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I've got something to confess – I've never played Pillars of Eternity without a priest in my party before.

 

The benefits are just too good:

 

– All of the "prayer against" spells on demand

– Massive defensive buffs: 

   - Circle of defence/Symbol of Eothas – +15/+20 all defences which stacks with buffs to individual stats

   - Crowns for the Faithful – Massive concentration, accuracy and deflection boost

   - Shields for the Faithful – Massive deflection boost which stacks with the above

   - Suppress Affliction 

   - "Litany" spells

   - Salvation of Time (I feel like this one never gets enough praise)

   - Revive the Fallen

– Massive Offensive Buffs:

   - Devotions for the Faithful (probably the most powerful buff in the game, accuracy bonuses stack with other sources)

   - Dire Blessing

   - Champion's Boon 

   - Holy Radiance (+10 Accuracy Bonus which will stack with everything)

   - Salvation of Time

– Massive self buffs (e.g. Minor Avatar)

– Great healing

 

Like, given that a priest can give any character +40 Accuracy (Devotions, Holy Radiance + Champions Boon) for most kinds of attacks they're just super hard to pass up.

 

Then again, not having a priest in the party means another back-line DPS character. But the priest can already DPS pretty well with their spells, albeit at close range.

 

What are your tips for playing Pillars without a priest?

 

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Ha, I have something to confess - I've never played Pillars with a priest :) Or Wizard for that matter. One day when I'm grown up I'll do a playthrough without a priest, paladin and chanter... Though that's likely to be painful.

 

Seriously, between Paladins, Druids and Chanters I don't miss priests at all. Not saying that it's possible to cover entirely for a priest - it's not, but I find that it works just fine without them. Between the 3 classes they manage to buff and heal just fine.

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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.”

 

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What are your tips for playing Pillars without a priest?

Scale down difficulty :-)

 

Playing without a priest is basically adding a difficulty level.

(After all, PotD add +15 Acc and Defenses to the ennemies, which is basically countered by a couple of priest buffs)

 

I've created a thread about this, long ago :

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/82251-the-priest-problem/

 

Chanters, druids and paladins just can't do the same job.

 

There is only one thing that can truly replace a priest : scrolls.

Defense, Valor and immunities scrolls will save your bottom almost as well as a priest when really needed.

Buf of course, they're a finite ressource, so the're far less convenient.

 

Note that I don't mean priests are necessary.

This is a game that can be beaten solo after all.

Edited by Elric Galad
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I am also on the "play PotD without a Priest, Wizard or Druid team" Give me a Paladin and a Chanter as the core team of self supporting melee and that's all I'll need. Add in a Juggernaut Monk to benefit from the buffs and you are good to go. The other three positions can be filled by whatever. Added bonus is that everyone is per encounter so you can just keep rolling without resting concerns. If the game was harder I'd optimally add in a second Chanter focused on ranged and summons, a Ranger to benefit from the second chanter and a Cipher for overall awesomeness.

 

If something like a bounty is giving trouble just drop a few Confusion scrolls and there are lots of spell charge items that can be swapped around after using their spells in an encounter. I personally find the immunity spells to be cheesey. I also find only the dragon fights make me think that I should use other scrolls more often.

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I don't see why so many people think a priest is absolutely necessary.

Like rheingold I never had a priest in my party and always did fine.

A chanter is much more powerful than a priest even tho he doesn't have the same type of buffs (that would be boring, no?) but shines in the damage department.

Dragon chant is the highest dps ability in the game, once you doublestack it (and guess what you can even triplestack it ;)) and on level 9 when you get it no one comes even close to the chanter in damage output.

You still have all those utility chants and they don't need to something similar to other classes the chanter is a unique class after all.

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@Raven Darkholme: well, a Chanter may be better than a Priest, but a Priest buffed Chanter is better than a Chanter unbuffed by a Priest. I suspect most people who feel that a Priest is a necessity are running full parties anyway, so have plenty of room for a Chanter as well.

 

It's also possible that the power of a Chanter isn't immediately obvious when you glance through their abilities. In my first few play throughs I dropped Kana fairly early on as he didn't seem to perform particularly well (this was before Brisk Recitation and on Hard so he hardly ever got to cast Invocations) so never saw Dragon Thrashed in action. It wasn't until I read Boeroer's Drake's Ambassador build that I kept Kana in for longer and discovered the wonders of Dragon Thrashed.

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Since in this game it's all about accuracy vs. defense a priest is very helpful. No other class can raise the ACC of the whole party that high while at the same time buff the party's defenses a lot. And his damaging spells are also quite nice once you reach a certain level. But you don't need a priest to go the PoTD. You can use scrolls and potions to substitute most of his spells for example. 

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I don't believe that priests are absolutely necessity. Most people don't neither.

My last party with 2 Dragon Trashed chanters was indeed the very definition of "Melting".

However, as says Boeroer raising Acc + Crowd Control is the easiest way to win. Crown of the Faithful + The right immunities has also the ability of making you invicible.

If you've never played with it (or just the few first levels when Paladins shine far more), it's hard to tell you how big is the difference.

Devotion of the faithful is the ONE spell that break a game where a simple Graze from your crowd control ability can neutralize any ennemy.

You may not like them.
You may not use them.
You may have an easy time without them.
But they are the gamechanging class.

Edited by Elric Galad
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I kept Durance out of my party for most of my first playthrough on Hard and did just fine. I'm sure things would have been more complicated on Path of the Damned, but Priest are just *very useful*, not necessary, in my estimation.

 

On the one hand, PotD is a significant step up from Hard (much larger than the difference between Hard and Normal). On the other hand, Raven Darkholme beat the game on PotD with a three man party and no Priest so yeah, totally doable without a Priest.

 

 

I could have used the example of Harpagornis, who beat the game solo on PotD with a Monk using no gear at all, but if you're looking for a relatively normal experience I think Raven's example is more relevant.

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For a weird reason this forum is broken for me since some days so among other things I can't quote and To reply I have to use the "more replies" option.

@Jerek

Yea and before that I had another trio with fighter instead of chanter which was super weak compared (no mindweb back then) and still did fine.

In my very first blind pt I had Durance, only played on hard, but I got annoyed by it and stopped it after Dyrford and soloed first with a cipher and then 2 different paladins.

 

But apart from soloing the player characters in this game are so broken compared to enemies that you can use any combination of chars you can also skip not only priest but chanter on top of that, ofc solo rogue would be a bit hard vs dragons (but totally doable) but as soon as you have any 2 chars or more it's not just about winning anymore but doing so with the greatest of ease.

 

2 rogues for example shouldn't have any trouble and if you combine 2 chanters it's probably the most broken duo out there.

(Imagine combining their dragon chants and shield chants in a way shield never runs out and you always have +30 dr + super high defenses and dragon chant)

Ofc a priest is also great at soloing or support in a very small party (2-3 chars), nobody really denies how good priests are.

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Guys, I appreciate that a lot of you have got the chops to go through the game with two or three characters ;)

 

However, I'm talking about ordinary setups and balance really. It wouldn't really be so bad if there were other classes that could compensate for what the priest does – for example if you want frontline steady AoE DPS you can go for Barbarian, Paladin or Chanter, or if you want backline spellcaster damage/CC you can go for Cipher, Druid or Wizard or if you want some really good single target dps you can go for Monk, Rogue or Hunter. There's diversity in different roles and that's cool and leads to interesting and unique party compositions with different strengths and weaknesses, which is part of the big attraction of the game.

 

No other class comes close to providing the benefits that bringing a priest along brings in terms of buffs for the vast majority of the game. There are of course other offensive and defensive spells which are arguably overpowered like defensive mindweb and relentless storm but at least there's enough of these other abilities spread over such a large number of classes that you don't feel compelled to take one or the other.

 

I think what we're looking at here is the sabre debate all over again. Before they were nerfed, nobody HAD to use sabres but there was no denying that mathematically and under most circumstances dual sabres was pretty much the optimal option for every damage dealing class that wasn't using a shield.

 

Likewise, for party composition, you're more or less gimping yourself on POTD every time if you don't bring a Priest along. At the end of the day Pillars is a numbers game, and the bigger your numbers are versus the enemies numbers the more likely you are to win. The Priest is the only game in town when it comes to making your numbers bigger rather than reducing the enemy's numbers – and out of all of these numbers accuracy is king, because it's the thing that's going to mean that your hard CC lands.

 

I'll rephrase my question/idea like this:

 

Can anyone on the board build a six man party, which, for the majority of the game, is more optimal without a priest than with a priest?

(Assuming of course you want to take 1 of every class member and don't want to do something silly like 6 chanters) 

 

I can think of plenty of different party compositions that don't involve every other class but I can't think of one not involving a priest.

Edited by Livegood118
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Can anyone on the board build a six man party, which, for the majority of the game, is more optimal without a priest than with a priest?

(Assuming of course you want to take 1 of every class member and don't want to do something silly like 6 chanters) 

 

Are we allowed to use scrolls?

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Can anyone on the board build a six man party, which, for the majority of the game, is more optimal without a priest than with a priest?

(Assuming of course you want to take 1 of every class member and don't want to do something silly like 6 chanters) 

 

Are we allowed to use scrolls?

 

 

Of course!

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Well that makes up a lot of (though not all) lost buffs.

 

Given the way your question is phrased I think the answer is no, however the same is true if you replace Priest with Chanter, Cipher, Druid of Wizard at least. In a six man party with no repeated classes you've got a lot of room to work with, so it's not surprising that taking a Priest isn't going to stop you from taking all sorts of other good stuff and good combos.

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Well that makes up a lot of (though not all) lost buffs.

 

Given the way your question is phrased I think the answer is no, however the same is true if you replace Priest with Chanter, Cipher, Druid of Wizard at least. In a six man party with no repeated classes you've got a lot of room to work with, so it's not surprising that taking a Priest isn't going to stop you from taking all sorts of other good stuff and good combos.

 

I'm not sure – Chanter is interchangeable with Paladin in my opinion in a tanky support role: AoE Heals, Buffs, debuffs and later AoE damage and CC depending on what you want. You could even use a tanky barbarian if you want to focus on the AoE damage element.

 

Cipher, Druid and Wizard are all interchangeable  – they can all provide good AoE CC on demand with damage too if you need it. I'd have at least one of them in any party to fulfil that function.

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Well that makes up a lot of (though not all) lost buffs.

 

Given the way your question is phrased I think the answer is no, however the same is true if you replace Priest with Chanter, Cipher, Druid of Wizard at least. In a six man party with no repeated classes you've got a lot of room to work with, so it's not surprising that taking a Priest isn't going to stop you from taking all sorts of other good stuff and good combos.

 

I'm not sure – Chanter is interchangeable with Paladin in my opinion in a tanky support role: AoE Heals, Buffs, debuffs and later AoE damage and CC depending on what you want. You could even use a tanky barbarian if you want to focus on the AoE damage element.

 

Cipher, Druid and Wizard are all interchangeable  – they can all provide good AoE CC on demand with damage too if you need it. I'd have at least one of them in any party to fulfil that function.

 

 

Sure, they're somewhat interchangeable, but your question specified a six man party with no repeated classes. Under those rules I'm probably going to be taking a Cipher, a Wizard AND a Druid if I want to be as powerful as possible, just like I'll probably take a Chanter AND a Paladin. As such the question about whether or not taking a Priest is more powerful boils down to whether a Priest offers more than the remaining five classes (Barbarian, Fighter, Rogue, Monk and Ranger) and I think it does.

 

Also you specified optimality. A Barbarian can fill the role of tanky AoE damager, but I don't think that's the optimal choice compared to a Chanter or late game Paladin.

Edited by JerekKruger
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I'm one of those weird knobs who don't like Priests all that much. It's probably because I don't know how to use them well, and also because I'm playing on Normal/Hard. Currently I'm playing a party without a Priest and without a Chanter, and doing more than fine. One of the strengths of this game is that you can play with pretty much any party composition and still do well.

 

Quite frankly, I'm not a fan of all the talk about efficiency and DPS and such that so many gaming forums contain. This is a ROLE playing game, so I'm glad we can do that without being overly punished for just wanting to have fun and fool around. Combat isn't what I enjoy most with this game anyway - maybe I'm odd that way.

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Well that makes up a lot of (though not all) lost buffs.

 

Given the way your question is phrased I think the answer is no, however the same is true if you replace Priest with Chanter, Cipher, Druid of Wizard at least. In a six man party with no repeated classes you've got a lot of room to work with, so it's not surprising that taking a Priest isn't going to stop you from taking all sorts of other good stuff and good combos.

 

I'm not sure – Chanter is interchangeable with Paladin in my opinion in a tanky support role: AoE Heals, Buffs, debuffs and later AoE damage and CC depending on what you want. You could even use a tanky barbarian if you want to focus on the AoE damage element.

 

Cipher, Druid and Wizard are all interchangeable  – they can all provide good AoE CC on demand with damage too if you need it. I'd have at least one of them in any party to fulfil that function.

 

 

Sure, they're somewhat interchangeable, but your question specified a six man party with no repeated classes. Under those rules I'm probably going to be taking a Cipher, a Wizard AND a Druid if I want to be as powerful as possible, just like I'll probably take a Chanter AND a Paladin. As such the question about whether or not taking a Priest is more powerful boils down to whether a Priest offers more than the remaining five classes (Barbarian, Fighter, Rogue, Monk and Ranger) and I think it does.

 

Also you specified optimality. A Barbarian can fill the role of tanky AoE damager, but I don't think that's the optimal choice compared to a Chanter or late game Paladin.

 

 

Fair enough I guess. I suppose what I meant was not a super-optimal party, but one which fills all the "roles" and which would be typical from an ordinary playthrough.

 

Classes of course shouldn't be interchangeable – some of them should be better at some things than others, but the Priest's abilities are so "un-interchangeable" that you're gimping yourself if you don't bring one along.

 

The main offenders are the spells I spoke about in the OP, like with Devotions for the Faithful: +20 Melee Accuracy, +20 Ranged Accuracy, +4 Might and then the opposite for enemies. The Ranged Accuracy/Melee Accuracy distinction is really important here, because it means it'll stack (or anti-stack vs enemies) with any other general +accuracy you can add (e.g Eldritch Aim, scroll of valour). No other class has a buff to melee accuracy/ranged accuracy if I recall correctly other than the Cipher. Then you can throw on inspiring holy radiance (+10) general accuracy which stacks with everything and Crowns for the faithful (+6 Accuracy) in AoE or Champions Boon (+6) individually. If a priest was to throw a scroll of valour, they'd be able to buff for +15 (Scroll) + 20 (Devotions) + 10 (Holy Radiance) + 6 (Crowns) = +51 Accuracy in an AOE which is insane and so far beyond anything that any other class can throw out.

 

Deflection Bonuses can stack up to +15/20 (Circle of Defence/Symbol of Eothas) + 25 (Shields for the Faithful) + 25 (Crowns for the Faithful) = +65/+70.

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I'm one of those weird knobs who don't like Priests all that much. It's probably because I don't know how to use them well, and also because I'm playing on Normal/Hard. Currently I'm playing a party without a Priest and without a Chanter, and doing more than fine. One of the strengths of this game is that you can play with pretty much any party composition and still do well.

 

Quite frankly, I'm not a fan of all the talk about efficiency and DPS and such that so many gaming forums contain. This is a ROLE playing game, so I'm glad we can do that without being overly punished for just wanting to have fun and fool around. Combat isn't what I enjoy most with this game anyway - maybe I'm odd that way.

 

That's cool. I personally love Pillars for the difficulty and the way that the gameplay mechanic, various abilities and class mechanics interact.

 

I dunno – I'd just love to be able to not bring a Priest along without feeling that I'm somehow intentionally putting myself at a disadvantage. 

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@Livegood

 

I don't wanna sound like a ****, but your post on page 1 (sorry still can't quote no idea why) about parties of 2/3 compared to a party of 6 is a little weird to me.

Enemy groups do not increase in size if you have a party of more characters.

You level slighttly slower but the bounties alone more than make up for that.

Any party of 6 without a priest stomps the game that hard, that can't tell any more if you're "better" than with a priest.

I made a thread about this a while ago:

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/89907-what-would-be-your-personal-faceroll-party/?p=1853717

 

Where I specifically said a priest would be the strongest in my personal party but I'd rather play without one.

Now from my personal experience with my party of 3 I made the party of 6 in a way that I would retain my playstyle and just have 3 extra chars supporting this very playstyle.

And even tho I have duplicate chars it's totally doable without.

Once again don't wanna sound like an elitist know it all, no offence intended

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