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I've played the game twice, both time with story NPCs and not trying too hard to power-game, just going with what i liked.  First run was pre-WM on Hard, just after initial release.  Second was PoTD with the expansions, just after WM2 was released.

 

I want to start another game that's PoTD + Trial of Iron (played honestly: once I screw up, it's over for good!)  I'll try harder for a powerful team than I did before, but not meta-gaming it (e.g, no deferring quests so I can wander around and get good items, or whatever).  I was going to use hired chars instead of the story NPCs this time, so I can better make them what I want.

 

Trouble is, I don't have the whole combat mechanics and stats and what is good for what committed to memory the way a lot of serious players do, and I only have so much time to spend on playing.  I was thinking about this team - what do you all think?

 

PC = Wizard

Hires = Fighter, Priest, Chanter, Druid, Cipher.

 

Fighter obviously is primary tank, chanter will be a tanky build but also contributes all his other cool abilities. Priest, because priest. Wizard + druid for AoE damage and CC (druid will be a more frail caster type, not a melee druid).  Cipher because I've found they can really tilt battles in your favor.

 

I considered a paladin or a monk for the 2nd tank, but I don't have much experience playing them, so I'm a bit leery of doing that.  Should I consider it?

 

I thought a lot about a bow ranger too, but didn't feel they brought quite enough to the table to be worth dropping anything above.

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You have all the casters on board, which is a good decision because they all make those tough encounters which can end your game a lot easier. The only thing I would change is dumping the fighter and take a paladin - and not only because of Sacred Immolation. You will also be able to wear the Outworn Buckler which buffs your party early on.

And I would strongly advise not to go for glass cannons with your ranged guys. You can make a good tank from chanter, paladin and even druid (he has 20 starting deflection which is top of the casters). A cipher with shield and Psychovampiric Shield is also sturdy.

And if you combine Chanter's Ancient Memory + Beloved Spirits + Veteran's Recovery for all your chars your defeat becomes less likely. Also look at Triumph of the Crusaders from priest and Barring Death's Door - those can be essential for not loosing a team member.

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It comes down to your playstyle.

 

If you like casters, then going heavy on casting like your proposed team will do fine. Me. I like durable melee so those are the teams that I build and use. With casters I try and conserve spells and that can have disastrous results on Trial of Iron. Even trash encounters can kill a spell caster who gets caught in melee and that can quickly turn into a rout. With a durable melee team I can always bang out a few scrolls if I need to crank it up to eleven.

 

My team for a Trial of iron run would be:

1.) Player - Cipher melee sword and shield. Mechanic. Can go all out on casting as focus is unlimited

2.) Kana - melee, regen chants, fire lash and paralyze cone

3.) Pellaginna - melee, zealous endurance and healing

4.) Zahua - juggernaut 3.0 damage dealing tank

5.) Sagani - stormcaller, ranged fire support, AoE stunner and disposable cruise missile fox

6.) Aloth, Hiravois or Maneha - change as game goes on

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I would also suggest trading Fighter for Paladin.  Lay on Hands is now the best single target heal you can get per/encounter, reviving exortation the best rez, liberating exortation is also very good, plus zealous endurance will give your whole team staying power.  Just get hold the line and a weapon that adds an engagement slot like shatterstar.  Monk makes a good 3rd melee, like the Juggernaut build in medium armor, but for a 2nd melee on Trial of Iron I think Pally will be a lot better in a pinch than fighter or monk.  (Note: I've run through PotD a few times but never tried Trial of Iron anything)

 

I'm not a big fan of cipher since spells like ectopsychic echo require a lot of micro to get the best results, but he's a beast late game with a buffed up warbow, maybe a bit squishy for Trial of Iron idk.

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I'm definitely going to load up on defensive spells for the casters.  Wizards get some good fast-cast defense starting at L1.

 

How do Paladins work out as primary tank?  In my prior plays, I didn't feel like they could stand in the middle of nasty **** going down the way a fighter could, but that might just be because I wasn't playing them very well.  Also, I think it was back in the V1 days, and there have been lots of changes since then.  If you all think pally is the way to go for a primary tank, maybe I'll give it a shot, with a chanter as the off-tank.

 

I hear what you're saying about ciphers and micro, but especially for a Trial of Iron run, I tend to micro everybody all the time anyway.

 

Edit: typos.

Edited by demeisen
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My experience will be different since I usually use 3 melee.  My last PotD run was my Monk MC, Palegina, and Kana on the frontlines.  My Monk ran point in my formation from about level 8 on and had 2 knockouts for the entire run, even though she never wore heavier than medium armor.  Palegina and Kana were always right behind but all 3 always shared the load of taking the brunt of the enemy alpha strike, I would leave the other 3 party members in stealth until every enemy aggroed.

 

Monk always procced shod in faith, between that, veteran's recovery, Kana's chant regen, survival healing bonus, and Palegina's Lay on Hands, their endurance never really went down.  Their healing would be especially crazy when I swapped Kana's chant from fire to mercy in tougher fights.  But you'll only have 2 melee, so they'll need more engagement slots and they'll need to be tougher.  

 

I'm not sure how a Paladin compares to fighter in toughness though, if every member of your party carried around major endurance pots that lay on hands would have a bit less utility, and that's something to consider since you're playing on Trial of Iron, and you can equip everyone with resurrection scrolls too.  I never use pure tank specs, so my experience there is a bit limited, most enemies in the game can be tanked with high DR, the final boss can be tanked with Healing, for Dragons I usually use distraction strategies.  

 

I imagine your success in Trial of Iron is directly related to your level of preparation for every fight, like having every member carry endurance pots, resurrection scrolls, defensive items relevant to the fight at hand such as a potion of absorb elements, etc.  I never really wanted to try because I imagine getting wiped on the Alpine Dragon or something after putting 3 days into the run (a lot of spirits tossing around stuns which can't be negated through a prayer in that fight, and major litany is single target).  I'm sure something like giving every party member a potion of major recovery to pop at the start of the fight, as well as having the priest cast major litany on himself before doing his other prebuffs, and having a member pop a scroll of protection while he is buffing, would go a long way to making it easier, but you only get one try on trial of iron.

Edited by Climhazzard
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My experience will be different since I usually use 3 melee....  all 3 always shared the load of taking the brunt of the enemy alpha strike,

 

​For a Trial of Iron game, I feel your strategy is probably smarter than mine.  The only reason I'm not doing the same is just that I'm already accustomed to the caster classes and how to play them well, so I'm going heavy on casters.  The idea of heavy on melee might be wiser though: less sensitive to error in very nasty fights.  Caster-heavy groups tends to be: either everything is just peachy, or everything is really, really not fine ;(.  Once casters are taken down, nasty fights can turn into routs.

On the recommendation of everyone above I am going to try a Paladin as main tank (thanks for the tip).  It sounds like they were improved significantly since I last played one just after the game's initial release.  We'll see how it goes.

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I never really wanted to try because I imagine getting wiped on the Alpine Dragon or something after putting 3 days into the run

 

There is this :biggrin:.  I'm on my third run though, and it adds a level of tension, not to mention invokes the feel of some oldschool CPRGs which often had no other way to play the game besides single-save + permadeath.  It really makes you take every fight seriously, because any one gone badly can end your run.

 

I don't know if I'll get through PoE like this, or if a stray moment of carelessness will do me in, but I think it will be fun to try.

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Do you folks more experienced playing paladins think this is OK for a Trial of Iron main tank?

 

Moon godlike paladin: Mig=15 Con=10 Dex=10 Per=10 Int=19 Res=14

 

Con is at 11 now (L3) with equipment.  I went heavy on int because I wanted larger radii for auras.  I like to keep my casters a ways off in most fights and wanted maximum coverage.  But now I'm having a bit of buyers remorse about the stats I picked, wishing I'd backed a few points off int in favor of con.  I don't use respec, but I do have future options about what equipment to favor.  I'm thinking to concentrate on +con stuff as my first priority from here out, and then +dex.

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I don't have much experience building tanks, your defenses seem to favor will over fortitude though. 

 

I decided to follow your example and started my own Trial of Iron team, hard rather than PotD, I'm finding might to be a very useful stat for moon godlike since it boosts your healing.  If you level up survival for increased self healing you'll basically get a full heal every time it procs if you have high might as well.

 

Basically...

 

15m - 14c - 10d - 10p - 19i - 10r

 

might have more balanced WIll and fortitude defense, as well as more HP and endurance, but...

 

19m - 10c - 10d - 10p -19i -10r

 

also has balanced Will and fortitude defense, but trades endurance and HP for bigger heals for you and your team, and should be able to melt things faster late game with your fire aura (get scion of flame too).  But like I said I don't have experience building tanks, it's just something to consider.

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I decided to follow your example and started my own Trial of Iron team

 

Cool - I saw your thread about it too.  It certainly makes for a different experience.  I've already had an uncomfortably close call where I lost both of my tanks, though the other 4 members survived.  Bit tense for a few moments, though.  Fortunately the 2nd tank went down very near the end of the fight.

 

I hadn't considered the might / moon godlike interaction there.  I am going heavy on survival too.  I plan to pay more attention to crafting and keep everyone stocked with survivability-oriented potions as well.

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  • 2 months later...

I finished this game, and I have to say, all of you who were recommending a paladin instead of a fighter were right!  I used paladin and chanter tanks, and a bunch of castery sorts.  The paladin felt like it had more group synergy than a fighter would have, with all the various exhortations and whatnot.

 

I don't remember pallys being as good during my first play (v1.0 days), but maybe I didn't give them a fair shake.

 

So, post-finish thanks for the tips.

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