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Everything posted by Enuhal

  1. No access to confusion just yet, as my party was only at level 6. The battle would've certainly been rather easy at level 7, with access to amazing level 4 spells (and it still should've been easily doable at level 6 - poor execution and a lack of attention were my downfall. Things usually go very smoothly for me in Chapter II, so I didn't even expect to get close to death somewhere in Defiance Bay).
  2. Final Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD To make things short: We cleared the Endless Paths levels 1+2, killed Captain Emery and her party to finish "A Return to Court" and travelled to Ondra's Gift to complete the remaining Defiance Bay sidequests. The last one we wanted to do for now, before moving on to some parts of the mainquest and Dyrford Village, was "The Forgotten". I forgot about the enemy wizard opening with Bewildering Spectacle, which affected three of our party members for ~10 seconds, but I was able to recover with statue summons. I felt like I had the battle firmly under control after both of the enemy wizards were dead, so I basically stopped paying attention, barely noticing that two of their melee fighters were taking out most of my party. I have no idea how Numitor even got knocked out - I remembered him being at full endurance, and then suddenly he was gone - he would've easily been able to stabilize the situation once more, as he had a lot of spells left, including both of his Veils. Suddenly, only Aurora and Raiden were still standing, soon after that it was Raiden in a one on one against the enemy barbarian. It was super close, with the enemy being near death, but Raiden wasn't really able to hit him. In retrospect, there were a ton of things I could've done to easily turn this around (I had lots of scrolls, one more statue summons and most of my spells left), but I simply didn't realize quickly enough that I wasn't in control of the battle anymore. I will be taking a break from the game for now, good luck to everyone else!
  3. Eleventh Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD I decided to clear out the entirety of Raedric's Keep, which is something I usually never do - generally, I go for Raedric at level 5-7 with a frontal assault, which results in four big battles in total, after that the whole thing is done. Why did I want to do everything? Three reasons: a) More gold from selling all the things. b) an opportunity to upgrade the Blue Stone Sceptre quite a bit due to tons of battles. c) I was trying out different wizard spells (as I don't have much experience with wizards) that I usually never use, so a large variety of not too difficult battles would be a good opportunity to do so. We started with the courtyard, which usually involves two big pulls. The first one went fairly well, with Raiden holding the front line, the others providing buffs and some experimental aggressive spells and Alkyone taking out the enemy archers by herself: Alkyone did end up accidentally pulling another enemy from the northwestern part of the courtyard, but we still ended up victorious, though slightly more wounded than was neccessary: The second courtyard battle started in a similiar fashion, though I was more careful with Alkyone. With Raiden's vigorous defense, I started throwing some reflex based spells directly at him to test out their maximum damage potential (rolling flame, crackling bolt, fireball etc.): Once again, we got through this one without a knockout, but lost some health, especially on Raiden and Alkyone: Now, it was time for us to move up the ramparts, clear them out and make our way to the temple area. As Raidens hitpoints started getting lower and lower with each battle, I started using my wizards for Veiltanking, even adding the shade summons for one of the larger battles: Now, what I really should've done is obvious: Rest. But I wanted to clear out the entire courtyard + temple without resting once (why? no idea). This approach almost turned into a terrible disaster during the last battle of the area, the main temple room, where I started off with Numitor using his final Veil as a tank. I had pretty much no spells left for that one, and my plan was to use the wood beetle summons to gain an advantage - but I heavily underestimated the number of enemies I would have to face. As the wood beetles died, we had no spells, no per-encounter abilities (except for a few second winds and Surya's shapeshift), almost no scrolls (none that would be very useful for this specific situation) and low endurance or even health on most party members: I had to retreat with our veil-less wizards. While Raiden had almost no health left, he was the only one even capable of tanking without the use of spells. I hoped for him to get knocked out so the other could flee, but his constant recovery soon turned out to be too powerful - I even intended to sacrifice him permanently so the others could escape as he got surrounded before I thought to myself: "Let's at least try to save him - if he dies, the run is as good as over anyway - we would have no frontliner at all." - so we turned around, taking out the one acolyte who didn't attack Raiden: At this point, the enemy priests were out of aggressive spells as well - while Raiden's hitpoints were very low, he was only getting missed or grazed, despite being flanked - so his hitpoints were dropping very, very slowly, giving us some time. All I had left was attacks, so it was mostly up to Surya and Alkyone. In a race against time, the number of enemies was reduced to 1 while Raiden still had 18 hitpoints left: And we - barely - ended up making it. Raiden is at 11, but all the enemies are dead: That was way too close! Time to finally rest. Now, we made our way to the dungeon, dealing with various vessels first and climbing up to the other side of the ramparts: Once again, I didn't rest for the entirety of the dungeons, so when facing Osyra, Raiden was too low with his points to tank. Iacchus took his place, and while he took a lot of damage due to spells, we were able to quickly weaken the opponents by affecting most of them with blind effects, Combusting Wounds, Interdiction and the like: Surya's Returning Storm did its thing, and Iacchus managed to hold on while an Iconic Projection took down Osyra herself: Another rest, and I started to fight my way through the keep. Most of the items I found around here turned out to be relatively bad, with the exception of a ring with three Combusting Wound charges, which Alkyone can use. There's one relatively big battle near the entrance, though I approached the enemy from behind, giving me a huge tactical advantage - and since I planned to rest once more before facing Raedric, I was able to go all out with spells and per rest abilities: Now, for Raedric. We buffed up with food and ale, engaged in combat, starting with the usual accuracy buffs, adding in a scroll of protection and some shades: Numitor was forced to activate his Veil, as we prepared to weaken the enemy with Expose Vulnerabilities, Twin Stones, Sunbeam and Bewildering Spectacle. Raiden, at this point, had already taken down one archmage via Fan of Flames scroll: The Bewildering Spectacle actually managed to hit Raedric himself, giving us a huge advantage as the enemy line completely crumbled: In a cruel twist of fate, a champion of berath was the one to take down Raedric. Now, we only had to clean up the rest: With the keep cleared, we looted everything, ended up not equipping most of the new items and buying the bronze horn at Gilded Vale. We also had to fight off attacking skeletons at Caed'Nua, and Iacchus gained level 6, learning the blast talent and Llengrath's Displaced Image. Next time, I'm planning to clear the Endless Paths level 1 + 2.
  4. In PoE, the rogue class isn't needed, because the rogue role is performed by the "Mechanics" skill, which everyone can learn (a wizard and a cipher are both good for this, as they start with a bonus to mechanics. You'll also run into a wizard companion quite early). There's basically one companion for each class available when it comes to story companions, but you'll have to wait a while for some of them, especially the barbarian, rogue and monk. With the classes you like, you can use a fighter instead of the paladin (until you get a paladin, which takes a while) as the frontliner, a chanter as a secondary frontliner (relatively early), the cipher (takes a while, but still early if you know where to look) either as ranged or melee damage dealer, the priest, wizard and druid as casters (the druid will also double as a melee damage dealer with his shapeshifting ability). This party will certainly be powerful enough to finish the game. You don't get enough companions to fill up your party right away, so it's a decent idea to recruit about two created tavern companions in the early game if you like playing with a full party (this will also make the early game much easier - the early game on PotD, especially two specific regions, is among the more difficult parts of the game). You can replace these guys later on and use them for adventures (which is something to do for NPCs you don't have space for in your party).
  5. Tenth Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD Not much to report in terms of combat for the most recent session. I mostly explored First Fires and Brackenbury, completed some mostly non-violent quests (A Two Story Job, A Call to Court, The Theories of Pandgram), got my hands on the obsidian lamp figurine (using some lockpicks and the +1 mechanics resting bonus) and started building up my keep (mostly going for prestige right now in order to get access to adventures). The only major battle in the two areas was one I only encountered by accident, because I forgot which dialogue options I had to choose to complete "Rogue Knight" the peaceful way - so I ended up having to fight against Penhelm. Luckily, I already got my party to level 5 with "A Two Story Job", so I was well prepared for such an encounter (Picks: Vigorous Defense for Raiden, Dirty Fighting for Alkyone, Alacrity of Motion + Expose Vulnerabilities for Numitor). Many enemy fighters with knockdown were involved in this battle, so Raiden was unable to keep many enemies engaged. We started to weaken our opponents with Speaker of the I was able to get the enemy forces into a position where I was able to effectively apply my AoE spells - Chill Fog, Slicken, Noxious Burst, Dancing Bolts, Expose Vulnerabilities, Iconic Projection, Sunbeam etc. Not much the enemy could do about that, and the battle quickly turned against Penhelm: Victory was ours. I decided to spend some gold on learning all of the available grimoire spells for our wizards, regretting some previous spending (I found a fine large shield immediately after upgrading the one Raiden hat). I did end up upgrading "Whispers of Yenwood" to fine, though. The Blue Stone Sceptre was given to Surya, who will eventually use it to get his boar shapeshift back if needed. With everyone at level 5, am now ready to make my way to Raedric's Keep.
  6. Ninth Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD We started exploring Copperlane, first doing "Something Secret" the non-violent way to get ourselves our first statue summons. After getting our hands on some quests, our first battle in the city was against the Two-Story-Job crew. Raiden was able to take most of the enemy aggression, with the exception of the wizard - At first, I wanted Alkyone to rush him, but he activated his Veil right away, so I decided that Iacchus should try and paralyze him instead until his Veil was gone: While the wizard was able to knock out Surya, he ended up in a very bad position, with his remaining allies knocked prone by Slicken and the flanked enemy barbarian almost gone: At this point, Raiden and Alkyone, with some ranged support, were able to take down the enemy crew one by one, with the wizard being disabled for most of the fight until he, too, got flanked and killed: Next up: "His Old Self." As we had the ring, and I knew I could talk Nyrid into combat right away, we simply surrounded the wizard beforehand, while Iacchus with Hardened Veil would block off the entrance - this worked like a charm, and Nyrid wasn't able to cast a single spell: However, some of the more heavily armored mercenaries turned out to be quite difficult to kill, and as Iacchus' Veil wore off, I used the wood beetles to relieve some of the pressure and provide additional damage: Iacchus, for some reason, ignored all of my commands to activate his second Hardened Veil, resulting in him getting knocked out. Luckily, others were able to finish the job: A wounded party made its way upstairs, where Raiden lured the remaining mercs into a bad position - they were perfectly arranged in order to be taken down by our remaining AoE spells: Iacchus reached level 5 after this quest, gaining access to Minor Blights (I intend to give him "Blast" at level 6) and Malignant Cloud (because I wanted to have a good AoE spell that targets fortitude - I already have grimoires with level 3 reflex spells). Finally, we decided to complete the "Parable of Wael" and enchanted our first item - Raiden's large shield is now of fine quality. I approached the Parable crew from the southwest, starting combat with our usual accuracy buffs and a triple disabling threat of Tanglefoot, Chill Fog and Slicken: With reflex defenses sufficiently lowered and Combusting Wounds applied, it was time to throw in some nukes: The enemy melee line was taken out, and the party retreated to lure the ranged attackers to the edge of the Tanglefoot/Chill Fog-zone: A very clean victory. We returned the stolen scroll to the temple and will explore more of the city next time. The chainmail with Sun Beam charges was given to Alkyone for now, as she needs something to do in case it's too dangerous for her to engange in melee combat, and I don't have an endless supply of scrolls.
  7. Eighth Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD We started exploring the courtyard of Caed'Nua, moving to the east, from there to the north, clearing out the smaller sprit and blight groups. There are two big ones we had to deal with: The one in the northwest, and the one in the southwest. We encountered the shadows, whisps and phantoms to the northwest, near the inn, first. Raiden was already at about half health from previous encounters, so Iacchus once again stepped up to engage first, his Hardened Veil at the ready. Even with the annoying phantom stuns, his deflection was still very high: Not having any strong defenses against the stun effect was a problem, and so was only having the hermit hat to counter confusion (on Raiden at this point - should've switched it to Iacchus). After a quick combusting wounds, some dancing bolts took down a few spirits as more AoE spells were prepared and Iacchus got confused: The battle was already almost won when Iacchus suffered a knockout, because the confusion effect caused him to get critically hit by Aurora's own Iconic Projection: Now, any sane person would've decided to rest at this point. However, I had set my mind on finishing the courtyard without a rest for some reason (mostly pride, I'd guess - which is not exactly the best motivation for no-reload play). This is how I ended up running into the second big group of shadows, phantoms and whisps to the southwest. And what a battle it was - with a terrible start at that. Numitor with his own Arcane Veil was my chosen tank, but got confused right away, so basically nothing was protecting the backline: While the others were buffing up their accuracy and starting to weaken the enemy, Numitor's confusion ended relatively quickly, but even with his Veil, he got flanked, stunned and killed within seconds: On the plus side, the spirits now got into a position where it would be possibly to hit all of them with even small-scale AoE spells. On the minus side, a permastunned Raiden was the next one to get knocked out, and I was lucky not to lose him permanently: Surya hit with an Insect Swarm, but much more important - and crucial for the future of this run, to be frank - was Iacchus' Bewildering Spectacle. It was basically my last hope - we needed to get a good outcome from this one, otherwise we would surely get overwhelmed. The success and change in the combat situation was immediate: One of the phantoms resisted, but the other one was affected and started stunning its former comrade. One whisp got grazed and wandered to the north, and an affected shadow wandered to the west: We got really lucky when the whisp ended up targetting and killing the confused shadow instead of one of my party members as the duration of the Spectacle came to a close: Still, two phantoms and a whisp were still a terrifying force to overcome for our weakened party, with no defense against the stun effects. Luckily, the phantoms had weakened each other, and Alkyone was able to take one of them down. As Surya got knocked out, unable to get out of a prolonged stunlock, the whisp was defeated as well. Aurora had zero spells left and does no damage with her pitiful accuracy and might score, so we effectively only had Alkyone and Iacchus, who used his last spell to summon the Parasitic Staff, to finish this battle: Sadly, instead of attacking Aurora, the final phantom turned to Alkyone, who has by far the worst deflection in the party. She was defenseless, got revived by the Saint's War Armor, but knocked out again - VERY close to permanent death, but not quite there, luckily. Iacchus activated his second Veil to prevent a similiar fate. Shortly after, his Parasitic Staff finally finished the job: Only two party members left standing, zero spells left, two almost permanently lost - this one felt even closer than the gul encounter. Obviously, we rested after that one. Glad we made it. Now, the battle in the great hall. We prepared with food and beer for that one. No whisps, which means no confusion. The plan was for Raiden to stand his ground while the others would buff up and cast fire spells - things started out fine, but Raiden got stunned at the wrong moment, lowering his reflex defense, which meant that he once against got knocked out by friendly fire: While Alkyone was the next to get stunned, our barrage of fire spells quickly killed two phantoms and weakened the other spirits: Alkyone didn't event end up getting knocked out - so I'd call this one a clear victory: Wanting to save our final camping supplies for right before Maerwald, the party cleared the library spirits and carefully pulled the spiders in the prison in small groups. Raiden was low on health again, so I decided to do more veil-tanking: Another rest, and we were ready to face Maerwald. I'm quite happy with how this fight went: As soon as I saw our opponent casting Chill Fog, I knew that running out of the room would grant us victory - predictably, he missed our entire party, blinding and damaging his army of blights instead. He cancelled his follow-up fireball as the party retreated: Raiden was in place to block the doorway, and we also had a trap prepared, while the Chill Fog did some of our work for us: Raiden blocked off the blights, and Alkyone immediately jumped on Maerwald, dealing some damage and critting with the blind effect: Maerwald was unable to finish a single spell and was taken down by party-friendly nukes and Alkyone's melee assault: We didn't explore any other part of the Endless Paths, instead starting to build up the main keep and making our way encounter-free through the Woodened Plains and into Defiance Bay, where we will pick up next time. Edit: Forgot to mention: Defeating Maerwald got the recruited characters to level 4. We made sure to get athletics and lore to four on everyone. Both Alkyone and Raiden will get more lore after that, as they make for the best scroll users, Iacchus is going for mechanics, and the others will max survival. As for talents - Raiden: Wary Defender; Alkyone: Weapon Focus: Knight; Aurora: Interdiction; Surya: Wildstrike Shock; Numitor: Hardened Veil.
  8. Seventh Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD Before entering the Temple of Eothas, I made my first item purchase: A Blunting Belt for Raiden. Downstairs, I first dealt with a couple of whisps and spiders before running into a skuldr group, including on of their kings. I had forgotten about this encounter, and with Raiden being at about half of his health due to previous spider battles, I decided to have him block of the entrance into the room while my druid and the wizards started spamming their most powerful nukes - Raiden even joined in with his own Fan of Flames scroll: As Surya defeated the Skuldr King with a Talon's Reach, I was quite sure that being very aggressive with spells at this point was the right choice, considering Raiden almost dropped into the red despite the battle being rather short: After resting, we ventured down to level 2. When fighting smaller groups of spirits, we usually just engaged with Raiden while the others used their per-encounter abilities: However, dealing with the larger shade/shadow groups required a different approach. Not confident that Raiden could even stand for long against the shade's cold damage, I decided to start off with Iacchus himself tanking via Hardened Veil - this also gave him the opportunity to cast Fans of Flame without hitting any party members. Adding Combusting Wounds and Burst of Summer Flame into the mix, a few shadows were dropping quickly. As our enemies started teleporting around, everyone already had their melee weapons and shields prepared, and with the addition of a Parasitic Staff and some shapeshifting, the remaining shades didn't stand a chance: After resting and fighting through more spirits and oozes, I made it to the second group with shades. This one turned out to be a bit more difficult. I once again first engaged with Iacchus and his Veil, but my positioning wasn't great, with party members blocking each other and the spirits starting to teleport much earlier. While Numitor was able to protect himself with his own Veil and Aurora was able to stay out of trouble, Surya was without protection and got knocked unconscious. I quickly realized that I had to go all out, and luckily, both of my wizards were in a good position to cast their nukes: After the weaker enemies were taken down, Eldritch Aim + Parasitic Staff was enough to defeat the stronger shades: I did have to rest again (I picked up some camping supplies on level 1 after my first rest down here), this time going for accuracy against wilders for those who had enough survival, preparing to face the big skuldr group with two kings. Using the chokepoint, everyone was positioned behind Raiden in a line, providing equal access to the enemy backline. Throwing in spells like Chillfog, Combusting Wounds, Dancing Bolts, Burst of Summer Flame and Iconic Projection after a few buffs (mostly Inspiring Radiance and Eldritch Aim, as I forgot to cast Blessing) was enough to quickly end things in our favor: As you can see, I decided to equip Raiden with Gaun's Share for now. No deflection bonus, but better damage and healing. Next up is Caed Nua.
  9. Sixth Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD Venturing into the Black Meadow, the party first encountered a group of four trolls - double the number we faced at the Bridge, so we decided not to mess around, throwing a couple of buffs and even Fans of Flame at our foes: This is ideally how these battles are supposed to go: Raiden engages most of the enemies while Aurora buffs up the party, Surya and Alkyone join later to deliver the melee damage, and the two wizards start disabling and nuking the enemy from the back lines (though they can go to the front if needed, as they both have arcane veil): Iacchus reached level four at this point, choosing Infuse with Vial Essence and Hardened Veil - I need everyone to be quite tanky if needed, and while Hardened Veil may seem like overkill, I think it's quite useful and even neccessary because of the lack of genuine front liners in this party - Also, we're going to be facing teleporting spirits soon. This is also the point where I started to pay a lot more attention to the strengths and weaknesses of our enemies - damage types and defenses alike. I usually don't pay too much attention to that, aside from outright immunities, because my usual party combinations are all about beating deflection - the spells I tend to use that target other defenses are so powerful (such as returning/relentless storm, calling the world's maw, mental binding, amplified wave) that I'd use them against almost any type of enemy. This time around, though, I have to deal a significant amount of damage via low level wizard spells, and I don't have any good ranged physical damage dealers. One of my wizards has terrible accuracy, so I really need to choose the right spell to break defenses and get past damage reduction - which is why I used a LOT of fire spells in the Black Meadow (trolls, spiders and forest lurkers are all weak against them), such as Sunbeam, Burst of Summer Flame and Fan of Flames. These all target reflex, which is good, because trolls and forest lurkers aren't the best in that departement, and I employed steps to weaken their reflex defenses even further. In any case, we had to deal with some bandits to get the smith's shipment first. The leader is a barbarian, they also have a druid and a crossbow-wielding rogue, who can be quite dangerous. Everyone buffed up with some food before the battle, and Alkyone had to retreat right away because she got hit by the first crossbow bolt: While we made sure the enemy frontline got blinded and flanked, allowing us to quickly deal damage to the bandit leader, Iacchus moved towards the ranged attackers in order to disable them - however, he was stopped by a Talon's Reach and took a lot of damage: Iacchus took the opportunity to activate his new Hardened Veil, causing the bandits to miss all future attacks. Meanwhile, the enemy frontline was overwhelmed and taken out by our melee fighters: Everyone moves to the east to gang up on the crossbowmen, and victory is soon ours: I propably made a mistake by not resting after this battle and fighting on for a while, getting rid of more trolls, wights and eventually spiders to the south. Raiden's health got awfully low in the process: Still, he survived, and we rested after that - now, we had to face a few more trolls: And finally, the forest lurkers to the north-east. They can be dangerous at this point, as they have a lot of hitpoints, deal a ton of damage, are immune to a lot of crowd control effects and their attacks tend to cause the "stuck" effect. Raiden was sent to the frontline, and our three casters started spamming fire spells while Aurora buffed up the party. Now, it's usually fine to just cast Fans of Flame on Raiden, because he has great reflex defenses. However, I think he might've been prone, which caused this to happen: Thanks, Numitor. Not to worry, though - Iacchus stepped up, activating his Hardened Veil and using the opportunity to cast more fire spells, point blank: Surya added two Bursts of Summer Flame, taking down the first forest lurker, and we finally moved into melee combat to flank and kill the second one: So much for the easy parts of Act I. Next up is the Temple of Eothas. This should be fun.
  10. Fifth Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD Magran's Fork went much better than the Compass. I started by moving arond the edges of the map, taking down a single troll and eventually running into Ludrana and her goldpact paladins. Raiden engaged the first paladin while I had Alkyone and Surya run towards Ludrana in order to quickly take down the squishy wizard. The paladin broke engagement, Raiden followed him in order to at least flank him, and Iacchus, the one being targeted, activated his arcane veil. Aurora tried to weaken the paladin with a divine mark, though Iacchus himself was much more effective by simply smashing him to bits with the Parasitic Staff, and Ludrana herself stood little chance: A quick victory was achieved, and the next significant battle was against a huge pack of wolves to the north. After the customary start via inspiring radiance, I decided to prevent my frontline from being overwhelmed by using Numitor's Bewildering Spectacle for the first time - with much success: The wolves were mostly busy with each other, so I was able to take down a few of them right away. After the confusion effect ended, the wizards followed up with slicken and chill fog, and in the end, we ended up with zero knockouts, though Alkyone came close: Next up: The big boar battle near the centre. These guys can be tough, and so I started my wizards off with Eldritch Aim to prepare for a longer battle. Also, we prepared with foodbuffs: Surya, who was attempting to cast charm beasts on a number of my foes, got swarmed, but was able to finish his spell: Sadly, he wasn't fast enough to use his second wind before getting knocked out. I reinforced the party with armor of faith while most of the boars were blinded or knocked prone through wizard spells (two of them also being affected by combusting wounds): Numitor summoned the Parasitic Staff, which greatly improved our damage output - aided by an Iconic Projection, the party started to take down the otherwise relatively tough enemies: Victory: Only one knockout in Magran's Fork - a clear improvement compared to earlier efforts
  11. Fourth Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD This one is interesting, mostly because of my own incompetence and bad memory about certain encounters. Almost lost the run here. Anslög's Compass involves one big fight against xaurips, including against priests, champions and skirmishers. I was ready for that one, had Raiden and Alkyone eat some food and drink some beer. The enemy backline was disabled and weakened via slicken and chill fog while Aurora started buffing up the party with Inspiring Radiance, Blessing and Armor of Faith: Predictably, Raiden got stunned by the xaurip skirmisher, greatly weakening his defenses: While this did result in him getting knocked out and the skirmisher moving on to Aurora, my damagedealing melee fighters, Alkyone and Surya, were able to quickly take down our enemies one by one: Isolated, the lonely skirmisher stood no chance: So - this obviously isn't the encounter where we got close to death. "But Enuhal", I might hear you say - "This is clearly the hardest encounter on the map!" Well, yes. I even rested after that one, to make sure i was prepared for anything coming my way. However, I managed to screw up to the south of the xaurip camp by pulling a truly unneccessary number of guls for no real reason. First, I just engaged one of the vessels and took it down. Next, I encountered a group of 3-4 of them. Fine - not too easy, but nothing my party wouldn't be able to handle. But, as I was setting up Alkyone to flank the guls from the east, she added three more foes into the mix - they were waiting just out of sight, and I didn't notice. They all swarmed her, and with her weak defenses, she was an easy target - so we lost our best damage dealer, and as you can see in the screenshot, my general positioning is terrible - Raiden is supposed to take most of the hits, but he's barely getting attacked: Breaking engagement with anyone seemed way too risky, though, so my goal was to deal as much damage as possible before everyone got knocked out. We quickly lost Surya and Aurora, but Iacchus and Numitor started spamming Fan of Flames, taking down some of our foes: Not even arcane veil was enough to keep the swarmed Numitor alive, though. Raiden and Iacchus were left standing. At this point, I realized that Raiden has great reflex defenses due to his stats and his weapon-and-shield style and just started casting spells directly at him, allowing Iacchus to hit more guls - still, it wasn't enough. Raiden got knocked out, and it was Iacchus - who was out of spells - against three guls. I saw no choice but to try and run. Two guls had engaged the Watcher at this point, but their disengagement attacks only grazed him: You can see one gul, belonging to the eastern group, already turning around at this point. A second one soon followed, but the third gul persisted - it was already near death. Iacchus had to stand and fight against this last foe - since he's not exactly good at that, at least not without spells, I had to activate both of his arcane veils to ensure his survival - but he prevailed: As it turned out, the two guls who didn't follow Iacchus ran out of sight of my remaining knocked out party members - so everyone was able to get up again! That was a close one! I rested, and actually only found on of the two guls in the morning, as I was hoping to get my revenge. No idea what happened to the other. In any case, I still had to clear the spore cave. Not too difficult, though I once again got Alkyone into an awkward position when pulling the party back to isolate the sporelings: I really have to work on that. Luckily, the dank spores were easy to defeat, as Raiden blocked their confusion attacks with the hermit hat: Returning back to Gilded Vale got my party to a much needed level 3. Raiden picked defender (not sure if that's a good choice at this point, to be honest), Alkyone got reckless assault. Numitor learned Bewildering Spectacle and Fetid Caress. I spent some gold on more food and swapping around wizard spells (having two wizards means that I get access to a wide variety, as they can exchange parts of their grimoires, but there's a lot of copper involved). Let's hope that Magran's Fork is less stressful, though there's a very dangerous group of boars to deal with around there.
  12. Third Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD Madhmr Bridge is generally a relatively easy area, and I wanted to get the Hermit's Hat before moving on to Anslög's Compass. There are some trolls around, however - I tried my best to improve my chances of actually dealing damage to them by lowering their deflection with nature's mark, knocking them prone with slicken etc. while buffing my accuracy with inspiring radiance and blessing: Sadly, I was unable to get my wizards into a position to follow up with Fan of Flames, so I resorted to blinding and flanking the trolls while my only two reliable damage dealers, Alkyone and Surya, tried to take them out. It took a while, but success was ours: There's also an encounter against a xaurip group involving a high priest, who can certainly be dangerous at this level. I ran into him, not remembering the existence of the encounter, and started in a bad position. Alkyone got exposed to multiple enemies, got knocked out but recovered thanks to wearing Eder's armor. I saw a Pillar of Faith come in and had her retreat, otherwise she might've been gone for good. This resulted in very low hp on Raiden. I kept the xaurips weakened with a chill fog, but had little left in terms of other buffs and debuffs, so Iacchus himself had to take down the high priest with his fine crossbow: After this battle, I decided to finally rest. I solved Ferry Flotsam the semi-peaceful way and travelled to the Compass.
  13. Second Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD Today, we cleared Esternwood. Not a lot of combat here, but the lack of a strong frontliner with good defenses is very noticable. Simply fighting against a few spiders and wights already brought Raiden to about half of his health, despite me stacking all available deflection on him. Replacing him with the character with the best constitution and resolve, Aurora, doesn't work all that well - one second into combat, and half of her endurance is gone - though her inspiring radiance always allows for a quick victory against vessels, such as the undead at the graveyard. I found a fine crossbow and a minor ring of deflection here. This party isn't as ranged-heavy compared to my usual playstyle, so the crossbow isn't all that useful to me right now. To deal significant damage, I mostly use my rogue Alkyone, the boar shapeshift and arcane assaults - the two people relying on regular attacks are both melee fighters, everyone else has to use spells. I also made my way south to unlock the bridge and the compass by staying on the western side of both Magran's Fork and the Black Meadow, which means I only had to face one small pack of wolves and a group of wights. Propably going to do Madhmr Bridge tomorrow.
  14. It seems like the spoiler tags might have to be changed in this forum. Otherwise, it's just copy&paste. First Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD Short update for today: Since I'm not allowed to add non-randomized characters to my party, I killed Aloth and Eder to get their equipment. Eder was surprisingly tough and knocked out my fighter, Raiden (his terrible defensive stats are really quite noticable). I didn't want to rest, because I already had the fletcher's inn resting bonus going, so I went to Valewood with a wounded party, stacking deflection on my priest instead to take down the bandits and save the cook: Iacchus gained another level. I decided to pump every skillpoint into mechanics and added Curse of Blackened Sight and Combusting Wounds to his spellbook. Despite some camping supplies waiting to be used everywhere, I foolishly decided to go on and face the cave bear without resting, still wanting to hang on to the inn bonus as long as possible. I had Surya cast charm beasts - but this one kind of backfired, because it managed to affect every opponent in the cave, so I had no target to kill. I had to wait for a bit and tried to blind the bears with Chill Fog and Curse of Blackened Sight - which worked, but didn't prevent them from knocking down Aurora, my current frontliner: Luckily, blinded bears are easy to hit - some arcane assaults and good hits by my best damage dealers, Surya in boar form and Alkyone with her sneak attacks worked wonders, though Surya got knocked down as the battle came to a close: Not our finest hour, but we prevailed and went on to rest. Our execution was much better against the pack of wolves to the south: I made sure charm beast would only hit a few of them, turning the wolves against each other, which gaves us time to flank and kill the stragglers: A very clean victory here, and no other spells needed (well, except for a blessing to improve our lousy accuracy). I used Iacchus' might score to solve Against the Grain peacefully, returned to the Black Hound and I should mention that the others in the party reached level 2. Aurora went for Inspiring Radiance (gotta get that accuracy), Numitor added Arcane Veil and Eldritch Aim, Surya took Weapon Focus: Peasant to improve his accuracy as a boar. The other two choices were a bit more difficult. I decided to go for Two Weapon Style for Alkyone right away, and Weapon and Shield Style for Raiden, commiting to turn him into a tank. Not sure if that one will work out.
  15. Trying to crosspost this one from the Beamdog Forums: Introducing: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD Hello everyone Inspired by recent activity in this thread, I've decided to once again play some PoE. Last time around, I completed two party-based PotD no-reload runs, making use of all of the classes in the game. As I don't enjoy solo play all that much, there has to be some kind of additional challenge in order to make things interesting again. I've decided to have a go at a staple when it comes to my BG runs - a randomly generated party challenge. Playing on PotD with no maim on death, this involves every single character being entirely randomized, with me having no input at all into the character creation process. Since PoE doesn't have an option to randomize stats, I had to create an excel sheet in order to achieve this. For the prologue, I obviously only had access to my watcher. The dice gifted me with a pale elf wizard called Iacchus: If dexterity and constitution were switched, this would actually be an excellent character. As it is, the low dexterity is going to hurt a bit, but I think this watcher is still going to be quite capable, as wizards are generally one of the most powerful classes in the game. I also got lucky with the inital spell selection: Chill Fog, Parasitic Staff, Fan of Flames and Wizard's Double. Would've loved to switch the last one out for Eldritch Aim or Slicken, but the others are all great. Iacchus is a drifter, so I thought about making him the mechanics guy right away, but decided to save the level 2 skillpoints to check out what the remaining party members would be able to bring to the table. Starting off, I sold everything I could to Heodan (the money is needed to recruit 5 party members right away) and equipped Calisca with a one-handed weapon for extra accuracy. Iacchus used his lore to save Heodan, and a flanking + knockdown + blinding strike + arcane assault combo was enough to quickly take down the glanfathan leader: Time to finish things up with a Fan of Flames: I fought my way through the ruins, mostly using daggers and flanking plus arcane assaults in order to maximize damage output: Iacchus skipped all encounters in Valewood and used his intelligence to avoid combat at the Black Hound before entering and recruiting his party. I had to level up first, and I decided to add arcane veil and slicken into the mix, though taking eldritch aim was tempting. Now, let us meet the characters I will be working with: Alkyone, Coastal Aumaua Rogue: These are great stats for a rogue! This one's certainly going to be a primary melee damage dealer. She is starting with blinding strike, which is what I'd prefer in any case. Might be the mechanics person instead of Iacchus. Raiden, Mountain Dwarf Fighter: So, this is interesting. Raiden has the only traditional tanking class in the party, but his defensive stats are... bad. I've never played a fighter as a damage dealer before, and I'm not sure if I can afford to do so. Currently no idea how I'm going to build this one. He starts with disciplined barrage, which is certainly not as useful as knockdown would've been. Surya, Coastal Aumaua Druid: Would've wished for a higher amount of intelligence here. I don't need that much might for my druids, but AoE is important. He was assigned the boar shapeshifting form, which I've never used before and which doesn't seem all that powerful. Still, he is propably going to be a very capable aggressive spellcaster and nuker. Always good to have a druid. Aurora, Fire Godlike Priest of Eothas: This one I'm really happy with - mostly because she is a priest, and priest-buffs will increase the power of a randomized, and thus not optimized party by quite a bit. The might score is pitiful, but I will just try to stick to buffs and not use many heals and nukes with Aurora. 17 int is very nice, though the high constitution score isn't needed at all. Also: Never played a fire godlike before, but the bonus is unlikely to be relevant all that often. At this point, I was praying for a paladin with good defensive stats, or a cipher with decent int and perception (or even a high int barbarian). My prayers weren't answered, and I got another wizard instead - obviously still a useful class (lots of vancian spellcasting here, might need to rest a lot), and at least it's not a monk, right? Numitor, Wild Orlan Wizard: Low perception really hurts on PotD. The other stats are fine, I'm happy that this one, at least, has high dexterity. This might allow for a build with a certain amount of quick selfbuffs (eldritch aim will be needed, for one). I swear, I didn't manipulate the spell selection: Chill Fog - again; Fan of Flames - again; - Wizard's Double - again. No Parasitic Staff this time, but Slicken instead. Amongst my two wizards, Wizard's Double is the only relatively bad pick here - quite lucky indeed! All in all, this is certainly above average from what I'd expect with a randomized party. Simply having a priest is already a big plus, and if I get past the early game, my druid and the two wizards will have access to great AoE and crowd control. What's missing is a strong frontliner - which means that I will propably have to be very careful with positioning and be prepared to build up defenses on every character. Arcane Veil will certainly be helpful with that. I should mention that, while I plan to provide frequent updates for this run, they're propably going to be very small. I only have a little bit of time each day to play PoE right now, so don't expect this run to go very fast. I'm also quite rusty, so I might just misremember something and stumble into a dangerous encounter early on. We shall see.
  16. 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).
  17. 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).
  18. 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).
  19. 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?
  20. 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.
  21. 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!
  22. 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.
  23. There's a shortage of monks in this thread, so I would really love to see one played properly!
  24. 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.
  25. 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:
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