ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:33 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:52 pm
Posts: 12
My fight did take 24 casts. However, Elendar died after the 16th spell I cast and I gained 4.3 free turns from terminus. So, I'm going to say my fight ended in 20 casts! Actually, Elendar went down in the 11 rounds it took my heroism to wear off. So we are getting into some timey wimey stuff. And well, even if we measured it, we are comparing apples and orange anyway.

I did mess up my rotation by trying to land split my third cast. It got resisted and left me with no insanity. I didn't get cacophany off until my 8th spell. I basically didn't start doing damage until about 5-6 casts in and had to use rift/terminus/gift my 4/5/6th casts. I had to blow gift early just to get some inanity. This is not good!

If my rotation had looked something like .... obelisk ~ darkwhispers ~ cacophany ~ terminus ~ darkwhispers the fight would have ended much earlier. Instead I went obelisk ~ whispers ~ split and now had no insanity.

You aren't wrong, I played it sub optimally assuming highest dpr was my objective. I'm sort of ok with the fight going sub optimally, because it would have been really cool to clone Argoniel. If I had to do it over again, I'd still try to land split.

I don't see how that negates any of my points. I still think my build was optimal. I could have cut that fight down to 15 casts i think. I'd love to run that fight again, but I don't think there is anything left for me to explore with the cultist class at this point and I'd still end up doing the same thing a second time. It'd take a lot of work just to show that I could end the fight super fast to you.

One of the big problems I did have in the later portion of the fight was that I had everything on CD which tended to happen. But I'd like to remind you that I downed Elander in 16 casts despite playing it the way I had. So there is a bottleneck there with terminus. You can see it the second cast. You only have so many damage spells and can only cast them so fast no mater how many actions you can take. So it really works at the start of fights better to get things initiated.

I think a better question would be why didn't you try to clone one of the sorcs? Also, if I played so sub optimally and still ended the fight at the same (less) time doesn't that prove my point?

Also, gaining 1.4 turns is gaining 1.4 turns isn't it? Depending on how many stacks you have of temporal feast, you should get terminus for free and likely another cast for free especially since you are reapplying atrophy. That's pretty good I think... If I didn't it was probably because I was wearing a -cast speed item with +resall.

Don't take my word for it or watch some video, go try it out.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:54 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:46 pm
Posts: 350
I find it better to dump 10k+ entropic gift in people's faces Image (first tick only, and black hole was ofc doing 20+% of that every turn too)
Against elandar you can see the first tick of gift + netherblast dropped him from 34% hp (8k+ hp) to 0 (dunno how much it was overkill though). And that's a 1/5 netherblast, because there is no points putting more than 1/5 in this talent and rift cutter.

Terminus damage isn't huge, you gain turns sure, but lose the benefits of all atrophy stacks you have applied so far and it takes 5 turns minimum to get them back. and in 1v1 the time gained won't even be a full turn. I pretty much never bothered with cloning because I don't want to pay 25 insa to no longer be able to one shot the enemy. It's good when you're in trouble and can't think about damage though.

Chaos orbs are great because you should run from fight to fight, always being at full insa. The only fight you won't be full for is the first fight at the beginning of a level.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:21 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:52 pm
Posts: 12
A couple of things,

Split is actually bugged right now. Enemies affected by split only take 10% less damage. Yet they deal 53% less damage. The debuff also last 10 rounds with nihil (the clones only last 7 though). It is the best debuff ever. Using it is technically abusing a bug though I guess. Oh yeah, and the clone is pretty sweet. The clone actually only does 27% less damage, not that mob damage is significant.

Also, if an enemy has 6 stacks of atrophy and you cast terminus, terminus gives you 2 stacks, if you get another free cast you are at 4, then you cast another spell and go to 6. Alternatively you just cast any other spell and go to 8 stacks. Worst case you are at 4 vs 8. So 2 turns behind. You still stay at 6 stacks of feast though because it has a duration of 5. Using up the atrophy stacks doesn't mater (much) because feast stays at the higher value for 5 turns.

Against a single target if it takes you 71% of a turn to cast a spell and your opponent has 10 stacks, terminus is essentially a free cast, and you only need 4 more casts to get back to 10. Meanwhile you keep 10 stacks of feast. So with 10 stacks it is also good vs 1v1. (it does cost 10 insanity though)

Also the damage is good!
Attachment:
terminus.jpg
terminus.jpg [ 40.94 KiB | Viewed 279 times ]


Does it compare to a 20 turn entropy bomb? No. But it's AoE 10! and insta cast (or better). And it only takes a few turns to build up. Plus the entire time you are gaining entropy. I love seeing the you gain 2.9 turns message.

Also, about chaos orbs. I was running into insanity problems in longer fights because I was casting things faster than they went off CD. You have a small number of insanity generators and a lot of ways to spend it. Gaining extra turn energy and cast speed was problematic even with severed threads being up. But yes, once you got going it was fine. That's because for 90% of the game you are spamming rift cutter, dark whispers, and nether blast. So for QoL I think it makes sense to dump a couple of points there.

Now if atrophy made enemies encumbered like it does players then I'd never use terminus :lol: :lol: :lol:

Anyway...

I've given your points some thought. I find your build interesting using fungal blood as an prodigy to maximize en tropic gift. However you weren't able to finish the fight in less rounds than a player who simple cast cultist spells as quickly as possible.

What i get out of that is that building around entropic gift is inadequate. Of course there is variance in the fight but i think you should play cultist again and try different ways to play it, i'm not convinced by the points you make.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:56 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 365
I'm not sure what number of talents used in a fight is being used as a proxy for, but it's not IME of these boards a generally invoked build effectiveness criterion. If people agreed on it as a criterion ahead of time, fine, but it seems like you'd play very differently if you were really trying to get that number down (i.e. apply just enough DoTs to kill and then focus on positioning).

@furtbat: I'm not sure how literally you mean "optimal." We could imagine builds that perform significantly worse than others (e.g. I don't think it's plausible to claim that max Hideous Visions and Sanity Warp is a good idea), but even quite strong builds may peak at different points in the game. I'd be quite surprised if a Cornac spending their extra cat point on Chants was the best version of Cultist at any given point in the game, though one of the things I like about TOME is that such things do still surprise me from time to time.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:52 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:52 pm
Posts: 12
That's all fair. Optimal is a poor choice of words. Because I'm new so I need my characters to be built like brick houses to win. So for me the optimal way to win is to use my cat point to unlock chants in trollmire and dump points into it before lvl 10. I need lots of armor and hp and cauterize and defense and to take extra free turns to win safely.

Like, I could just sit there and face tank stuff for most of the game and farm orc prides.

I just wanted to point out that I think cultists should be putting 3-4 points in terminus and itemizing for temporal damage over dark.

I certainly wasn't trying to get into a pissing match so I apologize.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:25 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
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I'm all for the brick house general approach, especially on a DoT class that generally has inevitability. On a (hypothetical) efficient character build frontier you tradeoff purchases of "kill faster" against "die less often," and different classes and races can buy one or the other more cheaply up to some point. Then there's some spread of plausibly efficient tradeoffs where you're getting about as much value out of one as the other, after which if you try to buy too much "kill faster" you may end up dying and having the average time it takes you to win a game rise, while if you try to buy too much "die less often" your progress may stall out with you unable to outdamage an opponent's healing (or you can just take ridiculously long to win every fight and lose the enjoyment of the game).

I do think there's a weird pacing issue in TOME where, once you're good enough make it past Daikara/Temporal Rift/Dreadfell you're generally not challenged that significantly until High Peak randbosses and/or the final battle itself. There can therefore be a bit of a sense that, as no one is getting close to killing you, you might as well buy a lot of "kill faster", even when you could buy "die less often" more cheaply, and then when you meet enemies that are much harder to burst down something it can be like running into a brick wall.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:43 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:52 pm
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I think one of the biggest challenges I faced with cultist was the light armor + low hp early game. I kept getting one shot before lvl 20.

The big issue was low armor hardiness in light armor + and void stars being consumed by pretty much every attack even with stacking as much +hp gear as I could find.

I think the way I was able to get past this was to get the +15% armor hardiness from chants (and for some reason it is 15% vs the 10% in the tool tip) and dump a couple of points into light armor early. You can get herald up without investing many general points.

I want to say I was able to get up to about 70 armor hardiness this way around the T2 dungeons. This made the class very forgiving.

I'm still learning a lot about the game, but I feel like so much of the combat can be solved by having the right gear and having your character mechanically built a certain way.

I agree with the points you made.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:26 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 365
I don't want to seem like I'm coming down hard on you, just throwing out some ideas that I hope add value to the conversation. This game is deep, and with 1000+ hours in it over 7 years I still learn new stuff. (Also, welcome!)

I've mostly been using Cultist-based Adventurer variants rather than Cultists themselves, but (because I think Drem are the current answer for everything) I found in the early going that I got a lot of mileage out of Frenzy -> Black Monolith - > Spatial Distortion -> Entropic Gift. This gave me a lot of control over enemy positioning, particularly once Black Hole had a decent radius, and left me with all of these talents available to do again as needed, ideally once I had build up a little more Entropy and a Halo of Ruin for the second Spatial Distortion or Rift Cutter (depending on enemy positioning). I'll give it a shot as a pure Cultist one of these days and see whether it works as well there.

I think you get the majority of the armor hardiness benefit from the Chant of Fortitude if you just learn it directly from the Sun Paladin, rather than needing to invest a category point and generics into it. You could also grab Tinkers from an escort and get hardiness from Armor Reinforcement (+20 armor hardiness, +2-10 armor depending on tier), while getting +50% stun and silence resist, +25% darkness damage, and disarm and hostile teleport immunity from other tinkers, although it can be difficult to run the gauntlet of enemies needed to unlock Tinkers pre-20 on higher difficulty modes.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:42 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:52 pm
Posts: 12
I actually have a cultist with tinker i didn't finish because I wanted to do the run without tinkers. I think it does make sense to grab something from an escort though, you have a lot of extra generics to spend. Either light or chants work. You have 10 free points to drop into chants as cornac for the cleanse without missing anything. Drem is probably superior to cornac. I have a drem around daikara i haven't finished either because I wanted to take rift. (a mistake I think, I don't like the tree)

You can come down on me if you want. Just don't tell me I need to play the class again because my build does inadequate damage like someone else in this thread lol. Especially when, well anyway...


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:57 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 365
I agree with your assessment of Rifts on paper - I really wanted it to make like Malzahar and spam Skitterlings, but you're looking at 30% of a rift * at most a 49% of a more powerful rift * 33% of it being a Dimensional Gate for roughly a 5% chance of any given spellcast having a 50% chance to spawn Skitterlings for some number of turns. I wish there were an active component of Pierce the Veil that let you manually select which of the 3 enhanced gate types you would get, rather than having it be random.

I think if you did play as Drem the need for a generic sink would go away - you'd have 5 fewer generics and minimum 8 good options to spend them on if you go 1/1/1/5 (and given that Chronophage can help Frenzy's cooldown you might want to go 5/1/1/5, although I don't think that's your best option).

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