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I have to confess something quite shameful :

I have been a Diablo 3 player.  

I swear that I have barely launched the game since PoE has been released.

 

However, I remember that in Diablo 3, one of the best way to raise your DPS was to stack Critical Damage and Critical Chance. 

When around 50% of your blow are critical, and when critical hits do 3 or 4 times the damages of normal blows, your DPS becomes suddenly sky high.

 

There was not so many ways to rise Critical Damage and Critical Chance in PoE.

But I realized recently that there were much more than during the initial release, because of one change : Durgan Steel.

 

 

Critical damage are additive, you can get :

 

+50%(base)

 

+30%(durgan steel)

+30%(Doemenels Talent)

+50%(Annihilating weapons, such as :

                Purgatory and Resolution 

                Sabra Marie 

                Hour of St Rumbalt 

                Dulcanale (Dulcanale is a Pistol, so Base Critical Damage is only +20%, and it has an accuracy malus.)

+10%(Dungeon Devler Talent).

=

+120% on top of base.

=

+170% Total.

 

There are also a few items that give +10%, but this is not so impressive and it takes a slot, so I didn't consider them.

 

+120%, that's a lot ! That is equal to what Melee Rogue gets from their various abilities (sneak attack, Deathblows, Reckless Modal)

Doemenels talent and Dungeon Delver are only for the Watcher by the way.

 

If +120% Critical damage could be applied all the time, it would be crazy !

 

 

Now, how to rise critical chances ?

The source are :

 - Hit to Crit Chance (obviously)

 - Accuracy

 - Deflection debuff

 

Hit to Crit chance can be augmented by Rogue abilities, Durgan Steel, Hearth Orlan racial, a couple of weapons Paladin Zealous Focus talent and Priest Dire Blessing/Merciless Gaze (the later two can't be stacked).

 

But this is probably not the best way because 1 Accuracy basically worths 2 Hit to Crit.

 

So the build idea is to stack accuracy like crazy.

 

Good source of accuracy are :

 - Max Perception

 - 1 Handed Style (I think this build could be one of the few ways to make 1 Handed Style effective, 12 accuracy could be better than a few more damage from 2 - handed)

 - Survival (against anything but Kiths)

 - Some spells like Borrowed instinct, Tactical Meld, Eldricht Aim, various party buff, marking weapons.

 

The best Deflection Debuff are probably CC such as Paralysis, Stun and Petrify.

 

 

So my idea was to create a Watcher melee Cipher with following characteristics :

 - Hearth Orlan (Wood elf for ranged variant, or maybe Boreal Dwarf if you really hate Wilders and Primordials)

 - Per around 20.

 - Survival at least 4, maybe 10

 - Weapons of choice : 1 Handed Durgan refined Purgatory (sabers compensate for 1 handed weapon low damages, and Purgatory is Annihilating), Dulcanale as secondary. Hour of St Rumbalt paired with Aedrin Wrecker (Stun and Prone on crit) could be nice too, but you loose the 1 handed accuracy bonus.

 - Siding with Doemenels, picking Dungeon Delver after At the Mercy of the Tribes

 - Picking powers like : Mental Binding (paralysis), Silent Scream (stun), borrowed instinct, tactical meld

 

The strategy would be would be most of the time :

Mental Binding -> Attack until target is dead -> Mental Binding -> Attack until target is dead -> etc...

If you have too much focus, you can cast Borrowed Instinct / Tactical Meld, or replace Mental Binding by Silent Scream for AoE icing on the cake.

 

The recent buff to Silent Scream and Mental Binding is what makes this build very interesting in 3.0.

 

What do you think of this idea ?

 

 

Final Note : I think a similar build with a Rogue using Sap, Blinding Strike and Dirty Fighting could be nice too. Apart for Cipher Powers, the choices would be the same.

Barbarian could be cool too. They don't have great bonus for crits apart barbaric blows, but as carnage applies a damage penalty to secondary targets, this build would be nice to make penalty negligible.

 

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What do you think of this idea ?

 

I'm doing a lot of it with my Lady of Pain build.

 

If you want to take it to the extreme, after maximizing the bonus damage from scoring a crit:

 

- Hearth Orlan with 21 starting Perception; +1 Hylea's Boon; +1 Song of the Heavens; +1 Effigy's Resentment: Sagani; +3 Lilith's Shawl; +3 resting bonus from Caed Nua; +10 Champion's Boon = 40 Perception.

- Durgan weapon + Dire Blessing + Hearth Orlan = 50% hit-to-crit conversion

- Devotions for the Faithful + Scroll of Valor = +35 Accuracy

Edited by AndreaColombo

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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Gauntlet of accuracy seems a good item to add to my list.

 

You may want to use the Gauntlets of Swift Action instead and try to get your recovery down to 0. If you pack +65 Accuracy excluding the bonus for single weapon, Superb enchantment, and Weapon Focus (that's another +30) and 50% hit-to-crit conversion, you'll hardly need another +5; attacking faster is better as you'll get more crits in.

Edited by AndreaColombo

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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Gauntlet of accuracy seems a good item to add to my list.

 

You may want to use the Gauntlets of Swift Action instead and try to get your recovery down to 0. If you pack +65 Accuracy excluding the bonus for single weapon, Superb enchantment, and Weapon Focus (that's another +30) and 50% hit-to-crit conversion, you'll hardly need another +5; attacking faster is better as you'll get more crits in.

 

 

Well, I suppose it depends on the presence of a priest in my party.

 

Anyway with Tactical Meld, Borrowed instinct, a lot of perception and Deflection debuff, you're right about the risk of overkill.

I will check in-game anyway. It's not like I can't change Gauntlet. 

Crazy Peception on a Cipher may also be a good way for Boss Crowd Control.

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No Priest, no party :p

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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When around 50% of your blow are critical, and when critical hits do 3 or 4 times the damages of normal blows, your DPS becomes suddenly sky high.

I am sorry Elric sad.png

But the increase is not that super big. And the reasons are: might, soul whip, biting whip and they way this game stacks damage coefficients.

 

Correct me if I am wrong, but we have the following coefficients:

v1. (10 might)
  reg: 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 (regular graze/hit/crit damage coef)
  cip: 0.9, 1.4, 1.9 (plus soul and biting whip)
  cri: 0.9, 1.4, 3.1 (with your +120% to crit dmg)

v2. (20 might, i.e. +0.3 to damage)
  reg: 0.8, 1.3, 1.8 (regular graze/hit/crit damage coef)
  cip: 1.2, 1.7, 2.2 (plus soul and biting whip)
  cri: 1.2, 1.7, 3.4 (with your +120% to crit dmg)

v3. (3 might, i.e. -0.21 to damage)
  reg: 0.29, 0.79, 1.29 (regular graze/hit/crit damage coef)
  cip: 0.69, 1.19, 1.69 (plus soul and biting whip)
  cri: 0.69, 1.19, 2.89 (with your +120% to crit dmg)
Now, in order to see how much will we get from the crit stacking, relative to the default crit coefficient, we'll have to do few calculations. As usual...

 

 

Use-cases:

c1. acc = def
  v1.cip: 0.9*0.35 + 1.4*0.5 + 0 = 1.015
  v1.cri: 0.9*0.35 + 1.4*0.5 + 0 = 1.015 (no gain)
  v2.cip: 1.2*0.35 + 1.7*0.5 + 0 = 1.27
  v2.cri: 1.2*0.35 + 1.7*0.5 + 0 = 1.27 (no gain)
  v3.cip: 0.69*0.35 + 1.19*0.5 + 0 = 0.84
  v3.cri: 0.69*0.35 + 1.19*0.5 + 0 = 0.84 (no gain)

c2. acc = def + 15
  v1.cip: 0.9*0.35 + 1.4*0.5 + 1.9*0.15 = 1.3
  v1.cri: 0.9*0.35 + 1.4*0.5 + 3.1*0.15 = 1.48 (14% gain)
  v2.cip: 1.2*0.35 + 1.7*0.5 + 2.2*0.15 = 1.67
  v2.cri: 1.2*0.35 + 1.7*0.5 + 3.4*0.15 = 1.78 (6.5% gain)
  v3.cip: 0.69*0.35 + 1.19*0.5 + 1.69.1*0.15 = 1.09
  v3.cri: 0.69*0.35 + 1.19*0.5 + 2.89.1*0.15 = 1.27 (16% gain)

c3. acc = def + 50
  v1.cip: 1.4*0.5 + 1.9*0.5 = 1.65
  v1.cri: 1.4*0.5 + 3.1*0.5 = 2.25 (36% gain)
  v2.cip: 1.7*0.5 + 2.2*0.5 = 1.95
  v2.cri: 1.7*0.5 + 3.4*0.5 = 2.55 (30% gain)
  v3.cip: 1.19*0.5 + 1.69.1*0.5 = 1.44
  v3.cri: 1.19*0.5 + 2.89.1*0.5 = 2.04 (42% gain)

c4. acc = def + 100
  v1.cip: 1.9
  v1.cri: 3.1 (63% gain)
  v2.cip: 2.2
  v2.cri: 3.4 (55% gain)
  v3.cip: 1.69
  v3.cri: 2.89 (71% gain)

 

 

Conclusion: a critical hit will not deal x3, nor x4 damage. Maximum x2.43 (2.89/1.19 in scenario with dumped might).

While the total damage (for cipher) would increase up to x1.71.

On the bright side, if the enemy has high DR, the crit/hit damage ratio will go up just because a bigger chuck is eaten by reduction from hits than crits.

Edited by MaxQuest
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However: A good thing now is Aspirant's Mark: It lowers deflection by 8 for a fairly long time and stacks with the other things you can do as a cipher. And it's 1/encounter now. A good spell for a crit based char.

 

You also forgot Battle Axes: they deal ok damage - and there's We Toki that also does prone on crit.

 

What you also can add to your cipher: a Darcozzi Paladin with Zealous Focus, Coordinated Attacks, Inspiring Exhortation and a marking weapon for +30 ACC that stacks with all kinds of things.

 

I tested around a bit some weeks ago and combined that with a hearth orlan barb and the "Mob Justice" talent from the Dozens and the Dagger Aattuuk from the Skaen Temple and "Flick of the Wrist" from playing Orlan's Head. The dagger is predatory (10% hit to crit conversion), has +5 ACC and comes exceptional. Of course you would want to enchant it to superb. It lacks annihilation - but I think you can't have it all. :)

That way I added passive bonuses: +10 (PER), +12 (one handed) +5 (dagger) + 12 (superb) + 4 (Mob Justice) +4 (Flick of the Wrist) +6 (Zealos Focus) +10 (Coordinated Attacks) +10 (marking) for a total passive bonus of +73. Then added +10 from Lib. Exhortation as active effect (now +83).

Then I went for my usual Brute Force/Threatening Presence stuff and also invited a priest to cast Painful Interdiction to lower Fort. by over 40 points. That's like having more than +120 ACC bonus against fort now with two per-encounter abilites. 

On top comes the hit-to crit conversion: 10% from Aattuuk, 10% from the Hearth Orlan's racial feat, +5% from Critical focus and the stuff from Heart of Fury or Barbaric Blow. The thing is - you don't need that. It feels like every direct attack is a crit.

Looking back I should have used an annihilating weapon and go for the Doemenels' talent. That would have meant -13 ACC in comparison (+5 dagger, +4 Mob Justice, +4 Flick of the Wrist) but a lot more damage. And +107 ACC compared to +120 doesn't really make any difference...

Edited by Boeroer
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Conclusion: a critical hit will not deal x3, nor x4 damage. Maximum x2.43 (2.89/1.19 in scenario with dumped might).

While the total damage (for cipher) would increase up to x1.71.

On the bright side, if the enemy has high DR, the crit/hit damage ratio will go up just because a bigger chuck is eaten by reduction from hits than crits.

Yup, don't worry, I didn't expect that much.

Damage modifiers are additive, even for crit (contrary to Diablo 3 :fdevil::fdevil::fdevil: )

 

But still, x1.71 seems already impressive for me. And that also means 1.71 more focus, which is great.

 

 

The multiplicative factor could be better on a Barbarian with his negative damage modifier to Carnage...

Edited by Elric Galad
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But you are right: so much crit damage should lead to a huge chunk of focus.

I wonder if it would be cool to quick switch two Dulcanales (cloned with that special stronghold item) with this setup and Tactical Meld + Borrowed Instincts (+40 ACC). Combine that with what I said above (remove the Brute-Force part). ;)

Edited by Boeroer

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Yup, don't worry, I didn't except that much.

But still, x1.71 seems already impressive for me. And that also means 1.71 more focus, which is great.

 

Indeed original.gif

Actually the more I think about it, the better it gets. With high crit damage modifier and soul/biting whips, cipher can get away with lower might. And all these saved stats can be put into dexterity, for a more linear dps increase.

Damn, if you will buff your party anyway (to get such accuracy advantage), there is no reason to not get an extra such cipher)

 

 

The multiplicative factor could be better on a Barbarian with his negative damage modifier to Carnage...

Stacking crit, could be also nice on blight/quarterstaff auto-attacking mage. And maybe.. for a dual-clubbing priest of Skaen with Devotions for the Faithful/Champion's Boon/Minor Avatar.

 

---

P.S. What is the interaction of crit damage coefficients with spells? I suppose those from weapons don't affect them? But what about Dungeon Delver and The Merciless Hand?

Edited by MaxQuest
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