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Finally picked up the game after leaving it unfinished for 2 years. This time I'm running a wizard.

Is it me or are there a dearth of useful talents for wizards?

I'm at level 6. I already have arcane veil, hardened veil and now I have no idea what to take 


I can get the elemental damage talents, but direct damage via spells ain't that useful in this game and my wiz is focused on dropping debilitating status effects while my party beats them down.

If stuff goes to hell I throw on alacrity and concealhauts staff and join the beatdown myself.

I can get blast and penetrating blast, but those talents do nothing for my conjured weapons other than kalakoth. Plus I did not really build my wiz around being a ranged character.

I can go sword and shield for defense, but accuracy malus is tough and it doesn't help my conjured weapons.

What I wish is there were talents that help your spells punch through harder like spell focus feats in Neverwinter nights, because having your blindness or grease spell miss really hurts.

Any suggestions?

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Blast + Penetrating Blast is very powerful once you use the summoning spell "Kalakoth's Minor Blights". That spell summons a wand which fires projectiles which do area of effect damage. Each hit in the area triggers a Blast (a second area of effect attack) which results in a ton of hit rolls. Combine with Combusting Wounds spell for max effect.

Other potentially good talents for a Wizard: Weapon Focus, Marksman (with said Blast), Aspirant's Mark, Dangerous Implement (with said Minor Blights)...

Also depends on what the Wizard's role is (like melee damage dealer, spell damage dealer, spell crowd control and so on). For example a melee Wizard also profits from Veteran's Recovery and Arcane Veil (which you took).

Edited by Boeroer
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1. Damage spells can be very good if you build your character with high enough Might, combine it with Braces of Spiritual Power (+10% spell damage). With DAoM you can quickly deal huge amount of damage. Scion of Flame, Secret of the Rime and other elemental talents will boost elemental damage for another 20%. Remember that spells can get another +50% damage from cricital hits if you stack some Acc bonuses (you gain + 3 on every level after lvl 1 and additional +1 Acc per level while using spells and inheret spell's Acc bonus from specific spell). Merciless Hand (+30% crit damage), Gift from the Machine (+1 Might) and Dungeon Delver (another +10% crit damage) will give you another damage boost. You can add another 20% damage with talents like Beast Slayer but they work only against certain type of enemies.

So you can deal high damage (remember that most spells have high base damage which are multiplied by sum of damage modfiers and crit works as another additive damage modifier - with story talents listed above you will deal +90% damage on crit instead of +50%).

You can use Penetrating Shot or Vulnerable Attack + Ryona's Vambraces for 8 DR bypass while using spells I listed in this topic, so it will indirectly boost your damage from spells:

 

Blast and Penetrating Blast are awesome with Gyrd Haewanes Stenes, Puitente med Principi - those weapons will dominate or prone enemies in the blast radious - every enemy proc such effects separatelly. It will works the same with Golden Gaze and its Expose Vulnerabilities enchantment. Golden Gaze shoot 2 projectiles, each cause separated Blast so it will deal damage from the Blast twice and every enemy in the radious will have 5% chance to proc Expose Vulnerabilities. It works similar with Kalakoth's Minor Blights - its AoE attack will deal damage from elements and every target in the AoE will cause individual Blast. Blast works really well with Combusting Wounds (DoT) combined with Expose Vulnerabilities.

Summoned weapons are great - those have the highest base damage from all weapons (Firebrand, Concelhaut's Parasitic Quarterstaff, Citzal's Spirit Lance) - they deal 20-30 base damage so they gain huge additional damage from all modifiers. Citzal's Spirit Lance deals additional splash damage, similar to Blast and it works well with Combusting Wounds and Expose Vulnerabilities.

You can boost your Accuracy via Zelous Foucs/Blessing + Devotions for the Faithful + Inspiring Radiance or skip the first part and use Eldritch Aim, Merciless Gaze, DAoM, Devotions of the Faithful and Inspiring Radiance. You will stack +45 Acc for your attacks.

Summoned weapons work with any weapon focus talent.

Edited by Silvaren

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4 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Blast + Penetrating Blast is very powerful once you use the summoning spell "Kalakoth's Minor Blights". That spell summons a wand which fires projectiles which do area of effect damage. Each hit in the area triggers a Blast (a second area of effect attack) which results in a ton of hit rolls. Combine with Combusting Wounds spell for max effect.

Other potentially good talents for a Wizard: Weapon Focus, Marksman (with said Blast), Aspirant's Mark, Dangerous Implement (with said Minor Blights)...

Also depends on what the Wizard's role is (like melee damage dealer, spell damage dealer, spell crowd control and so on). For example a melee Wizard also profits from Veteran's Recovery and Arcane Veil (which you took).

I can see the interest in blast/penetrating blast. It would help clear out trash mobs pretty fast, and I can contribute to party DPS when I'm not disabling or direct damaging with spells. That would help save spells for serious ecounters. I guess though you really need good rods which come later.

 

Weapon focus looks OK> Weapon focus noble would help rods/staves as well as summoned weapons like the staff and lance.

 

Aspirant's mark looks decent, sort of like the old spell breach/greater breach spells of NWN. I don't like though having to beat a will save to apply a reflex status effect. At least it's 1 per necounter which is useful.

For dangerous implement's I'm not specced right. I would have gone human, moon godlike or nature godlike. Right now I'm a dwarf. I guess veteran's recovery will help offset that. I also rolled with only 10 dex, so offsetting the speed penalty from penetrating blast will be harder.

Right now I'm a status effect dispenser, and melee wizard if needed. Usually when fully buffed I can outdamage my front line, and I'm the best at punching through high DR. I like the versatility of fulfilling both roles. But not sure I want to go full tank (sword and shield, superior deflections, etc...)

Any opinions on the baby sneak attack feat? How does that interact with summoned wepaons and ranged implements? Since I'm dishing out a lot of blinds and hobbles or attacking from the side it might come in handy.

 

4 hours ago, Silvaren said:

1. Damage spells can be very good if you build your character with high enough Might, combine it with Braces of Spiritual Power (+10% spell damage). With DAoM you can quickly deal huge amount of damage. Scion of Flame, Secret of the Rime and other elemental talents will boost elemental damage for another 20%. Remember that spells can get another +50% damage from cricital hits if you stack some Acc bonuses (you gain + 3 on every level after lvl 1 and additional +1 Acc per level while using spells and inheret spell's Acc bonus from specific spell). Merciless Hand (+30% crit damage), Gift from the Machine (+1 Might) and Dungeon Delver (another +10% crit damage) will give you another damage boost. You can add another 20% damage with talents like Beast Slayer but they work only against certain type of enemies.

 

 

 

Interesting way of stacking damage boni. Didn't think of it. How viable is direct elemental damage in the long run? Seems like I would need to burn a lot of spells to take down a big guy, let alone trash mobs. That would be limiting with only two camping kits. Also targetting is nightmare on most direct damage spells unless I'm willing to fry my front line.

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6 hours ago, mr_raider said:

Any opinions on the baby sneak attack feat? How does that interact with summoned wepaons and ranged implements? Since I'm dishing out a lot of blinds and hobbles or attacking from the side it might come in handy.

It works with any melee or ranged attack with any weapon. You can score sneak attacks with summoned weapons. Most builds use this talent.

Spells can hit for over 100 damage (even those from lower levels, like Blast of Frost). Some are even more damaging: Delayed Fireball, Kalakoth's Freezing Rake, Wilting Wind can easily deal 160 or so.

Some spells do damage and status effect, like awesome Ninagauth's Shadow Flame - it's basically 4th level ice-ball which paralize affected targets. Wall of Many Colors is great. All of Minoletta's Missile spells do great damage (those even benefit from rogue's Death Blows and Deep Wounds, so rogue can cast them from scrolls with great effectiveness). All ray spells work well with Combusting Wounds.

 

Remember that yellow part of the AoE circle from Int bonus won't damage friendly target. Some practice and targeting won't be the problem.


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9 hours ago, mr_raider said:

I can see the interest in blast/penetrating blast. It would help clear out trash mobs pretty fast, and I can contribute to party DPS when I'm not disabling or direct damaging with spells. That would help save spells for serious ecounters. I guess though you really need good rods which come later.

You can use wand/rod/scepter and one of the best already comes rel. early in Defiance Bay (Engwithan Scepter). Gyrd Háewanes Sténes comes even earlier and without any fight. I would use those as backup though because as I said, Blast + Penetrating Blast are most powerful with Kalakoth's Minor Blights. It it correct that using Minor Blights will spare you a lot of other damaging spells. You invest 1 spell use for the whole fight (maybe 2 or 3 because Chillfog and Combusting Wounds are just too good) but usually one shot of Blights + Blast does the same damage as a damaging spell cast at lower levels. Later on the combination woth Pull of Eora is also very powerful. ALso note that Klakoth's Minor Blights have a pretty insane inherent accuracy bonus which is extremely benefical in the early(ish) game. 

9 hours ago, mr_raider said:

Weapon focus looks OK> Weapon focus noble would help rods/staves as well as summoned weapons like the staff and lance.

Weapon Focus is one of the most effective talents you can take early in the game if you plan to use weapons more than occasionally.

9 hours ago, mr_raider said:

Aspirant's mark looks decent, sort of like the old spell breach/greater breach spells of NWN. I don't like though having to beat a will save to apply a reflex status effect. At least it's 1 per necounter which is useful.

Having to overcome a different defense than the one that gets lowered is the biggest advantage. Aspirant's Mark is also good because it is accessible very early on and it's 1/enounter which means that Wizards can contribute to a fight without spending spell uses (besides Arcane Assault which is decent). Of curse you could rest after each fight and then it doesn't matter, but I find that to be a rather boring approach.

9 hours ago, mr_raider said:

For dangerous implement's I'm not specced right. I would have gone human, moon godlike or nature godlike. Right now I'm a dwarf. I guess veteran's recovery will help offset that. I also rolled with only 10 dex, so offsetting the speed penalty from penetrating blast will be harder.

That's for you do decide. It will give you +20% implement damage which is great for Kalakoth's Minor Blights - since all the AoE hits of it will profit (additional cascade of Blast hits will NOT) while it will give you some self damage with every shot (watch out if combining with Alacrity spell which also does harm you). It would stack with Apprentice's Sneak Attack (+15%). You can turn it on and off at will (modal).

You confused Penetrating Shot and Penetrating Blast. Penetrating Shot will give you 5 DR bypass on ranged weapon attacks (and some spells like missiles for example) and will slow your ranged weapon recovery down by 20% (not spell recovery) - and doesn't work with Blasts. Penetrating Blast only works for the Blasts (DR bypass) and has no downsides. Reason why I recommend it is because the Cascade of Minor Blights + Blast generates so many Blast hits that the accumulated damage by DR bypass is often enormous. Let's assume you manage to hit 5 enemies in front of your tank who's guarding a doorway with Minor Blights:

5 hit rolls with Minor Blights, each dealing their normal elemental damage, then each of those hit rolls generates a Blast which hits all 5 enemies --> 25 Blast hit rolls. Lets assume the enemies' crush DR is 5 and Blast does 10 crush damage. Without Penetrating Blast you would deal 125 crush damage and with Penetrating Shot you would have dealt 250. That's quite substancial. Add to this that you can do such a shot every few seconds...

Penetrating Shot can be good - but it depends on the situation. With Minor Blights and if you use Alacrity (50% speedup) it's usually a win if you can manage to hit several enemies at once with the Blight's AoE. When hitting 5 enemies you'll do 25 additional damage. You would have to do some math in order to determine once the slower attack speed would result in less damage then...
With implements that apply an effect on hit you usually want to fire as fast as possible though - so Penetrating Shot wouldn't be the best pick then.

To estimate your attack speed with several weapons, modals, items and setups in general you can use this: https://naijaro.github.io/poe-speed-calculator/
For simulating the Alacrity spell you can use the option "DAoM potion" (same thing basically).
Note that only DEX affects the actual attack animation speed. All other speed modifiers only affect the recovery phase. The more speed effects you can stack the more impact (increasing returns), but not all do stack.

9 hours ago, mr_raider said:

Right now I'm a status effect dispenser, and melee wizard if needed. Usually when fully buffed I can outdamage my front line, and I'm the best at punching through high DR. I like the versatility of fulfilling both roles. But not sure I want to go full tank (sword and shield, superior deflections, etc...)

Usually for melee wizard (which can be great) Citzal's Spirit Lance is the holy grail. So no sword & board (althoug that would work as well, for example with this build here: Bilestomper). Spirit Lance is one of the best weapons in the game (reach, highest base damage + AoE damage) - but Apprentice's Sneak Attack only works with the initial hit, not the splash damage (still a good pick imo, also Savage Attack once you have some ACC buffs in the party). 

     

Edited by Boeroer
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Yes, it gives them higher attack speed (or to be more precise: shorter recovery).

You can try it out here. Pick a wand and chose 10 DEX. Then switch on/off Sure Handed Ila (bottom right corner).

The chant works with all ranged weapons, it reduces either reloading time (guns and crossbows) or recovery (bows & implements).

Attack speed bonuses usually stack with increasing returns (if they stack at all). In this case if you'd use the Engwithan Scepter (has 20% speed) and use the spell Deleterious Alacrity of Motion (50% speed) and switch on Sure Handed Ila (20%) you'll already have no recovery and fire like a medieval machine gun.  

 

Edited by Boeroer
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With respect to penetrating blast, the DR reduction only works on the crush damage from the blast right? 

 

It doesn't do anything for the primary target of the wand attack right?

 

So the usefulness is more limited?

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Correct. 

As I showed in my example above (with Kalakoth's Minor Blights) its impact can be very significant - but only if you are able to hit several enemies at once. That isn't difficult if you use chokepoint tactics or/and have a tank in the party.


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How do Crit modifying talents interact with blast or minor blight?

 

For example the 2nd level spell that converts hits to crits, or the merciless hand plot reward ability that bumps Crit damage by +0.3?

 

Does it affect the initial strike or the blast also?

Edited by mr_raider

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Anyone notice Gyrd Haewanes gets buggy? Sometimes the accuracy bonus disappears from the character sheet, and I have to save reload for it to reappear.

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How does sneak attack interact with kalakoth and blast?

 

Does it only hit the primary Target or blast targets also?

 

Might just pick up veterans recovery or secrets of rime if it's primary target only.

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Posted (edited)

Apprentice's Sneak Attack affects all the AoE hits of Kalakoth's Minor Blights itself (not only the initial target but all in the AoE) - but not the Blasts that follow the AoE hits.

If you combine it with Dangerous Implement you can get stack +40% dmg bonus for the Blights' AoE hits (not the Blasts) which isn't bad at all. Or you could skip Apprentice's Sneak Attack and counter the loss of endurance by Dangerous Implement (and Alacrity presumably) with Veteran's Recovery. But Wizards can also use Concelhaut's Corrosive Siphon and Infuse with Vital Essence for healing endurance and health. I personally would use Dangerous Implement and Apprentice's Sneak if I would be playing a Blights Wizard.

Keep in mind that Blights + Blast is best if you use it in combo with Combusting Wounds. You can also wear Rings of Searing Flames (can have two for 6 Combusting Wound casts per rest) if you want to spare your spells for something else. 

Edited by Boeroer

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I'll be honest I'm at level 15 and took down the three dragons and slaughtered the bounties. The level 16 feat is just a throwaway afaik.

 

I still have wm2 and mowghrek left. I'm looking for efficiency in killing trash mobs now. 

 

Started a second run with a cipher now. Lockdown coronavirus = lots of free time.

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On 3/24/2020 at 8:26 PM, mr_raider said:

I'll be honest I'm at level 15 and took down the three dragons and slaughtered the bounties. The level 16 feat is just a throwaway afaik.

 

I still have wm2 and mowghrek left. I'm looking for efficiency in killing trash mobs now. 

 

Started a second run with a cipher now. Lockdown coronavirus = lots of free time.

Pull of Eora + Nin's Shadowflame or Gaze of Adragan or Scroll of Paralyze + Kalakoth's Freezing rake and even the mowghrek dragons die in seconds on potd, at least i did it that way.

Wizard is just the strongest class in the game and you are not limited to either single target or aoe like rogue, that is only good against single target.

Veil + Hardened Veil are just superiour, because you will just spam shadowflame and other spells and not attacking with your weapons anyway. But this 75 deflection does really help.

Cipher is pretty **** compared, he has to gain focus to be able to use his spells, where the mage can just use em. I played all classes and wizard just takes the cake by far.

Edited by baldurs_gate_2

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