Saturday, 30 November 2013

Anonymous comments

...are now allowed. Go nuts with it, but keep your comments civil and nondestructive or I will remove them.

Playing keep-away with knockback

Some days ago, I did a critique on someone's build concept...somewhere in there, I mentioned something about concepting a crit variant of his staff spectral throw build.

I'm not sure how well "variant" applies, as I've basically taken out everything except the spectral throw skill, which links are pretty well universal anyway.

ST - xMP - AFD - LL/LoH - ICD, etc

But the build, now this one gave me hours of trouble. First I started with the Marauder, because that's where I left off last post.

build link

Totaling up the crit, on an 8% crit staff I'd reach a little over 50% crit rate. Shucks. Now, the rest of the crit nodes are over on Shadow I figured I'd go all the way, make it CI VP and build a Scion.

build link (where points go over the limit, note that the last place to put them is the crit nodes, ok? only makes sense to do it that way.)

...and yes, that's a lot of points over the usual recommendation, so what I did was pick Duelist and take a slightly shorter traveling path.

build link

And then, you know, it came back to me: why am I even making CI?

build link

So of course then I had to make it over on Scion.

build link

I'm still not entirely satisfied with it. Might end up making CI anyway, because VP's safer against reflect, and reflect is the bane of crit builds. Not to mention, that way I'd save on a LL gem. (Though with over 5% HP regen, I might have been able to run BR on HP anyway.) Or I could go full circle, back to Marauder start, and use it as a character to reach 65 for the challenge. If I decide to go for that challenge. In any case, tabling it for now, to be refined and built at a later unspecified date if ever. I have too many projects already.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Searing Bond

Shock Nova totem (for shock value, obviously)

Lightning Warp totem (because why not)

whatsitsname that triple totem chest, with the appropriate hexproof flasks of course

Curse on Hit (ele weakness maybe, but this one's always fuzzy) (maybe)

But in terms of totem placement? Time spent placing totems is time spent not dealing damage. I mean, obviously you're going to get right up in their faces because of the way searing bond works, so melee (searing touch is still a staff) but the majority of damage is still going to come from assorted spells. (The rest is from traps. Ancestral Bond is a given.)

CDT + one or another of the totems, not sure which. Maybe arc totem. Depends how much crit I can get, or something.

3 totems + self = quadrilateral with a cross? I'd still like to see the exact numbers on 1.0.2 Searing Bond damage, but it's actually an option now...right? I'll be pretty annoyed if it only casts from the SB totems and not between my lightning totems, that'll change the strategy just a little. Or a lot. Bah.

Maybe I should have ele equilibrium. Throw down some coldsnap traps or something. Was thinking of CDT icenova, but that doesn't work with dual totems, does it?

Probably EB and double curse. Probably not crit. I doubt I'll reach IR anyway. HP return will be a problem, on hit would probably be the best (only) way to handle that.

They need more unique staves.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Speed leveling builds

thread 1 Xequi challenging people to beat his 1-69 time of 10:34:11

thread 2 started by vombat911, the winner of the challenge with 10:16:34

One player did it with 2h spec-throw, and considering the original challenge was completed with a 2h axe equipped, I'm going to guess it was either spec-throw or cyclone and more likely the former. A lot of "leveling" uniques were used, along with Foxshade which has added movespeed (and anyone who's raced before knows how important MS is.)

Now here's the question. Is it possible to solo speed-level at this rate, or something approaching it, using a different skill combination? If so what, if not why not?

Firetrap/poison-arrow until LMP then switch to LA, maybe. Storm Cloud -> Death's Harp -> ??? It's a pity about the lack of leveling unique bows past that. Quillrain/EA/Tabula setup, never change gear ever? EA has the well-deserved reputation of being pretty much the most independent skill in the game. Not sure how it does on speed though.

A spellbuild of some sort? Given DoT changes, I imagine a firetrap build with Searing Touch would scale really well, especially if one had a leveled Empower. Now there's a thought, Searing Bond as a burn damage trapper. It's still a support skill, but...oh, I digress. I don't think there are any leveling uniques for other elemental builds. EK's got this stupid long cast time, it's out for sure. Ditto, well, pretty well everything else with spells. Oh dear.

Given DoT changes again, maybe Viper Strike could do something? Flicker, splash, cast vulnerability, move on? Possibly with PA on weapon swap? Someone who's run the Chaos Acolyte build would know more about this than I do. But I don't think that's the solution either. Depends how well it all scales, and multiple leveled Empowers would be necessary.

Yeah, keeps on coming back to easily available uniques and all that. So. Sweep, groundslam, cleave? The usual, basically. Good 2h uniques are freely available. Same applies to this challenge as to races, it's either dw or 2h because 1h/shield is just too slow. Therefore probably not cleave, not any more. I'm pretty sure ST is strictly superior to the other two, too. Bah.

Cyclone rather than ST, or just use an LA build? ST's damage scaling is...not the best, let us say. Cyclone is level 24 requirement though, so there's still something to be done for the earlier leveling. Ditto LA, which only gets good after LMP.

Reave? Of all the stupid things...but I did spend an afternoon (including trading, chatting and miscellaneous time-wasting) clearing 1-50~ using a couple of good rare claws on ST/LMP because I was bored of Reave. Reave is almost always faster, in my experience, but ST is safer by quite a long shot. Did swap to cyclone at level 43 and it's actually really fast given my weapons and I MIGHT BE BIASED HERE BUT CLAWS ARE AWESOME OKAY. If I was going to try this challenge, I'd get a pair of Last Resorts, buy a couple of Cat's Paws from the indexer, and go claw crazy with those + the ones I already have. Bonus points because Whirling Blades is a scary-good movement skill.

Now there's another thought, running using good rares instead of uniques. Ungil's Gauche, Mightflay, Al Dhih. Mortem Morsu is strictly inferior to Mightflay, too bad for it. No unique leveling claws/daggers above that, and 1h swords (Reave, remember?) only have Prismatic Eclipse and Rebuke of the Vaal. Yeah, definitely needs to be rares once you're past Mightflay. Shucks.

In my experience, flat added damage is one of the most powerful things one can get hold of, early game. That makes it a really good idea to run Ignomon, Sadima's, Meginord, and yes Foxshade. Berek's X (pick two) would be ideal after level 20 and until merciless, provided resist caps are met. It's not much by way of added HP, but you know what? I really don't care. Claws are broken and it's not like HP matters until cruel a3 or later. Bonus points, flat damage scales really well with LA, which is a safe (ranged) build too. Only it'd run into boss trouble, or I could just call in a guildie to save like an hour total on act bosses.

Might be that stacking bonus damage is more important to early speed-leveling than a specific skill is. Hm. And that would make weaponry more important to later speed-leveling than skill choice. No, that's wrong, skill choice is important for general area coverage, just that it has to be well supported by good damage availability, from flat +dmg earlygame to good weapons later.

I'm going to pick up a bunch of these things now. Not Meginord, too expensive for me, but I'm willing to spend a few chaos to make leveling any new characters easier.

Bringer of Rain + Anvil

...+ bow

= 25% block chance with a bow, the last time I checked. Hmm...

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

About that Darkscorn build

or Why I Love This Passive Tree

link to previous Darkscorn theory crafting and reasons I'm doing this

LA - GMP - chain - LL - ML - WED (or knockback, that'd be cool) GGGGRR, exactly right colours!
CDT - EC - MS - enfeeble/TC
RM - Discipline - Grace - Determination (hopefully!) maybe Hatred if I turn out not to need those. Clarity?
the usual, it's a pretty standard LA tankbuild...for some definition of standard.

build link
alternative build link

Not sure how well the knockback cluster would work in practice, but I'm effectively shotgunning a whole lot with the LA chain-effects so I imagine it'd be quite a bit more than the displayed 15%. Hopefully I do enough damage to make the LL work out. Maybe include a shav's revelation, because why not.

If that doesn't work out, I'll spec the alternative link, get some shock/chill avoidance too. Shock avoidance is pretty big, but I expect to use a Fragments anyway so just the chill avoid will do.

I actually want to head into templar and pick up Catalyse, another end charge, and that ES grouping. It's quite a lot of points, though.

In all probability, this would work better with a Chin Sol. Of the damage avoidance trio - acro, block, evasion - I'm running none, so I might still be taking too much damage. Depending on the armour values I can get. Still, a flat 25% reduction before armour is probably going to be awesome.

With a HP build, Chin Sol is pretty much strictly superior and...yeah. Glare is almost definitely superior anyway on damage, but for survivability on enemy hits (and on reflected damage), I wouldn't know. Glares tend to get their owners killed almost as much as Shavs.

Probably needs some mana, and no I'm not going to take EB, that'd be suicidal and then some.

I'll probably run into gear issues, my best ES body armour is some 480ES? Give or take? Meh, no big deal, I'll just roll something bigger sometime if I find I need it. And oh snap, this is a really bad time, I don't own a Dream Fragments right now and who knows how much they cost these days. Never mind, I'll run the analysis using an Alpha's Howl first.

Split Arrow - Fork/Chain/Pierce - LL - ML - who knows? Maybe RoA. Got a split arrow gem too, I think. I'd rather not go iceshot, since the majority of damage is done on the aoe conversion and there's no reason to run Darkscorn with it. Burning Arrow doesn't have enough inherent AoE to work with, neither does Frenzy and anyway I'm CI. Still, I think LA is the best option where I am.

I have no idea how this build is supposed to level. Likely an independent skill, so EA/summoner/trapper, either that or statball accessories to provide the necessary dex. Question is academic anyway, as the witch to be specced is level 80. Might do that this weekend, since I have most of the necessary gems at reasonable levels already.
Flicker + 20q Splash + Multi + CoC + (some AoE spell)

Playstyle would be flicker in, use all the stacks and get some nice AoE going, whirling blades out and watch them die (regaining stacks along the way) and repeat. Spell dagger with local crit. Etc. Might work better than that wander I was going to make, in coldsnap terms, but we'll see. And I want a wander anyway so I'm still going to make one of those first.

Spectral Throw staff build critique

Update: apparently my understanding of the MKB interaction was wrong. Specifically, it was most likely carried over from when added phys on accessories didn't scale properly...but still wrong, at the present time. Learn something new every day.

I got a particularly detailed PM about a spectral throw staff build. You know who you are. Well, effort will be repaid with effort, why not, since I have the time today.

I'm going to start with a bit of a rant.

Next time, flippin' well follow the format given, thank you very much. Also, it makes absolutely no sense to ask me for build advice and then write as though I have no idea what MKB (that's Pillar of the Caged God) does, or about the math and mechanics behind the game, or what is and isn't viable to build. Especially if your math is wrong. (I haven't tested the specific MKB interaction mentioned, but I understand that others have. More importantly, I stopped believing you knew what you were talking about when you emphasised freeze locking on an RT build.) And though I definitely appreciate knowing the rationale behind your choices, I do not need or want to be told that "this is the only viable way", because it is not. (Unless it is, but that would imply that you've tested every other alternative...yeah, no.) Going further, let me suggest that I know what I'm doing when it comes to the skill tree, I do not need or want a summary table, I can read the tree perfectly well and if I really want exact stats I'll paste it into the application myself.

General comment: doing really detailed math is generally not required for this game. Or in general. I'm an engineer, and the first draft (what first build plans generally correspond to) is sometimes done order-of-magnitude while the final draft (corresponding to running the build at level 80-odd) has like 50% margin of error anyway even before we do exact math on that one. The formula and keywords are important, the working to 3 decimal places is not.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, here's a quick summary of the build.

Idea: spectral throw, knockback, shocking/freezing (well, with RT it'll probably just be shocking) and staying safe. He really wanted to use MKB, but see above comment re: math, so for now I'll assume a standard staff build. In the end, it doesn't make a lot of difference.

ST, LMP, AFD, WED (expected fifth link: BM, for mana management reasons; also I would run LL/LoH over WED for safety reasons.)
RM - Hatred - Wrath - Grace/Determination (and Haste if possible)
Projectile Weakness for knockback and more damage
CDT - EC - MS - frostwall or coldsnap or whatever (maybe PW, saves on cursing)

Items: no special enablers (see above re: MKB), priority on flat added physical (which honestly I feel is misplaced, but there you have it) - so Meginord's - and added elemental. At least, that's what I was told.

build link

As you can see, it's a scion start going for a lot of WED, ias, RT on a HP build. Now I'll post a slightly revised version (just a small change) and you can see the difference in priorities.

build link

Specifically, I cleaned up the inefficient roundabout in templar, moving it to an end charge, HP regen, a little bit more int and dex (there wasn't quite enough in the original, unless Astra or some other statball) and staff block. I like block. Though obviously you would spec out of that cluster if you weren't using a staff. Also removed the whole Lava Lash bit just because.

This is not the be-all-end-all, it is not the most efficient tree for this build, it is likely to run into trouble...but it is still better than the original I received. I would prefer to start from marauder, it would let me clear aside the whole loop above duelist, then I could go below instead and get fun stuff like HP/regen, end charge, master of the arena, etc. Similarly, I doubt the WED nodes are all that efficient (exception of Catalyse) unless you're already passing by, and even then I often skip them, but meh.

For that matter, if I was doing a spec-throw knockback build with staves, I would run crit. Staves are really, really good for crit, there are a ton of crit nodes and a power charge right here, and accuracy nodes are right next door. Expect a concept post of that to come out sometime soon, since I have a 5L crit staff currently available to me. Why not. (It was pretty much between ST, LS and flickermulti anyway, staff knockback on crit is a pain with real melee builds.)

I hope that was informative.

A note to anyone else who wants me to critique their build.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Time-limited unique items. THIS IS WHY NOT.

So I was talking to this one guy, and he was telling me about the discharger he was making. And, well, he said the price of a voll's devotion amulet on SC was 17 ex the cheapest he could find.

Wait, what?

A quick search on xyz turns up 31 results, of which 4 have buyouts set, one of which is 10 ex. Clearly, he was wrong. But 10 ex, really? I got mine for 2 gcp when Anarchy was running, and they were in the 2 ex range a couple weeks after it ended.

Generally speaking, legacy uniques are just alternate versions of their current forms, with the same effects if not on the same scale. I'm cool with that. Kaom's still fulfills its purpose as a big ball of HP, even if it's less HP than before. But completely removing all inflow of a particular unique item with an effect unique to it? (pun intended) That's not cool, in my book.

While I recognise that new short-term leagues are free of the effects of no-longer-available uniques, and greater focus is (rightly or wrongly) on these as opposed to the permanent ones, surely that isn't an excuse to completely neglect them. Dumpster economy or otherwise.

Gifts as a race reward is great. But GGG better have a consistent plan to make these uniques more readily available again, one way or another, because gating interesting/useful content by date of signup is one of the worst things a developer can do to its players. There is empirical evidence of what, exactly, happens to content gated this way. Look it up if you want. Magic: the Gathering designers whine about it. Riot Games, of League of Legends fame, faced this issue and recently made a really difficult decision (in the opposite direction of Magic's decision, I should point out, though equally much taking context into account.) And how much do Runescape party hats sell for on Ebay again?

It doesn't affect gameplay if it's cosmetic items or if the functionality can be duplicated another way, but unique items with unique effects really? You're going to gate gameplay by signup date?

Seriously, there is no good move from here except to reintroduce the items, some time some way. (Suggestion: chance orbs. I can come up with half a dozen more, but this isn't my job.) At least GGG has specifically made a point of refusing to say whether they will be reintroduced. They flippin' well better do it.

Kiri owns 4x death rush, 2x victario's acuity, 1x voll's devotion, 1x shav's revelation, 2x gifts from above (will be 3 after racing this season), and 1x daresso's salute. That's enough to craft any build that uses any of these items. I don't stand to benefit from this recommendation, okay?


It's high time I did something with my 6L Darkscorn. The bow has been repeatedly suggested to be good for tanks, let's see how that works out.

1. conversion of 25% incoming physical to chaos: CI build
2. conversion of  25% outgoing physical to chaos: damage conversion the rest of the way
3. therefore CI GR VP, acro is not an option, etc etc

or the other way

1. It is known that a LA/chain standard setup with GMP and LoH is ridiculously tanky on BM keystone (source: anecdotal from months ago)
2. conversion of incoming damage reduces the amount on physical anyway, so armour is more effective
3. blind and acro work remarkably well together, the more so because bows don't really do block; maybe IR with acro for bonus points, then!

I figure I'll have damage issues no matter which way I slice it, but maybe that's fixable?

4. going to take point blank
5. possibility of going crit

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Path and MtG aren't so different

(reposted from this thread)

I feel that the player types of Magic: the Gathering actually apply really well to Path of Exile, with its classic ARPG play style coupled with the skill gems and passive tree system in place.

This makes it straw poll time!
Timmy, Johnny and Spike
Timmy, Johnny and Spike Revisited

Timmy is the one who plays for the experience. "Sure I'll map with you, as long as I get to kill things."
Johnny is the one who does funky stuff just because he can. "Hey, I was thinking, what if I used avatar of fire with cold-to-fire on ice spear for a burning proliferation build?"
Spike is the one who goes for level of achievement in one or another sphere of the game. Winning is the most important. (Congrats on first 100 in HC, SirBaker!) "Day 2 of Nemesis and I have 2 ex"
(all quotes are from real people)

Kiri is a Johnny Melvin.

VP HP melee? A conversation log.

Here's a log of a conversation I had with someone else, regarding VP HP melee building. This is way before 1.0.0, my PM logs say it was in mid-August. My questions in italics, his answers in plaintext. I feel it's still valid.

I noticed a comment in one of your posts from a few days back, and I am wondering, how do you do it?

How to play a vp hp melee? It's good when the damage you receive exceeds 20% of your health per second, or rather 30% per second counting regen nodes+pot and quality life leach gem. It's viable, but you have to avoid small objects on the ground - they make you desync. You always keep a granite flask up in fights, so desync does not kill you that fast. When you desync you jump into the monsters with leap slam - use little hp bars on them, so you know when you hit. Vaal pact is necessary for maps 74+ if you facetank without a shield like lionseye or aegis aurora - I go 2h. It works, but you need a strong physical weapon. It's easier to go facebreaker and shield. Also vp goes better with evasion - it's easy to get 40-50% evasion - much easier than armor - just use dex and grace + evasion chest. Reach like 8-10k armor with rest of your gear - that protects well against normal monsters, when you get close to 30k armor with granite up its really good. Also use blind and enfeeble + 3,5-4k hp - i use bringer of rain for that and all physical hits don't harm me at all. If you fight some serious hitting monsters use 6 endurance charges and immortal call with increased duration. You can get like 7 seconds immunity to physical damage.

I kinda figured about the evasion thing, yeah, didn't know if it would work well enough to take VP as evasion character. I assume you don't use Blood Rage?

Always been just telling people, don't do VP HP it's not worth it. Mostly speaking from experience, as I play a pseudo-VP HP with Bloodseeker. Usually as primary facetank.

What would you say is the absolute minimum required to get away with using VP HP? What is your main attack skill, does that affect your answer and how?

You need a solid aoe for VP, since it minimizes the downside of desync. You need to leach. I use cyclone 2h. Facebreaker is obviously better. I have 4k hp, but I guess a bit over 3 k would be fine with vaal pact too. You need to go with physical damage. Elemental does not leach enough, perhaps if you have crazy with life leach gem it might work.

Let's talk about KZA, cutthroat, and PvP in general

If you've been on the official forums at all, then you'll know there was recently a huge uproar about this one player who PKs people at bandits in HC, which subsequently branched out into a general uproar about bandit PKing in general.

Let me state for the record that I have no substantive problem with the bandit PK mechanics as they stand. If you don't want to read "if your party mate chooses differently, you will have to fight them" then you deserve what you get for it. The lack of delay between the last player to choose and the beginning of the fight may deserve some looking at, but adding a delay or checkbox would pretty much completely wipe out any and all bandit PKers. And in that case, what is the party fight mechanic even for? Other than that one duel with the Russian guys, and I think that's more demonstrative of broken PvP mechanics than anything else.

Mostly, though, I figure I can always either manage to pick last, or open a portal right next to me while standing as far away as possible from whoever hasn't picked yet. That should be standard practice anyway, the portal thing. There will always be sufficient time to make one click and especially if he's halfway across the screen. (If he refuses to stay halfway across the screen, you may want to port out, as he clearly does not have your best interests at heart.) This is not even counting friends, guildies, etc. whom one finds trustworthy.

There is no reason to die to a bandit PKer except carelessness.

Cutthroat, now that's a different story. I like cutthroat. I think it's absolutely hilarious to enter someone else's instance and kill them, and I even think it's hilarious when it happens to me and my party. I mean, we're playing CT, that's what we signed up for. With a larger player base, though, I would definitely recommend controls to be implemented, since camping is always an issue. (Potential control measure: damage scaling on level difference?)

A long-term CT league, whether HC or SC, is likely to be guild-dominated and run a lot of maps. Maps are THE safe haven, given the portal system. The Eternal Lab is a public instance, though, so one has to be careful coming back through the gateway...because logging out/in is for cheaters, so of course everyone's going to do it. That might be an issue.

On the third hand, equipment standards in this game are ridiculously varied. That has to be fixed if any longer-term CT leagues are to ever find their footing. Since items drop on death, there will essentially be zero pollution issue with SC leagues (see also Descent: Champions) so it may be possible to make CT the basis for self-found league, or crafting league, or any other idea that has already been stated. Crafting league in particular. Balance is either everyone mediocre or everyone OP, and while I do see certain builds being superior, item distribution is a much greater threat to build equality in a PvP setting. And as long as we're talking about fooling around with item mechanics, may as well remove Aegis, etc.

There's a lot more to balancing a long-term CT league, or even a longer-term one than 5 hours, but just some thoughts from a balance perspective. I would love to see it happen.

someone else's thoughts on the matter

I've been asked to go back on SC and play PvP. Apparently <ICU> is the #1 SC PvP guild, and let's be honest here, there's no real reason to do serious PvP in any other league, because SC is where all the best items are, and because PvP is - by design - isolated from the rest of the game. PvP tournaments are coming out soon, too.

And then there was that one guy who posted a speedhack build for capture-the-flag play.

I feel that PvP is not well enough explored, but I recognise the trouble of balancing PvP - for all situations or otherwise - in a primarily PvE game. It's not even easy to do in a primarily PvP game. PvE's just simpler all around.

We'll see.

Why is HC so dead?

Well no, it's not dead per se. Just that the player distribution numbers were released recently and it works out to, approximately:
50% Domination
26% Nemesis
22% SC
2% HC

SC is easily understandable, a fair few of my friends chose to stay on SC for various reasons. Not the least of which was "no way I'm going to start over, look how much net worth I've built up." Domination I also understand - it's the ones who don't mind starting over, regardless of gear, and the ones who don't have gear anyway. Doesn't hurt that they came out with release, and it's the default league for new characters.

The SC/HC divide has always favoured SC, and SC is a good playground to learn the game in. But think about it for a minute. The Nemesis/HC divide does not at all look similar to the Domination/SC one.

I submit that the primary reason for such an inequality is simply this: HC players already accept the necessity of starting over every so often. There is significantly less attachment to a given character, knowing that when it dies, that's it, game over. Thus, "starting over" is less of a barrier to players who favour the HC style of play, and a greater proportion will head over to the new league(s). 

Good or bad? I don't know. I'm not sure anything could be done to raise the population on HC, and to be honest I'm not entirely sure I would want to. A general population increase would work. However, it's too early to tell if that would even be necessary, since I predict a number of new players who start in Nemesis will eventually stick with HC, where their characters end up after the league ends, and where items such as Voll's Devotion and Shavronne's Revelation are available for greater build-crafting variety.

Making a bow templar

The idea: stacking multipliers, generally speaking, but really I just like Chin Sol. Build is based on the one I always recommend to new players because it's really, really cheap and safe. thread link

This is going to be a templar because...I want to make a bow templar. Dex on gear will carry me until I reach duelist.

RoA, totem, added fire, conc.e, WED

Supported by point blank, blackgleam, chin sol. Do the math on the damage formula. Bonus points for traps, because trapping still works with dual-totems. Ditto the above links except with trap in place of totem. Maybe lose one of them for multi-trap.

More bonus points for split-arrow with life-on-hit. Pretty sure Frenzy still gives charges when dealing no damage too, must test that out, but it's a thought. 

build link

Now here's the concept part. Way back when, I read a guide for a party MF build running quill rain split arrow. Culling strike on self-attacks works with dual totems, so I figure I can pull that off with minimal investment, though I'll probably need a BM gem on split arrow. (It's likely that or Thief's Torment, and my ring slots are better off with Andvarius.) Since I'm running MF, and since I have links to play around with, it's possible to just put the standard sporker MF links on totems. Because why not.

I may or may not suicide him into SC to do exactly that, once Nemesis is over. It's a serious consideration, since I won't be playing vanilla HC like ever.

Crown of Eyes: sustained RF in combat

Someone else got to it first, which is just as well because I can't afford any of this. But I theorycraft a lot of LL builds so why not. thread link

The idea: to run sustained RF PA in combat (which is where it matters) for attack damage. Though I suppose the craft works for spells too.

We either need to stack regen or heal all the damage and then some. Note that taking 10% damage per second is seriously no joke. Therefore, claws. I freely admit to being biased, but the amount of insane crap my dual-claws can take while still dishing out more-than-respectable dps is what gave me the idea that RF might be sustainable to begin with.

Skill links: anything that goes well with claws. More damage the better, but I don't particularly care right now. BM - TS - Purity of Fire - RM is a good setup to reach low life with. On regular mana, I imagine I'll be running Hatred.

Items: Crown of Eyes, Shavronne's Wrappings, Phoenix (in all likelihood), Rainbows, Shavronne's Revelation, and resist/ES stat sticks on the rest. Might still have to run regular old Purity in addition to Fire anyway.

build link

Thought process:
> Well let's run RF PA...that means claws, and an ES build. That means VP, because instant leech is just too good and Bloodseeker is crap damage. Also likely means Phoenix.
> CI VP? Better be Scion as a start. Not to mention she's got a lot of resists in that particular route, and looking at the item list, resists are going to be a pain. I suppose I could go through the dex route from any other start, but then I wouldn't get nearly as much str.
> Ohsnap, but am I really going to run VP on an RF build? Shav's Revelation does bypass VP, being direct ES regen, so I'm definitely going to put that in. I know mana leech can sustain claw skills just fine, works for me.

Potential issues:
- not as much block chance as I'd like
- unwavering stance, it's a pain, but necessary on CI/LL since I really don't think I can afford to give up a potential resists slot for Eye of Chayula. At least it's pretty well right next to VP.
- ias and accuracy issues, probably be using blood rage and get ias that way, but acc is going to suck. Big time. Might be worth going ranger start, or going through dex route instead of being a scion, to get extra acc nodes.
- this is going to make a REALLY FUN leveling build, I swear it is.
- SC only, until shav's revelation finds its way back in. I have only one of these, since I figure it's a really bad idea to use two of them at once (that's why Shavronne lost her war.)

evasion tank

Tiurakh build

I switched to double-strike from dagger flickermulti when the xp lost to reflects approximately equaled the xp gained from grinding, on my flicker build. Yeah. That teaches me to make non-CI flickermulti, for sure.

Love evasion tanking. Doesn't do nearly as well as my dual-claws in both survivability and damage terms, but then he's using a 320pdps claw while this one's using a 200dps dagger, and nothing beats claws for survival. Might consider switching in the claw and just continuing as normal.

Also, doublestrike is the only skill I actually don't mind splash/multi on. Something about the animation just makes it super smooth. Not to mention, my dagger is 1.9aps.

Bonus points because this is the character I used to try out Dominus, new quests, Orchard, etc. She wasn't hit by a forced reset. Amazing, isn't it? Both the others in this level range got bitten by Berserking getting moved up, but I hadn't taken that node here because it's an ias node and I was having trouble sustaining 10aps flicker.

glacial hammer build

Winter is Coming

mostly I just wanted a phys staff build and a glacial hammer build and I decided to put them together

leveled to 38 or something as spark, please never try that it sucks

used the reset gratefully (think this was the IR reset)

leveled as facebreaker to 58 because that was the level of the staff I bought and I have facebreaker gear

spent like an hour and lots of chromatics testing assorted gem combinations

and then soloed the a3m questline and killed piety

farmed docks for a bit, got bored, so that's that

got bitten by the damage formula

thought I'd share a story

so I wanted to make a freeze and burning proliferation build, also because I still think CtF is underused

so I took the standard dual totems ice spear build and stuck a CtF into it

leveled up the character to 53, went dual totems

and it was doing like 20 damage burns

spell totem: 40% less damage (multiplier: 0.6) this was before release
GMP: 50% less damage (multiplier: 0.5)


(I made it double flametotem/incinerate, it worked fine - sort of - but my computer hated the particles so I didn't play it a whole lot after that)

making cold snap work

never made a wander, need to rectify that
also, cold snap

ele hit - GMP - cast on crit - cold snap - LL - (WED, proliferation?)
what do wanders do for single target anyway? probably a variant of whatever it is I have up there

yes that's a cold snap, CI with voll's obviously, so blood rage, etc etc

it'd use a lightning and local crit wand, spell stats preferred but those do tend to kick the price up something awful


have I mentioned how much I hate the trek down to VP yet

also mana starvation is probably going to be an issue, soul siphon is a possibility
might go down to conduit
unwavering stance probably a better idea than arrow dodging
needs more shield nodes

going to level as fp until I get a 5L voll's and level idk 50+ most probably

- cold snap probably not the best choice but I want a cold snap build
- quillrain/split-arrow probably work too but I want a wand build and wands can roll stats good for coldsnap too. Also, ele hit proliferation, weapon lightning, shock damage, plus wands have actually existent local crit

animate guardian?

so today I learnt that the guardian is apparently persistent through logout regardless of how long you logged out for

this means I can actually put like actual gear on it

thread link

also animate weapon is super funny, I got one last race as a drop and it was hilarious, though ineffectual (animating level 10~ weapons does kind of do that to one)

dual claws guide

Dual Claws Are Cool

Concept: lifesteal tank

Wanted to make one of these since pretty much the first time a claw dropped. So I spent like way long planning it out. This was when whirling blades and lightning strike were the only two claw-usable AoE skills, not even kidding. Started off as a CI GR build (because there were exactly two unique claws at the time, and so if you wanted to use a unique it was Essentia or nothing, and we were all noobs at the time so uniques were supposedly awesome.)

And then cyclone. Best thing since sliced bread, figured out the tricks to it pretty quickly so I didn't desync. Right about here is where I picked up IR and loved it. Blind too - this was back when people thought it was useless. Heh.

And then melee splash and multistrike, so like, whoa. Somewhere around this time, evasion changes happened too, specced out of IR and never looked back. (Got a full reset with the ranger skilltree rework.) Bloodseeker happened too, somewhere along this line. I beat Piety at level 60~ with 1.8k HP, though I think that was before the Lunaris upgrade.

From here on, it's all optimising.

Bringer of Rain came out. I upgraded my claw to 320pdps. Etc. And IIQ/IIR. Did a few runs at level 80 to see exactly what I could or couldn't get away with in MF terms, but eventually settled on regular capped resists and about 2.5k HP. For maps, I basically switched out the MF amulet and ring for HP/damage ones (I was resist capped without them anyway), and the MF gems for BM/AoE.

ice ranger guide

Ice Pierce Crit Ranger

Concept: shotgunning with IS AoE

Saw a post somewhere in gameplay help that mentioned ice shot overlap, it caught my fancy, and I asked a bunch of mechanics questions to make sure my understanding of how the skill and its keywords worked was right. (I was a noob at the time, okay.)

Started crafting the build based on "more" multipliers. The original intent was Chin Sol Point Blank, and I did use a Chin Sol for a good few levels. Switched to GMP starting from here, because IMO CS works better with GMP (local spread is important when you're close up.) Also at this point, switched to a BM gem because mana leech wasn't cutting it. GMP made the difference there.

Somewhere along the line, I realised I was offscreening even when I wasn't trying to, and so I didn't see the point in point blank any more, pun intended. And I got a lovely crit Imperial so I swapped out of CS.

Decided to get into power charges for more crit chance, picked up a Voll's. That got me through to 77 maps. When my friend found (bought?) a Thief's Torment, I borrowed it for a couple minutes and absolutely loved it, so obviously I just had to get one. Freed up the BM gem slot, and therefore I get to run WED on a 4-link.

Then I picked up a Tabula for cheap. One link to PCoC since I was giving up Voll's, but I got one more I could use for Pierce. The difference was huge, since I wasn't cursing PW in parties anyway. And that was that. Played to 86 on this setup.

first post

Just wanted a post to stick the tag on to, guilty as charged. Currently weekending so there will be a distinct lack of actual gameplay related posts. 

Comments are always welcome. Keep it civil and nondestructive. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.