ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:44 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:23 pm
Posts: 10
This guide is based on my firts character winning the game (normal difficulty) : a stealth Shalore Shadowblade

I made several choices for this build, so some of my comments are based on these choices.
Contraty to several guides I read, I chose to bypass several trees completely to focus on others.
- no rush
- no extra speed
- no stunning (well almost)
- no light (until very late)

How to play
You are a glass cannon. As a glass cannon, the key of survival as a Shadowblade is: DO NOT GET HIT. (Each of my stupid deaths is due to forgotting this golden rule)
What does it mean ? It means you have to max defense, escape dangerous situations, and use tricks to make dangerous situations less dangerous.
And of course kill your foes as fast as you can.

What may kill you:
- Getting stunned
- Critical hits from strong warriors (Armoured skeletons, some specials)
- Thinking you will survive a crowded place and being wrong
- Thinking you will OS a tough enemy, and being wrong (:-p)

Races
Cornac (4/5)
I think its a pretty good choice for a beginner shadowblade: you can get stealth at level 1, and fast leveling is great. You will probably reach lvl 50 before High Peak

Higher (3/5)
Fairly good. Regen, extra infravision and bloom are good.

Shalore (5/5)
Good choice, but the start-game is a bit harder than Cornac (no healing, no wild infusion). Improved speed, improved crit, invisibility, and Timeless make the Shalore a very good choice in the end-game

Thalore (1/5)
Not very in phase with Shadowblade

Halfling (3/5)
Good choice too, as Shaloren, but a bit less interesting. Having good crit % is not mandatory for the Shadowblade if you focus on stealth.

Dwarf (1/5)
Dwarves are strong, dwarves are not agile, dwarves have good armor. All the things you dont need as a Shadowblade.

Ghoul (1/5)
Speed problem. Plus healing problem. Plus no wild infusion

Skeleton (3.5/5)
I would make skeleton an average choice for Shadowblade. Leveling with a skel is a bit frustrating. But bone recons and bone shield are great. Stunning will be a problem, though.

Yeek (?/5)
Never tried a Yeek Shadowblade, but I guess it will be a so-so choice : you dont have willpower to improve Dominant will, but you need the speed bonus of Quickened.

Talents

As a general view, Shadowblades have plenty of class talents to upgrade, so your main problem will be to decide where to specialize.
I chose to specialize on stealth. It needs some investments, so it is not possible to max all talents...

Technique
Dual weapons
(1/5/x/0)
- Dual weapon training: Not very usefull. Get it at 1 for the next talent. It is fairly expensive for the benefits
- Dual weapon defense: You need as good defense as possible, so Dual weapon defense is good for any Shadowblade.
- Precision: Its up to you (the most difficult foes for SHadowblades are high armoured : shield wall, ...) so it can be usefull. Or not.
- Momentum: Stamina cost is a bit too expensive. And you already have plenty of speed buffs.

Dual techniques
(1/5/0/0)
- Dual strike: A life savior at the beginning of the game. Useless in the mid-game (your foes are usually dead before they relize they are stunned). Starts to be interesting again in the late game, when enemies have plenty of HP so you cannot OS them anymore. But also strong ennemies are usually very resistant to stunning (based on the difference between your Phys power and their, they are usually better than you are as you don't have strength)
- Flurry: Very good offensive technique. High damage. Be careful if the guy you strike has retribution.
- Sweep: Attack all foes in front of you : good if there are several foes in front of you. Remember, as a shadowblade, if you are surrounded, you're dead.
- Whirlwind: see above

Combat Techniques
(0/0/0/0)
I usually bypass the whole tree to focus on stealth.

Combat Veteran
(5/0/0/0)
This tree is very important for stamina regeneration. However, there are more important things to take before unlocking this tree.
Quick recovery is your end-game friend (before unlocking the tree, you have to rely on stamina-regen kit)

Combat Training
(5/1/5/0/5)
- Thick skin: 15% resist all is vital.
- Armour training: lvl 1 to be able to wear any equipement you will find
- Combat accuracy: Max it as soon as possible. Before stunning or crit your opponent, you have to hit him
- Weapons mastery: you dont use them
- Dagger mastery: Your main weapon. Max it after combat accuracy, and after getting 1 in Armour training


Cunning
Dirty Fighting
(0/0/0/0)
Looks good, but needs too much investment. Becomes useless very soon. My advice is to bypass it. Dual strike should be enough for stunning.

Lethality
(x/1/0/0)
- Lethality: get 1, and 5 i the end-game for maximum crit damage
- Deadly strikes: A free attack and increase AP. Perfect. Get it ASAP
- Willful combat: Could be good, never really tried it.
- Snap: same thing

Shadow Magic
(5/1/5/5)
- Shadow combat: get it at 1 to start, then upgrade it when you have nothing else to do.
- Shadow cunning: You dont need high Spellpower. 1 is good
- Shadow feed: Get it at 1 ASAP, then upgrade it. You can change your manasurge for another rune (shield, wild, regen) once you get it.
- Shadowstep: Perfect. Contrary to 'rush', it has no minimum distance. (btw, I unlocked marauder thanks to this talent, without planning to)

Stealth
(5/5/1/5)
The main tree of the 'stealth' build. Get it at 5/1/1/5 ASAP, then max Shadowstrike: First thing is to avoid damage. Then you can plan to deal high damage. Remember: when stealth, all your damage are critical.

Survival
(x/1/x/0)
- Heightened senses: It is good if you have no infravision source. Improve it as you wish (depends on your equipement)
- Charm mastery: not usefull. Needed for the next talent (unless you improve it with rogue escorts)
- Piercing sight: 1 or 2 is needed, but nor vital. Up to you

Ambush
(1/5/3/0)
- Shadow leash: useless
- Shadow ambush: vital in the mid-game to silence those bad spellcasters (corruptors, skel mage, ...). Get it at 1 ASAP. Becomes less interesting in the mid-end game, as the "bad spellcasters" are often killed with one good shadowstep. Becomes vital again for the final fight : those 2 bosses are spellcasters. Silence them for 7 turns and you win. You can also use the talent to pull a target from a group of foes and kill him alone
- Ambuscade: Worth the investment. But 3 is enough. Using it is a bit tactical:
Use it to attack a single foe and leaving your real self safe somewhere.
Use it to debilitate (stun, silence) an enemy twice (first your shadow, then you).
Use it to explore through walls (using PT).
- Shadow veil: useless for you shadow, too dangerous for you, unless you want to commit suicide.

Scoundrel
(you can get it with the 'Trick of trades' prodigy. It has a good synergy with Shadowblade)
(1/1/5/5)
- Lacerating Strikes: Not usefull
- Scoundrel's Strategies: Not usefull
- Nimble Movements: One more mobility/escape technique, and based on Generic Points instead of class Points. Very good. (the first reason to get Trick of the Trade, the second being to improve your stealth power). Plus your shadow can more with Nimbe movements, contrary to PD
- Misdirection: Good too for better defense based on Generic Points. Not vital.

Spells
Phantasm
(x/x/0/0)
(1/1/0/0) first, then max what suits you best.
I invested in the end-game. It was quite usefull against orc prides. It was not so great in damade, but blinded foes are cool (they cannot prevent you from getting stealth)

Conveyance
(5/1/5/1)
- Phase Door: your best escape mean. Max it asap. Do not invest in Ma for this : use items. Your goal should be to get this to lvl5 at around your 10th
- Teleport travel: your emergency escape. 1 is enough as it is an emergency.
- Displacement shield: Good shield for shadowblade (you dont have that much shielding capacity). Get it at 1, then max it in the end game.
- Probability travel: This is one of the best talent (in my opinion) for a shadowblade. You can afford to sustain it always, and it gives the feeling of being a ghost. (Having it at lvl24 to save Melinda is mandatory)

Temporal
(0/0/0/0)
Time shield is interesting, but I prefer investing in an inscription slot instead of the tree, as it will be less expensive in term of Class Points. You already need many class points for other vital things.

Divination
(1/0/0/0)
Arcane eye is good, but not vital. Do not unlock the tree. Hope for the good escort
NB: Arcane eye can be replaced with Precognition if you meet a Temporal Explorer escort.

Category points
(10): Stealth
(20): Ambuscade
(36): Inscription slot
(Bile): Combat Veteran

Prodigies
(30) Trick of the trade: better stealth and access to Nimble movements (mobility).
(42) lucky days: better stealth, better saves, better crits.

Inscriptions
Regen (madatory: probably your only source of healing)
Wild Phys+Mag (mandatory to remove bad effects)
Shielding (better than time shield as it scales with your best stat with no cat/gen point to invest)
Manasurge (nice but not vital)

Stats investment
I chose to bypass magic trees, so Mag was not a vital stat. Instead, improve 1 Dex / 1 Cun / 1 Con at each level, use +Mag items and +Str items to learn the talents you need then swap your gear.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:22 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:29 am
Posts: 123
Interesting guide!

I wouldnt do your choice because i recently played rogue and felt stealth had been nerfed to do a lot less damage.

I did find on the rogue that misdirection is a worthwhile of 3-5 points because it can cause casters to miss you completely (aoe casters that barely miss still hit you).


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:30 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
Posts: 784
I think you're seriously underestimating Thalore by looking for synergy rather than looking at its ability to perform well as any class regardless of synergy. Thalore's first, third, and fourth racials are all incredible, with its fourth being one of the top two in the game (along with Timeless of course).

I don't agree with you taking zero points in Combat Techniques and Temporal (skip one of the locked categories for Temporal or just go Cornac). Rush is good even with just one point since you might need mobility when Shadowstep is on cooldown. If you aren't Shalore, there's no reason not to get 5/5 in Blinding Speed since it increases your damage output by a very large amount. Even if you are Shalore, it's still better than Grace of the Eternals. Temporal is great for Time Shield and Essence of Speed. Precasting Time Shield should give you at least 600 more effective health and Essence of Speed is like Blinding Speed but Permanent.

Also you should definitely get 5/5 in Momentum, it increases your damage by about 80% and it stacks multiplicatively with global speed. If it's too expensive, get some points in Willpower or something, it's absolutely worth it. With Momentum, Blinding Speed, and Essence of Speed, you'll have 100% more global speed and 80% more attack speed, giving you about 3.6 attacks a turn.

I also think you should get at least 3/5 in Dual Weapon Training, since the first three points increase damage significantly. You can take points out of Dual Weapon Defense for this since it has significant diminishing returns.

Also it doesn't hurt to take 1/5 in a lot of talents. Sweep and Whirlwind are good for when you're in tricky situations, you don't more than 1/5 in eitherbut they can save you. Dirty Fighting is amazing at 1/5 since at worst it's an instant attack for less damage and at best it stuns. Switch Place is good for getting out of bad situations. Cripple is great against bosses since, if I recall correctly, the slow can't be resisted. It's also worth mentioning that Backstab has great synergy with Shadowstrike, but I haven't tried it out myself so I'm not sure how good it is. You can take points out of stuff like Flurry and Shadow Combat for 1/1/1/1 Dual Techniques and Dirty Fighting.

I'm unsure with Lucky Day, Flexible Combat is way better for damage but the Stealth boost might make it good. Tricks of the Trade is cool but I don't think I'd use it to boost Stealth but rather to unlock it. It's nice to see a build that actually uses Tricks of the Trade, I didn't really consider how helpful Scoundrel could be.

I say this about every build, but getting a Movement Infusion over the Manasurge Rune is probably a good idea.

Other than all that stuff, I think you're strategy is cool because its one of the first builds I've seen use defense as a good stat and get Tricks of the Trade. Shadowblade defense with Misdirection will probably make you nearly unhittable. Out of curiosity, how much did the 0.2 boost to Stealth end up helping? I thought it got nerfed a while back but it might still be good. Also, how did you deal with psionic enemies? It seems like you have great anti-melee and anti-mage defense but I don't really know how you'd deal with mental classes aside from bursting them down (which is probably the best strategy). I'm also curious about how much damage you were doing late game, it seems like a really hard-hitting build thanks to Stealth and Shadowstep. Also, how important was Quick Recovery? It seems like Shadowblades have stamina problems but I'm not sure if it's bad enough that Combat Veteran is worth a category point.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:24 am 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:34 pm
Posts: 52
"Charm mastery: not useful" is hilarious. I guess builds don't matter on normal mode anyway, or I'd make a bigger fuss over the issues with this one :)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:06 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:31 am
Posts: 394
bpat, with a class with so many choices in Class points, all your changes amount to a different built, pretty much. I have been toying with this build for a while, and I can tell you I don't miss temporal that much. Speed bonus, poisons, backstab, they all work over time and this build is about doing one or two shot kills.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:33 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:18 am
Posts: 285
Why no Windblade?
And yes, Temporal is mandatory now because shield.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:15 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:31 am
Posts: 394
You can win with without temporal. I just did.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:00 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:23 pm
Posts: 10
I agree with several of your remarks, bpat, regarding the usefullness of several talents.
However, as I said :
Quote:
I made several choices for this build, so some of my comments are based on these choices.


The main problem in playing shadowblade is, in my opinion, to choose between all these great talents, all available, and focus on several key talents. I found I was seriously limited in Class Points so choices are mandatory...
BTW, not going to Temporal saves many Class Points (instead, take 1 inscription slot and use it for a shielding rune)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:22 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
Posts: 784
That's fair, both builds probably work well enough. Admittedly I haven't done too great with Shadowblades so most of my talent evaluation is from my experience with classes like Marauder, but Shadowblades might have a bigger shortage of class talent points than them.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:07 am 
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Wayist

Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:29 pm
Posts: 21
this guy helped me a loot. and i won the game. but you maked 1 big mistake. shadow veil is to best skill that you have as a shadowblade. i mean the BEST skill! it helped me soooo much killing everything. you can kill bosses (pride bosses) with just 1 shadow veil. yes you take dmg while you have it, but its really little. just cast a shield rune and time shield and you are perfectly fine. just be carefull not to cast on TOO many STRONG enemys. you can oblirerate like 10 enemys on your scree, and the orc patrols are a joke. i 1 shot the whole patrol with shadow veil. and i think that with higher cast/combat speed you can have more shadow veil strikes then 1 per turn (95%shure). and to top all of that, i killed athomaton (without the prodigy) with just 1 shadow veil. 1 button and he died. this skill is just OP and ultra fun + you can combo it with your "shadow". just use it behind a corner and watch him oblirerate everything. and i didnt die ONCE with shadow veil and this is my first shadowblade. and for prodigys take cauteriaze, its just simply ammazing, it really is. i think its a 100% must have. and windblade is ammazing, you can now jump on full rooms and oneshot everything. the dmg is HUGE


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