This is very much a work-in-progress.This guide is intended for Normal/Adventure and below.Why play Cornac Cursed (CoCu)?
In my opinion, Cornac Cursed is underestimated as one of the easiest race/class combos in the game to play. Despite being a psionics-based melee character, nearly everything a Cursed does is fairly straightforward. Most crowd control is automated, they have a fairly predictable cycle for cooldowns, and they have a ton of different ways to get out of (or into) trouble. Cursed are streamlined, easy-to-use, effective killing machines, and perhaps the only thing holding them back is that most of their advantages lie in convenience and they’re packing noticeably less power than other melee classes nowadays.
There is one other thing that normally makes a Cursed’s life difficult—a fairly unpowered start. Fortunately, Cornac takes care of that by giving you a free Category point right from the beginning, allowing you to unlock the Rampage tree immediately. Rampage is THE key ability for a Cursed, and fulfills many different roles at once. Having it accessible immediately will make the early game a magnitudes-smoother experience.
The following is a comprehensive list of reasons to play CoCu:You get online really fast.
Cornac's free Cat point (Rampage immediately!) plus their lack of exp penalty means the initial dungeons are often a breeze. You'll also easily be ready to take on the East because, even if you don't do any extra dungeons (even skipping Temporal Rift if you like), getting to 30-- and thus your first Prodigy-- before you go Eastward is completely realistic. You elevate yourself to crazy levels of power in very little time compared to other Cursed combos; this helps to blunt potential failure, because it's easy to pick yourself up and try again.Your skills are compatible with both One-Handed (1H) and Two-Handed (2H) weapons.
A lot of melee classes are often either restricted to either 1H or 2H, OR their trees function such that it's strongly recommended that you go all-in with one or the other. Cursed have no such limitation; all their skills are functional with virtually all relevant melee weapons. Of course you'll have to pay extra generic points to make Mindstars viable. Of course 2H > 1H by a large margin in most situations, but if you pick Repel as your third Class Sustain, that margin isn't quite so wide.You have a skill that's compatible with other OTHER weapon categories.
What might typically be a dead drop for some characters may actually be a boon for Cursed. Cursed Sentry is an oft-overlooked ability that is acctually INCREDIBLY powerful, providing a summon that is capable of tanking some (though often not all) hits for you, can assist you in attacking around corners, where other classes would be forced to direct confrontation, and can use anything from Bows to Staves. You can go either Anti-Magic or Arcane.
Cursed also has additional equipment flexiblity in this regard. Anti-Magic is an extremely strong route for a Cursed, and is often their strongest route on average. However, I've gotten good results using Shield and Teleportation Runes while packing Arcane-powered equipment and using mediocre trees like Elemental Harmony.Gloom is awesome.
As I said before, controlling enemies and shutting them down is automated. At most, you simply need to know who to burst down first. Otherwise? They enter your gloom, they suffer a trillion status effects, and then you murdalize them.Cursed skill investment can be incredibly straightforward.
Some people think that there's not much build freedom in playing a Cursed. They might be right, especially for non-Sentry Cursed, but IMO that simplicity is a strength. There is an obvious core to playing a Cursed; the Rampage tree, your third Sustain, Cursed Form, and to a good extent the Gloom tree. Beyond that, you actually have more choices than is apparent.Gameplay Overview
Sustain management is laughably simple, because ordinarily there basically is no management. Set Gloom, Stalk, and the end-of-tree Sustain that you opt for to “always use when available” as they spend no time to activate.
Attacks are normally some variation of Domination -> Slash -> Harass Prey -> Frenzy (with only slight variance) to burst down key foes, followed by bump attacks until things go off cooldown. Occasionally you may want to open up with Beckon in order to have a chance to deprive casters (or anyone with dangerous talents, really) of their actions, if it’s worth not starting the burst. It also may be worth it to start with Frenzy if you’re able to hit only one target, if that is what’s necessary to kill said target quickly, whether because it triggers Stalk (and usually opens up Harass Prey quickly) or because it will be a OHKO.If Playing Without Cursed Sentry
Leveling is also fairly simple whether you’re going 1-H or 2-H. Simple guideline: try to get one point in every Talent, as a lot of Cursed Talents are functionally one-point wonders. The only things you need to pump (if only because there’s nothing else to put the points in) are Combat Training talents (save Dagger Mastery) and Cursed Form.If Playing With Cursed Sentry
Class skills are still fairly simple. Generics get somewhat more complex though not by much. For Combat Training, the important thing is to get to 3 in Armor so you can equip the heaviest that you can. Cursed Form is also good to get to 5, though you can leave it at 4 for a while. You'll max out the important stuff eventually, really; but the main thing is that you want to get Cursed Sentry to 5 ASAP. It's that good.Talents & Recommended LevelsCursed / SlaughterSlash
is a fairly basic one-hit damage burst. I prefer to use it after Domination. 1+.Frenzy
is oftentimes your biggest damage dealer against a single target. Ironically, it will hit multiple targets (and thus its damage isn’t so great) UNLESS there is only one target available, or the target you’re after is Stalk-marked. So open up with other talents first. 1+.Reckless Charge
should be a priority skill to upgrade sometime after (or maybe even during) upping Rampage to 5/5/5/x. It's a fantastic opener, softening up a crowd with multiple hits (or hitting the same person if they're the only one there!) but it can also get you out of trouble. 3 or 5.Cleave
; see the relevant “Choices: the real difficulty” section.Cursed / Endless HuntStalk
is nice. Will help you hit stuff easier, and if you’re fighting a crowd, it’s the only way you’re going to burst down something using Frenzy. But you have to proc it onto a target first. 1+.Beckon
is good, and better against casters. It can be used in tandem with leveled Preternatural Senses in order to lure targets into a one-on-one engagement, but mostly I use it so that casters waste turns. 1+.Harass Prey
; excellent for reducing damage done and putting talents on cooldown, upping your survivability a lot. 1+.Surge
; see the relevant “Choices: the real difficulty” section.Cursed / StrifeDominate
is an important opener, making the remainder of your attacks do increased damage. Use at the start of being in melee range unless you think a different talent will allow an opponent to die quicker, or if you think Beckon will give you more mileage, or if you’re not in melee range. 1+.Preternatural Senses
is a somewhat important choice of leveling up. It’s best to do it early if you’re a tactical planner, but it’s entirely possible to never level it at all. 1+.Blindside
’s like Reckless Charge; can get you in, but can get you out. Can also be used to target Stalked or Preternaturally Sensed targets. Abuse this when necessary. 1+.Repel
; see the relevant “Choices: the real difficulty” section.Cursed / GloomGloom
is most likely your main form of control, and entirely automated. Able to hit enemies with a host of effects, all of it is randomized but each status can and will help you in virtually all battles. The only way to get mileage out of it throughout the game, I find, is to level all of Gloom's relevant talents in order to get it to proc consistently as you get higher in levels. 5, but can be lower with Superpower and/or Iron Acorn.Weakness
will up your survivability immensely if you can get it to proc. The best way to get it to proc is to pump it as much as possible, for that sweet, sweet ~30% damage reduction. 5, but can be lower with Superpower and/or Iron Acorn.Dismay
is nice for continuous bursting. Combined with Blood Splash from the Vile Life tree, you'll constantly get good effects out of this. If you're running Superpower, 1+. If you're not running Superpower and/or Iron Acorn, or if you just like crits, 3-5.Sanctuary
; with this, you can blunt the damage of archers, casters, and breath-users significantly. It can definitely help to such a point that I recommend putting points into it after your third Sustain. 5.Cursed / RampageRampage
is THE Cursed skill, bar none. It can be triggered automatically by taking damage, or triggered manually, which lends to Cursed’s reputation as being an incredibly reactive class. It also helps your damage tremendously when it triggers, along with giving you yet another small (but important) oomph in survivability. Get this first, and when you start maxing skills, max this first. Always. 5.Brutality
is one of the talents you should max after Rampage. Damage is damage. 5.Tenacity
is the other talent you should max after Rampage. A key component of surviving as a Cursed. 5.Slam
is something I have lived without on nearly all my Cursed characters, as there’s just too much Stun immunity going around. It’s useful when you can land with it, though. Spare a point if you must, but it’s not critical. 0-2.Cursed / PredatorPredator
is alright. I go into this in “Choices: the real difficulty” but basically, it’s another solid damage boost that only targets certain types of enemies. There are cumbersome methods of upping its effectiveness when changing targets (Ruined Dungeon puzzle failures, Farportals) but it’s possible. You may be better served by taking other trees, but as far as “consolation” trees go, it could’ve turned out worse. 5 if you’re gonna use it.
If you’re going to bother with the Predator tree beyond 5/1/1/1, Anatomy
, and Mimic
are all good. Personally I’d go with Outmaneuver
first.Cursed / FearsFears
; I wouldn’t bother. Too many things immune.Technique / Combat TrainingThick Skin
; a key survival skill for any class. Once you start leveling Con, get points in this when you can. 5.Armour Training
, Weapon Mastery
, Combat Accuracy
; all three of these should be maxed eventually-- before you get to 20 on a non-Sentry character.Cursed / Cursed FormUnnatural Body
you typically don’t need more than one point in. The healing's not usually ever good enough. 1, and only put more if you absolutely have nowhere else to put more points.Cursed Form
needs to be maxed right after Armour Training, Weapon Mastery, and Combat Accuracy. I’ve had huge trouble in Daikara due to lack of saves or Confusion resistance; Cursed sidesteps that almost entirely with just 50% immunity, it’s freaking great. The other immunities are also no joke. 5, though it can stay at 4 (or even 2/3) for a long period of time.Seethe
would be amazing, if Cursed could fight sustained battles. They normally don’t as you’re typically getting the hell out if things are taking long (as you’ll have taken too much damage), but Repel can help in that regard. It deserves at least 1 point regardless, and more points in it than Unnatural Body does, most likely. 1+.Grim Resolve
; see Seethe. 1+.Cursed / Cursed AuraDefiling Touch
is funny, because Cursed is one of the few classes that is least at the mercy of the RNG. Defiling Touch and Dark Gifts swing that completely in the other direction-- if you choose to make full use of these talents, you MIGHT max out on some Curses and get some pretty excellent stuff to use. OR, you might have blown a ton of Generic points... but your gear simply didn't line up correctly. It's a dice roll, and if you want to roll the dice, you take this to 4-5 while Dark Gifts goes to 5. Up to you. Either 0, 1, or 4+.Dark Gifts
See above. 0, 1, or 5.Ruined Earth
is interesting. You can reduce enemy damage by a LOT, but you're also caught up in your own AoE damage reducer. This might be able to buy you critical amounts of time on its own, but more notable is its synergy with Spine of the World, which can cancel out its effect on you. Up to you. Either 0 or 1+.Cursed Sentry
is oftentimes the REAL reason you want to take Cursed Aura way at the start. You throw out a weapon and it animates, essentially becoming a summon. It's also an incredibly strong and incredibly accurate summon, hitting hard (and FAST past Talent Level 3) while having respectable defenses despite having seemingly low HP. Because it's a summon with good range, you can often throw it out to a spot where few enemies will hit it, or around corners where it can soften up (or even eliminate!) foes. It can also be used (in addition to your typical Cursed fare) with Staves, Bows, and Daggers... Stuff most Cursed won't (or can't) use themselves. 5, no question.Cunning / SurvivalSurvival
I usually skip, though it might be worth using for Charm Mastery
. Supposedly it works for all items, though I might’ve been getting trolled on that. Need to test it.
For my opinion on other Generic trees
, see the relevant “Choices: the real difficulty” subsection.Escapes
This deserves its own category simply because Cursed have access to so many of them.
One of your key Escapes is the same as your main damage skill: Rampage
. When you get it to level 5, you’ll note that it provides a 313% Movement Speed boost. That is 13% more than a basic Movement Infusion… meaning that it is completely viable and appropriate to use it as a way to flee in a bad situation. This is partly why many people (including myself) make the suggestion to let Rampage activate automatically, rather than triggering it manually—if you just save up your Hate and the Cooldown itself, you can activate Rampage whenever you want in order to GTFO.
On the other hand… a Movement Infusion
can fill the role of runaway that Rampage would, freeing Rampage up for pure combat whether it’s an automatic or a manual activation. However, it might not be worth losing the Infusion slot.Blindside
is a "phase door" with better “accuracy” than other early teleports, and can get you in and out of a group fairly easily. Are you surrounded? Target a foe such that you’re not boxed in anymore (and, potentially, be far away as well), and then get out if you need to. Remember that Blindside ALWAYS picks an unoccupied tile for you to teleport into, and automatically excludes occupied tiles... including your's. This is very easily exploited, needless to say.Surge
provides a 100+% movement speed boost at level 5 that is, barring sustain removal, always on. That’s not usually enough to save you from any hits that will kill you in the next turn, but if you’re attentive, Surge on its own is useful for disengaging before you get to that point. Plus Cold Iron Acorn
’s +20% boost helps.
Don't sleep on Reckless Charge
to get out of a situation as well. At level 3, you can knock most enemies aside and have a good enough range to get the hell out of many dicey situations.Psychoportation Torques
or Teleportation Runes
are your final resort, for when you absolutely know you’ve messed up. If you’re going to die next turn, and Movement/Rampage or even Blindside won’t get you out, then you can TP away entirely. Of course if you haven’t cleared the floor, then you’ll flee from your current enemy and potentially run into a new one. But the chance of living is better than guaranteed death.Choices: the real difficulty
Honestly, I find the hardest part of playing a Cursed isn’t playing them, though it is fun as hell. Rather, it’s the planning that I have to think about down the line. What’s going to be my final Sustain? Do I go Anti-Magic? Etcetera, etcetera. The decisionmaking here is very important.Cursed Aura, yes or no?
When you pick up your very first weapon after starting a character, you get the option to put your hatred into a weapon (gaining Cursed Aura) or refuse.
Cursed is perfectly fine and functional without it.
That said, if you DO take it, Sentries are strong enough that they can oftentimes carry you through really tough Rare mob battles, and even trivialize certain bosses. It adds a ton of DPS starting from Level 12 when you get it (especially from Bows!), can tank a good number of your fights up until the end of Dreadfell, and will remain an excellent souce of accurate DPS up until the end of the game. Don't let the high cooldown fool you-- a well placed Sentry will put in enough work within the time it's up.
If you want to see it at its best, Cursed Sentry should be at 5.Cleave, Surge, or Repel?
At level 12, you basically have to pick from one of these as you can’t activate more than one of them at once. So the question is… which?Cleave
In my experience, Cleave is okay. It allows you to handle crowds much better, but I find that simply running away and maneuvering into smaller engagements will do the job just fine. Plus, Cleave is useless when you’re fighting only one opponent, which happens a lot during boss fights.
For now, don't bother with Cleave.Surge
Surge is the best choice for optimum murder. With extra movement and extra defense, you’re harder to hit and can weave in and out of different positions in the battlefield with ease, no triggering of Rampage/Movement Infusion required, usually. Plus, Surge can stay active even on the World Map; combined with Cold Iron Acorn, you almost never have to fight a random encounter again, which newer players might find a nice convenience.
Surge is also pretty much the automatic choice if you’re going Mindstars, as you probably won’t be investing too much into Strength.
Repel doesn’t look that impressive on paper. I find that, without the boost from I Can Carry the World!, it hits something like mid-20’s-ish % chance to proc when using it 2H at Talent Level 4. Not terrible. However, when using it with a 1H, it will trigger plenty without the use of that Prodigy. WITH it, and you can shrug off melee attacks with relative ease, in my experience. I actually have a better experience with it in crowds than Cleave.
Repel does have slight anti-synergy with Cursed’s main talent though. I am referring to the fact that Rampage can (and usually does) trigger upon being hit. If you block all those hits, you are potentially preventing free Rampage triggers, and sometimes this doesn’t work in your favor. It usually isn't a problem, but it will throw you off if you’re used to Surge.
The main pull of Repel, I think, is that it makes using 1H viable while still not doing too much to keep 2H from being the formidable king of damage. So in that case, I consider Repel to be the less optimal choice than Surge, but more flexible as it gives sword-and-boarding much needed oomph even if it still won’t compare to 2H’s damage output.
If you're going to use the Prodigy "I Can Carry the World!" you can actually leave Repel at 1 or 2 for a long time, perhaps even until you finish the game-- Repel will often jump to >20% effectiveness (even without a shield) and this can actually be more than enough.
2-4 if you're using ICCTW.
4 if you're not.Iron Acorn (Good) or Cold Iron Acorn (Evil)?
Iron Acorn is good, especially for boosting the proc of Gloom effects, and will also shore up your resistances considerably too. In fact, the Mindpower boost is such that you might be able to get away with lower than typical Gloom investment, putting them elsewhere. Also, +40 Health is nothing to scoff at, as it's a rather similar investment to a heavy Contitution improvement.
However, Cold Iron Acorn isn't bad. Extra damage is nice, and the increased movement speed is great for avoiding enemies on the world map.Infusions/Runes… Which, and how many?
I always run five of these altogether.
If I can’t find a Psychoportation Torque
(not likely, but it can and DOES happen), then I find that I really, really want to hold on to a Teleportation Rune
. Obviously that isn’t a possibility with Anti-Magic, which means you will have to rely on Movement Infusion
as your only other escape in a worst case scenario (which, as an escape, isn’t functionally different from using Rampage) and you’ll have to play extremely carefully. Don’t get surrounded if you can’t survive it. If you are the type who does get surrounded regardless, and you can't find Psychoportation, you may find yourself using Teleportation Runes, and thus shunted into using non-arcane disrupting stuff.Healing Infusion
s are nice. Instant, don’t waste turns, but they’re a burst that may not be as good at sustaining oneself through a fight. Fortunately, runaway tactics (and Cursed being able to feasibly rely on runaway tactics) makes this less of an issue than it should be. Do note that they can’t be used while you’re Frozen.Regeneration Infusion
s are great when you get them online. Can be used while Frozen, can last you through a fight until you can activate other Infusions and/or kill an enemy. The problem is, I find that they’re on the weak-ish side when you don’t have good enough Healing Mod (doesn’t happen often, but it has…) and without Fungus investment, they won’t save you from impeding death if you didn’t think to use them quickly enough. As Cursed are more fragile than one would expect, this can actually happen more times than you or I would care to admit.Heroism Infusion
s are great in that they temporarily assist in survivability but also prove a great boon to damage. As Cursed rely on bursting damage, this is awesome. I’ve experimented without using them though, and they’re not strictly necessary. They’re pretty damned nice though. One nice trick is to use them to qualify for Prodigies, and the Prodigy "I Can Carry The World!" in order to use it temporarily, boosting your stats up by a tremendous amount in order to qualify for Prodigies you otherwise wouldn't.
You can use Shield Rune
s, but I don’t recommend it. I say that as someone who did a completion using Shield Runes nearly from the start. Only use them if you aren’t running Anti-Magic or arcane disrupting gear or can’t find Regeneration Infusions+Healing Mod items (unlikely). They’re not terrible though, as they can be used instantly, even when Frozen.
All that said, my usual setup is something like 0-2 Healing, 0-2 Regeneration, 0-2 Shields, 0-1 Heroism, and then 0-1 Telportation OR 0-1 Movement IF I don't have a Psychoportation Torque.What Class Talents to level up?
Generics tend to be straightforward, and Class Talents are typically no exception. First three talents of the Rampage tree (ESPECIALLY Rampage itself) and your third Sustain (Cleave, Surge, or Repel) should be maxed first. After that, I STRONGLY
recommend Reckless Charge to 3 or 5, and the entirety of the Gloom tree (go in order of Weakness -> Gloom & Sanctuary -> Dismay), to ensure your survivability, unless you luck into a ridiculous defensive kit.
Frenzy & Slash help burst damage, Stalk is good for sustaining damage against a single target, Domination is worth using, you can boost Reckless Charge to improve its distance, you can level up Predator (Go 5/1+/1+/1+ at the least)… Not much you can do wrong here at all because all of the Cursed Talents you’d level after Rampage and your third Sustain are awesome even at level 1.Which Prodigies?
I’d recommend at least one of the three "Power" Prodigies. Taking two is also viable; in fact, I Can Carry the World! + Superpower is probably my favorite combination of Prodigies, due to the sheer damage boost combined with the significant improvement to defensive capabilities.Power ProdigiesI Can Carry the World!
Probably the main reason I’m such a big fan of Strength. I’m a bit of a hoarder, and hate when I can’t do Lake Nur early, which is what tends to happen when I get Alt Lake Nur. ICCtW! fixes the problem nicely, allowing you to carry a buttload of stuff while ALSO boosting your damage significantly. Unless you’re going Mindstars, this is a great choice. Synergizes well with Cleave and Repel, boosting the latter's chance to stop attacks by a goodly amount.Superpower
Boosts your damage significantly along with boosting the strength of your Mindpower-based proc chances. Gloom normally doesn’t need the help as long as you max every talent in the tree, but if you don't max every talent, then this will help plenty.Irresistible Sun
If you find any source of Light or Fire damage, this is worth going after. Large boost in burst damage, kills crowds. Unlike the other two, its defensive properties aren't in boosting your skills, but lie in its ability to pull in ranged and/or fleeing enemies, forcing them to waste turns as they try uselessly to run away from you. Probably the weakest of the three "Power" Prodigies that you are liable to use, but viable nonetheless. Additionally, this can make short work of problem encounters like the Grushnak Barracks areas.Secondary ProdigiesLegacy of the Naloren
I've tried this at 5 Exotic Weapon Mastery stacking with the EXTRA 5 Exotic Weapon Mastery you get from the Prodigy itself (for a full 10 Exotic Weapon Mastery!), and it's absolutely nuts. Potentially 1000-2000 damage on bump attack hits, an immobilizing slow that can utterly cripple everyone from stair guardians to final bosses, big resists, and even some mild defensive use from the extra armor gained due to the talent category increase. Not a whole lot of weapons compare to the trident, with stuff like the Blighted Maul being the only things remotely in its tier category. However, note that LotN's power is hugely reliant on whether you can even get EWM in the first place to get 10 EWM... in other words, for optimal strength you MUST rescue at least one Warrior escort so you can pump the skill. If you can't manage this, pick a different prodigy.
I would almost consider LotN a Primary-level prodigy if not for the fact that its full strength is reliant on whether the RNG is kind to you.Draconic Body, Fungal Blood, Cauterize, Subcutaneous Metallization
All of these are very good at allowing you to last in battles that would kill you sooner. The problem with them, however, is that they don't actually help you with your damage; this isn't typically a problem for 2H Cursed, but 1H (Sword and Board) Cursed might have issues being able to output the necessary DPS to get through High Peak.Pain Enhancement System
This is FANTASTIC if only because it synergizes well with good infusions. Particularly, Willpower-reliant infusions that gain the Strength bonus can sometimes outdo the Strength infusions. Additionally, this can also help you with damage... but, like Draconic Body and Fungal Blood, this can help you push for extra turns to survive, but its benefit combat-wise isn't great unless you build around it. PES may not be enough for a 1H Cursed and you might be better off with a true damage prodigy.Garkul's Revenge
If you want an Atamathon clear, this is certainly worth looking at.Spell Feedback, Tricky Defenses
These are some Prodigies that have a use against perhaps one of the most important enemy archetypes in the game-- mages. Spell Feedback can stop magic cold, while Tricky Defenses can make your Antimagic shielding absorb LARGE amounts of damage; in essence, magery can become a trivial matter. However, this restriction might be a bit narrow for you, and Tricky Defenses in particular will stretch your Generics extremely thin... You may not have room for something like Cursed Sentry, for instance. Keep this in mind.Spine of the World
Combos extremely well with Ruined Earth, making otherwise tough situations very survivable while also taking nothing away from your own DPS, at least for as long as Spine of the World is active.
Shortlist of other Prodigies that might be worth thinking about: Mental Tyranny
, Temporal Form
, Arcane Might
, and Flexible Combat
.In my opinion, the strongest prodigy combinations are
:ICCTW! + Superpower
ICCTW! + Legacy of the NalorenWhat trees should I bother with for my last couple of category points?ClassCursed / Predator
Not bad, and completely automated in so far as you can just “fire off” Mark Prey and then “forget” about it. You can basically destroy most all Orcs you meet when using it. If you want to adapt it to something else, you might be able to get away with never completing Ruined Dungeon and “farming” enemies to build kill experience there.
SEMI-SPOILERS: Before you go up the stairs at the end of Slime Pit, it might be useful to use Mark Prey on Humanoid/Shalore and kill as much of them as you can find. Zigur/Adventurer Parties are an obvious target for building up kills, but there is also the Rhaloren Camp (if you didn’t automatically choose to finish it), the Spellblaze Scar, or the guards of Elvala. The latter three areas you can overlevel for to make life much easier, especially since Spellblaze Scar in particular is very dangerous.Cursed / Fears
Another frontier I haven’t explored, but I imagine it being viably usable on some enemies… and then getting hit by immunity from others. You have to jump through hoops to use Predator, but it’s better than putting up with how stonewalled Fears gets.GenericMindstar Mastery
Acquiring this—especially early—can change the way you play, entirely. If you go this route, I don’t recommend going over 36 base Strength, and just focusing on Mindpower, then Constitution, before finishing things up with Cunning.Anti-Magic (Wild-Gift / Anti-Magic, Wild-Gift / Fungus)
This is the path one that most people use, and the one that probably will win the game most easily when it gets online. Fungus is extra, ridiculously effective heals while Anti-Magic can make casters a joke if invested into properly. For Fungus I would recommend 5/1/5/1, with the 5 in Wild Growth
being the most important.Wild-Gift / Call of the Wild
I’m actually fond of this tree as it gives you a good way to heal others without running Mindstars. Not bad with Anti-Magic and Fungus, but otherwise fairly generic as far as Generics go (heh). Notably, it will give you an alternate form of detection.Celestial Trees (Celestial / Light, Celestial / Chants)
I ran this and it was pretty good. Even with only a 20-point investment in Magic, having the free heal from Healing Light along with the health boost from Chant of Fortress meant I was durable as heck. Can probably do more than that and get Bathe in Light or even Barrier online, and just go nuts with it.Spell / Stone Alchemy
All those gem bonuses! You can get some pretty nutso stats going on when you screw around with Stone Alchemy and Crafty Hands. You’ll have to save up Dexterity equipment and/or invest into Dexterity, but it’ll likely be worth it because this is just so powerful. IF you can get it going, anyway. Remember that you’ll need like 28 Magic as well.Technique / Conditioning
Having run this on other characters way back in the day, I can attest to Unflinching Resolve being completely worth it at 5/5 in the absence of full Immunities... which can happen even to a Cursed that has 50% in all the important ones. Vitality and Daunting Presence are also very good.Wild-Gift / Elemental Harmony
The tree you’d pick if you fail all your escort quests. I’ve actually run it and it’s not bad, but it is blatantly not as good as all the others. If you insist on wanting to keep all your equipment usable, Elemental Harmony is still perfectly functional though. In particular, it synergizes well with Infusions without locking you from Runes as AM would, neither does it stop you from running Arcane Disrupting equipment if you happen to get an equipment kit that favors such a setup. I recommend something along the lines of 1+/5/5/1+ in this tree.Cunning / Survival
Again, plenty of people swear by Charm Mastery and there are a ton of useful items in the game that have cooldowns.Corruption / Vile Life
To be written.Cursed / Cured Aura
See the earlier section Cursed Aura, yes or no?
.A quick review of some combinations
Organized by [Sustain], [Tree 1], [Tree 2], [Tree 3 (If applicable)].Surge, Anti-Magic & Fungus, [Any or improved Combat Training mastery]
A tried-and-true combination favored by many Cursed. While your equipment options might be limited, you’re an unstoppable powerhouse that can wreck casters, easily the most dangerous enemy throughout the game. Pick your best 2-Hander and just destroy all in your path.Surge, Mindstar Mastery, Anti-Magic & Fungus
It’s possible to buy Mindstar Mastery for free later, but if you want it quickly, you’ll have to blow the Cat point instead of putting it into Infusions/Runes. Very functional, and dual-wielded Mindstars are very effective. You’ll probably want to go with Superpower and/or Mental Tyranny; either way, the push to Willpower makes AM & Fungus an obvious choice.[Any], Stone Alchemy, [Any]
See what I said about Stone Alchemy earlier. Again, Crafty Hands is a requirement and you’ll have to be screwy with the equipment you need to hold on to.[Any], Celestial Trees, [Any]
As I said before, even just 5/0/0/0 in both Celestial/Light and Celestial/Chants is really nice. Sun Paladins and Anorithil hold the lion’s share of escort quest appearances, too, so this will pop up as an option fairly often across your playthroughs. Throw in Bathe in Light and you can do some pretty neat things with either Regeneration or Shields. However, don’t count on using Arcane Disrupting stuff and expect these to be effective. If you don’t get both Celestial trees, then obviously you would get Predator, Fears, or even Elemental Harmony instead. Note that you likely will have to divert to Magic, especially in the case of getting Bathe in Light or a later Chant online. Additionally, you want to also look at stuff like Temporal Form or Arcane Might, Prodigy-wise.Repel, Predator, Elemental Harmony
Makes 1-H effective, keeps Arcane AND Anti-Magic open, and is perfectly viable without needing to rely on the luck of the right escort quests showing up or even succeeding. The ultimate in equipment flexibility and general hedge-betting, though comparatively very weak on average.Dagger Mastery
This is mostly a joke option. There's not often anything on a 1 Hander that you would insist on using to such a point that you'd be forced to use a Dagger in the off-hand; likewise, there aren't many Daggers I can think of off-hand that would be worth Dagger Mastery investment. That said, if used as a complement to regular Weapon Mastery, it can be functional in Normal. See here.What equipment should I be looking for?
In general, I try to fill out some resists for every relevant element, max out Confusion and Stun immunity %'s or at least get close to it (easy due to Cursed Form), and try to squeeze in Healing Mod. +STR, +CON, and to an extent +WIL also help.
Cursed Talents can work with 2H weapons, 1H weapons, or Mindstars. 2H weapons are most effective for them in general, but 1H weapons can sometimes be worth using, and are especially viable when using Repel. Mindstars, of course, will require Mindstar Mastery investment and a tweaked build (not so much Strength!).Example Cursed Leveling Guide #1
(Repel, Predator, Elemental Harmony, No Cursed Sentry
By Level 17 your skills should probably look something like:
Cursed / Slaughter: 1/1/1/0
Cursed / Endless Hunt: 1/1/1/0
Cursed / Strife: 1/1/1/1
Cursed / Rampage: 5/1+/1+/0
Technique / Combat Training: 0/5/5/5/0
Cursed / Cursed Form: 1/2/1/1
After that, the main priorities for me is to get 1/5/1/1 Cursed Form first on the Generics, get 5/5/5/x in Cursed / Rampage on the Class talents, invest 5 points in Thicken Skin and Repel ASAP, and then try to get Sanctuary up to 5 eventually. Beyond Sanctuary, it's Reckless Charge to 3 or 5, then do whatever the hell you want. One of my characters went 5/5/1/1 Cursed Form, and then floated points that didn’t go into Thicken Skin until I could get 1/1+/1+/1 Elemental Harmony (eventually ending 1+/5/5/1). I did not float points for Class talents; instead, I just unlocked Predator soon as I could (whether this is before or after Elemental Harmony is up to you, as they get unlocked relatively at the same time).
After this, start investing in Gloom. As I said before, I would recommend Weakness first, though you could probably also improve Gloom first too and do alright. Whatever the case, Sanctuary then takes priority. At this point, you have to ask yourself; "Which Prodigies am I taking?" If you are taking Superpower at some point, you might be able to get away with skipping Dismay.
Once you unlock Predator, which is likely after you've invested heavily in Gloom (basically having outright maxed it in most cases), go at least 5/1/1/1. Whether you invest points or not is up to you.
For stats, I pump Strength as much as I can; excess gets dumped into Willpower until Willpower is 36, at which point Constitution receives the excess. Once Strength is maxed, just go 2-1 Constitution-Willpower. When Constitution is maxed, go and max Willpower. Afterward, the rest goes into Cunning.
Note that Cursed have reduced life regen due to their generics; if you're gonna rest, and want to minimize Hate loss during resting periods, you can try healing yourself with your infusions to speed up the process.
You don't ever need to open Vaults (marked by doors that give you message prompts on whether you should open them), but if you've never played the game before, you can try opening some of them to see which ones are ones that you can OBVIOUSLY survive, and there's quite a few that are worth opening. Chests are iffier; the game has ramped up in difficulty as more patches have arrived, and with the release of Embers of Rage, the chance so finding a Rare that can take a life off of you have increased. Be careful about opening them.
Speaking of Rares. It's also possible to find insurmountable ones out in the wild, especially before your first Prodigy. Don't be afraid to leave the area to a Rare and just come back later. Alternatively, you can try using an attacking rune (such as Heat Beam) with an "of the Warrior" suffix (so that it will scale with Strength) to deal with them; however, this usually only works in T1 dungeons, after which point the damage of such runes drops off.
T1 Dungeon order:
Trollmire 1-3 -> Derth Arena -> Lumberjack Village (or you can do Norgos first, depending) -> Norgos (if you didn't do this before Lumberjack Village) -> Heart of the Gloom -> Crystal -> Kor'Pul -> Rhaloren -> Trollmire 4.
Once you finish up Trollmire, check the towns for upgrades to Healing and Regeneration. Failing that, or if you just didn't find good Healing Mod gear, look for Shielding. Check back for better Healing/Regeneration/Shielding every time the shops reset, too.
When you start the second tier of dungeons, check Maze first. If it’s the Horrors version, go down to the bottom and then Recall out to go to a different dungeon; don’t fight the boss until afterward, or until you get good enough gear. By afterward, I would shoot for post-Daikara.
You should also try visiting Lake Nur’s second floor early in order to set the level of enemies there to something low, as there Horrors there too. If you get the extremely rare (and difficult) Alt Lake Nur, it might even be worth doing it only after Dreadfell, or maybe not at all, shamefully enough.
T2 Dungeon order:
Maze -> Old Forest -> Lake Nur 1st Floor -> Lost Merchant (If you haven’t done it yet) -> Sandworm Tunnels -> Tranquil Meadow -> Golem Graveyard -> Daikara -> Ruined Dungeon -> Hidden Compound -> Temporal Rift (Optional, but it’s the easiest extra Dungeon) -> Lake Nur 2nd Floor -> Sher’Tul Fortress -> Tempest Peak -> Halfling Ruins -> Dreadfell.
Skip Dark Crypt (Crypt of Kryl'Feijan) unless you’re feeling lucky… which I find isn’t often if you’re running this build.
Then, once you’re in the East:
Ardhungol -> Vor Armoury -> Briagh’s Lair -> Corrupted Sand Wyrm -> Tannen questline -> (Remaining Backup Guardians, usually leave Pale Drake last) -> (Any Pride except Grushnak) -> Eruan -> (Remaining Prides) -> Endgame.
Reason you want to hit Corrupted Sand Wyrm immediately is that he gives you your last Cat point. Will make it so it’s hardly a big choice whether to unlock Predator or Elemental Harmony first.
There is no real specific order you SHOULD do dungeons in, but I find this is the most consistently smoothest way to go about things. There are also a LOT of Dungeons skipped, but as you’re Cornac, you don’t need to worry because you just get a buttload of experience, so it’s all good. Even if you decide to never do Vaults you should be 45+ by the time you reach Endgame.SPOILERS
: In Endgame (starting with Slime Pits), I recommend triggering the Destruction boss last and abandoning the floor to him if you can’t defeat him. The others can and will go down when fighting you for sure, though.
In High Peak, do not be afraid to skip the randomized stair bosses if you can’t take them. They can be weak as kittens, but they are also liable to be the toughest in the game.
Against Elandar & Argoniel, ALWAYS start with killing Elandar. Once Elandar is dead, if you’re 1H+Shield, you probably won’t have enough DPS to kill Argoniel before you get overwhelmed by the portals; in this case, go to the portals and shut them down, then defeat her. Aeryn will usually tank her solo before then.
(Irresistible Sun, Draconic Body)2 alt3
(ICCTW!, Superpower)3 alt 4
(ICCTW!, Legacy of the Naloren)Example Cursed Leveling Guide #2
(Repel, Predator, Elemental Harmony, Cursed Sentry
By Level 18 your skills should probably look something like:
Cursed / Slaughter: 1/1/1/0
Cursed / Endless Hunt: 1/1/1/0
Cursed / Strife: 1/1/1/1
Cursed / Rampage: 5/1+/1+/0
Technique / Combat Training: 0/3/3/4/0
Cursed / Cursed Form: 1/2/0/0
Cursed / Cursed Aura: 1/1/1/5
The main thing is to delay leveling Combat Training and grabbing the last two talents in Cursed Form, instead reaching and pumping Cursed Sentry ASAP.
Remember what I said about Chests earlier? You can probably start opening them more recklessly now-- Cursed Sentry (especially with Bows) can overpower many Rare mobs (enemies with pink colored names) without you risking yourself at all. With a Teleportation Torque (and so long as the foe you're facing can't heal...) you can throw out a Sentry from out of sight, wait until it runs out, pick up the bow (or don't if you've already got a store of weapons on hand), then do it again.
Essentially you're cribbing the playstyles of classes like Summoner, doing this! And since you're a Cursed, you could just walk out there and fight them yourself if you think you can handle it. This strategy is good against some Bosses as well.
Dungeon order is the same as the first leveling guide.
(Cursed Sentry, ICCTW!, Irresistible Sun)2
(Dagger Mastery, Cursed Sentry, Ruined Earth, Irresistible Sun, Spine of the World)Example Cursed Leveling Guide #3
(Surge, Anti-Magic & Fungus, [Any]
This is going to be a bit looser—more guidelines than a full-on guide, if you will—if only because it is a VERY good idea to max out Surge right after 5/5/5/x-ing the Rampage tree. This means you have you not only are maxing out Strength for Rampage and damage in general, but you will ALSO need to invest heavily in Willpower, order to get Surge to 5. This further means that you might either delay points in Constitution, or divert into Constitution at some point when your equipment fails to keep your survivability up. One of those things you have to eyeball.
Points should be going into Fungus as soon as is feasible, because it’s that damned strong. Even just one point in each of the talents will go a long way towards helping you.
Anti-Magic you don’t actually have to throw a lot of points in if you don’t feel like it, especially if you, say, opt for Spell Feedback. Anti-Magic Shield and Resolve are the most consistently useful skills in here, for me.
Whether or not you throw points into Anti-Magic, you still have to think about what you’re going to do with your last Cat point. If you want to improve your healing suite, I would recommend Call of the Wild if you can get it; if not, Elemental Harmony is alright. Otherwise, go with Predator for the damage, or maybe even an increase in Combat Training mastery.
Dungeon Order will mostly be the same as in the first guide.Other Builds1
(ICCTW!, Temporal Form, Vile Life, Providence)2
(Legacy of the Naloren, Cauterize, Elemental Harmony, Chant of Resistance)Changelog:
12/20/2014: Put up this guide.
12/21/2014: Since Red pointed it out, while the other guides recommend Cornac as the race for Cursed, it's not the only focus of those guides, so mine's is not "yet another" one. So I've changed the title.
12/21/2014: Added a note about doing Vaults, Demon Statues, and Chests in Leveling Guide #1.
12/21/2014: I'm on my third run to test the fidelity of Leveling Guide #1, and finding that Sanctuary is just too good of an option to pass up. I'm just going to go ahead and give it a hard recommendation for 5.
12/24/2014: Have done four runs of Leveling Guide #1, and I can say for certain that Gloom is much more key to a victory than I first believed. I've adjusted the whole guide to reflect my findings. Also added to the Why play Cornac Cursed (CoCu)?
section and tweaked the section on Infusions/Runes.
5/22/2016: Tested the guide through the currently newest patch, 1.4.6. Also, Reckless Charge is recommended at 3 or 5 now.
6/7/2016: Updates to this guide, including sections about Cursed Sentry! The Prodigies and Acorn section have also been tweaked significantly, and I've added to the leveling guide with regards to the dangers of Rare mobs.
6/12/2016: Added another winner example; other minor adjustments.
6/19/2016: Changed the Legacy of the Naloren entry now that I've used it, and added a corresponding winner.
6/24/2016: Added a section called "Other Builds."