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Caed Nua

 

Stronghold Turns

 

You can think of each Stronghold Turn as being an extra reward for any full completion of a Quest (Main Quest, Side Quest, or Task), whenever a Quest is marked off as finished in the Quest Journal.

 

 

How to Have a Good Stronghold Experience

 

Since Stronghold events only occur on Stronghold Turns, it makes sense to try to avoid turning in Quests before acquiring your Stronghold. However, there are some Quests that are required in order to get the Stronghold itself.

 

Once you get the Stronghold, rationing Quest turn-in's allows you to save up Stronghold Turns for when your Stronghold has higher Prestige and Security ratings (meaning you get more favorable events per Stronghold Turn). This means focusing on Upgrades before turning in most Quests.

 

When you start an Upgrade, simply leave for a different map and come back until the upgrade is complete, then select another upgrade. A simple method is traveling back and forth from, say, the Caed Nua map to Gilded Vale after choosing each upgrade, until the upgrade is finished, and then selecting the next upgrade and repeating.

 

However, upgrades require money. The best source of money is in the Endless Paths below Caed Nua -- containers hold an enormous amount of coins. Ideally, you would loot every container without fighting any monsters. Unfortunately, the enemies get progressively tougher the deeper you go. At some point, you will be forced to do some Quest turn-in's just to level up your party -- when that happens, I recommend completing as many Prestige- and Security-boosting upgrades as possible first, before turning in any Quests. The boosted Prestige & Security scores makes it more likely to get a favorable Stronghold event with each Quest turn-in.

 

You must complete the main quest in Heritage Hill before you can completely conquer the Endless Paths. Once you have conquered Caed Nua, speak with the Steward for a Quest turn-in and a significant boost to both Prestige & Security (+8 each).

 

Here is my recommended order of doing upgrades:

 

Eastern Barbican (required) - the only upgrade you can do at first; costs no money and is finished instantly

 

At this point, decide whether you want to invest any time and energy into the Stronghold: maintaining the Stronghold changes the way you play the game significantly, in that you have to treat Quest turn-in's as Stronghold Turns and ration them accordingly. This can significantly detract from an RP experience, as you must meta-game. You will also need enormous amounts of money, which would otherwise go into enchanting your weapons and armor, or learning new spells for your wizards.

 

If you decide to continue with the Stronghold, then here is the rest of my recommendations on the order of upgrades:

 

Brighthollow Manor - the only upgrade you can do after Eastern Barbican; allows you to rest for free anywhere on the Caed Nua map except in the Endless Paths (simply click the Bed icon at the bottom of the screen)

 

Main Keep - unlocks other upgrades; gives a nice boost to both Prestige & Security (allowing you to collect more taxes)

 

Western Barbican - unlocks more upgrades; also a cheap way to boost Security

 

Curio Shop - gives you free Creature Parts every Stronghold Turn

 

Bailey - unlocks more upgrades; also a cheap way to boost Prestige

 

Botanical Garden - gives you free Herbs every Stronghold Turn

 

Warden's Lodge - allows you to get bounties for lots of money; note that each time you kill a bounty target, you trigger a Stronghold Turn, and then you trigger another Stronghold Turn when you turn in the bounty to the Warden.

 

Afterwards, try to keep Prestige & Security at about the same levels as you choose upgrades. Focusing just on Security makes favorable events almost never happen, which can quickly make you resent your Stronghold. Keeping the two at about the same level gives you a good mix between favorable and unfavorable events.

 

----------

 

Here are upgrades I recommend getting last:

 

Barracks - You generally won't need hirelings as long as you keep your character level low. Otherwise, they can be very helpful during Attacks at higher character levels, when the attackers are much more powerful. Note that hirelings are a constant drain on your income per *game day* rather than Stronghold Turn, and are generally not worth it if your income is limited and you still have Stronghold upgrades left. Best advice is to keep character level low rather than sink money into hirelings. The Prestige & Security bonuses you gain from hirelings do not affect the amount of taxes that you collect or that get stolen by bandits; in fact, Prestige & Security do not affect your taxes, period.

 

Dungeons - if you are rationing Quest turn-in's, then it's unlikely you will ever get a chance to use the Dungeons until you start doing Quest turn-in's frequently again.

 

Merchant Stall - you can already sell things at your Curio Shop.

 

Towers - cheap way to boost Prestige & Security.

However, once I built Towers, Stronghold Attacks started happening! (??)

If Security is low, then best to keep within 3 days' travel distance from Stronghold (so far, minimum warning time for Attacks has been 3 days).

Is it that building Towers triggers Stronghold attacks, or once Prestige has reached a certain threshold (10?) the attacks come? In that case, upgrades that raise Security without raising Prestige are best in the beginning? I think I tried this, and that doesn't work either -- attacks just come no matter what.

 

 

Prestige & Security

 

Higher Security allows visiting Hirelings to safely arrive at your Stronghold.

 

However, I've found Security has a seemingly random relationship with what percentage of taxes get stolen by bandits. It does not seem to consistently affect the percentage stolen.

 

With 3 Prestige & 2 Security: 48 cp lost to bandits, 626 cp arrived safely. Loss = 7.12%

 

With 20 Prestige & 22 Security: 28 cp lost to bandits, 828 cp arrived safely. Loss = 3.27%

 

With 28 Prestige & 27 Security: 115 cp lost, 506 arrived. Loss = 18.5%

 

With 31 Prestige & 30 Security: 435 cp lost, 880 arrived. Loss = 33.1%

 

With 34 Prestige & 30 Security: 273 cp lost, 440 arrived. Loss = 38.3%

 

With 48 Prestige & 46 Security: 678 cp lost, 247 arrived. Loss = 73.3%

(Reloads:)

With 48 Prestige & 46 Security: 674 cp lost, 181 arrived. Loss = 78.8%

With 48 Prestige & 46 Security: 685 cp lost, 253 arrived. Loss = 73.0%

With 48 Prestige & 46 Security: 623 cp lost, 229 arrived. Loss = 73.1%

(Changing Prestige & Security scores via Hirelings:)

With 44 Prestige & 38 Security: 696 cp lost, 165 arrived. Loss = 80.8%

With 44 Prestige & 46 Security: 655 cp lost, 246 arrived. Loss = 72.6%

 

Summary: the amount of taxes collected does not scale with the main character's level, nor with the Prestige score.

 

Prestige seems to not have any connection with how much money is collected in taxes every 5 Stronghold Turns: 856 cp taxes in total with just 20 Prestige, while only 713 cp taxes in total with 34 Prestige. Security also seems to not have any connection with how much money is stolen by bandits. For instance, just 7.12% of taxes was stolen with Security score 2, while 78.8% was stolen with Security level 46.

 

(Note: Test if it's the ratio of Prestige to Security that counts instead?)

 

 

Attacks on the Stronghold

 

I've found that the level of the creatures attacking the Stronghold scales exponentially with the main character's level. If you stay at a low level when you're just starting to upgrade your Stronghold, you can keep the Attacks weak enough that your party alone can handle them. Again, this means withholding any Quest turn-in's until you've upgraded your Stronghold as much as you can between each Quest turn-in.

 

Stronghold Attacks are rolled for each game day.

 

 

Bad Visitors

 

If you get a Bad Visitor to the Stronghold upon entering a new map, you can re-load the game to the Autosave (if it's been turned on) of the old map where you came from -- if you don't have an Autosave, then you can try hoping you have a Save that is not too far from when you left the previous map. Once you have that Autosave loaded, save it in a new Save slot (or you can skip this step and hope the game doesn't overwrite the Autosave you want). Then completely exit the game, restart Pillars, and load that Save. Now travel to the new map again. You should now get a different Visitor. (Pillars keeps giving you the exact same visitor each time you reload unless you clear its buffer by exiting the game completely.)

 

 

Final Notes:

 

I am completely sick of the Pillars of Eternity Stronghold and refuse to do any more work on it. If you have any comments or suggestions about this post, please post directly here. Unfortunately, there's no way to upvote / downvote useful comments on the Obsidian forums like there is on Reddit.

 

 

Suggestions to the Obsidian Team on the Stronghold:

  • Please allow people to accumulate Stronghold Turns whenever they turn in a quest, and then allow them to choose *when* they want to spend those turns.
  • Why does anyone want to play a game that takes control out of the hands of the players? That's the definition of an unenjoyable game. E.g. Imagine Tetris where you hit the Left Arrow to make a piece move left, and instead it just moves it in a random direction 90% of the time. That is what the Stronghold mini-game feels like right now.
  • Please fix the Prestige / Security not affecting the taxes collected, nor the percentage of taxes stolen.
  • Please give the Steward the ability to be an advisor to advise what upgrade to build next, or what the player should do given their character level (e.g. avoid working on any other quests until they finish Level x in Endless Paths).
 

  • Like 4

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"I am completely sick of the Pillars of Eternity Stronghold and refuse to do any more work on it. "

 

:dancing: 

 

In general, it's not a great feature and my advice to new players would be, don't worry about it. Play around with it if you want to, abandon it if you like. You're never ever going to be stuck because you didn't do something with the stronghold, nor will your characters be significantly weaker/stronger. I certainly think nobody should ever waste time metagaming the turns and hoarding money for it, unless they enjoy upgrading the stronghold for its own sake. 

 

The info itself looks good to me, thanks for posting it.

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I don't really like how unique items are only available through stronghold adventures which are very RNG.  On my last play through, the Trial of Iron run on PotD, I rushed the stronghold at level 3, then raided Raedric's keep to get enough copper to upgrade it to 24 prestige before doing any quests.

 

I got it to 24 prestige with only 3 turns passed, and finished the run at around 215 turns, and still didn't get quite a few of the adventure items.  I basically got everything I needed, like the Helwax mold, Cloak of comfort, Swaddling sheet, The diving helmet, and a few other things, but it's still annoying.   I'd rather just get to the stronghold in due time, rather than rush it.

 

The most ridiculous thing about the stronghold imo though is how taxes are turn based while minion pay is time based.  So you basically lose money from it no matter what if you hire any minions, unless you just hire them for a battle then fire them after, like for the stronghold war.

Edited by Climhazzard

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Those are the stolid, bare mechanics of the Stronghold ... but it gets good when you answer the summons, travel back to meet visitors, and decide their fate in person--depending on your disposition and reputation. Obsidian included a host of role-playing scripted mini-content in the stronghold. 


All Stop. On Screen.

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Something I've noticed that isn't in this guide is that if you get security to 51 or higher, you repel all attacks on your stronghold seemingly 100% of the time. It's a benchmark I try to hit as soon as possible (Korgrak, etc.), as some attacks are brutal (vicious mercenaries, where they all have exceptional weapons, being a big one and they can attack at levels where you're wholly unprepared to deal with them) and to auto-resolve them you usually put yourself around 10000 gold out of pocket through building destruction.

 

Also, remember that you only need prestige and security greater than or equal to 30 for the "best" stronghold ending - so if that's all you're interested in it's a fairly easy benchmark to hit.

 

In terms of money, clearing out Raedric's Keep will give you 10000+ gold and little quest experience as murderating 80 or so guards obviously doesn't add to bestiary experience. Once you've picked up the Adra Beetle figurine, you certainly shouldn't have any issue with clearing this place out even on PotD solo.

 

In general I always get the Curio Shop and Botanical Gardens as early as possible, then get whatever's cheap. I don't tend to fast travel around the map to complete builds as it's nice to have some money to get things in Defiance Bay early. You also can chain rest in Brighthollow to get the new visitor dilemmas and make Azzuro appear with new items once you've solved his problem, if you feel so inclined (Hiro's Mantle can be a nice addition to a lot of builds). In terms of chain resting, if you are trying to spam it for Azzuro items you can reload when you run out of money (hireling wages) and try again - you can get different items each time so repeat until you get the one you're looking for.

 

The final thing I'll chime in is you don't actually need to enter Brighthollow to rest at Caed Nua, saving you the trip if you weren't aware.

Edited by Jojobobo

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I found that stronghold attack frequency also has something to do with level, when I was playing my solo run I considered stronghold attacks a source of infinite money, but eventually I stopped getting anymore attacks, I thought the total number of attacks are fixed, but I respeced to low level and started to load between zones, I got attacks again, so it seems like at a certain level, likely 14+, one stops getting stronghold attacks, no matter how low the security stat is, I barely upgraded anything in the stronghold.

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You all noobs. Everybody knows the best and fastest way to pump up both Security and Prestige is just slaying llengrath and her's little friends

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"I am completely sick of the Pillars of Eternity Stronghold and refuse to do any more work on it. "

 

:dancing: 

 

In general, it's not a great feature and my advice to new players would be, don't worry about it. Play around with it if you want to, abandon it if you like. You're never ever going to be stuck because you didn't do something with the stronghold, nor will your characters be significantly weaker/stronger. I certainly think nobody should ever waste time metagaming the turns and hoarding money for it, unless they enjoy upgrading the stronghold for its own sake. 

 

The info itself looks good to me, thanks for posting it.

 

Thank you for the input!

 

Just wondering, who was the person in charge of the Stronghold design?

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Bumb. Another Stronghold question:

 

I normally don't get any turn a stronghold Adventure, even with prestige >25. Wiki says 2d50+prestige is rolled and must be >25 for an adventure. http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Caed_Nua I doubt the info on the wiki is outdated. Someone knows how it works?

 

Right now, I was trying to "save" quests until the stronghold is mine and prestige is high as suggested in this thread. What you guys thing?  

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Bumb. Another Stronghold question:

 

I normally don't get any turn a stronghold Adventure, even with prestige >25. Wiki says 2d50+prestige is rolled and must be >25 for an adventure. http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Caed_Nua I doubt the info on the wiki is outdated. Someone knows how it works?

 

Right now, I was trying to "save" quests until the stronghold is mine and prestige is high as suggested in this thread. What you guys thing?  

If you don't get an adventure it's probably because you have another event instead. (Adventures are just one of the possible events that can happen)

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If you don't get an adventure it's probably because you have another event instead. (Adventures are just one of the possible events that can happen)

 

Aha. kk

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This seems like a very useful guide for the purists out there.

 

If there's a specific item I need for a character build from the stronghold I'll always just use Power Word: Console though.

 

Pillars has a lot of interesting systems and mechanics but the Stronghold ain't one of them. It got better with the various quests that you get from it now but randomly playing "what item am I gonna get" and trying to game it by handing in quests at different times just doesn't sound fun to me. More power to you if you wanna get them cheevos.

Edited by Livegood118

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So I saved quest and got xp only from monsters and mainquest. That took ages to get to level 4 and conquered the stronghold. burnt money for the stronghold and not for gear. Leveled the stronghold to something like 25 prestige. Finished the quest then and now, after Turn 19, only TWO little adventures showed up. Just like when I played without the hassle of saving quest.  

My conclusion: Manipulation the stronghold system by saving quest does not work.

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Also keep in mind there are many minor adventures (giving very good items) which will stop appearing if your prestige is too high. Personally I would increase only the security of the keep until I got every possible item from minor/average adventures.

 

However trying to get your stronghold as soon as possible (ignore every act 1 side quests) might help you obtain more items faster.

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