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Hello there,

 

bit of background: longtime BG2 + Expansion player, loved isometric/infinity engine games since forever. Backed PoE and was SUPER hyped to play it on release..that was ~2 years ago and I quit the game about halfway through because it felt..unfinished.. there were SO many bugs and stuff and I wanted to come back and play it from start to finish when all those kinks were ironed out..well..that time is now, I guess.

I just bought the 2 expansions and am ready to start a new playthrough.. only problem is: I have NO idea what class to roll..

 

My playthrough 2 years ago was of an Orlan DPS dual-wielding rogue, who I mostly liked, but the Rogue class felt kind of boring after a while, very much "one-trick-pony"..

1. Send in tank to pull aggro 2. Send in rogue from behind to backstab / sneak attack

 

Then I remembered that, back in the day, I played a fighter/mage multiclass character in Baldur's Gate 2 and LOVED it because of the flexibility in fights. There were always a lot of decisions to make and ways to react to different situations.

 

The cipher would obviously fit the bill in that regard, but I'm not sure that a) A Melee (I don't like ranged) Cipher would be fun and b) I read somewhere that most of the Cipher's skill are useless except a few super overpowered ones that you basically had to use later on ("Amplified Wave"). Is that true?

 

Another option for an interesting hybrid might be either a tanky wizard or a monk? But I've heard that the monk's combat system is kind of broken/wonky and I'm also unsure about a melee tanky wizard..sounds cumbersome/hard to pull off.

 

TL;DR: I am basically struggling to decide on a character that fits my taste:

I want to play on HARD mode and also want to really immerse myself into party dialogues, the story and everything as I have not finished the game once. I would like to play the most "interesting" character that has a good mix of both DPS and versatility.

 

Bonus question: Is there any way to play a sort of mage/rogue hybrid? A spellcasting backstabber? That would be my favourite, I guess :)

 

Thanks for reading and thanks for the help in advance!

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Since no one else is answering...

 

I recommend a wizard. You can't really do a rogue/wizard hybrid (wait for PoE2), but I do remember that the lvl. 1 spell Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff is pretty good. Why not just use that spell and bash people over the head? It's the closest you get to a melee wizard.

 

Ciphers are useful, but yeah, you tend to end up spamming the same useful spells over and over (at least I did).

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If you like fighting spellcasters, why not Chanter? Their phrases take time to build up so you don't get to cast spells all the time, but they're quite formidable fighters and spellcasters. And the songs themselves are fun to compose and find the combinations that work the best for you.

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If you want a caster who also hits people's heads the classical way you might get a wizard who has spells making him a two-handed DPS - i.e. summons a staff and also can use leaching spells + deflection boost to stay alive in melee combat. Truth is wizards backstabbing enemies do not exist in this game but this is as close as you can get, Another truth - a wizard who fights in melee engagement is not so useful, it is best to stay behind and cast nice spells keeping the comfort of not getting melee attacked. Another option is the cipher, they got a weapon to clasically hit enemies + also they got overpowerred curses or dmg spells with some effects. Ciphers are fun. But you ll need surely a paladin in the front line and a priest to support and protect you from curses like terrified for example.

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Actually melee-oriented wizars are pretty good, probably better than fireball machineguns in a lot a situations. They can easily buff themselves for sky-high deflection. The one thing you have to decide is whether you want a tank always in the front row or something like an offtank, who takes more time to buff himself but is more DPS-oriented.

 

The hard part is that I find melee wizards extremely MAD (multiple-attribute dependants). Imho you absolutely can't drop Int because it affects buff duration, so the rest depends of what you're planning to do.

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I was in the exact same situation as you and recently started playing again on a new run. The game is really solid now. They clearly did a lot of great things in the patches. The cross-class talents is something you should consider if you want a hybrid. It is not proper multi-classing, you'll have to wait until PoE2 for that, but still really cool!

 

I play an orlan wizard with high sneak. I picked Apprentice's Sneak Attack at level one, allowing me to pretty much play like a rogue. This talent allows me to open with a really powerful ranged attack (always get a sneak attack when attacking from stealth), and getting behind guys mid-combat to stab them with a one handed weapon is really solid damage as well. Being sneaky is also really useful for getting into a good position when casting certain spells like Ray of Fire and Rolling Flame. I play with a 3 character party right now, rocking Eder as a tank and a custom made barbarian for damage. Might swap the barbarian out with something else later, but I'm really enjoying it so far.

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Thanks for your replies! :)

A melee tanky wizard / spellsword kind of main seems like a very fun character to play as. And the last time I played, I wanted to get rid of Aloth, anyways, so...

 

A couple of questions:

 

1. I want to play on HARD with a party completely consisting of story NPCs, I really liked Eder or Pallegina as tanks & I am interested in recruiting the Cipher NPC (had not met her yet) as well as Durance as Priest.

What would be a good 5th/6th pick as NPC? Is the Rogue companion from the DLC any good?

 

2. What are some good & CURRENT guides for a tanky wizard? I have found a lot of outdated discussions but not much that fits the latest patch. What would be a good build, what are good starting stats (that don't completely gimp my dialogue options)

 

I do NOT want to 100% min-max everything but I DO want a little bit of challenge, if that makes sense. I'm not interested in reloading a fight 100 times but it's okay if I am stuck for a while on the harder boss-fights. Basically a healthy & balanced mix of roleplaying, enjoying the story but also enjoying the challenge of the combats.

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I was in the exact same situation as you and recently started playing again on a new run. The game is really solid now. They clearly did a lot of great things in the patches. The cross-class talents is something you should consider if you want a hybrid. It is not proper multi-classing, you'll have to wait until PoE2 for that, but still really cool!

 

I play an orlan wizard with high sneak. I picked Apprentice's Sneak Attack at level one, allowing me to pretty much play like a rogue. This talent allows me to open with a really powerful ranged attack (always get a sneak attack when attacking from stealth), and getting behind guys mid-combat to stab them with a one handed weapon is really solid damage as well. Being sneaky is also really useful for getting into a good position when casting certain spells like Ray of Fire and Rolling Flame. I play with a 3 character party right now, rocking Eder as a tank and a custom made barbarian for damage. Might swap the barbarian out with something else later, but I'm really enjoying it so far.

 

That sounds REALLY cool, I might just try that out. Does the sneak attack thing apply to auto-attacks only or also to spell damage?

Also, since I, too, want to play as Orlan 100%, what do you prefer, Hearth or Wild Orlan?

 

Finally, would you mind giving some advice on stats & spells that are must-haves?

Some do's and don'ts?

I have 0% experience with wizards in this game except some microing of Aloth from time to time.. I remember "Slicken" was super good.. is this still the case?

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Actually melee-oriented wizars are pretty good, probably better than fireball machineguns in a lot a situations. They can easily buff themselves for sky-high deflection. The one thing you have to decide is whether you want a tank always in the front row or something like an offtank, who takes more time to buff himself but is more DPS-oriented.

 

The hard part is that I find melee wizards extremely MAD (multiple-attribute dependants). Imho you absolutely can't drop Int because it affects buff duration, so the rest depends of what you're planning to do.

 

Thanks for your reply!

I am now (still) torn between two choices:

a) Melee/Tanky Wizard

b) Melee Cipher (Preferably Dual Wield)

 

With the Tanky Wizard, I'm concerned about the problem that I would have to rest quite often due to all of his potential lying in his spell-buffs, right? How cumbersome would this get on HARD mode?

 

Cipher doesn't have to rely on resting which seems attractive, but I've often read that Melee Cipher is too fragile and not really comparable to a ranged Cipher (which I, however, absolutely do not want to play, melee 4 life :p )

 

If you would start the game anew, as your first playthrough (and I want this to be my "definite" playthrough as I'm super tired of rerolling), would you rather play Melee Wizard or Melee Cipher?

 

Either way, I want to play as Orlan, if that matters at all (probably not)

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You have 4 spells per level and rest, so that's 4 encounters if you don't use 2 spells of the same level. My favorite thing was to summon the level 5 magical pike with barbarian AoE, and then Citzal martial power which is level 6 (if you played DnD, it's the Venser transformation knockoff). Totally wrecks havoc. Plus, you have the per encounter book energy thingies you get at level 1 AND you get per encounter spells at high level AND you can rely on companions for the most trivial battles.

 

The one thing that's very limited though is the spell like ability who gives you instant deflection, (2/rest), you have to use it as an emergency button.

Edited by Hynkel
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You have 4 spells per level and rest, so that's 4 encounters if you don't use 2 spells of the same level. My favorite thing was to summon the level 5 magical pike with barbarian AoE, and then Citzal martial power which is level 6 (if you played DnD, it's the Venser transformation knockoff). Totally wrecks havoc. Plus, you have the per encounter book energy thingies you get at level 1 AND you get per encounter spells at high level AND you can rely on companions for the most trivial battles.

 

The one thing that's very limited though is the spell like ability who gives you instant deflection, (2/rest), you have to use it as an emergency button.

Thanks for the info, sounds like a blast! :)

Are there any tips you can give me in regards to party composition?

 

I suppose our main character counts as a sort of secondary tank, right?

 

So, that would make me want to play with something like:

1. Melee Wizard / Tank (Main Char)

2. Main Tank

3. Cipher (Grieving Mother)

4. Priest (Durance)

5. ?

6. ?

 

Do I need more DPS? More CC? Maybe 1 more tank, too?

Also: From a roleplaying perspective, which companions did you find most rewarding to play with?

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Alright, I started a sweet Hearth Orlan Wizard who will become a 2nd/3rd line DPS Melee Wizard with a bit of tankyness (hopefully) through self-buffs..but mostly I want to focus on damage and leave the tanking to my (two?) tanks, probably Eder & Pallegina..

 

Anyways, can anyone give me advice on my attributes? I am not sure if this is a good distribution of points, given that I also want to be able to get some of the dialogue options due to high Int/ Perception  etc.

 

This is what I got, any comments/critique?

 

MIG: 16

CON: 7

DEX: 12

PER: 16

INT: 17

RES: 10

 

Is it possible to maybe go 1/2 less RES and put that into DEX? Or will that make me too squishy? How important are the RES dialogue options I would be missing out on?

 

Thanks! :)

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I wouldn't use resolve as a dump stat on a melee or reach weapon spellcaster with 7 constitution, since one interruption during your buffing can easily kill you.

Resolve dialogue options are usually fairly funny / badass but you wouldn't get to use them with 10 or so points in the stat anyway. You could go for a tankier mage with a shield if you wanted to make use of a somewhat high resolve but this is more of a solo gameplay since it's a bit slower than most characters.

 

 

I'd drop might to 13 and put those points in constitution but you can definitely make your stats work, especially with good old Edér backing you up.

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I wouldn't use resolve as a dump stat on a melee or reach weapon spellcaster with 7 constitution, since one interruption during your buffing can easily kill you.

Resolve dialogue options are usually fairly funny / badass but you wouldn't get to use them with 10 or so points in the stat anyway. You could go for a tankier mage with a shield if you wanted to make use of a somewhat high resolve but this is more of a solo gameplay since it's a bit slower than most characters.

 

 

I'd drop might to 13 and put those points in constitution but you can definitely make your stats work, especially with good old Edér backing you up.

Thanks for your advice, I ended up taking:

MIG 15

CON 10

DEX 10

PER 16

INT 17

RES 10

 

I have another question about something that's confusing me:

Most guides for Melee Wizards say that Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff & Citzal's Spirit Lance are the go-to enchanted weapons to use in the big/hard fights.

Then, also, most guides I saw recommend to skill "Weapon & Shield Style" for the very good deflection bonus..but when I equip the summoned weapon, won't I lose this bonus? The enchanted weapon is a two-handed, right?

 

I don't understand..why would I skill Weapon & Shield if I don't make use of it in half of the fights (whenever I used summoned weapons)

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I have another question about something that's confusing me:

Most guides for Melee Wizards say that Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff & Citzal's Spirit Lance are the go-to enchanted weapons to use in the big/hard fights.

Then, also, most guides I saw recommend to skill "Weapon & Shield Style" for the very good deflection bonus..but when I equip the summoned weapon, won't I lose this bonus? The enchanted weapon is a two-handed, right?

 

I don't understand..why would I skill Weapon & Shield if I don't make use of it in half of the fights (whenever I used summoned weapons)

 

 

If what you want is waiting for your main tanks to get engaged, and then attack from behind with reach/summoned weapon, then you can do without sword & shield style, just get ready to cast arcane veil every single time things go wrong and the main tanks get overruned.

 

If you want to do some actual tanking though, sword & shield style is one of the best defensive stat buff you can get. Parasitic staff and spirit lance are great damage dealers but they won't make you survive 3 vs 1 situations. A front row wizard needs to do some crowd control first, with fan of flames spam or stuff like confusion or sleep ; then he can summon a weapon once ennemies stop targeting him.

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I have another question about something that's confusing me:

Most guides for Melee Wizards say that Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff & Citzal's Spirit Lance are the go-to enchanted weapons to use in the big/hard fights.

Then, also, most guides I saw recommend to skill "Weapon & Shield Style" for the very good deflection bonus..but when I equip the summoned weapon, won't I lose this bonus? The enchanted weapon is a two-handed, right?

 

I don't understand..why would I skill Weapon & Shield if I don't make use of it in half of the fights (whenever I used summoned weapons)

 

 

If what you want is waiting for your main tanks to get engaged, and then attack from behind with reach/summoned weapon, then you can do without sword & shield style, just get ready to cast arcane veil every single time things go wrong and the main tanks get overruned.

 

If you want to do some actual tanking though, sword & shield style is one of the best defensive stat buff you can get. Parasitic staff and spirit lance are great damage dealers but they won't make you survive 3 vs 1 situations. A front row wizard needs to do some crowd control first, with fan of flames spam or stuff like confusion or sleep ; then he can summon a weapon once ennemies stop targeting him.

 

Thanks for your reply:

So, if I understand correctly, we only get the sword & shield style talent for protecting us while we're casting spells from the back. Once we summon the parasitic staff or spirit lance, the talent doesn't apply anymore?

Do we ever go to the frontline and hit/auto-attack enemies with NO summoned weapon (carrying sword & shield) or would that be a waste of time?

 

Bonus question: Wouldn't it be a good idea, then, to get the "Two-Handed Style" talent, so our summoned staff etc. deals more damage?

Edited by kbm
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@bonus question: Yes, if you plan to attack with summoned weapons a lot then definitely. All +x% dmg mods like Two Handed Style, Apprentice Sneak and also Savage Attack work well with the summoned weapons because those normally have high base damage. That base damage is the... well base on which all the +x% dmg mods are calculated. You should also think about Runner's Wounding Shot if you have talent points to spare. It adds a raw lash DoT effect that is very strong (stronger than the description suggests). Lash damage is not calculated with weapons' base damage, but on the overall physical damage you do, including crit bonus, bonuses from Two Handed Style, Savage Attack and so on. And it ignores DR completely. It's more powerful than for example Deathblows. But it's only 1/encounter. It can still be used to take down tough foes. You could also think about Envenomed Strike if your MIG and INT are high. Before the latest patch the poinson effect worked with the Spirit Lance's crush AoE. It was a powerful combo, but sadly they nerfed that recently.

 

You can try if the Girdle of the Driving Wave (Knockdown 1/encounter) still works with the Lance's AoE. It used to, causing prone in an AoE. I didn't test yet if it still does.

 

In my opinion, if you don't plan to always use weapon & shield but swing the staff or the lance then I would not take the Weapon & Shield Style. Wizards have some awesome defensive buffs. For example: Hardened Arcane Veil + Wizard's Double will give you +115 (!) deflection. And Wizard's Double will only end if you catch a hit (not a graze). I alsways recommend the Veil talents for melee wizards because it can be like a win button: spam deadly spells or attack with the lance while youre are nearly untouchable. Note that certain buffs like Circle of Defense and the heraldic auras from certain shields stack with that.

If you plan to use weapon & shield a lot then I would totally go for the style, too.

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I was in the exact same situation as you and recently started playing again on a new run. The game is really solid now. They clearly did a lot of great things in the patches. The cross-class talents is something you should consider if you want a hybrid. It is not proper multi-classing, you'll have to wait until PoE2 for that, but still really cool!

 

I play an orlan wizard with high sneak. I picked Apprentice's Sneak Attack at level one, allowing me to pretty much play like a rogue. This talent allows me to open with a really powerful ranged attack (always get a sneak attack when attacking from stealth), and getting behind guys mid-combat to stab them with a one handed weapon is really solid damage as well. Being sneaky is also really useful for getting into a good position when casting certain spells like Ray of Fire and Rolling Flame. I play with a 3 character party right now, rocking Eder as a tank and a custom made barbarian for damage. Might swap the barbarian out with something else later, but I'm really enjoying it so far.

 

That sounds REALLY cool, I might just try that out. Does the sneak attack thing apply to auto-attacks only or also to spell damage?

Also, since I, too, want to play as Orlan 100%, what do you prefer, Hearth or Wild Orlan?

 

Finally, would you mind giving some advice on stats & spells that are must-haves?

Some do's and don'ts?

I have 0% experience with wizards in this game except some microing of Aloth from time to time.. I remember "Slicken" was super good.. is this still the case?

 

I should say that I don't really min/max this playthrough. I'm going for a smaller party size (only using 2 companions so far), and play on normal. 

 

I'm Hearth Orlan. Stats/Spells – I don't really know, I pick the things that look cool. :D

 

Edit: I think Sneak Attack applies to auto-attacks only. Although there are certain Wizard spells that summon weapons and "balls" you throw, maybe these gets the bonus? 

Edited by Playgu
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Yes. Sneak attack works for every direct melee and ranged weapon attack. Summoned Weapons like Kalakoth's Minor Blights or Spirit Lance's initial hit will also work with it. The blast effect, the crush AoE effect of the lance and so on don't work with it. They also don't profit from Vulnerable Attack and such things.

 

Spells don't!

 

But for whatever reason, spells work with Deathblows, making the rogue the best choice for damaging scrolls.

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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@bonus question: Yes, if you plan to attack with summoned weapons a lot then definitely. All +x% dmg mods like Two Handed Style, Apprentice Sneak and also Savage Attack work well with the summoned weapons because those normally have high base damage. That base damage is the... well base on which all the +x% dmg mods are calculated. You should also think about Runner's Wounding Shot if you have talent points to spare. It adds a raw lash DoT effect that is very strong (stronger than the description suggests). Lash damage is not calculated with weapons' base damage, but on the overall physical damage you do, including crit bonus, bonuses from Two Handed Style, Savage Attack and so on. And it ignores DR completely. It's more powerful than for example Deathblows. But it's only 1/encounter. It can still be used to take down tough foes. You could also think about Envenomed Strike if your MIG and INT are high. Before the latest patch the poinson effect worked with the Spirit Lance's crush AoE. It was a powerful combo, but sadly they nerfed that recently.

 

You can try if the Girdle of the Driving Wave (Knockdown 1/encounter) still works with the Lance's AoE. It used to, causing prone in an AoE. I didn't test yet if it still does.

 

In my opinion, if you don't plan to always use weapon & shield but swing the staff or the lance then I would not take the Weapon & Shield Style. Wizards have some awesome defensive buffs. For example: Hardened Arcane Veil + Wizard's Double will give you +115 (!) deflection. And Wizard's Double will only end if you catch a hit (not a graze). I alsways recommend the Veil talents for melee wizards because it can be like a win button: spam deadly spells or attack with the lance while youre are nearly untouchable. Note that certain buffs like Circle of Defense and the heraldic auras from certain shields stack with that.

If you plan to use weapon & shield a lot then I would totally go for the style, too.

 

Thanks a lot for the very good advice!  :dancing:

I'm unsure about the exact type / style of Weapon I will end up with (as I have not finished the game, yet) so I don't want to pigeonhole myself into a specific Weapon setup apart from the summoned weapons which I will definitely use.

There is always the option to retrain a character, though, right?

For now, I'll run with Arcane Veil (which allowed my char to solo the bear cave at lvl 2 and seems super OP so far) and see where that leads me.

 

One more question: Do you ever hit enemies with "normal" (aka not-summoned) weapons as a Melee Wizard? Or do you mostly cast CC, self-buffs and so forth, then run in and hit people with the summoned staff/pike etc.?

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Yes, you can retrain at any inn and also at your stronghold. Costs a little bit of money. But watch out for your grimoires! Since you will lose all your spells and pick new ones at level up you can scribe all your known spells into your grimoires before retraining (unique spells you learn via quests don't vanish, you will keep them automatically). Then, when retraining, you can pick spells you didn't have learned before. After that you relearn your old spells from your grimoires. Cheesy! :) That way you can learn all the generic spells in the game.   

 

Do I ever hit enemies with normal, non-summned weapons? I do a lot when I use an implement (wand/rod/scepter) with blast - because the blast effect works with spell chances and on-crit effects: for example a rod that causes stun with every crit also stuns enemies when the blast crits. So you can have single target CC effects turn into AoE effects. Another nice implement is the soulbound sceptre which has a chance of dominating enemies on hit or crit (aka spell chance). This also works with the blast AoE.

 

When I'm playing a melee wizard then most of the time I will not use a non-summoned weapon. After some levels you have enough spells to always be able to summon your preferred weapon and in case of two-handers you even have three spell levels to pick from: lvl 1 for staff, lvl 5 for lance and lvl 7 for another staff. Usually I never run out of spell uses for those after the early game. But since those weapons have an universal weapon focus I can use any two handed weapon I like as "normal" weapon should there be the need to attack with it. I can then pick my weapon focus accordingly for that weapon. A pike (WF soldier) could be good or a great sword (also WF soldier) - or even a staff (WF peasant). Durance's staff is pretty neat for example -  because nobody else normally wants to use it as main weapon. But it's the only reach weapon with two damage types, making it a good choice for a two handed backup weapon.

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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