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Moon godlike are one of the best races and in a custom party no reason why you would not have at least a couple.

 

Flip side is that healing endurance is quite easy (lots of abilities, spells, talents and items), you don’t necessarily want to be triggering the 50% and 25% waves (you would want to avoid having characters slip into this danger zone), and you cannot wear helms, which is significant bearing in mind the stat/skill/other bonuses magical helms often have.

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Yes, congratulations once again, @semiticgod!

Gray Sidoh enters the "List of Honorable Mentions" here.

 

I've also considered to not make records in the charts proactively unless I receive a specific PM message. I can fully understand if someone don't want to see their character in the Graveyard chart - maybe they want to try their luck with the same character again and again, and take the fact that character is in Graveyard already as an ominous sign...  :skull:

 

All the best of luck to all current active and future challengers! Let us make those charts swarm with records!

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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I think an entry in the Graveyard is a good thing. It means you're learning--and why not commemorate a character's unfortunate demise? Failure is an integral part of the no-reload experience; no one beats the challenge without losing characters. Besides, an entry in the Graveyard is a reassuring sign to other players that they're not alone.

 

I wouldn't hesitate to ask for an entry in the Graveyard, and I encourage other people to do the same. Losing runs is part of the challenge!

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I think an entry in the Graveyard is a good thing. It means you're learning--and why not commemorate a character's unfortunate demise? Failure is an integral part of the no-reload experience; no one beats the challenge without losing characters. Besides, an entry in the Graveyard is a reassuring sign to other players that they're not alone.

 

I wouldn't hesitate to ask for an entry in the Graveyard, and I encourage other people to do the same. Losing runs is part of the challenge!

 

I fully agree, but let's give everyone the right to decide for themselves.

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Aur, Moon Godlike Paladin, Kind Wayfarer, Aristocrat of Aedyr

 

Might 16

Constitution 10

Dexterity 10

Perception 13

Intellect 10

Resolve 19

 

I've decided to test my theory about a party of Moon Godlike paladins and have bumped up the difficulty to Path of the Damned, skipping Hard mode at Alesia_BH's suggestion. Basically, the theory is that paladins have strong defenses and can neutralize disablers using Liberating Exhortation, and the area-effect healing of Silver Tide will keep all party members in good health. I think this will be enough to stomp over PotD; the party should be more or less invincible once I get all six paladins in order.

 

One of the first warning signs that this run might be more difficult than I thought comes from the Skuldr Whelps in the first dungeon, who stun the entire party with their screech effect.

 

dF7AG0m.jpg

 

Oddly enough, though, the enemies at the back just... stand there. They don't capitalize on the party's vulnerability; they wait until their friend is dead before rushing in to join the fight.

 

We get through the prologue with little trouble, and we kick out Aloth right after we get him in order to make room for Mwn, our next paladin, who is a virtual duplicate of Aur. We nearly get overwhelmed early on due to having only two party members, but sure enough, Silver Tide keeps us afloat when things get rough.

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We collect enough money to purchase our third paladin, Godlyke, and recruit Durance because I'm starting to worry that we just don't have the numbers to deal with the larger groups of enemies in PotD. Durance offers us a few useful buffs, and while he's extremely fragile, he uses Halt to make his escape when a wolf threatens him. Once he's safe, he deals area-effect damage with Iconic Projection, which has a surprisingly wide area of effect.

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Mwn still gets knocked out in the process, but the party survives. Back at Gilded Vale, we replace Durance with Eder and try our hand at the Will o' Wisps in the temple. They keep afflicting our party members with their confusion bolts, but our confused characters never seem to deal any damage to the others. It's a long grind, but Silver Tide helps us deal with the endless stream of lightning bolts.

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Feeling emboldened by our success, I probe a little deeper into the temple and run into some spiders.

 

To my surprise, the spiders turn out to be very sturdy... and because I couldn't use the doorway as a chokepoint due to a web spell holding Aur in place, we get surrounded. Turns out the spiders can hit pretty hard.

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Silver Tide triggers, but it's just not enough. Our other two Moon Godlikes aren't taking any damage, which means that only Aur herself is activating Silver Tide. That's not enough to keep us safe; both Aur and Eder crumple.

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We're making progress on the enemy, but we can't quite bring the spiders down. As time drags on, the spiders keep tacking on damage...

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...and ultimately, only one character is left.

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I let her fight a little longer, hoping that she'll get some lucky rolls, but we don't get them. The spiders finish us off.

 

So, we've got our first entry for the Graveyard. But since I'm not done with this concept just yet, I decide to start over and try again.

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Aur, Moon Godlike Paladin, Kind Wayfarer, Aristocrat of Aedyr

 

Might 14

Constitution 14

Dexterity 10

Perception 15

Intellect 10

Resolve 15

 

In the previous run, I found that our Lay on Hands spells were largely redundant, since Silver Tide covered a fair amount of the necessary healing, and by the time we get 6 Moon Godlikes, those Silver Tides are going to be even stronger. Instead, we pick Flames of Devotion as our first ability and put some more points in Constitution so we'll have a bigger pool of Health. The logic behind the higher Constitution is that, by the time we have all 6 paladins, our ability to heal Endurance will be so strong that Health, not Endurance, will determine whether we survive a given encounter or not.

 

The lack of Lay on Hands proves costly early on. Flames of Devotion is important because of its +20 Accuracy and +50% fire damage, but unlike our future paladins, Heodan doesn't have Silver Tide to help him recover from enemy pressure.

 

P7IQDhs.jpg


We bring on Mwn and Godlyke, like in the previous run, but this time, I decide to keep both Aloth and Eder on hand, reasoning that it's more important for us to have a buffer to ensure our survival than it is to maximize experience in our paladins. Aloth in particular is surprisingly useful, as he has some nice burst damage potential with his spells. It actually makes a very noticeable difference in some high-pressure fights!

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We do pretty well for a long time, with Silver Tide holding up our front line and Aloth providing key support, at first from his damage spells, but then, more importantly, his blindness spell, which does a lot to thwart the enemy's attacks (-25 Accuracy for all attacks is a pretty heavy burden).

Then we make our way to Caed Nua, and two Phantoms show up alongside the Shadows--a worrying sign, but not nearly as worrying as when I see the enemy two-shot Aur, knocking her out far faster than her Silver Tide could rescue her.

RzZhvMh.jpg


The enemy repeatedly stun-locks the party, and the Phantoms deal massive damage while we're disabled, their cold damage completely bypassing our physical damage reduction while Sneak Attack bonuses magnify their strikes.

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We apply as much pressure as we can, but there's just not much you can do when a level 3 party is getting stun-locked. I keep hoping that Silver Tide will help us weather the storm, but the enemy just deals too much damage too quickly.

mVQsxrz.jpg


Aloth struggles to kill the Shadows at Near Death, hoping that it will give us a better chance of surviving the stun effects, but he can't quite bring them down; we just don't have strong enough rolls. Just as he exhausts his grimoire, a Phantom nails him with a critical hit.

Ukdxfpo.jpg


It looks grim, but I hope that we can get some lucky rolls against those stun effects and take down the Phantoms one at a time. But luck does not go our way; neither of our surviving paladins can recover from the stun effects before new ones get re-applied. Finally, they pin down the final paladin.

G2yqGGI.jpg


Dead again.

 

@Alesia_BH, are you sure about Path of the Damned not being much different from Hard mode, or might your similar experience with the two be due to having more game knowledge by the time you got through Hard mode? Because this is a major upgrade from Normal mode; a very large number of early game fights appear to be unrealistic challenges at the levels you gain access to them.

 

I don't think I'll try again. I still think this strategy has great potential, and I'm sure we could make it past those Phantoms if we took the right precautions against stun effects and cold damage (I had the ingredients to craft that scroll that cuts disabler durations in half, as well as a Potion of Bulwark Against the Elements), but the main reason I was interested in this party is because I thought it would be simple and low-maintenance.

 

I never got to create the sixth paladin, but I intended to name the six paladins Aur, Mwn, Godlyke, Palla Dins, Tw, and Overpawrd, a play on "Are Moon Godlike paladins too overpowered?" I think the answer is yes, but I don't plan on continuing with this group.

 

If I'm going to have to micromanage the party to get through Path of the Damned, I'd rather do it with a more interesting group than a band of paladin clones.

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@Alesia_BH, are you sure about Path of the Damned not being much different from Hard mode, or might your similar experience with the two be due to having more game knowledge by the time you got through Hard mode? Because this is a major upgrade from Normal mode; a very large number of early game fights appear to be unrealistic challenges at the levels you gain access to them.

 

 

It's not that PotD isn't harder than Hard, but, rather, that my game knowledge is scaling faster than the difficulty increases, mostly because I've been reading Enuhal, Jaherias Witness and Serg. So, my most difficult play through was my first on Easy, followed by my first on Normal, followed by my first on Hard, followed by my first on PotD. In retrospect, I feel I could have made the jump straight from Normal to PotD and that that would have aided my advancement as a player.

 

If you're not feeling PotD now, why don't you do this: run on Hard and consider using an unoptimized party, based on the in game NPCs, to force you to get your positioning and mechanics down.

 

Best,

 

A.

 

Btw, for the your reference, my full play history is: 1) Easy (many reloads); 2) Normal (2 reloads); 3) Normal (No Reloads); 4) Hard (1 reload); 5) Hard (No Reloads); 6) PotD (No Reloads as of Level 6)

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Question everyone: What do we think about runs like Alikae's -runs that were completed and then posted only after completion?

 

Upon reflection, I think that they should not qualify for the Hall of Heroes/Honorable Mention lists. It's far more fun to follow an active run, as it is happening, then to following one that has already ended, and where the ending is known. It's kind of like watching a replay of a sporting event after you've already checked the score.

 

I think we should require players to submit their entry posts at the very beginning of their runs. We should also encourage them to keep progress reports upto date. What does everyone else think?

 

Best,

 

A. 

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Question everyone: What do we think about runs like Alikae's -runs that were completed and then posted only after completion?

 

Upon reflection, I think that they should not qualify for the Hall of Heroes/Honorable Mention lists. It's far more fun to follow an active run, as it is happening, then to following one that has already ended, and where the ending is known. It's kind of like watching a replay of a sporting event after you've already checked the score.

 

I think we should require players to submit their entry posts at the very beginning of their runs. We should also encourage them to keep progress reports upto date. What does everyone else think?

Hm. On more than one occasion, in the BG no-reload thread, I only began posting on a run after it was already complete, mostly because I'd play for several sessions, then post for several sessions, then play, then post, and so on. Sometimes I'd end up completing the run before I got around to posting on it. For Aur's ill-fated attempts at PotD mode, for example, I only began posting after both of them had failed (the same doesn't hold for Gray Sidoh's successful run).

 

The most extreme example was my old solo LoB mode run, which I had to restart from Candlekeep multiple times. People in the solo LoB thread knew about my progress, but I didn't post screenshots in the no-reload thread (the one most people followed) until the full saga run was complete, months after the first attempt began. I still wrote my posts as if the run were in-progress, though, to maintain suspense for the readers that weren't following the run in the solo LoB thread--and to convey my immense frustration and despair every time Frisky suffered another needless death (I really got invested in that challenge).

 

I don't know if it should be an absolute requirement, but we should at least strongly recommend that people post on their runs regularly, if only to make sure that folks don't skip posting on failed runs. Unsuccessful runs are just as worthy of documentation as successful ones.

 

@Alesia_BH: Wasn't it slow Internet speed that kept you from posting on your run while it was ongoing? That seems like a perfectly valid reason to post after completion.

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Noted. But that's sort of the point. You'll be forced to work with what you're given, flaws and all, and that, in turn, will require you to get the mechanics down.

 

But, sure: If it doesn't sound fun, then totally pass!

I actually just started a new run with an Orlan rogue dual-wielding hatchets (the Deflection bonuses stack!), and so far I've been sticking with the standard NPCs. This keeps happening... Another player suggests trying something a little bit harder, and eventually I find myself doing it!

 

The funny thing is that it actually feels smoother than my old run. I don't have to worry about raising money to afford early-game custom characters, or how much experience each one starts with. Custom NPCs are expensive, and they start out a level behind. I think it may be better to stick with NPCs until you reach Defiance Bay or thereabouts.

 

Rogues are fun to play. My itty bitty axe murderer, Frost, is very efficient. Rogues don't seem to need Intellect for much (their primary role is damage dealers), so I dropped her Intellect to 3 so we could max out Perception and keep Might, Dexterity, and Resolve high.

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With the exception of BG1 runs, I don't believe we ever had a case of a run being entered and posted after completion. The closest case that I'm aware of was my halfling barbarian, Arkona, whose BG2 entry post didn't occur until after she had completed three chapter 2 quests. I felt bad about that and considered withholding her from consideration.

 

I'll await the opinions others before entering my vote, for the challenge, in the general case, however, I am going to decline to set a precedent with Alikae. I'll share Alikae's run, if people would like to see it, but I'm disinclined to grant her entry on our lists.

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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On rogues and Intellect. Intellect is helpful if you intend to use potions and scrolls. Potions and scrolls are an excellent way to round out a rogue, adding defense and AoE offense. I'd rather have a longer duration on my large bonus potion buffs, for example, than take a small bonus through Resolve.

(If you're curious about Aotha's stats, I'll remind you that I don't min-max. I pick a portrait first and then I assign stats in a manner fitting the portrait, while also keeping plausibility in mind, in light of the story. Character cohesion is more valuable to me than power optimization. Aotha is 11, 10, 13, 21, 13, 10)

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Question everyone: What do we think about runs like Alikae's -runs that were completed and then posted only after completion?

 

Upon reflection, I think that they should not qualify for the Hall of Heroes/Honorable Mention lists. It's far more fun to follow an active run, as it is happening, then to following one that has already ended, and where the ending is known. It's kind of like watching a replay of a sporting event after you've already checked the score.

 

I think we should require players to submit their entry posts at the very beginning of their runs. We should also encourage them to keep progress reports upto date. What does everyone else think?

 

 

With the exception of BG1 runs, I don't believe we ever had a case of a run being entered and posted after completion. The closest case that I'm aware of was my halfling barbarian, Arkona whose BG2 entry post didn't occur until after she had completed three chapter 2 quests. I felt bad about that and considered withholding her from consideration.

 

I'll await the opinions others before entering my vote, for the challenge, in the general case, however, I am going to decline to set a precedent with Alikae. I'll share Alikae's run, if people would like to see it, but I'm disinclined to grant her entry on our lists.

 

I agree. That way it will be much more 'natural'.

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@Alesia: Wow! She is one Orlan cutie! And she roam with the party similar to mine (I guess, the portrait next to her is of your party's Holy Mother). I wish my fellow compatriot a safe travels on the Path of the Damned!

 

P.S. Curious thing, but they also have quite close combat stats:

 

JnuYjvF.jpg

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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@Alesia: Wow! She is one Orlan cutie! 

 

Yuppers. Aotha rocks.

 

I guess, the portrait next to her is of your party's Holy Mother

 

Yuppers again! That's Alena, priest of Wael, collagist and performance artist. She's basically an Eoran Dadaist. She's become my preferred Durance replacement. She travelled with Alikae, too.

 

9tkjQwR.jpg

 

 

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Noted. But that's sort of the point. You'll be forced to work with what you're given, flaws and all, and that, in turn, will require you to get the mechanics down.

 

But, sure: If it doesn't sound fun, then totally pass!

Now that I think about it, I think this kind of gets to the heart of our different playstyles. You have a very technical style heavily grounded in game knowledge and very long-term preparation: you experiment in a neutral context, process the system and catalogue the various factors in gameplay, and use that mental library to optimize your gameplay rather than optimize your party. You're the kind of player who will hold onto the hide armor from the prologue just so you can wear it, ages later, at the first fight with the shades outside Caed Nua, just to take advantage of hide armor's bonus to freeze damage reduction. It's a small edge in that fight, but those little optimizations add up.

 

My playstyle is more about experimenting in non-neutral contexts. Gray Sidoh's run is a good example: I built a wildly abnormal party just to see if ciphers were really as  good at exploding stuff as they looked, with paladins on hand to cover the assumed weaknesses. Like you, I build up a mental library of technical details as I play the game, but for me, that process is incidental and passive.

 

I like reading your runs because they have finer details that I tend to miss.

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@semiticgod: bad luck with your PotD attempts, but I guess you’ve partially answered your question of whether moon godlike paladins are overpowered ;)

 

In terms of your reasons for failure, I think a large part was due to inexperience, and personally I would suggest at least 1 or 2 attempts on Hard before PotD. You just cannot dive into a fight with Phantoms and hope that a bit of extra healing will get you through. I don’t know whether you’ve been following my run but it’s only a minor exaggeration to summarise my combat as “summoned Phantom: won fight”. Phantoms deal a lot of cold damage, they can stun on every attack, and they deal sneak attack damage if you are afflicted (and you most definitely are when stunned). Stun-lock is a high possibility when facing them unless you take proper precautions. So you have to treat them with the utmost respect: think of them as SCS mages.

 

If you look at your combat log you should be able to see the Phantom’s accuracy. On PotD I would not be surprised if their Accuracy was higher than your paladins’ FOR defence. Bearing in mind the miss/graze/hit/crit system, that would mean >85% chance that every strike would stun you, and that is from a single Phantom. A hit or crit would also mean a long stun duration. That’s not swimming upstream, that’s trying to swim up a waterfall.

 

If I look at your screenshots, I cannot see any food buffs, let alone scrolls or potions. You have to be looking both to maximise DEF and FOR, and take pre-emptive recovery action (e.g. Scroll of Protection) to stand a chance. I would expect to see Goldrot Chew/Pearlwood Chicken/Meatloaf/Rauatai Cookies/Wizard’s Double potions/Scroll of Defence/Scroll of Protection etc etc for those fights.

 

You might also consider Coastal Aumaua as a race for your main frontline ;). Maybe Moon Godlike is not actually the god race :p

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I don’t like to generalise and I know every rule can be broken, but here’s one anyway: from the moment you reach Gilded Vale (which is with 99% of the game remaining) there is no excuse not to be running food and booze buffs in every single fight. The cost is so cheap, the duration is so long, and it is the only form of prebuffing you can do in PoE. If you want to face tough challenges such as PotD or solo, you have to do whatever you can to rebalance the odds. Food/booze/drugs are one of the few things you can use which your opponents do not.

 

Btw for story companions you cannot change their stats even through retraining, only abilities and talents. Only your PC and custom NPCs can change their stats through retraining.

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@Semiticgod. A tip on jumping the learning curve. There are by now a lot of clues in this thread on how to thrive in PotD. Aotha is succeeding because I've been assembling them into game plans for each battle. Let's take Caed Nua, for example:

 

The pieces in this case were: 1) Serg and Enuhal's heavy emphasis on ranged fighting and accuracy; 2) Jaheiras Witness's use of cornering; 3) Enuhal's recommendation of Concencrated Ground; 4) Jaherias Witness's use of Come, Come Softly Winds of Death; 5) Hulk'O'Saurus's use of Concelhaults Corrosive Siphon and Blindness spells.

 

And so we have this: A) Zealous Accuracy + Inspiring Radiance, with a protected back backline of Aloth, Durance, and Aotha, a pike rogue with a perception of 21; B) A pre-scouted corner position; C) Concerated Ground active; D) Come, Come Soft Winds of Death active; E) Curse of Blackened Sight and Concelhaults. The spirits had zero chance of success and I really truly figured none of this out on my own: I just read, assimilated ideas, and put them together.

 

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Best,

 

A.

 

Btw, we fought the courtyard battle here (same method):

 

X7dSZlA.jpg

Edited by Alesia_BH
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