theorycrafting scrub.

Hi guys,

So I’m new to the game, and after playing through the first act I knew I was going to love it, I’ve played a fair few ARPGS in my time but my interaction with builds has been up until this point playing what other players have created following along their suggested path etc.

I also enjoy playing hardcore mode quite a bit playing it exclusively in games like POE after beating it a few times in SC. Before going any further then act 1, I thought how can I extract the most fun out of this gem of a game… What will be the most fun way to play?

So I came up with the idea that Ill play hardcore right from word go (apart from already completing act 1 in vet SC)… Secondly not rely on any guides whatsoever and have fun deconstructing the game myself crafting my own builds from what I learn from each death. This might sound tedious and I guess it can be but I really want to explore and experiment like I did in other games before the advent of the internet… Seeing what I come up with. As for playing HC from the start, I figure thats going to be the most exciting trying a boss for the first time, not knowing what it has installed, having sunk so many hours into a character, planning as best I can… terrifying!

So how do you guys go about theorycrafting a build personally?

Basic tips I have worked out so far are;

  • read the manual (game guide) to help understand mechanics.

  • read all the abilities. Obvious I know.

  • Pay attention to damage types as you play of mobs/bosses and abilities they use.

Going beyond the basics of simply understanding a game, how do you guys get to know the systems so well and learn to exploit them? Theorycrafting today is a fairly broad term, traditionally it means to mathematically analyse game mechanics in order to gain a better understanding of the inner workings of the game. But having never done anything like this before… I’m just wondering how its done, and how some guys learn what and how to min/max builds etc.

If going to play HC, I guess you will feel better making a single playthrough on SC - to have a clue of the very basics. Like basic mechanics and unwritten rules - the right point and stats distributions, the resistance mechanics, the faction system with its rewards, the quests, the affixes on items, to take a look at the bosses and mobs in general.
My opinion is that if you are going to rush HC blind, you may feel disappointed, the game will simply overwhelm you.

It’s safe to say that reading the basic mechanics is a must - game is complicated and you’ll need the basics at least, for a starter.
Mind that some mechanics (especially advanced mechanics) are so obfuscated and explained nowhere, that you’ll learn them only by playing quite a lot, empirically. Or by reading the forums.
But basics are a must.

Anyway, you can’t know or learn everything in advance. It all comes with time, playing the game. It’s specially true for complicated games with lots of content, items, and great variety of different mechanics, and GD is one of those.

True, I spent some time looking at the tree and made myself a Shaman. So far I’m yet to complete act 1 but am playing HC vet. I know like many ARPGS that resists play a huge roll, so I should look to keep those as high as poss and concentrate on defensive orientated gear, i.e. resists, hp, armour values etc. if damage is too low and I have enough tank I can always change some gear around… doing it the other way around and favouring DPS tends to lead to death. I can always portal out of a boss fight (I hope I can anyway haha)

Secondly being new and not knowing bosses I figured a caster style build that allows me to test the waters with bosses is best rather then try and make a face tank melee build that will surely fail without the right items… I’ve gone Devouring storm, Grasping vines and Mogs pact and already worked my way up to Wendigo totem… thinking of going totems with that and corrupt storm for storm totem. Ill see how many points I have but if damage keeps up Ill end up dropping Vines as I only use them for the slow if I feel I can spend them elsewhere.

Not sure on second class yet, Occultist seems to have insane synergy so most likely that with abilities Curse of frailty and its secondary that will reduce enemies resists will surely be a god send for boss fights. But yet to decide. I also don’t mind solider with its HP increases, absorption and circuit breaker (not sure if they are called that in this game) with Men’s Will. As for attributes I figured the best approach would be to not spend anything until I need it for gear then putting any spear into physique being HC and all.

Think I’ve got a pretty fun build… Could be total trash but that is part of the fun and seeing how far I can go!

You’re about to intuitively pick one of the most noob friendly builds, also easiest to play and gear up - the vitality conjurer. Occultist definitely provides great synergy.
Later on, you will just get rid of Grasping Vines, as long as you realize it’s utter crap, and will replace the points into Sigil of Consumption.
You may eventually find out that replacing the points from Devouring Swarm to Curse of Frailty could be the better choice.

Id like to say it was my own genius that quickly figured that out but it was all down to my POE experience. I knew totem builds are safe for obvious reasons, shaman had 2 and seeing they are already vit damage I knew from just about any ARPG that limiting damage types is key to maximising them so the rest fell into place i.e. getting rid of grasping vines etc and concentrating on vit and debuffs that help me survive or help me deal damage.

its fairly straight forward, the real test is once I make it to end game start my farm and amass a few weird and wonderful items what crazy builds can I come up with that actually work :p. I guess at the end of the day a lot of “theorycrafting” in the non mathematical sense comes down to common sense, choosing abilities that synergise planning things out well i.e. bosses/abilities you know you need to deal with then trial and error, what works on paper doesn’t always end up working in the game.

This will result in death. At the very least you need to keep your defensive ability high enough that enemies have a 0 to low chance of getting a crit. Otherwise a boss or hero will eventually blindside you and one or two shot you. You can’t die if the enemies can’t hit you.

So this morning before work I have been playing around on grimtools for this very reason, I figured out that while I do have spirit issues early (currently having trouble equipping a few spirit based items) this will not be an issue at endgame so I am going to sprinkle a few points into spirit as I need it, I currently have 6, don’t see any point going higher then say 25 at the absolute max, this is invested over the leveling period i.e. not invested 15 into spirit then going physique. All other points go into physique. How many spirit points I actual end up with will to do more with trouble equipping items while leveling then endgame needs from what I can see of spirit requirements, and that will come down to a matter of weighing the choice up, do I invest in spirit now to equip an item or can I survive without it to potentially have more physique at endgame.

What I have also figured out just looking at items and how skill points work, i.e. overleveling, and gear coming with bonuses i.e. +2 to storm totem etc my vit conjurer from what I can tell, if invested correctly will do okay (not 100% sure) with not the best gear in the world but will eat skill points like no ones business buffing it even more or in other words seems to scale extremely well with gear.

Edit: I will add Im also mindful of leveling my masteries as the stat bonuses will address a lot of issues stat wise (like my current spirit issue), that said I cannot take back what I invest I plan to invest the full 50 into Occultist for Possession but only 40 into shaman as that gets me all the access I need and I can see this build is skill point hungry so would rather invest those last 10 points into skills. For leveling I’m approaching it in a staged fashion. For example I am using Devouring swarm atm, 6 seems fine for now and I wanted Wendigo totem, rather then just put 6 in swarm I over invested in that and other skills like mog pack waiting until I have enough points overall to make it to Wendigo comfortable then I respec and reinvest rather then struggle with low damage as I invest in the mastery 3 points at a time. Im doing the same with my devotion points investing for the most immediate impact and then respecing once I have enough points to make it too a key skill/sign. I took crossroads to get to bat then respec taking out the crossroads point to invest elsewhere etc etc.

25 Spirit for a Conjurer might be even a bit high. Considering you are going at least to 40 in Shaman (Corrupted Storm) and you will want to go 50 in Occultist (the Exclusive Skill Posession is massive under any kind of playstyle. HC will be even more loving it (Damage Absorption, Chaos Resist and Skill Disruption Protection) in addition to boosting your Damage. I also don’t think the build will end cripple for point so playing HC you might decide to pump 10 more in Shaman Mastery (Shaman is high on Physique/HP at 4/26 per point with the added bonus of Mog Pact you are looking at a lot of HP).

I am playing a pure spam caster druid and I only have 5 points in spirit and it seems like too much. It is an arcanist though so im getting alot from that side with 4 points in inner focus that would probably be better spent elsewhere. I am also getting a ton from items, but it just comes with many caster items.

I am always watching the Offense and defense and try to keep the chance to hit and chance to be hit high at high and as low as possible. Don’t neglect the Chance to hit because it works both ways, if you can’t hit them you can’t kill them.

thank you.