Post by johndramey on Dec 17, 2013 21:07:54 GMT -5
Hello there, fellow HoSers.
I figured that it would be a good thing to make a place for all of us to post our personal reviews of the IAP characters as they are released. This will hopefully help people to make very informed choices about the classes they buy, and also give us an outlet for sharing information. I'll try to keep this OP fully updated with links to all the reviews posted, and I'll also add links to each class's discussion thread. Try to keep this thread mostly dedicated to reviews and critiques of the reviews and keep the actual discussion of strategy or sharing of tales to each class's discussion thread, please. Also, I'll post a template for writing up your review, try to keep the reviews fairly uniform and informative!
Mage slot Vincent the Sorcerer (Released December 8th 2013)
Post by johndramey on Dec 17, 2013 21:14:19 GMT -5
Here is the template for reviews, just copy/paste it and fill in the slots!
[b](Your name)'s review of [i](class name)[/i][/b]
[u]Class Slot Taken[/u] -
[u]One line summary[/u] -
[u]My Review[/u] -
[u]Final Verdict[/u] -
Easy as pie! Happy reviewing!
If you want to include a link to other class information, I'll put some BBCode links to the other threads here, just copy paste them at the bottom of your review.
Discussion threads for each class [url=http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/thread/5990/vincent-sorcerer]Vincent the Sorcerer's Discussion thread[/url] [url=http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/post/78721/thread]Fyona the Paladin's Discussion thread[/url] [url=http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/post/70951/thread]Selen the Rogue's Discussion thread[/url]
John Robinson's tables for each class [url=http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/thread/5898/vraess-talent-table-terror]Vraes's table[/url] [url=http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/thread/5899/karjtan-talent-table-flame-fortune]Kharjtan's table[/url] [url=http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/thread/5900/kyeras-talent-table-tears-retribution]Kyera's table[/url] [url=http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/thread/5897/tamlins-talent-table]Tamilin's table[/url] [url=http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/thread/5977/vincentss-talent-table-shock-therapy]Vincent's table[/url] [url=http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/thread/6591/selens-talent-table-dancing-daggers]Selen's table[/url] [url=http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/thread/7304/fyonas-talent-table-hammer-gods]Fyona's table[/url]
Last Edit: Apr 10, 2014 17:55:32 GMT -5 by johndramey
Post by johndramey on Dec 17, 2013 21:15:34 GMT -5
John’s review of Vincent the Sorcerer
Class slot taken - Mage
One line summary - Lightly armored spellsword, focusing on strong melee or AoE ranged
My review Vincent is, in my opinion, a more nuanced mage then Kharjtan. Obviously that’s just my opinion, but I tend to think that Kharjtan is a fairly straight forward and easy to use magic class, you can sit him behind the lines and rain destruction with impunity. Vincent, on the other hand, is a little more tricky. Vincent sacrifices a lot of Khartjan’s ranged punch for more in the way of close in utility, and you can see that with his skill set.
First off, Vincent is able to wield one-handed swords and light armor. This tells you that he is designed around being put up on the front lines, a melee fighter or roamer. His talents tend to revolve around melee as well, charged speed is the best movement talent in the game (at the time of writing this review) giving more AP faster, more dodge, and additional resists than Vrae’s Burst of Speed. Storm Strike and Eye of the Storm also compliment his melee, giving him extra damage and accuracy (for Storm Strike) and additional critical chance (for Eye of the Storm).
That’s not to say that he doesn't have ranged powers, he does. However, where Kharjtan’s abilities tend to be targeted big-damage spells, Vincent tends towards AoE low-mid damage spells. Elemental Sundering and Lightning Spear are two of his ranged talents, but they deal a lower amount of damage over a wider area than Khartjan’s Fire bolt and Immolation talents. Energy Storm is similar, except it has a wide AoE capable of, at it’s highest levels, hitting nearly every enemy in an average engagement.
Final Verdict All in all Vincent tends towards a much more aggressive play style then Khartjan. If you are like me, favoring putting your characters into frontal assaults and not worried about taking hits, then you will most likely enjoy his play-style and find him a hugely beneficial addition to your team. If you are wanting a more conservative and defensive play style focusing on ranged hitting, then you might want to stick with Khartjan, as Vincent lacks his long ranged punch.
However, after toying around with him some more, I will say that Vincent is able to hold his own in long-ranged combat. Lightening Spear, when upgraded a couple times, is more than capable of leveling a clump of lightly armored enemies. I find him particularly useful against skirmishers or light combatants. He doesn't have quite the reach that Khartjan does, he can only cast his Spear at range 4, but he is able to fart out 3 casts of a wide AoE spell that does pretty respectable damage. As such, I'm going to have to change my final verdict a bit. I'd say that Vincent is, in my humble opinion, a better mage than Khartjan! Definitely worth the $2, in my opinion.
If you want to see an in-depth breakdown of Vincent’s skills, please click here to go to a table put together by our very own John Robinson. It’ll tell you everything about Vincent’s skills and talents.
If you want to discuss Vincent, ask about builds, share stories of his victories or defeats, or just pretend to be him, head to his discussion thread!
Last Edit: Apr 10, 2014 17:51:34 GMT -5 by johndramey: updated my review 04-10-13
One line summary - A hybrid mixing Mage and Fighter.
Just like you'd expect, being a hybrid there are a multiple of build paths for Vincent which sees him dabble in three main fields. Those are ranged AOE, melee, and debuff. I'll look at each area comparing him to his current counterpart, Karjtan.
Ranged AOE: Unlike Karjtan, he begins with a basic AOE spell that starts of doing comparable damage to Karjtan's Firebolt but by the end of their progression paths does half the damage to a single target. Vincent gets his second attack spell a whooping 4 levels before Karjtan gets his as well as doing more maximum damage for less spirit. Vincent badly loses out to Karjtan in terms of their ultimate however, doing a lot less damage at top tier. It is important to note that all of his spells have less range than Karjtan. Even if you build him firmly for this field, he will need to get a lot closer to the action. He does however, have a very useful self-buff to help him. Eye of the Storm gives him a *lot* of ranged accuracy as well as a critical chance so you can likely get away with pumping less into his spell accuracy early on.
Melee: Vincent has three main abilities that make him useful in close combat. Storm Strike is amazing, giving him that little bit of extra Accuracy to help ensure that the hit isn't wasted while doing more damage. Combine it with a decent spirit pool, and you can use it to cause some nice damage. Throw in Charged Speed, a very good Move buff and you can easily have Vraes lock combatants down while Vincent moves in and out causing damage while not remaining in melee at the end of the turn. He has one final ability that while not strictly melee I will include here, which is his group buff Thundering Blades. In my opinion it is vastly worse than Karjtan's Burning Blades, exchanging the Critical Bonus for at max tier, 4 Accuracy. Possibly useful depending on how you build the rest of your party, but for those of you who haven't played with Critical builds yet.. they can do a *lot* of damage and so far this ability is the only way for Kera to get constant access to it beyond items.
Debuffer: This is where Vincent suffers the most compared to Karjtan. One, Flash Freeze reduces AP and Dodge compared to Karjtan's Choking Ash that works on Parry/Dodge/Armor and while the reduction to AP might mean one or two less blows for a few turns if you're debuffing an enemy's defensive ability it is usually so you can pile on the pain and remove them as quick as possible. Flash Freeze just doesn't do as good a job there. On the other hand, if you're trying to stop the enemy from doing as much damage as possible Vincent gets access to a decent skill called Frigid Air immediately that reduces Ranged Accuracy and general Damage. Karjtan has to wait til level 12, but his reduces Melee Accuracy. For those of you who worry a lot about getting hit by a lot of archers at a time however and think Frigid Air is more useful I'm going to say this. You can line of sight an archer, you can't line of sight a Deathkin. Whether my opinion of these two will change with future monsters, maybe. But for now on paper, Karjtan just rocks Vincent's world in this area.
Honestly? I don't like him. I tend to utilize my terrain and surroundings to minimize incoming damage while building a group that can cause focused carnage. I've also found that it is very useful to have a mixture of damage types, and with the selection of characters right now it tends to go with Vraes as melee, Karjtan as magical, Tamlin as ranged physical, and Kera focused on healing and some melee. Vincent just can't compete in terms of flat magical damage compared to Karjtan, nor as a debuffer in ensuring the enemies fall quicker. I think, if I was more comfortable branching Kera out early towards a ranged holy attacker I'd consider him more. Still, if I was going to play around further with Vincent (Only taken him past the first Deathkin so far) I'd definitely focus on his melee abilities and Flash Freeze. It may not be as good as Choking Ash, but it is all he has.
For those having trouble with the Red Hill Dungeons on Nightmare however, you might want to give Vincent a try and see how you manage things. At level 1, he has two abilities that make him hugely more powerful. One, he has a useful melee attack and can quickly be given a decent sword to improve his damage and two, at the basic level Lightning Spear might not do quite as much damage as Firebolt (1 less maximum damage) but it can hit three targets compared to one. With some good footwork, you can cluster enemies up and blast them down.
Post by johndramey on Apr 10, 2014 17:57:15 GMT -5
Updated my Vincent review with some new insights that I've had as well as updated the discussion thread list/tables list. I'll also be writing up reviews for Fyona and Selen when I get some time, should have it in about 3-4 hours.
Thanks go to John Robinson for keeping up with the character tables while I've been busy, you're a champ!
As always, if anyone wants to share their reviews please do so, I'll happily link to you in the OP and credit you.
Post by johndramey on Apr 10, 2014 20:03:25 GMT -5
John's review of Fyona the Paladin
Class Slot Taken - Cleric
One line summary - A melee-centric supporter focusing on close range buffs.
So you want to be a little more aggressive in your play style and are finding Kyera a little lacking in the oomph department, what can you do? Well, Fyona is the answer. That's not to say that Fyona is straight up better then Kyera, she's not, but if what you are looking for is a second-line melee focused build that is a force multiplier you got it in spades here, baby.
Kyera is, in my opinion, focused on support. She has some really amazing support abilities (Warder's shield, Ethereal Anguish, Sacrifice, etc) but is a little lacking in her direct combat contributions. She is best left in the rear, supporting more combat oriented characters. Fyona, on the other hand, is decidedly more.... direct in her talents. Right off the bat you can see that she has 3 direct attack talents which inflict either buffs to herself or curses to her enemies. Her starting ability Zealous Strikes is a really solid buff that can seemingly carry you through the game. See, how her direct talents work is this; you cast them for a relatively small SP investment (3 is the cheapest, 48 is the most expensive) and they use the AP of your weapon, nothing additional. If you land a hit (which you most likely will, they all give a +acc buff) either you will be buffed or the enemy will be cursed for 2 rounds. After that you can easily follow up with buffed normal attacks or, if you really want to lay the hurt on, you can use her version of Savage Sweep (called Hammer Blow) for additional accuracy and damage on top of the buff. Really, really powerful stuff.
That's not to say that she loses the support utility of Kyera. Fyona doesn't have a solid single heal talent like Myshana's Tears right of the bat, instead she has a self-targeted AoE heal called Blessed Aura. This has both pros and cons. The pros are, well, you can heal your entire party if positioned properly from level 1, and in the later talent levels the AoE becomes truly enormous. The cons, well Blessed Aura is much more SP intensive and heals for less per character. You are also sacrificing the ability to heal at long range from behind the fray. Fyona also has a pretty impressive defensive buff but, like Blessed Aura, it is a self-targeted AoE. Really, Fyona only has 2 non-self or melee targeted talents, and they are both range 3. This means that you are going to have to keep Fyona up on the front lines to fully utilize her skills, which means that any group that uses her should really be built around clumping up the party as much as possible.
I'd say that Fyona is really right up my alley. I prefer teams that are... well.... for lack of a better term, that are brutish. I want to smash my party into the front lines of the enemy, bash their heads in with rocks, and to hell with any fancy-pants tactics. Fyona can make that a reality for me, her self and team buffs are truly a force to be reckoned with.
Keep in mind that you will be trading in Kyera's utility for a much more combat oriented character. You will have a lot less in the way of directed healing. Instead, you will want to focus on buffing the hell out of your combatants and crushing all resistance. Another thing is this, I feel that Fyona takes a little more time to become fully combat effective. Through the prologue and Act 1 you might find yourself hurting due to her lack of a good heal skill. My advice, bring up Blessed Aura to at least level 2, possibly level 3 ASAP.
In my opinion, total thumbs up provided you play an aggressive game, if you are a more conservative player or want to maintain a defense oriented party with more in the way of ranged support, Kyera is probably a better choice for you.
Post by johndramey on Apr 10, 2014 20:45:02 GMT -5
John's review of Selen the Rogue
Class Slot Taken - Thief
One line summary - A dexterity based rogue that can go toe-to-toe with the best of 'em.
Selen is, as has been the trend with the other IAP classes, a little more nuanced than Tamilin. Selen does have a few pretty powerful bow abilities, Pinning Shot being one of them, but I think her real strengths lie in her melee abilities. Tamilin was a decidedly back-line support class, she could deal out great damage with her bow and not really have to worry too much about taking damage from enemies. Selen, however, really shines in the fray. Her abilities tend to be melee empowerment, and can either buff her damage and crit chance or curse the enemy.
You gotta be a little careful when using Selen since, as the rogue of the party, you will probably want her up front leading the group. However since you are wanting to buff up her melee abilities, you will be tempted to focus her skills in blades or other combat related skills while neglecting stealth and security. You really want to keep her stealth up because, if she's not properly taken care of, Selen can be a bit of a glass cannon. She has the ability to deal absolutely massive damage as well as having the utility to shred enemy armor, but at the same time she's incapable of wearing the heavy armor of Vraes of Fyona. In order for her to be a feasible front line fighter, you are really going to want to buff her Quicksilver Defense talent. When Quicksilver Defense is up is when you can really get the party started.
A lot of her skills revolve around targeted assassination, Frenzied Blows, Punishing Blades and Steel and Shadow are all very powerful targeted melee empowered strikes. As such, you'll want to probably focus on building up her dex and focusing on making her a parry and dodge focused fighter. She'll never have the HP reservoirs of Vraes or Fyona, but who needs lots of HP when the enemy can hardly hit you?
That's not to say she is useless at range, her one bow-oriented skill is a doozy. Pinning Shot is an amazingly powerful talent that reduces enemy dodge and parry scores by varying amounts while also reducing AP by 1. Not only that, but at the higher levels it has an AoE, which means you can immobilize and curse groups of enemies with a single bow shot. A very versatile skill that is useful for the team, but would lock you out of dual wielding (in my opinion).
I know my reviews all end about the same way, but I have to admit that I like Selen a lot. She caters to an aggressive play style, favoring strong melee over support. She can be a little tricky to set up due to the amount of skills and talents you'll be juggling for her, but when set up properly she is a minor god when it comes to damage dealing. With my current team I would even go so far as to say that, in a straight up DPS contest, Selen wins over everyone.
As with the Fyona though, you want to be a little careful in the opening levels. Selen is a lot more vulnerable than Tamilin before Quicksilver Defense comes into play. However, if you are looking for a more... direct form of enemy persuasion, Selen can definitely make you smile.
As always, if you want to discuss Selen, ask about strategy, or just generally compliment her for her blade dance, head over to Selen the Rogue's Discussion thread. We also have the famous skill table for her right here, and you can thank John Robinson for that.
One line summary - Flexible magic user and spellsword who's utility grows exponentially over the course of the game.
My Review - The other reviews here do an excellent job of giving perspective on Vince and a good overview of all his talents. I wanted to throw my two cents into the ring, however, in order to highlight some of his seemingly less popular talents and the value he can bring to a team.
Flash freeze - this is the best -AP talent in the game to remove the most AP from the most monsters for the longest number of turns. It outlasts Selen and Fyona for -AP talents and (by removing the -accuracy) becomes more SP efficient in AP removal than even the much loved Ethereal Anguish from Kyera.
Thundering Blades - There are three points that I want to make with this talent.
The designers have communicated that lightning and ice damage are the two exotic damage types in the game (ie. fewer monsters have specific resistance against them). Vince does a great job of giving everyone that little extra boost of elemental damage here to put on the hurt. This can really start stacking in E2 and later when you start finding more gear with added lightning damage.
And aside from that he's adding accuracy to the whole team. This talent has been rebalanced somewhat recently to top out at +6 accuracy which is nothing to be ashamed of for anyone. The comparison must be drawn to Kjartan's Burning Blades and the crit % that you give up, but after playing through E2A1 you come across some great gear that can definitely compensate. The accuracy boost allows the whole team to focus on crit chances in excess of what you can get for the lower levels of Burning Blades.
Vince for me is close to the fighting. I want him to use primarily ranged but the range of 4 on his attack talents means that there is more than one occasion when he might need to get his hands dirty. Thundering Blades allows him to take great advantage of his Storm Strike level 1 talent without having to sink many points into it.
This makes Thundering Blades huge for my personal play style.
Eye of the Storm - Vincent is the only character to have two self-buffs that stack. Thundering Blades and Eye of the Storm both have accuracy boosts. Added to the normal accuracy boosts from his attack talents and there's a whole lot of sizzling going on. Additionally the crit % chance for this talent goes up quickly, and it's critical for all his attacks not just ranged.
Final Verdict - I find Vincent to be a great addition to any party but the space where he seems to shine as of the writing of this review is if he's paired with Selen, Fyona or both. His talents are super useful in filling gaps from those heroes, but the part that's the most fun is the synergy that the additional characters have with each other.
Especially if you're trying out Fyona, I would recommend bringing Vince to the party too. These two play to each other's strengths and the hurt you can pile on the enemies is great.
Again, just a few thoughts, but hopefully a small description to not just list out talents but share how those talents actually get used.
Post by johndramey on Apr 10, 2014 23:58:43 GMT -5
Thanks a lot, rearick. Always good to have another person's perspective, and you did add some good bits about the support abilities. Actually makes me want to start again with a Eye of the Storm/thundering blades specced melee machine, haha.
One line summary - "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers (and sisters). And you will know my name is [Vincent] when I lay my vengeance upon thee." /cast Lightning Spear
My Review - Lightning Spear is King. Take it to Rank 10 ASAP and let the big damage roll. If you're not using Kyera, invest in Flash Freeze early (-AP). I wish I had more to say, but really that about sums it up. :-) Once I bought Vince I've never used Kjartan again. Having such a strong AoE talent right out of the gate makes investing in Fireballs only to start your AoE talent after so many levels kind of pointless. Maybe that'll change as more Episodes are released and things flesh out a bit but he's by far the best early in the game.
My basic play style with Vince is to use Flash Freeze on any strong enemies and Frigid Air on any strong Ranged units. I will not cast Lightning Spear unless I can hit at least three enemies in a grouping as his spells (especially the way I play him) becomes very expensive. I don't mind having him sit out entire combats except to occasionally curse because using him otherwise would be an ineffective use of SP. If I'm going to burn SP's I might as well have someone who specializes in single target damage do it because it's a better use of SP and have that person chugging the potions. (God do I love Fyona with a 2-h mace...a review for another day..)
Final Verdict - Kjartan who?
Last Edit: Apr 16, 2014 12:02:17 GMT -5 by Outsider
One line summary - Incredibly potent as a melee fighter or as an archer and easy to build out.
My Review - It says something that since Selen came out, I haven't gone back to Tamilin once, and I tend to make lots of parties and try different things. Many people (here and in other threads) have made much of Selen's melee talents and I would totally agree that she makes an excellent dexterity based melee fighter. In this review however, I would like to argue that she's is equally as gifted as an archer and actually more of an asset to the whole team with a bow. One thing I have not tried however is mixed ranged/melee fighter. Playing at Nightmare I haven't felt like I could spread her talents and skills so thin.
When developing her as a ranged fighter it's pretty simple to know where points need to go. In episode 1 she doesn't need anything but bows, so that can go straight to 16. Dexterity can go pretty much straight up as well with maybe one or two points in Intelligence to help with the early SP drain of Pinning Shot. Pinning Shot can go straight up to 4 (to get -1AP) or even 5 (to get one more AoE). At that point it gets SP intensive and I normally leave it alone for awhile. Then I put one point into Quicksilver Defense and save a point until I can start putting it into Dance of Shadows. From this point everything can go into DoS to help her get critical and stealth advantage. Nothing more needs added to Pinning Shot until later in episode 2.
I would be willing to bet, that with such a build she is, in most cases, able to do more damage than as a melee fighter. The multiplication of damage from hitting multiple targets easily outstrips added damage from empowered attacks that only hit one target at a time. At the same time, by diminishing mobs Dodge, Parry and AP, Selen is setting all of your other fighters up for success. You've not got less deadly, easy to hit mobs waiting to be finished off by the others. The -AP aspect of Pinning Shot also allows you to build out some of your other characters differently. The burden of AP nerfage can be taken off of Kyera and/or Vincent which lets you do some different things with them. The Area of Effect (AoE) of Pinning Shot is also an incredibly potent Critical Hit multiplier. Since each mob gets it's own roll you are getting 2, 3 or 4 times the chance to score a critical.
Whether melee or ranged I find Selen incredibly simple to build. With other characters I often feel like there are just not enough points to go around. With Selen, by the end of Episode 1 I can start putting all my points into luxury items like Lore, Intelligence, Constitution and Stealth. Her talents are also equally simple. The ranged build above works very well and with melee, points just need to be moved from DoS to QsD. In melee there is the choice between Frenzied Blades and Punishing Strikes which allows for some more variety, but she still doesn't feel stretched too thin.
Final Verdict - If you're wondering which purchasable character to buy you won't go wrong with Selen. She's an incredible asset whether as a secondary melee fighter (you'll just want to kiss her all over when you get ambushed and have uglies coming from both sides) or as a ranged terror that just makes everyone else that much more effective. Either way, you have a lot more options on the table than you did with Tamilin.