ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:30 am 
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Loremaster

Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:18 pm
Posts: 3516
Location: London, England
A dangerous trap to fall into is spreading yourself too thin on a Shadowblade. Many abilities look useful, so you feel the need to get them all.

You do *not* need all 3 category points spent. Stealth in particular should only be bought if you plan on a Stealth-focussed build. In general I think it's best to avoid the tree, wear heavy armour, and consider yourself a warrior with more movement options. The temporal spells are also fully optional, though building yourself around Essence of Speed can be brilliant. Still, this can wait for later in the game. Much of the actual Shadow stuff is pretty worthless, and needs to be made more useful I think.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:38 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:52 am
Posts: 156
Building one around heavy armours requires some heavy strength investments. The question is - is strength useful for this character if he possesses lethality, other than for increasing carrying capacity and being a requirement for heavy/massive armours?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:47 pm 
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Loremaster

Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:18 pm
Posts: 3516
Location: London, England
Use stat boosting items to cheat the equip :) Ultra heavy is somewhat out of the question, but the heavies should be within reach. Of course there's always the chance of a particularly good light armour or artifact. The point really is that ignoring Stealth gives more options elsewhere.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:31 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 11:51 pm
Posts: 1396
shwqa wrote:
Useful Class Skills:
Furry


:lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:36 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:49 am
Posts: 95
I have never gotten a high level shadowblade but I love stealth. Archers and mages leave you alone until your on top of them. You always critical hit. There is a fairly good chance they won't see you even when you hit them giving you 2+ free critical hits.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Reaper

Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:21 am
Posts: 2257
Location: New Zealand
OK, I just trawled the the online char dumps and got the following. It makes for interesting reading, for example the Lethaility tree is not used by anyone (ever) apart from the initial point in lethality.

There are also very few high level Shadowblade dumps suggesting that this is (as we know) a 'tough' class. Along with this is the fact that there are massive numbers of low level dumps suggesting it is a class that appeals!

Quote:
Tree - Dual Wielding (I)

Dual Weapon Training
Dual Weapon Defense

Precision - no
Momentum - no

Tree- Dual Wielding (II)

Dual Strike
Flurry

Sweep - some
Whirlwind - some

Tree - Combat Techniques

Precise Strikes - One point wonder?
Rush - All
Perfect Strike - some
Blinding Speed - some

Tree - Combat Training

All Vary! Health mostly maxed

Tree - Stealth

Very few

Tree - Lethality

None

Tree - Shadow Magic

Varies

All other trees varies...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:05 pm 
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Loremaster

Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:18 pm
Posts: 3516
Location: London, England
Precise Strikes certainly isn't a one point wonder - it's just skipped over to get to Rush.

Interesting about Lethality though...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:55 pm
Posts: 128
I've been playing a shadowblade for some time now, I haven't had the time to play long enough to get him far/dead, but he's already level 36 and he was dealing quite good with the second bosses in the west, now he was going to do the Tannen quest and then onto the prides.
Here's the buils: http://te4.org/characters/646/tome/aad1 ... 1cc000edf0

I saw myself spending stat points across the whole spectrum, very different with more straight forward classes where you just max out our primary stat and then focus on secondaries. I liked this approach, it made me feel more balanced and the effects of getting different stats up was noticeable. It felt weaker, but versatile.

The shadow tree looked interesting, I liked the concept, but after seeing shadow combat doesn't really scale I lost interest on it. Does shadow combat's damage scale with spellpower? It doesn't look like it does. In that case I would consider maxxing out shadow cunning and focus on cun, and maybe start over again and make a stealthy SB. Before I stopped playing I wanted to spend some points in shadowstep, which I started to need.

At first I didn't want to focus into rogue skills, I avoided Flurry, f. ex., until the early 20 lvls, where I had to get some serious damage dealer. The stunning skills were highly necessary for survival, of course. Sadly the magical trees didn't really compensate for those roguish damage skills, so I finally took 'em. Sweep and Whirlwind work wonders in dungeons like the spider caverns and the drake caves in the east. They also work for a higher damage output in some cases where a normal hit wouldn't make it. I like them. I suppose all of these work a lot better with the plus damage of Shadow combat, specially Flurry which gets a lot of accumulated shadow damage for each hit. But I don't really know if it really makes a huge difference. Maybe the shadow damage could hit even if your melee hit misses? Now it works like a not-so-powerful elemental weapon. What if it reduces the target's attack (accuracy) by "surrounding him in shadows", or just some kind of debuffing, then the low damage wouldn't be that bad afterall.

The Temporal tree is great until you notice that Essence of Speed and Time Prison is all you need. Congeal time doesn't feel powerful enough, I used it a couple of time and I ended up prefering zapping a wand. I suppose it can be helpful with more powerful bosses or maybe the end fight, but I have never been that far yet. I haven't tried Time shield yet, I know it can be exploited but so far my best life saver has been self-time prisoning, and I haven't had the points to start focusing on the shield. I dunno, it just doesn't seem useful enough.

I didn't unlock the divination tree because I noticed I really needed the extra runes slots and I didn't have the skill points to start spending on another tree. If I take it, it will probably be just for premonition, since vision and arcane eye are easily replaceable with items/runes.

The PD fizzle is a pain, but I mostly use it to get closer to enemies, so fizzling isn't that dangerous. Teleport is great, of course, but you have to be really careful with your mana, since Shadow combat can empty your mana pool without you noticing and that can get you in trouble, so carrying a manasurge rune is highly recommended.

Blur sight is incredible. I hardly get hit by normal npcs and elites and bosses usually have a hard time hitting me, pity the phantasm tree has no way to deal with casters, I don't remember what phantasmal shield did, but I suppose it wasnt that impressive.

So far the class looks interesting, I like the idea of it, but the whole "shadowblade" thing should be powered, I'd like another shadow tree that focus either on ranged stuff or defensive stuff. Defense is mostly addressed in other trees so maybe it isn't that necessary, but ranged is a must in my opinion, since most of the time I saw myself not being able to do much when the mobs were far away, I had no skill that felt more useful than just getting to melee range as fast as possible. That doesn't feel too magical, does it? I think that ranged LoS control spells is the most logical approach, using shadows to your favor in open areas. What could also be nice is a spell to make a target highly vulnerable to shadow damage for X turns. Maybe also an activated that gives +X% to shadow damage for Y turns (and that could be swapped with shadowstep, having a purely shadow combat/damage tree and a shadow mobility/control tree).

Maybe next week I'll manage to get Scar III active again, but for now I'm away of my PC and unable to play.

PS: I really like your CotW idea madmonk!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 11:51 pm
Posts: 1396
I've always liked the "flavor" of Shadowblades (especially back in the days when regular Rogues couldn't get a Phase Door rune). But I've never been able to do particularly well at keeping one alive. My builds are generally "80% Rogue, 20% Mage". I emphasize Dex/Cun and the physical combat skills foremost. Then I throw in a bit of Mag. I build up toward Essence of Speed as soon as it's feasible to get the Mana for it. I don't put additional points in Shadow Combat (since the damage is pitiful past the early game), and I've never attempted to use Stealth at all.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 8:04 pm
Posts: 174
Location: colorado
Does no one use probability travel? A tried a PT shadowblade a couple betas ago. The requirements were steep, but I had a blast for the couple levels I had it, zipping around the Elven Ruins. Of course I died soon after, it being one of my first characters to enter that dungeon.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:18 pm 
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Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:53 pm
Posts: 1332
escargot wrote:
Does shadow combat's damage scale with spellpower? It doesn't look like it does.


It doesn't, just checked.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:03 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:32 am
Posts: 202
This is a frustrating class at low levels. It needs help. As a side note, I think that the v19 changes (bosses using infusions and the like) really hurts the low damage classes like fighter and shadowblade - and shadowblade is emphatically low damage early on. Bill the Troll is essentially unkillable - and it's not good design to have characters unable to deal with the boss in the entry dungeon. By contrast, other classes (mage, archer, summoner that I've tried) can overcome the new infusions pretty easily with burst damage capability. Basic issues are numerous "needs" (like boosting weapon damage with early abilities and stats to activate even second tier abilities) plus being a melee class with no ranged damage ability. If they're supposed to be rogue/mage hybrids - the magic aspects should be beefed up. In particular, I'd suggest giving them some damage-dealing option with a better level 1-10 floor than what they have (e.g. enhanced shadow damage from the passive) and some way of evading danger that is more reliable than phase door, even if it has a long cooldown.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:06 am 
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Cornac

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:00 pm
Posts: 37
I played many nightmare shadowblades in beta 16, 17, and 18. early game i would use precise strike which no one seems to like, but i found that if i missed with a stunning attack that would be the end of the game(and by using precise strike i could ignore Dex until after level 20). both dirty fighting and dual strike were useful and i maxed out both.
didn't use PD because of the failure rate. I would get probability travel maxed out around CL 18. the mobility from PT was good enough(though i miss the old PD). for stats i would go magic and con early with just enough Dex to wield a decent dagger.
haven't been to the far east in a long time so not sure how a PT build would work, but it seems teleport is good now so i think they could work.
I think their are some good builds but careful planning is definitely required. generics and stat points really need to be planned. by level 30 class points are not a problem.
I didn't use illuminate that much though it seemed useful when i remembered to use it.

at level thirty was planning on getting the temporal tree, used the first two category points for infusions


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