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  1. #1
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    Default My alchemist and U45 concerns so far

    So, I have been playing a vile chemist alchemist since the update, and while it is still new so other things could come up and I might change my opinion on some of these, I figured I would share some of my thoughts and concerns so far.

    First off, to be clear, I am finding VC Dagger Thrower to be quite strong and enjoyable, so my issues with it are not to the degree that I do not think it is a good build to play.

    In no particular order:

    - Melt Lock is almost entirely worthless. In all the locks I have come across it has managed to work on only 1 single door. At a guess it has to do with it being a projectile and most locks not having a proper hit box so the projectile can not hit the lock and so will never work as opposed to knock which just directly applies.

    - Return to Sender throwing dagger does not work with IPS, it just goes through enemies and does no damage. Tragic since I was looking forward to killing enemies with poisoned paper cuts. Since this one is broken it is a good bet that there are other broken throwing daggers as well. I have been getting by just using the ravenloft throwing dagger so far since so much of my damage came from poison anyway, but now that im in epics ill have to be looking out for another throwing dagger, hopefully one that works.

    - The Greater Restoration Draught does not work on yourself at all. I did not test out the normal or lesser versions but I would suspect good chance that those do not work either. I tried a number of ways to make it work on myself, including hitting a group member who was standing right next to me with it but no love.

    - You cant cast a heal when you are near any obstacle. If you are standing near an obstacle and try and cast a heal, the wall or whatever you are near will just eat it to no effect. This includes if you are self targeting. My suggestion would be to give a different throw animation for when you are self targeting where you just slam it at your feet or drink it or something. There is no reason it needs to do enough of a curve that it would risk clipping into a wall when you are self targeting and would realistically not even be trying to throw it.

    - The reaction system. So far, I am not enjoying it at all, it is very punishing for a vile chemist. I can see it being not too bad for bombardiers and a bit annoying but not super important for apothecaries, just based on the fact that bombardiers are locked out of the easiest primer type to ignore, and apothecaries dont get too much important benefit from their reaction so could just ignore it when its annoying them. Vile Chemists however get screwed - They have to stay in their reaction because most importantly it gives them full BAB and a significant amount of their defenses. However, the spell class that breaks their reaction is Goldleaf, which is heals! Further, both the other two trees naturally are casting spells for their game play so even if they do not go too far out of their way they will end up back in their own reaction quickly enough just naturally. VC builds do not cast spells very often, and the one spell that they might cast more during basic combat gameplay - the SLA Poison Wave - despite saying its blue primer does not actually interact with the reaction at all. Effectively, this means any time a VC needs to cast a heal, they have to cast 4 spells to heal once. I have been trying to play so far 90% as though I was a class that did not have healing spells to get around this, self healing using Aas LoH, potions, heal scrolls, and then in epic with Healing Spring and Cocoon, but its pretty unfair for group members who see an alchemist and hope they are running with a class that can toss them good heals easily and then find out its much more annoying than it should be. Its like when you get into a group with a caster DPS FvS and they wont heal you, but if there was an actual system build into the class to make them not want to heal you rather than it just being them being selfish :P

    My suggestions here would be something along these lines - one possibility - make Bombardier the purple color, Vile Chemists green, and Apothecaries red. That would help a lot for both Apothecaries and Vile Chemists, and while it would give Bombardiers all of the same issues as VC is currently having, at least they naturally cast many spells throughout game play so without having to go out of their way to go back into their reaction, some normal offensive casting as they would be doing anyway, and maybe a rebuff of displacement, and they will be back into their own reaction again. Alternatively, either make a grace spell for the reaction system - so when you are IN a reaction, to get out of the reaction you have to cast the opposing color spell TWICE before it breaks, in conjunction with that make a feat similar to release charm or something, just a base feat that alchs get to use when they need to called Neutralize Reaction that just puts them back to blank/blank. Or, the best solution in my opinion, make another new metamagic feat for Alchemists called Unreactive, that can be toggled onto a spell and make it not interact with the reaction system at all. This lets you use spells not in your own reaction system without breaking your reaction, but still at a cost of SP and a feat.


    Thats it for now, I may come back with more later as I run across things during my playing.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZzpxpzZ View Post

    - You cant cast a heal when you are near any obstacle. If you are standing near an obstacle and try and cast a heal, the wall or whatever you are near will just eat it to no effect. This includes if you are self targeting. My suggestion would be to give a different throw animation for when you are self targeting where you just slam it at your feet or drink it or something. There is no reason it needs to do enough of a curve that it would risk clipping into a wall when you are self targeting and would realistically not even be trying to throw it.
    Nice post. I will keep those issues in mind when starting my own alchemist.

    That issue with the heals has existed before alchemist. Artificer always had that problem. If you are too close to a wall, make sure you are not facing it when casting on yourself. It would be nice if they fixed that, but since it existed for so long, hopes that it gets fixed diminish.

    The throwing daggers bug with Return to Sender sadly has also been there for a while, and I think there was an issue with some other throwers. So, probably, we can't hope for a fix too soon again. I believe newer things like melt lock will be fixed first.

    Also, you mentioned needing 4 spells to heal. Wouldn't it be 3? 1 for healing and 2 to get back to your reaction?

  3. #3
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    Great information! I was tempted to try an Alchemist/Vistani thrower, but based on what you wrote I think I'll pass for now.
    "I didn't change my mind, It changed all by itself" – Luna

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    Quote Originally Posted by SocratesBastardSon View Post
    Great information! I was tempted to try an Alchemist/Vistani thrower, but based on what you wrote I think I'll pass for now.
    Same for me. That sounds too annoying, I will go with a bombardier instead.
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  5. #5
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    My impressions of Alchemist thusly:

    Overall, 6.5 out of 10. It's solidly okay. Not great, not terrible. I also think the Reaction/Color/Bubble thing is clunky and just plain dumb. On my VC build, I am finding myself only using a very few spells to keep my Purple color going. It feels limiting to the point of feeling debilitating and just not fun. My bombardier doesn't really have the same issue, or at least I am not as vexed by it.

    The "new" spells list feels like it was a bit of a shuck and jive... most of the spells I've encountered thusly are just reskins of existing spells or effects. Not really new in any sense. Many don't work at all. The only new part is the coloration of them, which again, is obnoxious and drags the class down imho.

    The whole dislike I have for the Artificer Infusion spells is just magnified here. If, like me, you have always found Infusion to be too irritating to use - you're gonna have trouble falling in love with Alchy.

    Speaking of Artificers: overall - this feels like it should have been an Artificer tree not it's own class. It just feels incomplete, like the only way of "getting the most" out of the class, I need to multiclass. And as a person who prefers pure builds, this is really bothering me so far. I can typically see the potential that will come down the line as you level - but Alch just feels like it's lacking in potentiality. There is fun to be had - but not a whole lot of it (IMHO, at least for now).


    ...edit.
    And why don't the potions I'm hucking at bad guys look like any of the trainers' or the promo-Gnome's? They look like just workaday potions - nothing fancy about em. Kinda a let down.
    Last edited by Memnir; 02-14-2020 at 06:17 PM.
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  6. #6
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    I'm not enjoying the Alchemist, and share the concerns echoed in this thread. Apothecary is a write-off for me entirely (I gave feedback during the preview, but nothing changed and that tree has no value to me), so I find myself throwing knives and tossing bombs/potions. And while the damage is reasonable for both, a frustratingly high percentage of my bombs/potions/heals manage to hit the ground, an obstacle, or seemingly something in mid-air (?) and do nothing. The problem is compounded by the fact that I'm in the mid-teens and I'm having to kite and jump around to stay alive during tough fights - thus my tosses are that much wilder, and far more prone to doing nothing at all. That is not enjoyable.

    As someone who generally plays casters - classes that reliably hit their target when they cast a spell - I don't see any compelling reason to keep playing this class. I'm already anticipating reincarnating out of it, and moving forward, I would splash this class with another for a melee character at best. I really wish that wasn't the case.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by o2t4f View Post

    Also, you mentioned needing 4 spells to heal. Wouldn't it be 3? 1 for healing and 2 to get back to your reaction?
    So, interestingly, in lama 1 it would have been 2 spells, but on paper the way it worked then sounded clunky so people requested they change it and so they did.

    Now when you cast a spell that is not in your current reaction it does not just set you to neutral, it actually activates that primer as well.

    So the reason it is 4 spells is this - you are in orchidium, it doesnt matter what your primer is at this time. You cast a heal. This breaks Orchidium, but it also sets your primer to yellow. Now you want to go back to Orchidium which is Blue/Red, so you cast another spell, it does not matter WHICH color you choose because the next spell will interact with your yellow primer and make you go green reaction. Then one more blue and red to go back to orchidium, hence 4.


    Next thing I have found, is that Whirling Blades does not work. It does make the +5w attack but does not give the 100 doubleshot bonus. I tested a few things to see whether it is a stacking issue, but it does not seem to be. It does not work regardless of whether Multitude of Missiles is on cooldown or not so it does not appear to be a hidden cooldown issue with that, and it does not appear to be a stacking issue with the Simple Weapon Expertise, since I do not yet have 100 Int, so even if they dont stack, it should still give me SOME doubleshot even if not 100.

    Since this is the case I cant think of anything it may be having interaction issues with Alchemist, so I can only imagine it is just totally broken and would not work for anyone, and no one noticed it until now because throwing dagger builds were not a consideration before Alchemist.

    The end result of that is that it is NOT worth going T5 VKF, go T5 Vile Chemist instead, and since the VC capstone was neutered and the VKF core 4 makes it so you dont need the VC core 5, there is no need to have more than 15 levels of Alchemist for a dagger thrower, maybe 16 levels to get that next bonus feat if you need it. Beyond that you will already have all the spells, feats and enhancements that you can possibly get to improve your build.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZzpxpzZ View Post
    Next thing I have found, is that Whirling Blades does not work. It does make the +5w attack but does not give the 100 doubleshot bonus. I tested a few things to see whether it is a stacking issue, but it does not seem to be. It does not work regardless of whether Multitude of Missiles is on cooldown or not so it does not appear to be a hidden cooldown issue with that, and it does not appear to be a stacking issue with the Simple Weapon Expertise, since I do not yet have 100 Int, so even if they dont stack, it should still give me SOME doubleshot even if not 100.

    Since this is the case I cant think of anything it may be having interaction issues with Alchemist, so I can only imagine it is just totally broken and would not work for anyone, and no one noticed it until now because throwing dagger builds were not a consideration before Alchemist.
    People have said that Whirling Blades, Blessed Blades, Vendetta and Alchemist poison imbues are all implemented as "temporary weapon buff" and overwrite each other.
    Are you sure you are not overwriting Whirling Blades effect, before looking at the doubleshot value?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZzpxpzZ View Post
    The end result of that is that it is NOT worth going T5 VKF, go T5 Vile Chemist instead, and since the VC capstone was neutered and the VKF core 4 makes it so you dont need the VC core 5, there is no need to have more than 15 levels of Alchemist for a dagger thrower, maybe 16 levels to get that next bonus feat if you need it. Beyond that you will already have all the spells, feats and enhancements that you can possibly get to improve your build.
    you get another Poisoned Coating die at Alchemist level 18, and VC core 5 also improves your dice to d10s. That's 47% improvement on Poisoned Coating damage
    Last edited by magaiti; 02-16-2020 at 04:07 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Would it be better to run this thing as Iconic just to get the past life and, if yes, which one? Deep Gnome?
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  10. #10
    Community Member itraylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChemE View Post
    Would it be better to run this thing as Iconic just to get the past life and, if yes, which one? Deep Gnome?
    This is what I did. I rolled a Deep Gnome, gobbled a +1 heart of wood, and ended up taking 18 Alchemist, 2 Artificer. I am running with 41 points in the Inquisitive tree, 32 in Vile Chemist, and the remaining points in the racial tree. As an Inquisitive you can stack law and poison damage, and if you already have the gear it is fairly seamless. I miss having the SA damage of the rogue, but the 2 Artificer levels allows me to be a full trapper and use a rune arm. You get Evasion as a bonus feat at 12 levels of Alchemist and with the self buffs/heals it feels pretty survivable. I used a +20 heart I had for my first Alchemist PL and ran the same build (on a halfling). Based on some folks saying Alchemist is tough to level, I think Iconics is the way to go. If you have Inquisitive gear like I did, it certainly helps make the swap feel decent.
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  11. #11
    Community Member HungarianRhapsody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChemE View Post
    Would it be better to run this thing as Iconic just to get the past life and, if yes, which one? Deep Gnome?
    If you don't want to spend the +1 LR to get Artificer, you can go PDK for the two Fighter feats. I think that's better than any of the other options. Or Aasimar Scourge if you want Healing Hands to not mess with your reaction color plus Rapid Shot.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZzpxpzZ View Post
    [...]
    - The reaction system. So far, I am not enjoying it at all, it is very punishing for a vile chemist. I can see it being not too bad for bombardiers and a bit annoying but not super important for apothecaries, just based on the fact that bombardiers are locked out of the easiest primer type to ignore, and apothecaries dont get too much important benefit from their reaction so could just ignore it when its annoying them. Vile Chemists however get screwed - They have to stay in their reaction because most importantly it gives them full BAB and a significant amount of their defenses. However, the spell class that breaks their reaction is Goldleaf, which is heals! Further, both the other two trees naturally are casting spells for their game play so even if they do not go too far out of their way they will end up back in their own reaction quickly enough just naturally. VC builds do not cast spells very often, and the one spell that they might cast more during basic combat gameplay - the SLA Poison Wave - despite saying its blue primer does not actually interact with the reaction at all. Effectively, this means any time a VC needs to cast a heal, they have to cast 4 spells to heal once. I have been trying to play so far 90% as though I was a class that did not have healing spells to get around this, self healing using Aas LoH, potions, heal scrolls, and then in epic with Healing Spring and Cocoon, but its pretty unfair for group members who see an alchemist and hope they are running with a class that can toss them good heals easily and then find out its much more annoying than it should be. Its like when you get into a group with a caster DPS FvS and they wont heal you, but if there was an actual system build into the class to make them not want to heal you rather than it just being them being selfish :P

    My suggestions here would be something along these lines - one possibility - make Bombardier the purple color, Vile Chemists green, and Apothecaries red. That would help a lot for both Apothecaries and Vile Chemists, and while it would give Bombardiers all of the same issues as VC is currently having, at least they naturally cast many spells throughout game play so without having to go out of their way to go back into their reaction, some normal offensive casting as they would be doing anyway, and maybe a rebuff of displacement, and they will be back into their own reaction again. Alternatively, either make a grace spell for the reaction system - so when you are IN a reaction, to get out of the reaction you have to cast the opposing color spell TWICE before it breaks, in conjunction with that make a feat similar to release charm or something, just a base feat that alchs get to use when they need to called Neutralize Reaction that just puts them back to blank/blank. Or, the best solution in my opinion, make another new metamagic feat for Alchemists called Unreactive, that can be toggled onto a spell and make it not interact with the reaction system at all. This lets you use spells not in your own reaction system without breaking your reaction, but still at a cost of SP and a feat.
    The reaction system feels really clunky so far.
    It feels like the reaction takes too long to take place, so if you are throwing spells quickly it seems that reactions lag behind.

    I don't think that the reactions need to change around the enhance trees. But the SLAs need to be set better to help with reactions, and:

    - Make reactions faster. They should start right when you cast a spell and not 2 secs after.
    - Give the temporary reaction bonus (the 12 sec ones) a visual indication and buff icon.
    - Make reactions work both ways. So purple would be triggered not only by blue->red, but also by red->blue. This would make reaction swapping more fluid.

  13. #13
    Community Member lillentle's Avatar
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    Default Give Alchemist another try, before they nerf it.

    You assume that if it doesn't work for you that it doesn't work. Alchemist is definitely one of the most powerful 12+ R1 zergers right now.
    I went inquisitor 1-12 my first life, but multivial was just doing way too much damage so I had to swap. Try again at alchemist it's actually powerful, try this;

    1-5:Casters are always hard level 1-5(wiz isn't because magic missile SLA) use a melee weapon or go inquisitor for this.
    6-10:Sorcs normally get scorch SLA around level 5, which is crazy OP with empower and maximize, still alchemist doesn't have a good aoe until molotov cocktail, which I think is a level 2 spell(you get at level 6), so get a combustion item and a nullification item and use the cone of poison SLA combined with the single target SLA and molotov cocktail you'll be feeling as powerful as a druid or casting FVS/cleric, but once you start getting another level 2 AOE, and then the level 3 AOE's you'll have enough spells to be jumping around 1/2 shotting everything.
    10-12:Get to level 10 and put your ravenloft belt on and match up your orb/staff(anniversary staff+orb from new quests), reset your enchants so you've got at least 11 in apothecary for the cure serious SLA. You'll be as powerful as the sorc, but not limited to warforged to heal yourself.
    12-20: Hit level 12 and reset enchantments again, t5 in bombard, now nothing can stop you, not only do you have multivial but nothing is immune for more than one hit anymore. Hit 14 and you've also got +50% speed boost so you're way ahead of the pack. These levels are a breeze as with any caster(running level 17 sharn quests on R1 did test my DC, on the rangers I basically couldn't touch them unless I was in pyrite and I have +2DC from cleric pastlives. Now that I have nearly a full set of gear from there I can replace my ravenloft gear and that should fill that void. At some point you'll have enough points for full bobard t5 and capstone, and the heal SLA from apothacary. And the 20% run speed from apothecary placing you even further at the front of the pack.

    Epics: Multivial SLA. The most powerful SLA. I had the same trouble as with any caster, but stayed away from anything 5 levels above me, get a crafted Combustion and Acid sp/lore item at 21 and a DC and int item at 23 and you'll blitz through anything on R1(some archers took a couple multivials because they saved). Ravenloft chain 1 at 26 was okay, but chain 2 at 27 was awful, my lvl 10 gear and crafted items just weren't holding up, couldn't damage the archers at all. Really noticed that every spell was reflex based basically, from chain 1 to chain 2 I went from killing 80% to killing 20%. Once I hit 29 and put my full ravenloft gear on I was astonished with how powerful I was, carrying sharn R4 groups(I had a good healer mind you), found some areas I can minmax and am going for my second life, I'll be even more OP. This class along with everything new will get a nerf in 6 months or so.
    Lillentle, the smaller Lentle

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