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Dangerous Implement Monk Build (help please)


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I'm pretty new to Pillars of Eternity.  I really loved the sound of the monk class, so that was the first character I played, up to level 7.  I played him as a sort of secondary melee, usually trying to keep at least one enemy engaged to build wounds, but not exactly tanking.  My big problem was that I don't think this system really rewards monk playstyle - keeping 10 wounds is the best way to have high damage output through turning wheel and all the fast attacks, but doing so is a bit difficult and results in needing to rest more often.

 

So I'm trying something a bit wonky on a reroll, going with a ranged monk who uses wands and builds wounds through dangerous implement.  So far basic testing shows it at least works in theory, but I'm wondering if anyone here can help me out with a few things.

 

1) Attack speed seems to be the biggest problem.  Even with a wand, which the wiki says has a fast attack speed, and with swift strikes running, I find this guy only attacks about once per three seconds.  The biggest delay is the yellow bar that ticks down between attacks.  What can I do to reduce this?  Is this considered reload time for implements, or does that mechanic only apply to ranged weapons like guns/bows/etc?

2) If it's just a matter of needing more attack speed (not only to do more dps, but also to build wounds faster), what sources should I be looking for?  Right now I'm thinking of swift strikes, finding a wand with increased attack speed, chanter buff that I think increases ranged attack speed, and maybe some consumables.  Any other ideas?

3) I went with max Dexterity as well to try to speed up attacks.  Does this even help implement attack speed/recovery?

4) Wounds build pretty slowly, but at least they are under user control via Dangerous Implements.  I think if I can get potions of deleterious alacrity of motion this will help even more in building wounds.  Are there other reliable ways to do self damage that would help this concept work better?  Maybe friendly fire from a wizard to get some stacks up right away?

 

Thanks for any help.  So far I like this concept in a party with two tanks, a priest, a chanter, and a wizard.  If it turns out to be a bad idea overall, I'm not against cheating to make it better (I don't want a zero challenge game, but I don't mind cheating to achieve a character that works the way I want it to).  For instance I found out that Kalakoth's Minor Blights can actually be added as a weapon (wand), which as a permanent weapon works pretty well for any ranged character (perhaps a bit too well, so I haven't used it other than testing).  With the burn version of it, combined with scion of flame and turning wheel, well it does very good damage in an AoE.  My point is that no matter what I see a way to play this concept viably, even if it involves cheats.  I'm just looking for ways to optimize it, especially regarding the attack speed.  

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1) You're looking at the recovery period, which is something distinct from reload which only applies to guns/crossbows. Recovery is reduced by attack speed bonuses.

 

2) If you're using some kind of armor, switch to clothes so you aren't suffering a recovery penalty. Right now the speed property on weapons isn't working, or you could use the Engwithian Scepter. The Sure-handed Ila chant will help. Beyond that, you don't have a whole lot of options.

 

3) Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Dexterity is even more effective than other attack speed boosters because it improves the speed of the attack animation as well as reducing the recovery period.

 

4) Friendly fire is an option if your aim is to build wounds ASAP.

 

Basically, implements are not treated different from other weapons, by and large, aside from a couple of talents that affect them specifically. They are generally less damaging than other ranged options, but Dangerous Implement narrows that gap, and there are unique implements with good properties (I'm partial to the Rod of Pale Shades, which is Disorienting and Stunning).

Edited by Kaigen42
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1) You're looking at the recovery period, which is something distinct from reload which only applies to guns/crossbows. Recovery is reduced by attack speed bonuses.

 

2) If you're using some kind of armor, switch to clothes so you aren't suffering a recovery penalty. Right now the speed property on weapons isn't working, or you could use the Engwithian Scepter. The Sure-handed Ila chant will help. Beyond that, you don't have a whole lot of options.

 

3) Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Dexterity is even more effective than other attack speed boosters because it improves the speed of the attack animation as well as reducing the recovery period.

 

4) Friendly fire is an option if your aim is to build wounds ASAP.

 

Basically, implements are not treated different from other weapons, by and large, aside from a couple of talents that affect them specifically. They are generally less damaging than other ranged options, but Dangerous Implement narrows that gap, and there are unique implements with good properties (I'm partial to the Rod of Pale Shades, which is Disorienting and Stunning).

 

I thought recovery was only reduced by dex and other attack speed bonuses only affected how fast the actual action was

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1) You're looking at the recovery period, which is something distinct from reload which only applies to guns/crossbows. Recovery is reduced by attack speed bonuses.

 

2) If you're using some kind of armor, switch to clothes so you aren't suffering a recovery penalty. Right now the speed property on weapons isn't working, or you could use the Engwithian Scepter. The Sure-handed Ila chant will help. Beyond that, you don't have a whole lot of options.

 

3) Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Dexterity is even more effective than other attack speed boosters because it improves the speed of the attack animation as well as reducing the recovery period.

 

4) Friendly fire is an option if your aim is to build wounds ASAP.

 

Basically, implements are not treated different from other weapons, by and large, aside from a couple of talents that affect them specifically. They are generally less damaging than other ranged options, but Dangerous Implement narrows that gap, and there are unique implements with good properties (I'm partial to the Rod of Pale Shades, which is Disorienting and Stunning).

 Thanks, that info is indeed useful.  I found a bit more in another post that basically breaks up the attack sequence by frame, by weapon, so that was also helpful in understanding.

 

I guess I was just taken aback a bit by the slow recovery time for wand attacks.  Maybe it's this way for all ranged weapons, I just didn't know because I hadn't really played with them.

 

Another question about monk and damage potential.  I was thinking about it just in terms of raw numbers and it seems to me the monk features that directly contribute to damage output are:

 

+50% Turning Wheel (maximum 10 wounds)

+25% Lightning Lash from Lightning Strikes

+25% Attack speed from Swift Strikes (not a direct damage increase, but monk specific and I guess increases DPS by increasing attack rate)

+20% Blood Testament (though does this actually work?  I saw some posts seeming to indicate it's bugged)

 

So that's 95% damage increase, with +25% speed.  Is that a fair breakdown of monk potential damage bonuses?

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Yeah, ranged weapons in this game aren't all that fast. Implements shoot at roughly the same speed as bows.

 

Your list of damage bonuses looks about right, though I've heard Swift Strikes can be finicky. I don't have a lot of direct experience with Monks, though, so if you're missing something, I might not spot it. Transcendent Suffering also provides a flat damage bonus added after your base damage is multiplied by your damage bonuses if you're attacking unarmed, but that's not relevant to the build you're looking at.

 

When you add in talents, you can also add +25% for Dangerous Implement and 5 DR bypass from Penetrating Shot.

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... to be honest, I don't think that Dangerous Implement monk builds work.

 

If you're a tank, you won't have any trouble building up wounds anyway and if you're DPS, you are wasting precious DPS time on building up wounds via implements. Dual wield fists are just too damn good compared to pretty much anything else, unless you need a certain weapon proc.

 

It's just way easier to just offtank a single enemy as a DPS monk to build up wounds and then just use knockback or graceful retreat to get away once you reach a stack of 10. And monks have the health pool to support such tactics.

 

A DI build is just gimping yourself... unless you look for a low maintenance character. In this case it's probably great, because it stacks a lot of damage modifiers by just auto-attacking.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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... to be honest, I don't think that Dangerous Implement monk builds work.

 

If you're a tank, you won't have any trouble building up wounds anyway and if you're DPS, you are wasting precious DPS time on building up wounds via implements. Dual wield fists are just too damn good compared to pretty much anything else, unless you need a certain weapon proc.

 

It's just way easier to just offtank a single enemy as a DPS monk to build up wounds and then just use knockback or graceful retreat to get away once you reach a stack of 10. And monks have the health pool to support such tactics.

 

A DI build is just gimping yourself... unless you look for a low maintenance character. In this case it's probably great, because it stacks a lot of damage modifiers by just auto-attacking.

 

 

I think you're right, but I've been playing it and had ok results so far.  I'm up to level 5 now and he's a good DPS contributor in fights.

 

The thing is, just doing this buy the book, I don't think he'd warrant a party slot.  So I just cheated and gave him a wand of Kalakoth's Minor Blights (burn version).  It's the type of cheating that made him a reliable damage dealer worth his slot, but didn't go over the top (we'll see if that stays the case though, the fact that that wand does AoE dmg is pretty strong).  The other thing about this wand is that since it does fire damage, I think scion of flame would end up being a straight +% DPS if I end up taking it (plus I think it works with turning wheel).

 

I'm also a fan of opening the fight by casting minor missles on him so he has five or more wounds from the get go, rather than waiting for them to build just through dangerous implement.  He attacks fast for a wand user, especially by opening up with swift strikes).

 

On another note, I'm using two monks as my tanks this time through as well.  I was really frustrated with the class when I first started, but I really like them as tanks, with one caveat - I cheated again and gave them the Constant Recovery ability.  Again, I don't think it's a game breaking cheat, I just think it works well.  And to be perfectly honest, I think it makes as much sense (or more given they work to a certain extent off getting damaged) for a monk to have Constant Recovery as it does for Figther.  The thing I really love about them as tanks is that there are really two possible situations in any encounter.  Either they are taking very little damage, in which case all is well, or they are taking an ok amount of damage, in which case Force of Anguish.  I can't say how much I love this ability.  :)  Not only is it strong mechanically (prone seems very long), but it's just so cool to have the front line of my party tossing people back over and over.  

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