View Full Version : Din's Curse Build Testing Organization

02-03-2010, 07:11 PM
Mainly for when we've a sub-forum, but still:

Point of this topic is for people to go on record as to what build/builds they are "currently" testing out for fun/viability/making sure things work as intended so as to avoid a situation where 5 people spend a week finding the exact same issues on the same one working unawares. People can play as they do obviously, but this would add some order towards making sure everything gets knocked out and nothing left wanting come the close of beta presenting newcomers with souring surprises. I'll update this OP as people chime in/all classes and builds become known and we all get rolling.

Cadfan: Weaponmaster/Fire Mage. heavy slant on Weaponmaster. Hunter/Sorcerer Gladiator/Trickster, Trickster/Hunter, Defender/Necromancer, Weaponmaster/Magician, Gladiator/Icemage

SharpCarlos: Warrior/Defender passive focus

Darkshrike: Mage, Conjurer

Wantonius: Trickster/Warlock, Gladiator/Healer

incognoscente: Trickster/Necromancer, Magician/Archer
freykin: Defender/Shaman

Ephemera: Weaponmaster/Magician, Defender/Assassin, Archer/IceMage

Farscry: Mage, Defender/Necromancer

DeathKnight1728: Thief/Magician, Weaponmaster/Trickster, Assassin/Hunter

Lyranaar: IceMage,Archer/Paladin, Druid/Gladiator, Druid/Healer

Floodspectre: Rogue Archer/Thief

stuartpierce: Warlock/Archer

cthonic: Defender/Shaman

L337GTIMKV: Hunter/Trickster

02-03-2010, 07:29 PM
I am playing a Weaponmaster / Fire Mage, with a heavy orientation towards the Weaponmaster side of things.

I'll probably play some other characters too, just to mess around.

02-03-2010, 09:35 PM
For now I'm playing a Warrior, focusing mostly on passive skills (lot of Defender skills so far). I'm basically just trying to play as the simplest character possible, while I get a feel for the game. Then I'll start monkeying around with more interesting builds.

02-03-2010, 11:05 PM
I am an elementalist at heart. I will start out trying mage and conjurer classes. Once I get a feel for things I may try to combine then :)

02-04-2010, 01:00 AM
I have a Trickster/Warlock for some sneaky summoning.

02-04-2010, 01:45 AM
I considered that but ended up going for a Trickster/Necromancer since I hate myself (the Necromancer summons all seem so weak compared to the Warlock's).

Necromancer is good until Blight won't cut it anymore. Then I actually have to devise a strategy. :(

Edit: I spoke too soon. The Necromancer skeletons seem to be too weak to do anything, but the Raise Dead spell (which I assumed would give me a Zombie based on the icon) is wonderful. Kill an Earth Ragnar Champion, the Raise it and have it fight for you. This plus Blight means I'll have to find another class if I want to punish myself.

02-04-2010, 11:59 PM
I'm trying out a defender/shaman, using the shaman path to buff my vitality and give me resists, along with casting champion as needed. As for defender, I just got riposte and am loving it so I probably will be focusing on raising my block and parry chances to make it trigger more often. Level 8 at the moment, we'll see how it pans out later on :).

02-05-2010, 12:11 AM
I've made three hybrids, so far; all now at levels 6-9.

Weaponmaster/Magician: Sword Master; Blinding Flash and Teleport. Melee madness, with the flash for crowd control; alas, I haven't seen much use for teleport yet.

Defender/Assassin: Plate Armor; Lethal Blow and Critical Strike. Marvelously murderous one-on-one, but can get overwhelmed by bigger crowds. Also: no ranged attack! Very unhandy for those exploding barrels.

Archer/Ice Mage: Bow Mastery and Ice Nova. Snipe from a distance, then Nova when they get close. Very, very effective at low levels, but unique bosses are becoming a challenge (and woe to the Ice Mage when she encounters something resistant to cold!).

I'll probably try a few more out at lower levels (Hunter/Trickster?), then pick just one to hack through another dozen levels or so to see how they advance.

02-05-2010, 01:12 AM
Archer/Ice Mage sounds nice.

I have a Magician/Archer at level 14. As usual, the beginning was easy going but now I'm not sure how to proceed. I don't have many area of effect options here and I certainly miss them.

At the very beginning I used Blinding Flash to hold enemies while I picked them off. Then I discovered the wonders of Shock Bolt. Shock Bolt does much more damage than my bow (even after sinking points into several levels of Bow Mastery) and freezes enemies in place to boot. Tried putting a point into Arcane Blast early on but wasn't impressed.

02-05-2010, 02:33 AM
I also started another one:

Gladiator has that skill that increases mana gain and Healer has healing, duh, and holy bolt for ranged attacks (almost exclusively using them on those poison and explosive barrels). So a melee character with healing and a ranged attack for dealing with pesky barrels :D. So far so good.

BTW, what's the shortest dungeon you've encountered? I had this characters first only 6 levels long and there were only three (or four) quests to save the town. Can't remember the longest one though. I remember seeing 15 levels.

02-05-2010, 10:30 AM
BTW, what's the shortest dungeon you've encountered? I had this characters first only 6 levels long and there were only three (or four) quests to save the town. Can't remember the longest one though. I remember seeing 15 levels.

My first town ever ended at dungeon level 5. Last night it took all 13 levels plus a few returns to previous levels. I don't really like returning to previous levels much since it makes it feel like a grind.

Ice Mage/Healer - I'll probably stick with this one for a while. Its pretty awesome. Ice Storm and the first tier heal spell is working nicely. Shatter worked well (creates an AOE explosion if it kills an enemy), but is a little too situational for my tastes so I'll spec out of it next time I play.

02-05-2010, 01:14 PM
I'm currently running two characters: a mage (the preset fire/ice/magician class) and a hybrid defender/necromancer.

I'm kinda slow with these games, so my mage is only level 6, and currently just working the ice skills (I want to make a primarily Frost mage). Seems to be going well so far!

With the hybrid, my goal is to get a heavily armored necromancer who wades right in with his minions. I'll be building the armor/shield skills from the defender group and the minion summoning skills from the necromancer group (maybe dabbling in the curses a little).

02-05-2010, 07:13 PM
I am also playing a Hunter/Sorcerer.

My intention is to use the sorcerer's lightning attacks as my primary means of killing enemies, and to use the hunter for the light step, a trap to keep enemies from closing with me, the cooking skill, and possibly the skill to convert stamina into mana.

One of the things I'm really enjoying is the ability to use one specialty for your combat skills and another specialty for its utility abilities.

Delilah Rehm
02-05-2010, 08:31 PM
Cadfan - I have the same combo! :D I like tornado too, for mob control. Cooking is a great way to keep scavengers from going nuts.

02-05-2010, 08:46 PM
I started out as a thief/magician. I really like the slice skill (dagger mastery) for the thief and the magician is great for getaways and stunning people with blinding flash. I'm still a low level so i'll keep informed but as of now; I'm having a lot of fun!

02-06-2010, 04:39 PM
Alright, while getting used to this char; I died once or twice in the beginning. However, once i got a *somewhat decent dagger*, it got a lot better. I rarely died and actually found out that this character is a very good mage killer. The flash stuns; while you slice. The only guys to watch out for the Magician/thief are the brutes that do a lot of physical damage. They can be a challenge because when you get mobbed it can get ugly. However, there are still a few avenues I am going to try. I am going to pretty soon put points into that magic armor skill. That might help with the physical guys. Until then, I'll have to keep my eyes open for a better dagger because equipment is what makes or breaks this build.

02-07-2010, 04:43 PM
Took a break playing as the thief/magician as i lost a world to sheer insanity.

Decided to try out another build. I came up with the weaponmaster/trickster.

Figured i'd try a brutal assassin type build that wields swords. It was working really good in the start; but later on it got overwhelming because of the lack of defense. I'll try and see if it gets any better. As of now; it's pretty tough when i get mobbed; but excellent with 1 on 1.

02-07-2010, 05:26 PM
Characters running here:
Mage (non hybrid) on mostly ice (Shatter)
Cleric (non hybrid) some skills here and there, heavily armoured.
Archer/Paladin based on multi shot (wanted exploding arrow originally)

Partied with:
Druid/Gladiator, Stalker Shifter with Gladiator Focus skills
Rogue (non hybrid) on mostly Assassin
Druid/Healer, healing with Earthquake and suicide with cave-ins

Levels range 11 - 16 atm.

02-07-2010, 06:59 PM
Druid/Gladiator. Now that sounds unique. I'm guessing you would base that class on getting hit to generate mana and killing everyone including yourself with earthquakes.

The only thing is if you use earthquake in an area with a lot of earthquakes; will that kinda magnify things; if so then that sounds cool :)

02-07-2010, 07:07 PM
It's actually the Druid/Healer that kills everyone with his Earthquake (including himself and partner) when not healing the Archer. Unsteady areas do massive and frequent cave-ins with earthquake.

The Druid/Gladiator fires up manaregen, Barkskin, Strength of Stone and then shifts into Stalker to bring goodness with his claws. It's quite impressive to watch that I might add. The Gladiator is for using the Focus stuff as you can't use active skills while shifted.

This Shifter is a nice and solid single target killer and teams up with my Areadamage (sorry for the pun, area damage mage).
Oh, just hit Level 17 with them btw.

02-07-2010, 07:35 PM
Alright, here are all the characters I've messed with, their levels, and my thoughts. Longest lived characters first.

Weaponmaster / Fire Mage
Level 15

Her strategy is to fight in melee and augment herself with Fire Shield (damage to foes who hit her, fire resistance), Flame Blade (30 seconds of major fire damage added to her weapon, recharge 4 minutes), and Summon Fire Elemental as a sidekick.

Fire Shield is interesting. Its never going to be a major enemy killer, but it adds a constant stream of low damage. Flame Blade is excellent- with three ranks, you get about +90% fire damage. The Fire Elemental seems fun, but it costs a lot and dies really easy. That may be an artifact of the weird difficulty scaling, so maybe it will be better later. I wish I understood more about how summon levels work. Because at level 15 I've got a level 4 summon, and I'm certainly not going to be putting a rank in every level. So my summon level is going to fall really far behind my level. Is that ok? I don't know.

Hunter / Sorcerer
Level 9

This character uses Light Step for defense, and will probably start using the Cooking skill and the Immobilizing trap. For offense I'm going straight lightning spells. Right now I'm focusing on the basic lightning zap spell, but I'll probably branch out sooner or later and use something else. Probably Ball Lightning or that final Lightning skill.

As a character, it works. There are a few skills I'm unsure of. The traps seem too touchy, but that's being addressed. Infused Energy doesn't work for me because whenever I need mana I usually need stamina as well because I'm kiting something. Cooking seems good, but since its a percentage chance skill, I'm not going to use it until I can afford a few ranks to get a chance better than 10%. Then I'll enjoy some self sufficiency. Stored Lightning seems odd, its very loud, and if I forget to activate it when I'm partially exhausted, I won't have enough mana to afford to activate it. Which is annoying. The final lightning skill says it increases in charged bolts with every level, but it hasn't got a level counter. If that skill works as advertised, I may switch to it as my primary attack once I get to higher levels. If not, I'll use Ball Lightning because it can be cast and ignored while you fire regular lightning bolts. As for Light Step, I assume its helping, but its a very difficult skill to know if its doing anything for you.

Gladiator / Trickster
Level 7

Cleave, and eventually that Gladiator attack that costs 6, paired with both mana generating abilities, Stealth, and the defensive abilities from the Trickster. The goal here is to pop out of stealth, shred things with Cleave, and then go back into Stealth. Ideally, I'll use the mana generating focus skill when I'm stealthed, and the damage one when I'm not. I'm wielding a two handed axe.

Its a pretty fun character to play. So far, I have cleave, stealth, and some mana generation. It plays a lot like a rogue did in DoP, except its better at mobs and it generates mana between fights instead of during them. No major comments here- this character works fine.

Trickster / Hunter
Level 6

Light Step and Stealth for ultimate sneakiness. Barbed Arrow because it only does physical damage, meaning it stacks with Stealth. There's not a lot else to this character at this stage, though I have some other skills to consider for the future like Cooking, Infused Energy, and Smoke Bomb, plus the defense skills.

This character does some major damage. Barbed Arrow is a very high damage attack, and it stacks with Stealth. We'll see how it does as levels grow, since this is just at the point where you stop being able to one shot enemies. I suspect she'll keep one shot killing them for a while.

Defender / Necromancer
Level 4

These characters are almost too low level to know much about them, so I won't say much. Denner uses the necromancer skill that does area damage over time, and then sits in the middle of the battle wearing enormous armor and counter attacking. He will probably also use the area skill that drops enemies attack, defense, and damage by 20%, but that will wait until I can afford a few ranks at once.

Weaponmaster / Magician
Level 3

Real simple- stun everyone with the Flash spell. Then attack them. At higher levels, combine meditation (+40 mana per rank) with that weaponmaster attack that does flat bonus damage based on total mana. The goal there is to get close to being able to one shot bosses, while controlling groups with Flash. So far pretty effective at the groups, but I can't afford to get the single target combo going yet.

Gladiator / Ice Mage
Level 2

Not much here at this stage. Goal is to focus on the gladiator side of things, and use the ice mage for the armor, permafrost, and the mana generation. This character has three skills that add 10% per rank to mana regeneration, so mana should be really easy to come by, allowing me to use a lot of high mana attacks.

02-08-2010, 12:01 AM
Playing a straight rogue, building him like my DoP rogue. I'm only level 2 at the moment though, so no weirdnesses to report just yet.

02-09-2010, 12:34 PM
I was out of town for the weekend and was thus not able to put any time in, but I got back yesterday and WOOT! Patch was available. ;)

Since I had not progressed significantly far with my pre-patch characters, I've started over with the new patch, and am building the two characters again that I already noted I would be playing around with in this thread. Started with the Wizard first (focusing on ice magic but will play around with fire and magician as well for testing purposes), and will later create my necromancer/defender hybrid.

02-09-2010, 08:11 PM
Played through a town with the new patch last night as my Defender Shaman, going from level 11 to 13. I picked up Revenge and the final Shaman ability, the one that heals and recovers mana once every 5 minutes. The challenge felt much more balanced to me, and I even found a new weapon, Orc Slayer :).

02-09-2010, 10:29 PM
Add an Archer/Thief to the list for me. Caltrops and a bow are a nice mix.

02-09-2010, 10:57 PM
The Chaos Lord is a pretty good tank. He has a nice area attack.
Cons: He doesn't heal with you when you find a healing point. He also tends to bring down cave-ins. He often destroys himself with this, and he's killed me at least once.
I've been alternating regular arrows with Shock Bolt for my offense. It's stun is very nice, but it doesn't always stun monsters with partial lightning immunity.


02-10-2010, 04:04 PM
I started out as an assassin/hunter after having much success with a magician thief and no success with a trickster/weaponmaster. As i started with the assasin it almost seemed to easy in the beginning; so i decided to wait until the next game. Now as i thought, all hell is breaking loose. The problem with this character is that i have absolutely no defense. This comes from the fact that the assassin is offensive, and the hunter is offensive as well; except for light touch which hides me. Beside all that, is there any way other than skills to boost my defense. Should i look for an item or something because as it stands i have to boost dex like a lot and for almost no gain.

Any advice would be welcome.

02-10-2010, 04:57 PM
Full Character Review

Level 15 Weaponmaster / Fire Mage

I've played her to level 15, which is about the point where I think the current incarnation of the game peters out for a melee character, so here's my summary. This is under the .901 version.

Her strategy is to fight as a melee character, but to augment her strengths with flame powers that synergize well with a melee character. I think this is one of the strongest aspects of Din's Curse- so many specializations are built so that they can be used either as a primary focus, or as a flavor element for a character who fights in a fundamentally different style than the specialization intended.

Ability Review

This character can't use shields, so this is all two handed weapon territory. On the other hand, by mixing a warrior and a wizard type, I can use capes and mail at the same time.

The mana gain on a successful hit is nice. It neatly reduces the cost of attacking.

Power Review

Power Attack: This is a simple, excellent power. Its attack time is 1.5, which is slightly longer than that of my two handed swords at 1.4, but it does enough increased damage to make it worthwhile.

Perfect Strike: I bypassed this. I use dexterity quite heavily as a sword wielder, so there didn't seem to be much point. I suspect most people will make a similar choice- if you're satisfied with your accuracy overall, and that's rather possible when you have multiple skills available that give flat bonuses to accuracy, you won't want to put a lot of points into this when Power Attack is nearby.

Adrenaline: I'm holding off until higher levels, since I have a skill that fills a similar role in my fire powers. But I anticipate going for this eventually, once I can afford to purchase several ranks in one level up.

Arms Mastery: Kind of an obvious investment.

Sword Mastery: Flat bonus to accuracy, percentage bonus to damage, flat bonus to defense. Flat bonuses of this type require you to continue investing in the skill over time to keep it current, but you're likely to do so given the significant advantage of improving your damage.

Bleed: This gives relatively low benefit. I put one point in just because its cool. The skill system is designed so that certain skills that aren't very good can eventually become worthwhile, because the other skills you prefer will have increased significantly in terms of cost. So while the 15% bonus to your deep wound percentage is low, at higher levels when you're getting ten or twelve points per level up, and your other skills cost 10 or 12 points per level, you'll be more likely to buy three or so ranks. Plus at that stage your higher dexterity will have improved your base, giving you an overall better chance. So, overall, a good skill, but a late game skill.

Devastating Blow: I have mixed feelings. I feel like it could become very powerful, but at the same time I suspect that just hammering away with a high ranked Power Attack might be better. This skill could become extremely powerful if you had a high maximum mana, but I don't anticipate this character putting a lot into intelligence. A Weaponmaster / Magician might get a lot of mileage here.

Whirlwind: Quite decent. Not much else to say.

Shield of Fire: Kind of an odd skill. Because its damage is a percentage of incoming attacks, it automatically scales as you meet higher levels, which is great. But because its damage starts at 5%, it starts at functionally nothing. I mean that literally. Once you get a few ranks in it, you can actually see enemies lose hit points when they attack you. The fire resistance is a flat amount which means it needs constant update to stay current. But that's easily forgiven. After all, you'll probably be constantly updating this skill anyways with this build. I suppose the most important thing to notice is that this is one of the few defensive boosts in Din's that can be maintained forever, by recasting it every time it ends.

Flame Blade: Adds an average of 30% damage per rank. Lasts 30 seconds, and can be recast every 90 seconds. I consider this an excellent skill. It automatically scales, so every rank just makes it better and better. Plus it gives you two damage types, which helps versus certain enemies with certain resistances.

Fire Elemental: Unfortunately, I do not like this guy. I initially intended to keep him around as a pet, but he only has 20 hit points. And that costs 8 skill ranks and a whole lot of mana! I'm not sure if what I expected was fair, but this wasn't it.

02-10-2010, 06:08 PM
Fire Elemental:[/B] Unfortunately, I do not like this guy. I initially intended to keep him around as a pet, but he only has 20 hit points. And that costs 8 skill ranks and a whole lot of mana! I'm not sure if what I expected was fair, but this wasn't it.

I'm still trying to figure out a good way to balance the pets.

02-10-2010, 06:32 PM
The problem is figuring out what you want them to do.

One type of pet might be something you summon for a single fight, as a sort of emergency backup. You'd want a pet like this to have a low mana cost, a short summoning time, low hit points but good damage, and maybe a long recharge time on summoning him again. That way he'd be pulled out for emergencies but not used on a regular basis. You could even give this sort of pet a limited lifespan.

Another type of pet would be a constant companion who's always around. Given that this sort of pet not only does damage but also absorbs attacks, its pretty powerful. You'd need to give it enough hit points to survive a battle, but you'd probably want to give it lower damage for balance. A slow regeneration rate would probably be a good idea. This sort of pet could cost more mana and have a longer casting time, since you'd probably do it between fights.

Still a third idea might be a horde summon. Individually they'd be rather weak, but you'd have access to a lot of them and they wouldn't cost that much mana. So as they'd die you'd just toss more into the mix. This might work for monsters like the Scree.

That's all I can come up with at the moment.

02-10-2010, 06:47 PM
Full Character Review

Level 15 Defender / Necromancer

This guy's strategy is to move to the center of large amounts of monsters, cast Blight, and then survive due to his powers as a Defender. Right now I mostly use Blight and the defensive skills, but eventually I'll add the counterattacks, plate armor proficiency, and Gut.

Ability Review

The Necromancer's ability to get mana after a kill is amazing. It means that the typical casting of Blight pays for itself. On the other hand, I don't get mana for blocking or parrying often enough yet to even know how much mana it earns. I'm a little concerned about the math here as well- if I understand correctly, the more defense I have the less often I block or parry. This means that Shield Proficiency slightly decreases my chance of blocking or parrying since it increases defense without increasing Block or Parry. Am I wrong about this?

Power Review

Blight: Amazing. It works through walls. Its probably too good, honestly. I cast it and everything dies, even at level 15. I only actually have to battle special monsters. It may stop being so amazing at higher levels, I don't know, but at the moment its awe inspiring. I regularly cast it when I suspect there are monsters far away behind walls or through doors, and then I get random XP.

Disease Cloud: I used this for a moment, but the duration is just too low with only one rank in it. Its effect is pretty awesome, and synergizes really well with the defender's high defense and low attack stat. And its a debuff that hits an area. Once I can afford about five ranks in it, I'll use it all the time. But for now its on the back burner.

Gut: Basically Blight, but for only one target, and for 2 seconds longer. I'll start using this at higher levels so that I can put special monsters under multiple damage over time effects.

Blocking: Seems like a small bonus, until you realize that its boosted by Shield Proficiency, and will eventually be a bigger bonus than any other defense boosting skill.

Parrying: The same as Blocking.

Shield Mastery: A percentage boost! These are always excellent. I don't have much in it right now because I get more mileage for my points from Blocking and Parrying, but that will eventually change as I level up.

Revenge: I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand, its really good, but on the other it only works when you're critically hit. I'll probably use it but only put in one or two ranks just so I can access an attack that's better than my regular hit.

Riposte: I'm hoping this will be an excellent ability once I have some build up in Blocking and Parrying.

Retaliation: I suspect this exists more for mana than for anything else. In DoP this was amazing because you could boost it with the various rage increasing skills. I don't have any of them on this character. I wonder if Intelligence will boost this over time? Or if more ranks in it will boost the mana gain? Its too expensive for me to tell at this level.

Plate Armor: An interesting skill in a way. The first rank is really, really worth it, I suspect. But after that I'm not sure if I'd spend 16 ranks for a 5% increase in armor. Maybe at particularly high levels?

Anyways, those are the skills I'm using or intend to use. Unfortunately a lot of them are really expensive, so I've retrained everything into Blight, Blocking, Parrying, and Shield Mastery.

02-10-2010, 07:14 PM
Blight working through walls seems like a bug to me.

02-10-2010, 07:34 PM
Cadfan: At level 13, with one level in Blocking, Parrying, and Riposte, I can do it to pretty much every monster I fight. Very very useful combination of skills, especially since Riposte stuns.

02-10-2010, 07:37 PM
I'm still trying to figure out a good way to balance the pets.

Maybe you could have them earn new abilities at certain levels. Say, at level 5 the elemental gets a permanent Fire Shield for example.

In any case I think it'd be cool if more of the attributes of the pet were listed in the skill description as well, like their HP, attack and damage ratings, etc. I think it'd make it easier for us to decide if we wanted that pet or wanted to upgrade its skill some more.

02-10-2010, 07:47 PM
The key to balancing minions is without doubt to have them scale with character level as well as become increasingly powerful with points added to the skill. A level 1 skeleton raised by a level 1 necromancer against a level 1 monster should be just as effective as a level 1 skeleton raised by a level 20 necromancer vs a level 20 monster. As it is, it's just not worth dumping points into summoning skills that don't scale with character level. I have an assassin/necro that uses a low level Raise Dead skill, because it's moderately and equally useful throughout the game even at level one or two.

02-10-2010, 07:55 PM
It would be worth putting points into summoning skills that don't scale with character level if they scaled appropriately relative to the cost of investing in them.

Meaning, if at level X you have 20% of your skill points in a summoning skill, and at level Y you have 20% of your skill points in a summoning skill, then you should have an equally powerful summoned monster relative to equal level enemies.

02-10-2010, 07:59 PM
It would be worth putting points into summoning skills that don't scale with character level if they scaled appropriately relative to the cost of investing in them.

Meaning, if at level X you have 20% of your skill points in a summoning skill, and at level Y you have 20% of your skill points in a summoning skill, then you should have an equally powerful summoned monster relative to equal level enemies.

Yes, that's precisely what I meant.

02-10-2010, 09:46 PM
The key to balancing minions is without doubt to have them scale with character level as well as become increasingly powerful with points added to the skill. A level 1 skeleton raised by a level 1 necromancer against a level 1 monster should be just as effective as a level 1 skeleton raised by a level 20 necromancer vs a level 20 monster. As it is, it's just not worth dumping points into summoning skills that don't scale with character level. I have an assassin/necro that uses a low level Raise Dead skill, because it's moderately and equally useful throughout the game even at level one or two.

I completely agree. Right now the only pet worth the skill point investment is Raise Dead due to the simple fact it scales.

If this is a class balance thread, can I suggest tying all the Warlock curses together like the Shaman's Resist spells are?

02-12-2010, 12:39 PM
I rolled up a new character last night:


The intent is raw survival. You'll kill through reactionary attacks and simply outlasting encounters.

Defender Skills
(somewhat in order of importance)

Gut: Your intial skillpoint goes here, and for awhile this will be your special attack of choice. Gut does impressive damage over time on single targets -- when you're low level and mob HP is still low, Gut is a fire-and-forget move. Gut something and move on to the next.

Blocking + Parry: Pretty much the reason we took defender (along with plate). Synergy with Riposte, which will become our main attack. However, don't bother putting too many skill points into these for awhile. One rank of each is sufficient by level 10.

Riposte: Your bread and butter attack, and a beauty at that. It's reactionary, however, and only comes up when fighting physical enemies.

Shield Bash: You'll eventually want to phase out Gut as mob HP spikes and take up Shield Bash, which forces casters into melee, giving you the Riposte procs you need to kill quickly. Basically, at higher levels, I'd recommend taking the points from Gut and putting them here into Shield Bash.

Plate Armor: Go ahead and buy it once plate is dropping regularly and you've saved up at least half of a good set. It's 15 points after all -- no sense buying it til the gear actually exists.

Retaliation: A good mana generator. 10s cooldown, 10 mana gained on hit with a negligible crit and physical damage bonus. However, if the build is functioning correctly, you shouldn't need too much mana and you should be generating plenty with blocks and parries. Still, a handy one-ranker for extra regen.

Shaman Skills
(somewhat in order of importance)

Hardiness: Oh baby, this one is a beauty. (Apparently) +10 vitality a rank starting at 1sp for the first. Definitely throw points into this one when your killing speed is good -- a massive buffer of HP for five minutes is fantastic.

Champion: Also a 1sp-for-first-rank skill, Champion is one of the two "oh shi-" buttons you get from the Shaman tree. At level 1, 2min cooldown and 10s duration for 20 mana. Don't be afraid to pop it when knee-deep in enemies or against a boss. It's also cheap to raise, so throw some points here when you can.

Resists: Pretty much why we took Shaman. Throw the 2 points here to unlock all four resist spells as soon as you've got the basics down (Gut, Hardiness (probably rank 2), Champion. From then on, throw points in once every third level, I'd say. Be vigilant about changing resists on the fly.

Divine Intervention: The second "oh shi-" button. Cheap at 6 points for rank1, this gives you a 0 manacost 50hp/50mp heal once every 5 minutes. I assume the amount healed increases as you put points in.

After you've gotten a rank of it (more for the mana than the health, honestly), it's up to you when to raise it. Judge your performance against swarms and bosses.

Most of all, DON'T BE AFRAID TO USE IT! It's a waste of skillpoints if you refuse to use it against a boss out of the concern that another, badder boss is right around the corner.

Frankly, if you're not using it every 6-7 minutes, you should just spec out of it and buy potions. If it's not on cooldown, it should be soon. Unless you're running around at full HP all the time, of course.

Stat Points

Establish a ratio of 2 Strength:2 Vitality:1 Dexterity and maintain it.

Mana and Mana Regen should not be a problem if your build is functioning correctly*, plus you can get it from gear. Resists are covered by gear and your Shaman spells -- don't waste any points in Spirit.

*Blocks/parries don't seem to add much, if any, mana. This may be a bug.


Aim for Plate with +HP regen, nice procs (high-frequency buff spells would be amazing), +Attack, Block/Parry, +Vitality, +Dex, +Resists. In that order, pretty much.

Weapon-wise, you want to find a nice slow high-range 1-Hander to best take advantage of Riposte's bonuses to crit and physical damage. Don't just look at DPS -- look at the Damage Range.

+Fire damage is nice for clearing packs of barrels, procs are nice for some versatility, Block/Parry and +Attack are always handy... But really, damage range is king.

02-15-2010, 08:48 AM
I've been playing the Defender/Shaman and have a couple more notes:

-You *need* a good weapon. Most of your damage is going to be auto-attacks. I'd actually prioritize a weapon before anything else.

-You lack AoE outside of the Shaman's crappy pseudo-fireball, which you shouldn't buy anyway. This is a big problem until you have the skillpoints to block/parry everything. Don't be scared to run.

-The build is slow and only semi-functional til about level 10.

-Don't worry about the Resist spells til about 10. Get skills in this order to begin with:

*Gut 1
*Hardiness 1
*Shield Bash 1
*Parry 1
*Riposte 1
*Block 1
*Hardiness 2
*Champion 1

Those are your "key" abilities. You'll want to bump Vitality every 5 levels to keep it competitive.

-If your weapon sucks, keep to the "Medium" difficulty recommendation.

-Good god try to find +HP Regen.

03-10-2010, 01:51 AM
Figured i might as well resurrect this thread.

Of the three classes that i made, 1 has seemed to prove to be very good.

I originally played with a: Thief/Magician, and a Trickster/Weaponmaster. The first worked out alright at first. Later on i found that it lacked offensive power.

The trickster/weaponmaster was actually not bad though it lacked defensive skills (didnt have smokescreen since it was a high cost). Other than that, it's still a decent build.

Finally i tried something different with the Assassin/Hunter. This has proved to be my best class (i am still just 19, but still; i didn't die nearly as much as the other two). I just started trying the fast-pace option on my newest world and it is going good so far, though those dark elf diviners suck :D

03-10-2010, 03:34 AM
I've had a good time with my weaponmaster/firemage. I'm getting the impression that weaponmaster + anything is pretty solid. You get so many passive boosts to damage, plus you get a standard skill that does a huge pile of extra damage, plus you get an area attack. Its about as simple and effective as it gets.

03-10-2010, 04:54 AM
Currently testing a Hunter/Trickster hybrid, and it's rocking so far.. My skills thus far are:

Stealth: 6
Sleight of Hand: 1
Serrated Arrow: 5
Immolation Trap: 5
Freezing Trap: 5
Net Trap: 1
Light Touch: 2

Being able to shoot and lay traps while stealthed is an amazing combo, and the Sleight of Hand ability allows me to cause the mobs to fight each other while remaining stealthed.. Very viable and fun combo.

03-10-2010, 11:08 AM
started playing as a Priest, then a Gladiator/Sorcerer (love it, only thing i took in gladiator was the mana passive, but wearing mail and zap-holding things still till dead is fun), now playing a Conjurer and loving the warlock, my pets get a little out of hand attacking any monster npc, and once myself, but I like how caotic the warlock feels and pallin' around with demons I'd expect them to misbehave.

03-12-2010, 01:37 AM
tl,dr: Necromancer/Necromancer build is pointless. See bottom of post for list of Necromancer-related bugs/issues.

I have gradually gotten a Necromancer/Necromancer to level 20. It's not something I suggest others try.

As I recall, doubling up a specialty was not originally intended but Steven said he'd leave it in for a while to see how it goes. I was several hours into a Necromancer hybrid at the time so I thought I'd give a dual Necro a try. I figured other beta testers would try the other doubled builds, but I haven't seen much to show that anyone else has pursued that path. :\

Some skills with excessive cool-down times can be gamed by doubling the class/specialty at the cost of extending the damage or effect of the individual skill. You can buy level 1 of a skill on each skill page and then spam the skill by alternating which page's skill you are technically using. Necromancer skills do not have cool-down times (yay!) so you gain no temporal benefits from doubling it as a specialization.

For the most part Necromancer skills cannot be stacked on top of themselves (if you cast Bolt of Gloom and then quickly cast it again, the new effect is added and the old one is removed, regardless of if the incoming effect is weaker than the current effect). The exception to this is Disease Cloud. While the Disease Cloud modifier is active on a monster you can cast it again and have two Disease Cloud modifiers on the monster. Because there is no cool-down time on Disease Cloud, you don't need to make a dual Necro to accomplish this-- Disease Cloud spamming will work on any Necromancer build.

The two Necromancer specialty pages will actually conflict with each other if you have the Lich passive skill at different levels on each-- the Lich level will always be taken from the second skill page. If you have level 2 on page 1 and level 1 on page 2, your pets will only receive Lich level 1 bonuses.

In short, the Necromancer/Necromancer build is pointless. You gain no benefits from duplicated skills (and in the case of Lich can actually hinder yourself). You have to be willing to engage enemies in melee combat (to create corpses to make into pets) with only staves and cloth items. I'm always surprised how easy the game becomes when I play any of my other characters.

Character skills: Raise Dead at level 5 (2 pets!) and Blight at... level 5 right now? I have a level in Disease Cloud and Despair for the special monsters that I simply can't hit normally.

Otherwise, Bone Shatter is interesting but gobbles mana. Skeletons are pointless, skeleton archers are even more pointless. Bolt of Gloom is nearly pointless. Lich is too expensive for too little gain. Dark Ritual is okay when you have free skill points sitting around and can't figure out what to do with them.

Bugs and issues
1. As noted above, page 2's Lich skill will override page 1's Lich skill, even if the skill on page 1 is higher. If dual specialties are killed, this is a moot point.

2. As hinted at above, Blight, Bolt of Gloom, Dark Ritual, and Despair will override themselves with weaker versions if they are cast from 2 different skill pages. I suppose this makes sense in terms of duration, but killing off the remaining 3 seconds of 30% effect for 5 seconds of 10% effect doesn't seem like a good trade. On the other hand, to what extent does the game really need to protect players from themselves? :) If dual specialties are killed, this is a moot point.

3. Maybe I'm just dense but the Duration and N damage every 1 second text on Bone Shatter made me think it would apply N damage each second for Duration seconds in addition to the explode/grenade functionality. It doesn't. It doesn't add a modifier icon to enemies, and it doesn't apply any damage to the target beyond when it is cast. The explode thing works (and with two or three levels in the skill, works well), but I thought it would do tick damage, too.

4. Skeletons always seem to be too weak. A level 17 Skeleton versus a level 17 Targ or Wampir is practically no contest. I tried Skeletons again in .909 after ignoring them since about .902. While it seems like maybe they are better than they were, they still get no use from me. I wish I had something useful to add.

5. Skeleton Archers are so weak as to be pointless. You gain another skeleton every 2 ranks but a new archer every 4. That makes Archers sound kick-ass but in practice, regular skeletons will dismantle an entire dungeon floor while archers stand around scratching their heads wondering if there's any cheese they can eat. When they actually take shots, their arrows often hit my melee pets by "accident." My suggestion: replace archers with Zombies/Revenants (don't know what the Raise Dead icon could be instead... a Scavenger, maybe?). The cost and control limit makes sense for them, not skeleton archers.

6. Corpses fading out can still be targeted for Raise Dead but cannot be raised. Bosses and Totems can likewise be targeted but not raised. To add insult to injury, the game will inform you of this ("Cannot be raised") after it has taken your mana and killed off one of your pets to make room. By contrast, the skeleton skills can be cast during the fade-out and will not delete a pet until *after* a successful spawn.

7. If I cast Raise Dead on a monster my other pets have killed, they will often attack it once it comes back to life. Sometimes if I wait a few seconds before raising the new pet it will help me avoid the situation. When fights break out, they can be ended by traveling to town or another dungeon level. I'm guessing it has something to do with the dead monster still being counted as an enemy or oldenemy of one of my pets?

8. Likewise, some corpses still seem to have enemies. If I cast Raise Dead on a Brood that I've killed (any variant), chances are good that it will attack me until I leave that level of the dungeon. Very annoying.

9. In XP in 1024x768, the party quick select has a display problem. The health bar extends one pixel below its outline. I might not have noticed this except that that 1-pixel high region has a different tooltip text than the healthbar inside the outline. It gives the same message ("Drop food or healing potions...") but adds the pet's current hitpoints at the end without a space or line break. Attached is a composite image showing the tooltip (2x scale) and healthbar (4x scale).

10. Some corpses are saved in my save games, but my pets never are. Any chance pets could be added to save games?

11. Some pets, like Nagas, will heal themselves on lifestones when injured but none will heal themselves on Din's Altar. Could this be changed?

03-13-2010, 09:09 AM
Yeah, I've sampled through much of the doublings and combos which was what I was getting at when I mentioned the unusual tendency of class doubling a ways back and then much of the badness of the Necro set back in the mega and other peoples topics on such. I've not spent time with EVERY combo possible in a dogged crawl to 20 as you've on this one...but enough such that this is why I don't list my own in this as it would just go outta control.

I would reckon at some point we'll have Class Archetype themes patches once the dungeon and item issues get sorted as things like this and the rest have quite a bit to them to ponder and tinker with.