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Despite backing this game during Kickstarter, I haven't really played it yet. I tried the beta when it came out and did a quick Hard + Trials of Iron run after White March part 1 was released (ended up dying to some bandits soon after exiting the initial ruin). I have played Baldur's Gate 2 pretty extensively though. When playing BG2 I ended up preferring two member parties, since they felt less stressful to manage compared to full six while still retaining some of the possibilities for character synergy and being able to use more of the awesome unique items compared to solo.

 

I’d like to play PoE like that too and, since I’m somewhat a powergamer in my heart, I’m asking for help in the forum and planning to set difficulty level to max (PotD) instead of just starting a game on normal and seeing how it goes. (Pretty much like the original poster here: https://www.reddit.com/r/projecteternity/comments/4elk8w/optimal_powergaming_potd_party_in_30/ just not with full party of six, but only two characters.) I have tried googling around for possible classes and builds too, but the results that I found were generally for full party and in some cases for solo.

 

So yeah, what sort of duo party would you recommend for Path of the Damned (main game and expansions)? My current plan is to have main character paladin tank (probably Darcozzi for accuracy buff and sarcastic conversation choices) and custom ranger with Stormcaller. Is that a good combination or would something else be significantly better? And what sort of stats, skills, abilities, talents and items I should be looking for? I’d like to play as good, or at least as not-evil, so preferably only items that do not require slaughtering innocents or stealing from homeless orphans. (Unless those items are, like, really good compared to the alternatives…)

 

EDIT: I plan to take each (or at least most, depending how I end up liking them based on first impressions) of the officiel companions temporarily along as a "third wheel" and do their side missions.

Edited by Torakka
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If you play a paladin tank your ranger wouldnt be in range for the aura most of the time - so the acc isnt that beneficial, but the combination should work.

If you build them right i dont think you'd run into that many problems since a paladin tank is really strong - but i never tried, in my games the enemies ignored my tanks and stormed my backline, i had to close ways to stop that or use the ranger animal (since the aggro script seems to love targeting him) so i dont know how much help the paladin will be in open areas.

 

I love Chanters - Chanters kill everything.

I love Priests - Priests make surviving very easy.

I love Monks, Monks deal insane amounts of damage if you build them right - a Priest can keep him alive long enough for him to kill the enemy.

 

Chanter+Priest - if you know what to do... i dont think there is any really hard encounter in the game...

Chanter+Monk - the Monk starts the fight, the Chanter finishes the fight - it can be a real challenge (much harder than solo chanter) but for me its insanely fun combo (but most dont like Chanter gameplay)

Monk+Priest - there isnt much that can trouble you later on... Monk DPS them down and Priest makes him CC immune and heals+buffs him... easy mode.

 

 

One little thing: Act 1 is about the hardest Act PotD... some encounters get from "you cant fail even if you only attack as a caster, without weapon" to "only with some classes and good hits and much luck"... so dont despair

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I will try when I have time too with Wizard (my favourite class) and Chanter (a variant build ofThe Drake's Ambassador + Chillfog)

 

My plan is Wizard with flexible build for CC and DPS, (the wizard have plenty options), some survival talents and rest for more DPS. And the Chanter a Drake's ambassador with all regen talents (Ancient Memory, Beloved Spirits and Veteran's recovery), and some items for more Healing.

Edited by Aranduin
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I will try when I have time too with Wizard (my favourite class) and Chanter (a variant build ofThe Drake's Ambassador + Chillfog)

 

My plan is Wizard with flexible build for CC and DPS, (the wizard have plenty options), some survival talents and rest for more DPS. And the Chanter a Drake's ambassador with all regen talents (Ancient Memory, Beloved Spirits and Veteran's recovery), and some items for more Healing.

Try a frozen duo: chill Chanter and ice tank wizard ( see my coldhearth build)... Ice overwhelming!

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Ironically I found playing solo somewhat easier (full disclose only in Act II on my first PotD playthru atm). At least in terms of managing positioning. You can often stick your solo character in a tight corner and the mobs will queue up in a line to attack you. If you have two characters you can sometimes get it to work but not often. But that's only helpful when the mobs have no ranged attacks.

 

The best way to keep from getting overwhelmed is kiting/spliting imo. Especially in open areas but can also work inside if you have a fair amount of room. Basically pull with ranged weapon +mov buff and run until one or more of the mobs turn their backs to you. Stop, hit one with another ranged attack and repeat until you've arrived where your party (other character) is parked. Sometimes it's difficult to pull them very far or reduce their numbers but most of the time it works. Use in conjunction with real choke points and you win. If you have a chanter pulling all the mobs to a specific kill zone has the added benefit of white worm usage. More bodies = more damage.

 

Which leads me to the point I was ultimately trying to make - If you have your paladin tanking in a doorway choke point you can have your second character standing right behind him if you want or at the edge of his aura range to try to avoid AoE's plopped on his head. So you get the the benefit of Pally Aura, ranged duo character can fire past him, and you have to worry less about how the later tanks. Granted there will be some fights you're thrown into a melee without such preparation. That's why you'll want even your ranged characters to be on the tanky side.

 

For the first act I ran Pally + Chanter (Kana) and quite often did as I described above. So often that I started to forget I had a weapon and shield equipped on him for times he was getting hit. I've since picked up a second Pally (pallegina) and gotten the Shod-in-Faith boots. Most would probably put them on a frontliner but I stuck them on the chanter. Now when a mob breaks away and attacks him it often triggers the boots and I don't have to worry about his health (as much) as my other characters switch targets to w/e is hitting him (Also gave him healing gloves as mobs like to target him when they can).

 

Paladins w/Chanter Aura + Draining weapon + Tank spec... just don't go down in mid levels. At least to regular mobs. I find health going low a bigger problem than endurance. You'll have to rest fairly often to keep your health topped off (or pick up one of the healing talents). But Pally/Chanter might not be for everyone. DPS at lower levels (aside from white worm abuse) can be pretty slow (but is supposed to be great later once they get their DPS auras). My next playthru will probably focus on "the best defense is a good offense" approach. Some of my early encounters were fights of attrition. Slow.

 

@Dr <3 - You just reminded me of my old Wow frost mage. Back in the day I farmed world drops forever until I got these two ice rings (forget their name) that had a %chance to freeze things that hit me. Which combo'd nicely with increased damage against frozen targets ;)

Edited by Kazuma
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I would either go Cipher Chanter or Cipher Pally.

You obviously can go pretty much any route and make it viable, but having a tank combined with massive dps and CC is super nice.

Also cipher deals with aggro very well in using Ectopsychic Echo.

And ofc once you are level 15 you will have two tanks because of Mindweb. :)

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Thank you for suggestions and comments! Here's the duo I started (have thus far rescued the cook and had a vision of a dead dwarf talking to me). I'd appreciate if you offered some insight whether these choices seem sensible and how to improve them. Or convince me to start again with different party instead. =P (Paladin + cipher was something I considered too and I might have undervalued ciphers just because they are not familiar class from IE games...)

 

 

PALADIN

(Human / The Living Lands / Explorer) - mostly because I just wanted to play human

 

## attributes ##

 

(75 points total)

MIG: 14 +1 the living lands, +1 human, +4 Maegfolc Skull

CON: 13

DEX: 3

PER: 13 +3 Lilith's Shawl

INT: 14 +3 Ryona's Breastplate

RES: 18 +1 human, +4 Siegebreaker Gauntlets (+1 Steadfast)

 

## skills ##

 

(90 points total)

Stealth: 9 (45) +1 Lilith's Shawl

Athletics: 2 (3) +2 paladin

Lore: 8 (36) +1 paladin, +1 explorer

Mechanics: 0 (0)

Survival: 3 (6) +1 explorer

 

## abilities ##

 

Flames of Devotion

Zealous Endurance

Lay on Hands

Liberating Exhortation

Inspiring Triumph

Coordinated Attacks

Sacred Immolation

Sworn Enemy / Righteous Soul

 

## talents ##

 

Weapon and Shield Style

Deep Faith

Superior Deflection

Inspiring Liberation

Bull's Will

Scion of Flame

Bear's Fortitude

Snake's Reflexes

 

## items ##

 

Weapon: Steadfast

Shield: Outworn Buckler / Little Savior

Head: Maegfolc Skull

Neck: Lilith's Shawl

Torso: Ryona's Breastplate

Hands: Siegebreaker Gauntlets

Rings: Ring of Deflection & Ring of Protection

Belt: Blunting Belt

Feet: Boots of Speed / Fenwalkers

 

 

 

 

RANGER + wolf

(Wood Elf / Deadfire Archipelago / Drifter)

 

## attributes ##

 

(75 points total)

MIG: 13 +3 Girdle of Maegfolc Might

CON: 8

DEX: 18 +1 deadfire archipelago, +1 wood elf, +3 Ring of Thorns

PER: 18 +1 wood elf, +2 Elryn's Jacket / Helmet of Darksee

INT: 15 +3 White Crest's Helm

RES: 3

 

## skills ##

 

(90 points total)

Stealth: 7 (28) +1 ranger, +1 drifter

Athletics: 3 (6)

Lore: 4 (10)

Mechanics: 9 (45) +1 drifter

Survival: 1 (1) +2 ranger

 

## abilities ##

 

Wounding Shot

Predator's Sense

Stalkers' Link

Driving Flight

Swift Aim -> Twinned Arrows

Stunning Shots

Defensive Bond

Heal Companion

 

## talents ##

 

Resilient Companion

Vicious Companion

Merciless Companion

Weapon Focus Peasant

Interrupting Blows

Outlander's Frenzy

Marksman

Heart of the Storm

 

## items ##

 

Weapon: Stormcaller

Head: White Crest's Helm / Helmet of Darksee

Neck: Stalker's Torc

Torso: Elryn's Jacket / Angio's Gambeson

Hands: Gauntlets of Swift Action

Rings: Ring of Protection & Ring of Thorns

Belt: Girdle of Maegfolc Might

Feet: Glanfathan Stalking Boots

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Look out for the Iron Circle (ring) for your paladin. It will give you +4 CON (great for fortitude defense, esp. together with Maegfolc Skull) and also gives you more DR when endurance drops.

 

And I think I would use the White Crest on the paladin until Ryona's Breastplate (although I think that breastplate is a bit overrated) because Overwhelming Wave with high PER can make hard encounters easy. What I also expericend is that the Ring of Changing Heart (2 dominates per rest) and Munacra Arret (3 Whisper of Treason per rest) can help a lot. When you face enemies with Insect Plague they will cast it on the charmed foe instead of you. Helps a ton.

Both can be used by your paladin. He don't have to wear them all the time and forever of course.

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My own choice would have been Druid + Chanter.

 

Chanter are good tank and incredible damage dealers at high level. Long battle would allow them to benefit from invocations (high level summons, corpse explosion and and paralysis cones are especially good).

 

Spellcasters are strong in this game. Druid are the most versatile ones (damage, CC, healing, and even a bit of buffing), and they probably have the strongest early game of all casters.

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Speaking of the Iron Circle... Can I assume from what you said Boeroer that it's from a random drop/chest? The wiki doesn't have a source and I could only find one thread that mentions it here. Well at least from google. I guess their bots are slacking and haven't indexed this thread yet. :p

 

6 threads found through the forum search. Seems like people are using them in their builds but nothing about how to get it.

 

Btw you play with a looooot of different builds. Do you cheat items in to do initial testing or do you play the game start to finish during the process? Either way you have a lot of patience :p

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I try out build ideas with the console and test them in bounty fights. If they are good and I want to post a class build I wait till I have 6 good build ideas and do a playthrough with them. Sometimes I also do a playthrough with one new build and official companions. Or a playthrough with only two or three guys and stuff like that. But the most time I need for using the console and test various build ideas.

I can't remember where you get the circle, but it's somewhere in WM II if I'm not mistaken. Can't check atm, I'm on a train. :)

Edited by Boeroer

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Here it is:

http://www.gamebanshee.com/cgi-bin/search/banshee_search.pl?_layout=Pillars_Items_Page&_cgifunction=search&Pillars_Items.id=964

GameBanshee is more up-to-date than the "official" wiki (which I update from time to time if I see mistakes or when patches changed something) with all that stuff. But sometimes that site is veeery slooow.

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Gamebanshee is slow? Hmm.. There was some site google was directing me to recently that was failing to load frequently. Maybe that's the one. <- Terrible memory.

 

Anyhow thanks. I have to get to gathering gear for Zahua now that I have him. Though I suppose the speed malus is not so great for him. Could always use it on my pally once I dump CON for INT. But then I lose a ring slot for defenses. Hrmm.

 

Anyhow didn't mean to derail this thread.

 

@Torakka - Your pally build looks fine. You didn't min-max the stats as much but it's probably better than what I started with. I dumped both dex and int. Now I'm going to have to respec to raise my INT and lower/dump my CON. Though your approach seems a bit more reasonable. Though I probably will shave a couple points to keep MIG higher. Like so -

 

MIG: 16 +1 the living lands, -1 Wild Orlan
CON: 12
DEX: 5
PER: 10 +2 Wild Orlan
INT: 14
RES: 18 +1 Wild Orlan
 
This is what I have now -
MIG: 18 +1 the living lands, -1 Wild Orlan
CON: 18
DEX: 8
PER: 10 +2 Wild Orlan
INT: 3
RES: 18 +1 Wild Orlan

 

I'm not saying this what you should do. I'm just thinking out loud.

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By the way, now that I've played a bit more and found at least Raedric's Hold to be quite hard, are there other quests and/or places that are similar to it (or Firkraag from BG2), I.E. accessible early on, but hard to clear (at least fully) right away?

 

EDIT: Or rather, in addition to the Endless Paths, I suppose. =P

Edited by Torakka
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Dyrford Village (especially a secret place beneath it) is very hard although you can reach it very early if you want. There are also other maps that are too hard if you rush them (Searing Falls for example - it's a bit of a Firkraag Thing ;)).

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*edit* Way to go on reading comprehension me. Your question was about other hard areas... not how to get past Raedric. Oops.

It's a spoiler forum, but *spoilers* nonetheless -

 

I did it in parts myself. Rescued the guy in the basement first and managed to get what I want from the random loot chests - http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Random_loot

Roughly speaking I did things in this order -

Lvl 3 – Did Blacksmith/bandit quest. Cleared out lvl 1 of town crypt/temple ruin. Floatsom task. Misc map clearing.
Lvl 4 – Did Mother's Plea and started Lord's Keep – Cleaned out basement (except boss), Killed bear
Lvl 5 – Finished temple and Raedric's Keep, cleared up all maps up to stronghold, got stronghold, got to Act 2
Lvl 6 – Got lvl 6 picking up Pallegina

Doing Defiance Bay side quests and a little of the main story has gotten me to Lvl 8 at which point I traveled to Stalwart to start WM1. Ogre's are pretty mean. I three manned it. You'll definitely want to split when you can.

 

This is probably not optimal, but it's what a PotD noob like me did.

 

I'm not sure which approach you took on Raedric, but if you climb the walls you can avoid any mass fighting. Plus you can steal some priest robes and avoid fighting any of the priests on the upper level. The basement isn't too bad with all it's choke points. The main difficulty is on the ground floor with all the mercenaries. But it's doable with splitting and choke points. Food buffs, potions, and even scrolls can help. Especially on Raedric himself. If you don't plan on siding with him I'd suggest not even talking to him (you can always save, speak to him to see the story, and then reload). This way you can attack one of his guards with a ranged weapon and pull them back to the bedroom on the right. Using the doorway as a choke point helps a lot. With luck you'll be able to split the encounter into 2-3 fights as well. Use your ranger to take out the casters in the back if you can.

 

*edit* In regards to your real question - You'll want to spend a fair amount of time in Defiance Bay before you venture further east. Also from what I've read you might want to hold off on doing the battle of yenwood as a duo party. Unless you gather help you'll be facing quite a few enemies. But that doesn't unlock until you've gotten the stronghold and you've completed some other events associated with it.

Edited by Kazuma
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Well, I haven't actually yet killed him so that info is nice too. I sneaked into the dungeon and those undead gave me a crash course in Fighting in Doorways 101. I used robes in upper levels to avoid fights with guards there, but couldn't kill Raedric himself or Osrya (with few tries). I then decided to load earlier save (right from when I had initially entered the dungeon below) since I wasn't sure if Nedmar's comment about Raedric finding out I've freed Giacco were just fluff or if there really was some timer. I think my paladin was level 4 and ranger level 3 then.

 

After loading, I went back to Gilded Vale and cleared the temple and completed the last to side quests I had (bear and getting the potion from midwife). My paladin didn't quite make it to the level 5, but at he got some shiny new items (flail and helmet from the temple, spellward amulet, rings of minor deflection and protection from "random" loot). Ranger is now level 4. Now I try again (picking Blunting Belt along the way) with less talking and more shooting from near the doorway.

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I was still two manning during Raedric's keep and iirc I actually just rushed osrya to bring her down as fast as possible. I left my chanter at the doorway using a ranged weapon. It was slow work but I mopped up all the vessels afterwards. I actually tried using the doorway first but had no luck with her being allowed to live sitting in the backrow.

 

Btw if you're really close to lvl 5 and there's an ability that could help you might be able to level just by killing mobs you haven't filled in the bestiary for yet. i.e. There are boars on the Magran's Fork map. Spiders/undead/vessels at easternwood. etc.. Also keep in mind that picking locks on chests doesn't count as stealing so if you've lacked the stealth to open certain locked chests be sure to pick them just for the xp. It's not a lot but it adds up.

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You should have lured the animancer to a pile of bodies (which you produced earlier) and use White Worms. You can do it everywhere in Raedric's Castle: choose a doorway and lure everybody there, use White Worms and don't reload (because the bodies will disappear). There will be a ton of bodies and when you lure another group there usually you will ne-shot them with White Worms. Raedric also. White Worms works on bodies over and over again - they don't get "used up" or anything. This is great because you can take all the loot (lots of plate armor and stuff) of the castle which means you will bath in gold after Raedric's Castle. It's like a chanter is made for that castle. Also works great in many levels of the Endless Paths. You only need enemies that leave bodies. So spirits for example don't work.

 

Here I have an example that I posted some while ago (and that's only one third of the list):
white_worms.png

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Oh, I used white worms a bunch in Raedric's keep it just wasn't an option as I'd already cleaned out all the mobs in the basement except the animancer. Plus the OP isn't using a chanter so I wasn't going to suggest that to him ;) I did use it on Raedric. Though I had to reload a ways back because I made the mistake of making my corpse pile at the main entrance (southern wide door), rather than the bedroom door on the east side.

 

You must have been overleveled when you made that screenshot, had lots of Acc, got lucky, or all the above. I'd have gotten more misses/grazes and no crits :p Not that I've neglected Acc... I must be unlucky ;)

 

One thing I don't care for about white worms is the sound effect. It attempts to play it for every corpse. At least it seems like it. It just gets loud and distorted with all the overlapping. /shrug minor gripe for an OP ability :p I'd rather them not touch it and keep it the way it is.

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White Worm does sound rather hilarious ability when used like that. =P

This time Osrya was relatively easy for me: paladin held the doorway and ranger nuked Osrya and that skeleton mage. Wolf mostly just hanged around and offered moral support, since there wasn't really enough space for two melees. I'm also starting to really like the Wizard's Double potion...

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