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Hello everyone!

 

With the console release of Deadfire finally just around the corner, I've been throwing around ideas about what kind of party I want to start with.

I'm most likely gonna begin on normal difficulty to get my bearings and then switch to upscaled hard once things start to feel too easy; just like I did with PoE 1.

Gonna go with RtWP, just because I bet there are gonna be too many thrash fights in the game, just like in every rpg I've ever played and turn-based is gonna make them feel even

more frustrating (looking at you DOS 2!) Plus I guess you need to allocate stat points differently in TB, because then the game measures effects in turns, not seconds.

First playthrough is going to focus on roleplaying, so no real min-maxing (like 8 in any stat at the lowest for the MC)

 

With those out of the way...

 

Number #1 MC: fire godlike monk from the first game. Thinking of multiclassing him as a barbarian. Berserker subclass would fit him thematically (´cuz he's a literal and figurative hothead), but the -5 intellect penalty just seems a bit too much; especially since it will affect carnage's effective range, right? Drug user monk would probably be more effective than vanilla monk, but again, it doesn''t fit him roleplay-wise. Say I make him vanilla monk/barbarian and his role is gonna be mdps/off-tank - how would you stat him?

 

Number #2 Maia Rua: scout (ranger/rogue). This is what she's gonna be, unless someone convinces be it's the least effective multiclass ever; this multiclass just makes me think she's gonna be my heaviest hitter. Her stats seem to support this multiclass as well (high perception and decent might) (afaik)

 

Number #3 Tekehu: single class druid. Single class, because I'm thinking he's gonna be my main support/cc character, so he would get access to high level spells quicker. Is he gonna be able to heal the whole party, though?

 

Number #4 Pallegina. Here's where I'm having the most trouble making up my mind with. I'm thinking Crusader first and foremost (tough as nails frontliner who can probably go f2f with boss enemies as well). As a Crusader she would also probably be very simple to control. Just point and click, so to speak. I want at least one  companion to click 'n forget.

But if Tekehu's heals aren't gonna be enough, then maybe Herald? I never really got into Chanters in Poe1, but I'm under the impression they get some passive heals at least. Plus I vaguely recall people making fun of her singing voice in PoE1, so her being a part-time Chanter now would be kinda funny. Maybe. I really don't know with her...

 

Number #5 whoknows... I really don't know! Who would fit this kind of party, mechanichs-wise? Sefaren seems kind interesting, but my main guy hates pirates, so that might be a problem hahah. Not opposed to using one of the sidekicks: Vatnir, maybe? Thinking of saving Eder, Aloth and the priestess (forgot her name) for a potential second playthough. But if I need to use them for a long time before getting to the others: Eder as fighter/rogue, Aloth SC wizard and the priestess SC most likely too.

 

Also, I'm under the impression there's some sort of system akin to FF12's gambit system and/or DA:O's tactics(?) system? In that one can kinda program the character's with simple if-then type of commands? If so, then maybe having Tekehu or Pallegina as multiclassed chanters wouldn't be so much of a hassle as I dread.

Just as an aside: if all you're gonna say is: "well, you're only playing on normal so play however you want cuz it doesn't really matter" - don't. Thanks for understanding!

 

P.s. sorry for a long and poorly structured post; English isn't my first language and it's been years since I've made a forum post thing long

P.p.s. HUGE thanks in advance for any and all suggestions/advice

 

 

"Let's drop the moral posturing, shall we? We both know there's no altruism in this pursuit.
Your reckless indignation led you here - I
counted on it.
There's no
shame in it, Raziel - revenge is motivation enough.
At least it's honest.
Hate me, but do it honestly." - Kain, Scion of Balance

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11 hours ago, elohinen said:

Also, I'm under the impression there's some sort of system akin to FF12's gambit system and/or DA:O's tactics(?) system? In that one can kinda program the character's with simple if-then type of commands? If so, then maybe having Tekehu or Pallegina as multiclassed chanters wouldn't be so much of a hassle as I dread.

I can't say how it compares to those games, but yeah you can program your party's AI. It might look like

IF (examples: have x class resource or party member below 50% health), there's also IF NOT

THEN use ability y, and if it's not a selfcast you get to specify target (examples: nearest enemy or enemy with most adjacent targets or enemy with the lowest saving throw)

You can also assign a cooldown to each command, if you don't want it spammed whenever its conditions are met. You can certainly automate a chanter this way by telling them to use invocation x when they have the phrases for it, and perhaps this invocation lasts a long time so you put a cooldown on it and tell them to use a different invocation the next time they can afford it. That said, using invocations is pretty much the only active part of controlling a chanter other than generic things like move here or attack that, or maybe changing your chants, but you already played Pillars 1 so I guess you know anyway.

Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.
Waukeen's Berth: Make all your basic purchases at Queen's Berth.

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The system is much expanded from FFXII's gambit system, and you have everything all available instead of having to fish around and buy if-then conditionals, but that also means you will be sinking considerable time into understanding and utilizing AI in Deadfire as you progress each level. Important thing to note is you'll want to take advantage of setting your own arbitrary cooldown timer on abilities/spells so if they ever get suppressed or something you don't have your AI stuck in a casting loop, wasting resources and time. The order you put things in will dictate priority in the event multiple cases are met.

Edited by UltimaLuminaire
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5 hours ago, UltimaLuminaire said:

The system is much expanded from FFXII's gambit system, and you have everything all available instead of having to fish around and buy if-then conditionals

Wait what? You have to farm in some way, to expand your AI options? Keep EA out of this thread - new microtransaction concept.

OP, regarding your healing concerns: Yes, a herald makes an excellent healer, tried and true. Exalted Endurance and Ancient Memory are constant passive AoE heals, and Lay on Hands is a powerful spot heal.

Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.
Waukeen's Berth: Make all your basic purchases at Queen's Berth.

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The AI programming you can do is quite satisfying. Much better than doa or FF12. It's very extensive and if you take a bit of time with it it can drastically reduce your micro (to the point of non-existence if you wish so in normal difficulty)

You have a lot of ways in game to mitigate the penalties from Berserk, so if that's what you want to go for don't worry too much. Is your character going to use weapons or his fists ? If fists you might want to consider single class monk.

Just as a general comment you seem to put a lot of emphasis on multiclass, and multiclassed characters are indeed in general stronger (with a few exceptions). That being said for a first playthrough I would recommend that you go with mostly single class characters so that you can use all the abilities in the game instead of being limited to power lvl7 abilities. 

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19 hours ago, Myrtillo said:

Just as a general comment you seem to put a lot of emphasis on multiclass, and multiclassed characters are indeed in general stronger

I don't agree to that. At least not for a full party playthrough. Multiclass feels stronger in the early game - especially with front-loaded classes like Rogue, Paladin etc., and also because of two resource pools - but in general single class/multiclass is pretty balanced. One shouldn't underestimate the impact of Power Level and more importantly the faster PL progression which grants access to certain gamechanging abilites a lot sooner (quite apparent with Priests for example). And then you can gain certain awesome PL 8/9 abilities. See Monk (Resonant Touch, Whispers of the Wind), Cipher (Driving Echoes, Shared Nightmare), Wizard (Meteor Shower, Missile Salvo), Druid (Avenging Storm, Greater Maelstrom), Chanter (Eld Nary's Curse), Priest (Seal Symbol of XY spells), Barbarian (Driving Roar, Barbaric Retaliation) and many more. Multiclass is - in my opinion - more interesting though because of the "self-contained" synergies you can play with. 

Anyway I also think the AI system is pretty decent and you can do a lot with it. Some cases can't be implemented with it very well (decent gunslinging with quickswitch for example) but they are few.

 

 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I refreshed my memory of the monk's playthrough and looks like Aloth isn't gonna be an option for the party... Guess I have to take Fassina along then, if I decide to go with a wizard as the 5th party member.

 

Also forgot that monk's fist damage scales with (power)level in this game too, so I might go SC simply because of that. I figure using fists is the best option for a blind, first playthrough, if the scaling on them is decent enough.  Then pick Helwalker to get a bit of that risk vs. aspect and voila!

Do MC devoted fighter / monks get fists and one weapong type as their specialization, though?

 

3 hours ago, omgFIREBALLS said:

Wait what? You have to farm in some way, to expand your AI options? Keep EA out of this thread - new microtransaction concept.

OP, regarding your healing concerns: Yes, a herald makes an excellent healer, tried and true. Exalted Endurance and Ancient Memory are constant passive AoE heals, and Lay on Hands is a powerful spot heal.

 

The original FFXII came out in, 2007 I think, so one just bought the gambits with in-game money from in-game stores. And it's still the same in the most recent remaster from 2017. Thankfully.

 

Also good to know that Herald is a solid MC choice!

 

So the party would be like:

MC: helwalker monk

Maia Rua: scout (ranger/rogue)

Tekehu: SC druid

Pallegina: herald (paladin/chanter)

Fassina: SC wizard ???

______________________

Just as a point of reference, the tactics window looks like this is DAII:

1000?cb=20110411135059

Is it on that level or even deeper / more complicated?

 

I know some may think I'm overthinking all of this, but in recent years I've noticed I'm quite lazy when it comes to restarting a game, especially if it is because of my own uninformed decisions.  And it's not like ever seen even decent in-game tutorials in an rpg(ish) game ever. So this is all about saving my own time really.

Tactics_-_example.webp

"Let's drop the moral posturing, shall we? We both know there's no altruism in this pursuit.
Your reckless indignation led you here - I
counted on it.
There's no
shame in it, Raziel - revenge is motivation enough.
At least it's honest.
Hate me, but do it honestly." - Kain, Scion of Balance

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6 minutes ago, elohinen said:

Is it on that level or even deeper / more complicated?

Not much more complicated than that. Here's a premade AI setting:

phA5tgb.png

Here's one I made myself that I turn on to make my crusader just derp out offense:

m7g5hg3.png

Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.
Waukeen's Berth: Make all your basic purchases at Queen's Berth.

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10 minutes ago, omgFIREBALLS said:

Not much more complicated than that. Here's a premade AI setting:

 

Alright! I can definitely see myself programming at least a couple of party members extensively with this kind of system.

"Let's drop the moral posturing, shall we? We both know there's no altruism in this pursuit.
Your reckless indignation led you here - I
counted on it.
There's no
shame in it, Raziel - revenge is motivation enough.
At least it's honest.
Hate me, but do it honestly." - Kain, Scion of Balance

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13 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Priest (Seal spells),

I'm guessing you meant Symbol, rather than Seal.  The highest level seal spell is only PL5.  (And, yeah, the Symbol of _____ spells are really good.)

Edited by Enoch
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Still no suggestions for the 5th party member? Oh well, guess I'll just shoot off a couple general questions then:

 

- So, which will have higher fist damage: single class monk (nature godlike I guess would be the most powerful choice) or devoted/monk?

- Will berserker's frenzy's self-damage grant vanilla monk wounds too?

- Is shattered pillar's 5 wound max as crippling as it seems? I can't seem to find an ability calculator, but I reckon the reduced maximum automatically excludes some high level abilities?

Edited by elohinen

"Let's drop the moral posturing, shall we? We both know there's no altruism in this pursuit.
Your reckless indignation led you here - I
counted on it.
There's no
shame in it, Raziel - revenge is motivation enough.
At least it's honest.
Hate me, but do it honestly." - Kain, Scion of Balance

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, finished my first playthrough last weekend; now some rambling thoughts about it for posterity! For science?

 

Went with berserker/vanilla monk in the end MC. Worked rather well, but it got rather boring towards the end. I mean it was pretty hilarious seeing him critting for almost 300 damage total, but in the end it was just raging and then hitting. Started on normal, but dialed it up to veteran + upscaled around lvl 10. Didn't complete any of the dlcs (yet at least), because I couldn't enchant items (crashed the game 100 % of the times I tried it) and based on the few fights I did in SSS, I just needed more penetration on my weapons..

Rest of the party was:

Eder as a dw-swashbuckler until switched him for shadowdancer Mirke around level 14.

Maia Rua - scout

Pallegina - herald. Didn't get knocked out even once in over 100 hours!

Tekehu - SC druid.

 

Maia was definitely the mvp, was neck-to-neck on damage and kills with my MC at the end of the game.

Tekehu was kinda disappointing; single class casters don't seem to have a whole lot to do in the end due to limited spell selection that the new per encounter system steers the player towards. His party-friendly chill fog was very useful through the entire game though, but for instance the watery double just auto-attacked 98 % of the time I summoned it, although it's supposed to have spells too.

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"Let's drop the moral posturing, shall we? We both know there's no altruism in this pursuit.
Your reckless indignation led you here - I
counted on it.
There's no
shame in it, Raziel - revenge is motivation enough.
At least it's honest.
Hate me, but do it honestly." - Kain, Scion of Balance

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Summons like Watery Double were a lot better when they were player controlled; alas, that was taken away shortly after release (though it shouldn't be too hard to mod back to the way it used to be.) Tekehu is good, though, IMO: He's got a pretty decent Spiritshift, whose immunity to Dexterity afflictions comes in especially handy against those pesky Lagufaeth, and Chillfog is not the only party-friendly spell he's got that can turn the tides.

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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9 hours ago, AndreaColombo said:

Summons like Watery Double were a lot better when they were player controlled; alas, that was taken away shortly after release (though it shouldn't be too hard to mod back to the way it used to be.) Tekehu is good, though, IMO: He's got a pretty decent Spiritshift, whose immunity to Dexterity afflictions comes in especially handy against those pesky Lagufaeth, and Chillfog is not the only party-friendly spell he's got that can turn the tides.

Yeah, for instance Ocean's Burst does good damage, especially with spell shaping if the enemies are grouped tightly enough. And to be fair, Tekehu was doing double-duty as a healer and damage dealer, so of course he won't be as spectacular as the pure damagers in that regard. Frost (freezing wall? the PL8 spell anyhow) wall and ninagauth's freezing pillar were very underwhelming though.. I still like the character of Tekehu and his voice, so I'll probably multiclass him next time I bring him along. Should've also turned him into Svef addict or something hahah, to boost his accuracy and all in all this an non-issue; he did well enough, not just as great as the others.

"Let's drop the moral posturing, shall we? We both know there's no altruism in this pursuit.
Your reckless indignation led you here - I
counted on it.
There's no
shame in it, Raziel - revenge is motivation enough.
At least it's honest.
Hate me, but do it honestly." - Kain, Scion of Balance

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On 1/25/2020 at 5:54 PM, elohinen said:

Still no suggestions for the 5th party member? Oh well, guess I'll just shoot off a couple general questions then:

 

 

Elohinen, it's been a while since I've done a run through of PoE2, but the way I've always handled my parties was that I never committed long term to a single party comp.  Oh, I would have a favorite comp, but I would regularly switch in and out other companions and sidekicks to a) earn them more XP and level them up, and b) to try to get used to playing them in my party.  I found it useful get play a wide variety of comps so that if I ran across some enemy that seemed to give my "A team" trouble, I would have other options and experience with said options.

Also, switching in and out various companions would give you access to their side questions, and hence more XP and so on.  And IMO, it also helped to keep the party from getting too boring by running the exact same team all the time. 

And on a related note, picking up all of the companions and side kicks and getting them properly trained and equipped gave you a huge advantage in boarding actions.

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13 hours ago, elohinen said:

Yeah, for instance Ocean's Burst does good damage, especially with spell shaping if the enemies are grouped tightly enough. And to be fair, Tekehu was doing double-duty as a healer and damage dealer, so of course he won't be as spectacular as the pure damagers in that regard. Frost (freezing wall? the PL8 spell anyhow) wall and ninagauth's freezing pillar were very underwhelming though.. I still like the character of Tekehu and his voice, so I'll probably multiclass him next time I bring him along. Should've also turned him into Svef addict or something hahah, to boost his accuracy and all in all this an non-issue; he did well enough, not just as great as the others.

I'm quite surprised about your low opinion about Ninagauth's freezing pillar. It's one of my favorite spells on Aloth.

Of course, don't use it on Cold resistant enemies, but otherwise...

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1 hour ago, Haplok said:

I'm quite surprised about your low opinion about Ninagauth's freezing pillar. It's one of my favorite spells on Aloth.

Of course, don't use it on Cold resistant enemies, but otherwise...

Tekehu gets his party friendly version of the freezing pillar on the last power level, which means there's only 1 use per encounter and with me it was competing with the Great Maelstrom, which I found to be way more effective. Based on the wiki it's a PL 6 spell on a wizard, but I didn't have Aloth available on my save file and Fassina (conjurer sidekick) get's penalized for using the spell, so... maybe on my next run I'll give it another go. I can see tts hobbled effect being useful for cc if one could cast it on a chokepoint.

 

4 hours ago, Crucis said:

Elohinen, it's been a while since I've done a run through of PoE2, but the way I've always handled my parties was that I never committed long term to a single party comp.  Oh, I would have a favorite comp, but I would regularly switch in and out other companions and sidekicks to a) earn them more XP and level them up, and b) to try to get used to playing them in my party.  I found it useful get play a wide variety of comps so that if I ran across some enemy that seemed to give my "A team" trouble, I would have other options and experience with said options.

Also, switching in and out various companions would give you access to their side questions, and hence more XP and so on.  And IMO, it also helped to keep the party from getting too boring by running the exact same team all the time. 

And on a related note, picking up all of the companions and side kicks and getting them properly trained and equipped gave you a huge advantage in boarding actions.

Yeah, it's true what you said about boarding actions in particular, but my excuse for using the same team is two-fold:

1) I guess old habits sometimes do really die hard. This dates way back to me playing BG2 in my early teens and during that I found sticking to the same party to be most effective (not really true though, but still hahah). I've played this way through Kotors, Fallouts, IWDs, you name it.

2) I'm playing Deadfire on PS4 and currently switching party members is quite bugged: sometimes the party members I swapped will continue to appear on the edges of areas, although they're not in the party anymore. Sometimes party members refused to be dismissed and their character portrait would still remain and take up a slot, although they were gone physically and at one point dismissed party members didn't seem to get any xp, but yesterday evening I did manage to switch Serafen, Fassina and Ydvin on the team and raise them to lvl 17 no problem.. In short, I don't want to deal with the hassle and can only wait for VE to sort this mess out.

 

And yeah, these issues have been made known to VE; now I play the waiting game, not Deadfire.

"Let's drop the moral posturing, shall we? We both know there's no altruism in this pursuit.
Your reckless indignation led you here - I
counted on it.
There's no
shame in it, Raziel - revenge is motivation enough.
At least it's honest.
Hate me, but do it honestly." - Kain, Scion of Balance

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19 hours ago, elohinen said:

Tekehu gets his party friendly version of the freezing pillar on the last power level, which means there's only 1 use per encounter and with me it was competing with the Great Maelstrom, which I found to be way more effective. Based on the wiki it's a PL 6 spell on a wizard, but I didn't have Aloth available on my save file and Fassina (conjurer sidekick) get's penalized for using the spell, so... maybe on my next run I'll give it another go. I can see tts hobbled effect being useful for cc if one could cast it on a chokepoint.

 

Yeah, it's true what you said about boarding actions in particular, but my excuse for using the same team is two-fold:

1) I guess old habits sometimes do really die hard. This dates way back to me playing BG2 in my early teens and during that I found sticking to the same party to be most effective (not really true though, but still hahah). I've played this way through Kotors, Fallouts, IWDs, you name it.

2) I'm playing Deadfire on PS4 and currently switching party members is quite bugged: sometimes the party members I swapped will continue to appear on the edges of areas, although they're not in the party anymore. Sometimes party members refused to be dismissed and their character portrait would still remain and take up a slot, although they were gone physically and at one point dismissed party members didn't seem to get any xp, but yesterday evening I did manage to switch Serafen, Fassina and Ydvin on the team and raise them to lvl 17 no problem.. In short, I don't want to deal with the hassle and can only wait for VE to sort this mess out.

 

And yeah, these issues have been made known to VE; now I play the waiting game, not Deadfire.

I guess that it's been my old habit to rotate party members around a bit, though perhaps more in the PoE games than I would in the BG games.  I can easily understand that if switching party members in the PS4 version is buggy, that'd be a good reason to want to avoid doing so.  I played the PC version, and it wasn't that big a deal for me.

I remember a time in PoE1(with the expansions) that for the life of me, I couldn't win a certain battle in the second White March expansion.  So I ended up dropping back a save, and returned to my stronghold and reorganized my party and went back.  And, lo and behold, I completely dominated the battle with the new party mix.  So, I guess for me, party switching is just my habit.

For what little it's worth, I tend to stick with a core of 4 party members, and use the 5th slot for switching in and out members.  I rarely do total party makeovers as that's a bit confusing in a number of ways, such as having to switch the best gear, etc., etc.  With only one character being switched, dealing with gear switching isn't too big a deal.  But having to do it for 4 is a different kettle of fish.

 

 

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On 2/21/2020 at 7:37 AM, Crucis said:

I guess that it's been my old habit to rotate party members around a bit, though perhaps more in the PoE games than I would in the BG games.  I can easily understand that if switching party members in the PS4 version is buggy, that'd be a good reason to want to avoid doing so.  I played the PC version, and it wasn't that big a deal for me.

I remember a time in PoE1(with the expansions) that for the life of me, I couldn't win a certain battle in the second White March expansion.  So I ended up dropping back a save, and returned to my stronghold and reorganized my party and went back.  And, lo and behold, I completely dominated the battle with the new party mix.  So, I guess for me, party switching is just my habit.

For what little it's worth, I tend to stick with a core of 4 party members, and use the 5th slot for switching in and out members.  I rarely do total party makeovers as that's a bit confusing in a number of ways, such as having to switch the best gear, etc., etc.  With only one character being switched, dealing with gear switching isn't too big a deal.  But having to do it for 4 is a different kettle of fish.

 

 

Yeah,  for instance my party would've benefitted immensely from having a priest in the party, but it was a roleplaying choice not having one.

I can't imagine playing with only 4 members; I have choice paralysis with 5 members and struggled with 6 members in PoE1 hahah.

Just of out of curiosity: what classes and roles does your 4-person party consist of? Do you min-max or use only written companions?

"Let's drop the moral posturing, shall we? We both know there's no altruism in this pursuit.
Your reckless indignation led you here - I
counted on it.
There's no
shame in it, Raziel - revenge is motivation enough.
At least it's honest.
Hate me, but do it honestly." - Kain, Scion of Balance

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12 hours ago, elohinen said:

Yeah,  for instance my party would've benefitted immensely from having a priest in the party, but it was a roleplaying choice not having one.

I can't imagine playing with only 4 members; I have choice paralysis with 5 members and struggled with 6 members in PoE1 hahah.

Just of out of curiosity: what classes and roles does your 4-person party consist of? Do you min-max or use only written companions?

First off, I never actually played with only 4 party members, except early on when that might be all you could have.  I only mentioned 4 since it's my "core" party, with the 5th slot reserved for the NPC's I'm switching in and out.  The 5th slot for me has usually been Pallegina or Maia or someone else.

Secondly, my core party usually consists of my PC, Eder (either as a pure fighter or a fighter/rogue), Xoti as a pure cleric, with the 4th depending on what class I've chosen for my PC.  Honestly, I'm not big on wizards or druids.  I tend to favor physical combatants over magical ones, but I will adjust my party mix if I'm going into a fight that seems like it'd benefit from a wizard.

Overall, I've always had a fondness for Rangers and Paladins in the old BG and IWD DnD games, but I'm not overly fond of how they're implemented in PoE.  With Rangers, I don't like having to drag around the animal companion and it feels like too many of the class' abilities are tied to the A/C's, leaving very little in the way of options for those who choose to go with the Ghostheart ranger subclass.  As for PoE Paladins, they just don't click with me.   They feel like too much of a support class than a front line combatant.  Oddly though, I love having Pallegina in the party, perhaps because as an NPC, I don't have to worry as much about "alignment" issues (don't remember the proper term for PoE, but you get my drift).  So, I've tended towards either pure fighters or fighter/rogues.

For what it's worth, I can fully appreciate party comps due to role playing decisions.  I prefer playing the game more from a role playing perspective than a hardcore min-max one. Oh, I'll moderately min-max my PC, but overly so.  

 

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I would recommend a single class wizard Aloth.
In term of versatility and crowd control, he's king. Especially the high level illusion spells will help with some encounters. 

Another solution would be a single class cipher Serafen.
It brings a lot of utility to the table. Giving you penetration, debuffing enemy AR or giving your party Brilliant (replenish class resources). Usually, I build him with only Deception spells and have him or another member use a club with the modal. Works decent enough.

If it helps you, I almost always have Eder(sticky tank) and Tekehu(healer/debuffer) in my party and switch the other two members. Recently, i've fallen in love with Mirke. Nothing is more funny then some little rodent girl zipzapping around and kicking everybody in the air.
Xoti is annoying ( my last drop of patience was the dialog with Eothas in Magran's Teeth) so she's warming the bench 24/7
Aloth usually gets stronger in the latter levels.
Maia as Scout with Red Hand destroys everything except undead (i switch to some blunderbuss or firearm with other damage except pierce)
Pallegina works ok as Herald, but she's getting on my nerves also.
Serafen for me works better as single class cipher, even if he occasionally does some silly thing like nuking himself.

I usually pick the 'recommended' companion for quests and bring along who i like. For example, i finished Beast of Winter with MC + Vatnir + Ydwen + Eder + Aloth on PoTD with 0 deaths. The dialogues were fun and interesting.

 

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On 2/23/2020 at 6:31 AM, Crucis said:

First off, I never actually played with only 4 party members, except early on when that might be all you could have.  I only mentioned 4 since it's my "core" party, with the 5th slot reserved for the NPC's I'm switching in and out.  The 5th slot for me has usually been Pallegina or Maia or someone else.

Secondly, my core party usually consists of my PC, Eder (either as a pure fighter or a fighter/rogue), Xoti as a pure cleric, with the 4th depending on what class I've chosen for my PC.  Honestly, I'm not big on wizards or druids.  I tend to favor physical combatants over magical ones, but I will adjust my party mix if I'm going into a fight that seems like it'd benefit from a wizard.

Overall, I've always had a fondness for Rangers and Paladins in the old BG and IWD DnD games, but I'm not overly fond of how they're implemented in PoE.  With Rangers, I don't like having to drag around the animal companion and it feels like too many of the class' abilities are tied to the A/C's, leaving very little in the way of options for those who choose to go with the Ghostheart ranger subclass.  As for PoE Paladins, they just don't click with me.   They feel like too much of a support class than a front line combatant.  Oddly though, I love having Pallegina in the party, perhaps because as an NPC, I don't have to worry as much about "alignment" issues (don't remember the proper term for PoE, but you get my drift).  So, I've tended towards either pure fighters or fighter/rogues.

For what it's worth, I can fully appreciate party comps due to role playing decisions.  I prefer playing the game more from a role playing perspective than a hardcore min-max one. Oh, I'll moderately min-max my PC, but overly so.  

 

Hmmm, indeed, not really sure now how I read it like you only used 4 party members... I reckon I ought to stop posting after taking my sleeping pills, hahah.

Anyhoo, you usually play with Eder and Xoti? Meaning you played with them more than once? Doesn't that get a little... boring? At least when you use them in the same class?

Paladins were OP as **** in BG2, the Inquisitor subclass especially seemed almost custom made to the game (with the prevalence of powerful magic users and illusion magic in particular, I mean) and in general as a paladin one got all the benefits of the class without having to really struggle with choices. In PoE I didn't like their disposition system at first, but now I'm coming around to the idea being forced to play a certain way to get the most out of the class - If I ever get around to playing Deadfire a third time, I'll probably make the MC some sort of paladin, because then I won't really know where the conversations and decisions will go and it might make the game feel a bit more fresh.

I agree on rangers in PoE though - one basically gets a permanent summon with the AC, but I feel I need to invest too many points into them to get them to a decent level of efficiency and even then, they remain too squishy for my tastes. With Maia, I only put one point into resilient companion and kept the bird out of combat pretty much throughout the game.

That being said, I'm currently playing around with a beastmaster build (shifter/stalker) in turn-based mode, so far the bear has been pretty good. Feels like I'm starved for more ability points though.

In general I only use story companions in party based games, but do try my very best to optimize them.

23 hours ago, Seccirsin said:

I would recommend a single class wizard Aloth.
In term of versatility and crowd control, he's king. Especially the high level illusion spells will help with some encounters. 

Another solution would be a single class cipher Serafen.
It brings a lot of utility to the table. Giving you penetration, debuffing enemy AR or giving your party Brilliant (replenish class resources). Usually, I build him with only Deception spells and have him or another member use a club with the modal. Works decent enough.

If it helps you, I almost always have Eder(sticky tank) and Tekehu(healer/debuffer) in my party and switch the other two members. Recently, i've fallen in love with Mirke. Nothing is more funny then some little rodent girl zipzapping around and kicking everybody in the air.
Xoti is annoying ( my last drop of patience was the dialog with Eothas in Magran's Teeth) so she's warming the bench 24/7
Aloth usually gets stronger in the latter levels.
Maia as Scout with Red Hand destroys everything except undead (i switch to some blunderbuss or firearm with other damage except pierce)
Pallegina works ok as Herald, but she's getting on my nerves also.
Serafen for me works better as single class cipher, even if he occasionally does some silly thing like nuking himself.

I usually pick the 'recommended' companion for quests and bring along who i like. For example, i finished Beast of Winter with MC + Vatnir + Ydwen + Eder + Aloth on PoTD with 0 deaths. The dialogues were fun and interesting.

 

Don't take this the wrong way, but I take it you didn't read through the whole topic? I mean, I've already played through the game and didn't have Aloth available in my save file..

But yeah, Maia with the Red Hand was absolutely devastating and Mirke as a shadowdancer was pretty fun too. Didn't really use Serafen, made him a witch and he felt very underwhelming in the early levels. Can he survive his self-nuke as a single class cipher? Hopefully at least when he is at full health..

I'm curious if you bench party members if they annoy you as an actual person or your MC? Or is it both?

"Let's drop the moral posturing, shall we? We both know there's no altruism in this pursuit.
Your reckless indignation led you here - I
counted on it.
There's no
shame in it, Raziel - revenge is motivation enough.
At least it's honest.
Hate me, but do it honestly." - Kain, Scion of Balance

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1 hour ago, elohinen said:

Don't take this the wrong way, but I take it you didn't read through the whole topic? I mean, I've already played through the game and didn't have Aloth available in my save file..

My bad, i missed that part on some replies. 
 

 

1 hour ago, elohinen said:

Mirke as a shadowdancer was pretty fun too.

I had Mirke as single class Monk

 

 

1 hour ago, elohinen said:

Can he survive his self-nuke as a single class cipher? Hopefully at least when he is at full health..

Since I had 0 deaths, even if he blew up, I either didn't notice or it didn't impact the fight that much. In all fairness, it's not that common. Most of the times the effects are good. One thing you could do, is have him with high Metaphysics and use Cadhu Scalth (it's reduced damage should also impact self nuking)

 

1 hour ago, elohinen said:

I'm curious if you bench party members if they annoy you as an actual person or your MC? Or is it both?

If they annoy me, as a person, as in, if their particular dialogues in certain scenarios get on my nerves. So far, only Xoti and Pallegina did this.
I also bench party members based on party composition and missions. Like i already mentioned, I usually pick the recommended companion and try to build a party with them and the mission in mind.
For example, when going to Magran's Teeth (fire area) i bench companions who have a lot of fire attacks and pick those that have freeze. Same thing, only in reverse, for Beast of Winter.
But, the most definitive factor is fun. Even if Mirke has almost no input dialogue outside Deadlight, for me personally, a drunk squirrel kicking and punching people is extremely funny.

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