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I am completely new to the game (but not to the genre), and I want to make one ranged DPS character. In this context, I am torn between the Ranger and the Rogue. I am leaning against the Ranger, because I read that he is micro-intensive, and the loss of the pet will debuff him significantly. But I am not sure how viable the ranged Rogue is, given that he is primarily a melee character in most RPG games. As you can already guess, I do not like micro-managing, and I like characters that tend to be sturdy.

 

And if ranged Rogues are viable, then what are the "must" skills, gear, etc.?

 

Finally, here is a general party composition I am contemplating for the first run, and I would greatly appreciate any insight. It will be a full custom party:

 

Tank Fighter (Boromir)

DPS/off-tank Fighter (Gimli)

DPS/off-tank Paladin (Aragorn)

DPS ranged Rogue (Legolas)

Healer Priest (Arwen)

CC Wizard (Gandalf)

 

Is this too melee-heavy?

 

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Very viable. While backstab won't be an option, I think they'll live a lot longer and healthier than a close range rogue (rogues are delicate after all). But thematically speaking, I'm not sure if Legolas is very rogue-ish ;) And the party balance seems fine. Not too melee heavy at all.

Edited by Heijoushin
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In this game ranged builds are indeed extremely viable (even more so for classes like Rogue, which remain squishy for quite a while), sometimes perhaps a tad too viable for all the distinct advantages keeping at a distance confers. Often it can make your life easier (especially on higher difficulties), if careful micro-managment is not your thing as you say. 

 

I see you've already come across a ranged idea by one of the master builders of these forums. As for the general party composition: two fighters can feel a little boring, even more so if you opt to make them both somewhat tanky. While it should work just fine for low micro expectations, it may not be as fun (or even nearly as strong) as it would be with slotting in one of the remaining classes instead. 

Edited by Soaren
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Bows and implements have higher dps than guns and crossbows/arbalests because the don't have a reloading phase but only a recovery phase. The damage per hit is lower of course, but they are a lot faster. However, reloading weapons on rogues can lead to pretty satisfying results (one-shots for example). So I'd pick the weapon that I like best. Since you don't like micromanagement I would go for bows. Guns and the like require delicate timing and a lot of pausing - just to shoot when it's the right time. With a bow you can just fire non-stop and don't care for timimg an micro too much. If you still like the heavy hitters, take Runner's Wounding Shot!

 

Implements (wand, scepter and rod) seem to be weaker than bows, but they all have two damage types which makes up for the lower base damage. So they are great as backup-weapons, too. Also there are nice unique implements. One of them comes pretty early and has a speed enchantment which is one of the two best enchantments for dps (the other one is wounding). Implement-rogue could look like this:
https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/86156-class-build-the-sorcerers-apprentice-twisted-sneaky-dps-scroll-user/

 

Hunting bows are fast. They are great against targets with low damage reduction. And there's a very good unique one quite early in the game (Endless Paths) which has the wounding enchantment (basically a raw-damage-over-time-lash). Wounding ignores damage reduction, so that hunting bow takes away the disadvantage of normal hunting bows: it's also good against high DR foes. It's  the ranged weapon with the highest dps if your might is high and your intelligence is low (weird mechanics of wounding). But even with high INT it's good if you combine that with other damage over time effects like so:

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/83378-class-build-the-mad-hornet-dps-ranged-rogue/

 

War bows have higer base damage but are not as fast as hinting bows. This makes them better against enemies with higher damage reduction. And there is a early war bow that causes stun on critical hit. Most rogues at least do a critical hit every second shot, so this weapon is excellent for a rogue. Stun is a very hefty affliction and it's always good if a rogue can cause some afflictions for his sneak attacks by himself rather than be dependend on his party members. Here high INT is benefical. 

 

As for talents/abilites I personally would use:

 

Talents:

- Prestidigitator's Missiles (don't work with Sneak Attack, but are great in early game and with DR bypass and like crits a lot. They have a HUGE range.  And they work with Deathblows = double damage!)

- Envenomed Strike (great in the early game - but only if INT and MIG are high), if INT is low go for Runner's Wounding Shot. Even in late game it's good against annoying but squishy targets (wizards, priests and so on). It's very good in the later game if your priest casts Cleansing Flame on a target and you shoot it with Envenomed Strike + Deep Wounds at the same time. THis talent is good against any kind of enemy with high DR who is not immune to poison. So, vessels and most spirits don't get any damage from this.

- Vicious Fighting (also works with spells like Prest. Missiles)

- Weapon Focus (fitting your weapon of choice)

- Marksman

- Outlander's Frenzy (more speed and MIG, this counters the speed loss of Penetrating Shot down below)

- Penetrating Shot (esp. with hunting bows)

- Scion of Flame (if you have a burning lash on your weapon - else take the corresponding talent for another elemental lash)

 

Abilities:

- Crippling Strike

- Dirty Fighting 

- Deep Wounds

- Blinding Strike

- Withering Strike

- Deathblows

- Sap

- Shadow Step

 

But this is just me. There are plenty of other things you can take and make it work - for example Fast Runner and Shot on the Run. It depends on your items mainly. For example a rogue with Boots of Speed doesn't need to take Fast Runner.

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@OP:
It is a pity that you are not taking a ranger as, to me, that class has some of the best thematically fitting skills that resembles an expert bowsman. Well, that's if you are willing to ignore the compulsory pet :p With skills like Driving Flight, Twinned Arrows and Stunning Shots, I find them more interesting than that of a rogue's which mainly revolves around debuffs and increased dmg.

 

Tbh, the pet isn't that big of a deal. The pet has been fixed/buffed a bunch since launch. If you take the Antelope pet with the Resilient companion talent, it will be fairly tanky on its own - capable of 1-2 engagement on its own with normal enemies. Ofc don't expect to fare well tanking boss enemies. 

Edited by mosspit
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Without the pet there are no stunning shots by the way.

 

Ranger's animal companions are awesome now.

With the woundig hunting bow I mentioned above (called "Persistence") you can keep up a DoT effect all the time and your pet will deal +50% damage with Predator's Sense all the time. It's very powerful against enemies with high DR. It hits slowly but like a truck (with the right talents). So you will have both: a damage dealer that can take out high DR target (pet) and a damage dealer for the squishies (ranger). 

 

The best part about animal companions is that they don't have a health pool. So if they get up after a knockout they are as good as new. Very good for triggering traps (if you can't disarm them) for example. Also great if you combine immense healing (Moonwell, Consecrated Ground and such) with pet tanking. It can't die from low health, and as long as it has endurance it will be up and tanking. But this requires a lot of micro.

 

It is true that a ranger requires more micromanagement than a ranged rogue due to the fact that you have to control two characters instead of one if you want that things like Stalker's Link and Stunning Shot work properly. 

Edited by Boeroer
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Without the pet there are no stunning shots by the way.

Yes I know that. I was more of referring to the fact that the ranger always come with a pet, and that fact kinda detracts from a Legolas-like character who afaik does not have a personal pet at least in the way a ranger does.

Edited by mosspit
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Prestidigitator's Missiles working with deathblows but not working with sneak attack sounds like a bug to mee.

I thought that sneak attacks apply only to attacks with weapons, not for spells.

 

For a rogue, the bow with stunn on crit seems perfect.

 

For a ranger, the best weapon is stormcaller. With twin arrows and the ability that lets you hit 2 targets at once (name forgotten) you have an AoE stunn often.

Until you get it, persistence is great because the dot increases the damage of your pet.

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It's not only Prestidigitator's Missiles - it's like that with all damaging abilites (including spells) that ar not bound to weapon usage: they all don't work with Sneak Attack, but with Deathblows.

 

Apprentice's Sneak Attack and Sneak Attack don't work with any spell-like ability, only with weapon attacks. Deathblows works with every damaging effect. Maybe it's a bug, maybe it's intended, I don't know.

 

Stormcaller is very nice, but it doesn't do an AoE stun. Returning Storm only hits one enemy when it procs - and the version of Stormcaller only procs once - not like the druid spell that looms over your head and fires several times. It may proc twice or more per shot (because with Twinned Arrwos and Driving Flight you can theoretically get 4 procs per attack) and then hit different foes, but usually you will experience one proc resultung in one stun (not necessarily the target you hit with the arrow). With stunning shots this isn't too fancy - but the additional shock damage from Returning Storm is still nice. It can't have a lash or any other custom enchantment and it can't be durganized though. On the upside it has two damage types, it works with any weapon focus (so you could use an arbalest with Weapon Focus Soldier for an alpha strike and then switch to Stormcaller), it works with Heart of the Storm and has that neat -6 shock DR enchantment.

 

It depends on the enemy and on your playstyle which bow is better for your ranger. If you want to deal the best dps against single targets and do tremendous damage with your pet  I would use Persistence - if you have other party members with shock attacks and/or want to spare durgan steel and other resources needed for enchantments I would use Stormcaller.

 

I once had both in my party and they did equally well. 

 

Borresaine is indeed very nice for a rogue. Too bad that Reckless Assault only works in melee.

Edited by Boeroer

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Very viable. While backstab won't be an option, I think they'll live a lot longer and healthier than a close range rogue (rogues are delicate after all). But thematically speaking, I'm not sure if Legolas is very rogue-ish ;) And the party balance seems fine. Not too melee heavy at all.

 

Indeed, survivability was foremost in my mind.

 

As for Legolas not fitting the Rogue theme, what would you suggest? I guess Ranger is the standard choice, but I really did not want to deal with the extra micro-management issue that the pet presented. Besides, having a pet is even more un-thematic for Legolas! :)

 

 

In this game ranged builds are indeed extremely viable (even more so for classes like Rogue, which remain squishy for quite a while), sometimes perhaps a tad too viable for all the distinct advantages keeping at a distance confers. Often it can make your life easier (especially on higher difficulties), if careful micro-managment is not your thing as you say. 

 

 

 

The biggest issue I found so far with 3 melees is that they cannot always all participate in some indoor fights. I was thinking of giving one of these guys a reach weapon, but a reach weapon fits none of my front-liners lore-wise. Boromir was a classic "sword & board" guy, Aragorn obviously a sword, and Gimli an axe. I tend to try to finely balance role-playing and gameplay efficacy in RPG games, so compromises have to be made. But I may simply break down and give my Paladin (Aragorn) a spear though - if I persistently have issues, and they prove game-breaking.

 

 

Bows and implements have higher dps than guns and crossbows/arbalests because the don't have a reloading phase but only a recovery phase. The damage per hit is lower of course, but they are a lot faster. However, reloading weapons on rogues can lead to pretty satisfying results (one-shots for example). So I'd pick the weapon that I like best. Since you don't like micromanagement I would go for bows. Guns and the like require delicate timing and a lot of pausing - just to shoot when it's the right time. With a bow you can just fire non-stop and don't care for timimg an micro too much. If you still like the heavy hitters, take Runner's Wounding Shot!

 

Implements (wand, scepter and rod) seem to be weaker than bows, but they all have two damage types which makes up for the lower base damage. So they are great as backup-weapons, too. Also there are nice unique implements. One of them comes pretty early and has a speed enchantment which is one of the two best enchantments for dps (the other one is wounding). Implement-rogue could look like this:

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/86156-class-build-the-sorcerers-apprentice-twisted-sneaky-dps-scroll-user/

 

 

I was averse to the gun, precisely because of the reloading/micro-managing issue you mentioned. But thanks for the implements suggestion. I did not think about that before. And speaking about them: What do you think of the implement Priest? I was using a hunting bow on mine, but it seems like Priests need to get closer to the action anyways, since a lot of their spells are close range. Or would that slow her spells overmuch? I still do not understand how attack speed and spell efficacy mesh.

 

 

 

Hunting bows are fast. They are great against targets with low damage reduction. And there's a very good unique one quite early in the game (Endless Paths) which has the wounding enchantment (basically a raw-damage-over-time-lash). Wounding ignores damage reduction, so that hunting bow takes away the disadvantage of normal hunting bows: it's also good against high DR foes. It's  the ranged weapon with the highest dps if your might is high and your intelligence is low (weird mechanics of wounding). But even with high INT it's good if you combine that with other damage over time effects like so:

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/83378-class-build-the-mad-hornet-dps-ranged-rogue/

 

War bows have higer base damage but are not as fast as hinting bows. This makes them better against enemies with higher damage reduction. And there is a early war bow that causes stun on critical hit. Most rogues at least do a critical hit every second shot, so this weapon is excellent for a rogue. Stun is a very hefty affliction and it's always good if a rogue can cause some afflictions for his sneak attacks by himself rather than be dependend on his party members. Here high INT is benefical. 

 

As for talents/abilites I personally would use:

 

Talents:

- Prestidigitator's Missiles (don't work with Sneak Attack, but are great in early game and with DR bypass and like crits a lot. They have a HUGE range.  And they work with Deathblows = double damage!)

- Envenomed Strike (great in the early game - but only if INT and MIG are high), if INT is low go for Runner's Wounding Shot. Even in late game it's good against annoying but squishy targets (wizards, priests and so on). It's very good in the later game if your priest casts Cleansing Flame on a target and you shoot it with Envenomed Strike + Deep Wounds at the same time. THis talent is good against any kind of enemy with high DR who is not immune to poison. So, vessels and most spirits don't get any damage from this.

- Vicious Fighting (also works with spells like Prest. Missiles)

- Weapon Focus (fitting your weapon of choice)

- Marksman

- Outlander's Frenzy (more speed and MIG, this counters the speed loss of Penetrating Shot down below)

- Penetrating Shot (esp. with hunting bows)

- Scion of Flame (if you have a burning lash on your weapon - else take the corresponding talent for another elemental lash)

 

Abilities:

- Crippling Strike

- Dirty Fighting 

- Deep Wounds

- Blinding Strike

- Withering Strike

- Deathblows

- Sap

- Shadow Step

 

But this is just me. There are plenty of other things you can take and make it work - for example Fast Runner and Shot on the Run. It depends on your items mainly. For example a rogue with Boots of Speed doesn't need to take Fast Runner.

 

Thanks for this build. Would you suggest that this is stronger than your specific build that you posted on the DoT ranged Rogue?

 

@OP:

It is a pity that you are not taking a ranger as, to me, that class has some of the best thematically fitting skills that resembles an expert bowsman. Well, that's if you are willing to ignore the compulsory pet :p With skills like Driving Flight, Twinned Arrows and Stunning Shots, I find them more interesting than that of a rogue's which mainly revolves around debuffs and increased dmg.

 

Tbh, the pet isn't that big of a deal. The pet has been fixed/buffed a bunch since launch. If you take the Antelope pet with the Resilient companion talent, it will be fairly tanky on its own - capable of 1-2 engagement on its own with normal enemies. Ofc don't expect to fare well tanking boss enemies. 

 

It's precisely the "compulsory" character of the pet that stops me :( And the pet doesn't work for both role-play and gameplay reasons: It doesn't fit a "Legolas"; and I don't want more micro-management.

 

Is there a mod that edits it out?

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Progress update:

 

Guys, I am trying to finish Act 1, and I am having huge issues and need help. Since there is a moderator's approval requirement for posts from new users, I am not sure if I can get feedback in a timely manner, but let me try.

 

Background: I am using the group composition I outlined: 3 melees (1 tank Fighter, 1 DPS Paladin, and 1 DPS Fighter), a ranged Rogue, a Priest, and a CC Wizard. I rushed to the first inn, and I bought all 5 custom companions, because I wanted to precisely compare performance - among other reasons. My main character - the DPS Paladin - is level 5, and the other 5 companions are level 4 (very close to level 5). So here are the issues:

 

1. I am just stuck in terms of where to go, because I cannot progress in any of the paths I am presumptively supposed to take.

 

Now, I am trying to finish all the quests/tasks found in Act 1 according to this site - http://www.gamebanshee.com/pillarsofeternity/walkthrough.php - but at this point the remaining one seems too hard for me. In particular, I have tried three alternative paths. First, I have tried to kill Raedric from the Lord of the Barren Land quest, but I cannot take out his party. It's a close fight, but I am wiped with one or two enemies standing each time. I think I can do it with one more level, but I do not know where to get that remaining XP to get all my guys to level 5. Second, I tried to kill the Ogre chieftain from the Desperate Measures quest (Endless Paths level 3 encounter), but it is a similarly close fight as the Raedric fight where I need just 1 more level, I think. Finally, I tried to clear Dyrnford Ruins from the Blood Legacy quest, but I cannot even get past the 5-mob group with 2 mind casters.

 

So where to go? The only other Act 1 quests are the ones that I am plainly unable to do until much later in the game, I think: The Master Below and Blade of the Endless Paths. Should I just go to Defiance Bay and begin Act 2? But I do not like leaving prior Act quests unfinished - unless they are plainly impossible. Further, if I cannot finish those quests that others are able to do at level 4, then can I even come close to finishing even the easier Act 2 quests?

 

As a general matter, I am very discouraged. I am actually pretty good at min-maxing RPG or squad-based tactics games, but here I am struggling to handle the Normal difficulty, when others claim even the hardest difficulty is "easy" - and when others even solo this thing!

 

Or is there a level at which my power ramps up?

 

2. I assume I am doing something wrong. So where can I improve? There were only two things I could think of:

 

On the one hand, I assume I am not using the right skills. So what are the "must" skills/spells I ought to have at level 5 Paladin and level 4 Fighter, Priest, ranged Rogue, and Wizard? (The DPS Paladin, by the way, might not have been a good idea, since he spends most of the time spamming Lay on Hands anyways.)

 

On the other hand, I am also wondering if my bad performance is tied to my refusal to enchant my gear and use consumables, as I am saving the crafting ingredients until the game supposedly gets harder. (But could it be that this early stage is the hard stage?)

 

In particular, should I actually enchant the "fine" items I have in my possession? Will they help win these close fights I am losing? And if I do so, what enchants are recommended for weapon (Secondary Damage & Slaying enchants) and armor (Attribute Bonus & Proofing enchants) slots?

 

As for consumables: I am loath to make them, because they cost money to craft - not just to buy (WTF?!). But are there any that I should always craft/use?

 

Any other game-play recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

 

P.S. Oh, and any purchasable gear that I should look out for at this stage or soon?

Edited by Lampros
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Thanks for this build. Would you suggest that this is stronger than your specific build that you posted on the DoT ranged Rogue?

It's basically the same - for Runner's Wounding Shot I took Prestidigitator's Missiles. The Mad Hornet was "themed" around damage over time (DoT) effects, so I took Runner's WOunding SHot although it's not good with fast, light weapons (but great with heavy hitters like guns). Prestidigitator's Missiles however makes the early game a lot easier and later on gets a boost with Deathblows - so I would say that this approach is better, yes. It also works great with Penetrating Shot and Ryona's Vambraces (an item you can get later on which gives you additional 3 DR bypass).

 

If you choose hunting bows (Persistence, has wounding) then I would dump INT and skip Envenomed Strike and pick something else (for example Fast Runner + Shot on the Run).

 

If you pick war bows (Borresaine, has stun on crit) I would keep the talents like this and max INT.

 

With ranged rogues you usually lower CON and RES and max the rest. If you lower INT (for hunting bow Persistence) as well you can put more points into the other stats obviously. But your strikes' afflictions (Crippling, BLinding and so on) will not last as long as with max int.

 

I think I personally would go wood elf with Borresaine. Stunning is fun. Borresaine also has draining which means it leeches endurance for you with each hit. THis will make your rogue a bit more sturdy since he will heal a bit with each hit he scores.

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Thanks for this build. Would you suggest that this is stronger than your specific build that you posted on the DoT ranged Rogue?

It's basically the same - for Runner's Wounding Shot I took Prestidigitator's Missiles. The Mad Hornet was "themed" around damage over time (DoT) effects, so I took Runner's WOunding SHot although it's not good with fast, light weapons (but great with heavy hitters like guns). Prestidigitator's Missiles however makes the early game a lot easier and later on gets a boost with Deathblows - so I would say that this approach is better, yes. It also works great with Penetrating Shot and Ryona's Vambraces (an item you can get later on which gives you additional 3 DR bypass).

 

If you choose hunting bows (Persistence, has wounding) then I would dump INT and skip Envenomed Strike and pick something else (for example Fast Runner + Shot on the Run).

 

If you pick war bows (Borresaine, has stun on crit) I would keep the talents like this and max INT.

 

With ranged rogues you usually lower CON and RES and max the rest. If you lower INT (for hunting bow Persistence) as well you can put more points into the other stats obviously. But your strikes' afflictions (Crippling, BLinding and so on) will not last as long as with max int.

 

I think I personally would go wood elf with Borresaine. Stunning is fun. Borresaine also has draining which means it leeches endurance for you with each hit. THis will make your rogue a bit more sturdy since he will heal a bit with each hit he scores.

 

Whoah, I just looked up Borresaine, and it is sold in Defiance Bay. So I can go get it fairly soon! I think I will like the stunning war bow, thank you! ;)

 

Could you also suggest other store bought item that I should definitely acquire - if they can be accessed relatively early? ;)

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Buy Outworn Buckler from the smith in Gilded Vale. It's one of the best shields in the game but is for paladins only. I know you have a dps paladin, but honestly there are no dps paladins. :) When we speak about combat stuff, paladins can be great with burst damage and/or defenses. You shouldn't skip this shield, it's too good. You can do a hybrid build for good burst damage and great support as well as ok tanking:

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/89995-class-build-counselor-ploi-charming-paladin-supporter-tank/

 

Your dps fighter can go full offense and will still be sturdy enough most of the time. I like dual war hammers or great swords. But it doesn't matter too much what you use. Dual wielding is great with Knockdown! Disciplined Barrage is a great ability a well.

 

Blunting Belt is very good.

Enchant your weapons with a lash asap.

 

The early game is the hardest part, especially with hirelings because those lack one level compared to the official companions (don't believe it when people say that the official companions are weaker). Raedric is pretty hefty as well. You should use doorways in a way that you position your three melee guys in an arc so that only one enemy can pass the door and can be attacked by all three. The rest should stay behind and cast AoE and fire. Use Mind Control like Confusion and so on. It's always powerful.

 

Did you do the Eothas Temple? This should be pretty ok at lvl 5/4.

 

The general rule of thumb to make this game easy:

1. buff your accuracy (Zealous Focus, Blessing)

1.b buff your defenses (Zealous Endurance)

2. debuff the enemy (Chillfog, Binding Web and so on)

3. deal damage to the most dangerous enemies (casters mainly), ignore the sturdy ones until they are the only ones left

 

Always heal in advance, not when it's too late. A bit of overhealing is nothing compared to a character going down. Use things like Consecrated Ground or Lay on Hands before the endurance falls but rather use it when you expect somebody to get hurt.

Don't spare your spells. There are plenty of camping supplies - in fact there's an endless amount and they are cheap.

Use Veteran's Recovery on your front liners (not on fighters obviously because they come with Constant Recovery). It makes them a lot more sturdy in the early game. Paldins can skip this when they have Lay on Hands. It's very powerful.

 

One key spell of the wizard that works really well with doorways is Chillfog. It's one of the best spells in the game because it causes blind in a quite big AoE while also doing damage periodically. It pulses with ice damage and blinding every 3 seconds. BLind is a very good debuff. You can even stack this spell.

 

A great ability/talent of the priest is Inspiring Radiance. It gives your party +10 accuracy and stacks with everything. Perfect to cast it right at the start and then do your debuffing with enhanced accuracy.

 

If it's too hard, use food! It's cheap and very effective.

 

Let your rogue shoot at casters and kill them asap.

Edited by Boeroer
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Buy Outworn Buckler from the smith in Gilded Vale. It's one of the best shields in the game but is for paladins only. I know you have a dps paladin, but honestly there are no dps paladins. :) When we speak about combat stuff, paladins can be great with burst damage and/or defenses. You shouldn't skip this shield, it's too good. You can do a hybrid build for good burst damage and great support as well as ok tanking:

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/89995-class-build-counselor-ploi-charming-paladin-supporter-tank/

 

Your dps fighter can go full offense and will still be sturdy enough most of the time. I like dual war hammers or great swords. But it doesn't matter too much what you use. Dual wielding is great with Knockdown! Disciplined Barrage is a great ability a well.

 

Blunting Belt is very good.

Enchant your weapons with a lash asap.

 

The early game is the hardest part, especially with hirelings because those lack one level compared to the official companions (don't believe it when people say that the official companions are weaker). Raedric is pretty hefty as well. You should use doorways in a way that you position your three melee guys in an arc so that only one enemy can pass the door and can be attacked by all three. The rest should stay behind and cast AoE and fire. Use Mind Control like Confusion and so on. It's always powerful.

 

Did you do the Eothas Temple? This should be pretty ok at lvl 5/4.

 

The general rule of thumb to make this game easy:

1. buff your accuracy (Zealous Focus, Blessing)

1.b buff your defenses (Zealous Endurance)

2. debuff the enemy (Chillfog, Binding Web and so on)

3. deal damage to the most dangerous enemies (casters mainly), ignore the sturdy ones until they are the only ones left

 

Always heal in advance, not when it's too late. A bit of overhealing is nothing compared to a character going down. Use things like Consecrated Ground or Lay on Hands before the endurance falls but rather use it when you expect somebody to get hurt.

Don't spare your spells. There are plenty of camping supplies - in fact there's an endless amount and they are cheap.

Use Veteran's Recovery on your front liners (not on fighters obviously because they come with Constant Recovery). It makes them a lot more sturdy in the early game. Paldins can skip this when they have Lay on Hands. It's very powerful.

 

One key spell of the wizard that works really well with doorways is Chillfog. It's one of the best spells in the game because it causes blind in a quite big AoE while also doing damage periodically. It pulses with ice damage and blinding every 3 seconds. BLind is a very good debuff. You can even stack this spell.

 

A great ability/talent of the priest is Inspiring Radiance. It gives your party +10 accuracy and stacks with everything. Perfect to cast it right at the start and then do your debuffing with enhanced accuracy.

 

If it's too hard, use food! It's cheap and very effective.

 

Let your rogue shoot at casters and kill them asap.

 

Yes, I really regret building a "DPS" Paladin. I suppose I can re-train at the inn, but I am also afraid of having too little DPS, as Gimli is really the only one pulling his weight at the moment DPS-wise, and DPS is really slow with this group for now.

 

What are the relatives advantages and disadvantages of dual wielding compared to a 2H set-up?

 

If you say the early game is in fact the hardest with custom companions, then I feel better. And yes, I did the temple. It was fairly easy at level 4.

 

Per your advice - and as I suspected - I guess I should use spells and consumables more. I was worried about resource shortage, but money is rather plentiful in the game, it seems. I have 18k now, and I am sure it will get better later.

 

I will also focus on utilizing Chillfog and Inspiring Radiance I tend to play melee characters whenever I play RPG/MMORPG, so I suspect I am severely under-utilizing the casters.

 

Also,  is it unwise to put scale/mail on everyone? I am trying to optimize survival, but my backrow guys do not get hit that much, and I am wondering if I am just slowing them down.

 

Finally, one question about your posted builds: Is there a particular order in which certain skills/spells ought to be taken at a particular level? Or does it not matter?

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With dual wielding you will do two strikes that do a knockdown attempt. It's calles a "Full Attack". Full Attack means that if you have two weapons then you will hit with both. And obviously two knockdowns at the price of one is good. :) Also a good dps tool in the early game.

 

Two Handers are also ok, but in the case of knockdown where you have a disabling effect connencted to your attack it's better to have two chances instead of one. In terms of damage it's not much difference.

 

Same with paladins' Flames of Devotion: it's a Full Attack. So you should either use a hard hitting weapon for Flames of Devotion - or dual weapons like sabres, hammers, swords, spears or maces. Not the light weapons like daggers and so on! Because your Flames oD uses are limited to 2/encounter and you want to get out the max damage out of it. The most effective way is to use two (or three) arquebuses with Flames of Devotion (+Runner's WOunding SHot) and then switch to melee mode. Of course this means more micromanagement.

 

Paladins can be great at taking out high priority targets and deal great burst damage. So it's viable to build a paladin focused on damage dealing. But sustained damage per second (dps) is not the paladin's domain until lvl 13 where he gets Sacred Immolöation which is just great. But that's lvl 13... :)

 

Don't pput heavy armor on the back row unless you have issues with KOs. Heavy armor slows them down a lot. This also affects casting and so on. If they don't get attacked at all you can give them simple clothes which cause no slowdown at all but also grant 0 DR if unenchented.

 

Casters are the strongest classes in PoE - so don't forget to use their spells. ;)

 

The order of the talents/abilites is mostly determined by level anyway. So it shouldn't matter too much which you take when. Rule of thumb: favor everything that gives you accuracy, take that asap. Same with everything that does flat damage or other bonses that don't scale (Aspirant's Mark, Inspiring Radiance, Envenomed Strike and so on). THose are most effective in the early gamne and loose power in the later gamne (or better: they don't scale and therefore are less effective).

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Oh, I forgot:

 

Which Slash/Slaying enchant on weapons, and which Attribute/Proofing enchant on armor?

I almost never put a slaying enchant on my weapons.

 

As for lashes: try to mix it in the party. A paladin wants to use a burning lash most of the time. but for the rest it's a matter of taste. I for example choose the lash based on the color theme of the character or if it fits his main weapon. ;)

 

With attribute bonus on armor I would wait until I have other items (rings, cloaks and so on) which give you attr. bonuses. Those don't stack(!), so wait until you see which attribute has no bonus yet and then enchant your armor accordingly.

 

Proofing depends. If you wear a Blunting Belt you might want to choose crush proofed. Generally freeze proof is a solid choice as well.

If you enchant an armor with a weakness then watch out: for example a chain mail wich is weak with crush damage has a -50% malus for its DR value when it comes to crush damage. SO the mail has base DR of 9. But the -50% malus for crush makes the crush DR 5. If you enchant such armor with crush proofed, you will not add +3 DR to crush. Instead it works like so: (9 base +3 crush proofed) = 12 * 0.5 = 6. So you basically only added 1 crush DR. So avoid that by all means. :) Instead, build on the strength of that armor. Mail is great against slash, it has a +150% bonus. If you enchant it with slash proofed you will get 9+3 = 12 * 1.5 = 18. Just switch armor if you meet foes (scout ahead!) who deal damage which you are vulnerable to.

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With dual wielding you will do two strikes that do a knockdown attempt. It's calles a "Full Attack". Full Attack means that if you have two weapons then you will hit with both. And obviously two knockdowns at the price of one is good. :) Also a good dps tool in the early game.

 

Two Handers are also ok, but in the case of knockdown where you have a disabling effect connencted to your attack it's better to have two chances instead of one. In terms of damage it's not much difference.

 

 

 

So it's the same general RPG principle where two weapons - due to the increased speed - can apply status effects more often. I really wish RPG devs would increase the burst DPS of 2H weapons to counter this obvious disparity.

 

But I've almost never found an RPG or MMORPG game where 2H is better than dual wield except in isolated situations like PvP. Oh well.

 

 

 

Casters are the strongest classes in PoE - so don't forget to use their spells. ;)

 

 

 

I usually hate casters due to their micro-management and fragility issues, but I guess in this game I cannot just muscle my way through ;) I suppose the enhanced difficulty is welcome, given that so many RPGs are cakewalks...

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Two handers have more base damage. So they work a lot better with all the dmg bonuses you can get (like Weapon Mastery, Two Handed Style, Savage Attack, critial hits, Sneak Attack and so on) since those only boost base damage. Base damage is the damage an unenchanted version of the weapon, wielded with 10 might and bare any bonuses, would do. Against enemies with high DR they are better.

Edited by Boeroer
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Boeroer & others:

 

Thank you so much for your help. I did not do anything differently this time other than to utilize the casters to get involved in terms of using spells constantly - especially stuff like Chillfog - instead of merely using them to auto-attack and heal. And, voila! I kicked the Ogre chieftain's buttocks with zero casualties relatively easily. I think ignoring the casters and just auto-attacking them was my biggest flaw. In other RPGs, I could ignore them and simply muscle way through with melees, but obviously that does not work in this game - at least at early levels.

 

Now onto Raedric, and I think I can beat him, too - since I found the Ogre chieftain just as hard when I first tried both at level 5/4.

 

Edit: By the way, the Rogue keeps getting one-shotted even when I am using him as a melee. Should I wait until other beefier characters are engaged first? I don't know how aggro works in this game. Or is it an issue with the low Defense?

Edited by Lampros
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Rogue:

 

The rogue per se has low endurance, low health, low deflection (the other defenses are the same as with other classes). So he really is on the squishy side (even if you give him decent CON he drops all the time in the early game). Keep him in stealth (scouting mode) until most enemies engaged with your melees. Only then attack with the bow. If he's visible right from the start he will get attacked immediately because he has low DR, low endurance and also low deflection. There are a lot of enemies who love to attack those squishies first.

 

If you send him into melee he will die even sooner. Kepp him out of the fray and let the enemies engage with your front line first. That way it's less likely that enemies break out of engagement, risk a disengagement attack and go for the rogue (although it's still possible).

 

After some levels things get better. If you feel it's too bad give him Veteran's Recovery. This will help a lot. And as soon as you get Borresaine you shouldn't have too many issues anyway. (buy it in Copperlane from the aumauan merchant who's located at the bottom right on the marketplace - marketplace is in front of the expedition hall which sits in the upper right of the Copperlane map).

 

There is no real aggro system in PoE. There are just some preferences of the AI. It determines which basic strategy an enemy will choose (like enemy barbs like to go for low deflection for example).

 

If you could kill the Ogre Matron Zolla easily you shouldn't have any problems with Raedric.

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Rogue:

 

The rogue per se has low endurance, low health, low deflection (the other defenses are the same as with other classes). So he really is on the squishy side (even if you give him decent CON he drops all the time in the early game). Keep him in stealth (scouting mode) until most enemies engaged with your melees. Only then attack with the bow. If he's visible right from the start he will get attacked immediately because he has low DR, low endurance and also low deflection. There are a lot of enemies who love to attack those squishies first.

 

If you send him into melee he will die even sooner. Kepp him out of the fray and let the enemies engage with your front line first. That way it's less likely that enemies break out of engagement, risk a disengagement attack and go for the rogue (although it's still possible).

 

After some levels things get better. If you feel it's too bad give him Veteran's Recovery. This will help a lot. And as soon as you get Borresaine you shouldn't have too many issues anyway. (buy it in Copperlane from the aumauan merchant who's located at the bottom right on the marketplace - marketplace is in front of the expedition hall which sits in the upper right of the Copperlane map).

 

There is no real aggro system in PoE. There are just some preferences of the AI. It determines which basic strategy an enemy will choose (like enemy barbs like to go for low deflection for example).

 

If you could kill the Ogre Matron Zolla easily you shouldn't have any problems with Raedric.

 

Got it. I can get Borresaine now, but I may hold off triggering Act 2 until I can go as far as I can in the Endless Path levels. I am about to hit level 5.

 

General progress report & other questions/perplexities:

 

After incorporating your advice, I did all 3 areas I could not get past before: Endless Paths level 3, Raedric's Hold, and Dyrford Ruins. I also did Endless Paths level 4, and all of Dyrford Crossing. I am nearly level 6, and the only troubles I've had were mental casters from Dyrford Ruins and the spider swarms from the cave in Dyrford Crossing (more on these later). So let me consolidate questions regarding where I am still having trouble:

 

1. In indoor fights, my DPS is sometimes abysmally slow, because either my DPS Paladin or my DPS Fighter cannot get to the fight, because one of them is blocked off by the other 2 melees. The DPS Fighter, Gimli, in particular is by far the top DPS, so him not getting into the fight takes a huge chunk off of my potential DPS. I've gotten fed up to the point where I am thinking of re-training either him or my Paladin into a pike wielder. Is there anything I can do other than break immersion in this fashion by giving either Aragorn or Gimli a puny poke stick?

 

2. What is the best way to interrupt casters? Once I get Borresaine, I assume the stun will be very handy, but that's still 1 target, and in some fights I am just swamped by casters.

 

3. In particular, what is the best way to deal with those casters who apply mental afflictions? Dyrford Ruins fights were rather annoying, because I'd get a third of my team seemingly confused or cowering constantly. I thought Suppress Affliction would be the cure-all, but it has a tiny distance and it lasts a pathetic 7.5 seconds?! Is there something better?

 

4. Another area where my team is so far lacking seems to be is in the AoE. Luckily, the only fight so far I have needed them was in the Ogre cave in Dyrford Crossings, where the spider swarms presented far bigger problems than the Ogre Matron and her bears. But boy, I could barely kill the spiders fast enough when a dozen (or possibly more) converged. What spells do I have at my disposal on my Priest and Wizard? Nothing really seemed to have a big area of effect? I assume I will get more AoE fights in the future, and unless I get better spells later, I fear I will be in big trouble.

 

Thanks in advance, and I am sure these will not be the last questions as I progress through.

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