ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:16 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 362
Effigy’s Steamdemon build, which combines steamsaws and Demons Seeds inspired me to return to an old concept of mine. Rather than threadjack there, I thought I would post it here.

This is a work in process - I'm updating this as I go along with various builds. (Note that this means that responses from earlier in the thread's life may refer to things not currently found... sorry folks.) It's morphed a lot over time, until now it's barely recognizable as a dual-bow archer who hides behind Temporal Hounds, firing arrows that create Warden duplicates using Warden's Call to trigger Demon Seed and Arcane Combat Earthen Missiles, which in turn fire Lightning Bolts from a Mana Coiled, TK wielded staff. My hope is it'll lead me to my first Madness win once it's ready, but I've had that hope before... (e: Too much fun stuff in this build to play Madness, Hounds don’t hold up. Will try Insanity RL, but should be fairly easy given Cathbald’s Hounds playthrough.). Regardless, I think it’s great fun to play, fluidly switching back and forth between missiles and melee while everything explodes.

Credit for ideas: I can't remember who told me about the Warden's Call proccing Arcane Combat, from there it wasn't much of a leap to add in steamsaws and Demon Seeds and to use the Wardens as a workaround for mana limitations. Demonic Strength lifted from the Arcanewarden guide.

How does it work?

If you’re experienced at Tome you can skip over this part, but because it’s not intuitively obvious what’s happening mechanically, here are a list of the core combo pieces with explanations of why it works:

- Steamsaws count as both weapons and shields for talent purposes. Harvesting Demon Seeds requires a shield or steamsaw, but the Demon Seeds slotted in Steamsaws count as weapon seeds. This allows you to slot a weapon seed in each hand, plus a third through the Mindslayer-based Telekinetic Grasp and Beyond the Flesh skills. (The Mindslayer skills also let you dual-wield bows.)
- Many demon seeds fire off offensive spells when you hit someone in melee. Flame Imp, your guaranteed first drop, fires bolts of flame at up to 3-5 enemies within sight, but if a closer enemy is blocking LOS to those enemies it will get hit by all of them. Rather than multiple seeds giving separate instances of lower level skills, they combine additively - so if you have 3 Flame Imp seeds each giving you +2 Flame Bolts, you end up with a single level 6 Flame Bolt skill that has a chance to trigger on every attack. (It seems like all the skill-based Demon Seeds max out at level 7, btw)
- Bow and Blade Threading talents let you switch as a free action between dual weapons and bows when using an attack skill. This helps you switch over into melee mode when enemies get close without missing a turn, and also lets you shut off Osmotic Shield as a free action by tapping Shoot and then cancelling the shot. While the main focus of the build is firing arrows, if your Hounds go down and you need more defense you have significantly better options in melee (Osmotic Shield, Blade Warding, on melee-hit Vim generation to power both Osmotic Shield and Abyssal Shield from your demon rings).
- Early on in the game, you’ll use whatever your best weapon is as your TK wielded weapon. When you unlock Tinkers, you’ll switch to a staff in your TK slot and equip it with a Mana Coil, a Tinker that has a chance to fire a Lightning spell at an enemy each time they are hit by one of your spells. At the same level you’ll equip your bows with tinkers to increase their damage
- Arcane Combat has a chance to trigger an spell attack (in this case, Earthen Missiles, which at max level hits 3 separate times) any time you hit in melee. This does not take an action, but does cost mana.
- Warden’s Call has a chance, up to once/round, to create a temporary melee attacking copy of you when you shoot someone with an arrow, or create a bow shooting version of you when you hit someone in melee. This can be with attack/bump attack/shoot, or with other offensive skills (such as Bow or Blade Threading skills). This offers excellent damage and allows you to use melee only procs from range, but the core purpose of its inclusion is as a workaround for the mana costs of Arcane Combat (which your copy pays rather than you).
- Flexible Combat gives you a chance to get an extra unarmed melee hit whenever you hit someone in melee, and unlocks offensive glove abilities, many of which count as spells.
- All damage you and your copies do has a chance to trigger Seal Fate once per round when it’s up, increasing the duration of negative statuses on the enemy. It’s a little hard to test, given how many procs it throws around, but you and your warden should count as separate individuals, each with a separate number of max procs per round.
- This build also runs Temporal Hounds, which are quite strong. In conjunction with Bow Threading, you can shoot arrows through your allies without harming them or stopping the arrow, while being protected from enemies that require line of effect to hit you. Note that you probably want to teleport your hounds to a space in front of your enemy, rather than clicking directly on them, both to both incoming damage and to leave room behind them for your called Wardens.

Other benefits of the build

- Spellpower is boosted by Hardened Core, Arcane Cunning, Demonic Blood, PES, and your mind-carried staff, making procs base power quite strong. (Don’t forget to switch out your staff’s bonus type to fire early game or physical late game. Note that you can’t use the Command Staff skill while TK wielding a staff, so be sure to take some downtime in a safe place to swap it in and Command it to whatever damage type you’re doing most
- Solid defenses, especially in melee. Osmosis Shield, Hardened Core, Reshape Weapon/Armor, Blade Warding, Thick Skin, massive armor, dual steamsaws (which have + armor and defense), Abyssal Shield, Webs of Fate.
- Strong and constant heals. Passive heals from Suffuse Life, active heals from Realign & Surge of Power
- Excellent status clears from Realign & Fiery Cleansing.
- If you're trapped and can't get away, you have solid melee options with Warp Blade, Blade Shear, Thread Walk, Thread the Needle, and Demon Seed. (Note: Blink Blade can be risky unless you’ve quick-handed out your procs and turned off Arcane Combat, it is possible to port right into your own procs and asplode.)
- Safety and convenience of archery - avoid melee attacks, hide behind hounds (be sure to teleport them between you and your opponent rather than placing them on top of the opponent, you really want that line of effect blocked), can reserve mobility options for escape rather than gap closing. Also, I tend to blow myself up semi-frequently with Flame Bolts and Earthen Missiles when using them in melee - sometimes the bolt will start on me but not hit its target in the same turn and I won’t pay attention, step forward, and die. Distance is much, much safer given my short attention span.

Build

Race: Cornac

Starting skills
FEM
Demonic Strength
Blade Threading
Bow Threading
Doom Shield
Demonic Pact
Magical Combat
1 saved category point, used at level 10

10: Hounds, Threaded Combat
20: Stone
36: Tinkers
Wyrm: Fateweaving

Stats: Try not to invest at all in Dex - once you max out Resonant Focus you can mind-wield a gem in order to equip bows and arrows, and you won’t actually be using Dex as a combat stat due to Beyond the Flesh. Otherwise, requirements for talents, then Magic>Str>Cunning (till 100% crit or max)>Will. (You want to max out Magic even though you’ll hit deep Spellpower diminishing returns in order to get the maximum benefit from your Hounds and Arcane Destruction, which scale off Magic rather than spellpower.)

Prodigies: PES, Flexible Combat (get training dummies asap at 30, so you can spike them for a ton of damage to unlock PES)

Inscriptions: Movement, Steam Generator, Regeneration. When you unlock Rocket Boots, can ditch Movement for Heroism.

Stone 5/1/1/5
Blade Threading 1/1/1/2
Bow Threading 1/1/1/2
Threaded Combat 1/1/1/3
Magical Combat 5/1/1/5
Demonic Pact 5/5/1/5
Doom Shield 3/5
Temporal Hound 5/5/1

Armor 5 Thick Skin 5 Accuracy 2
Demonic Strength 1/5/5/5
FEM 3/1/1/5
Physics 2/2/2
Chemistry 1/3/1
Fateweaving 1/1/1/5

I’ve played a lot of builds where there are too many priorities too early and you want everything at once. This build has a relatively easy skilling early game - you don’t need Magical Combat until 20, so you mostly just build really basic TW skills and your Hounds and then start building your Demonologist skills.

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My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer


Last edited by Snarvid on Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:38 pm, edited 60 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:36 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 872
This looks like it could be good. I recommend getting a staff (or other item) with +mana on spell crit, which combos very well with Stone Missiles since it can trigger up to 3 times per cast. Since it will also trigger from the Fire Imp (mainhand), that should cover all your mana needs once you get a good spell crit chance.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:10 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 362
Am currently trying a 3 inscription variant that rolls in Energy, per tabs. Found the basic version had to delay generics too long while waiting to build cunning.

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My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:18 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 872
Stat requirements usually aren't an issue with Beyond the Flesh. Just TK wield a gem before opening the levelup screen.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:51 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 362
Wilco. Haven’t tried yet so can’t affirm whether it’s enough. (edit - tried it, need to invest enough to get resonant focus before low-tier gems stats make difference)

Straight up getting murdered in Madness so far. Will try Spacetime Weaving instead of Energy.

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My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer


Last edited by Snarvid on Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:32 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 362
Dammit, I'm the most lethal thing in Madness. I keep stepping into my own Flame Bolts and dying. I might have to do this on Exploration mode.

Is there a log specifically of all the deaths a character has? I think they've all been me.

---
Blink Chronodaemon's Earthen Missiles hits Blink Chronodaemon for 48 physical, 8 physical (56 total damage).
Reality Smearing hits Blink Chronodaemon for (35 converted), (6 converted), (21 converted), (3 converted), (21 converted), (3 converted), (6 converted), (20 converted), (3 converted), (74 converted), (34 converted), (6 converted) (0 total damage).
Blink Chronodaemon hits Blink Chronodaemon for 7 healing, 1 healing, 4 healing, 4 healing, 1 healing, 4 healing, 15 healing, 7 healing, 1 healing (0 total damage) [45 healing].
Blink Chronodaemon's Earthen Missiles hits Blink Chronodaemon for 48 physical, 8 physical (56 total damage).
Blink Chronodaemon deactivates Rocket Boots.
Blink Chronodaemon converts damage to paradox!
Blink Chronodaemon's Flame Bolts hits Blink Chronodaemon for 75 fire damage.
Blink Chronodaemon's Flame Bolts hits Blink Chronodaemon for 75 fire damage.
Reality Smearing hits Blink Chronodaemon for (32 converted), (32 converted), (32 converted) (0 total damage).
Blink Chronodaemon hits Blink Chronodaemon for 7 healing, 7 healing, 7 healing (0 total damage) [20 healing].
Blink Chronodaemon's Flame Bolts hits Blink Chronodaemon for 75 fire damage.
Blink Chronodaemon the level 27 cornac adventurer was toasted to death by himself, providing a free meal to the wildlife on level 2 of Sandworm lair.
You have 3 life(s) left.

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My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer


Last edited by Snarvid on Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:44 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:43 pm
Posts: 142
Yes, you can see what you died to. Just hover over the death counter in the character vault.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:51 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 362
Alt +sun paladin -arcane blade version for Madness Adventure run. Much less fun, but can soak a blantant beating better from the beginning.

Bloodthirst is a particularly nice pickup here, as your steamsaws toss bleeds with every hit, and Bloody Butcher allows that to weaken enemy physical resist.

Starting 8
Combat (celestial) 2/2/5/5
Flux 1/1/1/1
Butchery 5/1/1
Battlefield Management 1/2
Demonic Pact 5/5/1/5
Doom Shield 3/5
Total: 50 class

FEM 3/1/1/5
Light 1/5/1/2
Armor 4 Thick Skin 5 Accuracy 3
Total: 31 generic

10: Guardian 5/1/3/3
Total: 62 class

20: Bloodthirst 2/1/5/5
Total: 75 class

36: Tinkers
Physics 2/2/2
Chemistry 1/3/1
Total: 40 generic

Wyrm: Demonic Strength 1/4/5/5
Total: 55 generic

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My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:03 pm 
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Wayist

Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 6:30 pm
Posts: 29
A small tip for avoiding self-suicide:

Every time you kill all foes on the screen, hit "Z" to auto-explore. If you cannot auto-explore, it usually means that your fireball is flying on the way. So you can block or do something else to protect yourself.

Make sure you stop the auto-explore so you won't get in touch tens of unique monsters.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:34 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 362
I do appreciate the thought, but it wasn’t as often a post-combat thing (although, yes, sometimes that too :) ) as something that was happening back when the build was relying on Saw Wheels as a closer. It would come off of cooldown and the orky voice in the back of my head would be like “you’re dead now, sucka!,” I’d activate my wheels and then I charge forward into my own fireball cluster and BUM BUM BUUUUUM i’m dead. Less often I would find myself in a situation where I felt I had to move because of one incoming projectile/hostile environment on the space I was in but I didn’t have non-Flame-Bolt spaces to step into. The first of these, at least, doesn’t happen much in the current build because I’m happy to stay back and shoot (with Bow Threading’s super-sweet allied- & self-friendly arrows), and the second is somewhat mitigated thus far (fingers crossed) by packing a couple teleport talents. It seems like either I’m bonkers lucky or Blink Blade doesn’t screw me by putting my second jump into the path of my own fireball. I have not done extensive testing of the offensive uses of Thread Walk shots to see if I can get blown apart by projectiles from my Called Wardens or whether something in the code prevents it, preferring to use Thread Walk as an escape over a gap closer.

I tend to use “rest until everything is cooled down” over autoexplore post combat anyway, I dunno why but sometimes talents don’t fully cool down for me before autoexplore. Also not always off “rest until everything is cooled down” but at least then I can always hit it again (sometimes with a time-filler talent like track to make it go in faster increments). Noticed it most in other builds with Timeless, not sure why.

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My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 2:12 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:09 pm
Posts: 107
A few questions:

1) While wielding bows you'll never be offered the option to use Demon Seed, regardless of the presence or absence of Blade Threading talents. Also, as long as you have Bow Threading, you can switch freely to your melee set with a bump attack. You have Blade Threading for Blade Warding and the provided attacks, rather than the switching mechanic?

2) You've got no weapon masteries (on the original form of the build, rather than the one with Butchery), so your weapon damage is never significant. You maximize Resonant Focus for the accuracy and for stat prereqs?

(Incidentally, for Insane you can get the Bows + Hounds + Warden's Call + Magical Combat combo going quite smoothly without dipping into the Saws + Demons side of things. Dual bows with the Bow Threading talents does plenty of damage with a mastery (Temporal Guardian or Archery Training) and that'll easily carry you until you've got the rest of the combo up and running. If you're using Temporal Guardian then as a bonus your temporal clone's melee weapons do real damage in addition to their procs.)


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 4:07 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 362
1. I believe (may wrongly) that I need both in order for it to go in both directions (being able to jump into combat, murder some folks up close, then jump out and free switch back to bow is useful).

2. I am willing to believe that I'm missing mechanical knowledge of the game's systems (either at the time I first wrote this or at present given several changes to weapon damage), but maxed Arcane Destruction gives a notable, PES-scaling boost to Physical Power. Whether that counts as significant weapon damage or not would, I suppose, depend on your metric - it will, obviously, be missing the +50% multiplier of weapon mastery.

Part of the use of Steamsaws is a process of incremental evolution moving away from a Saw Wheels build, but I think it still works. This was a bit earlier in my knowledge of proc-based combat when I didn't realize Mana Coil was capped at once/round, but the goal was to do Corrosive Cone + Flame Bolts + Mana Coil. In any case, on steamsaws accuracy = crit and crit = Arcane Destruction + Corrosive Cone in addition to the usual benefits. Also, if you personally are in melee, Osmotic Shield is pretty great even with steamsaw's lower block cap.

I think Temporal Warden + Arcane Blade + Reaving Combat is plenty amazing, it's just not what I wanted to do here (and, I would imagine, was probably done to perfection elsewhere, while I think I was certainly one of the loudest people babbling about Demon Seeding steamsaws). We might see additionally polished versions of this once we have Krogs to play with.

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My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 12:34 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:09 pm
Posts: 107
Snarvid wrote:
1. I believe (may wrongly) that I need both [Blade and Bow Threading] in order for it to go in both directions

My saw-less build is doing without Blade Threading and as far as I can tell swapping both directions is instant, so long as I'm using a bump attack to switch to melee.

(The really fascinating case to me is Warden's Call triggering off an arrow when you're not dual-wielding -- I think what's happening is that the temporal clone makes a melee attack with your bow!)


Snarvid wrote:
maxed Arcane Destruction gives a notable, PES-scaling boost to Physical Power. Whether that counts as significant weapon damage or not would, I suppose, depend on your metric - it will, obviously, be missing the +50% multiplier of weapon mastery.

No, that's a good point -- in the long run going without a weapons mastery is pretty close to losing just 1/3 of your weapon damage, and 2/3 of "a lot" is still significant. :)


Snarvid wrote:
I think Temporal Warden + Arcane Blade + Reaving Combat is plenty amazing [...] and, I would imagine, was probably done to perfection elsewhere

I could easily believe that it's old news to people who play online. I only learn what other people are doing when they post it somewhere I read. :)


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 9:54 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 362
visage wrote:
Snarvid wrote:
1. I believe (may wrongly) that I need both [Blade and Bow Threading] in order for it to go in both directions

My saw-less build is doing without Blade Threading and as far as I can tell swapping both directions is instant, so long as I'm using a bump attack to switch to melee.
(The really fascinating case to me is Warden's Call triggering off an arrow when you're not dual-wielding -- I think what's happening is that the temporal clone makes a melee attack with your bow!)

Good to know. Will consider that that means… exploitable? Maybe squeeze in Intuitive Shots and if your clones get attacked they’ll arrow counterhit?
For the Reaving Combat combo, I believe Reaving Combat counts Blade Threading stuff as spells, in which case Blade Threading is probably still worth using because free smack upside, although I recall also someone saying that the blight-melee attack might not proc certain things (Flexible Combat, maybe)?

Other than that, there isn't room in the build to squeeze in the both trees of magic-based summons from the Writhing One, and Temporal Wardens are already arguably the best summoners in the game between hounds and arrow support from bow threading, so I might revisit a seedless/sawless version of the build once Cults comes out. Being able to drop Blade Threading from that build would be pretty useful, I'll give it a shot then.

Quote:
Snarvid wrote:
maxed Arcane Destruction gives a notable, PES-scaling boost to Physical Power. Whether that counts as significant weapon damage or not would, I suppose, depend on your metric - it will, obviously, be missing the +50% multiplier of weapon mastery.

No, that's a good point -- in the long run going without a weapons mastery is pretty close to losing just 1/3 of your weapon damage, and 2/3 of "a lot" is still significant. :)

I also generally don’t feel like I’m having trouble killing stuff, and in fact focusing on proc damage (which also benefits from Hardened Core) gives me pretty solid options for killing stuff that happens to be vaguely near my main target. More broadly, I would say that I'm rarely sad for building in additional durability when playing on insane, which has been pushing me towards Stone Wardens and Sawbutchers lately. But it does seem like a bit of a rut, sometimes.

Quote:
Snarvid wrote:
I think Temporal Warden + Arcane Blade + Reaving Combat is plenty amazing [...] and, I would imagine, was probably done to perfection elsewhere

I could easily believe that it's old news to people who play online. I only learn what other people are doing when they post it somewhere I read. :)


Oh, no worries. I frequently find out new stuff about the game despite having played it for years.

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My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 3:33 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:09 pm
Posts: 107
Snarvid wrote:
Maybe squeeze in Intuitive Shots and if your clones get attacked they’ll arrow counterhit?
The Warden's Call clones don't stick around long enough for that to be relevant, do they?

Snarvid wrote:
I recall also someone saying that the blight-melee attack might not proc certain things (Flexible Combat, maybe)?
Huh, that's news to me; perhaps it's time for another code-dive...

Snarvid wrote:
More broadly, I would say that I'm rarely sad for building in additional durability when playing on insane, which has been pushing me towards Stone Wardens and Sawbutchers lately. But it does seem like a bit of a rut, sometimes.
Yeah, the defensive baseline of Osmosis is awfully nice, but it does mean that the characters all play very similarly.


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