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Hi Everyone,

First of all, it has been enjoyable to finally play this game more now that we all have a bit of free time. As an avid reader of the forum, It has been great to absorb all of the knowledge. I also enjoy watching several of the YouTube Channels from of these forum members, especially with the Megaboss guides :) . 

Anyways, I want to learn how to conceptualize builds and implement them, especially end game. I feel like a lack a consistent direction in my builds, and I am overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices end game and DLCS bring in terms of item choices.   I have a fear of commitment, (not with relationships!) , and end up saving most of my Adra Bans (like toliet paper nowdadays) lest I spend on them an item I was not quite sure about. It is like I am in a prison of freedom (Satre said that, right?)  I was reading a post the other day about finding an OP Monk combo, and I realized I need to increase my explicit knowledge of this game.  I play on POTD upscaled.  Now I have an Arcane Knight (Goldpact/wizard vanilla) but I don't know how to play him. Caster? Fighter? CCer?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated! 

 

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2 hours ago, mjo2138 said:

Anyways, I want to learn how to conceptualize builds and implement them, especially end game. I feel like a lack a consistent direction in my builds, and I am overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices end game and DLCS bring in terms of item choices.   I have a fear of commitment, (not with relationships!) , and end up saving most of my Adra Bans (like toliet paper nowdadays) lest I spend on them an item I was not quite sure about. It is like I am in a prison of freedom (Satre said that, right?)  I was reading a post the other day about finding an OP Monk combo, and I realized I need to increase my explicit knowledge of this game.  I play on POTD upscaled.  Now I have an Arcane Knight (Goldpact/wizard vanilla) but I don't know how to play him. Caster? Fighter? CCer?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated! 

I think there's several things to unpack.

1. Direction. I used to have this problem a lot. These days I pick a strong "theme" inspired by some other thing I really like (mostly Magic: The Gathering color wheel, but also a bit of Warcraft 3 since I picked up reforged) and that helps me stick to a direction, to a fault (where I hate extraneous party members who don't fit into my theme and am eager to replace them). If something else catches my eye, I just commit to doing it on another play through.

1b. Another thing that helped direction for me is that I created a self-goal of eventually having run a party with every single variation of a priest (preferably as mainchar)--because I enjoy priest classes. So it becomes less "which is the most interesting party I can build"--which can be overwhelming ("paradox of choice" or "prison of freedom" as you say)--and more "what is the most interesting thing I can do with this very specific, narrow constraint", such as "my main PC must be a priest/barbarian of some sort" (in this case I ended up deciding on a skaen/corpse-eater. Wasn't great, wasn't bad either.) For reference, I still have not done a single-class woedica, a thaumaturge, and a universalist. I may never get to universalist or SC-woedica; just not interesting enough.

2. Hoarding. This is hard thing to do, and part of it is influenced by game design; not a lot of games get item usage and consumable usage right. For Adra Ban, it sounds like FOMO. Again, if I miss out on something, I just commit to doing it on another play through. Having a strong theme in #1 helps, because I do a lot of advance planning on the Deadfire wiki unique items list (unique weapons, unique armor) and plan out which items I want the most, and plan to upgrade all the way.

3. Increasing your explicit knowledge. On top of reading high-quality information (not random ****posting about mechanics), probably a lot more experience and lots of q's asked and tests. My gamefaqs guide goes into a lot of details of the mechanics, but I feel like in all situations in life, you actually need to actually put the theory into practice to really internalize it. Even with all the stuff I've written there, and all the stuff forum members have posted here, there's tons of implicit knowledge about stuff and still tons of interactions yet to test. I think just more playthroughs will start giving you a sense of what interactions might be interesting, and what to look out for to test and to mix with.

 

YMMV. I've played Deadfire for 1000+ hours, and still am not sick of it. I think if you're fixated on getting just one run or two right, you may stress out more than if you just plan on playing however much you want to play, but that kind of long-term play commitment isn't for everyone (not even close). Over those 1000+ hours, I've made some parties that stunk and I didn't particularly like, and some that have been really great. Sometimes I've been playing and have already had ideas for three more parties to run. I don't run through all of them (some ideas I get tired of before I get to them), but I'm never too frustrated about doing something wrong or making the wrong choice. Plus, after 1000+ hours, I know most of the mechanics like the back of the hand, but even then I can still get surprised by new interactions just from chatting on the forums; it wasn't until hour like 900 that I tried a barbaric retaliation thanks to @Boeroer.

If you also just like cycling through a lot of parties, I don't think it's too big a deal to just do that. A lot of people have restartitis. Maybe eventually you'll find a party you'll take all the way. This was basically me back in the BG2 days - kept starting new parties until eventually I think my first PC that I finished was a random thief character after originally thinking I would want to play a bard or wizard (I ended up liking the thief experience so much I wrote a gamefaqs guide to the thief class). That was a surprise to me because I tend to be a caster person through-and-through, but something about playing a thief just happened to click in my brain that I ended up finishing BG2 with it. Maybe something similar could happen to you.

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I hear you man. I never use consumables (well, rarely), never upgrade items unless I'm 100% sure. It's been ruined by games having you feel bad by not holding onto a once only weapon you only had at the start of the game to be able to turn it into the most powerful thing ever. Or items you used, you find out later you can not create or ever find again. Rare things that are impossible to replicate and have a single use, but aren't available in high enough quantity to cater to everything you need make you hold onto them for way too long.

With the consumables thing. I play every game that way. Every RPG I play I don't use consumables. Only in very rare circumstances will I use them, or if I know I can get plenty more. It's also one of the reasons I do not enjoy playing Nalpazca. I hate playing that because it forces me to use consumables and I don't want to.

In Deadfire summons from items for instance have a per rest activation limit and a limited use. This means I will never ever use them. Like ever. Am I gimping myself? Sure, but I don't want to use them. Period.

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54 minutes ago, thelee said:

I think there's several things to unpack.

1. Direction. I used to have this problem a lot. These days I pick a strong "theme" inspired by some other thing I really like (mostly Magic: The Gathering color wheel, but also a bit of Warcraft 3 since I picked up reforged) and that helps me stick to a direction, to a fault (where I hate extraneous party members who don't fit into my theme and am eager to replace them). If something else catches my eye, I just commit to doing it on another play through.

1b. Another thing that helped direction for me is that I created a self-goal of eventually having run a party with every single variation of a priest (preferably as mainchar)--because I enjoy priest classes. So it becomes less "which is the most interesting party I can build"--which can be overwhelming ("paradox of choice" or "prison of freedom" as you say)--and more "what is the most interesting thing I can do with this very specific, narrow constraint", such as "my main PC must be a priest/barbarian of some sort" (in this case I ended up deciding on a skaen/corpse-eater. Wasn't great, wasn't bad either.) For reference, I still have not done a single-class woedica, a thaumaturge, and a universalist. I may never get to universalist or SC-woedica; just not interesting enough.

2. Hoarding. This is hard thing to do, and part of it is influenced by game design; not a lot of games get item usage and consumable usage right. For Adra Ban, it sounds like FOMO. Again, if I miss out on something, I just commit to doing it on another play through. Having a strong theme in #1 helps, because I do a lot of advance planning on the Deadfire wiki unique items list (unique weapons, unique armor) and plan out which items I want the most, and plan to upgrade all the way.

3. Increasing your explicit knowledge. On top of reading high-quality information (not random ****posting about mechanics), probably a lot more experience and lots of q's asked and tests. My gamefaqs guide goes into a lot of details of the mechanics, but I feel like in all situations in life, you actually need to actually put the theory into practice to really internalize it. Even with all the stuff I've written there, and all the stuff forum members have posted here, there's tons of implicit knowledge about stuff and still tons of interactions yet to test. I think just more playthroughs will start giving you a sense of what interactions might be interesting, and what to look out for to test and to mix with.

 

YMMV. I've played Deadfire for 1000+ hours, and still am not sick of it. I think if you're fixated on getting just one run or two right, you may stress out more than if you just plan on playing however much you want to play, but that kind of long-term play commitment isn't for everyone (not even close). Over those 1000+ hours, I've made some parties that stunk and I didn't particularly like, and some that have been really great. Sometimes I've been playing and have already had ideas for three more parties to run. I don't run through all of them (some ideas I get tired of before I get to them), but I'm never too frustrated about doing something wrong or making the wrong choice. Plus, after 1000+ hours, I know most of the mechanics like the back of the hand, but even then I can still get surprised by new interactions just from chatting on the forums; it wasn't until hour like 900 that I tried a barbaric retaliation thanks to @Boeroer.

If you also just like cycling through a lot of parties, I don't think it's too big a deal to just do that. A lot of people have restartitis. Maybe eventually you'll find a party you'll take all the way. This was basically me back in the BG2 days - kept starting new parties until eventually I think my first PC that I finished was a random thief character after originally thinking I would want to play a bard or wizard (I ended up liking the thief experience so much I wrote a gamefaqs guide to the thief class). That was a surprise to me because I tend to be a caster person through-and-through, but something about playing a thief just happened to click in my brain that I ended up finishing BG2 with it. Maybe something similar could happen to you.

Thanks for your detailed response! I like the idea of picking a theme, and letting that guide me. I will try to do the same for companions as well. I found some good guides by Sin Tee, as well as many others on the forums here. I agree about testing out items and checking the combat logs; that is where you really learn alot. Boeroer mentioned how blunderblass attacks apply the first effect - e.g., confounding blind as the attack applies to all bounces. These kinds of things are not explicit based on skill descriptions, so testing really lets you see. 

I tend to find one 'party' to build around my MC, then I am too stubborn to switch it up. However, I need to experiment more! I will check out your FAQs. Are they under the same Screen name? 

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40 minutes ago, AeonsLegend said:

I hear you man. I never use consumables (well, rarely), never upgrade items unless I'm 100% sure. It's been ruined by games having you feel bad by not holding onto a once only weapon you only had at the start of the game to be able to turn it into the most powerful thing ever. Or items you used, you find out later you can not create or ever find again. Rare things that are impossible to replicate and have a single use, but aren't available in high enough quantity to cater to everything you need make you hold onto them for way too long.

With the consumables thing. I play every game that way. Every RPG I play I don't use consumables. Only in very rare circumstances will I use them, or if I know I can get plenty more. It's also one of the reasons I do not enjoy playing Nalpazca. I hate playing that because it forces me to use consumables and I don't want to.

In Deadfire summons from items for instance have a per rest activation limit and a limited use. This means I will never ever use them. Like ever. Am I gimping myself? Sure, but I don't want to use them. Period.

Thanks. I am the same about consumables for the most part. In boss fights, I will use drugs or potions, but I am too lazy to micro so many things for regular fights.  I feel that the quantity of consumables could be reduced to even just 8 potions, so we can focus on skills and items. 

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2 hours ago, mjo2138 said:

Thanks for your detailed response! I like the idea of picking a theme, and letting that guide me. I will try to do the same for companions as well. I found some good guides by Sin Tee, as well as many others on the forums here. I agree about testing out items and checking the combat logs; that is where you really learn alot. Boeroer mentioned how blunderblass attacks apply the first effect - e.g., confounding blind as the attack applies to all bounces. These kinds of things are not explicit based on skill descriptions, so testing really lets you see. 

I tend to find one 'party' to build around my MC, then I am too stubborn to switch it up. However, I need to experiment more! I will check out your FAQs. Are they under the same Screen name? 

C.LE. on gamefaqs. You'll find that I have a very specific type of game I like to write about :) https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/pc/227477-pillars-of-eternity-ii-deadfire/faqs/76599

 

Reflecting more, I think there's a lot to be said about the downside of overwhelming the player with choices. I think having an artificial constraint or theme might indeed be helpful. Also there's a real "art through adversity" that I believe in, where having restrictions can help you be more creative/explorative than you might have been otherwise. Lord knows I've spent a lot of time on the celebrant (second hardest priest multiclass to crack after the universalist), but I finally found a build I was satisified with and is fun to play (if not the most powerful), and is not something I would've ever discovered if I was just trying to min-max the most interesting/powerful build without any constraints.

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3 hours ago, AeonsLegend said:

In Deadfire summons from items for instance have a per rest activation limit and a limited use. This means I will never ever use them. Like ever. Am I gimping myself? Sure, but I don't want to use them. Period.

oh man, i've gotten pretty good of getting past the "hoarding" feeling about limited-use items, but that one-use effigy summon? how in the heck am I supposed to decide "ok, this random fight is the fight i'll use it on"?

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Speaking about direction:
Don't know if it helps other players, but I feel a lot more motivated if I not only discovered a cool synergy/build recipe but am also able to put it into some thematical perspective and have some sort of idea who this character really is (and was). Just steering a min-maxed robot through the game is not that much fun for me. So for example when I played my first Warlock (Berserker/Wizard) whom I wanted to equip with all the Rekvu gear and Grimore of Vaporous Wizardry (nuking myself with Combusting Wounds and all the other fire spells and also Slicken while tanking foes) I thought about "Why is this guy always injured with a Severe Burn and burns himself willingly all the time?". And when I had some sort of a coherent id and "story" it was a lot easier to pull through - even if the early game is often particularly bad if you are following some weird mechnical synergy that only comes online later in the game. 

I once even could finish a playthrough just because I saw that a certain gear/race/skin combination looked like a Draugr from Skyrim. So I decided to play a guy who believes that he's an undead vessel. It worked even though it was silly initially. 

I don't say that you should play that - just that some idea of "who is he?" does immensely help with direction so that you don't get lost in all the possibilities like "is this weapon better or that one?". Usually the generel idea about the char dictates which weapon is better - and I don't mean mechanically. Like that Draugr would have looked stupid with some pristine weapon like the Voulge. It had to be something more shabby or ancient looking. Like Dire Talon or Gladiator Sword + Bronlar's Phalanx or so. 

I once played a Huana Mataru (Unbroken/Trickster). He wore the Reckless Brigandine, Cadhu Sclath, Kapana Taga and White Witch Mask (looks super-hauana-ish). It was no question which items and abilites he needed. It was also no question which faction I followed and so on. Did the same with a female Mataru but SC Devoted with the same armor but "deserted" and sided with the RCD, killing the queen, taking her headgear, using Toughened Fury and Mob Stance and such. It just helps to not get lost in all the possibilities. It's like restricting yourself but for a good reason.

Other ideas for another playthrough then (or a companion, sidekick or hireling). It is a Role Playing Game after all. 

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I'm thinking about a semi random generator of NPC.

For example, this tool would generate a random subclass, class, race, background, and maybe a couple attributes.
You can choose a multiclass (or not) and the rest of attributes.

It would be like half way between Companions and 100% free hirelings.

For example, what are you going to do with an Ilusionist with 16 Resolve and 8 Intellect ?

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I know how you feel buddy !

I red here since PC release and waited for the PS4 release.

I theory crafted hours and hours for the perfect party and the perfect player character. Red so much about game mechanics, it almost felt like my "old" gamer times 😄

By the way big up for thelee and his really great FAQ/game guide. You always remind me how bad my mathematical knowledge is when I look up some stuff.

Btt: I started some playthroughs even I wanted to play it only once or one after the other.

I'm really happy that you guys try out so much different builds and combinations and that you can even create your own backgrounds and story's for you chars ! Really awesome !

If I'm hones I'm tried this too, it's not that I have no fantasy but that im really bad at RP.

I started a playthrough with a custom party, my Hunting party of Woedica.

The party was really good and it was fun to play this combination of classes but RP as a judge/inquisitor of Woedica wasn't my piece of cake.

I first felt bad after the first 5 minutes of gameplay when I robbed the children of the Dawnstar and killed them afterwards. Oh lord I felt bad 😄😄

so I started again and played like I always and up playing, as myself.

Now I'm a Kind Wayfarer/Soulblade and it fits for me.

In conversations I answer like I think it's right and like I would do it in real life.

Till now everything is fine and I'm enjoying the game with my light hearted companions 

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7 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Speaking about direction:
Don't know if it helps other players, but I feel a lot more motivated if I not only discovered a cool synergy/build recipe but am also able to put it into some thematical perspective and have some sort of idea who this character really is (and was). Just steering a min-maxed robot through the game is not that much fun for me. So for example when I played my first Warlock (Berserker/Wizard) whom I wanted to equip with all the Rekvu gear and Grimore of Vaporous Wizardry (nuking myself with Combusting Wounds and all the other fire spells and also Slicken while tanking foes) I thought about "Why is this guy always injured with a Severe Burn and burns himself willingly all the time?". And when I had some sort of a coherent id and "story" it was a lot easier to pull through - even if the early game is often particularly bad if you are following some weird mechnical synergy that only comes online later in the game. 

I once even could finish a playthrough just because I saw that a certain gear/race/skin combination looked like a Draugr from Skyrim. So I decided to play a guy who believes that he's an undead vessel. It worked even though it was silly initially. 

I don't say that you should play that - just that some idea of "who is he?" does immensely help with direction so that you don't get lost in all the possibilities like "is this weapon better or that one?". Usually the generel idea about the char dictates which weapon is better - and I don't mean mechanically. Like that Draugr would have looked stupid with some pristine weapon like the Voulge. It had to be something more shabby or ancient looking. Like Dire Talon or Gladiator Sword + Bronlar's Phalanx or so. 

I once played a Huana Mataru (Unbroken/Trickster). He wore the Reckless Brigandine, Cadhu Sclath, Kapana Taga and White Witch Mask (looks super-hauana-ish). It was no question which items and abilites he needed. It was also no question which faction I followed and so on. Did the same with a female Mataru but SC Devoted with the same armor but "deserted" and sided with the RCD, killing the queen, taking her headgear, using Toughened Fury and Mob Stance and such. It just helps to not get lost in all the possibilities. It's like restricting yourself but for a good reason.

Other ideas for another playthrough then (or a companion, sidekick or hireling). It is a Role Playing Game after all. 

Thank you! I like the idea of using a theme, a synergy, and a RP conception. Honestly, I don't always RP and instead focus on combat tactics and builds, so I need to do this more to create a more immersive experience. I love Skyrim, as well as many other RPGs of days gone by (Chrono Trigger). thanks!! I need to learn more about synergies. I have been using Tekehu following your advice from earlier and it is fun! 

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3 hours ago, Dyxx said:

I know how you feel buddy !

I red here since PC release and waited for the PS4 release.

I theory crafted hours and hours for the perfect party and the perfect player character. Red so much about game mechanics, it almost felt like my "old" gamer times 😄

By the way big up for thelee and his really great FAQ/game guide. You always remind me how bad my mathematical knowledge is when I look up some stuff.

Btt: I started some playthroughs even I wanted to play it only once or one after the other.

I'm really happy that you guys try out so much different builds and combinations and that you can even create your own backgrounds and story's for you chars ! Really awesome !

If I'm hones I'm tried this too, it's not that I have no fantasy but that im really bad at RP.

I started a playthrough with a custom party, my Hunting party of Woedica.

The party was really good and it was fun to play this combination of classes but RP as a judge/inquisitor of Woedica wasn't my piece of cake.

I first felt bad after the first 5 minutes of gameplay when I robbed the children of the Dawnstar and killed them afterwards. Oh lord I felt bad 😄😄

so I started again and played like I always and up playing, as myself.

Now I'm a Kind Wayfarer/Soulblade and it fits for me.

In conversations I answer like I think it's right and like I would do it in real life.

Till now everything is fine and I'm enjoying the game with my light hearted companions 

Great advice; thanks!  

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12 hours ago, thelee said:

C.LE. on gamefaqs. You'll find that I have a very specific type of game I like to write about :) https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/pc/227477-pillars-of-eternity-ii-deadfire/faqs/76599

 

Reflecting more, I think there's a lot to be said about the downside of overwhelming the player with choices. I think having an artificial constraint or theme might indeed be helpful. Also there's a real "art through adversity" that I believe in, where having restrictions can help you be more creative/explorative than you might have been otherwise. Lord knows I've spent a lot of time on the celebrant (second hardest priest multiclass to crack after the universalist), but I finally found a build I was satisified with and is fun to play (if not the most powerful), and is not something I would've ever discovered if I was just trying to min-max the most interesting/powerful build without any constraints.

haha this is my favorite guide actually! It is my go to guide and I have reading it extensively. I didn't know it was yours. I like the mega boss guides in particular.! 

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3 hours ago, Dyxx said:

I first felt bad after the first 5 minutes of gameplay when I robbed the children of the Dawnstar and killed them afterwards. Oh lord I felt bad 😄😄

lololol

 

probably the worst i've ever felt in an RPG was in Fallout New Vegas - I created a character that picked up a perk that let you terrify NPCs in dialogue, and also one that let you eat corpses. I figured I was some sort of psychopathic maniac. Early on, after I used the terrify option on some random innocent stranger, and then shot him, and then ate his body, I felt so bad about that I abandoned that playthrough.

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10 minutes ago, thelee said:

lololol

 

probably the worst i've ever felt in an RPG was in Fallout New Vegas - I created a character that picked up a perk that let you terrify NPCs in dialogue, and also one that let you eat corpses. I figured I was some sort of psychopathic maniac. Early on, after I used the terrify option on some random innocent stranger, and then shot him, and then ate his body, I felt so bad about that I abandoned that playthrough.

Cipher/Corpse Eater : I will feed upon your soul, then I'll eat your flesh.

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16 minutes ago, AeonsLegend said:

You can even talk about them afterwards on how they felt about it and torment them further. 😆

Cipher/Corpse Eater/Watcher I will feed upon your soul, then I'll eat your flesh, then I'll converse with your ghost.

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