Author Topic: Breaking Titan Quest AE xMax on all 45 Professions - Hardcore (0 Deaths)  (Read 1439 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.

Points Regarding Ragnarok:
[in progress...]
« Last Edit: 30 December 2017, 08:45:06 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
Eruption, VO, Marksmanship
Personal Class+Build Tier Rating:
Difficulty Rating:
Early-to-Mid Game (1-55):
Late Game (55+):
Normal to Legendary Finish:
Kills:
Level Finished:

[reserved...]
« Last Edit: 30 December 2017, 08:16:57 by gasconron »