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Druid talent selection

Druid build talents

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#1
Khashir

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Hi,

 

I'm torn about how to build my druid, and have started the game about 5 times, based on different things I read/discover about the engine (I was trying to do the "full immersion" by going into the game completely blind, but no respec option means I don't want to risk gimping my PC for the late game). I'm playing in Normal, maybe Hard.

 

I want to build a ranged/spellcasting druid (Wood elf), and I'm debating 2 things:

  1. Should I use War Bows/Wands or Rods/Scepters (with their corresponding Weapon Focus talents, skipping Bonus L1 spell)?
  2. Whether I should grab all 3 elemental damage talents, together with Bonus L3-4 spells (skipping Bonus L2 spell; or is there something better than either Bonus L2/a third elemental damage talent)?

Re: 1, while War Bows have more damage than Rods, I really like the idea of having 3 damage types from Rods/Scepters (pierce/crush/slash), as opposed to 2 from War Bow/Wand (pierce/crush). Also, flavour-wise, implements go better with the intended build, and I can grab the unique implements later in the game. However, not sure if that extra damage type will be THAT useful, as opposed to just more damage.

 

Re: 2, since I'm not soloing, having 10 instead of 8 spells per encounter might not be that useful, because I'll have 2-3 other casters throwing out 8-10 spells per encounter--chances are that, for most fights, I won't run out of encounter spells. And pre L-9, I think +6 Accuracy with a warbow will be more useful than just 1 extra spell per rest (while I'm playing on normal, I really don't like abusing Rest... which is why I'm thinking of playing Hard, just so the Rest "limit" is actually hard-coded).

 

Any help much appreciated (I don't mind item/stats spoilers, just no story/lore spoilers please).


Edited by Khashir, 24 June 2015 - 10:05 AM.


#2
Torm51

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1. From my experience (beat the game once on hard and am about a quarter of the way through on PoTD.  Both Trial of Iron runs) rods and scepters do very poor damage.  You are going to get better damage out of a Warbow.  What I will tell you is that if you want to hit TOUGH enemies hard like bosses and dudes in plate  you need to grab penetrating shot if not high DR is going to make you do ineffective damage.  Have the correct type of damage isn't enough as some DR still stops it. 

 

2.  I agree, those extra spell talents are nice in the early game but not as needed late game when you have the first 2 level spells per encounter.  Grab other talents.  Like weapon focus/Marksman/Penetrating shot.  This is of course if you care about your auto attack damage.  Which IMO you should.  I know you have spells but especially in the early game as a druid auto attack damage will be important.

 

3.  If you are experienced with ANY type of RPG that is party based like this (Dragon age series etc) start on Hard.  Normal just doesn't make you play tactically.  You can do what you want. 

 

PS My favorite class is Paladin BUT man I love druids in this game.  The flavor is great and they are great spell casters.  If they buff transforming animal forms a bit they would be not really good but freakin awesome.


Edited by Torm51, 24 June 2015 - 10:17 AM.

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#3
Raven Darkholme

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1.

Use War Bow. Since you are not soloing damage type matters less and war bow damage is nice.

Don't take any bonus level spells, rather grab offensive talents like focus, penetrating shot and marksman.


Edited by Raven Darkholme, 24 June 2015 - 10:19 AM.

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#4
Blades of Vanatar

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I beat the game on Hard with Druid PC. Though I melee'd alot using Shifting, i found the lightning spells to be most effective at softening up my foes. But I never build for boss type fights as I find that makes the rest of the game unenjoyable.

#5
AshenPlanet

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Rods/Wands/Sceptres are awesome for Wizards, because they do area effect damage with them, and with dangerous implements and the DR bypass feats, they can really do well.

 

For anyone else, including druids, they suck...

Take focus peasant, and go with hunting bow.

That way, you can use wild shape if someone gets close to you, and hunting bows with the same focus.

It's all only until you get to 9th level anyway, after which you can cast spells all the time.

At 9th, you get unlimited 1st level spells, and at 11th, you get unlimited 1st and 2nd level spells.

Even 1st level spells will do more damage than the best weapon in the game.

 

Spell talents are great for a druid, go shock, fire, decay, cold in that order (if you want all of them).

 


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#6
Khashir

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1. From my experience (beat the game once on hard and am about a quarter of the way through on PoTD.  Both Trial of Iron runs) rods and scepters do very poor damage.  You are going to get better damage out of a Warbow.  What I will tell you is that if you want to hit TOUGH enemies hard like bosses and dudes in plate  you need to grab penetrating shot if not high DR is going to make you do ineffective damage.  Have the correct type of damage isn't enough as some DR still stops it. 

 

2.  I agree, those extra spell talents are nice in the early game but not as needed late game when you have the first 2 level spells per encounter.  Grab other talents.  Like weapon focus/Marksman/Penetrating shot.  This is of course if you care about your auto attack damage.  Which IMO you should.  I know you have spells but especially in the early game as a druid auto attack damage will be important.

 

3.  If you are experienced with ANY type of RPG that is party based like this (Dragon age series etc) start on Hard.  Normal just doesn't make you play tactically.  You can do what you want. 

 

PS My favorite class is Paladin BUT man I love druids in this game.  The flavor is great and they are great spell casters.  If they buff transforming animal forms a bit they would be not really good but freakin awesome.

Thank you (esp. for #3)--yes, party based RPGs are what I play the most, though I followed the game's recommendation ("hard is for veterans of the infinity engine, blah blah" I haven't touched BG2 in years).

 

1.

Use War Bow. Since you are not soloing damage type matters less and war bow damage is nice.

Don't take any bonus level spells, rather grab offensive talents like focus, penetrating shot and marksman.

I see--fair point, esp. if playing in hard: 2 extra spells won't give as much long-term 'oomph' as the extra damage there.

 

I beat the game on Hard with Druid PC. Though I melee'd alot using Shifting, i found the lightning spells to be most effective at softening up my foes. But I never build for boss type fights as I find that makes the rest of the game unenjoyable.

Got it--I don't know anything about how the game scales in difficulty, but back in the BG2 days, I remember having to restart after having invested lots of hours, because my character wasn't in top shape vs. the more challenging encounters.

 

Rods/Wands/Sceptres are awesome for Wizards, because they do area effect damage with them, and with dangerous implements and the DR bypass feats, they can really do well.

 

For anyone else, including druids, they suck...

Take focus peasant, and go with hunting bow.

That way, you can use wild shape if someone gets close to you, and hunting bows with the same focus.

It's all only until you get to 9th level anyway, after which you can cast spells all the time.

At 9th, you get unlimited 1st level spells, and at 11th, you get unlimited 1st and 2nd level spells.

Even 1st level spells will do more damage than the best weapon in the game.

 

Spell talents are great for a druid, go shock, fire, decay, cold in that order (if you want all of them).

Ah, thanks, great point (on Weapon Focus: Peasant). Re: Level 9, I thought you got a few casts per encounter (not unlimited), maxed at 4 L1 and 4 L2. Was that changed in a patch?


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#7
HoopleDoople

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A few points I'd like to make:

 

1) Your basic War Bow is typically better than your basic Rod or Scepter. Excluding weapons that you have to reload, War Bows have the highest ranged damage per hit. Stacking things even more in favor of War Bows is that you can find some awesome unique ones while the Rod and Scepter options are either significantly lacking or only available late in the game. However, as a spell caster the Druid isn't quite as dependent on her weaponry so you could certainly get by with whatever you find appealing.

 

2) There aren't really any essential talents for Druids so you don't need to be incredibly concerned about poor choices crippling you. Talents that help with ranged combat and provide bonus spells are helpful early on while those that boost elemental damage are particularly useful later on.

 

3) Normal or Hard is a good difficulty to start on, but don't be afraid to change the difficulty if need be. The first act can be surprisingly difficult if you have trouble adjusting to the mechanics and/or don't pick up companions in a timely fashion. If you're making sure to hit most of the optional content the difficulty drops off towards the end. In retrospect I should have switched from Normal to Hard halfway through my first playthrough.

 

I'm not particularly sure why Hunting Bows would be a good choice for Druids. The unique you can get somewhat early seems like it needs to be used by a class with more accuracy and the amazing unique can only be obtained late in the game.


Edited by HoopleDoople, 24 June 2015 - 01:36 PM.

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#8
Raven Darkholme

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Hard is not for veterans but rather for players who touched any tactical game at all and liked it.

Even PoTD is too weak for BG veterans.

You might restart your character if you are a perfectionist and want to restart PoTD all of a sudden. (Like I did, lol)


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#9
Khashir

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Hard is not for veterans but rather for players who touched any tactical game at all and liked it.

Even PoTD is too weak for BG veterans.

You might restart your character if you are a perfectionist and want to restart PoTD all of a sudden. (Like I did, lol)

Will do, thanks :)



#10
AshenPlanet

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"Ah, thanks, great point (on Weapon Focus: Peasant). Re: Level 9, I thought you got a few casts per encounter (not unlimited), maxed at 4 L1 and 4 L2. Was that changed in a patch?"

 

No, it hasn't been changed, but in practice, the 4 level 1 and 4 level 2 spells you won't get to cast by the time combat is over if you are in a full group against most encounters.

If you are up against a boss/dragon/tough fight which will take longer, you are going to want to use your higher level spells anyway.

 

In practice, unless you are soloing, you don't run out of spells after 9th level.

With elemental talents, max Int and might, you do a lot of damage with your spells.

 


#11
Khashir

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"Ah, thanks, great point (on Weapon Focus: Peasant). Re: Level 9, I thought you got a few casts per encounter (not unlimited), maxed at 4 L1 and 4 L2. Was that changed in a patch?"

 

No, it hasn't been changed, but in practice, the 4 level 1 and 4 level 2 spells you won't get to cast by the time combat is over if you are in a full group against most encounters.

If you are up against a boss/dragon/tough fight which will take longer, you are going to want to use your higher level spells anyway.

 

In practice, unless you are soloing, you don't run out of spells after 9th level.

With elemental talents, max Int and might, you do a lot of damage with your spells.

Fair point--so, I'll go with WF Peasant, Marksman, and the 4 elemental thingies--should keep dmg up, and having all those resistances shouldn't be too bad... (assuming that, like many RPGs, elemental damage is more prevalent as the game progresses, esp. from ranged sources).



#12
Khashir

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A few points I'd like to make:

 

1) Your basic War Bow is typically better than your basic Rod or Scepter. Excluding weapons that you have to reload, War Bows have the highest ranged damage per hit. Stacking things even more in favor of War Bows is that you can find some awesome unique ones while the Rod and Scepter options are either significantly lacking or only available late in the game. However, as a spell caster the Druid isn't quite as dependent on her weaponry so you could certainly get by with whatever you find appealing.

 

2) There aren't really any essential talents for Druids so you don't need to be incredibly concerned about poor choices crippling you. Talents that help with ranged combat and provide bonus spells are helpful early on while those that boost elemental damage are particularly useful later on.

 

3) Normal or Hard is a good difficulty to start on, but don't be afraid to change the difficulty if need be. The first act can be surprisingly difficult if you have trouble adjusting to the mechanics and/or don't pick up companions in a timely fashion. If you're making sure to hit most of the optional content the difficulty drops off towards the end. In retrospect I should have switched from Normal to Hard halfway through my first playthrough.

 

I'm not particularly sure why Hunting Bows would be a good choice for Druids. The unique you can get somewhat early seems like it needs to be used by a class with more accuracy and the amazing unique can only be obtained late in the game.

The idea behind Hunting Bow is two-fold:

  1. As a Wood Elf, I get +5 Accuracy from >4-5 m, with Marksman, and WF: Peasant, I have +16 Accuracy on ranged attacks.
  2. WF: Peasant grants +6 Accuracy on Unarmed attacks, which benefits Spiritshift, if I get engaged in Melee.
    1. Once Spiritshift starts sucking, I can have a decently-enchanted spear/shield combo for melee emergencies (assuming I can't use my L1/2 to get out of trouble)

That's the gist.



#13
AndreaColombo

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A few random thoughts:

 

- Weapon Focus: Peasant applies to Spiritshift attacks as well, and so does Two Weapon Fighting.

- Elemental talents apply to both Wildstrike and druidic spells.

 

So those are all talents worth considering for your druid.



#14
Khashir

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A few random thoughts:

 

- Weapon Focus: Peasant applies to Spiritshift attacks as well, and so does Two Weapon Fighting.

- Elemental talents apply to both Wildstrike and druidic spells.

 

So those are all talents worth considering for your druid.

Good to know Elemental talents apply to Wildtrike--a pity Spiritshift doesn't scale well, would've been awesome to just take Elemental and Wildstrike talents.



#15
MadDemiurg

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Tbh I consider any spiritshift boosting talents a waste, since it becomes pretty terrible past first few levels. You're better off summoning firebrand or rot skulls in the lategame (or even attacking with a regular weapon). Speaking of firebrand and rot skulls, if you're inclined to take WF, firebrand (greatsword) benefits from soldier and rot skulls (wand) benefit from adventurer. Firebrand deals good damage, but has terrible accuracy, so i'd go for adventurer aiming for the endgame. Rot skulls is probably the best ranged weapon in the whole game. If you go for WF you can probably pick marksman along the way as well, rot skulls benefit from it too.

 

For elemental talents pick fire and lightning. Ice used to be good until ice spells were nerfed into oblivion, and corrode would be good if elemental talents worked correctly with DoTs (they don't). That leaves 4 more talents.

 

Defensive talents are actually pretty good on any character. I like equipping my casters with a small shield in the 2nd weapon set in case they get attacked, so W&S style is an option. Superior deflection isn't bad either. If out of options you can also pick some save boosting talent.

 

I also value extra spell talents more than most people here, especially on Druids. Wizards get these neat rings of wizardry and priests get seal of faith. Druids get... wildstrike belt. It's true that you don't need as many spells if you don't solo, but you still can still spam them pretty fast, especially if you use "fast" spells like Talon's reach (which is a good option for straight up dps once level 1 spells are per encounter due to its cast speed). So IMO picking a few of them for the frequently used spell levels isn't a bad idea.

 

Overall this gives multiple build options. You can go 2x elemental talents + shield + deflection + 2 extra spells or 2x elemental talents + marksman + wf adventurer + penetrating shot + shield/superior deflection or whatever. basically any combination of the stuff above.

 

This will hopefully change when Obs finally fixes spiritshift so it doesn't suck.


Edited by MadDemiurg, 25 June 2015 - 02:15 PM.






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