I decided to try a Yeek Mindstar (antimagic) Surge Cursed recently (skipping the Cursed Gear tree), as a way of trying my way back into Cursed, and I've found out a few things about it. Thus far, I've played throught he early game and into what I'd call the early middle game.
- Why Cursed?: because that's the point of this exercise.
- Why Yeek?: because one of the major strengths of the Yeek is that 15% global speed. The global speed is most useful in effectively extending powerful temporary buffs (like Rampage) and bump attacks (like you do while you're rampaging)
- Why Mindstar?: Because Gloom is my favorite part of the Cursed, and mindstar use (and the will focus that goes with it) makes that gloom very strong indeed. Using mindstars also means that I won't have to sink any points into Combat Accuracy (which otherwise soaks up a decent number). Also, Yeek are just better at will than they are at str. It's not huge, but it's there.
- Why Antimagic?: because I loathe the arcane and all its works, and wish to see it cleansed from the face of Eyal. Also, I'm going to be playing a character with a nice block of will (thus enhancing some of the benefits), who uses mindstars (which don't come in arcane to beginwith), and has some nice built-in escapes already (thus handling some of the "no teleport" issues). I've been a fan of antimagic from the beginning, and I pretty much shoehorn it into every build where it might make sense - and it works here just fine.
- Why Surge?: because I'll be dual-wielding, and cranking will. Also, the surge movement bonus stacks really nicely with both the rampage speed bonus and the yeek speed bonus.
- Why no Cursed Gear?: because I've not figures out how to use it properly, I need the generics for other things, and with mindstar and antimagic, I expect my gear to be constricted enough already.
- The big one to me - rampage is based around str and physical damage. My str is going to be just about high enough to wear all of my gear and unlock most skills, which is *much* lower than the standard str-based cursed. Also, mindstars don't deal a whole lot of physical damage. Thus, the rampage damage absorb is gimped a bit, and the rampage damage boost basically goes from five points worth of awesome to an otherwise essentially useless one point unlock for the damage absorb.
- Surge is handing me a fairly large chunk of defense - but since I don't even get accuracy off of dex, it's not worth investing in anyway. I'm also going dual mindstars, so no shield. I'm pretty sure that that defense is effectively wasted.
Things I've noticed from play:
- It's a yeek, so it's fragile. It's a Cursed, so it's in combat a lot, and it takes a hit to healing. I had to keep a pretty constant eye on my HP in a way that I do not with most characters, and I spent a lot of time disengaging, healing and coming back.
- On the flip side of the above, I was *really* good at disengaging. Reckless Charge was actually pretty useful for that when I first got it, but eventually, surge +yeekspeed + Rampage meant that I had the equivalent of a juiced-up movement infusion pretty much any time I wanted one, for a significant duration. I was able to save all of the lumberjacks pretty easily, because I was moving fast enough to walk behind them, shift them away from Cruthdar, and then give him a hit or two in the time it took him to take a step towards them. Likewise, dodgeable projectiles were essentially not an issue, and I could leave adventurer ambushes essentially at will.
- I rarely activated Rampage specifically. Getting hit fired it off with plenty of frequency for me. I only activated it when I needed to engage and when I needed to disengage.
- Reckless Charge was handy for disengages at first, but once I got Rampage up and running, it lost a lot of its shine. The entire tree is str-based, and I had more important things to do with my class points, and it wound up being pretty much useless to me after a while. My understanding is that it's pretty potent if you pump it and run cleave, but it seems to be a bit of a "go big or go home" skill. On the flip side, the slaughter tree is the only source of area effect damage the Cursed has. Blindside, on the other hand, was always useful for engages due to its ability to jump through walls.
- Prior to mindstar Mastery, I wend with 1h/mindstar, and due to a lucky weapon drop or two, and was doing pretty well. (I floated the necessary Combat Accuracy in my Latest Generics - removing them before adding other generics and then adding them again afterwards, so that I'd be able to pull them once I got said mastery.) Dual mindstars without the mastery simply did not do enough damage to be worthwhile. After mastery, switching to dual mindstars, i still had some trouble, largely because I *didn't* find anything particularly good. The difference here, I think, is that being able to pick easily from swords, maces, or axes means that the chances for getting something with nice mods is significantly higher.
- Relatively low overall damage plus no area effect meant that chewing through large groups of reasonably tough enemies took a long time. See notes on frequent disengaging. The bigger issue was actually bosses, though - I generally couldn't take what they were dishing out for more than a few rounds at a time, and they could take what I was dishing out for a lot longer than that. Trying to keep will as high as possible (for damage) which keeping str relatively current also meant that I wasn't pushign con a much as I might have liked to, and my Thick Skin was lagging behind as well.
- A *lot* of skills became essentially obsolete when Rampage came online. Beckon and Reckless Charge stopped being used because Rampage does it better. Many of the damage skills also became less applicable, mostly because usign them wasnt' worth the hit to rampage duration. Admittedly, I was focusing on my passives and sustains, as they remain in full force when rampaging. It's possible that some of my damage issues could have been handled by investing more in some of the direct damage skills
- There's a key changeover that happens when you finally hit that magical 750 gp, and can actually buy the mindstar mastery, and it has implications you may not consider. In particular, for v1.04, you want to avoid triggering escorts as much as you can prior to getting the tree. There's an escort that gives you points in the tree if you betray him, but sets your rate to .80 rather than 1.00 if you take them before unlocking the tree at Zigur, which is totally not worth it. Essentially, then, he's one point of will (I think) if you get him before the unlock, and a generic skill point if you get him afterwards.