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Everything posted by Enuhal

  1. 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).
  2. @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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. Regarding poverty runs: Harpagonis, who is also active on the Beamdog forums (playing various LoB challenges, I believe) has done a PotD poverty run with a solo monk - it was a relatively popular thread (he has also done a run where he never leveled past level one), but I just don't seem to be able to find it again. What I can still find is the build he might have used: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/84589-class-build-the-ascetic-no-items-solo-monk-guide/
  7. I don't know the exact score needed, sadly. My mechanics person always puts all their points in mechanics except 4 in athletics and 1 in survival, and I'm usually a bit higher level than other people in this thread when doing Through Death's Gate, so it makes sense that not everyone will spot them in time - but one could use the Caed Nua resting bonus (Artificer's Hall I believe) and/or a rite of hidden wonders scroll (seems perfect for a situation like this - I think this one's the only important encounter where traps and combat are interlocked, so it would certainly be worth it, and I usually find at least one at this point in the game) to counter that - I generally don't have these active during this quest. My believe is that Jeanne had mechanics 10 when doing Though Death's Gate in my current run - it's not impossible that it might've been 11, but I doubt it.
  8. @semiticgod: Close call here, glad you made it out alive. Spores can be frustrating if you aren't prepared for them. Once you know what you face, you can exploit the fact that they can't move by luring all sporelings out of their range to take them out first and enter combat again while under the influence of snowcaps (it takes mushrooms to counter mushrooms, apparently) and mabye a scroll of protection - if you have a priest, even more defensive options are available. Maxing out mechanics on one party member also grants the option of finding and disarming these traps during combat (with a high enough skill level, they can be spotted even while not in stealth mode).
  9. Pausanias, Coastal Aumaua Fighter, Update 5 Previous Updates: We started with relatively peaceful quests in Twin Elms, such as delivering the Sealed Missive, completing Hard Bargain without any fights, delivering Vela to Simoc (one short and easy fight there - this also got us a new shield for Pausanias, Thy Clef) and, of course, Rymgard's god quest - which can be done entirely without violence by sneaking through the western path and into the main room. Only one character has to get close to the main group, so no significant stealth level is needed (Jeanne here has only her basic rogue stealth, boots of stealth and Lilith's Shawl): We use our resolve to convince the pale elfs to give up and agree to make a deal with the Beast of Winter. Also, Galawain's challenge is right next door, and we only need to complete two significant fights for that one if we take the middle path via grappling hook and make it through the bushes - with some stealth even this group could've been avoided: Being a fighter allows us to only fight Oernus and his bears without any help from kith on their side: Next up, the Northweald. We test out "The Dragon Thrashed" with some success: Certainly a nice boost for our AoE damage. Hunter, Brother and At the Mercy of the Tribes are completed (we are honest in order to get Sheathed in Autumn for Pausanias), and we fight the final group blocking our access to the Sky Dragon - which is the first to involve Adragans, but they make the mistake of rushing to the front of their group, which allows our melee damage dealers to have direct access to them, so they don't get to use any dangerous spells and die pretty much right away: We have a friendly talk with the dragon, not forgetting to pick up another bird up here before returning to complete this god quest as well. Oh, we've also bought Wē Toki and Rêghar Konnek to complete our weapon selection - and some war paint. Now, we could basically just complete Berath's god quest and finish the game, but I decide to take some pointless risks in order to explore this group's potential by attempting some of the tougher fights against trash mobs (to borrow some MMO terminology) - so we clear Pearlwood Bluff, including this northern group which includes both Drakes and Mênpŵgras - we stay back with the party until Ögedei has a good opportunity for Call to Slumber: Now, the party can rush in to take out the spellcasters. Drakes have never been much of an issue for us anyway. With the area cleared, there are some rather difficult fights in Elmshore. Near the adra arch, we try to rush another Adragan, but lose control of the situation when Catalina gets petrified and knocked out right away. We decide that the risk of this happening to more characters is too great and finally apply scrolls of defense + protection: Since we're a bit scared here (Catalina hasn't gotten knocked out in forever), we also summon in some shades. Dragon Thrashed does good damage, and the battlefield is eventually secured: Further to the south, a similiar group awaits, and we start out with defense+protection scrolls right away - we have the materials to make tons of these anyway, and there aren't many battles left in the game: We turn in Songs of the Wild and make our way back to Magran's Fork to get revenge on Gramrfel the Wayferer, who was a tough opponent for Liresh when he accidentally ran into him with an underleveled party - not so much this time: I decide, for our final test, to pointlessly challenge the huge group of ogres, ogre druids and ogre matrons in northern Elmshore. Once again, Pausanias engages alone until the first round of enemy spellcasting is done with, and we rush in with our own mênpŵgra: Chandragupta is finally using one of our Witch's Hat charges to apply a plague of insects of his own: Our defensive scrolls (plus some food and drugs) are active once again, and Ögedei adds confusion (obviously quite good against low-will ogres) into the mix. Meanwhile, we apply AoE damage with the likes of The Dragon Thrashed, Touch of Rot (from Jeanne's gloves) and mênpŵgra spells: The battle is a great success - now Catalina can get in and execute the remaining ogres with her blood thirst. Without thinking twice, we enter the cave to continue. This was a foolish idea, of course: The area is quite different and doesn't allow us to use melee damage to its full potential. The real reason things don't go well, though, is because Ögedei is too slow to get in range and finish call to slumber - one of the ogre druids is able to apply plague of insects before that - which is terrible for Jeanne, who is on low hitpoints because she ended up duelling with an ogre during the previous battle: While the call to slumber does its thing and Catalina starts mowing through enemy lines with some help from Dragon Thrashed, we once again have the problem of too much regeneration on Jeanne - she will permanently die unless we do something. This time, though, we do have a remedy - we have found a ring of suppression, and Pausanias applies it, barely in time: The duration isn't very long, so we have to finish the battle quickly. The second charge is applied, and the battle over: The wood beetles disappear in time, Jeanne is still alive. Another close one, but we did a far better job of adjusting this time (though we did have more tools at our disposal). Still, the cave is certainly a terrible to place for a party such as ours. Blood Sands is the only remaining area - we have fought every battle, done every quest available to us with our restrictions - the leader of the place is assassinated: We don't face much trouble with the druids here, having now a lot of experience in dealing with them. We enter Burial Isle, which gets everyone but Barbarossa to level 11 - next time, the endgame awaits. Talent choices for levels 10/11: Pausanias: Bear's Fortitude, Unbroken (just in case something goes terribly wrong with Thaos) Jeanne: Devastating Blow, Deathblows Ögedei: Arcane Veil (yes, we relent and do end up finally taking it instead of Marksman - we we did use it in the mentioned fights quite a bit, and it was very helpful), Gaze of the Adragan (and some other spells) Catalina: Apprentice's Sneak Attack, Heart of Fury Barbarossa: Scion of Flame - if he makes it to 11 before the end, he will take Urdel and Gurdel Chandragupta: Lightning Strikes, Iron Wheel Since we won't change our equipment anymore, for those interested, here are the armor and weapons we ended up with: Pausanias: Exceptional Plate Armor, Sheathed in Autumn + Thy Clef Jeanne: Blaidh Golan, Wē Toki + War Club of the Mataru Ögedei: Deckhand's Uniform, Gyrd, Rêghar Konnek + Aila Braccia Catalina: Sanguine Plate, Tall Grass (though mostly firebrand), Tidefall (for flame blights) Barbarossa: Äru-Brekr, Hearth Harvest + Sura's Supper Plate Chandragupta: Saint's War Armor, Fists, two fine spears (for crush-immune enemies, though I never ended up using these) We also decided to spend most of our remaining money, mostly on scrolls (not only prayers against fear and bewilderment, defense on protection, but also moonwell and valor) and potions (infuse with vital essence for everyone, some aggressive potions, major recovery for Pausanias etc.) - We should be ready for Sun in Shadow.
  10. @Jaheira's Witness: Yep, these potions would certainly have been helpful in this situation. I have now created a few more (I've gone on a bit of a crafting spree before doing Through Death's Gate), but there are just so many different things I like to fill my quickslots with. Having never needed these potions with my usual group constellation, I am still trying to see what I can get away with (just like semiticgod, I don't always go for the safest options available even if I know about them, at least in PoE). I don't think forced disengagement would've gotten Friedrich knocked out - he was regenerating so much endurance, there was basically not even a little bit of red on his portrait during the entire fight, and he also had pretty high deflection thanks to his shield and bracers - plus the enemies remaining once I noticed things going badly weren't exactly dealing huge amounts of physical damage (and with the chokepoint blocking movement, this would've been difficult to pull off in the first place). To be fair, at the time, I wasn't thinking of that option at all (though I was thinking of trying to knock him out via friendly fire, but I was quite sure that would only serve to kill him faster, again, with his endurance regeneration being so high). Regarding min/maxing: As someone who used to never put any character's stats below 10, having now tested out some extreme builds for this run, I would agree that 3 con/res is a bit too squishy for reliable party-based no-reload play, but I wouldn't say the same when it comes to only putting res at 3 - Catalina, who has res 3, hasn't gotten knocked out in ages, hasn't come close really - having low deflection but decent health is actually quite helpful for the build (and I have spirit shield potions in case she needs better concentration). Since she has shod in faith, the sanguine plate and the belt of the royal deafire cannoneer all equipped, getting hit by a crit can be quite beneficial to her.
  11. Pausanias, Coastal Aumaua Fighter, Update 4 - Part 2 My only other available quest (with my restrictions of "no endless paths, no expansions, no bounties, no companion quests" being a limiting factor) in order to get more power before Through Death's Gate was The Battle of Yenwood Field - which turned out quite interesting. This was the first time this one actually got a little bit close for me, mainly because I had no priest to buff up my entire army, which is obviously a huge advantage. My basic approach: Get my melee characters into the enemy backline right away while Ögedei tries to turn the melee battle in our favor with his spells - starting with a very effective confusion: Our positioning seemed pretty decent to start with, but despite recruiting veteran troops and helping them out with multiple AoE disables, the Caed Nua forces started to get overwhelmed, which resulted in enemies swarming Ögedei - who, to remind you, has no veil. Barbarossa did give him some time with a very effective At the Sound of his Voice invocation, and the enemy backline was starting to fall - priests and mages were mostly gone, only one cipher and Captain Emery remained: However, I couldn't stop Ögedei from getting knocked out: Jeanne took out Emery and Catalina started cleaving through the main group of enemy soldiers, though. Victory was ours: But only a single archer remained of the entirety of the Caed Nua forces. Still, the loot was more than worth it, and Jeanne ended up getting the final upgrade for her War Club of the Mataru. With all the money, we ended up buying some diamonds and other gems, finally upgrading the parts of our equipment we were going to keep until the end to exceptional quality and applying some +2 stat buffs on our armor (Gathbin's exceptional plate armor is also now what Pausanias is wearing). For the Mênpŵgras and Druids of Through Death's Gate, I had a new approach prepared. I had the almost unkillable Pausanias, protected with vigorous defense, engage completely alone, with the others a screen away, until the first round of enemy magic had hit him. At this time, the others stormed in (having already applied some buffs to themselves to prepare for this moment), waiting for an opportunity when no dangerous spells were about to hit - often, confusion provided such an opening: At this point, combat was going on long enough so that Barbarossa could follow up with At the Sound of his Voice, granting Catalina the opportunity to smash the opposition into fiery pieces - she usually only needs 3-4 hits with no recovery (pretty much a literal second) to destroy an entire group once one enemy is sufficiently weakened: We varied this approach, going in earlier if an opportunity presented itself: We had a lot of fun with the final battle on level 1 of the dungeon, luring back the sporelings: Catalina's most powerful hit to date, propably - 342 damage with one attack. With the next one, she started a string of no-recovery attacks that ended up getting rid of the entire group. Of course, we still had the dank spores and swamp spores to deal with. With no priest and a bunch of deadly traps lying around (literally deadly - two of such traps would certainly kill Jeanne), we didn't fancy our luck. Confusion and domination effects would have our party run possibly through all of these traps. In the end, after trying a few approaches with our two anti-confusion hats (unsatisfying because domination was still an issue, but luckily it's always easy to retreat against spores), we decided to get the entire party high on snowcaps (which are just great for situations like this), rushing in, with Jeanne going in last, thus being an impropable target, allowing her to get rid of the traps: The second level is very easy compared to the first, so there isn't really anything noteworty to say about it. We ended up returning to Defiance Bay, finishing the chapter and fighting our way past a relatively weak leaden key group: We avoided all encounters in Elmshore (except for picking up the sealed missive) and made our way into Twin Elms, where the party is now resting. As a side note, all of our soulbound items are now fully upgraded, and we didn't get the option to scale up content upon entering chapter 3, despite most of the party being at level 9 (Barbarossa, though, was only level 8 - I'm not sure which level is required to do this, but it seems like 8/9 isn't enough). Here are our talent choices for levels 8/9: Pausanias: Hold the Line (now useful with Overbearing Guard), Unbending (for emergencies) Jeanne: Weapon Focus: Knight, Finishing Blow Ögedei: Weapon Focus: Peasant, Call to Slumber (the other spells weren't important or already available via spellbooks) Catalina: Scion of Flame, Bloodlust Barbarossa: Beloved Spirits (and he will pick up The Dragon Thrasehd when he gets to level 9) Chandragupta: Apprentice Sneak Attack, Enervating Blows
  12. Pausanias, Coastal Aumaua Fighter, Update 4 - Part 1 Previous Updates: This is a rather large update, so I'm splitting it into two parts. Here we go: The party starts fighting their way through Dyrford Crossing (after buying Tall Grass as a backup weapon for Catalina), and everything looks fine. We easily triumph in the battle for the Nest Egg: However, our run suddenly takes a terrible turn - we've been kind of playing on autopilot since getting to Defiance Bay, as most quests there are pretty easy - I ended up mostly doing the same thing over and over once I figured out one sucessful approach to combat, with little adjustment to new types of enemies or new party skills and a resulting change in strengths and weaknesses. So, when I approached the far eastern group in the Crossing, which includes several mênpŵgras, I thoughtlessly used the choke point provided by the map, applied combusting wounds and started hitting with blast/carnage/winds of death. I did throw in a slicken to disrupt some spellcasting, but I completely failed to appreciate that, with 5 melee party members, everyone would get hit by spells like infestation of maggots. Since this never was much of a concern with my usual groups, I completely underestimated the damage potential of the spell, so when Friedrich, at about 3/4 of his health, got critically hit by two of them, my alarm bells didn't go off immediately. I was also busy taking care of Jeanne, who was already at a dangerously low life total due to a single crit of the same spell: When I finally realized that things were starting to go wrong for the two of them (the others were basically fine) and looked at the remaining duration of the spell (I hadn't found a single ring of unshackling at this point), I was shocked - it was basically going to last forever, so I had to finish combat as quickly as possible to make it stop. I got lucky with Jeanne: She barely got knocked instead of dying permanently - having removed her from the remaining party meant that she didn't get hit by more (in this case very harmful) endurance healing. Friedrich, however, basically can't die to low endurance - with ancestral memory, being a moon godlike, constant recovery and the like, he regenerates endurance like crazy. In this case, that was very bad. My only way to save him would be killing the remaining foes before his death (because combat ending also ends hostile spell effects). However, having used the choke point approach screwed over my ability to get the most efficient damage out of my melee damage dealers. I actually did make it: I killed the last foe before Friedrich got to zero health. However, the end of combat is on a short delay, and during that delay, the Infestation of Maggots got a final damage tick in, permanently killing Friedrich: With no maim on death, this is what I signed up for - and it isn't a run ending tragedy. Still, it could've been so easily prevented: a) I could've realized by now that choke points are only beneficial for this party if the enemy is totally dependent on melee damage themselves - in any other case, I'm hurting my own ability to destroy them much more than I'm hurting the enemy b) I could've realized the danger of the infestation spells and continued to apply slicken, confusion and other crowd control spells to keep the mênpŵgras from casting their spells c) I could've used scrolls of defense and/or protection (which, despite having trained lore, I hadn't even crafted at this point. I've never needed them in my other runs, in fact, with Liresh, no one in my party had invested in even a single point of lore - a priest removes the need for scrolls entirely, though they can, of course, still be a nice addition) or some other defensive items/potions, such as infuse with vital essence (which, at this point, only Pausanias had in his inventory) In any case, this served as a much needed wake up call. I immediately returned to Dyrford to hire another Chanter, Barbarossa, who is basically the same character, except he's an Aumaua Moon Godlike (instead of an elven one) and is one level below the party now - this and ~2000 gold is the relatively mild punishment for losing a custom party member - I can live with that, though I'm certainly not happy. I started playing with much more focus after that, immediately crafting some defensive scrolls and better understanding the unique strengths and weaknesses of my party. Instead of just doing the same thing over and over again, I thought of a viable strategy for each halfway-challenging encounter before engaging, thinking about the things that could actually go wrong. Back at the Crossing, I still had to take our some spiders and Korgrak + Bears, who had no way to handle Ögedei's confusion spell: Now, here's a nice little strategy for getting some easy experience and gold if you, like myself, don't like fighting your way through an entire dungeon full of Skaen worshippers: Entering from the Crossing (you might need a prybar and a hammer+chisel if your main character doesn't have a very good might score), if you have at least 9 mechanics (10 is better for certain traps on the way), you can sneak your way through the blood pool room directly towards the boss (even with 0 stealth): There is literally only one fight that you have to do on the entire way, and it's against a lousy group of three Skaenites - one of the weakest groups in the entire dungeon, really: After that, you have direct access to Wymund. You could, of course, just kill him or have Grieving Mother help out the girl, but in my case, I made a deal with him: This turns the entire temple friendly, and you're completely free to disarm all the traps and loot all the items inside without any combat. Very much worth it for basically no effort. I didn't fancy doing Through Death's Gate right now after my bad experiences with Infestation of Maggots (never a problem for my previous groups, so I felt a bit spooked), so I turned to the Searing Falls, having prepared some scrolls of prayer against fear to fight the drakes. I made a few mistakes against the first group, such as summoning firebrand (which obviously does very little damage in this fight), opening with a confusion spell (which made the battlefield a bit too chaotic for my tastes and simply wasn't needed) and the like: We also didn't renew our prayer against fear (I had assumed that it got renewed, but with Barbarossa's low agility, the cast didn't actually get through), so it took us quite a while to achieve victory: We did much better against the second larger group of drakes, especially after applying At the Sound of his Voice: Time for Cail the Silent. While using a choke point for this fight would be unavoidable (and, over all, a good thing, with the limited ranged abilities of xaurips and drakes), I did make sure that a second melee damage dealer (Jeanne, in this case), got access to Cail, and, of course, we had Catalina using Tall Grass. Meanwhile, Ögedei dealt with the backline, applying chill fog, expose vulnerabilities and the like: Minoletta's Concussive Missles allowed him to blow up any xaurip priests and high priests to prevent further healing, and victory was easily achieved after that: Let's continue in Part II of this update!
  13. @Alesia_BH: Regarding Blast - I have always liked the concept of making implements more of a thing, but having tested it out extensively now, I feel like you barely ever find the time to actually attack with a wizard, when spells are almost always the more powerful option, especially in the battles where your wizard actually needs to make an impact. In the early game, when you don't have enough spells yet and might be more likely to just attack, you don't have the required talents to actually deal decent damage with blasts. Also, potential blast crowd control (such als Gyrd's dominate chance) is not reliable at all. All in all, while it's a fun experiment, if I were to play the most efficient no-reload wizard, I would skip blast and go for veil and more defenses right away (also, summoned weapons such as draining staff and especially spirit lance are great, and obviously they don't go along well with blast). The damage of a combo such as blast and minor blights is decent, but doesn't compare to spamming AoE nukes. If one is very, very conservative with resting, I can see more reasons to go for it, but considering that dangerous implements also drains some of your health, blast has some downsides even in these cases.
  14. Regarding Gyrd, one good reason to use it on a mage is if you use the "Blast" talent - the AoE attacks increase the chance to trigger the dominate effect, making it an interesting way to cause havoc in enemy ranks. Otherwise, I prefer to have it on my druid, because against relatively normal but large groups of enemies I commonly open with Nature's Mark + Relentless Storm + Shapeshift and Attack. After the shapeshift duration runs out, if the battle is still going on, Gyrd is useful to get access to that Shapeshift DPS again. To be fair, I rarely end up using two shapeshifts in a battle, but it happens from time to time and I like to have the option available. Edit: Side Note - is anyone else having real trouble using this forum today? I've tried to write up another update but everything is going so slowly (or not at all), despite the rest of the internet working flawlessly.
  15. Pausanias, Coastal Aumaua Fighter, Update 3 Previous updates: We return to the Woodend Plains to fight the battle for Hearth Harvest - which isn't all that difficult by this point. Friedrich blocks the northern path, Pausanias makes his stand to the south, positioning himself in such a way that at least Catalina can still join in. As soon as Friedrich gets to 4 phrases, he invokes At the Sound of his Voice, and Jeanne + Catalina destroy the paralyzed lions: We clear the remaining area and start exploring the Copperlane Catacombs. Trolls and sporelings don't really scare us once lured away from their dank spores: We make our way further in, deciding to let the orlan go, solving Unwanted, and making a deal with Helig - no need to fight here. We peacefully infiltrate the Woedica Temple, and all that gets us to level 7. Time for the lighthouse! For the first battle, Pausanias is able to keep the majority of shadows/shades etc. busy by himself while the damage dealers start taking out small groups - however, some shades just can't stop using their ranged ice attack on poor Ögedei: Still, with the majority of foes grouped up around Pausanias, we have the perfect opportunity to destroy them with carnage + blast. The other battles don't involve any knockdowns, and we help the banshee find peace, claiming our reward. The Man who Waits is next - generally a relatively easy quest, especially with Catalina now having access to Blood Thirst, which allows her to cleave through big groups with low deflection within seconds: As a reward, she gets the final upgrade to her Belt of the Royal Deadfire Cannoneer. The Final Act is completed without bloodshed (we make a deal with Ludmilla and blackmail her patron to get some more money, which we use to buy a Deckhand's Uniform and some Rotfinger Gloves). The first group of assassins, while developing an annoying habit of going after Ögedei, doesn't do much: Since I'm going for a very offensive blast with my wizard, I don't have arcane veil, and it shows. It's a experiment, though propably not the best for no-reload play. Still, I am having fun with the blasts, despite them not dealing huge damage. Now, we enter Heritage Hill, burning a scroll of prayer against fear to deal with Leyra - the room is split in two, so Friedrich can tank one side while Pausanias takes the other: Further down south, we run into a bit of an unusual situation when an entire group of new vessels decides to join an ongoing fight. Luckily, Ögedei is on the case with a binding web, giving the others time to adjust: Catalina absolutely destroys the Darguls in Valtas Manor, allowing us to get the Adra Beetle statue: We make an aggressive move towards the final guardians of the tower in order to give Chandragupta and Catalina access to the enemy wizards: The tower is easily cleared, and we send some "food" to Adhelm in order to get this very useful option, granting us a permanent boost to might and endurance: We're done with Defiance Bay for now. Time to head for Dyrford. Here are our level 7 talent picks: Overbearing Guard for Pausanias (I ended up not retraining him) - this means that breaking engagement is now a lot more punishing for our enemies, which is why I bought Shatterstar in the first place - Blinding Strike for Jeanne, Pull of Eora and Tentacles for Ögedei (he already had access to confusion via another grimoire), Blood Thirst for Catalina (this one is so much fun - I don't think I've had this much fun with a build since getting access to a level 13 ranger with fully upgraded stormcaller for the first time), Lo, Their endless Host for Friedrich and Duality of Mortal Presence for Chandragupta (can't pass up these defenses). More updates will follow later today.
  16. @Jaheira's Witness: Strangely enough, my only two solo runs so far were done a) with a ranger and b) with a rogue. Granted, these were on easy difficulty, so no class would really struggle all that much. @semiticgod: I always have a druid in my usual custom parties (this is my first run without a druid on PotD) - the AoE disables, especially relentless storm, solve a ton of potential difficulties, for example against large groups of dangerous spellcasters in the mid/lategame. Pausanias, Coastal Aumaua Fighter, Update 2 Previous updates: The Caed Nua courtyard is cleared and we rest up before entering the main hall, also snacking on some cookies. We try to apply combusting wounds and go for blast+carnage hits (using firebrand) as fast as possible, and our damage is good. However, despite him having a potion of minor recovery active, Pausanias gets stunlocked in such a way by phantoms that he can't even activate his second wind, despite trying to do so when he was well above half of his endurance - without any secondary healing abilities from other party members, I can't keep him alive. Luckily, the enemy threat is almost gone at this point as well: This would've been a fairly clean victory if I'd just gotten the one second needed to activate the athletics ability: Also, just to show how powerful Catalina already is with her firebrand weapon + carnage: Casual 113 damage with a single hit on level 4. Things don't go according to plan against Maerwald: Instead of running past the slow blights, the old watcher stays in his doorway, while the spirits follow the party. I can actually only attack Maerwald with one party member in this position, and Jeanne - the unlucky candidate - does some very good damage, but gets taken out. However, Catalina is able to follow up and take down the enemy while the others deal with the blights: We enter Defiance Bay and leave right away to pick up A Call to Court and sneak past a few enemies to enter Dyrford Village - getting some extra exploration experience and taking our first step in getting the Doemenels to like us by using our high resolve to lie to Nyfre and send her to her death, thus completing Cat and Mouse. Back in the city, it's time to pick up a bunch of quests - the ones with a possible peaceful resolution are done first, such as Rogue Knight, A Call to Court (we need that scepter for our blast build on Ögedei), Brave Derrin (we get the guilty party to bribe us instead of fighting them), Hard Feelings and Something Secret. Next up, we finish At All Costs by killing Verzano, getting us another invitation to the Doemenels, which allows us to get the letter for "A Two Story Job" without fighting. Now, Jeanne shows us her burglary skills: The Doemenels are happy and give us The Changing of the Guard, which is easily done and provides Pausanias with a new armor - and the party with a nice amount of gold. After completing Built to Last (luring out our foes out of the their room to get a better opportunity for AoE spells), we end up buying the Forgemaster's Gloves and Shod in Faith (later on we also get Shatterstar and the Company Captain's Cap for Pausanias). Some quests for which only one battle against a relatively easy group of enemies is required are next - with The Parable of Wael being one of the first: We do A Return to Court (bribing the captain), Supply and Demand (we are threatening enough to avoid the battle at the end), Far from Home (high resolve is helpful), His Old Self (we shamelessly make a deal with the Purnisc impersonator to get our own private svef dealer), The Theorems of Pandgram, All Hands on Deck and The Forgotten. Clandestine Cargo is the last one for now. None of the enemies are too challenging: The party has reached level 6. Level 7 will be a big one for a few characters. For now, we've added the following talents: Pausanias: Vigorous Defense, Superior Deflection Jeanne: Dirty Fighting, Vicious Fighting Ögedei: Expose Vulnerabilities, Minor Blights, Alacrity of Motion, Dangerous Implements Catalina: One Stands Alone, Veteran's Recovery Friedrich: One Dozen Stood, At the Sound of his Voice, Superior Deflection Chandragupta: Stunning Blow, Veteran's Recovery The new abilities have slotted in nice into our tactics: Vigorous Defense is used usually at the start of combat against the first assault of enemy abilities and spells, Expose Vulnerabilities is thrown into our already pretty devastating AoE mix, At the Sound of his Voice is an awesome way to increase our carnage/blast damage and Stunning Blow means that Chandragupta can now finally do something useful without wounds - only now does it feel like he really starts affecting the battlefield.
  17. Thanks @Alesia_BH. Good job with Raedric yourself. With me getting to Raedric at level 3-4 (though not killing him) and you taking him down on level 5, I hope someone here will feel inspired to actually kill Raedric pre Caed Nua (as mentioned, it's certainly possible using a speedbuff and a chokepoint). Siding with Raedric isn't even going to be the worst thing I plan to do with Pausanias. He is certainly going to be quite practical (in the same way the practical incarnation in Planescape: Torment is). I'm hoping to show how some of the "evil" decisions in the game work out for no-reload gameplay (though I'm not always going to take them - only when it suits Pausanias' purpose), since in this thread, so far everyone is pretty much going for a good playthrough. There are some games where I can never get myself to play evil, but PoE isn't one of them. Even when trying to be good, things often turn out pretty terrible, so it feels like being selfish doesn't make too much of a difference for the world at large. Also, interestingly enough, you get a lot of positive Defiance Bay reputation for siding with Raedric - the city likes for the player to uphold the power of local lords, no matter how cruel they are (same is true for the Blood Legacy quest later on, though I'm propably not going to help that lord - instead I might side with the Skaen cultists).
  18. Pausanias, Coastal Aumaua Fighter, Update 1 Previous updates: Our party makes their way to Anslög's Compass in order to complete A Mother's Plea. First, the sporelings: Next, the xaurips: These are actually relatively easy for the party. After setting up a defensive lines with the more sturdy characters, I'm able to apply chill fog and combusting wounds, which is a devastating combination, especially once you get in with carnage, blast attacks and winds of death - all of this is constantly triggering combusting wounds. Also, we have two boreal dwarves, and they are great at taking out wilders anyway. We head back to the Black Meadow to explore the remainder of the area. The only notable battle is against the forest lurkers, and we use combusting wounds + crashed upon the shield to soften them up. All in all, not too much of a problem: Magran's Fork is next up - wolves don't bother as too much, and we leave the boar battle for last. This time, we approach from the south, luring back our foes, which is quite helpful. Still, while we do quite well over all, we don't have a way to punish disengagement yet, so one of the boars goes wild and attacks Jeanne - which results in her getting knocked out once again: The Temple of Eothas awaits. I suddenly realize that exploiting chokepoints with a 5 melee party is somewhat difficult. Our wizard does most of the heavy lifting - chill fog + combusting wounds + arcane assault + blast attacks - and we get Jeanne to use an arbalest, have our chanter stand in range for winds of death and summons phantoms from time to time. We also find a fine pike for Catalina - which means we can add carnage into the mix as the range is long enough. Basically, only our monk does absolutely nothing: In the second level, we get a few injuries as shades decide to throw their ranged ice attacks at weaker party members from time to time: After resting up, we take down the big skuldr group with both Catalina and Ögedei doing tons of damage with carnage, combusting wounds and the like. This combination of combusting wounds with steady AoE attacks from multiple sources is really something! I like it: Our party is still level 3, with only Pausanias having reached level 4 (picking up constant recovery). Last time, this is where we went to Caed'Nua - but I'm feeling Raedric this time around. Let's do Lord of a Barren Land a bit earlier and get the whole party to level 4. There is actually a decently reliable way to kill Raedric and his group on low levels (even 3-4) if you have a speedbuff for your tank (possibly more than one), which will allow them to pull the entire group to a chokepoint (a door). Now, Raedric's group has a ton of heaing and some decent ranged damage, so you'd ideally need a few vancian casters to throw in the most powerful AoE spells at their disposal and a few ranged damage dealers to take out key targets. If you don't have enough, the priests and paladins of berath will outheal your damage, and once you have no spells left, the enemy might outlast you. I've done this once on PotD, but this is not the party to try it. Instead, our plan is to not kill Raedric at all - we want to make a deal with him. To that end, we enter through the sewers. The various vessels down here are quite weak, even for our low level party. We have no trouble getting to the animancer - instead of fighting her, we agree to kill Nedmar. However, when exploring the remaining level, we encounter 5 black oozes in a single group! That could be devastating - they deal huge amounts of damage early on, and we have squishy party members. The problem is: It's been ages since I've done this quest at a lower level, so I've forgotten which encounters would actually be challenging. I could've easily skipped that one. In any case, we pull out all the stops - chill fog (they are immune to blindness, I just want the damage ticks for combusting wounds), wounds, assaults, blasting, carnage, soft winds of death while hoping the enemy keeps attacking Pausanias and not anyone else: We are now out of spells with three enemies still standing (so to speak) - we don't want to go deeper into the room because there might be more enemies, so Friedrich pulls out a fan of flame scroll with great results: Victory is ours, and we can rest (after taking out another ooze further into the room). Now, we make our way upstairs to the chapel, put on the robes and talk our way past the guards to Nedmar (high resolve is helpful once again) - he is easily slain: However, to my surprise, killing him turns the whole floor hostile. I didn't expect this (to be fair, I've never allied with the animancer - only with Nedmar) - we lure our first group of enemies to a chokepoint, throwing in our usual array of spells: The paladins with their plate armor and healing abilities outlast our vancian abilities, but we do have a chanter to finish them off: We have to fight only a few more weaker groups before making our way back down to the dungeons. The animancer shows us a way to see Raedric without further battles. We quickly come to an agreement: This does grant our party level 4! We also get enough gold from looting the castle to buy the Belt of the Royal Deadfire Cannoneer for Jeanne (and, later on, the War Club of the Mataru for Jeanne) - the first one we get before fighting Kolsc, so we can use Firebrand for the first time. Kolsc's hideout is actually perfect for chill fog: Both Jeanne and Catalina deal huge amounts of damage by now: This battle is quite easy, especially when compared to fighting Raedric. Our level 4 talent choices: WF:Solider for Catalina, WF:Peasant for Chandragupta, Gallant Focus for Jeanne (I usually don't get this one because it doesn't stack with blessing, but for this party, it's going to be great!), Penetrating Blast + Fetid Caress for Ögedei and Weapon and Shield Style (I think I wrote earlier that I got that one at level 2, but in fact I got Ancient Memory back then) + Not Felled by Axe for Friedrich. Right now, Catalina has overtaken Jeanne in terms of damage output (Jeanne was the clear leader early on, but now Carnage is starting to do more work - and I think the difference will only increase once we start using Firebrand more often), and I'm happy with most party members - but I still have no idea what to do with Chandragupta. He isn't very tanky, his damage output is only medium, and he needs to get hit to do anything relevant at all. Maybe things will get better with more levels. Caed Nua awaits!
  19. @semiticigod: Developing builds - that is, testing out stat distribution, items, skills and talents for a certain way to approach a class and writing a guide about it online - is what at least 50% of the posts on this forum used to be about. It's basically a favourite activity of the PoE community. A lot of these builds are very specialized, and I've never tried any of them out, but creating them is obviously a lot of fun for a lot of people. The Cauterizer is a barbarian using the Firebrand spell (usually a druid spell, but there are 2 items that grant you 3 charges each relatively early on in the game) to create a very powerful two-handed fire sword (with 29-44 base damage and a bonus to crit damage) and combining it with the talent Blood Thirst, which allows a barbarian to ignore recovery time after killing an enemy - the idea is to use carnage (the passive every barbarian has that turns every attack into an AoE attack) and this high-damage weapon to get a bunch of kills, triggering blood thirst, which allows for even more attacks and more kills (which is why this build doesn't need high dexterity and can afford to wear plate armor). Here's the link. https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/106646-class-build-the-cauterizer/ I'm not doing exactly the same thing, but the general idea is comparable. This thread combines years of build-making: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/85492-the-obsidian-boards-build-list-last-modified-11-nov-18/ Here's the same thread for PoEII: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/98193-the-obsidian-boards-build-list-last-modified-22-october-2018/
  20. All right, let us try this. Thanks @Serg BlackStrider for the advice regarding screenshots! Pausanias, Coastal Aumaua Fighter, Introduction A word of warning: Pausanias is not exactly a good guy. He is utterly pragmatic and will have no trouble betraying allies, siding with villains and always taking the easiest way to achieve his goals. Basically, to mix things up, I'm going to make very different decisions compared to Liresh. This run is played on PotD, with injuries on and maim before death off. The only reason I'm not playing expert mode is the need for AoE indicators - while I know my cipher/druid/priest AoEs pretty well, I'm flying almost blind when it comes to chanters and mages, and for this run, none of my usual classes will be in my party. Now, meet Pausanias, our protagonist and primary tank: Very similiar in terms of stats to Liresh. He is a coastal aumaua for the extra resistences, slave background for athletics and survival. The two extra points went into intelligence because of knockdown, overbearing guard and some of the defensive fighter buffs - I want all of these to have a decent duration. Our party is at level 3 right now, and Pausanias has chosen knockdown, weapon and shield-style (we want that reflex save, and this time, we're going with the heaviest shields we can find) and guardian stance - which I chose instead of defender because my party is mostly melee, so the deflection bonus for everyone should be helpful. I might retrain Pausanias once he gets overbearing guard, because engagements will be a lot more valuable then. Pausanias quickly fought his way through the prologue (nothing interesting to cover here, except that I remembered to sell Gaun's Share to Heodan this time) and skipped all encounters in Valewood to recruit his party. First, let's talk about Jeanne, our moon godlike rogue: This is an experiment - I'm following the build in the ultimate achievement video that I've posted in this thread, which is something I would usually never do - I don't like glass cannon builds, and I've never gone below 10 in any stat on purpose in PoE. I want to see how well such a build will work out in a party, and with a relatively bad player at the helm (compared to the person who created the ultimate video) - so we started off with crippling strike, adding Two Weapon Fighting and Reckless Assault so far. Our only ranged companion is Ögedei, a boreal dwarf wizard: I chose his race for the accuracy bonus against certain types of enemies, and high intelligence to boost his blast AoE. His early spell choices include Chill Fog, Parasitic Staff, Eldritch Aim, Slicken and Spirit Shield plus Combusting Wounds and Curse of Blackened Sight, and he has learned blast - which I plan to use with minor blights and the blue stone sceptre later on. Let's see if that works out. Next, we have Catalina, a death godlike barbarian: She is based on the Cauterizer build, but there are some changes, such as her race and her talent selection. She starts off with Frenzy and has added Accurate Carnage plus Savage Defiance for now - no Firebrand belt yet, but that will change very soon if things go according to plan. There's also Friedrich, another moon godlike. He's a chanter with very low dexterity (as the stat doesn't affect chants): The plan is to equip him with defensive items and use him as a secondary tank while having a damage chant running, sometimes summoning additional fodder. By now, he has learned Soft Winds of Death, Blessed was Wengridh, At the Sight of their Comrades plus Reny Daret's Ghost and Crashed upon the Shield. Finally, we have Chandragupta, our boreal dwarf monk. I'm going for a very generalist damage dealer build here, mostly because I have no idea what I'm doing. So far, he has Torment's Reach, Swift Strikes and Two Weapon Style (which I hope works with first - it does work with shapeshifting for druids, so I'm somehwat hopeful). Time will tell how he will develop: With the party now gathered, I picked up some quests in Gilded Vale and solved Against the Grain peacefully. High resolve is always nice for skipping lots of combat. The party travelled back to Valewood, first exploring the bear cave. I used chill fog against the bears and soon realized one of bigger problems wich such a melee heavy party: While damage output is very good once you start flanking and surrounding your enemies, party unfriendly AoE is much harder to use: I also took the opportunity to free the cook - no trouble here, but I'm quickly learning how fragile Jeanne really is with her glass cannon build. She's going to require a lot of control: Our final battle here was against the wolf pack. I threw in a slicken, used my per-encounters such as rage, knockdown and crippling strike etc. - things went quite well, as most of the wolves focused their attention on Pausanias while Ferdinand was able to work as a secondary tank with my damage dealers helping him out - Pausanias has the stats to stay alive by himself, while chanter and monk can take some punishment, but not too much. The remaining wolves were bunched up enough for both arcane assault and carnage hits, so they didn't stay alive for long: We decided to complete Vengeance from the Grave the peaceful way and turned in Late for Dinner before exploring Esternwood to pick up a little bit of equipment and experience. Nothing noteworthy here, the area isn't exactly dangerous. Sneaking through Black Meadow to the southern part, we entered Madhmr bridge in order to complete Ferry Flotsam to get our hands on the hat. The two trolls in the north-western part actually gave us quite a bit of trouble, knocking out our two glass cannons Jeanne and Catalina - with one or two hits each. Still, they were taken down and we had to rest anyway. We were close to level 3 at this point, so we returned to Black Meadow in order to get our hands on the Smith's Shipment. This one didn't go so well the last time, so we decided to change things up and approach from the east: As our foes approached, I quickly noticed that the Bandit Leader, who I swear was a fighter during my last playthrough, turned out to be a barbarian this time - that means low deflection, so we decided to knock him down with slicken and take him out first. However, our party also got hit by a Nature's Mark: That's not great for those of us who already have terrible deflection. Indeed, Jeanne gets knocked out by a single hit (I think from the arbalest in the back), but our opponents die at an even faster pace. I quickly make the decision to send Friedrich right at the two ranged bandits - he has to stop them from taking out more party members. He does a good job staying alive, and Ögedei, who has eldritch aim + parasitic staff running, deals a good amount of damage: The eastern bandit group is now gone, and while Friedrich does take a few hits, he has done his job and bought the others the required time to come to his aid - victory is ours, and we make our way to turn in the quest, which grants the party level 3 (Pausanias, being ahead of the pack, is close to level 4). For now, we rest up in the Dyrwood's Pride rooms of the Black Hound Inn.
  21. I was tempted into starting a new run. I really didn't want to do it, as I'm also playing a BG run right now, but all of you left me no choice, with all your interesting updates, using different classes in interesting ways and discussing builds. It is another custom party run on PotD, but with the "remaining" classes, those I haven't used yet the last time around. I have basically no PotD experience with any of them except for the fighter (which I used to play as a tank before realizing that a paladin could do pretty much the same thing but with more utility) - some of them, such as the monk, I've never played with at all, on any diffculty. Builds are either based on random things I've read on these and other forums or entirely experimental (the rogue and barbarian follow some kind of glass cannon build, the fighter is doing what I've previously done with the class, but the chanter is only based on some random knowledge (I know that the Dragon Thrashed chant and summoning things are propably good - so that's what the build is based on), the mage is kind of an improvised blast-build (something I always wanted to try, but I'm not sure what stats/spells are important for it - I just like using implements, okay?) with the spells people generally seem to like (aoe debuffs, weapon summons and the like) and I have really no idea what I'm doing with the monk - I've never read any monk builds, never played with a monk, basically I'm just picking whatever seems decent at the time, hoping that general knowledge of game mechanics won't turn that one into something entirely useless (though I can always retrain). This party will not only be entirely different from everything I've done in PoE because of the classes (I have never played this game without a priest except during my two solo runs, for example), this will also be almost entirely a melee party, with the wizard being the only ranged weapon user (thanks to blast) - so prepare for a lot of injuries. Also, I'm not doing any expansion content/endless paths (except for level 1)/bounties this time. Before I start documenting this run, I'd like to ask - how exactly do you add screenshots into your posts here? I've yet to figure that one out, and I might've missed a post explaining this. Links simply aren't as interesting.
  22. I personally don't find shadowing beyond to be all that cheesy. The potential to escape from combat is certainly an intentional part of the ability, and it should be added that it's far from 100% reliable. Enemies tend to follow you around sometimes etc. - and it doesn't stop you from dying to crowd control. If you like going on the offensive, having the enemy react to you instead of the opposite - I think this is somewhat hard to do safely in PoE 1, as there are many types of enemies that can disable you as soon as combat starts without any effort on their part, and it's basically impossible to nuke them down before that. That said, If you watch some of the rogue video I've posted, you will find that the person who made this is going for a total class cannon build (with 3 resolve and 3 constitution), though a lot of per-rest abilities and lots of stealthing are required (his main strategy for bigger battles in the mid game seems to be: Statue Summons into Touch of Rot (from the Rotfinger Gloves) into Combusting Wounds (from a magical ring) into more Touch of Rot charges). In my opinion, one of the classes with the best and most powerful purely offensive approach to the game is the barbarian, especially when going for a high-int, high-crit build with a weapon providing disable effect on crits (this will work with carnage AoE attacks) such as Tall Grass or The Hours of St. Rumbalt. Another example without the disable aspect, going for pure (but extremely high) AoE damage, would be something like the Cauterizer build on the mainpage of this forum right now. Still, such a barbarian does need at least some amount of backup, but it does give your party a devastating offense (once it has reached the neccessary levels/gained the neccessary items, that is). I should mention that the very offensive approach is totally viable in PoE2:Deadfire, though (at least from my somehwat limited experience, having only done 2 playthroughs before my graphics issues started and prevented me from playing the game). Many classes have some very powerful offensive abilties, and the right combination of stat build, skills and items can allow your party to wipe out the opponent very quickly.
  23. When it comes to building a type of buffbot/defensive priest, I'd ignore any stats with the exception of intelligence and dexterity. Int should be obvious. Why is dexterity so important? Well, after gaining a couple of levels, the priest will have to cast a ton of buffs on the party at the beginning of combat. With low dex, this will take very long. You want these buffs to be applied as soon as possible to actually profit from them - otherwise, you will still be buffing up while the battle is already starting to be done. For a normal battle, you might use radiance, interdiction, blessing, dire blessing and devotions for the faithful - it takes a while to use all of these spells! Add in stuff like prayers against x (sometimes you need multiples of these!), consecrated ground, holy meditation - or, for higher levels, minor avatar, champion's boon, crown for the faithful and the like, and you will be glad for every bit of faster action speed. I usually just go for 18 dex/18 int and leave the other stats at 10.
  24. I'm really not much of a solo player, to be honest. I'm terrible at it, and I enjoy party play a lot more, so I only ever did my two PoE solo runs in order to get achievements (the solo one and the pacifist one). I might try my hand at it some day, but for now, I've started a BG run again, so that's where my focus will be.
  25. The prologue is officially an exception - the solo achievements that actually exist for the game explicity mention going solo AFTER the prologue. As far as I know, most people go along with this official way of doing things. I've done two solo runs (on lower difficulties, once as a rogue, once as a ranger) and kept both of them in my party as far as I can remember. It is possible to have Heodan die, and its also possible to have Calisca leave the party upon entering the ruins (both options depend on dialogue options), but I'm not sure you can get rid of both without killing one of them. If remember correctly, having Calisca leave depends on Heodan being there and getting wounded.
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