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Tinfoil Papercut
Jul 27, 2016

by Athanatos


No seriously, this necromancer really likes his T+A



Welcome to Iratus: Lord of the Dead

This game is a roguelike Darkest Dungeon like where you get to play as the bad guy! It has a lot of depth and, while comparisons to Darkest Dungeon will rightfully be made, it has its own unique mechanics and stands on its own merits. The narrator isn't quite as suave as the ancestor - but luckily our necromancer doesn't take himself too seriously either. Plus there's lots of cleavage, more than you ever thought could be worked into an army of undead.

Iratus posted:

You know technically that isn't my fault. I reanimate the flesh I am given.

PLATFORMS

STEAM
Currently on sale for 16.49, normally 25.00.
https://twitter.com/GOGcom/status/1253368872645857281

Iratus posted:

Flesh is my currency, blood my investments. Bones too... I need bones..... and rags. Shut up.
GAMEPLAY



Iratus works very, very, VERY similarly to darkest dungeon, with a turn-based combat system consisting of your 4 dudes versus the other dudes. If you've ever played Darkest Dungeon you won't need much help at all. Each minion has its own suite of powers with varying effects. Every minion has 5 basic abilities and 1 special abilities which requires wrath to use. Wrath is generated by dealing damage to the opponents. Iratus himself can also get involved in the combat, having spells which he can cast for other fun effects depending on which talents you've given to him. Some can debuff, buff, heal, or straight up damage the opponents. Each spell costs Mana to use which is generated between battles or through pickups / quests, etc. There is also a stress system, except its opponents YOU will be stressing out. Stress gives them a whole medley of negative effects, with a chance to outright kill them with a heart attack if their stress reaches 0.

The objective is simply to defeat the opponents and work your way though the multiple levels of the labyrinth that Iratus was woken from. You get to choose which RNG path you take, where you will encounter battles, cultists, sacrificial altars, ancient coffins, health refills, and all manner of events which can give you wondrous items or crush you with an elite squad of dwarven flamethrowers.

Iratus posted:

1000 years of evolution and this is the best you can.... oh poo poo that's a flamethrower. poo poo poo poo poo poo.






THE CHAMBER OF IRATUS


Iratus posted:

No cover fee for girls, obviously.
Iratus's Chamber is the main hub for the game, containing all of your talents, items, minion groups, and everything else you need to prepare for the coming battles.
    Talents Select Iratus talents here

    Alchemy Here you can create new items, create new parts, and break parts down for mana and Vigor

    Creation EZ Bake oven for minions, combine select parts to make new minions. All parts have rarity levels which increase minion stat points for allocation. You can always upgrade minion parts after they have been created too.

    Artifacts Equipment for Iratus himself which causes varied effects within the battles. These vary from minion buffs, to enemy debuffs and post-battle rewards. There are 4 equipment slots for artifacts and one for one-time-use artifacts.

    Humonarium A beastiary for... you know. Humans.

    Dungeon Map Accesses the Dungeon

    Minion Strike Groups All of Iratus's minions go here, there are four battle squads down below to loadout. Every minion has their own stat points and ability point allocation which increases with their level and gear. Every increased part quality grants you extra stat points, and every minion has two equipment slots to equip items. This has some seriously deep customization and wild build implications.

    The Graveyard Accesses the Graveyard

THE GRAVEYARD

Iratus posted:

The lake is closed until we get the algae bloom cleared up. Stupid infested.....

The graveyard is similar to the DD town hub, each building needs to be upgraded and staffed with particular minions. Upgrades take both Digger's Souls and a specific minion to do.
    Library -Grants extra experience to Iratus every victory

    Obelisk -Gives extra digger's souls after every victory

    Abode of Wrath -Gives bonus starting Wrath every battle

    Dead Lake -Gives a chance to find a new artifact after every victory

    Excavation -Gives a chance to find a new part after every victory

    Mortuary -Heals a minion after every victory

    Iratus Statue -Provides bonus mana after every victory

    Arena -Provides EXP to every minion you place inside after every victory. (Note: Not the staff minions) This lets you keep backup minions ready to go - not that it's hard to make new ones.

MEDIA
https://twitter.com/humble/status/1253458910637416456







Is this harder than Darkest Dungeon?

Iratus has 4 difficulty levels - I am still working things out myself but overall my impression is that on the lower difficulty settings it's much easier - on the higher it's likely comparable or worse on the highest. I found my runs to go pretty smooth until I hit a Floor 2 Dwarf group that just steamrolls me. I think if you liked DD at all, you will probably enjoy Iratus!

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Tinfoil Papercut
Jul 27, 2016

by Athanatos


Reserved for units and builds discussions. You know, once I figure some out.



Iratus posted:

I have nothing but respect for women.


Party Composition

Much like Darkest Dungeon, party comp is very important if you want to be successful in this game. Selecting minions with the right synergy to compliment each other is mandatory, as well as keeping enough utility to respond when things go awry.

Generally you want to stick to either a Damage dealing party, a Stress dealing party, or a Magic dealing party. Mixing these three with each other is ill-advised because of of the Block + Ward system, the separate "HP pools" stress and damage/magic take from, as well as the different damage statistics of your minions. Magic and direct damage can work together if you have a good way to strip off the respective defenses as they both take from the standard HP pool.

    Red light, Green light!
  • Skeleton (or Tank of your preference, flexible spot)
  • Damphair
  • Mummy
  • Bride

    The general thought with this build is to use the Damphair to lay a trap under spot 1 or 2. The Bride goes into stance, then the mummy pulls a backliner into the trap. The enemy takes Bride damage and Trap damage. When the enemy frontline moves back into position, they take damage again. This comp is pretty well-rounded with good tools to screw up the enemy positions and stances, as well as deal with high armor targets (skeleton's unassuming strike + Damphair ult which destroys armor). You also get some mummy utility from debuff absorption. A very well rounded build, but not necessarily the highest DPS. Vulnerable if the Bride is killed as she is the main DPS source or very high armor targets when the Damphair's ult isn't ready.

    That's a lot of damage!
  • Widow or Golem
  • Unfrozen
  • Unfrozen
  • Lich

    Here we use the Lich to his fullest potential by having the Widow or Golem at the front gleefully take all of his friendly fire. Use the Unfrozens to strip wards and debuff, then spray away with the lich's arsenal. Tank is purely on "heal yourself" duty. The Unfrozen can eat a Lich ult with wards, or they can take the debuff away. A very, VERY high damage and devastating build which will end fights quickly. Long, protracted fights on floor 5 can be a weakness, as well as the final boss.

    Debuffs are a ghoul's best friend
  • Golem
  • Widow
  • Ghoul
  • Unfrozen

    The Widow is a great de-buffer who can strip away wards and blocks. Use her to select a dangerous target, reel them in and strip defenses. Unfrozen hits with the 40% debuff from the back line then the ghoul goes to town. Good to use shackles on the ghoul to keep her behind the widow in position 3, but the golem can reposition back easily enough (and so can she the next round) if you don't have shackles. The Golem can either heal up, debuff, or give defenses depending on the situation. The widow can also cocoon to protect the ghoul. A very versatile build with lots of healing options for the three in the front. The ghoul is the centerpiece so if she goes down it can be a problem. Long fights get easier and easier as the ghoul uses her ultimate, however it's hard to hit position 4 of the opponents (Boss 3 can be a challenge). Expect very big crtis on your debuffed targets!

Nakar posted:

Wanted to do into more detail on my stress team build, as I think it's pretty solid having tried it out on both More Pain and Good Always Wins. It definitely has some holes on the highest difficulty but I find it is extremely solid early and it's also versatile.

The team in question is Bride, Lich, Skeleton, and Mummy, usually in that party order left to right. The highlights:
  • This is a stress team focused on movement and mobility. The basic idea is that the Skeleton tanks and the Lich lays down clouds which the Bride and Mummy shuffle enemies into and out of while doing stress themselves. The team is also extremely mobile on its own: The Bride can always get to the back with her stress attack, the Mummy moves himself forward with his major stress move, the Skeleton has its shield charge, and the Lich has Dominate Undead to push someone two forward if they get out of position.
  • Note that while I do say it's a stress team, it is actually capable of reconfiguring into a damage team if you reorder them Bride>Mummy>Lich>Skeleton. It's not an ideal health damage team but in this configuration the Bride can use all her regular damage attacks, the Mummy can use his wrap pull, and the Lich can spam a magical attack. The Skeleton retains access to its Armor-ignoring strike and Smite, or it can just tank as before. It's even possible, though a little difficult, to switch to this configuration in the middle of a fight, to finish off stress-immune stuff. See the Lich section below.
  • Skeleton wants to grab Unnerving Fortitude the instant it gets a skill point. This adds a stress counter to its defensive stance, and this is what you're going to be doing with it 95% of its turns. Other skill upgrades don't matter for the most part, so I take things that boost its Armor and Resistance. For stat points, focus mostly on Armor and Resistance, but upgrade its Initiative to the max as soon as you're comfortable with the damage it's taking. It helps a lot to generally go first and get the stance up before enemies can take potshots at more fragile teammates. Trinkets should be the Legcuffs and Jester's Visage if you can find them; Legcuffs prevent the Skeleton from being moved which keeps it from having its stance broken, and the Visage increases the already-increased odds of it being attacked which is what you want because it is by far the most safe target on the team and gets free attacks when hit. Late in the game consider either putting points in Accuracy or replacing Legcuffs with something like the Mechanical Eye so that its counterattacks miss less often, but don't sweat it too much if they do; Skeleton is there to take hits and the stress is just a bonus.
  • Mummy wants to upgrade his stress skill that moves him forward to the version that also pushes the enemy back. This skill is pretty great as it will hit two targets and push them around, and since it hits position 3 it can technically hit position 4 as well via the AoE. He can also use his ST Curse ability on the last enemy to do more damage and trigger extra checks from the Curse DoT, or his all-enemies stress beam to fish for Insanity or Heart Attack checks, or his debuff clear for the party that can also move him back if you need that. Also has access to his ult from the front if you need a really big stress bomb, though the team's not set up to do -Luck debuffs. Statwise I like Blocks/Wards and Luck; the Mummy's pretty tanky by default, so he's not super worried about taking damage most of the time. For non-essential skills I'd take things that boost defensiveness or Dread, and for items anything that either helps him survive/recover or amplifies his stress damage are fine, he's not really picky.
  • Lich exists to lay down its stress cloud and that's basically it. Because the cloud is a trap, it can't miss, so Accuracy is completely irrelevant for the Lich and it can spam against evasive enemies all day; don't feel like you have to spread a cloud around if you just need to do a big packet of stress to a specific enemy. You want to upgrade the cloud first, but which way you go depends on whether you ever intend to use the team for health damage. If you do, take Corrosive Cloud as it completely removes Armor/Resistance for any enemy in the cloud; if you don't, take Toxic Cloud as stress damage ignores Resistance and the instant kills do add up over the course of a run. For stats I'd grab a couple Blocks and maybe an extra Ward and then just stack Dread. If you plan to ever do a health damage setup I would advise against taking Shrapnel even though it does more damage on paper, as your Mummy will get shredded without the unique Lich trinket (if you do have that, I guess it's fine). For items anything that restores Vigor/Wrath/Mana on damage is nice as getting pushed into the cloud does trigger those; with a little luck and some action economy you'll get a lot of returns from that. Finally if you intend to ever do the party as a health damage team, consider taking Ineffable Command over Dominate Undead: By targeting the Mummy, you will pull it into position 3 while moving the Lich and Skeleton into positions 1 and 2, which is exactly where everybody wants to be for that.
  • Bride's there for her ST stress shot that breaks stances and pushes people. Don't upgrade it to the one that prevents them from moving or you'll ruin it; use the other upgrade that ignores Ward (you will really appreciate this when an enemy goes into a deadly Stance and another one puts a Ward stack on them). Otherwise for skill upgrades I'd take Luck boosts and don't worry overmuch about the abilities themselves. For stats I'd probably take Luck on lower difficulties as she crits a lot but on GAW you may want to look into Evasion and maybe Vigor as she's the squishiest by far. She is also the best party member for pivoting to health damage if needed, as she has lots of damaging abilities and all of them can be used from position 4 anyway. If she's ever out of position just use her stress attack (which you probably were doing anyway) and she'll be in the back again.
This team is strong against almost everything and can even beat enemy formations where a single enemy has no Sanity bar if you stress the rest and then switch to health for the last (or use spells, later in the game); Toxic Cloud if you take it can also kill things immune to the cloud's actual stress effect. I would be careful against the floor 2 Berserkers as they're buffed by losing stress and the floor 5 Paladins will utterly destroy your Lich with their stance so you must interrupt that if you don't want your Lich to just explode from the feedback every time any enemy moves into a cloud. This team's especially great against enemies that want to move forward to do dangerous poo poo like the floor 1 Demolitionists and the floor 2 Flamethrower Dwarves. Just have a second team for anything that punishes stress or formations with multiple inanimates.

Obviously if you can find Shackles of War this team is way better as it prevents Inspiration which is annoying, but in the right circumstances it won't even matter as you can stress something down ludicrously fast. Cascades of three heart attacks in a single action are not uncommon. It can even defeat the Inventor, who is normally not good to fight with a stress team; maybe not so much on GAW, but I regularly defeat the Inventor on More Pain with this team in the stress configuration.

Two of the members of this team are default unlocks and the Mummy and Lich are pretty quick to unlock, but if you don't have them you may be able to compensate with a Wraith and Banshee respectively. The Wraith has similar pushing capabilities to the Mummy (better, really) but is significantly more fragile, and the Banshee can punish movement with her stance or debuff enemy Attack which can be useful early, plus she has a stun ult. You can build this team right out of the gate and it should be able to handle Cakewalk with ease as long as you remember to have a second damage-oriented party; hell, it may be able to handle Cakewalk without a second party as long as you reorder the minions before going into a physical-heavy fight. It's also a great party for at least the first 3 floors of GAW.

Tinfoil Papercut fucked around with this message at 22:16 on Apr 29, 2020

skeleton warrior
Nov 12, 2016





Just picked this up and Iím enjoying it. Itís definitely easier than DD: I always felt in DD like I was constantly falling behind and each run wrecked me more than I gained, but here on normal difficulty Iím making steady and clear progress.

Speaking of which: progress through the plot is much more Slay The Spire than DD, with you following branching paths to Big Bosses at the end.

Call Your Grandma
Jan 17, 2010



just a heads up: skellingtons are actually better as support than tanks: embrace mediocrity is crazy good, especially on dark knights (who are actually great tanks) because it boosts their main attack as well.

The Sweetling
May 13, 2005

BOOMSHAKALAKA

Fun Shoe

Game owns a serious amount. Definitely scratches that DD itch.

tithin
Nov 14, 2003

[Grandmaster Tactician]



I remember watching a bunch of streams when it hit early access and seeing that there were some serious balance issues - did those ever get resolved?

Tinfoil Papercut
Jul 27, 2016

by Athanatos


tithin posted:

I remember watching a bunch of streams when it hit early access and seeing that there were some serious balance issues - did those ever get resolved?

As in some units are too hard or that Iratus has some units which are OP? I only recently picked up the game so I'm unaware of any state it was in prior to launch.

I find it pretty fair. There's some pre-planning you need to do before waltzing into any battle with a particularly nasty combo of enemies, but other than those fights I'm making good progress. I even have a squad of one hero skeleton named "Rambones" who cleared the barracks (including the boss) on his own.

Also I had a really good laugh when I saw who who the barracks boss was.

Tinfoil Papercut fucked around with this message at 14:15 on Apr 25, 2020

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Darkest Dungeon looked too intimidating for me to get into, but the boobs and narration here are tempting me.

Tinfoil Papercut
Jul 27, 2016

by Athanatos


Bieeanshee posted:

Darkest Dungeon looked too intimidating for me to get into, but the boobs and narration here are tempting me.

It's much easier to hit the ground running in this game, Floor 5 is challenging but by the time you get there you should have your stuff figured out.

Nakar
Sep 2, 2002

Ultima Ratio Regum


Shades remain wildly overpowered. Cleared a first full run with two teams, one comprised of a Bride/Lich/Skeleton/Mummy and another that was just two Shades. The first team ran mostly stress, using the Lich to throw up clouds while the Bride and Mummy shuffled things and the Skeleton tanked with stress counters; however, by reorganizing the party and putting the mummy in the back you can still do a decent damage team, which I like. The second team was a dodge-retaliation thing, but I slowly built toward giving both Shades their unique item and Burning Blood, which grants massive stat boosts for empty party slots. Combined with the talent that gives tons of Spellpower for having two or fewer minions, the whole thing snowballs very quickly and whatever your Shades aren't killing, spells will[1]; as if to add insult to injury, I got the Power Fist at one point and it was two-shotting things at easily replenishable mana costs. The only threats are things that ignore evasion, but the other team works well for that because the Skeleton taunts hard and doesn't care about evading anything. Nothing else was really a problem except one Floor 5 enemy, the stance gunners, as Brides and Mummies can't easily stance break things in the fourth slot.

My big tip would be to route through Cultists and Sacrificial Altars a lot. Cultists will always provide the unique items for the party you bring (at least for a while; they seemed to stop offering the Shade item eventually), or consumables for empty party slots; sacrifice a Dark Knight at every Altar for an experience book consumable to rocket Iratus's level up for talents. Build the Obelisk and then Library in that order, and do whatever else you need to do as you go, hopefully getting built up by floor 3 or so. Calcination and Distillation are really good; I basically never used the Mortuary when I could just burn a handful of extra parts to heal, but I also had parties that almost never took damage or healed it all back anyway.

[1] Shades aren't super great against the Inventor, so I used the stress party against him and the Keymaster, but they completely trivialize the Monster Hunter, whose entire gimmick is that he gets free attacks when your minions act; that just kills him faster because he misses and gets hosed up. Spells do great against the Pyromancer, and the Grand Magister ended up wasting his time attacking my ubertank Skeleton and accomplishing very little.

tithin
Nov 14, 2003

[Grandmaster Tactician]



Tinfoil Papercut posted:

As in some units are too hard or that Iratus has some units which are OP? I only recently picked up the game so I'm unaware of any state it was in prior to launch.

I find it pretty fair. There's some pre-planning you need to do before waltzing into any battle with a particularly nasty combo of enemies, but other than those fights I'm making good progress. I even have a squad of one hero skeleton named "Rambones" who cleared the barracks (including the boss) on his own.

Also I had a really good laugh when I saw who who the barracks boss was.

More that enemy units were ridiculously powerful, even the chaff, and that the stress mechanic you inflicted on them was clearly far far less powerful a mechanic than just straight up murdering them.

Tinfoil Papercut
Jul 27, 2016

by Athanatos


tithin posted:

More that enemy units were ridiculously powerful, even the chaff, and that the stress mechanic you inflicted on them was clearly far far less powerful a mechanic than just straight up murdering them.

I don't think that's still the case, stress works very well in certain fights and against certain enemies - and every boss seems susceptible to it as well.

Nakar
Sep 2, 2002

Ultima Ratio Regum


The advantage of stress is that it cascades in a well-made stress team. For example, if you shuffle the heroes with a Banshee/Mummy/Bride and they swap between two Lich clouds, they'll take multiple ticks of cloud stress, then if one dies of a heart attack everybody moves forward, into the clouds, which does the damage again, and every time someone goes insane or dies or sometimes just moves they take little ticks of stress that will cause heart attack checks when at 0; even floor 5 enemies can have their stress heavily depleted quickly. There are also far more gimmicks related to having low health than there are related to having low stress or taking stress damage (though there are one or two nasty ones), and a stress team can freely use the "heal all units to full Vigor" spell because they're not doing Vigor damage anyway.

The downside is the randomness factor. Enemies get inspired which can suck (though bear in mind an early insanity can completely cripple them even though they only got stressed once), some of the insanity effects are possibly worse than inspiration (berserk and the one that gives them double actions but damages them are rough), and heart attack checks are RNG. Stress teams tend to want to be tanky to mitigate this, while kill teams can sometimes afford to throw a lot of high damage glass cannon types into the mix and just win before they die (teams that lean on Unfrozen can be like this).

I wouldn't say they're totally balanced, as I think you're usually better off just killing things and Shade dodge teams do exactly that very effectively, but I do tend to think stress teams are very safe if built right and will usually ride out a fight where enemies have dangerous gimmicks. The team I mentioned above with Bride/Lich/Mummy/Skeleton is very safe if you focus primarily on defensive measures for everyone but the Bride (who I max out Luck on); take Armor/Resistance on the Skeleton, grab some Blocks for the Mummy and Lich, plaster a Jester's Face on the Skeleton, and most of the incidental damage you'll be taking is chip on the Skeleton.

One thing I'd like to try is using two Skeletons, one of whom is a tank with the Enchanted Bone that lets them be buffed, and use the Mediocrity buff on the tank over and over. I'd also like to experiment with a Sacrifice Lich equipped with the Vulture Feather, which allegedly grants a permanent buff when an ally dies, and see how much it can be stacked. Also if there's some way to gain permanent Vigor, a minion that can somehow reach 400+ can become invincible with that equippable that reduces damage taken based on lost health.

Tinfoil Papercut
Jul 27, 2016

by Athanatos


Nakar posted:

The advantage of stress is that it cascades in a well-made stress team. For example, if you shuffle the heroes with a Banshee/Mummy/Bride and they swap between two Lich clouds, they'll take multiple ticks of cloud stress, then if one dies of a heart attack everybody moves forward, into the clouds, which does the damage again, and every time someone goes insane or dies or sometimes just moves they take little ticks of stress that will cause heart attack checks when at 0; even floor 5 enemies can have their stress heavily depleted quickly. There are also far more gimmicks related to having low health than there are related to having low stress or taking stress damage (though there are one or two nasty ones), and a stress team can freely use the "heal all units to full Vigor" spell because they're not doing Vigor damage anyway.

The downside is the randomness factor. Enemies get inspired which can suck (though bear in mind an early insanity can completely cripple them even though they only got stressed once), some of the insanity effects are possibly worse than inspiration (berserk and the one that gives them double actions but damages them are rough), and heart attack checks are RNG. Stress teams tend to want to be tanky to mitigate this, while kill teams can sometimes afford to throw a lot of high damage glass cannon types into the mix and just win before they die (teams that lean on Unfrozen can be like this).

I wouldn't say they're totally balanced, as I think you're usually better off just killing things and Shade dodge teams do exactly that very effectively, but I do tend to think stress teams are very safe if built right and will usually ride out a fight where enemies have dangerous gimmicks. The team I mentioned above with Bride/Lich/Mummy/Skeleton is very safe if you focus primarily on defensive measures for everyone but the Bride (who I max out Luck on); take Armor/Resistance on the Skeleton, grab some Blocks for the Mummy and Lich, plaster a Jester's Face on the Skeleton, and most of the incidental damage you'll be taking is chip on the Skeleton.

One thing I'd like to try is using two Skeletons, one of whom is a tank with the Enchanted Bone that lets them be buffed, and use the Mediocrity buff on the tank over and over. I'd also like to experiment with a Sacrifice Lich equipped with the Vulture Feather, which allegedly grants a permanent buff when an ally dies, and see how much it can be stacked. Also if there's some way to gain permanent Vigor, a minion that can somehow reach 400+ can become invincible with that equippable that reduces damage taken based on lost health.

Damphair has damage reduction based on number of times hit iirc.

You can definitely make some wacky builds. A solo skeleton with boiling blood, vampire fangs, and the "stress damage when you are hit in stance" skill is incredibly effective. You can also make Damphair / Vampire teams with boiling blood too. Or even a build around kamikaze bone golems (although probably only good on bosses)

Currently on my 2nd playthrough so I can try some of the other units I unlocked. I have a magic based build working wonders right now.

DrManiac
Feb 29, 2012



I'm liking the game so far. Iratus seems like he's having fun which is what I like to see in necromancers.

All the minions/enemies look like Tigtone characters which is also funny.

Nakar
Sep 2, 2002

Ultima Ratio Regum


I have no idea how you're supposed to beat Good Always Wins without just absurd amounts of cheese. My stress build did fine all the way to the Cathedral, same as on regular difficulty, then just got completely annihilated by Gladiator/Paladin packs. I ended up just using Shades the entirety of the final floor, including against the boss (despite his mechanics kind of hosing Shades). It's a fun build though. Finger of Death got down to 5 Mana to cast.

I suspect there may be some adjustments made to floors 4 and 5. Until then, I wouldn't consider any build that isn't Accuracy/Evade-centric to be especially viable for the endgame. Didn't seem to be an issue on lower difficulties but it's definitely a thing on GAW.

Tinfoil Papercut
Jul 27, 2016

by Athanatos


Skeleton tank is very good on floor 5, overall I think Widow is the best tank followed by Golem.

Nakar
Sep 2, 2002

Ultima Ratio Regum


Tinfoil Papercut posted:

Skeleton tank is very good on floor 5, overall I think Widow is the best tank followed by Golem.
Most tanks can't protect you from the Paladin doing absurd damage when dealing stress, or the gun guy with the stance that just does damage to minions every time they take an action. Plus Gladiators get incredibly dangerous with 60% Evasion and high crit on Good Always Wins. Skeletons can't stand up to crits for very long. I think the Widow would be better for her ability to remove Evasion and Armor/Resistance/Block/Ward, but I'm not sure if she can take the damage reliably.

Like I said, Shades can handle most things (though you will want Dispel for the Inquisitors and their ignite zone), I'm just wondering what you're supposed to do with a "normal" composition. Just not getting hit seems vastly superior to almost any other option. Spellpower is also incredibly good as enemies can't retaliate against Iratus and you can make spells like Dispel or the two-hit physical (for Block stripping) free. These two factors just happen to coincide in a two Shade party being by far the strongest thing in the game right now, since Shades never get hit, heal themselves of any damage they do take, give Iratus infinite Mana (and Wrath, but dual Shades can't use their ultimates anyway so you just get to 100 for Blood Magic), and also boost Spellpower to the point you can be doing 200 damage with Bone Obelisk/Rain of Gore or hellbuff the Shades with Amok.

EDIT: To be clear, the party I'm talking about is literally just a pair of Shades with their minion-specific item and the Boiling Blood trinket that grants extra stats for empty party slots. You then grab the entire passive Ire tree (mainly for the regeneration at 75+ Wrath and Spellpower at 100) and the Destruction passive that grants Iratus 50 Spellpower if there are two or fewer minions alive. The Shades just swap places with their +Evasion skill all day or occasionally use their -Accuracy debuff on single enemies, while you cast spells with all the Mana they refund from their counterattacks. Unquestionably the strongest GAW party that I've come across.

Nakar fucked around with this message at 20:39 on Apr 26, 2020

Cuntellectual
Aug 6, 2010

by Reene


Seems neat. I feel kinda bad for killing the prisoners, though.

Tinfoil Papercut
Jul 27, 2016

by Athanatos


Nakar posted:

Most tanks can't protect you from the Paladin doing absurd damage when dealing stress, or the gun guy with the stance that just does damage to minions every time they take an action. Plus Gladiators get incredibly dangerous with 60% Evasion and high crit on Good Always Wins. Skeletons can't stand up to crits for very long. I think the Widow would be better for her ability to remove Evasion and Armor/Resistance/Block/Ward, but I'm not sure if she can take the damage reliably.

Like I said, Shades can handle most things (though you will want Dispel for the Inquisitors and their ignite zone), I'm just wondering what you're supposed to do with a "normal" composition. Just not getting hit seems vastly superior to almost any other option. Spellpower is also incredibly good as enemies can't retaliate against Iratus and you can make spells like Dispel or the two-hit physical (for Block stripping) free. These two factors just happen to coincide in a two Shade party being by far the strongest thing in the game right now, since Shades never get hit, heal themselves of any damage they do take, give Iratus infinite Mana (and Wrath, but dual Shades can't use their ultimates anyway so you just get to 100 for Blood Magic), and also boost Spellpower to the point you can be doing 200 damage with Bone Obelisk/Rain of Gore or hellbuff the Shades with Amok.

EDIT: To be clear, the party I'm talking about is literally just a pair of Shades with their minion-specific item and the Boiling Blood trinket that grants extra stats for empty party slots. You then grab the entire passive Ire tree (mainly for the regeneration at 75+ Wrath and Spellpower at 100) and the Destruction passive that grants Iratus 50 Spellpower if there are two or fewer minions alive. The Shades just swap places with their +Evasion skill all day or occasionally use their -Accuracy debuff on single enemies, while you cast spells with all the Mana they refund from their counterattacks. Unquestionably the strongest GAW party that I've come across.

My comp for the last playthrough on floor 5 was Lich, Unfrozen, Unfrozen, Widow.

Use Widow in cocoon all the time, proceed to nuke with the backline. Lich does damage to Widow but she was healing well enough to get through the fights missing ~30% usually by the end. Very powerful comp but counts on getting the battle done with quickly because once your wards + blocks are down things get dicey. Not good on final boss but cleans house everywhere else.

On floor 5 the paladins with the stun were a pain because the Widow would get stunned out of the cocoon - otherwise she was taking it like a champ.

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos


As someone who just started, I was really confused as to how you used a Widow as a tank until I realized that I was thinking of Brides, since I don't have the other yet.

The game is fun so far, though I've unlocked nothing of note yet.

Tinfoil Papercut
Jul 27, 2016

by Athanatos


I updated the 2nd post with some builds that have worked well for me, I haven't played around with anything that amplifies Iratus's spells so I'm curious to try some of that next, as well as some stress builds.

If you have any good ones let me know and I'll throw them in post 2 too!

skeleton warrior
Nov 12, 2016





Okay, starting to get more frustrated than happy with this. Iím mid-way through floor 2 on my first run and there just doesnít seem to be any point in continuing - the dwarves hit too hard for me to keep good minions through the battle, all of the advice on builds are around unlockable classes I donít have, and most of the unlocks look like boring grinding to get (in cases where I have any clue how to do the things itís asking for).

Nakar
Sep 2, 2002

Ultima Ratio Regum


It should definitely be possible to clear Cakewalk and probably More Pain with default classes. Skeleton is super strong and Bride can do a lot of work. It won't be a super optimized build but it should be possible to make both damage and stress teams. Also you can capture Dhampirs in floor 3 and create Vampires with the Blood Curse spell (that's how you unlock them anyway). Liches and Shades and Bone Golems are great but they're not required to make a decent team.

Tinfoil Papercut
Jul 27, 2016

by Athanatos


skeleton warrior posted:

Okay, starting to get more frustrated than happy with this. Iím mid-way through floor 2 on my first run and there just doesnít seem to be any point in continuing - the dwarves hit too hard for me to keep good minions through the battle, all of the advice on builds are around unlockable classes I donít have, and most of the unlocks look like boring grinding to get (in cases where I have any clue how to do the things itís asking for).

You should have no trouble on the easiest difficulty setting getting all the unlocks (except unfrozen and widow) to help a normal difficulty play through. They *just* buffed up the zombie, so he's a perfectly viable damage dealer right now.

Honestly you're not going to go too wrong with a bone golem and three things behind it that do the same type of damage.

Once you hit the dwarves you need to start thinking about every move, depending on the composition of the opponents. Don't do stress damage vs. the berserkers - and focus down any rifleman (I forget their official name). If you have a flamethrower encroaching make sure you keep him pushed back with a Bride every turn so he doesn't reach the front lines, etc.

One thing that helped me out a lot was learning when I should delay turns, you don't HAVE to go right away if there's a debuff in the holster or some other action you can play off of.

limited
Dec 10, 2005
Limited Sanity

Tinfoil Papercut posted:

You should have no trouble on the easiest difficulty setting getting all the unlocks (except unfrozen and widow) to help a normal difficulty play through. They *just* buffed up the zombie, so he's a perfectly viable damage dealer right now.

Honestly you're not going to go too wrong with a bone golem and three things behind it that do the same type of damage.

Once you hit the dwarves you need to start thinking about every move, depending on the composition of the opponents. Don't do stress damage vs. the berserkers - and focus down any rifleman (I forget their official name). If you have a flamethrower encroaching make sure you keep him pushed back with a Bride every turn so he doesn't reach the front lines, etc.

One thing that helped me out a lot was learning when I should delay turns, you don't HAVE to go right away if there's a debuff in the holster or some other action you can play off of.
You also need to keep a eye on the enemy buffs too. It's not always little buffs that stack like DD but outright, 'gently caress you, I do 50% extra damage and attack twice' If you want to know what a unit's innate buffs are ( Why was that particular unit doing so much damage? They completely ignore resistance. ) The blue star on the bottom right of the enemy health bars lists them off.

Tinfoil Papercut
Jul 27, 2016

by Athanatos


So I finally put together a stress build I like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhB_rPAkzLQ

This is only floor 1, but you can see how smooth things go when they work together right. This is standard difficulty vs a normal pack with one elite.

I'm not 100% comfortable with DK on the front line - but he works well with the synergy. The Banshee is surprisingly tank-ey with her item which restores 20% on an enemy miss.

skeleton warrior
Nov 12, 2016





Tinfoil Papercut posted:

You should have no trouble on the easiest difficulty setting getting all the unlocks (except unfrozen and widow) to help a normal difficulty play through. They *just* buffed up the zombie, so he's a perfectly viable damage dealer right now.

Honestly you're not going to go too wrong with a bone golem and three things behind it that do the same type of damage.

That advice would mean more if I didnít already have seven hours in the game and was only a third of the way to unlocking bone golems, and my only option is ďrestart and grind moreĒ. Right now I have dark warriors who canít do anything interesting except take damage, and skeletons and zombies that die in three hits from dwarves, and liches and brides who die in fewer hits if they get pulled forward. And they always get pulled forward.


quote:

Once you hit the dwarves you need to start thinking about every move, depending on the composition of the opponents. Don't do stress damage vs. the berserkers - and focus down any rifleman (I forget their official name). If you have a flamethrower encroaching make sure you keep him pushed back with a Bride every turn so he doesn't reach the front lines, etc.

Yeah, which would be fine if you got a chance to learn those things, but itís much closer to ďhereís a flamethrower and now that youíre fighting them letís NOW reveal that they have more armor than your best physical attacks do, oh, TPK, guess youíre not smart enough to play at the medium difficultyĒ.

Iím just generally finding it a mess where youíre supposed to stat up characters but stat ups donít actually seem to be big enough to matter (ooh after two levels Iíve saved up enough for another 2 points in evasion), half of the powers a character has never get used because theyíre in the wrong position or do the wrong damage, and it just all feels like a wreck of bad options and trap choices with everyone talking about the good
Classes but those are all behind the grind wall.

Walh Hara
May 11, 2012


skeleton warrior posted:

That advice would mean more if I didnít already have seven hours in the game and was only a third of the way to unlocking bone golems, and my only option is ďrestart and grind moreĒ. Right now I have dark warriors who canít do anything interesting except take damage, and skeletons and zombies that die in three hits from dwarves, and liches and brides who die in fewer hits if they get pulled forward. And they always get pulled forward.


Yeah, which would be fine if you got a chance to learn those things, but itís much closer to ďhereís a flamethrower and now that youíre fighting them letís NOW reveal that they have more armor than your best physical attacks do, oh, TPK, guess youíre not smart enough to play at the medium difficultyĒ.

Iím just generally finding it a mess where youíre supposed to stat up characters but stat ups donít actually seem to be big enough to matter (ooh after two levels Iíve saved up enough for another 2 points in evasion), half of the powers a character has never get used because theyíre in the wrong position or do the wrong damage, and it just all feels like a wreck of bad options and trap choices with everyone talking about the good
Classes but those are all behind the grind wall.

Weird, your experience does not match mine. I'm pretty sure I had unlocked wraiths, mummies, lich and vampires within 7 hours of playing (lost souls as well, not sure). I admit I did a "last checkpoint" once after my first battle vs a flamethrower, but afterwards I never had any issues fighting them.

I also have the impression that a "no synergy team" of 2 brides and 2 skeles would already be able to handle the dwarves just fine if you use all stat ups of the skeles for armor and resistance only. The other classes are viable as well but perhaps require more thought about synergies, while skele+brides just do pretty much everything decently. Good burst damage against the backline to kill them quickly, can ignore armor, stance cancels, multihit to remove blocks, can use wrath effectively, etc.

Personally I'm pretty impressed by the nr of viable builds and different tactics you can try. Some strategies (synergies) I could think about :
- Abilities that trigger on movement + abilities that shuffle/move the enemies
- High evasion + abilities that lower accuraccy (stacking this is just very efficient health)
- Ability that buff minion(s) damage + damage efficient ults (for example combine with zombie's double powder)
- Debuffs + abilities that trigger on debuffs
- Lost souls ability to buff enemy team (+ the spell that buffs luck on everybody) + abilities that trigger on buffs
- Use summons (you can also start with a lvl 1 throwaway minion as well) + abilities that trigger on death of an ally or sacrifice it
- Stack amor/resistance on everybody (because it's a linear block increasing it can be very efficient)
- Stack spellpower + abilities that generate mana and use spells to deal damage
- Wrath generating abilities + minions that benefit greatly from spamming ults (i.e. bride)
- Stack luck boosts on yourself and luck debuffs on enemy to crit 100% of the time
- Stack buffs that last until end of battle + healing/lifesteal/blocks/wards to stay alive initially and heal any damage afterwards
- Any of the above but focused on stress instead of vigor damage
And I'm probably forgetting some since I still have a lot to unlock.

Tinfoil Papercut
Jul 27, 2016

by Athanatos


Walh Hara posted:

Weird, your experience does not match mine. I'm pretty sure I had unlocked wraiths, mummies, lich and vampires within 7 hours of playing (lost souls as well, not sure). I admit I did a "last checkpoint" once after my first battle vs a flamethrower, but afterwards I never had any issues fighting them.

I also have the impression that a "no synergy team" of 2 brides and 2 skeles would already be able to handle the dwarves just fine if you use all stat ups of the skeles for armor and resistance only. The other classes are viable as well but perhaps require more thought about synergies, while skele+brides just do pretty much everything decently. Good burst damage against the backline to kill them quickly, can ignore armor, stance cancels, multihit to remove blocks, can use wrath effectively, etc.

Personally I'm pretty impressed by the nr of viable builds and different tactics you can try. Some strategies (synergies) I could think about :
- Abilities that trigger on movement + abilities that shuffle/move the enemies
- High evasion + abilities that lower accuraccy (stacking this is just very efficient health)
- Ability that buff minion(s) damage + damage efficient ults (for example combine with zombie's double powder)
- Debuffs + abilities that trigger on debuffs
- Lost souls ability to buff enemy team (+ the spell that buffs luck on everybody) + abilities that trigger on buffs
- Use summons (you can also start with a lvl 1 throwaway minion as well) + abilities that trigger on death of an ally or sacrifice it
- Stack amor/resistance on everybody (because it's a linear block increasing it can be very efficient)
- Stack spellpower + abilities that generate mana and use spells to deal damage
- Wrath generating abilities + minions that benefit greatly from spamming ults (i.e. bride)
- Stack luck boosts on yourself and luck debuffs on enemy to crit 100% of the time
- Stack buffs that last until end of battle + healing/lifesteal/blocks/wards to stay alive initially and heal any damage afterwards
- Any of the above but focused on stress instead of vigor damage
And I'm probably forgetting some since I still have a lot to unlock.

Equip a minion with (on death of a friend) effects, and equip Iratus with the 25% chance to revive fallen minion. Use three Bone Golems with "I'll be back" and suicide them but know you have a 75% chance they'll be restored.

juggalo baby coffin
Dec 2, 2007

How would the dog wear goggles and even more than that, who makes the goggles?



BOOOOONY WEATHER INCOMING

i like this game, it's like the dungeon keeper version of darkest dungeon, and stefan weyte's voice acting and the sense of humour make the zomboobs less embarrassing

Nakar
Sep 2, 2002

Ultima Ratio Regum


Wanted to do into more detail on my stress team build, as I think it's pretty solid having tried it out on both More Pain and Good Always Wins. It definitely has some holes on the highest difficulty but I find it is extremely solid early and it's also versatile.

The team in question is Bride, Lich, Skeleton, and Mummy, usually in that party order left to right. The highlights:
  • This is a stress team focused on movement and mobility. The basic idea is that the Skeleton tanks and the Lich lays down clouds which the Bride and Mummy shuffle enemies into and out of while doing stress themselves. The team is also extremely mobile on its own: The Bride can always get to the back with her stress attack, the Mummy moves himself forward with his major stress move, the Skeleton has its shield charge, and the Lich has Dominate Undead to push someone two forward if they get out of position.
  • Note that while I do say it's a stress team, it is actually capable of reconfiguring into a damage team if you reorder them Bride>Mummy>Lich>Skeleton. It's not an ideal health damage team but in this configuration the Bride can use all her regular damage attacks, the Mummy can use his wrap pull, and the Lich can spam a magical attack. The Skeleton retains access to its Armor-ignoring strike and Smite, or it can just tank as before. It's even possible, though a little difficult, to switch to this configuration in the middle of a fight, to finish off stress-immune stuff. See the Lich section below.
  • Skeleton wants to grab Unnerving Fortitude the instant it gets a skill point. This adds a stress counter to its defensive stance, and this is what you're going to be doing with it 95% of its turns. Other skill upgrades don't matter for the most part, so I take things that boost its Armor and Resistance. For stat points, focus mostly on Armor and Resistance, but upgrade its Initiative to the max as soon as you're comfortable with the damage it's taking. It helps a lot to generally go first and get the stance up before enemies can take potshots at more fragile teammates. Trinkets should be the Legcuffs and Jester's Visage if you can find them; Legcuffs prevent the Skeleton from being moved which keeps it from having its stance broken, and the Visage increases the already-increased odds of it being attacked which is what you want because it is by far the most safe target on the team and gets free attacks when hit. Late in the game consider either putting points in Accuracy or replacing Legcuffs with something like the Mechanical Eye so that its counterattacks miss less often, but don't sweat it too much if they do; Skeleton is there to take hits and the stress is just a bonus.
  • Mummy wants to upgrade his stress skill that moves him forward to the version that also pushes the enemy back. This skill is pretty great as it will hit two targets and push them around, and since it hits position 3 it can technically hit position 4 as well via the AoE. He can also use his ST Curse ability on the last enemy to do more damage and trigger extra checks from the Curse DoT, or his all-enemies stress beam to fish for Insanity or Heart Attack checks, or his debuff clear for the party that can also move him back if you need that. Also has access to his ult from the front if you need a really big stress bomb, though the team's not set up to do -Luck debuffs. Statwise I like Blocks/Wards and Luck; the Mummy's pretty tanky by default, so he's not super worried about taking damage most of the time. For non-essential skills I'd take things that boost defensiveness or Dread, and for items anything that either helps him survive/recover or amplifies his stress damage are fine, he's not really picky.
  • Lich exists to lay down its stress cloud and that's basically it. Because the cloud is a trap, it can't miss, so Accuracy is completely irrelevant for the Lich and it can spam against evasive enemies all day; don't feel like you have to spread a cloud around if you just need to do a big packet of stress to a specific enemy. You want to upgrade the cloud first, but which way you go depends on whether you ever intend to use the team for health damage. If you do, take Corrosive Cloud as it completely removes Armor/Resistance for any enemy in the cloud; if you don't, take Toxic Cloud as stress damage ignores Resistance and the instant kills do add up over the course of a run. For stats I'd grab a couple Blocks and maybe an extra Ward and then just stack Dread. If you plan to ever do a health damage setup I would advise against taking Shrapnel even though it does more damage on paper, as your Mummy will get shredded without the unique Lich trinket (if you do have that, I guess it's fine). For items anything that restores Vigor/Wrath/Mana on damage is nice as getting pushed into the cloud does trigger those; with a little luck and some action economy you'll get a lot of returns from that. Finally if you intend to ever do the party as a health damage team, consider taking Ineffable Command over Dominate Undead: By targeting the Mummy, you will pull it into position 3 while moving the Lich and Skeleton into positions 1 and 2, which is exactly where everybody wants to be for that.
  • Bride's there for her ST stress shot that breaks stances and pushes people. Don't upgrade it to the one that prevents them from moving or you'll ruin it; use the other upgrade that ignores Ward (you will really appreciate this when an enemy goes into a deadly Stance and another one puts a Ward stack on them). Otherwise for skill upgrades I'd take Luck boosts and don't worry overmuch about the abilities themselves. For stats I'd probably take Luck on lower difficulties as she crits a lot but on GAW you may want to look into Evasion and maybe Vigor as she's the squishiest by far. She is also the best party member for pivoting to health damage if needed, as she has lots of damaging abilities and all of them can be used from position 4 anyway. If she's ever out of position just use her stress attack (which you probably were doing anyway) and she'll be in the back again.
This team is strong against almost everything and can even beat enemy formations where a single enemy has no Sanity bar if you stress the rest and then switch to health for the last (or use spells, later in the game); Toxic Cloud if you take it can also kill things immune to the cloud's actual stress effect. I would be careful against the floor 2 Berserkers as they're buffed by losing stress and the floor 5 Paladins will utterly destroy your Lich with their stance so you must interrupt that if you don't want your Lich to just explode from the feedback every time any enemy moves into a cloud. This team's especially great against enemies that want to move forward to do dangerous poo poo like the floor 1 Demolitionists and the floor 2 Flamethrower Dwarves. Just have a second team for anything that punishes stress or formations with multiple inanimates.

Obviously if you can find Shackles of War this team is way better as it prevents Inspiration which is annoying, but in the right circumstances it won't even matter as you can stress something down ludicrously fast. Cascades of three heart attacks in a single action are not uncommon. It can even defeat the Inventor, who is normally not good to fight with a stress team; maybe not so much on GAW, but I regularly defeat the Inventor on More Pain with this team in the stress configuration.

Two of the members of this team are default unlocks and the Mummy and Lich are pretty quick to unlock, but if you don't have them you may be able to compensate with a Wraith and Banshee respectively. The Wraith has similar pushing capabilities to the Mummy (better, really) but is significantly more fragile, and the Banshee can punish movement with her stance or debuff enemy Attack which can be useful early, plus she has a stun ult. You can build this team right out of the gate and it should be able to handle Cakewalk with ease as long as you remember to have a second damage-oriented party; hell, it may be able to handle Cakewalk without a second party as long as you reorder the minions before going into a physical-heavy fight. It's also a great party for at least the first 3 floors of GAW.

Tinfoil Papercut
Jul 27, 2016

by Athanatos


Nakar posted:

Wanted to do into more detail on my stress team build, as I think it's pretty solid having tried it out on both More Pain and Good Always Wins. It definitely has some holes on the highest difficulty but I find it is extremely solid early and it's also versatile.

The team in question is Bride, Lich, Skeleton, and Mummy, usually in that party order left to right. The highlights:
  • This is a stress team focused on movement and mobility. The basic idea is that the Skeleton tanks and the Lich lays down clouds which the Bride and Mummy shuffle enemies into and out of while doing stress themselves. The team is also extremely mobile on its own: The Bride can always get to the back with her stress attack, the Mummy moves himself forward with his major stress move, the Skeleton has its shield charge, and the Lich has Dominate Undead to push someone two forward if they get out of position.
  • Note that while I do say it's a stress team, it is actually capable of reconfiguring into a damage team if you reorder them Bride>Mummy>Lich>Skeleton. It's not an ideal health damage team but in this configuration the Bride can use all her regular damage attacks, the Mummy can use his wrap pull, and the Lich can spam a magical attack. The Skeleton retains access to its Armor-ignoring strike and Smite, or it can just tank as before. It's even possible, though a little difficult, to switch to this configuration in the middle of a fight, to finish off stress-immune stuff. See the Lich section below.
  • Skeleton wants to grab Unnerving Fortitude the instant it gets a skill point. This adds a stress counter to its defensive stance, and this is what you're going to be doing with it 95% of its turns. Other skill upgrades don't matter for the most part, so I take things that boost its Armor and Resistance. For stat points, focus mostly on Armor and Resistance, but upgrade its Initiative to the max as soon as you're comfortable with the damage it's taking. It helps a lot to generally go first and get the stance up before enemies can take potshots at more fragile teammates. Trinkets should be the Legcuffs and Jester's Visage if you can find them; Legcuffs prevent the Skeleton from being moved which keeps it from having its stance broken, and the Visage increases the already-increased odds of it being attacked which is what you want because it is by far the most safe target on the team and gets free attacks when hit. Late in the game consider either putting points in Accuracy or replacing Legcuffs with something like the Mechanical Eye so that its counterattacks miss less often, but don't sweat it too much if they do; Skeleton is there to take hits and the stress is just a bonus.
  • Mummy wants to upgrade his stress skill that moves him forward to the version that also pushes the enemy back. This skill is pretty great as it will hit two targets and push them around, and since it hits position 3 it can technically hit position 4 as well via the AoE. He can also use his ST Curse ability on the last enemy to do more damage and trigger extra checks from the Curse DoT, or his all-enemies stress beam to fish for Insanity or Heart Attack checks, or his debuff clear for the party that can also move him back if you need that. Also has access to his ult from the front if you need a really big stress bomb, though the team's not set up to do -Luck debuffs. Statwise I like Blocks/Wards and Luck; the Mummy's pretty tanky by default, so he's not super worried about taking damage most of the time. For non-essential skills I'd take things that boost defensiveness or Dread, and for items anything that either helps him survive/recover or amplifies his stress damage are fine, he's not really picky.
  • Lich exists to lay down its stress cloud and that's basically it. Because the cloud is a trap, it can't miss, so Accuracy is completely irrelevant for the Lich and it can spam against evasive enemies all day; don't feel like you have to spread a cloud around if you just need to do a big packet of stress to a specific enemy. You want to upgrade the cloud first, but which way you go depends on whether you ever intend to use the team for health damage. If you do, take Corrosive Cloud as it completely removes Armor/Resistance for any enemy in the cloud; if you don't, take Toxic Cloud as stress damage ignores Resistance and the instant kills do add up over the course of a run. For stats I'd grab a couple Blocks and maybe an extra Ward and then just stack Dread. If you plan to ever do a health damage setup I would advise against taking Shrapnel even though it does more damage on paper, as your Mummy will get shredded without the unique Lich trinket (if you do have that, I guess it's fine). For items anything that restores Vigor/Wrath/Mana on damage is nice as getting pushed into the cloud does trigger those; with a little luck and some action economy you'll get a lot of returns from that. Finally if you intend to ever do the party as a health damage team, consider taking Ineffable Command over Dominate Undead: By targeting the Mummy, you will pull it into position 3 while moving the Lich and Skeleton into positions 1 and 2, which is exactly where everybody wants to be for that.
  • Bride's there for her ST stress shot that breaks stances and pushes people. Don't upgrade it to the one that prevents them from moving or you'll ruin it; use the other upgrade that ignores Ward (you will really appreciate this when an enemy goes into a deadly Stance and another one puts a Ward stack on them). Otherwise for skill upgrades I'd take Luck boosts and don't worry overmuch about the abilities themselves. For stats I'd probably take Luck on lower difficulties as she crits a lot but on GAW you may want to look into Evasion and maybe Vigor as she's the squishiest by far. She is also the best party member for pivoting to health damage if needed, as she has lots of damaging abilities and all of them can be used from position 4 anyway. If she's ever out of position just use her stress attack (which you probably were doing anyway) and she'll be in the back again.
This team is strong against almost everything and can even beat enemy formations where a single enemy has no Sanity bar if you stress the rest and then switch to health for the last (or use spells, later in the game); Toxic Cloud if you take it can also kill things immune to the cloud's actual stress effect. I would be careful against the floor 2 Berserkers as they're buffed by losing stress and the floor 5 Paladins will utterly destroy your Lich with their stance so you must interrupt that if you don't want your Lich to just explode from the feedback every time any enemy moves into a cloud. This team's especially great against enemies that want to move forward to do dangerous poo poo like the floor 1 Demolitionists and the floor 2 Flamethrower Dwarves. Just have a second team for anything that punishes stress or formations with multiple inanimates.

Obviously if you can find Shackles of War this team is way better as it prevents Inspiration which is annoying, but in the right circumstances it won't even matter as you can stress something down ludicrously fast. Cascades of three heart attacks in a single action are not uncommon. It can even defeat the Inventor, who is normally not good to fight with a stress team; maybe not so much on GAW, but I regularly defeat the Inventor on More Pain with this team in the stress configuration.

Two of the members of this team are default unlocks and the Mummy and Lich are pretty quick to unlock, but if you don't have them you may be able to compensate with a Wraith and Banshee respectively. The Wraith has similar pushing capabilities to the Mummy (better, really) but is significantly more fragile, and the Banshee can punish movement with her stance or debuff enemy Attack which can be useful early, plus she has a stun ult. You can build this team right out of the gate and it should be able to handle Cakewalk with ease as long as you remember to have a second damage-oriented party; hell, it may be able to handle Cakewalk without a second party as long as you reorder the minions before going into a physical-heavy fight. It's also a great party for at least the first 3 floors of GAW.

Very nice! Will add to 2nd OP.

Nakar
Sep 2, 2002

Ultima Ratio Regum


Something I discovered: You can replace the Skeleton with a Wraith for significantly more AoE stress, but it is riskier due to the lack of a tank. The Wraith and Mummy will be fine (if you use the Mummy specific item it can heal tons from the Wraith AoE Cursing), but stray hits on the Bride and Lich can be deadly. A Wraith can also replace the Bride as it does more stress with its push, but there will be times the guaranteed stance break and Ward ignoring save the whole run and Bride pivots to damage better.

Also Bride's first skill can be upgraded to stun on crit, which can be a lifesaver if you have the Fate spell. In a desperate situation you can burn mana to stunlock something.

Walh Hara
May 11, 2012


For future reference: it took me 20 hours of playtime to unlock all minions.

Some questions:
- Is the final boss also clearly stronger in higher difficulties compared to "more pain"? I had a pretty easy time on the last floors but the boss was a challenge (in hindsight I should have changed my team for him).
- What level is normal for your minions in the end? I was wondering whether I overleveled my minions (lvl 33) by using the same units 100% of the time or if this doesn't really matter.
- Is high initiative actually useful (besides unfrozen)? I assume a minion still has the same amount of turns regardless of high or low initiative?

My end-game composition was lost soul + wraith + lost soul + banshee and I found it extremely strong compared to other teams I tried. However, I can imagine it's better lategame rather than early becauses it relies on some talents (the spell that buffs crit on everybody in particular) and the ult upgrade that gives mana when cleansings buffs. Early game a skeleton is probably more relieable than the banshee, there's some good synergy with the smite ability. Once you have the talent that reduces wrath costs, the talent that gives 50% more wrath generation and the artifact that gives 12 wrath every round then nothing beats the banshee using her stun every single round.

Nakar
Sep 2, 2002

Ultima Ratio Regum


Walh Hara posted:

- Is the final boss also clearly stronger in higher difficulties compared to "more pain"? I had a pretty easy time on the last floors but the boss was a challenge (in hindsight I should have changed my team for him).
- What level is normal for your minions in the end? I was wondering whether I overleveled my minions (lvl 33) by using the same units 100% of the time or if this doesn't really matter.
- Is high initiative actually useful (besides unfrozen)? I assume a minion still has the same amount of turns regardless of high or low initiative?
1) The final boss is difficult mostly for his gimmicks and his allies. I suppose that makes the fight significantly harder the more difficult enemies in general are. The boss, like most of the bosses, has specific gimmicks (a second phase and party shuffling with allies that place traps in his case); a team countered by or not ideal to deal with those gimmicks won't do super well, and that's mostly difficulty-independent. I've beaten him on Good Always Wins with a team his setup effectively counters, but I was spamming Dispel like crazy to compensate for the fact my team was constantly triggering things that wouldn't have been triggered had I used a better setup.

2) Depends how many minions you use. Mid-high 20s seems about right for 2-3 teams, using the same team could hit 30+. If you use a ton of minions I could see ~20 average. It really doesn't matter a ton, minions should be more or less fully developed for skills by the endgame and the rest is just tiny handfuls of stat points that maybe make a tiny bit of difference.

3) Everyone gets a turn every round, yes, but high Initiative is still useful because it influences where things end up in the turn order. The benefit of going first in combat should need no explanation, but it also matters because you can make minions wait and delay their turns until the end of the round. With high enough Initiative, you can delay until the enemies have gone, have minions act, and then they'll act again at the start of the next round. Can potentially set up some powerful combos, or avoid situations like the floor 3 Bards healing someone you're trying to kill by hitting them four times before the Bard has another turn to do so.

EDIT: This game is developed by Russians and Russians love them some fuckin' Heroes of Might & Magic III, so it should come as no surprise that the turn order system is very similar to that and knowing how to abuse Wait in Heroes III is pretty important in high-level tactical play. And lest anyone question whether the Unfrozen devs are Heroes III fans, I'll just note there's an artifact called Shackles of War that prevents enemies from retreating and that's literally an artifact in Heroes III that has the same effect.

Nakar fucked around with this message at 14:15 on Apr 30, 2020

Walh Hara
May 11, 2012


Thanks a lot for the answers!

Nakar posted:

1) The final boss is difficult mostly for his gimmicks and his allies. I suppose that makes the fight significantly harder the more difficult enemies in general are. The boss, like most of the bosses, has specific gimmicks (a second phase and party shuffling with allies that place traps in his case); a team countered by or not ideal to deal with those gimmicks won't do super well, and that's mostly difficulty-independent. I've beaten him on Good Always Wins with a team his setup effectively counters, but I was spamming Dispel like crazy to compensate for the fact my team was constantly triggering things that wouldn't have been triggered had I used a better setup.

Actually, my biggest problem was that he's the only enemy in the game (that I encountered) that can remove buffs on your minions while ignoring wards. I always relied on just stacking up +damage with lost souls ult and suddenly that was no longer possible in the second round.

Now trying Good Always Wins and it seems way way harder, but that also might be because I keep trying out new party compositions.

Pararoid
Dec 6, 2005

Te Waipounamu pride


This game is pretty cool.

A little frustrating at times, but everything is pretty well telegraphed once you know what to look for, and as others have pointed out, there are a lot of different gimmicks and styles to try if you want to change it up.

Motherfucker
Jul 16, 2011



Tinfoil Papercut posted:


[list] Red light, Green light!
[*]Skeleton (or Tank of your preference, flexible spot)
[*]Damphair
[*]Mummy
[*]Bride


Definitely stick a golem up front with onslaught to get more pulls and thus a full extra cycle of backline carnage. Plus his bone ward will help keep the bride alive while you give her as much attack as physically possible.



Right now I'm getting minced up by the cathedral because I only have one damphire, shes been in my party the whole time and is indispensable cuz of her rage talents but like... thats one minion. I've nearly lost her a couple times and save scummed out of losing her a couple more

I don't have unfrozen or widows which dosn't help

Motherfucker fucked around with this message at 16:59 on May 2, 2020

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StarkRavingMad
Sep 27, 2001





Yams Fan

Nakar posted:

Something I discovered: You can replace the Skeleton with a Wraith for significantly more AoE stress, but it is riskier due to the lack of a tank. The Wraith and Mummy will be fine (if you use the Mummy specific item it can heal tons from the Wraith AoE Cursing), but stray hits on the Bride and Lich can be deadly. A Wraith can also replace the Bride as it does more stress with its push, but there will be times the guaranteed stance break and Ward ignoring save the whole run and Bride pivots to damage better.

Also Bride's first skill can be upgraded to stun on crit, which can be a lifesaver if you have the Fate spell. In a desperate situation you can burn mana to stunlock something.

So, even before I saw this thread, I've been running basically your squad except as Bride, Wraith, Lich, Skeleton (from left to right). So basically replacing the Mummy with the Wraith and moving Lich into position 2. Wraith's upgrade to his single target attack gives him a push 2 on it, AND it strips buffs which I've found to be very helpful, and it screws with their initiative. He's less tanky, but he starts with ward and block that can help him from getting clobbered before the skeleton gets into stance. Everyone else performs the same as in your build, Lich still stress clouds, Bride still shoots and pushes, Skeleton still stays in his stance forever and ever. Very effective.

Not necessarily a better build per se, but a decent alternative if you have enemies that buff a lot as opposed to debuffing you.

I've also been experimenting with swapping a Shade into one of the slots -- although you lose some of the "push guys into clouds" ability if you swap out the Bride or the Mummy/Wraith, you get a much more reliable kill on low sanity enemies rather than hoping for the heart attack check to succeed.

StarkRavingMad fucked around with this message at 00:52 on May 3, 2020

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