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Build recommendations for the story companions?

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@moderator: Not sure if this should go in the builds section or here, so, if needed, you can move it.


Hey, I'm newish to this type of game (at least the DnD style of character building), but certainly not new to RPGs in general. I also play Tyranny, but the build system is less complex there. I understand the various stats, so, it's not an issue of understanding them, but knowing how to build them well, and also difficulty deciding how best to build them or something.


So, my question is, what builds are recommended for the story companions (as opposed to the hireable build-from-scratch companions)? I'm trying to figure out how best to build (or at least re-spec) them as I've read that they aren't built very optimally, though Aloths stats are pretty good and would be fine with pretty much anything.


I'm currently playing on easy and I have the White March 1 and 2 DLC, running v3.05. My current character is a rogue.


Also, I've looked at the build compilation thread in the build section and found some that might work. I've also looked at this steam guide, however, I was told that that one is overrated, and I've noticed that it's out of date. Oh, and another thing, I've seen in that guide that the guns suck now, but I see a few gun based builds in the build compilation thread.


My thoughts on what I'd like to use, or fits best or something or would work best.


Hearth Orlan Rogue (my character): 'don juan rogue'. This is similar to the Caleb build in the steam guide that I linked.


Aloth: witted wizard (Fits his high int stats)


Durance: 'fire priest', well, he IS a priest of the fire goddess. Though I kind of want a dedicated healer/buffer rather than a damage dealer (potshots are okay though).


Eder: Can't decide on one.


Hiravias: Don't know what build to use.


Sagani: storm and plague caller maybe, not sure.


Kana: chillfog? I think he's more of a support/buff role? Not sure.


Grieving Mother: Controller type? Not sure how her class should be used or what build.


Pallegina: Don't know what build.


OR, should I stop worrying too much and just wing it?


editwhiletyping: Dang preview post keeps eating the links.

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Since you are playing on easy, it doesn't really matter that much, just take what seems interesting/cool.


That said, if you wanna have guides for your characters, you can't really go wrong with the ones here. Some of them state that they fit the story companions too.

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They might be burried deeper in the respective threads. But I remember that the Juggernaut Monk for example is possible to do with Zahua. Eder can probably be made with one or few of the Lady of Pain builds. Kana can be made as a Drake's Ambassador.

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I wouldn't worry too much about that on Easy. Get to know the game as it is. Easy is very forgiving, so take the opportunity to experiment and try things that sound interesting. The joinable NPCs are as much about the story and have (IMHO) enjoyable side quest and interactions with you and with each other. Use the builds as a guide, not  orthodoxy, to get to know the game's mechanics and consequences of choices.


That first playthrough is more about the joy of discovery, IMHO. You won't get that opportunity again. I don't get too bogged down with builds for the first game.



Edited by JFutral
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Got it. The rogue can do some amazing damage, but has been criticized for being "squishy" as they say. Abilities like Escape and Smoke Cloud come in real handy, both for escaping against heavy hitters and sneak attacks.


The PoE world doesn't offer the protective bonuses to high dexterity that D&D does. So don't be afraid to use more protective armor.


I love the rogue just for that reason, Easily my favorite class. You have to find that balance between defense and the offensive damage promised by the class.



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FWIW, I disagree with the Steam guide. You don't need to minmax, even on PotD unless you're soloing PotD. Then you should minmax and will probably need at least some cheese (which I enjoy in moderate amounts but some ppl hate). I think trying to minmax everyone takes the fun out of the game. But other ppl enjoy it. My advice is only worry about it if you enjoy the challenge of minmaxing more than playing the game.


I agree that it's easiest if you have at least two tanks or semi-tanks. Eder is a natural. Any of the next three (Aloth, Durance, Kana) can be decent semi-tanks if you pick tankish talents and abilities for them. You also need a damage dealer. More damage dealers are better. Decide if you want to mainly do melee, ranged, or mixed. A healer or two is nice, especially in the early game when potions are expensive. You won't need to rest as often, which is very convenient (and IMO more fun but that's me). A scout is great IMO but if you like to read wikis and already know what enemies are ahead (and how many, where, and what their attacks and defenses are), not that important. Crowd control is really good too. It's the most important thing for me but you can do without it. (And if you have really good crowd control, you can do without a tank. So back to you deciding what way is the most fun for you.)


I base my builds on my playstyle. E.g., sometimes I will want to sneak a lot and avoid combat (or at least delay it until I'm relatively OP'd). I'd recommend playing around for at least an hour or so using sneak builds and pulling foes to good combat locations just to get the hang of it and so you can see if you like that style or if you'd rather barge in full-force and engage most of your foes at once. Do a hard save before you mess with your characters so that you can go back to it after you've played around. I do like using a scout if I'm using a party so I will always have one member with high sneak. The scout can find out what's ahead so I can plan debuffs and attacks, finding good "battle" locations, and pulling enemies (preferably one or two at a time) to the main group. Try using crowd control vs tanks and buffs vs debuffs. You'll fail but you'll learn what each can and can't do. (And if you hate using buffs and debuffs, don't have Eder take a couple of levels of lore bc he won't be using scrolls.)


Do you rest a lot? If so, you don't need to be all that concerned about running out of per rest abilities and it will be easier to play Vancian casters. If you're resting every couple of fights, the casters will all be very strong and you can either build them to be tanks or else buff up their offense so that they are high damage dealers. Strongly consider putting points in survival; at least a few levels for everyone. If you don't rest often, you need to think about how the character will hold his/her own and help the party in other ways. Don't choose survival bc it's a waste since you'll very rarely be camping. You might put one or three points in it (for one or two levels) but even that is questionable (depending on how often you camp). Some of the casting talents are still good but you may opt instead for offensive or defensive talents (and, e.g., lore for scroll use) since you'll generally only be using their spells in big fights (until you get per encounter spells).


That brings up whether you want to build mainly to quickly dispatch trash mobs or to have an easier time in big fights. I always build for big fights but some ppl are more bothered by trash mobs because you run into so many. (If you build a sneak party, you will be concerned about big fights bc the main advantage is that you can avoid most trash mobs but you also miss out on their loot.)


IMO you need one character to do traps. Since you're a rogue, no need to build Durance for that (though he does a good job). Unlike the steam guide, I didn't think that Durance was particularly squishy but a lot depends on your playstyle, which is why it's hard to write a build guide for RPGs. Most should be called: "if you play the game like I do, here are some good builds." (NB: I appreciate ppl who post builds and recommendations. I often learn things and it gives me a window into how others play. I'm saying this bc I think far too many newbies take build recommendations - or guidelines like the one on Steam - as gospel when they should be seen as suggestions that are based in large part on the playstyle of the person making the recommendation, which experienced players realize and adjust for but inexperienced players don't.) Depending on what else you might take for Durance and the role you want him to play, you might still consider mechanics in order to boost his seal spells which were quite good the last time I played (except the ogre trash  mob in Stalwart).


IMO the main thing is to play around and find out if you prefer melee, ranged, or a combo. Do you like Vancian casters, non-casters, hybrids, or a mixture? Sneak or rush into battle? Carefully plan buffs and debuffs (and coordinate with other members of the party) or don't bother much until after the battle? Rest a lot or hardly ever? Cheese and how much/in which situations? Those all should affect your build and party composition but, more importantly, you should find out what's the most fun for you. 

Edited by oaktownbrown
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The only reason I was resting a lot early on was because the casters were low level and didn't have that many uses per rest (or spells). Now, at higher levels, pretty much the only times I rest is to recover from a bad fight (that I survived) or one character gets hurt badly, or I want to reset uses before a fight that I know will be tough.


Also, what's a Vancian caster?

Edited by smjjames
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In this case: A caster who uses the "x uses per rest" mechanic for their spells. In PoE those are druid, priest and wizard.


Google "Jack Vance" if you want more details about the term Vance-ian = Vancian and where it originates.

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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