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Trying to play a wizard - what am I missing here?


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Question 1: An enemy melee engages my wizard = inevitable doom?. Related: the "mirror image" icon spells and other defensive spells are useless?

 

Can I do anything about an enemy engaging my wizard? Almost any enemy so far (Beetles to Cultists) can take my wizard from healthy to knocked out in a manner of seconds. I don't understand what good Arcane Veil or Mirror Image are when - if I cast them as soon as I see an enemy charging toward my wizard (either due to a bad pull or a bad confusion, see below), by the time they finish I've already lost half my stamina. I also don't see the point of any of these defensive maneuvers if I can't safely disengage from melee - all these spells do is delay the inevitable by a few seconds. At times PoE feels very MMO-ish (namely tank and having to "pull" enemies), but in an MMO, a tank would have some kind of Taunt ability or the DPS would have some kind of de-aggro or disengaging spell for these cases. Even 3e D&D had some kind of mechanism to safely avoid attack of opportunity.

 

Question 2: Debuffs are pointless?

 

At least at the start, I'm not sure what the merit of the various debuff spells are. First, and I've already made a post about it - I honestly don't understand the point of confusion. All it does is cause enemies to disengage from my tank--and generally try to engage my wizard. That is definitely not an effect I want to waste time and spellcasting slot on! I've tried a few others, and apart from having only the foggiest notion of what they do (enemies really need a debuff display like your party members do that you can hover over for tooltips), I rarely ever see an obvious effect in battle. 

 

Question 3: What spells are actually party friendly (if any)?

 

I've been led astray several times by spells that imply that they either only affect one enemy, or jump to just enemies, or target just enemies in AoE only to see hapless BB Fighter get grazed or hit or critically hit with effects. The converse is true about BB Priest, BTW - a lot more spells are party friendly than I expect (or are just bugged - I feel like the glyph of warding-type spell is either party friendly or is really buggy about when it actually hurts things).

 

Question 4: Am I missing something about how the pseudo-turn-based-system works?

 

I'm not exactly sure what that little bar that empties from right to left and the pips and the little circle that occasionally has a sword in it mean. I *thought* it was like a Final-Fantasy-style active time bar, and when it emptied my character would do an action. Yet sometimes I can use an ability while the bar is still not empty, and still other times my character will gaily keep auto-attacking even after I've repeatedly selected a spell and a target. Is it like World of Warcraft where some abilities respect a universal cooldown and some don't? Still other times, I feel like it acts like a queue and when I click on an ability, the character will start doing it when the bar empties, while still others I feel like the character does an attack and then starts using the ability. Or is this just really buggy.

 

Question 5: Is the "Spell cast" auto-pause buggy?

 

For some reason, I feel like the tooltip strongly implied it would pause for enemies casting, but not the case. And it doesn't seem to always trigger when my characters cast spells, or triggers as they are casting a spell but no effect has started (so I'm unclear whether or not it's safe to do anything).

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I extensively test and examine the Wizard (my favorite class in most games), and yes, you are correct in just about all of your grievances. To answer you...

  1. Defensively, Spirit Shield is your goto spell, and works well. I recommend keeping your Wizard in at least DT 6 or greater. The expensive leathers from the town smithy work well. Anything less and Spirit Shield won't do you much good.
  2. Many debuffs are pointless atm. To get better utilization out of them, it's every bit as important to have Dexterity maximized as it is Intelligence--if not more so. Some spells, like Ryngrim's Repulsive Visage just flat-out do not work. Many other debuffs will be effectively usless, because they will often graze, causing only a few seconds detriment. If you attain high-teens or greater durations, you're doing well. That's just very difficult to take advantage of them given the targeting issues of wide AoEs.
  3. More than you might suspect. They are mostly single target offensive and defensive spells, but there are few friendly AoEs. Spells like Jolting Touch, Arduous Delay in Motion (Slow), and Arcane Dampener to name a few.
  4. Your assumptions are correct. When the bar reaches "zero", you may take another action. This is often problematic though, because auto-attack will often kick in, forcing you to wait before you can choose another action. Sometimes I will even queue a spell, only to have the Wizard attack, or the bar run several times through (bug) without it taking any action at all.
  5. Bugs definitely exist. Help us squash them by reporting them.

Right now, the Wizard is definitely...problematic. From reading many of his remarks about them, I imagine Mr. Sawyer has a vendetta against wizards, so I'm skeptical about how much they will improve. Giving them higher DT armor and using a non-wand ranged weapon will help. I'd also recommend using cone and single target damage spells while everything else gets fixed.

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Wizards are lame. If you need a caster, take a Cipher or Druid.

"To be fair, if I was married to Milla Jovovich, I would also be happy just making movies that show off her butt." - Hurlsnot

"I originally just wanted to ignore this, but I can't sleep, so why not." - majestic

"I murdered my entire family as well as the police and priests investigating me for murdering my entire family in the name of Satan. Good times." - Bartimaeus

"I will undoubtedly cave and buy this since Nintendo has me by the balls with Shin Megami Tensei V." - Keyrock

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Question 1: An enemy melee engages my wizard = inevitable doom?. 

 

At times PoE feels very MMO-ish (namely tank and having to "pull" enemies).

 

From my limited experience with the beta.

 

1. Pretty much which is why I always play a ranged Wizard and have my Fighter, Rogue and Priest on the front line. You also have to aggro an enemy with your Fighter first otherwise the enemy will dog pile onto your Wizard.

 

And PoE is better viewed as an isometric party based MMO. You're quite right in thinking that. The default strategy at the moment in the beta is send defender in to tank, other characters to help with dps and crowd control. Rinse and repeat.

 

Tip: Play as a ranged wizard. Ignore any melee type spells. I've found Wizards are quite poor in melee situations and aren't really designed for it. There's a good strategy with playing a ranged Wizard. Don't wear any armour. Wearing armour incurs penalties, and as long as you're playing a ranged Wizard without armour, you shouldn't get hit while your defender is tanking. And combat is better and faster.

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I've been playing a wizard a bit and have quite enjoyed it. (More variety in spells would be nice though.)

 

Two strategies that have been working for me kind of OK.

 

(1) Glass Cannon

 

Hang back in the second rank, and either don't use an opening spell, or open with a CC one like totally-not-Web. When the scrum settles into place, move to the side and start blasting. The cone-shaped spells are extremely useful if the groups are neatly separated; if not, the line-shaped ones are too because they cause damage from endpoint to endpoint, so target the furthest enemy in a line with those. Pick your damage type to suit your enemy. (Confusion, I think, is broken. The AI is pretty bad ATM and that won't work as intended until it gets better.)

 

Once you get Wall of Fire (L4), you have pretty much a "win!" button. I have a hunch that may get nerfed.

 

(2) Muscle Wizard

 

Kit yourself out in the heaviest armor you can find, and stand in the front. Open up with that totally-not-Cone-of-Cold L1 spell which damages and hobbles/slows. Then blast away with all you've got. Pop up an Arcane Veil or one of the defensive spells pre-emptively if it looks like things are going to get too hot, and make sure you're standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a fighter. Don't get flanked. This strategy pretty much needs you to max your Resolve, 'cuz otherwise you'll get Interrupted all the time and won't be able to cast.

 

(3) Synergies

 

The wizard gets way more effective if you exploit synergies between characters/classes. For example, the wizard synergises really nicely with the druid. Druids have extremely effective debuffs, so plan your combos: use an AoE debuff on a defense, then follow up with an AoE damager on the same defense. Most wizard damage spells attack Reflex, many druid damage spells attack Fortitude; conveniently, druids have Reflex debuffs and wizards have Fortitude debuffs. (Also, BB Rogue will Sneak Attack your debuffed enemies for extra fun.)

 

Srsly. A Fireball is a lot more effective if it's attacking enemies with -20 to -40 REFL.

 

 

 

A druid will turn the bug battles into roflstomps, because he has a L2 AoE paralyze on beasts, which includes beetles and spiders. Paralyze gives -40 DEFL and -40 REFL, so slap a fireball in there, see it crit everybody, and you've got bug roast. Not that paralyzed enemies are difficult to kill anyways.

 

 

Edited by PrimeJunta

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Question 1: An enemy melee engages my wizard = inevitable doom?. 

 

At times PoE feels very MMO-ish (namely tank and having to "pull" enemies).

 

From my limited experience with the beta.

 

1. Pretty much which is why I always play a ranged Wizard and have my Fighter, Rogue and Priest on the front line. You also have to aggro an enemy with your Fighter first otherwise the enemy will dog pile onto your Wizard.

 

And PoE is better viewed as an isometric party based MMO. You're quite right in thinking that. The default strategy at the moment in the beta is send defender in to tank, other characters to help with dps and crowd control. Rinse and repeat.

 

Tip: Play as a ranged wizard. Ignore any melee type spells. I've found Wizards are quite poor in melee situations and aren't really designed for it. There's a good strategy with playing a ranged Wizard. Don't wear any armour. Wearing armour incurs penalties, and as long as you're playing a ranged Wizard without armour, you shouldn't get hit while your defender is tanking. And combat is better and faster.

 

 

If PoE is a isometric party based MMO than so were the IE games. Party roles is the basic of every party based RPG ever released and you will always have a defending frontline and a ranged backline. How these work has some flexibility though.

 

Saying that, if you use the "pause on enemy sighted" you can pre-plan most encounters in advance. This mean place you party members, decide who will do the opening salvo, etc. I never have anything attack my wizard despite him casting spells all the time that way.

Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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If PoE is a isometric party based MMO than so were the IE games. Party roles is the basic of every party based RPG ever released and you will always have a defending frontline and a ranged backline. How these work has some flexibility though.

 

No. The Fighter in the IE games were more flexible. They could dual or multi-class. They also had DPS. The Fighter in PoE is a straight up front line tank, inflexible and more to the MMO/4th edition type. They aren't the DPS of the party. Classes like the Rogue in MMO/4th ed are.

 

While you do have some similarities, the classes play quite differently. Fighters are pretty bad with ranged weapons in PoE. So they usually stick with melee and they aren't the DPS of the party, so their damage output isn't that great compared to other classes, like the DPS classes. The Fighters in the IE games could be very good at ranged weapons and have the DPS, and can contribute to a barrage of ranged fire power with the rest of your party, and could take out enemies before they hit your front line.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II
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If PoE is a isometric party based MMO than so were the IE games. Party roles is the basic of every party based RPG ever released and you will always have a defending frontline and a ranged backline. How these work has some flexibility though.

 

No. The Fighter in the IE games were more flexible. They could dual or multi-class. They also had DPS. The Fighter in PoE is a straight up front line tank, inflexible and more to the MMO/4th edition type. They aren't the DPS of the party. Classes like the Rogue in MMO/4th ed are.

 

While you do have some similarities, the classes play quite differently. Fighters are pretty bad with ranged weapons in PoE. So they usually stick with melee and they aren't the DPS of the party, so their damage output isn't that great compared to other classes, like the DPS classes. The Fighters in the IE games could be very good at ranged weapons and have the DPS, and can contribute to a barrage of ranged fire power with the rest of your party, and could take out enemies before they hit your front line.

 

 

How the f*** does IE games Fighter being able to use ranged weapons have anything to do with the fact that you still needed a defensive line in those games?

Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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With the almost complete removal of rng and hard counters, wizard is a lackluster class indeed. Just look at mirror image. :lol:  Also a lot of the wizard's arsenal was stolen by other classes. Summons for an example.

 

Mirror Image in AD&D wasn't a hard counter. It's a pretty iconic example of a soft counter, actually.

Edited by Infinitron
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With the almost complete removal of rng and hard counters, wizard is a lackluster class indeed. Just look at mirror image. :lol:  Also a lot of the wizard's arsenal was stolen by other classes. Summons for an example.

 

Mirror Image in AD&D wasn't a hard counter. It's a pretty iconic example of a soft counter, actually.

 

removal of rng and hard counters

 

edit: Actually I don't know enough to say for sure, anyone is welcome to correct me. Is the deflection bonus from mirror image enough to make it do the same function as the dnd mirror image? Or is it just a "minor" bonus to make "muscle wizards" more tanky. In theory with a high enough deflection bonus it could do the same thing, no?

Edited by Seari
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How the f*** does IE games Fighter being able to use ranged weapons have anything to do with the fact that you still needed a defensive line in those games?

 

You didn't need a defensive line with Fighters or Paladins in those games. You could have the following parties which I've played.

 

BG1

Mage PC, Imoen dual classed to Mage, Quayle, Xan, Xzar and Edwin

Thief PC, Imoen, Safana, Skie, Eldoth and Garrick.

 

BG2

Sorcerer PC, Aerie, Imoen, Nalia, Jan, Edwin

 

In IWD, I played a party of Mages, a party of Bards and Thieves.

 

And being able to mow down your enemies with a ranged fighter is not a defender in the MMO/4th ed sense when the enemy doesn't get to them in a lot of cases which was the case in BG1. Whereas in PoE, it appears you will need a defender on the front line battling enemies, most likely every single time. PoE is shaping up to be an isometric MMO/4th ed party based game more than the IE games will ever be.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II
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With the almost complete removal of rng and hard counters, wizard is a lackluster class indeed. Just look at mirror image. :lol:  Also a lot of the wizard's arsenal was stolen by other classes. Summons for an example.

 

Mirror Image in AD&D wasn't a hard counter. It's a pretty iconic example of a soft counter, actually.

 

removal of rng and hard counters

 

edit: Actually I don't know enough to say for sure, anyone is welcome to correct me. Is the deflection bonus from mirror image enough to make it do the same function as the dnd mirror image? Or is it just a "minor" bonus to make "muscle wizards" more tanky. In theory with a high enough deflection bonus it could do the same thing, no?

 

 

The PoE mirror image sounds like it might be stronger than the D&D one, actually. Doesn't each individual image in D&D have the same AC as you do? That means it's easier to cut them down one-by-one than it is it break through PoE's mirror image.

Edited by Infinitron
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Also a lot of the wizard's arsenal was stolen by other classes. Summons for an example.

 

The same for priest as well.   Seems they gave all the cool spells back in the IE games to Ciphers and chanters.   :(  Priests spell casting is extremely bland compared to clerics.

Edited by Bill Gates' Son
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The spell selection for clerics and wizards/magic-users by the levels 5 to 8 is pretty big in the IE games, at least BG1 and ToEE. Cleric is one of my favourite classes, and right now the PoE verision (the priest) feels extremely limited in comparison.

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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You didn't need a defensive line with Fighters or Paladins in those games. You could have the following parties which I've played.

 

BG1

Mage PC, Imoen dual classed to Mage, Quayle, Xan, Xzar and Edwin

Thief PC, Imoen, Safana, Skie, Eldoth and Garrick.

 

BG2

Sorcerer PC, Aerie, Imoen, Nalia, Jan, Edwin

 

In IWD, I played a party of Mages, a party of Bards and Thieves.

 

And being able to mow down your enemies with a ranged fighter is not a defender in the MMO/4th ed sense when the enemy doesn't get to them in a lot of cases which was the case in BG1. Whereas in PoE, it appears you will need a defender on the front line battling enemies, most likely every single time. PoE is shaping up to be an isometric MMO/4th ed party based game more than the IE games will ever be.

 

Not sure if a lot of people know this, but Aerie was the best tank in BG2 once she got rolling, with the right items of course. Plus it's hilarious to have her in the front with her battlecry. :lol:

 

edit: also Blades

Edited by Seari
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Well, with four caster classes the spell schools are bound to be spread thin, no? Rather, the emphasis is on separate classes rather than subdivisions within them. At least that's how it seems to me, but I've not played around much with Chanters and Ciphers.

 

As an aside, the most important thing for me to feel happier with playing a Wizard would be opportunities to apply my abilities outside of combat. That's where the real fun of being a Wizard in the IE games was for me.

Edited by Panteleimon
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With the almost complete removal of rng and hard counters, wizard is a lackluster class indeed. Just look at mirror image. :lol: Also a lot of the wizard's arsenal was stolen by other classes. Summons for an example.

Mirror Image in AD&D wasn't a hard counter. It's a pretty iconic example of a soft counter, actually.

removal of rng and hard counters

 

edit: Actually I don't know enough to say for sure, anyone is welcome to correct me. Is the deflection bonus from mirror image enough to make it do the same function as the dnd mirror image? Or is it just a "minor" bonus to make "muscle wizards" more tanky. In theory with a high enough deflection bonus it could do the same thing, no?

The PoE mirror image sounds like it might be stronger than the D&D one, actually. Doesn't each individual image in D&D have the same AC as you do? That means it's easier to cut them down one-by-one than it is it break through PoE's mirror image.

From 3.5, mirror image uses the same AC as caster and has a % chance to miss. Conceptually, PoE's version is better.

"To be fair, if I was married to Milla Jovovich, I would also be happy just making movies that show off her butt." - Hurlsnot

"I originally just wanted to ignore this, but I can't sleep, so why not." - majestic

"I murdered my entire family as well as the police and priests investigating me for murdering my entire family in the name of Satan. Good times." - Bartimaeus

"I will undoubtedly cave and buy this since Nintendo has me by the balls with Shin Megami Tensei V." - Keyrock

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Panteleimon: I'd love to see a tonne of out-of-combat spells (and talents and skills)!

 

Let me put it this way, since I have played the cipher too, and seen vids of the chanter being played - if you add up all the spell-like abilities for those four caster schools it doesn't add up to the cleric selection at level 7, perhaps not even level 5, of 3.5 D&D. I even doubt that quartet can measure up to the BG:EE AD&D selection, for instance. It would be very nice to see more combat spells too. 

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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With the almost complete removal of rng and hard counters, wizard is a lackluster class indeed. Just look at mirror image. :lol:  Also a lot of the wizard's arsenal was stolen by other classes. Summons for an example.

 

Mirror Image in AD&D wasn't a hard counter. It's a pretty iconic example of a soft counter, actually.

 

removal of rng and hard counters

 

edit: Actually I don't know enough to say for sure, anyone is welcome to correct me. Is the deflection bonus from mirror image enough to make it do the same function as the dnd mirror image? Or is it just a "minor" bonus to make "muscle wizards" more tanky. In theory with a high enough deflection bonus it could do the same thing, no?

 

 

The PoE mirror image sounds like it might be stronger than the D&D one, actually. Doesn't each individual image in D&D have the same AC as you do? That means it's easier to cut them down one-by-one than it is it break through PoE's mirror image.

 

 

Except you're comparing two very different systems for rolling to attack - from what I gather (from parsing the PE wiki) - *many* attacks will hit, simply because the d100 roll has very few opportunities for missing - just a lot of grazing. In addition, the AD&D system had limited attacks / round (i.e. 6 seconds) as oppossed to continuous attacks.

 

A wizard with 8 mirror images in the IE games could, even against a fighter who crit all the time, take 0 damage (with no impact/interruption) for several rounds. Mirror Image also granted immunity to many direct damage spells. Combine that with Stoneskin, Protection from Magical Weapons, Improved Invisibility, etc. and a single-class wizard had better (burst) defenses than any other class in the game. (This situation was significantly toned down in IWD2 which lacked many of the stupidly powerful abjuration spells and had the nerfed version of stoneskin.)

 

My experience with Mirror Image in PoE is that my wizard gets a couple grazing hits and then gets knocked out pretty rapidly thereafter. GREAT.

 

So I only skimmed the backer beta announcements, but what I'm gathering from these comments is that the wizard should basically just be considered DPS in PoE? Not really crowd control or illusion-y magical defense? That's a little disappointing I guess, and actually brings to mind more of planescape: torment's terrible arcane spell selection than the other IE's magic system.

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Question 1: An enemy melee engages my wizard = inevitable doom?. 

 

At times PoE feels very MMO-ish (namely tank and having to "pull" enemies).

 

From my limited experience with the beta.

 

1. Pretty much which is why I always play a ranged Wizard and have my Fighter, Rogue and Priest on the front line. You also have to aggro an enemy with your Fighter first otherwise the enemy will dog pile onto your Wizard.

 

And PoE is better viewed as an isometric party based MMO. You're quite right in thinking that. The default strategy at the moment in the beta is send defender in to tank, other characters to help with dps and crowd control. Rinse and repeat.

 

Tip: Play as a ranged wizard. Ignore any melee type spells. I've found Wizards are quite poor in melee situations and aren't really designed for it. There's a good strategy with playing a ranged Wizard. Don't wear any armour. Wearing armour incurs penalties, and as long as you're playing a ranged Wizard without armour, you shouldn't get hit while your defender is tanking. And combat is better and faster.

 

 

If PoE is a isometric party based MMO than so were the IE games. Party roles is the basic of every party based RPG ever released and you will always have a defending frontline and a ranged backline. How these work has some flexibility though.

 

Saying that, if you use the "pause on enemy sighted" you can pre-plan most encounters in advance. This mean place you party members, decide who will do the opening salvo, etc. I never have anything attack my wizard despite him casting spells all the time that way.

 

 

Have you ever played an MMO?

 

None of the IE games has remotely this kind of all-against-the-tank gameplay, except when you need to degeneratively need to stack on AC to survive Heart of Fury mode for IWD. It's also far less punishing, 95% of the time, for a non-"tank" to recieve "aggro" in the IE games (case in point, priest classes could also serve as a meat shield, and with the right set up so could rogues (bards more than thieves) and wizards).

 

Here, so far I've found that everything needs to go against your designated tank - that constant stamina recovery essentially means that no one else is going to be able to withstand a remotely similar amount of punishment (whereas in D&D, the difference in damage soak between a d10 and a d8 was not too huge). Melee engagement essentially acts like aggro. *Unlike* an MMO, there is no way to cancel engagement (except for the really buggy "Escape" ability), and the healing possibilities on a tank are extremely limited (because they only treat the per-battle Stamina). Much *like* an MMO, however, if my tank goes down, it generally means a party wipe.

 

I'm not sure I like this kind of gameplay. I stopped playing WoW (with its incredibly specialized class roles and over-prescribed combat flow) for a reason.

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So I only skimmed the backer beta announcements, but what I'm gathering from these comments is that the wizard should basically just be considered DPS in PoE? Not really crowd control or illusion-y magical defense? That's a little disappointing I guess, and actually brings to mind more of planescape: torment's terrible arcane spell selection than the other IE's magic system.

 

 

You might want to skim the spell list of the class, note that it is probably incomplete and things might changes.

Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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