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So I have this party of 6 with fighter, monk, mage, priest, ranger and chanter (fighter and ranger self-made from tavern, rest story companions. (yeah I know story c's aren't good but what am I to do?)

 

Playing on Normal because yes, I *want* some tactics and not a action-oriented approach like Easy. So please dont 'advise' Easy mode, first read to the end. Thanks!

 

I think I use an intelligent approach to battles with a self-made formation, a true tank (fighter), 2 high-defense (monk and ranger's bear), 1 mid-ground (chanter) and 2 backrow caster/supporters.

 

I use Space and Slow time all the time because frankly, if you don't you're totally screwed.

 

All my character are level 4. However, whatever I try, be it bounties (no matter which), clearing the keep dungeons (around dungeon level 3 with that Ogre boss or that Drake in the blood pit) or continuing the main story line (southeast regions) --> it is virtually impossible to win any major fights. I can handle smaller groups of mobs without bosses but as soon as there are any hard-hitters or freakingly resilient stuff I get smashed in the face and die within seconds.

 

What's wrong!? How the hell am I supposed to advance my party if every important fight is simply unfair?

Also, is there any way to see enemy levels so I know if maybe I'm just lagging behind and need to get some XP somewhere else? (but where!?)

 

I use healing, area spells, class actions and positioning in every fight yet the enemies are so overwhelmingly strong and durable I simply go down without even killing one or two of them.

 

Honestly, I need some general advise on why this kinda thing happens. I'm pretty sure it's not due to lacking 'skill' of mine (if I used Space any more often to give commands I'd freeze the game forever) and I have simply followed the quests (doing sidequests too) until now.

Can someone help!? Thanks in advance!

 

Frustrated,

Eronaile

 

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At group level 4 places like that Drake in the blood pit and ogres can be tough, I'd go to the large city (what ever it's name is) and do run around missions there to level up. Well, that's what I did after the Ogres beat me up. Few levels more and you'll be running through them no problems. 

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My philosophy to this game, and most RPGs, is to do all the side quests before continuing with the story. My party is level 6 and I haven't explored the catacombs. Which I understand is part of the main story and a "task". I've also encountered the "ceiling/level check" on some quests, but simply do another to gain some experience/new party member.

 

I've killed the drake on level 5 of the endless path and I've done one bounty, with the right approach was quite easy.

 

TLDR: Maybe focus on side quests for a level or two and then continue with your current train of thought.

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Level 4 for those challenges would suggest that you've rushed forward without exploring several areas and doing several sidequests. Defiance Bay should have enough sidequests alone to take you to Level 5, for example. Just like early D&D, every single level - and the money you earn to upgrade even a single weapon - makes a big difference. 

 

There's also crafting and enchanting, by the way, though you may well be using that already.

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Hey Eronaile,

 

Ill try to help you, because I think this game requires you to learn quite a bit about both the system and the game world (which is a good thing if you like old school rpgs, but takes time). That said, I have only played in PotD and I have not gotten much further than to the stronghold in my two games (because I chose to reroll when I knew the system a bit better), so everything I think of may not apply to normal.

 

 

I use Space and Slow time all the time because frankly, if you don't you're totally screwed.

 
You should! Well, slow is a matter of preference, either you spam pause without slow or  you keep slow on and pause once/second or so. I'm not a quick thinker so I like combat slow myself.
 
There are two things in your post that I think hints at solutions to your situation:

 

All my character are level 4. However, whatever I try, be it bounties (no matter which), clearing the keep dungeons (around dungeon level 3 with that Ogre boss or that Drake in the blood pit) or continuing the main story line (southeast regions) --> it is virtually impossible to win any major fights. 

 

Here's the first, and maybe not most important but worth considering. You say you have a level 4 party, but you seem to have gotten very far for being level 4. My first party was around level 4 (main level 5, some 4s and some 3s) around when I completed what I think was the last quest on the west side and just got the stronghold (and that was a full hireling party, with the level penalty that comes with hiring adventurers!). Now, there might be two solutions. Either you're missing earlier content, although you say you do the side quests so I dont think thats a huge problem (although, make sure you try to do side quests before main quests). What may be an issue however is if you got your companions quite early on and/or a big party early. Big party isnt a large problem itself as the exp system is kind of scaling, but you should know that companion levels adjust to your own level at the moment you enlist them. So if you pick up a level 2 companion (or hire a level 1 adventurer) when you're level 2, instead of waiting to level 3, you will lose out on a significant amount of exp (what is it, 2 or 3000 between 2 and 3?). So you should always way until you really need a new companion, and try to get that extra level before you hire someone. For example, in my second game I went with the pre-made companions, but did the non-combat quests in gilded vale myself so that I hit level 3 before getting Eder and Aloth, and I will try to avoid getting anyone else before level 4. Although, this is on PotD so I have to be really careful about that stuff.

 

Oh, you can see enemy levels in the beastiery [spelling?] (in your journal) if you have killed enough of them! Check that and you'll get an idea of how you're doing.

 

it is virtually impossible to win any major fights. I can handle smaller groups of mobs without bosses but as soon as there are any hard-hitters or freakingly resilient stuff I get smashed in the face and die within seconds.

 

I use healing, area spells, class actions and positioning in every fight yet the enemies are so overwhelmingly strong and durable I simply go down without even killing one or two of them.

 

Now there's your problem. I think. Of course it combines with the level-issue, but your inability to take down enemies while standing around healing yourself implies a lack of damage (and/or cc). Looking at your party set-up, I think thats the case. You have what.. a fighter, monk, ranger, chanter, priest? + some other caster/supporter. From what I see there, only the ranger can be considered somewhat of a damage dealer. And maybe the monk as well, but neither are very good at it. You may have a wizard or druid, and since you're on normal you might be able to afford that since you can rest once in a while. But if you dont have a rogue or a cipher in a six man party, or both, or preferably more than one of each, you are in serious trouble. Rogue's deal single target damage like there's no tomorrow, and ciphers crowd control and single target damage is awesome. Without dedicated damage dealers like that it will be difficult to scratch durable enemies due to how the combat system works with defence and damage reduction (e.g. stacking high damage works while average damage gets mitigated).

 

EDIT: Actually, this must be an issue if you cant take down at least one enemy before going down. Opening with focused fire, or even a single rogue with a heavy ranged weapon+ability sometimes, should get you a kill within the first second of combat. A single rogue with a heavy ranged weapon and backstab is almost guaranteed to kill an average opponent! You can also open with any ranged weapon followed immediately by a heavy CC, such as the ciphers mind.. mind.. oh whats it called, paralyze+AOE stuck. This should buy you like 4-12 seconds of falling back to a doorway, focusing down the paralyzed target, or even getting back to 15 focus and casting another paralyze with the same cipher before the enemies can reach you.

 

 

Puh, I usually dont write long posts like this, but when I do...

 

Hope it helps you!

Edited by ISC
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Yeah, I don't think there is a problem with your tactics, you are just under leveled. Bear in mind there is no level scaling, some places are going to be difficult or impossible. And you can run into those fights way before you are ready.

Edited by rheingold
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In addition to the suggestions mentioned above: are you using chokepoints? If you march your entire party up towards the drake/ogres you start of surrounded by their underlings, which is pretty much a guaranteed party wipe. East of the pool of blood and in the hallway south of the ogre room there is a doorway which can be locked down by a single character. By using a rogue (their defensive abilities greatly decreasing the odds of being locked down by engagements) to pull enemies to those chokepoints where Eder could tank time for quite a while while the rest of the party wailed on the enemies with ranged attacks and aoe spells made it doable with relatively underleveled characters. I guess I got somewhat lucky as the drake refused to leave his room while all of the Xaurips followed my rogue. The drake himself is quite doable when it's 6:1.

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In addition to the suggestions mentioned above: are you using chokepoints? If you march your entire party up towards the drake/ogres you start of surrounded by their underlings, which is pretty much a guaranteed party wipe. East of the pool of blood and in the hallway south of the ogre room there is a doorway which can be locked down by a single character. By using a rogue (their defensive abilities greatly decreasing the odds of being locked down by engagements) to pull enemies to those chokepoints where Eder could tank time for quite a while while the rest of the party wailed on the enemies with ranged attacks and aoe spells made it doable with relatively underleveled characters. I guess I got somewhat lucky as the drake refused to leave his room while all of the Xaurips followed my rogue. The drake himself is quite doable when it's 6:1.

Pretty much this.  Chokepoints (especially in the Endless) are key.*  If you have to engage in dialogue, leave most of the party as at the choke and send a runner up, then book it.   Or just snipe a guy at the edge with a bow and run.   I was surprised particularly at how quickly the drake died, but then he was stuck at the back of a crowd of kobolds, and as my party slowly killed them one at a time at the door, my ranger blew bloody chunks out of it with her arquebus. 

 

For the most part, I've found once I had decent equipment (arbalests, guns) and high deflection tanks, the game became a cakewalk.  There is a definite system mastery hurdle with engagement and squishies, but once you work out how the system wants to force you to play, you can exploit the living hell out of it.  Often this means restarting, because there a lot of trap choices to make (and unfortunately the companions consist primarily of trap choices). 

 

*animal companions are often a problem at chokepoints, at which point shove them in the back and ignore them.  They're overly squishy anyway.  Passable flankers, but not much else.

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Weapons with DR reduction abilities (maxed, stilettos, blunderbuss)

 

Buff your parties accuracy with your priest

 

Use chokepoints and single target the hardest hitting foes

 

For you specifically I believe its a combination of being under leveled and also not having a lot of first strike capabilities. You need to open fights with damage that is meaningful to put you ahead. Your healing cannot compete with party wide damage if you aren't bottlenecking effectively so he who bursts hardest can help you win. Seek a nuke mage or cipher or a built ranged rogue.

 

Good luck

 

Use fast attacking ranged or CC spells on casters/gun wielding ranged mobs

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Weapons with DR reduction abilities (maxed, stilettos, blunderbuss)

 

Buff your parties accuracy with your priest

 

Use chokepoints and single target the hardest hitting foes

 

For you specifically I believe its a combination of being under leveled and also not having a lot of first strike capabilities. You need to open fights with damage that is meaningful to put you ahead. Your healing cannot compete with party wide damage if you aren't bottlenecking effectively so he who bursts hardest can help you win. Seek a nuke mage or cipher or a built ranged rogue.

 

Good luck

 

Use fast attacking ranged or CC spells on casters/gun wielding ranged mobs

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  • 2 weeks later...

This game has different tactics and difficulties you may encounter when doing certain things. For exemple, if your party doesn't have a very high DPS (Barbarians, crit rogues), things like ogres will be difficult because they hit extremely hard, even when disabled.. 

 

On the other hand, if you go with more DPS, you will breeze through ogres but will face difficulties when encountering large amount of monsters coupled with casters.

 

The difficulty you encouter will basically vary based on your party composition.

 

For the warden's bounties, I couldn't complete any of them until I reached 5 or 6 and had more damage with spells and abilities available (long with better gear).

 

There are a lot of quests in defiance bay and you should do these for leveling up first. The dungeon under caed nua wasn't made to be completed at lvl 4. It was made as a constant dungeon you can explore to go deeper as you progress the storyline and level up doing quests. Some zones as well may be difficult like searing falls if you are too low. As a rule of thumb, if the game seems just impossible, you may not be in the right place. Just move along the story and then come back later when you level up to see if it's now possible to do them.

 

My personal party when I did the run through was a Paladin (my hero) with a mace and shield, Eder (fighter NPC), Aloth (Wizard NPC), a priest, a rogue, and a second wizard. I used a lot of spells to disable like blind, daze, slow, interdiciton (priest aoe slow and debuff per encounter), paralyze (fetid caress), confusion and such and that allowed me to breeze through most content. The only thing that really hurt me were the ogres because I didn't have a very high dps but besides that the rest seemed easy enough.

 

 

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Level 4 for those challenges would suggest that you've rushed forward without exploring several areas and doing several sidequests. Defiance Bay should have enough sidequests alone to take you to Level 5, for example. Just like early D&D, every single level - and the money you earn to upgrade even a single weapon - makes a big difference. 

 

There's also crafting and enchanting, by the way, though you may well be using that already.

 

I'd echo this in saying that it just sounds like you're underleveled and poorly equipped. Try to do all the quests in Gilded Vale and Defiance Bay. Along with Readric's Hold, I think that got me to level ~7?

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I did that ogre level at party level 5, but I had two fighters and a Monk. Managed to get through that level because of that, but it was rough and haven't been back to the Endless Paths in a while when I realized it got that difficult so quickly. Hehee. I'm lvl 7 now, might be time to check out another level or two.

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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I kicked the ogre mage posse's butts using confuse/sleep/charm/dominate and area denial spells(web,grease,traps) to keep the mob from swarming me. I focused fire on just 1 or 2 targets at a time + debuffs to carve through the enemy DR. For more spacious engagements you can also try kiting enemies and double back when they try going back to their original position. Also you can set the game to pause when an enemy is spotted so you dont accidentally run into the enemy while looking for them on the map. You can also enchant weapons to get bonuses vs the creature type you want to kill.

Edited by broknight
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Yeah, Cipher is combat turnaround at low levels. Wizard/druid ll take that role bit later.

 

Lvl 4 is too soon for bounties, there are plenty of quests and stuff around to explore.

 

Also:

 

- get blunting belt from first town and put it on your tank.

- get defender+improved defences for fighter to tank better, give him largest shield and send him ahead to catch first attacks.

- save wizard/priest spells for tough fights, do not burst it out in fights where your "rechargeable" toons capable to win on its own.

- try to debuff deflect / prone opponent and follow up by concentrated attacks.

- wizard have spell with confusion effect - use it at start of fight and enemies ll attack their own for some time.

Edited by ErlKing
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I did the ogres at level 4 no problem but thats because I had... you guessed it! A cipher!!

 

Paralyze + Charm makes short work of those ogres... wizard can pick up some of the slack but not the whole thing. So yeah, come back later at a higher level with better gear.

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Well, bounties and the endless paths(beginning at the ogres) are not really designed for a level 4 party, unless you´re heavily into min/maxing. You should head into defiance bay.

 

My suggestion is to scrap the ranger and the chanter. Ranger offers little utility, and his damage not that great. Chanter is great on POTD where fights last longer, but on normal he is very bad. Even on hard I was never able to get off his invocations before I had won the fight.

 

Druid and ciphers are both top tier, and will without a doubt make your life easier. Just make sure to pick up mental binding on the cipher.

Edited by cavemandiary
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After reading the OP's post, I'm thinking that perhaps the problem really isn't is choice of classes.  Instead, it seems to me that it's more a matter of weak tactics and possibly going places and fighting battles that are too tough for his party at its current level.  For example, Ogres in PoE are relatively difficult when you run across a group of them, because they have a large health pool and hit very, veyr hard individually.  And it only gets worse when some orgre druids are thrown in the mix.

 

Just chucking a couple of fireballs at them just isn't going to do enough damage to deal with a group of Ogres.  What seems to be needed is some sort of crowd controlling mental spell that gets those enemies to stop attacking you and hopefully attack each other.  The mental spell can be something like a wizard's (spell level 4) confusion spell or any similar Cipher "spell".  Obviously, if you can charm or dominate them, so much the better.  But even leaving a number of them confused helps since their unconfused buddies will likely start attacking them anyways.  And even if you happen to confuse the entire group of Ogres, just have your team attack a SINGLE confused ogre to turn him red again, because then the remaining confused ones should start attacking that one.  Given a choice, I tend to prefer to pick an ogre druid to be the one I "un-confuse" so that the rest of the confused ones help do my work for me and pound on him.  Another key tactical point here is for the wizard to not waste any of his precious level 4 spells on anything other than confusion spells when facing a large group of Orges, particularly if you don't have a cipher in the group.

 

 

 

Tactics can vary depending on the type of enemy you're facing and the composition of your party.  One thing that I'm doing is to have all my characters be armed with a ranged weapon, even my melee fighters.  What I like doing is to have everyone in the party get off one round of fire at a single target, usually the first one they see, to get in a kill at range or at least severely damage one before the battle is well and truly joined.  OTOH, if I know that I'm facing an enemy that's going to have spellcasters, I might hold my fire, ignoring a charging enemy melee-er, and look for an enemy spellcaster instead.  Seems to me that taking out an enemy spellcaster right at the start is one of the best things you can do to make a battle go more easily.  (Obviously, my tanks immediately switch to melee weapons to deal with the charging enemy horde.)

 

 

 

As for the OP's party, I don't see anything wrong with it.  If handled well, it should be more than capable of handling most battles at its level. 

 

Regarding the chanter, yes they're not all that powerful in shorter battles.  That said, if handled decently, they can still be effective party members.  You just have to keep them close enough to the front liners so that their chanting effects are affecting both the front lines and the back liners, while they're using their ranged weapon (preferably a low rate of fire, high damage one).

 

Regarding the ranger, they can also be entirely useful if handed well.  I would suggest being careful with the ranger's animal companion (AC), since if the AC dies n battle, the ranger takes a penalty (-20, IIRC) to his accuracy.  Sometimes it's not the best idea to send the AC charging into melee at the start of the battle as that may get it killed more quickly and hit the ranger with the accuracy penalty sooner.  It seems better to me to hold the AC back and only throw it into the fray at a critical moment in the battle.  It's also worth noting that this tactic can be quite useful if you're up against some sort of enemy that can "jump" into the rear of your formation, since it will give you a rear guard to help defend your spell casters.  Think of the AC as a tactical reserve.

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Hi Eronaile,

 

i had the same problem , being stuck at loosing every major fights at lvl 4 . as the others suggested , i went to a big city and runned side quests to reach lvl 5 , big difference. 

 

i also started to kite enemies. the ogre queen i did kit her untill her minions left and only her was remaining on the battlefield. to achieve this i had to bring her on the other side of the bridge. in oder to kite i use the rogue or the ranger's pet. of course your ranged characters can shoot the foe during the process :)

and you can set traps in advance on the path you plan to kite the foe ;)

consider kiting as a true combat phase, with slow time and pause abuse... send the rogue scouting , agrro one or two foes at once, kite them to your group, kill them, repeat.

you will see some monsters going back at some point , shoot them for re-agrro.

 

the other key point is the crowd control. wizard spell Slicken is a must have.

 

edit : i play on normal , started infinite paths lvl 4 , now 5, figthter ( tank ) priest (me ) , priest ( durance ), wizard , rogue, ranger . i've reached infinite path 6th floor without major problems, some sweating time to time ^^

Edited by dekergus
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^^

On the ranger discussion - I'm rolling with one right now and he's probably my party's most consistent damage dealer.You really need penetrating shot and the +aim talent to make him pay off, though.

Edited by Blovski
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