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Found 18 results

  1. I am stuck in early Act 2. I rushed to Sagani and GM and then wanted to start clearing the surrounding areas. Only, no matter if Woodend Plains or Stormwall Gorge, I canNOT get past the groups of lions (especially the one with the Adragan and the other new humanoid monster). I tried surrounding them, I tried Alpha-striking different enemies (can't insta-kill anything there), I spammed all of my limited spell arsenal, I ate food. Nothing works for me. I don't think it is a problem that I am too weak (level 5), I firmly believe that either my party setup just doesn't cut it (which would suck) or that I just can't come up with the proper strategy here. My party consists of Ranger MC (20/4/17/18/15/3) Boreal Dwarf with Wolf pet Sagani Eder Kana Grieving Mother Durance (who I want to ditch because he just doesn't fit my goody-two-shoes heroine) Considering how easy Maerwald was with Ranger/Eder/Kana/Durance/Aloth, I am at a loss what exactly is my problem now. Am I gimping my combat prowess with 2 Rangers maybe? My current plan for this party would be that all but Durance are my permanent companions, and 1 slot I switch around as I please. Is Kana a good enough replacement for a priest (for buffing and such) or would some other class be a mandatory addition to my team like this?
  2. Hey bois, I know that FT is not too praised here but I really liked its engine/gameplay. Yeah story (if you can even call it like that ) sucked but I really enjoyed combat in that game. It was kinda Jagged Alience in Fallout universe and I digged that quite a lot. Too bad that its engine was probably not enough modular for mods to get hands on it, I would love to see proper fallout story on that engine, anyone else liked it as well? I played it in Real time and liked it a lot, I think it was one of few games which made both systems fun in one game.
  3. Letting the players essentially craft their own AI via this interface is great, but I feel it's missing some crucial options: 1. Include items such as potions instead of just abilities. This would reduce the burden of item micromanagement. Example: If [self: Health < 30%], [Consume: Potion Of Moderate Healing] or [self: Threatened by Multiple Enemies], [Consume: Potion Of Ultimate Badassery] 2. Allow the switching of weapon sets. Example: [self: Enemies in Melee Range > 1], [switch to Weapon Set 1]. This is for the purpose of switching between ranged and melee automatically, and why not for other purposes such as switching between different melee weapons as well. 3. Make an automated auto-attack behavior type that makes a character attempt to keep their distance from enemies, i.e a ranged character fleeing from melee enemies—also maybe one that makes ranged characters attack targets but not move automatically. 4. Add an [Enemies Clustered, At Least #], so that AoE spells don't get wasted on single targets. 5. Include modal abilities. 6. Add some sort of way to distinguish enemy ranks/challenge ratings so that the player is able to specify that they want a certain spell/ability to be used only against strong or weak enemies. For example: [Enemy: Rank is Normal/Veteran/Elite/Boss] 7. Make a search function or find a better way to sort the different functions. As of now, it's too cumbersome to always scroll through the massive list of conditions. Maybe introduce filter tabs. 8. Instead of having fixed [Less Than 50% Health], let us type the exact value we want. 9. Allow more debuffs as conditions. Example: I want my Paladin to attack the enemy he's cast Sworn Enemy on. However, I can't specify "If:Sworn Enemy - Then X" (Some of these ideas are copied from other people's posts who contributed to the thread. Thanks to them.) Most of this—and much more—was possible in Dragon Age: Origins, which this system was inspired by. With the Even More Advanced Tactics mod, by carefully designing the AI behavior, it was possible to finish the entire game on the hardest difficulty without ever manually commanding anyone, and I did that. It became by far my favorite way to play the game; it became its own game within the game, a very unique experience.
  4. In PoE, unless you've read a Walkthrough or you have already played the game, you don't know what kind of enemies you will encounter in the next area you explore. So your characters carry around a chest filled with 107 weapons, 23 suits of armor, 2310 potions/scrolls/traps that you could use at any time. Which I feel misses an opportunity. As such, I'd like PoE 2 to offer the ability to ask locals, read notices or hire a scout that can give you information on an area well before you visit so you can pick the appropriate weapons, carry the necessary potions and load in the optimal spells. I'd love for equipment to allow for the bonuses to be changed at certain locations, that way you could choose to Enchant the equipment to allow you to cut through the mass enemies at that site, or be more effective against the few powerful leaders there. I've read the goal by the developers is to make the combat less of a filler and more interesting and I think arriving at a town, talking with the locals find out the area you are going to explore is filled with strong but dim witted Ogres, but lead by a clever Spirit. At the moment, I think most people use the same equipment most of the time. I like in the Witcher you could chat to people to get information about a Contract, Use a Bestiary to gain information on those creatures and then apply an oil to give an advantage before entering an area, same weapon, but correct oils give significant benefits. Instead of ripping off The Witcher, why not allow for replaceable Enchantments?
  5. Hey everyone! Thank you so much for reading! A quick intro. I’m a huge Infinity Engine enthusiast. Baldur’s Gate 2: SoA+ToB is pretty much my favorite game of all time (read best game of all time). Playing as a mage and blasting through everything like Irenicus on speed is probably the greatest feeling I can get from dancing pixels on a screen and I wanted to re-create that feeling in Pillars of Eternity. There have been plenty of posts on soloing the game, but the information is not standardized and consolidated. Also, there isn’t much for mages in the way of target gear and tips for expansion content. This guide aims to help with those issues. I’m sure plenty of people have some better ideas than what I’ve written. Please feel free to comment and I will update the guide as we progress. A few things that should be known before reading This is a NORMAL DIFFICULTY solo guide. Should work for hard mode as well. I’m hoping to make a TCS guide in the future. This is a completionist playthrough. All quests have been done (to my knowledge) and all battles have been fought. Both expansions have been cleared entirely. The only encounters that have been skipped are a few bounties that I couldn’t be bothered to do. They shouldn’t be too difficult at max level. This guide allows for picking your favorite race and lifestyle. I played through as an Aedyran Human. Obviously this isn’t ideal in any way, shape, or form. The most optimized race for this would be Wood Elf as their attribute bonuses (Dex & Per) are amazing for wizard and they get a ranged damage buff which benefits a blaster mage incredibly. The most optimal culture is really personal preference but I would go Rauatai for the much needed constitution bonus. This is a casual guide. I don’t care about the solo achievement so I randomly picked up followers to grab their quests and to throw them in my keep to work. That being said, every battle was fought solo and every quest was done solo. If you care about the achievement you can just simply not do this. Picking up followers here and there doesn’t really give you any advantage except a bit more money from keep adventures and a bit more experience from the follower quests. It’s pretty negligible in the grand scheme of things. You’ll be level capped in act 3/WM1 regardless. This guide is for a “blaster” type wizard. What’s the point of being a mage if you can’t nuke throngs of enemies? :D Be patient. Just like in the infinity engine games, the early levels as a wizard solo are a bit tough. You’ll have to rest a lot. It will pay off in the later levels when you’re blasting everything into oblivion. If you’re having too much trouble on one fight, come back to it later. The main plot quests (critical path) are easy as hell (bar white march 2) so you should be fine there. My advice is to leave the main plot for last and then blast through it when you’re insanely overqualified. It’s really fun seeing things melt. Have both expansions installed at all times. This will ensure that every experience point is used. Complete the entire vanilla game up until the point of no return (end of act 3). Before you jump into the pit for the final phase of the main plot, head over to complete expansion content. You’ll be level 14 (WM1 cap) by act 3 and level 16 (WM 2 cap) by early WM1. I never scale the difficulty when given the option. You should be rewarded for being prepared and overqualified, not penalized. My opinion of course. J Now that that’s done, without further ado, allow me to present the guide. I’ll update as I find more out. Race: Elf (Much needed bonus to Dex & Per) Sub-Race: Wood Elf (Amazing damage buff for ranged spells and shots) Culture: Rauatai (Much needed bonus to Con) Background: Aristocrat (Lore bonus will allow using powerful scrolls in early game) Attributes This is a blaster build and we are not intending on getting beaten down. Therefore, I’ve chosen to ditch resolve and constitution in favor of boosting the power and accuracy of our spells. Make sure you loot the barbarians in Cilant Lis and equip your hatchet and shield right away. It helps a ton. If you’re dying too much in the early game, you can take a point out of Perception and 2 out of Intelligence and pump them into constitution. You can respec later when you get tougher. Might: 18 Constitution: Dump Dexterity: 18 Perception: 17 Intelligence: 18 Resolve: Dump Skills Your endgame skills should look as below. They don’t have to be base, these include static buffs. For example my Aristocrat Bonus + Hylea’s Boon + Wizard Bonus gave me 5 Lore points, and I put 5 through level ups for a total of 10. You’ll want your lore to be 10 to use all useful scrolls including but not limited to Maelstrom, Paralysis, Confusion, Prayer Against Fear, etc. Mechanics is great for obvious reasons (detecting and removing traps, finding secret items, etc.). Stealth is pretty much optional (less so in the early game). Eventually you’ll be strong enough to not need to sneak around anymore. It’s still nice to have though for the purpose of getting the drop on harder trash mobs. Survival can also be useful for the campsite resting buffs, although you probably won’t need any for trash mobs. Don’t worry if you botch up the point spread. You can always respec and it’s more about personal preference anyway. Lore: 10 Mechanics: 10 Stealth: 8 Talents You’ll get a talent choice every second level. I like to keep them primarily defensive and utility based as your offensive capabilities will never be an issue. Arcane Veil + Hardened Veil is also very useful in the early game. If you’re having trouble surviving, you can take it and respec later. Level 2: Weapon & Shield Style Level 4: Fast Runner Level 6: Secrets of Rime Level 8: Superior Deflection Level 10: Deep Pockets Level 12: Bear’s Fortitude Level 14: Snake’s Reflexes Level 16: Bull’s Will Spells This pretty much covers every spell I used in the game. I’ll update if I forgot anything. More than 4 are listed in some levels, just switch them out as you need them. Level 2 is a trump card of amazing buffs and debuffs. I would only take Necrotic Lance in longer fights where you are in danger of running out of spells. Bewildering Spectacle is great until you get Confusion. Your end game trump card spells that make things melt are “Minoletta’s Precisely Piercing Burst”, “Kalakoth’s Freezing Rake” and the single target “Ninagauth’s Killing Bolt”. Ninagauth’s takes time to cast so make sure you’re not in danger before you cast it. Finish enemies off with “Minoletta’s Concussive Missiles” if you run out of powerful spells. I’ve put a star next to all of the absolute essential spells. Level 1 - Chill Fog * - Fan of Flames * - Eldritch Aim * - Arkmyr’s Dazzling Lights * Level 2 - Concelhaut’s Corrosive Siphon* - Curse of Blackened Sight - Miasma of Dull-Mindedness * - Bulwark Against The Elements * - Necrotic Lance - Bewildering Spectacle Level 3 - Lengrath’s Displaced Image* - Fireball - Deleterious Alacrity of Motion * - Expose Vulnerabilities Level 4 - Confusion * - Essential Phantom * - Ironskin * - Minoletta’s Concussive Missiles * - Wall of Flame Level 5 - Blast of Frost - Malignant Cloud * - Nanagauth’s Bitter Mooring * - Ryngrim’s Enervating Terror * - Wall of Force * Level 6 - Arkemyr’s Capricious Hex - Gaze of The Adragon - Minoletta’s Precisely Piercing Burst * - Ninagauth’s Freezing Pillar * Level 7 - Ninagauth’s Killing Bolt * - Wall of Draining - Substantial Phantom - Concelhaut’s Crushing Doom Level 8 - Wilting Wind - Llengrath’s Superior Elemental Bulwark * - Kalakoth’s Freezing Rake * - Minoletta’s Piercing Sigil Spell Mastery Unfortunately with the 3.0 patch, wizards got a massive nerf with the removal of per-encounter spell levels. This has raised massive quality of life issues for soloing as we can no longer ignore resting for the longer dungeons and quests in the game. The per-encounter spell levels have been replaced with “Spell Mastery”. Essentially at the level that you would normally get all spells in a certain spell level as per-encounter, you now only get to choose 1. By the level cap, you will have 4 per encounter spells castable only once/encounter. The spells I chose are essentially my main buffs and the best trash mob spell in our grimoire; Chill Fog. Spells are as follows: - Chill Fog - Bulwark Against The Elements - Llengrath’s Displaced Image - Eldritch Aim Pre-Fight Buffs Consumables Unlike in the infinity engine games, our spell buffs can only be used in battle. Apparently spell casters in Eora are on some kind of honor system. That being said, we can still acquire extremely powerful pre-fight buffs. These come in the form of consumables. There are all kinds of consumable buffs including food, drink, and drugs. I tend to stay away from drugs because they usually cause a debuff after the main buff expires. There is no need to use these consumables for trash mobs. You’ll only need them for boss fights and other major encounters. To use these consumables, simply click the crafting button in your inventory screen, and pick the desired dish. If you don’t have the ingredients, you can buy them in various marketplaces. Most food ingredients are fairly cheap (except dragon meat which will break your bank at 3000 gold/serving). Once the food is crafted, simply drag and drop it on to your character in the inventory screen and you will see the buff on your portrait when you return to the game screen. They usually last roughly few minutes. You should have a full stack of the following consumables for major encounters: - Dragon Meat Dish - Rauatai Sweet Pie - Farmer’s Spread - Ixamitl Ricepan - Pearlwood Chicken - Casita Casserole - Ale Resting Buffs In addition to your consumable buffs, you can also acquire a passive rest bonus by staying at inns or from your campfire if you have skill points in survival (they do not stack). Arguably the best rest bonus comes from a tavern in Dyrford Village called “Dracogen Inn”. The highest end room in this inn (Dragon’s Lair) grants a massive attribute boost (+2 Con, +2 Mig, +2 Int). Unfortunately it only lasts one day. For a longer 3-day bonus, your keep’s rest bonuses are excellent as well and let you choose a single attribute for a +3 buff. Make sure you upgrade your keep! Prostitute Bonus In Defiance Bay’s Ondra’s Gift district, you will find a tavern/brothel called “The Salty Mast”. It contains various prostitutes that confer great bonuses for their “services”. The greatest thing about the prostitute bonus is that it will stack with your inn/campsite bonus making for a great attribute buff. Obviously, you can only benefit from one prostitute’s buffs at a time. For even more good news and hilarity, if you have at least 19 dexterity (which should be easy with buffs or gear), the prostitutes will be so impressed with your performance in bed that they will give you back your money resulting in a free buff! There are great prostitutes for both major sexual preferences, listed below are the best of each gender. - Lyrina – Female Prostitute (+2 Con, +2 Mig, +1 Athletics) - Aldwyn – Male Prostitute (+2 Per, +2 Int, +1 Lore). Quick Slot Items Like most RPG’s of this nature, Pillars of Eternity allows you to put on-use or consumable items in your quick slot for use during battle. With the “Deep Pockets” talent, you’ll have 6 slots in total. Your standard layout should be: - 5 Scroll of Maelstrom - 5 Scroll of Paralysis - 5 Scroll of Prayer Against Fear - 5 Scroll of Prayer Against Imprisonment - 5 Endurance Potions - Obsidian Figurine You can change these as you need to. Some of the more difficult fights require certain approaches. You’ll want extra accuracy during any dragon fight so you can replace “prayer against imprisonment” with a “flask of war paint” for the great accuracy buff. Scrolls of Confusion are also indispensable for tricky fights. But this set-up should do you for the overwhelming majority of the game. In the early game you can switch out maelstrom and paralysis for more figurines as you won’t have high enough lore to use them yet. Best In Slot Gear & Enchantments This gear set up worked wonders for me. I made a point to explore every map and get every item (to my knowledge). The main point of your gear set up is to get as high a buff as you can on every major attribute and every major save. Usually the highest attribute buff is +3 until you hit White March. At that point you will begin to uncover +4 items. Keep in mind that many of these drops are random and certain items/enchantments are dependant on what you have equipped. For example, if your random belt drop was the +3 constitution belt, you won’t be putting a constitution enchantment on your chest armor. Gear buffs do not stack and you can only have 1 of every attribute. If I missed anything too good to ignore, please post and I will update. Until you get the items posted below, use anything you find following the rules above. For example, until you get the “Mantle of The Excavator”, a great alternative is “Lillith’s Shawl” found in the Lighthouse of Ondra’s Gift, Defiance Bay. You can check various sites with item databases to map out what you need. By the end of the game, I was wearing the following pieces: Gear Item: Garodh’s Chorus Slot: Helm Notable Stats: +3 Might, Retaliation (Variable depending on your choices during quest) Game: White March 1 Location: Reward from quest. You’ll need to gather the 3 parts of the helm from Russetwood, Stalwart Village, and Durgan’s Battery Main Floor. Item: Starlit Garb Slot: Chest (Robe) Notable Stats: DR: 9, +10 vs. Spells, +2 Athletics Game: Vanilla Location: Part of a quest in act 3. Robe can be found in a hidden stash in one of the dwellings in Elms Reach, Twin Elms. You’ll need to follow the quest until you get the map for it. Item: Ring of Protection Slot: Ring 1 Game: Vanilla Notable Stats: +9 to Fortitude, Reflex, and Will Location: Random drop in various locations. You can also buy them from one of the merchants in Copperlane, Defiance Bay. Item: Ring of Deflection Slot: Ring 2 Game: Vanilla Notable Stats: +9 Deflection Location: Same as above. Item: Boots of Speed Slot: Feet Game: Vanilla Notable Stats: +3 Movement Speed Location: Random drop in various locations. Item: Girdle of Eoten Constitution Slot: Waist Game: Vanilla Notable Stats: +3 Constitution Location: Random drop in various locations. Item: Mantle of The Excavator Slot: Cloak/Neck Game: White March 2 Notable Stats: +25 vs. Poison, +2 Survival, +4 Perception Location: West Tower, Durgan’s Battery Item: Bracers of Spiritual Power Slot: Gloves Game: Vanilla Notable Stats: +10% Spell Damage Location: Random drop in various locations Item: Hearth Harvest Slot: Weapon Game: Vanilla Notable Stats: +5 Deflection, +25% Burn Damage Location: Corpse in Woodend Plains Item: Little Savior Slot: Shield Game: Vanilla Notable Stats: +5 to all defenses, +50 Defense while stunned, +50 Defense while prone Location: Adra Dragon’s treasure horde. Enchantments You can enchant your weapon, shield, and chest armor. They should all have the highest quality enchant while still making room for the amazingly powerful “White Forge” enchant from White March 1. On your chest armor, the +2 attribute enchantment should be whatever you need based on what’s dropped. Remember to not overlap attribute bonuses, they don’t stack. Strategy & Rotation Positioning Proper positioning is absolutely imperative in solo play. Whenever possible, you must pick your battlefield. Some of the hardest fights in the game are the ones that plop you in the middle of a field surrounded by a bunch of strong enemies. The most ideal position is to bottleneck your opponents through any narrow space such as a doorway or a corner whereby only 1 or 2 of them will be able to hit you. In some of the trickier fights, this will be the difference between succeeding and dying. If there aren’t any good bottlenecks around just make sure your back is against a wall of some sort. If the enemy manages to get the flank debuff on you it will seriously effect your defenses. Trash Mob Rotation A “trash mob” is identified as any non-boss or major encounter fight. They’re essentially just the regular inept minions you fight in the wilderness or in dungeons. They’re mostly just fairly weak annoyances with the exception of perma-stun mobs like vampires and some ghosts. The White March 2 mobs are also pretty tough. You’ll have quite a time in the “Stalwart Mines”. That said, you could take out nearly every trash mob in the game with the following rotation: 1. Chill Fog (Make sure to cover as many enemies as possible) 2. Bulwark Against The Elements (Buff) 3. Llengrath’s Displaced Image (Buff) 4. Ironskin (Buff) 5. Eldritch Aim (Buff) 6. Concelhaut’s Corrosive Siphon (Again, hit as many as possible) 7. AoE mobs until dead (Use any area of effect spell) This is the full version of the rotation. Obviously you won’t need to go this crazy for most of the trash mobs. For example, in the early game you wont have access to Ironskin (level 4 spell) and you might not want to waste your few level 2 casts on buffs that aren’t needed. You also won’t need concelhaut’s regeneration because mobs won’t lay a finger on you when blinded by chill fog and you won’t need the accuracy bonus from eldritch aim. Therefore, you’ll be able to skip steps 2-5 and go right to nuking the enemy down with either Fan of Flames or Arcane Assault. Remember to cast Chill Fog in such a way that you are enveloped by the yellow part of the spell radius. This ensures that if enemies get behind you they will still be blinded and damaged by the spell. Concelhaut’s Corrosive Siphon will leech health from the enemy, which is great to have in any fight. Understanding the concept of divide and conquer is of pinnacle importance to success as a solo mage. Often times you will be surrounded by a group of powerful enemies. Confusion! Confusion! Confusion! While confused, the enemies will waste no time beating on each other while you cast buffs on yourself and blast them into oblivion. Have it in your spellbook as well as scrolls in your quick slot. This is huge for dragon fights as you can keep them friendly while you blast them to death. Make sure to buff your accuracy (Eldritch Aim/Flask of War Paint) and Miasma them first! Dragons have insane saves so even with your high perception you will miss constantly if you don’t buff yourself and debuff them. Extremely Difficult Fights These are a few encounters I had trouble with and how I ended up beating them. It goes without saying that you should be fully buffed for all of these fights (except the Eyeless and Cragholdt mobs, they’re just tough trash). Minoletta’s Burst, Ninagauth’s Killing Bolt and Kalakoth’s Freezing Rake are your end game can opener spells. They hit like a truck and can down the toughest bosses in the game quickly. The problem is surviving while you buff yourself, debuff them, and take care of their annoying minions. When in doubt, before you start blasting them, keep your enemies confused or paralyzed and make sure your accuracy is buffed (Eldritch Aim/Flask of War Paint) and they are debuffed (Miasma). For dragon fights add “ Scroll of Protection from Fear” to the mix as their terrify aura will cancel out your accuracy buff. Undead Raedric (Act 3: Vanilla) If you happened to put the psychotic lord of Gilded Vale down in act 1, you’ll be “thrilled” to know that you’ll see him again in act 3, freshly raised as a Vampire. If that isn’t bad enough, he’s got an entire coven of bloodsuckers backing him up. This fight puts Bodhi (Baldur’s Gate 2) to absolute shame. This guy is tough and hits like a truck. Make sure you run down the stairs and into a corner so they can’t flank you. Make liberal use of confuse. At this point you won’t have enough spells to take this walking corpse down so make sure you have some Maelstrom scrolls (if you can use them) or other AoE scrolls. If I remember correctly, they have a pretty significant cold resistance, so Freezing Pillar might not be as effective. Go with Minoletta’s Precisely Piercing Burst. Don’t waste it if they’re confused into friendliness, it’s a foe AoE. This quest gives an insane amount of EXP so make sure you do it! Adra Dragon (Od Nua Level 15, Caed Nua: Vanilla) The one and only “Master Below”, Adra Dragon is a seriously tough fight and you’ll probably have to load the game a bunch of times before offing her. There are a few strategies for dealing with this one. You can see them all being executed to perfection at MANoob100’s youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/MANoob100/videos?shelf_id=0&view=0&sort=dd My favorite method is the “Barrier Strategy”. Be sure that you talk the dragon into telling you about the dragon slayer that is after her. She will offer you a deal to leave your keep if you kill the slayer for her. After you tell the dragon slayer of her plans, you will be taught the “Scalebreaker” ability. This will do wonders for every dragon fight in the game. Go back to the dragon and prepare for a fight. Your rotation is as follows: - Run to the far left of the map - Cast energy barrier where the dragon will be coming - Essential Phantom - Prayer of Protection from Fear (on you and your phantom) - Llengrath’s Displaced Image - Eldritch Aim - Scalebreaker - Arkemyr’s Dazzling Lights - Miasma of Dull Mindedness - Ninagauth’s Freezing Pillar - Ryngrim’s Enervating Terror - Ninagauth’s Freezing Pillar (X2) - Malignant Cloud (X2) - Finish dragon off. Remember that all of these AoE spells should be hitting the dragon and any of his minions that break through. They’ll be a pain. You can also make use of confusion to make this fight even easier. Alpine Dragon (Cave, Longwatch Falls: White March 1) Arguably the hardest fight in the game. After about 50 tries, I finally put the little bastard down without a scratch on me. I pretty much followed Kaylon’s awesome strategy shown here with a few minor changes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBPgwipx3OM As for all of these encounters, you’ll need all pre-fight buffs on you for this fight. Make sure you hit up Dracogen Inn and The Salty Mast. Grab your food buffs right before engaging, and make sure you equip anywhere from 10-15 scrolls of confusion. One full stack of scroll against fear is essential as well. Try not to hit any of the dragon’s minions, you’ll be using them for their weak saves to confuse and distract the dragon. Quickly run to the bottom left corner when the encounter begins. If one of the creatures is on to you, confuse it immediately. If they’re lagging behind and not yet in your view, use the opportunity to thrown a protection from fear scroll on yourself. Accuracy is a must in this fight and the dragon’s terrify aura is as good as being blinded. You’ll need all of your high damage spells to take this guy down. Personally, my 2 “I win” spells are Minoletta’s Precisely Piercing Burst and Ninagauth’s Killing Bolt. They do insane damage and high saves are worthless against them. It’s important to understand however, that Ninagauth’s Killing Bolt will constantly miss unless you are immune to terrify (scroll), have an accuracy buff (Eldritch Aim/Flask of War Paint), and the dragon is debuffed (Miasma of Dull Mindedness). So remember that in between confusing the minions to distract the dragon, make sure all buffs and debuffs are up. Keep confusing to buy yourself time to cast if they aren’t. It helps a lot if the dragon itself is confused. When the dragon is friendly, you can hit it with Ninagauth’s Killing Bolt. When it isn’t friendly, run up behind it while it’s attacking its own confused minions and spam your Minoletta’s. Use “Scalebreaker” at your own discretion. When it dies, clean up the surviving trash mobs and claim victory! Concelhaut (Cragholdt Bluffs: White March 1) One of my favorite quests in the game, Cragholdt Castle is a really cool zone filled with epic mage battles that are just challenging enough to be fun, but not annoyingly hard. The first thing you’ll have to do is take care of the mercenaries laying siege to the castle. They’re insanely annoying trash mobs that are going to take some patience to deal with. Use your trump card spells like “Minoletta’s Precisely Piercing Burst” and “Kalakoth’s Freezing Rake”. “Confusion” is also your friend here. When you finally reach the castle (a much more lax atmosphere), you’ll find that the first thing you have to do is knock off Concelhaut’s 4 apprentices. You can also make a deal with them, but I chose to slaughter them all. The fights are fun and fairly easy, be sure to make use of the amazingly convenient doorways. The vithrak apprentice is a bit of a pain, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble. Eventually you’ll reach the liche lord Concelhaut, archmage of Cragholdt. The good news is you’ll pound him one on one, the bad news is he has a hefty little undead army with him. Make sure you’re fully buffed as opening the door to his quarters will make you fatigued. You might as well run back to Dyrwood Village and Ondra’s gift to get your bonuses before you walk in. Try to lure out Concelhaut’s minions before engaging the mage himself. It’s important to take out that nasty death guard separately. If you get him and Concelhaut together, your chances of survival are low. Once you lure out and kill the death guard, you can safely engage the rest of them (although luring out and killing as many as you can is recommended). Cast your buffs, make sure you’re immune to fear, and spam “Kalakoth’s Freezing Rake” to clear the minions. Concelhaut himself is immune to ice, so as soon as you kill the minions; buff your accuracy, try to “Miasma” him, and spam your “Minoletta’s Precisely Piercing Burst” until he falls. You’ll need to be immune to fear for this whole fight so make sure you’re using scrolls. Llengrath (Mowrghek Ien: White March 2) After taking out Concelhaut, make your way back to Stalwart to finally find out who was behind the siege of his castle. It is none other than the archmage Llengrath. There aren’t many encounters before you fight her, go to the zone that unlocks once you get the quest in Stalwart and make your way to the Northwest of the map. You’ll run into a few packs of her druid minions, you should stomp them fairly easily. They’re way easier than the mercenaries in Cragholdt. Before you enter the forest clearing, make sure you’re fully buffed with food and inn/prostitute bonuses. It’s worth noting that if you give Llengrath Concelhaut’s little Kangaxx head and choose your words right, she’ll let you off with a nice permanent buff to your attributes. To hell with that jazz I say, WE FIGHT! As is impossible to miss, Llengrath is accompanied by 2 young Bog Dragons and one inept druid apprentice. Just like the Concelhaut fight, they’re all manageable on their own but become a nuisance due to the fact that they’re ganging you. As soon as the fight starts, run the far right corner. Buff yourself up while they’re still coming to you. - Bulwark Against The Elements - Llengrath’s Displace Image (How ironic) - Ironskin - Scroll of Prayer Against Fear - Scroll of Defense - Eldritch Aim As soon as all you buffs are up, spam “Kalakoth’s Freezing Rake”. You’ll need to get all 4 of them within the AoE radius. After your third and last rake, Llengrath and her apprentice will be dead. Now for the 2 lizards. These 2 hit pretty hard so you wont survive by just standing your ground and casting. Thankfully, unlike Llengrath, they aren’t immune to paralyze. Whip out a scroll and incapacitate them both. Re-buff your accuracy and “Miasma” them. After that just keep re-paralyzing them before they break free and spam “Minoletta’s Precisely Piercing Burst”. One should survive after the 4th cast, finish him with “Ninagauth’s Killing Bolt”. This fight is actually pretty easy, might take a few tries though. You have now officially destroyed the 2 (formerly) most powerful mages in Dyrwood. You may now proudly proclaim yourself Archmage! Llengrath and Concelhaut’s grimoire contain never before seen exclusive spells that only you will have. They’re amazing, make sure you read through them and try them out. Radiant Spore (Stalwart Mines, Stalwart: White March 2 This one is another doozy. In fact, this entire quest is quite difficult. The cavern you will have to navigate to find this optional boss contains arguably the hardest trash mobs in the game. Massive packs of Vithraks (Obsidian’s answer to D&D’s Mind Flayers) and their slaves will charge at you with a vengeance. Paralyze scrolls work wonders against them, and they’re quite soft so they’ll die with minimal effort. The challenge is pretty much surviving their onslaught and constant stunning. You’ll get the hang of it eventually. Use summons to distract them and use Confusion on the slaves. Eventually you’ll reach this massive annoyance of an encounter. It’s essentially a giant boss level spore (Obsidian’s answer to D&D’s Myconids). Upon engagement, the spore will try to interact with you. Unfortunately you won’t have the constitution or resolve to make this fight easier, so just choose to attack it or you’ll get a debuff. As you might expect, this boss is pretty soft and will die quickly. What makes things incredibly complicated is that it’s tentacles hit like a truck and it’s accompanied by an army of charmed Vithraks. The first thing to do is run to the rightmost part of the screen. You’ll see an area that will block the spore’s line of sight to you allowing you to deal with the vithrak’s first. Spam “Minoletta’s Precisely Piercing Burst” to take care of the vithrak warriors and sporelings. The lone vithrak caster should be easy to deal with using some mid level damage spells like “Malignant Cloud” and Minoletta's Concussive Missiles.. Once you kill the caster and it’s summons, run back behind the cover, heal and buff yourself. A “Scroll of Defense” will help a lot here. Have summons get the spore’s attention, buff your accuracy, debuff the spore with “Miasma”, and slam it with 4 Killing Bolts. If it’s still alive, finish it off with Malignant Cloud or Minoletta's Concussive Missiles and make sure to run back behind the cover to heal if you need to. The Eyeless (Various Areas: White March 2) Technically a trash mob, but insanely difficult if you don’t know how to fight them. They can kill you almost instantly, they’re immune to confuse and blind, and they have a load of hit points. One thing they can’t resist however is our trusty old “Scroll of Paralysis”. Paralyze them before they get off the insta-kill eye laser move. Then just blast them with anything until they’re dead. It only gets tough when you’re fighting 2 or 3 of them at a time. You’ll have to paralyze all of them at once or you’re dead. “Kalakoth’s Freezing Rake” is amazing for these encounters as it does a load of AoE damage and is cast almost instantly. Keep re-paralyzing them before they break out of their current paralysis. If they knock you on your arse you’re pretty much gone. Again, you’ll get the hang of them after a few encounters. The Kraken (Final Boss: White March 2) Ondra’s little pet will be the last thing keeping you from the expansion’s final objective. This is actually one of the easier boss fights in the game, but you’ll be vaporized quickly if you don’t know how to approach it. This thing has a bunch of tentacles that will assist it in trying to kill you. Don’t waste spells on them. If the Kraken dies, they die too. Run right up to the Kraken’s head and spam “Minoletta’s Precisely Piercing Burst”. This encounter would be easy as pie if 2 Eyeless mobs weren’t triggered when the Kraken is at about half-life. Make sure to get a paralyze off to disable the 2 Eyeless before they start hitting. If anything is going to kill you here, it’s going to be them. I actually managed to paralyze them and the Kraken at the same time. Finish off the Kraken first to get he and his tentacles off of you, and then keep re-paralyzing and blasting the 2 Eyeless using my Eyeless strategy above. Overall this fight isn’t that hard, you’ll understand what to do when you’re there. Conclusion I think that pretty much covers it. If anyone thinks of anything else, please do not hesitate to post. I’ll be putting this guide up on the PoE forums as well as Reddit. Thanks again for reading and a really special thanks to everyone who is supporting this genre of gaming. I can’t wait for the next Pillars of Eternity. Take care! - Bathory 2016 Game Version: 3.01
  6. so sometimes, especially my two most melee characters, have ineffective weapons. I have a rogue who has piercing/slashing and can swtich to crushing/piercing. sometimes neither seems to be effective. some monsters don't have their DR stuff listed yet. I was wondering if the Prima guide might be of help, or if anyone here had suggestions. what I have done with my rogue and fighter have been to use one melee one ranged. I just got a ranger, so I can switch up the fighter. also, I am the least effective member of my party (if I can keep mage alive) the rogue invisibilty I use, in the heat of combat, does not seem worth the talent point to get the sneak in. also, she is squishing so a sneak attack at 2 meters then involves sprinting back to the tanks, sometimes not fast enough. sorry for long post. liking game. just wanted advice.
  7. Hello , In a few battles where I fight tightly with reaching weapons behind , the tank character/s wander out the formation , chasing retreating enemies , thus getting hit by disengagement and ruining the fight all together , which especially takes long from the start. There is a "stop party movement" option but I couldn't get the difference it makes , I think it does not work in this case ? It would be best if a Hold Ground option is added. Thanks
  8. Simply; I am trying to enclose enemies in a door way so that my two front-liners can keep enemies from maneuvering to my back-line where the squishy mages and archers are. My issue is that my front-line keeps trying to move forward to engage new enemies rather than sit tight and let the enemies come to them. Worse, enemies keep getting attacks of opportunity on my front-line because they insist on fidgeting around. So my question then; Is there a way to tell my team to stand still rather than constantly trying to advance? I've turned on 'Disable Auto-Attacks' but it doesn't seem to take affect at very close proximity.
  9. At the current state of the game, combat remains its major flaw, where instead, this should be one of its major strengths. Obsidian is trying their best to eliminate bugs & tweak combat to make it fluid & fun-to-play. Backers are crowding the forums suggesting ideas on how to 'fix' combat since everybody wants combat to feel as enjoying as in the IE games, but also refreshed, absent GM sucker punches and not susceptible to exploits and cheesy tactics. All of this effort is sincere and worth commended for. The purpose of this poll is to determine whether you feel a radical change in combat should occur. Back in the IE D&D-like games, there where 'invisible' combat rounds that determined each & everyone's actions. Although that is arguably not the best way to handle combat in a RTwP game, it worked well placing limitations & making combat more easily to control (for the GMs) and easier for the player to handle. It is easier for a GM to design encounters when she knows what each combatant can & cannot do due to mechanical limitations of the combat round. This knowledge can extend to balancing out every single game aspect, from encounters to begin with, up to class abilities & weapons/armor. It may be possible that combat in PoE is 'chaotic' as many describe due to the absent of such a limitation. However, this does not cancel the fact that with everyone's best effort combat can be made to work retaining its current round-free state. You can vote about it, say your opinion & make your predictions/suggestions.
  10. Combat is too complicated to be fixed and is the weakest part in a game where it should be its strength. -Suggestions: 1.bring back the IE 'invisible' combat round. Limit attacks/spellcasting on that basis. Since there is a new faction in Dexterity, have the ability score influence the above somehow, eitherwise change DEX's function (it's pretty useless as it is now anyway). 2.Attack resolution- damage dealt must both be simplified. Current mechanics are too complicated for no reason other than causing trouble. You must come closer to IE (D&Dish) terms. The simpler it is, the better to 'control' combat as a developer- the better to control, the easier to craft interesting encounters/ manage difficulty/ create balance to classes-weapons. 3.Work on Engagement. Many believe the mechanic must be dropped altogether, I am not among them. If it is to stay, serious reworking must be done, like toning down how punishing disengagement hits are and limiting the rad-area at which those hits occur. Please share thoughts.
  11. Hello all. As you probably know, there is currently a problem with area-of-effect abilities and INT - namely that the inability to adjust the AoE of certain abilities can actually be a disadvantage instead of an advantage. With really high INT, you sometimes end up in situations where you are hitting yourself with a negative AoE spell. This disincentivizes INT as an attribute - and disincentivizing an attribute is never a good idea when building RPG systems. Some have proposed a system in which AoE is adjustable. This is a great idea. And it seems obvious that they'll have to implement it at some point if they don't want to completely gimp certain INT builds (fireball that kills the entire party? anyone? ). But I'd like to go further. What's the point of an INT-based character, anyway? From both a thematic and a mechanical perspective, an INT focused character should be able to tactically control the battlefield through intelligent use of abilities. An adjustable AoE would support this goal from both a thematic and mechanical perspective - but why not give the character (and player) even more choice? I propose a system in which the AoE of abilities is adjustable... but when you increase the AoE, the duration decreases (boo!).... and when you decrease the AoE, the duration increases (what? ). Basically, there would be a discrete number of distributions (equal to your INT) that you could adjust on the fly (with mouse wheel while targeting, for example). At one end of the spectrum, you are applying your entire INT bonus to increasing the duration, and at the other end of the spectrum you are applying your entire INT bonus to increasing the AoE. Obviously if the ability has no AoE, the duration is just maximum and if the ability has no duration the AoE is still adjustable. This would take the tactics of AoE control abilities to an entirely new level. With a merely adjustable AoE, you're just adjusting the AoE to get the maximum ability coverage without hitting your own people. But with a sliding scale of applying your INT bonus to either AoE OR duration, we've achieved the ultimate in INT character decision-making - a system in which the intelligent character is able to masterfully adjust their abilities to fit the tactical situation, weighing the pros and cons of a battlefield-blanketing minor stun vs an incredibly powerful small area stun (for example). I've attached a link to a spreadsheet with some more information and the ability to try out some different curves for bonus values (since obviously the numerical values of the bonuses would have to be adjusted if this were implemented). Unfortunately the forum wouldn't let me upload it. :/ Link here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/29325716/Pillars%20of%20Eternity%20INT%20fix.xlsx Older versions of Excel: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/29325716/Pillars%20of%20Eternity%20INT%20fix.xls Thanks for reading! It would make my day to get a dev response on this (even if it's just "that would be cool but we don't want to do it").
  12. Reading about the confirmed attributes and one thing struck me about spell AOE, what if the Wizard who manipulates the damage can mitigate its effects on his companions? One assumes that the Caster is in control of his creation, or else how can he shape and direct it, so why not have him proof his companions against these effects? Obviously there should be a price for this, as a matter of strategy and balance, perhaps a daily or per encounter ability is burned up in the casting of these wards. Would this totally unbalance the game, and destroy the usefulness of various protection spells, or would the fact that it is only the allied Caster's spells that are warded against and it does not affect the enemies spellcasting one jot make it more palatable? Well ladies and gentlemen, is this heretical thought crime that eliminates careful tactical play or careful preparation by wise players and blessed by He On Earth?
  13. I wanted to talk about the difficulty of P:E. I skimmed the first few pages and couldn't find a topic about it, so I decided to create one. Maybe I haven't looked hard enough, but here we go: I've been replaying DA:O on nightmare and couldn't help but notice how easy it is. When I played it for the first time I found it was more difficult than other games this generation, but that feeling went away when I got used to the mechanics. Now I just wail on the enemies and wait for them to die. That's not good combat. I know Obsidian is trying to capture the IE games, but those weren't *hard* per se, just obnoxiously luck based. I want to use tactics and all tools I have at my disposal. You should be punished for memorizing only damaging spells on your mage etc. The question is: How badly should you be punished? How difficult should the game be? How different should the experience be between normal and hard? How do you define difficulty in RPG's in general? Should anything be designed around luck? I have no idea where to even begin answering those questions, so I'll refrain from having an opinion before I read some of yours.
  14. Admittedly, while Planescape: Torment did have a much smaller variety of spells to choose from than other Infinity Engine games, one spell in particular stands out in my eyes as almost superior in design. Globe of Invulnerability. Unlike the traditional self-targeted sphere which protects individuals from set levels of spells, this one occupied an area - a fairly considerable one. One could cast the globe over an area, and ranged, squishy characters could remain moderately protected inside; Ignus and Co. snug under the sphere, protected from Fire-and-Ice (but not necessarily from Deathbolt or Bladestorm!) and able to at least protect themselves from minor punishment. Others may not have used this spell in the game, considering its sparsity of enemy spell-casters, but I found it quite useful against a certain Deva, and can imagine quite vividly its use as a tactical, defensive utility in Project Eternity. But why draw the line there? Sure, Chanters and other such classes may have auras that follow them around, but what about things like Magic Circles of (Minor up to Greater) Regeneration that are magically inscribed into a region of the battlefield, giving a choice area of the field a natural tactical advantage? "I've sustained several bleeding wounds, but I can last a little longer if I stay inside the circle!" Tactical disadvantages in the field are already aplenty in CRPG titles - Get out of the Cloudkill! - No, you fool, you've just run into a Meteor Swarm! - You HAD to just get caught in the Web, didn't you? In Icewind Dale there were Undead Wards, behind which a meagre party of four could hide (assuming that their turn undead skill was strong enough!) when the swarms of shades and skeletons proved too overwhelming. There are bad examples of attempts at this as well: in NWN2, the Wall of Fire and the Wall of Dispel Magic spells occupied a tiny area, were straight (therefore being easily circumvented) and did pathetic damage (therefore having little stopping power). But if they were circular or wider, a surrounded party might erect a shield of flames to at least deter the monsters' approach. It wouldn't be necessarily as strong as, say, casting Sunfire/Fireburst might be, but it avoids hurting the party and can work in protracted situations ( *SPOILER INCOMINGlike the fight during the reforging of the Sword of Gith SPOILER OVER, BREATHE EASY). Of course, the disadvantage of being locked to a certain position in the battlefield remains, which could still be exploited by the foe. You have a fire-shield? We have a fire-ball. - You have a warding circle? We have spears. Now, I would by no means argue the preclusion of individual protective magics - perhaps area defenses such as these would be higher-tier than individual defenses, maybe channeled or something if they are particularly powerful (Undead Ward was level 5). Perhaps the player characters wouldn't have access to them or use them much at all, and they would be the tactical responses of enemy bands, who already have positional control of an area and now can influence where they fight positively as well as negatively. Naturally, a mage fighting on his own wouldn't shield an entire area. Maybe one's front-line friends are dashing about the battlefield to reach distant foes and don't want to sit around in some silly circle. But the fact that one has the option to do so, in an environment when it could prove useful (like being surrounded by Hook Horrors that are scurrying on the ceiling only to drop down and flank with terrifying agility, or being ambushed by a patrol of bandits) makes the battlefield come alive. Spell-casters should have such defensive tactics open to them. They are useful, call for thought and imagination on part of the player (whether they are the attacker or defender), and above all are very cool. There are so many possibilities in what has been a largely unexplored region of magic in CRPGs, perhaps born of the eventual ability of most parties to just walk through hordes as if they were a stiff breeze and thus not need to be in any one place. But if the combat of Project Eternity is truly to be rich, difficult and with variety, in which characters can't just walk past each other in endless congo-lines of aggression, surely it is things like this which will make a pitched battle feel like a pitched battle, and not a glorified room-clearing.
  15. This was an idea in the "Small Suggestions..." thread, and it was growing a bit big there, so I decided to move it here. The idea is for the game interface to allow the player to utilize inter-character teamwork (in some form) to pull off things like friendly-fire-avoiding AOE abilities, or any other ability in which an ally's position would detriment the effectiveness of an attack. The initial idea was callouts, much like the "grenade out!" in a lot of shooters (as such things are actually used in military group tactics so that no one inadvertently charges into a grenade zone or something, etc). I realize now that what I'm after may be achieved through various implementations (not simply callouts). BUT, maybe the callouts are codewords (like I said, so the enemy remains unawares), and maybe they, at the very least, give your allies who are within the blast zone a bonus modifier to defense/evasion, since they know it's coming? I guess it just seems silly to me that there's almost NO synergy there in avoiding friendly fire. It's like 1000% of the control for even very simple AOE scenarios comes down to the player. It almost feels, in most games, as though you need to meta-game your way around things, so that everyone will be in the desired position, and your spell/ability will go off at the desired time. Almost... What if we simply had more positional control? As in, maybe your Fighter (or other melee combatant) who is engaged in direct melee combat with an enemy can "Push back" to a targetable location (short-range) at the cost of defense/attack effectiveness? So you can feasibly get enemies into better positions for simple, small-scale AOE's, without it simply being a matter of "Welp... friendlies are in the cone. Do I hurt them, or do I just stand here like an idiot because I can't really do anything else...?" The type of character cooperation/capability I'm after makes more sense if thought of in terms of non-magic abilities, like ducking melee arc-swings or side-stepping arrows from archers, etc. There's a huge difference between the player selecting a character and saying "You there... you STOP fighting and move 3 feet to the right!", and letting that character know that another character needs them out of the way for an attack or ability to land, and having that character be able to time a sidestep in the midst of combat. *Le shruggles* EDIT: Just realized that the Wizard's Familiar enables additional positional control over spell "aiming." I just didn't really think of that before. That's along the lines of what I'd like to see, rather than a Wizard who has to run around for 10 minutes like he's trying to get a good spot at a concert. Hehe.
  16. Generals are always prepared to fight the last war. NATO armies actually quite retarded and win wars only because bribing a generals and enemy armies tactical incompetency. This thread about "how to defeat best armies in the world". http://youtu.be/6yOk3pr_LWA
  17. WHAT ARE TACTICS? Here is some very basic description of what the word Tactics ought to mean in video games. First, I need to explain that I am NOT borrowing the meaning from a dictionary. I am going to take the description from experience. Also, nothing revolutionary is being said here. If you are reading this to get new insights, give up now. Alright. Within most combat engagements, planning is done on two non-exclusive but sufficiently differing ways: 1) Long term planning 2) Short term planning The requisites of decision making are typically information regarding your own position and supplies and the enemy’s position and supplies. In rare occasions the enemies movements (plans) are also known. Given this information a manager/general needs to decide how to control the production of supplies, how to expend them and how to move units. Whatever can be expended(used) and produced is a resource. Long term planning typically involves allotment of resources and unit movement. But its salient feature is that it also involves resource production that takes time to be available. This kind of planning is called as strategy. Short term planning is typically limited to resource handling and unit movement in a very restricted area and in most cases as a direct response/preemption to the opponent planning. This is called Tactics. Thus tactics can only allow allotment of available resource. Not all resource types may be available during tactical maneuvers. The ones that are or can be made available are called as tactical resources. Please understand that strategic resources are always being produced and allotted EVEN during tactical maneuvers. But that is by definition considered a part of strategy. Thus tactics always deal withlimited resources. In computer games, the most usual tactical resources are: 1) Units 2) "Health" 3) mana / stamina / fury etc indicating a resource to do special actions 4) Choice of weapons and armor 5) Spell's / special ability 6) Stances 7) Potions / grenades/ traps (grouped, but serve differing functions). Time 9) Positioning of units It is not too difficult recognize these obvious resources. Since in video games, you are playing in a semi-rigid scaffold, the job of a good designer is to manage encounters and provide resources to implement combat as targeted towards a requisite group. This brings us to the question as to what is tactical depth. Tactical depth is essentially a measure of how many viable options in terms of the above mentioned resources can one use at any "point of time". The quotes are purposeful, since the concept of point of time differs according to how a game is implemented. In Real Time games without rounds, it is indeed possible to perform more than one option and sometimes unrestrained number of options depending upon the resources available at the same "point of time". This indirectly serves as a measure of TIME spent as resource. In Round Based games the numbers of options one can utilize are hard coded, only to be modified by "free actions" or special conditions. In Turn Based game a similar restriction based on context exists, although it tends to be much tighter. Tactical depth is NOT the number of options that you can perform per unit of time. It is the numbers of options that are available. It is desirable than many such options be there (how many?), since that quantifiably increments the quality of the challenge. The larger the number of such options and more balanced (?!) the number of winning options amongst these determines how well implemented tactics in a game are. There are other issues related with this topic such as: 1) How does the flow of time affect the tactical nature of the game? 2) What is the ideal way resources should be allotted by design? 3) What is a balanced tactical depth? that we can discuss later.
  18. So I've been reading the different arguments for and against Vancian magic (sp?) and cool-down based, stamina based, and other metrics based magics. I wanted to propose another possible mechanism. I will lay out the problems as I see them, and then lay out my solution. Finally, I will try to address how this solution answers the problems as laid out. If you are not interested in reading the whole thing, look for the yellow text. The Aspects of Vancian magic (and its problems as outcomes): 1- The one-time use of memorized magic severely limits the magic-user to only using a limited number of spells per rest. This is done so as to make magic-use challenging and tactical. This is not a problem. 2- Because no player has complete knowledge of the challenges he will face in a dungeon/battle it proves difficult for the magic-user to know whether they should become involved (magically) in that particular battle. If they do, they might use up spells that may be necessary for a future battle (possibly just around the corner). Players will save even rudimentary first-level spells "for the right moment" and completely neglect one aspect of their combat choices completely. 3- However, the party is in need of a combat-ready member, and thus magic-users are relegated either to "stone-throwing duty" or heavy-magic users in parties who are "rest-spammers." This breaks the magic mechanics and side-steps the limitations put there in the first place. The Problems with "metrics-based" (cool-down/stamina/mana) magic: 1- Magic becomes more of an option for a magic user. As the risks of using magic decreases, magic-users are more likely to make this an option in combat. This is also not a problem, and is what the developers (probably) want. 2- However, the magic-user is no longer limited to a per-rest restraint, but more of a per-battle restraint. That is to say that with the end of each battle, the party can effectively wait long enough to "cool-down" the magic user so as to get into battle again. 2- This waiting time removes the player from immersion if he/she chooses to wait until the magic-user's cool-down is complete. 3- Further, because spells are (mostly) limited to a per-battle restraint, the management of spells over a series of battles no longer plays a role. Thus if two smaller battles of low-challenge monsters arrives (two camps of 8-10 goblins 2 minutes apart), the magic-user will always be ready to unleash those spells that are cool-down sensitive. Lower-tier spells are no longer an issue over multiple battles. 4- These problems are similar to all self-recharging mechanics (stamina, mana). Ultimately, the same players who rest-spammed, will now effectively wait-spam until their magic-users are fully recharged (to the best of their abilities). This will remove those same players from immersion. There are likely other problems that I have not considered, so please let me know. I have tried to summarize the general gist of most reactions to these systems. ----------------------------------------------------------- This solution to this problem actually comes from an intelligent application of the Vancian system in Baldur's Gate II (an IE game) to create a challenge in both resource-management as well as effective magic-usage. In the game, Baldur's Gate II:Throne of Bhaal, during the final arena with the boss (Melissan), the player is not allowed to rest (you are in another plane of existance, you cannot rest at all), and thus magic becomes a very limited resource. However, you need to use magic (and strong magic at that!) to weaken the boss before you can even fight her, by fighting monsters that are unleashed from "spirit pools". As you defeat each group of monsters and unlock each pool, two of the three pools "restore" your party as if you are resting. Thus they act as "rest-areas" without you actually resting for 8 hours and they restore your magic during that time. However, the spirit pools are one-time use only. Thus these pools become a very limited and precious resource and there is no opportunity to spam rest or spam wait. If you do not use magic, these spirit pools are useless (forcing the player to use magic). So it seems simple enough, instead of letting "resting" restore your magic use (or stamina or mana, etc), utilize specific "spirit pools" found all throughout the P:E to restore the magic. It actually also makes more sense, from a lore perspective - I get into that at the end of this post. The "pools" act like the D&D spell "Wish" where you can restore your parties magic completely. The pools are on a cool-down (every 8 hours) and several pools can be found in a dungeon (they are spread all throughout the P:E world). Perhaps, some merchants have taken the waters of these pools and sell them to adventurers. These "potions of restoration" act like the D&D cleric's level 6 spell "wonderous recall." They allow some (random) of your soul-powered spells to return to you, so as to allow magic-users to cast these spells again. Perhaps some spirit pools allow partial rejuvination, and some only allow certain schools of magic to be restored (Spirit Pool of Divination - only allows divination spells to be restored). This allows for much more interesting combinations of restoration and more interesting puzzles and challenges in dungeons. Again you can have partial restoration through potions (Potion from the spirit pool of divination). I will now go through the problems as stated before and show how this mechanic solves these problems. 1- Vancian magic: Players will save even rudimentary first-level spells "for the right moment" and completely neglect one aspect of their combat choices completely. The player now no longer has a reason to save his or her spells. As long as the player can manage his/her resources until the next pool, s/he can utilize their spells to the most tactically advantageous way possible. If they don't use it, they lose it as they reach the next pool (all spells are restored, regardless if used or not.) 2- Removes the player from immersion The player is now even more immersed in the game, as they try to figure out (through a skill perhaps?) what kind of spirit pool they have uncovered, whether it would be best to save this pool for later use, etc and they are kept on their toes as their try to fight past monsters to get to the next "spirit pool." This continues to keep the player thinking about resource management. 3- Vancian magic-users are relegated either to "stone-throwing duty" or heavy-magic users in parties who are "rest-spammers." Magic-users can now take their proper role as magic-users. If they do not do so, they will miss their chance to use magic in between spirit pools. 1- Cooldowns: The party can effectively wait long enough to "cool-down" the magic user so as to get into battle again. The restoration of magic is no longer dependent on wait-times and cool-downs. The concern of "dumbing down the game" is removed as players are forced to once again manage resources and spells as before in the Vancian system. 3- Cooldown: The management of spells over a series of battles no longer plays a role Resource management continues to be a factor between spirit pools. Players are forced to consider that they might not find a pool for long periods of time or that there might be another pool a short distance away. Sneaking and information gather through rogues become more important. They become effective as scouts looking out for enemies as well as trying to find the next spirit pool. Even then, perhaps the next spirit pool might only restore certain spells. For those who do not manage their spells effectively, they will be forced to carry potions of spiritual restoration and hope that the spell they want is restored. Players are punished for lax play, and rewarded for strategic play over several battles. 4- Cooldown: Lower-tier spells are no longer an issue over multiple battles Once again, lower-tier spells are an issue for multiple battles. Players cannot spam level 3 flaming arrows and wait for them to cool-down between fights. Perhaps a few level one spells can continue to be on cool-down (or maybe potions would have to restore them), but these tweaks can be made over time and with enough play-testing a proper balance can be found. LORE It never made much sense (in D&D) that magic spells were memorized each morning and forgotten after being used. It also didn't make much sense that by resting you would restore these spells. I would imagine that the magic-user was not resting but rather spending his 8 hours in camp memorizing new spells. Not quite the restful break for the magician. In P:E, magic-use and its derivatives (apart from chanters?) are linked to channeling the spirits in some way. Thus as each person in this world channels their spirit in this world, they are likely to weaken this link in some way. However, spread all throughout the world are "pools" or portals in which the links to the spirits and people is much stronger and this link can be strengthened at these pools. However, the pools can only be used every so-often as the energies emanating from these pools gets used up. Over time, the energies in these pools recharge and allow people to "refresh" their links with their souls. Some merchants have tried to make a profit from this, as many pools found inside the cities are protected or bought (and can be found only in the hands of the very wealthy). These merchants have asked adventurers going out on their journeys to gather the waters of these pools and to return them to the merchants. The price paid for these waters is good, but purchasing these waters is quite expensive (merchants need to make a profit afterall). What do you guys think? Please forgive any spelling or grammatical mistakes.
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