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The Pillars of Eternity No Reload Challenge


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Thank you for your perspective, Jaherias Witness.

 

A hard and fast rule was never under consideration. As you may recall from the intro post, the challenge explicitly declines to police tactics. It does, however, encourage players to be mindful of norms and to render personal judgements with those norms in mind.

 

My intention was to sound out others, to solicit opinions, and therefore put players in a position to make an informed judgement.

 

If anyone else has an opinion, do feel free to share.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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I guess I'll bump it down to Hard and/or use reloads. It's interesting to do blind no-reloads, but it's a recipe for long-term frustration. I had that problem when playing Skyrim and Morrowind no-reload.

 

I don't think the Shadowing Beyond thing is cheesy per se, since doing it as a strategy would require all of your party members to be rogues--definitely not an ideal setup, and one that's very prone to vulnerabilities. One of the key weaknesses of the strategy is that you'd have to be careful not to get boxed in or killed before you fled, which means that enemies that use disablers could still prove extremely dangerous, since a party of rogues has precious few options for handling disablers without burning precious scrolls--and if you're using hit and fade tactics to enter fights multiple times, that could get very costly, very fast.

 

One of the things I like to do in games is find a trick that seems like it has potential and then use a no-reload run to stress-test it. The "no per-rest abilities" run is a good example: it seemed like a high-offense trio of ciphers could crush most enemies through sheer force, and a trio of paladins could neutralize the key weaknesses of the ciphers (no tanking ability, little healing, and no protection from disablers). The Moon Godlike run was similar: I thought a party of Moon Godlikes could use Silver Tide stacking to achieve near-invulnerability. There was some truth to that, but it still required micromanagement to succeed, which is why I abandoned the run after it failed.

 

That being said, if using Shadowing Beyond to break out of the typical rules of combat in PoE seems exploitative to other players, I don't think I'll build a strategy around it. I'd prefer doing runs that people would find more entertaining to read about.

 

There are some rules in PoE that I'm having trouble getting around. The disengagement problem has been a concern for me, but I'm also concerned about the importance of cleric buffs against fear and so forth: I don't find priests very interesting since their abilities are mostly about stopping things from happening, as opposed to making progress on the enemy. Ciphers, rogues, and mages seem more active.

 

I used to favor highly defensive strategies in BG, but now they seem less exciting to me. I prefer more offense-oriented setups since they're faster and more flashy. As a result, I've been looking for ways to construct a party that doesn't involve "low-activity" characters like tanks and priests.

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As a result, I've been looking for ways to construct a party that doesn't involve "low-activity" characters like tanks and priests.

 

I'm not fond of pure tanks too, that's one of the reasons I build Eder as DW fighter. He's still able to stand a ground vs a crowd of enemies just fine (wearing a Plate Armor and with occasional use of cheap Wizard's Double potion) and deal a respectable damage as well. And at first glance it may seem that early on Priests only busy with buffing/debuffing since fights usually don't last long enough for them to show their full potential. Further in the game though they might literally turn into the Juggernauts of Destruction since there are more prolonged fights with crowds of foes and Priests have enough time to buff themselves and smite them all to dust. Especially if you turn your attention into the White March.

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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I personally don't find shadowing beyond to be all that cheesy. The potential to escape from combat is certainly an intentional part of the ability, and it should be added that it's far from 100% reliable. Enemies tend to follow you around sometimes etc. - and it doesn't stop you from dying to crowd control.

 

If you like going on the offensive, having the enemy react to you instead of the opposite - I think this is somewhat hard to do safely in PoE 1, as there are many types of enemies that can disable you as soon as combat starts without any effort on their part, and it's basically impossible to nuke them down before that. That said, If you watch some of the rogue video I've posted, you will find that the person who made this is going for a total class cannon build (with 3 resolve and 3 constitution), though a lot of per-rest abilities and lots of stealthing are required (his main strategy for bigger battles in the mid game seems to be: Statue Summons into Touch of Rot (from the Rotfinger Gloves) into Combusting Wounds (from a magical ring) into more Touch of Rot charges).

In my opinion, one of the classes with the best and most powerful purely offensive approach to the game is the barbarian, especially when going for a high-int, high-crit build with a weapon providing disable effect on crits (this will work with carnage AoE attacks) such as Tall Grass or The Hours of St. Rumbalt. Another example without the disable aspect, going for pure (but extremely high) AoE damage, would be something like the Cauterizer build on the mainpage of this forum right now. Still, such a barbarian does need at least some amount of backup, but it does give your party a devastating offense (once it has reached the neccessary levels/gained the neccessary items, that is).

 

I should mention that the very offensive approach is totally viable in PoE2:Deadfire, though (at least from my somehwat limited experience, having only done 2 playthroughs before my graphics issues started and prevented me from playing the game). Many classes have some very powerful offensive abilties, and the right combination of stat build, skills and items can allow your party to wipe out the opponent very quickly.

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Aotha, Heart Orlan Rogue: Defiance Bay

 

By the time Aotha reached Defiance Bay, her most challenging days were behind her. I, as a player, had made the adjustment to PotD and she, as a character, had access to the resources she needed to thrive, while faced with unthreatening enemies. Happy days!

 

Upon arrival, the party had a drink at the Goose and Fox, taking the opportunity to get to know their new traveling companion: Sagani. We then completed a few minor quests, starting with the recovery of Ossric's breastplate (peaceful resolution).

 

Our first fight in the D took place at the Valian Trading Company, where we chose to defend Verzanno from the Doemenels. In the past I had opted for an all out casting barrage in this encounter despite the fact that it had appeared trivial. As a test, I let Aotha take a minimalist approach. Sure enough, she prevailed with very little casting support.

 

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After adding Pallegina, our party was set. Or at least I thought it was set. My intention had been to run with Durance this time. But when it comes to Durance I'm: 

 

 

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(I have finally found a use for Durance, though, particularly in evil playthroughs. You know the supplicants that come to Caed Nua seeking an escort? Right- you probably see where I'm going with this. In evil play-throughs, you send them off with Durance. Because what's more evil than that? Killing someone: that's cold. Making them go on vacation with Durance: that's ice.)

 

Anyhoo, we decided to recruit a replacement priest, once again, even if that meant having a party member continuously behind everyone else.

 

Since we were close to L5, the EXP gap would be closer if we waited, so we took Durance along for one last quest: Never Far from the Queen. IIRC, we didn't rest on this quest. In any case, we used very few spells. At this stage of the adventure, I was finding PotD easier than expected- far easier than my very first playthrough on Easy, for example. And I began to suspect that that ease was less a function of my use of items, spells, and abilities, and more a consequence of non-declarative knowledge of positioning and action timing, intersected with builds and upgrades emphasizing accuracy. It was, I suspected, subtle, virtually unnoticeable things that were making the difference. And so, as a test, we cast and used items little in the early mid-game. We even refrained from using our per encounter abilities, on occasion. Interestingly, doing very little sufficed in this phase of the adventure, as I suspected.

 

For the quest's focal battle, Consecrated Ground + Prayer Against Infirmity (initially withheld) + positioning proved sufficient. A Potion of Infuse With Vital Essence restored Pallegina's lost health (And, btw, Semiticgod, I agree: PotD spell names are long!) .

 

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Positioning alone sufficed for the oozes.

 

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We infiltrated the temple, taking the peaceful route, and then celebrated by giving Durance the boot. Enter Alena: Old Vailian collagist and performance artist, devotee of Wael. Hooray!

 

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Off to Purnisc's. Emulating Enuhal, we took advantage of the deceptively spacious room and then eliminated Nyrid with an opening salvo. Arbalests may do comparatively little damage if fired continuously, over the course of a long fight, but like very nearly every weapon in PotD, they have their uses. They're great for opening salvos from melee fighters. On Hard, I preferred Arquebuses for this role. On PotD, I've moved to Arbalests, mostly on account of the accuracy penalty associated with fire arms. I now reserve firearms for wizard fights and arcane veils, with the exception of St Garam's Spark.

 

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Zealous Accuracy and Inspiring Radiance sufficed in these fights. Aotha's melee criticals are starting to get good. And they happen often, thanks to a perception of 21, Minor Threat, Dirty Fighting and Vicious Fighting. We're looking forward to Tall Grass. Not only will Tall Grass increase our hit crit conversion by another 10%, it will cause prone on those crits. Should be fun.

 

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In honor of our Priest of Wael, we took on the Parable of Wael next. We used some scrolls here because I wanted to study their time to effect in a safe environment. We also used food items for the first time. We could use them more, but that would be wasteful, in my opinion. In party play they're rarely needed and the cost does add up. Nice opening crit from Aotha here. Note that Iben is prone, too- another benefit of using arbalests for opening salvos.

 

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Next, we recovered Tuatanu's crate, killing some trolls along the way.

 

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I usually collect Tuatanu's crate sooner, but in light of Enuhal's remark about the Bandit Leader's regen, I decided to wait. I'm not sure what he would have been like sooner, but at L5, he was, happily, a pushover.

 

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We finished the session by clearing L1 of the Endless Paths. Just a couple notes on this:

 

1) pike rogues build really shines in chokepoint encounters

 

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2) In open field, I like Nature's Embrace + Shod in Faith for lightly armored melee rogues.

 

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Raederic is next.

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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There are some rules in PoE that I'm having trouble getting around. The disengagement problem has been a concern for me, but I'm also concerned about the importance of cleric buffs against fear and so forth: I don't find priests very interesting since their abilities are mostly about stopping things from happening, as opposed to making progress on the enemy. Ciphers, rogues, and mages seem more active.

 

I used to favor highly defensive strategies in BG, but now they seem less exciting to me. I prefer more offense-oriented setups since they're faster and more flashy. As a result, I've been looking for ways to construct a party that doesn't involve "low-activity" characters like tanks and priests.

 

No one said you have to have a priest, you just need to be able to defend against different types of attacks. For example, in BG do you really need a cleric to be able to deal with fear, charm, confusion, stun, hold etc? Of course not, there are many other ways to defend against status effects than just having a priest available to cast the counterspells. You just need to find the equivalent in PoE.

 

Fortunately you don't have to look too hard for the obvious solution: scrolls. So you can have whatever party composition you like so long as someone (or preferably more than one person) can bail out the party against specific attack types with scrolls. With a party of 6 you have 24 quickslots: dedicate some of those to having sets of scrolls ready for some of the common stuff you may have to counter. You could have one character with Prayer against Fear, another could have scrolls of Protection or Defence. You will want one or two characters to focus on lore to be able to use the higher level scrolls, such as Moonwell or Prayer against Imprisonment.

 

Bearing in mind the vast majority of scrolls are AoE and have quite long durations (both amplified if the user has high INT as well), a single scroll can give your whole party 30 seconds or so of defence.

 

And btw scrolls are not a rare/precious resource. You just need to buy the crafting ingredients which involves knowing who to talk to. For example in Defiance Bay:

 

 

you can buy creature parts from Cartugo (Ondra's Gift), gems from Curnd (Ondra's Gift at night, you need the note from the bandit camp in Black Meadow), and plant parts from both Lora (Copperlane marketplace) and Coren (druggy in Scrivener's Dormitory). The inventories refresh every day, so you can keep coming back for more)

 

 

Look up the ingredients you need and buy them.

 

Scrolls are the obvious solution for party wide defence, but I'm sure you can find other solutions as well, such as characters maximising certain types of defences (FOR and WIL most obvious) or equipment that provides immunities/big defence boosts.

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I don't think the Shadowing Beyond thing is cheesy per se, 

 

Nor do I. The issue isn't Shadowing Beyond: it's initiating and de-initiating combat for strategic advantage, leveraging the free healing and recovery from unconsciousness, along with the opportunity to rest, that's problematic.

 

I'd love to see a play-through that made heavy use of Shadowing Beyond. If you'd like to try a 6 rogue play through, please do!

Edited by Alesia_BH
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One other thing I wanted to mentionbut forgot: Caed Nua, your stronghold. Often overlooked but you can tailor your upgrades to your strategy. If you want a specific type of rest bonus, build the appropriate upgrade. If you want more creature/plant parts for crafting, build the appropriate upgrades.

 

[When you look under the bonnet, this game is very rich in how it lets you customise so many things to suit your strategy]

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I agree that scrolls (notably Scroll of Protection, Scroll of Defense, Scroll of Valor, and Prayers Against X) can eliminate the need for priests.

 

I'll note, though, that priest builds needn't be "passive," using your terms, Semiticgod. In fact, they can be heavy damage dealers with some might, perception and Scion of Flame, among other tweaks. 

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Okay, I'm just going to call it. I'm going to do a 6-rogue or 6-cipher offensive-based run on Hard, but if it fails, I'm going to keep going off-thread (maybe with some discussion notes in-thread describing my findings) so I can experience some new things and better prepare for the next run... or else restart with the other party (cipher or rogue) if I feel like switching.

 

@Alesia_BH: I agree that a lot of a player's competence is intangible, unconscious knowledge. It's not just "Scrolls of Defense are good buffing options," "Intellect is more important for priests than Might," or "Xaurip Skirmishers can paralyze you." Often, it's very subtle information and minor optimizations that are harder to summarize. Part of it is just experience.

 

Why do you like pikes on rogues? Is it just the extra range, or is there something else that's special about pikes? I always assumed that the slower weapons weren't worth using except for very narrow circumstances.

 

@Jaheiras_Witness: I had no idea that ingredient stores re-stocked! I thought everything was finite. That definitely changes things.

 

How about we just use shorter names for items and spells? A Potion of Infuse Vital Essence could just be a Vital Essence potion or even just "red potion." It just needs to be clear. I don't disagree with the more colorful names (a Scroll of Defense sounds kinda lame by comparison), but for the purposes of a forum discussion, abbreviations are better.

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Why do you like pikes on rogues? Is it just the extra range, or is there something else that's special about pikes?

It's the range, the attendant positioning flexibility, and all that entails. It's also style and the special attributes of Tall Grass.

 

When people calculate DPS in the abstract, they often over-look contextual factors that modulate actual damage output in practice. As a pike rogue, Aotha can engage in melee from a safe distance, while Eder and Pallegina tank, letting her switch off her ranged weapon quicker and more frequently. She can also engage at choke points in spaces where a dual-wielding rogue would be crowded out. That matters and it adds up. Note, too, that her reach allows her to wear lighter armor, narrowing the attack speed gap. Is it a superior approach to dual-wieling? I'm not sure. I'd need to run a dual-wield rogue to compare. Perhaps I will in my next run, using sabres in particular. For now, I'll merely note that pike rogues work, and that I'm glad my White the Wend Orlan is thriving in hide armor, wielding a spear (pike). She kicks butt and she looks great!

 

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(And she still hasn't been knocked out, as of L9, now blind running the White March, on my first PotD run.)

 

In general, I'll note that one of the cool things about PoE is that virtually nothing is useless- everything has its place. Slow, heavy weapons do start to shine against high DR enemies. They are also superior when using single strike abilities, like Finishing Blows. Try them. You may find that they have a place in your game plan, even if you tend to prefer fast attacks.

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 13

 

First stop on the Dyrwood sightseeing tour of Fonprima 2823AI is Woodford Plains:

 

 

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(The Thunder Rolled is such an aesthetically beautiful effect; shame it is so weak in comparison to Reny Daret's Ghost and White Worms).

 

Next stop Caed Nua and a warning from the steward not to mess with Concelhaut:

 

 

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(Surprising how many players either don't understand or ignore this. But they all learn after the first time they try Cragholdt).

 

First they send assassins after me; now they go after my stronghold:

 

 

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I am assisted by some of my hirelings in this fight...

 

 

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...who are not proving particularly resilient...

 

 

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...only the vanguard soldier survives :o

 

 

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(Just hired some more).

 

Quick pit stop in the Black Meadow:

 

 

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(This is a fun little quest).

 

The ambush at Anslog's:

 

 

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(Dozens riffraff).

 

And finally...

 

 

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(Infiltration incoming).

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How about we just use shorter names for items and spells? A Potion of Infuse Vital Essence could just be a Vital Essence potion or even just "red potion." It just needs to be clear. I don't disagree with the more colorful names (a Scroll of Defense sounds kinda lame by comparison), but for the purposes of a forum discussion, abbreviations are better.

 

 

Yeah. It's not that Pillars of Eternity names are so long in comparison to BG names, really, it's that I know that you'll know what I mean when I say MI + II + SI:A + SI:D but I have no idea if you'll understand AV(H) + LLDI + IS + LLS.

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Aotha, Hearth Orlan Rogue: Raedric Hold

 

It looks like Jazz Wit and Aotha are on the same schedule. You're charging the front gate? Ok, we're climbing the vines. High fives! See you in the Throne Room!

 

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There great thing about the Raedric Hold quest is that you get to kill so many people. And they're not even hard to kill. You just shoot them in the face...

 

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or skewer them in the kidney.

 

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And they die. What's better than that?

 

(If some of you are starting to worry about me -what with comments like that and all- don't: I'm fine. I rarely do this stuff in real life.)

 

Anyhoo. We choke pointed the chapel blokes.

 

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We also choke pointed Osrya's crew, which was a questionable call, seeing as how we had the melee advantage, despite lacking numbers. Quicker access to the casters would have been nice.

 

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Not to be out done in the questionable call department, Osrya blew herself up. Ok, Osrya: you win this round. But the next time I come back here, I'll do something stupider than you. You can count on that!

 

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To the Throne Room. But where's Jazz Wit? Oh yeah, he's over in the corner, chillin' with his ghost, waiting his turn. Hey, Jazz Wit! Keep being awesome!

 

Meanwhile...Alena opened with Scroll of Protection; Aloth opened with Scroll of Defense; Pallegina opened with beetles; Aotha opened with shoot'em-in-the-face.

 

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Pallegina and Eder engaged the grunts while the Archmages played with the beetles. Alena got herself in trouble with some back line chargers, but Whispers of Treason, via the Arret, quickly got her out of that jam.

 

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The Munacra Arret is a nice item to have on a backliner. It also looks great on Alena, matching her portrait better than any of the alternatives (NW: Inventory screenshot taken at a later date.)

 

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(And, btw, If you're thinking Aloth's Leather would match her better, I agree. Selling that was a mistake)

 

Some damage spells now from Aloth. Alena, wearing chain, with a low dex, is still buffing. Nobody's perfect, mkay?

 

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Finishing up now. Pulled Alena because we didn't need her spells anymore.

 

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Fin!

 

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Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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The Tale of Gloomy Face: Hearth Orlan, Druid - Chapter III: Defiance Bay.

 

1. Introduction.

2. Chapter I.

3. Chapter II.

 

After recruiting Sagani we scouted a Woodend Planes a bit, killed a lone Lion and then a pack of two Pwgra and five Forest Trolls. We were able to weaken Trolls with Chill Fog, Tanglefoot, Painful Interdiction, Expose Vulnerabilities and make them suffer under a Returning Storm so we need not care of them much and turn all our attention to those two Pwgra as a bigger threat. Eder and Xoti were affected with Infestation of Maggots early on and a single Autumn's Decay blast wound Xoti quite badly. And since she is infested the damage she is  taken rapidly increase. I put her under Beetle Shell (a Withdraw would be a better option), she cast Consecrated Ground and sip a Potion of Infuse with Vital Essence while Aloth spent all three charges of Healing Hands to keep her up. Upon the end of the fight she had only 4 endurance points left. If not that PoIwVE she would be Knocked Out, and I don't like my Crew members to be KO. Ever. I tend to look at the Knock Out of a characters like PoE variant of BG non-chunked death with the only difference that you don't need to cast a spell or visit a Temple to rise them. And thus, just like for BG, I'm going to prevent KO for my Crew members by all means possible.

 

 

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I took it as a sign to not not think of this place as a children's sandbox (especially after spotting another pack of Forest Lurkers to the East and a pride of lions led by an elder one) and left to the Defiance Bay. 

First I took a tour around the city speaking with peoples, checking houses and locked chests and accepting quests (EXP gain through that tour alone was enough for Xoti to advance to 5th level and get access to lvl3 spells. yay!). The most notable loot are a Bartender's Ring (nice bonuses vs Spirits and Vessels), Plate Armor for Eder and Obsidian Lamp Figurine.

 

 

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Then I proceed with some easy, non-combat tasks: 'Rogue Knight' (peacefully), 'Something Secret' (gave the dagger to Gordy, and since I have high enough Survival skill, I taught him to handle it safely). I want Pallegina in my Crew as soon as possible and thus 'At All Costs' is on an agenda. We didn't try too hard to save him vs Danna so he died but we got Forgiveness anyway (don't think I'll use it, or any other firearms though). Pallegina joined the Crew (Deep Faith>Lay on Hands>Veteran's Recovery>Zealous Focus) and we are finally set.

 

 

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Harassing Thugs are next, and we can see a reason behind Aefre's motives so in order to get maximum gain form 'Supply and Demand' we want that Bricanta's discount on bitter squash seeds for Maea. With our horrific reputation with the Doemenels, the only way to get this is to obtain a letter from the Thieves' Hideout in Copperlane but the Doemenels are after us already (their network of informants works flawlessly)

 

 

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Hideout fight is quite flashy and all that but aside from initial Crackling Bolt from Langden we took precious little damage - Desponent Blows weakens their melee capabilities substantially:

 

 

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In order to convince Bricanta to cooperate we need to make her a favor - 'Hard Feelings' quest, which we solved peacefully. We brought good news to Maea and gained a major reputation boost in Defiance Bay and enough experience to level up (6) as the result: Gloomy Face (Superior Deflection), Eder (Superior Deflection), Aloth (Llengrath's Displaced Image, Bear's Fortitude), Sagani (Merciless Companion).

Next we saved Vianna during 'Built to Last': Armor of Faith, Blessing, Interdiction, Returning Storm, Nature's Mark, Chill Fog, Llengrath's Dislpaced Image, Curse of Blackened Sight - all in. When I saw Dodwyna target Aloth with Pillar of Faith I move him away from others to prevent Prone AoE. But she wasn't able to cast it anyway under heavy preasure of ranged attacks. Now Gloomy Face is sporting a new stylish suit:

 

 

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Upon completing the 'Built to Last' Pallegina hit level 6 too (Superior Deflection) and gain a Shod-in-Faith as a present. Since she is a Two-hander her defences aren't sky-high so Consecrated Ground from those boots proc quite reliably giving us a 'free' cast of them each major fight.

The last objective for this session is resolution of 'His Old Self' quest. We took an already traditional position near south wall of Nyrid's room, apply also traditional starting salvo of Armor of Faith, Blessing, Interdiction, Chill Fog, Curse of Blackened Sight, Returning Storm, Nature's Mark and since we also tightly bunched > Holy Power. Pallegina proc Consecrated Ground from Shod-in-Faith. Nyrid fired Rolling Flame but only hit his own Mercenaries and fell soon after (we don't have a Prison in Caed Nua yet, so we can't spare his life now).

 

 

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Speaking with Purnisc afterwards I choose ''Perhaps you should trust her to make her own decisions rather than lie to her" and thus cut off an opportunity to speak with Kaenra on his behave. Nice Unwavering Resolve amulet is out of reach for us this time, oh well...

 

 

Current state:

 

 

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Gloomy Face - Druid (lvl 6); Stealth:0; Athletic:1; Lore:1; Mechanics:7; Survival:4; Talents: Veteran's Recovery>Bear's Fortitude>Superior Deflection; Equipment: Hermit's Hut, Aru-Brekr Brigandine, Minor Cloak of Protection, Minor Ring of Deflection, Ring of Overseeing, Fulvano's Boots, Fine Hunting Bow/Fine Hatchet+Small Shield;

 

Eder - Fighter (lvl 6); Stealth:0; Athletic:2; Lore:7; Mechanics:0; Survival:5; Talents: Rapid Recovery>Vulnerable Attack>Superior Deflection; Abilities: Knock Down (auto)>Confident Aim>Disciplined Barrage; Equipment: The Pilgrim's Lasting Vigil, Plate Armor, Cloak of Eothasian Priest, Minor Ring of Deflection, Minor Ring of Protection, Boots of Stability, Blunting Belt, Whispers of Yenwood (Burning Lash)+Oidhreacht/Fine War bow;

 

Aloth - Wizard (lvl 6); Stealth:0; Athletic:1; Lore:8; Mechanics:2; Survival:5; Talents: Blast>Penetrating Blast>Bear's Fortitude; Equipment: Aloth's Leather Armor, Minor Cloak of Protection, Healing Hands, Gaun's Pledge, Scepter/Rapier+Small Shield;

Grimoire: Level 1 - Fan of Flames, Slicken, Chill Fog, Minoletta's Minor Missiles; Level 2 - Curse of Blackened Sight, Infuse With Vital Essence, Combusting Wounds, Bulwark Against The Elements; Level 3 - Expose Vulnerabilities, Fireball, Llengrath's Displaced Image;

 

Xoti - Priest of Eothas (lvl 5); Stealth:0; Athletic:1; Lore:7; Mechanics:0; Survival:5; Talents: Interdiction>Painful Interdiction; Equipment: Plate Armor, Cape of Deflection, Fulvano's Gloves, Minor Ring of Protection, Ring of Overseeing, Gaun's Share+Medium Shield/Fine Wand;

 

Sagani - Ranger (lvl 6); Stealth:3; Athletic:1; Lore:6; Mechanics:0; Survival:6; Talents: Agile Retreat (auto)>Resilient Companion>Vicious Companion>Merciless Companion; Abilities: Wounding Shot (auto)>Predator's Sense>Stalker's Link; Equipment: Fine Hide Armor, Fulvano's Amulet, Bartender's Ring, Massuk Hunting Bow/Fine Dagger+Fine Hatchet;

 

Pallegina - Palladin (lvl 6); Stealth:0; Athletic:3; Lore:7; Mechanics:0; Survival:5; Talents: Deep Faith>Veteran's Recovery>Superior Deflection; Abilities: Faith and Conviction (auto)>Flames of Devotion (auto)>Lay on Hands>Zealous Focus; Equipment: Pallegina's Breastplate, Shod-in-Faith, Fine Great Sword/Fine Arbalest; 

 

to be continued...

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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Dear friends,

 

I'm afraid I won't be posting in this thread for a while as I've been seduced once again by the lure of BG (which means I'll focus my activity to the sister no-reload thread back at Beamdog forums).

 

Note that I'm enjoying your PoE runs here a lot, despite the fact that my limited game knowledge does not allow me to fully grasp some of your achievements. Anyway, the vaule of your efforts to the community and to potential future participants, lile myself, is undisputable :). I'll keep lurking in the shadows.

 

B.

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Aotha, Hearth Orlan Rogue: Final Update

 

NW: White March Spoilers

 

Hey, everyone! Sadly, Aotha has fallen. Her end came in the final battle of the White Forge quest. Resolve may be a relatively unimportant stat for a no reload character, but it is very important for a no reload player. My resolve failed catastrophically by the end of the White March. I've never enjoyed dubiously motivated massive dungeon crawls. Nor do I like Iceland Dale style wave after wave combat or gimmicky one trick enemies. Those who have tried White March can imagine, then, my thoughts on the White Forge quest line. By the time we reached the final battle, I was eager to be done, one way or another, and I honestly didn't care either way. And so when the final battle (which I thought I might be able to talk myself out of) opened like this:

 

 

 

 

HJrl0br.jpg

 

 

 

 

I basically just sighed and gave up. Sorry, Aotha: I just wasn't feeling it.

 

While Aotha failed to meet her goal, her run was, in a gaming sense, a moderate success. She had reached L10 and had she not taken a detour to blind run an expansion that I ended up hating, she would have had an excellent chance of completing her run. Not bad for a first play-through on PotD.

 

Setting aside the outcome, and Aotha's achievements, my coverage of Aotha's run -obviously- left much to be desired. From here on out, I'm going to stop letting my character's progress get ahead of updates: it leads to detail impoverished update and I invariably find myself losing the will to catch up on posting (once again, my personal Resolve score is to blame...). I'm not sure what my next run will be, but I can promise you this: I'll keep you all posted, every step of the way.

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Great post, Serg! I'm glad you're making progress.

 

(Btw, I've always appreciated your character status summaries at the bottom of your posts. I think I'll start doing that, too)

 

Thanks, Alesia! Yes, that's an old habit of mine, rooted in the days when I started the Baldur's Gate no-reload runs and slightly extended here. I guess it's easier this way to comprehend what's going on with my Crew, what equipment/resources we have, how I build my characters and, to some extend, what quests we have done already.

 

edit: Oh, no! I'm so sorry, Alesia...  ;(  Aotha's run was so promising... I hope, you'll give her another chance someday. Until then, looking forward for your next character.

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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edit: Oh, no! I'm so sorry, Alesia... ;( Aotha's run was so promising... I hope, you'll give her another chance someday. Until then, looking forward for your next character.

 

Thanks. It's kind of a bummer, but I'm okay with it. I was unfond of the White Forge quest. From an RP respective, it seemed like a whole lot of trouble to rehabilitate a small town's steel brand. And from a gaming perspective, I found the combat and gaming narrative styles counter to my liking. I wasn't enjoying myself.

 

The other issue was that I was dreading uploading a zillion catch-up posts, in the event that Aotha succeeded. Part of me wanted to blind no reload the White Forge quest line, but a greater part of me was looking for a dignified exit-stage-left. The final White Forge battle granted that. Aotha did well for herself, falling in a moderately challenging battle that I had never seen before (and, in fact, didn't entirely expect). And at the same time, I don't have to spend an entire day posting on quests that are, for me, old now. Aotha's death was, in the end, an acceptable way out of an awkward situation that I had boxed myself into.

 

In my next run, I'll keep posts current with progress. That should lead to more satisfying updates while also keeping me motivated.

 

I haven't settled on a character yet. I'm considering a few options. Let me know what you'd like to see:

 

1) A variant of Alikae, my melee mage who successfully NRed PoE on Hard, but who I can't bring myself to post on

2) An Eoran version of Alesia, my BG rogue

3) An Eoran version of Alia, eleven archer, my first BG no reload candidate, who fell in the battle against Melissan and later escorted my first successful BG Trilogy NR character, a sorcerer, Alanis, through BG1 and SoA.

4) An all priest party, led by Alena (basically the opposite of Semiticgod's upcoming party)

 

I'm leaning toward option 1 or 4, leaving the rebirth of Alesia and Alia (particularly Alesia) for a time when I'm more skilled at PoE. If anyone has a preference, please let me know!

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 14

 

Aotha heard it wrong - Jazz Wit has no intention of going in through the front door  :w00t:

 

 

162.jpg

 

 

This guy needs to be fired: how does a 7 foot DEX 3 aumaua sneak past you in broad daylight?

 

 

163.jpg

 

 

I used the Berathian robes to disguise myself, agreed to Nedmar's approach, and began clearing the dungeons of Osrya's monstrosities (after resting to remove the fatigue from climbing the vines).

 

 

164.jpg166.jpg

 

 

Osrya did rather more damage to her zombies than me.

 

 

168.jpg169.jpg

 

 

And so to Raedric. For some unfathomable reason I just marched straight up to his throne, without a single food buff and without adjusting my quick slots (I think I was playing on autopilot because of all the movement between different floors).

 

 

170.jpg

 

 

This is not the kind of spot that Jazz Wit fights from. How do we solve it? Well let's get some beetles and fear going before I get too badly beaten up:

 

 

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And then hit them with this:

 

 

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This is the kind of spot Jazz Wit fights from!

 

 

173.jpg174.jpg175.jpg

 

 

Back to Gilded Vale (feels like an eternity since I was last there).

 

 

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Jazz Wit's exploits are gaining renown.

 

 

177.jpg178.jpg

 

 

(If only that crier knew who was just walking past :D)

 

Finished off a couple of quests and reached level 8. I increased Mechanics to 9, took 'The Lover Cried' invocation and the Deep Pockets talent.

 

Oh for the love of Bhaal Berath  >_<

 

 

179.jpg

 

 

I've already beaten two of your mobs, can an aumaua not run across this city in peace while his player is on the map screen?  :aiee:

 

You'll burn for this.

 

 

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Change of plan: let's be friends!

 

 

181.jpg

 

 

That worked well for our first attempt. 

 

Backlash :o

 

 

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Inventory update:

 

 

183.jpg

 

 

Can finally start using some scrolls now I have the quick slot space. I looked at upgrading some of my gear to exceptional since I am level 8 but lack the gems. So have to decide whether to find/buy some or just wait for better gear. And for those whinging about 192 copper or whatever to buy some food: look how much coin I have. And with nothing to spend it on. Btw this is not even a lot, there is so much more loot coming up, I often have hundreds of thousands by the end. I am going to start buying some dragon meat dishes soon just to put the coin to some use at least :D.

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Thanks. It's kind of a bummer, but I'm okay with it. I was unfond of the White Forge quest. From an RP respective, it seemed like a whole lot of trouble to rehabilitate a small town's steel brand. And from a gaming perspective, I found the combat and gaming narrative styles counter to my liking. I wasn't enjoying myself.

 

The other issue was that I was dreading uploading a zillion catch-up posts, in the event that Aotha succeeded. Part of me wanted to blind no reload the White Forge quest line, but a greater part of me was looking for a dignified exit-stage-left. The final White Forge battle granted that. Aotha did well for herself, falling in a moderate challenging battle that I had never seen before (and, in fact, didn't entirely expect). And at the same time, I don't have to spend an entire day posting on quests that are, for me, old now. Aotha's death was, in the end, an acceptable way out of am awkward situation that I had boxed myself into.

 

In my next run, I'll keep posts current with progress. That should lead to more satisfying updates while also keeping me motivated.

 

I haven't settled on a character yet. I'm considering a few options. Let me know what you'd like to see:

 

1) A variant of Alikae, my melee mage who successfully NRed PoE on Hard, but who I can't bring myself to post on

2) An Eoran version of Alesia, my BG rogue

3) An Eoran version of Alia, eleven archer, my first BG no reload candidate, who fell in the battle against Melissan and later escorted my first successful BG Trilogy NR character, a sorcerer, Alanis, through BG1 and SoA.

4) An all priest party, led by Alena (basically the opposite of Semiticgod's upcoming party)

 

I'm leaning toward option 1 or 4, leaving the rebirth of Alesia and Alia (particularly Alesia) for a time when I'm more skilled at PoE. If anyone has a preference, please let me know!

 

Best,

 

A.

 

 

Shame about Aotha but I echo your thoughts re White March. I don't like it either, it's just the usual power creep crap that often happens with expansions: tons of fights, you get tons of loot, tons of consumables just lying around, more and more powerful items, so more and more fights, you have enough coin to bankrupt an economy etc.

 

It's not even a good plot, and RP-wise it makes no sense whatsoever to abandon your chase of Thaos to take several months out in some irrelevant nowhere. The whole "Leaden Key agents are investigating too" thing your steward throws out is very weak.

 

Re your next character: are you tempted by solo yet? You will learn so much more with just one character to focus on, in terms of the full depth of different game options, the true strengths and weaknesses of different classes, being ever more resourceful in how you deal with things etc. Probably on Normal or Hard difficulty, so you at least have a flavour of what to expect. But appreciate you might not want to go there yet and try other party options. In which case, from above options I would suggest Alikae the mage since I find parties of 6 x same class quite dull.

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Divinegon, Hearth Orlan Cipher (party of ciphers)

 

I've decided to switch back to ciphers instead of rogues for my single-class party, as they're a little more versatile and have some cooler spells. Our Watcher this time is Divinegon, another Hearth Orlan with the only portrait I've ever used, or plan to use, as my Watcher.

 

R2adYbZ.jpg

 

Her name is Divinegon, the name of a type of monster in the old Pokemon-style game, Dragon Warrior Monsters. Divinegon is a combination of "divine" and "dragon," but I've always pronounced it "dih-vin-ih-gahn," which I think sounds better. As always, our first Talent for our cipher is Biting Whip for the 20% physical damage bonus.

 

This time, I haven't decreased Intellect in order to maximize Dexterity, and so I've chosen Whisper of Treason as one of my first spell picks. Once we get to Gilded Vale by avoiding any fights after the prologue, we hire a new cipher, Mora Tai, named after the cipher of our previous run. She's designed to use crossbows, arbalests, and firearms for large boosts to Focus.

xg7WuXO.jpg


Since this is Hard mode instead of PotD, I feel confident enough to tackle some fights that I wouldn't dare approach in PotD at this stage of the game, like the wolves near the climbable wall in the area north of Gilded Vale. We do almost die, though. Whisper of Treason greatly decreases the pressure on the party, but we can't keep all enemies charm-locked, and Divinegon isn't really designed to take much damage.

I1gvgUr.jpg


We're doing pretty good for a two-person party at levels 2 and 1, but Divinegon can't stand up to a lone wolf.

WBSbRU0.jpg

 

Mora Tai just barely manages to bring down the wolf by virtue or her strong damage output.

SfdDy2M.jpg


Speaking to the dwarf woman gives us enough experience to get Divinegon to level 3, which means we can finally afford a new level 2 cipher, Lothra. You'll notice I re-use portraits and names a lot. I give Lothra some higher Intellect to improve her disablers.

QS5cRus.jpg


I've underestimated cipher disablers in the past, but some of them are actually pretty wicked. Tenuous Grasp is a really excellent disabler: the confusion effect might not last as long as the charm effect of Whisper of Treason, but confusion, unlike charm, doesn't end when you attack the target. Both of them are great against the various low-Will enemies of early PoE.

Dhzlbm7.jpg


Notice I'm now using Psychovampiric Shield, on the advice of I forget which forumite, for a temporary +25 Deflection for one of my two tanks. Unfortunately, it takes 20 Focus and right now I need to land some attacks before I can activate it, but it should be a solid defensive option later in the game.

 

We find a Fine Great Sword, which gets us enough money to hire another level 2 cipher, Rius, who is fairly similar to Divinegon herself, though I'll be using Rius more as an archer than a tank.

BO2Ha5z.jpg

 

Fighting some wild boar gets Mora Tai to level 2, which I think is enough for us to handle Ludrana and the twin paladins. High-perception Whisper of Treason spells let us take control of both paladins right off the bat!

pqKzYkN.jpg


Ludrana does get Necrotic Lance off the ground, and it knocks out Lothra in a single hit, but she doesn't last long enough to do anything more than that.

uq0effe.jpg


I can't stress how big of a game-changer Whisper of Treason is. Being able to charm just about any enemy in any fight lets us completely screw with the enemy's functioning. Even those deadly Xaurip Skirmishers with their paralysis attacks can easily be charmed.

izaChFU.jpg


It really compensates for our party's poor defenses. You don't need sturdy defenses if the enemy is doing your tanking for you.

 

We find an arbalest for Mora Tai on the beach and head to the bandits to rescue the cook, where the game reminds me that Antipathetic Field is very party-unfriendly, and can easily knock out a party member.

kzZTabp.jpg


We fight a few trolls and outdoor spiders, avoid a pair of Forest Lurkers out of well-founded fears, and add a Wood Elf cipher to the team as our new archer to help us deal with some fights in the temple of Eothas. Notice that we can use charmed spiders to fortify a choke point and completely negate enemy pressure in the fight with the temple spiders.

GYKT2rp.jpg


Visiting Caed Nua (but not fighting anything!) gets Lothra to level 3, granting her Psychovampiric Shield to improve her defenses. I really want to get Divinegon to level 4 so we can get a new level 3 cipher to help us against the Phantoms at Caed Nua, so I pick a fight with some Scavengers out in the wilderness. Mora Tai is absolutely lethal with her arbalest.

mNhsvyf.jpg


Within seconds, almost every circle on the map is green instead of red. It's a huge boon that we can secure very early in a fight.

fZG1jGf.jpg


We use the +2 Intellect hood (whatever it's called) to gain immunity to the Will o' Wisps' confusion attacks and start clearing the first level of the temple of Eothas. Mora Tai has hit level 3, and I am enjoying her new Amplified Thrust spell.

5qTtpgj.jpg


When we reach the second level (I skip the optional Skuldr fight in the far south), Divinegon finally hits level 4, allowing us to add another level 3 Wood Elf archer to the team, Viora.
 

We're ready to tackle the Phantoms at Caed Nua.

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@Alesia_BH: I don't know which is best for your next run, but I would love to see Alesia the Bounty Hunter back in action. Her BG run was legendary, even if it didn't make it into the Hall. She might not be able to trap enemies to death like she used to, but having the first Alesia back would be awesome.

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