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About Enuhal

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    (2) Evoker
  1. Yup, Expert Mode is basically meant to recreate the original infinity engine experience (for me, the three major differences to my usual gameplay are 1) no stash access outside of towns/resting, 2) no AoE indicators, 3) no infos on enemy stats/defenses). It does, however, feel inconvenient once you've gotten used to all of these things. Such is the way of games: People might complain about certain new features, claiming that their nostalgic experiences may get ruined by them, but once they've actually started using them, they don't really want to go back - which is why most people prefer to play without expert mode, despite many people initially being vocal supporters of it. I think the actual disadvantages of expert mode aren't big at all once you have some basic game knowledge - as in BG, you'll get used to the spell AoEs relatively quickly, and a general idea on enemy defenses isn't hard to acquire. In truth, as FNGRenegade has said before, it's more annoying than difficult. I think it's mostly only used because it's part of the official Triple Crown settings (which is the reason I had it active with Liresh).
  2. Regarding upscaled Thaos: He has, of course, better stats/defenses etc. and a bunch of new high level abilities, but the only one I distinctly remember is Symbol of Woedica, which is propably a variant of Symbol of Magran (though I'm not entirely sure about that). I would expect him to have a couple of other of the level 13/level 15 priest spells. Everytime I've faced him upscaled, my entire party has been level 16, at which point he isn't too much of a threat - not sure if he would be challenging to a level 13/14 party, but it's certainly possible. I don't think that much of a difference in strategy is required to take him down compared to the non-upscaled version. When it comes to my own cipher experiences: Their physical damage is already great, they don't need as much attention as vancian spellcasters do (I'm pretty sure I don't pause quite as much as some other players here) and they offer a variety of extremely efficient crowd control. Two powers in particular are my primary reason to take a cipher along: Mental binding, which is great throughout the game (it gets even stronger in some very late game situations, such as upcaled White March II), especially once you have enough starting focus to open with it before having to attack or once you get enough focus with 1-2 attacks to cast 2-3 mental bindings in a row before having to attack again, leaving multiple enemies paralyzed if needed. The other one is, of course, amplified wave, which used to be one of the most broken abilities in the entire game before getting nerfed, and it's still incredibly powerful, taking down entire groups of enemies by itself. Basically, it's a party-friendly, long-lasting AoE prone effect that also deals a bunch of crush damage. Once you get access to it, casting it is the only thing you need to do besides attacking in the majority of battles you will encounter, and it has next to no casting time. It does take 60 focus, but by this point, one attack with a warbow will usually get you there, and you usually never need to cast it a second time anyway. Before the nerf, it would basically take out the entire screen, but given enough intelligence on your cipher and good positioning on your tank it still usually hits the entire enemy force. It's great offensively or defensively. It's also great against basically anything except for a few boss battles, but for these, you can simply use mental binding instead. Of course, amplified wave, being a level 6 power, is more valuable if you do a completionist playthrough, as you'll get much more use out of it. Later on, there's also the extremely powerful defensive mindweb, which can make everyone in your party as tanky as your primary tank, the very useful time parasite, which drains attack speed and will allow your cipher to easily get to zero recovery, and reaping knives, which essentially results in infinite focus if you have a melee damage dealer in your party (this melee damage dealer will now also wield weapons which deal raw damage, so that's nice). If you have the time to set up your cipher (which only works in longer battles, but does go very fast once you've set up reaping knives), you will get a zero-recovery damage dealer who can disable hordes of enemies basically forever while making your party as invulnerable as your best tank - that is some serious potential. Some of the other classes' super late game abilities are honestly a bit underwhelming (a lot of them, actually), but that's certainly not true for ciphers (I would argue that they profit the most from getting to level 15 out of all the classes, though paladins and rangers might have a better level 13).
  3. For a moment there, I thought you were going to fight Raedric right out of Gilded Vale Congratulations on finding the gloves of manipulation - it's been a couple of runs since I've even seen these. Are you going to try it before doing Caed Nua this time around? Would love to see that being attempted (don't feel pressured into doing something risky, though).
  4. Regarding PoEII - while I normally would prefer to have the challenge in a single thread, in his case, opening another one for PoEII seems like a very good idea to me, simply because there's so much more traffic in the PoEII forums, so starting another thread there is bound to get our little no-reload group a lot more attention, which could lead to some new players joining the challenge. Good work taking down Maerwald, Jaheira's Witness! @Alesia_BH - The dragon's breath weapon is, as you have discovered, extremely deadly in PoE. However, compared to the other dragons in the game, the sky dragon is positively harmless - so keep that in mind if you ever feel like challenging one of the other ones Btw, for which superb enchantments did you end up using the dragon's eyes?
  5. All right! Already doing a poverty run, nice. Mages should certainly be great for this, given their versatile options regarding summoned weapons (especially later in the game), though I think a monk or even a chanter would've been a great addition to the party. Harpagonis has done wonders with a poverty monk. In any case, good luck to Irenicus' pet dragon! I do agree that with your party, maximizing offensive potential is the way to go. Prolonged fights would be quite dangerous with this party composition and poverty rules. Just FYI, superior deflection didn't show up as an option for you because it's only available starting at level 6.
  6. Congratulations, semiticgod - what a close battle. For several moments there, I thought that you wouldn't make it out alive. PotD Thaos is certainly a scary opponent for a party that's only at level 9. Well done!
  7. Now I have to wait for two Thaos reports, getting teased about both of them. So much tension! Congratulations Alesia_BH - now I'm really wondering if you scaled up some of the content, considering you made it to level 13! Btw, I prefer WM2 over WM1. A lot of the long dungeons and combat-filled areas that might have annoyed you regarding WM1 can be skipped in WM2 (the first major area requires only 2 big battles, the second one can be done with only one fight if you're fine with being a bit deceptive (it's for a good cause), the battles in the third one are rather small - the only really big dungeon full of non-skippable battles is entirely optional). Also, I think that WM2 has a far more interesting story.
  8. There's a shortage of monks in this thread, so I would really love to see one played properly!
  9. Condolences, Jaheiras Witness. Adragans seem even more dangerous to a solo character by a huge margin - good job making it quite far into the game, though, I'm sure once other runners attempt to go solo, they will greatly profit from the work you've done so far.
  10. It's certainly possible that he uses dominate (I've found two more sources claiming that he does, so it seems likely), though that would mean that he never tried to do it in both of my recent battles against him, which does seem a bit strange, given that he went through all of his other spells multiple times. Checking Liresh's notes, I did cast prayer against treachery later in the fight (which suggests that I, too, remembered him using that ability at some point), but I didn't make any note of Thaos actually trying to dominate anyone. Of course, Liresh was fighting scaled-up Thaos, who is a bit of a different animal; For example, he has access to the Thaos-only spell Symbol of Woedica, which normal Thaos certainly doesn't. Maybe Thaos' spell rotation is entirely random and I just got lucky, or maybe his Dominate is somewhat rare in general compared to stuff like confusion, pillar of holy fire, cleansing flame etc. @semiticgod: In case you want to know where the adra beetle statue is to be found:
  11. Good job with Raedric @semiticgod. Just a quick note: As far as I'm aware, Thaos isn't using any charm spells, even on PotD - just confusion, which can be countered via prayer against bewilderment (level 4 cleric spell or scroll with a requirement of 8 lore) or snowcaps (which I didn't use because of the -5 perception, but it might just be worth it).
  12. @semiticgod Thanks! How did Catalina get to might 28? The calculation goes like this: Base 19 (18 +1 from The Living Lands), +3 Training Grounds resting bonus (Caed Nua), +3 Goldrot Chew, +3 From an item (in this case, Belt of the Royal Deadfire Cannoneer, but an item like the Girdle of Maegfolc Might or the Engwithan Adra Ban Amulet, both of which pretty much everyone will find in their playthroughs, will do the job as well). Sadly, Goldrot Chew doesn't stack with Duc's Own Beefloaf, but in combat, Catalina will go up from 28 to 32 due to her frenzy (and with greater frenzy, which she doesn't have, it could even be 34 - not to mention champion's boon if I had a priest). The characters with might 24 have similar buffs, but with a lower base might, or maybe with only a +2 might item, or maybe with Duc's Own Beefloaf instead of Goldrot Chew etc. Goldrot Chew, btw, should ideally be replaced with a Dragon Meat Dish - I just forgot to buy some dragon meat before jumping into the pit. I would certainly try my hand at Deadfire if my graphics card could handle it, though with my one playthrough on normal difficulty, I'd propably be rather inept at the game (and there are some significant differences in regards to mechanics and pretty extreme changes to the various classes - during that one playthrough, I quickly noticed that a lot of my old favorite abilities aren't nearly as powerful or just don't work the same way they used to). PotD difficulty was apparently very easy at release, but after a few patches, especially the early game (and the new DLC content plus the new megabosses) seems to be quite difficult now, even for veterans. However, just like in PoE I, once you make it to the big city of the game, things get much easier if you know which content can be done without much violence to get some easy gold and experience. That being said, I, too, would really like to see someone trying their hands at taking a PoE run into the second game!
  13. Thanks! I certainly plan to be an active reader of this thread in the coming weeks, so I'll be around. Final character records for all party members (from a save right before Thaos): Pausanias: Barbarossa: Chandragupta: Catalina: Jeanne: Ögedei: These records include food buffs and drugs, but no battle buffs. Some food buffs are missing (+3 might/+3 resolve from dragon food and +1 perception, for example), and some drugs such as goldrot chew reduce accuracy. I went for the Caed Nua +3 might resting bonus. Accuracy against vessels is higher thanks to huge survival scores on multiple party members (I also used a rite scroll to boost survival before resting for the very last time). In combat, accuracy was of course much improved: Scrolls of valor add +15, and so do flasks of war paint (which are amazing, though they don't last very long) or the eldritch aim spell. Defenses also get increased by scrolls of defense, moonwell, vigorous defense and the like, while svef sadly takes down resolve/deflection (but it's certainly worth it for damage dealers). Killing the sky dragon instead of just talking would've also resulted in some more accuracy thanks to possible superb enchantments, but that felt like an unneccessary risk.
  14. Pausanias, Coastal Aumaua Fighter, Update 6 - Final Update Previous updates: On burial isle, while fighting our way to the top, we had no problem burning prayer against fear scrolls against Cean Gŵla, as we had over ten of them prepared - this served to speed up combat a bit: No troubles on the way, so after some final preparations, we jumped into the pit - only to remember shortly after that we had forgotten to spend our remaining money on dragon meat/egg dishes, something I had planned to do quite a while ago. Oh well. Once again, we didn't get the option to scale up content difficulty. In consequence, any battles until we got to Thaos were extremely easy at this point. Having slain so many drakes in much bigger quantities, a couple of shadow drakes can't really scare this party, especially with even more prayer against fear scrolls at their disposal: It was time to face Thaos, and a bunch of food plus some carefully selected drugs were consumed in preparation. I also made sure to prepare my quickslots, hoping to be ready for anything. This was a VERY close battle. I think it was also the only time during all of my at this point around 10 PoE runs where Thaos was actually the most difficult opponent for the party. Usually, it's some early game fight such as shades in the Temple of Eothas or the Caed'Nua great hall or some super-lategame fight such as one of the dragons (not including the sky dragon, which is far easier compared to the adra/alpine/bog variety). This time, Thaos, especially due to his high defenses and significant AoE damage (which is especially dangerous for melee-based groups), turned out to be quite a problem. So, to open the encounter, instead of buffing right away, my nr. 1 priority was having Pausanias run at Thaos while Chandragupta/Jeanne ran at Woedica's Judge, the others at the Headsman. Why is that? Well, buffing immediately would cause the vessels to move closer to Thaos, which would increase the likelyhood of my other characters getting hit by Thaos' cleansing flame, which would propably result in instant death for some of my glass cannon builds and heavy damage for anyone else - so I planned to have Pausanias fight on his own, keeping Thaos busy, with the others staying as far away as possible, taking down the vessels. While I wasn't perfectly content with my positioning, I had little choice in the matter once engagement started, so I started buffing up: Pausanias: Vigorous Defense => Potion of Major Recovery => Unbending (which would get renewed from time to time), monitoring his health and endurance (I had potions ready for both of these) Jeanne: Alacrity of Motion => Power => War Paint - after that, she went to town on the judge, with crippling strike/blinding strike Ögedei: Scrolls of Defense => Protection => Eldritch Aim => Alacrity of Motion => Minor Blights - after that, he had to job of weakening the headsman (by blinding it, for example) Catalina: War Paint => Firebrand => Rage Chandragupta: Only War Paint (I wanted him to keep his attention on the Judge, as he had to tank for Jeanne - if she'd be the target, her life would soon be at an end) Barbarossa: Scroll of Moonwell => Valor => Prayer against Bewilderment, while having defensive chants active As Ögedei and Barbarossa both would be busy buffing for quite a while and Catalina wouldn't do as much damage against a single target, I predicted the Judge to go down first, with Jeanne being a specialist at taking down single targets such as these - she got off to a great start with We-Toki knocking the vessel prone and the War Club applying the weakened debuff, allowing both her and Chandragupta to make use of their sneak attack: With crippling strike and blinding strike applied, the Judge lost endurance rather quickly. Meanwhile, on the other side, Catalina had to tank, but she was doing fine. Barbarossa, who had barely gotten to level 11 (entering the place of the final battle grants a relatively decent experience boost), called in some ogres to help out with damage - but Jeanne was clearly ahead - the Judge tried to turn around to hit her, but at this point another hit was enough to take him out: Pausanias was doing fairly well, with Unbeding preventing anything bad from happening. Of course, Thaos' pillar of holy fire did quite a bit of damage even to him, but nothing too serious at this point. Jeanne and Chandragupta rushed to assist with the Headsman, who was only injured at this point. This problem was quickly solved: Everyone was doing well in terms of endurance and hitpoints, and only Thaos was left. At the time, everything seemed to be going according to plan. I realized that buffs were running out, so I tried to re-apply the scroll-buffs while the group ran at Thaos, hoping to overwhelm him. This did not turn out well. Barbarossa's low dexterity and his low casting speed prevented him from getting in the buffs as soon as he should've (and I propably started trying to do this a bit too late). I was unable to interrupt a cleansing flame (Thaos' high defenses stopped attempts at using knockdown and stunning strike) + pillar of holy fire combo, which took out Catalina despite her high endurance. Jeanne also got hit by the cleansing flame (not the pillar), which resulted in her being almost dead - she wouldn't survive another spell and had no good way to evade it (running away would've resulted in a propably deadly disengagement attack). Chandragupta, who hadn't reached Thaos yet, was fine, and Ögedei stayed at a safe distance, while Barbarossa had high enough defenses to still be in decent condition. Now, Ögedei had a huge problem in any case: None of his usual spells had any reasonable chance to affect Thaos in a meaningful way - this is one time where having the blast build turned out to be quite useful, as he actually did some decent damage by attacking with minor blights, buffed up with alacrity of motion and eldritch aim - and he was the only party member safe from fiery death. Pausanias was at half health at this point, so he used second wind for endurance and infuse with vital essence for health regeneration. Thaos was at injured by this point. Sadly, in the heat of battle, I forgot to take a screenshot at this moment - but you'll get one showing the state of battle a few seconds later soon. So, what happened in these few seconds? Well, with Jeanne pretty much doomed, I had her go all in - I wanted her to use her two finishing blows before her death, even though Thaos was only at injured. They turned out to be extremely crucial and very effective, taking him from injured to near death basically by themselves. After that, another pillar of holy fire did indeed kill Jeanne, and a Confusion followed. Barbarossa, who had been interrupted trying to rebuff multiple times, still tried to apply prayer against bewilderment again - and he was too slow. Now, Ögedei and Pausanias are immune to confusion thanks to their hats, and Barbarossa resisted. Chandragupta was affected, though (shortly after that, the prayer started doing its work - it would end up stopping another confusion attempt from Thaos, so it was crucial to still finish the scrollreading) - so, with Catalina and Jeanne dead plus Chandragupta confused, we only had Ögedei's minor blights as a relevant damage source, as Pausanias' build is very defensive. I decided to switch Barbarossa from his defensive chants to Dragon Thrashed, as I had to find a way to take Taos down quickly - two more damage spells from him, and everyone but Pausanias could easily be dead: This turned out to be a good idea. Jeanne had really done a great job softening Thaos up. While another pillar of holy fire did some significant damage to our chanter, the dragon kept on thrashing, and with a few minor blights hits further lowering our antagonist's health, Barbarossa was the one to finish the job with his chanting: Also: The value on that moonwell scroll over the course of the fight really can't be overstated. Certainly worth the topaz! A hard-fought victory for our party. A melee-heavy lineup certainly isn't ideal at dealing with Thaos - a few ranged damage dealers could've easily avoided all these damage spells. Also, being unable to disable him with his high defenses and us not getting lucky enough to break through them was a big factor. Let us now look at some final party stats: Not surprised that Catalina is dominating the party damage in such a huge way. It certainl felt that way throughout the game. While she didn't do much against Thaos, when it comes to typical group fights, she was the most valuable party member. Getting 28% of total kills is a huge number compared to the 16% achieved by Amria, the leader in this category for Liresh's run. Jeanne getting knocked out 12 times is still 2 times fewer than I predicted at the start of the run (I was guessing it would be around 14 times). Now, with these classes/builds being an usual choice for me, here are some quick thoughts on their performance: Pausanias: Well, my opinion hasn't changed: Almost everything a fighter tank can do, a paladin tank can do too, and the paladin has way more additional abilities and flexibility. Overbearing guard is nice, but not enough to outweight exhortations, LoH and the like. Still, they can do the job without major issues. Jeanne: This build is certainly very good at doing one thing: Doing huge amounts of damage and applying negative status effects on a single target. It would also be great for scrolls and the like, but I decided to put her skill points into mechanics. For my taste, it took too much micromanagement to keep her standing, and even with that, it was not always possible. Also, single target damage isn't that important for the majority of the game. I have to admit though: During the Thaos fight, she was the most valuable party member, doing by far the majority of the damage both to the vessels and to Thaos himself. Ögedei: I've mentioned this before, but I'm not convinced by the blast build. The vancian spells are more valuable, and in the early game, where spellslots are still hard to come by, you don't have the talents yet to deal very high damage with blast. The combination with combusting wounds is decent for some early encounters, though. Still, I'd prefer a more defensive build for no-reloads. I don't have to mention that mages are obviously super strong in general. For myself, I still would prefer having a druid instead, but only because I have much more experience playing with them and using their spells. Certainly, mages have stronger defensive abilities. Catalina: It's propably clear by now that she was my favorite party member during this run - blood thirst with a high-damage weapon and accurate carnage is so much fun, and being a death godlike is quite helpful for this build in my estimation. You only need firebrand and rage to burn your way through hordes of enemies, and even without firebrand, tall grass is known to be an amazing weapon with carnage and high int for a reason. If I were to run with Liresh again, I'd propably cut the second ranger and take a barbarian with me instead. Chandragupta: I still don't feel like I've really figured out monks all that well yet. Over time, I've gotten more comfortable with this one, but I might've chosen too many passives in his build. Obviously, his more sturdy build prevented him from rivaling Jeanne for single target damage, but with little AoE to his name, he never really impressed me. He did get to be rather tanky near the end, and stunning strikes are obviously good to have, but I would welcome someone else picking up the class and doing something more interesting, creative and powerful with it. Friedrich/Barbarossa: Despite the death, my chanters did a good job as secondary tanks while applying buffs, debuffs or damage with their chants. Dragon Thrashed is obviously great. My one big mistake was propably making the low-dex chanter into my primary lore character - I had two others with lore 4 for fear/defense/protection scrolls, but only Barbarossa had the lore for Moonwell/Valor/Prayer against Bewilderment. I should've realized that the scrollreading job would be like priest-buffing, where only dexterity and intelligence really matter, so choosing a low dex character fot the job would be a terrible idea. This did come to hurt me quite a few times. Honestly, I would've propably done better with Barbarossa as mechanics guy and Jeanne using the high level scrolls. Well, this is it for Pausanias. Good luck to all the other runners!
  15. Yep, I was searching for the actual poverty run thread, but I'm not sure how to turn off the search time limit in these forums. Thanks for digging out this link anyway, that one's a very interesting and impressive run as well!
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