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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:38 pm 
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Spiderkin

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"Sacrifice a bone giant minion. Using its bones, you make a temporary shield around you that prevents any attacks from doing more than 21–15% your total life. The effect lasts 16, 20, 24, 26, 29 turns."

Necromancers chances on madness difficulty where briefly discussed in Mex's class list thread. In order to survive on Madness difficulty, you need defence that just outright negate the damage (or at least the majority of it) no matter how big the damage is (damage smearing + temporal wards, unstoppable) or alternatively archmage levels of shielding (aegis). Sacrifice seems to belong in the same category because it sipmply ignores the damage that is more than X %. Hidden resources/higher race allows you to have bone giants to sacrifice at will, although the cooldown of the former is much more manageable.

This thread is about discussing how to best go about using this skill and the necromancer class on madness. I also have a few questions.

1) Does the damage mitigation affect the damage taken on your temporary damage shield or just the hp damage? In other words: Is heroism just outright the superior choice over shielding runes?

2) Vampiric gift seems like a pretty good combination with sacrifice abusement: Lose some life, heal right back up. However, do the cold spells you are required to learn befor VG ruin up your forgery of haze in that they'd use cold instead of darkness which you will focus? Is VG + Sacrifice a good combination?

3)Any other general tips for necromancers on madness?

Thanks in advance.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:44 pm 
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Uruivellas

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Mankeli wrote:
Hidden resources/higher race allows you to have bone giants to sacrifice at will, although the cooldown of the former is much more manageable.

Souls are a resource now?!? Oh god I completely missed that change, this is amazing.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:16 pm 
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Spiderkin

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Yup, this was in 1.1.5 already, probably even earlier but I wouldn't know about that.

Higher seems like a natural fit but Mex pointed out in the other thread that the cooldown on Higher HB (33 when talent is maxed) is quite long and longer than the duration of the sacrifice shield. However, one you do get souls from killing too so I don't if spending some souls every now and then is a bad thing. And you don't have to spend a prodigy (but lose on timeless and other shalore greatness).

I'm working a higher necromancer on madness, currently at level 17 so very very early but I should get sacrifice running before old forest where murder starts to happen and at the end of the old forest, assuming my necro is up for the task, he could already have HB active. Probably have to do some of the maze before that happens too though.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:04 pm 
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Uruivellas

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I think Vampiric Gift would be worth it. It's fungus-tier healing where the only drawback is unreliability, but on average you should be able to outheal the damage coming in through Sacrifice. The cold spells did neuter my Forgery to some extent when I tried it out, but the AI doesn't manage cooldown well to begin with so it wasn't too much of a problem. It'll still use Invoke Darkness when it needs to. And as long as you can't be killed and you're doing more damage than they're healing (you also get Impending Doom, provided the target has low spell save) then everything's golden.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:41 pm 
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Thalore

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Sacrifice shield applies after shield[item] block (so you can't do some fun tricks with a shield[item]) and will cap damage to X% of your max HP.

-HP is therefore pretty great in this respect, but increasing your max HP is actually detrimental as shields -HP etc all scale much more than HP.
Shalore has terrible HP growth which works great for this reason, at level 50 you will take ~80 dmg per attack.
Keep in mind that things like flurry hit multiple times and will therefore deal multiple instances.
Gambling on vampiric gift seems like a terrible idea to me and I would not suggest it.

Here's a build that I would try using in Madness if I had the time for a full run (take out a point out in healing light for the armor training) [frostdusk is also debatable, probably better in Consume Soul (5) and the aura range (5)].

Image

You'll want to combo:
Hidden Resources, Essence of the Dead, Create Minion, Assemble, Sacrifice
Draconic Will, Providence, Timeless, Draconic Will
Add in a stone wall ego (found on hats) and you can probably chain this infinitely (I believe you also need the 20% reduction to smooth it out a bit, but you might not).
Curse of the Meek should also give you a breather (in theory).

Your only way to deal with vitality is impending doom, which checks spell save, so good luck.

You will want to float the last 4 points in the darkness beam in the early stages and then switch over to ice.
Darkness has only 2 spells that damage without checking saves.
Ice has an equivalent x2 "fireflash", "beam" and will o the wisp.
The latter is excellent and means you can out DPS Archmage pretty easily, it also makes weaker minions better as they die faster.

Consume Soul can crit, combined with HR you can skip out on having a mana rune later on, which means Heroism, Shield, Movement, Movement might be optimal, haven't given further thought to this bit.

Necromancer in this way basically plays similar to Archmage, removing Vitality is really my only concern with the build. It is possible to just skip stuff with Vitality, but if it ends up on the last boss and you can't apply impending doom, you are not going to be happy.

On the other hand you can probably focus on just spellpower with necro and have a field day.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:29 am 
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Uruivellas

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Without Meta or Aegis, you are not going to have permanent shields, which means you will take HP damage and you are going to have to heal. I doubt your regular heals are going to be enough for that. Vampiric Gift will automatically top off your health most of the time, and you can save your manual heals for when it doesn't. Having Vampiric Gift != gambling on Vampiric Gift.

Note that life leech rolls separately for each individual damage number, so if you hit three things with Invoke Darkness, you're rolling three times. If you hit, say, 10 minions with Chill of the Tomb, you're rolling ten times. And if you're geared for damage, all you need is just one proc to be healed from almost dead to full health.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:45 am 
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Spiderkin

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Welp, that was more thorough than expected, thanks Mex! Good stuff. Few comments/questions:

1) I didn't quite understand the gambling with the VG stuff, it's not like your only way of healing. The mana cost is steep, agreed. Donkatsu makes a convincing argument, the frostdusk talent points could be maybe be spent on VG, then you'd need only need one more to unclok cold flames to make VG available (read below).

2) Also, why would you want to invest on frostdusk if not using darkness damage? The damage increase isn't great for cold damage and you get zero respen from it for cold.

3) Also with this build, your left with three inscription slots, not four because Light, Ice, ANM and Shades all take a cat point to unlock.

I knew necros didn't have much going on the category point side of things, but now that someone did the exact math it's like "darn, better find that light tree to have something to spend your points on" lol.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:38 am 
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Thalore

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Yeah, it's an old screenshot and I couldn't be bothered to redo it. Frostdusk was just to dump the extra points. It does also give you darkness affinity (but not worth it just for that really)...

As vampiric procs per each creature hit (I thought it would only proc once), then it is worth investing in.
Just keep in mind that it has potential risks as you have to tank into your HP pool, however with Heroism you should be able to take ~20 hits in one go.
The more overlap in healing/shielding the better however as donkatsu points out you won't have permanent shields up.
In which case I would take out 5 frostdusk, 1 from maybe curse of the meek to get vampiric maxed out.

I would go with the Heroism, Shield, Movement.
This is assuming you don't need the mana regen, which will depend partially on how you use HR, whether consume soul can regen you enough, and if you get any mana regen on crit stuff.

Necro should get into the swing once you hit level 30 with HR, then you can just abuse stairs and the massive duration on the sacrifice shield to clear floors.
Early game is pretty tough, but if you can get past Heart of the Gloom and Old Forest you should be fine. On that note I would suggest doing sandworm first to get the free drowned exp; it also lets you snipe into the rooms much easier.

EDIT: The ice version of the tier 1 bear is also annoying. Much like wildfire archmage with luminous horrors you can actually use the shivgoroths to block your path to the nasty uniques/rares and snipe them in safety with aoe. Keep in mind that the boss can't move and you can kill it by sniping. In fact a lot of stuff can be dealt with easily using the ice fireflash, like Bill etc. Arcane Eye + Vision is your friend.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:57 am 
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Spiderkin

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Ok, that clears the rest of things up nicely, thanks.

I've been thinking that Sandworm Lair vs. Old Forest thing on madness other characters too. It seems OF can easily have just a completely terrible starting layout especially for my melee characters (Sun Pally, Marauder) who got that far. And OF usually spawns one or more escorts which you are not necessarily equipped to save just yet. My ongoing archmage character on madness RL fought like a full hour to (succesfully) save a single Seer escort in there.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:34 am 
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Spiderkin

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One more question: Has anyone explored the Secret of Telos prodigy with Sacrifice? Assuming you can find the parts, assembled Telos Spire of Power would give you losgoroth form with 50 % life drain damage conversion...

I have never picked this prodigy because it sucks on most characters so I don't know how long the form lasts nor the exact mechanics of the life drain you get but sounds like with that and sacrifice shield you could potentially get all the lost HP back every turn while the effect is on. Combine that with VG...

EDIT. The staff also has damage affinities.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:42 pm 
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Thalore

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Seems overkill. If you're going with Shalore then you will need Hidden Resources + Draconic Will.
Vampiric should be enough and if it isn't Celestial/Light has you covered pretty well.
As you are dealing with maintaining a certain number (ie staying at max HP) and not incrementing it, the additional life gain doesn't translate into anything, unlike Archmage's shields which you can go complete overkill on as they stack.

I need to emphasize again that Higher cannot chain all these skills together correctly, which is essential on Madness (especially for the last fight), therefore you are forced to pick Shalore.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:28 pm 
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Spiderkin

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Mex wrote:
I need to emphasize again that Higher cannot chain all these skills together correctly, which is essential on Madness (especially for the last fight), therefore you are forced to pick Shalore.

Yeah, about that...

I start scummed my three necromancer starts way before I created this thread and they are all Higher. I didn' feel like scumming again. So, I'm kinda stuck with the Higher race for now. Too bad, looking at the prodigy list I'm having a hard time to find anything I would really want for Higher Necro apart from Draconic Will and even DW is much worse for Higher than for Shalore. At least I got light so providence can fill in for 6 turns while DW is on cooldown.

Oh well, I'm gonna take this guy for a ride and we'll see how long that ride lasts. I'm not worried about the final battle because I doubt I'll get that far yet. But this will be good practise for my ongoing madness archmage. That guy will win 8)

Thanks again.

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