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Finally Coming Back to PoE

Discussion in 'Pillars of Eternity' started by Marceror, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    For as excited as I was about this game, and as much as I supported it, the great irony is that I haven't even finished yet. I played it during the beta and made it probably to the halfway point after release. But there were enough bugs at the time, that I decided to shelf it to a later time. For a while there I was worried I'd never manage the will to come back to the game.

    But with 2 expansions and a crap ton of patches, including the massive 3.02 beta patch, I guess the time was right.

    I'm playing on Hard difficulty, and I decided to run with a rogue again, this time a Hearth Orlan who dual wields hatchets and uses a hunting bow. I'm happy to see that rogues are still amazing damage dealers.

    For the rest of my core party my intention is to run with Eder, Pallegina, Kana, Aloth and Durance in most cases.

    • Eder/fighters are still absolutely amazing tanks, and I feel any party would be incomplete without a fighter. Sword and board seems an obvious choice to increase the tankiness.

    • Pallegina/paladins are great secondary tanks and buffers. I gave her the ability the grants +3 DR to all party members and I enhanced her flaming attack to grant party haste. Between her and Eder I have a pretty reliable wall.

    • Kana/chanters are great in a group, and are constantly buffing party members and/or debuffing enemies, with a few choice spells included to round them out. I have him in nice medium armor currently, so he can move forward with sword and board or a two hander when extra tanking is needed, but otherwise he stands back and fires an arbalest.

    • Durance/priests Provide great crowd control, buffs, and a nice array of damaging spells. I also really like the Magran class focus that grants a high attack bonus with swords and arquebus, as well a direct damage spell. Right now I mostly keep him in the back with the gun, but he could certainly be spec'd to do more front line work in a pinch.

    • Aloth/wizards are solid damage dealers. They can do nice area of effect damage with their rods/wands if spec'd for this, and have a nice AoE that can be used 2 times per encounter. I usually save the "vancian" spells for the harder battles, and I overall like the feel of the wizard. I particularly like how they are immediately useful in a party, in contrast to the DnD wizard that are an absolute joke/liability until they have a fair few levels under their belt.

    • And of course the rogue. I really love having access to the nice high mechanics skill, which is constantly useful. I use my rogue in melee primarily, but thus far he is definitely NOT a tank. So I try to send him in after the tanky characters have established the line. An awesome, awesome damage dealer, and a great main character as far as I'm concerned.

    I just arrived at Defiance Bay. I'm hoping I can push all the way to the end this time. I welcome any comments on my party and choices. I likely won't be making any significant changes, as this party is working well so far and I want to see it through with them. But I'm still open to hearing how I missed the mark or could have done it better!
     
  2. Keneth Gems: 28/31
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    I'm pretty sure official forums have an optimization subforum. There's always room for improvement.

    Last time I played though, combat was real easy even on higher difficulties, so while character optimization can be an exciting pastime, it's not really imperative to your success...
     
  3. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    Marceror, I'm with you on having a party member who has a HIGH mechanics skill. It makes life a lot easier, though I will say that on occasion when I haven't been able to disarm a trap and really want to trigger it, do NOT trigger it using your rogue. Use the character with the highest 4 defenses, in your case either Eder or Pallegina. In all the times that I've knowingly triggered a trap with Eder, I don't recall him ever taking damage from it, because his defenses have always been sufficiently high to protect him.


    As for Kana, he can be a surprisingly effective front liner if you put him in heavy armor. Chanters are generally pretty low maintenance, thus making for good front liners. And once you get to their 3rd level chants, that's when they get really nasty with those two fire based chants, one that gives everyone a +25% fire lash and the other (The Dragon Thrashed, The Dragon Wailed) basically hits any enemy in range with a fairly constant fire and slashing attack.


    As for Wizards, yeah the "blast" effect is very nice. And it gets nicer once you get a wand, rod, or scepter that has some useful special effects, which with "blast" can affect any of the enemies in the blast radius. Also, if you're going to be a heavy user of those magical implements, don't forget to take the Penetrating Blast talent.



    As for Durance, he's fairly decent in melee, if properly equipped. Personally, I've always tended to keep him in the second row and treat him as sort of an off-tank. I want him mostly to stay out of melee, if it can be avoided. But I'm not afraid to send him into melee if necessary. In my current party, I've kept Durance in medium (Leather) armor, mostly to see how he'd make out, since in past parties, I'd usually put him in the heaviest armor I had after equipping the front liners. I've never put him in light armor and hidden him in back, because I do play him as more of an off-tank and want him wearing enough armor that he won't be at a disadvantage if he has to go into melee.

    Side note on Durance. A lot of people think that his attributes are really bad, particularly his overly high RES score. I won't argue whether they're good or bad. But from the perspective of making the most out of them, Durance's high RES score means that he probably has a higher DEFL than most player-built priests, and is of considerable value when he goes into melee.


    As for Fighters, while "sword and board" may seem like the obvious choice, carrying a shield is not always all that important. In my current party, my PC is a Coastal Aumaua who uses Estocs as his weapon of choice. And he's only rarely been knocked out, in spite of using a 2H weapon most of the time, and having been wearing a breast plate most of time as well. He's more of an offensive fighter than a purely defensive fighter. And it's showing in his damage production. Last I looked, he'd done more damage than the next two highest party members combined. (That actually shocked me a little.) I will say that there will likely be a time in the future when I end up putting him into plate when I finally get some of the great plate armor that exists in the game. But for now, the enchanted breast plate that he's using has been more than sufficient to keep him on his feet.
     
  4. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Some good insights crucis. And I definitely like your point about using Eder to trigger traps... though thus far I haven't encountered a trap I couldn't disable. Currently have an 8 in mechanics, which seems to be doing very well in and around Defiance Bay.

    So far I've been doing okay with 2 focused tanks, Eder and Pallegina, and using other characters in front line roles only when needed, Kana being my third in line for this role. I find that with Eder's defender ability he can tie up a decent number of enemies, so between him and Pallegina, I can "usually" keep other party members out of harm's way. Usually.

    But Kana is wearing a nice breastplate and can switch between a greatsword and sword-and-board depending on the need. I also have a longsword/shield equipped on Durance, so thus far he's still wearing his initial robes. As the need arises, I will start increasing his armor as well.

    @Keneth, easy or not, it's at least worth paying attention to these details. That's half the fun for me. That said, my picking 5 stock companions and creating a middle of the road rogue who is decent at fighting and talking can hardly be categorized as optimizing. I'm not looking to optimize. Just wanting to have some conversation about different options and choices. As I previously mentioned, my party is already formed, and I don't expect that I'll be making any significant changes. But it's still enjoyable to learn what others think and how they are doing things differently.
     
  5. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    I've found that breast plate on a second liner is often more than enough, particularly if you want to gain a little better recovery speed. Heck, my current PC, a front line Fighter, has been using a breast plate rather than plate armor for quite a while rather effectively.

    Also, I don't know if you've noticed it or not, but the Defender ability doesn't seem nearly as useful as it was in the initial release version of PoE. There are a lot of enemies who will just disengage and try to attack a different party member. The one advantage of Defender is that the greater number of enemies you can engage, the fewer have the opportunity to flank you. But all in all, I've tended to find that other abilities were more valuable for my front line fighters, whether it's Eder or my current PC.
     
  6. xosmi Gems: 20/31
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    Actually, in my game I've built Edér around defender / hold the line / Shatterstar - i send him in first so he engages with everyone, then send in my squishies to lay down the pain.
    the talent that makes it all work is Overbearing Guard :
    [​IMG]

    With this, every enemy that disengages me gets knocked prone for at least 5 seconds, 6 if you give Edér a +3 int item.
    That's plenty of time to either kill them outright, reposition, or get some defenses up on my squishies in the form of buffs.
     
    Marceror likes this.
  7. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    Another Fighter ability that works great with that situation is Into the Fray. That ability pulls enemies TO the fighter.

    In my last party, I had Eder and Pallegina teaming up. And it was almost hilarious when Eder would pull an enemy towards him using Into The Fray, only to have the enemy run right into Pallegina's sword!!!
     
  8. xosmi Gems: 20/31
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    Yup, i picked that one up at lvl 9 as well. (Superior deflection at 8th to improve his defenses.)
    That said, though a tank build is still possible - the overall focus of the fighter seems to have shifted to be more of a hybrid between tank and damage dealer.
     
  9. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I think it's always been like that. I usually give Eder normal speed one-hand weapons with the highest accuracy bonus in my games, and he crits pretty often with them.

    Durance usually ends up using a two-handed weapon with reach. That way he stays close to enough to Eder and the other melees while making the most out of his decent STR/RES. He normally uses light/medium armor. Priests get a lot of defensive spells, so he's fine as long as he has spell uses.

    Pallegina is an amazing skirmisher. She can easily stack "defense against disengagement attacks" mods. The problem is when enemies ignore her - I wish paladins had a focus that made them particularly dangerous when enemies ignored them. I think this is the problem with PoE pallies in general, they have a lot of great defensive bonuses but lack offensive ones. Even a powerful offensive focus that prevents them from using defensive abilities temporarily (something like a Tenser's Transformation for paladins) would be great. It would help if you could make a paladin a dual-wielder like a Chanter (a dual-wielding Chanter is PoE's Blade kit counterpart from BG2, it's a great setup) but ideally Paladins should be using two-handed weapons because of the way Flames of Devotion works.

    Kana and Aloth are pretty straightforward. I like Aloth's personalities a lot though, and wizards have AMAZING early game debuff spells. Kana just rubs me the wrong way, maybe it's because he reminds me a bit of Grobnar Gnomehands. I hate NPCs like that.

    You should try out Hiravias (my favorite NPC), Sagani (great ranged attacker plus extra melee presence with her animal companion - great package deal) and Grieving Mother (perhaps the hardest-hitting OC NPC) when you can.
     
  10. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    I guess that I have a different definition of what a "tank" is. To me, tanks are (often) well-armored, offensive weapons, so in the BG/IWD and PoE games, I see tanks in the same way. Well-armored offensive characters. And also to me, there's really no such thing as a purely defensive character. I see such characters as gaming the rules, not playing the game. In a P&P game, a good DM would punish such a character for being functionally useless, if only by having monsters be smart enough to ignore any character that wasn't an offensive threat.

    But to each his own.

    Wow, I see things as nearly the opposite as you. (Different strokes and all that.)

    I see Eder as being best played as a 2H weapon wielder, probably Estoc or Great Sword, while quite often paladins are sword and board types, particularly because they have that great small shield, the Outworn Buckler, to enhance the defenses of everyone around them. That said, pallies can also be strong 2H weapon users.

    It's also worth noting that FoD works with ranged weapons, and that may be where it's best used. In my current party, I have Pallegina using an arbalest as her ranged weapon of choice (she's using Soldier weapons). And I have her use one of her FoD's on an opening alpha strike using her arbalest. It hits really, really hard!

    In my current party, my PC is a Coastal Aumaua Fighter who is incredibly nasty. Sometimes Pallegina moves up to support him. And sometimes, Ittumak (Sagani's pet) is all my PC needs for front line support, while the rest of the party is hanging back and peppering the enemy with ranged fire and spells.

    I also have GM in this party, but I tend to use her more for immobilizing and charming the enemy, rather than as a pure damage dealer, though she does use damage dealing powers from time to time.

    As for Durance, I stick with Magran's favored weapons, sword and arquebus, and usually try to have him hang back shooting stuff.

    I agree that paladins don't have the raw offensive firepower of other classes. But they make good support front liners or second liners. Pallegina's Wrath of the Five Suns talent may be the single best offensive paladin ability in the game. All of the playable pally orders' special abilities are weak at best. Frankly, I don't think that the devs put nearly enough effort into creating more differentiation between the PC playable pally orders in terms of their orders' abilities. They're all so weak that you could ignore them and not miss a thing. And that tend to leave the only difference between the orders being their dispositions and how they affect your Faith and Conviction ability's defensive bonuses. And that leaves pallies feeling rather generic in terms of abilities and class talents.


    Anyways, for all its faults, PoE is still a really fun game.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2016
  11. Keneth Gems: 28/31
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    That sounds like a horrible GM. Why would you punish a player for creatively playing their character?
     
  12. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    I don't consider rules lawyering to be "creatively playing" a character. IMO, it's playing against the spirit of the rules. And any DM ever worth considering "good" should aggressively punish players who are rules lawyering the rules.

    That sort of "creativity" is the same sort of creativity whose defense of cheating would be that if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying.
     
  13. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I'm wondering ... after the latest patch, do the Priest's Seal spells still count as traps? I've heard contradictory views on this.
     
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