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I just got white march 1&2, I have finished the game on whatever difficulty is just below Potd with a base party.

I would like to give PotD a try with a custom party, but have no clue where to start as its been well over a year since I played and do not know many of the patch balances and changes.

It does not need to be a crazy fancy party just something that I can try PotD with and see if I can handle the difficulty.

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Hi, without going into detail (on could write a book about this): you want to have a good mixture of single target abilites and AoE abilites - but the focus should be on AoE. That's because PotD has a lot more foes than the lower difficulties. You need good AoE capabilites to deal wioth them, preferably AoE disables. At the same time you need good single target actions for the tough buggers with very high defenses and/or with big damaging potential (think of dragons). You need very high accuracy and good single target damage for those. Very good if a class can combine this. The following suggestions are not "the best!" or whatever - there is no such thing, but they have proven to be solid.

You also want to have a good mix of powerful per-rest spells (help a lot in tough fights) and good per-encounter or passive abilites (help to win the normal fights without loosing too much resources and health).

 

- paladin supporter "tank" with Outworn Buckler but also focus on "alpha" strikes via Flames of Devotion. For inspiration look at Counselor Ploi. Ths one also has good mind control capabilites which can come in very handy. Skill survival to get to 8 at least (+40% healing bonus).

Why this guy: great passive and active support and healing, good "alpha strikes", good sturdyness. Later on (lvl 13) great AoE damage.

Alternative: defensive fighter with focus on self heals + Take the Hit, Hold the Line and Overbearing Guard as well as Knockdown, Into the Fray and Clear Out, wielding (bashing) shield + Shatterstar. Don't use Mind Crontrol on enemies when using Take the Hit (bugged)! Skill survival for healing. 

 

- chanter "tank" with weapon & shield, going full defense except that your MIG, and INT should be high. You will aim for "the Dragon Thrashed" in order to melt foes in a huge AoE by just standing around. Look at "the Drake's Ambassador" for inspiration. The main part is using Dragon Thrashed and nothing else. You'll note that this build also uses the mind control items that the paladin build uses. I would recommend to give them toi the paladin and just stick to the core concept of the chanter build, which is being defensive and dealing damage via Dragon Thrashed. Aim for the Little Savior shield. At the sme time pick Ancient Memory and Beloved Spirits in order to heal your comrades passively. Veteran's Recovery stacks with this so I recommend it as well. Skill survival to get to 8 at least (+40% healing bonus).

Why this guy: tremendous AoE damage from lvl 9 on, very easy to handle, no micro, sturdy, good passive healing support.

Alternative: a barbarian with a lot of CON and self healing via Veteran's Recovery and Savage Defiance, wielding Tidefall and using Frenzy, Blooded and Blood Thirst. Give him the Redeemer as well as backup weapon against vessels, skill survival. 

 

- monk offtank with the Long Pain. Look at the Witch Doctor build for inspiration. This one is a melee/ranged hybrid. The build behind the link is a bit glass cannony, so you might want to put more points into CON if you like to get a more sturdy version. Also Veteran's recovery is always nice on a monk to make hm more tanky. skill survival for healing and accuracy.

Why this guy: combines single target and AoE abiliites: very good single target CC, very high melee and ranged single target damage, very good AoE damage once he has some wounds.

Alternative: dps dual wield fighter with high INT, using spell binding gear to get some AoE spells and doing good single target CC and solid single target damage, skill lore for scrolls and survival for healing.
Alternative 2: retaliation monk - look at the build list for monksterlasher or anvil and so on, skill survival.

 

- Boar druid flanker/offtank. Use a boar druid, give him a lot of MIG and CON, dump RES. Pick Veteran's Recovery asap. Then max out wildstrike shock damage, also take Heart of the Storm. Once you get the Sanguine Plate use that as well to catch a crit and then shift while keeping the Frenzy buff. Again skill survival for better healing.
Why this guy: good survivability for a caster, tremendous single target damage when shifted (better than any rogue), great crowd control an damage via spells, good support via spells.

Alternative: melee wizard skilled for reach weapons, using self buffs and Concelhaut's Staff, later Citzal's Spirit Lance

 

- priest. the build really doesn't matter that much. Don't make him too slow. A good way to prevent a priest from getting focused on by enemies is to wear a shield and have high deflection while armor is low to speed up casting. Look at the Support Priest build for inspiration. If you want a more offensive orientation (priests can do very good AoE damage at higher levels), look at the Fire Priest. If you don't use the chanter then let this guy carry Little Savior at some point. This guy could be your mechanics man.

Why this guy: support spells of priests are unmatched. a priest makes a playthrough a LOT easier if you don't want to rely on heavy scroll use. Also great AoE damage if skilled accordingly.

There is no alternative. ;)

 

-  ranged cipher with a war bow (aim for The Rain of Godagh Field). Ciphers combine good single target damage with nice CC spells. I'd use low armor and try to disable (mental binding) and kill enemies who want to swarm this guy. Also Mind Control via Whisper of Treason is cheap and powerful. Skill survival for ACC bonus or mechanics if you have no other mechanics guy.

Why this guy: great crowd control without the need to spend per-rest resources. Good single target weapon damage. Best single target damaging spell in the game (Disintegration).

Alternative: Blaster Wizard with Golden Gaze (AoE damage and CC) or Ranger with Persistence and focus on pet damage (Predator's Sense, Vicious and Merciless Companion, Takedown., Brutal Takedown and so on - very good single target damage and ok single target CC - at lvl 11 great single target CC).

 

You'll note that I don't say anything about a rogue.  I think it's the class that brings the least usefulness to a PotD party if you stick to the usual build ideas - because it's mostly limited to single target damage while being quite squishy. There are just too many enemies on PoTD to kill them all one by one. You want to use a rogue to take out high priority targets on PoTD. But a druid, monk, cipher and fighter can fulfill the same role while having additional tools in the belt (additional CC, more sturdyness, AoE capability and so on). You can build nice rogues for PoTD that are fun and powerful - but this requires more detailed explanation.

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I did enjoy the companion banter and think I would like to try to play with them on PotD. That being said If I were to adjust their stats as per the builds listed in the PotD companion thread listed above.

 

 

You can also look at this one for build ideas for story companions that allow you to travel with real characters and not empty shells.

 

What kinds of stat changes would you make to each build?

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You don't need to change the stats of the official companions. They are good enough. More importantly: the official companions will have the same experience and level as you when you pick them up. Hirelings will be lvl-1. That is a bigger advantage than a few stat points. They early game is the most hardest part of PoTD - with official companions it's easier. Later hirelings can close the XP gap - but after the mid game the difficulty drops significantly and also here a few stats points don't matter much anymore.

Edited by Boeroer

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You can do that. However it's not really needed because you can get 4 official companions even before going into Caed Nua:

 

You'll get Aloth and Edér right when you are in Gilded Vale. You can then pick up Durance at Magran's Fork and go to Caed Nua (don't enter) and pick up Kana Rua.

 

I then like to hire one adventurer. I will park this one once I get the fifth official companion.

 

Just an example. 

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You can do that. However it's not really needed because you can get 4 official companions even before going into Caed Nua:

 

You'll get Aloth and Edér right when you are in Gilded Vale. You can then pick up Durance at Magran's Fork and go to Caed Nua (don't enter) and pick up Kana Rua.

 

I then like to hire one adventurer. I will park this one once I get the fifth official companion.

 

Just an example. 

 

Plus, as much as I like PoE, I've long felt like the Act 1 balance is frankly kinda derpy and PotD really shines a spotlight on how uneven it is. On PotD phantom packs have high all-around defenses, accuracy and sheer numbers to go along with their standard suite of immunities and nasty on-hit effects, so rushing Caed Nua on PotD is really more like a tedious personal challenge rather than a safe bet that'll minimize your odds of needing to reload. It's doable, but even by PotD standards you need to be savvy with your pulls. 

 

 

You can build nice rogues for PoTD that are fun and powerful - but this requires more detailed explanation.

Let me guess: High might Rogue who shifts emphasis to scrolls and spell items once deathblows becomes available? I really wish rogues had more abilities and bonuses that highlighted their proficiency with items; deathblows goes a long way towards making them worthwhile, but it's not obvious that the spell proficiency was even intended. I'm still mildly disappointed that PoEII doesn't appear to have a utility belt rogue sub-class of some sort that gives you bonuses when using traps and scrolls. I wanted to defeat people with my wallet ingenuity like Batman.

Edited by Whipstitch
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Spell Binding and/or scrolls is an approach, but you can also build a two handed rogue who specializes in Backstab (VERY powerful in the early to mid game) and try to stack invisibility uses.

Too bad that Backstab favors the heavy hitting weapons...

 

Or a max CON rogue with 1 INT and high move speed, using Tidefall (sturdy and very damaging), hunting casters behind enemy lines.

Or a tanky Pale Elf who uses Adept Evasion + Cape of the Cheat + shield + retaliation + shield + Riposte + Battle Forged and Deep Wounds to do good damage via retaliation and Riposte nearly nullify the chance to get hit by a reflex based AoE spell and use him as a tank who gets targeted by your wizard/druid with AoE spells like Slicken, Sunbeam, Tanglefoot, Fireball and so on.

 

A Quick Switching Island Amaua arquebus rogue is also good when it comes to taking out high priority targets asap.

 

But all those are quite specialized and somewhat tricky and/or micro intensive.  

Edited by Boeroer

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My current PotD PC rogue is a bit of a morphing of all that—a pale elf, rauatai, drifter dual wielding (currently) the March Steel dagger and some rapier I can't recall.

 

Start off dropping a trap, a hunting bow for sneaky first strike, and then shifts to melee after Shadowing Beyond. I sacrificed a couple of points of Mech to get a few points of Stealth. In a pinch I'll use Escape to get back behind the trap if needed, especially against the Wraiths (I think) who can pull me to them.

 

I stick to (in this set up) Sneak Attack (is that automatic? i can't remember), Blinding Strike, Dirty Fighting, Escape, Finishing Blow, Deep Wounds, Adept Evasion, other skills depending on my mood at the time, dagger/rapier weapon specialty, Two weapon, Flick of the Wrist, Dozens Luck. Sometimes when dual wielding I'll go dagger/stiletto, because, well, I am a rogue!

 

This time I sided with the Dozens, but I usually go with the Doemenels with a rogue. I am not a fan of the Dozens, but I like their quests the best and that bow rocks.

 

I tried to focus on a ranged rogue this time through, but I love a melee rogue too much, especially as the PC. Less enamored when the rogue is merely a companion.

 

I don't remember the stats this time, but I think I majored in Might and Perspective, with a minor in Dexterity, since Falvano's gloves come so early in the game. I depend on accessories and resting to boost the other stats, but I just can't bring myself to let any stat start lower than 10. I hate digging out of a deficit in anything.

 

I love rogues best.

 

Joe

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Spell Binding and/or scrolls is an approach, but you can also build a two handed rogue who specializes in Backstab (VERY powerful in the early to mid game) and try to stack invisibility uses.

Too bad that Backstab favors the heavy hitting weapons...

 

One thing I like about Backstab is that Jena's Lance is available very early but no other class really wants it very much. Reliable and Reach are just fine for rogues though, it since helps keep you out of harm's way and grazes make you want to cry big salty tears when they happen to your backstabs. First time I beat PotD with an all-custom party I made heavy use of a rogue-barbarian tag team that wielded Jena's and Durance's Staff/Tall Grass respectively. That was enough offense to breeze through the early game and then the casters carried me the rest of the way. It's not even like you need to respec out of it when better choices come along either, since the Soldier group is just plain loaded with great weapons across the board.

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If you want to play with the official companions rather than hirelings, but aren't satisfied by thier stat arrays, you could always try out the IE mod.  A) it allows you to level up new Companions from level 1 (so you can optimize their builds) and b) it has a CustomStat xml file and an option in the game menu that allows you to use that Custom stat array file.  You can even change that file with wordpad, though beware that you do not fall to the darkside and abuse it for an Eder with all 20's.   That goes for the rest of the mod's functionality too (like all the rule changes it allows for) but hey, whatever floats your boat.

 

Also, obey boeroer and bathium, what advice I've found on this topic of theirs really helped me a lot on my first POTD play.  I still ate dirt a lot, but it was really fun, and I learned a lot about mechanics I barely noticed on normal/hard. AOEs and fire priests for the win. 

A mage has uses here as well, at least early in the game - fast weapon 1 handed for spell accuracy (make sure you set the ai so he/she doesn't go running into melee).  I found that expose vulnerability was actually at least as/more useful than a fireball.  Or do like I did - expose vulnerability +chill fog/blindness +fireball.  Blindness for the win (massive debuffs), and those cold ticks do a lot more damage with -5dr.  Arduous delay in tougher fights too, because enemies don't have immunities to it.   

 

P.S. I really wish rogues had some kind of Fast Stealth talent or ability (to speed up their basic sneaking).  That alone might make them somewhat more viable, and while I've been a rogue advocate before, that's changed since POTD.   There are plainly better choices for party members, whether you're considering the Devil of Croak or a hireling rogue.  /Agree druid shapeshifter - though I also like the wolf druid build or stag for carnage, i think in hindsight the War Pig is teh bestest build for POTD.  Veteran's recovery is barely noticable, but on a regenerating War Pig it's pretty substantial.  

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