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Never played POTD before and here is my planned party comp


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Posted (edited)

Hi, 

I'm new to POTD.  Will this party comp be ok for POTD?  Any easy/obvious improvements? I'm worried that I have too many squishy characters.

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1)  Main - Chanter.  Hatchet/Shield and heavy armor, about 16 in MIGHT/PER/INT/RES; Dump Dex to 3.  Rest of stats at about 10.  Tank/dmg phrases/summon invocations.  (Is ancient memory any good?)  Generally take defensive talents.

2)  Second Tank - ????? No idea, but I feel like I should probably have a second tank.

3) Priest.  Cloth.  Aim for high (about 16) DEX/MIGHT/PER/INT, mainly.  Sacrifice RES/CON some as needed.  Goal is to simply spam fast buffs and heals as needed.  No idea on talents.

4) Wizard.  Cloth.  16 in DEX/MIGHT/PER/INT, Con at about 10, dump RES to 3.  Take weapon talents.  Generally used for crowd control/AOEs/Debuffs, but occasionally can self buff and use Staff/Citzal.  

5) Cipher.  Cloth.  16 in DEX/MIGHT/PER/INT, sacrifice Con and Res as needed.  Take biting whip, draining whip, penetrating shot, blunderbuss, etc.  Or is the blunderbuss bad on POTD due to ACC penalty?

6) Ranger.  Cloth.  Aim for high DEX/MIGHT/PER.  Do I need INT at all on a ranger? Can sacrifice Con/Res as needed.  Take the bear for extra tank support.  Take the hunter's bow and penetrating shot, weapon focus, etc.

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EDIT: Trimming the post, making it less wordy.  Also, shoutout to all the posters who have already put up good builds/strategies for various styles of POTD play (solo, triple crown, etc).  There is a wealth of information already available that I've just now started to look at.  Awesome community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by AnRPGer
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I would recommend this party set-up:

Great 6-Person Party: final run analysis and thoughts - Pillars of Eternity: Characters Builds, Strategies & the Unity Engine (Spoiler Warning!) - Obsidian Forum Community

  • take the Cipher instead of the Barb
  • skip the Ranger, as the Druid is much stronger
  • Paladin makes a very nice secondary tank

As a new PoE-player I directly went for PotD and used this party - I'm almost done with WM2 and just had one really challenging battle so far (Ogre Druids - as I tried this on a to low level).

I would recommend few minor changes on the one or other build, but in general this party is absolutely awesome!

 

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6 hours ago, AnRPGer said:

Hi, 

I'm new to POTD.  Will this party comp be ok for POTD?  Any easy/obvious improvements? I'm worried that I have too many squishy characters.

I guess you played Pillars of Eternity before - just not on PotD difficulty.

I wouldn't put the backline in cloth right from the start. You can do that later once you have a bit more health. In the beginning DR has quite some impact on your survivability, later it will not. Certain enemies (especially ranged ones) will look for soft targets: low endurance/health, low defenses and low DR. If you build four squishy backliners and also put them in cloth they will get targeted a lot more as if the same characters had a somewhat decent DR value. A fast caster is of no use if he's knocked out. ;) As I said you can gradually lower DR the more you level up. 

Besides that the classes don't matter much. If you have some experience with PoE then every class is viable for PotD. 

Chanters make rel. poor tanks early in the game (but can be great later on in that role). Mostly due to their low starting values. So they often need a bit help with the tanking. Thus your idea to add a second sturdy frontliner isn't bad. I personally would add a sturdy Monk. Also not the best tanker early on but Monks develop so well (I'd say they are the most potent martial class) and can become so meaty yet offensively effective that it's worth the first few levels to have a little harder experience:

Fighters are the other way round: they start really strong due to their good starting values - but imo their "power curve" is quite flat.

Paladin would be a safe pick. Even when build offensively (to keep it interesting) they are quite sturdy. Also Paladins can be great at support, especially raising a single ally's accuracy: 

Blunderbuss isn't bad per se. It's just very good against low DR targets and quite bad against high DR targets. So either you lower the enemies' DR with abilities/spells etc. and get some DR bypass or you switch to a different weapon when meeting high DR foes. 
 

You don't need a ton of INT on  ranger (unless you want to use some AoE effects): I personally like to take the wolf instead of the bear. The added DR is good at first but not really impactful later on. The wolf has higher base damage and does very high dmg per hit - especially if you use the bow Persistance which unlocks Predator's Sense for your Animal Companion. In combination with Merciless Companion and so on it can deliver furious bites. It's not attacking fast, but it cracks even high DR foes because of its high dmg per attack. Animal Companion's base damage scales per level. 

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Posted (edited)

Great stuff here, thanks.  I might actually just run with the great 6 man party from the provided link mostly as is, since it uses a lot of classes I didn't use on my other playthrough (hard mode).  In my original play through (about 5-6 years ago?) I did not have a chanter, barbarian, or a druid.

I've played this game once before and it was on hard mode back when the game was new (version 1, so I imagine some mechanics have changed - not that I could remember anyway).

How much does race matter in each character choice?  If I were to run with that great party link, but pick mostly humans and elves, or maybe all orlans (this is all just for theme), how much will that mess my party comp up?

Quote

 Besides that the classes don't matter much. If you have some experience with PoE then every class is viable for PotD. 

I'm getting this feeling for sure, by simply looking at all the variety in which ways people tackle POTD.  There is no substitute for experience so I just need to get out there and try it out. 

Quote

Blunderbuss isn't bad per se. It's just very good against low DR targets and quite bad against high DR targets. So either you lower the enemies' DR with abilities/spells etc. and get some DR bypass or you switch to a different weapon when meeting high DR foes. 

In my hard playthrough, I used Grieving Mother with the blunderbuss.  It was ridiculous!  My party comp was Fighter(Eder)/Paladin(Pallegina)/Priest(Durance)/Cipher(GM)/Ranger(Sagani)/Wizard(Main).  Besides GM, my main was the most ridiculous character (citzal lance/etc).  But this likely says more about how I play the game than anything about the actual character balance.

Thank you for the tips on early play.  It makes sense regarding armor.  I just need to get out of my old stuck AD&D mentality of (wizards can't wear armor!).  Actually I think they could if they multiclassed, anyway.

On a side note:  Say an enemy has 10 DR and Corrode DR 5.  And I hit them for 12 Corrode damage.  They take 7, correct?  But what if an enemy has 10 DR and NO other listed DRs.  And I hit them for 12 Corrode damage.  Do they take 12 damage or do they take 2 damage?  

 

 

 

Edited by AnRPGer
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Posted (edited)

Actually, Boeroer, you've got me really curious about the Monk now.  

Suppose I were to use the party comp provided in the Link (Pal/Barb/Chanter/Druid/Priest/Wiz).  Maybe replace the Barb with a Cipher.

What do you think would be the best way to incorporate a monk?  Or should the Monk replace the Barb/Cipher, actually?

I suddenly feel inspired to make a Monk main and RP him like Goku.  His only mission is to challenge himself by engaging in the most difficult combat fights the world has to offer (this would give me the RP excuse to take on all the game's hardest encounters).  He isn't good or evil, but his drive to challenge himself causes him to inadvertently do good things, since oftentimes the most powerful beings are also morally questionable (Cauncelhaut, for example).  I plan on taking on all of the bounties/all dragons/100 % the combat.

EDIT: Would it make most sense for him to be a follower of Magran, then, if he is to follow a deity at all?  (Contemplates)

Edited by AnRPGer
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, AnRPGer said:

On a side note:  Say an enemy has 10 DR and Corrode DR 5.  And I hit them for 12 Corrode damage.  They take 7, correct?  But what if an enemy has 10 DR and NO other listed DRs.  And I hit them for 12 Corrode damage.  Do they take 12 damage or do they take 2 damage? 

2.

10 is the general value of the armor. If it has no separate values for certain dmg types it's just all 10. 

Actually it's not really 2 because there's some MIN-dmg mechanic that makes sure that you do at least 20% of the rolled damage even if enemies' DR is higher or nearly as high as your dmg:
https://pillarsofeternity.fandom.com/wiki/Damage_Reduction

But for the sake of the argument let's assume it's 2. :)

3 hours ago, AnRPGer said:

What do you think would be the best way to incorporate a monk?  Or should the Monk replace the Barb/Cipher, actually?

I mean... I love Barbs... I personally would run a Barb and a Monk. But I know many players have issues with the Barb...
A Monk is best used (imo) with a dual fast weapon (or dual fist) setup with high INT, spamming Torment's Reach as often as possible. Or play a ranged/melee hybrid Monk which was one of the most entertaining ways to play a Monk for me: 

But Monks can be played in a lot of ways because they can do severl things well: CC, damage, tanking (after some levels)... 

Powerwise I think a Cipher trumps a Monk. Good weapon damage AND good spells (especially Mind Control) is quite hard to beat. 

Edited by Boeroer

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, AnRPGer said:

How much does race matter in each character choice?  If I were to run with that great party link, but pick mostly humans and elves, or maybe all orlans (this is all just for theme), how much will that mess my party comp up?

not that much.

The 3 Godlikes in that party will help in Act I, as you won't find any good headgear and therefore their race boni are quite good without any downsides.

In WM 1 & 2 you will find some nice headgear, but at that point the game is even in PotD that easy, that it might be a better decision to take this small advantage in Act I (which is the hardest part of the game).

 

For each build there are always some slightly better fitting races, but you won't mess up your party that much. At least not with the recommended party, as the set-up is very well balanced and the party will get insane strong when you reach ~L8.

 

I skipped the Barb for the Cipher (a few posts later in that thread), what was a very good decision, as the Cipher is really strong in Act I (great tank with unlimited charm spells) what saved me in many harder battles. Mid-Game the Cipher is quite good, but on L15 he gets the auto-win spell "Defensive Mindweb", which will skyrocket the defense of this party to godlike.

 

I don't see any good reason for additional changes in that set-up - the Wizard and the Druid do such insane amounts of damage, that the rest of the party is more or less support to keep these two guys alive/functional. Therefore I would build the priest more defensive / sturdy (a little bit lower MIG and PER and higher DEX, INT, CON and RES)

 

If you really want to change one more build, the Chanter shoud be the one to skip - but I wouldn't recommend this, as he can give your party some initial defense you can't get elswhere that fast.

On L16 I tested several other party set-ups and builds, but no matter what I change, the party was always weaker then the original one (with Cipher instead of Barb).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by demon72
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19 hours ago, AnRPGer said:

Thank you for the tips on early play.  It makes sense regarding armor.  I just need to get out of my old stuck AD&D mentality of (wizards can't wear armor!).  Actually I think they could if they multiclassed, anyway.

Best you forget everything you know from older AD&D games! ;)

The wizard is by far the best melee build and is great in cc.

The Druid is more the "classic wizard" as he will provide the Damage-Spells.

 

All non-caster Classes in PoE I are very weak compared to Wizard, Druid and Priest.

 

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Thanks so much for the tips, guys.  Last night, I finally decided to take the plunge and use the party from the link with the cipher switch as Demon72 had suggested.  So that left me with:

Chanter/Paladin/Priest/Cipher/Druid/Wizard

I sold a lot of items to Heomar so I could afford a 6 man party as soon as I got to Gilded Vale.  My chanter is my main for RPing reasons, though I suspect this is a bad tactical choice, since having access to a higher level of spells on a Vancian caster would probably be more game changing.  Everyone is meadowfolk human (roleplaying they're all farmers).

Went straight to Temple of Eothas with lvl 3 chanter and lvl 2 everyone else (but at least I still had a 6 man party).  Was it difficult?

Ok, side note on Pillars - the difficulty of this game seems to be very adjustable and goes far, far beyond simply picking POTD vs Hard vs etc.  It also depends on party comp/amount of min maxing, and also on what strats you're willing to use and not use.  This is something I really like about the game.

Case in point, if I had spammed resting and Vancian spell dump every 2-3 encounters, then I think it would have actually been fairly easy.  Instead I treated it like an Expedition and could only rest based on the camping supplies I brought with me and without going back to the inn.  This made every encounter more intense.

The encounter with the two skuldr kings on the lowest level had me doing so much micro, the game actually "felt" like a turn based game.  I was doing things I never needed to do on Hard, such as weapon swapping, timing the Paladin's Flames of Devotion instead of just blindly opening with it, using the stairs as a choke point, etc.   A particularly epic moment was when my summoned phantom stunned one of the skuldr kings just before it landed a killing blow on my chanter.  Then my paladin punished it with two flames of devotion shots from her bow (I didn't even know you could use Flames of Devotion with ranged weapons.  Flames of Devotion Blunderbuss? *Contemplates*.)

I'm having a blast.  I think I'll only get better as I learn how to use this party better. 

POTD has also made me appreciate experience points (and thus, questing) so, so much more.  On Hard, if I recall correctly (it was five years ago), I remember being able to mostly travel anywhere I wanted without having to worry about being under levelled too much.  As a result, experience points didn't feel as significant.  Though I still loved that playthrough as well. 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, AnRPGer said:

I'm having a blast.  I think I'll only get better as I learn how to use this party better. 

happy to hear this!

 

Some early (spelllevel 2) game strategy for this party:

Chanter:

  • heavy armor
  • start with ranged, switch to weapon & shield
  • phrases 2-3x "comrades" afterwards mix in "death"
  • cast Phantoms

 

Paladin:

  • heavy armor
  • weapon & shield
  • start with summoning (from items)
  • flames

 

Priest:

  • heavy armor
  • weapon & shield
  • casting: Armor, Holy Power, Iconic Projection, Interdiction, whatever else is needed

 

Cipher:

  • heavy armor
  • start with ranged, switch to weapon & shield
  • casting: Treason (!!!) - only melee to increase focus

 

Druid:

  • medium armor
  • weapon & shield
  • casting: Woodskin, offensive spells depending on situation/weaknesses, then spititshift to boar

 

Wizard:

  • medium armor
  • weapon & shield
  • casting: start with Chill Fog & Bewildering (depending on enemy weaknesses), followed by some defensive self-buffing (e.g. Mirrored) and Parasitic Staff, then switch to melee, Veil if needed
Edited by demon72
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Posted (edited)

Flames of Devotion is good with arquebus, not so much with blunderbuss (except against targets with low DR, then it's great). Main reason is that lashes (like the burning one from Flames of Devotion) don't profit from DR bypass at all and also don't deal a MIN damage value like your physical dmg does (normally 20% of damage rolled will get applied - even if the DR would have prevented more dmg - not with lashed though) - so most of that additional burn damage gets eaten up by DR when used with a blunderbuss. You can work around a bit with DR-reducing stuff (Chanter invocation Hel Hyraf or Wizard's Expose Vulnerabilities etc.) but it's quite limited what you can achieve.

Arquebuses deal the highest dmg per shot of all weapons - so generally speaking it's the best ranged weapon for Flames of Devotion. 

---

Chanter in early levels: the invocation "White Worms" can be used on the same corpses over an over again. They won't get consumed. But there has to be corpses in the first place. So best to disable the "gib" option in the game menu because gibbed enemies (killed with a critical hit) don't leave corpses behind. Then you can lure enemies to an existing pile of corpses and then use White Worms. All corpses will trigger an explosion, killing enemies. The pile will grow, you lure more enemies there and repeat. At some point the pile of corpses will kill everything with one cast, even Raedric and his gang. You can clear the entirety of the Castle very easily that way (because lots of kith and kith leave corpses). Tons of loot will be the consequence. :) Only reloading the map will remove the corpses (loading a savegame or leaving the map/floor and coming back). This approach can be used even in the later game with big maps and lots of enemies (White March's Russetwood for example or Longwatch Falls and so on.

And excellent late game strategy with a Chanter, Priest and Cipher is to give the Chanter a shield with Preservation (Ilfan Byrngar's Solace for example) and another item with Preservation (e.g. Blaidh Golan armor or some  helmet). Those will stack (because weapon/shield effects stack with everything). This means if you get stunned you will get +100 (!) to all defenses. Now cast Defensive Mindweb (Cipher) and then Withdraw on the Chanter (Priest). Withdraw is a stun effect. The Chanter gets +100 to all defenses. Defensive Mindweb will give those absurd defenses to all other part members. And the best part: Chanters keep singing their phrase when withdrawn. So your Dragon Thrashed chant will still deal damage all the time while you're untouchable. It's a killer combo...

 

Edited by Boeroer

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3 hours ago, Boeroer said:

And excellent late game strategy with a Chanter, Priest and Cipher is to give the Chanter a shield with Preservation (Ilfan Byrngar's Solace for example) and another item with Preservation (e.g. Blaidh Golan armor or some  helmet). Those will stack (because weapon/shield effects stack with everything). This means if you get stunned you will get +100 (!) to all defenses. Now cast Defensive Mindweb (Cipher) and then Withdraw on the Chanter (Priest). Withdraw is a stun effect. The Chanter gets +100 to all defenses. Defensive Mindweb will give those absurd defenses to all other part members. And the best part: Chanters keep singing their phrase when withdrawn. So your Dragon Thrashed chant will still deal damage all the time while you're untouchable. It's a killer combo...

...very nice!

At which number you get immune to everything?

 

With a few buffs (especially "Crowns of the faithfull") my party reaches 150 to 180 for all types of defense and especially Will goes even up to 250+ with "Defensive Mindweb"...

...I don't have the impression that I my party takes any hits after casting "Defensive Mindweb", but maybe only so few that I do not notice them...

...is there a number that gives "Immunity"?

 

 

 

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There certainly is a threshold with every defense where nothing can hit you anymore (except autohits like Minor Missiles or so). But I don't know them. ;)

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12 hours ago, demon72 said:

Paladin:

  • heavy armor
  • weapon & shield
  • start with summoning (from items)
  • flames

 

Most of your tips, I'm doing anyway, but this tip stuck out to me.  Having the paladin be the one to summon just makes sense.  As for the chanter, yes, the phantom has been dubbed the Party Hero.

 

10 hours ago, Boeroer said:

And excellent late game strategy with a Chanter, Priest and Cipher is to give the Chanter a shield with Preservation (Ilfan Byrngar's Solace for example) and another item with Preservation (e.g. Blaidh Golan armor or some  helmet). Those will stack (because weapon/shield effects stack with everything). This means if you get stunned you will get +100 (!) to all defenses. Now cast Defensive Mindweb (Cipher) and then Withdraw on the Chanter (Priest). Withdraw is a stun effect. The Chanter gets +100 to all defenses. Defensive Mindweb will give those absurd defenses to all other part members. And the best part: Chanters keep singing their phrase when withdrawn. So your Dragon Thrashed chant will still deal damage all the time while you're untouchable. It's a killer combo...

 

This is just insane.  I will definitely be trying this out late game.  I will be on the lookout for this "Preservation" Item Property.  I don't want to know where to find one; I'm sure it'll pop up on its own in due time over the playthrough.  It sounds like more than one item has this property.

I don't mind that the game can be broken this badly since it will be a very late game strategy (lvl 15+).  I prefer and enjoy that Act I is the hardest (though I see why some people would want the opposite).  I personally like the feeling of "earning your power," so to speak.  

Will this party comp work on the Adra dragon?  I've a feeling that Twin Scythes (dragon thrash + flames of immolation) won't be enough, and the only reason I bring it up, is I remember the Adra dragon giving me a really hard time even on Hard difficulty years ago.  Though its possible I was just under leveled.  

 

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10 hours ago, AnRPGer said:

Will this party comp work on the Adra dragon?  I've a feeling that Twin Scythes (dragon thrash + flames of immolation) won't be enough, and the only reason I bring it up, is I remember the Adra dragon giving me a really hard time even on Hard difficulty years ago.  Though its possible I was just under leveled.  

I'm not sure if there is a 100% strategy against the BIG Dragons - as there is always a small risk, that they deal that much damage, that a party member gets instantly killed.

If I remember correctly, I beat the Adra Dragon with that party on L12 - means without flames and without any pre-battle buffs on my second try.

I would also win the 1st try, if I had accepted that one party member got killed.

On L14 or later, especially with Defensive Mindweb, this battle should be no big problem.

 

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It's rel. esy to perma-CC dragons if you have a Priest, a Paladin (preferably Darcozzi) with a marking weapon (or even two, dual wielded) and Coordinated Attacks and a Cipher in the party.

Priest casts Prayer against fear and Devotions of course and Champion's Boon on the Cipher (can also add Inspiring Radiance), Paladin casts Inspiring Liberation on Cipher and attacks the dragon with one (or dual wielded) marking weapons. The Cipher has to be nearest to the Paladin and cast Tactical Meld on the Paladin. 

The Cipher will get +20 ACC from Devotions (+10 from Inspiring Radiance as a spike), +10 from Coordinated Attacks, +10 from Inspiring Liberation and +10 from the marking weapon (+20 if dual wieding) from the Paladin - and +20 from Tactical Meld. That's up to +100 accuracy (80 long-term I'd say). He can then use a weapon with prone on crit against the dragon (e.g. We Toki, Hours of St. Rumbalt, Tall Grass etc.) to generate focus an have a chance of causing prone (iirc no dragon is immune to prone) and cast Whisper of Treason or whatever CC works on the dragon (all but one can be charmed). The rest of the crew just takes their chances. A Monk can also be used instead of a Cipher in this setup with Force of Anguish - that already causes prone on a graze and when paired with a proning weapon you can make double sure the dragon stays down. A Fighter also works but unfortunately his uses of prone are quite limited per encounter - yet if you only use Knockdown as a failsafe when the crits won't fall often enough it can work well.

Combined with the Chanter/Priest/Cipher trick above (+100 defenses with Defensive Mindweb etc.) it's pretty easy to win all dragon fights. The key is having enough time to set stuff up at the beginning of the fight. This can be done with summons and charming - to keep the enemies occupied with themselves. Or by kiting and pulling with a suitable  character while the others perpare.  

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Just wanted to say, thanks again guys.  This party comp has been crazy strong.  I'm actually having a significantly easier time on POTD using this party than I did on Hard, as I recall.  Just goes to show how important a good party comp can be.  That or I just have adapted to micro'ing better.

Even the Adra Dragon went down without any issues!  Getting ready to start WM, and I'll have to scale it up.

 

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