Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

If turn based some form of caster such as ancient druid or blood mage. If real time maybe a paladin/devoted dual blunderbuss. Paladin can get resistance to the blinding smoke and can do good damage + heal with flames of devotion. Devoted get good pen.

Thanks! Coincidentally, I usually roll with a paladin or a mage, so I like your suggestions.

I had totally forgotten they added a turn-based mode. So… should I do that? Generally I like the RTwP deal, and I imagine it must be quite annoying to go TB through all the trash fights. Is that a problem in this game?

I played through with both and I prefer the finer control of turn based. It isn’t really balanced though so for the best experience its probably RTwP. I just find it annoying to hit AoE without party damage in RTwP so I build away from that usually. Unfortunately I have it uninstalled at the moment but you can get some real crazy damage numbers with a special blunderbuss you get early on called the Kitchen Sink. The sub class of fighter Devoted gets additional penetration with their chosen weapon which is where blunderbusses are weak. So the best 2 options are either the paladin to avoid damage + heal or the streetfighter subclass of rogue to really pump the damage up if you want to go the “pirate” route.

Arguably the most powerful is the Troubadour subclass of Chanter. If that that sounds like your thing they are really good in both modes as friendly fire isn’t a thing with them. You can build them as a summoner, damage dealer, healer, or some combination of all of the above.

The only non-Blood Mage or Priest of Skaen who has beaten the Ultimate (complete run with Trial of Iron, Path of the Damned, and Solo mode turned on) is a Troubadour.

So… I rolled up a chanter/ranger multiclass because I thought I’d try something totally different that I’d never normally do and it sounded cool. Honestly no idea if it’s going to be any good at all, but I’m only playing on classic (RTwP).

I didn’t even get a chance to leave the room where you make your character yet, though, so I haven’t invested anything in it if you all tell me it’s horrible.

The only issue people have with the ranger is the pet isn’t really all that great even with significant investment and sometimes play the ghost walker subclass just so they don’t have to deal with the debuff from the pet dying. But with micro/pausing I didn’t have a lot of issues with it on medium difficulty levels.

I had some buyer’s remorse and went back and started a chanter (beckoner) / druid (ancient). I’ve played through a couple fights now (and a lot of talking) so I don’t think I’m going back but I’m starting to feel like my character is underpowered–druids always feel that way to me which is why I rarely play them. My thought with the beckoner is that I’d just go summon-heavy as a theme, but the first ghosty summons don’t seem to stick around long enough to make it worthwhile (probably there’s some stat I should boost to do that). Also the AI sometimes transforms me into a bear when I start paying attention to other characters.

How necessary is mechanics? I feel like in older CRPGs having a thief was almost a necessity because otherwise you’d leave a bunch of loot on the table (well, in the chest). I have been giving Eder levels in it and so far I’ve only had to leave one chest behind (but it’s in the inn so I can come back to it easily) but I feel like I’m burning through lockpicks.

I can’t speak to the Chanter as I’ve never clicked with them - Druids, however, are excellent in spellcasting and when they want to beast mode, they do well in melee. The fact the AI is going into that mode generally means you have probably not looked at the AI script for that character - you can set a few different pre-sets, create your own If/Then scripting (like “If in melee shapeshift”, which might be current set up on your character), or turn AI off and do it all manually. I actually only have the “auto attack” AI running, I like to trigger abilities myself, but for some characters I do have very simple ones like “low on health? Do something about that!” kind of things.

Mechanics are great for removing traps and getting XP from doing so, imo, more so than opening locked chests and doors. The loot behind locked things is decent but I don’t recall a time when a locked area held vast wealth I otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. But you’ll have many characters in your party, just pick one to be the Mechanics character.

Thanks! Mostly I wanted to try the chanter as it’s “non-standard” (by which I mean it wasn’t a class in Baldur’s Gate). The cipher is the other one of those that stood out to me but I’m assuming I’ll run across one at some point (which is probably true for a chanter, too).

For companions, do you all usually dual-class them or not? I had Eder go fighter/rogue, but with Xoti go full-priest because I feel like you always need one, but that’s probably not true, especially since you heal after every fight.

My first play through I mostly avoided dual classing for most of the characters. You can get some powerful synergies and I think generally dual classed characters tend to be more powerful and have more options per battle, especially at high levels, but the raw power from a single focused class and seeing the top tiers of abilities was really cool to me and I wanted to see that stuff. I did have one or maybe two dual classed characters I think in that first play through, but my own character was single classed (Mage - he was an unstoppable powerhouse at the end game, it was incredibly satisfying).

For the companions, you can’t really go wrong honestly, just pick what sounds cool to you. I love Edir as a Swashbuckler now, I’d probably do that again over single classing him. But spell casting classes, like the Cleric you get shortly after Edir, I’d probably keep her to ONLY a Monk or a Cleric, for example. But a Monk/Cleric can be fun, so it’s hard to give any hard advice one way or the other.

Ultimately, it’s really fine either way, just do what sounds cool to you!

In this game basically anything goes. Even on Veteran difficulty, the game is kind to the player. On Normal and lower you can really do whatever feels cool.

In general, dual-classing is a more powerful option. You get 2 pools of resources so you can do more stuff in the fight. You pay by not having access to the strongest abilities, but you could only use those in the final part of the game anyway. Plus many classes have passive abilities dramatically improving your performance. Fighter and Chanter are such classes, you can pair them with anything and just take their passive abilities or songs and it will be great.

Mechanics and other skills are made such that it’s easy to have everything. Mechanics and Survival and Athletics are probably the most useful skills so it’s likely there’ll be someone in your party specialized in one of those.

Eder is a better tank as a swashbuckler (fighter/rogue) than any other choice if thats what you want him to be. The rogue’s ability to auto-flank combined with riposte makes him good in the role of run up to mobs with a shield and engage everyone. Xoti I strongly prefer full priest as her lvl 1 spell (harvest I think) is really powerful. I don’t like the Cipher class overall compared to PoE1 and Sefran as a straight Barb is much better to me than his cipher or multi. Pellagia is fine as a Herald and the marine godlike as a full class druid or chanter. His druid spells are largely enemy only so I prefer druid if you have chanter buffs from someone else. But as mentioned above the game is pretty forgiving except on highest difficulty levels. My general rule of thumb is full class casters and multi-class martial but things like fighter tactician/blood mage are stupid OP.

Thanks again everyone, really appreciate the advice on a (years?) old game.

I really need to resist the urge to shell out however much gold it is to respec everyone every level because I realize that the other party member already has the arcana skill so I should just focus on metaphysics or whatever. (Not that money is usually an issue in these games, but hey, maybe this one will be different.)

One thing I find slightly disappointing is that the numbers are so high. For no good reason at all I have a preference for smaller scale numbers–my characters are level 3 with like 60 hit points or something; I think 20 would be better. And a d100 for an attack roll just doesn’t seem as weighty as a d20, or even better, a d10. I can’t help but feel, also, that the fact that each stat influences like four things, but then there are like four different stats your attack could be comparing against (sorry I’m not getting the terminology right) makes it feel like when I get a ring of protection that gives +5 will, it doesn’t really feel significant. But maybe it is, and I just don’t have the system memorized like I still do for 2ed AD&D, for god only knows what reason.

But honestly it’s probably just BG nostalgia talking.

I thought the original Pillars was a much better RPG. Deadfire was a big letdown after the masterpiece that was POE1. I beat both but couldn’t even be bothered to do the Deadfire DLC.

Have to say you’re the first person I see who prefers PoE1 to PoE2. Perhaps you tried final polished version of PoE1 and release version of PoE1?

Well, you need granularity when you can afford it. Tabletop has descret sudden improvenents because they don’t want you to use calculator or remember big numbers. Following the same approach in a videogame is pure nostalgic conservatism. Look at it this way: you know that in most cases +1 means +5%, and when the game says it’s +10% instead of +2 there’re fewer steps between you and the final result. Also the game won’t be afraid to add small scaling to everything. So you can get, say, 3 accuracy per level and 2 accuracy per point of perception stat (not real numbers) while D&D achieved similar stuff in a very unintuitive way, like giving you 3 HP per level plus 1 HP for each 2 points of Constitutuon above 10. When I wrote it I realized it reads like a parody but you probably know that it’s real and relatively simple example.

I think I know where ioticus is coming from. The story/dialog/NPCs were certainly more memorable and IMHO better in the first game. I prefer the mechanics of playing the second though.

In both cases I played the definitive versions with all DLC. There is nothing like the amazing dungeon under Cad Nua in Pillars 2 that I’m aware of as one example.

I think this is actually the part that I dislike. I don’t like the feel of getting a small bump to several things on level up (or stat increase). I prefer the feel of getting discrete (even if uneven) bonuses–I think it feels a lot better when I level up to get two level one spell slots and your first level three spell slot than +20 mana points.

I acknowledge that this results in some serious jank in low level 2e (or at least is partially responsible for it). I also acknowledge that my opinions may (and probably do!) originate from BG nostalgia (and nostalgia is a toxic impulse). But I think that the other end of the scale makes leveling up feel meaningless–I get +4% to my numbers, and then I take on monsters that are 4% tougher, and then who cares?

OTOH, the whole idea of “leveling up” in the traditional RPG sense is pretty far from reality, so who knows what’s right?

That’s subjective of course, but the first game was much more generic and much more verbose. Like walls of text everywhere.

True, PoE2 doesn’t give you a dungeon crawling experience like that. Instead, they spread a lot of encounters all over the open world. IIRC it was a concious decision, they planned for a similar dungeon but then decided they’d rather have 10 tiny dungeons.

Also I can see a big internal conflict in the game. It’s very open and freeform. For most characters it would make sense to skip a lot of fights, including big boss battles. Yet the character development and tactical combat are very deep, you could make a straightforward combat-only dungeon crawling out of them. You get dozens of artifacts with unique upgrade paths, a lot of consumables, usable items and so on. It always feels like I’m playing the game wrong if I don’t cranck the difficulty up or try to solve conflicts peacefully. I gather all the anti-dragon legendary weapons and then all the dragons I meat can be reasoned with, what gives!