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scythesong

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Everything posted by scythesong

  1. The bestiary is more like a diary of what you find out while fighting monsters, and using specific attacks against/killing monsters also gives you more information about their strengths/weaknesses. New "???" just means that you're fighting new types of mobs (there are many kinds of shadows) or that you're fighting mobs of a different level so values like endurance are higher (you can just guestimate that part). It's a very useful resource because among other things it tells you what status effects you can use against them - by now it should tell you that shadows are immune to stuck but not to confuse or even charmed/domination, for example. That should be a point of interest for your 2 ciphers and Aloth. It also tells you their weakest defenses. Stealth is useful for stealing stuff (NPCs won't notice if you steal stuff while undetected), performing sneaky, usually non-violent actions during quests and for unique challenges (during times when the game switches to a kind of choose-your-own-adventure interface). Stealth also has some value for solos. Basically if you don't mind killing everything and don't particularly care how quests are resolved, stealth is probably completely useless to you. Shadows/spirits tend to spawn in groups, yep, and in general they like to use status effects like daze, stun and paralyze especially at higher levels. Durance helps with that, among other things. Priests come with various anti-status effect spells which should make it easy for you to navigate PoE's status effect/crowd control system on your first playthrough.
  2. Spirits are fun. They're an exercise in knowing your options and reminding you that you're not supposed to clear content just because the door is open. Don't forget to check the bestiary for monster weaknesses and the buff/debuff interface on the right side of the character portraits in the bottom of the screen so you know what to watch out for. When in doubt, take the priest. You'll do fine with Kana once you're more experienced. The link MaxQuest gave should help explain the importance of things like deflection. As for skills, the ones that need dedicated investment are Mechanics and Stealth (optional). EVERYONE benefits from having at least 4 points in both Athletics and Survival, however, and characters not taking Mechanics/Stealth can spare 4-8 points in Lore for craftable scrolls with unique bonuses.
  3. Well it could be an accident that resulted in a disease/illness or just a really bad wound. The best we have is Od Nua's ramblings that his son inherited his stubbornness and that he regretted not stopping his son from doing whatever it was the Maros was supposed to be doing on the morning of the incident.
  4. -Od Nua was some kind of noble, yes. -Od Nua lost his son through some kind of accident (no specifics). -It was grief that motivated him to use his vast wealth/power/influence to hire the best minds he could and find push the boundaries of animancy (ie, all kinds of brutal and depraved tests because the "normal" method was too slow - he acknowledges that he pressed his people to do unforgivable things). He went mad at some point. -He built the Endless Paths around some kind of cavern system with lots of adra. -AFAIK we don't really know what the adra statue is for - it's supposed to have an important role, and it's basically some kind of extremely powerful battery/vessel/magnet for souls, but other than that... we do know it that it was a product of Od Nua's madness. -Even then, there was already powerful opposition against animancy. We don't know the specifics, but some of Od Nua's opponents (who saw him as a broken man who had gone too far) were able to infiltrate the Endless Paths but they could not completely destroy Od Nua and what he had wrought. And so they decided to seal him in, instead. -Od Nua cast himself into the adra to cheat death, survive the ages and protect his work - he's in it for the long term, and because crazy. -The fampyrs were the results of Cabiros' hubris and experimentation. Cabiros was already some kind of mad scientist prior his transformation, presumably he just became more insane after. -The animats were also the result of some other animancer's experimentation. -The rise of the adra beetles was a recent development. They're basically just pests (think burrowing rats, so they're everywhere - they were already there in Od Nua's time) but they were driven further above because of the Master Below. -The Master Below was a wyrmling when she first stumbled into the deepest part of the cavern system that would become the Endless Paths. She's been feeding on the adra since, and at some point became powerful enough to wrest control of the Endless Paths away from Od Nua. Od Nua still thinks he can reclaim the Endless Paths at some point because crazy. -The Master Below has great control over various aspects of the Endless Paths. That's how she manages to manipulate or even drive the lords of Caed Nua/settlers of the higher levels of the Endless Paths crazy. She's apparently also a very powerful... telepath? She's not exactly a cipher but she has extremely powerful mental abilities. She can even perform the equivalent of astral projection.
  5. Grieving Mother is indeed an odd case, which is one of the reasons why the character is so interesting. If you ask around in Hadret House you get the impression that ciphers don't just intuitively learn their trade - they have to work at it constantly, and it even took improved relations with the Glanfathan "mind hunters" for them to refine and standardize their cipher techniques. It makes sense for some races to have a natural inclination towards certain soul energy practices, like how delemgans are natural (heh) druids.
  6. Animancers deal with souls directly - they can tell you it's external state and its quality, and the good ones can actually shape, modify, store and transfer souls using PoE science and technology, but they can't actually tell much about its internal state or where it's been. You don't need any special abilities to become an animancer. Ciphers deal with people, minds and memories - that's why they can find traces of a person's passing in inanimate objects. The good ones can also peer into a person's mind and its memories, including notable memories from previous lifetimes, but the method is apparently extremely complicated and can be intrusive, even dangerous - that's why ciphers don't normally go around using their powers on people (and why a lot of them are mistrusted and persecuted). Becoming a cipher apparently requires some talent and lots of mental and physical training. A watcher is a very different kind of animal. A watcher is able to affect souls (much like an animancer) but is able to do so directly, without the need for tools or training. A watcher is also able to study a soul and figure out its present state and history intuitively- there is no "mental" aspect to it like how a cipher does it, so the act is very subtle and not as intrusive. Essentially while a cipher invades the mind, a watcher invades the soul. Skilled watchers are incredibly powerful individuals who are basically able to interact directly with soul energy, which is important because all magic apparently comes from soul energy. This allows them to perform amazing feats. You're either a watcher or you're not - while the possibility exists that someone can become a watcher (it is not explicitly confirmed that the PC was born with the ability), the process is apparently a live-and-become-one-or-die-horribly thing.
  7. I just never use AI outside of auto-attacks TBH, the last thing I want is for Sagani to used Marked Prey on Xaurips or Aloth to use Arcane Assault on moving mobs. It's even worse if I let them use per-rest abilities. For the record I tested the setting and Durance does absolutely nothing against AoE terrify (from a dragon) and just ignores low HP allies.
  8. Any class is fitting because the PC is from another land (note that Dyrwood and all the other Eastern Reach regions are missing from backgrounds/cultures selection). While ciphers are very rare, it does make sense that you'd find one running away from their past. They're like rogues that way. Ciphers simply have interesting dialog options because they specialize in people. That's basically how cipher abilities work - they draw on the soul energy of living beings using the power of their minds.
  9. I'm surprised no one pointed out that from a game perspective it's obviously a dev intent vs player compromise thing. The devs obviously intended for camping supplies to be an important resource, but they didn't want people to waste time lugging massive amounts of loot into/out of dungeons ala the infinity engine backpack weight system. So you instead get a bag of holding by default, and it's up to you to roleplay how that factors into your game. You can simply rationalize that you're actually performing multiple merchant-runs when you finally sell all your loot, for example - the game is simply allowing you to skip all that mindless back-and-forth travel. You people also have to understand that when Bioware abandoned the RPG strategy genre after DA:O we basically lost a decade's worth of progress in that direction. If you turn on the design commentary for the various areas of the game, it should be obvious that the people behind PoE are basically starting from scratch - from rediscovering the importance of negative space to the importance of points of interest/symmetrical balance in maps (this is especially obvious if you track their progress from the original areas maps to more recent maps like WM2's Whitestone Hollow, which is a much better designed wilderness area both visually and mechanically - it even has a unique interaction with Zahua's personal quest). Caed Nua is basically a product of their "Baldur's Gate phase" and should be taken as such. PST and BG2 didn't exactly spring the minds of their developers fully formed - it took a lot of work/time/trial and error/player feedback to get there. And so while Caed Nua may seem rather "meh" hopefully the devs are learning from that experience and will be able to give us a much better experience in the future (and given WM2 content, I'm pretty optimistic).
  10. Second Wind definitely has a lot of weird interactions with a lot of abilities. I suppose it's a good thing that it's not something mobs universally use.
  11. 14 is a magic number for a lot of things really, especially in party play where you have plenty of extra sources of stat boosts.
  12. Actually you can act Benevolent/Passionate around Aufria, though of course you need to establish such dispositions beforehand for a non-paladin. Establishing disposition is the tricky part since there are disposition-increasing dialog options you may not want to take anyway (disposition-based dialog options can be either good or bad, depending on the situation) but it gets a lot easier since these dialog options are practically everywhere. And as far as "evil" paladins are concerned, I think they get a special "make sure you pay me" or "just suck it" dialog option for quests like this. PoE goes the extra mile a bit when it comes to paladin orders by establishing precedents (like the cruel Bleak Walkers, the enterprising Goldpact Knights, and the altruistic Kind Wayfarers).
  13. So you're arguing that classes are restrictive because they don't let you play the way you want to play. You want to play a classless system so you can cherry pick the things you want without suffering any drawbacks. I mean, why even bother adding tanky classes if the wizard - the class that specializes in modifying the battlefield itself and which does well as a crowd control specialist/damage dealer/temporary physical combat specialist - can ALSO stand toe-to-toe against dragons without breaking a sweat. Well unfortunately, PoE's system would eat you alive and spit out your remains in molecule-size if you try to implement that kind of system here. The thing is that in PoE many of your enemies reflect your character and thus, are bound by the same mechanics. Both you and your enemies follow similar character creation guidelines and thus share similar basic strengths/weaknesses - your limitations are also their limitations. Such is the balance of PoE. This isn't Skyrim. Skyrim using the PoE system would be like being constantly forced to fight 3 other dovahkins as a matter course at higher difficulties. Sure, you'd be "unique" and you would not be defined by any preset limitations, but the same would also apply to your enemies. While I guess some people wouldn't mind fighting armies of characters who lack any limitations/weaknesses just as they do, I'm not one of those people. I like a challenge, but masochism is a different thing. PoE does a very good job of giving you dialog options which reflect the type of character you make. Obviously a cleric would be able to comment on faith-related issues, a cipher on issues of the mind and memory, and so on. You are NOT supposed to experience every dialog option in the game. It would be extremely confusing if a benevolent, passionate character suddenly had the option to murder a fellow party-mate that's only supposed to be available to cruel characters, or for your elf to somehow have firsthand experience about the bitter hardships hearth orlans have to deal with, or for your goody-two-shoes paladin to suddenly intimately know about the rituals practiced by some cult to an evil god.
  14. Your problem is that you are overthinking this. You should just play the game and let your experience determine your future opinions. Also, PoE's class system is not based on profession, and even D&D tries very hard to shake off that trope except it seems the players don't seem to want to get rid of it. So in PoE fighters can be sneaky, have a clever disposition and can be intelligent and perceptive. This means that they can be competent spies and thieves instead of just traditional soldiers. A PoE rogue can have a brutally honest disposition and be athletic/wilderness-savvy instead of sneaky. This means that they can be wilderness guides or traders instead of burglars. In PoE, each class is designed around having different specialties in combat, specialities that will ALWAYS be a part of that class unless you go out of your way to reject them (in which case, it's your loss). These specialties show up as class-specific talents and abilities (eg. spellcasting). Fighters, for example, will always have a tanky element. It's practically intrinsic to the class unless you go out of your way to create a squishy fighter, for whatever reason. The character creation window should give you enough info about each class and what they can do so you know what to expect when you choose your class. If you think the information there is not enough though, feel free to ask around here about what unique thing each class brings to the table.
  15. That's a bit ironic since the game allows you to play pretty much however you want, the class system helps bring order to the chaos by giving you a "default" specialty which you can work on subverting if you really want to.
  16. Off topic, but Charisma does have value in BG2. It's the reason why there's a lot of people playing the game who have rarely/never seen opposing NPCs come to blows all these years. It's by far the cheapest stat though because of the Ring of Human Influence, assuming you wear the ring 24/7. In any case BG2 can get away with putting a lot less emphasis on stats because it's set in a very high magic world - for example, mages in BG2 can stop time and healing someone to full is as simple as pointing a Rod of Resurrection at them. Compared to the Forgotten Realms, PoE's Eora might as well still be in the Stone Age. Still, the point of all the mocking is the principle of the thing. If this were BG2 OP would probably be complaining that it sucks that mages lack access to most weapons, thieving abilities, the rogue XP progression, etc because, in his own words, he wants to "have a full experience". He obviously wants everything. You can argue that in BG2 an FMT could likely give him some semblance of what he wants, the same way that in PoE you can actually use respecs+crafty stat distribution+ ability boosts to give your character some semblance of being a jack-of-all-trades stat-wise, but obviously this is not a help/knowledge thread. On topic, it's really hot in these parts atm. Stupid climate change, I blame the devs.
  17. "Odd" build run is more fitting than "hybrid", imo. I've been playing around with the concept of a full melee ranger and I think a beastmaster-type ranger can be really nasty as one. I've seen Itumaak (Sagani's companion) graze kith in exceptional plate for upwards of 50 damage with just the animal companion damage feats (Merciless/Vicious Companion). I had been wondering who was destroying heavily armored mobs while everyone else was ignoring them and was pleasantly surprised that it was the "annoying afk summon". You're going to run out of non-ranged ranger feats so getting the damaging companion feats make sense. You can even keep Predator's Sense up almost indefinitely using weapons with the Wounding property. Edit: Bah, Tidefall ranger variant already mentioned
  18. For the record you cannot fully remove the fog of war unless you have someone stand in that location indefinitely. Personally I'm not a big fan of chanter tanks since there's a lot of other nice things they can be doing, and while the build is definitely solid you already get one with Kana anyway.
  19. And that belief system is crucial. The best example we have is of the priestess of Magran who loses the power to light the Defiance City braziers because of doubt. Thaos and Iovarra also shed more light into Durance's doubt which, given his enraged reaction, seems far more serious than he lets on. While it's indeed possible that Durance simply has a very unique and powerful soul, if we go by the explanation that requires the least "ifs" and excuses then the one that makes the most sense is that there's something else that's giving Durance power, something Magranic and something so powerful that it is able to shield him from Magran herself during the Council of Stars. I believe that if she had seen him then, she would have tried to destroy him. Thaos definitely agrees in your conversation with him. For the record I was not being metaphorical when I said that Durance was yet able to channel Magran's power. I was being literal, with respect to the godhammer and the events that followed. That's kind of the whole point of my argument, that Magran was working through him and the other priests directly and inadvertently left a piece of herself in Durance (which explains all the Magranic iconography that follows him around regardless of his doubt). Durance, in turn, manages to keep surviving thanks to you.
  20. Basically turning PoE into the equivalent of a hack-and-slash game? That's a very different can of worms. Games that do that ultimately become all about repetition (whether through grinding enemies or doing constant reloads to get something good out of a container). The resulting meta is inevitable. I can understand making random items available in a store with sky-high prices (helps out solos, who have more cash than they know what to do with) and I can understand tweaking the RNG system a bit so the odds of getting a previous drop goes down (which works out given the sheer number of random loot containers). I can even understand doing both so people doing parties can simply buy copies of the RNG item they want by carefully managing their cash. But the point of random loot in this game is to add diversity to each game you play, I doubt that the devs wanted PoE to end up as another mass-reload-for-loot game. Of course, they can also just go with the IWD2 method - add the RNG container at the very end of the dungeon, but loot is determined the very moment you enter it. It was cruel but it also worked very well, and random loot became just that in IWD2. No one blamed you for not wasting hours of your life trying to get the game's most powerful flaming death greataxe weapon that you really didn't need anyway. It also had the interesting side effect of elevating sneaky types, since they could just sneak to the very end of the dungeon and check the loot.
  21. Hardly a good comparison since the BG thief can force higher level NPCs to spawn earlier and can surround himself with them thanks to faster level progression. They can jumpstart party XP/progress with thieving skills, can steal nice items from stores, can block doorways with stealth, can backstab annoying casters and can trap everything to death if you feel like cheesing stuff. The bard can do a lot of that as well as cast spells, use wands and has on-demand fear protection with his song. Even the vanilla versions are much higher on the power tier than your average fighter, as long as you don't actually play them like fighters. Anyway PoE is much more combat-heavy and in that respect classes all have their specialties as well as pros/cons, so that everyone has the potential to be useful. Some classes are trickier to figure out than others though... the learning curve is an important factor especially for classes/builds that are ability-reliant. In that respect, at least, there are classes in PoE like the BG thief/bard.
  22. I would not recommend it. If you're going for 8 lore you can juggle it with survival though, and it would be thematically appropriate - you're not exactly stealthy but you're very knowledgeable about outdoor topics, so you know whether to simply avoid dangerous stuff for example. Mechanics-wise, good survival gives you a selection of useful defensive and offensive bonuses when you use camping supplies (which you'll be doing often). Ideally you want stealth on someone who only has 4 or less points in two or so other skills, same for mechanics. Ability boosts come in two general flavors - resting bonuses and gear. Resting bonus and gear boosts stack, but only the strongest from each category is used. More info on that here.
  23. Sounds about right. Note that reaching 4 points in lore, survival and athletics is easy (about 2-3 levels worth of points) which gives you plenty of points to develop your "main" skill (survival, stealth, even mechanics if you don't mind deferring to someone else for early game). The thing about skills is that the cost to increase them rises sharply after 8 or so points, so that you'll be waiting multiple levels just to increase them a further 1 point. This is rarely worth it, except for skills like Mechanics and Stealth. You'll want at least 12 points in mechanics for detecting traps and secrets/opening locks and more stealth delays enemy detection. For most other skills you usually aim for breakpoints. 4 lore is a good stopping point because of Scrolls of Protection/Defense, for example. 8 lore is another good stopping point, for dialog interactions and Scrolls of Moonwell/Valor. 4 Survival is a good stopping point for the accuracy bonus, so is 8 (for the healing bonus). 10 sounds like a good stopping number for survival (accuracy bonus increase) but you can just stop at 8 and let an item boost you to 10. Around 4 athletics prevents you from getting injuries/incurring fatigue from various challenges and dialog options, and gives you an OK heal.
  24. You have to understand that the PoE dwarf is different from the D&D dwarf. PoE dwarves are still tenacious and have a propensity for being pragmatic, but because of the way the world of PoE works (also, the current cycle isn't as old as many D&D settings) they're more known for being explorers and trailblazers rather than builders. Think Aragorn, subtract height, that's the typical PoE dwarf. Beer guzzling/grumpiness/aloofness is optional. Boreal Dwarves are basically the northern variety, at home in snowy wilderness areas. Nothing wrong with a dwarf monk mechanics-wise, and story-wise it makes sense that a wandering dwarf would also be some kind of ascetic. Feel free to pick any background/origin, though from your description an Ixamitl Plains Philosopher or White that Wends Explorer make sense. A few points in lore for scrolls is always nice to have (at least 4 for Scrolls of Protection/Defense), and around 4 points in Athletics/Survival is always useful for any physical combat character. You can dump the rest into Survival, Stealth or Mechanics if you want. From your description, Mig: x Con: x Dex: 14-16 Per: 14-16 Int: x Res: x makes sense from a dialogue perspective. You need good Perception to open up many of the subtle/wise dialogue options, and IMO you need at least 14 Dexterity to be considered "nimble". That should leave you enough points to develop your other stats, as other people have advised. There's no measure for actual wisdom outside of how you employ your options. If you want your character to be talkative, just avoid the Stoic disposition.
  25. Basically you have to give him closure by lying at the end of his personal quest, that in the vision you saw (with the help of a cipher) Waidwen was able to convince his brother to fight for Readceras, instead of simply telling him the truth (that the details of the vision were vague).
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