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Alesia_BH last won the day on December 20 2018

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  1. Astrid, Pale Elf Rogue (Solo)- Entry 3: Defiance Bay- Part 2 By now Astrid had completed all the Defiance Bay side quests she intends to- with the exception of the Final Act. It was time to secure her place at the Duchal Palace. The easiest and best route for her is the Doemenel path. We entered the quest by killing the goons. This was a standard summons/Touch of Rot based kill. The only real drama here was the size of the Finishing Blow. She got a pretty good one. The Wenfeld assassination went well. Wenfeld uses Shinning Beacon so it's a good idea to maintain distance. We started off with a Forgiveness Crippling Strike. We followed with shades. Wenfeld went with Barbs of Condemnation, which triggered our new item, Shod in Faith. All we had to do then was dump our spells on him while he dumped his spells on the shades. Solid Finishing Blow Best, A.
  2. Astrid, Pale Elf Rogue (Solo)- Entry 3: Defiance Bay- Part 1 Defiance Bay is great. It's like Disneyland but with murder. It's also a super easy place to accumulate experience. It's fetch quests and cakewalks galore. First we did all the fetch quests then we killed all the people, starting with Helig. We began with beetles and a salvo from Forgiveness. And that was all it took. After that we just had to stab some dead people in the kidneys. And you know me: I'm all about stabbing dead people in the kidneys. (Oh. I almost forgot: we got to Helig by steathing and we reached the Temple of Woedica through stealth, too. But you probably guessed that, right? We got our hood from the practice guy. Scored a rugged wilderness cap from the catacombs altar and something useless from the other.) By now we had enough coppers to buy a very important item: the Rotfinger Gloves. These things are stupid- seriously overpowered when you find them. They let you cast Touch of Rot three times per rest and Touch of Rot three times per rest basically wins all the kith fights in Defiance Bay. Here's an example: Supply and Demand. First, we dropped our beetles. Next, Combusting Wounds via Ring of Searing Flames followed by Touch of Rot, via the Rotfinger Gloves. Not much left to do other than accelerate the thugs' demise with a Jolting Touch. Astrid uses melee mostly for the procs. In my head I'm singing "I Wanna Proc" because I'm team dork for life and the 80's were hilarious. All Hands on Deck was basically the same. If you're wondering what Astrid's been doing with her coin these days, the answer is not much, although somehow she's broke most the time anyways (Sound familiar anybody? I mean in real life...). She buys lots of crafting bits because she likes to keep a spread of single use items available at all times. She prefers Fan of Flames scrolls, Jolting Touch scrolls, potions of Infuse With Vital Essence, potions of Deleterious Alacrity of Motion and potions of Merciless Gaze ( mostly because the animation looks cool). She's been upgrading her items, too. I'll give you a rundown in the next post. It was time for some new armor, so we got the Crucible Knights their stolen-soul, mechanical-monster death squadron. Standard start here: Beatles->Combusting Wounds->Touch of Rot We took some early damage from Barbs of Condemnation. That was quickly healed with Second Wind, acquired via resting bonus. We finished up the fight by shooting this guy in the face. The Parable of Wael was a familiar tale. We started over on the right side so the casters and ranged fighters would see the beetles first, targeting them instead of Astrid. And done. Astrid's physical weapon strikes are almost always Azureith Jolting Touch crits or Forgiveness Finish Blows. The logic being that if it's just a regular strike, she can get more done with a scroll or an item charge. Why poke someone with a needle when you can burn them to a crisp? By now Astrid was at level 6. And that means new friends. I'm talking shades. We put a pip in mechanics to bring us to 4 and selected Deep Pockets as our talent. We then took a snoozy-woozy in the Fletcher's Stay room of the Goose and Fox for the mechanics bonus. Base 4 + Fletcher's Stay + Gloves of Manipulation yields 7, which means we can open that chest over at the Valian Embassy, granting us the Obsidian Lamp. Here's the new inventory. It's shaping up. We need Shod in Faith and the Ring of Wonder, but we're pretty much where we intend to be from here to Twin Elms. The shades made their first showing at Purnisc's place. We had fun here. Forced to trigger the encounter in a disadvantageous position, Astrid opened with Shadowing Beyond. She headed south, and the shades joined the party. With the shades in place, we had no trouble dropping the rot. Nyrid was ended with an 80hp shot from Forgiveness and we moved on. We had to kill a couple of straggler mercenaries before heading upstairs. These were fun and roguey. The first guy took two swings. We opened with a crit our of stealth from Azureith's, triggering Jolting Touch. We followed with a Finishing Blow. Same start for mercenary 2. These Jolting Touch strikes out of stealth almost feel like backstabs. With Jolting Touch spent, we switched to scrolls. All it took was a nudge after that. On the second floor we used stealth- which will work, even with the locked door, sans Shadowing Beyond. Ok. Let's stop there for now. In our next post we'll cover the Doemenel questline. After that, it's time to face Irenicus in Spellhold Thaos in the Sanitarium. Best, A.
  3. Astrid, Pale Elf Rogue (Solo) - Entry 2 Let's continue, shall we? Astrid is currently at the Goose and Fox- resting and relaxing after a fetch questing binge in Defiance Bay. This post will cover the Temple of Eothas and Caed Nua. Both quests were uneventful- uneventful by design, that is. Astrid fought Maerwald, his blights and no one else. The rest was handled with stealth. To the action (or lack there of...) For a stealth maxed drifter wearing boots of stealth, stealthing through the Temple of Eothas is a breeze. There are, however, a few tricky moves, which I'll cover here. The spider group encountered en route to the bells can be passed to the north. Click carefully, keep moving, and its all good. The shades downstairs are no problem at all. They're slow, their detection radii aren't great, and the hallways they inhabit are large. The ooze room is harder. It's difficult to see an opening at first, but you can pass the top ooze to the north. Then you can go in between the final two. The tricky part appears when, like Missy Elliot, you flip it and reverse it. If you carefully compare the screenshot below to the screenshot above, you'll see that the eastern ooze has moved slightly: it's closer to the western one now. So, on the way back we go over the top. Upstairs, on the return, we went straight through the middle. That worked fine. Completing Buried Secrets brought Astrid to L4. We took Shadowing Beyond, on rank in lore and another in stealth. We forged some Fan of Flame scrolls, some Bulwarks and then headed to Caed Nua. The main hall can be stealthed even without Shadowing Beyond. Just hug the north wall and make your way to the door. In my head I'm singing Walk On By by Dionne Warwick because I'm still a dork but my musical taste is getting better. The fight with Maerwald went smoothly. We gulped our Bulwark and evaded some spells. Nexted, we duped Maerwald into killing his wind blights and injuring his flame blight, later finished in melee. Maerwald was killed with Fan of Flames->Melee finish. Melee alone would have worked but staying ranged facilitates spell evasion, just like in BG. The melee finish was for style points. And that's that: We're off to Defiance Bay! Best, A.
  4. I enjoyed your last post, Serg. It looks like Astrid and Grim Face are in the same place. First round at the Hound is on Astrid! Astrid has no intention of going anywhere near that cave, but I appreciated your bear fight battle report. It was like a refresher course on early game party play. The Disappointer idea was cool, too Good hunting! A.
  5. Agreed! With three people active, the challenge has a pulse again. We'll soon have it up on its feet, dancing the jitterbug! Best, A. Btw, thanks for the compliment on Astrid. In BG play I had a favorite character, Alesia, a bounty hunter- which as you've surely guessed is where my forum name comes from. Playing Alesia solo no reload style is what really made me learn the game. I'm hoping Astrid will be the same for me in PoE.
  6. Yay! This run should be great! And I think it's pretty cool that our adventures are completely different: full party versus solo, direct route to Thaos versus completionist. Diversity is good! Best wishes for a successful adventure! Cheers, A. Btw, you mentioned that Per is super important in Deadfire. I still haven't installed Deadfire, but I had heard that Dex is more important there. That's kind of why I built Astrid as I did: 20 Dex, 17 Per. I figured she could use Blasconn in PoE, giving her 18 Dex and 20 Per in substantive fights, and she'd have the extra Dex waiting in reserve for Deadfire. Apparently I miscalculated? I could have gone White That Wends and 20 Per (since Astrid was born in The White That Wends but came of age in the Archipelago either would have made sense). Would that have been better?
  7. Astrid, Pale Elf Rogue (Solo)- Entry 1 (Part B) Note to self: key lime pie is not dinner. Note to everyone else: I've eaten and I'm ready to resume. So, where were we? Right: minor quests in Guilded Vale, post Raedric Hold: Smith's Shipment and Late for Dinner. (Against the Grain, too, natch, but we don't need to talk about that.) Smith's Shipment can be done with stealth using the boots of stealth. Astrid waited at the edge of the scout's detection range, in the position seen below, and then broke when he went back to the campfire. We opened the southerly lootable box first. Stealth will also allow you to loot the Shrine of Galawain and the drake skull. The drake skull find is skiddly-diddly because it lets you add burning lashes. After returning the crate, we bought a Blunting Belt and Azureith's. Azureith's got a burning lash immediately. With our loot table, visiting the loose rock over by the wolves in Valewood on the 4th yields a Torc of the Falcon Eyes. Consequently, we chilled at the Hound for a while before setting off. When completing super-easy quests like Late for Dinner, I like to build in miny challenges. In this case we tried to minimize attacks. That went pretty well, given that Astrid is a low level rogue. One hit nixed the first outlaw with the fine crossbow. By range targeting the melee bandit with the crossbow and placing an arrow trap along his attack vector, north of the outlaw's attack route, we effectively one hit the bandit. The next outlaw falls in one hit, courtesy of Azureith's, aided by Dirty Fighting. That's three enemies with three strikes. Crippling Strike let's us take down the last bandit in two (possibly three- I'm not sure). In any case, we did pretty well. Astrid was pleased. She and I are starting to build trust. She knows I'm only moderately proficient at PoE -and thus semi-likely to get her killed- but she thinks I'm beginning to get the hang of it. Onto the wolves! The Torc of the Falcon Eyes can be looted with stealth, but Fulvano's Gloves can't be, as far as I know. The wolves were dropped quickly thanks to an Azureith's Jolting Touch. In game weapon damage is a function of usage: There are no absolutes. For Astrid -who has a high crit percentage and takes very few melee swings per battle- Azureith's is a top tier weapon for a long, long time. We have the Torc. We have the gloves. Astrid is ready to enter the Temple. Wish her luck! Best, A.
  8. Very cool, Serg! Truth be told, I do think concurrent runs would aid our efforts to reboot the challenge. Who knows? Maybe we'll cross over into Deadfire together. And maybe others will be there with us? Cheers, A.
  9. Astrid, Pale Elf Rogue (Solo)- Entry 1 (Part A) Astrid's run is off to a promising start. She's completed her early item collection tasks and is now ready to begin her first significant quest, Buried Secrets. Entry 1 will cover caravan camp through the Gilded Vale minor side quests. That may not sound like much, but there's a lot that matters here. Before I continue: a note. I think I warned everyone that I'm going to cover this run in excruciating detail. That was no lie. My intention is to post in such a way that I and others will be able to replicate. That requires a lot of detail, at least for me. If the minutiae gets boring for y'all, let me know. I'll tone it down and just keep copious off-line notes. Ok! Let's begin! Astrid's run got off to an auspicious start when she crit-chunked her first foe with her opening swing. May those wolfine chunky-wunks be like the ceremonial broken wine glass at a Jewish wedding and may this run not end in divorce. Mazel tov! I'll spare you the details of the rest of the tutorial. On her first level up Astrid took: Gasps from the audience, right? Why one handed? Astrid doesn't fight in melee much. She uses scrolls and item based abilities whenever possible. When she does fight in melee, she's either: 1) mowing down hapless tools; 2) landing an opportunistic Jolting Touch via Azureith; or 3) crit stun/prone locking big bad bady-waddies. In the first case, weapon style doesn't matter. In the second two, one-handed is actually better, at least within the levels that Astrid will be playing (she'll be finishing at 9 or 10). What about the late game? Say if Astrid did White March and lots of side-quest? Well, interestingly, in the late-late game there is an argument that one handed is better than two handed, since you can get recovery down to zero either way and one-handed gets the acc bonus. Ok, but what about those great rogue full attack special abilities? Got me there. That's an argument for two-handed style: no doubt. But tradeoffs in all things, strengths and weaknesses on all sides. I'm not saying that one handed style is better than two weapon in the general case: I'm merely saying that it has merits at certain stages of the adventure and I'm fair convinced that it makes sense for Astrid. Protest if you must. I'll fight you on this with one hand tied behind my back: One hand is enough. With that out of the way... Skill points went to stealth and Astrid went to Gilded Vale. Leveling up again post tree-talk, we took Dirty Fighting. Skill points went to Stealth and Lore (5pts and 1 pt respectively) Here's our heroine: At level 3, fresh off a Mechanics skill boosting Laborer's Rest- equipped and ready for an item raid on Raedric Hold. She's sexy and she knows it. Fine weapons courtesy of the graveyard in Esternwood; Ring and cloak from the Ruins and Hound. Note that there's a crushing weapon in the inventory in addition to the slasher in hand. Time for some shameless meta-gaming! No seriously: I'm embarassed about this. My early route through the game involves random loot table use. That's stupid and I intend to cut it out eventually. But for now: Have you seen my shame? Because I don't: I've lost it all... Right, well...With a non-offset table, opening the roof bin on the 20th gets you boots of stealth. The third bin down in the Sanctuary entrance hall on the 1rst yields a fine brigandine. Locked chest in the bedroom on the 2nd offers Gloves of Manipulations; Loose stone in the jail cell on the 2nd, a Ring of Searing Flames. So how do we do all that? By being sneaky-sneaky. To enter the Sanctuary via the ramparts, wait for the patrolling guard to head away from you and then follow him- just don't follow too closely. Stay away from the stationary guard and you're good. All the world is blind to your passing. You can dance on the head of a pin as well. Into the Sanctuary! The Berath robes look awesome on Astrid. They match her portrait super well. If I weren't adverse to kiting (in PoE) and fog of war play (any game), she'd rock those from here 'till next Christmas. Using the robes and Int >12 gets us to Nedmar. Then it's down, down, down. We rest to dispel our fatigue, and then get to work. Astrid waited for the first patrolling revenant to pass going east and then took the second patrolling revenant down in the corner: Slashing weapons for the revenants; Crushing for the skellies to come. We let ooze #1 pass heading west, disarmed the trap, and then headed down the hall, hugging the north wall to stay clear of ooze #2. We lured skelly #1 into the cell and took him down with our crushing weapon. We got him into the cell by letting him soft detect us (when the circle thingy turns red- you know what I mean) and search. It really is advisable to pull this guy because you can end up with up to five enemies on you otherwise. I lost a character to that in my first unposted solo attempt. Skelly #2 was lured into the same cell using the same method. He was dispatched with the mace. Revenant #2, the stationary one, was drawn away to the south just as the patrolling revenant passed heading west. We intercepted the patrolling revenant at the western end of his route. We've switched back to the fine dagger for the revenants. Last Aumaua skeleton: Crossbow bullet to the face, followed by the mace. You know the Olivia Newton John song (Let's Get) Physical? I'm singing Let's Get Critical in my head now because I'm a dork. (Remember what I said about loosing my shame?) Footnote: The Youtube video for (Let's Get) Physical is fracking hilarious. Por ejemplo... So: We free Giacco, grab the fine brigandine and then detrap -but not open- the chest in the bedroom. What's the logic there? We need our Laborer's Rest bonus to disarm the trap, but its the 1rst now and the Gloves of Manipulation won't show up until the 2nd. We rest three times in Nedmar's room and then claim our prize. Next, it's the Ring of Searing Flames down in the dungeon. With that, we're outy- like those ugly belly buttons (Apologies if you have an outie but outies are objectively less attractive than inies. Don't blame me: Blame your obstetrician.) Like the undead that hopefully haunt you obstetrician's dreams, there are revenants and guls near the exit. We let the patrolling bloke pass the stairs going east, break down the middle, and veer north to avoid the oncoming revenant. Surely there are other ways but this is the one I know works. Ok. I'm hungry now so I'm going to take a break. I'll be back with the end on Entry 1 soon. Toodle-doodles! Best, A.
  10. Alrighty then: Let's get started! I am officially back in action! Meet my new character: Astrid, Pale Elf Rogue (Solo) Game Version: with White March I & II, Difficulty: Normal, Settings: Maim Before Death: On; Injuries: On; Expert Mode: OFF, Mods: None Character Description: Born in the White that Wends but uninspired by the dreary ways of her people, a teenaged Astrid set off for the Deadfire Archipelago, harboring dreams of gold and glory. The Deadfire had something else in store for her, however: instead of a swashbuckling adventure novel, Astrid's life became a rise and fall tragicomedy of epic proportions. After rapidly ascending to the rank of quartermaster aboard a pirate ship, The Reticent Squid, Astrid found herself accused of treason by her captain, Rai Nui- an Aumaua who had trusted and admired her until he lost his mind to syphilis. When The Reticent Squid was captured -due in no small part to the captain's compromised decision making- Astrid suddenly found herself on the gun barrel end of both pirate law and the law of the authorities. That she is alive today and free is a miracle. If she successfully returns to the Deadfire as she intends it will be a greater miracle still. Gaming Notes: When this challenge opened last winter I had virtually no PoE experience: I had nary a clue how to play. In the two month that followed I became marginally proficient, completing full party no reloads on normal, hard and potd respectively. After a one year break, I've decided to get back in the action, this time tackling solo play, starting at normal and, hopefully, culminating in a potd no reload run. Having practiced a bit over the last week, I'm confident that I'll have a first success soon. Hopefully Astrid will be the one. My intention is to cover this run in significant detail, partly for my own reference, but mostly in the interest of soliciting feedback (I'm still learning!). Please do feel free to chime in with an advice! Astrid needs your help!
  11. It's good to meet you too, Concrete Monster! I'm sorry to hear that Ellana's run has ended, but you're more than welcome to post your progress, nonetheless. Your character's story still matters, even if it didn't have a happy ending. I'll note, too, that we have a Graveyard in our Hall of Heroes for fallen aspirants. Ellana will be eligible if you post. It would be nice to get things rolling here once again. We had great momentum last winter. Sadly, participation dropped off dramatically after I abruptly disappeared. I'll have to leave again once spring comes, but I'll be playing and posting for the next couple month at the very least. And when I do leave this time I'll give everyone advance notice. Between you, I and Serg, we have a good start! Hopefully we can entice a few others to join. @Borco, @Enuhal, @FNGRenegade, @Ivanfyodorovich, @Jaheiras Witness, @semiticgod and anyone else I missed: What are you up to these days? Best, A. NW: I started a solo rogue this morning. I'm excited about her. I'll start posting soon!
  12. Welcome, welcome, welcome, Concrete Monster! I'm glad to see you posting! I'm sorry I wasn't around to greet you when you entered the challenge. Also, please accept my apologies for the response delay to your recent post. It's good to meet you and it's good to see people active. Best of luck to Elanna! A Priest of Eothas is a compelling choice from an RP perspective, in my opinion. I look forward to future updates, Best, A. PS: I'm almost ready to start posting on my solo rogue. I'll likely start today or tomorrow!
  13. Very cool, Serg! Will you be posting your upcoming run? (I'm fiddling with a solo rogue now. I'll let you know if and when I'm ready to share!) Best, A.
  14. Heya! It's me, Alesia- making a sheepish and apologetic return. Those of you who've known me for years are aware that I regularly vanish, often for long periods of time. My last disappearance was especially abrupt, however, and I feel pretty bad about it. I'm sorry, everyone! Life just unexpectedly took me elsewhere (an ecovillage in Central America, to be specific). I really should have let y'all know, though. Despite appearances to the contrary, I do and always have valued your friendship. Once again, I apologize! (And if it's any consolation, I'm known for Irish goodbyes in RL, too...) Anyhoo, I'm back now and I kind of feel like playing again. I'm pleasantly surprised to see that this challenge is still active! I see Serg is still posting, as is Ivanfyodorovich. And we have some new friends. Who else is still following along? Best, A.
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