ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

Everything about ToME
It is currently Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:31 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:14 pm 
Offline
Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 367
A Demonologist/Arcane Blade/Stone Warden hybrid with lots of character points left over for customization.

Sample Character link - Insane win, deathless until Atamathon (NB - don’t hit someone with reflecting skin for 14k+ damage. Also, I think he got stronger since I last tangled with him. Still killed him eventually.)

I. Acknowledgements and Useful Links
II. Why You Should Play This Build, and Why You Shouldn’t
III. The Core Build
IV. Build Choices and Customization
V. Leveling Guide
VI. Gear
VII. Mods From the Hellforge - Demon Seeds and Tinkers

I. Acknowledgements and Useful Links:
- Dado and fateriddle for exploring the Arcane Blade+Stone Warden and Demonologist+Stone Warden proc-based chassis that I hybridized to make this build.
- Cathbald for his Demonologist guide as a handy reference for what demon seeds do
- 64legos for his Tinker guide for doing the same for Tinkers
- Effigy for introducing me to Demonic Strength as a must-have damage boost
- Arcvasti and PsuedoLoneWolf for explaining proc accuracy mechanics
- wuxiangjinxing for making a suggestion that led to my making the guide modular, and for some customization suggestions.
 
II. Why You Should Play This Build, and Why You Shouldn’t

Pro: Hits like A Bag of Lightning Infused Corrosive Hammer-Drills  
Feel free to skip if you’re a TOME veteran, but I’ve been playing 6 years and still learn all kinds of new stuff.

Summary: high spellpower * accuracy-based proc damage bonus from shields and staff * high accuracy * multiple attacks per round with strong proc chances = boom.
 
This character builds up a strong base Spellpower through maxing Magic, Strength, and Cunning on a build with Arcane Cunning, Hardened Core, Demonic Blood, and PES.

The “weapon” loadout for this build is paired shields + a TK wielded staff. Every weapon has a bonus of some kind that improves with accuracy, and staffs and shields share the same bonus, which is an increase in damage for procced effects.  There is some unwritten fine print here - the procced effect’s damage has to be delivered instantly, with neither a travel time nor a DoT, for it to benefit from this bonus. Therefore, most ranged procs in the game do not benefit from this bonus, but Arcane Combat with Lightning or Pulverizing Auger both do, as does Demonologist’s Corrosive Cone (activated by a melee crit from any weapon).  This build is based around using these, along with Mana Coil, to do extremely high damage over large areas - increasing your procced-spell damage by 2.5% * accuracy * 3 weapons yields, endgame, somewhere on the order of a 500-700% increase in damage. The final product of which is then, I believe, *further* increased by another 10-30% or so due to your Demonic Blood.

Sidebar: after modest testing I believe that Mana Coil can only proc one time per turn and that Mana Coil hits do not benefit from the accuracy proc bonus. However, if you choose to enhance your Lightning procs with the Storm tree, Mana Coil’s Lightning will benefit from these upgrades as well as your general +lightning and +lightningpen, and even without the accuracy-based damage bonus Mana Coil’s ability to proc off of Thunderstorm hits lets your character cut a broad swathe of destruction through groups of enemies at medium range. At this time I think Mana Coil is only worth using in this build if you go Air/Storm.

In order to make the most of your proc damage bonus, this build maxes out the Accuracy generic, wears a Headlamp mod for another +25 raw accuracy, and maxes Cunning which further boosts Accuracy under Beyond the Flesh. Variants can take this much farther through the Combat Techniques tree.

Arcane Combat suffers a moderate penalty on its proc rate for off-hand wielding a shield, but this penalty is less than that incurred by dual wielding even though you do hit with your off-hand shield. This is nice because it keeps your Arcane Combat proc rate high for both your own shield hits and those from Beyond the Flesh. You also have Eldritch Shield skills that you can use to further increase your number of attacks/area of attacks.

The final effect of all of this is to produce very large amounts of linear or cone AoE damage from melee range while your build all-but-ignores the traditional weapon mastery talents of the “add weapon damage and physical power per talent level” and doesn’t need FEM to make TK wielding viable. You care about accuracy, crit chance, crit mod, Spellpower, and additional attacks/speed.
 
Pro: Also, It’s Tanky
There are a number of skills this build uses that are balanced around significantly lower expected of block value or armor value found on their parent class.  Using two shields gives you the combined block value of both, which renders Osmotic Shield, Blood Shield, and Armored Leviathan about twice as powerful as the game would expect, which is many cases is enough to make your defense impenetrable to the average enemy.  Hardened Core, Abyssal Shield, and dual shields also boost your armor value significantly, which is good on its own but absolutely shines in conjunction with Stone Fortress and Resilience of the Dwarves (which together applies a large fraction of your armor value to non-physical attacks).  Finally, Abyssal Shield’s damage absorbtion isn’t balanced around the steady Vim regen that your many hits/round provide you through demon seeds in your rings.
 
Con: It’s A Little Torn Between Nature and Hell
This is mostly a problem in the early game when your Willpower is low and you don’t have PES. Using Defiler skills bumps up your EQ continuously, which can lead to talent failure for your important Eldritch Shield skills, so you’ll need to make particular use of Eldritch Stone to keep your EQ low.  If you’re playing lazy, just set it to auto-use whenever enemies aren’t visible, similar to how lazy Sun Paladins use Barrier to keep their Positive Energy high.  I’m trying to be less lazy, so I’ve mapped it to the left-swipe gesture and am trying to work it into my post-combat, pre-rest routine.  On the plus side, when you use Eldritch Stone in combat once you’ve gotten PES and build a bit of tolerance to EQ failure, your explosive damage will be relatively higher due to your ability to drive your EQ up faster than a conventional Stone Warden.

Con: If You’re Not Playing on Madness, Playing This Will Probably Make You Worse at TOME
This build has a ton of damage and durability just walking around and bump attacking, as well as quite a few “kick it up a notch” options for when you’re fighting particularly difficult opponents. If you’re running the Air/Storm combo, Thunderstorm will often proc enough additional effects to kill enemies just for getting near you. These qualities will not teach you good habits or help you maintain good hubris hygiene, which is the key to surviving roguelikes.
 
III. The Core Build

This is the most modular build I’ve done yet, with significant customization space left to the reader (about 1/3 of class talent points, 1-2 category points). My goal was to bring together the core elements of the build as early as possible while balancing the strain on your class and generic points, although you could certainly move build pieces around if you have a strong sense of what you’re trying to accomplish (e.g. you might delay Eldritch Shield and Demonic Strength if you want early access to Guardian and Light to fuel it.)
 
Starting skills: Eldritch Shield, Earthen Power, Magical Combat, Doom Shield, Demonic Pact, Augmented Mobility, and either Earth or Air.

Required Starting Stats: Str 20, Magic 12 in order to equip shields and learn a spell for use with Arcane Combat.

10: Demonic Strength
20: Tinkers
36: Insert class talent of your choice here, or Inscription. (Strongly suggest Storm if you went Air at 1st level. See discussion under Part IV, Section 1 if you want suggestions for Earth.)
Wyrm: Inscription, or another class or generic tree
 
Class Skills
Eldritch shield 1/1/1/4
Earthen Power 1/1/1/1
Magical Combat 5/1/1/1
Doom Shield 3/5
Demonic Pact 5/5
Earth or Air
Earth 5/1/1/1 or Air 5/1/1/3
Leaves 25 class points unspent as Earth or 23 as Air.
 
Generics
Dwarf 1/2/1/1
Physics 1/2/1, 1/2/2 if Air
Chemistry 1/1/1
Augmented Mobility 1/5
Demonic Strength 1/2/4/5
Accuracy 5
Thick Skin 5
Heavy Armor 3
Leaves 9 generic points unspent as Earth or 8 generic points unspent as Air. Earth-wielders can also drop Tinkers entirely and replace with Thuggery 1/5/1/5 with 2 generic points to spare.
 
Stats: Requirements, then Magic>Strength>Cunning>Will unless you’ve got a strong reason otherwise.
 
Prodigies: 30: PES. 42: Your choice, or ICCTW if you don’t have another idea. Whatever you pick remember that you’re not really about weapon damage (so Arcane Might and Superpower are less attractive than usual) and that Flexible Combat doesn’t seem to trigger off Beyond the Flesh or your shield bash.

IV. Build Choices and Customization:
 
1. Your First Major Choice - Earth vs Air for Arcane Combat: 

Reasons to Choose Air
- range on Lightning is greater than Pulverizing Auger
- no wall destruction if you’re running Mana Coil instead of Corrosive Cone
- multiple synergies between Air, Mana Coil, and Storm tree (as the buffs to the Lightning spell will also effect the versions procced by Arcane Combat and Mana Coil)
- kill people who get kinda near you through Thunderstorm/Hurricane/Mana Coil/stacking other Talent on Spell Hit effects.

If I go Air I’m definitely going Storm at 36 so I tend to consider them together, although there’s nothing actually required about that. I find that the Air/Storm combo results in folding a very mage-like feel into the build while not actually taking any of your time in combat away from melee, which is something that I enjoy, but once you’re done adding that in you’ve nearly completed the build and therefore most Lightning versions will feel more same-y.
 
Reasons to Choose Earth
- both higher and more consistent damage off Auger than off Lightning (without considering Tempest/Hurricane)
- more flexibility to customize your character
- focus on physical damage will improve your melee hits and earthen fury shield procs
- it’s generally easier to gear for +physical damage and penetration than a specific element
- you’ve got the Spellpower to make Stone Wall a really good reset
- you hate walls with a burning passion unless you made them
 
I consider the base build here to be significantly less exciting than Air/Storm, but a. that’s my issue, not yours and b. there’s a lot of thematic awesome left to be added in via the modularity of the build. Are you going Rampage + Combat Technique + Thuggery and go for hypermobile & accurate physical damage? Guardian and Light for obscene durability and status clears along with an extra shield bash every round and a steady stream of positive energy to fuel Shield of Light? Flux and Energy with Temporal Form as your second Prodigy to grab Reduxed Attenuate, Reality Smearing, Entropy, and the chaotic fun of targeted Induced Anomaly? Bumping Will above of Cunning, grabbing Psi-Fighting for Augmentation/PES synergies, and taking Mental Tyranny as your second Prodigy while grabbing the Punishments tree from the Wyrm in order to stick Madness-effects on all your attacks and drive your opponent’s mind resist into the hard negatives?

My point is, Earth’s got a ton of options, which lets this build branch out from a solid core in many different directions.

2. To Suffuse Life or Not to Suffuse Life:
In order to run the build you’re already going to have the Demonic Pact ability at 5/5, so if you spend 6 more class points you can get 8% of your damage returned as life on all your attacks. This is a passive ability that is not vulnerable to sustain disruption or resource destruction, and given how much damage the build tends to do it’s a lot of potential health gain. It can also sustain you during disables due to it continuing to trigger off Beyond the Flesh and your retaliation damage. If you’re running Thunderstorm it further provides a constant influx of life as long as there are enemies within range. Finally, I’m much more comfortable dropping my regeneration infusion and running Heroism - Movement - Rune of Reflection (which is my preferred 3 inscription loadout if I find it) if I have Suffuse Life as a supplement to Surge of Power.
 
On the other hand, 6 class points can find a lot of good uses (particularly if you’re looking to avoid unlocking any additional inscriptions and want to run max unlocked talent trees), and once in a blue moon you can still get one-shot by some OP combination of classes on a boss monster, in which case this ability won’t help. You’ve also got quite a lot of durability already, so it may not be worth it to you to improve survivability further when you could be working on something else.

3. Deep Thoughts/Random Babble on Customizing:
In addition to customizing for themes you enjoy, I think there are 3 main gamestates you can improve, which I think of as “peak awesome, average awesome, and floor awesome.” Most talent trees improve more than one of these, but I still think they’re useful handles for figuring out what you need more of (and/or why you died).

Peak awesome is how good you can be for just a little while. It could be temporary buffs, like Blinding Speed & Perfect Strike, or activated strikes, like the Cursed Slaughter category. You can’t sustain peak awesome forever, but as long as you can rest between combats you can often decide the outcome of most encounters with your peak awesome, and it tends to feel fun/exciting/cool/put up ridiculous damage numbers.

Average awesome is how good you are when your typical loadout of sustains is in place and you’re bump attacking. This is a performance output you can keep up forever until someone stops you (which, with enough crit and +mana on crit items, includes Arcane Combat). One easy way to greatly improve your average awesome is to grab speed boosts (Essence of Speed from Temporal is very strong for this).

Finally, floor awesome is the minimum level of performance your character is capable of without being dead. It’s what you see your performance drop to when game circumstances coincide to screw you in a significant way. A Mage-Hunter obliterating your mana pool, following up with manaburn damage, and shutting off a bunch of your sustains (not a particularly rare occurrence in the late game) can introduce you to your floor awesome, as can a boss enemy combining very high resistance to your chosen damage type, flat damage reductions, and Vitality. These situations make up a small percentage of the encounters throughout the game, but they *also* make up a very large percent of the situations that pose a legitimate threat to your progress once you’ve gotten past the early game. Broadly, you can improve your floor awesome by taking more passive bonuses (given that this build has a lot of power tied up in sustains), by investing significantly in respen, by using Entropy/Disintegration/Disperse Magic/etc to destroy problematic enemy sustains or buffs, or by having really good escape or reset options that aren’t vulnerable to enemy disruption to allow you to get away and try again.

Whatever you choose, it’s hard to have all of them at once.

4. Rescaling is a Thing
Another core concept to remember when choosing what to unlock/prioritize with your additional points is that Accuracy, Defense, Saves, and the various Power stats (and therefore your attributes in general) all incur significant diminishing returns on investment the higher they go. Block, Armor, Critical Chance, speed boosts, +damage, and (to some extent) +resistance penetration do not. Therefore, you may wish to e.g. prioritize Arcane Feed over Arcane Cunning, given how high your Spellpower is likely to be already and that the other talents you’ve used to boost it (Demonic Blood, Hardened Core) offer additional benefits not weakened by rescaling. Or you may wish to make your eyes moderately less starry about how good Perfect Strike’s +100% accuracy bonus is in conjunction with 3 different proc damage boost per accuracy weapons (NB: it’s still quite good, but endgame it’s more likely to give you ~+150% base damage than the +750% damage it would appear to at first blush).

This is not to say you shouldn’t try push a rescaling stat super high (its actually quite important to do so if you’re counting on sticking status effects on endgame enemies), just to remember to ask whether there are other options that offer similar benefits without triggering diminishing returns.

V. Levelling Guide 

Getting out of the starting dungeon: Stupid Dwarves! Making it hard to see who is in Last Hope for your drowning run!

Assuming you’re playing on Insane or higher, get Strength to 20 and Magic to 12 - this will let you equip shields and put Arcane Combat and whichever magic skill you chose to 1. If you’re feeling confident and intend to drown people in Last Hope, I recommend not using Demon Seed until you get to Last Hope, as you’re guaranteed a Fire Imp mainhand seed on your first use of Demon Seed and you’d rather start with +3 Flame Bolts by last-hitting a drowning unique or boss than +1 from Demon Seeding a Reknor mouse. If you don’t drown people and/or aren’t feeling confident in your ability to fight your way out, grab a Fire Imp seed ASAP, you’ll have lots of chances to get more later.
 
Levels 1-20: You’re looking to get 1 point into almost everything (I don’t worry about Air past Chain Lightning at this point), and then work on maxing Bind Demon, Demon Seed (which you can’t do the last point of until just a little into your 20s), and Hardened Core while getting 3 points in Osmotic Shield (for more healing and status clear). This will provide you the durability you need to survive while you build up your demon collection, while your Flame Bolts + occasional Arcane Combat will see you through early combats.
 
Level 20-35: Max out Arcane Combat and the spell that it triggers (I usually get Arcane Combat to 2 and then max out the spell, in order to get the most return per mana) and then finish up anything left from 1-20 recommendations and push Eldritch Slam while you unlock your few but important Tinkers. You can either horde points for buying heavily into your unlocked tree at 36, or grab Suffuse Life 5 and have a slower start on your unlocked tree.
 
36 on: Freestylin! Customize it however you like, you’ve built a core that will support lots of additional options. Start working on your unlocked trees, or backfill points in Magical Combat and pick up Demonic Madness from Doom Shield.

VI. Gear
Without knowing how you customize your character it’s hard to say what areas to reinforce with gear. All else being equal, I preferred mobility options on gear.

All the usual good artifacts are good, except the Black Crown which is doubleplusgood. Your lowly Adventurer 1.0 talent mastery normally prevents you from getting the final tier of demon seeds (Forge Giant and Champion of Urh’Rok), but the Black Crown unlocks these, and they are quite powerful.

While Blood Shield and Osmotic Shield all but demand the highest block value you can get, there are two shield egos that can make me deviate from this model to some degree. These are “of Earthen Fury” which *procs* bonus physical damage = your armor rating (which can add a large amount of damage to your hits, especially if you’re an Earth wielder who has boosted physdam and physpen significantly) & “of Patience” which has an instant-speed activated Time Shield.

While it’s useful for any Arcane Combatant, Thunderstorm users in particular will want to heavily prioritize the +mana on spell crit ability (I never seem to find it on staves, but do find it on misc slot items, lamps, rings, and even shields from time to time). By keeping Thunderstorm at a moderate level (I like level 3) and having enough +mana on crit along with an appropriately high spell crit %, Thunderstorm can be a net generator of mana rather than a net cost, which is nice.

Air/Mana Coil users like to fire off as many spells as possible for maximum chance to proc lightning. Temporal Rift and Lunar Shield are fine choices, as are Void Orb, Staff of Destruction, Black Ring (although it will damage you as well), Crystle’s Astral Bindings, and similar effects. Also worth noting that Lightning Catcher, which is pretty amazing in any case, can stack up to its cap very quickly in this build, and it offers up to +50% lightning damage.

Corrosive Cone/Earth wielders should keep an eye out for the Stone Gauntlets of Harkor’Zun, which boost both damage and respen for physical and acid attacks, as well as boosting your own resistance and rescap for these damage types, or Hand of the World-Shaper, which gives higher bonuses just to physical but also improves your Earth mastery by +0.1. Also boosting Earth and physical damage is the Gravitational Staff, which is pretty solid. Finally, Destala’s Scales also boosts acid nicely while providing the low-damage but multi-hitting Dissolve, which works great with your proc-based combat.

VII. Mods From the Hellforge - Demon Seeds and Tinkers

It’s worth noting that swapping in or out tinkers or seeds takes no time, but puts any activated abilities on both the item and the seed/tinker on cooldown. This means that if you’re really struggling in a combat, it might be useful for you to fire off any activated abilities from a seed/tinker and then swap in one with a passive effect.

Helm: Outside of being underwater, you’re considering Headlamp vs Mental Stimulator. Headlamp has much more accuracy (although with TK combat Mental Stimulator adds a little) and light radius is pretty handy, while Mental Stimulator has better spellpower (via Arcane Cunning) and crit chance. You could save a generic point by skipping Explosives while still grabbing a White Light Emitter for light radius if you liked, but I usually run Headlamp.

Body: I typically run Fire Imp from the moment I get it through the entire game. While there are some other very cool body demon seeds, Fire Imp’s multiple status clears are extremely useful and, in conjunction with Relentless Pursuit, will usually handle all your status clear needs once your resists are high enough. If you have really good status clears from somewhere else (Providence, maybe), you can certainly enjoy the 20% global speed boost from the Uruivellas seed.

Glove: Iron Grip. You don’t want to bother with Steam Generation, and being disarmed is very annoying. Lock out a failure mode and raise your awesomeness floor today with Iron Grip!

Staff: Early game you’re running Fire Imp for the Flame Bolt as your main source of damage, and until you’re confident in your defenses for when you accidentally crack open a room full of additional enemies you’ll want to keep that over Corrosive Cone. Later, the choice between Cone and Mana Coil depends on your surroundings, whether you’re using Lightning or Earth (Coil I think is only worth using with Storm tree backup unless you grab other ranged spells through customization), your crit chance, and a number of other factors including whether you’ve been able to get a frikken Sapphire to drop. (If you still haven’t found one before doing any of the East beyond what it takes to get back to the West’s Backup Guardians, I recommend running Farportals until you find one). For most builds I think Corrosive Cone does more consistent damage up close (as you can get 100% physical crit but the Mana Coil proc is 25% on a spell hit), but the more spells you throw around at range the better Mana Coil gets, and wall destruction is sometimes a failure mode.

Shields: One of your shields is going to carry Blood Shield/Taurhereg as soon as you can manage it and stick with it the whole game, but the defensive effect of Blood Shield only scales with block value, not seed level, so it’s not worth running a second (the retaliation damage does improve with seed level, but not enough to double up). What should you use on your other shield?
- If you can find the Black Crown, Armored Leviathan/Champion of Urh’Rok is pretty amazing. It costs a turn to use, but gives you a medium-length, serious buff to Strength and Magic based on block value (with Black Wall and Titanic I believe I had +60 to both). If you activate this and then hit PES, your Spellpower should look like a typo.
- Flash Block/Forge Giant isn’t bad, either. I hate using a turn blocking, and as a result never do it, and it’s rare that I can find 4 class points with no better use than Demonic Madness. That being the case, Flash Block is pretty attractive, especially if I have a shield with an offensive block feature, although I’m not sure the counterstrike ability applies to your spell damage.
- Battle Call is pretty good as a reverse gap-closer. It can let you get away with shaving a few points off Eldritch Slam, and frequently you’ll kill many foes just with your retaliation damage on the turn you use it. I wouldn’t bother using it until you have +4 or +5 talent levels in it, though.
- Fiery Portal is also a very solid mobility add, though better for gap closing than escape under most circumstances given that the portal isn’t you exclusive.
- Of all the single element resistance/damage reduction ones, I think Quasit’s physical element ends up being the most useful under most circumstances, and it synergizes very well with your high armor value.

Belt: If you’re mainly using Corrosive Cone, Alchemist’s Helper is an easy choice for 25% acid damage boost and well worth investing the 2 additional generic points for. Besides that, Back support is surprisingly useful at preserving your mana and managing encumbrance until you get ICCTW. Deflection Field is okay, unless you stack it with other sources of projectile slow in which case it can be very good (in conjunction with Temporal Rift and Emblem of Evasion, you can walk circles around Fireflash), while Fungal Web works fine with Injectors if you’re skipping Suffuse Life and feel like a little more healing would help.

Cloak: Grounding Strap is still da best.

Boots: Kinetic Stabilizer is fine, but I normally don’t bother unlocking Mechanical 2 unless I find the Steam Powered Boots (which are almost always in the room of Death for me), and once I do so I go Rocket Boots.

Light: White Light Emitter is unlocked already for you if you’ve got Mana Coil and Headlamp ready, might as well use it.

Rings: given how many attacks you output, you’re mostly aiming for the highest +Vim on hitting in melee that you can find. If you get Black Crown, it’s not quite as powerful but much more convenient to run one +3 Vim on hit and one +1 Vim per round ring.

_________________
My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:42 am 
Offline
Halfling

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:09 pm
Posts: 108
A few comments...

Snarvid wrote:
Sidebar: after modest testing I believe that Mana Coil can only proc one time per turn


This is correct, and for me rules out Mana Coil from any dual-shield Demonic Seeds build.

Snarvid wrote:
III. The Core Build


I think your core is larger than it needs to be.

Demonic Strength is a luxury, not adding much to the build; many other options could give you more useful tools. (Light, for the obvious example.)

Similarly, really all Eldritch Shield gives you is a very nice AoE... but the defense of Osmosis + dual shields means that you can take any amount of trash (and if you're using Corrosive Cone you've got plenty of AoE right there). (I tried out Eldritch Shield on a run recently with a very similar core idea and the only reason the non-AoE skills were interesting was that I also found a T5 staff early on with a 47-arcane-damage "on hit while wielding" effect and *that* proc was my core damage source from then until the mid-40s. So I was gearing for a lot of arcane damage and ResPen and the Eldritch Shield attacks synergized with that nicely.) ...and without Eldritch Shield you have no EQ problems in the early game.

Also, at least below Madness I'd consider Doomshield not worth it before level 10 -- you don't need it to survive and it's hard to have the vim to use Osmosis before you've gotten a chance to spend several points in Demonic Pact. (...though, granted, for Madness I'd take a vastly more defensivly-oriented build myself.)

Snarvid wrote:
2. To Suffuse Life or Not to Suffuse Life:


As you point out, a build like this dishes out ridiculous amounts of damage and has a sustained-combat defensive style. Passing up Suffuse Life should require a really good reason, especially since it's a passive -- it's one of the few things that can keep you alive when your sustains start going down.

Snarvid wrote:
as can a boss enemy combining very high resistance to your chosen damage type, flat damage reductions, and Vitality.


Healing Nexus is critical for these situations, I find.

Snarvid wrote:
If you’re feeling confident and intend to drown people in Last Hope, I recommend not using Demon Seed until you get to Last Hope, as you’re guaranteed a Fire Imp mainhand seed on your first use of Demon Seed


Huh, did they change this at some point? I'm pretty certain that I've gotten Wretches as my first Seed reasonably often.

Snarvid wrote:
Level 20-35: Max out Arcane Combat and the spell that it triggers (I usually get Arcane Combat to 2 and then max out the spell, in order to get the most return per mana) and then finish up anything left from 1-20 recommendations and push Eldritch Slam while you unlock your few but important Tinkers.


I don't recommend focusing so much on offense this early on Madness, for what it's worth. 


Snarvid wrote:
Helm: Outside of being underwater, you’re considering Headlamp vs Mental Stimulator.


Actually, I quite like the Silence Immunity on the rebreather for general use.


Snarvid wrote:
Of all the single element resistance/damage reduction ones, I think Quasit’s physical element ends up being the most useful under most circumstances, and it synergizes very well with your high armor value.


It's worth pointing out again here that you can swap seeds instantaneously, so you can reconfigure your resistances based on what enemies are around. Ritch Flamespitters are a good reason to swap to Fire. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:17 am 
Offline
Halfling

Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:46 am
Posts: 81
Haha, I'm running a similar build once I realize Pulverizing Auger gets the boost from shield accuracy.
I love that you take Augmented mobility over Finer Energy Manipulation. Never thought about it, cuz you got a 40% cut for accuracy from CUN, and a heal with 2 phy status removal is also too great to pass on, but I guess the trade off is worth it.

1. I prefer earth to lightning, as the damage are more focused in one element, easier to boost. And insead of stone, I took Thuggery as physical penetration > phyical ignorance for it can actually be found on items. Plus stone wall helps. Thuggery gives you everything in offense and 50% stun/confuse immunity, unreal.

2. I take shield offense rather than Eldritch shield, short cd, and strike hits 5 times in dual shield build, with 4 of them garanteed crits. And better defense as the 3rd skill will auto block.

3. Didn't take tinker, no generic points for it, and find it not that helpful as main slots are occupied by seeds anyway.

4. I took fearfire, for mobility and status removal, it also burns you, so possible synergy with Elemental Harmony.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:35 am 
Offline
Master of Eyal

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2002 9:26 pm
Posts: 10230
Location: Angolwen
I have the feeling that creating the adventurer class was my brightest idea ever ;)

_________________
[tome] joylove: You can't just release an expansion like one would release a Kraken XD
--
[tome] phantomfrettchen: your ability not to tease anyone is simply stunning ;)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:29 am 
Offline
Halfling

Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:46 am
Posts: 81
darkgod wrote:
I have the feeling that creating the adventurer class was my brightest idea ever ;)

But also a lot of extra work to keep it not easily powerful?
We've got like 1000 talent trees, I'm almost surprised there are only handful of combos considered op.
Also I noticed new classes almost always come with new resource to manage, do you do that to partially prevent op adventurer build?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:41 am 
Offline
Master of Eyal

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2002 9:26 pm
Posts: 10230
Location: Angolwen
Adventurers are not mean to be balanced in any way :)
It's just a fun sandbox to muck around with.

New resources are added when it makes sense :)

_________________
[tome] joylove: You can't just release an expansion like one would release a Kraken XD
--
[tome] phantomfrettchen: your ability not to tease anyone is simply stunning ;)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:19 pm 
Offline
Halfling

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:09 pm
Posts: 108
darkgod wrote:
I have the feeling that creating the adventurer class was my brightest idea ever ;)


It has certainly multiplied the amount of time I've spent playing this game. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:27 pm 
Offline
Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 367
Note: I’ve edited this reply a lot, sorry if anyone was answering an earlier draft!

@darkgod: Well, you did also create Madness difficulty (which I believe says something like “you are really mentally ill and wish to get worse” if you select it) so... for those of us who like a challenge, making a build capable of surviving there can be pretty fun. (Note: I haven’t confirmed this build is yet, I just think it’s too strong for Insane.)

@fate: Augmented Mobility was actually dado’s brilliance, I just stole it. Quick as Thought gives a big chunk of accuracy while it’s up, as well as significant crit and speed, so it’s more of a “let’s just murder everything while PES is up” kinda thing.

1. If you don’t take earth or use an earthen fury shield your physical damage is a negligible part of your damage output, and you still have to optimize for acid pen somewhere or risk having your opponent turn off a big chunk of your damage (Atamathon had 115% resist all). I do agree that physical penetration is generally easier to find than a specific element (you can command staff to change its damage, but not its penetration), probably because the game is trying to give options to all the physical melee types.

2. Good to know on shield offense.

Eldritch Slam is, in the not-infrequent circumstance of “a bunch of dudes with one or more rares/uniques/bosses” mixed through it, an absolute monster source of damage, since Slam will check Arcane Combat and Corrosive Cone against every single enemy and the tough enemies will generally be hit by a huge stack of Cones and, depending on layout, a decent number of the Augers/Lightnings. It also functions as a backup “gap closer”, or at least, gives the ability to melee at range. I don’t need other people to like it, but I like it because it means that I have an easier time killing tough enemies the more friends they bring along. (On a random test of 10 dummies spread around me, my Eldritch Slam damage was 270k. That was, on the one hand, quite a lot of enemies with no resistances, and on the other, they weren’t all stacked to one side of me so the Cones were more diluted than they would often be in actual play.) It’s particularly fun to combine that with Link of Pain (available through the Black Plate).

3. I do mention Thuggery in the Core build generic section as an alternative to Tinkers. The reasons I still use Tinkers by default include a. I think you need some sort of stun resist boost and Tinkers offer it for far fewer generic points (particularly given that the first point in each Tinker skill is free), b. headlamp’s accuracy bonus is significant c. I seem to find Steam powered Boots every game and I think it’s really good with Rocket Boots, especially in the last fight and d. I also like Mana Coil for killing people with Thunderstorm before they get close to you before switching to Corrosive for really tough fights/Mage Hunters, but obviously that’s a non-factor for Earth-wielders.

4. Fearfire is interesting. I had considered Shadowflame for a couple “floor awesome” buttons, but never Fearfire, although I have played around with the... whatever the Fearscape lamp is. Planar thingy.

@visage:

1. Coil v Cone: Coil helps kill a bunch of enemies at range with Thunderstorm, and Cone dissolves walls, which give Coil a default QoL bonus and Cone a QoL malus. Because you can instant-swap, I like Mana Coil as a default walking around tool and Corrosive Cone as a rare problem solver. Totally agree that Corrosive Cone outdamages Mana Coil at melee range.

2. Core build too big: overall, you’re probably right. I could also see dropping Augmented Mobility and replacing it with simply stipulating “at least one Mindslayer-specific skill” if we want to be truly open-ended about it (maybe you want psi-fighting or absorbtion, I dunno).

I mention why I like Eldritch Slam above, but I could definitely see moving it out of the core and into a “this is an important peak awesome booster to consider.”

Demonic Strength I’ll push back on a little more. I mean, yes, you don’t need it to combine the three core classes so I can see moving it out to a “Suffuse Life or not” level of highly recommended rather than required upgrade in order to provide more build flexibility. But its so damn beefy, and with generic points to boot (which I find typically yield much less direct combat power than this)! I was told that Demonic Blood’s damage boost happens at the end of the calculation, so in practice it’s going to yield 20-30% more damage on a permanent basis. That’s 2/3s of Essence of Speed. Also, while it’s based on your Vim pool, the core effect is passive, so even if you get Mage-Huntered and your Vim pool bottoms out, you can often get it back online pretty quick with your Vim rings and stacked attacks.

Likewise, Abyssal Shield’s flat DR and Armor Boost are pretty useful in layering your defenses unto impermeability, as is Surge of Power’s instant speed lifepool-scaling heal + negative life survival. I get that Providence offers a top-tier status clear, and that Bathe in Light’s healmod is welcome with Osmotic Shield, but those both take time to use that could be used to attack instead and lategame I don’t generally find statuses to be a problem between immunities/Fire Imp/Relentless Pursuit. I can certainly see the huge value of Light if you’re running Guardian, but other than that I don’t see the swap as a no-brainer.

GAH! No, you’re right. It’s not a combo piece, it’s a combo-magnifier, and there could be more important pieces to some builds. Dropping Eldritch Shield and Demonic Strength could let you fit in BOTH the Sun Paladin Light/Guardian combo and the Paradox Mage Flux/Energy, which might be pretty fun.

In any case - I don’t have any problem keeping Osmotic Shield up during important fights before I have Vim rings. I don’t turn it on to “use whenever you see an enemy” and rely on its auto-off on rest until I have Vim rings, but I like getting it to the “chance to clear physical status” asap since I have a LOT of early game deaths due to stuns.

3. Suffuse Life: we agree. I just think 6 points is a lot and didn’t want to be locking people into it when it might never matter, although I guess that is another point in favor of making Eldritch Shield non-core.

4. Other things.
-Healing Nexus good.
-Rebreather good (“It’s like Iron Grip for your head!” errrr... “It’s a Grounding Strap for your mouth!” Snarvid please stop trying to write ad copy...) and would save you a generic point or two, but I’m generally an all-or-nothing guy when it comes to condition resistance (and therefore I would only use if I had another 50% from somewhere). Will edit in eventually.
-The farthest I’ve ever gotten on Madness was actually with Oozemancer, which both points to boosting defense early and also suggests why I want to boost offense, as the Oozemancer’s damage just couldn’t kill anyone significant after going East.
-Fire Imp - yeah, I think so, unless I’ve been in a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern coin-flip scenario
-I’m not currently scared of Ritches. I *am* scared of War Hounds, tho.

_________________
My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:51 pm 
Offline
Halfling

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:09 pm
Posts: 108
Snarvid wrote:
Dropping Eldritch Shield and Demonic Strength could let you fit in BOTH the Sun Paladin Light/Guardian combo and the Paradox Mage Flux/Energy, which might be pretty fun.


For what it's worth: My personal rule of thumb is that if you're running Flux on a dual-shield Osmotic build you really don't want any active paradox abilities and you should think long and hard about depending on any sustained paradox abilities -- I'm used to needing 500+ turns of rest to recover paradox down below 100% anomaly rate after a fight.

That said, I've been mostly tinkering with Madness builds and I expect this obliterates enemies quickly enough on Insane and lower that paradox from reality smearing is not actually an issue.

(I do think that Reality Smearing is core for Madness dual-shield Osmotic builds -- it subtracts damage after Osmosis is calculated, which means it's even better than shaving off 30% of all damage. ...which is, alas, still not necessarily enough to save you when you're hit for 2200+ damage in a single chunk.)

Snarvid wrote:
Eldritch Slam is, in the not-infrequent circumstance of “a bunch of dudes with one or more rares/uniques/bosses” mixed through it, an absolute monster source of damage


No disagreement on my part that Eldritch Slam is a lovely source of damage. :) It's great for clearing out a pack of elites-or-lower.

For me, though, using Eldritch Slam would push me even further towards the FEM side of the force over Augmented Mobility.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:26 pm 
Offline
Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 367
I can’t tell whether you’re disagreeing with my Eldritch Slam point or I simply wasn’t clear or it got lost in my Wall of Text (fourth talent, Teh Interwebs tree), so I’ll restate - I was saying that the ridiculous number of cone procs caused by all the chaff are a great source of damage against the uniques and bosses in the crowd. That being the case, I don’t really care about my weapon damage, just the procs, and Quick as Thought works great (although my current Madness playthrough is using Absorption to see if Forcefield being added to the mix is finally enough to stop me from failing so hard at Madness. Prediction: No).

I’ve definitely heard similar advice about reality smearing in the past and will have to experiment to see how it plays out. My hope was to use Entropy -> Redux -> Attenuate -> Attenuate as a boss combat opener to kill problematic sustains, load up damage, and set that sweet 20% killzone, with the plan to see if Temporal Form gives me enough anomaly control to work for really long fights. (If Entropy is a bad idea I’m back to Demonic Strength, which doesn’t break my heart.)

_________________
My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group