ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:01 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:05 pm
Posts: 2

After beating my head against the wall that is this game for a few weeks, I finally got a win, and not the way I expected to win at all.

I have been intrigued by the Traps skill line from the beginning, but I've never really been able to make it work out before. This time, I went into the game with a plan - run Shalore for the awesome racial synergy with Rogue, and focus on traps as a way of life, culminating with the Mystical Cunning prodigy. Maybe it was the extreme early game fragility of the class, but very careful play led to me making it through the Master with zero deaths. Of the three deaths I did suffer, only one was the result of anything but my own negligence - I got caught in a nasty crossfire in the Dark Crypt - the other two were me not paying enough attention and dying with escapes and remedies available.

The early game only worked due to stacking as many escapes as possible - I was running a teleport rune, nimble movements, and a jump attached to my otherwise sub-par boots, along with a phase door on my cloak for most of the early game - frequent repositioning to make the most out of traps was key. Explosion trap is tough to use without blasting yourself before you have a jump ability, but Disarm and Nightshade traps will make short work of any early game melee enemy. Clever use of the poison gas trap from the Maze will serve you well up until you get Gravitic Trap.

Mystical Cunning is amazing. Gravitic trap is unique, as it doesn't require someone to step on it - it drops an AoE temporal damage / gravitic pull that does very solid damage in a wide area. It deals with situations that rogues have problems with - hallways, packs and vaults - very well. For a significant portion of the midgame, I was just opening doors, dropping a gravitic trap, and stepping away until everything was dead. Most critical of all, it only hits enemies, so you can use it to manipulate positions and get extra triggers of traps.

My endgame was made possible by stacking as much CritMultiplier as possible. It doesn't say on the web character sheet, but my CritMultiplier was +225%, and that's before the +90% from Shadowstrike. By the end, I was Giant Leaping for 2k+.

Some misc. observations:
  • I took Poisons with one of my category unlocks, figuring I'd get as much out of my prodigy as possible, but vaguely regretted it. The resistance reduction was occasionally useful, but things were dying fast enough that it almost never mattered.
  • Flashbang Trap is garbage. Save your gold for another randart. Modest damage and a blind really isn't what you're looking for by the time you can afford it.
  • Catapult Trap: Whyyyyyyy?
  • I took Giant Leap as my second prodigy, and the timing was excellent - by the time Gravitic Traps were starting to become less effective, and worries started to center around individual bosses, Giant Leap came online to further augment Rush for mobility and spike damage.
  • Firing off a series of Shield Rune, Grace of the Eternals, Heroism Infusion, and Willful Combat was how I opened against just about any real threat, and the battles were basically one-hit affairs after that.
  • Shantiz the Stormblade's projectile-destroying ability is bugged and throws lua errors. This is too bad, because the +20 dex on it is insane.
  • The Untouchable was a pretty great piece of armor to find early on - the shielding effect saved me a few times.
  • Full disclosure: I did grab Star and Moon out of my vault to test them out, but only used them for a couple levels, as they weren't really all that great.
  • The stair bosses at the end were pretty trivial, minus a Solipsist Bone Giant that had just about max resists. Skipped him.

It was a fun character to play through, but if I do another rogue I think I'll try a Steamroller build instead. By the end of the game, Mystical Cunning wasn't really doing anything for me. I think that picking up a category from an escort quest would have been more effective than Poisons, but YMMV. If you enjoy a fiddly glass-cannon positioning challenge, then this build is worth a go.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:54 am
Posts: 52
Well done! Congratulations with your first win :) . It's curious your first win was with a rogue, because I think most people would classify them as one of the more difficult classes.

How much damage did gravity trap do in your game? There was a damage nerf to it some time ago and I'm wondering how good (read: overpowerd) it still is.

(Small side note in case you'll ever try again or for other people who want to try this: a level 1 snap resets gravity trap allowing you to have 2 at the same time and as such is worth a point investment)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:52 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:05 pm
Posts: 2
Oh man. I didn't even think about using Snap to reset traps. That would have been insane for a single point! :(

Anyway, gravitic trap was doing about 100-140 damage per tick for 13 turns for most of the midgame, and roughly 200 per tick at the end.

It remained effective through High Peak, though just doing ridiculous Shadowstrike damage took over in terms of speed later on. I was really glad to have Giant Leap in the Prides, as the wide-open spaces and spellcasters would have torn me up otherwise.

I believe you about Rogue being one of the harder classes to win with, but honestly, most of the challenge was in the early game, until Stealth/Unseen Actions/Misdirections got maxed out. Once I hit the midgame, I was cruising.

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