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 Post subject: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:59 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:45 pm
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Cursed Rampage builds are built around utilizing the Rampage advanced tree to increase damage and survivability. They are primarily a bump-damage build, utilizing active abilities only fairly late in the game when they have the point budget to boost these skills. Rampage is their bread and butter ability, activating off large spikes of incoming damage or on-demand on a fairly long cooldown. It increases attack speed, movement speed, and later increases attack damage and reduces the amount of damage you take. Certain criteria will increase it's duration.

Race selection:


-Human-
Cornac
Cornac start with a free category point. You will be stretched on Cat points for most of the game, and this allows you to start with Rampage right off the bat. You will be able to get bonus trees earlier and have more runes/infusions sooner than other races. You will also reach high levels (and higher effectiveness for your major skills) much faster than other races. They're the best race for this build.

Higher
The best thing that can be said for higher is, "at least you're not taking any penalties". You are unlikely to seriously invest in the racial talents. The extra HP and stats is nice. I don't recommend this race choice for this build, but it's not the worst.


-Elf-
Thalore
Good racials, easy starting area. Their top ability scales well with willpower, and will get better in the next patch. Starting stats mesh well with curse. EXP penalty kind of sucks. Has bonus HP. If you're insistent on playing an Elf, play a Thalore.

Shalore
Starting stats are horrible across the board. HP penalty. Racials are useful, but you will have plenty of speed increases, so they are largely unnecessary. The early game will be absolutely miserable with a 35% experience penalty and such bad starting stats. You can't betray escorts until you join the Zigur, so you will either miss out on a lot of great willpower scaling abilities, or if you decide to not go AM, never get them at all. Shalore is a terrible choice for a Cursed Rampager.

-Dwarf-
Dwarf
Dwarves get good racials and have great starting stats for a cursed. The saves bonus is not as useful as it used to be with how easy they are to come by now, but it's still pretty great and you are unlikely to have any save problems through the entire game. The EXP penalty won't hurt too badly early because you start with two bonus dungeons that shouldn't be severely difficult for a rampager cursed. The late game, you will have more HP and better prime stats than a Cornac, but one fewer category point. Probably the second best choice.

-Halfling-
Halfling
Starting stats are bad except for HP. You are automatically precluded from getting the confusion bonus from saving the Yeek. Exp penalty is bad and you don't get a free bonus zone to make up for it. Racial evasion will only trigger when you're not rampaging with damage reduction. Only recommended for dual wield/defense rampage builds, and the early game is still going to be awful for them.

-Yeek-
Yeek
Yeeks are a weird race. Your HP will be horrific and your starting zone will be awful, but you will level extremely quickly and your kit will be complete likely before you return from the east. Your racials are the best in the game and scale with willpower. Always-on global speed is absolutely amazing. This might be an easy win if you get lucky on gear early and can stay alive past Dreadfell. Lategame rampagers have enough survivability that (with observant play) they won't drop below half HP even on a Yeek character. With more emphasis on constitution, the Yeek Rampager may be a contender for a Yeek melee winner. But with such low HP pools, getting to the point where you become unstoppable will be nearly impossible.

-Undead-
Ghoul
Extremely strong starting stats. Great racials. Highest HP/level. Minimal XP penalty with a bonus dungeon to pad the early levels. Innate stun resists. Ghouls are absolute powerhouses, but they pay for their starters with a high global speed penalty. Thankfully, Rampage greatly increases your speed and should compensate for most of these negatives, making for a very playable race. You will want to max Retch as quickly as possible, and you will probably want to maximize the ghoul stat increase talent as well. The other two should only be increased if you have spare points at the end of your build. Mobility is a non-issue so the leap is unnecessary, and you will not want to use active attacks that aren't extremely damaging, so never invest a single point into their bite. This would be the best choice if you could get antimagic rewards from escorts or use infusions. As a plus, you'll have plenty of category points to go around.

Skeleton
Excruciatingly high XP penalty, stats that are 'OK'. The racials are amazing, but suffer from the problem of being too good - an investment of 16-20 points is basically required to get the most out of skeleton, and you will have enough things to spend generics on without having to dump all of your generics into their racial tree. They upgrade to 'OK' if you are playing a dual wield build, but only just barely. No infusions and no escort rewards that are useful for you are just the icing on the cake. I guess you can get a point in premonition? Skeleton is probably the best overall race in the game for many classes and builds, but it is far from optimal as a Rampager.



Weapon selection:

Two-Handed weapons
Strength will be ludicrously high, as will attack speed by the endgame, so two-handed weapons are the obvious choice. Cleave will allow you to clear whole rooms of enemies when rampaging before anything will even get a chance to attack you. The obvious choice. Pick two-handers with bonus effects or high elemental damage to capitalize on your ludicrously high attack speed. Avoid weapons with flat physical damage. You don't have any sources of APR.

Dual-Wielding 1h/Dagger
You have no means to raise your off-hand damage and dexterity is a low priority stat, so this is strictly a gimmick build or a case of 'I found a voratun one-hander in unknown tunnels that's amazing, I can't NOT dual wield'. Aim for high elemental damage, get sorrow gloves if you can find them. If you can find a Kinetic Spike (I think that's it's name? The Str/Willpower dagger?) this actually becomes a Good/Best build, since your off-hand damage will actually scale well.

Mindstars
Mindstar mastery has to be gained from an escort, starts at .8 mastery rating, requires us to raise a stat we're not likely to put points into, and has horrible starting weapons. It also requires a pretty large tree investment. Completely ignores armor though, and some of the late mindstars are absolutely ludicrous. I like Mindstar cursed, but it's really not the best option. If you can roll with it, it becomes viable later on. If you're a cornac, you might even be able to afford to raise it to 1.0 mastery.

Dual-Wielding daggers
The only advantage to this over 1h/dagger is that you can dump five points into dagger mastery and call it a day. For skeletons and halflings, this is an OK build. For everyone else, this is strictly mediocre. Only do this if you find some really amazing daggers really, really early.

1-hand + Shield
You are attacking twice for every one hit you receive. You will lose a turn from rampage every time you block. Why would you ever do this?



Class Talents:

Cursed / Rampage
Your bread and butter. The first three talents should be maxed. The last talent is kind of bad, so I don't recommend investing a single point in it. I usually start by putting my first 11 points into this talent, and then putting the last four into Tenacity after I've worked on Gloom for a bit.

Cursed / Gloom
0-Cost sustain that gives damage increases to you, debuffs/CCs your enemies, and greatly increases long-distance damage from spellcasters. If you are not playing a Cornac, you may choose to either save your points to raise cursed when you hit level 10, or put your early points into Gloom. I usually build 5/5/1/1 Gloom, raise Tenacity in Cursed / Rampage, and then max Sanctuary. Dismay is a mediocre talent and should not be raised until very late.

Cursed / Slaughter
As an absolute offense build, this tree is the superior choice, regardless of what your weapon choice is. At first, they're four one-point wonders. Frenzy gives you a nice burst damage option or group DPS option when you're between rampages early on, and Cleave's passive splash damage effect is useful even for dual wielders. Early, you'll want to put one point in each talent as they become available. Later, you will want to maximize Cleave and probably Frenzy.

Cursed / Endless Hunt
Put one point in Stalk at level one. Max it eventually. The other three talents are useless to you. Surge is OK if you are dual wielding (esp. given that you will max willpower regardless), but given that you are an offense build and not a defense build, Cleave is the better choice of sustain. If you're not going for Surge, there's no need to expand on this tree any further.

Cursed / Strife
Invest 0 points in this tree.

Cursed/Predator
I love this tree! You will get it very late, but it will make the prides a joke. 5/1/5/5 or 5/5/5/5 are both good ways to spend your points in this tree, but should come after you've maxed gloom, rampage, and at the very least Cleave. I pick it up at around 30-35. Use Predator on the primary enemy type of a dungeon. Once you get to the east, just set it to Orc and leave it there.

Cursed/Fears
I haven't done enough with this tree to comment. For characters with high willpower like Yeeks you might be better inclined to use this over Predator. It's also a playstyle difference, with Predator being an absolutely passive tree and Fear being somewhat more active.



Generic Talents

Technique / Combat Training
You will eventually max every talent in this tree except Dagger mastery.

Cunning / Survival
Anything in this tree that is useful comes from Escorts. Evasion is not a good talent for this build. You will never raise cunning.

Wild-Gift / Harmony
The Sandworm heart tree reward. It's OK. I find that I have enough ways to stay alive without the cat point investment.

Wild-Gift / Antimagic
You're survivable enough without serious point investment. Resolve might be worth more points, or Antimagic Shield might be worth points later, but I find the better reason for being AM is Fungal Growth.

Wild-Gift / Fungal Growth
For non undead characters, this is the reason to go Antimagic. Maxed ancestral life maxes your regen infusions nearly free to cast (they take two turns off your rampage counter without it), Wild Growth makes your regen infusions last longer (meaning you waste fewer rampage turns recasting it), and Sudden Growth is a full HP heal with one talent point investment in it.

Cursed / Cursed Form (Ok for Ghouls)
You really only need to ever spend a handful of points in this tree. Additional points can be useful later on, and it really depends on how many points you're investing in racials. Relentless gives you 75% immunity to confusion, knockback, fears, and stuns. Ghouls should only take Relentless to 3 points, as Confusion immunity sources are pretty common in the endgame, and our ideal endgame armor has 100% confusion immunity baked in. They may even consider skipping the tree altogether, as the healing reduction can be frustrating with dependence on Retch. Seethe and Grim Resolve are nice, but only if you can afford the generics. You won't raise either substantially until very late.

Cursed / Cursed Aura
This is a big waste of generic points for very little gain. Some of the curses are nice but I didn't have the budget for this. Might be worth if you're not going anti-magic and aren't an undead.



Escorts:

Earth's Eyes and Nature's Touch are worthwhile abilities to take, but I won'd bother with the whole tree unless you have generics to blow. Early, betray all arcane escorts. Take abilities that scale off strength or willpower, otherwise take stat boosts to Willpower, Strength and Spell Saves. Heightened senses is always a great reward from thieves. You are probably not using exotics, so for Warrior escorts just take Vitality. You might consider taking the conditioning tree, five points in vitality is nice since our only real dangerous debuffs late are Diseases from corruptors and reavers.

If you are playing a Shalore not going for AM, Ghoul or Skeleton, take premonition as soon as it's offered. If you get another Seer, take arcane eye. After that, Seers should be spent on Premonition. You will probably not have the points to put a serious investment into celestial/light (or the magic stat) so I recommend just buying ranks in the heal with Anorithils. Chant of Fortitude is amazing, get it if you get a sun paladin. I don't know what to do with TW escorts. Stat boost? Alchemists are just a stat boost. If you're hell-bent on spending a cat point on an escort tree, get celestial/light, not stone alchemy.



Playstyle:

When entering a fight, wait at least one or two turns before activating rampage. It will activate on it's own from incoming damage. If you're fighting a big group without rampage up, just use the cooldown. If a spellcaster triggers rampage, close on them immediately. If your rampage is not up and you see a dangerous enemy or spellcaster, as a non-undead use rampage and then a movement infusion - this will close virtually any distance. (It also trivializes the dark crypt.) Always use movement infusion AFTER rampage, otherwise the movement effect is cancelled. Avoid using active abilities unless it's the only way to stay alive when rampage is up - each active ability will reduce the duration of rampage by one turn. You will gain turns of rampage by doing additional damage, taking a step, taking damage, or hitting multiple enemies with Slam. Slam is pretty bad, though, and still takes a turn to use. So never get it, and never worry about it.

Lategame, your primary sources of danger are going to be in the form of enemies with Evasion, high damage reflection, or Bulwarks. Bulwarks can destroy you with counter attacks, so you will want to kill them quickly. By the lategame, Frenzy should be maxed and used liberally to deal with individual high-threat targets.


To Anti-Magic, or not to Anti-Magic:

There's no real reason not to go AM as a Cursed. If you prefer shields to regen infusions and don't want to invest in Fungal Growth, don't go anti-magic. If you are a Ghoul or Skeleton, you don't have a choice. Non-Am characters get Premonition, runes, and better versatility of gear, though I would argue that the arcane disrupting items that Cursed can use are some of the best in the game. The Gaping Maw is easily our best two-handed weapon.

Dual-Wield/Defense builds should skip AM. Too many good daggers are arcane powered and too many defense oriented armors are as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:38 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:25 pm
Posts: 98
Are there viable Cursed builds that aren't 5/5/5/- in Rampage? The "Rampager" seems a needless distinction to me.

Quote:
Avoid weapons with flat physical damage.
Er, what? Rampage gives a physical damage bonus. With armor penetration and +physical damage from items, you can get some spectacular 2H blows with flat physical damage.

If you use a shield as a Cursed, you do not ever block. You use Repel and you pick a shield with decent armor/armor hardiness bonus.

Otherwise, the above looks like a bunch of solid advice to me. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:59 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:45 pm
Posts: 110
I stand corrected, RE: flat physical damage.

I would still never recommend a shield for this build. And you could conceivably go without rampage. Endless Hunt / Predator is still a very good and winnable build, it's just not as good as Rampage.


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:46 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:44 pm
Posts: 797
Great post, I planned on running a cursed so this advice will come in handy. Thanks!

A minor point, your color scheme for best to worst is very confusing. I had to scroll up at least 10 times to check. Something like red-orange-yellow-blue-green would be much more natural.

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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:26 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:56 pm
Posts: 11
Khm? 0 points in strife? And how to kill enemies with 100% resist all without Dominate? I don't mean Atamathon, rare/unique Headless Horror can have this. Also, if you go for AM (what i usually do), then you'll have no teleport runes. And what to do, if you are cornered by strong enemies, and there is no way to run? Blindside comes handy there, because it's a teleport. This does not works in vaults, sure, but otherwise it saved my hide many times. Also, it's nice to have root and additional gap closer, because sometimes Rampage is on cd, and some enemies are faster than you. Even with Surge+Cold Iron Acorn. And Preternatural Senses are handy, too. Beckon and Harass Prey are also nice, but since you are going for offensive build, probably they can be skipped.
supermini wrote:
A minor point, your color scheme for best to worst is very confusing. I had to scroll up at least 10 times to check. Something like red-orange-yellow-blue-green would be much more natural.

+1.
Cleave... Honestly, i've not tried it properly. Is it really must-have, or just useful? I mean, problems usually come(for me) from strong individual enemies, not from bunches of average monsters.
Anyway - nice guide, thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:34 am 
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Master of Eyal

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2002 9:26 pm
Posts: 10122
Location: Angolwen
Yay more guides! cool!

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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:48 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:44 pm
Posts: 797
Winston wrote:
Khm? 0 points in strife? And how to kill enemies with 100% resist all without Dominate? I don't mean Atamathon, rare/unique Headless Horror can have this.


Destroying eldritch eyes that the headless horror has floating around reduces its resistances to normal levels.

Quote:
Also, if you go for AM (what i usually do), then you'll have no teleport runes. And what to do, if you are cornered by strong enemies, and there is no way to run? Blindside comes handy there, because it's a teleport. This does not works in vaults, sure, but otherwise it saved my hide many times.


Have you tried torques of psychoportation?

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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:23 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:56 pm
Posts: 11
supermini wrote:
Destroying eldritch eyes that the headless horror has floating around reduces its resistances to normal levels.

Oh, thanks. But domination+Frenzy+few hits also works fine. And many other enemies with high resistances have no such weakness.
Quote:
Have you tried torques of psychoportation?

Sure, i'm not saying that Blindside is one and only way to teleport with AM, but still it's quite useful, with it's low cd.


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:18 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:45 pm
Posts: 110
Winston wrote:
Khm? 0 points in strife? And how to kill enemies with 100% resist all without Dominate? I don't mean Atamathon, rare/unique Headless Horror can have this. Also, if you go for AM (what i usually do), then you'll have no teleport runes. And what to do, if you are cornered by strong enemies, and there is no way to run? Blindside comes handy there, because it's a teleport. This does not works in vaults, sure, but otherwise it saved my hide many times. Also, it's nice to have root and additional gap closer, because sometimes Rampage is on cd, and some enemies are faster than you. Even with Surge+Cold Iron Acorn. And Preternatural Senses are handy, too. Beckon and Harass Prey are also nice, but since you are going for offensive build, probably they can be skipped.
supermini wrote:
A minor point, your color scheme for best to worst is very confusing. I had to scroll up at least 10 times to check. Something like red-orange-yellow-blue-green would be much more natural.

+1.
Cleave... Honestly, i've not tried it properly. Is it really must-have, or just useful? I mean, problems usually come(for me) from strong individual enemies, not from bunches of average monsters.
Anyway - nice guide, thank you.


The color scheme is based off of the colors used by item egos in the game. (with Red being the negative stat color)

I never had need of a single strife talent at any point in my winning Cursed run and the deaths I did take weren't a result of not having teleport. The only time having teleport would be necessary for this build at all is if you did something really, really dumb - like getting completely surrounded/cornered. Even then, you should be able to fight your way out of those situations with Rampage and/or Frenzy.

Cleave is incredible. It eventually makes it so the splash damage attacks do more damage than your primary attack. In the prides, you can mow down big groups of casters before they ever get a chance to act. Strong individual enemies are handled with frenzy, which will burn a rampage round, but does an unbelievable amount of damage when maxed while rampaging. I had a Frenzy do 4k damage at one point.


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:17 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:56 pm
Posts: 11
belmarduk wrote:
Cleave is incredible. It eventually makes it so the splash damage attacks do more damage than your primary attack. In the prides, you can mow down big groups of casters before they ever get a chance to act.

Ok, thanks. I'll give Cleave a try.


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:57 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:02 am
Posts: 693
I beat the game with a mindstar Cursed who never unlocked Rampage, so it's certainly possible, just not optimal.

I think that you might be underestimating Shalore. Timeless costs a turn to use, but adds 5 for a net +4 to Rampage.


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:22 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:45 pm
Posts: 110
My main issues with shalore are their shitty starting stats and inability to get antimagic escorts. I feel like it's playing an undead without having good stats or racials. If you skip their starting zone and go AM before doing any of their escort areas they are certainly worthwhile, but it feels like more trouble than it's worth.

Mindstars are great. I think the tree could benefit from being above .8. I also think Rampage is definitely not the right build for them. Endless Hunt / Predator seems obvious since Surge just needs willpower and Predator requires no stat at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:37 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 11:51 pm
Posts: 1396
belmarduk wrote:
and the deaths I did take


Ah. I see.

Still, this looks like some great advice, and if I try Cursed again, I'm sure I'll do so with this page opened.


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:59 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:25 pm
Posts: 98
Just realized you did not talk about prodigies at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:11 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:13 am
Posts: 372
Shalore can unlearn their racial talent at the beginning of the game, play up to Dreadfell level 8 and get all the antimagic escorts they want, and then start skilling up their racial tree. It's not a big loss, especially if you have a lot of good places to put generics, as Timeless isn't even available until level 24.

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