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Hi,

 

I'm Phil. I've been playing RPGs for a long time, and just recently picked up PoEt. I enjoy challenges, so I started on Path of the Damned difficulty and right now I'm level 5, I've done almost all of the starting block of areas (minus Raderic's Hold), picked up a full party (the sixth character is Sagani), and obtained Caed Nua/started the Endless Paths of of Od Nua (I'm at level 5 right now).

 

Combat started off as surprisingly easy, then became incredibly hard (trying to do the temple below Gilded Vale at level 3 - the teleporting Shadows really destroyed my PC & Aloth, and Eder didn't really do much damage - I actually had to abandon that area and come back after hitting level 4 and recruiting Durance), and is now pleasantly challenging (areas around Gilded Vale, Caed Nua, and the Endless Paths).

 

I'm really curious as to:

 

What kind of PCs are people finding success with on PotD? (Especially interested in Druid builds!)

 

What kind of builds for companions are people finding success with on PotD?

 

What are people's common, go-to spells?

 

Do my choices (below) seem sensible/optimal? Are there any tricks I'm missing?

 

Cheers,

 

Phil

 

 

P.S -

 

 

The characters I'm using are:

 

 

PC - Druid (AE Nuker):

 

Stats: I started with max Might/Int, but actually rerolled to 18 8 16 10 16 10 because spellcasting speed seemed like a really important thing. Being able to drop a bunch of Blizzards in a row is super great. I'm pretty sure 8 Con is fine, I have no problems with health etc, but I'm curious as to whether higher Per would be useful/how much interrupts matter.

 

Race: Wood Elf for the +accuracy/deflection racial.

 

Spiritshift: Bear

 

Spell prefs: Dancing Bolts, Sunbeam, Blizzard, and Returning Storm. I also use the Paralyze Beasts spell quite a lot, and heal if in sticky situations.

 

Talents: Scion of Flame, Heart of the Storm. I really feel like there are probably better options than these that I must be missing, but I'm unsure. Heart of the Storm especially seems great, and there're very few other talents that looked worth taking?

 

Equipment: Clothing (Recovery time seems too important to give up, and I can spiritshift into Bear if someone is in melee range), Arbalest (rarely used, mostly spamming spells), Bronze Horn (from the first Blacksmith, summons an Animat who has been super useful for me).

 

 

Eder (tank):

 

I picked Defender and Wary Defender, as well as Vigorous Defense. So basically it seems like nothing I'm fighting against can hit him. Very useful frontline tank guy.

 

 

Aloth (AE nuker):

 

I picked Scion of Flame, which makes Fan of Flames even more ridiculous than it was already. All of the level 2 wizard spells seem garbage though, so I'm pretty much just using Fan of Flames. I also picked up Fireball/Minoletta's Bounding/Expose Vulnerabilities, but I haven't had much time to experiment with them yet other than to note that Fireball seems way worse than Fan of Flames (???).

 

 

Durance (Healer):

 

I picked Inspiring Radiance for the +accuracy bonus (accuracy/deflection manipulation seems super powerful in this game). Spell-wise, I'm mostly using Armor of Faith, Blessing, Consecrated Ground (the circle heal thing), and Restore x Endurance. He's sort of a midline guy behind Eder and my Animat, but in front of Kana and Sagani most of the time. I use whatever good ranged weapon I have on him.

 

 

Kana (Ranged dps/buffer):

 

I just got this guy recently, so the only choice I made on him was to pick up the +reload speed chant. This seems to have improved my party dps, but he does miserable solo dps and all of his spells suck? Not sure what I can do with him in future or if I'll keep using him.

 

 

Sagani (ranged dps):

 

Again, I only picked her up recently but she seems to do kind of reasonable ranged dps, and her pet is surprisingly useful on the midlines. Not sure what I plan to do with her in future or if I'll keep using her.

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Hi Phil :D. 

 

I can't really help you on specific builds since I'm playing PoTD solo but I can give you general tips. Besides just the basic tactics of focus fire, AoE and bottlenecking, the game rewards you a lot by knowing what you're fighting. 

 

So uhh in a rough manner I'll list some tips below.

 

1. Look at the enemies equipment (armor/weapons) for humanoid enemies.

 

Humanoids have access to whatever your characters can use be it breastplates, chainmails, swords, polearms. Knowing the properties of the equipment of your opponent will be especially beneficial to your frontline (Eder). If a mixed group of enemies is what you're facing then have your nukers kill the enemies that he can't tank that well.

 

2. Look at your bestiary.

 

Similar to the first point this is all about exploiting weaknesses. Just knowing that wolves deal piercing damage and automatically changing the armor of Eder to a breastplate will do wonders in the long run.

 

3. Change your equipment based on the opponents you're fighting. 

 

If you've wiped on an encounter before you know what the enemies can pull out. The moment they start charming specific characters then place some +Will items on them.

 

4. Food and Rest Bonuses

 

These can easily be the difference between a party wipe or a complete victory. Food buffs stack. For some encounters I chugged down Beer, Ale, Biscuits and Pie giving my character +3 DR, 1 Might, 1 Constitution, 1 Perception and 10 Endurance. Remember that buffs can get suppressed; however, only food suppresses other food. 

 

5. Item Abilities

 

Give your less active characters items that have usable abilities. During my runs I've used several items that provide spell-like effects during the downtimes of my abilities (I play a monk, no wounds equates to autoattacks).

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I would really advise you dump the defalt characters, they almost all have terrible stats, and in PoTD you really wanna optimise as much as possible

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Well the thing is I believe PoTD is soloable. You don't need optimized characters to win with a party.

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Well the thing is I believe PoTD is soloable. You don't need optimized characters to win with a party.

That is true but hes asking how i would improve on his set up, the first thing i would do is replace all teh garbage stats.

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I think most people like having the companions around. I'm not even sure how they level since I've never picked one up. Do they have their own level paths or do you get to choose?

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I think most people like having the companions around. I'm not even sure how they level since I've never picked one up. Do they have their own level paths or do you get to choose?

you level them after you pick them up but they level themselves beforehand, another reason why they suck, if you pick them up at higher levels they have often chosen garbage level paths

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I'm using a default party (Aloth, Eder, Duance, Kana) and am having little trouble clearing Caed Nua now. The constant backtracking to rest is a little tedious though. Sharing some tricks that really changed my hair-pulling battles to more manageable experiences:

 

i.) real time positioning and re-positioning is everything - I'm no longer using default or custom formations. Aloth's Fan of Fire eats up those 5~6 phantom types easily. Don't be afraid to pause and re-position your casters to get the max range and avoid friendly fire more than 5 times per encounter if that's what it takes to win. So I would imagine knowing all the enemies' elemental weaknesses is why wizards are still viable in PotD - and also why we should ditch the "Slicken works for every encounter" mentality. 

 

ii.) kiting is a little controversial as some might view it as an exploit of A.I, but I did use it to break up groups of 6 into 2 and 4. This works since you're essentially doubling the usage of per encounter abilities and restoring your endurance/health in the process. Feel free to cheese it further by taking a trip back to town to rest if you've used up all your wizard spells. 

 

iii,) Kana's skeleton summons and figurine summons are useful temporary distractions. They are not meant to deliver hurt since their damage output is pathetic but they can tank for a few seconds and that's all that's needed for casters to rain pain on the mobs. 

 

iv.) Withdrawal kind of blows. The moment you use it either on a tank or a dps he can't do anything and the mobs all find another target to rape. 

 

v.) Any spell that adds accuracy and DR/deflection to your team while taking it away from the other side are good. Which is also why potions are good. 

 

I'm positive things are going to be better once the stronghold starts generating revenue and we can get all the enchantments going on gear. I don't have a min-max main either, I'm going with a con 3 cipher thus far, and as long as he's far in the back doing his mind tricks I don't need to reload often. It is when Aloth goes down that I hit the reload button now - because he's the one that's doing the greatest amount of damage to ghastly types. 

 

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The companion attributes are being changed/buffed(or so they say) when next patch hits hopefully tonight.

 

I'd wait until then to decide which ones are worth taking. Hires will no doubt still be better, but I'm planning on finally taking a full party of 5 companions for the extra content they provide.

 

 

 

 

 


The characters I'm using are:

 

 

PC - Druid (AE Nuker):

 

Stats: I started with max Might/Int, but actually rerolled to 18 8 16 10 16 10 because spellcasting speed seemed like a really important thing. Being able to drop a bunch of Blizzards in a row is super great. I'm pretty sure 8 Con is fine, I have no problems with health etc, but I'm curious as to whether higher Per would be useful/how much interrupts matter.

 

Race: Wood Elf for the +accuracy/deflection racial.

 

Spiritshift: Bear

 

Spell prefs: Dancing Bolts, Sunbeam, Blizzard, and Returning Storm. I also use the Paralyze Beasts spell quite a lot, and heal if in sticky situations.

 

Talents: Scion of Flame, Heart of the Storm. I really feel like there are probably better options than these that I must be missing, but I'm unsure. Heart of the Storm especially seems great, and there're very few other talents that looked worth taking?

 

Equipment: Clothing (Recovery time seems too important to give up, and I can spiritshift into Bear if someone is in melee range), Arbalest (rarely used, mostly spamming spells), Bronze Horn (from the first Blacksmith, summons an Animat who has been super useful for me).

 

Don't be afraid to dump perception down to like 5 or 7. It just doesn't do anything for a caster except deflection which can be made up for with gear. Getting maxed int / might is definitely worth it. Dex is good at 15-17.

 

Consider giving your druid hatchet + small shield while you're not using a ranged weapon for extra deflection, possibly even taking weapon and shield style for the bonus to reflex which a lot of AoE targets. I do this for all my casters on PotD eventually.

 

Take Secrets of Rime first. The high damage lower level spells are freeze damage. Winter Wind and Blizzard - which also have situational utility, knock back and reduced attack speed debuff respectively.

 

Level 1

Dancing Bolts is just garbage, even with Heart of the Storm - Winter Wind is just way better damage and has an additional effect. It's only slightly harder to use since it's a cone.

Sunbeam is decent for the Blind if not the damage(there's lots of undead though that fire is decent against). Worth using Nature's Mark debuff on PotD.

 

Level 2

Blizzard is pretty much the only good level 2 spell IMHO, though Blights can provide distraction sometimes.

 

Level 3

Beetle Shell is good to put on a tank holding a chokepoint.

Infestation of Maggots is good for the raw damage vs. high DR enemies. It also targets Fortitude, notable as most early druid spells target reflex.

Stag Horn is alright vs. single targets, it gives -20 deflection and reflex which is awesome. The trick is hitting with it, since it targets deflection itself so pfft - such is life in PotD.

Returning Storm is great and one of the best spells for the class on PotD.

 

Level 4

Moonwell is great constant healing.

Calling World's Maw is a decent prone + damage

Hailstorm just does lots of damage

Overwhelming Wave targets Fort and Stuns and is one of those narrow spells good for corridors or whatever.

Wicked Briars is nice AoE field that rolls many times over its duration so will reliably debuff and damage enemies where a single roll is unreliable.

Blight can be an okay distraction

 

Level 5

Wall of Thorns is nice for same reason as Wicked Briars, just even better. I found it very useful.

Plague of Insects does lots of raw damage and applies sicken debuff

Relentless Storm basically same deal as Returning Storm just bigger AoE and more damage.

 

Level 6

Greater Blights are pretty decent

Venombloom is good for same reason as Plague of Insects

Sunlance is good single target burst if you think you can hit with it

 

____

 

Overall I found Druid excelled at dealing smaller amounts of constant damage and applying debuffs / CC with spells that go off multiple times over their duration. Against high defense enemies it really helps getting several chances to do even small amounts of damage and/or apply debuffs that you can take advantage of.

 

 

All of the level 2 wizard spells seem garbage though, so I'm pretty much just using Fan of Flames. I also picked up Fireball/Minoletta's Bounding/Expose Vulnerabilities, but I haven't had much time to experiment with them yet other than to note that Fireball seems way worse than Fan of Flames (???).

 

COMBUSTING WOUNDS! Amazing on PotD and synergizes well with AoEs that deal lots of small damage ticks. Chill Fog is an amazing level 1 spell to pair with it.

 

Bewildering Spectacle is also very nice, Confusion is overpowered honestly.

 

Also, since many things have high defenses, definitely use Eldritch Aim to buff your accuracy by 15 before casting important spells. 15 is a big boost. It's worth it.

 

Level 3 Expose Vulnerabilities is good, and I also like Noxious Burst - good damage and a debuff(debuffs are important on PotD I will say it again)

 

Level 4 get Confusion(Confusion = OP) and Wall of Flame(AoE field with lots of ticks = good)

 

Level 5, Wall of Force, Malignant Cloud, Call to Slumber

 

Level 6, Gaze of the Adragan.
 

 

Durance (Healer):

 

I picked Inspiring Radiance for the +accuracy bonus (accuracy/deflection manipulation seems super powerful in this game). Spell-wise, I'm mostly using Armor of Faith, Blessing, Consecrated Ground (the circle heal thing), and Restore x Endurance. He's sort of a midline guy behind Eder and my Animat, but in front of Kana and Sagani most of the time. I use whatever good ranged weapon I have on him.

 

 

Good pick, Inspiring Radiance is a great extra source of accuracy. Definitely grab Scion of Flame too. Priests get +15 accuracy to a bunch of fire nukes that are pretty strong. Aggrandizing Radiance will also be pretty nice post-patch.

 

Level 1

Withdraw is good to amazing(doorwayslol) if you don't mind cheese. 

Blessing good as you mentioned.

Barbs of Condemnation occasionally decent vs. tough single targets.

 

Level 2

Iconic Projection is like my favorite priest spell. Great burst healing, and deals decent freeze damage sometimes.

Suppress Affliction is great for removing debuffs temporarily, especially if you don't have a Paladin to do it.

Divine Mark is an okay single target nuke/debuff.

Concentrated Ground good as you mentioned for longer term healing.

 

Level 3

Pillar of Faith for proning and owning strategy.

Despondent Blows is a good defensive debuff.

Dire Blessing is okay for damage output party-wide.

 

Level 4

Devotions for the Faithful good buff for you and a good debuff on enemies

Shining Beacon great burn DoT and debuff to all defenses

Searing Seal good preemptive damage+blind spell

 

Level 5

Champion's Boon gives a huge Might and Perception buff(+10)

Pillar of Holy Fire wrecks.

Salvation of Time is pretty substantial duration extension for buffs

Revive the Fallen if you don't have a Paladin to do it

 

Level 6

I haven't gotten a Priest to level 11 for long enough to really try these. Durance was level 10 when I finished the game. D:

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I would really advise you dump the defalt characters, they almost all have terrible stats, and in PoTD you really wanna optimise as much as possible

 

I want to use the default characters for interesting dialogue, though yes they obviously have issues.

 

Also, thanks to everyone else for tips etc. =)

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There's really no trick to optimizing druids and priests -- especially druids, though. They both automatically get their spell lists as they level and don't really have any talents that amplify their ability to do their job, which is casting spells. Pick up extra spell castings and that's about it. Don't bother with any of the wildshape talents, though.

 

Get rid of Aloth. He's poorly optimized and in a lackluster class.

 

Durance and Eder are both great. Clear the first level of Oda Nua's Endless Path for Oidhreacht; it's a weapon that'll work beautifully on Eder until you get to Twin Elms much later in the game. Give Durance a ranged weapon and keep him to the back. Give Eder heavy armor and a shield and let him tank for you.

 

Kana is great. Chanters are bad early because their lower level phrases have to be balanced with the longer but more powerful higher level ones. Invocations are where chanters really shine. Summons are really good early, but can fall off later into the game. His best phrases are the frightening one, the DR-reduction one, the and the paralyzing one.

 

Sagani is okay. Rangers are a bit lacking. Make sure to only get talents that enhance her ranged accuracy and damage.

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I actually really like Eder's starting armor - the Second Chance thing seems kind of busted?

 

Do you think the extra spell feats are better than +elemental damage feats for druids? (Are any of the +damage vs type of foes feats especially worthwhile?)

 

Also, re: dancing bolts - I really like that I can just mash it over my party and it only hits foes. The frost cone thing is way better damage though, so maybe I should try to use that more in future. Thanks.

Edited by Ehrgeix

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I actually really like Eder's starting armor - the Second Chance thing seems kind of busted?

 

Do you think the extra spell feats are better than +elemental damage feats for druids? (Are any of the +damage vs type of foes feats especially worthwhile?)

 

Also, re: dancing bolts - I really like that I can just mash it over my party and it only hits foes. The frost cone thing is way better damage though, so maybe I should try to use that more in future. Thanks.

 

If you twisted my arm and told me I had to pick one of the elements to buff on the druid, I'd have to say burn. The issue is, each element excels at different spell levels. At level one, Sunbeam is objectively better than Shocking Bolts for targeting reflex as long as the enemy doesn't have fire resistance. At level two, blizzard is leaps and bounds Summer Flame's superior. At three, Returning Storm is the only elemental spell. At four, Calling the World's Maw does less damage than Boiling Spray (burn) but it's much easier to aim and it knocks enemies prone. At five, well... everything is good! But Fire Bug is meant for short, small encounters that you want to finish quickly -- and those battles are going to be relatively easy anyways. Relentless Storm is incredibly good for prolonged fights on harder difficulties with the wealth of extra trash mobs that are put into encounters. And it stuns.

 

So, assuming your might is maxed, shock would give you an extra few points of damage to your lightning, but the lightning doesn't do much damage to enhance with a percentile buff. 20% onto burn, on the other hand, might make Sunbeam more useful early on and give Boiling Spray a large enough impact to justify using it. Same with Fire Bug -- especially in conjunction with a Cipher tossing Mind Blades.

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You know what? On gaining a bit more experience with dungeons, I'd have to change my view on Withdrawal. It is awesome for tight corridors and doorways as chokepoints, only problem is your tank (Eder) can't dish out damage. The tank encased in protection is just there to hold a static position. No issue, that's what Fan of Flames, Chill Fog and Antipathetic Field is for. Well, and hopefully the mobs don't teleport or burrow around too much.  

 

Withdrawal is still garbage in open space skirmishes though. Probably not designed to be used that way...

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You know what? On gaining a bit more experience with dungeons, I'd have to change my view on Withdrawal. It is awesome for tight corridors and doorways as chokepoints, only problem is your tank (Eder) can't dish out damage. The tank encased in protection is just there to hold a static position. No issue, that's what Fan of Flames, Chill Fog and Antipathetic Field is for. Well, and hopefully the mobs don't teleport or burrow around too much.  

 

Withdrawal is still garbage in open space skirmishes though. Probably not designed to be used that way...

 

Here's the thing though, you can build a whole character or two around mitigating damage to effectively hold chokepoints, AKA a "tank".

 

Or you can cast a low level Priest spell and have an entirely invulnerable roadblock trivializing all melee mobs in areas with chokepoints available achieving the same thing. And there are a lot of dungeons with chokepoints in the game. I have a pure tank but some doorways you need two blockers, and withdraw makes any old character work for that and they're in even less danger than the 100+deflection and high defense tank.

 

 

 

I think it's kind of cheesy/abusive, but it's also one of those situations where an ability is just kind of neat and tactical and it'd be a bummer for that to be ruined. I've used it on Path of the Damned to 3 man encounters that quite simply wouldn't've been possible without it - barring other cheesy tactics like kiting backwards trying to split individual enemies from a group.

 

If it had a shorter duration that'd be more fair and retain its usefulness. Sometimes you use it to save a character, and in those situations a shorter duration allows them to return to the fighter earlier. So it'd be a buff/nerf and reduce the cheese factor a little bit without ruining the tactical potential entirely.

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I want to point out that that the game can be divided into three types of activities.

 

Main Quest: Not too difficult, though the final boss may be the hardest in the game.

 

Side Quest: These are often much more intimidating than what you may be doing in the MQ. Raedric's Hold and the Temple of Eothas are much more difficult than what you'll see in Caed Nua or the Defiance Bay catacombs. 

 

Tasks: Like Side Quests, but typically much less elaborate and difficult. I suggest doing these first for easy XP.

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 100+deflection and high defense tank.

Anyway to do this early in the game? Like for clearing Caed Nua with a level 3 party? 

 

 

I just cleared Caed Nua(enough to unlock the keep anyway) on PotD with a level 3 party. It's a PITA a bit but not too bad with a full party even at kinda low levels.

 

I'm finding it hilarious how useless Eder is though, even with the 1h sword with +damage/accuracy vs. spirits he just does nothing against the high deflection phantom/shadows ugh. And I used it w/out an off hand to see if his accuracy would be good enough to land knockdowns but NOPE.

 

Paladin tank with 65 deflection (though I don't have a large shield yet I really should've grabbed one by now hah). Not great but I managed. Used all the companions + 1 hired adventurer Cipher. I'm rushing to grab companions early. Not sure I'll even use them honestly, but I'll keep a save just to have decent options.

 

Level 4 is when deflection kinda hits the high point since you can have Cautious Attack on top of Weapon and Shield style.

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100+deflection and high defense tank.

Anyway to do this early in the game? Like for clearing Caed Nua with a level 3 party?

I just cleared Caed Nua(enough to unlock the keep anyway) on PotD with a level 3 party. It's a PITA a bit but not too bad with a full party even at kinda low levels.

 

I'm finding it hilarious how useless Eder is though, even with the 1h sword with +damage/accuracy vs. spirits he just does nothing against the high deflection phantom/shadows ugh. And I used it w/out an off hand to see if his accuracy would be good enough to land knockdowns but NOPE.

 

Paladin tank with 65 deflection (though I don't have a large shield yet I really should've grabbed one by now hah). Not great but I managed. Used all the companions + 1 hired adventurer Cipher. I'm rushing to grab companions early. Not sure I'll even use them honestly, but I'll keep a save just to have decent options.

 

Level 4 is when deflection kinda hits the high point since you can have Cautious Attack on top of Weapon and Shield style.

um, Eder is easily one of the most useful characters in the game. On potd a LOT of things miss on a fairly regular basis. All Eder needs to do in that situation in engage and not die. That's really the long and the short of it. If you really need the knock down, craft potions of what's-his-face's aim and keep your party back for a few before engaging.

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If you don't care about achievements, want to keep the story characters for their quests and dialogue AND do not care for their default stats, you can always use the console to shape their attributes to their liking.

 

http://orcz.com/Pillars_of_Eternity:_Console_Commands

 

Again, do not do this if you want to earn achievements. 

 

The one time I tried using console commands to respec in a very minor way (just switch one talent for another on two characters) it bugged my game, and this was on the latest version of PoE with no mods. I definitely don't trust those console commands, even if I wouldn't feel cheesy using them to reassign the stats of companions. Fortunately, even PoTD is not so hard you can't use the companions effectively despite their suboptimal stats.

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