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hedop

I would like Advise on Story Companion Builds

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Hello there,

 

I've been a ghost here for quite some time and now decided I need to post since I need some help with setting up my party properly. I'm playing a wizard according to this build: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/84911-class-build-wizard-%E2%80%93-vecna%E2%80%99s-legacy-the-casual%E2%80%99s-guide-to-soloing-normal-difficulty-major-spoilers-301-approved/

 

Which is a lot of fun so far. I have also found 2 companion videos:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVtz0MZ8SdQ&t=1146s

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n952lELi1s

 

Which aren't too bad though I was wondering whether anybody could improve upon them. If the concensus is that the builds are good (I'm playing on normal with a full party) then I would ask you if you could give me some advise on how to outfit/equip each of those companions or what to look for in terms of equipement (pistol, arquebus, rapier etc.) since the video doesn't really provide a lot of info on that and I would like to set my party up as well as I can. I know there have been a couple of those threads but most are old as dirt.

 

Before an argument ensues: yes I want to play with the story companions, no I don't have any preferences other then that the group set ups work well together (you can advise me on those as well if you like). I'm grateful for any feedback you guys can give me. My experience with the Unity Engine is fairly limited tbh so I really need some sound advise.

Edited by hedop

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Most companions can be built in exactly the same way as you would build a main character of their class. As such you can't go wrong browsing the The Obsidian Boards' Build List and picking a build that tickles your fancy. It's true that some companions attribute spreads aren't as optimised for those builds as a player created character would be, but this is unlikely to stop the build from working, and PoE isn't hard enough to need super optimised character builds if you're using a party anyway (even on PotD).

 

Your question is a bit broad for more specific advice than that (posting detailed builds and gearing advice for every companion would take me hours to do) but if you have specific companions you want advice on I could go into more detail.

 

Honestly, you could probably build the companions fairly organically, picking talents, abilities and spells at each level which sound good to you, and you probably won't go far wrong (especially if you're playing on Hard or below). I did this in my first few play throughs and didn't have any real problems. 

 

The Beginner's Guide is also worth a read if you're fairly new to Pillars and aren't familiar with the mechanics of the game (or even if you're a veteran for that matter).

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Well the question is broad because there are a bunch of characters. Basically I liked the idea promoted in those videos of having 2 seperate parties that work well with each other instead of completely mixing everything together. So the idea to use the builds is good but in a way it's not since I have no idea if those setups would actually work with each other and most of them require a fair amount of micromanagement to get the best out of your characters and I personally like my party to work well together regardless if I micro manage them or not.

 

For the most part that has worked well with the character builds presented in the youtube guide, you have one group who basically takes out the strongest enemy in one big punch and then mops up the rest or another party who grinds them to dust by basically overtanking them. However I have absolutely no clue how to equip them after a certain point. Do I give Pallegina a heavy armour or not if I use her with a gun while using her mainly to up the attack speed of my ranged fighters? How should I equip Kana if I use him with bows and more as a summoner? What kind of gear would be beneficial for Sagani? Should I deck out Eder in Might and Con improving equipement and heavy plate if I use him as my hard tank? What about Durance if I use him as a secondary tank? Does it matter which skills I give them each?

 

So if you say there are some useful builds which also explain a bit of detail regarding the equipement you should use I would seriously be thankful if you could point me in the direction. I wasn't expecting anybody to post a dozen builds here but saying: hey look if you use those builds for those companions they will work well together and they also explain you how to equip those guys. The reason I haven't used builds is that most of the attributed for the companions suck badly so I was afraid that would in some ways negate those builds completely.

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Pallegina: because of their very long reload times (which is unaffected by armour recovery penalties by the way), characters using guns are the least affected by high armour recovery penalties. As such, if you think Pallegina needs the extra protection or benefits of a suit of heavier armour then you won't be losing much by putting her in one. Of course, if she isn't getting hit in combat then there's no benefit from higher DR so you should weigh up whether the other benefits of heavier armour (stat bonuses, bound spells etc.) outweigh the (fairly minor) speed penalty.

 

That said, my personal preference for Pallegina is as a pseudo fire mage. Give her the Scion of Flame talent and Intense Flames, take the Wrath of the Five Suns unique talent she gets and Sacred Immolation at level 13. Also give her the suit of Chainmail that has fireball as a bound spell and, if/when you get it, the Sabre that also has fireball as a bound spell. You now have a very powerful fire based damage dealer. This works for any Paladin, but Pallegina is actually the best at it because Wrath of the Five Suns is really good.

 

Oh also the Outworn Buckler should be in one of your slots. That shield is amazingly good and available very early.

 

Kana: Personally I'd spec Kana as a tank, giving him heavy armour a shield and a tanky main weapon (a hatchet or a weapon with guarding) and relying on Winds of Death and later Dragon Thrashed to do excellent damage whilst he tanks. Chanters are not great at doing damage with their weapon, so better to let them do it with their chants and spec their weapons and armour for toughness.

 

That said, if you are set on using him as an archer then know that whilst bows are still less affected by armour recovery penalties than melee weapons, they are more affected than guns. Basically I'd go with the lightest armour you feel he can get away with whilst usually avoiding being KO'd. Experiment, use something light, if he gets knocked out often, go with something a bit heavier (also consider how you are using him).

 

Sagani: the best bow you can get her (if you have White March then Stormcalled is basically the best in class), a hatchet and shield or a pair of hatchets in her offhand to switch to for defence. Other than that, the same rule applies regarding armour as Kana: lightest you can get away with.

 

Edér: For Eder I would strongly urge you to build him as one of the Lady of Pain builds. Fighters pretty much fill the role of single target DPS/off-tank and (outside of weird specialised builds) nothing else, and the Lady of Pain builds are all excellent examples of these. Not much else to say than that.

 

Durance: I've tried running Durance as an off-tank but it just never seems to work for me. He has great Resolve sure, but because of his low Dexterity it will take him a while to cast all the buffs that make Priests great, and before he has cast them he's pretty fragile. Also giving him armour's just going to slow him down even more, which isn't ideal. Personally I usually give him an arquebus to make use of his Magranic talent, leave him on the back lines and have him cast spells, interdiction and shoot.

 

If you're set on using him as a tank then a shield is pretty much a must (might as well go large since he's not going to do much with his weapon anyway). Hatchet's would probably be the best choice for his weapon, but I personally hate using them on classes other than Druids and Rangers. You'll probably need decent armour, though if you can get away with lighter armour then you'll want to to speed his casting.

 

General advice: I think you're overrating the importance of attributes. This isn't AD&D, the difference between 10 and 18 Might is tiny compared to the difference between 10 and 18 Strength in Baldur's Gate. Barring a few exceptions, the companions stats will only result in a minor disadvantage when using one of the class builds in the list I linked above.

 

Similarly I think you're probably overthinking gear. Other than weapon choice, most gear isn't going to make all that much difference. Generally speaking, when you get a new piece of gear you should just look through your party, see who it would be an upgrade for and then give it to whichever of them it will benefit most. Sure, you might not distribute gear perfectly, but PoE isn't that hard.

 

If you don't believe me, realise that someone has finished it solo, on PotD with a Monk using no gear. Sure, that was a very tough run that required clever strategies, but if that's possible then it should make it clear than with a party it's not going to matter than much who gets what gear.

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Thank you. Do boni stack? Or am I making a mistake in trying to push Eders might and constitution with every available item? Because that would mean I need to reequip my group to not waste any boni. Atm I'm trying to get my more squishy party companions equipped with as much deflection as possible but there would be no point beyond one item if those boni do not stack.

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In general bonuses don't stack, for example if you have a helmet that gives +1 Might and a breastplate that gives +1 Might then wearing both won't give you +2 Might. The exception to this rule is weapons (and shields I guess, though as far as I recall there aren't any shields that give bonus to attributes). A weapon will give its bonus on top of a non-weapon attribute bonus. So if you're wearing a helmet that gives +1 Might and wielding Godansthunyr (a warhammer that gives +1 Might) then you will get +2 Might.

 

On the topic of stacking, in general buffs that boost the same thing won't stack either, you'll just get the best of the two. The reason I mention this is that it may eventually be worth respeccing to remove Pallegina's unique attack speed boosting Flames of Devotion if enough of your other characters have better attack speed boosting powers (Deleterious Alacrity of Motion on Wizards, Frenzy on Barbarians, Swift Strikes on Monks etc.). 

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Shields too. For example the Last Tower will give you +1 move speed whoich stacks with everything. Or Little Savior and Outworn Buckler will give you +5 to all defenses which stacks wiuth everything, even with themselves. 

 

Some special abilitites and talents that count as "passives" have bonuses which stack with everything, too. I'd like to mention things like Inspiring and Aggrandizing Radiance (Priest), Flames of Devotions, Coordinated Attacks and Inspiring Exhortation (Paladin) and so on. It's quite the list if you search for all of them. Most of the time it's talents that alter an ability. 

 

For the rest everything that Jerek said is totally right.


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