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So I did a weird thing and I'm not loving it and I'm looking for suggestions on a different direction for the character, which has a lot of promise.

The weird thing: I wanted to make the winter set items (helm, armor, shield, mace, cloak, boots) into an effective equipment set. They mostly reward having afflictions and spreading them to enemies. I decided to make a character build around that idea and then use console commands to give that character the items from the beginning of the game. The character I chose was a Berserker Barbarian / Forbidden Fist Monk Ravager. My thinking was that the passives on both classes would work well with being afflicted: Berserkers confuse themselves, and Forbidden Fists gain wounds and health from hostile effects expiring. The armor gives +5 to all defenses while afflicted, and a weak heal over time and +2 to mig, dex, and con while afflicted. It also has a 1/rest ability that inflicts weakened on the user in exchange for +20% action speed. The cloak gives +5 to all defenses while afflicted. The shield gives 20% graze to miss while afflicted. The mace has a 25% chance to spread a random T1 affliction to a random enemy when the wielder is hit by an affliction and increases affliction duration on nearby enemies by 20% when the user scores a kill.

It was really rough going at first. Now I have left Neketaka for the first time and the build is actually very hardy, in part because I have the Barbarian skill Savage Defiance, which gives the t3 con inspiration, which comes with a good heal over time. And barbarians are good at spreading afflictions around. But it feels like I'm using a ferrari to haul ore. The winter gear has some offensive elements, but is mostly oriented toward defense. That helps make this character a fine main tank for my party on PotD, but his damage is pretty bad, and this is with @Elric Galad's fine balance tweaks improving the barbarian kit. He attacks slowly, the mace doesn't hit especially hard, and as I collect weapons like Wahai Poraga, Amra, and Modwyr, I start thinking wistfully about what the character could do offensively if I left the winter set behind. Sometimes I switch over to Amra and have fun using Frenzy without confusion and dropping big hits on enemies, and I think about all the great two handers out there.

So I'm interested in suggestions for other approaches. This is my only frontline character, so wahai poraga looks like a fun option. One thing I have thought about is trying to use the Forbidden Fist class punch as my offense; I shied away from that early on because incurring more self damage while frenzying was a quick recipe for a dirt nap in the early levels, but it might be more sustainable. And maybe as I get into the higher ability levels (I'm at 4 now), this winter set approach will fill out.

But maybe this was just a dumb idea, the winter set isn't especially fun, and I should just shed all the ice and embrace this character's inner savage with a switch to one of the sexier two handers and some more fun armor options (devil of caroc breastplate is always so tempting on a dual-martial multiclass). Thoughts? What gear does your ravager like? Are there particularly good options I'm missing with my janky winter set approach?

Thanks for reading,

Scrap

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large shield and barbarian seems like an extremely unpleasant mix. barbarians in particular suffer a lot from accuracy penalties due to how carnage works. i'd probably ditch the concept unless you're really dedicated to it.

 

i think large shield + pure forbidden fist might have had better potential, simply because you're so incentivized to invest in resolve that you would be a pretty decent tank and you'd get some wounds out of dodging attacks (on top of a small riposte effect). using the mace would still suck compared to normal monk fists though.

 

i think a straight-up fighter would probably have been better - higher inherent deflection, easy access to an aware or intuitive inspiration to help cancel out the -8 accuracy, plus confident aim, plus armored grace to make the heavy armor less punishing, plus refreshing defenses to really get you up there. it'd be a tanking setup more than anything else.

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Yeah, I think it's conceptually interesting but functionally a mess. I'm not sure the winter gear is really salvageable in terms of being an "I'm always afflicted" set unless you just have your casters keep including you in their debuff aoes. It sounds like you think the way to maximize the set is to play a fighter, who in my experience doesn't need what the winter gear brings to the table in order to be a tank.  It may just be a vanity project where you like the look and so make a Rymrgand fighter. Bummer.

Do you have thoughts about where to take the Ravager gear-wise instead? I really like the class combination when I let go of this concept, but I'm not very savvy with non-weapon choices for barbarians. It seems like barbarians mostly want to increase crit chance (at least based on seeing what their tasty passive powers can do), especially since the balance tweaking mod enabled carnage crits. I'll scan some barb threads for ideas, too.

 

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i don't have experience with a ravager, but in abstract pure fists sounds the way to go. carnage is heavily predicated on base weapon damage, and fists are high base weapon damage (while being very fast). i'm sure there are some stat sticks you could find if you wanted to do fist+something else, but it seems like a waste to go with monk and put on a two-handed weapon

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the funny thing is, it didn't even strike me to combine all the winter gear onto a single character. i end up using most of it, but always spread out across my party.

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Sounds like I was working too hard at the idea of a "set" of gear 😉

I'll try fists. I usually go with weapons because they can come with sexy lashes or on-crit effects or whatever, but I suppose when it comes to delivering a lot of crits in a short period of time, fists will probably be a strong approach due to their frequency and relatively high accuracy.

 

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I wonder if a streetfighter/forbidden fist shadowdancer would have better synergy? You could use fists in the main hand and a blunderbuss in the off hand, and alternate between melee (with the fist) and ranged with the blunderbuss modal on to get flanked/distracted. This would give you wounds as a forbidden fist, and the speed boost as a shadow dancer. Enfeebled from the forbidden fist curse would also enable deep wounds/deathblows. Since you'd stack RES, you'd be tankier than your average shadowdancer, and streetfighter would help you make up the DPS potential you'd otherwise lose with a tankier build. Couldn't really use the large shield tho.

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A Forbidden Fist doesn't need to go Unarmed. When you use his special, he'll do a fist attack regardless of what he's equipped with. 

To me Unarmed doesn't seem like the best choice for a MC monk. The Fist progression is better when you're a SC monk.

Frankly, even for a Ravager I'd probably draw inspiration from Frykas' Shadowdrugon build.

A Barb greatly benefits from crits and a monk also (Swift Flurry procs! - eventually also Heartbeat Drumming).

So for a large part of the game I'd mostly use a rapier offhand (Ranning's Wrath with modal active is +29 Accuracy! - with modal its still similar in speed to normal weapons which have more base damage) and for main hand Scordeo's Edge when it becomes available (+20 Accuracy buff after a few hits? yes, please... not to mention the carnage when Blade Cascade procs). That would maximize the crit chance and Swift Flurry procs. Swift Flurry always triggers main hand attacks btw. (even when caused by offhand).

 

Until you can get Scordeo's Edge, interesting alternatives include Tarn's Respite (particularly good vs bosses due to the Deflection debuff, up to -10 - also helps with crits), Aldris Blade of Captain Crow, Grave Calling (particularly vs Vessels due to +15 Accuracy vs them), Modwyr, Magran's Favor axe (high damage per hit and Bleeding Cuts modal).

 

Don't have Heartbeat Drumming yet and its a Shadowdancer, so damage per hit would be a bit higher due to Sneak attacks, but procs like this are pretty sweet:

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I played some Ravagers. When I use Berserker I wouldn't pick Forbidden Fist (although I love Forbidden Fist). There is one exception though *. Simply because any other Monk besides Shattered Pillar would gain a ton of wounds from Berserker Frenzy. 

In your case the initial idea was nice - but I don't think it can keep up to the sheer amount of wounds you can get from Berserker Frenzy.

For damage, especially against single targets: check out Force of Anguish: it will push your enemy into the Carnage AoE before Carnage is applied - giving the target the initial weapon damage AND Carnage damage on top. It's a nice little detail for Ravagers. 

I think for a Forbidden Fist Ravager I would have used a Furyshaper. The Fear Ward is strong and although it will most likely not benefit from your increased ACC for afflictions (since it's like a summon with its own ACC and attack roll) it will make it even easier to put afflictions on enemies because it lowers Will and Deflection when it hits (and hard-CCs the enemies). 

By the way: with high RES and items that reduce hostile affliction duration you can use Hylea's Talons as a great source of wounds on a Forbidden Fist. The DoT you put on yourself will be very short and once it expires you'll get a wound. Don't know it it counts as affliction but it's good. 

*A nice synergy with Berserker/Forbidden fist: have high RES and items and food which reduce hostile effect duration. Pick the Footsteps of the Beast, then run around confused. You will hobble yourself from your own frosty drop-traps with very short-lived afflictions which will give you a constant stream of wounds while keeping you afflicted. If you combine it with wound spending and Rooting Pain this will interrupt enemies a lot. It also heals a lot (due to FF mechanics) which helps with Berserker Frenzy. And on top of it it fits your theme perfectly well.

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Haplok said:

To me Unarmed doesn't seem like the best choice for a MC monk. The Fist progression is better when you're a SC monk.

MC fist progression isn't as good as SC monk, but SC monk's fist progression is insane, so second-place is still pretty good :)

if you have just one source of bonus generic +PL a MC monk still gets to post-legendary fists (hint: you can just buy foods like shark soup or hot razor skewers at a food vendor in sakuya or in periki's overlook, which give +1 PL in addition to other good bonuses). Even at just "superb" level, they still have an additional +5% dmg, +2 acc, and +1 PEN over comparable superb fast weapons. And the fact that they are "fast" but have the base damage of a slow weapon is essentially equivalent to a +30% lash. unless i desperately want a -25 reflex/will/or fort weapon modal debuff, I would still use those fists over most unique weapons in the game. and like i said, it's really easy for an MC monk to get to legendary scaling, which arguably makes MC fists the best weapons in the game, second only to SC monk fists.

Edited by thelee

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the replies, everybody.

@dgray62, that's a good idea, probably a much better approach to the "winter set" idea than mine. I would instead go blunderbuss/winter shield. You don't need an empty hand for the Forbidden Fist power, so that part of your approach would be unaffected. The gear itself provides quite a decent amount of tankiness, and you could even get some ripostes on ranged attacks with the blunderbuss. It would mean giving up the winter mace, but it's not a great item anyway. I think I'll have to add your idea to my list of character concepts to play. Thanks!

@Haplok, I've seen Swift Flurry cascades before, they're really devastating. I didn't know that offhand hits trigger mainhand Swift Flurries, though; I can see how Scordeo's Edge is very nice in that situation. I hadn't considered dual wielding as a way to maximize weapon-based accuracy buffs, but it makes sense if I'm looking for crits. I think this character has already reconciled the Valeras and the Bardattos, so getting into the Valera vault for Rannig's Wrath might be impossible by now (I think you need the Bardatto vault crackers to get in, right?). I might have to find something else for the offhand.

@Boeroer, I tried self-afflicting with the Cow Hoof Boots, and had two problems. First was that the confusion duration on Frenzy wasn't very long (it diminishes with Resolve, I think, and was much shorter than my frenzy duration), so the window for self-affliction was fairly narrow; I was reluctant to reactivate Frenzy so soon after the last activation because sometimes the only thing that prevents me from picking up an injury is that Frenzy has expired. I may have gone too heavy on Res and Mig :) (Edit: this felt mechanically wrong to me, so I tested. I was wrong. See note below) The second problem was that moving all the time in combat earned me disengagement attacks. Am I not using enough finesse? Maybe there are small steps I can take that won't cause disengagement but will be big enough to self-afflict with the Hoof Heels?

 

Edit: Ok, so why was I seeing confuse drop before Frenzy? It turns out Xoti was dropping Suppress Affliction on me, which is obviously a pretty big problem for this build. I loaded up and was sitting in Furrante's lair in Dunnage, so I attacked the pirates. They quickly dropped my team, and I hit Frenzy and watched. I wasn't dying, so I started fighting back. There are a lot of priests in there, so the fight wasn't going anywhere until they ran out of spells, by which time my Rage had long been depleted. I still wasn't doing enough damage to overcome whatever renewable sources of healing they had until I started abusing Blade Turning, which is a great skill if you have a high deflection and are surrounded by enemies. Furrante absolutely housed himself with a couple of crits, which I thought was funny. Anyway, I think my problem with confuse duration has been cleared up; I just need to reprogram Xoti.

Edited by Scrapulous

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Blade Turning doesn't rely on deflection. As long as it's active you will reflect 100% of melee attacks no matter what. :)

 

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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5 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Blade Turning doesn't rely on deflection. As long as it's active you will reflect 100% of melee attacks no matter what. :)

 

Holy crap! That's stupidly good. I suppose that's why the duration is so short. Thanks for letting me know.

 

Update: I started playing around with the Ravager with other gear setups. It's limited by what I have on hand, of course. I wound up using the Fair Favor hat for 10% hit to crit and +10% crit damage, Necklace of the Harvest Moon for a small recovery speed buff on crit, Devil of Caroc Breastplate, Hylea's Talons, Voidward ring, and Belt of Magran's Chosen. For weapons, I don't have any of the stronger sabres yet, so I took the unlocked Modwyr and the Squid's Grasp rapier.

It was a huge change in the character. Much, much more damage coming out. @Haplok was right about the value of a fast offhand triggering slow mainhand crits with Swift Flurry, and the occasional situation where Swift Flurry triggers itself multiple times is fun. I did get myself knocked out during Frenzy once by the looters in Hasongo, who were all upscaled to one skull mobs, but the upscaled naga, even the big pack guarding the aboveground passage from east Hasongo to west Hasongo was not a problem.

I'm going to rebuild Eder back into a tank and commit to this high-offense approach for the Ravager. Thanks to all of you for the suggestions. This is much more fun to play.

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On 8/1/2020 at 11:53 AM, Scrapulous said:

Holy crap! That's stupidly good. I suppose that's why the duration is so short. Thanks for letting me know.

duration is short and it uses quite a bit of wounds. things like ooblit, the +intellect duality of mortality mode, salvation of time can be extremely good here, on top of being inherently fast (to reduce recovery). it even works when you're fighting one melee enemy solo, they'll just bounce attacks back at themselves. do note that at some point (i think 4.0) it got nerfed so that the moment you move blade turning disappears. it used to be abused against disengagement attacks.

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