Is my build doomed?

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    elliegray

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    Is my build doomed?

    Post by elliegray on Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:40 am

    I am pretty new to this game and was hoping some more experienced people could give me some advice on what direction to take my character, what equipment they'd suggest, and what sort of covenant to join.  I'm really totally lost--  I may have begun overthinking it, and now I'm stuck wondering if I painted myself into a corner with my character's attributes and playstyle.

    She's SL 66.

    Vitality: 23
    Attunement: 14
    Endurance: 25
    Strength: 24
    Dexterity: 13
    Resistance: 11
    Intelligence: 8
    Faith: 30

    Her starting class was cleric.

    I'm a fan of the cleric/paladin archetype in games, and in a setting like Dark Souls, playing the holy/divine warrior seemed especially cool.  So mostly I have a +5 Raw Zweihander (Raw because I couldn't get to +15 Normal), I used the Eagle Shield, Stone Knight Armor, and use a Canvas Talisman to perform miracles.  For rings I usually have my Darkmoon Seance Ring for the extra slot and use one of the defense-boosting rings (like Ring of Steel Protection).

    But I'm worried that I am just doing everything the hard way.  Not to imply I'm surprised in the game's difficulty or anything.  I just got the Lordvessel and so am at a crossroads.  I've been in the Darkroot Garden far enough to get the armor set and kill the Moonlight Butterfly, but haven't actually completed the place.

    The heavy armor's poise seems only effective half the time, and when it comes into effect it's against weak enemies I didn't need it for anyways.  My sword is so slow it seems I can never hit something (the stone guards in Anor Londo could pivit 180 degrees before I could hit them with it most of the time) and my shield won't block anything useful without my Stamina draining to zero or close, resulting in me being unable to attack or just getting killed anyways.

    Miracles have been a huge letdown...  Heal is just about the only useful thing, and that feels like a crutch at best since the only thing it lets me do is be more sloppy against the weak undead in the area, since it is too slow to be used in combat, against a boss, or in PVP.  Meanwhile, Lightning Spear is laughably slow and unhelpful, while Gravelord Sword Dance is the most astonishingly bad thing I've ever witnessed--  It takes great efforts to miss even the largest of enemies, whether they're moving or completely stationary while being only half-decent damage (similar to my Lightning Spear or just a strong attack) and a slow casting time.

    I've joined a bunch of different covenants, but have no idea what would work the best for me.  I have a passing interest in PVP, but my own attempts with the Darkmoon Blades and Gravelords just results in a whole lot of nothing and then me getting completely schooled by literally everyone I come across.  Enough that I've assumed such thing as a "fair challenge" or even "basic victory" exist for anyone who isn't the most hardcore PVPer.

    I'm assuming this is because PVP is entirely speed-based, with defense being next to meaningless as my armor and poise has done absolutely nothing for me.  Not to mention, everyone I fight has either been hacking or using items I couldn't access yet (like flaming weapons, used by literally everyone on the planet).  Pyromancy has consistently one-shot me even with all the fire defense I can muster...  Why are the things that don't scale with stats so overpowered?  Not to mention, since I have no way to utilize my Faith in PVP (offense miracles will never hit, can't heal, everything else is static and doesn't benefit from increased Faith, divine weapons seem just bad) I prettymuch have 15 dead levels making me weaker than I should be.



    All I'm really asking is for some advice.  What kind of equipment should I try to get and use to synergize with my build?  What covenants would you suggest to someone who's new to the game and making a melee Faith character? Should I try using a Divine weapon, and if so, what should it be?  Or have I just screwed up and should just make a new character and use nothing but pyromancy and fire daggers?
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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by skarekrow13 on Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:55 am

    I'm a PS3 guy not PC and I originally came in to be a wise*** and say that ALL builds are doomed.  It's Dark Souls after all but:

    For Strength weapons you probably will have to learn timing to hit consistently but you'll get there. Faith ill let you down for NOW...

    But there's two miracles that you'll be able to work to great advantage later.  I also personally use Great Heal in the forest for PvP on occasion to say "F You" to gankers but that's another story.  You can lighten your load armor wise and still be fine.  Unless you want the weight of a greatshield you will need to have good stamina management when using one.  It can be it's own art for sure.  

    I wouldn't call your build wasted at all though.  Common PvP levels can be up to 120 which means you have a load of points to still use if you want.  Use a good chunk of those on dex and you can make a faster build and the strength might not be wasted.  For instance I'm a Great Scythe user and 40 dex and that str will give that weapon crazy damage.  That particular weapon can be a pain, but those stats would be decent with some swords too.  


    You can make this build be VERY effective but in order to make ANY build effective you have to discover who you are as a player and practice practice practice.  Most first characters get thrown away (except mine) because the player didn't know what they want.  I kept mine because I just leveled everything and used it in the forest.  

    Bottom line is:

    You'll get there

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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by elliegray on Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:38 am

    So, I should try and get Great Heal. Alright. I assume the other Miracle is Wrath of Gods or whatever. Can't wait to eventually have something good, assuming it's not too slow to make use of.

    Getting some Dex to use a faster weapon sounds like it is something I'll need to do then, but I'm also curious about if I should bother with a Divine weapon. I would assume it's better to use a faster weapon since the divine damage isn't related to the base damage, or would I be better off picking an already potent (if not as quick) weapon so it'll deal more in one swing?

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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by skarekrow13 on Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:21 am

    Great heal isn't any faster I don't think.  However, clever uses are a big insult to your opponent because of the long cast.  If I know I have correct spacing I've used it plenty of times.  Or if you're the invader I will run near enemy mobs (like the trees) if the host is trying to outnumber me and use it then as they'll hesitate to close the distance.  Also, one neat trick of the heal spells is that they look like Tranquil Walk of Peace which is feared by many.  Rather than risk it (and not seeing the difference) it's astonishing how many human players would rather hang back and let you cast.  By the time they see the life bar go back up it's often way waaaay too late.  

    Generally speaking (and with high faith this is for sure) it's better to just use the regular weapon path.  The elemental weapons (like the fire you've seen a good deal of or actually chaos probably) are better for low level when str and dex stats are low to make way for vitality.  

    In your case, if you go to dex weapons to increase speed of attacks you're looking at adding twenty to twenty seven levels just in dex to get the most effect (no need to go past 40).  So you'll be high level which opens up other things.  For instance, you're using miracles already, I recommend Sunlight Blade (or as I call it "Lemon Buff").  You won't be able to use it on a divine weapon but you will on a regular path weapon.  

    So some upgrade basics, for anything elemental like divine, you'll notice if you check the wiki that that damage LOOKS higher than the normal path.  However, it's split into two damage types (regular and divine for you).  As a result, it needs to get past two defense types as well (physical and magic).  If you choose the regular path only, it's only going through the physical defense stat meaning that, although the total damage looks lower, the fact that it's going through one defense type results in much higher results if you have the stats for it.  

    Now, adding the ability to buff the weapon ON TOP of all that and you can see where I'm heading.  A regular weapon with a high faith cast of lemon buff is exceedingly dangerous.  Add in a very potent Wrath of the Gods spell and you're actually in very good shape for the Paladin concept you're looking for.  If you really wanna get sneaky we can bring up how to use Karmic Justice effectively too.

    EDIT: And that's just one set of recommendations. You could also maintain the str/faith concept and up other areas for different takes on where you want your character to go.

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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by Cronotis on Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:24 am

    What you've got there is the perfect foundation for a Gravelord Sword/Faith Hybrid.  You could go for something like this: http://mmdks.com/4b29


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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by Soul of Stray Demon on Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:26 am

    Um, this isn't really adding much to the discussion. But with the prevalence of hackers, any build is doomed.. So yeah, your build is doomed.

    With your str, I would use something like the Butcher Knife, it's not that slow, it's quite strong, and it has amazing range over a lot of the axes. You could also use the Crescent Axe (which may be a better idea actually)


    So Crescent Axe, WOTG, and Lightning Spears with a divine bow with poison arrows.

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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by skarekrow13 on Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:28 am

    ^Told ya....

    There's lots you can still do.

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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by elliegray on Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:22 pm

    A divine bow is a neat idea... If I want to avoid getting much higher dexterity.

    And I actually am currently in the Gravelords. It just isn't a very fun way to PVP since it requires me just waiting around in an area I haven't beaten yet to get ganked. That's just a personal opinion though.

    I do have to ask though... How do you make their Miracle not suck? I seriously cannot hit a damn thing with it, let alone the idea that it could hit something twice. Is it even useful against players?
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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by Cronotis on Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:10 pm

    elliegray wrote:A divine bow is a neat idea...  If I want to avoid getting much higher dexterity.

    And I actually am currently in the Gravelords.  It just isn't a very fun way to PVP since it requires me just waiting around in an area I haven't beaten yet to get ganked.  That's just a personal opinion though.

    I do have to ask though...  How do you make their Miracle not suck?  I seriously cannot hit a damn thing with it, let alone the idea that it could hit something twice.  Is it even useful against players?
    The Sworddance miracles aren't very useful in a duel setting.  In a quest invasion you are more likely to be able to make use of the environment and clever spacing which can make these spells viable. A few things to note is that these spells can hit an enemy who's around a corner if they are in range. Also they can hit enemies that are standing on a surface that's at a different elevation. again providing they're in range.  Then of course they can be used as an okizeme after a backstab or parry/riposte.


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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by xenon_nobelium on Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:57 am

    http://mmdks.com/4brn i'd go for a 50fth divine/occult weapon build. that way you could still wield alot of weapons and benefit from max. scaling.


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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by Xero on Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:37 pm

    The best thing to do right now would be to change your rings. And get lighter armor.


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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by elliegray on Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:33 pm

    Alright. I prettymuch went for what Cronotis suggested, getting Havel's Ring and lighter armor (though I didn't use my Ring of F&P because I'm not totally commited to it yet) and it has been working a bit more nicely with the Gravelord Sword. Using a lighter chest while still having poise from my gloves and legs has been a nice change. I never really considered how great an effect it would have.

    I like the idea of a 50 faith build... But I'd still be way too concerned about it being too difficult to utilize. Does faith have diminising returns on weapons the way strength and dexterity do when above 40?
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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by Cronotis on Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:47 pm

    Divine/Occult weapons scale well up to 50 Faith, unlike weapons with Strength/Dexterity scaling that top out at 40.  If you plan on using Divine/Occult you ought to raise your faith all the way to 50 to get the most out of those weapons.

    There isn't really anything inherently more difficult about playing a 50 Faith character. Your offensive and healing miracles will be more powerful, so that would make things easier.  Your weapons will be doing a mix of magic and physical damage, but more magic than physical. This could pose a problem when enemies are resistant to magic, however it's a good idea to be carrying at least one Lightning/Fire/Chaos weapon as a backup for those situations.


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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by elliegray on Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:02 pm

    Ah, I see. I was under the impression that the split damage did more bad than good, as the double-applied defense made it significantly less effective and there wasn't a way to compensate for that. I suppose if I can manage a decent talisman, WOTG, Lightning Spear, and even the sword dances with the non-covenant penalty would hit pretty hard.

    Still wondering if I'd enjoy DMB or Gravelord more, but that's another thread.

    Getting a +10 Divine Zweihander while increasing my Faith to 50 shall be my new goal.
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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by Cronotis on Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:51 am

    Divine/Occult weapons having split damage means they will do less damage than normal ones.  However they have higher total AR than their normal counterparts which helps to compensate.  Iirc a Divine Zwei has ~700 AR @ 50 Faith (~200+ phys/~400+ mag) vs a Normal one having ~600 AR at 27/40 when two-handed. In addition a character with 50 faith has some very powerful miracles. A character of similar SL using a normal weapon won't unless they sacrifice points in other stats, i.e. Vit/End.

    Hitting something with a divine Zwei @ 50 Faith is like simultaneously hitting with an Uchigatana and a Mail Breaker wtih 40 dex, except the Uchi is doing pure magic damage while the Mail Breaker is doing pure physical.


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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by elliegray on Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:22 am

    I'm not sure I should stick with the Zweihander though, as I'm not quite skilled enough to use it without its slow swing speed and high stamina use biting me in the butt. What would be a good choice for a divine weapon? I like the weapon I use to stagger opponents, though. Would the Claymore be a good balance?
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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by Soul of Stray Demon on Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:02 am

    I would still go with the Crescent Axe, It's quite strong with faith, and unlike divine/occult weapons, you don't have to worry about going to 50 faith before diminishing returns, just 40 faith.

    It's quite fast, long range, and does pretty good damage for a faith based axe.

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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by Laharls_Wrath on Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:17 am

    Does the crescent axe do split damage? At 40 faith a +10 divine clay will have a higher combined AR than the axe with a higher str requirement. There are, imo, more important things than getting the maximum possible damage per hit from a weapon. This is my SL100 faith build, for example http://mmdks.com/4cjq

    I'd rather have more endurance and additional attunement (especially since I gravelord and if I run out of spells there is absolutely no reason to be on a faith build over a quality) than hit a little bit harder, and enough str/dex that I can weapon swap through a divine clay, flam, gscyther, halberd, salad fork, estoc, long sword, claw, bandit's knife, falchion
    The armor is purely fashion souls

    Dunno, I feel that the loss of potential damage isn't always greater than the loss of potential stamina or spell casts but at the end of the day it's all subjective I suppose


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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by Soul of Stray Demon on Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:39 am

    Yeah, It's weaker, but it's quite a bit faster if you make contact. And you don't have to worry about getting white chunks or slabs for max upgrading either.

    It really is quite good for a Faith weapon.

    Sadly however, most faith scaling weapons barely beat out elemental weapons at 50 faith, (if they beat them at all)

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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by xenon_nobelium on Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:37 am

    Soul of Stray Demon wrote:
    Sadly however, most faith scaling weapons barely beat out elemental weapons at 50 faith, (if they beat them at all)
    i dare you show me one example where this is true! having a solid 60-70AR more in the highest dmg stat is not barely beating out, it's outclassing (comparing divine to chaos@10humanity, the gap gets even bigger with enchanted weaponry@50int)! please do not spread misinformation!


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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by Soul of Stray Demon on Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:49 pm

    http://mmdks.com/4cp9

    http://mmdks.com/4cpa

    I was originally talking about Chaos+5 compared to Divine.

    The times it does beat out, it barely beats out. Plus you have to go 50 faith instead of the normal 40 cap for diminishing returns. If you use 40 faith, then pretty much no divine weapon beats out the Chaos version of it. And even lightning comes close, and can beat in several different instances.

    It's not misinformation. And I have no clue what you mean by a solid 60-70 more AR. When your highest damage stat, is still low, that extra AR, doesn't mean all that much.

    For Int, sure, it's better then the elementals, but for Faith, it's pretty much not worth the extra points for scaling.

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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by xenon_nobelium on Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:34 am

    Soul of Stray Demon wrote:And I have no clue what you mean by a solid 60-70 more AR. When your highest damage stat, is still low, that extra AR, doesn't mean all that much.
    yet in all your examples the divine weapon has 60-70 more magical AR than the chaos has fire AR. still no clue? and contrary to your belief between a 250/300 split and a 190/360 split is a huge difference. not if you test it against a defenseless hollow of course, but in pvp practice you will notice quite the difference.


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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by Forum Pirate on Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:46 am

    elliegray wrote:I'm not sure I should stick with the Zweihander though, as I'm not quite skilled enough to use it without its slow swing speed and high stamina use biting me in the butt. What would be a good choice for a divine weapon? I like the weapon I use to stagger opponents, though. Would the Claymore be a good balance?
    If you're going divine, you NEED 50 faith or it's a waste of time and stats. If you want to stunlock, a reinforced club will do the trick, and quickly, assuming you can land a blow. And avoid the parry.

    Otherwise, melee staggering is almost the exclusive relm of ultra weapons, like the zweigh. The claymore will almost never stagger anyone, and its even less likely you'll land a second hit off that stagger.


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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by TheMeInTeam on Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:55 am

    Stagger is still relevant to gauge on most weapons, just not to fish for stunlocks. If you know you can take another hit with them and do comparable damage, you can fight knowing that you can trade follow-up hits and they can't (if they try, you stagger them and get 1-2 extra hits they don't get). This affects your combat strategy, and though a lot of people go for 1 hit + roll anyway, not everybody does so all the time. Something like the falchion or a tracer staggering is very threatening (follow up hit probably lands due to speed), even though it has no potential for stunlock whatsoever.


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    Re: Is my build doomed?

    Post by elliegray on Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:56 pm

    Alright... So I've decided to go for the 50 Faith build and get a +10 Divine Zweihander. What miracles should I go for? Wrath of the Gods seems like an obvious choice. Is Replenishment worth it? I don't think it scales with my magic adjust, which is a bit of a letdown. Should I consider protective miracles like Magic Barrier?

    I am going to have to rejoin the Blades of the Dark Moon in order to get the talisman. It's a bit of a shame that I've locked myself out of making good use of their miracle, but, I prefer to have my damage be consistent rather than one 60-second boost.

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