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  #1  
Old 08-29-2007, 06:04 PM
AnalogKid AnalogKid is offline
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Default Demo Guide to Priests & Priest Skills

This is written to stimulate discussion, not because I think I know everything about the game. I've only played the Demo so far, so things can change and also the experience at higher levels may be very different than I expect. I am generally a pretty good power gamer, though, and I'm very good at exploiting rules systems so I feel like this is a pretty decent "first impression". I'll edit this first post over time (with appropriate credit) based on other posts here. If nothing else, this will give the dev team one gamer's opinion of their Demo game balance.

Other classes are on their way (each written in a mostly positive way, I'm not trying to comment too much on the relative balance of each class).

Why Play a Priest?
=============

- Ranged attacks
- Awesome array of available skills
- Healing

Why Not Play a Priest?
================

- Difficult to assign attribute points everywhere since Priests can benefit from all attributes.
- Priests don't seem to have a way to quickly replenish Faith (like mages with mana potions can).
- Easy to end up spread too thin and not good enough at any particular skill.

Direct Comparisons:
===============

- Warriors are more effective at overall damage per second & defense
- Rogues have better crowd control
- Mages are like poor priests. They can slow-down with cold magic and also have some limited crowd control, but they do similar damage, can't heal, don't have physical attacks as a viable option, have worse defense and less life, and generally aren't as good.

Key Skills:
=========

- Healing

Other Comments:
=============

- It would be cool to play a truly do-it-all Priest, but that seems to spread things too thin. I find there's basicly 2 archetypes: Melee Priests and Spell Priests.
- Melee Priests focus on Buffs, defense, healing, and Mace Mastery.
- Spell Priests focus on ranged attack spells and healing.
- It's hard to do both things because it requires attribute points in Str (to use gear and do damage), Dex (to hit things and have defense), Vit (for health), Int (for crits), and Spirit (to cast spells). Also, the skill points that help for fighting are wasted if you're casting spells from range and vice-versa. You can get a good mix of passive and active skills that compliment each other if you focus in one area.
- NPC Priests can buff you at your lifestone even if they're not your adventuring partner! Since it lasts 5 minutes, you don't need your partner to have a buff skill (nor do you need one).
- NPC Priests seem to always be ranged attackers until their faith depletes, even if they are better suited to physical attacks.


Skill-by-Skill Review:
===============

Offense Skills:
1 Holy Bolt (5-15 magic dmg per point)
Good. Spellcasting Priest. Better than Holy Strike because cheaper for more damage.

1 Shield Bash (-50% dmg, +5% atk, +10%dmg & +5% atk per point)
Good. Melee Priest. Control skill (prevents skills/spells for 4.5 secs). Only affects 1 target, re-use 10 sec means you can't really control even that 1.

2 Retribution (+30% dmg per point) (only after being hit, reuse 10sec)
Poor. Melee Priest. Only 1 retribution every 10 secs won't make noticeable difference. Only get when all other skills are ridiculously expensive.

2 Crushing Blow (+5% crushing blow per point)
Useless. Melee Priest. After !!230!! skill points to get level 20 Crushing Blow, only a x2 (+100%) base chance for crushing blow (crushing blow does max damage for that swing).

4 Holy Fire (8-12 dmg, +2-6 dmg per point) (area effect)
Poor. Spellcasting Priest. Area effect is rather small. +dmg per point is pathetic. Better to cast 2 (Bolt/Strike) spells and do FAR more dmg.

4 Lifeburn (8-12 dmg, 2 dmg/sec for 18 sec, +2-6 dmg & +?? dmg/sec per point)
Average. Spellcasting Priest. DoT is nice bonus that allows stacking of this spell with other spells cast later. Not as much dmg as other spells, though.

6 Zeal (+10% crushing blow & +20% dmg per point)
Good. Melee Priest. Expensive, but can make use of Faith for extra dmg. Only useful Faith-powered attack skill for Melee Priests.

6 Holy Strike (25-35 dmg, +4-14 dmg per point)
Average. Spellcasting Priest. Worse than Holy Bolt, but does different type of damage.

8 Holy Symbol (9-15 dmg, +2-3 dmg per point) (area effect)
Useless. Neat to damage whole screen at once, but if this little dmg matters, then all the little runts could be easily killed using normal means anyway.



Faith Skills:
1 Prayer (+5 Faith/sec, +3 Faith/sec per point)
Average. Spellcasting Priest. Only active when not using skills or spells, which means it's just a substitute for patience between fights.

1 Lesser Heal (25 heal, +16 heal per point)
Useless. Any Priest. Greater heal is better in all ways. Don't believe the description.

2 Precision (+10% atk per point)
Awesome. Melee Priest. Passive % bonus to atk, so it'll scale with your level and never be wasted while you use other skills. What more can you want?

2 Shield Mastery (+5% defense per point) (requires equipped shield)
Great. Melee Priest. % Bonus is small, but passive % bonus to def, so it'll scale with your level and never be wasted while you use other skills.

2 Cure Poison (cure 1 basic poison dot per point)
Poor. Any Priest. Limited skill only useful in certain situations. Better to get more Vit (Hardiness) and healing and be useful at all times, including when poisoned. If poison becomes mega-deadly at high levels, this could be more useful, but how many levels would be needed then?

4 Smite (Leech 4 Faith per hit for 30 sec, +?? per point)
Average. Melee Priest. Probably won't run out of Faith anyway, but at least this can be cast and then stacked with other attacks for the duration.

4 Regeneration (1 heal per sec for 2 min, +?? per point)
Average. Any Priest. Big advantage is that it can be cast ahead of time and stacked with other activities, whereas Greater Healing takes up the Priest's time to cast. Don't know yet if the heal/time is enough to matter at high levels.

4 Greater Heal (90 heal, +28 heal per point)
Great. Any Priest. Best healing spell in all ways. Can be cast on you or your follower. Can be useful in middle of hectic battle where the teleport stone isn't a fast enough option. Spares your lifestone during raids. Can be cast on all raiding members during a raid, even if you're not there (so you can stay at home and heal your troops with no risk while they do the dirty work).

6 Divine Intervention (50 heal, +50 Faith, +50 heal & +50 Faith per point)
Good. Any Priest. Spellcasters will get better benefit from big Faith boost than Melee Priests. 5 minute reuse time is so slow that this has very limited use.

6 Area Heal (20 heal, +16 heal per point) (area effect)
Average. Any Priest. Only 1 possible situation where it's better than Greater Heal, and that's during a raid with more than 3 allies in range. Might be usable as only healing skill, but it would take 51 skill points to match the healing of 4 skill points in Greater Heal for a single target.



Buffs Skills:
1 Hardiness (+10 Vit per point)
Awesome. Any Priest. Always cast this on everyone with you. If you get a follower with it, they can cast it from the lifestone so you don't need it and you don't need that follower to be your adventuring partner. Either this or True Aim can be active at any one time, never both.

1 True Aim (+10 atk per point)
Average. Melee Priest. Bonus is not a %, so go with Hardiness and Precision instead.

2 Protection-Fire (+10 resistance per point)
2 Protection-Lightning (+10 prot per point)
2 Protection-Poison (+10 prot per point)
2 Protection-Cold (+10 prot per point)
Great. Any Preist. Bonus is not %, but still pretty good protection with long enough duration to be stacked with almost all other skills. Can only choose 1 element at a time to be protected from.

4 Shield of Fire (+5 dmg per point) (to attacker when hit)
Useless. Damage is way too small to matter.

4 Holy Shield (absorb 50 dmg per point for 30sec)
Good. Any Priest. Duration is less than re-use, so you can't keep this spell up, but it's free health that can be stacked with other skills for at least a short while. FAR more efficient than any kind of healing while it's active.

4 Mace Mastery (+15 atk & +8% dmg & +5% crushing blow per point)
Awesome. Melee Priest. Just get it.

10 Chain Armor (allows wearing Mail armor)
Awesome. Any Priest. Increases options for magic items, even if armor is not that important to a Spellcasting Priest.
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I'm not giving up, on implausible dreams
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2007, 10:31 PM
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Delilah Rehm Delilah Rehm is offline
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I use Holy Bolt ALOT. I rarely have a problem running out of faith, and it usually happens if a monster has faith steal.

Delilah Rehm
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:08 AM
AnalogKid AnalogKid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delilah Rehm View Post
I use Holy Bolt ALOT. I rarely have a problem running out of faith, and it usually happens if a monster has faith steal.
Yeah, I found it to work better than Holy Strike, but it's only obvious from the numbers. My biggest worry is that it'll be too expensive to keep pushing up the damage of spells at high levels (problem with Mages, too). Guess we'll find out when we can play beyond lvl 7...

(Speaking of which, even though I can only play the demo right now, I've tried to consider high levels when writing these guides. I'm personally always willing to work a little harder early on to have a better character in the end, rather than making things easy early on by wasting skill points on dead-end skills that won't be useful at high levels.)

I also didn't really have trouble with Faith, but I think that's because I generally move slowly and try not to draw a huge mob all at once. In dungeons it's a bit harder and I expect at high levels it'll be even more nasty. If you don't have any issues, though, consider fewer Spirit points because Priests can definitely use other attributes!

Have you found anyway (other than Divine Intervention or Prayer) to rapidly increase Faith?
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I'm not missing out, on the promise of adventure
I'm not giving up, on implausible dreams
Experience to extremes..." - RUSH, The Enemy Within

Last edited by AnalogKid : 08-30-2007 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:10 PM
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Delilah Rehm Delilah Rehm is offline
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I usually can fill up my faith quickly (I'd say not more than 5 sec) by touching the lifestone while praying. I like to use this time to identify items.

I'm feeling so un-geeky here because I've never run the numbers to see what would be best for my character... But here are some things that I think are good: My girl is level 38. I have 13 points in Holy Bolt (65-195 magic damage). I dump lots of skill points in strength (133 - +66.5% damage) so I can heft the best weapon I can find. On the left of my character window, it says: damage 44-130. I guess that's my normal attack.

Generally, I like to run around with a warrior and kick ass. I hit things and they die fast. With that being said... I must add that I've been playing while ongoing changes are being made to the game, and lately, I haven't had that easy of a time killing stuff (mostly uniques and named guys). As far as the other covs go, they usually aren't a problem (and yes, I give the one I plan to befriend all of the junk they don't buy).

Delilah Rehm
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:09 AM
AnalogKid AnalogKid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delilah Rehm View Post
I'm feeling so un-geeky here because I've never run the numbers to see what would be best for my character...
Heh. I'm an engineer and it shows. Obviously not everyone's as anal as me about building the "best" character, and it's a good thing that they don't have to be. I think it's a sign of a well-designed game if someone can just try things that sound cool and they mostly work as expected.

That's one big reason for me to highlight what I think are the truly worthless skills, because anyone who buys them will be getting penalized for not doing a bunch of number-crunching.

Of course, I'll be wrong about some of them because I don't know enough about the game, but that's alright as long as people point it out and describe how they use the skills to good effect. That's the point of posting in a forum instead of just emailing the devs.
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I'm not missing out, on the promise of adventure
I'm not giving up, on implausible dreams
Experience to extremes..." - RUSH, The Enemy Within
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:16 PM
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Delilah Rehm Delilah Rehm is offline
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I am a geek in many ways, but I guess I'm not a gaming geek. I still have fun playing my girl. I can't wait for the expansion with multiplayer since one of my favorite things to do playing games is to team up with Steven.

Delilah Rehm
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