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RPG anxiety - any useless classes?

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

  1. 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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    There's no point to rogues in a utilitarian find traps / pick locks sense, yes. Anyone with a mechanics skill can fill that role. And perhaps this means Rogues in this game are a misnomer, but - their function in PoE is sneak attack damage experts. They're the glass cannons of the game. That's their role. Some argue there are others that are better at it, but Rogues aren't useless if played with some care.

    The one class I haven't messed with at all are Monks, and a fascinating build I've wanted to try is a high-might armored DPS build using estocs. Supposedly a monster, though you do have to babysit non-tanks in melee range a bit. With pikes you have some distance there built in.
     
  2. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    Well, heaven forbid that a class exists that fits a certain role. Not every class is super flexible in that way.

    Regardless, you can play Rogues in different ways. You can go for a full bore melee rogue or you can go for a strictly ranged rogue, or you can go for a balance between melee and ranged. It just comes down to what talents you select, and how you prefer to play them.


    Come on! Don't you know the difference between "opinion" and "fact". What you stated was an OPINION. Period. Full stop. Learn the difference, for crying out loud!

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 25 minutes and 52 seconds later... ----------

    I have to disagree. My experience is that unless you're willing to put 100% of a non-rogue character's skill points into Mechanics, that character will always be a little behind a Rogue. Furthermore, that character will occasionally come across traps that he just won't be able to disarm or locks he can't pick, or hidden stuff he can't find. I had this happen in my current party when I was running a monk as my rogue replacement traps and locks specialist. I finally came across an area (the Skaen temple) where she simply couldn't disarm most of the floor traps. Shortly thereafter, I replaced her with a real rogue, and no more trouble with traps.

    The thing is that no character can ever catch up to a rogue in Mechanics skill unless they dedicate absolutely 100% of their earned skill points to Mechanics, at the expense of relatively essential (matter of opinion) skills like minimal stealth and athletics.

    I do agree that Rogues can seem like glass cannons. Melee rogues are supposedly do-able, but require a lot of MM. Ranged rogues are a little more hands-off, though if you're looking to get as many sneak attack shots as possible, you'll need your casters to cast spell that produce the afflicting conditions required to trigger sneak attacks.

    I'm trying to play my current party's Rogue as about an 80% ranged/20% melee rogue. And even then, her preferred melee weapon is a pike, so that she can hide behind team mates, and let them take the hits while she stabbity-stabs away.




    I have played Monks. I've found that their fists are good weapons throughout the game, though I will say upfront that I haven't played PotD, so factor that in. I played my monk with as little armor as I felt I could get away with, because I wanted her to take some wounds, but not get utterly massacred in the process. It's a tricky balancing act. With my PC monk, I ended her playthrough with her wearing a very good enchanted Robe, rather than armor, and was thoroughly satisfied. Her fists were like high speed trip hammers!

    One thing that's worth considering is that monks tend to not have high DEFL ratings, unless you're building them that way. Part of the reason is that you want to get hit occasionally for the wounds, of course. So, monks aren't necessarily great hold-the-line tanks, at least from my experience. They're better at 1v1 duels, where they can use their speed and trip hammer fists to wipe out poorly armored enemies really, really fast. They're great for running in behind the enemy's front line to go after some enemy wizard or archer 1v1. If you do this regularly, it helps to give the monk any items that increase foot speed, or invest in the monk talent "Long Stride" or the general utility talent "Fast Runner".

    One other trick that I used with my monks is to give them a bow. Part of this decision was a role-playing one, since it seemed fitting. But also, if a monk has high DEX and is wearing armor or robes with a fast recovery time, he'll be firing that bow very quickly indeed. Note though that my intention in this isn't to turn a monk into a ranged combatant. Rather, it's to give them a ranged option so that they can let the battle develop, let the front liners lock up, so that the monk can then decide where best to use his melee abilities without being ganged up on at the start of the battle.
     
  3. 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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    Hang on - do rogues get a natural or hidden bonus to mechanics? If so, this is news to me. Because otherwise, a Paladin with 10 mechanics and a Rogue with 10 mechanics should be identical in the trap disarming / secret finding department. It's my understanding that the only metric that deals with traps and secrets is mechanics. No stat effects this, even (as one would expect) perception.

    There's a secret hidden on level 13 of the Endless Paths that can only be found with a level 10 in mechanics. Never found it on my first playthrough, and my rogue had like 8 in mechanics at the time. In my current, my Paladin with 10 mechanics did. Shrug.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
  4. 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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    As far as I know there is no hidden mechanic ability for rogues. The rogue does start with a +2 to mechanics so is easier to increase. In my current game Durance has a level 4 mechanics and my rogue has a level 5. If they were both level 5 mechanics they would be equal in that skill.
     
  5. 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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    Yes, a rogue starts with a mechanics bonus, and can pick a background (or whatever they're called) to boost it further. So they can get to mechanics level 10 with less points than other classes, and therefore faster.

    Personally, I find this valuable as I don't like to have to return to areas to open chests or disable traps because my skill was too low the first time. With a rogue you will be able to have an edge on other classes with your skill level, until another class finally catches up to you at the max skill level and it doesn't matter anymore, I suppose.
     
  6. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Mage is a fine choice as PC. RPwise being a Watcher seems to be almost Mystical, which would seem fitting for a Mage. Since you can hire adventurers any choice works and all classes are viable. I am planning on creating a Rogue, an evil, selfish bastard and hire a bunch of adventurers to support him.
     
  7. Paracelsi

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

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    I've seen several players running PotD claim that wizards are the strongest caster class because they can shut down pretty much anything. I know for a fact that once they start getting their accuracy/spellcasting buffs their nukes are incredibly powerful.

    I believe all classes are useful in a party setting. I see no point investing in utility if I have enough tanks/support/crowd control specialists. I had a party with two rogues, a chanter, a cleric, a wizard and a warrior that I lost interest in after it reached Defiance Bay. It worked very well.
     
  8. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    Exactly this.^

    There are some classes (IIRC, Chanter, Cipher, and Wizard) that get a +1 Mechanics bonus (plus the +1 background bonus that any class could take). And thus these classes can make decent alternate traps and locks characters. However, Rogues are the best when it comes to traps and locks, because they get the above mentioned +2 Mechanics bonus plus a possible +1 background bonus, which in the end means that they'll either get to higher levels of Mechanics than other classes in the same time and for the same cost, or they'd reach the same level in Mechanics skill in a shorter time and for less cost. Either way, it's an advantage for Rogues.
     
  9. 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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    Ok, well I knew about the +2 to mechanics Rogues start with, and therefore it's a little easier to get them to 10 mechanics. But that's not really an advantage of a "real rogue." 10 mechanics is 10 mechanics. My paladin has 10 mechanics, made a little easier by having the merchant background trait, which gives a +1 to it at the beginning. A rogue could take the same and start off with +3, but still. That doesn't make a Rogue better at finding traps than any other class with the same level in mechanics.

    Sneak attacks and their powerful class-specific talents appear to be the only reason to take a rogue. But those reasons are more than enough not to deem Rogues a useless class.
     
  10. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    Yes, but a Rogue who spends X skill points on Mechanics will still have 2 more ranks of that skill than a Paladin who spends that same X points. That's the advantage a Rogue would have, skill wise. Of course, if that rogue chooses to stop at, say, 10 ranks in Mechanics, then yes, 10 ranks in a skill is the same no matter who has it. The real point is that a Rogue can get to a higher level of learning in Mechanics than any other class.
     
  11. Ineth

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

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    However, consider that it's a good idea to give every character 3 points in Athletics early on, so they don't suffer from super-annoying fatigue all the time.

    With that in mind, the target for your mechanics character should be:

    3 Althletics
    10 Mechanics​

    And a Barbarian or Paladin (who gets +2 Athletics) can reach this combined goal just as fast as a Rogue (who gets +2 Mechanics).

    PS: Also, the Gloves of Manipulation give +2 Mechanics for free, though they're a random loot item. Which means that simple luck (with the random loot rolls) will have more effect on your lock/trap picking effectiveness than your choice of class... ;)
     
  12. 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 points. I don't believe I have found those gloves in my game yet, so they have not been a factor. I just know it has been easy for my rogue to outpace my other team members with mechanics. The gloves would only help with that if I had found them. AND when I look at damage output and kills on his information page he is seriously outpacing everyone else on the team in those categories as well.

    A required class to take along? Of course not. Josh Sawyer built this game such that this is no such thing as a required class, after all. But is my rogue a worthy member of my crew? Without question.
     
  13. Paracelsi

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

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    The whole mechanics thing was never an issue for me personally. By mid game the character stacking mechanics should finally catch up with trap/lock requirements, and you have to return to early game locations anyway (for bounties/follow up quests/to loot unused camping gear/to check up on how NPCs are doing if you roleplay - changes do happen).

    I prefer leaving everyone's athletics at 2, except the specialist's (usually the warrior/Eder). That's enough to stave off 30+ hours worth of travel fatigue + 3 or so major battles, and if you expect to do more traveling/combat you can just pick the +athletics rest bonus option when resting at the keep (it helps that the bonus remains even if you rest at other locations). IMO it's the best option, since stat bonuses don't stack anyway and by that point everyone should already be using +stat bonus items to increase their key stats. And then there's the combat buffs.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  14. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    A couple of things here...

    1. Yes, having 3 ranks in Athletics rather early is useful. 3 ranks, not 2. 3 ranks gives you -90% combat fatigue, whereas 2 ranks only gives you only -60% combat fatigue. It's absolutely worth the 3 skill points to get 3rd rank in Athletics!!!


    2. Yeah, the Gloves of Manipulation are definitely a game-changer for Mechanics skill. Using those Gloves is like getting the Rogue's initial +2 Mechanics skill bonus. And it seriously stinks that you can only get them in a random drop. I've never been blessed by the gods of RNG to get them. :(

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 4 minutes and 16 seconds later... ----------

    Honestly, Para, I think that you're making a mistake by not getting everyone up to 3 ranks in Athletics rather than 2. At 3 ranks, your characters are like energizer bunnies when it comes to fighting battle after battle after battle after battle. And for a mere 3 skill points (or less, if a character has an athletics bonus in his class and/or background), it's a bargain, IMO.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 7 minutes and 24 seconds later... ----------


    Agreed. Not absolutely required. But without those Gloves, Rogues are sooooo much better at traps and locks duty than other classes. Oh, for the most party, a character from one of the classes (i.e. Chanters, Ciphers, and Wizards, IIRC) that gets a base +1 in Mech and takes a background that gives a second +1 in Mech is probably not going to do too badly, all things considered. That said, wizards aren't likely to be wanting to waste skill points on mechanics, since Lore is usually their forte (though no rules says they "have" to do it this way, of course). Chanters and Ciphers probably make more sense as competitive rogue alternatives.

    And of course, if you get lucky enough to find the Gloves, then you've hit the Mechanics jackpot! :D
     
  15. Paracelsi

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

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    Actually, all my characters have an effective 3 or higher athletics after I build the right upgrades to Cad Nua. I see no point actually spending points to raise it to 3 considering the free/very cheap resting cost at inns before that happens. 2 athletics is also enough to help me progress through early-mid game content without hassle.

    BTW unless they changed it 2 athletics is an 80% reduction in fatigue, though 60% is enough for early game I suppose. Even at just 2 athletics (and the latest patch) the main reason I rest during early game is because my characters are taking too much damage, which is normal. That tends to happen when the tank is undergeared and enemies like teleporting themselves to your casters.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  16. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    I started a barbarian! Mindless hack and slash was fun in BG1 I remember. Just done the very very first map but it seems ok. Low-level dnd style casters are horribly boring. Either be useless not using spells, or cast some spells that might do something nice and then be useless again.
     
  17. Paracelsi

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

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    As I mentioned in a previous reply:

    This means that, relatively speaking, there's really no such thing as a useless low level character. Aloth, the NPC wizard, starts with +5 to ranged accuracy for being an elf. If you give him the "Marksman" feat he will have the same accuracy as Eder. That's right - the party wizard will have the same accuracy as the party fighter, though Aloth's attack rate will likely be better than Eder's because tanks tend to wear heavy armor. Now, consider that the growth rate of the accuracy stat is the same for all classes.

    Bottomline: a PoE wizard, even without his spells, can have just about the same offensive potential as a fighter especially early on in the game.
    In BG1 terms: imagine wizards having access to weapon grandmastery and having roughly the same THAC0/attack per round progression as all other classes.
    Yes, it's like that.
    At first glance it would seem like this skews game balance heavily in favor of casters, which is why I pointed out that:

    From an offense standpoint you can play Aloth as a very effective ranged fighter/mage if you really wanted, but he won't survive long without tank support.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
  18. 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 think that if the enemy AI was a little smarter the ranged companions would have more problems. As it is the kith all gang up on the tanks and front-line fighters and mostly ignore the ranged fighters.

    The spirits/shadows do teleport around and I have seen Aloth or Durance sometimes targeted but most of the enemy action is against the front line in my experience.
     
  19. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    Actually, it doesn't take a lot to make Aloth more survivable. Pick the Arcane Defense talent and the Hardened upgrade to it, and that's a good start. Carry only a one handed weapon, and definitely carry a shield. Between the Hardened Arcane defense and a shield, Aloth suddenly becomes a far less easy to hit target. Also, there are some spells you can add to his Grimoire that will help in this regard as well.

    Anyways, even if one isn't looking to play some sort of melee battlemage, it's entirely possible and doable to make a backliner wizard a more difficult target for enemy melee-ers. Certainly enough so that he can hold out long enough for his friends to gang up on and kill whatever enemy is attacking said wizard.


    As far as ranged weapons for wizards, while there are some nice magical implements in the game (wands, rods, sceptres), even with the blast feature added to those implements, I'm not sure that they're really better than just giving a wizard a bow, xbow, or a gun. In my current party which just defeated Thaos earlier tonight, I had Aloth using a wand for well more than 50-70% of the game, before I switched him to using a warbow. And it seemed that he became a more effect ranged damage dealer with the bow than he ever was with a wand, though that's just a feeling without any data to back it up.
     
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