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I am stuck in early Act 2. I rushed to Sagani and GM and then wanted to start clearing the surrounding areas.

Only, no matter if Woodend Plains or Stormwall Gorge, I canNOT get past the groups of lions (especially the one with the Adragan and the other new humanoid monster). I tried surrounding them, I tried Alpha-striking different enemies (can't insta-kill anything there), I spammed all of my limited spell arsenal, I ate food. Nothing works for me.

I don't think it is a problem that I am too weak (level 5), I firmly believe that either my party setup just doesn't cut it (which would suck) or that I just can't come up with the proper strategy here.

My party consists of 

Ranger MC (20/4/17/18/15/3) Boreal Dwarf with Wolf pet

Sagani

Eder

Kana

Grieving Mother

Durance (who I want to ditch because he just doesn't fit my goody-two-shoes heroine)

 

Considering how easy Maerwald was with Ranger/Eder/Kana/Durance/Aloth, I am at a loss what exactly is my problem now. Am I gimping my combat prowess with 2 Rangers maybe?

My current plan for this party would be that all but Durance are my permanent companions, and 1 slot I switch around as I please. Is Kana a good enough replacement for a priest (for buffing and such) or would some other class be a mandatory addition to my team like this?

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Adragans and elder lions at lvl 5 is a no-go imo. Way too powerful for most lvl-5 groups. 

You have two Rangers (which isn't a great source of power in the early game - although the two ACs help) but it shouldn't make fights impossible - Kana doesn't have a big impact at such low levels either but still: shouldn't be a big problem. Edér can tank a bit but at that level he also won't last long against such foes.

You could try Inspiring Radiance + Whisper of Treason on some of the enemies. But an Adragan will petrifiy you no matter what on those low levels while you will be having a hard time to prevent that. Your defenses compared to an Adragan's offensive stats are just too low to prevent this and your Priest will not have any tool against that (e.g. no prayer at that level that would help).

You can level a LOT in Defiance Bay with very doable quests before venturing out into the wilds. Woodend Plains and esp. Stormwall Gorge are for higher levels - especially Stormwall Gorge because it's supposed to be the last waypoint on the road to Act III. 

So tl;dr: you are underleveled. Basically you can "win" all the game's encounters with any party composition. So if you can't it's most likely being underleveled or lack of knowledge (about game mechanics etc.). 

PS.: Wizard with (multiple) Chillfogs makes it much easier to take on overleveled eemies. Not that you have to take them on - but if you want to a Chillfog is immensely helpful. Also Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff (since it comes exceptional and has huge base damage yet can spare you a lot of spell uses).   
 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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You don't need to fight the lurkers or lions in Woodend Plains (except if you want to get Hearth Harvest early) and nothing leads you to Stormwall Gorge before wanting to go to Twin Elms or following the Dozen's quest line (but then you won't be lvl 5 anymore usually). Making a beeline for Hiravias might be a reason, but then you're not following a path the game suggests.

Back to Woodend Plains: the road and the crossroads where you find Sagani are pretty safe - the near Xaurips are easy to deal with. I find it kind of refreshing that you can meet hefty foes if you leave the road. Dangerous wilds and so on....
But you can always come back later because those fights aren't madatory to be able to progress.

Like with the nearly impossible bear cave right at the start of the game (after leaving Cilant Lîs) PoE shows you that you shouldn't expect to win every optional fight right away, even if it's located on a map that otherwise has pretty doable encounters. I like that but it may be frustrating for players who insist to "clear" a map right away I guess. ;) 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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You are right, Boeroer, yes, it adds to the flair and the immersion that not everything in one area is on the same level. Like the Temple of Eothas as well :)

Coming from souls-likes, I am just so used to running my head against every wall I can find until it breaks ('it' being my head most of the time), but in a non-dexterity-skill based game, it is different.

 

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