Author Topic: Breaking Titan Quest AE xMax on all 45 Professions - Hardcore (0 Deaths)  (Read 13487 times)

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Offline Fisch

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Gasconron thanks for the guides! I look forward to watching this grow and learn from it. Already been very helpful and the guides are well laid out to! I dunno how well I can handle hardcore cuz my patience slips sometimes especially with a silly death we are all to familiar with but definitely gives me something to consider going forward when I make a new toon.

Offline gasconron

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Hardcore Run Class: Juggernaut

Build Concept & Source of Damage:
High Armor - Melee/Caster Hybrid [hybrid]
Flat Resist Reduction, Eruption, Flame Enchantment, Volcanic Orb, Shield Passives
Personal Class+Build Tier Rating: 2 out of 5; Below Average
Difficulty Rating:
Early-to-Mid Game (1-55): 2.5 out of 5 Early Game Difficulty
Late Game (55+): 4 out of 5 Late Game Difficulty
Normal to Legendary Finish: 3 days, 12 hours, 2 minutes
Kills: 150,931
Level Finished: 65

Class Notes:
  • To be honest, the class would probably do better as a pure STR melee with Earth skills for utility. The only reason why I went for the melee/mage hybrid path is because going pure melee wastes the potential of the profession's concept, and it's more of a challenge to build in terms of stat planning and item optimization. I usually twink very hard in HC challenges, so along the way I lose some of the advantage I gain from twinking by handicapping myself to get there.
  • Start with Earth Mastery first for the early power spike and faster level progression. You will be able to easily farm bosses with relative safety enabling you to overlevel, which is important in hardcore xMax.
  • 2:2:1 stat distribution = INT/DEX/STR
  • While the recommended ratio distribution shown above is for the total points come end-game, you should invest in STR first, followed by DEX before using INT as your dump stat. Reason for this is that you will be addressing your equipment requirements first. Some STR w/ Armor Handling will allow you to equip heavy armors as early as your level allows it, reqs for your weapon will be addressed by the bonuses you get from choice equipment. Since you will be needing OA and DA on a low DEX toon, dumping to DEX to get your desired ratio will not only boost these 2 stats, but will enable you to equip an SBC, which you will rely on for your +skills source. Then INT, whose only purpose is to boost your damage is the last priority. While this slows down your kill speed, approaching it like this makes you scale appropriately as the difficulty increases.
  • With the proposed build + equipment path, your DA will be swimming at mediocre levels (950-1100+); not high enough to have a consistent avoid rating, but not low enough to get critted 24/7 by trash mobs.
  • This class is not as sturdy as I remember it before. With high AR and some CDR you are looking at a somewhat maintainable Quick Recovery; but the damage blocked mechanic seems to have been changed so Defenders will be taking in more damage than you would expect
  • This class's sustainability during boss fights is pretty good. With the added armor, physical resistance, fire absorp and safety skill you get from Earth. You'll have a lot of staying power in boss fights as long you don't have resistances in the negatives or face tank synced one-shot skills.
  • In terms of mob clear, higher difficulties will be a crawl in xMax. Without CtAP boosting equipment, absorbing xMax projectiles will take a toll on you. Best if you clear areas part by part and leave space for kiting out enemies. Taking advantage of the terrain to block part of the incoming damage is a good way to manage your survivability

Personal Challenge Equipment:
Necklace of Harmonia
Hale Ring of Immortality - Demon's Blood w/ Ele resist bonus OR Monkey Tricks if Crest of Hypnos used
Hale Ring of Supremacy (OA) - Demon's Blood w/ Ele resist bonus OR Monkey Tricks if Crest of Hypnos used
Hallowed Any Helm of Divination - Crystal of Erebus w/ All resist OR Crest of Hypnos
Ferrus Gnosi
Purifying SBC of Any - Boar Hide w/ Bleed resist
Impenetrable Myrmiddon's Legplate of Any - Boar Hide w/ Bleed resist
Pyrophoric Loop (2)
Persephone's Caress [optional]
Shield of Korybantes
Zeno's Third Paradox
Talisman of the Jade Emperor [main]
Might of Hephaestus [damage spike]

Setup is nothing peculiar. When looking at it as a big picture, it's your run of the mill melee setup. DA/OA barely functional in Legendary, relatively high AR and balanced resists with nothing in the negatives. The kicker is in the weapon sets used in this setup.

Necklace of Harmonia gives a fair amount of resists across the board and provides ADCtH that is much needed to any melee-based toon. Since weapon sets are focused on debuff and elemental damage we need a source of ADCtH to sustain our toon as he traverses through hordes of pelting projectiles, while clearing through mobs.

Note on Armor: Ferrus Gnossi is not the optimum armor that you can use; but is the most accessible if you are playing this toon twinked. The armor provides a huge bump to your ele resists while adding on to your the effictiveness of your armor whilst boosting base stats. Ideally looking from the setup provided the item you can benefit from the most is a Veteran's and of the Glade armor whilst retaining Elemental resists is Prowler's Cuirass. However, I did not recommend using it for 2 reasons.
  • Getting a Prowler's anything is actually very hard. Even with the pre-AE farming exploit, that effectively drops more Sabretooths more than it actually affects Prowler's gear. Now the fact that you are gunning for 2 specific rare affixes, you'll have more luck finishing all 45 professions on HC xmax including all your failed runs before you acquire this specific item. While I do remember droping this combination of a fluke from one of my pre-AE HC runs on a Ranger almost a decade back, you will most likely not be able to replicate that kind of luck in normal circumstances.
  • By chance that you might have this item, you are basically turning yourself into Conqueror with utility skills. You eliminate this class's weakness entirely and you pretty much guarantee completion... and guaranteed things to me are not fun. That's why I hate the Haruspex class so much.

SBC is a must. Having not invested in +skills in other equipment, you will need to source it from somewhere. This is your most flexible equipment, as your affix choice will be a filler to what you need based on your current equipment or whatever you prioritize. In my setup I was lacking a lot of poison resist, which is why I had a Purifying on mine. As for a suffix of the Glade or Immortality would be best (both for safety).

Weapon Set 1 is your multipurpose set, which  is comprised of a Pyrophoric Loop and Zeno's Paradox. You will use the most during your adventuring in this HC run past level 45-50. This will give you added Fire Damage to compliment your build and add variety to your damage. The shield taken was for safety. Being a fairly frail melee you will need the precious +% to CtAP and CtDA during your mob clears. With a healthy supply of Arrowdancer Scrolls, you should be able to comfortably clear areas in Legendary that are problematic for characters that have no ranged shutdown/management skills or CtAP sources from their skillset.

Weapon Set 2 is your debuff set. Combined, Pyrophoric Loop and Shield of Korybantes gives just as much RR as Sapros the Corrupter. Except you don't have to deal with the -20-25% HP reduction. As a melee Defender-based toon your HP is your lifeline, decreasing your total HP by a huge % is counter productive. Since this is designed to be a Hardcore toon, a bigger pool means you have more allowance for minor mistakes and more time to react to unexpected damage spikes, which can be fatal.  This combo'd with your Eruption, Volcanic Orb and RoF ticks will make your fire damage much more potent despite the low INT investment on the character. This is invaluable during boss fights in Legendary where Boss resistances are off the roof.

[optional] Regarding using Persephone's Caress, while I do say this item is optional. This switch has saved me more times than I can count in this character's HC run. This item per se, is not a legitimate weapon switch as you already have 2 weapon sets. This is a manual switch from the inventory UI into your 1st Weapon Set. Personally, this is a situational switch, which you will somehow get a feel of as you play this profession with this setup. It's usefulness is in the 50 HP/sec regen that it gives, which is gold in surviving sticky situations you find yourself in unknowingly or put yourself into due to carelessness, the type where in turning on Colossus can't save you from the mess you in. With Zeno's Third Paradox + Arrowdancer Scroll w/ Quick Recovery + Rally on top of the regen on this item will make sustain better.

Why 2 Artifacts? TotJE is logical it gives you a huge boost to elemental resists and gives you a chunky CDR to help your utility skills (stoneform, rally, quick recovery) to recharge faster. Might of Hephaestus, on the otherhand, has always been an abusable reset tool due to its powerful proc. The main problem with it is it's long 2 minute cooldown. So while it is less useful for classes that have efficient boss killing capabilities, for a Juggernaut that is always exposed to long drawn-out boss fights in Legendary, being able to proc it every 2 minutes is a huge help; especially when you setup the damage spike with a couple of hits with your debuff weapon set.

Biggest Threats/Potential Challenge Enders:
  • High DPS Archer Mobs (Dragonians, Machae & Act 5 any) - TAKE IT SLOW! I mean it... I stress many times that massive damage intake from projectiles is this class's falling grace. Do not over agro in areas where you know there are lots of this. Your utility skills and safety options can only take so much. So best be careful when mob clearing.
  • Minotaur Lord [Legendary] - This fight can turn out as the hardest and most dangerous boss fight in the game, or it can be the easiest one. I won't lie, there is no other way around equipping beastmen damage reduction gear to mitigate damage. Either swap out for Odysseus Armor or Scale of the Black Dragon (shield)  . I normally don't go for more than 50% reduction unless I'm farming (due to pride issues), but feel free to stack them if you wish. Reducing the damage done to you will enable you to outsustain the Minotaur Lords. Relying solely on Unbroken Fortitude Scrolls will not suffice. No damage reduction %, you die... plain and simple. You can do the Wall Cheese tactics as well by pulling the Mino Lords through pets and sealing the doors shut on them, but since this build was made without CDR in mind, it will take a while.
  • Sutr - This is one of the few toons that I have had a problem with the Act 5 last boss with; but this is mainly attributed with high insane resistance to fire damage. Which makes this a very very long fight. Long enough for you to slip up and f#$% up... so don't.  :))
  • Hades [Legendary] - On his 3rd form, a Nova chain stun is a death sentence. You get looped, you die... Play this boss like a mage, and pull 1-2 at a time but not all 3. This fight only poses a danger to you if you engage all 3 at the same time. Pet pulling to the agro line should help you lose 1-2 Hades.
  • Dactyl [Epic & Legendary] - Don't attempt to fight. Dactyl's seem to have high resistance to Fire. Add that to the damage nerf on EBD and you will have a long fight with him. Do you really want to risk a extended encounter against one of the most known hardcore toon killers in Titan Quest? AI is unpredictable and erratic, some times he'll throw out his wave in intervals there are times when he just goes *pew pew pew* = dead. You have no efficient cheesing ability, nor can you withstand consecutive waves or spike him down. So, avoid this fight.

Progression & Recommended Grinding Routes:
  • [Level 1 - 45] Snowball your way to Ring of Fire (RoF) with Fire Enchantment. Since you will be pumping your STR and DEX first for your equipment requirments, you need to increase your +fire damage% which is very effective early game through equipment and you have to socket energy regen relics/charms to offset the fast mana drain of RoF. While RoF can carry you early its not going to be efficient if you are always out of mana. Unless you dont mind chugging potions and reactivating your auras every so often, then this will really help you early in your Normal rush.  Use Eruption Cheese tactics on boss fights that are hard for early Defender classes. When you are able to equip 2 Seals of Hephaestus to ramp up your RoF damage.
  • [Level 45 - 55] Farm Hades till 50 before you go to Ragnarok. The difficulty spike will shock you when you are go to Act 5 to early during normal. From here on out, respec into a legitimate Defender toon with utility skills and Eruption, rather than a pure caster wearing heavy armor.
  • [Epic and Beyond] Play as intended. Take Epic difficulty as "learning phase" and get comfortable with how your toon plays. This is basically your final phase and the experience is relatively the same to Legendary; except that you take more damage in the latter.
« Last Edit: 20 March 2018, 04:56:31 by gasconron »

Offline gasconron

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Conqueror, Haruspex & Elementalist updated for Ragnarok.

Will put this thread's progress on hold to do more farming on Ragnarok with my Conqueror to hunt for new Legendaries.

My most current run in Ragnarok with my Elementalist made me rethink about the feasibility of my non-cookie cutter entries in Ragnarok. The content is considerably challenging for caster-focused builds and I want to ensure I have the best possible gear available before I venture my toons to AE:R.

Offline gasconron

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Hardcore Run Class: Avenger

Build Concept & Source of Damage:
Magic Archer (Fire)
Eruption, VO, Marksmanship
Personal Class+Build Tier Rating:
Difficulty Rating:
Early-to-Mid Game (1-55): 2 out of 5
Late Game (55+): 3 out of 5
Normal to Legendary Finish: 3 days, 6 hours, 37 minutes
Kills: 163,459
Level Finished: 75

Class Notes:
  • Whilst this is only a hybrid in terms of damage type, playstyle will most likely similar to your generic Hunting toon. That in itself is not exactly a bad thing as Hunting toons gain a huge boost to passive skills that increase one's survivability. Gameplay will be very similar to the INT Sage Archer in this guide, but while the Sage specializes in shutting down opponents making it easier for the player to kill mobs and bosses, the Avenger has some nifty safety skills that can bail the toon out at critical moments.
  • Start with Earth Mastery first for the early power spike and faster level progression. You will be able to easily farm mobs with relative safety enabling you to overlevel, which is important in hardcore xMax. You only need to invest in a low level high armor rating equipment and 2 captain signets as well as energy regen relics to counter the mana degen of RoF (or just chug potions non stop like i do).
  • You should invest in DEX before using INT as your dump stat. Reason for this is that you will be addressing your equipment requirements first. Since you will be needing some DA, dumping to DEX will enable you to equip an SBC, which you will rely on for your +skills source. After SBC, then we can concentrate on damage. While this slows down your kill speed, approaching it like this makes you scale appropriately as the difficulty increases.
  • Remember that while Avenger and Sage gameplay are virtually identical save for the active skills, you must of the subtle differences. You are not able to shutdown ranged enemies the way a Sage can. While you can deal with them better than most melee toons, it doesn't change the fact that you are still somewhat vulnerable despite the CtAP bonus you get from Hunting Mastery.
     To deal with the clusters of hard-hitting ranged mobs that await you in Act 4 & 5, you must make it a habit to clean areas in higher difficulties when progressing. Kiting and pet pulling tactics are your friend in Legendary, this will help you avoid getting overwhelmed.
  • It is important to note that unlike most Hunting toons, we will not be taking scattershot until very late in the game. This is more an aesthetic choice on my part to have most of our damage done by elemental arrows from volleys

Personal Challenge Equipment:
Terisias's Guide
Blessing of the Gods - Demon's Blood w/ Energy Leech & Stun Resist Bonus
Socrates Ring of Immortality - Monkey Tricks w/ Elemental Resist
Socrates Ring of Immortality - Demon's Blood w/ Energy Leech & Stun Resist Bonus
Robe of Sidros Lobos
Impenetrable SBC of Immortality - Iron Will of Ajax
Boots of Freyja
Apollo's Curved Bow
Blessing of the Gods -

Tiresias' Guide is a no brainer, being a hybrid -% to equipment requirements is a god send. The -% CDR is also welcome due to lessen the cooldowns of Stone Form and Eruption. It gives a decent chunk of DA and is also one of the few unique items that give a generous bonus to +% INT. Overall, this is a very good base item for any mage hybrids, as it tends to fill out exactly what the class is lacking.

Robe of Sidros Lobos was taken for its massive bonus to Elemental Resists and flat +INT bonus, it also give a good chunk of DA all of which are benficial to the build concept.

Rings of choice are obvious, INT% boost with a generous bonus to +HP. Then Monkey tricks relics for the RR and added resists from the bonus. Amulet taken was to bump up most of the resists to positive as well as boosting HP and MP values.

Apollo's Curved Bow was used over Ichaival for two reasons:
  • I have previously done xMax Hardcore pre-AE, and I used Apollo's Curved Bow, since this is a Re-Run in AE/AE:R conditions, wanted to know to know if I could still do the challenge under similar conditions I had in the past.
  • Ichaival is designed for Dragonhunters, but because of how good the bow is as an all-around Elemental Damage bow, it might as well be the best in slot item for an Avenger, Sage and Dragonhunter. That really doesn't sit well with me, so I opted not to use it.
Regardless, Apollo's Curved Bow is very a strong choice for a Sage. It has flat lightning dmg bonus, +%lightning dmg bonus, +attack speed % and a stun proc. All of which are useful to your gameplay.

Biggest Threats/Potential Challenge Enders:
  • Barmanu [Legendary] - Do not go in. Use your pet's to agro the Yeti 1 by 1 near the arena's agro-line close you. Since he will most likely burn his ice shower on your pet, you can spike down the Barmanu that is agro'd on to your pet when he reaches you with relative safety. I personally think Marduk's Tablet of Destiny is not necessary here, but it's good to have as a safety net.
  • Sutr [Epic & Legendary] - This is one of the few toons that I have had a problem with the Act 5 last boss with; but this is mainly attributed with high insane resistance to fire damage. Which makes this a very very long fight. Long enough for you to slip up and f#$% up... so don't.  :))
  • Hades [Legendary] - On his 3rd form, a Nova chain stun is a death sentence. You get looped, you die... Play this boss like a mage, and pull 1-2 at a time but not all 3. This fight only poses a danger to you if you engage all 3 at the same time. Pet pulling to the agro line should help you lose 1-2 Hades.
  • Dactyl [Epic & Legendary] - Don't attempt to fight. Dactyl's seem to have high resistance to Fire. Add that to the damage nerf on EBD and you will have a long fight with him. Do you really want to risk a extended encounter against one of the most known hardcore toon killers in Titan Quest? AI is unpredictable and erratic, some times he'll throw out his wave in intervals there are times when he just goes *pew pew pew* = dead. You have no efficient cheesing ability, nor can you withstand consecutive waves or spike him down. So, avoid this fight.
  • Toxeus, the Murderer (Non-Secret Passage) [Legendary] - without at least 30% or  more damage reduction from Undead, this chance spawn is almost guaranteed to end your hardcore xMax run. The only reason why this monster is not on the top spot is because the chances of you meeting him is actually very slim.Unless you actually intend to farm Labyrinth for Stonebinder gear or Valley of the Kings for Revenant drops. Any caster with no form of undead damage reduction will find themselves tombstoned faster than they can blink.
Progression & Recommended Grinding Routes:
  • [Level 1 - 45] Snowball your way to Ring of Fire (RoF) with Fire Enchantment. Since you will be pumping your STR and DEX first for your equipment requirments, you need to increase your +fire damage% which is very effective early game through equipment and you have to socket energy regen relics/charms to offset the fast mana drain of RoF. While RoF can carry you early its not going to be efficient if you are always out of mana. Unless you dont mind chugging potions and reactivating your auras every so often, then this will really help you early in your Normal rush.  Use Eruption Cheese tactics on boss fights that are hard for early Defender classes. When you are able to equip 2 Seals of Hephaestus to ramp up your RoF damage.
  • [Level 45 - 55] Farm Hades till 50 before you go to Ragnarok. The difficulty spike will shock you when you are go to Act 5 to early during normal. From here on out, respec into Bow toon and start unleashing hell.
  • [Epic and Beyond] Farm XP rich areas with your newly transitioned Hybrid. Gorgons, Typhon and Hades are the usual suspects. As for mob farming, Act 1 War Camps, & Act 5 Gladsheim are good farming spots due to density. It might be worth your while to equip -% damage to x creature first before you do any long time mob farming.
« Last Edit: 24 March 2018, 05:02:55 by gasconron »

Offline gasconron

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Avenger Guide filled out...

Haruspex, Diviner, Dreamkiller & Evoker Guides updated (AE:R section), I don't have the confidence to tackle the expansion with my Soothsayer in xMax. I really don't think she will make it...

Will leave the Sage Guide empty for now, and will fill out the bits gradually. Didn't have much to do today, had a lot of time to write these. Hope I get to do this again tomorrow.

I think I will be eventually adding videos for each in the future, since it doesn't really achieve it's purpose of a guide without proper demo. For now, words will have to suffice. I miss college, I used to have all the time in the world.
« Last Edit: 21 March 2018, 11:04:47 by gasconron »

Offline gasconron

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Hardcore Run Class: Sage

Build Concept & Source of Damage:
Magic Archer (Lightning & Cold)
Squall, Spellbreaker, Lightning Strike, Marksmanship
Personal Class+Build Tier Rating:
Difficulty Rating:
Early-to-Mid Game (1-55): 3 out of 5
Late Game (55+): 2 out of 5
Normal to Legendary Finish: 2 days, 22 hours, 58 minutes
Kills: 150,007
Level Finished: 74

Class Notes:
  • Whilst this is only a hybrid in terms of damage type, playstyle will most likely similar to your generic Hunting toon. That in itself is not exactly a bad thing as Hunting toons gain a huge boost to passive skills that increase one's survivability. Gameplay will be very similar to the INT Avenger Archer in this guide, but while the Avenger has some nifty safety skills that can bail the toon out at critical moments, the Sage specializes in shutting down opponents making it easier for the player to kill mobs and bosses.
  • Start with Storm Mastery first for the early power spike and faster level progression. You will be able to easily farm bosses with relative safety enabling you to overlevel, which is important in hardcore xMax.
  • You should invest in DEX before using INT as your dump stat. Reason for this is that you will be addressing your equipment requirements first. Since you will be needing some DA, dumping to DEX will enable you to equip an SBC, which you will rely on for your +skills source. After SBC, then we can concentrate on damage. While this slows down your kill speed, approaching it like this makes you scale appropriately as the difficulty increases.
  • This class is has a good mob clear, and is safe because of the strong utility passives Hunting gives combo'd with the Utility skills from Earth.
    It is important to note that unlike most Hunting toons, we will not be taking scattershot until very late in the game. This is more an aesthetic choice on my part to have most of our damage done by elemental arrows from volleys
  • Whilst it's harder for you to one shot yourself now from Dragonian Mages due to nerfed scattershot, doesn't mean you can get careless with it. Play with caution in area area with damage reflection.
  • Be mindful when playing in Ragnarok, there's a lot of CC-rich areas that can leave the player vulnerable. Sages may have safety setups, but at the end of the day you are still a frail mage-hybrid toon. Prioritize Squalling ranged enemies to disable them while you deal with the rushing melee mobs. Given your DA, you should be able to clean house with them and sustain thanks to your ADCtH.
  • A big advantage that the Sage has over the Avenger, is the massive resistance debuff it can inflict on targets. These works wonders on bosses, who you can Study Prey (Flushout), then Squall add that to the new Primal Chaos Scroll and you'll be good.
  • There's a new cheese you can opt to abuse, Winds of Asphodel (ranged Sapros) has massive flat RR debuffs. Add that your flat RR from Monkey Tricks and your %RR from Squall and Flushout and you can make your life very easy fights against bosses that have massive lightning and cold resists (Talos, Hydra, Hades 3rd Form), by debuffing them then switching to Astrapi and pelting them to kingdom come.
Personal Challenge Equipment:
Terisias's Guide
Sacred Amulet of Feasting - Tortured Soul w/ Ritual Bonus
Socrates Ring of Immortality - Monkey Tricks w/ Elemental Resist
Socrates Ring of Immortality - Monkey Tricks w/ Elemental Resist
Cestus
Impenetrable SBC of Immortality - Iron Will of Ajax
Battlemage Greaves
Astrapi
Ethereal Veil - Attack Speed or Physical Damage bonus

Tiresias' Guide is a no brainer, being a hybrid -% to equipment requirements is a god send. The -% CDR is also welcome due to lessen the cooldowns of Stone Form and Eruption. It gives a decent chunk of DA and is also one of the few unique items that give a generous bonus to +% INT. Overall, this is a very good base item for any mage hybrids, as it tends to fill out exactly what the class is lacking.

Truthfully, I could have used Robe of Sidros Lobos for Avenger as well. Choosing Cestus was an aesthetic choice to be honest, because of how it fit well with the Sage's theme. However, in exchange for the DA and large flat bonus to INT, you get a generous amount of resists for Elemental, Vitality and Pierce, some -% CD, as well as +% to INT and Health.

Battlemage Greaves was taken for the massive + flat DA, keeping us at ~1,000 DA breakpoint.

Rings of choice are obvious, INT% boost with a generous bonus to +HP. Then Monkey tricks relics for the RR and added resists from the bonus. Amulet of choice might be questionable at first glance but it was the only slot where I can get ADCtH from. While Necklace of Harmonia give a bigger ADCtH % bonus, other stats from the item are superficial. Having a Sacred of Feasting on the other hand gave me +skills and an extra slot for either another Monkey Tricks, Demon's Blood or even a Tortured Soul (Ritual bonus) depending on the situation.

Astrapi was used over Ichaival for two reasons:
  • I have previously done xMax Hardcore pre-AE, and I used Astrapi, since this is a Re-Run in AE/AE:R conditions, wanted to know to know if I could still do the challenge under similar conditions I had in the past.
  • Ichaival is designed for Dragonhunters, but because of how good the bow is as an all-around Elemental Damage bow, it might as well be the best in slot item for an Avenger, Sage and Dragonhunter. That really doesn't sit well with me, so I opted not to use it.
Regardless, Astrapi is very a strong choice for a Sage. It has flat lightning dmg bonus, +%lightning dmg bonus, +attack speed % and a stun proc. All of which are useful to your gameplay.

Biggest Threats/Potential Challenge Enders:
  • Barmanu [Legendary] - Do not go in. Use your pet's to agro the Yeti 1 by 1 near the arena's agro-line close you. Since he will most likely burn his ice shower on your pet, you can spike down the Barmanu that is agro'd on to your pet when he reaches you with relative safety. I personally think Marduk's Tablet of Destiny is not necessary here, but it's good to have as a safety net. Your buff will give you ice and light damage absorption and reflect back damage. You can abuse this with Marduk's Tablet
  • Talos [Epic & Legendary] - He is very, very resistant to the damage type you do, and since this will be an endurance fight, the possibility of being chain stunned by his ground stomp is always there.
  • Hades [Legendary] - On his 3rd form, a Nova chain stun is a death sentence. You get looped, you die... Play this boss like a mage, and pull 1-2 at a time but not all 3. This fight only poses a danger to you if you engage all 3 at the same time. Pet pulling to the agro line should help you lose 1-2 Hades.
  • Dactyl [Epic & Legendary] - Don't attempt to fight. Dactyl's seem to have high resistance to elemental damage. Do you really want to risk a extended encounter against one of the most known hardcore toon killers in Titan Quest? AI is unpredictable and erratic, some times he'll throw out his wave in intervals there are times when he just goes *pew pew pew* = dead. You have no efficient cheesing ability, nor can you withstand consecutive waves or spike him down. So, avoid this fight.
  • Toxeus, the Murderer (Non-Secret Passage) [Legendary] - without at least 30% or  more damage reduction from Undead, this chance spawn is almost guaranteed to end your hardcore xMax run. The only reason why this monster is not on the top spot is because the chances of you meeting him is actually very slim.Unless you actually intend to farm Labyrinth for Stonebinder gear or Valley of the Kings for Revenant drops. Any caster with no form of undead damage reduction will find themselves tombstoned faster than they can blink.

Progression & Recommended Grinding Routes:
  • [Level 1 - 45] Snowball your way to Squall. Tech all the way to it, investing in low level skills will simply delay your progress. Since you are rushing DEX to equip your Legendary SBC as early as possible wear as much +elemental/lightning damage gear you can get your hands on. While maxed Squall early has a pretty fast mob clear with relative safety, better to farm High XP vs. Time Spent bosses  (Gorgons, Telkines, Bandari, Typhon).
  • [Level 45 - 55] Farm Hades till 50 before you go to Ragnarok. The difficulty spike will shock you when you are go to Act 5 to early during normal. From here on out, respec into Bow toon and start unleashing hell.
  • [Epic and Beyond] Farm XP rich areas with your newly transitioned Hybrid. Gorgons, Typhon and Hades are the usual suspects. As for mob farming, Act 1 War Camps, & Act 5 Ashen Wasteland are good farming spots due to density and high XP. It might be worth your while to equip -% damage to x creature first before you do any long time mob farming.
« Last Edit: 16 May 2018, 09:05:07 by gasconron »

Offline Jerome26

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Very informative guide… thanks for help and advice

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