Path of Exile, A guide for your second character!!
Hello. First I am going to be straightforward and say that Path of Exile is a vastly superior game to Diablo 3. I know, this is sacrilege coming from DSLRs #1 Diablo fan, but its just a fact.
Path of Exile is what Diablo 3 should have been. Its a sequel to Diablo 2 that has its advantages and disadvantages to D2, but its a great game.
Im writing this guide to help you understand how to plan your character for maximum fun. Jumping in and exploring as you go is fine, we all do it. But soon your character will hit a wall and you will become frustrated and fed up with constantly dying or your lack of damage output. Thats where this guide comes in. When youre ready to start your second character, read this first!
Rule #1: Once you lay your plans DO NOT DEVIATE! If you come across something in the game that piques your interest, save it for your next character. If you play this game a lot, eventually you will have multiples of the same class, but each is unique in its build and itemization. Take note of the item or skill, put it in your stash tab for future builds and move continue with your current character, or go reroll and start your new idea. This is what makes PoE and D2 fun, new characters with new builds and new crazy items to build around!
Rule #2: Always factor in having max resist. Your builds need to be designed with the fact that you will need to have maximum, or as close to maximum as you can possibly get, resist. Use the passive skill tree planner on the website and figure out how much resist you will be able to acquire via passives, quest rewards (normal Bandits quest in Act 2, help Kraytin provides 8%) and then make a note to make up for your lack of resistances in your gear. Also keep in mind that it is very difficult to get Chaos resistance, but there are a few passive talents that provide Chaos resistance. Also, Chaos Inoculation passive talent is available to classes that will have extremely high energy shields.
Rule #3: Be aware of the mana reservations of your auras. Some are % based, others increase as the skill increases. Check out the PoE Wiki for information on aura gem leveling. For example, the Clarity gem is mathematically the most efficient at level 11. Also be aware that if you choose the Blood Magic passive talent, auras will now reserve life instead of mana, which can be beneficial to you with the correct build!
All right, enough rules! Lets get to how to properly create your 2nd (1st real) character!
What to play?
First, select a skill gem you find tantalizing.
Wait, what do you mean, Saviouss? A skill gem? Wouldnt I want to pick a class?
Nope! Heres why. In Diablo 2, classes were given specific skills unique to that class. Whirlwind for a Barbarian, Blessed Hammer for a Paladin etc. Until D2X, there was no way a Barbarian was going to be whirling any Blessed Hammers. Even after D2X, the items that provided those skills werent powerful enough to justify building a Blessed Hammer Barbarian unless you wanted to live your days out killing Fallen in Act 1.
In PoE; however, every class can use every skill gem. Some skill gems are easier to amplify via passives with one class, like bow skill gems and a Ranger, than they are with a Marauder, but that doesnt mean you cant make a Marauder that uses bows and bow skill gems. In fact, you may have an idea for a bow marauder already in your head!
Take my current interest, Righteous Fire. This skill is a huge build around me! skill. Any class could use it, but since it requires both strength and intellect to level, I chose to make a Templar, who is naturally a Str/Int hybrid class. This isnt to say I couldnt pick a Ranger, a naturally Dex based class, and go the Righteous Fire route, but it would require more effort to use my skill gem of choice effectively.
So choose a skill gem that intrigues you. It could be something as simple as cleave or fireball, or something more off the wall like detonate dead. After you choose your skill gem, go the Wiki and PoE official forums and do a little research on it. You may surprise yourself with how the skill works, or doesnt work.
Now, obviously you are going to want to cast or use more than one ability, but this is going to be your primary damage dealer. But giving yourself an idea of what skill gem youre going to build around can give you an idea of what kind of stats your character is going to have. If you are a fan of Cleave, then you are going to need a lot of strength. Heavy Strike and Infernal Blow also use strength, so you can plan your class build around having those as additional skills to your melee build. Now, something to also keep in mind, especially with a melee class, is that there are seemingly endless bonuses to specific weapon types like swords or axes, as well as bonuses to one handed and two handed weapons. If you are lucky enough to have found a sweet 2 handed weapon, plan for it! Similar to a 1 handed weapon. Dont cheat yourself out of amazing passives because you didnt take into account whether you want to use a one or two handed weapon with your skill choice. If you want to build a wand witch, take the wand passives first! Then you can focus on secondary skills.
Ok, I like this skill, now what class?
So youve found your skill gem that you want to use. Now you need to find a class. Here is a brief overview of each class:
Pure classes start closest to a primary stat area in the skill tree, strength, intellect or dexterity.
Witch The witch is a pure intelligence class. She starts near increased elemental damage passives, minion bonus passives, curse passives, wand passives and her defensive bonus passives revolve around energy shield. She the games primary caster. Select the witch if you choose skill gems like fireball, freezing pulse, arc or you want to use wands for damage. The witch is also a a fantastic choice for choosing a summoner or a support roll with the ability to apply multiple curses to enemies via the passive tree. When gearing a witch, because of her passives and intelligence being her primary stat, choose items that provide energy shield and resistances. The witch is a prime candidate for Chaos Inoculation, which makes you immune to chaos damage but reduces your life to 1. Shields up!
Marauder The marauder is a pure strength class. He starts near increased melee damage passives and huge life bonus passives and several resist bonus passives, including the only passive that increases your maximum resist past 75. The marauder also starts near several bonuses to shield passives. Choose the marauder if you want to be in the fray of battle, bashing skulls and cutting off arms. Skills like shield charge, cleave, infernal blow and heavy strike are good reason to choose Marauder. When gearing a Marauder, focus on armor or armor/evasion if you have enough dexterity.
Ranger The ranger is a pure dexterity class. She starts near bonuses for dual wielding and bow passives. The ranger is the best choice if you want to play a class designed to fight from a distance with physical damage or weapon elemental damage. Skills like arrow rain, split arrow and lightning arrow are good reason to pick a ranger. Also, skills such as dual wielding axes or swords make for great rangers. When gearing a ranger, go with heavy evasin or armor /evasion.
Hybrid Classes start between the primary classes, meaning they are designed to fill multiple roles.
Templar The Templar is a strength/intelligence class. Their focus is on auras and buffs, using staves and scepters and dealing both physical and elemental damage. Skills like purity and righteous fire are right up the templars alley. They are mix between spell casting and melee damage, being neither extremely proficient in either, but holding their own in both categories to match the strengths of a witch or marauder. When gearing a Templar, you can focus on either energy shield and armor or a sold mix of both, as they have armors with both on them.
Shadow The shadow is a dexterity/intelligence class. They focus on a mix of curses and spell casting along with rogue type abilities, using daggers and skills that allow them to quickly jump from enemy to enemy. Dual strike and flicker strike are primary examples of skills the shadow would want to use. The shadow is an excellent survival class, able make use both of evasion and energy shield armors, the best sources of survival in the game.
Duelist The duelist is a dexterity/strength class. They can use bows, dual wield or use 2 handed weapons. They are designed around speed to deal damage quickly and avoid attacks. Skills like double strike and flicker strike are great duelist abilities. Duelist are designed to use armors that provide evasion and armor.
Ok, Ive got a few skills that seem to mix well, Ive picked my class, can I start playing yet!?
Close. Now you want to take a look through the list of unique items. Unique items are a great way to supplement your build via modifiers that are not traditionally found on rare or magic items. For example, there are a pair of gloves that increase your unarmed damage by 950%! There is a staff that increases your fire damage by a large percentage and increases the level of fire gems in it by 2. There is a helm that increases your spell damage by 30% when you are low on life (35% life or less). There are all sorts of crazy items in this game that make your one specific build go form average to over the top. Look at the wiki and find some items that make your build work, then try trade for those items. Some items are more exspensive than others, but you can plan on paying a GCP (Gem Cutters Prism) or 2 Chaos Orbs for most average unique.
Once youve planned your gear and your items, look at the passive skill tree and plan out your first 70 points. Look at your skill gems and see what requirements you may need to fulfill so you can use that gem when you reach the correct level, and that you are meeting the requirements to continue leveling that gem. Look at what your unique items require to equip. Plan your resistances out. Find the most productive route to get a specific passive that makes your build work. Ive found there is a faster route to one passive than the one I was taking, often times saving me 3-4 skill points to get it. Now youre ready to play.
Saviouss Righteous Fire Templar
Here is my example of how I decided to build my templar.
Righteous Fire You deal 50% of your life as fire damage to enemies every second. You take 100% of your life damage every second as fire damage. This effect ends when you are on 1 life. While Righteous Fire is active, you have 30% increased spell damage, increasing by 1% per gem level.
I knew I would need high resist and to run the purity aura as well, so I made a Templar, as purity requires both strength and intelligence to level, and the Templar starts close to the 5% increased maximum resist. I also knew that I would need high life regen to offset the damage I would take from Righteous Fire. I planned my tree to get the best life regen passives I could, which stretch from the Templar tree all the way into the Duelist Tree, giving me 7.4% life regen (or close to it, Ill need to check my notes when I get home). I also knew that I wanted as much life as I could possibly get, because the higher my life, the more damage righteous fire does. Currently at level 34 it deals 438 damage a second, or my life, 876, divide by 2.
In order to maintain Righteous Fire with only 7.4% life regen, I would need my fire resist to be about 93%, which is feasible with a Ruby Flask that increases my max fire resistances by 10%. But I wont have my flask be up 100%, so I needed to make up for that. After getting the 5% passive, I am at 80%. Purity has a hidden stat that increases your maximum resitances by 4%, bringing me to 84%. Without a flask, I needed to maintain 16% life regeneration per second to offset the damage I would take.
I headed over to the Wiki to look at unique with life regeneration by % on them. There is none. Hmm. There are 3 items with %life regen when on low life, an amulet providing 1%, chest piece providing 2% and a shield providing 6%!! Thats 9% life regen when on low life (35% or less life), plus my 7.4% is 16.4% when on low life, offsetting my righteous fire damage. PLUS, there is a unique helm that provides the passive skill, Pain Attunement, that gives me 30% increased damage when on low life AND a sword that increases my damage by 100% when at low life? Boom.
So I decided I would build a melee templar while I built up my life and life regeneration, trade aggressively for the uniques I need and once I hit 42 to equip all my gear, turn on righteous fire, start using ice spear and the increased critical damage and increased critical chance support gems with it (ice spear has a 600% increased critical chance after traveling a short distance) and reap the benefits of 160% increased damage almost full up time and any melee getting close to me taking huge damage per second.
Its going great so far!
"This thread has more subs than the actual game." Phantasee, in reference to SWTOR