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xzar_monty

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xzar_monty last won the day on March 13

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About xzar_monty

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  1. I understand what you're getting at, and to a certain extent I absolutely agree with you (I have essentially no experience with D2, so my only comment on that game is that it didn't interest me; I can't say anything about the items). My main point is that in balancing the game system to such an extent, Obsidian have also removed some of the edge from the game. All items work, all builds are feasible, and so much of everything is interchangeable. There is no question that a mythic item is significantly better than a fine one, but as you progress in the game, you will find plenty of first fine and eventually superb items which will easily allow you to compete with just about anything. I haven't found anything that made me go wow and think that this is something I'm going to hold on to. I realized the other day that it had been a while since I'd gone through my loot and checked whether anything was interesting. I had just picked everything up and then forgotten about it. There are so frigging many items, even unique items, that after a while they cease to matter -- I suppose I have never even tried 80 per cent of the unique items I've found. They're just something you carry around. Now, I absolutely agree that you can check everything out and optimize your party. But you don't have to. It doesn't really matter whether you do that or not. You'll do just fine in any case. (Again, I am happy to accept that things are different on PotD with all the challenges on, but I'm not interested in that, although I do agree that it's a viable way to go. I would also accept that you probably need optimization to deal with the mega bosses, but again, I am not interested. I think it's great that they're there, it's a nice idea, but I'm also happy that they're entirely optional.) Now, I understand that this is a perfectly logical result of the way the game is designed, and as such, it's somewhat unavoidable. But it still takes something out of the game, at least in my view. The problem was already there in PoE: the only two items that I really liked were Tidefall and Persistence, everything else was something you could use but could just as easily do without. There is a big difference when you compare the game to something like BG2 where some items keep you excited for quite some time (and yes, I agree that some items are overpowered, which is a different problem).
  2. I agree: beating N down is most of all boring. That's the thing. It's such a grind. Incidentally, I am now at Bekarna's observatory, and there's a pretty tough fight there, too. But it's really interesting! How can you use the architecture to your advantage, and so on.
  3. Oh, I completely own up to my ignorance on this point, no question. But you know, in retrospect this feels pretty weird: I have never felt any want or need to be able to swap Grimoires before. If anything, Aloth knows many more spells than he ever uses, and the ones he uses are very good indeed. I believe this, once again, reflects the perhaps-overly-balanced system of the game in general: everything is as effective as everything else. The same goes for items: for the most part, everything works just as fine as everything else. As I'm probably nearing the end of my playthrough, I'm beginning to feel that the storytelling in the game is good, it's very enjoyable, but the mechanics side is a little bland. There's no loot that gets you excited, because everything is as good as everything else -- my inventory is full of unique items I have never used that make me go ho-hum at best. It's not that anything is poor, it's just that everything is roughly the same.
  4. I don't like to play this way at all. I don't like to see the dialogue options I'm not qualified for. It is very immersion-breaking for me, because the underlying mechanisms of the game become too obvious and highlighted. I prefer to "go blind" in this sense, it's much more enjoyable for me. Apparently there is way to deal with N without fighting, but either I didn't have high enough attributes or I didn't choose the right options. That's fine with me: I chose what I felt was best, and if that leads into a fight, I'm fine with that. (I wasn't looking for a fight.)
  5. Their strategies are the same to an extent, but I suppose some of the messenger's relevant stats and/or defences must be significantly lower because that was not a concern. It is possible that I destroyed it before the safeguard even came on, or I may have been able to interrupt its casting without noticing it was about to come on. As I said, the safeguard (that is cast at least three times in succession for a total of about 360 seconds) does not make the fight that much more difficult, it only turns it into a grind that doesn't feel worthwhile. Running around and waiting for the NPC assistants to come on again feels fairly naff. The DLC is excellent, no question. It's just that this one fight seriously sucks, in my view. I did a bit of googling, and it appears that this is a fairly common opinion.
  6. A monk has better unarmed penetration than a superb mace at the point I am in (or maybe equal, and can definitely be bettered with Haymaker). And yes, I know all about Expose vulnerabilities, Rusted armor etc., but the point sort of is that their duration is negligible compared to the duration of N's safeguard. It's something along the lines of 120 seconds versus maybe 10 seconds. As I said, I had two Rusted armor scrolls, and one of them missed; the other lasted for about ten seconds, which isn't much. I have checked SSS a bit and indeed didn't enjoy it very much: there was very little storytelling but plenty of fighting, it seemed. I'm totally fine about skipping much/most of it, that's no big deal. I have now finished BoW, and I thought that apart from N, it was excellent. Really well written. Funnily enough, btw, the very last fight against a big bad boss was a lot better, less cheesy and more interesting than the dragon fight.
  7. Well, for me, with my experience of the game so far, I would maintain that the difference between Neriscyrlas and everything else so far is huge. No difficulties with flame blights, flame nagas or anything else like that. With those, for example, the combination of what's available (like, for instance, there's no way all five of my group have the equivalent of stiletto and arquebus equipped) has always been good enough. Also: nearly all monsters you can get a look at, think about and even retreat from to gather your resources or refine your strategy. Not so with Neriscyrlas.
  8. Just out of interest: why did you buy the new ship? At level 16, I haven't yet seen anything that would suggest there'd be any need to buy ship upgrades, much less a new ship. They're just not necessary. Of course, things might change in late-game, and if it's about that, please don't tell.
  9. I've got no Paladins or Druids in the party. Grimoires can't be switched in battle. None of my party members specializes in one special thing. Interesting what you say about fampyrs: I haven't had any difficulty with them whatsoever. Not using guns on skeleton warriors is obvious, given their structure, and besides, even if I do have a gun equipped (which I do), I can always switch to a melee weapon when skeleton warriors come around. The big cheesy thing for me is the (at least) thrice-cast Safeguard which changes the complexion of the battle completely. And in this, the main thing is that it happens when you've already spent a lot of resources without knowing that that's what the dragon's gonna do. I mean, it's perfectly ok that it uses it, but the amount of time that it casts it and the amount of the time the spell lasts per casting turns the battle into a heck of a useless grind. If you come perfectly prepared, things are going to be a lot easier, but that's meta-gaming again. So, when you come into battle the first time, chances are it's going to turn into a huge grind midway through, and that's just cheesy. Or, then you come in knowing what to expect and prepared for it, and that's cheesy too. I don't think it's a good fight. In PoE, the Alpine Dragon battle was poor and cheesy, but not because of the difficult dragon itself. It was because of those spirits suddenly teleporting in -- it looked like pure cheating from the game developers, and that was disappointing.
  10. Yeah, burn is probably the best damage to deal, but there again: you have to have plenty of burn damage options prepared before battle. You can't go to your inventory in battle. If you didn't have the right stuff, well, it becomes cheesy again.
  11. His armor goes up to 19 with the Safeguard. Even with meal boosts (which I had), it is very difficult to bring penetration close to that. You can bring his armor down with Rusted Armor scroll, for example, but given that he has the Safeguard for at least approximately 300 seconds (he casts it at least three times), one scroll is going to reduce his armor for approximately 5% of that time. I had two of those scrolls equipped before the battle (and you cannot re-equip in battle). One of them hit, and the other missed, so their effect was close to nil. I was able to deactivate the Safeguard with the arcane dampener (was that was it called?) spell, twice, but again, these amounted up to for about 10% of the spell's duration. I would still argue that this is cheese because you need prior meta-game knowledge before you can make even close to optional choices. Like with Kangaxx. I agree that there are multiple ways for both, but the fight is still designed in a way that is not so much challenging, it's just wildly annoying. Hands down the worst fight in the game (so far) in this sense. It's not the difficulty as such, it's that without those optional choice made before the battle (either by chance or through meta-gaming), the battle is such a huge grind.
  12. Veteran. First and only playthrough -- it's obvious to me that the game has zero replay value. There are ways of making the spell end quicker, but these entail having the right stuff available (as you can't switch spellbooks or scrolls during a fight). Also, the power Neriscyrlas gets on the spell (90 seconds or so, and it can add to it by using its siphon, so maybe 120 seconds or so per casting) is a lot longer that what you can get on your dampeners or insectoid stuff, for instance. What I'm saying is that it's doable if 1) you meta-game, i.e. check out what you need to do, or 2) you just happen to have the right stuff equipped, or 3) you are willing to grind it out by running around for at least three castings of that spell (given how unlikely it is that you can interrupt the casting -- and yes, I know the thrust of tattered veils, for instance, but you'll have to have some luck to get everything work at the right time). And so, to me this combinations spells CHEESE in capital letters. I agree with your last point. The way the game is made doesn't really lend itself to properly challenging enemies, only HP stuff. BoW has been excellent so far. The Bridge Aflame in particular was superb -- boy that was well done. So, Neriscyrlas after that was a huge disappointment.
  13. Some people on these forums have -- quite justifiably -- criticised Baldur's Gate II for its cheesy fights where you have to know just the right things, otherwise you're doomed. I just came across a dragon called Neriscyrlas and noticed that it is pure BG2 chesse through and through. Reason being: it uses a very specific super-powerful ability to make itself quite invulnerable, and you have to know beforehand that it does so if you want to have a good chance of survival. When you start the fight, it'll take some before its strategy becomes obvious, and at that point your resources are likely to have diminished quite a bit. Also, if you do not have the right spells and/or scrolls prepared, you have to run around the map (or otherwise waste time) rather a lot. My solution was to give up on the third time it did its "yo! you can't hit me now!" type of thing, and set the difficulty real low. Grinding it out is just not worth it, I can't see how there could be a proper reward. Worst-planned fight in the game, hands down. It's cheese, through and through, because you have to meta-game (i.e. know your tricks beforehand) in order to get a good chance.
  14. That's an interesting BG2 choice indeed: to do the quests before Underdark or not. If you do, the whole of Chapter 6 is just that one encounter with Bodhi, there's nothing else, and nothing of significance anywhere else in Athkatla.
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