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Support Casters as a Party?

Casual play Party Idea Character Build Wizard Chanter Priest

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#1
MalVeauX

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Hey all,

 

I was thinking of doing a casual replay through the game with a caster group, basically the characters we usually use as support and back-line, but rather, build a few of them through the main character and hires (I don't care for the characters in the game that you can meet and get to join you) for a party of 5 to 6. The goal to play through Hard. POTN is not friendly to "casual playing" for me at this time. But Hard is fun, while being casual. I like hordes of enemies (except enemy Druids packs!).

 

I'm looking at the Chanter, Wizard and Priest.

 

The beauty is, all characters can be made into decent enough DPS dealers via ranged attacks (not so much with melee DPS I find, unless doing Rogue, Fighter, Paladin, Barbarian, etc). And while some characters are better at DPS than others (Cipher, Rogue...) at range, via ranged or magic, I'm looking to make a little more "rounded" support characters maybe, that are fun and have utility, but also can be indirect damage dealers.

 

I was doing a few tests with some level 7 hires, to see what could be expected by then, which is later game. While my fighters with Defender (and supporting improvement talents), Weapon & Shield and Superior Deflection can get into the 120+ Deflection area with high Perception & Resolve, I'm finding that a Chanter, Wizard and Priest with a high PER & RES build, along with supporting talents, and using their spells or chants to increase (even if indirectly, forcing -10 or -20 accuracy to targets is quite similar to increasing your Deflection if I recall correctly?), are achieving starting Deflections in the mid-80's with equipment. So significantly less. Granted, the Wizard can bolster this significantly instantly but only for a short time. Chanters can be in the mid-90's and just over 100, with their songs and other abilities through dropping enemy accuracy. Priests just have so much utility with heals and buffs that the loss in Deflection can be made up, in a way, with a heal here and there. All of these characters, however, also have one thing in common and that's that while they can be built to be off-tanks (a wall of off-tanks), with a lot of defensive properties, they can all have offensive abilities that are AOE or summons.

 

So an off-tank Chanter with  Frighten & Rime & Frost, summoning Phantoms and/or Ogres and dropping Paralyzing cones. Alternatively, the Movement & Will & Fort songs with Paralyzing cones, because it gets to that invocation fast, and two of these doing massive paralyzing zones back to back is just super destructive and tanky (two Chanters doing this with alternating first phrase songs, with Paralyzing cones).

 

Maybe an off-tank Wizard, with Chill Fog, Bewildering Spec, Blackened Sight, Slicken, Displaced Image, Confusion, and then a nice Fireball, Fan of Flames, Noxious Burst, etc. Nearly too many to name honestly. Condition off-tank, with AOE DPS. One of these maybe. And then a straight offensive Wizard too, built around DPS and not just the support stuff.

 

Finally a Priest, with Armor of Faith, Divine Terror, Withdraw, Repulsing Seal, Instill Doubt, Pillar, CoP, with  Pillar of Fire & Cleansing Flame. Also a condition off-tank, with AOE stuff, but also some heals and support stuff. Only one though.

 

That's 5 characters if I do two chanters, two wizards (one off-tank, one AOE DPS), and one Priest.

 

I'm thinking to round it out, either a Ciper with high Mechanics for locks & traps. Or just try to do a 5 man party. If I had to add one more character, it would be something DPS oriented.

 

Anyone done something like this? I know it's low on overall average damage output.

 

I'm curious if it will manage through normal/hard, casually playing, with a bunch of basically support characters. Just looking for another experience beyond a min/max tank + ranged DPS party that I've already done that just walks through the game in essentially auto-attack mode and wins each fight no problem.

 

My main concern is late game and the end-game, where they will be hit with a lot of afflictions, conditions, and high damage attacks. I'm not sure how they will perform there. And of course, I'm not sure how it will fare against the last battle.

 

Thoughts on making it work?

Thoughts on why it won't work and I'm wasting my time?

 

**********

 

Either that, or I'm considering a DPS Barbarian as Main character, along with 2 chanters & 3 wizards (chanters as off-tanks with support songs & summons; wizards with all DPS setup and a few condition spells to support if tanks are overwhelmed).

 

**********

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX, 26 June 2015 - 11:13 AM.


#2
MadDemiurg

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2x chanters + 2x wizards + priest + x? Actually this setup will be stronger than your average party. Build both chanters like tanks, this also gives you multiple summons to help tank. Multiple chanters is cheese already. Your math on deflection is off, fighters only get about 15 extra deflection compared to chanters. In these conditions you don't really need a "tank" wizard, although wizards may be forced to defend sometimes. Anyway, "tank" wizards don't need to max RES & PER like other tanks, they tank very well anyway. It's more of a matter which spells you cast and which talents you pick. You can reach 200+ deflection with buffs if needed (albeit for a short time) with below average defensive stats. Anything above that is an overkill tbh. Basically, you can easily build a wizard that is both tank and dps at the same time. Actually there's no reason not to.



#3
MalVeauX

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Heya,

 

Hrm, I was just comparing a few of my characters with and without gear between a Fighter (with high Resolve/Perception) and Defender, Wary Defender, Greater Deflection and things like +10 Deflection item and a Hatchet and of course a Fine Large Shield or equivalent, to see the difference in general. And my Fighter was over 120, while my Wizard and Priest were mid 80's, and the Chanter was close to 100 or so. That's before spells & abilities, just what is listed in the party screen basically.

 

After playing through the game, I found that anything after Deflection of 120 in Hard was basically overkill. They got hit sometimes, but not enough to care. I'm sure on PoTD it would be a little more important to get it higher. But in casual (what I consider easy through hard to be), Deflection 120 seems to be good enough for the entire game, give or take some lucky rolls on the enemy's side of things.

 

With utility and spells, and a few items, having Deflection scores in the 80~100 area, with some heals here and there, it may work out.

 

Right now I'm looking at how I should build the Main character and the hirelings.

 

I'm thinking of playing as a Wizard or just the Priest, so that I can manage the dialog and reputation stuff better and to make early game a little more difficult in general.

 

Right now, I'm thinking of (DPS casters):

 

MIG: Max (damage, damage, damage, for the DPS casters)

CON: Min to 10 (but no more than 10, DPS caster)

DEX: 10 or higher (depending on available points, I like the reflex saves and the increased reaction speed, for DPS caster)

PER: Min or low (for a caster that is doing DPS at least)

INT: Max (AOE, duration, casters)

RES: Min to 10 (not no more, I do like to keep some concentration & will saves)

 

I generally use race & package to mitigate a stat a bit, I'm ok with 17~18 for a max stat to avoid having a 3 or 5 in another stat. In casual play, anyways.

 

These casters will have a mix of Lore and Athletics (combat fatigue...). The Lore is to be able to use scrolls to mitigate end-game casting battles and running out of good spells and being stuck in an area with very few rests left.

 

And thinking of (TANK casters):

 

MIG: Low to 10 (not important for tanking).

CON: Low to 10 (not really important for a lot of the game, oddly enough, for any character it seems, at least in casual).

DEX: low to 10 (I kind of like keeping some reflex saves on tanks, it helps with AOE and general conditions).

PER: High to max (Deflection & reflex combined, it's good to have on the tank).

INT: Mid-level to high (These tanks still have AOE stuff, so having more AOE and duration is good, also higher Will saves are good for tanks, but not maxing this).

RES: Max (deflection, concentration and will save, it's pretty much worth going all the way on for a tank).

 

In general, for talents, I'm thinking of a few unconventional things.

 

I was considering for the tanks, having Body Control (help versus sickened, weakened, petrified, paralyzed, etc) and Mental Fortress (to help with charm, confused, dominated, frightened and terrified). Playing through the game, the only things that hurt my tanks seemed to be those kinds of effects, where stats were dropped, or they were confused and walked off, etc. Sure, I lose out on some Deflection or utility stuff, or a class talent, and maybe the bonuses these grants are pretty much not worth it, but I don't quite know yet, looking for thoughts on this.

 

For the DPS characters, I'm strongly considering using Ghost Hunter & Sanctifier. It may be a waste compared to some other talents, but I find that early game, and late/end-game, the shades, phantoms, etc, are such a pain in the butt, so having more damage in general against them seems good, since I cannot use enchant on my spells to make my spells do this stuff. Alternatively, enchant some reach or ranged weapons to do this job and save spells. Or, find that spells kill them anyways fast due to their resistances to fire and stuff being lower. Need thoughts on this, might not be as important for casters with a strong hatred for shades, phantoms and spectres.

 

From there, the tanks will have maximum Athletics, any minor points will go to Survival for consumables (I like ale, super helpful all through the game). And the DPS characters, one will have maximum mechanics for lock picking and disarming of traps (and will mix with a racial and/or package bonus to get it higher earlier). One DPS character will have high Stealth (I like sneaking up an dropping a spell to open the fight with nasty conditions or damage, then drawing them into tanks or chokes; also useful to steal in some situations in the game). The rest will have Athletics and/or Lore for scrolls and combat fatigue.

 

Very best,



#4
MadDemiurg

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120+ deflection is easily reachable with mix maxed chanter with stats, items and talents alone, no buffs. Body control and Mental fortress are a waste, use priest prayers. And +10 to save talents are better anyway. Don't build any "tank" wizards stat wise - as I said just use tank spells with dps stats. Build chanters like tanks. For wizards just use arcane veil, infuse with vital essence, mirrored images, bulwark against elements, displaced image, safeguard etc when needed.



#5
MalVeauX

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Heya,

 

So I completed the party and finished Act I pretty easily.

 

Ended up with:

 

Chanters x 2 (each setup as a tank, with phantom summons, talents supporting deflection; one has high mechanics, one has high lore, both have -90% combat fatigue athletics)

Wizards x 3 (each setup as pure AOE DPS, with blast & penetrating blast for single target focus using wands & scepters)

Priest x 1 (setup as DPS with a scepter focusing on heals, buffs and enemy conditions, I micro-manage his placement carefully)

 

Much more fun so far, than playing a fighter / ranged DPS (guns with gunner/chant/marksman) that I played before. Lots of utility with the different spells. Tanks are not as good as pure fighters, but they're good enough to hold out long enough to get summons out that help tank and deal damage, but really just micro-managing the first volley of spells, the friendly arcane blasts that do AOE RAW damage without hurting the tanks, and the nasty combination of other spells (blind, confuse, followed by single target volleys of either lighting or corrode spells, or just wanding to death). Walked through Raedric's Keep at level 4 and it was pretty easy with good micro-managing of choices and choke points. Cleared each map up to Defiance Bay and am starting Act II now.

 

You're right, in that choosing Mental Fortress is pointless. My buffs and high INT makes it pretty much a moot point. All my characters have max to near max INT. Body control is also not chosen, since I have chants and buffs that take care of all of that. Prayers also take care of the rest if necessary. Talents so far are just the basics, like Ancient Memory on the tanks, with Weapon & Shield for deflection bonus, working towards Superior Deflection. Wizards are all using blast/penetrating blast. Priest is using radiance with frighten and two hand talent for damage with the scepter (and quarter staff on 2nd slot).

 

Very best,



#6
MalVeauX

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Heya,

 

Rolling Act 2 still nicely.

 

2015-07-02_00002.jpg

 

Chanter tanks with Frighten & Reflex saves are great at taking bad AOE and spell effects in general. Once I get something ugly engaged, I can flank and hose with nasty spells like this.

 

Priest is awesome for the massive defensive stats buffs. I can get reflex high enough to not worry at all and drop nasty AOE on my own tanks and they come out untouched.

 

Very best,



#7
Gromnir

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during beta, more than a few folks claimed that chanters made the best tanks.  

 

that being said, Gromnir would opt for more priests.  in fact, an all priest party is kinda fun.  the only drawbacks to all-priests is that 1) your tank is gonna have lowish health even if you choose a dwarf with the rauatai culture, and 2) while you have many will opposed spells, you actual have surprisingly few will debuffs, painful interdiction being a notable exception.  am thinking that priest offensive spell casting is frequent overlooked.  add scion o' flame to a few high might priests and watch the world burn.  regardless, we can always find room for more priests.

 

HA! Good Fun!



#8
MalVeauX

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during beta, more than a few folks claimed that chanters made the best tanks.  

 

that being said, Gromnir would opt for more priests.  in fact, an all priest party is kinda fun.  the only drawbacks to all-priests is that 1) your tank is gonna have lowish health even if you choose a dwarf with the rauatai culture, and 2) while you have many will opposed spells, you actual have surprisingly few will debuffs, painful interdiction being a notable exception.  am thinking that priest offensive spell casting is frequent overlooked.  add scion o' flame to a few high might priests and watch the world burn.  regardless, we can always find room for more priests.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

Heya,

 

I actually would like to try an all priest party. Probably would just go with a relatively balanced attribute line, instead of min/max with a dump stat or two, and make up for everything with gear and buffs. I like the idea of pushing defenses really high with buffs, dropping conc ground for auto-healing, and then start dropping the fire based attack spells. Might just be fun, albeit a little slow. I definitely noticed a lot of the priest's spells take a long time to cast, so concentration will be a big deal. Mean while, I can drop a fireball in a heartbeat with a wizard.

 

Then again, I wonder... all priests... or really, all druids. Hrm.

 

Very best,



#9
Gromnir

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during beta, more than a few folks claimed that chanters made the best tanks.  

 

that being said, Gromnir would opt for more priests.  in fact, an all priest party is kinda fun.  the only drawbacks to all-priests is that 1) your tank is gonna have lowish health even if you choose a dwarf with the rauatai culture, and 2) while you have many will opposed spells, you actual have surprisingly few will debuffs, painful interdiction being a notable exception.  am thinking that priest offensive spell casting is frequent overlooked.  add scion o' flame to a few high might priests and watch the world burn.  regardless, we can always find room for more priests.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

Heya,

 

I actually would like to try an all priest party. Probably would just go with a relatively balanced attribute line, instead of min/max with a dump stat or two, and make up for everything with gear and buffs. I like the idea of pushing defenses really high with buffs, dropping conc ground for auto-healing, and then start dropping the fire based attack spells. Might just be fun, albeit a little slow. I definitely noticed a lot of the priest's spells take a long time to cast, so concentration will be a big deal. Mean while, I can drop a fireball in a heartbeat with a wizard.

 

Then again, I wonder... all priests... or really, all druids. Hrm.

 

Very best,

 

one thing that balances the long casting time and short range of many priest spells is the availability of seal spells.  cast seals pre-combat with the op hazard accuracy bonus.   no matter how fast you cast a fireball, it ain't quicker than a pre-combat set searing seal.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

ps  forgot to mention the Foe-Only nature o' seals, which is curious for a hazard, eh?


Edited by Gromnir, 02 July 2015 - 06:29 PM.


#10
wanderon

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I think an all priest party including priests and druids might be fun PC + 2 - 3 adventurers and Durance and Hiravias - so the PC has someone to talk to that talks back occasionally.

 

Maybe Druid PC - one each Eothas, Berath & Wael adventurers Durance (Magran) & Hiravias.



#11
MalVeauX

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Heya,

 

Completed the game. Was pretty sweet taking down a dragon with necrotic lances. Let alone the end game content. I felt like the game was much easier with casters than it was with a party of ranged DPS characters and no spells other than a few scrolls.

 

oqtJ5QG.jpg

 

Time to do a scroll based, melee DPS party with maybe a priest or two. Wanna do something hard.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX, 06 July 2015 - 01:11 AM.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Casual play, Party Idea, Character Build, Wizard, Chanter, Priest

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