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Is this game supposed to be this difficult


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Picked up Pillars of Eternity on GOG a couple of days ago. I have finished Planescape Torment EE on normal, Baldur's Gate EE on normal, BG2 EE on Core Rules, and playing Icewind Dale 1 EE on core rules right now. So, while i am not exactly a pro, i could say i do have some experience in RPG games, though all those THAC0S, saving throws etc. are still not 100% clear to me, though i understand the basics.

In Baldur's Gate 2 (with Throne of Bhall) i had to lower difficulty to easy only twice. In BG1, i only did so once, for the final boss battle (cause i was underleveled and couldn't be bothered to backtrack and get more xp). I never lowered difficulty in PT (because it's so easy) and i haven't done so in Icewind, either, at least so far.

 

But this game is killing me. My party is me and Eloth, both wizards level 3, and i am attempting to clear temple of Eothas, but these Skuldrs (spelling) are unexpectedly strong. I am playing on normal.

I am assuming i am not underleveled since this is literally the first 4 hours of the game

 

Am i just that bad or is this game supposed to be more difficult than the original D&D games?

 

 

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It will be helpful to recruit more allies as soon as possible. There's a fighter that you can recruit in Gilded Vale, as well as a priest at a fork in the road outside of town. There's also the option to hire adventurers at an inn to fill in the gaps. I'm currently about 75 hours into a blind first playthrough on max difficulty and I'm finding it very challenging at certain points but for the most part it's moving along at a good pace. Though I am a veteran to these kind of games, having finished IWD, IWD2, BG1, BG2, and PS:T all on core rules. Anyway, as I said my advice is to recruit more companions. It's also very helpful to have a dedicated tank or two, and take advantage of the terrain; for instance using bottlenecks to hold off large groups of foes with your tanks when you get them. Best wishes for a happy journey.

Edited by Roneleth
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First of all you missed your third companion: besides Aloth who's standing in front of the tavern there's also Edér, appr. 20 meters north of Aloth, standing at the tree with the hanged people. In order to get im to join your party you talk to the soul of the animacer dwarven lady that was hanged. After that he will say "seventeen and a half" when you pass by him and that opens up a dialogue where you can invite him to your party. He's a fighter.

Then you don't need to do the Temple of Eothas right away since it's quite hard. First do some other quest in town. Some of those will lead you out of town (and back). On the way you will cross Magran's Fork where you can pick up Durance, a priest. He's hard to miss. Priests are the most impactful class in PoE if you play with a party because their buffs are extremely good. Give him Inspiring Radiance as talent since it stacks with everything and +10 accuracy in the early game is a lot and it's usable 1/encounter. You can combine this with Blessing (+5 ACC) - they stack but Blessing is a normal priest spell which means it's a per-rest spell.

Then - while it's counterintuitive but still very helpful - you can also pick up Kana Rua (Chanter) at the entrance of Caed Nua. You don't need to go in (it's tough!) but just talk to him and return to town with him. You can go back later. 

Temple of Eothas isn't easy in general, especially the Shades which you will encounter on the second level are very strong. Besides getting Edér, Durance and Kana I would highly recommend to also hire an adventurer (custom party member) in the tavern for a few bucks - even if he/she's just filling a gap until you find more "official" companions later. Pick what you like. Rogues (high ACC, high DMG), Monks (high ACC, high defenses, lots of resources), Fighters (high ACC, high defenses, auto-heal) and Paladins (high defenses, great healing ability) and Priests (Inspiring Radiance) are quite good at the early levels.

What early stuff you want to pick/use:

Wizard/Aloth:
- Arcane Assault: it's 2/encounter and really not bad.
- Chillfog: this spell is the best 1-level spell. It applies blinded which is very strong and does freeze dmg periodically. Even if the enemies are resistant to frost dmg they still get blinded which helps a LOT in the early game. You can cast multiple Chillfogs - they stack. 
- Combusting Wounds: it will get triggered by every pulse of Chillfog which makes for an awesome combo - especially if you have two wizards who can stack up several Chillfogs.
- Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff: it comes with exceptional quality which is very good in the early game and it has enormous base damage. It also heals per hit which is a neat bonus oon top. It's def. the best dmg output you can have for a single spell use in the early game.  

Durance:
- Inspring Radiance as I said. If you have two Priests (Durance + custom) you can haven them both cast this - it stacks with itself.
- Consecrated Ground: good healing. You can cast it right before you calsh and don't need to wait for a party member to get injured (because of then it's too late to react). 

Edér:
- Disciplined Barrage: +20 ACC is insane in the early game. Stacks with Inspiring Randiance (+10) but not Blessing (+5) of the priest.
- Knockdown: Edér has it anyway iirc. 
- Weapon Focus <Edér's favorite weapon>: +6 ACC is very good in the early game.

Kana:
- But Reny Daret's Ghost, He would not Rest: while the Phantom is not that great later in the game it's extremely powerful in the early game. If you manage to stall the fight long enough to bring this out it's often winning the fight for you.
- White Worms: this invocation is very impactful if there are a lot of corpses lying around. Every corpse in the area of effect will explode and deal damage. The more corspes the more ridiculous the damage. Corpses don't get cosumed by this - they can explode over and over again. They also don't get removed unless you reload the map (like load a savegame or leave/re-enter the map). So you can imagine if you manage to lure a lot of enemies to a certain narrow spot (for example a doorway) over and over again the pile becomes quite big and often you can one-shot whole groups of enemies with the corpses of their fellows ;) . It's best to let Edér scout forward and then pull enmies towards Kana who's already starting to sing his song so when Edér arrives Kana can directly unleash the invocation. For this invocation you should decativate the "gib" option in the game menu. Gibbed enemies explode on crit-death and will leave no corpse. No corpse = bad. Also certain enemies like spirits and oozes don't leave corpses. This invocation is very, very useful in Raedric's castle which is also in the early game. In the Temple of Eothas it's good on the 1. floor (spiders and stuff leave corpses) but not so much on the second floor because most enemies leave no corpse there. Here the Phantom is def. better.

The best general tactic is to use Edér as tank and place him at a chokepoint like a doorway, blocking the way to the rest of the group. Heal him if necessary and do stuff like Chillfog + Combusting Wounds + ranged or reach attacks from behind him. Make shure Chillfogs don't hit him but only the enemy. 

In gerenal you might find some places that feel extremely hard to deal with. Nearly always those are places you can come back to later. Don't force it. The only encounter which is really hard and mandatory is the fight in Caed Nua (the castle) against some Phantoms. The rest is always optional and you can come back after gaining another level. Often that's all the improvement you need to win then.

Edited by Boeroer
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Let me add that the Aspirant's Mark talent is very valuable in the early game (debuffs enemies for -8 deflection an -8 reflex once per encounter). Combined with Inspiring Radiance, you will hit much more often. You can pick it with any char one even levels. I like to pick it with Kana on lvl 2 or 4. 

Let Kana chant only the phrase "at the sight of their comrades". That gives you up +20 fortitude when phrases overlap, so you don't get stunned by phantoms or proned by kith. It is much better than the other early chants.

Although this is counterintuitive, the early game is the hardest part of PoE1. Strange, but that's how it is. Carry on, it will become easier once you arrive at Defiance Bay

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People write 5 pages worth of spoiling tips and tricks /facepalm

Lower the difficulty. Storymode. Done. Literally what its there for.

You can go through the game at your pace, without foreknowledge ,experiencing the game js meant to be played. 

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I'm no veteren of this game but I play it on Hard Mode and have tried out the nightmare mode before and my strategy is to make a Fighter that is strong and very fast with moderate constitution and that seems to work. Have a few fighters in the group with you until you learn to solo. Use a shield and a fast melee weapon. That's my advice as a nooby.

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