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How to win the final battle of SSS?

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#1
Crucis

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I've fought the final battle of SSS twice, and got completely massacred both times.

 

Lineup for the 1st attempt:  Eder (fighter tank), Konstantin (tanky-skald), Watcher (swashbuckler), Xoti (sniper and priest), and Ydwin (sniper and pure cipher)

 

I discovered that the big croc is nearly imune to all afflictions, particularly the Mind ones, which largely made Ydwin far less than satisfactory, and the shred spells she does have are, of course, mostly Fort based, against a big croc with a huge Fort save.

 

Truth be told, I didn't expect much from the first attempt.  I expected a nasty battle, and as usual, I mostly play the first encounter just to scope it out.

 

 

 

Lineup for the 2nd attempt:  I replaced Ydwin with Aloth.  (Note all party members are level 20.)  

 

My plan was to spam summons at the crocs and hide behind them, while using ranged attack and magic to take out the crocs.  The problem is that the summons got blown away so quickly, they barely mattered.  Also, I had replaced Eder and Konstantin's heavy plate armor with light armor, since I was intending to hide behind summons and snipe.  

 

In this second attempt, I managed to get the big croc down to about 75% of full health, maybe a bit more.  And I had the 2 small crocs down to barely over 25% of full health.    But it felt like the damned crocs had far more hit points than I could ever take out with direct damage magic.

 

I'm thinking of trying again with Ydwin and trying to have her charm one or both of the small crocs and get them to turn on the big one, since the small ones "only" have an INT affliction resistance, not full immunity.   And maybe I could replace Konstantin or someone else with Mirke and when Ydwin has enough focus, cast the Reaping Blades spell on Mirke, since those raw damage blades will obviously ignore any defenses the big croc has.

 

 

For what it's worth, I'm not some expert at this game who knows every little edge that can be gains with this potion or that spell, and I'm playing in Normal mode.  I mostly brute force my way through nearly all battles and don't mind playing that way.  But I just don't see how I'm going to kill these crocs, particularly the big one.  I imagine that some of you guys have beat this thing easily, but I'll just be happy to beat it at all. 

 

 

Any help would be appreciated.



#2
Boeroer

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Lots of summons didn't scale properly with char level. Did you check if that got fixed?

 

Other than that... you shouldn't have big problems with this fight if you could do the other ones. I never felt like this last battle was particularly difficult compared to the other challenges.

 

Since the Crocs have very high fortitude but most of the really good spells of ciphers and wizards target that you might need a Morning Star to make sure that stuff like Combusting Wounds sticks.

 

What also helps is Death of 1000 Cuts combined with Combusting Wounds and Antipathetic Field (! only that works with Death oTC). This should melt anything - also combine with Disintegration if you can. That also targets Fortitude.

 

Maybe for me it's never that hard because I always focus on fortitude (and will) debuffing.      



#3
MaxQuest

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I haven't played through SSS and FS yet.
So take the further insights as out-of-touch from practice ^^
 

I discovered that the big croc is nearly imune to all afflictions, particularly the Mind ones, which largely made Ydwin far less than satisfactory, and the shred spells she does have are, of course, mostly Fort based, against a big croc with a huge Fort save

The Matriarch has resistance vs MIG and CON afflictions (which are upgraded to immunities on Hard and PotD).
It also has Frightened and Charm immunity. Although looking at gamedataobjects, it is unclear if these immunities target whole INT and RES, or only the mentioned frightened and charm. So I would at least try to check if Dominate and Terrify go through.

In either case it leaves at least:
- PER afflictions
- DEX afflictions (hello paralyze/petrify)
- CON afflictions of tier2+. Because the croc has only 15 CON, applying Sickened, will reduce her max hp by 25%, and that is nice.
- MIG afflictions of tier2+. If you want to reduce it's damage by ~15%... or daze for -4 PEN.

Also Matriarch has relatively low stats:
lvl: 20
hp: 3788
ar: 13 (base) 11 (pierce), 9 (freeze), 15 (corrode)
defenses: 76/96/79/91
stats: 17/15/14/12/13/14

Especially pay attention to low INT and RES here. Because you can let your cipher/wizard debuff them even lower,.. and your further effects will start sticking for quite a longer time. At the same time matriarch's effects will elapse faster.

Also it's worth to note that Matriarch has:
> -8 all defense penalty vs frost attacks, and
> -15 all defense penalty vs shock attacks

Plus, on Story, Easy and Normal difficulties Matriarch doesn't have: Bloodlust and Deep Wounds.
 

But it felt like the damned crocs had far more hit points than I could ever take out with direct damage magic.

Running out of resources could be a problem, if your party doesn't have a lasting potential.

But you could optimize that a bit by lowering the amount of hp you have to deal with.
E.g: matriarch has 3788hp.
Sicken it, and it will become 3030
Bring it to Near Death, and finish with Marux Amanth or Death Ring... and you will have to deal 2272 only.

As for damage itself... you can focus on:
- the already mentioned Death of 1000 Cuts + frequent shred damage (e.g: AP field + Mind Blades)
- dots (including battle axe modals) and Cleansing Flames
- mass Ninagauth's Freezing Pillar (if you can place Brilliant on your wizard)
and don't forget Recall Agony.

P.S. And regarding fortitude: there are MIG/CON afflictions, morning star modal and -10 all defenses from Shining Beacon. -55 is not much, but vs Matriarch should be enough.

Edited by MaxQuest, 26 February 2019 - 03:28 AM.


#4
thelee

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Lineup for the 1st attempt:  Eder (fighter tank), Konstantin (tanky-skald), Watcher (swashbuckler), Xoti (sniper and priest), and Ydwin (sniper and pure cipher)
 
Lineup for the 2nd attempt:  I replaced Ydwin with Aloth.  (Note all party members are level 20.)


My suggestion is that you might not have a lot of sustain if you only have xoti as priest (you didn't mention what Konstanten had) and you have lots of meleers who are going to be whacked by porokoa's melee assaults. the first couple times I tried SSS I basically got wrecked because the fight is way more of a grind than virtually anything that came before and I was utterly unprepared for it (at least in BoW you have those assists that do hundreds of damage to the dragon).

Couple ideas:
- are you using consumables? I basically always go in with scrolls of moonwell, hand of wael and woe, and lots and lots of heal potions. that helps solve the sustain problem for me for any party.
- do you use interrupts? porokoa is way less scary if you are interrupting it. ideas include: lots of scrolls of thrust of tattered viels, slicken spamming (along with weapon modals to make porokoa more vulnerable), chanter chant "thick grew their tongues" to strip concentration from porokoa, mule kick/knock down from fighter, lots and lots of explosives. if you don't have ancestor's memory on ydwin get it, and put brilliant on either eder or aloth (probably aloth) and spam mule kick/knock down or slicken as much as brilliant allows. (with aloth you can also cast wall of draining and try to really stretch out how long a single brilliant lasts. also to maximize this, make sure aloth only casts slicken that way brilliant will always return another slicken cast. at one slicken every 6 seconds you could keep porokoa locked down the entire fight)
- do you have PEN/AR issues? it could be making the fight take a lot longer if you're using hte wrong weapons or your otherwise unable to surmount Porokoa's AR (I know on PotD it can be an issue). if konstanten can get the shield cracks invocation you can perpetually debuff porokoa with -2 AR.
- as MaxQuest suggests, on normal try to apply a CON affliction, and get an instant kill effect. My first party run through I actually barely managed to scrape by with a final cast by Vatnir with Death Cloud (literally was my last party member standing, last spell, and porokoa was in the middle of an attack that would have been fatal to Vatnir). Marux Amanth soulbound to priest/rogue/paladin can also do near death. Ydwin has detonate. Aloth can also have access to Death Cloud, and at level 20 you can use Petrification that will only get resisted down to Paralyze and at near death is permanent.


Edited by thelee, 26 February 2019 - 09:25 AM.


#5
ArnoldRimmer

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I saw a video where slicken was put to amazing effect.


Edited by ArnoldRimmer, 26 February 2019 - 10:31 AM.


#6
Crucis

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Lineup for the 1st attempt:  Eder (fighter tank), Konstantin (tanky-skald), Watcher (swashbuckler), Xoti (sniper and priest), and Ydwin (sniper and pure cipher)
 
Lineup for the 2nd attempt:  I replaced Ydwin with Aloth.  (Note all party members are level 20.)


My suggestion is that you might not have a lot of sustain if you only have xoti as priest (you didn't mention what Konstanten had) and you have lots of meleers who are going to be whacked by porokoa's melee assaults. the first couple times I tried SSS I basically got wrecked because the fight is way more of a grind than virtually anything that came before and I was utterly unprepared for it (at least in BoW you have those assists that do hundreds of damage to the dragon).

Couple ideas:
- are you using consumables? I basically always go in with scrolls of moonwell, hand of wael and woe, and lots and lots of heal potions. that helps solve the sustain problem for me for any party.
- do you use interrupts? porokoa is way less scary if you are interrupting it. ideas include: lots of scrolls of thrust of tattered viels, slicken spamming (along with weapon modals to make porokoa more vulnerable), chanter chant "thick grew their tongues" to strip concentration from porokoa, mule kick/knock down from fighter, lots and lots of explosives. if you don't have ancestor's memory on ydwin get it, and put brilliant on either eder or aloth (probably aloth) and spam mule kick/knock down or slicken as much as brilliant allows. (with aloth you can also cast wall of draining and try to really stretch out how long a single brilliant lasts. also to maximize this, make sure aloth only casts slicken that way brilliant will always return another slicken cast. at one slicken every 6 seconds you could keep porokoa locked down the entire fight)
- do you have PEN/AR issues? it could be making the fight take a lot longer if you're using hte wrong weapons or your otherwise unable to surmount Porokoa's AR (I know on PotD it can be an issue). if konstanten can get the shield cracks invocation you can perpetually debuff porokoa with -2 AR.
- as MaxQuest suggests, on normal try to apply a CON affliction, and get an instant kill effect. My first party run through I actually barely managed to scrape by with a final cast by Vatnir with Death Cloud (literally was my last party member standing, last spell, and porokoa was in the middle of an attack that would have been fatal to Vatnir). Marux Amanth soulbound to priest/rogue/paladin can also do near death. Ydwin has detonate. Aloth can also have access to Death Cloud, and at level 20 you can use Petrification that will only get resisted down to Paralyze and at near death is permanent.

 

 

Am I using consumables?  Other than healing potions, barely ever.  There are too damned many of them to keep track of.  You go into the stash and the potions tab, and they're stuck in there with so many other things that I practically tear out what little hair I have left trying to find the one I might be looking for, which only encourages me to ignore them.

 

Do I use interrupts?  Only by accident.

 

Do I have Pen/AR issues?  Not really, because I pay attention to what weapons I use, though if I run into a situation where all of the enemy's AR's are higher than any of my weapons' pens, it gets … difficult.  Eder and my Watcher both have access to the Fighter ability that increases Pen (by +3, IIRC), and I use it often.

 

Konstantin does have The Shield Cracks (forgot he had it).  Also has Her Revenge (lightning invoc), Ben Fidel (defense lowering), Sip from the Marrow, plus some others that just do damage.   *see below.  The only CON lowering debuff that I noticed Ydwin having was Secret Horrors.  And Xoti has Wall of Thorns, though it's at the same level as her resurrection spell, which makes using WoT a little risky.

 

In all honesty, I'm just not big on debuff spells.  Like I said, I'm more of a brute force style of player.

 

I'm not sure but the big croc might be immune to con afflictions as well.  It was immune to nearly everything, and resistant to every thing else.

 

Regarding the Marux Amanth dagger, I have it, and soulbound it to my Watcher, but never bothered working it up, because the requirements just seemed like a main in the behind.  Not a big fan of the entire soulbound concept, unless the requirements are relatively easy.  IIRC, the only soulbound item that I have that's fully upgraded is Modwyr.

 

 

 

 

 

* My ability to respec is going to be a bit limited because it seems like I'm running out of ways to get money and I'm down to around 13k gold/copper/whatever.  Sort of wishing that I'd left the slavers alone for a while longer, since they're the one group whose ships I don't have the slightest problem with constantly attacking for the sake of more money, even if it's not in large chunks.  I suppose I could just cheat code more money, but I've been trying to avoid that.  But I need to keep a decent amount of money on hand to pay and feed my ship's crew.


Edited by Crucis, 26 February 2019 - 02:25 PM.


#7
Crucis

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Lots of summons didn't scale properly with char level. Did you check if that got fixed?

 

Other than that... you shouldn't have big problems with this fight if you could do the other ones. I never felt like this last battle was particularly difficult compared to the other challenges.

 

Since the Crocs have very high fortitude but most of the really good spells of ciphers and wizards target that you might need a Morning Star to make sure that stuff like Combusting Wounds sticks.

 

What also helps is Death of 1000 Cuts combined with Combusting Wounds and Antipathetic Field (! only that works with Death oTC). This should melt anything - also combine with Disintegration if you can. That also targets Fortitude.

 

Maybe for me it's never that hard because I always focus on fortitude (and will) debuffing.      

 

1.  Nope.  Didn't check if summons scaled.

 

2. In the two tries thus far (haven't tried again, yet), this fight seemed incredibly difficult.  It may not be that difficult for expert players who regularly PoTD and know every single detail of every single spell, etc., but that's not my play style.  I prefer Normal mode and a fairly brute force play style.

 

3. I have Pallegina set up to use Morning Star normally, and could add her to my party easily enough.  IIRC, I don't think that Aloth knows Combusting Wounds, though it might be in one of the grimoires I have.  The thing is that with only 4 characters (apart from the Watcher), I'm a bit limited in my options here.   Ydwin may be important to have along for no other reason than she has unlimited spells due to the nature of being a cipher.  Konstantin may be necessary for his invocations, though given how slowly he accumulates the chanter resource, it's not like he's going to be chain casting them like crazy.  And Xoti seems like a must have for her healing and whatever other spells she can bring to the table, in addition to her sniping.  That just leaves Eder.  Could it be that Eder doesn't bring enough as a hardcore tank for this fight, and I should replace him with Aloth?  

 

4. Ydwin has Death of 1000 Cuts.  I haven't used it much, but she does have it, along with Driving Echoes.   But it seems like the Crocs have so damned many HP that merely buffing up my Watcher with driving echoes and using a nice bow isn't going to produce enough damage, but maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe I should add Mirke (instead of Eder) so that I can buffer her up with Reaping Blades.  She'd be about the fastest attacker I could use other than perhaps my Watcher Swashy (who I have wearing the Devil of Caroc medium armor, at the moment).

 

5. Like I've said a few times, I don't pay attention to debuffing with my brute force play style.  About the closest thing I do is use Will based afflictions to either confuse/charm/dominate enemies, or hit them with resolve afflictions to take away their will to fight.  I suppose that these things are doing some debuffing in the process, but that's not really my intended goal.  I like using charm/dominate to get enemies to switch sides, because I enjoy getting my enemies fighting each other as a combat tactic.  So it rather screws up my playstyle when certain enemies have INT affliction immunities.  Normally, I will just brute force my way past them.  But it just feels like these crocs are too much for a brute force solution, at least with only 5 people to do the fighting.



#8
thelee

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at only 13k gold maybe you should try just skipping out on SSS for now and going to do FS. that'll get you a lot of money (tons of superb gear to sell) and powerful scrolls to use for the fight, and then you come back and beat SSS (and then beat FS).

Edited by thelee, 26 February 2019 - 03:02 PM.


#9
Crucis

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at only 13k gold maybe you should try just skipping out on SSS for now and going to do FS. that'll get you a lot of money (tons of superb gear to sell) and powerful scrolls to use for the fight, and then you come back and beat SSS (and then beat FS).

 

That's a thought.  I also have yet to finish BoW.  I bailed out on that just before the big dragon fight.



#10
Crucis

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at only 13k gold maybe you should try just skipping out on SSS for now and going to do FS. that'll get you a lot of money (tons of superb gear to sell) and powerful scrolls to use for the fight, and then you come back and beat SSS (and then beat FS).

 

BTW, thelee, I noticed that FS's suggested companion/sidekicks are Aloth or Fassina.  Is this the same as for BoW or SSS, due to some additional comments/observations from the listed characters?  

 

Side note: Speaking of "additional comments", I got a kick out of Ydwin landing a real zinger on Xoti near the end of SSS when she told her to be quiet, the adults were talking.  ZING.  Damn, I hope that Ydwin is a full blown companion, if or when they ever make a PoE3.



#11
Dr. Hieronymous Alloy

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5. Like I've said a few times, I don't pay attention to debuffing with my brute force play style.  About the closest thing I do is use Will based afflictions to either confuse/charm/dominate enemies, or hit them with resolve afflictions to take away their will to fight.  I suppose that these things are doing some debuffing in the process, but that's not really my intended goal.  I like using charm/dominate to get enemies to switch sides, because I enjoy getting my enemies fighting each other as a combat tactic.  So it rather screws up my playstyle when certain enemies have INT affliction immunities.  Normally, I will just brute force my way past them.  But it just feels like these crocs are too much for a brute force solution, at least with only 5 people to do the fighting.

 

 

Yeah, learning the basics of the buffing and debuffing systems are basically what makes the jump between a casual/normal/veteran difficulty player and a PotD player.  


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#12
thelee

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at only 13k gold maybe you should try just skipping out on SSS for now and going to do FS. that'll get you a lot of money (tons of superb gear to sell) and powerful scrolls to use for the fight, and then you come back and beat SSS (and then beat FS).

 
BTW, thelee, I noticed that FS's suggested companion/sidekicks are Aloth or Fassina.  Is this the same as for BoW or SSS, due to some additional comments/observations from the listed characters?  
 
Side note: Speaking of "additional comments", I got a kick out of Ydwin landing a real zinger on Xoti near the end of SSS when she told her to be quiet, the adults were talking.  ZING.  Damn, I hope that Ydwin is a full blown companion, if or when they ever make a PoE3.


yeah, pretty much. though even sidekicks that aren't listed will still get extra lines, if not as much. (i like running with mirke and the most recent time i ran with mirke through all 3 DLCs and even though she wasn't a listed companion in any of them she got extra reactivity in SSS and FS)

#13
MaxQuest

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Yeah, learning the basics of the buffing and debuffing systems are basically what makes the jump between a casual/normal/veteran difficulty player and a PotD player.

True that)

Although the focus has shifted a bit...

In PoE1, the player would often debuff enemy fort/will in order to land a stun/paralyze/petrify -> and thus lower enemy deflection and reflex.
Otherwise many physical attacks would end up in misses and grazes... and that damage that goes through, would end up eaten by DR.

In Deadfire though... targeting one defense in order to lower the other is occurring less often. Partially because of resistances/immunities, partially because stun and paralyze aren't decreasing defenses as strongly as they did.
And partially because we have:
- spells that lower enemy WILL (Miasma of Dull-Mindedness, Arkemyr's Wondrous Torment, Psychovampiric Shield, Borrowed Instinct) target Will.
- stuff that lowers enemy DEFLECTION (Confounding Blind, Crushing Depths, Pure Class, Marking, Brittle Frost, Pike modal)... also usually targets Deflection. Unless you use those weapons with Knockdown or Clear Out, which target Fortitude... which is usually even higher than Deflection.

Edited by MaxQuest, 27 February 2019 - 08:45 AM.


#14
Taudis

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I remember beating it by having Konstanten and Pallegina target the Porokoa with Killers Froze Stiff any time it was going to use a special attack (after one of them applied The Shield Cracks). Swash Eder's job was to keep Confounding Blind and Club modal stuck on it. Vatnir did his usual boss fight routine of Devotions for the Faithful, Dire Blessings, Salvation of Time x2, then heal/nuke as needed. My Mindstalker Watcher dealt with the young crocs (Konstanten and Pallegina helped when they could).

It was a bit of a slog but I never felt like I was in danger because the Porokoa spent half its time paralyzed, and the rest in Blinded/Interrupted recovery time. I did have to micro more than usual to make sure everything was timing right but it wasn't complicated once I was in the flow of it.

#15
Dr. Hieronymous Alloy

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Yeah, learning the basics of the buffing and debuffing systems are basically what makes the jump between a casual/normal/veteran difficulty player and a PotD player.

True that)

Although the focus has shifted a bit...

In PoE1, the player would often debuff enemy fort/will in order to land a stun/paralyze/petrify -> and thus lower enemy deflection and reflex.
Otherwise many physical attacks would end up in misses and grazes... and that damage that goes through, would end up eaten by DR.

In Deadfire though... targeting one defense in order to lower the other is occurring less often. Partially because of resistances/immunities, partially because stun and paralyze aren't decreasing defenses as strongly as they did.
And partially because we have:
- spells that lower enemy WILL (Miasma of Dull-Mindedness, Arkemyr's Wondrous Torment, Psychovampiric Shield, Borrowed Instinct) target Will.
- stuff that lowers enemy DEFLECTION (Confounding Blind, Crushing Depths, Pure Class, Marking, Brittle Frost, Pike modal)... also usually targets Deflection. Unless you use those weapons with Knockdown or Clear Out, which target Fortitude... which is usually even higher than Deflection.

 

 

 

Yeah, my general tactic these days is just to script an indiscriminate AOE spam of all afflictions, generally prioritizing Resolve (not so much for the direct debuff but so that other afflictions will last longer). I don't bother with chaining things, just try to hit with everything all at once and rely on the mess to shake out favorably (it usually does). 


Edited by Dr. Hieronymous Alloy, 27 February 2019 - 11:49 AM.


#16
Woopee

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You might have missed a great suggestion from thelee to take Ancestor's Memory on Ydwin. Cast it on Aloth. Infinite wizard spells is a real game-changer. 


Edited by Woopee, 10 March 2019 - 07:00 PM.






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