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
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.Attributes
The main stats are Magic
. 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 TalentsTechnique/Magical CombatArcane 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:
This adds a respectable bonus to spellpower, but we don't really have spare points to increase this further. One-point wonder.Arcane Feed:
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:
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.Spell/StoneEarthen Missiles:
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:
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:
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.Psionic/Absorption
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.Celestial/GuardianShield of Light:
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:
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:
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:
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.Celestial/CombatWeapon of Light:
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:
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:
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 OffenseShield Pummel:
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:
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:
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
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:
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:
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
Just for the prerequisite. This skill is only worth casting if you max it out, and we're definitely not doing that.Time Shield:
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:
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:
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:
This build is design to kill most things very quickly, so damage-over-time skills are not worth the investment.Chronomancy/Flux
This probably isn't useful to our build. Just 1/5 for the prerequisite.Reality Smearing:
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:
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
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:
Like Arcane Cunning, this is a one-point wonder.Shadow Feed:
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:
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 TalentsSpell/ConveyancePhase Door:
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:
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.Celestial/LightHealing Light:
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:
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:
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:
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.Spell/AegisArcane Reconstruction:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Our points are better used elsewhere.Wild-Gift/Harmony
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:
This skill has a lot of potential, but we don't have the points to spare.Psionic/Finer Energy Manipulations
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:
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:
This talent is no use to us since it doesn't affect staves.Chronomancy/Energy
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:
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:
I don't see any major advantage to this in the build, but it's an option.Entropy:
I'm not sure if this is worth the point investment, but it could be quite useful in some situations.Corruption/Demonic Strength
NOTE: This requires the Ashes of Urh'Rok expansion.Dismember:
This is another way to get physical crit chance if you need it. The on-crit debuffs are a nice bonus.Surge of Power:
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:
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:
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.Prodigies
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.Cauterize
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.Windblade
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 GuideUnlocking 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:
6. Inscription slot or
optional categoryLevel 10:
8. Technique/Magical Combat
X. Technique/Combat Training (buy)Level 20:
X. Spell/Staff Combat (buy)Level 36:
10. Technique/Shield OffenseWyrm Bile:
11. Inscription slot or
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 StrategyEarly 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.Mid-Game
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!