ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:21 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 742
I call this build the Arcane Paladin because it's based primarily on skills from the Arcane Blade and Sun Paladin classes, with a smattering of other useful skills thrown in. I know other people have made builds of this nature before, but I wanted to explain my own take on the concept. Constructive feedback is welcome.

Our primary offense comes from hitting enemies in melee to trigger Earthen Missiles casts through Arcane Combat. We maximize our offense by adding additional melee hits per turn and tacking additional on-hit effects to our attacks. Although procs are the "concept" behind the build, actual weapon damage is of roughly equal importance and makes up about half of our damage per attack at endgame. We'll be using a short staff + shield so that we can focus on Magic rather than having to split our focus between Magic and Strength.

Defense comes from shield block, Celestial/Light, Spell/Aegis, and the various defensive tricks provided by Sun Paladin skills. Teleports from Spell/Conveyance are extremely useful for both defense and utility. You can add additional offense or defense through your choice of prodigies. One advantage of this build is that it's very tanky without requiring a lot of micromanagement. Most of the active skills you use are for offense or movement, with damage shields and heals available as needed. I usually keep a shielding rune on auto-use for protection at the start of fights and only need to use other defensive tools during tough fights.

Overall, the build feels well-rounded to me. It can quickly destroy most threats and possesses strong defense and movement abilities. I've beaten Normal, Nightmare, and Insane difficulties with the build. I don't have much experience with Madness, but it might be able to succeed there as well.

Nightmare winner: This run went very smoothly. I did end up with 6 deaths, but 5 of those were due to mistakes or recklessness. The one legit death was during the final boss fight on High Peak. I think I must have gotten a global speed debuff or something because I got hit a ridiculous amount of times in one turn. Keeping track of the my damage dealt can be difficult due to the multiple hits and damage types, but I was able to hit for around 15k total damage with one Assault counterattack at endgame. I was able to pre-buff over 3k damage shield using shielding rune + Bathe in Light + Aegis.

Insane winner: My second time ever playing Insane! The build was almost the same as the Nightmare winner, with 2 key differences: I took Flexible Combat at level 30 instead of Spectral Shield, and I unlocked Spell/Meta instead of a 5th inscription slot. Spectral Shield is less important on Insane because you find so many randarts, so you'll likely find several shields with 4+ different resists in one playthrough. I found Meta very useful for removing enemy buffs and for reducing my cooldowns. I killed both of the final bosses in less than 10 turns, without closing portals or losing Aeryn. I killed Atamathon in 4 "turns" (not counting speed buffs) and Linaniil in about 10-12 "turns"; I took almost no damage in either fight. I can hit for 24k damage with one Assault against the training dummy, and that's not even including the counterattack damage bonus you get against most enemies.

For a different take on the Stone-proc melee Adventurer, check out cctobias's Meteoric Mayhem build.


Shalore is the overall best race option because...master race. Timeless is seriously overpowered, even if you're not using it to extend effects. Bonus crit chance/multi and global speed just put it over the top. I recommend 1/5/1/5 for the racial talents, as most Shalore builds will do.

Cornac is the second race I would recommend for this build. Adventurers really benefit from having as many category points as possible, and there are several good optional categories for this build. Lack of XP penalty may be helpful in the early game as well.

Higher is an interesting option for this build. The stat bonuses and base life are decent, and all the racial talents are fairly useful. Born into Magic could potentially give us a decent damage boost. Highborn's Bloom could be an answer to the resource management issues that can manifest in the late game. I recommend 1/1+/1/5 for the racial talents.

Halfling is a decent option. Their base health is good and stats are decent. Most of their talents are useful for the build. I recommend 1/1/5/1+ for the racial talents.

None of the other races stand out as being particularly good for this build.

NOTE: Cornacs can unlock 1 "optional" category without sacrificing any inscription slots at endgame, but other races would need to give up an inscription for each optional category.


The main stats are Magic > Cunning > Dexterity. You may want to invest some points in Strength in the early game to meet stat requirements and increase your max carry weight, but you shouldn't need much since you can get a lot of bonus stats by TK wielding a gem. Don't put points in other stats.

Class Talents

Technique/Magical Combat
Arcane Combat: 2/5 midgame, 5/5 eventually
This skill is essential for maximizing our DPS in the late game, but during the early game our Cunning is too low to get a high proc chance, and initially we won't even have any spells to proc anyway. Leave this at 1/5 at least until you have 5/5 Earthen Missiles; you don't really need to go past 2/5 until the late game.

Arcane Cunning: 1/5
This adds a respectable bonus to spellpower, but we don't really have spare points to increase this further. One-point wonder.

Arcane Feed: 1+/5
This is a fairly strong skill since it provides crit chance for both attacks and spells, plus some mana regen. The sustain cost is fairly low, so you may want to sustain it even at 1/5 unless you're having stamina problems. Stick additional points here at endgame if you need help getting 100% crit chance.

Arcane Destruction: 0+/5
This used to be a one-point wonder, but in v1.3 you need to invest multiple points to increase the proc damage and explosion radius. You could leave this at 0/5 until endgame and then invest as many points as you have leftover.

Earthen Missiles: 5/5
This is essential for making Arcane Combat worthwhile, and it's also a useful on-demand ranged attack for when you're not in melee range. Get this to 5/5 as soon as possible after reaching level 10. Avoid manually casting this spell because it can't be procced through Arcane Combat while it's on cooldown.

Body of Stone: 1/5
Just for the prerequisite. We'll never actually use this since we're already bypassing the cooldown on Earthen Missiles through Arcane Combat and the other bonuses aren't worth being immobile.

Earthquake: 1/5
We're just taking this for the prerequisite. You might end up casting occasionally for the stun, but it's usually not worth the mana cost for our build.

Crystalline Focus: 3/5 midgame, 5/5 eventually
This is a huge damage boost in the late game, but you can wait to train it (and the previous two talents) until you feel like your damage is slowing down. 3/5 is pretty efficient, then you can max it out in the late game.

NOTE: Spending any talent points in this category will automatically grant you the Telekinetic Grasp and Beyond the Flesh talents. You can only sustain 2 of the "Shield" talents at a time.

Kinetic Shield: 1+/5
This gives considerable damage reduction even at 1/5. We'll sustain this throughout the entire game since it gives us protection at no cost. This is a good place to put extra points at endgame.

Thermal Shield: 0+/5
Similar to the previous talent, but for different damage types. You'll want to sustain either this or Charged Shield alongside Kinetic Shield throughout the game, swapping based on the damage types you're facing. If you are short on points, you can skip this and just invest in Kinetic Shield instead since those damage types are the most common.

Charged Shield: 0+/5
You can choose to skip this entirely if you want to save a point, since you can only sustain 2 Shields. It can be handy if you can spare points for it.

Forcefield: 0+/5
This skill has the potential to provide significant damage reduction, but we can't maintain it very long without a way to generate psi. This may be worth leveling if you choose to unlock Psionic/Finer Energy Manipulation and learn the Matter is Energy talent. Since we aren't intentionally increasing our maximum psi, the percent-based drain from Forcefield is small in proportion to the psi recovery from Matter is Energy.

Telekinetic Grasp
We get this for free. Use it whenever you want to wield a different weapon or gem in your telekinetic (TK) slot. You should keep a good attack staff in the TK slot most of the time, and wield a gem in the TK slot as needed for stat requirements or specific bonuses.

Beyond the Flesh
Another freebie. You should sustain this at all times to get the full benefits from your TK slot. Note that this skill makes weapons use Wil/Cun instead of Str/Dex for damage, but staff damage is unaffected since it's based on Magic.

Shield of Light: 1+/5
1/5 is all we need to get the bonus shield attack each turn, which is a significant DPS increase, so you'll want that by level ~20. This skill benefits significantly from extra points, but we probably won't have spare points until level 40+. It's not a bad idea to max this eventually for the increased healing and attack base damage. Note that if you hit an enemy with a ranged "melee" attack, like the Wave of Light talent or the Projection weapon ego, the bonus shield attack will hit the same target regardless of range.

Brandish: 1/5
Mainly for the prerequisite. This skill is quite strong in its own right, but it's fairly costly to use and we have enough other strong attacks that you won't need to rely on Brandish very often. I do keep it on the skill bar for occasions where I have an excess of positive energy and need another strong attack, such as boss fights. If you delay unlocking Technique/Shield Offense, this skill will see a lot of use in the midgame.

Retribution: 5/5
This helps spread incoming damage out over multiple turns, allowing your existing damage shields to last longer and be healed by Weapon of Light. If that wasn't good enough, it deals AoE damage after the shielding effect wears off. Try to max this fairly soon after you get it.

Crusade: 3/5
It hits twice, removes a debuff, reduces up to 3 talent cooldowns, and has negative cost...this skill is awesome! The important benefits max out at 3/5, and the skill only gets a marginal damage bonus from additional points.

Weapon of Light: 5/5 early
This is usually the first talent I max because it adds a lot of damage to your attacks during the early game. The damage scales pretty well throughout the game if you maximize your spellpower. Furthermore, it boosts your damage shields and refreshes the duration with each melee attack.

Wave of Power: 1+/5
This skill is very useful throughout the game as an opening attack and for kiting mobs. It's one of my most-used attacks. I didn't feel the need to raise it past 1/5, but it's not a bad place to put extra points at endgame. Note that the range scales with Strength, not with talent level. This talent counts as a "melee attack" for the purpose of triggering effects like Arcane Combat and Shield of Light.

Weapon of Wrath: 1+/5
This skill has a lot of damage potential, both from the direct on-hit bonus and from the Martyrdom debuff it puts on enemies. However, you'll often be using defensive skills rather than attacking when your health is low. 2/5 is very point-efficient, but it's probably not worth going beyond that.

Second Life: 1/5 early, 5/5 eventually
This is basically a "get out of jail free" card. Get 1/5 as soon as possible and keep it sustained at all times; you may want to 5/5 right away, but your health in the early game is usually not high enough to see a large return on addition points invested. Definitely max this out eventually. Don't rely on it as a crutch, but you'll be very glad to have it when you need it.

Technique/Shield Offense
Shield Pummel: 1/5
Like all of the Shield Offense talents, this skill is very useful but works fine at 1/5. You might want to temporarily level it to 2/5 for increased stun duration, but it's probably wise to respec to 1/5 for endgame due to the prevalence of stun-immune enemies.

Riposte: 1/5 or 5/5
This works fine at 1/5, but it gets significantly better at 5/5 since you can make multiple deadly counterattacks. Don't bother leveling it past 1/5 unless you're going for 5/5.

Shield Slam: 1/5
Not only does this skill hit 3 times, it gives you a free block in the same turn! Extremely useful. The base damage isn't very high on this skill, but each hit still gets the usual procs and on-hit effects.

Assault: 1/5
This is a truly devastating attack. Not only does it hit 3 times for full damage, but two of those hits are automatically critical. It also has a short cooldown and moderate stamina cost. This skill gets modest benefit from additional levels, so I wouldn't take it past 1/5 despite it being our alpha-strike skill.

Spell/Meta (optional)
Disperse Magic: 3+/5
This is useful in the mid and late game for removing magic debuffs (like diseases) from yourself and dangerous buffs from enemies. Some of the toughest fights can be made easy by removing a boss's magic sustains. Get 3/5 to make it targetable, and add extra points if you want to remove more effects per cast.

Spellcraft: 1/5
This is probably not worth the sustain cost for our build. Spellshock is nice, but we can already achieve 100% physical resist penetration through Crystalline Focus and gear. Just 1/5 for the prerequisite.

Quicken Spells: 5/5
Although we don't need to worry about the cooldown on Earthen Missiles, we have lots of utility spells that can benefit from cooldown reduction. Most of our skills count as spells, including the Celestial attacks.

Metaflow: 0/5 or 4+/5
This is a strong skill, but you'll have to decide whether you can spare the points for it. Being able to reset your spell cooldowns can turn the tide of a fight.

Spell/Temporal (optional)
Congeal Time: 1/5
Just for the prerequisite. This skill is only worth casting if you max it out, and we're definitely not doing that.

Time Shield: 1+/5
This skill is crazy good. Instant cast damage shield with moderate cost/cooldown, and it becomes a heal-over-time with effect reducer after the shield ends. While usable at 1/5, it's not a bad idea to put additional points here. This skill can be used on auto-cast in place of the standard shielding rune. One of the biggest advantages of this spell is it stacks with normal damage shields. Note that this skill cannot crit, which limits its effectiveness slightly at endgame.

Time Prison: 0/5 or 1/5
This is situationally useful, but it's not worth a point unless you're taking the next talent.

Essence of Speed: 0/5 or 5/5
This is a very strong skill, but the sustain cost is very high. Only invest in this talent if you end up with a large mana pool at endgame.

Technique/Battle Tactics (optional)
Greater Weapon Focus: 5/5
This requires a high Dex investment to get a respectable proc chance, but unlike Flexible Combat it's not limited to triggering once per turn and so the proc chance is basically 1:1 average DPS increase.

Step Up: 0+/5
This is nice if you can find points for it since it improves your mobility between fights. However, this is mainly a convenience skill since it won't help you defeat bosses.

Bleeding Edge: 0/5
This build is design to kill most things very quickly, so damage-over-time skills are not worth the investment.

Chronomancy/Flux (optional)
Induce Anomaly: 1/5
This probably isn't useful to our build. Just 1/5 for the prerequisite.

Reality Smearing: 1+/5
This reduces all damage you take by 30%, and since we don't really use paradox there's no drawback. I don't think anomalies will spawn when paradox increases through this talent, but that would need testing to verify. I'm not sure whether this stops working when you max out your paradox. If so, you'd want multiple points here; if not, you can leave it at 1/5.

Attenuate: 0/5
This doesn't seem very useful to us and would probably just lead to spawning anomalies at high paradox, which defeats any advantage we would have gained.

Cunning/Shadow Magic (optional)
Shadow Combat: 1/5
Just for prerequisite. This is useful during the early game to get a little extra damage per attack, but eventually it's not worth sustaining anymore due to stamina cost and mana drain. Losing 2 mana per hit may not sound like much, but it's not uncommon for this build to hit 5+ times per turn.

Shadow Cunning: 1/5
Like Arcane Cunning, this is a one-point wonder.

Shadow Feed: 1+/5
Mainly for the prerequisite, but some players may want to invest further points and sustain this at endgame. Increased speed is always helpful and the mana regen is decent, but the stamina cost is fairly high. I don't usually bother with this skill.

Shadowstep: 5/5
This is the whole reason for unlocking the Shadow Magic category. It lets you close the gap to targets or retreat from one enemy to another, while doing good damage and dazing the target. You can even use it to teleport through walls, as long as you can "see" the target with telepathy or a similar effect. It has a much shorter cooldown than similar skills like Rush. The only downside is the stamina cost. Note that, unlike Rush and similar talents, Shadowstep will teleport you behind the target if possible.

Generic Talents

Phase Door: 5/5
This is the first generic talent I max. It's incredibly useful and will save your skin (or a friendly NPC's skin) on many occasions. You need 5/5 as soon as possible to make it targetable; a random Phase Door is much less useful.

Teleport: 1/5 or 5/5
Get 1/5 during the early game and consider getting 5/5 at endgame if you have spare points. Random teleports are risky, but the minimum range on this talent is high enough that you can almost rely on it to get you out of bad situations.

Displacement Shield: 0/5
This doesn't trigger if you already have another damage shield active, which we usually will. It also needs multiple points invested to have a decent chance to activate.

Healing Light: 1+/5
Get 1/5 early to have a reliable cost-free heal. You'll probably want to stick extra points here, although you could leave it at 1/5 if you need points elsewhere. Efficiency drops off after 3/5.

Bathe in Light: 1+/5
You need 1/5 for the prerequisite, but putting more points in this skill is a question of playstyle. This talent is extremely powerful, but it affects all targets in its radius (including enemies) so it's not ideal for a melee character. If you cast it before combat to pre-buff your damage shield it's worth more points. You can also choose to use it during combat since your DPS will exceed the healing/shielding provided to enemies, but if there are multiple enemies in radius-2 this may not be a good idea. You can auto-cast this outside combat to keep your positive energy full.

Barrier: 1+/5
This is a pretty decent skill, but unlike most damage shields it takes a turn to cast. However, the fact that it can crit makes it potentially much stronger than Shielding rune at endgame. I generally prefer to create shielding with Arcane Shield + healing talents. You could leave this at 1/5, but it's worth considering additional points once you get 100% spell crit chance and a decent amount of crit multi. Consider putting this on auto-use when no enemies are visible to keep your positive energy maxed, unless you're using Bathe in Light for that purpose.

Providence: 3+/5
This skill is extremely useful. It provides a moderate heal-over-time while also removing negative effects each turn. Compared to a Wild infusion that removes 1 debuff of a specific kind once every ~12 turns, Providence is industrial-strength debuff removal. You'll often want to cast this at the start of combat when facing enemies that can apply multiple negative effects. 3/5 is good enough for Shalore since Timeless picks up the slack, but other races will want 5/5.

Arcane Reconstruction: 3+/5
This is a very strong heal and it's a good idea to get 1/5 during the early game. However, it has a fairly long cooldown and moderate cost (compared to Healing Light, which has negative cost), so this is more of an "emergency" heal until late game. I recommend increasing this to 3/5 or so eventually. Note that although this provides more total healing than Healing Light, the scaling per talent level is only slightly better than Healing Light.

Shielding: 1/5 early, 5/5 eventually
This makes all our damage shields stronger, and eventually makes them last an extra turn. 1/5 is fine during the early game, but in the late game you'll want to max this out.

Arcane Shield: 1/5
One-point-wonder. This adds a bonus damage shield to our myriad healing effects, greatly increasing their efficiency. It doesn't scale that well with extra levels though.

Aegis: 1+/5
Use this to supercharge your existing damage shields. It's fine to leave at 1/5, but 2/5 is worthwhile if you can afford it.

Technique/Combat Training
NOTE: Buy this for 50 gold from a weapon shop in Last Hope to save a category point.

Thick Skin: 5/5
This is a no-brainer talent for almost any build. Even though we aren't raising Constitution, we can meet the stat requirements by wearing +Con items before opening the level-up menu. If you really can't be bothered to hoard +Con items, then use the generic points somewhere else.

Armour Training: 2+/5
You need 2/5 in order to use shields, but you can add more points as you see fit. 3/5 will let you wear plate armor, and additional levels beyond that will provide armor/hardiness and protection from crits. Keep in mind that wearing heavier armor will increase your stamina and especially mana usage, so it's not necessarily a good idea.

Combat Accuracy: 0+/5
Add as many points as you feel you need. 2/5 and 3/5 are both efficient breakpoints, but you could go 0/5 if you need the points elsewhere and have decent accuracy from gear. Keep in mind that having "too much" accuracy is not a bad thing, since it gives secondary bonuses based on weapon type.

Weapons Mastery: 0/5
You may want to temporarily put a couple points here during the early and mid-game, but you need to respec eventually. This gives no benefit when you're using a staff, but it can take a while to find a decent short staff, and it will take a while to unlock Staff Combat due to the high cost.

Dagger Mastery: 0/5
Like with Weapons Mastery, you may want to temporarily put a couple points here if you're using a dagger while leveling. Respec all points when you transition to staff.

Spell/Staff Combat
NOTE: Buy this for 500 gold from the staff shop in Angolwen to save a category point. You need to complete the Apprentice Task quest to gain access to Angolwen.

Channel Staff: 1/5
Just for the prerequisite. This can be a strong skill in the right build, but for us it's just not very useful. Unlike Wave of Power, it doesn't count as a "melee attack" for triggering on-hit effects, and our DPS is heavily dependent on those on-hit effects.

Staff Mastery: 2/5 early, 5/5 eventually
This is needed if we want to reach our full damage potential when smacking enemies with a staff. Max it out eventually, but try to get 2/5 as soon as possible for an efficient damage boost.

Defensive Posture: 0/5
Our points are better used elsewhere.

NOTE: This category will be automatically unlocked once you eat the Heart of the Sandworm Queen.

Waters of Life: 0/5 or 1/5
You may want to float a point in this skill when you know you'll be facing lots of diseases, like in the Dark Crypt and Mark of the Spellblaze. It's debatable whether it's worth keeping a point here permanently though.

Elemental Harmony: 0/5
This skill has a lot of potential, but we don't have the points to spare.

Psionic/Finer Energy Manipulations (optional)
Realign: 1+/5 early
Since we don't use psi for anything else, this is essentially a free heal and physical effect removal. This can replace a Wild (physical) infusion in the early game and potentially remove up to 3 physical effects at 5/5. We aren't specifically raising mindpower, though, so the heal won't scale very well.

Reshape Weapon/Armor: 1+/5
Since this build uses two weapons, a shield, and armor, we can benefit greatly from this skill. To get the most out of this talent, you will need to hoard +Willpower/mindpower items and get 5/5 talent level, but it could be a significant bonus to both defense and offense.

Matter Is Energy: 0/5 or 1/5
Only invest in this talent if you plan to use Forcefield. Doing so will allow you to sustain Forcefield by consuming gems.

Resonant Focus: 0/5
This talent is no use to us since it doesn't affect staves.

Chronomancy/Energy (optional)
Energy Decomposition: 1+/5
This provides very strong protection since it reduces all damage types by up to 30%. Could probably work fine at 1/5, but add additional points as needed. You probably want to use Spacetime Tuning to set your base paradox to 600 to maximize the benefit of this skill; since you're not casting Chronomancy talents on a regular basis, you shouldn't need to worry about anomalies.

Energy Absorption: 0+/5
You could skip this entirely, although it seems potentially useful with point investment. Note that you can't leave your paradox "overtuned" if you plan to use this, since you'll start spawning anomalies.

Redux: 0+/5
I don't see any major advantage to this in the build, but it's an option.

Entropy: 0+/5
I'm not sure if this is worth the point investment, but it could be quite useful in some situations.

Corruption/Demonic Strength (optional)
NOTE: This requires the Ashes of Urh'Rok expansion.

Dismember: 1+/5
This is another way to get physical crit chance if you need it. The on-crit debuffs are a nice bonus.

Surge of Power: 1+/5
This is a good option for stamina management, not to mention a sizable instant-cast heal. Probably worth at least 2/5, maybe more if you can afford it.

Demonic Blood: 4/5
This is a nice bonus to spellpower and boosts all types of damage. Since we don't generally use vim, we should almost always get the full damage bonus. 4/5 is the breakpoint for maximum effect at 1.0 mastery.

Abyssal Shield: 0+/5
This is a strong defensive tool, but we don't have a built-in mechanism for regaining vim during combat. You could use this skill if you get a decent amount of +vim on spell crit from items.


There are several prodigies that work well with this build. It's ultimately a question of how you want to play the character and what you feel are the weaknesses you need to overcome. My Nightmare winner used Spectral Shield + Eternal Guard since this allowed me to be virtually immune to damage two-thirds of the time with a good T5 shield, and counterattacks with 5/5 Riposte significantly increased my damage output. My Insane winner used Flexible Combat and Eternal Guard.

Eternal Guard
I'm a big fan of this prodigy. With this, you can basically get full uptime on the block effect. This synergizes extremely well with Spectral Shield, but it's great on its own if you have a shield with lots of resists to cover different damage types. If you take this prodigy, you definitely want 5/5 Riposte to maximize your counterattacks.

Spectral Shield
Another strong defensive option for players that like to block a lot. It lets you block all types of damage, and with a T5 shield your Block skill only has a 3 turn cooldown. You also have a second block available from Shield Slam. Note that you can get a similar effect from a shield with many different resistances, so this prodigy may be superfluous if you have a godly shield (more likely on Insane+ difficulty).

Flexible Combat
This is an obvious choice for getting an extra melee attack per round to trigger procs. It's up to you whether you feel you need the extra DPS, but it's a solid choice. Note that gloves can have special melee procs in addition to those we get from talents, but you can't actually see these stats until you take the prodigy.

This is a good option for preventing one-hit kills. I don't think the build really needs it, but you could take it if you want to be extra safe. This might conflict with Second Life.

Draconic Will
This needs to be used proactively because it won't remove status effects that are already on you, but it's very strong when used properly. Status effects are one of the biggest threats, and this makes you immune a third of the time.

If you feel like you need more AoE damage, this is a good option. I didn't really feel the need, since I get lots of radius-2 explosions from Arcane Destruction and I killed individual mobs fast enough that clearing packs wasn't generally an issue. If you line mobs up, extra Earten Missiles will often travel on to hit other mobs after your first target dies.

Giant Leap
This seems like a suitable replacement for Shadowstep if you don't want Cunning/Shadow Magic. It's cost-free and stronger than Shadowstep, but has more than triple the cooldown.

Hidden Resources
This might be worth considering if you're having mana/stamina problems in the late game. However, resources are not likely to be an issue except in the most drawn-out fights, or against antimagic enemies with arcane burn.

Leveling Guide

Unlocking Categories
Knowing which categories to unlock for your character is the trickiest part of playing an Adventurer. Knowing when to unlock those categories is the second trickiest part, given how long it takes to acquire maximum category points and the need to weigh a new category against another inscription slot. Walking around with a handful of unused category points, you'll be tempted to start spending them. Keep the big picture in mind from the very start and you'll have much less frustration down the line.

This is how I recommend unlocking things:
Character creation:
X. Race/Shalore
1. Psionic/Absorption
2. Celestial/Combat
3. Celestial/Light
4. Spell/Conveyance
5. Spell/Aegis
6. Inscription slot or optional category
Level 10:
7. Spell/Stone
8. Technique/Magical Combat
X. Technique/Combat Training (buy)
Level 20:
9. Celestial/Guardian
X. Spell/Staff Combat (buy)
Level 36:
10. Technique/Shield Offense
Wyrm Bile:
11. Inscription slot or optional category

You can unlock Shield Offense sooner if you like, but you'll be short on class points anyway and I think having a 4th infusion is more useful during the early stages.

Don't unlock a category until you actually have the talent points and level requirement to invest in a useful ability. Likewise, wait to unlock inscription slots until you actually find a good inscription and don't want to replace an existing one. Having unspent category points gives you flexibility to adjust the order of your unlocks according to your situation.

Gameplay Strategy

Early Game
Don't allocate any talents right away at character creation. Leave the starter dungeon and go to the town of Zigur; once you've been here, you can return even after you gain arcane resource bars. Zigur is a great place to buy charms and infusions.

One of your first goals should be to acquire a mindblast torque from either Shatur or Zigur. If you don't want to start-scum for a mindblast torque, just buy whatever is useful and affordable. Now would be the time to drown rare+ NPCs for loot and XP if you want (mainly for Insane+ difficulty). Check the towns for good inscriptions once you can afford them.

You won't have many usable abilities during the early game due to the interdependency of your talents. You can't use Shield Offense until you buy Combat Training and put 2 points in Armour Training. You can't really use Magical Combat until you unlock Stone. When you start out, most of your skills will be sustains to boost your bump attacks or defense. It's a good idea to float several points in Kinetic Shield even if you plan to leave it at low level eventually; it makes you much tankier during the early game.

At this point, you can't use a shield and don't have any Mastery talents, so just use the best weapons you can scavenge. I recommend dual-wielding a 1-hander + dagger with a 2-hander or staff in the TK slot. Each weapon hit gets the Weapon of Light damage bonus, so dual-wielding will typically do more damage than even a really good 2-hander at this stage. Work on clearing the T1 dungeons and getting some decent inscriptions. Try to save most of your money since you'll need 50 gold in the near future to unlock Combat Training.

For inscriptions, you'll want 1 Shielding rune, 1-2 Wild (physical and/or mental) infusion, and 1 Movement infusion if you can find it. If you found a Movement and Wild (mental) already, you may want a Manasurge rune for the 4th inscription; however, Manasurge isn't usually needed until you get Arcane Combat rolling. Talents from optional categories may be used in place of an infusion, such as Time Shield in place of a Shielding rune or Realign in place of a Wild (physical) infusion.

At this point, you should should have cleared the T1 dungeons and your level should be in the mid-to-late teens. Once you have some points in Earthen Missiles and 1/5 Arcane Combat, you'll start to see your DPS going up. Start clearing the T2 dungeons, then head to the northern half of the world map and try to trigger the Unknown Tunnels encounter when you feel up to it.

You should still be in scavenger mode at this point, since you need to be saving up 500 gold to unlock Staff Combat. Check stores for a decent short staff and any other essential gear upgrades. Once you have Staff Combat unlocked, feel free to buy any gear upgrades you can afford. Items with +hp are especially useful at this stage.

Once you have any points in Staff Mastery, focus on trying to get a T3+ short staff and a decent shield. Any staff with high physical damage (especially a fixedart staff with >100% Magic base damage) or other useful "when wielded" stats is good in the TK slot. Keep an eye out for items with spellpower, melee on-hit effects, physical crit chance, or crit multi. When you use a staff with the Command Staff talent, remember to switch it to the physical damage type. Gloves of dispersion (activate to remove magical effects) are very helpful for removing debuffs from yourself and buffs from enemies.

You definitely want the Elixir of Focus and Elixir of Foundations from the Alchemists' Quest. Don't claim any of the other potions until you've completed those two. Your other selections are less important, so pick whatever you want.

Inscriptions should be 1 Shielding, 1-2 Movement, Wild (physical/mental), and/or 1 Heroism. Substitute a Manasurge rune as needed, although you may be able to get the effect from an item swap instead; personally, I like having Manasurge for long fights, or in case I get Mana Clashed. As before, adjust the inscription setup according to the skills and items you have available.

Late Game
By this point, your character should be coming together. You may still be missing a couple talent categories, depending on your exact level and choice of optional categories vs. inscription slots. You should have at least 1 point in all the important talents you have unlocked and be maxing out others according to your preference.

With a bit of luck and caution, you should clear Dreadfell without too much trouble and be roughly level 30. I usually unlock the Sher'Tul Fortress much earlier, but if you haven't yet this is the time to do so.

Once you have an extra 750 gold to throw around, buy increased mastery for Staff Combat from the Angolwen staff shop.

Your stats and DPS will vary greatly depending on what items you've found, but you should be starting to see the potential of the build. Most enemies will be insta-gibbed by your flurry of attacks and Earthen Missiles procs. You should be shrugging off most attacks with minimal effort, and have plenty of tools for surviving tough fights.

Apart from finding general gear upgrades, you'll want to look for items that help you recover mana or stamina during combat. In particular, "+mana on spell crit" items will help you sustain the cost of Earthen Missiles in the late game since each of the 3 Earthen Missiles projectiles can crit to trigger the effect. (Thanks to cctobias for this tip!) Try to find gear with physical resist penetration, physical damage, crit chance/multi, spellpower, and melee on-hit effects.

At this point, you'll want 1 Heroism, 1-2 Movement, 1 Manasurge, and 1 Wild (mental/physical) for your inscriptions. Shielding rune is another option, but since it can't crit it will be relatively weak after you reach 100% spell crit chance.

If you've made it this far, you're likely experienced enough that you can finish the game by just using the talent levels included earlier in this guide as a reference. The build starts to become really strong in the mid-30s. By level 50 you'll have some spare talent points to distribute as you like. Good luck and have fun!

Last edited by Effigy on Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:36 am, edited 70 times in total.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:36 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:03 pm
Posts: 892
This is a personal opinion, but have you considered getting Finer Energy Manipulations instead of Temporal or Shadow? Realign isn't that strong of a heal without pumping Mindpower, but it cures a physical debuff and costs psi, which this build otherwise has no use for. Reshape, though, can be used in conjunction with every scrap of mindpower boosting gear you hoard (including antimagic gear, since it's for out of combat only) for permenant stat boosts to your weapon, shield, and armor. Matter Is Energy isn't very useful unless you drop a few extra points into Forcefield since it gives you enough psi to maintain it a little. Do note, though, that you gain the wielded gem effect for as long as the psi regen is active, so that could come in handy. Resonant Focus is useless for this build. Your weapon uses magic and you need the extra attacks more than you need stats.

I'm not crying. I'm offering a sacrifice to DarkGod in hopes he'll show favor to me.

It hasn't worked yet.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:01 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 742
Finer Energy Manipulation does seem like a decent option, although you would have to sacrifice an inscription slot for it (like Spell/Temporal). I don't think it would really replace Cunning/Shadow Magic since the latter is mainly for mobility and FEM is more of an defensive category. The other issue is that you'd need generic points for FEM whereas Temporal and Shadow Magic use class points, so it would require some number crunching to figure out how many generics you have to work with.

I have to say that I'm not entirely happy with Shadow Magic in this build since I'm only really using it for the last talent, Shadowstep. That being said, Shadowstep is really awesome and it's hard to find another category that can replace it efficiently. You can get by without Shadowstep if you want something else, but I think you'll miss it.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:11 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:03 pm
Posts: 892
Ah, that's your reason. I'm actually currently running a build using FEM, but I also use Succor so I can use that to get enough Anorithils to make up the generic points.

Perhaps snag Unstoppable, instead? Honestly, it seems like this build has one free cat point floating around, so either find a way to get some extra generics for good racial talents or just pick your favorite class category.

I'm not crying. I'm offering a sacrifice to DarkGod in hopes he'll show favor to me.

It hasn't worked yet.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:32 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 742
Unstoppable is definitely an option, but I prefer a more balanced defensive setup than relying on one skill to keep me alive. That's actually one of the main differences between cctobias's build and mine--the other main difference being unarmed combat vs. staff+shield.

As far as getting generic talents from escorts, it's a big help. You do have numerous skills that can benefit from extra levels even if you don't unlock any additional generic categories though, so it just comes down to preference. Using Succor mod and unlocking FEM seems like a reasonable option.

Ultimately, you need to decide if you want 5 inscription slots at endgame or if want 4 slots + another category unlock. The build in the OP uses all available category points even without Spell/Temporal. If you wanted to really take it to the limit, you could go with 3 inscription slots and 2 extra category unlocks. It would be very tight on talent points though, and you'd have to make some hard choices on which inscriptions to use.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:56 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:03 pm
Posts: 892
I'm really bad at managing my inscriptions, so I might just do that. Currently I'm level 10, and I've only dropped 2 points total in FEM and the stauts/heal of Realign is actually pretty handy, though one point Reshape isn't doing much yet. I might just try not taking any extra inscriptions and snag Temporal or Shadow with FEM and see how that goes.

Also, Wave of Power is treated as a normal melee attack and can proc Arcane Combat. I don't see that mentioned in the guide, so just in case anyone reading didn't know that.

I'm not crying. I'm offering a sacrifice to DarkGod in hopes he'll show favor to me.

It hasn't worked yet.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:06 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 742
Yeah, there are some interesting mechanics with ranged talents that do "melee attacks," like Wave of Power and weapons with the Projection mod. These will trigger anything that normally triggers off melee attacks, like Arcane Combat and the bonus attack from Shield of Light. If you hit a target with a ranged "melee" attack, your Shield of Light bonus "melee" attack will hit the same target regardless of range. :lol: Channel Staff doesn't count as a melee attack, though, and that's one more reason it's not very good in this build. I didn't go into some of these hairy details in the guide since it was already getting long, but there are plenty of quirks like that to be found.

I'll be curious to hear how you like using FEM with the build.

EDIT: I added a couple notes to the OP regarding ranged "melee" attacks. Thanks for bringing it up!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:23 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:03 pm
Posts: 892
Well, I just had the run end, so my thoughts on FEM: Not worth it by level 12. I'd say more, but I tried to do an addon quest and everything just kinda went to hell after that, so scrap one character. :(

The only thing I can really say about the AP is that it seriously lacks early-game status management. It does not have a single status remover until level 12 with Providence (which is, admittedly, probably the best cure and second-best status tool in the game) so you'll be relying wholly on Inscriptions. I consistently ran into enemies with three seperate stuns and the power to hit it right through saves, so you'd need three total Wild Phys and Heat Beams to manage that, which just isn't practical that early on.

That being said, nothing I had to face challenged me too much. The class is kinda fragile, with the Adventurer life rating, but it's got so many heals, defenses, and escapes from Light and Conveyance it really doesn't matter. When Prox got too troublesome (I let him catch me in an open field and had every other square filled) I was able to Phase Door to a narrower area and take him mano-a-mano, and kick his ass. The Shade nearly killed me with most hits, but Bathe In Light, Healing Light, my starter Wild Phys and Realign took care of that, and by that point I was running Arcane Combat so I trashed him easy. I also fought Norgos in between, but that whole zone was a pushover. In addition, the only reason I couldn't beat everything was because the real tough enemies were Shop Bosses from Bazaar, and they heal to 100% pretty much as soon as you leave the shop. I could get them down to half-health before having to 'port out, so if they didn't heal or didn't heal fast, they'd be dead. I was planning on tackling them with Second Life (bad idea, but I really like murdering traders) and after buying a shortstaff, but I did the Bazaar quest to get the money and that's when ToME crashed.

In conclusion, by getting this build to level 12 with FEM, it's got a pretty strong early game, if a bit fragile, and you need to really be on top of status effects or you're dead. The one death I got was from a DoT I couldn't cure because earlier in the fight I got a stun I couldn't cure.

I'm not crying. I'm offering a sacrifice to DarkGod in hopes he'll show favor to me.

It hasn't worked yet.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:40 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 742
That's a fair criticism about the build having weak condition removal before level 12. I think I was actually running 2x wild infusions during my Nightmare early game, so that might have made it easier. You could probably skip the manasurge rune during the early game and take a 2nd wild infusion instead, if you want to stick with 3 inscription slots. I'm starting to like the idea of Psionic/FEM a bit more though.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:30 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:03 pm
Posts: 892
Like I said, I suck with Inscriptions. That's part of the reason I hang around normal instead of moving up a level.

Also, I'm going to take a closer look at the generic trees, see where the points go. You have a guaranteed 49 generic points, 51 if you go for the generic potion. In Conveyance, you spend 1/5/0/0 (6) because 5/5 Teleport just isn't worth it, and 1/5 gives you a range of over 100. You'll be fine with that. In Light, you spend 8-20, to taste. Most likely combinations are 1/1/1/5 (8), 1/5/1/5 (12), and 1/5/5/5 (16). Arcane Reconstruction tops Healing Light, but a full 20 points is possible. In Aegis, you've got 8-16. Most likely are 1/5/1/1 (8), 5/5/1/1 (12) for Madness Archmage Diet Lite Without Caffeine, and 5/5/1/5 (16) for Madness Archmage Lite. Combat Training has 2-15, most likely being 0/2/0/0/0 (2) without Accuracy, 0/2/3/0/0 (5) with Accuracy, and 5/2/3/0/0 (10) with Accuracy and Thick Skin. Staff Mastery is 1/5/0/0 (6). Harmony 0-1, with the 1 being 1/0/0/0 (1) under your build, though it should be noted Healing Nexus and Bathe In Light have fantastic synergy.

Total generic points spent:
Minimum 30
Maximum 68

The maximum under your build is 17 points over the possible amount, which isn't a big deal since you aren't supposed to have all the bells and whistles, but a minimum point expenditure leaves 19-21 points free. That's enough for an entire extra category.

My suggestions for extra generic categories:

Psionic/Finer Energy Manipulations
FEM uses Cunning, so it fits nicely with the existing stat allocation. If you get lucky and find a T2 gem or +Cun item early on, dropping 2 points into Magic each level up and 1 into Cunning will let you grab every skill as it comes along without needing anything extra.

Realign 1/5 early, as many points as needed later on to get 3 physical effects cured.
Realign uses psi, and the only other thing that is used for on the build is sustains, making it essentailly free. The heal is based on Mindpower, however, so won't scale nearly as well as your others. It's powerful early game, but later on it is best used for its ability to heal physical debuffs, up to three with enough talent points. Extra points early on can help by letting you cure several debuffs in one turn, especially if you have stun plus any other physical debuff.

Reshape Weapon/Armor 1+/5
Since this build uses two weapons, a shield, and armor, you can benefit from this skill a lot. It grants extra armor on shields and chest slot items including robes, but these bonuses are useless without hardiness. It also reduces fatigue, so it makes light armor builds extra good by removing any small amounts of fatigue and heavier armor builds more viable by both increasing bonuses and decreasing the penalty.
For weapons, it increases accuracy and damage. The damage never hurts, and if you hoard +Will (including wielding a gem when Reshaping) and +Mindpower gear, you'll never need worry about missing even without points in Combat Accuracy.

Matter Is Energy 0 or 1/5, 1/5 for Resonant Focus, 1+/5 for Forcefield
If you don't need MiE for unlocks or Forcefield, it still has one use. After consuming a gem, you are treated as if you are wielding it for the duration of the regen buff, so it's worth using as a one-turn Heroism Infusion. T5 gems last 13 turns, so consider preloading the buff, but with a CD of 50, make sure you won't be bothered by it running out partway through and not being able to get it back. Even with Timeless if you run Shalore, you'll still have over 25 turns of cooldown before it's ready again.
If you want Forcefield, this build is actually a very good candidate for running it. It doesn't rely on psi, so no useful abilities are affected by draining psi, and because the MiE buff is linear while the Forcefield drain is percentile, not pumping Will means you have a disproprtionately large regen bonus. If you have Swift Hands, consider donning any +Mindpower gear you ahve right before using this to get the most out of it.

Resonant Focus 0+/5
This is only useful with gems. The stats it affects with Beyond The Flesh are not compatible with staves. Worth using if you go for Legacy of the Naloren or similar, but if you are using staves, Resonant Focus is useless. The stat boost from gems, though, may be worth it if you have spare points. This will let your Reshape become much more powerful, giving you better equipment, and allow for a more powerful Forcefield/MiE combo. However, this should be the last place generic points go if you decide to put them here.

Relies on Magic and Paradox, the first of which we have so no shenanigans needed to unlock this, and the second we don't use, so it won't crimp any existing abilities.

Energy Decomposition 1+/5
Up to 30% resistance against all except physical and mind. Scales with talent level and spellpower, so only add extra points if you have spare generics or need the resistance against elemental damage and have horrid spellpower. Perhaps you didn't find a short staff, or you're using a T2 short staff on High Peak.

Entropic Field 0+/5
Slows projectiles and grants physical resistance. Same kind of scaling as Energy Decomposition, so points only if you really need +phys resist or have horrible spellpower as well as having spare points. Since the bigger part of this ability is slowing projectiles and this class is going to be up close, potentially not worth any points.

Energy Absorption and Redux 0/5
Both are heavily Chronomancy related skills, neither are going to serve you much good. Redux could only recast Energy Absorption, and while putting enemies on CD is great, you won't be looking at more than 3 skills (and unlike a stun they will start cooling down immediately from a CD of 3 at the most) and Redux makes EA cost an extra turn. Waste of points.

'Nough said.

Chant of Fortitude 1/5 or 5/5
Physical Save, Spell Save, and Max Life. The saves always help, but because Adventurers don't have Sun Paladins huge HP pools, the percentile max life isn't as helpful. Might be worth taking if you chose a very high HP race like Ghoul, but this build works best for the low HP Cornacs. 5/5 isn't a bad choice, and if you have to choose between 5/5 Fortitude and 3/5 Resistance, weigh your options carefully.

Chant of Fortress 0/5 or 1/5
Works on enemies 3+ spaces away. This is a melee build. 0/5 if you went Fortitude, 1/5 if you want a later Chant, and never any more.

Chant of Resistance 0/5 or 5/5
Grants allresist. If you have more trouble with direct damage than statuses, this should be 5/5 over Fortitude, since the allresist is worth more than Fortitude's max life. If you're good with damage, stick with Fortitude and 0/5 this. It might be worth 5/5 this and Fortitude to switch between as needed depending on how good your saves are, but only if you have a lot of spare generic points from lucky escorts.

Chant of Light 0/5
Bonus light and fire damage, bonus light radius, and costs less than the other sustains. Your main damage is physical, by the time you can get this chant light radius should be long since covered, and you don't care about positive energy. Not usually worth it on the actual Sun Paladin, why on Earth would it be good here?

I'm not crying. I'm offering a sacrifice to DarkGod in hopes he'll show favor to me.

It hasn't worked yet.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:26 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 742
All good thoughts. You're right that there's quite a bit of wiggle room in the generics. The skill levels in the OP are usually the minimum I'd recommend, with the assumption that you'll increase several X+/5 talents that you find useful. Unlocking an additional category is looking much more viable than I initially thought though.

I think I'm going to try rerolling with Psionic/FEM to see how I like it. It almost sounds like Stone Alchemy with less required point investment and trading the economic boost for additional stat boosts. And of course the first talent is just useful in general.

The idea of using Healing Nexus from Wild-Gift/Harmony with Bathe in Light is actually quite clever. The only issue I see is that we don't have any tools for reducing equilibrium.

Chronomancy/Energy looks like a strong option too. Definitely worth considering.

I don't think I'd spend a cat point to unlock Celestial/Chants, but it's definitely worth getting Chant of Fortitude from an escort. If you're using Succor it may actually be worth getting multiple levels from escorts to save yourself the cat point and still get a leveled-up chant. The downside to Chants is that the extra sustain will be shrinking your available positive energy considerably since we're already running so many. We don't need much positive energy for talent usage, but with Chant of Fortitude on top of all your other sustains you might have less than 100 unreserved positive energy at endgame.

Last edited by Effigy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:17 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:13 pm
Posts: 193
Effigy wrote:
Beyond the Flesh
Another freebie. You should sustain this at all times to get the full benefits from your TK slot.

Channel Staff: 1/5
Just for the prerequisite. This can be a strong skill in the right build, but for us it's just not very useful. The damage is abysmal in our build, so you probably won't even be using this. Unlike Wave of Power, it doesn't count as a "melee attack" for triggering on-hit effects.

Note that if you're wielding a staff in the TK slot, you can get more damage out of Channel Staff by leaving Beyond the Flesh on auto-use when enemies are adjacent (rather than "when available"), since your Magic stat will always be higher than your Willpower. And there's no downside to this, since Beyond the Flesh is instant use with no cooldown. Just remember to deactivate it when the fight is over to really get the "full benefits".

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:02 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:37 pm
Posts: 267
Effigy wrote:
Finer Energy Manipulation does seem like a decent option, although you would have to sacrifice an inscription slot for it (like Spell/Temporal). I don't think it would really replace Cunning/Shadow Magic since the latter is mainly for mobility and FEM is more of an defensive category. The other issue is that you'd need generic points for FEM whereas Temporal and Shadow Magic use class points, so it would require some number crunching to figure out how many generics you have to work with.

I have to say that I'm not entirely happy with Shadow Magic in this build since I'm only really using it for the last talent, Shadowstep. That being said, Shadowstep is really awesome and it's hard to find another category that can replace it efficiently. You can get by without Shadowstep if you want something else, but I think you'll miss it.

Yes I had this same problem as I evolved the Meteoric build. Shadow Magic is just sooooo tempting to put in. It is one of the major reason I spent a section in the guide to urge people to resist temptation on adventurer builds. Its really quite hard actually.

Anyway I came to a similar conclusion, its great and you would love to have it. But its not really necessary and maybe not worth it. Seems to fit well with the extra SP from cunning. Shadowstep is awesome.

For me what really clinched it is that a) the extra SP from cunning actually turns out rather small due to step downs etc. b) if you really emphasize movement infusions you just don't need shadowstep, especially with conveyance.

I would encourage you to drop shadow magic. This is a cool build, my biggest regret with the Meteoric build is that it cheeses Unstoppable for defense.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 742
Thanks for the input. I think I'll update the guide to mark Cunning/Shadow Magic as an optional category like Spell/Temporal. I think it's worth considering, but it's definitely optional and more of a convenience than a life-saver. I'll also add Psionic/FEM as an optional category too once I've tried it out.

EDIT: I updated the OP with some optional categories as well as some race and prodigy suggestions. I'm starting a Shalore version of the build on Nightmare now to see how it plays out. Since I moved Shadow Magic to the optional slot, Shalore may now be my recommended race over Cornac.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:42 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:03 pm
Posts: 892
Effigy wrote:
The idea of using Healing Nexus from Wild-Gift/Harmony with Bathe in Light is actually quite clever. The only issue I see is that we don't have any tools for reducing equilibrium.


I don't think I'd spend a cat point to unlock Celestial/Chants, but it's definitely worth getting Chant of Fortitude from an escort. If you're using Succor it may actually be worth getting multiple levels from escorts to save yourself the cat point and still get a leveled-up chant. The downside to Chants is that the extra sustain will be shrinking your available positive energy considerably since we're already running so many. We don't need much positive energy for talent usage, but with Chant of Fortitude on top of all your other sustains you might have less than 100 unreserved positive energy at endgame.

If you get an equilbrium using skill from an escort or the Heart, you should have it be restored to minimum while resting, specifically to avoid making things like Healing Nexus useless for non-equi characters. Plus Healing Nexus itself restores equilibrium when it works.

As for Chants, look at what you actually need positive energy for. Wave of Power and Shield of Light are the only skills that actually consume it, and Shield of Light only needs 2 at any time. With the Light tree and Brandish to restore positive energy, even with a low ceiling they're still useful. I personally would much prefer a chant, even if it costs me the ability to consistently use Wave of Power, but I guess that's a matter of personal taste.

I'm not crying. I'm offering a sacrifice to DarkGod in hopes he'll show favor to me.

It hasn't worked yet.

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