ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 3:53 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:00 am
Posts: 10
The only other Shadowblade guide here relies on abilities that either no longer exist or no longer work the same way. I figured I'd share an up-to-date Shadowblade Build for new players to the class to help get them started thinking about what they'll need.


~~~Race

Shalore: Timeless and Magic of the Eternals are excellent for a Shadowblade. There's really no other option for a race if you want to do your best. Racials are explaiend below in the Generic Trees section.

Image


~~~Brotherhood of Alchemists and other Bonuses

-Elixer of Foundations: +2 Genetic Points
-Elixer of Focus: +2 Class Talent Points

These are essential. Any other elixirs are gravy.

-Wyrm Bile: After you have 5 inscriptions (see below), use this to bring Spell / Temporal from x1.00 to x1.20. Time Shield and Essence of Speed are the core abilities of this build.


~~~Stats

Image

DEX > CUN > CON

Max these three.

Early on you'll want to put roughly 20 points base in MAG and then use items to help you allocate your skill points in the Spell / Temporal and Spell / Conveyance trees.

Use STR as your dump stat at the end of the game. You shouldn't need it earlier for the best Shadowblade items.


~~~Class Trees

Technique / Dual techniques
Image

-Dual Strike: Only needs 3 points to get the stun duration the same as the cooldown.
-Flurry: 5 point nuke. Great for proc effects.
-Heartseeker: Unnecessary. Shadowstep covers this much more effectively.
-Whirlwind: Not important enough to build to. AoE covered by Whirlwind prodigy.


Technique / Duelist
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-Dual Weapon Mastery: Damage penalty reduction for your daggers. Gives you parry. Don't neglect defensive skills.
-Tempo: Stamina regenerating skill. I put 1 point early but didn't stress filling it out until the end game.
-Feint: Defensive skill. Don't neglect them! Rogue classes are too squishy.
-Lunge: It might be nice to have a disarm for some bosses but I just couldn't justify the points.


Cunning / Stealth
Image

-Stealth: Stealth is great for positioning, crits, dropping aggro. Max it in the mid to late game.
-Shadowstrike: Opens up every fight with a crit. Helps you clear out trash and get a good first hit on bosses. Max early.
-Soothing Darkness: Not important. 1 point and move on.
-Shadow Dance: Only needs 4 points for max duration. The last point is only helpful for trying to escape an engagement and you have better abilities for that.


Cunning / Lethality
Image

-Lethality: Crit chance and bonus damage. Max it out in the late game.
-Expose Weakness: One point for those beefy bosses. Doesn't need more than that.
-Blade Furry: Attack speed is nice but AoE is covered by your first prodigy. Points are better elsewhere.
-Snap: Not worth building to it.


Cunning / Shadow Magic
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-Shadow Combat: 1 point. It's just going to drain your limited mana. Don't worry about using it early. It synergizes with your second prodigy (Armour of Shadows) in the late game.
-Shadow Cunning: Max it late game. Benefits your Time Shield.
-Shadow Feed: A sustain that gives you mana regen and attack speed. Max it in the mid to late game.
-Shadowstep: Excellent opener. Put points in it as early as possible. Synergizes with the Armour of Shadows prodigy. One-shots a lot of bosses when you finish putting points in it. If you feel comfortable pulling a point out of something else, go ahead and make it 5/5 for a little extra damage.


Spell / Temporal
Image

-Congeal Time: You'll never use this. 1 point and move on.
-Time Shield: Rush this. Max it as soon as possible. Open up every fight with it. This is one of the defining abilities of this class.
-Time Prison: You'll never use this. 1 point and move on.
-Essence of Speed: The other defining ability of this class. Max it out in the mid-game.


~~~Generic Trees

Race / Shalore
Image

-Grace of the Eternals: Great to have. Doesn't need more than 1 point. Open up every engagement with it.
-Magic of the Eternals: Crit chance and Crit power bonus. Not important to max out early but you will before the end of the game.
-Secrets of the Eternals: Invisbility lowers the damage you deal. Keep this sustained or not depending on your taste.
-Timeless: Max as soon as possible. Lowers debuff durations, raises buff duration and decreases cooldown of your talents.


Technique / Combat Training
Image

This tree is pretty straightforward. Max out Daggers, Light Armor, and Thick Skin. If you absolutely need generic points elsewhere, pull a couple out of accuracy... but I'd pull those points out of the Conveyance Tree first.


Technique / Mobility
Image

-Disengage: You have better escapes. 1 point and move on.
-Evasion: It's nice ability to have but you'll probably get it from items.
-Tumble: You have better escapes and positioning abilities.
-Trained Reactions: This is going to save you from bullcrits against you and other dumb situations. It's a stamina drain in the late game but I believe it's still worth it.


Cunning / Survival
Image

If you can, get Heightened Senses and Track from thief escorts. If you're unlucky and don't get them, you'll want Heightened Senses for sure so you can see enemies outside your 1 sight radius while stealthed.


Spell / Conveyance
Image

Both are escapes. You're a rogue, getting out of bad situations is what you do. 1 point will do in each, but if you want absolute certainty in where you end up, 5 points can mean the difference in a successful escape and running into another bad situation.


~~~Prodigies

Image

Prodigies should be used to cover your weaknesses.

-Windblade: You have virtually no AoE. This is absolutely essential at lvl 30. It's a good idea to get it before Dreadfell.
-Armour of Shadows: Synergizes with Shadowstep and Shadow Combat. If you get an weapon that adds a little shadow damage you'll have the bonus evasion and armor at all times.


~~~Category Points & Inscriptions

Put your first Category Point into Spell / Temporal and then put the the next two into Inscriptions to get the max of 5. Use your last Category Point (probably from Wyrm Bile) to bring your Spell / Temporal from x1.00 to x1.20.

Image

-Rune: Shielding: Synergizes with Time Shield. When the shield of Time Shield goes down, pop the Shielding Rune while health regenerates.
-Infusion: Healing: Rogues shouldn't be in a fight long enough to use Regeneration. Use it anytime Time Shield isn't about to heal you during a fight.
-Infusion: Wild:
-Infusion: Movement: Excellent for both positioning and escaping.
-Infusion: Heroism: Huge health boost. Open up every fight with it.


~~~Escorts

-Track/Heightened Senses: Frees up generic points.
-Arcane Eye: Alternative to Track. Doesn't use a turn to cast. Less coverage but longer range at rank 1.

~~~Equipment

-Watch out for Arcane Disruption items.
-Shadowstep counts as a teleport. Items that have teleport prox effects are beneficial.
-Bloodcaller: Obtained from the Ring of Blood. Don't kill the end boss until after you acquire it. Must pay 150g to participate. Put the ring on and never take it off again.


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 11:07 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:27 pm
Posts: 11
Isn't spending a category point on Temporal a bit wasteful? Looking at tometips, doing so boosts Essence of Speed by 8% and gives +1 turn and some minor +absorb to Time Shield - would seem to me that spending the point on some escort category would give a lot more? If the extra speed is essential, why not move some points to Blinding speed instead?


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 2:29 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:12 pm
Posts: 172
I agree that a cat point in Temporal might be a bit wasteful but if you use it to unlock a whole new tree, that eats more of your skill points in order to flesh out that tree. Rather than Temporal I'd personally probably put it into Duelist, Stealth or even Combat Training - but I don't have hard numbers as to what that accomplishes off the top of my head. +8% speed and +1 turn of Time Shield don't seem worth a whole cat point investment though.

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 3:05 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:09 pm
Posts: 108
Zesty Crab Legs wrote:
~~~Race

Shalore: Timeless and Magic of the Eternals are excellent for a Shadowblade. There's really no other option for a race if you want to do your best. Racials are explaiend below in the Generic Trees section.

[...]

Use STR as your dump stat at the end of the game. You shouldn't need it earlier for the best Shadowblade items.



I can only imagine ster's response to these. :)


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 10:17 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:00 am
Posts: 10
Maybe you can find a better place to put that category point but it wasn't giving enough to Stealth or Duelist to make it worth it to me compared to the skills that absolutely make this class.

Blinding speed takes 4 points just to get to it, let alone fill it out. If you think it's worth it, you can pull points out of other things to make it happen. I didn't see anything I wanted to weaken for it, personally.

There are no up to date guides for the Shadowblade. There are guides missing for a lot of classes. Please write some so my guide can be the bad guide rather than the only guide. I mean this absolutely respectfully. I wanted to make a shadowblade work. This build worked for me, so I shared it since no one else had anything up.

visage wrote:
I can only imagine ster's response to these. :)


Googled the name. Banned here and on Steam. Seems like a real winner worthy of attention. :roll:


Last edited by Zesty Crab Legs on Tue May 23, 2017 10:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 10:19 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:19 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Yeehaw, pardner
Could you link your winner?

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A little bit of a starters guide written by yours truly here.


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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 6:10 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:46 pm
Posts: 351
I thought about writing a shadowblade guide as well but only won with one and the final fight was a huge pain even if the rest was relatively easy (except for a little while in the T2s. And my first 10 chars or so kept dying in old forest, but that happens to all my char not just shadowblade).
Anyway, here is my insane/RL winner, that experimented a little with chants and other things. https://te4.org/characters/101797/tome/ ... 0f802e0d95

I might write a guide just because i disagree with several things in yours :p

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I write guides and make addons too now, apparently

You can go here for a compilation of everything I wrote, plus some other important stuff!

Includes general guides (inscriptions, zone, prodigies), and class guides (Demo, Anorithil, Bulwark, Zerker, Sblade)


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 1:28 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 367
I liked reading the post, as I have yet to play significantly with any Rogue classes and am thinking about taking a crack at them one of these days. It seems to straddle being a "how to play this build" and "here's a class guide" in tone, even though it defines itself as a build discussion up front. Sharing a build doesn't require discussing all the possible alternatives, but you might think about not using language that implies that other alternatives are bad.

For example - I'd guess that Ogre is probably also viable race choice. Depending on your mods, scumming tolerance, and/or luck, I'd guess Cornac with Tinkers & Light is also more than viable. I'm also guessing that, at the very least, Flexible Combat and Arcane Might are viable prodigies, and that some builds would be willing to build to Whirlwind for AoE rather than giving up one of their 2 Prodigies.

Again, by and large found it a useful read, just wanted to highlight the build/guide dissonance.

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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 3:14 am 
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Wayist

Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:46 pm
Posts: 15
add alternatives: halfling, ogre, cornac
MAG over CON
Dirty fightning, Combat techniques, Ambush mb some escort options
tempo 5/5 is too much
ofc u can 1 hit pride's entrances with windblade but its getting weaker on higher difficulties, wont say that its "absolutely essential"

Quote:
-Time Shield: Rush this. Max it as soon as possible. Open up every fight with it. This is one of the defining abilities of this class.

+++

unbreakable greaves for armor hardiness
morrigor with GFW on swap


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 6:25 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 2:39 am
Posts: 1280
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Interesting take on the Shadowblade, and it looks like Constitution is starting to get mentioned in Guides finally, starting with this one. Much like other posters though I question a few things in here.

I haven't played a Shadowblade since making my Let's Learn YouTube series that featured a Thalore Shadowblade in 1.2.3, but some things seem rather worth questioning. I'm pretty sure for example that Shalore aren't the only viable choice - plus Shadowblades are as you mentioned 'squishy' so choosing a squishy Shalore to pair with the class means a smaller health* pool.

Speaking about defense, I'm surprised there isn't any mention for Phantasm. While specializing in Defense might seem questionable, the Shadowblade is somewhat capable of dodging stuff due to Blur Sight and Feint. I would say I also question things regarding Mobility - but since I played Shadowblades it is almost like everywhere you look they have Mobility, so not investing in Rush for example seems like less of an issue.

Cathbald wrote:
I thought about writing a shadowblade guide as well but only won with one and the final fight was a huge pain even if the rest was relatively easy (except for a little while in the T2s. And my first 10 chars or so kept dying in old forest, but that happens to all my char not just shadowblade).
Anyway, here is my insane/RL winner, that experimented a little with chants and other things. https://te4.org/characters/101797/tome/ ... 0f802e0d95

I might write a guide just because i disagree with several things in yours :p


Writing guides should always be encouraged! Even a simple one is a definite plus.

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Its amazing what the mind can come up with, but it shows talent to make something of it. - Davion Fuxa
Inscription Guide - Version 1.4.8 Steam Guide
Let's Learn Tales of Maj'Eyal YouTube Playlist


Last edited by Davion Fuxa on Fri May 26, 2017 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 12:53 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:55 pm
Posts: 241
Skeleton could also be mentioned as a viable (not optimal) class. Shadowblades have tons of free generics so you can 5/5/5/5 those tasty skele racials. Oh, and bone armor scales off dex.

Like others I disagree with the stats (CON? really?) and prodigies (no Arcane Might?), but other than that I really like the guide! :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:59 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:49 am
Posts: 4
I just finished playing through insane on a skeleton shadowblade loosely using this guide. Figured I'd give my thoughts on the class and build (as of game version 1.5.5). Before I begin, I first want to give a big thanks to Zesty Crab Legs for his guide, even if I disagree with a few points.

Disclaimer: I used an addon to choose which escorts I was offered, and while escorts aren't a requirement for the build, they're definitely a big help, especially on insane difficulty. I also use an addon that lets me fully respec my talents, which is how I was able to swap up the build without having to entirely reroll. I consider these addons quality of life improvements, but someone could argue it's "cheating". To each their own.

First of all, the basic character building choices I went with as a Skeleton are:

The talents can be seen here: Click Here for Image
Stat Priority: Dex -> Cun -> Mag -> Con
Prodigies: Spine of the World (lvl 30), and Arcane Might (lvl 42)
Categories:
--Temporal (lvl 10)
--Inscription (lvl 20)
--Temporal Enhanced +0.2 (lvl 36)
--Combat Training Enhanced +0.2 (Wyrm Bile)

Alchemists: Focus (+2 class points) and Foundations (+2 generic points) are important.
--Dex/Cun, Mag/Will, and Str/Con would be the extra potions.

Escorts (in order, if you choose with an addon or save scumming):
--Anothoril: Healing Light (rank 1) - This is near worthless lategame, but it makes the early game so much smoother as a skeleton.
--Warrior: Vitality (rank 1) - Mostly for the disease reduction, as skeletons are immune to poison/bleed anyway.
--Warrior: Unflinching Resolve (rank 1) -- At 5/5 this lets you frequently break stun, blind, confuse, and pin. Excellent.
--Warrior: Unflinching Resolve (rank 2)
--Warrior: Unflinching Resolve (rank 3)
--Warrior: Unflinching Resolve (rank 4)
--Warrior: Unflinching Resolve (rank 5)
--Thief: Heightened Senses (rank 1) - Free generic point
--Thief: Device Mastery (rank 1) - Free generic point

As for some comments on each specific talent:

Dual Techniques:
--Dual Strike 5/5 - I found maxing out this was helpful for the duration boost, especially for enemies that flee
--Flurry 5/5 - Hard hitting attack, maxed for damage

Combat Techniques:
--Rush 1/5 - Backup gap closer when Shadowstep is on cooldown
--Precise Strikes 5/5 - Huge crit chance and accuracy bonus for a negligible drop in our huge attack speed

Duelist:
--Dual Weapon Mastery 5/5 - For the damage bonus
--Tempo 5/5 - Maxed to replace the stamina loss from Trained Reactions lategame

Stealth:
--Nothing here: I used these early game, but I found that on insane, enemies detected me no matter what, so I found stealth to be almost worthless aside from the crit bonus for the first few rounds of combat. I eventually ended up dropping this tree entirely.

Dirty Fighting:
--Dirty Fighting 1/5 - As a prereq, but also to lower debuff resist on some bosses
--Backstab 5/5 - With your stun and some debuff procs from gear, this should always be active on hard enemies

Lethality:
--Lethality 5/5 - More damage, and lets you ignore strength entirely (skeleton racial covers gear requirement)
--Expose Weakness 5/5 - I maxed this because lategame the only thing that was a challenge was bosses with huge resists, and this helped.

Shadow Magic:
--Shadow Combat 1/5 - Prereq only, this skill is impossible to sustain, don't activate it
--Shadow Cunning 5/5 - More spellpower means more damage (arcane might) and survival (time shield)
--Shadow Feed 5/5 - Mana regen and attack speed, obvious pick
--Shadowstep 5/5 - Max this for the range increase, since teleporting mages are a headache. Our best skill IMO

Temporal:
--Congeal Time 1/5 - Prereq, we're not a real caster
--Time Shield 5/5 - Amazing skill that adds huge survival and debuff mitigation. Max it.
--Time Prison 1/5 - Another prereq we never cast
--Essence of Speed 5/5 - Always active +53% global speed by endgame. Amazing.

Combat Training:
--Thick Skin 5/5 - Awesome for mitigation. Carry +con gear to max it easily
--Heavy Armor Training 1/5 - So we can wear metal accessories
--Light Armor Training 5/5 - Added survival, reduced fatigue costs
--Combat Accuracy 5/5 - Accuracy is what determines your debuffs like stun landing and their duration, you want as much as possible.
--Dagger Mastery 5/5 - More accuracy and raw damage, max this

Mobility:
--Disengage 1/5 - Mostly as a prereq, but sometimes has a use.
--Evasion 1/5 - Added survival, I had this on auto-cast when enemies are in melee range.
--Tumble 1/5 - Prereq only, I didn't like the debuff this gives so I never used it.
--Trained Reactions 4/5 - Great for survival, but very expensive to maintain. By endgame with Tempo and 100% crit, you can leave it on.

Survival:
--Heightened Senses 4/5 - Helps see invisible mages even at long ranges.
--Device Mastery 1/5 - Prereq, but helps your trinkets some at least.
--Track 1/5 - Useful to scout, could skip this and device mastery if you have another source of Track.

Skeleton:
--Skeleton 5/5: Dex is great, and the Str lets you wear your gear.
--Bone Armor 5/5 - This shield is huge with your high dex. Simply amazing.
--Resilient Bones 5/5 - All debuffs are cut by 44% duration. Need I say more?
--Re-Assemble 5/5 - Your big heal on a short cooldown

Be warned that this build is a late bloomer, and the early game, especially on insane, is VERY challenging. Low defenses, and vulnerable to debuffs. It's going to be an uphill battle for the first 30 levels, especially as a skeleton with a big exp penalty.

That being said, once you hit level 30 and get your first prodigy (Spine of the World), then that combined with your other defenses that are coming online like Time Shield, Resilient Bones, and Unflinching Resolve (escorts), and you can almost entirely ignore debuffs since at most you can get inflicted with one debilitating physical debuff per 5 rounds, and you either break out right away from resolve, or the duration is reduced to one round, maybe two (time shield, resilient bones).

By the time I got the second prodigy at level 42 (just as I started the Far East I think) my damage had progressed to the point I was one shotting almost everything except rare+ enemies, and with our long duration stun combined with our extreme accuracy, any non-immune bosses were frequently stunlocked.

Lack of AoE wasn't really a problem because between Time Shield, Bone Armor, Re-Assemble, and Lifeleech I could sustain long combats while one shotting huge packs of trash. Once you come back from the Far East, try to get a dagger from the artifact merchant with the property "Projects up to 3 attacks dealing 30% weapon damage to enemies within range 7 on hit" (always active 100%). Once I bought that weapon, it makes everything you do AoE, so big packs just melted.

This class was loads of fun, and it felt like god-mode by the time I hit level 45'ish, but I really have to stress that this is a total late bloomer. The early game was like pulling teeth, with lots of running away and retreating to previous zones, etc.

Thanks for the initial guide, which influenced me to try this class.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:14 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:09 pm
Posts: 108
Sinzar wrote:
Lethality:
--Lethality 5/5 - More damage, and lets you ignore strength entirely (skeleton racial covers gear requirement)
--Expose Weakness 5/5 - I maxed this because lategame the only thing that was a challenge was bosses with huge resists, and this helped.


Yeah, Expose Weakness is pretty amazing...

Image

(...and that's why you might want to invest in strength-based weapons. Admittedly, that particular image is from an Adventurer rather than a Shadowblade, but, to reference the work of someone else, the principle is the same.)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:58 am 
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Cornac

Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:14 am
Posts: 38
I'm giving the Skeleton Shadowblade a shot on insane. I thought it was impossible to even get out of the starting area until on my 20ish attempt I realised you didn't have to kill the bone giant. Since then I've lost one in the old forest and one in the Maze. Latest just killed the Master, time to go East.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:14 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:16 pm
Posts: 10
I just beat Normal Adventure mode using this guide as a Doomelf and it was a lot of fun. I died a few times from not paying attention or biting off more than I could chew. The early game was tough, but Haste of the Doomed helped a ton for the many difficulties at the start. I only ended up putting a single point into phase door and teleport and ran into hardly any situations that I needed them because of Haste of the Doomed and Rush (also only 1 point). I managed to get a couple Premonition points from escorts, but it was tough with how little actual mana I had until the late game.

A couple of things about my build:
1. Tinkering is amazing for this class. You've pretty much got an extra category point to burn anyway and it made the late game and way easier. If I were playing this again, I'd take this earlier.
2. I took Arcane Might and pumped up Magic, but in hindsight Flexible Combat and Strength would have been the better choice. Maybe if I'd have had the Light tree.
3. My mana issues meant that I hardly used Time Shield, often using runes instead.

This was a win with a race and class that I've barely played, so I'm happy with the result. Once I start playing Nightmare in earnest, I'll definitely see how it does there.


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