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Looking at the bestiary on this site there are only 22 enemies who start out with a fortitude defense that's lower than their deflection, 15 enemies whose fortitude defense becomes lower than their deflection with threatening presence active, and 26 enemies whose fortitude defense is at least 20 higher than their deflection. Wouldn't it be better, easier, and cheaper to use blinding attacks or something instead of spending points on these abilities? I'm still not very far into the game so I wanted to know what you all think about this.


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Looking at the bestiary on this site there are only 22 enemies who start out with a fortitude defense that's lower than their deflection, 15 enemies whose fortitude defense becomes lower than their deflection with threatening presence active, and 26 enemies whose fortitude defense is at least 20 higher than their deflection. Wouldn't it be better, easier, and cheaper to use blinding attacks or something instead of spending points on these abilities? I'm still not very far into the game so I wanted to know what you all think about this.

If you have another party member who can apply the Weakened debuff, like a Priest with Painful Interdiction, it stacks partially with Sickened and the enemies get -40 Fortitude.

 

Ps: I may have gotten the numbers wrong. It's been weeks since I last played.

Edited by DreamWayfarer

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I liked [edit - threatening presence] because it's constantly applying a debuff every 3 seconds, so even enemies with tough defenses will probably get it, and that will help create a cascading failure in their defenses.  I believe theorycrafters were against [both] last time I checked.

Edited by anameforobsidian

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When it actually matters, ie. not silly trash fights, you're always debuffing deflection anyway on the target you're trying to murder, so that will be the lower defense 95% of the time. So no, I wouldn't pick brute force ever. Threatening presence can be decent regardless though, to aid your casters.

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I liked it because it's constantly applying a debuff every 3 seconds, so even enemies with tough defenses will probably get it, and that will help create a cascading failure in their defenses.  I believe theorycrafters were against it last time I checked.

 

Isn't that Threatening Presence rather than Brute Force?

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I think it depends on whether your asking for a player character build or a companion build. For the former, probably not worth it unless you plan on having someone in your party who can throw Painful Interdiction around (as DreamWayfarer mentioned). For the later, I think it makes a lot of sense to take them because we're probably talking about Maneha. Barbarians are built for trash mobs and against which enemy types is that Threatening Presence/Brute Force combo going to be most potent? Lagufaeth, Shades, Skuldr, Spiders, Vithrack, and Xaurip. Encounters involving these enemy types tend to be trash-mobby.  Give her something that has a spellchance property (my favorite is Forgotten Tear of the Beloved - all of the enemy types listed are either weak against crush damage or don't have DR bonuses against it), Wilder Hunter, and Weapon Focus: Adventurer at let her do her thing.


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It also depends on what you'll be doing with the rest of the team. If you plan on stunning/blinding/stucking/para'n the mobs, it'll be largely pointless, as deflection will still be lower. If you don't have someone to weaker, it'll also be largely pointless, as Sicken alone won't make it worth a dang, it has to have that Weakness added on top.

 

So, if you've a team plan that won't be using any of the Def lowering debuffs, but will be applying Weakness, it's a solid late addition, as Barbs largely get trash for new talents. Otherwise, it'll just by and large not do anything. Though, as mentioned, Barb's don't really have 8 good talents to choose, so even if you take it, and it does nothing, it won't greatly impact what the Barb's doing.

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As others have stated getting Threatening Presence is good to debuff the enemies so that the stunning weapon you are using can more easily pass the check. Once they are stunned the massive -30 defelection debuff will let you keep critting them. Brute Force is not needed, it only works well when stacked with Painful Interdiction when you are not using a stunning weapon but why would you do that?

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Something I've been wondering as well. It's a very flavorful and cool trait on the surface, but it doesn't seem to really have enough impact. Other than Shadows and Wisps, it's not going to effect anything without work. And if you're going to work, why not work on lowering deflection rather that fortitude?


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Because disabling status effects (and quite a few useful spells) are generally defended by Fortitude, so debuffing that makes those stick much more easily (and disabled enemies get their deflection debuffed anyway). This is also what makes Painful Interdiction such a good debuffer, since it effectively drops Fortitude by 28 points, and Will by 24. This also makes Threatening Presence quite useful. On its own, to give a -12 Fortitude and Will debuff to nearby enemies, works especially nicely if your Barbarian is Carnaging with for example some Prone-inducing weapon; but also as an automatic pre-buff for Painful Interdiction, since it makes it more likely for the Weakened effect (which is itself defended by Fortitude in this case) to hit or crit itself (note that this doesn't stack with the overlapping Sickened effects; a Sickened and Weakened character gets -28 Fortitude, not -40). 

 

Having said that, whether Brute Force is worth it is certainly debatable. There are quite a few enemies that have Fortitude well in excess of their Deflection, even if you do give them -12 or -28 Fortitude. It isn't useless though, there are also enemies who have a big gap the other way (Spirits, mostly), or who get Fortitude < Deflection if you at least Sicken them. Against Kith it can be useful against Mages in particular, since it renders all their fancy Deflection buffs entirely moot. 

 

So on balance, I would only take it after Threatening Presence, but it can still be nice to have since it's automatic and does help against a subset of enemies; especially if you have a priest routinely casting Painful Interdiction. And it also has nice flavour. If you're really into optimizing it's probably not going to make the cut, but I'd say it does enough to consider taking it otherwise. 

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