, if I take Serafen/Ydwin instead of Aloth (I'm a sucker for returning companions in games but Aloth is a bit of a dweeb) then I can get them to use Ancestor's Memory on me and Xoti so that between that and salvation of time we can maintain brilliant, allowing me to spam twinned shots (for single targets) or death ring (for groups).

So what are your guy's thoughts? Late game single class ranger power or more utility and more consistent damage through a cipher multiclass?

#2
Boeroer

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If you take Soulblade, don't use Biting Whip. It's really bad compared to Draining Whip. Biting Whip only adds a whimpy 10% additive dmg bonus. It doesn't scale. That means - for example - that a war bow would do 1.6 more damage per shot on average. And that's it. :(

 

THe nice thing about single class Arcane Archer is the access to Death Ring - which is absurdly good with a ranged weapon that has its own projectile jumps (Watershaper's Focus, Fire in the Hole, Kitchen Stove) + Driving Flight: each jump triggers a Death Ring. Imbue spells also profit from Arcana's ACC bonus - it's rel. easy to crit with that spell then which does massive AoE damage - and it's even foe-only. That means the bad scaling with PEN can be somewhat circumvented. 

 

But - in my opinion that is the only real advantage for going single class (and the fact that that you advance through Power Levels more quickly of course). The time before reaching Death Ring will most likely feel more bland than playing a multiclass. Just because SC Rangers don't have that many "exciting" active abilities going on. Also the animal companion scales with class level and not Power Level. That means it's not any weaker (stat-wise) if you multiclass.

 

If you want more inspiration about multiclassing Arcane Archer, check this out: https://forums.obsid...-archer-evoker/

There's a discussion about Arcane Archer and also single class vs. multiclass (in this case Arcane Archer/Bleak Walker). May be insteresting. 


Edited by Boeroer, 11 April 2019 - 11:50 PM.

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#3
Waski

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I don't know much about rangers but if you go ranger/cipher you don't need another cipher for Ancestor's Memory. Just bounce it back on yourself from Aloth spell reflection.

Edited by Waski, 11 April 2019 - 11:52 PM.


#4
Boeroer

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Ha - nice idea. Never thought about that.



#5
Waski

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BTW I've checked it (bouncing back Ancestor's Memory) just with two party members. I don't know if spell reflection bounces back on caster or randomly on party members.

#6
Arranvin

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Thanks Boeroer. The thread about multi-classing with paladin is indeed interesting, bleak walker wouldn't suit the particular character that I have in mind, but another order could work. Do you know if there are many cipher-only dialogue interactions in Deadfire? From what little I played as a mindstalker there didn't seem to be that much, certainly not to the extent that I'd feel like I was missing out on something significant, unlike Nano in Numenera! Also, out of interest, how do you think that a properly scaling imbue missiles would compare to twinned shots for a single class arcane archer?

I don't think that I'll find SC AA too limiting with the imbue options.

Waski, that's a really cool idea. If I go with a cipher multiclass I'll see how it works (back on you or random).

Edited by Arranvin, 12 April 2019 - 02:01 AM.


#7
Ensign

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A properly scaling imbue: missiles should blow twinned shots out of the water. Besides the base damage IM will presumably get a big accuracy bonus which will easily push it over the top of the (rather pedestrian) twinned shots.

#8
Boeroer

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Once it scales properly (if it ever will) it's also better in combo with Combusting Wounds and other abilities that profit from many hits (Shield cracks, Confounding Blind etc.) I think.

Edited by Boeroer, 13 April 2019 - 01:35 AM.





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