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I just got POE of the steam sale this week and have been having a lot of fun so far. I tried my first playthrough up to ACT 2 with my main character as a melee wizard and the story companions. In the end it was a wash as I didn't have the support I needed and our group didin't really mesh. I went ahead and restarted with a fully custom party of 2 paladin tanks, 2 melee wizards and 2 arbalest chanters. It's gone really well so far and I am about to finish ACT 1 but I keep running into two problems.

 

1. I really wanted to use flails and since I have 75% conversion of grazes to hits I haven't invest in accaracy at all. It's worked well so far and when I run into really huge DR for blunt I just switch to stilettos.  I'm not sure if this will hurt me later on however. Outside of savage attack I am not sure what else I can do to keep my flail damage up. I think i will also have to take a weapon focus for stilletos but I'm not sure if that will be enough with the paladins +6 accuracy aura  to keep my secondary set useful. Is a low accuracy build with a focus on sustained quick hits instead of criticals going to hurt me overall?

 

2. I don't understand Aggro in this game. After I thought the monsters attention was locked in after an engagement occurs or amount of damage, but now I am unsure. I use my wizards for a large portion of the fight laying down aoe damage or debuffs. Then If I really need it I'll use melee spells to buff with. The problem is no matter how long my paladins have engaged an enemy my wizards seem to draw aggro when they moe in to clean up. Now I could use the deflection spells but my spells uses are already being taken up by aoe and melee buffs. If I have to spend even more on defense then my time in melee is even more limited than it is already. I'm not really sure what I'm doing wrong here.

 

The scenario so far is:

 

Diffulty: Hard

 

Party

 

2 melee wizards

 

15 might

10 con

18 dex

10 per

15 int

10 res

 

Weapons :  2 flails, 2 stilettos

Armor: Robes/ Padded armor ( whichever is better quality)

Talents: Two weapon style, savage attack

Dps with access to various damage types, aoe, and debuffs.

 

2 paladins

 

10 might

18 con

10 dex

12 per

10 int

18 res

 

 

Weapons: Mace/Shield, Sword/Shield

Armor: Plate

Talents: Deep Faith

Tanks with good aruas and they heal themselves.

 

2 Chanters

 

10 Might

10 Con

18 Dex

18 Per

12 Int

10 Res

 

Weapons: Arbalest

Armor: Padded or Hide armor( whatever is higher quality)

Talents: Ancient memory ( doesn't seem to do anything especially with them in the back)

 They contribute goo range damage and a permanent + 10 saves / slash and pierce reduction. They can also shred DR back to back or stun groups.

 

 

*************************************

 

I was thinking of giving the party interrupting blows at some point. The arbalest focus has been able to knockdown enemies and deliver some serious interruption* with a unique enchant). I think with my wizards fast attacks we could work that into some mini stun tactics.

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There is not an agro system. Enemies tend to attack that which is in front of them. If your frontline melee has good damage and accuracy enemies will usually not leave them and risk a disengagement attack. The enemy will hit the weakest member that they can reach though, so if your Wizards run up to hit the enemy, the enemy will turn and hit your Wizard.

 

To avoid this using reach weapons like quarterstaffs or pikes are popular since you can stand behind your frontline melee and still hit the enemy.

 

Another option is to buff up your deflection and DR via spells or wear heavy armor, or both.

 

Interrupts delay an enemy action, they don't stop it. Your flails will attack at 20/20 frames base, I think it'd be 20/15 with padded, dual wield and your dex. So every 1.5 seconds you attack and an interrupt with your flail is 0.35 seconds. If you interrupted every attack you'd slow down the enemy by 23%. To get a lot you'll need really high perception and interrupting blows and even then you'll get to maybe a 50% chance against a foe with base resolve.

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First of all, welcome to the community!

 

Weapons

 

To add to what KDubya said, another reason you might want to consider reach weapons is that any time you are in a narrow bottleneck like a doorway or a tight passage, only maybe two melee will be able to fit and successfully hit the enemy. Then your melee wizards will be useless unless they are casting spells. If your paladins are both tanks (and they should each take different auras), this would make your melee wizards the obvious choice for using reach weapons. Furthermore, by far the best melee DPS for your melee wizards will be the summoned weapons like Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff or (at higher levels) Spirit Lance. There is no physical weapon in the game that can come close to these.

 

In this light, you may either want a reach weapon, or a one-hand and shield combo (or both to switch between) for your melee wizards. Small shields are especially popular for casters, as they incur no Accuracy penalty, but they boost Deflection (and Reflex if you have the Weapon and Shield Style talent) while you are casting spells or any time other than when you are using a summoned weapon. The summoned weapon will temporarily override the damage/stats of whatever weapon(s)/shield you were using when you summoned it, so while you have a weapon summoned it doesn't matter what was in your hands before.

 

Stats

 

Wizards: First I would ask if you are comfortable dumping any stats, or even dropping them to, say, 8. If not, I would transfer a little bit of Dex into Per on your wizards. The reason for this is that you will gain access to an amazing self-buff haste spell called Deleterious Alacrity of Motion (it's a level 3 spell, so you can get it at character level 5 IIRC), which will boost your speed so high that you won't need Dex as much as Per, although I still wouldn't dump Dex either.

 

Paladins: You might want to consider the effects of Int on buff duration and especially aura range. Depending on the formation you use (and I'm a strong advocate of making custom formations), you may need quite a high Int in order to cover your whole party with your aura. If you wanted more Int, I'd say you could safely drop Con down to 14 and Per down to 10. If you also dropped Dex to 8 (and Dex isn't so important for paladins because you're still mostly limited by the Per-Encounter restrictions of your abilities), you could have a base 18 Int. Deep Faith is also one of the last talents I'd pick, because the effect is relatively small compared to, say, Weapon and Shield Style (a clear must-have which will make a big difference throughout the game).

 

Chanters: Keep in mind that Dex won't affect their chants whatsoever, and for invocations it will only make them cast faster, which is not of such huge importance since their main limitation with invocations is that they take a long time to work up to by racking up chants. If they're ranged, you can safely drop Res to 8 or so, and I'd transfer some of that Dex into Might and Int. Might will affect DPS with your damaging chants and invocations, as opposed to Dex which will only affect DPS with your auto attacks. Int will, of course, widen that area for both chants and invocations.

 

Since you have two chanters, you can either give them different chants, or give them the same high-level chants, but in opposite order. With the latter strategy, it will ensure full uptime on two high-level chants. With the former, you can combine one high-level and one low-level chant per chanter, which will ensure that both high-level chants will receive full uptime, with partial uptime for the low-level chants that you can see as "icing on the cake." Now, because your chanters are ranged, even with high Int their damage/debuff chants probably won't cover all the enemies, so I would focus more on buff chants. Sure-handed Ila is good, although it will only be benefitting your chanters since you don't have much ranged. One must-have high-level chant is one you'll get called Aefyllath Ues Mith Fyr, which imbues all your allies' weapons with a constant 25% fire damage lash that stacks with whatever other damage they do.

 

Have fun!

Edited by Nobear
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