1) Thanks for this thread. Played Act 1 a few times and was pretty confused about how combat calculations worked while playing. The thread helps. 2) Does the Outlander (Warrior) class receive any real benefit from shields? With even a modest weapon attribute and skill, the parry benefit of a shield seems statistically irrelevant, esp given the high constitution of the class few hits can get bye with no issue. With the shield talent, shields look like they might be useful but I haven't used the talent so not sure how it plays out in the game (might re-start just to see). 3) Even looking at the calculations, it seems the cleric class is awkward for anything. Even dumping most of point improvements into strength and weapon skill, the cleric seems excessively outgunned in melee. On the flip side, dumping attributes into magic skills does;t make her combat ready against equally leveled opponents. Trying to improve both melee and magic skills requires too many attribute points to do anything that actually matters. In short, the cleric seems an awkward middle that can't survive direct attacks and can't attack from range. And making her a healer focused member means she spends most of the time just standing. The lore improvement to her healing powers also aren't really that useful either. If the warrior is low on health, he's taken two heal spells, esp if he has a moderate or higher level stone skin. If he's not low, one spell works. I've found ways to make the three classes productive, just not the cleric.
vdx - thanks for the post and welcome to the forum.
1) Glad the thread helped! 2) As stated in the first post, Shields give Strong dice for melee defense. About half of my builds for Vraes carry shields and I find that you can make him into a serious tank with the right combination of Talents and gear. You won't be a tank by picking up a Shield, you have to make a good combination, but that's tactics and how it should be. 3) My favorite build is using Kyera as a full time combatant. In that build, she uses Smite and Myshana's Tears as her primary talents and picks one curse or one buff to add in as an off-cast. She rocks and with the right group behind her, is very strong. In the fight at the Gatehouse in Red Hill, she single-handled fought the group coming from the main area while Vraes went north across the bridge (Hard game at the time). Yes - she is not Vraes in melee, and she is not Kjartan in magical combat ... but if all the characters were the same, that would make a pretty flat game!
The magic of debuffs turns Kyera into a much better melee asset. She can off tank if you build her that way and still handle her healing duties. You are correct though, you have to choose & focus on her job.
I mis-read the implication of parry on defense dice. Had to convert to % to make it work in my head. Not to get too nerdy with bell curves and standard deviations, but there's a nifty little curve that shows the difference in Total Dice Value (TDV merges statistically strong and standard dice ) between attacker and defender that shows the expected results over time. Now, one can't really use it to predict in game stuff without knowing enemy dice values which I'm not sure if it's been covered before. Has it? Do enemies attack based their level? Strong or standard dice?
It's not the total number of Defense or Attack dice that really matters so much as the difference between the two.
*I'm finding I enjoy playing with the Cleric as a melee character. Feels like she is more engaged that way.
For this kind of system that basically consists of rolling buckets of dice, no need to get fancy. (X * .3) + (Y * .5) works just fine to get the averages. The problem comes when we don't have the NPCs stats to compare them to.