Really liking PoE so far. Only 20-something hours in, about half way through Act 2 & I've got a question regarding my party's damage output, specifically why it seems so low.
Whole party is level 6.
Eder (Heaviest armor i can find, shield, fine sabre)
Aloth (leather armor, fine wand)
Durance (fine robe, fine wand)
Kana (heaviest armor available, shield, fine hatchet)
Pelligrina (Heaviest armor available, shield, fine pike / spear thing)
Cipher [me] (fine leather armor, fine war bow / lead spitter, key spells used are Mental Binding & Mind Blades)
recently been doing some quests around Defiance Bay, and I've noticed that my damage output seems really low. like, each party member is only doing 2-5 damage per hit. without spoilers, the enemies i've been facing recently all have a DR of about 10-15 & I'm hitting for the MIN damage value more often than not.
Have I done something wrong gear or skill-wise? should I be hitting harder at this level?
most fights at the moment are drawn-out wars of attrition. my casters drop before too long coz I cant defeat anything quick enough & my front line just sit there slowly hacking away. most of the time, they get the job done, but it takes ages & I cant help but feel I'm doing something wrong.
any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I'm going to give some different advice than the others.
1. I have no problem with Eder and Pallegina being in the heaviest armor you can get, and using one handed weapons and shields. However, you should try to go for carrying more than a single type of weapon. Put another way, you need to be able to cover at least 2 different types of damage (i.e. slashing, piercing, or crushing) when you're a melee fighter, because you WILL come up against enemies who have high DR against 1 or 2 of those types, so it helps to cover at least 2 of them. I suggest slash or pierce, and crushing. For Eder, it might come down to carrying a sabre and a club.
A single example. If you come up against a enemy fighter who's wearing plate, the saber will have problems because plate has high DR against slashing (and piercing, IIRC). So you switch over to a crushing weapon. This is why you're quite likely doing so little damage per hit. You're not paying close attention to which melee damage DR's your melee enemies are strong in and switching weapons to attack their weaker DR's. (The same is true for the elemental DR's as well, when you're casting damaging spells at enemies.)
2. I see a lack of hard hitting ranged weapons, such as crossbows, arbalests, or guns. I won't suggest that everyone should use them, but it doesn't hurt to have at least a couple people who do. Also, a trick that I do is to have EVERYONE carry a ranged weapon to use in the initial salvo at the enemy. And for my melee fighters, like Eder and Pallegina, I'd use guns or arbalests/crossbows. Why? Because I almost always intend for them to only take a single shot before switching to melee weapons, so why not use the hardest hitting weapons, since I don't worry about these guys reloading.
3. I'm sure that you'll realize from points 1 and 2 that I'm potentially talking about melee warriors having 2 different melee weapons and a ranged weapon. I am. I believe that the "Arms Bearer" talent is highly valuable (except if your character is an Island (?) Aumaua, and gets A.B. as its racial benefit.
Also consider that there is one other way to get two different melee damage types, and that's to use weapons that do 2 different types of damage, i.e. "slash or crush", "piercing or slashing", etc., where the damage type applied is the "best" one for the target. These weapns aren't always the most potent weapons, but they are a way to cover a couple of damage types using a single weapon.
4. Durance. I always put him in fairly heavy armor and play him as an off-tank who prefers to stay off the front lines, but can get in there and mix it up if pressed. Also, as a priest of Magran, Durance will have (if you haven't seen it already) a class talent that gives him a +10 accuracy with swords and arquebus. IMO, this is a must take talent for Durance. And it basically shapes his weapon choices from there on out, but I think for the better. It's hard to throw away a +10 acc bonus, IMO. But if you haven't taken that class talent yet, I'd still have Durance using a slow loading, but hard hitting ranged weapon. Personally, I might suggest a crossbow or arbalest, because they don't come with the accuracy penalty that guns have. But this is pretty much until you've taken the Magran class talent which will at least offset the acc penalty of guns (arquebus in particular).
Also, Durance doesn't necessarily need to be in the absolute heaviest armor you can put on him (after doing so for the 2 front line tanks, etc.). Really good chain mail or a breast plate can be good enough, and have the benefit of a slightly better recovery time. IMO, the benefit of putting frontliners in the best plate armor you can find or buy is to try to give them as much staying power as possible. A battle-priest who prefers to stay behind the lines but will mix it up in melee once in a while doesn't need to fully maximize his staying power, but at the same time shouldn't feel completely naked, armor wise, either.
5. Wands. Wands/Rods/Sceptres (I'll use the word wands to cover all three types of magical implements) on wizards can be very nice, particularly after they take the Blast talent that lets their "magical implements" do a small area effect of damage around their target. OTOH, I'm not a huge fan of lesser wands on non-wizards, due to their lack of this ability. But OTOOH, once you start finding some of the high level wands, they have some really nice special effects that are quite useful, IMO. Perhaps my favorite is the effect called "Marking" which gives allies attacking the same target a +10 bonus to Accuracy.
6. Kana: I'd suggest arming him with a Arquebus or Arbalest and a greatsword or pike, but mostly try to keep him behind the lines using the ranged weapons.
7. Your PC cipher. It looks like you have a good handle on your cipher's weapons. A blunderbus is a great weapon for charging up a cipher's focus. But when charged, if you're not casting spells, I sort of like using faster firing ranged weapons, such as a bow or a "wand", and only switching back to the "shotgun" when it looks like the cipher needs another powerful.
As an aside, I like having a mix of faster firing ranged weapons and slower firing, but harder hitting ranged weapons, not counting the hard hitting ranged weapons I love putting on my front line tanks. The hard hitting ones are great for putting a big hit on an enemy, but if you're in a situation where you'd really like to get some ranged fire on a particular enemy NOW (such as an enemy spellcaster or a nearly dead enemy you'd like to get dead ASAP), faster firing ranged weapons give you that option.
Anyways, these are a few thoughts.