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belgarathmth

Triple aspect shadow warrior?

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belgarathmth    11

Hi, I've just returned for another glorious cycle of playing Sacred 2 and socializing with this wonderful Dark Matters crowd of friends.

 

I've just tonight stumbled onto a build idea for a triple aspect shadow warrior, inspired by my dragon mage toons, and I am interested in feedback.

 

This build presumes, as a very important factor, that you TURN OFF that annoying default feature that puts all your timers together. You will use SEPARATE timers for each aspect.

 

Here's the build, in no particular order:

 

Tactics Lore (basic no-brainer, for mods and damage. This and the two focuses will be mastered first.)

 

Concentration (one-point wonder, for two buffs and potential three buffs down the road)

 

Death Warrior Focus (basic no-brainer, for maxed-out Grim Resililence and spamming Scything Sweep/Demonic Blow. One of your first three masteries.)

 

Malevolent Champion Focus (basic no-brainer, for maxed-out Reflective Emanation and spamming Belligerent Vault/Frenzied Rampage. One of your first three masteries.)

 

Blacksmith (for opening Enhanced Perception, and for basic convenience on the road and saving money).

 

Enhanced Perception (basic no-brainer for good gear, left at one point through silver and gold, with resistance crystals to pump it to a significant bonus with only one hard point. Also opens experience and magic find bonuses on jewelry and other rare gear.)

 

Armor Lore (basic no-brainer, for reduced penalties and unlocking armor stats. Can be left at one hard point for a long time if you're in no hurry to leave silver and gold, and I'm not.)

 

Spell Resistance (can be left at one point until later levels of difficulty, but will become critical, eventually.)

 

Astral Lord Focus (to open up mods - you will be able to drop Skeletal Fortification against tough mobs and bosses, and save the rest for quite far down the road. Once Concentration is maxed and you can use a third buff, use Nether Allegiance for a lot of help in crowds and with bosses, or start building Shadow Veil, if you want the game-breaking deus ex machina of that.)

 

Astral Lord Lore (this is the last thing you will build. To make yourself finally, a god.)

 

The Shadow Warrior triple aspect is so powerful, you don't need a weapon mastery at all. Use any weapon or weapon/shield combo that suits your fancy at any given moment. That's part of the beauty of this build. I am finding so far that lightsabers almost overpower the silver level game because of the willpower boost from Grim Resilience, and I have access to all two-handers and shurikens with % life leech for bosses - I've built quite a collection of both lightsabers and %life leech items over the past couple of years.

 

Caveat - I've only just started it, so, it is completely untested in gold, platinum, and niobium.

Edited by belgarathmth

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claudius    80

I've never tried that though my 'general' used all three aspects but only used frenzied rampage as the only weapon combat art and only for rph.

 

The question is whether the two awesome buffs can make up for no constitution. The separate timers is key otherwise you are a 'master of none' without focusing points in one aspect. I feel you will be spread a little thin in any case. Another thing I notice is that you mention a lot of combat arts to use, but you don't have combat discipline so each combo will get only 2 combat arts. So you will either have to be mozart to use all the combos or just use them situationally. For example use demonic blow for champions, scything/frenzied for mobs, augment/skeletal for large mobs. I would suggest % lifeleach weapon for bosses. Using no weapon focus means the weapon combat arts are slower, which is only relevant to killspeed, you'll knock them down eventually. No weapon lore on the positive means you can use the best that drop and not be limited to a type. You will have to socket to protect versus melee and ranged. Spell is pretty good from buffs and spell resistance, excellent defence there. I would recommend to take evasion as the gold mod on Grim Resilience. And then invest in evade attacks gear/jewelry as a monolithic stat (inspectable) to guage your protection versus melee/ranged.

 

So I would look for....

%attack rate on gear is good

evasion gear is good (get enough)

-evasion gear to hit the opponent and % opponent cannot evade

(that gear will be a better 'lever' for 'to hit' than whets because you don't have the flat base raw attack from weapon lore. Also the deathwarrior to hit buff (or MC mod to killing spree) will not have the 'raw' attack from weapon lore...

 

Benefits

different timers so high CA level but you will need to spread around focus points for damage.. lucky thing tactics mods two of them

good spell defense

fun because a lot of variation in play not just hit button over and over

Blacksmith (utility)

 

Hindrances

need to socket attack speed

need to socket -evasion

need to socket your own evasion (if you go by my plan)

^^^ that eats up sockets you could put whets, anneals, +skills, and % xp...

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wolfie2kX    522

Welcome back...

 

1.) that annoying feature is called "Expert Touch" and yes, it IS bloody annoying!

 

2.) I kinda like where you're going with this - but I'm with Claudius on at least one point. Having NO weapon lore means you can't unlock the best features of your best gear. That said, it kind of makes EP a bit of a waste. Why go looking for good gear if you can't use it to it's full potential? It's a catch 22 kind of thing. It's the same reason why you unlocked Armor Lore. And yes, it makes killing the baddies a bit harder as not having a weapon lore makes things slower. The worst part of it - especially in the early going - you're using a weapons based CA like say, Demonic Blow, and you have a 2 - 3 second regen time AND have no RpH as it's still early in the game - and you swing and miss...

 

3.) Concentration - Feh.. I'm not a fan of the 1 point wonder system. Yes, it does help having 2 buffs sometimes. BUT... Many of the bits of armor you find for your SW have a high REGEN PENALTY which hurts when it comes time to spam something or other. And let's not forget that buffs nerf regen times as well. Running 2 buffs really puts the crimp on spamming as well. I prefer throwing some points into Concentration.

 

4.) Blacksmithing... Pity the choices available for the SW in this department. I'm not a big fan of this particular skill, but hey, it beats the other two options - namely Divine Devotion and Riding. And it does unlock EP which is almost mandatory for an SW as he can't bargain.

 

All in all, I'd probably go with ditching Spell Resistance and go with a weapon lore. Which one? Doesn't really matter - whichever one you're most comfortable with - hafted weapons would be a good choice - especially since those big ol' honkin' 2h battle axes are SW trademarks.

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Ysne58    236

I like to combine death blow and frenzied rampage in one combo with duel wield as my weapon lore.

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belgarathmth    11

Good advice and feedback, thanks.

 

One reason I don't want to go with a weapon lore, is that I can never make up my mind. As soon as I lock a toon into using one weapon, as sure as the world, something great in another weapon type will drop that I really want to use. That makes me keep restarting new toons, and I never stick with one past mid-gold level.

 

I like Enhanced Perception, because I love to collect armor sets and rare uniques. So, even though I will miss out on a lot of weapon affixes, I should have a lot to choose from. I think the most important affiix is %life leech, and that one comes unlocked without needing a weapon lore, or at least, I am having no trouble finding lots of %life leech weapons to choose from with good EP.

 

Blacksmithing is just necessary to get EP, so I probably won't ever put more than five points in it, but, I am finding that even the minimal skill in it is quite convenient, for not having to go back to a town to do quick socket switches when good new socketables drop, at least, for as long as I wear gear that is not far above my level.

 

I don't really have to have the Astral Focus and Astral Lore in the last two slots, so I could take Constitution and another defense or a weapon lore, but then, my chronic restartitis would likely flare up, since I'd start getting in the mood for some skeleton warriors, fortifications, and invisibility. Also, I don't find that Constitution is really as critical for a shadow warrior as for a caster or a ranged class; since his defense is so high, not much can scratch him - plus, he gets a huge hit point bonus from Grim Resilience anyway.

 

Also, I play soft core, so if I get in over my head and die a couple of times, it won't bother me too much. My personal limit of deaths before I start to consider my build a failed build is about five. If I die more than five times in a complete toon career, I usually delete the toon or make a pack mule out of it, and go back to the drawing board.

 

So far, I'm having a lot of fun with it. It's kind of nice to be so tough, and to kill stuff so easily, after playing with my squishy dragon mage for a few weeks. (Not to disrespect my dragon mage toons, which are fun, but they're undeniably squishy, and very dependent on buffs, so I have to live in fear of anything that can disrupt buffs.)

Edited by belgarathmth

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wolfie2kX    522

Well. I can sympathize. I've run into that "DAMN! I knew I should have gone with _____." thing. I think that's the game's way of testing your resolve to follow thorough with the choices you've made.

 

On the other hand, having say, Hafted Lore doesn't mean you can't use swords, or any other type of weapon - you just don't get the bonus for those features that are locked away and your chance to hit and speed will suffer.

 

Given you were planning on running without any weapons lore - does it really matter? But by picking ONE and sticking with it, you do, at least, get the bonus and speed boost for at least ONE type of weapon.

 

I don't see the Dragon Mage to be any squishier than any other class. I find him to be ineffectual when it comes to making those kills. My personal philosophy on this sort of thing - the faster you kill the baddies, the less damage you have to mitigate and the better chances you've got to survive.

 

So when I've got my DW Seraphim - Ancaria's answer to the Veg-O-Matic - and she slices and dices and makes julienne fries out of mobs, and compare it to a DW Dragon Mage, I get frustrated because it takes 2x or more work to get the same results.

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claudius    80

One thing to think of with weapon lore is the reduction in penalty to attack rate from a high level weapon. For example a nice high level weapon drops but it is too high level to avoid the penalty to attack rate.

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stonerton    0

That is the reason I like dual wield, it still gives you the ability to use higher level weapons w/o the pen but don't lock you into a specific type. I for 1 have trouble sticking with 1 type of weapon because, well ... there is always something better than what I have equiped dropping.

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Aegis    251

Shadow Veil does make constitution a moot point... but it does make for a boring game. I also recall Furian's shadow warrior not relying on constitution, nor uses anything astral lord, yet is apparently effective at HC play in Ice and Blood, and GR was what that build relied on for hp.

 

After all the builds I made, I still encounter something that makes me think 'damn I shoulda used such and such'. However, I also find having no weapon lore, even if just one point only, to be worse off as I've had problems killing things in a decent amount of speed and missing even big targets to be a problem. So I end up sucking it up and see it all through. It also helped me personally that duel wield mitigates some of my indecision.

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belgarathmth    11

@Leaden and @Aegis, on the PC version of Sacred 2, Dual Wield is a secondary skill for the SW. It would make me choose Sword Weapons, Hafted Weapons, or Pole Weapons, and put five points in it, before I could take Dual Wield.

 

That would be a nightmare to a sufferer from chronic restartitis like me. I would not only have to spend a skill slot on a weapon lore, I would have to spend another skill slot on Dual Wield. And, I love to collect and use shields - until I find a two-handed weapon with %life leech. I really like to be able to freely collect and use one-hander and shield, or two-handers, and energy weapons, or shurikens, or throwing bottles, or even knuckle weapons, and not feel like I am wasting (horrors!) - TWO skill slots!

 

I wonder if the disconnect between my point of view and yours has to do with the differences between PC vs. console?

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Aegis    251

You forget, there's also Tactics Lore. Put five points to unlock Dual Wield. Done.

Edited by Aegis

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wolfie2kX    522

Um.. You're forgetting something - something important... That'd be the fact that Tactics Lore also resides in the same list as the weapons lores and DW...

 

post-14586-0-93768400-1368752244_thumb.jpg

 

This is the skills list of a level 1 Shadow Warrior, freshly reanimated from his coffin. Since you're already taking Tactics. DW should be a viable option... Just put in 5 points to Tactics and DW should be available.

 

Keep in mind that while DW does give you the ability to use a pair of weapons and gives you the same boosts as a weapons lore, (Attack Value, Attack Speed and Max Item level), it doesn't unlock those nifty bonuses that the straight weapons lore does.

 

Another thing - DW doesn't help one bit with the really cool SW signature weapons - the 2H battle axes and hammers that only he can use.

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belgarathmth    11

LOL, oh, yeah. I guess I made that mistake because I already had Tactics Lore when I looked at the list again. But even so, if I took Dual Wield, I'd start wanting to use cool shields. And if I took Shield Lore, I'd start wanting to use a two-handed sword, hammer, axe, or pole.

 

So, I can see where Dual Wield would solve the problem for anyone who has zero interest in collecting and using shields. But that's still not me, so I still want to avoid specialty skills as much as possible.

 

Heck, I even agonize constantly, and occasionally restart toons, over Constitution vs. Toughness, or Combat Reflexes vs. Spell Resistance.

 

My Holy Grail is to find the perfect Generalist build for every class.

 

Is there a "Bard" build for the shadow warrior and other classes?

Edited by belgarathmth

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Aegis    251

Ya better stick to something soon or you will end up so many of us never getting past even silver for a long, long time. :)

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belgarathmth    11

LOL. Aw, that's okay for me, @Aegis. The fun for me is building the toon, collecting things, and exposing the map. I've never been on platinum level, because I almost always move on to something else during gold level. I still haven't got my master cartographer achievement either, and that is a goal of mine, if I ever can stick with a toon and keep my interest up long enough.

I have a really good level 78 shadow warrior in mid-gold level, but I made the mistake of mastering Speed Lore with him, because I like to move around really fast. ("What!? Only 10% bonus to run speed and 150 to attack and defense after all those points spent? I've been duped!) And, I had enough equipment to already have my run speed maxed out at 180%, so I totally wasted 75 skill points.

I've restarted so I can pick a better mastery and stay away from Speed Lore. Actually, I've got two new shadow warriors going now, because I wanted to play with Astral Warrior aspect, and I didn't feel like waiting for it on the first one.

Edited by belgarathmth

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Ysne58    236

Yeah, I seem to suffer from restartitis too. I've gotten part way through gold and explored maybe 40% of the map max because of that.

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Mystix123    59

Just for the sake of my own knowledge, while it's been mentioned:

 

...but I made the mistake of mastering Speed Lore with him, because I like to move around really fast. ("What!? Only 10% bonus to run speed and 150 to attack and defense after all those points spent? I've been duped!) And, I had enough equipment to already have my run speed maxed out at 180%, so I totally wasted 75 skill points.

 

Unless the mechanics have changed with Ice and Blood (and it very well could have), it should be +150% Attack/Defense (not a flat amount). It should also be applied after buffs and gear (maybe after other boosting CAs also...not sure as I didn't check for that).

On the other hand, if it has changed, perhaps this is why Speed Lore is used more often on the console than on PC. I always thought it was just the difference in control scheme make Speed Lore a little more tactically valuable on console (especially if you're using kiting tactics in multiplayer).

 

Also, did the Attack and Movement speed get boosted to 180% cap at some point on PC?

We're stuck with 150% cap on console.

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claudius    80

I think killing spree increases attack rate, no? Maybe for big mobs?

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Aegis    251

Don't know when unmodded, but modded with a speed boost for sure. I should look since I just built myself a new Shadow the Warrior.

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belgarathmth    11

Well, I'm glad I started that second shadow warrior toon with Astral Lore aspect, because I've decided I don't like it. So, I guess I won't be doing this "triple aspect" build after all.

 

My problem with it was that the skeleton warriors from Nether Allegience just kept getting in my way. Also, I didn't like it when they took my kills. And, I was noticing some jerkiness in my screen movement, as though my graphics card or processor was struggling to handle everything on screen. I have a high-end graphics card, but I also have maxed out graphics settings going, and adding four skellie warriors and two raised souls to have a small army on the screen with me just seemed to be too much for it.

 

As for Spectral Hand, since it has to roll to hit, that just seemed like Demonic Blow with range to me. If you have Demonic Blow, building Spectral Hand too seems to be a wasteful duplication. If I need range, I can just grab a ranged weapon.

 

I found the early version of Skeletal Fortification to be underwhelming. It was a nice damage bonus, but it was just as easy to kill enemies in melee myself. I know it gets stronger later, but again, the passivity of letting it kill things for me was not my cup of tea.

 

As for Shadow Veil with Dark Pact, I've already fallen into that trap before when I last played a few years ago, and I know to avoid it if I don't want to be bored to death. Walking around the game dropping Skeletal Fortifications that kill enemies while they just stand there staring is not as fun as one might think.

 

It looks to me like the Astral Lord aspect is designed for a player who likes being a summoner, and standing around mostly passively while magical creatures do most of the killing for him. I get the fun of that intellectually, but it's not really a play style that I find I enjoy.

 

So, I guess I will figure out something else to go in those last two slots for my build. I'm also considering dumping Spell Resistance in favor of Toughness. Do you guys find armor resistance with damage reduction, or evasion to be the more effective defense?

@Mystix123, I tried an experiment with my shadow warrior with the mastered Speed Lore. I stripped naked and unarmed, then put on a ring with +24 defense. My defense went from 695 to 751, a total increase of 56 points. Unboosted Speed Lore says "Attack and defense value +135". That looks like a flat value to me, but the bonus from the ring does appear to be boosted by 135%. So, you are right, and that makes Speed Lore more useful than I thought. The question then becomes, was it worth not taking something else? The attack and defense might be overkill, where another defensive skill could have better returns.

 

As for the speed bonus max, you are right again on that. It's maxed at 150%. That's a minus for Speed Lore as a mastery, because all you get for mastering it is about 10% run speed bonus. It might be worth considering as investing in up to the point of diminishing returns, and having good bonus synergy with +all skills, but I definitely think it was a mistake for me to spend 75 skill points on it.

Edited by belgarathmth

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Mystix123    59

I tend to use Speed Lore as a filler skill (when I've picked all of the other important skills, and still have a slot or two left over). If the choice is something akin to "Speed Lore vs. Toughness", then Speed Lore clearly loses.

However, I've found Speed Lore useful when it does get picked. Beyond the run speed boost (which probably works better on console, between the control scheme benefits and non-nerfed All Skills+ synergy), I've found the Attack Value bonus from Speed Lore extremely useful for keeping an extremely high accuracy. In exchange, I can use the sockets for other purposes (instead of accuracy boosting bonuses).

 

Also, remember that "overkill" in an earlier difficulty may become insufficient in a higher difficulty. For example: I noticed the gains of the Attack Value+ with the DW Seraphim that I've been posting the experience/second tests with. When she first entered Niob, her hit-rate dropped below 90%. However, when I pushed Speed Lore to Mastery, her hit-rate jumped above 95% (across multiple tests) and her kill speed increased drastically as a result. This particular character has little All Skills+, due to filling as many sockets as possible with Experience Per Kill+.

 

I'll leave the "Spell Resistance vs. Toughness" question for someone who has more experience with the PC version. On console, Spell Resistance is pretty much worthless.

Edited by Mystix123
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Aegis    251

The general consensus I get from PC players, particularly Ice and Blood, has been take both if you want to survive. Spell Resistance is needed for niobium and toughness is just an all around great skill to have. The other consensus I seem to get is toughness is preferable to combat reflexes as I see most willing to drop the latter and socket evasion items in favor of taking the skill itself.

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