FAQ by C.LE
Version: 1.32 | Updated: 04/13/2021
FAQ of the Month Winner: November 2018 | Highest Rated Guide
Table of Contents
- An Almanac for the Deadfire
- On Turn-Based Mode
- Bugs and Oddities
- Glossary and How Deadfire Does Math
- Action Speed/Recovery Time
- Power-level Scaling
- Non-PL Scaling
- Party Assist
- ApplyOnTick vs ApplyOverTime
- How Some Stuff Works (Non-Math Stuff)
- Difficulty-based Adjustments
- Running out of Range
- Interrupts vs Concentration
- Armor and Penetration
- Full Attack vs Primary Attack
- Stacking Rules
- Afflictions and Inspirations
- Non-Affliction/Inspiration Counters, Keywords
- Weapon Lashes
- Monastic Unarmed Training
- Invisibility vs Stealth
- Critical Hits
- Turn-Based Mode Changes
- Ship to Ship Combat
- Watcher Abilities
- Weapon Styles
- Weapons and Proficiency Modals
- Action Speed is Linear Returns
- Defenses are Increasing Returns
- Non-discrete Recovery Time Bonuses are Increasing Returns
- Passive Skills
- Classes (Single-classing focus)
- Caster/Caster Multiclassing
- Case Study 1: Umezawa
- Case Study 2: Deadfire Lich
- Case Study 3: The Punchy Puncher
- Case Study 4: The Disruptor Theurge
- Magran's Fires
- Version History
Dorudugan is paradoxically both an extremely straightforward megaboss and yet also the most technical fight. It's a vessel with huge stats, having extremely high AR with only Crush (12, 14 on PotD) and Shock (8, 10 on PotD) as weak points. It probably has the most health of any enemy in the game; it also has fairly high defenses (with deflection and reflexes the lowest at ~130 on PotD) with no trick to get them lower (as in Belranga or somewhat in Hauani O Whe). It has body affliction resistance, complete mind affliction immunity, and is utterly invincible to interrupts; it starts with eight layers of concentration but in practice the concentration is irrelevant because the interrupt immunity means they never get checked. Dorudugan also heals from taking fire damage, absorbing 10% of the damage as health.
On top of this, Dorudugan has extremely punishing basic attacks. It can attack with its arm or with its shield; both do punishing crush damage with at 16 PEN (18 on PotD) and 13 PEN (15 on PotD) respectively; the main difference between the two is that the shield has a faster attack action time. In addition, it can do a cleave (the ability icon looks like a starry explosion) that damages everyone in melee range in a 180-degree half-circle in the direction it is facing. Importantly, Dorudugan prones on any of its basic hits, and frequently this can mean a melee character being knocked down and just barely standing up before being hit by another attack.
All this makes for some brutal grinding, but where the extreme technical aspects of this fight come in are Dorudugan's four special attacks. The first is Helfire Barrage which has an ability icon like Meteor Swarm and launches delayed fireballs in a random scattering in the general direction of its target. They explode in sequence a few seconds later for upwards of 300+ damage. If you haven't lowered your graphic settings to the absolute lowest you can actually see more clearly from the shadows where these fireballs are going and get a headstart on running the other way (so pay attention to the shadows instead of waiting to see where the fireballs are going).
Once Dorudugan gets close to or below Hurt (75% health), it periodically use their second ability: Charge Helstorm (the ability icon looks like Expose Vulnerabilities) which grants them a permanent, stacking Charge Helstorm buff. Once they have three stacks of Charge Helstorm, Dorudugan will use its third ability: Helstorm (the ability icon looks like Delayed Fireball). Helstorm clears all stacks of Charge Helstorm on Dorudugan, and then randomly starts lighting up areas on the ground (~2.5m in radius), which then explode a few seconds later for such high damage that they will basically one-shot anyone. Notably, while Helstorm covers a large area with its random ground explosions, there does appear to be a finite range to the effect, so if you are able to keep Dorudugan in either the top or the bottom of the map it is highly likely that the other side of the map will be generally safe to stand in. Finally, once Dorudugan gets to Bloodied (50% health), they periodically use Magnetic Overdrive (ability icon looks like Flame Shield): after a second of being activated it will pull everyone next to Dorudugan, and will a couple seconds after that do fire damage to everyone within melee range of Dorudugan (around ~100 damage). Importantly, even if a character is immune to engagement or has concentration, the animated disruption from the pull won't wear off quickly enough to permit the character to flee the explosion range. Like Dorudugan's basic attacks, Helstorm and Magnetic Overdrive will interrupt upon hit. While at higher health Dorudugan will space out these special attacks with a long stretch of basic attacks, at lower health Dorudugan will sometimes chain these abilities together in sometimes horrifying fashion (unleashing a Helstorm and then doing Magnetic Overdrive, for example) though still with extended stretches of basic attacks in between these bursts.
All these special abilities add an incredibly technical dimension to the fight. While Rekvu's Scorched Cloak exists and can give one party member fire regeneration, unless you plan on soloing Dorudugan (which itself would be a different type of technical fight) that still leaves up to four other party members who pretty much will be unable to withstand much of the attacks. While your party members might be able to survive an accidental hit from Helfire Barrage or being unable to avoid Magnetic Overdrive, Helstorm is almost assuredly a one-shot kill, not to mention that both Barrage and Helstorm will heal Dorudugan (though not as much from Helstorm) in the process. This means lots of mobility to keep your party members moving around the battlefield, possibly even to kite Dorudugan away from delayed fireballs to prevent it from healing up to 300+ health per explosion.
Adding to this technical dimension is that Dorudugan's sheer tankiness means that temporary buffs and debuffs virtually don't matter: the fight is just so long that only passive or repeatable effects will have much of an impact. Moreover, engagement is a perennial concern, because allies who are engaged by Dorudugan don't have the freedom to run away from Helstorm patches or Helfire barrages, at least without taking a brutal disengagement attack in the process.
Specific itemization notes:
- Rekvu's Scorched Cloak lets one party member that has at least one injury on them to convert any fire damage into a heal for 10% of the original damage. Great for solo-ing, and even for a party means one less person to worry about during a Helstorm or Magnetic Overdrive.
- You'll probably see on the internet that everyone recommends Essence Interrupter, which is a hunting bow in Port Maje that does shock damage. I agree, it is one of the best ways to do damage in this fight. However, do not put this on someone who will have 76% or higher listed accuracy on Dorudugan or who has hit-to-crit, unless you are willing to forfeit what little loot there is in this fight; Essence Interrupter has a bug that can permanently destroy loot when it causes a new creature to spawn upon enemy death.
- Eccea's Arcane Blaster is a pistol that does small raw damage, but for this fight the relevant aspect is the special Imbued Ammunition modal it comes with; it adds good crush/corrode damage. Can be further enchanted with Bullet-Time on a slower character or Fractured Bullet on a faster character. On a fast character, this can outperform Essence Interrupter: the extra effects of imbued ammunition always "hit" for full damage, even if the shot itself grazes.
- Scepters do crush damage at range, which is a way to keep party members away from Dorudugan's brutal basic hits while also keeping them out of engagement range so that they can flee from Helstorm and Helfire Barrage. With scepter proficiency, a flanked Dorudugan, and one melee character re-applying the mace modal, a party equipped with mere superb scepters will have full PEN against Dorudugan, which is hard to beat in terms of ease of gearing up.
- Animancer's Energy Blade does raw damage, though a character in melee range to use the energy blade might rather use a mace or warhammer.
- Cipher's Reaping Knives can be extremely useful if you're not too concerned about getting multiple characters in melee range. This ability will let you bypass any PEN/AR issues against Dorudugan whilst also creating a positive feedback loop in letting the cipher imbue more characters with Reaping Knives (or other support abilities).
- Shattered Vengeance has an effect that on hit has a 33% chance of adding a stacking curse that increases damage done. While most buffs/debuffs are useless in such a long, tanky fight as this megaboss, the stacking curse is permanent and is applied without any additional checks (other than the 33% roll). You can only get a max of five stacks, but that's a permanent +25% damage bonus for any attack against Dorudugan and can significantly help speed up the fight if you're willing to use it.
- Cap of the Laughing Stock is a helm that has an unavoidable passive aura that provides -10 deflection. It affects you as well, but hopefully most of your party members aren't in melee range of Dorudugan, so this provides an irrevocable, persistent way to make Dorudugan easier to hit.
- Any accuracy boost (especially Gauntlets of Greater Reliability) should be given serious consideration.
- Any item that increases stride speed or gives you immunity to push/pull effects or disengagement (Nomad's Brigandine is heavy armor that can be enchanted to provide thus) should be used.
- Strongly consider Grog (the pet), because at the cost of being unable to engage and being utterly destroyed if knocked out, your entire party also gains complete immunity to engagement, which can be a lifesaver if you're unable to stock up on push/pull or disengagement immunity items.
- Because the bulk of the fight is just Dorudugan with straightforward attacks, a single character with engagement immunity (e.g. Grog or Nomad's Brigandine) can just be kept in melee range and then run out of melee range just as Dorudugan starts winding up an attack, forcing Dorudugan to miss due to target being out of range, and giving you basically infinite tanking ability.
On top of all this, chanters and paladins can be very valuable: chanters can summon distracting summons throughout the fight that can help flank, but can also provide chants that increase stride speed, increase reload/ranged recovery speed, and/or slow but persistent healing. In addition, if you have a single-class chanter, the AT9 dragon summon is large enough that you can use it to prevent party members from being sucked into melee/explosion range by Magnetic Overdrive: just make sure the dragon is standing between your party members and Dorudugan. Paladins can provide both an accuracy aura as well as a stride speed aura; their defense aura can be upgraded to provide persistent healing.
Priests can also provide indispensible support. If you're unable to find a safe spot to stand during a Helstorm, and/or you have weakened party members without push/pull immunity as a Magnetic Overdrive begins, Barring Death's Door and Withdraw provide irrevocable protection to those effects. Other classes with invisibility/untargetability effects can also be resilient, specifically rogues (Smoke Veil, Shadowing Beyond, Enduring Shadows) and to a lesser extent rangers (Shadowed Hunters). It would also be wise to stock up on consumables to replicate the untargetability that these effects grant and give a few of these to each party member, especially if you're going the Grog route and can't afford a single knock out (so Potions of Refuge, Potions of Invisibility, and scrolls of Withdraw).
I mentioned what the ability icons for Dorudugan's abilities looked like because you should be paying close attention to what Dorudugan is going to do next because it informs your next move. If you see Dorudugan beginning Helstorm or Helfire Barrage, you should stop everything what you're doing, gather your party members up and get ready to run to the other side of the map. If you see Dorudugan doing a Charge Helstorm, then there's nothing to worry about and it's a time to heal up or get some free damage in. If you see a Magnetic Overdrive being prepared, then it's time to make sure all your squishies are either immune to push/pull, healed up past the point that Magnetic Overdrive will kill them, and/or granted an untargetability effect so they don't get pulled at all.
Note that however tanky Dorudugan is, it is still vulnerable to instakill effects at Near Death. Its high defenses mean it is extremely hard to land them, but for example Petrification (AT9 wizard spell) will still permanently paralyze Dorudugan (resisted down from petrify) if it connects while Dorudugan is at Near Death. Marux Amanth again has the best shot, since deflection is going to be one of the easiest defenses to target and when dual-wielded you get two chances to hit Dorudugan with Marux Amanth's sacrifice ability. Anyway, this means that ciphers, wizards, chanters, or single-class druids can be extra useful for their instant death effects, as can a priest, paladin, or rogue with a soulbound, upgraded Marux Amanth. While most buffs and debuffs aren't useful over the course of such a long fight, doing a quick burst of buffs once Dorudugan hits Near Death to improve accuracy (Devotions for the Faithful, Dire Blessing, Borrowed Instinct, etc.) can be the extra oomph you need to land an instant kill effect and save yourself a quarter of the fight. Even if you only have a one in three chance after all the buffing and debuffing you can do, with enough instakill effects at least one of them will likely land.