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I am new to this series, but not new to this type of game. I've played all of the older Baldur's Gates, Icewind Dale, Planescape Torment, and Divinity 2. But I feel like I am at a bit of a loss for how to use Durance in this game for some reason.

My party build is:

Darcozzi Paladin- focusing on interrupting, heavy armor and shields. Main tank.

Eder- either dual wielding or using a two handed weapon. Not sure which yet.

Aloth

Durance

Later I'll pick up the dwarf ranger, Sagani or whatever, and then I think I'll build my own druid or barbarian.

 

For Durance, I'm wanting him to serve as a bit of a tank to mop up any enemies that get past the front line. It seems beneficial for him to be in the middle of the formation for his auras and spells. But I want either no or minimal penalties to his casting abilities which will focus on healing and buffing, with some offense.

I just picked him up, had a few battles, but still need help for how to build him. Armor? Weapons? Skills?

Should I swap out his starting equipment? He's been kicking but with that burning staff he starts of with standing behind my tank. What about armor? What can he wear to be more tanky without sacrificing too much casting ability?

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Hi and wecome!

First of all: if you want a Druid then pick up Hariavias. He's fun imo (and good). :)

Priests are one of the best classes in the game (I would even say the best) because their buffs are so insanely good, they can provide immunity with their prayers (which is important because some afflictions are really nasty) and at higher levels also have very good offensive spells.

At lower levels it might not be that obvious how good they can make your party. But if you know some tricks they can have a big impact at low levels, too.

Tanking is not the best option for a priest like Durance. His Resolve is okay, but he's still a priest (meaning his starting defenses are bad) and he is quite slow. This means it takes some time for him to put out spells - and every chance that he gets interrupted by enemies makes this process even slower. Better use Aloth for tanking if you must. He has very fast self buffs that help with defenses a lot. Later you can also use Sagani's Fox. He will go down from time to time but Animal Companions have no health bar (only endurance) so it's not bad if he gets pummeled - he won't force you to rest because of low remaining health. 

I always strongly recommed to take Inspiring Randiance for any Priest. It provides a +10 ACC bonus for everybody in range. It's rel. short-lived - but it can help enormously to land the first debuffs/CC abilities of your party. And that can make fights a LOT easier, especially in the first levels.
Also Inspiring Radiance's ACC buff stacks with EVERYTHING (even itself if you have more than one Priest). You can combine it with Zealous Focus (Paladin), Disciplined Strikes (Fighter) or Blessing (Priest) - and because the tier-4 Priest spell "Devotions for the Faithful" also stacks with those a Priest can provide a stackable +30 ACC bonus to your party. Which is huge. That's like 10 levels worth of accuracy. 

What helps Durance a lot to become a better buffer is higher casting speed. The easiest way to achieve that is low recovery penalty from armor and more importantly: more DEX. DEX not only affects recovery (like all other speed bonuses do) but is the only(!) thing that also speeds up the casting time itself. So if you see some item with a bonus to DEX: give it to Durance. Attribute bonuses on items don't stack - so just pick the item with the highest DEX bonus. Another way to give him more DEX for some time is using Aggrandizing Radiance. It buffs all attributes by 2, including DEX. It's also short-lived but it gets applied at the same time as Inspiring Radiance (so no additional casting time) and helps you to cast your first important buffs in battle faster. I like it but it's not everybody's cup of tea.

Durance can wear a shield no problem. But I wouldn't put him where he constantly gets attacked. You could turn him into an offtank and it might work - but it will slow down his spell output and that's what makes Priests so valuable, not their tanking capabilites or their weapon usage.
I usually have him use an arquebus and give him the fitting weapon focus and priest talent - sincee this gives him the same accuracy with the weapon that a fighter has. So he can also shoot stuff reliably if you want to spare some spells or are simply out of spell uses.
You could also give him the Forgemaster Gloves + Belt of the Royal Deadfire Cannoneer and let him use Firebrand. That's a summoned Great Sword made of flames which is thematically fitting. Good thing is that summoned weapons will just profit from any weapon focus and also any of the priests' weapon talents. The are "universal" which is cool. Soulbound weapons do the same, so that's also an option.
Sword + board also works well because he comes with good Resolve as I said. But that's mainly to discourage enemies from focusing on him, not for real tanking. Enemies prefer to focus on soft targets. If you give him good defenses via a shield they will often target somebody else and won't disturb him.
 
Usually it's the arquebus for me though. It's convenient and works. It has high dmg per shot but is very slow. But a Priest doesn't shoot non-stop anyways like a Ranger would but may only want to shoot every now and then between spells - so that's okay. 

Theoretically you can build Priests in all kinds of fashion - melee, nuker, healer, buffer of course - but Durance has a rel. particular set of attributes which make him most suitable for buffing and healing I think (good MIG and INT for buffing and healing power but low PER, making it harder to actually hit enemies). 

 

Edited by Boeroer
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3 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Hi and wecome!

First of all: if you want a Druid then pick up Hariavias. He's fun imo (and good). :)

Priests are one of the best classes in the game (I would even the the best) because their buffs are so insanely good, they can provide immunity with their prayers (which is imortant because some afflictions are really nasty) and at higher levels also have very good offensive spells.

At lower levels it might not be that obvious how good they can make your party. But if you know some tricks they can have a big impact at low levels, too.

Tanking is not the best option for a priest like Durance. His Resolve is okay, but he is slow. This means it takes some time for him to put out spells and every chance that he gets interrupted by enemies makes this process even slower. Better use Aloth for tanking if you must. He has very fast self buffs that help with defenses a lot. Later you can also use Sagani's Fox. He will go down from time to time buzt Animal COmpanions have no health bar (only endurance) so it's not bad if he gets pummeled - he won't force you to rest because of low health. 

I always strongly recommed to take Inspiring Randiance for any Priest. It provides a +10 ACC bonus for everybody in range. It's rel. short - but it can help enormously to land the first debuffs/CC abilities of your party. And that can make fights a LOT easier. Also Inspiring Radiance's ACC buff stacks with EVERYTHING (even itself if you have more than one Priest). You can combine it with Zealous Focus (Paladin), Disciplined Strikes (Fighter) or Blessing (Priest) - and because Devotions for the Faithful also stacks with those a Priest can provide a stackable +30 ACC bonus to your party. Which is huge. That's like 10 levels worth of accuracy. 

What helps Durance a lot to become a better buffer is higher casting speed. The easiest way to achieve that is low recovery penalty from armor and more importantly: more DEX. DEX not only affects recovery (like all other speed bonuses do) but is the inly thing that also speeds up the casting time itself. So if you see some items with a bonus to DEX: give it to Durance. 

He can wear a shield no problem. But I wouldn't put him where he constantly gets attacked. You can make it work - but it will slow down his spell output and that's what makes Priests so valuable. I ussually have him use an arquebus and give him the fitting weapon focus and priest talent sice this gives him the same accuracy with the weapon that a fighter has. So he can also shoot stuff if you want to spare spells. You could also give him the Forgemaster Gloves + Belt of the Royal Deadfire Cannoneer and let him use Firebrand. It's a summoned Great Swrd made of flames which is themtically fitting. Good thing is that summoned weapons will just profit from any weapon focus and also any of the priests' weapon talents. Which is cool. Soulbound weapons do the same, so that's also an option. Sword + board also works well because he comes with good Resolve as I said. But that's meinly to discourage enemies from focusing on him, not for real tanking. Enemies prefer so fosu on soft targets. If you give him good defenses via shield they will often target somebody else.
 
Usually it's the arquebus for me though. It's convenient and works. It has high dmg per shot bbut is very slow. But a Priest doesn't shoot non-stop anyways like a Ranger would but may only want to shoot every now and then between spells - so that's okay. 

Theoretically you can build Priests in all kinds of fashion - melee, nuker, healer, buffer of course - but Durance has a rel. particular set of attributes which make him most suitable for buffing and healing I think (good MIG and INT for buffing hand healing power but low PER - making it harder to actually hit enemies). 

 

Thank you for the reply. So what would you recommend for his armor, and also placement in formation?

I want him to be at least tanky enough to occupy enemies that get past my front liners, but that might be different if I get him a gun, the arqebus or whatever. As I said, I thought him being in the middle, between Frontline and squishy ranged units would be good for that and to maximize his auras and spells.

Or could someone else fill that role better, between a druid and ranger? Or duh barbarian if I pick him up later. With Aloth, I'm sure you're right about him with the right build, but I'm too used to wizards being squishy so I don't know.

And also his armor. Most likely will give him a shield. But are there any penalties he'll suffer with his casting with armor? Should I limit him to DEX boosting light armor?

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On 4/18/2021 at 1:23 PM, Boeroer said:

Durance can wear a shield no problem. But I wouldn't put him where he constantly gets attacked. You could turn him into an offtank and it might work - but it will slow down his spell output and that's what makes Priests so valuable, not their tanking capabilites of their weapon usage.

I generally build Durance as offtank. Early on he can't cast that much(not that many spells out there) and later on his def can become quite insane even with low natural defence, which makes it easy to wear light armor. On other hand stuff like consecrated ground works better the closer you are to frontline

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