ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:19 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:39 pm
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Patch 1.3 brought substantial changes to temporal wardens, and this build is no longer possible since most of the critical spells are no longer available

Introduction:
Why a guide? Well, i thought this was a fun and somewhat different build, and judging by the characters vault, not many people play TW's this way. Considering i was able to win with this build pretty easily (2nd ever winner), I figured it might be of help to anyone who is struggling with the class, or just with winning in general.
Also, I think the forum is lacking updated guides, and varied guides in general.
Disclaimer: like I mentioned, I have only ever won twice, both quite recently, I haven’t played nightmare, and I am sure there are ways to make this build better and more effective than I did. If you are knowledgeable with the chronomancer skills, let me know of improvements! :)

About the build:
I wanted to make a temporal damage caster for awhile, but all my attempts with paradox mages ended pretty abruptly, or were just plain not good enough. I had initially discounted the temporal warden, thinking your primary damage source would always be either bows or dual weapons.
So why is TW an easier candidate for a pure temporal damage build than PM? Well, in short, it has better mobility (this is extremely important) as well as the awesome damage smearing shield.
As it turns out, the TW has enough temporal damage spells to cast something every turn, especially when using invigorate. And while it might be kinda slow at certain points in the game, if you are patient there is almost no situation it cant handle.

Races:
Higher: I picked higher because of the highborn’s bloom ability, which is great for buffing up pre-combat without raising your paradox. They also get decent other racials.
Shalore: The crit and speed is nice, but the biggest thing is the timeless ability, which lets you cooldown abilities faster; which works great with invigorate.

The other races can likely work as well, but I don’t think the benefit is as high as with higher or shalore.
Looking at the characters vault, 10/17 of the TW winners are shalore. I recommend higher because I think it is a bit more forgiving.


Stats:
We will only be putting points in mag, will, con, and cun.
In the early game, keep a balance between mag, will and con, then start focusing on con once gear starts keeping will and mag high enough to level up skills.
By the end, you can start putting points in cun, but we are not aiming for 100% crit.

Class talents:

Quick overview: assuming lvl 50, eaten sandworm heart, and drank elixir of focus.
Chronomancy – Speed control: 3/5/5/5
Chronomancy – Temporal combat: 1/5/5/5
Chronomancy – Spacetime folding: 1/5/5/5
Chronomancy –Time travel: 5/5/5/5

Celerity: decent, it lets you gain distance on enemies with 100% movespeed without taking hits, which is useful early game, but not as prevalent lategame.

Stop: Useful early for killing stuff, decent late for stunning stuff.

Slow: quite good, not much to say about it, it acts like you would expect.

Haste: 76% global speed is very good, but it only lasts for 4 turns, synergizes with shalore.

Strength of purpose: lets you get armor training without investing points in strength, also lets you wear some slightly heavy armor if you find a good one.

Invigorate: extremely good, lategame this spell lets you spam your stuff, very very good.

Quantum feed: pretty good, the first point will help you early and basically means you can put points in con instead of magic for a time.

Damage smearing: extremely good, gets better the more temporal resistance you got.

Static history: Mandatory, it lets you stay in fights essentially indefinitely, the no-fail part can be important early/mid game, but rarely has use lategame.

Time skip: very good, in tandem with rune of the rift and invigorate, this lets you troll single enemies until they don’t come back. Doesn’t always work, deals decent damage, and the control is good early game when you aren’t very strong, not as necessary late game.

Echoes of the past: the skill that will be doing the most damage. This thing is extremely powerful, and it is what makes you able to deal with almost anything. When fighting high hp bosses, the start will be kinda slow since time skip and stop don’t do a lot of damage, but the 6second cooldown on this thing alleviates that, and lets you kill most things in a timely manner. In the final boss fight I hit the boss for 2.5k damage on a non-crit with this.

Temporal reprieve: I never actually used this, not once, take it if you want. The problem with using it early/mid game is you don’t have the willpower to make the paradox cost worth it, and accelerating the rest of your spells doesn’t help either if you end up with too much paradox. You can probably use it if you are diligent with your use of static history.

Weapon folding: not really the right build for this.

Swap: decent early game when you are struggling to just fill the turns with useful actions, never used this much once I got time skip.

Displace damage: the paradox sustain cost is too high to use it early game, but by late game you might as well get it since it is a decent damage sponge.

Temporal wake: very good for its versatility, if you upgrade the talent category to 1.5, this will have range 6 instead of 5, that means you can jump 11 squares combined with dimensional step, before the enemy gets to act. Other than that, it has decent damage and you will be using it all the time. You can target an enemy, and even if you don’t pass it, it will still take damage and you will be moved to a spot adjacent to the enemy.

In general, you have too many class talent points to use them all efficiently, so don’t sweat it if you cant get the elixir of focus. The important skills are: Temporal wake, Echoes of the past, Time skip, Static history, Damage smearing, Invigorate, Slow, Stop. The rest you can level when you feel like you can sustain the paradox cost that they carry.

Generic talents:

Quick overview: assuming lvl 50, eaten sandworm heart, and drank elixir of foundations:
Race – Higher: 3/5/5/5
Technique – Combat training: 5/1/0/0/0
Chronomancy – Chronomancy: 1/1/1/5
Chronomancy – Spacetime weaving: 5/1/1/5
Wild Gift – Harmony: 1/5/0/0

Gift of the highborn: pretty decent, I used it a fair bit. The best thing about it is that its instant, so often you can cast it just for the heck of it and it will mitigate some damage.

Overseer of nations: also decent, the first point lets you see enemies before they see you, which lets you prepare more easily, especially versus tougher enemies.

Born into magic: essentially a 15% temporal damage boost that will be up most of the time. The arcane resistance is also decent.

Highborns bloom: quite good, the first point will let you cast damage smearing, haste, and invigorate for free, at which point you can start attacking. Later on it will last for 6 turns and you will normaly finish every fight before your paradox has the chance to get high enough to cause failures.

Thick skin: 15% all resistance is pretty good, helps to make you more durable.

Armour training: gives you access to a larger variety of equipment, which is definitely worth 1 point.

Precognition: you can use it to scout vaults and whatnot, I never really used it for anything important.

Foresight: I considered maxing this to make for some easy scouting, but since you cant teleport through walls, it doesn’t really help.

Moment of prescience: While I never used this, I did notice several times I wasn’t able to detect invis enemies. Its instant, so if you can bother to keep it in mind, its probably decent.

Spin fate: I dunno about this, I took it because I wanted to test if it was actually any good, and I still have no idea. The problem is that even if it does help, you don’t really get to see the impact. That said, the (few) times I checked, this was fully stacked, and it must have made me resist some stuff once in a while. It makes relentless pursuit stronger which is nice.

Dimensional step: best mobility spell in the game if you ask me, it is precise and its instant. Its weaknesses are that it cant go through walls, and if your paradox is too high it could fail.

Banish: used it a few times to fill turns, I wouldn’t put more than 1 point in it since you rarely need more than a turn or two to get back in control of the situation, or to escape.

Wormhole: never used it, but I imagine you can kite enemies pretty well with it, the thing is you can already do that with dimensional step + temporal wake + invigorate.

Spacetime mastery: Very good just for the cooldown reduction for step and wake. The increased chance to overcome continuum destabilization is also very signigicant; I have on occasion time skipped/rune of the rifted the same enemy about 5 times in a row with no chance for them to act.

Waters of life: used it a couple of times because its instant, never paid much attention to it.

Elemental harmony: Some of the buffs are better than others. It’s an ability that’s hard to tell when it makes a difference, but I think its worth it to max since we aren’t exactly starved on generic or category points. You can skip it if you want a 5th infusion.

As with class points, we get more generics than we really need, no real fuss here. Important ones are dimensional step, spacetime mastery, thick skin, at least 1 point in armor and the first point in highborns bloom.

Prodigies:

Temporal form is very good, and I would not consider switching it for anything else.
Revisionist history: Seems pretty cool, its like a precognition except you don’t have to return to before you cast it if you don’t want to, you can die with this on however, I assume.
Cauterize: The two times I died, it was to very high burst damage, where I forgot to put on damage smearing. This prodigy saves you from burst damage, which is your biggest danger.
Draconic will: Extremely good, and what I picked for my second prodigy. Together with invigorate, double wild infusions, and relentless pursuit, you can stay out of effects forever.
Endless woes: 30% slow is ok I guess but not worth the slot.
Spine of the world: Wouldn’t pick this over draconic will.
Windtouched speed: You could potentially get this if you maxed every skill in the harmony tree, which I guess is possible if you skip the chronomancy tree and only put 1 point in gift of the highborn and overseer of nations.
Eye of the tiger: You don’t really need this, first because you likely wont reach 100% crit, and second because we already have invigorate and very low cooldowns.
Meteoric crash: Decent for some extra damage, but we don’t really need burst damage, so it probably wont make much of a difference at all.

Escorts:

If you get premonition, grab it. Like I mentioned burst damage is the biggest threat, and by the end a lvl 0.9 premonition gave me 22% resistance. Very good for surviving burst damage, and I am 100% sure this thing saved me from death at least once, maybe twice. Might be worth it to unlock the category, but then you will have to say goodbye to either range 6 temporal wake, or harmony.
Light/category: I wouldn’t take this, the barrier takes a turn to use and you cant buff it like archmages can, and you already got endless effect removal so providence is no good.
Chants/category: chant of fortress or chant of resistance might be worth it, but then you get the same problem as with the divination category.

Runes/infusions:
1st slot: regen rune. Needed to stay healthy during damage smearing.
2nd slot: wild infusion. Try to get one with 2 types of removal
3rd slot: wild infusion. Try to get another one with 2 types, make sure all 3 types are covered, mental and physical are very important.
4th slot: rune of the rift. You get this once you beat epoch in lvl 3 of daikara. It deals a TON of damage and it goes well with time skip.


Early game specifics:
The starter dungeons can be quite rough since you don’t have many (any) damaging abilities. Try to kite and be very patient when killing even skeleton warriors and trolls, and don’t go to the crystal caves until you have cleared at least norgos and prox. Another reason I like higher is because you start with a regen infusion, which is great for prolonged kiting.
Try to collect items that grant you on use abilities, staves that lets you shoot bolts for instance. Some specific very good items are the armor of the eel (lets you shoot a lightning beam) and the storm bringers gauntlets (lets you shoot chain lightning), they will speed things up drastically if you get them. Equipment with thorns damage is also very good early on.
Again I cant stress this enough, be very patient and kite the enemies, but don’t use dimensional step too much; you don’t have static history yet.
Alternatively, you can put a few points in dual wielding or bow stuff and use that for the starter dungeons, just make sure you can retract the points when you get other options.
unlock time travel at level 10, and immediately put points in time skip.
Don’t spread your class points too thin, focus on time skip, stop and echoes of the past, you cant afford to spend paradox on the other stuff yet.
At this point things should speed up a little.
Get 1 point in quantum feed to free up some stat points for constitution, when leveling the magic based abilities.
once stop reaches radius 2, don’t level it further for now.

Mid game specifics:
Be careful with your paradox, this is when you start stacking it pretty fast.
Once you get radius 2 stop, a few points in time skip, a few points in echoes of the past, and maxed temporal wake, you should be pretty well off for a while.
Most enemies can be beaten with a stop followed by temporal wake and then echoes of the past. Tougher enemies might need a second round, but as long as you are careful you should always be able to escape with dimensional step and temporal wake combined with invigorate.
I recommend peeking into the masters tower and the necromancer crypt around lvl 15 or so, so the enemies wont be as tough when you return later.
One important thing is, don’t enter level 3 daikara without a way to deal non-temporal damage. Epoch, the boss you will be fighting has 100% temporal resistance, and it multiplies. That said, it is actually quite easy, I managed to kill it strictly by using the chain lightning gloves and dodging around its abilities. If you start panicking and don’t think you can beat it before it overwhelms you, don’t worry, eventually it will reach high paradox and start failing its spells consistently. Just be patient and use your two regen abilities together with invigorate.

Late game specifics:
At one point you will start having more ready abilities than you know what to do with, and some of them don’t synergize very well together. For instance, slow will hurt yourself if you jump into it. At this point you can either use a patient strategy when dealing with enemies, or an aggressive one, and this is what lets you always be in control, you will never really have to fight on anyone else’s terms.
Generally you can just pop highborns bloom, then activate haste, damage smearing, draconic will, temporal form, and invigorate, and then temporal wake into any number of enemies and start spamming echoes of the past and whatnot. Your effect removal is all instant, as is your dimensional step, so you are always able to escape should you need to.
Alternatively, you can plop down a slow, enter temporal form and use temporal storm, and spam some echoes of the past, stop, and temporal storm.
When dealing with a single strong enemy, just facetank it with damage smearing on, and start spamming temporal storm as well as slow and echoes of the past. The temporal storm can stack on top of itself, and will to a lot of damage given time; if you need to, just dimensional step to the other side of the slow field.


Other random stuff:


Time skip removes all stacks of bone armor when the target returns, this is extremely useful since you don’t have any other efficient way of removing 7 hits from their armor.

Temporal storm is one of the abilities given when you use temporal form. It is a radius 3 dot field that doesn’t hurt yourself.

Crit%: You don’t need 100% crit chance, even 50 or 40% is fine, all it will really do is make echoes of the past kill enemies maybe one cycle quicker. It wont improve your room clear speed by much.

I died twice on my own TW, the first time massok in daikara crit me for about 800 damage when I had 880 hp, the other time my own shade in the shadow crypt crit me for 1.2k damage when I had like 1k hp.

You can NOT use temporal wake in vaults, since it counts as a teleport, so be careful, certain places that you might not expect counts as vaults. You CAN use it, or dimensional step, to get out of vaults, provided you have unobstructed vision.

If you are curious, this is the one i beat the game with: http://te4.org/characters/39658/tome/45 ... fd71315701

Judging by the characters vault, 11/17 TW winners were heavily invested in bow skills, 1 is a bow/DW hybrid, 3 are heavily invested in DW skills, and 2 are casters, very similar if not identical to this one.

Stop can reach a radius 3 if you put a category point into the category.

Going from category mastery 1.2 to 1.4 in time travel, will improve the range of echoes of the past from 6 to 7 (i used the fez and rod of sarrilon to get this)



Thats it, this took longer to write than i thought it would! Might do some spelling corrections etc. tomorrow. Please let me know if i blanked any important subjects, or if you have any questions in general! :)
I thought it was a pretty fun build, that might be a bit slow a points, but is not very item dependent past the early game. Once it gets running it is always in control, and i dont think you will ever get item starved enough to lose the game with it, provided you are patient.
Let me know if any of you decide to try it out, i would love to hear how it turns out :)


Last edited by anathema on Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:14 am 
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Wayist

Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:47 am
Posts: 22
OMG yes updated guides NOMNOMNOMNOM


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:57 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:28 pm
Posts: 393
I'm going to try this out later this week!

It's a real treat to get a well-written and organized, updated guide, especially for a relatively unique archetype like caster TW!

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:22 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:17 pm
Posts: 5
I've beaten normal and nightmare and also got to the vor armory on insane with a build very much like this one. This guide is very solid for the current version, as nothing about TWs really changed. That being said, once the Chronomancer update goes live this will all be obsolete, as caster TWs lose all their fun tools. Having also played reavers pre-staff nerf, this class does significantly more damage while being better protected.

A few tricks that I learned that might help others trying to use this build:
1. Go Shalore. All of your most powerful abilities are limited turn buffs, and you really need to get rid of status effects, since your saving throws will likely be awful. Also the speed boost stacks with haste, so you can get well over 200% global speed.

2. For defense, you should use damage smearing, and then stack temporal resistance. Other tools that work well with damage smearing are torques of kinetic shielding, and lightning runes. Both of those things give you buffs which you can extend with timeless. A lightning rune will absorb all of the damage you take from smearing for 4 turns with timeless, and if you also used invigorate, it will be up again a turn or two later.

3. Obviously temporal form is your most important ability, and should always be up. Luckily timeless+invigorate turns a 10 buff with a 30 cd into a 15 turn buff with a 12 turn cooldown, so its fairly easy to have it up for long fights.

4. Because temporal form should always be up, stuns shouldn't be a problem (it gives immunity) but confuse can be a huge problem. When you have high speed, confuse can affect each chance you get to move, meaning that it will get you to do something random almost every turn. Wild infusions for mental effects are important.

5. Displace damage can be turned on for free once you have used 120 paradox in a fight, and is instant cast. For example, if with normal sustain I am at 100 paradox, once I get to 220 paradox in a fight I can turn on displace damage, and it doesn't raise paradox at all. This takes the ability from being too expensive to very useful.

6. Having a set of dual weapons, and a point in flurry, is a good way to deal with bone shield if time skip is down or doesn't work. You can also dual wield a short staff with a dagger. Be careful of lifedrinker though, since you can hit yourself with the on hit effects when you use temporal wake.

7. Staff mastery is strong on caster TWs, since you will have way more chances to move than you do attack spells to use. Channel staff is nice for filling in the gaps when you are already well positioned, and temporal wake, echoes of the past, time skip, and stop are all on cooldown. Also you have all kinds of extra generic points (class points too, but there isn't anything to spend them on), so you might as well do something. You could also get a generic tree like light or conditioning from an escort, but I prefer damage dealing.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:08 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:39 pm
Posts: 80
Good points hohumbug. I havent heard about the chronomancer update, do we know when its going live? Might give nightmare a go before then, using your advice


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:18 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:55 pm
Posts: 708
New version's not going to be for a while. It's coming for 1.3, but next to come out will be 1.2.4. And who knows if we'll need a 1.2.5 or not.

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