ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:01 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:01 pm
Posts: 1303
Location: Finland
Ghoul Rogue sounds plenty fun. Let's do it Tryble, i'll join the run after my current.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:32 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
Sounds rough, but why not?

It's shameful, but I'll going to go Normal/Adventure mode for this one...it'd be embarrassing to bite it in the tier 1 dungeons somewhere. I don't know if item vaulting is considered shameful or not, but it probably is?
To redeem myself, I'll gonna show off my glorious rotting ghoul body in a mankini. Or...not, I guess, since I'll be stealthed. /shrug

No infusions, no antimagic, and a 20% global speed penalty. Dang...
I can already see why there's so few ghoul rogues. It's gonna be an uphill battle.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:14 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:01 pm
Posts: 1303
Location: Finland
If you're calling Mankini then ill do the Bikini round (or Mankini in case my current Mankini donning Brawler fails) and if we're going to go half naked I guess anything goes in terms of equipment failsafe; I know I have a cloak I want to try on a Rogue at least.
As for the difficulty I'm going to go normal as well. Nothing shameful about it in my books. After all, it's *normal* as opposed to abnormal. Besides, those who might look down on you for doing anything less than insane don't have real wins themselves, only some lucky insane with broken Adventurer build and bunch of life easing addons.
There is a real reason why they lack the Ghoul Rogue win on Normal difficulty, and courage to even try.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:00 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 9:17 pm
Posts: 1457
Ghoul Rogue is pretty painless in the early game on normal -- ghoul in general usually doesn't have much in the way of problems for the early game, regardless of class. About the only bump you might encounter is needing to just skip the undead dungeon boss, unless you luck into some nice weapons on the way up -- several undead combos have trouble managing to win the damage race with that thing, rogue among them. Once you pick up some passive regen or means of healing, hit-and-run for stuff you can't just blow up becomes a lot more viable, y'just don't usually have the tools for it that early. Can't speak for nightmare, though.

And beyond the early game, ghoul compliments rogue pretty well, actually. Natural beefiness helps offset rogue fragility a bit, rogue offense helps offset ghoul's speed issues, the built in racial heal and vaguely hilarious short ranged teleport helps keep a rogue alive or moving very nicely, the stealth helps keep the speed penalty from getting you overwhelmed... the list just kind of goes on. It's a pretty decent combo.

Honestly, I've personally found ghouls to catch a lot more flak than they really deserve. Barring gnaw, their racials are amazing and their base stats are solid, barring the global penalty. Which hurts much less than you'd think, in practice, in my experience. No infusions is less of an issue than it used to be, to boot. Antimagic (or, more accurately, fungal) is nice, but not exactly a deal-breaker, since it locks you out of a lot of nice stuff in and of itself. Plus both the undead share that lovely trick of being able to farm absolutely every adventurer party in the west, including the friendly patrols :3


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:24 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
Micbran wrote:
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.


Okay. http://te4.org/characters/182577/tome/f ... 9256a541ff

I haven't looked, but I'm probably the only bikini ghoul rogue of the three, at least.

Admittedly, this was on Normal/Adventure. I also used the Vault to snag a pair of Lv15 Blazebringer Daggers to try and offset the speed penalty.
There were 6 deaths, every single one was due to ambushes in the early game. I always keyboard move instead of mouse move like I should. If I were to try this again, I'm confident I could pull a Roguelike win.

...I just remembered, I completely forgot to get a second prodigy. So this was a single-prodigy challenge too, I guess...anyway, on to the good stuff.



The Good Stuff:
  • Traps
    Traps carried this character. I 5/5'd traps as early as possible, and endeavored to never be in melee if I could possibly help it. Ideally, I would never even see my enemies; they would just die. In the early dungeons this was easy, if frustrating. Enemies three squares away could step on an explosive trap you just set the same turn, dealing big damage to yourself. However, trapping optimally allowed me to wreck most elites and vaults without taking any hits. No risk, no worries. The closest calls came from enemies that I couldn't control with traps properly and was unwilling or unable to engage in melee with. Later, these traps started losing their 'oomph' on tougher enemies, since they don't scale hugely well, but that leads into....

  • Gravity Trap:
    I LOVE THIS TRAP. If gravity trap were a dude, I'd shake his hand.
    Just as the basic traps were losing their impact, gravity trap is here to save the friggen day. It lays waste to entire crowds, keeps dangerous uniques and rares locked in place, and can be active 100% of the time. Many enemies will opt to move rather than attack when caught in one, repeatedly losing turns. And by throwing other traps into position near the gravity well, you can get enemies to trigger whatever you want. Though gravity is sufficient to murdalize just about every normal enemy in the game, for the few that don't, a poison gas trap on top will be sufficient to empty the room.
    You can toss it around corners, lay it in a line with other traps to drag enemies onto them, lay it with others near gold chests, use it to prevent enemies from running off on you...it's crazy versatile. The best part is, even without tracking, you can see rare enemies drop dead through walls as their items fall to the ground. It's a nice feeling. The throw-traps talent got plenty of mileage; I probably wouldn't have won without it.

  • Stealth:
    I opted to avoid Stealth for quite a while. Since I wanted to never be in melee and used traps as my primary damage source, I had little need to push melee damage up through Shadowstrikes. However, with most other critical talents obtained, I started investing around level 20. Once Unseen Actions was fully online, I finally found a use for my daggers. A full Flurry barrage that shadowstrikes the whole way through does great damage. In the later half of the game, I was using gravity trap to chip at uniques less, and seeking out safe opportunities to dump Flurries to oneshot them more.
    The defensive benefits of Stealth are hard to pin down, since Stealth works....weird in ToME, and there's no way to determine whether an enemy mistargeted thanks to Stealth or Misdirection. But it was noticable whenever Stealth broke, that I generally took significantly more damage. Since Stealth/Unseen Actions checks per enemy you're visible to on every action, there was a big incentive to not bust into a room and start hacking; it was far safer to trap up the place and clean out the mooks first.

  • Speed Bonuses
    I didn't get Momentum running until very late, due to stamina concerns. I put a few points into the combat veteran tree to counteract stamina woes in general, which worked great, and Momentum wasn't as dangerous as I expected. Bosses in High Peak were too durable to be KO'd by Flurries alone, so between Eden's Guile (which I blessedly acquired early, from the farportal random unique guy), Momentum, and the Crippling talent, I was dancing circles around enemies who were at times reduced to 34% global speed. The four slime tunnel enemies were all shredded before they got more than a couple of turns to act.


The Meh Stuff
  • Ghoul
    Obviously.
    The speed penalty made the early game more harrowing than it needed to be. It was difficult at times to trap enemies who could occasionally get two turns on you, and ranged enemies of all sorts needed to be avoided head-on at all costs. I felt the racials were...not very good. First talent is useless when trained reactions does what it does better. Ghoulish Leap might have been handy, but between all the jumps Rogue already has access to, it never got much use. Retch was absolutely necessary as I needed some kind of healing what with infusions being out of the picture. The physical removal aspect never helped me when I most needed it.
    I generally teleported away out of my retch when things were looking poor.
    In other words, the penalties were awful, and the benefits were of little use.

  • Stamina
    Rogue is terrible with stamina. I found myself running low in critical situations pretty much constantly. So I blew a cat point on Combat veteran and bought some Quick Recovery, hating every moment of it. But it worked...so long as I didn't go heavy on Momentum, I was basically good on stamina, even in drawn out battles.


Other stuff of note

  • A ghoul lady in a bikini is pretty gross. Too bad that Cloak of Deception doesn't' work on us.
  • I vaulted in a pair of T3 Blazebringer daggers, purely for the global speed bonus. With +7% speed between the two of them, and some movement speed from various items, I lessened the ghoul penalty to something manageable. I ended up replacing those daggers much quicker than expected with some more potent quick daggers, trading 7% global speed for 11% attack speed.
  • A lot of early game fighting was done with a sling. Between traps and ranged attacks, few enemies lived to get into melee. And with several of the early dungeons being almost pure melee, it made the early game much more manageable.
  • I obtained an amulet with a pretty sizable talent bonus to Trapping, but it turns out that anything after 5/5 is useless; Trap damage bonus goes to +100% and doesn't improve.
  • I opened the Room of Death at Lv36. Turns out dragons of all kinds are immune to Gravity Trap's pulling mechanics (knockback immunity I guess)
    Attachment:
    File comment: Room of death opened at Lv36. Probably a bad idea.
    room o death.jpg
    room o death.jpg [ 74.1 KiB | Viewed 3699 times ]

  • Farportals are your best friend...until they notice you're walking with one life left.
    Attachment:
    File comment: This is why having a teleport on standby at all times is a good idea.
    delicious teleporter.jpg
    delicious teleporter.jpg [ 82.47 KiB | Viewed 3699 times ]



I don't know what people are saying, that traps are garbage. They're fantastic. Maybe they just suck on higher difficulties? Using them properly got this character her win.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 4:13 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 872
Congrats on the win. I've never attempted such a feat, but I imagine it takes some effort to pull off.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:53 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:31 am
Posts: 120
Tryble wrote:
I don't know what people are saying, that traps are garbage. They're fantastic. Maybe they just suck on higher difficulties? Using them properly got this character her win.

I think it's just that we don't get how to use them effectively. I couldn't work out how to make them anything but meh early on, and there was no later on as a result. If you feel like writing a trap tactics guide you could educate us... ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:34 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
First Nightmare Win, woo. Age of Ascendancy, No Embers of Rage.

Character here: http://te4.org/characters/182577/tome/3 ... 6b2955dd88

The character was a weapon-based Wyrmic, foregoing all breath attacks in favor of abusing really high % weapon damage skills. This is a build atypical of all the other options listed in various wyrmic guides, but I figured there was something worth trying here.

Good Stuff
  • Weapon Attacks - Wing Buffet, Ice Claw, Quake, Prismatic Slash, Swallow, Dissolve, and Death Dance. Between these seven (and later, You Shall Be My Weapon!), I had access to a ton of 250%~ weapon damage attacks, each with their own perks. There was a surprising amount of utility throughout the moveset. Wing Buffet has giant range, Ice Claw's also a decent area (with freeze), Quake's an unreliable mini-escape and great crowd clear, Prismatic Slash disables and deals damage even on miss, Swallow executes those annoying undead, and Dissolve can rip through bone shields. Half the moveset was capable of just erasing enemy crowds.
    Overall, once mid-game rolled up, the character was one-shotting most enemies for the rest of the game, with bosses and uniques generally needing only 1~3 to kill. If they were resistant or immune to some things, they were probably vulnerable to others. By endgame, You Shall Be My Weapon! at 430% weapon damage was critting (with no crit mult gear) for about 3500~4500. Resist All enemies may have been a problem, but as an Ogre, I opted to dual wield the Kinetic Spike in the offhand, granting a workable 50% physical pen stat.

  • Ogre + Fungus - Fungus is already pretty snazzy, but Grisly Constitution gave it extra oomph. +40% stat contribution to infusions meant I was walking around with a 12 CD regen infusion of the warrior recovering > 1000 health. With some heal mod bonuses, it amounted to about 300 health per turn. When spike damage threatened, a 1000 Shield Rune of the warrior bought time for the regen to do its thing. Scar-Scripted Flesh and Writ Large both got exceptional mileage, having both saved my buns on several occasions.

  • You Shall Be My Weapon! - I unfortunately never got the giant wraps, so I had to content myself with +1 size. At 430% weapon damage, this hit really hard, one shotting most enemies throughout the game, barring overpowered wyrms and high peak bosses.

  • Phase Door Rune - Yeah, a regular phase door rune. I found a 9 CD Phase Door Rune of the Warrior. Lasted 8 turns, power 59%. Given Scar-Scripted Flesh is a thing, I could teleport, and Lightning Speed/Movement Infusion to enter a battle with all resistances capped/59% negative effect duration, and more or less keep the effect up for entire battles. I was killing enemies I had no business fighting without problems thanks to the absurdly high defense and resistance bonuses.

  • Ice Wall - This ability singlehandedly enabled my victory in the final encounter when I forgot to bring a certain item. Without it, damage pressure would have overwhelmed me.

[*]Armor - It was possible to build up a fair amount of armor on this guy, and learning from an old forum post that armor reduces damage before multipliers, I thought it'd be worth pumping. Turns out it's pretty good!...so long as you can otherwise handle mages and such. The enemies with absurdly high damage ratings were hugely more manageable once I was coming at them with 100 armor, though. Knowing that little tidbit also showed me how useful an instant-cast burrow would be, for it's 29 armor reduction.

Bad Stuff
  • Holy cow, the early game is excruciating. Without any of the power, range, or the attack selection to come later, dealing damage was awful. Without fungus, surviving was dangerous. Stuns and especially freezes were deadly. Finding a wand of clairvoyance was critical, and I dutifully activated it ten billion times, tiptoeing through Eyal, taking great care to fight enemies individually and with major caution. The Weirdling Beast and the Farportal demon were both "look at the now deal with them in five levels" affairs. The Dark Crypt ate four of my six wyrmics, until I learned to just leave the place the hell alone.

  • Make sure you have gloves of dispersion going into High Peak...I forgot. The final boss spellcaster (elandar?) had 215%~ global speed from Essence of Speed, and I couldn't do jack about it. Thankfully, between phase door, movement, lightning speed, and ice wall, I was capable of staying alive despite ungodly offensive pressure from the pair until I finally eliminated the melee.



General Comments on the Build and Run

The wyrmic's got a lot of high % weapon damage talents, but none of the proposed builds in wyrmic guides ever suggested a 2H build built to utillize them as the main tool. I thought it would work, and it did. The character was capable of clearing entire crowds in one action. Bosses went down fast.

I chose some strange prodigies. You Shall Be My Weapon and Elemental Surge.
You Shall Be My Weapon is self-explanatory; I wanted to really abuse size category shenanigans via this, Swallow, and Grisly Constitution. Given that this was a weapon damage build, it just fit.

Elemental Surge I chose purely because I was absolutely dominating the entire game from Dreadfell onward; I felt so invincible that I was willing to forego a survival prodigy just to try out something strange. Given that I had access to most of the elements of Elemental Surge via the standard abilities/prismatic slash as well as possessing a 100% crit rate, I figured it was worth trying. On reflection, a bad idea. 30% chance to activate on crit, even with 100% crit, is simply too unreliable. A near-complete cleanse is amazing, but strangely, wyrmic has little fire damage that can trigger it. Devouring Flame can crit, but can't deal enough to trigger the prodigy. Flame breath is the only reliable source, as reliable as 30% can ever get. And in general, I never got the procs when I needed them most. The 12 turn cooldown seals the lid on the coffin. Having taken the time to try this prodigy out, I can absolutely say that as much as it seems like it fits this build, it's a sure skip. Take Draconic Will or something instead.

The early game was crushingly dangerous, and necessitated extreme use of clairvoyance to survive. The mid and late game were so simple I wasn't even examining rares or bosses anymore and just strolling up and one or twoshotting them. All the danger of this run was before level 20, and in the final battle...the only exception was a boss in high peak who possessed Flurry, Greater Weapon Focus (70%), as well as brutally high damage and APR. I was able to amass 170+ armor during procs, and that guy was still nearly capable of oneshotting me outright. If I weren't a Giant with something like +600 HP in gear/abilities, he'd have got me good.

I really liked how well Ogre and Fungus worked together. Fungus regen's good as always, and access to Shield runes ensured that extreme burst/regen dispels were survivable. Most characters will never get the chance to use fungus regen and shield runes together, nevermind the suped-up ogre versions.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:24 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
http://te4.org/characters/182577/tome/9 ... 00d9838672

So here's my first Insane win. It's also my first attempt at Insane at all, so that's neat.
This could have been a roguelike run; I died once in the elven ruins (oneshot by temporal warden, didn't realize second life was not active), but I had the Blood of Life by then, and dominated that fight in the next couple of turns. But who goes RL on their first go in a new difficulty?

This run was also done without vaults, since SOMEBODY called me mean names for using them. Naturally, I didn't find a single pair of dispersion gloves the entire run, despite a near full clear and 7 farportal trips...
Reader, I implore you. Don't go to High Peak without them. Don't do it. Do fifty farportal runs if you have to.


Build

This is the usual Ogre 2H Staff/Shield deal I've been going with for my last couple of runs. There's a few tradeoffs for going with a staff rather than a typical 2H, namely 1 generic lost, smaller weapon selection, and weaker endgame shield damage. However, being able to dump STR in favor of pumping DEX/CUN early has minor benefits, and staves will have benefits that are doubly useful via Arcane Might. Many artifact staves have 180%+ MAG modifiers once Arcane Might is up - Rod of Sarrilion, Gravitational Staff, and the Crystal Staff are all examples I found in this run. With big MAG equipment, and Brandish running over 300% weapon damage, Counterstriking with it generally did fine damage; over 3.5k in Dreadfell, and 7k by High Peak. By the end 35%+ Crit Mult staves usually win out over the fixedarts in DPT, unless you require huge damage to break through Armor.

My inscription setup rarely changed at all throughout the game; I started with 1 Shield, 2 Wild (Phys/Mag and Ment/Mag), neglecting a movement until past Dreadfell.
I ended with 1 Reflect, 1 Shield, 2 Wild, 2 Movement, but the basic Shield was introduced to replace a Phase Door right at the end. By that point, I had about 35% Res All, and the Wild Infusions were almost enough to reach the cap, so I dropped the Phase Door; random teleport is too much of a hassle for a Pally, though there was one situation I deeply regretted having no ready teleport on hand...

Prodigies - Arcane Might / Draconic Will. Arcane Might is what I felt was the best damage improvement since I was going staff. By endgame I had a superfluous 140% phys crit and appreciably high DMG and phys power. Draconic Will I finally took for the first time this run, and it's the GOAT. Anyone reading this who hasn't tried it - use it!

Outside of the final encounter, Barrier/BiL/Reflection is more than enough as far as shields go. A third Shield rune was just a precaution for the final encounter (and man it was super necessary). I rarely used it, and rarely needed a shield other than what I opened the fight with.




The Run

Overall, the beginning kind of sucked, and the end sucked. Going staff means you have poor offense early on, and need to float points into weapon mastery to stay on par. If you switch to staff early, you need a shortstaff since Grisly Constitution probably isn't online yet. Getting fully online generally happened on around the mid 20s, though you won't be at max power til you find a usable staff and acquire Arcane Might. Generics are tight the whole time.

I was fortunate enough to find Bolbum's Big Knocker on the Grand Corruptor, and from that point on, I dominated almost every enemy all the way up to High Peak. The Master was double KO'd before Providence went down, and the Ambush was similarly annihilated. The Orc Pride dudes were tougher, but also went down rather quickly once I could get on them in 1on1.

I had no fear of randbosses at all; Paladin's durable, and reasonably strong. There were only two enemies I encountered who were more trouble to kill than they were to avoid (both unusually deadly bulwarks), and I was actually pretty excited to find lots of uniques and randbosses when Tracking a new area. GOTTA GET DAT LOOT! I farportaled a lot, in hopes of dispersion gloves, but instead got regular great loot.

Without any dispel, Elandar basically had his way with me. Turns out the rod of Spydric Poison is great for locking up Argoniel, but I could not deliver any kind of damage to Elandar at all. Even though he Fearscaped me (at 400 damage a turn, too), I wasn't able to put any kind of pressure on him. I had to abandon him for later. Argoniel was no threat to speak of, though Elandar giggling while shooting random shit at me all day, teleporting me whenever he felt like, fearscaping at random, etc...certainly made it worse. Oh, and a dualthedil demon guy (the darkness ones) barfed darkness into the entire arena, blacking out everything. Once I'd closed the portals and KO'd Argoniel, so began the half-hour battle of trying to whittle down a random teleporting jackass who moves at double your speed, turns invisible, and can't be seen unless in melee range anyway.

Fortunately, I was wearing 60% on-hit slow (seems like that's the cap), and a crippling shield, so his speed bonuses were mostly brought in line. The constant teleporting in the darkness while invisible I managed to negate by using the Arcane Eye of a "of the Brotherhood" hat, allowing me to at least track him. Eventually, after much grueling effort, he went down.

And all of this could have been avoided if I just vaulted some dispersion gloves.




PALADIN TRICKS!

Crusade lowers 4 random talent CDs by 1. If only one thing's on cooldown, it lowers that one ability's CD by 4. Flash of the Blade is 1 turn invincibility, Brandish is your heavy hitter, Reflection Runes (especially with ScarScripted Flesh) are significantly more spammable, and so on. It's not a super powerful trick, but it can be handy.

Suncloak is reasonably good purely for its CD reduction ability. 6 turns is enough time to cast Barrier, Path of Sun, Providence, Absorption Strike, Brandish, and Crusade. It will pull the CDs of each ability down by an appreciable amount, especially Providence. If Retribution is activated while it's up (and on Insane, it will...), then its CD is decreased as well!

For those who can ignore Fortress, Chant of Resistance provided me with 20% res all at endgame. 35% base Res All is not bad at all, and I wore a +5 ResAll hat for a majority of the run. At 40%, Wild Infusions can push you to the Res Cap and provided the usual benefit of erasing silences, brainlocks, stray stuns, and so on.

Path of the Sun is an okay scouting skill. But what's really handy, is using it to provide a path that gets you adjacent to enemies in one turn, while still providing an escape for a few more. A bit of clever digging can provide a route that will allow you to fully prep and get in melee without wasting any turns to movement.

I acquired the Black Plate and used it through the end. For the most part, this is an unimpressive piece of armor, but there's a secret use to it. Link of Pain is instant, and will allow you to KO a random enemy by wrecking the local big guy. But that's using it backwards.
The Sorcerers and High Peak bosses often have huge Res All. By allowing a random mook to hit your shield, you can CounterBrandish him for upwards of 7k...and transfer 73% of that damage onto, say, Elandar. Sure, it's only a single hit...but given how durable they are, and how little Res Pen Paladin gets, it's a really effective use of a turn.

I feel like Insane isn't nearly that bad over Nightmare. The jump in enemy power is pretty well mirrored by the player's jump in equipment kickassery. I may stick with Insane from now on.



OTHER NOTES!

  • 100% Immunity is god tier, but 99% immunity is worthless.
  • Tryble, just vault some god damn dispersion gloves.
  • On-Hit Slow and Cripple, together, kick ass.
  • Paladins are da best. SMITE EVIL!
  • I think my next run with be a madness adventurer that's basically an enhanced paladin, just to see what Madness is like.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:25 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:39 pm
Posts: 318
Congratulations on winning insane! Ogre sun paladins are amazing. I think I will have my first stab on insane with one of these, as well. Staff is an interesting build choice. My favourite weapon of choice for an ogre sun paladin is Legacy of the Naloren, I wonder how it compares.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:18 pm 
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Cornac

Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:23 pm
Posts: 39
Very nice!

Quote:
On-Hit Slow and Cripple, together, kick ass.

If you have this available, often your best bet can be to either temporarily disable or focus on Elandar with cripple/slow/stun repeatedly. You can usually pin him with the Rod of Spydric poison as well.

(Although, on insane, he's got a lot more talents and you can't count on stun being that useful for talent restriction. Mostly just speed and damage decrease.)


Quote:
Spydric Poison is great for locking up Argoniel

She's got Spine, so this must have proc'd her Spine, then.

But I don't know much about Paladins, I'll admit.

Quote:
Legacy of the Naloren


Noloren is crazy. I tried it for fun on a regular Yeek Solipsist (who should really never have been just weapon bumping) simply because I had a warrior escort. But 10 ticks in Exotic.......makes anything shine. I imagine with a real melee build it would be absurd.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:18 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
Mode: Maj'Eyal Insane Adventure Stone Warden

Immediate note: Stone Warden is buggy! And not all the weirdness is obvious.

Character here.
*Take note of the 146% melee crit and exactly 100% spell/mental crit chance. I have literally no idea how that happened - my crit chance was high all around but certainly not 100%. Spell/Mental just changed to 100% at some point, and for a few hours everything was over 200%! Defense is also reported as 0 for some reason...
**If the character sheet looks wrong, it's because I might have taken him to the infinite dungeon. I'll try to upload a screencap of his charsheet at the bottom of this post soon.


The Good Stuff:

  • Tarrasca. With this and Stone Vines up, you win. Taking literally zero steps during combat is less restricting than it seems, given appropriate setup.
  • Elemental Split is really strong, and with pretty minimal investment. Precast shenanigans can carry over to your halves and there's some neat minicombos you can use.
  • It doesn't take very much effort for a SW to have such extreme armor values that nobody can ever scratch him in melee ever again. Being able to apply that armor to spells for 8 turns is pretty powerful; casting thorns before dwarven resilience allowed application of 450+ armor to all attacks.
  • Between that, Stone Wall, Nature's Balance/Mergeback, you can pretty easily turn a losing battle around, multiple times. That's assuming you can find any enemies which can punch through your Armor and Block.
  • Eldritch Slam is quite a bit stronger than expected; it's not amazing, but it can be used as an autoexpore-instakill-autoexplore tool throughout the entire game, and is typically enough to wipe out swarms of summons. Might have just been the result of 100% crit and high crit mult.
  • 5/5 Charm Mastery, Swift Hands, and maxed Strength for carrying around a billion artifact powers is wicked good. Since I pumped Strength and Magic (and Will somewhat), most every item with scaling was viable and you are super versatile as a result. Ain't nobody got time to maximize the effectiveness of Swifthands, though...
  • Gloom On-Hit is absolutely bonkers when you're toting around two sorrow rings, a shield with gloom, and have a 6-hit talent and are attacking twice every turn in any case. Dunno for sure if shield shards counterattack can trigger gloom, though - I often countered with gloom when hit but my charsheet reported 70%+ gloom when hit in melee.
  • All saves were 90+ with phys over 100. I carried around two movements infusions, crown of command for free stunclear, mnemonic for free mentalclear, but they got precious little use. Only High Peak's stair guardians (all of which I killed) and Elandar were able to get anything to stick to me at all.


The Meh Stuff

  • I'm certain it needed more investment, but Stone Vines was pretty bad. I only took it to 2/5, purely so it'd proc often enough to get the teleports up and running. But it never worked on enemies where it was really needed, and is pretty unreliable all around.
  • Generics. I have 1 Cat Point open and 7 gen points unspent. I planned to unlock and 5/5 Imbue Item if I found Goedaleth, but it never turned up. I was unwilling to imbue Tarrasca with the Lifebinding Emerald (Stun Res is useless after pearl of life/death and Nature's Touch is a full-heal anyway). I'd have had 15 points to spare (pulling useless points from racials, etc) to drop into a more useful escort tree had I made better decisions.
  • BUGS, MAN. I lost an extremely kickass pickaxe with spell CD, 25% phys pen, and other goodies. SW has a problem with the elemental split halves not properly mirroring your equipment. One way or the other, I actually had an item vanish on me. Aside from that, you frequently have problems with the clones wearing an old item...which makes CURRENT gear's activatable unusable. This is fixable by dropping/transmogging they item in your inv they are wearing, but is frustrating when you try and disperse someone and the gloves you have equipped "must be worn to be used!"


STONE WARDEN TRICKS!


Elemental Split!
  • Precast Eldritch Stone and your clones come with a damage shield. Intentionally damage them through Eldritch Slam and their shield will overload and burst, dealing the shield's full area damage twice. Your own shield hasn't even burst yet - though if you have a lot of retaliation damage you may eat enough of it through hitting your clones to trigger your own.
  • Precasting anything carries to your clones. Passing Block to them can trigger a lot of Counterstrikes for a turn. Precasting Clear Mind/Free Movement can keep them clear of debilitations. Precasting thorny skin + dwarven resilience gives them your giant armor value applied to all damage, making them near-invincible for half their duration.
  • Your stone half is useful even if he's stuck behind you. When he get StoneLink up and starts eating all incoming damage, you can heal him with Nature's Touch. It's the safety net of a Heroism Infusion with vastly more durability and health.
  • If it isn't already obvious, 10~11 turns of active clones followed by Nature's Balance gets you another full usage out of them. Stone wall can be used similarly. Balance also resets Eldritch Stone , letting you double down if you like precasting it on them. Stone wall, too - it's not hard to juggle stone wall/split cooldowns with balance to keep clones going for a crazy long time.

Other stuff!
  • Eldritch Stone works as a full mana restore which is handy, but in the rare case you are empty, have no (safe) enemies nearby, and can't rest, you can just attack yourself to trigger it yourself. Using the Attack talent on yourself is sufficient.



Overall Impressions

Stone Warden felt literally indestructible after Tarrasca was equipped. Between stupid high Block with Eternal Guard, blocking whatever element you need through Swift Hands (spectral shield? lolno), ignoring all melee damage through armor, applying that armor to nonphys when needed (pretty rare), three full status clears through mergeback x2 and pursuit, and two Stonewalls, there's really nothing that can overwhelm you.

Tarrasca straight up makes you near invulnerable. Even should you somehow get stunned/dazed, the movement loss associated with it just pumps your Absolute resistance to its max of 70%, pumping your survivability right when you most need it. The sheer amount of damage soaking you get as a result is ridiculous. Hell, I walked right up to the main door of Vor Armory vault and just smashed the wyrms three at a time. I barely even had to heal. To get around the movement penalty, a pair of movement infusions, stone vine teleports, and quickswap artifact boot powers sufficed just fine.

The Earthen split clones are pretty brutal, but overall I was so strong and durable I didn't make super extensive use of them except against unusually awful randbosses. Fun fact: Tarrasca's Absolute resistance carries to your clones when cast. You can use Tarrasca's activatable to get 70% abs res, wait till its at 1 turn left, summon clones, and they will receive that 70% abs res for their full duration, despite not actually being slowed.

This character killed Atamathon with little trouble and killed Linaliil without healing even once; at my post in posetcay's [urlhttp://forums.te4.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=46792]Guide to fighting Linaliil[/url] for how I did that.


Last edited by Tryble on Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:41 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 510
Tryble wrote:
Mode: Maj'Eyal Insane Adventure Stone Warden

Immediate note: Stone Warden is buggy! And not all the weirdness is obvious.

Character here.
*Take note of the 146% melee crit and exactly 100% spell/mental crit chance. I have literally no idea how that happened - my crit chance was high all around but certainly not 100%. Spell/Mental just changed to 100% at some point, and for a few hours everything was over 200%! Defense is also reported as 0 for some reason...
**If the character sheet looks wrong, it's because I might have taken him to the infinite dungeon. I'll try to upload a screencap of his charsheet at the bottom of this post soon.
The fact that your stats look weird probably has to do with the same elemental split bug too. Your armour score seems way too high, I couldn't get values like that from your items + effects at all.

Elemental split (+possibly some other thing) is utterly bugged ATM and it pretty much trivilizes insane to to such an extent that the class on its buggy state may actually be madness worthy.

_________________
1.4.X Paradox mage guide for high level play


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:57 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
Hell, you're right. As far as I can tell, I should be in the neighborhood of 140~150 armor, instead of the reported 250ish.
I knew SW was jacked up (I saw the free crystal summon bug probably three or four dozen times), but I had no idea how much.

I wonder how crazy a character could get if we knew how to reproduce whatever weird free-stat thing is going on here.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:57 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
Character here. Insane Roguelike Doomelf Time Warden.

The overall goal of this character (who was played as nearly pure archer) was to leverage dimensional shift and random phase door's out-of-phase buff as much as possible for survivability, in lieu of heroism, immunities, cauterize, or other 'standard' defensive measures.

Good Stuff
  • Dimensional Shift + Out-of-Phase: Out of Phase is refreshed by any teleport effect, and weaker phase buffs won't override stronger ones. By chaining teleports together, you can keep a phase door's huge bonuses running full-time. Wiping out negative effects in the process is, naturally, majorly good.
  • Temporal Hounds: I unlocked these guys early. For about five levels (daikara → most of dreadfell), they were bugged out and I had 5 hounds up at once. These guys are extraordinarily helpful for punching through the midgame since they're surprisingly capable; and made most of that section far safer. Even through lategame, they pulled a lot of weight purely as distractions, though their damage remains pretty respectable throughout the game. I'd personally recommend using them to most players.
  • Haste of the doomed: HotD is really handy, both for 1-use mobility/phase refresh, or for 2-use status clearing, and is the main reason I opted for the race in the first place.
  • Pitiless: Time Warden doesn't really have anything they want to extend, but knocking off temporary effects is pretty great in and of itself. Learning Vital Shot finally gives something worth extending, and if Breach lands you have a fair shot at stunning normally stunimmune enemies. Then, seal fate to make it last forever...

Bad Stuff
  • Building around teleport cleanse means no building for immunities, which worked out fine with one exception: Freeze. Can't teleport out of a freeze, and your hounds (and even clones) will try to kill you. By lategame, you can destroy any iceblock in one melee strike, which may take a turn to swap to,but before then freeze is extremely dangerous. The mage-y pride was a major hassle to get through safely.
  • There's always the possibility that phase buff comes down without you realizing it, and eating major spike damage that same turn. This happened just once to me, but I had been wearing about +400 HP in gear and lived through it. This build needed more attention than what I'm usually accustomed to...
  • This setup is also very vulnerable to enemies with major resist pen, but keeping disperse on hand usually would mitigate that threat. But teleporting randomly next to a frostdusk necro or something is a constant possible run-ending threat.
  • Out of Phase has some strange behavior. It appears to have its buffs capped (50 DEF, 40 Res All, 60% Duration Down), but in the fortress these caps don't apply. I posted a bug report about it here.


Overall comments on the run:

  • This character had an awful lot of teleports, including anywhere from 2 to 4~5 twin teleports per fight from haste of doomed refresh and blink blade's low CD. Out of Phase doesn't last very long, and stringing teleports together in a constructive manner while simultaneously leaving options open for debuff clearing/mobility, etc, made for pretty interesting combat overall. You need to make risk judgements all the time whether to 'waste' a turn using a suboptimal ability to refresh phase is worth it, along with juggling paradox/arrow count and watching cooldowns. Was fun, but in prolonged battles all resources getting stretched to their limit led to tense fights.
  • Like most all of my other characters, this one killed Ata, Linaniil, Vor Vault. None of them were especially threatening.
  • This character closed no portals in the final fight. He KO'd Elandar in something like <10 turns, but Argoniel proved to be insanely durable and took about a half hour to safely whittle down. As I mentioned in an earlier report, she's vulnerable to Spydric Poison; landing it and then Seal Fate/Pitiless to keep it infinite made her incredibly less dangerous. The enemies spawning by the truckloads were substantially more threatening.
  • I have two runes of the rift for some reason. Daikara morphed into a completely new zone after returning to the east, as if I'd never been there. Another rune was just laying around. /shrug
  • TW can put on some pretty major hurt when they go full offense. Arrow Echoes can be kept up full-time, and Vital Shot hits hard and can be refreshed more quickly through Invigoration.


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