Frigid Fusillade

Rain arrows down upon thee.

Following a rather successful poison Warlock build during its time in Early Access, and both a lightning Berserker and holy Templar build after its full release, it was finally time to revisit Chronicon with a Warden. The one character class that I know absolutely nothing about. I don’t think that I’ve ever built one, even during Early Access, prior to the conception of this build, and that’s not hard to believe. Seeing as I’d sprint into the fray ignoring my bow (and ranged skills) circled by my wolves, rather than taking calculated shots from a distance to decimate my enemies.

I’ve become too accustomed to close quarters builds.

And I’m sure that, were you to invest in Evasion and Damage Reduction, you could fashion a reasonably decent close quarters Warden. And that’s possibly what I should have done when considering this build. But I’ve made this awkwardly cumbersome bed, so I’m going to die in it.

A death wrought from hubris and aggressively increasing the difficulty level. The first for some time, too. However, not the first on my account, as I had to earn that achievement to spend crystals on resurrection somehow. It was a refreshing moment, though. One that I’ve anticipated for a while, as I’ve been too cautious when making the leap between difficulty levels prior to this build. This time I was purposefully making things more difficult for myself. Which probably wasn’t the best idea with a class that I’m wholly unfamiliar with, but I digress. Besides a single death, which haunts me even now, despite my protest to the contrary, this build has developed in interesting ways. I’ve been investing in different statistical bonuses such as +%Critical Hit Damage, +%Companion Damage, and +%Companion Health to name but a few.

Wardens aren’t supposed to be next to their enemies…

I’ve also been exclusively relying on enchanting and transmutation to acquire an equipment set that has persisted throughout her adventures. Instead of acquiring an entirely new equipment set at Lvl 100, I’ve been using the abundance of Legendary and True Legendary equipment to empower her existing set, which has exponentially hastened her development towards Anomalies. I’ve also been focusing on Critical Hit Damage. It’s fairly easy to guarantee critical hits, and to bolster those with Frost Damage, or Overpower, so I’ve been favouring higher multiplications for them.

Progression has definitely been smoother for it.

The Warden is a surprisingly diverse character class, and they’re afforded unexpected versatility through their skill trees. Notably, they could be a capable summoner, which I’d briefly tinkered with, but I’m not overly fond of having pets fight for me. I’d rather be dealing damage myself.

I’ve always enjoyed the complexity and diversity of the character classes (and skill trees) present in Chronicon, and the Warden, along with this build, is no exception. It’s delightfully malleable. Able to adapt to challenges and overcome them with relative competency, especially when I remember to avoid being hit by keeping my distance. Given the continued investment into +%Critical Hit Damage, it’s not dealing as much damage as I’d hoped that it would, but that might be due to how I’m playing this build. Now that Wolfpack can taunt I’m slightly safer than I was. Not that I’m able to completely avoid taking damage, but I’m able to funnel enemies into convenient bottlenecks and pelt them from afar. Which is what a Warden should be doing, right? Serious question. I have no idea what I’m doing. Please send help.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Valorous Vindication

Bathed in purifying light.

Unholy creatures shy away from her dazzling radiance, stunned by her zealous assault, while those who stray too close only harm themselves, as her faith pierces their blasphemous flesh. Following the full release of Chronicon, and after much deliberation, I settled on a lightning Berserker build, and most recently I’ve built a holy Templar. Hence the flowery exposition above. Originally I’d intended for it to be a fairly typical holy Templar build, but the acquisition of a legendary shield, Vindicator, fundamentally redefined the build and encouraged its reliance on thorns damage.

Which then encouraged the use of multiple auras.

Reprisal (despite being in a different skill tree) is arguably the most beneficial, as it massively increases her thorns damage, while the damage multiplication (and radial burst) afforded by Vindicator allows Salvation (also in a different skill tree) to consistently regenerate health and mana.

It’s a somewhat unconventional- but surprisingly effective- build that doesn’t have the raw damage of the aforementioned lightning Berserker build, but does have heightened survivability. Heightened survivability that ensures that she can inflict excessive damage to those around her. Prior to this I’d never been entirely sure what thorns damage was, and believed it to function as damage reflection, when it’s actually retaliation damage, which is only slightly less absurd. Were you able to reflect damage on the higher Mythic difficulty levels the challenge would be lessened greatly. Unfortunately, by relying on thorns damage this build has low direct damage potential, as Holy Bolt and Holy Nova are her only direct damage skills. But she can deal ludicrous amounts of retaliation damage when surrounded.

Blood soaks the scorching desert sands.

Her direct damage skills were slightly bolstered by shuffling the gems in Vindicator to guarantee critical hits, but continued investment into various Mastery trees is required to improve her meagre offensive capabilities. It’s a wholly defensive build. One that, through Grace, and her multiple auras, is impressively hard to kill. But it feels unusually slow. Which is understandable as I’m basically relying on enemies to hit her for her to be able to damage them. But I’m glad that I built around thorns damage, as I’ve never done so before and every new experience is appreciated.

They’re exceedingly rare nowadays.

Chronicon has always been outstanding because of the diversity (and creativity) of its character classes and resulting builds. Regardless of whether they’re viable at the highest Mythic difficulty levels or not, the opportunity exists to build towards something that best suits your intentions.

I’ve enjoyed building this character and consider the experience to be a pleasant one, which I hope to repeat in the coming months when I inevitably revisit Chronicon to build a Warden. I’ve not built one of those before. I’d also like to build another Warlock, as I’m curious about how they’ve changed (if at all) since Early Access. I’ll likely build another Templar, too. One that relies on direct damage more than this build did. I’ve got far too many ideas and not nearly enough time left to do them all. Which is exactly the kind of existential commentary that you’ve come to expect from my posts, as I begin to question my sincerity towards things. That and chocolate gateaux analogies. These posts are sprinkled with moments of wisdom much like sesame seeds on a burger bun. Delicious and nutty. Just like me.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Tempestuous Savagery

Seething with rage unabated.

I would advise against making Kenork angry, but he exists in a perpetual state of unbridled wrath and I don’t think he knows how to relax. So I’d advise against making him angrier than he already is. Not that I’m sure that’s possible, either. So maybe it’s best if you avoid contact with him at all times. It’s better for your health if you do. Chronicon is a delightfully engaging and tremendously enjoyable ARPG featuring four character classes, satisfying character development, numerous locations to explore, thousands of items to find, dozens of quests to undertake, and much more.

It’s a deceptively content-dense experience.

One that doesn’t end once you’ve completed the main campaign. Allowing you to further refine your build and face the challenges present in Tinka’s Realm, while pushing further beyond Legendary difficulty. Unlocking the Mythic difficulty levels which are significantly more challenging.

Conceiving that build won’t be easy, though. The Berserker, Templar, Warlock, and Warden all have four distinct skill trees. Each specialises in a different damage type and affords bonuses to certain skills, offering unprecedented freedom when developing your build. You won’t need to invest in skills that don’t interest you. Nor will you be limited to a handful of equipment choices, as myriad equipment sets exist that cater to every aspect of your chosen character class. It’s an amazingly rewarding (if not slightly daunting) experience. One that isn’t tarnished by the usual frustrations encountered when farming items, because if you find something that doesn’t fully meet your requirements you can customise it. Either by adding new (or altering existing) enchantments, adding new (or altering existing) sockets, or by transmuting it.

I did advise against making him angry…

Besides the four distinct skill trees, there’s a shared Mastery tree that is available (and partly tailored) to each character class, which primarily affords character development after Lvl 100, but its benefits can be felt long before then. It has basic modifiers (such as +%Lightning Damage) alongside unique modifiers (such as immunity to trap damage), and is customisable to an extent. Allowing you to focus on specific aspects of your build. While simultaneously having complete control over when you invest, how extensively, and which benefits become available as the branch develops.

It’s the superb execution that makes this concept work.

As is true of many concepts present in Chronicon, which might suggest that I’ve got nothing but unending praise for it and its developer, and that is somewhat true, because it’s so refreshing to have meaningful character development that actually influences how your build develops.

I’ve followed Chronicon through Early Access for nearly four years anticipating the full release. Naturally, I had high expectations for it and it has exceeded those expectations in every conceivable way. I wouldn’t say that it’s reached its full potential, though. There are ways to improve the experience or expand existing content, and I’d be surprised if the developer didn’t already have plans to do just that. Regardless of what may (or may not) happen in the future, Chronicon is currently an entirely capable ARPG, built with dedication by its ambitious developer, and delivers an experience that’s wholly engrossing because it’s truly fun to play. Few ARPGs have shown as much promise as Chronicon has, and that’s why I highly recommend it to those who enjoy ARPGs and value purposeful character development.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Thunderous Fists

Righteous punching ensues.

Unlike many of the surprises that I’ve had this year, the full release of Chronicon is a very welcome surprise. I wasn’t aware that it was due (or even planned) to be released this year. But it’s available now and I couldn’t be more excited about revisiting the main campaign, while finally being able to explore the infernal landscape of Act V. I’ve been looking forward to doing that. The patch notes for the full release were extensive, while its lone developer has continued to show their unwavering dedication to delivering the best possible experience by addressing numerous known issues.

Resulting in three post-release patches in less than five days.

Which is why it’s been a pleasure to follow its journey through Early Access, and why I’ve experienced each new update with my poison Warlock while anticipating the full release. It’s been a great journey, too. I’ve known few Early Access titles to change as extensively as Chronicon did.

I’ve decided to temporarily retire my poison Warlock for the full release, though. I’d like to experience the main campaign from a fresh perspective. To see everything from start to finish as a freshly built character would. Not that I’ll be freshly built, as shared progression affords certain advantages, but I won’t be relying on those advantages. Besides taking two Bottomless Bags out of the shared stash. But that’s purely for convenience, and because I have an irrational desire to hoard items. I’ve been actively avoiding the services of Theo, Chantie, and Gemma as well. I doubt that they’d significantly change anything prior to the conclusion of Act III, but I’d rather not use them. I’m hoping to be able to increase the difficulty to Legendary before arriving at Act V, too. Allowing the fabled True Legendary equipment to start appearing.

Drawing strength from the skies above.

I’d been deliberating between a lightning Berserker and a holy Templar prior to release, and eventually settled on the Berserker as they better represented my intentions for this build. Utilising various skills from the Sky Lord tree allows them to deal impressive damage with shouts, while they become exponentially more powerful as their rage increases. They’ve also got excellent base mobility. Alongside naturally heightened health and mana regeneration. This allows them to endure close quarters combat when needed, but easily reposition if they’re taking too much damage.

They can certainly hold their own when facing tough opposition.

Besides Shouts I’ve invested in a single Brawl skill, Lightning Jab, which replaces my default attack, and is solely used to regenerate mana. I won’t be actively increasing the damage for Brawl skills and/or Lightning Jab, as my intention is to greatly improve the damage and efficacy of Shouts.

The diversity and complexity of character development in Chronicon is one of the reasons I’ve been so excited about it. Despite restricting myself to a poison Warlock build, mostly to keep other builds fresh for the full release, I’ve seen how each character class offers new opportunities, and could fundamentally change how you experience the content. I’m also fond of being able to fully customise my equipment to suit my chosen build. I’ve nothing against wading endlessly through a sea of viscera, but actually being able to make use of equipment that you’d otherwise sell or salvage is great. I’ve got nothing but praise for Chronicon (and its developer) because it’s one of the most refreshing, engaging, and wonderfully fun ARPGs in recent years. It’s definitely worth your time if you’re looking for something familiar yet fresh.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

First Impurressions of… Cat Quest II

Tales of a mewsical mewgician.

Who tours the flourishing fields of Felingard strumming their lute, opening gravitational rifts, and summoning lasers from space. Who traded the majority of their health for ranged magical damage, and who now relies on their trusty canine companion to deal physical damage while they frantically skirt around enemies. Cat Quest II is the wonderfully fun and mechanically diverse sequel to Cat Quest, which purrfectly illustrates how cats and dogs can coexist peacefully. Or could if they weren’t embroiled in a meaningless war being fought to prove the superiority of their species.

Magic has been greatly expanded in the sequel, too.

Which affords greater build pawsibilities, but equipping a magical weapon, such as the Bard Lute, drastically reduces your maximum health. So you’ll be trading survivability for heightened damage potential. However, there are a few weapons, such as the Stormbringer, that allow you to have both.

Due to the co-operative mechanics present in the sequel it’s pawsible to build towards both magical and physical damage, as you can easily switch to your canine (or feline) companion to defeat foes unaffected by either damage type. Of which there are quite a few. The individual damage types matter, too. As some enemies are entirely resistant to fire or arcane damage, but are susceptible to ice damage. Which encourages you to keep multiple magical weapons upgraded. While most magical armour will increase a certain damage type by 15% per piece, allowing you to deal 45% more damage if using the appropriate magical weapon as well. But you can also combine different sets for their statistical bonuses. Such as the Bard set which increases mana regeneration, or the Gentle set which reduces the mana cost of spells.

Those who set paw in this tomb will become terriers.

Until I reached Lvl 100 I always had my companion wearing the Dog Soldier set, which is interchangeable with the Cat Soldier set, depending on whether you favour health or armour, and increases experience gained from defeating enemies by 20% per piece. It feels as though equipment has been significantly rebalanced in the sequel, making it harder to choose between raw statistical bonuses and pawerful passive effects. Wearing the Arcane Mage Hat would’ve afforded higher arcane damage, but the Skeleton King Crown granted additional armour and increased survivability.

Which I was in dire need of when using a magical weapon.

Upgrading equipment has been simplified, too. Rather than opening chests and randomly acquiring upgrades, as you would in Cat Quest, you now visit Kit Cat (for armour) or Hotto Doggo (for weapons) to upgrade specific equipment, which costs slightly more but has a guaranteed result.

Cat Quest II is an incredibly impurressive sequel that revisits previously established mechanics and implements more intuitive iterations of them. Everything from equipment choices to enemy variety has more depth and feels more complex, which results in a greatly satisfying experience that’s delightfully fun. It’s also littered with just as many (if not more) cat puns. As is this post. With the release of the Mew World update the experience is at its best, with Mew Game being reintroduced alongside the Meowdifiers which make revisiting the campaign even more fun than it would be otherwise. Or more challenging. Depending on which approach you decide to take. I would highly recommend Cat Quest II to those looking for a light-hearted, enjoyable, feline-themed ARPG experience. Especially if you love cats as much as I do.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie