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Is PotD going to actually be tough? Rant on the game's balance


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I've been reading forums for quite a long time while I was playing around with PoE. I restarted the game a couple of times to get a good grasp of mechanics and classes, settled up on a party composition, made a decent chunk of progress in the game and I am kind of disappointed in PotD, to be honest. This is a bit long and ranty, so apologies :)

 

I'm a big fan of BG series and tactical mods for it (specifically, SCS and IA, for those who know what that is). I love the challenge, I enjoy spending time devising a strategy for a hard battle, thinking on my next move, employing auto-pause features heavily. It is normal for me to spend 30-40 minutes to execute a combat encounter even if it takes 2-3 minutes of actual real-time combat. I always play without abusing things like area structure, kiting, hit & run and so on. This is a big issue for an RPG AI which hasn't been resolved yet even today, as it seems, and makes the computer inferior even on a difficulty level such as PotD, with improved enemy stats and larger groups of mobs.

 

I am doing a ToI run (no expert, though, I find it idiotic), very well realising that it might be too risky and I might end up losing and abandoning the game (for I don't have the time to restart complete runs). However, there were very few times when I was in a huge danger of losing my party.

 

I am currently at the end of act 2. All the quests done except for progress with Durance's and Mother's personal quests (I don't use in-game companions). Levels 1-7 of the Od Nua dungeon are completely explored as well. Fire Dragon defeated (it took about 1 minute of real-time combat and 10 minutes with autopause, kinda sad). The party is 10th level. Only the Cliaban Rilag dungeon is left before the animancy hearings and two bounties from the first pack (one of them, the Dweller creature, I am going to do as my next move). After that I'll probably advance the plot enough to finish the act 2, explore one or two more levels of Od Nua and advance to White March.

 

My party is built to be sturdy and resilient with a bit of a bias towards defence, no min-maxing, almost everyone has good Resolve and flat Con, the rest is situational.

 

1) Darcozzi paladin MC, Orlan (the one with the Will bonus). The class is completely indestructible and doesn't go down no matter what happens, very low maintenance, built completely into defence, provides solid support with heals, suppression of harmful effects, revivals.

 

2) Chanter, Amaua (the kind with prone defence). Another incredible, low maintenance tank, the party mechanic. Since he doesn't have any spells to cast in the beginning of a fight, he's perfect for summoning stuff from figurines while being engaged in the frontline. Healing passive + veteran's recovery keeps everyone going. At level 9 I took Dragon Thrashed, and it's a game-breaking ability, as many of you are aware. Then there's the White Worms, of course, the Paralyzing chant, the Ogres, etc.

 

3) Monk, Boreal dwarf. Built as Juggernaut. Kudos to the build author. Incredibly sturdy, very low maintenance, absolute monster even on auto-attack. Has Shod-in-faith, sanguine plate, Chanter with Ancient Memory alongside, keeps standing despite all the wounds. I had an orlan rogue in this slot before the monk, but the rogue died due to my stupidity (got hit by 230 hp worth of damage from a trap in Od Nua). So I took a monk instead and he's so great despite being 1 level behind the rest of the crew.

 

4) Cipher, ranged, Coastal Amaua. My favourite. Built as ranged maniac, inspired by one of the builds on this forum. I took arms bearer and quick switch. A bit low in terms of defence, but she starts the fight with a sequence of four burst shots (3 from arquebuses and 1 from Persistence bow, at the moment), this gives an insane amount of focus as well as completely taking out one or two enemy casters. Now I can dump whatever I want on the enemy, depending on the situation (beams, domination, stun, raw damage, you name it) and keep shooting. This class is so broken.

 

5) Priest, moon godlike. Very straight-forward, high might, intelligence and resolve. With axe + shield and heavy armor reaches incredible defence numbers, main role is party buffs, of course.

 

6) Wizard, pale elf. I was thinking to make this a blasting build, but due to the game being ToI, went for a classic sturdy CC wizard with high Int, Dex and Resolve. The majority of abilities and talents were taken simply to increase the amount and power of the spells. She's great at CC and AoE damage.

 

The game is very easy with this party. I can only remember a couple of notable, difficult encounters: the Sly Cyrdel bounty, the fight with adragans and animats at the 7th level of Od Nua (mostly because of their domination I can't protect my chars from yet; otherwise it would be trivial), ogres at level 3 of Od Nua (somewhat difficult), some encounters in the early game, Forge Knights in Crucible Keep (made trivial when I finally bothered to forge Bulwark against the Elements potions for my party). There was something else, but I can't remember it.

 

My approximate progress was: do all the stuff in the act 1 prior to cleaning out Cad Nua. Only left Raedric and two Forest Lurkers for later. Caed Nua and Mairwald next. Go to the city, do the majority of side quests. Od Nua, levels 1-5 next. Clear out easier areas around the city. Next, Dyrford village, the areas around. Some of the areas such as Fire Dragon area (where all the drakes are) I left for later fearing insurmountable challenge (boy was I wrong). After that steamrolled through Caed Nua 6-7, finished one or two leftover quests in the city and did the Fire Dragon, the poor sod.

 

By the time I got to the harder areas around Dyrford my party was two levels above the monsters, it made most fights easy, if not trivial. This tendency continued from there on. I was expecting heavy usage of scrolls, potions and food but I'd never gotten to that either. There was just no need.

 

I am torn right now. On one hand, I would like to finish the run for it is my understanding that further content, the White March expansion and Act 3, could be scaled up. Does the scaling function well? Would it provide a decent challenge for me?

 

On another hand, I am considering restarting the game, maybe with the default companions. They aren't the same killing machines I've devised for my custom party, so it would make things more interesting. Perhaps, also review my approach to quests. Avoid over-leveling inside the city, maybe do the quests but not report them for huge XPP gains. Right off the bat start exploring Caed Nua and the wilderness areas when the party is still around 5-6th level and does not have too big of an advantage over the monsters.

 

What are your thoughts, dear players?

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You and the monsters have less options in PoE than in BG.

Unmodded BG is hilariously easy because of this, SCS modded BG can be very challenging.

A party is very op in PoE, but so it is in BG, I have soloed SCS for a long time because of that and I don't see a huge difference between both games in that regard, the AI will never cope with organising among the characters as a human organises his party.

 

But once you get to the defensive powerhouse spells like SI: Abjuration SCS BG is easier than PoE at least if you have access to mage spells.

I think the spells are way better balanced in PoE.

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The high-level optional boss fights such as Adra Dragon, Alpine Dragon, Llengrath and various bounties may be the only thing that will challenge you adequately. Concelhaut and Sky Dragon can also be a bit of a worry on ToI, unless you know what to expect. You could use IEMod to decrease XP gain across the board.

 

There are also some nasty high - level trash encounters involving afflictions such as paralyze (spiders, Vithrack & Laguafaeth), petrify (certain spiders and Adragans) charm / dominate (Vithrack & Fampyr) they can all end your game pretty easily if you're not careful (which I can see you are).

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Thanks for your replies!

 

You and the monsters have less options in PoE than in BG.

Unmodded BG is hilariously easy because of this, SCS modded BG can be very challenging.

A party is very op in PoE, but so it is in BG, I have soloed SCS for a long time because of that and I don't see a huge difference between both games in that regard, the AI will never cope with organising among the characters as a human organises his party.

 

But once you get to the defensive powerhouse spells like SI: Abjuration SCS BG is easier than PoE at least if you have access to mage spells.

I think the spells are way better balanced in PoE.

 

True, but mods like SCS and Improved Anvil makes you think and spend time on each fight even if you know game mechanics. The latter mod more so, but it's quite controversial in the community, many feel it makes the game ridiculously difficult, which is right up my alley :) That's why I was kinda sad to see such drop in difficulty in PoE.

 

If you find it to easy ( and it is if you know good the game mechanichs) use a party with less members ( es 4 ), if you find also that easy then go solo.

 

I've considered going with lesser amount of party members but it feels like a bit of a self-imposed crutch to me. I am not a big fan of those. As for solo, I never liked it very much. There isn't as much tactics in it, in my opinion, as in party gameplay. Then there's lots of stuff that I feel very negative about: sneaking around, kiting, splitting groups of mobs. Or, in case of a sturdier class, it would just take forever in each battle. I like long battles when they are challenging, not boring and tedious. Hope nobody takes it the wrong way, it's a good way to challenge oneself, just no really the way I prefer.

 

The high-level optional boss fights such as Adra Dragon, Alpine Dragon, Llengrath and various bounties may be the only thing that will challenge you adequately. Concelhaut and Sky Dragon can also be a bit of a worry on ToI, unless you know what to expect. You could use IEMod to decrease XP gain across the board.

There are also some nasty high - level trash encounters involving afflictions such as paralyze (spiders, Vithrack & Laguafaeth), petrify (certain spiders and Adragans) charm / dominate (Vithrack & Fampyr) they can all end your game pretty easily if you're not careful (which I can see you are).

 

Thanks for the tip. I guess I might as well continue my current run and see what the game has left in stock for me. Either way, it'll end sooner or later since it's trial of iron :) Yeah, paralyze and such are nasty things. I have just scouted out the first fampyrs on the 8th level of Od Nua and taken some time to think on the best way to approach them. I figured they would do something nasty like charm in a similar manner of BG's vampires.

 

As for IEMod, does it run with the 3.03 version of PoE? It was my understanding that the mod became outdated at a certain point. Would it run on Mac OS X? I don't own a Windows computer, playing on my Mac.

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PoE is ridiculous easy if: a) you know the genre well, b) you build a group that has good synergy c) you dont get ****y

 

i think i could manage to defeat the game without using pauses if that was the only point i'd be ****y...

 

the only things that can actually kill you... rushing to hard fights without lvling enough - doesnt happen if you do all quests. and not enough knowledge about CC encounters or a wrongly engaged bossfight.

 

I played BG and BG2 without mods, BG was harder because you couldnt rest whenever you wanted to, BG2 was just easy, a few buffspells and nothing could touch you - and you could cast them before the fight... i played before using the internet all the time - i didnt pay for it, so no mods for me.

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Thanks for your replies!

 

You and the monsters have less options in PoE than in BG.

Unmodded BG is hilariously easy because of this, SCS modded BG can be very challenging.

A party is very op in PoE, but so it is in BG, I have soloed SCS for a long time because of that and I don't see a huge difference between both games in that regard, the AI will never cope with organising among the characters as a human organises his party.

 

But once you get to the defensive powerhouse spells like SI: Abjuration SCS BG is easier than PoE at least if you have access to mage spells.

I think the spells are way better balanced in PoE.

 

True, but mods like SCS and Improved Anvil makes you think and spend time on each fight even if you know game mechanics. The latter mod more so, but it's quite controversial in the community, many feel it makes the game ridiculously difficult, which is right up my alley :) That's why I was kinda sad to see such drop in difficulty in PoE.

 

 

Does the mod you pseak of remove Spell Immunities?

If not I stand by what I said about SCS as soon as you have spell Immunity Abjuration the game just gets ridiculously easy especially when you get even more spells to strengthen that base like spell trap and Timestop.

No encounter in all Poe is as easy as a fully prebuffed mage class in Baldur's Gate.

Edited by Raven Darkholme
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These kind of games are about know-how, unlike lets say Dark Souls which are about hand-eye coordination. This is also why these kind of games are much harder to balance than to compute reaction time. What else to say? Want challenging AI? At the moment, AlphaGo is the top dog ;)

 

Never played BG/2 with mods but soloed it with every class. Soloed DA:O with every class, solo PoE the same way. Its indeed like a puzzle, once figured it seems easy. Then again, when AI will become too good, puzzles will become unsolvable.  I find PoE sufficient, that is why I still play it.

Edited by knownastherat
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PoE is ridiculous easy if: a) you know the genre well, b) you build a group that has good synergy c) you dont get ****y

 

i think i could manage to defeat the game without using pauses if that was the only point i'd be ****y...

 

the only things that can actually kill you... rushing to hard fights without lvling enough - doesnt happen if you do all quests. and not enough knowledge about CC encounters or a wrongly engaged bossfight.

 

I played BG and BG2 without mods, BG was harder because you couldnt rest whenever you wanted to, BG2 was just easy, a few buffspells and nothing could touch you - and you could cast them before the fight... i played before using the internet all the time - i didnt pay for it, so no mods for me.

 

I am a bit unsure about what's hidden behind those *-s in your sentence, but the comment still doesn't sound very encouraging :)

 

 

Thanks for your replies!

 

You and the monsters have less options in PoE than in BG.

Unmodded BG is hilariously easy because of this, SCS modded BG can be very challenging.

A party is very op in PoE, but so it is in BG, I have soloed SCS for a long time because of that and I don't see a huge difference between both games in that regard, the AI will never cope with organising among the characters as a human organises his party.

 

But once you get to the defensive powerhouse spells like SI: Abjuration SCS BG is easier than PoE at least if you have access to mage spells.

I think the spells are way better balanced in PoE.

 

True, but mods like SCS and Improved Anvil makes you think and spend time on each fight even if you know game mechanics. The latter mod more so, but it's quite controversial in the community, many feel it makes the game ridiculously difficult, which is right up my alley :) That's why I was kinda sad to see such drop in difficulty in PoE.

 

 

Does the mod you pseak of remove Spell Immunities?

If not I stand by what I said about SCS as soon as you have spell Immunity Abjuration the game just gets ridiculously easy especially when you get even more spells to strengthen that base like spell trap and Timestop.

No encounter in all Poe is as easy as a fully prebuffed mage class in Baldur's Gate.

 

 

No, it doesn't remove the spell immunities. But it revamps the combat system rather heavily, rendering many of the usual crutches such as the cloud and unconsciousness-inducing spells quite ineffective. You employ a lot of spell protections and so do the enemies. There's a nice variety to encounters as well. Sometimes you have to outlast a tough enemy (dragon fights are notable examples, they are truly epic), sometimes the enemy has the ability to de-buff you so you have to think on how to keep the buffs running as part of your strategy. Quite diverse and fun.

 

By the way, I find the fact that one can't pre-buff the party in PoE before combat (with exception of food, maybe) quite refreshing if not somewhat illogical. It is both a blessing and a curse however. On one hand you have to think about protecting your party and setting up the battlefield so that it works in your favour. On the other hand it reduces the fighting power of the enemy for he might not get the chance to get his buffs running at all.

 

These kind of games are about know-how, unlike lets say Dark Souls which are about hand-eye coordination. This is also why these kind of games are much harder to balance than to compute reaction time. What else to say? Want challenging AI? At the moment, AlphaGo is the top dog ;)

 

Never played BG/2 with mods but soloed it with every class. Soloed DA:O with every class, solo PoE the same way. Its indeed like a puzzle, once figured it seems easy. Then again, when AI will become too good, puzzles will become unsolvable.  I find PoE sufficient, that is why I still play it.

 

Good point about Go :) But I'm rather old school and believe that games like chess and go should be played in real life, with a real opponent. After playing chess a lot in my youth I could never bring myself to playing it online or with a computer. It just doesn't feel the same.

 

Not sure I agree on the AI issue, though. I do believe that it's possible to make the game challenging without making it easier. It does require more time and feedback to do so however, which is why it is not very realistic to expect from a computer game (at least, the "vanilla" version, not refined further by enthusiasts), with a limited budget, a deadline and a diverse audience.

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If you want party play I would, as you mentioned, go for story companions and as Dr <3 mentioned use fewer of them.

 

For me personally, I progressed pretty rapidly from hard with a party to PotD with a party to PotD solo. Now that I'm playing solo, I think it's my default mode. Probably I'll go party play at some point and wipe the floor with everyone sooner or later for fun, but currently I find the challenge of solo more rewarding than party play.

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If you want party play I would, as you mentioned, go for story companions and as Dr <3 mentioned use fewer of them.

 

For me personally, I progressed pretty rapidly from hard with a party to PotD with a party to PotD solo. Now that I'm playing solo, I think it's my default mode. Probably I'll go party play at some point and wipe the floor with everyone sooner or later for fun, but currently I find the challenge of solo more rewarding than party play.

You might not want to go back to 6 man, time will tell.^^

The good thing about all games be it PoE or BG or even Dark Souls, when you reach a point where you know the mechanics you play for fun and maybe discovery (my main reason for playing most games).

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i simply shouldnt have used that word... as long as you play concentrated and dont overestimate your ability to win the encounter without using too many abilities/positioning/pausing whatever... in short, as long as you dont get "imagine a word that would get censored"

 

i'd love a harder mode where you cant even see what spells the enemy is using, that one makes it too easy to dodge about 80% of the damage many mages do... alternative the AI spellcasters should cast as little of the easy to dodge spells as possible...

 

party play is too easy for me, especially with self created characters - i finished the game once with a party (ToI...every character was knockout >15 times because i had 3 chanters and didnt care about anything, priest didnt have immunity spells at that time and every time one of my chanters got charmed at least one character died, sometimes even 2-3) and dont think it was any kind of challenge, it was too easy and thats why characters died left and right, it didnt matter so i didnt use potions or... anything.

another run was very hillarious, 4 ranger, one chanter and one paladin... full ranged party with animal companions as tanks - the AI couldnt cope with it so i had to abandon it, sometimes the enemies tried to get past the bears despite having no way past them, not every enemy switched aggro to them...

solo runs are not like that, thats why i like them.

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I've just achieved Triple Crown: it was my first time using Expert Mode (won on PotD and ToI before), and I must say it adds a nice layer of difficulty/extra decisions to the gameplay. At first it feels stupidly punishing, but then you get used to it and at the moment I can't even remember how it was playing with all those luxuries enabled (show defenses, show AoE, maim, stash etc)! :grin:

 

If you already know the game, and you are playing it with a sound strategy (from quests order to actual encounters), then I think you deserve to win, even on PotD. If you want some extra challenge, try the Triple Crown, and pick story companions. It was a blast for me. Very stressing too, next time I'm going with Story Time! 8)

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Edér, I am using WhatsApp!

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Changing from custom made to the story companions is not going to make much of a difference, especially if you go for a durable synergizing team that meshes well. The reason for that is the story companions are not min maxed, tend to have better than needed defensive stats like Con, and the biggest advantage is they will be one level higher than your hirelings which makes a huge difference in the beginning which is when it is the most difficult.

 

As others have stated go with a three or four man team. I went with a four man team PotD and am having a blast. No cheezy tactics needed like solo, straight up fair fights where I use consumables and food occasionally.

 

 

PS I'm glad that you like the Juggernaut :)

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If you want party play I would, as you mentioned, go for story companions and as Dr <3 mentioned use fewer of them.

 

For me personally, I progressed pretty rapidly from hard with a party to PotD with a party to PotD solo. Now that I'm playing solo, I think it's my default mode. Probably I'll go party play at some point and wipe the floor with everyone sooner or later for fun, but currently I find the challenge of solo more rewarding than party play.

 

Is there a class that could solo the game right from the start, without the need to rely on "cheesy" tactics (running around, splitting groups of mobs, kiting, etc.) or avoid any encounters at all?

 

i simply shouldnt have used that word... as long as you play concentrated and dont overestimate your ability to win the encounter without using too many abilities/positioning/pausing whatever... in short, as long as you dont get "imagine a word that would get censored"

 

i'd love a harder mode where you cant even see what spells the enemy is using, that one makes it too easy to dodge about 80% of the damage many mages do... alternative the AI spellcasters should cast as little of the easy to dodge spells as possible...

 

party play is too easy for me, especially with self created characters - i finished the game once with a party (ToI...every character was knockout >15 times because i had 3 chanters and didnt care about anything, priest didnt have immunity spells at that time and every time one of my chanters got charmed at least one character died, sometimes even 2-3) and dont think it was any kind of challenge, it was too easy and thats why characters died left and right, it didnt matter so i didnt use potions or... anything.

another run was very hillarious, 4 ranger, one chanter and one paladin... full ranged party with animal companions as tanks - the AI couldnt cope with it so i had to abandon it, sometimes the enemies tried to get past the bears despite having no way past them, not every enemy switched aggro to them...

solo runs are not like that, thats why i like them.

 

Indeed. I tend to approach encounters without taking too much risk no matter what. Although sometimes it feels like a waste of time because you can steamroll through everything. Well, it's no surprise that the AI can be broken with stunts like that :) Shame that the game isn't modder-friendly. Somebody surely would have polished the AI and difficulty a little bit.

 

I've just achieved Triple Crown: it was my first time using Expert Mode (won on PotD and ToI before), and I must say it adds a nice layer of difficulty/extra decisions to the gameplay. At first it feels stupidly punishing, but then you get used to it and at the moment I can't even remember how it was playing with all those luxuries enabled (show defenses, show AoE, maim, stash etc)! :grin:

 

If you already know the game, and you are playing it with a sound strategy (from quests order to actual encounters), then I think you deserve to win, even on PotD. If you want some extra challenge, try the Triple Crown, and pick story companions. It was a blast for me. Very stressing too, next time I'm going with Story Time! 8)

 

I am not a big fan of achievements, to be honest. One reason I don't like Triple Crown is that it includes Expert mode in it. It feels more like a set of crutches rather than an honest improvement of challenge.

 

I don't mind "no maim" or "stash restriction" options, I have them both enabled in my game.

 

Not showing defences is useless because I can go into the journal and look up a creature's record if I need to and things such as comparison of enemy's stats to your char's combat power are only truly needed when your char can't hit or deal any damage. You have two auto-pause options for that and they fire pretty often and not only when the enemy is completely impenetrable, far from it.

 

As for not showing the radius of spells and so on, it's ridiculous. There's no way to make a reasonable decision from information on ranges and radiuses on whether or not the spell would hit you that is not a simple guess. I imagine that with this option turned on, many players would opt for being more defensive and using FoE spells primarily (unless they do the math beforehand and know for sure that a particular AoE spell will not affect the party in a serious manner). The feature limits player's tactical arsenal by introducing extra guesswork, and I don't like that :)

 

Changing from custom made to the story companions is not going to make much of a difference, especially if you go for a durable synergizing team that meshes well. The reason for that is the story companions are not min maxed, tend to have better than needed defensive stats like Con, and the biggest advantage is they will be one level higher than your hirelings which makes a huge difference in the beginning which is when it is the most difficult.

 

As others have stated go with a three or four man team. I went with a four man team PotD and am having a blast. No cheezy tactics needed like solo, straight up fair fights where I use consumables and food occasionally.

 

 

PS I'm glad that you like the Juggernaut :)

 

I came to the same conclusion with the story companions, having played a couple of times the initial segment with them. But wouldn't playing four-man team make it easier due to faster leveling?

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there is the chanter, in act 1 he has to skip raedric, the bear cave and the church (he can do all 3 if he has perfect positioning in bear cave - too much time for raedric - time to kill one enemy a time for the church)

in act 2, once he has the 3/4 figurines... there isnt much that can stop him. I dont have to splitpull normally (maybe bounties) - but the class is a cheesy one.

 

the expert mode... i havent played without expert in a long long long time, its too bad i dont see the defense (sorry, but the encyclopedia is useless), but i like playing without range indicator - i learn the range and its plain stupid if you can hit right on the perfect pixel... na, its still RPG, a mage in a fight with pinpoint acc? I dont like it.

Ok, so in some cases i dont choose the perfect angle - but have you seen the enemies? They dont try to dodge and they use AOE spells that hit zero members that care about getting hit - so its kinda fair if i dont hit 100%.

 

normally i dont like achievements, but i like defeating games (that can be finished in a reasonable time) on the highest settings possible, the achievements are a good indicator sometimes.

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there is the chanter, in act 1 he has to skip raedric, the bear cave and the church (he can do all 3 if he has perfect positioning in bear cave - too much time for raedric - time to kill one enemy a time for the church)

in act 2, once he has the 3/4 figurines... there isnt much that can stop him. I dont have to splitpull normally (maybe bounties) - but the class is a cheesy one.

 

the expert mode... i havent played without expert in a long long long time, its too bad i dont see the defense (sorry, but the encyclopedia is useless), but i like playing without range indicator - i learn the range and its plain stupid if you can hit right on the perfect pixel... na, its still RPG, a mage in a fight with pinpoint acc? I dont like it.

Ok, so in some cases i dont choose the perfect angle - but have you seen the enemies? They dont try to dodge and they use AOE spells that hit zero members that care about getting hit - so its kinda fair if i dont hit 100%.

 

normally i dont like achievements, but i like defeating games (that can be finished in a reasonable time) on the highest settings possible, the achievements are a good indicator sometimes.

Bear cave is easy for chanter even on ToI at least if you go for all the good items first, unstealth, go in the corner use figurine to engage bear, that way the small bears aggro you first and since you're in the corner the bear stands in line so you can keep sending phantoms at him.

My chanters always have around 70ish deflection in Act 1 so I can afford not attacking the young bear that's on me so I don't kill them too early before the big bear is down.

In the temple it depends whether you just want to finish the quest or clear all the map, killing the phantom is easy, attack an ooze from range run away with speed chant, if ooze keeps coming at you you won, if not you run far enough so all enemies deaggro. If ooze aggros you first patiently pull it towards the door you had to unlock, the phantom will be right behind the ooze but blocked by it you can attack with ranged ignoring the ooze and send phantoms at it.

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The biggest issue (for me at least), is that it's so easy to out level content.  I screwed up my current run and entered the White March at lvl 9 thinking it would upscale, and it did not.  Unless you're going to tackle the content at a downward level (or upscaled), it's just not challenging.  And anything tackled at level 15 is a joke.  

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there is the chanter, in act 1 he has to skip raedric, the bear cave and the church (he can do all 3 if he has perfect positioning in bear cave - too much time for raedric - time to kill one enemy a time for the church)

in act 2, once he has the 3/4 figurines... there isnt much that can stop him. I dont have to splitpull normally (maybe bounties) - but the class is a cheesy one.

 

the expert mode... i havent played without expert in a long long long time, its too bad i dont see the defense (sorry, but the encyclopedia is useless), but i like playing without range indicator - i learn the range and its plain stupid if you can hit right on the perfect pixel... na, its still RPG, a mage in a fight with pinpoint acc? I dont like it.

Ok, so in some cases i dont choose the perfect angle - but have you seen the enemies? They dont try to dodge and they use AOE spells that hit zero members that care about getting hit - so its kinda fair if i dont hit 100%.

 

normally i dont like achievements, but i like defeating games (that can be finished in a reasonable time) on the highest settings possible, the achievements are a good indicator sometimes.

 

Point take on the expert mode. I might give it another try if I decide to do another run (no ToI this time). I did actually play my current game on expert until I turned it off somewhere early in act 2.

 

The biggest issue (for me at least), is that it's so easy to out level content.  I screwed up my current run and entered the White March at lvl 9 thinking it would upscale, and it did not.  Unless you're going to tackle the content at a downward level (or upscaled), it's just not challenging.  And anything tackled at level 15 is a joke.  

 

So you're saying that whether I enter White March now (at 10th level) or later, I won't find any challenge in either case? :)

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I do not have time to read the second half of this thread. So, i'll post this link, which will explain to you how to increase xp needed for lvl up throughout the game without using IE mod.

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/84356-too-fast-leveling/

 

This is just about editing a file with hexa, all is explained in the link. If you are a bit of a completionist, you should try 30 or 35% xp increase. This will prevent you from reaching max lvl way before the end of the game, and playing the game with lower levels should provide some more challenge. The change is retroactive, which means you'll need quite some time to reach your lvl 11. Hope this will be helpful.

 

Good game.

Edited by Abel
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If Improved Anvil is your sweet spot, it's probably impossible to reach it for almost every RPG ever made. Even SCS is well beyond the highest difficulty in most games.

 

If we wanted to jack it up for POE, the problem is that after a while the ways to jack up difficulty end up HP / stat-bloating the enemies (e.g. going in 4 levels lower than usual effectively is bloating the defence stats of the enemies), and beyond a certain point (shall we say, 50% XP reduction on POE), it just becomes tedious, instead of adding further strategic complexity.

 

POE isn't really mod-friendly, either, so we haven't been able to see people really play with alternate encounter designs and things like that. 

 

I suppose some of the things you could do are house rule limitations - e.g. no-heals party, no rest until an entire level is clear at least. Limiting certain tactical options forces you to use the rest to the fullest.

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The key change I find enjoyable in IA is that it simply gives more staying power to the enemies. I'd love to see something like that in PoE on PotD. The amount of enemies and their AI is fine with me. But when they don't have staying power it doesn't matter if they are dangerous and intelligent, you simply cut through the opposition too quickly.

 

In IA, even a well-balanced party consisting of three dedicated fighters that progress from focus on high armour class early on to high damage resistance later, one priest and two arcane casters will have to deal with enemies that have staying power (dragons, golems, powerful skeletons, etc.). You have many advantages and variety of tactical instruments at your disposal but they never allow you to cut down through the enemies in 30 seconds.

 

What I like about PoE is that its combat system has many opportunities for discovering tactical approaches. Positioning, flanking, variety in application of AoE spells, synergy between characters' abilities and so on. I am not a big fan on "house rules" and self-imposed limitations (except for above-mentioned hit & run and similar strategies) but I was considering trying out a party composition that would abandon classical approach (two indestructible tanks, two insane DPS, two crowd control casters) and force to apply more creative thinking.

 

Maybe a DPS-oriented melee party without dedicated tanks, CC and AoE DPS casters, thinking Paladins, Monks, Barbarians, Priests, Rogues, Rangers, Ciphers. Or vice-versa, a full caster party without dedicated melee classes. This will not add difficulty but would definitely add variability. Now I only need to figure out how to do the XP reduction without hacking the dlls.

 

PS (off-topic): is there an alternative skin or theme for the forums? Reading white text on dark background is incredibly straining on one's eyes. I end up always using the print version.

 

EDIT: turns out, I was mistaken. The Mac version of the game ships with the same DLLs and editing them scales the required amounts of experience for level ups. This is nice, I will ponder on another walkthrough with this. For those who are interested, the files are located at Library/Application Support/Steam/steamapps/common/Pillars of Eternity/PillarsOfEternity.app/Contents/Data/Managed in your home directory. I recommend using iHex editor, it's free and straight-forward.

Edited by r2d23
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Well, after my first solo attempt at beating the game (with a monk character) I can tell you that PotD with a full party wouldn't be a challenge either. Especially with a custom-built one. Even dragons and bounties will go smoothly, if you know what to watch for. And after several reloads - you will. :)

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