ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:43 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 873
After playing around with Writhing One after the release of Forbidden Cults, and learning about the Scourge Drake tree for Wyrmic, I've been wanting to create a tentacle-themed Adventurer build. My goal was to make a build that's comfortably Insane viable without resorting to the usual Arcane Combat/Demon Seed shenanigans; in other words, fun and strong without being completely overpowered. I won Insane/Adventure with one death using a version of the build and won Insane/RL deathless using a modified version.

The tentacle talents offer some fun and flavorful mechanics, but exploiting them on an Adventurer is not as simple as you might expect. Most weapon talents in the game specifically require either a two-hander, a shield, or dual-wielding; tentacles require the offhand slot to be empty. Ogre-wielding a two-hander opens some possibilities and I'm sure it could be the basis for a strong build, but the accuracy/power penalty complicates matters. Right now, I'm just trying the one-hander and tentacle route.

A previous iteration of the build focused almost completely on tentacle damage, using a short staff and TK-wielded staff (i.e., Mindslayer telekinetic focus slot) to maximize darkness damage while also boosting spellpower and crit for supporting talents. This is probably a viable strategy, but at least in the midgame the damage was not terribly impressive. The tentacle hits were only doing ~200 damage each when I was level 30ish, which is nothing to sneeze at, but the staff melee damage was not that impressive either.

So, the current build now focuses equally on mainhand/TK weapon damage as well as tentacle damage, with defense and support talents as usual.

Build Overview
Beyond the Flesh is a sticking point for weapon-based Adventurer builds. The extra weapon slot and bonus attack each turn makes it well worth grabbing a Mindslayer category and using BtF; however, BtF converts Strength and Dexterity weapon damage to use Willpower and Cunning instead, and uses Cunning instead of Dexterity for accuracy calculation, but without the Resonant Focus talent these values are reduced to 60% of their normal amounts. This means you're either required to take the Psionic/Finer Energy Manipulations category and invest 8 generic points to max RF, or do subpar weapon damage, or use weapons (such as staves) that don't deal Str/Dex damage. Psionic/FEM is a fine category, but some builds can't spare the generic points or want a different Mindslayer category.

However, Strength of Purpose converts Strength damage on weapons to Magic damage, and this conversion occurs before Beyond the Flesh's conversion, meaning your damage won't be reduced by BtF. Strength of Purpose also doubles as a weapon mastery for swords/axes/maces/daggers/bows. So by taking the Chronomancy/Temporal Guardian category, we can skip both the Psionic/FEM category and the Weapons Mastery talent, saving quite a few generic points. BtF will still convert accuracy to use 60% Cunning instead of 100% Dexterity, but this is workable since we can gain accuracy from talents and gear.

Cornac was my choice, for the extra category and class/generic points. However, you could go Ogre for using a 2H mainhand weapon or Shalore for Timeless, global speed, and crit chance/multiplier; if so, skip Hymns or Fate Weaving and invest in your racial category. Doomelf is another strong option for its teleport, status/crit reduction, and situational darkness damage bonus; with Doomelf, you could skip Spacetime Weaving and invest in your racial category.

Magic > Cunning > Strength > Willpower

Your damage is entirely Magic-based, so Mag should be maxed first. Cunning improves both accuracy and crit chance, so you'll want to focus on that second. Strength should be maxed around level 42 for when you unlock the Pain Enhancement System prodigy. After Str is maxed, finish maxing Cun and then put leftover points in Willpower for mana/psi/paradox and to further boost Str through the Augmentation talent. Stat requirements for gear/talents can be eased by TK-wielding your highest-tier gem, especially one with +all stats.

If you choose not to take PES, you can max Constitution or Willpower instead of Strength.

Level 30: Arcane Might
Level 42: Pain Enhancement System or your preference

Arcane Might is by far the strongest damage-boosting option for this build and doesn't have any additional requirements, so get that first. Pain Enhancement System is probably the second-best offensive prodigy for the build. My first winner with the build took Flexible Combat. If you prefer, you could take some other prodigy like Cauterize or Spine of the World.

EDIT: I was wrong about Flexible Combat initially. It does trigger an offhand tentacle hit when it procs, although it's true that tentacle hits don't proc FC to create recursion. I'm pretty sure Defiled Blood tentacle hits don't trigger FC hits. I still think PES is better than FC for this build though.

Class Talents
Psionic/Psi-Fighting: 3+/2+/1+/0+
Chronomancy/Temporal Guardian: 5/2+/2+/2
Demented/Tentacles: 5/1/2+/1
Demented/Horrific Body: 1/1/5/5
Demented/Path of Horror: 1+/1/1+/5
Demented/Scourge Drake: 5/1+/5/3+
Spell/Meta: 3/1/5/0+ or Spell/Shades: 1/1/1+/5 or Cunning:Lethality: 1+/5/1+/0

Most of your talents are spells, and Spell/Meta lets you use them all 30% more often (possibly more if you train Metaflow), plus you get the great utility of Disperse Magic without having to find it on your gloves. Spell/Shades is another strong option, giving lots of darkness damage/penetration/affinity and allowing you to clone yourself. Cunning/Lethality provides a lot of bonus damage and penetration from Expose Weakness, plus Blade Flurry provides extra attacks per turn.

If you want to take 2 optional categories, you could skip unlocking a 4th inscription. The points will be tight, but it's probably workable.

Generic Talents
Technique/Combat Training: 5/5/0/2+/0/0
Celestial/Light: 1+/5/1/5
Chronomancy/Spacetime Weaving: 1+/1/1/0
Steamtech/Physics: 2+/2+/1+/0
Steamtech/Chemistry: 1+/2+/2+/0
Wild-gift/Harmony: 0+/0+/0+/0+
Chronomancy/Fate Weaving: 1/2+/1/3+ or Celestial/Hymns: 5/1+/1+/0

For the last category, both Chronomancy/Fate Weaving and Celestial/Hymns are strong options that offer a mix of offense and defense. My first winner used Hymns and I'm trying FW for the next character. FW pairs especially well with Spell/Meta for higher uptime on its talents; if you choose not to take Meta, you'd probably be better off taking Hymns.

There will be some leftover class and generic points to distribute as you like. You will need 2-4 additional points in Therapeutics if you want to use medical injectors, which seems worthwhile to me. You also have the option of investing in Wild-gift/Harmony, which is unlocked for free after eating the heart of the Sandworm Queen.

Category Points
Level 1
Chronomancy/Temporal Guardian
Demented/Horrific Body
Demented/Path of Horror
Chronomancy/Spacetime Weaving
+1 inscription slot
Level 10
Tinkers (wait until you're strong enough for the zone, probably level 15+)
Level 20
Demented/Scourge Drake
Level 36
Chronomancy/Fate Weaving or Celestial/Hymns
Wyrm Bile
Spell/Meta or Spell/Shades or Cunning/Lethality

Helpful Addons
Naturally, you need the Forbidden Cults DLC to access the tentacle talents.

If you haven't yet unlocked Demented/Scourge Drake or other relevant categories, the Ignore Race/Class Locks addon is nice. This addon doesn't actually mess with your unlocks (you will still unlock things normally through achievements) but lets you use races, classes, and talent categories that are currently locked.

This build uses tinkers from an escort reward. If you don't like relying on the luck of the draw to be able to play your intended build, you can use the Select First Escort addon to ensure that you get a lost tinker escort.

Early: Movement, Healing/Regeration, Wild(physical), Wild(mental or mental/magical)
Late: Movement, Heroism, 2x Medical Injector or your preference

Avoid Shielding runes because you want your Shed Skin shield to be absorbing damage. Medical Injectors provide nice flexibility, but require additional generic point investment. It's also worth noting that salves cannot be use while asleep, so you'd want some way to deal with sleep effects before giving up your Wild(mental) infusion.

You'll want to wear massive armor, wield a 1H sword/axe/mace (or 2H for Ogre) in your mainhand, and TK-wield a 2H sword/axe/mace. Noteworthy artifact weapons are Morrigor and the Blighted Maul. Sawrd does great melee damage, but does not trigger multiple tentacle attacks. Projection egos on weapons are always nice, but they don't trigger additional tentacle hits either. General stats to look for are darkness and physical damage/penetration, weapon procs (especially gloom, cripple, disease), healing modifier, physical crit chance, crit multiplier, and Magic/Strength bonuses.

Weapons: Razor Edge or Crystal Edge or your preference
Helm: Headlamp or Air Recycler
Cloak: Grounding Strap
Body: Ablative Armor
Gloves: Iron Grip
Belt: Back Support or Fungal Web
Boots: Kinetic Stabilizer or Rocket Boots (if you have steam regen from an item)
Lite: Black Light Emitter

Alchemist Quest
Class points tend to be tighter than generics in this build, so I recommend getting the Elixir of Focus first. Next I would get the Elixir of Foundations, then the Elixir of Mysticism, then the Elixir of Mastery, then whatever (probably the last option from the Elvala alchemist to get the Potion of Invulnerability).

Class Talents
Psionic/Psi-Fighting 3/1/1/0 early, 3+/2+/1+/0+ core
We need a Mindslayer category to unlock the TK slot and this seems like the best option. Keep Beyond the Flesh sustained at all times for the bonus melee attack (or bonus stats from a gem, for requirements scumming).

Telekinetic Smash is perhaps the only good melee stun talent that can be used while wielding a 1H weapon with an empty offhand, and it also hits twice. I recommend 3/5 for a decent stun duration, but additional investment is reasonable. If you really need points elsewhere, you could leave it at 1/5 though.

Augmentation helps increase Strength for Pain Enhancement System. Since we don't have the points to max Willpower, it's fine to leave this at 2/5 or 3/5. If you choose not to take PES, you can leave this at 1/5.

Warding Weapon can be one-point wonder as an instant-cast block with retaliation damage, or you can get 3/5 for the disarm. After testing, I don't really recommend going 5/5 because it can drain your psi too much in longer fights (which will prevent using Telekinetic Smash) and the build doesn't have a way to recover psi in combat.

Impale is decent, but we have enough other attacks that you can safely skip it. You could consider 3/5 for a decent chance to shatter damage shields.

Chronomancy/Temporal Guardian 3/2/2/0 early, 5/2+/2+/2 core
Strength of Purpose is our weapon mastery and converts our Strength weapon damage to Magic. It also changes weapon Str requirements to Mag, although this is less of a concern when we can TK-wield a gem to get around stat requirements. Get 3/5 by midgame and max when you can spare the points.

Guardian Unity helps minimize the risk of one-shot deaths. 2/5 is a good breakpoint, although you could consider 3/5.

Vigilance is similar to Unflinching Resolve, except it affects all status types and has lower chance to remove them. The detection bonuses are a nice rider. 2/5 is a good breakpoint, but it may be worth going 3/5.

Warden's Focus is a great tool against bosses, especially summoners and necromancers. 2/5 is solid, but I don't think it's worth additional points.

Demented/Tentacles 2/1/1/1 early, 5/1/2+/1 core
Mutated Hand is the weapon mastery for our tentacle damage, so we obviously want to max it eventually. 2/5 is adequate for the early game, since our conventional weapons will be doing a lot of the work at that point.

Lash Out is a nice area attack, but doesn't get significant benefits from additional levels. Leave it at 1/5.

Tendrils Eruption is an excellent skill. It can be used to gain insanity and apply a damage debuff from range, or deal tons of damage to a constricted enemy. 2/5 is a good breakpoint, but you could consider 3/5.

Constrict is very useful, both for the pull and for dealing increased damage to a single target (particularly through Tendrils Eruption). It's basically a one-point wonder. You can also use this to focus damage on a target while kiting around if it's too dangerous to stay in melee range.

Demented/Horrific Body 1/1/2/1 early, 1/1/5/5 core
Shed Skin would be worth additional points if not for its interaction with Pustulent Growth. Essentially, the larger the damage shield it makes, the harder it is for us to generate pustules to fuel our area damage. Leave it at 1/5 and set to auto-use when enemy is visible.

Pustulent Growth is basically a one-point wonder since we want to be bursting the pustules as often as possible.

Pustulent Fulmination is what enables Defiled Blood. The damage and healing on activation is of minor importance, but we want to max this for the radius. You can put this on auto-use when enemy is adjacent.

Defiled Blood is the reason for taking this category. It's both offensive and defensive, since it gives us free tentacle attacks against anyone inside our Pustulent Fulmination radius and also gives something similar to all-damage affinity. Worth 5/5 for the tentacle damage scaling, but the heal scales decently as well.

Demented/Path of Horror 1/1/1/2 early, 1+/1/1+/5 core
Carrion Feet is a nice skill, but it can be left at 1/5 since we have Dimensional Step. This is a good tool for initiating combat once you don't need the stun immunity from Movement infusion anymore. It's a good place to put extra points at endgame since it's a targeted teleport.

Horrific Evolution is a one-point wonder, but a valuable one. It doesn't scale well, but gives a nice boost to accuracy and spellpower at 1/5.

Overgrowth is a good situational tool for breaking through walls or just buffing up for a fight. However, I tend not to use it that often because the randomized terrain can be problematic. It can be left at 1/5, but 2/5 doubles the duration and gives decent scaling on the bonuses.

Writhing One gives excellent defensive bonuses as well as a nice chunk of darkness damage. Get 2/5 early for the stun immunity and then 5/5 when you're able.

Demented/Scourge Drake 5/1+/5/3+ core
Tentacled Wings is a large-radius pull attack that also generates insanity. It's worth 5/5 for the radius scaling, since this can really destroy rooms of enemies. This is my main initiator after unlocking the category.

Decaying Grounds apparently doesn't apply its debuff to you, but does to allies. It might be worth investing in, but there are a lot of other options for your class points. Leave at 1/5 until endgame and see if you have extra points.

Augment Despair is quite strong, especially combined with Seal Fate. It does decent damage, but more importantly increases the duration of all negative effects on the target; the stun from Telekinetic Smash and slow from Maggot Breath are obvious candidates, and you'll likely have numerous status effects from weapon procs as well. I recommend 5/5, but you could leave it at a lower level if you need points elsewhere.

Maggot Breath deals moderate damage, but more importantly applies a strong and lengthy slowing effect to enemies in a large cone. You want at least 3/5 for the radius and slow scaling, but it's probably worth 5/5.

Spell/Meta (optional) 3/1/5/0+ core
Disperse Magic is an essential skill for removing magic buffs from enemies and removing negative magic status effects from yourself. While you can find this as an activatable talent on gloves, the glove ego is rare and also limits your gear selection. You need 3/5 to allow targeting enemies.

Spellcraft isn't important for this build. Leave it at 1/5, although it may be worth keeping sustained as dispel fodder, assuming you have a large mana pool.

Quicken Spells is the star of this category, reducing all spell cooldowns by 30% at 5/5. This affects almost all talents in the build. With good gear, you can get an extra 20-30% cooldown reduction too.

Metaflow is a strong talent, but since points are tight and the build doesn't rely on a lot of long cooldowns, this can be left at 0/5. You would probably want 4/5 if you choose to invest here.

Spell/Shades (optional) 1/1/1+/5 core
Shadow Tunnel and Curse of the Meek are irrelevant to this build. You might get some marginal benefit from using them, but it's generally not worth spending mana to cast them. Leave them at 1/5.

Forgery of Haze allows you to clone yourself, which is always nice. It could be left at 1/5 if you need the points elsewhere, but it scales well enough to merit additional points.

Frostdusk is the main selling point for the category. We do lots of darkness damage and need a way to deal with resistant or immune enemies. This talent also gives some darkness damage and a huge boost of darkness affinity, the latter of which can trivialize some fights. With 5/5 here, it should be fairly easy to get 100% darkness penetration after gear.

Cunning/Lethality (optional) 1+/5/1+/0 core
Lethality provides a nice bonus to crit chance and multiplier. You'd need 1/5 as a prerequisite, but could put extra points here to scale the bonuses.

Expose Weakness is the main reason for unlocking this category. It can provide a large amount of bonus weapon damage and penetration to a single target, depending on the number of hits performed during the attack. You'd want 5/5 for both the duration and the effect scaling. This pairs best with weapons that can hit multiple times, such as Sawrd on an Ogre.

Blade Flurry gives an extra attack against an adjacent target each turn as well as an attack speed bonus. Since this build doesn't have need for stamina outside of this category, you should be able to get good mileage from this sustain. Get 1/5 for the extra attack and consider additional points here at endgame to scale the attack speed.

Snap can reset the cooldown of talents in Cunning and Technique categories. Since we don't have many of those and the duration of 5/5 Expose Weakness is almost as long as the cooldown, it's probably best to leave this at 0/5.

Generic Talents
Technique/Combat Training 0/3/0/2/0/0 early, 5/5/0/2/0/0 core
Thick Skin and Heavy Armour Training should be maxed since they both provide important benefits and we can afford the points. Weapons Mastery should be left at 0/5 since we have Strength of Purpose. Combat Accuracy 2/5 is recommended; you could put additional points here, but that's usually not needed if you have decent gear.

Celestial/Light 1/5/1/5 early, 1+/5/1/5 core
Healing Light is a nice on-demand heal and frees up our inscription options somewhat. 1/5 is generally good enough with decent spellpower and heal mod, but going 2/5 isn't a bad idea if you have extra points.

Bathe in Light can increase your survivability enormously, both by providing healing/shielding over time and by providing a large chunk of heal mod to improve all the other heals in the build (e.g., Defiled Blood). Get 5/5 as soon as possible for the duration and power scaling. You generally won't want to pre-buff shields with this build because you want to generate charges with Pustulent Growth.

Barrier is just dead weight here. 1/5 and move on.

Providence is great as usual. Get 5/5 as soon as reasonably possible for max duration. Combined with Vigilance and Wild infusions or salves, this goes a long way toward keeping you free from nasty status effects.

Chronomancy/Spacetime Weaving 1/1/1/0 early, 1+/1/1/0 core
Dimensional Step is exceptional because it's instant cast and has a fairly short cooldown. While it's viable to leave it at 1/5, I recommend investing additional points for increased range.

Dimensional Shift is not really worth investment for this build. Just 1/5 and move on.

Wormhole is very situational, but can be excellent since it allows teleporting through walls in a semi-controlled manner. It's probably not worth more than 1/5 though.

Phase Pulse is not reliable enough to be worth investment. Leave at 0/5.

Chronomancy/Fate Weaving (optional) 1/1/1/3 early, 1/2+/1/3+ core
Spin Fate can be left at 1/5 since we don't care that much about defenses and saves.

Seal Fate is useful for extending negative statuses on tough enemies. 2/5 is a decent breakpoint, but this is a good place to put extra points in the late game.

Fateweaver is potentially quite strong when combined with Webs of Fate, but it's fine to leave it at 1/5.

Webs of Fate is the main attraction for unlocking this category in the build. This provides a significant damage redirection buff and has 40% uptime before cooldown reduction. Unlike the evasion from Hymn of Shadows, this damage reduction applies to all hits. Combined with Spell/Meta and spell cooldown items, you can achieve high uptime on this buff. 3/5 is a reasonable investment, but it's arguably worth 5/5.

Celestial/Hymns (optional) 3/0/0/0 early, 5/1+/1+/0 core
Hymn Acolyte determines the base effectiveness of your hymns and is worth maxing. Hymn of Perseverence is great for increasing immunities in the early/mid game. Once you have stun immunity from gear and the Writhing One talent, you can switch to Hymn of Shadows as your primary due to the increased spell speed (which affects everything except Telekinetic Smash and bump attacks) and a nice chunk of evasion and movement speed. Hymn of Detection is also great for dealing with stealthed/invisible enemies.

Hymn Incantor gives a nice boost to darkness damage. 1/5 is fine since it scales with spellpower, but you could consider an extra point in the late game.

Hymn Adept provides some handy bonuses, but it's usefulness depends on how often you swap hymns. If you plan to leave the same hymn sustained most of the time, you could leave this at 1/5 for the situational benefit. Probably not worth going past 2/5 regardless.

Hymn Nocturnalist needs a serious investment to do anything meaningful. The build also doesn't have a way to recover negative energy in combat, so it doesn't seem worth taking this talent.

Wild-gift/Harmony (optional, free unlock) 0+/0+/0+/0+ core
Waters of Life is a one-point wonder. Damage from poison and disease can be quite high on Insane difficulty, so throwing a point in here is generally worthwhile.

Elemental Harmony is a solid if unreliable talent. You could throw a couple points in here, but it really benefits from additional investment. On the other hand, there are many other places to spend points for more consistent benefits.

One with Nature needs investment to do anything significant and this build doesn't rely on infusions enough to justify the points. Leave at 0/5 or go 1/5 if taking the next talent.

Healing Nexus is great for shutting down enemies with problematic healing abilities and combos very well with Bathe in Light. This is probably not necessary on Insane, but it's worth considering. It's also good for reducing your equilibrium if you use the other Harmony talents several times during a fight.

Last edited by Effigy on Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:41 pm, edited 19 times in total.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 592
Are you saying that BtF's damage reduction is bypassed by having Strength of Purpose, or that it first converts to Magic and then gets discounted * 0.6? (I think you're saying the former, in which case, good find!)

I've been enjoying a TK+Tentacle fighter as well, but mine uses Temporal Hounds, Friend of the Worm, and Ooze for passive summon generation (which also offers the disturbing question of what a character with Indiscernable Anatomy + Writhing One together might look like). Shades for Forgery of Haze is really tempting thematically to try to fit in there, but I find the lack of ability to define tactical talent usage frustrating (e.g. I'd like it to spawn its own Worm that Walks, but instead worry about how often will it end up puking Maggot Breath on me.)

Decaying Grounds doesn't affect you, but will affect allies. (Note that the Worm that Walks has 100% blight resist and 10% blight affinity, so while it gets dinged on cooldown it actually heals from the damage.)

If you go Scourge Drake you get pretty great Insanity generation, you might be able to add Doom to your generic OR list. Using Madness + Revelation along with Twofold Treason could effectively get you back some of the CDR you were looking for from Meta, along with being a hell of a debuff for whoever you hit with it.

Good luck and enjoy!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 873
So after further testing, it seems like tentacle attacks (from any source) can't trigger Flexible Combat, and Flexible Combat doesn't seem to trigger tentacle attacks either. This was probably some special case code to prevent recursion. Disappointing, but oh well. This means that FC is probably not a great choice of prodigy; not terrible, since it still works with your weapon attacks, but not nearly as good as I was hoping. PES is probably the way to go.

Another interesting find: Sawrd only triggers one tentacle attack even though it hits 3 times. Sawrd is still solid for melee damage, but it doesn't have any special synergy with tentacles.

My character is currently level 48 in Reknor with zero deaths, so the build seems Insane/RL viable.

Yes, Strength of Purpose converts your Strength damage to Magic damage before Beyond the Flesh is applied. Since you no longer do any Strength damage, BtF doesn't reduce your damage. It's a pretty nice upgrade for melee builds since Chronomancy/Temporal Guardian has more utility than Psionic/FEM and generic points are typically tighter than class points.

It would be nice to have some tactical options for Forgery of Haze, but it's mainly a bonus. I grabbed Spell/Shades mainly for Frostdusk to boost the tentacles. You could definitely go with a different category, but I feel like it's a good addition and fits thematically.

Thanks for the info on Decaying Grounds. I'm still not sure if I'd invest in it, but at least it's an option.

Demented/Doom does sound interesting. I'll have to see if I can fit it in another iteration of the build.

Last edited by Effigy on Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 592
This response has been significantly edited.

I really like the Temporal Guardian/Strength of Purpose trick, and Unity also lets me drop Ooze. Stolen! You do lose the overwhelming gross-factor, but should be a large net boost.

Having stopped a couple of games with this kind of character due to feeling it kinda... uh... missed its core intent, my sense is you really need powerful Insanity spenders in this kind of build to make it worth using, or else you're probably just better off with using an off-hand dagger which Strength of Purpose already makes viable and using Blade and Bow Threading.

With the 2 permanent summons, class points actually get quite tight so I was more comfortable moving TK-wielding into Augmented Mobility for Quick as Thought, and Skate + Carrion Feet should make overland juking a bit easier. I’m willing to believe I’m over-invested in Doom, but provisionally seems useful (a lot of effect for only 1 action), and being able to alternate Bathe in Light and Unstoppable Force Salve for healmod likewise.

Horrific Body
Temporal Guardian
Scourge Drake OR Controlled Horrors
Augmented Mobility

10: Friend of the Worm, Temporal Hounds
20: Tinkers
36: Path of Horrors
Wyrm: Doom

Tentacles 5/1/2/1
Temporal Guardian 5/2/2/2
Temporal Hounds 5/5/1/1
Friend of the Worm 5/1/4/2
Path of Horror 1/1/1/5
Scourge 5/1/5/3* OR Controlled Horrors 5/2/1/3 and extra to defiled blood
Horrific Body 1/1/5/2*

Aug Mobility 1/5
Physics 3/2/1
Chem 5/3
Light 1/4/1/5
Thick Skin 5
Heavy 3
Accuracy 2
Doom 5/1/5/5

*Not final on these. Having Doom, Terrible Sight, and a Worm to spam Plague and equip with Acid Groove/Viral Injector probably makes Augment Despair worth maxing, and I can probably shave some points off Defiled Blood since the scaling isn’t so good as to need maxing out. On the other hand, the character generates a large amount of Insanity just off bump attacks/Beyond the Flesh, and while Scourge Drake is very cool the ability to splatter the screen with Decaying Horrors isn't too shabby, either, while the Hounds pulling aggro should alleviate some of the default Writhing One's problem with enemies just walking past your Decaying Horrors. Early game Bloated Horror is a great turret. Finally, while their stats cap at 100 Controlled Horrors still have a good window where they benefit from PES.

Also, bpat said in the Writhing One guide that in the next patch Defiled Blood is losing a lot of power.

Last edited by Snarvid on Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:40 pm, edited 4 times in total.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:10 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 873
Won on Insane/Adventure. I had one death from a bad orc patrol, but I had Blood of Life and Ring of the Dead so it would have been fine on Insane/RL. In hindsight, I would have taken PES instead of Flexible Combat and also unlocked Demented/Scourge Drake at level 20 because it's really good. Spell/Shades was pretty useful, but it could be replaced with another category; on an amusing note, I was literally unkillable while fighting The One That Writes because I kept healing from all the darkness damage. Tentacle damage was decent, but not as crazy as I anticipated given the effort I made to scale it. The tentacles were hitting for about 350-500. Didn't find a single pair of dispersion gloves the whole game, which made Elandar a little tough. Taking Spell/Meta instead of Shades is probably a better option, as much as I hate to drop Shades.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:54 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 592
Grats on the win!

Hmmm. If you’re generics-tight, maybe:

- Spacetime Weaving
- OR choice

+ Psionic Fog
+ Energy

Psionic Fog 1/2 gives you the same range as 3 points in Dimensional Step, with an AoE wet effect, minor damage, heal, and manual Steam gain (it does drain 1 steam per turn but you can always use it same turn) that would let you use good hand tinkers like Fatal Attractor or Toxic Cannister as well as Rocket Boots. The cooldown is 2 turns longer, but this seems like a fair trade to me.

And Energy gives you modest damage protection from energy decomp as well as Entropy, which is more generically useful than Disperse Magic and should interact with Augment Despair.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:15 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 873
Updated the OP based on information gained from testing/discussion.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 873
I got halfway through High Peak on Insane/RL using an updated build. Died to a 2k+ damage headshot from an archer stair guardian. RIP :(

However, the build was performing very well. This version is definitely superior to my original one. Melee talents were hitting for 1.5-3k+ and tentacles were hitting up to 1k with full buffs. It's also very durable with high immunities and constant healing.

EDIT: The change from Flexible Combat to PES is clearly superior. Whether Meta + Fate Weaving is better than Shades + Hymns is debatable. It's not really a fair comparison with these two character because of the prodigy choice. I will say that the reduced spell cooldown from Meta makes a huge difference.

Last edited by Effigy on Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:25 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 592
In my testing I did not notice Dream Malleus projection hits triggering extra tentacle strikes - or at least I didn’t notice the expected flood of Insanity.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:27 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:09 pm
Posts: 190
Expose Weakness's respen is going to work with pretty much all of the damage this build is doing, right? Tentacles would go well with the Ogre + Sawrd + Expose Weakness combo.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 592
I defer to others on whether you meet the weapon requirements for it, since I basically never play Rogues. But if you do there might be some humorous and effective value in Blade Flurry combined with Tentacle’s “hit people to the side” rule... is there a cap on how often Blade Flurry triggers in a round?

And is Ogre necessary? Would Beyond the Flesh not benefit from Expose Weakness?

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:33 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:09 pm
Posts: 190
Snarvid wrote:
And is Ogre necessary? Would Beyond the Flesh not benefit from Expose Weakness?

Beyond the Flesh benefits from Expose Weakness but doesn't count towards acquiring EW stacks. Expose Weakness is an attack and it counts the number of times you hit as part of that attack -- so procs-that-are-attacks like Flexible Combat (or Earthen Power shield bashes) count, but the separate Beyond the Flesh attack does not contribute.

So Ogre isn't necessary to take advantage Expose Weakness, but the ability to dual-wield Sawrd and another weapon generally ends up as better than any alternative (though a good Projection weapon presumably comes close). One big question (which I assume someone other than me already knows, but I'll get around to testing at some point) is whether each Sawrd hit generates its own tentacle hit... I expect that the answer is that it doesn't, but it'll be quite exciting if I'm wrong. :)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:50 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 873
Sawrd doesn't trigger extra tentacle hits, unfortunately. (Or fortunately, for balance sake. :lol: )

You could drop an inscription for Cunning/Lethality if you want. I don't think I'd drop a class category for it though.

EDIT: On second though, Lethality seems like a good alterative to Shades for penetration. It has less utility, but the damage potential is definitely higher. I added it to the OP as an option. Obviously combos best with Ogre, but it's probably a good option in general.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:55 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 873
Won Insane/RL using a modified version of the build. I think the Meta + Fate Weaving version is stronger overall. T2 was the difficulty peak; after level 30, it was smashing whole rooms in a couple turns. Cleared the Prides and killed the end bosses without breaking a sweat, although High Peak had some super dangerous mobs (as usual) which I skipped. This character doesn't do the absurd single target damage of spell proc builds, but it deals enough damage in a large enough area to either one-shot or trivially kill most groups of enemies, while also having the durability to survive most situations.

I also tried out the Assassin Lord randart crafting with this character and was very pleased. There are some limitations on how you can craft a given item, but it does give a good amount of flexibility. Most of the items I'm wearing were crafted, although only 1-2 egos each. I'd definitely recommend it for Insane+ players, as it lets you take the many decent randarts you find and make them great. Changing even one mod on a middling item can make a big difference.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 592
Effigy wrote:
I also tried out the Assassin Lord randart crafting with this character and was very pleased.

Tried out a whatnow? Have I missed something awesome in a patch?

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