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Fighting. Am I doing it wrong?

DPS Advice Help Combat Party composition Gear Damage Weapons

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#1
number30five

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Hi all!

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.



#2
Tigranes

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The major problem is that your party is very one-dimensional in terms of damage output. Everybody is using one-handed weapons, ones which tend to be faster but have a lower damage output. If your thing does 10 damage a hit, that's zero after 10 DR on an enemy. If someone has an Estoc and does 20 damage, they'll do 15 - because all Estocs bypass 5 DR. Of course, then they can't have a shield, but you can't just have everybody line up the same way with shield & small weapon. 

 

I don't know why Durance and Aloth both have wands. There's a similar distinction between wands and scepters even amongst the piddly spellcasters.

 

It also seems you haven't been using the various unique weapons available very much. You should have already found Gaun's Flail, a 20% life leech weapon; there are other options like The White Spire which is a unique Estoc in Defiance Bay available for sale, although sometimes you're better off just enchanting a Fine Estoc (found in Act 1, also purchaseable various places). Burning Lash enchantment also adds some punch.

 

Finally paralysis, blinding, and other debuffs reduce enemies' attributes making them easier to hit, which means more crits. Critical hits are more common in POE than other games; e.g. a rogue could get something like every third or fourth hit be a crit, and other classes can also get quite a lot more than the 5% or 10% that older D&D rules would prescribe. 



#3
mazeltov

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Three sword and board tanks is a very conservative setup.

 

You could turn Durance and Kana into riflemen for a lot of extra ranged punch. Maybe take a Talent on Durance for +10 rifle Accuracy, and use Kana's reload speed Chant, which would help your Cipher's firearm reload too. Maybe look into the Expose Vulnerabilities spell for Aloth, which gives enemies -5 DR and some other penalties for a decent duration. 



#4
number30five

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... Everybody is using one-handed weapons...

 

 

I'm using shields on my front line because I feel that characters without them don't survive very well.
Then again, I may be doing it wrong. (I rolled a 2H Barb on normal & was knocked out during the ambush in the prologue. feel that shields are a requirement)

Current engagement method is to send Eder slightly out in front until he's engaging 3 enemies, Durance casts that =DR spell on as many allies as possible, then Aloth AoEs the biggest enemy cluster, Cipher casts Mental Binding any remaining enemy clusters, which I then send Pelligrina & Kana to engage. fire off a few blunderbus rounds to regain focus then alternate between casting Mind Blades & EctoEcho.

In theory, that sounds to me like a viable tactic, but in practice, it's less effective than I'd like because of the party's low damage output.



#5
number30five

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Hmm.... Thanks for the suggestions.

I'm thinking I might swap out Pellgrina for a 2H Barb, move Kana to the back row & give him and Durance a pistol each.

Also thinking I'll sway the Cipher's war bow for an arquebus to deal with the higher DR enemies.



#6
petrivanzyl

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What are you doing wrong?

 

1. Don't give everyone shields: Try one with a 2handed weapon or one with 2 weapons. Possibly give Pelligrina a 2handed weapon

2. No real range weapons: Give Kana a bow or a rifle instead

3. 2x wands: Rather give Durance another weapon like a staff or a rifle/bow


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#7
Luckmann

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What are you doing wrong?

 

1. Don't give everyone shields: Try one with a 2handed weapon or one with 2 weapons. Possibly give Pelligrina a 2handed weapon

2. No real range weapons: Give Kana a bow or a rifle instead

3. 2x wands: Rather give Durance another weapon like a staff or a rifle/bow

 

4. Armour.

 

I see three people with heavy armour and shields, two in medium, and only Durance in robes. The game permits a certain leeway in terms of armour on the basis of thematics, but ultimately, anything that doesn't go into the armour dichotomy is objectively gimped. There's no reason for Durance to be in robes instead of clothes, and those 3 heavy armours and shields are severely gimping the damage output, and thus, ultimately, survivability.

Aloth and Player-Cipher also do not need anything other than clothing.

 

Also, Durance does really, really well with an Arquebus if you give him the Magran Talent and the Soldier Weapon Focus. Priests are really low-intensity spell-casters and prepping them for auto-attack is good.



#8
Slapstick87

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Short answer? Yeah, a bit ;)

 

Basically, you have 4 low damage characters (Edér, Pallegina, Kana, Durance), 1 mostly Crowd Control (Aloth) and 1 high damage potential character. That is not going to offer much offensive punch, and the enemies will just out-damage you.

 

I played my first playthrough as a Cipher as well. I'd definitively switch out Kana. You'll have two very good tanks with Edér and Pallegina (who I gave a two-handed sword with Draining and the Sanguine armor for more punchiness), which is all you need in terms of tanks. Kana is, imo, utterly worthless (I know opinions differ though). I suggest picking up Hiravias (druid). You could also hire a rogue to go well with your ciphering, or simply add Grieving Mother. Two ciphers is twice the fun. Sagani is also "ok" from what I've heard, though I haven't had the pleasure of running with her yet. I picked Hiravias which was simply amazing. I'd also stick firearms on your casters. Wands and rods are fine in the beginning when enemies have few hitpoints and low DR. At the end of the game, firearms really start to be more useful.


Edited by Slapstick87, 01 May 2015 - 01:35 AM.


#9
Kaigen42

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One thing that worked well for me: Drop Pallegina down to light armor (or clothes) and have her use a Pike (preferably Tall Grass if you can afford it). She won't be a phenomenal damage dealer by any stretch of the imagination, but it'll be a big improvement on heavy armor and a shield, and she at least has more potential than Kana when it comes to dealing damage with a weapon. Even better, give her an Arquebus and have her open with a Flames of Devotion-powered shot before switching to the Pike. She starts with Intense Flames, and an Arquebus shot with a 75% burning lash added on provides a decent damage spike.



#10
JONNIN

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The default characters are not 'max/min' built and are significantly weaker than a full party of inn-rolled characters.  That said, they have side quests and personality that makes for gameplay,  but once you go to  'hard+' difficulty, they sort of stink.  This is just a FYI if you are on a harder difficulty and trying to use ONLY the provided characters.  If you did not know you can roll your own companions at any inn and they can be max/min crafted to perform significantly better. 

 

Your specific party:

 

First, aloth is just weak.  He is poorly rolled to begin with and he has to rest to regain spells.  Your cipher can do 90% of what he can and does not have to camp to do it.   Also, the cipher and wizard are redundant, filling the same role.    And that begs mentioning that a major role of casters is simply to debuff for the rogue (which you do not have!).   Palli is poorly rolled, her constitution is very low for a tank and she sure can't damaage anything much.

 

Some ideas:

 

Go to the nearest inn and replace aloth with a hand-rolled rogue.  Depends on what you need but I like the +2 might race ... 21 might, 18 con, and more or less 10 in everything else.  You can drop int to 3 and use those points to beef up per to get higher net defenses.   You can shuffle some points into dex for attack speed but I can't tell that this is effective, the difference between 10 and 18 is barely noticeable to me, no matter what the game engine says about it.   You might also do well to toss palli over for a hand-crafted moon godlike pally with 19 or so con and high defenses -- properly made, that gives you a nearly immortal second tank AND a per encounter heal AND other heals can  be found in the talents/class abilities later on.   The hand-made pally is optional, though -- the rogue alone will do wonders for your game experience (and it can get the tougher traps and locks to boot if you focus on mech). 

 

Now, if you really, really, really want a magic heavy party, roll your own mage.  It should have 19+ might, 17+ int and round out the rest as best as you can.   Its not amiss to tank up your healer and mage with strong armor.  Yes, armor slows down casting, but having to cast heals makes you need to camp too often and a magic heavy group that loses its mage does not have any damage left!   Protect those guys -- later on, several scripted fights suck the party into the middle of a room and surround you and kill your casters in seconds if they are not armored.

 

As for "the best armor you can get" --- full plate enchanted for +crush gives I think 15 in all nonmagical DR.   Or you can carry several types of armor and swap depending on the damage type being used most often against you in an area.

 

One last option: replace aloth with the druid.  He can pop animal form and kill 3, maybe 4 enemy with melee attacks if you need some physical damage, and he can cast decent aoe mage-like spells, and he can heal a little bit.  This avoids rolling your own character (if that bothers you) but here again, the druid is not well rolled (he isnt terrible, though, just "OK").

 

If you have the rogue in your party, use your cipher aoe debuffs to enable sneak attacks and watch your rogue do 30-50 and more damage per swing to mow down the trash.  Give the rogue weapons that leech health and it will be near immortal if you avoid doing anything foolish (running up the middle with it, or getting hit by a boss a lot, or the like).  

 

Kana is probably the best of the provided allies.   His ability to summon nasty things cannot be over-stated.  Skeletons stink but phantom can tank and dps at that level,  3 wyrms are 10x better than aloth will ever be at ranged "magical" damage,  and the higher level summons are insanely poweful.   That is not to mention that he heals the group a little all the time.  I really like his ranged attack chant phrase -- I typically have 3 characters in the back with ranged weapons (healer, chanter, and one other) and it helps a group like that.  

 

 



#11
luzarius

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Shouldn't his cipher be able to dish out some pretty crazy damage?  Aloth's chill fog should help your cipher do some good damage, even against high DR enemies.



#12
JONNIN

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Shouldn't his cipher be able to dish out some pretty crazy damage?  Aloth's chill fog should help your cipher do some good damage, even against high DR enemies.

The cipher has his own debuffs,  many of them, including a large aoe flank for 30 seconds,  a small aoe blind,  a single target paralysis,  and a number of others.   The cipher performs well as a debuffer that enables the melee to wipe the floor with the mobs, and once debuffed, his own damage spells come into play...   as I said above,  the cipher is more than a replacement for the wizard, and never has to sleep.



#13
VahnXIII

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Shouldn't his cipher be able to dish out some pretty crazy damage?  Aloth's chill fog should help your cipher do some good damage, even against high DR enemies.

The cipher has his own debuffs,  many of them, including a large aoe flank for 30 seconds,  a small aoe blind,  a single target paralysis,  and a number of others.   The cipher performs well as a debuffer that enables the melee to wipe the floor with the mobs, and once debuffed, his own damage spells come into play...   as I said above,  the cipher is more than a replacement for the wizard, and never has to sleep.

 

This is actually one of the reasons I'm thinking of re-rolling. Even at level 7, I find myself always casting Mental Binding followed by a couple of Mind Blades for AOE damage. Afterwards I take one blast with my blunderbuss and start the cycle over again. If a team member is in trouble, I'll substitute one of my Mind Blade castings for another CC spell of some sort.

 

To OP:

Not everyone needs armor. I'd recommend having Pell use a two handed sword to dish out more damage. Your casters don't need leather armor and they could be wearing robes or regular clothing (this includes Kana and I'd recommend giving him a firearm). This helps with their casting times and overall damage output (or CC spells depending on the situation.)

 

As for execution, you're correct in sending in your tank (Eder) first. However, especially in dungeons, I would recommend sending in a char with high stealth and mechanics to disable traps and identify troublesome encounters. Once that is done, THEN send in Eder to start your offensive wave.

Use the terrain to your advantage. I can't tell you how many times you'll win fights just by using choke holds and knocking enemies off one by one.

 

For settings, I always recommend turning on your "auto-slow mode in combat" option. It gives you extra time to think while the skirmish is going on.

Pause often. This game isn't meant to be played in real time and letting the AI take care of everything. You're meant to constantly pause and give orders to your companions.

 

Save often. F5 is your friend. There is nothing more frustrating then having your characters die and having to reload a save from hours ago. Don't let this happen to you.

 

My $0.02. 

 

Cheers, and have fun!



#14
Manty5

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When I use Pallegina I usually have her open the fight with a FoD-enhanced arablest or aquebus strike then swap her to warhammer and shield for the rest of the fight.  Trying to make a paladin into a damage machine is like trying to teach a horse to sing, but at least she can put an alpha strike into the most dangerous foe.

 

Only characters with high might and accuracy should be using one-handed weapons.  You need multipliers to get over the DR bump.  Aloth is somewhat in a bad posistion, as he doesn't have enough might to make his Arcane Assault useful, but swapping to guns gimps it further.



#15
Crucis

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Hi all!

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.



#16
number30five

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Hi all!

just wanted to thank you for your suggestions.

swapped Aloth out for the Druid Companion & gave him a pistol, gave Pelligrina the Tall Grass pike, Kana an arquebus, durance a crossbow & re-positioned the formation.

Aeder up front to engage, Pelligrina just behind to poke away at distance & 4 in the back line to cast / support / shoot things.

gone from each hit averaging 2-5 to 15-30 (with spikes of up to 80-95 on a good crit!)

 

this increased damage output is making everything much easier.

thanks again!



#17
chouia

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Good your party is better now!

 

Personnally, I used one or two tank (especially Eder, not killable later with defensive upgrades, good armor and good shield), I gave big long-ranged weapons to others, and it was efficient to do damage. It's slow, but it does high damage. It looks like what you did, indeed. ;)

With Kana chants, and not too much armor, the reload time was pretty fast... And later, there is a chant to add 25% fire damage. Crafting weapons can be useful too.

 

To help to "re-position" the formation, using the good weapon range is efficient too... like you did, again. (I liked arbalest for fragile companions, but it was before patching... And as already said, pistols or powerful wands can be efficient for second-line companions.)







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