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New to this game. I was looking to recreate the Paladin from my Infinity Engine runs. I understand the system of this game doesn't entirely support it but i'm looking for a way to make a viable build that can either tank or dps on a pinch, the latter while using two handed weapons. 

As far as stats, so far i came up with something like this: 

17 7 12 13 15 14 

I sacrificed constitution in hopes all the resistances Paladins get will make up for the lost hit points (for the record, Eder will share tanking duties). I'm playing a human as well for RP reasons and a smaller health pool migh trigger their racial more often. 

Perception, intelligence and resolve are at an high baseline enough to be able to cover most dialogue options with a few buffs from items or consumables. 

I was thinking of actually lowering resolve a tiny bit (perhaps get it down to 12) since i've seen there are a lot of ways to raise it, even up to 20 (the highest check as far as i understand it), and perhaps bump dexterity to 14. From what i understand, slow weapons actually benefit a good deal from dexterity, and good accuracy from perception is also needed. I'm thinking of actually not picking any fighting style at all, so i can also add a single 1H weapon into the mix.  

Lastly, i'm picking Kind Wayfarers because of the healing abilitiy (and also because i like to play the goodie Paladin), which ought to compensate for the low constitution. 

Supposedly dual wielding is a better option for Paladins but i can't wrap my head around using sabres and stilettos while walking in full plate armor as a Paladin. It just doesn't compute in my brain. 

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If you don't need him to be a top dmg dealer but just reliable - and at the same time be a top dmg supporter then I would recommend using the ability "Coordinated Attacks" in combination with a "Marking" weapon. This would first be the pollaxe "Half Mast" and later the estoc "Blade of the Endless Paths" (which is one of the best two-handed weapons in the game anyways). Both work with the same weapon focus which is convenient.

Coordinated Attacks gives an ally who attacks the same target as you +10 accuracy (ACC), and so does a Marking weapon - so in combination +20 accuracy. And those are stackable with every other accuracy buff (which is the exception). +20 accuracy is a huge advantage and helps to take down very hard to hit enemies which otherwise are a lot tougher to beat.

If you also flank an enemy with an ally it will also get the "flanked" debuff automatically which lowers the deflection by 10. That's like having another +10 accuracy. So generally speaking this is a superb way to crack tough nuts.

I personally would recommend Darcozzi Paladini instead of Kind Wayfarer then - but Wayfarer is also fine.

Darcozzi get a pretty good talent "Inspiring Liberation" that gives an ally +10 Accuracy when you cast Liberating Exhortation on them. That also stacks with every other ACC buff (including Coordinated Attacks+Marking).

Note that low CON not only influences your endurance pool (which can get refilled by healing and after combat) but also health (which usually only gets refilled by resting)

So in general lower CON might lead to more rests (not a big deal though, camping supplies are cheap and you can rest almost anywhere). 

Another cool way to play a two-handed Paladin is to get the Belt of the Royal Deadfire Cannoneer asap and combine it with the Forgemaster Gloves. Then you can summon the flaming Great Sword "Firebrand" 6 times per rest.

It is a mighty weapon with huge dmg per hit and great in combination with Flames of Devotion (ability), Intense Flames (talent) and Scion of Flame (talent). 

For backup you could use any two handed weapon you like and use its weapon focus - Firebrand works with any weapon focus. 

A huge flaming great sword is pretty nice for a Paladin imo. :)

 

Edited by Boeroer

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The Darcozzi seems like an interesting choice, it just depends on the kind of roleplaying i would have to do to keep the disposition intact. 

If i'm playing a clever character i wonder if it would be worth it to drop the Resolve to the base 10. I tested the first resolve check and wasn't exactly what i was expecting. I don't want to play a bully. 

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Resolve checks in dialogue are mostly about some sort of "willpower" - so to speak... or courage. If you got an option that sounded like bullying that's an exception I'd say. Usually those are the [aggressive] or [cruel] dialogue options.

Clever dialogue options are often a bit tongue-in-cheek and smarty-pants answers. It can be cringy. But you don't need to always pick the clever option. There are enough non-cheeky ones that you can reach a good disposition count. 

But Kind Wayfarers or on other words [benevolent] dialogue options are the most convenient to pick imo. They feel the best so to speak. Honest is also sometimes hurtful (a lot less than clever though), but as with clever you needn't to pick every one of them.

From memory I would say Resolve is one of the most checked attributes in PoE's dialogue and scripted scenes.

For a tank Resolve it's a good stat if you want to stack a lot of deflection (since increasing defense numbers have increasing return) - but if you rely on fat armor + healing mostly and neglect your deflection anyway it doesn't do much - except that it prevents interrupts!

Interrupts can be pretty annoying for a slow (fat armor, not dual-wielding, lowish DEX) front liner, especially if you get attacked by multiple enemies, even if they are weak. I had an ultimate run with a solo Barb end very prematurely because of a bunch of whimpy wichts... :)

So I personally would not drop it too low. Maybe check out the interrupt mechanics in the gamepedia Pillars wiki.

A Priest with Holy Meditation can help to compensate for low Resolve and prevent interrupts. If you cast it at the start of combat you should be fine even with low Resolve. Later there are even items that can help against interrupts. 

If you are waiting a bit while the main tank attracts most enemies and then off-tank and flank - then low Resolve is also less of a problem because you won't catch as many (potentially interrupting) hits.

 

 

Edited by Boeroer

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So many needed attritubes, so few skill points. 

Let's say i go with something like this:

17 7 14 14 15 10

I'll go Darcozzi since i've played the high resolve, stern holy Paladin a million times (it's my favored role), so i might as well try something new (i'll probably still max the benevolent disposition anyway). As a Darcozzi, i'll be skipping FoD entirely as from what i understand it is better in the hands of dual wielders beause it procs twice with two weapons, right? 

Now you have suggested all the ways to boost concentration with a lowish resolve, so there's nothing else to say there. I hope 10 will be enough. 

Would it be better to drop Dex at base instead o trying to fight with the speed penalty of heavy armor? Seems like unless i really focus on it it's a losing battle, especially with a slow weapon. I could bump Might more, take Con to base or raise Perception an extra nick. 

Speaking of which, is it true that Perception helps with Sacred Immolation? 

I also hope 15 is enough as far as Int goes. I heard the radius of Paladin auras is pretty small. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Boeroer said:

If you got an option that sounded like bullying that's an exception I'd say.

It's the first check you get in the encampment, where you tell the guy holding the rogue hostage to straight up murder him. 

I think they were going for a Clint Eastwood routine (go ahead, make my day), but it still came off as a bit harsh. If i were playing on expert mode, i might be confused by lines like that.

BTW, i just saw a post saying that Might has diminishing returns over time as you get more bonuses on damage from items and buffs? Not sure i understood why, but i wonder if that would allow me drop it down a bit, perhaps to 15. Then again, there's Sacred Immolation to think about, and healing. 

 

Edited by Opus132
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Might does not get diminishing returns.

The bonus it grants to damage is additive and can get overshadowed by other, higher additive bonuses. But Paladins have not many of those (besides his weapons' quality and Two Handed Style) - so Might is still viable as a source for damage bonuses. For spell-like abilities like Sacred Immolation it is the only damage bonus (because those abilities can't profit from weapon quality or stuff like two handed style)

Might (as all dmg bonuses) helps with overcoming high damage reduction of enemies. While more DEX leads to multiplicative dmg increase and MIG is only additive, DEX doesn't help against armors' DR. Same is true for heavier weapons vs. faster ones: while on paper the DPS of light weapons is better, their dmg tend to get eaten up by damage rediction. So one should balance "damage per hit" and  "damage per second"

Might also makes all your healing more potent (Lay on Hands for example and also Veteran's Recovery should you take that). It also raises your fortitude defense. The most nasty disables you can catch target fortitude, especially later in the game (paralysis and stun for example).

Perception always influences attack rolls. All of them - because it influences your accuracy and an attack roll always uses your accuracy vs. enemy's defense. So Sacred Immolation will be influenced by your Perception because SA does an attack roll on all enemies in its area of effect every 3 secs (with every pulse). The effect of high Perception is most visible in the early game because it will be one of the few accuracy bonuses you will have. Later on it doesn't make that much of a difference anymore because you will gain accuracy with every character level, from items and buffs as well. At the same time you can lower enemies' defenses with debuffs/disables. So for me personally it isn't the state I'm most concerned with. 

Regarding DEX: it's an impactful attribute (in the scope of Pillars' attributes which aren't too impactful in the first place). It is the only thing that not only reduces recovery time but the actual action or animation time. Thus not only helps with swing a sword faster, but you can also react a lot faster AFTER you swing a sword. For example if you are a slow dude and swing your two hander and only afterwards realize your buddy needs healing, you have to wait a lot longer until you can cast Lay on Hands as if you would be a fast guy. So - it's not only about damage, it's also about reactivity, being able to adapt quickly to changing situations. 

Two Handed melee weapons are not slower than the larger one handed ones by the way. A great sword is not slower than a sword. A morning star is not slower than a mace. The only melee weapons that are faster are the light ones: dagger, stiletto, rapier, hatchet, flail, fist. What makes one handed (bigger) weapons faster than two handed ones is only dual wielding (and two weapon style on top). A shield + sword setup or a single sword setup is as slow/fast as a great sword. 

Two handed weapons deal more damage per hit (higher base dmg) and get a bonus from two weapon style (15% iirc). So I wouldn't say that Flames of Devotion (FoD) is bad for them just because it could be better with a dual wielding setup. Against high DR the two hander with FoD will perform better with its singular but high dmg strike while a dual weapon setup will be better against low DR foes with the two strikes with lower dmg. Kind Wayfarers prefer dusk wielding because the healing they do with FoD procs twice then. For the rest of the Paladin orders it doesn't matter that much. Flames of Devotion has a whopping +20 accuracy bonus which is good to have especially in the earlier stages of the game. It helps with reliably hitting enemies. Flames of Devotion adds a burning lash to the attack. Lashes are multiplicative dmg bonuses because all the physical dmg you do with the strike (including bonus from weapon quality, crit, might, two handed style etc.) will get multiplied by the lash and added as elemental damage. So if your weapon strike deals 30 slash dmg overall and FoD adds a 50% lash it will add 15 fire dmg. The lash can be raised with Scion of Flame (from 50% to 60%, increase of 20%). And you can add a burning lash to the weapon as enchantment (25%) and also add intense flames as talent (25% iirc). Both of those also get raised by Scion of Flame (to 30% each). So - it can be fun to use FoD even with a Two Hander. If you use Firebrand I would absolutely recommend taking FoD. If you prefer the attack support route with Coordinated Attacks etc. it's maybe not that important to use FoD.

Sacred Immolation is a killer ability. It gets influenced by MIG (dmg), INT (AoE size, duration) and PER (accuracy bonus). But it also comes pretty late so it doesn't make a ton of sense to build your whole attributes around it. It will be nice anyway. 

I'd say your attributes look fine. 15 MIG would also be totally reasonable. 2 points don't make a lot of difference. In this case just go with an attribute distribution that feels best, also in view of your character role. If you think 15 MIG/9CON or 15MIG/12RES sounds more plausible for your Paladin than 17/7 or 17/10 then that's what I would do. You won't feel a noticable difference during combat from 2 points. 

A skill which is more useful than others imo is survival. The camping bonuses you can get, especially the accuracy bonus vs. certain enemies, are good. See that you reach a certain threshold so that you unlock the second tier of accuracy bonus (+8 iirc) and then put the rest of your skill points somewhere else (etc. Lore so you can use some useful scrolls when the party is in a pinch or Athletics so you have an emergency heal).  

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Posted (edited)

I think i got it now. 

One final question though, if i had to drop either dexterity or perception to base (say, to make him a bit tankier by raising resolve etc), which would i pick? I understand it's all situational, but i'm still confused regarding action speed while wearing heavy armor, whether it is worth trying to fight the penatly by raising dex or just give up and focus on accuracy instead. 

I'm confused because in my head dex is associated with fast action, rogues, dual wielding etc, but this game seems to have it's own logic where all the classic tropes may not apply. 

Edited by Opus132
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Wow, i just got to the first inn. Didn't expect the respec to be so cheap. That makes it worst since now build paralysis will haunt me through the whole game, hahaha. 

I was looking over your Counselor Ploi build, and i'm having a strong urge to try that one instead, but i'm not sure i want to restart. As a human Darcozzi, i'd be missing out some of the clever synergies you came up with, but i suppose i may still make it work. 

While i love the two handed paladin archetype, it feels a bit underwhelming in this game. For instance, it really feels i would be better off wearing light armor if i want to maximize dps but that just messes with my brain and it feels at that point i might as well just go with a barbarian.

With your build though, it feels i could actually fulfill my original intention as i can still throw a bit of two-handed fighting into the mix, either forgo the alpha strike or the Outworn Buckler on certain encounters depending on how i feel like it (or take that talent that increases weapon sets and keep all three options open at all times). It feels the Paladin doesn't have a whole lot to do once the FoD charges have been spent anyway so it seems once i unloaded everything it really doesn't matter what i do, whether i play defence or offence or just fumble with a scroll, heh.  

Edited by Opus132
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Wait, did they fix the extra Flame of Devotion you get when attacking before engaging into combat? 

I just tried it by stealthing close to a mob (just close enough to reveal it while remaining undetected), then selecting Flame of Devotion and targetting an enemy but the moment i do that combat starts and the Flame of Devotion count goes down by one. How does this work exactly? 

 

Edited by Opus132
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1 hour ago, Opus132 said:

Wait, did they fix the extra Flame of Devotion you get when attacking before engaging into combat? 

I just tried it by stealthing close to a mob (just close enough to reveal it while remaining undetected), then selecting Flame of Devotion and targetting an enemy but the moment i do that combat starts and the Flame of Devotion count goes down by one. How does this work exactly? 

 

It used to work with (long) ranged weapons because the time between execution and impact was long enough for the refund to happen. Afaik it never worked with melee FoD-attacks. At least not reliably. Even with arquebus etc. it will not always work iirc (projectile too fast). A War Bow might be the ideal weapon to try this out - but the base damage isn't overwhelmingly good for making it your dedicated FoD weapon.

You can totally use the basic idea of the Ploi build (that is being a very strong ACC support), skip the charming and alpha-striking part and focus more on good two-handed auto-attacks. Ploi isn't a Darcozzi but a Shieldbearer - so his ACC-buffs are a bit lacking which he compensates for with the charming and Buckler stuff. A Darcozzi can apply Inspiring Liberation which is such a useful support tool - so your variant with Darcozzi + two handed should be good, too. The nice thing about Paladins is that they can move around the battlefield rel. freely without having to fear quck knockouts - because even when not geared and skilled for pure defense they are still hard to take down. That can make them good "rushers" who walk behind the enemies' front lines and attack from behind (and support your party members with great ACC). Imagine an enemy party with a dangerous Wizard in the backline. Your Palladin casts Inspiring Liberation on a ranged damage dealer of your party, then walzes in and attacks said wizard --> wizard cannot take offensive action against your party if he wants to defend himself. Your Paladin "marks" the wizard with Coordinated Attacks and his marking weapon. YOur ranged damage dealer attacks the wizard, too --> gets +30 accuracy against that wizard and will absolutely demolish him while the Paladin will also do his damage with the two hander. Wizard is no threat and dies quickly - both then go off to the next target. In the meantime the Paladin can also heal party members or cast some other support stuff etc.

This is a very efficient way to fight against dangerous or very tough singular enemies (Casters, Dragons, etc. ).

Add a Priest with Inspiring Radiance and Devotions for the Faithful and no enemy will be hard to hit. 

The charming part (if you want it at all) can also be done by the party's Cipher. :)  
  

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