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Ironically, I saw another thread about the *worst* foci, but I'd like your opinions on the best.

 

A bit of background: I'm playing on PoTD with two tanks. I am thinking of making Eder specialize in flails, because, with all the bonuses stacked, he can get 95% graze-to-hit. With Bonus Knock Down, that should give him plenty of very fast and reliable single-target CC. That said, are there any unique weapons besides flails that have graze-to-hit that I should know about?

 

My main is a Shieldbearer paladin tank without LoH, so I can justify a talent point for a weapon focus that I would probably not take if I were playing a Darkozzi with both order-specific talents. From my experience and what I've read, the Guarding bonus on weapons is actually of little or no tanking value, so I am not considering it when deciding which weapons are best.

 

Ultimately, I could make a decision like picking the focus with hatchets on my main because hatchets all grant +5 Deflection, but I would rather make a more informed decision based on the best choices among unique weapons by endgame. I would be cringing if I found, say, an awesome tanking rapier that I considered better than my current hatchet, but had already chosen a different weapon spec.

 

I know, in the end, +6 accuracy may make relatively little difference for a paladin tank, but it won't be useless and it's how I've chosen to build my character on this playthrough.

 

Note: I ask that you please avoid story spoilers, but I am essentially requesting spoilers about particular items. Thanks!

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Select a weapon focus for your second slot that you could potentially use to mop up or maximize damage against disabled opponents. Maybe a focus on some two handed weapon that you would like to use, or a dual wielding set-up. Besides flails, I don't think a weapon focus is worth it when you focus on building a weapon + shield tank.

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Heya,

 

As a tank, any weapon will work when you're attacking things that are targeting your Deflection score.

 

But, after playing a few tanks, what I really come to appreciate is when you're facing a foe who attacks your Reflex or Will, not Deflection, being able to lose the shield and not worry about Deflection and use all your time holding a huge two hand weapon and beating the doodoo out of that attacker (priest, wizard, etc; things that are casting on your Reflex, and don't care about your Shield very much, nor Deflection in general for that matter). Killing them faster is a good idea.

 

Very best,

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Thanks for the ideas. Seems like a weapon focus is probably least needed for a paladin tank compared to anyone else, especially seeing as FoD gets +20 Accuracy built in. I might just end up taking another defensive talent (like Bear's Fortitude; I would have Superior Deflection either way) on my paladin and allowing myself to be open and not worry about what kinds of awesome weapons I might find later in the game.

 

For Eder though, I just don't see many good abilities to take if I didn't take a weapon specialization, in which case I might as well have the same focus and probably mastery too. I think I'll end up taking Adventurer for Eder and none for my paladin.

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Heya,

 

I just find that a really good tank doesn't do any meaningful damage really. So to me, it seems that if you're going to give up defensive talents that help with being a tank (Sword & Shield, Superior Deflection, etc), then taking on something that allows you to go from tank-mode to DPS would be useful, like talents that allow you to suddenly actually do damage (and not just see a bunch of 0.6's, or 1's above the enemy when they get hit), so anything that converts grazes to hits, and actually do damage. It's possibly good to have a good two hand talent, and weapon set talent to get some damage and accuracy.

 

Most tanks roll with a Hatchet +1 or a unique Hatchet, and defensive Talents that support Deflection.

 

Since literally every fight in the game that I've been in really does revolve around a tank not taking a nap on the job, I've yet to need my tank to carry the fight and do the damage after the party wipes. It's usually the tank holds the line and we're good. Or the tank falls, and the party scatters and falls. Dependent on party of course.

 

It really also depends on class. A chanter or druid are very different tanks with different offensive abilities than a fighter for example. Chanter tanks can drop damage dealing summons and actually win fights on their own merit that way. Druids can tank and drop nasty spells (plague & storms).

 

Very best,

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as with so many things, a best weapon is gonna depend on how you play and your party.  pre-2.0, the possibility exists to become nigh invulnerable w/o trying too hard.  does +5 deflection from a hatchet make much difference to a functional invulnerable character?  sure, you can always be more invulnerable, and against a handful o' critters more will never be a waste.  even so, from a practical perspective, there is weapons that is gonna benefit your overall success even if they do not initial appear sparkly.  

 

the guarding weapons, particular shatterstar, is valuable to offensive minded tanks.  is kinda-counter-intuitive to think o' the offensive value o' a guarding weapon, but where we tend to see the greatest value from engagement for a tank is actual offensive in nature.  simple because o' the engine, is very difficult to engage more than 3 or 4 foes anyways... and if you stick your tank out in front a bit, foes is gonna gravitate to your tank regardless o' engagement.  however, when a foe attempts to Break engagement is where hold the line and guarding shine.  you get a disengagement attack, which is gonna be yawn-worthy if you got crud accuracy and terrible might and your weapon is an unmodified measured restrain hitting for 1-2 damage against moderate dt foes.  however, with a higher accuracy tank, perhaps a fighter or monk who has weapon focus talents, a weapon such as a modified shatterstar will produce impressive numbers... although we actual get our best results from engagement from our off-tank who is more likely trying to pin down a flank.  undead who is determined to get past us and at our squishies get chewed up with disengagement.  

 

as an aside, while it were mostly corrected in the beta, we can still force disengagement.  if a partymate pushes a foe away that you got engaged, you may (am still trying to catalog all the ways we can force disengagement) get your freebie disengagement... though it don't quite work the way it once did.   

 

swords? shame or glory is a surprising nice monk-tank weapon and there is decent tank swords from start to finish. a monk tank, depending on how you decide to play it, may take more damage than a paladin or fighter tank.  get valiant and marking quality on a weapon is nice for a weapon, though you can build a spear with the exact same qualities and have better overall accuracy... but not the _/_ (best) mod.  as a paladin, a valiant sword may not be all that great for you. is perhaps ironic that we find little to offer a tank from the knight weapon focus group.  battle axes?  is nice battle axes Late in the game and not great for tanks.  so...

 

that brings us to the spear, which you can mod as you please. ritezzi's thorn and the vile loner's lance is available (possibly) even earlier and both has qualities that is arguable worthy o' tank consideration.  that being said, depending on your personal tastes, you can load up cladhalíath with draining and other tank-lover mods.  the aforementioned monk may prefer valiant, but coordinating is kinda keen too.  with spears in the same group as hatchets, you can always switch over to the hand-axe if you need a bit more deflection, though truth to tell, the unique hatchets is not having ideal tank mods.  the kith slaying hatchet will be a great rogue weapon, particularly if the speed mod is ever fixed, but hatchets is kinda meh for the most part.  guess it were too obvious to make a great tank hatchet, eh?

 

the ruffian group is nice, in part 'cause you got great options all the way through the game. resolution is available early in the game, and a sabre with the reliable quality is okie dokie for a tank. blesca's labor is fantastic endgame tanking weapon, but you only get it near the end o' the game.  there is a jolting touch stiletto early in the game. it were nerfed so that it now only triggers 1x per encounter, but it is a curiously decent tank weapon even so.

 

some folks think ravenwing is a candidate for bestest endgame weapon. is a mace.  not our choice, but is ok arguments for it as t has coordinating, inherent dr bypass and extra damage.  *shrug*  

 

etc.

 

am personal a big fan o' the peasant group, in part 'cause we can get so many great weapons early in the game.  sure, we can add all kinda mods to all weapons, but the spears has nice mods we cannot add through crafting and there is also the unique spear that can be customized more than any other current weapon.  and what the heck, you can always use a hatchet if you feel you need extra deflection.  

 

is not as straightforward a question as it would appear.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

ps we didn't spoil anything did we?  no story spoilers or specific locations.

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Thanks for the thorough post as usual Gromnir, and no, I don't consider anything you said a spoiler. Saying you get something late in the game is great. Saying it drops from someone that I'd met earlier in the game and would not expect to have to fight later, I'd consider that a story spoiler even if indirect and unintended.

 

Resolution is a good suggestion. I found it on a partial play through on Hard. I find Graze-to-Hit especially appealing for Eder. I was thinking of getting 95% Graze-to-Hit with flails, but now I am thinking I might not want to limit my weapon selection to just flails, as I'd be doing with Adventurer. Maybe it's not worth limiting my weapon selection that much just to get my Graze-to-Hit as high as possible. If I could reach 100% and say bye-bye to all grazes for good, it would be super appealing, but with 95% there is still a chance that my Knock Down can graze. I could still get 85% with a Reliable weapon. Ruffian is what Eder gets if auto leveled anyway, yes?

 

In terms of pure selection, it seems I could do worse than to get Ruffian on Eder and Noble on my paladin tank. Looking at them, one thing I like is that those are the only two foci that have a separate weapon type for each damage type (slash/pierce/crush). While two damage types seems to be enough in practice to cover 99% of situations in PoE, I am also liking the idea of having, say, three different combinations of slaying/lash enchants to best match these damage types.

 

Currently Eder uses Gaun's Share (flail), which I really like for now but which I'll probably replace. My paladin is using Whispers of Wenwood. The -3 Will doesn't seem too bad as her will is already high, and it's Reliable and looks cool. I have both of those enchanted with Fine, Spirit Slaying and Burning, as spirits are what has given me most trouble so far.

 

So what do you think would make the best damage type/enchant combinations if I wanted to have, eventually, three to switch between per tank? For example, I'd probably want one with Kith Slaying, so what physical and elemental weakness do Kith most often have? etc. Ok, this might be an even more involved question requiring more detailed information than my first one, so however much or little you want to answer is fine. Thanks.

Edited by Nobear
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corrode and fire damages our our favorite elemental damages as those two is particular effective against noteworthy foes.  ogres is weak to corrode and spirits/vessels is weak to fire.  between corrode and fire you cover most the entire monster spectrum. kith is a broad category.  pale elves is kith, but they got elemental resistances.  am suspecting that various mages and druids is given the same elemental talents that players can take, but we rare pay close attention to the elemental resistances for kith as we is more concerned with the fort/ref/wil saves.  

 

am agreeing that if you got weapon(s) that account for two damage types between the slash/pierce/crush categories, you are not needing be too concerned with getting the third.  is one reason we feel that the dual damage weapons mod is so underrated. 

 

if you like the graze to hit improvement quality from flails, then gaun's share is a fantastic tank weapon from start to finish.  upgrade to excellent  and give corrode and kith slaying... am thinking you got the points for that load. draining is arguable the bestest tank weapon mod, though flails do less damage, so you get less mileage.  there is a late game flail that has the stun-on-crit quality, which is a bit overpowered.  Gromnir is not a huge fan o' giving paladin tanks the weapon focus talents, but doing so is worthy o' consideration, particularly in light o' the stunning weapons's efficacy.... though you can add both reliable quality and stun to the modifiable spear if you so desire... and the spear already gots the inherent accuracy boost.  regardless, IF you wanna take a weapon focus talent as a paladin, adventurer's for flails is as good a choice as our peasant suggestion. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I had written a post about not taking a weapon Foci at all for a Paladin tank but I did not thoroughly read what you wanted out of it.  I would say that if you want some type of offense from your Paladin tank its all about Armor Penetration for melee.  Go with Maces I say.  If you grab Vulnerable attack you can get a total of 8 armor penetration.  I have found on my defense tanks that no matter what weapon I take since they do not have any armor penetration it makes relatively little difference.  I say go maces with the armor pen.

 

A CC fighter that wants to reliably land Knock downs is another story entirely.  I could def see the benefits of going high accuracy.

 

PS I hate losing the 5 deflection of hatchets lol!

Edited by Torm51
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Have gun will travel.

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Heya,

 

On another thought, I just played through with non-fighter tanks and they were only at Deflections of 95~100 or so with gear. I mostly used buffs from scrolls, chants, conditions, etc, to make the most of the Deflection scores. I took weapon & shield style talent for the extra defense, and superior deflection, but other than that, they're wide open for talent use. So depending on the rest of your party, you could easily mold a paladin into something tanky while still having offensive properties.

 

I second the damage reduction approach. But ultimately it's accuracy that is the biggest deal, can't deal damage if you don't hit.

 

Very best,

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In my current playthrough I'm using Eder as a tank. I've given him the Knight focus group (heh... focus group...) and also gave him Weapon and Shield Style. For his tanking duties he's using a sword-and-shield setup, giving him good Deflection, a boost to Reflex and a weapon that does slash/pierce damage. In his other slot he's using a morning star. This is a two-handed weapon, but it does crush damage which would otherwise be lacking. He only switces to the morning star when up against something that absolutely requires crush damage or when attacked by something that doesn't target his Deflection or isn't dangerous enough that he needs the shield. So far it's working pretty good.

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If you must take Weapon Focus for a tank, Peasant stands out for giving you hatchets (the only weapon the increases tankiness) and spears (+accuracy and medium damage will help your offense on the occasions when you need it.

 

But generally, I'd just advise not taking weapon focus for a tank.

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If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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Thanks for all the replies, thoughts and advice. My current plan is to take WF Ruffian for Eder and no focus for my paladin tank. She could use some more Fort anyway, on top of the other tanking and paladin talents she has, as she only has 10 Might and 14 Con. I'm level 7 now, so Eder has already taken the Ruffian Specialization. My paladin will be wide open with her choice of weapons, the freedom of which I like.

 

As for my secondary question, about enchants, Gromnir answered that the ones he considers most useful are Fire and Corrode, and Spirit and Wilder Slaying. That's useful info, but my question went beyond this: are there any particularly effective combinations aside from Fire + Spirit Slaying and Corrode + Wilder Slaying? For instance, are there any tough enemies who are weak to both a physical and elemental damage type, so that it would make a difference which enchants I put on a slash vs pierce vs crush weapon?

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