ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

Everything about ToME
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:48 am 
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So, the last Rogue guide was written somewhere in 2014. I'll go into some thoughts on the Rogue after the TL:DR and stuff. Here's my guy.

Build TL:DR

Class Talents
Technique/Dual techniques: 0/0/0/0
Technique/Duelist: 0/0/0/0
Technique/Throwing Knives: 5/1-5/5/5
Cunning/Stealth: 5/4/1/2
Cunning/Trapping: 5/2/1/4
Cunning/Dirty Fighting: 1/5/0/0 or 0/0/0/0
Cunning/Poisons: 5/2/5/5
Cunning/Artifice: 2/1/1/1

Generic Talents
Race/Halfling: 1/1/1/3
Technique/Combat training: 5/1/3/2/0/5
Cunning/Survival: 1/4-5/1/0
Technique/Mobility: 1/1/2/5
Cunning/Scoundrel: 2/5/3/3
Cunning/Lethality: 2/1/0/0

Rogue Thoughts

There's a lot to say about the Rogue. At the time of this guide I've got insane wins on Doomed, Anorithil, Solipsist, Arcane Blade, Cursed, and Rogue. In terms of overall power-level and survivability, they went Cursed, Rogue, Doomed, Solipsist, Arcane Blade, Anorithil.

Rogue was the strangest playthrough I've had. Effectively once I became more confident in my defenses and stealth, I felt invincible. I didn't feel like a walking tactical nuke like the Doomed, or a indestructible tank like the Cursed, it was more like...I just kind of threw daggers, did what looked like paltry on screen damage, and then everything exploded as it was all hideously debilitated and taking 1.2k-1.6k poison damage a turn.

Typically when playing, I'll throw down a bunch of skills on a hard randboss, look at it's health, see it's down to 50% or whatever and think to myself "I did some decent damage that round." With the Rogue, I'd throw down some skills, look at the bosses health, see it's at like 88%, and think to myself "Man...this thing will never die." Then 2 rounds later it would explode in a ball of poison.

I tried multiple times to get a Rogue off the ground. Each time I kind of half-assed the Rogue, putting a few points in stealth, a few points in combats, a few points in dual techniques because I wasn't really sure what direction I wanted to go. Again, there hasn't been a guide written in over half a decade, so I was just trying to feel the class out. Each time I felt like the Rogue just got torn apart like tissue paper. It didn't have the staying power, it didn't have the smashing power, and stealth didn't seem like it did anything. It wasn't until I basically said "eh, I'll meme it" and went Halfling Rogue with full stealth, throwing knives, and poison that things actually came together.

The final battle, just like the other battles, was just strange. I debilitated the hell out of Elandar, threw a bunch of knives at him, saw he was at like 50% health and felt sad, he teleported somewhere, and then died 3 turns later off screen to poison. Argoniel was a similar story. Debilitate the hell out of her, do a bunch of ninja flips, see she still had a ton of health and felt sad. I'd retreat to heal and she'd have taken like 9k poison damage. Then I threw a 3k Venomous Strike and she died.

It was a fairly easy win. If you can cry your way past level 10, trust the poison and trust the stealth, you'll actually have a very easy time. I'll go over how the skills felt, how much I used them, and how valuable they actually seemed in real practice.

Index

1. Cheat sheet
2. Build rationale and analysis
3. Change log

Cheat Sheet

Stat distribution priority
Max CUN every time, points into DEX when CUN is full, then CON, then WILL.

Category Point Order
Inscription, Scoundrel, Inscription, Artifice.

Inscriptions
Movement, Healing, Regeneration, Wild, and Heroism. Shatter Afflictions and Dissipation would be on here, but I found the Spellhunt Remnants early and decided I would use them.

Prodigies
Mystical Cunning, Armor of Shadows.

Equipment priority
HP, CUN/DEX, increase crit multiplier, nature damage/penetration, phy damage/penetration, stun res, on hit (slow/blind/gloom) but only when equiped, throwing knives do not benefit from the weapon on-hit stuff for the weapons you carry.

Alchemist Quest priority
+2 generic, +2 class, 3 Cunning/Dex

I missed the class points quest!
+4 stats or maybe the bonus to defense?

Analysis and Rationale

Throwing Knives are kind of weird. They're not effected at all by the weapon stats of what you have in your hands, and this build never actually bump attacks or uses attacks other than the Knives. In that way...you could technically carry whatever you want in your hands. I had some mindstars for a bit just because they gave good stats. Effectively you're looking for "when wielded/worn" effects, as those will translate through the knives, including bonus damage, effects, etc. Dagger Mastery DOES effect the Knives though, so you want to pump that for sure.

This build doesn't have much flexibility when it comes to prodigies. I wasn't sure about Mystical Cunning...but it's amazing. It makes the poisons bonkers and does some trap stuff. The big thing is it allows you to potentially poison everything, even if it's immune. It also made my Venomous Strike my single target nuke effectively, allowing it to hit for between 3k-5k damage.

Armor of Shadows is honestly really good for this build, but the reason I took it was because it makes your stealth higher than everything's see stealth forever. Even Argoniel with her 101 see stealth was beat out by my 112. Stealth doesn't seem to work in the same scaling system as other stats, so the flat +30 is a big deal. You'll also be on an unlit tile forever, since that's what stealth does, so you'll get the full bonus of the prodigy at all times. Seriously, get used to the washed out look of stealth, because you'll be in it 99% of the time. The few times something weird managed to knock me out of stealth I was right back in it thanks to Shadow Dance.

Stealth DID seem good, but you have to go balls to the wall with it. Effectively most of the time it seemed like a very, very high evasion score. However it also made some really interesting things happen, where stuff with AOEs would just be blasting each other and all over the place trying to find me. Normally I would fear Brawler/Marauder combos or the like, but on this build they never really hit me.

Traps are kind of weird. I feel like I shouldn't like them, but I ended up using Lure and the primed Flashbang all the time.

Poison is incredible and the Mandible turns Toxic Death into something genuinely hilarious to watch. In the prides I would kill one thing and this weird chain effect would begin, where everything would get poisoned, pop in a ball of poison, poison other stuff, which would also die from the poison and infect other stuff...

Stacking Physical Crit chance is kind of weird on this build. Effectively you'll be in stealth 24 hours a day, so with Shadowstrike you'll be critting almost all of the time anyway.

Weapon Choice

Whatever gives you the best wielded/worn bonuses. I was using a mace/dagger at one point, then a waraxe/mindstar, and in the end I found the mandible of Ungolmor and a dagger with good penetration and nature damage bonuses so I used them.

Class Talents

Technique/Throwing Knives: 5/1-5/5/5

[5] Throwing Knives: This talent is kind of the backbone of the entire tree. The range, damage, crit, amount that you can carry etc all scale with this, and the other talents work with the base knives, so you want them to be as good as possible.

[1-5] Fan of Knives: I floated points between this and Backstab trying to find out which pulled more weight. I BELIEVE this is my winner, but if know you're going to do a 1v1 fight, you could probably float out of here and go into Backstab or something else. Fan of Knives was single handedly clearing rooms however, hitting most things for 2-2.5k damage and stacking poison and debuffs.

[5] Precise Aim: More crit chance, more crit damage, and random disables? Yeah, considering the amount of knives you'll be throwing, stuff is disabled a lot.

[5] Quickdraw: The main benefit here is it flat out increases the attack speed of the knives, giving you almost two attacks a turn in the end. I was at 68% of a turn in the end per knife. It also can give a knife throw if you hit stuff in melee, which you could do if you want when you use Shadow Dance.

Cunning/Stealth: 5/4/1/2

[5] Stealth: Max this as soon as you can. It's the first layer of your defense, and before you get Armor of Shadows at 42, it's what will keep you beating everything's see stealth score.

[4] Shadowstrike: This works with your knives, and you'll be in stealth all the time, so it's good. 4 seemed like a good cut off point. If you don't go for backstab, probably put the dirty fighting point into this and make it 5.

[1] Soothing Darkness: 1 point is fine, you get crazy diminishing returns at 2 points.

[2] Shadow Dance: 2 points will get you 3 turns of not breaking stealth no matter what. That's typically enough for Expose Weakness, Fan of Knives, and whatever else you want to use that would normally break stealth like activating the Spellhunt Remnants or another charm.

Cunning/Trapping: 5/2/1/4

[5] Trap Mastery: This tree was kind of my dump tree just to see if I liked it or not. I actually ended up enjoying the Poison Trap, Springrazor Trap, and Flashbang Trap. If you don't use any anti-magic equipment, the Gravity Trap you get from Mystic Cunning is also pretty amazing. At this level none of these break stealth.

Edit: I realized why I was liking the Poison Trap so much. Obviously you're stacking nature damage/pen with this build, and poison is your go to, but apparently this trap can stack extra poison. Messing around on the dummy, I've seen it obtain the effectiveness of the volatile poison and the numbing poison. I wasn't exactly sure what the "25% chance for extra effects" was, but I guess your current poison effects on your deadly poison are it.

[2] Lure: This is probably the thing in the tree I used the most, besides the primed Flashbang trap. It doesn't last too long, but it's great for pulling stuff, positioning, getting stuff to run over your traps, and it doesn't break stealth. A lot of times bosses like to use their most powerful stuff right in the beginning and the Lure absorbed a lot of it.

[1] Advanced Trap Deployment: This is mostly just here to get to...

[4] Trap Priming: This gives you some decent options, but I selected the Flashbang trap and used it a lot. The 7 turn blind/daze stuck quite often, didn't break stealth, and was on a 12 turn cool down.

Cunning/Dirty Fighting: 1/5/0/0 or 0/0/0/0

[1] Dirty Fighting: It's just there to get to...

[5] Backstab: I tried to determine how much this really did. The build does throw down a ton of disables, so it can definitely give a damage increase...I just seemed to feel like Fan of Knives was almost always better. I feel like you should either go all the way here or not at all.

Cunning/Poisons: 5/2/5/5

[5] Apply Poison: Poison just gets nuts. This is the base stats and the chance to apply it so max it.

[2] Toxic Death: 1 or 2 points is honestly probably all you need on this since most clusters fights are tightly packed cluster fights. That said, when I got the Mandible and this shot up to 7 with a 6 radius, it was pretty funny to watch everything on the screen pop in a ball of poison.

[5] Vile Poisons: The vile poisons are good and give you a lot of options, and this ups their base effectiveness and unlocks the various types. I almost always rolled numbing just due to it reducing enemy damage by 28% at the end there, and volatile poison because it was increasing poison damage by 70%, and effectively killed most bosses single handedly. When I was up against an annoying healer I used Insidious Poison and I used Crippling Poison for a while until I got Mystic Cunning and Volatile Poison started making poison damage nuts.

[5] Venomous Strike: This is your nuke, it turns into Venomous Throw for the Knives. I didn't think it would do much damage honestly, but it does. It would typically hit between 2-5k on most opponents, and finished Argoniel off with a 3k throw. It turns your weapon damage into all nature damage, so stacking nature damage and penetration makes this hit really hard. Mystic Cunning puts this on a 7 turn Cool Down. Typically it was my 1 hit kill key against rares. It also does extra bonus stuff based upon what poisons you currently have active.

Cunning/Artifice: 2/1/1/1

[2] Rogue's Tools: I went 2 points for the 2 physical effects removed for Rogue's Brew.

[1] Cunning Tools: Most of these are 1 point wonders for the rest of this tree. I chose Smokescreen here. Putting more points into the stuff doesn't change their duration or cool downs, just the outright damage they do. I should mention too, Throwing Knives can actually trigger hidden blades (which is funny because it's supposed to be an unarmed attack, but it WILL hit at range however far you throw your knives, however it also breaks stealth, which annoys me so I didn't use it).

[1] Intricate Tools: I choose the dart launcher here. It's an instant sleep effect that doesn't break stealth, so it's pretty awesome. I sometimes used this to make a mob chill out so I could heal or so some of my stuff could cool down.

[1] Master Artificer: This doesn't give you an extra tool, it just allows you to choose a tool you already chose and give it an extra benefit. I chose the smokescreen here, which became incredibly valuable. It applies a silence effect, and it seems like it happened quite often.

Generic Talents

Race/Halfling: 1/1/1/3

[1] Luck of the Little Folk: It allows you to crit and stuff...but mainly this build crits all the time anyway since you're always in stealth.

[1] Duck and Dodge: This ended up being pretty important. This build enjoys multiple layers of defense, and this is one of those layers. You have a lot of ways to get out of a bad situation, and 50% evasion and a bunch of defense which will pump up your Trained Reactions is nice.

[1] Militant Mind: Whatever...what I really wanted was...

[3] Indomitable: It's just some much needed cleansing when needed. Being mobile is super important most of the time in this build, and this helps you do it.

Technique/Combat Training: 5/1/3/2/0/5

[5] Thick Skin: It's universal damage reduction. It's one of your defensive layers.

[1] Heavy Armour Training: Trained Reactions gets insane and you only get it if you're in light armor, so 1 point here.

[3] Light Armor Training: 3 points seemed to give the best Defense bang for your buck. Defense makes Trained Reactions better and better.

[2] Combat Accuracy: You don't need too much, your throwing knives are going to be ridiculously accurate thanks to talent levels and dexterity. Like...I actually don't think I ever missed. You could possibly get away with 0 points.

[5] Dagger Mastery: You'll be throwing knives like 90% of the time, and this makes them do more damage. It makes your Venomous Strike hit harder as well.

Cunning/Survival: 1/4-5/1/0

[1] Heightened Senses: Just to get to...

[4-5] Device Mastery: This is either good or really good. If you end up with a ton of busted devices it'll be amazing. I had a bunch of things I was using. Boots of the Hunter, Emblem of Evasion, Spellhunt Remnants, etc.

[1] Track: I get this through the pick your escorts add on, just so I don't have to spend 20 minutes scumming the first escort. It's just that good.

Technique/Mobility: 1/1/2/5

[1] Disengage: 1 point just seemed to be enough. The thing I don't like is this will break stealth, so if you need to use it you need to pop Shadow Dance first.

[1] Evasion: It was fine. 1 point just seemed like enough, the build has a metric ton of natural built in evasion as it is.

[2] Tumble: I loved this ability. I used it literally all the time. It's instant, it doesn't break stealth, and 2 points gets you an extra range. 3 range doesn't seem like much, but it's enough to get you out of trouble so you can then pop Shadow Dance and use Disengage or a Movement Infusion.

[5] Trained Reactions: This is your second line of defense, basically, after stealth. If somehow something gets lucky and hits you, this activates and reduces the damage. It reduced a LOT of damage. You don't really have stamina issues in this build, so the stamina cost doesn't matter and in the end this was reducing all damage I took by 39%. In a difficulty level where (I've found) you basically have to build around getting 1 shot, this turns a 2k hit into a 1280 point hit, and that's a big difference.

Cunning/Scoundrel: 2/5/3/3

[2] Lacerating Strikes: Lots of diminishing returns on this. 2 points seemed to be a good breaking point.

[5] Scoundrel's Strategies: Crits are what kills you in Insane. This makes the crits WAY less painful. It also makes stuff forget talents, which I guess is cool, but mainly I got it for the crit damage reduction. I always just assume everything crits me all the time, so 70% less crit multiplier is nice.

[3] Misdirection: 3 points for diminishing returns. The cool side benefit to this is you get defense which pumps Trained Reactions up further.

[3] Fumble: 3 points for diminishing returns. I saw this go off a lot, and with Fan of Knives you throw a lot of knives very quickly.

Cunning/Lethality: 2/1/0/0

[2] Lethality: More critical % and more critical damage. Fast diminishing returns after 2 points. Also makes your throwing knives use cunning instead of strength, interestingly.

[1] Expose Weakness: I guess this used to be brokenly good and now it's way way less good. 1 point was enough. Mainly it's 30% all damage pen on a stick. The big issue is it breaks stealth, so my typical go to for an annoying opponent was Shadow Dance, Expose Weakness, Fan of Knives, Venomous Strike.

Prodigies

Mystical Cunning: I wasn't sure if this would be good. It's good. Like, it's real good. This is one of those Prodigies where "under the right circumstances" it's a good prodigy. This is those circumstances. A 1.0 bonus mastery to Poisons and Trapping is great. The Gravity Trap is awesome. The cooldown reduction to Lure and Venomous Strike is awesome. The big deal though is the Vulnerability Poison. This gives everything a -10 resist all, and removes 50% poison immunity. It basically fixes the bane of the build, which is stuff that's immune to poison, and makes the poison and Venomous Throw do excellent damage.

Armor of Shadows: This is kind of the peanut butter to the jelly of the build. Your'e ALWAYS on an unlit tile, although getting some darkness damage to your attacks isn't too hard with gear. 20% evasion gives you another layer of defense. The armor and armor hardness is whatever, I've mentioned this before, but typically if I'm dying it's because I just got hit for 3k damage. The shining glory here is the flat +30 stealth. Once you get this, you effectively get to beat everything's see stealth score, forever. I checked damn near every creature I was up against to see if they could beat this score. In the end, even Argoniel with her crazy 101 score wasn't enough for the 112 I got with this.

Inscriptions

Infusions

Movement: I use this on almost every character that isn't undead. In the early game it keeps you alive, and in the late game it's good because positioning will make you do a ton more damage and it's still good for keeping you alive. The Rogue wants movement, and this build wants INSTANT movement.

Wild: The Rogue doesn't have a lot of ways to clear out effects, so it's kind of necessary.

Heroism: Just death insurance. It's instant, doesn't break stealth, and typically every fight is over before it runs out.

Heal: I actually value heal a lot. It's instant, I usually end up getting a decent amount of heal modifier gear (you're stacking Nature damage/pen on this build, healing mods seem to often come with that gear), and the cool down is often pretty low.

Regeneration: The build has a lot of ways to get out and heal up, sometimes you just want something to keep you in the fight and regen does it, even without Fungus. Interestingly even though this isn't instant, it doesn't break stealth.

Runes

Dissipation: If you don't use the Spellhunt Remnants you need this. Something to know is using it DOES break stealth.

Shatter Afflictions: Would probably be ok.

Shield: Would have probably been ok too.

Changelog

2/14/20: Guide created.
2/14/20: Did some extra testing on the poison trap and posted the findings.

Notes

This is my second guide. Looking at the hideous creation I made, I recognize this build seems like some sort of weird dumpster fire...but it just flat out works. It was, outside of Cursed, the easiest win on Insane I've had, but more importantly than that, it was a build where I felt confident and powerful nearly the whole way through (levels 1-10 not really withstanding because you could get insta-popped for 700 damage out of nowhere at like, level 10). I didn't think throwing knives and poison would scale, but it did. I didn't think stealth would basically make me invincible, but it did. I didn't think it would make the final fight so easy, but it did. There was no "off button" for this build like I've had on other characters. Mages? It wrecks them. Anti-Magic characters? It wrecks them. Super tanky characters? Wrecks them. Super healy randbosses? Stops their healing, then wrecks them. Clusters of enemies? Wrecks them. 1v1 slugfests? Wrecks. I dunno, those were my findings on a class that's had basically nothing written about it for at least 5 years.


Last edited by GrayStillPlays on Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:51 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:57 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:55 pm
Posts: 272
This is the kind of rogue build I've always dreamed of making. I'm not good enough to be confident on insane, but will definitely give this idea a spin on nightmare. :D


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