Discussion in 'Dungeons of Dredmor General' started by Lorrelian, Apr 14, 2012.
I'm just now reading this thread, but... I can't not point out how wonderful this pun is.
It's some of my best work. I'm glad you like it.
I've been pulling together the RotDG PDF and I see that we've been getting fewer comments per skill lately. Is there less to say about the expansion skills? Are people loosing interest? Am I just gabbing on all the talking points? Is it because Essence is on vacation? Just trying to work it out...
Type: Rogue (Really? What a surprise...)
Role: Fuel Tank or Turbocharger or, when used symbiotically, an Engine
Being a scientist of a roguely variety mainly provides you with some really nice resists and halfway decent abilities and a smattering of crafting skill. But most of those abilities are based on crafting power, so you'll want one or two other crafting skills to go with to take full advantage.
Theme: Where There's Savvy, There's a Way
Manage your crafting supplies and abilities wisely and you'll soon find you have a gizmo for just about every situation. Just make sure they don't backfire on you and don't get trigger happy.
A ton of powerful active abilities and the ability to scavenge ooze from "Other" enemies, which will really make Alchemical crafting easier. On top of that, a point of resist in two fairly common damage types and some blasting resist, in case your AA isn't enough to deal with the spells and traps your run across. Clockwork Reflexes, the Rebreather and the Vortex Blast are all very powerful and give the skill a lot of legs even if you're just a normal roguely character looking for a little extra firepower. You get enough alchemy skill to make HP/MP potions at full efficiency. If you go full symbiotic you can rely on the toxin canister for additional crowd control.
Fully symbiosis requires three other crafting skills (Wandcrafting, Alchemy and Tinkering). CK helps the tinkering skills some, too. With over half your slots spoken for, a full Rogue Scientist run is a big commitment, and the inventory management is a real headache. You may feel like you don't need a lot of the consumables that make those crafting skills good with all your active abilities, too.
Obviously, the symbiosis skills (again, Wandcrafting, Alchemy, Tinkering and to an extent, Clockwork Knight) go well with Rogue Scientist. So does Perception, with its wealth of lucky finds. Some abilities scale to Savvy as well as a crafting skill, so you might think about taking Magic Training for extra kick.
Rogue Scientist is probably best for the hardcore crafter, giving you a use for all that MP and active abilities that will feel powerful and fun even if you can't take too many of those pesky, you know, ability focused skills. But if you flinch from inventory management or just dislike crafting, you may want to look at something else. The actives aren't that great without it, easily overshadowed by what's available from magic or some of the new weapon skills.
Aetheric death ray is the only direct damage spellcaster ability that does not scale with spellpower. This means that a rogue scientist can wear heavy armor at no penalty.
It's better to pick one or two craft skills for rogue scientist rather than trying to master all of them.
Also, the powerful cooldown abilities like Baromatic Vortex Upgrade and Toxin Canister are extremely powerful with the cooldown reset ability from the Magical Law capstone.
Wandcrafting is easily the weakest link in the crafting symbiosis here. All of the beneficial healing effects of wands can be duplicated by alchemy and potions stack easier. Offensively wands are more useful but if you're already toting absurd amounts of bolts, explosives, and/or poison flasks you'll hardly notice the absence. And the damage Aetheric Death Ray is pretty well pants'ed by Baromatic Vortex, which comes before it on the skill tree.
This isn't to say that Wandcrafting is useless of course. Anyone who's had an arsenal of wands lying around knows how useful they can be, especially now that the power of wands scales with wandcrafting. It should also be mentioned that while Baromatic Vortex does better damage and usually to more targets and it stuns.... (damn that skill is sexy), Death Ray doesn't have a cool down. So you can spam it as much as your booze will allow, which could be quite a lot if you've invested in extra Alchemy. Wandcrafting also has some really sweet encrusts now.
All that being said, my rogue scientist runs typically run without wandcrafting. Inventory management is nightmarish enough with two crafting skills and if you want wandcrafting, ranks are easily acquired in the later game with some choice equipment, freeing you to make more useful skill selections.
To Lorrelian: If I haven't post much lately in this thread it's because you've either covered the skill well enough to render my commentary redundant or I haven't played with the skill enough to provide any worthwhile feedback. The latter being the case with Warlockery. I still haven't touched it since Arcane Capacitor kept blowing up in my face no matter how many times I swung my weapon.
Oh well... Ask Nicholas to make some triggers work in some more places and you might just get wizard weapons craftable with wandcrafting.
I'm still reading it all, I just don't consider myself experienced enough to have much valid input.
I also usually don't run RS with Wand Crafting, though it's not because I don't like wands. Rather, I feel like aetheric death ray is terribly underpowered. I once ran a build with Magic training and as many other ways I could find to max my to make the death ray as strong as possible, and it disappointed me. Took 2-3 casts on most mobs to kill them at 20 per cast.
So I often just don't take the capstone RS skill any more, which means that I'm not getting the bonus , which means there's no synergy with Wand Crafting anymore either.
In a lot of ways I feel rogue scientist is a lot more important to alchemy than alchemy is to alchemy for the alchemical ooze drop. I mean really, it is the most important part of the tree. Being able to make plastic, salt, saltepetre, and Brimstone are huge.
Not only that but the most important potions (life and mana) require only level 2 to get 2 per combination, which is more than enough. The early game acid sprayer and the canister are amazing most of the early game as well.
With this, YHTNTEP is done! Hooray! There will be PDFs relating to the expansions some day. I think... Be ready for Daggers and Polearms in the near future. Like Friday, maybe.
Role: Turbocharger or Payload
Battle Geologist serves as either a boon to melee fighters or a series of backbreaking cooldown moves for... well, melee fighters.
Theme: The Earth Is Strength!
Bring the pain with a potent combination of AoE and battlefield control.
This skill makes you a tank. Plutonic Fist lets you one shot most of the first floor, assuming you're mostly warrior skills, and makes the second a lot easier. It also works well with pretty much any pet tree and can be used to debuff enemy counter attack and critical hit chances on later floors, when five damage is meaningless to high block builds (which you probably want to be anyway.) Stone Secret is a handful of handy resists, plus a potent on-block proc. Seismic Uppercut leaves people staggering. Basalt Skin is another heft defensive ability that will really help Stone Secret out. Petrification takes an enemy out of the fight and deals a little damage to them, too. Quake puts the whole screen in its place.
You need lots of block and melee power to make this tree really tick. While the tree provides a fair bit of both, and more can be had from other sources easily enough, those sources tend to fight against most rogue and mage skills, giving it poor synergy with other archetypes. The powerful Plutonic Fist also discourages counter or critical based combat.
Assassination and other crit boosting skills can help take some of the pain off Plutonic Fist. Master of Arms and Shield Bearer help your block based skills, while Smithing and Berserk Rage make Quake and Seismic Upper much better.
Battle Geology is for the warrior who wants some magely options without the headache of mana management and/or powerful defensive abilities that are a little more involved than what you get out of Master of Arms or Shield Bearer. But, like the stone you wield, you're likely to come out with a feeling of inexorable power instead of skill and finesse. And really, is that so bad?
Battle Geology is also currently the best warrior archetype Dredmor-killer skill. Seismic Uppercut stuns, silences, and shuts down block, Plutonic Fist cuts Dredmor's chance of deadly counterattacks, and (if you can get some decent radiant damage, or a ton of a single type of physical damage) Petrification gives you fifteen turns to whack him repeatedly in the face. It pretty much killed Dredmor for me the first time I beat him.
"Friday, maybe" turned out to be more true than I thought. Looks like Saturday, actually.
Role: Engine or Payload
A rarity among rogue skills, Daggers is a skill line that actually focuses on dealing out lots of damage. You can use it to boost your fighting strength immediately or wait until late game to grab the stances and Devouring Wound, but either way the skill has lots of value.
Theme: Death Waits For You With Big, Sharp, Pointy Daggers
Hit them hard and leave them staggering while you fade into the shadows.
For starters, it's a rogue skill with all the usual rogue stats, but it's a melee damage tree as well. That alone puts it on an even standing with Staves, which is the Melee Skill For Wizards. On top of that, it offers three very powerful activated abilities. Switcheroo is basically a free attack on early floors, until monsters start getting decent magic resist, and even then you'll have enough savvy to negate that from time to time. Blood Geyser Strike and Devouring Wound Technique both scale very aggressively to rogue stats, and Devouring Wound Technique is nice in that it scales to caddishness, which is shared with warriors. Both cause DoT effects, BGS causing bleeding in animals and Devouring Wound causing thaumite infestations in everyone. But what really makes the tree viable as an engine are the stances. While both will rob you of early melee power, the sneaking stance will make your Two Attacks One Dagger proc better and the other makes it almost impossible for monsters to land a clean hit on you later on.
You don't get much melee power from this tree, nor does it really help your defenses out much, unless you include the ability to simply sneak around most people. Also, piercing resistance is common, and that's what you typically get from daggers and all you get from the tree. While you'll soon be overwhelming piercing resistance all your melee power is likely to be soaked up by armor unless you find some clockwork powerlimbs or something. Daggers aren't exactly a common weapon type, either. In fact, they seem to be the least common weapon type in the game at the moment.
Assassination, Artful Dodger, Burglary, Archaeology and Piracy all give you stats that will help your activated attacks and procs on top of all the other cool things they do, and they're all rogue skills! Hooray! Master of Arms and Shield Bearer will make you tougher while not costing you important stats like nimbleness. Berserk Rage may not be a thematic fit but it does give caddishness and help overcome those pesky melee power deductions.
Rogues: They're not all about crossbows anymore. They might be really, really good with crossbows still, maybe even still better than they are in melee. But if you're tired of tinkering every run, or you just don't want the resource management that entails, or you just like the idea of slipping up to someone and sticking a thaumite coated dagger into his kidneys, this is the skill for you.
Why do people keep saying 2 dagger 1 attack help process? Last I check I still get 1 vampirism even when it does go off, so clearly that process wasn't checked twice.
Also, the biggest use of dagger isn't to actually use dagger. What it does is boost another weapon type's primary strength even further with it's stance, while providing useful triggers.
Axe + Sneaky Stance push critical to new height with just 2 skill points. Using it with dagger is nearly pointless since critical doesn't even boost exotic damage (including piercing) and no longer bypass defense/counter. So critical or sneaking in with dagger almost feels like a bad joke.
Sword/Unarmed + Blade Stance + Dual Wielding makes 100% counter possible. Now that critical no longer bypass counter this means perfect melee immunity.
If you really want to use dagger with the dagger skill, I suggest also picking polearm for Defense Stance (yes Polearm and Dagger stance can stack). The 50% knockback/stun give you breathing room to shoot arrows and lay traps. -10 power doesn't matter too much if you are dagger/crossbow/trap. If you also pick dual wield you can get 90+ counter later on, or just stick to sneaky and have a chance to knockback when things get too close.
Actually, TAOD (Two Attacks One Dagger) isn't a two hit skill like Nice Combo or Clockwork Threshing. It's a spell that has 30% chance of procing on melee attacks. The spell scales to sneakiness. So the sneakiness stance helps the proc is what I was saying.
And this is bad.
I actually disagree with the idea that the biggest use of the dagger skill tree isn't using daggers. Sure, you can use Daggers as a secondary melee support tree. Part of the point of the new weapon skills was to make more versatile and synergistic weapon skills than the original four. Essence mentioned elsewhere that stances stacking with other weapon skills is something they discussed a great deal during CotW alpha testing, and decided was more a feature than a bug.
But Daggers aren't at their best in that kind of hybridized swashbuckling build. Switcheroo requires a high stealth in order to ensure you're not seen and attacked by the monster after the switchup. TAOD scales to your sneakiness. BGS scales to your nimbleness. These things require rogue skills to be truly effective. Critical may not effect piercing damage but it does double melee power, something you can get lots of even using rogue skills, particularly if one of those rogue skills is Tinkering and another is Fungal Arts.
So sure, warriors can use Daggers with their other weapons, but the tree offers the most value to a rogue who wields a dagger for the tree's full stat benefits.
I thought in the most recent patch the made it so the Dagger and Polearm Stances no longer work unless you are using the appropriate weapon?
Quote from patch 1.1.2 Change Log: "FIXED: dagger and polearm bonuses now only apply when wielding a dagger or a polearm"
that's the passive skill bonuses, not the stances.
This idea is gold and I should feel bad for not thinking about it myself.
Something I though before was adding even one more skill, which basically do nothing or give really little buffs for the human form, but boosts your polimorphed stats and/or adds skills for the secondary form.
You do want to keep dagger if you prefer going the Crossbow/Trap laying Route. Sneaky Stance + Defense Stance, dagger for the sneak. You have your sneak to fire arrows and lay traps, and you get the knockback when the come too close for more arrows and traps. Even if you want to sneak in with a dagger, Defense Stance is a fail safe when the damage comes out short. This is good as it only takes 3 skill points before you can focus on your tinkering.
Damage wise, Axe + Sneaky is going to outdamage Dagger + Sneaky + A whole bunch of other processes. So say a build like this
Axe/Dagger/Dual wield/Piracy/Burglary/Tinker/Crossbow, you can play the same sneaky around/shooting game, and you actually have a good chance of OHKO at melee. When you get caught in a tight spot, just hit that Swashbuckling and Mists of the Corsair.
If you use blade stance for the Counter, you are not exactly playing as a rogue anymore so you might as well take counter all the way. When you hit true 100% it's as if nothing else matters anymore. You are melee immune, you stand surrounded in monster zoo with 2++ speed. Rather TAOD or BGS deals it's full damage just stop being a concern. Besides Sword will have a higher average damage output anyway, just because 2x50 raw damage Crits a lot harder.
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