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OK, I just noticed that I've maxed out my party and I'm only at the start of WM2, having only cleared the Stalwart Mines.

 

My party consists of:

 

Eder and Pallegina: my two front line combatants.

 

Durance and Kana: my mid-line support troops.  They do whatever's needed in any given engagement.  Both are capable and effective when fighting in melee or at range.

 

Grieving Mother and my Rogue PC, Alastyr:  My back liners.  GM is my primary arcane spellaster, and her primary weapon is Stormcaller.  And my Rogue is a mixed ranged/melee rogue, who is currently in the process of upgrading Twin Sting (though the weapon doesn't impress me much; Persistence even un-upgraded seems better).

 

 

This party, though lacking in really heavy duty arcane firepower, has been quite effective, particularly with Kana's high level chant that burns pretty much anything that gets inside his chant range.

 

 

Moving on to the reason for this post:

 

 

What I'm seeking here is opinions on whether I should stick with this party as is to the end, or consider bringing in other Companions and switch things up, for the heck of it.   About the only Companion that I'd consider a no-go here is Devil and that's only because I don't want to gimp my party trying to make use of a second rogue.

 

I could see Mahena, Zahua, or Sagani easily taking Kana's slot.  I suppose that Hiravias or Aloth could as well, though that would probably make the party more arcane oriented than I'd prefer. I could also see Hiravias replacing Durance, or Aloth replacing GM. 

 

I could be "interesting" putting Sagani in the party, since GM already uses the Stormcaller bow, and I don't really want to unbind it and have to go through the entire process of upgrading it for Sagani's sake.  Also, adding Sagani to a party that already has GM and my Rogue as ranged combatants may be a bit too much ranged, though I suppose that Sagani could move to the 2nd back line slot and have my Rogue move up to the 2nd line and engage in melee more often.

 

Also, Mahena looks appealing.  I tried her earlier, but found her too squishy ... but that may have been more the fault of my not really have a good grasp on how to play PoE barbarians.  The real question might then be, should Mahena move to the front line and move Pallegina to the second line, or have Mahena work from the second line, perhaps using the Tall Grass pike to wreak havoc on the enemy that way?

 

 

 

 

Anyways, what do you guys think?  Stick with what got me this far, or switch things up, since I'm already maxed out anyways, with all that XP still to be earned going to waste?

 

For what it's worth, equipping any of these other companions shouldn't be an issue, since I've kept just about every unique items in the game in my stash, except for most of the pistols and blunderbusses.  (Don't like dealing with their short range.)

 

 

 

Thoughts?  Opinions?  Comments?

Edited by Crucis
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I also started WM2 with maxed out official companions and it's just a joke. Ouuh - dangerous Eyeless on PoTD - lots of them, what a threat! *Bam-bam-all-dead-in-seconds* there you go! :)

It's way too easy - I will stop this playthrough and start another one where I will go to WM2 before I enter Act III. Because ActIII is boring anyway - so no big loss. ;)

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At about party level 11 it is a challenge if you scale to high level but doable with solid tactics. At level 13 / 14 it gets boring though except on a few bounties and if you decide to aggro everyone at once inside a certain abbey.

 

Monks work well with ciphers now and reaping knives. So front line of zahua + pallegina, mid line durance + Maneha (with tall grass for example) and current back line could be pretty solid.

 

Sagani in general is good dps but God forbid her pet dies which it does a lot than she is sad. And the barb and monk in this setup would be excellent dps in addition to the rogue. Gm can cc, pallegina tank and durance buff and heal. Aloth would excel at immediate cc but as long as Gm can throw a reaping knives quickly on zahua or your rogue she'll have more focus than she can spend the rest of the fight. There are a few tough enemies in the game at least on potd that are immune to both confusion and paralysis which means cipher can't do anything to them. That is why I do like a wizard and a cipher in a potd run party.

Edited by ottffsse
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At about party level 11 it is a challenge if you scale to high level but doable with solid tactics. At level 13 / 14 it gets boring though except on a few bounties and if you decide to aggro everyone at once inside a certain abbey.

 

Monks work well with ciphers now and reaping knives. So front line of zahua + pallegina, mid line durance + Maneha (with tall grass for example) and current back line could be pretty solid.

 

Sagani in general is good dps but God forbid her pet dies which it does a lot than she is sad. And the barb and monk in this setup would be excellent dps in addition to the rogue. Gm can cc, pallegina tank and durance buff and heal. Aloth would excel at immediate cc but as long as Gm can throw a reaping knives quickly on zahua or your rogue she'll have more focus than she can spend the rest of the fight. There are a few tough enemies in the game at least on potd that are immune to both confusion and paralysis which means cipher can't do anything to them. That is why I do like a wizard and a cipher in a potd run party.

 

A few comments in reply...

 

1. Thanks for your reply, which was a lot more on point than Boeroer's.  (Though I appreciate that he took the time to reply, I just wish that it'd been more on point.)

 

2. As an FYI, I've played 3 parties through to the end of vanilla PoE prior to this.  This party is my first since before WM1 was released, so all the WM1 and WM2 content is new to me. 

 

3. Regarding GM and enemies who are largely immune to her normal abilities, yes that's something to think about.  Thus far, it hasn't be that much of a problem, particularly since she got Stormcaller (and even more so since she got Stormcaller fully upgraded), because she could just sit back and spam arrows all over the place.  But there is something to be said for a more traditional arcane spellcaster, i.e. a wizard, who might be less limited in this regard, though at the expense of being a somewhat less capable non-arcane combatant when not casting spells.

 

 

4. Regarding Mahena, the next concern is this.  Should she be on the front line and move Pallegina into the Kana's second line spot?  Or have Mahena take Kana's second line spot and work behind Eder and Pallegina?  I'm leaning towards thinking that Mahena would be best (at least for me) working from the second line, largely using Tall Grass, and dualed axes for her in close weapons.  Of course, I could put Pallegina in the second line and have her using Tall Grass (she does have the Soldier focus, so it'd work out for her).  Part of me thinks that Mahena would be more deadly using Tall Grass combined with her normal carnage attacks, and knocking lots of enemies on their butts than sticking her in the front line. 

 

 

 

 

Anyways, thanks for the suggestions, ottffsse.   At the moment, I'm thinking about replacing Kana with Mahena, and replacing GM with Aloth.

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OK, I've built Maneha.  And because my party was max out to level 16, she also was allowed to go straight to level 16.

 

But my question here is this:  Tidefall or a Superb-upgraded (plus a corrode lash) version of Hours of St Rumbalt?  Eder currently uses Tidefall, but I could give him the other one.  Actually, Pallegina uses StRumbalt in place of the Redeemer when there are no undead enemies around, but I'm flexible.    And either way, it'll probably be Maneha's secondary weapon, with Tall Grass being the primary.

 

 

Alternately, I suppose I could also reload the pre-Maneha save I made and rebuild her (i.e. pick Knight instead of Soldier for her weapon focus) as a dual wielder using Axes.  I have no one using axes right now, and they're just laying around collecting dust.  Or sabers for that matter, though battleaxes seem more fitting for a big, burly barbarian.

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If you have Edge of Reason and We Toki I would recommend using those on Maneha. AoE prone plus AoE draining is nice. If you have two Rimecutters you can acutally attack with 0 recovery while wearing plate or brigandine. That's one of the best melee dps setups there is. And it looks good, too.

Edited by Boeroer

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If you have Edge of Reason and We Toki I would recommend using those on Maneha. AoE prone plus AoE draining is nice. If you have two Rimecutters you can actually attack with 0 recovery while wearing plate or brigandine. That's one of the best melee dps setups there is. And it looks good, too.

 

I have all of those Axes.  Like I said, I've sold hardly any of the unique items, except perhaps for the crappiest ones.

 

For what it's worth, I've already built Maneha up as with the Soldier focus, but have only done a single battle with her (the bounty against the followers of Magran.... that was one damned tough battle!!!).  So I can easily just reload my pre-Maneha save and rebuild her for duali wielding battleaxes.

 

As for armor, I have her in the Golden Scales, though I suppose I could put her in something heavier. I do have options.  Coat of Ill Payment, Sanguine Plate, He Carries Many Scars plate are three of the better ones, I suppose.

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You have two Rimecutters? That's great. Then just enchant them with durgan steel and there's your 0 recovery with thick armor plus Vulnerable Attack. I like the Coat of Ill Payment because it looks nice and has Retaliation. If you buy or craft some potions of Flame shield you can do some serious damage with Retaliation while hacking away with Rimecutters like a whirlwind. You should also consider taking Heart of Fury. It can turn tough encounters (bounties for example) into easy ones if you unleash it when you're surrounded by a lot of enemies.  

Edited by Boeroer
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You have two Rimecutters? That's great. Then just enchant them with durgan steel and there's your 0 recovery with thick armor plus Vulnerable Attack. I like the Coat of Ill Payment because it looks nice and has Retaliation. If you buy or craft some potions of Flame shield you can do some serious damage with Retaliation while hacking away with Rimecutters like a whirlwind. You should also consider taking Heart of Fury. It can turn tough encounters (bounties for example) into easy ones if you unleash it when you're surrounded by a lot of enemies.  

 

Oh, no, I do not have 2 Rimecutters.  Only the one.  But I have the other 2 axes you mentioned.

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You can still duplicate it with the Helwax Mold, "force Azzuro's hand" by making in-game time pass until he shows up with a second Rimecutter to sell, or reach 0 recovery with a scale armor.

"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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Ah ok. You can still achieve 0 recovery with one Rimecutter + durgan steel and another axe with durgan steel PLUS Gauntlets of Swift Action. But then maybe you want to wear a bit lighter armor (max 40% recovery penalty) or also durgan reinforce your plate.

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I agree that on Maneha dw battle axes are great.

 

I personally have her built for vengeful defeat though as my priest or paladin can always res her in the tough battles.

 

She is in wayfarers hide, has durganized superb strike hard main hand, unlabored blade off hand. Binding rope and glittering gauntlets. She is slowly but steadily catching up my main cipher in terms of damage done (ciphers stall after midgame unfortunately and are better off doing cc with damage mixed in while the way I set up Maneha the more enemies she hits with her weapons the more cc she does). Helmet is hermits hat or white crest helm for int boost on her. Swaddling sheet (cape) for the lols. With veteran's recovery and Savage defiance (I don't take it anymore I just max out athletics) and the items she doesn't go down unless something is wrong with the main tank or in one of those end game bounties. Talents scion of flame (for firebug on unlabored blade and flame lashes) + bloody slaughter + the usual mix of melee talents.

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