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OK, so to answer my own question, I've done some checking on many abilities. I've mostly checked the tooltip, not the actual effect in most cases. However, couple of times that I checked the effect, it was consistent with the tooltip.

I've found that there are only a handful of abilities for which the level of the Upgrade applies. For all other, the initial ability level applies (so they scale more).

The only exception I've found are :

- Greater Lay on Hand (but this one is actually a new ability as you keep the old Lay on Hand)
- Panther Leap
- Mule Kick (presumably because it used to be a different ability from Mule Kick).
Note : Hobbling Shot is not an exception and is considred PL1 for PL bonus.

I cannot pretend I've checked 100% of abilities with upgrades, but I've tested the 7 classes with upgrades (The 6 Martials and Chanter) and all worked the same. and I've tested most of the "main" abilities (Frenzy, Barbaric Shouts, All Rogue Strikes, Flurry of Blades, Unbending, Vigorous defense, Eld Nary, Seven Nights, Thunder Rolled, Weapon Summons, Paralysis Invocation, Ben Fidel's debuff, Stunning Blows, Torment Reach, Clarity, Wounding Shot, Binding Roots, All exhortations, Sacred Immo, FoD - this one needed actual testing as the tooltip does not show PL, etc...).

Overall, it means that upgrades are always strictly better, provided you don't need the ability point. The few exceptions are likely to be minor glitches.

Edited by Elric Galad
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As @Phenomenum said: only upgrades like Greater Lay on Hands (costs more Zeal and thus doesn't replace the original Lay on Hands) that create a separate ability in your bar should use their higher PL for scaling. If an upgrade replaces the base ability it should use the base ability's PL for scaling. Not a glitch afaik. Mule Kick maybe. But don't you keep Knockdown as well?

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Mule Kick used to be a separated ability, but not anymore. That's why I think it is a glitch only applied on a couple of abilities.

I've read on this forum that the new PL apply. I wasn't the only one to wonder about it. See the example of Unbending description in thelee's gamefaq (which is a kind of reference) :
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/pc/227477-pillars-of-eternity-ii-deadfire/faqs/76599/fighter

So I thought it was worth testing ^^

Edited by Elric Galad
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  • 1 year later...

Exactly - Power Levels only raise durations of summons. And Empowering just adds +5 Power Levels.

Hence spending an Empower point for a summon (creatures and also summoned weapons) is... suboptimal.

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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  • 5 months later...
Posted (edited)

  

On 5/15/2018 at 11:40 AM, thelee said:

 Anyway, regardless of power level, there is a scaling ability level accuracy bonus, which is equal to 2 * (power_level - 1) of the spell. So a PL3 spell will inherently have a +4 ability level accuracy bonus, whereas a PL1 spell will have none. There is also a scaling ability level penetration bonus, which is equal to +.5 per ability level.

Second of all, the general way scaling appears to happen is, first, take the difference between your current power level and the spell's native power level. For simplicity's sake, let's just call this the "PL". (So casting a PL1 spell at PL4 you would have a PL of 3 for scaling purposes.)

A. if a spell bounces or has projectiles, it gets an additional bounce or projectile every other PL. Spells used to have variable projectile scaling but it looks like that got nerfed at some point and they appear to get .5 projectile per PL.

B. if a spell does damage/healing, it gets +5% per PL. Non-bounce, non-projectile damage/heals used to get up to 10%, but looks like that was nerfed at some point.

C. if the spell has duration effects, it gets a longer duration of +5% per PL.

D. if the spell has penetration, it gets an additional +.25 penetration per PL (rounds up to the nearest tenth).

E1. if the spell has an accuracy roll, it gets +1 accuracy per PL.

E2. if the spell primarily only has that accuracy roll (no damage/healing, no duration effect), it instead gets a +2 accuracy per PL. I'm not actually sure how many of these types of spells exist, but I noticed this while playing with Repulsing Seal (which only does a prone). Slicken is another example of a prone-only thing (though it also has a hazard duration, a hazard duration must not prevent a spell from getting +2 accuracy per PL).

 

 

So for Illusionists, the benefit from the +2 power level...

You get +10% duration and +2 accuracy. But also another +1 accuracy bonus from ability level scaling?

Edited by PugPug
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Posted (edited)
On 5/19/2021 at 9:50 AM, PugPug said:

  

 

So for Illusionists, the benefit from the +2 power level...

You get +10% duration and +2 accuracy. But also another +1 accuracy bonus from ability level scaling?

No, there's two separate things to consider - power level and ability level - they are completely separate effects.

For +2 PL you get +10% duration and +2 accuracy.

For specific illusion spells, you get more scaling based on its ability level as well as your native power level.

For Ryngrim's Repulsive Visage, which is a natively third tier spell, you get +4 accuracy, because you get +2 per ability tier past the lowest one. This is a wholly separate scaling mechanism than PL scaling.

 

If you're high enough level that you've unlocked the fourth ability tier, you get an additional +1 PL scaling on that spell, which amounts to an additional +1 accuracy and +5% duration, stacking with your +2 PL illusionist bonus, any other bonus PL, and the base ability scaling (this base scaling doesn't change as you level up).

 

If you hover over the accuracy number for a spell like Ryngrim's Repulsive Visage you can see these numbers at play - you get different numbers based on whether it's the accuracy number in your ability bar, the pop-up tooltip [where you can hover over the accuracy number and see a breakdown], and then in the combat log when you actually use it. The number you see in the combat log is the most accurate.

 

edit: "ability level scaling" is basically a mechanism that means that if you have two identical spells, but one is at tier one and the other you unlock at tier two, the one you unlocked at a higher tier is just going to be inherently more powerful despite otherwise identical effects (due to inherently higher accuracy and PEN)

Edited by thelee
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