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RPG anxiety - any useless classes?

Discussion in 'Pillars of Eternity' started by joacqin, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I redeemed my backer code and created a mage. I always enjoy playing mages and spellslingers. But I am worried, I love the Elder Scroll games but magic can be fun but it is incredibly weak compared to the alternatives. In the old IE games magic was useless for the first levels and then grew expontially in power until in the end a proper mage was all you needed. Anyone gotten far enough into the game to see if any class is completely broken and useless? I don't want to find out halfway through that my class choice gave me a subpar gaming experience. I get a vague idea that ciphers are very powerful. And no, this isn't purely about min/maxing (although I do enjoy me some of that) more that I don't want my main character to sit in the back not contributing while the npcs wreak havoc.
     
  2. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    Ciphers are indeed very powerful. No class is broken to the point of being useless so far as I'm aware, nor can you accidentally break one by making poor choices.
     
  3. 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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    No useless classes. And all builds are supposed to be viable. This was a major design goal.
     
  4. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Well, now in the very beginning my mage needs to rest after every encounter. With spells he wrecks everything but he has three spells per rest so a nap after each dead wolf seems to be the way to go.
     
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    Once you hit the first town you can pick up a couple party members and per encounter abilities should be more viable. With a party of five I can get by without casting spells in most fights and sticking to per encounter abilities. I'm starting to wonder if I should grind out more experience for my character by spell dumping and resting since combat experience is limited :S.
     
  6. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder 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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    There are no useless classes. As far as the companions go I decided who I take based on where I am going. My PC is a monk, very powerful and I created a rogue for those dungeon crawls. The Chanter class is awesome. Ciphers are powerful once you figure out how to use them.

    You can build some very interesting characters. Rangers which many in the Backer Beta considered weak can also be built to be really powerful. It is up to the player, this is a player game.
     
  7. Paracelsi

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

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    The game was designed to resemble the IE games, good thing you've only fought wolves so far. The game is a lot more forgiving than BG1 in this respect, but after you hit the first town you'll be lucky if you survive dungeon/wilderness encounters without preparation/a good group, especially at higher difficulties.

    The game is a lot like IWD2 in the sense that there are no weapon/armor restrictions. Attack rate is governed by dexterity and the recovery stat. This means that in BG2 terms wizards and fighters in PoE potentially have the same attacks per round/have access to the same weapons. Wizards do start with the lowest accuracy of all classes (growth rate is the same for all of them), but that's what spells are for. On a larger scale, what this basically means is that in PoE no class is useless because (offense-wise) even a character with zero activated class abilities can be useful with the right stats, feats, buffs and a good weapon. That said, the survivability stats are what separates most classes in PoE from each other. Warrior-types have a lot of these, everyone else usually doesn't. That's why the rest have class abilities like spellcasting.

    Make sure everyone in your party has at least two points in athletics. Even wizards don't need to rest much in this game (the ones using the traditional build/playstyle anyway) but without athletics you'll be forced to rest after a few encounters due to fatigue.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  8. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Pretty much what others have said. No "useless" classes, but some are far easier to manage than others. You can have fun playing a wizard, but you need to plan on buying a lot of camping kits every time you go out for a mission. As you advance, you can invest in several per-encounter abilities for the mage, like Grimoire Slam. Problem is, range is limited for these, and in my experience I got my wizard into trouble far more often than not. Ultimately I deemed him not worth the trouble, though I LOVED his character. Oh well.

    Between Chanter, Cipher and Priest, I have plenty of spellcasting happening in my party. Now that my Cipher finally has a Blunderbuss, it's spell city now. Fun fun.
     
  9. Ineth

    Ineth Instigator Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Really?

    I'm finding the Wizard companion really useful in my party, despite the fact that his attribute allocation is kinda meh (so a minmaxed custom Wizard character would probably be even more powerful).

    Here's an example of what he can do with a single casting of a first-level spell:
    [​IMG]

    I did take the "Scion of Flame" talent on a level up; without that those damage numbers would be 20% smaller.

    I have a dedicated tank who runs into battle first and engages enemies (with a talent that allows him to engage more at the same time), so the Wizard and other squishy party members can safely move as close as they need.
     
  10. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    It's entirely possible Ineth – as with most things in life – that I'm dumb.
     
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    Wizards are strong when they're not engaged but their per rest abilities and Grimoire Slam suck. If I play the game again anytime soon I'll be avoiding those. The splash damage and DR skills worked out much better for me.
     
  12. Paracelsi

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

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    Aloth is plenty powerful in my game, as much for his nukes as his confuse/blind/paralyze/terrify spells. Confusion is extremely useful since it allow you bypass the disengagement (ie, attack of opportunity) mechanic, allowing the party to safely swarm potentially dangerous individuals like casters - of course you need to kill that particular individual and then regroup before the spell finishes. The blindness spell works extremely well since most offensive actions in the game require you to make an attack roll, even spellcasting (for spells its basically your accuracy vs enemy reflex/fort/will). In one particular throne room fight for example, Aloth basically allowed my (relatively) poorly equipped group to fight a couple of paladins in plate mail, a priest and a wizard head-on and win. Pretty much only the priest was putting up a fight, everyone else was missing/grazing with their attacks/spells. Once the priest and the wizard went down it was only a matter of everyone hugging Durance while he spammed endurance recovery spells and then letting math do the rest.

    I personally find Grimoire Slam invaluable. I don't use it often, but atm a lot of the things I'm fighting can one-shot Aloth with a disengagement attack (low deflection->crit). What happens is I use Grimoire Slam->hide him behind someone else/use deflection buffs. The way the AI works, the threat of a disengagement attack seems to deter most mobs from relentlessly rushing a particular NPC. That's why I prefer to have Durance and Kana use reach weapons (ranged weapons don't get a disengagement attack) in many situations... it's easy enough to capitalize on the disengagement mechanic using Eder and the right gear. Nothing particularly original, lots of parties abuse the AoO mechanic in D&D. Finally, it helps a lot against shadows.
    The wizard's arcane per encounter ability can also crit afaik. In one of my games Aloth is still on record for doing the most damage in a single attack (300+ total I think, 70+ per target) because of that ability. For all intents and purposes, the ability is basically an AoE version of your normal attack, and is thus subject to similar mechanics.
    There's a reason your Ciphers are doing very well with their abilities considering how you were probably stacking lots of +accuracy on them.

    Edit:
    Just did a research, weapon accuracy does not affect spells, only base accuracy + (non stacking) buffs. Everything else checks out though - spells can crit, and the way crit works non weapon accuracy and crit buffs help make Aloth both a dangerous spellcaster and ranged attacker.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  13. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder 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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    I give Aloh a ranged weapon, keep him in the back, load him with potions and scrolls. I would not travel without him. He's my buddy. :D
     
  14. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    A thing to know about wizards is that their # of spells start out as per-rest. But by the time you reach level 9, you start being able to cast a certain number of low level spells on a per-encounter basis.

    Unfortunately, I didn't learn this until AFTER I'd completed my first run through the game. And yet my mage, Aloth, was still 3rd on the team in damage.

    On a side note, one of my gripes with wizards is the utterly hokey names that PoE uses for many of their spells, which I find makes figuring out what they do a pain. (And don't get me started on the names for the "spells" and the chants used by Chanters!)
     
  15. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder 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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    I suspect some spell names are based on backers. Not sure though. In my current game Aloh has the most kills even though I am still careful about spell casting. Party is only level six Once I can have him cast more spells he should be awesome. He can use scrolls of course having a fairly high lore stat.
     
  16. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    On a side note, over on the official PoE board, I've read it suggested that some scrolls are best used by non-spellcasters. For example, the 1st level wizzy spell, Fan of Flames, can be a bit tricky for a wizard to case given its conical AoE. OTOH, a front line tank who has enough Lore to cast a level 1 spell is in a perfect position to cast this spell.

    Of course, there are some in between classes who might normally have Lore who would be useful for casting such a spell as well. For example, a Chanter or a Paladin, both of whom might have some Lore and both of whom will often be on or near the front lines would be excellent candidates for casting such a scroll spell.

    Of course, this idea may be entirely spell dependent, as some spells are just fine for back liners to cast, while others may be better done by front liners.

    Just a thought.
     
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  17. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder 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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    Agreed, I am now giving everyone two points in lore to all party members. They can use level 1 healing or other spells scrolls.
     
  18. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    Unless the character seems to absolutely require a really high Mechanics skill (i.e. the team trap and lock smith) or Stealth skill (i.e. someone who needs to walk right up to melee range of an enemy before being seen), spreading out the skill points is a fairly safe way to go.

    About 3 points in Athletics will be enough for the character to be in good enough shape to have the endurance to not get fatigued too quickly. Some Lore for some scroll casting. Some stealth so you aren't seen from a mile away. Some survival to enhance food items.

    Not sure that there's much point in putting points into Mechanics unless you're fully committed to being a trap and locksmith though.
     
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  19. Scot

    Scot The Small One Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    So what are some tips for effectively using the cipher?
     
  20. 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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    I haven't played one since the backer beta, and even then I was far from an expert. But, I think one of the real keys is to get a fast attacking weapon so that you can quickly restore your focus and perform your psionics more regularly.

    I've heard that one of the best weapons for this is the blunderbuss. It's a slow weapon, but it fires multiple balls with each shot, and each of those count as separate hits for purposes of restoring focus.

    And once you're restoring your focus quickly, the other part is to make sure that you are casting your psionics regularly. This requires a bit of micromanagement, but that's what is required to maximize the effectiveness of the class. Disable and damage your enemies, and laugh evilly at their vanquished corpses!
     
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