ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:18 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 829
I'm not the first person to make a build around this concept, but I didn't see a guide for it so here we are. Here are the basics:
1. Steamsaws count as both a weapon and a shield, and using 2 of them counts as dual-wielding.
2. Many of Demonologist's talents require a shield, but they work with steamsaws due to point #1. Notably, steamsaws accept mainhand demon seeds.
3. Using steamsaws allows us to use Tempest of Metal, which adds a bonus AoE attack each turn.
4. By taking a Mindslayer category, we get an extra melee attack each turn and, with the dual steamsaws, allows us to use 3 mainhand demon seeds.
5. We can use the juicy defensive talents from both Sawbutcher and Demonologist, plus dual-wielding talents like Flurry.

Put it all together and you get a very sturdy melee build that can generate a huge number of procs. Once you get all of your core talents online, the build absolutely shreds while being nearly unkillable.

I included Technique/Bloodthirst because Unstoppable helps a lot in the rare situations where you might die, and Bloodbath provides good stamina recovery. Since we're already using a steam generator for the steamsaws, we can grab Steamtech/Thoughts of Iron for a bunch of all-resist, an instant mental cleanse, and a bonus medical injector. Demon seeds provide excellent vim recovery, so we can also benefit greatly from Corruption/Demonic Strength.

This is my Insane/RL winner for the Embers of Rage campaign. Notice that I have nearly all resists capped, over 200 armor, most immunities capped, and significant damage bonuses. My crit chance is not very good, but my gear is below-average for an endgame Insane character. When you factor in talents, I'm immune to one-shot deaths, have huge amounts of damage mitigation, heal from all damage dealt, heal from Osmosis Shield, have over 300 negative life, and can become temporarily invulnerable. I have several movement abilities, so I didn't even feel the need for a Movement infusion. Three medical injectors, Fiery Cleansing from Fire Imp (body) seed, Pride of the Orcs, Realign, Psionic Mirror, and physical debuff removal from Osmosis Shield means status effects are rarely a problem. The build generates so many AoE/multi-projectile procs that I can walk into a room and instantly delete most of the enemies.

With a standard bump attack we do (2(saws) + 1(BtF) + 1(ToM))*1.6(Flex) = 6.4 average hits. If there are multiple adjacent enemies, Tempest of Metal will hit multiple times, with additional chances for Flexible Combat procs. With Flurry, we do (6(saws) + 1(BtF) + 1(ToM))*1.6(Flex) = 12.8 average hits, with possible additional hits from ToM and Flex as previously mentioned.


Build Overview
Race
I recommend Orc, mainly for Pride of the Orcs, although their talents/stats are pretty solid overall. Yeti would be my second pick. The build is too tight on generic points to really take advantage of Whitehoof racials.

Stats
Magic > Cunning > Willpower/Strength

Prodigies
Flexible Combat
Arcane Might or Pain Enhancement System or Cauterize

Class
Steamtech/Butchery: 5/1/1+/0
Steamtech/Battlefield Management: 1+/5/1/5
Corruption/Demonic Pact: 5/5/1/5
Technique/Dual Techniques: 2+/1+/0+/0+
Corruption/Doom Shield: 3/5/0/0
Technique/Bloodthirst: 1/1+/1+/5
Steamtech/Thoughts of Iron: 5/1/1/1+

Generic
Race/Orc: 1/1/1/2+
Techniques/Combat Training: 5/5/0/0+/0/0
Psionic/Finer Energy Manipulations: 1+/1/1/5
Corruption/Demonic Strength: 1/2+/4/5
Steamtech/Physics: 1+/2+/1+/0
Steamtech/Chemistry: 3+/3+/1+/0

The numbers above are the essential talent levels; there will be a handful of leftover points to distribute as you like. Look at my character sheet if you want to see the exact point spread I used.

You may want a couple points in Combat Accuracy, but I didn't feel the need after getting Head Lamp and 5/5 Resonant Focus.

If you take the PES prodigy, you'll want to max Strength. Otherwise, I think you get more overall damage/utility from maxing Willpower since only 40% of Strength is gained as spellpower from Hardened Core, and after stepdowns it's not likely to give that much of a damage bonus.

Category Unlocks
Level 1:
Psionic/Finer Energy Manipulations
Steamtech/Butchery
Corruption/Demonic Pact
Technique/Dual Techniques
Steamtech/Battlefield Management
Corruption/Demonic Strength
Tinkers
+1 inscription slot
Level 10:
Corruption/Doom Shield
Level 20:
Technique/Bloodthirst
Level 36:
Steamtech/Thoughts of Iron

Yeti Tissue Rewards
Heightened Senses
Chant of Fortitude
Track
Staff Mastery (or whatever you want)

Age of Ascendancy
This guide is geared toward the EoR campaign, but you can certainly play the build in the AoA campaign. Unlocks will be the same, since you need to spend a category point to unlock tinkers, but you get an extra cat point from the wyrm bile. I would unlock Doom Shield at level 10, tinkers at level 20, Bloodthirst at 36, and Thoughts of Iron after wyrm bile. If you want a guaranteed tinker escort, I recommend the Select First Escort addon. For AoA races, I would avoid the ones that want heavy investment for racial talents since the build is somewhat tight on generics. Cornac, Thalore, and Halfling seem like good options.


Demon Seeds & Tinkers
Weapons: 2x Fire Imp (Flame Bolts), 1x Wretch Titan (Corrosive Cone)
Head: Head Lamp, Air Recycler (as needed)
Body: Fire Imp (Fiery Cleansing)
Cloak: Grounding Strap
Hands: Iron Grip
Belt: Alchemist's Helper
Feet: Kinetic Stabilizer, Rocket Boots
Lite: Black Light Emitter
Rings: 1x vim when hitting in melee, 1x vim when hit

It's important to focus on Fire Imp and Wretch Titan for mainhand seeds, since these give a passive talent that can proc spells. Most of the other seeds/tinkers have a weapon-specific effect that won't scale nearly as well with hits from multiple weapons. However, Wretch Titan will destroy walls when it procs, so you could swap it out if that bothers you. Talents granted by demon seeds stack up to talent level 7 if you have multiple of the same seed, which is why I use 2x Fire Imp.

If using a staff in the telekinetic slot (which is usually what you want), you could consider dropping a Fire Imp for Mana Coil. This would require additional generic investment though. Dolleg (Blood Grasp) is a good swap for radiant/luminous horrors and other things that are resistant to fire damage.


Inscriptions
Early game, I would recommend the standard Regeneration/Shielding, Wild(physical/mental), Movement, plus a Steam Generator. In the mid-to-late game, you'll want to use 2x Medical Injector, Steam Generator, and another of your choice. The standard options of Wild(physical/mental), Movement, or Heroism are fine; you could also consider a Teleport or Controlled Phase Door since the infusion functionality is already handled by salves.


Gearing
Until the late game, your steamsaw damage is nearly irrelevant since most of your damage will come from procs; just use whichever steamsaws give the best procs and when-wielded stats, including block rating. You will want to use a staff in the TK slot for most if not all of the game, since it provides nice damage bonuses, spellpower, and spell crit chance. A noteworthy option is using the artifact steamsaw Razorlock in the TK slot, since it hits multiple times and (unlike Sawrd) doesn't have a proc penalty. I didn't end up finding it, but if you do I'd recommend trying it.

If you find the Black Crown, I recommend using it because it increases the talent levels granted by your demon seeds, even beyond the normal level 7 cap. A really good randart helm might be better though.

In general, you want to stack armor, immunities, fire/acid damage, resists, spellpower, crit chance/multiplier (both melee and spell), life, healing modifier, and on-hit/crit (melee and spell) effects. Once you get Flexible Combat, be sure to look for good procs on gloves.


Gameplay
One nice thing about this build is that it's pretty effective from level 1 all the way to level 50. Your melee damage in the early game will not be that great due to Beyond the Flesh's damage/accuracy penalties, but once you get a couple Fire Imp (mainhand) seeds, you'll still be killing most things with ease. I recommend floating a couple points in Combat Accuracy until you get at least 3/5 Resonant Focus. Leave the Demon Seed talent at 1/5 until you get 3x Fire Imp (mainhand) and a decent Fire Imp (body). You will want to get a good Steam Generator ASAP so you can sustain both Grinding Shield and Tempest of Metal. Once you have some levels in your essential talents, I would rush 5/5 Bind Demon and then 5/5 Suffuse Life. You can leave Steamsaw Mastery at 1/5 for a long time while you fill out the other talents.

After you get some levels in the core talents and fill out your demon seeds, the progression is pretty straightforward. There aren't a lot of buttons to press in this build: I often open combat with Demon Seed (to make sure I can land the seed status before the mob dies), then Dual Strike to stun, then Flurry if they're still alive. Use the Iron Grip talent from the glove tinker to pin things as needed. I recommend saving Unstoppable for when your health is low, unless you know you're about to fight something that could kill you in 1-2 turns of burst damage. Once you have some decent demon seeds on your rings, you can probably just put Osmosis Shield on auto-use when enemy adjacent. Beyond that, just use your movement and healing/cleansing skills as needed.


Last edited by Effigy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:46 am, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:33 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 268
Really like what you've done with the concept. Thoughts of Iron is a particularly good catch, given how good the last 2 skills are as 1 point wonders.

I had started a similar build using Sun, Light, and Guardian to power Shield of Light, as well as Flux for even more tankiness and the giggles of throwing Attenuates and Anomalies around, but I never followed through on it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:09 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 829
Thanks! I went through several iterations of this build because, like you noticed, there are a lot of categories that seem to combo well with it. The hard thing is making it all work together, using the limited amount of categories and class/generic points. A lot of the spell categories are tempting, but the more time you spend casting the less time you spend bumping for procs. Then there's the question of resource management for some talents.

With the current iteration of the build, most of the defenses are passive or available as-needed, so you're able to focus more on positioning and attacking. Vim is self-sustaining as long as you're not dealing with Mana Clash, and stamina is pretty much self-sustaining as well. Steam isn't an issue as long as you can find a good enough generator to support your sustains (6+ per turn for early game, 10+ per turn for late game). Overall, it provides very smooth gameplay.

If you want to tackle Madness, you might need to squeeze more defense like Reality Smearing and such into the build. For Insane, though, it's plenty tanky and has more than adequate damage. If you get past the early game and have decent seeds/items, you basically won't die unless you get very unlucky or fail to use your tools (Unstoppable, Fiery Cleansing, etc.) properly. I do recommend some kind of teleport for getting out of bad situations though, like when your sustains get stripped, Unstoppable is down, you have Burning Hex and everything is on cooldown, and so on. I used a torque of psychoportation, but Teleport rune is a strong and IMO underappreciated option.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:30 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:14 pm
Posts: 62
IMO Battle Tactics is incredible on this build since every single one of your hits is guaranteed to kill 72 trash mobs with all the seed procs and give you crazy movement speed. It's probably not squeezable on the build in Embers but it's worth going Cornac for it in AoA.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:36 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 829
Battle Tactics sounds good. I think the main issue is that it scales with Dex, which is not a strong stat when using Beyond the Flesh. PES + some Dex from items might give enough scaling to make it good without actually putting hard points in Dex. The other thing is you probably want to invest 10 points in Battle Tactics, which might be a stretch but is probably doable with Cornac.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:16 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 268
There’s always a lot to squeeze into Adventurers, and just when I’m done picking skill trees I look at how many points I’d need to reach the desired potential, sigh, and start over. (I think that’s how I failed out of my other version of this, too many things to squeeze in.*)

That said - Flux is good at 1/1/1/1.

Induce Anomaly is instant speed and targetable once you learn Twist Fate. Reality Smearing doesn’t care about level for effectiveness, just for Paradox Management, which is mostly a non-issue for you. Attenuate is either a distance poke, a corner-snipe, or something to throw down at range 2 (put the center between you and the opponent, it’s a DoT for them and a HoT for you), just don’t forget and use it if you’ve been in combat awhile and built up a huge load of Paradox from Reality Smearing if Induce Anomaly is on CD.

*Edit: Wait... your Thoughts of Iron catch has inspired me to try again, this time without trying to shoehorn in Sun Paladin stuff. Posting new build elsewhere!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:05 pm 
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Wayist

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:04 pm
Posts: 15
Hi Effigy!

Thank you for the guide. I'm almost at the final boos (EoR). How hard was to beat him? He always killed me in the past, but I hope that I can finally defeat him with your build. Any advice for the fight? How can I prevent the boss' healing? What items would you use for the final fight?

https://te4.org/characters/217191/tome/ ... 79837ec971

I will be eternally grateful for your help. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:09 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 268
Note also that against melee enemies you can drive around people with Saw Wheels and Beyond the Flesh will swing at them as you go by. Makes early game and fighting OP melee enemies much easier.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:23 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:46 am
Posts: 80
Damn, now Darkgod will nerf this D;
So it's no harm to spit out how to do this "properly" :D

Some advice to make it even more broken:
1. As you mentioned, shield skill work with saw, so Shield of Light(Celestial / Guardian) will make one more attack per turn, and it provides healing and shield.
2. Temporal Combat is great. since you attack so many times, Weapon Folding will proc like crazy, give you effactive global speed, debuff and phyical resist pen and decent damage (you can even tune paradox to 1000 for more damage).
3. same apply for Lethality, since your damage comes from all sorts, resist pen is a pain. But with Expose Weakness, you will probably get 100% all resist pen from this single talent, making the final fight easy.
4. Not necessary, but to make this multi-attack thing even crazier, taking Reaving Combat to add two more, that 25% silence proc seed is count as a spell (and a pretty helpful one for any hard fight) so will trigger that 2 more attacks, making your normal attack increase to 8 per turn! And how about Flexible Combat to add 60% more... (test needed, cuz it seems to me the trigger rate is less, but its hard to tell from a wall of text!), and switch Dual Techniques with Blade Thread if you go for this route.

Edit: your build is decent enough, so those are just some alternative if you interested :D
Here's the winner https://te4.org/characters/215967/tome/ ... 4a55ae100c


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:20 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 268
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that balancing Adventurer combos isn't really a concern of DarkGod's, since the bright yellow text when you choose the class says "It is by no means balanced."

- Where are you getting positive energy from to power your Paladin stuff? I see only spenders, not builders.
- Last I heard Call of the Ooze's channel could trigger Arcane Combat, seems a shame not to fit that in somewhere if you're already going Ooze.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:42 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:46 am
Posts: 80
Snarvid wrote:
- Where are you getting positive energy from to power your Paladin stuff? I see only spenders, not builders.


Paladin escort. Without it, you still benefit from extra attack and shield (which is a sustain), so, doesn't matter.

Snarvid wrote:
- Last I heard Call of the Ooze's channel could trigger Arcane Combat, seems a shame not to fit that in somewhere if you're already going Ooze.


https://te4.org/characters/215967/tome/ ... cf65299edc, here's the Arcane Combat build. My worry for arcane combat build is you could run out of mana in big fights, I didn't even max Arcane Combat or take Flexible Combat. Seed build hits hard enough for insane anyway. Plus, farstrike seed (200%dmg, range 8, cd 2) is a way better alternative than call of the ooze


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:21 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 268
Does one of the Chants regen positive energy, or do you mean Anorithil?

Retribution works, but Shield of Light's costs positive energy each time it triggers.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:17 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 829
@szekrenyer
I see that you already won (congrats!), but I'll answer anyway. I usually find the EoR boss quite difficult, but in this case it wasn't bad. It takes a while to kill, but the build has good staying power so I just beat it in a battle of attrition. As far as the boss healing, I believe that it regains full life part way through the battle; I'm not sure if there's a way to prevent this.

@fateriddle
There are some ways to gain additional attacks per turn, but I feel that after a certain point you're better off increasing your defenses instead of going for more damage. It's a build where you can definitely have fun trying out different synergies though.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:10 am 
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Wayist

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:04 pm
Posts: 15
I'm playing the main campaign with this character (race: yeek). I have a few questions:

1) If I don't find a tinker escort (or can't keep him alive), is it worth to unlock Physics or Chemistry with a category point?
2) If not, is it worth to unlock Thoughts of Iron if I can't use the Mind Injection talent?
3) If not, what should I unlock instead of Thoughts of Iron?

Thank you for your help!

(I finished Dreadfell. :))


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:25 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 829
Hmm. If you don't get the tinker escort, it might just be worth skipping Thoughts of Iron and take something like Technique/Battle Tactics or Chronomancy/Flux instead. I don't think I'd spend cat points on the individual tinker categories.


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