I have played the Druid in so many other RPG´s that it was quite obvious for me that i will give it a try in Pillars of Eternity too. And i must admit: It´s a lot of fun!
My aim for the solo druid was to push the power of his spellcasting while still being tanky enough to survive the difficulty settings of PotD. Lets take a closer look!
Which Race should i pick?
Moon Godlike is one of the best choices. Thanks to the healing waves you can tank and outlast your opponents much better.
Wood Elf is a good choice for the better ranged accuracy. Also gives you a little defence against ranged enemies.
Boreal Dwarf +15 Bonus vs. Beasts and Primordals can be very helpful
Pale Elf +10 resistance to fire and cold is not to be taken lightly.
Adjusting your Stats
There is no „best build“ in my opinion so you have a little bit of freedom to choose one build that fits your playstyle most. Some examples:
Precision Druid----------Swift Druid----------Defender Druid
Might 15--------------------Might 15--------------Might 15
Con 10----------------------Con 10----------------Con 10
Dex 10----------------------Dex 15-----------------Dex 10
Per 15-----------------------Per 10-----------------Per 10
Int 18------------------------Int 18------------------Int 18
Res 10----------------------Res 10-----------------Res 15
High Might and Int are nearly essential. You will not only hit harder but your spell area will increase significantly. If you remember how many AoE-spells the druid has this one is a real nobrainer. Dex, Per and Res are more about taste. Do you want to cast faster, hit more often or get tankier? Your choice! Con at 10 is all it needs especially if you are playing Moon Godlike. Personally i prefer the Precision Druid. The reason is quite simple: Unlike Wizards the druid has no spell to boost his accuracy. Missing spells too often can hurt you a lot.
The Beast within: Spirit Form Choice
I think anything will work. Personally i prefer the Catform for its high attack speed so i can clean up badly wounded enemies really quickly. If you want more tankiness choose the Bear. Fun note: The Spirit Form works great against some tougher opponents. Do you remember the infamous Shadows in the beginning? The Catform will kill them easily with a few swift strikes.
Choose your Talents
Weapon + Shield Style / Cautious Attack / Superior Deflection: If you are building tanky like this your deflection will jump over 100 around level 11. Thats not too bad and will save your day more than one time.
Bull's Will /Snake's Reflexes / Bear's Fortitude: These too can be lifesavers. Just take a look which defenses are in need of an upgrade most. The numbers will also jump over 100 around level 11. Sounds good.
Heart of the Storm /Scion of Flames /Secrets of Rime: Giving your elemental spells a better punch (+20%) always looks good. But after the nerfs to some of the druid spells its a good question wether they are worth the point. Personally i still like the talents a lot. Oh, and dont forget the +5 elemental damage reduction bonus.
Bonus Spells: Bonus spells can be quite useful in longer fights where you will need any extra portion of power. Just remember that high Dex Druids will get a little bit more benefit as they can cast their extra spells faster.
Wildstrike / Weapon Focus Peasant / Two Weapon Style: You want to play a bit more like a Shapeshifter? In this case you should take a closer look at these talents as they give nice bonuses to your wild form.
Thinking about Skills
Mechanics should be your primary focus. Opening chests and disarming traps is just too good to pass on. Everything else is quite optional – your choice.
Its all about Equpiment
As a primary weapon i mainly use Hatchet (+5 deflection) + Small Shield (no accuracy penalty). A Hunting Bow like Lenas Er can be quite handy too.
If you have to tank a lot you should definetly use any kind of Plate Armour. If your summons are able to tank all night long than Clothes are the better choice: Faster casts = More Damage. Just be careful.
With regards to all your Accessories. Do not think about them too much. Just make sure to find any stuff that buffs your primary attributes Might and Int. And always take a closer look at items like Ring of Deflection or Ring of Protection to boost your defensive power. Shod-in-Faith-Boots can later on be a lifesaver in tougher battles. Boots of Speed are quite funny if you want to play hit and run (works great against Thaos too).
The power of summons
Thanks to the new immunities your summons are now quite powerful. If you use them smartly they will tank like gods giving you an easy time casting your damage spells. Lets take a look:
Earth Blight: Slashing + Corrode
Flame Blight: Piercing + Fire
Rain Blight: Piercing + Shock
Wind Blight: Crushing + Frost
As you can cast them only in combat its best to start the battle with a heavy CC like Overwhelming Wave. This gives you time to reposition and summon your Blight.
Fun note: Have you ever watched big bad Thaos trying to burn down a Flame Blight? Try it on your own - and laugh! Nerf incoming?
Fun Note II: Looking for some easy xp? Just kill your own blights! You will get experience as if killing hostile ones.
Which Spells are useful?
Tanglefoot: Nice engagement tool that can give you time for better positioning and summoning. Worth to remember: If you run away far enough some of the hobbled enemies will cancel their engagement so you can minmize their numbers.
Natures Mark: Fine debuff with -1 Deflection, -10 Reflexes in a large area. Cast it first and watch them suffering!
Sunbeam: Great debuff and burn damage. Blinded enemies will not only miss you more often but they are even easier targets for your own spells.
Charm Beast: A gamechanger. Cast it on beasts and watch them fighting each other! Remember the infamous bear cave at the beginning? Thanks to this spell you can clear it at level 2.
Talons Reach: Deals quite okay AoE Slash Damage and - the best - its fast cast.
Winterwind: A large cone that will deal frost damage (damn nerf). Works great in corridors with lots of enemies. Fun note: The knockback effect will completly immobilize Blights and Will o Wisps so you can easily kill them.
Natures Vigor: Okay healing over time. This spell will also increase your maximum endurance by 15 %. Can work nicely in longer fights as long as your enemies do not have burst damage.
Autumn´s Decay: Great cone spell that will deal corrode damage over time. As corrode damage isnt resisted that often it will hurt most enemies quite a bit.
Blizzard: Large AoE that will deal frost damage and reduce attack speed by 20 %. Works best against large and fast attacking enemy groups.
Burst of Summer Flame: This spell will deal AoE burn damage. Works nice for finishing enemy groups thanks to its fast casting speed.
Conjure Lesser Blight: Great spell – for more info take a look at the „Summons“ section.
Hold Beasts: You are surrounded by a pack of beasts and thinking its over? Dont worry! Cast this spell and watch them freezing. Now you have time to turn the fight around and hurt them badly. Works against dragons too – great!
Insect Swarm: Fine AoE spell that will deal piercing damage over time. Works nicely in combination with Autumn´s Decay. The -10 concentration will make it easier to interrupt your enemies.
Woodskin: Gives you +6 DR against Piercing, Shock and Burn for 15 seconds. Rarely used but quite okay self buff.
Beetle Shell: If your summons are desperately in need of a shield this might save them. Absorbs 100 points of damage and gives you time for other healing spells.
Infestation of Maggots: A tricky spell. Will deal 10 Damage by percentage of health lost over time. This means the more wounded your enemies are the more damage they take. Works great against groups that are already suffering from spells like Autum´s Decay and Insect Swarm.
Natures Balm: The healing over time isnt that great but may help you through longer fights. Rarely used.
Returning Storm: Great spell that will deal shock damage and stun. As the lightning will continously strike you may be able to stunlock your opponent.
Spreading Plague: This spell leaves the primary target Hobbled and Weakened before jumping to 5 other enemies max. Nice debuff that will make it easier to hit your following spells.
Twin Stones: The two boulders will deal Crush Damage to any enemy within their path and explode to deal Pierce Damage to all nearby enemies. Quite okay spell against large enemy groups.
Boiling Spray: Large Cone that will deal burn damage. Works best against large enemy groups. The knockback will immobilze Blights and Will o Wisps.
Calling the World’s Maw: Great CC spell that will deal Pierce Damage to enemies and will knock them down. Just remember that there are several opponents that cannot be knocked down.
Conjure Blight: For more info take a look at the „Summons“ section.
Hail Storm: This icy storm will deal Crush Damage and 25 % Freeze Damage. The huge (!) radius of this spell can hurt dozens of enemies.
Moonwell: Nice healing over time and +10 to all defenses. Will help greatly in tougher battles – if you get the time casting it.
Overwhelming Wave: Very powerful engagement tool that will not only deal Crush Damage but will stun enemies in its path. Use this time to start your pain train!
Embrace the Earth-Talon: Powerful spell that will not only deal Pierce Damage but also petrify enemies. Only downside: The duration isnt that long so you will barely be able to hit your enemies more than one time while being petrified.
Relentless Storm: Hands down this is one of the best spells in the game. An AoE stun that will continuously strike your enemies? Cast this at the start of an engagement and use the stuns to follow up with damage spells. Works best against dangerous groups of spellcasters like Adragans so they will never get the chance to petrify you.
Plague of Insects: This spell is also great as the insects will deal Raw Damage, reduce Concentration and Sicken enemies. Nice followup after Relentless Storm.
Firebug: Deals good amount of burn damage and jumps up to 8 times. Feels weaker than the other spells on this level but is quite okay as a finishing move.
Conjure Greater Blight: For more info take a look at the „Summons“ section.
Garden of Life: The healing is only useful when there are plenty of corpses around. Rarely used.
Rot Skull: Will change your weapon and let you throw skulls that will deal crushing and AoE corrode damage. Sounds cool but i rarely used it.
Sunlance: Good single target piercing + burn damage that works best against tougher opponents in 1vs1 situations.
Venom Bloom: The Weakened and Frightened Debuff is great. Only downside: Its duration is very short.
Do not try to burn down a Flame Blight like Thaos! Always take a look at the resistances of your enemies.
Positioning is key. Using bottlenecks like doors can save you from many harm!
Debuff your enemies to make sure you will land your spells more often!
Use your summons for distraction so you get time for your damage spells!
Inns will become your best friends as you will run out of spells quite often!
The more you eat, the more you get. Or: The power of food buffs.
Why i am not using all those traps i have collected?
Edited by Harpagornis, 15 November 2015 - 12:47 PM.