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@Kaylon this is very well put, thanks. If I may, I'd be curious then to understand your POV on Vanishing Strike + Strand of Favor?

Based on my (limited) experience, it is in a different category altogether than any other buff you can prolong with SoF because it grants complete and permanent invincibility that cannot be broken whatsoever. Outside of Ultimate runs, doesn't it make SC Rogue and in particular SC Assassin the absolute most powerful class in the game if you are willing to abuse SoF, to the point that any other class becomes basically irrelevant? In this case, doesn't it create a fundamental imbalance?

EDIT: to make sure my point is clear, I'll rephrase slightly: you can build some consensus around the fact that using or not SoF is a matter of preference, and that generally using SoF makes everything OP. BUT, SoF + Vanishing Strike is in a different league altogether and puts SC Rogue far above any other class. Should we be cool with that?

Edited by Not So Clever Hound
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I don't put Vanishing Strike in a different category because you can already achieve invincibility and huge damage in many other ways. The main advantage is it can't be dispelled, but it doesn't matter much at this point. For the damage it's the same thing - once you can already one shot most enemies it doesn't matter if you do more damage. But overall I agree that assassins can be considered the most powerful class once fully buffed.

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19 minutes ago, Kaylon said:

The main advantage is it can't be dispelled, but it doesn't matter much at this point.

I would argue that being able to completely disregard things like Arcane Dampener/Cleanse puts Vanishing Strike in a different league, but fair enough!

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31 minutes ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

I would argue that being able to completely disregard things like Arcane Dampener/Cleanse puts Vanishing Strike in a different league, but fair enough!

Arcane Dampener can be resisted rather easily and Arcane Cleanse removes just 1000s of your buffs (ie less than 3 hours) which is not big deal when you have thousands of hours duration. 

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10 hours ago, Haplok said:

Maybe I'll provide some examples.

I don't consider Wall of Draining a potion of Final Stand (or other effects for that matter) a cheat. Cheesy AF, but, well, gotta win somehow. And that's within the game rules. Same with using Gouging Strike / Paladin mark and vanishing to hide in a corner. Or forcing an elemental spawn and using a wall to trigger Brilliant off it.

Food/rest bonuses stacking... yeah... that's... kinda borderline already.

But continuously equipping and unequipping items to stack ridiculous duration extensions on usually very short lived buffs? That's exploiting a very clear game bug to me - cheating.

There is no difference whatsoever between the effect on a fight from WOD cheese and Strand cheese.

Strand just makes it more convenient since you don't have to constantly rebuff every game.

Obviously Strand is more powerful than WOD, but to call the one thing "cheating" (your definition of that word is very weird) and to say you are ok with the other one makes very little sense.

You have 2 methods to become immortal and do ridicolous amounts of damage, one is more input heavy but the actual outcome on the fight is the same.

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I strongly disagree. WoD is intended game mechanics, working as described, even if it allows for plenty of cheese.

Stacking effect durations by unequipping and re-equipping an item with a buff extension property is clearly a bug exploit.

Edited by Haplok
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Strand of Favor is an unexpected effect that is nevertheless deliberately allowed by Devs.

For the players who want to get the hardest achievements in the game, it unlocks interesting possibilities, otherwise they have to stick to a handful of builds.

For everyone else, it turns Deadfire into a Point and Click. And Deadfire is not a very interesting point and click :).

Edited by Not So Clever Hound
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3 hours ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

Strand of Favor is [...] deliberately allowed by Devs.


What does that mean? This bug was discovered (or at last made widely known) long after the last patch for Deadfire was released and its lifecyle ended.
Not fixing this bug doesn't mean "allowed". I'm certain that if this bug would have been known by devs during the lifecycle of Deadfire it would have been patched out. 

Or do you mean "allowed" is when Obsidian doesn't invalidate an ultimate run where this trick was used? If yes: did that happen (I haven't read about it but possible)? 

 

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I was mostly bouncing off of the point that Kaylon's made a couple posts above: 

"I understand your way of thinking, however by Obsidian rules not only it's not cheating but it's even considered to be "in the spirit of the game" (since those methods are the foundation of all the "ultimate" runs). In other words, if the game allows it, there's no cheating and you can't blame the others for using it..."

I have no good answer to your questions though. My main point is still that apart from very specific situations it ultimately isn't very fun to use because it makes many other important features of the game irrelevant.

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2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Or do you mean "allowed" is when Obsidian doesn't invalidate an ultimate run where this trick was used? If yes: did that happen (I haven't read about it but possible)?

I have used strand of favor like item swapping to prolong several out of combat items buffs (e.g. tenacious) and it has been accepted in my psion/troubadour ultimate challenge run, so unless using it to prolong single class assassin vanishing strikes is considered differently it should be allowed

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1 hour ago, abot said:

I have used strand of favor like item swapping to prolong several out of combat items buffs (e.g. tenacious) and it has been accepted in my psion/troubadour ultimate challenge run, so unless using it to prolong single class assassin vanishing strikes is considered differently it should be allowed

Ah thanks. Good info. Josh did say bugs are fair game when they released the Ultimate Challenge. But I wasn't sure how far they would go with that statement because it was made pre Strand-of-Favor cheese. :) 

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Besides that I look at stuff like Strand of Cheesor the following way:

There's not much mechanical difference between cheating with the console to become immortal and using Strand of Favor to become immortal.

The only difference is that one way marks the savegame as cheated while the other doesn't. 

If one thinks the second way more "legit" than the first one they're just cheating themselves.

What's the point of doing a solo run on the hardest difficulty if you remove the challenge with one simple switch? Could as well do a party story mode run then - if it's not about the "achievement". But what is an achievement actually worth if you can get it so easily? 

Don't get me wrong: I love to read about tricks like that and applaud the effort to find and research it. But I cannot really get behind using it. 

If one has fun using it: cool with me. As long as it doesn't affect other players nobody should apologize about the way they play - with console, with cheats, with abusing glitches, whatever. And on has to admit that using Vanishing Strikes + unlimited duration probably is "the strongest" solo build as was asked for.

It becomes tricky though when I look at the Ultimate Challenge (which wasn't what OP started with though).

 

 

 

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Obsidian should introduce a Schizophrenic Challenge: players have to run 2 concurrent, 100% completionist playthroughs at the same time:

1) Ultimate Solo Naked Wizard Slayer, no Strand of Favor shenanigans allowed.
2) Story Mode, team of 6 Assassins with permanent Vanishing Strike, Brilliant and 300% Deltro's Helm Lash.

The game randomly switches back and forth between the 2 saves without warning.

The first person to complete it and not end up in the emergency room of the nearest psychiatric ward can get to decide forever and for everyone what is acceptable cheese and what is unacceptable cheat. :) 

Edited by Not So Clever Hound
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11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Ah thanks. Good info. Josh did say bugs are fair game when they released the Ultimate Challenge. But I wasn't sure how far they would go with that statement because it was made pre Strand-of-Favor cheese. :) 

That statement was made before any buffing abuse exploits, not just Strand of Favor. 😉

At best there can be a discussion about playing the game without using any exploits (no buffs abuse, no hiding out of sight while doing damage, no unlimited Draining Touch, no charged items stacking, no Bounding Boots or pause stealing, etc...). Bashing one exploit, while advertising the others doesn't look very serious. 😎

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I know your comment is addressed to @Boeroer but if I may, personally this is where I really struggle to draw any kind of line:

Should you put in the same bucket something that improves QoL or gives a marginal power boost vs. something that makes you totally untouchable?

Hiding out of sight while dealing damage can be considered an exploit, but it does make some sense (mortally wounding an enemy and waiting it out - it exists in real life). Whispers of the Wind using dual single-shot firearms isn't considered an exploit, but this combo makes zero logical sense.

At the end the only line I can confidently draw for myself is: using something that removes the challenge altogether isn't fun on the long run so I try to avoid it. But I'm not against occasionally recharging a necklace of fireballs. :) 

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2 hours ago, Kaylon said:

That statement was made before any buffing abuse exploits, not just Strand of Favor. 😉

Before Josh made his statements about "spirit of the game" and "bugs are ok because we weren't able to remove them so it's our fault" there already were plenty of known chssesy options like Brilliant + SoT or WoD etc. So abusing bugs and using cheesy tactics were obviously ok for the ultimate challenge. But I didn't hear anything official about the really impactful Strand of Favor trick which not only is very powerful but also requires no planning/skill/metakowledge etc. at all - so I wasn't sure if that also got sanctioned/allowed or not.  

 

2 hours ago, Kaylon said:

At best there can be a discussion about playing the game without using any exploits (no buffs abuse, no hiding out of sight while doing damage, no unlimited Draining Touch, no charged items stacking, no Bounding Boots or pause stealing, etc...). 

In this thread it boils down to "what is the current strongest PotD solo build" - and you could discuss if that means with or without cheesy tactics - and where OP likes to draw the line.
Besides that every discussion is fine if there's some knowledge gained and info - and opinions - shared. Everybody has to draw that line for himself - mainly based on what feels good for the individual player. I personally don't use consumables besides food and sometimes unguents and also almost never use resting bonuses or any kind as well as SoT, WoD and sources of Brillant (not even Tactician). I will use Gouging Strike and Lover's Embrace and also Brand Enemy - but only with a dedicated character where it fits. And only for one playthrough where it was fun. It loses its appeal very quickly though because it's too easy - which is the problem with all too powerful approaches. Yet I don't blame anybody for using any of this. Even Strand of Favor. If it's fun then do it. It's not for me so I don't do it but that's it.

 

2 hours ago, Kaylon said:

Bashing one exploit, while advertising the others doesn't look very serious.

I neither did bash an exploit nor did I advertise any. I merey wanted to know what "allowed" meant in that context. Putting words into people's mouth doesn't look very serious either.

The post afterwards was only explaining how I personally feel about the difference between lowering the challenge to the same levels with either official/intentional cheats (like the console) vs. using unofficial/accidental cheats (like Strand of Favor) - and how some people might think the latter is somehow "better" than the first. Imo there is none: you are just breaking the game all the same. But I also said that's okay with me as long as it's fun for you.

I merely think as soon as others are involved - for example when you compete with other players for a patch or a plate on a wall of honor (where places are limited) there should be more strict rules or at least  more sincere discussion about what is okay and what not. Imagine there's only one plate left, you did a "clean" run but got beaten by a guy who quickly ran through his attempt with Strand of Favor + Vanishing Strikes - how would you feel about that. Maybe something like "well I could have known about it, silly me" or maybe "well that's a bit unfair".  

Well it's now too late to redeem that "bugs are fair game" statement of course (I doubt that anybody truly believes that running through the challenge 100% invisible is "in the spirit of the challenge") - and maybe it also would have been too difficult to draw a line in the first place without giving the impression of pure arbitrariness. Imagine you think a bug is fair game but then get your run disqualified afterwards: major bummer. 

Difficult. 

I think I personally would have restricted the challenge to "only using effects that work as intended" which would include endless DOTs, WoD & SoT with Brilliant etc. But that would have required constant updates and monitoring so maybe that wouldn't have been feasible either. 🤷‍♂️ 

But of course that has not much to do with OP's original question. Since he's not here anymore I gues we will never know what he consideres "strongest" but not too cheesy and where to draw the line. 

Edited by Boeroer
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2 hours ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

At the end the only line I can confidently draw for myself is: using something that removes the challenge altogether isn't fun on the long run so I try to avoid it. But I'm not against occasionally recharging a necklace of fireballs. :) 

Exactly. Whatever floats your boat. It's just tricky and worth a discussion as soon as you start "competing" with other players I guess. 

That's why multiplayer games or any competitive game (and even if it's only comparing highscores) has some sort of (constantly improving) ruleset or ode of conduct. I don't mean that Deadfire needs one - not even the ultimate challenge (there's few enough players trying it anyway so just go for it however I'd say) - just saying.

Edited by Boeroer
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2 hours ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

I know your comment is addressed to @Boeroer but if I may, personally this is where I really struggle to draw any kind of line:

Should you put in the same bucket something that improves QoL or gives a marginal power boost vs. something that makes you totally untouchable?

Hiding out of sight while dealing damage can be considered an exploit, but it does make some sense (mortally wounding an enemy and waiting it out - it exists in real life). Whispers of the Wind using dual single-shot firearms isn't considered an exploit, but this combo makes zero logical sense.

At the end the only line I can confidently draw for myself is: using something that removes the challenge altogether isn't fun on the long run so I try to avoid it. But I'm not against occasionally recharging a necklace of fireballs. :) 

For me, using a ranged weapon with a melee skill is also an exploit... 😉 Trying to find real life excuses for some exploits when that suit you in a fantasy game is a very weak argument.  If I want to play the Devil"s advocate I would go even further and claim that Strand of Favor does exactly what it says. And in fact it uses the same principle as another "accepted" exploit which consist to switch Lethandria's Devotion over and over for infinite healing.

What you imply is like saying that people who steal just for eating shouldn't be considered thieves. 😀 Once you accept an exploit you opened the door to all exploits, that's simple.

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28 minutes ago, Kaylon said:

Once you accept an exploit you opened the door to all exploits, that's simple.

Only Sith deal in absolute. :) I appreciate that your argument (all in or all out) may simplify the debate but I still think that the question a bit more nuanced than that when you consider the diversity of mechanics that can be considered exploits - and their varying degrees of impact on gameplay. I think that if I go down the "all in or all out" route I'll always find something to give me pause. For example, not resting to accumulate certain buffs - is it an exploit? I don't think it's obvious either way (not talking about stacking food buffs here which is more clear cut).

 

28 minutes ago, Kaylon said:

Trying to find real life excuses for some exploits when that suit you in a fantasy game is a very weak argument

That wasn't my point but I can see how the way I wrote it implied that, which is indeed not a good argument - so thank you for pointing it out :). I was just putting infinite DoTs vs. WotW with ranged weapons in perspective to support my main point that the line between exploit and "as intended" mechanic is blurry at best and probably quite subjective. Which as you also wrote yesterday, is totally fine because this is a single player game!

 

Edited by Not So Clever Hound
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5 hours ago, Kaylon said:

Bashing one exploit, while advertising the others doesn't look very serious. 😎

 

Yes, it is very hard for me to understand why there even is a disagreement here.

Calling bug abuse/exploiting "cheating" is just wrong by definition already.

A cheat is abusing outside tools like mods cheat engine or in games like Poes case even the console.

As you said if some people want to do completely exploit free runs ok cool for them.

(It's also strange to me why some of those people seem to think they need to point out how bad they think it is for others to exploit, when we're talking about a single player game)

But to advertise using other exploits/bugs just because the magnitude/impact of them on the game is slightly lower is weird to me.

Either all exploits are fair game or none of them, but this in turn means only a few selected classes will kill megabosses solo and even less classes will be able to complete the ultimate.

Most people who use strand of favour are just sick and tired of seeing only priests and bloodmage, and very few people have the patience to kill every single enemy with slow endless dots or chanter summons only.

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SoF shenanigans are here to stay and unlock possibilities outside of priest/bloodmage for total OP-ness in Ultimate and such.

Total OP-ness from SoF outside of Ultimate makes the game very dull in my very humble opinion. But anyone is entitled to do whatever they want. I don't think anyone here is trying to take anything away from any player. Just a healthy, friendly discussion about the game's intended and less intended features. :) 

I think we have here more a group of players interested in a good talk about exploits and such rather than a group of Ayatollah of Deadfire Exploits( ADE).

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Yeah I try to avoid total gamebreaking stuff. Salvation of time + BDD is something I no longer do really. I used it on occasion to beat megabosses but it felt cheesy so I don't even do that any more, and generally just avoid mega bosses unless I really feel like grinding it out or have a build that is especially suited for them. 

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On 4/10/2021 at 12:25 AM, masterty66 said:

Yeah I try to avoid total gamebreaking stuff. Salvation of time + BDD is something I no longer do really. I used it on occasion to beat megabosses but it felt cheesy so I don't even do that any more, and generally just avoid mega bosses unless I really feel like grinding it out or have a build that is especially suited for them. 

Eh, its still not so strong for those long fights IMO due to limited duration - unless you also combine it with Brilliant and SoT regeneration. 

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Yeah... this all makes determining "strongest" a bit difficult. :)

If you ask for that you need to somehow narrow it down under what specific circumstances. Like solo, PotD, with Berath Blessing x,y or z, RTwP or TB, with cheese or without - and if with cheese: which sorts of cheese are okay and so on.

Bit muddy all that. ;)

To OP (who is gone) I would say: Without any further specifics (everything allowed) I think SC Assassin with SoF 🧀 is a really strong contender for the crown.

I already forgot: can you prolong WotW's invisibility with SoF? Because iirc it also doesn't break like Vanishing Strokes - and I consider SC Monk to be stronger than SC Assassin if both could stay invisible for unlimited amounts of time. Mostly due to Resonant Touch. Or not?

 

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