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The Pillars of Eternity No Reload Challenge


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Alena, Meadow Folk Priest of Wael (Solo)- Entry 9: Assorted Killings

Ok! I just went through my screenshots. I'm positively daunted by the prospect on posting on every single battle in that folder so I'm going to take a little shortcut.

After opening the White Forge Alena competed most, if not all, of the White March sidequests. She then returned to the Dyrwood and finished all of the Warden's Lodge bounties, followed by Cali and the Skydragon. Instead of covering each fight in detail, I'm going to cover one bounty and the sky dragon fight. I'll also share a Cali screenshot because I think it's pretty.

In Alena's PotD run I'll make a point of keeping posts current with progress. I won't let myself become fall behind and become overwhelmed. For now, though, we are where we are: I want to resume playing and I don't want to spend hours posting old battles before I do. K? Great. Thanks. Sorry!

Let's cover that bounty.

I chose Daroth Grimault for this because it's the fight that best illustrates Alena's approach. Plus, the screenshots look cool, especially the last one.

As Julius noted, I'm fond of food. I'm becoming fond of drugs, too. Blacsonn sees regular use. Svef makes the rotation pre-DAoM. Others are used as needed for resistances. In this case we took blacsonn and snowcap. Between the two we lost 2 dex points and 2 per points in exchange for +40 against charm. With that stacked a top the Rainment of Wael's Eyes bonus we would have been pretty safe, even if litany lapsed.

Alena opened with shades and then started buffing.

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The shades fell before Alena was ready to fight, but Pillars of Faith bought her additional time.

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We're ready now. Time to make it rain.

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If you're thinking: "Dude! You were so over-levelled for that!" The answer is yes, absolutely. It was fun nonetheless.

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Fun for Alena, that is: Daroth disagrees. Veteran's Recovery took care of DAoM damage and grazes, keeping Alena at full endurance throughout the fray.

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Daroth falls. I think this screenshot is cool.

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Speaking of cool screenshots: Here's Alena full buffed with Cali proned by pillars. You can guess what happens next, right?

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The sky dragon fight was very similar to the Daroth encounter. First the shades.

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Then the buffs. Check the screenshot for the list.

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Next, Scroll of Paralysis.

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Followed by a whole lot of hurt.

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Fin!

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That was my cleanest dragon fight yet, solo or with a party. Yes, we were over leveled, but it was still satisfying. I've never killed a dragon in a solo no reload before. First are always cool!

So that's that: Were finally ready for White March II!

Best,

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Alena, Meadow Folk Priest of Wael (Solo)- FINAL UPDATE

Sad news, everyone: Alena has fallen.

It happened near the end of White March II, just before the kraken.

Eyeless Ray of Fire is a significant threat to solo characters. For most of White March II Alena managed that risk well, using Second Chance->Shadowing Beyond (Nightshroud)->disengage + rest. By the last fight before the kraken, however, I had become over-casual. Eager to finish the quest, I attempted to heal Alena after her Second Chance had fired, rather than disengaging and resting. That proved to be a fatal mistake. Alena was sent prone by an Eyeless Kick and then hit with a second Eyeless Ray of Fire. This was the scene just before the prone took effect.

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Sad day  😢

I'm not sure what's next. I'm leaning toward running another priest, this time on PotD, but I'm also tempted to run try a different character. I'll let you know when I decide. Thanks to everyone who followed Alena's run!

Best,

A.

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Trying to crosspost this one from the Beamdog Forums:

 

Introducing: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD

Hello everyone

Inspired by recent activity in this thread, I've decided to once again play some PoE. Last time around, I completed two party-based PotD no-reload runs, making use of all of the classes in the game. As I don't enjoy solo play all that much, there has to be some kind of additional challenge in order to make things interesting again. I've decided to have a go at a staple when it comes to my BG runs - a randomly generated party challenge. Playing on PotD with no maim on death, this involves every single character being entirely randomized, with me having no input at all into the character creation process. Since PoE doesn't have an option to randomize stats, I had to create an excel sheet in order to achieve this.

For the prologue, I obviously only had access to my watcher. The dice gifted me with a pale elf wizard called Iacchus:

Spoiler

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If dexterity and constitution were switched, this would actually be an excellent character. As it is, the low dexterity is going to hurt a bit, but I think this watcher is still going to be quite capable, as wizards are generally one of the most powerful classes in the game. I also got lucky with the inital spell selection: Chill Fog, Parasitic Staff, Fan of Flames and Wizard's Double. Would've loved to switch the last one out for Eldritch Aim or Slicken, but the others are all great. Iacchus is a drifter, so I thought about making him the mechanics guy right away, but decided to save the level 2 skillpoints to check out what the remaining party members would be able to bring to the table.

Starting off, I sold everything I could to Heodan (the money is needed to recruit 5 party members right away) and equipped Calisca with a one-handed weapon for extra accuracy. Iacchus used his lore to save Heodan, and a flanking + knockdown + blinding strike + arcane assault combo was enough to quickly take down the glanfathan leader:

Spoiler

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Time to finish things up with a Fan of Flames:

Spoiler

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I fought my way through the ruins, mostly using daggers and flanking plus arcane assaults in order to maximize damage output:

Spoiler

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Iacchus skipped all encounters in Valewood and used his intelligence to avoid combat at the Black Hound before entering and recruiting his party. I had to level up first, and I decided to add arcane veil and slicken into the mix, though taking eldritch aim was tempting. Now, let us meet the characters I will be working with:

Alkyone, Coastal Aumaua Rogue:

Spoiler

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These are great stats for a rogue! This one's certainly going to be a primary melee damage dealer. She is starting with blinding strike, which is what I'd prefer in any case. Might be the mechanics person instead of Iacchus.

Raiden, Mountain Dwarf Fighter:

Spoiler

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So, this is interesting. Raiden has the only traditional tanking class in the party, but his defensive stats are... bad. I've never played a fighter as a damage dealer before, and I'm not sure if I can afford to do so. Currently no idea how I'm going to build this one. He starts with disciplined barrage, which is certainly not as useful as knockdown would've been.

Surya, Coastal Aumaua Druid:

Spoiler

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Would've wished for a higher amount of intelligence here. I don't need that much might for my druids, but AoE is important. He was assigned the boar shapeshifting form, which I've never used before and which doesn't seem all that powerful. Still, he is propably going to be a very capable aggressive spellcaster and nuker. Always good to have a druid.

Aurora, Fire Godlike Priest of Eothas:

Spoiler

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This one I'm really happy with - mostly because she is a priest, and priest-buffs will increase the power of a randomized, and thus not optimized party by quite a bit. The might score is pitiful, but I will just try to stick to buffs and not use many heals and nukes with Aurora. 17 int is very nice, though the high constitution score isn't needed at all. Also: Never played a fire godlike before, but the bonus is unlikely to be relevant all that often.

At this point, I was praying for a paladin with good defensive stats, or a cipher with decent int and perception (or even a high int barbarian). My prayers weren't answered, and I got another wizard instead - obviously still a useful class (lots of vancian spellcasting here, might need to rest a lot), and at least it's not a monk, right?

Numitor, Wild Orlan Wizard:

 

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Low perception really hurts on PotD. The other stats are fine, I'm happy that this one, at least, has high dexterity. This might allow for a build with a certain amount of quick selfbuffs (eldritch aim will be needed, for one). I swear, I didn't manipulate the spell selection: Chill Fog - again; Fan of Flames - again; - Wizard's Double - again. No Parasitic Staff this time, but Slicken instead. Amongst my two wizards, Wizard's Double is the only relatively bad pick here - quite lucky indeed!

All in all, this is certainly above average from what I'd expect with a randomized party. Simply having a priest is already a big plus, and if I get past the early game, my druid and the two wizards will have access to great AoE and crowd control. What's missing is a strong frontliner - which means that I will propably have to be very careful with positioning and be prepared to build up defenses on every character. Arcane Veil will certainly be helpful with that.

I should mention that, while I plan to provide frequent updates for this run, they're propably going to be very small. I only have a little bit of time each day to play PoE right now, so don't expect this run to go very fast. I'm also quite rusty, so I might just misremember something and stumble into a dangerous encounter early on. We shall see.

Edited by Enuhal
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It seems like the spoiler tags might have to be changed in this forum. Otherwise, it's just copy&paste.

 

First Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD

Short update for today: Since I'm not allowed to add non-randomized characters to my party, I killed Aloth and Eder to get their equipment. Eder was surprisingly tough and knocked out my fighter, Raiden (his terrible defensive stats are really quite noticable). I didn't want to rest, because I already had the fletcher's inn resting bonus going, so I went to Valewood with a wounded party, stacking deflection on my priest instead to take down the bandits and save the cook:

Spoiler

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Iacchus gained another level. I decided to pump every skillpoint into mechanics and added Curse of Blackened Sight and Combusting Wounds to his spellbook. Despite some camping supplies waiting to be used everywhere, I foolishly decided to go on and face the cave bear without resting, still wanting to hang on to the inn bonus as long as possible. I had Surya cast charm beasts - but this one kind of backfired, because it managed to affect every opponent in the cave, so I had no target to kill. I had to wait for a bit and tried to blind the bears with Chill Fog and Curse of Blackened Sight - which worked, but didn't prevent them from knocking down Aurora, my current frontliner:

Spoiler

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Luckily, blinded bears are easy to hit - some arcane assaults and good hits by my best damage dealers, Surya in boar form and Alkyone with her sneak attacks worked wonders, though Surya got knocked down as the battle came to a close:

Spoiler

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Not our finest hour, but we prevailed and went on to rest. Our execution was much better against the pack of wolves to the south: I made sure charm beast would only hit a few of them, turning the wolves against each other, which gaves us time to flank and kill the stragglers:

Spoiler

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A very clean victory here, and no other spells needed (well, except for a blessing to improve our lousy accuracy). I used Iacchus' might score to solve Against the Grain peacefully, returned to the Black Hound and I should mention that the others in the party reached level 2. Aurora went for Inspiring Radiance (gotta get that accuracy), Numitor added Arcane Veil and Eldritch Aim, Surya took Weapon Focus: Peasant to improve his accuracy as a boar. The other two choices were a bit more difficult. I decided to go for Two Weapon Style for Alkyone right away, and Weapon and Shield Style for Raiden, commiting to turn him into a tank. Not sure if that one will work out.

 

 

Edited by Enuhal
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Second Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD

Today, we cleared Esternwood. Not a lot of combat here, but the lack of a strong frontliner with good defenses is very noticable. Simply fighting against a few spiders and wights already brought Raiden to about half of his health, despite me stacking all available deflection on him. Replacing him with the character with the best constitution and resolve, Aurora, doesn't work all that well - one second into combat, and half of her endurance is gone - though her inspiring radiance always allows for a quick victory against vessels, such as the undead at the graveyard.

Spoiler

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I found a fine crossbow and a minor ring of deflection here. This party isn't as ranged-heavy compared to my usual playstyle, so the crossbow isn't all that useful to me right now. To deal significant damage, I mostly use my rogue Alkyone, the boar shapeshift and arcane assaults - the two people relying on regular attacks are both melee fighters, everyone else has to use spells.

I also made my way south to unlock the bridge and the compass by staying on the western side of both Magran's Fork and the Black Meadow, which means I only had to face one small pack of wolves and a group of wights. Propably going to do Madhmr Bridge tomorrow.

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Third Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD

Madhmr Bridge is generally a relatively easy area, and I wanted to get the Hermit's Hat before moving on to Anslög's Compass. There are some trolls around, however - I tried my best to improve my chances of actually dealing damage to them by lowering their deflection with nature's mark, knocking them prone with slicken etc. while buffing my accuracy with inspiring radiance and blessing:

Spoiler

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Sadly, I was unable to get my wizards into a position to follow up with Fan of Flames, so I resorted to blinding and flanking the trolls while my only two reliable damage dealers, Alkyone and Surya, tried to take them out. It took a while, but success was ours:

Spoiler

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There's also an encounter against a xaurip group involving a high priest, who can certainly be dangerous at this level. I ran into him, not remembering the existence of the encounter, and started in a bad position. Alkyone got exposed to multiple enemies, got knocked out but recovered thanks to wearing Eder's armor. I saw a Pillar of Faith come in and had her retreat, otherwise she might've been gone for good. This resulted in very low hp on Raiden. I kept the xaurips weakened with a chill fog, but had little left in terms of other buffs and debuffs, so Iacchus himself had to take down the high priest with his fine crossbow:

Spoiler

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After this battle, I decided to finally rest. I solved Ferry Flotsam the semi-peaceful way and travelled to the Compass.

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Alrighty then! Time to hop back on the no reload train! Toot-toot!

Astarta, Moon Godlike Cipher (PotD Solo)

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Game Version: 3.7.0.1318 with White March I & II, Difficulty: Path of the Dammed, Settings: Maim Before Death: On; Injuries: On; Expert Mode: OFF, Mods: None

Gaming Notes: Spoiler alert! I'm pretty sure I know how this run is going to end. Astarta is going to die. There's nothing wrong with her, mind you: I'm the problem. I've never completed the game with a solo cipher on any difficulty level, much less PotD. And I only have one PotD solo NR success thus far: my pale elf rogue, Alia. I considered a run on Normal or Hard, in the interest of giving Astarta a fighting chance, but after my experience with Alena, in which a normal run felt unsatisfying and the prospect of completing a follow up run on PotD sounded unfun, I've decided to run Astarta on PotD.

So, yeah: Astarta's chances don't seem great to me. But that's ok. A run needn't end in victory to be fun, and that's what this is about in the end: Fun! Best of luck to our ill fated godlike! May her run end with dignity!

Build Notes: I like Astarta. She works. Some would say her Might is too low and her Dex is too high. I've thought about that, and I think the girl is alright. Might is great, but in my limited experience with PoE solo no reloads, doing what you need to do when you need to do it seems to have a greater impact on survivability that damage output. And how much damage will she really loss? Speed matters there, too. Some calculations suggest this is a closer call than many assume. I'm content with the tradeoff here.

What about her Perception? That may be an eyebrow raiser to some on PotD. But isn't accuracy the most readily modifiable stat in the game?  And aren't ciphers great at lowering enemy defenses? An unremarkable Per score should work. We'll see how it goes!

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Astarta, Moon Godlike Cipher (PotD Solo): Entry 1, Caravan Camp to Caed Nua

Three cheers for Caravan Camp! Oh how I love thee! There's beer and guns and fashionable clothes! What more could you need? Ok. So it's one beer. And that gun doesn't work. And those fashionable clothes were taken off a corpse. But, you know, we've all seen this place a zillion times and I'm desperate to make it interesting. So hooray for Caravan Camp! Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

(Quick shout out to Chateau Irenicus: You'll always be the first...)

Ok! Here's how Astarta killed things:

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Antipathetic Field is anything but pathetic. It has an insanely high power ceiling for an L1 ability. There's one problem with it though: it'll kill your friends. Thankfully, Astarta doesn't have any friends.

We did more of that: killing things with the death ray, that it.

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But we did not avoid the game's first badge of incompetence: the wound of shame on Heodan. I'm beginning to think that having Heodan run around, doing naught but take disengagement attacks is less than ideal...

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Moving on! It still sucks to be Heodan.

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These oozes usually target Calisca, in my experience, but apparently Heodan's injury made him the jucier target. The question now is: will he survive?

And yes! We gave the poor boy a hunting bow so he could stay out of harms way. He got his soul ripped apart by a machine instead of being eaten by spiders. That's better, right?

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At L2 we took Galant Focus: Acc matters in the early game and we're going to respec.

So: we've made it to Guilded Vale. Soloists and readers alike: You know the early game drill. We went Boots of Steath on the roof: 20th; Gloves of Manipulation in the bedroom: 2nd; Ring of Searing Flames: 2nd. We didn't stick around for the Ring of Unshackling on the 4th but I kind of wished we had.

Dungeon dwellers were nixed with Eyestrike->fine quarterstaff. Fun was had by all.

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After leaving Raedric's we used stealth for The Smith's Shipment, followed by beer and chi-chat in Against the Grain.

You know zen koans? Those bizarre sometimes contradictory questions with unexpected answers? Well I have on for you.

Question: When is failure a success?
Answer: Durance!

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Our next fight was the skifty little Late for Dinner throwdown. I continue to enjoy this fight. I think isn't because I get to use traps.

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After opening combat with a war bow shot, we faded and then called our new buddy: Mr Amazing. We should have opened with Mr Amazing instead of the bow. Next time.

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Used the death ray to melt the outlaw while the other A dropped the bandit. As Marylin Manson once said: We're all stars now in the dope show.

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Gotta love the team work in this battle, amirite?

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Quickly now. Stealth for Buried Secrets. We leveled up here and took Fast Runner.

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Summons juke for the main hall.

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You know what that means: Maerwald will speak with you now.

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You know the fine wand over by Galawain's Shrine? And do you remember how we took Fast Runner? 2 + 2 means we're going to win this fight. We worked in some fineries, though.

Like blocking the door with Mr. A.

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And duping Maewald into killing his spirit bro.

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We even got off a gratuitous cast of a questionable pick: Psychovampric Shield. If you're all: Hey, why not Llengrath's? It comes in a freaking bottle! All I can say is we'll get to that later.

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Artful separation made this a breeze. Remember: It isn't cheesy when you're the one doing it.

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Pop goes the weasel.

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Ok! I'll be back with some Defiance Bay sidequests soon!

Best,

A.

Btw, Astarta at L4, IIRC

Skills: Athletics, 0; Lore, 2; Stealth,5; Mechanics, 3; Survival, 0

Powers: L1- Whispers of Treason, Eyestrike, Antipathetic Field; L2- Mental Binding, Phantom Foes, Psychovampiric Shield

Talents: Galant's Focus, Fast Runner

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Astarta, Moon Godlike Cipher (PotD Solo): Entry 2, Defiance Bay Sidequests

In my last post I shared Astarta's talent picks. They were Galant's Focus and Fast Runner. Some of you may be thinking: Hey! Those aren't cipher picks. You're right. And that makes sense. Because Astarta isn't a cipher. What I mean is she doesn't fight like a cipher- at least not in Defiance Bay.

My rogues, Astrid and Alia, were expert weapons wielders who rarely used weapons. Likewise, Astarta is a cipher who rarely uses cipher powers. In the early/mid-game, item charges and scrolls are so powerful that they crowd out swings of weapons and such. By the time you've summoned your shades, dropped your Touch of Rots, and called your beetles, there isn't much left to do, really. Whispers of Treason is nice, since it gives enemies a target in between summons, but that, too, can be cast via item. What's a cipher to do?

Astarta decided to run with it. Why not? In the early mid-game, Astarta was basically Alia + Silver Tide. Even their base accs were virtually identical at 30 and 29, thanks to Galant's Focus. And Astarta had one more advantage over Alia beyond Silver Tide: she had a movement rate bonus via Fast Runner. So, yeah: proven strategy plus passive healing and a movement rate bonus? Astarta wasn't going to die here. She had a free pass to L7.

First things first:the de rigueur fetch quest binge- Something Secret, Brave Derrin, Rogue Knight, At All Costs and Unwanted. We did Never Far from the Queen, too, using stealth and intimidation. We took Ring of Deflection and Fenwalkers for our Catacombs random loot items.

Helig was our first fight. We were at L5. We didn't have the Rotfinger Gloves yet, but we had picked up the Obsidian Lamp, using Gloves of Manipulation + Fletcher's + Gjefa.

We opened with the Obsidian Lamp. Helig is doomed. You can see that I've cast Psychovampiric Shield here. I did that mostly because I like the name. Ask me what I want for Christmas and I'll say "A Psychovampiric Shield, please!" I'd like to say that to an actual Santa: a mall Santa. Can you imagine? A grown woman sitting on a mall Santa's lap and asking for a Psychovampiric Shield? It would be great. I'd totally do it, except mall Santas are gross. Plus it's March.

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Anyhoo. As you probably guessed, the Psychovampiric Shield cast ended up being just as useless as a mall Santa. This room is big;they're slow; we're fast;we have a bow; they don't.But I'm glad I cast it nonetheless: the animation is neat, and it's always a good idea to test defensive spells in a safe environment.

I'm pretty sure the shield was long gone when the vastly superior Mental Binding ended the fray.

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(Oh! That crit reminded me. We were rolling with Yenwood and Gaun's Share at this point, each wielded one handed. Why? They cover all three damage types; they're free; and they have defensive bonuses. We'll need to select our weapons with greater care soon, but we aren't there yet. For the super curious, Yenwood has a burning lash; Gaun's Share  has corrosive and kith slaying.)

After returning to Dalton, we picked up the Rotfinger Gloves and put down some thugs. Obsidian Lamp->Ring of Searing Flames->Rotfinger Gloves x 3->Whispers of Treason->Oaken Scarab.

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This battle was very simple. I've fought many just like it before. And yet it marked a turning point for me as a player. Something small happened that really changed my perspective. I guess I'll document the event first. We can go on to the navel gazing after that.

The battle predictably wound down to one charmed thug and some allied beetles. These thugs regenerate, but with Silver Tide untriggered, her cipher powers at the ready, scrolls on hand and potions at her disposal there was no threat at all. And even in the worst of worst case scenarios, Astarta could have fallen back on her movement rate advantage. I wasn't worried in the least. I did get annoyed though. The beetles unsummoned, The thug engaged and when he did, interrupt became a problem. I knew this was a risk- Astarta does have a low Resolve, after all. But I hadn't prepared for that contingency. Those who know my BG play are aware that's very unlike me. We took more damage here than we needed to, more than I would have liked.

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That's when I started thinking. Since beginning PoE play I've been sort of coasting along, not analyzing, not studying- just picking up little tidbits here and there. I’ve been playing as if I already knew everything, like I’ve been with BG in recent years. But what I should be doing is playing like I played BG when I first started: as an active learner. I see why I fell into that trap. I’m not a gamer in general. I’m a BG player almost exclusively. And so I’m not accustomed to studying new games. I only did that once and that was years ago. But now it’s time for change. Now it’s time to turn my brain on. I think I’ll do that.

Anyhoo. That was way longer than intended. The point is, I think I’m going to get better soon. Hooray for that!

And hooray for dead xaurips! Seeking another level up, we backtracked to Guilded Vale. This is hardly worth discussing, but I kind of like this shot. The shades are targeting the priest, fyi.

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We finished with Mental Binding. Note the March Steel Dagger here. It’s fun to play with against low DR enemies. I’d sort of like to dual wield the Sword of Daenysis and the March Steel sometime. I don’t expect it to be great, but it could be fun in the early game

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We killed the bears next. We’ve charmed a young one. The shades are targeting the adult. Easy win.

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Ok. By now we had reached L6. We were ready for some caster battles. We started with Built to Last because Built to Last means Aru Brekker and Aru Brekker meant we could respecc. Here we can see the opening, along with food and drug buffs. The Arrow Trap was there because we still have two left over from the early game and they're actually kind of nice. 20-27, base. No acc penalty, only bonuses from Mech 4 up. That's a a solid free attack.

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We caught some debuffs here: hobbled and dazed. The durations were brief, but this annoyed me. I definitely intend to make the Ring of Unshackling a greater priority in future games.

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Dodwyna falls first, thank to triple Draining Freezes from the shades.

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Endgame. Have fun with that, Mr. Mercenary. How much did you get paid for this job?

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All Hands on Deck went smoothly. A few battle plan contingencies on display here. A charger, breaking off from the shades, catches a Whispers of Treason.

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We now keep Spirit Shields at the ready, having learned our less in Supply and Demand.

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By Two Story job I started to feel I had this battle plan down, with all contingencies in place. I don't expect drama or significant damage in fight like this going forward. Pre combat stats.

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We started working Deleterious Alacrity of Motion into the sequence here. Note the early Spirit Shield, taken due to positioning possibility of a charger peeling off and engaging. I don't expect to do that often, but it's something that should be available, if the situation demands.

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Crushed'em. We used Mental Binding in the closing. Speaker to the Restless was deployed as we built the requisite focus. Virtually no damage in this fight.

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With plenty of room to operate, we skipped the early Spirit Shield in The Parable of Wael. The shades are targetting Iben.

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Virtually no damage once again. In and of itself that doesn't matter: these are super-easy fights, even on PotD. But I can start to feel myself approaching battles with the same mindset I used in BG. I'm excited about that. It may not save Astarta, but it bodes well for runs to come. That's good.

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Best,

A.

Current Character Record and Inventory as we head off to Dyford. (Note the respec!)

 


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Edited by Alesia_BH
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Fourth Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD

This one is interesting, mostly because of my own incompetence and bad memory about certain encounters. Almost lost the run here.

Anslög's Compass involves one big fight against xaurips, including against priests, champions and skirmishers. I was ready for that one, had Raiden and Alkyone eat some food and drink some beer. The enemy backline was disabled and weakened via slicken and chill fog while Aurora started buffing up the party with Inspiring Radiance, Blessing and Armor of Faith:

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Predictably, Raiden got stunned by the xaurip skirmisher, greatly weakening his defenses:

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While this did result in him getting knocked out and the skirmisher moving on to Aurora, my damagedealing melee fighters, Alkyone and Surya, were able to quickly take down our enemies one by one:

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Isolated, the lonely skirmisher stood no chance:

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So - this obviously isn't the encounter where we got close to death. "But Enuhal", I might hear you say - "This is clearly the hardest encounter on the map!" Well, yes. I even rested after that one, to make sure i was prepared for anything coming my way. However, I managed to screw up to the south of the xaurip camp by pulling a truly unneccessary number of guls for no real reason.
First, I just engaged one of the vessels and took it down. Next, I encountered a group of 3-4 of them. Fine - not too easy, but nothing my party wouldn't be able to handle. But, as I was setting up Alkyone to flank the guls from the east, she added three more foes into the mix - they were waiting just out of sight, and I didn't notice. They all swarmed her, and with her weak defenses, she was an easy target - so we lost our best damage dealer, and as you can see in the screenshot, my general positioning is terrible - Raiden is supposed to take most of the hits, but he's barely getting attacked:

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Breaking engagement with anyone seemed way too risky, though, so my goal was to deal as much damage as possible before everyone got knocked out. We quickly lost Surya and Aurora, but Iacchus and Numitor started spamming Fan of Flames, taking down some of our foes:

Spoiler

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Not even arcane veil was enough to keep the swarmed Numitor alive, though. Raiden and Iacchus were left standing. At this point, I realized that Raiden has great reflex defenses due to his stats and his weapon-and-shield style and just started casting spells directly at him, allowing Iacchus to hit more guls - still, it wasn't enough. Raiden got knocked out, and it was Iacchus - who was out of spells - against three guls. I saw no choice but to try and run. Two guls had engaged the Watcher at this point, but their disengagement attacks only grazed him:

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You can see one gul, belonging to the eastern group, already turning around at this point. A second one soon followed, but the third gul persisted - it was already near death. Iacchus had to stand and fight against this last foe - since he's not exactly good at that, at least not without spells, I had to activate both of his arcane veils to ensure his survival - but he prevailed:

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As it turned out, the two guls who didn't follow Iacchus ran out of sight of my remaining knocked out party members - so everyone was able to get up again! That was a close one!

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I rested, and actually only found on of the two guls in the morning, as I was hoping to get my revenge. No idea what happened to the other.

In any case, I still had to clear the spore cave. Not too difficult, though I once again got Alkyone into an awkward position when pulling the party back to isolate the sporelings:

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I really have to work on that. Luckily, the dank spores were easy to defeat, as Raiden blocked their confusion attacks with the hermit hat:

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Returning back to Gilded Vale got my party to a much needed level 3. Raiden picked defender (not sure if that's a good choice at this point, to be honest), Alkyone got reckless assault. Numitor learned Bewildering Spectacle and Fetid Caress. I spent some gold on more food and swapping around wizard spells (having two wizards means that I get access to a wide variety, as they can exchange parts of their grimoires, but there's a lot of copper involved). Let's hope that Magran's Fork is less stressful, though there's a very dangerous group of boars to deal with around there.

 

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Fifth Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD

Magran's Fork went much better than the Compass. I started by moving arond the edges of the map, taking down a single troll and eventually running into Ludrana and her goldpact paladins. Raiden engaged the first paladin while I had Alkyone and Surya run towards Ludrana in order to quickly take down the squishy wizard. The paladin broke engagement, Raiden followed him in order to at least flank him, and Iacchus, the one being targeted, activated his arcane veil. Aurora tried to weaken the paladin with a divine mark, though Iacchus himself was much more effective by simply smashing him to bits with the Parasitic Staff, and Ludrana herself stood little chance:

Spoiler

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A quick victory was achieved, and the next significant battle was against a huge pack of wolves to the north. After the customary start via inspiring radiance, I decided to prevent my frontline from being overwhelmed by using Numitor's Bewildering Spectacle for the first time - with much success:

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The wolves were mostly busy with each other, so I was able to take down a few of them right away. After the confusion effect ended, the wizards followed up with slicken and chill fog, and in the end, we ended up with zero knockouts, though Alkyone came close:

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Next up: The big boar battle near the centre. These guys can be tough, and so I started my wizards off with Eldritch Aim to prepare for a longer battle. Also, we prepared with foodbuffs:

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Surya, who was attempting to cast charm beasts on a number of my foes, got swarmed, but was able to finish his spell:

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Sadly, he wasn't fast enough to use his second wind before getting knocked out. I reinforced the party with armor of faith while most of the boars were blinded or knocked prone through wizard spells (two of them also being affected by combusting wounds):

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Numitor summoned the Parasitic Staff, which greatly improved our damage output - aided by an Iconic Projection, the party started to take down the otherwise relatively tough enemies:

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Victory:

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Only one knockout in Magran's Fork - a clear improvement compared to earlier efforts 😄

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Sixth Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD

Venturing into the Black Meadow, the party first encountered a group of four trolls - double the number we faced at the Bridge, so we decided not to mess around, throwing a couple of buffs and even Fans of Flame at our foes:

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This is ideally how these battles are supposed to go: Raiden engages most of the enemies while Aurora buffs up the party, Surya and Alkyone join later to deliver the melee damage, and the two wizards start disabling and nuking the enemy from the back lines (though they can go to the front if needed, as they both have arcane veil):

Spoiler

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Iacchus reached level four at this point, choosing Infuse with Vial Essence and Hardened Veil - I need everyone to be quite tanky if needed, and while Hardened Veil may seem like overkill, I think it's quite useful and even neccessary because of the lack of genuine front liners in this party - Also, we're going to be facing teleporting spirits soon.

This is also the point where I started to pay a lot more attention to the strengths and weaknesses of our enemies - damage types and defenses alike. I usually don't pay too much attention to that, aside from outright immunities, because my usual party combinations are all about beating deflection - the spells I tend to use that target other defenses are so powerful (such as returning/relentless storm, calling the world's maw, mental binding, amplified wave) that I'd use them against almost any type of enemy. This time around, though, I have to deal a significant amount of damage via low level wizard spells, and I don't have any good ranged physical damage dealers. One of my wizards has terrible accuracy, so I really need to choose the right spell to break defenses and get past damage reduction - which is why I used a LOT of fire spells in the Black Meadow (trolls, spiders and forest lurkers are all weak against them), such as Sunbeam, Burst of Summer Flame and Fan of Flames. These all target reflex, which is good, because trolls and forest lurkers aren't the best in that departement, and I employed steps to weaken their reflex defenses even further.

In any case, we had to deal with some bandits to get the smith's shipment first. The leader is a barbarian, they also have a druid and a crossbow-wielding rogue, who can be quite dangerous. Everyone buffed up with some food before the battle, and Alkyone had to retreat right away because she got hit by the first crossbow bolt:

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While we made sure the enemy frontline got blinded and flanked, allowing us to quickly deal damage to the bandit leader, Iacchus moved towards the ranged attackers in order to disable them - however, he was stopped by a Talon's Reach and took a lot of damage:

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Iacchus took the opportunity to activate his new Hardened Veil, causing the bandits to miss all future attacks. Meanwhile, the enemy frontline was overwhelmed and taken out by our melee fighters:

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Everyone moves to the east to gang up on the crossbowmen, and victory is soon ours:

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I propably made a mistake by not resting after this battle and fighting on for a while, getting rid of more trolls, wights and eventually spiders to the south. Raiden's health got awfully low in the process:

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Still, he survived, and we rested after that - now, we had to face a few more trolls:

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And finally, the forest lurkers to the north-east. They can be dangerous at this point, as they have a lot of hitpoints, deal a ton of damage, are immune to a lot of crowd control effects and their attacks tend to cause the "stuck" effect. Raiden was sent to the frontline, and our three casters started spamming fire spells while Aurora buffed up the party. Now, it's usually fine to just cast Fans of Flame on Raiden, because he has great reflex defenses. However, I think he might've been prone, which caused this to happen:

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Thanks, Numitor. Not to worry, though - Iacchus stepped up, activating his Hardened Veil and using the opportunity to cast more fire spells, point blank:

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Surya added two Bursts of Summer Flame, taking down the first forest lurker, and we finally moved into melee combat to flank and kill the second one:

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So much for the easy parts of Act I. Next up is the Temple of Eothas. This should be fun.

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Seventh Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD

Before entering the Temple of Eothas, I made my first item purchase: A Blunting Belt for Raiden. Downstairs, I first dealt with a couple of whisps and spiders before running into a skuldr group, including on of their kings. I had forgotten about this encounter, and with Raiden being at about half of his health due to previous spider battles, I decided to have him block of the entrance into the room while my druid and the wizards started spamming their most powerful nukes - Raiden even joined in with his own Fan of Flames scroll:

Spoiler

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As Surya defeated the Skuldr King with a Talon's Reach, I was quite sure that being very aggressive with spells at this point was the right choice, considering Raiden almost dropped into the red despite the battle being rather short:

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After resting, we ventured down to level 2. When fighting smaller groups of spirits, we usually just engaged with Raiden while the others used their per-encounter abilities:

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However, dealing with the larger shade/shadow groups required a different approach. Not confident that Raiden could even stand for long against the shade's cold damage, I decided to start off with Iacchus himself tanking via Hardened Veil - this also gave him the opportunity to cast Fans of Flame without hitting any party members.

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Adding Combusting Wounds and Burst of Summer Flame into the mix, a few shadows were dropping quickly. As our enemies started teleporting around, everyone already had their melee weapons and shields prepared, and with the addition of a Parasitic Staff and some shapeshifting, the remaining shades didn't stand a chance:

Spoiler

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After resting and fighting through more spirits and oozes, I made it to the second group with shades. This one turned out to be a bit more difficult. I once again first engaged with Iacchus and his Veil, but my positioning wasn't great, with party members blocking each other and the spirits starting to teleport much earlier. While Numitor was able to protect himself with his own Veil and Aurora was able to stay out of trouble, Surya was without protection and got knocked unconscious. I quickly realized that I had to go all out, and luckily, both of my wizards were in a good position to cast their nukes:

Spoiler

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After the weaker enemies were taken down, Eldritch Aim + Parasitic Staff was enough to defeat the stronger shades:

Spoiler

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I did have to rest again (I picked up some camping supplies on level 1 after my first rest down here), this time going for accuracy against wilders for those who had enough survival, preparing to face the big skuldr group with two kings. Using the chokepoint, everyone was positioned behind Raiden in a line, providing equal access to the enemy backline. Throwing in spells like Chillfog, Combusting Wounds, Dancing Bolts, Burst of Summer Flame and Iconic Projection after a few buffs (mostly Inspiring Radiance and Eldritch Aim, as I forgot to cast Blessing) was enough to quickly end things in our favor:

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As you can see, I decided to equip Raiden with Gaun's Share for now. No deflection bonus, but better damage and healing. Next up is Caed Nua.

Edited by Enuhal
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Eighth Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD

We started exploring the courtyard of Caed'Nua, moving to the east, from there to the north, clearing out the smaller sprit and blight groups. There are two big ones we had to deal with: The one in the northwest, and the one in the southwest. We encountered the shadows, whisps and phantoms to the northwest, near the inn, first. Raiden was already at about half health from previous encounters, so Iacchus once again stepped up to engage first, his Hardened Veil at the ready. Even with the annoying phantom stuns, his deflection was still very high:

Spoiler

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Not having any strong defenses against the stun effect was a problem, and so was only having the hermit hat to counter confusion (on Raiden at this point - should've switched it to Iacchus). After a quick combusting wounds, some dancing bolts took down a few spirits as more AoE spells were prepared and Iacchus got confused:

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The battle was already almost won when Iacchus suffered a knockout, because the confusion effect caused him to get critically hit by Aurora's own Iconic Projection:

Spoiler

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Now, any sane person would've decided to rest at this point. However, I had set my mind on finishing the courtyard without a rest for some reason (mostly pride, I'd guess - which is not exactly the best motivation for no-reload play). This is how I ended up running into the second big group of shadows, phantoms and whisps to the southwest. And what a battle it was - with a terrible start at that. Numitor with his own Arcane Veil was my chosen tank, but got confused right away, so basically nothing was protecting the backline:

Spoiler

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While the others were buffing up their accuracy and starting to weaken the enemy, Numitor's confusion ended relatively quickly, but even with his Veil, he got flanked, stunned and killed within seconds:

Spoiler

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On the plus side, the spirits now got into a position where it would be possibly to hit all of them with even small-scale AoE spells. On the minus side, a permastunned Raiden was the next one to get knocked out, and I was lucky not to lose him permanently:

Spoiler

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Surya hit with an Insect Swarm, but much more important - and crucial for the future of this run, to be frank - was Iacchus' Bewildering Spectacle. It was basically my last hope - we needed to get a good outcome from this one, otherwise we would surely get overwhelmed. The success and change in the combat situation was immediate: One of the phantoms resisted, but the other one was affected and started stunning its former comrade. One whisp got grazed and wandered to the north, and an affected shadow wandered to the west:

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We got really lucky when the whisp ended up targetting and killing the confused shadow instead of one of my party members as the duration of the Spectacle came to a close:

Spoiler

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Still, two phantoms and a whisp were still a terrifying force to overcome for our weakened party, with no defense against the stun effects. Luckily, the phantoms had weakened each other, and Alkyone was able to take one of them down. As Surya got knocked out, unable to get out of a prolonged stunlock, the whisp was defeated as well. Aurora had zero spells left and does no damage with her pitiful accuracy and might score, so we effectively only had Alkyone and Iacchus, who used his last spell to summon the Parasitic Staff, to finish this battle:

Spoiler

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Sadly, instead of attacking Aurora, the final phantom turned to Alkyone, who has by far the worst deflection in the party. She was defenseless, got revived by the Saint's War Armor, but knocked out again - VERY close to permanent death, but not quite there, luckily. Iacchus activated his second Veil to prevent a similiar fate. Shortly after, his Parasitic Staff finally finished the job:

Spoiler

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Only two party members left standing, zero spells left, two almost permanently lost - this one felt even closer than the gul encounter. Obviously, we rested after that one. Glad we made it.

Now, the battle in the great hall. We prepared with food and beer for that one. No whisps, which means no confusion. The plan was for Raiden to stand his ground while the others would buff up and cast fire spells - things started out fine, but Raiden got stunned at the wrong moment, lowering his reflex defense, which meant that he once against got knocked out by friendly fire:

Spoiler

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While Alkyone was the next to get stunned, our barrage of fire spells quickly killed two phantoms and weakened the other spirits:

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Alkyone didn't event end up getting knocked out - so I'd call this one a clear victory:

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Wanting to save our final camping supplies for right before Maerwald, the party cleared the library spirits and carefully pulled the spiders in the prison in small groups. Raiden was low on health again, so I decided to do more veil-tanking:

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Another rest, and we were ready to face Maerwald. I'm quite happy with how this fight went: As soon as I saw our opponent casting Chill Fog, I knew that running out of the room would grant us victory - predictably, he missed our entire party, blinding and damaging his army of blights instead. He cancelled his follow-up fireball as the party retreated:

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Raiden was in place to block the doorway, and we also had a trap prepared, while the Chill Fog did some of our work for us:

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Raiden blocked off the blights, and Alkyone immediately jumped on Maerwald, dealing some damage and critting with the blind effect:

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Maerwald was unable to finish a single spell and was taken down by party-friendly nukes and Alkyone's melee assault:

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We didn't explore any other part of the Endless Paths, instead starting to build up the main keep and making our way encounter-free through the Woodened Plains and into Defiance Bay, where we will pick up next time.


Edit: Forgot to mention: Defeating Maerwald got the recruited characters to level 4. We made sure to get athletics and lore to four on everyone. Both Alkyone and Raiden will get more lore after that, as they make for the best scroll users, Iacchus is going for mechanics, and the others will max survival. As for talents - Raiden: Wary Defender; Alkyone: Weapon Focus: Knight; Aurora: Interdiction; Surya: Wildstrike Shock; Numitor: Hardened Veil.

Edited by Enuhal
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Ninth Update: Iacchus, the Pale Elf Wizard - Randomly Generated Party Challenge, PotD

We started exploring Copperlane, first doing "Something Secret" the non-violent way to get ourselves our first statue summons. After getting our hands on some quests, our first battle in the city was against the Two-Story-Job crew. Raiden was able to take most of the enemy aggression, with the exception of the wizard - At first, I wanted Alkyone to rush him, but he activated his Veil right away, so I decided that Iacchus should try and paralyze him instead until his Veil was gone:

Spoiler

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While the wizard was able to knock out Surya, he ended up in a very bad position, with his remaining allies knocked prone by Slicken and the flanked enemy barbarian almost gone:

Spoiler

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At this point, Raiden and Alkyone, with some ranged support, were able to take down the enemy crew one by one, with the wizard being disabled for most of the fight until he, too, got flanked and killed:
 

Spoiler

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Next up: "His Old Self." As we had the ring, and I knew I could talk Nyrid into combat right away, we simply surrounded the wizard beforehand, while Iacchus with Hardened Veil would block off the entrance - this worked like a charm, and Nyrid wasn't able to cast a single spell:

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However, some of the more heavily armored mercenaries turned out to be quite difficult to kill, and as Iacchus' Veil wore off, I used the wood beetles to relieve some of the pressure and provide additional damage:

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Iacchus, for some reason, ignored all of my commands to activate his second Hardened Veil, resulting in him getting knocked out. Luckily, others were able to finish the job:

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A wounded party made its way upstairs, where Raiden lured the remaining mercs into a bad position - they were perfectly arranged in order to be taken down by our remaining AoE spells:

Spoiler

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Iacchus reached level 5 after this quest, gaining access to Minor Blights (I intend to give him "Blast" at level 6) and Malignant Cloud (because I wanted to have a good AoE spell that targets fortitude - I already have grimoires with level 3 reflex spells). Finally, we decided to complete the "Parable of Wael" and enchanted our first item - Raiden's large shield is now of fine quality.
I approached the Parable crew from the southwest, starting combat with our usual accuracy buffs and a triple disabling threat of Tanglefoot, Chill Fog and Slicken:

Spoiler

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With reflex defenses sufficiently lowered and Combusting Wounds applied, it was time to throw in some nukes:

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The enemy melee line was taken out, and the party retreated to lure the ranged attackers to the edge of the Tanglefoot/Chill Fog-zone:

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A very clean victory. We returned the stolen scroll to the temple and will explore more of the city next time. The chainmail with Sun Beam charges was given to Alkyone for now, as she needs something to do in case it's too dangerous for her to engange in melee combat, and I don't have an endless supply of scrolls.

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Grim Face (Hearth Orlan, Priest of Eothas) & Co - Part 8

TOC:

Again it's about a month since we last heard of Grim Face and his merry band, sorry for that. Due to some unexpected RL events I can't play as much as I wish to though we made quite decent progress and gained two level ups. At the moment we cleared Caed Nua lower levels down to lvl 6, finished all available/remaining act 2 Defiance Bay side quests/tasks (except Cinders of Faith) and also Dyrford Village/Crossing. Most fights were completed via per-encounter abilities and Cipher powers. After gaining Lead Spitter blunderbuss Grieving Mother began to deal just tremendous damage with mindblowing damage numbers, quickly replenishing her focus to fire even more devastating powers! I rarely used guns in PoE1 before but now I just can't turn back, at least not for Cipher characters.

Overall there isn't much interesting in those fights to write detailed report so here is a quick rundown and RP choices we've made:

Endless Paths of Od Nua.

  • Level 2. Xaurip territory with some lesser Wyrms. Nothing special for level 7 party. Hand and Key armor went to Pallegina. Measured Restraint rapier to Aloth though I don't think he'll ever use it.
  • Level 3. Ogres and thus another difficulty spike. For small groups (2 or 3) we used Whisper of Treason and Mental Binding and that was enough. Since PoE Druids are tough, those Ogre Druids gave us pain and we can't avoid to receive damage so had to rest for healing but also were less stingy with per-rest abilities/spells. Whisper of Treason and Mental Binding are cheap and reliable though and Slicken or Pillar of Faith also help a lot. For Matron Mother Zolla we called for some Beetles followed with Shades, and then charmed her best buffed champion to fight on our side. Expose Vulnerabilities>Combusting Wounds>Shining Beacon spelled their doom. Found another pair of Gloves of Manipulation (seems it's 'all-or-nothing' with those in my playthroughs) and Grieving Mother now wear Rundl's Finery.
    Spoiler

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  • Level 4. Compared with previous level local Oozes/Trolls/Bugs are like a kids even if pretty sturdy sometimes. Sagani got new bow (Persistence), Eder - a new blade (Resolution sabre with Corrosive Lash) and we made sure to return to previous level to get a Llawran's Stick. Gyrd Haewanes Stenes was fully upgraded there too.
  • Level 5. More Xaurip and mature Drake - the only worthy opponent there. Some Beetles for distraction, Prayer Against Fear, Mental Binding, Whisper of Treason allowed us to deal with their retinue via Expose Vulnerabilities>Combusting Wounds>Shining Beacon combo and being alone the Drake is not much of a threat. Itumaak claimed the trophy (love the last screenshot - pretty symbolic)
    Spoiler

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  • Level 6. Undead territory. Skeletal Rangers and Wizards are a bit of a pain being out of reach (this is a case when narrow passages aren't a boon for us) but overall the level is easy. Opening the passage to the next level granted us enough exp to level up the whole Crew>lvl8:
    Grim Face: Mechanics>8, Painful Interdiction
    Eder: Athletics>5, Apprentice's Sneak Attack
    Aloth: Athletics>4, Survival>4, lvl4 spell>Confusion, Weapon Focus: Noble
    Sagani: Lore>7, Weapon Focus: Peasant
    Grieving Mother: Lore>8, Phantom Foes, Apprentice's Sneak Attack
    Pallegina: Lore>9, Apprentice's Sneak Attack. 
    Spoiler

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Next level have foes with petrifying attacks against which we have no protection as of yet so enough of dungeon crawling and back to the fresh air.
First we solved 'The Forgotten' task of which I completely forgot (sorry). We called for Shades and Aloth applied the fresh Confusion spell to the great effect. Grim Face was stunned by the monk but wearing both Blaidh Golan and Ilfan Byrngar's Solace he has impenetrable defense. Shades dealt with the Wizards via draining ranged attacks and the rest soon followed them back to the Wheel. Eder got Sanguine Plate (Crush-Proofed) and now wear it alone with Shod-in-Faith (both activate their build-in abilities on crit).

Spoiler

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Then we finished 'Missing Sentries', cleared the rest of Heritage Hill district and destroyed the machine on the top of the tower.
 

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After little chatting with Lady Webb 'The Final Act' became available for us to solve. We aslo finished 'The Man Who Waits' by taking a position in Uscgrim cell and completed 'The Wailing Banshee'. The worst encounter there was when we were ambushed in an uncomfortable position and had to improvise. We also had to Withdraw Grieving Mother twice since those spirits focused her as a biggest threat (which she indeed is). The next floor encounter is much less difficult. We were able to convince Maerwith to pacify the spirit of her mother and for those troubles Grim Face got Jack of Wide Waters (Slash-Proofed) and Lilith's Shawl.

Spoiler

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Next we finished 'A Two Story Job' - killed the goons in Copperlane and got the gem ourselves for Abrecan Doemenel. Not that we want to gain their favor but just to lesser the overall reputation drop in the future.
Time to tie up remaining loose ends for which we are already overpowered - Lions and Trolls/Pwgras packs in Woodend Plains and dispose of the 'Lord of a Barren land'. I didn't intend to fight Raedric's Guards (there is nothing wrong with those soldiers) but just forgot to equip some Berathian robes and angered the whole floor. Anyway we killed only those who stand on our way to Raedric himself and level 8 crew is just too overpowered for them (and Raedric's crew as well) to pose any meaningful threat.

Spoiler

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Next was Dyrford Crossing were we cleared the outdoors first and then sanitized the spider infected cave. Korgrak was invited to guard the Caed Nua and Grim Face got a Girdle of Eoten Constitution. Sevis' gang was disposed off to gain pristine dragon egg - with Athletics:5 and Constitution:20 Eder was able to get it without any troubles - and we fought a pack of Forest Lurkers/Pwgra/Menpwgra to get Boots of the Long March.

Spoiler

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Back in Dyrford Village we got Lead Spitter blunderbuss for Grieving Mother and this is the moment when the true fun began. As I've already mentioned with this weapon Grieving Mother is just a pure nightmare for our foes. We also hit level 9 at the moment:
Grim Face: Mechanics>9, Spell Mastery: Armor of Faith
Eder: Lore>9, Confident Aim
Aloth: Athletics>5, Survival>4, lvl5 spell>Call to Slumber, llengrath's Safeguard, Spell Mastery: Chill Fog
Sagani: Lore>8, Heal Companion
Grieving Mother: Recall Agony, Borrowed Instinct
Pallegina: Lore>10, Athletics>4, Liberating Exhortation.

Next we finished 'Cat and Mouth' task killing Medreth and his gang - that's a reputation drop I was talking about - and proceed with 'Blood Legacy'. We entered the Temple via Dyrford Crossing and went straight to Wymund. Grieving Mother helped Aelys, Wyrmund was paralyzed and never recovered, his support got all kinds of afflictions and that's it. Skaen Mind Breakers are dangerous (as all Ciphers are) but we can handle them. Then we spent some time to sanitize the whole Temple having little trouble with that and went for extreme shopping back in the Dyrford Village.

Spoiler

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With all that done we have little to do now and thus ready to proceed 'Through Death's Gate'. Stay tuned!

Current state:

Spoiler

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to be continued...

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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