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Help with optimal frontline late game itemization/build


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#1
Aerinqq

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Hi everyone,

after reading countless of topics on this forum/reddit/steam I am still unsure what would be the best itemization for my frontline. I know its not necessary to have everything "optimal" to beat the game, however I love min-maxing so I would like to know from the experience members what they think is optimal.

 

I am using pretty much a balanced party: lvl 9 party, just about to do WM1. My main is a tanky DPS paladin with 2-hander (currently using Tidefall and Sanguine plate), then I have 1handed weapon+shield tank (using Argwes Adra + Oidhrecht, somehow trying to spec him for damage) and pure DPS barbarian (dual saber, shod-in-faith, Blaidh Golan). For my backline I have DPS/CC wizard, buffer/debuffer/dps priest and dps blunderbuss cipher).

 

My main concern is not the backline, but the frontline. I would like to keep 1 char as dual wielder (barbarian as it is should be best for it I assume?), then 1 char should be using 2-hander and 1handed weapon and shield. Some questions:

 

1) I am unsure if I should use the 2-hander with paladin and 1handed weapon+Shield with fighter or if it would be better the other way around. What would be the best talents/abilities and attributes for such builds? (currently I have those attributes: 2H paladin 18/10/12/10/15/10, 1handed weapon+shield fighter 18/10/10/9/17/12 and dual wield barbarian has 16/14/9/15/16/5).

 

2) Is it possible to do a solid damage with 1handed weapon+shield? If so, how? What would be the ideal setup?

 

3) Who would be the best to put the Sanguine plate on from my frontliners?

 

4) What would be the best weapons to dual wield for my barbarian? Should I stick with resolution+purgatory/bittercut, or are there some better combinations?

 

5) Who should use the Unlaboured blade? Would it be best to dual wield it with some other weapon with my barbarian or just use it with the shield char?

 

Much appreciated

 

 



#2
Livegood118

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Trying to irk good physical/auto-attack damage out of a Paladin is a losing game imo (other than alpha strikes from FoD). They don't really have many abilities that improve their physical combat capabilities. Sacred Immolation is going to absolutely dwarf anything else that your char can put out (eventually).

 

Conversely, Fighters are wonderful auto-attack damage dealers – hit like a truck and don't go down easily.

 

Dual wielding sounds about right on your barb.

 

Personally – and others will probably disagree – I would alter your front line as follows:

 

1. Paladin, Weapon and Shield with marking weapon and outworn buckler/little saviour, Munaca Arret/Spirit Spiral (see Boroer's Counselor Ploi build in the thread pinned at the top of the forums), or dual marking weapons. Eventually use sacred immolation.

2. Fighter, 2H (Tidefall/Blade of the Endless Paths), armoured grace, Weapon Mastery/Specialisation etc ... Good char for Sanguine Plate imo

3. Barbarian (set-up seems fine)

 

A 1H + Shield character can in principle do just as much damage as a dual wielder. To do so you'll need durgan steel on both the weapon and shield and a speed enchant on the weapon, as well as the gloves of swift action and likely a class ability to increase your speed (Frenzy, Swift Strikes etc ...). You can experiment on the PoE speed calculator: https://naijaro.gith...eed-calculator/

 

The unlaboured blade was nerfed to hell in the final patch of the game (3% firebug proc rate). Don't bother with it.

 

Edit.

 

As for stats: high might/intellect on all front liners, more Dex on the Fighter and the Barb, decent per/con/res for all and you're sorted (Maybe push Per a bit higher on your Paladin and lower dex even further). Get veterans recovery on the Paladin and Barb.


Edited by Livegood118, 19 May 2017 - 12:49 AM.

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#3
Raven Darkholme

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I would keep your current setup for pala and fighter till level 13 and Sacred Immolation, then switch it around to shield for pala try to maximise your defenses and once your cipher get's mindweb you put on an item with + 50 to defenses while prone and prone your pala with your priest after he used SI, then the cipher can cast mindweb and all your party will have the palas defense +50 and while SI still does damage while the pala is prone your 1h weapon doesn't matter too much since he is not attacking.

 

Best 1h weapon to use with a shield is Drawn in spring cuz the wounding isn't affected by DR of the enemies.

 

Sanguine is probably best on fighter.

 

Best dual wield combo for barb is Godansthunyr main and We Toki off-hand for stuns and prones in AoE.

 

Unlabored Blade is not that good, use it in the 2nd weapon slot for whatever char for the per rest abilities I guess?


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#4
Belfaldurnik

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1) I am unsure if I should use the 2-hander with paladin and 1handed weapon+Shield with fighter or if it would be better the other way around. What would be the best talents/abilities and attributes for such builds? (currently I have those attributes: 2H paladin 18/10/12/10/15/10, 1handed weapon+shield fighter 18/10/10/9/17/12 and dual wield barbarian has 16/14/9/15/16/5).

 

Your base attributes are far from "optimal" yet for my taste, and you haven't told which difficulty level you play at. That would have been interesting. You only mention you "are unsure", and indeed the attributes and weapon choices are puzzling. Though, different people play the game differently.

 

Let's start with the Barbarian, which you refer to as "pure dps". You've sacrificed RES by -5 to reduce the low base Deflection down to 10. You could have reduced RES to 3, because the two remaining points don't change the world anymore. What is your personal experience with that Barb so far? Have you had to keep him out of trouble? I think so, and the same will happen in the White March. Unless you're playing the easier difficulty modes. For Path of the Damned and a true frontline Barb, you would need to shift the attributes a lot. You've increased CON quite a bit, increasing the very high base Health/Endurance even further to compensate something. What is it? DEX is far too low on all your warriors for my playing style. With increased PER and one single-handed weapon you would benefit from heavily increased melee Accuracy and could aim at doing crits more often, then use a weapon that triggers effects on crits, such as the We Toki battle axe. Even more so, if receiving support. Barbarian's Carnage attacks get more accurate than normal Accuracy eventually.

 

Next the Paladin. I don't agree with giving a two-hander user MIG 18 instead of increased PER for an Accuracy bonus. Paladin may use Sworn Enemy on key enemies, okay, but you face an Accuracy penalty if wielding two-handers and another -5 compared with a Fighter. Fighters with increased DEX/PER clearly are the better two-hander users in the game. They become so interesting, one can even build them as dual Soldier/Adventurer to exchange Great Swords/Estocs as necessary. Such a 2H specialist is especially good with the St.Ydwen's Redeemer as a Vessel killer - as an alternative to a Priest of Berath with The Pallid Hand talent and very high Accuracy with Great Swords/Maces.

 

Last, your Fighter seems to match the cowardish approach of hiding behind a shield, adding even +2 to RES and trying to survive instead of disabling attackers quickly. You haven't told enough about how you play that fighter. At least you haven't invested into raising CON. High INT can be worthwhile with reliable hits and long knockdowns, but reduced PER and a shield are detrimental then. Kinda strange to raise MIG so much instead of making the fighter hit well and faster. I think you're wasting potential.


Edited by Belfaldurnik, 19 May 2017 - 01:43 AM.

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#5
Livegood118

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On the subject of perception, something to keep in mind is that for autoattacking characters excess accuracy does tend to lead to diminishing returns vs investments in other attributes later in the game (I'd say around level 9-10 onwards) unless you're using weapons and abilities specifically designed to take advantage of Crits e.g. Annihilating weps, the Doemenel and other crit damage talents, status affliction on hit weps or interrupters.

For example, a crit on a 2 handed weapon without any of the above features/talents will only add an extra 7-10 damage plus whatever else you get out of lashes, then 5.5 - 8 for a single handed weapon.

Extra accuracy on autoattacking chars is most useful when it's bringing you out of the Miss/graze range in to the hit range, rather than from hit to Crit range.

There are many different ways of increase accuracy in Pillars and lowering your opponents deflection.

For fighters in particular, I feel like you can get away with 10 Per pretty easily considering your already high base accuracy and the various means of boosting it. Same with Monks that use weapons (per is more important on fist monks because fist accuracy doesn't translate to the monks' various abilities). Barbarians arguably benefit quite well from higher per, depending on the kind of set up you're using. Rogues have enough hit to crit and base accuracy already that shoring up your defences is probably the better option.

It's a different story for characters that use spells, as Crits are much much more valuable there.

Edited by Livegood118, 19 May 2017 - 02:46 AM.

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#6
Aerinqq

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Thanks everyone for the answers:

 

Just for the clarification, I am playing on 3.0 patch, so the latest nerfs to Unlaboured blade doesnt apply to me.

 

Also, the main reason I gave the Sanguine plate to paladin is that fighters have naturally much higher deflection and I thought its going to be difficult to get the frenzy to activate. Maybe solution to this would be, as Livegood1118 said, give it to fighter but massively lower his RES attribute and put it to dex/per?

 

Belfaldurnik:

Ill try to describe it more precisely:

I am playing on Hard, but past the lvl 7-8 the fights are getting ridiculously easy. I killed the dragon in Searing Falls on lvl 8 while he did  basically 0 damage to any of my party members, At this point I am considering changing the difficulty through console to PoTD.

 

Your point about the res is absolutely valid, Ill definitely change that. I am using Blaid Gholan, dual saber and shod in faith, if he takes any damage he heals it super fast, in case of emergency my pala heals him LoH/or just use savage defiance/second wind. He doesnt go down at all at this point, even with such low deflection. He deals by far the most damage from my party and has the most kills (2nd best damage dealer has 1/2 damage dealt compare to him).

 

The Paladin deals nice damage with FoD, but other than that nothing special, he just attacks too slow. If I made him a 1handed+shield, what attribute distribution would you suggest? Should I use Outlanders frenzy with him/or the respecced 2h fighter?

 

And the Fighter deals even less damage despite picking pretty much only offensive talents, although I am mainly using him to just knock foes down (with his high INT, it last quite long). But I would like him to deal more damage, so as ppl suggested, I guess it would be better to respec him to 2-handers, increase dex and per and lower RES to minimum, so the Sanguine plate that I give him will actually proc?


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#7
Raven Darkholme

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Nah, maxing Perception is good on almost any char.

Keep in mind that the base accuracy of a character is different from class to class, Fighter, Monk, Ranger, Rogue have 30 and since Monk, Ranger Rogue live from affliction durations they neeed crits.

Fighter is probably the only class in game that gets away with less PE, but it's only because the fighters offense is quite underwhelming to begin with which brings us to the point that a fighter probably would do best with on crit effect weapons which makes maxed perception valuable again.

All classes that don't have 30 starting acc need at least 15 Per again, but then again many of those need crits to be viable so you might as well max it :p


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#8
Aerinqq

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Nah, maxing Perception is good on almost any char.

Keep in mind that the base accuracy of a character is different from class to class, Fighter, Monk, Ranger, Rogue have 30 and since Monk, Ranger Rogue live from affliction durations they neeed crits.

Fighter is probably the only class in game that gets away with less PE, but it's only because the fighters offense is quite underwhelming to begin with which brings us to the point that a fighter probably would do best with on crit effect weapons which makes maxed perception valuable again.

All classes that don't have 30 starting acc need at least 15 Per again, but then again many of those need crits to be viable so you might as well max it :p

So I need high might, int, per and dex:) now the question is, how much can I lower the con and rest, so I wont get completely stomped xD


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#9
Boeroer

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DEX 3 and RES 3 on the Barb is absolutely OK once you hit lvl 11 and pick Heart of Fury. DEX does nothing for Heart of Fury and this will be your main damage skill. If you combine it with Blood Thirst and Bloodlust, you will have a 0-recovery-attack after HoF and +20% speed because of Bloodlust (stacks with Frenzy). I like to do HoF + Barbaric Blow + autoattacks.
Dual sabres is a good pick for Heart of Fury. My favorite is Bittercut + Spirit of Decay and a corrosive lash. Also take Vulnerable Attack and everything that raises damage per hit (not necessarily DPS). And absolutely give him a Ring of Searing Flames if you don't have a wizard who can cast Combusting Wounds on the enemies who will get hit by Heart of Fury. You want max MIG + PER + INT, rest CON. Shod-in-Faith is good. Check out Cape of the Master Mystic on the barb. Positioning for Heart of Fury is supernice while invisible.
At higher levels the barb's endurance is so high that you don't have to babysit him. I recommend Veteran's Recovery, too. It's great with max MIG and INT.
Check out Binding Rope on the barb: enemies who struck him get stuck which will raise the chance of doing crits with Heart of Fury and Barbaric Blow. If you use annihilating sabres with Barbaric Blow and land some crits, the damage will be awesome (+150% crit damage).
Blaidh Golan is nice.

A good combo for paladin + fighter is:

Paladin with Coordinated Attacks + marking weapon (Shame or Glory/Cladhaliath) + Outworn Buckler or Little Saviour. Fighter with Disciplined Barrage and Hours of St. Rumbalt or Tidefall. A dual wielding fighter is also nice because of Knockdown being a Full Attack and because Charge is better with dual weapons. But a two hander is also good.

It doesn't matter that such a paladin doesn't do much auto-damage. He will raise the fighter's accuracy by +30 just by attacking+flanking the same target as the fighter. The fighter will then attack with +50 accuracy - he will even knock down dragons reliably if he needs to. If the fighter has low INT take Tidefall (and Runner's Wounding Shot, too), if he has high INT then Rumbalt.

If you give the paladin Munacra Arret and Sworn Enemy, he can crit-charm a lot of enemies (including dragons) which makes some fights supereasy (Ploi build for details).

Sanguine Plate might be better on the fighter.

I really like arquebus + burning lash Flames of Devotion + Intense Flames + Scion of Flame. It lets you one- or two-shot most annoying casters before switching to weapon + shield.

They make a good front line tandem together.

Edited by Boeroer, 19 May 2017 - 04:39 AM.

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#10
Belfaldurnik

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I am playing on Hard, but past the lvl 7-8 the fights are getting ridiculously easy. I killed the dragon in Searing Falls on lvl 8 while he did  basically 0 damage to any of my party members, At this point I am considering changing the difficulty through console to PoTD.

 

The Paladin deals nice damage with FoD, but other than that nothing special, he just attacks too slow. If I made him a 1handed+shield, what attribute distribution would you suggest? Should I use Outlanders frenzy with him/or the respecced 2h fighter?

 

Cail The Silent is not much of a dragon, though. http://pillarsofeter...edia.com/Dragon

 

About the Paladin, you start with -10 Deflection compared with a Fighter and base RES 10. That's a lot if you jump into the fray instead of hiding between more specialized warriors. However, if you use a shield, you lose the Accuracy advantage of wielding one single-handed weapon. -12 Accuracy is a lot. Another -5 compared with a PER 10 Fighter. Together with slow action speed due to DEX 10, well, performance won't be pretty. Anyone can use a shield, such as against dangerous foes. Increased RES and Superior Deflection is the way to go with frontline Paladins. Cautious Attack is class-neutral and highly interesting, because you can toggle the extra +8 Deflection when necessary. Plus, if you stay close to your companions, your aura is large enough to not need increased INT. The base 4.0m range covers the Paladin and at least three companions standing next to eachother. And that is without any INT bonus from items.

 

About Monks. OMG, quick Monks with Interrupting Blows are a real threat to almost every enemy. They don't need increased PER if attacking with fists and investing into unarmed dual-wielding bonuses. A bit support from a Priest and or potions. It's awesome.



#11
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You forget that the ACC bonus of fists doesn't work with any special attack (Torment's Reach, Force of Anguish and so on - maybe a bug, but it's like that). So I'd say a monk with fists totally needs high PER. Not for auto-attacks though. It's the biggest drawback of monk's fists besides that you can't enchant them with lashes and durgan steel.

A paladin might start with lower deflection than a fighter, but paladins gain defenses with every level of Faith and Conviction. Add Lay on Hands and most paladins can be sturdy frontliners if they don't have to entertain all the enemies. Since most paladins have high MIG and INT, I would nearly always use Lay on Hands and also Veteran's Recovery if I need to use LoH on other party members more often.
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#12
Raven Darkholme

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Nah, maxing Perception is good on almost any char.

Keep in mind that the base accuracy of a character is different from class to class, Fighter, Monk, Ranger, Rogue have 30 and since Monk, Ranger Rogue live from affliction durations they neeed crits.

Fighter is probably the only class in game that gets away with less PE, but it's only because the fighters offense is quite underwhelming to begin with which brings us to the point that a fighter probably would do best with on crit effect weapons which makes maxed perception valuable again.

All classes that don't have 30 starting acc need at least 15 Per again, but then again many of those need crits to be viable so you might as well max it :p

So I need high might, int, per and dex:) now the question is, how much can I lower the con and rest, so I wont get completely stomped xD

 

On characters that don't need to reload a gun you don't need dex higher than 10 and you will still get max attack speed.

Livegood already linked the attack speed calculator. :)



#13
Livegood118

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I wouldn't say that the Fighter's offensive capabilities are underwhelming – in fact I'd prefer a Fighter to a Rogue any day of the week simply because they don't require any babysitting and whatever way you build them (assuming no crazy min-maxing) they're going to be quite tanky. 

 

I would be wary about putting Res below 10 on any melee fighter unless you've got specific contingency plans to avoid interrupts.

 

I did the math a while ago and a Fighter's offensive output under an optimal set-up with a good 2hander is more or less equivalent to that of a Monk's at around 5 wounds, give or take a wound or two. 


Edited by Livegood118, 19 May 2017 - 05:20 AM.

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MaxQuest

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1) I am unsure if I should use the 2-hander with paladin and 1handed weapon+Shield with fighter or if it would be better the other way around. What would be the best talents/abilities and attributes for such builds? (currently I have those attributes: 2H paladin 18/10/12/10/15/10, 1handed weapon+shield fighter 18/10/10/9/17/12 and dual wield barbarian has 16/14/9/15/16/5).

Aside from the situational St. Ydwen's Redeemer, I find using 2H on a paladin a bad idea. The optimal way is going for DW Sabres/Hammers/Battleaxes if you use FoD, or 1H + Shield if you don't. Tbh I would give-up on paladin's auto-attack dps completely and go for Outworn Buckler / Little Savior + Shame or Glory / Strike Hard / The Vile Loner's Lance / or Drawn in Spring (if you need some extra dps vs high DR enemies); and let him deal damage passively via Sacred Immolation from lvl 13 onward.

18/14/6/6/18/16 early stats (or 18/16/6/10/18/10 later in the game), and the only must have abilities (besides aura): Lay on Hands, Liberating Exhortation, Aegis of Loyalty, Righteous Soul and Coordinating Attacks.
 

My main concern is not the backline, but the frontline. I would like to keep 1 char as dual wielder (barbarian as it is should be best for it I assume?), then 1 char should be using 2-hander and 1handed weapon and shield.

DW barbarian.
1H + shield sup/tank paladin.
2H... I would say melee cipher with BotEP focused on cc, is optimal. Fighter can work too (with both BotEP or Tidefall), but the fact that Knockback and Charge are full attacks bothers me (as full attacks are better with DW)
 

2) Is it possible to do a solid damage with 1handed weapon+shield? If so, how? What would be the ideal setup?

It is. Aside from Chanter, Paladin and Vancian casters that are able do deliver solid dps via spells, while holding 1h+shield, there are also rogue and cipher.

1h + small non-bashing shield can be ok on cipher (in the late game), because once you achieve zero-recovery your attack rate is the same as when dual-wielding. Although you will probably won't be able to also use Vulnerable Attack as you will lack the extra recovery reduction provided by DW / Two-Weapon Fighting.

1h + barricade is ok rogue, because barricade proc does benefit from deathblows, plus rogue crits a lot. And because barricade is a bashing shield, your full attacks won't be crippled that much.

1h + dragon's maw in theory should be ok on barbarian. Although I haven't tested it yet. Atm I prefer dual-wielding burst barbarians.
 

3) Who would be the best to put the Sanguine plate on from my frontliners?

Atm you have only one candidate for it. Fighter (the dps version with lower deflection).
Barbarian already has Frenzy, while paladin's auto-attack dps won't get improved enough.
It would also be great on a melee cipher, if you had one (that is, until you would start using DAoM / Time Siphon)..
 

4) What would be the best weapons to dual wield for my barbarian? Should I stick with resolution+purgatory/bittercut, or are there some better combinations?

Dual purgatory and dual bittercuts are still the best dps option.
 

5) Who should use the Unlaboured blade? Would it be best to dual wield it with some other weapon with my barbarian or just use it with the shield char?

Before the nerf, barbarian could make great use of it.
After the nerf, it's not worth it.

Edited by MaxQuest, 19 May 2017 - 06:00 AM.

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Livegood118

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I actually think there might have been a bug with the unlaboured blade before 3.5 that it only procced once per encounter. Something to watch our for, though can't remember if it's true or not.



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On characters that don't need to reload a gun you don't need dex higher than 10 and you will still get max attack speed.

Livegood already linked the attack speed calculator. :)

 

No. It's a long time before you can get items to enhance your action speed or reduce your recovery (such as via durgan steel). Too many build guides don't start at level 1 and work their way up, but present a retrained level 16 character using highly enchanted equipment.



#17
Raven Darkholme

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So what

 

 

On characters that don't need to reload a gun you don't need dex higher than 10 and you will still get max attack speed.

Livegood already linked the attack speed calculator. :)

 

No. It's a long time before you can get items to enhance your action speed or reduce your recovery (such as via durgan steel). Too many build guides don't start at level 1 and work their way up, but present a retrained level 16 character using highly enchanted equipment.

 

You do realize max attack speed means you attack without recovery?

You can't achieve this without Durgans even if you had 30 DEX.

You don't need to start with max attack speed at level 1....



#18
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Barb with Dragon's Maw is a solid choice. Also works nice with HoF. Did playthrough and a build around that, it's in the build list (Golden Dragon). However, if you're looking for max HoF power, not much beats dual wielding the heavier one handed weapons. It doesn't matter that much which ones. Sabres have +20% damage, Maces are good because of the +3 extra DR, hammers are good because of the two damage types, spears have higher ACC and battle axes are annihilating. Swords again have two damage types.
Concerning early to mid uniques which do something for HoF then sabres have Resolution + Bittercut, maces have Ravenwing, hammers have Shatterstar, spears have Vile Loner's and Cladhaliath. I would say that sabres (one of then Bittercut at least) and war hammers are the best choice for HoF.

The best two handed weapon by far in my opinion is Acuan Giamas (a morning star). It has wounding, which is one of the strongest enchantments in the game, and steals spells from casters. This means you can cast the stolen spells for a given time as many times you want. Steal Calling the Word's Maw from an Ogre Druid and cast it with Blood Thirst... Or with Deathblows... or Disiplined Barrage...

But this weapon comes so late that it makes no sense to build a character around. You can retrain once you get it though.

It's OK to spec around morning stars though if you manage to get Mabec's Morning Star from Azurro.

#19
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A dual wielding barb with Frenzy + Bloodlust + Blood Thirst comes pretty close to 0 recovery quite early without special equipment. Not all the time of course, but you can get away with low DEX if you don't wear too heavy armor.

But DEX also reduces the attack animation quite a bit. So the difference between a 3 DEX barb with 0 recovery and a 20 DEX barb with 0 recovery is visible.

Of course, as I said, once you get HoF and do it right you can totally dump DEX and won't see much of a difference because most enemies are dead or heavily injured anyways.

For normal casters I'd say DEX can be pretty crucial.

My favorite dump stat is RES.
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#20
Belfaldurnik

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You do realize max attack speed means you attack without recovery?
You can't achieve this without Durgans even if you had 30 DEX.

 
Then explain your earlier comment, please.

 

You don't need to start with max attack speed at level 1....

 

Right, and I haven't referred to "max attack speed", but starting with increased attack/action speed is worthwhile.






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