ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:55 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:32 am
Posts: 104
I decided to try a staff Doombringer build, and after playing around with it a bit, I was able to beat insane with this guy: https://te4.org/characters/229407/tome/f8f5a6af-b34b-4cd8-b6ad-af6f2d0ece85.

My guess is using a staff is not the optimal way to play Doombringer, though I haven't tried with a conventional weapon, but it's certainly viable up through insane. The basic strategy is to take advantage of the staff accuracy bonus on proc damage with Incinerating Blows.

Pros
-great burst damage mid-late game
-great mobility/range control
-access to high respen on demand
-excellent at using on spell hit procs
-staff combat gives a reliable stun

Cons
-rough early game (until you get Destroyer)
-weaker in sustained fights
-damage is subject to randomness when Destroyer isn't up
-dispellable defenses, getting all your sustains stripped is very bad

Race
Either Drem, to use Frenzy to double up on the multi-hit talents like Abduction, or Cornac to get an extra inscription right away to make the early game easier and take an escort category. I went with the latter. I used an addon to select my first escort and left the rest random.

Here's the build at a glance. + indicates what I think are good places to spend extra points.

Class Talents

Combat techniques - 1+/5/5/5
Combat veteran - don't
Shadowflame - 1/1/5/1+
Brutality - 5/4/1+/0+
Torture -5/5/1+/0+
Wrath - 1/1+/1/5
Fearfire - 1+/2+/0+/0
Heart of fire - 1/1/1/1

Generic Talents

Combat training - 5/5/0/5/0/0
Survival - 1/1+/1/0
Oppression - 5/0+/0+/0+
Hexes - 0/0/0/0
Demonic strength - 1/2/5/5
Spell/Staff combat - 1/1/1+/5
Celestial/Chants - 1+/1/1/5
OR
Race/Drem - 1/1/1/1+

Stats - Mag > Dex > Cun. May want to put a few points in Str early so you can unlock the stuff you need to not die, depending on what gear you find.

Prodigies
25 - Flexible combat: more hits means more Incinerating Blows. Gloves procs are cool too.
42 - I took Ethereal Form because I could get up to about 110 defense, which meant most enemies couldn't hit me and so I could hold onto the other bonuses, but I think other choices are reasonable as well. However you should NOT take Arcane Might, because with a staff your weapon damage is simply never going to be competitive with enemy defenses. Your damage comes from Incinerating Blows and procs.

Categories
If Cornac - inscription, Chants, Wrath, Fearfire/inscriptions, the other one
If Drem - inscription, Wrath, Fearfire/inscriptions, the other one

Inscriptions
You definitely want a heal, movement, mental/phys wild, and the rune of dissipation. Last slot can be whatever you find that seems good. I had the rune of reflection.

Class talent discussion

Combat techniques - 1+/5/5/5
Rush - you know it, you love it, we now use it to close gaps. More points for more range is nice.
Precise Strikes - we want lots of accuracy, and with the global speed from Flame of Urh'rok and many talents using spell speed, the -10% attack speed isn't a big deal.
Perfect Strikes - yet more accuracy, also gives the ability to hit invisible stuff which is nice
Blinding Speed - We rely on getting lots of hits for lots of procs, so more speed means we can hit more times.

Combat veteran - don't

Shadowflame - 1/1/5/1+
Wraithform - useful for escaping/engaging by walking through walls, or not dying if a sandworm tunnel collapses on you. You can also cancel in a wall to do a random teleport but you may end up somewhere worse.
Darkfire - I really hate the visual effect on this. Also it's not useful for us.
Flame of Urh'rok - 19% global speed is a nice bonus that we want eventually, but this costs 90 vim to sustain, so don't go for it early.
Fearscape - Can be useful to get a breather or thunderdome the one guy you really need to kill. We will stack lots of fire damage/respen so the DoT can become significant if you add more points.

Brutality - 5/4/1/0+
Draining Assault - use it to keep your vim full and get a heal when you need it. Our damage kind of sucks early, so the heal won't be that useful until mid-game and later.
Fiery Grasp - 5 turns of silence is really useful on those pesky casters, especially if you are fighting a group. Silence the one guy, and finish off his friends while he flails uselessly.
Reckless Strike - Mainly useful for getting the all respen when Destroyer is active. We also tend not to nuke people with a single hit, so you probably won't hurt yourself too much.
Share the Pain - more hits is nice, use it if you want.

Torture - 5/5/1+/0+
Incinerating Blows - our main damage talent, so max it. The stun is nice but it's random so you can't count on it.
Abduction - pulls in from range and multiple hits (even more with Destroyer), what's not to love? I go 2 points right away and eventually go for the max range when I feel I have the points to spare.
Fiery Torment - In theory useful to reduce fire resistance, but takes a turn to set up. I found it easier to just keep my respen at the cap.
Eternal Suffering - I'm not a huge fan of this one. It's good in theory, but often it will activate on your first hit before there are many statuses to affect. Use it if you want.

Wrath - 1/1+/1/5
Obliterating Smash - Nice way to clear crowds. We don't care about the weapon damage % or armor and save reduction so no reason for more than 1 point.
Detonating Charge - basically another way to rush with a lower cd. More points for more range.
Voracious Blade - basically a tax to get to
Destroyer - huge boost in damage for us. At 5/5 Abduction gets 3 more hits and the Incinerating Blows explosion has 75% chance to proc. The cd reduction on Draining Assault and the range increase on Obliterating Smash are nice too. Max ASAP and always use against tough enemies. Using Abduction with this on and accuracy stacked for the staff bonus will reliably hit for thousands of damage.

Fearfire - 1+/2+/0/0
Fearscape Shift - teleporting is always useful, and this heals us as well. More points for more range.
Cauterize Spirit - amazing cleanse, but make sure to have a plan to handle the incoming damage.
Infernal breath - could use it since we will stack +fire damage, but I didn't bother.
Maw of Urh'Rok - we already have lots of mobility and range control options.

Heart of fire - 1/1/1/1
Burning Sacrifice - useful when fighting mobs, not so much against single enemies
Fiery Aegis - weak shield, but useful early when you don't have a lot to do and 100 points of shielding is meaningful. Good way to pass a turn if you don't want to attack into an enemy block. Interesting, burn and burning shock count as separate instances on burns, so if you got the big Incinerating Blows explosion in a room full of enemies and then cast this you could probably get 3-4x the shield value in the talent, but I never tried.
Devouring Flames - not particularly useful
Blazing Rebirth - A panic button that may save your life, but if you use it, probably time to cheese it.

Generic talent discussion

Combat training - 5/5/0/5/0/0
We use heavy armor and Thick Skin is always good. We want accuracy, but we don't use conventional weapons so no need for Weapon Mastery, except to float a point early.

Survival - 1/1+/1/0
Track is great as always, and Charm Mastery is great if you find cool stuff to activate.

Oppression - 5/0+/0+/0+
Horrifying Blows - We get a lot of hits, so we can stack this fast. The tooltip doesn't show fractional values, but the 5th point does have an effect
Mass Hysteria - can shut down mobs, but you'll probably just kill them first anyway
Fearfeast - could potentially get a few turns if stuff lives long enough and you use Mass Hysteria first
Hope Wanes - shuts down a single target, but in my experience I usually killed them first.

Hexes - 0/0/0/0
You could use these since we will actually have decent spellpower, but we don't have enough generics for everything so I skipped this.

Demonic strength - 1/1/5/5
Dismember - we don't care that much about weapon crits.
Surge of Power - heal and stamina are nice early but fall off later.
Demonic Blood - more vim, spellpower, and damage. Helps to afford our vim sustains.
Abyssal Shield - armor and damage reduction so we don't die. Get points in here as soon as you can.

Spell/Staff combat - 1/1/1+/5
Channel Staff - tax, I never used it. In theory you could if there was someone you couldn't hit but that shouldn't happen since we are stacking accuracy.
Staff Mastery - 30 phys power is nice, but we don't care about weapon damage so no need for more points
Defensive Posture - armor is always good, gives defense too.
Blunt Thrust - Gives a stun that is reliable rather than random like Incinerating Blows.

Celestial/Chants - 1+/1/1/5
Chant Acolyte - all the chants are useful, in particular Fortress is useful early for the armor hardiness, and Resistance later against casters. I switched between those two depending on who I was fighting.
Chant Illuminate - the stamina regen is nice early.
Chant Adept - could put points here to have more cleanse to play with, but I didn't
Chant Radiant - +fire damage should go up to 30-40% late-game depending on your spellpower.

OR

Race/Drem - 1/1/1+/1+
Frenzy - use it to double up on Abduction and Draining Assault.
Spikeskin - don't think it's worth more than 1
Faceless - confusion immunity is nice, could put more here to boost that.
From Below, It Devours - great distraction if you are overwhelmed or need to escape.

Gear

One thing to note is that because of Incinerating Blows, all your melee hits count as spells for the purpose of on spell hit procs, even if you don't get the explosion. Combined with high speed and multiple ways to hit multiple times, this means you are very good at activating on spell hit procs. Items like Stormbringer Gauntlets, Crystle's Astral Bindings, Prothiope's Prismatic Eye, imbued staves, etc. may well be worth using. You can experiment and see what seems to work best, but in the final battle Destroyer > Abduction took off about 60% of Elendar's hp on the first turn for me.

Beyond that, you want as much +fire damage and respen as possible, followed by accuracy, spellpower, good on hit procs, and defensive stats on gear. I managed to get up to about 145 armor and 110 defense by the end of the game and that worked pretty well.

General Strategy

The early game is rough. Your damage sucks and you constantly run out of stamina. You may want to float points in Weapon Mastery and use conventional weapons for a while since staves don't do any damage, but since you don't max Str you won't be great at it. Enemies with flat DR (like Striking Stance) and fire immunity (like luminous horrors) will be a problem early too. And if you see a Demonologist randboss with Osmosis Shield you should run away. You'll probably have to run from at least one randboss and come back later.

Things get better once you get Destroyer so you have access to all respen and can consistently get the explosion from Incinerating Blows when you need it. Late game with my spell hit procs I could easily hit people for 4-5k damage with a good blow from Abduction.

You can kill most people 1v1 quite well, but groups can be a problem since Obliterating Smash while Destroyer is up is your only good crowd clearer. Vor is especially dangerous if you get unlucky and don't find teleport immunity gear like me, because you can get teleported into a group of randbosses. Getting manaburned is also annoying since on insane it generally means you instantly lose all your vim. You can get it back with Draining Assault, but with no vim your defenses are down.

Thanks for reading. Would love to hear any comments or suggestions below.


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