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FlaviusPTZ

Help transitioning from PoE 1(party setup, character build,etc)

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Hello, 

I've recently got PoE II on ps4, and I need your help getting started, because this game is so complex, it took me a long time figuring out things in PoE 1, and now a lot has changed; I don't have a lot of time to play(mostrly about 3-5 hours on weekends), so I don't want to start the game with multiple builds before I figure out what I like, as I did in PoE 1

I've played PoE I with the following setup: 2 handed goldpact paladin moon godlike(watcher), Pallegina as main tank and Durace, Aloth, Hiravias as casters for AoE, CC and buffing/debuffing; I played on hard difficulty most of the time, never tried POTD; Most fights went on like this: I would get as close as possible to enemies in stealth, and then take out (all party members equipped arquebuses) the guys that could seriously debuff or hurt my party (things like dominate, stun, AoE spells, etc.) then I would use the priest to buff the crap out of my party, use sacred immolation on myself and pallegina, and use AoE spells with the wizard and the druid to take out the rest, use lay on hands on the wounded and liberating exhortation on debuffed allies; and usually win most fights like this without any problems, and most boss fights were pretty easy too

Now, I see that things have changed a lot, and, as I've said I don't really have time to test out different builds and party setups, so here I am, asking for your help: 

 

I intend to play on classic difficulty at first, and change to veteran once I understand the game better;

 

1. I would like a build for my watcher that:

-          uses 2 handed weapons (I really dislike the notion of "dual wielding" and other silly shenanigans), fullplate or breastplate armor(natural /historically accurate looking arms and armor)

-          has good single target damage, good penetration

-          helpful to the party

-          not be squishy

-          is good all the way through, not only after lvl x, or after acquiring specific gear or set of abilities

I started the game with a templar (goldpact/berath) for RP reasons, but playing through I've found that it might not be such a good combination for this build because using priest spells and paladin abilities like lay on hands and exhortations, you don’t really have time to swing your 2 handed sword that much during a fight; also to be a good paladin and priest you need good intellect and might, and don’t have enough points to also put into dexterity and perception, so even if you do swing your sword you would be slow and miss a lot; if there is any way to make this build effective please let me know, because for RP purposes I would really enjoy it;

Next I thought of a crusader (goldpact/devoted) with either a estoc, greatsword or polleaxe; I think I would enjoy this build;

Also, in PoE I kind of sacrificed esthetics and RP for boosting stats, and I would not like to repeat that mistake, so for races its either aumaua, godlike or human, and as for arms and armor, as I’ve said they must look natural and historically accurate (I really hate it when I end up looking like a pokemon wielding a christmas tree as a weapon 😐)

 

So, preferred classes are:

1.      templar( goldpact/berath) for RP

2.      cleric(berath) RP

3.      crusader (goldpact/devoded)

4.      swashbuckler

5.      brawler maybe?

 These I think would be good for what I’m trying to build here; but if you have nay other ideas please let me know;

 

So given these classes, what abilities and ability combos are good, and what are crap?:

 

As for party setup, I would like:

-           pallegina as main tank(paladin, crusader, herald?)

-          Aloth as wizard for AoE and CC(single class?)

-          Maia Rua as ranged DPS(ranger/rogue?)

-          and either eder as second ranged DPS(but his stats kinda suck for this role), or Tekehu(single class, or multi?) as second AoE and CC;

I don’t know about PoE II, but in PoE 1 pure casters (prist, wizard and druid) were in a league of their own, specially in though fights, and a preist was a must have in the party, but I’ve read that’s not the case anymore as priests were nerfed bad in this one (a shame, given the game being revolved around the Gods and all), so is a priest a must or can the party go without one here?

Thank you, and sorry for the bad english

And please no spoilers, I've only played like 2-3 hours of the game

 

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So my main comment would be:

With only a limited amount of gaming time, aim for full roleplay and experience the game the way you want to play it. Play on normal/veteran without upscaling and anything will work.

Now if you want to roleplay a Priest of Berath and still swing your 2 hander around a lot I see two options:

1: Multiclass with fighter instead of Paladin. Fighter will give you a lot of passives, stances and primary attacks that will make you hit really hard and reliably, and armored grace since you favor heavy armor that will make you hit and cast faster. You would have a few select spells that compliment the playstyle.

2. My recommendation would be: play as a pure Priest of Berath. It will give you a stronger spiritual weapon (greatsword), longer lasting melee buffs, like minor avatar, and just feels great from a RP perspective. The cherry on the cake will come at power lvl9 though when you have access to Avatar (of Berath) which is in my opinion the coolest and strongest summon in the game. The massive drawback is a -5power level penalty but with your intention to attack in melee that's a non problem. Cast your buffs and spiritual weapon, then cast Avatar and whack them in the face with your high damage Berath Greatsword, while enjoying an extra fighter AND an extra priest with a great selection of spells. You might want to avoid heavy armor though, but with -armorpenalty pets and ok dex it wouldn't even matter that much.

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I just want to +1 what @Myrtillo said. I've played both a cleric (priest of berath/fighter) and a pure priest of berath and enjoyed them both and I think both are good alternatives to a templar (paladin/priest) if you want to stick with priest of berath.

 

21 hours ago, FlaviusPTZ said:

I started the game with a templar (goldpact/berath) for RP reasons, but playing through I've found that it might not be such a good combination for this build because using priest spells and paladin abilities like lay on hands and exhortations, you don’t really have time to swing your 2 handed sword that much during a fight

 

45 minutes ago, Myrtillo said:

1: Multiclass with fighter instead of Paladin. Fighter will give you a lot of passives, stances and primary attacks that will make you hit really hard and reliably, and armored grace since you favor heavy armor that will make you hit and cast faster. You would have a few select spells that compliment the playstyle.

the best part of a fighter instead of a paladin is that the arguably four most powerful skills don't interfere with your action economy at all (the action economy is why you feel like you spend too little time actually swinging your 2h around). They would be:

  1. disciplined strikes (which you should upgrade to probably tactical barrage for the Acute inspiration) because it is literally instantaneous so doesn't interfere with your action economy at all.
  2. fighter stances (which are just always on). when i played a berathian cleric, i upgraded it/left it on Conqueror Stance for the massive +10 accuracy that applies even to spellcasting.
  3. confident aim (passive), which gives you a wonderful 30% graze to hit with proficient weapons.
  4. armored grace (passive), which reduces the recovery penalty of all armor and frees up your action economy even more.

All those abilities also help compensate for weaker stats, so it makes it easier to shuffle stats around and still be competent. Intellect and dexterity are still super important for boosting your spellcasting, but a fighter makes having lower accuracy be more forgiving - disciplined strikes and confident aim in particular do a lot of work here - and the +5 deflection from conqueror stance (up to +10 when really hurt) and being able to wear heavier armor with less pain (thanks to armored grace), especially when combined with a pet that reduces your armor penalty, means that you can also shortchange resolve and constitution a bit, even though you're essentially a front-line caster even on PotD.

I forget exactly what fighter subclass I chose. Morningstars are a great weapon pick regardless; the morningstar weapon modal debuffs -25 fortitude, which synergizes with fighter Knock Down/Mule Kick, which is probably my pick for best fighter ability. It also synergizes with some of the priest of berath spells that I mention below.

You still have action economy concerns, so you have to be smart about what priest abilities you pick up. I.E. if you just plan on picking up a bunch of buffs, you're going to be spending all your time buffing and not really benefiting from all your fighter abilities. IIRC I used the fighter's very good accuracy and intellect boost (+10 from fighter stance, +5 perception and 50% graze to hit from tactical barrage, and +5 intellect and +1 PL from tactical barrage) to pick up some critical debuffs (e.g. despondent blows) and to supercharge some of the bonus spells I got as a berathian (touch of rot, spreading plague, rot skulls). Combined Spreading Plague and Interdiction, for example will debuff enemy fortitude so much that combined with morning star weapon modal and your accuracy bonuses, you'll basically be able to stunlock any enemy with Mule Kick, even most bosses.

 

1 hour ago, Myrtillo said:

2. My recommendation would be: play as a pure Priest of Berath. It will give you a stronger spiritual weapon (greatsword), longer lasting melee buffs, like minor avatar, and just feels great from a RP perspective. The cherry on the cake will come at power lvl9 though when you have access to Avatar (of Berath) which is in my opinion the coolest and strongest summon in the game. The massive drawback is a -5power level penalty but with your intention to attack in melee that's a non problem. Cast your buffs and spiritual weapon, then cast Avatar and whack them in the face with your high damage Berath Greatsword, while enjoying an extra fighter AND an extra priest with a great selection of spells. You might want to avoid heavy armor though, but with -armorpenalty pets and ok dex it wouldn't even matter that much.

i'm not as wild about incarnate as myrtillo, but I think there's a massively good payoff to going pure priest with the AL8 spells. Symbol of Berath (all symbols, really) are super good party-friendly aoe hazard spells, and when empowered can completely wreck house. Hand of Wael and Woe is probably one of hte best spells in the game - the amount of damage and healing it simultaneously does is frankly insane. As I described it elsewhere, the healing is so intense even your naked party members will be able to facetank megabosses. Dismissal will let you end most vessel fights almost instantly (it's even better if you don't have upscaling enabled).

the only problem I see here is that on PotD charging in with a squishy caster and a greatsword is not the best of ideas; a berathian priest--outside of the Barring Death's Door+Salvation of Time combo--has much less survivability than a wizard, for example. My priest of berath just picked up ranged weapons and spent their time plunking away or using Rot Skulls when they weren't casting spells.

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21 hours ago, FlaviusPTZ said:

a preist was a must have in the party, but I’ve read that’s not the case anymore as priests were nerfed bad in this one (a shame, given the game being revolved around the Gods and all), so is a priest a must or can the party go without one here?

Also one more comment - out of the 1000 hours I've played Deadfire so far, probably 900 of it was with a priest mainchar (I've literally played every priest multiclass combination, some of them more than once). Priests were nerfed compared to PoE1, but it's because essentially they were utterly brokenly good in PoE1 (Devotions of the Faithful and all the immunity defense spells especially). But priests are still good. You can get by without a priest, but you could also get by without a priest in PoE1. It just makes the game a whole lot easier to have one around, even if priests in Deadfire are not as overpowered as in PoE1.

I think the perception problem is many players don't play on Veteran or PotD. On lower difficulties (even Veteran) you can pretty much just brute force your way most fights, but on higher difficulties, especially with upscaling and/or challenges enabled, fights last longer, enemies are tankier, and buffs/debuffs become more important compared to direct damage and healing.

On top of that, once you're experienced with the game, the priest and certain priest subclasses are very good for multiclassing and metagaming. For example, with the right in-game knowledge, priest Salvation of Time is the most important spell in the game; for related reasons, every player who has done a successful Ultimate run so far (five total, myself included) has been a multiclass with priest of skaen. 

Edited by thelee

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35 minutes ago, thelee said:

 i'm not as wild about incarnate as myrtillo

How dare you 😆.

Seriously though, I don't think any summon in the game comes close to it except maybe the Eothas incarnate. Honestly if it was only summoning the Usher it would be great already. 2 free casts of salvation of time, symbol of Berath and rust armor, and after that a lot of nice spells. Even hand of Berath is good when it's free. But on top of that you get a great meatshield with ok melee damage. Maybe I am biased by the awe effect of summoning the Pallid Knight, but I really feel like any other summon is dramatically less efficient than this duo.

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38 minutes ago, Myrtillo said:

Honestly if it was only summoning the Usher it would be great already. 2 free casts of salvation of time, symbol of Berath and rust armor, and after that a lot of nice spells.

sorry, i haven't used incarnate in a long time, do you actually gain control of your summons?

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3 hours ago, thelee said:

sorry, i haven't used incarnate in a long time, do you actually gain control of your summons?

So I just re-tested it and apparently you don't. I have a clear memory of a time when you actually did control them, though. So it probably got changed at some point.
A long time ago, mind you because in my memory the Usher was still glitching at that time and just appear to be two floating weapons. But unless I am going crazy I am fairly certain that at some point all incarnates were controllable.

EDIT: Looking back at some of my older posts from the forum, I last tested that between May 25th and somewhere in June 2018. So that was a few versions ago 😅

Edited by Myrtillo

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1 hour ago, Myrtillo said:

So I just re-tested it and apparently you don't. I have a clear memory of a time when you actually did control them, though. So it probably got changed at some point.
A long time ago, mind you because in my memory the Usher was still glitching at that time and just appear to be two floating weapons. But unless I am going crazy I am fairly certain that at some point all incarnates were controllable.

EDIT: Looking back at some of my older posts from the forum, I last tested that between May 25th and somewhere in June 2018. So that was a few versions ago 😅

yeah, i had a dim memory of incarnate being real good early on, but i was testing around some months back and it seemed a bit mediocre because you couldn't control any of them, so i stopped gunning for it. so probably it got nerfed at some point.

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Several summons got changed from controllable to non-controllable. I believe Wizard's phantoms were also among them.

Some didn't get changed though (see Chanter's summons).

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I wonder what may be the rationale for a dev to reduce the player's control in a game where combat are supposed to be tactics... I can understand that it is an articficial nerf, but in that case, it makes the pl plenalty very uncalled for. Without being able to control them, as a pl9 summon for a class that doesn't regenerate ressources, they would be perfectly balanced without penalties.

As is it becomes meh, like the rest of pl9 priest spells.

Oh well, still the coolest and most RP summon in the game, so there's that. 😄

 

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7 minutes ago, Myrtillo said:

I wonder what may be the rationale for a dev to reduce the player's control in a game where combat are supposed to be tactics... I can understand that it is an articficial nerf, but in that case, it makes the pl plenalty very uncalled for. Without being able to control them, as a pl9 summon for a class that doesn't regenerate ressources, they would be perfectly balanced without penalties.

As is it becomes meh, like the rest of pl9 priest spells.

Oh well, still the coolest and most RP summon in the game, so there's that. 😄

i suspect it's to keep the summoning competency firmly in the hands of chanters and druids (who have mostly summons you fully control). 

though thankfully they left out priest spiritual ally, and honestly that alone makes priest a decent summoner since you have infinite uses of Robust via spiritual ally.

Edited by thelee

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6 minutes ago, thelee said:

i suspect it's to keep the summoning competency firmly in the hands of chanters and druids (who have mostly summons you fully control). 

though thankfully they left out priest spiritual ally, and honestly that alone makes priest a decent summoner since you have infinite uses of Robust via spiritual ally.

Which in my opinion makes even less sense to remove the control from a pl9 summon that comes with one of the heaviest penalties in the game (-5pl is just so taxing).
But it could be worse, it could be Wael's incarnate.

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Afair the change of phantoms from controllable to non-controllable came shortly after they made it possible that phantoms carried clones of all items of the wizard. So if you gave the wizard a necklace of fireballs or a per-rest item like a figurine (they were not charged back then) the phantom could use all those attached abilites of the cloned item during its summoning duration, effectively removig the charged/per-rest restriction that the (uncloned) item usually has. So for example a wizard could have put on the Shroud of the Phantasm (wasn't there back then, but so you have a gamebreaking example) and summon a phantom. Phantom would then summon 6 Living Illusions every time (which themselves summoned Phantoms which...).

So I think this was one big reason to change the phantoms. You can't trigger those abilites if you can't control the phantom. Was also the easiest solution I guess. 

I don't know why the rest of the other summons got changed though (can't recall which ones really changed or were uncontrollable right away). 

-5 PL is hefty, but as @thelee sad: infinite Robust from the Spiritual Ally can be pretty great to have. The summon itself is not breathtaking, but those "unlimited" stuff can often be used to great effect. You only have to know about it (description etc. don't mention it).

What I don't get is the Druid's Aspect of Galawain. It's great fun with an Ancient + Wild Growth (I mean visually mostly) but still: it's way too meh. Or did it ever receive a buff I know nothing about?

What is so bad about Wael's Incarnate? I never used it...

Edited by Boeroer

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7 hours ago, Myrtillo said:

But it could be worse, it could be Wael's incarnate.

Ha, yeah! Can't get worse than Wael's incarnate!

...

179835443_woedicabar.thumb.png.d7bd3a184a125f47500dccfe8861b970.png

 

725854457_sadwoedica.png.2997e09abeb940c5dc6c22f6b545563d.png

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why-oh-why-5afa60.jpg

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5 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Afair the change of phantoms from controllable to non-controllable came shortly after they made it possible that phantoms carried clones of all items of the wizard. So if you gave the wizard a necklace of fireballs or a per-rest item like a figurine (they were not charged back then) the phantom could use all those attached abilites of the cloned item during its summoning duration, effectively removig the charged/per-rest restriction that the (uncloned) item usually has. So for example a wizard could have put on the Shroud of the Phantasm (wasn't there back then, but so you have a gamebreaking example) and summon a phantom. Phantom would then summon 6 Living Illusions every time (which themselves summoned Phantoms which...).

So I think this was one big reason to change the phantoms. You can't trigger those abilites if you can't control the phantom. Was also the easiest solution I guess. 

I don't know why the rest of the other summons got changed though (can't recall which ones really changed or were uncontrollable right away). 

-5 PL is hefty, but as @thelee sad: infinite Robust from the Spiritual Ally can be pretty great to have. The summon itself is not breathtaking, but those "unlimited" stuff can often be used to great effect. You only have to know about it (description etc. don't mention it).

What I don't get is the Druid's Aspect of Galawain. It's great fun with an Ancient + Wild Growth (I mean visually mostly) but still: it's way too meh. Or did it ever receive a buff I know nothing about?

What is so bad about Wael's Incarnate? I never used it...

That's the thing: spiritual ally doesn't trigger -5pl penalty, it's an incarnate thing. And the summon has more use than incarnate and is not a pl9 ability. 

Wael's incarnate is just a simple summon of an eyed-cloud that does nothing special. It was horrendously bad (given the pl penalty) even when controllable.

The two best were by far Berath and Eothas, giving you a full caster for the duration, with fighters as a cherry on the cake.

I do understand that some phantom shenanigans were broken, but the change to incarnate was very unwarranted. I mean, who uses incarnate now ? (Myrtillo, ranting about 2 years old patches 😅)

And yeah, aspect of Galawain is still just a  plain big bear that doesn't even do much damage. And Druids have good pl9 spells as opposed to priests so the opportunity cost makes it even worse. Just wild growth that fire stag.

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Eh, sorry - am obviously a bit confused atm due to slight fever. 😖 Winter should really stop now - that's the third cold I fetched this season. 


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45 minutes ago, Myrtillo said:

I mean, who uses incarnate now ?

No idea - I certainly don't. ;)


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2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

that's the third cold I fetched this season.

only three? oh you sweet summer child.

 

2 hours ago, Myrtillo said:

Wael's incarnate is just a simple summon of an eyed-cloud that does nothing special. It was horrendously bad (given the pl penalty) even when controllable.

the worst part about wael's incarnate is that being a ranged creature, it's really bad at tanking enemies (no engagement) and absorbing enemy hate - the AI even tries to escape from them using its storm teleport thing. and the damage it does is not nearly worth having a summon that doesn't do two of the things i expect a good summon to do..

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1 hour ago, thelee said:

only three? oh you sweet summer child.

 

the worst part about wael's incarnate is that being a ranged creature, it's really bad at tanking enemies (no engagement) and absorbing enemy hate - the AI even tries to escape from them using its storm teleport thing. and the damage it does is not nearly worth having a summon that doesn't do two of the things i expect a good summon to do..

Yeah I remember when I was testing out all the incarnates after release, after the awesomeness of Eothas and Berath, Wael was puzzling. But none of it really matters now, unless there is a mod to bring back the control of the summons, incarnate is definitely not viable compared to other summons available to priests (even figurine ones). On the plus side, my biggest grief against (priest) Xoti was that her pl9 summon was very underwhelming. Now it feels amazing in comparison. Small victories.

Edited by Myrtillo

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3 hours ago, thelee said:

 and the damage it does is not nearly worth having a summon that doesn't do two of the things i expect a good summon to do...

Take ass and kick names?


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1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

Take ass and kick names?

i can't tell if that was intentional, but either way 👍

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Dude...

 


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