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Cadfan
02-17-2010, 01:31 PM
Right now this is under the 9.03 patch. I will try to update as I can.

Concepts

Each specialization can be used as a:

Primary: This means that this specialization is where you get the skills you will use to directly attack monsters. Your primary specialization will either kill enemies with a melee weapon, or with ranged attacks, usually spells.

Ranged Secondary: This means this specialization is useful in supporting a strategy of shooting at enemies from a distance.

Melee Secondary: This means this specialization is useful in supporting a strategy of fighting at close range.

Obviously not everything will be perfectly classifiable, but this is a start.

Cadfan
02-17-2010, 01:46 PM
Weaponmaster

The weaponmaster is a primary melee specialization. Its also good as a melee secondary, but useless as a ranged secondary.

There's not much to say about this one, honestly.

If this is your primary choice, you will be choosing between two attack skills, both of which do the same damage, but one of which is more accurate and costs more mana. Eventually you will pick up whirlwind attack, and possibly devastating blow. Each option has a clear role- your first skill is for general use, devastating blow is for large enemies, and whirlwind is for groups.

For supporting a general melee strategy, obviously you'll put points into the arms and weapon skill of your choice. These are probably the most notable parts of the weaponmaster, since they give flat boosts across the board. These skills also mean that the weaponmaster will be quite useful for any sort of melee character, as long as it doesn't use daggers. One small hidden thing is that sword specialization is particularly nice for warriors who want to focus on counter attacking with the defender skills, since it gives them another way to get parry points.

There are only four particularly unusual things to point out.

The first is that adrenaline is probably much better than you think it is, especially once it has a few ranks in it. If you reduce attack speed by 25%, you actually increase damage by 33%.

The second is that Devastating Blow synergizes really well with any build that has a high intelligence, because it does damage based on your total mana present. If you have 3 ranks in Devastating Blow, you do 2 damage per point of mana burned. If you've got 200 mana, that's an extra 400 damage. If you only have 100 mana, that's only an extra 200 damage. This makes Devastating Blow an interesting finishing move for warrior/mage hybrids, particularly weaponmaster/magicians who can benefit from Deep Thought, which grants +40 maximum mana.

Third, attack speed matters. This is kind of a hidden thing, and this is all based on me piecing things together, but attack speed for regular attacks seems based on your weapon, while attack speed for skill attacks seems based on your skill. This means that a very slow weapon will appear to do significantly more damage when paired with a very fast attack, while a very fast weapon will get less benefit out of a slow attack.

Fourth, the mana generation on a hit is really, really good. With only a small amount of +X mana generation from gear, you can attack indefinitely with power attack and whirlwind attack. You will generate as much mana as the skills cost.

Cadfan
02-17-2010, 03:41 PM
Gladiator

If this is your primary, you'll fight in melee. It also makes a good secondary choice if you're a melee character, and a weak choice if you're a spellcaster.

If this is your primary, you have a very, fast, very powerful attack in Berserk, but one that massively penalizes your defense. The more ranks you put in, the bigger the penalty. For groups you'll use Cleave. If you really hate Berserk, you can use Savage Strike instead, but its a bit generic. You might be better off to just run with Berserk and pump your vitality a bit.

I'm not going to go through every power one by one, since that would take forever. So here are some interesting points, and a question or two.

1. The rage skills are really good, particularly if you're attentive and adept at switching between them. At mid levels of the game, you can easily have +100 mana generation when not in combat, and +40% damage when fighting.

2. Cleave targets items, so be careful. You may accidentally destroy health stones or explosive barrels.

3. Save Rupture for higher level bosses. At lower levels you can just hit the enemy an extra time or two and kill it just as fast.

4. Does the Crushing Blow skill benefit spellcasters? If so, this wouldn't be a completely terrible secondary choice for a spellcaster, since you can get two mana regeneration skills and at least one damage boost. It probably still wouldn't be that great, though.

5. I'm not sure that Enrage is that useful. Its best for getting the attention of enemies who are beating up on an NPC you want to rescue, but that's a limited use.

6. It might be interesting to pair Gladiator with Ice Mage as a secondary. Ice mage contributes a third skill to boost mana, some non damage slow down and imprison effects, and an armor skill.

7. Gladiators can use shields, but you shouldn't bother if you're going to use Berserk. Use a two handed weapon to get the best benefit from Berserk's high speed. A shield will just be reduced in effectiveness by Berserk anyways.

Cadfan
02-18-2010, 02:17 AM
I'm going out of order to focus on the specializations I know best.

Assassin

Obviously this is primarily a melee class. In a way, it fills the same role as the Weaponmaster- it gives you a ton of offensive options and a lot of ways to boost general offensive power, but not a lot of utility choices. It supports other melee options well, but contributes almost nothing to a spellcaster.

1. Almost nothing triggers Precise Strike except stealth or other rogue choices. I've tested it with Shield Bash and Blinding Flash, and it does nothing. This is unfortunate- maybe it should be changed?

2. If the math works the way it did in DoP, then here's what you need to know about critical hits. You have a basic chance of getting a critical hit. That amount is increased by your intelligence score. So lets say it starts at 5% (a guess), and that your intelligence increases it by +2. Now you have 7%. You then use an attack that has a +100% chance of critical hits. For this attack, you will have a 14% chance of a critical hit. This means that intelligence is surprisingly important for an Assassin, since it modifies the base value, which is then multiplied. If you're stealthed for +200% critical hit, and you have +100% critical hit from Lethal Blow, then each .1% critical hit from each point of intelligence is actually .4%.

3. Make a decision early on whether you're going to focus on the interlocking critical hit aspects of the Assassin, or whether you're going to ignore them in favor of attacks like Rupture, Death Blow, and Charged Blow. If you're going for critical hits, go for them hardcore. At high levels you should be able to get a nearly 100% critical hit chance with certain builds.

FloodSpectre
02-18-2010, 01:52 PM
1. Almost nothing triggers Precise Strike except stealth or other rogue choices. I've tested it with Shield Bash and Blinding Flash, and it does nothing. This is unfortunate- maybe it should be changed?

I've found that it doesn't trigger nearly as often as other skills and that Lethal Blow is in all cases a better choice for coming out of stealth with, but I still find it goes off just often enough to be useful. However, I have noticed a number of times an enemy has blocked or parried and the skill isn't activated, which is a little odd. Perhaps this is what you're noticing?

I'm not sure if you were looking for replies in this thread or if you wanted it all to yourself, by the way.

Cadfan
02-18-2010, 02:10 PM
Hey, reply away. I'm just messing around.

My take is that Lethal Blow is the better choice. Precise Strike gives you mana when you come out of stealth, which is exactly when you don't need it. As for triggering on a block or parry, I always assumed that it meant when you block or parry, and was just written oddly.

So Lethal Blow comes out as the better choice, because the added value in having both just isn't that great. Lethal Blow is crazy expensive, but you'll probably be putting points into Intelligence to boost your critical hit chance. So you'll be able to afford it better over time. Plus keeping yourself to only one special attack is more efficient in terms of points.

I've just been checking to see if the "distraction" theme really was limited to just the Rogue options, and it seems that it is. If you want to inflict a "distraction" on an enemy, you have to be a Trickster. It might be a good idea to broaden that a little.