Well, he can't outgun a ranged char - battery damage is low, and if he goes for a gun, he practically wastes the battery (although dedicated blow and battle extension alleviate that, he still needs to put points in ranged weapons way too often). The BFG Seraphim with a gun and shield can be a lot more useful, and she can put the ranged points elsewhere ...
He can't outdamage a melee char - because of the 1-weapon restriction and thus no dual wield...
To top this, he can't outdamage a caster char - Source warden and Lost fusion can never match the wicked spells of the Inquisitor and the High Elf...
However, there is something that easily catches the eye. The TG can use most of the useful utility skills without taking too much penalty to the desired build. One of the best utility skills setup is Bargaining + Enhanced Perception + Blacksmith. There are a few chars who can take 2 of those, and only one char that can take all 3 of them. Yes, you guessed it. That one char is the Temple Guardian.
Let's analyze. Bargaining + Blacksmith skills on one char are the best blessing the game can provide. This char will be both a shopper and a smith. This char will save you a lot of precious time. This char will do pretty much anything for you and will ensure the easy-going of all other chars. Well... there are only 2 chars that can use this skill setup: the Inquisitor and the Temple Guardian.
Let's go in-depth now. It's a simple matter of Inquisitor skills vs. Temple Guardian skills.
As an Inquisitor, you'll need severe damage reduction (because you can't use a shield which is a severe drawback in armor values that MUST be compensated) and you'll need to spec 1 or 2 of the CA trees. That should mean, for example - Dual wield, Tactics, Armor lore, Concentration, Constitution, Toughness, Spell Resistance/Gruesome Inquisition, Astute Lore, Astute Focus, 1 left. This leaves you very low on utility skill picks.
The TG however, should not worry about protection. The in-combat regenerating shield is a blessing. Before I continue the analysis, this article in wiki should provide much needed info. You should read it through carefully, if you want to try this build out. It will give you a lot of insight as to what to do or what to look for while using those utility skills (smithing and bargaining).
To continue. The TG on the other side can actually squeeze in quite a lot of free picks which can be put in many different areas: offensive, defensive, or utility. based on that, I can propose the following utility build:
level 2 -> Sword/Hafted Lore - pick whichever you wish. Keep it equal to your char level.
level 3 -> Tactics lore - more weapon damage and more critical hits. Keep it equal to your char level.
level 5* -> Devout Guardian Focus - to start modding the skills quickly and get yourself a powerful dedicated blow. Making in and outs with a TG while simply slapping a dedicated blow is a good way to deal with most bosses.
level 8 -> Concentration - get T-Shroud and Battle Aura buffs ASAP. Leave it at 1 point and let the + all skills gear do the rest. When you go over 75 with +all skills, you can add untouchable force for some 10% stun.
level 12 -> Blacksmith - utilize that straight away and start filling those sockets with useful runes/rings/amulets. Keep it at a decent level and let + all skills gear to handle the rest.
level 18 -> Bargaining - as soon as you have 5 points in smith, add this and make yourself a shopper gear. Add points every now and then and let + all skills gear do the rest.
level 25 -> Armor Lore - can't do without this one.
level 35 -> Constitution - try to have this at 75 by char level 75. HP regen in combat is crucial.
level 50 -> Warding Energy Lore - we can't go without this one if we want to have a build that can take a lot of damage and survive. You can keep it at 1 point for the time being and let + all skills gear do the rest.
level 65* -> Enhanced perception - our final utility skill. Adding points here combined with relics and +all skills gear will ensure better drops.
Well now There are 2 skills in this build that can be substituted for something else. These skills are Devout Focus and Enhanced Perception. Omitting 1 or 2 of them will allow for greater flexibility of this build. Options:
1 -> Drop the Combat arts. Add Toughness and Combat reflexes. Use your blacksmithing skill to improve your swords and batteries. An officers saber with 3 rings/amulets that add good damage +% or +all skills and chance for death blow is simply wicked. You can also opt for 3 runes that improve the damage and get a big boost to it. Your call
2 -> Substitute EP for toughness or combat reflexes, keep Devout, and give yourself some more survivability. You'll be sort of low on better magic find, but that's nothing that bargaining can't compensate.
3 -> Spec a tree. 2 picks is enough to spec Lost Fusion or Source Warden. There is no loss here, since Tactics lore will allow you to mod Devout guardian Combat Arts which include T-Shroud and Battle aura. It will just be a bit slower and will take longer, so prioritize
I, personally, like the third option, although it omits EP. It may give you an opportunity to add a third buff - untouchable force, which if you improve properly will provide some nice stunning, and of course, it also works on bosses.
Note that picking another option may for you to rearrange the build I proposed. Use your best judgment here.
T-Shroud - Power (more shield) -> Recharge (in-combat regen) -> Reflection (spells reflection)
Combat alert - Assault (attack bonus to weapons - we are protected well enough) -> Riposte (Melee reflection) -> Permanent (your second buff)
The rest is up to you. If you go for Devout, make sure you have as much damage as possible, since this is what this build lacks. If you spec a tree, make sure you mod for damage (fusion) or better Area of Effect damage (Warden).
To conclude - this build is based on utility and shields to compensate for the lack of additional defensive skills. You have in-combat T-shroud and HP regen. It may take a bit longer to kill, but hey, this is not an offensive build - and every player should have a smith and a shopper if he/she wants a good complement to his other chars. A TG may well provide both
Oh, and... did I miss telling you I love utility builds? I did? Sorry.
I LOVE UTILITY BUILDS!!
And... I like doing things the hard way
Edited by gogoblender, 15 February 2009 - 04:08 PM.