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Hi guys,

I'm playing a Marauder lvl 8 and currently stuck on the Enwithan Titan fight in Poko Kohara. I'm using Pukestabber with another exceptional dagger offhand.

The issue is that the titan always forgets about Eder and comes after the PC, which is my main source of damage, and both he and Xoti have no HP and healing sufficient to kill the thing. If he tries to run during the titan's recovery he also take disengagement hits.

Are there ways to keep enemies from turning to the dps characters? Or ways to disengage safely?

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This is something that's been bothering me throughout both PoE titles and all their DLC's. The fact that some fights vs. a Big Bad are reduced to, if you're melee, enjoy facetanking the boss because it's just going to target the squishiest thing it can find at a convenient distance.

Anyway, it's a long story with a moderately happy ending, but it won't help you much. So let's address "disengage safely" instead. Any might affliction will make the target unable to engage, and thus be unable to throw disengagement attacks at you. It might help a bit.


Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.

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3 minutes ago, omgFIREBALLS said:

This is something that's been bothering me throughout both PoE titles and all their DLC's. The fact that some fights vs. a Big Bad are reduced to, if you're melee, enjoy facetanking the boss because it's just going to target the squishiest thing it can find at a convenient distance.

Anyway, it's a long story with a moderately happy ending, but it won't help you much. So let's address "disengage safely" instead. Any might affliction will make the target unable to engage, and thus be unable to throw disengagement attacks at you. It might help a bit.

I also think this is a big issue for people that like melee MC.

In PoE1 by the endgame wasn't a big issue because my rogue would dish out so much damage that any enemy would die before hitting him. But in PoE2 you have all this super early bosses and mega bosses, and them always focusing on the dps character is simply unfair to these classes. 

Fighters like in other RPGs should have a provoke ability where they would keep the others from aggroing.

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Why is it unfair? You chose to build a glass cannon in order to dish out as much dps as possible. You didn't raise defenses and AR. It's totally reasonable for the AI to target the biggest threat which also has the lowest defenses. You'd do the same, wouldn't you? :)

You can either work with different afflictions on the enemy that prevent engagement (like Stun and so on), you could equip a pet that disables engagement (Grog), you could equip an item that prevents disengagement attacks (Nomad's Brigandine for example) and so on. Or use Wild Sprint in case of Barbarian. You could also use a reach weapon for this fight in order to not get engaged in melee but still use melee weapons.

Edited by Boeroer
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10 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Why is it unfair? You chose to build a glass cannon in order to dish out as much dps as possible. You didn't raise defenses and AR. It's totally reasonable for the AI to target the biggest threat which also has the lowest defenses. You'd do the same, wouldn't you? :)

And the result of this is your melee squad is reduced to a bland mix of semitanks. I much prefer the WoW PvE experience here, where aggro is predictable, monster attack damage is balanced around the assumption that they're hitting a sturdy tank, and they have an array of abilities that bother the whole party or even specifically everyone but the tank, so that nobody gets away with being squishy (and/or inattentive).

(We don't need to take the WoW-ness as far as for mobs to religiously chase the tank if they try to kite, however)

I mean, monsters (most of them) already have a deep respect for engagement and distance. You can send in a tank to handle "the bulk" of the enemy force, while you surgically pick them off with your melee who will only be attacked by a few of them. This is good design to me, but if the AI were being "reasonable", it sure would ignore that tank.

The problem comes when you fight a Big Bad, like in the OP's situation. There is only one monster, and it hits hard. It also has resistances, immunities and saving throws so high that you can't feasibly keep it locked down. Too, it's comical in a tragic way to talk of ways to get out of melee range without eating a disengagement attack. Okay, your melee got out of harm's way, but now they're not doing anything, and if they rejoin the fray, the Big Bad will just say, oh this is a squishier target, yay! (upvote for the poetry)

An idea that came to mind as I pondered this whole situation is the following ability.

Threatening Gaze
Fighter, 1 Discipline, Accuracy vs. Will

Intimidates an opponent for X seconds, making it wary of shifting its attention away from the fighter. If the enemy changes target, it will have its accuracy reduced by Y for Z seconds. This penalty is greater the more spare engagement slots the fighter has.

So, firstly, even though it says intimidates, it has nothing to do with your intimidate skill, nor is it a resolve affliction. Moving on, I would really like you to look closely at the last sentence. The traditional tank wears a shield, which is +1 engagement, and so this ability encourages that. But if you are tanking many mobs, you have little/no spare engagement, and so it gets narrowed down the the Big Bad handler ability I want it to be. Alternatively it could also be that the ability itself has higher accuracy the more spare engagement you have.

So if the Big Bad switches to your melee, at least you get a grace period during which he will have a hard time hitting, and you can prep some defenses or plan your escape.

In typing this I realized that Take the Hit is actually a pretty good solution to all I've talked about here, other than being a high level single class fighter ability.


Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.

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I do not think it's reasonable to expect that a character who wants to go into close combat with foam at the mouth, two blood dripping battle axes and a napkin as armor should be left alone and do his thing while the enemy goes like "screw this meatgrinder who's chopping my legs off - I'm going for the turtle over there who's showing me the middle finger all the time"?

You do not need a bland mix of semitanks as melee characters. I never had that - not even once. However, you need some strategy that helps you to deal with those situations. One ability can be enough. There are lots of tools to deal with engagement/disengagement attacks and with the problem that your dps character might get targeted. Besides items, CC, healing and support spells/abilities from the party there are dedicated abilities for most classes that are more on the dps side. Especially the more dps-focused classes all have at least one ability that lets you cancel engagement, go invisible or hop away in order to reposition yourself safely should you get targeted - or simply heal:

Rogue has Defensive Roll, Escape+, Smoke Veil, Barbs have Wild Sprint+, Savage Defiance+, Leap, Threatening Presence,  Dazing Shout, Rangers have Evasive Roll+ and Shadowed Hunter...

If you build a pure melee glasscannon (which I deem even more boring than a somewhat balanced semitank by the way) and don't even take one little safety feature you can't blame the AI for reacting reasonably. At least if the enemy is supposed to have some sorts of intelligence and is not a stupid beast or fungus and such. But afaik those enemies don't even switch targets that much. It's the smarter enemies that do this. 

It also helps to let your tank engage first (in this case Eder) and wait a bit, maybe try to apply a helpful debuff or CC before rushing in with your whirling axes. Some bosses won't care (like in this case) and still turn around once you hit them with the axe - but aganst mobs this greatly reduces the need to fiddle around with engagment and enemies rushing your dps character.

And what's the other side of the "bland mix of semitanks" argument? It would be a bland setup of one indomitable tank who uses the Patinated Plate, a hatchet or dagger and Cadhu Scalth and who's taunting all enemies with his Ricky Gervais monologue like there's no tomorrow - or threatening them with his intimidating stare that somehow is more potentially dangerous than a sharp axe - while 4 dps friends with zero defensive capability chop up the scandalized enemy who doesn't really care... 

 I don't know but I prefer the less MMO-ish approach.

In this case you'd need one repositioning ability and a reach weapon. You would be useful even if you're not fighting up to your full potential. It's just one enemy though. It mustn't alwys be that a party member is 100% efficient against 100% of enemies. Beguiler for example hates Imps... ;)

Of course this is all said with some meta knowledge under the belt. It can be frustrating if you are doing your first (and maybe only) playthrough and run into those issues. Heading back to an inn for retraining is also not the most fun thing to do. I would have really liked it if there was a more educating tutorial on how some of the base mechnics of the game work (like engagement) and how to deal with it and its effects. 

Edited by Boeroer

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Meh. I guess as far as PoE goes, you are correct. It's just that at the end of the day, bending over backwards to break engagement and run away is a frustrating effort when all the enemy needs to do is leftclick you again when you return to melee range.

Also, do you know a "stereotypical" rogue build that works under these circumstances? I know I was in OP's situation in Pillars 1 and I got told to equip plate mail. It's not about wanting to trade survivability for damage, it's about wanting to survive through elusiveness rather than armor.


Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.

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In PoE rogues were a lot squishier than in Deadfire. That got addressed. Melee (non-reach) Rogues in PoE had to rely on CC or Escape if they didn't want to gear up like a tank (like fat armor and/or shield). Since CC was really strong in PoE my recipe nearly always was to hard-CC the enemy the Rogue was dealing with (with a Cipher or Wizard mostly - even Fighter's Knockdown worked well). Also the Rogue's own strikes help a lot in 1:1 situations (especially Blinding Strike). Later I would make sure the Rogue had a stunning or overbearing weapon, too and I would take Persistent Distraction since that usually leaves the enemy (if not kith fighter) with no engagement.

Coordinated Positioning wasn't picked by a lot by players I assume - yet it is a perfect tool for those situations.

In Deadfire avoiding/cancelling engagement can be a very powerful tool by the way: unlike PoE in Deadfire an enemy will miss you if you dodge even so slightly out of reach. So a Rogue (or any other melee character) can go in, swing and thrust until the enemy starts to swing the weapon and then retreat a tiny bit from the enemy. The attack will miss (you'll even be able to see the out-of-reach message in the log) - back to business. Of course this is micro-itense. But especially for solo games it's very useful. One reason I like Nomad's Brigandine and Gipon Prudensco. And also Threatening Presence on certain Barb builds.

 

 

Edited by Boeroer
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6 hours ago, Boeroer said:

In PoE rogues were a lot squishier than in Deadfire. That got addressed. Melee (non-reach) Rogues in PoE had to rely on CC or Escape if they didn't want to gear up like a tank (like fat armor and/or shield). Since CC was really strong in PoE my recipe a nearly always was to hard-CC the enemy the Rogue was dealing with (with a Cipher or Wizard mostly - even Fighter's Knockdown worked well). Also the Rogue's own strikes help a lot in 1:1 situations (especially Blinding Strike). Later I would make sure the Rogue had a stunning or overbearing weapon, too and I would take Persistent Distraction since that usually leaves the enemy (if not kith fighter) with no engagement.

Coordinated Positioning wasn't picked a lot by players I assume - yet it is a perfect tool for those situations.

In Deadfire avoiding/cancelling engagement can be a very powerful tool by the way: unlike PoE in Deadfire an enemy will miss you if you dodge even so slightly out of reach. So a Rogue (or any other melee character) can go in, swing and thrust until the enemy starts to swing the weapon and then retreat a tiny bit from the enemy. The attack will miss (you'll even be able to see the out-of-reach message in the log) - back to business. Of course this is micro-itense. But especially for solo games it's very useful. One reason I like Nomad's Brigandine and Gipon Prudensco. And also Threatening Presence on certain Barb builds.

 

 

Threatening presence is not very relevant for PotD though. And Mega bosses are all above lvl 20 aren't they?

Since you seem to be a seasoned player, do you know a good strategy for melee dps against Dorudugan?

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18 minutes ago, danielbda said:

Since you seem to be a seasoned player, do you know a good strategy for melee dps against Dorudugan?

I know this wasn't for me, but I consider Dorudugan the ultimate of all my melee grievances. He has sky high defenses and resolve. It's very difficult to land debuffs on him, and even if I do, they will have tragically short durations, so I can't really "get the ball rolling". I simply cannot crack him open, and that makes him a boring and depthless boss. But he's not without offensive capabilities, so he can't be blithely whittled down one weak attack at a time either, and so he goes from boring to frustrating.

And yet, the fact that I killed this robotic incarnation of poor design choices on Deadly Deadfire PotD difficulty only yesterday, with a melee based party, is the reason I backed down from this argument.

I had my tank and my two melee in a triangular formation around him, so that he was flanked without his cleave hitting more than one target. When he cast his fire rain, everyone but the tank ran. As noted, monsters are very good at respecting engagement, so he rarely chased and if he did, it wasn't far. (On the note of engagement, I would only find him half as frustrating if he couldn't trigger disengagement attacks while preparing to rain fire) While I did keep my tank out of fire too, I didn't bother trying to keep big D out of it.

My parties are pretty much always five multiclassed Shieldbearer paladins. This comes with respectable defenses - even if this discussion may have made you believe it, I don't build glass cannons, and rather take pleasure in just basking in my tankiness from time to time - but also the cannot-die-Lay-on-Hands, which I can just keep up permanently at high levels since I have a psion in the party who knows that come level 19, she is reduced to an aurabot throwing out Brilliant inspirations. Outlasting is my fetish.

A fun thing that is "easily" noticed with Dorudugan is that he can be knocked prone (I mean it's not easy to do, but it's easy to see when it happens, and also hilarious to watch). Maybe everything in the game can, I don't know. As far as I can tell, this will effectively interrupt the target and add some recovery. So, as we speak, I am working on my next iteration of this mass paladin party. The change this time is that the tank will have a new job for Big Bads: If they don't want to hit her, she will whip out a rapier (SINGLE WIELDED, you heard it here folks), modal on and just disrupt the boss with Knock Down repeatedly.

Edér is welcome to try it as well.


Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.

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11 hours ago, omgFIREBALLS said:

It's just that at the end of the day, bending over backwards to break engagement and run away is a frustrating effort when all the enemy needs to do is leftclick you again when you return to melee range.

In practice I find that enemy AI doesn't do this a lot. If you're able to get the enemy AI back onto a tank via some mechanism, it's sticky for a while. I don't know what the internal workings of the AI is, but I have to imagine there's some sort of internal cooldown on changing targets. So there's that. It would be extremely annoying otherwise.

On the topic of the enemy AI going after squishy targets - it's a double-edged sword. That's why rogues have so many escape abilities, and also why you can metagame this  by taking advantage of this fact. It would be way worse if the AI enemy was actually more like a human, e.g. deliberately avoiding the high-defense riposte or blade turning squishy because they know they'll just get punished.

I can see the virtue of the WoW/MMoRPG style aggro system, but it can also be extremely mechanically reductive. In Tyranny some of my parties boil every fight down to "taunt - taunt - taunt" while everyone dps-ses.

 

2 hours ago, omgFIREBALLS said:

A fun thing that is "easily" noticed with Dorudugan is that he can be knocked prone (I mean it's not easy to do, but it's easy to see when it happens, and also hilarious to watch). Maybe everything in the game can, I don't know. As far as I can tell, this will effectively interrupt the target and add some recovery. So, as we speak, I am working on my next iteration of this mass paladin party. The change this time is that the tank will have a new job for Big Bads: If they don't want to hit her, she will whip out a rapier (SINGLE WIELDED, you heard it here folks), modal on and just disrupt the boss with Knock Down repeatedly.

In this vein, mule kick is better. The "knock up" effect also still works, so you effectively significantly increase the length of the time these uninterruptible enemies are quasi-interrupted. Dorudugan has sky high fortitude defense though, so I would be surprised you could do this consistently even with the -25 from morning star and bonus acc from mule kick. The only other uninterruptible enemy I can think of is the Oracle of Wael and they also can be proned/knocked-up. Must be a weird thing for designers to keep an eye on - no matter the enemy they have to add a prone/standing up animation.

Edited by thelee
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3 hours ago, omgFIREBALLS said:

I know this wasn't for me, but I consider Dorudugan the ultimate of all my melee grievances. He has sky high defenses and resolve. It's very difficult to land debuffs on him, and even if I do, they will have tragically short durations, so I can't really "get the ball rolling". I simply cannot crack him open, and that makes him a boring and depthless boss. But he's not without offensive capabilities, so he can't be blithely whittled down one weak attack at a time either, and so he goes from boring to frustrating.

And yet, the fact that I killed this robotic incarnation of poor design choices on Deadly Deadfire PotD difficulty only yesterday, with a melee based party, is the reason I backed down from this argument.

I had my tank and my two melee in a triangular formation around him, so that he was flanked without his cleave hitting more than one target. When he cast his fire rain, everyone but the tank ran. As noted, monsters are very good at respecting engagement, so he rarely chased and if he did, it wasn't far. (On the note of engagement, I would only find him half as frustrating if he couldn't trigger disengagement attacks while preparing to rain fire) While I did keep my tank out of fire too, I didn't bother trying to keep big D out of it.

My parties are pretty much always five multiclassed Shieldbearer paladins. This comes with respectable defenses - even if this discussion may have made you believe it, I don't build glass cannons, and rather take pleasure in just basking in my tankiness from time to time - but also the cannot-die-Lay-on-Hands, which I can just keep up permanently at high levels since I have a psion in the party who knows that come level 19, she is reduced to an aurabot throwing out Brilliant inspirations. Outlasting is my fetish.

A fun thing that is "easily" noticed with Dorudugan is that he can be knocked prone (I mean it's not easy to do, but it's easy to see when it happens, and also hilarious to watch). Maybe everything in the game can, I don't know. As far as I can tell, this will effectively interrupt the target and add some recovery. So, as we speak, I am working on my next iteration of this mass paladin party. The change this time is that the tank will have a new job for Big Bads: If they don't want to hit her, she will whip out a rapier (SINGLE WIELDED, you heard it here folks), modal on and just disrupt the boss with Knock Down repeatedly.

Edér is welcome to try it as well.

If that is so, then it is doable with the marauder using Rust's stiletto which knocks enemies prone on a crit, which in my case is already around 50% of the time at level 8.

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59 minutes ago, thelee said:

Must be a weird thing for designers to keep an eye on - no matter the enemy they have to add a prone/standing up animation.

I thought of that too, yeah. And as I said, it looks hilarious when my tiny kith knocks a giant over. It shouldn't happen much, but between the big fat accuracy on that fighter and the Brilliant spam, it... happens. I'm not even debuffing his fortitude.

59 minutes ago, thelee said:

In this vein, mule kick is better.

Still unsure about these, because it seems to me that Mule Kick also makes the target briefly untargetable, which is quite annoying. Are you certain it lasts longer?


Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.

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11 hours ago, danielbda said:

Threatening presence is not very relevant for PotD though. And Mega bosses are all above lvl 20 aren't they?

That is correct. It's more helpful for mob fights. I don't bother with megabosses too much though. With a party they are doable without too much hassle - but they don't drop anything exiting. So why bother? And for solo they are just so tediously boring to battle that I couldn't bring myself to do it more than one or twice per megaboss.

The real experts on megabosses are the guys in the forum that do the ultimate challenge or do mostly solo playthroughs, like @thelee, @Kaylon and others.

However, the Engwithan Titan isn't that hard to beat with a party and should be no obstacle for you. But to give more detailed advice one would need to know what your party members are etc. In general raw damage DoTs work very well - e.g. Arterial Strike, Gouging Strike, combined with Deep Wounds and Bleeding Cuts and so on. The stacked damage over time that doesn't care for armor usually makes short work of the Titan without the need to poke him mindlessly and to expose yourself. Also you should consider switching to weapons that are better suited to deal damage to armored opponents. While Pukestabber is a nice weapon it's not very well suited for taking on huge constructs with tons of AR. Anything with crush damage works well against the Titan. So maybe use a morning star or if you want to stick to dual wielding switch to some hammers or maces - or as I said try a quarterstaff so you don't have to engage him. Makes you less likely to get hit and deals better damage against this guy. And you should debuff the AR. So a mace + modal on your tank and/or Expose Vulnerabilites (TItan's Will defense is crappy) from a Wizard should help. But generally: do raw damage DoTs if you have them. Maybe you even have Ninagauth's Death Ray or something similar, that would help, too. 


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20 hours ago, omgFIREBALLS said:

Still unsure about these, because it seems to me that Mule Kick also makes the target briefly untargetable, which is quite annoying. Are you certain it lasts longer?

yes. The untargetability of knock-up lasts for one second, and then they spend one second standing up, for two seconds total out of commission. Yes, you can't do anything to them while they're untargetable, but it means an extra second to gear up for an attack or let a resource recover. You can see me using this on the un-interruptible Oracle of Wael as part of my ultimate run below. (note - as a plus, this worked especially great for a tactician because while they're untargetble they don't count as being in combat, so a tactician (or a party with a tactician) against a solo perception-immune enemy would be repeatedly triggering Brilliant, which is actually better than just one prolonged Brilliant, since just activating Brilliant gives you resource back)

 

Edited by thelee
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18 hours ago, thelee said:

yes. The untargetability of knock-up lasts for one second, and then they spend one second standing up, for two seconds total out of commission. Yes, you can't do anything to them while they're untargetable, but it means an extra second to gear up for an attack or let a resource recover. You can see me using this on the un-interruptible Oracle of Wael as part of my ultimate run below. (note - as a plus, this worked especially great for a tactician because while they're untargetble they don't count as being in combat, so a tactician (or a party with a tactician) against a solo perception-immune enemy would be repeatedly triggering Brilliant, which is actually better than just one prolonged Brilliant, since just activating Brilliant gives you resource back)

 

Man how do you attack so fast? I'm using dual daggers, pukestabber and have two bonuses drinking rum, and my character does not attack this fast even when frenzied.

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Afaik he used Blade Cascade from Scordeo's Edge (gives you 0 recovery for 5 sec base) and prolonged it nearly endlessly with the help of Brilliant + Salvation of Time. You can see the tiny sabre symbol besides his portrait - I think that's it. Once you have the buff you can switch weapons to whatever.

You cannot reach 0 recovery with several stacked recovery or attack speed bonuses. The attack spped mechanics don't work like in PoE.
Have a look here: 

 

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58 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Afaik he used Blade Cascade from Scordeo's Edge (gives you 0 recovery for 5 sec base) and prolonged it nearly endlessly with the help of Brilliant + Salvation of Time. You can see the tiny sabre symbol besides his portrait - I think that's it. Once you have the buff you can switch weapons to whatever.

You cannot reach 0 recovery with several stacked recovery or attack speed bonuses. The attack spped mechanics don't work like in PoE.
Have a look here: 

 

I see, then I have my weapon combo with Scordeo's and Rust's. Salvation of time became a must to me now.

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I'm loving Contender's Armor with stacked Athletics for smacking stuff fast. You could add that to the mix.

edit: It also has a bit of a tribal Huana look, which might be an aesthetic fit for your marauder.

And, shameless promotion: The mod in my signature will help filter your buffs so it's easier to see Blade Cascade. I don't actually look for it myself, but since there's no Salvation of Time in my party, it's not nearly as important for me to react to it. Might be easier to simply see yourself swinging like mad.

Edited by omgFIREBALLS

Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.

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