ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:20 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:20 pm
Posts: 114
This guide is for an inoffical class. You can find the corresponding addon here.

Since this class contains Mindslayer and Brawler categories, see:
http://te4.org/wiki/Brawler
http://te4.org/wiki/Mindslayer

For an example character, see:
Psycho Knuckles (I know, I know...)
Poor guy just died to Linaliil.

This build was written for 1.25 Normal Roguelike.

Goals
You want to try something (not that) different. You like Brawlers, but think they have too many finishing moves, or lack a ranged attack. Or you feel like you need something with a little... extra.


Racial Choices
Skeleton – 4/5
I played a Skeleton, since I love the guys. I also felt very, very uncreative.
You should play one, too.
As for reasons, here are a few:
    Bone Armour is amazing on a dex-based character.
    Reassemble is nice later on, and it lets you cheat death. Once.
    Resilient Bones can help with status effects.
    The Stats and HP gain are nice.
    You're a frigging skeleton!
That being said, Cornac is probably the better choice here:

Cornac – 5/5
Cornacs are excellent if you want to go antimagic.
They level quickly, the extra category point lets you get fungus if you feel like it, and they are actually allowed to use infusions and go AM. Going AM will make you more or less immune to spells, and if you add fungus and two decent regeneration infusions + heroism... well. Suffice it to say you won't end up as a skeleton.

Alternate Racial Choices
Thalore – 4/5
As with many classes, Thalore are a decent choice as well. The additional resists and disease immunity are excellent. The XP penalty hurts, however.

Halfling – 3+/5
Halflings have nice stats for a brawler, with good HP growth, and the ability to get rid of status effects. However, Duck and Dodge will not be needed (unless you plan on tackling atamathon with a high-defense build), and you will have 100% crit chance in the late game anyway. I also envisage them as having a particularly nasty fighting style when it comes to enemies bigger than themselves (which are most). :twisted:

Shalore – 3/5
Despite their squishyness, Shalore might be a decent option here. However, you already have Blinding Strikes (making Eternal Grace somewhat superfluous), you have no shortage of class points, and you ARE short on generics. You also have no Unstoppable (nor anything that comes close in terms of brokenness when combined with Timeless). That being said, Timeless is still excellent as debuff removal and to reset your cooldowns. Again, you won't need the crit chance, though the crit damage is nice.
All in all weaker on this character then on a brawler, as you can get rid of many debuffs with

Dwarf – 1/5
Nice HP. Stone Walk is great. The saves are nice. Apart from that, they do not offer much besides an XP penalty. Skip them.

Yeek – 1/5
So. Squishy. You will not have the willpower to make Dominate work, you don't need the willpower they start with, and you definitely do not want the 7 hp/level.
That being said, the global speed bonus is awesome, and they could potentially work nicely late in the game. I guess.

Higher – 1/5
They offer nothing you want. There are a few funny combinations with spell procs and Born into Magic, I suppose, but they are not worth taking a race for. However, they are probably still preferable to Ghouls.

Ghoul – 0/5
The HP are nice, as are the immunities. Apart from that, Ghouls do not have all that much to offer. You don't need Retch. Most of your combats will not last longer than 2-3 turns. You don't need Ghoulish Leap, as your mobility is excellent as is, and you certainly don't need Gnaw either.
No.


Attributes:
Dexterity and Cunning all the way. You can get Constitution and Strength via your passive. When both are maxed out, start pushing Con until Thick Hide 5/5, then invest in Strength for even more damage. Keep Con-boosting items to get Thick Hide earlier. Actually, you probably won't have to push Con. You get so many stats through skills it's silly.


Class skills:

Cunning - Tactical (Class, 1.3 mastery)
Tactical Expert - 2/5
Counter Attack - 3/5 or more
Set Up - 1/5
Exploit Weakness - 5/5

Tactical Expert is good, however, you will rarely have enough enemies next to you for long to justify more than 2 or maybe 3 points. Counter Attack destroys most melee enemies, including vermin, ghouls and elite orc berserkers. I feel like ~50% counter attack chance is enough, invest more if you want more. Set Up seems next to useless for this build: you don't need the crit increase, and your defense will be very high without it. It also uses a turn, which you'd rather use to actually kill something. Exploit Weakness is essential. 5/5 it, preferably before Dreadfell.


Technique - Pugilism (Class, 1.3 mastery)
Double Strike - 4/5 or more
Spinning Backhand - 4/5 or more
Axe Kick - 3/5 or more
Flurry of Fists - 4/5 or more

All of these are amazing. Their damage increases with your Dexterity, to the point where Double Strike does ~120% damage per hit; a Double Strike proccing Flexible Combat can hit for ~3k damage at the end. Spinning Backhand is your second mobility skill. With its low cooldown and ability to hit multiple targets as well as adding combo points, it is an amazing skill. Axe Kick completely locks down almost any enemy for longer than you usually need to kill them. Flurry of Fists can hit for upwards of 6k easily with Flexible Combat. It also adds 3 combo points. Max them all eventually if you have spare points.


Psionic - Absorption (Class, 1.3 mastery)
Kinetic Shield - 3/5 or more
Thermal Shield - 3/5 or more
Charged Shield - 3/5 or more
Forcefield - 3/5 or more

The shields are excellent. Get them to 3/5 early, as that level allows you to "spike" them for a true damage shield. Most of the time, though, the two shields most appropriate to the current are should simply stay sustained. They add up nicely with the built-in damage reduction Striking Stance offers. If you get Antimagic Shield on top, you can ignore damage over time and most area effects. Forcefield is amazingly strong when paired with Matter is Energy to keep that Psi up. Also remember your combats usually last for a very, very short time only, and this skill makes you almost invincible.


Psionic - Far Fist (Class, 1.3 mastery)
Far Strike - 3/5 or more
Transposition Strike - 1/5 or more
Body over Mind - 5/5
Resonance Cloak - 0/5 or more

Far Strike is very, very strong. At level 3, it hits twice, doing damage comparable to your Doublestrikes... at 9 range. It also grants combo points if you have none, or uses them for a bit of extra damage (that is nice early on and useless later). Basically, it lets you oneshot most rares at 9 squares. Booya.
Transposition Strike can be nice for the swap alone; however, transfering physical effects rarely seems necessary - everything just dies so fast.
Body over Mind is so good it's almost laughable. 36% global speed for 11+ turns? AND Stamina regen? AND physical power? AND it removes mental and magical debuffs? I'll take that, thank you very much. Oh, AND it stacks with Blinding Speed.


Technique - Combat Techniques (Class, 1.1 mastery, locked)
Rush - 5/5
Precise Strikes - 5/5
Perfect Strike - 1/5
Blinding Speed - 5/5

Rush is one of your three mobility skills, and an excellent tool in general. Rush one opponent to daze him, kill another, come back to the one you dazed. Or just kill the one you rushed in the first place. Precise Strikes adds amazing amounts of critical hit chance and accuracy once you have a decent amount of dexterity. Perfect Strike can be very useful, but is probably fine at just one point. Blinding Speed is one of your basic tools and just plain amazing. You might want to skip it if you go Shalore, though.


Technique - Unarmed Discipline (Class, 1.3 mastery, locked)
Combination Kick - 5/5
Defensive Throw - 0/5 or more
Open Palm Block - 0/5
Roundhouse Kick - 0/5

I tend to unlock this category for Combination Kick alone. It does a shitload of damage and deactivates enemy sustains. 5/5.
Defensive Throw is okay if you have points to spare; however, most enemies it will reliably work on are no real threat anyway. Get it if you have taken grappling, though, as the combination makes fighting individual caster enemies hilariously easy. Open Palm Block sucks; you waste your combo points - and a turn! - for a more or less negligible damage shield. Roundhouse Kick just doesn't do enough damage to be worth investing in. It also pushes enemies away, which you usually do not want either.


Cunning - Dirty Fighting (Class, 1.0 mastery, locked)
Dirty Fighting - 0/5 or more
Backstab - 0/5 or more
Switch Place - 0/5 or 1/5
Cripple - 0/5 or more

Dirty Fighting is nice; if it does not stun, it is a free hit that can trigger Flexible Combat and apply on-hit effects. It is also excellent to disable bone shields if you have enough different sources of damage. Backstab's critical chance increase is useless. The stun proc could be nice, however, you tend to disable opponents rather nicely by killing them, and many opponents you cannot kill quickly will have stun resistance. Switch Place can be useful, particularly if you don't have teleport and get surrounded. Cripple is great. Combined with Blinding Speed and your generally high attack speed, you can kill most opponents before they have the chance to get more than 1 or 2 hits in.


Generics:
Technique - Combat Training (generic, 1.1 mastery)
Thick Skin - 5/5
Armour Training -1/5
Combat Accuracy - 1/5 or more
Weapons Mastery - 0/5
Dagger Mastery - 0/5

Thick Skin is mandatory. Armour Training can stay at 1 since you will be using light armour. Combat Accuracy is more or less optional. Get enough to hit. Always. Early on, you will want a few points. If you feel like keeping them flexible, do it.


Technique - Unarmed Training (generic, 1.3 mastery)
Unarmed Mastery - 5/5
Unified Body - 5/5
Heightened Reflexes - 3/5 or more
Reflex Defense - 5/5

All of these are excellent. Unarmed Mastery should be maxed asap, as it increases all your damage. Unified body allows you to keep pushing Dex and Cun, while at the same time maintaining enough Str for higher tier armors and Con for, well, survival. It also ensures you will deal amazing damage in the late game. Heightened Reflexes further adds to your mobility and allows for matrix-style projectile dodging even without Slow Motion. Reflex Defense shaves a good bit of damage off of an nasty hit you might suffer.


Psionic - Finer Energy Manipulations (generic, 1.3 mastery)
Realign - 1/5 or more
Reshape Weapon/Armour - 1/5
Matter is Energy - 1/5 or more
Resonant Focus - 4/5

If you take Superpower, you might want to invest in Realign. If not, the tree is worth it for Resonant Focus alone. It's not that good in itself, but coupled with a tier 5 gem in your Focus slot, it adds up to +24 to all stats. Actually, it's more like 29 to Con, 27 to Strength and 24 to the rest of them. That's pretty good. Matter is Energy is great in a pinch. It also makes using Forcefield much more viable. It does cost a turn, but hey, you have 190% global speed or more, so you can afford that turn.


Cunning- Survival (generic, 1.0 mastery)
Heightened Senses - 0/5 or more
Charm Mastery - 0/5 or more
Piercing Sight - 0/5 or more
Evasion - 0/5

Heightened Senses is very useful in the early and early mid game, and becomes less useful as areas become more open and better lighted. Charm Mastery is great if you have activatable items with useful effects. Piercing Sight should be gotten from an escort, if at all possible. With your high cunning, 1/5 will do a lot for your invisibility detection.


Technique - Conditioning (generic, 1.1 mastery, locked)
Vitality - 0/5 or more
Unflinching Resolve - 4/5 or 0/5
Daunting Presence - 0/5 or more
Adrenaline Rush - 0/5 or 1/5

Vitality is very strong early on, especially on a skeleton with no regen infusions. On non-skeletons, you might want to invest a few more points, as getting rid of wounds, poisons and diseases can be a lifesaver. Unflinching Resolve helps with status effects and thus can save your life. You can probably skip it if you get decent saves and/or have some other way of getting rid of status effects (Indomitable or Timeless, for example). Daunting Presence is nice if you have decent saves; you might as well skip it if not. Adrenaline Rush can be good backup in case you run out of stamina. Is the category worth the category point? Maybe.


Escorts:
Thieves are excellent. Use them to get Piercing Sight and Heightened Senses.
Warriors Get Vitality with your first, then either Unflinching Resolve or Strength.
Temporal Explorers are more or less useless for you. Betray them if you can, get cunning in both cases.
Alchemists are excellent if you want Stone Alchemy (which is a decent option, really). Else betray them if possible, and get dex either way.
Anorithils offer cunning, mainly. If you can betray them, get Track.
Paladins are nice for Chant of Fortitude or Chant of Fortress. Both are great, though I suggest taking the former. Betraying them sucks.
Unless you go Antimagic, get Premonition from Seers. It's fantastic.
As for Sages, they offer a nice +2 to dex or cunning, which is not too shabby, really.


Infusions:
Skeleton:
Shielding, Shielding, Teleportation, Heat Beam, Controlled Phase Door

Non-Skeleton:
Shielding, Heroism/Shielding, Teleportation/Movement, Physical/Mental Wild, Regeneration/Healing

Antimagic:
Regeneration, Regeneration, Heroism, Physical Wild, Movement

Get a teleportation rune or movement infusion as fast as possible. Teleportation can save your ass, even though you will probably not need it much (if at all) once you get to the East. With your high damage and good mobility, you can usually handle whatever you teleport into as well. If you can't get teleportation, get a movement infusion.
Keep a physical wild or heat beam rune around to handle stuns and dazes at all times.
Shielding runes don't blow turns and effectively give you a larger hp pool when popped at full health (thus helping to prevent instagib). Get 2 if you are a skeleton.
A heroism infusion is absolutely amazing if you manage to find a decent one, offering both a nice damage increase and amazing survivability. If not, get a second shield rune. Or both.
One option to handling Atamathon is to get Phase Door runes with a high resist all percentage (55% and more should be feasible with three stats >130).

Prodigies:
Flexible Combat. Get it. It's amazing. It will trigger on 4 out of 5 double strikes and will generally do much for your damage output. It is also excellent for applying status effects, Exploit Weakness and (possibly) Backstab stuns.
Crafty Hands. If you took Stone Alchemy, take this. You don't really need another prodigy, and this one will offer a lot both defensively and offensively, depending on your gem loadout.
Swift Hands can be great if you want to apply different debuffs from different items. It also allows you to swap in a teleportation torque or amulet when it's needed, equip a Ring of the Dead, or change your resistance loadout depending on the enemies you are facing, all without losing a turn. One particularly nice application is equipping gloves with the "of Sorrow"-suffix to cast Ruined Earth.
Steamroller is a lot of fun with this build, and more useful than for a brawler. It does not help too much with the final fight though (which you should be able to handle anyway), nor with Atamathon or Angolwen. If you want to do Farportals in the late game, consider this strongly.
Draconic Body is your defensive prodigy of choice together with Draconic Will and Spine of the World. The latter especially more or less ensures you can handle any fight without suffering physical effects.
Superpower would be one more option for this character. It adds additional damage and allows for a decent mindpower rating. If you go antimagic, consider this strongly.


Equipment:
Your most important piece of equipment are your gloves. Look for high base damage first, followed by useful procs. Among those, Greater Weapon Focus is an excellent choice, as are status effects such as Slow, Silence, Damage Reduce, Insanity or Blind.
Buy a random artifact gauntlet from the Merchant as soon as you can, it will make a huge difference unless you already have excellent gauntlets.
I am undecided between gloves and gauntlets in general. The attack speed that gloves offer is certainly an advantage late game, but the difference in damage per turn should not be that big in the end, considering that your skills profit from the higher damage of gauntlets. Basically, do not choose by type, but rather look at the complete package. The Tier 5 unique Dakhtun's Gauntles are very strong, for example.
Apart from that, you want (physical) damage resistance reduction first and foremost, followed by crit damage and other offensive stats such as increased physical damage and crit as well as dex, cunning, and defense. Another thing to look for is elemental damage on hit, as that helps a lot in getting rid of pesky Bone Shields.
Do not neglect your resistances, though. You should try to get them as high as possible, especially blight, fire and cold.
The Bloodcaller ring is very useful; the healing is actually considerable.


Skill order:
At the beginning, get Double Strike, Far Strike, Kinetic Shield, Spinning Backhand and Tactical Expert to level 1, as well as Unarmed Mastery and Realign.
While leveling, priority is on getting your Shields to lvl 3 and Double Strike, Spinning Backhand and Rush to level 2-4. As soon as you can, get points in Axe Kick, Counterattack and Body over Mind.
With your generic points, max Unarmed Mastery as fast you can and put points into Unified Body and Resonant Focus.
If you are a skeleton, get Bone Shield to 3 quickly as well. If not, get your racials depending on their usefulness. Level Thick Skin as you can and Combat Accuracy as you need.
Try to hit 5/5 in Exploit Weakness as well as 4/5 or 5/5 in Blinding Speed before Dreadfell. Get Precise Strikes when you feel it offers enough benefit to offset the lowered attack speed.
If you are a Skeleton, consider getting Vile Life.. The first skill is indepent of spell power and offers additional healing, and late in the game you might be able to afford spending a few points on this.
If you go Antimagic, you will want a few points in Antimagic Shield and Resolve.
I keep this vague deliberately, as I think skill order depends on preference, equipment and race, if you want a more detailed progression, let me know and I will try to provide one.


Alchemist Quests:
Foundations > Focus> Fox > Brawn > Mastery.
You can never have enough generic points, and for much of the game, you will also be short-ish on class points.
If you can, get either the Lifebinding Emerald (if you can make use of it) or the Elixir of Invulnerability to help with Atamathon or Angolwen.


Early game advice:
As a skeleton, play carefully in the first dungeon, shield (or Bone Shield) whenever you see anything remotely dangerous and use heat beam to get rid of stuns. Also use your phase door rune. It can buy precious time when things get rough.
After the starting dungeon, check shops for cheap hp items as well as decent shielding runes and maybe a teleportation rune (and infusions if you happen to be a fleshy).
Your psionic shields help a lot with early game survival. Get Kinetic Shield to 3 before attempting the Unknown Tunnels, and remember to switch to the shields appropriate to the current area (say, Kinetic and Thermal in the Sandworm Lair). Remember you can enable a shield instantly, thus allowing you to change shields if you need to. Disabling a shield will grant you a true damage shield that can save your ass early on.
Do the Trollmire, including Bill. Keep buying hp items and runes/infusions while finishing the T1 dungeons.
Also check Last Hope (and, if possible, Zigur) for good gloves or gauntlets. Once you get a decent pair of gauntlets, you should be able to handle everything the game can throw at you.
If you go for Antimagic, you will want to buy Mindstar mastery at some point. Keep the highest Tier gem you can find as your Psionic Focus at all times.


How to play:
Shield immediately whenever you feel threatened (or use a regen infusion if you have Fungus). Charge or Spinning Backhand spellcasters; they should die with the first Double Strike (or Far Strike) throughout most of the game. Remember Far Strike has smite-targeting and can actually hit enemies standing behind other enemies.
Use Axe Kick to disable enemies. You can split your disables: charge one enemy, Axe Kick a second, use Flurry of Fists to kill one and Far Strike to kill a second. Use Bone Shield judiciously.
As soon as you get Flexible Combat and have a decent crit chance and crit damage, most enemies will melt as soon as you bump them, making the East almost incredibly easy. I never used my teleportation rune. Not even once.
Your defense makes most melee opponents a trifle. If you stack enough of it, it can help a lot with handling Atamathon as well. Another way of handling the big one would be Forcefield and/or Phasing Runes.
One interesting variant might be getting Mindstar Mastery, eventually maxing the first skill and investing in Thorn Grab and Leaves Tide. From that point on, keep Mindstars as your second weapon set, but remember you'll also need a second gem. Swap and use Thorn Grab and Leaves Tide in long fights (should there be any).


Problems:
High damage reduction This is usually more a nuisance then a serious problem, since enemies that survive the first few turns are usually stunned, slowed, concussed and/or otherwise disabled. However, enemies with high physical resistance and high resistance to all damage can take so long to kill that you run out of stamina, making it hard to keep them controlled. Stack resistance reduction if you can.

Overconfidence. You will get used to everything dying around you, and you might forget you are not actually invincible. High Orc Pyromancers, Great Wyrms and the like can still blast you to hell.


So this is my Transcendent Fist guide. It does copy quite a bit from my brawler guide, the two being somewhat similar in playstyle.
I finished the game with two Brawlers and one Transcendent Fist so far, the latter being stronger than either despite mostly mediocre equipment.
As usual, take any advice offered with a grain of salt, and feel free to offer additional advice and correction where needed.
If anything seems confused or not thought through properly, I can only offer my tiredness as an excuse and promise to improve.


Feedback:
The Transcendent Fist is fun to play. It mostly plays like a Brawler with less options to spend their combo points, higher stats, more survivability and 40% additional global speed. It's very, very strong, at least on normal. Adding Absorption to the flat damage reduction of Striking Stance makes you immune to hits below 100 damage. If you add Antimagic Shield, that number grows to 150 or more. That's most of your defensive needs covered. Add to that Forcefield, Effect Removal, a ranged attack that regularly hits for 2k damage (and has a low cooldown to boot), 190% global speed, the potential for +30/-1200 heroism infusions and 55% Phasing Runes and you have one hell of a package. A fun package, but winning with it does feel a bit like cheating.

To fix it, you might want to consider not adding Absorption, but rather another psionic category. Or maybe creating your own. Body over Mind is way too strong, you should consider toning it down a bit if you want this class to feel more balanced. The stat-boosting absurdity that is Grasp + Unified Body + Psionic Focus is another matter entirely and one which I do not currently know how to handle.

Is it fun? Yes, it is.
Is it strong? Yes, it is.
Too strong? You bet.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:07 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:46 pm
Posts: 2275
Location: Ambush!
Fhtagn wrote:
This guide is for an inoffical class. You can find the corresponding addon here.

(...)

Is it fun? Yes, it is.
Is it strong? Yes, it is.
Too strong? You bet.
Thanks for writing the guide! :oops:

The class was written before the Mindslayer and Brawler got buffed, so yeah... I can see how the interactions between the talents are a bit over the top.

I'll probably need to replace the Unarmed Training tree.

Until I do that, well, it's still probably weaker than a Doombringer... :twisted:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:44 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:20 pm
Posts: 114
I played a Doombringer as well, and honestly, I am not so sure. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:29 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:37 pm
Posts: 267
Huh. Inofficial is an actual english word. English is such a whacky hodge podge language.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:23 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:21 pm
Posts: 403
Location: From Russia with atchoum!
Fhtagn wrote:
This guide is for an inoffical class. You can find the corresponding addon here.


Well, is there a way to grab addon without steam? Don't want to dig up my login and pass, AND install steam.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:42 am 
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Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:43 am
Posts: 5770
Search for the addon on the te4 website?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:37 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:21 pm
Posts: 403
Location: From Russia with atchoum!
Believme or not - can't find it there.
No Doctornull's class pack, and Transcendent Fist.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:55 am 
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Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:43 am
Posts: 5770
http://te4.org/games/addons/tome/nullpack

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