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Everything posted by thestigma

  1. Honestly the basis for most fights is to control the crowd. that doesn't necessarily mean incapacitating them (although that certainly help) but primarily just making sure that the situation unfolds such that tanks are doing the tanking and the squishies are left alone. Once you are in that situation most battles are half-won already unless you are woefully underleveled or have some basic build "mistake" like trying to make a DPS build out of your "tank". Party generally happen when aggro gets out of control and then your squishies die and the tanks are left to a slow inevitable death without backup. Once you have a somewhat stable front-line engagement going on it's mostly just a matter of applying debuffs and then damage, usually AoE in some sort of optimal manner (ie. preferably clustered enemies), and if you can then try to disable, delay or nuke down things like mages or casters in general that can generate nasty surprises. Damage heaping up on your tank is something fairly predictable you can handle. A mage dropping a confuse on your tank on the other hand can turn an otherwise easy fight into a massacre... so keep those "extra threats" in mind. If in an extra tricky fight - use some pre-fight setup. There are some buffs you can apply before batte, and many traps can be especially handy. Many of the priest seal-traps are just BRUTAL if used correctly. I put this in general terms because the Raderic fight is really nothing "special" in terms of how you have to handle it. There are some casters combined with some tough melee, but aside from that nothing that really requires you to radically alter the base-strategy that you can apply for most fights. -Stigma
  2. "It took the form of a metal sphere, twelve feet in diameter, full of volatile explosive reactants. Builders theorized that it would unleash more destruction than a fully-grown drake’s breath by an exponential margin." By that description it sounds a lot closer to a sizable car-bomb than a tactical nuke (and primarily chemical/alchemical based). No reason to think that this wouldn't kill a "god made flesh" just as well. It would be enough to destroy anything biological for sure, and we don't really have any measure of what level of defense a god-avatar would have anyway. I think it's enough to conclude that it was an attack with a power of an order of magnitude above anything else available in the setting. Within the setting that seems more than sufficient and plausible enough. -Stigma
  3. Urgh - yea, off-topic but I just haaate that they chose to use "the same, but not same" names for a lot of the monsters. "Fampyr", "Guls", "Wichts" - really? ... REALLY? *facepalm* I mean, what's the point. It can't be because of copyright issues (for all of them at least) because I'm pretty sure you can't copyright "vampire". If you want to be different just to be different then that's OK I guess, but at least make some effort to make a different creature if that's your goal. Taking a D&D creature and switching around 2 letters and going "LOOK - ITS ORIGINAL NOW!" just makes my head hurt (from all the facepalming). Xaurips also to a lesser extent... They are so obviously just Kobolds under a different name. Same'ish looks, behaviour, culture ect. For petes sake - if you want to use kobolds in your setting just use kobolds. If not, make something else. I half expected to run into a creature name "lioon" or something of that nature after seeing this pattern go on and on... Ok, sorry, rant over. Back on topic -Stigma
  4. I thought the same thing immediately as soon as I realized that the "dream" cutscene was the same every time you rested. From a design point of view there is really no point to having that happen more than once (or maybe occasionally at random) unless there is supposed to be different content in there - and from a storytelling/lore point of view it seems like fertile ground for adding more hits of lore and a general feeling of mystery. I'll bet that this was a planned feature that go dropped due to time constraints. They probably made the rest sequence mechanics with the intentions of filling them out later (something you could fluff out fairly easily later on as part of end-level polish) but just never got around to it and the placeholder for all the 1+n scenes just remained there... I haven't gotten very far in the game yet, but if what others have written above is correct and there are actually other references to thes dreams later on then this seems to support this tentative conclusion. -Stigma
  5. Even though I think it felt a bit clumsy and "obvious exposition time" I like how they put in that small part in the prelude after picking up the berries where you get asked a few basic questions about your backstory, and that to some degree gets cemented as a base for the character (heck it shows up in your bio). For all its flaws in execution it gives a good base to build on. Most people I think will play this game by making a character way before they invent any sort of background story - and this gets you started in a nice way. For my part I don't think there can ever be too much/enough roleplay in an RPG, and having some backstory to base your character on is crucial in thinking of them as anything more than some strategical combat unit. -Stigma
  6. Well I don't have the stats here to look at for comparison so i can't see if you have missed anything... but assuming that there is no other difference than what you have stated then I'd point out that mace might still have an edge just because there are almost zero enemies that do not have 3 or more DR, so unless you have talents or spells or something that add more penetration to your weapon above and beyond those 3 points it seems like they would almost always come into play - and then even that single point of extra damage might actually be better. Also as you say - slashing damage is one of those damage types that tend to have some problems dealing with certain enemies. I haven't tallied up the DR on all the enemies to conclude that it is "worse" than crushing, but I have a sneaking suspicion that crushing is a little more reliable, especially against typical "hard shell" heavy armor. All in all there are a lot of very similar weapons in the game with only very small variations to them, so I wouldn't worry too much. You are probably just as well off choosing what you think is nicest for roleplay or aesthetic reasons - or what weapon type happens to synergize with other weapons in a weapon focus that you would also like to use. -Stigma
  7. In PoE a priest is much like a wizard - a squishy but powerful caster. You don't want him in the frontline. They are nothing like D&D clerics. I mean, you CAN put nearly any class in melee in PoE because anyone can wear armor and to some degree stack deflection through the right gear - but it won't be very optimized. From an optimization standpoint - go with anything ranged, combined with light or no armor. slow vs fast ranged is a matter of preference on casters. Slower weapons will do better DPS on most medium/hard targets due to how DR works, but they come with the drawback of putting your essential casters into long recovery time - and during that time they are unavailiable to cast those spells that you often need good timing on (CC spells in particular) - so it is absolutely valid to sacrifice some damage with a faster weapon in order to have them be more responsive I think. Guns are obvious slow-choices, but if you don't like guns arquebuses are about as good. If you want something a bit faster then a bow or a rod/scepter/wand. They are fairly reliable. -Stigma
  8. Well gee, thanks for making me uncertain again right after I kind of made up my mind lol =P By the way - those things in your signature, are those video recorded ironman playthoughs? I'm a sucker for that kind of thing. -Stigma
  9. Thanks for a lot of good input. I wish there was more of consensus about how the POTD stats are actually inflated though (one guy says +15accuray/defence and the other says +50% which are not only huge differences but also completely different scaling). I understand that the information might not be easily available though so it's not like I'm complaining I think I am leaning to stick with my game on hard - not because I don't think I could handle POTD, but because I think that risks the game turning "more annoying" rather than "harder". Kind of wish there was a middle-ground with POTD number of enemies but not inflated stats (or just a very slight boost and/or a decent amount more endurance for enemies so they take more punishment). If it's true that some enemies get as much as +50% stats increases that I'm sure would just make it so that abilities aren't really reliable anymore - and that just makes for too random combat and frustration. I don't want to have to cast some spell 3 times over to make it stick. If things get a bit on the easy side on hard I guess I can just make my own fun by having more opportunities to experiment with abilities and spells that aren't strictly optimal. Too optimized usually results in very narrow rinse&repeat strategies. Again, thanks for the feedback so far -Stigma
  10. which you can do with anyone, with scrolls instead if need be. so you're saying a priest is a giant walking scroll. frankly, I typically use durance as offensive caster instead of buffer. seals are the things that are brutally effective and unique to priests. so no, I don't agree with your assesment. Those seals are pretty brutal aye... preplacable AoE trap that knockdowns all the incoming enemies for half the duration of the encounter? yes plz -Stigma
  11. Ah, excellent information. I'd expect there to be some fairly flat system like that added to the normal stats so that makes sense. So basically its more enemies, and the enemies will hit you a bit easier and you will miss a bit more (but 15 more doesn't sound insurmountable. Thanks a lot for the info -Stigma
  12. Does anyone have some sort of concrete stats-comparison between hard enemies and POTD enemies - so I can make my own evaluation? -Stigma
  13. Hey all, I'm sure this info is elsewhere but I wasn't able to find it in searches so I hope you don't mind me asking too much. What are the concrete differences between hard and POTD? I know hard has more enemies than normal, but otherwise the same class of enemies (not buffed beyond "normal rules). POTD has "buffed" creatures I have heard, but how much? Is there any place I can maybe see how POTD creatures stats look compared to normal/hard? (do they show with enhanced stats in the beastiary maybe, or are the enhancements "invisible" ?). Is it also the case that POTD has even more enemies than hard? The only reference I've seen to this is some mention in a thread about there being "twice as many as on hard" but I'd like some confirmation or refinement on that statement. Here's the thing - after spending a lot of time playing around at the start of the game, playing with builds and such I feel I have a good grasp of the game without having spoiled the content of the game too much, and hard seems maybe a bit on the easy side. I hear people say that if anything it is the early-game that is a bit tougher than average (raderics hold, eothas ect. assuming you don't outlevel it). I have my PC, Eder, Aloth and Durance as my starting core party, and I've allowed myself to rebuid the companions (keeping the classes though) so they are essentially like hirelings - a bit more optimized. I do this primarily because I'm anal about details like this and it would annoy me otherwise, but I really want the interactions. With this, the early game seems a bit on the easy side. Many "normal" encounters feel a bit trivial - they are over before I can use up my pr-encounter abilities a lot of the time, and even with 2 casters in a party of 4 spells aren't really needed until I bump into "hard" encounters. Does it only get easier from there on out? If so then I am kind of considering POTD for my first playthrough - even though I am not really into the whole "challange runs" thing. I am playing for enjoyment of the game primarily. I just don't want content to turn trivial as combat is a major part of the game after all. To be fair though I haven't played through more than the starting parts of the game - so I don't know how this tends to scale later on. I am just going by what I've read a few places. My main fear about POTD is that I don't want to play a game in which enemies have "cheaty" stats to the point where abilities turn very unreliable because everything gets resisted. I can't do a ton to influence the accuracy of most abilities anyway, and "resist, resist,resist" isn't hard - it's just frustrating and random. Just "more, and more dangerous" enemies on the other hand I wouldn't mind much. Can anyone with experience of both hard and POTD give me some feedback and insight into this? -Stigma
  14. Hey, I'm wondering how I should aim my skill-setup to be for the party, but these skills are a bit all over the place in terms of their use it seems... Mechanics is invaluable - so im running one companion as my expert lockpicker/trapmaster. dont see any reason to have this on the PC. Lore is nice for conversations (and the occational scroll use, even though I'm not such a huge fan of relying on consumables too much),so im running that as my PC's area of expertise. but the rest...? Everyone needs like 2, maybe 3 points into athletics, but beyond that there seems to be little point as it starts to scale so badly, and by then you kind of have all the stamina you need between rests anyway... that's not many points spent. Stealth, everyone should maybe have 1-2 points just for basic "just exploring" stealth ability I guess, but again - that's a trivial amount of your overall points. I guess its nice for the main tank to have decent stealth to get good positioning easier before a battle, but the rest don't really need stealth I think and finally - survival... I know it has some dialogue options, but that's ONLY if the PC has the skill at a decent level right? Is there any real reason to have this at a high level on a companion? Are there are sequences where you get to use companions high survival skill to your advantage? If not then the extra cunsomable durations seem fairly trivial (and seeminly scale even more poorly after the first few levels...) Any advice? Especialyl about the stuff regarding survival on a companion. Between my PC, Aloth and Eder I kind of already have all the bases covered I feel - including scouting/stealth (on Eder). Just wondering if there is any appreciable reason to run survival on Durance (he'd fit the theme for sure). It's not really like I have anything else important to use the points on but... -Stigma
  15. You make a very good point about expansions... I heard about potential expansions up to 20, and i that is the case then shapeshift with current scaling will continute to drop down in usefulness from "meh" to "near-useless". There is a lot of wonky balancing left to be done - but it's not unexpected for such a new system. D&D was refined over decades after all. They will probably tweak a lot of systems in time for an expansion. They have a lot of freedom to do what needs to be done after all considering they are making up their own rules and not adapting an existing set - so that's one benefit of it I suppose. (I still kinda wish this game was D&D based but oh well..) -Stigma
  16. Wizards in PoE I have to agree don't make a ton of sense in many ways... In D&D they generally had the most powerful spells, at least in terms of damage, so careful preselection was a big part of a wizards strategy. In PoE the wizard doesn't really seem to have a better selection that druids - but they are MUCH more restricted in what they have available at any given time. It also doesn't help that a lot of wizard spells are self-buffs which honestly make little sense and rarely get used (and are pretty weaksauce in any case). Wizards also don't have any sort of monopoly on DPS spells. Druids get at least as good spells in this sense. If anything they have better AoE damage selection. The only thing wizards might edge druids out in is some slightly better CC (but druids are no slouches in this category either). All in all it is very hard to justify a wizard over a druid. A druid is much less squishy (heck shapechange at the start of the game wrecks anything so badly you don't even need spells - but you can still cast them while shapechanged and you can do so every battle. A druid is also very unrestricted. You get all the spells - cast whatever you want when you want. Wizards need not only to learn the spells, but then also need to make a small selection of them to actually use - or get penalized heavily for swapping grimories mid-battle. It's probably too late to make sweeping changes at this point buy I think druids need to have some versatility in spells, but not as strong offensive ones as wizards - and wizards probably could stand to have a little more freedom. At least a few more grimoire-slots to work with. Maybe a way to upgrade grimoires (I don't think that exists, but I haven't played too far in the game yet either so I might be wrong on that point). -Stigma
  17. Rangers aren't like in D&D. They don't get spells, but they do get some active abilities. Mark prey is one of those (and it's a per-encounter because it is not a spell by the way, so use it often). Think of druids more as range-focused rouges with pets in PoE. Druids and priests unlike wizards and ciphers (and chanters?) get all the spells for free immediately. No need to learn anything. If you can cast level 3 spells you can cast all of them. It does sort of require that you sit down and familiarize yourself a bit with the spell selection when they get new ones - but you quickly find your favorites through use. They still have casting limits pr rest however so they aren't as overpowered as it may seem - they just have a lot of versatility right off the bat. -Stigma
  18. They are all fairly similar, but I think the thing to keep in mind is how shapeshift scales with level (or rather how it does not scale much). At the start of the game shapeshift (and the bear in general due to higher DR) is downright gamebreaking because almost nothing will do more than minimum damage to you (whiel you have relatively huge damage output). As the game goes on however, that DR that used to be so high relative to enemy strenght will become very mediocre at best - and not suited to tanking. That's why if you are willing to sacrifice a little power at the start for a little power later on I'd rather recommend one of the forms that have some sort of active ability that can help CC or debuff. Even in shapeshift form you will want to avoid melee against powerful enemies late-game and focus on casting, so I think that wolf makes a lot of sense because that knockdown will give you a great escape-mechanism if you get engageed. Just knock them down and then get away. I think this is probably a better ability to have than the other ones that you can have because by this point you will have so many debuffs and other such things to work with anyway that a bear-roar just isn't going to be doing a while lot for a batter. Better to have that oh-**** button to keep your druid alive when an engagement goes sour and the tanks fail to pick up all the aggro. In general I think shapeshift needs some rebalancing. It is way too powerful early, but then becomes very "meh" later on. For being such a core feature of a class (with talents tied to it and all) It needs to scale way more simply put to stay relevant. -Stigma
  19. No, you cast just as fast with any weapon. With a very slow weapon however you will be unable to cast for a long time after a shot however due to the extensive cooldown. That results in many situations where you need to cast an important crowd-control spell right now - but you are forced into a long wait-cycle. With a fast weapon you can react to the situation much better (but as mentioned before, due to how DR works in this game and considering how many enemies have fairly high DR, fast weapons can tend to be somewhat ineffective against tough enemies). -Stigma
  20. Honestly Cipher works with most weapon setups. The only strong recommendation I have is that you avoid a pure melee build, because ciphers are frail and built for damage and CC - so you probably want to use light or no armor for extra speed, making them one of the squishiest classes aside from wizards. It's not that you absolutely can't do melee, but with ranged you won't have to compromise your damage output and spellcasting potential nearly as much. Other than that there are basically 2 way to go - either go for that huge alpha-damage that a arquebus or blunderbuss can give you (which sets you up with enough focus to finish many encounters right there) or go with very fast weapons to maximize your draining whip potential (+2 pr hit). The former tends to be more effective in the strict sense since PoE has so many enemies with high DR that fast weapons are pretty strongly penalized (especially the tougher the fight is), but it is also a little unreliable in the sense that a single miss at the start of combat leaves you with no focus-gain and a long wait-time before you can do much else. Fast weapons enable you to be more responsive and cast stuff when you NEED to do so - rather than having to wait on a huge cooldown before you can actually spend that focus. You said no guns, but the blunderbuss has to be mentioned for the cipher since it works by shooting 6 individual attacks all in one. that means 6x draining whip. Even if you do almost no damage due to high DR (blunderbuss is obviously more suceptible to that) a hit will gain you at LEAST 12 focus regardless. With the right talents (and even the chanter reload chant) to back it up the blunderbuss is a very strong potential build for cipher. If not the blunderbuss then it's really a matter of preference in fast (less DPS against tough targets but more reactive and flexible) or slow ranged weapons (more DPS potential , less reliable, less flexible). You won't be gimping yourself either way I think. -Stigma
  21. It all depends on the build. Just knowing a "damage number" tells you nothing. A huge slow weapon will do massive damage, but your DPS might not be great because it is so slow anyway, and a blunderbuss will absolutely decimate a target with very low DR (rare) but it might turn almost useless against a tough foe. In general though I wouldn't expect a chanter to do massive damage, even with a fairly offensive build. A chanter is a buffer and off-tank, not really a damage-dealer. For that sort of thing you want rouges, ciphers (if you include spells), rangers or even barbarians - and comparing the damage numbers that sneak-attacking rouge with a 2-hander might produce to a chanter with a shield or dual-wirlding, well... it's neither a fair comparison nor a very useful one. -Stigma
  22. I think the general consensus is that the best 2 choices are: Corrode: because fairly few enemies tend to have very high resistance to it - so it is reliable or Fire: Because although some enemies have high fire resistance, some enemies (a lot of the undead/vessel types for example, which you seem to come across fairly often) are very vulnerable to it. So the choice depends on how much you value consistency (and how much you hate certain enemies - I know a lot of people get frustrated with Shadows and the like and wouldn't mind extra firepower against those sorts of enemies). If unsure, stick with corrode. Can't really go wrong with that I feel. -Stigma
  23. I think the "aggro" system is a lot simpler than people imagine it to be. For the most part the AI will typically just attack the closest target, and if that target gets too far away and there is a new closer target then it will sometimes switch to that new closest target. There seems to be a few exceptions like with the teleporting shadows. They seem to go for weak characters - probably based on their deflection ratings or something similar. Quite annoying considering there is essentialy no way to prevent them from engaging your squishies, so it doesn't exactly open up for much strategy (the best you can do is just to CC or nuke the threats to your squishies after they teleport - leading to having to babysit squishies rather than attempting some sort of battle-formation that makes sense). Aside from the very basic target-choosing of most AI there is the engagement-system of course. A fighter has multiple means of increasing his amount of engagement-slots, and once those enemies get locked in they very strongly tend to not want to move and risk a disengagement-hit. I don't think I've ever seen an enemy disengage to go for another party member even if the disengagement-risk is pretty low, so again I think this is an example of very "dumb" and non-flexible AI. Using this to your advantage certainly helps lock enemies to your fighters location, but I tend to find that it usually isn't really required. If your tank is positioned as "the obvious target" then the AI tends to go for him anyway. Engaging enemies is actually more useful as a mechanic as a means of pulling an enemy away from an ally that already got engaged by the enemy - but you still have to move your squishy away and face that disengagement, so it's not exactly a taunt. Engagement also does very little to help in those harder cases that don't follow the basic target-choosing method - such as with the shadows. When they just teleport around they seem to ignore engagement anyway so... It is useful to know that engagement doesn't actually prevent enemies from attacking someone else - it just prevents them from moving away from the spot they are at, so your fighter coming up to engage an enemy that is beating up your mage doesn't really do anything on it own. You still have to get that mage out of range of the enemy (and probably take a lot of damage disengaging) for him to get away. All the engagement from your fighter does is to prevent the enemy from chasing (and thus the AI will be turning its attention to the fighter as he is the only one that it can attack without moving). The current system strongly favors starting a battle with proper positioning - and letting the pieces fall into eachother. Once they meet in melee there are strong disincentives to move anyone - and nothing really changes in the front-line positioning until targets start dropping. It's not very dynamic and it doesn't allow for much strategy beyond that initial positioning (which is all about getting the AI to target your tanks really) I'm not a big fan of the engagement system. I like the D&D threat system a whole lot more (although that is designed to work more in a turn-based grid-system and turns messy and hard to follow for most people in a real-time, no-grid game like this and previous Obsidian games). I feel that you either have to commit to a design where you use turnbased grid and the detailoriented aproach to combat that this allows - or otherwise go a completely different route that simplifies the system to adapt to real-time combat (like the sort of agro-level and taunts that we see so many MMOs use). The current system in PoE just seems fairly arbitrary and mostly just about exploiting the dumb AI moreso than it is about strategy. The AI is certainly not a strong point of this game, and honestly doesn't feel any different or better than the old Obsidian games (but maybe that was the plan...) Personally I'd love to see games like Baldurs game and PoE as-is, except with D&D rules in a turnbased grid/hex. The only game that actually tried to do that was Temple of elemental evil - but that game had so many other flaws that it didn't really measure up (and I don't think that had anything to do with the actual mechanics of the combat). -Stigma
  24. I'm in the same boat. I'm a bit of a control-freak in regards to things like this, but playing with only custom characters is out of the question. Companion interactions and such is such an essential part of these sorts of games that I won't throw that away. Apparently IEmod has a respec function, but I've heard that this is "buggy", though I've never heard anyone say exactly WHAT is bugged with it... I suppose the other way to handle it is to just make an effort to get your companions relativly early, and then make manual edits to stats and talents via cheat commands. As long as you don't mess around with this more than you have to I have a hard time seeing how swapping out a talent or moving some stat points around could bug out anything. -Stigma
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