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I'd interested in playing a "DoT based character" melting hordes of ennemies with powerful debuff / persistent AoE. The idea would be to use a build with an emphasis on AoE damage over time which I believe would exclude most of the martial classes (like rogue with their single target DoTs) and martial skills (like the axe modal). I'd also like to avoid wizard (SC or Multi). Bonus point if foe only.

I was thinking that Ancient Druid (Insect Swarm, Plague of Insect, etc.) or Priest (Shining Beacon, Cleansing Fame, Symbol of X) may be part of the answer but I don't know where to go from there. 

 

Like, should I use a SC or multi class. By multiclassing I'll loose 3 PL and access to PL 8 & 9 spells. On the other hand multiclassing with something like helwalker would provide +10 might / int which is more or less equivalent to 6 PL ?

 

I'm also under the impression that most build / discussion I came across are severely outdated / not working in the current patch (like Plague of Insect not scaling with Alchemy anymore, etc.)

 

Any recommandation / build to share ? 

Thanks !

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Chanter has some decent DOT effects from his chants also if you make him tanky he can add some retaliation effects who will function as a dot when he is being attacked , can have 2 damaging chants  up all the time with troubadour , also rogue can do some DOTS in AOE when using Riposte , Deep Wounds with spears that have dot effects, I'm currently playing priest druid - healer/buffer/debuffer and only dot spell I ever use is Plague of Insects , other than that I find it more useful to debuff enemies so my dpsers kill them faster or buff/heal my allies instead of casting more dots, however Plague of Insects cast at the beginning of the encounter is still really good

Next play trough im thinking to go with Oracle(Psion/x) as my support character as playing priest/druid Lifegiver  is just too easy, oracle will probably have more time to cast some additional dots Autumn Decay seems really decent spell to use except that half of the games enemies are immune to decay :(

Edited by 3x0du5

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This isn't quite what you asked for, but if you're looking to play a "time is on my side" setup...

I used to be playing mass tank parties that outlasted opponents forever if need be, while permanent DoT's killed them off. The damage dealer was paladin (Brand Enemy) / rogue (Gouging Strike). Brand Enemy cannot miss, and Gouging Strike is easy to land with arquebus modal. Once the DoT's are up, switch to a defensive weapon set and put on your best "u mad?" trollface while your opponents futilely try to kill your tanky-healy setup before they bleed out.

Specifically, the party would be something like, five paladins (shieldbearers), two multid to chanter (troubadour), one to fighter (unbroken), one to rogue (can't remember kit anymore) and one to cipher (vanilla cipher before psion existed, then psion). Three passive healing auras (Exalted Endurance, Ancient Memory, Pale Light), and tons of Lay on Hands with built-in cheat death.


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Ancient Druid is your thing 100%, and I would recommend Ancient/Helwalker. I've played a Shifter/Helwalker and most of the time late game I just ended up melting everything with DoTs before I even started shifting. Venombloom, Plague, Infestation, Insect Swarm, Relentless Storm holds them in place as they melt. You can also add Autumn's Decay and Touch of Rot.

Helwalker because of the massive might and intellect bonuses you get. It makes a big difference when your Plague is covering the whole screen and each tick is nastier. Even if you graze it lasts a long time, too. Plus your healing is great with bigger and stronger Moonwell. You can also invest in some of the monk's martial stuff and you can use Spiritshift to defend yourself in a tough situation or if you've already casted as much as you want (though you lose the bonus power level damage from Spine of Thicket Green when you shift). You can pick bear form and get Iron wheel, switching to it after your DoTs are already applied (so int doesn't matter) and you've shifted (make sure to shift when you have the INT bonus active). Now you are a tank with nasty melee attacks while everything melts. It gives your play more fun diversity so you don't get too bored of just casting DoT chains.

Edited by Jayd

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Ancient Druid fits your needs 100%. Helwalker/Ancient or SC Ancient is both good. Helwalker/Ancient gets its dmg potential from increased MIG and INT and also higher ACC (Enduring Dance - important because lots of DoT spells target fortitude which is very high on most hard enemies) and a boost to PEN (Thunderous Blows - althoug not needed for most of the DoTs which are raw dmg) - while SC Ancient does it with Power Levels (and earlier access to the good stuff). Best race would be Nature Godlike (easy to unlock Wellspring of Life with a Druid or Druid/Helwalker) for +1 PL. I mean not only mechanically but also style-wise :) If you find two Stones of Power you can wear one and put one into the stash (not inventory!) and stack them after a fight, then separate them again: you get your per-rest use back (little cheesy trick to turn 1/rest to 1/encouter with items that are not unique).

Grab the Spine of Thicket Green from the Dark Cupboard and enchant it with +3 to Beast Power Levels. With Wellspring of Life (Godlike), Power Surge (Stone) and Spine your Beast DoTs will have +5 PL which is (besides ACC and PEN boost) a multiplicative 25% dmg increase. 

Qaurterstaff also has a useful modal for casters.

In the end the SC Ancient might be a tad stronger (you get important stuff earlier and you'll end up with +3 PL compared to multiclass) but the Helwalker/Ancient will be more interesting to play I'd say. With maxed wounds (10) he has very strong casts. But you will not always be at 10 wounds - especially if you want to avoid getting targeted. 

Having said that: Rogues can also make great AoE DoT characters. You just have to use an AoE weapon like Whispers of the Endless Paths, Hand Mortar/Fire in the Hole or simply a rod + Blast modal (Watershaper's Focus). Funnily enough I just happen to play my old "Deep Leap" scout build from the forum's build list again  (just to see if it's still good. And yeah it is). For example Arterial Strike, done from stealth to a group of enemies, followed by a Toxic Strike is pretty devastating. I'm killing most stuff right on the spot while retreating behind my frontline. It's def. more micro than an Ancient though.

Also, the AoE size of an Ancient/Helwalker is kind of unmatched. Just try out Plague of Insects at 10 wounds with Duality(INT). Maybe even add two Rings of Overseeing and Aloth's Armor and Loki as pet - for a whopping +50% AoE size. That's like adding another 5 points of INT. Besides that your focus should be on MIG and INT - both raise DoT damage. Just remember that the attribute cap is 35 - you can't go higher. Helwalker at 10 wounds already has +10 MIG (stacks with MIG inspirations) and +10 INT (does not stack with IN inspirations). So if you go for max MIG you don't really need +MIG gear. +INT gear and food is preferable.

By the way: what also works really well with an Ancient as a multiclass is a Barbarian. First of all you'll be strong and casting very fast because of Frenzy (and Bloodlust maybe), but most importantly Blood Thirst triggers from every kill you do with the DoTs. Since those often have big AoE they tend to "kill-steal" a lot from your buddies while they attack those enemies. You can then skip recovery while casting which is very powerful. Also certain other things like Blooded work with spells.

Make sure that you have somebody in the party who can lower fortitude for you - or you will have a hard time hitting with your DoTs when it matter most. Some guy with a Morning Star, somebody who can apply CON + MIG affliction (like a Cipher with Secret Horrors - awesome spell) and a Wizard with Dazzling Lights (also great spell - can also be used to lure enemies like Sparkcrackers - use it from stealth to pull enemies together before dropping spells on them). CON and MIG afflictions on targets already lower the fortitude by 20 points. If you can also apply Body Blows then (e.g. Fighter with Morning Star + Clear Out or Barbarian with Heart of Fury or Ranger with Whirling Strikes) you will have stacked -45 points of fortitude in an AoE. DoT-crits galore then,

One of the best "all-in-one-class" fortitude debuffers is a Devoted/Skald with a Morning Star (like Willbreaker): Use the weakening chant to apply the CON-affliction in a big AoE passively, use Ben Fidel's Neck to drop all defenses by 10 points, use Clear Out to apply Body Blows in an AoE and land crits in the process, use The Thunder Rolled to apply stunned. Enemies might now suffer -55 Fortitude while your Ancient/Helwalker already got to 10 wounds and  +12 ACC with Enduring Dance, then he drops the DoT-bombs. Of yourse it's faster and easier do the debuffing with several different party members. But still: the Devoted/Skald is cool.

This is quite tactical but can actually be a lot of fun, even when not playing with Turn Based Mode. And if you manage to reliably hit with your Raw DoTs nothing will be safe. Also you can afford to drag a fight because you also have plenty of healing spells - yeah. :)     

Edited by Boeroer

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Ancient (solo, multi with hellwalker or barbarian) is the king of dots, but if you want to play something "less magical", you can try black jacket/streetfighter. Toxic and gouging strike, deep wounds, saru sichr, grotto mask ensure good dot, backstab with deathblows do massive single target dmg. It also can inflict many long lasting afflictions on aoe. Basically, the only thing it can't is tanking.

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One thing to be aware of is that several of the Druid DoT spells have the Poison keyword, which means they bounce right off of the several kinds of creatures which have Immunity: Poison.  Mask of the Grotto Deep notwithstanding, the Poison keyword is figurative poison to almost any ability, and the ability would become more powerful and generally useful if that keyword weren't there.

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Thats the biggest issue with DOT builds half of games enemies are immune to poison and disease

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A lot of Druid DoTs are not poison or disease.

  • Touch of Rot
  • Taste of the Hunt
  • Autum's Decay
  • Insect Swarm
  • Infestation of Maggots

So - you have plenty of alternatives.


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1 minute ago, Boeroer said:

A lot of Druid DoTs are not poison or disease.

  • Insect Swarm

from my experience, even though those (Insect Swarm and Plague of Insects) aren't tagged on the tooltip as poison or disease, enemies who are immune to poison or disease (i forget which specific one) are immune to them, which is annoying.

I forget whether infestation of maggots is affected by this issue. It was pretty annoying with my ancient druid, who was specifically this sorta DoT build.

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Hm, I used Insect Swarm on Ironclads and Steelclads in Arkemyr's manor a few minutes ago. Seemed to work fine. 

Edit: just checked again with a consoled Ironclad: works just fine. 

Plague of Insect actually has the poison keyword. It's also noted in its description that it uses venomous insects. 

Edited by Boeroer

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17 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

A lot of Druid DoTs are not poison or disease.

  • Touch of Rot
  • Taste of the Hunt
  • Autum's Decay
  • Insect Swarm
  • Infestation of Maggots

So - you have plenty of alternatives.

You are correct, and I probably should have been more explicit with the “some” abilities having the Poison keyword. But it’s enough of them to be worth noting clearly to a newcomer asking “hey, what’s good?”, because halfway through the game is the wrong time to be finding out that one little minor detail means that several of your selected spells do absolutely nothing to many enemies. 

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Would you count relentless storm as DoT ?

Might not been its primary use but it adds up. Druid are really Kings of Foe only DoT.

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@Wotcha: That is correct. I was mostly answering to the statement that it's a problem of DoT builds in general. What I don't think is true. It's a problem of some DoT abilite

Edited by Boeroer

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5 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

Would you count relentless storm as DoT ?

Might not been its primary use but it adds up. Druid are really Kings of Foe only DoT.

No. It is a pulsing spell like Chillfog or Wicked Briars or Nature's Terror. Main difference is that a DoT does one initial attack roll and then applies its damage over time while a pulding spell does an attack roll on every pulse and applies all its effects anew. I mean... it also is "damage over time" of course. But I guess that doesn't count as DoT the way most people mean it. 

But valid question: would the OP also consoder those "pulsing" spells? As a kind-of DoT? Then he'd have many more spells to choose from.

Edited by Boeroer

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38 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

No. It is a pulsing spell like Chillfog or Wicked Briars or Nature's Terror. Main difference is that a DoT does one initial attack roll and then applies its damage over time while a pulding spell does an attack roll on every pulse and applies all its effects anew. I mean... it also is "damage over time" of course. But I guess that doesn't count as DoT the way most people mean it. 

But valid question: would the OP also consoder those "pulsing" spells? As a kind-of DoT? Then he'd have many more spells to choose from.

OP counted Symbols, that's why I was also referring a pulsing spell. They are DoT too in the common sense even if mechanics are indeed a bit different.

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1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

Hm, I used Insect Swarm on Ironclads and Steelclads in Arkemyr's manor a few minutes ago. Seemed to work fine. 

Edit: just checked again with a consoled Ironclad: works just fine. 

Plague of Insect actually has the poison keyword. It's also noted in its description that it uses venomous insects. 

have to double-check. I mostly noticed this on Naga (especially SSS fights), it might be something specific to them.

edit - huh, for some reason I thought Plague of Insects only had Beasts keyword?

Edited by thelee

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I have a memory of seeing some ability that didn’t have the Poison keyword, but did have “antidote” as a countering keyword, which I think is the basic mechanism at play for poison-immune targets. 

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5 minutes ago, Wotcha said:

I have a memory of seeing some ability that didn’t have the Poison keyword, but did have “antidote” as a countering keyword, which I think is the basic mechanism at play for poison-immune targets. 

yeah, actually, come to think of it I think Wall of Thorns and Wicked Briars are like this - they don't have a poison keyword (at least not the tooltip) but their effects are preventable with antidote.

Basically, my memory of my ancient DoT-er is that against naga they had very few options, which was annoying.

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As a serial Druid player: Plague doesn't have a poison keyword but it doesn't work against poison-immune enemies (as Boeroer noted, the description mentions venomous insects). Insect Swarm works on everything (I guess these bugs only bite). 

I think it should be safe to include spells that go through multiple attack resolutions for a DoT build on a case-by-case basis if only to make sure you include Venombloom, which is awesome (despite being unfortunately poison). You also have stuff like Wicked Briars (non-poison) that aren't effects like the insect spells but fit the fantasy of casting and watching your enemies gradually melt - which I take to be the point.

Edited by Jayd
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@thelee: You can double-check as well. I already did with Ironclads. Ironclads are both immune to disease and poison and they get affected by Insect Swarm and Maggots just fine while they are immune to Plague of Insects. BUT I have the Community Patch installed. I don't think that it changed Insect Swarm - but just to be save it would be cool if you also ran a test. 

You won't see a poison keyword in the ability description that often. If there's any hint then it's the "Antidote" after the "Counters" caption. But even if that is not there it might be an ability that is secretly tagged as poison or disease. Sometimes the description gives a hint as well (see Wall of Thorns: its description mentions poison). Unfortunately it's a bit of a (UI) mess. 

Maybe even all damaging "plant" spells also have a secret poison keyword? I will test now all abilites of the Druid (skull if it's poison and vomit for disease) against an Ironclad...

  • Touch of Rot: nope
  • Vile Thorns: ☠️  (Antidote tag, not in description)
  • Insect Swarm: nope
  • Taste of the Hunt: nope (by the way totally great with Whispers of the Endless Paths' cone AoE)
  • Autumn's Decay: nope
  • Spreading Plague: 🤮 (no visible tags, "Disease" in description)
  • Infestation of Maggots: nope
  • Wicked Briars: nope (Plant keyword)
  • Wall of Thorns: ☠️ (no tags, but description mentions "Poison")
  • Rot Skulls: 🤮 (no tags, description mentions "Disease")
  • Venombloom: ☠️ (obviously - Antidote tag and mentions poison in description)
  • Rusted Armor: nope (didn't think so, but just to be sure)
  • Lashing Vine: nope (the Vine does its pierce dmg just fine)
  • Call to the Primordials: depends - some of the secondary effects of the oozes are 🤮 disease based. The direct attacks work though. One of the best summoning spells by the way.
  • Entropy: nope
  • Touch of Death: nope

So,,, not all plant spells are poinon or disease (see Wicked Briars). So there doesn't seem to be a pattern and you'd have to test every ability seperately. Well now I did taht so you guys don't have to I guess. ;) Maybe we can put in those keyword in a coming version of the Community Patch (if that comes in the first place).

Keep in mind that this is done wit the latest CP.

Still: I can see a lot of options here with a DoT basewd Druid. Plenty plenty to be honest. 

   

Edited by Boeroer
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All this talk about DoT effects. Now I want to play a Rogue/Ancient with Arterial Strike, Gouging Strike, all the DoTs and Whispers of the Endless Paths (+ Taste of the Hunt). :)


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18 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

All this talk about DoT effects. Now I want to play a Rogue/Ancient with Arterial Strike, Gouging Strike, all the DoTs and Whispers of the Endless Paths (+ Taste of the Hunt). :)

The return of the Mad Hornet

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Hey ! Thanks a lot for all you replies ! You rock !

 

I went helwalker / ancient in the end, gonna try this build.

2 hours ago, Boeroer said:
  • Touch of Rot: nope
  • Vile Thorns: ☠️  (Antidote tag, not in description)
  • Insect Swarm: nope
  • Taste of the Hunt: nope (by the way totally great with Whispers of the Endless Paths' cone AoE)
  • Autumn's Decay: nope
  • Spreading Plague: 🤮 (no visible tags, "Disease" in description)
  • Infestation of Maggots: nope
  • Wicked Briars: nope (Plant keyword)
  • Wall of Thorns: ☠️ (no tags, but description mentions "Poison")
  • Rot Skulls: 🤮 (no tags, description mentions "Disease")
  • Venombloom: ☠️ (obviously - Antidote tag and mentions poison in description)
  • Rusted Armor: nope (didn't think so, but just to be sure)
  • Lashing Vine: nope (the Vine does its pierce dmg just fine)
  • Call to the Primordials: depends - some of the secondary effects of the oozes are 🤮 disease based. The direct attacks work though. One of the best summoning spells by the way.
  • Entropy: nope
  • Touch of Death: nope

 Does this means that spells like Venombloom (or Wall of Thorns) will be affected by the "Poison master" upgrade of the Spider Silk Robe (+2 poison PL) ?

Or only that ennemies immune to poison won't be affected by this ability while you can't use +poison PL to boost it ? This would be so unfair ....

13 hours ago, Boeroer said:

But valid question: would the OP also consoder those "pulsing" spells? As a kind-of DoT? Then he'd have many more spells to choose from.

I would, however "Relentless Storm" for example is on the same tier than Plague of Insect ... tough choice.
One question though, are each pulses from pulsing spells using value (might / int / PL boost / etc.) snapshot during the cast (like DoTs) or is it updated in real time for each pulse ?

If it's the later it could be interesting to cast this spell at the start of the combat and let it grow stronger as Dance of Death stack. Thus delaying the cast of Plague of Insect (which we don't wan't to cast unbuff).

 

Thank you all !

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2 hours ago, Loog said:

I would, however "Relentless Storm" for example is on the same tier than Plague of Insect ... tough choice.
One question though, are each pulses from pulsing spells using value (might / int / PL boost / etc.) snapshot during the cast (like DoTs) or is it updated in real time for each pulse ?

If it's the later it could be interesting to cast this spell at the start of the combat and let it grow stronger as Dance of Death stack. Thus delaying the cast of Plague of Insect (which we don't wan't to cast unbuff).

I almost always take both Storm and Plague and often cast both in an encounter. I highly recommend taking both!

The relation between changing stats and ongoing effects and spells is a bit weird. I asked about it in a thread here and you can read through the replies. Nutshell: damage always actively scales with might/power level (even on previously applied DoT effects like Plague), but AoE and duration are set at cast time.

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