Sacred 2:The all-round party member - The Shadow Warrior BUFFER!
The all-round party member - The Shadow Warrior BUFFER!
You are well aware that every player online needs a bargainer, a smith and nice items in order to survive in hardcore. You are right. But that's the outline... Things in-game look a lot better hen you have someone who can take care of the party. Wickedly enough, that's the Shadow Warrior. Some parties, some teamwork have unequivocally proven that. I understand that I'm HC lvl 37, but you can't just dismiss the effect this character has on the others, and I'm confident this will go on.
In order to play this char, you really need some patience. He levels up slowly when he's alone. In addition to that, it takes some time to make him shine. In addition to that, you need to keep your concentration at all times, and be good at micromanagement.
What does a party need to survive longer? Better hit rating to strike the enemy often, better defensive rating in order to get hit less, faster attack and healing. Well, the Shadow Warrior can provide that, as long as you're willing to play for the others. In my eyes, this build puts the ultimate test on the teamwork and understanding in Sacred 2. But hey - that's what makes this game so good and HC play so rewarding, isn't it?
I would like to make something clear from the beginning. This is a frail build, based on damage, team play and good regeneration times. I know it combines a lot of aspects, but you're doing this for the greater good. Always keep that in mind. Have you ever asked yourself why HC is so interesting and so good? It's because people value their char's lives, and value their fellow characters' lives. This is why they help one another, this is why they're ready to give their own equipment to see another player advancing. There is no jealousy, there is no vanity, there is no selfishness. Only team play. While one cannot dismiss the clan support, it's very rewarding to see people doing it by themselves, even for people that they barely know.
OFF-TOPIC: There is no point in taking your worldly possessions with you in your grave. Maybe his is why HC play is so fun and people are so giving
What does Sacred 2 lack? A buffer class. So many MMORPG's have it. Why not S2? This was the general thing that got me inspired
In order to do this build, one would require to be a part of a big clan and/or have a lot of friends on the HC servers. D.a.r.k and DA are such clans, so such builds are prudent in this case, since a lot of players will welcome an all-time buffer in their midst.
THE SKILL SETUP:
This is a 3-spec build based on the Astral Lord build. I know that by itself it isn't that efficient. You are not expected to be efficient. You are expected to be a team player, to be ready to do a certain amount of sacrifices, and be of help to anyone. If a player is low on health, drop Augmenting Guidon near him. If there is a big mob approaching, be ready to support you party appropriately. Period. There is no time to think about yourself. This is the job of the others. And your cloak.
THE LAST 2 PICKS. These can be modified to help different aspects of this type of build.
The last 2 can be substituted for 2 defensive skills, or one of them, your call. It will provide some nice survivability in case you're noticed.
You are expected to remain cloaked all the time and to support your party with buffs and damage. Since at lvl 25 Shadow veil you have a 100% chance to cast without being noticed, so you're generally safe. You will still need to look out for AoE enemy spells and to take care of your teammates. I strongly maintain that this build is very demanding but very rewarding. You need to be aware of everything that's happening on your screen. That's no left or right clicking on a mob to kill it as soon as you see it. That's no small deal... It's exhausting indeed. So be ready for what you're jumping into.
Shadow Veil - this is your salvation CA. This is also the first CA you would mod up to gold to become a buff. I will explain why in the Nether Allegiance CA section. You will want this CA maximized at all times. This is your salvation. This keeps you impervious to enemy eyes and therefore, safe. The more stealth you have, the better. THINGS TO BE AWARE: yeah, I know. I put you through hell already. But there is more. You should be aware where the enemies are. You don't want to bump into a mob and keep the direction for more than a second. This may make you visible. If you're visible, you're toast on the later difficulties - unless your teammates are looking out for you or your skeletons are doing a nice work of keeping the mobs occupied. THOU SHALT NEVER HIT THE ENEMY: if you do a left click attack, you'll uncloak. That must not happen. By no means. IF YOU ARE DISCOVERED: cloak ASAP, change your position right away, and hope the mobs will turn to your teammates or your skeletons.
Nether Allegiance. This is your first helper CA. YOU MUST MOD VEIL FIRST AND ALLEGIANCE SECOND. I did the mistake of doing the exact opposite. If you are visible, the skeletons will wait on you to set them a target. If you're cloaked, they'll attack on sight. If they are buffed - they're deadly. They can drop a boss in under a minute. Being cloaked and relying on the spectral soldiers can get you through most of the game. They are your strike force. Take good care of them. (EDIT: As of patch 2.40, you have minion control. This helps quite a lot, so now you can mod allegiance first and veil second without much trouble)
Skeletal Fortification - this is your main damage CA and the third one you should mod. It will also support your party to the fullest and leave you with a feeling of usefulness. What I hated in MMORPG's was the fact, that buffers we supposed to do just that - buff and go to sleep. S2 is different and I love it. Skeletal Fortification will help you in both team play and solo play with the skeletons. The best thing is that ti's governed by the astral aspect, and casting a buff doesn't burden its regen time. Sweet!
Spectral Hand - a nice direct damage CA and the fourth one you should mod. If you play without Nether allegiance, you can spam it at low regen time and kill without being noticed. Still, this kill rate will be very slow. That's not good. Safe killing is very nice, but you're a team player. You're not a solo player. Live with that fact and keep this CA at a decent damage and decent regen time. By decent regen time, I mean about 5-6 seconds. Why that much? You will be spamming buffs and skeletal fortifications and you will hardly have the time to deal direct damage. Keeping a higher upper limit on the regen time means more rune investment. That reflects on the damage. If we care to help the party and support it from time to time, we want big damage. This regen time might just help that. If it goes lower as the levels go by - perfect 1smile.gif
Modding this CA:
Rousing Command - our first party buff. It isn't a party buff from the beginning, but we will make one out of it. It directly improves the chance to hit for all members in the party, including your skeletons, as long as you're within range. Make sure you cast it whenever it's possible, unless you're out of combat, of course. Casting it does not burden the Astral lord CA's nor the Malevolent Champion CA's, so take advantage of that. MAKE SURE that you don't cast it blindly. You have your party. You know what each char can do. Prioritize if you're party members are dispersed. Support the melee and ranged chars first, since they need it the most.
Augmenting Guidon - now this is a party buff from the start. This is why we're taking it second. You can use it unmodded for quite a while. At lvl 35, you can take the malevolent champion focus, which will allow you to mod it, along with reflective emanation. Its cooldown is low, its duration is moderate, so keep it up whenever you can. It will directly increase the defense and attack values for every party member within its range. MAKE SURE that you don't cast it blindly. Yes, just like Rousing command. Prioritize. Casters under fire can benefit a lot from this. Tankers in the front lines can benefit just as much. So prioritize. This is why you're a buffer - to take a look at the battlefield and assess the situation.
Reflective Emanation - that's the buff you'll take and mod when you get 75 combined (EDIT: hard points since patch 2.40) points in concentration. It is as useful for you, as it is for your party members. The buff will also affect the party members when modded properly, and that's what we're striving for, right?
Rallied Souls - After doing some work on that CA, I think it can serve you rather well. In a big battle and a densely populated region, you will always have enough corpses to add more soldiers to your army. They also provide extra diversion and... as you can imagine, give you even more to think about while playing
Even if you're the best buffer, even if you take everything under consideration, nothing can save a kamikaze party that is bent on killing themselves.
That's the general idea of this build. I am well aware that some of the buffs have half the effect on the team members, but 50% is way better than nothing. Those 50% can mean the difference between life and death - especially in HC!
Originally published at DarkMattersfor review and discussion.