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1 hour ago, NotBad said:

This game is such a hidden gem of fun, but also in the most frustrating way. I've read thelee's FAQ at least 3 times over

*blush*

 

1 hour ago, NotBad said:

Is there a satisfying AOE martial class that is not a Barbarian? I am guessing a Mortar Monk as another option. Combat is so satisfying sometimes when I blow up a group of mobs, that I keep getting the urge to go all in on that. The Kitchen Stove Thunderous report attack is so satisfying to use.

sacred immolation in the paladin tree doesn't get a lot of love from many people, and it is a very finnicky ability, but for my current run i set pallegina up as a single-classed paladin and invested in that and sacred sacrifice and it has been a blast. the difference between level 12 and level 13 (when a single-class unlocks it) was game-changing for pallegina, went from slow tank, to glass cannon nuker.

i give her ring of focused flame, voidward, and back her up with triumph of the crusaders and sometimes champion's boon. even without champion's boon sacred immolation has such huge inherent penetration that you can melt even relatively hardy foes, and in trash fights, the triumph of the crusaders (coupled with some lucky procs from virtuous triumph) is enough to keep pallegina at full health and do more than a couple casts of the immolation.

paladins also have other aoe effects that might fit into your definition.

 

i think there are also some builds around whirling strikes for ranger, and dpending on your definition of "aoe", rogues can fit in with many different approaches (spells via trickster, aoe abilities like pernicious cloud, deep pockets to hold lots of scrolls and grenades, etc)

 

also if you're extremely patient, a monk with whispers of the wind is technically not "aoe" per se, but you'll still clear an entire battlefield pretty quickly.

Edited by thelee
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There's also the option of a martial wizard multiclass wielding the summoned Citzal's Spirit Lance for aoe damage. Works particularly well with a Fighter's Clear Out (aoe x aoe). A Sage monk multiclass could be nice also.

Edited by Haplok
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Whirling Strikes is very good, but it comes so late that you can't plan an "AoE run" with it since you would play without AoE for the majority of the game. Same problem with all weapons with AoE that come kind of late (like Keeper of the Flame).

SC Mortar Monk is still one the most fun playthroughs I ever had. But SC Streetfighter with mortars or Streetfighter/Arcane Archer Scout are also very nice.

Everything with Citzal's Spirit Lance is fun as well (like the aforementioned Sage or Battlemages).

The Amra Battle Axe has a Carnage-like AoE on crit and you can get it rel. early.

Lord Darryn's Voulge kind of has an AoE capability with Static Charge. 

The Stag's Spiritshift form has a Carnage-like ability, but in the vanilla game it's really bad. If you use the Community Patch it gets altered to a passive that's a bit weaker than Carnage (and stacks with it).

Clear Out and Whirling Strikes also do work with mortars (and then provide AoE*AoE*jumps) if you use a melee weapon in the offhand. The melee weapon unlocks the use of the ability but the ability will still use the main hand with the ranged weapon. 

 

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Posted (edited)

More ramblings and thoughts... I've made it to level 20 now and working my way through Beasts of Winter. I think I only have endgame + dlc left.

 

Outside of Disintegrate, my Cipher has definitely taken a step back damage wise. Amplified Wave just isn't cutting it/spammable enough to have a major impact outside of interrupts.

 

On the other hand, he is a swiss army knife of utility. Mind Plague & Pain Block are now my two most used spells. Driving Echoes has been very useful as well. Mental Binding/Secret Horrors/Phantom Foes still useful as always. Ring Leader is clutch of course when enemies aren't immune.

 

He is having a lot of trouble generating focus on fights with low enemy counts. Specifically a very very early encounter in Beasts of Winter was a real struggle resource wise. If Reaping Knives dropped, I was basically starved, which sucked. The Red Hand is struggling basically, though admittedly, I don't have it Legendary yet because I've run out of Adra and it wasn't a priority/problem until now...

 

I still have a love hate relationship with Aloth (Wizards in general I guess really...). Like, the enemies in Beats of Winter are marked with a clear weakness to fire, fine, but his Fireballs seem to just do nothing! It's really frustrating/confusing. He is both OP sometimes with things like Wall of Many colours + Missile Salvo and Meteor Shower, or just doesn't seem to do anything at all. Some fights are so chaotic with enemies jumping right on top of your backline that I'm still getting lost on what to do with him. Amazing when enemies are bottle necked properly at a choke point, but just terrible when not. He is struggling as a debuffer as well, simply because my Cipher has 75% of that covered, both in effectiveness and diversity. With unlimited resources on debuffs, the Beguiler can brute force through high defenses, whereas Aloth is left waiting for accuracy buffs from Xoti, and then still stumped on what to cast after that. Miasma of Dull Mindness is rarely worth casting because Body Blows + Bewildering Blows + Borrowed instinct is enough versus hard single targets, and not large enough AOE wise versus most mobs.

Arcane Dampener + Arcane Cleanse are of course useful.

I 100% feel like I am overlooking spells or tactics that makes Wizards more then Missile/Meteor Shower monkeys.

 

Xoti is still fine, I am definitely needing to heal less (Pain Block + Greater Lay on Hands just works) and she gets a substantial, albeit slightly boring amount of buffs out now. I wish every fight didn't start with Dire Blessing + Devotions. It's a small complaint, combined with a small nagging doubt about how much she is actually contributing to the party versus another straight up damage dealer. Her biggest felt contribution is enabling Aloth certainly.

Pallegina + Eder are AOK too. I think against large mobs, I need to start using Large Shield model more and just allowing Aloth to nuke straight on top of both of them... These two are carrying extended chaotic fights however.

Edited by NotBad
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Separate question about Chanters...

Is this a class where it looks like you have a million good options, but ultimately end up never using half of those options in favour of options that straight up work better?

I love the idea of things like The Shield Cracks, Not Felled by the Axe, Reny's Daret's Ghost Spake, and a bunch of the Phrases, but I'll be dissapointed if the Chanter basically becomes a Ancient Memory/Aefyllath Ues Mith Fyr, Dragon/Weapon/Eld Nary's curse summoning monkey...

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2 hours ago, NotBad said:

I wish every fight didn't start with Dire Blessing + Devotions

lol, i ended up getting a gaming keyboard that let me create macros, so now i have a few macros set up for the always-start-of-fight-party-buffs. obviously not always an option for people, but it was also my i'm-working-from-home-during-pandemic-because-america-sucks-at-dealing-with-this keyboard so i considered it a productivity investment as well.

 

2 hours ago, NotBad said:

Like, the enemies in Beats of Winter are marked with a clear weakness to fire, fine, but his Fireballs seem to just do nothing!

yeah i always found fireball kind of an underwhelming spell, but it's popular. it's not like in the older games where it would scale generously to higher levels (if you ever played baldur's gate and its ilk). you definitely need to be dropping things like delayed fireball, ninagauth's shadowflame, torrent of flame in late game if you want to keep your damage up. it also doesn't help that beast of winter is the first time you really hit bullet sponges so damage spells in general become less relatively effective. you might want to look at other low level spell options. some good low-level effects you might try exploring:

- slicken (repeating interrupt)

- rolling flame (fire damage, interrupts, in closed areas you can bounce it for multiple hits and interrupts)

- ryngrim's repulsing visage (excellent debuff but you have to be close range)

- kalakoth's minor blights (a way to get ranged fire damage for long times... at level 20 it scales generously to legendary)

- arduous delay of motion (the -33% action speed debuff is rather unique way to make enemies weaker; will stack with dexterity penalties)

 

1 hour ago, NotBad said:

Is this a class where it looks like you have a million good options, but ultimately end up never using half of those options in favour of options that straight up work better?

it really depends on how you set up your character. i rolled a single-class bellower (who uses up all their invocation whenever they use an invocation which means a lot fewer invocations in general) but still had plenty of invocations and chants that i always found a use for, even if it was a situational song i'd switch into for a minority of fights, but it was a lot of advance planning to make sure i wasn't picking up redundant or super niche effects that didn't fit in well.

if for example you only pick up the damaging invocations, you might find yourself preferring one all the time. if you pick up like two damaging invocations and a few buffers, then you'll end up spreading them out.

similar things with chants. if you pick up every single chant, you'll find half of them never get used. but if you focus on picking up some "core" chants, and then some more niche ones you switch into on occasion (the anti-beast, fire, anti-contentration, and various resistance chants are good candidates) you'll get a lot of mileage out of all them.

Edited by thelee
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Do you have Kitchen Stove blunderbuss with Thunderous Report enchant? It's particularly good for Ascendants, but should enable a quick, large injection of Focus 1/combat.

Another really nice weapon for ciphers is the Seeker's Fang rapier from Seeker Slayer Survivor DLC. It also has a nice per-encounter aoe special (Spider's Flurry - stabs everyone 3 times - in a sadly much smaller cone) BUT also is devastating when you have a lot of Focus and good crit rate (it delivers a Disintegrate-like DoT on crit, no save - also works on Spider's Flurry crits and you get 3 opportunities per enemy in range to score one 😄).

As for Wizards and Fireballs, I think such 1 off damage spells are only really practical for Evocation specialists and particularly Assassin/Mage multiclasses, who can boost the Accuracy and crit chance to ridiculous numbers, get another +50% crit damage on top, boost Pen by 4 to almost guarantee overpenetration on crit for another +30%. Even then it takes a lot of Fireballs to bring a bullet spongy enemy down.

Even better when your mage is wearing the Deltro's Cage helm and can crit himself with an Assassinate Chain Lightning to gain a 140% multiplicative damage lash....

The helmet is actually possible on Aloth. Probably not 140 Lightning crits, though. Still, a 80% lash wouldn't be half bad either. Then again, as he's no Bloodmage, I always end up giving him the Grimoire of Vaporous Wizardry for way more casts per encounter and that nearly necessitates the Rekvu's Casque to negate interrupts on him.

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Right, so I really need to start using and exploring different spells with the Wizard. I can do that.

@thelee

I know you are a huge priest advocate, so I might as well grab your knowledge while I can. I am having trouble justifying a full class priest so far for Xoti. I think the Priests buffs are definitely great, but the spells I use most are in tiers I-V, and after then it becomes an action economy issue again.

Dire Blessing -> Devotions ->  CoP - > Interdiction -> Triumph -> Champion's Boon x2, are already a large portion of actions, ignoring recasts and situation specific spells. After that, I do enjoy Shields of the Faithful, Symbol of Eothas & Hand of Weal and Woe, but the bulk of contributions are definitely front loaded and there are still other spells still worth casting as well (Consecrated Ground, Shining Beacon, Despondant Blows, Divine Mark, Spiritual Ally). A Priest just doesn't lack for quality contributions...

I avoided BDD & Salvation of Time (& Ancient Memory) - so that does take away from a single class Priests mid-game power spike. Becoming semi immortal by level 11 and immortal (w/ Cipher) by 13 is obviously busted and not ignorable (unless you choose to ...).

I think it comes down to party comp + perspective I guess. In Xoti's case, Multi with Monk is looking quite appealing now. Endurance dance + Duality of Mortal Presence is also a great level 10 power boost for little to no opportunity cost. Boosted Accuracy to land an empowered Interdiction and a solid boost to INT, MIG, DEX, + 15% action speed to get those critical buffs off faster and longer all seem really great...

 

 


 

 

 

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The high level Priest spells are really good (Symbols, like Xoti's Eothas', as well as that Magran's repeating pillar of flame). The huge Vine is kinda cool also.

Plus when I take a Priest along (which is often), I just can't delay and wait for Devotions and Salvation of Time.

 

Out of low level spells, I find the Circle of Protection real good also - one of my top 3 low level Priest spells, along with Devotions (duh) and Dire Blessing.

Edited by Haplok
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5 hours ago, NotBad said:

Dire Blessing -> Devotions ->  CoP - > Interdiction -> Triumph -> Champion's Boon x2,

i'm actually a little bit less front-loady with buffs. i have like one or two i always cast, but the rest i treat more situationally so i can keep spell slots reserved in case i need something else. it's easy to empty out a priest's spell casts with nothing but buffs, but there are plenty of options.

it may be a little less "optimal" but it feels more fun to play because it's far less rote (it also helps with action economy since i'm not just trying to go down a huge list of spells before combat ends). as an example, i might open early level fights a lot with dire blessing, but by the time i pick up devotions, i might just rely on devotions and only use dire blessing if i need to get rid of or protect myself from blind/disorient. champion's boon i almost always treat conditionally, either to boost up a tank with mob stance, give someone more engagement, or help with penetration. never an all-in buff. even triumph, i don't bother with in easier trash fights, or in really hard boss fights.

regardless of all that a martial priest MC like xoti might have more action economy issues because her bonus spells aren't like skaen or wael which are fast and easily usable (except for harvest), so regardless of what else you do trying to be competent at martial abilities and competent at casting might feel constrained.

 

BDD + Salvation of Time are definitely potentially degeneratively good, but unless you are specifically gearing or metagaming for it is not a particularly huge power spike on its own. I've had plenty of priests that don't rely on that combo that are still plenty effective. and like haplok said there are plenty of SC power spikes.

 

4 hours ago, Haplok said:

Out of low level spells, I find the Circle of Protection real good

I like CoP much better at higher levels. Early on (e.g. right when you unlock it) I find the duration a tad too short, but PL scaling helps make it a good boost in survivability.

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When mentioning Circle as low level spell, I didn't mean that I only use it at low levels :)

It is one my my most used Priest buffs troughout the game.

Edited by Haplok
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12 hours ago, thelee said:
15 hours ago, NotBad said:

Like, the enemies in Beats of Winter are marked with a clear weakness to fire, fine, but his Fireballs seem to just do nothing!

yeah i always found fireball kind of an underwhelming spell, but it's popular.

Nuking against high hp enemies is hard, and really forces a nuker to explore the available spells. Grimoires make this... not easy, but doable at least. Quicksave a game before a tough fight and play through the fight a couple of times with different grimoires to test different spells and how they work for you. Getting to know the wizard spell catalog takes time, but it's rewarding.

I agree with @thelee's spell recommendations for nuking, and I would add something: the anchored ray family of spells are real powerhouses. They seemed feeble to me at first, but they're amazing. They are:

  • AL2: Ray of Fire
  • AL3: Ninagauth's Death Ray (only from grimoire)
  • AL5: Ninagauth's Bitter Mooring

They anchor on the target and do periodic damage to anybody between you. Special note: the Death Ray is foe-only, so you won't hurt your allies with it. These spells tick damage rapidly and will quickly grind down even tough foes, especially if you get all three of them going at once. In my experience they do much, much more damage per cast than spells like fireball, and they keep ticking while you do other things. If you have Deleterious Alacrity of Motion on, you'll be able to reposition efficiently for maximum damage. It's a lot of micromanaging, but it's well worth it in my experience.

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The rays are good, yes. Particularly Death Ray, which deals unblockable Raw damage. 

 

They are even better in Turn Based mode, where they deal same total damage, but compressed into 2 or 3 (Bitter Mooring) ticks. AND if you're an Assasin, they may even not break Stealth when cast (when outside enemy sight radiuses), for a repeated Assassinate bonus. 

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Posted (edited)

Alright, so summarizing everything I’ve learned from the beginning of this thread, here are some team improvements I am making:

- > Eder

Focus change to fit the team dynamic a bit better. Switches between a durable tank for Aloth to nuke on top of, then into a single target DPS for clean up/low body counts/bosses. Thanks @Boeroer for these ideas.

 

Key talents:

Persistent distraction

Adept Evasion

Snake Reflexes

Bear’s Fortitude / Determination / Rapid Recovery / Riposte

Sword & Shield style AND Two Weapon Style

Large Shield Modal

 

Key items:

The Bloody Links -> Patinated Plate -> Blackened Plate Armor/Magnera’s Chain

-> Question: Does the -1 Armor Aura from Blackened Plate Armor mean ALL armor, or just Slash + Crush + Pierce? If no, then I will probably stick to Patinated Plate or Magnera’s Chain. Chain seems nice for the + 10 WILL/FORT + REF, but Patinated Plate is Legendary (saves Adra) and the stun is great for crowds.

Kapana Taga + Cadhu Scalth

Grave Calling + Tarn’s Respite/Beza’s Toothed Blade/Scordeo’s Edge (?) / Reaping Knives

Upright Captain’s Belt -> The Maker’s Own Power (with Dex resistance)

Horns of the Bleak Mother -> Horns of Aurochs


Pretty satisfied with this shift, being able to drop Pull of Eora + Binding Web/Slicken + AOE spells recklessly on top of Eder should really alleviate some of my Wizard issues. It really feels like talents from both classes are being leveraged as well.


-> Pallegina

 

Mid-range Crusader

Steal Serafen’s Hand Mortar + Fire in the Hole, shoot groups with Flames of Devotion (is this a decent idea?). Initially stay out of Aloth’s AOE range, though I am sure she could take a hit or two if needed.

For bosses and enemies that dive my backline, switch to Morning Star + Body Blows and Mule Kick the crap out of them.

Tactical Barrage over Disciplined Strikes for larger AOE & durations.

Fit in Reinforcing Exhortation -> relieve some buff pressure from Xoti so she can better prioritize some higher level spells/buffs in her rotations.

Into the Fray to help pull off enemies from the backline?

I am still considering a Herald, but really reluctant because trivialising fights with unlimited healing isn’t my schtick. It’s hard not to be tempted by And Hel-Hyraf Crashed, Not Felled by Axe, Weapon summons and Aefyllath Ues Fyr however.

 

-> Xoti

No changes, I’ll stick with and give single class Priest another go and work on being more flexible with spells. Alleviating the self-imposed urgency on some buffs by spreading them out will help as well.

 

-> Aloth

READ MY SPELLS. I’ve derped here big time and didn’t realise a lot of the spells I was casting were really low penetration spells (e.g. Fireball as one example). Thanks @thelee for pointing this out.

From what I can see:

Ghost blades, Rolling Flame, Torrent of Flame, Crackling Bolt and Chain Lightning are the only PEN 9 spells?

 

So the second important takeaway is:

BUFF Aloth’s penetration! I openly admit, for whatever weird reason, it never occurred to me as a priority to buff his penetration. 20 levels in, and I probably never thought to cast Champion’s Boon or Driving Echoes on him, ever. Full. On. Derp.

The priority then changes to getting Champions Boon on Aloth/Pallegina, instead of Eder/Pallegina. Alternatively, a buff sequence of Valorous Echoes -> Driving Echoes on Aloth, Reaping Knives on Eder (later, when needed), and leaving Xoti to focus on Devotions, CoP, Champ’s Boon (Pallegina), Symbol of Eothas, Interdiction etc. leaves a nice balance between party member responsibility, and a clean approach to dealing with penetration on all members.

The third takeaway from Aloth is more spells like Slicken etc. which I admit is heavily under used by myself. I think having Eder as a beacon for these spells is going to help a lot. Thanks @Scrapulous for pointing out Ninagauth's Death Ray being Foe only. I foolishly auto assumed it wouldn't be party friendly.

 

-> MC

At my third playthrough, I am torn between trying something new, versus perfecting what I have. I definitely appreciate the Beguiler more now as a swiss army knife of utility then trying to pigeon him into any one role. He brings a little bit of everything to the party and really balances things out. I both can’t imagine playing without one, but this game also lends itself to so many interesting possibilities!

Edited by NotBad
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2 hours ago, NotBad said:

Ghost blades, Rolling Flame, Torrent of Flame, Crackling Bolt and Chain Lightning are the only PEN 9 spells?

PEN 9 is about as high as a spell normally gets. Keep in mind though that spells have higher PEN than the base listed effect due to ability-level scaling - the higher tier a spell is, the higher an inherent bonus it has to PEN, to the tune of +.5 per tier past one. So a PEN 7 tier 5 spell should have by default an additional +2 PEN on top of its base PEN 7 and any other PL scaling (using spellshaping to shrink the area of effect of a spell will give you an additional .25 PEN in addition to other bonuses, and depending on the sitaution that could mean bumping you up a penetration level).

edit - i mentioned that sacred immolation has stupidly high PEN, and it's because not only is it a PEN 9 effect, but it also gets an additional +3 PEN just from that tier-based scaling. plus scion of flame and PL scaling I generally don't have any PEN problems in many fights (14 fire PEN) without needing to worry about champion's boon or other such pen boosts.

 

also make sure you are picking up the various elemental PEN talents, if you use them a lot. the +1 PEN can make a huge difference.

edit: minoletta's piercing burst has abnormally high PEN, at base 15. in some cases that's enough to get an additional +30% damage bonus on its already decent dmage just from overpenetration.

Edited by thelee
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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, thelee said:

PEN 9 is about as high as a spell normally gets. Keep in mind though that spells have higher PEN than the base listed effect due to ability-level scaling - the higher tier a spell is, the higher an inherent bonus it has to PEN, to the tune of +.5 per tier past one. So a PEN 7 tier 5 spell should have by default an additional +2 PEN on top of its base PEN 7 and any other PL scaling (using spellshaping to shrink the area of effect of a spell will give you an additional .25 PEN in addition to other bonuses, and depending on the sitaution that could mean bumping you up a penetration level).

edit - i mentioned that sacred immolation has stupidly high PEN, and it's because not only is it a PEN 9 effect, but it also gets an additional +3 PEN just from that tier-based scaling. plus scion of flame and PL scaling I generally don't have any PEN problems in many fights (14 fire PEN) without needing to worry about champion's boon or other such pen boosts.

 

also make sure you are picking up the various elemental PEN talents, if you use them a lot. the +1 PEN can make a huge difference.

edit: minoletta's piercing burst has abnormally high PEN, at base 15. in some cases that's enough to get an additional +30% damage bonus on its already decent dmage just from overpenetration.

@thelee Mind blown as usual haha. Yes, I am getting the elemental PEN talents on Aloth, I take Lightning, Fire and Frost.

So if understand right, that makes Kalakoth's Freezing Rake roughly PEN 10 base, but Chain Lightning 11, which is the same amount Meteor Shower has at tier IX? Delayed Fireball is then also a bit better then I thought, at PEN 10 as well?

In which case, it's less about finding high PEN spells and more about avoiding low ones in low tiers (AKA Fireball, which would be PEN 8 ) and really paying attention to high ones in high tiers.

Was I correct in assuming Blackened Plate Armor lowers all armor? Ditto with any other effect?

Got time to test it myself, and yes it lowers all armor.

 

There has got to be some cool multiclass badass frontline pirate themed Chanter who wears the black plate, sides with the Principi and terrorizes the Deadfire in a certain ship.

 

Edited by NotBad
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Summon spells are good. Maura's Writhing Tentacles work wonders for crowd control. The description is misleading, they don't hit friendlies. They have a lot of HP so they rarely die before the summon expires, and they attract a lot of aggro. Every attack is 3 aoe hits and they can immobilize multiple enemies. The Substantial Phantom dishes out a lot of damage and casts Arduous Delay of Motion.

Its been said, but big, slow bruisers and pasty, noodle-armed casters are practically begging for a Slicken to ruin their day.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Just completed FS, and only have SSS to go now (my third playthrough...)!

I'm still terrible at using consumables, but this round, at minimum I was making sure I was always rested with Crusted Swordfish and Hot Razor Skewers. I think I even used potions a few times...

My latest mistake was then using Champion's Boon on characters with the food buffs, thinking I'd get another +2 PEN, but I later realized they don't stack. Whoops. That was OK though, Xoti got a lot more mileage out of different spells this round, since the only super necessary ones were Devotions + Dire Blessing.

Aloth was a AOE monster pretty much all game. Crusted Swordfish + Driving Echoes was key, as well as paying attention to spells with higher base PEN. Setting up Eder as a Reflex tank was also sublime. Highly, highly recommend this to new players. He could tank almost everything Aloth threw at him.

I was sometimes still lost about what to cast against single targets, and still struggle balancing low level buffs versus reserving spells for things like Slicken etc. I also haven't really been struggling on fights anymore, so it's probably moot at this point.

Some of those final FS fights were freaking chaotic however. The final boss and the yellow Imp gave me the most challenge. I again mostly put this down to not using consumables properly though or not switching to Crossbows like I trained everyone in for interrrupts........ I really hate that the only good crossbow in the game is locked behind a quest choice I will never make, ever.

My MC Beguiler was pretty much spamming Pain Block, Driving Echoes on Aloth, and Ancient Memory. One disappointing part about these fights were the shear amount of immunities and resistances enemies had. I had to adapt from the ole strategy of spam all the debuffs with my MC, which is OK of course, a challenge is a challenge. In light of both fixing Aloth as a damage dealer and enemy immunities however, my MC didn't necessarily feel less relevant, but definitely felt more like an enabler and support to everyone else. Even dominating enemies in FS was finicky. Harder fights seemed to have enemies more spaced out for Ring Leader to shine and Puppet Master just wasn't super impactful when every enemy was both numerous and deadly(ish) and the bosses are (rightfully) immune.

A few more questions of course :) Sorry if some of my questions might seem obvious. I mostly just want to discuss/affirm my experiences with people who also enjoy the game as much as I have.

1) I did diplomacy + insight for my MC. Diplomacy seemed mostly useful for avoiding fights, which in hindsight, I probably didn't really want to do anyway. There seems to rarely be any major reward for avoiding a fight outside of pure RP reasons. The best outcome I had from it was getting into Ori o Koiki super early to purchase a certain ring there and complete Aloth's quest super early as well. Insight also seemed mostly story related, but the revelations it unlocked aren't a surprise anymore.

I guess I am asking for confirmation that skipping diplomacy + insight is probably OK next round? I can't think of any item that can be missed without it, or even any quest that you might really really want to solve peacefully that can't be done so in another way. The whole schtick of diplomacy basically feels more like quest shortcuts, which to me, has always been a odd outcome in a game where my goal is to be entertained by content, not skip it.

2) There really is no good replacement for Devotions of the Faithful is there? I'm not stuck thinking it's a mandatory for every play through, but no other class gives a universal AOE accuracy buff does it? Outside of PER Inspirations I mean.

3) Before FS, Adra Ban was a real choke point. So much so, I avoided upgrading the Red Hand to Legendary, just because it wasn't a priority over everything else. Eventually I switched to Veilpiercer, since it was inherently Legendary, and I didn't have to worry about pierce immune enemies anymore. Purging Volley, Supressing Shots and Weightless Draw all seem fantastic as well. After FS, however, that choke point is no longer there. Should I stick with Veilpiercer, or is there another ranged weapon I should be looking at? I'd prefer a dual damage type, because my second slot is filled with the Kitchen Stove + Mordwyr.

Ditto with Eder actually. I defaulted to Grave Calling + Rust's Poignard for Adra Ban reasons, and they both certainly seem good enough to me. Now that options are more open though, is there some better combinations for single target damage? He uses Kapana Taga + Cadhu for mobs.

 

Double and triple thanks again to everyone who has replied :)

Edited by NotBad
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8 hours ago, NotBad said:

I guess I am asking for confirmation that skipping diplomacy + insight is probably OK next round? I can't think of any item that can be missed without it, or even any quest that you might really really want to solve peacefully that can't be done so in another way. The whole schtick of diplomacy basically feels more like quest shortcuts, which to me, has always been a odd outcome in a game where my goal is to be entertained by content, not skip it.

TBH most of the passive skills are like that. half of them do probably have a super hard high check involved to bypass some hard fight which--if you don't care about a specific way to finish quest or aoiding fights--is not really a big deal. Survival is probably the most useful because of all the survival checks in scripted interactions, but beyond that I find them mostly useful if I want some synergy with items (religion, history, metaphysics, etc. diplomacy does have a synergy but it's a club that doesn't seem particularly great to me)

 

8 hours ago, NotBad said:

2) There really is no good replacement for Devotions of the Faithful is there? I'm not stuck thinking it's a mandatory for every play through, but no other class gives a universal AOE accuracy buff does it? Outside of PER Inspirations I mean.

devotions is indeed pretty special. Paladin's zealous focus aura comes closest, but only with a +5 acc (upgradable to a 5% hit to crit as well). don't forget that devotions also gives every ally +4 might, and also debuffs enemies for -10 acc and -4 might, which just makes it super. i am still honestly perplexed of people back in the day when devotions used to be a 20 accuracy up or down change who thought that wasn't utterly broken.

these days i will make priests who don't pick up devotions, but it's mostly just to do something different. don't get me wrong, other tier 4 spells are still pretty good, it's just devotions is obviously very good.

 

8 hours ago, NotBad said:

After FS, however, that choke point is no longer there. Should I stick with Veilpiercer, or is there another ranged weapon I should be looking at? I'd prefer a dual damage type, because my second slot is filled with the Kitchen Stove + Mordwyr.

with your second slot already taken i think veilpiercer is a perfectly fine weapon to have. the area cleansing effect can be a life saver in some of the final fights you have (especially in SSS).

 

8 hours ago, NotBad said:

Ditto with Eder actually. I defaulted to Grave Calling + Rust's Poignard for Adra Ban reasons, and they both certainly seem good enough to me. Now that options are more open though, is there some better combinations for single target damage? He uses Kapana Taga + Cadhu for mobs.

if you plan on doing some megabosses i am a big fan of shattered vengeance over kapana taga - kapana taga has -1 PEN and compensates by doing two different damage types, but i find most of the times I don't care about the secondary damage type i just would switch if blunt isn't enough. shattered vengance can also get you bonus engagement (it is also super on a non-tank since it can be upgraded to grant you immunity to engagement). however if you don't plan on doing megabosses, i'm not sure there are enough bullet sponges left to make it worth switching out and upgrading (pretty much just a few fights and final boss in SSS and then the endgame), since by this point you are probably beefed up enough to shred trash mobs without the need for the shattered vengeance damage buff.

does eder have flail proficiency? flails can be pretty handy, and there's a particularly good religion-powered flail in SSS that would be excellent for mobs.

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10 hours ago, NotBad said:

2) There really is no good replacement for Devotions of the Faithful is there? I'm not stuck thinking it's a mandatory for every play through, but no other class gives a universal AOE accuracy buff does it? Outside of PER Inspirations I mean.

Yeah, it's a very good spell. It's a Priest buff/debuff that lives outside the affliction/inspiration system, and it hits the two stats that essentially everybody wants. It's great.

My typical Priest buff cycle for offense on PotD difficulty goes: Dire Blessing, Devotions for the Faithful, and Shining Beacon, another AL4 spell that does amazing work. It attacks will, is foe-only, has a meaty base AoE, and it drops 10 from all defenses and applies a burn DoT. The DoT is just a nice bonus. But between Devotions and Shining Beacon, nobody in the party has trouble connecting with their abilities. If there are high-will enemies in the room I'll have a wizard self-buff accuracy and then drop a Miasma of Dull-Mindedness to drop their mental stats by 10 before the Beacon.

Also, I thought you could buy Adra Ban? Stores refresh over time, but I don't know for sure if Adra Ban is something that refreshes. I admit to being a little lazy about upgrading my gear, so I'm not very qualified to answer your third question, sorry.

Thanks for sharing your play experiences, it's fun to see how people play with the feedback they get here.

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29 minutes ago, Scrapulous said:

Also, I thought you could buy Adra Ban? Stores refresh over time, but I don't know for sure if Adra Ban is something that refreshes

i think adra ban (and a few other mats) are not on any vendor loot tables, so you can never buy them.

maybe that's a bug or something, because i can't believe that the same materials you use to upgrade most things to legendary are also an element for some medium-high level potions and scrolls... they really ought to warn you when you craft a scroll of revive the fallen or potion of improved arcane reflection "WARNING are you sure you want to use 1/2 or 1/4 of one of like four-five legendary upgrades on this not even that powerful one-use item???"

 

edit - some items don't use adra ban to go up to legendary but use sapphires or emeralds or rubies; these are also not on vendor loot tables iirc, but they are so common from drops and loots that it's not too much of a concern (i've even used them to craft scrolls and bombs without feeling like i'm running out). given how *many* more legendary upgrades require adra ban, it really does seem like something got missed in some loot balancing.

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2 hours ago, thelee said:

i think adra ban (and a few other mats) are not on any vendor loot tables, so you can never buy them.

maybe that's a bug or something, because i can't believe that the same materials you use to upgrade most things to legendary are also an element for some medium-high level potions and scrolls... they really ought to warn you when you craft a scroll of revive the fallen or potion of improved arcane reflection "WARNING are you sure you want to use 1/2 or 1/4 of one of like four-five legendary upgrades on this not even that powerful one-use item???"

 

edit - some items don't use adra ban to go up to legendary but use sapphires or emeralds or rubies; these are also not on vendor loot tables iirc, but they are so common from drops and loots that it's not too much of a concern (i've even used them to craft scrolls and bombs without feeling like i'm running out). given how *many* more legendary upgrades require adra ban, it really does seem like something got missed in some loot balancing.

At minimum Emeralds are on the loot table, and I am pretty sure Saphire and Rubies are as well. They are sold by the Dimesa in the Treasure Trove.

My biggest trap as a noob was actually following builds for my characters + companions verbatim, then 3/4's of the way into the game, finding out I don't have enough Adra Ban to get all the build "necessary" items I wanted to Legendary (which may or may not matter, but from a noobs eyes, it felt like I trapped myself/failed).

A good example of this is the popular Pallegina companion build, Tuono e Fulmine.

It's 8 Adra Ban alone to get her weapon setups to Legendary. That's a huge chunk of your limited amount, and new players don't know that. Maybe it's okay to leave the Blunderbusses at Superior? As noob, I didn't know those answers.

It's a weird tension as well, because Armor needs Adra Ban to get to superior. So things like Miscreant's Leather, Maia's Armor, and Aloth's Armor are good, but if you forgo using Adra Ban on them, they are stuck at Exceptional. Again, on PotD, it might not actually matter, since mobs are probably over penetrating anyway, even if you took these up to Legendary, but in a noobs eyes, having items sit at exceptional was just not acceptable for my noob brain. In reality, saving that Adra Ban for Legendary Weapons is probably more important. 

I quickly learned in subsequent playthoughs that Armors that are native Superb+ and weapons that are native Legendary are sometimes more valuable then they look, especially in the early game.

In some sense build guides almost need disclaimers to new players. They are a natural source of guidance to new players, in what can be a very confusing game, but the guides themselves can be very contextual and self centered when viewed in both a party context and outside of the late game.

Edited by NotBad
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2 hours ago, Scrapulous said:

Thanks for sharing your play experiences, it's fun to see how people play with the feedback they get here.

I'm so glad to hear that! I enjoy sharing. Just being on a forum instead of reddit alone is a huge nostalgia trip for discussion.

I've learnt a tonne and even if I still feel dense sometimes, I at least now know why I am dense/stubborn because of everyone's advice. E.g. consumables. I swear I will use them properly one day.

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28 minutes ago, NotBad said:

I've learnt a tonne and even if I still feel dense sometimes, I at least now know why I am dense/stubborn because of everyone's advice. E.g. consumables. I swear I will use them properly one day.

it's not your fault, it really is a game design trap. someday someone will design a game system where using consumables doesn't trigger people's instinctual hoarding instinct. i got used to using up consumables in poe/deadfire, i just started pathfinder: kingmaker and i'm falling into the (not-using-) consumable trap all over again. some instincts die hard, i guess :)

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But but but I might need them later!

It's a reasonable player instinct, though. Is the game harder early, or late? You can't know. Will this potion turn out to be the magic bullet in a specific fight? You won't be sure until you've played the game through a couple of times. The Adra Ban discussion highlights a great example. What's the actual precious material? Surely it can't be this one that's used to upgrade my weapons to middle-tier.

 

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