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[BUILD ADVICE] Full tank with max saves (Paladin?)

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#1
foyrkopp

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Hello Forumites,

 

I discovered this great game just recently and am loving it to death.

 

However, suffering from chronic altitis, I've not made it beyond Act II yet. On the plus side, I've had plenty of opportunity to test game mechanics (unless they unexpectedly change mid-game..).

 

To put my build plan into context, here's what I've found so far (playing on hard):

 

- It seems possible to run 2 tanks + ranged DPS if you keep the DPS stealthed at the beginning of combat (of course, doors make things way easier)

- to have good dialogue options, it seems helpful to have at least two of high PER / high INT / high RES

- at least at low levels, the party should function without mandatory per-rest abilities, since only a few camping supplies can be carried

- hiring at least some custom hirelings is beneficial

 

Now on to building an appropriate tank PC, for which I'm asking your advice:

 

Priorities: Defenses > Utitlty > DPS

 

Class: Paladin (DPS classes are already good on CC, but having a few strong per-encounter heals/buffs seems really helpful. Plus, high defenses.)

 

Race: Since I want to maximize saving throws, I think Wild Orlan, because their racial seems to amount to a free +10 will whenever will is targeted. Please don't lough about a Wild Orlan Paladin, Mini-Wookies can be proud and honorable, too.

 

Stats & SAVES (not including paladin bonuses):

- 13 MIG, 18 CON,  3 DEX, 17 PER, 7 INT, 20 RES

- Fortitude: +22 from stats

- Reflex: +0 from stats, +22 from Weapon and Shield Style

- Will: +14 from stats, +10 from racial ability

 

Questions:

- Is it feasible to go Shieldbearers with this low INT? Personally, I prefer them over Kind Wayfarers because their dispositions feel more disciplined, so this is mostly about RP.

- Are the opportunities to push dispositions halfway evenly distributed throughout the story? I've got the subjective impression that "benevolent" seems overly present, but I might be wrong...

- Does this build seem overall feasible? Any advice?



#2
Torm51

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In a group a Paladin with negative modifiers in INT isn't as useful. Your aura will be minuscule having trouble buffing your frontline. Also your Lay on Hands heal will be worse (although still good) and if you take any Exhortation abilities there duration will be shortened. As a group support Paladin I don't take less then 15 INT. Secondly, if you want to max saves you are taking a negative on your will save with a dumped INT.

If you don't want a high INT that's fine but I'd leave it at 10 not take negative modifiers on your abilities and saves.

Also a 13 Might is ok but it's likely your most important stat once you get Sacred Immolation..if you take it. You should. Turns you from an Alpha Strike tank into a decent DPS guy who is a great tank.

Two stats I definitely don't dump on a Paladin tank is Might and Int. I don't like dumping anything on Paladins to maximize saves. If I don't take a stat I leave it at 10.

You don't need that much Per on an Alpha Strike tank whose on a team. Between natural FoD acc of +20, Sworn Enemy, +1 ACC natural ability plus every level and Debuffs a 10 Per is more then enough. I leave it at 10 and still come in 2nd or 3rd in total damage done..as a tank lol

Since there is no aggro Paladin "tanks" in this game play a lot like actual tanks. Slow, lots of armor and a main gun that can explode stuff (your Alpha Strike) supporting the team and in turn being supported by the team with debuffs to make that main gun hit more often.

Edited by Torm51, 27 October 2017 - 09:19 AM.


#3
MaxQuest

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Since I want to maximize saving throws, I think Wild Orlan, because their racial seems to amount to a free +10 will whenever will is targeted. Please don't lough about a Wild Orlan Paladin, Mini-Wookies can be proud and honorable, too.

No one is going to laugh at it)
Personally, wild orlan and moon godlike are my favorite race choices for a tank paladin.

Is it feasible to go Shieldbearers with this low INT? Personally, I prefer them over Kind Wayfarers because their dispositions feel more disciplined, so this is mostly about RP.

Depends...
Base duration is 10s. At 7 INT it gonna be 8.5s. Or 17s total (since there are 2 FoD charges). If you party is dps heavy, that's the average duration of an encounter in mid-late game.

Are the opportunities to push dispositions halfway evenly distributed throughout the story? I've got the subjective impression that "benevolent" seems overly present, but I might be wrong...

I have a feeling that there are more opportunities for benevolent and honest.
Last time I played, I did it with visible disposition conversation choices. I have maxed benevolent and honest first. Followed by diplomatic, clever and rational. The longest it took me to rise stoic.
As for passionate, cruel and deceptive I was never really into them, so can't really comment here.

Does this build seem overall feasible? Any advice?

It will work yes. But unless you specifically want high deflection for some RP reason, I'd say that this build appears a bit sub-optimal to me from power-building perspective.
Reasons:
- deflection is not that useful as it can appear after going through the early game for the first time
- dragon melee attacks target fortitude, while their breath targets reflex and these are ones of the most hard-hitting stuff in the game. Iirc Radiant Spore/Kraken tentacles target fortitude as well.
- cleansing flames aside, few of enemy damaging abilities target will.
- combining these together I'd say fortitude is a prioritary defence for a main tank paladin; plus it helps vs majority of stuns/prones/paralyzes.
- high might does increase fortitude and increases the potence of paladin heals and sacred imolation damage
- high intellect helps with aura range, sacred immolation range and buffs/exhortations durations. It also increases the amount healed by Lay on Hands
- two of the most utility -order specific- talents are Inspiring Liberation and Bond of Duty. Because of the encounters design, these quite have a higher impact than Shielding Flames. Plus you save a talent, since MT doesn't really need Flames of Devotion.
- there is a high chance that you will want to use Outworn Buckler/Little Savior shield. So putting points in PER, in order to get higher reflex/deflection is no longer the way to squeeze more defences.
- assuming you have a 6-man party, how about something like?: 17 MIG, 17 CON, 5 DEX, 5 PER, 18 INT, 16 RES
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#4
Torm51

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Since I want to maximize saving throws, I think Wild Orlan, because their racial seems to amount to a free +10 will whenever will is targeted. Please don't lough about a Wild Orlan Paladin, Mini-Wookies can be proud and honorable, too.

No one is going to laugh at it)
Personally, wild orlan and moon godlike are my favorite race choices for a tank paladin.

Is it feasible to go Shieldbearers with this low INT? Personally, I prefer them over Kind Wayfarers because their dispositions feel more disciplined, so this is mostly about RP.

Depends...
Base duration is 10s. At 7 INT it gonna be 8.5s. Or 17s total (since there are 2 FoD charges). If you party is dps heavy, that's the average duration of an encounter in mid-late game.

Are the opportunities to push dispositions halfway evenly distributed throughout the story? I've got the subjective impression that "benevolent" seems overly present, but I might be wrong...

I have a feeling that there are more opportunities for benevolent and honest.
Last time I played, I did it with visible disposition conversation choices. I have maxed benevolent and honest first. Followed by diplomatic, clever and rational. The longest it took me to rise stoic.
As for passionate, cruel and deceptive I was never really into them, so can't really comment here.

Does this build seem overall feasible? Any advice?

It will work yes. But unless you specifically want high deflection for some RP reason, I'd say that this build appears a bit sub-optimal to me from power-building perspective.
Reasons:
- deflection is not that useful as it can appear after going through the early game for the first time
- dragon melee attacks target fortitude, while their breath targets reflex and these are ones of the most hard-hitting stuff in the game. Iirc Radiant Spore/Kraken tentacles target fortitude as well.
- cleansing flames aside, few of enemy damaging abilities target will.
- combining these together I'd say fortitude is a prioritary defence for a main tank paladin; plus it helps vs majority of stuns/prones/paralyzes.
- high might does increase fortitude and increases the potence of paladin heals and sacred imolation damage
- high intellect helps with aura range, sacred immolation range and buffs/exhortations durations. It also increases the amount healed by Lay on Hands
- two of the most utility -order specific- talents are Inspiring Liberation and Bond of Duty. Because of the encounters design, these quite have a higher impact than Shielding Flames. Plus you save a talent, since MT doesn't really need Flames of Devotion.
- there is a high chance that you will want to use Outworn Buckler/Little Savior shield. So putting points in PER, in order to get higher reflex/deflection is no longer the way to squeeze more defences.
- assuming you have a 6-man party, how about something like?: 17 MIG, 17 CON, 5 DEX, 5 PER, 18 INT, 16 RES

 

Dragon regular melee swipes attack Deflection.  There special attacks like Wing Slam for the Adra Dragon and Wing Buffet from the Alpine Dragon which hit MUCH harder then their auto attacks, target Fortitude.  Either way you are correct.  Against a Dragon Fortitude is your best defense, followed by Reflex for dodging Breathes.  That being said my advice would be not to tank the Dragon.  No matter how tanky you are you will not last long.  The base damage of the attacks are so high that even a graze hurts A LOT.  A few attacks you can tank but you WILL NOT survive a sustained attack on you by a Dragon without disables/debuffs.  There are lots of ways to disable/debuff.  Make sure it happens.

 

I just beat the Sky Dragon again and his melee attacks did attack my Fort.  Guess I was wrong!


Edited by Torm51, 27 October 2017 - 04:37 PM.


#5
foyrkopp

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Thank you for your insights.
 
Considering that respec is possible, I've started the playthrough already, so I've seen the build in (early) action already.
 

 

Are the opportunities to push dispositions halfway evenly distributed throughout the story? I've got the subjective impression that "benevolent" seems overly present, but I might be wrong...

I have a feeling that there are more opportunities for benevolent and honest.
Last time I played, I did it with visible disposition conversation choices. I have maxed benevolent and honest first. Followed by diplomatic, clever and rational. The longest it took me to rise stoic.
As for passionate, cruel and deceptive I was never really into them, so can't really comment here.

 

 
Mmhh. That's a shame, but I'll probably not reroll just to change the order (I've tested, seems I can't respec it since it's tied to class.)

 

 

Does this build seem overall feasible? Any advice?

It will work yes. But unless you specifically want high deflection for some RP reason, I'd say that this build appears a bit sub-optimal to me from power-building perspective.
Reasons:
- deflection is not that useful as it can appear after going through the early game for the first time
- dragon melee attacks target fortitude, while their breath targets reflex and these are ones of the most hard-hitting stuff in the game. Iirc Radiant Spore/Kraken tentacles target fortitude as well.
- cleansing flames aside, few of enemy damaging abilities target will.
- combining these together I'd say fortitude is a prioritary defence for a main tank paladin; plus it helps vs majority of stuns/prones/paralyzes.
- high might does increase fortitude and increases the potence of paladin heals and sacred imolation damage
- high intellect helps with aura range, sacred immolation range and buffs/exhortations durations. It also increases the amount healed by Lay on Hands
- two of the most utility -order specific- talents are Inspiring Liberation and Bond of Duty. Because of the encounters design, these quite have a higher impact than Shielding Flames. Plus you save a talent, since MT doesn't really need Flames of Devotion.
- there is a high chance that you will want to use Outworn Buckler/Little Savior shield. So putting points in PER, in order to get higher reflex/deflection is no longer the way to squeeze more defences.
- assuming you have a 6-man party, how about something like?: 17 MIG, 17 CON, 5 DEX, 5 PER, 18 INT, 16 RES

 

 

So, basically, there seems to be a choice:
 
1: Keep reflex as high as fortitude/will but sacrifice utitlity .
- Lay on Hands is mediocre with low INT (didn't realise it was a HoT. Duh.)
- deflection buffs are relatively short
- (small aura range doesn't matter as much to me, since it's meant for my co-tank only. DPS-team is too far out anyway)
 
2: Sacrifice reflex to get more utitlity and raise fortitude/will even higher
 
The question seems to be: Which effects usually target reflex?
 
I'm not that afraid of damaging abilities since I have a decent endurance pool and could always quaff a potion of Protection from the Elements (those exist, right?).
It's debuffs/disables I'm worried about.
 

In a group a Paladin with negative modifiers in INT isn't as useful. Your aura will be minuscule having trouble buffing your frontline. Also your Lay on Hands heal will be worse (although still good) and if you take any Exhortation abilities there duration will be shortened. As a group support Paladin I don't take less then 15 INT. Secondly, if you want to max saves you are taking a negative on your will save with a dumped INT.

If you don't want a high INT that's fine but I'd leave it at 10 not take negative modifiers on your abilities and saves.

Also a 13 Might is ok but it's likely your most important stat once you get Sacred Immolation..if you take it. You should. Turns you from an Alpha Strike tank into a decent DPS guy who is a great tank.

Two stats I definitely don't dump on a Paladin tank is Might and Int. I don't like dumping anything on Paladins to maximize saves. If I don't take a stat I leave it at 10.

You don't need that much Per on an Alpha Strike tank whose on a team. Between natural FoD acc of +20, Sworn Enemy, +1 ACC natural ability plus every level and Debuffs a 10 Per is more then enough. I leave it at 10 and still come in 2nd or 3rd in total damage done..as a tank lol

Since there is no aggro Paladin "tanks" in this game play a lot like actual tanks. Slow, lots of armor and a main gun that can explode stuff (your Alpha Strike) supporting the team and in turn being supported by the team with debuffs to make that main gun hit more often.

 

Hm. Low saves are actually not a problem in the current build. In between high stat sums on MIG/CON, DEX/PER & INT/RES, Weapon and Shield Style's reflex bonus and the racial ability that guarantees +10 will, I've got 45 in all saves (+8 from Faith and Conviction).

 

Small aura range is not a problem since my co-tank is standing right next to me.

 

However, both damage and utility are indeed really... mediocre atm - he mostly just stands there, bemusedly humoring those feeble enemies desperately whacking at him and just refuses to die.


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#6
MaxQuest

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Yeap, Alpine Dragon's melee attacks target fortitude.
Plus he's hitting the hardest. With Deathblows he can crit for 200+. Taking a 250+ graze from Finishing Blow hurts as well.

But seems I was wrong too, as I thought that Adra and Bog Dragons target fort as well. Just tested:
Spoiler

P.S. Regarding tanking a dragon: it's not really tanking, as in taking all the blows and healing up; it's rather sending someone beefy whom you can use to control dragon's facing angle, while you try to prone/stun/paralyze/petrify it, because if there is just 1s gap between cc, it will use the breath.

Edited by MaxQuest, 28 October 2017 - 02:22 AM.


#7
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Actually a high CON monk or even barb work better for me in that regard. They just can't be killed with one attack and can be healed a lot before health runs out. Monk is especially nice because of Duality, Crucible and the summons who are surprisingly sturdy.

But overall the MC paladin is unmatched.


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#8
Dr <3

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Actually a high CON monk or even barb work better for me in that regard. They just can't be killed with one attack and can be healed a lot before health runs out. Monk is especially nice because of Duality, Crucible and the summons who are surprisingly sturdy.

But overall the MC paladin is unmatched.


Also a chanter with a full defensive build do wonders against dragons. Even in solo you will be able to stand and slowly kill the dragon before the dragon kills you

#9
Braven

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When it comes to best defensive class and tank, I think Monk outshines paladin.

Monk can have really high passive defenses too, and has higher potential passive deflection than a paladin. FoA ability is both powerful for survivability and also getting enemies off of your weaker party members (tanking) and can be used several times in an encounter for tough fights. Paladins meanwhile have no real “taunt/tanking” powers. They can heal someone a couple times, but that does not really solve the problem of the enemy mauling your glass cannon companions. A long diration prone basically takes the attacker out of the fight preventing further health loss so healing is not needed. Also, monks can be very effective tanks with light armor which helps a lot since the AI targets low DR as a high priority.

Paladin can have slightly higher “other defenses”, but monk comes close (only 2 off) and Can have higher passive deflection, more health, and DR.

I think paladin is better when focusing on the party support abilities. For that reason, I recommend high INT because paladin has a lot of duration based abilities and the auras need it to be decent sized.

For the dispositions, they are pretty equally distributed if you know where to look. Also, some have more “impact” than others. I actually find the “evil” paladin the easiest to raise. Aggressive and cruelty are available early if you focus on being a total jerk. Also there are two story plots that raise stats for the main character which raise and require cruelity (and none for the other ones). If you want these without penatly you need to take either the evil paladin one, or goldpact. The others don’t like “cruel”. Not sure why the developers only put in special talents for evil characters and none for good ones. Makes me a little sad.

For a couple quick cruelity points, kill everyone in the caravan during the prologue and than brag about killing your initial companion to her sister in Gilded Vale. Someone at Obsidian is a sick, sick person to have thought that plot line up.

Edited by Braven, 28 October 2017 - 07:06 PM.


#10
Boeroer

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What do you mean with "only 2 off" and that the monk gets higher potential deflection?

The monk gets +8 to fortitude/reflex/will OR deflection (base 25) from Duality.

The paladin can get +27 to fortitude/reflex/will with Faith and Conviction + Deep Faith and +13 deflection (base 20).

Now the monk has to decide which part to boost (deflection OR the other defenses), but that aside both end up at 33 deflection - while the paladin gets his other defenses buffed a lot higher than the monk. It's not 2 but 19 points of difference unless I missed something (it's 2 points if you only look at the starting bonus of Faith at Conviction which is +5/+10 at lvl 1 without dispositions).

Now add the Outworn Buckler that you can get very, very early in the game for rel. little money and that can only be worn by a paladin and you'll have +18/+32.
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#11
Torm51

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What do you mean with "only 2 off" and that the monk gets higher potential deflection?

The monk gets +8 to fortitude/reflex/will OR deflection (base 25) from Duality.

The paladin can get +27 to fortitude/reflex/will with Faith and Conviction + Deep Faith and +13 deflection (base 20).

Now the monk has to decide which part to boost (deflection OR the other defenses), but that aside both end up at 33 deflection - while the paladin gets his other defenses buffed a lot higher than the monk. It's not 2 but 19 points of difference unless I missed something (it's 2 points if you only look at the starting bonus of Faith at Conviction which is +5/+10 at lvl 1 without dispositions).

Now add the Outworn Buckler that you can get very, very early in the game for rel. little money and that can only be worn by a paladin and you'll have +18/+32.

Ya the Paladin has the monk beat by a good margin.  And if the Monk wants to come close he has to take things like weapon and shield style.  Eh I wouldn't bring a monk with a shield.  Not what they are best at.  Not saying it cannot be done of course.



#12
Dr <3

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Just a little note: the monk can take cautious attack (+8 def) AND duality of mortal presence for +8 to fort/ref/will.

Paladin clearly have an advantage on raw defences numbers, but i think that between summons, larger health pool, +10 dr for iron wheel, disable on demand (FoA/stunning strikes), monk can be an equal or superior tank

#13
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Yes, those points are valid. I think in certain situations a defensive monk is more effective than a defensive paladin, too - but the numbers weren't correct by a wide margin.

Concerning Cautious Attack: what keeps a paladin to take Cautious Attack as well? Stacks with Faith and Conviction just fine. He then has +13 deflection compared to the monk who also uses it and +24 to other defenses compared to the monk (if Outworn Buckler is in).

Also, paladins can use Zealous Endurance to get 15% hit to graze conversion - which works against every attack and stacks with durgan steel on shield and armor.

When it comes to plain passive defense numbers, there's nothing better than a paladin. Doesn't mean that he's the most effective tanker though. Also depends what you want a tank to do.

Edited by Boeroer, 29 October 2017 - 02:09 AM.

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#14
foyrkopp

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So, sheer numbers aside - is it worth it to sacrifice the reflex score in order to maximize fortitude/will and get some utility from the class?

 

(Still talking about a paladin)



#15
Braven

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What do you mean with "only 2 off" and that the monk gets higher potential deflection?

The monk gets +8 to fortitude/reflex/will OR deflection (base 25) from Duality.

The paladin can get +27 to fortitude/reflex/will with Faith and Conviction + Deep Faith and +13 deflection (base 20).

Now the monk has to decide which part to boost (deflection OR the other defenses), but that aside both end up at 33 deflection - while the paladin gets his other defenses buffed a lot higher than the monk. It's not 2 but 19 points of difference unless I missed something (it's 2 points if you only look at the starting bonus of Faith at Conviction which is +5/+10 at lvl 1 without dispositions).

Did you forget that 3.0 nerfed paladins big time? Faith and Conviction is only +10 deflection / 20 other defenses with both maxed out dispositions AND the deep faith talent. It does a weird decimal-based climb starting at 4 deflection and 8 to defenses and ending at +8/+17. Also, starting deflection is now only 20. So, with all abilities and the paladin only talent, paladins have 30 deflection (starting 20 + 8 F&C +2 deep faith) and +20 defenses (+17 F&C, +3 deep faith) at end of game.

Monk can get 33 with duality for deflection, or +18 to other defenses with duality and the crucible of suffering passive ability which stacks (in my experience, this is always active whenever “other defenses” really matters. With high Int it lasts like 30 seconds each time you take a graze. If there is a fear aura (dragons) it is always active). If you want to go all out defensive there is another ability monk has to cut all harmful afflictions in half. With the hide armor that also cuts stun/prone in half, you are effectively immune to the most common afflictions. I never found that ability to be needed, but I am sure it would more than make up for any perceived defensive shortfall.

Sure, Duality can only be active for deflection for either deflection or other defenses, and that does help out paladin in battles where both are important all the time (I tend to switch to other defenses when I see a spell being targeted at the monk; it switches instantly with just a short cool down to switch back. It is more micro, but does limit the number of times that downside is a downside). Because you can boost deflection sky high, and most non-spells and knockdown target deflection first with the affliction as a secondary, having high deflection solves both problems and you just switch the modal when you see the icon appear and then switch it back after the spell. Some of the toughest fights only one mode is relevent. The Alpine Dragon, for example only targets fortitude and reflex and will; never deflection. For normal encounters often only deflection is needed, at least after you knock the possible caster prone.

I would call the defense bonuses a “small advantage” in the best case for paladin situations; certainly not a “huge one” because of the version 3.0 nerfs. Monks Force of Anquish easily makes up for this as far as “tanking” goes, not to mention Iron Wheel for massive Damage reduction potential. Having high defenses doesn’t help if enemies just run past you so a hard disable is really handy. Also, the small edge in other defenses from the Deep Faith talent is not relevent most of the game simply because of all the other (in my opinion, better) defensive talents anyone can take. I normally don’t take it until level 14 or 16 making it not relevant for most of the game. Monk has everything they need by level 7 for defenses. The extra talent monk gains by not taking deep faith could be used for something like snakes reflexes to boost a single defense by 10. That is only 1 less than the combined defense bonuses of deep faith’s 2+3+3+3. There are more defensive talents than you have probably have room to take, so is it really fair to add deep faith into the comparison?

While monk does not have access to the early buckler, you can take a large shield instead. Even with the accuracy penatly, monk DPS will be higher and has +5 better base accuracy to cushion the blow. Basically you trade +5 net fort/will gain for +3 net deflection/reflex. Seems pretty equal to me considering deflection is the most important defense (particularly in early/mid game) and a “tank” likely has low stats that contribute to reflex since dex/per are the lowest priorities for helping defense.

Yes, the shield helps party defenses, but the point I am making is that the monk is personally “tougher” than paladin. I agree that paladin is a great party support “leader” type role, similiar to a priest in that regard but with per encounter instead of per rest abilities.

Later on , I find the graze-to-reflect shield is more effective than the buckler to keep the party safe anyways. In many encounters in The White March, just walk the monk ahead fully buffed and watch the enemy group paralze and kill themselves without you having to do anything. Monk is better with this tactic because the siul mirror ability makes this even more effective.

In conclusion, Paladin can have a bit better “other” defenses, but it isn’t “way better” and looking at the whole picture, those advantages are pretty negligible for contributing to the overall objective of survivability and traditional tanking. Paladin used to be awesome as the ultimate tank, but the nerfs hit a little too hard (while monk has not been nerfed at all). I do think they are good as a priest-like character with good defenses that help make thier party stronger with buffing and healing, and I find paladin fun to play. I just feel like the “way better” defenses is overblown and that posters are forgetting about the nerfs with numbers being posted. (And the wiki is outdated if you look there)

Edited by Braven, 29 October 2017 - 05:42 AM.

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#16
foyrkopp

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So, just hypothetically speaking:

 

I have looked at a monk as PC main tank.

 

Generally speaking, I see two interesting paths here:

 

based on Force of Anguish

 

I've tried this before and experienced two problems:

 

1) stat distribution

For disabling, I feel the need for high PER (to hit reliably) & hight INT ("and stay down!").

For tanking, I feel the need for high RES and decent CON.

This usually leaves fortitude quite low, which, as I've learned here, is one of the most important tanking stats.

Am I overvaluing PER/RES?

How could one go about building this? 6/20/3/16/16/16 ?

 

1) Positioning.

In my experience, to bowl over an enemy going for my backline, I've to disengage from the guys I'm currently fighting. Often, this results in catching him just before he reaches the backline, thus bringing half the frontline with me.

 

Hm.. might have to take long stride...

 

Fire Godlike anvil build

(is this even viable? It's just that the synergy between monk-has-to-be-hit & Battle Forged looks so tempting...)

 

I'd probably forego INT on this one and max MIG instead, resulting in better fortitude. Low INT means hamstringing both FOA and Crucible of Suffering of course... I'll probably hire an adventurer late game to how well this goes.



#17
Boeroer

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Whoa, I totally forgot aboput Crucible of Suffering. This is truly useful in dragon fights and will stack nicely with Defiant Resolve as well. Sorry about that. I never take it because I never feel the need with a monk. ;) 

 

I knew that Faith and Conviction got nerfed, but when I looked it up in the wiki I didn't double check (because the wiki says it got nerfed - but didn't update the numbers - bummer). I know you can't trust the wiki, but I can't always fir up PoE when I want to check the numbers. Maybe I should. ;)

 

So yes, deflection is 30 (paladin) compared to 33 (monk) if the monk chooses to use Duality for deflection or 30 compared to 25. I would still consider the Outworn Buckler part of every paladin tank which gives the paladin the edge when it comes to passive defenses until the monk grabs Little Savior.

 

I don't say that paladins are the better tanks, I was just confused by the "only 2 points off". :)

 

Another nice thing for a paladin tank is Liberating Exhortation which can be cast on self. Sadly, Reinforcng Exhortation can't.

 

 

So, sheer numbers aside - is it worth it to sacrifice the reflex score in order to maximize fortitude/will and get some utility from the class?

 

(Still talking about a paladin)

I would say yes if you plan to mainly lower DEX. With a lot of MIG and INT you do better healing with Lay on Hands and Veteran's Recovery, your Sacred Immolation will be a lot more effective, too (if you don't lower PER too much). Fortitude is more important than reflex in my opinion (the most nasty disables like paralyze, stun and petrify target fortitude most of the time) plus you can boost reflex with Weapon & Shield Style. Also, when using Sacred Immolation it's cool if you don't get mind controlled. High will helps to only catch grazes and Righteous Sould will then make sure that the alliance flip is canceled immediately or is very short.

 

There are some situations where it's very cool to have very high reflex - like when your wizard wants to nuke the whole place with an AoE spell but your paladin is standing right in the center. But generally I'd say it's more useful the other way round.


Edited by Boeroer, 29 October 2017 - 05:39 AM.


#18
Braven

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I forgot to add that large shield also helps reflex more than the outworn buckler... something easily forgotten. This is because of the sword/shield style you are taking asap as a shield tank also boosts reflex more for larger shields than smaller ones. Considering that a pure tank usually has reflex as the lowest defensive stat (dex being the likely dump stat), this is really helpful. +3/3 more for the most important defensive stats is probably just as useful as the +5/5 for the less important ones. I usually find an already enchanted superb large shield quite a while before getting dragon scales to upgrade the outworn buckler. At that point it is +7/7 vs +5/5 in favor of the large shield.

I agree I would always take the buckler for the party benefits alone if playing a paladin, but the large shield is quite nice if only considering the shield holder.

Regarding the endurance aura. This is not as helpful as it seems because with super high defenses enemies are already grazing at best making the hit-to-graze rarely come into play late game. It is good early before you get the talents and level bonuses to defenses. The +3 DR is more for reducing prep work since it can also be nearly achieved with cheap ale and does not stack with ale’s bonus. Ale provides +2 DR and is widely available for essentially nothing. Costs like 2 copper, replenishes regularly in stores, and is available right from the start in Gilded Vale. It lasts a really long time so you can just drink it before a tough battle. For run of the mill encounters, enemies are unlikely to exceed min damage with just plate armor providing DR.

Of course, auras are good for buffing your other party members, but again, paladin can do that without being the “tank”. And that is my main point here. With an offensive-speced second-line paladin and with monk as the primary tank, the monk gains the benefits of the aura and outworn shield along with his own abilities and can still use a large shield too for the +8 additional deflection and reflex. That is a big deal if going for highest possible defenses. And the paladin can also buff the monk with the abilities that only target allies like the deflection-boosting one and can heal him with lay on hands, etc.

———————

The annoying thing about the liberating ability of paladin is that it is not very helpful cast on yourself. It only pauses currently active afflictions (doesn’t prevent new ones) and you can’t use it when afflicted with the worst ones (stun/prone/paralyze/petrify/charm/domination/confusion) because you are unable to take actions to use the ability. Even the ones it does affect will eventually resume for it’s full duration. Seems better to just use a scroll of immunity or priest spell which solves that major shortfall and affects all characters in the party instead of just a single one. Or reduce the duration instead with chanter phase or monk ability or armor enchantment.

It is good for helping a party member in trouble but not very good for helping the paladin personally. All the other ones only target allies, sadly. Again, not helping the paladin “tank better”; just makes him better for support (like priest’s role).

————————-

Side note: Fighter has the best overall defenses if you only consider the first 20 seconds or so of each encounter and can be achieved early at level 5. This is because of that stalwart defense ability and naturally high deflection resulting in 20 higher deflection and equal other defenses to an end game paladin. While 20 seconds does not seem long, encounters don’t last as long with a full party and enemy casters unleash thier spells at the start and run out (or are dead) by the time it ends. Usually there is only a couple enemies left by then and it is just clean up time and “other” defenses do not really matter then. The big advantage of high defenses is to negate the first couple enemy spell volleys before you get the battlefield under control.

The big downside of fighter is that the fighter’s ability does not stack with spells like circle of protection while the paladin and monk’s passives do because of the way the stacking logic is programmed. This helps them survive better in the toughest fights where you want to stack everything you can.

Edited by Braven, 29 October 2017 - 10:20 AM.






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