User:Vyn/Cultist of Entropy

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The following notes based on the character below:

Yror: Dwarf Cultist of Entropy (insane/adventure)

General Impressions

  • The insanity resource requires more attention to manage than other resources.
    • Insanity reseting to zero upon most level transitions is a significant weakness that must be played around carefully. Developing some talent rotations to handle stair traps can be pretty important.
      • Example for orc pride entry traps: Black Monolith > Dark Whispers > Split.
      • Don't get carried away with spamming insanity spenders; it's usually more important to build insanity up quickly instead.
    • Insanity decays naturally. The cultist also has many temporary battle buffs like Halo of Ruin, Temporal Feast, Luckdrinker, and Chaos Orbs that decay quickly out of battle. All of this discourages the cultist from casually resting up in between battles to fully recover cooldowns.
    • Getting an 8-turn cooldown movement infusion to aid in normal travel can be very helpful. It makes a world of difference when you can open up a battle with full insanity and full stacks of battle buffs.
    • Aside from the early game, it is best to not spend time picking up loot until the level has been cleared. Auto-explore can do the cleanup before you move on to the next level.
    • This style of play can feel rushed at first, but it also creates a lot of variation on initial battle conditions due to what combination of talents are on/off cooldown, and that can lead to some interesting battle scenarios.
    • There variation in battle conditions is further expanded due to talent powers and cooldowns being affected by inanity's chaotic modifier.
    • Developing multiple battle openings is rarely necessary on other classes, but pays big dividends on the cultist.
    • Gameplay can end up being a bit faster as a result.
    • You can still rest up a bit more before taking on bosses, but it is generally not needed for any enemies of lower rank.
  • If a choice has to be made, it is generally better to boost temporal instead of darkness damage. Enemies typically have less temporal resistance, and several big nukes on the cultist are purely temporal too (e.g. Cacophony, Terminus).
  • The cultist is decently tanky. Between Nullmail and Light Armour Training, I was able to get to 100 armor and 85% armor hardiness, and that really took off a lot of pressure from weapon-based attackers.
    • I had planned to pick up the Corrupted Shell prodigy for better defenses at level 42, but accidentally killed the Grand Corruptor due to an itchy trigger finger. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because a defensive prodigy was not actually necessary by that point in the game. Getting Master of Disasters for more spellpower to make sure all the cultist's debuffs will actually stick was a lot more helpful in the end.
    • Quantum Tunnelling is also worth highlighting for providing some big shields with a low cooldown, especially if you get a good chaotic roll at high insanity, and it can even deal damage with Aetherwalk. Combined with the post-teleport out-of-phase buffs, this gives the cultist a lot of staying power in extended battles.
  • The cultist benefits a lot from getting a bit more life regeneration than the usual caster. The constant stream of entropic feedback will really put that regeneration to work.

Deaths and Threats

  • Death #1 was due to a huge stair trap on level 3 of the Dark Crypt. This battle was actually quite close and lasted a very long time, but the final rare standing was able to kill me after nearly all my talents were on cooldown. In retrospect, upon entering the level with Precognition active, I should have noted the locations of nearby enemies and tried to use {t|Stone Walking}} reach a safer location before starting the fight.
There is also the issue that, after clearing the zone, I discovered I was wearing my muling gear (+str/encumbrance), and not my combat gear. Apparently I was ambushed on my way towards my stash, and I had forgot to switch my gear after entering the first level of the crypt. Notably absent was about +30 hp worth of regeneration, which likely would have saved my life in the very long battle before.
  • Death #2 was due to a unique reaver/marauder. I was not familiar with the talents of these classes, and failed to realize that Heartseeker was a closer. I put a Black Monolith to block the unique in a narrow tunnel, but it just jumped over the monolith and nearly one shot me. At this point, I might have still been able to escape with my movement infusion, but there was a wall to my back, forcing me to take one more step next to the unique. I mistakenly thought the movement infusion would be fast enough to get me pass the unique, but it promptly killed me in the next strike. Spatial Distortion was not an option, since the unique still had a Rush talent ready to go. Suspend might have been an option, in the off chance that the unique might move a little and give me some room to move.
In any case, this was clearly a preventable death, due to not reading the talents carefully. Heartseeker had a limited range of 7 on this unique, so I could have easily stayed beyond its range and avoided this death.

Tactical Examples