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Jaheiras Witness

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  1. Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 20 This will be a short update since nothing particularly interesting happened. Completed Dyrford quests and Through Death's Gate. Opponents were hopelessly outmatched so it was more of a waltz than an adventuring session. Here's an example from the Blood Legacy quest: You can see the enemy cipher actually managed to paralyse me near the start of the fight, for a very healthy 9.6 seconds duration. And in all that time, the opponents managed to do 46 points of damage to me. I'm sure I regenerate more than that in 9.6 seconds. They didn't even land a critical hit (to trigger Frenzy) when I wasn't even moving Then you have these sporelings in Cliaban Rilag: Ok it was a bit cruel of me to drink Wizard's Double. But we have ACC 35 vs DEF 131, for a -96 penalty. They cannot even graze me on a roll of 100. Remember when phantoms were scary? Just rabble now. In fact this is the most trouble I had in this quest: Jazz Wit twisted his ankle leaping across the gap. His Athletics is only 3 and he used a rite when going in, which has long since expired. This means I now have to rest for the first time in forever (I think Raedric's Keep was the last time!) Back at Caed Nua to drive away some bandits: Next up is Searing Falls before returning to Defiance Bay to complete Act 2.
  2. You also need to factor in that PER shifts entire brackets by 1% because of the miss/graze/hit/crit system. It’s not just 1% increased chance to hit, it’s 1% more to graze (rather than miss) and 1% more to crit (rather than hit). You’re shifting everything to the right. That’s why in your example where you say “10% greater chance is not much help when you are already 80%” is not accurate...you are now 10% more likely to crit (increased from 30% if 80% chance to hit to 40% if 90% likely to hit). So I agree with you on PER vs DEX. I disagree with you on PER vs MIG because you are only considering damage rather than defence. MIG boosts healing and increases FOR rather than REF (FOR is way more important than REF). So I consider MIG to be more important generally (though clearly depends in part on build and role of the character).
  3. Indeed, PotD gives enemies +15 ACC, +15 to all defences and more endurance (not sure exactly how much, something like 50% I reckon)
  4. I’ve been writing this post for a while and the mention of druids has made me finish it. This is my ranking of classes for solo no-reload play. I wanted to write it out to give others considering a solo attempt something to think about; and also to give myself a list of other classes to try. And by putting Rogues as bottom, when I know Alesia has mentioned that will be her first attempt, I am inviting a “take that” smackdown when she waltzes through with ease All personal opinion, feel free to agree or disagree and provide your reasons The A Team: Eminently Possible (Chanter, Paladin, Wizard) Chanter: the class that would dual wield shields if it were possible. Never needs to swing a weapon, can spend all day using buff after buff. Phantom summon carries you through the early game and gets gamechanging ‘Dragon Thrashed’ chant as soon as level 9. Summary: #effortless Paladin: the class with the best defences. Can pick up Outworn Buckler for even more very early on too. Lots of good abilities at lower levels although can run out of anything good to pick in the mid-levels. Gamechanging ability arrives at level 13, which is quite a long wait. Offence is limited until then and can result in tedium. Summary: #bored Wizard: the class that can do anything. So fragile without spells but a juggernaut if you manage to get your buffs up. Overall strongest class offensively and has so much variety. But requires constant resting in early game and can be high risk: if you get it wrong initially, you do not have much time to put things right. Summary: #micromanagement The B Team: Challenging in a Good Way (Cipher, Monk) Cipher: the super cool class with super cool abilities. If you had unlimited focus this would be the god class. But you don’t, so it’s nicely balanced. Requires the most careful balance of attack vs defence to be successful. This class is the strongest against a single powerful foe and if you select the right talents (i.e. Psychic Backlash + Brutal Backlash) you can go for a cup of tea when fighting dragons and come back to find the dragon is dead. Summary: #too-sexy-for-my-shirt Monk: the weirdo masochist class that gets stronger when you beat it up. Great offensive flexibility with AoE attacks, ranged attacks, and lots of modals. Struggles a little defensively and has to really manage incoming damage (you want to be taking constant damage to generate and replenish wounds but not so much as to put you in danger). The class for whom combat positioning matters most. Summary: #hit-me-baby-one-more-time The C Team: Challenging in a Bad Way (Barbarian, Druid, Fighter, Priest) Barbarian: the class that just isn’t suited to solo no-reload. Such a fun class and offensively devastating when you get it right. But you have the defences of a kitten and some of your abilities make your defences even weaker. So you are left to rely on endurance, health and healing to survive, and that simply ain’t good enough or reliable enough (trading damage has rarely been a successful no-reload strategy). And if that wasn’t bad enough, you can’t even see your health/endurance bars while frenzied i.e. you are trying to manage the resource-of-last-resort which you cannot even see. Summary: #blaze-of-glory Druid: the class that is comparable to a Wizard offensively but does not have the Wizard’s defences. One of the strongest classes for AoE effects, both disabling and very damaging. Shapeshifting also provides burst damage. But has very little in the way of defensive spells and talents which makes it very fragile for solo no-reload. Summary: #house-of-cards Fighter: the all-rounder class that isn’t good enough defensively if you prioritise offence and isn’t good enough offensively if you prioritise defence. One of the few classes that has to rely almost exclusively on weapons for damage (supplemented with scrolls), and whose abilities are small incremental weapon improvements with just a sprinkling of special attacks. A defensive build can be unconquerable but hits like a feather; an offensive build can be dangerous but vulnerable. Finding the sweet spot is an exercise in frustration which makes you wonder what this class does that another class doesn’t do better. Summary: #why? Priest: the class that is awesome at high levels but a liability at low levels. If you could start the game at level 7 this class would be near the top of the list. Has so many amazing enhancement spells that you can just cast and cast until you are a god dishing out judgement to mortals. But one of the weakest classes at lower levels because of the sheer number of spells that you don’t yet have which you need to be effective. Also needs constant rests like other traditional casters. Summary: #tomorrow-never-comes The D Team: Disclaimer - At Own Risk (Ranger, Rogue) NB: both these classes can be used quite successfully if you want to abuse the game engine (pet-death abuse for ranger, shadowing beyond abuse for rogue); I’m assuming you are trying to win fairly. Ranger: the class that divides its strength to no good effect. The ranger is like a weak fighter with a pet to compensate the difference. The abilities and talents are also divided between the ranger and pet, so you always have two weaker parts rather than one stronger whole. The pet can be built to do tremendous damage but cannot take any heat, so will be quickly knocked out in any difficult battle leaving the weakened grieving ranger alone against the odds. Summary: #doomed Rogue: the class that should be perfect for solo no-reload but isn’t. Bad class design, terrible defences, one-trick pony of single target damage. Traps set by player are also pathetic compared to what those traps do when triggered by a player. Let down by bad implementation and poor abilities at higher levels. Weakest class by a distance. Summary: #shame
  5. Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 19 Level 6 of the Endless Paths was cleared: I thought about carrying on a few more levels but decided against it. The next level has Adragan (including 3 at the end battle I think); I could probably take them on with scrolls of protection and defence, but it would be an unnecessary risk and I vowed not to go there after the lions in Woodend Plains. Better to wait a few more levels and do it when I'm stronger. Also my stash is fit to burst with all the loot from the levels I have cleared (the weapons list runs into page 6), which is noticeably slowing the load times. So I need to find somewhere to sell it. Speaking of Adragans, we avoid this one in Stormwall Gorge: But we do clear out the Pwgra near Lle a Rhemen: I helped Nyfre escape from Dyrford which Medreth was not too happy about: Been a long time since I last fought wolves (Valewood way back in Act 1 I reckon). Now you see them... Now you don't... Didn't even have to swing at this Spider Queen (Dragon Thrashed killed her before I could reach her): Poor Korgrak didn't stand a chance. The Wizard's Double and Scroll of Defence raised by DEF to 150; that ain't easy to hit. I couldn't even see what was happening in this battle: So much going on and too many enemies surrounding me in a little corner. So I just buffed my defences and let Dragon Thrashed do its thing. Nice new pair of boots (but I still don't have a belt!) Defeating the bandits to complete Nest Egg... ...got me to level 10 I increased Mechanics to 10, took the ogre summoning invocation and the Scion of Flame talent. Updated character record:
  6. Indeed, it's been a hard road to get here and the most difficult challenges are still ahead. Everything is easier with Dragon Thrashed, but that doesn't mean it is easy. Other classes also get abilities that are very powerful, e.g. Heart of Fury for a barbarian at level 11, Sacred Immolation for a paladin at level 13. The chanter gets there first though at just level 9 and it is an unlimited resource rather than 1/encounter. Jazz Wit btw is just meant to be an abbreviation of Jaheira's Witness. There's no story or background behind it!
  7. Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 18 Let's do a demonstration of the power of Dragon Thrashed. This is the first battle since I reached level 9. You can see the start of the combat at the top of the log. In the above screenshots, I have not physically attacked either the troll or the swamp slime. Yet the troll (which bear in mind has hundreds of endurance points) is badly injured and the slime is near death within around 10 seconds of the start of combat. The battle is over... ...in the time it took me to chant 4 phrases. Everything just...melts around a properly configured Dragon Thrashed chanter. I can't think of a better word. No other class can kill so many opponents so quickly and with so little effort. I can now change my tactics rather drastically. No longer do I need doorways and chokepoints. The centre of the battlefield is where I now generally want to be, with as many opponents around me as possible. Here I go eschewing a perfectly serviceable chokepoint to run right into the middle of a group of slimes: This time it was over in 3 phrases. This troll is affected by 3 instances of Dragon Thrashed, which I think is the maximum number you can stack (due to the relationship between how long it takes to chant and the linger effect). Using some rough calcs, I think this troll is taking something like 30 points of damage per second from the chants. It's not all plain sailing; some battles are still challenging. This ogre fight was very nasty: I don't know exactly how close I was to dying because of frenzy, but I sank a few healing potions because it sure felt close. There were 3 ogre druids in that fight, all launching stag's horns, plague of insects et al (and they stack when cast by different casters). One of the biggest problems was positioning: I had to use some kind of chokepoint to avoid having 6 ogres swinging clubs at me, but that meant two of the druids (on the right in above screenshot) were out of range of my chant, so they had free reign to hammer me with spells. Things were quite uncomfortable before I managed to get them under control: Frenzy + protections brought to bear against Zolla: Chants + Ray of Fire brought a swift conclusion: I don't think I can keep using Sanguine Plate for long. It is just too risky not to know where your health and endurance stand. Finished this session off by dealing with more Caed Nua invaders: Next time we will continue deeper into the Endless Paths...how far deeper will depend on how much I fancy fighting Adragans I guess.
  8. Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 17 Heading down into the Endless Paths. Currently <2k XP short of level 9. Lots of xaurip fights (not always straightforward either). I used the pit to go straight down to level 5 (don't want to face the ogres on level 3 yet). The drake fight did not start well. I wasn't sure if I had enough speed to get back to a chokepoint position so decided to open with Fleet Feet and then run. But I was too slow and got paralysed through disengagement. It did not take long for Frenzy to proc from the Sanguine Plate and that was a big help in this fight. The +4 to MIG and CON (+16 FOR) virtually eliminated any further danger of paralysis. So even though I was totally surrounded, I wasn't in that much trouble. Once my defences were secure I could start chipping away at the xaurips. And in the end it was a comfortable victory. That victory nets me a nice shield. It's not as good for Jazz Wit as it can be for many other characters, as his coastal aumaua defences already give him +20 vs these attacks, so he should rarely be prone or stunned anyway. Up to level 4: feels a bit odd doing this level in reverse. But finally we reach the third key milestone for a Chanter: level 9. I increased Athletics to 1 and took this chant... So Jazz Wit, who is already a very strong defensive character, who can spend his time in combat using consumables rather than attacking, now also gets the highest DPS ability in the game...as a passive effect which requires no active action whatsoever. And that ability is AoE, damage over time (only a % of DR applies), has two damage types, is party friendly, and also stacks with itself. This is why Chanters are so strong and Dragon Thrashed is so overpowered compared to other class abilities. It's also what this character concept has been building towards. Now we're going to have some fun
  9. Awesome work Alesia, you are absolutely destroying every encounter with tactical perfection. You can see how much you are dominating from the screenshots: there's barely a scratch on any party member! Great work.
  10. @semiticgod: thank you! But to be perfectly honest, right now the game is very easy for Jazz Wit. My defences are strong, I outlevel my opponents, I have tons of potions and scrolls, only danger is complacency. And I will become even stronger at level 9 (more on that to come). The game will become more of a challenge again when I start taking on tougher opponents and go to the higher level areas, where my relative level advantage no longer applies. Regarding XP, even the XP gap if you wait to recruit which you are currently talking about isn’t that important because the level progression in PoE only increases by 1k XP at each level (rather than a geometric rate). It is very well designed so that whichever way you do it, your custom NPCs will always be 1 level behind your PC or story companions. The one caveat is to recruit shortly after levelling up. If you are close to a level up and recruit, then the NPC will be nearly 2 levels behind. Retraining is not something I do but it can be very strong. The cost of retraining isn’t an issue once you are swimming in cash. Hypothetically you could retrain a character for every major encounter, to change your stats, abilities and talents for that encounter. For example if you are facing a dragon, DEF is irrelevant (since a dragon’s attacks are vs FOR). So you could dump any deflection abilities and talents and take all the ones that boost FOR. You could also take abilities which are specific for that fight (e.g. Fearless for a Fighter, Brutal Backlash for a Cipher etc) and even change your skills (for example max Athletics and Lore just for a combat encounter - you don’t need Mechanics or Stealth to fight a dragon!). And once you are done, retrain again back to a more normal configuration. Net result = big advantage for the setpiece fight with the only cost being money. So retraining could potentially give you a huge benefit, depending on your appetite and patience to micromanage (as well as metaknowledge; you need to know what is coming up to configure appropriately).
  11. Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 16 I'm at the stage of the game now where I have so many crafting ingredients (as well as money) that I can go ballistic with consumables. Deep Pockets moreover allows me to bring offensive scrolls to the party (as well as the key defensive/healing potions I always have to hand). The undead of Heritage Hill now have first-hand experience of what this means. (Check out how many "misses" there are in some of those combat logs: I was also using Mirrored Image potions liberally). The Sanguine Plate procs Frenzy Only took a paralysis first for Emilio Valtas to crit me. Back to destruction: Onto the banshee tomb. I was a little apprehensive about this battle so I prepped to the max and let the Adra Bettle suck up the initial onslaught while I used some defensive scrolls. The intention here was to get the justiciars but I even managed to charm Leyra Onto the offensive scrolls: And the coup de grace: (The observant may have noticed the sequencing of actions: figurine to buy time, defensive buffs, protection from fear to regain accuracy, crowd control, damage. It's such a simple but effective formula). With only 1 x Frenzy proc in Heritage Hill, I decide the Sanguine Plate will serve and proceed to buy the gems necessary to upgrade it: This is something I have not noticed before. This lot of backers... ...are the opponents from the Forgotten task who I beat up earlier (here:)
  12. Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 15 This does not look right... Time to eat and fight. Forge Knights are very annoying opponents. They have lots of special abilities (some highlighted in above screenshot). On top of that they regenerate and cast heal when badly wounded. The only saving grace is that the regeneration stops after a while (like Veteran's Recovery) so you can grind them down after that (this is how Jazz Wit will win these fights). The first of the 3 battles: Something else that helps is that their AoE attacks are not party-friendly :D That's a lot of Chain Lightnings. Hope they are not all simultaneously headed my way... More unfriendly fire: And the third battle: The Forgotten task is next. This can be a very dangerous battle if you get it wrong. The big advantage you have in this fight is that you can split their group into two if you back off slightly (the others drift back to the other end of the bridge). But this is also one of those fights that does not end until one side is defeated. I am not taking any chances in this battle, the full gamut of defences is being deployed (Scrolls of Protection and Defence, Spirit Shield etc). 2 vs 2 is more sporting than 3 vs 1 don't ya think? I am using scrolls of Stag's Horn for burst damage in this fight (Fan of Flames does not work so well because of the distance between opponents). The phantom provides the final flourish. This is not a straightforward decision: Some players love Sanguine Plate and even create builds around procing the Frenzy. But I really do not want to be procing it at all! -10 deflection and hidden endurance/health bars is exactly the last thing I need for Jazz Wit. The good thing is I should not be receiving critical hits very often due to my strong defences. I'll try it out but will be taking it off swiftly if I'm becoming frenzied with any regularity. I can upgrade my shield to Exceptional (bought the Vithrack brain from Cartugo) Lord of Caed Nua Time to investigate Heritage Hill. I was hoping to get to level 9 before this point (I've had tough times against the banshee in the past; Jazz Wit's low ACC will really hurt in this fight) but I think that would involve going down the Endless Paths (and I also want to be level 9+ before doing that because of the sheer number of fights). So we'll have to do it at level 8 (should still be fine, I have tons of resources now).
  13. Great progress for Arcadia. Just responding to various points: You can only gain focus through weapon damage, not spells or scrolls. The Psychovampiric Shield has to be first, not the last resort. If you had it up early Divinegon wouldn't have taken so much damage in the first place. You have 6 ciphers, the other 5 could start with Whispers of Treason if they want but for your main front-line character Psychovampiric Shield has to be #1 priority. This makes me so happy. Virtually perfect sequencing of actions. @semiticgod: it appears to me from the outside that this is the difference that will help you succeed at the higher difficulty levels. You still seem to be reactive to danger and are using defensive options when things start to fall apart; rather than use the defensive options first so that things do NOT fall apart. All XP in PoE is like BG's quest XP. With one small difference, all characters in your party will get the same XP for whatever happens, it does not get divided between party memebers. So you are not losing any XP by recruiting your NPCs earlier or gaining any XP by recruiting them later. The small difference is that you get 10% bonus XP (divided over party members) for every character short you are of the maximum 6. So if you have 3 characters for instance, you get 30% extra XP; a solo character gets 50% extra XP (which means in my solo run, I am getting 150XP where 6 party members would get 100XP each, for a total of 600XP; I do not get the remaining 450XP: this is a much better balance than a solo character getting 6 x XP). Dual sabres is great for a melee cipher also (Sabres special power is they do extra damage; more damage = more focus). For rogues I would suggest disabling weapons (on-crit prones/stuns etc) to enable sneak attacks and later Deathblows.
  14. Shame about Aotha but I echo your thoughts re White March. I don't like it either, it's just the usual power creep crap that often happens with expansions: tons of fights, you get tons of loot, tons of consumables just lying around, more and more powerful items, so more and more fights, you have enough coin to bankrupt an economy etc. It's not even a good plot, and RP-wise it makes no sense whatsoever to abandon your chase of Thaos to take several months out in some irrelevant nowhere. The whole "Leaden Key agents are investigating too" thing your steward throws out is very weak. Re your next character: are you tempted by solo yet? You will learn so much more with just one character to focus on, in terms of the full depth of different game options, the true strengths and weaknesses of different classes, being ever more resourceful in how you deal with things etc. Probably on Normal or Hard difficulty, so you at least have a flavour of what to expect. But appreciate you might not want to go there yet and try other party options. In which case, from above options I would suggest Alikae the mage since I find parties of 6 x same class quite dull.
  15. Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 14 Aotha heard it wrong - Jazz Wit has no intention of going in through the front door This guy needs to be fired: how does a 7 foot DEX 3 aumaua sneak past you in broad daylight? I used the Berathian robes to disguise myself, agreed to Nedmar's approach, and began clearing the dungeons of Osrya's monstrosities (after resting to remove the fatigue from climbing the vines). Osrya did rather more damage to her zombies than me. And so to Raedric. For some unfathomable reason I just marched straight up to his throne, without a single food buff and without adjusting my quick slots (I think I was playing on autopilot because of all the movement between different floors). This is not the kind of spot that Jazz Wit fights from. How do we solve it? Well let's get some beetles and fear going before I get too badly beaten up: And then hit them with this: This is the kind of spot Jazz Wit fights from! Back to Gilded Vale (feels like an eternity since I was last there). Jazz Wit's exploits are gaining renown. (If only that crier knew who was just walking past :D) Finished off a couple of quests and reached level 8. I increased Mechanics to 9, took 'The Lover Cried' invocation and the Deep Pockets talent. Oh for the love of Bhaal Berath I've already beaten two of your mobs, can an aumaua not run across this city in peace while his player is on the map screen? You'll burn for this. Change of plan: let's be friends! That worked well for our first attempt. Backlash Inventory update: Can finally start using some scrolls now I have the quick slot space. I looked at upgrading some of my gear to exceptional since I am level 8 but lack the gems. So have to decide whether to find/buy some or just wait for better gear. And for those whinging about 192 copper or whatever to buy some food: look how much coin I have. And with nothing to spend it on. Btw this is not even a lot, there is so much more loot coming up, I often have hundreds of thousands by the end. I am going to start buying some dragon meat dishes soon just to put the coin to some use at least :D.
  16. Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 13 First stop on the Dyrwood sightseeing tour of Fonprima 2823AI is Woodford Plains: (The Thunder Rolled is such an aesthetically beautiful effect; shame it is so weak in comparison to Reny Daret's Ghost and White Worms). Next stop Caed Nua and a warning from the steward not to mess with Concelhaut: (Surprising how many players either don't understand or ignore this. But they all learn after the first time they try Cragholdt). First they send assassins after me; now they go after my stronghold: I am assisted by some of my hirelings in this fight... ...who are not proving particularly resilient... ...only the vanguard soldier survives (Just hired some more). Quick pit stop in the Black Meadow: (This is a fun little quest). The ambush at Anslog's: (Dozens riffraff). And finally... (Infiltration incoming).
  17. One other thing I wanted to mentionbut forgot: Caed Nua, your stronghold. Often overlooked but you can tailor your upgrades to your strategy. If you want a specific type of rest bonus, build the appropriate upgrade. If you want more creature/plant parts for crafting, build the appropriate upgrades. [When you look under the bonnet, this game is very rich in how it lets you customise so many things to suit your strategy]
  18. No one said you have to have a priest, you just need to be able to defend against different types of attacks. For example, in BG do you really need a cleric to be able to deal with fear, charm, confusion, stun, hold etc? Of course not, there are many other ways to defend against status effects than just having a priest available to cast the counterspells. You just need to find the equivalent in PoE. Fortunately you don't have to look too hard for the obvious solution: scrolls. So you can have whatever party composition you like so long as someone (or preferably more than one person) can bail out the party against specific attack types with scrolls. With a party of 6 you have 24 quickslots: dedicate some of those to having sets of scrolls ready for some of the common stuff you may have to counter. You could have one character with Prayer against Fear, another could have scrolls of Protection or Defence. You will want one or two characters to focus on lore to be able to use the higher level scrolls, such as Moonwell or Prayer against Imprisonment. Bearing in mind the vast majority of scrolls are AoE and have quite long durations (both amplified if the user has high INT as well), a single scroll can give your whole party 30 seconds or so of defence. And btw scrolls are not a rare/precious resource. You just need to buy the crafting ingredients which involves knowing who to talk to. For example in Defiance Bay: Look up the ingredients you need and buy them. Scrolls are the obvious solution for party wide defence, but I'm sure you can find other solutions as well, such as characters maximising certain types of defences (FOR and WIL most obvious) or equipment that provides immunities/big defence boosts.
  19. This is not a tactic I use; I would not want others to be (ab)using it, but I don’t think you need a blanket ban: 1) Running away to fight another day has always been a legitimate no-reload strategy (and a legitimate real-life strategy as well). PoE makes it harder (which is a good thing) but not impossible (also a good thing). So IMO it should be allowed. 2) The intention is to run away by exception and in emergencies only. But players have to self-police. If somebody is doing it regularly or deliberately to lure away single enemies from a group then that is very cheesy, unheroic, and you have to question what enjoyment it is giving them. But that’s for them to decide. It’s like in BG where I see (otherwise very respectable) players running up and down stairs to avoid spells being cast at them. I can’t overstate how much I hate this and how ridiculous I think it is, but I just have to ignore it as the choice of individuals. 3) In any case I think it would still be very difficult to complete a no-reload playthrough doing this, as some combats do not end until one side is defeated, and it is a high risk tactic that can easily go wrong. 4) I also think most of the players undertaking the challenge in this thread would instinctively recognise unworthy game engine abuse and not do it. 5) So in conclusion I don’t think we need a hard and fast rule and we should leave it to people to self-police. If we start introducing rules for everything we are on a slippery slope of ending up arguing about what is or is not acceptable rather than just enjoying the game. There’s only a handful of us doing this challenge right now. I don’t think we have an immediate problem. And if it becomes an issue down the line, then maybe we can discuss it?
  20. @semiticgod: bad luck at Searing Falls, those are some great posts and exciting battles. I was following along hoping you would make it; you just managed it against the lions but not against the drakes Responding to some of your questions or other things I noticed in the above posts. 1) Animats are not difficult or dangerous. Adra animats are tough (huge DR and plenty of endurance); you have to be careful of the ones attacking with melee weapons as they hit hard. The ones attacking from range can be ignored. 2) The Caed Nua invasions are random. Go ahead and finish the Raedric quest, the Fampyr stuff does not trigger until Act 3 anyway. 3) I notice you have traps in your inventory and quick slots. Use them if you want but I find them largely useless (they do only a fraction of damage when you set them than what they would do if you walked into them). But you can make some copper from selling them. 4) Similarly I noticed you are using the Larder Door. I would suggest getting rid and using a normal shield. The bash is bad because it alternates with your regular attack (it is not an extra attack), and it does much less damage than a regular attack. Later on you may find shields that do something more with their bash (e.g. trigger a spell), they can be much more worthwhile. 5) There is a way to keep the March Steel Dagger and use it. I am not sure how as I have not done this; I think it may be to do with getting Gordy to tell you the location in advance, and then acquiring the dagger but I don’t really know. Someone else may know or you could try messaging Boeroer (he’s the font of detailed game knowledge). 6) Searing Falls :/. Yes, this was a mistake, it is a dangerous area. I quite like the fact it is not signposted as dangerous, has some of that old BG1 charm where your level 2 party can just wander into basilisks or sirines if you go wandering off the beaten path. The drakes are not even the most dangerous opponent on this map (there is a setpiece battle) and what is particularly ironic is that even if you had somehow managed to win every battle on this map, you would not have found the reward you were after (needs minimum Mechanics 10). 7) Once you encountered the drakes, Prayer Against Fear (and keeping slots back to cast it multiple times) should have been your number 1 priority; from your description you did not cast it until well into the battle. The accuracy penalties from fear are no joke, and many of your alpha strikes were wasted as a result. I think I have mentioned the optimal order of actions which you should follow for combat success earlier in this thread, but quick reminder: (1) buff defences (2) buff accuracy (3) crowd control (4) damage attacks. Once you start deviating from this and are trying to mix buffing with damaging attacks with disabling actions, you lose cohesion and end up firefighting rather than dictating the terms of the battle. Prayer Against Fear was particularly important here because it affects both (1) and (2) (buffs your defences and avoids the accuracy penalty from fear). I think I also read about your wizards casting Curse of Blackened Sight or Slicken and then later trying to get Arcane Veil up but it was too late. Again, this was wrong order. Arcane Veil has to go first to protect your wizards while they cast the rest; it is an “Instant” cast as well so has very little recovery. You mention carrying on the PotD playthrough with reloads feels weird. Nevertheless, I recommend either doing this or dropping down to Hard. If you keep trying everything as no-reload on PotD, each playthrough you may get 5-10% further but every time you come across one of the major difficulty spikes (or make a wrong turning into an area you should not visit until later, such as Searing Falls above) you may have to start all over again. Whereas if you complete a playthrough on Hard or on PotD with reloads, at least you get the majority of your education out of the way and therefore know what to expect when you are trying the no-reload PotD playthrough. 9) Regarding your 6 rogues “Shadowing Beyond” strategy. Just be aware that some fights do not end until one side is defeated (i.e. shadowing beyond and running away will not end the fight). It feels too one-dimensional. You can also run away as part of a similar strategy with Fleet Feet potions (so Shadowing Beyond is not the only way). If you are determined to give it a go, you could try getting to level 6 with your PC rogue and story companions (which will be some time in Defiance Bay), then dismissing everyone and hiring the other rogues.
  21. Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 12 I'm at an awkward stage of the game now. I have reached level 7 but all the easy stuff in Defiance Bay is done. I always find the levels between 7 and 10 seem to crawl anyway. Ideally I would like to be level 9+ before I start the difficult quests, but that may not be possible. In any case, it seems time to leave the city to progress some of the quests that require travel to other areas and we can reassess what to do next when we return to Defiance Bay. But before we leave, let's get this quest out of the way: Heavy drug use involved here, so makes sense to complete this, rest, and then head out. Not for the faint-hearted: The Whiteleaf makes a big difference in this fight. Watch out for this when you kill a spectre: We just killed two simultaneously and took some hefty damage. Something to look out for if you have some badly injured party members. I use the phantom to draw more opponents in the upstairs battle (I don't want to leave my defensive position or have buffs expire): It's another grinding battle (I wish I had some Fan of Flames scrolls; alas run out of ingredients): Rest of the quest is done via the peaceful route. This is a really nice item: With that done I head to the Goose & Fox for some rest before leaving the city. Er...what's this? Assassins? But I don't have any enemies! Look... I genuinely thought that assassins only came after you if you had made an enemy faction (e.g. House Doemenel), but so far I have not upset anyone. So this takes me totally by surprise (I wasn't even looking at the screen, I had selected the exit from the area map and game was running on double-speed, next thing I know is auto-pause due to combat start) I'm in a bad spot: there are lots of enemies, I am totally unprepared, not in a good position and don't even have any food buffs :/. So I summon Beetles to buy some time. At the Sound of his Voice... A little help here?! He just walks casually past! Tough but fun battle, these are the last knockings: Now this is the morning workout we had in mind: (Don't think I'll be dancing with her again; she's certainly no Serel).
  22. Wild Orlan racial ability is very average, simply because it does not re-proc: if you have defiant resolve active, another Will attack does not start the timer again. Only when the first defiant resolve ends (after 10 seconds, not affected by INT either) and a Will attack hits you then does it start again. In any case it is a tank-attribute. I figured you wanted heath orlan for the wizard for the synergy with her PER and to maximise crits for ultra-long duration crowd control.
  23. No worries, I can expand the dialogue box. It's just ugly so I usually have it minimised unless I am showing something. In-game, naturally I look at it more closely. Re your question: Can someone tell me if a knockout on Frost means a game over, and if so, could the Saint's War Armor bring her back? Don't worry, this is not BG! Your PC is treated the same as NPCs, your game is not over from being knocked out unless entire party gets knocked out. What happened to the fight with phantoms inside Caed Nua? You seem to have missed it. Finally cost of food: you will have tens of thousands of gold very soon, don't sweat 200cp! PS: Inspiring Radiance is a great choice for priest. Check out the interdictions as well, there is synergy with what Frost does. Also think about the priest as a buffer rather than healer. The healing spells are weak (other than regenerative stuff like Consecrated Ground), whereas buff spells are awesome. I am not sure why you did not max INT though, MIG only influences her personal healing rate, it does not increase healing for the rest of the party (each character's own MIG determines how much they heal). PPS: I think you have picked wrong race for your wizard: I am sure you meant to go for heath orlan (extra chance of crit) but you have picked wild orlan (defiant resolve!)
  24. Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 11 Anyone for Black Pudding? Nifty pair of gauntlets; no net gain in stats from Fulvano's Gloves but MIG is higher priority than DEX for me, so swap immediately. At some point in this session (I think in the hidden crypt north of the underground temple) I also found a Ring of Deflection, which is a 4 point upgrade on the minor version I had before. Positioning perfection: That battle took an age though. I couldn't summon the phantom behind the opponent I was attacking, so it was head-on without flanking. The sporelings can take a beating and the trolls just last forever, they must have hundreds of endurance points. By the time I was done I was pretty beat up and must have summoned maybe 10 times during the fight. More sporelings: I lure them back to the bridge, which gives me an opportunity to unleash this attack: There's an even better example of the power of this invocation later. Lots of undead (well it is the catacombs), including mages: I met Eorn and gave him cash to escape. I used the phantom as a shock absorber in this battle: That was a brutal fight, 3 mages unleashing damage spells and the fighter skeletons are really tough to take down. Took quite a few potions to stay intact. I bet you thought mages frying their own companions was a thing of the past, when CRPG AI wasn't very advanced? I went the disguised/peaceful route through the Temple of Woedica and advanced to level 7 after leaving (Mechanics 8, some irrelevant phrase selected). 'The Main Who Waits': Want to see how obscene White Worms can be at a chokepoint with corpses piling up? That's over 400 damage by my counting
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