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I took down the statistics of all the classes, and I have basic guesses at HP, Essence, and SP math.

 

I think it is well established the magic and shaping complement each other; and magic and combat complement each other; but it combat and shaping skills do not have the same synergy. This would leave us with essentially the same Servile/Infiltrator/Lifecrafter continuum we had in G4, but instead we now have the Sorceress.

 

Compared to an Agent/Infiltrator, the Sorceress gets more HP, more SP, and more essence, and slightly more Int. The only loss is in combat skills. So unless you are going for a combat Agent, the Sorceress is just better.

 

Compared to a Shaper/Lifecrafter, the Sorceress gets more HP, more SP, and slightly less essence. There are minor differences in magic and shaping skills. Since most Shaper builds involve buying more skill points in the Magic category than the Shaping category anyway, and the essence loss can be remedied with a small investment in Int, the Sorceress will get more out of her skill points and therefore is just better.

 

The Servile vs combat oriented Infiltrator question is exactly the same as it was before. The Servile gets more HP while the Infiltrator gets more essence. Differences in skill points used are negligible.

 

So basically, I see three major categories of optimized builds:

 

1) Combat Oriented Singleton (Servile or Agent/Inf)

 

2) Magic Oriented Singleton (Sorceress)

 

3) Shaping Oriented (Sorceress)

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Actually, melee isn't quite as dead as previous games, because of aura nerfing and the abundance of items that boost magic, like a certain something that gives you +3 to all of your magic skills. If you buy 2 levels of training in each of your magic skills, then the +3 from the item, and then get boosts from other items, you can achieve 9 to 10 in mental magic with no points invested, same for blessing magic.

 

This means the Shock Trooper, with her high energy, really becomes a force to be reckoned with. Armed with a baton, a sword, and keeping things like the Captain's Shiv handy, she can clean house, shape, cast important spells, AND melee. All bases covered.

 

Turtle mage servile who can shape from items and the magic heavy shock trooper who can cast from items are probably the best way to dominate the game.

 

The sorceress has a few neat tricks, I might go into those later.

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DV neglects to mention the certain item variation that's +5 to battle, mental, and blessing magic with trainer for 2 levels, you can get to cast all spells with minimum investment.

 

I ran a tormented melee guardian that started relying heavily on spells for the last part of the game. He did half the damage of a dedicated agent, but he still had a sword to fall back on for major damage. But in the early part of the game he could kill almost everything by just shoving a sharp object into his target until dead.

 

Magic isn't that necessary early in the game since healing magic and items can allow you to attack and heal. Some people might miss daze, but with enough health and armor you can compensate against a swarm.

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A Shock Trooper can get high parry skills... a Sorceress can not.

 

A Shock Trooper can layeth the smacketh down with a sword. Like the freakishly overpowered Oozing Blade. A Sorceress can not.

 

A Shock Trooper can match the Servile quite well for turtle mage status. It is possible to build a nearly invulnerable toon that will shrug off almost everything, negating the need for a full compliment of auras, haste, etc, all those things that are no longer possible.

 

A Shock Trooper can have a half a dozen high powered creations, cast high level magic with abandon, AND go and stick something with a sword should the situation demand it. Let's face it. Some times, you have to go chunk something. I've found moments where fire, ice, and magical damage didn't do a whole lot of good, and physical damage was the best way to take care of business.

 

A Shock Trooper can get insanely high hit points, wear heavy armor, have high quick action, high parry, can cast defensive buffs, and because of this, stand in the thick of combat with no concern for her own safety and be just fine.

 

She is grossly overpowered for the same reason that Serviles and those with weak shaping skills were overpowered in G4. There are to many items that boost magic to acceptable levels now, leaving a class of character with no real weakness. In G4, a Servile or an Infiltrator could summon any creation in the game with no points added to shaping, and have brutishly powerful creatures. Shaping was diminished as a valuable skill. You could just turtle down and outlast the enemy.

 

Now, the prestige of magic is diminished. You can get all the levels of magic you need entirely through items. You can also shape through items. So you are free to pump combat. The Shock Trooper, as you well know, gets freakishly high levels of energy, in G4, this was mostly useless. Now, this makes her dangerous. Exceptionally so. She can turtle down and not run out of juice for quite some time. She can rain fire down like few others, endure incoming assaults, and not run out of juice like a Servile does in mid battle.

 

If you don't believe me, try it your self. Start off the game with melee and creations, get items to boost magic, and toward the endgame, when magic is needed most, you will have it.

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Parry is pretty nerfed in this game. My guardian had parry 20 with items at the end and it was almost useless. In the early part of the game it did help with parry at 10 to avoid some pretty damaging melee attackers.

 

Everything else you say is true. A fighting class can easily survive a swarm of attackers in ways that most spellcasting classes cannot.

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The Sorceress is Fragile. That is fragile with a capital F. She needs battle creation shields but chews up essence at a prodigious rate so you can't have too many. She just can't dish out enough before running out of essence in the early to mid game. And her weak combat skills mean that if an enemy attacks her instead of her shield she takes it rather poorly.

 

When she gets to the endgame she is practically invincible, Mass Madness is sweet - but the mid-game can be quite dicey.

 

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One word, armor, all it takes is strength of about 12 and some can come from items like the forbidden band. Whatever class you run, as long as you armor up like a tank you can take plenty of damage because all that matters is penetration damage which can drop significantly.

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I was just about to add that. Strength is a core skill for all characters I think - just to wear enough armour. But that mitigates the extent to which a Sorceress can be 'optimised' - I believe that a combat spell-caster will be better than a shaping spell-caster for that reason.

 

That is part of the reason for my view that the Sorceress if fragile in the early and mid-game. If you invest in strength early you aren't really playing to the strengths of the character, but if you don't she is fragile. (And there are better rings to wear if you are a spell-caster than strength boosters.)

 

 

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I went with the forbidden band because it adds +1 to strength, dexterity, intelligence, and endurance. Usually I use the jade band for it's poison and acid resistance or the impervious band for pure armor and stun resistance.

 

Playing to the sorceress' strengths is to run as an agent with a few creations to provide extra fire power. Through out the game you need to add to intelligence to build up that essence pool and you never seem to have enough. Don't bother to add to shaping skills since items will give you some bonuses for the time you actually make creations.

 

A shaping spell-caster's advantage is multiple attacks per round from all those creations. Daze the attacking swarm and then concentrate fire power on one target at a time. You usually can kill one in one or two rounds.

 

I've run mostly agents and guardians in GF5 and going one versus a swarm is hard on torment. There is safety in numbers.

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Apparently I liked the Ring of Eye's Purity: +6% armour, +3 Battle magic and 3% energy preservation.

 

Sorcerer's don't lack for damage dealing ability - but damage taking was forever the problem. Battle creations helped soak it up and I felt they were ultimately more useful than creations with any sort of fire power. (Until the War Traal when it all comes together.)

 

And it all becomes worth it when you walk solo into a big camp, cast Mass Madness and then sit back and watch mayhem ensue. The larger the swarm the better. A charmed Drakon is pure gold. But just watching 20 or more creations fighting among themselves is pretty funny.

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Parry at 2% per point is much weaker than it's ever been. So I fail to see how combat ability makes you more survivable in any way. Certainly it doesn't make your creations more survivable, which is more useful -- isn't it? -- for somebody who's shaping.

 

We need to remember that all the classes are ALMOST EXACTLY IDENTICAL. There are only 2 differences:

 

1) Skill point costs. Unless you are buying 20 levels of a given skill category, the difference between a "strong" and "average" class for a given category is not significant. Mainly this makes the "weak" categories prohibitive to invest in since even getting to 10 purchased points will cost 30 skill points extra.

 

2) HP, SP, and Essence. The differences here appear to max out at about 1/3 difference. This is probably most potentially relevant with Essence.

 

Melee weapons, battle magic, and creations all seem to be pretty acceptable methods of attack, so no class should be lacking in offense. Since Parry is so bad, this makes combat skills... not much of a consideration. I'm assuming QA is also at craptasmal A5 levels and not the acceptable G4 level.

 

On the converse, items can now replace shaping and magic skill in the late game.

 

Looking at it this way, here is a concave representation of the classes:

 

Shock Trooper - high HP, high SP, poor magic until late

Guardian - high HP, low essence, low SP, poor magic until late

 

Servile - high HP, low essence, low SP, poor shaping until late

Agent - poor shaping until late

 

Shaper - high essence, low HP

Sorceress - high essence

 

(Note: I am not sure about the Guardian's essence. He starts with 43 while the Warrior starts with 13. I am assuming this is a bug/typo in the flat bonus essence, in which case it is not relevant late game.)

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  • 3 years later...
Originally Posted By: House of S
(Note: I am not sure about the Guardian's essence. He starts with 43 while the Warrior starts with 13. I am assuming this is a bug/typo in the flat bonus essence, in which case it is not relevant late game.)

Hmmm... maybe because the rebels only knew some major bits of shaping while the Shapers were the origins of shaping... might be true or not
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Yes, but thats the point, isn't it; they use the shortcut. The shapers on the other hand, have undergone years of hard training to gain those abilities.

Surely that should count for something. See how the rebels can make only 'charged' creations with a short lifespan.

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Originally Posted By: MMXPERT
-Currently bumping worthwhile threads.

Dear God, why? There's no upcoming purge, and old threads like these are either already linked to in the Strategy Central or are full of outdated information that will only confuse people.

Dikiyoba.
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