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I've been testing a lot of combinations lately and i gotta say... this combo ends the fight in a few secs even in hard mode. Here are the reasons and a detailed guide:

 

Class Overview

 

Priests

 

Priests give melee characters huge buffs. I'm not even going to talk about the spells here, as you probably noticed priest has the best buff spells in the game. Especially one buff i noticed is.. the accuracy bonus talent on holy radiance (1/encounter) The funny thing with this ability is you can cast it outside the combat and start the fight with an accuracy bonus for 15+seconds and cast it once more during the combat. As far as i know you cannot cast other buff spells outside the combat! This alone will give you +5 accuracy on all your party for pretty much the whole fight, and accuracy is probably the most important thing in this game: it lets you hit the opponents and crit if you roll high.

 

Monks

 

Monks have huge dps with swift strikes ability + two weapon talent +weapon focus talent + high dexterity. But another reason why monk is op is you can send the dangerous targets away and knock em down with 'force of anguish' ability. The target will stay out of combat for 10+ seconds! He's basically dead. This is not only effective but it's insanely fun. The most fun class i've played in the game so far. Later they also get stunning hits, which also adds more to the crowd control potential of the class, which is why i prefer monks over let's say... rogues. All the crowd control abilities will reduce the enemies' overall damage output and keep your frontline safe and sound.

 

Barbarians

 

Barbarians currently have the best total melee dps output in the game. Here are the reasons why: 

 

First:  Frenzy. It gives you a very large attack speed bonus, might(more percentage based damage bonus) and constitution (+6 on each when upgraded, 6 might means %18 more damage.) Let's say you have a barbarian with 18 starting might, you'll have 24 might once you activate the frenzy, without any other buffs or gear, this gives you %42 damage bonus in total. Your attacks will easily bypass the DR of the enemy.

 

Second: Brute Force/threatening presence passive ability combo. As you might have noticed, barbarians start the game with average accuracy. (-10 less accuracy than the best value) But wait till you hear these: This combo increases your accuracy against most enemies in the game, since they often have a weaker fortitude than deflection. ( you can check the bestiary, especially all sorts of casters, shades, phantoms - really annoying creatures- creatures that are similar to rogues with high reflexes and generally physically weak built enemies have lower fortitude ) Also threatening presence lowers their fortitude by 20. That is 20 more accuracy in most cases guys... OP. Also keep in mind that fortitude debuff will allow your monk to disable opponents properly, since monk ability checks are made against fortitude.

 

Third: Blooded passive ability. It increases your damage by a HUGE amount once your hp is below %50. There's no bigger increase to damage in this game. Once you go below %50 hp, the fight will probably end.

 

Fourth: Carnage. This gives you a PERCENTAGE based aoe damage on your attacks. You might want to focus on that percentage part, because this means damage is not static (the information in prima guide is wrong). You can test it if you want, most of the time it deals about %60 percent of the primary attack. Which means it'll also bypass damage reduction of the enemy in most cases. Increase your int a little bit (something between 12-14 works best) to gain more advantage from the aoe.

 

Fifth: Barbaric Blow. It depends on chance but this ability may sometimes crit(%30 hits are converted into crits), and it is a full attack (means if you are dual wielding, you hit with both weapons), it has both a +crit damage multiplier and +damage bonus. It'll kill most enemies if it crits. What makes this worth picking is that it is a talent (will not interfere with your ability progression) and it is per encounter!

 

All these points mentioned above makes barbarian a better dps than rogues, as rogues need to backstab/sneak attack to increase their damage output, and a simple difference is rogues can't deal aoe damage with their hits.

 

Tactics

 

First of all, you'll need a tank for this to work. Either paladins or fighters work well, but you might want to pick a +engagement bonus talent for paladin. I prefer fighters since they get defender and endurance regen for free. Send him to engage first with defender mode (+2 engagement limit, many defensive bonuses when upgraded including the awesome +15 deflection bonus). Then send in your monk and try to tank one enemy with him for wounds. You can also get the talent 'mortification of the soul' to get wounds and start swift strike and disabling right away. Then send your barbarian in, activate rage and start slaughtering. Try to take down the most dangerous enemy first, for example if an enemy has blind spell (creatures like shadows) it'll mess up your frontline. Take him down fast.

 

Always cast holy radiance with your priest before the fight, as mentioned above. Then start buffing your party, especially your front line. Most of the time in hard difficulty you won't even need the buffs, just use them for tough fights. Cast holy radiance once more if the fight lasts long.

 

Stats

 

Abilities, talents and gear are more important in this game than stats but there's no reason to go for a high defensive stat on a melee dps. Therefore, arrange the stats on both your monk and barbarian towards an offensive play. That is high might and dexterity, medium constitution and intelligence, low perception and resolve. Intelligence will give you bonuses on the duration of your abilities, constitution will keep you alive. Trust me on this they do not need to be tanky, since a single tank works well in this game and we'll increase the defensive stats of monk and barbarian with equipment. In %100 of time if your monk and barbarian keeps dies it's due to a positioning mistake and not because of their stats. That being said, you might want to make your monk just a little bit more defensive than the barbarian (+1 or +2 on perception and/or resolve), because he needs wounds to use his abilities and also barbarians have a little more hp/endurance.

 

Skills

 

It's kind of obvious if you know about the fatigue mechanics but, have at least 2 points on athletics on all your melee characters, and even on the casters too. Trust me you do not want to have the fatigue debuff. Take mechanic skill either on your main character or someone else. These two skills are the most important ones in the game.

 

Gear

 

Tank

 

Armor: Obviously, have your tank wear all the defensive items and increase his defenses as much as you can. Always wear a shield and enchant it if you can. It is really important that he stays alive for first few rounds, which is not that difficult.

 

Monk

 

Armor: Give your monk a light or no armor. There are really good light armors that only have %15 recovery debuff. (check the armor 'Vengiatta Rugia on prima guide for example, wow!) Enchant his armor. Enchanting the armor on your monk should be your first priority. You can also wear plain clothes (no attack speed penalty at all!) and still enchant it for DR and stat bonuses. Isn't that sweet?

 

Weapon: Go for two weapon fighting. Use your fists early game but you might want to switch later on to a weapon of your choice, because you can enchant weapons but not fists. Get the weapon focus peasant for an accuracy bonus(hatchet, spear, quarter staff, hunting bow, unarmed) or something else if you don't care about unarmed. Hatchets give deflection bonus and staves have reach bonus so you can use the doorway tactic with staves. (attacking from behind while your tank blocks all the enemies in a doorway, or a narrow corridor). Accuracy is important, keep that in mind.

 

Barbarian

 

Armor: Give him either light or medium armor and enchant it. (an example: check 'saint's war' in prima guide, it gives you second chance, perfectly synergizes with barbarian class)

 

Weapon: Use two weapons or a two handed weapon. Get the talent that suits your choice. Two weapons will probably have better dps overall since you get interrupted with slow attacks a lot, but two handed weapons deal more damage per hit, making your aoe attacks more effective against enemies with damage reduction. Estocs might be a good choice for two handed, since they give DR penetration, really important for hard fights. Two handed swords will also work. Take the weapon focus for your desired weapons, again, accuracy is really important.

 

Here's an important note: If you are a good tactician and you can have your barbarian attack without getting interrupted by the enemy, GO FOR TWO HANDED WEAPONS! You'll bypass the enemy DR more effectively and it is the only thing that keeps them alive! Yes you can penetrate that huge dragon's thick scales too! LOL

 

Supporting Spells

 

I will not go into detail in this section, but spells that augment the fortitude, deflection and accuracy are really helpful. For example the blind spell in this game is really overpowered because it lowers both deflection and accuracy of the targets by a large amount, making them vulnerable to your attacks and it keeps your party alive due to the accuracy debuff. There are two blind spells on wizard in levels 1 and 2. The level one spell attacks fortitude and level 2 spell attacks will, so it won't miss if you cast the right one. (tough melee creatures have low will while weaker ones such as casters have low fortitude).

 

Also spells that debuff the enemy's damage reduction are huge. The only thing that keeps the monsters alive are defenses and damage reduction, and once you get passed those the fight ends in a blink.

 

Another good debuff is 'sickened' or anything that lowers fortitude. It'll allow your barbarian to hit and crit easily since he attacks the enemy's fortitude if it's lower (considering you have the talent 'Brute Force', I really suggest getting it on your barbarian!). Lowering fortitude will also allow those great disable abilities on your monk and fighter to work properly.

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I'm really not sure about blooded. Maybe you need to be a better player than me but if I'm below 50% that means I'm going to die within the next five seconds or I'm going to be healed to full within the next two. That 50% bonus might kick in for one or two strikes and then that's kind of it. Perhaps once you hit higher levels it's different, but at lvl <6 it's utterly pointless for me to waste a talent on it.

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I'm really not sure about blooded. Maybe you need to be a better player than me but if I'm below 50% that means I'm going to die within the next five seconds or I'm going to be healed to full within the next two. That 50% bonus might kick in for one or two strikes and then that's kind of it. Perhaps once you hit higher levels it's different, but at lvl <6 it's utterly pointless for me to waste a talent on it.

Keep in mind that there is a priest in this combo, which can keep him alive. Also, the fights will last shorter than you think with this party. The beauty of that talent is even if you are dying you'll take down a few with you because it's an insane boost. The last ability on barbarian will also allow you to execute some enhanced attacks before going down. So yeah the fight will probably end in your favor. Also check the armor i suggested. It lets you rise up when you are down. Hell you can even rise up again with a priest spell and murder some more!

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What are you two other characters apart from m/b/p/f?  

 

 

I always wanted to main a monk or barb but never could build them right, just kept dying. This is good tips.  I've learned a lot since going in blind day 1, and might try again.

Edited by Dongom

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What are you two other characters apart from m/b/p/f?  

 

 

I always wanted to main a monk or barb but never could build them right, just kept dying. This is good tips.  I've learned a lot since going in blind day 1, and might try again.

 

My main character is Monk, with athletics and mechanics skills. Monk might seem a bit weak at start but DO NOT let it fool you. After level 4-5 or so it starts murdering people. My other characters are cipher and druid. Cipher will add even more crucial debuffs such as paralyze(will allow your dps to shine), and druid will add more heal/buff and some elemental damage. You may also change one of them with wizard, but i think others are a bit stronger at the moment. 

 

With the help of some enchants on front row equipment, this party build just cannot go wrong. It all synergizes very well in my opinion. The real aim of this build is to go through all the fights really fast(that is why i have no chanter!) and at the same time it's insanely fun to play.

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Good to know, my plan for my first play through is to only use the premade NPC companions so I won't be able to get Barbarian/Monk. Here's the group I plan to use:

 

PC - Barbarian

NPC - Fighter, Paladin, Wizard, Priest and Druid.

 

I'm hoping that works out fairly well. 

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Good to know, my plan for my first play through is to only use the premade NPC companions so I won't be able to get Barbarian/Monk. Here's the group I plan to use:

 

PC - Barbarian

NPC - Fighter, Paladin, Wizard, Priest and Druid.

 

I'm hoping that works out fairly well. 

Actually this is the reason i started a monk, and i'll use as many companions as possible. I only created the barbarian myself and others are all companions and it definately adds to the fun factor, which is all i care for. I took the cipher instead of wizard because wizard companion's stats seem like the weakest to me, and wizards are not so good in hard difficulty because you can only rest twice and end up auto attacking most of the time. That being said, wizards can just use all spells rapidly in one fight and allow you to move on. So it's all kind of balanced.

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I got it on Durance level 4 and it's called 'Inspiring Radiance'. By the way I found out that it can stack if you cast it 3-4 times before fight. It might be a glitch.

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Ah, yes.  Missed that last sentence in the game guide.  Thanks for pointing it out.

 

I'm playing a fire godlike monk and have given him only modest CON. Was that a mistake do you think?  He's struggling to stay up in more difficult combats.

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Barbarians currently have the best total melee dps output in the game. Here are the reasons why: 

 

All these points mentioned above makes barbarian a better dps than rogues, as rogues need to backstab/sneak attack to increase their damage output, and a simple difference is rogues can't deal aoe damage with their hits.

 

 

I don't see anything wrong with that considering that's all Barb's excel at. Whereas Rogues still have superior single target burst and many of their damage perks ( sneak attack/deathblows) work both in melee and ranged which makes them more versatile. 

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Actually the game content is trivialised on all dificulties due to the borked xp. So there are literally no wrong answers if you can get to defiance bay your build/composition wins.

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Not really an overpowered combination. Barbs are one of the weaker classes honestly.

 

Melee damage is nice on lower difficulties and at low levels. Everything else casters and tanks rule IMO.

Melee glass cannon builds just get KOed too easily. You can get your damage in AoEs, from safe distances, from casters along with tons of utility and control.

 

Casters are just more versatile. More types of damage, spells targeting varied defenses, buffs, debuffs, and CC galore.

When things go poorly casters can quickly adapt tactics. The physical damage can't really do much.

 

Granted, some people just don't like to micro that much, melee is fine on hard and below for those people.

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Not really an overpowered combination. Barbs are one of the weaker classes honestly.

 

Melee damage is nice on lower difficulties and at low levels. Everything else casters and tanks rule IMO.

Melee glass cannon builds just get KOed too easily. You can get your damage in AoEs, from safe distances, from casters along with tons of utility and control.

 

Casters are just more versatile. More types of damage, spells targeting varied defenses, buffs, debuffs, and CC galore.

When things go poorly casters can quickly adapt tactics. The physical damage can't really do much.

 

Granted, some people just don't like to micro that much, melee is fine on hard and below for those people.

I agree spells like paralyze, confuse and dominate can be better than weapon damage since DR won't help against them. The thing is you can still get this dps combo and also 2 casters. Apart from these I have a cipher and a druid at the moment and it covers all i need. It would most probably work on highest difficulty aswell but i'm playing on hard.

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Ah, yes.  Missed that last sentence in the game guide.  Thanks for pointing it out.

 

I'm playing a fire godlike monk and have given him only modest CON. Was that a mistake do you think?  He's struggling to stay up in more difficult combats.

 

Fire godlike is good for monk but it gets a bit weaker later on since DR bonus stays the same i believe. I picked human for accuracy and damage boost(+7 acc is a lot in this game) but after some consideration i think moon godlike is the best race for monk because you can get wounds, knock down people, auto heal get more wounds heal again and so on.

 

Con is important on Monk since you need high endurance to get more wounds but it does not increase it that much. I have 14 con. My monk is a human and stats are 18 14 18 6 16 6. It's highly offensive but i can keep him alive easily with good positioning and i have a lot of defensive buffs and heal on my priest and druid. Barbarian is also human they both get huge dps once they have low hp and i like the way combat works for my party. I keep them alive and they deal huge damage. Much more damage than other balanced builds out there. So it's dangerous but fun that's how i like it.

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after seeing this post i started a party with these 3 classes on PotD along with a fighter, cipher and druid its been pretty smooth sailing  just made it to defiance bay!

 

Nice to hear this helped some people. I have the exact same party. Isnt it fun how things get torn into pieces all the time? Ofcourse there are many other viable builds out there but i find this really fun and smooth.

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The most broken barb talent is One Stands alone. It's probably bugged though. But if you're stacking inspiring radiance you're into bug abuse territory already.

Most of the time i don't stack it because it's boring to cast before every fight. I didn't take that one yet. How is it bugged exactly ?

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The most broken barb talent is One Stands alone. It's probably bugged though. But if you're stacking inspiring radiance you're into bug abuse territory already.

Most of the time i don't stack it because it's boring to cast before every fight. I didn't take that one yet. How is it bugged exactly ?

 

It adds flat +20 damage for all attacks when engaged by 2+ enemies. The tooltip mentions a damage increase, but nothing like that. It should've been like +20% or smth I think.

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