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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:07 am 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:12 am
Posts: 543
Got one through with no legitimate deaths in RC1 - technically one due to Snaproot chaining Giant Swing infinitely in a sea of Lua errors due to the knockback bug, but a quick force-quit solved that. Notably, I only put points in Gloom for Sanctuary, and used the freedom for a decent investment in every tree except Fears. I used Surge exclusively until the East, but never felt the need to put more than one point in it. Once I got Gaping Maw in the breeding pits I pumped Cleave and swapped between the two frequently. After getting Thick Skin 5, I switched to boosting cunning instead of constitution.

I had awful gear and infusions until the East, where I lucked into a few absurdly good items (1.8 absorption hat to help maintain Antimagic Shield, gloves that proc Reproach and Sand Breath for ~300 damage + brainlock/AOE blind, and holy shit that first merchant ring!) Never getting the Withering Orbs was a huge problem, especially due to the constant blinds and invis runes in the last fight. Aeryn only squeaked through with under 300 health because I had Nature's Touch from escorts and insane mindpower.

I wasn't sure I'd be able to hit 100% predator on humans during High Peak, so after finishing the Prides, I made a return trip to the lumberjack village for some "training."

I took Draconic Body at 50, but the only time it triggered was against a Champion of Urh'Rok stair guardian in High Peak, because at that point the only thing that could put a lasting dent in me was sustained, heavy melee damage (which Repel might have helped with, had I gotten it.)


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:39 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:43 pm
Posts: 606
I'm enjoying this guide as I try to develop a Yeek Cursed. I'm not following all your advice because I want to develop my own style, but the value of this guide as a foundation to make informed choices is immense.

Suggestion about the TW betrayal...I just went with Dream Walk and it's absolutely lovely for someone who is considering going AM and therefore losing access to phase door runes.


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:54 am 
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Higher

Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:17 am
Posts: 48
Just got to the east with my first try of this, considering i never made it to the tier 2 dungeons on prior attempts with cursed (though those were build 34 or something), i'm impressed with the guide's results


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:47 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:35 am
Posts: 261
Just finished for the first time! Without closing any portals, because I didn't know how. Thanks for the guide, and thanks also to the others commenting. The discussion was useful.

My thoughts:

1) I feel sorry for anybody who doesn't try out blindside, preternatural senses, and surge. They are just too good to pass-up, and there are enough points to go around.

2) Predator is kind of a wash. I didn't use it, but used it with a previous build. It's moderate benefit, for only some opponents (although, sure, the final bosses), for a lot of investment. Okay for Cornac-- maybe not a good idea for peeps with XP penalties that need to level up to 50 in farportals, where they teleport baddies of all types on either side of you, eight deep, and then send you a random boss with 500% resist all.... (Still have no idea how I killed that thing.)

3) I tried out Fears. I wouldn't do that again. It's pretty useless. You can go through a whole bar of hate, running around, trying to get the fears to take hold in a group, when you could just kill them instead. If you've got a category point and don't know what to do with it, spend it on mastery for one of your other talents. Combat training mastery is a good first choice.

4) The hard part of cursed is the beginning: once you level up a bit, you can easily take on at-level baddies. So the XP penalty isn't a big deal for other races. But fungus is so good, and cursed will have such high WP and such low Magic, it just doesn't seem like a good idea to take a spellcasting race. You don't really need the Cornac category point, but then, you don't really need any racials either.

5) Mindstars would work good for them, if you feel like doing it. (I took out the first boss with a witchblade and an off-hand mindstar, then switched to 2H for the second one.) One of the cool things about cursed is that they can switch between shield, 2H, and dual wield without losing anything, so you might as well look at all the weapons that drop, rather than locking yourself into a particular playstyle. (I still found 2H to be the most useful.)

6) Curses are just not a good investment. Too many points, too dependent on RNG for your gear (practically, you'll be running with slightly subpar gear so you can get the curses to match up), and the early willpower hit hurts for developing talents.

7) Really, it's hard to go wrong with prodigies. I did superpower and fast as lightning (which was fun, but I wouldn't do it again). Pick one that's useful, and you can get away with one that's fun. If I was going to do it over again, I'd probably take superpower and +15% global speed. Or maybe mental tyranny.

8) Two regens, one heroism, and one movement infusion will give you as many escapes as you need, so long as you're careful when Relentless Pursuit is still on cool-down. I just took a look at my finished character: with surge, rampage, and movement, I'm at 18000% speed. So that movement infusion works as a perfectly controlled teleport to anywhere on the map.

9) The only status effects I had problems with were curse of death, impending doom, and blindness. Cursed status immunities are unparalleled. Between surge and rampage, it was never a problem falling back to wait anything out.

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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:03 pm 
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Cornac

Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:57 pm
Posts: 41
I wouldn't really call curses a bad investment. You only need one piece of shrouds at minimum on your gear to make them decent, anything else becomes amazing, and Madness is pretty nice if you want to DW as well. I even ran a recent thalore cursed who skipped AM and took curses (to get away from cookie cutter cornac AM cursed stuff because I think that's what my last 3 cursed were or something :lol: ) and found it to be just as easy/fun as the usual.

Why would race matter for taking Predator? You don't need to be 50 before High Peak at all--in fact, I prefer not being 50 so I can get a free full heal in the middle of the last boss, since at that point the extra stat points/class points are a "win more" kind of deal. You don't ever strictly need to farportal regardless of race unless you're feeling like a daredevil and want to try and shore up a hole in your equipment or force out one last level or something.

Fears are pretty whatever on cursed, yeah. It feels like they're mostly there thematically because Doomed are the ones who get the real use out of them, and even they can win pretty safely without ever investing in them.

Grats on the win!


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:56 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:35 am
Posts: 261
Judecca wrote:
Why would race matter for taking Predator?


Because I figure that as a race with an xp penalty, proportionally fewer of your enemies are going to be humanoid; and because without an extra category point, you're going to get Predator later in the game. (More experienced players might make it to the top of High Peak with a Shalore at lvl 49, but I relied on locking some dungeons into lower levels, and I don't think I could have made it there at 49 with an experience penalty.)

I figure guides like this are more for newbies than experienced people, so it's worth saying that it takes a long time to get full Predator experience.

Quote:
Fears are pretty whatever on cursed, yeah. It feels like they're mostly there thematically because Doomed are the ones who get the real use out of them, and even they can win pretty safely without ever investing in them.


Yeah. I feel like if they were passives associated with your gloom, they'd be worth taking, but as active, hate-draining abilities, they're just not effective enough. (I was surprised to find Gloom useful until the very end, even with the large number of status immune enemies.) Just using the category point to master some tree is much better than spending it (and however many talent points) on Fears.

Quote:
I wouldn't really call curses a bad investment.


My feeling was that the level 1 ability just made up for the level 0 drawback, at the cost of a generic point and 2 willpower and a more difficult early game. Higher levels seemed like they gave benefits appropriate to spending a single generic point, at the cost of 2 generic points AND carefully tuning your equipment. It's not difficult for Cursed to spend all of their generic points anyways-- if they only cost talent points, it would probably be a different situation. (Compare curses to the benefit of putting another point in Seethe or Grim Resolve, which were the last generics I put points into.) A dedicated dual wielder might find them more useful, because they could get level 2 curses with only a single extra generic point. For somebody who tended toward extreme packrat-ism, there's the potential for tunable benefits (different curse sets for different situations), but it just struck me as unlikely that one would be able to maintain multiple sets of top-tier equipment to take advantage of the multitude of curses.

But that's a decision I made earlier, before experiencing the entire game, and I don't have the full list of curses in front of me. If anybody wanted to post the curse list here, it seems like that would be a useful thing to do :)

Quote:
Grats on the win!


Thank you! I doubt I could have done it without the hints I found on the forum.

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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:20 pm 
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Cornac

Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:57 pm
Posts: 41
You naturally get Predator later on anyways just because there's not much point to it earlier and you'll be busy investing in other things. For a cornac I'd probably get it at 36 (after rampage, fungus, and a slot if AM, probably 2 slots if not just because Cursed has enough decent things to put points in that you don't want it too early) and I think that's actually what I did on my non-AM Thalore, but hell if I remember. :lol:

True enough though, I wouldn't advocate anything aside from cornac for new cursed players. They're quite playable as other races but some people can't stomach 1-10 without rampage and they certainly don't have as easy as a start as, well, any caster. Either way, even if you're not 49 by the top of high peak, the last bosses are worth multiple levels' worth of exp (and even Aeryn is worth a bit if she happens to die, lol) so it's pretty hard to win without hitting 50 unless you skip a lot of stuff.

The nice thing with gloom is that even if something happens to be stun/confuse immune, Sanctuary still owns. Also there are some enemies that are surprisingly not stun immune--off the top of my head I believe Elendar only has 70% stun resist and god knows that's one dude you want stunned.

The first point in cursed items is free, technically! In reality it's only 8 generics instead of 9 total, but some of the benefits are pretty amazing. Shrouds 3 gives you 10% all resist every turn after moving, at 4 I think it goes up to 15% as well as an all resist bonus for 3 turns after every kill, scaling past that if you're lucky enough to get that many good shrouds items. (you might note that, coincidentally, this is amazing if you're thalore--15% all resist from thick skin, 10% from racials, then potentially 25%+ more if you have shrouds 4 or higher!). Generally I don't think packratting is worth it even on a cursed build--good items are good items, but if you have a close tie in that 'ehhh this is good but this other thing is kinda alright but also has shrouds' that's one thing to consider though. If you mouse over the actual curse buffs that show up you can see their effects even for the levels you don't have, though naturally you won't be able to quite tell the scaling on them without investing. (can you tell I think curse of shrouds is amazing, incidentally?)

Of course, it's also a moot point if you're already going AM/Fungus or something because you'll already be kinda tight on generics. I know on my thalore cursed who took cursed items but skipped AM it would have been do-able by the last stretch of the game but that's too freaking long to wait. A cornac could wing it easier what with not having racials, but it's a pain knowing you have five thousand things to sink generics into at any given time.


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:26 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:35 am
Posts: 261
I made a test character to figure out the curses-- I believe there's only 5? It is kind of a pain to do, so I documented it, if anybody is curious:

Code:
Shrouds:
   Penalty: small chance(?) of -6% damage for 4 turns
   Level 1: +4 darkness resist, +4% max dark resist, +4 see invisible
   Level 2: -1 luck, +3 con
   Level 3: 10% resist all for 1 turn following movement
   Level 4: 15% resist all after each kill for 3 turns
Corpses:
   P: -2% resist all vs undead
   1: +4% dmg vs undead
   2: -1 luck, +2 strength, +2 magic
   3: each kill leaves light radius 4
   4: 35% each slain humanoid becomes allied ghoul for 6 turns
Madness:
   P: -3% mind resist, -4% confusion immunity
   1: +3% crit dmg, +4% offhand dmg
   2: -1 luck, +3 dex
   3: Confuse when hit or on hit, when confused
   4: -1 turn one cooldown when you take >16% dmg
Misfortune:
   P: Less gold
   1: +2 def, +1 ranged def
   2: -1 luck, +3 cunning
   3: +20% avoid traps
   4: 30% of +40% dmg if it is enough to kill opponent
Nightmares:
   P: -9% mental save 20% of the time
   1: +2% resist phys, +2 max phys resist
   2: -1 luck, +3 willpower
   3: -10 air on contact for mobs 3 levels below you, +3 air for additional levels lower
   4: x% on hit to trigger slow, hateful whisper, and terrors for 8 turns


Definitely, if you're going to go curses, go for shrouds. Like you said, Madness is okay for dual wielding. But Shrouds is the one which is undeniably great at high levels.

Still, though, I gotta stand by what I said upon review. Shrouds 3 costs 4 generics, and means using (on average) your third best weapon, armor, and cloak. Shrouds 4 costs 6 generics (unless you're dual wielding) and adds third best helmet. Meanwhile, the lvl 1 effect probably doesn't make up for the penalty, and the level 2 effect just makes up for the -2 WP you have to suffer at the beginning of your game to get curses. Total benefit I'm going to estimate, depending on speed, at 10% average resist all (they both take effect, right?) for 6 generics and being fiddly with your equipment-- just not a good buy, compared to other options. Especially when you consider that you have to make the decision to be cursed at the very beginning of the game, suffering the penalties during the harder part of playing a Cursed, while not reaping any benefits until much later.

I think this could easily be fixable-- it doesn't seem like Curses are really finished yet. I heard you used to be able to get cursed from the crypt, and if it worked the same way, then once you get cursed once, it might be a simple matter to get extra, helpful curses. And a lot of items could stand to be cursed (Shard of Madness uncursed? Huh?), which would further reduce the cost of getting some benefit out of curses.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea to run with curses-- heck, it's fun! And I definitely see how somebody could make Shrouds a powerful part of their character (since resists have accelerating returns, unlike most other things in this game). It's just that Curses seem like expert-mode to me. You have to really know what you're doing to make it work for you, and even then, it doesn't always.

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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:47 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:58 am
Posts: 725
Location: GMT+1
nate wrote:
Still, though, I gotta stand by what I said upon review. Shrouds 3 costs 4 generics, and means using (on average) your third best weapon, armor, and cloak. Shrouds 4 costs 6 generics (unless you're dual wielding) and adds third best helmet. Meanwhile, the lvl 1 effect probably doesn't make up for the penalty, and the level 2 effect just makes up for the -2 WP you have to suffer at the beginning of your game to get curses.


The tier 2 stat bonuses get better with higher curse levels, up to +9 or +5/+5. (The code is in data/timed_effects/other.lua, starting at line 611.)

It's pretty viable even if you don't get Shrouds. Or you can just put in one point in Dark Gifts and ignore the whole thing until you have generics to spare.

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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:05 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:52 pm
Posts: 1884
Tier 1 effects also scale up.

Madness is the only curse I really like, because +9% critical damage/+20% offhand power is, I believe, the impact at cap, and that's very non-trivial. Extra Dex never hurts the builds interested in offhand bonuses, either.

Misfortune's okay(the negative is very minor, and the defense/cunning impact is okay), Nightmares has a big downside but good ups to Mindpower classes(Though the suffocation is very nearly the most useless thing in the game), Corpses is fairly poor and Shrouds is sorta silly/drops your damage randomly for more durability situationally, which is pretty much sidegrade city.

Basically, I tend to think curses makes an okay but not that special sidegrade build, unless you're dualwielding. Then it's actually pretty okay. The rest of the curses aren't really good though.


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:02 pm 
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Cornac

Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:57 pm
Posts: 41
SageAcrin wrote:
Shrouds is sorta silly/drops your damage randomly for more durability situationally, which is pretty much sidegrade city.


As someone who just played with a cursed items build and has done so in the past I can pretty safely say the shroud of vulnerability part rarely kicks in much less kicks in at times where it's ever actually meaningful, and "situationally" in this case means "literally while doing anything" because you are always going to be in a state of moving or having just killed something. There's absolutely nothing about it that it's a sidegrade in the slightest sense unless the damage reduction were to be tripled or something.


Also, nate, I think you're really overvaluing the 2 willpower you lose. Cursed have a really easy stat distribution and it's not like willpower impacts your damage, nor are cursed one of those classes that direly need to hit the 34-ish str mark ASAP for tier 4 talents anyways so you're never really strapped on stat points. Girdle of Calm Waters drops relatively commonly and covers that on its own while also being one of the best belts in the game, and some other less common early-game artis can cover it as well (telekinetic core, rope-belt of the thaloren, hell, even flamewrought). Also, there's nothing necessitating you being "fiddly" with gear at all--that's entirely your choice, and if you're not an AM build you need places to put generics into regardless outside of wasting them in Seethe past 1/5 (which scales pretty 'meh'-ly past then) or grim resolve (which is just meh).


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:41 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:35 am
Posts: 261
I've been playing with Cursed Aura on a new build, and I can definitely see the appeal. There are a few things I didn't get before:

1) With a 5/4/x/x build, you're taking advantage of multiple curses at once, without having to be as fiddly with equipment (just put the +2 any curse onto Shrouds, and let the others sort themselves out)
2) The benefits scale (although I'm not sure exactly what they're scaling with: tree mastery? talent level of either ability? curse level?).

For my character (who stupidly forgot about the arena until it was too late, and hasn't yet received the elixir of foundations), I didn't start to see any benefits until level 20. Which is a little late, especially on a class with a relatively difficult early game.

Quote:
Also, nate, I think you're really overvaluing the 2 willpower you lose. Cursed have a really easy stat distribution and it's not like willpower impacts your damage, nor are cursed one of those classes that direly need to hit the 34-ish str mark ASAP for tier 4 talents anyways so you're never really strapped on stat points.


Well, 2 WP at level 50 is nothing. 2 WP at level 1 is something else entirely. With so many good trees, Cursed really benefit from putting 1 pt into everything, and some of those trees have WP prereqs, so 2 points of WP might as well be 2 points of strength or con, at least by level 5 or 6, when you're unlikely to have much in the way of +WP gear. It's not like it doesn't sort itself out: it just makes the early game more difficult.

I can definitely see Cursed Aura as being a good choice now, although I still think it trails Fungal and some racials, and I still think it's probably not the best choice for one's first Cursed playthrough.

EDIT: Checked the scaling. Scales with number of cursed items, not with talent level or tree mastery. Up to a limit of 5, but it's interesting that even the Shrouds resist all scales up a bit. Penalties scale up too, though. Here's max return for curses:

Code:
curses:

madness:
   P: -15% resist mind, -20% confusion immunity
   1: +15% crit dmg, +20% off-hand damage
   2: +9 Dexterity (not sure about luck, took the level 5 that limits it to -1)
   3: no listed scaling
   4: Any time you take more than 13% damage during a single turn, the remaining cooldown of one of your talents is reduced by 1

curse of misfortune:
   P: no listed scaling
   1: +10 defense, +5 ranged defense
   2: +9 Cunning
   3: +50% to avoid traps
   4: 40% chance to increase dmg by 60% if it is enough to kill

corpses:
   P: -10% resistance vs undead
   1: +12% dmg vs undead
   2: +5 Strength, +5 Magic
   3: Eerie light of radius 6
   4: 50% to rise as ghouls for 6 turns

nightmares:
   P: 25% reduced mental save 20% of the time
   1: +6 physical resistance, +6 maximum resistance
   2: +9 willpower
   3: 16 air + 7 air for each level lower than 3 below, on touch
   4: Chance of radius 7 nightmare for 8 turns when you take dmg

Shrouds:
   P: -14% dmg for 4 turns
   1: +20 darkness resist, +12 see invisible
   2: +9 con
   3: +20% resist all for 1 turn following movement
   4: +20% resist all for 3 turns following kill


So that's up to, what, 15+10+20+20 (thaloren) = 65% resist all following a kill. Throw in a carried pearl and you're capped.

If you feel like fiddling, you can get a max 10 ranks of curses, 9 if using a two-hander. A few of those are pretty nice even at level 1.

Saw the shrouds penalty kick in at least once, but it only occurs rarely. Nightmares 4 seems to happen with some frequency.

Okay, I officially concede that Cursed Aura can be a nice tree :)

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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:35 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:25 pm
Posts: 98
This table is neglecting the level 5 effect of Curses, which I found to the be the actual "should I use this?" decision point. Misfortune 5 in particular is quite nice for High Peak, though not terribly useful for the final fight.


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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:57 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:13 am
Posts: 372
Curses don't have level 5 effects, it just scales up all the other effects a bit. And he already has all the listed effects scaled to a level 5 curse.

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 Post subject: Re: Cursed Rampager
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:17 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:52 pm
Posts: 1884
Quote:
and "situationally" in this case means "literally while doing anything" because you are always going to be in a state of moving or having just killed something. There's absolutely nothing about it that it's a sidegrade in the slightest sense unless the damage reduction were to be tripled or something.


Boss fights.

If you're reliably finding someone to kill every three turns in a boss fight, lemme know how. Unless you're killing all the bosses in three turns, somehow, at which point you got even better weapon luck on your Cursed than I did, and I think that might be the best weapon luck I've ever gotten.

I suppose you could rack up movement speed and try to intelligently dash around between the enemy's turns to keep up allres, but that's only available either pretty late in the game, or when using Rampage(at which point you should be using your turns hitting people, in general, though I'd imagine there's some exceptions.). I also don't know how well that actually works in practice, either.


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