Maximum damage party?

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babul
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Maximum damage party?

Postby babul » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:41 am

Hi, I've been playing DSII for a while, and I'm wondering what party should look like when I take max damage for priority.

I've been playing standard parties (one character of each class), solo (ranger - maxed level on BW, combat mage), or some other settings, like 3 mages...

Now I'm playing combat mage focused on death magic (corrosive eruption), Sartan tank, Taar as Summoner and healer and Lap Dragon. My healing is nice, so I could even tank for a bit with mage but as I have Sartan, there's no need (funny thing - he's only 26 level while rest is 35 and still he can take all monsters in III act with no problem).

Getting to the point - what's the best combo in your experience? I've been thinking - maybe pure melee team with nature mage to make buffs? Or maybe pure mage team? 3 summoners 1 death mage? I just keep playing all over again because I think I've got better idea all the time...

I'm only sure about 2 characters - death mage (corrosive eruption) and nature with summon (aether blast + grasping vines + wrath of magic + earthen embrace on summon), and maybe Lap Dragon? (Power recharge better than replacing it with any character?)

And another thing - is there some chart or information on how much monsters get stronger when adding another party member? It's better to have small party, or full with 6 members (in terms of damage - that is shredding faster through monsters)? Can solo be faster than party (with good character)?

Sorry about the mess, I hope some of you will anwer my questions ;)

P.S.
I don't play BW, so new classes are out of question.

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babul
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Postby babul » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:26 pm

In this post I will post my thoughts (let the first one be the question):

It seems that melee party is working pretty well - 2 dual wielders, 1 two hander and Taar as summoner - her summon does about 100 damage per swing but it has slow attack (fighters are doing about 50-120 non crit). Nevertheless, it's very promising and from what I recall, gameplay with mages was slower. I just put mirror mode all the time and kill almost everything in less than 3 seconds.

Same setup, little bit later (Vai Kesh) and it's very strong - I had some trouble at Mimics, have been dying, but always won 'legit way' - that is without wall-passing spells, Vai Kesh Mimic went down without any trouble - spirit embrace (1 pt) and some healing (I have like 4 points in healing talent) + one invulnerability was enough. I think about replacing Sartan (2h) with Eva later on, we'll see..

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Postby ventrumarcus » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:27 am

Hi, everyone! Nice to see people talking about "forgotten" great game. At first i didn't notice how good it was. I mean it's skills, few buids for every class type, aggro (first invented?), cross class. Graphics and animation are still a pleasure.

Closer to the topic. I managed to land a single blow of 80000+ dmg on some elite mob in act2. I think it's not a limit. Combo is: decay armor +warcry+brutal strike. Curse mastery skill was 19(1+18 by gear anyway), i believe it is 37% and warcry lvl3. That was my dual wield Eva with slight bonuses to 2 handed weapon, not a 2 handed fighter. Right now i am playing a new fighter 62lvl and his standard blows deal up to 2900(crit) Can be made higher, id that's your intention. The thing is if it's not a crit - then it's a 400-600 dmg only. That is why i think of warcry as a powerful solo power. 100% crit for next 20(i forgot) strikes. It means you don't need to go in crit strike beyond required points for warcry. What else? An additional crit dmg mastery (10 points or more if you have some free points) and wrath buff from nature magic. It is better to pump it up while other party members are fighting when playing some of the late stages on mercenary. I believe solo starts on elite or late veteran. Warcry on a mobs and it takes a short time to recover (normal recovery) and brutal strike or two. May be even faster if you switch to brutal strike after warcry as it has fast recovery as you know. I don't know if it's a feature or or bug as it changes some ballance for slow or long recharge powers. The drawback of warcry is that there is a countdown of critical strikes. Yeah, if you don't attack or run to your target your amount of crits is reduced by 1 for every second. I have like 12 points in attack speed, which gives me 20 with gear. Perhaps to much, but i was thinking of dps and that was ok for me with low gear. Another thought: 5 points in curse mastery + 38 combat magic gives you a 27% armor reduction, and that is much better for fighter than 19 mastery points with 37% armor reduction. Yes it works fine. No need to come closer to a fighter mobs - they will come themselves as they feel something bad with their armor). And here comes warcry. Whirlwind strike sometimes is better, but more damage means more exp and faster power recovery. Then whirlwind may be used. Again, i am talking about solo or 2 chars maximum party size.

As for ranger, i was disappointed with shockwave. I pushed my ranger far enough to be almost as good as my fighter (not taking into account fighters running all around between targets and repositioning aka "i dont wanna strike your back") but crit doesn't work for the shockwave. It it described as 50% or projectile damage. You get 1000 strike and still 120 shockwave, not 500((

Summon blast dmg is less than stated, perhaps of the mob's armor. And summoned creatures are annoying. They are often lost behind. So you have to unsummon and summon a new one, which hurts most nature mages' mana pool badly. And then scorpion (or whatever) comes to a closest mob (not into the thickest fighting) and you blast 1 or 2 enemies.... The late game shows how soft the summons are. Dying easily. On the other hand, combat magick summon is more useful with defensive blast. And the worst is that you have to develop the summon damage skill in order to get a higher blast power lvl. Not the summon life, which is important for a blast dmg, as we know. So i think it's not worth of the points spent.

Corrosive eruption does a great job. It is a late game ultimate. The only drawback is that the caster must be a combat mage as the percentage of target life into dmg grows up with combat magic skill. There are few buids for a combat mage. I tried some drown curse dot + orb power + any other you want, like chain lightning to hit in all directions. Does extremely well with throng of mobs. I even don't cast offensive spells, just the curse itself))
There is a non linear damage increase for combo infect + scythe. It becomes more powerful than drown+lightning aoe blast.
But i prefer fire with ignite and dehydrate. It works with most targets and ignite dmg is higher than arcing. Arcing activates as soon as a lightning spell hits a target. So 1 target - 1 arcing, so on. Ignite goes well with embers or firespray on a groups of mobs. Did you noticed that 30% chance to ignite\arc is actually 100%? At some point it becomes 100%. My every attack sends them ablaze. But changing some gear (less than 20 points in ignite) restores it back to "normal". Or perhaps it's my game issue.

And the last funny thing is the an ancestor's wrath + punishing fire combo. The description says it returns only physical dmg (surely for a punishing fire). But, my last experiment ended up in a fun. Talos (or how's that wretched beast's name) destroyed himself just by fireballing me in a short time. And in almost no time when fireballing all the party) That splash dmg and burning over time is reflected as well. The more damage it deals - the better is the punishment) So i gather all my party (3 at that time) tight and arranging some inventory mess, while fight goes on. It is faster if characters don't have last passive ability from nature. Magic absorb or how it's called... And resistances. But the second one will be a pain definitely.

Now i have to be sorry about some mess, Babul) If somebody cares)

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Postby babul » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:57 pm

Hi.

Thanks for your input!
I thought about some ideas you posted, like punishing fire. Yes, I think it would do the trick. As far as it goes to Talon, I don't think that punishing fire is returning spell damage (it could be ancestor's wrath damage alone), maybe his damage is just too much for this buff. Gotta check on normal casting mobs. When I have time, for now I put on hold playing DS II, but it's a great game and I'm sure I will get back to it not once... ;)

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Postby scythesong » Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:59 pm

Making a max damage party is a bit tricky since you have to balance single damage potential and AoE. Like Arcane Orb does a lot more damage than even Aether Blast on powerful creatures and bosses.

One of my favorite builds (and one of the strongest I've tested) is the Magus-summoner. Basically you focus only on the first two rows of Combat and Nature Magic. I think this build has to fit into a max damage party somewhere because he just stands apart from most of my other builds. This Magus-summoner is a caster who:
-can safely use and spam curses because of the protection offered by Nature Magic skills (which allows you to draw aggro and gather your foes around your summoned minion - this is great since it allows you to maximize Aether Blast's potential)
-can cast powerful spells like Grasping Vine and Encase very quickly because of Combat Magic skills - basically this guy goes for quantity over quality and the advantage is that spells like Grasping Vine do physical damage so resistance and random numbers isn't an issue.
-can cast powerful curses, because he only really needs Arcane Orb and Aether Blast. That leaves you a lot of skill points to dump just about everywhere else you want.
-can cast both Invulnerability and Corrosive Eruption (level 1, but helpful in a pinch and very useful if you use the Power Recharge Chant)
-has Arcane Orb - one of the strongest single-target powers
-has Aether Blast - one of the strongest AoE powers
-high damage summons due to a combination of Nature and Combat Magic spells.
-due to your high Nature and Combat Magic skills you can also use items (like books) which grant bonuses (I use +3 or better ones) to Debilitation, Summon Might, Summon Bond...
-good magic resistance, very good power damage thanks to Combat Nature skills, very fast power regeneration thanks to Nature Magic skills
-very good damage on basic offense spells, since both Combat and Nature Magic increase *Intelligence*. This is important.

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Postby ventrumarcus » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:30 am

Scythesong, Are you sure about Grasping Vine? I was thinking it's non-elemental magic. Orb is fine. I cast it, but then again there is a room for other powers with fast recharge. I think Eruption is a way more powerful than Blast on elite. Not to mention the number of enemies affected. Once first dies they all start to explode. AoE? Yes!
Power recharge chant is broken in my DS2. No effect at all except i get no power recharge progress while this chant is active. The same goes for fighter\ranger. Could only imagine that crazy brutal strike spam)
Personally i rely on my curse\ignite dots rather than on summons. Didn't work out well for me since summons are like 2-3shot all tier 3\4 except maybe Rhinock surviving a bit longer. Again, talking about 2 guys party\solo. So it's off-topic. I believe they can be used for aggro if pumped heavy. It's a matter of how fast your recharge is and can you cast Blast before aggred mobs finish off your summon. Ok, fighter's Provoke may be used to gather mobs before Blast. Still consider the summon's AI stupidity.
I agree there is a sense in combining nature and combat. Personally i got those +5 to nature skills from gear. Some of Keh set and magick book. Keh and Lich fit very well together. Like it was designed. But i'm into uniques. Cause i don't need any extra skills beyond 20. Intelligence is my 2nd priority and the 1st one is +%combat magic dmg. Yeah, every spell is "maximized" even if it's of higher lvl then i currently can cast. This cap makes me very upset. First they say i need a high Int, then i figure out no more needed. Except ignite\arcing\mana pool. Having got about 7k mana i forgot about it. So it's +%DMG you want only.
Have a nice day)

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Postby scythesong » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:57 pm

I'm not sure what damage type of damage Grasping Vine actually does, but since it does consistent damage so I think we can safely say that it's not fire/electric/death/cold. Maybe non-elemental, yeah, would make more sense.

The magus build (and any build which invests heavily in +% power recharge I guess) has amazing power recharge rate. This is in part because of bonuses from various unique items and the recharge wrath (or the Lap Dragon, if you have one - I prefer Lap Dragon + Earthen Embrace setup, since I usually don't bring a shielder). You can literally just count 1-2-3 and then *power recharged boom sound* - and this is with a "normal recharge" power. I think Arcane Orb is crucial because it's essentially free damage - use it, and you're ready to use a new power long before its duration runs out. If you have the Power Recharge Chant then all the better. That means you can spam Invincibility too. :) He's not particularly noteworthy until higher levels though, he usually starts to shine around the time you start getting the Circle of Four set. Before that, he's more like a versatile mage.
For end game, I also aim for uniques and I always try to find a staff/amulet/spellbook with +4 to the Lightning skills (combat) and +4 to the Summoning skills (nature). Such items doe exist, and I've managed to find at least one in all my games with a Magus. Granted, I normally don't visit stores that much unless it's for this character.

Aiming with Aether Blast is easy if you have curses like Drown, and Blast's AoE is great at level 3. Ranged mobs are tricky and I use Ravaging Strike/Thunderous Shot/Flurry for those, but against melee mobs it's just a matter of cursing them (drawing aggro), running to your summoned minion, waiting for enemy mobs to catch up and then using Blast. A little extra work = cleared screen. Almost like World of Warcraft again, heh. Works like a charm even in Elite, though you need to be careful and make sure your mage doesn't take too much damage. It's true that for some reason Aether Blast does horrible damage against certain mobs though, and I have no idea why that is.

My summoned minion remains tough, but I think this mostly because I invest heavily in the summon line (via items, power requirements). Note that there are different types of summons, and each one has a specialty. Like the Ketril has the highest armor but the lowest DPS, while the Lertisk has the highest DPS but the lowest armor. I usually switch to the Ketril and sometimes the Forest Golem at higher levels. Party buffs also help - Earthen Embrace, in particular, increases your summoned minion's maximum HP resulting in a dramatic increase in Aether Blast's damage (around 6k+ in elite difficulty, depending on factors like Enveloping Embrace and +%power damage mods - because of the way things are calculated, any +%power damage mods will actually give you higher returns if the minion is buffed with Earthen Embrace. This is because, technically, Earthen Embrace doesn't count as a +%power damage modifier - this little loophole is the reason why Aether Blast can do as much as 40k damage on normal mobs with minimum preparation. Could be much higher if you go nuts with the science I guess, but I'm not really sure how high it goes since I only play long enough to finish all primary quests).
Anyway my summoned minion usually doesn't get swarmed thanks to curses and the party ranger, who seems to have an uncanny ability to draw aggro. The real danger is if my mage takes too much damage and the minion dies because of Summon Bond before I can cast Aether Blast. Luckily there's panic button: Invincibility.

I prefer Aether Blast to Corrosive Eruption for general AoE, but I can't say I've ever been forced to choose between the two. Someone always has at least level 1 Eruption in my party, because it is a good power and costs only a single skill point.

Intelligence is very important for the magus being a multiclass, as I said, because a large chunk of your damage still comes from spells. Sure it's easy to max INT if you're a pure combat mage or nature mage, but the reason why certain combinations like melee/range don't really work (or are very difficult to level properly) is because a melee/range character would need high STR and DEX to do high damage. With a magus, it's simple - since you keep casting spells, your INT increases naturally. This is why I think the magus (or combat magic/nature magic) is DS2's "hidden" multiclass. It just works well, and it's been there since before Broken World.

Edit: Figured out why Aether Blast's damage seemed so inconsistent - it does DEATH damage. Grim Necromancy does not affect it, but Infect and death resistances or immunity do. On my current run I'm doing 30k+ Aether Blasts (with Lap Dragon Power) in Veteran with a level 55 Archmagus because of Infect, on creatures with no death resist.

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Postby milan90 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:24 am

ventrumarcus wrote:Closer to the topic. I managed to land a single blow of 80000+ dmg on some elite mob in act2. I think it's not a limit. Combo is: decay armor +warcry+brutal strike. Curse mastery skill was 19(1+18 by gear anyway), i believe it is 37% and warcry lvl3. That was my dual wield Eva with slight bonuses to 2 handed weapon, not a 2 handed fighter.


I dont think that u hit brutal 80 k damage in act 2 cos i use same combo i have deacy 35% and war cry lvl 3 and my brutal is like 15 k with eva and with dual wield.Now my eva has 400-700 damage,i dont know how much your eva have damage or do you had blood assasin in party or any other enchants?In act 3 that can be done.I think that u have mixed up numbers and if you think by elite moob,guys with orange circle beneath them,then i really doubt in that.

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Postby babul » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:57 am

Well Milan, I think he was talking about elite (propably maxed level), so 80k would be possible? Anyway, I remember hitting over 100k aimed shot with my Blood Assasin (lvl 100, or 90-ish; only self buff but I think I had Wrath of the Bear, due to some levels in NM) on BW first boss.

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Postby milan90 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:18 pm

He said in act2.I said that 80 k in act3 is possible but in act2 i doubt.Wrath of bear effects your crit damage not your power damage its enhanced attack not critical.Well blood is op when it comes to damage :) .I hitted 38 k with arc in act2 and it is unusual cos i hit 20+ all the time i dont know how i hitted durvla 38 k maybe weaker to range lol maybe same thing happened to him but i think that 80 k for act2 is too much even for BW act2.

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Postby ventrumarcus » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:52 pm

milan90 wrote:I dont think that u hit brutal 80 k damage in act 2 cos i use same combo i have deacy 35% and war cry lvl 3 and my brutal is like 15 k with eva and with dual wield.Now my eva has 400-700 damage,i dont know how much your eva have damage or do you had blood assasin in party or any other enchants?In act 3 that can be done.I think that u have mixed up numbers and if you think by elite moob,guys with orange circle beneath them,then i really doubt in that.

Hello again, it is nice to hear you all)
I'm back from my long offline contract with some good news. But first to answer your question. Yes it was 80K+/ Elite, and some mob near Rahvan's enter to a Azunite burial grounds. I play Original game, not Broken world.
And now about news. My new dmg record is 210K!... On Elite Archmage. And the whole fight was instant. (I got a video and it will be soon on youtube, as i am home. Give me o few days to post a link) I was looting him anyway and it was no mistake. On my vid it's about 192K. What i did:
1 party: Thorgrim 2 handed main char
Eva dual wield (she was the mischievous one)
Necrolithid for cursing Dissolution
2 Dissolution, Warcry, Elemental Rage (Eva) -> switch power to brutal strike for a faster recharge.
3 Then Thorgrim Brutal Strikes and auto attacks. Eva's Brutal strike is ready in a moment (not possible for a solo cause of long recharge of own Rage). What happens is the game thinks now that attack damage for Brutal Strike is not a basic one from a weapon, but now enhanced by Rage. So her autoattack deals around 11K (for every hand) on debuffed Archmage and some 7000% (or so) Brutal Strike is devastating now. The whole fight lasted some 3 of those hits.
Again this works with at least another char in party. The next thing i noticed is that autoattack always in a place when Brutal Strike is cast. You can see it on a video. So dual wield is better than 2 handed. And Warcry works great for dualist as well. It is very fast to recharge itself. I was upset about unique 2 handers like Rahvan's Sunsword in terms of damage. For dualist 2 Blood letter (damage, melee resist).

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Postby ventrumarcus » Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:32 pm

scythesong wrote:I'm not sure what damage type of damage Grasping Vine....

Yeah i agree with you about orb. Yeah recharge is fast. I think i got a video on youtube (3pHop is my nick over there) where i just casted drown on a crowd and then spawned chain lightning. The more dmg - the faster recharge.
In my game that instant power recharge chant doesn't work at all, preventing further recharging for the whole chant duration.
There is a problem with a blast. Summon often can't survive till recharge (provoke->blast). Another thing is scaling. More partymembers - more mobs HP. But not for our summons. Somehow i remember diablo 2 fix for necro summons HP in multiplayer(((
It is made, i believe, to control our skill/lvl growth. But what if you take 6 guys party, then command hold ground and send half of em back to a town via portal. I didn't try what happens with those mobs in a fog of war, particularity their HP. Are they generated for the whole location or just an area around a pary...
I didn't check if blast works on both combat and nature summon if a mage has 'em both. I think it won't.
The drawback of eruption is one needs to have a high combat magic skill for a higher %life damage. For Blast it is a lot of points to be invested in a summon dmg passive, not summon HP. I is interesting to read your investigation, Mr. Scythesong.
The problem of mage is INT cap for spells. That hated "you have maximized this spell damage". So you need a % magic dmg.
Another thing is immunity to a certain magic. Annoying for a mage. There is now resist or immunity to melee or ranged. The benefit of mage is obvious: the game doesn't become boring))
It is pleasure to meet you here, guys.

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Postby milan90 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:36 am

ventrumarcus wrote:Hello again, it is nice to hear you all)
I'm back from my long offline contract with some good news. But first to answer your question. Yes it was 80K+/ Elite, and some mob near Rahvan's enter to a Azunite burial grounds. I play Original game, not Broken world.
And now about news. My new dmg record is 210K!... On Elite Archmage. And the whole fight was instant. (I got a video and it will be soon on youtube, as i am home. Give me o few days to post a link) I was looting him anyway and it was no mistake. On my vid it's about 192K. What i did:
1 party: Thorgrim 2 handed main char
Eva dual wield (she was the mischievous one)
Necrolithid for cursing Dissolution
2 Dissolution, Warcry, Elemental Rage (Eva) -> switch power to brutal strike for a faster recharge.
3 Then Thorgrim Brutal Strikes and auto attacks. Eva's Brutal strike is ready in a moment (not possible for a solo cause of long recharge of own Rage). What happens is the game thinks now that attack damage for Brutal Strike is not a basic one from a weapon, but now enhanced by Rage. So her autoattack deals around 11K (for every hand) on debuffed Archmage and some 7000% (or so) Brutal Strike is devastating now. The whole fight lasted some 3 of those hits.
Again this works with at least another char in party. The next thing i noticed is that autoattack always in a place when Brutal Strike is cast. You can see it on a video. So dual wield is better than 2 handed. And Warcry works great for dualist as well. It is very fast to recharge itself. I was upset about unique 2 handers like Rahvan's Sunsword in terms of damage. For dualist 2 Blood letter (damage, melee resist).



Hello again :) i almost forgot about this thread saw it today on my email.
I did hit too 70-80 k damage with brutal strike on act 2 but not with Eva i did it with Deru :) and i am not sure is it cos of armor of creeps or something else but it seems that my usual brutals are not even close to 70 -80 k but on some creeps it just do awful damage when i do combo i cant remember exactly on what creeps i did 80 k damage i tested it alot :) however on elite mode crits go up really high :) . And i did forgot about elemental rage :) i remember that i did that too using elemental rage then brutal on archmage but i cant remember how much damage did i do it was long time ago :) . Anyway this is best RPG ever for me i am just really disappointed in DS3.

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Postby ventrumarcus » Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:19 pm

milan90 wrote: Anyway this is best RPG ever for me i am just really disappointed in DS3.

Any RPG released for cross platform is destined to be half-playable or not really RPG. Excluding perhaps JRPG. I don't play those anyway. Yeah DS3 is disappointing, esp. in multiplayer. I passed it 2 times, once with a friend. To never play again.
Well i failed to upload that hard kick video cause of capricious youtube format restriction. Got a few vid captured with afterburner uplaoded on youtube. Now i can't. At least those converted with a freemake video converter. Further reconvertion had no success.
Passed the mage already - no way back)
Well, nice to talk to you ayway