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Hi all. :)

 

I'm starting a new game.  Though I played PoE a bit a few years ago, my knowledge regarding character design is very limited.  What I really want is to play as a melee damage (and touch damage) dealing wizard, albeit with some flexibility if that is more efficient than hyper-focusing on melee.  I'll be playing on "Hard".

 

Reading through some of the special builds people have come up with, I've noticed that stat choices vary wildly.  For example, some will have high constitution whilst other builds are expected to face enemies toe to toe with as little as 6.  I can only suppose that the schools of reasoning behind these different statlines are very complex and specific in their purpose, and unfortunately that leaves a newbie like me totally lost and in the dirt. 

 

I'm not going to just choose my character's attributes on faith.  If I were to pick my stats from one of the listed builds in that way without knowing the logic behind it, I'll spend the entire game painstakingly following detailed instructions on how to level him, just to avoid the odds of screwing him up with the wrong choices (and that's no fun way to play).

 

I'd really appreciate any help you can give me.  :)  What should I do?

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It depends. :)

 

If you want to rely on high defenses you can get away with low CON for example. Wizards can use Arcane Veil and Hardened Arcane Veil in combination with a shield and also Wizard's Double and other self buffnig spells to reach very high deflection. Thus they won't get hit a lot and don't need a lot of endurance and health (both are influenced by CON).

 

Of course, this will gimp your melee offense because a shield will prevent you from using the (really good) summoned, two handed weapons or using two weapons (dual wielding).

 

I made such a tanky wizard some time ago. Although this is a very special build, it explains how high defenses can be achieved.
https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/86900-class-build-bilestomper-tanky-corrosive-drainer-wizard/

But it's very slooow, too. Casting takes a long time and therefore not everyone likes it.

 

 

If you want to use summoned weapons or other two handed weapons - or want to dual wield weapons - then you might need more CON in order to survive more hits. Such a wizard works really well when he has some means of self healing. First of all there's Veteran's Recovery which works very well with high MIG and INT - two stats most wizards want to put a lot of points into anyway. This will heal you constantly and can make you very sturdy if you combine it with self healing spells (Concelhaut's Corrosive Siphon is great for example). In addition you can put 8 points into survival and get a +40% healing buff. If you combine this with an item that also buffs healing (Fulvano's Amulet with +25% can be found very early) you will be sturdy as hell - until your health runs out. Health can only be regained by resting - OR using Infuse with Vital Essence (lvl 2 spell). This also works with those healing bonuses from survival and items - meaning you'll regain a lot of health when you cast this spell. Other than the description suggests, this tomporary health wll be regained permanently if the fight ends before the spell runs out.

 

I consider to be the second apporach to be more fun than the tin can approach and it's very effective, too. But since you want to have high MIG, high INT and also good CON this will lead to a situation where you quickly run out of stat points at character creation. High deflection is not that important with this build, so we can get away with low RES, but most other stats are quite important:

 

MIG: 16 (bonuses to damage and healing)

CON: 14 (bonuses to endurance and health)

DEX: 14 (bonus to casting speed)

PER: 14 (bonus to accuracy)

INT: 16 (bonus to all durations and sizes of AoE)

RES: 4 (malus to concentration and deflection)

 

Watch out though: you won't be good at tanking a lot of foes at once because your low RES will lead to low concentration. This will lead to a lot of interrupts if you get hit a lot. However, wizards have a nice counterspells for this: Spirit Shield. Another reason why we can dump RES.

 

With those stats I played a wizard (PotD difficulty) who used his fists (Novice's Suffering) and focused on touch-baed spells - just in order to emulate a wizard/monk. It worked very well although this is of course not hte most effective way to play a melee wizard. Still very viable.

 

The other times I played such a wizard was with summoned weapons. Concelhaut's Staff is very powerfuk at lvl 1 - and so is Citzal's Spirit Lance later on. In my opinion those are the best weapons for a melee wizard. Once you combine Deletrious Alacrity of Motion and Citzal's Martial Power with Citzal's Spirit Lance most enemies get vaporized after few hits.

 

Unfortunately, there's no build in the build list that demonstrates this self-healing approach. But I guess my writings above are sufficient to figure things out. 

Edited by Boeroer
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First of all, thanks a ton. :)

 

Suppose that I made use of Arcane Veil, Hardened Arcane Veil, Wizard's Double and other buffs for defense, but did away with the shield?

 

I'd still need a bit more CON than in your first example, but maybe I could afford to go with less CON than 14?  Yes/No?

Edited by jermungand
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If your not playing PotD then you can be more flexible with your stats.

 

I would try this approach....

 

Boreal Dwarf Fighter Wizard from the Living Lands.

 

Mig 15

Con 16

Dex 12

Per 10

Int 15

Res 10

 

You now have some staying power hia Health/Stamina and can easily buff your own ACC with Eldritch Aim at lvl 1 and you can buff deflection with Wizards Double covering your weaker stats. From their you just build your character along the lines of the equipment that you find and like. Touch and cone spells, Whispers of the Yenwood and Small Shield in the early game for durability. Possibly using Combusting Wounds with dual wield fast weapons in the mid game.

Edited by Blades of Vanatar

No matter which fork in the road you take I am certain adventure awaits.

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@ Blades of Vanatar

 

I'm actually very happy with min/maxing my stats.  It's my character's role on the battlefield which could use some flexibility.

 

As for ACC:  Can accuracy ever get high enough that buffs don't provide much return past a certain point?  If this were the case, then I could definitely see a very strong argument for settling with low PER on a wizard with Eldritch Aim.  However, if tons of accuracy is a wonderful thing to have on my melee wizard, it might be worth keeping a higher base PER.

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Depends on your equipment, talent/ability choices, other party members, etc... Paladins with marking weapons, Coordinated Attacks and Zealous Focus can really enhance the ACC of your frontline Wizard. A Priest can greatly enhance your ACC as well. Starting stats get quickly surpassed by other bonuses as the game goes on.

Plus weapons that apply CC can lower your enemies Defenseswhich is equivalent to ACC buffs for your PC.

No matter which fork in the road you take I am certain adventure awaits.

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More ACC is always good. But the hardest time you will have at the start of the game - and when fighting bosses. Apart from that it gets easier and easier to land hits and crits the more you advance.

 

So, things like Eldritch Aim are most effective in the beginning of the game, but they are still useful even in the endgame.

 

ACC is king in this game. And knowing the stacking rules (and exceptions) will make the game a lot easier.

 

As a wizard you'll have low starting ACC. Luckily, most of your spells have a bonus and you also have a buff. All spells and abilities also get a "hidden" +1 bonus per char level. But in the early game it's common for a melee wizard who uses normal weapons to miss a lot. Because of that I wouldn't put PER to 10.

 

Arcane Veil and Hardened Veil are always useful - but you have to decide if they fit in. If you use summoned weapons you might want to put every talent point into improving the weapons' performance and self heals (Veteran's Recovery, Weapon Focus, Two Handed Style, Apprentice's Sneak Attack and so on) and you might find out that there's no room for the Veil talents. If there is: even better. If you get surrounded a Hardened Veil is one of the best ways to survive.

Edited by Boeroer

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I'm gravitating toward something along these lines,

 

MIG: 18 (Base+Living Lands bonus)

CON: 12

DEX: 14

PER: 12

INT: 18

RES: 4

 

I figured I could afford to coax just a few measly points out of CON & PER, in order to raise my chief attributes of MIG and INT.  If these additions to MIG and INT seem excessive in light of what I'll actually be getting out of them (and of what I'm neglecting), perhaps I'll dial them down a bit and put some points back if you guys think so.

 

I'll go for Arcane Veil, but probably give Hardened Veil a pass on the grounds that my character will be a somewhat mobile and flexible in his role rather than actually tanking.

 

I'd love to hear some final peer-review :).  

 

 

EDIT:  I should have asked this a long time ago.  What should I be thinking in terms of armor?  If I need to be quick(ish), I imagine I'd have to stick with medium armors, yes?

Edited by jermungand
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Your biggest pain will be the lack of a spell/talent that would make it possible to cast a bunch of spells automatically, such as at start of combat or on demand.  As much fun as it is to join melee combat with a buffed wizard, you really need buff yourself first, and that is tedious. I've posted enough about a melee wizard at Steam's forum. Eventually, you will prefer ranged attack spells - or play a Monk, who can jump into fray immediately.

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Your biggest pain will be the lack of a spell/talent that would make it possible to cast a bunch of spells automatically, such as at start of combat or on demand.  As much fun as it is to join melee combat with a buffed wizard, you really need buff yourself first, and that is tedious. I've posted enough about a melee wizard at Steam's forum. Eventually, you will prefer ranged attack spells - or play a Monk, who can jump into fray immediately.

 

How many buffs will I be casting altogether?

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Most of the time one: Deleterious Alacrity of Motion. It's smart to cast that one first because it speeds up the rest as well. Then Eldritch Aim if you don't use other ACC buffs like Zealous Focus or Blessing. And when you expect to get hit then the defensive stuff, too. Eldritch Aim should be last because it is very short-timed and is best used right before your first AoE-CC spell. And if you want to use a summoned weapon then that, too.

The more you advance the more often you will just skip self buffing and often also a summoned weapon - because it's not necessary for most of the normal fights. You will use Arcane Assault and most of the time that will be enough.

Self buffing needs some time - so what you can do to give your wizard (and also your priest) some time for buffing is to lure enemies to your party with one of your scouting frontliners. Encounter will start once the scout attacks or stealth ends -
and while the scout is running back to the party you can start casting buffs. Once the enemies reach you you will be prepared.

Edited by Boeroer

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@ Boeroer

 

Thanks.

 

I'd love to hear any final feedback you might have on the statline I proposed several posts back.  CON and PER are both at 12, which might be slimming it in the early game.  However, if buffs and talents are necessary for a melee wizard to be effective, perhaps I'm not going to be throwing him into the thick of the fray for the first few levels anyway.  By the time I do start using him in close combat on a more regular basis, the talents and buffs that I'll have gained should make up for the lower CON and PER.  Thoughts?

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Good plan. Use reach weapons, they are great for this. All summoned melee weapons of the wizard are reach weapons as well. Durance's Staff is a great weapon in the early game!

 

Stats are fine for me.

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Another idea,

 

MIG: 20 (base+Living Lands bonus)

CON: 10

DEX: 10

PER: 18

INT: 16

RES: 4

 

With a peasant weapon focus adding to the effectiveness of Concelaut's staff, and to the pair of hatchets I'll be dual wielding (which give a total +10 to deflection).  Perhaps I'll have some heavy armor.

 

I wonder if moving two points each out of INT and CON (and the 4 points out of DEX) will be more than worth the extra MIG and the capacity to be hitting and interrupting people all the time.  I'm squishier, but maybe I can stack up some talents and spells that will offset that problem.  The big question for me is:  How long will it take for me to offset that squishiness?

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Also ok. Don't put too much thinking into stats - a few points here and there are not that important.

 

All summoned weapons use whatever Weapon Focus you take. For example Concelhaut's Staff will work with Weapon Focus Peasant but also with Weapon Focus Soldier (or any other). In this regard, they work like soulbound weapons. So you don't have to use a quarterstaff with Weapon Focus Peasant as backup for Concelhaut's Staff (for the times you don't want to summon it). Of course you can do that, no problem whatsoever. But you could also use a pike like Tall Grass or a great sword like Tidefall or whatever - with Weapon Focus Soldier. 

 

Two Hatchets is ok if you also plan to use Expose Vulnerabilites + Vulnerable Attack. Otherwise the damage against higher DR is too puny. I like two handers better because Two Handed Style is something I want to take when I'm using summoned weapons. Since their base damage is so high they work really well with any kind of damage bonus, so I alsways take Two Handed Style at some point with summoned weapons and also use a two handed weapon as backup (for the easy fights or when the summoned weapon expires).

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Been playing my melee wizard.  Thank you all.  :)

 

Deleterious Alacrity of Motion seems like a risky thing to eventually use if it's going to drain my endurance.  Is this more of a thing for pike/staff-wielding melee wizards, or is it actually safe for up close?  I've been putting my wizard in the front with a weapon and a shield, partly because I enjoy opening a fight with that flame cone spell (which is hard to do otherwise) and because he's a lot more durable than I'd imagined he would be.

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It's -11 endurance only. This spell is one of the best in the game. It speeds up spellcasting and also your melee attacks. Your build doesn't matter - this is always a solid choice. You can follow up with Concelhaut's Corrosive Siphon if you are afraid of losing endurance - but usually I don't even notice the -11 endurance.

 

You shouldn't open fights with a damaging spell (unless you are overleveled or the enemies have really low defenses) because you are wasting damage potential. Instead: first buff, then do CC and then deal damage. For example, casting a Chillfog (causing blind and dealing damage) and then follow up with a Fan of Flames is a lot better than casting two Fan of Flames. If half of the rolls miss or graze you are wasting a lot of potential damage. Blind reduces reflex by 20. This is huge in the beginning of the game. 

Edited by Boeroer

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