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For a moment there, I thought you were going to fight Raedric right out of Gilded Vale ;) Congratulations on finding the gloves of manipulation - it's been a couple of runs since I've even seen these.

 

Are you going to try it before doing Caed Nua this time around? Would love to see that being attempted (don't feel pressured into doing something risky, though).

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I do have to take a little bit of my criticism of Kiara back, as you will see in the upcoming report she and her unlimited per encounter abilities came in clutch saving me from some fights gone sour. I've also tried playing her more focussed as kind of a baby sitter of dangerous enemies. Being able to permenatly lock down for example 2 Battery Sirens with paralyzes while doing damage with stormcaller is actually quite worth it. I think I was taking a wrong approach with her in trying to focus down dangerous targets by debuffing and damaging them. But controlling the danger enemies while helping reduce the frontline, which reduces the risk of walkby's on our tanks is actually quite nice.

 

As to melee vs ranged, I might try a melee Cipher in another run although I am really missing my barbarian from last run so might have to bring her back.

 

Besides that I have to say that a druid and priest combo backline of casters might be a little too overpowered for me even, the white forge battle for example was trivialized by the use of avenging storm + beacon. This killed the spirits before they even got an action off while keeping the constructs stunned as well. I think we took maybe 40 or 50 damage total during this entire fight.

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Mithlean and Mithras - Paths, WM1

 

This will be a big update and I've made notes while playing this time so hopefully a little more concise.

 

We start off in the Paths wanting to get at least to level 4 to get persistence. We left it off at the Zolla fight since I dreaded this but it turned out to be a complete walk in the park using a combination you will see a lot more later. Tanks up front, chill fog infront of them and Mirrah and Dighan right behind the tanks casting one of the storm spells and a beacon for damage. In the meantime Kiara controlls the important targets (druids in this case) while Aloth goes to town with minor blights. Below a screenshot of the tactic along with a GIANT world maw cast by Mirrah, I also love this spell amazing damage and whatever survives is usually prone for 5 to 10 seconds.

 

 

shLZpkJ.png?1

v7vdJXn.png?1

 

 

 

We cleared until the Drake which went down using the same tactic. I was however starting to get a little annoyed since Mithras kept running out of health and causing us to rest every two fights. So i decided to make some changes for him which helped a lot. Then we decided we wanted to go a little more chilly so we went to White March. The ogres were quite easy again with the same tactic as above. A little bit more messy though because those cannoneers can hurt.

 

 

 

fD4uOyH.png?1

 

 

 

I cleared most of the forest as well but the Lagufaeth were too annoying without any decent paralyze resistance, so I decided I need to get some more levels so my priest gets the protection spell. Great xp to be found doing the last bounty I had access to so we went for the Xaurip bounty, I can never remember his name. We pulled them back to the bridge in Valewood and that worked out amazingly using our now standard tactic. I cannot believe I ever played without a druid, these storm spells are just so insane.

 

 

 

J9y4fqW.png?1

 

 

 

We also did the Yenwood battle buying the mercenaries since we had over 40k gold anyway. This made it 100% trivial and I didn't even cast many spells just clicking targets I wanted to die. This gave us some more levels but not yet paralyze immunity, what we did collect along the way however were 4 different rings with the supress affliction use per rest. This game me more then enough confidence to at least fight the Lagufaeth that you need for the battery (not doing the hotsprings yet). So we went back to the ogre cave and went in the long way to avoid killing ogres and striking a deal with the Matron. We then cleared the cave for the finding ore quest, cleared the caravan and the bounty which was very easy. Finally we grabbed stormcaller for Kiara and moved to Galvino's lab which we breezed through.... Until...

 

I got complacent, as you can see in this paragraph I'm talking about 30-60 minutes of doing things that were really easy. So we charged headlong into the biggest group of constructs in the lab, completly forgetting those had 4 or 5 of those self destruct ones. Which promptly blew up and promptly downed Mithlean, Dighan and Mirrah about halfway into the fight. I just stared at the screen paused for a bit thinking like.... well what character is next but I wasn't giving up yet of course. We had five constructs left so we got to work, Mithras tanking, Aloth doing the damage and Kiara switching between controlling the ranged constructs and using Pain Block on Mithras to keep him alive.

 

 

 

PziNmPZ.png?1

 

 

 

As you can see though Mithras his health is real low, the downside of a chanter tank I'm noticing. He goes down as well with three constructs left against my two most squishy guys. Now Kiara has enough damage with stormcaller to be able to control two of them at a time barring any catastrophic misses on the paralyze. And luckily Aloths Veils were still available and he still has some defensive buffs and a staff summon or 2. So with my wizard tank and Cipher crowd controller we managed to save ourselves from our complacency.

 

 

 

ScrPW2c.png?1

 

 

 

As soon as the rest of the party stood up they congratulated Kiara, Aloth had done his fair share too but Kiara had noticed that the party was beginning to have second thoughts about her presence and she even saw them talking to a burly guy at the inn yesterday with the conversation quickly dying down when she joined the table. Mithlean and Mithras realized they had undervalued Kiara in their past adventures and they vowed to not make a mistake like this again.

 

So the party headed off to the battery, now as you guys most likely know the battery defenders are a bloody joke. So they melted to the usual tactic and I wont mention much more about them. The spirits however are a different case, especially the ambush in the foundry which started out with our usual tactic and went fine. However then Mithlean decided she was done with it and charged into the middle of the spirits after Mithras ran out of health. This meant our frontline was gone some of the spirits rushed Aloth and Kiara who were now free game and went down quickly as well. This left just Mithlean, Dighan and Mirrah to finish up. Which was not bad they had plenty of healing to not be at risk, but these battery sirens have a lot of defences so it took a looooong time to whittle the last three down. As you can see though I messed up the screenshot gain overlapping it. This was even worse on the other screenshots of this fight which sucks because I made about 5 or 6 since I knew it was going to be a though fight.

 

 

 

qNn9r8l.png?1

 

 

 

The big fight at the end was a giant let down for the group. They were quite tense leading up to it and got into their positions, tanks on the outside with summons to block the constructs and the rest inside to quickly overwhelm the spirits.

 

 

 

g4hRrhO.png?1

 

 

 

However when the fight started a quick Avenging and Returning Storm and some beacons made sure the fight lasted a short time and most of the enemies were stunned for the entire duration not even getting a cast or attack off. Just look at those stuns.

 

 

 

MuPJheO.png?1

 

 

 

The fight was over and our team got some well deserved durgan upgrades. I'll post a status of the crew next time since I'm kind of typed out at the moment. I'll also try to make sure I don't mess up half the screenshots again.

 

 

 

MNNpAgm.png

 

 

Edited by FNGRenegade
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I really need to find a way to better manage my screenshots. I keep pasting them in the same paint instance so its easier to save but sometimes it offsets it a bit for reasons I'm unable to determine so you can see every screenshot from a certain point as the left side of the Galvino's screenshot behind it. some of the other ambush fight ones were even worse. Any tips on how to manage screenshots and notes during these types of runs? Because I'm finding it takes me a lot of time to manage which is not bad I like making the posts but fiddling with screenshots for 15 minutes every time could be better.

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I do have to take a little bit of my criticism of Kiara back, as you will see in the upcoming report she and her unlimited per encounter abilities came in clutch saving me from some fights gone sour. I've also tried playing her more focussed as kind of a baby sitter of dangerous enemies. Being able to permenatly lock down for example 2 Battery Sirens with paralyzes while doing damage with stormcaller is actually quite worth it. I think I was taking a wrong approach with her in trying to focus down dangerous targets by debuffing and damaging them. But controlling the danger enemies while helping reduce the frontline, which reduces the risk of walkby's on our tanks is actually quite nice.

 

 

I find it interesting that you have struggled to make effective use of your cipher because our approaches are similar: a two tank deflection wall, with a free fire kill zone in front, and multiple spell bombers in back. 

 

Resting with moderate frequency (ie- never leaving an area to rest or proffer camping equipment, but camping in dungeons and using free camping gear), I found that I could concentrate spells in the potentially challenging battles and still cruise through the others. In the concentrated spell dump fights the cipher couldn't keep up, the end result being that the cipher was only relevant in the smaller fights, which were fights that we could have won with ease anyways.

 

I, too, have come to think that the cipher's best roles in a caster heavy party are: 1) to reduce miscalculation risk in minor fights; 2) to disable dangerous foes, enabling the casters to do their work. Those are, I agree, useful contributions. The question become whether those skills should reside in one of the two tanks or one of the four back line spots. I'm leaning toward the former answer: the opportunity cost of crowding out a fourth caster is too high, but adding cipher skills to a tank could be a net gain. If cipher skills weren't so slow -and thus susceptible to disruption, especially in heavy armor- I'd be pretty enthusiastic about that approach. At present, I remain skeptical, but I do intend to try a Potion of Spirit Shield chugging cipher tank semi-soon.

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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I find it interesting that you have struggled to make effective use of your cipher because our approaches are similar: a two tank deflection wall, with a free fire kill zone in front, and multiple spell bombers in back. 

 

Resting with moderate frequency (ie- never leaving an area to rest or proffer camping equipment, but camping in dungeons and using free camping gear), I found that I could concentrate spells in the potentially challenging battles and still cruise through the others. In the concentrated spell dump fights the cipher couldn't keep up, the end result being that the cipher was only relevant in the smaller fights, which were fights that we could have won with ease anyways.

 

I, too, have come to think that the cipher's best roles in a caster heavy party are: 1) to reduce miscalculation risk in minor fights; 2) to disable dangerous foes, enabling the casters to do their work. Those are, I agree, useful contributions. The question become whether those skills should reside in one of the two tanks or one of the four back line spots. I'm leaning toward the former answer: the opportunity cost of crowding out a fourth caster is too high, but adding cipher skills to a tank could be a next gain. If cipher skills weren't so slow -and thus susceptible to disruption, especially in heavy armor- I'd be pretty enthusiastic about that approach. At present, I remain skeptical, but I do intend to try a Potion of Spirit Shield chugging cipher tank semi-soon.

 

Best,

 

A.

 

 

I indeed got the feeling our approach was very similar in setting up a kill box using the environment and tanks and then blasting away. In my previous party this is where my high int barbarian came in great and a 3rd member of the wall and someone who could put out disgusting numbers of AoE damage with Carnage. I'm also afraid doing more content now that I might have left some area's of the game for too late. I'm not running through the act 2 main quest and I am barely doing anything but auto attacking everything down. I'm afraid that level 10 pushing on level 11 is way to high for this content. I think you guys are finishing up your game by now is it not?

Edited by FNGRenegade
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 I'm also afraid doing more content now that I might have left some area's of the game for too late. I'm not running through the act 2 main quest and I am barely doing anything but auto attacking everything down. I'm afraid that level 10 pushing on level 11 is way to high for this content. I think you guys are finishing up your game by now is it not?

 

 

 

You're over-leveled for Act II, yes. That's okay though. If it was an accident then, you have our sympathies; if it was intended, you have our support for your choices.

 

You should get the option to scale up content for Act III. I'd recommend that. If you continue side questing (and maybe even if you don't) you'll get the option again when you jump into the pit on the Burial Isle. I'd recommend that, too.

 

10/11 is my personal target range for non-upscaled PotD Thaos. I'd invite Enuhal and Jaheiras Witness to comment on upscaled Thaos.

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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I indeed got the feeling our approach was very similar in setting up a kill box using the environment and tanks and then blasting away.

 

Yuppers. That's it!

 In my previous party this is where my high int barbarian came in great and a 3rd member of the wall and someone who could put out disgusting numbers of AoE damage with Carnage.

 

That makes sense to me. After seeing Enuhal's barbarian in action I considered doing the same. Out of curiousity which casters did you use in your 2 tank/1 off tank/3 caster party?

 

Best,

 

A.

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For a moment there, I thought you were going to fight Raedric right out of Gilded Vale ;) Congratulations on finding the gloves of manipulation - it's been a couple of runs since I've even seen these.

 

 

 

That wasn't an accident. Like Jaherias Witness, I'm unfond of loot table use, but I now know something I can't unknow.

 

 

With a non-offset table, Black Hound on Majprima 20, Valewood on Majprima 20 and Raedric Hold on Fonprima 2 gets you Rymgrand's Mantle + Torc of the Falcon Eyes + Ring of Searing Flames + Gloves of Manipulation, which is the best early game random loot haul, in my opinion.

 

 

Are you going to try it before doing Caed Nua this time around? Would love to see that being attempted (don't feel pressured into doing something risky, though).

 

 

Not with this crew. When I do it I'd prefer not to use the chokepoint. This crew doesn't have the firepower to make that happen- at least not safely.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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You're over-leveled for Act II, yes. That's okay though. If it was an accident then, you have our sympathies; if it was intended, you have our support for your choices.

 

 

You should get the option to scale up content for Act III. I'd recommend that. If you continue side questing (and maybe even if you don't) you'll get the option again when you jump into the pit on the Burial Isle. I'd recommend that, too.

 

10/11 is my personal target range for non-upscaled PotD Thaos. I'd invite Enuhal and Jaheiras Witness to comment on upscaled Thaos.

 

It was unintended indeed, is this scaling an option you get prompted for? Or is this something i'd have to set in the options cause I'm definitely interested. Never gotten this far though so anything beyond getting to act 3 will be blind.

 

 

That makes sense to me. After seeing Enuhal's barbarian in action I considered doing the same. Out of curiousity which casters did you use in your 2 tank/1 off tank/3 caster party

A.

 

 

I used Aloth, a hireling priest and a ranger.

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a hireling priest

 

 

Does anyone like Durance?  =]

 

 

Not even a little, and to answer my own question as soon as I enter elmshore I got a popup so I have scaled it up.

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I enter elmshore I got a popup so I have scaled it up.

 

 

 

Cool, cool! Looking forward to your upcoming posts. I've never gotten the chance to upscale Act III.

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That wasn't an accident. Like Jaherias Witness, I'm unfond of loot table use, but I now know something I can't unknow.

 

 

 

You can't unknow it, but you can install IE mod and select the loot shuffler option. Now you need never worry about loot tables again :).

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Alyssa, Wood Elf Cipher: Entry 3- Minor Quests in and Around Guilded Vale, Part II

 

Down, down, down we go, into the Eothasian temple.

 

On the first floor most of our enemies were killed by Alora, one by one, or by Alyssa and Alora working as a team. I'll take a moment to illustrate a teamwork kill. 

 

Opening fine arbalest shot by Alora.

 

 

q1Fy37N.jpg

 

 

Eyestrike by Alyssa.

 

 

MdcnX1X.jpg

 

 

Fine hunting bow shot by Alyssa.

 

 

2C19j5j.jpg

 

 

We used our per rest abilities in two first floor encounters: the skuldrs by the fine sword and the large spider group. In these fights Aloth and our new recruit Durance did the heavy lifting, although Alora contributed a solid opening shot, and Alyssa added some disablers.

 

Alora's opening 64.

 

 

Al0KfLm.jpg

 

 

Durance tossed us an Armor of Faith before moving on to Iconic Projection. Alora and Aloth got to work immediately with Combusting Wounds + Concelhault's Corrosive Siphon. With naught but a baby skuldr in contact with Eder, Alyssa chose to reserve her Focus and build more.

 

 

8ZaoXSv.jpg

 

 

Now that Eder is facing an adult skuldr, and has moved forward to a position where he is at risk of being flanked, Alyssa chips in with a Mental Binding.

 

 

HeQccBI.jpg

 

 

We prevail without injury, and with enough spells remaining to finish the first floor.

 

 

YEt9t9X.jpg

 

 

Alora, Combusting Wounds; Alyssa, Eyestrike; Durance, Blessing; Aloth, Arcane Assault; Eder, stand around looking tough

 

 

VULG9hu.jpg

 

 

Durance added an Armor of Faith later, after Blessing, which was the right call, considering the details. With Eder in contact with one disabled spider, it made more sense to amplify the efficacy of our opening spells, rather than worry about Eder's DR. We could work Armor of Faith in later, when Alora was ready to engage and the Eyestrike was in danger of wearing off. We lost very little endurance here, but Alora has by now suffered some cumulative health damage from poison, on account of soloing spiders earlier.

 

 

G36fvVP.jpg

 

 

Onto L2. We contemplated letting Alora solo this level, but since her stealth score, as a merchant, is 5, significantly lower than that enjoyed by my successful solo drifter, Arista, we decided that was an unnecessary risk. Instead, we recruited Kana and handled this as a team. Our party did well, taking less damage than previous groups, despite our comparative weakness.

 

Before we move on to the area's focal encounter, let's talk about traps again.

 

Now, I know, I know: traps are under-powered. But go slow. Consider this cheapy, for example:

 

 

HbyseOW.jpg

 

 

This little ditty, a Poison Dart Trap, imposes a -20 to both Will and Fortitude. That could substantially increase the efficacy of a follow up disabler. I'm coming around to the view that traps are not, as many would assert, useless. You just need to have a plan to leverage them and that plan must mind the minutiae. The circumstances here aren't conducive to trap use, because it's hard to pull the exact enemy that you want to target, but we'll give it a try.

 

 

ByGTDp7.jpg

 

 

Here they come. The phantom, already Blinded, has a -20 to Deflection on top of Alora's trap accuracy adjustment. That -15 on the Poison Dart Trap is no longer a concern. Our trap has an excellent chance of hitting.

 

 

qCSZmnF.jpg

 

 

Ok. We got the lesser ooze instead: that's a bummer.

 

 

bBlTv4M.jpg

 

 

As I said, this is a tough encounter for trap deployment. We'll get it, though. We'll make effective use of traps before long.

 

Let's get back to the heart of the action. Alora, Combusting Wounds; Aloth; Arcane Veil->Concelhault's Corrosive Siphon->Arcane Assault; Durance, Armor of Faith->Inspiring Radiance (we respected Durance between L1 and L2)->Iconic Projection->Consecrated Ground. Note that the non-standard sequencing of Durance's spells was once again deliberate. Details matter and variations on theme can make sense. We had opportunities to cast before the enemy had a chance to land effective attacks, so prioritizing accuracy over a healing buff made sense.

 

 

kWmo8vx.jpg

 

 

Alora adds a Fan of Flames, via scroll, but it is Durance's Iconic Projection -which had been targeted to bounce off the nearby wall repeatedly- that does the heavy lifting. We're crushing this. Alyssa, sadly, can't keep up.

 

 

wVs47mm.jpg

 

 

We send in The Fabulous Mr. Daret for the finish. We prevail without injury. Fun stuff!

 

 

g8PfhCb.jpg

 

 

Best,

 

 

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Alyssa, Wood Elf Cipher: Entry 4- Caed Nua

 

Alyssa and her merry band of misfits have reclaimed Caed Nua. They are currently en route to Defiance Bay. And while Alyssa still struggles for relevance in all out barrage fights, she made a significant (albeit superfluous) contribution in the fight against Maerwald.

 

After dispatching the will-o-wisp, and harvesting some primal flame, we rested in the interest of taking our +10 v Spirits. We then claimed our corner in preparation for the Main Hall battle.

 

Alora, Durance and Alyssa are in the backline; Eder, Aloth and Kana the front. We opened with Durance, Armor of Faith->Inspiring Radiance; Aloth, Wizard Double->Arcane Veil->Eldritch Aim. The rest of our team held position.

 

 

h0FljSX.jpg

 

 

Ok. They're here. Show time: Aloth, Chill Fog; Alora, Combusting Wounds; Durance, Iconic Projection. This won't last long.

 

 

kwgqLrG.jpg

 

 

A follow up Concelhaut's quickly got us into cleanup phase. Aloth finishes with an Arcane Assault, seeking to conserve spells for the spiders.

 

 

2Ysalu0.jpg

 

 

By the third wave of spiders, Alyssa and Kana began to take the lead (In retrospect, we probably should have pulled back for a White Worms cast, just for kicks). At this stage of the adventure, Alyssa and Kana offer staying power, in not firepower. The trouble is that we'd win these fights without them.

 

 

a1RuPru.jpg

 

 

 

We used our second set of camping gear just before the Maerwald fight. Lacking golden celery, we proceeded without Bulwarks potions. Happily, that had little effect, since Maerwald never landed a spell.

 

Maewald took an unusually long time to get through the door, granting us time to buff together, and then scatter. Eder prepares to intercept.

 

 

ZUlOeLg.jpg

 

 

Maerwald's choice of Fan of Flames causes us to scatter further still. Eder, with his Sword and Shield Style enhanced Reflex, shrugged off the assault.

 

 

QGcfDJr.jpg

 

 

Time for the finish. Kana, Reny Daret's; Aloth, Minor Missiles; Durance, Iconic Projection; Alyssa, Mental Binding.

 

 

fnHG5so.jpg

 

 

Alora gets the kill.

 

 

F6WnzXV.jpg

 

 

We're off to the Goose and Hound!

 

Best,

 

A.

 

PS: Alyssa is, I believe, in need of a respec. Her cipher powers are fine, in and of themselves, but they don't really fit our game plan. The problem is that I don't see many alternatives that would work better. Her powers are Whispers of Treason, Eyestrike, and Mindwave at L1; Amplified Thrust, Mental Binding, and Psychovampiric Shield at L2. Whispers of Treason just slows down our kill rate, by protecting one enemy from party friendly AoE spells; Eyestrike is often redundant on account of Chill Fog and Curse of Blackened Sight; Mind Wave is marginally helpful, since it lowers Deflection and Reflex, increasing damage in the kill zone, but the duration is short. Mental Binding will prove itself, I'm sure, although it hasn't really been helpful yet; Ampilified Thurst is ok, I guess, but the inability to apply it over the enemy front line limits its use (Whispers of Treason offers a way around that, I suppose, but we usually don't want friendlies in the kill zone); Psychovampiric Shield seems like a must have, even if we haven't cast it yet. The only avenue for improvement that I see is to swap out Amplified Thrust for Phantom Foes (for the long duration -10s to Reflex and Deflection in the kill zone and the synergy with Alyssa's Survival points). I'm open to other suggestions.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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I do have to say Mental Binding has been the most used ability the past few hours. Not just for crowd control but it's also a reliable way to lower an enemy's defenses if they need to be focused down. If not for the fact that Pact Leader and Amplified Wave are even more powerful I'd still call it my most used ability across all characters.

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Alyssa, Wood Elf Cipher: Party Status Update

 

Now seems like a good time for a party status update. I'm going to try a pictorial one, since it saves time.

 

Eder

 

 

c3fbQIi.jpg

3HQ3L1d.jpg

 

 

Kana

 

 

IVfIvoy.jpg

zYJ7pRO.jpg

 

 

Alora

 

 

r8ZfDzU.jpg

T8Mckqj.jpg

 

 

Durance

 

 

bGtaYgJ.jpg

6CWrkHV.jpg

 

 

Alyssa

 

 

CJQRvsG.jpg

DokXkUn.jpg

 

 

Aloth

 

 

rI8z3sb.jpg

viPaZSh.jpg

 

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I do have to say Mental Binding has been the most used ability the past few hours. Not just for crowd control but it's also a reliable way to lower an enemy's defenses if they need to be focused down

Yeah. Mental binding is my fav, too. We haven't really needed it yet, but it's obviously a great tool.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Regarding upscaled Thaos: He has, of course, better stats/defenses etc. and a bunch of new high level abilities, but the only one I distinctly remember is Symbol of Woedica, which is propably a variant of Symbol of Magran (though I'm not entirely sure about that). I would expect him to have a couple of other of the level 13/level 15 priest spells. Everytime I've faced him upscaled, my entire party has been level 16, at which point he isn't too much of a threat - not sure if he would be challenging to a level 13/14 party, but it's certainly possible. I don't think that much of a difference in strategy is required to take him down compared to the non-upscaled version.

 

When it comes to my own cipher experiences: Their physical damage is already great, they don't need as much attention as vancian spellcasters do (I'm pretty sure I don't pause quite as much as some other players here) and they offer a variety of extremely efficient crowd control. Two powers in particular are my primary reason to take a cipher along: Mental binding, which is great throughout the game (it gets even stronger in some very late game situations, such as upcaled White March II), especially once you have enough starting focus to open with it before having to attack or once you get enough focus with 1-2 attacks to cast 2-3 mental bindings in a row before having to attack again, leaving multiple enemies paralyzed if needed.

The other one is, of course, amplified wave, which used to be one of the most broken abilities in the entire game before getting nerfed, and it's still incredibly powerful, taking down entire groups of enemies by itself. Basically, it's a party-friendly, long-lasting AoE prone effect that also deals a bunch of crush damage. Once you get access to it, casting it is the only thing you need to do besides attacking in the majority of battles you will encounter, and it has next to no casting time. It does take 60 focus, but by this point, one attack with a warbow will usually get you there, and you usually never need to cast it a second time anyway. Before the nerf, it would basically take out the entire screen, but given enough intelligence on your cipher and good positioning on your tank it still usually hits the entire enemy force. It's great offensively or defensively. It's also great against basically anything except for a few boss battles, but for these, you can simply use mental binding instead.

 

Of course, amplified wave, being a level 6 power, is more valuable if you do a completionist playthrough, as you'll get much more use out of it. Later on, there's also the extremely powerful defensive mindweb, which can make everyone in your party as tanky as your primary tank, the very useful time parasite, which drains attack speed and will allow your cipher to easily get to zero recovery, and reaping knives, which essentially results in infinite focus if you have a melee damage dealer in your party (this melee damage dealer will now also wield weapons which deal raw damage, so that's nice). If you have the time to set up your cipher (which only works in longer battles, but does go very fast once you've set up reaping knives), you will get a zero-recovery damage dealer who can disable hordes of enemies basically forever while making your party as invulnerable as your best tank - that is some serious potential. Some of the other classes' super late game abilities are honestly a bit underwhelming (a lot of them, actually), but that's certainly not true for ciphers (I would argue that they profit the most from getting to level 15 out of all the classes, though paladins and rangers might have a better level 13).

Edited by Enuhal
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That's helpful, Enuhal. Thanks.

 

I do look forward to experimenting with high level cipher abilities.

 

And to be clear, my comments on the class were restricted to a specific set of circumstances: in the early game, in a caster heavy party, absent severe rest restrictions and with frequent auto-pauses. In that context, ciphers can find themselves at a comparative disadvantage, relative to peers. They can be effective, nonetheless.

 

Best,

 

A.

 

 

Btw, Alyssa is holding her own. Priest don't get credit for damage dealt with Iconic Projection. Setting that complication aside, Alyssa is the party's damage leader. She has also taken little damage herself. Her crew is knockout free, currently at Level 6. She's doing well.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Mithlean and Mithras - Act II and Act III

 

We cleared Cliaban Rilag, not really any threaths here just walked through with auto attacks and the occasional storm from Mirrah or Amplified Wave from Kiara.

 

 

 

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Afterwards we cleared up the rest of act II which by now felt more like a chore them some actual gameplay so there is not much I can say about this then next time I will be finishing this before starting WM1 in earnest (although I might pick up a companion or two there quickly). Afterwards we took your advice and scaled up act three to immediatly land us in a huge fight with the 4th bounty of the first 4. This guy was packing 3 Ogre druids and was a healer himself so took a bit to take down and the fight was a good indication of what would come with the upscaling. However he still went down relatively easy once I know I needed to take him serious. So the tank wall, Avening Storm and Amplified Wave (omg this ability is disgusting) took them down in relative ease.

 

 

 

aGyNr0j.png

 

 

 

We turned it in and decided to do some more bounties since we were very close to level 11. This one was even easier, Aloth started us off with a slicken from stealth which meant we had plenty of time to setup and Kiara got off a HUGE Packleader which charmed and dominated half the field (3 hits 1 graze as you see below) to our cause.

 

 

 

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Followed some big fights in the first area with a lot of primordials and andara's which were quite challenging untijl we found our perfect opening. A volley of arquebusses from stealth while Mirrah drops a Tanglefoot between and Aloth a Chill fog. Then by the time they reach us Kiara drops an Amplified Wave and when they get up from that the group is already halved.

 

 

 

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Of course when we got through all the talking in Elm Wood we knew what we needed to do and that was try on the sky dragon! The fight started off really smooth and I pointed the dragon away from the team. I first focussed the adds down so that we were alone with the beast.

 

 

 

btxXZK0.png

 

 

 

I was having real trouble making a dent though, over 130 in most defences (the screenshot it's stunned) with fort even going near 150 and my accuracy didn't get much higher then 85 on most characters. That's when i hovered over the accuracy.... Oh wait Terrified -20 lets do something about that. Suddenly I was making a dent with Kiara, Aloth and the tanks however Mirrah and Dighan were barely hitting with their spells getting % on screen sub 10%. Thats when i found out the cone for the breath is pretty much 180 degrees and half my party still got hit. So we repositioned and continued with Aloth being the real hero with all his buffs he reached 128 accuracy which with marking weapons and coordinating attacks got him up to 140+. Finally the dragon fell.

 

 

 

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I was kind of tired at this point and I wanted to reach Thaos ASAP so that I wouldn't over level that much more, it was getting late so I rushed through the rest of the act.

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Mithlean and Mithras - Thaos

 

So lets first look at the team, this is fully buffed I forgot these so I went back to the auto save which means right as the fight starts for Trail of Iron:

 

Mithlean - Level 12 Paladin

 

 

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Mithras - Level 12 Chanter

 

 

IGWDuDB.png

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Dighan - Level 12 Priest

 

 

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Mirrah - Level 12 Druid

 

 

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Aloth - Level 12 Wizard

 

 

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Kiara - Level 12 Cipher

 

 

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As you can see some people aren't wearing helmets or even boots. That because at a certain point I always make the mistake of evaluating new loot vs what people already use. I think oh this helmet isn't that great and drop it into the stash to later sell it, completely forgetting someone else might have use of it. It's a habit I'll need to break.

 

Anyway we started off by grabbing a statue with Mithlean and Mithras while dropping some fodder around Thaos (where would I have learned that move?).

 

 

 

HKlUVby.png

 

 

 

We set up our buffs and got to work on the Headsman (since most of the dps spawned closest to him) and quickly got quite overhelmed with the amount of area damage coming in. We quickly lost Dighan and Aloth and in my wisdom I didn't have any way of reviving fallen teammates other then the chanter chant which requires 5 phrases. So we regrouped, dropped a moonwell and topped everyone up and in the meantime killed the Headsman.

 

 

qeMrvIS.png

 

 

 

Finally Mithras was done chanting and could revive our other 2 team members after which this was a walk in the park. Upscaled Thaos did have some more tricks up his sleeve compared to the runs that I saw described here earlier but it's just a few higher level spells. The AoE damage caught us off guard at the start of the fight or this would have gone down without knock outs. After the statues were down Thaos was a joke.

 

 

 

J0tzIM4.png

 

 

 

Actually even with the statues up Thaos was stunned pretty much half the fight thanks to Avenging and Relentless Storms. It's just the opening volley that was very very painfull. And.... Fin

 

 

 

eT69UUp.png

 

 

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