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Ice-Shard Druid in "Titan Quest AE" for Solo Self-Found Hardcore

Just a robot girl that likes thinking and plays a bit of RPGs when there's nothing else to do.

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Introduction

Druid (Nature + Storm) is one of the best classes to start with. It is not very gear dependent, but it is quite tanky. The build I suggest here is focused on the Ice Shard skill. Although many would stick to a summoner for their first playthrough, a caster build is more fun to play. Ice shards slow enemies down and have a decent damage output. The Druid also has two awesome crowd-control skills.

Attributes

Attributes are the most important thing in the game because you cannot reallocate them. I suggest the following distributions.

  • Strength - None.
  • Dexterity - 1 point of dexterity equals 1 point of Defensive Ability. I like pumping up Dexterity. I go with 30-50 points. Having an additional 150-200 Defensive Ability can be of a meaningful difference. Some items multiply it by a percent so it gets even more significant. I am sure Defensive Ability does more for survivability than Health.
  • Intelligence - The rest of your points goes here.
  • Health - I usually put 25 points early on. Then, depending on the gear I find, it may go up to 30-35, but not more. Having around 9k HP on Legendary is fine. With some farming, you should be able to get that amount. If you have extra health, better spend the points on Dexterity or Intelligence.
  • Energy - None.

Nature Skills

This is the suggested skill allocation. Below are the skills I use and why I use them. The other skills work for a summoner, which we are not going for.

  • Heart of Oak: (Rank: 12 of 12) Tranquility of Water: (Rank: 6 of 6) Permanence of Stone: (Rank: 6 of 6) - It is one of the best skills in the game. The whole tree should be maxed.
  • Plague: (Rank: 8 of 8) Fatigue: (Rank: 8 of 8) Susceptibility: (Rank: 8 of 8) - There won't always be enough time for plague to spread but it is still very useful. It should be used against bosses and hard hitting enemies like fire giants before Surtr.
  • Briar Ward: (Rank: 1 of 16) Stinging Nettle: (Rank: 1 of 8) Sanctuary: (Rank: 8 of 8) - This is the only damage mitigation skill. Sanctuary should be maxed.
  • Refresh: (Rank: 12 of 12) - You do not need to max it, however. This skill is very useful even with one point in it. Use it to refresh the Briar Ward.
  • Earthbind: (Rank: 12 of 12) - This is a crowd control skill. For a ranged caster, it is a must have.

Storm Skills

This is the suggested skill allocation.

  • Ice Shard: (Rank: 12 of 12) Velocity: (Rank: 8 of 8) Torrent: (Rank: 8 of 8) - This is the main skill. It should be maxed of course.
  • Storm Nimbus: (Rank: 1 of 10) Heart of Frost: (Rank: 8 of 8) - Another damage buff to max.
  • Squall: (Rank: 12 of 12) Obscured Visibility: (Rank: 6 of 6) - It is one of the best starting skills. Later on it is still one of the best skills even if the damage does not scale well. It debuffs archers and lowers resistances. Use it in every fight.
  • Energy Shield: (Rank: 12 of 12) - Some bosses, like Fafnir, can occasionally reflect your damage. Many mobs in Act VI reflect the damage as well. If you have this on, you will survive.
  • Summon Wisp: (Rank: 16 of 16) Eye of the Storm: (Rank: 8 of 8) Arc Discharge: (Rank: 8 of 8) - This one should also be maxed. It gives a high damage boost and occasionally stuns opponents.
  • Storm Surge: (Rank: 1 of 12) - It is a one-point wonder that will stun your enemies. It is not worth investing damage wise.
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Gear

I cannot say what exactly to use as the chances are you will never find that item. However, some items drop or can be purchased more reliably.

  1. Hallowed Helm gives high vitality resistance and +1 to all skills. A must-have.
  2. Occult rings are a reasonable choice since your cast speed equals your damage.
  3. Fata Morgana or Tunic of the Magi are a good choice. Vestment of the Overlord can also be worn.
  4. Caduceus gives a lot of resistances and it drops from Gadir spheres.

Resistances are the top priority. +Skills are also very important. Having +4 to all skills is recommended. The build does not require Recharge Reduction.

Walkthrough Strategy

It is simple as this.

  1. Finish the first three acts on Normal and farm for gold to buy spheres in Gadir until you get decent gear to cap resistances.
  2. Complete Act IV and V.
  3. (Optional) You can farm Dvergr Overlords or Golden Boar if resistances are not high enough.
  4. Repeat step 1 and 2 on Epic.
  5. Repeat step 1 and 2 on Legendary.

Of course, there are some places you can die at even with good gear. So the best thing to do would be to complete the whole game first just to see where and what can kill you.

Tips

  1. The best place to farm for gold is the second waypoint in Act III. There are quest Ichtians that drop a lot of things to sell.
  2. Not every monster causes bleeding, for example. You can have that bleeding resistance piece of gear in your inventory to use it situationally. Learn enemies and their damage types.
  3. Not every single enemy should be killed. I tend to skip Barmanu and Dactyl.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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