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First and foremost I appreciate all the fantastic advice provided on my SC Monk play through.  I plan to do one more play through on this game and could use some help identifying what type of SC Wizard works best in this group and how to properly build a Cipher.  Any advice would be appreciated on those builds and the ones I have already detailed.

MC SC Wizard – Primary damage dealer.  Beyond that I am not sure what works.  Are summoned weapons effective in this game or am I better off going with an elemental play style? 

Serefen SC Cipher – Secondary damage dealer.  Xoti will be in my party, preventing Serefen from remaining bloodied for long and diluting the strength of a Barbarian.  Any thoughts on how to properly build him out as a Cipher? 

Aloth SC Wizard – Disabler. 

Effigy's Husk, Whitewhitch Mask, Eye of Wael, Arkemyr Grimore, Ring of Overseeing, Ring of Minor Protection, Boots of Stone, Stone of Power, Gauntlets of Accuracy, Cloak of Greater Deflection 

Arkemyr’s Dazzling Lights, Curse of Blackened Sight, Miasma of Dull Mindedness, LLengrath’s Displaced Image, Ryngrim’s Repulsive Visage, Minoletta’s Concussive Missles, Confusion, Arkemyr’s Wondrous Torment, Ryngrim’s Enervating Terror, Gaze of the Adragan, Substation Phantom, Wall of Many Colors, Kalakoth’s Freezing Rake, Meteor Shower, Minoletta’s Missle Salvo 

One-handed style, Bear’s Fortitude, Bull’s Will, Combat Focus, Scion of Flame, Secrets of Rime, Spirit of Decay, Rapid Casting, Uncanny Luck, Tough, Improved Critical, Spell Resistance, Prestige 

Eder Swashbuckler – Primary Tank. 

Reckless Brigandine, Kapana Taga, Cadhu Scalth, Helm of the Champion, Entonia Signet Ring, Ring of Minor Protection, Mirror Back, Gatecrashers, Boots of Stone, Token of Faith, Cutthroat Cosmo 

Disciplined Strikes, Guardian Stance, Refreshing Defense, Unbending Shield, Devastating Blow 

Weapon and Shield Style, Confident Aim, Rapid Recovery, Hold the Line, Weapon Specialization, Armored Grace, Superior Deflection, Uncanny Luck, Overbearing Guard, Weapon Mastery, Dirty Fighting, Riposte, Persistent Distraction, Adapt Evasion, Deathblows 

Xoti SC Priest – Support/Healer Off tank 

Aloth’s Leather Armor, Heaven’s Cacophony, Xoti’s Sickle, Xoti’s Lantern, Halgot’s Warmth, Ring of Focused Flame, Footprints of Ahu Taka, Gwyn’s Bridal Garter, Cloak of Greater Protection, Charm of Bones 

Restore, Suppress Affliction, Prayer for the Body, Pillar of Faith, Prayer for the Spirit, Dire Blessing, Consecrated Ground, Devotions for the Faithful, Barring Death’s Door, Pillar of Holy Fire, Storm of Holy Fire, Minor Avatar, Crown for the Faithful, Dismissal, Magran’s Might 

Weapon and Shield Style, Bear’s Fortitude, Snake’s Reflexes, Bull’s Will, Combat Focus, Scion of Flame, Tough, Practiced Healer, Improved Critical, Spell Resistance, Prestige 

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SC Bloodmage, packed with regeneration and healing bonus items (Three Trolls Stiched, Ring of Greater Regen, Ring of Regen, Fleshmender armor, Physiker's Belt, Bone Setter's Torc) can spam his best nuking spell (e.g. Ninagauth's Shadowflame) non-stop because he heals faster than Blood Sacrifice can kill him. Of course even easier to pull off if you have other sources of healing in the party or put Barring Death's Door + Wall of Draining + Salvation of Time  on him (hello Xoti). I would say you'd have a hard time doing that much damage with a summoned weapon - although Kalakoth's Minor Blights and Spirit Lance are truly great for Wizard/martial multiclasses. But for SC Wizard I'd go the casting route. Also because summoned weapon sscale with char level, not Power Level.

Serafan's Wild Mind Subclass can make him extremely dangerous for your party. On average his wild mind effects have a positive outcome, but one "Miscast" (AoE shock dmg againast Will - height of remaining focus) at high focus can wipe your whole party. So I would give him high AR, especially high shock AR (so no plate armor), high Will (ciphers can have extreme high Will defenses) and not let him cast too near to your party. Or simply live with it and reload once he wipes your guys. :) Most of the time his effects are benefical or at least not too bad. Miscasts are very rare. And if you have low focus at that moment they don't matter much. As a cipher you can let him use his mortars. Focus generation will be awesome with Draining Whip and if you control enemies to one spot (e.g. lure them from stealth with a Dazzling Lights from Aloth - not hitting the enemies, only luring them), then let the tank engage (all enemies will attack him and stay close) and then shoot them with mortars --> max focus most of times. If you use Heaven's Cacophony you can uise Avenging Storm 1/rest. It procs off of the AoR hits, of Blinding Smoke and of Chain Shot. It's very powerful. Shared Nightmare (PL9 cipher) also works for the AoE of the mortars by the way - giving you a ridiculously large mortar AoE and focus gain.

Being bloodied is by no means necessary to make a Barbarian effective by the way. The only thing he gains is 25% additive dmg via Blooded. That's not really class-defining.

One of the best debuffing spells is Chillfog - you should give Aloth that instead of Curse of the Blackened Sight. Just my opinion though.

The rest seems good.

 

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2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

SC Bloodmage, packed with regeneration and healing bonus items (Three Trolls Stiched, Ring of Greater Regen, Ring of Regen, Fleshmender armor, Physiker's Belt, Bone Setter's Torc) can spam his best nuking spell (e.g. Ninagauth's Shadowflame) non-stop because he heals faster than Blood Sacrifice can kill him. Of course even easier to pull off if you have other sources of healing in the party or put Barring Death's Door + Wall of Draining + Salvation of Time  on him (hello Xoti). I would say you'd have a hard time doing that much damage with a summoned weapon - although Kalakoth's Minor Blights and Spirit Lance are truly great for Wizard/martial multiclasses. But for SC Wizard I'd go the casting route. Also because summoned weapon sscale with char level, not Power Level.

Also use the Voidward ring you can buy in Dunnage, that will reduce the raw damage from Blood Sacrifice by 25%. Boeroer, perhaps I was doing something wrong, but I tried using all the regen/healing boost items mentioned and kept my might at 10 but I couldn't quite get to non-stop casting. Don't have the game available now but checking MaxQuest post on Blood Sacrifice, restoring a high lvl spell is (15 + 3 * CharLvl) * dmg modifiers. So at lvl 20, 10 might, thats 75 health (56 with Voidward ring).  And you might have use BS more than once since the max spell level is random. I didn't add-up all the healing numbers in the combat log when testing but my wizard brought himself down trying to alternate 1-for-1 between cast and BS with this set-up.

That said, with Xoti in your party you will be fine as a SC Bloodmage.  Personally, I have enjoyed playing BM multi'd with either Paladin or Druid(Lifegiver). The paladin aura with a LoH in reserve allowed me to cast non-stop while being extra tanky. Lifegiver has awesome healing/defense spells that also benefit the whole party.  What's nice is you don't need many abilities from either class so you don't feel starved for ability points. A battlemage(tactician) also works well but needs quite a bit more micro/planning.  

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Awesome thank you both! Does the below seem about right? 

MC Human SC Wizard - 3 Resolve 10 Might 10 Constitution 15 Dexterity 20 Perception

Thaos' Headdress, Stone of Power, Fleshmender, Three Trolls Stiched, Ring of Greater Regen, Ring of Regen(later Voidward), Physiker's Belt, Ninagauth grimoire, gauntlets of accuracy, Amira's Wing, Ginger L Esry

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13 minutes ago, omnitremere said:

Awesome thank you both! Does the below seem about right? 

MC Human SC Wizard - 3 Resolve 10 Might 10 Constitution 15 Dexterity 20 Perception

Thaos' Headdress, Stone of Power, Fleshmender, Three Trolls Stiched, Ring of Greater Regen, Ring of Regen(later Voidward), Physiker's Belt, Ninagauth grimoire, gauntlets of accuracy, Amira's Wing, Ginger L Esry

Assuming that Intelligence will be 20 as well, that looks good to me. Are you going to use Bereths Blessings for +2 to each on top of this? If so, personally I might drop might to 8 (for a total of 10 with BB) and add that to Dex. Since you have virtually unlimited casting you want to be able to throw spells out as fast as your health allows.  That's where the BM shines.  For example, on my playthru with similar stat distribution (Pali/BM) I was able to keep enemies on  perma lockdown with Shadowflame while still being able to get some debuffing and self-buffing done in there all while keeping health at 50%+. Of course, that 's far from the only way to play it.  

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3 minutes ago, FleetFeet said:

Assuming that Intelligence will be 20 as well, that looks good to me. Are you going to use Bereths Blessings for +2 to each on top of this? If so, personally I might drop might to 8 (for a total of 10 with BB) and add that to Dex. Since you have virtually unlimited casting you want to be able to throw spells out as fast as your health allows.  That's where the BM shines.  For example, on my playthru with similar stat distribution (Pali/BM) I was able to keep enemies on  perma lockdown with Shadowflame while still being able to get some debuffing and self-buffing done in there all while keeping health at 50%+. Of course, that 's far from the only way to play it.  

Yes I do plan to get BB.  Thank you I had not even thought about that!

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Check out Honey wine Hen (-15% dmg), Yolk Bowl (+1 healing per 6sec and -10% dmg) as well as simply Rice (-10% dmg). But I guess the most benefit is using food which improves healing received (Fresh Fruit +25%, Glazed Chops +30% and so on). That bonus is multiplicative with stuff like Physiker's Belt and Bone Setter's Torc.

You can also use Cadhu Scalth and high Metaphysics to reduce the self damage even further - if you are willing to suffer the -8 accuracy while casting. 

It also depends on your recovery time. A slower caster will have less problems with killing himself than a very fast one. Especially if you also use Deletrious Alacrity (which might be not the best spell to use as a spell spamming Blood Mage unless you have good and constant healing sources).

And if you are only spamming one particular spell  (e.g. Bounding Missiles) the refund is also less random. Since low spells scale with Power Level they don't necessarily do less damage than a high level spell. So you can always pick one spell that matches the resistances/AR/positions of the current enemies perfectly well and then stick to it for the encounter. That makes the use of Blood Sacrifice a lot more manageable.

I also like to use Corrosive Siphon a lot (if enemies' fortitude isn't too crazy) since it has a healing and a damage component. I doesn't stack in parallel on enemies but it can still be a nice spell to use in tandem with Blood Sacrifice.

Also keep in mind that you can prolong healing over time with Draining Wall. So a Lesser Lay on Hands (Healing Hands gloves) suddenly becomes a nice ability to have.  

 

Edited by Boeroer
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Excuse me, but why we are dumping might here? It increases damage just the same as healing so it will have no effect on raw dmg/regen part also since you will be using ring to decrease the damage you will end up with more healing than damage because of might.

My bloodmage was able to spam middle level spells via Blood Sacrifice with all the regen+healing items, with Druid/chanter/paladin/priest help you can even go for PL9 spells.

I had 25 might no less than that in combat 

Edited by Blunderboss

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10 MIG is not dumped. It's neutral.

Bonus dmg of MIG will multiply with the bonus dmg from Power Level. And if you rely on third party heals as well and not entirely on self healing it can be benefical to not raise MIG. 

Edited by Boeroer
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Imo it’s not worth losing the damage just because theoretically it’s safer, meanwhile in practice you have more than enough of health regen and heals. 

Edited by Blunderboss

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But the damage you lose is pretty marginal, given that it's just a 3% additive bonus per point, especially if you are putting the points into DEX or PER instead.  Or it's safer if you put it into CON (may prevent a one-shot right after using Blood Sacrifice). I mean I like the risky approach, but maybe others do not. You will also not start with all that regen gear. 


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6 minutes ago, Blunderboss said:

Imo it’s not worth losing the damage just because theoretically it’s safer, meanwhile in practice you have more than enough of health regen and heals. 

You can do it, it's a question of whether it is better to invest those points elsewhere. A BM with sufficient healing/regen can cast an unlimited number of spells so personally I would choose dex as the better investment since you can fling more spells out there while Might has diminishing returns since it's bonus just added along with other bonus(and it still does hurt you). I think a better case can be made for Might with another subclass since you want to get the most out of each cast. but even then not sure it's such a clear cut decision.

That said, you  can self-buff Int, Con, Perception, and Dex with  a Wizard but not Might.  

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You can start the game with 20 mig 20 per 20 int 18 dex 5 con and res and you won’t have any problems because of it, early in the game you just gotta use gear that gives health and con and necklace of fireballs instead of abusing blood sacrifice, there aren’t that many fights before neketaka anyway and after neketaka you will be ready to use blood sacrifice at will, this is considering you play with a party and have a healer and if you do have a healer blood mage actually puts healers to good use same as healing potions.

Edited by Blunderboss
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29 minutes ago, Blunderboss said:

+30-45% damage on spell caster is not marginal

45%? Which class/culture combo allows for 25 MIG?

And 33% additive damage (at absolute best with a starting value of 21 compared to 10) is indeed marginal if you instead raise your PEN and DEX. Both will also increase your damage dealt - be it via better accuracy and thus hit quality or by increasing the casting speed. Since the Blood Mage doesn't need to squeeze as much dmg as possible into one cast (because he has unlimitd ones in theory) DEX is a multiplicative dps stat for him. 

It's not that you take the 11 points of MIG (at most) and throw them away...

And even if you want to put them into CON that's not too bad. You trade 30% of damage for +50% health - which can make your Bloodmage a lot sturdier and prevents one-shots which can happen if you use Blood Sacrifice and then get attacked. If you like that approach better it's no big deal.  

Edited by Boeroer
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I tend to be someone who values might more than dex in certain situations but even where when we're talking BM, dex really trumps other stats. Might only really makes sense for damage or healing casters because casters have a really finite amount of abilities, so there are cases or builds where you'd want more quality out of each spell rather than simply running out of spells faster. Blood mage doesn't have that problem. In fact, they are essentially rate-limited by just how fast they can spam spells and blood sacrifice, which makes dex the larger constraint for blood mage to achieve their potential.

Let's also be clear about the math to make it easier to compare. Might is listed as 3%, but in practice is closer to 2% net increase in game, because it's an additive bonus, which means that e.g. crits diminish the impact of might. This is actually on par and in fact slightly behind perception (net effect is also about 2% net increase in damage per point, though this is weighted towards PotD where enemy defenses and AR are higher). So the "3%" number you see for might overstates the damage impact that you are likely to actually see. By contrast, dexterity is very close to the listed 3% per point in terms of net impact in damage (it effectively is purely multiplicative with other ability-boosting stats since it's on a separate dimension).

For all intents and purposes, dex is a king stat, and then after that is perception, and then very slightly behind that is might. Only for flavor, niche builds, or lower difficulties does might really win out versus even perception. My personal recommendation for a BM would be to prioritize dex, and then roughly balance perception/might with perception ahead of might. But intellect is even more important, and bm has basically infinite access to Aware inspiration, so as a result I wouldn't bother investing in might and only marginally in perception.

Edited by thelee
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3 hours ago, Blunderboss said:

Excuse me, but why we are dumping might here? It increases damage just the same as healing so it will have no effect on raw dmg/regen part also since you will be using ring to decrease the damage you will end up with more healing than damage because of might.

 

I don't believe this is the case btw, at least not if we are talking about a SC Bloodmage. As SC, the only healing affected by your own might is from the healing items mentioned and the very nominal BM healing passive. These items don't scale with level so your base healing is roughly the same regardless of what level you are. However, the self-damage from blood sacrifice scales with character level which is then multiplied by might. I believe the implication is that the might bonus hurts you for far more than it helps you as you level up. There are others here FAR more knowledgeable than i am  but will try to put pen to paper:

Healing(normalized to healing per 6 seconds):
Fleshmender: 2.5/6s
3 Trolls: 2.5/6s
RoGR: 3/6s
BM Passive: 1/6s  (not 100% sure on this and I'm ignoring level scaling but it's really nominal)
Total: 9 health per 6 seconds.
With Physicers belt(+10%), bone setters torc (+10%) and Fruit resting bonus(+25%, multiplicative) that is 13.5 per 6 sec. Add 33% from boosting might to 21 and that goes up to 17.2 per 6 seconds. An increase of 3.7.

Now using MaxQuest's formula, let's look at the blood sacrifice cost with base might vs 21. I'll assume you have voidward ring.
To replenish a tier 3 spell at level 20 with base might and voidward it is (15 + 3 * 20) * ( 1  - 0.25) = 56.3 health. 
To replenish a tier 3 spell at level 20 with 21 might and voidward it is (15+3*20)*(1+0.33)*(1-0.25) = 74.8 health(*)

So for the gain of 3 health every 6s (VERY roughly the time to cast a spell and use Blood sacrifice), it hurts you for 18.5 health more. This is why I think dex is the better investment. Increased damage b/c you can get those spells out faster w/o the increase in self damage. Plus it helps you get debuffs and self-buffs on faster as well.

 

(*) I'm assming that voidward is multiplicitive on the total. If it is really additive with might then it is even a bigger differene: (15+3*20)*(1+0.33-0.25) = 81. 

EDIT: Minor fix to a cpl numbers. 

2nd EDIT: Added bone setters torc, made fresh fruit multiplicative as per Boeroer.

Edited by FleetFeet
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1 hour ago, Blunderboss said:

MC SC Wizard – Primary damage dealer. 

As I like to point out from time to time: Dead can Dance - but they can't deal damage. ;)

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1 hour ago, FleetFeet said:

I don't believe this is the case btw, at least not if we are talking about a SC Bloodmage. As SC, the only healing affected by your own might is from the healing items mentioned and the very nominal BM healing passive. These items don't scale with level so your base healing is roughly the same regardless of what level you are. However, the self-damage from blood sacrifice scales with character level which is then multiplied by might. I believe the implication is that the might bonus hurts you for far more than it helps you as you level up. There are others here FAR more knowledgeable than i am  but will try to put pen to paper:

Healing(normalized to healing per 6 seconds):
Fleshmender: 2.5/6s
3 Trolls: 2.5/6s
RoGR: 3/6s
BM Passive: 1/6s  (not 100% sure on this and I'm ignoring level scaling but it's really nominal)
Total: 9 health per 6 seconds.
With Physicers belt(+10%), bone setters torc (+10%) and Fruit resting bonus(+25%, multiplicative) that is 13.5 per 6 sec. Add 33% from boosting might to 21 and that goes up to 17.2 per 6 seconds. An increase of 3.7.

Now using MaxQuest's formula, let's look at the blood sacrifice cost with base might vs 21. I'll assume you have voidward ring.
To replenish a tier 3 spell at level 20 with base might and voidward it is (15 + 3 * 20) * ( 1  - 0.25) = 56.3 health. 
To replenish a tier 3 spell at level 20 with 21 might and voidward it is (15+3*20)*(1+0.33)*(1-0.25) = 74.8 health(*)

So for the gain of 3 health every 6s (VERY roughly the time to cast a spell and use Blood sacrifice), it hurts you for 18.5 health more. This is why I think dex is the better investment. Increased damage b/c you can get those spells out faster w/o the increase in self damage. Plus it helps you get debuffs and self-buffs on faster as well.

 

(*) I'm assming that voidward is multiplicitive on the total. If it is really additive with might then it is even a bigger differene: (15+3*20)*(1+0.33-0.25) = 81. 

EDIT: Minor fix to a cpl numbers. 

2nd EDIT: Added bone setters torc, made fresh fruit multiplicative as per Boeroer.

just use healing hands gloves (lesser lay on hands 1 per encounter) with wall of draining, worked like charm on helwalker/bm for me (with 10 wounds 50% more dmg from sacrifice vs  30% more healing)

 

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I recently played trough the game with SC Blood Mage watcher on PotD +upscalling+deadly deadfire and at no point in the game I actually had issues because of low con and res (5 with beraths blessing) I had Druid healer in my group and I could spam the spells pretty much all the time, as a wizard you just use one of the deflection buffs at the start and enemies will never target you and from the mid game and up you have more than enough health to restore spells non stop. And if you dump con and res you can max other 4 stats pretty much and since I can get +2dex+evocation PL gloves right at the start of the game I went 20 5 18 20 20 5 ends up with all nice 20s. Early game you might want to use necklace of fireballs instead of blood sacrifice that’s the only drawback of low con. This game is way too easy to be afraid of low chance that u might get killed once because of blood sacrifice + random attack which almost never happens because enemies never target self buffed wizards. And there is no bigger waste than defensive stats that are not being used. Since op won’t have any proper damage dealers in his party he kinda needs to have all the damage on his MC especially since he won’t sacrifice anything for the damage.

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3 minutes ago, Blunderboss said:

I recently played trough the game with SC Blood Mage watcher on PotD +upscalling+deadly deadfire and at no point in the game I actually had issues because of low con and res (5 with beraths blessing) I had Druid healer in my group and I could spam the spells pretty much all the time, as a wizard you just use one of the deflection buffs at the start and enemies will never target you and from the mid game and up you have more than enough health to restore spells non stop. And if you dump con and res you can max other 4 stats pretty much and since I can get +2dex+evocation PL gloves right at the start of the game I went 20 5 18 20 20 5 ends up with all nice 20s. Early game you might want to use necklace of fireballs instead of blood sacrifice that’s the only drawback of low con. This game is way too easy to be afraid of low chance that u might get killed once because of blood sacrifice + random attack which almost never happens because enemies never target self buffed wizards. And there is no bigger waste than defensive stats that are not being used. Since op won’t have any proper damage dealers in his party he kinda needs to have all the damage on his MC especially since he won’t sacrifice anything for the damage.

Serefen as a Cipher cannot be a quality damage dealer? Not being sarcastic it is a real question since this will be my first time with him.

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5 minutes ago, omnitremere said:

Serefen as a Cipher cannot be a quality damage dealer? Not being sarcastic it is a real question since this will be my first time with him.

If you give him the proper spells he can. Also with his mortars. But he will also have access to some really fine CC/debuffing spells that I wouldn't skip (Secret Horrors for example).

Ciphers get Borrowed Instinct which stacks with PER inspirations. So he won't miss much.

Miscasts are extremely rare. If you look at the actual effects of his WIld Mind subclass you can see that it's balanced towards the positive effects. A Miscast can a lso be used as offensive tool by the way. If you have it while sourrounded by enemies you will wipe them and not your party.

Edited by Boeroer
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