Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

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Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#1 Post by cctobias »

Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide

This is a guide for an adventurer I used to win on Madness and Insane. It is a melee build that uses magical augmentations and plays pretty similar to a marauder in many regards. This build is, of course, extremely overpowered and I would not reccomend playing it on Nightmare or lower. Why is it called meteroic madness? Because you shoot rocks at people with your fists, moving and fighting at incredible speeds.

This is a very good build for those who wish to try out Madness with something that is less of a slog than Archmage and (I think) a bit easier and more versatile playthrough than Marauder. AM is a fine class but this build does far more straight up damage and once you go east it will take an AM far far longer to clear a map. In fact I would reccomend people play this build on Madness before trying an AM on Madness as the entire playthrough is probably 2-3 times faster, assuming good equipment. Warning: this build does not make Madness easy or fair, not at all.

This build also killed Atamathon and Archmage Linalil on Madness (not Insane). IMO these guys are actually much easier as they have less HP than the endbosses 250k and about 450k(all lives added together) respectively. However since they both do tons of damage and this is an Unstoppable build, that does not mean they are objectively easier, merely that they could not kill me and they died faster.

Madness Winner ... 1dbb3339c1

Insanity Winner ... 751625cf46

Basics of the Build

Your main end game defense is Unstoppable. That is it, Unstoppable + duration extenders and status immunities (movments/draconic will). You will eventually have 17 turns of Unstoppable, best case (sometimes you lose 1 or 2 turns dependin on how you manage things for various reasons) Your goal is to kill everything and get away to somewhere safe before Unstoppable finishes. Therefore you need a metric asston of damage for Madness (Insane not so much). A normal (white) Orc Soldier on High Peak (level 150) has about 35k hp. This build will 2-3 shot this with bump attacks/double strike. This is what is meant by "metric asston". Additionally you need to move fast and need to be able to move fast often.

Finally you have a number key tricks in your utility belt, Conveyance is amazing, targetted teleport means you can extend even farther or flee when you want and how you want. Spinning backfist gives you a distance closer right from the beginning. Axe kick is huge, stop all talents. Huge, especially early on. Heightened reflexes means anything that shoots at you makes your movements infusions go even faster (1800% movement speed? yes please.) Timleless + meta not only extends Unstoppable but provides with extremely solid condition removal. Disperse magic + combo kick makes you incredibly good at removing sustains and lets you not need a wild:magic. Stone gives hefty Res Pen. And Absorption give you a free extra attack and all the amazing bonuses of using a nice staff. And Step Up lets you only need to run unstoppable a 2-3 times to clear an entire level. Finally Time shield. You won't use it at all later on (unless you massively screwed up) but in the early game it makes actually getting through areas possible, it gives you just enough extra staying power to let your damage work out. In the end the beginning part of Madness is the "hardest" part, once you go east HP number go from whacked to completely crazy but the first 25 or so levels are what are truly oppressively dangerous.

In the early game this build has three main advantages over marauder; Time shield, Axe kick and conveyance. This may not sound all that amazing to some. But it is, its a huge advantage. This is why this build is good for people who want to try Madness. You do enough damage to make the East not a complete slog and you have the tools to make the early part of Madness not just plain shitty. Ask yourself this: What do I do when I run into two skirmisher and an oozemancer rare in Old forest 1? If you follow this guide not only will you be able to shield instantly as soon as you see them you will be able to TARGETTED phase door away. That is really big. Seriously its just really really key in Insane+, especially in the Tier 2 zones.

It is an essential goal of any Madness build to be effective immediately. Maybe not maximally effective. But you can't skate by the early parts; T2 is a bear. Its a bear with four arms, two heads and on steroids. Your build does not need to be fully online (and this is not fully online at tier 2) but it must be decently effective in both offense and defense (and perferably utility).

One key equipment based aspect of this build is Mana on Spell crit. You proc Earthen Missiles(EM) alot, a whole hell of a lot. EM will cost 10-12 or so mana depending on your fatigue. EM is 3 crits. 3 individual crits. So at 100% crit with 4 mana on spell crit you get 12 mana and you are mana neutral or even mana positive per proc. Without this you will never have enough mana in the higher levels when you proc 10+ time in one talent execution. You should strive for mana on crit items as soon as you can. Even with 30% crit 4 mana on crit still takes alot of edge off of your mana usage (and you use time shield early on so you need to manage mana well in early levels). In the early game you would need something like 8-10 to be mana neutral. This is unlikely but 4 is possible. If you get something with this early on use it. No questions asked. Later on you should have 100% crit. At this point 4 is fine for your purposes. This can be gotten on 1 or 2 items. You should eventually get it even from random loot and if you don't should probably get it from the vault. This is as important as stacking +phys damage items, but actually much easier in the later game as your eventually high crit + the 3 missiles of EM means you really need only a small amount. With it you actually can regain mana from procs. Without it you burn through 20-80 or more mana an attack. Even with a manasurge rune there is no way to keep up with the kind of damage you need to do on Madness without this key item ego. Note: Madness and Insane drop far more randarts due to have 10x the rares+ and randbosses on Madness.

This is a 3 infusion build. You must use your infusions well at all times.

Running Some Numbers

How do you do enough damage for this? The following are the main constituents of the offense with values at end game:

Character damage related stats (fully buffed from +29 heroism and shalore):
- global speed: 214%
- attack speed: 183% (leather gloves)
- Damage: 195 APR 72
- Spellpower: 97 (but higher after crits, up to about 105)
- Crit: 125% melee; 100% spell
- Crit mult: 309%
- +Phys Damage: +158%
- +all damage: +15%
- Phys Dam penetration: 104%

With these stats you use the following talents with these effects (when including +29 heroism infusion):
- Greater Weapon Focus: 71% for extra hit
- Arcane Combat: 80% to proc earthen missile
- Earthen Missiles: 3 missile each missiles doing 1050 + 150 bleed. 3600 damage per proc with 3 crits and stacking bleeds. On high HP madness bosses the bleed is very significant. Agoniel has 650k hp when I had him at 130k the bleed was hitting for 25k damage, its the real deal.
- Leather Gloves with a Cripple proc. Leather for the 166% speed, 20% cripple proc because cripple is another melee attack. Also with 102 accuracy cripple reduces things attack to, I think, about 35% for me. If you can get ones with dominate(10% proc) as well that is also a melee attack, but cripple is preferred to dominate and both is gravy.
- Arcane destruction: hits for about 400-500 damage, procs everytime due to 100% crit and it crits (raw damage is 193).
- Flurry of fists. 3 hits. With flexible combat almost always a 4th. Then add in GWF for about 3 more. Plus probably at least one cripple proc (20% chance) for 1 more. 7-8 hits. 8 * 0.8*3600 = 22k or so. You will do about 10-20k damage from the fists. This varies alot but you can easily expect to hit for 35k damage. I hit linalil for 34k damage with flurry of fists.
- Combo Kick. 5 hits with max combo points. Almost certain +1 flexible. Should get 3-4 from gwf. Virtually certain cripple, possibly 2 or 3 (with lucky cripples gwf could go 5 or even 6 if super lucky). I combo kicked linalil for 50k damage. I killed a random boss on High peak with a 70k damage combo kick (by my hand count of the log that was 40k EM damage 30k fist damage). 11*3600*0.8 = about 35k with another 10-30k from fists (depends on armor) you may get another 10k with really good procs
- Normal bump attack you generally can reliably get 5k bump attacks. But can see procs for 10k or 15k due to flexible combat and cripple procs. 3600 from the proc about 1400-2000 from fist (fist parts also modified by talents, combo kick reduces it a good bit etc).
- Double strike, twice a bump attack, 10k-30k damage. Basically something like a normal "bell curve" distribution so expect 15k alot more than 30k.

Therefore combined with roughly 400% total "speed" when doing melee. You get 4 attacks per "turn" of unstoppable. I killed the final bosses who have a combined total hp of 650k+550k for 1.2 million hp. I did this in 15 "turns" of unstoppable so I had 60 melee attacks, therefore I did 1.2M/60 for an average damage of 20k per melee attack (this averages talents like flurry of fists with normal bumps). However this number is somewhat misleading. My Argoniel spawned with 280 armor and my fists literally did no damage even with 72 APR. This was a random class generation thing. He can have no significant armor as well. Since fists seems to do something like 1/3 to 1/2 of your damage, this slants the numbers. Argoniel died purely from earthen missile procs/bleeds. Therefore on low armor stuff the average damage per melee is, perhaps, something more like 30k. At the same time as I mentioned above I probably did like 100k in bleed damage to Argoniel. I killed Ellandar in about 4.5 "turns". I started on Argoniel with 12 left on unstoppable and finsihed with 2 turns left. So it took me twice as long to kill Argoniel as Ellandar even though they only differ by 100k. Also that include Arcane Destruction procs (which have no physical and therefore low res pen).

These damage number are HIGHLY variable, you always do very good damage but combo kick in particular can swing by like 100%.

Build Talents Lines and Infusion Reasoning

Adventurer builds are not as easy or OP as they may seem at first. They suffer from being very tight in cat points. They suffer from the horrendous temptation to make each thing you take even better by taking something else that synergizes with it. You must resist this temptation. You must strive for synergy without losing direction. In a word you must strive for elegance; in the mathematical sense. What I would like to do here is explain the reasons why I took each Talent line. Cat points are tight in adventurer builds. The first 25 levels of Madness are extremely hard. Extremely hard and completely unfait. They will crush you. Most adventurer builds are actually extremely underpowered initially due to lack of elegance or striving for too much synergy. Often it is the case that syngerizing 5 things together can be very powerful, but while the whole is stronger than the sum of its parts when you have all 5, you suck until have exactly all 5 all the way ramped up. This is due to the multiplicative nature of it all. That last portion of Madness has an extremely high HP inflation. So the build needs to start fairly strong and finish strong as well. If you have to wait a long time to get many syngeries inline with each other but suck until you do I don't give you a strong chance of not stalling out in the Tier 2 zones. This is true for ALL madness runs. Most Archmages who try it fail in Old Forest or there abouts. I doubt there exists any Adventurer build that will not find Old Forest extremely hard if not downright crushing all your hopes and dreams. If someone has one I would like to see it. This build is by no means easy or "OP" in the tier 2 zones. But it has some key tools most melee won't have.

Also keep in mind that when building adventurers, because your cat points are so tight your decisions regarding infusion are extremely important and impactful. If you can, part of the "syngery" you should be shooting for is taking a line that saves you infusions slots as well as does some key things. For this build that is Shalore(Timeless=condition removal), Meta (magic condition removal), Time (extra shield rune), and Conveyance (phase door). All of these lines provide extra things in addition to being able to replace a rune or infusion; extra crit, duration extension, targetted teleport(completely unique), global speed boosts. By following this line of reasoning we get that much closer to an elegant build. This is what allows this build to use 3 infusion slots. And timing these the aquistion of these lines for the right levels make 3 infusion work at each level, in this case getting time shield and phase door early.

First off is offense
We have two main sources of damage they turn out roughly equal (but I would weight arcane combat heavier really) and are complementary and synergize.

Arcane Combat/Stone
This is one of the most damaging melee setups in the game. But it has the added advantage of giving you a Damage Resistance Pentration sustain and your arcane combat proc spell in the same line. Additionally it synergizes with your melee damage.

Puglism/Unarmed Disicipline/Unamed Mastery
This is our melee tree, but why take this instead of DW? There are two main reason to choose this. I will tackle the easy one first: combination kick.

Removing sustains in Madness and Insanity is very important. Especially in madness. You can see rare+ monsters with enough talent in blurred mortality to add 3k extra by the time you hit The Maze. Things like Shield Wall and Kinetic shield are huge damage decreasers. Combo Kick is the best sustain remover in the game since it remobes ALL TYPES. Nothing else does this. It is also 5 hits. That is basically as good as flurry but with a shorter CD. With procs it is considerably better than flurry since DW has a penalty to Arcane Combat procs

The second reason is a bit trickier, but basically you want to maximize your Arcane Combat procs and you want to attack as often as possible while unstoppable is still going. Puglism with leather gloves is the fastest attack rate with the highest proc rate. This is an important point. Leather gloves have 166% WEAPON speed. You can conceivably get 25% extra COMBAT speed from equipment (amulet and leather armor egos). These MULTIPLY. This is considerably faster than momentum and is completely free. In addition not only do you have combo kick for something that is on par with flurry but better for procs, you also have spinning backfist for mobility and flurry of fists for a second mult-hit attack that is a mini flurry. Finally you get axe kick. Early on 3 turns of concussions makes your shields last that much longer. So not only is pulgism faster than DW, its also double the proc rate per hit and offer huge utility. Add on top of that the Unarmed mastery progjectile dodging/speed thing (for covering TONS of ground), extra stats, etc.

Second we have our Defense

This build basically leverages Unstoppable to stay alive in mid and late game and the entire point of it is to move and fight so damn fast and hit so damn hard that 17 turns of unstoppable is like having 34 turns on someone else. That's it.

Third we have what I am going to call our enhancers
These are actually every bit as important as the others

One would think this goes under defense and it probably helps some in the beginning but really this is taken for one reason and only one reason so you can TK wield a Staff. At the end a good staff should give you +40% damage (an excellent could give 60% but chances of finding that specifically on physical are super small) and should give at three other good things like crit, penetration, mana on crit, spellpower etc. Look at the staff I have TK wielded in the character link, when you add up all the bonuses its as good or better than just about any talent line and better than a permanent heroism infusion. This also helps with stat requirements early on by swapping a gem in when you need points.

This is a very important line. First off it gives us Time shield. While we only put one point in time shield, that one point pays off a lot. This helps out immensely in the early game and is one the reason this build does not completely stall out. It gives you just enough extra surviability to kill something and get away

Second off Essence of Speed gives 45% global speed. This enahcnes everything you do. Its huge. Not an immediate priority but speed in general is a cornerstone of the build

Battle Tactics
This provides with two not immediately needed, but extremly important talents.

Greater two weapon fighting is a very large boost to damage once you significantly enhance your dex. I was able to get to a 70% chance to proc.
We also have Step Up. Why? Speed. This build is about speed among other things. This is only movement speed though, so why does that matter? Because you want to only spend turns on smash things in the face with rocks. You rush at things like a frigging meteor and then you hit them into next tuesday.

This line is not actually what I would call "essential" to the build you would be hard pressed to find something for more bang for the buck. Someone looking to do a variation could look here for room. That being said Meta provides us with two very nice functions.

Disperse Magic allows us to not need a wild:magic. It gives us more sustain removal.
Metaflow allows us to reset Timeless which gives us 5 turns more unstoopable (quite huge) and extra condition removal (also huge)

Fourth we have what I will call Utility

Some of the lines I already covered have utility in one form or another but there is one line I take and its far more important than people may realize. Conveyance is pure utility and the only line I am putting in this category. Not only did I spend a cat point on it, but I put 5/5 in the first two. This line is every bit as important as any other line listed above, more than some. I would give up meta before I gave up conveyance. This line alone makes this build far more likely to survive to level 25 on madness than a Marauder. Targetted Phase Door is amazing. Targeted teleport is so great is so many ways. Not only does this give you escapes you desprately need (and at some point you will be desprate on Madness) but targetted teleport allows you to extend your unstoppable rampage by needing less turns to run back to a safe place.

Finally we have the Racial Line

Its the master race. Everything is important except the crappy invis sustain. This build pumps dex as high as possible, thus Grace of the eternals give you MUCHO global speed (60% for me at endgame). You don't need to put points in it because you use it when you unstoppable, as long as their CDs align you are fine. The crit enhancnig is great a nice damage boost. Timeless is one of the reason this build can run 3 inscriptions AND extend unstoppable. This race is required for the build to work optimally and it contributes to the build mightily. You can probably do Insane with a different race, don't do Madness with anything but shalore.

Initially you will run a wild:phys/mental or magic/mental, defensive rune(I used a tier 3 shield from a drowning), and a movement.
In the mid game as unstoppable develops you lose the shield and go for wild + 2 movements.
After draconic will you go Heroism + 2 movements. Always use heroism as your first preloaded buff, so that GWF and shalore speed go higher.

So what have we wound up with?

We start with a character that has roughly 300-600 in shielding avaiable (time shield+ rune)+striking stance+kinetic shield, very good damage, a decent ability to close distance (movement+backfist, phys condition resistance(movement infusion), some removal (wild), sustain removal(combo kick), the ability to lockdown all talents for 3 turns (axe kick), and extreme good and precise escape options.

As we get to mid game we start to add in unstoppable, timeless, more movement speed, and resistance penetration. Our condition removal is helped out by timeless and eventually Relentless pursuit. Timless also extends unstoppable and should effectively give us 3 movment infusions when used right.

As we get fully mature we add in Meta, and other enhancers to magnify the base foundation. Increasing both damage and speed and extending durations. This is actually quite important. You absolutely must build a solid foundation before maturing your synergies. This phase sees great returns (GWF alone is a 70% increase in damage) but without the foundation being solid they are useless. Additionally many either need stats or a lot of mana and simply will actually do little good at first. Meta being an exception in that regard as disperse magic is immediately useful (to some degree more on that later).

Summing It All Up

Defense: Unstoppable(primary)/Timeless(enhancer)/Meta(enhancer)
Offense: Stone(Damage/res pen)/Magic Combat(Damage)/Puglism(Damage+Utility+defense)/Unarmed Combat(Damage+sustain removal)/Unarmed Mastery(Generic/damage/defense)/Battle Tactics(Damage+Utility-movement)/Temporal(speed and early game defense)/Shalore (speed and crit)
Utility: Conveyance(Tactical superiority and huge early game help)
Condition Removal: Various lines serve double duty on this + later Prodigy and movement infusions

I could have done a number of other things for any of these categories. I could swaped conveyance for Lethality for even more crit mult and the ability to reset Unstoppable (Snap will reset Unstoppable, I have tested it). But do I need that? Also it takes too much stamina. This build has a very particular theme hit hard, attack fast, move fast, be fast. Every single things in offense is either base part of the mechanics (unarmed stuff or arcane blade stuff) or its something with a very large damage boost and an extra speed effect (GWF + step up) or it increases global speed. The defense was specifically choosen not only because its effective but because it take only one like with very little point investment. I wanted to take the other two enhancing lines anyway. There are many offesnive lines that could help out this build even more. Lethality was very tempting at first for me, I considered it heavily during my Insane run. But really the crit % is not needed at end game and it had no extra benefit. Snap was tempting but I had to disqualify it. Looking back in hindsight Lethality would have been a waste even if the syngeries had played out well. Conveyance offered so much more and offered it when I needed it. This build already killed the highest damage req fight in the game while still having some Unstoppable left (and with the potion if invilnerability to spare), so in hindsight Lethality would have been a terrible choice although in the abstract it seems quite attractive and for good reasons. I avoided this trap partially by luck, but more by sticking to a constrained theme. Similarly a defensive option that required one more line for synergy to make it work would not only force me to remove either Temporal or battle tactics but probably mature later too. Losing either Temporal ot Battle tactics makes the final result of this but lose tons of damage and either makes it for less effective at field control or makes the early game far harder. This is the essential conundrum of an excellent Adventurer build especially on Madness, and to some extent Insane, where you must be elegant and balanced acrossed the full level spectrum. This isn't to say I wouldn't like to try to make a build similar to this work with Aegis instead of Unstoppable, but that would almost certainly need some rather painful pruning since it simply needs more lines than unstoppable.

Leveling Order

The leveling order is not strict, precisely, but there are some differences between Insane and Madness that are important and making the decision to swap Meta to a later was hard but I think it was the right decision.

This is the order in which I chose Lines for Madness (What I did on Insane in parens):

Magical Combat
Unarmed Training
Unarmed Discipline (Meta)

Level 10

Level 20

Level 30
Prodigy - Flexible Combat

Level 36
Meta (battle tactics)

Wyrm Bile
Battle Tactics (Unarmed discipline)
Prodigy - Draconic Will

Now as you can see there is a rather significant change in order in three things from my initial try in Insane. I was originally thinking of using rampage on the first conception of this build. Due to the way rampage works with Magic combat this wouldn't work. I then considered Lethality instead (crit and swap to reset unstoppable). I eventually decided to try out combo kick as its just plain great, honestly I didn't really need it in insane. But it showed me it hit pretty hard and I knew in madness I would probably appreciate the sustain removal. This is another example of just how easy it is to bloat out an Adventurer build you can ALWAYS find 3 other lines to enhance anything. It pays to be diciplined about what you will enhance and when you enhance it and to constrain this to 1 or 2 themes.

I wanted to start with Meta as an initial choice. Honestly I still would because it alleviates your small number of wild infusions. However magic conditions are just not that common and if you really really need to cure disease there is a charm for that. Finally since you basically start every fight with a Movement infustion you are immune to the physical stuff you really want to avoid, bleeds and poison suck but its stuns/pins/dazes you gotta avoid. In the first section of the game you can get away with this sort of thing even on Madness (not so much later on). Another great use for Meta is that you can reset your Time shield.

After a couple failed attempts approaching Madness using the Insane build order I came to the following conclusion, I needed to remove sustains right from the get go. Even in T1 sustains are extremely strong. Second I needed to do an asston of damage as soon as possible. Therefore I started with Unarmed Discipline/combo kick fully loaded and swapped Meta much later. Ididn't like this but I decided magic condition removal is really not quite that key and you level faster in Madness anyway, so I may get to Meta before stuff that really loads you up with dangerous diseases is common, in extreme cases of a random rare+ I had the option to teleport away if conditions became a problem. Secondly I came to the conclusion that reseting time shield with Metaflow is nice but costs too much mana initially.

I put Meta at 36 specifically to shore up conditions and extend unstoppable. I decided that roughly at that point I would really start feeling a need for longer unstoppable, magic remove on demand, and an extra timeless to remove conditions in the case of being loaded up with many. This turned out fairly well.

Keep in mind this reasoning is also very much based around the fact that Draconic Will can only be gotten after you come back from the east. I would have, of course, taken draconic at 30 if I could but you can't. So you basically must be able to get to the east and back with whatever conditional removal/immunity you may have. Draconic is quie nice (with 1.2.3 duration extension from Timeless) in that its lets you beat on things without any worry except what time is left on unstoppable and how am I getting to a safe place before it expires. But if you try out this build I think you will find its ability to deal with condition rather strong, when you use all your tools, i.e. teleport away when you get blinded in some cases, manage timeless usage to remove stuff even if you lose a turn or two etc.

Point Distribution
I am not going to give x/x/x/x values you can see that in the profile. Rather I will give some guidance about what needed extra points when in a general sense. This is from the standpoint of Madness, obviously Insane was slightly different.

First off some things work quite well with only one point ever. Some things work fine with one point for a fairly long span of time. And a few things want alot of points ASAP. The things that are fine with one point you can just look at the profile for, but I will explain a few over arching reasons.

Axe Kick has 2 points to extend the duraction of concussion from one to three turns. That is huge. Double strike has no extra points because I don't use it to generate combo points. Flurry of fists has 4 because I DO use it for combo points. I only have one thing to use combo points on; Combo Kick. Axe Kick + flurry of fists gives me 5 CP. That is all I need. You want to get 2 in Axe Kick early. Your main defense is Axe Kick + shields. If drowning puts you at level 10 then put Axe Kick to 2. I maxed combo kick immediately as well I did this to dispel Kinetic shields that are very prevalent in Tier 1 areas and you need 5 for mental sustain dispel. However this does not work as well as I thought because dispelling Kinetic shield creates a damage shield for whatever damage was done and you must do damage to get CP. So in hindsight I would say get to 3 ASAP and get to 5 as you feel like it.

Arcane Combat can be left at 1 or 2 for qutie a long time. Its fine there really, you get to really high proc values by having high cunning. Its useless until you have Stone anyway, and once you have Stone you only need 1 or 2 until later on. Eventually you max, exactly when is highly debatable do it when you feel like it. You will basically only see a few percentage point increase from each points. Of course you want to maximize the proc rate eventually, but really you can save a 4% increase to proc rate for level 50 when you get the bonus class points.

Earthen Missiles you want to get to 5 as soon as you can because of the third missile. It is a big damage increase and you will need it. Crystaline focus however, while great, you do not need early on. Res pen is always good, but you don't NEED it until about level 30. Exactly how you fit it in I will leave to your dicretion shoot for 30 or so. But keep in mind it competes with Unstoppable, Timeless and Essence of speed in that level area. Additionally you do HAVE to have the full 50% just 2 or so points does you fine for quie some time. I put 2 points in this in the later 20s/early 30s and maxed it later on (I believe later 30's)

Temporal is both straighforward and tricky. Time shield is fine as a one point wonder. You may wish to swap points in and out it should always finish out with only 1, but at level 20 perhaps you have 3 or 4 if you really are getting hurt bad and then swap them out. Essence of Speed is great and you want it online as soon as you can get it, but its too expensive Mana. Additionally there is no real price point to shoot for it goes up linearly. Again you will shoot for somewhere around level 30 to 35 to have it at 5. You should feel more pressure to max this earlier than Crystalline focus as more global speed is always good but Res Pen is useless if they don't resist phys. But in the end it really depends on your mana. 250 is a huge sustain.

Unstoppable and timeless should be put to 5/5 as fast as you possibly can. You will probably need to store up about 3-4 class and generic points ahead of time to be able to pull this off and also be able to work on CF/EoS in the later twenties. Most of the your twenties points are spent working on Unstoppable/Timeless/Crystaline Focus/EoS. This in conjunction with metaflow is where you should plan out exactly how do your points. Most of the build can be done to taste once you have set up the founation at level 10 (i.e. drowning xp). But at about level 18 you need to plan out exactly how you make these two fit and how metaflow will have the 7 points it need by level 36.

Conveyance. Get 5/5 phase door immediately. Immediately. Get 1/5 teleport immediately. Get 5/5 teleport when you want, but its probably a good thing to have it by about level 25 or so. But its greatest use is later on once you have Step Up fully going and of course makes High Peak much nicer. This build is a little weird on Generics. Initially they are rather tight and later on extremely loose. Your last 5 generic can go anywhere really, as you can see I put some in Staff Mastery just because. Targetted teleport is rather nice in the tier 2, essential? No, not when you have targetted phase door, but it is nice. It very nice use though is it lets you not have to run back to your rest area when using Step Up, this lets you kill, run, kill in a chain and then teleport back extending your range quite a lot, in addition to also just saving your ass sometimes. As you may already know untargetted teleport is for desparation not tactical retreats. So having one point is good, because you may get desparate is possible death is better than certain death. But 5/5 teleport is a tactical retreat option and having extra tactical retreat options in Madness T2, well sometimes the cards are stacked against you and the chips are down ...

Combat Training/Uneamred trainig. You really can go 0/5 in thick skin I put 3 in because like said the generics loosen up a lot later on. But since you are Unstoppable, its pretty useless really. You want a couple points in accuracy early on, but striking stance also gives accuracy you don't need to kill it. You can gradually raise to 5 over time as you feel necessary (equipment can cause this to vary a lot). Unarmed mastery, this is damage you should get this. You have some room with mastery but its a high priority early on. Unified body is something you just put points in as you can, extra strength mean more fist damage and the con helps early on. Not high priority put points in when you want a boost. Heightened reflexes Iput 1 or 2 points in this immediately as it really helps dodge some nasty things (for example the crystals in caves), I put the next 3 points in much later basically to augment Step Up. Things shoot at you a lot, when you kill something and you have been shot at you can move REALLY far with 400% global speed and 1000% move speed. The points actually go in two phase; phase 1 enough to dodge nasty styff (2 points work well here), phase 2 double your step up. Reflex defense is like think skin you can sprinkle a point or two around especially early if you feel like it, but in the end it does matter much

Grace of eternals amount is purely stat based and its duration at 1 point aligns with unstoppable, never needs more points. Shalore crit you put in as you go, whenever you feel like it will fit.

You want Metaflow to 4/5 as soon as you unlock Meta. This gives you a second Timeless and is therefore Uber. Therefore you should be saving some class points before level 36. This is another reason the points from level 22-36 are rather tight. 5 talents that total 24 points(and some extra points to get to them), but 14 levels. So there is a significant number of points you should line up from previous levels. You have some wiggle room with CF and EoS but not Timeless/Metaflow/Unstoppable. Disperse Magic is funny as you should get 3 eventually so you can target enemies, but 1 is fine for a while since you have combo kick. For other builds DM at three is really big, but here its initiall use is actually to help your condition removal. You can delay the subsequent two points to well towards level 50 if you like.

Battle tactics is last from wyrm bile and you want to max these as soon as you get that cat point to unlock them. You can do 2 or so in GWF and then rest in Step Up initially if you like. On Madness you may be close to 50 at this point anyway and may not be too hard pressed to get them to a substantial level. Either way both of these simply make what you have been doing work much better, they are not essential, but you will see an obvious difference in damage and ground coverage. Whether you want to skimp a point in crystaline focus or disperse magic to make these max ASAP is up to you.

The basic reason that generics are tight in the early part is because of 5 Phase door + 5 unarmed mastery + ~4 in UB/HR. That is about 14 points. Then you need 1 in armor 2-3 in accuracy for about 3-4 and 1 in teleport=18(19). You can then maybe put some into thick skin or reflex defense if you like or start working on 5/5 teleport and all the while make sure you have enough for Timeless (accounting for lack of point at 25). It is by no means undoable but you also will have trouble putting point into some things that are useful early although useless later on(thick skin) even though the build has "spare" points. And it is debatable whether 2 points in thick skin is better than targetted teleport on Madness, I would say its not given the sorts of situations that crop up in Madness teleport can make you survive and even win, +8% res all you just die anyway. Basically you can fit what I termed as high priority with no real problem, but will need to make a choice between the various medium priority or nice to have early ones and pick one or two.

This build can fit in harmony stuff if you like, I didn't but you can certainly put 5 points into harmony by the end, maybe even 8. Any decision like this should start to feel quite doable in the 30's.

Zig Zag Tunnels
One of the key limiting factors of this build on Madness specifically (this is not really necessary on Insane) because of the Hunter! buff that attracts enemies to you is that while you can clear huge amounts of a zone in one go of Unstoppable you still need 1-3 extra goes to clear the zone and you will be low on stamina at the end. So you need to be able to rest to get stamina but on Madness enemies will track you down and can be extremely dangerous from range. Also High Peak will not allow you to stair scum as there are no stairs down. Therefore to be able to actually win you must have a way to rest safely. This is where zig zag tunnels are completely necessary for this build, in addition to their other uses for tactics in general, you will need to make sure you create a safe place to rest as your top priority. Usually this means making a zig zag tunnel ASAP in a choice location as fast as possible, but some cases may be a simple stair scum, the prides need a stair scum in some cases. A stair scum for resting is generally the faster way to do it, but specifically on High peak must rest in zig zags.

Starting Equipment
You gotta drown npcs. That is just the way it is. However what you are trying to get is actually quite important. My experience with Madness drowning has shown you pretty much want to get a tier 5 weapon as a melee and that includes this build even with the procs. On my first go around on Insane I drowned and did it with some T3 gloves and that worked pretty well. So I tried a similar start on Madness and to some extent I made it work in T1, but in T2 it really started to just feel like I was hitting a wall way too often on a number of rares+. I just couldn't finish, I had to flee even though I was getting them pretty low. Unfortunately getting a pair of T5 gauntlets/gloves (either one w/e) is rather a pain in the ass. But eventually I scummed a start that gave me a pair. I got really lucky and got an artifact chest I used for the entire game, its the one in the linked profike, but equally important was that I got a tier 3 shield rune with about 300 shield (scaled so went up some). On my previous tries I had used a normal sheild rune (like 100) and T3 gloves and this worked out ok in T1 and even some into T2. Looking back on it I would reccomend this as your minimum goal get a tier 5 unarmed weapon and a nice shield rune if you can. A couple of nice randarts like I got is really great too, but that shield rune + time shield really helped in the later part of T2 and Nurn. Your results may vary and this is of course highly random. I think there is some room to maneuver there, but this is my starting equipment OPINION based on 3 tries and a success. For Insane T3 is fine. In fact the T3 shield rune might be a better thing to focus on.

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Re: Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#2 Post by St_ranger_er »

Awesome guide. Just RIP two-three, maybe five-seven charachters :). With this build and some practice T1 madness adventure feels like normal or nightmare. But one thing makes me sad: sometime i get oneshots when autoexplore even T1 dungeons.

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Re: Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#3 Post by cctobias »

St_ranger_er wrote:Awesome guide. Just RIP two-three, maybe five-seven charachters :). With this build and some practice T1 madness adventure feels like normal or nightmare. But one thing makes me sad: sometime i get oneshots when autoexplore even T1 dungeons.
There are other aspects to Madness not entirely scoped in this guide. I have left these for people to figure out or possibly someone can write a general guide.

For example, here are some points about Madness:

1) never auto explore you will just die.
2) use track/clairvoyance basically all the time
3) be extremely careful of rare+s that can use traps. Not because you will die during the fight but because you may die AFTER the fight. Traps duration is based on the Trap Mastery skill. Therefore a rare+ with 30 point in Trap Mastery can lay down a disarm trap that can last 50 turns. This disarm trap can one shot most characters and is impossible to see without an effective trap sight of about ~150. Therefore once you kill a rare+ with trap mastery you need to either wait without moving for a span of time based upon the creatures Trap mastery or you need to teleport away. One of my death around level 30 was due to this. I even waited 20 turns before moving. I did not realize trap duration scaled essentially forever until after that death and rereading the talent descirption.
4) inspect every rare+
5) High level alchemist rare+ can throw bombs farther than 10 spaces (I have personally seen a range of 16), but usually lack the vision to do so.

No matter how good the build or or equipment loadout Madness takes a lot of carefulness. The above 5 pointers are just a sample of what Madness is like. As you can see some considerations have rather severe and non-obvious consequences. This is one of the reasons I reccomend this build an introduction. There are probably like 20-30 other pointers that could be listed all of which can easily get you one shotted when not taken into consideration. Every corner in Madness is a potential one shot. In fact its not always even corners Skirmisher rare+s can and will one shot one square back from the corner with Scatter Shot (something I learned on Insanity with this build in the Dark Crypt) so a 6th pointer is:

6) Always prep for a movement infusion run 2 squares back from a corner to avoid aoes that wrap around corners.

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Re: Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#4 Post by Effigy »

Just wanted to pop in and say this is a really nice guide. I haven't tried to reproduce this build directly yet (though I'm sure I will eventually), but I used several of the suggestion to improve my own Adventurer build.

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Re: Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#5 Post by daed4 »

Does TK weapon make your gloves become 40Will 80Cun?
Or was a bug from me messing around with addons?

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Re: Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#6 Post by Effigy »

I don't think unlocking the TK slot affects any weapons other than what you put in that slot.

Dao Zeti
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Re: Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#7 Post by Dao Zeti »

daed4 wrote:Question:
Does TK weapon make your gloves become 40Will 80Cun?
Or was a bug from me messing around with addons?
I think grayswandirs weapon pack changes damage mods from str to wil for classes with telekinetics. Great for mindslayers, bit of a disadvantage for adventurer builds.

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Re: Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#8 Post by jenx »

amazing guide. i thought i knew the game well, but this takes it to a whole new level. i've won twice on nightmare roguelike but havne't got far on nightmare, so despite your saying this is OP for nightmare, i might just try it out for fun !

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Re: Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#9 Post by cctobias »

jenx wrote:amazing guide. i thought i knew the game well, but this takes it to a whole new level. i've won twice on nightmare roguelike but havne't got far on nightmare, so despite your saying this is OP for nightmare, i might just try it out for fun !
Well there is no reason this shouldn't work on NM assuming you do the standard trick for starting, i.e. a mindblast torque (make sure you game your character start so you can see Zigur).

I will warn you that after level 25-30 and assuming at least decent equipment you do enough damage that things die in similar time on Insane that they do on NM. And this is what my warning about being OP and not playing below Insane basically means.

Although on the other hand Insane gives you much more good equipment so perhaps they play similar?

The key equipment should be gettable on NM (things like mana on spell crit), although you may not get max crits on NM you should get high enough. This build does not need max crit, you simply will want to adjust mana on spell crit to fit your crit rate. In general you should find some mana on spell crit even without the tons more randarts on Insane+.

Starting in Insane is pretty hard really, but all in all I think the extra rares+s and extra equipment make it more interesting since you should wind up killing things very fast in either Insane or NM. But if stating in Insane gives one trouble there is no reason not to play it in NM if one wants.

This build's damage output is meant for Madness. Anything below Madness stuff dies really fast with good equipment. So really its kind of academic below that. I really only said Insane in the intro because a) I played it in insane to unlock madness and b) Insane start is still quite challenging and this can be a good build to put your foot in the water. But really after level 30 (or so give or take) everything below Madness starts to die super fast. But Insane is capable of throwing whacky class combinations at you and NM is not except on High Peak.

Anyway its not like Oozemancer isn't super easy on NM. So play it if you want!

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Re: Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#10 Post by daed4 »

I have a question;
What's the mindblast torque trick? I mean, what are all those tricks you're talking about (couldn't find a NM/Insane/Madness for dummies).
I mean I know the drowning trick but that's only over nightmare as NM barely spawns rares.

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Re: Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#11 Post by Effigy »

The trick is to start the game without putting points in any spell talents, then immediately leave the starting dungeon and go check the towns of Zigur and Shatur for a torque of mindblast. You can buy a basic torque for 4-11 gold, so you can afford it with your starting money. Mindblast provides you with a decent ranged attack that hits all targets in a line, on a 6 turn cooldown, so it makes the early game easier for basically any class. Zigur sells higher level items than Shatur, so check there first. If neither town has the item, you can keep restarting until you find one for sale.

The same basic process can be used to find a torque of psychoportation if you prefer.

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Re: Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#12 Post by cctobias »

Effigy wrote:The trick is to start the game without putting points in any spell talents, then immediately leave the starting dungeon and go check the towns of Zigur and Shatur for a torque of mindblast. You can buy a basic torque for 4-11 gold, so you can afford it with your starting money. Mindblast provides you with a decent ranged attack that hits all targets in a line, on a 6 turn cooldown, so it makes the early game easier for basically any class. Zigur sells higher level items than Shatur, so check there first. If neither town has the item, you can keep restarting until you find one for sale.

The same basic process can be used to find a torque of psychoportation if you prefer.
Yep, they hit for like 80-180 hp depending on various things and do it in a penetrating beam doing mind damage. Range 6? Maybe 8 I don't remember. Normal recharge of 6. So you can hit much harder than normal starting attacks, do damage to multiple things, and you do a damage type few things will resist in the early game even on Insane. On Insane+ you can run into Kinetic shield often, which will put a damper on physical, you could run into the Thermal shield in t2, but you won't run into a charge shield into much later due to the way the talent allocation works by tier. Mind resistance or mental removals just tends to be higher up in general.

This is mainly something that is more important for melee builds, but is still quite useful for ranged builds. Weirdly the drowning trick means on Insane+ a melee build like this, once they drown and get the melee weapon they wanted is being a "pure" melee right out of the box. But in NM many melee characters actually just kite a lot and use the mindblast torque, when they run into a hard rare early on. Also the drowning on NM gives much worse gear.

This is basically an artifact of starting with really really crappy, almost useless equipment, and that melee builds are more equipment dependent, at least in the early game.

I think most people consider melee builds a much rougher start on harder difficulties. I personally have gotten adventures to shertul fortress without drowning as a ranged type, I did use a mindblast torque, (stealth based Stone/Gravity/Staff Combat) on Insane and consider doing something similar on a melee build to be extremely painful and even sometimes impossible.

I actually don't like starting on NM with melee builds (of any class) because I basically just do the same thing on all of them and it gets old. So while Insane needs the drowning which is also annoying, at least its interesting once you have the gear. But massive amounts of kiting on, for example, a Maruder gets old and has nothing to do with playing a Marauder. Basically on NM you always start as a "mage" even if its only until level 15, if you want to do things the "easy way". Its not a big deal though, you can do NM T1 pretty fast usually. It just gets kind of old.

It just comes down to the fact that kiting is really powerful in most roguelikes and you have a great kiting tool available in like 80% of starts if you do everything right (i.e. don't put any points in spells so you can see Zigur. ).

Note this only applies to things that give you a mana bar, Shalore racial are spells and will cause Zigur patrols to go hostile but they do not cause zigur to not generate since they have no mana component. So in other words for this build specifically when the very very first skill screen pops up make sure you take any points out of skill lines like conveyance, temporal, magic combat. To be safe you can take points out of Shalore, but it shouldn't matter. Zone out of shalore start zone immediately (you want to do TM and kor'pul first anyway) and Zigur should be visible. You can now invest in spells you want as zigur will remain visibile forever but patrols will still try to kill you and you can't betray escorts (unless you invest in absolutely no spell including runes which is a ridiculously large of a pain in the ass, although possible if you can overwrite your runes with infusions and not use any spells etc). Fir Zigur to be visible you have to make sure this gets done as soon as the character generates, because that is the only time you can take points out of the spells without going to a town and going to a town means zoning out and having the one time zigur generation check happen. Thus it must be done as part of the first allotment. This is more of a thing for non-adventurers as they may have special skills already set. So in other words the whole Zigur visible thing is not a real thing. Any class of any race can make Zigur visible, although certain races will be extremely hard pressed to do so on a magic class, such as skeleton.

BTW don't fight patrols on Madness. I mean its doable with this build but its pointlessly dangerous, I fought an orc patrol for the heck of it and the Orc Summoner summon a minotaur with something like 1100 dexterity. It had like 130 defense and I could only hit it like 1 in 10 tries. I was whiffin on the thing long after all the orcs were dead, eventually I got a lucky hit and killed it. Maybe that was a crit summon, not real sure, the point is the patrols on Madness are nasty.

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Re: Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#13 Post by daed4 »

cctobias wrote: 1100 dexterity.
This kind of thigns make me wonder how much you'd need to minmax to get 1.1k dex summon.

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Re: Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#14 Post by Effigy »

cctobias wrote:BTW don't fight patrols on Madness. I mean its doable with this build but its pointlessly dangerous, I fought an orc patrol for the heck of it and the Orc Summoner summon a minotaur with something like 1100 dexterity. It had like 130 defense and I could only hit it like 1 in 10 tries. I was whiffin on the thing long after all the orcs were dead, eventually I got a lucky hit and killed it. Maybe that was a crit summon, not real sure, the point is the patrols on Madness are nasty.
This makes me wonder, is there any way to avoid orc patrols? Whenever I tried, they followed me relentlessly and I had no way to escape. The best I could do was try to teleport or movement infusion away once I got in the zone with them.

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Re: Meteoric Madness Build/Leveling Guide - Madness Winner

#15 Post by breadsmith »

I believe a high enough movement speed will eventually allow you to outrun them. Running back to near Sunwall until one of it's patrols comes by and hopefully wipes the Orcs out is a possibility, although probably rather impractical and rarely useful. And I believe the old Orc Breeding Pits quest lowered the spawn rate of the patrols, but I'm not sure on that part, or if it still would even with it modded back in.

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