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Jaheiras Witness

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Everything posted by Jaheiras Witness

  1. I don’t know how feasible, realistic or difficult it is: but I would really love an SCS type AI mod for PoE. The Thaos fight is a great example of why it is needed: you are facing a multi-milennia old Priest of Woedica...who doesn’t even cast Consecrated Ground. All throughtout the game you see bizarre use of abilities: fighters using Vigorous Defence when they are near death rather than at the start of combat. Priests who don’t use their Radiance. Wizards are like vanilla BG wizards, launching straight into magic missiles and fireballs instead of using Arcane Veil, Spirit Shield and Wizard’s Double first before going into their arsenal. There is so much potential to improve the challenge just through slightly more optimal AI, without going down the enhanced stats route like PotD. How about letting the player face a Dragon Thrashed chanter to see how we like it? Or a priest that uses really basic buffs to make his teammates stronger rather than going straight into Divine Mark? Or a cipher that uses beams against the player? There’s so much scope!
  2. Jez Watt, Solo Monk (Hard), Part 4 Caed Nua. This is always a good test for solo to see if a character build has a future. In theory Jez Watt should do well, with FOR such a strong point. But it can go south very fast if the phantoms land some stuns and sneak attacks. All the wounds in the world won't help if I'm stunned and cannot react. Will-o-Wisp is dispatched without drama. Once inside the keep I pick up Whispers of Yenwood and scout the location of the spirits. Now let's prepare. I go to the crafting menu to prepare some much needed scrolls. Oh dear. Apparently I am missing velune gems. In fact I cannot craft any level 2 scrolls. So much for Lore 4. Time for Plan B: It's all change. I have highlighted 3 things. 1) We ain't punching here. I cannot risk going into this fight with flimsy defences. So Whispers of Yenwood (enchanted to Fine and with Burning Lash) is paired with the Larder Door (also enchanted to Fine). This gets me +2 CON (+4 FOR) from the sword as well as +20 DEF from the shield. The flip side is I have -8 ACC from the shield and I lose the fast damage output of the fists. But one thing that does remain is my full attack option from Torment's Reach: the Larder Door has bash, so the full attack will be utilised. 2) I have managed to get FOR to 88 (with the help also of food and drugs, including cookies and goldrot chew). This is the best I can do right now, and includes the +2 CON from the sword, as well as the minor cloak of protection replacing Fulvano's Amulet for another +5. With my coastal aumaua racial ability my effective FOR will be 108; not bad at all (from memory I managed to get to 116 with Jazz Wit using the 'At the Sight of their Comrades' phrase). My DEF is also respectable at 60, so with a bit of luck I may get some misses and grazes from the main attacks as well. 3) I have Bulwark potions for some extra DR against freeze damage and Fan of Flames scrolls for AoE damage of my own. Nothing else to do but give it a shot. Not a great start. Bulwark has been drunk but the first Fan of Flames scroll has only grazed one opponent. Ok this is now officially bad. I'm stunned, but worse I have 3 opponents engaging me rather than 2, including 2 phantoms. Why did I choose this corner rather than the other one?! This could be over very quickly. The fight is back in the balance. On the positive side the phantoms are struggling to land any stuns (look at all those misses with additional effect). Their freeze damage is also heavily reduced thanks to bulwark. But on the negative side I am struggling to launch an attack. I have wounds accumulating but I am dazed, with slow weapons equipped, and I keep getting interrupted when I finally act (which is annoyingly also cancelling the order). Let's try something else. That's more like it. In the end that was...way more comfortable than it should have been. Look at all those misses for stun in the above screenshot. That's like 9 misses in a row. I think the phantoms had something like -58 on their roll (ACC - FOR) but even with that penalty they should have 27% chance (I think) to graze? Seems like the dice really fell in my favour. My Torment's Reach with sword and shield really did not work. You can see also in above screenshot that I launched two just in this phase of combat with very little effect, so had to resort to Fan of Flames to finish things off. But that's the tradeoff between defence and offence; and with this result, I guess I did the right thing by prioritising defence. In any case, that's an important milestone passed. Let's proceed!
  3. (Or DoT damage if you have any) (You can also keep drinking vital essence on top of each other to restore health) (Also Psychovampiric Shield / Borrowed Instinct from your Cipher, probably at the statues rather than Thaos, both to weaken them and to improve your Cipher’s numbers) (Another one: if your base ACC and defences aren’t up to scratch, it’s your priest that needs to make the difference: Inspiring Radiance, Champion’s Boon, Shields for the Faithful et al. You can’t have your priest tied up trying to heal or revive everyone. Each character should be responsible for their own healing while the priest is buffing)
  4. What a stressful fight! Think you’ll find a way. You need to suppress Thaos’ buffs. That’s where his sky high defences are coming from.
  5. Jez Watt, Solo Monk (Hard), Part 3 Anslog's Compass. The below screenshot shows what I mean about the real damage of Torment's Reach. The combat log states 20 crush damage but the real damage of this blow was 37 (and Torment's Reach is a full attack, which means both my fists get to strike). I used Potions of Power and Eldritch Aim for the main xaurip fight (= boosting offence rather than defence). The xaurip skirmisher managed only 2 paralyse grazes before it was dispatched. This is the easiest I've ever managed to win this fight. Only one winner in this fist fight (look at the difference in damage). We brought artillery for this bust up. Madhmr Bridge was a breeze and we got the Hermit's Hat. I rested at the xaurip camp before returning to Gilded Vale to complete Aufra's quest, and then entered the Temple of Eothas. Defensive potions in order for the phantom and oozes: minor recovery and bulwark. The phantom only managed two attacks and did not land a stun. Note again the damage difference in the combat log (15) and the real damage on screen (28). Rest and resupply for the big challenge next - Caed Nua.
  6. Btw the damage you see in the combat log from Torment's Reach is not the true damage. The combat log only shows the base damage, it does not show the +50% that Torment's Reach does, or the -2 MIG penalty. Also so far I have not faced big groups at chokepoints. Torment's Reach will be even more spectacular when that happens .
  7. Jez Watt, Solo Monk (Hard), Part 2 Beat up the bandits in Valewood to rescue Tenfrith. Wolves were also defeated (fights are over very quickly once I have a few wounds and can spam Torment's Reach). I reached level 3 in Gilded Vale as I handed in the Tenfrith quest and rested to advance the main plot. Mechanics increased to 4 and ability chosen was Swift Strikes. I was unable to save Foelmar in Magran's Fork as the wolves went for him first. This was a brutal fight and I took a lot of damage before I could end things with Torment's Reach spam. Punching a forest troll to death. Ludrana fight was also quite brutal, lots of wounds generated (but you can see how quickly the opponents were killed in the bottom half of the combat log as I started to spam Torment's Reach). I rested in the Black Meadow before the bandit fight, which saw the trolls also join the fray. I returned to Gilded Vale via Esternwood (ran into Kolsc on the road to Raedric's Hold). Rested and resupplied at the Black Hound before returning to Valewood to get Fulvano's gloves and take on the bear cave. The Wizard's Double opening was not too successful. My base DEF is too bad to keep Wizard's Double up. This is one of the dynamics in PoE combat: some abilities/items are only any good if you are already respectably good at what you are trying to improve. It's a bit like IWD2...if your base AC or saving throws are already very bad, there's little point trying to improve them (who cares if you have a 90% chance to fail or 80%...you're still likely going to fail and would be better off trying to fix something else). So instead I decide to maximise my offence rather than mitigate my defence: Potion of Power + Swift Strikes + Torment's Reach spam... Turns out the speed bonuses of Potion of Power and Swift Strikes do not stack. I thought they might stack since one is an item and the other an ability, but I guess they are both considered active effects. Will have to bear that in mind for the future. Baby bear follows mommy bear in the blink of an eye (feel a bit bad for that ). I returned to Gilded Vale and completed the quest, which got me to level 4. Lore increased to 4 (will need level 2 scrolls for Caed Nua) and I took the Lightning Strikes talent. This adds a shock lash to my fists when Swift Strikes is active. Updated character record. You can see the difference to the Jazz Wit run in the damage ratio: I'm doing approximately 5x damage inflicted vs received where the chanter was 2x for most of the game (before Dragon Thrashed). That's the difference in the classes and approach to the game. The chanter was a defensive character (turtle and let the phantom kill) whereas the monk is an offensive character (punch fast and use wounds to generate more damage, before endurance runs out). Yet when you look at the stat distribution and race, the two characters are so similar (chanter had more INT and less DEX, that's about it). The class, abilities and build style make all the difference.
  8. Congrats @Alesia! Looking forward to the final battle report and the catch up (seems like you completed WM1 as well? But not WM2?)
  9. Jez Watt, Solo Monk (Hard), Part 1 "Here I go again on my own Going down the only road I've ever known Like a drifter I was born to walk alone And I've made up my mind I ain't wasting no more time" (Same settings as last attempt, Hard difficulty) Let's look at strengths and weaknesses. Strengths are in green: lots of health and endurance, great damage from "dual wielding" fists (which will increase throughout the game as Transcendent Suffering improves), high Accuracy and good FOR defence. But I have two big weaknesses (in red): my DEF defence is bad and will not improve much as I am not using a shield. That means I will get hit. A lot. And crit. A lot. Good job I have some use from incoming damage, isn't it? But it has to be carefully managed. And my REF defence is beyond bad, again with no solution. No weapon & shield style to redeem it. So I will be getting blasted by anything that targets REF. But that usually means non-fatal afflictions (Hobbled et al) or more damage, which I can again turn into wounds. There's some thought gone into this... First of hopefully many crits that Jez Watt will land... Jez Watt is cleaning house. Calisca is barely getting a look in. Heodan joins the party... ...but not for very long. With no weapons equipped, Jez Watt can't rescue him in the scripted encounter. You know what I was saying about my REF defence... Yikes! Almost one-shot. That could have been embarrassing. But after a short pause for Second Wind, we can now use those wounds to spam Torment's Reach. We exited the ruins to the cut scene and the start of the solo. At level 2 I increased Lore, Mechanics and Survival all to 2 and Stealth to 3. Talent choice is Veteran's Recovery. Rested to remove the fatigue and that's the end of part 1.
  10. So it looks like the Fighter wins, yeah? Monks are fun, surprised the perception of them is a little negative. They have really good attacking options. The difficulty (which I will no doubt soon encounter) is managing incoming damage. Positioning is very important, you cannot afford to get swamped. The great thing is Torment's Reach has a lovely arc AoE (like Fan of Flames)...perfect for fighting at chokepoints.
  11. There are 5 places where you can get Gloves of Manipulation. 2 are in Raedric’s Keep (library desk and bedroom chest). You can also find them in Lle a Rhemen (the web sac), Endless Paths L3 (ogre throne) and Galvino’s Workshop.
  12. So I have two ideas for next solo character and I would be interested to hear what you guys think and what you would prefer to see. 1) Wild Orlan Fighter MIG 13 CON 10 DEX 8 PER 20 INT 19 RES 8 This will be a dashing sword and shield fighter who relies on extreme accuracy to land plenty of crits. Will make heavy use of scrolls (for both defence and offence) and a certain talent I intend to take at level 2 to redress the odds. Could be a fragile character with low FOR and HPs – getting past Caed Nua will be a challenge. 2) Coastal Aumaua Monk MIG 21 CON 18 DEX 6 PER 10 INT 14 RES 9 This will be a brutal, punching monk who will smash anything in his path with Swift Strikes and Torment’s Reach. Formidable and durable, though early game could be tricky due to relatively poor DEF, and REF will always be a disaster. Level 7 onwards could be spectacular as a certain ability makes an appearance. Let me know what you think
  13. Don't worry, you don't have to feel bad. If no-one had suggested anything I would have done Endless Paths anyway since I was already at Caed Nua. Before I reflect on the particular battle, a general reflection on Dragon Thrashed and whether I was complacent because it was too easy. I don't think so. There is no question that Dragon Thrashed is very powerful and turns a lot of fights into cakewalks. I was also overlevelled for the areas I was doing and had more consumables than I knew what to do with. But as I looked ahead to the remaining challenges, Adragans and the Adra Dragon (which has its own bunch of adragans as minions, and which I totally intended to fight) were the main fights I was concerned about. Everything else would have been trivial. That's partly why I feel frustrated. It takes a lot of work to get this far and I knew the game was more or less won other than a few fights which required proper concentration and strategy. Adragans were on that list and I was concentrating for this battle, with preparations and a strategy worked out. It was execution (and some bad, but not terrible, luck) that let me down. I also will not whinge (too much) about adragans and more specifically the petrify affliction. In relation to other afflictions and gameplay in general, it is silly, unbalanced and badly implemented. Biggest issue is the base 20 second duration for a hit from an adragan. If it were half that it would still be very strong but more balanced. For a solo character stun/paralyse and petrify are the killer afflictions; but mainly the latter as there are many options to deal with the former. When adragans, which are meant to be just a "normal" opponent in the pwgra/delmegan line, are 100x more dangerous than most bosses and big setpiece encounters, you know there is a balance problem. But I do understand the game was not necessarily meant for solo play and petrify is mainly a solo problem. Looking back on the fight, there were several things that went wrong. 1) I did not get the scroll of defence off. Pure speed + interrupt issue. My RES was well buffed for this fight (at 13) so it was not a RES dump problem. But there was a DEX issue (next point). The other thing I could have done in hindsight is take a +speed foodbuff (Farmer's Spread or Goldrot Chew) to retreat further at the start of the fight, to buy myself fractionally more time to get buffs up. 2) DEX dump finally bit me as I just was not fast enough to get the defences up. Actually it probably was not the DEX dump itself: I have completed succesful solo no-reloads with chanter with dumped DEX. It was more DEX buffing (I was up to only 5; in previous runthroughs I've been around 8 due to the Deadfire belt which I chose not to buy in this playthrough because it is so powerful) in combination with... 3) Sanguine Plate finally killed me, but not how I expected. The Frenzy was bad in the sense I could not see my HPs when I recovered from the first Petrify, but I could well have been dead from that petrify without Frenzy (because of the +4 CON). No, what killed me was the 50% recovery penalty on top of my DEX. In previous playthroughs I have used lighter armour (including the pirate uniforms before they nerfed the +20 to +9). I was getting hit so infrequently and had so many regeneration and healing options that I should not have bothered maxing DR and instead gone with something lighter with less recovery. 4) The vital essence potion was a mistake. I should have drunk endurance (would have healed probably x2 damage that vital essence did). Looking back I was fresh before the fight, my health could not possibly have been in danger. I should have maxed endurance healing. 5) A bit of bad luck as well. The adragan had only a 19% chance to hit with the first petrify; it would have been nil if the scroll of defence had been read. A graze there and I probably would have recovered just fine with the huge endurance pool I had. 6) The resting and Salty Mast missing bonuses. In hindsight I should have done these fights before finishing Act 2. The Dracogen rest bonus and Lyrinia's boon that I had up before gave me +4 MIG and +4 CON (along with other stuff)...that's +16 FOR, which in itself would almost have eliminated the chance of a hit from the first Petrify. 7) I could have waited one more level. The talent I was intending to take at level 12 was Bear's Fortitude, which was another +10 FOR. But continuing to Elmshore would also have involved Adragans (unless I skipped everything in stealth), so I'm not worrying too much about this. So plenty to think about and some lessons learned. I am not too disheartened because I have successfully done this challenge before, so it's not a regret from the achievement perspective; and in any case the main purpose of doing this run was just to get familiar with the game again after nearly a year of not playing. I am just annoyed from a time investment perspective. I don't have as much time to play as some lucky souls and it took a long time to get this far, only to be back at square one. The good news is I will have more time to play over christmas as I have quite a bit of time off work. I don't think I will do another chanter run immediately. I think it has to be a melee class; I don't have the inclination or patience right now to play a micromanagement class such as a spellcaster. Paladins are a no-go from roleplaying perspective. I should probably also rule barbarian out since Frenzy will get me killed for sure at some point. No interest in ranger. Also not rogue since it's not a class I particularly like in PoE and I'll let Alesia figure that route out. So might have to be Fighter or Monk I guess. Thoughts, opinions and feedback welcome
  14. Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 23 No chances to be taken: we even choke down some dragon meat! I know what my sequence will be here: protection, defence, beetles, bulwark, paralyse (invocation). Scroll of Protection first. O. M. G. 12.8 seconds of Petrify! It was a hit for 20.4 seconds, shortened to 12.8 due to the scroll. Looking at the combat log, a hit was only 19% chance. If I had got the Scroll of Defence off, there would have been no chance of hit, it would have been a graze for a few seconds only. But I was too slow I am in deep trouble. In just a second or so after being petrified I have already taken over 150 damage. Frenzy has also triggered, which will increase my endurance, but I now cannot see my hit points. It's all over. There's more and more stuff whacking me for horrendous damage. I then get dominated as well just to rub it in. Hang on. That's a...good thing?! I'm on their side now, they're going to stop attacking me! They walked away :D I survived petrification! I can't believe it. But no time to rest on laurels, there's still a fight to be won. I'm still frenzied so don't know my health situation, but it can't be good. But what do I do? Endurance potion? Beetles for distraction? Scroll to boost defences? I decide on Vital Essence. That's probably somewhere near 100 points of healing after various modifiers such as MIG and it deals with health as well as endurance. We'll go for Scroll of Defence next (and then renew Protection). It was all going too well and becoming too easy. I am too sad and annoyed right now, will write closing thoughts later.
  15. Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 22 Sole vote was for Endless Paths and since we are at Caed Nua anyway, it makes logical sense to do that next. Level 7 includes Adragan fights. One slight concern: I have no rest or Salty Mast bonuses. The Thaos sequence at the end of Act 2 acts as a rest, refreshing your per rest items and abilities (as well as health) but it wipes out your previous rest bonuses and boons. That's annoying. I don't need to rest (fresh as a daisy), I don't like resting for the sake of it, and I can't get any Salty Mast bonuses until I have been to Twin Elms. So just have to press on. First Adragan fight. It's just one adragan but I am not taking chances; I have food buffs, scrolls of protection and defence, and the adra beetle comes out to play. I threw out fear and re-charmed the dominated adra beetle. Not too difficult. Other rooms are fairly trivial. Erm, what's going on here? I have killed them all but combat is not ending and my chant counter continues to rise. Is it a bug? No, it turns out I have managed to aggro the adjoining room through solid walls! (Dragon Thrashed radius most likely cause) Ogres summoned for the first time (since chant counter was already at max - normally fights don't last long enough to chant 5 phrases!). Water room is last to be cleared. Now for the main adragan battle...
  16. Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 21 Lots of drake fighting at Searing Falls. The fear auras resulted in regular crits (my Will defence is far from my strong point) which caused Frenzy, but little effort was required as Dragon Thrashed did its thing. I decided to use the choke point for the Cail the Silent fight. Cail helped out by frying some of its own minions with its breath. Once in position I put my buffs up (Protection, Prayer against Fear et al). Despite being immune to fire, Cail was already injured by the time it managed to engage me (from the slashing element of Dragon Thrashed). Yikes: a single attack takes a third of my endurance. That was despite Sanguine Plate and Bulwark of the Elements (38 points of DR). Very rare Jazz Wit takes damage like this, but he still has plenty more endurance and the outcome is not in doubt. This is a wonderful weapon that is unfortunately not much use for Jazz Wit. Part of the reason I want to do a Fighter or Barbarian playthrough soon is to make good use of this weapon. Back to Defiance Bay to tie up loose ends; the Captain Emery fight: The phantom gets a now rare outing: I burn a load of cash for Dragon Meat dishes (nothing else to spend it on!) You can see I'm still hanging on to an eclectic range of weapons for no particular reason. More bandits on the way to the hearings. I returned to Caed Nua after the riots and completing the 'Call to Court' quest go me to level 11 (Mechanics increased to 11 and took the Silver Knights Shields chant). Another 10k copper thrown at hiring troops too. I now have 3 options regarding where to go next (and willing to listen to requests or suggestions): (1) Endless Paths levels 7-14; (2) White March; or (3) start Act 3 and head towards Twin Elms.
  17. Another thing related to Derrin quest and finding people...I’m glad PoE doesn’t go down the DAO route for instance of sticking markers on people you need to talk to to advance a quest. That’s just silly. But PoE has its own problem for named characters...essentially anybody named (other than backers) is involved in a quest so you know you should speak to them. That makes it too easy to both find and solve quests. I would much prefer a system where anybody you didn’t know was unnamed, so it would be harder to know who to talk to, and who is involved in a quest and who is just plain background filler. Much more realistic that way than having a name which equates to “talk to me”. Wish future games would go down that route.
  18. @Alesia: your experience of the inverse relation between duration and quality is mine too! I try to do sessions of around 1 hour play; sometimes a bit more, sometimes less. That’s why I am on part 20 or something of Jazz Wit and still in Act 2. I am amazed at people who manage to complete and write up a full playthrough in 4 to 5 updates. I think some people have done 3 or 4 playthroughs (with a full party) while I am crawling my way with just 1 character (when 1 character should really be so much faster than issuing 6 x instructions). You can find Derrin’s killer btw. Won’t spoil it in case you don’t know. Check out the dagger description for a clue.
  19. The importance of Vital Essence potions for every party member cannot be overstated! Could you have forced knockout from endurance loss by disengaging? Great update, looking forward to next one!
  20. I agree that build is impractical, esoecially if you are playing no-reload. Tbf a lot of builds in this forum might be “fun” on the occasions you can get an opportunity to unload but are not serious builds if you are playing intensively and for survival (basically any time I see a CON 3 and/or RES 3 build, I know it’s an impractical character).
  21. Oh good, just wanted to ensure you didn’t think Mech 6 was enough based on early game! The really high level traps are WM and Cragholdt but tbh difficulty 10+ are common even in Act 2 of main game. Because of the increasing cost of going up in skills, you need to plan ahead and ensure whoever you want to get to high Mech score doesn’t waste too many points on other skills in early game. Apologies I didn’t realise you had injuries on, I misread your opening post. That’s good for balancing; sometimes it can be better not to revive a character in combat if they will be severely disabled and low in health. I noticed you had the “good stuff” (Vital Essence, Defence, Protection etc) in your quick slots in the screenshots, nothing wrong with those choices. For quickslots I generally have 2 slots “blocked out” for healing endurance and health (healing potion + vital essence). The remaining 2 slots (or 4 with Deep Pockets) are variable depending on what I’m facing, and can be scrolls, potions or figurines. Metaknowledge clearly helps. I don’t have Prayer vs Fear normally for instance, except when I know I need it
  22. @semiticgod: you mentioned capping Mechanics at 6 for a single character. Your decision but I would not recommend that. Minimum really should be 10, I would suggest 12+ as better number (highest difficulty trap is 17 I think, to give you some context). Using scrolls of Revival might work since you have injuries turned off. Normally a revived character should be at a significant handicap because of injury which can even make them a liability. It seems like you are going down the “cure” rather than “prevention” route.
  23. Nothing mutually exclusive about Cladhaliath and Shame or Glory. You can get Clad in Act 3 even if you don’t side with Dozens. It’s a great party weapon because you can effectively choose its enchantments.
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