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I'm still quite new to the game (72 hours and still in the first quest of Act II), but not to the genre (completed Icewind Dale on the hardest setting many years ago). I'm playing on Hard with a full party and being fairly completist. I'm using the wiki occasionally but trying to avoid actual spoilers as much as possible.

 

But I'm really struggling to properly understand the combat system. It's very different from D&D, for starters, and the devil appears to be in the details.

 

I know there's lots of information in the gamepedia and the wiki, but it all tends to be very isolated. I'm wondering if anyone has put together a detailed guide that brings all the information together into a coherent whole.

 

In more detail, what I'm trying to understand covers the role of attributes (and hence, which are needed for each class -- also their relation to skills), non-damaging effects (including how they affect the party, how they affect monsters, which are more flexible when the type of monster cannot be anticipated, and the Talents classes should choose and use), recovery and armour type (and flow-on effects), and the sequence of a combat roll.

 

For the latter, it would be great to see a step-by-step walk-through of all the different factors that play a part in each major type of attack. For example: "for a melee attack, d100 is first rolled, this is adjusted by the attack and defense numbers of the attacker and defender, which are affected by these attributes as follows, these are also affected by status effects as follows, then damage reduction is factored in by comparing the weapon damage type to the DR for that type, which is then affected by...". You get the idea. And the fact it would need to be much better formatted!

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I have the distinct impression I'm doing rather a lot wrong in combat!

 

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The biggest difference between this and D&D is there are no saving throws. Every attack (including spells) is simply a comparison of accuracy vs defensive stat followed by a d100 roll. For more information on the accuracy vs defense and the roll itself look here: http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Attack_Resolution

 

Combat modifiers can come from status effects (http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Status_Effects) or buffs/debuffs (too many to list).

 

Quick example let's look at casting the wizard spell slicken on an enemy, to keep things simple let's assume the wizards accuracy equals the targets base reflex (the defense stat for slicken):

(Wizard Accuracy + 10 [bonus accuracy from slicken spell]) - enemy reflex = +10 modifier (5% miss, 35% graze, 50% hit, 10% crit)

 

Now if the wizard buffs himself with eldrich aim (+15 accuracy) and the enemy is hobbled from a rogue attack (-20 reflex) it would change to:
(Wizard Accuracy + 10 [slicken] + 15[eldrich aim]) - (enemy reflex -20[hobbled]) = +45 modifier (5% graze, 50% hit, 45% crit)

 

While the specifics may be different the goal is the same as D&D: find ways to increase your accuracy as much as possible and reduce the enemies defensive stat as much as possible (just like thaco and ac).

 

Damage reduction is a flat penalty to damage which you can see in the combat log. You'll see something like 15 - 5 = 10 meaning the attack was going to do 15 damage but 5 points were absorbed by DR so it only did 10 damage. Enemies can (and often do) have different DR for different damage types so while an enemy might have crush DR of 15 it might only have a fire DR of 5. Note DR has no effect on the accuracy.

 

As for which stats for which class I really recommend looking over the pinned build guides.

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Hmm, given that he wants to avoid spoilers, the Build Guides may not be ideal. They don't generally contain many plot spoilers of course, but do contain more general spoilers and such. 

 

Anyway, one additional key aspect I wanted to point out is stacking: if multiple bonuses (or penalties) affecting the same value (stat, defence type, etc.) are active on a character (or enemy), they may not all apply. In some cases only the highest bonus (or strongest penalty) actually applies; the weaker bonuses (and penalties) will be grayed out  and noted as 'suppressed' in the character sheet, and when you look at active effects on the main game screen; bonuses and penalties don't suppress each other (though of course they can cancel each other out).

 

There are four broad categories of effects: passive (permanently active effects from talents, resting bonuses, etc.), effects of weapons, effects of other equipment, and active/modal effects (afflictions, most spell effects, modal abilities, food, potions, etc.). For any specific value, the total bonus is the sum of all bonuses from passive and weapon effects, plus the highest bonus from equipment effects, plus the highest bonus from active/modal effects (and the total penalty is computed in the same way). So it's those last two categories you have to pay most attention to.

 

So for example, if your character is being affected by the +3 DR Paladin aura (modal), there is little point in him drinking a +1 DR glass of beer (active), since the net result is still only a +3 DR bonus as they are in the same category (it would stack with eg. a +1 DR helmet though (other equipment) as well as any bonuses from your weapons and passive effects (eg. Fire Godlike Battle Forged at <50% Endurance). Note that suppressed effects are still there: if you did drink the beer and then walked out of range of the Paladin aura, the beer effect stops being suppressed and you get the +1 DR. Similarly, two Deflection penalties from spells or status effects like Stunned won't stack on an enemy (since they are all active/modal effects), but if the duration of the first one runs out the second one will still remain (until it expires as well, of course).

 

If you are unsure whether some things stack, it's usually easiest to just try it out and check the character sheet for all the currently active effects; if any of them are suppressed you can see it there. Especially when it comes to Accuracy it can be a bit tricky, since for example two active effects with "+5 Accuracy" and "+5 Melee Accuracy" probably will stack because they technically affect different values. 

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I know there's lots of information in the gamepedia and the wiki, but it all tends to be very isolated. I'm wondering if anyone has put together a detailed guide that brings all the information together into a coherent whole.

The problem is the mechanics are not that well documented ingame. A lot of information is quite vague, and some.. even wrong.

It takes time to test the stuff, with enough degree of certainty, such that unambiguous conclusions could be made.

 

In more detail, what I'm trying to understand covers the role of attributes (and hence, which are needed for each class -- also their relation to skills), non-damaging effects (including how they affect the party, how they affect monsters, which are more flexible when the type of monster cannot be anticipated, and the Talents classes should choose and use), recovery and armour type (and flow-on effects), and the sequence of a combat roll.

This is very different from D&D. To the point where there is no point to even think of attributes/dmg/attack in terms of it's rules.

You will be surprised how your own vision on stats spread will change after the very first playthrough. And than again, once you'll try all the classes.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I have the distinct impression I'm doing rather a lot wrong in combat!

You do.

But it only increases the replay value :)

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Thanks, guys.

 

The two links are a particularly good start. And MaxQuest basically confirms my gut feeling. :)

 

I had some trouble with the "pinned Builds". Partly because a lot are no longer current with the game version. But mostly because few people really explain the why of things (possibly I didn't read far enough -- there's a lot of material).

 

So here's two follow-up questions:

 

1) The wiki's Attribute page has an interesting diagram, but I'm wondering if anyone has an analysis of which stats are useful or not useful to each class, and why. (That last is critical.)

 

2) Do attributes ever affect skills? For example, if I eat something that raises Perception, will that help my scouting Rogue detect and/or disable traps? Will anything?

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1). The problem with this question is it assumes there is only one way to build a class. Maybe you want a super tanky paladin so you use a sword and shield while boost resolve and con. Maybe you want a DPS paladin with a great sword which boosts might and dexterity. Maybe you love the ability sacred immolation and boost int to max it's area of effect. None of these attribute allocation are "the right way" or "the wrong way" to build a paladin.

 

2). No there is no cross over effect between attributes and skills. There are items, scrolls and resting bonuses that can help boost skills. You will want at least one character to specialize in mechanics which is the key for traps, locked objects and hidden objects.

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I think most people will agree that perception, Intellect and Might are the most important stats ingame for almost any class.

If we look at a tank, we might think he doesn't need Accuracy, he doesn't need Perception.

But since it also boosts your relflex it's not a solely offensive stat in the first place.

And since for example paladins who are the best tanks, get Sacred immolation with level 13 which is an AoE with great power, they highly benefit from having less in a weaker stat like Constiitution and more in Perception.

If we look at a purely melee class we might think, needs no Intellect, than there's plenty melees who straight up benefit from Intellect like barbarians, rogues, and others who benefit more "behind the scenes" like fighters which doesn't make the benefits any less.

If we look at might it will be hard in the first place to find somebody who doesn't ebnefit greatly of this stat, maybe ciphers with their soul whip, but might also benefits their spells, maybe a pure buff priest, but those miss out on damage like a paladin without SA.

 

Less good stats are Con, only good for fort def, but the health factor is very unimportant in this game.

Dexterity, looks good on paper but gets less viable the more you progress into the game, you can dual wield with no recovery with 10 dex ...

Resolve, helps a tank to reach max defenses but 8 Res more or less only matters if you solo.

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Thanks, guys.

 

@Stasis_Sword: I did word my question poorly. I was aware that each class can be built with different roles. But that's kind of why I asked the question: knowing the importance of each attribute to a particular class helps understand whether it's useful for a particular, intended role.

 

@Raven Darkholme: Thank you! That's exactly the kind of thing I was hoping for. Particularly interesting is your note that Constitution isn't all that important (insofar as it affects Endurance). Knowing no better, I built my Cipher with M13, C10, D15, P11, I19, R10. Some of the build guides suggest my Might and Resolve may be too low (I actually didn't realise I could lower stats at all). Also feels like taking Eyestrike was a mistake (the AI script keeps trying to use it on spirits!).

 

Anyway, thanks again. Slowly learning. :)

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I rather doubt most people will agree with that actually, which stats are most important for a given class will vary considerably across classes as well as different builds of the same class, and also depend on your preferred play style. 

 

Might, sure... good for dealing damage and healing. But not every character is primarily focuses on dealing a lot of damage (a tanky meat shield or crowd control oriented wizard, say), and may benefit more from other stats. But also rogues, which with the various damage multipliers they tend to get can deal a lot of damage without investing in Might. Similarly, intellect doesn't matter too much of you have little or no AoE effects and don't overly rely on effects with a long duration. Accuracy boosts from perception, always handy, but it will depend on other factors whether that's the main concern. Damage output is ultimately a product of accuracy, attack frequency and attack damage, so which combination of the three is most effective isn't an absolute.

 

On the other side we have Dexterity, good for fast attack / compensating armour penalties. And sure, when dual wielding you can go quite fast already, but a) getting to low or zero recovery takes time and dictates certain choices, b) not nearly everyone is interested in dual-wielding, c) Dexterity affects attack speed rather than recovery speed, so you still get a benefit even at zero recovery, and d) it's one of the few things that speeds up casting, I believe. Resolve is of course very useful for characters likely to be in the line of fire, since it is the only stat that affects Deflection and having a high concentration can really pay off as well. And finally a hardy Constitution, quite beneficial if you plan on getting hit a lot. Again, it rather depends on play style and build how important it is, but having sufficient endurance is obviously crucial. Also note that in a sense effect you can use high Constitution to indirectly improve your recovery speed as well, since having a lot of endurance means you can get away with using lighter armour.

 

Anyway, just some thoughts. In summary though, Statis_Sword had it right: each stat has its benefits, and you can go a lot of different directions with it. That's one of the things I really like about how it is set up, you just have a great deal of freedom to do things in a lot of different ways, and still end up with a fun and viable character.

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I don't think the question was, whether you could use any attributes to your benefit (which no doubt you could) but which are the most benificial.

 

Yes. And the answer to that question is: it depends. And thus my previous post was intended to elaborate a bit on that. 

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Resume for starlite: for our pure luck this game is so good well designed that every class can be played in a ridicolous number of different builds ( talents, items and stats). So my opinion is: try your First run following just your guts, probaby you are not playing an optimized charater but neither a too bad One. And someone finished the game at the max difficulty in solo with a lvl 1 ranger, so you defenetly don't need to seek the perfection for reach the end. And after 2 years that the game came out there is still people in this forum that manage to create new and original builds, so tale your time and have fun.

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Very general and vague guide

 

MIght: affects and boosts melee and spell damage.

Boosts the amount you are healed and/or the amount you heal.

Good for casters and melee Warriors. Anyone who wants to do damage.

Healers also benefit because their spells heal for more.

Exceptions are 2 classes rogues and ciphers. They both get serious adds to damage through class abilities. So might is not that critical for them, although a ciphers spell damage is dependent on might so you probably don't want to drop it to much.

Bonus to fortitude defense

 

Constitution

Increases endurance/health pool.

Most classes can avoid pumping this stat though lately I have found it useful for melee characters.

Compulsory for monks though as its almost a resource for them. Barbs would also benefit from some con but unfortunately they have a few important stats so con tends to fall away for them.

Boosts fortitude.

 

Dexterity

Mainly boosts attack speed. It would appear that you need a Nobel prize in maths to work out the attack/recovery speed thing in pillars, so I'm not going to comment beyond its good for most dps builds. How much is needed? Depends, best to ask experts on the forums.

Does not grant a bonus to deflection oddly enough. Instead it boosts the reflex defense.

 

Int

Impacts the duration and area of effect of just about everything including abilities and spells. So a Rangers wounding shots duration is effected by Int, as is a rogues blinding strike. Obviously increases the duration and area of effect for all spells and chants.

Useful for all casters and some melee, mainly barbarians and Paladins. Carnage which is a barbs best ability is an aoe which benefits from Int.

Boosts will defense.

 

Perception

It's the only ability which increases accuracy. So it can be very useful. It also increases the odds of interrupts substantially which for some builds is great. Personally I find it more useful for the low accuracy classes like Druids and barbs. Seems a bit of a waste for rogues and Rangers.

Also helps your reflex defense

 

Resolve gives a bonus to your deflection and concentration. Deflection is fairly useful though there is an argument that it's actually not worth it in the long run, but concentration is pretty important especially for casters as its the defense against interrupts.

Boosts will as well.

The power gamers will claim that it's ok to drop resolve really low because there are some items that increase your concentration to compensate for low resolve. I'm not a fan of waiting half a game for that one special item that will "make" your build work. So I like resolve.

 

Perception, intelligence and resolve are also the main stats for dialogue checks. Of those resolve seems to be more useful. Again some people like buffing their characters before they speak to compensate for low role playing stats. Can be done I suppose.

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"Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, 'He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love.' So, to reply to your statement, they do not call themselves gods. Everyone else does, though, everyone who beholds them."
"So they play that on their fascist banjos, eh?"
"You choose the wrong adjective."
"You've already used up all the others.”

 

Lord of Light

 

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Actually, Might only affects the healing that you perform, not the amount you are healed (unless you are healing yourself, of course). Agree with the Resolve issue, having low concentration can be really annoying. And though it can be boosted with items, that still takes up an item slot you might have wanted to use for something else. 

 

I also do like Constitution more than many people seem to. Not necessarily on every character (though I rarely drop it below 10), but having a lot of endurance lets you get away with wearing lighter armour. And since I usually couple it with high Might you end up with a very large Fortitude bonus, all the better to avoid many of those annoying incapacitating status effects with. 

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Yeah, con is underrated. In general though with the way stats are set up, I don't drop anything below 10 , I find the negatives weaken the character more than they benefit from a few higher stats. And then you end up having to abuse items just to compensate.... But I'm not a power gamer. Suppose that's the whole point of games.... Each to their own.

"Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, 'He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love.' So, to reply to your statement, they do not call themselves gods. Everyone else does, though, everyone who beholds them."
"So they play that on their fascist banjos, eh?"
"You choose the wrong adjective."
"You've already used up all the others.”

 

Lord of Light

 

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Agreed. I do dip a bit below ten sometimes, but min-maxing just doesn't really seem worth it. Though I did build an intensely stupid Goldpact Knight once, to make maximum use of Deep Flames; I'll probably retry that with an arquebus-wielding version though, needs more base damage. 

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As to resolve, I'm one of the few "power gamers" that really like pumping this stat, but I totally see why you wouldn't need it.

As far as melees go I just see no compensation for minimizing Res I never lack attribute points since I mostly minimize dex and con which are super useless to me.

For casters and ranged chars it's different I never put points into res here.

It's no fun being interrupted as caster but at the end of the day this is not Baldur's Gate, where you get poisoned and will never cast again until you're dead, lol.

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