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SimpleEnigma

New Player Guide for Indecisive Rerollers (like me)

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INTRODUCTION

 

Hello there! Let me guess, you just got this awesome game called Pillars of Eternity and so far it seems really fun but you just cant seem to decide on that perfect main character. Or hey maybe you've had the game for months, still sitting at that "create character" screen waiting for divine inspiration. That was me. I bought the game in December and had over 100 hours played before I even created the character I eventually completed the game with. This post will hopefully help you find that perfect character quicker than I did, and give you some tips on creating that character - different from the kind of tips found in most new player guides. There will be extremely minor spoilers, but probably spoilers you've already seen if you are on this forums and reading guides.

 

 

CONVERSATION

 

Conversation attributes are the great sirens that lure many of our new character dreams into the reefs. Let me take one large chunk of conversation anxiety right off the bat: with very few exceptions your race, background (home and job), class (including paladin orders and priest deities), and gender only give you flavor text with no real impact on the outcome of the conversation. So with these options just choose what you want to roleplay as and occasionally people will remark on it - which is pretty cool but does not really factor in how the game plays out.

 

Mental stats (Int, Per, Res), skills (like lore, mechanics, and survival), and your reputation from conversations (are you honest, clever, cruel, etc) tend to be the modifiers that actually influence how an encounter will play out. Unlike many other games however, just because you pass a check for a certain dialog option doesn't necessarily mean it is the "best" option. For instance a high int may let you point out a hole in their logic, which pisses them off and they may even attack you for it. They always aren't the "good" option either. Resolve for instance sometimes gives you options to bully people into doing what you want or extorting poor people out of money. Also know that sometimes you could have multiple unlocked options and you'll have to pick one (say a resolve option, perception option, and a lore option)

 

Having a character with high RES, INT, and PER pretty much limits the character to some type of tank or support role. There is no build I know of that can do top tier DPS and have all 3 mental stats approaching 20. Paladins and Chanters normally fit into this type of build best (shameless self plug for my Rauatai Captain build but there are other good builds on here for convo builds) but most of the other classes can make a convo build work at some level. You will get gear and other bonuses that raise your stats so don't think you have to max out all 3 stats at character creation to hit all the checks.More importantly don't feel obligated to chase after all 3 stats. In the end it doesn't change things THAT much. As I mentioned earlier there are a lot of conversations where you can choose only one of several special options so there's a fair bit of overlap. Nearly every build will have a significant number of points in at least one of those 3 stats. Focusing on just one or two of the stats will still give you lots of unique dialog.

 

Lore and Survival open up the most dialog options of all the skills (helps that with 3.0 survival is pretty much a must have). Towards the second half of the game your personality will change how people react (you can turn on the meta tags for conversations if you want to ensure you build a specific personality).

 

 

COMPANIONS

 

If you are reading this guide you are probably interested in the full story aspect of the game and want to have a party full of story companions. The nest suggestion I have is to try grabbing all the core (non DLC) companions real quick just so you can get a feel for their personalities and decide if you want to create a character that compliments a team of your favorites. In case you don't own all DLCs the companion classes available are:

 

Core game:

  • Fighter
  • Wizard
  • Priest
  • Ranger
  • Druid
  • Paladin
  • Cipher
  • Chanter

WM Part I:

  • Monk
  • Rogue

WM Part 2:

  • Barbarian

 

 

CLASS

 

With WM II DLC making all classes available as story companions you can pick any class and have companions that will fit well with your build. Do note that the DLC companions take a little longer to get to (and aren't available if you do not own the DLC). Paladins and Priests get minor benefits for being the main character. If you are like me and want your main character to be the one you focus on most in combat then Wizards, Priests, Druids, Monks, and to a lesser extent Ciphers and Rangers tend to require the most direct attention.

 

On normal and even hard difficulty the game is forgiving enough that most builds can be successful. That's how I ultimately decided on my character. I found smiting bad guys and having my allies benefit from it was a fun mechanic, so I created a build around it and enjoyed it through the whole playthrough. I think most around here have a build they consider their "own" that they really connected with.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

I would try to avoid metagaming this game as much as possible. There are a lot of cool little secrets and surprises this game offers that trying to prepare to do them perfectly is near impossible and just kinda spoils the surprise. So just go, try out some builds, and when one just grabs you by the throat then you know you've found the one!

 

 

 

 

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Nice guide, But I'd say that one could make a damage-dealing rogue work pumping only mental attributes, since MIG is not that useful for you anyway and if you reach zero attack recovery, raising DEX past 10 won't be necessary anymore.

 

And if you use rapier, dagger and light armor or clothes, you even look the part of a silver-tongued swashbuckler or charming duelist. You wont be as hurty as a specialized damage-dealer, but you will talk your way into victory whenever possible.

 

EDIT: But early game will be hell for you.

Edited by DreamWayfarer
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Nice guide, But I'd say that one could make a damage-dealing rogue work pumping only mental attributes, since MIG is not that useful for you anyway and if you reach zero attack recovery, raising DEX past 10 won't be necessary anymore.

 

And if you use rapier, dagger and light armor or clothes, you even look the part of a silver-tongued swashbuckler or charming duelist. You wont be as hurty as a specialized damage-dealer, but you will talk your way into victory whenever possible.

 

EDIT: But early game will be hell for you.

Yeah I agree it would work but it's kinda a novelty build that would probably be hell for a new player. Although on Normal difficulty perhaps it would be less severe. Rogues in general seem like a poor choice for a first playthrough unless you heavily researched the mechanics of the game beforehand.

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Wizards can do it with high resolve, per, and int. Mostly because of the int and per, as most of a wizard's dps per spell is from summoned weapons.

 

Resolve doesn't add to the dps of any class, but per does provide the acc. So the big difference is for classes that use INT to power their dps powers.

 

The chanter is also a good choice.

Edited by Ymarsakar

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Nice guide, But I'd say that one could make a damage-dealing rogue work pumping only mental attributes, since MIG is not that useful for you anyway and if you reach zero attack recovery, raising DEX past 10 won't be necessary anymore.

And if you use rapier, dagger and light armor or clothes, you even look the part of a silver-tongued swashbuckler or charming duelist. You wont be as hurty as a specialized damage-dealer, but you will talk your way into victory whenever possible.

EDIT: But early game will be hell for you.

Main issue I think would be the extremely low Con (if you completely dumped it). You could just die from a single AOE; particularly if you fight in melee range. Also, even with zero recovery speed, high dex is still really good and better than might for a DPS rogue (self healing consideration aside). It still makes your actions 3% faster for each action since it makes the actual attack animation faster.

 

That said, rogues have tons of abilities that benefit greatly from INT, PER, and RES, so I agree that it can totally work and could even be the best stat line at some point in the game (mental stats tend to help most in the late game, in my experience). Really, you can't go wrong with any distribution unless you have a specific "Gimmick" character build that synergies items and stats in crazy ways, and even then it will only be a little sub-optimal.

 

The "best" stat distribution is one that changes periodically through out the game by retraining the character... But that is rather cheesy. Stats, abilities, and talents have specific times when they are optimal and sub-optimal. Con, is crazy good early and worse at end game. Resolve is best after you have tons of it (late game). Might is best early before you gain other damage multipliers. Int is best late game when you have all your abilities unlocked. Perception is good late game when you have all the items to make crits reliable, or need to fight bosses with huge deflection. Dex... Is always good.

Edited by Braven

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Nice guide, But I'd say that one could make a damage-dealing rogue work pumping only mental attributes, since MIG is not that useful for you anyway and if you reach zero attack recovery, raising DEX past 10 won't be necessary anymore.

And if you use rapier, dagger and light armor or clothes, you even look the part of a silver-tongued swashbuckler or charming duelist. You wont be as hurty as a specialized damage-dealer, but you will talk your way into victory whenever possible.

EDIT: But early game will be hell for you.

Main issue I think would be the extremely low Con (if you completely dumped it). You could just die from a single AOE; particularly if you fight in melee range. Also, even with zero recovery speed, high dex is still really good and better than might for a DPS rogue (self healing consideration aside). It still makes your actions 3% faster for each action since it makes the actual attack animation faster.

 

That said, rogues have tons of abilities that benefit greatly from INT, PER, and RES, so I agree that it can totally work and might even be the best stat line (as long as you don't completely ditch con). Really, you can't go wrong with any distribution unless you have a specific "Gimmick" character build that synergies items and stats in crazy ways, and even then it will only be a little sub-optimal.

You don't need to fully ditch CON. Lowering it and MIG to 7 is enough. But anyway, it is a fringe build made for getting high mental stats, and it is not something I'd recommend to a newcomer, only something made to prove a certain character archetype is possible, if less than effective.

 

EDIT: if I was into minmaxing, I would fully dump MIG to have a little more DEX. I think it could be more effective that way.

Edited by DreamWayfarer

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I edited my post, but if you want to be a true min maxer, you need to retrain your character a few times over the course of the game. After all, it is only a little gold and easy to come by. I don't think that was the intention of the retrain feature, so it is borderline cheating. The real reason for the feature is so players don't feel the compulsion to start all over again because they "messed" up when leveling up their character or distributing stats.  Another non-cheesy reason to retrain, in my opinion, is to try out a new build with cool new items found while adventuring, or had a new idea for an interesting new play-style.  (in other words, not a pre-planned retraining)

Edited by Braven

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I think this guide is a little redundant, it's a role-playing game - you're expected to play it through more than once and so you can try different attribute combos on subsequent play-throughs. The only thing I was holding out on before completing the game (which I still haven't, hopefully soon) was a release without bugs which wasn't there initially; after the most significant v1 patching my laptop broke and when I got fixed I thought I'd wait for both White March releases so here I am.

 

Point is, don't procrastinate. If you didn't notice, the game is combat heavy. I felt much more of an impact in New Vegas where there were many many different skill and attribute combos for dialogue, which is great - however I don't begrudge Pillars for not offering that. Needlessly putting off a game because you don't know how to optimise the dialogue options is a little pointless when most of the options achieve the same thing and it's really not the core of what the game is about.

 

Besides, the game has been out for an age now in terms of modern games. No one is going to read this guide for beginners, as no one is a beginner anymore apart from apparently you - particularly with a crowd funded game where the core audience is aware of the game and has already funded/bought it on release. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Edited by Jojobobo

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I think this guide is a little redundant, it's a role-playing game - you're expected to play it through more than once and so you can try different attribute combos on subsequent play-throughs. The only thing I was holding out on before completing the game (which I still haven't, hopefully soon) was a release without bugs which wasn't there initially; after the most significant v1 patching my laptop broke and when I got fixed I thought I'd wait for both White March releases so here I am.

 

Point is, don't procrastinate. If you didn't notice, the game is combat heavy. I felt much more of an impact in New Vegas where there were many many different skill and attribute combos for dialogue, which is great - however I don't begrudge Pillars for not offering that. Needlessly putting off a game because you don't know how to optimise the dialogue options is a little pointless when most of the options achieve the same thing and it's really not the core of what the game is about.

 

Besides, the game has been out for an age now in terms of modern games. No one is going to read this guide for beginners, as no one is a beginner anymore apart from apparently you - particularly with a crowd funded game where the core audience is aware of the game and has already funded/bought it on release. Sorry to burst your bubble.

With WM2 just released and steam sales all the time I am sure there are people trying out the game for the first time. Not all guides are for everyone!

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This is the internet, even the redundancy is useful, especially after the X crashes the net by breaking apart the inter continental fiber optic cables.

Edited by Ymarsakar

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