Jump to content
Meriecury

ANALYSIS: Min-Maxing A:EFTP

Recommended Posts

You think Resistance is worth twice the cost?

Now let's do the math:

8 priest spells + 8 spellcraft + 10 resistance

10 blademaster

10 hardiness + 10 Parry

5 Luck

 

Wait, that is already 61 skill points, how many do you want your melee weapon be?

 

i mean if your #1 priority is making a tank you might as well ignore blademaster too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So that can you have the exactly the same skill set as a spellcaster? Spellcasters can also wield a shield to further improve survival.

A fighter like this will definitely suck at damage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A fighter like this will not "suck" at damage. Use the damage calc, see for yourself.

 

The fighter will do over a third less damage than a fighter putting the 26 skill points (priest spell, spellcraft, resistance) into damage skills. Does that sound good enough to you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With standard level 30 stats and items plugged in, remembering to account for +8 Blademaster from AEFTP's crazy sword, and +15% melee damage due to the lower dual wielding penalty, I got the following results for DW Steel + Steel damage. (Since the Flaming Sword affects both weapons in AEFTP and effectively just increases the weapon multipliers, it won't impact the relative damage of the two builds compared to each other, so there's no need to custom make another cell for it.)

 

Skill point investment (not counting training) of 8 Melee Weapons, 5 Blademaster:

1216, backstab 1398.

 

Instead redirecting the 26 PS/SC/RS skill points into an extra 5 Blademaster, 6 QA, 7 Dual Wielding, 8 Lethal Blow:

1525, backstab 1754.

 

That +8 Blademaster from the sword makes a big difference, as does the 15% less penalty, and the fact that you have to waste points on Quick Action. On the other hand if we ignore the upper tier skills except for what we can access without pts into QA, and just put 5 more Blademaster, 2 DW, 2 LB, and the other 17 into Melee Weapons, we get:

1648, backstab 1895.

 

The former case, which again was what this thread's analysis was based on, is just about 25% higher. Even with the better version it's just a touch over 1/3 higher, which compares with the 36% resistance boost. So you're trading +1/3 damage for +1/3 elemental/status resist and the ability to cast a few good priest spells. I think that's a pretty fair trade, especially since elemental and status resist are much harder for fighters to come by than physical resistance is, and that's before you consider Parry. I don't think there's anything wrong with the build that picks MW over resistance. It's a question of if you want a high-damage DW to punch at bosses, or a tank who can reliably stand in front of them. The former is still a great tank against non-magic attackers and the latter is still a good attacker in general.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are not very honest about the numbers. Let us compare your version to train 2 levels in spellcraft and train and buy 2 levels in resistance, and reinvest the other 24 points in damage.

The latter version still get more than 1/3 of damage over your build. Your build only get 8 more levels of resistance - that is no way a 36% boost. Besides your build need to spend another few (4?) grands of coins to access adrenaline rush.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are not very honest about the numbers.

Hume: You can disagree with another member without calling him dishonest. Please do your part to keep the boards friendly!

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry pal, no offense meant.

 

Besides, fighters will not have enough traits to invest in damage. In the end we will have 16 traits, and I listed 19 traits that worth having

 

Negotiator (1): Money is great

Strength (5): Fighters have the lowest to hit chance because they wear the heaviest armor and dual wield penalty. You really need extra points in strength to keep hitting.

Parry (2): Avoid physical damage. A must have for front character.

Luck (2): Luck is good for everyone

Hit point bonus (3)

Dual Wield (1): actually there are two levels, but only the first one is worth having

Damage Boost (5): each level give 3% bonus damage

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hume, you cannot possibly complain about "honesty" when you refer to an increase of literally a hair over 1/3 as "more than 1/3" :p I mean, no offense taken by the comment, but you aren't presenting the facts in a neutral manner.

 

Good point, but poor conclusions, about buyable SC/RS for the non-RS build, which I was not thinking about. Taking those two points away from damage skills does bring the damage advantage slightly below 1/3. I mean, we can continue to futz back and forth about the small details of the comparison, but ultimately we're talking about a 1/3 or so increase in one character's single target damage output versus a 1/4 or so increase in one character's magic/status defense along with some useful priest spells.

 

As Lilith said earlier, neither one of those bonuses is so lame as to discount it from consideration, and it depends what you are trying to do. If one character's single target damage output is a large portion of your party damage output, the damage build may be more worthwhile (and in AEFTP, unlike CS, there are circumstances where that could be true for a dual-wielder, thanks to broken weapons); likewise, if terrain allows you to use one character as a tank, the RS build may be more worthwhile, and there are countless circumstances where you can do that, too. (Interestingly enough, both builds are less useful in the same type of situation: one where you are swarmed by large numbers of enemies.)

 

Anyway, it seems to me that these are two viable alternatives, and challenging that assessment would require more than nitpicking of numbers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for necroposting, but I have some questions about game mechanics.

1. First of all, is Lethal Strike actually 3%/level or 5%/level? Because the difference in usefulness is huge.

If you indeed get around 25% crit chance in late game as Hume said, 3% is only 1.33 increase in overall damage with 1st point invested (or less, depending on how it works with Flame Blade on hit effects). And it goes all the way down to 1.16% increase in damage from 9 to 10 points invested+2 purchased. Which is worse than Dual Wielding (~1.33% overall damage increase at 150% modifier).

But 5% varies from 2.22% overall damage increase to 1.78%, which is better than blademaster (~2% damage increase) with moderate investment (at 150% damage modifier). Basically, at 3% it's never a good idea, while at 5% it's worth getting to level 5 at least (50% crit chance is a good breakpoint).

2.Another question about Dual Wielding. I've seen some contradicting descriptions, some say it only increases chance to hit, but NOT damage. Even at 2% extra damage and chance to hit it's still bad though.

If I understand correctly how chance to hit works (everything just stacks additively), bonus from STR will overwhelm any other bonuses, and you easily hit 95% cap with 40 STR, so any skill bonuses are irrelevant, unless you invest heavily in END/DEX. If there are some multiplicative stacking involved, it's different story though. Couldn't find any info on that part.

3. Regarding weapon mastery, it's quite simple. With 40 STR, weapon mastery 10 and at level 30 (including 5 STR from traits and some from items) you get item level of 66 + item level, which I assume varies from 20 to 30 for late game items. So at item level 20 you get 1.16% extra overall damage per point over 10. At 30 barely over 1%. But the advantage is, you save money wasted on levelling unnecesary weapon masteries. So it is slightly less useful than DW mastery but also save you ton of gold (6400 compared to version with 8+2 weapon mastery). So at least it's obvious choice over DW, but just to get enough for Bladeshield, after that DW is superior. Not sure if Battle Frenzy is worth it.

4. Gymnastics. Now, this one is tricky. I'm not sure how exactly action point system in this game works, but if unspent action points carry over to next turns, it's pretty useful with minor investment (2 bows + 2(+2) gymnastics). With certain items, which seems to be best in slot for warrior (First Expedition Greaves and to lesser extent Lightspeed band, though seemingly inferior to Mauler's Ring), you can get gymnastics quite high (6-8) for some good chance to get extra action point per round and even small chance to get 2. At 6 it's ~35% for extra AP and ~10% more for 2 AP. At 8 it's almost 40% for extra AP and ~15% for 2 AP. I don't quite get how the AP system works, but according to ingame manual, you have 8 points and if you have 10 or more, you can attack twice. Adrenaline Rush gives you 20 AP for one round (so up to 3 attacks at 19 points). Battle frenzy gives 5 extra AP each round and Haste has 33% chance to reduce AP cost of attack by 4 (once per turn?). So if you get 2 points, you get guaranteed extra attack without buffs (if enemy is next to you). Which is not bad for a 10-15% chance. If you are under battle frenzy effect from level 3 Haste (so 13 AP), it does basically nothing apart from giving you some extra movement EXCEPT if you get Haste proc with one of 2 attacks (55% chance). This paired with 2 extra AP will let you attack 3 times without moving. So gymnastics paired with one or 2 extra AP from gear may bring some significant results, greatly increasing your chance to double attack without buffs and triple attack with buffs. Basically, at 6 points of Gymnastics it's like 10% crit chance to deal 2x damage without buffs (and it can even be spread to 2 targets of your choice). With full buffs 8 points in Gymnastics is like 15%*0.55=8% chance to deal extra 1.5x damage, which is 4% more overall damage. And with 1 extra AP gear it becomes MUCH better, since they have great synergy.

Now looking at archer, it actually looks a bit better. (Though, it depends on how Haste and Sniper stack). If they are additive, it's insanely good, so all you attacks cost 2x less. If they are checked separately, it's not that good, but still great resulting in 87% chance to decrese the cost to 5 (80% if using quicksilver plate instead of Sniper west). With quicksilver plate and all AP items you get 3 extra action points (with certain chance or every turn?). With Battle frenzy buff you get 8+3+5=16 action points (15 with max sniper). That's 2 attacks at least (at full cost). With Gymnastics level 17 you get 1-3 extra action points with 80%+ chance and 5% chance to get 4. But on average you get ~2 (1.7 to be precise). So 16-19 action points most of the times, up to 20. (15-18, up to 19 with sniper). That's already potential 3 attacks (at 19) WITHOUT Sniper procs. With Sniper/Haste proc (96-98% depending on your sniper level) you can always get 3 attacks no matter how much extra AP you got. IF it could proc several times per turn, you could get 4 attacks. With at least 2 Sniper procs (64-76% chance) you can get 4 attacks if you were lucky. And with 3 Sniper procs (51-66% chance) you can get 4 attacks with any amount of extra points above 0. So Sniper vest would be superior to Quicksilver Plate in terms of damage, but the latter gives more armor and evasion even though chance for 4 attacks is lower with it. But since Sniper and Haste can only proc once per turn (if it's true), we will only get 3 attacks with 96% chance, so no point going for Sniper vest.

Overall extra action points will affect mostly movement, becasue chance to get 3 attacks is high enough even with just quicksilver items. Basically choice of using Sniper vest vs Quicksilver plate is about 20% to hit chance, 1 hit dice, even less chance to lose 3rd attack and 6% less chance to apply debuff (not sure how useful it is) vs bunch of extra armor and movement, since evasion and action points are more or less equal. One important notice: if you actually plan to tank melee oppoents with this character, you want extra AP to be able to step back from enemy and still get 3 attacks (achievable at 19 AP). If you don't, you probably care about chance to hit more than about armor so Sniper Vest is superior (more damage, more consistant, but less mobile). Depending on how good Sniper debuffs are (you can get 48% chance with several attacks per turn), it's even possible to make mage + 3 archers party and use cloack of bolts for some really good kiting. But if required items are unique, it won't be very efficient.

Comparing dual wielding damage to bow damage, former is obviously superior, but bow has an advantage of being able to attack priority targets and kite. Dedicated melee damage dealer has 2.5 attacks per turn with buffs, each dealing 5x damage, with modifier up to +100% (with all maxed damage skills and falcion). Archer on the other hand has 3 attacks with buffs, each dealing 2x damage, with modifier up to 70% (no Falcion for 24% extra damage) + extra skill points and ton of evasion. So like half damage of DW warrior.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/4/2018 at 9:15 PM, Derael said:

1. First of all, is Lethal Strike actually 3%/level or 5%/level? Because the difference in usefulness is huge.

 

At this point it's unclear.  I did a lot of testing back when this thread was fresh, and it seemed quite clear that the tooltip was wrong.  But that was six years ago, so I do not think I remember it well enough to swear by its accuracy.

 

 

On 3/4/2018 at 9:15 PM, Derael said:

2.Another question about Dual Wielding. I've seen some contradicting descriptions, some say it only increases chance to hit, but NOT damage. Even at 2% extra damage and chance to hit it's still bad though.

If I understand correctly how chance to hit works (everything just stacks additively), bonus from STR will overwhelm any other bonuses, and you easily hit 95% cap with 40 STR, so any skill bonuses are irrelevant, unless you invest heavily in END/DEX. If there are some multiplicative stacking involved, it's different story though. Couldn't find any info on that part.

 

It definitely increases both.  And, yes, it's definitely still bad :/

 

You are correct about STR overwhelming other bonuses (for melee attacks).  I don't think multiplicative stacking has ever been used for hit chance in any Spiderweb game.

 

 

On 3/4/2018 at 9:15 PM, Derael said:

3. Regarding weapon mastery, it's quite simple. With 40 STR, weapon mastery 10 and at level 30 (including 5 STR from traits and some from items) you get item level of 66 + item level, which I assume varies from 20 to 30 for late game items. So at item level 20 you get 1.16% extra overall damage per point over 10. At 30 barely over 1%. But the advantage is, you save money wasted on levelling unnecesary weapon masteries. So it is slightly less useful than DW mastery but also save you ton of gold (6400 compared to version with 8+2 weapon mastery). So at least it's obvious choice over DW, but just to get enough for Bladeshield, after that DW is superior. Not sure if Battle Frenzy is worth it.

 

BF is definitely not worth it; it is completely outclassed by Adrenaline Rush.  You really have to try hard and play weirdly to find a situation where BF could work out better.  It is also pretty much outclassed by level 3 Haste, which notably does not require wasting skill points to use.

 

 

On 3/4/2018 at 9:15 PM, Derael said:

4. Gymnastics. Now, this one is tricky. I'm not sure how exactly action point system in this game works, but if unspent action points carry over to next turns, it's pretty useful with minor investment (2 bows + 2(+2) gymnastics). With certain items, which seems to be best in slot for warrior (First Expedition Greaves and to lesser extent Lightspeed band, though seemingly inferior to Mauler's Ring), you can get gymnastics quite high (6-8) for some good chance to get extra action point per round and even small chance to get 2. At 6 it's ~35% for extra AP and ~10% more for 2 AP. At 8 it's almost 40% for extra AP and ~15% for 2 AP. I don't quite get how the AP system works, but according to ingame manual, you have 8 points and if you have 10 or more, you can attack twice. Adrenaline Rush gives you 20 AP for one round (so up to 3 attacks at 19 points). Battle frenzy gives 5 extra AP each round and Haste has 33% chance to reduce AP cost of attack by 4 (once per turn?). So if you get 2 points, you get guaranteed extra attack without buffs (if enemy is next to you). Which is not bad for a 10-15% chance. If you are under battle frenzy effect from level 3 Haste (so 13 AP), it does basically nothing apart from giving you some extra movement EXCEPT if you get Haste proc with one of 2 attacks (55% chance). This paired with 2 extra AP will let you attack 3 times without moving. So gymnastics paired with one or 2 extra AP from gear may bring some significant results, greatly increasing your chance to double attack without buffs and triple attack with buffs. Basically, at 6 points of Gymnastics it's like 10% crit chance to deal 2x damage without buffs (and it can even be spread to 2 targets of your choice). With full buffs 8 points in Gymnastics is like 15%*0.55=8% chance to deal extra 1.5x damage, which is 4% more overall damage. And with 1 extra AP gear it becomes MUCH better, since they have great synergy.

 

Unspent action points do not carry over between turns.  Beyond that I got lost somewhere in the middle of this giant paragraph, but you may appreciate the analysis I did on this aspect of the sequel:

 

http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/21108-effectiveness-of-gymnastics-and-sniper-for-extra-actions/

 

As far as I can see, these mechanics are completely identical, with the exception that the bonus AP items may be different (I don't remember off the top of my head).

 

 

On 3/4/2018 at 9:15 PM, Derael said:

Now looking at archer, it actually looks a bit better. (Though, it depends on how Haste and Sniper stack). If they are additive, it's insanely good, so all you attacks cost 2x less. If they are checked separately, it's not that good, but still great resulting in 87% chance to decrese the cost to 5 (80% if using quicksilver plate instead of Sniper west). With quicksilver plate and all AP items you get 3 extra action points (with certain chance or every turn?). With Battle frenzy buff you get 8+3+5=16 action points (15 with max sniper). That's 2 attacks at least (at full cost). With Gymnastics level 17 you get 1-3 extra action points with 80%+ chance and 5% chance to get 4. But on average you get ~2 (1.7 to be precise). So 16-19 action points most of the times, up to 20. (15-18, up to 19 with sniper). That's already potential 3 attacks (at 19) WITHOUT Sniper procs. With Sniper/Haste proc (96-98% depending on your sniper level) you can always get 3 attacks no matter how much extra AP you got. IF it could proc several times per turn, you could get 4 attacks. With at least 2 Sniper procs (64-76% chance) you can get 4 attacks if you were lucky. And with 3 Sniper procs (51-66% chance) you can get 4 attacks with any amount of extra points above 0. So Sniper vest would be superior to Quicksilver Plate in terms of damage, but the latter gives more armor and evasion even though chance for 4 attacks is lower with it. But since Sniper and Haste can only proc once per turn (if it's true), we will only get 3 attacks with 96% chance, so no point going for Sniper vest.

 

Sniper and Haste are not additive, they are separate checks, and once either one has triggered, that's it, no more 4 AP bonuses that turn.  See above link for math on how crappy Sniper is.

 

 

On 3/4/2018 at 9:15 PM, Derael said:

One important notice: if you actually plan to tank melee oppoents with this character, you want extra AP to be able to step back from enemy and still get 3 attacks (achievable at 19 AP). If you don't, you probably care about chance to hit more than about armor so Sniper Vest is superior (more damage, more consistant, but less mobile).

 

I'm not sure what you mean about "stepping back from the enemy" but keep in mind that you lose AP when you do that.

 

And armor is useful even if you aren't tanking -- enemy archers are a thing, battles where you're swarmed and it's difficult to keep anyone out of melee are a thing, and armor values of equipment are applied (at half strength) to fire, cold, and energy resistances as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, I was writing this post at 3 AM and forgot to clear old statements after I learned how AP works. Majority of analysis is done without assuming that AP carry over. Also I took into account that Sniper and Haste don't stack additively (though they still stack multiplicatively, resulting in wooping 1-(0.67*0.2)^2=98.2% chance to trigger AP cost reduction once per 2 attacks (if Sniper level is 16). At Sniper level 14, the chance is 96%, still quite good. So 2 attacks will cost 14 AP in total, and if we get at least 15+ AP, it means you will attack 3 times with 96-98% chance. While Haste alone has 1-0.67^2=55% chance to trigger one per turn, so melee fighter loses less than 0.5 attack per turn on average (2.5 instead of 3). Considering more than double damage melee fighters are obviously superior in terms of damage and their only disadvantage is having to spend AP for moving, which is rarely relevant since most enemies come to you on their own accord.

Armor is obviously useful, but Archer will naturally recieve much less hits, and more importantly, will have significant evasion chance, so enemy archers will have very small chance to hit at 40 DEX and 17 gymnastics.As long as you don't get hit for more than 50% of health, you are safe.

The downsides are obvious: First of all, lack of good bows. There are zero good bows in the game. Secondly, less resistances/armor, because Hardiness/Resistance are hard to get on archer. You need 38 points for core build so have only 25 points spare. So it's either dropping Lethality and 1 point of Sharpshooter to get Resistance, or going for hardiness + luck, but not both. Another option is going all damage with 10 points in Lethality, 5 luck and 20+ points in bows. It could work very well for 3 Archers + Mage party with Cloack of Bolts for some neat storm_of_arrows playstyle (with 3 archers each doing 3 attacks every turn), if there were good bows in the game.You could even spec one of the archers in priest spells with all the spare points, to get a dedicated healer, since buffs and heals don't need INT. Itemisation will be a bit problematic, but with high enough gymnastics you don't even need to use all 3 quicksilver items, since chance of getting extra AP will be over 80%, so with Fury, 1 quicksilver item and gymnastics you will get 15 AP, enough for 3 attacks with Haste/Sniper proc. Even at Sniper level 12 with Haste on chance to get 3 attacks is 93% if you have 15 AP. To be honest Gymnastics really do almost nothing with 2+ Quicksilver items, but evasion chance and extra AP for movement still matter.

By stepping back from the enemy I mean exactly that, with 3 qs items and level 17 gymnastics you have a decent chance get enough AP to step back from the enemy and STILL do 3 attacks (you need 19 AP for that, and chance to get 19+ AP is almost 25%. Still not very reliable but quite neat. Overall I feel that party of archers works better than single archer, because they work so well with Cloak of Bolts in late game and Cloak of Curses early on and have synergy advantage of being able to suppress enemies with covering fire by sniping priority targets.

Well, actually, I now want to try this party with 1 full damage Archer + 2 Hybrid Archer/Priests + Mage. They will be immune to melee enemies with double Call Storms, and you can get it very early with 7 arcane lore. AND they don't need that much money, only enough to buy necessary buffs, so majority of gold can go to upgrade every single talent you want to upgrade. I guess I will try this party in 2nd game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The missing piece in your analysis of Sniper is that the positive effects you describe (like that 98% figure) only apply if you avoid using the most powerful abilities in the game -- Haste level 3, and Adrenaline Rush.

 

Also, as you note, the Cloak spells really create incentive to reduce the number of attack types in the party.

 

These things don't mean you can't play an archery and Sniper-based game, and succeed.  It just means it's "sub-optimal" -- literally, and without any kind of judgment attached.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Disintegral said:

The missing piece in your analysis of Sniper is that the positive effects you describe (like that 98% figure) only apply if you avoid using the most powerful abilities in the game -- Haste level 3, and Adrenaline Rush.

 

Also, as you note, the Cloak spells really create incentive to reduce the number of attack types in the party.

 

These things don't mean you can't play an archery and Sniper-based game, and succeed.  It just means it's "sub-optimal" -- literally, and without any kind of judgment attached.

Well, all my math was based on the assumption that Haste and battle Frenzy are active, but didn't include adrenaline rush since it's a one time bonus.

 

With Frenzy and adrenaline Rush you get 8+5+11=24 AP, 3 attacks with haste proc need 5+9+9=23 AP, so you should be able to do 4 attacks 70% of the time.

 

While with Sniper and Haste basically 100% of the time, so the advantage is not that big.

 

Without AR (but with BF) you get 13 AP, so for 3 attacks you need 5+9=14, thus extra 2 AP either from items or gymnastics. With Sniper and Haste chance to get reduced attack is 96%+, without Sniper ~55%. Without Haste (though you always fight with Haste on), it's still around 90%.

 

Now, without BF but with AR you get 19 AP. So you need extra 5 for 4 attacks, and always get 3. You can get 3 from items and 2 from Gymnastics with decent chance (>50%), but it's irrelevant since in tough fights you can reload until your haste applies BF.

 

Finally, without bonuses you need extra 7 AP for 3 attacks or extra 2 AP for guaranteed 2 attacks. But chance for 2 attacks is very high even without extra AP due to Sniper. But again, why would you fight without buffs?

 

So only 2 cases that matter are Haste + BF and Haste + BF + AR.

 

In first case you get obvious advantage at 2 extra AP, and some extra movement at more. So 1 AP item + high level gymnastics do the trick to get 3 attacks most of the time.

 

In second case you get 3.7 attacks on average without Sniper or 4 with sniper. Increase in overall damage is small, maybe 8%, but still quite good.

 

Finally at 4 extra AP (from either items or gymnastics) with BF and AR you can still move away from enemy and attack without losing extra attack, so gymnastics are situationally useful.

 

Overall main advantage of gymnastics are evasion and flexibility, it will barely affect DPS. But if you are looking at archer party, it may be tough to find 2 AP items for everyone, thus gymnastics kick in.

 

Not sure how Haste interacts with Spells and other actions, but if it works for any action that costs 9 AP you probably want 2 AP items on everyone in your party even without Sniper for 55% chance to get extra attack (70% with AR), so it might be wise to use 2 items on mage and compensate 1 AP with gymnastics on archers.

 

Biggest breakpoint for most situations is 2 extra AP, achieved by any means. In classic setup might as well opt out for using bows+gymnastics on mages instead of hardiness for extra damage if they rarely face danger. I just wish lethal blow was connected with gymnastics instead of Sharpshooter, would make this build much more viable. I noticed that I used bows a lot at early stages and in easier fights, since cavewood longbow deals almost as high damage as fireblast even without mastery and helps to conserve mana especially it's good in global map encounters where hp doesn't matter as much but mana is still valuable. But bows are less viable at 10+ since lack of accuracy becomes devastating, and I'm playing on hard, not torment. When I fought envoy protector at level 9 I couldn't land a single ranged attack by mages, though spells never missed, and I assume disparity only becomes worse later on, but probably disappears as you fight underleveled enemies (at 30+).

 

So yeah, talking about sub-optimality, setup of 3 arches really is not suboptimal. Early on it will be much stronger than melee + 3 mages, but later it will be a bit weaker if one mage is not enough to clear minions quickly. Probably won't lose much power vs bosses because single target damage and cc on hit coupled with lots of attacks per turn is where archers shine (with some priest skills included). Might even be worth it to use level 3 cloak of curses instead of cloak of bolts, but need to check its effectiveness.

 

So my verdict is: archer won't really fit into any party that doesn't use cloak of curses of cloak of bolts, but in archery focused party it may shine and actually be good. At least it has some obvious strong points that other classes don't have, such as evasion and even more attacks per turn + on hit debuffs. This party will need a tank (at least till the time when you can survive 1 boss hit even if evasion fails), but mage can probably play this role since it has similar build to warrior (excluding parry) and if you move first you can prevent most dangerous enemies from attacking you altogether. Might be worth investing a few points into quick reaction on mage to always act first.

 

So how good this party is compared to classic party is an open question, since it has some obvious shortcomings (few AoE/no dedicated tank) but also some obvious strength (sky high evasion/lots of cc on hit/field control/extra attacks/energy conservation).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/7/2018 at 7:10 AM, Derael said:

Well, all my math was based on the assumption that Haste and battle Frenzy are active, but didn't include adrenaline rush since it's a one time bonus.

 

With Frenzy and adrenaline Rush you get 8+5+11=24 AP, 3 attacks with haste proc need 5+9+9=23 AP, so you should be able to do 4 attacks 70% of the time.

 

Aha, here is the problem: you've never actually used these abilities together :)

 

Adrenaline Rush does not actually give you extra AP -- it sets your AP to a new total.  Battle Frenzy, on the other hand, gives you extra AP at the start of your turn only.  (Gymnastics works the same way.)  So here's what actually happens when you combine abilities:

 

13 AP -- Start of turn w/ BF

4 AP -- Attack #1

20 AP -- Use Adrenaline Rush

11 AP -- Attack #2

2 AP -- Attack #3

End -- Attack #4

 

Now let's talk about how Haste (or Sniper, same thing) works here.  If Haste activates on Attack 4, it's obviously useless.  It Haste activates on Attacks 2 or 3, you end up 4 AP higher, but you need 8 AP more to get an extra move post-Adrenaline Rush.  If Haste activates on Adrenaline Rush, the situation is the same (due to the order of effects: you lose 9 AP for acting, then regain 4 AP if Haste triggers, then your AP is set to 0 if it is negative, then 20 is added to your AP).

 

So the only realistic avenue to an extra move is if Haste activates on Attack 1.  Then you end up at 8 AP, and indeed you only need 2 AP more to get an extra move in before you use Adrenaline Rush.

 

This sounds similar to the situation you are in without Adrenaline Rush -- if you start at 15 AP, you have two chances for Haste to activate and get you a third action.  What's different is that here, you only get one free chance for Haste to activate.  If you make a second attack before using AR and Haste doesn't activate, you don't get to use AR and your turn ends -- a worse outcome than anything else being looked at.

 

So with 2 AP items, BF, and Haste, you have only a 1 in 3 chance to get 5 attacks instead of 4 on a turn when you use AR.

With Gymnastics, the chance is reduced since you need Haste to proc and you need 2 successful Gymnastics rolls.

 

Yes, with Sniper it can potentially be higher, but that is a LOT of skill points going into what is -- at MOST -- a chance of dealing an extra 25% damage.

 

--

 

Finally, let's address the "one time bonus" bit.  That is accurate but misleading.  It's a one-at-a-time bonus that you can activate in the first round of every battle.  No, it won't be active in the second or third rounds... but the first round is almost always the most important.  It certainly is in overworld encounters (often the deadliest, since you can't buff ahead of time).  It usually is in dungeons too, since it is your chance to strike first with debuffs and with obliteration of ancillary enemies; the faster you kill stuff, the less it can hurt you later and the less time you have to spend healing later, etc etc.

 

What's that, you have a battle where the first round isn't the most critical?  Cool -- just save your fatigue and wait to use AR until you need it.  It's a huge bonus that applies at least once in every battle, whenever you need it most.  And that means that it is always going to be the most important round, when a Gymnastics/Sniper-based setup is at its least useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, The Voices of My Education said:

 

Aha, here is the problem: you've never actually used these abilities together :)

 

Adrenaline Rush does not actually give you extra AP -- it sets your AP to a new total.  Battle Frenzy, on the other hand, gives you extra AP at the start of your turn only.  (Gymnastics works the same way.)  So here's what actually happens when you combine abilities:

 

13 AP -- Start of turn w/ BF

4 AP -- Attack #1

20 AP -- Use Adrenaline Rush

11 AP -- Attack #2

2 AP -- Attack #3

End -- Attack #4

 

Now let's talk about how Haste (or Sniper, same thing) works here.  If Haste activates on Attack 4, it's obviously useless.  It Haste activates on Attacks 2 or 3, you end up 4 AP higher, but you need 8 AP more to get an extra move post-Adrenaline Rush.  If Haste activates on Adrenaline Rush, the situation is the same (due to the order of effects: you lose 9 AP for acting, then regain 4 AP if Haste triggers, then your AP is set to 0 if it is negative, then 20 is added to your AP).

 

So the only realistic avenue to an extra move is if Haste activates on Attack 1.  Then you end up at 8 AP, and indeed you only need 2 AP more to get an extra move in before you use Adrenaline Rush.

 

This sounds similar to the situation you are in without Adrenaline Rush -- if you start at 15 AP, you have two chances for Haste to activate and get you a third action.  What's different is that here, you only get one free chance for Haste to activate.  If you make a second attack before using AR and Haste doesn't activate, you don't get to use AR and your turn ends -- a worse outcome than anything else being looked at.

 

So with 2 AP items, BF, and Haste, you have only a 1 in 3 chance to get 5 attacks instead of 4 on a turn when you use AR.

With Gymnastics, the chance is reduced since you need Haste to proc and you need 2 successful Gymnastics rolls.

 

Yes, with Sniper it can potentially be higher, but that is a LOT of skill points going into what is -- at MOST -- a chance of dealing an extra 25% damage.

 

--

 

Finally, let's address the "one time bonus" bit.  That is accurate but misleading.  It's a one-at-a-time bonus that you can activate in the first round of every battle.  No, it won't be active in the second or third rounds... but the first round is almost always the most important.  It certainly is in overworld encounters (often the deadliest, since you can't buff ahead of time).  It usually is in dungeons too, since it is your chance to strike first with debuffs and with obliteration of ancillary enemies; the faster you kill stuff, the less it can hurt you later and the less time you have to spend healing later, etc etc.

 

What's that, you have a battle where the first round isn't the most critical?  Cool -- just save your fatigue and wait to use AR until you need it.  It's a huge bonus that applies at least once in every battle, whenever you need it most.  And that means that it is always going to be the most important round, when a Gymnastics/Sniper-based setup is at its least useful.


Well, it's indeed a bit different than I though, but the part where I was talking about Battle Frenzy and NO Adrenaline Rush covers it. Basically, with Sniper AND Haste, chance that one of the 2 procs in 2 attacks is 96+%, so It's pretty reliable (fail is comparable to miss chance). In the worst case scenario you will indeed fail to activate AR at first turn, but you will still be able to do it on 2nd turn or reload save and try again, because it's critical fail with very low chance at the very beginning of the battle, no real reason to not use reload. So it will basically guarantee an extra attack on turn 1 (in addition to existing 3 attacks), if you got at least 15 AP at turn 1. With 1 AP item and high enough gymnastics level you pretty much always get 1 extra AP, and if not, you just bear with it, and NOT get extra attack. Chance to fail is not 5% there, but still low (maybe 10 or 15% at most). So you can make 2 attacks (Haste or Sniper will most likely proc there), and then you use Adrenaline Rush AND make extra 3 attacks after using Adrenaline Rush (So 5 in total). AND you get 1 extra attack almost every turn after this (as long as you start it with 15 AP or more 3rd attack is pretty much guaranteed). So you do indeed trade quite a lot of skill points (that also give chance to apply debuff on attacks) for extra attack every round and high chance for extra attack when AR is used. In my opinion Gymnastics + Sniper combo is totally comparable to Parry + Blademaster combo, since gymnastics adds chance to dodge which is always effective, except when fighting overlwhelmingly strong enemies, so it's not much worse than parry, and Sniper basically adds AT LEAST 25% extra damage on turn with AR and 33% on turns without AR. Well, to be precise, it's a bit less, since Haste by itself has a chance to proc, but this is much more reliable. If you use 2 AP items Gymnastics is much less useful, because it will only add movement in full buff fights, since you already have 15 AP and you don't really need more. Well, if you somehow get 19 AP, you will be able to step back from enemy without losing attack, but that's very minor advantage and chance is quite low. The situation would be much better if Sniper and Haste could proc separately, but you said they can't both proc at the same turn so I tend to believe it. Still they significatly amplify chance to proc so that's good enough.

Optimal in terms of resources strategy is as follows: Using 3 archers and 1 mage. 1 archer will be specialised as priest with high level priest skill for heals/buffs, 2 others full DPS. Each one has one AP item. The one with lower level gymnastics might want 2, but better use them on mage. At level 12 you have 72% chance to get extra AP, at level 17 83%.

Your thoughs on Haste are correct when we are talking about non archer characters, then gymnastics are indeed nearly useless, since evasion bonus is wasted and extra ap only give minor advantages since chance for haste to give extra attack on turn 1 is only 33% (it's still useful on turn 2 onwards, where chance to proc raises to 55%). That's why AP items work so well on mages, with 2 you have 33% chance to get extra attack on turn 1 and 55% to get extra attack on all other turns. On average it's 8% overall increased dps on turn 1 and 27.5% increased dps after turn 1. (basically, 4.3 attacks on turn 1 compared to 4 and 2.55 attacks on following turns compared to 2. That's huge difference. With 1 AP item and gymnastics level 12 (if you go this route) it's a bit worse, resulting in 24% chance to get extra attack on turn 1 and 40% chance to get extra attack on following turns. Is it worth using Hardiness? Well, it depends on what you want and how often your mages get hit. This will also let you use bows more efficiently, and it's much better weapon for mages than melee weapons.

Basically, if all your mages use 1 AP item + Gymnastics instead of Hardiness, you have 56% (1-0.76^3) chance to get at least one extra spell at turn 1 and 15% chance to get at least 2, which may or may not be signigicant, I can't judge. And it's much more efficient after first round of the battle, giving you 78.4% chance to get at least one extra spell per turn, 35.2% chance to get at least 2 and 6.4% chance to get 3. So average number of spells per turn will be (12.72 compared to 12 at turn 1 and 7.2 compared to 6 spells during following turns on average). Since hardiness might be an overkill on mages (they already have resistance and armor is not that important stat since only AoE attacks are the most dangerous, which can't be physical). Overall that extra spell can help you to kill dangerous enemies before they can even act, so trade off might be worth it.

But again, with Sniper it's much much better, because as I explained before, extra attack is more or less guaranteed. It WILL give extra attack with Adrenaline Rush in play and without as long as you start with 15 AP. But since AP items are very rare it's better to spread them over your party and compensate the loss with gymnastics. It will result in slightly less chance for extra attack (70-80%), but everyone will have it. It's hard to judge who will benefit from it more, mages or archers, since archers have a pretty much guaranteed extra attack while mages have much more impactful attacks (cuz AoE).
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/9/2018 at 9:29 AM, Derael said:

Basically, with Sniper AND Haste, chance that one of the 2 procs in 2 attacks is 96+%, so It's pretty reliable (fail is comparable to miss chance). In the worst case scenario you will indeed fail to activate AR at first turn, but you will still be able to do it on 2nd turn or reload save and try again, because it's critical fail with very low chance at the very beginning of the battle, no real reason to not use reload.

 

14 Sniper.  Totally achievable, but (outside of fairly late game items) it requires at least 26 manually placed points (plus some very expensive training) to get there; 28 if you want to train Sharpshooter or Gymnastics past 10, which this build does.  You can get there as early as level 14, but if you do that, this character is definitely not doing anything else but shooting arrows -- and if you go the Gymnastics route, the arrows aren't going to be doing that much damage, either.  That said, fair point about reloading on that first turn if AR fails.

 

 

On 3/9/2018 at 9:29 AM, Derael said:

With 1 AP item and high enough gymnastics level you pretty much always get 1 extra AP, and if not, you just bear with it, and NOT get extra attack. Chance to fail is not 5% there, but still low (maybe 10 or 15% at most).

 

With 12 Gymnastics, chance of not getting any bonus AP in a round is actually 28.2%.  (And there's actually only 1 point of Gymnastics available from items or trainers that are easily accessible in the first half of the game.)

 

 

On 3/9/2018 at 9:29 AM, Derael said:

In my opinion Gymnastics + Sniper combo is totally comparable to Parry + Blademaster combo, since gymnastics adds chance to dodge which is always effective, except when fighting overlwhelmingly strong enemies, so it's not much worse than parry, and Sniper basically adds AT LEAST 25% extra damage on turn with AR and 33% on turns without AR. Well, to be precise, it's a bit less, since Haste by itself has a chance to proc, but this is much more reliable.

 

"This defensive bonus is always effective, except when fighting the strongest enemies."  So, um, it's effective all the time except when you need it most.  Great defensive strategy.

 

You also left out ice elemental attacks, which you can't dodge with Dex.

 

If you use the reload strategy you are suggesting, then Haste by itself has a 55% chance to proc successfully on an AR turn as described.  So with 14 Sniper and a 96% chance, you're actually only increasing the odds of getting that fifth action in by 41%.  So you're going from an average of 4.55 actions, to an average of 4.96 actions.

 

That's an increase of 9% damage, not "AT LEAST 25%".  I assume you say "at least" because you might be using fewer than all five of those actions to attack; while accurate, you always have the option to attack, so if you aren't attacking it's because you have something better to do, so that extra attack would be contributing less, not more, to the total impact of your turn, in that case.

 

Finally, if you use the reload strategy you are suggesting, then you could also just choose to reload the 45% of the time Haste doesn't proc, in which case Sniper truly does nothing.

 

 

On 3/9/2018 at 9:29 AM, Derael said:

Optimal in terms of resources strategy is as follows: Using 3 archers and 1 mage. 1 archer will be specialised as priest with high level priest skill for heals/buffs, 2 others full DPS. Each one has one AP item. The one with lower level gymnastics might want 2, but better use them on mage. At level 12 you have 72% chance to get extra AP, at level 17 83%.

 

Remember that it will take till level 14 to reach Sniper 14 -- when you aren't training Priest Spells.  If you're also training Priest Spells, it will take longer.  You're also giving this character Gymnastics, which means if you also want Sharpshooter for them, that too will take time.  Plus, I assume they will be pumping Dex rather than Int, so they can't just use Smite and such in place of attacks early on.  Basically, it will take a very long time before this character functions the way you want them to.  And they will likely be fragile, since you won't be able to pursue Hardiness or Resistance for them until very, very late, unless you abandon some of their offensive aspirations.

 

 

On 3/9/2018 at 9:29 AM, Derael said:

This will also let you use bows more efficiently, and it's much better weapon for mages than melee weapons.

 

This I don't understand at all.  Bows and melee weapons are both worseless for mages, as far as attacks go.  Unless you pump Dex, you won't hit things with a bow.  If you do, you'll be rather worse as a mage.  And you can equip both either way, for item bonuses.  ???

 

On 3/9/2018 at 9:29 AM, Derael said:

Basically, if all your mages use 1 AP item + Gymnastics instead of Hardiness, you have 56% (1-0.76^3) chance to get at least one extra spell at turn 1 and 15% chance to get at least 2, which may or may not be signigicant, I can't judge. And it's much more efficient after first round of the battle, giving you 78.4% chance to get at least one extra spell per turn, 35.2% chance to get at least 2 and 6.4% chance to get 3. So average number of spells per turn will be (12.72 compared to 12 at turn 1 and 7.2 compared to 6 spells during following turns on average). Since hardiness might be an overkill on mages (they already have resistance and armor is not that important stat since only AoE attacks are the most dangerous, which can't be physical). Overall that extra spell can help you to kill dangerous enemies before they can even act, so trade off might be worth it.

 

Your calculations seem to assume three magic users -- I'm not sure why -- but, OK, going with that, your three-PC Gymnastics strategy results in a 56% chance of a thirteenth spell on turn one.  It's not really a huge bonus at that point.  It's certainly not bad, but you're comparing it to 36% reduction against all forms of damage.  Which if you're running at least three mages, and playing on a higher difficulty level, is very useful.  Is it strictly necessary?  Probably not, but neither is that thirteenth spell.  The survivability is a lot more useful.  Three mages means you're not going to be able to keep anyone out of the fray consistently.

 

 

On 3/9/2018 at 9:29 AM, Derael said:

It's hard to judge who will benefit from it more, mages or archers, since archers have a pretty much guaranteed extra attack while mages have much more impactful attacks (cuz AoE).

 

Well, I'm glad at least that you admit AoEs are much more impactful than archer attacks.  Connect that statement to the Cloak spells, and there you go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, The Voices of My Education said:

 

14 Sniper.  Totally achievable, but (outside of fairly late game items) it requires at least 26 manually placed points (plus some very expensive training) to get there; 28 if you want to train Sharpshooter or Gymnastics past 10, which this build does.  You can get there as early as level 14, but if you do that, this character is definitely not doing anything else but shooting arrows -- and if you go the Gymnastics route, the arrows aren't going to be doing that much damage, either.  That said, fair point about reloading on that first turn if AR fails.

 

 

 

With 12 Gymnastics, chance of not getting any bonus AP in a round is actually 28.2%.  (And there's actually only 1 point of Gymnastics available from items or trainers that are easily accessible in the first half of the game.)

 

 

 

"This defensive bonus is always effective, except when fighting the strongest enemies."  So, um, it's effective all the time except when you need it most.  Great defensive strategy.

 

You also left out ice elemental attacks, which you can't dodge.

 

If you use the reload strategy you are suggesting, then Haste by itself has a 55% chance to proc successfully on an AR turn as described.  So with 14 Sniper and a 96% chance, you're actually only increasing the odds of getting that fifth action in by 41%.  So you're going from an average of 4.55 actions, to an average of 4.96 actions.

 

That's an increase of 9% damage, not "AT LEAST 25%".  I assume you say "at least" because you might be using fewer than all five of those actions to attack; while accurate, you always have the option to attack, so if you aren't attacking it's because you have something better to do, so that extra attack would be contributing less, not more, to the total impact of your turn, in that case.

 

Finally, if you use the reload strategy you are suggesting, then you could also just choose to reload the 45% of the time Haste doesn't proc, in which case Sniper truly does nothing.

 

 

 

Remember that it will take till level 14 to reach Sniper 14 -- when you aren't training Priest Spells.  If you're also training Priest Spells, it will take longer.  You're also giving this character Gymnastics, which means if you also want Sharpshooter for them, that too will take time.  Plus, I assume they will be pumping Dex rather than Int, so they can't just use Smite and such in place of attacks early on.  Basically, it will take a very long time before this character functions the way you want them to.  And they will likely be fragile, since you won't be able to pursue Hardiness or Resistance for them until very, very late, unless you abandon some of their offensive aspirations.

 

 

 

This I don't understand at all.  Bows and melee weapons are both worseless for mages, as far as attacks go.  Unless you pump Dex, you won't hit things with a bow.  If you do, you'll be rather worse as a mage.  And you can equip both either way, for item bonuses.  ???

 

 

Your calculations seem to assume three magic users -- I'm not sure why -- but, OK, going with that, your three-PC Gymnastics strategy results in a 56% chance of a thirteenth spell on turn one.  It's not really a huge bonus at that point.  It's certainly not bad, but you're comparing it to 36% reduction against all forms of damage.  Which if you're running at least three mages, and playing on a higher difficulty level, is very useful.  Is it strictly necessary?  Probably not, but neither is that thirteenth spell.  The survivability is a lot more useful.  Three mages means you're not going to be able to keep anyone out of the fray consistently.

 

 

 

Well, I'm glad at least that you admit AoEs are much more impactful than archer attacks.  Connect that statement to the Cloak spells, and there you go.

 

Well, first of all, reload strategy is much easier to implement when you have 95% chance of success than when you have 55% chance, because you will rarely ever need to reload. Without Sniper you will have to reload ~50% of the time, and even more if you want extra attack for everyone. Well, the average damage increase is indeed only 9% or so, but it's much more consistent. So if you are not using reload strategy without Sniper, you get almost guaranteed extra action. So you will always get 5 actions while without Sniper only 33% of the times (because as you've said, using anything but AR on turn 2 is very risky). You don't want to reload every time haste doesn't proc on one of your characters, since it will be tedious and time consuming, and in no way optimal. And well, even if it does proc, you can only utilise it if you have 15 AP or more, so you either use 2 AP items or gymnastics. For anyone with more than 9 and less than 15 AP haste is useless (you never get extra actions). Since AP items are limited the best way is to combine 1AP item with gymnastics, it will let you achieve 15 AP with good probability on every character. You need gymnastics on 3 characters to achieve it. And on one of them you can get gymnastics level 17 in late game. Yes, others will only have 72% chance to get 15 AP, but it's still quite consistent and you will get more extra actions per team than if you use only AP items and skip gymnastics. And with Sniper having 15 action points basically means almost guaranteed extra attack.

 

TL;DR: With BF active haste is useless on anyone without AP items/gymnastics. It has 33% chance to be used on turn 1 with 2 extra AP from items/gymnastics (still unreliable). It has 95% chance to be used with Sniper.

 

So if you compare sniper + gymnastics to someone without Sniper or gymnastics, you get 1 extra attack with AR (on average). Since you never get extra attacks without them with 2 AP items it's only 33% chance. Good on mages, not worth on anyone else. But you can only equip 5 extra AP items for your party. So only 2 mages can utilise 33% extra attack chance. While with 3 archers and mage everyone can utilise it, and for archers it's close to 70% instead of 33% (taking into account that 1 AP from gymnastics is not guaranteed). If we compare 2 parties, we get 2.4 extra attacks on turn one compared to party not utilising this strategy. Or 1.8 compared to party where mages wear AP items. The downside is, 1 arrow attack is significantly weaker than 1 spell if there are more than 1 enemy. But vs bosses it's almost as good and doesn't cost mana.

 

Yes, it is true that this character will only shoot arrows in the early part of the game, but shooting arrows is efficient enough at that stage. Even my mages are able to deal decent damage with arrows, and archers can be at least twice as effective. And obviously I was talking about late game team. For early game purposes you can upgrade more useful stuff first, and get sniper later, though I won't do it, level 10 sniper is good enough for early game, in particular because debuffs work much better there. The biggest problem is lack of tanks and AoE, but mage can actually tank decently well if it's going hardiness+resistance route (especially if it uses shield). (I was able to clear most of the Drath crypt on hard with warrior at level 11, without resistance and with 0 points in endurance). To be honest there is not much point in using warrior, since mage with parry will be more useful because it can use shield. So lack of tanks is not a problem. Lack of AoE is, but mostly in open world encounters. But then again, as long as your tank can endure for one turn, every encounter is trivial, because it can always be healed to full, while archers will quickly dispatch any threats.

 

Next, about gymnastics defensive part. I said not strong enemies, but overwhelmingly strong enemies, that's a huge difference. It's only true about enemies who are several levels higher than you, and you probably don't want to fight them if that's the case. As long as your chance to hit is more than 50%, your chance to dodge will be significantly higher than 5%, because full DEX build + gymnastics will give you enough evasion to cover enemy chance to hit. Against equally levelled enemies you will probably have 95% chance to dodge (with the exception of bosses), taking everything into account. Yes, ice damage will still hurt, that's why you ideally want either hardiness or resistance, but not both. I prefer resistance, since any attacks that are reduced by armor you CAN dodge, and resistance will give you some useful stuff. You need 38 points for archery and 26 points for resistance to max everything (lacking 1 point at 30). But you don't really need to max resistance on every character, level 10 + items will be enough to survive any hit later on, and then just heal to full. You can also drop a few points from sharpshooter, since it won't affect your dps by much as long as you are using cloak of bolts. So you actually need 60 points or less to be good. I'd also consider luck, since it improves chance to dodge, iirc. Overall the weakest skill is sharpshooter since it only slightly increases damage but won't bring any quality changes, so I'd prefer luck over maxed sharpshooter. Together with level 12 gymnastics it's extra 30% chance to dodge, which is totally not worse than parry (you can't party cold attacks either, can you?). Basically if you can survive one stray hit from anyone you don't need any more protection, since very few things will be able to hit you in the first place. Just don't fight vs too strong opponents before you can consistently hit them, since your hit chance will be close to your dodge chance.

 

You said that character won't function the way I won't them, but it is not true. Priest doesn't need INT for anything but AoE attack spells. Bow attack certainly does more damage than smite. It does almost as much on my full INT priest, so archer will probably do twice as much due to double dice from dex. And heal is only affected by priest spells level. So DEX priest is much better than INT priest early on, because it can heal just as well, but also dodge often and deal more damage. You just level him up as normal priest but go for Sniper instead of hardiness and DEX instead of INT. You lose some defense but get more damage, evasion and sometimes even extra attacks. I'd skip sharpshooter on priest archer, or at least level it up last, because cloak of bolts will cover damage problems, extra attack is more useful than a bit more damage, since there is no flat damage resistance in this game. Priest build will be: 16 Priest Spells, 6+2 spellcraft, 8+2 resistance, 8+2 bows, 10+2 gymnastics, 10+2 sniper, 5 luck. Any extra points will go to sharpshooter. Early game is just priest spells + bows for heal and max damage.

 

Secondary attack archer will be: 28 sniper tree, 22 resistance tree, 5 luck and team skills+sharpshooter depending on what you need.

 

Main attack archer will go full offense with 28 sniper tree, 10 lethality, 10 sharpshooter, 5 luck, and extra points in team skills + extra bow levels. This one will simply attack most of the time and will equip the best archer gear and has to be heavily protected. His single target output should be relatively high with very high crit chance, 50% chance to debuff on hit with level 16 sniper and level 17 gymnastics. He WILL be very fragile, and will play pure DPS role. I can't tell how good it will be in reality, it will depend on debuff that sniper can apply, but it certainly won't be weak.

 

Regarding comparison of hardiness Vs gymnastics for classic setups (fighter + 3 mages), it's really hard to judge which is better. It certainly isn't that great on turn one (only barely 1 extra spell in addition to 12), but it's very impactful on following turns (more than 1 extra spell compared to normal 6). So as long as you don't die on turn one, your advantage will snowball, resulting in more dead enemies with every spent turn, and less threats. Even one extra spell at turn one can help to finish some enemies with low hp, so your tank will be able to block the rest. While resistance alone should be enough to protect your mages. Sure, resistance + hardiness is safer, but not necessarily quicker. With careful positioning you shouldn't be hit with devastating AoE attacks multiple times to wipe out your mages. And they certainly can withstand one AoE attack with resistance and good gear. And yeah, I should mention that I played on hard, not on torment, where you gave -30% all resistance penalty. On torment Hardiness is much more important indeed, because you risk being oneshotted even with maxed resistance, if you don't pump CON a bit (but well, you probably should, if you play torment).

 

Finally, about usefulness of bows, I use them very often Vs low tier enemies of the same level. It helps to conserve a lot of mana and damage is almost as good as level 3 fire blast. And I have 0 DEX and 0 bows at that. Hit rate was around 50% up to level 12. But certainly not vs bosses. Bows help to save most of my mana for them, so I don't have to run several times to town when clearing dungeon. And I use only bows in open world encounters because hp is irrelevant there since it will regenerate on world map. So I just kill stronger enemies with my melee fighter and weaker enemies with my bow team. 3 attacks usually finish anyone. So yeah, bows are not completely useless while melee weapons certainly are useless, and put you in danger. So gymnastics vs hardiness is a decent tradeoff on any team, but it's even better looking on archer squad. They can compensate lack of AoE with some precise crippling strikes.

 

I won't argue that this setup is better than mage setup, since it probably is not, as long as mages are overpowered and their only real weakness is need to replenish mana reguralry. But you can just make a team consisting of only mages and/or priests, and it will probably be the best team, since mages are tankier than melee fighters (due to shields), have higher accuracy and resistances, do more damage and can buff. They can even get swordmage and wear heavy armor if they want (without having DW penalty). Warriors are just weaker version of mages. While archers ARE different, they have unique advantages mages don't have (debuff on hit, evasion, extra attacks, no sp cost). So archer + mage party is an alternative way of playing, probably better than 3 melee + mage party and obviously worse (but not overwhelmingly worse) than full mage party.

 

I can only say that conventional party of warrior/mage/priest/archer is as bad as it can get, anything else will work better, due to cloak mechanics. Archers specialise on single target ranged damage, mages on AoE and warriors even more on single target damage, but less versatile than archers. Archer/mage can do 3 attacks without moving while melee fighter often needs to waste ap to get into position. So even though dual wielding deals more than double damage of bows, the latter can compensate with much higher attack rate and precision (attacking only important targets first). Priest with bows can heal just as well as normal priest but also use extra actions to deal really good damage from afar and dodge most attacks. And it can use summons to distract enemies since they don't care about INT either. 

 

The biggest question I have about this party is how good actually sniper on hit effects are. If you can get something really good that will affect the boss, it's simply priceless, since chance is quite high and you have a lot of attacks to do it. But if it's on the level of cloak of curses or worse, the concept is less interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree on a lot of small points.  I don't think there is much point in my rehashing what I said in previous posts.  It does seem to me that you want to have your cake and eat it too, on some of these points of interpretation.  But I don't think it's worth going into.

 

That said, I definitely agree with you that an all-mage party is probably optimal, that an archery-oriented party could be fun, and that either one is definitely better than the conventional party.

 

About Sniper's status effects, it has seemed pretty similar to Cloak of Curses the times I've tried it out.  Which is indeed why I have never bothered to include it in analyses of Sniper's effects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11.03.2018 at 6:46 AM, The Voices of My Education said:

I disagree on a lot of small points.  I don't think there is much point in my rehashing what I said in previous posts.  It does seem to me that you want to have your cake and eat it too, on some of these points of interpretation.  But I don't think it's worth going into.

 

That said, I definitely agree with you that an all-mage party is probably optimal, that an archery-oriented party could be fun, and that either one is definitely better than the conventional party.

 

About Sniper's status effects, it has seemed pretty similar to Cloak of Curses the times I've tried it out.  Which is indeed why I have never bothered to include it in analyses of Sniper's effects.


Well, I can see why you wouldn't like gymnastics or sniper, but calling them useless or bad is unjustified on my opinion. Naturally it's very hard to compare single target and AoE damage, because it heavily depends on environment. If you are fighting several equally dangerous foes, AoE is much better, because you can wipe them all at the same time. If you are fighting boss and a few minions, single target damage might be better, because you can either qucikly kill the minions and focus on boss or just ignore the minions and kill the boss. Unless you can wipe most enemies with spells before they do anything impactful, single target damage will still be better, because it can wipe most dangerous foes first. That's why I don't think archers will perform significantly worse than mages. In late game mages certainly are devastatingly strong, because damage modifiers for spells are simply too high compared to weapons. And energy is not a big problem because in worst case scenario you can return to town after every battle. But as long as archers CAN win battles, they will be more efficient, since amount of returns to town will be significantly reduced.

As for gymnastics, it's efficiency is low for non DEX characters without AP items, because you only utilise half of the effect (AP), ignoring evasion, and you only very rarely get extra action. But for DEX users with Sniper and 1 AP item it becomes more efficient due to synergy. It all adds up together, effectively giving 1 extra action with very high probability. The cost is significant (20 talent points), but you also get 20% evasion chance (which is better than 20% parry) and 30% chance to apply debuffs (which is essentially a freee cloak of curses, even though less useful than damage cloaks, still helpful nevertheless).

So if you are looking at the strongest party and don't care about constant returns to town, the optimal way is using 4 mages. But if you want the best party utilising archers, 1 mage and 3 archers with gymnastics and sniper is a way to go. They will be more than capable of finishing the game and winning every encounter and might even spend less time doing this because they will spend much less mana on the way. Losing in raw power they will have advantage in versatility. Another important factor is, they will need signigicantly less gold to get everything they need, so extra can be spent on training every useful skill to max level/buying wisdom crystals/etc. Finally, it may be more fun to play, because 4 mages party is a bit too overpowered even on torment, I doubt there will be any tough encounters as long as you have corresponding AoE spells.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ST archery doesn't actually do more damage than AoE magic in A:EFTP (or A2:CS), unless you are fighting extremely weak enemies, because enemy armor increases more and faster than enemy resistance does, as enemies increase in level.

 

"It may be more fun to play, because your party is too powerful even on Torment"

Um.  See thread title.  This whole conversation presupposes that we are min-maxing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, The Voices of My Education said:

ST archery doesn't actually do more damage than AoE magic in A:EFTP (or A2:CS), unless you are fighting extremely weak enemies, because enemy armor increases more and faster than enemy resistance does, as enemies increase in level.

 

"It may be more fun to play, because your party is too powerful even on Torment"

Um.  See thread title.  This whole conversation presupposes that we are min-maxing.

 

Well, it's legit point about damage, but bows also have higher bass damage and shot more attacks. But I can see how magic will deal more damage nevertheless.

 

As for min-maxing, you can min-max different classes, melee, mage or archer. I think everyone will agree that full mage party is the strongest, but warrior is still included into recommend setup for some reason.

 

You can min-max archer party just as well, and it will be a good one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which damage spells are considered elemental for the purposes of Elemental Focus? And is this consistent across A1-A3 remakes? Also, does it increase just the damage, or other effects of the damaging spell?

 

I think of elemental spells as air (lightning), water (cold), fire, and earth (physical). Whether the damage of a physical spell (like Move Mountains) is considered magical at all I think is beside the point: it's a spell and it certainly seems elemental. Lightning Spray is considered Force Energy damage, which is the same type as Smite and Arcane Blast. Does that mean those spells also benefit? Lastly, what about acid spells, like Spray Acid and Pool of Corruption? idk if I'd consider those to be elemental damage, but in fantasy, acid is sometimes associated with the earth.

 

Am I overthinking this? Does this trait just increase damage — and only damage — from all spells? lol

Edited by Nobear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are mostly overthinking this.  Look at your PC's info display.  You'll see eight resistances listed.

 

Magic, Fire, Cold, Poison, and Acid count as Elemental.

Armor (aka physical damage) does not.

Mental and Curse are used for status effects.

 

There is no such thing as an earth element in these games, and I'm not sure where you are getting "Force damage" from -- the games do sometimes call magic-element damage "energy damage" though.

 

Basically, when dealing with game mechanics, for any game, you should trust what is explicitly stated onscreen over random, overarching interpretations of elements and other things that don't actually stem from the game in any way :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I meant Energy damage. I was confusing it with Force damage from Dungeons and Dragons lol. They are both used to describe that pure magic-element damage. But Avernum is a bit confusing in that it doesn't have Lightning damage, and instead also calls the damage from Lightning Spray "Energy."

 

So is Energy damage in Avernum considered elemental, regardless of the theme of the spell? And is the physical damage from Move Mountains not considered to be from an elemental spell, making it the one damage spell not affected by the Elemental Focus trait?

 

What's stated onscreen, in this case, doesn't answer these nuances for me. It isn't even clear that the trait doesn't increase a qualifying spell's non-damage effects as well, such as knock back distance or burning damage/duration. I think it probably doesn't, simply because that would have been easier for Jeff to implement, but I'm not sure.

Edited by Nobear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I guess "elemental damage" is not the clearest term to use, that's fair.  But no, it does not affect Move Mountains, because of the definitions I listed above.

 

The tooltip for that trait though very clearly says "elemental damage".  Even if "elemental" isn't the clearest word, "damage" certainly is.  I'm not saying Spiderweb tooltips are never wrong ;) but in this case there's really nothing to suggest a boost to buffs or debuffs, is there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×