ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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 Post subject: The Oozy Punishot
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:36 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 385
This build hybridizes Psyshot with Oozemancer, which are both classes I’ve won Insane with on their own and have been thinking about squishing together for a while. Some of the discussion around Demon Seed Adventurer builds triggered the “procs + TK weapons = fun” idea, and I added the Mental Tyranny prodigy and the Punishments tree from Doomed, to make all sources of damage potentially trigger debilitating statuses and stacking mind resist debuffs. The resulting build ended up having tons of dirty tricks up its sleeve and is among the strongest classes I’ve ever played, from beginning to end - you transition seamlessly from talent-based damage in the early-to-mid game when your weapons are terrible into tinker-enhanced weapon attacks from mid-to-late when skill damage isn't as good, and from level 14 on you've got Inner Demons which is one of the game's best boss killers. You also develop a specialized tool (Acidfire) to destroy certain enemy types which can otherwise prove extremely resilient.

What’s more, if you were thinking “man, I miss those orc pyromancers in Vor Pride, I wish they could be painting my screen with fire all game” you are in luck! This build’s ideal loadout is triple Incendiary Grooves, which leave large, lingering fire effects on the ground every time they fire, and by stacking them three deep with a four round duration each time you fire it gets really, really squinty really fast. (Autotargeting is your friend.) Combined with Acidfire, Toxic Cannister, and Psionic Fog, you have nearly unparalleled ability to make the screen unreadable. (Sadly, I just couldn't work Wildfire into the build, as it's antimagic-based.)

My deathless Insane winner. Note that I grabbed Night Terror specifically because I had gotten both Sleep and Dream Walk from escorts, and I would not recommend it in general. I'll update this with another link if I ever play it through on Madness (although given my short attention span it'll probably be on Exploration mode, in a "score-attack" sense - I'm more interested in whether a build is strong enough to get through the impassable walls to progress that Madness can put up than whether I'm skilled enough to pilot it well).

As always, thanks to 64legos for an excellent Tinkers guide, for knowing just how much you need to spend in order to unlock the Tinker you want.

Finally, this build requires Tinkers. I run the Choose First Escort mod so I can do just that, I think it's a nice compromise between just enough control to make the build work without customizing every last element.

The Core Build

Starting talent selections: Psytech Gunnery, Psionic Fog, Ooze, Gestalt, Punishments, Action at a Distance, Finer Energy Manipulations, Mentalism
10: Nightmare
20: Tinkers
36: Eyal’s Fury (or Dread if you’ve already found and leveled-up the Spellhunt Remnants)
Wyrm: Dread or Eyal’s Fury, whichever you didn’t take at 36
Prodigies: Mental Tyranny, Superpower

Inscriptions: Steam, Movement, Regeneration early, drop Movement for Heroism when Heroism shows up and you have Rocket Boots. You need to avoid using runes so that you can start betraying Escorts to Zigur ASAP.

Talents (leaves 6 class points and 2 generics unspent for modest customizing.)

Psytech Gunnery: 5/1/1
Psionic Fog: 1/1
Ooze: 5/1/1/5
Gestalt: 2/1/2/3
Punishments: 1/1/1/5
Action at a Distance: 1/4
Nightmare: 2/5
Eyal’s Fury: 1/1/5/5
Dread: 5/1/1/1

Physics: 3/2/1
Chemistry: 1/3/4
Mentalism: 1/2/1/1
FEM: 3/1/1/5
Harmony: 1
Antimagic: 5/2/5/1
Fungus: 1/1/1
Heavy Armor: 3
Thick Skin: 5
Accuracy: 2


Gameplay and Levelling Guide:

Space Control, Projection Abuse, and Inner Demons, levels 1-19:
- Get 1 point in your first three psytech gunnery talents when you can, ideally using a TK-wielded Gem with Resonant Focus to meet most of the Dex requirements, and get Gestalt to 2 and Solidify Air to 4 ASAP. This gives you your core early game combat option – weak enemies go down to a single Solidify Air, while for tougher fights you can start with Condensate or Vaporous Step to trigger the Wet status followed by Blunt Shot -> Boiling Shot ->Solidify Air. When Solidify Air makes space between you and your enemies, use Instant Channeling and then hit your Steam Generator’s activated ability to keep you in plentiful resources.
- Starting at level 14 invest in Inner Demons until you max it, and get 2 points in Nightmare, 1 point in Projection, 1 point Mind Link, and 2 points in Forced Gestalt by then (unless you’ve already gotten Track from an Escort or item, then you can wait on Forced Gestalt). By activating Projection and then hitting Forced Gestalt, you’ll know what’s around you. If there’s a dangerous enemy nearby, hit your Movement infusion, run over to it, Nightmare->Inner Demons it until dead. If you’re using Inner Demon from your actual body and time isn’t a limiting factor, use Nightmare ->Forced Gestalt to boost your mindpower->Inner Demons for the best effect, as Nightmare 2 gives you enough time to do this. (This is also one of the best ways to keep your escorts alive, which can be quite difficult to do when most of them spawn in Dreadfell.)
- Try to use your Psyshot activated ability whenever it’s reasonable to do so in order to build up the 50k mind damage you’ll need to unlock Mental Tyranny at 30. Note that it is also a good damaging tool to snipe enemies with from Projection after activating Mind Link.
- Even at only 1 point, Call of the Ooze’s build-in taunt forces enemies to spend time dealing with it, which is nice to give you a chance to shoot them in the butt. If they end up blocking your line of fire, your Doomed attacks, Condensate, and Inner Demons don’t require a clean line of effect from you to the target, so you still have options.
- Finally, remember to manually take all the schematics you find out of your APE and carry them with you, so when you unlock Tinkers at 20 you'll have a long reading list of schematics to instantly unlock.

Playing the Tinker game, levels 20-29:
- The order you learn Tinker skills really depends on what schematics you’ve found. I rely heavily on Toxic Cannister if I have it, it works very well when you seal enemies next to the Cannister with Solidify Air. You can also use Cannister from Projection and then throw Solidify Air from Projection, which does no damage but seals up enemies next to the Cannister – this is best when there is a line of connected enemies allowing the poison to reach all of them but they aren’t all within striking distance of the Cannister.
- Continue with your core Psytech Gunnery gameplay, making sure you’ll have enough points floating or available to max out Madness from the Punishments tree by level 30.
- Run a bullet-pouch mod with a radius effect. Whether by accident or by design, it seems that every enemy within the radius is hit for a full damage shot. Explosive Shot, Botanical Shot, and Flare Shot are all excellent for this reason.

Antimagic and Mental Tyranny, levels 30-35:
- Mental Tyranny dramatically changes your game. Every attack you do has a chance to trigger one of the 3 Madness effects, which provide excellent control and lets you punch at least some of your damage through even the toughest defenses by lowering enemy mind resists (potentially into the negatives). It also sets up Psyshot’s (the eponymous skill from the Psytech Gunnery tree) activated attack as a devastating killshot, as it converts all of your weapon damage to mind damage, so those mind resist debuffs act as damage multipliers. It’s worth specifically noting that each separate instance of damage you inflict has a portion converted into mind, so if e.g. you have 2 bonus damage types on your ammo bag, a bonus damage type on each steamgun, a bonus damage type on your mindstar, and a damaging Groove on each weapon, you’ll inflict 13 different Madness checks.
- You can get antimagic before 30, but you won’t necessarily have the points to really invest in it and you might as well you arcane items until you’re forced to give them up. Once you unlock Antimagic, beeline to max Antimagic Shield. It gives you excellent protection in conjunction with Mitosis, and its retaliation damage benefits from Mental Tyranny’s mind damage conversion and therefore can also proc Madness. This is particularly powerful when an opponent hits you with poison or burning, as you will retaliate against them each round.
- Once you get Incendiary Grooves, or if you want to be able to stand in your own Toxic Cannister fields with no ill effect on either health or equilibrium, max out Resolve next. While you frequently have the EQ management tools to do without this, your Antimagic Shield is mostly likely to drop in the hardest combats, making it feel like a non-issue until it ends up killing you. Resolve is a good “belt-and-suspenders” EQ management mode, and the damage reduction isn’t terrible, either. (Note that you will still take small amounts of damage from the Mind damage component of your Incendiary Groove fields, but Madness does not proc on you.)

Eyal’s Fury and Fungus, level 36+ (or later):
- Maxing Acidfire is your top priority here. Given that you have Solidify Air, you can often set up your own “corner-snipes” by blocking line of effect to your target, forcing them to walk around it while you throw down a huge radius continuing attack – alternatively, you can Acidfire them and then encase them in Solidified Air, although in that case the debuffs will often have worn off by the time they get out. While the damage from Acidfire is not particularly impressive, the magical sustain stripping, blinding, and Madness proccing combination means that enemies are often fundamentally defanged while they approach you. In particular, this talent’s ability to enemies who are packing Reality Smearing, Blurred Mortality, or Osmotic Shield is why I recommend picking Eyal’s Fury before Dread. (Note that, while Madness procs require damage to trigger, the blindness and sustain destruction do not, so you can get reasonably good effect off this talent through Projection even without Mind Link.)
- After you max Acidfire, max our Eyal’s Wrath. Another very strong choice to pre-cast while enemies are moving around Solidify Air (or just cast on the last turn of Solidify Air’s duration, which for me was when its cooldown counter said “8”). Again, the damage isn’t particularly impressive, but it’s a large radius, long duration Madness proccing field that also strips magical resources away from enemies. You probably won’t make much of a dent in your opponent’s Mana pools, but Vim is pretty vulnerable to resource destruction.
- Although you have to get it to unlock the others and you aren’t investing more than 1 point in it, it’s worth noting that Nature’s Defiance is a nice ability. The nature affinity + Antimagic Shield means you’ll actually heal slightly from standing in your Toxic Cannister clouds, the spell save, Arcane resist, and additional EQ is always welcome.
- Fungus gives you a couple of extremely powerful tools. Ancestral Life and Fungal Growth make both Vaporous Step and Realign significantly more powerful than they were, with Realign taking less time to use and triggering a regeneration effect and Vaporous Step actually creating bonus time, as it gives you something on the order of 70% of a turn while being instant-use. Two points of note here – one, if you already have a regeneration effect then these won’t trigger a new one and get the Ancestral Life time advantage, so you have to right click-cancel the existing effect if you want that benefit. Second, when you fire your steamguns while time is stopped the bullets will end up travelling a very short distance away from you, so be careful to not step on your own stacked rounds and self-ganking.

Dread, post Wyrm:
- Mechanical Arms is bonkers good on this build, especially if you have Incendiary Groove on your Mindstar. Debuff enemy damage, hit them for damage, set up a damage field, and proc Madness whenever enemies approach.
- Lucid Shot does solid damage, and with Nightmare 2 you’ve got a chance to Inner Demons one enemy and Lucid Shot another to turn enemies against themselves and each other.
- Psy Worm actually isn’t bad here, much better than it is on the default Psyshot. The Psi regen is a welcome bonus, the mind damage every round is good in order to (guess what?) give another ongoing Madness proc, and if you target a weak enemy with it you can often kill them and spread Psy Worm through a large radius.
- No Hope is very good against bosses. IIRC it competes with Inner Demons, though – an enemy can only have one or the other at once. A fine place to stick extra points.

Gear Guide:
Steamguns - There are a number of factors to consider in choosing your sidearms. It goes without saying, Thoughtcaster (the dedicated Psyshot steamgun) is the best main hand option and Long Arm is the best TK option (as its speed penalty is negated through Beyond the Flesh’s mechanics and its damage bonus and beam function are devastating, especially when combined with an AoE Explosives Tinker). Other than that, you’re looking for the best range possible with a good balance of +physical% or +mind% damage or resistance penetration and as many additional damage types as possible (either through conversion or +damage) in order to proc maximum Madness checks.
One additional consideration is that the mage-hunter ego can be worth prioritizing in case of a near-tie, as adding even +0.1 Mastery can result in an additional 10 points of protection from your Antimagic Shield.
Mindstars – Again, more damage types is your top priority. Many mindstars pack multiple types of retaliation damage, which can also be a worthy tool. Besides this, the Sand ego can provide you with silly amounts of tactical control, as you can Burrow into walls and then seal the entrance up behind you with Solidify Air. In the window between your getting the Madness skill and the Mental Tyranny prodigy you’ll prefer a mindstar that does mind damage, after that the type is largely irrelevant.
Any of the high-tier mindstar artifacts are welcome here, with Nexus of the Way being the most powerful for its free action summon and Eyal’s Will being a close second for the powerful synergies between the incredibly long duration of Slime Wave and the Mental Tyranny/Madness combo. Although it’s low-tier and therefore its stats aren't much to look at, Bloomsoul should actually be pretty good in conjunction with Fungus, as I believe its heal is instant and therefore gives you a free turn in conjunction with Ancestral Life.
Ammo/Shot – you want a mix of multiple damage types to maximize Madness procs and high capacity. I find that this means I am much more likely to use randart bags than artifacts, although Pouch of the Subconscious is welcome for its self reloading. I tend to carry a main bag that is frontloaded for damage and a backup bag that has very high capacity and/or fast self-reloading that I will swap to if I run out of ammo. It can also be worth looking for a shot-bag with the wound-on-crit ability for the late-game, as Vitality can be a real issue on bosses with deep hit point pools.
Head – I prefer Eastern Wood Hat or Brass Goggles for their crit-boosting, Omniscience for total information in conjunction with Forced Gestalt, but I don't think there's a must-have hat. Consider blindness or confusion resistance.
Armor - Plate of the Blackened Mind is probably best-in-slot, but any sufficiently burly massive armor will do. Stun immunity and retaliation damage are particularly worthwhile.
Hands – Spellhunt Remnants for their spell disruption, Steam-Powered Gauntlets for damage and crit. In general, gloves aren’t that important to you. Once in a while you’ll find a pair with an ego that gives Steady Shot, that can be well worth using.
Feet – Lately I’ve been finding Antigravity Boots very early in the game, their mobility boost is definitely worthwhile. Endgame, Steam Powered Boots or Unbreakable Greaves are probably top choice.
Belt – Lightning Catcher is solid and helps you complete stun immunity easily, other than that you might look at one of the healmod & +Will belts that show up early.
Cloak – I’m partial to Jetpack for mobility both overland and in-dungeon. Cloak of Daggers is a really nice choice for damaging adjacent enemies. Cloth of Dreams or Guise of the Hated improve your mindpower and associated abilities.
Ring & Amulet – I treat these together because I want the same things from them, namely to fill out the rest of my stun immunity along with Grounding Strap and then provide stats and resists. Besides that, Mnemonic is a very powerful choice for you given the number of mental talents you’re packing.
Lite – I don’t really have a strong preference here after Umbraphage and Guidance, usually trying to strike a balance between simple radius and +life.

Tinkers:
Weapons – This build is designed around running triple Incendiary Grooves in order to set up stacks of damaging, Madness-inducing fields of fire everywhere. This is as hard on your enemies as it is on your eyes. If you aren’t willing to squint-to-win, you can probably pull Resolve back to 1 and run triple Winterchill Edges, which (according to people much better with the code than I) stack their -10% of a turn effects with each other and therefore can be very powerful on enemies whose global speed has been lowered by Madness, but in most cases you’ll be giving up a lot of damage and procs. If you want to invest an extra point into Smithing you can also run Crystal Edges, but they only get really good late in the game and despite being generally powerful they don’t have particular synergies with this build.
Ammo/Shot – AoEs are your friend, because they inflict the full damage of your shot on everyone within their radius except for you (note – this may be a bug). Explosive Shot, Flare, and Botanical Shell all have a lot to offer, with the first being easy to access, the second having a larger area and a blind effect, and the last setting up yet another lingering damage field for your arsenal, this one with an attached heal. Note that the build I show above does not have the skill selections to unlock Botanical Shell, you’ll have to invest an additional point into Therapeutics.
Hands – Toxic Cannister is the strongest summon with this build, due to your ability to seal enemies in with the poison gas using Solidify Air. In the very late game when you have much stronger options you may wish to switch over to Iron Grip for the disarm immunity.
Feet – Rocket Boots is a clear winner here for much of the game, an escape tool that leaves a damaging trail behind you in order to proc yet more Madness checks, and it also makes overland travel much easier. Your steam sustain needs are relatively low (only Mechanical Arms), so you can travel for a very long time with this once you get a good Steam Generator. If you’re feeling confident about your mobility due to Vaporous Step and perhaps Jetpack or Antigravity Boots, Moss Tread is a lot of fun. At higher levels its duration exceeds its cooldown and it is instant use, so you can just set it to auto-use when available and forget about it. Due to Gestalt it will feed you a chunk of Psi every 10 turns, it slows and pins enemies who walk in it, and, like everything else you do that inflicts damage, can proc Madness check. With Mechanical Arms and Moss Tread you can play the tourist, simply walking away from enemies and killing them when they try to follow. However, in terms of emergency situations it’ll get you out of, you’re probably much better off with Rocket Boots.
Head - Headlamp is an okay option if you’re absolutely starved for light radius, but Mental Stimulator is the clear winner here – through Beyond the Flesh you use Cunning for accuracy so you’re still getting some of that benefit, you’re a Steampower/Mindpower class so you benefit from Cunning’s boosts there, and crit chance and mental saves are always welcome.
Body – Once you have Mental Tyranny Spike Attachment’s retaliation damage makes it better than Ablative or Armor Reinforcement. Late game, once you have gems of tier 3 or above, Crystal Plating is the clear winner for making you better at everything you do.
Cloak – Grounding Strap is always the answer.
Belt – Back Support is surprisingly useful for the encumbrance and -fatigue to conserve your Psi, but once you switch over to Incendiary Grooves you’ll want to go with the Alchemist’s friend for a significant bonus to fire and acid damage, which you pack through both weapon mods and talents.
Lite – I tend not to use Black Light Emitter because I don’t care for the negative light radius. This build has enough annoying AoEs to flush out stealth attackers and Indiscernable Anatomy makes them relatively less dangerous, so I don’t need the stealth detection. White Light Emitter isn’t bad, just costs an extra point and often isn’t needed.

Enjoy!

_________________
My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer


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 Post subject: Re: The Oozy Punishot
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:30 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 872
Cool build! I may have to try this out when I feel like taking a break from Vermintide 2.


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