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View Full Version : assassin/defender or assassin/gladiator?


jiduthie
05-17-2010, 12:48 PM
I like the high dps skills of the assasin but could care less about the stealth of the trickster or the utility of the thief. I'd really like to augment that power with some better defensive ability and hopefully something to make his dps even more potent. I'll go through my thinking and perhaps some of you can help me out.

Looking over the assassin's abilities it seams that lethal blow ought to be the goto move. Precise strike is nice, but the distraction requirements are unlikely to be regularly achievable without the full rogue's distraction capabilities, and death blow seems way too expensive skill point wise for what it does. Lethal blow is cheap in its skill points, provides a huge bonus to damage and also to critical hit chance that looks, beyond its inherent usefulness, to be useful in setting up the mana free Critical Strike. However, 20 mana is kind of alot for a skill that I'd really like to be spamming. Perhaps as the character grows, this will be less of an issue?

Both the gladiator and defender add useful things regardless of which one I go with. Ability to use mail and shields, which should help given that I'm going without stealth and other such tricks. And the ability to use one handed axes which opens up my weapon options a bit.

Now the gladiator specifically, adds a few things on its own which seem useful. Perhaps the biggest is the use of two handed swords and axes. This seems like it would be brutal given the emphasis on critical hits, however it would also negate the advantage of being able to use shields. Also right up there is blood lust and its mana gain. I'd like to throw around lethal blow as much as possible and it seems like blood lust could let me do just that. The third thing that looks good to me is the focus ability, specifically focus: defence. Upping my armor in order to increase survivability looks good to me in theory. Of dubious utility is the gain mana on being hit attribute, which seems to me to be rather pointless. I'd rather avoid getting hit if I can.

The defender also has things to recommend it. The biggest being all the passives to increase survivability. Their utility is compounded when you consider revenge, riposte and retaliation which seem like good options to keep my dps up when I need to conserve mana. Their benefit is compounded again when you consider that the defender gains mana when he completes a block or parry. Shield bash also seems to be a decent way of setting up a mana free precise strike, even if i can only use once every ten seconds. Also of note is the ability to use plate, further increasing survivability.

It seems to me its really a question of mana. Will the assassin/defender be able to spam lethal blow as quickly as the assassin/gladiator? It could be that I'm making too much out of the kind of mana resources I'll need for a skill whose mana usage doesn't increase. Perhaps a point into intelligence every level would be more than enough to ensure an adequate mana supply in the long run. On the other hand, even if the assassin/gladiator is a dps machine he might still end up being a bit of a glass cannon.

Has anyone taken either of these to high levels? Maybe someone with more experience could tell me where my thinking has gone astray? I really like thinking this kind of stuff out, but I rather dislike playing a character for hours only to find out he's gimped.

Thanks for any help.

elsol69
05-17-2010, 01:55 PM
I prefer the gladiator.

The problem with the defender -- 'do more damage after a monster does X to you'... is that you have to pay attention to know when an attack has been triggered. In DC -- I either hit first or I'm surrounded by stealth mobs and then I'm not paying attention to 'what did the monster do', more of "kill! kill! kill!" mentality.

Keying through the focus skills takes a little less thinking (for me), so the versality of lot of hitpoints Boss (more armor) or walking around (mana gain) or fighting regular stuff (more damage) is nicer versatility.

I also have given back every +parry, +evade, +defense skill to gain a different skill that lets me do damage faster.

But my idea of survivability is -- hit it first and make sure that hit kills it.

Jorlen
05-17-2010, 02:13 PM
The defender is the only tree I have not played, and will not play in its current form. Almost all of the skills are conditional; that is, they require a special condition in order to be used (i.e. use after a crit, etc).

Even using plate, at a hefty 15 point cost, doesn't make up for the skills IMO. Note that the IMO is important here, that's just my opinion.

The gladiator, or even the weaponsmaster are the two strong forces. The gladiator is nice, as he can wield shields and chain right from the start, with some nice skills as well. The shared focus skills for example are very nice and create a versatile character. NEed more armor? Switch your focus over. Need mana regen? No prob. It shares the same skill point pool, which is great. Those passives combined with the assassin skills has some potential to be very deadly and the added defense options of being able to wield a shield and chainmail will increase survivability.

udm
05-17-2010, 02:21 PM
I'm using a Trickster/Gladiator. All I can say is, it's amazing. I can take on monsters 10 levels higher than me with not much difficulty.

DeathKnight1728
05-17-2010, 02:42 PM
I would recommend going with the assassin/defender. I know most people would think this isnt a good idea.But here's the catch. The defender has one thing the other classes dont have: Block. Block will not only stun the enemy but will also prevent them from touching you. Even the big guys that are twice the size of the screen will get stunned. That skill can take care of any melee foes you have to fight. I used that skill in Kivi's Underworld and i wouldnt have made it through the game without it. I play an assassin/hunter and the assassin's skill: Lethal Blow is one of the best in the game. I'm level 29 and i launch 1k critical hits with it. Dont worry about the mana. Your best best is to focus on dex and vit with the rest on intelligence. Once your intel is a bit higher, then forget it for a while and focus on strength. That would be 1+ Strength, 2 Dex, 2 Vit.

To make this char even more of a tank, you get a lot of skills that will increase your defense. And to add to that, your getting the entire offensive benefit of the assassins skills, some of which are: Armor Piercing (Good One!), Critical Eye (the one that adds to your chance), and another which adds to your chance to hit.

So basically this is what it comes down to. Melee you own....Mages should go down in 1 or 2 hits. The only monsters to worry about are the stealth ones and ghosts. The last thing is the main attack: Lethal Blow has one of the coolest animations in the game! :D What's not to like...

jiduthie
05-17-2010, 02:55 PM
I was under the impression that +10% mana gain wasn't the same thing as a ten percent bonus to mana regen. I thought that +10% mana gain affected the "gain mana when hit" type-ability that each class has. Is that wrong? Does mana gain effect straight regen?


I appreciate that the conditional skills of the defender do require extra effort on the part of the player, but it was also my feeling that thats what the assassin was all about, situational attacks that provide huge bonuses if you can get the situations to trigger, like distracting an enemy.

I'm especially hesitant to disregard riposte. The defender is likely to be blocking and parrying attacks because he has skills that improve those abilities. Any time that happens I get an essentially mana free attack that provides a large percentage based multiplier(i.e. even if i only take one level of the skill it won't become less effective over time) to my damage. If I decide to put points into it regularly it also freezes enemies for a longer duration then almost every other skill in the game.


Are you guys able to keep your assassin/gladiators full on mana without chugging potions?


edit: hmmm, I've just tested out block on a level one char. That plus riposte seems like it might be quite the combination.

Jorlen
05-17-2010, 03:43 PM
Are you guys able to keep your assassin/gladiators full on mana without chugging potions?

It's all about the mana regen gear.

DeathKnight1728
05-17-2010, 04:36 PM
Jiduthie-hmmm, I've just tested out block on a level one char. That plus riposte seems like it might be quite the combination.

It worked for the spartans, lol.

FloodSpectre
05-17-2010, 06:57 PM
I personally really like the Defender's conditionals. It is a little annoying at first, yeah, but those attacks are brutal and very frequent once you've gotten the character up to level 15+ with a good shield. I have a Thief/Defender hybrid with a 13% chance to be hit by any given attack. It's not worth ignoring defense skills, imho.

DeathKnight1728
05-22-2010, 05:26 PM
I actually had an idea for a build. I'm not sure if anyone has tried it. It's close to the build mentioned in this thread. Its a Trickster/Defender. Has anyone played around with this build seriously? I always wanted to mix the defensive power of the defender (especially block) with the offensive power of one of the rogue classes.

TheRani
05-22-2010, 07:46 PM
I actually had an idea for a build. I'm not sure if anyone has tried it. It's close to the build mentioned in this thread. Its a Trickster/Defender. Has anyone played around with this build seriously? I always wanted to mix the defensive power of the defender (especially block) with the offensive power of one of the rogue classes.

It's not really a fantastic build. Defenders are all about being in melee and blocking hits. Tricksters are all about throwing shurikens, making enemies hit other enemies instead of you, and generally not getting hit at all in the first place. It's two very, very different playing styles, and they don't have much to offer one another.

DeathKnight1728
05-22-2010, 08:22 PM
To be honest, I would do the assassin/defender, but that would just be doing a popular build. I figured i'd do something really different. I'll admit i'm a sucker for the thief/assassin/stealth em up chars. But besides all that, the easiest choice would go to the assassin. The thing about that though is i want a guile type choice for the defender since i will mostly be using block/riposte (which rock!). The assassin i guess gives that offensive side, but I would like to see if the thief or trickster would work. I'm prally going to have to try out a few different classes.