ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:21 am 

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
Posts: 784
Writing One is a very odd but fun class. Here's my Insane winner for reference. The one death was in the final battle after I killed Elandar where I forgot to switch in a Mental Wild so I got shut down by Burning Hex. As usual, I'll put a tl;dr build at the top but you really should read the whole thing because Writing One plays weirdly.

  • Very durable
  • Great access to debuffs
  • Decent ranged and AoE attacks
  • Range 10 gap close and pull
  • Amazing permapet

  • Low damage for a melee class
  • Cannot maintain high insanity from a range
  • Mediocre escape options
  • Poor status management
  • Highly limited by cooldowns

tl;dr build

This build skeleton is the minimum you should take to succeed with this class. My winner's build differed from this slightly but most of those changes are based on personal preference.

5/1/3/1 Mutated Hand
1/1/4/5 Horrific Body
2/1/1/5 Path of Horror
4/2/1/3 Controlled Horrors
4/1/1/5 Disfigured Face
4/2/4/4 Friend of the Worm

Spare class points can go in Controlled Horrors talents, Carrion Feet up to 4/5, Horrific Evolution, Overgrowth up to 3/5, Constrict, Dissolved Face, 3/5 Foul Convergence, and 5/5 Shared Insanity.

5/3/0/2/5/0 Combat Training
1/5/1/1 Survival
5/1/2/2 Beyond Sanity

Spare generic points can go wherever, probably racials and escort categories since you only need to unlock one class category.

Stats: Str > Mag > Dex > Cun
Inscriptions: Movement, Heroism, Wild, Regeneration / Healing, and Regeneration / Healing / Shielding / Movement / Wild / Phase Door.
Prodigies: Arcane Might at 30, PES, ICCTW, Spine, etc at 42 (none of these are very good so pick whatever you want, I went with PES)


Ogre should be ideal since you can make great use of 6 Inscriptions. Otherwise the usual good races are good, except Cornac since you don't need the category point. The only reason my winner is Cornac is because I forgot how bad Cornac was for the class until I got far enough that I decided to stick with the character.


Stats: Str > Mag > Dex > Cun, aim to hit 60 Magic by level 30 though since Magic becomes better than Strength once you take Arcane Might.


Standard setup is good as always. Movement + Heroism + Wild + Regeneration / Healing + Regeneration / Healing / Shielding / Movement / Wild / Phase Door


Arcane Might is essential because Writhing One does pretty low damage for a melee class and it works with your tentacle attacks. It's a perfect fit since you build Magic anyway and have a spellpower boosting passive. For your second prodigy, ICCTW, PES, and Spine of the World are all find choices. You could even go Armour of Shadows for overkill anti-physical defense. None of these are great but they're all okay.

Category points

Friend of the Worm at level 10, rest go to Inscriptions, Harmony, or escort categories (Light, Conditioning, and Tinkers are the good ones). Sadly you cannot give your Worm that Walks pet the Wyrm Bile. If you think that's silly (like me) then support me in my quest to let them use it here.

Class Categories

Tentacles: 1/1/1/0 early, 5/1/3/1 core, Constrict luxury

Your tentacle attacks are pretty bad early so you don't need to rush to max Mutated Hand. You will want to max it as soon as you can spare the points though.

Lash Out is a very strong AoE attack that generates up to 20 insanity. It's arguably worse when you're Constricting so consider using it before Constrict if fighting groups of enemies.

Tendrils Eruption is a fantastic ranged tentacle attack that gives you 20 insanity. This is your only safe way to generate insanity from 5 range and up. Early this won't do much damage but it's still nice for the insanity generation. The damage reduction is good but it doesn't scale that well with points so I left it at 3/5. Like Lash Out, you may not want to use this while Constricting when fighting large groups, but if you're fighting a single adjacent it's absolutely amazing with Constrict.

Constrict attempts to pull the enemy adjacent to you every turn. Often you don't actually want your opponent to be in melee range so be careful when using this, especially since it takes a turn to deactivate (though it deactivates for free when you run out of insanity or break LoS) you may not want to be stuck with a strong enemy next to you. You can have summons block the target if you want continuous tentacle damage without bringing the enemy next to you, though you won't be able to keep this up for long because of the insanity drain. You still gain 10 insanity when bump attacking even though it won't do a tentacle attack, and the continuous tentacle attacks from Constrict do not generate insanity, so you must melee your target to keep it up for long.

Horrific Body: 1/0/0/0 early, 1/1/4/5 core

Shed Skin is a cheap instant shield. It costs 10 insanity but it's decent enough to be worth the cost in most situations.

Pustulent Growth is worse than it looks since it's very rare you take 15% of your maximum life in a single hit, especially with all the damage reduction this class has. Usually you will only get pustules from Shed Skin. Because it's so difficult to generate pustules and you want to use Pustulent Fulmination as much as possible, I recommend leaving this at 1/5.

Pustulent Fulmination sets up Defiled Blood. The heal is okay but you really only care about the radius which is why I recommend 4/5 to maximize the radius.

Defile Blood is really OP since it gives free tentacle attacks and healing based off incoming damage. You can think of the healing as damage resistance that is affected by healmod. The tentacle attack damage is going to be nerfed down to 1% in a future patch.

Path of Horror: 2/1/1/2 early, 2/1/1/5 core, Horrific Evolution, 4/5 Carrion Feet, and 3/5 Overgrowth luxury

Carrion Feet is a nice controlled jump and insanity generator. You'll often want to save this for escapes even though it's good aggressively because Writhing One has no other reliable escape talent. The damage reduction's area is pretty awkward but you can target this talent on an occupied square to help aim. Range breakpoints are at 2/5 and 4/5.

Horrific Evolution gives a ton of value at 1/5. You can drop some spare points to make it even better so get it if you're having trouble beating defense and spell saves.

Overgrowth gives you amazing offensive and defensive boosts but you must be very careful not to walk when using it unless you know you will be safe. It rearranges nearby terrain and can cause you to accidentally aggro enemies in another room. You can safely use Carrion Feet and other teleports without affecting terrain and you can right click the buff to deactivate it if you really need to move without messing up terrain.

Writhing One is just amazing. It's similar to Oozemancer's Indiscernible Anatomy. Max this as soon as you can spare the points unless you already capped stun resistance.

Controlled Horrors: 2/0/0/0 early, 4/2/1/3 core, up to 4/4/3/5 luxury

Decayed Devourers gives you some nice meatshields that do respectable damage. Once you get 3/5 Call of Amakthel you get a bunch of them against large groups.

Decayed Bloated Horror confuses enemies which is awesome but its damage is pretty bad even with Agony from 3/5 Call of Amakthel. You cannot get the duration long enough for him to use Mind Disruption more than once but extra points still help with the confuse duration and tanking damage.

Horrific Display resets aggro which sometimes makes your enemies kill each other and sometimes doesn't help at all. If you have summons up then there's a very good chance enemies will at least target your summons over you which is nice. 3/5 is a duration breakpoint but it's still fine at 1/5.

You don't care about the damage increase from Call of Amakthel but rather the bonuses from its breakpoints. 3/5 is essential to get more Devourers and 5/5 can be nice for the pull.

Disfigured Face: 4/1/0/0 early, 4/1/1/5 core, Dissolved Face and 2/5 Writhing Hairs luxury.

Diseased Tongue does mediocre damage since it doesn't use your mainhand but it's ranged and AoE and it generates insanity. It ignores armor which is nice against some enemies but the damage is never going to be amazing. The disease sets up Dissolved Face and Cyst Burst and Catalepsy from your Worm that Walks pet.

Dissolved Face is does fantastic damage and you actually have the spellpower and darkness damage and resistance penetration to use it well with this class. You can easily get 3+ diseases thanks to your Worm that Walks pet which gives this crazy damage over the duration. I recommend floating some points in here early because it has fantastic range and damage while your tentacles take a while to get good.

Writhing Hairs is underwhelming. The movement speed reduction is okay I guess but you already have Constrict for enemies that like to run away. You only get around 24% damage amplification if you 5/5 this so it's not a great use of points. 2/5 is the most I'd recommend investing since the movement speed reduction is solid there.

Glimpse of True Horror is really cool. It gives a crazy amount of blight and darkness resistance penetration which is amazing for your tentacle attacks and even better if you found The Black Spike or the Pendant of the Sun and Moons since it will affect your mainhand too. The talent fail chance is also amazing. Try to space out your Disfigured Face talents to get the most out of this. You will almost always beat your opponent's spell save thanks to Horrific Evolution and Terrible Sight

Friend of the Worm (locked): Unlock at level 10, 1/1/2/2 early, 5/2/4/2 core, 3/5 Foul Convergence and 5/5 Shared Insanity luxury

Worm that Walks is Alchemist Golem done right. You don't need too many points in this talent for a while because it's only as useful as your item drops. Put more points in whenever you find a good item that you want your Worm that Walks to have a slot for. There is an entire section dedicated to building your Worm that Walks pet so I won't go into detail here.

Foul Convergence is a fantastic insanity generator so it's worth using on cooldown even when both you and your Worm that Walks are adjacent to your enemy. It's better for gap closing than Carrion Feet as it cannot be used to escape and it generates more insanity. 2/5 reduces the cooldown from 19 to 13, 3/5 reduces it to 11, and further points are underwhelming so I wouldn't go past 3/5.

Shared Insanity is amazing since it gives you and your Worm that Walks a ton of resist all and it also gives your Worm that Walks extra Inscription slots. 4/5 it for the Inscription slots.

Terrible Sight passively reduces enemy saves and defense when you and your Worm that Walks are near each other and either are near your enemy. This is what makes you not have to worry about enemy spell save and defense. The active stun is great at 2/5 and it gets a bit better up 4/5 but the fifth point doesn't do much. The stun also works if either you or your Worm that Walks are close enough to the enemy, you don't need both of you to be in range.

Slow Death (locked): Don't unlock, this is worse than several escort categories and Harmony and you don't have the class points to spare. If all your escorts died and you're Cornac then unlock this and go 4/1/1/1.

Digest is like a bump but with more damage and more insanity gain. If you get the execute you get a nice buff for a while but if there isn't any random trash around it's a glorified bump attack.

Painful Agony is whatever. It'll probably be useless unless you get something OP like Forgery of Haze.

Inner Tentacles has a cooldown for some reason so it's bad. Sure it's lifesteal but it's the worst lifesteal talent in the game. Just use bloodcaller if you want RNG lifesteal.

Consume Whole looks okay as a panic heal. Of course you have to actually be digesting something in the first place but if you can do that then this could be nice.

Generic Categories

Beyond Sanity: 3/1/1/2 early, 5/1/2/2 core, everything luxury

Chaos Orbs give you a damage boost (21% at best). You usually want to keep these unless you want to confuse a hard enemy or use an emergency escape or insanity generation. 3/5 is a nice breakpoint but you may as well max this since you don't have anywhere better to spend generic points.

Anarchic Walk is an okay teleport. Only eats two Chaos Orbs so it's cheap to use. I rarely bothered with this talent but it may save you a couple of times.

Disjointed Mind is cool, you can get an 8 turn high power confuse with just 2/5 in it. It removes all your Chaos Orbs but you will gain them back soon enough if you have enough points in Chaos Orbs.

Controlled Chaos lets you convert your Chaos Orbs into insanity which is nice in emergencies. I rarely used this but sometimes you need to for Pustulent Fulmination or something.

Combat Training: 0/3/0/2/5/0 early, 5/3/0/2/5 core, Armour Training and Combat Accuracy luxury

Self explanatory.

Survival: 1/5/1/1 core

Heightened Senses is whatever.

5/5 Device Mastery is great if you know how to use it. Really nice with Morrigor and Pendant of the Sun and Moons.

Track is Track. May as well use this in those awkward turns where you aren't in melee range and your ranged talents are on cooldown.

Danger Sense sucks but 1/5 gives a small chance to resist debuffs.

Harmony: unlock with Wyrm Bile category point (unless you got a better escort category), 1/1/5/5 core, Elemental Harmony luxury

I'm counting this as a Writhing One category since it's the best use of your last category point unless you get a better escort category.

Waters of Life is really nice against crazy high poison from Summoners and Oozemancers, it makes you near immortal for the duration. There's no need to invest more than 1/5 because poisons and diseases don't usually last longer than its duration. I like to put this on autocast when available and request confirmation before using.

Sadly you can't easily deal fire damage to yourself but it's still nice value for one point since most enemies will apply one of the damage types and the fire and nature give solid buffs and and cold gives a decent buff, and these elements are more common than lightning and acid which give underwhelming buffs.

One with Nature is similar to Writ Large. It's great, use it whenever all your Infusions are on cooldown or whenever you need a specific Infusion to come off cooldown 5 turns faster.

Healing Nexus lets you heal off your enemies. If they have Vitality or something it's amazing but if your enemy is a healing class you may as well use it since it also boosts your healmod for the duration, so it usually won't be a waste of a turn.

Worm That Walks

This guy is amazing. He can wield two one-handed weapons, body armour, a belt, four rings, and a trinket. He has very high innate spellpower and accuracy so you don't need to worry too much about beating enemies' defense and saves. Unfortunately he has -60% all damage, but this isn't as bad as it sounds because it stacks additively, not multiplicatively, with other percent damage sources. Overall he excels at debuffing with melee procs and diseases, but he will never do particularly high damage because of this damage penalty. If you find two good shortstaves / caster weapons like Malediction and Life Drinker you want to give him those, otherwise give him 1h weapons with good procs like amnesia, gloom, and projection. Your highest priority on his items are melee procs and percent blight damage, followed by spellpower, spell crit chance, and defensive stats.

For his talents, the following is a good template, though you could also aim for 3/5 Acid Blood for armour reduction and Dark Surprise for blind.
5/4/1/1 Epidemic
1/1/0/0 Scourge
1/0/0/0 Reaving Combat
5/1/4/1 Rot

For Inscriptions, Regeneration, Healing, and Heroism is probably ideal. You could give probably him Injectors if you go Tinkers haha.

My wiki page, which contains a guide and resource compilation and class tier list.

Last edited by bpat on Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:32 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 362
I like it, particularly learning about the 60% damage debuff on the Worm and your build suggestions on account - that's news to me, changes how I would build it significantly, and look! You've already done the work for me.

Sad to hear about Defiled Blood - with any luck overall tentacle damage would get a buff if its getting nerfed that hard, raise up the rest of the toolbox while not having DB as such an overwhelming standout.

I think Tinkers are the overwhelming favorite for Writhing Ones as an escort category, and it's good enough I would take it at 20. Tinkers are really good for melee classes anyway, and if you unequip your items manually they keep the tinkers equipped to them, and you can pass them over to your Writhing One - so Viral Injector (oh hai Plague tree!), Acid Groove, Alchemist's Friend, and Spike Attachment/Crystal Plating are all available for your slimy friend.

My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:53 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:47 pm
Posts: 4
I just started playing a WO and im asking myself why not just skip strenght and melee generics and play with staves? The tentacle attacks should profit from the +% darkness damage. Are the bump attacks that important? Your guide reads as if they wouldnt matter that much. Just curious. Since you have much experience playing WO. :)

[edit]: I would choosing to play Ogre for all the staves as 1 handed weapon.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:39 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:50 am
Posts: 43
I played a similar WO (except I went Drem and Tinkers) up to High Peak 11. Then got hit with a bugged braid that dealt damage after being cleared and a 18 turn duration. Even dying didn't get rid of the braid. >:(

The biggest difference may have been that I loved Constrict and used it constantly.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:13 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 362
Dhaan wrote:
I just started playing a WO and im asking myself why not just skip strenght and melee generics and play with staves? The tentacle attacks should profit from the +% darkness damage. Are the bump attacks that important? Your guide reads as if they wouldnt matter that much. Just curious. Since you have much experience playing WO. :)

[edit]: I would choosing to play Ogre for all the staves as 1 handed weapon.

You probably could do this. I willing to believe I'm wrong, but I don't think there are staves that are amazing in melee that are comparable to Skysmasher, Sawrd, Dream Malleus, Murderblade, the... erm... lifesteal greatsword (e: Dethblyd), etc. are.

My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer

Last edited by Snarvid on Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:33 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:39 pm
Posts: 146
Dhaan wrote:
I just started playing a WO and im asking myself why not just skip strenght and melee generics and play with staves?

Because you won't deal as much damage.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:15 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:47 pm
Posts: 4
So you are saying the bump attacks are more important? Since nearly all skill attacks would do more damage with staves (most do tentacle damage wich is dependend only on the magic stat and +%damage or just plain fixed damage which would profit from the +% too).

You know what? I just test it and tell you how it went. ^^

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:21 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 362
Foul Convergence, Lash Out, & Constriction Tentacle Eruption all include a weapon attack, as do Rush boots, Jetpack, Skysmasher, etc. Depending on the weapon you have, you'll be bump attacking quite a bit - Sawrd + offhand tentacle would be stronger than Diseased Tongue unless you needed more Insanity, and certainly stronger than Dissolved Face.

I wish WO could learn Scourge Drake as an unlockable. Wyrmics are so into dragons they can even learn dragon powers from wormy dragons, seems plausible that Writhing Ones are so into worms they could learn worm powers even from dragony worms.

Sawrd only triggers one tentacle attack, and projected attacks don't trigger any, FYI.

My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:14 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:52 pm
Posts: 10
I'm in the middle of a nightmare run and my worm pet is fantastic! I think I've found the best way to abuse him. He not only has a 60% damage penalty but also a 60% healing penalty. However, just like the damage penalty the healing penalty is additive with bonus to healing. Also, you can equip him with tinker buffed weapons...

1) Skills:

You have 4 main skills that make this guy work: Virulent Disease, Ruin, Corrupted Strength, and Pestilent Blight.

Virulent Disease has a CD of 3 and he will spam it nonstop. It has a range 5, does blight damage, debuffs a stat, and causes a dot.

Ruin is a sustain that causes each melee attack to cause blight damage and heal himself.

Corrupted Strength gives him a free blight attack each time he casts a spell

Pestilent Blight gives him a 30% change of causing a debuff (blind, silence, disarm, pinning) each time he deals blight damage.

2) Equipment:

You are going for +blight damage, +resists, +healing, +status on hit. You don't care about damage on his weapon at all. It will all come from blight damage. And really, you just want him to debuff things an not die. His shared insanity resistance buff adds +Resist to all of his resists. What this means is, he will get +25ish resists to all and to all his other resists. He has to have to have some of the resist first though. This means he is going to be running around with 50% to resist all and 50% resist to everything else save fire.

Oh, and put two viral injectors on his weapons!

3) Stats:

You want to max spell power and just give him enough strength to equip whatever armor you are putting on him.

4) Runes/Inscriptions: I went with 2 shields and a regen.

Yeah, he is badass!

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