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Divinegon, Hearth Orlan Cipher

 

We're running low on resources, but I decide to tackle one more fight before resting, figuring that the small room nearby can't hold that big of a fight.

 

That assumption doesn't hold. We've got an enemy cipher with a pistol, a wizard who fires off Minor Missiles, and two Skaen priests who blast us with Iconic Projection. We go deep into the red, and it takes a lot of work to keep the party healthy.

 

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Notice that Frost is using a Minor Missiles scroll to deal faster damage against the enemy Mind Breaker. He falls within seconds, but I soon realize that there are two ciphers at hand, and our own paladin, Mora Tai, has just fallen. Hoping to finish him off quickly, Frost hurries forward into a now-vacant space and uses a Fan of Flames scroll.

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PoE is weird in that fighters are just as effective with scrolls as spellcasters. Unfortunately, we've been neglecting another important threat, the enemy priests, who take down Frost with a Pillar of Faith. Enemy spellcasters are more offensive-oriented than Zovai.

 

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These are just nameless goons, but they've taken down two of our party members. Just for safety's sake, we deploy a Scroll of Revival to bring back our paladin and rogue. Apparently status effects can linger after death; Frost has several effects still running.

 

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Does anyone know if those effects continue to run out while the character is knocked out, or are they just put on hold until the character is back on their feet? If it's the former, that would mean there would be some scenarios where you might want before reviving someone, to make sure they got back up with no negative status effects active (namely, those that could get them knocked down again shortly after being revived).

 

The remaining cipher is actually in pretty decent health, so we try charming him. Divinegon succeeds, but gets stunned in the process--I hadn't expected Psychic Backlash.

 

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But with Frost back on her feet, we can deal heavy damage with another poison attack and blast the enemy with more Fan of Flames scrolls.

 

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Our paladins are both prone due to another pillar spell thingy from the priests, but Frost continues her dirty work uninterrupted, and the enemy finally collapses.

 

The cultists really surprised me in that last fight. I didn't realize how many tools they had at their disposal.

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Divinegon, Hearth Orlan Cipher

 

We head back to town to rest and restock, and Zovai, our Moon Godlike priest, hits level 6 after visiting the local church, taking Aggrandizing Radiance because I thought the stat bonuses went to everyone instead of just the priest.

 

Despite our difficulties with the Skaen crazies, I decide to probe around the sacrificial chamber-looking room that I avoided in my previous run out of concern that there was a nasty boss fight past the doorway. I arrive just in time to save some poor girl from being sacrificed, and use Divinegon's cipher powers to wipe her mind.

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But apparently that doesn't grant us a nonviolent resolution, and we enter the boss fight I've been dreading. We use a Scroll of Defense early on and use our opening shots from arbalests and such to wound the enemy leader, Wymund, and poison him. Notice Rius deploying a fast-casting Fireball, and the enemy rogue landing a nasty sneak attack on Divinegon herself.

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Through no choice of our own, Divinegon starts this fight right out in front, exactly the opposite of where we always keep her, and I'm not even sure I'd have had room to move her to the back if I had noticed sooner. Divinegon suffers multiple attacks in sequence, and an enemy cipher even disables her.

 

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We heal her a little, but we can only do so much on such short notice. Zovai casts Consecrated Ground, which in retrospect I don't think can even affect confused allies. A Pillar of Holy Fire puts even more of our weakest characters in danger.

 

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Our only means of healing Divinegon quickly comes from Lay on Hands, but we can't use Liberating Exhortation at the same time, which means our best attacker remains confused. We trade blindness spells with the cipher, but we're not making much progress--with multiple characters in danger, we have to focus on defensive options until Divinegon is back under our control. We have another heavy hitter in Frost, our rogue, and she's hard at work, but Divinegon is the real source of power in this party.

 

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Finally, Divinegon is on our side again. In the meantime, little has progressed on either side--Frost has been trying to deal fast damage to Wymund with Minor Missiles scrolls, but Wymund has the damage reduction to shrug off most of it.

 

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We lose our beetles, but Divinegon generates enough Focus to start up an Ectopsychic Echo beam. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to move around Divinegon while she was confused, and we're short of Lay on Hands spells. Rather than risk Divinegon getting killed, I just cover her with Withdraw, knowing that Ectopsychic Echo will continue even while she's inactive.

 

But then I see the beam completely miss several enemies in a row. I check Divinegon's record screen and her Accuracy is 16. Apparently she's blinded and dazed, which imposes a -35 total penalty, making her beam all but useless.

 

Now we have to do all the heavy lifting without our star attacker, and the process is much slower than it normally would be. Frost and Rius *using Concelhaut's staff) appear to be doing most of the work, and while the enemy applies lots of damage to the party, that damage is pretty evenly distributed and therefore puts no one character in danger. Even when the enemy cipher confuses Frost, we still have a spare Liberating Exhortation spell to fix her up.

 

With multiple characters bearing down on him, Wymund struggles to stay afloat. Frost uses Finishing Blows and Fans of Flames to boost her damage, but Mora Tai lands the final blow due to a lucky roll.

 

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Divinegon escapes from Withdraw only to find two enemies remaining. She charms a sentry and we all gang up on the enemy cipher that was responsible for Divinegon's confusion at the start of the fight.

 

We free the would-be sacrifice and tell her to seek safety at a temple (luckily she didn't die or turn hostile to Rius' Fireball at the start of combat), and the quest is complete. Our reward is a vast hoard of gear to sell for copper and an Exceptional robe--nothing game-changing, but it gives us bigger numbers.

Edited by semiticgod
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Pausanias, Coastal Aumaua Fighter, Update 5

 

Previous Updates:

 

 

 

We started with relatively peaceful quests in Twin Elms, such as delivering the Sealed Missive, completing Hard Bargain without any fights, delivering Vela to Simoc (one short and easy fight there - this also got us a new shield for Pausanias, Thy Clef) and, of course, Rymgard's god quest - which can be done entirely without violence by sneaking through the western path and into the main room. Only one character has to get close to the main group, so no significant stealth level is needed (Jeanne here has only her basic rogue stealth, boots of stealth and Lilith's Shawl):

 

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We use our resolve to convince the pale elfs to give up and agree to make a deal with the Beast of Winter. Also, Galawain's challenge is right next door, and we only need to complete two significant fights for that one if we take the middle path via grappling hook and make it through the bushes - with some stealth even this group could've been avoided:

 

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Being a fighter allows us to only fight Oernus and his bears without any help from kith on their side:

 

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Next up, the Northweald. We test out "The Dragon Thrashed" with some success:

 

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Certainly a nice boost for our AoE damage. Hunter, Brother and At the Mercy of the Tribes are completed (we are honest in order to get Sheathed in Autumn for Pausanias), and we fight the final group blocking our access to the Sky Dragon - which is the first to involve Adragans, but they make the mistake of rushing to the front of their group, which allows our melee damage dealers to have direct access to them, so they don't get to use any dangerous spells and die pretty much right away:

 

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We have a friendly talk with the dragon, not forgetting to pick up another bird up here before returning to complete this god quest as well. Oh, we've also bought Wē Toki and Rêghar Konnek to complete our weapon selection - and some war paint.

 

Now, we could basically just complete Berath's god quest and finish the game, but I decide to take some pointless risks in order to explore this group's potential by attempting some of the tougher fights against trash mobs (to borrow some MMO terminology) - so we clear Pearlwood Bluff, including this northern group which includes both Drakes and Mênpŵgras - we stay back with the party until Ögedei has a good opportunity for Call to Slumber:

 

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Now, the party can rush in to take out the spellcasters. Drakes have never been much of an issue for us anyway. With the area cleared, there are some rather difficult fights in Elmshore. Near the adra arch, we try to rush another Adragan, but lose control of the situation when Catalina gets petrified and knocked out right away. We decide that the risk of this happening to more characters is too great and finally apply scrolls of defense + protection:

 

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Since we're a bit scared here (Catalina hasn't gotten knocked out in forever), we also summon in some shades. Dragon Thrashed does good damage, and the battlefield is eventually secured:

 

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Further to the south, a similiar group awaits, and we start out with defense+protection scrolls right away - we have the materials to make tons of these anyway, and there aren't many battles left in the game:

 

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We turn in Songs of the Wild and make our way back to Magran's Fork to get revenge on Gramrfel the Wayferer, who was a tough opponent for Liresh when he accidentally ran into him with an underleveled party - not so much this time:

 

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I decide, for our final test, to pointlessly challenge the huge group of ogres, ogre druids and ogre matrons in northern Elmshore. Once again, Pausanias engages alone until the first round of enemy spellcasting is done with, and we rush in with our own mênpŵgra: Chandragupta is finally using one of our Witch's Hat charges to apply a plague of insects of his own:

 

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Our defensive scrolls (plus some food and drugs) are active once again, and Ögedei adds confusion (obviously quite good against low-will ogres) into the mix. Meanwhile, we apply AoE damage with the likes of The Dragon Thrashed, Touch of Rot (from Jeanne's gloves) and mênpŵgra spells:

 

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The battle is a great success - now Catalina can get in and execute the remaining ogres with her blood thirst. Without thinking twice, we enter the cave to continue. This was a foolish idea, of course: The area is quite different and doesn't allow us to use melee damage to its full potential. The real reason things don't go well, though, is because Ögedei is too slow to get in range and finish call to slumber - one of the ogre druids is able to apply plague of insects before that - which is terrible for Jeanne, who is on low hitpoints because she ended up duelling with an ogre during the previous battle:

 

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While the call to slumber does its thing and Catalina starts mowing through enemy lines with some help from Dragon Thrashed, we once again have the problem of too much regeneration on Jeanne - she will permanently die unless we do something. This time, though, we do have a remedy - we have found a ring of suppression, and Pausanias applies it, barely in time:

 

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The duration isn't very long, so we have to finish the battle quickly. The second charge is applied, and the battle over:

 

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The wood beetles disappear in time, Jeanne is still alive. Another close one, but we did a far better job of adjusting this time (though we did have more tools at our disposal). Still, the cave is certainly a terrible to place for a party such as ours.

 

Blood Sands is the only remaining area - we have fought every battle, done every quest available to us with our restrictions - the leader of the place is assassinated:

 

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We don't face much trouble with the druids here, having now a lot of experience in dealing with them. We enter Burial Isle, which gets everyone but Barbarossa to level 11 - next time, the endgame awaits.

 

Talent choices for levels 10/11:

Pausanias: Bear's Fortitude, Unbroken (just in case something goes terribly wrong with Thaos)

Jeanne: Devastating Blow, Deathblows

Ögedei: Arcane Veil (yes, we relent and do end up finally taking it instead of Marksman - we we did use it in the mentioned fights quite a bit, and it was very helpful), Gaze of the Adragan (and some other spells)

Catalina: Apprentice's Sneak Attack, Heart of Fury

Barbarossa: Scion of Flame - if he makes it to 11 before the end, he will take Urdel and Gurdel

Chandragupta: Lightning Strikes, Iron Wheel

 

Since we won't change our equipment anymore, for those interested, here are the armor and weapons we ended up with:

Pausanias: Exceptional Plate Armor, Sheathed in Autumn + Thy Clef

Jeanne: Blaidh Golan, Wē Toki + War Club of the Mataru

Ögedei: Deckhand's Uniform, Gyrd, Rêghar Konnek + Aila Braccia

Catalina: Sanguine Plate, Tall Grass (though mostly firebrand), Tidefall (for flame blights)

Barbarossa: Äru-Brekr, Hearth Harvest + Sura's Supper Plate

Chandragupta: Saint's War Armor, Fists, two fine spears (for crush-immune enemies, though I never ended up using these)

 

We also decided to spend most of our remaining money, mostly on scrolls (not only prayers against fear and bewilderment, defense on protection, but also moonwell and valor) and potions (infuse with vital essence for everyone, some aggressive potions, major recovery for Pausanias etc.) - We should be ready for Sun in Shadow.

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Arcadia, Moon-Godlike Wizard: Ondra's Gift

 

Surprise, surprise: Despite my best efforts, Arcadia's updates have fallen behind her progress, mostly due to an absurdly long (and entirely regrettable) playing session. I apologize for this, everyone. And when I say everyone, I mean you, dear readers, but also Arcadia and her crew. Arcadia yet lives, but she has suffered a few bumps and bruises- all of which were unequivocally my fault. 

 

In my short PoE career, I have noticed a clear trend: the quality of my play decreases as the length of my sessions increases. This is due to two factors: 1) in long sessions, my computer over-heats, causing lags; 2) in long sessions, my brain over-heats, causing lags. I intend to spend the morning uploading catch-up posts. You'll note a steady and then precipitous decline in the quality of my play. Hopefully this experience will nudge me back into the pattern I had developed earlier in Arcadia's run: short sessions, focused play, brief but detailed posts. That's clearly better for me, for you, and -most importantly- for my characters: none of them deserve to die because I couldn't fall asleep.

 

Anyhoo: Where were we? That's right: Ondra's Gift.

 

Inspired by Serg's post on Ondra's Gift, I decided to complete the area's quests for the first time. I think I got them all. Let me know if I missed anything.

 

First, Supply and Demand. 

 

Since I wasn't expecting this fight, our initial positioning was off, leading Cassia to Withdraw herself at the very beginning of combat, before she could get injured. Once we got that squared, everything went fine. Here we see Pallegina, Eder and Arcadia fighting in melee while Alikae and Alena provide ranged support. No injuries of note here.

 

 

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After dispatching the thugs, we settled the quest with a dialogue option, using our intelligence score. Apparently there is another side to this quest, involving the Doemenels and bitter squash seeds? We never saw that.

 

Next, All Hands on Deck. In keeping with the nautical theme, we went over-board with spells here (I know: I'm not punny).

 

 

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Onto Clandestine Cargo. The most remarkable thing about this quest was that our pet cat followed us into the water. Seriously: when does that ever happen?

 

 

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The first animat fight went smoothly. 

 

 

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The second, which I wasn't expecting, was a little messier because we had fewer spells and pulled the adra animat earlier. Alena, who had pulled the adra animat, preemptively withdrew herself.

 

 

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No worries after that.

 

 

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Finally, The Wailing Banshee. I'll just cover the more interesting first floor battle here. This went well.

 

We opened by dropping beetles, gathering together, and then buffing.

 

 

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The wizards have their veils and illusions. Alena is wearing Rymgrand's Mantle. The only vulnerable one is Cassia. We had her tap L3 early, in the event that she needed to Withdraw herself. She also had her shield and Llengath's potions at the ready in the event that she was threatened but needed, neither of which happened: she was never threatened and we didn't really need her.

 

 

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The spirits came for Cassia, predictably, but the priests handled that, with a minor assist from Arcadia. Alikae and the adra beetle, meanwhile, focused there attentions on the main enemy group. 

 

 

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The priests are safe now. They refresh our Inspiring Radiance and begin pumping Iconic Projections.

 

 

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Into cleanup phase.

 

 

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More updates soon.

 

Best,

 

A.

 

 

PS: We did Brave Derrin, too, although we never found the killer.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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@Alesia: your experience of the inverse relation between duration and quality is mine too! I try to do sessions of around 1 hour play; sometimes a bit more, sometimes less. That’s why I am on part 20 or something of Jazz Wit and still in Act 2. I am amazed at people who manage to complete and write up a full playthrough in 4 to 5 updates. I think some people have done 3 or 4 playthroughs (with a full party) while I am crawling my way with just 1 character (when 1 character should really be so much faster than issuing 6 x instructions).

 

You can find Derrin’s killer btw. Won’t spoil it in case you don’t know. Check out the dagger description for a clue.

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Another thing related to Derrin quest and finding people...I’m glad PoE doesn’t go down the DAO route for instance of sticking markers on people you need to talk to to advance a quest. That’s just silly. But PoE has its own problem for named characters...essentially anybody named (other than backers) is involved in a quest so you know you should speak to them. That makes it too easy to both find and solve quests.

 

I would much prefer a system where anybody you didn’t know was unnamed, so it would be harder to know who to talk to, and who is involved in a quest and who is just plain background filler. Much more realistic that way than having a name which equates to “talk to me”. Wish future games would go down that route.

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Divinegon, Hearth Orlan Cipher

 

After clearing up some remaining mobs in the Skaen temple, we head out to nab a dragon egg. We pay off the adventurers guarding it (they looked well-equipped, so I saw no need to mess with them) and apply area-effect spells to the local Wurms. They don't do much besides pepper Pallegina with tiny fireballs.

 

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Later, we pick a fight with some Pwgras and Lurkers, but flub up our positioning and end up with Divinegon at the front.

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Rius prepares a blindness spell and Frost stakes out a position to use a Fan of Flames scroll, while Divinegon tries to keep her Endurance high enough to survive a disengagement attack when she tries to escape. Unfortunately, the Lurkers impose the Stuck effect on hit, so we have to use Liberating Exhortation first. But when Divinegon tries to make her escape...

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...the disengagement attack itself reapplies the Stuck effect. Ironically, trying to flee only got her stuck in place even longer.

 

Zovai throws out Iconic Projection to keep healing Divinegon while Frost keeps using Fan of Flames scrolls. Meanwhile, Divinegon activates Antipathetic Field since we don't have enough room to slip a party member past the enemy so we can use Ectopsychic Echo instead.

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That's one of the disadvantages of using Ectopsychic Echo: you can't actually make it work if you're keeping everyone in the party safe behind a choke point; you need at least one party member out in the distance, in danger, in order to make effective use of the beam.

 

Surprisingly, Zovai's Iconic Projections do a lot to weaken the enemy (it's not just Frost that's making progress) despite her poor Perception, allowing us to thin the herd and eventually strike down the survivors with Amplified Thrust.

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We sell off another 8,000 copper in spare gear and ingredients, increasing our copper supply by 50%, and run into a gang of assassins in Defiance Bay--it's a good thing we rested right beforehand. Divinegon is now using a blunderbuss as her introductory burst damage weapon, and nearly kills the enemy mage in one hit.

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It only takes a single hit from Rius' Chill Fog to brush him off his feet. Unfortunately, that Chill Fog hits a nearby Justiciar who foolishly wandered into the fray, turning him hostile. Worried that killing him would cause a lot of problems later on, Divinegon charms him with Whisper of Treason, hoping that the assassins kill him so we don't have to.

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Alternatively, maybe the Justiciar could survive the encounter and remain friendly afterwards. But in my experience with Infinity Engine games, turning someone hostile is a permanent change; charm only suspends that hostility.

 

Anyway, Frost kills the remaining mage with her scepter and Divinegon uses her large Focus pool to mess with the melee grunts. We could have used Ectopsychic Echo, but I didn't want to send any of our party members into Rius' Chill Fog spell.

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Notice that one of the assassins has turned on the charmed Justiciar. By the time the fight ends, the Justiciar is dead--problem solved.

 

We travel to Cliaban Rilag, which gets us enough XP to bring three new characters to level 6. Rius picks Weapon Focus: Peasant in order to strengthen Concelhaut's staff, while our paladin takes an offensive Talent and our rogue takes a defensive one to compensate for their typical weaknesses.

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Rius now has an unbuffed Accuracy of 63 with Concelhaut's staff.

 

In Cliaban Rilag, we make short work of many of the enemies using Divinegon's incredible ranged attacks. She has a new synergy with Frost: now Frost can use Shadowing Beyond to sneak right past enemies, allowing her free movement when stretching Divinegon's Ectopsychic Echo over the enemies. Combined with Divinegon's blunderbuss, we can kill the otherwise dangerous druids within seconds.

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I don't remember running into a lot of traps here in my Normal mode run, so it's a very big surprise indeed when Pallegina gets knocked out by a ludicrous 200-damage hit.

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It's not a big deal, though, since it happens outside of combat and Pallegina gets right back up. We go for one more major fight before we rest and recover her Health, and since we plan on resting anyway, we use our beetle figurine. Turns out that enemy druids are perfectly willing to use their best spells on weak summons while largely ignoring the party waiting just a few steps away.

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We rest up and enter the next battle in good condition. But I severely underestimate the threat of the local Spores. Right at the start of combat, the enemy confuses both of our paladins.

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This is a very bad sign. But I didn't appreciate just how bad it was until later.

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Yikes! As soon as you mentioned Pallegina's knock out to a trap I thought about the spore area. I hope everyone made it out ok!

 

(And, btw, I noticed the druid's susceptibility to spell wastage via summons, too. I was never comfortable doing that in BG but since I'm still learning PoE I'm letting myself do it here- especially in that encounter!)

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Why? Doesn't he deserve a proper punishment? Yep, to complete the 'Brave Derrin' quest you don't need to, but what about 'triumph of justice first of all'?

We didn't not look for him we just weren't super pro-active. I had assumed we'd run into him. Also, I had read that finding the killer has no effect on Odda, the mother, and so it wasn't a high priority.

 

Arcadia's run is still active, of course. We'll swing by Ondra's the next time we're in DB.

 

Best,

 

A.

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I would much prefer a system where anybody you didn’t know was unnamed, so it would be harder to know who to talk to, and who is involved in a quest and who is just plain background filler. Much more realistic that way than having a name which equates to “talk to me”. Wish future games would go down that route.

Interesting. I can't decide whether that would be cool or annoying. I guess I'd have to try it to know.

 

(I will acknowledge that PoE quest peeps are a little too obvious for my tastes)

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Divinegon, Hearth Orlan Cipher

 

With both paladins confused, we cannot use Liberating Exhortation on either. We need to clear the field quickly before we get overwhelmed with disablers, but Rius' Fireball barely does anything; even the weakest enemies are still at Barely Injured. Divinegon opts for Ectopsychic Echo, and Frost uses Shadowing Beyond to make sure she doesn't get disabled when she runs into the horde.

 

But we've got more bad news. The Dank Spores can also cast Domination spells, and their Accuracy is so strong that even Mora Tai's 75 Will save can't keep him safe.

 

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Thanks to Shadowing Beyond, Frost is safe from disablers for the time being, allowing us to drag the beam over the nearest Dank Spore. But the Dank Spores are tough, and they seem to have very few limits on how often they can use their Domination spells. They nail both Pallegina and Rius, at the back of the line, and suddenly half our party is under enemy control.

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Apparently charmed party members like to use ranged weapons, which means that Pallegina immediately switches to her arbalest. Divinegon's terrible Deflection allows Pallegina to land an easy critical hit, knocking down our strongest attacker. Meanwhile, Frost tries to finish off the Dank Spore, which managed to survive Ectopsychic Echo.

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Pallegina recovers and uses Lay on Hands to undo some of the damage she did to our cipher. Frost manages to bring down the wounded Dank Spore, but the one right behind it lands another Domination effect, and our second-best damage dealer is under enemy control.

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The rest of the party finally manages to defeat the Sporelings, and now only the Dank Spores are left. We hurry down to kill the one at the south, hoping that the eastern one won't be able to reach us so far away.

 

But right before we reach our target, we trigger a trap. Zovai, our priest, and Rius, our mage, go down in a single blow.

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Worse yet, Zovai's lousy Health means that she's already in the red--even if we revive her, she's going to be really wobbly. Afraid that the cloud trap deals lingering damage, we retreat to the north and target the eastern Dank Spore instead. But when Soul Ignition completely fails against the spore, we have to hurry in and attack it directly in melee combat.

 

But that just makes things even worse. There are two more Dank Spores right behind it, and attacking it exposes us to even more Domination effects. Mora Tai summons a trio of Wood Beetles, but he doesn't act fast enough, and the enemy takes control of him once again.

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The spores to the east are too dangerous when put together; we need to switch focus to the southern one, which remains isolated. We make progress, but it just keeps throwing out more and more Domination effects, and no one in our party seems capable of resisting it.

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Divinegon consumes a Potion of Deleterious Alacrity of Motion (cool it with the long names, Poe!) in the hopes of landing an earlier kill on a Dank Spore, but everyone else in the party is malfunctioning. Mora Tai is getting status effects stacked on top of each other.

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Divinegon has built up 64 Focus and could spam powerful cipher spells to change the tide of combat, but the rest of the party keeps attacking her, and her Endurance is getting lower with every moment. Then the Dank Spores start targeting Divinegon, and we lose our cipher to the enemy as well.

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What is Divinegon doing so close to the enemy? Well, I sent her out once we got control of Mora Tai, who still has a single Liberating Exhortation spell left. Divinegon is back under our control! But when Mora Tai gets charmed yet again, and I see that the rest of the party is completely broken, I realize that I can't afford to have Divinegon spend just one round blasting the three Dank Spores to the east before she gets charmed or confused again. That would wound the spores, but it wouldn't kill any of them.

 

Our best use of Divinegon's temporary sanity is a simple Scroll of Revival. I'm worried that Zovai is going to get killed right after she climbs to her feet, but I really need Zovai and Rius' help to survive this encounter. We get our priest and wizard back, but sure enough, Divinegon gets crushed and charmed right afterwards.

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Divinegon attacks Zovai, nearly killing her, and Zovai tries to rescue her attacker using Suppress Affliction. But another Domination spell comes out right afterwards; we simply don't have enough cures for charm effects to actually keep control of our party members.

 

Divinegon manages to cling to life, possibly because Rius lands a Chill Fog against the eastern Dank Spores and blinded at least one of them. Rius can't follow up, however; she gets charmed moments later. Meanwhile, Frost finally recovers from the southern Dank Spore's charm and poisons it again. Unfortunately, these things have massive Endurance pools, and even Envenomed Strike can only get them partway to death's door.

 

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Divinegon's domination lasts just long enough for her to fire a blunderbuss at Rius. It's an excruciating loss, because that long reload period could have been so useful to us. Notice that Zovai has just been sitting there for many seconds--I know a single hit could knock her out, so I've been waiting for an opportunity to make use of her spells.

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When Divinegon does finally recover from charm, she quickly takes advantage of the deep Focus pool she's generated and uses it to set the nearest Dank Spore on fire. Finally, another Dank Spore is close to death--in all this time, we've only managed to take down a single one before.

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Divinegon manages to hurry away before getting dominated--again, presumably because of the Chill Fog spell affecting the eastern spores--and activates Soul Ignition on the southern Dank Spore. Unfortunately, she gets charmed yet again, and turns our blunderbuss against our party once more, though our paladins are thankfully  sturdier victims than Rius.

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Finally, Rius finishes off the second Dank Spore! But its cousin to the south charms Divinegon, who punishes Rius for her heroism.

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Even a single Dank Spore is capable of repeatedly charming our party members, and Rius takes another two blasts from Divinegon's blunderbuss before Frost finally lands the killing blow.

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Soon after, Divinegon recovers from Domination, and we use an Ectopsychic Echo to put down the southern spore.

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The other two spores are stuck in the east (and there's another southern one I haven't noticed), and I consider hurrying over to fight them, but it's simply too dangerous to do so without resting first, and since the spores are completely immobile, it makes conceptual sense to run away and rest.

 

This time, we have a safer strategy for the spores: send in Pallegina, let her get disabled, and then cure her with Mora Tai's Liberating Exhortation while the rest of the party nails the spore with ranged weapons. It goes down in seconds.

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We try the same thing against the last two spores, but when we send Rius to run behind the spores, she gets killed by a trap, canceling an Ectopsychic Echo that I thought would help us kill the spores.

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Still, we manage to bring down one of the spores with the help of Amplified Thrust, and while Zovai gets hit a second Amplified Thrust spell due to being confused, the last spore is prone due to a crit from Pallegina's arbalest.

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This was immensely frustrating and time-consuming, and it felt flat-out unfair the whole time because there was essentially nothing we could do to counter all those disablers once we were in combat. But it's finally over, and the spores are dead.

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Wow! That was a crazy fun read. I'm glad everyone survived.

 

(Everyone except the spores, that is)

 

Best,

 

A.

 

Btw, there are two spore types in that battle: dank spores and swamp spores. The neon-y ones are dank spores: they confuse. They aren't terribly dangerous. The strawberry-shortcake looking ones dominate. They're wicked. Their accuracy is in the 90s!

 

Btw II, those traps are vicious- until you disarm them and get them in your inventory that is- then they magically become useless. I'm unfond of that asymmetry .

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Arcadia, Moon-Godlike Wizard: Od Nua Level 2

 

After completing the Ondra'a Gift quests, we decided to reward ourselves with a xaurip hunt. Why, you ask? Why not: It's always a good time to kill xaurips. Always. This holiday season, when the whole extended fam is gathered together, remember this: if the conversation turns to Brexit or American politics -or whatever awful is happening in your country- just unleash some xaurips. Everyone will thank you for it.

 

We fought most of these battles using per-encounter abilities only. That was a questionable call. 

 

 

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Our slow progress meant that our tanks were exposed to repeated wurm blasts, and that left us chugging Potions of Infuse with Vital Essence (3 IIRC, we drink when we reach yellow). Camping gear is cheaper and more plentiful than booze. So, yeah. Here we see Pallegina up all night, indulging her drinking problem.

 

 

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But completing the level without resting was more satisfying. Choke points and spacing kept the party safe.

 

 

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By the time we got to that, like, McDonald's playground where the priests hangout (never a good place to be...) we were ready to cast. Free fire zone here. We dropped our beetles first, and then positioned Eder and Pallegina behind the beetles. They just chilled, waiting for line breakers.

 

 

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Buffing as our foes approach.

 

 

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Right side first.

 

 

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And to the left.

 

 

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Melee finish, under a refreshed Inspiring Radiance

 

 

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Yay!

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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@semiticgod: Close call here, glad you made it out alive. Spores can be frustrating if you aren't prepared for them. Once you know what you face, you can exploit the fact that they can't move by luring all sporelings out of their range to take them out first and enter combat again while under the influence of snowcaps (it takes mushrooms to counter mushrooms, apparently) and mabye a scroll of protection - if you have a priest, even more defensive options are available. Maxing out mechanics on one party member also grants the option of finding and disarming these traps during combat (with a high enough skill level, they can be spotted even while not in stealth mode).

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Arcadia, Moon-Godlike Wizard: Dyrford Sidequests

 

I've gotten in the habit of doing all the Dyrford Sidequests. They're fun, satisfying and safe. We started with Farmer's Plight.

 

Most of the Farmer's Plight battles weren't worthy of mention. I'll note, though, that the spider queen fight was slightly awkward, since our positioning allowed the spider queen to target us while we couldn't target her as easily. Fortunately, Consecrated Ground and Iconic Projections solved that problem.

 

 

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Following the spider queen battle, we took a detour to Caed Nua to fight off some Doemenels. Then it was back to the cave. Is it just me or does virtually everything in PoE seem to have an analog in either Baldur's Gate or Dragon Age? The Sanitarium, an asylum where you fight a battle involving your arch-nemesis, is Spellhold; the animancy hearing, a required, semi-pointless pow-wow with big-wigs is Landsmeet- you get the idea: everything is something to me. Korgrak is Madulf's short-tempered cousin.

 

We sent in the tanks and then took some buffs.

 

 

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We followed with Curse of Blackened Sight and Interdiction.

 

 

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Combusting Wounds + Concelhault's Corrosive Siphon + Iconic Projection did most of the work. I've really come to appreciate Iconic Projection in this run. It's just an annoyance when enemies use it. In the players hands, it can be highly effective. The best thing about it is the unlimited range. It casts fast, too. A pair of lightly armored priests can pump out a whole lot of them super-quick.

 

 

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Victory.

 

 

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We did Nest Egg next. And as an FYI, it's good to kill these people. They look scary, but they're pushovers, on the level with The Parable of Wael crew. Most of the party fights are pretty easy in PoE. That's one significant difference between PoE and BG. In BG, the party fights are toughies. In PoE, they're usually just there for flavor.

 

We have L4 priests spells now. That means Devotions for the Faithful is part of our buffing routine.

 

 

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It also means we can melt things with double Shining Beacons.

 

 

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Arcadia finished in melee while Alikae made things burn.

 

 

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Through Death's Gate is next, followed by Blood Legacy.

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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@semiticgod: Close call here, glad you made it out alive. Spores can be frustrating if you aren't prepared for them. Once you know what you face, you can exploit the fact that they can't move by luring all sporelings out of their range to take them out first and enter combat again while under the influence of snowcaps (it takes mushrooms to counter mushrooms, apparently) and mabye a scroll of protection - if you have a priest, even more defensive options are available. 

 

Items can be helpful, too. We lured out the sporelings and then had Eder solo the western dank spore wearing the Hermit Hat. Pallegina then took down the swamp spore wearing The Hand and Key. We went back to Eder again for the southern most dank spore. We skipped the dank/swamp pair on the east side of the room: you can stealth buy them and they're more trouble than they're worth.

 

Maxing out mechanics on one party member also grants the option of finding and disarming these traps during combat (with a high enough skill level, they can be spotted even while not in stealth mode).

 

Do you know what mech number you need to reveal those traps in particular outside of stealth? We tried to use Lilith's + Rite of Walking Shadows to disarm them under stealth pre combat. No go on that with a base stealth score of 1. It would be great to be able to see them and disarm them in combat.

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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I don't know the exact score needed, sadly. My mechanics person always puts all their points in mechanics except 4 in athletics and 1 in survival, and I'm usually a bit higher level than other people in this thread when doing Through Death's Gate, so it makes sense that not everyone will spot them in time - but one could use the Caed Nua resting bonus (Artificer's Hall I believe) and/or a rite of hidden wonders scroll (seems perfect for a situation like this - I think this one's the only important encounter where traps and combat are interlocked, so it would certainly be worth it, and I usually find at least one at this point in the game) to counter that - I generally don't have these active during this quest. My believe is that Jeanne had mechanics 10 when doing Though Death's Gate in my current run - it's not impossible that it might've been 11, but I doubt it.

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What do you guys think about the prospects of a poverty run? It's not possible to beat the game completely without any items whatsoever, but I think if you tweaked the rules to just forbid inventory items, it would be more doable:

 

1. No items equipped except for grimoires, pets and unenchanted clothing; no items in inventory; no items in stash aside from quest items

2. Copper can be spent to buy custom characters, resolve quests, and rest at inns

3. You can buy and use Camping Supplies

 

That way, wizards would still be playable, certain quests could still be completed, and resting would still be possible without unreasonable restrictions (you could forbid buying Camping Supplies, but that would just mean more backtracking to rest at inns; it wouldn't impact actual difficulty). The game would move very fast if you didn't have to manage your inventory.

 

But monks seem kind of fragile, Novice's Suffering is much worse than normal weapons, and missing out on expendables and equipped items would make the team a lot easier to kill. Path of the Damned seems like too much for a poverty run in these terms. It looks like a good team would just be priests with Novice's Suffering, wizards with Concelhaut's Parasitic Quarterstaff, and druids with shapeshifting and Firebrand.

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Regarding poverty runs: Harpagonis, who is also active on the Beamdog forums (playing various LoB challenges, I believe) has done a PotD poverty run with a solo monk - it was a relatively popular thread (he has also done a run where he never leveled past level one), but I just don't seem to be able to find it again. What I can still find is the build he might have used:

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/84589-class-build-the-ascetic-no-items-solo-monk-guide/

Edited by Enuhal
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