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It’s been so long I feel a bit rusty on the mechanics plus unsure about what got patched, just wanna see if this party would still work. I’ll be using mods/cheats only to modify companions as below. Plan to run veteran and do everything including the super bosses.

Eder unbroken/shieldbearer sword and shield tank - simple enough

Aloth wizard - ditto

Tekehu watershaper/barbarian darryn’s voulge - do carnage and the storm spells still proc static charge? Also seems like the only dif between static charge and static thunder is an additional affliction so it would be better to bind to druid for the storm pl, right?

Serafen wildmind/rogue dual mortar or some pistol/saber combo? I don’t remember did mortars aoe not proccing afflictions get fixed?

PC as monk - stick with fists or whispers for the endless path for some aoe shenanigans, assuming that also got fixed?

 

 

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Edér: totally works. Cadhu Scalth and max Athletics+Metaphysics and he's sturdy as a rock while engaging everything and everybody. 

Aloth: works as usual

Tekēhu: Carnage does proc Static Charge. Not sure about Storm spells. Did they ever? I think they do not nowadays. +3 PL for Druid's storm spells seems to be better than Static Thunder, I agree. I mean if you plan to use lots of storm spells that is (and why wouldn't you). By the way Deltro's Cage gives +2 PL for Druid's shock spells as well and it stacks with the Voulge's +3 to storm. just i case you forgot... :)

Serafen: always dual mortar. The AoE-problem got fixed. Now the AoEs of Hand Mortar (1 AoE) and Fire in the Hole (2 AoEs because of Chain Shot) all apply Rogue's afflictions and DoTs like Arterial Strike or Toxic Strike to ALL enemies that got hit by the AoE. Also they have dual damage (slash/pierce) and the AoE targets reflex instead of deflection. If you are using a mod for subclasses anyway why not making him a Streetfighter and profit from mortars + Powder Burns for a constant "Heating Up" bonus?

Monk: it got fixed but I value WotEP mostly for its Offensive Parry which is kind of wasted on a Monk - except if you are playing Shattered Pillar where it's good (beause Offensive Parries generate wouds for you - usually a Shatterd Pillar needs to auto-attack to generate wounds but with WotEP his parries can generate the wounds while he can spam abilites like Force of Anguish etc.). Also the cone doesn't work with Whispers of the Wind and also not with Instruments of Pain and also not with Swift Flurry/Heartbeat Drumming. 
Fists are great especially if you stack Power Levels (Nature Godlike, Stone of Power, Prestige and so on) because they scale with (universal) Power Level and not character level. You can get better-than-mythic fists that way - which are very powerful. Another alternative is Morning Star. It can be very strong because Body Blows (the modal from weapon proficiency) lowers enemies' fortitude by 25. Then Enervating Blows weakens the enemy o crit, taking off another 10 points of fortitude. Then use Stunning Surge to stun: another -10. Enemy's at -45 fortitude which will not only allow your party members to apply fortitude spells more easily (great in boss fights) but also most of times the value of fortitude will be much lower than deflection. If you now attack with (Efficient) Force of Anguish which targets fortitude you will produce a lot of crits which all have the chance to trigger Swift Flurry/Heartbeat Drumming - multiple times in a row if you get lucky - one-shotting the enemy. It is a devastating option if you use your monk to rush squishies like casters etc. mostly. Basically against anything that has low to normal fortitude. And against bosses it helps a ton to apply stuff like Combusting Wounds or Disintegrate and such.
But generally you can't go wrong with fists (and a non-crushing backup weapon setup for the times you meet crush resistant or even immune foes).   

Edited by Boeroer
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If you are using a mod for subclasses anyway why not making him a Streetfighter and profit from mortars + Powder Burns for a constant "Heating Up" bonus?

I forgot about that interaction. Wouldn’t this make him hit friendlies, though?

Thanks, good feedback overall. 

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Yes, if you shoot at a bulk of enemies with party members like Edér among them then Powder Burns will hit them. But it has very low PEN and is an AoE attack. So if Edér has thick armor and uses the modal of Large Shields then he will not even feel the Powder Burns damage.

And in cases you really don't wantto hit party members with it you can simply turn the modal off. 

But usually you can do like:
Escape to the enemy group --> shoot dual mortars with Arterial Strike + Powder Burns until you have too many enemies attacking you or focus is full --> Escape elsewehere or cast a hard CC. Then Repeat. There shouldn't be too many party members around.

Also note this: the helmet "Heaven's Cacophony" has Avenging Storm (1/rest) as enchantment. Hand Mortar has the enchantment "Blinding Smoke". Blinding Smoke generates a ton of hit rolls but doesn't hurt (only applies Distracted). But still: every hit roll from Blinding Smoke triggers a lightning from Avenging Storm. It's very devastating. Also because it adds on top of all the AoE hits that also trigger Avenging Storm. But watch out: Blinding Smoke does friendly fire iirc.

  

Edited by Boeroer

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Speaking of escape, is invisibility considered the same as stealth for purposes of triggering effects like assassinate, or the stalking cloak?

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Generally speaking: yes.

There are some items that only work from stealth though (not invisibility). From the top of my head those are Lover's Embrace (dagger) and Mask of the Grotto Deep (headgear).

And there's a wizard spell (Arkemyr's Brilliant Departure) that makes you invisible - and that invisibility will not break if you don't damage the enemy directly. So you can cast CC on them for example and stay invisible.

Also Vanishing Strikes (Rogue PL 9) will create an invisibility which will not break at all. As long as it lasts you get Backstabs and Assassination bonuses for all your attacks. Its base duration is rather short, so you need good INT and items that prolong benefical effects to make it really strong. But then it's very good. 

Stalking Cloak also works with Monk's Whispers of the Wind by the way. One of the best items for a Single Class Monk since WotW makes you invisible and you will then stun everybody you hit during its execution time.

Edited by Boeroer

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7 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Yes, if you shoot at a bulk of enemies with party members like Edér among them then Powder Burns will hit them. But it has very low PEN and is an AoE attack. So if Edér has thick armor and uses the modal of Large Shields then he will not even feel the Powder Burns damage.

worst-case scenario, you can just give a particularly squishy party member Rekvu's Cloak, which lets them turn that tiny fire damage into even tinier health regen, so long as they have an injury. but yeah, some heavy armor goes along way to making powder burns ineffective against your own party members. eder (and any other fighter) can also pick up unbending and some decent intellect and each of those powder burns hits will proc a small healing effect (that can heal more than what they are taking damage from with enough intellect/buff duration boost).

...unfortunately that also tends to apply for enemies as well. it's mostly useful against squishier mobs, but mostly combo-ed with other effects such as streetfighter or ones do something upon hit (the shield cracks [chanter] or combusting wounds [wizard]). otherwise it's kinda lame on veteran and up because of AR, unless you are able to pick up spirit of flame.

the upshot is that in practice, hitting your own party members is not really a concern. it makes it harder to bottleneck enemies in doorways, but the dps boost otherwise can be metagamed to be worth it.

Edited by thelee

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Oh yes: Combusting Wounds + dual mortars + Powder Burns is a real nice combo. Otherwise it's indeed not that impressive in terms of damage.

Anyway: in this case you would only need Powder Burns for flanking yourself, unlocking "Heating Up". 


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Two more questions, thoughts on pierce the bell vs devastating blow?

And is there any point to a druids spiritshift? As far as I can tell you loose your weapon (which includes stuff like the storm power level from daryn’s voulge) and all you get in return is a lash?

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Pierce the Bell: not worth it in my opinon if you have Arterial Strike and a ranged weapon with decent PEN. For 1 Guile AS will give you more dmg (5% multiplicative because of Power Level and raw DoT vs. 20% additive of PtB), less PEN (+2 vs. +5 of PtB), applies Hobbled for further Sneak Attacks and even Deathblows (vs. no affliction with PtB).

Devastating Blow: basically the same. The mechanic usually leads to massive overkill when it's most potent (enemies' health is low) and doesn't do impressive damage when the enemy hasn't low health. Even on bosses I prefer Arterial Strike because the raw DoT on movement can be very useful here as well.

With all my ranged builds both abilites could not outperform Crippling Strike which will compete for Guile. In my opinion you're nearly always better of with 2 * Crippling Strike instead of 1 Pierce the Bell or 1 Devastating Blow.

So I wouldn't take any of them. Double cost (2 instead of 1 Guile) is just too expensive for what they do.
Especially with Hand Mortar/Fire in the Hole I wouldn't use them. Arterial Strike's raw DoT on every enemy in an AoE is just too good. And AR doesn't matter there.

Spiritshift: you get two weapons with decent base damage and a lash, yes. Lashes are multiplicative damage bonuses (unlike additive stuff like Sneak Attack etc.). Maybe more importantly maybe (but often overlooked): All forms get decent armor with 0 recovery: 8 base and scales with PL (+1) and every 5th char level (+1). This is very good for dps. Unlike other melee classes who want to wear armor you won't get slowed down - and attack speed is the most impactful variable for dps.  Some forms have increased dps, others have higher AR.
More specifically:

  • Cat form gets fast claws (only 3 sec. recovery istead of 4). Its Cat Flurry ability boosts dps a lot. 
  • Boar gets raw DoT lash on top of elemental lashes (also multiplicative)and health regeneration. If you combine with other regenerative effects he can be quite tanky. Gets +1 engagement which helos with tanking.
  • Bear gets +2 AR (that's pretty huge - better than plate armor without recovery malus). If combined with other AR buffs this can make the Bear very tanky. He also gets +1 engagement which helps with the tanking. He also has a frightening roar while shifted (prevents offensive ability use of enemies)  
  • Wolf runs faster (25%) - this can also help with dps since you won't waste much time running around. Since all items except weapon and armor stay active you can stack it with Boots of Speed and/or Long Stride etc. Also has Knock Down.
  • Stag's Carnage is really bad. The +7 defenses are nice but nothing I would write home about.
  • Storm Blight's jumping projectile doesn't stack with Driving Flight and has rel. low base dmg. Fury is interesting because of its passives. I think the Spiritshift form is too weak.   

So that's what you get when shifting. Actually when combining Spiritshift with either a dps class (e.g. Streetfighter) or a tanky class (e.g. Goldpact Knight) you can get pretty great results. Imagine a gilded Bear with huge AR (Paladin's passives + Gilded Enmity + Bear's fur), attacking with Wildstrike claws and Eternal Flames (+10% burning lash to all your following attacks, including spells) with no recovery penalty. This is sturdy yet does very decent melee damage AND can heal, buff, cast AoE dmage or CC etc.


Flanked Cat Streetfighter with Cat Flurry + Wildstrike + Heating Up + Sneak Attacks hits incredibly fast and has high dps while it's not too squishy (can heal itself etc.). 

Edited by Boeroer
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5 hours ago, Boeroer said:
  • Cat form gets fast claws (only 3 sec. recovery istead of 4). Its Cat Flurry ability boosts dps a lot. 

in case boeroer's note isn't clear the cat flurry ability gives +33% action speed for a short duration. you can extend it with a priest's salvation of time. if you care about your weapons more than cat claws, you can immediately shift out of cat form and the cat flurry buff stays on (it's not contingent on cat form).

importantly, this means you cast spells hugely faster, so it's not just a weapon-attack benefit. because of this, i generally always pick the cat form for my druids - the fact that the fury sticks you with an elemental type makes it ironically quite bad for casting DPS

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43 minutes ago, thelee said:

the fact that the fury sticks you with an elemental type makes it ironically quite bad for casting DPS

What do you mean?


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1 minute ago, Boeroer said:

What do you mean?

oh i just meant that the fury gives you a special spiritshifting from ("elemental") that i would never voluntarily choose for any kind of caster. given that the fury is geared towards offensive-casting, the fact that a Cat-form animist, lifegiver, or ancient could all dump out offensive spells better (ignoring PEN issues) is kind of ironic.

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Ironically seems spiritshift would be worst on pure druids, then? Though they could proc avenging storm a lot with it so that's something. Also Tekehu seems to get the short end of the stick there too with just dex immunity. 😺

I'm now playing around with a cipher build for Ydwin and death of a thousand cuts just seems weaker than disintegrate, ticks for about half as much while costing 30 more focus. I guess the idea is to cast deathof1000 then keep proccing it with something cheap like mind wave?

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36 minutes ago, falchen said:

Ironically seems spiritshift would be worst on pure druids, then? Though they could proc avenging storm a lot with it so that's something. Also Tekehu seems to get the short end of the stick there too with just dex immunity. 😺

If I'm not mistaken his shark bite does more base damage though. But I might be wrong.
Immunities are great because you can tailor some powerful synergies aorund them. In case of Dexterity you could cast Binding Web or Tanglefoot and such and Tekehu would be free to roam in those AoEs - for example. 

SC Druids are indeed worse with Spiritshift in my opinion. Avenging Storm is great, but it's much better with AoE or multiprojectile weapons. Especially since there are some weapon enchantments that let you go totally bonkers with Avenging Storm. For example Hand Mortar has Blinding Smoke wich procs an AoE cone on crit (of every AoE crit roll the mortar does) which leads to an absurd amount of hit rolls. Those don't do damage but proc Avenging Storm. Add Fire in the Hole with Chain Shot for another two AoE jumps which all proc Avenging Storm. Watershaper's Focus has an AoE-Blast that jumps and triggers Avenging Storm - and those AoE hits can trigger Ondra's Wrath which also procs Avenging Storm. Kitchen Stove has 4 projectiles and can jump 3 times... and so on. If you have a Wizard with COmbusting Wounds those are all fantastic options and way better than a shifted druid who does single target strikes. So a SC Druid using Avenging Storm would be way better off using dual hand mortars + Deltro's Cage than using Spiritshift (tried it, Tekehu's devastating that way - a pure Fury even more so because of the higher PEN). So for me Avenging Storm isn't a big plus for a SC Druid while shifted. I mean it is a plus of course - but you still feel like you're picking the weaker route with shifting.

Also the last tier of Wildstrike, the Wildstrike Frenzy (PL8) is not good enough. If it would have increased additive damage or an even higher lash in combination with the prolong-on-kill effect it might be able to counterbalance the loss of multiclass synergy a bit (together with Avenging Storm then) - but as is it's just too weak. SC druid is not doing impressive stuff during Spiritshift. 

Of course some of the PL8/PL9 spells of druids are awesome and the higher PL is great for any DoT spells. So SC druid can be totally worth it - just not with Spiritshift I'd say and especially not as a Shifter who can't make use of the awesome spells while shifted.  

Edited by Boeroer

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50 minutes ago, falchen said:

I'm now playing around with a cipher build for Ydwin and death of a thousand cuts just seems weaker than disintegrate, ticks for about half as much while costing 30 more focus. I guess the idea is to cast deathof1000 then keep proccing it with something cheap like mind wave?

Do1000c is only great if you combine it with Antipathetic Field in my opinion. Because every tick(!) of the beam (which is not echo but a shred spell unlike Ectypsychic Echo) procs Do1000c. But then it's really great. Only problem is that you need a second enemy somewhere behind the target to connect the beam to. 

Advantage of Do1000c over Disintegrate: Disintegrate can be really lame on eemies with very high RES. If you only graze (quite common againt fat bosses with high fortitude) and the RES is high the damage will be rather laughable. Do1000c can be prolonged endlessly with Antipathetic Field if enemies' reflex isn't too stellar (which it usually isn't with high-RES and high-HP bosses).

Shred spells that only hit once like Mind Lance are a waste of focus for this I think. Mind Blades can work well if there are not too many enemies left and you can't place a Antipathetic Field well enough. I never tested if Recall Agony would proc Do1000c with every weapopn hit the enemy receives (since it adds additional shred damage then). I guess not, but maybe worth a try. 

Last time I tried Disintegrate or Soul Ignition it only triggers Do1000c with the initial hit roll, not the raw dmg ticks (no hit rolls).

Anyway I think Driving Echoes and Shared Nightmare (works with all AoEs - weapons' AoEs included) are the best PL9 abilites of a cipher and I would prefer them over Do1000c.

Edited by Boeroer
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2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

I never tested if Recall Agony would proc Do1000c with every weapopn hit the enemy receives (since it adds additional shred damage then). I guess not, but maybe worth a try. 

IIRC I tried this recently and it didn't work.

edit: Indeed doesn't work.

Edited by Noqn
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Cool.

Erm I mean it's not cool that it doesn't work - but it's nice that you tested it. :)

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Reaping knives triggering 1000cuts is prob too much to hope for... 🤤

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I'm 99.9% sure that doesn't work since only the summoning should be tagged with "shred" but not the weapons themselves.


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