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The Pillars of Eternity No Reload Challenge


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#21
Jaheiras Witness

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Temple quest is harder on Hard, you will meet some upgraded versions of opponents and multiple versions of some of the tougher wilder opponents (don’t want to spoil too much for you).

That said, it’s still doable and you can sneak past opponents / not go into some rooms.

You may also want to go to Madhmr Bridge first, it’s an easy area and there is a nice item you can get which helps against a couple of the opponents in the temple.
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#22
Alesia_BH

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Thanks Jaheiras Witness!

 

(And, btw, great stuff, Enuhal! I'm really looking forward to following you and Serg. I expect to learn a lot!)

 

Cheers,

 

A.


Edited by Alesia_BH, 01 November 2018 - 10:26 AM.

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#23
Enuhal

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I'm not sure if White March affects the main game AI, but it's certainly possible: Enemies in the expansions are definitely much more likely to ignore your tanks and attack the back line. That's why it's important for a fighter tank to have overbearing guard and a paladin tank to provide additional utility, such as healing other party members and later using sacred immolation. Mostly, positioning and not engaging with your most vulnerable characters right away are useful ways to counter this behaviour.

 

Regarding the temple quest: I would definitely recommend delaying it and getting Kana first.


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#24
semiticgod

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I'm still pretty early in the game, and it'll be a while before I'll be able to start my first no-reload run. I notice that you can create custom party members at the first inn--it seems expensive and the hirelings are low-level, but it looks like a great way to expand the player's options for the early game. Do many people use full-custom or majority-custom parties?

 

I've considered starting over and experimenting with a more diverse party, but I'm right before Defiance Bay, and I've heard that gameplay gets much more complex in the next chapter.


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#25
Alesia_BH

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Yeah. I read that enemies in the expansion break off more readily. I feel like they're doing so now in the main game, too, but the effect is subtle, if it exists at all. It may just be power of suggestion. I'm not sure.


Edited by Alesia_BH, 01 November 2018 - 05:24 PM.

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#26
Alesia_BH

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Veteran friends! Heeding Jaherias Witness's advice, we headed south to Mahdmr Bridge before entering the Eothasian Temple. We now have ~2300cp to spend before descending. What's the better investment at this stage? Cape of Withdrawl (for Aloth) + Blunting Belt (for Ashoka) or Minor Ring of Deflection (for Ashoka)? 

 

I'm leaning towards Minor Ring of Deflection now, Cape of Withdrawl ASAP, and Blunting Belt later. Does that make sense?


Edited by Alesia_BH, 01 November 2018 - 05:30 PM.

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#27
Alesia_BH

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I'm still pretty early in the game, and it'll be a while before I'll be able to start my first no-reload run. I notice that you can create custom party members at the first inn--it seems expensive and the hirelings are low-level, but it looks like a great way to expand the player's options for the early game. Do many people use full-custom or majority-custom parties?

 

I've considered starting over and experimenting with a more diverse party, but I'm right before Defiance Bay, and I've heard that gameplay gets much more complex in the next chapter.

 

Noted. It probably is wise to complete a full run before NRing (although I always admired Grond0's approach: his first completed BG playthrough was a NR- it took many, many months).

 

I was just eager to see you posting  :grin:

 

Feel free to share your early discoveries. I'd love to hear them. We can use the "Any interest in starting a No Reload Challenge?" thread as a temporary Adventurer's Lounge.

 

Best,

 

A.

 

(Oh! And, yes, people do frequently use full custom parties. But the NPCs are well written and they have quests. With the exception of Durance -who makes Anomen look like Chris Pratt- they're fun to have around.)


Edited by Alesia_BH, 01 November 2018 - 05:53 PM.

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#28
Alesia_BH

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Ashoka: Pale Elf, Kind Wayfarer- Entry 3: Madhmr Bridge and the Eothasian Temple

 
After consulting with an affable yet regal chap, and a disciple of a woman warrior from a distant, nay, forgotten realm, Ashoka recruited Kana and visited Madhmr Bridge before descending into the Eothasian ruins.
 
At Madhmr Bridge (and on the roadway there) it was Cassia's time to shine. She defeated the last spider...
 
 
seemingly all of the looters... 
 
 
and, finally, the xaurip high priest.
 
 
You go, girl! But take it easy on the killin'- you can't pile all the bodies all the time. Leave some for the rest of us kind folk!
 
All of these fights were completed without #per/rest spells, IIRC, save the xaurip high priest. We were headed back to the Hound anyways, so there was no downside to letting Cassia and Aloth razzle-dazzle. Cassia went Armor of Faith->Blessing->Holy Radiance, Aloth added a spell or two, I think, but he may not have gotten past his AAs (This battle ended sooner than expected).
 
Near Madhmr Bridge, Kana used his summoning chant for the first time and we got to see one of the many RPG notification lines that would be way cooler in real life than it is in a video game.
 
 
Anyhoo. With Madhmr Bridge complete, Ashoka and crew found themselves flushed with coppers and on the brink of level 4. We purchased a Minor Ring of Deflection, along with some food, and headed into the temple.
 
The temple quest was a mixed bag. We completed our first semi-major quest, which was cool. But we also suffered out first knockout, which was not cool. First the good stuff.
 
Our first fight took place in the spider room. We used an archway to good effects here, allowing us to take down a gaggle of spiders with ease. Ashoka used her Flames of Devotion, Eder brought Knockdown, Kana fired away with his arquebus, and Cassia did the Cassia thing: killing things with a dead guy's staff. Everyone is on point expect for Aloth who is, I don't know, pulling an Agnetha?
 
 
Level ups all around soon after. Ashoka took Strange Mercy; Eder took Sword and Shield Style; Aloth added Penetrating Blast and Curse of Blackened Sight; Kana chose Reny's Ghost and Weapon Focus: Solider. Cassia leveled up, too, but she didn't get to choose anything, since she had reached 3, not 4.
 
The only other battle of note on level 1 was an encounter with four skuldrs. The first two were taken by the door, the last two in open field. This proved much easier than expected. No real damage here- despite Aloth going all Agnetha again.
 
 
Ok. Onto level 2. On level 2, we took on very nearly all comers, save the skuldr king who was left for another day.
 
Against the spirits, we maintained a tight formation (and, no: I'm not talking about Aloth's butt this time...). Strange Mercies from Ashoka kept everyone healthy and happy.
 
 
Things didn't go floey until the battle near the inner sanctum. Kana was stunned by a phantom very nearly immediately and then he was doused with aerial ooze from the slimy-slimers. Cassia, wearing chain, couldn't bring her Holy Radiance into play soon enough and Ashoka's Strange Mercy arrived a millisecond too late. This was our first knockout of the campaign (but surely not the last).
 
 
The prebuffs here were Resting Bonus: Spirit Accuracy, Resting Bonus: Laborer's Rest, Ale, Sweet Rautai Pie and Savory Pie. We also ate the Duc's Meatloaf and Pearlwood Chicken left over from the Tenfrith quest. Spells cast included Armor of Faith->Blessing->Holy Radiance from Cassia and Arcane Assualt->Combusting Wounds->Necrotic Lance->Minor Missiles from Aloth. All except Kana finished near full health.
 
 
Final fight: cloak spirits. Standard tactics here, no damage worth reporting. We again finished near full health, thanks to Strange Mercy.
 
 
Our next stop is Caed Nua. Wish us luck!
 
Best,
 
A.

Edited by Alesia_BH, 02 November 2018 - 12:04 PM.

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#29
Serg BlackStrider

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Looking good, Alesia! Watch out for those Spirits in Caed Nua. I wouldn't call myself a veteran or even an advanced PoE player but your choice to purchase the minor ring of protection seems reasonable to me (even though I remember them, alone with capes of protection, being quite a common loot). Blunting Belt is nice but useless vs status effects which those Spirits will be eager to throw at you. Stay on guard!


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#30
Alesia_BH

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Yeah. I'm worried about the fight in the main hall. But where else can we go at this point?


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#31
Serg BlackStrider

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I don't remember all available areas at this point already, but did you cleared them all?


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#32
Enuhal

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Well, you won't get higher than level 4 before Caed'Nua (maybe doing Raedric's Hold would get you there, but that idea seems crazy to me), so I think you're ready. I usually spend my first bit of money on weapon/armor enchants and some specific fine weapons/armor (and inn resting buffs), but deflection is always good to have as well.

 

Regarding custom parties: Custom characters will generally be one level below your main character, but they usually have better stats than the official companions, and you can get different classes early on. Since a lot of people enjoy testing out unusual builds in PoE, custom parties are at least somewhat popular. Even if one prefers to use official NPCs, filling up your party to full size right away with 2-3 custom companions is very useful to make the early game easier (and, at least on PotD, the early game is propably the hardest part of the game except for specific lategame content). Once you make it to Defiance Bay, you can relax - it will get much easier to gather experience, gold and items. There's another short difficulty spike in early chapter 3 (at least that's my opinion, others may disagree with that).


Edited by Enuhal, 01 November 2018 - 11:32 PM.

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#33
Jaheiras Witness

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Raedric’s Hold will get you tons of loot but no more level ups. Level 4 is as good as it gets for Caed Nua.

Money will soon become a non-issue so no worries with purchasing what you want. Just bear in mind that stuff like minor rings of x and capes of withdrawal will soon become useless and/or plentiful.

If you are not already, start eating like a glutton. Food is so cheap and you should buy inns out of their stock of the good stuff (it will replenish the next day). Really there is no excuse for all party members not to be under the effect of at least 2 foodstuffs (MIG/CON/DEX enhancing is already available from Black Hound) AT ALL TIMES. Yes I’m serious. And washed down with some ale. And later some drugs thrown in as well. These are essentially the only prebuffs available in PoE, so make use of them.
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#34
Borco

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Just dropping by to say good luck to all the challengers! 

 

I'll be watching this thread with interest and, who knows, I may resurrect my PoE install and give it a shot myself. I’ve never actually finished the game (mostly due to loss of interest at various stages), but seeing your adventures unfold could just be the right incentive.  :cat:

 

Have fun!

 

B.


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#35
summatsupeer

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Our rangers (who start with wounding shot and add resilient companion as their next talent) are called Amria and Megaira:

 

 

It is great to have you with us, Enuhal! I wholeheartedly share your love for Rangers. That's why Sagani with Itumaak are both the must for my Crew

 

Just wondering what your strategy is against enemies who are immune to pierce attacks? Its always put me off having too many bow/gun users.


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#36
Hulk'O'Saurus

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Good to see this thing taking off ;).

 

I don't think I'll be able to make another PoE/Deadfire run ever. I am playing solo wizard at the moment, but chances are after I am done with him that'll be it for me for the entire franchise. I can still post a vid or two, maybe it will give you an idea on how to manage a particular fight x). 


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#37
Serg BlackStrider

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Our rangers (who start with wounding shot and add resilient companion as their next talent) are called Amria and Megaira:

 

 

It is great to have you with us, Enuhal! I wholeheartedly share your love for Rangers. That's why Sagani with Itumaak are both the must for my Crew

 

Just wondering what your strategy is against enemies who are immune to pierce attacks? Its always put me off having too many bow/gun users.

 

Rangers are not forced to use bows/crossbows only (personally, I'm not using guns at all in this game) so there are other options available when enemies are immune to pierce attacks (wands/rods/scepters). This might be a bit out of picture thematically but it's just silly to hit a brick wall with bare fists when you have an option to pick more suitable tool...


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#38
Enuhal

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Our rangers (who start with wounding shot and add resilient companion as their next talent) are called Amria and Megaira:

 

 

It is great to have you with us, Enuhal! I wholeheartedly share your love for Rangers. That's why Sagani with Itumaak are both the must for my Crew

 

Just wondering what your strategy is against enemies who are immune to pierce attacks? Its always put me off having too many bow/gun users.

 

 

Aside from the things mentioned by Serg BlackStrider, here are some more points:

1) Enemies with full immunity to pierce attacks are quite rare. Honestly, only certain types of blights (flame blights, for example) come to mind (though it's been a long time since I played this game, so I might be forgetting something). Other enemies, such as forest lurkers, skeletons or adra animats, might be very resistant, but especially with slow ranged weapons, getting some damage in is still possible, especially if you lower their deflection, allowing you to crit a lot.

2) Rangers generally have high accuracy, and abilities such as wounding shot can be used in melee combat, so equipping a decent melee weapon is a viable option if needed.

3) Adding a lash to ranged weapons or having a weapon such as stormcaller can add other damage types other than piercing even to bows/crossbows (interestingly enough, just like Serg BlackStrider, I also don't use guns in this game).


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#39
Alesia_BH

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@Borco. Thanks for stopping by! It's good to hear from you. And, yes: It would be great to see a run from you!

 

I can understand why you lost interest in PoE the first time. For long, long, long time Baldur's Gate players such as ourselves, PoE was bound to feel odd, even disappointing, at first. That's not because there's anything wrong with PoE, mind you, it's simply because BG has -for our micro-community of almost absurdly devoted players- become an undeniable and incomparable standard. Once you get past the comparisons, though, and accept PoE on its own terms, it's pretty cool. The story is great, and the combat is engaging enough to sustain interest for at least a few NR runs. It's worth trying.

 

Anyhoo, please do get in on the action. Enuhal, Serg, and I could us some company. And since Semiticgod is still noodling around, prepping, I'm all alone on Team Neophyte. Fire it up, B!

 

@Hulk'O'Saurus. I'm glad the challenge is taking off, too, although we still have progress to make. Right now, this feels a bit like a group of tight-nit kids who have ridden their bikes to another neighborhood to play somewhere else for a change. If this challenge is going to endure, we'll need to recruit some resident PoE players. A little skill demonstration could help -and I certainly could benefit from a tutorial or two- so, by all means, feel free to share a video, when you get the chance. Your support and participation is appreciated- whatever form it may take!

 

@Jaheiras Witness. Thanks for the tips! I've been using food items since my first play-through. They made sense to me, given the math, but I feared I was alone in the dark on that. Glad to hear that it's a well regarded move. As for the Minor Ring of Defecltion, I'm aware that it will become obsolete, based on my prior playthroughs, but in NR play an item that helps at a particular stage -whether that stage is early or late- can be worth the cost. We don't have the luxury of focusing exclusively on endgame power, as you well know! Anyhoo, thanks again!

 

@summatsupeer. Thank you for the comment. And welcome to the party! Any chance that you'll enter a character?


Edited by Alesia_BH, 03 November 2018 - 01:34 AM.

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#40
Enuhal

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Liresh, wild orland Shieldbearer of St. Elcga, update 1

 

Previous updates:

 

This last session showed me just how rusty I am when it comes to this game. I kept mixing up areas and forgetting about important encounters. While I at some point remembered to use inn resting buffs, I completely forgot about food. Despite all that, I'm still alive.

 

Things start out easy enough - I finally remember that I should've gone to Esternwood right away to pick up a fine arbalest at the graveyard, which I do without any trouble (having a priest turns early vessel encounters into a cakewalk). Next, I turn to Magran's Fork, where I encounter this mage who doesn't survive my initial burst attack:

https://imgur.com/vMH9wI0

I'm feeling great about my party when I suddenly walk into one of the four most dangerous enemy groups in early PotD - the boars in the center of Magran's Fork. I'm somewhat out of position, with my vulnerable party members way too close to the action. I also miss a lay on hands on one of my wolves, so both of them die almost immediately, heavily reducing the impact of my rangers. What should've been my trump card, charm beasts, completely misses. My druid Kerion, while doing some great damage in his cat form, gets knocked out, which leaves me with only my cipher Andur as a serious damage dealer (the two rangers being affected by bonded grief, which can be a huge issue in the early game):

https://imgur.com/oadK6zv

One of the adult boars goes after the priest Elissa, and while moon godlike priests are great at keeping up their endurance, when she gets close to getting knocked out, her health is also super low. I fear for her life - but she ends up making it, knocked out but not dead:

https://imgur.com/m1SM3Ep

Well, that was certainly unpleasant. Luckily, the remaining parts of Magran's Fork, the entirety of Madhmr Bridge and the Black Meadow provide no such challenges. With my piercing damage heavy party, forest lurkers can take a while to take down, which is why I make sure to spam a bunch of debuffs at them, lowering their deflection (though thanks to expert mode, I have to count on my intuition for such things):

https://imgur.com/9aIBbl0

We also learn that Nature's Mark and Divine Mark don't seem to stack. Oh, and our custom party members reach level 3, wich grants our rangers predator's sense, while our cipher gains mental binding (crucial!) and amplified thrust.

 

Anslög's Compass is next. We make sure to equip the helm providing immunity to confusion on Liresh before facing the dank spores:

https://imgur.com/otGoa6x

The xaurip camp is approached from the south, we have some accuracy versus wilder resting bonuses and start by increasing accuracy with inspiring radiance and blessing while setting up our animal companions and Liresh in a defensive line. The horde approaches:

https://imgur.com/Riw1OX8

And seconds later, after the opening salvo and two quick aoe spells, almost all of them are gone, having dealt basically zero damage to us:

https://imgur.com/7z0TmQj

Liresh levels up and takes up hold the line (while I agree that such talents are overrated, I like them for this party composition) and I take a quick trip to Raedric's Hold and Caed Nua for the exploration XP before making my way down into the Temple of Eothas. Enemies without teleportation or ranged attacks are easily blocked off from reaching our vulnerable party members by luring them back to doorways. We take full advantage of being in a dungeon area for once (couldn't do that against the boars, really). On the second level, however, we encounter Nr. 2 and 3 on my personal list of the four most dangerous early PotD encounters: The groups including two shades and a bunch of shadows. Shades do a ton of frost damage at range, and shadows tend to teleport into the backline - luckily, they also don't have a lot of hit points. Survival provides us with accuracy against spirits, and we do really well with our ranged attackers getting healed up by the very powerful consecrated ground spell:

https://imgur.com/Ahu7r7A

Both battles are successfully braved, which makes me feel better about my chances. The skuldr kings and their allies are laughable in comparison, as they simply can't get access to any vulnerable party members:

https://imgur.com/tX7QKG7

However, in Caed Nua, things almost fall apart again. We clear the outside areas without much trouble (also applying a corrosive lash on one of our now 3 fine arbalests and a "fine" enchantment on Liresh's brigandine), but with Liresh at half hp, I foolishly decide to move on to the main hall. Why, you might ask? Well, completely forgetting about the most dangerous encounter in the keep (and Nr. 4 on my list) will do that to you. Our problems are similiar to the ones encountered in the boar battle: While we can take out shadows very quickly, our wolves are very squishy, and without them, our damage is severely reduced. I also don't have a lot of spell levels left, and Liresh ends up getting stunned a couple of times in a row, so things start looking very badly:

https://imgur.com/YMYgHR8

Luckily, I soon realize that I simply have done a poor job with focus fire - all of my remaining enemies are heavily wounded. The battle is actually over only seconds later - all it takes are a couple of shapeshifter attacks and another salvo of arbalest bolts:

https://imgur.com/Pxy2mka

Relieved, we return to Gilded Vale to rest for the resolve buff and fight our way through to Maerwald. As soon as combat starts, our entire party leaves his room:

https://imgur.com/qO8jCjj

We wait until Maerwald actually moves forward - his blights aren't as fast, and he's isolated at the front, so we make our move and kill him almost immediately:

https://imgur.com/S9woh9b

The blight are quickly taken care of, and we rush through the Woodend Plains to finally enter Defiance Bay - safe at last.

 

Oh, and we get our custom party members to level 4. Phantom Foes and Draining Whip for Andur, Vicious Companion for our rangers, Interdiction for Selissa and Wildstrike Shock for Kerion.


Edited by Enuhal, 17 November 2018 - 03:50 AM.

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