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New player attempting Path of the Damned, could use some clarification on certain topics


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Hello everyone,

First of all I had no idea how much more I'd enjoy Deadfire over the first game. I finally got around to playing it, after it had sat in my backlog since it launched. I'm dismayed to hear it didn't sell well for various reasons, because at it's core I'm enjoying it far more than the first game. 

I'm almost finished my 80 hour completionist playthrough on Veteran, and sometime later in the year i'd like to try PotD. However, my first foray into this difficulty met a quick and violent end in the Engwithan Digsite on Maje Island. (I don't use hirelings, so I was using the standard party of 3) I really could use some tips on how to better handle this difficulty setting. Some of the main things I'm curious about:

1. What are some of the dominant tactics on this difficulty that help deal with the insane amount of damage, enemy density, and difficulty to hit? So far I feel like Perception is a very valuable attribute, and classes that can renew their own resources like Chanters are great.

2. I'm really torn on Herald (Paladin/Chanter) or a Tank SC wizard, and making my Watcher the tank. Which of these would be better on the hardest difficulty setting? (Or are they both not great tanks?)

3. Are Explosives, Alchemy, Stealth, or Sleight of Hand worth considering investing in outside of skill checks? I know the value of Arcana and Athletics in battle, but the other skills seemed rather underwhelming on Veteran compared to just using my natural abilities. Perhaps that changes on this difficulty? 

4. Are any of the sidekicks poorly optimized to the point where they'll struggle on Path of the Damned? I plan to focus on Sidekicks on my second run, and I hear that Conjurer Fassina is rather bad, but those posts were from like, 2018. There could be a million balance patches that I don't know about.

Thank you in advance to any kind souls who want to give advise!

Edited by RagingFlower
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1. only unstealth the tank if possible --> buff ACC -->debuff enemies' defenses/buff your party's defenses --> deal damage. Use interrupts! The fight at the digsitre is a lot easier if you bought the Essence Interrupter. 

2. Heralds have great utility, support and can soak a ton of damage - but I find them lacking as main tanks because they can't hold enemies very well*. Wizards or Arcane Knights (Paladin/Wizard): same. I personally prefer something with Fighter, preferably Unbroken. I like Unbroken/Trickster a lot, but stuff like Unbroken/Shieldbearer also works well. I also like Barbarian/Paladin variants as main tanks (+3 engagement via shout).

3. Still not important in general (depends a bit on the class - see Nalpasca/Alchemy) - stealth can be very useful for solo runs though.

4. All companions and sidekicks are viable for PotD. Fassina isn't bad per se. It's just so that many players don't like the Conjurer subclass. It is a bit underpowered because summons don't scale with Power Level but with character level and the conjured familiar uses up the slot for a summon - meaning you can either have the familiar or another summon öike the Essential Phantom. Not both at the same time. Besides that there are some other conjuring spells like Necrotic Lance etc. that do scale well with Power Level. A Wizard/Chanter like Fassina can turn into an interrupt-monster at higher levels: the "Champion" invocation gives you energized which interrupts enemies with every crit (no matter if from spells etc.). And with Wall of Draining you can have that inspiration for a really long time. Every pulsing spell you cast (Chillfog, Wall of Draining itself, Freezing Pillar, Malignant Cloud etc) as well as your offensive chants (those which do am attack roll vs. enemies) has a chance to interrupt all enemies in the AoE. That can be very good.  


)*Heralds can tank very well if they use summons to hold the enemies back. 

 

 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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1. First of all - Kiting. Might feel cheep but in quite few cases triggering enemies and running to chokepoint is the best tactics you can apply. In some other cases you can even seperate stacks of enemies to deal with them in parts. Other good things are priest buffs, deflection and other defences stacking and early on - armor. And of cource - CC. As much CC as possible.

2. I personally right now running my first game of PoE2 (I started with PotD as a first run, yeah!) as Monk/Druid and he is perfectly viable on PotD so I would say all combos are good and more dependant on party composition. One reason not to go with herald is that you can get Pallegina as a herald and she is pretty decent in that role. However if you unsure about your chances I'd adviced looking at some of fighter(unbroken) multiclasses. Maybe even unbroken/trickster despite Eder kinda doing the same. Swashbucklers are tanky and capable of keeping good aggro by doing damage and trickster get access to some really nice spells. Also escape allows you to move with large shield modal on. Which is very good

3. Depends on what are you using them for. Stealth isn't that useful however alchemy provide some nive things, one of which is whiteleaf drug duration. Whiteleaf provide you with bonus healing and consentration. And at alchemy 20 it can last up to 400+ seconds

4. Sidekicks are ok in my experience, however I mainly use proper companions. Well out of pitfalls I can say that boars from SSS made my run with my tail behind my legs when I tried to use recommended Konstanten there. I wouldn't even call Fassina that bad actually. She has good int, does not have problems with dex or per. A bil low might but I'd say she is usable.  

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I never had problems with Konstanten. Was fun with SSS. I ran him as Barbarian/Skald with a Morning Star and focused on fortitude debuffing - he was very useful. Also he and Fassina can have a romance if you have both in the party - which is the only romance I find bearable to watching unfold in this game. :) 

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Konstanten seems like a fun guy to have around, I just decided to go for the main companions for my first playthrough. Also, thank you for such quick responses! I wasn't sure with a game like this if anyone would still be around on the forums. 

I'm looking into Barbarian now, Barbarian Paladin seems like a fun combo to role play around. Since Fassina has some options which you've very clearly laid out, i'll dump the wizard idea and try and work on a paladin tank!

Explosives and Poisons especially seem like they're in a weird spot, considering they share recovery time with everything else you can do. Thanks for confirming that they aren't secretly gamebreaking! 😄 

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4 hours ago, Boeroer said:

I never had problems with Konstanten

My problem with him comes from the fsct that he is for some ungodly reason still lvl 13, while main hero is lvl 20... Also from fact that my char himself is running with Willbreaker xD

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One last question for @Boeroer to avoid another topic, but i'm having a hard time figuring out what I want from Ydwin. My all sidekick team is looking like Me (Barb/Paladin), Konstanten (Skald), Xoti -> Vatnir (Priests seem really good for late game), Aloth -> Fassina (Probably pure wizard but we'll see). I'm having a hard time deciding if I need the rogue's damage or can just go pure cipher. Her stat spread doesn't seem that good for pure rogue, but maybe i'm wrong. 

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I used her as dualwielding mindstalker and she was pretty decent in this role actually.

Her low might is less of a problem once you stuck up both sneak attack and Biting whip damage and mindstalker is insanely good at creating sneak attack opportunities. Add hammering though for extra penetration and result is really nice. She even isn't that squishy dew to positive resolve. I gave her rapier + dagger combo and results was very nice

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Imo Mindstalker is more fun than SC Rogue or SC Cipher*.
If you have the Community Patch then Sneak Attack, Deathblows and Biting Whip are a great damaging combo (Draining Whip is still good). And if you haven't the CP (Biting Whip is rather meh then) then Sneak Attack, Deathblows and Draining Whip leads to very fast focus gain.

)* Unless you give her some AoE weapon - those work with Shared Nightmare and you can get a really big AoE once your focus nears its maximum - and in combination with Time Siphon that can lead to good AoE dps with those weapons and is fun. Another reason for me to go SC CIpher is when I have a damaging caster in the party. Those can struggle with PEN on PotD difficulty and Driving Echoes is a real blessing for them.

SC Rogue is only cool imo if you want to build around Gambit and/or Vanishing Strikes. But I prefer certain subclasses for that and not vanilla Rogues.

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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