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After a few hundred hours playing Deadfire, I'm thinking of trying a solo playthrough. However, I'm not trying to go for "The Ultimate" or something like that; I just want a fun, challenging playthrough without any party members.

Keeping in mind that my main goal here is fun, quest completion, and avoiding cheese... What is the best difficulty settings to have a challenging, fun, solo run without having to cheese?

I've seen a few videos of people doing content solo involving stealthing in the middle of battle, pulling mobs one at a time, abusing combos, skipping content, etc. Don't get me wrong, a lot of this is pretty impressive and requires a lot of skill haha. That said, is it possible to do a POTD solo run without doing this stuff? What about with level scaling turned on?

Here are some cheesing/unfun things I want to avoid in a solo playthrough:
- Stealing in the middle of battle
- Pulling single mobs (doing this occasionally is okay, but doing it for every battle is tiresome and feels like cheese)
- Skipping content or avoiding battles until character reaches level 13+ <-- This personally would take a way from the fun factor for me. 

Is there a specific difficulty people would recommend I play on given this? I've been playing on POTD trial of iron (no scaling though) with my party playthroughs and I'm not opposed to difficulty, I just don't want to have to cheat the game in order to win.

Also, any tips on progression as a solo character in general?

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The things you consider cheese are not required whatsoever for a non ultimate PotD solo run.

However killing the megabosses might involve some tactics I personally would consider cheese.

If you are playing non iron man, you should be able to figure out non cheese ways to even beat the megabosses tho, but if you never played solo before it might take you either a long time to figure those out, or alternatively you could look it up on this forum. :P

One of the most impressive Dorudugan kills I have seen, I personally would not consider cheese (but ofc everyone has different views on what is cheese) has been uploaded by jaggedjimmyjay which I think is @Waski on these forums but sorry if I mixed you guys up, I'm getting old. :P

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Do you have any advice for a first time solo player? Is there any guides for this type of thing? I'm not really looking for a build as I can figure that out on my own, but a strategy/expectations. For example, can I expect to be able to win the fight at the dig site, or is that basically impossible?

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You can win the dig site fight only with cheese (one example: 

Spoiler

 

Other than that it is smart to just get non combat xp early, explore the world map for exploration xp, go to Sandswept ruins for trap disarm xp, do quests in Neketaka etc.

If you are not on the ultimate you can get to at least level 17 without a single fight (even on the Ultimate you can get to 16 without fighting).

I don't think there is a compact guide to soloing per se, there is however guides to non combat xp on this forum and there is plenty of videos of peoples runs, if you search for the ultimate video threat on this forum you will even find several people who posted their entire ultimate run.

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Nearly all fights are manageable on solo (even PotD) if you are playing an SC Assassin or Assassin/Paladin.

All you need is high INT and MIG and PER, Smoke Veil and Gouging Strike (and Brand Enemy as Assassin/Paladin is very good). Lover's Embrace if you want to speed things up. I like to use it as a single weapon. Boots of Speed and/or Zealous Charge

You just go in stealthed, hit with a Gouging Strike with Lover's Embrace (follow up with Brand Enemy at once because hits from stealth have a 80% recovery bonus, BE has no recovery), activate Smoke Veil (doesn't break on DoTs) and quickly retreat where you can't be seen. Wait until enemy dies and repeat. Some players might call that cheese but I don't. All three effects work as intended and it can be a lot of fun because IF you mess up your timing or your positioning you are dead. The challenge is to figure out positioning and timing and observing the enemy and not applying brute force or stacking ultrahigh defenses. It plays as a stealth game then.

There are fights where you can't retreat (mostly Water Dragon). But I'm able to kill him very quickly with dual daggers and Toxic Strike + Gouging Strike + Ring the Bell + Arterial Strike and then Escape and run around a bit. Then Marux Amanth's Worthy Sacrifice.

One class that can fight digsite etc. heads-on is Arcane Knight. I especially like Steel Garrote/Bloodmage with Offensive Parry from Whispers of the Endless Paths (obvisouly not available at digsite) but all Arcane Knights are great in the early levels (and later) because they come with passive defense buffs which stack with the wizard's active defense buffs which some of are also accessible very early. A Stell Garrote/Bloodmage with Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff is great in the early game. But Goldpact is also very nice due to Gilded Enmity which helps a lot.
 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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