Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi guys, I am going to revisite Deadfire. 

I was thinking about Transcendent (Nalpazca+Soul Blade) or Shadowdancer (Nalpazca+Trickster) . I have no experience in playing neither rogue, monk nor cipher (as MC). I have read some interesting builds but got no enough experience and game knowledge to properly evaluate them. 

At first glance, Shadowdancer with Mirror Image provides nice synergy with Dance of Death and thus (potentially) Swift Flurry, Stunning Surge, Heartbeat Drumming. I seems to me that he also got better defence, mobility and lash dmg - at cost of finite resources and underpenetration.

On the other hand, Transcendent can tweak his crit chance with Mental Binding and has access to some great abilities.  Most of them comes to play rather late: Borrowed Instinct, Body Attunement, Disintegration. Which basically means that up until level 13 (tier V) is rather a glass cannon. Nevertheless: Valorous Echoes, Iron Will, Mental Binding, Draining Whip and Hammering Thoughts should be very useful throughout entire game.

But that are just my insinuations and I would be much obliged for any piece of advice. 
Thanks for your attention and stay healthy 😉
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion a Shadowdancer is better off with Lightning Strikes instead of Swift Flurry - but that also depends on the dificulty setting. Swift Flurry is better on lower difficulties than on the higher ones. Reason is higher defenses on higher diff. and because Rogue's dmg bonuses work very well with lashes in general (since they are mutliplicative damage) and he hasn't substancial ACC buffs and "only" Dirty Fighting. Mathematically you will have a hard time reaching the dmg output of Lightning Strikes with Swift Flurry - especially when it counts most: against tough foes.

If your Shadowdancer will be hunting behind enemy lines (bringing down casters, archers etc.) then it's another story though because those ususally have lower defenses that the tough nuts and it's nice to be able to one-shot them with a cascade of crits. 

Transcendant can be better suited for Swift Flurry because (as you said) he not only has some paralysis which helps with Swift Flurry but also ACC bonuses from Borrowed Instinct, Tactical Meld and then debuffs which can lower deflection further. On the other hand: enemies who get hit with Soul Annihilation seldomly need Swift Flurry on top to die... ;) But a good proc-chain of Swift Flurry can fill up your focus right away which can be cool. 

Edited by Boeroer
  • Thanks 1

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Boeroer

Thanks for insightful answer.

If I remember correctly, you were an author of amazing build for priest of Berath in first Pillars. I had a blast playing him.

Nevertheless (and given that I am going to spend most of my time on veteran difficulty) which one of them would you recomend as more fun to play? Transcendent  or Shadowdancer? 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cool you liked that Berathian Priest. :)

Ouf... that highly depends on preference I would say. If you like less micro or more (casting usually adds more) for example. Personally I like Monks a lot - and Rogues and Ciphers (except Beguiler) not that much - so that's kind of a tie here.

In my opinion Trickster is a very nice subclass though and Soulblade can be very powerful. Erm... I think I like Shadowdancer more due to his mobility (Escape is very cheap), the no-fuss damage output and the better survivability in the early game. I like Ciphers more in other multiclasses I guess.   

If you are willing to use Swift Flurry then some weapons are particular fun:

  • Willbreaker Morning Star with modal + Force of Anguish, Stunning Surge and Enervating Blows: lower enemies' Fortitude by 45 points via stun/weaken/Body Blows and then use Force of Anguish wich targets Fortitude. The Willbreaker also has hit-to-crit conversion.
  • Sun & Moon: hits twice and thus has double chance to crit. It procs Stunning Surge refund and Swift Flurry more often than other weapons. It's also very good with a Soulblade (either less risk of missing and also gain focus with the second flail head if the first one applied Soul Annihilation).
  • Sungrazer: it has an enchantment which procs on kill-with-crit. Usually that's hard to proc - but with Swift FLurry it's rel. common to kill with a crit. And the following explosion is powerful and also gains from Sneak Attack/Deathblows or would also generate focus. The other enchantment that triggers on x% hits is also great when Swift Flurry procs (additional procs count). Usually it's best to only hit with this weapon then. So it's one of the few cases where one handed style can make sense.
  • Stalker's Patience: it has an enchantment that removes recovery on 20% of crits. If Swift Flurry procs it will remove recovery very often. I had like 5 or more stabby-stabs without recovery sometimes. Also here one-handed style can make sense. Usually it's strictly inferior but here it's ok. 
  • Whispers of the Endless Paths: Offensive Parry procs 100% on melee misses against you. It stacks with Riposte. Both work with Swift Flurry. A Soulblade is especially fun because he can gain focus just passively while "parrying" blows and then burn that focus with a cone attack of Soul Annihilation. But of course the deflection of a Nalpasca/Soulblade wouldn't be too great unless you get Borrowed Instincts. Trickster has an easier time to get high deflection sooner. 

Soulblades can make good use of Tuotilo's Palm - because Soul Annihilation is a Primary Attack- You can use the main hand weapon but will not attack with the (weak) shield bash - yet you keep the recovery bonus from dual wielding. Nalpasca/Tricksters can also make good use of it - with Mirrored Images + shield deflection (especially with the +1 deflection per wound) Riposte can be used and you become even more sturdy.  

Edited by Boeroer
  • Thanks 1

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well @Boeroer, you raised some very compelling arguments.

I will admit, that at first I was more interested in Shadowdancer. Especially, the mobility aspect was a big selling point for me. What I am afraid though, is that between Escape and Mirror Image I will burn through  my resources too soon. Besides, I don't know which of rogues active abilities are worth using (if any), and how it further impact resource economics. More so, I think that up until the very end of the road (Deathblows), Soul Whip is far superior than Sneak Attack. 

Thus being said, my knowledge in that regard is superficial at best. I have a romantic vision of Shadow Dancer jumping around entire battlefind with escape, kicking ass and taking names, riposteing from time to time. The more I was reading in various threads, the more I was sold on theory that Transcendent provides better DPS and more varied playstyle with interesting active abilities. Plus Transcendent not being reliant on finite resources provides nice incentive to use some other armors than Devils of Caroc for once. 

Which sounds awesome but it would suck to invest dozens of hours only to realise that only ability I use is Soul Annihilation and I spend majority of time waltzing around mobs cause god forbid ever being enganed. (though Force of Anguish and Blade Turning should provide some survivalibility). 

Regarding Swift Flurry - I am not by any means hell-bent on it. I was theorycrafting that Mirror Image allowed me to sustain Dance of Death for longer thus accumulate more ACC hence proc Swift Flurry more often. If Lightning Strikes is more efficient I am all for it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sneak Attack scales with Power Level. A level 20 multiclass rogue ends up with 60% Sneak Attack (and 50% Deathblows which doesn't scale). Tricksters get 10% less for Sneak Attack. So that's something to consider when comparing it to Soul Whip. 

Soul Whip is nice, but it doesn't add that much damage as Sneak Attack in the long run. Of couse you can do otehr stuff with it, too.

Not having enough Guile for active abilities is a reasonable concern. The advantage of the Soulblade is that he has unlimitd uses of Soul Annihilation as an active attack - as long as he can damage stuff - on top of the unlimited wounds. I mean threoretically - in a party it's not that bad with a Rogue - but also practically the refreshing resources are a plus, no doubt. 

With a Shadowdancer I usually use the Guile for stuff like Escape, Mirrored Images (if trickster) and stuff like that. Not the strikes so much. The monk side has plenty of replenishable actions like Stunning Surge, Torment's Reach etc.  But yes: you hve to use your guile very economically if your fights turn out to be longer. 

Don't get me wrong with Swift Flurry: it can be a lot more fun that the plain old Lightning Strikes with a melee setup. Once you get Heartbeat Drumming awesome chain procs may happen (Swift Flurry triggering Heartbeat Drumming and vice versa). All in all I think there are only few builds where it is ultimately better - but is sure is more interesting and jawdropping when it works. Just don't be disappointed if it doesn't proc much in the tough fights. Nice thing with a monk is that he can choose which defense to attack: if the enemies fortitude is low he can use Force of Anguish, if deflection is low he can use Stunning Surge. So getting crits is even more likely if you pick the "right" attack. Also on Veteran it is def. more easy to proc it than on PotD.

Your idea with high defenses-->longer Enduring Dance is solid I guess. Might not always work out (not only hits/dmg against deflection remove stacks of Mirrored Images/Enduring Dance but all hits) but in general it should lead to a longer uptime of Enduring Dance. 

The nice thing about Soulblade is that you immediately start with one of the most damaging melee abilities in the game - and a Monk usually has an easy time to refill focus quickly with his other attacks. 

As you can see I would also have a hard time deciding, hehe. :)   

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On Veteran mode Swift Flurry will still be better than Lightning Strikes. LS is only circumstantially better on PotD, but it depends on itemization and build. I mean you can go with the passives, ring of prosperity, potions and such and still have decent hit to crit conversion on PoTD. Meaning you'll crit even if you don't roll a natural crit. Depending on damage output a sinlge proc of SF means more damage than 10x LS. This is because LS is a lash and a SF proc is an additional attack with full benefits from the entire attack including passives, lashes and weapon boni. Even more useful if the weapon boni involve additional things like spell on hit or aoe attack. On Veteran my Shadowdancer with Karabörü instagibbed Menzzago with 1 hit proccing SW and weapon passive. And that's one of the stronges non superbosses in the main game. This char also doesn't have any issues proccing them in the DLC where enemies have even higher defenses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, AeonsLegend said:

Depending on damage output a sinlge proc of SF means more damage than 10x LS.

That is not generally correct. Lightning Strikes is a 15% multiplicative dmg bonus (also includes dmg bonuses, passives and so on - but not other lashes) while a secondary attack roll is somewhat between 0% - 100% dmg bonus depending on the hit quality. If the secondary attack roll is a miss it's obviously 0, a hit won't do the same dmg as the crit before (25% less base damage, maybe even underpenetrate or not overpenetrate) and only after a second crit it's a real 100% overall dmg bonus). If we take the best case and assume 100% and also assume you got maxed out Turning Wheel and some other lash on the weapon then it might be the equivalent of 10 Lightning Strikes. Most of the time it will not be. Maybe more like 5 - 7 on average I guess.

And then the main problem arises: As soon as you don't hit a lot but mostly miss or graze (which can happen a lot if you fight overleveled foes or bosses - e.g. in order to rush equipment) you can't convert hits to crits either - which further limits the use of Swift Flurry. Swift Flurry is a typical "win even faster" ability. If you struggle it won't do much for you - but if you are winning anyways you will win faster. A bit like Bloody Slaughter. This can still be fun no doubt, but as I said it doesn't work so well when you would need it most: in difficult encounters. 

This is all with a "normal" item setup. 

Let's assume you have a weapon without any proc shenanigans and have a crit chance of 50% throughout your playthrough against the entirety of enemies (which is already very high): then Swift Flurry will proc in one third of those crits which means 50/3 = ~17% of all attacks will trigger Swift Flurry. And as I said 50% overall crit rate is quite high. I we assume the above 100% dmg increase (which is not really the case but just to showcase) then we have a 17% overall dmg increase while Lightning Strikes is at 15%. And most of times it will help you to win faster in fights you are winning anyways. 

Again, this is with a weapon/item setup which doesn't proc stuff on hit. 

Now: Swift Flurry becomes very interesting when combined with Heartbeat Drumming and then used with certain melee weapons that have a chance to proc something, preferably some AoE stuff but also stuff that usually has a low chance to proc but he proc is powerful. For example all Battle Axes, Scordeo's Edge, Sungrazer, Lord Darryn's Voulge, Stalker's Patience, St. Drogga's Skull, Karabörü, Marux Amanth and so on. For those weapons Lightning Strikes doesn't do much besides the 15% lash (and that might not even apply to the procs). Swift Flurry however can lead to multiple attack rolls (because Swift FLurry and HBD can proc off each other) with one single action which all have the chance to proc that special effect. That might lead to a Barb/Monk with the Voulge clearing a whole room with one strike (multiple Carnage attacks all applying Static Thunder, crits from the chain proc immediately releasing the charges and so on) - or a Ranger/Monk to proc Sungrazer's Extinction Event + Meteoric(several times) which is devastating as well. Or you get a literal flurry of attacks from Stalker's Patience with no recovery or Blade Cascade from Scordeo's Edge procs a lot more often. Battle Axes will apply Bleeding Cuts with every proc of Swift Flurry with o added recovery which is really nice. Chromoprismatic Staff gets its 5 consecutive attacks i a hartbeat and releases the raw dmg AoE. And so on and so forth. With such weapons I would totally recommend Swift Flurry. Also with Sun and Moon because procs are much more likely with it due to the double attack roll per swing. Even if it's still kind of unreliable the effects when it procs can be so massive and fun that it's absolutely worth it in my opinion.

If you don't use such melee weapons or/and  don't want to subordinate everything to ACC and crit chance (like giving max PER, stacking up crit conversion, debuffing enemies etc.) I would recommend Lightning Strikes - which also pays off earlier in the game. But it hasn't the "jawdrop" potential. There is a lot more "cheesy" potential with Swift Flurry and almost none with Lighning Strikes. That's just more reliable. 

I didn't play Veteran and have no experience with Swift Flurry on that difficulty setting. But it surely works better there than on PotD due to lower defenses.

To be honest even on PoTD I almost always use Swift Flurry (if melee weapons are used) because it's more fun in my opinion. Even if it sucks agaist most bosses. Monks are good against bosses even without it - so no big deal if it disappoints on those rel. rare occasions.    

 
 


 

Edited by Boeroer
  • Thanks 1

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your insight and especially in depth analysis of game mechanics. All things considered, I am gonna make Shadowdancer MC - with Swift Flurry, as apparently it is more fun 😉
Continuing the topic of game mechanics, which stats would you considered worth investing in - and to what degree, which one to dump? I am not going to min-max but I like efficiency and don`t wat to overinvest, needlessly waisting points that schould be distributed otherways.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends a bit on the rough build idea you have and which items you want to use. Generally I would have high PER for more ACC and DEX for speed and also RES if I wanted to stack Deflection and use Riposte and Enduring Dance with Mirrored Images and a shield like Tuotilo's Palm for example. Because every point of deflection has increasing returns. If Mirrored Images etc. ist only there to improve your survivability a bit and you want to dual wield weapons or fists or so then I personally wouldn't invest too much into RES (although getting hit by Arcane Dampener as a Nalpasca is really bad - maybe you still want to raise RES and also INT a bit).

MIG doesn't need to be very high because you have Sneak Attack already and CON doesn't need to be very high if your deflection is good.

By the way: if you use Tuotilo's Palm or an offhand weapon you could think about a Battle Axe + modal in the main hand (at least before getting something else): if you use Full Attacks (like Stunning Surge) mostly then the long recovery of the Battle Axe will be skipped and only the one of Tuotilo's Palm/offhand weapon will count. Makes you attack as fast as without the modal but the damage will be significantly higher (because Bleeding Cuts stack - also with Swift Flurry as I said). Only with Full Attacks though.

 

 

  • Like 1

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I figured that maxing PER is a no brainer.

I have more trouble with DEX though. I stacked it up on my last character like toilet-paper supplies during corona outbreak. I am not really sure was it worth it. My preliminary analysis indicate, that the difference between 15 and 20 DEX is 0,3 sec. recovery time. Depending on armor encumbrance it sometimes translates to 0,1 sec. difference in casting time/ attack animation. (and btw strongly suggests that yet again I'll fall into caring embraces of Devil of Caroc...).

Are those whooping numbers - 0,1/0,3 really worth it? Seems to me like investing in DEX carries diminishing returns. But if so, what is the optimal score? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Increasing DEX has linear returns. Besides that:

Even if a few fractions of a second doesn't seem like much: an increase of attack speed - by let's say 5% - is a 5% multiplicative dps increase. Giving 5 points of MIG would lead to an additive dmg bonus of 15%. Additive bonuses only apply to (weapon) base damage while multiplicative bonuses apply to your overall dmg output. So 5% multiplicative can be way better than 15% additive. Best for dps would be if you raised both of course. 

Besides that higher DEX makes you more reactive which can be more fun. Deadfire's combat is already pretty slow. 

But I think 15 DEX is fine. You also get +5 from Swift Flurry and maybe a few points from items and food or whatever. No need to maximize all preferable stats. If PER is 20, 18 or 17 also doesn't matter that much after a while. Because raising PER ultimately has diminishing returns when it comes to dps, but it depends on your build as well (in this case it's important to stack as much ACC as possible for Swift Flurry) and it also lets you find traps and secrets. If you play with official companions this can be important because most of them don't have high PER. And stepping on traps gives you injuries which is sooo annoying. :)

By the way: there are those things called Berath Blessing points: you get them as achievements when playing the game. They can be used to unlock cool stuff for all next playthroughs - for example +2 to all stats. Or starting at level 4 instead of 1. Or getting a unique vendor who sells special good stuff for a low price (for example a Cloak of Greater Deflection right in Port Make at the beginning of the game). This can help to get your build "clicking" much earlier in the game.

Keep in mind that these are only my personal preferences. Other players may think differently. 

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am aware of Berath's Blessing.

As far as now I avoided using Bonus Attributes. I thought that this one is dedicated for going solo/ PotD and would make game too easy on vet. But if it doesn't change difficulty curve that much I am all for it. 

I never use +4 lvl either. From what I've heard - upward scaling of enemies works only to a certain degree (like 4 levels or so). So I don't want to outlevel those poor bastards too quickly. 

But yeah shopping in Port Maje is pretty much mandatory for some early Boots of Stone or +2 DEX Gloves 😉 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you didn't try monk before, why not try boring old single class? No subclass and Nalpazca work great and are a lot of fun to play. There is also a helwalker blunderbus build floating around the looks pretty awesome. Flagellant's Path and Whispers of the Wind abilities will have you flying round the battlefield like crazy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Prospects of multi classes (in most cases) are just tempting 😉

Whispers of the Wind are tier IX ability. By the time you get there the game is basically over. 

Flagellants Path is tier VI (which is also the "upper half"), consumes Mortification and, in my opinion, starts making sense after upgrade... sooo tier VIII .   

What many years playing RPGs taught me, is that you never plan your build/character for endgame, rather for your way to get there 😉 But that's just my experience. 

All in all, I think that multiclasses were nicely handled in Deadfire. Monks and rogues abilities greatly complement each other providing some interesting early to mid game options and potential power spikes later on. 

 

Edited by whatever369
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the time you get Whispers of the Wind there's still like more than 30% of the game left - at least if you own both DLCs and do all sidequests. 

The nice thing about single classes is that they reach the cool abilities a lot earlier, you get access to awesome abilities (in some cases) and your abilities are more powerful due to higher PL. The advantage of multiclasses is nice synergies, usually more resources and often (positively) frontloaded builds which makes the early/mid game more interesting and fun. 

 

  • Like 1

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

you never plan your build/character for endgame

 

Monk is very strong from start to end and benefits greatly from single class (for example see monk fist level scaling). Only a few levels into the game it becomes highly versatile. It is tough, mobile, dishes out shedloads of damage and allows the player great control over the battlefield. Flagellant's Path is available at level 11, which is still fairly early. I concede that it costs mortification but by level 9 you get to punch baddies in the head for free with Stunning Surge. Its definitely not just for end game 😍

Also consider that the fastest way to generate wounds is to get hit a few times. I wouldn't underestimate the importance of being able to take some punches. Sure, Nalpazca gets 1 wound per 6 seconds when high but that's a drop in the ocean when compared to getting knocked around a bit.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have run a Transcendant (nalpazca/soul blade) [build] and now finishing on Shadowdancer (nalpazca/trickster) with swift flurry and stunning surge, both builds on PotD. And I must admit that total damage and crit/hit ratio speak greately for the shadowdancer.

The malus from trickster is negligable and the defensive capabilities are really good, so much that you can get semi-passive crowd control help (more then capability) with riposte and rooting pain. Now I thing maybe even turning blade might be helpful. 

Also rogue's confounding blind let's you amazingly quickly reduce enemy Deflection and stunning surge can keep even some bosses stunlocked. 

The biggest problem is low will, and that can quite easily be mitigated with items. I'll probably in one or two days upload a build proposition for the shadowdancer but in my opinion it's extremaly fun to play.

 

Edited by Frykas
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...