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Dr <3

[CLASS BUILD] The Anvil, the most tough monk around

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Well, Dr <3, I have to tell you that I got whacked.  I got WAY overconfident and went into the Eyeless ambush unprepared.  That battle is easily winnable with this build, but I did not prepare correctly.  

 

Having played the build through Act I-III, White March I, I am confident it is good for Triple Crown Solo & Frozen Crown Solo.  As long as you don't screw around like I did!  :)

 

I am of course replaying from scratch, because a man needs a challenge!  The only modest change I made to my earlier build path: I swapped Stunning Shots for Force of Anguish.  I am going to want that long knockdown for the Eyeless.  I may also swap in Deep Pockets to carry an extra set of figurines

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Sure! Fists will do the most damage in the early game, but eventually weapons will eclipse them later in the game due to unique enchantments. I personally like weapons with the deaining enchantment on monks and with retailation builds. More heath means more retailation and wounds. That can help make up a bit for the lower damage. But don’t expect miracles. The amount of endurance drained is pretty small.

 

This build had fists in the second weapon slot I think mainly because it is a different damage type (crush) while the swords are pierce and slash. You could put something else there instead or just not switch weapons. One nice thing about leaving fists in that weapon slot is that the character model looks a little cleaner without having extra weapons strung to it’s back or hanging from the waist.

 

The real monk concept is the “wounds resource” not the “fist” weapon option; that is completely optional.

 

I just wish monks had a catalog of “powers” like the cipher to choose from when spending wounds, instead of just two or three. Spamming Torments Reach over and over can get old after a while when playing solo.

Edited by Braven

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Like Braven said: with this build most of the time you will use whisper of yenwood + steadfast or other weapons. Punch are there for a different kind of dmg and moreover to just have more dmg if needed. At the start of the fight you are gaining a lot of wound fast and have a lot of retaliation effect. When there will be just 1 or 2 robust opponents left i found more efficient turning back to fists to enanche your dps.

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Someone already did, with the slightly modified build. There was a discussion on reddit about it (https://www.reddit.com/r/projecteternity/comments/6i6azc/the_ultimate/), and the player has commented in depth in this thread as well.

 

The main issue, as I understand, is the need to rely on buggy potion drinking animation. You can install MaxQuest's mod that somewhat fixes the problem, though (makes the animation faster).

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Thank you guys. I am playing on this build, I want to do well but I wanted to follow the build guide and pick up the two necessary items in Raedrics Keep. I can't get past the mobs there since I have a low sneak score and that they over run me. What can I do? PS. I can't see the hidden secret where supposedly the Ring of Searing flame should be. I don't know why. My character can't detect it.

Edited by Smelyansky

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It is fairly customary in any solo endeavour to invest skill points early on into stealth during the first act. Five points should be enough to stealth around everything in the first act and the same amount in mechanics enough to discover and open everything that is hidden or locked.

 

Seeing as it is also customary to avoid any major combat encounter during act 1 because no char can confidently handle them at this stage (maybe except the wizard or paladin/chanter) there isn't any particular reason to use consumables at that point. The most robust way to kill mobs is to split-pull them (a necessity of solo play that makes it so depressing, in my opinion). You can always use food, however, since it's cheap, easily replenished and gives a nice boost.

 

There is only one fight that is strictly necessary in the first act: Maerwald. It is usually overcome by drinking a potion of bullwark defense (the one that gives huge temporary DR against elemental attacks) and cleverly avoiding Maerwald's certain damaging spells. There are also techniques in that fight that you can employ such as pulling everybody into the door so that you can limit exposure to enemies' hits while also setting up a coverage for your cone-like Torment's Reach attacks. You can also lure them out into the room adjacent to the one where Maerwald resides. You'll have enough space there them to kite your enemies around. You can even lure them towards the other adjacent room, the one with the beetles. The latter consider everyone else, including Maerwald, hostile and help you out (just make sure you're out of sight so that they do not gang up on you afterwards).

 

There's another problematic fight against spirits in the Caed Nua's throne room but, incidentally, retaliation monk is one of those classes that can handle it despite being perma-stunned by the phantom spirits. Dr. <3 gave a very detailed tutorial on how to achieve that at level four, I think, in this very thread. You can still easily avoid this fight by having stealth of 5 and sneaking along the northern wall towards the corridor that leads further into the dungeon. You will find some videos that demonstrate this tactic on youtube.

 

Overall, this the kind of stuff you have to get used to: kiting, split-pulling, positioning your char in the doorway or adjacent to the wall (in order to limit exposure and prevent your character from being surrounded), using consumables. The most common consumables are food (aim for those that give non-overlapping +2 bonuses to primary stats), summoning figurines, certain specific potions (llengrath defense, combat buffs, elemental protection in certain fights, deleterious alacrity of motion - you'll have to get used to starting any serious fight with the gulp of this one to speed up everything else) and scrolls (such as of valor and of defense for combat buffs, moonwell for healing, prayers against fear/treachery/etc when necessary and so on).

 

It is also a common technique to use a table of random loot distribution depending on the in-game day number in order to gain certain useful things from specific containers inside the Raedric's Keep and the other early areas: ring of searing flames (grants usages of Combusting Wounds per rest), boots of stealth, boots of accuarcy, gloves of mechanics, etc.

 

Having said all that and coming back to your original question about Raedric's keep: invest enough points to get your stealth and mechanics to have both around 5. This is quite easily achievable, especially if you take a background that gives starting bonuses to one or both of those skill points during character creation. Don't worry about wasting skill points, you can always retrain, it's fast and cheap (you're not playing wizard so you don't have to relearn spells each time after retraining, spending extra money and dragging around tons of spell books). You can enter either through the dungeon or through the wall. The dungeon isn't terribly difficult: just pull the enemies to the closest doorway and hit them with Torment's Reach from there, those ghouls and revenants go down very easy.

 

Then, you can free the acolyte from his prison cell and report to the elder priest upstairs who'll give you the key that opens a shortcut route directly to the throne room. You can navigate the upper floor either by timing the movement of certain guards who engage you into questioning or simply trick them (there are certain dialogue checks that you should be able to pass, theoretically). When you get to Raedric himself, agree to side with him and the whole castle will become friendly to you. Loot away. You can always come back later and defeat everyone when you're stronger.

 

Overall, if you're not very familiar with the solo tactics for this game, don't worry, there's a certain limited amount of solutions that work and solo play is, basically, training yourself to apply them in a specific order. The exception to that, I'd say, is the wizard because he has lots of stuff to make solo play fun right from the first level. There's a very extensive 10-hour video on youtube by Woodjee that features a full-length, uninterrupted ultimate run from start to end with the rogue class from start to finish. Since rogue isn't a class with lots of AoE capability to deal with large mobs of monsters, there's lots of trickery and clever usage of resource and surroundings. You learn a lot about such techniques from that video.

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It is fairly customary in any solo endeavour to invest skill points early on into stealth during the first act. Five points should be enough to stealth around everything in the first act and the same amount in mechanics enough to discover and open everything that is hidden or locked.

 

Seeing as it is also customary to avoid any major combat encounter during act 1 because no char can confidently handle them at this stage (maybe except the wizard or paladin/chanter) there isn't any particular reason to use consumables at that point. The most robust way to kill mobs is to split-pull them (a necessity of solo play that makes it so depressing, in my opinion). You can always use food, however, since it's cheap, easily replenished and gives a nice boost.

 

There is only one fight that is strictly necessary in the first act: Maerwald. It is usually overcome by drinking a potion of bullwark defense (the one that gives huge temporary DR against elemental attacks) and cleverly avoiding Maerwald's certain damaging spells. There are also techniques in that fight that you can employ such as pulling everybody into the door so that you can limit exposure to enemies' hits while also setting up a coverage for your cone-like Torment's Reach attacks. You can also lure them out into the room adjacent to the one where Maerwald resides. You'll have enough space there them to kite your enemies around. You can even lure them towards the other adjacent room, the one with the beetles. The latter consider everyone else, including Maerwald, hostile and help you out (just make sure you're out of sight so that they do not gang up on you afterwards).

 

There's another problematic fight against spirits in the Caed Nua's throne room but, incidentally, retaliation monk is one of those classes that can handle it despite being perma-stunned by the phantom spirits. Dr. <3 gave a very detailed tutorial on how to achieve that at level four, I think, in this very thread. You can still easily avoid this fight by having stealth of 5 and sneaking along the northern wall towards the corridor that leads further into the dungeon. You will find some videos that demonstrate this tactic on youtube.

 

Overall, this the kind of stuff you have to get used to: kiting, split-pulling, positioning your char in the doorway or adjacent to the wall (in order to limit exposure and prevent your character from being surrounded), using consumables. The most common consumables are food (aim for those that give non-overlapping +2 bonuses to primary stats), summoning figurines, certain specific potions (llengrath defense, combat buffs, elemental protection in certain fights, deleterious alacrity of motion - you'll have to get used to starting any serious fight with the gulp of this one to speed up everything else) and scrolls (such as of valor and of defense for combat buffs, moonwell for healing, prayers against fear/treachery/etc when necessary and so on).

 

It is also a common technique to use a table of random loot distribution depending on the in-game day number in order to gain certain useful things from specific containers inside the Raedric's Keep and the other early areas: ring of searing flames (grants usages of Combusting Wounds per rest), boots of stealth, boots of accuarcy, gloves of mechanics, etc.

 

Having said all that and coming back to your original question about Raedric's keep: invest enough points to get your stealth and mechanics to have both around 5. This is quite easily achievable, especially if you take a background that gives starting bonuses to one or both of those skill points during character creation. Don't worry about wasting skill points, you can always retrain, it's fast and cheap (you're not playing wizard so you don't have to relearn spells each time after retraining, spending extra money and dragging around tons of spell books). You can enter either through the dungeon or through the wall. The dungeon isn't terribly difficult: just pull the enemies to the closest doorway and hit them with Torment's Reach from there, those ghouls and revenants go down very easy.

 

Then, you can free the acolyte from his prison cell and report to the elder priest upstairs who'll give you the key that opens a shortcut route directly to the throne room. You can navigate the upper floor either by timing the movement of certain guards who engage you into questioning or simply trick them (there are certain dialogue checks that you should be able to pass, theoretically). When you get to Raedric himself, agree to side with him and the whole castle will become friendly to you. Loot away. You can always come back later and defeat everyone when you're stronger.

 

Overall, if you're not very familiar with the solo tactics for this game, don't worry, there's a certain limited amount of solutions that work and solo play is, basically, training yourself to apply them in a specific order. The exception to that, I'd say, is the wizard because he has lots of stuff to make solo play fun right from the first level. There's a very extensive 10-hour video on youtube by Woodjee that features a full-length, uninterrupted ultimate run from start to end with the rogue class from start to finish. Since rogue isn't a class with lots of AoE capability to deal with large mobs of monsters, there's lots of trickery and clever usage of resource and surroundings. You learn a lot about such techniques from that video.

Thank you so much for the reply. I will follow all your advice. I went Drifter background instead of slave. Would that be a huge detrement later on for this build?

Edited by Smelyansky

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I don't think that missing a point in athletics should be a huge difficulty. Granted, survival is more important for this particular build, but you'll save up some points due to having a bonus in mechanics (you'll have a base of 7 instead of 8). I think there should be enough to get you to that 14 survival in the end but I'll admit that I didn't do the proper math.

 

Also note that if you want to use scrolls, you'll have to invest points into Lore. The original build has zero in that skill point. Dr. <3 could probably comment further on this since he actually went solo from start to finish with the build, something I never did (last time I've had a retaliation monk in the party, I ended up having two priests with him as well, so at later levels there wasn't much stuff that survived long enough to even hit him...), but overall PoE isn't a "numbers" game. You could probably manage some of the health/endurance loss with potions such as of Major Endurance and Infuse with Vital Essence.

 

If you want to be sure, load up a late game save with the party (if you have one on hand), hire some custom monks and see which numbers you achieve exactly with either background.

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Thank you guys. I am playing on this build, I want to do well but I wanted to follow the build guide and pick up the two necessary items in Raedrics Keep. I can't get past the mobs there since I have a low sneak score and that they over run me. What can I do? PS. I can't see the hidden secret where supposedly the Ring of Searing flame should be. I don't know why. My character can't detect it.

You need 5 stealth to sneak past the guard at the top of the stairs if you climb up the wall. Even then make sure that you click on the door the moment it is visible, otherwise you will most likely be detected.

 

You need 4 mechanics to detect the hidden stash in the cells.

 

To accomplish my stealth and mechanics requirements, I choose drifter as starting class (+1 Stealth, +1 Mech). Put all the points into stealth at first level up. 1 point in stealth at next level up and rest in mechanics. You will be one skill point short in mechanics, but you can get that by choosing the right rest option in the Gilded Vale inn. I tend to rest for the mech bonus when I rest for the level up just to save time.

 

You will also need to disarm the trap in Raedric’s bedroom while you still have the mech bonus, i.e. don’t rest for the items until you have disarmed that trap.

 

Wodjee also has a shorter video that shows how to do all of this. Just remember that choosing a rogue or cipher gives more leeway with skill point allocation. Other classes will need to follow my advice to get the items in Raedric’s Keep on time.

 

EDIT: Mistake on my part - you need the resting bonus to disarm the trap, but you need the Gloves of Manipulation to get to Mech 4. Classes that do not have a mech bonus will only be able to have mech 2 if you use the skill point allocation I detailed above.

Edited by grausch

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Really struggling. Im level 5. I mananged to solo Raedric after reloading but did it. I engage in fights and run in corners but i usually dont have enough hp to finish off a large crowd. Should I just avoid conflict until after a certain level? How should I fight in act 2? Thanks a lot.

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Really struggling. Im level 5. I mananged to solo Raedric after reloading but did it. I engage in fights and run in corners but i usually dont have enough hp to finish off a large crowd. Should I just avoid conflict until after a certain level? How should I fight in act 2? Thanks a lot.

Yes, you generally avoid lots of stuff early on. Minor quest fights in the city shouldn't be problematic, use DoT effects like combusting wounds (randomised rings, see above about the random loot table) and touch of rot (gloves that could be bought from Cartugo, trader on the street in the middle of the docks area), figurines, etc.

 

Killing Raedric at level 5 solo isn't something that is done generally. Early XP should be gathered by running around everywhere, exploring areas, opening locks, doing easy quests, etc.

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Really struggling. Im level 5. I mananged to solo Raedric after reloading but did it. I engage in fights and run in corners but i usually dont have enough hp to finish off a large crowd. Should I just avoid conflict until after a certain level? How should I fight in act 2? Thanks a lot.

Yes, you generally avoid lots of stuff early on. Minor quest fights in the city shouldn't be problematic, use DoT effects like combusting wounds (randomised rings, see above about the random loot table) and touch of rot (gloves that could be bought from Cartugo, trader on the street in the middle of the docks area), figurines, etc.

 

Killing Raedric at level 5 solo isn't something that is done generally. Early XP should be gathered by running around everywhere, exploring areas, opening locks, doing easy quests, etc.

 

Thank you for the reply. I currently can't fight much without cheesing and reloading. Its making me ashamed of myself. What level can I actually tackle real fights head on? Like right now I'm level 5 and I want to clear out the spider cave with the ogre in it. What level and item do I need to be useful?

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"Cheesing" is something with a broad definition, everyone has his own meaning what is "cheesy" and what is acceptable. Pulling out enemies one by one and similar tactics are necessary until your build comes into power. I am not entirely sure when that happens for the retaliation monk but I imagine you need to have all of the core abilities and items on hand, be able to forge those Flame Shield potions on a regular basis and so on. That's somewhere around level 7-9. Don't worry though, there's plenty of easy XP to grab from the city quests. Monk's retaliation scales with levels. The same goes for the endurance pool. So you have no choice but to wait until it gets stronger. You also need those abilities and items to boost your DR, stats, etc.

 

Until that happens you need to give up the idea of handling all encounters up-front and head on as if you were doing it with full party. There's a certain much slower pace that you have to adapt. I presume you've already played through the game at least once with the party, so you unless you want to experiment yourself with the solo play I'd suggest you check out some of those videos I've recommended in order to get the feel for what is solo play all about.

 

On the fifth level what you need to do is go to the city and do as many simple quests as possible. It gives huge amount of XP when you're running solo. The spider cave is something that one would generally try to tackle around level 6-7 with the party.

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"Cheesing" is something with a broad definition, everyone has his own meaning what is "cheesy" and what is acceptable. Pulling out enemies one by one and similar tactics are necessary until your build comes into power. I am not entirely sure when that happens for the retaliation monk but I imagine you need to have all of the core abilities and items on hand, be able to forge those Flame Shield potions on a regular basis and so on. That's somewhere around level 7-9. Don't worry though, there's plenty of easy XP to grab from the city quests. Monk's retaliation scales with levels. The same goes for the endurance pool. So you have no choice but to wait until it gets stronger. You also need those abilities and items to boost your DR, stats, etc.

 

Until that happens you need to give up the idea of handling all encounters up-front and head on as if you were doing it with full party. There's a certain much slower pace that you have to adapt. I presume you've already played through the game at least once with the party, so you unless you want to experiment yourself with the solo play I'd suggest you check out some of those videos I've recommended in order to get the feel for what is solo play all about.

 

On the fifth level what you need to do is go to the city and do as many simple quests as possible. It gives huge amount of XP when you're running solo. The spider cave is something that one would generally try to tackle around level 6-7 with the party.

Thanks a lot. What I meant cheesing was i would die and then just reload. This happens quite often. But thank you for the advice. What quest order should I do the city quests?

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That's not cheesing, that's trial and error. As for the city, just go area after area. All quests that are doable by sneaking around in the sewers are a good choice, quests that you get from taverns (purnisc, ambushes in the docks), verzano, other minor quests in the docks. The first jobs from various factions. You might even have enough stealth to do two out of three main plot quests: sanitarium and tower inside the zombie area (you didn't think you were going to fight your way through those, did you?).

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That's not cheesing, that's trial and error. As for the city, just go area after area. All quests that are doable by sneaking around in the sewers are a good choice, quests that you get from taverns (purnisc, ambushes in the docks), verzano, other minor quests in the docks. The first jobs from various factions. You might even have enough stealth to do two out of three main plot quests: sanitarium and tower inside the zombie area (you didn't think you were going to fight your way through those, did you?).

Thanks a lot. I'll start doing that then. I'm actually surprised I got this far in potd solo with this. I haven't played in 2 years and when I did play 2 years ago I played a 6 man party on normal so you can see how I'm struggling haha

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There's no earlier save game to come back to? I'd advise against it. It's a nice bonus, but it's not game breaking. Keep playing, you'll need to figure things out anyway if you intend to try the ultimate achievement later on. Restarting the whole game does not appear useful to me because of a single minor ability.

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