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MadDemiurg

Analysis of class abilities, combos and min-maxing based on (solo) PotD Adra Dragon fight strategies

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This is work in progress. I'll be adding more info soon.

 

Since a lot of people still report problems with this fight this should be useful. Seeing how many classes can actually solo it, building a party that would faceroll the fight is not a big issue, even without using the so called "cheese"

 

Out of scientific interest raised from discussions with Kaylon I've decided to give it a try and beat Adra dragon solo with all classes, with a few self restrictions:

  • No intentional AI abuse
  • No petrify traps or spells (although they are far from being as OP as they were in 1.04 and in fact there are easier ways to beat the fight with many classes now)
  • Fight the dragon and ads simultaneously - there are ways to glitch the fight so that dragon does not aggro immediately and you can eliminate them separately. Kiting is ok though.
  • (Optional) no hard CC effects. Debuffs are ok. I'll analyse both hard CC and no hard CC approaches.
  • (Optional) minimize consumable usage. Majority of the classes can not do it without consumables at all, but I try to use as few as possible

 

This turned out to be a quite interesting experience which allowed me to learn a bit more about game mechanics and the boundaries that can be pushed. This guide will examine the strategies to do this fight solo, but they are applicable in a party as well obviously and many of them will work against other tough opponents in the game, so it's not only about the dragon really.

 

Classes done so far (by me personally, maybe someone else did some of the missing classes as well):

  1. Wizard
  2. Priest
  3. Druid
  4. Cipher
  5. Paladin (based on Kaylon's strategy, I wanted to test some variations, but ultimately didn't find a way to do enough damage without stocking up on scrolls)
  6. Fighter

I'll try the other classes as well, monk is probably doable in a similar fashion to paladin and fighter, others seem more tricky to figure out.

 

So what's this fight, like many other PoE fights is about? Right, accuracy and defenses. Basically you want to either:

  • Lockdown enemies so that they are unable to harm you while you harm them. This can be achieved via hard CC, debuffs and just keeping distance
  • Make yourself impervious to enemy attacks

Ideally, both. You also need to deal damage somehow.

 

Let's take a look at the dragon's stats. The most important ones are saves and accuracy, DT is interesting too, but a bit less so.

 

Acc: 108. Since it's a level 12 creature all abilities get +12 accuracy bonus, so effective accuracy is 120. This means you need 170 to only risk grazed and 205 for full immunity in a relevant defense attribute. Dragon attacks target reflex, deflection and fortitude. No damaging attack targets will, but dragon's fear aura which reduces accuracy by 20 targets it. Long range attacks only target reflex (!).

 

Defenses: Def 133, Fort 136, Ref 112, Will 116 - As seen fort and defl are very problematic to target. best bet is to start from reflex or will attacks.

 

DR 28, Slash 21, Burn 35, Freeze 21, Shock 42 - You want to prioritize slash and freeze damage and avoid shock and burn (but not really, we'll see why later :))

 

Other notable properties:

The dragon is VERY slow. Thus, any movement debuffs make her effectively stuck.

 
Basic info on afflictions and stacking:
Afflictions stack just like any other magic bonus in the game. E.g. If blinded reduces reflex by 20 and hobbled reduces reflex by 20, only 1 of the bonuses will apply (a larger one, or random if equal). However, this applies to all affliction penalties separately, thus blind accuracy penalty will work unless overridden by some other accuracy penalty.
 
General notes that apply to all strategies:
  • You really don't want to fight the dragon with -20 accuracy from the aura. All classes can counter it with protection vs fear scroll. Alternatively, paladins have righteous soul and priests have the spell itself.
  • You want to buff your accuracy as much as possible. Generally usable stuff includes gauntlets of accuracy (random loot), eldrich aim potions/war paint potions/valor scrolls. Other stuff is mostly class specific.
 
General notations:
 
  • (reflex) -> (will) denotes a spell/ability that targets reflex and debuffs will. Naturally, for adra dragon we want spells that target reflex/will and debuff smth else or further debuff these stats.
  • (acc++) denotes a spell with much higher accuracy than normal. Generally these are either trap or wall spells.
 
Let's take a look at what different classes can do in terms of debuffs.
 
Druid
 
Druid doesn't have many strong buffs and suffers from the fact that the majority of his CC/debuff spells target fortitude. However, the situation is not unsalvageable. Let's look at the spells:
 
CC/Debuffs
 
Level 1 
Nature's mark: (will) -> (reflex, deflection). Not exactly terrible for a first level spell, but -10 is not much  and fortitude is really the save we want to debuff
Charm beast: (will) -> (all, disable). Fun thing, dragon is a beast. Charm provides a beastly (pun intended) defuff on all devenses that will stack with individual defense debuffs. The downside is, you won't be able to use foe only spells vs a charmed target. The upside is that dragon might just wipe out her minions while charmed.
Sunbeam: (reflex) -> (reflex, deflection, accuracy, speed). Blind is one of the best effects to land on the dragon, since it reduces movement speed to almost nonexistent, while reducing both defenses and offensive potential. And sunbeam targets the weakest save. Recommended.
Vile thorns: (fortitude) -> (fortitude, will). Sickened is an OK debuff, however it gets almost completely overridden by the stronger Weakened, apart from -1 to some stats. Targeting fortitude and close range do not help this spell at all.
 
Level 2:
Previously blizzard was a strong debuff on this level, but in 1.05 it has been nerfed to be completely worthless (balance in action). This level has other solid spells however. As for CC:
Hold beasts: (will) -> (reflex+++, deflection, disable) - basically this is beast only improved mental binding. Paralysis ruins reflex, so if you land it you can unleash all your reflex spells without a second thought.
 
Level 3:
Returning storm: (fortitude) -> (reflex, deflection, disable). Damage portion is vs reflex, but stun is vs fortitude. Long casting time makes this spell not that useful for this particular fight, plus fort is not the defense you'd like to attack first.
Stag's horn: (deflection) -> (deflection, reflex). This has been nerfed for no good reason as well. Debuff was inferior to blind, and now is even worse, plus it targets deflection, which you don't really want to target.
Spreading Plague: (fortitude) -> (will, reflex, fortitude, speed). This is a very strong debuff that reduces all saves, however it needs to beat fortitude first, which is high for many strong mobs including the dragon. The "no save" rotfinger gloves version makes things much easier, but we aren't counting on it here since it's kinda cheesy.
 
Level 4:
Calling the world's maw: (fortitude) -> (reflex, deflection, disable). Hard CC with affliction that slightly reduces defenses and good duration. Good spell, but not for this fight.
Overwhelming wave: (fortitude) -> (reflex, deflection, disable). Similar to the previous spell, but more powerful. Still not what we want.
Wicked briars: (fortitude) -> (reflex, speed) - On the first look, this is not a debuff we want. However, it's a cloud spell, meaning many chances to apply the debuff. So once we deal with target's fort, it becomes a great stalling mechanism (since it debuffs speed)
 
Level 5:
Embrace the Earth Talon - (fortitude) -> (reflex+++, deflection, damage+++, disable). Infamous petrify. Actually the wrong tooltip on the spell lead to misconception that it targets reflex. The damage part does, but petrify is vs fortitude. This explains these times when the spell dealt damage but petrify did not trigger for me. I've been confused about it for a long time. It's a decent option if you manage to land it for full duration despite all the fortitude, however there are better options now that petrify is x2 only.
Nature's terror - (will) -> (will, reflex, accuracy). This is a decent option for close combat, and since it's and aura, it gets many chances to hit, but you don't want to approach the dragon that close
Plague of insects: (fortitude) -> (fortitude, will). Again, not the debuff pattern we want. However, this spell is awesome, just not as a debuff.
Relentless storm: (fortitude) -> (reflex, deflection, disable). Again not what we want in terms of defense, however this spell hits many times repeatedly giving many chances to apply and is excellent against the ads. Once the fortitude is reduced it stuns the dragon fairly well too.
Wall of thorns: (acc++)(fortitude) -> (fortitude, will, speed) Finally, this is what we want! Wall spells hit extremely often and have increased accuracy compared to normal spells. Even though it attacks fort, it's absolutely guaranteed to weaken the dragon crossing it, opening easier will and fort attacks.
 
Level 6:
Venombloom (fortitude) -> (will, fortitude, accuracy, minor reflex, speed). Even though it targets fortitude, once you manage to weaken the dragon it does a good job at generating additional hits to reapply the debuff, plus it deals solid raw damage.
 
So, based on this we can conceive the following debuff strategy:
  • Run to a chokepoint and use wall of thorns. Optionally overlap with wicked briars (will have much better chance to hit once the wall applies its debuff)
  • (if using hard CCs) - Now it's much easier to land charm/hold beasts, since will is significantly lowered, further reducing defenses and locking down the dragon
  • Alternatively proceed with sunbeam. In combination with wicked briars it will be able to beat the reflex save one way or another (you only need a graze) and lower movespeed to negligible level
  • Proceed with damaging stuff

 

Damage

 

Now, some notes on damage. In practice, the best damaging spells vs tough targets are DoTs. DoT spells are mitigated by only a fraction of target's DT (even though it is applied multiple times), plus they scale from both might and intellect, giving very high total damage over duration. Raw DoTs are obviously even better.

 

Thus, the best damaging druid spells really are:

Autumn's decay - Solid corrode damage, 100+ corrode DoT over duration with maxed might and int (including resting bonuses). Target's reflex, which is also good for us.

Insect swarm - another solid DoT. Worse than decay, since it targets fortitude, but since we can't stack same DoTs this will do.

Plague of insects - now this one also targets fort and is a bit slow, however it's raw damage, huge aoe and range. This will easily wipe all the ads while severely damaging the dragon over (quite a long period of) time.

Venombloom - Essentially another fort targeting DoT type spell, since it's a cloud it's not reliant on a single hit or miss, but requires you to keep the targets stationary

 

So what do we do once we establish a chokepoint with Briars/Walls of Thorns? Right, we spam Venomblooms, and throw a plague of insects on top. This usually would be sufficient to whittle down both the dragon and the ads quite fast. If anything gets through, Relentless Storm is an excelent countermeasure to lockdown and finish anything foolish enough to approach.

 

This approach allows the Druid to solo the fight. Obviously, with accuracy buffs from other party members like priests it would be even easier. i'll be posting on party synergies later.

 

 

 

Finally some math.

 

Level 12 druid spell accuracy: 53 (base) + 12 (leve) + 10 (spell modifier) + 5 (if wood elf)  = 75-80. Let's assume wood elf (80) from here.

 

Weakened debuff: -20 will, fort, -2 might, -2 con = -20 will, -28 fort.

 

Dragon's fort = 136 - 28 (weakened) = 106.

 

One talent I forgot to mention: Scale-breaker - obtainable by not attacking the dragon immediately and doing its quest. -12 to all saves, accuracy, -6 DT, no save.

 

So 106 - 12 = 94.

 

finally if druid is main he can have mob justice from siding with the dozens and you can use figurines (imo ivory wurn is best for this as you can keep it out of harm's way) to "mark" the dragon. Druid's accuracy = 85.

 

Also, if you manage to find gauntlets of accuracy you can push it to 90.

 

Finally, accuracy buff from scroll of valor/potions pushes it to 105. Let's assume 100-105 range.

 

Vs dragon's fort (weakened, scale-breaker): 4-9% miss, 35% graze, 50% hit, 4-11% crit. Hits not 100% guaranteed but very likely.

 

If we charm the dragon.

 

136 - 28 (weakened) - (25 charmed) = 81. 0% miss 26-31% graze 50% hit 19-24% crit. No misses, but we can't use foe only spells

 

In both cases, spells that roll multiple times like Wicked Briars are all but guaranteed to hit.

 

Reflex:

 

112 (base) - (24 hobbled) = 88. 0-3% miss etc.

-12 (scalebreaker) = 76. 0% miss.

Blind also applies reflex debuff, that doesn't stack, however it's -4 perception debuff stacks with hobbled -2 dex, so if target is both hobbled and blind this is is -32 reflex.

Hold beasts pretty much annuls the reflex.

 

Will:

116 (base) - 20 (weakened) = 96. 6-11% miss.

-12 (scalebreaker) = 84. 0% miss.

 

Buffed up wall of thorns accuracy: 144 (not sure how this one is calculated), ticks every second.

 

TL;DR Druid summary

  • Maximise your accuracy. Counter fear aura with prayer against fear, use scroll of valor/warpaint/eldrich aim (one of)
  • Maximise your INT for debuff/CC duration and DoT damage via food/rest bonuses/items first
  • Maximise might next for even more damage
  • Establish a chokepoint
  • Use wall of thorns for guaranteed weaken and overlapping wicked briars for high chance hobble
  • Use scale-breaker
  • Use blind/paralyse/charm (subeam/hold/charm bests) next
  • Proceed with clouds and DoTs to wipe the opposition (Plague of insects, insect swarm, autumn's decay, venombloom)
  • Don't try to tank, druid is not well suited for this.

 

Priest

 

Priest has great buffs, debuffs, CC and damage.  He also has great accuracy, since some of his spells have a +15 modifier and he has good accuracy buffs on top. This is probably the class that can do it with no consumables at all, but I'd still recommend using some just to be sure. We were not analyzing tanking stats and strategies before, but we will with a priest, since priest can do it if needed. If I were to list the weaknesses of the priest class, they would probably be: slow casting and relatively short buff duration, compared to wizard anyway. Both of these can be mitigated however.

 

CC/Debuffs

 

Level 1:

Barbs of condemnation - (fort) -> (all) Not that bad for a level 1 spell, but the debuff is not that great and it attacks fort, which is generally bad

Divine Terror: (will) -> (will, reflex, accuracy) Attacking will is ok, but debuffs are quite weak

Halt - (will) -> (reflex, deflection, speed (stuck)) - now this one is pretty great for a level 1 spell. It completely stops the target for a reasonable duration, and stuck is a decent debuff as well

Withdraw - while not technically a CC, when cast on summon or a party member it makes them completely invulnerable for a long duration and can be used to block passages. This was quite pivotal for my solo priest run. It has "cheese" written all over it however.

 

Level2:

Divine Mark (will -> deflection) This is both a decent single target damage spell and a good debuff, as deflection reduction is substantial. it's only problem is short range.

Instill doubt (will -> reflex, will, deflection) - Dazed is a pretty weak debuff on its own

Repulsing seal: (fort) -> (deflection, reflex, disable) - This target's fort, but since it's a hazard and hazard spells have increased accuracy this doesn't matter much as it will be enough usually

 

Level3:

Pillar of faith (fort) -> (deflection, reflex, disable). Damage is vs reflex and primary target only, while disable is aoe only. This is decent vs groups of mobs and can be used to clean up the ads, however this is not what we want to use on the dragon.

Despondent blows -> (will) -> (melee accuracy, crit -> hit). Not that great overall.

 

Level4:

Searing seal (will) -> (reflex, deflection, speed). Damage is vs reflex. Since it's a hazard it has increased accuracy, and it attacks will. Needless to say, this is the most reliable way to land blind in the whole game.

Shining beacon (will) -> (all), This is a damaging spell first and foremost, but -10 to all defenses is also nice. Short range is somewhat limiting, but it's still very much worth it.

Devotions of the faithful (will) -> (fort, accuracy, damage). This is both an excellent buff and debuff. it's one of the few ways to reduce fort even further stacking with weaken and -all saves spells. For example weaken + devotions + shining beacon = -54 fort. One thing to note that it does not have any +accuracy modifier itself. However, the buff part applies first (if you hit both yourself and the target with it), so if you're casting it for the first time, it will be cast at +20 effectively. it's max reachable accuracy is lower than some other spells however.

 

Level5:

None

 

Level6:

Cleansing Flame (deflection -> -positive effects duration). i've listed it here, but this is mostly a very powerful damaging spell, especially in combination with some others, so I'll describe it in more detail in damage section

 

Talents:

(Empowered) (Painful) Interdiction (will) -> (will, fort) - at 3 talents this is too big of an investment for solo, however applying weaken per encounter in an aoe at +25 accuracy is an excellent "breach" type ability and is definitely recommended in a party with other casters.

 

Ok, so basic debuff/CC combos:

  • Searing seal -> blind -> proceed with ref/def atacks. Not much of a combo :).
  • Repulsing seal -> prone -> CC'd. This can actually miss due to the dragon's high fort if you forget to cast your buffs (so don't).
  • Interdiction + Devotions + Shining beacon -> will reduced, fort ruined.
  • Interdiction + Halt -> CC'd.
  • Interdiction + Divine mark - deflection lowered.

Buffs

 

A general note on buffs - stat buffs DO NOT STACK with food. However, they often provide 8 or even more points above what the best food offers, so they are extremely valuable and if you're planning to use them you can save money on food (or still use it as it has longer duration just in case).

 

Level 1:

Armor of faith - +4 DT at average speed is not bad for regular encounters, but for this fight it's too little too late

Blessing - Same as armor

Holy Meditation - Generally a good will & concentration buff, with great speed as well. You can use it as an extra layer of protection against will attacks, but not that impressive overall

Prayer against fear - as explained, this is a must have in dragon fights and it happens to be a priest spell

 

Level 2:

Holy power - Amounts to +7 deflection, +6 fort, +14 will, +21 concentration, +9% damage/heal. Not bad for its level but not too impressive later.

Suppress affliction - an obvious counter to afflictions, prevents DoT damage on you which is very good

Prayer against infirmity - another protection spell. Sicken and weaken do not happen THAT often, so it doesn't see light that much.

 

Level 3:

Circle of protection: +15 to all defenses is good, but base 10 second duration is just too low. You can have your priest just stand there and recast it for your party but solo it's not too useful. Generally Druid's moonwell (available as scrolls) is a bit weaker, but is better since it lasts much longer.

Dire blessing - 20% hits to crits. This is a decent damage buff, however it's not gamechanging. You can cast it if there's nothing more important to do. As a pro, it has fast cast speed.

Prayer against restraint - Stuck can be dangerous in some fights, but this is not one of them. Occasionally useful.

 

Level 4:

Devotions of the faithful - +20 accuracy that stacks with stuff like accuracy potions and scrolls, with +12% damage and +8 fort on top. Might bonus may be overridden by better buffs, but the accuracy bonus alone is worth it.

Prayer against bewilderment - This is a great counter to one of the most annoying afflictions. However it doesn't see any use in AD fight.

Triumph of the crusaders - fully restores endurance on kill (only once) for each affected ally. One of the best heals, but we don't want heals.

 

Level 5:

Champion's Boon - +20 fort and reflex, +10 deflection, +30% heal and damage, +30 interrupt and +5 DT. This is pretty great. it has average casting time and is a buff, so it's not the best option when you need to wreck faces immediately, but it's a very powerful offensive and defensive buff.

Prayer against imprisonment - a protection spell vs the scariest afflictions in the whole game.

Salvation of time - it's decent in a party with multiple ongoing buffs to keep them up, but worthless solo

Shields for the faithful - +25 deflection for a significant period of time is good if you want to max it out

 

Level 6:

Crowns for the faithful - this one amounts to +62 will, +31 deflection, +12 reflex, +75 concentration, +18 interrupt and +30% duration/+36% aoe. Needless to say it is very good. It's actually better than any prayer spell vs attacks that target will. And if you combine it with prayer immunity to these confusions/charms and dominates is almost guaranteed unless the recipient had like 3 int and res. Int bonus makes it the first buff you want to use, since it improves durations of all other buffs.

Minor Intercession: -5 duration of hostile effects - obviously useless solo, since you can't cast under the effects you want to shorten mostly. Marginally useful in a party.

Prayer against treachery - protection against charm and dominate - generally these are not the scariest afflictions solo, but it's useful in a party. Consider using crowns instead or stacking both though.

 

Basic buff combos:

Crowns for the faithful + any buffs = longer buff duration

Crowns for the faithful + prayer against treachery/bewilderment + holy meditation (probably an overkill) + circle of protection (definitely an overkill) = mind immunity

Crowns for the faithful + Champion's boon + Devotions of the faithful = power combo. +10 mig, +10 per, +6 Int, +25 res, +5 DT, +20 accuracy. Total save bonuses are +35 deflection +20 reflex, +20 fortitude and +62 will.

Champion's boon + prayer against imprisonment - +70 to saves vs paralyze/petrify

 

Tanking stats:

As mentioned before you ideally want 170+ in fort/def/ref to melee the dragon and a least 170+ ref to withstand breath. Alternatively you'll need to stay at the edge of LOS, but that's hardly tanking :).

 

Let's check the standard wood elf priest. Stats 18/3/19/4/19/15.

 

Defenses by level 12: 

Defl: 15 (base) + 33 (level) - 1 (stats) = 47.

Fort: 20 (base) + 33 (level) + 2 (stats) = 55

Ref: 20 (base) + 33 (level) + 6 (stats) = 59

Will: 20 (base) + 33 (level) + 28 (stats) = 81

 

With W&S style and exceptional small shield: D 69, F 55, R 81, W 81

With +10 to all saves and deflection rings or equivalent items: D 79, F 65, R 91, W 91

With +3 might, +3 dex, +2 per, +2 int items: D 81, F 71, R 101, W 95

(As PC): With gift from the machine, song of the heavens, berath's boon: D 83, F 73, R 103, W 97

 

So far no class specific stuff apart from 15 base deflection.

 

Let's use some buffs (crowns + boon):

as mentioned, +10 mig, per, +6 int, +25 res

 

D 128, F 93, R 123, W 159

 

Will is crazy, but other saves are still to low. What can we do? Let's use some items!

 

Potion of displaced image (+25 def, +20 ref)

 

D 153, F 93, R 143, W 159

 

We can also use moonwell scroll or circle of protection (it's better, but too short) for another +10/15, but that requires us to remain stationary. Alternatively we could do a 18/3/19/16/19/3 buid, which would suffer from low concentration (but we have buffs to solve that) for more ref. It will be D 153, F 93, R 167, W 159.

However, let's go with the standard build. Let's throw in a +4 Int rest bonus, and +2 Int/Per brother bonus even though it's not the best option for saves, along with +2 dex food.

 

D 155 F 93 R 151, W 171

 

Also, as wood elf we're getting +5 ref vs ranged attacks so effectively vs ranged we have:

 

D 155 F 93 R 151(6), W 171

 

14 short of 170 reflex mark. As mentioned we can use moonwell scroll, or we can land debuffs.

 

With blind (searing seal)

 

Effective D 180 F 118 R 176(181), W 196

 

With blind and devotions:

 

Effective D 200 F 138 R 196(201), W 216

 

As seen, we're still short on fort even with all this stuff, but we can reliably tank at range. What theoretically can be done to be able to tank in melee? We could use different rest bonuses, or transfer some points into CON, while also picking bear's fortitude. At theoretical 18 base con with bear's we'd have an effective 178 fortitude (so actually we can go with 14 con and say 4 res), but this is not too useful outside of theoretical study as this build won't be all that good in actual gameplay. So it's better to stay at range and use blind. Maybe go with a bit more balanced build 18/3/19/9/19/10 snatching another 10 reflex, which will make us just 4 short of 170 mark before blind, which can be covered with snake's reflexes or moonwell scroll if absolutely needed.

 

Damage

 

I won't go through all damage spells here, since they are pretty obvious, but will list the best here, along with some nuances.

 

Iconic projection - buffed up this easily does 30+ damage to everything in a line with no FF(if that matters to you) healing your party along the way (again if that matters to you). it also has fast speed, allowing to spam it. It can hit big targets multiple times, but I'd save it for the ads still as there are better spells for the dragon.

Divine mark - This is a decent single target damage spell as well as debuff, use it on the dragon if you need extra damage and can afford to get close.

Searing seal - use this for blind, but it deals some damage as well.

Shining beacon - awesome will targeting DoT. Despite AD having high burn resist, DoT ticks are reduced by only a fraction of original DT score (looks like about 25%), and maxed out this easily deals 30+ per tick.

Pillar of Holy Fire - again, despite high burn DT, this deals a lot of fire damage, hitting hard enough to be noticeable.

Cleansing flame - This is the best combo damage spell. There's a reason Thaos loves it. It doen't have any + accuracy modifier, so make sure to use all the buffs and deflection debuffs first (with these it's not difficult to land at all). Besides dealing heavy damage itself it speeds up other DoTs (shining beacon) by 100%, improving their damage greatly. Shining beacon + cleansing flame combo is enough to burn though most of the dragon's health. Needless to say, it's more awesome with other casters that use DoTs.

 

Honorable mentions: Pillar of Faith, Warding seal, Spark the Souls of the Righteous. These are all good, just not vs AD. Use them to clean up the ads. Sparks are great with figurine summons and have no attack roll (they always hit), but deal too little damage and the dragon has too much shock DT to make it useful.

 

Will add summary of priest tactics later. For now here's a vid link (execution is far from perfect, but you get the idea): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3ENTVKRuqg&feature=youtu.be

 

To be continued with other classes...

Edited by MadDemiurg
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This is excellent stuff. On my first playthrough I let the dragon go, this time around I'm playing on PoTD+TOI and want to be able to kill it. I'll be going for as much "win-more" as possible, so I'm keen to see your analysis on the other classes.

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Fantastic. It's been my experience that scrolls of defense and scrolls of valor, regularly recast on the whole party (who gathers just for it, and then spreads out again to avoid Breath), can really change the battle - you're suddenly starting to hit things more often than not, especially with high acc characters like rangers. If plague of insects can be made to reliably hit that would be a huge boon. 

 

One thing I noticed is that if you don't kill all the xaurips quickly (e.g. if you retreat a little towards the initial 'drop cliff' area and the dragon's arse blocks them from coming to fight), then xaurip priests will start healing the dragon from behind - not to mention Adragans' moonwell spells. Maelstrom spells make quick work of them from distance, but arguably, they are also cheesy since you can stock up and bring like 30. 

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Shouldn't you guys, like, play Diablo instead ? There are so many solo action-RPG games, why insist on PoE ?

All spells/strategies he listed work just as well (better) with a full party setup .. 


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Shouldn't you guys, like, play Diablo instead ? There are so many solo action-RPG games, why insist on PoE ?

All spells/strategies he listed work just as well (better) with a full party setup .. 

 

 

I know. But why obsess so much about beating the game solo on Potd ? That's a very limited way to play the game. It's like playing Nuclear Throne and only ever using the starting Revolver.

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I know. But why obsess so much about beating the game solo on Potd ? That's a very limited way to play the game. It's like playing Nuclear Throne and only ever using the starting Revolver.

 

 

 

Partly because there is an achievement for it, so you know it is possible, and a challenge, and because solo was a great way to go though the BG games as well once you finished it a few times. Those are my reasons at least. Once you realize how well it works to finish the game solo then one logically tries to push the limits of what quests can or cannot be handled by a single party member. 


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Shouldn't you guys, like, play Diablo instead ? There are so many solo action-RPG games, why insist on PoE ?

All spells/strategies he listed work just as well (better) with a full party setup .. 

 

 

I know. But why obsess so much about beating the game solo on Potd ? That's a very limited way to play the game. It's like playing Nuclear Throne and only ever using the starting Revolver.

 

Because party is not challenging enough?

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Shouldn't you guys, like, play Diablo instead ? There are so many solo action-RPG games, why insist on PoE ?

 

All spells/strategies he listed work just as well (better) with a full party setup ..

 

I know. But why obsess so much about beating the game solo on Potd ? That's a very limited way to play the game. It's like playing Nuclear Throne and only ever using the starting Revolver.

As long as the difficulty don't force you to play a party, party play is just for lols. Also you learn a lot from solo, so party play becomes even more lol. ;p
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Ranger or Rogue sir please ^^ 

I feel Barb will be even more hardcore. Kaylon did a ranger solo, but his approached was a bit cheesy as he used what I think is an AI glitch to eliminate the ads first without aggroing the dragon. I'll try to get by without it. i'm pretty sure it's doable with 30 scrolls but i'd like to avoid that too (but not sure I'll manage to).

Edited by MadDemiurg

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What in your opinion is the biggest cheese nowdays after Adragan trap got gutted is it scrolls or still figurines ( for whole game including AD ):? Whenever i play solo it doesnt matter if its on easy with glasscanon rogue or on POTD with wizard it just feels that it goes down to using scrolls+figurines on every tougher fight no matter what class or build , kills the fun to me very often . 

Edited by Exoduss

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Figurines and consumables are always OP even since the IE days. Demi Lich? No problem, just cast a scroll of Protection From Magic on it and the Demi Lich will be nothing more than a mere kobold.

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Figurines are OP? I think I asked before but: What do they do? Summon 5 min/max companions?

 

People are playing the game, apparently the way the game was meant to be played, with 5 companions. While utter joke, difficulty wise, I do not see anyone saying that its OP. People even respec their companions because .. their stat and talent distribution sucks .. lol? Talk about cheap or cheese. But no .. figurines are OP so are scrolls. This is just ridiculous. Wake up and get real please.

Edited by knownastherat
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What in your opinion is the biggest cheese nowdays after Adragan trap got gutted is it scrolls or still figurines ( for whole game including AD ):? Whenever i play solo it doesnt matter if its on easy with glasscanon rogue or on POTD with wizard it just feels that it goes down to using scrolls+figurines on every tougher fight no matter what class or build , kills the fun to me very often . 

Well, figurines are always useful throughout the game, but in tough fights like AD the best they can do is work like a distraction. Scrolls are extremely powerful, but they cost you a lot of money so I won't say they are "OP", even if they can use some balancing. They allow to do fights you wouldn't be able to do otherwise though. High level wiz/priest/druid can beat many tough fights w/o using any of these by just burning all (or most of) their spells per day. Martial classes and even cipher find these much more crucial.

 

If I would define a single biggest cheese that would be abusing the dumb AI (which I try not to). Other than that, it all depends on the actual fight.

Edited by MadDemiurg
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AI is, unfortunately, given. This is not Dark Souls, there is no skill contest. BG was adventure with story, puzzles and interesting characters (probably first time NPC romances were introduced to the genre something Bioware expanded upon greatly in their later games).

 

As of now players will always outsmart AI and difficulty can only be imposed by very tight requirements on hand/eye coordination ~ Dark Souls. Want difficult AI? Try Chinook where AI is so good its impossible for human to beat it. We do not want that. We want to have reasonable challenge and fun.

 

My point? I dunno. I guess its unrealistic to expect for people not to have tendencies to view certain approaches as lets say abnormal. Just .. there is no basis except personal preference, opinion.

Edited by knownastherat

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I agree that it's up to personal preference. But I find it a bit gamebreaking to "pull" mobs 1 by 1 for instance as the encounters clearly were not designed to be fought that way. Ultimately it's up to the player to define restrictions on what's "fair". As for AI - ideally I'd like to see an RPG with decent tactical experience like XCOM :). This remains a dream so far.

 

As for this thread: no updates today, but here's an alternative Thaos solo tactic I recorded:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIDjoea4aHY

 

Problem solving in action for another tricky encounter so I'd say it's relevant here.

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Ok, did the ranger. Think I'm getting better at this :p. Managed to actually kill the dragon without using any damage scrolls, only bow. Most ads were dead from 1 confusion scroll. They are pretty much impossible to deal with using weapons. It also looks easier than it is since you're dead from 1 sneeze. Dat scroll accuracy though.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--bIhpvy1zE

 

Some notes;

  • Binding roots accuracy seems much lower than it should be (like 10 less). It's still pretty high with buffs though. Not sure if some of the modifiers do not work with it or its accuracy is lower than listed.
  • Stalker's torc doesn't seem to do anything

I've taken the liberty to use beast slayer talent as a bow build has talents to spare anyway.

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I'm no longer able to edit so posting a summary on Priest here:

 

TL;DR Priest tactics summary

 

  • Use crowns of the faithful as a potent defensive buff that extends duration of other buffs
  • Most powerful buff combo is probably Crowns of the Faithful + Champion's Boon + Devotions of the faithful (core). Add other buffs if necessary
  • As with all classes buff your accuracy. With Devotions and accuracy scrolls/potions priest's accuracy is top notch. Use blessing if you don't want to use scrolls.
  • Use prayer spells vs afflictions (protection against imprisonment/fear are the most useful in AD fight)
  • Priest doesn't have very good cast speed on many spells, use alacrity potions/armor
  • Land debuffs (blind/prone) with seals, it is very reliable
  • Use shining beacon + cleansing flame for top single target damage
  • Use shining beacon, iconic projection, pillar of faith/fire for aoe
  • Also possible to cheese with blocking path using summon + withdraw if you want to

Given all these the fight is pretty straightforward:

  • Make some space
  • Use buffs mentioned
  • Stop the dragon with searing seal by blinding her
  • Use Shining beacon + Cleansing flame
  • Drop a couple of additional damage spells if needed
  • Finish the ads with aoe spells

Build considerations:

  • As usual, W+S is good for survivability
  • Don't bother with cautious attack, it won't stack with shields for the faithful
  • As most damage spells are fire, scion of flame is a must
  • bonus 4th level spell is great as many of the best priest spells are level 4 (devotions, beacon, searing seal)
Edited by MadDemiurg
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In the ranger video you've made use of the "disorienting" mod on the weapon .. I've seen it stack up to -20 all resists in some tests .. I think in your video it goes to -15 all resists at some points . You can't keep it up all the time since you need to stop shooting to refresh buffs// deal with adds .. 

 

The fact that there seems to be a limit to the stacking - indicates design more than accident to me but I'd love to have a dev answer on it . Could be working as designed.. Could be a bug ..

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/79544-1050567-disorienting-debuff-5-all-defenses-stacks-with-itself-bug-or-wad/

 

Stalker's torc changes "stalker's link" description from "provides +10 accuracy when attacking the same enemy as the animal companion" to "provides +20% damage +10 accuracy when attacking the same enemy as the animal companion" .. Didn't bother testing it.. If it works as promised it only was relevant when dealing with the rushing xaurip champ.. Rest of the time your boar stood iddle .. A nice item if they allowed animal companions to attack from range (ex wurm )  ..

Edited by peddroelm
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In the ranger video you've made use of the "disorienting" mod on the weapon .. I've seen it stack up to -20 all resists in some tests .. I think in your video it goes to -15 all resists at some points . You can't keep it up all the time since you need to stop shooting to refresh buffs// deal with adds .. 

 

The fact that there seems to be a limit to the stacking - indicates design more than accident to me but I'd love to have a dev answer on it . Could be working as designed.. Could be a bug ..

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/79544-1050567-disorienting-debuff-5-all-defenses-stacks-with-itself-bug-or-wad/

 

Stalker's torc changes "stalker's link" description from "provides +10 accuracy when attacking the same enemy as the animal companion" to "provides +20% damage +10 accuracy when attacking the same enemy as the animal companion" .. Didn't bother testing it.. If it works as promised it only was relevant when dealing with the rushing xaurip champ.. Rest of the time your boar stood iddle .. A nice item if they allowed animal companions to attack from range (ex wurm )  ..

Good to know, thanks. Disorient stacking seems to be a powerful tool for dealing with low (or lowered) deflection enemies. Weakened + Devotions of the faithful + disorient * 3 + shining beacon = -59 fortitude. Not that priest needs to debuff fort that much, but if you have someone with disintegrate/petrify in the party...

 

There's a bunderbuss with disorienting... I wonder how much it would apply per shot.

Edited by MadDemiurg

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