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Hi all,

 

I've been exploring the different ways that Paladins can do damage and would like to hear your thoughts.

 

Sacred Immolation

 

It's always felt to me that trying to get decent damage out of a Paladin is like trying to fit a square peg in to a round hole.

 

We all know that at Level 13 Paladins get Sacred Immolation and that this is a great ability (20 – 30 base damage, fire elemental, AoE, 30 sec base duration). With moderate Might and Intellect (20/20) and Scion of Flame you can expect it to do average damage of 37.5 per tick before DR is taken in to account. With a 45 sec duration that's 16 ticks for approx 600 - 16DR damage vs all enemies within the radius (440 vs 10DR, 360 vs 15 DR, 280 vs 20 DR, 200 vs 25 DR).

 

Trouble is, that seems to more or less be the height of the Paladin's damage dealing capabilities.

 

(Can this be extended by Spelltongue? ...)

 

Flames of Devotion

 

People talk about this ability like it's amazing but I honestly just don't see it. Assuming you don't want to spend your Sky Dragon eyes on an Arquebus let's take a crit with a Superb Arbalest, Scion of Flame, Apprentice Sneak, Doemenel Talent, Durgan Steel, +.1 crit talent, Sworn Enemy, a Flame Lash and Intense Flames with 20 Might vs 16 DR:

 

22 – 32 * (1 + .3 (Might) +.45 (Superb) + .15 (Apprentice Sneak) + .2 (Sworn Enemy) =

46 – 67 + 22 – 32 * 0.4 =

55 – 80, avg = 68 - 16 = 52

60% Fire Lash vs .25 DR = 68*0.6 - 4 = 37

30% Fire Lash vs .25 DR = 68*0.3 - 4 = 16.5

30% Fire Lash vs .25 DR = 68*0.3 - 4 = 16.5

= approx 122 damage

 

This really doesn't seem like anything worth writing home about considering a Fighter with the Blade of the Endless Paths/Sanguine Plate under a speed set-up can hit for 50–65 damage a pop, nevermind abilities like Charge.

 

I really only see Flames of Devotion as good in the context of activating certain abilities (e.g. Shieldbearer Talent).

 

Auto-Attack

 

Other than Flames of Devotion and Sworn Enemy, Paladin has 0 class unique abilities that improve his attacks. For comparison sake:

 

– Fighter: Confident Aim, Armoured Grace, Weapon Specialisation, Weapon Mastery, Nice on use abilities (incl. Charge)

– Cipher: +40% Base damage bonus with one talent invested
– Monk: Torments Reach, Turning Wheel, Swift/Lightning Strikes etc …
– Barb: Carnage, Heart of Fury etc ..
– Druid: Spiritshift
– Rogue: Sneak Attack, Death Blows, other +damage abilities
– Chanter: Closest to Paladin but Their Champion Braved the Horde (+40% Speed) puts it over the edge
 
Of course, you can do some fast attack set-ups with the Paladin that use Sanguine Plate Frenzy and Outlanders Frenzy (with Durgan Steel):
 
2H: Blade of the Endless Paths + Gauntlets of Swift Action + Durgan Steel + Sanguine Plate Frenzy = 1.11 - .35 - .5 = Approx 50% Recovery
DW: 1H Speed Weapon + Durgan Steel + Gauntlets + Sanguine Frenzy = 1.31 -.35 -.2 =  100% Recovery Reduction with Vulnerable Attack
1H Speed Weapon + Shield + Outlanders Frenzy: 1.15*1.15*1.2*1.15*1.25 - 1 = 1.25 -.35 -.5 = Approx 80% Recovery reduced
 
But without any physical damage increasing abilities innate to the class is it even worth it to do this when you could dump Dex and get more out of Sacred Immolation by investing in MIG/INT/PER? Pretty much any other character in your party can get better usage out of Sanguine Plate and your Durgan Steel.
 
Retaliation?
 
I did some experiments on a build recently with Retaliation, inspired by the Flames of Darcozzi Palace. Even with Sura's Supper Plate + Flames + Coat of Ill Payment + Wreathing Flame it was pretty awful vs anyone with DR greater than 10 or so.
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If you want to deal damage you have to go the alpha-strike way. FoD with Sworn Enemy, Intense Flames, a burning lash on the weapon and Scion of Flame leads to top alpha strike damage (more than doubles your initial dmg roll). You can add Runner's Wounding Shot for the same setup in order to get a third powerful attack. You could add Envenomed Strike if you have high MIG and INT for the really tough boys... and that's it then. Auto attacks will never be the domain of the paladin, but his alpha strikes can be very effective. Taking out one or two dangerous guys right at the beginning of combat can be very nice.

 

If you want to go the retaliation way you have to take Vulnerable Attack and Ryona's Vambraces and maybe also drop Devil of Caroc into the Blood Pool in order to bypass as much DR as possible (9 in this case). If you take a Fire Godlike it can be worth it because Fires of Darcozzi Palace, Flame Shield and Battle Forged should stack with double retaliation from shield + armor or helmet. You should use a Ring of Searing Flames, because combining Combusting Wounds with a lot of hits is a good way to use all those weak but plentiful hits. Wreathing FLame does not stack with Flame Shield by the way and is superweak.

 

Edit: and then there's Sacred Immolation of course. Spelltongue does not prolong Sacred Immolation. I guess it's because it's implemented differently than buffs. It's a bit like a Foe-only-Chillfog you carry around with you and that also wouldn't profit from Spelltongue.

 

You forgot that crits with Sacred Immolation are powerful because the 20-30 is base damage. If you also get Merciless Hand + other crit damage mods you will deal a lot of damage when you crit. THings like Zealous Focus can help to crit more often - same as Distant Advantage (wood elves) because SA's radius is so big with enough INT that enemies at the edge of SA will get hit with bonus ACC (which stacks with everything) - or Fighting Spirit (humans).

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Paladin Stuff

 

 

Interesting ... how about something like this?

 

Island Aumaua – Darcozzi Paladin

 

Flames of Devotion

Zealous Charge
Coordinated Attacks
Sworn Enemy
Reviving Exhortation
Liberating Exhortation
Sacred Immolation
Inspiring Triumph
 
Inspiring Liberation
Intense Flames
Veterans Recovery
Envenomed Strike
Weapon Focus
Penetrating Shot
Scion of Flame
Prestidigitators Missiles
 
Weapon Set 1: Shame or Glory/Shame or Glory
Weapon Set 2: High Damage Ranged Weapon
Weapon Set 3: High Damage Ranged Weapon
Helm: Munica Arret (3x Charm)
Armour: Ryonas Breastplate
Ring 1: Ring of Deflection
Boots: Boots of Speed
Amulet: Cloak of Minor Missiles (3x Missiles)
Bracer: Ryona’s Vambraces
Ring 2: Ring of Searing Flames (3x Combusting Wounds)
Belt: Weapon Switch Time Reduction Belt
 
This way you would have:
 
Passive
 
– +30 accuracy bonus to all allies attacking same target as you
– Huge Speed to get this bonus around
 
Per Encounter
 
– 1x Sacred Immolation
– 2x Flames of Devotion
– 1x Prestidigitators Missiles
– 1x Sworn Enemy
– 1x Liberating Exhortation (with +10 accuracy bonus)
– 1x Triumph of the Crusaders
 
Per Rest
 
– 3x Envenomed Strike 
– 3x Combusting Wounds
– 3x Minoletta’s Minor Missiles
– 3x Charm
 
Consumable
 
– Missile Spells
 
I assume the missile spells trigger combusting wounds on each proc?
Edited by Livegood118
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Yes, they do. Especially Missile Barrage is powerful in that regard - Concussive Missiles, too because they work in an AoE like Combusting Wounds does. If you want to utilize Combusting Wounds more you can use blunderbusses (6 hits at once) with high DR bypass. But those are really bad against high DR foes with Flames of Devotions (lashes don't use your DR bypass at all).

 

Missiles of any kind are also better with DR bypass of course.

 

For the marking/Coordinated Attacks part: you could also use dual Cladhaliath which then can have the Coordinating enchantment as well which will give you +4 ACC and more damage (+25%). Shame or Glory would be nice in combo with Fire Godlike (both would trigger their benefits at 50% endurance). Of course dual spears do look a bit weird.

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Yes, they do. Especially Missile Barrage is powerful in that regard - Concussive Missiles, too because they work in an AoE like Combusting Wounds does. If you want to utilize Combusting Wounds more you can use blunderbusses (6 hits at once) with high DR bypass. But those are really bad against high DR foes with Flames of Devotions (lashes don't use your DR bypass at all).

 

Missiles of any kind are also better with DR bypass of course.

 

For the marking/Coordinated Attacks part: you could also use dual Cladhaliath which then can have the Coordinating enchantment as well which will give you +4 ACC and more damage (+25%). Shame or Glory would be nice in combo with Fire Godlike (both would trigger their benefits at 50% endurance). Of course dual spears do look a bit weird.

 

 

Yeah, dual spears just look really goofy.

 

I did some experiments with burst damage and actually found it surprisingly useful.

 

– Prestidigitators missiles did around 70-90 a pop depending on DR, Minoletta's about the same

– Flames of Devotion on a low to mid DR target with the Silver Flash absolute annihilated it (like 200 damage) when the Divine Mark procced and critted too.

– Scrolls of Minoletta's Bounding Missiles and Missile Barrage also did loads of damage.

 

Would probably get way more damage in with the Doemenel Talent, Durgan and the other crit talent too.

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Ran a few numbers on which weapons are best for Alpha Strikes:

 

Assumptions:
– 30% damage from Might
– No Sky Dragon/Kraken Eyes Used (Max Upgrade = Exceptional)
– Lashes = 60% (Flames), 30% (Intense Flames), 30% (Weapon Lash)
– Doemenel Talent + Other Crit talent + Durgan Annihilation (+0.7 Crit Modifier)
– Penetrating Shot + Ryonas
 
Base Damage
 
Pistol 22 – 30
Arbalest 22 – 32
Blunderbuss 6 – 9 * 6
Arquebus 24 – 36
 
Dulcanale (Exceptional)
22 – 30 * (1 + 1.3 + 1.3) = 35 – 48, avg = 41.5
Dulcanale Crit Mod: 0.2 + 0.5 + 0.3 + 0.3 + 0.1 = 1.4
Dulcanale Crit Bonus = 22 * 1.4 – 30 * 1.4 = 31 – 42, avg = 36
Dulcanale avg unmodified crit damage (before lashes) = 41.5 + 36 = 78
DR Penetra
78 * 0.6 - DR 
2(78 * 0.3 - DR)
= 172 vs 0 DR 
8 DR = 172 - 8 - 0.75*8 + 8 = 166
16 DR = 172 - 16 - 0.75*16 + 16 = 160
24 DR = 172 - 24 - 0.75*24 + 17 = 149
32 DR = 133
40 DR = 119
 
Fellstroke (Exceptional)
22 – 30 * (1+ .3 + .3 + .25) = 41 – 56, avg = 48.5
Crit Mod = 0.9 
Crit Bonus = 22 * 0.9, 30* 0.9 = 20 – 27, avg = 23.5
= 72 average with 14 DR Penetration
72 * 0.6 = 43
72 * 0.3 = 22
72 * 0.3 = 22
= 159 vs 0 DR
8 DR = 159 - 8 - 6 + 8 = 153
16 DR = 159 - 16 - 12 + 14 = 145
24 DR = 131
32 DR = 117
 
Aedren’s Wrecker (Superb)
22 – 32 *1.75 = 38.5 – 56
Crit = 0.2 + 0.3 + 0.3 + 0.1 = 
0.9 * 22  = 20
0.9 * 32 = 29 
AVG = 25 + 47 = 72 (8 DR Penetration)
Same numbers as Fellstroke but with less penetration, note no accuracy malus
 
Pliambo
24 – 36 * (1 + .3 + .3) = 37 – 58,
Crit = 0.2 + 0.3 + 0.3 + 0.1 = 0.9 = 22 – 32
55 – 90, avg = 72 (14 DR Penetration)
= 159 vs 0 DR
Exact Same numbers as Fellstroke, has disorienting + marking
 
Silver Flash 
 
6 – 9 * 1.6 = 10 – 14.4, AVG = 12 
Crit Bonus = 6 * 0.9, 5.4 – 9 * 0.9 = 8.1, AVG = 7
DR Penetration = 12
19 * 6 = 114 
19 * 0.6 = 11.5 vs .25 DR * 6 = 69
19 * 0.3 = 6 vs .25 DR * 6 = 36
19 * 0.3 = 6 vs .25 DR * 6 = 36
= 255 Damage vs 0 DR 
vs DR 4 = 255 - 24 - 18 + 24 = 236
vs DR 12 = 255 -  72 - 54 + 72 = 201
vs DR 16 = 255 - 96 - 72 + 72 = 159
vs DR 20 = 255 - 120 - 90 + 72 = 117
vs DR 24 = 255 - 144 - 108 + 72 = 75
 
Divine Mark = 40 – 50 * (1+.3 + .2) = 60 – 75
DM Crit Bonus = 0.5 + 0.3 + 0.1 = 0.9, = 36 – 45 = 40.5 AVG
DM adds approx 108 Damage on Crit vs 0 DR
 
Conclusions
 
– Seems like Silver Flash is ridiculously good even without the Divine Mark proc in the low to mid DR range. I'm assuming it has 6/10 chance to land per blast because of the six pellets? Even at Mid DR Range Divine Mark Proc can push it over others.
– In terms of pure damage on something that's already going to crit Dulcanale > Pliambo = Fellstroke > Aedren's Wrecker. Silver Flash will beat out anything approx 15 to 20 DR and lower (assuming you get a Divine Mark proc). 
– If you've got three open slots it probably makes sense to be a Ruffian (Dulcanale, Fellstroke, Silver Flash/Lead Splitter)
– With higher % damage modifier e.g. from flanking bonus and from apprentice sneak, Pliambo will edge out Dulcanale because of Arquebus's higher base damage
Edited by Livegood118
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Silver Flash has 47% to proc if all pellets hit/crit and then the proc should not be resisted either... Also DR penetration doesn't work with lashes which means Intense Flames & weapon lash will be basically useless against 12+DR in the case of a blunderbuss.

 

Another option is to have multiple exceptional arquebuses with slayer enchantement and switch them depending on the creature type.

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Yes, as I said in my first post: blunderbuss + lashes against high DR is bad because lashes don't use DR bypass. Against low DR it's obviously one of the best alpha strikers.

 

I think blunderbusses are better suited for rogues, ciphers, fighters and also wizards. Because those don't use big lashes but can stack high dmg bonuses and/or have an ability to lower DR on the enemy (additionally to stacking DR bypass).

 

If you intend to use your paladin on squishy targets mostly then a blunderbuss is great. You can use a pistol to hurt the high DR targets better.

 

Another alternative is Firebrand. With Two Handed Style, Savage Attack, Zealous Focus, Sworn Enemy and all that fire related stuff you can deliver devastating FoD-crits without having more than two weapon slots for more than one gun. Of course it's only 3/rest...

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Silver Flash has 47% to proc if all pellets hit/crit and then the proc should not be resisted either... Also DR penetration doesn't work with lashes which means Intense Flames & weapon lash will be basically useless against 12+DR in the case of a blunderbuss.

 

 

This isn't necessarily always the case. As you can see from the equations above (which aren't completely accurate I'll warrant but close enough) on a Crit with the crit talents and a +60% damage bonus you should be able to get an average damage roll of 19 per pellet before lashes. This means Flames of Devotion, Intense Flames and the Weapon Lash will do 11.4, 5.7 and 5.7 damage respectively before DR is taken in to account. So against DR 16 the portion of the damage from lashes would be 7.4, 1.7 + 1.7 = 11 * 6 = 66 fire damage + your ordinary damage (which is affected by DR penetration). Throw in the Divine Mark proc (which I'll admit is the saving grace here vs other alpha strike weapons)  and you could be talking 200 damage vs 16 DR. 

 

 

Another option is to have multiple exceptional arquebuses with slayer enchantement and switch them depending on the creature type.

 

This is an insanely good idea – I never would have thought of it. 

 

Another alternative is Firebrand. With Two Handed Style, Savage Attack, Zealous Focus, Sworn Enemy and all that fire related stuff you can deliver devastating FoD-crits without having more than two weapon slots for more than one gun. Of course it's only 3/rest...

 

 

This is another nice option. A shame Ryonas Vambraces – the only DR reduction wearable in the game – occupy the same slot so going for one or the other would affect your missiles skills.

Edited by Livegood118
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@OP

 

People could sit here all day and tell you about ways to get damage out of a paladin.

 

But at the end of the day they are still in the bottom of the list of damage dealers. They tank and they buff..........period

 

Best way I would suggest is to use firebrand early to mid game but then you won't be able to use a shield and will lose your tanking effectiveness. You will be better of with shield.

Edited by firkraag888
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Well from lvl 13 on a paladin can be a DPS monster due to Sacred Immolation. Before that it's all about damage per hit, not per second (dps). Good alpha strikes can turn difficult encounters into easy ones, that's why they are so effective - and paladins can do that job very well. But when looking a sustained DPS they just lack special abilities or skills besides Sacred Immolation. But since you can develop very impressive alpha strike capabilities without gimping the support abilities too much a paladin can be a great alpha/support hybrid character.

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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@OP

 

People could sit here all day and tell you about ways to get damage out of a paladin.

 

But at the end of the day they are still in the bottom of the list of damage dealers. They tank and they buff..........period

 

Best way I would suggest is to use firebrand early to mid game but then you won't be able to use a shield and will lose your tanking effectiveness. You will be better of with shield.

 

Not necessarily. I found in my last playthrough (which was a dual marking weapons + coordinating strikes moon godlike) that the Paladin was actually quite tanky, and could apply a passive +30 accuracy buff while doing reasonable damage with the two swords. People have said on the boards that marking only applies to one ally but I did some testing in Cragholdt and found that it can apply to two or more characters hitting the same enemy. 

 

Also the Alpha Strike thing Boeroer was talking about is no joke i.e. on Crits with the Silver Flash weapon I was regularly getting hits of 200–250 damage. A lot of times towards the end of the game I'd wait until I could get a Petrify down then boom – 300 to 350 damage. I think I hit the Kraken at the end of WM2 for 400-450 damage including the Divine Mark Proc.

 

I might post my build here but I'm a bit nervous about it getting torn to bits :p. It was based on stacking as much speed as possible to grant the marking bonus where it was necessary.

 

 

Well from lvl 13 on a paladin can be a DPS monster due to Sacred Immolation. Before that it's all about damage per hit, not per second (dps). Good alpha strikes can turn difficult encounters into easy ones, that's why they are so effective - and paladins can do that job very well. But when looking a sustained DPS they just lack special abilities or skills besides Sacred Immolation. But since you can develop very impressive alpha strike capabilities without gimping the support abilities too much a paladin can be a great alpha/support hybrid character.

 

 

I think I read somewhere earlier in development that Flames of Devotion was apparently supposed to flat-out kill an enemy and they had to take it out because it was overpowered.

 

Also, yeah, sacred immolation rocks. It's kinda comparable to having a mini Storm of Holy Fire per encounter that heals your allies as well.

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Int the beta they had FoD shots with over 1000 damage with arquebuses. :)

 

 

I feel an approach like this to Flames of Devotion would have been much preferred, but there should have been restrictions on who it could be cast on and it should've been once per encounter/rest or something. It probably still woulda been OP though.

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