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About DozingDragon

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    (4) Theurgist


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  1. I do not think Eothas’s plan was fruitless, as he intended to engineer an existential problem that the gods could not just paper over through their agents like the Leaden Key or the Hand Occult. So the nature of the gods will be revealed by the consequences of Eothas’s actions rather than a proclamation via Eothas. Eothas explained that he did not want to simply reveal the nature of the gods during the Saint’s War because he thought it would be too easy to socially engineer a coverup. And as seen in the Forgotten Sanctum, Eothas might have a point because the Hand Occult seems to have the ability to literally remove individuals from history. Plus, every major faction in the Deadfire learned of Eothas’s plan for the Wheel after the Watcher returned from Magran’s Teeth, so word will get out even if the effects are less pronounced at first. Not that I necessarily love this particular plot. I think it was an odd choice to spend an entire game setting up apocalyptic stakes rather than just diving straight into a worldwide hollowborn crisis. And yes, I think the slides could have been clearer, but the developers also added in extra voiced content to answer these questions.
  2. There is an excellent animancy themed bow, the Essence Interrupter, available for sale early in the game that also deals the Shock damage type. If you decide to play a Cipher you should check it out.
  3. Yes, megabosses are the closest thing to cheesy encounters in this game, and even then you can generally defeat the megabosses using a full party of ordinary builds.
  4. In addition to the points above, resting in Konstanten’s room at the Wild Mare provides a large a bonus to spell reflection, which definitely comes in handy here.
  5. Some of this is cleared up with Woedica’s book and the additions to the conversation with Eothas at Ukaizo. According to Woedica, the gods generally put on a big show of presenting differing viewpoints when they are in front of the Watcher, but in fact they are generally on the same page. Her goal is to convince the gods to rally behind her solution of once again directly intervening in the affairs of mortals, but that decision seems to be tabled for now. And the reason that decision seems to be tabled is probably also the reason why no one is freaking out about the Wheel being broken: according to Eothas, the effects of the breaking of the Wheel will not be that noticeable for a generation or so. Eothas has set in motion a massive crisis, but it will take some time before it becomes very obvious. One possible out for the writers in a potential sequel to escalate the conflict without jumping too far ahead in time would be to focus on all the side effects caused by all the souls trapped in the In-between, as that will likely cause massive blights and who knows what else.
  6. Armor of 19? I think that means you are playing on Veteran, as that provides a flat +1 bonus to all enemy armor ratings. So that means Neri's maximum crush armor rating is two points lower, at 17. Any superb mace has 12 penetration (and you come across a superb mace during the course of the dlc), which can be boosted to 14 with Hot Razor Skewers. The mace modal can reduce enemy armor by one point, so that would take the enemy armor down to 16, and it can then be brought even lower with other abilities like Expose Vulnerabilities, Hel Hyraf, Rusted Armor, and the passive aura from the Blackened Plate which actually stacks with the aforementioned abilities. The only real meta knowledge here is that it is generally wise to boost the penetration of your melee characters as well as bringing along items and abilities that decrease an enemy's armor. And you don't even need to bother with any of this if you focus on interrupts, raw damage, or certain afflictions.
  7. I actually think the game would have been better served if the ship travel and ship combat systems had been stripped out of it, and the whole game mostly took place around Neketaka and its surrounding environs. All the settlements outside of Neketaka could have been turned into city districts or smaller outlying settlements accessible by a small boat or a barge, and nearly all of the mini-dungeons scattered around the map could have been tucked away throughout the city. Coordinating with a faction would suddenly become very important to actually advance the main quest and reach areas that are outside of the city like Magran's Teeth, as you would need to build quite a bit of credibility with a faction before they agree to help your character with what sounds like a fool's errand at best and a suicide mission at worst.
  8. There are plenty of ways to beat this boss. You can interrupt the casting of Llengrath's Safeguard one way or another or dispel the effect once it is in place. Alternately, you can just fight through Llengrath's Safeguard going into effect if you boost your crush penetration and reduce the boss's armor, use weapons or abilities that deal the "Raw" damage type, and boost your party's accuracy while decreasing the boss's improved defenses with abilities and modals. Which is not even taking into account the special bonuses you can activate during the battle, which to be fair I never bothered with, but they are right there. Also, as far as I recall there is nothing stopping the player from leaving and trying to level up their party if the difficulty here is a huge roadblock. So no, this is not a cheesy fight ala Kangaxx from BG2 (although there were actually quite a few ways to handle that fight with Spell Immunity: Abjuration, Berserkers, Minsc, Scrolls of Protection Against Magic) as there are plenty of ways to approach this battle, and as far as I am aware, I think this battle can be feasibly soloed with every class or multiclass combination. However, this battle in particular does seem to come up a lot in terms of it being criticized as being very difficult or unfair. I think this battle definitely represents a difficulty spike compared to the base game and the rest of BoW, and if I had to guess why its because for most of the game there is very little incentive to really engage with some of the combat subsystems, like stacking, interrupts and armor penetration. So yes, this fight is probably overtuned, and the most economical solution would have been to slightly reduce Neriscyrlas's stats to compensate for the usage of Llengrath's Safeguard, as opposed to balancing the entire game to be even more challenging. Plus, if I recall correctly this fight was designed before the developers changed Veteran difficulty to buff enemy defenses, so there may be a bit of unintentional stat bloat there.
  9. That was an entertaining talk. While it seems like Josh identified many of these issues with hindsight, it does make me wonder what the game could have been like if they were able to just cut the ship-combat minigame. Maybe we would have seen some more interesting scenarios with ship to ship combat, sea monsters, or some other feature that would have resonated a bit more.
  10. The only beef I have with food-based resting bonuses in Deadfire is how many items provide immunities. I think the over abundance of items that grant immunities in Deadfire resulted in otherwise interesting encounters being trivialized with a blue lobster or an umbrella drink, which also resulted in diminishing the use of keywords. If it was harder to obtain Mind or Intellect immunities then battles with fampyrs might require a player to consider blinding the enemies or their own party.
  11. I think the biggest "step back" in Deadfire was the companion affinity system. It seems like a ton of work went into this system, but I think the result was a ton of superficial reactivity, most of which was not be seen during an initial play-through of Deadfire. Even on successive playthroughs, with different party compositions and different triggers for reactivity, the different reactions from companions to the player or to each other did not result in reactivity that felt significant. I am not sure how cutting this system and all of the associated dialogue would have affected the game's budget, but if it was possible to trade this system for expanded companion quests or one quest or area that was similar in scope to Fort Deadlight I think it would have been a fair trade. However, companion reactivity during quests and scripted interactions based off of that companion's abilities was always nice when it came up, so seeing more interactions like those would be great. While not a "step back," I also think consumables generally felt just as extraneous in Deadfire as they did in PoE. Sure, there are a few niche usages (like mega bosses) where certain consumables come in handy, like Potions of Ascension, and Luminous Adra Potions, but the useful portions of those potions were not affected by Skill level scaling after a few patches. Enemies also fail to take advantage of consumables in any major way. If there was going to be another isometric Pillars game, I think the consumable system could stand to be completely overhauled. Personally, I can think of a few options to change this system. One option would be a change of economy, where consumables could very rare and difficult to craft, but also very potent. Another option would be to change consumables to per rest resources, where investing skill points would result in balancing between a variety of different types of consumable or specializing in a specific and very potent type of consumable. If the latter route was taken, then hopefully enemy NPCs would then be able to take better advantage of consumables, thus, making consumables feel better integrated into the game.
  12. I think the biggest feature improvements in Deadfire were the AI scripting system and multiclassing. The AI scripting system was robust enough to handle most battles (the megabosses are the main exception here). If there is another isometric real time with pause Pillars game, I would like to see the system expanded a bit, with more conditions like targeting specific characters, responding to specific keywords, weapon slots, and status effects. Multiclassing is pretty great as is. I think the only major area multiclassing could be improved is class-specific trinkets. In Deadfire, wizards are generally considered to be one of the best classes to do a multiclass with due to grimoires, as grimoires provide 14 free abilities to a multiclass character and they can be swapped out with ease. I think that the way grimoires interact with multiclassing shows how trinkets could be used to allow further customization of multiclass builds. One of the main criticisms of priests and druids in Deadfire is the high opportunity cost of investing in situational spells. While those classes each receive one bonus ability per power level, the classes could be brought up to par with wizards via class-specific trinkets that grant one additional ability per power level as well as some minor tweak or buff to their class specific ability, e.g., the Fingerbone of St. Waidwen could alter Holy Radiance to Blind enemies, or a Vithrack Totem could grant a special Spider transformation when spirit-shifting. Other classes could receive trinkets that play into a particular class’s themes like weapon mastery for fighters. Thus, trinkets could be used to help flesh out more niche builds, and allow players to place further emphasis on one side of a multiclass combination. However, this approach would come at the risk of loot bloat depending on the scarcity of trinkets, as well as balancing any persistent secondary effects. I think both concerns could be mitigated by either upping the scarcity of these trinkets, or making the majority of trinkets rather humdrum with a few outliers ala the unique grimoires.
  13. There is a conversation in the Forgotten Sanctum where you can bring up the fact that you disposed of the souls per Wael's suggestion. That's about it as far as I am aware.
  14. Barbarians? Probably not. Do they have plenty of mutants? Absolutely.
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