Improving the Build
Any guide on Steam ends with the previous section, because most of the time, authors forget that there is no perfect build.
Above, the default Emberquaker is discussed, there's no need to talk about that. We want to improve it!
Emberquakers work pretty good without any further improvement, but out-of-the-box thinking never hurts! Especially in the case of Torchlight II and it's predecessors. Most of the engineer players want the very best they can squeeze out of their favourite toon.
Emberquake is a sophisticated cookie-cutter, the skillset has no major flaws, I had a hard job at improving it in any way. The main skills are mandatory and have not much competitor, the only way to improve the base build is choosing the right optional sklls.
Emberquake has only one competition, Flame Hammer. While Flame Hammer's splinters won't convey weapon effects and they do inferior damage, charged Flame Hammer releases a lot more splinter. Endgame, the damage potential hardly evens out with charge usage.
- Force Field
Force Field has no competition, the closest thing in the game offers only a fraction of the same defense with a chance to not activate at all. You can't improve your defense further through skills.
- Healing Bot
Healing Bot also has no competition, engineers have no other skill that generates mana.
- Fire Bash
Fire Bash is a rare sight in Emberquaker builds and I don't know why. Emberquake's damage is mostly pure fire, increasing that by 50% never hurts. If you have a shield, don't forget to max Fire Bash!
Emberquake builds have lots of stat plans. It was the worst before the 1.22 patch, as elemental melee weapons were quite rare. Most common stat plans are pure Focus and pure Strength, both works, but neither is perfect.
- Pure Focus
It's flaws are obvious, the critical hits do underwhelming damage and it's close to mandatory to use an elemental melee weapon with it. It was considered to be the best stat plan until some players started calculations on the mechanics of Emberquake.
- Pure Strength
Another stat plan with flaws. critical hits will hit for slightly more damage, but the base damage is reduced in the process.
- Enough Strength to hit critical damage cap and rest in Focus
Calculations indicated, that in fully enchanted endgame gear, Strength beats Focus until the character hits critical hit cap, after that, Focus increases the base damage better. With the 1.22 patch, highend elemental melee weapons came, giving the players the required simplification in the damage formula.
Stat Distribution until hitting lvl100 should be something straightforward in order to equip gear earlier. In short, starting equipment of an Emberquaker should be a unique one-handed mace of a decent level and at some high level rare items with attribute bonuses.
Hammer of Retribution is one of the best weapons and it is relatively easy to gamble for, making it an ideal guideline.
Hammer of Retribution requires 186, that should be guideline while leveling.
While Emberquakers need fairly high dexterity to increase critical chance, most of it will come from enchants.
Again, Hammer of Retribution serves as a guideline, it requires 104 focus.
Emberquakers often use shields as described in this guide, but the required vitality heavily depends on the choosen shield. My personal preference, Parma's Coal-Burner has a block chance of 45%, it caps with ~100 vitality and a Blocking VI spell.
This could be translated to a 2-0-1-0 with 2 spare point each level, but I'd recommend 3-0-2 until ~lvl60, that way the character can equip weapons earlier.
While the skillset and the right stat distribution is only a minor tweak on the Emberquaker, the right mainhand weapon can improve it heavily. In the beginning, Emberquakers choosed the highest DPS, it still happens most of the time.
On the other hand, Emberquake has the potential, to deal even higher damage with spell trigger chance or DoT stacking, which leads to this part.Mainhand
is the key of many builds, one can approach the build in many ways, I'll list the more important ones.
The old-fashioned way to choose mainhand is choosing by the DPS it is capable of, preferring high elemental damage. Elemental damage weapons gain advantage of both high Strength and Focus scores. Some of the new legendaries introduced in the 1.22 patch can do quite heavy elemental weapon DPS, comparable to Emberquake's innate magic damage.
Arcgap's Vice, Shards of Cobalt and Axe of the Elder One all work, Arcgap's Vice being the best without question. Smithereen is also a good choice for it's immense physical damage and utility.
Critical strike chance is the best way to socket them as it improves both magic and weapon DPS overall, but attack speed and pure physical damage can work too. Gems to look out for: Skull of Whorlbarb, Skull of Vastok and Vellinque Skull.
One can try spell-trigger build, which improves the damage better than high weapon DPS does. Glacial Spike immoblizes foes and does ~7000 base damage at lvl100, Meteor does similar damage in avarage. They have low chance to proc, but their damage makes up for it.
Arcgap's Vice is again one of the best choices, but Hammer of Retribution beats it without doubt with it's incredible 25% chance to cast Glacial Spike. Hammer of Retribution is still one of the best choices for any Emberquake as it was before the 1.22 patch.
Glacial Spike, Meteor, Thunder and possibly Lightning are good procs on both weapon and socketable. Gems to look out for: Eye of Aleera, Eye of the Dragon and Yellow Basilisk Eye.
One can try stacking damage over time in the mainhand weapon, it works well, because Emberquake is one of the best skills for DoT stacking. Because this approach concentrates on physical damage over time it's recommended to use Ember Reach
in the build to increase the damage output. Using a DoT build one should concentrate more on Focus.
Any ilvl105 unique 1hander works well, as they all have 4 sockets, but Netherrealm Hammer looks better than the others and it has some innate damage over time as well.
Sockets are the soul of this approach, Zardon's Mighty Skull and DoT Blood Embers are the ones to look out for.Offhand
should be a shield, as Emberquake doesn't require an offhand weapon to be effective. Choosing a shield is an important part of the build, it determines the required vitality to hit the 75% block cap. It is common mistake is to choose Old Master Q
over the better shields, so I'm providing some examples:
- Parma's Coal-Burner
Parma's Coal-Burner is a relatively easy-to-get, high-end shield which does the thing we expect from it: blocks. It's whopping 45% chance to block is quite impressive, you won't need hundreds of vitality to reach the block cap with it. Also, it is fairly easy to equip at low levels if you already have one.
It grants heavy health and mana regeneration and the highest damage reduction based on the number of monsters around. It's unique bonuses make up for it's underwhelming block chance.