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Skill Questions: Party Assist Skills, best progression? Burte as a Scroll Caster or secondary Mechanic? Should everyone get a little Alchemy? And Explosives worth it?


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1.

So, what is the best skill progression for party members? Should I focus each NPC on a different passive? Or is it better to spread it more evenly because of diminishing returns for party assists?
I am of course also looking at the powergamey aspect of this (at least to some extend - no 'lore-breaking' skills for now :) ), as there are a few items I am interested in that get buffs from passives.
Namely Mohorā Tanga for its minor dmg boost, Ruata's Walking Cloak for its Stride buff, both for Eder (Swash) to get him to priority targets ASAP even if I am out of Guile for Escape.
Also interesting for Eder is Shining Bullwark for when I need a tank. I am just not sure if that shield is even good? On paper it seems to be...
Last but not least The Giftbearer's Cloth, in this case for Rekke (Brute) for a neat little defensive boost.

I will RP with Insight, Survival, Diplomacy and History on my Watcher. 
Just writing all this down makes it seem to me that - except for boosting item effects - it should be far more effective to spread the skill points out among multiple chars, or am I mistaken? Are the 4 listed items even worth it?

 

2.

Rekke as a Brute. I thought of bumping his Arcana up to have a third scroll caster for when the need arises. Troubadour Watcher, Xoti as Monk and then Rekke. The other approach would be to ease the burden on Eder a bit and bumping Mechanics a bit so all of my frontliners could have at least an acceptable Athletics score instead of one having 0 and the others whatever. Though I read that Athletics is not as good in DF as it was in POE1? So maybe only getting 2 on everyone to get the party assist bonus and 7 on the watcher for the solo checks?
 

 

3.

Alchemy on everyone. Worth it? Is it a dump or max stat or are a few points in it helpful?

 

4.

Explosives. Is a Demolition Expert worth the stat investement? Or are explosives obsolete later on? At least on Port Maje and early Neketaka I found them to be quite useful...

 

That's it for now xD

Thanks in advance 😄

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I usually do it this way, as the skills are beneficial for not only battles, but also scripted encounters. 

1) Mechanics, almost always , my MC focuses on mechanics, (alongside Berath's Blessings for +2 stats) so I acquire the good equipment early on. Namely, in Nekataka you can steal some nice stuff very early on

2) Stealth  - this goes hand in hand with mechanics, is useful for rogue types, as well as scripted encounters. Usually, my "mechanics' character will open stuff, then the stealth character will loot it

3) Athletics - give this to at least one person, does not have to be the tank even. Useful all around for scripted events , and certain equipment benefits 

4) Alchemy / Arcana, - Honestly, i rarely use scrolls, potions, or drugs, but they are very good. For example, scroll of maelstrom lets you win almost any encounter. Scroll of avenging storm is equally  fun. I would experiment with these and find which you like. Arcana is the safer choice because drug crash time is really annoying (albeit potions do not have this side effect)

5) I never use explosives, and there are few scripted encounters that require it, to the best of my knowledge. Some players like them. 

 

In terms of skills and equipment, find the ones you like and max them. Do check the wikis , because at a certain point, skill boosts max out or become negligible for items such as the Cladu -whatever large shield that uses Athletics. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, SirMirrorcoat said:

Alchemy on everyone. Worth it? Is it a dump or max stat or are a few points in it helpful?

alchemy is always a safe backup choice, because anyone can make use of healing potions and getting extra healing out of them is really handy. extra duration is nice on the other stuff, but it's not exactly world-changing the way high-level arcana can be; i don't go all-in on alchemy normally unless i have someone that i really want to take advantage of poisons or drugs (really sucks to run out of drugs in the middle of a fight). edit: for folks coming in from poe1, time is very different in deadfire. one drug with long duration could last many fights in poe1. in deadfire even with long duration, you might be hard-pressed to get more than two.

 

3 hours ago, SirMirrorcoat said:

Though I read that Athletics is not as good in DF as it was in POE1? So maybe only getting 2 on everyone to get the party assist bonus and 7 on the watcher for the solo checks?

it's been long enough that i don't quite remember athletics' effectiveness in poe1 anymore, but 1 or 2 points in athletics broadly is great simply because without it you don't get Second Wind at all. You get maximum return for those first two points, since having everyone with a near-instant once/encounter minor healing potion is pretty nice for easing your progress.

there is one DLC armor in SSS that gives you increasing returns for investing in athletics (-1% recovery bonus per point). something to possibly consider. if you have trouble juggling potions, investing in athletics can be better than alchemy, even though alchemy might have better overall outcomes at mid-higher investment than athletics.

 

3 hours ago, SirMirrorcoat said:

Explosives. Is a Demolition Expert worth the stat investement? Or are explosives obsolete later on? At least on Port Maje and early Neketaka I found them to be quite useful...

i love explosives. they are great. they reward you for heavy investment. not quite the exponential way like arcana, but still a blast (pun intended). Notably, Cinder Bombs are relatively easy to make (you can buy the ingredients in Nekataka and you make them in batches) and have the special effect that they automatically interrupt everyone when it first blows up (e.g. no attack roll, so even at 1% chance to hit you still interrupt them). So they are always useful, and getting increased damage and blinding duration from its aftereffects can make any fight bend in your favor real fast. The really high-level bombs can cause some serious mayhem in your favor, too (lightning, implosion, and frost). The lowly fiery bombs (i forgot the english name i'm only playing in german now 😐 ) also really need the help of dedicated investment to keep up with enemy AR in mid-high game, and also reward you with lots of damage. you can even use it to heal! by the time i get to BoW i have tons of spirit stuff and i'm churning out the healing bombs and they are great on backup characters to supplement heals if i get hit with a lot of burst damage. easier to replenish than healing scrolls.

only "problem" is in boss fights it gets real easy for me to dump my inventory too quickly and it takes me a while to replenish. 

due to action economy issues, i would recommend bombs only on martial classes and defensive/buff-oriented casters. offensive casters and debuffers will be too busy doing anything else to use bombs.

Edited by thelee
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for active skills:

a couple skills i highly recommend just maxing out if you plan on using them at all (arcana, explosives).

 

but most of them can be fine with just medium, shared investing, even the ones i just suggested as candidates for maxing out.

definitely don't go with many skills with smaller investment. especially on higher difficulties, you need some scaling to make abilities usable in fights. the only exception is pickpocketing, which--even if you are big pickpocketer and have the berath's blessing--you're better off with just a few points and then putting the rest in stealth.

 

Edited by thelee
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