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I have a couple hundred hours of Deadfire under my belt, but I've never seen much use for shields outside of Tuotilo's Palm. I've never really seen the point of deliberately building a character to be tanky in terms of attributes either; the AI is usually smart enough to not go after the most durable target and is often scripted to attack whoever has dealt the most damage. On top of this, on higher difficulties the larger enemy count means that you quickly get surrounded and holding your enemies at bay literally isn't possible (unlike in the first game, where you could have Eder stand in a doorway and most of your enemies would run back and forth stupidly). In fact, my personal understanding of "tank" is a glass cannon that Xoti has used Barring Death's Door on. Am I missing something? Are there any situations where you'd contemplate actually using a shield, or deliberately putting lots of points in Constitution and Resolve (outside of maybe a Forbidden Fist, who wants high resolve to shrug off debuffs)?

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Your engagement slots have a big impact on your capability to hold enemies. I always bring a dedicated tank like Edér or somebody similar with 5+ engagement slots. If I unstealth the tank first and wiat a few seconds enemies will cumulate around him which is one of the most convenient "resourceless CC effect". Usually enemies you are engaged don't run away from the tank as they did in PoE. Stuff like Guardian Stance and Overbearing Guard to help. If an enemy breaks engagement I can pull back with Into the Fray (but I rarely have to do so). 

Having a large shield is benefical for every party member imo. Not that I do it with every party member - but in certain fights you will receive a lot of ranged attacks (for example bording fights) and the large shield modal is very good against that.

 I most of times use Cadhu Scalth on my main tank because in combination with high AR and the large shield modal almost no AoE dmg comes through. That's also true when I use my own friendly fire spells on the area where the tank stands. I often use a Swashbuckler because high Reflex from buffs and shield in combination with Adept Evasion makes AoE hits from enemy and friends alike even less likely to deal damage. Also the passive appliance of Persistant Distraction to 5+ enemies at once is really neat.

That way I can very calmly set up the rest of my party for the "perfect" combination of buffing, debuffing, CC and finally damage while the tank occupies most enemies. A few might slip through - but since I seldomly play with supersquishy glass cannons that's not much of a problem as long as it's not the whole bulk who's rushing at me.

While a Herald for example has great damage-soaking/avoiding capabilities, passive healing and good support - he lacks engagement and thus can't tank as well for me. At leat not until he gets some engament+ gear.

Some Barb multiclasses (esp. with Paladin) can do the trick for me as the Barb can get +4 engagement with shout and passive alone. He can also stack some nice AR (again: with Paladin) so a shield isn't that necessary - but still great to have. Hauana Furyshaper/Goldpact tank with Reckless Brigandine, Kapana Taga and Cadhu Scalth is quite cool imo. Tons of engagement, tons of AR, great defenses, good debuffing (stagger, shaken) and great CC via fear ward. And melee dmg isn't even than bad for a tank.       

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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20 minutes ago, NotDumbEnough said:

 Are there any situations where you'd contemplate actually using a shield, or deliberately putting lots of points in Constitution and Resolve (outside of maybe a Forbidden Fist, who wants high resolve to shrug off debuffs)?

for me:

Situation 1: The Iron Hammer for the purpose of setting up basically aoe persistent distraction for my ranged deathblows party. I pump his resolve, take the reposte skill and grab a few reposte items to give him a bit of dps potential. 

Situation 2: My Heal-bot Build is a Herald that uses Lethandria's Devotion for the aura (and blackened plate life in death) to really pump up those regen numbers.

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1 minute ago, Theosupus said:

for me:

Situation 1: The Iron Hammer for the purpose of setting up basically aoe persistent distraction for my ranged deathblows party. I pump his resolve, take the reposte skill and grab a few reposte items to give him a bit of dps potential. 

Situation 2: My Heal-bot Build is a Herald that uses Lethandria's Devotion for the aura (and blackened plate life in death) to really pump up those regen numbers.

I'm not saying that these don't work, but I find that a dual wielding Swashbuckler Eder does #1 decently well while barely running any risk of being KO'd, and Lethandria's Devotion's 1hp/3sec isn't really worth using a shield over (compared to, say, dual wielding flail and club for defense debuffs, or using a morning star for similar purpose).

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8 minutes ago, NotDumbEnough said:

I'm not saying that these don't work, but I find that a dual wielding Swashbuckler Eder does #1 decently well while barely running any risk of being KO'd, and Lethandria's Devotion's 1hp/3sec isn't really worth using a shield over (compared to, say, dual wielding flail and club for defense debuffs, or using a morning star for similar purpose).

My heal bot is for passive healing with scripted LoHs.
I keep her out of melee and usually otherwise don't touch her.

She usually just stands there like a dunce at full phrase count (with sahsa's giving my party attack speed bonus). while the green numbers are flying off my party's heads.
I will use to summon some ogres or weapons if I really need the help; but usually don't. 
She can offset my squishy dps build very nicely.
I've been toying about with other combos but herald is definitely the close to 0 micro I was looking for in a heal-"bot".

The only other fun healing combo I found was 3 SC paladins all taking the Divine Immolation so 2x heals offset the 1x self damage and all 3 stay at full health while annihilating the entire area with fire, flails, and axes.

Edited by Theosupus
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Depend on difficulty. What difficulty are you running at? Something like normal can be runned without much care of party composition.

Are you asking about tanks or about shields? Engagement are insanely useful if your tank can make use of them so standart mmorpg idea of tank(ton of armor and hp, no offensive precence) isn't exactly working in PoE1 or 2. One thing is to have engagement but tank also need to make use out of them. So you either want your tank to deliver nasty debuffs to everyone engaged or do damage. For example in case of swashbuckler persistent distraction + guardian stance + overbearing guard ensures that even if enemy is not hitting swashbuckler himself, he is much less of a danger for other characters. 

Edited by Desmodeus
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I've never found engagement super useful, outside of triggering Persistent Distraction on as many people as possible. There are too many scenarios where you start surrounded, or the enemies can teleport, or there are simply so many enemies that you can't possibly hold them all. Might as well resign yourself to fighting them point blank. Or, in easier fights you might be able to alpha strike them and kill enough that it doesn't really matter anymore.

Edited by NotDumbEnough
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Teleporting enemies are annoying but at the same time most of classes have their own ways out of engagements(and some of teleporting enemies doesn't even have an engagement to begin with) and also teleporting guys generally just teleport once per fight. Also if one enemy is slipped through engagement it not that big of a problem. One guy hitting your squishy can be offset by decent healing + maaaybe buff. If tank hold enoough enemies with engagements, so mage can not be flanked then he does his job

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Do you think there is any reason to choose Eder as a fighter or rogue instead of swashbuckler? I started a run through on POTD (upscaled)  but it feels like a vanilla tank does a worse job than an offtank/striker swasbuckler, especially considered the debuffs from persistent distracton. Also, the benefit of having two resource pools is great. 

The only benefit I see from a pure tank is that you can stack defenses with passives.  That being said, I always gravitate towards a paladin/ ______ tank (usually a hearld, but I wanna try a crusader this time for Pallegina) 

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13 minutes ago, mjo2138 said:

Do you think there is any reason to choose Eder as a fighter or rogue instead of swashbuckler

I dare to say, despite my really small experience in PoE2,  in all cases answer to "is there a reason to go with single class over multiclass" is no. Multiclasses are just better in this game then single classes, even if we take into account power level loss. Generally abilities on high levels of trees just doesn't look as useful or strong as utility you get from second class. Even for Aloth for example spellblade, even if you don't want to use full attacks, will provide decent defensive passives, escape and smokebomb for boosted survivability, while fighter multiclass aloth will make much better use out of summoned melee weapons even though he can't choose devoted or conjurer as subclasses

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10 minutes ago, Desmodeus said:

I dare to say, despite my really small experience in PoE2,  in all cases answer to "is there a reason to go with single class over multiclass" is no.

You are wrong, try sc monk for example.

signature2jpg-SM2.jpg

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Yes, SC Monks are awesome.

SC Casters can be very good in general. There's not much that comes close to stuff like Great Maelstrom or Missile Salvo etc. Most of times I don't multiclass Aloth. Also because then I reach my favorite spells like Miasma a lot sooner.  

SC Ranger can also be very powerful with particular builds. Try one with Driving Flight and Twinned Shot with the BoW scepter Current's Rush on some mobs and see what happens. Or with Hand Mortar/Blinding Smoke with Twinned Shot and Avenging Storm and so on.

Chanter's high level stuff can also be very nice. Dragon Summon has awesome tanking capabilites for example. Eld Nary's Curse is great, too. Try it with encounter-wise empowerment from Sasha's Singing Scimitar as a Bellower.

Barbarians can also be great as SC because of the PL9-yells which are awesome. Furyshaper's Blood Ward is extremely good because it drains from everything, even every DoT tick.

Paladins and Fighters: better with multiclasses imo. Ciphers, too - although I like Shared Nightmare. 

Multiclasses often impress earlier in the game because they tend to be frontloaded. And of course you can have nice and interesting synergies. 

 

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I try to control the field. I'm playing with a tank (shield) and off-tank (no shield). They grab 2 or 3 each. I've got a little spellblade in the back who seems like a soft target for backstabbers, until they miss and she blinds them. If there are a lot more running free, Aloth or Xoti can summon something.

Eder is SC Fighter, Xoti is SC Priest, and Aloth is SC Wizard. Eder is so tanky it's almost overkill (underkill?) but it's nice not having to worry about someone.

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In my experience Edér is less tanky when being a Swashbuckler - at least at the first levels - but hold enemies better. Maybe it's because he's part Rogue, maybe because of higher dmg threat when disengaging - no idea how the inner workings are when AI decides when to leave or not. 

All I do is send in Edér first - either sneaking towards the enemy and unstealthing with a fair amount of space to the party or "escaping" in front of the advancing mob (if encounter can't start from stealth) and engaging everybody around. Unless you didn't deactivate it in the game options engagement stops movement which messes up the enemies AI. And with Escape you can also leap between rushers and party members again and re-engage (and stop again).

My tank works like a permanent, movable Pull of Eora with a damage component. ;)

 

Edited by Boeroer

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2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

And with Escape you can also leap between rushers and party members again and re-engage (and stop again).

Also if you got caught in some nasty position(for example trying to sneak around enemies into more positive position) barrage->escape can allow you to catch enemy melee and salvage situation

2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

In my experience Edér is less tanky when being a Swashbuckler - at least at the first levels - but hold enemies better.

Well he does loose some deflection and hp by going swashbuckler so he is indeed squishier. But most likely reposite is the one thing that boost his appeal for engaged enemies. It ensure that Eder is hitting them even when he is not hitting them. 

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Yes. Also Escape is very useful if you use "the Wall" (large shield modal) because you can't move otherwise (except with Charge but that's too expensive and you need an enemy as anchor iirc). Bounding Boots would also work but Escape also has that nice +50 deflection which is near even if it's short. The only thing I don't really like about Edér is his bad INT. On the plus side he can have a pet, which is awesome. 

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I find his int ok for what he need to do. A bit higher int surely helped with jump distance, but it you focus on passives and modes he still works out all-right. I wish Maia has better Int. Looks like Kana stole all family brains xD

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On 1/15/2021 at 11:59 PM, Desmodeus said:

Even for Aloth for example spellblade, even if you don't want to use full attacks, will provide decent defensive passives, escape and smokebomb for boosted survivability, while fighter multiclass aloth will make much better use out of summoned melee weapons even though he can't choose devoted or conjurer as subclasses

I've fought that too. Particularly that I don't like babysitting characters other then my main char. Until I've tried using him as SC. Oh boy, did his value go up. Getting better spells faster is a great boon. Eventually getting the absolutely best spells is even better. Plus I've set up buffing routines, so he's not even that squishy. 

You mention using summoned weapons. Well, as a hand-off filler when I don't feel like controlling his nuking, no other summoned weapon comes close to the usefulness of Cadebald's Blackbow. Passively terrifying remote enemies with bouncing arrows with a damage component attached? Yes, please!

Edited by Haplok
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The Blackbow is pretty dope. I'm just disappointed that it isn't a PL7 spell. You could multiclass with Ranger for example. It wouldn't be horribly OP compared to PL 8 and yet Blackbow with higher ACC and Driving Flight would be great fun.  

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Yeah, blackbow was really dope in PoE1...

9 hours ago, Boeroer said:

The Blackbow is pretty dope. I'm just disappointed that it isn't a PL7 spell. You could multiclass with Ranger for example. It wouldn't be horribly OP compared to PL 8 and yet Blackbow with higher ACC and Driving Flight would be great fun. 

On other hand Rotskull is PL7 and they didn't got enough love in PoE1 despite also being very dope xD

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19 hours ago, Boeroer said:

The Blackbow is pretty dope. I'm just disappointed that it isn't a PL7 spell. You could multiclass with Ranger for example. It wouldn't be horribly OP compared to PL 8 and yet Blackbow with higher ACC and Driving Flight would be great fun.  

It would be great if someone could make a mod for this or for adding it at the arcane archer at least... i know christmas is over but maybe a modder will see this😃

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The problem with modding progression tables (which is what you need to do when moving an ability up or down in Power Levels afaik) is that they are very likely to clash with other mods (that also alter progression tables). I think.

So while it is absolutely doable it's maybe not as straightforward as it sounds...?

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11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Rot Skulls of PoE was way better than Rot Skulls of Deadfire though.

True :( pity that shapeshift in poe1 so overshadowed them. Never saw rotskull focused build

Edited by Desmodeus
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