Outlander weapon and skill choices

#1AdrenasPosted 2/15/2013 6:18:57 PM
Just bought the game last night and started an outlander that I got to level 10. So far i've been using dual pistols, put a few points in focus/vitality, a bit more into strength, and a good bit into dex. I have not spent any skill points yet. The range on the pistols feels way too short for the damage that they do and in searching older topics on the board there doesn't seem to be much love for dual pistols or bows/crossbows. I've seen a few positive posts about shotgonnes and wand(or gun)/shield. Mostly i've seen posts suggesting to pump focus, use glaive throw rank 5, and use weapons as stat sticks while tossing down stone pacts, but those posts are fairly old so I don't know if they are still relevant.

I'm looking for advice on where to put my stat points, what weapon(s) to use, and what build I should go with. I'm looking for something fun but also strong, i've been playing solo so far but intend to play with a couple of friends soon and don't want to be too weak. I'm playing on veteran right now and haven't died yet, but it has gotten close a few times and the low range of my dual pistols compared to survivability or damage is starting to show..
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#2pimpinpalomoPosted 2/15/2013 7:18:24 PM
If you intend to keep using pistols, you definitely need to add to Long Range Mastery and Akimbo for passives. Although most pistols require a ton of dexterity, it usually isn't a good idea to put too many points into it. Strength is where a majority of your stat points should be going.

As for your other skills, 1 point should be put into Rune Vault always. You never need more than that. Pick one between Rapid Fire, Chaos Burst, and Shadowshot and max it out. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Shadowshot is better in open areas, while Chaos Burst is much better in small corridors. Repulsion Hex is also vital, as it keeps enemies at a distance (where the Outlander is strongest). Blade Pact will also help with your damage output.
#3tiomastaPosted 2/15/2013 7:29:26 PM
Always take a quick look at your class' skills. A lot of the passives are essential for a number of builds. Long Range Mastery and Akimbo is pretty much a no-brainer for dual pistols.

Didn't ever spend a skill point? No wonder your character seems weak, you only have the pistol autoattack with no range bonus, and Glaive Throw, spamming it isn't so convenient when you don't have lots of Focus/mana/mana regen.

The typical idea for stats is, have some Dexterity just so you get an actually reasonable crit chance, have some Vitality for the block chance if it's a shield character, and dump the rest on either Strength or Focus, depending on your character (they both boost weapon damage by the same rate, but Focus is the only stat that increases the damage of flat-damage skills such as Glaive Throw and Shield Bash and will give extra mana, but won't ever boost weapon-based damage if it is to be dealt as physical instead of elemental, while Strength is sure to give overall higher damage for weapon-based skills because of the extra crit damage from it).

If you want, you can respec out your point in Glaive Throw that you start out with (the game goes by "you can talk to that NPC to respec any of the last 3 skill points you spent"). I heard that there's some mod called Rapid Respec which lets you re-do your stats and skills any way you like, you could try that once if you want to.
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#4MarikhenPosted 2/16/2013 5:44:45 AM
One suggestion. If you focus more heavily on Strength than Focus consider dropping the second gun for a shield. Until you have a significant investment in Focus and passives and/or gear buffs that provide bonuses to your chance to execute (use both weapons at once) the drop in damage will likely be more than made up for by the increased armor and being able to block incoming attacks. I switched from dual-wielding to gun & board with my Outlander and haven't really looked back since.
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#5Adrenas(Topic Creator)Posted 2/16/2013 12:17:58 PM
tiomasta posted...
Always take a quick look at your class' skills. A lot of the passives are essential for a number of builds. Long Range Mastery and Akimbo is pretty much a no-brainer for dual pistols.

Didn't ever spend a skill point? No wonder your character seems weak, you only have the pistol autoattack with no range bonus, and Glaive Throw, spamming it isn't so convenient when you don't have lots of Focus/mana/mana regen.

The typical idea for stats is, have some Dexterity just so you get an actually reasonable crit chance, have some Vitality for the block chance if it's a shield character, and dump the rest on either Strength or Focus, depending on your character (they both boost weapon damage by the same rate, but Focus is the only stat that increases the damage of flat-damage skills such as Glaive Throw and Shield Bash and will give extra mana, but won't ever boost weapon-based damage if it is to be dealt as physical instead of elemental, while Strength is sure to give overall higher damage for weapon-based skills because of the extra crit damage from it).

If you want, you can respec out your point in Glaive Throw that you start out with (the game goes by "you can talk to that NPC to respec any of the last 3 skill points you spent"). I heard that there's some mod called Rapid Respec which lets you re-do your stats and skills any way you like, you could try that once if you want to.


I never said my character seems weak. I have referred only to the way dual pistols are performing, specifically how short their range seems to be even though their damage isn't that great. In fact I made an ember mage last night and got it to level 10 and immediately found that both the range and damage of wands makes every pistol i've seen so far look pathetic. I really wanted to go the guns route, but i'm not finding much to support doing that over focusing on focus and using wands or elemental skills. I'm trying to find out from experienced players if there is anything to suggest otherwise before I go charging down the strength/gun route or focus/elemental route. Wouldn't a mod like that flag me as cheating and keep me from playing online?

Thank you to everyone for the responses.
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#6ScarletShinPosted 2/16/2013 4:18:04 PM
I also have a level 79 Outlander going dual pistols.

Pump Dexterity to 110. Then dump the rest in Strength. Personally, though, I added some points to Vitality because in New Game Plus, I feel my character to be squishy. Luckily, I steal 10%+77 hp per shot, so my life goes back up pretty fast. Still, at this point in the game, brute-types still hit hard.

Max Long Range Mastery and Akimbo. Get 1 point in Share The Wealth, though you may want to max it out too since when you get it to like level 10, you will fire your guns on steroids. Takes awhile to be useful, so I suggest maxing it later. Dodge seems decent, but later in the game (if you decide to go to NG+) you won't feel the benefits. I regret ever putting points into it.

The nice thing with T2, is that there are no skill requisites like in D2. So you can skip skills entirely. Take time to read all your skills and decide which skills you would want to use. Ignore the rest. Also, some skills get better with mere character level, so you don't need to spend too many points in them. Here are some other skills worth noting.

Tangling Shot = Nice holding skill. Get it to level 10 for nice AOE holds.
Glaive Sweep = Nice pushback skill. I honestly didn't get it, but I see the potential.
Burning Leap = I got this over Rune Vault. I see it as a nice escape mechanism/positioning mechanism. I have this at level 5. Don't think I'll commit more points into it.
Flaming Glaive = Nice CC, nice against bosses, but other than that, I don't really find it to be impressive. Bosses aside, what I can do with glaive, I can do with Shadow Shot.
Blade Pact = Cast and forget. Weakens enemies. You could just leave it at level 5.
Shadow Shot = You could go for this, or Rapid Fire or Chaos Burst, but I prefer this better. Don't skill it past 10. It won't deal 100% damage to secondary targets, because at some point, it'll stop increasing the damage of the secondary bullets.
Stone Pact = A must. Cast this and stay in it. It's a spell you setup for when you're up against a boss.
Shadowling Brute = I find that enemies don't target the brute often, so if you're after cannon fodder, this isn't the spell for you. However, the he deals is good, especially if you get him to level 10.
Shadowling Ammo = I think I have this at level 3. Just enough for a 20% chance.
Death Ritual = If you're going to be reliant on your Shadowlings, get this. If you want to be able to cast Brute over and over, get a lot of this. I've pumped a number of skill points to keep my Shadowlings alive for 25 seconds. I don't feel it to be a waste.

Get a free skill point? Try out a new skill and try it out for awhile. You can always respec if you find that you don't actually use it alot.

Btw, Long range mastery adds to the range of pistols.
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#7MarikhenPosted 2/16/2013 8:04:00 PM
One of the great things about Shadow Shot is that while it might not be as good as some o the other AoE/multi-target attacks it can hit the same target multiple times if said target moves enough.
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#8Sange13Posted 2/16/2013 8:56:05 PM
My main is a mid-high 70's Outlander, and I went the dual pistols route. It starts slow, but picks up around level 30, so you don't have too long to wait. Here's what I did for my build (though I wouldn't say it is "optimal"--it does work really well):

Trying to max: Range Mastery, Akimbo, Rapid Fire, Venomous Hail

Get some points (5-10) in: Shadowling Ammo, Death Ritual, Master of Elements, Dodge, Share the Wealth, Stone Pact, Poison Burst

Get 1 pt in: Shadow Brute, Repulsion Hex, Tangle Shot, either Rune Vault or Burning Leap (preference)

I kept Shadowling Ammo, Poison Burst, Death Ritual, Share the Wealth, and Dodge as 1 pt skills for a long time, but around 50-60 I started having excess points to dump, so this is where I placed them. The build fleshed out quite nicely at that point. While Rapid Fire is your go-to skill (especially at rank 10) for a long time, eventually Venomous Hail just starts to do more damage (especially with Master of Elements), and the usefulness of Rapid Fire starts to fall off. I consider that to be just fine though, because it allowed me to level quite quickly and easily to get Venomous Hail high enough to switch to it as a primary attack.

As for the pistol range thing, that problem goes away with enough points in Ranged Mastery, and items/add-ons that have the increased pistol range effect. The generally high fire rate of pistols will compensate for the low range early game, while late game they will surpass most other ranged weapons in both range and power (with this build, anyway). Just as an example, I made a new Outlander to see the starting pistol range (because I remembered it being terrible) and it was like 4 yds or something. My main's range is around 12, give or take. So don't worry about that issue too much. It will go away as your gear and levels increase.

As for stats, I got my DEX around 100, VIT around 80, FCS around 80, and dumped the rest in STR while looking for gear that gives large amounts of DEX (so I can equip advanced pistols). It's worked like a charm so far. I also look for gear with +ranged weapon damage, +dual wielding damage, +execute chance, +elemental damage, +attack speed, +range, +mana, +mana regen, +poison damage, +chance to spawn shadowlings, +armor, +resists, +health, and +health steal.

I know it sounds pretty spread thin, but you'll find it's a lot easier as you get higher level gear. You don't need every piece to have all of those things either. You just want each piece to have 4+ of those things, and that's not hard at all.
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Bump.
#9MarikhenPosted 2/16/2013 10:05:56 PM
Something I forgot to mention in my last post. If you put more than 10 or so points into Death Ritual don't use weapons/armor that have a % chance to Raise Shadowlings on kill. They summon baneling bats that only live about 20 seconds. They still do damage comparable to normal bats as, I believe, it's all level scaled, but the duration on them will be lower than your "real" banelings. They also count towards your limit of 4 (or is it 5?) bats out at one time.
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Stop complaining. I could have done this more painfully. - Dryad from Sacred 2.
#10GoaFan77Posted 2/17/2013 12:28:50 AM
I've gone both focus and gun outlander (Though with shotguns, not pistols), and you can make powerful builds with both.

The thing with pistols is that they start out weak, especially as you won't invest much in focus until you hit 110 base dexterity. I second the advice to go gun + shield or use shotguns until you hit 110 dex, and then at the mid levels you can put some attributes into focus and skills into Akimbo to make duel pistols work. However, even at their best pistols won't be great for AoEs (unless you get socketables with spell chance for things like glacial spike), so pick skills that have a weapon DPS component that are good at crowd control.

The great thing about pistols is that they do good damage to single targets like champs and bosses, mainly once you get your execute chance really high. Also, pistols make great "bleeding weapons" because damage over time effects stack, which is ideal for pistols low reload time, and again mainly helps against tough single enemies.

Shotguns are not terribly different from an attribute distribution point of view (save you may want to invest entirely in strength after 110 dexterity), but they do AoE damage with their regular attack, so they're not as reliant on skills to handle swarms of enemies. That said, they have much shorter range than pistols, so they'll need to rely on skills like venomous hail to take out enemies at a distance.

The big difference with focus outlanders is that you bypass strength entirely, and use focus for your damage enhancement. This makes outlander skills do great damage, but many outlander skills specifically require non-wand weapons to use. You can get around this somewhat by duel wielding a pistol with a wand, and there are some rare guns/bows/crossbows that deal only elemental damages, which gain full use of your high focus and count for using gun skills.
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