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Early : probably barbarian

Caster are still limited by their spell selection. Against low DR, Chill Fog is incredible though.

 

Mid : Wizz or Druid

You start getting a lot of good AoE spell.

 

Late : chanter, the melting machine.

Wizz are excellent too, but a bit less convenient (never tried freezing rake in a corridor ?).

Barbarian Heart of Fury still has an edge for spike AoE.

Edited by Elric Galad
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For me the best low level AoE guy is a monk with Torment's Reach. He will not improve his AoE "magic" much after that though.

 

I think of all the vanican casters the druid and the wizard are the ones who have the best low level AoE spells and therefore are also good on early game. The druid has the advantage that his base stats are better than the wizard's. The wizard has some awesome spells like Eldritch Aim, Parasitic Staff and Chillfog which makes him great in the early game, but in that list only Chillfog is AoE. But the combo of Eldritch Aim + Blinding + pulsing frost damage is very powerful.

 

All vancian casters get better and better with every level though. Some spell levels may suck (looking at you, druid), but generally speaking their "power curve" is very steep.

 

You guys forgot priest. For me a late bloomer when it comes to AoE damage - but very powerful, too because of his tremendous MIG, INT and ACC buffs. Shining Beacon + Pillars of Faith & Fire + Holy Storm + Symbol of <deity> are very good with this.

 

And against vessels a MC priest with focus on max MIG and INT and the right reputation is the bane of all vessels. Even fampyrs can be one-shotted if you manage to crit. I once had a priest who did over 300 damage on hit (not crit) to each vessel in range with his Holy Radiance without too much fuzz. Maybe one could lift that to 400. The bonus damage from level/reputation and high MIG/INT add up (or multiply?) pretty nicely. With this, most difficult vessel encounters become cakewalks.

 

In terms of damage, nothing compares to a HoF barb, optimized for biggest AoE and with max DMG per hit and combined with Combusting Wounds.

 

And the chanter is of course the most convenient way to apply a lot of AoE damage. ;)

Edited by Boeroer

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Isn't the priest's AoE anti vessel power fire based? If so the eyeless are immune, as are a handful of other high level vessels.

 

If not then I am fairly certain an in game tooltip is incorrect as I was recently toying with a vessel killing Berathian and I am sure the tooltip said 'burning' (can't check now as I'm away from my desktop for Christmas)

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Yes, it's burning DoT. And the Eyeless are immune to it, that's true. But they have so much endurance that a 1/encounter ability like Holy Radiance alone wouldn't win you the fight even if it worked. Against most other vessels wich are a pain in the back (and don't have a ton of endurance and no stellar defenses, but come in great numbers) it's a great ability. Against Eyeless and other immune vessels you can still use the Redeemer or Abydon's Hammer. :)

 

To be honest I always found the Eyeless to be less annoying than most other mid level vessels like fampyrs and some darguls or even plain old skeletal fighters and wizards. It all depends when you meet them (what level you are). I tend to do WMII as last part of my playthrough - the Eyeless are no threat then.

Edited by Boeroer

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Ok, I'm a derp, but what does Vanican mean?

 

It refers to the casters who use per-day spells.  It's a reference to the author Jack Vance, and his Dying Earth series in particular, in which magic users are limited in the number of spells they can simultaneously remember. They have to pick which ones to use beforehand and forget them when they are cast.  Dungeons and Dragons borrowed this concept for its spellcasters. 

 

Eternity's casters aren't completely Vancian (e.g., in how Priests/Druids can pick from any spell at any time, and in how the Grimoire differs from memory), but it works as shorthand.

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Hm, do you guys always need great AOE damage. Is it not possible to advance with just classical "sword " damage and a tank who absorbs + a lot of support from a priest and chanter? Or is the game created to make you use aoe magic<?

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AoE beats single target in this game for sure (mainly because most difficult encounters have a lot of not too sturdy enemies). Pure tanks who can't deal damage don't work so well in this game. Enemies tend to run past them and eat the weak disengagement attacks, then disturb or even kill your backline. There is no taunting machanic or something. If your tank can also deal good damage then he will be more effective. There are a few exceptions to that (for example Defensive Mindweb).

 

You don't have to use casters to deal AoE damage by the way. There are several classes who can deal AoE damage without spells: monk, barb, chanter for example. Even the fighter and paladin can do that later on.

You can beat the game with single target damage, too. It's especially helpful against bosses and for quickly taking out high priority targets. So - as always a good mixture is not a bad thing.

 

But the real "key" to success in this game is high accuracy, crowd control and disables/debuffs (meaning lowering defenses and prevent retaliation). Then add good defenses. Pure damage will not win the game. If you can get those first things working you will beat anything no matter how you apply damage.

 

An important thing to know are the stacking rules - let me tell you they are awfully documented. :(

 

Edit: added a bit more text.

Edited by Boeroer

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"AoE beats single target in this game for sure. Pure tanks who can't dea damage don't work in this game. Enemies just run past them and eat the weak disengagement attacks, then kill your backline." - bla-bla-bla)) Happy New Year bro!
PoE2017jpg_1908295_24621594.jpg

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A Happy New Year to you as well. I made pizza with my kids (which was fun) and fell asleep while bringing them to bed, waking up at 4:35 am (which was abit frustrating). ;)

 

But why the "bla bla"? I just answered the question to the best of my belief (and experience). I guess... I had some sparkling wine when I wrote it...

 

Happy new year to all you forum members as well (even brindle88, if you're still reading ;)). I wish you all good health and contentment.

Edited by Boeroer

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"But why the "bla bla"? I just answered the question to the best of my belief (and experience). I guess... I had some sparkling wine when I wrote it..."

- it's just a joke (i had some wine too, when i wrote this))) I've read a lot of your posts and i respect your knowledges and experience.

I wish all the best for you and your family! Happy New Year :dancing:

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I have the feeling that I'd have to do a LOT OF READING to play Pillars. I mean, the fact that I cannot use a shield warrior to taunt and that there are 987 buffs/ curses skills means that Im getting lost in here. Dragon age was so simple with this-you just go taunting and the dps stay behind shooting/using high damage magic

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