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AnalogKid
08-29-2007, 07:04 PM
This is written to stimulate discussion, not because I think I know everything about the game. I've only played the Demo so far, so things can change and also the experience at higher levels may be very different than I expect. I am generally a pretty good power gamer, though, and I'm very good at exploiting rules systems so I feel like this is a pretty decent "first impression". I'll edit this first post over time (with appropriate credit) based on other posts here. If nothing else, this will give the dev team one gamer's opinion of their Demo game balance.

Other classes are on their way (each written in a mostly positive way, I'm not trying to comment too much on the relative balance of each class).

Why Play a Priest?
=============
- Ranged attacks
- Awesome array of available skills
- Healing

Why Not Play a Priest?
================
- Difficult to assign attribute points everywhere since Priests can benefit from all attributes.
- Priests don't seem to have a way to quickly replenish Faith (like mages with mana potions can).
- Easy to end up spread too thin and not good enough at any particular skill.

Direct Comparisons:
===============
- Warriors are more effective at overall damage per second & defense
- Rogues have better crowd control
- Mages are like poor priests. They can slow-down with cold magic and also have some limited crowd control, but they do similar damage, can't heal, don't have physical attacks as a viable option, have worse defense and less life, and generally aren't as good.

Key Skills:
=========
- Healing

Other Comments:
=============
- It would be cool to play a truly do-it-all Priest, but that seems to spread things too thin. I find there's basicly 2 archetypes: Melee Priests and Spell Priests.
- Melee Priests focus on Buffs, defense, healing, and Mace Mastery.
- Spell Priests focus on ranged attack spells and healing.
- It's hard to do both things because it requires attribute points in Str (to use gear and do damage), Dex (to hit things and have defense), Vit (for health), Int (for crits), and Spirit (to cast spells). Also, the skill points that help for fighting are wasted if you're casting spells from range and vice-versa. You can get a good mix of passive and active skills that compliment each other if you focus in one area.
- NPC Priests can buff you at your lifestone even if they're not your adventuring partner! Since it lasts 5 minutes, you don't need your partner to have a buff skill (nor do you need one).
- NPC Priests seem to always be ranged attackers until their faith depletes, even if they are better suited to physical attacks.


Skill-by-Skill Review:
===============
Offense Skills:
1 Holy Bolt (5-15 magic dmg per point)
Good. Spellcasting Priest. Better than Holy Strike because cheaper for more damage.

1 Shield Bash (-50% dmg, +5% atk, +10%dmg & +5% atk per point)
Good. Melee Priest. Control skill (prevents skills/spells for 4.5 secs). Only affects 1 target, re-use 10 sec means you can't really control even that 1.

2 Retribution (+30% dmg per point) (only after being hit, reuse 10sec)
Poor. Melee Priest. Only 1 retribution every 10 secs won't make noticeable difference. Only get when all other skills are ridiculously expensive.

2 Crushing Blow (+5% crushing blow per point)
Useless. Melee Priest. After !!230!! skill points to get level 20 Crushing Blow, only a x2 (+100%) base chance for crushing blow (crushing blow does max damage for that swing).

4 Holy Fire (8-12 dmg, +2-6 dmg per point) (area effect)
Poor. Spellcasting Priest. Area effect is rather small. +dmg per point is pathetic. Better to cast 2 (Bolt/Strike) spells and do FAR more dmg.

4 Lifeburn (8-12 dmg, 2 dmg/sec for 18 sec, +2-6 dmg & +?? dmg/sec per point)
Average. Spellcasting Priest. DoT is nice bonus that allows stacking of this spell with other spells cast later. Not as much dmg as other spells, though.

6 Zeal (+10% crushing blow & +20% dmg per point)
Good. Melee Priest. Expensive, but can make use of Faith for extra dmg. Only useful Faith-powered attack skill for Melee Priests.

6 Holy Strike (25-35 dmg, +4-14 dmg per point)
Average. Spellcasting Priest. Worse than Holy Bolt, but does different type of damage.

8 Holy Symbol (9-15 dmg, +2-3 dmg per point) (area effect)
Useless. Neat to damage whole screen at once, but if this little dmg matters, then all the little runts could be easily killed using normal means anyway.



Faith Skills:
1 Prayer (+5 Faith/sec, +3 Faith/sec per point)
Average. Spellcasting Priest. Only active when not using skills or spells, which means it's just a substitute for patience between fights.

1 Lesser Heal (25 heal, +16 heal per point)
Useless. Any Priest. Greater heal is better in all ways. Don't believe the description.

2 Precision (+10% atk per point)
Awesome. Melee Priest. Passive % bonus to atk, so it'll scale with your level and never be wasted while you use other skills. What more can you want?

2 Shield Mastery (+5% defense per point) (requires equipped shield)
Great. Melee Priest. % Bonus is small, but passive % bonus to def, so it'll scale with your level and never be wasted while you use other skills.

2 Cure Poison (cure 1 basic poison dot per point)
Poor. Any Priest. Limited skill only useful in certain situations. Better to get more Vit (Hardiness) and healing and be useful at all times, including when poisoned. If poison becomes mega-deadly at high levels, this could be more useful, but how many levels would be needed then?

4 Smite (Leech 4 Faith per hit for 30 sec, +?? per point)
Average. Melee Priest. Probably won't run out of Faith anyway, but at least this can be cast and then stacked with other attacks for the duration.

4 Regeneration (1 heal per sec for 2 min, +?? per point)
Average. Any Priest. Big advantage is that it can be cast ahead of time and stacked with other activities, whereas Greater Healing takes up the Priest's time to cast. Don't know yet if the heal/time is enough to matter at high levels.

4 Greater Heal (90 heal, +28 heal per point)
Great. Any Priest. Best healing spell in all ways. Can be cast on you or your follower. Can be useful in middle of hectic battle where the teleport stone isn't a fast enough option. Spares your lifestone during raids. Can be cast on all raiding members during a raid, even if you're not there (so you can stay at home and heal your troops with no risk while they do the dirty work).

6 Divine Intervention (50 heal, +50 Faith, +50 heal & +50 Faith per point)
Good. Any Priest. Spellcasters will get better benefit from big Faith boost than Melee Priests. 5 minute reuse time is so slow that this has very limited use.

6 Area Heal (20 heal, +16 heal per point) (area effect)
Average. Any Priest. Only 1 possible situation where it's better than Greater Heal, and that's during a raid with more than 3 allies in range. Might be usable as only healing skill, but it would take 51 skill points to match the healing of 4 skill points in Greater Heal for a single target.



Buffs Skills:
1 Hardiness (+10 Vit per point)
Awesome. Any Priest. Always cast this on everyone with you. If you get a follower with it, they can cast it from the lifestone so you don't need it and you don't need that follower to be your adventuring partner. Either this or True Aim can be active at any one time, never both.

1 True Aim (+10 atk per point)
Average. Melee Priest. Bonus is not a %, so go with Hardiness and Precision instead.

2 Protection-Fire (+10 resistance per point)
2 Protection-Lightning (+10 prot per point)
2 Protection-Poison (+10 prot per point)
2 Protection-Cold (+10 prot per point)
Great. Any Preist. Bonus is not %, but still pretty good protection with long enough duration to be stacked with almost all other skills. Can only choose 1 element at a time to be protected from.

4 Shield of Fire (+5 dmg per point) (to attacker when hit)
Useless. Damage is way too small to matter.

4 Holy Shield (absorb 50 dmg per point for 30sec)
Good. Any Priest. Duration is less than re-use, so you can't keep this spell up, but it's free health that can be stacked with other skills for at least a short while. FAR more efficient than any kind of healing while it's active.

4 Mace Mastery (+15 atk & +8% dmg & +5% crushing blow per point)
Awesome. Melee Priest. Just get it.

10 Chain Armor (allows wearing Mail armor)
Awesome. Any Priest. Increases options for magic items, even if armor is not that important to a Spellcasting Priest.

Delilah Rehm
08-29-2007, 11:31 PM
I use Holy Bolt ALOT. I rarely have a problem running out of faith, and it usually happens if a monster has faith steal.

Delilah Rehm

AnalogKid
08-30-2007, 04:08 AM
I use Holy Bolt ALOT. I rarely have a problem running out of faith, and it usually happens if a monster has faith steal.
Yeah, I found it to work better than Holy Strike, but it's only obvious from the numbers. My biggest worry is that it'll be too expensive to keep pushing up the damage of spells at high levels (problem with Mages, too). Guess we'll find out when we can play beyond lvl 7...

(Speaking of which, even though I can only play the demo right now, I've tried to consider high levels when writing these guides. I'm personally always willing to work a little harder early on to have a better character in the end, rather than making things easy early on by wasting skill points on dead-end skills that won't be useful at high levels.)

I also didn't really have trouble with Faith, but I think that's because I generally move slowly and try not to draw a huge mob all at once. In dungeons it's a bit harder and I expect at high levels it'll be even more nasty. If you don't have any issues, though, consider fewer Spirit points because Priests can definitely use other attributes!

Have you found anyway (other than Divine Intervention or Prayer) to rapidly increase Faith?

Delilah Rehm
08-31-2007, 12:10 AM
I usually can fill up my faith quickly (I'd say not more than 5 sec) by touching the lifestone while praying. I like to use this time to identify items.

I'm feeling so un-geeky here because I've never run the numbers to see what would be best for my character... :o But here are some things that I think are good: My girl is level 38. I have 13 points in Holy Bolt (65-195 magic damage). I dump lots of skill points in strength (133 - +66.5% damage) so I can heft the best weapon I can find. On the left of my character window, it says: damage 44-130. I guess that's my normal attack.

Generally, I like to run around with a warrior and kick ass. :cool: I hit things and they die fast. With that being said... I must add that I've been playing while ongoing changes are being made to the game, and lately, I haven't had that easy of a time killing stuff (mostly uniques and named guys). As far as the other covs go, they usually aren't a problem (and yes, I give the one I plan to befriend all of the junk they don't buy).

Delilah Rehm

AnalogKid
08-31-2007, 03:09 AM
I'm feeling so un-geeky here because I've never run the numbers to see what would be best for my character... :o
Heh. I'm an engineer and it shows. ;) Obviously not everyone's as anal as me about building the "best" character, and it's a good thing that they don't have to be. I think it's a sign of a well-designed game if someone can just try things that sound cool and they mostly work as expected.

That's one big reason for me to highlight what I think are the truly worthless skills, because anyone who buys them will be getting penalized for not doing a bunch of number-crunching.

Of course, I'll be wrong about some of them because I don't know enough about the game, but that's alright as long as people point it out and describe how they use the skills to good effect. That's the point of posting in a forum instead of just emailing the devs.

Delilah Rehm
08-31-2007, 02:16 PM
I am a geek in many ways, but I guess I'm not a gaming geek. :D I still have fun playing my girl. I can't wait for the expansion with multiplayer since one of my favorite things to do playing games is to team up with Steven.

Delilah Rehm

Thrugg
09-07-2007, 01:50 PM
Ok, so I've been working on my priest in the full version now, and a couple things I've noted (mainly in my attack powers - note, this is for a mere lvl 10 priest):

Holy bolt: A mainstay ranged attack, works wonders to plink away at incoming enemies.

Zeal: Still good, extra attack, makes for squishy orcs.

Retribution: Rocks so far, the added freeze effect has made this a definite melee power to include. Handy to have an extra swing attack to toss in there when in a big crowd, and works wonders on the big bad guys.

Holy Symbol: Yikes, it takes a lot of skill points to buy that! The higher base damage to start with makes it decent by the time you can get it, but the 2 second cast time is a killer. So far my main point of comparison for this is the Rogue's cold ring attack, which does similar damage at level 1, and can be spammed till the cows come home. The rogue attack feels a little too cheezy, and this one feels a little underpowered (mostly due to cast time/cooldown). At this point, I'm holding off till I've invested more into the skills that I need right away. And if it had a quicker casting time (.5-1 second), I'd be more inclined to invest in it.

Lifeburn: Hmmm...I'm not so sure about this. 1 second cast time vs .8 second (for holy bolt), the faith cost is higher, the skill points required are higher, and it takes 18 seconds to get all of the damage. Oh and it takes about double the faith of holy bolt. On the plus side, it also causes a secondary burning DoT at the same time. Damage per faith is pretty decent, but in pure killing power, its pretty low. In 18 seconds I could cast lifeburn (~65-70 damage with the secondary burn DoT?)...or over 20 holy bolts, which compared to a lvl 3 holy bolt (5 skill points compared to the 4 required for a lvl 1 lifeburn) (15-45)*20 = 300-900 damage.

I'm looking for the selling point, and I guess it looks sorta like this: If I were a spellcasting priest, I'd probably rather dump my points into holy bolt and get the damage *right now*. For a melee priest, I'd love a DoT that is quickly applied to toss on a tough monster when I'm in the thick of things. For that, I'd prefer a melee touch spell (attack animation, no casting time) to set them on fire quickly so I can get back to swinging.

Again, I'm only level 10, so I dont have a lot of skill points to toss around in some of these skills, which may be better later on. I'll try it out again in a few levels and see if it seems to help or not.

-Thrugg
________
E cigarette shop (http://www.ecigarettes123.com/)

AnalogKid
09-07-2007, 06:02 PM
I'm looking for the selling point,
Good points, things have really changed from the demo. One thing about the DoT skills, they can work well for a spell-casting priest, too. You can cast a Lifeburn first, then start piling on the holy bolts while the DoT does it's thing.

For exactly that reason, I'm choosing to go with Ice Storm instead of Frost Nova as an Earthquake mage... Ice Storm does ~30% less DPS and is harder to target, but it keeps doing damage for 5 seconds, during which I can cast Earthquakes, and the baddies are being damaged from both at the same time. Frost Nova is instant, and therefore it's an either/or spell vs. Earthquake (in other words, at any particular instant, the skill points I spent in the other skill are wasted).

(Oh, and I've decided to completely ignore Faith/Mana costs. So far I'm completely incapable of reducing Mana below max since I'm putting points into Int. A priest may care more because other stats might be more useful for her and reducing the Spirit investment might be wise, but I just haven't had any problems yet.)

godspiral
01-04-2008, 09:10 PM
Note: I've only played demo,

Good guide but,

Lesser heal is way better than greater heal. heal per mana is not relevant, heal per second is.

Similarly holy bolt rules all.

Priest skills should be revised based on these 2 spells.

Shadow
01-05-2008, 10:58 AM
This is actually why we balanced the 2 heals like we did. We were hoping that some people would like lesser heal better because it is quicker and some people would like greater heal because it is more efficient.

Delve
01-05-2008, 04:23 PM
Combat is the only situation where efficiency becomes a critical factor in my opinion.

Anytime I'm spamming heals in combat it's because the mob just does that much damage, and faith efficiency isn't going to help me when I can't get the hit points fast enough. If I die because I can't heal fast enough then I'm going to end up right next to my lifestone, so faith efficiency becomes a moot point.

Outside of combat, I can take as long as I like to heal. Or to regen faith, whichever I need most. Prayer and possibly a short teleport to the lifestone is quite enough to regen faith quickly.

stumbler
01-20-2008, 11:22 AM
Well I'm still a fairly low level hand-to-hand priest (16th) I find that when someone needs healing they rarely have time to wait for me to cast Greater Heal.

It seems to be I can get a heal off and attack once with lesser heal in the time it takes me to cast one greater heal.

laclongquan
01-28-2008, 03:44 AM
The rescue quests and wandering recruits/vendors often have the NPCs at 15-20% HP. At the time, pop them two lesser heal is more efficient than one greater.

My priests play a ranged attacker at close range, two most often spells are bolts and lesser heal. I got a stable of 4 priest at home to cast Hardiness, Protection from..., HOlyShield, and my companion of a highlevel warrior (4 extra bonus). Work like a charm!

My only gripe is that the stable NPCs cast buff spells not very well. they are more interested in buffing others and guards than me or my warrior. Most often I have to visit the Apethecary healer to get casted Hardiness and/or Protection. The beastmaster are simply too far.

Delve
01-28-2008, 10:26 AM
Remove your guards to get your buffs faster. Recruits seem to prefer to cast on guards than other barbarians for some reason, at least in my experience. If you're getting impatient just 'uninstall' your guards from your house layout to remove the target until you get your buffs, then put them back in.

Caveat that I haven't tried it myself but it makes sense logically.

laclongquan
01-28-2008, 01:25 PM
And sometimes they just plain wont buff me, guard or no guard.

Delve
01-28-2008, 01:34 PM
You may have a conflicting buff. For instance, hardiness and fire shield don't stack and NPCs won't attempt to cast one on you while you have the other.

There are other examples, but I can't think of them at the moment.

Areli
01-28-2008, 02:45 PM
Relative to non-stackable buffs, is there any way to remove buffs other than wait them out? I dislike running around town and getting Fire Shield or some other buff cast on me by the Apothecary or Beast Master or potential recruit. My priest's Hardiness Buff is where I get almost all of my Vitality points so I would much prefer to cancel anything that gets in the way of that buff.

kaeruu
01-30-2008, 01:47 AM
Exit and resume game. Both removes buffs and reuse time for skills. I don't know if Shadow changed this already though.

Shadow
01-30-2008, 09:40 AM
No there is not a way to remove a buff, except for exit & resume and yes that will still work fine.

Spellbound
06-04-2008, 02:22 PM
Well Shadow, you guys did a dam good job.. its really hard for me to decide between greater and lesser heals!

Spellbound
06-04-2008, 02:24 PM
Hey, could somone help me out ? Im having some problems deciding how to balance out points. As i think Analog said.. its really hard to balance out points with a priest b/c they could use just about every attribute well. Im mainly a spellcasting priest, what should i do?

krozman
07-10-2008, 02:04 AM
As a spellcasting priest i've been putting my points into int, dex, and spirit, with 3 levels of hardiness to make up for the lack of vitality. You kinda have to commit to what type of priest you're going to be, because otherwise it'll be expensive to switch talents and impossible to switch stats.