ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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 Post subject: Attenuate Adventurers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:59 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:09 pm
Posts: 236
My ToME time over the past month or so has been focused on building an Attenuate adventurer using some of the new Cults toys.

My current build, cruising through Insane and currently at level 48 is:
Race: Drem
  • Spell / Meta
  • Chronomancy / Temporal Hounds
  • Chronomancy / Flux
  • Chronomancy / Spellbinding
  • Demented / Path of Horror
  • Demented / Nether
  • Demented / Oblivion
  • Demented / Scourge Drake
  • Celestial / Light
  • Psionic / Augmented Mobility
  • Tinkers
  • Wild-Gift / Harmony
  • Windtouched Speed
  • Hidden Resources (if I ever trigger the precondition)
Stats: Mag > Will > Cun

The basic idea is pretty straightforward: Hounds are ridiculous tanks for a caster, and this build's offenses pass right through them. All of the duration-extension and cooldown-reduction means that it's easy to keep on stacking Attenuate. The combination of Drem's Frenzy and Scourge Drake's Augment Despair is the real damage boost -- you can land two Attenuates in a row and then extend the duration of the effect up well past 10 turns before collapsing all of that pending damage into a much shorter duration.

I ended up going with Scourge Drake over Seal Fate for a few reasons:
  1. Category point pressure. I'd be hard-pressed to take Seal Fate without also taking Undead Drake to double its effects.
  2. Reduced competition for paradox. I'm casting Attenuate a lot with this build, and any paradox spent elsewhere cuts into the number that can be cast.
  3. Running Oblivion means I want to be running other maledictions than just Attenuate. Seal Fate works at cross-purposes to that, while Scourge Drake works towards that.

A few notes on some of the categories taken:
  • Spellbinding: Right now I'm only using this for the spellpower boost. However, my impression from other Attenuate runs is that it's necessary for being able to reliably land Attenuate on high-SpellSave targets. The damage boost is also quite nice.
  • Nether: Netherblast is my other source of active damage, apart from Attenuate. It doesn't cost Paradox, it provides Insanity to power Augment Despair, and it procs Nihil. I have a point each in the other skills for the odd occasion where Rift Cutter or Spacial Distortion is handy.
  • Oblivion: It turns out that this is mostly there for the duration-extention provided by Nihil. The rest of the skills are occasionally useful, particularly summoning a Harbinger in longer fights. I thought that All Is Dust would be core to this build, but at the moment I mostly use it when I want to give my paradox a rest.
  • Scourge Drake: This is here primarily for Augment Despair, but Decaying Grounds gets a special mention, since it applies a malediction to targets every turn that they're in the area -- that makes it a lot easier to proc Harbinger.
  • Drem: Frenzy is the defining skill here, but From Below It Devours is frequently a very nice distraction... even if Attenuate tends to kill it much sooner than it otherwise would expire.

Are there substitutions that I'm missing that would improve the build? Perhaps Ooze would be a better choice than Path of Horror, given that I'm maxing Will anyways for reasons of paradox...

Am I wrong in deciding that Augment Despair is a better choice than Seal Fate?

The build has no inherent resistance penetration other than SpellShock, but these days it seems like it's reasonably easy to get a fair amount from gear alone -- my current character is sitting at 68% Temporal res-pen, and I haven't even started to take advantage of the workbench. Would it make sense, though, to swap something out for a source of res-pen? If so, which would make the most sense -- Entropy, with its corresponding advantages and disadvantages? (That would certainly make it easier to trigger the precondition for Hidden Resources.) ...or perhaps Timeline Threading would synergize well with the rest of the build apart from being expensive from a paradox perspective and the problem of landing it on high-SpellSave targets?

(I'd been hoping to finish an Insane run with a build before posting, but my interest in grinding through the lategame has been flagging of late so this is at least half a "are there better options?" post.... At some point I should really take a look at that "shorter ToME" mod and adapt it to my own sensibilities.)

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 592
Much of the power that I got out of Light/Harmony as a combo for Harold came out of building Entropy and then dropping monster Entropic Gifts off Bathe in Light's interaction with Healing Nexus, I don't know if it's worth unlocking Windtouched Speed without it. I mean, it's a free category so no reason not to splash it, but maybe it's not worth 10+ generics under the circumstances?

Temporal Form seems like the obvious Prodigy to sub out Windtouched for, if you're attempting to really optimize Attenuate's damage output and grab some respen. Also Flawed Design on demand seems like it might have applications and will help trigger Herald.

I do wonder whether you'd be better off without Oblivion or Nether for your build, though - just give that up and run Undead/Seal. In for an Attenuate-optimizing penny, in for a pound...

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