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17 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

A non-Soulblade Cipher can cast Ring Leader from stealth and out of combat at lvl 18. Level 17 if he takes the passive Greater Focus. 

An Ascendant can reach that point at lvl 14 due to his increased maximum focus. 

Picking Keen Mind doesn't help in this special case (in RTwP at least) because the +10 "starting" focus only gets added once combat starts.

So if your Cipher is supposed to cast opening CC from stealth in order to initiate combat he should be an Ascendant I think.

Awesome; thanks!

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On 10/24/2020 at 6:06 AM, Lampros said:

Conversely, I am taking a lot more damage on my characters than I am used to, because there are more attacks coming in my direction than before - which brings up the second issue. Namely, the widening of the graze range meant that even my tanks have a hard time surviving. For instance, my main tank had a Deflection of over 100, I think, by level 5 or so. But the AI was hardly ever missing him, because of the outrageous graze range.

I think your tanks aren't sturdy enough... Their defenses should be high enough to reduce the critical chance of the enemies at least to single digits (to avoid over penetration from crits), while the biggest chunk of the damage should be reduced by their armor (the enemies should always have their damage reduced by 75% when they hit them). With your party you can easily achieve very high armor (brigandines+Woodskin+Pain Block) and your tanks have enough passive healing to become immortals (Exalted Endurance+Ancient Memory+Pain Block). Also don't forget to use Shield Wall when facing ranged attackers... You also have summons and your ranger's pet (a bear can become pretty sturdy too if you have one) at your disposal to take care of the enemies who manage to pass your tanks. 

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5 hours ago, Kaylon said:

I think your tanks aren't sturdy enough... Their defenses should be high enough to reduce the critical chance of the enemies at least to single digits (to avoid over penetration from crits), while the biggest chunk of the damage should be reduced by their armor (the enemies should always have their damage reduced by 75% when they hit them). With your party you can easily achieve very high armor (brigandines+Woodskin+Pain Block) and your tanks have enough passive healing to become immortals (Exalted Endurance+Ancient Memory+Pain Block). Also don't forget to use Shield Wall when facing ranged attackers... You also have summons and your ranger's pet (a bear can become pretty sturdy too if you have one) at your disposal to take care of the enemies who manage to pass your tanks. 

I am not having issues with crits though; it's that there are so many grazes, and even they add up.

I am planning on a lot of the changes you are suggesting when I re-run though. For instance, I should increase their armor from leather or mail to brigandine at the start. I neglected to use the pet completely as a Ghost Heart; and I will change that too. I may also switch Exalted Focus to Exalted Endurance.

Also, what do you mean by "Shield Wall"? Is that a particular class ability?

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29 minutes ago, Lampros said:

Also, what do you mean by "Shield Wall"? Is that a particular class ability?

The correct name would be "The Wall" - it's the modal that you get when picking the weapon proficiency for large shields. It's one of the best (if no the best) modal for tanks because it makes ranged attacks and AoE damage almost meaningless due to the hefty dmg malus (that stacks with the ones from grazes and underpenetration). I suspect often it's all the high PEN shots of enemy rogues/rangers and such that will bring down your tank, not so much the melee attackers. Leather armor on a tank is not sufficient at all. Def. put all AR you can get on a tank. 

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7 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

The correct name would be "The Wall" - it's the modal that you get when picking the weapon proficiency for large shields. It's one of the best (if no the best) modal for tanks because it makes ranged attacks and AoE damage almost meaningless due to the hefty dmg malus (that stacks with the ones from grazes and underpenetration). I suspect often it's all the high PEN shots of enemy rogues/rangers and such that will bring down your tank, not so much the melee attackers. Leather armor on a tank is not sufficient at all. Def. put all AR you can get on a tank. 

Thanks; I didn't even realize shields have modals. (You can tell how rarely, if ever, I used them in the past!)

Edit: Regarding armor, I had such huge Deflection numbers that I thought armor wasn't needed. But the graze range is so large in turn-based!

Edited by Lampros
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57 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

The correct name would be "The Wall" - it's the modal that you get when picking the weapon proficiency for large shields. It's one of the best (if no the best) modal for tanks because it makes ranged attacks and AoE damage almost meaningless due to the hefty dmg malus (that stacks with the ones from grazes and underpenetration). I suspect often it's all the high PEN shots of enemy rogues/rangers and such that will bring down your tank, not so much the melee attackers. Leather armor on a tank is not sufficient at all. Def. put all AR you can get on a tank. 

Well, my Eder successfully used Gipon Prudensco leather in Turn Based (plus Tuotilo's Palm to avoid Accuracy penalty, get another mini-riposte chance and have the small shield modal for +15 ACC after a melee miss). High Deflection helped rack the Riposte attacks. Then again my main was a Bloodmage/Assassin that had a lot of alpha strike/CC potential.

Having most of the enemy forces initially paralyzed for 1-3 rounds when combat starts is huge...

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Just now, Haplok said:

Well, my Eder successfully used Gipon Prudensco leather in Turn Based. High Deflection helped rack the Riposte attacks. Then again my main was a Bloodmage/Assassin that had a lot of alpha strike/CC potential.

Yes, part of the problem is that I still haven't learned to take advantage of the "surprise round." Perhaps I don't micro-manage things well.

What was your party composition?

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Gipon Prudensco is a padded armor. ;)

And obviously it's an exception because it has some very good unique enchantments that help with tanking (giving you more deflection AND immunity to flanked which means 1 more AR and 10 more deflection than a char who gets flanked) and also comes legendary. 

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10 hours ago, Kaylon said:

I think your tanks aren't sturdy enough... Their defenses should be high enough to reduce the critical chance of the enemies at least to single digits (to avoid over penetration from crits), while the biggest chunk of the damage should be reduced by their armor (the enemies should always have their damage reduced by 75% when they hit them). With your party you can easily achieve very high armor (brigandines+Woodskin+Pain Block) and your tanks have enough passive healing to become immortals (Exalted Endurance+Ancient Memory+Pain Block). Also don't forget to use Shield Wall when facing ranged attackers... You also have summons and your ranger's pet (a bear can become pretty sturdy too if you have one) at your disposal to take care of the enemies who manage to pass your tanks. 

 

5 hours ago, Lampros said:

I am not having issues with crits though; it's that there are so many grazes, and even they add up.

I am planning on a lot of the changes you are suggesting when I re-run though. For instance, I should increase their armor from leather or mail to brigandine at the start. I neglected to use the pet completely as a Ghost Heart; and I will change that too. I may also switch Exalted Focus to Exalted Endurance.

Also, what do you mean by "Shield Wall"? Is that a particular class ability?

 

this is a minor detail/possible brainstorming point, but what kind of armor do you have your tanks on? it's hard getting a clear picture of your gear.

one problem with PotD scaling and item balancing is that heavy armor is relatively uncommon, and you start getting mundane heavy armor when you have already started getting magical light and medium armor. this is a problem because on PotD the +2 PEN enemies get for free means that heavy armor itemization is effectively no real improvement over medium armor in terms of damage mitigation. you need to go out of your way to get fine and exceptional heavy armor ASAP, and make sure you are keeping up with game progression (e.g. use non-PL scaling as a goal i.e. fine at level 5-8, exceptional at 9-12, etc) and rock some additional stuff (e.g. hardy inspiration, potions of spirit shield, etc.) to actually get decent mitigation.

obviously i don't have much experience with turn-based, but on PotD a melee character with appropriate heavy+ armor (a buff or enemy debuff plus e.g. generic tank with appropriately scaled heavy armor, or a stalker with above-curve medium armor [because stalkers get an additional +1 AR]) is basically unkillable unless i get really unlucky with the damage types in the fight.

Edited by thelee
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6 minutes ago, thelee said:

 

 

this is a minor detail/possible brainstorming point, but what kind of armor do you have your tanks on? it's hard getting a clear picture of your gear.

one problem with PotD scaling and item balancing is that heavy armor is relatively uncommon, and you start getting mundane heavy armor when you have already started getting magical light and medium armor. this is a problem because on PotD the +2 PEN enemies get for free means that heavy armor itemization is effectively no real improvement over medium armor in terms of damage mitigation. you need to go out of your way to get fine and exceptional heavy armor ASAP, and make sure you are keeping up with game progression (e.g. use non-PL scaling as a goal i.e. fine at level 5-8, exceptional at 9-12, etc) and rock some additional stuff (e.g. hardy inspiration, potions of spirit shield, etc.) to actually get decent mitigation.

obviously i don't have much experience with turn-based, but on PotD a melee character with appropriate heavy+ armor (a buff or enemy debuff plus e.g. generic tank with appropriately scaled heavy armor, or a stalker with above-curve medium armor [because stalkers get an additional +1 AR]) is basically unkillable unless i get really unlucky with the damage types in the fight.

I only played up till level 8; and I got to level 8 primarily by running around and picking up XP for discovering locations. So I haven't had the opportunity to pick up high-end stuff. So my tank only had the mundane mail (7 armor?) he had from level 1, LOL! But how do you get those high-end armor at low levels? I guess I am supposed to steal the Devil of Caroc armor? Not enough Stealth/Mechanics - which is one reason I am restarting, among others.

But the biggest issue isn't that I am getting crits or even regular hits a lot; I've played PotD in the normal mode, and I've had no problem there with the same set-up. The issue is that everything is at least grazing, and even grazes add up given the equalization of the action economy; so I need to re-tool a bit and add more AoE and/or CC.

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8 minutes ago, Lampros said:

So I haven't had the opportunity to pick up high-end stuff. So my tank only had the mundane mail (7 armor?) he had from level 1, LOL! But how do you get those high-end armor at low levels? I guess I am supposed to steal the Devil of Caroc armor? Not enough Stealth/Mechanics - which is one reason I am restarting, among others.

yeah, 7 is not going to protect your tanks.

typically i have to steal better gear (at that level you can find some exceptional medium armor which almost fills the same hole, sometimes even better since its weaknesses and recovery penatly aren't as bad as mundane heavy) or blow all my money at e.g. mahiri to get fine heavy armor. but even mundane brigandine (available in port maje) isn't great because its weakness is pierce, which IME means my tanks get shot down real fast from the almost-unfair ranged rogues at the early stages of the game.

Edited by thelee
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as a thought experiment, typically melee weapons range from 6-8 PEN mundane. at PotD they get +2 by default. 7 armor might as well be 0 for all the protection it's going to give your tanks (not quite, because of overpenetration). exceptional medium or mundane heavy may give you a small -25% damage mitigation or so, but if you can really get above the curve you can typically get the bulk of your damage to -50 to -75%, which will do wonders for your survivability, especially if those attacks also graze.

 

edit - to add, based on what kaylon is saying, and your experience (esp TB), and my experience (lots of rtwp potd), part of hte problem is that you're not getting the damage mitigation you need. grazes can add up, but a -50% graze malus on top of a -50% or -75% AR malus is a vanishingly small amount of damage.

 

edit 2 - for additional CC, consider daze (wizard and priest have tier one spell sources). -4 PEN will help you a lot.

Edited by thelee
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also another thing is - i don't know when the alst time you playd potd rtwp was, but kind of what elohnin was saying is that 1-8ish is the hardest part of the game honestly. even on RTWP it can be extremely brutal because the encounter scaling/balancing early on is brutal and you don't have plenty of options. these days i have a pretty systematic way of doing lots of combat-free questing in port maje and nekataka to get up to level 8 or so with cash and items before engaging in some of the more combat-heavy quests.

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1 hour ago, Haplok said:

Speaking of stealing, there is a very sweet armor (in fact, strongest defensive armor) at the merchant located on the slaver island beach. 

You need a hell lot of mechanics for that. Don't think you can have that at lvl 8 when you're not optimized for lockpicking. With BErath's Blessings you can buy it right away though. 

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1 hour ago, thelee said:

yeah, 7 is not going to protect your tanks.

typically i have to steal better gear (at that level you can find some exceptional medium armor which almost fills the same hole, sometimes even better since its weaknesses and recovery penatly aren't as bad as mundane heavy) or blow all my money at e.g. mahiri to get fine heavy armor. but even mundane brigandine (available in port maje) isn't great because its weakness is pierce, which IME means my tanks get shot down real fast from the almost-unfair ranged rogues at the early stages of the game.

If brigandine isn't the best early, then I should go for plate instead? But doesn't all armor have weakness to some forms of damage? Or do you believe brigandine's weaknesses are worse than the alternatives?

1 hour ago, Haplok said:

Speaking of stealing, there is a very sweet armor (in fact, strongest defensive armor) at the merchant located on the slaver island beach. 

Do you mean Patinated Plate? That's quite out of the way though, and I am not sure whether I can get myself there safely too early! ;)

1 hour ago, thelee said:

also another thing is - i don't know when the alst time you playd potd rtwp was, but kind of what elohnin was saying is that 1-8ish is the hardest part of the game honestly. even on RTWP it can be extremely brutal because the encounter scaling/balancing early on is brutal and you don't have plenty of options. these days i have a pretty systematic way of doing lots of combat-free questing in port maje and nekataka to get up to level 8 or so with cash and items before engaging in some of the more combat-heavy quests.

I played the game the last time over 2 years ago - August of 2018, says my last Achievement.

 

10 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

You need a hell lot of mechanics for that. Don't think you can have that at lvl 8 when you're not optimized for lockpicking. With BErath's Blessings you can buy it right away though. 

Yeah, I am going to optimize a lot more this run; I deleted the last save and will run again soon.

Edited by Lampros
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38 minutes ago, Lampros said:

If brigandine isn't the best early, then I should go for plate instead? But doesn't all armor have weakness to some forms of damage? Or do you believe brigandine's weaknesses are worse than the alternatives?

i prefer plate early, but extremely early you don't have much of a choice (port maje and shortly after), only brigandine is available to buy.

all armors have weaknesses, yes, but pierce weakness is particularly glaring IMO early on for tanks because most every early ranged weapon is piercing or part piercing (and of those that are part piercing, the other part is generally slashing, which plate is not weak to either) and they tend to be the biggest combat threats early on. YMMV based on your experiences in turn-based though, perhaps melee is a bigger deal for your tanks.

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1 hour ago, Lampros said:

Do you mean Patinated Plate? That's quite out of the way though, and I am not sure whether I can get myself there safely too early! ;)

Its not that far. But yeah, it can be risky early if you don't know what you're doing. I tend to go after sea bounties early and get some good cannons & train the crew, probably buy a Dhow. So its less risky then.

And, like Boeroer wrote, you need a pretty high combined Mechanics score nowadays.

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Woodskin gives +5pierce AR, that's why brigandines are the best option if you have a druid in your party. Also you don't need to find some expensive unique armors - looting fine/exceptional items at his level isn't that hard (bounties/ships). 

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7 minutes ago, Kaylon said:

Woodskin gives +5pierce AR, that's why brigandines are the best option if you have a druid in your party. Also you don't need to find some expensive unique armors - looting fine/exceptional items at his level isn't that hard (bounties/ships). 

Thanks; I don't think I even slotted Woodskin before.

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3 hours ago, Haplok said:

Yeah, Woodskin is excellent - given that my characters used to fall victim to focused rogue/ranger gunfire most often.

This was the first time I played Druid; so I had no idea what to get! ;)

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17 hours ago, Lampros said:

Thanks; I don't think I even slotted Woodskin before.

all the specialized armor boosting spells are worth a check because they give you so much versus the +2 you get from a generic constitution inspiration (or +1 from something like paladin aura). pierce damage is so common that woodskin and form of the delemgan (which gives you +6) are very frequently worth using, but bulwark, weather the storm, and the chanter invocation are also all worth using as well. at +6 even cloth wearers might be able to shrug off pierce damage.

 

my current party features a fire godlike with magnera's chain (not even legendary). between form of the delemgan and ashen skin, she has something like 16-18 burn and pierce AR. she is basically immune to pierce and burn damage.

 

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