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About Riddlewrong

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  1. --Intellect is probably the most important stat for conversations. If you want to play a 'face' character, Int is the way to go. Resolve is also useful, but it doesn't come up as much as Int. This was one of the things that really bothered me about the game at first. I just didn't know what I needed to build in order to have a character with consistent conversational prowess. --Don't spend too much time upgrading Caed Nua. Get the garden and the curio shop so you can get crafting materials each turn, but after that, the only things of interest are the Warden's Lodge for bounty quests and Brighthome. I think the Training Grounds bonus to resting in Brighthome is decent (+3 Might) because it makes up for some of the weak builds of the game's default companions. Specifically, it really helps Aloth actually do a moderate amount of damage with his spells, taking him from a pitiful 12 Might to a much more respectable 15. That being said, some of the pay-to-rest bonuses are better in the inns around the world, so later in the game you may not use this as much. The security and prestige mechanics are pretty underwhelming, and Caed Nua is actually really inconvenient to maintain. You have to invest a ton of money into it, but the return on your investment isn't worth it at all. There are lots of threads about this if you're interested in reading a rant, so I'll spare you that. Never resolve an attack on the keep automatically -- it will always result in one or more upgrades being destroyed and having to rebuild them at full cost. So yeah, if you build stuff there, be prepared to have to drop everything to travel back and fight at totally random times. It's annoying. --Take Aloth, Eder, Pallegina, and Durance for at least some portion of your playthrough. I can't stand Durance. I still think you should take him. He's by far the most fleshed out character in the entire game, and he has very important information about the main plot. He's pretty much a walking exposition dump. If you don't talk to him or bring him with you, the story won't have nearly as much of an impact on you, and that's just a fact. His quest takes almost the entire game to complete, is very annoying, and talking to him is frustrating because he keeps cutting you off after a certain number of dialog lines (requiring you to rest in order to be able to talk to him again). Even so, he's just too important to ignore, so don't do it. Aloth is one of the few companions in the game who consistently interjects his opinion into dialog. Most others are pretty silent by comparison. Aloth returns in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, so getting to know him now isn't a bad idea. Eder is a really cool dude. His story has connections to the main plot, which is a bonus. He's also coming back in the sequel. Pallegina is probably the best all-around companion in the game from a combat/utility perspective. She fills multiple party roles very well. Her personality takes some getting used to, but she's worth it. In addition to Eder and Aloth, she is the third and final character from PoE1 to return in the sequel, so you will be seeing her again. The other characters have their own strengths and weaknesses, but at the end of the day, they feel a lot more like incidental traveling buddies than fully fledged party members. Because of this, you shouldn't be too concerned with missing out on things by taking a couple custom created characters with you.
  2. I scoured the entire map from top to bottom and he wasn't there. I decided to uninstall and reinstall the entire game and see what would happen. Sure enough, when I loaded the game he was standing right where he was supposed to be, right next to my party.
  3. I'm using an existing game of Pillars (in Act II) and when I go to Ansalog's Compass, there is no merchant at the shore where it's supposed to be. Here's what I've tried: Sleeping in Caed Nua for 3 days, then going to Ansalog's Compass. Leaving the area and coming back. Going during the day. Going at night. Saving and reloading. Exiting the game and restarting it. Validating game files (no errors) Closing the game, exiting Steam entirely, restarting Steam, restarting the game (3 times total). I have the new portraits, so clearly the pack has been installed. Why isn't the merchant showing up? Edit: Uninstalling and re-installing the game worked. He showed up in the correct location when I loaded my save.
  4. I like the Pathfinder setting and many of the stories in the Adventure Paths. I would love to see that aspect of Pathfinder adapted into a game. That said, I'm not really a fan of the antiquated 3.5 rules, even with the changes implemented by Pathfinder. I've had some great times playing the game with friends, but 99% of all frustrations and time wasting boils down to bloated rules that feel more like they're in your way and aren't supporting your fun/role-playing. D&D 5e is a far superior system in my opinion, but the Forgotten Realms lore is all over the place these days. I feel as though if we could get the setting of Golarion with a system that's a lot more streamlined and fun to play with, it would be a perfect fit for a CRPG. Use the setting and develop your own rules. I was a big fan of Neverwinter Nights, but I hated the implementation of the rules in those games. It was pretty awful. The one game that did 3.5 in a way that actually felt closest to pen and paper was Temple of Elemental Evil. Unfortunately, I can't say that I really liked that game because it had other problems, but combat felt like a step in the right direction there. We never seem to get a D&D game that actually feels like you're playing D&D. Real time with pause is okay, but it feels like a concession between two types of players, rather than a definitive system that feels satisfying to play. I would much rather have a truly turn-based experience in an RPG. Sure, the battles take a bit longer, but the strategic aspect of the gameplay is a LOT more fun, and you can focus on a more accurate adaptation of a pen and paper style rule set.
  5. Like the title says, Aloth can be recruited before the event in which the townsfolk accost him outside of The Black Hound. Steps To Recreate: I ran into this bug just now, accidentally, when I created a new character and arrived in Gilded Vale for the first time. I directed my main character to walk around the group (Aloth and angry townsfolk), giving them as wide a berth as possible. This allowed me to get to the Black Hound door without triggering the event. Then, I moved my character a bit closer to Aloth and noticed that I could get very close without actually triggering anything. So close, in fact, that I was able to speak to him by clicking on him. I was surprised to find that he greeted me as though he knew me and had been in the party previously. The option to have him "rejoin" was available, and when I selected it, he joined the party. The event still did not trigger afterwards, and we were able to simply walk away from the angry mob while they stood there unaware. Afterwards, I walked back through that area to intentionally trigger the event, and it went as normal except that Aloth was a controllable party member during the fight. There doesn't seem to be any actual problems with recruiting him this way (the conversation after the fight occurs as usual), but it's certainly an immersion breaker if you happen to stumble upon this during a first playthrough of the game.
  6. These are tough encounters, and indeed many more challenging encounters await you beyond them. In PotD, the NPC companions start to show their inadequacies quite a bit more than they do in previous difficulty settings. Taking them is harder, but it IS doable with a lot of patience and ironclad tactics. If you want to start with a group of custom adventurers right away, though, you can get the money easily and immediately. Early Cash: Companions: Cheap Tactics: PC Class: Anyway, these are all just my opinions from playing a LOT of PotD (especially in the early game when I was trying various builds). P.S. - Enchanting items is helpful, but I actually didn't do it at all before Act II. In hindsight, it would have probably made things a bit easier, but that just goes to show you that it's possible to get by without being 100% optimal.
  7. So because he can't tank at level 2 you concluded he's a weak character? Your loss man. I've already tried out all companions except Grieving, as well as a Cipher PC and a custom Rogue and Barbarian adventurer. So far, not a single one of them managed to beat Aloth in terms of total damage done per day (though the Cipher comes close). Yes he's no dedicated tank, but he's a powerful damage and CC nuker. And once the party reaches medium levels, he doesn't have to be afraid of Shades anymore, either - because between self-buffs, buffs from other party members, and Endurance-leeching spells, he can sort-of-tank if he needs to. It's true. Aloth is the Dyrwood's #1 Most Wanted. Every enemy in the game has a SERIOUS grudge against him, and they will focus fire the **** out of him if you don't carefully position him at all times. It doesn't help that Aloth's starting spells are short range, but proper spell selection later is a must. The worst offense I think they could have possibly made in the design of Act I was to fill the Keep with incorporeal undead. Despite their low level, their defenses are super high, and the Shadow teleport combined with the Phantom's on-hit stun makes a party full of non-optimal heroes pretty dead pretty quickly. I'm playing on Path of the Damned and you just have to abuse the hell out of kiting in order to win those fights, and the one in the Main Hall (where you can't kite) is a no holds barred blast-a-thon. Spray and pray and reload til it works. I'd say it's easily the hardest fight in the first act, and it just makes you feel like your NPC party members are totally **** when they're really not that bad under non-ridiculous circumstances.
  8. Durance is decently written (for an exposition dumpster) and memorable, but entirely unlikable. His main character trait is that he's horrible. He's not someone I would ever consider bringing along, but I think the developers must have known this because the most diabolical aspect of the character is that unlike other characters in the game, you have to bring him along all the damn time in order to finish his personal quest -- which spans the ENTIRE length of the game. Don't like this totally unlikable character? Too bad! Ugh!
  9. I ran into the same issue where I would defeat the invaders and then the screen would fade to black and my party would re-appear with all the corpses completely gone and unlootable, but I could clearly see that there was a ton of loot to gather on the bodies. The SOLUTION: When the last enemy falls: Pause the game. Keep pausing and unpausing as you wait for the party to leave combat, so that the game will be paused the very second that you exit combat. The moment you leave combat, you'll have the ability to loot the corpses (make sure you have the area loot setting turned all the way up so that you can loot an entire group in one click). When you're ready, unpause the game and click to loot. The loot window will pop up (and pause the game automatically) and you can just loot as normal. Using this method ensures that you will get everything the enemies drop. I do this every single time now. It helps quite a bit if you can get the enemies to die in a cluster so that you can loot them all simultaneously, otherwise if some are too far away from each other (skeletal archers, for example), you may not be in range to loot the stragglers. Keep that in mind when thinking about maximizing your loot gains from these encounters. I hope this helps.
  10. The companions for the most part are decent, but not on the level of the old infinity engine games. Those games had clear and outstanding "gotta take this person with me" characters, whereas this game has a lot of "I guess I should because there's a quest" characters. I don't have strong opinions on most of the characters, but here are a few: Durance has an insufferable personality. Unfortunately, he's also the most fleshed out and tied-to-the-plot character in the game. Not taking him deprives you of a lot of lore and interactions with the story, but taking him requires you to put up with his annoying and deplorable traits. Pick your poison, I guess. Kana is alright on the personality side of things (voice modulation aside), but what bothers me so much about him is that he's a dead weight character. Despite a decent stat spread, he's just not really good at anything. Put him in the back with a ranged weapon and he'll probably miss 70% of his shots. Put him up front with his two-hander and he'll do the same, only he'll also keel over and you'll lose his buffs. By the time he's been in combat long enough to actually cast a chanter spell, you probably won't need it anymore (or he's unconscious). Aloth is pretty inoffensive in terms of personality (depending on which one) and he's got some interesting remarks here and there. He's not super interesting, nor particularly boring. His only real problem is that his build his baffling and ineffective (I'm playing on PotD, so he's doubly frustrating). Enemies also LOVE to focus fire this guy. I don't know what it is about him, but they go out of their way to run around the tanks to get to him, even before he's done anything! Edér is the most all-around likable guy. He's refreshingly vanilla. I really like him. He feels like someone you'd actually meet in a setting like this and want to take along. It doesn't hurt that he's also a fairly competent tank. I probably won't replace him with a custom character after his quest, and that's saying something.
  11. Standing on its own merits, Dragon Age 2 is a solid modern RPG. It's a departure from the style of the first game, which is probably its biggest crime in the eyes of consumers. It's Zelda II all over again. I like Zelda II. Opinions will vary based on a variety of factors none of us can control. Most people don't want to hear an opinion that doesn't match their own. People like to hear opinions that validate theirs. People like to hear themselves talk. Thus, we have forums.
  12. In the meantime, you could play the Serenity RPG: http://firefly.wikia.com/wiki/Serenity_Role_Playing_Game I've never played it, so I can't vouch for how good it is. If you're into Firefly and tabletop RPGs, that might be something to explore.
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