How do you guys do it?

Looking through this forum I constantly find myself amazed at what our resident build experts come up with. There’s not a character I have in game that isn’t a direct copy of something I’ve seen in this forum, or working toward being one.

I’ve tried many times to craft my own build, but in the end every attempt has failed miserably. With the complexities of GD I simply find myself overwhelmed by all of the factors that go into a successful character. Between stacking enough damage to be effective (while not spreading too thin among the myriad damage types), maintaining resistances, meeting attribute requirements for gear, selecting the right gear to support the concept, and the seemingly endless possibilities of the devotion system, I just find myself getting tunnel visioned on a single aspect and neglect the others to the point of failure.

How do you guys juggle all of these considerations? What steps do you take to go from concept to completed build? I highly doubt there’s a simple answer to the question, but I’m genuinely curious about how you accomplish what you do.

While I have absolutely no problem, and feel zero shame, with being a build follower, it would certainly be nice to manage something on my own. I just can’t seem to find a path through the maze.

The best and simplest explanation I can give is that it comes down to experience, a lot of people who make or post build guides here are long time players. Knowing what bonuses to prioritise in what situation, knowing where/how to best gather them, things like that you begin to pick up as you play more, ask for advice, read/look over other people’s builds etc.

As for going from a concept for a build to actually constructing is hard for me to explain (someone else will be able to do it without a problem though :p).

Remembering what each mastery does and what the majority of the items do helps a lot.

If you follow a build then having the end game gear is the hardest part if you are to enjoy it in ultimate. It’s just that simple sometimes

Being in your boat for sometime I can understand how overwhelming it is to consider making a good build that doesn’t have a guide here. Once you grasp the main concepts of what makes builds good though, you start to see that there’s actually a TON of builds possible that are not listed on these forums (although some members may still have them and play them). Here’s a few ways to try and differentiate a build you make from someone elses…

  • Damage type. This one’s probably easiest. Pick a build that you like, and try and do the same thing with a different damage type. For example, one of my first builds was a shield-based Frostburn DoT Blademaster, and I got the idea from seeing a Poison DoT tank build and a Bleed DoT tank build from Drizzto.

  • Sets. Pick a set of gear that you have, see if there’s a build for it on the forums. If not, try your best to make it work on your own. If there is one, read it and see if you can try making the set work with a different class combo focusing on the same damage types.

  • Builds relying on damage conversion. This is more for if you already have a ton of the gear, but pick a damage type you want to focus on, go to Grimtools and search “converted to X”, and see if you can get 100% conversion from one damage type to your chosen one. Then make a build focusing on sources of damage from both of them. Chthon does a lot of these so you can see how to do them well, but despite all the builds he’s posted there are plenty more possibilities to explore. These are typically end-game builds that you respec into though.

  • Try and find a combination of play style and damage type that hasn’t been explored yet. Since you know what the different damage types are, here’s a list of different play styles…
    Dual-Wield melee
    Dual-Wield ranged
    2hand melee
    2hand ranged
    Shield melee
    Shield ranged
    Shield cast speed caster
    Offhand cast speed caster
    Shield CDR (cooldown reduction) caster
    Offhand CDR caster

Hopefully this helps! Good luck and have fun experimenting, and let us know what you try!

I quite often build myself and when coming close to the end look at what other have done or ask around for help (Discord or some Steam friend I know have more experience than me)

Quite often the modification come to two things
A) Better Devotion route
B) One Item I didn’t remember that gonna push my stuff just a bit higher

Honestly build around 2 part offensive 1 part defensive (Mastery - Mastery - Devotion) as the “core point” of your build. Pick 1 (or maybe 2 on some case) Damage Type and focus on a specific playing type (Do not try to be a jack of all trade it will fail)

Also be aware that once the build has been posted quite often even among the best builder there has been communication and idea for improvement thrown around by different people

What about offhand CDR melee/ranged, 2hand caster, or dual-wield caster?

Mostly experience amplified with occasional eureka moments. It was a genuine surprise to me that many people simply follow other people’s guides and rely on them a lot. While I sometimes look into other peoples builds to see how they dealt with issues I’m having, my builds are my own. Going from merely using other’s builds to trying to understand how they work, what makes them good and why certain decisions were made is a good start.

500 hours of dedicated build testing does wonders…

big part of the fun for me is crafting my own builds, i almost never copy from forums.

Once you put hours under your belt and start learning skills/devotions/items theorycrafting will just follow. Some of your first builds might suck but we need mules…

I just hate following other people in general, only browse the forums to keep up with the meta and new ideas and then try to make my own stuff. After failing miserably many times I was able to know what would work and what wouldn’t.
I’m still a total noob in this game compared to what others are doing but I think that’s a way to start for you.

This part in particular :stuck_out_tongue: Don’t give up just because your first self-made character/build isn’t working, learn from your mistakes.

I made my build myself, it wasnt based on anyone’s other build or something:
It is a strong endgame build, capable of dealing with any shit GD can throw at you (maybe, except Ravager/Mogdrogen). He has massive physical resist, massively overcapped other resists, CC resists, good OA and DPS, AoE, etc.

Sure, to make a strong endgame build, you must have good insight for game’s mechanics, take a strong concept, spend a LOT OF TIME (and i mean it!) assembling it into whole, checking items, components, passives, devotions and many-many other aspects of the build, testing it both in crimcalc and in practice. It’s a LONG and HARD work, and when you see the guide, it’s just the top of the iceberg, a cherry on the cake, etc. When you see a ready build with guide to it, dont forget about countless failures, weak concepts, wrong setups, etc, that were used/tested before the masterpiece build was honed. I tried ~5-10 concepts (that failed, of course), before i came to my build.
Just dont give up, it your particular concept seems to be underperforming. Be creative, think about, live it. There is no “magic” formula for successfull build, except for hard work. Sure, some skills/items are stronger than others (for example Cadence is quite strong), but just abusing some strong abilities wont make a really unique build, as everyone and their mother already know those skills/items anyway

What really makes or breaks a build is to have high enough OA to reliably crit even against bosses, at least 3000-3200 with procs, but the higher the better. All good builds you see highly rely on that. And of course high enugh HP pool, overcapped resistances and some other forms of defense, so called circuit breakers, heals, regen, and defensive abilty. The best builds have most or all of these.

Having very high OA isnt neccesary, it depends on whether build itself is crit-dependant or not. Some builds, that dont have any +crit damage, and any great on-crit procs, can have a bit lower OA. They just should ensure they wont miss VS bosses, necause missing due to low OA sucks.

And no, “the more OA the better” isnt particulary true either, even for crit builds. Yes, your crit chance goes up as your OA does, but at some point, the gain becames too small (because of diminishing returns), and it wont be actually effective. I’d say, that having more than ~3500-3700 OA considering DA reductions on enemy, is most probably a waste of your stats.

Thank you, everyone, for the advice. I’ll keep tinkering at it while keeping in mind all of what’s been said here.

For the most part, and this was quite true, if not more true in Titan Quest, the ability to make creative builds requires special gear. If you don’t have all the set pieces, and specialty items, you can’t do anything unique. You can still make good builds, but the odds of you coming up with something unique is just not in the cards without special gear.

You’ll also notice most these new builds come right after changes were made to the game, which make them possible.

If you want the feeling of creating your own build, you just need to stay away from the forum, so you don’t know others have already thought of it. It’ll still be something you dreamed up, and without knowing someone else also thought of it, it may feel better to you.

I advice by starting at modifying other people’s builds. I know a lot of posted builds here look perfect, especially those that crush crucible with ease, but there will always be something that does not fit you in that build. For example, Superfluff posted his 2h rifle Purifier just recently. It looks so great, but personally I prefer pistols than rifles, so I start building with pistols (while still using the principles from the rifle build with some adjustments) and hopefully get my own build up. I know a lot of people has also thought of this but at the very least it helps me get better at the game. Making your own build from scratch requires more time but you’ll get there.

At this point I’m not really the least bit worried about the originality of any build I try to make. I just want to figure out how to get to the point that the build works. Even that is something for which I figure I should have incremental goals.

  • beat ult log
  • beat AoM content
  • finish all rogue-likes
  • handle nemeses
  • manage crucible

These would be what I’d be shooting for with any build I manage to come up with and how I would define “success” in regard to a build that just works. If I can manage to get to the point that I can do some of the above, even a single step on that list, with a build I make then I’ll be much further along than I am at this point. If I later look at the forum and find that I’ve simply done my own take on a build that 50 people have already posted, I don’t mind that, so long as the one I used I did without referring back to someone else’s work every level up.

There are some basic principles to achieve that list. But if you want more focused advice, posting your build with grimtools is the best way. Most builds fail in ultimate if they don’t focus properly on the damage type they want and skills, gear devos are a bit all over the place