Dungeon Siege II Walkthrough

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[6.3] TMI on Classes, Skills & Powers
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Class Preferences
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List of classes in order of usefulness:

1 - Combat mage
2 - Fighter
3 - Nature mage
4 - Ranger

If you want a relatively easy time in DS2, you'll have a combat mage and a 
fighter in your party. Anything beyond that is personal preference. A nature 
mage with concentration in healing/buffs or healing/summons makes a good 
support character for your damage-dealing caster and tank. A ranger is nice 
to play with, but offers nothing extraordinarily useful other than the 
Survival skill, and all you need do is give your tank 5 levels in ranged 
fighting to add Survival to his repertoire.

This is not to say any of the classes are useless. You can complete the game 
using a ranger, a nature mage and a pet or two. But you'll be doing a lot of 
running away, and probably outright dying more than once.

Fighters
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If you want to concentrate on melee and use your casters mainly for support 
(combat mage for curses, nature mage for healing/buffs), then a dual-wielder 
or two-handed weapon user is your best bet. Overall, the dual wielder will 
give you more bang for your buck, but complementing him with a two-hander 
would make for devastating melee attacks.

If, on the other hand, you want to concentrate on your casters or ranger, 
leaving your tank as a basic meat shield, then you need to invest in the 
weapon + shield skill line and powers to help keep the mobs off your back. 
The defensive tank works better as a non-active character sent into the midst 
of mobs and forgotten while you micromanage your combat mage or ranger (or 
both). Your healer will help keep the tank alive--assuming he's ever really 
in danger with his ridiculously high armor ratings.

A fighter would do well to take a level of ranger early on, to pick up the 
Dodge skill and add to it--especially if she's not going to be using a shield. 
Five levels of ranger would allow your fighter to level up the Survival skill, 
which not only provides good elemental resistance, but will also let your 
tank harvest health bushes, so you can do without a ranger.

Rangers
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While there are no separate skill trees for bows and crossbows, they are 
quite different in use--especially the powers you will use with them. Powers 
that add a set amount of damage per shot, such as Charged Shots, work better 
with a bow and its increased rate of fire. Powers that add percentages to 
shots, such as Take Aim, work better with a crossbow and its increased damage 
per strike.

Thrown weapons are more of a toss-up*. There's obviously some Xena, Warrior 
Princess, vibe running through the skill tree--especially Richochet. The 
primary goal for throwing weapon rangers is hitting multiple enemies, so 
Shrapnel Blast and Ricochet should be prime targets on your list of powers 
and skills.

You can also do a little multi-classing with your ranger, giving her some 
nature magic levels every once in a while (or starting with about five to ten 
nature mage levels before switching to archery). Your ranger can then act as 
the healer of the party, as well as collect mana potions for the combat 
caster.

* Yes, the pun was intended.
 

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