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Endless paths, quick and dirty strategy guide for the first half

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Just tossing this out there from experience, because I'm seeing people wonder if they built their team right after they got their butts handed to them in the endless paths.

OK, first off...

the paths overall seem to contain creatures that are a bit tougher than what you would expect, given the level you are probably at when you can first start doing them.  Also.. plan for lots of traps.  and nasty ones too.  you should have at least level 6 mechanics before you go too far, and level 8 preferably, as there are not only traps but chests that need mechanics 8 to open.  or just carry a lot of picks.  the levels are small enough that I actually recommend staying in sneak mode until you have explored the entire level.  lots o traps, lots o secrets, and the stealth helps you get the jump on enemies anyway.  Oh, and speaking of traps, they are actually useful here, as there are a lot of chokepoints, so you can reuse some of the traps you disarm to good effect.

as a general rule, if you are pretty good at games like this already, and find hard mode relatively easy, you still will likely want to be at least one level higher than the level of the endless paths you are tackling.  so with a full party, you can probably do the first couple of levels with your party at level 3 or 4. if you decide to jump down the well on level 1, you will end up on level 5, which actually almost all xaurips, so not that bad.  However, avoid going north when you land, or you'll have to fight a full sized drake along with about 9 high level xaurip.  save that for later.  you can fight your way through the xaurips to the south and find a staircase that leads back to the surface.  watch out for traps.

level 3 is where you start getting ogres, and you really will have an easier time of it if you wait till your party hits level 5, but it's doable at 4. 
use stealth so you can get close enough to start casting spells on ogres before they know you are there.  confusion (even the level 2 version) is very useful.  spells or scrolls work fine.  sicken works great, so again, Noxious Burst, Fetid Caress work fantastic. anything that slows them is good, because they are already pretty slow. sneak up and cast fetid caress on an ogre druid to take it out of the combat until you have full control of the situation.  lots of options, but unless you have really good deflection scores, I'd recommend magic and ranged against ogres.  they hit very hard.  make sure to take out druids first, as they are worse than regular ogres in every imaginable way.  if you have slayer enchants free, you will want a "wilder slayer" enchant for ogres, and corrode damage.  again, careful if you plan to melee, even the regular ogres commonly hit for 50 a pop, and the druids can hit you for 90.

the next few levels are actually easier IMO.  ooozes and beetles, then lots and lots of xaurips, which should hardly give you trouble, though there IS a full sized drake on level 5.

pretty much 6-8 is all undead (vessel) and spirits (both elemental and shade), getting progressively tougher as you go.  One thing to watch out for:
when you hit the level with the elemental forges (level 7), it actually helps to rekindle all the forges BEFORE heading to the exit down to level 8.  you will know when you are getting near the exit, because a spirit will pop up and warn you of danger.  if you want a nice, tough fight, ignore it and plow ahead.  If not, do the forges fist before proceeding further into that area.  You'll also be able to finish Kana's quest on this level, so make sure to bring him along. 

this is a good place to stop....

before you go to level 8, make sure you finish the main quest in Defiance Bay relating to the tower.  find the Leaden Key, and do the missions they tell you to do.  make sure you finish the tower in Heritage Hill, and learn a new language (no, not Spanish).

that new language is very useful on level 8, though admitedly not absolutely necessary.  you'll miss out on a ton of fun dialogue without it though.

level 8 is  mostly tough vessel, with some nasty fampyrs, and the ocasional adra beetle group tossed in.  things can get out of control quick if you don't pay attention.  recommend stealth until you see just how big any particular group you're about to launch an attack on is.  by this time, you might be level 9, so your fist level spells are now "cantrips" and can be cast per encounter.  use that to your advantage.  even nerfed, slicken is still a great spell here.  use fire.  lots and lots of fire.  plan for at least one of your characters to get charmed unless you take fampyrs down quick, or stun them, etc.

that's pretty much everything you need to know for the first half of this dungeon.

Edited by Ichthyic
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