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Back on The Deadfire Lines: (Ascendant/Shattered Pillar questions)


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Hey gang,

After 14 months of delving into other RPGs, I've returned to Deadfire; I'm having some trouble readjusting to these mechanics, so I'd appreciate it if you can steer me in the right direction on a build I'm eager to try. I'd like to run a staff-wielding Ascendant/Shattered Pillar, largely because I want to play with the Community Patch and its companion, Balanced Polishing Mod. The biggest changes impacted by these mods are Biting Whip (adds a +20% raw lash to attacks) and Shattered Pillar's Wound cap raised from five to 10 (alongside a fix to Lesser Wounds). As a point of reference, I'll be playing this on Hard/Veteran (technically PoTD spawns with Veteran stats and Deadly Deadfire).

Ideally, I'd like to play my character as a hybrid that can go from casting enhanced Cipher powers (Mind Blades, Disintegrate, Amplified Wave, Silent Scream, Borrowed Instinct(natch)) to utilizing Ascendant's +40% attack damage bonus. Wielding a staff should help me avoid losing Dance of Death and I can flip on the modal while casting. With Turning Wheel, Ascended and Borrowed Instinct will last longer. For fun and some AoE Focus, I'd also like to include primary attacks Raised Torment and Skyward Kick. Hammering Thoughts, Penetrating Visions, and Thunderous Blows add PEN. You know the score. My dilemma is in navigating these options while being able to generate consistent Wounds and Focus and maintaining good damage.

The considerable lashes this build offers (+20% Raw, +15% Shock, +20% Burn, plus more from Herald Pallagina and Chromoprismatic Staff) is really tempting on top of Ascendant's damage bonus, but I wonder if they're enough to match Draining Whip's strong Focus generating power. I'm also wondering if Swift Strikes would be a better choice than Lightning since Borrowed Instinct will dole out a big spoonful of accuracy. With a slower weapon like a quarterstaff, and considering Focus and Wound generation, would the Shock lash be better than the Swift Strikes proc? Of course Heartbeat Drumming will find its way in later. Also, is Lesser Wounds useful on a Shattered Pillar? I've heard it's not so hot generally, but haven't tested it with this subclass and its modded form - is Shattered Pillar's Wound generation contingent on simply hitting the enemy or is there a damage component to it? Cipher/Monk has a wide spread of abilities so I'd like to cut down the fat whenever possible.

(Cat accidentally posted this prematurely - will finish the post in an edit.)



 

Edited by Ophiuchus
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Mortification of the Soul and Dance of Death as well as Parting Sorrow and Imagined Pain work as usual with a Shattered Pillar. 

Stuff like Swift Flurry, Heartbeat Drumming, Riposte, Cleaving Stance and Offensive Parry (Whispers of the Endless Paths) count as non-ability attacks for a Shattered Pillar, meaning they will give you wounds. 

Speaking of Offensive Parry: I once played a Shattered Pillar/Soulblade named "Barry" obviously (with WotEP/Offensive Parry) and it was pretty cool to fill up wounds and focus kind of passively with parrying, especially when using Nomad's Brigandine with the immunity to Disengagement Attacks and then just disengage to provoke Disengagement Attacks (results in 100% miss --> triggers Offensive Parry). 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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9 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Stuff like Swift Flurry, Heartbeat Drumming, Riposte, Cleaving Stance and Offensive Parry (Whispers of the Endless Paths) count as non-ability attacks for a Shattered Pillar, meaning they will give you wounds. 

Wait, I've tried tried Mob Stance on a Shattered Pillar Brawler and am not getting wounds from those extra attacks. (Tested by spawning a bunch of one-shottable cre_skeleton_easy which triggers like 10 attacks but only gain wounds from the first attack)


Can someone confirm if this is just me?

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I didn't do this for a long time and didn't play all those variants but only tested it in a console session rel. long ago - except the rel. recent partial run with Offensive Parry on the SP/Soulblade which def. worked. I'm also pretty sure about Riposte (which I didn't mention above). So maybe some of the interactions with additional attacks/SP got removed at some point in the past? Sorry if my info was deprecated and false. 

Now that I think about it a bit longer: maybe Cleaving Stance et al. worked before the "ability attacks don't generate wounds" nerf. If they count as ability attacks this might explain the discrepancy.

Can also check each ability separately in an hour or so and will report what I found out.

So in the meantime the cleansed list would be Mortification of the Soul, Dance of Death, Parting Sorrow, Imagined Pain, Offensive Parry and Riposte (the last one not 100% sure but like 87% ;) ).

Edited by Boeroer
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On 11/18/2020 at 8:46 AM, Ophiuchus said:

Hey gang,

After 14 months of delving into other RPGs, I've returned to Deadfire; I'm having some trouble readjusting to these mechanics, so I'd appreciate it if you can steer me in the right direction on a build I'm eager to try. I'd like to run a staff-wielding Ascendant/Shattered Pillar, largely because I want to play with the Community Patch and its companion, Balanced Polishing Mod. The biggest changes impacted by these mods are Biting Whip (adds a +20% raw lash to attacks) and Shattered Pillar's Wound cap raised from five to 10 (alongside a fix to Lesser Wounds). As a point of reference, I'll be playing this on Hard/Veteran (technically PoTD spawns with Veteran stats and Deadly Deadfire).

Ideally, I'd like to play my character as a hybrid that can go from casting enhanced Cipher powers (Mind Blades, Disintegrate, Amplified Wave, Silent Scream, Borrowed Instinct(natch)) to utilizing Ascendant's +40% attack damage bonus. Wielding a staff should help me avoid losing Dance of Death and I can flip on the modal while casting. With Turning Wheel, Ascended and Borrowed Instinct will last longer. For fun and some AoE Focus, I'd also like to include primary attacks Raised Torment and Skyward Kick. Hammering Thoughts, Penetrating Visions, and Thunderous Blows add PEN. You know the score. My dilemma is in navigating these options while being able to generate consistent Wounds and Focus and maintaining good damage.

The considerable lashes this build offers (+20% Raw, +15% Shock, +20% Burn, plus more from Herald Pallagina and Chromoprismatic Staff) is really tempting on top of Ascendant's damage bonus, but I wonder if they're enough to match Draining Whip's strong Focus generating power. I'm also wondering if Swift Strikes would be a better choice than Lightning since Borrowed Instinct will dole out a big spoonful of accuracy. With a slower weapon like a quarterstaff, and considering Focus and Wound generation, would the Shock lash be better than the Swift Strikes proc? Of course Heartbeat Drumming will find its way in later. Also, is Lesser Wounds useful on a Shattered Pillar? I've heard it's not so hot generally, but haven't tested it with this subclass and its modded form - is Shattered Pillar's Wound generation contingent on simply hitting the enemy or is there a damage component to it? Cipher/Monk has a wide spread of abilities so I'd like to cut down the fat whenever possible.

(Cat accidentally posted this prematurely - will finish the post in an edit.)



 

Does the raw lash from Biting Whip from CP actually work? I can see no indicators from the combat log that clearly points to this.

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While Testing Swift Flurry with Shattered Pillar I found out that when I use Stunning Surge I always get 2 wounds. Doesn't matter if dual wielding or single handed or so. Always 2. Huh? I have no other wound abilites like Parting Sorrow etc. What is this?

Swift Flurry and Heartbeat Drumming indeed do NOT generate wounds. In case of Swift FLurry this is a bit sad since Lightning Strikes' lash does (I guess at least)?

 



 

Edited by Boeroer
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Despite my 87% sureness Riposte does NOT generate wounds. :sadpandaface

Offensive Parry DOES generate wounds.
parry-01-02-03--reference-GIF002.gif

Okay, new list of wound generating stuff for Shattered Pillar:
- auto attacks
- Stunning Surge (2 per use - needs more testing)
- Mortification of the Soul
- Dance of Death
- Parting Sorrow (nice in combination with Disengagement Attack)
- Disengagement Attacks (nice in combination with terrify)
- Offensive Parry
- Imagined Pain (nice in combination with Offensive Parry)

A Furyshaper/Shattered Pillar with Barbaric Shout (+3 engagement), Fear Ward and later Spirit Storm (both terrify) in combination with Parting Sorrow is harvesting wounds very quickly.  

Edited by Boeroer
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Thousand thanks for the testing, @Boeroer!

1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

While Testing Swift Flurry with Shattered Pillar I found out that when I use Stunning Surge I always get 2 wounds. Doesn't matter if dual wielding or single handed or so. Always 2. Huh? I have no other wound abilites like Parting Sorrow etc. What is this?

Just a theory but I think it might be the resource restoring effect of Stunning Surge somehow interacting with Shattered Pillar's passive and also "restoring" Wounds.

1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

Disengagement Attacks do generate wounds for Shattered Pillar. Nice in combo with Parting Sorrow and some terrify ability. 

What do you think about Shattered Pillar + Trickster? Great Deflection spells for Offensive Parry, and Ryngrim's Repulsive Visage for terrify. Extra good wound generation from Sneak attack/Deathblows damage.

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1 hour ago, Noqn said:

Just a theory but I think it might be the resource restoring effect of Stunning Surge somehow interacting with Shattered Pillar's passive and also "restoring" Wounds.

Ah, good thinking! That may be. As it lloks now Stunning Surge ist a must-have for a Shattered Pillar. :)

1 hour ago, Noqn said:

What do you think about Shattered Pillar + Trickster? Great Deflection spells for Offensive Parry, and Ryngrim's Repulsive Visage for terrify. Extra good wound generation from Sneak attack/Deathblows damage.

Sounds nice but has one disadvantage: besides Persistent Distraction there's no engagement. If you want to take advantage of terrify + disengagment you should pile up some engement slots. I compared Trickster to Unbroken and the damage on disengagement wasn't that much different (Overbearing Guard gives +50% and Unbroken +10 PEN) while the Unbroken could create  lot more disengagement attacks in a given time due to his passive (+1), Guardian Stance (+3) and Hold the Line (+1). He lacks terrify though so you would need a party member to cause that. Furyshaper is nice because +3 enagement from Barbaric Shout, +1 from Thick Skinned, terrify galore - but no that much damage on disengagement. On the other hand Blood Thirst.

I guess there are lots of nice combos. :)

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17 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

Could it be that Stunning Surge give 2 Wounds on Crit to any Monk (but no one checked) ?

Yep, that's it. Tried with a Helwalker and same thing: +2 wounds (and +2 mortification of course) on crit. 

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ROFL...

I just tried a Trickster/Shattered Pillar with Offensive Parry and Riposte + Swift Flurry/Heartbead Drumming. Riposte and Offensive Parry can trigger Swift Flurry/HBD. While Offensive Parry is a single target attack the Rogue's Riposte does the whole cone attack (!) - and all attack rolls in the cone can trigger SF/HBD, too.

Just annihilated 10 tigers in seconds. Also Blinding Strike is cool because it not only lowers enemies' ACC (=more misses) bus also their deflection (because flanked) which means more crits for SF/HBD.

Offensive Parry is giving wounds obviously. If you use Avenging Storm from Heaven's Cacophony it gets really ridiculous.

What a fun test that is. 😄 Maybe I'll do an animated gif.   

Edit: I'm getting way too many Ripostes. Like nearly on every miss. Maybe Offensive Parry somehow confuses Riposte or something? 

Edited by Boeroer
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On 11/21/2020 at 5:43 PM, Boeroer said:

ROFL...

I just tried a Trickster/Shattered Pillar with Offensive Parry and Riposte + Swift Flurry/Heartbead Drumming. Riposte and Offensive Parry can trigger Swift Flurry/HBD. While Offensive Parry is a single target attack the Rogue's Riposte does the whole cone attack (!) - and all attack rolls in the cone can trigger SF/HBD, too.

Just annihilated 10 tigers in seconds. Also Blinding Strike is cool because it not only lowers enemies' ACC (=more misses) bus also their deflection (because flanked) which means more crits for SF/HBD.

Offensive Parry is giving wounds obviously. If you use Avenging Storm from Heaven's Cacophony it gets really ridiculous.

What a fun test that is. 😄 Maybe I'll do an animated gif.   

Edit: I'm getting way too many Ripostes. Like nearly on every miss. Maybe Offensive Parry somehow confuses Riposte or something? 

Is there an advantage to using shattered pillar rather than another monk subclass? I don't like using shattered pillar in my unmodded game due to the 5 wound limit. Would this work with FF, for example? A high RES build would yield more misses and ripostes, right?

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Sure there is an advantage. As I said earlier Offensive Parry does generate wounds for a Shattered Pillar. So you're always full basically. 

I agree that in the unmodded game a Shattered Pillar is meh due to the wound limit. But you could just install the Community Patch and then deactivate all changes besides the Shattered Pillar fix. And my icons for the passives of course, that goes without saying... ;)

Forbidden Fist would have the advantage that he always has a great single target attack WHILE using Offensive Parry. You'd have to find a good way to generate more wounds though. But maybe Clarity of Agony + Forbidden Fist Curse and max RES is enough. Or let a fellow Druid cast Tanglefoot on him (and the enemies).

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Thanks, Boeroer. I actually downloaded and tried to install Community Patch on my Mac, but unfortunately I could not get it to work, despite following instructions I found online for installing mods on Macs. So until I figure out how to get it working, I'm stuck with an unmodded game. I'll try this with FF; while wound generation is low initially, I find wounds not to be a problem for most of the game, once you have clarity of agony and Hylea's Talons.

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Interesting. I'm on Linux and have zero problems with mods.

Did you try this:
Go to

/Users/<yourUsername>/Library/Application Support/Steam/steamapps/common/Pillars of Eternity II/PillarsOfEternityII.app/Contents/override

.
If there isn't an override folder just create one yourself.
Copy the mod (directory with all the files) into that override folder.

Mod files are only text files. They should work on any OS as long as you can find the right directory where to put he override folder.

 

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Thanks for the advice, Boeroer. I created an override file in the Contents folder and placed all if the Community patch mod files in it. But mod doesn't appear as an option in my game. Maybe I didn't find the right directory.

Anyway, I've been playing a FF/trickster shadowdancer and it's fun so far. I've reached level 7 and have WofEP with the offensive parry upgrades, and I've already seen quite a few foes dazed by it. The character is quite sturdy and dishes out considerable damage, both actively and passively. So far, so good!

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