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When I was but a tween, addicted to the original Neverwinter Nights on our crappy family computer that could hardly run it, I refused to play anything but the Shifter prestige class. The idea of shapeshifting into different creatures to face my enemies was too exciting to even consider abandoning. Now that I’m much older and only very slightly less single-minded (sadly my computer can run Deadfire only slightly better than the old junker could run NWN), I’ve imported my love of shapeshifting to this game, resolving from the beginning to make the most of the Shifter Druid subclass.

At this time, I believe I have some insights that are worth sharing for others who may be interested in this subclass. This post will be a bit long and unusual, because I will provide a brief analysis of the strengths of Shifters in general as well as my favourite class build to illustrate my points (it’s a Tempest build, so Barbarian fans, stick around). I hope that the post encourages others to give the Shifter subclass a shot, whether in the form of my Tempest build or otherwise.

Let’s jump in.

 

First Principles

The biggest pitfall one may succumb to when planning a Shifter build is to think of the Shifter as an entirely martial subclass. Spiritshift has the benefit of two strong single-handed weapons in combination with armour as strong as superb Heavy Armor (when fully scaled) without any recovery penalty, and with no vulnerabilities (i.e. the armour has the same rating for all damage types unlike regular armours, which have weaknesses). This is a solid foundation to build on, but it is not equivalent to the martial benefits of an entire martial subclass like Fighter or Rogue. Shifters are still Druids, and Druids are spellcasters.

Now let’s take a step back and ask what makes Druids special. What is their niche? I would provide two answers to this: healing and versatility. If there is one single thing a Druid can do better than any other class, it’s keeping a team healed. But that’s far from the whole story. Druids can also do significant damage, valuable crowd control, have some good summons, and a few very useful party buffs. And, of course, they have bursts of martial power from Spiritshift. No other class packs such diverse value in a single team slot, even though other classes will be better at most specific aspects.

Druid subclasses leverage this versatility by offering specialization in one of the dimensions of the Druid kit, usually compromising another. This might lead one to think that a Druid subclass should be built to focus on that one specialist dimension and no other, but this is simply the general form of the pitfall that I mentioned at the beginning of this section. Versatility remains a core strength of the Druid class in each of its subclasses. The subclasses emphasize a dimension of the class – they do not invalidate all others. Your Lifegiver can still drop strong damage spells. Your Fury can still summon and do plant/beast DPS. Forgoing such versatility will always just make your Druid worse than they could be. This class is not supposed to just do one thing.

Our first principle of building a Shifter follows easily: spellcasting must be respected as a core part of the character. Shifters are Druids, not furry warriors. And because Shifters lose their spellcasting when they shift, each battle must be divided between casting and martial phases if we want to benefit from all the character’s strengths. These are the parameters within which we will be thinking in what follows.

 

Single Class vs. Multiclass

I admit that I’ve never played a SC Shifter (I’ve had 3 Shifter playthroughs; a man only has so much time) but theorycrafting it is pretty straightforward. It would be decent. The main Shifter-specific benefits from SC would be Avenging Storm and Wildstrike Frenzy. Shifters will have good melee attack speed (especially cat form) and relatively low deflection, so AS is liable to put in some decent work (though nothing at the level of what can be metagamed with hand mortars, blunderbusses, Frostseeker, etc.). The Wildstrike Frenzy passives ought to be the #1 draw, but they are unfortunately lacklustre. Their effects only proc on kill with a shifted animal-weapon attack, not on spell kills (thanks to Boeroer for testing this). As we established in our first principle, good Shifter will be doing a lot of damage with spells, and Shifters will emphasize spells that do continuous damage while they are transformed. This means Wildstrike Frenzy will do nothing when the final blow comes from Avenging Storm, Nature’s Terror, Plague of Insects, Relentless Storm, or several other DPS spells you may have cast. Now, ‘on kill’ is an inherently weak trigger condition: the goal of combat is to kill enemies, therefore on-kill effects reward you for having already been successful and can’t help when you are struggling to get kills. On kill effects can still be very good for momentum (see the build below), but they need to be reliable with a trigger with such an inherent drawback. SC Shifters will be doing most of their damage from spells since they lack martial passives to help with melee, get higher level spells, and benefit from high power level (shifting doesn’t benefit from PL). That Frenzy doesn’t work with spell kills is therefore a major disappointment.

A great thing about SC Shifter is that Shifters don’t lose access to any Druid spells (before they shift), meaning that you can enjoy the complete Druid spell list with the added benefit of sustained martial abilities. I would recommend SC Shifter to a player who primarily wants to play a caster but likes the idea of having a respectable melee presence without much fuss (i.e. no relying on buff chains or specific gear).

Multiclassing is where we can get a bit more creative in drawing out a Shifter’s strengths, most obviously by giving our Shifter access to martial passives that will help their melee power. But if there is one thing you take from this post, let it be this: try to pick a second class that synergizes with the Shifter’s spellcasting as well as its melee ability. You’re going to be spending a significant amount of time casting spells and relying on spell damage so, ideally, you don’t want your second class to be irrelevant to that dynamic. A shifter has two major dimensions, two combat “phases” – you want to build for both.

The class build below demonstrates what this looks like.

 

 

Beast Tempest

Shifter/Fury Shaper

Dive into your enemies’ midst and thrash them to pieces with spells, claws, and teeth.

Game version: 5.0

Difficulty: POTD (upscaled)

Solo: Untested

 

Overview:

Perhaps most importantly from a synergistic point of view, Barbarians are most effective in melee when going after groups of weakened enemies. That’s because they get damage spikes against low-health enemies and massive action speed benefits on kill (see writeup on Blood Thirst below). This means that their damage per second increases significantly when they can crush multiple low-health enemies, back-to-back. Accordingly, compared to other possible martial multiclasses, you get significantly more value out of your Druid spell damage-over-time effects that you will have casted earlier in the fight. Making every enemy weaker before you start your melee phase therefore has a direct and noticeable effect on Barbarian power. This alleviates the inherent martial-caster action time tension whereby spell damage and melee damage compete with each other since time spent doing one is time not spent doing the other. With a Tempest, time spent casting damage feeds into your melee power directly.

Note well that, unlike Wildstrike Frenzy, Barbarian on-kill buffs (Bloodlust and Blood Thirst) do indeed trigger on spell kills, so no need to worry about what gets the final blow (except for when a spell steals your Barbaric Smash kill and you lose resources), and you’ll find that when you have multiple spells going on against a large group of enemies, these buffs will pop up regularly when you didn’t even notice you got a kill. Finally, the action speed and Might benefits from Frenzy obviously help in your spellcasting phase.

Furthermore, Barbarians have some tension in their design: with very low deflection, very high health, an armour passive, and more, they are meant to take hits. This screams, “get the highest armour value possible!” They also have multiple ways to increase action speed, so you want to build them them to swing fast. Unfortunately, heavy armour comes with a hefty recovery speed penalty, so if you try to maximize your armour, you action speed bonuses get eaten up compensating for it. You’ll recall, though, that Spiritshift armour has a high rating and no action speed penalty whatsoever. Therefore, while shifted you will fully leverage a Barbarian’s tankiness and action speed perhaps unlike any other context in the game.

You can see that though Barbarian is traditionally a “martial” subclass, it benefits from the characteristically Druid form of spell casting (damage over time across a wide area) and it powers up spell casting as well. Add this to Spiritshift’s inherent speed and armour benefits and you’ve got yourself a beautiful set of synergies.

I chose Fury Shaper because access to Fear Ward is worth the Will penalty, especially on a caster Barbarian because you can leverage Captain’s Banquet, which gives you immunity to most of the most dangerous stuff that targets Will. No subclass would work fine too, as the wards aren’t essential to the build. Mage Slayer is out because you’ll resist your own Druid stuff, and I find Corpse-Eaters looks pretty bad, but do your thing if you really want to be a man-eating werewolf. Berserker could do a lot of damage but Confused is particularly bad for a Druid with their dependence on Intellect and powerful foe-only AOEs, so you’ll have to constantly make sure you’re managing that. Also, this build uses high Might, which increases Berserker self-damage, making you significantly squishier.

 

Attributes:

I’m not going to give numbers because they depend on whether there are Berath’s Blessings, the player’s comfort with stat dumping, role-playing, and so on. Instead, I’ll give priorities.

MGT: High

DEX: Medium

CON: Medium

PER: High

INT: High

RES: Low

 

Druids rely on a lot of damage and healing over time, so MGT is better than DEX for both (DEX helps you move through your casting phase faster, but it’s not going to make your spells tick faster; this is unlike burst damage/healing or buffs where getting a spell off a little faster can significantly change the flow of the fight). In addition, you’re getting a lot of action speed buffs as a Barb, so it’s better to give more weight to each swing than try to be the Flash.

PER is a priority for anything that needs to hit enemies, and Barbarians have some nice on-crit benefits.

INT is critical for all your many AOE radii and (de)buff durations (including Spiritshift). You want as much of this as possible.

DEX and CON are good but should only be invested into when the priority three are maxed out.

Having some RES can be nice so hostile effects don’t keep you down, and you don’t get crit against deflection to a ridiculous degree (crits give bonus penetration, potentially bypassing your high AR), but if you want to dump a stat this should be it (as per usual).

 

Skills:

I like a split between Athletics and Stealth. Athletics for some heals and Stealth so you can more reliably get a cast off while sneaking for the reduced recovery. Not super important. For non-active skills pick what you want.

 

Abilities:

I’m going to give brief writeups on key abilities so the reader can get a good sense of how this plays. The “no brainer” passives are Combat Focus, Blooded, Two Weapon Style, Wildstrike and upgrade, Thick Skinned, Unflinching, One Stands Alone, and Brute Force. Along with what is detailed below you will have a couple free points. Use them where you like.

Frenzy:

Blood or Spirit? – The Spirit line has great synergy here: spell hits cause Staggered as well as melee hits, and Might afflictions are valuable for lowering Fortitude, which synergizes with Brute Force and many strong spells. The AOE terrify can also be clutch in buying yourself casting time when surrounded. However, you may be using lots of Might Afflictions elsewhere on your team (I nearly always run Serafen spamming Dazing Shout) and find that you’re not getting much mileage out of Staggered, and would prefer the resource-saving Blood Storm over Spirit Tornado’s short terrify (especially if you’re packing Fear Ward anyway), in which case the Blood line works just fine. I personally find the Spirit line generally better because of the reliable Staggered, and Terrified lasts for about 10secs, which can save your skin and help you to cast in a pinch. I don’t think you’ll usually benefit that much from Blood Frenzy’s extra crit damage because melee targets don’t usually last long enough to experience all the DoT.

Barbaric Roar:

Your only command interrupt; always good to have. Especially nice as a quick-cast, foe-only, ranged attack. More valuable than the alternative upgrade – you’re not a main tank.

Leap:

Jump right in. Just do it, you'll be fine (usually). My playstyle usually involves tanks taking the initiative and diving at enemies to start combat, which effectively takes a lot of pressure away from the backline. This character isn't a main tank, but can and should certainly be right up in the thick of things with the tank. You want Leap to get around with no fuss and Daze enemies while you cast. You can take Wild Sprint as well as sometimes that's all you need and it's cheaper, but it's no replacement for Leap.

Barbaric Smash + Bloody Slaughter:

You can get some big damage numbers with these. A bunch of crit conversion, up to +100% crit damage, and increased base damage can save you a few attack resolutions (plus your animal form gives a little roar with each swing that sounds cool). Depending on the enemy, casting this around 40-30% usually reliably picks up the kill for no Rage cost, allowing you to continue your rampage. Don’t overlook the bonus penetration.

Blood Thirst:

better than I originally thought. Turns out not only does this cancel the recovery of your killing blow, but it also cancels the recovery of the next action you make within the buff’s duration. That means that after you kill an enemy, not only do you not have to recover, but your first attack against the next enemy doesn’t impose recovery either. I kept wondering why I seemed to be getting random Full Attacks in combat until I realized this. Remember, it triggers whenever spell damage gets a kill, too.

Moonwell/Garden of Life:

This character can be a primary healer.

Insect Swarm/Plague of Insects/Infestation of Maggots: 

Core spell damage, and you get two for free! Stack these on enemies and watch them wither away. Do note that Plague does not affect Poison-immune enemies (and there are quite a few), but Swarm and Infestation do. Plague of Insects is absolute gold because apart from its good damage and stripping Concentration, the Sickened affliction increases your accuracy via Brute Force and lowers enemies’ max health (all the better for smashing).

Nature’s Terror: 

A fantastic spell for this build. You want to be standing in the middle of enemies anyway. Having damage from this constantly wearing them away along with Carnage is great, and the Frightened affliction can block dangerous abilities and make them easier to hit (if you’re using Spirit Frenzy, it debuffs both Deflection and Fortitude). It’s friend-or-foe, so watch your step, but don’t let that make you afraid to use it. Having teammates with resolve affliction resistance can help (Wild Orlans like Serafen come with it, Fighters have a perk, etc.). This spell also seems bugged in that randomly it will sometimes do like 5 ticks of damage to a single enemy instantly. Not sure what causes it. Most important of all, the spell looks really cool (Tempest indeed).

Relentless Storm:

Of course. Depending on your needs for the fight you can and should cast any two of this, Plague, and Nature’s Terror. Cast all three if you get resources back.

Venombloom: 

Must-have for any Druid, in my opinion. Does nothing against Poison-immune enemies but is devastating to anything else. And  with Brute Force it will hit the lower of Deflection and Fortitude.

 

Gear:

Weapon: Spine of Thicket Green - unfortunately, your damage bonus on Beast/Plant spells will go away when you shift, but the duration and initial accuracy bonuses from power level are done deals at the time of casting. There's very little reason to use any other weapon. The crush damage and extra effectiveness against Vessels  (who are often pierce immune or resistant and tend to be more vulnerable to crush damage) also means this is very occasionally worth using over shifting.

Head: Helm of the White Void or Survivor’s Tusks – HotWV gives +10 to every attack roll involved in affliction-causing attacks (i.e. not just the roll for applying the affliction but also for dealing damage, etc.). For this build that means Barbaric Roar, Spirit Tornado, Plague of Insects, Nature’s Terror, Relentless Storm, and Venombloom (Fear Ward, being its own “creature” does not benefit). If you want to use this on another character, Survivor’s Tusks can give you survivability, though the Spiritshift upgrade is less valuable on this build because you will usually have Strong from Frenzy anyway.

Neck: Strand of Favor – more INT and beneficial effect duration means longer shifts, etc.

Armour: Garari Cuirass – any light armour can work here but I like this one because it gives you as much AR as light armour can so you can take hits before you shift. See also Miscreant’s Leather for the recovery bonus and Cabalist’s Gambeson for the extra effect durations, but remember your normal armour gets replaced when you shift.

Feet: Rakhan Field Boots – always nice to dash around and get another interrupt. Footsteps of the Beast can be nice too since you tend to run around a bit.

Cloak: Greater Protection

Hands: Woedica’s Strangling Grasp – extra Might and AR

Rings: Kuaru’s Prize + whatever you like

Pet: Giftwrapper or Abraham – Abraham speeds your casting up but Giftwrapper gives you free AR when you get her. Both offer a bit of healing.

Food: Captain’s Banquet – Immunity to half of the affliction types, including those which most often target your debuffed Will, is huge in itself. Extra spell damage is fantastic on top. Unfortunately, the action speed buff gets overridden by Frenzy, but with this you don’t need to cast Frenzy at the beginning of your casting phase just for the speed. Being able to wait without much drawback let’s you use Spirit Tornado when it’s most impactful.

 

Closing comments:

Embrace a Shifter’s versatility and you’ll be rewarded for it, in both power and fun. The build I’ve detailed has been my favourite to play in the game and is no slouch in power. I hope this post encourages more people to consider playing a Shifter and to play around with getting the most from the subclass. I can confirm that Ascetic builds are great, and I bet interesting things could be done with Wizard, Priest, or Paladin. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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I love the synergies here between Brute Force and Druid CON affliction Dots; making the most of Spirit Shift armors speed and tankiness, and the way Dots prepare the way for an "on kill effect" avalanche. 

Question: Do the Spirit Shift weapons and armor scale with Power Level or Character Level? Can you push the "quality" of them higher by stacking bonus PL in the same way as Monk fist/unarmed training? 

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27 minutes ago, Ivanfyodorovich said:

Question: Do the Spirit Shift weapons and armor scale with Power Level or Character Level? Can you push the "quality" of them higher by stacking bonus PL in the same way as Monk fist/unarmed training? 

It's character level only. Glad you like the build.

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14 hours ago, dunehunter said:

The problem with this game is most classes are nerfed to unfun while the rest is OP as hell.

When I saw that Shifters were nerfed in an early patch I was pretty shocked, considering what some classes are capable of. That is very frustrating, but I don't find that most classes are unfun.

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43 minutes ago, Jayd said:

When I saw that Shifters were nerfed in an early patch I was pretty shocked, considering what some classes are capable of. That is very frustrating, but I don't find that most classes are unfun.

There were a lot builds in 1.0/2.0, but much less in 3.0/4.0, reason? Because players afraid their builds get nerfed to unfun as these already dead ones were.

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After 1.2 I disabled telemetry and stopped posting builds or even synergies I ran into specifically to avoid the nerf-hammer. Unfortunately somebody else spilled the beans about Brilliant+SoT but we were lucky enough they only changed Brilliant from 3s to 6s (which I modded back about three minutes thereafter.)

@dunehunter has it right.


"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke

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8 hours ago, Yosharian said:

Fury Shaper? Ew.

Are there any other options?

Yes. They are in the post. 🤨

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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@Jayd: Very nice rundown. I would love to put this into the build list - but I cannot because the new forum update prevents edits for posts that are older than 8 days... :puke:

Few questions:

  • I believe(d) Blood Thirst/Bloodlust don't get triggered on DoT-kills. Is that wrong (would be happy)?
  • do Carnage hits proc Avenging Storm (from scroll or helmet)? Afaik they do not since they are not treated as weapon attacks (mechanically/in code)
  • does Carnage of the Stag's Spiritshift form proc Avenging Storm? Same as Barb's Carnage but who knows? :)
  • Barbaric Smash + Bloody Slaughter: what do you mean by "increased base damage"? The 50% dmg bonus? I guess you mean something like "50% damage based on weapon base damage" (yeah, sounds awful I know :)) and not that the weapon base damage gets increased (which it doesn't)?

Then some comments:

  • Afaik Blood Thirst will not influence your recovery of the killing blow itself but only the next recovery. However, if you kill an enemy with Relentless Storm/Nature's Terror/etc. right before you hit another one with your claws then you will get 0 recovery for the claw attack and - if you kill with that - also for the next action. Thus, the combination of lingering spells like Chillfog/Rel. Storm/Symbol of <whomever> + melee attacks + Blood Thirst can be truly devastating - I mean for the enemy. That makes the combo Caster/Barbarian a great thing - naturally including Druid/Barb.
  • I would argue that Berserker/Shifter is an awesome combo. What Druids lack for their spells and martial attacks usually is PEN. At least on PotD - for the rest of the difficulties it doesn't matter that much. A Berserker's Frenzy not only damages yourself (which is unfortunate) but also gives you Tenacious with means +2 PEN on top of the MIG. It also gives you +2 AR by the way which will stack with a Bear form's armor (+2 on top of the already good stats) and Barb's other stuff like Thick Skinned. This AR overbundance, combined with the healing capabilites (prevents going down from Frenzy's self damage) and the increased dps through PEN, makes a Berserker/Shifter a great combo. You are right though that being confused is a fat no-no. And that you have to work around it. That means some micro. But I think it's totally worth it. Confusion is especially bad with spells like Relentless Storm etc. which will hit yourself (can be used with Deltro's Helm though!) and your friends. However - if you wear an item like Devil of Caroc's Breastplate you will be immune to confusion - as long as you trigger Frenzy only when not shifted OR stop the shift shortly to allow the resistance to remove the confusion. Same with Modwyr... TSo actually you can play around with that: if you want to be confused - for example in order to hit yourself with a Storm spell to trigger the Deltro's Helm bonus - you can frenzy while shifted, after you cast Relentless Storm some time before. You will get hit immediately and receive the bonus, switch back which instantly removes the confusion, heal a bit in the process, maybe cast another spell and and then shift again. Win-win but microish - but also intersting from a tactical perspective. If you simply want to get rid of the confusion for good just eat Luminous Lobster during all rests or take a chunk of Svef. ;)

Anyway: great work! 


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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By the way: I just found out that Amra's AoE procs Avenging Storm... just as a random info for SC Druids. ;)

PS: especially in tandem with "Entropy"... hahaha

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Can confirm now that DoTs do reliably trigger Blood Thirst. Awesome!

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I just compared Warlock with Tempest. I like Warlock a lot because of the synergies you describe above (spells triggering Blood Thirst etc.). But actually a Tempest is even better.

I thought (and maybe that was the case earlier) that DoTs don't work with Blood Thirst. But now they do. DoTs will indeed trigger Bloodthirst and usually the DoTs and Pulsing spells of a Druid are

a) foe only and

b) sometimes have a ridiculously big AoE - like Plague of Insects.

And because of Spiritshift you can stay at 0 recovery penalty while having great AR without having to cast any self buff.  

This means it's a lot faster and easier to target nearly all enemies with some DoTs - while your friends will not get harmed. This ensures you get a lot more "accidential" kills via big DoTs while you can attack them at the same time. You can even steal kills from your party members if a DoT finishes off an enemy whom your Rogue buddy was hammering at. And that means Blood Thirst triggers and triggers and triggers... 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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If you like the Druid of Neverwinter Nights @Jayd then maybe my Shifter Mod could be of interest for you. More forms, tons of new spells and crazy combo potential. If you think its OP then use the "Ultimate Evolution" to double the fun (and/or pain). As i moved on to other games there wont be any updates in the near future...

Anyway: Have fun with the Shifter! ;)

Edited by Harpagornis

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Honestly wish this was a bit more precise stat and skill wise. I mean what does High even mean for you? Max?

Usually when I try out other peoples builds I just copy the build 1:1 and try to play it how the build maker wanted it to be.

 

I appreciate the effort though.

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1 hour ago, Rimiu said:

Honestly wish this was a bit more precise stat and skill wise. I mean what does High even mean for you? Max?

Usually when I try out other peoples builds I just copy the build 1:1 and try to play it how the build maker wanted it to be.

 

I appreciate the effort though.

I had Dex, Con, and Res all at 10 and turned the others to max (Berath's Blessings). 

Point is I don't have strong feelings about using those exact stats and would actually be interested to see what other permutations would look like, so "what the build maker wanted it to be" might not apply here. Anyway, hope this helps and thanks for the interest.

 

@Harpagornis sorry I forgot to respond before. Thanks for your work in that mod, it looks exciting (if maybe a bit OP). As you can see, I get a lot of enjoyment out of talking about builds with the community so I'm sticking to playing the base game so I'm playing the same game most others are. May try mods in the future.

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4 minutes ago, Jayd said:

I had Dex, Con, and Res all at 10 and turned the others to max (Berath's Blessings). 

Point is I don't have strong feelings about using those exact stats and would actually be interested to see what other permutations would look like, so "what the build maker wanted it to be" might not apply here. Anyway, hope this helps and thanks for the interest.

 

@Harpagornis sorry I forgot to respond before. Thanks for your work in that mod, it looks exciting (if maybe a bit OP). As you can see, I get a lot of enjoyment out of talking about builds with the community so I'm sticking to playing the base game so I'm playing the same game most others are. May try mods in the future.

I didn't mean to come off as rude, I'm sorry. I see your point and thank you for the additional info. I might give this build a try soon then. Is it okay if I ask you additional questions via PM if they ever arise? I don't want to clog up your thread.

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1 minute ago, Rimiu said:

I didn't mean to come off as rude, I'm sorry. I see your point and thank you for the additional info. I might give this build a try soon then. Is it okay if I ask you additional questions via PM if they ever arise? I don't want to clog up your thread.

No need to apologize, and of course. If there are questions/issues that you think might promote discussion, including strengths and especially weaknesses of the build, though, I'd encourage you to post here. But my PMs are open if you don't think a question is worth putting in the thread.

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After reading it all I think I will play this. It sounds a lot of fun. I actually like it now that you left some wiggle room for custom stuff. I have but one questions.

 

Could you please add enchantment paths for the weapon and armor? Seeing as this is a decision that can't be reverted when playing unlike respec.

Edited by Rimiu

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On 6/1/2019 at 3:12 AM, Boeroer said:

@Jayd: Very nice rundown. I would love to put this into the build list - but I cannot because the new forum update prevents edits for posts that are older than 8 days... :puke:

Few questions:

  • I believe(d) Blood Thirst/Bloodlust don't get triggered on DoT-kills. Is that wrong (would be happy)?
  • do Carnage hits proc Avenging Storm (from scroll or helmet)? Afaik they do not since they are not treated as weapon attacks (mechanically/in code)
  • does Carnage of the Stag's Spiritshift form proc Avenging Storm? Same as Barb's Carnage but who knows? :)
  • Barbaric Smash + Bloody Slaughter: what do you mean by "increased base damage"? The 50% dmg bonus? I guess you mean something like "50% damage based on weapon base damage" (yeah, sounds awful I know :)) and not that the weapon base damage gets increased (which it doesn't)?

Then some comments:

  • Afaik Blood Thirst will not influence your recovery of the killing blow itself but only the next recovery. However, if you kill an enemy with Relentless Storm/Nature's Terror/etc. right before you hit another one with your claws then you will get 0 recovery for the claw attack and - if you kill with that - also for the next action. Thus, the combination of lingering spells like Chillfog/Rel. Storm/Symbol of <whomever> + melee attacks + Blood Thirst can be truly devastating - I mean for the enemy. That makes the combo Caster/Barbarian a great thing - naturally including Druid/Barb.
  • I would argue that Berserker/Shifter is an awesome combo. What Druids lack for their spells and martial attacks usually is PEN. At least on PotD - for the rest of the difficulties it doesn't matter that much. A Berserker's Frenzy not only damages yourself (which is unfortunate) but also gives you Tenacious with means +2 PEN on top of the MIG. It also gives you +2 AR by the way which will stack with a Bear form's armor (+2 on top of the already good stats) and Barb's other stuff like Thick Skinned. This AR overbundance, combined with the healing capabilites (prevents going down from Frenzy's self damage) and the increased dps through PEN, makes a Berserker/Shifter a great combo. You are right though that being confused is a fat no-no. And that you have to work around it. That means some micro. But I think it's totally worth it. Confusion is especially bad with spells like Relentless Storm etc. which will hit yourself (can be used with Deltro's Helm though!) and your friends. However - if you wear an item like Devil of Caroc's Breastplate you will be immune to confusion - as long as you trigger Frenzy only when not shifted OR stop the shift shortly to allow the resistance to remove the confusion. Same with Modwyr... TSo actually you can play around with that: if you want to be confused - for example in order to hit yourself with a Storm spell to trigger the Deltro's Helm bonus - you can frenzy while shifted, after you cast Relentless Storm some time before. You will get hit immediately and receive the bonus, switch back which instantly removes the confusion, heal a bit in the process, maybe cast another spell and and then shift again. Win-win but microish - but also intersting from a tactical perspective. If you simply want to get rid of the confusion for good just eat Luminous Lobster during all rests or take a chunk of Svef. ;)

Anyway: great work! 

My dude can you believe that I totally missed this post? The one I liked is the only one I saw from you. I don't know what it is about this forum but sometimes I straight up don't see stuff that's right there and it's pretty embarrassing.

Thanks for this. On Blood Thirst not removing the recovery for the killing blow that is surprising to me. My experience is just as I described where the character will not need to recover from a killing blow and then will skip the next recovery as well. But with my track record of missing stuff that's not easy to miss I'll test next time I play.

I've never used Avenging Storm scrolls (I'm really, really bad at using consumables in general) so I can't answer about those.

The first buff listed on Barbaric Blow is a straightforward +20% Damage, separate from the crit damage increase. Is that a typo or something?

Yeah, Berserker definitely has some great benefits and the downside can be played around. I just didn't want to deal with it. I think it's almost a RP thing with me where I'm totally reliant on stuff that is separable from my character (party, gear, food) to make my character even playable. Since confusion makes a Druid unplayable due to its reliance on foe-only/friend-only DoTs and HoTs, I just got turned off. Anyone without that hang up could certainly benefit from a Berserker though.

Thanks again for your input and sorry to have missed it before.

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29 minutes ago, Rimiu said:

After reading it all I think I will play this. It sounds a lot of fun. I actually like it now that you left some wiggle room for custom stuff. I have but one questions.

 

Could you please add enchantment paths for the weapon and armor? Seeing as this is a decision that can't be reverted when playing unlike respec.

With Spine make sure to get the upgrade that gives you Beast power levels. For the other one I get Poison/Disease defense because I think they are more common/dangerous? But I doubt it has ever made a difference. For the Cuirass I chose Might resistance even though it is redundant with Unflinching just because it is just so incredibly better than 5% Hit to Graze. And then I picked the weapon damage reduction because the most infuriating thing in this game to me is getting stunlocked and killed by a Rogue firing squad. But other than the Beast spell buff these upgrades aren't a big deal.

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16 minutes ago, Jayd said:

Thanks again for your input and sorry to have missed it before.

No worries! :)

By the way I played a little more with a Berserker/Ancient (I mean Berserker/Fury would be cooler just by name - but the loss of healing is bad) but I totally skipped shifting and instead opted for Whispers of the Endless Paths. The combo of the huge and long-lasting Plague of Insects etc. and AoE-Taste of the Hunt (superstrong) + Blood Thirst, once the killing kicks in it's just *swoosh-swoosh-swoosh* - it's awesomest. :) 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Not transforming into giant anthropomorphic animals is never the awesomer option, sorry.

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I think you should consult Jeff Goldblum on this... ;)

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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After playing around with this build in the early levels I can safely dub this the Port Maje destroyer. Seriously, this was the easiest PotD Port Maje intro I had on any class so far.

I didn't even need mercs and cleared the whole arena too without any problems whatsoever.

 

Granted I did take Charm beasts for lvl 1 since I will eventually get enough damage spells anyways but now I'm not sure if that was a mistake in the end.

 

The regen of the boar form though is amazing and helped a ton too. I should've tried playing a shifter earlier.

Edited by Rimiu
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