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Class Analysis (SPOILERS)

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Avadon Class Analysis

 

ATTRIBUTES:

 

Strength

increases melee attack to hit

determines melee physical damage - +1 level of damage

determines encumbrance - +4 pounds

some armors and melee weapons have minimum strength to use

 

Dexterity

increases missile attack to hit

determines missile physical damage - +1 level of damage

evasion of physical, fire, and magic attacks (this works best on normal difficulty)

order of attack in combat

some missile weapons have minimum dexterity to use

 

Intelligence

determines magic spell to hit and damage - +1 level of damage

evasion of mental attacks and curses

some sorceress and shaman items have minimum intelligence to use

 

Endurance

health (+5) and vitality (+2)

poison and acid resistance (+2%)

cold, poison, and acid evasion

 

Blademasters and Shadowwalkers need both Dexterity and Endurance to reduce the chance of being hit by most attacks. Intelligence for mental attacks and curses doesn't work that well and it's easier to use healing skills and items to remove them.

 

Shamans and Sorceresses should have high Intelligences to use their attacks.

 

RESISTANCES:

 

Resistances/damage blockage is hard capped at 90%.

 

Endurance

2% poison

2% acid

 

2% Armor gives:

2% physical blockage

1% magic

1% fire

1% cold

1% poison

1% acid

 

Offensive damage increasing items:

 

Increasing damage modifiers and critical hit (+50% damage) chances is usually better than increasing damage levels:

 

items to increase critical hits:

--- Bonecleaver Shield - +25% to critical hit chance

--- Sorched Girdle - +5% to critical hit chance

--- Tribal Fetish - +5% to critical hit chance

--- Fetish of the Claw Clan - +10% to critical hit chance

--- Runed Ore of Aim (charm) - +10% to critical hit chance

 

items to increase melee damage:

--- all light swords - +5% to melee damage

--- all heavy swords - +10% to melee damage

--- all spears - +12% melee damage

--- all glaives and halberds - +20% to melee damage

--- Hammering Mail - +5% to melee damage

--- Breastplate of the Anvil - +5% to melee damage

--- Battle-worn Shelter - +5% to melee damage

--- Belt of Battle - +5% to melee damage

--- Nightblade Helm - +5% to melee damage

--- Ogrish Gauntlets - +6% to melee damage

--- Avenger's Greaves - +5% to melee damage

--- Blademaster's Mantle - +5% to melee damage

--- Stomping Boots - +1% to melee damage

--- Crusher's Band - +3% to melee damage

--- Dragon's Fang (charm) - +6% to melee damage

 

items to increase missile damage:

--- Deadeye Chainmail - +8% to missile damage (lower damage blocked than other armors)

--- Archer's Gloves - +12% missile damage

--- Sharpshooter's Mantle - +10% to missile damage

--- Farsighted Band - +8% to missile damage

--- Runed Ore of Aim (charm) - +1% to missile damage

--- Wizard's Bow - +50% to missile damage (sorceress only)

 

items to increase magical damage:

--- all staves - +5% to magical damage

--- Incantor's Bow - +5% to magical damage

--- Hunter's Bow - - +8% to magical damage

--- Avgevine's Robe - +8% to magical damage

--- Tainted Buckler - +5% to magical damage

--- Spellweaver Sash - +5% to magical damage

--- Sage's Tiara - +5% to magical damage

--- Impskin Gloves - +3% to magical damage

--- Enchanter's Rings - +8% to magical damage

--- Spider Silk Pants - +5% to magical damage

--- Focusing Wrap - +5% to magical damage

--- Incantor's Shoes - +5% to magical damage

--- Shadowstone Ring - +5% to magical damage

--- Wizard's Loop - +8% to magical damage

--- Sentient Eyestalk (charm) - +6% to magical damage

 

Defensive damage avoiding items:

 

There is a minimum 5% chance of always being hit so there is no way to completely avoid damage and there can be unlucky streaks where you can take 3 or more of these low chance hits at once. You can avoid most attacks, but never all.

 

items for parry:

--- any shield - +5% to parry

--- Onyx Studded Belt - +5% to parry

--- Quicksilver Vest - +6% to parry (lower damage blocking)

--- Breastplate of the Tower - +5% to parry

--- Belda's Jerkin - +5% to parry

--- Runed Ore of Anger (charm) - +1% to parry

Blademaster only

--- Blademaster's Bulwark - +1 to Path of the Shield

Sorceress and Shaman only

--- Ivy-entwined Rod - +5% to parry

--- Sun's Rod - +5% to parry

 

items for evasion:

--- adding deep runestone to enhance items - +5% to evade

--- Jerkin of the Wild - +10% to evade

--- Sheltering Buckler - +5% to evade

--- Titansteel Girdle - +5% to evade

--- Etched Leather Cap - +10% to evade

--- Shadow Crest - +5% to evade

--- Smoky Greaves - +5% to evade

--- Greaves of the Ramparts - +10% to evade

--- Shadow Shroud - +5% to evade

--- Trueshield Wrap - +5% to evade

--- Broadsword of the Tower - +10% to evade

--- Barbed Trident - +5% to evade

--- Runed Ore of Evasion (charm) - +5% to evade

 

 

SKILLS:

 

Class calculations assume maximizing the center skill column to 8 and using the 3 column skill points given at level 5, 15, and 25. For games at torment difficulty it's better to increase defense and use the center column skills. At lower difficulties you can increase offensive damage instead since you take less damage per attack.

 

Increasing a damage skill past 6 adds more to hit chance and +4 damage levels

 

Spells have a range of 10 tiles and missiles have a range of 12. The center of area attacks has to be within these ranges.

 

Characters are capped at level 30 so you can get all skills at low levels or some at maximum levels. You have 58 skill points to add to skills in a game. It takes 2 skill points to get a new skill and 1 skill point to increase an existing skill. It takes 101 skill points to get every skill to the maximum level.

 

BLADEMASTER

 

Tier 1 skills:

Savage Blow (ability a) - increased damage for melee attack - very useful

item - Warrior's Shelter - +4 to Savage Blow

Challenge (ability B) - regenerates - useful before closing to fight especially early in the game when it's a significant part of your health regenerated when it's your turn to act.

Melee Training (automatic) - increase chance to hit and damage (+1 level)

--- at level 3 - starts a 5%/level chance of a cleaving hit on a nearby target

--- at level 6 - Stunning Blow (ability e) - more damage and chance to stun

--- at level 7 - +4 levels of damage

--- at level 8 - +4 levels of damage

items:

--- weapons above dagger have increased damage percentage

--- Hammering Mail - +5% to melee damage

--- Breastplate of the Anvil - +5% to melee damage

--- Battle-worn Shelter - +5% to melee damage

--- Belt of Battle - +5% to melee damage

--- Nightblade Helm - +5% to melee damage

--- Ogrish Gauntlets - +6% to melee damage

--- Avenger's Greaves - +5% to melee damage

--- Blademaster's Mantle - +5% to melee damage

--- Stomping Boots - +1% to melee damage

--- Crusher's Band - +3% to melee damage

--- Dragon's Fang (charm) - +6% to melee damage

Second Wind (ability g) - heals

at level 3 - regenerates for 3 turns

at level 6 Recovery (ability h) - also can cure curses and other negative conditions

item - Blademaster's Bulwark - +3 to Second Wind

Path of the Shield (automatic)

--- magic resistance - 3% per level (33% maximum)

--- at level 3 - parry - 4% per level (maximum 36%)

--- at level 7 - riposte - 6% per level (maximum 30%) - you still take damage

it's best to maximize this skill since blademasters have so few other ways to reduce damage

items that increase:

can increase parry by +20% (maximum 56%), riposte +27% (maximum 47%),

magical resistance +3% (maximum 36%)

--- any shield - +5% to parry

--- Onyx Studded Belt - +5% to parry

--- Quicksilver Vest - +6% to parry (lower damage blocking)

--- Breastplate of the Tower - +5% to parry

--- Belda's Jerkin - +5% to parry

--- Runed Ore of Anger (charm) - +1% to parry

--- Blademaster's Bulwark - +1 to Path of the Shield

--- Raider's Cutlass - +5% to riposte (lose damage)

--- Malachite Scarab - +6 to riposte

--- Bracelet of Opportunity - +5% to riposte

--- Corrupted Greaves - +5% to riposte

--- Runed Ore of Anger (charm) - +1% to riposte

 

Tier 2 skills:

Archery Training (automatic) - improves missile to hit and damage

--- at level 3 - 5%/level of critical hit

--- at level 7 - Sharpshooter Spray (ability j) - as Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons would say, "Best physical area attack, ever."

--- at level 7 - +4 levels of damage

--- at level 8 - +4 levels of damage

combining items and other skills the damage can easily reach 500 per target

items:

--- Deadeye Chainmail - +8% to missile damage (lower damage blockage)

--- Archer's Gloves - +12% missile damage

--- Sharpshooter's Mantle - +10% to missile damage

--- Farsighted Band - +8% to missile damage

--- Runed Ore of Aim (charm) - +1% to missile damage

Path of the Blade (automatic) - very useful to combine with attacks

--- 5%/level damage to melee and missile attacks (maximum 50%)

--- at level 3 - 5%/level to battle blessings and curses (maximum 40%) - meh

--- at level 7 - 5%/level chance of critical damage (25% maximum but combines with Archery Triaining critical hit chance)

item - Blademaster's Blade - +1 to Path of the Blade

War Cry (ability k) - inflicts war curse on all nearby foes - doesn't work on the monsters you really want

--- at level 3 - also inflicts weakness curse

--- at level 7 Terrifying Howl (ability l) - terrifies enemies

 

Tier 3 skills:

Hamstring (ability m) - damaging and ensnaring target

--- at level 3 - also slows target

--- at level 7 - Berserk Leap (ability n) - leap to target to also daze and knock back

item - Blademaster's Steel - +3 to Hamstring

Path of the Berserker (automatic) - very useful

--- increases health 5%/level (maximum 55%)

--- at level 3 - 3%/level chance of regenerating when hit in melee (maximum 27%)

--- at level 7 - 10%/level chance of attacker getting random curse (maximum 50%)

item - Warrior's Shelter - +1 Path of the Berserker

Warrior's Focus

--- Mindshield (ability o) - all mental attacks [21 skill points] - doesn't last long and only 50% effective however blademasters don't have another useful way to avoid mental attacks

--- at level 3 partially reflects attack spells [23 skill points]

--- at level 6 Battle Frenzy (ability p) - action points 13

 

Tier 4 skills:

Blade Sweep (ability q) -melee area attack - can get as early as level 7 as earliest area attack for blademasters

--- at level 6 Beserker Slash (ability r) - melee area attack, stuns, and knocks back

Triumphant Roar (ability s) - all nearby allies are Hasted and War Chant

--- at level 3 - cures mental statuses

--- at level 6 Call of the Frenzy (ability t) - battle frenzy for nearby allies

easier to use crystals for effects since you lose attack abilities

 

advantages:

only class to parry attacks to completely avoid damage without items

high physical damage especially sharpshooter spray

area attacks:

---sharpshooter spray (missile) [19 skill points]

---bladesweep (melee) [12 skill points]

cleave attack chance- melee training [2 skill points]

uses the best armor

 

disadvantages:

mostly gets resistances from items and endurance except for low magic resistance

only has physical damage attacks

easily hit by mental attacks and curses

 

SHADOWWALKER

 

Tier 1 skills:

Locksmith (automatic) - reduces lockpicks needed

--- can use Tinker's Satchel to reach level 5

Disarming Blow (ability a) - causes foe to have weaker attacks

Blade Training - improves to hit and damage in melee (+1 level)

--- at level 3 gives 5%/level chance of poison attack

--- at level 6 Blade Whirlwind (ability e) - melee area attack

--- at level 7 - +4 levels of damage

--- at level 8 - +4 levels of damage

item - Shadowwalker's Mesh - +2 to Blade Training

Healing Focus (ability g) - heals

--- at level 3 cures 1 curse or hostile status

--- at level 6 Recovery (ability h ) - cures several curses or hostile statuses

Steel Discipline (automatic) - 5%/level backstab bonus in melee when target is next to an ally (includes summoned pets)

--- at level 3 - 5%/level to riposte melee attacks (maximum 45%)

--- at level 7 - 8%/level chance of battle frenzy when hit in melee (maximum 40%)

items:

--- Raider's Cutlass - +5% to riposte (lose damage)

--- Malachite Scarab - +6 to riposte

--- Bracelet of Opportunity - +5% to riposte

--- Corrupted Greaves - +5% to riposte

can add +21% to riposte (maximum 61%)

 

Tier 2 skills:

Razordisk Training (automatic) - increases to hit and damage for missile

--- at level 3 - 5%/level chance of cleaving second foe

--- at level 6 Razor Spray (ability j) - cone shaped area attack

--- at level 7 - +4 levels of damage

--- at level 8 - +4 levels of damage

item - Shadowwalker's Boots - +2 to Razordisk Training

items:

--- Deadeye Chainmail - +8% to missile damage (lower damage blockage)

--- Archer's Gloves - +12% missile damage

--- Sharpshooter's Mantle - +10% to missile damage

--- Farsighted Band - +8% to missile damage

--- Runed Ore of Aim (charm) - +1% to missile damage

Earth Discipline (automatic)

--- 4%/level resistance to magical and elemental attacks (44% maximum)

--- at level 3 - 5%/level physical damage blocking (45% maximum)

--- at level 7 - 10%/level resistance to mental, poison, and acid (50% maximum)

item - Shadowwalker's Blade - +2 to Earth Discipline

can increase resistance to magical and elemental attacks +8% (maximum 52%),

physical damage blocking +10% (maximum 55%), mental, poison and acid resistance +20% (maximm 70%)

Shadowstep (ability k) - stun all nearby foes and leap to nearby location

--- at level 3 - also ensnares

--- at level 6 Cunning Decoy (ability l) - creates a decoy in place you leave

not worth over level 3 later in the game since monsters can destroy decoy

 

Tier 3 skills:

Searing Pot (ability m) - acid missile attack

--- at level 3 - acid damage over several rounds

--- at level 6 Lightning Pot (ability n) - lasting corruption damage

item - Shadowwalker's Blade - +2 to Searing Pot

Lightning Discipline (automatic)

--- 5%/level additional damage for weapon attacks (maximum 55%)

--- at level 3 - 5%/level to chance of critical hits (maximum 45%)

--- at level 7 - +5%/level to hit chance (maximum +25%)

item - Shadowwalker's Mesh - +2 to Lightning Discipline

Shadowwalker's Focus (ability o) - haste and spines

--- at level 3 - get regeneration

--- at level 6 Bladeshield (ability p) - reduced damage (very useful) and riposte

item - Shadowwalker's Lance - +4 to Shadowwalker's Focus

 

Tier 4 skills:

Shattering Blow (ability q) - melee attack that stuns and knock back foe

--- at level 3 - chance to also hit nearby foe too

--- at level 6 Steel Tornado (ability r) - attack speed doubles and area melee attack

item - Shadowwalker's Lance - +2 to Shattering Blow

Flash Powder (ability s) - all nearby foes are slowed

--- at level 3 - also ensnared

--- at level 6 Stunning Powder (ability t) - all nearby foes are stunned

item - Shadowwalker's Boots - +1 to Flash Powder

lose missile area attack to gain this and lowers other automatic abilities

 

advantages

area attacks :

--- blade whirlwind (melee) [5 skill points]

--- razor spray (cone) [19 skill points]

--- steel tornado (melee) [45 skill points]

cleave attack chance:

--- razordisk training at level 3 [10 skill points]

--- shattering blow at level 3 [32 skill points]

riposte

lockpicking

high resistances

ninja teleport

early area attack

uses the best armor

 

disadvantages:

lower maximum physical damage than blademaster

need to lower attack abilities to get decent ninja abilities

 

SHAMAN

 

Tier 1 skills:

Healing Chant (ability a) - heal an ally - only class that can aid others

Revive Servant (ability B) - heal a pet

Spirit Claw (automatic) - melee or missile magical damage hit

--- at level 3 - 5%/level chance of cleaving a second foe

--- at level 6 Spirit Charge (ability e) - area magical attack that has chance of causing vulnerable - best early area attack since it can be positioned anywhere

--- at level 7 - +4 levels of damage

--- at level 8 - +4 levels of damage

items:

--- Vest of the Shaman - +2 to Spirit Claw

--- Cap of the Deep Woods - +2 to Spirit Claw

Call Wolf (ability g) - summon wolf to fight

--- at level 3 - wolf can use Curse Howl

--- at level 6 Call Hellhound (ability h ) - can summon hellhound with cone of fire attack

item - Beastmaster's Jerkin - +2 to Call Wolf

Hardiness (automatic)

--- increase health 4%/level (maximum 44%)

--- at level 3 - resistance to acid, poison, and cold of 6%/level (maximum 54%)

--- at level 7 - resistance to magic and fire of 12%/level (maximum 60%)

 

Tier 2 skills:

Poison Mist (ability i) - poison area attack

--- at level 3 - poison damage over several rounds

--- at level 6 Acid Shower (ability j) - acid area attack for several rounds

Beast Focus (automatic)

--- adds 1 level to all summoned pets

--- at level 3 - summoned pets have War Chant

--- at level 7 - summoned pets have Haste

item

--- Beastmaster's Jerkin - +2 to Beast Focus

--- Summoner's Stave - +3 to Beast Focus

Healing Touch (ability k) - heal an ally

--- at level 3 - also removes a curse or hostile effect

--- at level 6 Group Heal (ability l) - heal all nearby allies

 

Tier 3 skills:

Call the Winds (ability m)- cold missile attack, knocks back and immobilizes (useful against foes that can only melee attack)

--- at level 3 - add curse target

--- at level 7 Call the Storm (ability n) - cone of ice attack, knocks back and ensnares

item - Shaman's Stave - +2 to Call the Winds

Nature Mastery (automatic)

--- increases all magical damage 4%/level (maximum 44%)

--- at level 3 - increases all healing 8%/level (maximum 72%)

--- at level 7 - increases all blessings and curses by 10%/level (maximum 50%)

item:

--- Vest of the Shaman - +2 to Nature Mastery

--- Shaman's Stave - +5 to Nature Mastery

Blessing of Thorns (ability o) - spines on all nearby allies

--- at level 3 - also curse 1 hostile statuses from all nearby allies

--- at level 6 Reflection (ability p) - reflects magical damage

can be duplicated by items per character but not for the whole group and pets

summon pets and cast to really damage foes

 

Tier 4 skills:

Earthquake (ability q) - physical damage to all nearby foes

--- at level 3 - increases range

--- at level 6 Earthshatter (ability r) - also knocks back and stuns

- - Cap of the Deep Woods - +1 to Earthquake

Call Salamander (ability s) - summons fire lizard with fire attack

--- at level 3 - salamander can use cloud of fire

--- at level 6 Call Drake (ability t) - summons drake

 

advantages:

second most different area attacks:

--- spirit charge (magic) (missile) [5 skill points]

--- poison mist (poison) (missile) [4 skill points]

--- acid shower (acid)(missile) [19 skill points]

--- call the storm cold) (cone) [26 skill points]

--- earthquake (physical) (melee) [12 skill points]

cleave attack - spirit claw at level 3 [2 skill point]

can use attacks to knock back foes and chance to immobilize

heal others

spine shield (reflection at level 6)

summon one pet

uses up to chainmail armor

 

disadvantages:

weakest total physical armor damage blocking

weak attacks beyond spirit claw especially if you develop healing and pets

takes a long time to recharge the best attacks

 

SORCERESS

 

Tier 1 skills:

Unlock Charm (automatic) - reduces number of lockpicks needed

--- can use Tinker's Satchel to reach level 5

Shadow Charm (ability a) - riposte (+50% chance) and giving 30% resistances to all damage types - very powerful for fights and lasts longer as intelligence increases

Firebolt (automatic) - fire damage in melee and missile

--- at level 3 - 5% chance/level of critical damage

--- at level 6 Icy Lances (ability e) - ice damage

--- at level 7 - +4 levels of damage

--- at level 8 - +4 levels of damage

item - Robe of the Sorceress - +2 to Firebolt

Daze (ability g) - daze all foes in area

--- at level 3 - increases area of effect

--- at level 6 Charm Foe (ability h) - control mind of foe

Ward Mastery (automatic)

--- resistance to physical damage 3%/level (maximum 33%)

--- at level 3 - resistance to mental attacks 8%/level (maximum 72%)

--- at level 7 - resistance to magic and elemental attacks 10%/level (maximum 50%)

item - Robe of the Sorceress - +2 to Ward Mastery

makes resistance - physical 39%, mental 88%, and magic and elemental 60%

 

Tier 2 skills:

Lightning Wind (ability i) - cone of magic damage

--- at level 3 - adds chance to weaken

--- at level 6 Steel Wind (ability j) - cone of physical damage

Focus Mastery (automatic) - best sorceress skill

--- 5%/level chance of critical damage - adds to firebolt chance (maximum 55%)

--- at level 3 - 5%/level chance of damaging and stunning foe that hits in melee

(maximum 45%)

--- at level 7 - absorb 10%/level magic or elemental damage to recharge abilities(maximum 50%) - very powerful for reducing damage and recharging

item - staff of the sorceress - +2 to Focus Mastery

makes critical damage 65%, chance of damaging.stunning a melee foe 55%, absorb damage 70%

Arcane Blessing (ability k) - 20% resistance to magic, elemental, and acid attacks

--- at level 3 - Resistance Chant to entire party

--- at level 6 Haste (ability l) - party is hasted instead

 

Tier 3 skills:

Ice Storm (ability m) - cold area attack - best area attack for sorceress

--- at level 3 - adds chance to slow

--- at level 6 Firestorm (ability n) - fire area attack

Magical Mastery (automatic)

--- increases to hit 5%/level for spells (maximum 55%)

--- at level 7 - adds 10%/level chance to reduce time to recharge abilities (maximum 50%)

item - student's robe - +1 to Magical Mastery

Arcane Curse (ability o) - war curse on nearby foes

--- at level 3 - also adds weakness curse

--- at level 6 Slow (ability p) - slows nearby foes

 

Tier 4 skills:

Searing Spray (ability q) - cone of acid

--- at level 3 - acid damage for several rounds

--- at level 7 Cloud of Corruption (ability r) - higher acid damage cloud

Cloud of Confusion (ability s) - nearby foes act randomly (can still attack you)

--- at level 3 - increases area effect

--- at level 6 - Assault Blessing (ability t) - haste and magical reflection on nearby allies

 

advantages:

most area attack types:

--- lightning wind (magic) (cone) [4 skill points]

--- steel wind (physical) (cone) [19 skill points]

--- ice storm (cold) (missile) [8 skill points]

--- firestorm (fire) (missile) [31 skill points]

--- searing spray (acid) (cone) [12 skill points]

--- corruption cloud (acid) (missile) [52 skill points]

lockpicking

best resistances and can block physical damage like armor

most different damage types

focus mastery - absorption of magic and elemental attacks (50% maximum) can reduce damage taken to 5% or less with resistances

can recharge abilities

 

disadvantages:

weakest physical attack and needs to use bow

some common monsters are immune to fire

can't use most armor

only class that doesn't get a healing ability so she needs the self healing scarab

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I think Randomizer's pretty much on the money. Shadowwalkers with backstab seem to give them damage on par with blademasters if you arrange your party right. Of course, those blademasters are better at mowing down clumps of enemies. They're opposite at range, but I think without investment in ranged attacks shadowwalkers get the edge.

 

Sorceresses can do the most damage, and they can do the most damage even with basic attacks, but only if you're not up against resistance. They're also very, very fragile.

 

You can make a decent sorceress substitute by outfitting another character, particularly a shaman, with scarabs, but there really isn't any substitute for a shaman's healing. The pets are nice, but their regular damage isn't terribly high, and their fire attacks suffer from the same problems as sorceresses'.

 

—Alorael, who shuffled his party around quite a bit. In general, he preferred two blademasters, two shadowwalkers, or one of each, and one sorceress or shaman. Sorceresses are solid in most fights, but shamans seem helpful for the toughest fights, both because of their invaluable healing and because you waste less time trying to save or revive them than you do with sorceresses.

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Sorceresses do best in fights against magic and in the last part of the game they are decent against physical damage.

 

You do have to shuffle parties because some fights are resistant to magical damage and some are harder if you do mostly physical damage.

 

The downside of a shadowwalker's backstab is when the ally also gets hit by a cleave shot or area effect attack. However a summoned pet counts as an ally for backstab and is easily replaced.

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One interesting thing: I found the middle skill tree far more valuable for the two melee combatants than either of the sides. In fact, except for the bottom left skill, which I think is well worth maxing on every character, I didn't particularly care about anything but getting those middle, passive skills up.

 

—Alorael, who isn't positive that this is correct. He didn't Slartanalyze, just get impressions. But when he tried different builds, that build always let him survive best and do the most damage most of the time.

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Having not touched Avadon, I will comment that in skill tree games, the passive skills that you can build up usually seem to be the best ones.

 

I am confused and intrigued by a few things listed here, but exploring this game will have to wait until at least saturday for me. This is possibly the first standardized test I've ever taken that I've had to study for. Stupid post-break Avadon release date. tongue

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The bottom left attack skill and the next one above it are the primary attacks for all classes except the shaman which uses almost always the bottom one.

 

The passive middle column provides the defensive skills (parry, riposte, and resistances) and the very important damage multipliers that significantly increase all attack damages.

 

I tried for the final quest a retrained party maximizing the left attack column versus maximized defense center column. The center column party had an easier time especially for the final boss battle. The maximum attack party never survived the final battle as I ran out of resurrection scrolls and watched the final terrorized party members cower in fear before quitting.

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The right column seems like a mixed bag as well. It has some very useful abilities, and I wanted them for several characters for most of the game, but I think an optimal build for tough fights probably minimizes the right column (except maybe for the shaman) in favor of using items.

 

—Alorael, who is glad to know that a more quantitative mind has backed up his anecdotal experience.

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Originally Posted By: Randomizer
You have 58 skill points to add to skills in a game. It takes 2 skill points to get a new skill and 1 skill point to increase an existing skill. It takes 101 skill points to get every skill to the maximum level.

This passage is unclear to me. It takes 101 skill points to get every skill to maximum level, but you have 58 skill points to add to skills in a game? Do you mean that you have 43 skill points to initially add skills, and 58 skill points to improve those skills once acquired, assuming you reach level 30?

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No, it means that you can't get every skill to the maximum level, so you have to make choices.

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You've got just over half the number of skill points needed to max everything, and the tree dictates a lot of your allocation if you want to maximize anything towards the top.

 

—Alorael, who found that he got better mileage from minimizing useless skill allocation. Some of the high-tier skills are great, but they're not worth the points sunk into abilities you don't really want.

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How important is increasing endurance on a Blademaster?

 

I'm starting the Beraza woods quest and I have not yet increased endurance.

 

And I'm playing on torment.

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Endurance is the number that to is checked against for poison, acid, and cold attacks instead of dexterity. It also decreases the damage you take from acid and poison.

 

You need it over 10 and 15 later in the game is better.

 

You are about to meet lots more spiders. smile

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Okay, I played through a bunch of areas to get a feel for the game, cheated up to high levels and messed around with different ability distributions. Stared at the descriptions over and over. And I have some thoughts, in no particular order but numbered for convenience of discussion and quaint Seletinian homage:

 

1. I know the damage abilities towards the top of the tree have some nifty special effects, but I still think it's weird that they mostly do LESS damage than damage abilities in the first or second tier. And that applies to every class, I believe.

 

2. The Blademaster and Shadowwalker are remarkably similar. Great weapon and armor selection; excel at doing lots of damage to a single target, especially the shadowwalker. Both can do comparable base damage in melee or at range: the shadowwalker does crazy damage in melee if he can backstab, while the blademaster has one better area attack. I'm not sure about the support skills of either class, but the shadowwalker has great defense bonuses in the same column as his best offensive bonuses. This makes him seem better.

 

3. However, going ranged is nice since Dex boosts damage output as well as evasion, and the blademaster has that pretty area attack.

 

4. The Shaman and Sorceress. Both have a reasonable regular ST attack. Both have a selection of area attacks, and while the sorceress has more, the shaman's appear to be more damaging and better-elemented: has Jeff EVER released a game where fire and ice have fewer resistance problems than energy, poison and acid?

 

5. The sorceress does have some recharge time reduction potential, which, combined with her large number of area attacks, potentially means she could use an area attack every turn in a really tough fight. Is this ever actually useful?

 

6. The shaman's pets don't seem incredibly useful, and neither do the sorceress's miscellaneous abilities. Or does Daze belong in the spotlight again? If not, between everything mentioned above and the sorceress's general fragility, she seems really situational.

 

7. How useful is the shaman's group heal spell, really? It heals less than other heal spells and has a recharge time that means you can't spam it Avernum 4 style. And the two other, non-fragile classes, have their own healing abilities, albeit with recharge times as well. In tough fights, is it necessary to have more than a handful of heal spells?

 

8. Given the availability of retraining, including via the shift-D code -- the cheatless cheat we've always wanted -- it seems like the really big decision is which class to pick for your main character. On the one hand, you want to pick a class that you will never regret having to use. On the other hand, it's nice if you can pick a class you'd like to have two copies of.

 

The first criteria seems to knock the sorceress out of contention entirely. I picked a shaman for my first game, following Alorael's theory of never-a-liability. And that's true about her. However, having two shamans seems a bit wasteful, while having a pair of backstabbing shadowwalkers seems quite convenient. And of course, having lockpicks in Avadon proper is convenient too.

 

I dunno. Am I missing something here? Pick this apart, please!

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It might just be me or the fact that I'm playing on normal difficulty, but I like the blademaster as my main character because of his tank-like properties. I'm currently trying to return to Avadon after the castle verbeaux incident and he's surviving against the elite kellem warriors longer than either my shadow walker and shaman. Not only does he have more health, but he parries about 50% of the time, and when enemies cleave on characters placed close together that really adds up. The only thing is at the moment, my shadowwalker seems to be able to do more damage.

 

Upon further thought, I really think the choice between the shadowwalker and the blademaster is a personal choice. The shadowwalker seems to have a greater variety of abilities, but the blademaster seems to be able to survive longer. Once again these are observations from a run through on normal.

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More or less my feelings, except pets are very useful. Not as fancy, certainly, but the fire-breathing ones get to use their special attack twice for one spell, and they get a few turns of doing a little bit of damage, and they help shadowwalkers backstab. Pets actually have a huge damage output, but it's over quite a few turns.

 

Healing is very, very helpful, but only for a few fights, and mostly if you're unwilling to use potions. In this game they're rare enough that that's useful. Still, I spent the game using every class but shaman most of the time.

 

Yes, picking the right class is the big decision, but I actually don't think it'll make or break your game. Two shadowwalkers are fine, but I liked having one of each. The blademaster shines against mooks; the shadowwalker shines against bosses, except when they shift your party around a lot.

 

—Alorael, who thinks that he never doesn't want a shadowwalker, or at the very least some melee meat shield. Oh, and your first character has to be someone who has at least a little bit of solo survivability. Again, shadowwalker or blademaster.

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THis is odd. My bladesmaster is doing quite a bit more damage than SW, even with backstab. It might be because he is using pole weaps, or it might be because my SW hasn't focused on the attacking abilities as much as the others, or it might just be because I haven't put all his stats in the right place. Could someone recomend the best placing of skill points for my SW?Right now its mainly in dex, but I have a nice amount in strength too.

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It depends upon what weapon you want to use for primary damage. As Slarty pointed out in #3, high dexterity gives both higher missile damage and increased evasion against physical, magical, and elemental damage. Raising strength to improve your melee weapons means soaking up more damage. I just back off and fire away. Also try to aim for a shadowwalker's cleave shot on an adjacent target.

 

Placing your skill points in the center column gives both a damage multiplier and increased chances for critical hits and backstab for shadowwalkes. I found that blademaster does more damage because it gets the damage multiplier a tier earlier than the shadowwalker.

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Well, that helps. When I get the chance to redo my ability points in that forest (whenever I DO get there), do I also get a chance to replace my skill points? Cause that would help so much for my SW.

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I found daze pretty useful in the early game, but enemies have high enough mental resistance later on that it didn't compare favorably to the sorceress's direct attack abilities. And the recharge time reduction is definitely useful: aside from the longer battles you cite, there are also a fair number of back-to-back fights with little or no chance to rest in later dungeons.

 

I didn't find group heal to be necessary all that often, but there are a few times when it's a real life-saver. Group heal scrolls can accomplish the same thing, but I found myself running out of those later in the game, and the skill bonuses on late-game shaman equipment make the spell substantially stronger than the scroll. And you can in theory spam the spell, if you use restoration potions.

 

And yeah, I found most of the top-tier damage abilities fairly disappointing. The ones that unlock at level 6 are pretty excellent, though. Especially Steel Tornado.

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Originally Posted By: Øther
When I get the chance to redo my ability points in that forest (whenever I DO get there), do I also get a chance to replace my skill points? Cause that would help so much for my SW.

Yes. You basically get your character reset as a blank level X whatever. You allocate your abilities and skills. I think the latter is far more important than the former, honestly; I don't imagine many people are making sorceresses with strength boosted every level.

I tried a shoot-and-scoot razordisk shadowwalker, and I found it to be difficult and not that much fun. More the latter than the former, really. You could probably make it work, but being able to meat shield effectively is also worthwhile.

—Alorael, who thinks the relative balance of damage-dealing between blademaster and shadowwalker changes during the game. The blademaster starts out doing more. The shadowwalker catches up and overtakes with backstab if you aggressively fill up the middle column and the bottom left. The difference isn't huge, though; the blademaster still does more if you're regularly cleaving.

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Stunning Bash for some reason almost never stuns. What's up with that?

 

Well, on Torment any way.

 

The sorceress's ability to absorb magic and use abilities faster is great. By the end game I could use the cone of ice scarab every turn and do roughly 140 damage on each NPC.

 

 

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: VCH</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Stunning Bash for some reason almost never stuns. What's up with that?

 

Well, on Torment any way.</div></div>

I noticed this even on normal difficulty. The only reason I use it is that it seems to consistently do more damage than a normal hit, at the cost of vitality.

 

Also, a somewhat spoiler-y note about shamans:

 

 

One thing I found annoying about the shaman is that I trained her to have the earthshatter ability, and whoop-dee-doo, Redbeard gives me an earthshatter scarab! Then again, it's really amusing to have a shaman cast earthshatter two turns in a row, especially if she's in a tight spot (though I gave her my teleport scarab too).

 

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That Earth-shatter scarab does more damage in the hands of a melee character. Like way more.

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Blademaster

cr_abil_num 0 = 25;//Melee Attack

cr_abil_num 1 = 41;//Blademaster Bow

cr_abil_num 2 = 75;//Savage Blow

cr_abil_num 3 = 115;//Challenge

cr_abil_num 10 = 77;//Stunning Bash //left column

cr_abil_num 13 = 100;//Sharpshooter Spray

cr_abil_num 14 = 79;//Hamstring

cr_abil_num 15 = 63;//Berserk Leap

cr_abil_num 16 = 118;//Blade Sweep

cr_abil_num 17 = 119;//Berserker Slash

cr_abil_num 18 = 135;//Second Wind //right column

cr_abil_num 19 = 137;//Recovery

cr_abil_num 20 = 116;//War Cry

cr_abil_num 21 = 117;//Terrifying Howl

cr_abil_num 22 = 138;//Warrior's Focus

cr_abil_num 23 = 139;//Battle Frenzy

cr_abil_num 24 = 150;//Triumphant Roar

cr_abil_num 25 = 151;//Call of the Frenzy

 

Shadowwalker

cr_abil_num 0 = 26;//Shadowwalker Melee Attack

cr_abil_num 1 = 44;//Shadowwalker Razordisk

cr_abil_num 2 = 76;//Disarming Blow

cr_abil_num 10 = 120;//Blade Whirlwind //left column

cr_abil_num 13 = 85;//Razor Spray

cr_abil_num 14 = 64;//Searing Pot

cr_abil_num 15 = 65;//Lightning Pot

cr_abil_num 16 = 78;//Shattering Blow

cr_abil_num 17 = 121;//Steel Tornado

cr_abil_num 18 = 136//Healing Focus //right column

cr_abil_num 19 = 146;//Recovery

cr_abil_num 20 = 170;//shadowstep

cr_abil_num 21 = 171;//Cunning Decoy

cr_abil_num 22 = 140;//Shadowwalker's Focus

cr_abil_num 23 = 141;//Bladeshield

cr_abil_num 24 = 122;//flashstun powder

cr_abil_num 25 = 123;//Stunning Powder

 

Shaman

cr_abil_num 0 = 61;//Spirit Claw

cr_abil_num 1 = 42;//Javelin

cr_abil_num 2 = 9;//Healing Chant

cr_abil_num 3 = 144;//Revive Servant

cr_abil_num 10 = 101;//Spirit Charge //left column

cr_abil_num 12 = 102;//Poison Mist

cr_abil_num 13 = 103;//Acid Mist

cr_abil_num 14 = 66;//Call the Winds

cr_abil_num 15 = 86;//Call the Storm

cr_abil_num 16 = 124;//Earthquake

cr_abil_num 17 = 125;//Earthshatter

cr_abil_num 18 = 180;//Call Wolf //right column

cr_abil_num 19 = 181;//Call Hellhound

cr_abil_num 20 = 7;//Healing Touch

cr_abil_num 21 = 152;//Group Heal

cr_abil_num 22 = 160;//Blessing of Thorns

cr_abil_num 23 = 142;//Reflection

cr_abil_num 24 = 182;//Call Salamander

cr_abil_num 25 = 183;//Call Drake

 

Sorceress

cr_abil_num 0 = 60;//Firebolt

cr_abil_num 1 = 40;//Bow

cr_abil_num 2 = 143;//Shadow Charm

cr_abil_num 10 = 62;//Icy Lance //left column

cr_abil_num 12 = 87;//Lightning Wind

cr_abil_num 13 = 88;//Steel Wind

cr_abil_num 14 = 104;//Ice Storm

cr_abil_num 15 = 105;//Firestorm

cr_abil_num 16 = 89;//Searing Spray

cr_abil_num 17 = 107;//Corrupting Cloud

cr_abil_num 18 = 106;//Daze //right column

cr_abil_num 19 = 67;//Charm Foe

cr_abil_num 20 = 161;//Arcane Blessing

cr_abil_num 21 = 166;//Haste

cr_abil_num 22 = 126;//Arcane Curse

cr_abil_num 23 = 127;//Slow

cr_abil_num 24 = 128;//Cloud of Confusion

cr_abil_num 25 = 162;//Assault Blessing

 

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Quote:
cr_abil_num 22 = 140;//Shadowwalker's Focus
cr_abil_num 23 = 141;//Shadowwalker's Focus


Typo here. 141 is Bladeshield. smile

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Stunning Bash worked very few times in my normal/hard/torment and cheats enabled playtrhroughs but with the "ice blue firing menace", where it worked in the beginning of the long fight and stunned it for three turns, this happened every time.

I agree it does however much more damage than a normal hit, but Harmstring is my favourite strike. Not sure but I think to remember SB worked in different crucial fights as with D.G. and with B., even if only once.

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Ah. I remembering stunning that blue menace the first turn Sev had. Immediately have to shuffle my party away from it, letting Sev solo the aggro.

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I've seen multiple discussions about overall "best" party arrangement, so thought I'd toss out my thoughts.

 

The tougher battles suggested to me that different setups were best used for each to truly maximize potential. I've now experimented with as many combos as possible starting with a shadow as primary. All on hard difficulty (you can skate by with just about any group on normal IMO).

 

comments:

 

-shadows can complement each other quite well, especially if you gear one as a tank (boost the middle and add some points into the right side until you get focus (it's like having a constant battle potion on) and even bladeshield; spend only points on the lowest melee attack on the left, and put everything else in the middle. Have the other shadow focus on offense on the left (and boosts in the middle too); gives a ton of flexibility and they can backstab off of each other as well. I found this combo to be a better tank/dps combo than the blademaster/shadow duo in most situations unless I had a ton of parry boosting stuff for my blademaster; then it was situational.

 

-likewise, I found shamans and sorcs to complement each other nicely; the shaman setting up for massive damage by the sorc, and their damage types complement each other too. Set the shaman up to be a summoner/curser and only go up to acid on the left (then you don't have to worry about dex); once you get that summoning staff, you can summon some quite potent meat shields that do decent damage too. I found this combo worked especially well with a shadow rigged for DPS/ranged (my primary).

 

just having that 4th critter there really helps, and casting thorns, haste, and shield on your summon makes it quite worthwhile.

 

 

Still, this combo seems very situational; where it really shines is in fighting things like nasty blue dragons, where you can send out 3 nice meat shields one after the other, while everyone pounds away at range, or your shadow sneaks in for some backstabs. Also, that sorc primary weapon attack is brutal once you get the crit boost up a bit; at around level 16-18 I recall it hitting for between 150-200 damage regularly. That's pretty decent single target damage from range. This combo also requires a good amount of open space to work in, and few (or just one) powerful targets. Groups of medium power targets, that can easily still survive a couple of firestorms, is bad news. the pet isn't a sufficient distraction for a group of targets, and even bladeshield won't save your sorc from getting pounded.

 

which, leads to blade/shadow/sorc, which most people I think prefer. I think this combo works well for any situation where there are more than a few targets, or mixed weak/strong targets. With this, using the blade as the tank, using as many items that boost parry as possible works well; use the dodge/ripost items on your shadow.

 

all in all, I think just about any combo is workable, if one takes the time to make sure their abilities are set up to complement the rest of the group, though I think the hardest would be all casters, simply because of the timers on abilities running out, and in situations where the critters are immune to fire (the shaman's weapon attack is half the strength of the sorcs, so if the sorc can't use their primary weapon attack, you run out of abilities too soon - unless you use a ton of pots.).

 

Overall, I think the classes balance out quite nicely, with lots of fun variations to try.

 

I highly recommend getting the advanced editor so you can experiment with different stats/builds, then just go sit by a warp pylon and practice.

 

oh, one last thing I noticed was the order in combat; I wish there was a way to control this outside of dex, as I'd always rather have the guys that cast curses go first, but they also typically have the lowest dex. tongue

 

example: in the dps rigged shadow/sorc/shaman trio, I'd always want my shaman to start off with spirit claw so a group of targets is then setup for attacks from the sorc, but I typically have the dex much higher on the shadow (for damage and protection) and the sorc (protection) than the shaman, so it's like free damage going to waste.

 

dex already affects ranged damages and defense, maybe something else could affect attack order; maybe even just being able to manually assign attack order, say simply by using like a ctl+click on your characters to assign the combat order or something.

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a bit late, but having finished my hard run:

 

"I tried a shoot-and-scoot razordisk shadowwalker, and I found it to be difficult and not that much fun. More the latter than the former, really. You could probably make it work, but being able to meat shield effectively is also worthwhile."

 

actually, a dex build SW works great in this game. there are a lot of bosses with riposte or thorns, or just nasty melee attacks, and you can do a ton of damage with razordisks on a dex build.

 

what's more, building dex makes ALL your ranged attacks more powerful, and that includes whirling blade and steel tornado. Strength does not affect these at all.

 

so, not sure what problems you had with your razordisk build, but I find that with dex on SW equal to ST on blademaster, SW does the same damage with razordisks as BM does with melee attack; specials excluded, and they both have cleave as a bonus so...

 

seriously, build a dex based (put just enough strength in to get to 18, and enough fort to get to 15) and with gear you can get your dex to about 36 to 38. use evade or dex runes on everything but your weapon, and you are near unhittable, even on torment, for everything except the major bosses.

 

the backstab on the SW more than makes up for the lower strength when you need to do melee, and the poison damage is icing.

 

use your dex based build to aggro everything, and have your other guys lend support.

 

I used my dex SW to attack Antje, on torment, while the others looked for the "sprit wolf" and distracted her pets.

 

she never hit me.

 

not. once.

 

soloed the entire bandit road hideout, including the drake, and all the guys in the middle, on torment.

no problem.

 

 

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I'm about to start a game on Torment difficulty and I wanted to know what was the best class to pick up as my main character.

 

Is there any class that's useful to have at all time?

 

Is there any class that's useful to have more than once in a party, especially in the toughest battles and optional bosses?

 

Are there any advantage or any goodies (magic items, scarabs, charms) to be gained from having a shadowwalker or sorceress in Avadon? (In term of picking locks cheaply)

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There are five times where your main character has to travel alone after the start so it's helpful to use a sorceress or shadowwalker to reduce the number of lockpicks used, but only one of them is in a place where you can't come back later with other characters,

 

Overall a sorceress has lots of fire power with the most different damaging types (fire, cold, energy, and physical) and area effects. Both blademaster and shadowwalker benefit from high dexterity allowing them to be hard to hit and do lots of missile damage. Shaman isn't as great a character because too many monsters are resistant to energy damage, but it's pets and support abilities make it useful.

 

It's more playing style. Some fights are better with certain classes. A sorceress is weak versus fire resistant monsters early in the game like under Zhethron's Aerie or doing physical damage versus Angevine. A blademaster doing only physical damage without scarabs is weak in other encounters.

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Well I don't lock myself into one party model, I'm not afraid of visiting Avadon and the trainer halfway in a mission whenever I win a couple of levels or whenever a new challenge, requiring a change of strategy, arises.

 

With such a long and time consuming game, I'm trying to avoid or minimize situations where my main character would be a liability, due to low hit points, less than optimal damage, classes that only become useful at high levels, or that are useless to have twice in a party, especially in battles against Zhossa, Zephyrine, Redbeard or Beloch on Torment.

 

Basically, which class will I regret the less after I'm forty hours into my Torment game? :>

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The best build for overall survivability is a Dex-based shadowwalker, almost without question.

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Lilith is correct.

 

The Shadowwalker has the highest defense overall, in terms of numbers. But the best thing is that the Shadowwalker's defense is the most consistent. The other 3 classes all have weaknesses for at least part of the game. The Shadowwalker will never let you down. The fact that the Dex-based Shadowwalker also has the highest single target damage output is icing on the cake.

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