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I'm trying to find a 2020 build for a melee damage type character. Most things are for 2018, so I'm not sure if the builds are still good. I'm only going to play on normal mode, so it doesn't matter that much, but I also like to feel like I've made a powerful character. I was thinking fighter, paladin, or barbarian. But wasn't sure on sub-classes or multi-classes. Probably go for two handed weapons. 

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no build ideas here from me, but i would just say that a great-sword-wielding devoted fighter is probably right up your alley. Devoted subclass mitigates the greatsword's greatest weakness (low PEN) and fighter has a ton of useful utility for martial combat. A single-classed devoted would get you some really powerful effects later on (clear out and friends, inspired strike).

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Devoted/Helwalker can be built to great single-target DPS with a great sword too. But you need to have good sources of healing and damage reduction handy cause it can be a risky character.

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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1 hour ago, thelee said:

no build ideas here from me, but i would just say that a great-sword-wielding devoted fighter is probably right up your alley. Devoted subclass mitigates the greatsword's greatest weakness (low PEN) and fighter has a ton of useful utility for martial combat. A single-classed devoted would get you some really powerful effects later on (clear out and friends, inspired strike).

What greatswords would you recommend? My recollection is that there weren't all that many notable ones.

 

1 hour ago, AndreaColombo said:

Devoted/Helwalker can be built to great single-target DPS with a great sword too. But you need to have good sources of healing and damage reduction handy cause it can be a risky character.

Wouldn't Fighter's innate tools be sufficient, given he's not the main tank?

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13 minutes ago, Lampros said:

Wouldn't Fighter's innate tools be sufficient, given he's not the main tank?

Potentially, depending on your playing style. When I played this character, I gave it as many bonuses to healing as possible to crack up Constant Recovery, and kept a Druid in the party for AoE healing. With the right equipment and buffs, it becomes pretty sturdy at high levels.

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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20 minutes ago, Lampros said:

What greatswords would you recommend? My recollection is that there weren't all that many notable ones.

there are actually lots of notable greatswords - perhaps you are confusing it with estocs? In fact, it's only a matter of time before we say "great sword" enough that we summon @Boeroerto talk about Whispers of the Endless Paths in particular, which has tons of great potential (especially with clear out IIRC).

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1 minute ago, thelee said:

there are actually lots of notable greatswords - perhaps you are confusing it with estocs? In fact, it's only a matter of time before we say "great sword" enough that we summon @Boeroerto talk about Whispers of the Endless Paths in particular, which has tons of great potential (especially with clear out IIRC).

 

Name them, name them! As for the Whispers, I never really looked at it due to the reduced based damage...

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Just now, Lampros said:

Name them, name them! As for the Whispers, I never really looked at it due to the reduced based damage...

<putting on my best boeroer impression> whispers has an upgrade that lets you get free attacks if enemies miss against you. that already is pretty good. a fighter with its innately higher deflection, in conqueror stance, with superior deflection, and good resolve and gear could already get you into decent enemy-miss range. if you multiclass with wael/wizard/trickster you could cast some spells to spike up your deflection even higher.

whispers also interacts specially with clear out. Every single enemy in clear out range triggers a whispers attack... and because whispers itself has an aoe, that means you could have multiple overlapping attacks. this effect is a bit easier with a forced-melee aoe blunderbuss (you have to equip a bashing shield  iirc to force blunderbuss to being used in clear out), and works best if you do one of the clear out upgrades to maximize how many enemies you get an aoe attack with.

 

other great swords i've used to good effect in the past:

  • sanguine great sword with good crits (lots of sustain)
  • twin eels (lots of sustain as well, bonus crits, but needs lots of religion)
  • voidwheel (the necrotic lance benefits from weapon bonuses, lash damage is always good)
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Sanguine is also the best-looking one, especially if paired with a certain armor 😏

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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5 minutes ago, thelee said:

<putting on my best boeroer impression> whispers has an upgrade that lets you get free attacks if enemies miss against you. that already is pretty good. a fighter with its innately higher deflection, in conqueror stance, with superior deflection, and good resolve and gear could already get you into decent enemy-miss range. if you multiclass with wael/wizard/trickster you could cast some spells to spike up your deflection even higher.

whispers also interacts specially with clear out. Every single enemy in clear out range triggers a whispers attack... and because whispers itself has an aoe, that means you could have multiple overlapping attacks. this effect is a bit easier with a forced-melee aoe blunderbuss (you have to equip a bashing shield  iirc to force blunderbuss to being used in clear out), and works best if you do one of the clear out upgrades to maximize how many enemies you get an aoe attack with.

 

other great swords i've used to good effect in the past:

  • sanguine great sword with good crits (lots of sustain)
  • twin eels (lots of sustain as well, bonus crits, but needs lots of religion)
  • voidwheel (the necrotic lance benefits from weapon bonuses, lash damage is always good)

 

Thanks for the comprehensive answer! Now you've made me conflicted as I am no longer locked to a dual wield Devoted/Paladin or Devoted/Rogue as my primary melee damage! ;)

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Well done @thelee, but not enough typos! ;)

Clear Out can be pretty nice with Karabörü as well. The cone that it triggers on crit can happen multiple times if you're lucky. 

When going SC Fighter I always pick Clear the Path because its AoE size does not depend on INT and I find it to be pretty awesome in general, especially with weapons that have cone AoEs (WotEP, Karabörü, mortars with Powder Burns).

By the way: mortars/blunderbusses are easy to use with Clear Out etc.: you just need any melee weapon in the left hand. It doesn't matter if bashing shield or dagger or flail etc. 

I would say the most potent Great Sword in terms of single target dmg is Voidwheel, but it comes rather late. 

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4 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Well done @thelee, but not enough typos! ;)

Clear Out can be pretty nice with Karabörü as well. The cone that it triggers on crit can happen multiple times if you're lucky. 

When going SC Fighter I always pick Clear the Path because its AoE size does not depend on INT and I find it to be pretty awesome in general, especially with weapons that have cone AoEs (WotEP, Karabörü, mortars with Powder Burns).

By the way: mortars/blunderbusses are easy to use with Clear Out etc.: you just need any melee weapon in the left hand. It doesn't matter if bashing shield or dagger or flail etc. 

I would say the most potent Great Sword in terms of single target dmg is Voidwheel, but it comes rather late. 

 Does the AoE from Karaboru do friendly-fire?

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Thanks for the advice.

I actually ended up going with a Berserker/Goldpact build using morning stars. Also went Orlan because the super-tiny angry dude using a giant hammer makes me laugh.

 

Not fully optimized, not incredibly bad. But it's fun which matters more than optimization I think. That specific combination wasn't suggested on here but the posts got me thinking about it, so thanks everyone.  Feel bad there was all the talk about greatswords and I went with 'bat with pointy bit on end'.

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12 hours ago, thelee said:

there are actually lots of notable greatswords - perhaps you are confusing it with estocs? In fact, it's only a matter of time before we say "great sword" enough that we summon @Boeroerto talk about Whispers of the Endless Paths in particular, which has tons of great potential (especially with clear out IIRC).

Not sure why you'd mention estocs - there is a ton of fantastic estocs in this game.

In fact, I like them much more then the greatswords. High base Pen coupled with Devoted Pen bonus leads to frequent overpenetration damage bonus.

 

As for melee, I do believe its worth to build such a char on a solid base, such as Fighter or Paladin (or maybe a monk, if more of a striker, a little more risky though). But absolutely it should be a multiclass (again, unless monk maybe). A Rogue is a fantastic melee multiclass, that greatly boosts the damage. Either defensive approach - Trickster or max offense with Streetfighter. Other good combos include a Soulblade Cipher for example.

Barb... personally I'm not a fan (believe they can work - mostly as single class, at top levels or maybe as caster multiclasses). But I hope you enjoy your game.

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11 hours ago, kroonermanblack said:

Thanks for the advice.

I actually ended up going with a Berserker/Goldpact build using morning stars. Also went Orlan because the super-tiny angry dude using a giant hammer makes me laugh.

 

Not fully optimized, not incredibly bad. But it's fun which matters more than optimization I think. That specific combination wasn't suggested on here but the posts got me thinking about it, so thanks everyone.  Feel bad there was all the talk about greatswords and I went with 'bat with pointy bit on end'.

Barbarian + Morning Star is an excellent choice. With Spirit Frenzy you will cause Staggerd with Carnage, lowering enemies' fortitude by 10 points without any additional effort - nearly passively. Add -25 from Body Blows from the Morning Star and Brute Force - and you have a char who always targets the lower of two defenses - and one of them he can debuff by 35 points without any additional resoiurces or action time.

On top of that: lowering enemies' fortitude is so benefical for a lot of potential party members. If you take the Willbreaker (causes -3 Will per hit, stacks) and also pick one yell path (e.g. Barbaric Shout for the additional engagement or Barbaric Roar for the AoE interrupt) you can also lower the Will defense substancially which is also nice for your buddies like Wizard, Cipher and Priest.

That's why - besides uttering "Whispers of the Endless Paths" - you often hear me mumbling about Morning Stars. ;)

Berserker/Goldpact is also a great combo. The very high AR (Thick Skinned + Gilded Enmity and so on) gives you high survivability, Lay on Hands helps with the self damage from Berserker Frenzy, Zealous Focus + Ring of Focused Flames + Flames of Devotion, combined with Berserker's crit conversion leads to great damage outpout and Barbaric Smash can then be a good finisher.

Don't know what you expect from "fully optimized" - I don't think there is THE optimal build for the whole game, just for certain situations - but that is a pretty good, well rounded multiclass choice. 

 

 

1 hour ago, Haplok said:

As for melee, I do believe its worth to build such a char on a solid base, such as Fighter or Paladin (or maybe a monk, if more of a striker, a little more risky though). But absolutely it should be a multiclass (again, unless monk maybe). A Rogue is a fantastic melee multiclass, that greatly boosts the damage. Either defensive approach - Trickster or max offense with Streetfighter. Other good combos include a Soulblade Cipher for example.

Barb... personally I'm not a fan (believe they can work - mostly as single class, at top levels or maybe as caster multiclasses). But I hope you enjoy your game.

My last solo PotD run was with a SC Furyshaper - and it was great. I'm a fan of Barbarians since PoE anyway, but Furyshaper is a fantastic class, especially as single class. The Blood Ward is insanely good and the Fear Ward is very impactful, either. I tried an Unbroken/Furyshaper in order to abuse the terrify-disengage situation and it's great fun (although not in solo - too specialized). Berserker is also very nice - but in my opinion you have to either pair it with something that has high AR and sufficient self healing capabilites (like Chanter, Paladin, Fighter etc.) - or you let a healer constantly rain down HoTs on him. The main appeal of Barbarians is not Carnage anymore but their attack speed (Frenzy, Bloodlust, Blood Thirst). That's not very important in Turn Based mode, so I would assume that Barbs do stink there. Except as SC maybe once you get Barbaric Retaliation and/or Driving Roar or Dazing Shout. 

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5 hours ago, Haplok said:

Not sure why you'd mention estocs - there is a ton of fantastic estocs in this game.

In fact, I like them much more then the greatswords. High base Pen coupled with Devoted Pen bonus leads to frequent overpenetration damage bonus.

 

As for melee, I do believe its worth to build such a char on a solid base, such as Fighter or Paladin (or maybe a monk, if more of a striker, a little more risky though). But absolutely it should be a multiclass (again, unless monk maybe). A Rogue is a fantastic melee multiclass, that greatly boosts the damage. Either defensive approach - Trickster or max offense with Streetfighter. Other good combos include a Soulblade Cipher for example.

Barb... personally I'm not a fan (believe they can work - mostly as single class, at top levels or maybe as caster multiclasses). But I hope you enjoy your game.

The problem of estocs is that it is piercing, and some people simply do not like to switch weapons around all that much. For instance, I am senile, and I would never remember! ;)

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Monk/Wizard and SC Monk would give it a run for its money, I reckon.

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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As always: depends. On difficulty, on play mode, on preferences, on weapon setup, on build. There is no universal "best" melee striker.

Monk/Rogue is very good in general though. Lacks the absolute oomph of Resonant Touch and Whispers of the Wind, but is very impressive during mid game.

Helwalker/Bloodmage has the advantage of infinite Wall of Draining - which is gamebreakingly good because you can prolong all kinds of benefical effects endlessly, including Minor Lay on Hands from gloves. Unlimited healing + wounds all the time + huge AoE + Spirit Lance + endless Merciless Gaze + Swift FLurry and so on and to forth.    

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Just now, Boeroer said:

As always: depends. On difficulty, on play mode, on preferences, on weapon setup, on build. There is no universal "best" melee striker.

Monk/Rogue is very good in general though. Lacks the absolute oomph of Resonant Touch and Whispers of the Wind, but is very impressive during mid game.

Helwalker/Bloodmage has the advantage of infinite Wall of Draining - which is gamebreakingly good because you can prolong all kinds of benefical effects endlessly, including Minor Lay on Hands from gloves. Unlimited healing + wounds all the time + huge AoE + Spirit Lance + endless Merciless Gaze + Swift FLurry and so on and to forth.    

 

I am always turn-based PotD with a full party ;)

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