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New player presents: Yet another shadow warrior build thread! pls help lol


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So I am very familliar with rpgs, tending to prefer to make warriors/spellswords/tanks. However with my knowledge has me questioning a lot of my choices, as I know effects of spells/items/abilities/etc might not work out the way they are written. For example an effect of +50% crit chance (let's say base crit chance is 2%) could mean your crit chance is 52% or 3%.

For my first character I wanted to make a character that was dam focused while being somewhat tanky. Current states are as follows:

level 12

attributes (current total without survivor bonus followed by how many points I invested)

strength 65 (invested 9 points)

stamina 56 (invested 2 points)

dexterity 44 (invested 0 points)

vitality 59 (invested 1 point)

intelligence 46 (invested 0 points)

willpower 54 (invested 0 points)

Skills:

Sword Weapons 9

Armor Lore 7

Divine devotion 5 (god is Testa)

Enhanced Perception 4

Damage lore 1

Sorry the following is going to be a bit long, I do have a section at the bottom that lists what I think I'm going to go with, with all the information I have.

I am most conflicted when it comes to which skills to pick from the limited pool of 10 but also the order. As of now the skills I am looking to pick from are death warrior focus, concentration, malevolent champion, dual wield, tactics lore, toughness, constitution, spell resistance, combat discipline. My goal with this build was to charge in dual wielding and be able to deal heavy dam even with just regular strikes. For that end I thought sword weapons, dam lore, tactics lore and dual wield would be the ticket. but if I went that route I would only have 3 more to choose from, there's also the rather large problem that nothing on dual wield will stack with sword weapon. The only purpose it would have would be to let me dual wield. I guess that leaves more points to put elsewhere so I could make up for that by pumping up sword weapons, tactics lore and/or dam lore more. However when it comes to tactics lore it looks like I would need to have a rather hefty investment to get a decent crit hit chance and a crit hit is only 20% more dam. Though I am very conflicted abaout this as the wiki I was getting info one was inaccurate about tactics lore, though maybe it was the CM patch that changed it. Either way I thought I would need to invest 75 points to get just 9% crit chance, which didn't really seem worth but it looks like it increases in increments of 0.4 instead of 0.2 and starts at 0.9.

With the 3 left over I feel like I don't have enough to cover my bases. Only having armor lore feels like not enough so what do I do? Pick toughness but leave my hp lacking or pick constitution in hopes the HP incrase will cover where my defense is lacking. The wiki I consulted was also wrong about constitution as well, in game hp raises in 15 point increments and hp regen in 3ish % increments, on the wiki it was 70 and 0.2ish% respectively. After that is set and done my combat arts have nothing put into them. So the 2nd one would have to at least be death warrior focus. what about after that, do I put my last into malevolent champion or do I go all in with death warrior and supplement it with combat discipline or concentration. Concentration is good but if I don't have another focus then the other combat arts aren't going to get much stronger at all. 

Sorry I'm just very indecisive and sometimes over worry about fraking up a class. With everything I wrote I was thinking the final choice would be:
sword weapons, armor lore, divine devotion, enhanced perception, damage lore, tactics lore, death warrior focus, malevolent champion, concentration/spell resistance, toughness

 

any thoughts or advice? I am also thinking of maybe cutting tactics lore out but that's a blow to the kind of damage output I wanted.

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My early thoughts on this? You want a tank, go for dual buffs in Grim Resilience and Reflective Emanation. Those are pretty much indispensable if you're going to tank, so pick them up, early 1 pointer Concentration for being able to use both of them, and for the time being just work on keeping you CA regen times low enough to bash with Demonic Blow/Scything Sweep/Frenzied Rampage in-between normal attacks. You can read one rune into Belligerent Vault and you have your "onwards into battle, drop in the middle of the mobs" mobility CA. In alternative you could use Ruinous Onslaught, but that CA is a bit tricky to use, and BV does allow you to travel through higher/lower terrain. Read as many runes as you'd like, below max CA level, in the temporary buffs of both trees, Rousing Command and Augmentation Guidon, and pump yourself up to battle. If you then want to drop some serious damage, and melee damage is very dependant on attack speed, I'd recommend you picking up the Dual Wield skill since it unlocks higher level weapons and provides attack speed. It won't unlock weapon lore specifics, but it's a reasonable way to save some skills for other stuff. With that being said, you want a tank, go Armor Lore+Toughness+Constitution (this one is a primary mastery), drop your first 50 attribute points in Vitality, and from then on spread them evenly between VIT and Strength, since GR already boosts Willpower for magical resists. As a newcomer to this game I'd just ignore General Skills for the time being (the green ones) as they can eat up important skill slots.

Oh, and bear in mind that in this game you want low CA regen times, which means, you need at least the relevant Focus skills for the trees you're using. Ideally you'd also want the Lore skills, but you're in luck here since the SW has Tactics Lore as a combined Lore skill for both the trees I've been talking about. So you get modification points on both trees when you put points in TL. You also get more "flat" damage and higher crit% chance, so that one's indispensable as well. As for the order in which you choose them, there's this rule of thumb where you should be able to put points in the relevant skills at every level, and since secondary skills demand 5 points in the primary skills, you do need to map it up a bit before you start playing. Otherwise you risk having unspent skill points at certain levels. Ideally you'd choose TL/DW/AL/CONC/one Focus perhaps between your first few skills, because you go 2, 3, 5, 8, 12, and then it's 18, 25, 35, 50, 65. So you should plan what skills are more important for the lower levels where you have a faster progression in levelling up, whereas some others will be left for last because they only shine at higher levels.

For instance:

  • 2 - TL (char level)
  • 3 - AL (char level, or 5 pointer early on)
  • 5 - DW (char level)
  • 8 - Focus skill (either DWF or MCF, the one you're using the most skills or the one of your primary buff to lower regen times, 1 point)
  • 12 - CONC (dual buff, 1 point)
  • 18 - second Focus skill (for lowering regen time on the second buff, 1 point)
  • 25 - :)
  • 35 - CONS (char level)
  • 50 - THOUGH (1 point)
  • 65 - :)

And you still have room in there for a weapon lore skill if you want, Combat Discipline if you value combos, or any general skill that you can master as your 4th or 5th if you really want to. Or Damage/Speed Lore, though those to me are more valuable if mastered than if left with few points, and they're very specific in their scope (DL for instance is to allow high DOT builds). You have three/four primary masteries in the making with that setup, that is three+one near mastery, or two+one and a few more points on Focus skills for CA modifications, etc. I mean, there's a lot of room for experimentation with that setup. Oh, and avoid triple aspect toons for now as they're very hard to balance, even with a SW that has a dual-lore skill. You just get very short on skills and points, so avoid that for now.

Have fun!

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Posted (edited)

For tankiness, you want Concentration a 100%. Grim Resilience + Reflective Emanation is an insane amount of defense. And at Concentration Mastery, you can add Nether Allegiance, which is arguably the best defensive buff the SW has, because the summons are great at soaking up some very dangerous attacks.

Armor Lore, Constitution and Toughness are the bread and butter of tanky characters. They are all extremely synergistic with each other and the best Defensive Skills in General. Add Spell Resistance on top of that to counter DoTs and you're all set. I'd put the most import on mastering Armor Lore first. Unlocking the all channel damage mitigation on chest and shoulder armor is simply godly, especially combined with Toughness. Most of the time, efficient HP is much better than just raw high HP. And as long as potions are safely keeping you topped off, you don't really need the regen from Constitution Mastery that fast (especially if you mod Grim Resilience for regen).

My recommendation would be:

2 - Tactics Lore

3 - Dual Wield / Weapon Skill

5 - Armor Lore

8 - Death Warrior Focus

12 - Concentration

18 - Constitution

25 - Malevolent Champion Focus

35 - free slot or Shield Lore if you did not take Dual Wield

50 - Toughness

65 - Spell Resistance/Combat Discipline

If you want EP no matter what, make 35 Riding or Blacksmith, 50 EP and 65 Toughness. Among the first mastered skills should be Armor Lore, Tactics Lore.

 

As for attributes, Strength and Dexterity have unfortunately been nerfed to the point of uselessness with the release of Ice & Blood. Willpower is usually only worth putting points into on Shield characters (TG and seraphim) and Int on spellcasters. Which leaves Vit and Stam for a SW. You can put points into Strength, but the chances are, you could get more value out of Vit or Stam. Stam is especially useful on characters the rely on buffs a lot, because it lowers the regen penalty of buffs too. The only bonus on gear that does that is the rare orange "Regeneration penalty from buffs -X%" mod, which does not show up often. Otherwise, you are purely reliant on the relevant Focus skill to bring the penalty down.

 

Some clarifications to the things you said:

1) Crit chance in this game is additive. All sources of it are simply added together. I think the base chance is 5%, so a 20% from Tactics Lore will land you at 25%. Spells get their crit chance bonus from Intelligence (50 Int = 1% crit chance).

2) Taking Dual Wield AND a weapon lore is usually a waste of a skill. You are wasting the attack speed and attack rating bonuses and the only thing you get is unlocking the item modifiers that require a specific weapon mastery. And most of the unique weapons don't have such requirements.

3) The Constitution HP per point (and Vitality too) depends on the character level. The higher your character level, the higher the HP gain. A single vitality point usually gives 1/3 of the HP as a single Constitution point. The 70 HP per level per Constitution point is only at level 200. Before that, it's proportionally lower but don't worry, it retroactively increases too. Making Constitution the only skill in the game, that does not have diminishing returns. On the other hand, the HP regen portion of Constitution starts high, but diminishes every level.

That being said, as a Shadow Warrior, a major source of HP for you is the Grim Resilience buff. It is cheap to maintain and provides massive amounts of HP, Willpower and potentially HP regen.

4) Divine Devotion is one of the worst skills you can take, unless you are role-playing. I assume you took it just to unlock Enhanced Perception, but you would have been much better of with Blacksmith (if you don't already have one) or Riding, which you will find much more use for throughout general play. And to be honest, on a Shadow Warrior, I recommend avoiding General Skills completely.

5) Speed Lore is probably the worst skill in the game. The Attack/Defense increases are lacking and the movement speed increase is laughable.

6 hours ago, Androdion said:

Oh, and avoid triple aspect toons for now as they're very hard to balance, even with a SW that has a dual-lore skill. You just get very short on skills and points, so avoid that for now.

Have fun!

That being said, my triple aspect ranged Shadow Warrior is the most fun character I've played in the game. Actively using 13 out of the 15 CAs feels very nice. But yes, you usually have to skip out on other skills, especially the defensive ones (only have 2 in my build), so does not suit the needs of the OP.

Edited by idbeholdME
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Good point on picking up Stamina, especially if you're not mastering Concentration right away. I'm a bit biased since on melee toons I always drop my first 50 points in Vitality, as 1-50 is usually where you falter the most against elites and bosses, after that and with two points per level you can do things a bit differently. I still keep VIT at one point per level up until 75/100 depending on the toon I'm using and its sustain. So in a scenario where CONC is a one pointer then VIT->1 point/level up to 50 (or 25+25) and then VIT->1 point/STA->1 point per level up to 75/100 should be a good choice of attributes. For a melee SW placing points in INT or WIL seems like a waste to be honest. I'd only put points in INT if I were playing a pure Astral Lord caster.

Aye, Speed Lore isn't great in most cases, though in some specific cases it can be very helpful. I remember playing a melee HE where I'd use both a weapon skill and SL to be able to pump up the attack and defense values, which are really hard to raise on a HE (which isn't really suited to be played like a regular melee, but can be). I actually made that build "semi-melee" as I was playing it with magic staff+shield. Oh my, good times!

Just a small note regarding the Spell Resistance skill on a SW with a huge WIL bonus from Grim Resilience, it will "only" prevent you from getting crits from spells. The amount of WIL the buff gives you is preposterous, so you're well covered. As for a triple aspect SW, it's cool to have all three auras, but in terms of offence with 10 skills to choose... it gets very close to being unfocused. I once did a triple aspect Inquisitor and it was nuts, but, and this is the important part, it only ever worked because I had a network of shoppers coughing up +All Skills jewellery at every 15 levels. Without the sheer amount of points from that everything would fall apart. That and the dual swords with %LL, also fed from the shoppers. :ninja:

I mean, you can make anything work in this game once you have +20 All Skills at level 50-60, +45 at mastery level, and so on. Without that (I.e. IRL) you need to be careful in your point investment and your equipment and its bonuses. Sometimes worse equipment with better bonuses is actually more impactful than a great piece of gear that offers little sinergy other than a single great bonus. But I digress... It must be the late hour. :D

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Androdion said:

Just a small note regarding the Spell Resistance skill on a SW with a huge WIL bonus from Grim Resilience, it will "only" prevent you from getting crits from spells. The amount of WIL the buff gives you is preposterous, so you're well covered.

Pre-Mastery Spell Resistance is in general quite a lacking skill. Mastered however, it's one of the most powerful skills in the game, because it also reduces the duration of DoTs and any negative effects drastically, including stuff like spider spit or many of the deadly boss DoTs (stuff that generally can't be blocked/reflected or reduced by armor). By 65% the moment you hit Mastery and even further beyond that with more points. One of the most underappreciated skills in the game I'd say.

1 hour ago, Androdion said:

As for a triple aspect SW, it's cool to have all three auras, but in terms of offence with 10 skills to choose... it gets very close to being unfocused. I once did a triple aspect Inquisitor and it was nuts, but, and this is the important part, it only ever worked because I had a network of shoppers coughing up +All Skills jewellery at every 15 levels. Without the sheer amount of points from that everything would fall apart. That and the dual swords with %LL, also fed from the shoppers. :ninja:

I mean, you can make anything work in this game once you have +20 All Skills at level 50-60, +45 at mastery level, and so on. Without that (I.e. IRL) you need to be careful in your point investment and your equipment and its bonuses.

I started completely fresh when I began playing with the PFP and the triple aspect SW was my first character after several years of not playing. So no shoppers at all, I just made do with whatever items and + all skills jewelry I managed to find along the way and it turned out great. For offense, 2 skills are usually enough (Tactics + Weapon Lore). But the build is very reliant on skill Masteries. For that reason, I only entered Niob at about level 120. Currently sitting at level 171, gonna have every single CA fully modded by 175 (just missing the Gold mod for Rallied Souls). Just for reference, this is the build:

Spoiler

Astral Lord Focus

Tactics Lore

Armor Lore

Concentration

Constitution

Astral Lord Lore

Ranged Weapons

Death Warrior Focus

Combat Discipline

Malevolent Champion Focus

 

Master everything except Ranged Weapons (I put only 20 points in there). Then 49 points into Tactics Lore to get the last 2 mod points for Death Warrior and Malevolent Champion. Then 49 points into Astral Lord Lore to get the last 2 mods in Astral Lord. Once that is done, any surplus points into Armor Lore to increase damage mitigation on chest and shoulders and to further reduce regen penalty.

Attributes only into VIT/STA. About a 30/70 split.

 

Combos are:

1 - Frenzied Rampage, Demonic Blow, Spectral Hand

2 - Scything Sweep

3 - Skeletal Fortification, Rallied Souls

4 - Rousing Command, Killing Spree, Augmenting Guidon

5 - the non-combo slot is for Belligerent Vault for mobility and to escape Roots.

 

Only 2 Defensive Skills, but being ranged, it is actually quite sufficient. Combined with Grim Resilience + Reflective Emanation and the Nether Allegiance summons to soak damage, it's very hard to even get near dying since you can always maintain range from anything. Once the third buff came online (Reflective Emanation), the build pretty much stopped having issues.

 

Edited by idbeholdME
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Cool build you've got there. At first I thought you were playing the old Astral Lord type until you had the rest online, but you really went all in with the triple aspect. Very nice!

I guess that it really depends on how much one devotes to specialisation in this game. Do you want to have three skills mastered at 75 and then go from there, or do you have a slower progression with the points being more spread apart?! It really depends on how you want to play, and it can be played more slowly indeed. I'm usually more on the first camp, specialise and jump difficulties as fast as you can to get better loot. I don't think I've ever played it the other way to be honest, ha ha.

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Triple aspect Shadow Warriors are fun. Had a Captain America build which ran to enemies invisible and then did his unarmed shield bashes.  Was building up the third buff level 75-90.

My daughter did it the other way around: started as an Astral lord and giving up skeletons for melee at 75-90.

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On 5/15/2022 at 10:49 AM, MagicalHorseman said:

So I am very familliar with rpgs, tending to prefer to make warriors/spellswords/tanks. However with my knowledge has me questioning a lot of my choices, as I know effects of spells/items/abilities/etc might not work out the way they are written. For example an effect of +50% crit chance (let's say base crit chance is 2%) could mean your crit chance is 52% or 3%.

For my first character I wanted to make a character that was dam focused while being somewhat tanky. Current states are as follows:

level 12

attributes (current total without survivor bonus followed by how many points I invested)

strength 65 (invested 9 points)

stamina 56 (invested 2 points)

dexterity 44 (invested 0 points)

vitality 59 (invested 1 point)

intelligence 46 (invested 0 points)

willpower 54 (invested 0 points)

Skills:

Sword Weapons 9

Armor Lore 7

Divine devotion 5 (god is Testa)

Enhanced Perception 4

Damage lore 1

Sorry the following is going to be a bit long, I do have a section at the bottom that lists what I think I'm going to go with, with all the information I have.

I am most conflicted when it comes to which skills to pick from the limited pool of 10 but also the order. As of now the skills I am looking to pick from are death warrior focus, concentration, malevolent champion, dual wield, tactics lore, toughness, constitution, spell resistance, combat discipline. My goal with this build was to charge in dual wielding and be able to deal heavy dam even with just regular strikes. For that end I thought sword weapons, dam lore, tactics lore and dual wield would be the ticket. but if I went that route I would only have 3 more to choose from, there's also the rather large problem that nothing on dual wield will stack with sword weapon. The only purpose it would have would be to let me dual wield. I guess that leaves more points to put elsewhere so I could make up for that by pumping up sword weapons, tactics lore and/or dam lore more. However when it comes to tactics lore it looks like I would need to have a rather hefty investment to get a decent crit hit chance and a crit hit is only 20% more dam. Though I am very conflicted abaout this as the wiki I was getting info one was inaccurate about tactics lore, though maybe it was the CM patch that changed it. Either way I thought I would need to invest 75 points to get just 9% crit chance, which didn't really seem worth but it looks like it increases in increments of 0.4 instead of 0.2 and starts at 0.9.

With the 3 left over I feel like I don't have enough to cover my bases. Only having armor lore feels like not enough so what do I do? Pick toughness but leave my hp lacking or pick constitution in hopes the HP incrase will cover where my defense is lacking. The wiki I consulted was also wrong about constitution as well, in game hp raises in 15 point increments and hp regen in 3ish % increments, on the wiki it was 70 and 0.2ish% respectively. After that is set and done my combat arts have nothing put into them. So the 2nd one would have to at least be death warrior focus. what about after that, do I put my last into malevolent champion or do I go all in with death warrior and supplement it with combat discipline or concentration. Concentration is good but if I don't have another focus then the other combat arts aren't going to get much stronger at all. 

Sorry I'm just very indecisive and sometimes over worry about fraking up a class. With everything I wrote I was thinking the final choice would be:
sword weapons, armor lore, divine devotion, enhanced perception, damage lore, tactics lore, death warrior focus, malevolent champion, concentration/spell resistance, toughness

 

any thoughts or advice? I am also thinking of maybe cutting tactics lore out but that's a blow to the kind of damage output I wanted.

And a hearty welcome to the forums Richard !

im captivated by your nic ‘ Magical horseman’ Is it from famous book story… It seems like I know it from somewhere 😄

Delighted that you have discovered our  little sacred  community here and this wonderful game!

🥳

gogo

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