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Hi,

I usually play a new game once then move on, or may replay once some big expansion comeq out. I am usually trying to experience the most I can in one playthrough. So I'd like some advice on party setup, and am planning a Normal difficulty playthrough.

I've done a bit of reading, and it appears that one can recruit either named NPC companions with personalities, stories and personal quests, or some generic ones from the inn. I suppose I would want to have my party made of the maximum possible amount of such NPC companions for RPG reasons, and choose one class for myself that does not have one NPC companion, like Rogue (which I think I will make ranged). Unless of course their quests are quick 10 minutes affairs, so I won't bother.

From what I hear these companions are already leveled up when you find them in a less than optimal way to remain polite, but I guess I can use that IE mod thingie people are talking about, so this shouldn't be a problem.

One thing is not clear: can you, like in the latest Divinity and other games, dismiss an NPC party member (when for instance you are done with his quest), take another one in your party, then if needed re-recruit the dismissed one? And if so, will the NPC keep leveling up with your party, or like in Wasteland 2, become useless after being idle at the base for a couple of sorties ? (since exp is divided among your party members I tend to believe it works the Wasteland 2 way).


Skills:
From what I gathered, everyone in the party should have a bit in the Survival skill, but for the checks on the other ones, it's the highest one in the party that is taken into account. So every toon should specialise in his own skill. The problem is that I can't find a list of what NPC has what skill.

For instance, so far I have played a Human Fighter until the Gilded Vale, to see what's what. The "Noble +2 Lore" sounded like a nice RPG choice, so I thought I'd make this dude my lore master, and pumped all my level 2 points into it to bring it to a whooping 6. Now, arriving at the village, first I find an NPC fighter companion, then I recruit Aloth and his 7 in lore. So that's like 1/10 of my levelup points wasted.

Any hints as to which skills to give this toon so they don't clash with the rest of the party? And which companion has what?

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Game isn't very hard even on Hard so you can use companions up till the end even without respeccing.

You can dismiss them and make them wait for you in your hold, doing scripted events and even leveling up.

It's better to have some athletics and stealth, about 4 points, to ambush mobs and pass checks for everyone.

Also choose someone as Mechanics guy and save all points for that. Durance works well.

Your Lore won't go to waste because it's always your character who talks so game would check it in dialogue. As a skill however, it is only useful for back row characters so they can use scrolls.

Edited by Shadenuat
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Thanks for the reply.

 

You can dismiss them and make them wait for you in your hold, doing scripted events and even leveling up.

But will they level up with the party, or will I, like in Wasteland 2, come back to the Stronghold at level 8 for instance to find a bunch of useless level 4s ?

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Auto-leveled companions aren't nearly as bad as people make them out to be. I reached Hiravias and the Grieving Mother at like, level 8, and they're doing perfectly well on Normal, so they should be adequate on Hard. Especially if you grab everyone earlier than me - and you can do it by level 4 if you know where to go.

 

There's no need to make everyone specialize in a different skill. You need a mechanics guy, if not you, then Durance or Aloth. Lore is a great choice for your character because only your score is checked in dialogues - everyone else can get lore as needed for scrolls. Survival isn't particularly useful, neither is stealth. Athletics is the one I bring at least to 4 on everyone because it's easy to get fatigued.

 

If you leave companions in the stronghold, you will be able to level them up to your level when you rehire them. They'll be a little bit behind in progress to the next level, but that's not a big deal.

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I am hesitating between a ranged rogue or a barbarian for my main toon. Since there are dps and off-tank options later on, I guess I'll go ranged rogue, sounds more fun. So I would need Lore for the dialog options, then a bit of athletics for the cutscene checks, then, if I want to start my fights with a stealthed shot, some stealth. I suppose 1 point in stealth will be enough for this?

 

(ideally a rogue should be able to lockpick and detect traps, but Lore sounds more important on the main)

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Lore also lets you use scrolls, and they tend to be dam nasty pieces of kit, make them and save them for those boss fights that don't go too well >.<

 

On skills, a big difference between this and DnD based stuff is that anyone can learn anything. Similar with equipment, anyone can use anything to a degree and your rogue isn't necessary the trap and lock guy. Tbh you likely want it on one of your front guys to make it easier to detect traps, depends how you play really. Athletic really is a everyone skill like said above, since even a fairly modest investment really helps.

 

Something you do want to keep in mind is that tanks want to max defense and dps want to max attack speed and damage to a degree. Reach and ranged weapons can really help with your dps avoiding being splattered by the enemy because there wearing light or no armor, but always make sure you got at least one fighter with the skill called defender active. It draws enemy agro towards them and really makes life a lot more straight forwards. Also be wary in how you move around the map, you don't want you lightly armored reach weapon user being the first to engage!

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Thing is, as a rogue, you get sneak attacks regardless of stealth: in the first two seconds of combat and when enemies are under the influence of certain effects (blinded, hobbled etc.) So I found stealth nice for scouting, but other than that it doesn't give me that much combat advantage. I just open with a salvo from my entire team save the tank. My rogue is primarily melee, so I played around with backstab, but it really isn't a good choice to risk getting swarmed by a group of enemies when I can just sneak attack with my pistol from afar much more safely. Maybe if there were more ways to turn invisible in combat, but you get Backstab earlier than Shadowing Beyond and building around it isn't worth it IMO. So I stopped investing in stealth, focused on mechanics and rely on sneak attacks after CC spells from other team members.

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I am confused about how Stealth works. From what I read, a rogue is supposed to get a bonus when starting a fight from stealth. But apparently only from a short distance, unlike the Ranger. On the other hand, in the list of rogue abilities/talents, I only see Backstab with a bonus when engaging from stealth, and so only that talent only works from short range? So if I decide I don't want to use it as an opener, I can keep 1 in Stealth and use the rogue as a ranger, using everything else from long range?
 

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If your playing on normal there are encounters you will probably want to skip and come back to with more people. 

 

The priest they give you has more hit points than what I could create.  I set him on ranged.  He can come in handy at times.

 

I get 1 hireling.  I think you can swap him out for another character later in the game.

 

 

I've restarted a bunch of characters and haven't finished act I yet.  :)

 

Sometimes I find that I'm confused as to what to do first.  Early game I just take every companion into the group.

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I am confused about how Stealth works. From what I read, a rogue is supposed to get a bonus when starting a fight from stealth. But apparently only from a short distance, unlike the Ranger. On the other hand, in the list of rogue abilities/talents, I only see Backstab with a bonus when engaging from stealth, and so only that talent only works from short range? So if I decide I don't want to use it as an opener, I can keep 1 in Stealth and use the rogue as a ranger, using everything else from long range?

 

When entering combat the rogue can start with a Sneak Attack during the first seconds. Forget Backstab. During the combat rogue can Sneak Attack enemies that are blinded, dazed etc. Your wizard is particularly capable of rendering them thus.

 

I recommend rogue use powerful ranged weapon for the first attack and then engage in melee after the tank(s). Dual wield with light armor is fun. And once more, you don't need the Backstab skill.

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