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Hello everyone :)

I am returning to PoE2 after a couple of years where I had a kind of poor experience with it. Some background to contextualize the motivation for this topic:

I enjoyed PoE1 very much, such that my first (completed) playthrough was in PotD Expert Mode with my MC (ranged rogue) and story companions. After that I went for the Triple Crown achievement which I was able to get on my first try, this time with a priest and mostly custom companions (don't really remember if I used story companions or not tbh). With this I thought "ok, I've got a good grasp of the game, let's go have fun in PoE2" where I began my first adventure by importing my rogue character from my first PoE playthrough and heading in on PotD difficulty. I got absolutely slaughtered... So much so to the point where I was struggling to find a place I could go in the game that would actually allow me to progress on some quests. At the time I even tried checking out playthroughs online and see if other people were having trouble as I was, only to find that the same areas where I was suffering were totally different and contained like 25% of the enemies (I remember for example that initial temple area where you fight boars and wyrms and whatnot) due to a patch that had changed the game in that way. I eventually got tired of the frustration (not so much the difficulty per se but more so the fact that I felt this shouldn't be happening due to my previous experience in PoE1) and gave up on the game. I believe I was keeping all of my party members as single classes as I didn't really understand multi classes at the time (well, and I still don't).

Fast forward to present time. I am once again very motivated to play these games again and started to try and get myself properly informed about PoE2 to give it another go. I actually quite enjoyed my time with my rogue in PoE and wanted to explore the character further in PoE2. Would you say that a ranged rogue is viable? Would he be better as a single class or a multi with something else? (I am very noob in regard to multiclassing but have no problem with learning about it and using it even if it would add more complexity) I guess I could state this very same question for a priest as I am very unsure which class to actually take :p 

I would also appreciate if anyone would be able to give some suggestions or even just point me to some other material with general approaches to the PotD difficulty and how it might differ from PoE1.

Sorry for the long post and thank you for your time!

Edited by coredumped
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A couple thoughts:

Key differences in PoE2 that might throw you off are the Inspiration/Affliction mechanic and the Armor Rating vs. Penetration mechanic which are new.

AR/PEN can be especially punishing on PotD in the early game, because of scaling and because of how generally the difficulty in PoE2 is very frontloaded, then reaches a plateau, then accelerates again in end-game. Early game can be frustrating but once you get the hang of it, you can do the Maje Dig Site with your eyes closed (well kind of) :). Good healing, AR, PEN and things like Charm/Hold Beasts or Cipher spells can be life savers early on.

If you want to say specifically fights where you struggle, happy to help decode the blocker and give some pointers.

Ranged Rogue (Single or Multi) is amazing. But SC Rogue early without abusing stealth is very hard. Because early game is more about sustain if you don't abuse encounter reset. And early SC Rogue has zero sustain :).

If you have more thoughts on the kind of build that is appealing to you, happy to think about some fun/effective options that will bridge nicely with your PoE1 Char.

If you had fun with PoE1, I'm sure you'll get to LOVE PoE2 eventually! :) 

Edited by Not So Clever Hound
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Hi, thank you for the info. I will definitely check up on those new mechanics.

In terms of the kind of build that appeals to me, I was thinking about a sneaky rogue that lets the frontline engage first and then reveal himself with a high precision and high damage shot (from a rifle probably) on a priority target to try and take someone out of the fight or at the very least severely disable them. After that, if it is viable to just make use of the rifle for the rest of the combat cool, if not (I think rifles are way too slow to rely on them for consistent damage throughout a fight, feel free to correct me here) I would swap to either dual wielding pistols or single pistol for the more "regular" dps. I have no intention of engaging in melee as I'm pretty sure my squishy character would just die.

I've been trying to read on some ideas here in the forum and I've seen mentioned a couple of times the streetfighter (iirc) with blunderbuss as the modal procs their buffs but that feels very unappealing to me.

Other info that may be of relevance: I will want to play with story companions. My initial thoughts from what I can remember from the last time I played would look something like:

  • Eder (frontliner tank) - maybe I'm just biased because that's how I liked him in PoE1. Open to suggestions to improve this role.
  • ??? (frontliner off-tank/dps)
  • Xoti (pure cleric) - I like the idea of single class spell casters as I feel they would reach their best potential sooner than multi-classes. My background here is mostly Baldur's Gate logic, again, feel free to correct me if this way of thinking is incorrect
  • Aloth (pure wizard) - same logic as Xoti
  • *Me* ranged dps rogue
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That's perfect. You're kind of right on the Arquebus slowness though you can build to still retain the Arquebus modal for extra accuracy and be decently fast. But that would require certain builds - see below. Switching to pistol, single-handed, with the modal is great anyway. Other great weapons are Rods (AoE modal spreads your special attack e.g. Gouging Strike) and Hunting Bow (modal is super fast, amazing single target DPS with a unique acquired early) and War Bow (for one particular unique) or Arbalest for one build+unique.

Your party comp is very viable and IMO screams Pallegina as Herald or Crusader to fill ???. Single class casters are great, especially Cleric and Wizard. If you build Eder as Fighter/Rogue, I would build Pallegina as a Herald. That's probably the most powerplay-ish synergy you can get from them two. Maximize Engagement on Eder (with persistent distraction), get decent engagement on Pallegina with supporting aura + chants.

For your main char, Rogue ranged weapon user:

  • SC Assassin is very viable in any shape or form but you might end up "parking" your team somewhere and do everything with it. If you like roguish cheese, that is. :) 
  • Assassin/Helwalker: versatile glass cannon of destruction
  • Assassin/Bleakwalker: @Boeroer's special farming build, devastating
  • Assassin/Devoted: pick your ranged weapon, stick with it, and penetrate like nobody else... @Kaylon has an amazing (solo) build.
  • Assassin/Arcane Archer or Ghost Heart: Uber Disabler with devastating openers and a unique Arbalest synergy - Ghost Heart if you don't like petsies.
  • Assassin/troubadour: Sure Handed Ila + Arquebus or other Ranged Weapons + everything a Troubadour can do.
  • You can also do a Trickster/martial multi that is a Rogue who can tank and deal damage/disable in melee, or an Assassin/caster for great spellcasting effectiveness... really you don't have to stick to ranged weapons purely for effectiveness. Whatever seems most fun to you, then we can elaborate.
Edited by Not So Clever Hound
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I'd recommend an arquebus wielding assassin/bellower. An invocation like Her Revenge or Her Tears, cast from stealth, is absolutely devastating with the assassin bonus and the extra PLs from the bellower. And there's a great weapon, accessible around lvl 8, that is perfect for this build, Blightheart, which gives you phrases every time you kill, which you'll do very often. This build is better in a party IMO than most assassin builds, since you can't open a battle casting an invocation as you can with an assassin/wizard for example. But with a party, you can maneuver invisibly while the enemies are preoccupied with your party, and then pick them off with your gun or your invocations. (But it's viable solo if you pick summons invocations). Just don't pick chants that directly affect enemies, as this will break stealth. You could have Pallegina as a Herald pick those chants. The best for you would be Sure Handed Ila, Aefyllath Ues Mith Fyr and/or Old Siec. This is a very fun MC combo in my experience, and not too micro intensive, unlike assassin/wizards.

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9 minutes ago, dgray62 said:

I'd recommend an arquebus wielding assassin/bellower. An invocation like Her Revenge or Her Tears, cast from stealth, is absolutely devastating with the assassin bonus and the extra PLs from the bellower.

Ah yes, that must be fun to watch! Very synergistic.

 

I forgot one combo that you might find story/lore-friendly which is Ranged Cipher/Assassin. I had written up a solo build here:

 

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Thank you for the suggestions!

My thoughts on these builds:

  • SC Assassin is something that in theory sounds good, but at the same time feels like it could benefit from some extra stuff other classes might have. If the SC is powerful and fun keeping to the theme of using guns AND is also useful in a party fight - I don't really want to leave my party behind to do stuff like hit, run back, stealth, wait, go strike again and repeat. I want to engage fights with everybody and use team synergy for fun and profit. I don't exclude the occasional cheeky one shot and I do want that BIG opening burst damage, I just don't want that to be the only thing my rogue can do. He should be able to handle himself during a fight in the backline.
  • Assassin/Helwalker: Don't really understand the synergy here. My understanding is that monks want to take damage to build up their resources, but I really don't want my rogue getting hit right? Also, aren't most of their abilities melee?
  • Assassin/Bleakwalker: I was checking the skills and it does sound spicy! I guess mostly for the sworn enemy, flames of devotion and auras as the rest isn't very relevant for the rogue.
  • Assassin/Devoted: Looking at the fighter skills and the devoted passives, honestly this looks quite amazing. The multiple "Barrage"s and the penetrating strike alone makes this very appealing.
  • Assassin/Ranger: I like some of the skills rangers get as well as the passive from sharpshooter. I don't really like the pet as they tend to die instantly and getting that debuff makes me not really want to play with a ranger at all. I can understand the suggestion for Ghost Heart (that would be my pick as well given this pet issue) but having a subclass that simply removes the hindrance of the pet just feels like there's a problem with the class in the first place.
  • Assassin/Chanter: This makes me think of bards :p Don't really like the class combination.
  • Trickster/Martial: Sounds like an awesome combination, but for a future playthrough where I would most likely go melee.
  • Assassin/Cipher: I still feel kind of weird about the Cipher class, even in PoE1. I think I would rather have my other companions work on debuffing the enemies.

With all this, I'm kinda undecided between SC Assassin vs Assassin/Devoted. I like the assassin subclass, the Devoted bonuses and I don't really think I'll have an issue with the Devoted downside as I was really planning on taking pretty much only Rifle and pistols. What would be your opinions regarding these two options? How much do I lose out in terms of Rogueish power and tricks by going MC? How much power would I lose from the MC synergies by going SC? I'm not particularly interested in just having the most finely tuned and powerful late game character, I want the character to be fun and a positive contribution to the team throughout the entire game.

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So the synergy of Assassin/Helwalker is that you can get bonus Might and Int and the shock lash and speed and accuracy while generating wounds from the safety of the backline (without taking damage) thanks to Dance of Death. Then you can mix between Rogue attacks and Stunning Surge which is amazing and can stun lock an opponent with enough INT etc.

Assassin/Devoted is really good too as @dgray62 mentioned. If you take the Arquebus specialty, you can switch off the modal with Conquerer stance (the acc bonuses won't stack) to still be very accurate and reload faster. A Blackjacket could be great too: if you use one special Arquebus which has 2 shots + a big one shot arquebus opener + 2 other arquebus/firearms you have a total of 6 shots before even having to reload (cuz you get an extra one from stealth at opening which reloads instantly). You can also do this with Devoted of course but Blackjacket switch weapons faster, has one more weapon set and isn't limited to one weapon type.

Check @Kaylon's Glimmer Man for extra flavor anyway (switch from Tactician to Devoted/Blackjacket for party play):

 

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For a rogue using fire arms as main attack I consider the troubadour to be the best choice as second class. You can have all the time Sure-Handed Ila... (for increased attack speed) and Aefyllath... (for increased damage), while buffing yourself with Their Companion... (for increased penetration and interrupts). You have also at your disposal other chants for self healing, draining, removing afflictions, etc... The next option would be the monk - less speed, but more accuracy. The third would be the ranger for his increased speed, accuracy and Driving Flight. In fourth I would place the barbarian for his great speed bonuses, might inspiration (which can be upgraded later) and the ability to stagger on hit (with Spirit Frenzy) for easy sneak attacks.

Edited by Kaylon
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Sure-Handed Ila is better (for all reloading weapons) as one might guess because BOTH bonuses - the 20% recovery AND the 20% reload - get applied to reloading weapons. It's most likely an oversight, but as is all reloading weapons profit twice from Sure-Handed Ila which makes Chanter and esp. Troubadour (bc. 100% uptime of Sure-Handed Ila + Mith Fyr) an excellent choice for a firearm user.

And as I posted in another thread yesterday or the day before: A Troubadour/Streetfigher can make even better use of the Chanter side by summoning upgraded Whisps and let them shoot at you (they do very little shock dmg - you can use Deltro's Cage helmet to profit from that a bit - but also distract you, unlocking the Streetfighter's passive 50% recovery/reloading bonus) you will become the fastest shooter with one of the highest dmg per hit and the highest sustained (firearm) dps. Best weapon pick imo is the Red Hand then. The Whisps can also be useful to unlock Deathblows on enemies - because Distracted counts as two afflictions (bc. contains flanked). So you don't need to pick Debilitating or Blinding Strike if you don't want to.
The only downside is the act of targeting yourself with your own summons. It can't be scripted with AI and I understand that for some players it feels too weird to be fun. However, it is very effective without breaking the game.

The combination of high dmg per shot and insane reloading speed is a lot of fun imo. And if you can somehow rationalize why your own summons attack you then that becomes a non-issue, too. For example for me my shooter also was some sort of animancer or tinkerer who uses the whisps as his own "essence batteries" to power up some tech that lets him shoot a lot faster and with more dmg - and the price is getting fried a little bit in the process by electricity.

Eccea's Arcane Blaster would be an even better fit than Red Hand - I mean thematically - but unfortunatly Rushed Reload (-50% reloading time, pistol modal) doesn't stack with the 20% reloading bonus of Sure-Handed Ila which is a bit meh. But you can simply not use Rushed Reload and for example get a second pistol (like Scordeo's Trophy with its additional recovery bonus stacking like crazy on top). At some point you will hit the floor of reloading time though. There is some limit due to the reloading animation which you can't get under. For the same reason there is no use to pick Eccea's AB's enchantment which skips reloading - because it doesn't work. :(  If you feel your shooting doesn't get any faster you can balance out with thicker armor for example.   

But the best weapon in terms of pure dps would be Red Hand I think. Even leaving on the the arquebus modal (+20 ACC) is barely noticable once you stacked all your speed bonuses (including gear like Maia's Armor + Cutthroat Cosmo, Acina's Tricorn, Necklace of the Harvest Moon and so on).

Edited by Boeroer
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A lot of information! Seems the consensus is about using troubador as the second class and I can see the reasons for it, just not sure if I like the idea of a sneaky rogue that spends his time singing ballads while shooting people in the head 😄 Although looking at the benefits it does seem like a very strong contender.

An update to my previous statement regarding the Devoted multiclass, I initially thought I could pick 2 weapon proficiencies :( Being stuck with just one seems a bit too restrictive as I wanted the pistol/dualPistols for after the initial volley. Or do you guys feel that sticking to the rifle alone is viable during fights without needing to swap to the faster pistols?

7 hours ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

So the synergy of Assassin/Helwalker is that you can get bonus Might and Int and the shock lash and speed and accuracy while generating wounds from the safety of the backline (without taking damage) thanks to Dance of Death. Then you can mix between Rogue attacks and Stunning Surge which is amazing and can stun lock an opponent with enough INT etc.

 

^ Does Lightning Strikes stack with other lashes I might have in my weapon? I like this combination actually, just a bit afraid of it being too brittle. Not only would I take tons of damage if anything comes my way but also as soon as I take damage the dance gets cancelled and then it all kind of falls apart no?

7 hours ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

Assassin/Devoted is really good too as @dgray62 mentioned. If you take the Arquebus specialty, you can switch off the modal with Conquerer stance (the acc bonuses won't stack) to still be very accurate and reload faster. A Blackjacket could be great too: if you use one special Arquebus which has 2 shots + a big one shot arquebus opener + 2 other arquebus/firearms you have a total of 6 shots before even having to reload (cuz you get an extra one from stealth at opening which reloads instantly). You can also do this with Devoted of course but Blackjacket switch weapons faster, has one more weapon set and isn't limited to one weapon type.

^ This sounds pretty amazing not gonna lie.

By your suggestions it also seems nobody is particularly partial to the Assassin single class or at least the general consensus is that multi classes are just a better fit for rogue?

Tough decisions to make...

So far, here is my take from these builds:

  • Assassin/Helwalker - Very high damage potential, good for consistent damage, Very fragile and the whole plan can go down the drain if I take a single point of damage and lose my dance (does lesser wounds interact with the dance?).
    • 6 hours ago, Kaylon said:

      The next option would be the monk - less speed, but more accuracy.

      How so? Looking at the ability tree it looks I would be mostly benefiting from Lightning strikes and the wounds passive. I don't see anything to increase accuracy.

  • Assassin/Fighter - Seems to have some nice burst potential with disciplined strikes and penetrating strike + either quickly swapping weapons for more shots from black jacket or more passive damage from devoted (unsure on how viable playing solely with arquebus is as I remember it being a very slow weapon), but doesn't have a lot going for it in terms of better consistent damage.
  • Assassin/Troubador - A crowd favourite, looks like it is capable of very nice consistent damage and some extra utility with the spells. No burst.
  • Single class Assassin - underdog?
  • Assassin/Ghost Heart - I like the passives and there is some burst with wounding shot.
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19 hours ago, coredumped said:

How so? Looking at the ability tree it looks I would be mostly benefiting from Lightning strikes and the wounds passive. I don't see anything to increase accuracy.

Dance of Death adds +3acc every 3s for a max of +12acc.

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21 hours ago, coredumped said:

Not only would I take tons of damage if anything comes my way but also as soon as I take damage the dance gets cancelled and then it all kind of falls apart no?

With Enduring Dance (the upgrade of Dance of Death), you can take 3 hits before it cancels. Also by the time you get hit you will prob be at max wounds already so you will lose the accuracy bonus but still benefit from your Helwalker/Duality of Mortal presence - Mind passives (+1 MIG&INT / wound) so it wont matter that much.

Anyway, if I understand the goal of your build correctly, yes : you better not geting hit at all, you're an assassin after all, you cant have assassin/sniper-like big shots from stealth + being able to endure sustained damage :)

 

On 4/29/2022 at 1:05 AM, coredumped said:

I got absolutely slaughtered... So much so to the point where I was struggling to find a place I could go in the game that would actually allow me to progress on some quests. At the time I even tried checking out playthroughs online and see if other people were having trouble as I was, only to find that the same areas where I was suffering were totally different and contained like 25% of the enemies (I remember for example that initial temple area where you fight boars and wyrms and whatnot) due to a patch that had changed the game in that way.

When I returned to Deadfire, I also found that this particular part was a little bit harsh for a "begginer", especially in PotD difficulty. I figured that (because at this point of the game you only have Eder and Xoti) recruting a Druid (Ancient) and maybe a Cipher or a Chanter (or both, in my case it was a Psion/Troubadour which I kept all the game cuz it was an insane support for my grp btw) for those fights solved a part of the problem. Druids have very strong spells to deal with beasts early on (Charm Beasts / Hold Beasts), and Ancient subclass has strong summons (also Chanter can summon skeletons as "meat shield" for those tricky fights). Lots of reloading but clearly easier with a full party :) 

Hope you'll find the build that suits you ;)

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On 4/30/2022 at 3:07 PM, coredumped said:

^ Does Lightning Strikes stack with other lashes I might have in my weapon?

Yep it stacks

On 4/30/2022 at 3:07 PM, coredumped said:

(does lesser wounds interact with the dance?)

Nope, you're getting 1 wound every 3s regardless.

On 4/30/2022 at 3:07 PM, coredumped said:

unsure on how viable playing solely with arquebus is as I remember it being a very slow weapon

Overall it sucks to have only Pierce weapons because a decent amount of enemies are pierce immunes. In the case of Vessels: you might still kill them with Red Hand Double Tap and/or even if the main piercing component of damage doesn't work, the fire lash of Dragon's Dowry for example will still punch through for quite a bit of damage. But better to switch then to Scepter/Rod/Bow for example. So I think Blackjacket makes more sense and is more helpful.

On 4/30/2022 at 3:07 PM, coredumped said:

Single class Assassin - underdog?

SC Assassin is one of the strongest classes in the game. But maybe not as Ranged damage dealer in a party - then one of the multiclass options may give you more value.

On 4/30/2022 at 3:07 PM, coredumped said:

Assassin/Troubador - A crowd favourite, looks like it is capable of very nice consistent damage and some extra utility with the spells. No burst.

This or Assassin/Bellower as @dgray62 mentioned can still give you high burst damage on top of much higher speed, nice lash, incantations etc.

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2 hours ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

Overall it sucks to have only Pierce weapons because a decent amount of enemies are pierce immunes. In the case of Vessels: you might still kill them with Red Hand Double Tap and/or even if the main piercing component of damage doesn't work, the fire lash of Dragon's Dowry for example will still punch through for quite a bit of damage. But better to switch then to Scepter/Rod/Bow for example. So I think Blackjacket makes more sense and is more helpful.

Or you can switch over to essence interrupter to deal with them.

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