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Can one-handed/shield user with the Anaconda talent ever compete with the immense damage of a two-handed warrior?

One-handed Pros & Cons

Pros:
+ Able to utilize a shield and reach very high % to block physical attacks
+ Stat bonuses available on shields can provide more flexibility for your character's build
+ Less AP required for standard attacks
+ Can attain 10% damage bonus from Anaconda talent (assuming you're using a crushing weapon)


Cons:
- Two-handed weapons do immense damage compared to one-handed weapons, especially late-game
- More skill points need to be dumped into Shield Specialist to make effective use of shields.
- AP requirements for Skills remain the same regardless of weapon type (i.e. Whirlwind costs the same amount of AP whether you're using a one-handed or two handed weapon


Which do you think is better and why? ^^

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It depends on play style. I prefere two-handed as you can allocate the would be shield points elsewhere. in addition my knight has really high hp so he can take a beating and still be effective in deep battles where everyone else is teetering towards KO (and rushing to use healing techniques)

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In my experience, it's pretty straightforward.

One handed will never do as much damage as two handed.
Two handed will never be as tanky as a shield-user.

My sword and board has a 70% chance to block any melee attack. The only thing he gives a shit about is cc.
Meanwhile my 2-hander is dealing 2000 damage crits with bully.

Honestly, if you aren't having problems with survivability (I'm not) then go 2-h.

Also worth noting that 2-hander can make use of Anaconda as well, as there are 2-handed maces in the game.
Also also worth noting than most Man-At-Arms talents are more efficient if you're using a 2-handed weapon. Flurry = 4 hits for 8 AP. Much more valuable when you're using a slow weapon than when you're using a fast one.

Last edited by dirigible; 26/07/14 01:14 AM.
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The correct answer is swap between both depending on situation. You don't have to max Shield Defense to get a lot of defense out of a good sword and board set-up. Each point after the first is less efficient anyway. 1-3 points if you can spare it, I wouldn't go for 4+ personally unless you're not using any magic abilities.

So whenever you want to deal more damage and/or use skills that're based of weapon damage put on the 2h. Whenever you need to be more tanky put on the board. You can even do this in a single turn: equip 2h, deal as much damage as you can, equip sword and board to be more tanky during enemy turns.

It's a good idea to use a 1hander that emphasizes defense as well or has some utility/AP boosting stats, since you're not using it for damage anyway.

Last edited by Fellgnome; 26/07/14 01:19 AM.
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Very informative, thanks all for your responses =)

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Two-handed is the way to go in this game. There is little to no point in focusing on the defense. Combat design heavily revolves around offensive styles and AoE attacks, promotes eliminating targets as fast as possible and dealing damage in general. Another thing is the aggro mechanic which the player has no influence on besides Stench talent. Creating a character specialized in taking the beating instead of giving one, only to get ignored by enemies preferring to fight summons seems like a bad idea. At the end of the day, disregarding two-handed style in favor of one-handed one leads only to limiting your party's capabilities. And aside from Shield Specialist, you'd also need some points in Willpower to combat all these immobilizing statuses. Simply put, there is no need to be tanky if you can deal thousands of damage. You want flexibility. Offense is the best defense in my experience.


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Another thing to take note is Tenebrium skill which you will get in Act 2 , which will make 1H and 2H skill obsolete for Tenebrium weapon. Meaning all the points you put into that 1H/2H skill will not be counted in your damage points.

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Generic Str-based character = Two-handed, hands down
Man-at-Arms/spellcaster hybrid but counting on weapon damage instead of spell damage = Still two-handed
Man-at-Arms/spellcaster hybrid but planning on spells for most damage = Shield is actually the right choice

In other words, shields are good on armoured spellcasters, but not on warriors who happen to know a few spells.

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Originally Posted by Fellgnome
You don't have to max Shield Defense to get a lot of defense out of a good sword and board set-up. Each point after the first is less efficient anyway.

Technically, each point of Shield is MORE efficient than the last.
Going from 50 block to 55 block reduces incoming damage to 90% of what it used to be (on average).
Going from 55 block to 60 block reduces incoming damage to 88% of what it used to be (on average).

The only reason to STOP stacking block is that at a certain point you don't need any more survivability.

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Originally Posted by ScrotieMcB
Generic Str-based character = Two-handed, hands down
Man-at-Arms/spellcaster hybrid but counting on weapon damage instead of spell damage = Still two-handed
Man-at-Arms/spellcaster hybrid but planning on spells for most damage = Shield is actually the right choice

In other words, shields are good on armoured spellcasters, but not on warriors who happen to know a few spells.
This. A thousand times this. Shields should be used on Mages who want to be tanky. Not anybody who wants to attack with weapons.

Last edited by Incendax; 26/07/14 03:10 AM.
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I have to agree. Warriors wind up tanky enough with heavier armor and Man-At-Arms talents.

Most shields have a fairly low Str requirement, and can greatly reduce melee damage taken. Worth it for mages. Staves barely matter anyway.

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Originally Posted by dirigible
Originally Posted by Fellgnome
You don't have to max Shield Defense to get a lot of defense out of a good sword and board set-up. Each point after the first is less efficient anyway.

Technically, each point of Shield is MORE efficient than the last.
Going from 50 block to 55 block reduces incoming damage to 90% of what it used to be (on average).
Going from 55 block to 60 block reduces incoming damage to 88% of what it used to be (on average).

The only reason to STOP stacking block is that at a certain point you don't need any more survivability.


It costs more ability points per 5% block is what I mean.

Investment wise it looks like this:

1 = 5% block
3 = 10%
6 = 15%
10 = 20%
15 = 25%

I think 2 or 3 is a good place to stop. Especially considering good high level shields can have fairly high block on them already.

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The higher the block on the shield, the more valuable each point of Shield Specialist is.

For example, let's say I have 20% blocking. This means I have 25% increased survival against attacks (5/4); for every five hits coming at me, I eat four of them and don't take the fifth. With +2 Shield Specialist, this goes up to 30% blocking, which is 42% increased survival compared to 0% block (10/7), which is 14% more survivability than 20% blocking (10/7*4/5).

Now let's lock at 50% blocking. This is 100% increased survival against attacks compared to base (2/1). However, +2 Shield Specialist takes me to 60% blocking, which is 150% increased survival against attacks compared to base (5/2), and 25% more survivability than 50% blocking (5/2*1/2).

This means that Shield Specialist has far less diminishing returns than most skills, because the higher the block chance, the higher the survivability increase. If you can go from 75% block to 80%, that difference is absolutely huge.

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Originally Posted by ScrotieMcB
The higher the block on the shield, the more valuable each point of Shield Specialist is.

For example, let's say I have 20% blocking. This means I have 25% increased survival against attacks (5/4); for every five hits coming at me, I eat four of them and don't take the fifth. With +2 Shield Specialist, this goes up to 30% blocking, which is 42% increased survival compared to 0% block (10/7), which is 14% more survivability than 20% blocking (10/7*4/5).

Now let's lock at 50% blocking. This is 100% increased survival against attacks compared to base (2/1). However, +2 Shield Specialist takes me to 60% blocking, which is 150% increased survival against attacks compared to base (5/2), and 25% more survivability than 50% blocking (5/2*1/2).

This means that Shield Specialist has far less diminishing returns than most skills, because the higher the block chance, the higher the survivability increase. If you can go from 75% block to 80%, that difference is absolutely huge.


After a certain point though, you reach into excess survivability territory. You can roll face through hard without bothering to equip a shield at all, so why invest so many ability points on it?

Opportunity cost of other abilities you could be spending those points on has to be considered.

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Well, I definitely wouldn't recommend a Shield Specialist 5 character who has any hard points in Constitution whatsoever (although of course maybe a couple points in gear). If you're going Shield Specialist, there should be some reason why you don't want Attribute points in the more conventional survivability (such as feeling that hybrid split between Str and Int, another reason why armoured caster fits it so well). If you're planning on both conventional survivability on top of Shield Specialist, you're right, it's defensive overkill.

It's also really hard to make a good argument for Shield 5 anyway. Shield 4 I feel is justifiable on certain builds; Shield 5, not so much.

Last edited by ScrotieMcB; 26/07/14 09:28 AM.
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Hmm I really like the idea of trying out a caster with a shield. Think it would be worth it to give him a caster a couple STR so he can equip some pieces of tank armor as well? Would it impede movement too much?

And it's good to know I can interchange 1h & 2h during combat. That definitely will give me a reason to collect 2h weapons now.



Right now I am using a Lonewolf sword/board warrior with water spells, a ranger with geo/witchcraft(maybe scoundrel later), and jahan + fire spells. My warrior is a beast but CC can really turn the tides when he's out front within range of every CC. After reading forums I already have some amazing ideas for my next party!

Level 7 on first playthru - have read all content lovingly and still feel lost - loving it laugh

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Originally Posted by Windspin
Hmm I really like the idea of trying out a caster with a shield. Think it would be worth it to give him a caster a couple STR so he can equip some pieces of tank armor as well? Would it impede movement too much?

And it's good to know I can interchange 1h & 2h during combat. That definitely will give me a reason to collect 2h weapons now.



Right now I am using a Lonewolf sword/board warrior with water spells, a ranger with geo/witchcraft(maybe scoundrel later), and jahan + fire spells. My warrior is a beast but CC can really turn the tides when he's out front within range of every CC. After reading forums I already have some amazing ideas for my next party!

Level 7 on first playthru - have read all content lovingly and still feel lost - loving it laugh


I made a post on countering/avoiding disabling effects -

http://www.reddit.com/r/DivinityOri..._handling_disabling_effects_please_feel/

As for giving a caster a shield, you'll need enough strength to wield a decent shield that you may as well get added protection from plate. Personally I prefer stacking int to max before putting points in anything else on my mages though. Mobility isn't really too much of an issue considering the combined mobility of man-at-arms gap closers and mage teleports that can bring enemies toward you if needed.

That said, Man-at-Arms and the magic abilities have a lot of synergy. You could pull off a hybrid if you choose wisely on your attribute split and talents. I'd focus more toward one thing than the other in the early-mid game though, and hybridize later in the game when you have more attributes to spare.

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If you start with 8 Str and 8 Int (Know-It-All) you will have enough strength to wear a good shield and solid plate for most of the game. From there you can pump Int all the way to 15 and play as a true mage with quite a lot of durability under your belt.

By the time +2 starts appearing on items, you will have more than enough Strength with your base 8 to wear almost anything in the game.

Man-At-Arms really does have amazing synergy with mages. Especially since Rage increases the damage of spells. You need 10 strength to get 100% Rage, but once again that is easily accomplished with 8 Base + Items.

But you only need Man-At-Arms 1 to pick up Rage and two other utility effects. The AP cost will be high, but you can start every fight with Rage + A long range spell. Eventually you can start raising Man-At-Arms after you have maxed out another magic skill like Aero 5 or Pyro 5.

Last edited by Incendax; 26/07/14 04:36 PM.
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What is "max" for intelligence? 10? 12?

I was thinking about just doing enough str to equip a decent shield and decent armor, but otherwise full caster.

And I was going to make my lonewolf main the ranger next go around, and make my tank full-tank/hp rather than heavy dps

Thanks for the link too, I read it.

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Every 2 points of Intelligence reduces cooldowns by 1. So instead of being any sort of "hard" thing, it's best to look at what spells you're using and determine how much you need to reduce the cooldowns. For example, 16 Int allows you to cast 1 Feather Drop every turn.

Alternatively, each point is 5% additional status effect chance, so you can figure out how much Int you need to get a 100% status chance. For example, 18 Int gives Lightning Bolt a 100% chance to Stun.

You really need to consult your intended spelllist to know which values are best for you.

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