Discussion in 'Picture Threads Archive' started by Synsensa, Sep 10, 2018.
Dang, 99 hours of active gameplay in two weeks?
To be honest, the best defense for the average build is simply to stack a lot of life, both on items and on the passive tree. At a minimum, I'd aim to get about 350 life per act while playing through the story. You want your elemental resistances to be capped (75%, but you lose 30% each time you kill Kitava), Chaos res isn't too important - it doesn't come up often, although when it does, it tends to hurt - so while getting some to offset the Kitava debuff is nice, you can always run a flask against specific bosses (e.g. that Doedre fight). Energy shield can be used basically as an alternative to life, but requires committing heavily in doing so, and typically either the Chaos Innoculation keystone, or specific items like Shavronne's Wrappings. It's not really a path I'd recommend a newer player following. You can go for a lfie/ES hybrid, but that tends to be more of a temporary option while levelling before converting fully over to ES at high levels. Armour or evasion is good to have but not at the cost of raw life. For a caster build, Mind Over Matter along with some mana increases is very good and something I'd highly recommend, The other good defensive option is taking acrobatics and phase acrobatics for dodge, but that's on the wrong side of the tree for an templar. A curse like Enfeeble or Temporal Chains could help with survivabilty too, and if you're not using MoM, you could link it to the Blasphemy gem to make it into an aura that automatically effects anything near you.
The kind of items you're looking for are going to have a good life roll (50+), some resistances (maybe 30%+ total) and, if you're MoM, some mana. Anything else is just gravy at this point.
On top of this though, there is one very strong mitigation option available to all characters - don't get hit. The main reason melee is thought of as kinda weak at the present is not that it's damage is bad, but that it's damage is no better than ranged or casters, yet it has to take on a lot of extra risk to deal said damage. Having a quick activating movement power (Flame Dash linked to Faster Casting is a good one for a caster - and you can also slot an Arcane Surge in there to keep a nice buff up) to dodge around is a key part in fighting bosses. Yugul is a good example of this. The average build from a new player cannot facetank him. You need to keep moving, throwing out a couple off attacks when you've got some space. To tie into this, if your main attack skill has some degree of "fire and forget" to it, it can make boss fights much easier as you can focus on avoiding the damage. I could imagine the new brand skills being good for a newer player for this reason - it gives you more of a chance to learn the fights. Storm Brand is even a lightning focused skill so should fit into your build (the brand skills are also just really strong at the present).
Finally, in general, I highly recommend following build guides for PoE, at least when you're getting into the game. Its very easy to mess up a character if you don't know what your doing. Follow guides for your first few characters while you get the hang of what's going on, and only then take the leap into doing your own thing.
@Leathaface, as you secured post #1000, you have 20 hours to post the tenth incarnation of this series or the honour will pass to @Phrossack.
Free all your slaves.
Enslave everyone who looks down on you for emancipation.
I picked up Just Cause 3 for $4.49 during the Steam Sale and hoo boy this game is fun to play, more than worth it at that price.
I think I'm going to assemble a set of gear focused on Armor without Energy Shield and see how that goes (as a bonus, this Great Crown I'm wearing is f'ugly). And I was just looking at Mind Over Matter. I'm only a couple of points away from it, so it wouldn't be too hard to get. I think I'd have to put some more points into increasing my Mana and Mana Regeneration, though, to make it worthwhile. The only "fire and forget" attack power I have is my lil' buddy, Sriracha. Word of advice, never ask your flame golem, "Hey, hand me that book, would ya?"
I wouldn't focus too much on armour on your gear. They key things are:
a - Sockets and links. Getting your key skills 4-6 linked is more important than any stats. There's a reason why Tabula Rasa is probably the best levelling item in the game (it's a chestpiece with 6 linked white sockets and no stats)
b - Life. As I said, it's the best way to survive.
c - Resistances. At least until you've hit 75% to each element.
d - Mana if you've got MoM
A pair of gloves with 10 energy shield, 4 correctly coloured linked sockets, 50 life and 15% to fire and cold res is much better than a pair with 300 armour, 3 unlinked sockets, 15 life and reflects 15 damage to attackers.
One nice thing about MoM is that the 4 nodes behind it on the tree add a good chunk of mana to get you started. I can't remember the exact formula, but with just the 30% effect from the keystone node (there are other sources of MoM on items and ascendancies), you want to have unreserved mana equal to about 40% of your life total. That way your life and mana will run out at the same time - i.e. you get the maximum amount of protection from it. But even if you have less than that, it still gives some good mitigation. Just make sure you've got a mana potion available. It might also be worth linking your movement skill with a blood magic support - that way you won't run into the situation where MoM has consumed all your mana so you can't run away from whatever is hitting you.
Golems don't really do much in the way of offense unless you commit heavily to them (in particular there are some jewels that give major bonuses to them). They're mainly there for the buff they give you.
One other thing I just thought of to help survivability is a Cast When Damage Taken Immortal Call setup. Immortal Call gives you a very short duration (less than half a second base) buff that makes you immune to physical damage (it gets longer with Endurance Charges but they're not necessary). Cast When Damage Taken does exactly what it says on the tin. If you keep the gems low level (CWDT starts at 38 IIRC), you can have it so that every time you take ~550 damage, you trigger the immortal call. It really helps survive damage spikes. If you're got the sockets, you can put an Increased Duration support in there too, and possibly even something like an Enfeeble curse or Molten Shell to further help your defenses (or you can get lazy and put a low level golem in there so you don't have to keep recasting him when he inevitably dies).
I'm freeing other people's slaves by attacking slave trader convoys at sea. This is unpopular and unprofitable, making me a lot of enemies, no friends but the slaves (who couldn't fight if their lives depended on it, which is unfortunate, because they do), and little money. If I keep it up it'll be be me and some arrow fodder against the world.
Other PoE advice:
If you are using a melee weapon (for a caster probably staff, elemental mace or dagger), an attack movement skill + fortify support can also help (depending on your weapon choice, you are probably looking at the shield dash attack (blanking on the name - needs a shield), whirling blades (needs dual wield I think, might have other weapon restrictions -- works with 2 daggers for sure) or leap slam (works with 2 handers and 1 handed blunt weapons I think, can't recall exact restrictions)). Basically, as long as you are not using wands or bows, you can find an attack skill that works, which one is best is mostly personal preference or weapon choice at this point (they each have individual wonkyness and different advantages, such as leap strike being able to go over gaps).
Another aspect that can help with survivability is how do you regain your health(/ES/Mana w/ MoM) once you avoid things killing you in a single hit. Relying only on potions works while you kill things fast enough, but tends to struggle a bit more on bosses without numerous summons to give you charges. You generally have two options, leech and regen. Leech is a bit tougher to achieve as a caster (as a good chunk of the sources only work with attacks or physical damage), but there are some items with elemental leech and the leech curse should work with all damage types (provided you are the one doing the damage, doesn't work with say totems). The lowest effort way to do so is via blasphemy + the leech curse (warlords call?), this reserves mana so it isn't ideal with MoM but can be a decent stopgap prior to reaching your final solution. Another popular solution is herald of thunder, lightning orb or ball lightning + curse on hit + warlords call. This can be combined with life regen (if you route around the Templar, his two adjacent areas and the chunk of the center nearest you -- often worth hitting for the large group of life nodes, you can grab 4-6% without too much effort) which might make a difference. For oddball builds, your ascendancy can give large chunks of regen (e.g. totems and traps builds get large regen buffs from hierophant and saboteur respectively). -- On that note, if you haven't grabbed your first two ascendancy points by this point, you probably should, I think game is probably expecting that you have that boost by that act (and will soon start expecting you to have gotten the second pair of points). Hierophant and Inquisitor should both work for a Templar caster, Hierophant is a more defensive option (with some nodes that work well with MoM) while Inquisitor works best with crit damage builds that do elemental damage.
The final bit that can help is bosses is just spitting out damage quickly. As one example, if you are not invested in crit/crit damage, you can often take the node between the witch and the templar that says that on crit you get a buff to do 40% more damage for a period of time, but lose the normal extra damage on actual crits (people often do this with a secondary skill like the lightning orb or ball lightning that has many quick weak attacks to trigger the buff and a increased crit chance support gem -- can be combined with curse on hit if you are going that route). Part of maximizing damage is understanding how the math works behind the two different mods: increased damage and more damage -- all sources of increased damage are additive, while "more" damage is multiplicative -- thus you generally want to prioritize support gems that give more damage rather than increased. As an example, if you have 200% increased damage from gear and the passive tree (aka, you do 3x the base damage the gem would do), then a support gem that gives 30% more damage increases your multiplier to 290% (3.9x), while a gem that gives 30% increased damage only increases your multiplier to 230% (3.3x). This really starts to add up once you hit 4, 5 or 6 links (5 30% more modifiers is a ~3.7x multiplier all by itself (for a total of 11.1x in our example above)). (Note, some other modifiers can be considered pseudo more modifiers, like one cast speed gem if you don't have too many other sources of cast speed (though some folks prefer the double cast gem for cast speed if they are self casting as its a more cast speed modifier), one flat damage (added lightning damage in your case) if you don't have too many other sources of flat damage or an elemental penetration gem). The flip side of this is reduced vs less damage -- avoid less whenever possible as it works the same way as more: 50% less damage in our example above is back to 50% increased damage (1.5x), while 50% reduced is still 150% increased (2.5x).
In SoulSilver, I got a hold of a False Swipe TM, and put it on my utility Paras. Now he knows Cut, False Swipe, Stun Spore, and Spore. I might eventually replace Stun Spore with Aromatherapy, though that's quite a few levels away.
My PoE Templar is currently using a Rock Breaker hammer & kite shield combo. My rock breaker looks cool and has a lot of gem slots; it's hard to know how much help the Stun Threshold Reduction is, but added on top of everything else, it's probably not nuthin'.
Passive counter-attacks: Riposte; Vengeance; Tempest Shield; Reckoning
Passive defenses: Purity of Elements; Arctic Armor
Melee attacks: Vigilant Strike w/ Fortify Support; Glacial Hammer w/ Melee Splash Support; Ice Crash
Ranged attacks: Arc w/ Iron Will Support & Added Lightning Damage Support; Flame Golem w/ Added Fire Damage Support
Movement attacks: Leap Slam; Shield Charge
"Fire & forget" attacks: Flame Golem
Attack buffs: Flame Golem; Herald of Ash
Enemy debuffs: Arctic Armor
I think I'm forgetting some support gems, but nothing crucial. I think I have Item Rarity Support on something, for instance. Meh. I have an Innervate Support gem in my stash that I might try using with Arc, in place of Added Lightning Damage.
So The Dude's defenses are sufficient to mow through crowds like a combine harvester through a wheat field. Even the gold-named "mini-bosses" don't usually last long. Some of the orange-named guys make me work for it. It's the big, mega-bosses that cause problems (as they do for lots of people, it would seem). The only time I got overwhelmed by numbers was when I went too deep in the Delve mines.
I actually find the Flame Golem is pretty tough. Even in the Delve mines, I can totally lose track of him and he'll catch up to me with 25% health or something. And it seems like he can run off into The Darkness without getting hurt. Maybe that's true of Minions, generally.
I love the chaining effect of Arc, which lets you reach around corners and off the edge of the viewable area of the map. As Phrox said, there's great defensive value in being able to fry bad guys before they even see you. Herald of Ash works nicely with Arc too, using the excess damage on a skill with such a wide range of damage values. And it doesn't need to be linked, nice little bonus.
Well, my next bit of advice would be to use less skills. PoE is not the kind of game that rewards you for using a wide variety of abilities. The biggest reason for this is the skill gem system. Support gems massively increase the effectiveness of skills (a skill linked with 5 supports can be doing over 4 times the damage of an unlinked one) so you want to get as many attached to your abilities as possible. And there's only so many links you can get on a character. Unless you're using a 2 handed weapon, you can only have one item with more than 4 sockets - your chestpiece. Or in other words, you can only have one skill working at its full potential. On top of this, there aren't many build defining abilities that have cooldowns (the cold DoTs that featured in the latest update are an exception), so you can just spam your best skill. As such, a typical build will only use 1-2 attacks - ideally you'll only have one, but there are a decent number of setups which benefit from having one skill oriented towards AoE clearing and one towards single target (archers are a great example, as barrage is amazing single target but bad AoE, plus bows give you a second potentially 6-socketed item).
So, lets take Glacial Hammer as a start point. As you're not into mapping yet, I'll assume a 4 link is the most you've got. GH is a single target melee skill, so if you want this to be the focus of your build, you're going to need some work. Melee Splash is a good start, but we can go further. Ancestral Call is an amazing support for melee skills, giving you much better AoE capabilities (especially when combined with Splash). But on top of that, we also want to just straight up increase the damage of the skill - these two supports will help you kill packs, but don't do much against bosses. There are a lot of ways to add flat damage figuring out the best can be quite the exercise in number crunching. So, I'll just suggest the easy Melee Physical Damage Support for a 30+% damage boost (although, if you've got non-red sockets, you can easily put in something like Added Cold Damage). So if you can free up two more linked sockets, your Glacial Hammer will be massively more powerful, and you can drop things like Ice Crash and Arc.
Alternatively, if you'd rather be a caster build, then focusing on Arc is an excellent option (there are arguments that its the best skill in the game at the present, although it really takes mines or traps to completely break it). Arc is good on both single target and AoE, to the best thing to do is simply ramp up the damage. Spell Echo lets you cast much faster so more arcs, Controlled Destruction gives a huge multiplier on damage and Lighting Penetration, though hard to calculate, works out as a very good boost. So again, getting a four linked spell instead of 1 or 2 links (especially if one of the links is Iron Will, which is not a good support) will massively increase your capabilities, and, because it's so good, you don't need other offensive skills. If you're interested in Arc, I'd suggest reading this guide.
(As a note, combining melee attacks and spells in one build isn't a particularly good idea - they tend to scale best off of different things, including where you go on the skill tree. The only real exception is a Cast on Crit build, which is not something I'd suggest for newer players)
This also applies to your supporting skills - many can be made much more effective by linking them to support gems. The movement skill with fortify Kjara pointed out is a great example. Instead of having Vigilant Strike with Fortify and Leap Slam and Shield Charge, you can make much more optimal use of the limited sockets you have by picking one of the two movement skills, then linking it with Fortify - so you open combat by charging into a group, triggering Fortify. By the time Fortify has run out, the enemies will be dead and you can charge into the next group. But that's not all, because movement skills generally benefit greatly from Faster Attacks (or Faster Casting if they're a spell). So you can up the effectiveness of the skill you're using that way. Instead of the three skills you've got here involved in moving and buffing defense, you'd be a lot better off with one skill and two supports.
The counter attacks also seem wasted. They're not great skills in general, and without supports, they're simply not going to be doing much in the way of anything - the damage is low, and they're not adding anything useful outside of damage. If you like the idea of counter attacks, you can do some fun stuff with Vengeance and Curse on Hit - when enemies hit you, they'll trigger the AoE, which then promptly curses them.
So, overall, a setup something like this is worth aiming for:
4 link - Main attack with 3 supports
4 link - Cast When Damage Taken - Immortal Call - Increased Duration - Molten Shell(see my last post)
3 link - Move skill - Faster Attacks - Fortify
3 link - Vengeance - Curse on Hit - Enfeeble
Assorted unlinked skills - Flame Golem (maybe link with Culling Strike), Herald of Ash, Arctic Armour
If you pick up Mind Over Matter, then you'll probably have to look at dropping things like Herald of Ash to free up mana.
I am moving my character toward using Arc as his main attack. As you said, it does just as much damage as the melee skills and is a little more flexible. It even seems to fry the guys who have the Lightning Resistance descriptor. I don't think I can use 5- or 6-slot gear yet. I have Arc on my chestpiece with the 2 support gems, atm. I forget what I have in the fourth slot there, connected to one of the support gems.
Generally speaking, I'm not oriented towards a maximum-efficiency build, but dying repeatedly to the Big Bosses just isn't fun. Once or thrice, okay, but when it happens a dozen times I want to kick a puppy. I do like the passive counter-attacks, in part because the screen gets so busy that I can't really see what's going on, and it's difficult to target things. In those instances, it's useful that my character can clear out the underbrush all by himself, and I can concentrate on looking for the Big Bad. Sometimes I even stop to read a note, look at a nice piece of artwork, or listen to the great voice-acting in the middle of a fight, and let my character beat the tar out of a bunch of morons for me. I also think it's more fun to use multiple powers rather than just 1 or 2, but again, getting killed over and over by the same monster isn't fun, so there's obviously a balance-point that I haven't found yet. I definitely have some room to tidy up this build and still be fun to play.
I could get rid of Shield Charge. It's cool, but since I've switched to using Arc, I don't really charge into melee much anymore. Leap Slam is more useful for the leap than for the slam, purely as a movement power to jump over terrain - up onto cliffs or across rivers - so I don't think I need to give that any Support Gems (are there any gems that improve the leap distance? that could be useful). I keep Herald of Ash around just because setting whole bunches of monsters on fire makes me giggle. I tried dropping Arctic Armor, but it seemed like I was getting hurt more than I expected to without it (one of the truisms I've found in my decades of gaming: anything that slows your opponent's rate of attack is a tremendous defensive asset). I'm not sure if I need Purity of Elements, either; I might try dropping that and seeing what happens.
I'll check out the Arc guide, and I am thinking about Mind Over Matter.
A few extra comments:
Yeah, a 4 link for your main skill should be sufficient up to the end of the story (and I usually actually aim for setting it up in something like boots, helm or gloves, a piece that you don't need to update as often while leveling but this is just personal preference). 5 and 6 slot gear can start appearing by where you are, but its fairly rare/expensive (beyond the one unique chest piece mentioned earlier). I tend to be a bit lazy these days and usually don't bother with a 2nd 4 link for the cast when damage taken set till maps (usually just have a 2 link with the main pair of CWDT and Immortal Call). The 3 link movement setup Phrox lists is usually a higher priority than the CWDT set actually. Then you want some source of cursing (either self cast, the vengeance bit listed here, or one of the methods I listed above). Even if you don't use it everywhere, being able to pull out some sort of curse for bosses that is giving you an issue is great, and the various automated methods make it easier to apply it to groups of smaller mobs as well.
Also its probably worth picking a single element to specialize in even if you are splitting using two main skills (generally a single target killer and a group killer). Unlike D2, you will never run into enemies that are immune to a given damage type, so theres very little reason not to focus on one (with a few exceptions like elemental equilibrium but not worth worrying about on your first character), this lets you also grab passive nodes that are like +18% increased lightning damage and have it work on everything you are doing.
There's a couple of other ways to build combined skill and spell builds beyond cast on crit, but they tend to rely on either special gear or specific setups (aka, I think there's one based on the minion node that makes your minion damage modifiers apply to all physical damage you do -- both phys attack skills and stuff like blade vortex) but they are all niche builds.
On weapon choice: only physical damage can stun (and you are mostly doing elemental damage). I'd look to replace your hammer with one of the elemental damage boosting maces when you get a chance. Less of a priority if you are going to stick with a melee based skill like glacial hammer (since the base weapon damage will still be the largest contributing factor there), but if you pivot to more arc based, then you will be getting little benefit out of that weapon.
If you have 110% resists you don't need purity of elements (nothing over 75% (unless you have modifiers that change your max resists -- but these are rare -- as an example one fairly popular piece of end game gear sets all your max resists to 80%) does anything beyond making it that you won't take extra damage if the enemy reduces your resists).
Edit: Oh and for herald of ash, IIRC it only applies to things that do physical damage (or that convert physical damage to elemental like glacial hammer), it won't really work with arc (the main benefit is the added damage unless you really build around the burn) - you want herald of thunder or ice (or both) for arc.
man, all that nerdy theorycrafting is really turning me on.. but I don*t have the time to get into a game this exhaustive. PoE seems like it's exactly what I'm looking for..
From what I'm reading this game seems really similar to Grim Dawn which I suppose isn't surprising since they're both Diablo clones.
In addition to the multiple, overlapping and interlocking character-design systems - which is all kind of dizzying - it has really great artwork and voice acting, and it's got a patina of Pacific Islander-style lore and artwork over the usual sword-n-sorcery stuff. The development company is in New Zealand. There's also a ridiculous amount of stuff to do - I'm not even far enough along to have seen it all. Also, it's free.
One of the nice things about PoE is that you can spend weeks doing all the nerdy theorycrafting.....or you can go and look up guides where people have done all that for you thereby making it easy to make a character that can run around and kill stuff. I'm kinda graduating from the latter to the former after playing the game on-and-off for about two years now
Although I play SSF (Solo Self Found - i.e. no trading or grouping) so the theorycrafting often has to be somewhat reactive. I can't just go and buy what I need for a build, I have to see what i can build with what drops.
I'd still link Faster Attacks to your movement skill. And even if you're not charging into the enemies, it's well worth using one, as they're faster than walking everywhere.
I'm actually a huge fan of Flame Dash as the move skill for caster builds these days. It used to be kinda awkward to use, but it's now pretty smooth, can be used with any weapon, and can be linked to Arcane Surge to keep said buff up permanently, which is very nice (also link Faster Casting). The only drawback is that you can't get fortify proccing off it, but if you're staying at range, that's not too much of a problem.
Just play the old Blood on a DOSBox. It still rocks (and I hope you hate mimes).
Every time someone writes PoE, I think of Pillars of Eternity. Presumably, you're talking about Path of Exile instead?
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