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I am Crap at PoE, Any Advice Would Be Loved (SOME EARLY SPOILERS)


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Obviously, no one -has- to help me, but I'm frustrated by my experience so far, and I feel like I'm missing something key.  I want desperately to love it, but I need to fix my approach.

 

First, my background: "Back in the day" I played all of NWN 1 and 2, and their x-pacs.  While I know neither of those are technically an IE game, I thought that was close enough.  Playing PoE, I'm worried that I might have forgotten a lot.

 

My character: Moon Godlike Cipher.  I'm willing to re-roll this guy to enjoy this game, if that's what I need to do.  From some of my reading, I take it that this is a somewhat more difficult class?  How would a druid or ranger compare?  Or should I just go full fighter?  I'm open to advice on this front.

 

My experience:  Lots of dying.  I think I've learned a lot from trial-and-death, but I've hit a wall with what I can figure out myself.

 

FIRST HOUR OR SO SPOILERS TO DESCRIBE MY LOCATION IN-GAME:  

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have spent a little time in the Guilded Vale, and have received the quest to meet a Watcher.  Edér and Aloth have joined my party.  With a Fighter (which I had take Guardian Stance at a recent level-up) and a Wizard, I thought I might finally be successful at Eothas' tomb.  I was finally able to clear the first floor without a ton of issues, getting used to using doorways as choke point with a little success.  I changed my formation so that Edér leads, my cipher is behind him (I like him having to take a moment to come around into melee - maybe it helps the tank establish aggro??) and Aloth several squares back.

 

I don't micromanage Edér much, sometimes I use his Knockdown.  I micromanage (with spacebar) Aloth and my cipher a great deal.  When Shadows and whatnot beeline for Aloth, I have my Cipher use a first-level Charm ability.  Sometimes it even works, heh.  My 2 damage do-ers otherwise get micro-managed into using their biggest AoEs, and my problems SEEM (from my perspective) to come from positioning?  I guess I don't know how to be more defensive, or what to do besides throw up my hands when it all goes pear-shaped.  And when it does, it does so fast.....

 

I -did- start the game on Normal, but I have swallowed my pride and bumped it down to Easy.  And swallowed it further to get help.  Because I really do want to love this game - I want to know more about the world, I love the actual RPing opportunities it's had so far.  But last night I quit in a rage.  I just die over and over, no matter how much I think and adjust.

 

In summary, the things I've done that involve NOT just running in and auto-attacking:

A formation with my "tank" in front (though I wish he'd ever hold aggro)

Use doorways to block packs when possible.

Careful use of AoE uber-nukes from my Wizard and Cipher

Constant use of spacebar - I'm not trying to manage them in real-time

Tank has picked up and activated Guardian Stance

Swallowed my pride, turned the difficulty down to Easy and asked for help.

 

Am I hopeless?  I get the impression I'm playing the whole thing wrong, somehow, and I want so much to love it.  I backed it, I believe in it, and I dont' want to give up.

 

Thank you to anyone who takes the time to give kindly advice.

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I don't have time to give a detailed response, but the first thing is that you aren't so prideful you refuse to lower the level. Second is, if you're in trouble, don't be ashamed to use exploits like environment or enemy flaws. I would keep in mind the way the engagement tactics work. There's a ton of stuff that gets backed up, so the mods are all busy, but there are so many grognards in the crowd that someone will relish showing his game theory chops to help you.

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The spectral enemies are tough - kill them with fire.  You pry don't even need to bump down the difficulty - just realize you have a few options at your command you may not realize.

 

A. shadows hate fire

B. the crafting materials for fire based spells are somewhat abundant

C. Shadows don't seem to be able to open doors (SCREW YOU YOU ETHEREAL....!!!

D. The crafting materials for healing spells are pretty well available too

E. Potions are your friend in a pinch

 

In essence, use more consumable to beef up the party as you fight, if you already have the basics down, it literally just adds more meat to you, and generally whenever I find I'm stuck it's almost always because I'm simply not properly utilizing the options at my disposal. 

 

I still remember how joyful it was to throw out one of those rolling fire balls into a room full of shadows, and slam the door shut, and they just stood around in there getting TOASTED lol. 

 

Another point:

 

Aggro doesn't exist in this game, the enemies exist only to troll you - they'll generally engage the first thing they see *or* that damages them so long as they don't draw an attack of opportunity - at least that seems to be their behavior.  That's why the different spectral enemies are such a pain, because they don't follow this rule and can teleport to whoever is putting the hurt on them - sometimes it's a good idea to hold aloth in reserve, or even blast yourself with fire just to hit a big group (helpful if somebody can get some fire res). 

 

As a cipher another option you may consider looking into is getting a bustin' gun.  A real BIG gun - because those bypass the DR of the shadows (again resource utilization) and you'll do a TON more damage to them per shot, then once you've shot, cast your cipher spells + future shots will give you more of a boost (especially starting combat with a nice shot) then you can just switch out to some other weapon to avoid the tremendously long reload time (unless you craft/find a really nice gat). 

 

If it's still too tough, you can wait until you find more NPCs (or recruit some from the tavern) or get a few more levels under your belt  -  just because the game tells you about something doesn't mean you're *supposed* to do something right this instant - no sword is going to come out of the ether and lop your head off for not completing certain quests at certain times lol. 

Edited by Gallenger
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So.... ciphers -can- be successful as ranged DPS?  I started with a bow (because of some background trait), but one I saw that the main spell I chose was a frontal cone, and that that was his main damage ability, I gave him a pair of daggers.

 

Thanks for everything so far, seriously.

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Well, if your intention is to go ranged DPS, a non-gun option is probably the best option in the early game (that is to say have 1 ex-bustin' gun, and then some other weapon in your other slot like a bow).  The reason the gun has such a high pay off for cipher is because it bypasses DR, so you're going to do damage to most anything, and the amount of points you get for your abilities is determined, in part, by how much damage you do prior to using your abilities - so they go together quite nicely.  It's just that (early game in particular) the reload speed of guns is so bad, you'll end up dealing less damage in the long run - so have some other option handy.  Daggers can work too of course - or a 2 handed sword, there's a bit of freedom in how you approach cipher. 

 

I suggest the gun because of its ability to bypass DR and quick injection of damage for points purposes - particularly when fighting spectral enemies.  The same goes for other weapon types that bypass DR - if you really wanna handle those shadows I'd look into acquiring some DR bypassing weapons and giving them out for this occasion (2 handed swords, maces I believe, and a few others). 

Edited by Gallenger
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Eothos temple was hard! I'd suggest leaving, getting Durance and then returning.  I also think 2 fighters is an absolute minimum.  Don't be afraid to back away and come back when stronger (leveled up, better gear, etc.) .  Also study the monsters and potion options.

 

A nice cipher-wizard  combo is Mind Wave from the cipher timed to the wizard arc of fire.  I have only got the timing correct once, but it was a thing of beauty when it hit.

Lots of great advice in Gallenger's response

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sorry for my english :))

 

I think its more of a character issue rather than the game itself

this is the first time i had played games like PoE (wanted to try it cause i used to watch my brother play NWN)

 

im currently playing on hard and its quite difficult to micromanage with so many characters to control  :)

have you tried getting durance first?? located on the map next to gilded vale he can actually help you with heals and stuff

 

i think with 4 characters you can fight shades and shadows pretty easy

 

and as i play games if i had tried on that area and i kept on dying i try to check if there are other ways to skip the area... maybe it not the dungeon that your supposed to go in yet.

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Err Jingshui, firstly, the temple is level 3-4 difficulty content for a full group. Trying to do it with 3 characters is asking to die. You should pick up the additional party members such as the Priest at Magran's Fork (South Exit of Town to unlock the Map) and the Chanter at the Stronghold location. After that if you want more options for characters, you can also pick up a Paladin in Defiance Bay (Port Area), a ranger, a druid and a cipher somewhere else. I suggest you think of what your full party is going to look like and decide on which members to have in the party full time.

 

General Tips: Your frontline needs at least one main tank and one off tank.  Decide early on their builds and pick the ones you want ASAP so that you can level them the way you want. Otherwise they make strange party choices. If you want an easier game. Make one of the party members on your own from the inn. 

 

Frontline Tank Characters: Eder, Chanter, Paladin

Melee DPS Characters: Eder, Ranger (Must get early)

Support Characters: Chanter, Priest

Control Characters: Aloth, Cipher

Range DPS: Aloth, Ranger, Druid, Cipher

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I would echo Elvarein in suggesting you put together a Quick Six (aka Dirty Half-Dozen) before running the temple. In a game designed for six party members, there's no reason to quest understaffed. Four guys will be at level 2, Kana at 3, and an adventurer at 1.

 

Regarding shadows teleporting: they always teleport onto weak endurance/deflection casters and the like, and take the shortest route from point A to point B, so create a trap. Make a row of frontliners, then an empty row, then your casters and DPS in a third row. More often than not, Shadows will teleport into the second row, so your melee can turn around and engage/CC them without having to reposition.

Exoduss, on 14 Apr 2015 - 11:11 AM, said: 

 

also secret about hardmode with 6 man party is :  its a faceroll most of the fights you will Auto Attack mobs while lighting your spliff

 

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The quick and dirty way to assure success is to run over to the stronghold and get the chanter guy and down to that other zone and grab the priest for a team of 5.

 

I managed somehow with many trips to the inn to clear the first floor with just my cipher and wizard because I missed the fighter dude.  I made me a lvl 1 fighter at the inn because I was not going to clear another floor the way I did the first because that was stupid but with the shiny new fighter, I managed significantly better.  My spells were mind wave, whisper of treason and shockwave.  The wizard spell I remeber doing the most work for me was ray of fire but rolling flame or whatever would of been better imo if I had it then.  I also may of got mental binding before I finished the temple on my cipher and that spell is so so good.  I will say that that place was the worst of the places I have cleared until I started clearing the stronghold which had more freaking shadows.  Hate them so much

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Obviously, no one -has- to help me, but I'm frustrated by my experience so far, and I feel like I'm missing something key.  I want desperately to love it, but I need to fix my approach.

 

First, my background: "Back in the day" I played all of NWN 1 and 2, and their x-pacs.  While I know neither of those are technically an IE game, I thought that was close enough.  Playing PoE, I'm worried that I might have forgotten a lot.

 

My character: Moon Godlike Cipher.  I'm willing to re-roll this guy to enjoy this game, if that's what I need to do.  From some of my reading, I take it that this is a somewhat more difficult class?  How would a druid or ranger compare?  Or should I just go full fighter?  I'm open to advice on this front.

 

My experience:  Lots of dying.  I think I've learned a lot from trial-and-death, but I've hit a wall with what I can figure out myself.

 

FIRST HOUR OR SO SPOILERS TO DESCRIBE MY LOCATION IN-GAME:  

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have spent a little time in the Guilded Vale, and have received the quest to meet a Watcher.  Edér and Aloth have joined my party.  With a Fighter (which I had take Guardian Stance at a recent level-up) and a Wizard, I thought I might finally be successful at Eothas' tomb.  I was finally able to clear the first floor without a ton of issues, getting used to using doorways as choke point with a little success.  I changed my formation so that Edér leads, my cipher is behind him (I like him having to take a moment to come around into melee - maybe it helps the tank establish aggro??) and Aloth several squares back.

 

I don't micromanage Edér much, sometimes I use his Knockdown.  I micromanage (with spacebar) Aloth and my cipher a great deal.  When Shadows and whatnot beeline for Aloth, I have my Cipher use a first-level Charm ability.  Sometimes it even works, heh.  My 2 damage do-ers otherwise get micro-managed into using their biggest AoEs, and my problems SEEM (from my perspective) to come from positioning?  I guess I don't know how to be more defensive, or what to do besides throw up my hands when it all goes pear-shaped.  And when it does, it does so fast.....

 

I -did- start the game on Normal, but I have swallowed my pride and bumped it down to Easy.  And swallowed it further to get help.  Because I really do want to love this game - I want to know more about the world, I love the actual RPing opportunities it's had so far.  But last night I quit in a rage.  I just die over and over, no matter how much I think and adjust.

 

In summary, the things I've done that involve NOT just running in and auto-attacking:

A formation with my "tank" in front (though I wish he'd ever hold aggro)

Use doorways to block packs when possible.

Careful use of AoE uber-nukes from my Wizard and Cipher

Constant use of spacebar - I'm not trying to manage them in real-time

Tank has picked up and activated Guardian Stance

Swallowed my pride, turned the difficulty down to Easy and asked for help.

 

Am I hopeless?  I get the impression I'm playing the whole thing wrong, somehow, and I want so much to love it.  I backed it, I believe in it, and I dont' want to give up.

 

Thank you to anyone who takes the time to give kindly advice.

there is a hidden gun in the tutorial area by the camp you find sparfels water at, if you sell the gun to haoden or whatever his name is it sells for 750 gold. When you get to the tavern you can then buy 3 custom heroes right off the bat, you can either pick up aloth and the priest or make a couple more (i like to run full custom). The game is vastly easier with 6 people, a basic build is to have a heavy set paladin centre of your front line, a barbarian to the side for splash damage and another melee on the other side, have a priest in the back row to heal and two dps/cc/utility guys as well. try running a mixed team to get a feel for all the classes then make your dream team. Im currently running 4 chanters (melee tanks that can summon monsters) with a priest and druid for heals but it took a decent amount of balancing to get my chanters tanky enough to survive on the front line, i may replace one of them at some point but that would ruin the whole 4 godless chanters thing i have going on (one of each type)

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it's impossible to fail with a cipher in your group in this game.

I see the dreams so marvelously sad

 

The creeks of land so solid and encrusted

 

Where wave and tide against the shore is busted

 

While chanting by the moonlit twilight's bed

 

trees (of Twin Elms) could use more of Magran's touch © Durance

 

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Some small hints:

- The Guardian ability of the fighter is bad. By itself, it's ok-ish BUT from my testing it can't be used with the Defender ability. The latter will allow your Fighter to engange up to three enemies, making him much more reliable at protecting your weaker party members. Teleporting enemies will be able to avoid him but in that case you want them dead as fast as possible which doesn't work with Guardian's -10 Accuracy penalty on your fighter. Also, there's a Talent that increases the defensive bonuses of Defender quite significantly (I think it's +5 deflection and +10 to the other three) allowing the figher to take less damage and shorten or even ignore more enemy CCs.

- The Cipher does NOT have any melee cones! I know Mind Wave shows one during targeting and it confused me too at first. It targets one enemy and trigger as cone starting from that enemy. Basically you aim at the front-most foe, hurt him and knock down everything behind him.

 

Ranged Cipher does work great. I'm playing one myself right now. I'm about to hit level 4. Went with Wood Elf for the accuracy bonus against distant enemies (which also applies to your powers), high Int (18) and Might (19) and a SLOW ranged weapon. Currently a Fine Arbalest. With biting Whip and my high Might I can one-shot some enemies (I've seen crits easily go as high as 80) and the high damage will give you more than enough Focus for most battles even after one single shot.

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Thanks so much!!

 

Was there some way I was supposed to know that the temple was a higher difficulty?  I had had a hard time coming through the previous map, got irritated when I was 2-shot by the bear, and finally decided I was going to draw a line in the sand and finish a piece of content.  I ask about difficulty because Elvarein says it is a "level 3-4" with a full group.  Knowing how to judge difficulty would be tremendously helpful.....

 

The rest of the tips here are huge, and I'm ready to go back into the game and refocus my efforts.

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