So, here?s what I?ve been up to lately. I took a look at the Outlander skills and decided that I would try a poison-based approach since Master of the Elements gives such a huge bonus to it. My bread and butter skills are Glaive Throw and Cursed Daggers, but mostly Glaive Throw. I?m around level 40 currently. It?s not quite as simple as ?dump all points into all the poison skills? however. Some of the skills don?t synergize with each other, and others are actually worse skills once you put more points into them. I?ll explain.
First up is Glaive Throw. This skill rules; it takes the place of autoattack to the extent that I actually bound it to left click. Plan A is pretty much always going to be ?Glaive Throw until everything is dead.? However, the skill has some quirks that you should be aware of. It?s poison based, scales off of your level, is modified by your Focus stat, and is independent of your weapon damage. At level 100 it looks like this with different ranks:
Glaive Throw 1 = 4112 damage average (3163-5061), mana cost 10, hits up to 2 enemies
Glaive Throw 5 = 4618 damage average (3163-6073), mana cost 14, hits up to 4 enemies
Glaive Throw 10 = 5251 damage average (3163-7339), mana cost 25, hits up to 6 enemies
Glaive Throw 15 = 5883 damage average (3163-8604), mana cost 42, hits up to 8 enemies
Notice that the damage increase with more ranks is linear, and honestly not very big. At 15 ranks it does 43% more damage than at 1 rank, but only 27% more damage than at five ranks. Linear damage increases combined with progressive scaling mana costs mean that the more ranks you put into this skill, the less efficient it gets. I put five into it and stopped, since going from hitting 2 enemies to hitting 4 is a big deal, and the first few ranks of damage increases are worthwhile. It?s cheap enough that I can still use it basically nonstop with a small investment in mana recharge gear without needing mana potions. I might consider putting five more points into it if I find that at higher levels I can soak the mana cost of casting it nonstop in boss fights, but putting 15 ranks into this skill is for suckers and people who regenerate 60 mana per second, which is pretty much nobody.
Another skill that I like quite a lot is Cursed Daggers. It?s like Glaive Throw in a lot of ways, specifically that it?s poison based, scales off of your level and Focus stat, and is independent of your weapon.
Cursed Daggers 1 = 3420 damage, 20% damage reduction, +3 knockback, mana cost 18
Cursed Daggers 5 = 4936 damage, 24% damage reduction, +4.3 knockback, mana cost 20
Cursed Daggers 10 = 6836 damage, 29% damage reduction, +6 knockback, mana cost 28
Cursed Daggers 15 = 8732 damage, 34% damage reduction, +7.7 knockback, mana cost 43
Compared to Glaive Throw, the damage increases for additional ranks are a lot more impressive, with the full investment getting you a little over 250% as much damage as you?d get with one rank. It?s worth the full 15 ranks. You don?t want to spam this skill, though; its damage is done over time rather than instantly, which means additional uses only renew the duration instead of killing things more quickly. When I see a very large group, I?ll open with Cursed Daggers to get damage going on all of them, then switch to Glaive spamming. Cursed Daggers has full effect on enemies with shields or other tricks that you?d normally need to break through before you can hurt them, so it?s particularly effective against those enemies. Affected enemies take a significant hit to their damage output and get a big flashy icon over their heads, so if you throw it into a crowd you can easily get an accurate headcount even in poor light.
There are a few other skills that are good, too. Stone Pact is a great heal. It gets more ranks as soon as leveling lets me, and will eventually get the full 15. It lasts three seconds so you don?t need to stay in the area of effect all the time; you can jump around using Rune Vault and as long as you pass through it every few seconds, you?ll be fine. Rune Vault itself gets a single point. At one rank, it costs 9 mana, does a trivial amount of damage, and gets you out of danger. At 15 ranks, it costs 34 mana, does a trivial amount of damage and gets you out of danger. The important feature, getting you out of danger, is equally effective whether you?ve got 1 rank or 15, and the cost more than triples if you put the full 15 points into it. There?s a blind effect in there that gets better as you level it up, but it?s not worth the cost. At 9 mana, I use this skill to backflip across the map instead of walking. It?s a lot faster.
Glaive Sweep doesn?t fit the poisoner archetype, but I like it and it provides you with a useful knockback to get yourself some room to Rune Vault away if you?re completely surrounded. Here?s how the skill breaks down:
Glaive Sweep 1 = 30% weapon DPS, +40 knockback, 50% interrupt, 50% stun, 5% charge, 4m radius, mana cost 12
Glaive Sweep 5 = 38% weapon DPS, +40 knockback, 50% interrupt, 50% stun, 7% charge, 3165 bleed over 5 seconds, 4m radius, mana cost 14
Glaive Sweep 10 = 48% weapon DPS, +40 knockback, 50% interrupt, 50% stun, 9.5% charge, 3165 bleed over 5 seconds, 5.5m radius, mana cost 21
Glaive Sweep 15 = 58% weapon DPS, +40 knockback, 50% interrupt, 95% stun, 12% charge, 3165 bleed over 5 seconds, 5.5m radius, mana cost 34
The damage is never going to be fantastic, and you get the required function of point blank AoE knockback with just one rank. However, there?s a lot going for it at other ranks as well. At five ranks, it gets a bleed effect. The bleed doesn?t get any better as you put more ranks into it, but it?s alright from the start. At ten ranks the area of effect increases from 4m to 5.5m. This nearly doubles the area, from 16 square meters to 30.25 square meters. For practical purposes, it?s not that noticeable since most enemies that get within 5.5m of you are going to be within 4m of you in an instant anyway. At 15 ranks the stun goes from working half the time to working almost every time. The amount of charge that this skill generates is nuts, though. Glaive Sweeping in the middle of a crowd can full your charge bar from empty to full in just one use.
Other skills you should max out are Share the Wealth, Dodge Mastery, and Master of the Elements. Focus is absolutely the most important stat for you, but if you can get your Dex up to 110 that?ll be enough for you to hit the 75% dodge cap. The extra crit rate doesn?t hurt either. I?d suggest a hundred points or so into Vitality as well, as this will boost your armor class and resistances by about 25%. This comes at the cost of a magic damage multiplier of +150% instead of +200%. You?re losing about 20% of your damage to boost your defense by 25%, which actually does help a lot when you?ve combined it with the damage debuff from Cursed Daggers and the armor/resistances buff from Stone Pact. You make a decent tank on your own, but since most of your defensive tricks help other players as well, it?d be better to let somebody else do it or just leave it to your pet.
You can put the rest of your points into whatever you want, but most of them don?t matter much since they don?t really synergize well with what you?re already doing. I wouldn?t bother with ranged weapon mastery, akimbo, or shotgonne mastery, since none of them affect your primary means of attacking. Poison Burst doesn?t proc off of Glaive kills, so it can be ignored. Other attack skills can be skipped; none of them will be as good as throwing a Glaive. That pretty much leaves you with Blade Pact and Repulsion Hex, or Minions.
As for gear, you should be on the lookout for anything that increases your poison damage, casting speed, and your mana regeneration. Attack speed doesn?t matter. Your weapon is nearly irrelevant; but I would suggest getting a pistol with a high rate of fire and mana drain, so if you somehow run dry in the middle of glaive spamming you?ll just take a shot, get some mana, and throw some more glaives. A wand goes better with your Focus attribute loadout and if it?s poison based it can do some alright damage, but nothing compared to your glaives. You might as well get a decent shield if you can; it?s actually going to help you more than a good weapon would.
I almost forgot: don?t get Brambles. It screws up glaive throw targeting. Too bad, since it would otherwise be useful since it does poison damage and keeps enemies off of you for a few seconds.