ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:37 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
http://te4.org/characters/182577/tome/e ... 2b877363e8

Normal/Adventurer mode.


A couple of deaths early on, mostly due to being trapped in hallways with casters while Rush is down. One pointless death which could have been prevented had I remembered I just unlocked Unstoppable. Stupid mistakes, for the most part.


The Good Stuff:

  • Steamroller:
    I can't even emphasize how much I love the Steamroller prodigy. My earlier characters always ate deaths from pressure from casters he simply ran out of answers to. Once Steamroller was unlocked, I was rarely in real danger for the rest of the game, and never by caster swarms, all of whom died in one or two attacks. Patrol ambushes became a game of "Use Track, then find out which order to instakill everything via Rush in". The Charred Scar was done almost without trying, as were any wide open areas like the Flooded Cave. It was beautiful.
  • Bloodthirst:
    This category is God Tier. Accessing Bloodbath early meant that stamina was never an issue for the remainder of the game, even considering Unstoppable's hefty cost. In fact, during late game with high crit rates, it was impossible to deplete enough stamina to activate Relentless Fury! My plans of using Unstoppable while under the effects of both Blinding Speed + Relentless Fury for a dozen actions while unstoppable went to naught. Bloodbath's health regen was capable of outhealing some weaker enemies by itself; paired with regen, I became mostly undamagable.
  • Antimagic:
    The antimagic category ended up far more potent than I expected. Maxing out antimagic shield was an uncertain choice for me, but it ended up proving its value repeatedly over the run. However, without a way to reduce equilibrium it probably wouldn't have been nearly so useful. Mana clash was less relevant; scrub mages died instantly to Rushes and bosses had far too much in the way of resource pools and regen to be hurt much. Silence was similarly handy but was surprisingly less useful than expected. Everything you want it to work on is probably resistant.
  • Fungus:
    Can barely believe how useful Fungus ended up being. A 12CD Regen Infusion that lasts 10 turns, reduces equilibriium every turn, open access to a complete full heal, and doesn't even cost a turn? I'll take it, even if it does end up eating a dozen generic points. By endgame, regening 250HP/turn was normal, and I didn't even get a chance to stack Heal Mod too hard.
  • Movement Infusion:
    I originally had a bad impression of these. Didn't see how a couple squares of near instant movement could really benefit me, especially since I was toting around Stonewalking, a psychoportation torque, and a ring that happened to grant Disengage. It turns out it's really good. The ability to reset a losing battle with nearly no cost is very powerful.




The Meh Stuff:

  • Dorf:
    I was less than impressed by Power is Money. My final saves got pretty high, but I don't know if they were really all that effective. On the other hand, Stone Walking saved my buns a couple of times. Perhaps Power is Money would have synergized powerfully with Daunting Presence, but I didn't have generics to spare.
  • Superpower:
    As a sort of passive 'behind the scenes' numbers prodigy, it was hard to discern just how useful this ended up being. I noted that most of my antimagic/fungus talents improved by 5% or less. As far as 30% WIL added to weapons...well, Carry the World grants +40 Strength, which is +48 from 2H STR mod. 80~ WIL only adds +24. Who knows how much more powerful Flexible Combat is?




Aspects of Build I'd Do Differently:

  • Superpower ? Change to either Flexible Combat or, more likely, Spell Feedback. The biggest threats were super durable or elusive casters.
  • Relentless Fury ? Don't even acquire. Take those points, some points superfluously spent in attack talents and a category point out of infusions (I didn't really need Heroism, alternatively, I could have lived without Healing) and look into some other category lines. Dirty Fighting could have provided welcome tools for blunting late game boss damage. I never was incapable of using Unstoppable when I needed it; stamina was overall never a big issue. I had even skipped Adrenaline Rush as well as Quick Recovery.
  • Offhand Weapon ? I opted to use a projection weapon in the offhand for hitting distant enemies. Turned out to be unnecessary since I could Steamroll them. The nifty Dream Smith hammer I obtained never found any use. I'd instead opt to use something more defensive; dual shields, perhaps. Swapping to high-resistances + heal mod bonuses just to buy time for healing to kick in would have been a useful trick, even if it does disable zerker rage and weapon talents.





Remarks on various skills, and the run in general:

  • Fearless Cleave is more useful than people say. A talent that allows a square of movement as well as a full-damage attack in one action is economical, and Stamina is near infinite once Bloodbath is in play. I should have raised this further than I did. Raised high enough, it does damage comparable to Executions, and can even hit three targets! I don't know whether multicrits can generate multiple Bloodbath stacks, though.
  • Sunder Armor seems without much use. Armor reduction is weak late game, and shield shattering seems awesome, but it appears you strike the shield for damage which was probably going to break it anyway. Better on higher difficulties, perhaps?
  • Post Steamroller, I rarely used any talents at all on regular enemies, bar Rush. Bumping was sufficient to lay waste to gigantic crowds, provided they weren't all mages. Mortal Terror and Bloodbath were entirely capable of diminishing the threat any non-rare enemy posed. Anything tough enough to require further effort was probably immune to both Stun and Confuse...
  • Bloody Butcher sounds like a great backup to deal with physical-resistant enemies. Chances are, they're immune to Bleed.
  • A pair of boots with activatible Rush can be used in conjunction with Steamroller to recharge your normal Rush talent. Neat!
  • Enemies with Lightning Runes suck. Rushing a caster who pops one means you're not going to get Rush recharged, and you might even be out of range again. The above trick with a backup rush helps, though.
  • Bone giants and Dreadmasters suck. For the latter, at least we have Perfect Strikes.
  • Stun and Confuse immune bosses are everywhere. They suck.
  • The single most dangerous enemy I faced in the whole of the run was the Lich-type boss spawned from the Orb of Undeath, in the Slime Tunnels. I was forced to retreat at least four times, despite being loaded with antimagic, fully powered Spellhunt Remnants, maxed Unstoppable, and crazy damage besides. Just a reminder that filthy mages are the source of all suffering.


Last edited by Tryble on Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:41 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:41 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
Oh, yeah!

I noticed on the statistics that there are 2,700,000 characters...and 3,200 winners.

Is that for real? The percentage of characters that win is approx .12%? That's crazy!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:53 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 872
Congrats on the win, and thanks for the detailed analysis. I'm going to have to try Steamroller for the lulz.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:21 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:01 pm
Posts: 1303
Location: Finland
By looking at your description on Fungus regeneration I think you might have missed one ease of life part of it.

Equip 2 regeneration infusions and set both on auto use whenever possible, enemies or not. This will basically let you play the game with regeneration always on without you having to do anything.
It also lowers your equilibrium when doing that.

There are quirks though, like enemies forcing you on infusions saturation and stuff. At will use of regen is more reliable IF you're a careful player but for most ordinary folk the auto use will prove superior.

Next time try both and see which works for you better.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:20 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:00 pm
Posts: 93
Tryble wrote:
Oh, yeah!

I noticed on the statistics that there are 2,700,000 characters...and 3,200 winners.

Is that for real? The percentage of characters that win is approx .12%? That's crazy!


You are off by a factor of 100! That makes 0.12%.

But this is not a very interesting statistic anyway, you have to say what mode you are looking at. On normal/adventurer my own success rate would now (after looots of hours of play) probably be 100%, but it would be boring. I have never played anything other than roguelike, and, after one win on normal and nightmare each, only insane difficulty. And there, my own success rate is currently 0%, after lots and lots of deaths with lots of different characters, one of them at level 41.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:17 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:19 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Yeehaw, pardner
Not to play the devil's advocate but he said .12%.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:09 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:00 pm
Posts: 93
Micbran wrote:
Not to play the devil's advocate but he said .12%.


Oops, so he did. Sorry!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:24 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
Majestix wrote:
On normal/adventurer my own success rate would now (after looots of hours of play) probably be 100%, but it would be boring.


I can see that. I feel that I probably won't lose on Normal mode, (especially Adventurer) anymore, other than via dumb mistakes. Moving up difficulties is on the agenda, after I try out and get an understanding of all these neat sounding classes.

Still, though. 2,7000,000 failures for 3,200 wins is so extreme that I had to wonder if I was seeing the numbers wrong somehow...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:11 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 9:17 pm
Posts: 1457
It's not actually that many failures, though, exactly. A lot of characters just don't finish a game, despite not dying or hitting a roadblock or anything. I probably make 8-10 characters for every character that actually loses a life, ferex, and fully tap out an adventure mode character maybe once in 30-40 characters that get around to dying any, if that. I just did a clean install to see about fixing some addon conflicts, but before that there were something like fifty or sixty save folders sitting in my T4 data that were just kinda' languishing. Most of them never got killed, I just got bored or distracted (either by wanting to try another build, running into bug issues, or something besides T4) and went on to do something else. Lot of 'em weren't recorded in the vault, but still, I don't believe that's a particularly unusual behavior pattern.

Basically, there's a great heaping mound of false positives in that character count if you're looking to consider the disparity as failures vs successes.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:01 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:00 pm
Posts: 93
I just think that most people probably tend to play the difficulty level that is just too difficult for them (that's what I do, anyway). As soon as you win on some difficulty setting, why play it again if you can crank it up a bit. Hence mostly failures in the statistic.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:45 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
Well, there's also 8,600,000 deaths statistic to put some context to that number. Judging by the 'Earned Lv10 Achievement' numbers, about half the playerbase plays Adventurer mode.





Anyway, here's win #2! http://te4.org/characters/182577/tome/b ... ac574f4486

Normal/Roguelike, Sword/Shield Sun Paladin.

This character had the Blood of Life (found in the inventory of that one Last Hope merchant's regular inventory), but never died. Not too many close calls, either. The previous iteration of this character died in a situation he could easily have escaped had I actually taken twenty seconds to consider all my options. ToME'll beat impatience out of you real fast.

The Good Stuff:

  • Eternal Guard:
    I took Spectral Shield first, thinking that reliability in block would be more useful than Eternal Guard's infinite-block capabilities. Boy, was I wrong. After getting Eternal Guard at 42, I was nearly invincible. Sun Paladin is kind of swimming in damage shield utility, but I found that I never really needed to activate them ever again. (I mean, I still did, just with an instant rune instead of Barrier, usually) Eternal Guard turns bosses into mush, the room of death into a reasonable fight, and Atamathon into a crying wuss who can't penetrate your shield, much less your damage shields. This is even before considering how kickass Counterstrike is.
  • Chant of Resistance:
    I tried going for gigantic resist all, using both maxed out Thick Skin and Chant of Resistance (scales with spellpower pretty well!), which resulted in about 35%~ resist all once both were at 5/5. With various resistances on bits of gear, I was capped on resists for pretty much any element I wanted. With resistance, retribution, and various damage shields, my actual HP pool never really took a hit. I never really was in much danger the whole run; there was very little that could deal enough damage to even get past my shield's block values. By endgame, I was at 45% resist-all.
  • Stat Placement:
    Following some advice from chat, I opted to ignore Constitution as much as possible, and let equipment take care of requirements. As a result, I capped Magic, Strength, and Cunning, with a dozen and a half points left to dump in DEX, hoping to take advantage of shield's +2.5%dam/acc thing. Given that my HP never dropped much, it was pure benefit.
  • Dispersion:
    I'm starting to think dispersion gloves might be too valuable to ignore on most characters. I wore some crappy T1 dispersion gloves for most of the game.
  • Accuracy:
    Between Illumination, Combat Accuracy, and DEX pump, I was looking at 73 Accuracy, with most enemies reduced to 0. If I'm understanding accuracy bonuses right, that meant shield damage (including the bonus attack each round from shield of light) was getting a truly ridonkulous bonus.
  • Merchant Randarts:
    This is the first run I've had the chance to buy a couple. These things are really good. My results ended up being just good enough to wear despite having almost the exactly wrong bonuses I was looking for.


The Meh Stuff:

  • Status Effects:
    Having neglected to take Chant of Fortitude, I was completely at the mercy of stuns and disarms. Frustrating as heck, as I never found any useful immunity gear. Crusade and Providence are great, but are too unreliable as Stun usually put one or both on cooldown. As always, movement and wild infusions were the backbone of staying capable in combat. Born into Magic/Spell Shield took care of magic, and a torque of clear mind took care of mental effects.
  • Dispersion:
    Enemies with dispersion are crazy dangerous for an early game Sun Paladin. I was more afraid of a random rare around the corner with dispersion than anything else. By late game, I had enough tools on hand to deal with thing such as Blinkwyrms. But losing your damage shield and Weapon/Shield of light all at once is a seriously deadly situation for an early character.
  • Higher:
    Not really a great choice. Only born into magic proved to have any use, really. I wanted a race that had a smaller level penalty, so I suppose it worked out fine. Cornac might have been a better option, as the warrior escort category would have been a welcome source of stun removal. I had plenty of generics to spend, too.


Comments on various skills:
  • Healing Light, Second Life, Highborn's Bloom, Gift of the Highborn: I never even cast any of these. Second Life is probably too valuable to neglect, but the others aren't worth much attention. My stamina never even approached 50%, and I didn't really wear any stamina regen gear. I picked up 1/5 Quick Recovery only at endgame.
  • Bathe in Light:
    Useful early on, when Sun Paladins make heavy reliance on damage shields, but fell off once Block was capable of ignoring all damage. Pumping a Barrier before a fight makes it huge, but also will cause it to break that much sooner from Weapon of Light refreshes. I halfheartedly raised it, but probably shouldn't have. Whatever it gets from Anorithil escorts would probably have been sufficient. It was useful in the final encounter, however...
  • Providence:
    Hard to evaluate. Obviously it's good, but it's most effective when you're only suffering a couple of effects now and then. If you're dumped on by 6+ effects, it's probably time to teleport out. It probably won't remove what you need it to.
  • The Radiance Line:
    I imagine most players don't think much of these skills, and I didn't opt to unlock Searing Sight or Judgement...but Illumination is great. Nobody nearby ever had a positive stealth or invis score, and those damn Dreads were finally put in their place.
  • Sun's Vengeance:
    By endgame I had a 85% spell crit. Shield of Light triggers when you get hit, can crit. Weapon of light triggers when you hit, can crit. Basically this was going off all the time. You really need that addon to note when you have access to your instant Sunray, though.
  • Retribution:
    Amazing and an instant 5/5, but can easily be a double edged sword when you have allies around. Take extreme care not to vaporize your escortees...
    Taking the time to deactivate/reactivate between fights is worth it, too.


Interesting Stuff:
I ran into Gorlak Pride, and attacked the enemies therein. One of the ork inside was a Sun Paladin.
In one turn, I was hit by 5/5 Martyrdom, took enough damage from other orks to cause my Retribution to break, unleashing a 400+ damage AoE onto every ork in the room. This also triggered that paladin's Retribution, too. I lost a 1200 damage shield as well as 70% of my health, instantly.
That was scary.


Overall I had a fair number of dead generics at the end of the game. I dumped points into Overseer of Nations and Healing light just because there was nowhere else for them to go. I probably would go Cornac and try for a useful escort tree on another run.
My equipment was very poor for most of the game as well, but Sun Paladin seemed capable enough to stand even without powerful stuff.

I can't speak for 2H Sun Paladin, but once Shield Pally got going, he was crazy good.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:23 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 872
Sun Paladin is one of my favorite classes. I've gotten to level 30+ on Insane/Roguelike with one, although I haven't won with it yet since I only played it on Insane. One thing to consider is using a short staff + shield instead of sword. It's not strictly better since there are some really nice artifact swords, but staff is nice on a defensive build because it boosts your spellpower and procs. It seems to be a lot easier to roll crit chance and crit multiplier on staves compared to conventional weapons.

As for race, I think Shalore is one of the best options. Timeless helps with both effects management and cooldowns, while the speed buff prevents you from needing to spec Blinding Speed, and you may not even need to unlock Technique/Combat Techniques if you don't need the other talents. If you make another Paladin you may want to try it.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:21 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
Character here.

Halfling Skirmisher, Normal/Roguelike.


The Good Stuff:

  • Eye of the Tiger:
    Stand at max range, use Kill Shot for extreme damage, Bombard once (100% crit rate even before Luck of the Little Folk), Kill Shot again. Repeat until target is dead. Mix in Kneecapper/Noggin Knocker for taste.
    Hurricane Shot crowds, Bombard once or twice, Hurricane again. Crowd is dead.
    It kills me, but Eye of the Tiger combined with bombardment unraveled the entire concept of the class. I stood almost completely still in most fights. Using wards, Shieldmaiden's Block, and Little Folk saves out the butt, I typically ended fights at max health without having moved much at all. I made a post in the Ideas forum to remedy this, because Skirmisher was way more fun early game.
  • Halfling
    Holy cow, halfling is really good. Even after I had 98% natural crit, I didn't regret the decision.
  • That's all.
    Bombardment and Eye of the Tiger together really were that good. They won Normal on their own, basically.


The Meh Stuff:

  • Swift Shot:
    I loved this in early game. Good damage, and movement turns technically aren't no-damage, as they accelerate Swift Shot's cooldown. Slipping around in battles with +movement gear was great. Weaving through melee enemies and abusing LOS to deal with ranged was what I got into this class for. It's a shame that post level 30, Called Shot talents and bombardment are all you need to use anymore. Swift Shot saw almost no use in lategame.
  • Wild Gift-Harmony:
    I was out for the infusion cooldown reduction, since I had generics to spare. But I took so little damage that I never used my regeneration infusion the entire game, and just had Healing on auto-use. The poison-to-healing talent saved my buns from early game elven cultists, however.


Comments on various skills:

  • Evasion:
    I wore a cloak with stronger Evasion than I had leveled. Though it was never necessary, Evasion made the Skirmisher practically immune to melee enemies, via Defense alone. Even Atamathon had accuracy too low to have a significant hit rate. But Skirmisher can live without it, thanks to...
  • Tumble/Vault:
    Not sufficient escapes on their own, but extremely handy nonetheless. Tumble's crit bonus is completely a non-factor, but Vault's movement bonus is appreciated where Swift Shot is concerned.
  • Buckler Training Category:
    I put points into this during the later half, but kept an eye out for procs. They didn't seem especially useful. Melee shouldn't be in range of you long (or at all), and you can deal with enemy range pretty quickly, as they're in the sweet spot for Kill Shot. Buckler Mastery alone seemed worth its investment. By the time Bash & Smash guaranteed a crit, I was over 90% on natural crit.



Skirmisher was pretty straightforward. Early game battles were a whirlwind of Swift Shots, dashing around, Noggin Knockers to enemy casters, tactical retreats, and so on.
Late game, I autoexplored, Kill Shot'd, repeat. Against durable enemies, including the final battle, Kill Shot ? Bombardment ? Repeat took care of that. Player AI could probably have won this run.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:25 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
Not really certain what to play next. I don't want to try Nightmare just yet; there's still a lot of classes to check out. Maybe see just how bad Rogue really is?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:00 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:19 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Yeehaw, pardner
Rogue isn't bad, you just have to be careful. You could try winning with a ghoul rogue... And be the third person to do so.

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