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Hey hey! I just found out about Pillars of Eternity, kicking myself for not doing that earlier but very happy nw, trying to figure out how the classes play. Been through all of the Infinity engine games and Neverwinter Nights.

 

I'm looking for a class that's interesting to play. Halp plx.

 

Not the "best" class or the "best" build or whatevs. Im perfectly happy with sticking to normal/hard difficulty and skipping ironman and ultraviolencechallenge thing.

 

Things I like:

- A decent number of active abilities to choose from

- Being able to adapt to changes in the flow of combat

- Having lots of open choices in conversations

- Cake

 

Things I dislike:

- Perfect execution of a plan (and subsequent reload when the plan fails)

- Niche builds based on repeating a single skill or combo

- Not having any brains

 

In Neverwinter Nights, the Bard class was perfect for me. A fair selection of spells that are useful when you know when to use them, but still decent with a sword. And great rp options because Charisma. Paladin and Cleric come second, because again with the tactical choices and decent combat as a fallback. Fighters were dumb, and if I really had to play one, I had to make a smart fighter with many active feats like disarm and knockdown so I wasn't reduced to just hitting stuff until it sticks. Monks were okay though.

 

In Shadowrun I liked a mix of combat skills with either Shaman or Decker, because they gave some extra options in combat, and unlocked interesting conversation options outside.

 

Been reading up on Pillars a bit. Fighter seems like a specialised meat sack so probably not picking that. Chanter looks like a Bard but isn't a Bard? Hum. And really having hard time with how attributes should be divided and which ones are important for RP options... would appreciate pointers!

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You have a couple of choices.

 

The chanter is nice (even if it scales not so well) but apart for your passive chant and an invocation from time to time, you're not going to get a lot of activated abilities.

 

In your case, I think cipher will be perfect. It has a lot of abilities, is very versatile and very fun to play.

 

For RP option, all abilities help but Resolve, Perception and Intelligence are the best. Cipher benefits greatly from Perception and Intellect. But this is not critical as in 2.0, most classes benefits from at least 2 of these 3 stats.

 

Cipher have also lots of unique dialogues specific to their class.

 

 

Paladin are nice but you're not going to get more than about 5 activated abilities. They are nice to play in a full party, but as your main character you're probably going to like a more active characters.

 

Priests are incredibly versatile spellcasters, they have also specific dialogue option based on their deity. But be aware that are mostly support character : they'll more going to make your party shine than shine by themselves. Furthermore, the priest companion has a very good story and 2 priest in a party is a bit redundant.

 

 

Basically, for a lot of activated abilities, you'd rather take a spellcaster : wizard, priest, druid, cipher. The other classes are really nice too, they have less options but all cool to have in a party as they have unique playstyle.

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There's a good summary of classes above, so I'll just add a little bit about dialogue choices. You mentioned liking to have a lot of choices in conversation... here are how the stats play into that, for when you're planning your character.

 

Resolve is force of personality, persuasion, ability to bluff. It probably comes up more than any other stat.

 

Might is how strong your character is, and is often used for intimidation and threats of violence.

 

Perception comes up somewhat frequently, and affects small details your character notices, as well as ability to detect when someone is hiding something or bluffing.

 

Intellect is just all around know-how. It comes up a bit in conversations, especially when evaluating someone's motives, or tricking someone.

 

Dexterity doesn't come up very often. When it does, it's usually to snatch something or avoid an obstacle.

 

Constitution very rarely shows up in conversations.

 

In addition to the stats, you also get a few more options based on what skills you have.

 

Lore is your general knowledge of history and the world.

 

Survival is how much you know about plants, animals, and natural remedies.

 

Athletics comes up a bit in scripted encounters, usually for avoiding or climbing obstacles.

 

Stealth isn't used often in conversations. I've seen it maybe 2 times.

 

Mechanics is the same as stealth. Not used that often in conversations.

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Priest and Pally have most additional dialogue options, albeit almost entirely for flavor.

 

The spellcasters have the most variable play possible with the wide array of spells they get. It probably comes down to preference of play. Offense and CC are suited to Wizard and Cipher. Priest are tremendous buffers and have defensive spells for every situation, but have some solid offensive options too. Druids have abilities on on both ends of the spectrum, but aren't as specialized.

 

Rest opportunities are plentiful so I wouldn't let the per rest limitation of spells influence your choice, especially since later in the game the low level spells start becoming encounter abilities and there are terrific lvl 1-3 spells.

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I'd say wizard or cipher sounds like the best options.

 

Not that the other classes aren't fun, but your desire to change with the flow in combat, have a lot of options, and having many conversations strongly suggest one of the spellcasters, and of druid, priest, wizard, and cipher, the druid is "mostly damage but also healing and shapeshifting", the priest is "mostly healing and buffing", while the wizard is "damage and battlefield control and strong self-buffs and very powerful ranged option alternative to spellslinging if you combo buffspells and talents and powerful melee option alternative if you combo other buffspells and a self-haste buff tha hastes spellcasting (and the above ranged and melee options... Yes, it is just as absurdly powerful as it sounds)", and the Cipher is just plain weird.

When I said death before dishonour, I meant it alphabetically.

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Things I like:

- A decent number of active abilities to choose from

- Being able to adapt to changes in the flow of combat

- Having lots of open choices in conversations

- Cake

 

Things I dislike:

- Perfect execution of a plan (and subsequent reload when the plan fails)

- Niche builds based on repeating a single skill or combo

- Not having any brains

 

Each class has had least one active ability per encounter, in case they run out of everything else. So in that sense, there's a base minimum of active useful abilities for each class.

 

Paladins and monks have some of the fastest activation of their abilities, whereas spell casters tend to be slower due to the rate at which they act.

 

I normally play(ed) the old 1.03 Path of the Damned in Pillars, which is rather outdated by now. I've played some White March high level content with Path of the Damned, though, so here's some things I've discovered or noticed.

 

Monks with platemail can save the party by becoming more powerful, dealing more dps and cc, the more hits they take. Reminds me of shounen anime shows, but it can easily give them he MVP award for when fights go wrong, the pull fails, some patrol sees you when you didn't predict it. A monk can also act as shock troops or special forces, by penetrating the enemy's main line and attacking the enemy's backline.

 

Chanters often pull the MVP card out when the party is on its last legs health, per rest abilities, and fatigue wise, since the chanter just gets more and more powerful the longer the fight goes on. They can summon a phantom at early levels for 20s or so that stuns on every hit. A drake at higher levels. Their aoe chants buff or do dps/debuff to enemies constantly, like a bard's song except it auto rotates depending on your choice. The chanter I put in plate mail as it doesn't need speed to do chants or invocation summons. So when the tank falls down due to overwhelming damage or the health drops too low to reliably absorb damage, the chanter can help out by distributing damage and even doing some heals or cc.

 

The cipher I use is normally the blunderbuss cipher. It uses paralysis powers to temporarily debuff an enemy's defenses and then uses the shot to deal massive damage, which allows it to cast even more powers. That's about the only class that tends to do the exact same combo all the time, but it still has a lot of extra options depending on the situation. And is the class with the most reliable Crowd Control, due to charm and domination and ringleader. Generally the cipher is very good at pulling as the paralysis hits the main target and the aoe makes everyone else around it stuck, allowing the wizards and druids more time to cast massive dps spells that CC and damage, like overwhelming wave or petrification spells. The micro on the cipher generally affects its positioning, range, and which priority targets it must take down to help the tank or party.

 

The ranger is also another dps class with some useful micro. Its abilities are far more passive and less active, but because it has a pet, it can do amazing coordinated attacks when the pet and ranger attacks the same target. Allowing the player some interesting choices when facing enemies that have a priority or order in which they must be taken out.

 

The paladin is like a main line tank which defends the party by drawing aggro and engaging as many enemies as it can, including people running around at your casters, but at the same time functions as a fast instant healer with a hot and exhortations that buff the dps/defenses of your other characters. Thus it's like a priest that doesn't need to rest, and can deal some good damage with two handed weapons while switching to x/shield for when massive damage is incoming. Compared to a priest that is more squishy like a spellcaster, the paladin has massive endurance and health, comparable to a fighter.

 

The wizard often helps other dps and tank characters out by using aoe debuffs. But later on, it has interesting tanking and melee abilities as well, including essential phantom, which clones yourself, allowing you to duplicate all spell bind items on your wizard, for the clone as well. The wizard offers a wide range of dynamic abilities, and it can still use plate mail. Dimensional shift allows you to teleport to an ally and switch places, which means you can shift places with a summon and let them take all the close range aggro. It's also a useful save for when the tank is unable to handle the waves of enemies, allowing you to shift in, activate instant defenses, buff yourself, and start casting aoe. Then shift back again when you deplete your defenses.

 

The druid is very fun for fighting in corridors and in pull runs where you hit like a guerilla then fade away out of enemy range. Overwhelming wave is hideously powerful, so op they nerfed the stun duration and it's still powerful. Capable of destroying entire formations of enemies and enabling the party to overwhelm them, far stronger than paralysis at early levels, since paralsyis usually only affects one target. Druid can shapeshift into a melee animal form with high DR hide armor and massive dual attack claws, for 20s or so. While casting spells. Their aoe lightning attacks are passive duration, not one time hits. As a CC/AOE class, druids are extremely fun to play with and feels more aoe damage orientated than the wizard.

Edited by Ymarsakar
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Paladins and monks have some of the fastest activation of their abilities, whereas spell casters tend to be slower due to the rate at which they act.

With the notable exception of wizards under the effect of Deleterious Alacrity of Motion casting Fast spells, of course. And they should be under the effect of that spell in every important battle after character level 5.

 

With the addition of the new level 4 frost version* of the fireball spell which apart from doing more damage also paralyzes, which like the level 3 fireball is a fast cast AOE with huge radius, the number of spammable AOE spells that a rested mid-level wizard with high dexterity and the Ring of Selonen (for two extra L3 slots) can cast in the same time that a druid or priest would cast two or three spells is verging on the absurd.

 

Deleterious Alacrity of Motion isn't Amulet of Power+Robe of Vecna level of abuse of spell haste, but it is the next best thing.

 

 

* acquire early from the White Marsh treasure map.

Edited by pi2repsion

When I said death before dishonour, I meant it alphabetically.

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The Cipher is the best introductory class that works differently from D&D, has decent adaptability, makes you feel actively involved, easy to 'get right' in terms of combat effectiveness, etc. 

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Welcome!

 

Like a lot of players new to PoE, you seem to be focused entirely on your main character. People have been assuming you are planning to play in a full party (of up to six), but are you?

 

If so, I'll say what I tend to say for newcomers to the game (even if veterans of older games). And I quote from a recent post of mine to another PoE newcomer: Is it a matter of personal attachment to your main? I ask because which character is your main generally makes little to no difference unless you're soloing. The biggest exceptions to this are if you were to pick a paladin or priest as your main, since they each have an ability that scales as your dialogue choices align with the preferred dispositions of your chosen order or deity. A paladin tank, moreover, lends itself particularly well to having good dialogue choices while also being built well for combat.

 

There are now story companions you can recruit into your party by finding them on your adventures for all classes except Barbarian. You can also recruit fully customizable adventurers from any inn, starting with the first village you come to. If you want to go this route, keep in mind hired adventurers can start at most one level below your main (which will become less significant as you level, and XP between levels increases), and will be cheapest if you hire them ASAP while still level 2. They can make placeholders in your party until you replace them with story companions, if you prefer the RP value they bring. The only limitation of story companions is generally that you can't respec their stats, which are suboptimal, but the game is still quite beatable on a completionist PoTD run with all story companions.

 

If you still want the star of the show to be your main, despite the gameplay considerations I've outlined, I would cast my vote in, along with several other players, for Cipher.

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Thanks one and all for the nice welcome! Feels like I accidentally spawned a great introductory post for any newbie...

 

I think it Nobears post was the most important one for me. I'm too used to the division of having a main character and henchmen. But looks like Pillars is more about full party, like Icewind Dale. I will play with NPCs because why wouldn't I? They make the story all the more interesting. I could never drop an NPC for a custom character, much less solo... tried that with Baldur's Gate, never succeeded, because something was always missing.

 

So I'm going to have my hands full managing the full party so the main character can go lighter. Sounds great! And now I know how to make use of the NPCs too.

 

I still think I'm going to start with the Cipher anyway. Because messing with peoples minds is awesome right? They feel unique to this particular world.

 

Thanks again!

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It was a hard time for me to accept the full party.

All my mains that i start were tested on Normal difficulty in Bear's Cave solo, so if one fail to kill the bear - i had to change class\skills\attribs and start over.

Month ago, after almost thirty startovers i finally stop on my Cipher. But still trying and playing through with other classes :)

Sorry for my bad english.

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I kind of miss when Path of the Damned had overpowered stats on the beetles. I needed a 100+ deflection tank before because I remember they had like 80-90 deflection and the adra beetles had an accuracy with their shock aoe of 80+. Now it's like 50-65 accuracy for them.

 

I replayed through some of the Dyrford areas on 2.0 White March and it wasn't as dangerous as I remembered from 1.0. Then again, my party was like level 4 when I first fought beetles, and now I'm level 11.  Even without using high level spells and abilities, the enemies just fall apart with 2 paladins + 1 monk rushing them. Before, I couldn't even get a hit on the beetle types, let alone a crit, due to the difference in my accuracy vs their deflection. It was only the tank's fighter regen and some spot heals, which over a long fight period allowed my ranged dps to finally kill a few beetles.

Edited by Ymarsakar
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  • 2 weeks later...

That cipher I started, wasn't really feeling it after all. It was maybe even TOO fiddly. I rerolled a paladin instead. Mostly he just stands there looking handsome and shiny so I have time to focus on my party members. Eder shoves everyone down, then Aloth pulls a frigging giant soul-sucking quarterstaff out of his as...tral pocket and beats everyone senseless with it. I imagine that poker face of his doesn't even twitch. Durance mostly shouts at people from the back row, confusing everyone. I think he even heals by shouting at party members so they stop bleeding out of fear. I LOVE it! You're not playing a character, you're playing the whole party. This also frees up my shiny paladin to have some smooth talking skills. Although I have to say that being passionate mostly leads to jumping at every chance to rescue random maidens, which tends to end in trouble. I love that too.

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Check out IE Mod, it allows you to change the class of your main and other npc companions.

 

http://rien-ici.com/iemod/console

 

Now that I'm working more with the paladin monk chanter cipher ranger wizard combo, alpha damage from start, cc run and gun pulls, as well as forming a battle line and taking damage while dishing it out, feel very fun so far. Different tactics used with same composition, since I don't tend to use over specialized party builds like 1 chanter + 5 rangers.

 

Cipher is one of the classes that benefits the most from micro, other than monk, but that also means it can be annoying if you want to pay attention to the other classes. It's really good for veteran players since we already automated most of our mental attack plans for companion 2-6.

 

The wizard is a lot more fun than what it was when I first started the game and played through the first 2 chapters.

 

A lot of different options and opening combos depending on needs, enemies, and player desire. If my dps is being taken out and I need a lot of dps, I cast alacrity + blights with aggressive on for auto attacks. Auto attacking turret the wizard becomes.

 

If I want to help the cipher use echo, I use essential phantom, use a bunch of summons and spell binded items and it can take a few hits from an ogre too given aloth's full plate. The old BG2 trick of using a lightning bolt in close corridors to zap through an entire army of enemies is still as funny as it was, and also dangerous too since it can backfire easily. There's no auto angle prediction as was the case in Temple of Elemental Evil, so it's difficult to predict what the terrain will do to bounce the bolts and balls.

Edited by Ymarsakar
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