Sacred 2:A Comprehensive Guide to the BFG Seraphim
A Comprehensive Guide to the BFG Seraphim
1. Pros and Cons of the BFG-Seraphim
Pros: - Extremely powerful - No weapon worries - you need 4 runes and 500 gold to start off the right foot and rock the game till the end - will one-shot pretty much every enemy throughout the game with slight exceptions (champions, bosses) - requires minimal micromanagement - great boss-killer - the best starter char in this game - Endijian's Set will make your seraphim look like the female futuristic manga chars
Cons: - the BFG weapon texture isn't exactly a masterpiece... - power comes at a price - random reflects may seriously hurt your char (this will not be a problem later on) - power comes at a price 2 - 1-shotting every simple mob on the map may get tedious and boring (but feeling all-powerful is great) - Endijian's Set will make your seraphim look like the female futuristic manga chars
2. Basic reasoning
The BFG build is undoubtedly the best build for a starter character. It is very cheap, very easy to maintain, because there is no need for you to spend millions on weapons or armor. The support this build requires is minimal as well, because of the sheer power of the BFG gun and the fact that you will be 1-shotting everything pretty much throughout the entire game.
3. Advanced reasoning.
In order to make the BFG build all-powerful, you will need to select 10 skills that will complement each other to the best of your ability. With a proper skill complement and utilization, your char will not only become all-powerful - it will also become immortal. Yes, you heard me right - immortal.
Immortality in Sacred 2 isn't difficult to achieve, especially as a Seraphim. Seraphims enjoy a vast variety of set items and skills that contribute to it. The first aspect of immortality is the Damage mitigation options. Damage mitigation practically means that a certain portion of the incoming damage will be nullified before any other calculations kick in. This means that if your seraphim has 50% damage mitigation and you're hit for 5000, 2500 damage is mitigated and the calculations regarding armor, resistances, etc. will start at 2500 damage. Neat, huh? But that is only the beginning. The second aspect of immortality is the Energy shield your seraphim can employ to protect herself. The shield absorbs some of the incoming damage and the rest is deducted by your char's HP. Items in Sacred 2 have the innate ability to increase the absorption of damage from the shield. If you click on the sigma button in your inventory, you will see how much absorption do you have. Using items that improve it will force more damage to be absorbed by the shield. having an absorption of 65-75% is good enough in my opinion for this build. 80% is also nice, but do not go all the way to 100%, or your shield may get depleted quickly, leaving your HP the only barrier between life and death. Also keep in mind that with mastery in constitution your HP will regen even in combat - while your shield will not. The third aspect of immortality is Constitution. This is a skill we will incorporate in this build. It directly adds to the char's HP totals, improves the HP regeneration and with 75 hard points in it, you gain mastery, which allows your HP to continue to regenerate even while in combat at an amazing rate.
References: http://darkmatters.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=11745 - a wonderful and extremely comprehensive guide to damage mitigation by Soldats http://sacredwiki.org/index.php5/Sacred_2:Energy_Shields - explanation about the energy shields
4. The Build.
The build consists of 10 skills, which we will pick in a manner that they will complement each other to the best of their ability.
lvl 2 - Armor Lore - the most important protection skill. No build can go without it. It improves resists, increases maximum item level without penalties, and decreases regeneration penalty from armors. We are picking it first to ensure the easy-going in the early levels. It can be substituted for ranged lore if you have pre-set bfg rune and you want to start using the big gun straight away.
lvl 3 - Ranged Weapons - time to pick the skill that will support the development of the BFG gun. 1 point in this skill is enough to carry the big gun and use it regardless of its level. If you picked ranged lore as lvl 2 skill, select armor lore as your lvl 3 skill pick.
lvl 5 - Tactics Lore - Increases damage and chance for critical hits with all weapons. This is exactly what the big gun needs to become even more powerful. Putting points here will also add to the exalted warrior point pool, which can be used to mod the combat arts.
lvl 8 - Concentration - very important skill. The BFG build is widely supported by its buffs, and this skill opens up to 3 buffs. Keep this skill at character level till lvl 75.
lvl 12 - Revered Technology Focus - we will start by opening up the focus for the revered technology tree. Why focus first? The answer is simple. It will allow you to mod the BFG buff, and it will allow you to get more levels in it very quickly, which will help you one-shot everything on the map at this point.
lvl 18 - Exalted Warrior Focus - we take on our support combat art tree. Exalted warrior tree opens up some cool skills that will allow your BFG gun to fire stronger shots, multiple shots and will improve the combat art levels of our initial Battle stance buff.
lvl 25 - Revered Technology Lore - this skill will improve the damage of all combat arts in the revered tree, including the BFG gun.
lvl 35 - Constitution - adds directly to your char's HP totals, and improves the regeneration rate of her HPs.
lvl 50 - Toughness - adds directly to the armor rating and provides a reduction of the incoming damage - also known as all-channel damage mitigation.
lvl 65 - Warding Energy Lore - this is the skill that will directly improve your Warding Energy Buff and will provide more shield points and better damage absorption.
5. Skill masteries.
You need 75 hard points in one skill to open up its skill mastery. Skill masteries open up new properties, improve the existent skill bonuses, etc. This is the order of skill masteries I would propose for this build. This means 3 of these skills must be at lvl 75 by char lvl 75, the 4th around lvl 80-85, the fifth around lvl 90-100, and so on. You should also keep in mind that it's not absolutely necessary to master all skills. The order shown below will give you the skill priorities and the amount of skill points (in square brackets) I propose to put in:
1. Concentration  - we need this up to 75 hard points by lvl 75 and then it can stay at 75 till the end of the game. It will open up the third buff and will let you add Warding energy as third buff.
2. Constitution  - although we pick this skill at lvl 35, you must level it in a manner that will allow you to have 75 hard points by lvl 75. We need it to open up the in-combat regeneration and we will leave it at that.
3. Tactics Lore [75+] - this is the skill that directly improves the damage of your char. You will want it at 75 hard points by level 75. It is a general opinion that chars who rely on their weapon to damage their enemies must keep it at character level, but you may as well leave it at 75 and let +all skills equipment do the rest.
4. Armor Lore  - this skill should be mastered around char level 80-85. It will open up various mastery modification on armors, not to mention that it will give a great boost to the armor rating, resistances and the reduction of penalty caused by various armors.
From this point on you will have to decide which mastery is more important based on your play style.
5.1. Lazy play style - buffs do the trick, gun does the rest.
The basic idea of the lazy play style is that you will pump up the buffs without limit even beyond the max level stated by the respective aspect's focus.
5. Toughness  - 75 hard points in toughness will provide 9% damage mitigation and +90 to all armor types.
6. Revered Technology Focus  - mastery opens up even more CA levels. This is imperative for our BFG gun. The more levels, the better the damage.
7. Revered Technology Lore  - the sheer damage this skill provides will make the bfg gun even more powerful.
8. Warding Energy Lore  - better shields and better absorption.
9. Exalted Warrior Focus [1+] - We just need a few points here to improve the regen times. Keeping in mind that Tactics lore will provide most of the modification points for the Exalted warrior Combat arts, you don't really need to add points here.
10. Ranged Weapons  - you don't need a skill mastery here. 1 point is enough, as the BFG buff directly improves the skill with each level of the gun.
5.2. Dynamic play style - combat arts for the win!
You will need to micromanage a lot, using CAs according to the situation and switch between them as necessary. Combos are not needed since revered tech and exalted warrior have few good combinations between them. The only good combo that comes in mind seems to be Soul Hammer + Archangel's wrath for boss battles.
5. Revered Technology Focus  - more CA levels and better regeneration of Flaring Nova and Archangel's Wrath (AW). Since AW is based on weapon damage, and your weapon is the one with the biggest damage in the entire game, you can imagine what this CA will do. Good level AW boosted by BFG may go well over 60k damage on a normal hit.
6. Revered Technology Lore  - more damage and better execution speed of the Revered CA's is what you need.
7. Toughness 
8. Warding Energy Lore 
9. Exalted Warrior Focus [your call]
10. Ranged Weapons 
6. Combat Arts and their modifications.
Since we will be playing a 3-buff build, you can expect the buffs to have severe detrimental effect on your combat arts since each buff significantly increases the regeneration times of combat arts. This is why you should exercise extreme caution when leveling up your combat arts through runes especially.
6.1 Revered technology tree combat arts and modifications.
1) Archangel's Wrath - We will need to mod this CA for sheer damage. Mods: Salvo - Lock/Explosive - Vulberable -> Salvo is the best mod. It inflicts the damage of 2 bolts, and if you have any %deathblow equipment (double damage when enemy HP fall beyond a certain value based on your total deathblow) it will apply to BOTH bolts when the enemy HP levels falls below your deathblow level. Lock is the mod you will want to choose when you're not shotgunning (the enemies are far away and you want to be certaion the bolts hit). Explosive is the mod you want when you're shotgunning (you expect enemies to be around you and you want to hit as much of them as you can). -> My personal favorite is the Explosive mod. The enemies will be coming to hack at you anyway, so this mod is the better choice. -> Vulnerable will improve the crit chance. This is just uber. Not only our damage is sky high, but this mod may make it go in near-earth orbit with a crit. Regeneration time: if you play the lazy style, read 1 rune only and forget it till you get firmly in the preferred regen time. Try to keep it down to 0.7-1s regen time. If you play the dynamic style, try to get regeneration time of 0.5s or lower. The runes read (or + combat arts equip used) will be determined by this regeneration time amount. CA link: http://www.sacredwiki.org/index.php5/Sacre...angel%27s_Wrath
2) Flaring Nova - a great CA which provides wonderful crowd control. Mods: Impulse - Stun - Flux -> Impulse mod forces the nova to lauch two expanding rings. Just like with AW, deathblow affects the damage of both rings, and this is the better mod. -> Stun mod gives a certain chance to stun the enemies that are caught in the blast. -> Flux mod improves the damage of flaring nova. Regeneration time: if you play the lazy style, use your own judgment. It all depends on how often ou are forced to use it. In my eyes, 3 seconds regeneration time is good, since you won't be using it all the time. If you play the dynamic play style, you will need a good regen time in order to be able to spam it several times in short succession, and this 0.7-1s regen time is prudent. CA link: http://www.sacredwiki.org/index.php5/Sacred_2:Flaring_Nova
3) Divine Protection - a great CA, which provides you with a shield that has 100% absorbtion for a limited amount of time. Modification to this combat art will be determined by your own willingness to use it and recast it at a regular interval: a) frequent use - Capacity - Boost - Improved Mirror. These mods will make its cooldown lower and its duration loger. b) infrequent use - Dampen - Uplifted Force - Improved Mirror. These mods will make it more durable and with better damage absorption, but the cooldown times will remain high. The regeneration time for dynamic play should be roughly equal to the duration of Divine Protection. CA link: http://www.sacredwiki.org/index.php5/Sacre...vine_Protection
4) Warding Energy - your energy shield and an extra supply of "HP". Depending on your play style, you will have to decide how to mod it: a) lazy play style - we will need a shield that will reflect the ranged and magic damage so that divine protection doesn't have to be active all the time. Mods: Profectile Reflection - Magic Mirror - Block. b) dynamic play style - we will need a shield that will reflect the ranged and magic damage while keeping the buff's penalty on the CAs to a respectable level. Mods: Profectile Reflection - Magic Mirror - Resource. c) the safer the better - we will need a strong shield that will absorb damage regardless of its source. Mods: Field Force - Field Force - Block/Resource (depending on whether us use CA frequently or not). CA link: http://www.sacredwiki.org/index.php5/Sacred_2:Warding_Energy
5) BeeEffGee - our big gun and most important buff. Regardless of the play style, you must keep this CA at its highest level (even over the allowed level by revered technology focus) and preferably at 1.5-2x your character level if possible. regardless of the play style, the mods of this CA are as follows: Enhancement - Enhancement - Accuracy. CA link: http://www.sacredwiki.org/index.php5/Sacred_2:BeeEffGee
6.2. Exalted Warrior combat arts.
We will need these CAs as a support. They have various uses and are good combat openers.
1) Soul Hammer - an attack with improved weapon damage. Read only 1 rune here. This skill is one of the best boss killers in this game, especially when combined with the BFG gun since it will force the boss to take even more damage with every hit. Mods: Aim - Battering - Coup de Grace. Aim improves the chance to get a crit (and this the damage to skyrocket), battering reduces the armor class, meaning the next shot will be even more powerful, and Coup de Grace will inflict double damage when enemy's HP fall below a certain treshold - and yes, it stacks with deathblow! In order to keep this skill effective, you need a regeneration time of 0.5s or lower regardless of your play style. CA link: http://www.sacredwiki.org/index.php5/Sacred_2:Soul_Hammer
2) Pelting Strikes - used with the BFG, this CA will make your char shoot several shots in quick succession against multiple enemies. There isn't much use of it by the BFG Seraphim, but it is a great battle opener vs. multiple enemies. Mods: Succession - Focus - Precision. Succession gives you 20% chance for double hit (it seems to proc more often in my opnion), Focus gives you lower regeneration time and precision improves the crit chance. You could opt for other mods like reductions of armor class and defence value, but don't we have Soul Hammer for that? In order to keep this skill effective, you need a regeneration time of 0.5s or lower regardless of your play style. CA link: http://www.sacredwiki.org/index.php5/Sacre...Pelting_Strikes
3) Assailing Somersault - the ability to leap in and out of combat. Completely superfluous CA for the BFG Seraphim in my opinion, but it may provide an interesting diversion. Still, keeping in mind that your CA setup will most likely be AW, Flaring Nova, Dashing Alacrity and Divine Protection or Soul Hammer, Pelting Strikes, Dashing Alacrity and Divine protection, I wonder when will you use except for posterity... Mods: Spurt - Brawn - Concussion CA link: http://www.sacredwiki.org/index.php5/Sacre...ling_Somersault
4) Dashing Alacrity - this CA will improve the run and attack speed by a decent amount. With enough rune investment and decent regeneration times you can practically make it chain-castable. Mods: Bloodlust (increase attk spd) - Delay (improves duration of Dashing alacrity) - Ardor/Impatience. The last mod is up to you. If you want performance from Dashing Alacrity, select Ardor. If you want to try and make it chain castable, select Impatience to reduce the cooldown.
5) Battle Stance - Our second (bfg is first) buff, and mind you, a very important one. This buff will contribute to your immortality quite a lot. Mods for lazy play style: Aggression (improves weapon damage) - Flexibility (improved evasion) - Retaliation (damage reflection chance) Mods for dynamic play: Aggression (improves weapon damage) - Drill (reduces ebergy cost and this penalty on CAs) - Retaliation (damage reflection chance) CA link: http://www.sacredwiki.org/index.php5/Sacred_2:Battle_Stance
Depending on your play style, attribute points should be distributed in different manners.
Lazy play style: start off with 1 vit, then 1 vit/1 dex, and finally 1 vit/2 dex. The basic idea is that vitality is paramount, and since you won't be using CAs frequently it's way better to improve the weapon damage.
Dynamic play style: start off with 1 vit then 1 vit/1 sta and finally 1 vit/2 sta. The basic idea is that stamina will improve your CA regeneration times, which is improtant for you and your CA micromanagement.
In order to make this build shine you will need a specific equipment. This equipment should provide a balanced amount of sockets, bonuses to your preferred combat arts, good damage mitigation and must not necessarily comprive of the best items with the most defense and the most sockets. In addition to that, it must not be the prettiest of them all. If you want a pretty equip, disregard my suggestions and make your own equip based on your view of the game.
Seraphim set items links on wiki: Endijian's Artifacts Niokaste's_Blade_Dance Revelation of the Seraphim Heavenly Justice Illuminated skies Infinite revenge Nikotaste's Arguments Origin of the Seraish Sofia's Benevolence Twilight of the Gods
Helmet: Lazy play style - Sofia's Benevolence Helm - 3 sockets (b/s/g), +atk/def values. Dynamic play style - Helmet of the Seraish - 2 sockets (b/s), +def, +willpower, +all combat arts
Torso: Regardless of the play style, you need a torso with all channel damage mitigation, like Garment of the Celestial (2 sockets - s/g) from Revelation of the Seraphim set. If you feel very stubborn, go with Holy Protection and kiss the immortality goodbye.
Shoulders: Regardless of the play style, you need shoulders with damage mitigation, such as Niokaste's Shoulder guards (1 gold socket, +soul hammer, +str) or Gown of the Celestial (1 gold socket, +stamina!). Gown of the Celestial provides lower def but additional stamina, which will help the CA regen times.
Wings: Regardless of your play style, I would suggest Endijian's Wings - 2 sockets (s/g), all channel damage mitigation, hit point regeneration.
Wristguards: The only decent wristguards are the Wristguards of dusk (3 sockets: b/s/g, +atk value, +visibility range) from the Twilight of the Gods set. Another option is endijian's wristguards (+BFG CA, +damage, 1 silver socket). Third option is wristguards with +all skills, +damage and 1 socket.
Gloves: Endijian's gloves (+damage, +BFG CA, + AW CA, 1 silver socket) is a good addition to the equipment. In addition to that you will need to keep a few spare pairs fo gloves with elemental modifiers (can be dropped or shopped) like conversion physical to fire/magic/poision (ice is not needed since BFG is ice) in order to compensate for BFG's innate weakness, as some enemies and bosses have physical + ice resistance and even with your overpowered gun you will inflict slim to none damage.
Belt: Good options for lazy players are: Niokaste's Cord (2 sockets: s/g, +stamina, +battle stance CA); Sash of Sacrifice from the Sofia's Benevolence set (3 sockets - b/s/g, +atk and def values). For dynamic players good options are: Niokaste's Cord (2 sockets: s/g, +stamina, +battle stance CA), Endijian's Sash (2 sockets - s/g, -revered tech regen time!, +divine protection CA)
Leg Guards: Good options here are: Sofia's Protection fro Twilight of the Gods set (3 sockets b/s/g, +chance to evade, +run speed), Greaves of Justice from Heavenly Justice Set (2 sockets - s/g, +armor, +block root, - enemy defense value). Both are good - but don't underestimate the "-enemy denfense value". This makes the enemies even easier to hit.
Boots: Dynamic players should look for rare boots with + revered tech aspect/+run speed or Endijian's boots (1 silver socket, + flaring nova CA, +run spd, -regen time for revered tech). Lazy players may have their pick of extras: Endijian's boots (1 silver socket, + flaring nova CA, +run spd, -regen time for revered tech), Niokaste's Sandals (1 silver socket, +dashing alacrity CA, +run speed, -regen time for exalted warrior), or any good rare boots.
Conclusion: looking at the sets, few of those have decent bonuses for wearing 3 or more items from the same set. Endijian's set provides +atk spd, which is nice if you opt for Wings + Gloves + Boots, as well as Aspect: Revered Tech of you add one more item from the set, like Endijian's Sash.
Try to use the aforementioned set items from level 75 upwards, or of that's impossible, from 100 upwards. It is actually in platinum that things get tough, so you will need the damage mitigation and the good shield in order to keep on rocking the game.
9. Let's get the action on!
Level 1-30 - these levels should a breeze with your overpowered gun. You will one-shoot everything around you, so you may as well put this to good use. Pick a boss and start killing it over and over for set items. With any luck you'll soon be wearing a bunch of various set items ready to be customized. Easy bosses should be Holos (desert), Gar'Collosus (you can shoot it from above, provided you find the proper spot on the bridge above him, effectively taking no hits) and The Boar (Wargfels). All of these are relatively close to portals and easy to do with decent drops. Try to fully mod BFG (that's 9 points in revered lore+focus) and Battle Stance. Then mod Soul Hammer and Dashing Alacrity and leave Pelting for last. If you decide to add more points in the revered aspect from this point on, figure out which CAs you'll be using the most and start modding them (like AW, Warding Energy, Flaring Nova and Divine protection). At this point you should be running around with 2 buffs: BFG and Battle Stance (for extra atk and def ratings are well as reflect). Level 35-60 - try various boss battles for more items, or try the Orc Cave (http://darkmatters.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=10049) and try to powerlevel a bit while taking breaks to restock on set items from the bosses you found easy-to-do. Also you may want to try Kral (jungle), Poison Lord and the Forest Guardian (Dryads' Isle). If you feel confident enough, you should try the Four Guardians (final boss) and see how well you will do against them. They are usually the best opponents to measure your build against. Buffs: BFG and Battle Stance. Against the Guardians you may want to switch Stance for Warding Energy since they hit hard - especially the last guardian. Level 60-75 - the grind for exp and equipment continues. At this point you may start feeling bored with this char. It's completely normal, and it's not a BFG-only issue. Keep on leveling, testing the build against various bosses and enemies and make sure you hve 75 concentration by lvl 75. When you hit 75, you should be running around with 3 buffs, decent amount of damage mitigation and means of diversifying the BFG damage through different glove sets. Level 75-100 - it's grinding time again. Keep on doing bosses, do some quests, check how the set items from quests drop. Try your hand at the orc cave, against the Dragons (Grunwald, Desert, Swamp, etc.) and start building the aforementioned equipment to ensure your well-being all the way to lvl 200. Level 100-200 - Things are pretty much the same. The enemies will get stronger, the XP rewards will diminish due to the strange idea of the developers to make the level ups harder this way... Provided you feel persistent, you will get to 200 and rock the game from start to finish. Just keep on updating your equipment, keep on leveling up your buffs way beyond their focus level while keeping the regen times to a respectable amount and you should be just fine!
10. Final words.
Although you'll be playing an overpowered build, I will warn you - it still takes some getting used to, knowing its strengths and weaknesses and analyzing its properties. She will be almost immortal in the end: big reflection + big evasion from Battle Stance, 65-80% shield absorption, over 60% damage mitigation (should be even more), a ton of + all skills and probably over 80% deathblow... However, it does take quite some work, patience and attention to get there. This is an easy-to-play build which even the new players should be able to bring up and rock the game from the get-go