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I'm at this transition where normal difficulty is too easy, but hard or PotD is too difficult. It's really annoying, because I've played some PotD and hard and had tons of fun with it, but two things, the second being very important and in depth:

 

1) I am addicted to Trial of Iron. This is just in my nature. Squad wipes? I wanna roll a new character. Bad habit that I struggle to break.

 

2) The most annoying part of hard or PotD mode to me? It's painfully obvious that the mob rulers (Wizard, Druid) are super important here. There's SOOOOOO many encounters where there's just enemies everywhere, and if you're not blasting half of them away with your Wizard, you're gonna die. Priest is important here too, but Priest is almost always important.

 

  There's two problems with this though. The first is that it's entirely possible to approach a fight and think you've got this, but no, no you don't. All it takes is one singular battle where you're hesitant to use your Wizard to full capacity, instead starting with his per encounter spells, and that could be the difference between life and death. That brief cooldown period can mean everything. For example let's say you encounter some enemy bandits or something and there's 6 of them and 6 of you. You think "ok I can handle this" and proceed to wait for a sign your wiz is vital. Then your frontline meets their frontline and within the first per encounter spell cast for wiz, your frontline characters are at half health. By the time you cast that Slicken or the like, it's already too late cause your frontline is down and your DDs will soon follow.

 

   On the other hand, there are moments where it's absolutely crystal clear you need all the firepower you have for a fight. The problem? That's every fight. You use your wizard and your priest, and when the dust settles and you move on, the fight following it is EXACTLY the same and demands the use of both. After the second one in a row, you're depleted and you need to use a campfire. That's obvious and all, but by the time you have four battles, you're out of campfires. The fights themselves are fun and I succeed with those reliably, but the rate at which I need to rest the entire party because I absolutely positively 100% rely on my Wizard and Priest being ready to help? That's....kinda annoying.

 

 

 

 

Any tips on what to do? Am I doing something wrong for my wiz to feel that much in demand or is this normal? Is frequent resting just a fact of life in Hard/PotD? I hope not because I quite enjoy the battles themselves, I just don't enjoy the runs back to shops to buy more campfires/rest at inns.

"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

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Try reading the thread about soloing the game on Hard/PoTD.  There are some really good general tips in there that should help you out.  I've recently made it to act 2 as a solo fire godlike barbarian, and I didn't even find the cloak that heals endurance when taking freeze damage.

 

Tips: Use scrolls and traps, they can make a huge difference.  

 

Use figurines, buy all of them, they're all worth the money.

 

Split groups.  Don't just go attack a large group of enemies.  If you're trying to *never* die, then this is a must for every fight.  Have one of your characters get some movespeed so they can outrun anything and make them stop chasing (except for the one or two you're pulling).

 

If you're scared of a group, cheese it anyway you can.  Use doors, etc.  Especially if you're trying to never die!  

 

Use food for hard encounters.  Get drunk as hell for the damage reduction!

 

I personally just quicksave after every fight, and don't mind re-loading if i die.

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Wizards and Priest are just for cc and healing. And the game, at least in hard, is quite easy. Just send Edér first to tank everything, positioning yourself and throw **** from the distance. If you please, you can hire a paladin npc in the inn until get Pallegina; auras are useful.

 

There's a simple strat that works in almost every case, I would say. Send Edér to tank, then the paladin trying to not get more than one mob agro. Behind them, positioning Durance with the staff, between your frontline and the wizards. Then, you and Aloth just use your per encounter abilities, and ocasionally some spells for cc when necessary. You have two wizards. In lvl 2, you can have two blind spells in area. So, two wizards, four blind spells. That's very awesome. Also, get that ability, I don't remember the name, that is a melee stun. Is very usefull when someone go trought your fronline, like ghosts. Just stun it and send Durance or your paladin to tank it.

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You seem to be focusing on the casters, and there's things to do differently there as others have mentioned, but I thought I'd point out it sounds like your biggest problem is actually your tank. For me, after about level 5 Eder became next to untouchable - on PotD - until I met Ogres. And he's a mediocre tank stat-wise. Big fights might need some heals but regular groups rarely need any kind of extra effort. I'd look into how you're handling your tank - gear, talents, positioning. 90% of the combat difficulties in this game can be overcome by finding a doorway and standing in it.

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Hard shouldn't be that hard. You're probably doing something important wrong in your positioning or use of spells. Especially if you've gotten past Caed Nua -- that's the hardest part of the game on hard. 

 

Are you using Aloth? Aloth is pretty bad. He's usable, but he's not great. You might consider replacing him if you're not happy with your wizard.

 

Make sure Eder and Kana or whoever your tanks are go into combat first and distract the enemy. This is harder with shades because they teleport, but that's the reason Caed Nua is such a pain.

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Hard shouldn't be that hard. You're probably doing something important wrong in your positioning or use of spells. Especially if you've gotten past Caed Nua -- that's the hardest part of the game on hard. 

 

Are you using Aloth? Aloth is pretty bad. He's usable, but he's not great. You might consider replacing him if you're not happy with your wizard.

 

Make sure Eder and Kana or whoever your tanks are go into combat first and distract the enemy. This is harder with shades because they teleport, but that's the reason Caed Nua is such a pain.

 

Hard wasn't that bad. Hard I just ran into that trouble in the Endless Paths, not in other parts so much. I only mention Hard cause yeah even so, I quickly got sick of the Endless Paths because it was just nonstop resting, since every room demanded I exhaust my Wizard. PotD was more the one demanding it and/or it was highly risky not to utilize it.

"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

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Hard shouldn't be that hard. You're probably doing something important wrong in your positioning or use of spells. Especially if you've gotten past Caed Nua -- that's the hardest part of the game on hard. 

 

Are you using Aloth? Aloth is pretty bad. He's usable, but he's not great. You might consider replacing him if you're not happy with your wizard.

 

Make sure Eder and Kana or whoever your tanks are go into combat first and distract the enemy. This is harder with shades because they teleport, but that's the reason Caed Nua is such a pain.

 

Hard wasn't that bad. Hard I just ran into that trouble in the Endless Paths, not in other parts so much. I only mention Hard cause yeah even so, I quickly got sick of the Endless Paths because it was just nonstop resting, since every room demanded I exhaust my Wizard. PotD was more the one demanding it and/or it was highly risky not to utilize it.

 

 

On hard Endless Paths demanded your wizard? I didn't even use my wizard. I had Grieving Mother, Durance, Eder, Kana, Pallegina, and my PC druid. 

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As an avid XCOM player who never plays without Ironman, I understand the appeal. I do.

 

 

But I wouldn't advise doing the same with PoE. Story-driven RPG with written companions and bears hiding in caves is completely different from a strategy game with (somewhat) disposable squad members. PoE is neither an XCOM-like nor a Roguelike - it doesn't lend itself well to Ironman mode IMO.

 

So.. That would be my advice. Play through without Ironman first, then do it as an additional challenge for replayability. But not as a first or standard run. That's my $0.02.

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