First Insane Winner: as Cursed! (1.5.10) + some analysis

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First Insane Winner: as Cursed! (1.5.10) + some analysis

#1 Post by Mittsies »

Finally beat Insane (Adventure) with my current favorite class, the Cursed! ... c1d17e199c

Here is some analysis/thoughts/critique about the run and the class itself.

About mods and deaths
I played without Escorts, Alchemists, Wayist Yeek Bonuses, or randomized stats from Wyrm Bile (via this mod)
I compensated with 2 Class and Generic Talent Points, +10 Stats, and 1 Prodigy (via this mod)
I don't feel these changes really changed the overall difficulty of the run -- especially since I took a fun prodigy (YSBMW!), rather than something like straight-forward and powerful like Flexible Combat, Draconic Body, or Spine of the World.
Though if you feel that this somehow invalidates the run or makes it seem like easy mode... well you are more the welcome to feel that way, heh. I definitely could have won without the 3rd prodigy.
3 of the deaths were early on at levels 19/19/21. All of my insane characters seem to struggle in those second-tier zones (Daikara, Maze, etc.), especially due to an overall lack of utility during that point.
2 of the deaths were in those new "funky tree" side-areas (spoiler alert)... and I even waited until I was 10 levels higher to come back and do them!
Those funky tree zones are some of the most ridiculously deadly areas in the game, I probably won't touch them in future runs.
I definitely feel like this could have been a 0 death run if I was more careful early on and avoided the new content, but I'm glad to have won at all.

Cursed Sentry
Cursed Sentry is huge! I didn't engage a single fight without throwing a bow around a corner to test the waters.
You can watch enemies blow their detrimental effects onto your Cursed Sentry via Preternatural Senses, then Blindside in to finish them.
The most important aspect for the sentry is the high resistances, allowing it to tank some serious damage. It usually runs out of duration before dying.
It can be used to clear rooms without putting yourself in danger, and it can be used to debuff enemies so you can easily finish them.
During a few High Peak vaults I was casting the sentry, charging away, resting, movement infusion to go retrieve it, repeat. Extremely effective.
However, this playstyle can be a bit tedious, and it's not nearly as fun as just jumping in and slashing away like most melee classes do.

Limited mobility
Cursed actually has some pretty nice mobility, all things considered, but does he have enough for a melee class with terrible defense?
I had Movement infusion since level 1 and used Reckless Charge exclusively as an escape talent, but the class really lacks mobility overall.
Planar Beacon was incredibly huge for this run, I found it early on and it was absolutely magical. The class needs another teleport, honestly.
While I do understand it is one of the most overpowered items in the game, I wonder if I would survived early/mid game without it.
Blindside is not a reliable escape mechanism due to the short range and requirement of having a target.
The class could use another movement skill. Possibly squeeze it somewhere into one of the generics.

Cursed Aura sucks
I love the concept, and it's one of the main reasons I am interested in this class in the first place, but it sucks. It just does.
Obviously you want Shrouds, since the other ones are rather underwhelming or completely useless (*cough* Corpses *cough*).
It's extremely RNG-reliant, since if your items don't happen to get the curses you want, you're screwed.
I was lucky enough to get a +0.40 masteries amulet, which meant that rings/amulet slots would have curses too.
I managed to get 6.5 Shrouds and 4.5 Nightmare, which is absolutely fantastic, and most runs probably won't have that good of an outcome.
Yet even so it felt pretty underwhelming, considering both how ridiculously lucky I was to manage that, and that these curses have penalties too.
I don't necessarily feel Cursed Aura needs a buff, but it could definitely use some tweaking and perhaps more consistency.

Bad talents
Cleave and Repel are some kind of sick joke when compared to Surge, a talent which will scale to well over +150% movement in late-game.
You could throw 1 point into Repel/Cleave and switch to them instantly as needed, but putting Surge on cooldown for 10 turns... that's not happening.
Furthermore Repel is inconsistent as a defensive talent, especially compared to just having movement speed, and it doesn't fit the class's theme either.
I would consider toggling between these sustains if they had more useful effects and lower cooldowns, but currently they seem incredibly weak.
Slam deals poorly-scaling flat physical damage... why? This talent uses up an entire turn for a mere 2 turns of stun, and it doesn't even throw an attack.
Slash and Frenzy are very meh because they interfere with Rampage. I ended up maxing Frenzy only because there was nothing else to put points in.
Beckon is pretty much only useful for pulling ghosts out of walls, because it does nothing if they're already in melee range.

Suggestions (Summary)
If darkgod came to me and said "what would you change about cursed RIGHT NOW" this is probably what I'd say:
- Another talent that allows him to teleport/leap/etc. would be nice for a melee class with terrible defense
- Cursed Aura sorely in need of a rework; will likely skip it on future characters unless I somehow find another +0.40 masteries item
- Repel/Cleave need lowered cooldowns or better effects or you'll never have a reason to put Surge on cooldown
- Slam should include a melee attack, otherwise it's about as useful as skipping a turn most of the time
- Slash/Frenzy feel underwhelming overall, especially because they don't work with Rampage

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Re: First Insane Winner: as Cursed! (1.5.10) + some analysis

#2 Post by richyharvester »

From a player who was not yet capable to get with this pretty challenging, especially the start, yet very fun to play, class very far so far on Insane: Congrats!
However, the meme "Cursed are squishy melees" is probably not necessarily true. In general, they combine Bulwark/Berserker with some obvious traits of a Shadowblade, and play like a Fighter/Rogue hybrid.
That said: :arrow:
If you go e.g. Dwarf with Repel, the second racial gives you (if my math serves me) about 40% permanent(!) melee evasion (31% from maxed Repel, and a 15% chance from being Dwarf; if further pushed then the Dwarf skill can give pretty significant armor,26,34,40, on the levels 3,4, and 5, if memory serves, in longer battles as well; -and that skill truly fits into the Cursed agenda of stacking low probabilities :) ), less without shield (I would go with a twohander in the second set), after melee fighters get through your 5/5/1/5 wall of gloom; - and compared to rogues with heavy/massive instead of light armor. They clearly lack stuff like Unstoppable, though. :wink: Alas Dwarves: Blindside in, Stonewalk if necessary out. :wink:

The real danger, as I see it, for this class lies in engaging (hybrid) casters in melee range (Osmosis Shield, I truly hate you! :x :lol: ) , as he loses most of his prime defenses (both AR and evasion) in this case.
This class needs (to make his gloomy defenses stick) all mindpower (and, obviously, resistances) it can get to work; - the "good" acorn (+15; plus phys resistances; plus some extra-life) is a mandatory as the "sacrifice" of an inscription slot for the ( in all other cases rather obviously trashy) Last Hope finisher (+35 Mindpower; - designed exactly and only for Cursed. 8) ) : Disabling is better here than healing damage done, and the finisher is nearly as good as a prodigy for a Cursed. ;)

When I understand the intention of the devs correctly, then the alternative defensive setup would be, as a dual-wielder, to pump defense, take (for the Dexterity boosts and the increased offhand-damage ) the Madness(!) :lol: curse (a quite fitting name for glass cannon galore...) , go with light armor, and take the evasion tree from an escort, and pump it, as rogues do, together with Dexterity, e.g. instead of going with the Nightmare curse . However, how viable this second (defensive) setup truly is, is not really theory-crafted by me;) (Maybe one needs at least to go Cornac to make it work ?)

- Anyways, tongue-in-cheek, Ogre, dual-wielding in massive armor, Cursed, with an ugly Mindstar in the offhand, with little to no other "true" ("terrible", as you put it) defenses ( - how many inscriptions do you want to use in longer fights?) , really feels to me like a strange meme. ;)

- Alas, using a good Sentry makes up for quite some damage output that you loose from going Sword and Board, or Twohanded, the "fighter" options, instead of "rogue-ish" dual wielding. It looses the "blitzkrieg" hit-and-run appeal of Surge, though.

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