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Messages - Firebrand

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Runemaster AE / Re: Runic Elemental Shotgun
« on: 21 April 2018, 22:23:40 »
All right, I've figured out how to beat Fafnir reliably (that is, without dying).

A few remarks about the recording:
- I open and close the Quest Log window a few times when I start the game. It's out of habit; when I start a game, it's always flashing, so I got used to opening and closing it so it doesn't. In Act V, I usually need to open it a few more times for it to stop. That's why, in case you were wondering.
- Yes, I took the time to kill the wasps. They're annoying.
- Yes, I've levelled up to level 82. I've been playing this character way too much, I know.

Runemaster AE / Re: Runic Elemental Shotgun
« on: 21 April 2018, 16:24:28 »
Fafnir time!

I was hardly surprised when I actually found Fafnir in Fafnir's Cave on Legendary. That's how far I went so far; it's an amazing farming spot, something that Act V sorely needed (Surtr himself is pretty good once you've finished the chapter, but his drops seemed rather lackluster on Normal and Epic, and while I unlocked Primrose's Passage, hardly anything seems to drop there that's not an Easter egg).

He seems the most dangerous bonus boss so far, but I feel that it might be so due to unfamiliarity and technical difficulties. Namely, his hitbox is so large that I often end up shooting at him even when I'm trying to step aside. I don't know what damage type his red-black maelstrom attack deals. I have Energy Armor for physical, pierce and bleeding, and have otherwise decent-to-great resistances all around, except for poison (though that is also positive), yet I die from just merely touching it so quickly that usually I don't even have the time to activate Stone Form. I doubt it's poison, as that is usually color-coded for our convenience. Is it life leech, maybe? That sounds reasonable to me.

I figured that the best strategy, ironically, is to simply rush him head-on after putting a Seal of Fate under him. His bites are just as lethal, but I can use Stone Form properly, and after it ends, Thunder Strike with yet another Stone Form. Usually I don't need more than two or three cycles (though I also soften him up and charge my Rune Weapon as he stands up). And still die pretty often, but oh well. I'm sure it'll get better with practice.

Once he dropped a ring (it wasn't in his orb - which is, by the way, named Majestic Chest for some reason - but he dropped it on dying), called Andvaranaut. Aside from pretty odd effects, it has a +50% experience - can you imagine equipping two of those and a Sacrificial Necklace for quests? Sounds crazy. I guess I know what I'll do for the rest of my characters.

I can understand why you'd want to use two axes, though. I personally like wielding two weapons of the same type, but two swords are too fast (would go over the attack speed cap), and two clubs... well. And you're a Berserker, after all! What goes better with a Berserker than double axes?

As for closing the gap to ranged enemies, War Wind is an excellent skill that will help you out there. The +300% movement speed makes you fast as lightning. Before Ragnarök (or Anniversary Edition, for that matter) one of my favorite Warfare tricks against a lot of archers was using War Wind and then immediately following up with War Horn. As a Berserker, you have Thunder Strike for another area attack, too!

I myself have a Berserker beyond halfway Act III now. I personally find it great fun so far. I hope you'll feel the same!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but actually I'm fairly certain about this.

As far as I know, the DPS rating on the character screen doesn't take skills into account, including LMB skills. Just as putting points into Onslaught wouldn't increase your DPS, nor would Marksmanship.

There's an important exception: buffs. Onslaught will increase your displayed DPS if you use it, as it puts a buff on you, which increases your physical damage (also I haven't tested this, but I assume that it increases all physical damage you deal, including things like War Wind, but possibly even things like Volcanic Orb or Eruption - I simply speculate this based on how it states that it increases physical damage you deal, but doesn't imply any restrictions on it).

Marksmanship, on the other hand, applies no buff to the player; it only modifies the attack itself. You won't see any change in the DPS, no matter whether you use it or not.

Edit: Increasing projectile speed has another, possibly much more important effect, at least for bows and thrown weapons: it increases range. I never noticed it before, and bows have a pretty tremendous range on their own, but thrown weapons benefit a lot from it. After I stopped playing my Dragon Hunter (at least temporarily) and went back to my Stonespeaker, I noticed how much closer I needed to be to enemies to actually deal damage to them.

Runemaster AE / Re: Runic Elemental Shotgun
« on: 06 April 2018, 03:56:52 »
The Core Dweller might not hold up in Legendary by itself, but at least for this character, that's not its job, anyway.

Pets have always been something of an afterthought for most of my characters, and this time is not any different. I'm not running a pet build, and the Core Dweller doesn't need to destroy things on its own, nor to survive an enemy onslaught for very long. My character's capable of laying waste to pretty much anything in a rather short span of time, and the Core Dweller is there to ensure I'm given that time by redirecting some of the attackers to itself. It usually doesn't die while doing that (for which a maxed Energy Armor is also responsible, I'm sure), so it works for me. It doesn't get attacked for too long because I usually get to kill its attackers soon enough.

That said, I haven't started Act V yet, I keep getting distracted.

So yes, your mileage might vary, especially if you're thinking in terms of a summoner character.

Runemaster AE / Re: Runic Elemental Shotgun
« on: 02 April 2018, 05:19:16 »
I guess it feels a little bit cheap to fight Cerberus in the doorway, but I guess it's not actually cheating.

As for the Melinoes, I agree about max Energy Armor, but unfortunately since I have -100% pierce resistance, even the nearly 7000 hit points don't last as long as I'd like them to. Guardian Stones is a bit limited by its huge cooldown, but otherwise I agree.

Tauceti, thanks for the suggestion; I'm actually running around with +4 to Rune (Falcon Cape, Crown of Dockma'Ar, Völva's Foot Wraps) and +5 to Earth (Crown of Dockma'Ar and two Chakrams of the Sun). While I switch weapons for casting Energy Armor, none of the bonus to Rune comes from weapons, so it's fine; and with my equipment, switching to secondary (Arcadion Judgement and Golden Shield of Pelaron) lets me cast that maximum level Energy Armor for a measly 600 energy, which I personally find satisfying. Come to think of it, I think it's what helped me take down Hades so quickly, too. Ironically, his minions, most notably the Melinoe but the Machae as well, take it down much faster than he does.

I'd say the Core Dweller is pretty good in legendary. Don't forget that the Energy Armor I don't leave home without applies to it, too, and with it, it can withstand quite the punishment. Not when a pack of Machae or, again, Melinoe swoop down on it, but usually it doesn't need to. If the enemies are focusing on the Core Dweller, it's doing its job and giving you the time to completely destroy everything in sight; and if they don't then, well, things aren't good for you, but the Core Dweller isn't going to die, either. To be honest, I haven't been counting, but I think that throughout entire Legendary Act IV, I think I could count on one hand how many times the Core Dweller died (excluding the main character dying, because that'd require a few more hands). And that's only with one point invested in each of its skills (admittedly with the +5 to Earth from equipment). At the end of the act, however (around the end of Elysium) I decided to put a few more skill points into the base skill and Metamorphosis because I was a bit overleveled and didn't really know what to do with my skill points anymore.

Edit: Forgot to say. I died a lot with this character, but I think it's not the character's fault. I'm usually a rather reckless and hasty player, and as a result never make any pretenses of trying to play without dying. In fact, it was only recently, in Legendary Act IV that I figured out that I could use Stone Form basically indefinitely; when I did, I stopped dying except for a select few cases. I'm sure that with better playing, the number of deaths could probably be minimized, though probably not eliminated; my Stonespeaker is a glass cannon, after all.

Runemaster AE / Re: Runic Elemental Shotgun
« on: 01 April 2018, 20:09:12 »
It's been a while since the last update.

Thing is, I've become interested in a lot of other characters (interestingly, almost all of them involved Rune... Rune and Earth are probably my favorite masteries right now), but my Dragon Hunter had trouble farming Normal Typhon for some better throwing weapons. So I thought hey, maybe it sounds a bit unfair, but couldn't I farm Normal Typhon with my Stonespeaker? I sure could. (As well as Surtr, because I spawn at the last point on Normal, and I don't want to change that, so I kill Surtr, teleport to Olympus and kill Typhon, too. Already found a few interesting new Ragnarök items this way.)

Anyway, after I started doing that, I got inspiration to finally finish Act IV Legendary. On one hand, I died a lot, usually to Melinoe (seriously, those things are far worse than Machae; hit just as hard but are much harder to hit); on the other, there are quite a few personal achievements for me here. I managed to kill both the Bloated One (the giant spider guarding the Mirror of Psyche) and Cerberus without dying once (and without equipping any item to deal with them specifically), though I cheated a bit at the latter - lobbed a Volcanic Orb at him straight from the entrance, put down an Eruption, started swarming Rune Weapon and Thunder Strike at him and simply switched Stone Form on when I knew I couldn't take it anymore without dying.

I met an Epiales hero. I didn't know those existed; sadly I have no screenshot and I don't remember the name. Interestingly, it wasn't quite as deadly as the Kalygotes (the only way for me to survive their area poison attack is Stone Form - fortunately, due to my huge recharge reduction, the recharge time is shorter than the duration, so energy is the only limiting factor - and I can drink energy potions while in Stone Form for whatever reason, so go figure). It had the most massive slowdown effect I've ever seen in the game, however, literally slowed my character to a crawl, even on the highest speed option.

Hades went down quicker than I've ever managed it. It's true, I managed to get him to focus on my Core Dweller, and the Seal of Fate (with fully maxed Aftershock) as well as Polaris's resistance reduction made short work of him.

I'm tempted to record a video of destroying Hades, but I never really tried farming Hades at all - he's too far even from the last rebirth fountain, let alone the portal (and I'd need to use the portal as I've already gone on to Act V). I guess I'll give the Stonespeaker a bit of rest again - unlike Act IV, I'm quite fond of Act V, so I have no qualms putting that off for now. I suppose I'll do a little farming, maybe some more Normal Surtr and Typhon as well as Legendary Typhon. Combined, so it doesn't get boring. (Okay, farming always does.)

Edit: Duh, thinking back, Runic Mines might have been the solution against the Melinoe... Oh well, maybe I'll try it someday. Why do I always think of these when it's too late?

More edit: I noticed that I had an Arcadion Judgement (with -24% energy cost, no less) sitting in my vault, so I figured I'd try equipping that with Golden Shield of Pelaron in the secondary slot for Energy Armor. Poof, maxed Energy Armor for around 500-600 energy. Not even a hassle to reapply anymore.

Warfare AE / Re: Flurry of Steel and Fire - The Berserker
« on: 01 April 2018, 01:09:20 »
That's where I'm at a loss, Tauceti. There are just so many skills to spend points on!

Apparently, past me decided that Onslaught and the Dual Wield tree were first priorities, but that was before Rune was even a thing. And now my Warfare mastery is maxed, so I decided to get the important skills maxed in there, and then move on to Rune. What I'm planning to do is spending one more level's skill points on Warfare (to finish Dual Wield, as well as to put a point or two into Ardor), then start climbing up the Rune mastery. I plan to put one point each in the skills I consider useful (Unleash, Frightening Power, and actually surprisingly little else for the time being), reach 24 points, and then start maxing Reckless Offense and Runeword: Burn. After that... we'll see.

I imagine I'll use throwing weapons against bosses that warrant it (Porcus the Ketos comes to mind), but I'd really like to avoid them taking over the whole character, as they did with the Stonespeaker, even if that was warranted, as Rune and Earth in themselves aren't quite sturdy enough to stand up to enemies in melee.

Bosses so far have been pushovers. In fact, for the first time throughout my whole Titan Quest career, I entered the chamber with Aktaios, charged at him, and killed him without even having to move around. Once I put the standard down, things die ridiculously fast. I'm sure that's going to change, though.

Hunting AE / Re: Shuriken Storm
« on: 30 March 2018, 21:24:08 »
I've made a few videos, but uploading them is a bit problematic right now (also I'll have to choose which one to put up).

Other than that I haven't progressed much. Finished Act III, and then switched characters for the time being. It was getting a bit rougher around there, too; Hoi Polloi is probably starting to seriously lag behind in damage output, even with the whopping level 8 Volley it provides. So I tried to farm Typhon a bit for some better throwing weapons, but no luck so far. (The Berserker, on the other hand, found Death's Wings in the Temple of Marduk - will have to see if that helps.)

Sadly, I'm pretty sure Volley doesn't proc off Thunder Strike - I would've noticed, I think, and other than that, I always assumed that passive attack triggers usually only work with regular attacks (and Reckless Offense, which is a series of regular attacks - I think). But I'm not sure. It'd be fun.

Warfare AE / Flurry of Steel and Fire - The Berserker
« on: 30 March 2018, 21:20:50 »
Alright, I'm back with yet one more of these threads.

An item I found relatively recently has once again ignited my interest in the Berserker.

I've said a few things about what I imagined would be interesting about it in the other topic (see here: - hopefully I did the linking right), but I'll reiterate quickly (maybe in a little more organized form.

- Astounding number of melee procs, not to mention that, as far as I could see with my Stonespeaker, the individual hits from Reckless Offense's multi-attack can themselves trigger Runeword: Burn (not sure about the dual-wielding ones, though - will have to test).
- War Wind and Thunder Strike both provide useful area attacks that help close the distance to ranged attackers as well.
- Ludicrous amounts of offensive ability from Weapon Training and Runeword: Feather.
- Battle Standard, Guardian Stones, Ancestral Horn... Now that sounds like something to try (later).
- Battle Rage and Sacred Rage (not that there's so much synergy between them in particular, just so much rage).

The thing that put me off from the Berserker for a long time was having to decide between going with strength and Onslaught or intelligence and Rune Weapon. While the intelligence route was tempting due to being more novel and unconventional, as well as good for having a built-in attack damage converted to health, it has its drawbacks - Hew doesn't do much on its own, the enormous offensive ability doesn't help much as elemental damage doesn't crit, Crushing Blow again doesn't do much (I don't know how powerful Crushing Blow is, anyway, but it sure is fun early in the game), Triumph is a bit less powerful... So overall, strength seemed the better choice anyway, but Berserker's Mantle convinced me completely.

Rather conveniently, I had a Warrior in the middle of Normal Egypt, developed towards strength (obviously) but without a secondary mastery (as I started that character before Ragnarök and didn't know what to choose). So... Berserking time!

Past me apparently decided that Onslaught and the Dual Wield tree were the most important to max out first, so I decided to continue that (went into Rune anyway, to get the shiny new Berserker title as well as Rune of Life - mainly for the movement speed, but the percentile increase to Strength is also good - Sacred Rage, and Thunder Strike). I have a point each in most Warfare skills, though, except for the horns (I should invest in them soon, though).

War Wind and Thunder Strike on the same character is evil. Use War Wind to close the distance in a blink of the eye, attack everyone around, and then use Thunder Strike to attack everyone around again. Playing on the highest speed option (I'm impatient) is really satisfying as pretty much every hit I land now is a critical; being surrounded pretty much means that yellow numbers float up from basically every enemy in melee range. Good stuff.

However, the reason why I started this thread is a little different.

I'm in Act III now, and usually when I enter a new act, I try a few items from my vault that look interesting. Weapons are usually less so in Normal, as Quicksilver Bludgeon stands out so much from the rest that I generally tend to end up using it far into Act IV and more. Not this time, however.

As I looked around, I had a pair of a Yin and a Yang, neatly next to each other. At the first glance, I never thought they'd be more than a pair of gimmick weapons, probably for Spellbreakers, but... sure, why not. (I really like how they're done, thematically, anyway.) Especially since I had Imperial Bracers and Imperial Greaves lying about, too.

I underestimated them. DPS increased by nearly two hundred compared to the Quicksilver Bludgeon + Marduk's Rage setup I'd been using before, and unless I'm fighting undead or constructs, the health bar doesn't really go below full (which renders Sacred Rage a little useless right now). I wanted to say that while I don't have critical hits for about 1000 damage anymore like I did with Quicksilver Bludgeon, around the end of today's session I had a few 1100-1200 crits (I assume Battle Rage and Crushing Blow did that).

Fun times. If you're like me and overlooked Yin and Yang, give them a try!

I'll keep playing with the Berserker, probably... Or one of my other characters. Either.

Items / Re: New Ragnarok Items Showcase (spoilers)
« on: 25 March 2018, 22:55:46 »
Among the horde of characters I've been planning to start and try, the Berserker ranks pretty high. There is a number of reasons for this.

First of all, just the name does it, really. When Rune Mastery came out, I excitedly looked up the new class names for its combinations. I thought to myself that Warfare with Rune just had to be Berserker. No other way about it. And then it was! I wanted to play one for a long time, and now it's available.

But there's plenty character-wise, too. Dual Wield, Hew, Cross Cut, Tumult, Reckless Offense, Runeword: Explode... Can you imagine the sheer number of melee procs? Thunder Strike and War Wind for two area-hitting charge skills! Runeword: Feather and Weapon Training for obscene amount of offensive ability (criticals, anyone?).

However, there are issues. I just couldn't decide whether to go for Intelligence and Rune Weapon or the conventional Strength-based route with Onslaught. Both seemed to have their merits, but I'll stop discussing that as it does not belong to this topic, most likely.

The thing is... I think I've found something to sway me towards strength.

Look at this and bask in its glory. The -10% bleeding resistance aside (which honestly isn't such a huge penalty), this seems surreal, both offensively and defensively.

Sadly, I'm pretty sure its Sacred Rage will not stack with Rune's Sacred Rage, as it's a buff and I'd guess it's not possible to have two instances of the same buff active at the same time. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but I think I tried with an Earth Enchantment granted by an item earlier, and it didn't work, as suspected.

Hunting AE / Re: Shuriken Storm
« on: 23 March 2018, 01:26:07 »
In fact, I have been ignoring Thunder Strike, yes. I have a point in it, as well as a point in Unleash, but I haven't really been using it, and the reason for that is simply that I don't need to. Everything goes down like crazy. I'm only in Act III normal now but I'm tempted to capture a gameplay video already. This character seriously wrecks pretty much anything already.

Hunting AE / Re: Shuriken Storm
« on: 19 March 2018, 00:12:42 »
I actually played around with the thought. Not with my Dragon Hunter, but with a Berserker. Both Onslaught and Rune Weapon are charge-based, so I figured that for fun I could try binding one of them to the left and the other to the right mouse button, use them alternatingly to keep the additional bonuses of each one up.

Now for the actual progress: Just entered Normal Act III. Mass destruction has already begun. A few levels back (around the middle of Egypt) I finally unlocked the last tier of Hunting skills, and with it, Volley. (I so wanted it that I even skipped Study Prey to get it sooner.) With +2 to all Hunting skills (one from Charioteer's Quiver - fantastic item - and one from a Sentinel's Armbands I got as a random drop, been using Theban Bracers before), and with the fact that it's already almost maxed, and with the Hoi Polloi I'm still using back from Greece, I regularly have triple Volley streaks. Reckless Offense and Runeword: Burn are still only at four points each, but I'm getting there.

More importantly, I've discovered that Puncture Shot Arrows and Scatter Shot Arrows both work with thrown weapons. I was assuming they wouldn't, considering how Marksmanship's text has been adapted to thrown weapons, but the other two's texts (and names) have not, but it's not the case. So that's yet more throwing murder for us. I haven't put any points into Runeword: Explode yet, though, but Runeword: Burn does work with Scatter Shot (the base projectile, I think, but not the fragments - not that I'm certain).

I found a bunch of Rungus in Egypt. It's pretty weird that they're so obviously oriented towards Hunting, yet have no pierce ratio - still, their DPS is barely below Will of Horus, so I might just switch that out.

By the way, I'm using Moonclaw for the Honed Weapon - pretty powerful! I wonder when I'll find an amulet good enough to replace it, especially that from epic and onwards on melee and ranged characters I tend to use amulets for attack speed (like Shifting Beads), but with a dual thrower, attack speed isn't that much of a consideration (already at 133%).

Things go down fast. I took special pleasure in destroying Sensunet Mal, my Stonespeaker's bane. I can hardly wait for those Jagged Silks. Speaking of which, I should go farm myself a second one sometime.

Hunting AE / Shuriken Storm
« on: 17 March 2018, 00:22:20 »
Of course I'm not quite there yet.

First of all, thanks to @botebote77 for the very idea that spurred me on this journey. For details, see the discussion here:

Long story short, I was pretty awestruck when I saw Jagged Silk, but not in my most far-fetched dreams did I think that separate instances of Volley would stack. Botebote suggested that they would, and quick testing suggests that they indeed do - so it's time to do something crazy.

I've only started recently, and wouldn't have started a thread just yet, but things happened - lots of them, in fact - and decided to do so anyway.

I started out with Rune (was pretty sure I'd want Rune, but wanted some more time to decide whether to go with Hunting or Rogue). Eventually went for Hunting to become a Dragon Hunter. Unlike any other character I've had so far, I've been juggling masteries back and forth; instead of focusing on maxing one of them, getting all the skills I was interested in, and then focusing on the other, I started out with Rune, then went for Hunting until I got Marksmanship, then back to Rune for Reckless Offense, and now I'm maxing Hunting to get Volley. After that... We'll see.

I'm already at two deaths. First is probably the earliest and most shameful death I've had - the first time the undead show up (in the graveyard next to the guy who wants to deliver potions to Tegea), I got caught off-guard by a few Plague Birds just as I'd run out of Health Potions. Embarrassing, but oh well. Second was Lysia Spellbreaker, who's always an annoyance, but this was the first time she was a lethal one.

The main reason why I started this thread so early is the selection of loot I got. I found a Copper Hunting Hatchet around level 2, was pretty happy about it, eager to use (it was not magical, but its base damage was by far higher than anything else available at its level). Good, then just after killing the first Satyr Brute a chest dropped Hand of Lycurgus. I thought wow, I was set for a long time - it is actually really good. Then not long after...

A Hoi Polloi dropped from a Sepulcher, I think. Same DPS as Lycurgus, but it also comes with Volley... Awesome. I found two Small Torches later. The in-game DPS meter gives a higher figure for them, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't calculate with Volley. I'm still dual-wielding them in the secondary slot against undead, who aren't quite as susceptible to pierce damage (I use Rune Weapon with them, too, for fun). It's a bit of a shame that Small Torches look and sound like knives and don't even have fire on them. If the burn damage procs, however, they one-shot any non-boss undead. (Also, got my Will of Horus out of the stash to dual-wield along with Hoi Polloi.)

Another reason why I went with starting the thread is skills. It occurs to me that I wouldn't want or need too many skills from either mastery. Marksmanship is fine, but Rune Weapon might work better in the end, as Puncture Shot Arrows and Scatter Shot Arrows don't seem to work with thrown weapons (I haven't tried, entirely based on their descriptions). Wood Lore is something I always go for with Hunting, but considering that Jagged Silk gives a huge bonus to attack speed and dual-wielding attack speed with thrown weapons is capped at 141%, it doesn't seem very useful at all - maybe for the defensive ability when I'm out of skills to put points into. Which leaves me with Art of the Hunt, Study Prey, Volley, and Herbal Remedy, as well as Marksmanship; Runeword: Burn, Reckless Offense, and potentially Rune Weapon in Rune. Probably Guardian Stones as well. Energy Armor, useful as it is, seems out of the question.

Items / Re: New Ragnarok Items Showcase (spoilers)
« on: 16 March 2018, 15:49:45 »
All right, copied the character with TQDefiler, levelled him up, and started testing.

It's a pain, really. Jagged Silk's projectiles are really small and hard to see, aren't affected by the visuals of Earth Enchantment (which really would've helped a lot), and more often than not don't even leave the white tracers behind. So take what I say with a grain of salt.

My verdict is that they stack, though. With Teucer's Warbow, I got 8-10 Volley triggers in 50 shots (I forgot the exact amount), whereas with Jagged Silk I got 18. My character has level 7 Volley (17% chance if I recall correctly).

Which means one thing... Off to create that Dragon Hunter or Trickster (I'll decide, but probably Dragon Hunter).

...I really should finish the game with my Stonespeaker sometime.

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