ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

Possessor - thoughts and question I still have at lvl 50
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Author:  Snarvid [ Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Possessor - thoughts and question I still have at lvl 50

I recently had a nightmare Lvl 50 Possessor game perma-crash under the weight of bugs and/or mod incompatibilities, and before I bother starting again I wanted to check in on some conclusions I've tentatively drawn, or questions I didn't have a chance to answer before I lost access to the character.

1. Does anyone know if Danger Sense's save reroll applies to Dismissal?

I know Dismissal is hard to land against the most dangerous hits, but every bit of damage avoided helps on a body you can't heal. Was thinking that this reroll + Dwarf/Yeek save boost might add up to something useful.

2. Is Deep Horror worth using?

It was the last thing I unlocked and didn't have much chance to play with it before the game locked. Early on I thought Body Snatcher's Bodies Reserve and Psionic Duplication were more valuable to my survival, and later once you have access to Corruptors with Bone Shields or backup guardians + Cannibalize I'm not sure you're likely to benefit much from Ominous Form. Maybe there's a role there for a Shalore using Ominous Form + Timeless to make Ominous Form last for the entirety of Assume Form's cooldown if your form gets killed out from under you, but that still seems like you're planning a way to deal with a thing that you should instead be trying to avoid.

Could see Mind Steal as a version of MTG's Coercion style spells - more there to make sure you knock out your opponent's big gun for a while, nice to be able to use it but definitely a strong choice to remove their most worrisome wincon.

Writhing Psionic Mass seems pretty good, feels like a high quality racial third slot.

But still... how does this stack up against playing as a non-Cornac and/or having 5 instead of 4 inscriptions. Speaking of...

3. Race choice beyond Cornac:

If you're going to guarantee successful access to the Tinker escort through whatever means, Cornac seems like is a very strong choice for Possessors. You can unlock the mastery bonus for Possession needed to get bosses, Body Snatcher, the Tinker generics, and either 1 inscription + Deep Horror or 2 inscriptions. I don't think Possessor needs Mentalism past Mental Shielding or Ravenous Mind past Channel Pain, so you've got a serious pile of generics you can assign to learning schematics.

What else? Ogre is potentially really interesting... would a 2hander + mindstar give you simultaneous access to Psionic Disruption stack building and Force Shield retaliation? Would Unleashed Mind/Seismic Mind hit with both weapons and drop a Disruption stack on everyone hit? You might also be able to find some very large bodies to ride around to minimize the penalty.

New Dwarf's defensive buffs... I haven't grokked their value yet.

Yeek can hide in big bodies as well as anyone, and their speed buff is beautiful.

4. Going deep vs spreading out on weapons:

When I was beginning I thought I would just do Battle Psionics due to Psionic Disruption being so efficient damage-wise in the early game (thanks Micbran) and Psionic Block being such a great defensive talent. But different bodies have talents that require different weapon layouts, and there are some incredibly high quality 2-handers that absolutely crush the damage output available to most weapon+mindstar combos I was able to find. Also, the 2handers give you good AoE damage, which I sometimes really lacked in certain bodies.

5. To Steam Implant or Not Steam Implant:

If you're going Tinker-style, do you spend one of your inscription slots on a Steam Implant or not? Whenever you Assume Form, your Steam goes back to max, and some of your forms have pre-installed Steam regeneration. If you're planning on using just Fatal Attractor and Rocket Boots, can you get by on using Assume Form and save a slot for something else?

6. Prodigies:

I went with PES and Superpower, thinking the former would help every shape regardless of whether they wanted magic, mind, or physical power, while the latter helps Mindpower and damage significantly. I never actually had anyone resist Possess, though, even on NM mode when I was level 1 and using it on a drowning lvl 27 Last Hope guard - can it be resisted?

What else do people like? More defensive stuff?

7. Drowning Guards:

How I got started. I guess you can't be that shocked that a class with a skill called Sadism and the thematic resonance of John Carpenter's The Thing would be straight murdering innocents. Last Hope guards are pretty nice to get you started, and I also found the Thalore Wilders (low level, but have Summon Rimebark) to be a helpful slingshot through the early game. Anyone other particularly helpful early bodies?

Author:  Snarvid [ Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Possessor - thoughts and question I still have at lvl 50

Checked with a semi-God mode character. Appears that retaliation from Force Shield will trigger Psionic Disruption, but that the AoE Psychic Blows skills only hit with one weapon.

Author:  Zoogy [ Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Possessor - thoughts and question I still have at lvl 50

So the last few days I've been playing a possessor. And by playing I mean really playing. Like trying for a win playing not the screwing around with it I did when 1.5 first hit. Here are some of my random thoughts:

(numbers are my numbered thoughts not me replying to your numbers but most of them touch on stuff you were thinking about or asking about just maybe not the same number)

1. Saws seem to count as a shield and a weapon. If you have a saw in main hand and mindstar in off hand you can use these list of things: Battle Psionics, double weapon skills, saw skills (I think. Like 95% sure), and normal shield skills (aka no stone warden weird double shield skills). Throw a 2-handed in your alt set and that lets you use two possessor weapon trees plus about 80% of other melee skills you will get from bodies.

2. I think I agree with you in general on Cornac. Very powerful to be able to get tinker, Body Snatcher, and up Possession. Then you still have room for one inscription+something else or even 2 inscriptions.

3. So Ogres. Fun possibilities depending on how things work. You might be do what I was talking about in #1 but take it farther: with a 2-handed saw+mindstar with alt set 2 mindstars. If this works it would allow you to utilize all 3 weapon dependent possessor trees and also a wide range of weapon types.

4. This is like #3 but going a bit crazier. Instead of making your other weapon set 2 mindstars make them a ranged weapon. Normally bodies that use range weapons are useless to you since you would need a ranged weapon set to use and that is often a waste since your better off with 1-hand+mindstar and 2-handed. But since you already have that covered as an Ogre with two hand+mindstar that makes it not a terrible idea to have your other weapon set be a ranged weapon. Guns or bows would be the best idea since they are the most powerful. Bow might be best for more variety of bodies since there are more bow skills than gun skills. Also bows would let you use temporal warden skills.

5. I found the best bodies that weren't bosses or dragons (multi hued drakes are stupidly amazing. So many breath skills) were rares+ that had doombringer skills. Incinerating blows+Burning sacrifice+unleashed mind/seismic mind melts whole vaults (including the tough stuff). It was totally worth holding on to bodies that were 15-20 levels lower if they were part doombringer. Sometimes I even had trouble getting new bodies because I was killing things too fast and from too far away to possess them. Early on Arcane Blade bodies weren't that bad ether.

6. Rush boots are a great thing to have. This isn't anything new of course since everyone knows in many classes getting boots with rush on them can be a godsend. It just seems having rush boots as a reliable way to get into or out of combat when what exactly you can do depends on what talents your bodies have. Basically since you don't know what talents you will or wont have available at any one time having guaranteed rush no matter what body is very nice.

7. For Prodigies I went PES and I Can Carry The World. The reason for this was variety of bodies and their talents. It basically gave me a huge amount of every stat meaning no matter what body I was in I probably had tons of the stats it wanted. Of course I ended up using the same few bodies so I could probably have specialized more. Also I hate encumbrance but that is a more personal thing.

8. Steam: Most of the game I used a saw+rocket boots and I never had issues with steam. Between it refreshing with assume form and some bodies having "natural" steam regen I didn't run into any issues. I held onto some crazy good generators just in case but I never felt the need to install any.

9. A bit like #6. Charms and other use items seem even more of a good idea to have more reliable guaranteed skills no mater the body. Early on I used things like Imp Claw and Eel-skin armour to have good ranged skills while only caring about how much HP a body has.

Thats all off the top of my head. Might make another post after I play them some more.

Author:  twas Brillig [ Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Possessor - thoughts and question I still have at lvl 50

What are people using for inscriptions? Shields seem useful if you're not going antimagic since you can't heal bodies, but obviously that costs you psi.

Author:  Snarvid [ Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Possessor - thoughts and question I still have at lvl 50

I used Shield - Shield - Movement - Wild:Phys to start my NM Cornac, and he went all the way to 50 before my game imploded. If you don't invest much in Solipsism early you don't take too much Psi as damage even if both Shields go down, and I find I'm using Rush/bump attack + Psionic Disruption for damage at that point so I'm rarely spending Psi. The natural recovery from rest is slow, but preserving your staring Last Hope guard bodies is much more important than being able to spend psi freely in my opinion. Once you start finding solid Heroism infusions it could be worth dropping Assume Form and fighting in your natural shape, but it's mostly been a death sentence for me whenever I've tried it early.

I'm finding early Insane a bit rocky as an Ogre, as you don't have that starting extra Inscription for breathing room, and your choice at level 10 between being able to possess Bosses or getting an extra Inscription is pretty painful (given how abundant boss enemies are in Insane). Having had my first death around on an Ogre who grabbed Possession mastery at 10, I'm planning my next run to be Inscription -> Possession Mastery -> Body Snatcher -> Tinker, but it really depends on the quality of the Last Hope rares. I'm quite curious to find out how good Ogrewielding is on Possessor, though, so I'm not jumping ship to Cornac yet, even though the category point progression is so much smoother.

I'll also say that the relentless forward pressure on Possessor makes the early game tricky for me, since if you take a beating but escape by the skin of your teeth you've permanently lost resources that you need in order to get more resources. Even in Nightmare, I went from weirdly paranoid that every encounter would kill my body out from under me to "Oh I'm winning everything without a scratch," somewhere between 20th and 30th level, while at the same time more bodies to control and more copies of them really relaxed the pressure.

@Zoogy - totally agree on ranged, and in fact I've been using Ranged/Single+Star early on even without Ogrewielding. Early on a Temporal Warden body with a controlled teleport and the "Wardens appear and shoot arrows at your target" skill let me kite my way through a large amount of content that straight murdered melee characters.

I've also noticed that Solipisist characters seem to give you their Thoughtform Summons without you having to, or indeed being able to, choose them as one of your selected talents. A helpful ability when it includes Warrior or Defender.

Author:  Snarvid [ Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Possessor - thoughts and question I still have at lvl 50

Just won and killed Athamathon on Insane, thought I would throw down a few more thoughts until someone comes up with a real guide. ... 9ff8f05250

1. Race choice: Cornac, Ogre, or Shalore
- Cornac has the smoothest early game, able to get Possession Mastery sooner than other races (in time for going east, as opposed to after Sand Wyrm), which is important on Insane due to the high number of boss monsters. Probably the best choice for any RL run. I played this on my Nightmare run.
- Ogre has the widest possible combination of weapon selections possible, and therefore can make the best use of the widest variety of bodies. There is some value in combining two-handed weapon + mindstar to combine your Battle Psionics and Psychic Blows trees, but equally or more valuable is the ability to go two-handed weapon and shield. I played this on my Insanity run.
- Shalore is good for all the reasons they're usually good, and a couple extra ones - as a Possessor you rely on PES to make sure you have the stats to back up whatever your body wants to do. Timeless can make your first two PES activations of a battle have 17/18 round uptime, which is beastly. You can also snag Prodigies from some bosses later in the game, and getting to activate these more often or have them last longer is very powerful. I did not play as a Shalore, but I played a large portion of the game in the bodies of the Shalore Corruptors.
- Yeek and Higher probably deserve some kind of honorable mention - Yeek has a nice speed boost and a couple instant combat abilities, while Higher lets you use Steam without slotting for it and gives you a instant heal that helps with PES's inherent conflict with Solipsism. Unlikely to compete well with the above, though.

2. Order of talent unlocks - As an Ogre I did Inscription, Body Snatcher, Steamtech, and Possession Mastery. Make sure you kill the Corrupted Wyrm first of all backup guardians in order to be able to take over the rest.

3. Inscriptions - Early game I went x2 Shield and Movement, and didn't regret it. Once I started using Psychic Blows and needed more Psi Regen I went Regeneration, Shield, Injector, and Movement until I got Rocket boots, at which point I went double injector. Shield could arguably be replaced with another Regeneration, but I particularly like the Aluin body and Weapon of Light synergizes best with a Shield inscription.

4. Prodigies. PES and I Can Carry the World were my choices.

5. Starting out, Psionic Disruption is your main damage source. Later Psychic Blows will be much more important. Get 1/1/1/1 Psychic Blows by 20 or so in order to have much needed AoE damage.

6. Skills on bodies to look for:
- Anything Mindslayer, in order to use the third weapon slot and Beyond the Flesh. (You do have to reattach these to the skill bar each time you switch into a body).
- Bone Shield. Essentially does away with the death of a thousand cuts problem of being hit by opponents while coming round corners.
- Summoners. Later on a fairly bad choice, but the early game can be much easier if you throw a Flamespitter around every blind corner. Also makes having your escorts survive much, much easier if you block their forward progress with your body and let your summons take the hits. I strongly recommend combining summons with a sling or bow and trying to stay out of melee.
- Throwing Knives. Surprisingly good in the early game, as they count as melee attacks and can carry your Psionic Disruption debuff, as well as Incinerating Blows or other melee procs you might pick up from bodies.
- Temporal Warden bodies with high mobility and ranged skills. Being able to 0 action switch between bow and your melee skills is very helpful, and playing keepaway and plinking with arrows is perfectly valid starting out.

7. The Dark Side of PES.
Worth noting that when PES procs, it increases your Psi max value but not your current value, meaning that it slows you down from your Solipsism-enhanced usual speed. Nothing that can't be built around, but something you need to know about.

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