Sacred 2:Tower of Power - A 3 Aspect, ranged weapon build(Console version), Level 3 sentry gun coming right up!

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Tower of Power - A 3 Aspect, ranged weapon build(Console version), Level 3 sentry gun coming right up!

By Numerii


Introduction:

This is a build I came up with while playing my "Talk to the Hand" build. It started with my attempt to make a ranged weapon build that used Spectral Hand. This time around I've decided to go with the two "melee" aspects and throw in a bit of the Astral Lord aspect, mostly Skeletal Fortification(SF from now on). It is my opinion that SF is a very powerful Combat Art when modded properly and kept at max level allowed without penalty. The damage it does is quite substantial, it's a fire-and-forget spell and best of all, it continues to do damage when you're stunned or gathering up a passing crowd that's just out of range. Combine this with the ranged power of Demonic Blow, Frenzied Rampage and Scything Sweep and you've got a lot of quick, powerful shots raining down on your enemies.

Now before I get into the skills I do want to note that this is not a "console hardcore" build. I have a very defensive build going already, this one was made for raw damage. With that said, it does still have lots of defense via your two buffs Grim Resilience and Reflective Emanation.

Second of all, if you don't have access to +all skills jewelry I suggest you work on a character to do so. The bad thing about playing the console version is that we'll likely never get an expansion or even a patch with bug fixes. The upside to that is we get to play with all those overpowered goodies they took away from the PC version. If you are forced to eat a turd sandwich then you might as well wash it down with a fine wine when given the opportunity to do so.

Personally I like Dobri's HE build here:

http://darkmatters.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=9395

That build levels up pretty fast and if you keep that HE around the same level as your Shadow Warrior you'll be able to enjoy the power of rocking +all skills in your gear on both characters and with the Enhanced Perception on the HE you might find it easier to gather gear as well. Takes some time to build a bargaining toon but it is absolutely worth it to have one in your stable, it will make every character you create after that extremely powerful from the very start. This build does not require +skills to be playable but it definitely makes playing it more enjoyable and you'll level up quicker as well so you'll get some of that time investment back in a passive way.


Skills:

2 - Astral Lord Focus (75, keep at character level until mastered)

We're taking this first so we can get SF modded as soon as possible and so we can keep it at a high level.

3 - Death Warrior Focus (75, keep at character level until mastered)

Mod Demonic Blow first then Grim Resilience. Keep GR at max level allowed without penalty.

5 - Malevolent Champion Focus (75, keep at character level until mastered)

Mod Frenzied Rampage first then Reflective Emanation. Keep RE at max level allowed without penalty.

8 - Combat Discipline (200)

Leave this at 1 point initially. We're taking it now simply for the regen reduction for combos. You'll be using all 4 combo slots in this build and CD will greatly benefit 3 of those combos.

12 - Concentration (1)

We're just picking this up so we can use both buffs at the same time. Leave it at one point, +skills will boost it however so you'll still get some nice -regen from it.

18 - Armor Lore (75)

Leave this at one point initially if you have +skills boosting it. If not then get it up to whatever level you feel is adequate to allow you to wear higher level armor.

25 - Tactics Lore (195)

You want 5 points in this by level 35 to open up Ranged Weapons. Throw some extra points between this and Armor Lore each level if you like or start saving up some points to put towards Constitution when you pick it up.

35 - Ranged Weapons (75)

Leave this at 1 point until you're ready to master it. 1 point will unlock the Ranged Weapons modifier on your weapons if it possesses any. You don't need the chance to hit yet, I'll explain later in the guide.

50 - Constitution (75)

We're taking this kind of late in the build but with a GR at max level and fully modded you're already going to have a lot of HP and in-combat regen(a bit weak but there nonetheless). After the 3 focuses are mastered this should be the next skill mastered and you should try to put as many points as you can afford along the way.

65 - Astral Lord Lore (75)

You can opt for another skill here if you want. I'm taking it for two reasons:

1. It will add more damage to SF.

2. It will provide you with more points to mod Combat Arts in the Astral Lord aspect. Now those other Combat Arts are going to be used in very rare situations but I'll explain them later in the Combat Art modification section.

Honestly though, when you look at what's left available to fit this build you're basically left with Toughness, Combat Reflexes, Spell Resistance, Ancient Magic, Damage Lore, Speed Lore, Riding and Divine Devotion.

-Toughness is a great choice if you want some more survivability. This would be the most reasonable option for your 10th skill in my opinion.

-Combat Reflexes and Spell Resistance are in a roundabout way already covered by your two buffs.

-Ancient Magic will add damage to SF but it won't give you extra mod points for the Astral Lord aspect, seriously I wouldn't even consider this a choice.

-Damage Lore and Speed Lore are "meh" skills at best, feel free to read up about them but overall they are simply lackluster skills imo.

-Riding might be a good choice if you fancy the idea of riding a hellhound. +movement rate comes naturally with your gear as you level up so after about the first 60 levels the main benefit of a mount is voided by your gear. Actually it won't because the main benefit is looking like a total badass, which you will, but just know that in the end this is mostly an aesthetic decision.

-As for Divine Devotion, hey, to each his own I guess. Be that unique snowflake all you want lol.



Attributes:

I'm a big fan of soldats. This guy has far more experience at this game than I do and his research into the mechanics of this game is vast. I'm going to take a quote of his here:

QUOTE i follow this template i developed for all my characters. 1-49- 1vit 50-149- 1vit/1sta 150-200[if you get to 200]- 1vit/2sta

why stamina? why not int for casters or str/dex for weapon users? because anything other than sta is misleading. an often overlooked property of Combat Art's is their modification scaling based on Combat Art level. the only way to effectively raise these modifiers' values is to raise Combat Art's, which means incurring a higher regen penalty. sta reduces penalties, so much so that i strive to find +sta on gear and make it a high priority. even over vit. str/dex/int does not allow for rune consumption, only to raise damage without respect to Combat Art level. example- archangel's wrath mod explosive. if left at Combat Art level 1[realistic...maybe 20], the chance for Area of Effect is less, but damage is increased through the proper weapon attribute, str or dex. if pumping sta, you can increase the damage of aw, while indirectly raising the chance for Area of Effect until it is 100%. a caveat...once you reach the point of penalty because you've eaten too many runes past what your focus dictates, raising str/dex/int will benefit you more than sta, but that is for advanced players with intimate knowledge of their character and her gear and specific playstyle.

Now you might say that dex will increase your chance to hit via the added attack value. It will but realize that with 75 hard points in Ranged Weapons as well as any other soft points you have in the skill you will also be increasing your chance to hit. Furthermore the stat "opponent's chance to evade" will wipe away misses. I'll talk more about this stat later.



Combat Arts:

I'm going to list these in order of importance for each aspect. You're going to have extra points in this build, in fact enough to mod every single Combat Art in every aspect but I'm only going to address the ones I feel are necessary to the build.

Death Warrior:

Demonic Blow - Wounding, Poisoning, Trauma. This is your main single-target Combat Art and as such I've modded them with that in mind. Now chances are all 3 of these mods are going to be wasted on all but bosses...but against bosses they will add some serious damage over time that just keeps chipping away at that big bar.

Grim Resilience - Rejuvenation, Discipline, Safeguard. Now all 3 of these mods could be changed out for the other choices. You really can't go wrong with modding Grim Resilience. My take on it is this: You're going to have a lot of HP by putting half your attribute points into Vitality as well as keeping a max level GR. I'd rather heal any missing HP back faster as I feel the build will already have a huge cushion of hitpoints to take hits with. They both have their pros and cons. More HP gives you more time to react but seriously with the obscene amounts of HP you're going to have how much time do you need?!! The HP regen stacks with the regen from Constitution mastery but chances are it's not going to be enough to heal back those big hits. Discipline will make it easier to control your regen times. 25% initial reduction along with a half a percent reduction for every Combat Art level you increase it. Assuming there's no diminishing returns on this then at Combat Art level 150 it becomes a free buff. For the gold mod, avoidance vs mitigation and in my world mitigation is always better.

Scything Sweep - Force, Intent, Rage. No gimmicks, just more damage.

Rousing Command - War Song, Impulse, Leader. None of the mods for this Combat Art are really great. Leader has some utility to it but just mod it however you want according to your own playstyle.


Malevolent Champion:

Frenzied Rampage - Double Attack, Double Strike, Vampire. With a ranged weapon this will fire 3 shots, up to 6 if the double attacks proc on each shot. Vampire scales pretty well giving you 2 hp plus an additional hitpoint for every Combat Art level and is modified by Tactics Lore so it acts as an additional form of in-combat regen in a way and at times when all the procs land is quite noticeable.

Reflective Emanation - Backlash, Antimagic, Riposte. Change the gold mod if you want. Bronze and Silver really should not be changed, survivability over a chance to avoid some minor inconveniences.

Augmenting Guidon - Elite, Healing, Leadership. I drop this for boss fights and occasionally for those big pulls that have a few champions in them.


Astral Lord:

Skeletal Fortification - Focus, Arcane Power, Scatter Shot. This Combat Art is huge for this build. Focus combined with Combat Discipline's regen reduction when placing this in a combo will allow you to keep this Combat Art at max level allowed and still have it available for constant use. It chews through enemies and continues to do damage when you're stunned. It packs a serious punch at lower levels and scales quite nicely throughout the game. You can also get 2-3 of these down by using concentration potions combined with the stat "+regen per hit" in your gear.

Shadow Veil - Creep, Nimble, Sinister Pact. I use this as a utility spell. Modded this way allows you to quickly get from point A to point B without having to deal with combat. It also allows you to go afk whenever you want. I don't even keep this at max level, I just eat runes for it whenever I find one in my inventory and I've never had anything attack me when it's up even when I was in Niob at level 85 running through the desert with level 135ish enemies all around. I've even intentionally ran right into enemies just to test it out and never once have they attacked me. I find this Combat Art to be a great perk to playing a Shadow Warrior.

Spectral Hand - Clout, Intent, Double Attack. Another situational Combat Art for this build. This is for those times where you find yourself rooted as your gathering up a crowd and have your back to them, slap them with SH til you can turn around. Those annoying beetles in the desert that give all ranged/casters "elevation" problems? Slap them with SH. See an enemy on your mini-map around that next corner? Running around that corner will put you right on top of him so he can start eating your HP? Slap him with SH, it'll "pull" him around the corner so you can hit him with your bow or energy gun so you can kill him before he ever even reaches you.

Nether Allegiance - Sharp Blades, Commander, Elite Equipment. I use these guys for the Mist of Miasma fight only. My strategy for that fight is to stay mobile while dropping SF whenever it's regen is over. I only stop and actively attack the undead the Mist summons whenever that ice tornado is out and stationary. That tornado will kill you if it lands on top of you and you're not quick to get away from it. So while all of this is going on your bone tower and 3 skeletons are killing the undead. It's a very safe way to approach a fight that can quickly kill you. Keep this Combat Art at max level and replace RE with it for this fight.


Combos:

1. Demonic Blow, Frenzied Rampage. Single target combo. Keep between 5 and 6 second regen. 2. Frenzied Rampage, Scything Sweep. Crowd combo. Keep between 5 and 6 second regen. 3. Skeletal Fortification. Unless you're quickly sniping a single target keep this down. Don't worry about the regen. 4. Augmenting Guidon, Rousing Command. Augmenting Guidon first because it gives you a static boost to attack and defense values. Rousing Command second because it gives you a percentage increase to attack value. Keep these two Combat Arts at max level allowed. Use this combo for boss fights or really large pulls with a few champions in them.


Tricking Your Gear:

Here's a few golden rules I use on nearly all of my characters that seems to work really well:

1. Keep about -30 to -40% chance for opponent to evade. This is usually the window where you wipe away misses. As you level up the Ranged Weapons skill you can start taking away some of this. You have to pay attention to it as you level up, too much and you're wasting stats, not enough and you're back to missing on your attacks.

2. Devote one socket to +regen per hit. Even just +1 second regen per hit does wonders to your regen times. Starting out if you're keeping SF maxed then even when in a combo with the Focus mod and Astral Lord Focus kept at character level you're going to have a regen above 20 seconds. Don't worry about it because that +regen per hit is going to chip away at that regen very quickly. This is also why I suggest keeping DB, FR and SS at 5-6 seconds regen because in reality this stat is going to nearly halve your regen time and at later levels when you're finding higher amounts of +regen per hit on those rings you might decide to go even higher on your regens.

3. Once you can afford to put deathblow on your gear get it to 50% and then try to get it higher but don't let it take up too many sockets in doing so. It's great for killing bosses but for everything else it's mostly overkill. You'll see a lot of rings with -opponent chance to evade coupled with deathblow and this is a great way to cover both of those stats until you get to the point that you're not really interested in opponent chance to evade all that much. At that time you'll probably just favor rings with more deathblow as either the only stat on the ring or combined with some other stat.

4. Life leeched per hit goes a long way with this build. I don't socket it by itself but I do look for pieces that have this stat on it, like when I go to socket some -opponent chance to evade if I have a ring or amulet lying around with that stat and some life leech on it then it's going to get to socketed over say a piece that has say -opponent chance to evade/+tactics lore. This stat combined with FR's Vampire mod and the hp regen from Constitution mastery and GR's Rejuvenation mod can provide some really strong healing. Favor it but don't prioritize it.

5. +skills in every remaining socket and on your rings/amulets. Best stat in the game hands down. It practically adds levels to your character and will allow you to focus your hard points on the more important skills while still boosting all of your skills at once. This stat is so powerful that I, along with many other players, level up characters that they don't even care about just for the sole purpose of being able to buy jewelry with this stat from merchants.

6. Put +skills in your gold sockets, the rest of those stats in the silver sockets. I try to only use one +skill jewelry in every piece at first. This will allow you to cover those other stats and then when it's time to upgrade a piece you recover the +skills jewelry from the blacksmith since they are harder to come by. Those other stats will be littering your player chest so they are easily expendable. As your bargaining character gains access to +2 to all skills jewelry then you can start putting those +1 to all skills in "expendable" sockets, so on and so on. This will cut down on all that wasted time shopping for jewelry.

Originally published at DarkMattersfor review and discussion.

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