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New Player on Hard Looking For General Party Tips


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Hello! I grew up with Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale and got into things like the first Fallout games and Arcanum as I got older, so Pillars of Eternity interested me greatly.

 

I originally bought and played it and kept getting wrecked at the Temple of Eothas with 3 party members, but a year or so later I'm trying again and very much enjoying my time (I've got one area of Defiance Bay cleared of sidequests now.)

 

The Lighthouse quest (The Weeping...something? With the banshee) caused me to double take with fearful flashbacks of my first run, I spent a good hour developing a method to clear the first floor. Although I managed, I decided to be proactive and just ask to see if there are some very simple, beginner things I could be doing differently with my party.

 

Right now the members I like to stick with are:

Eder with a sword and shield (I tend to not like typical tanks in games, but Eder is strangely endearing), and some defensive talents,

Pallegina with an Estoc and Hold the Line, trying to be some sort of not-dead-in-one-hit off tank (I don't know Paladins very well)

Aloth with the fire bonus talent and Blast, but not Arcane Veil since I haven't seen him get into too much trouble.

My MC, a Cipher, and Grieving Mother, working as a tag team, usually shooting enemies with a pistol/arquebus then using whatever focus to try and shut down/finish off as many enemies as possible, sometimes getting an opportunity to shoot again if the fight lasts that long.

 

Then I've been flip flopping between Durance and Kana in the last spot. Durance's priest stuff and Kana's chanting have both saved me in situations, but when I used them together, one or the other tends to do a whole lot of nothing, so I decided to switch them around depending on how much raw healing I'd need. The rest of the party members I've been swapping around as well so I like using everyone, but that's the setup I found worked well so far.

 

Now, I'm very much used to really getting into the mechanics and making sure every last bit is stretched to the most useful and practical elements, like with my Heart of Fury Icewind Dale II runs...but I'm very much not ready for that yet in this, and I was wondering if there's more simple advice I could use until I get farther and figure out what the hell I'm doing with my party.

 

Such as, nobody really has much equipment of anything, who gets deflection/resolve/whatever crap I pick up eventually, are there highlights in special weapons coming up that one or more characters would really get mileage out of, any stupid hard fights I should be prepping someone for ahead of time, things like that?

 

I could probably punch through and keep flailing around until I beat it, but that Lighthouse shade fight made me just want to reach out for a little reflection. If I have to retrain my characters, I'd rather do it now at level 6 than at the end of the game.

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New Player on Hard Looking For General Party Tips

Check this thread)

 

I decided to be proactive and just ask to see if there are some very simple, beginner things I could be doing differently with my party.

Your choice of companions reminds me of my first play-through. I took Eder, Pallegina, Kana, GM and last spot went to Sagani (but Aloth can suit as well), and had cipher as MC.

The idea was to form an alpha-strike party:

Eder - was main tank.

Pallegina - provided the extra attack speed via Vielo Vidorio. She was using arbalests (specifically Aedrin's Wrecker), and after 2 FoDs + Wrath + Runner's Wounding Shot, switching to 1h + shield.

Kana - was a buffing offtank. Sure-Handed + Aefyllath + scrolls. Could also open the fight using a firearm.

Sagani - had Stormcaller. The extra cc was handy. While the fox was used for flanking, occasional offtanking, but mainly as target for dual-echo cast by the ciphers.

And lastly the ciphers: both in cloth/robes, and using warbows. GM was using exclusively cc-powers, while my main with high MIG was also using powers from damaging repertoire.

 

If you'd want to, you can take Aloth instead of Sagani and Durance instead of Kana, but that would change your party from the one focused on alpha-strike to cc-and-aoe. In that case substituting Eder with a barbarian would be highly advisable.

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Ah, Temple of Eothas in Gilded Vale and the Lightouse of Ondra's Gift.

 

Well, the Spirits in there. Shades with high Deflection, who hit well and, if not killed quickly, may summon Shadows to aid them. Phantoms and Spectres.

 

To give all your characters armor with high DR is a good choice. To increase Accuracy and damage, such as with added Burn damage, is another choice. Trying to hide Eder behind a shield can be the wrong decision, because Eder is much better with the implicit +12 Accuracy bonus of using only one single-handed weapon. Stay close together, so you stay within the range of all Priests support spells, Paladin aura, Chanter's phrases.

 

In case of doubt, return later.

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Ah, thank you! I don't know if I made it clear, I did make it past the shades with some clever reactionary maneuvers, but it wasn't very graceful...prompting this topic.

 

I appreciate the advice, but there are some terms I don't understand. CC is...crowd control, so like Binding Web and such? What is alpha strike?

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Spirits are fun. They're  an exercise in knowing your options and reminding you that you're not supposed to clear content just because the door is open.

 

Don't forget to check the bestiary for monster weaknesses and the buff/debuff interface on the right side of the character portraits in the bottom of the screen so you know what to watch out for.

 

When in doubt, take the priest. You'll do fine with Kana once you're more experienced.

 

The link MaxQuest gave should help explain the importance of things like deflection.

 

As for skills, the ones that need dedicated investment are Mechanics and Stealth (optional). EVERYONE benefits from having at least 4 points in both Athletics and Survival, however, and characters not taking Mechanics/Stealth can spare 4-8 points in Lore for craftable scrolls with unique bonuses.

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Yeah, I quickly figured out a couple things with spirit type enemies, fire and paralyze is great, as is putting any freeze reduction stuff on whoever they feel like killing first, which they WILL (usually my main character). Despite that, it seems like any individual one is harder than any other enemy type overall and they throw 10-15 at you at once, even with freeze reduction they all just...converge and blow me to pieces before I can cast anything. Still, whatever I'm doing now is working, just barely.

 

The bestiary seems to fill up the more enemies I kill, and seeing their resistances while hovering over enemies I'm assuming is related to that, but it seems like every encounter resets them all to ???, so I'm having to just memorize everything.

 

Well, I'll continue mangling my way up through Hard if I'm not doing anything grotesquely inefficient. I made sure to pick someone to work on mechanics, but when is Stealth useful? Besides the obvious I mean, but I'm noticing that, minus a Rogue, either everyone in the party needs to have stealth or none of them, since encounters just sort of (ideally)...begin around your tank anyway.

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The bestiary is more like a diary of what you find out while fighting monsters, and using specific attacks against/killing monsters also gives you more information about their strengths/weaknesses. New "???" just means that you're fighting new types of mobs (there are many kinds of shadows) or that you're fighting mobs of a different level so values like endurance are higher (you can just guestimate that part).

It's a very useful resource because among other things it tells you what status effects you can use against them - by now it should tell you that shadows are immune to stuck but not to confuse or even charmed/domination, for example. That should be a point of interest for your 2 ciphers and Aloth.

It also tells you their weakest defenses.

 

Stealth is useful for stealing stuff (NPCs won't notice if you steal stuff while undetected), performing sneaky, usually non-violent actions during quests and for unique challenges (during times when the game switches to a kind of choose-your-own-adventure interface). Stealth also has some value for solos.

Basically if you don't mind killing everything and don't particularly care how quests are resolved, stealth is probably completely useless to you.

 

Shadows/spirits tend to spawn in groups, yep, and in general they like to use status effects like daze, stun and paralyze especially at higher levels. Durance helps with that, among other things. Priests come with various anti-status effect spells which should make it easy for you to navigate PoE's status effect/crowd control system on your first playthrough.

Edited by scythesong
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The sword you found in Caed Nua should help ad it is enchanted to do better Acc and Damage to Spirits. As does the 2nd level Wizzy spell Bulwark against the Elements. Enchant other weapons to slay spirits.

 

You can stealth GM into a good starting combat position then use her spells that bounce between target and GM. They do nice damage.

No matter which fork in the road you take I am certain adventure awaits.

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I appreciate the advice, but there are some terms I don't understand. CC is...crowd control, so like Binding Web and such?

Yeap, CC stands for crowd-control abilities. There are generally two types of cc status effects:

- soft - which reduce enemy ability to fight (i.e. their outcoming active dps is reduced), like: blind

- hard - which remove enemy ability to fight (i.e. their outcoming active dps is zero), like: stunned, petrified, paralyzed. Charmed and dominated goes here too.

 

As for Binding Web - technically it's a cc spell which provides Stuck status effect. Vs auto-attacking melee enemies it can be considered as hard, while vs other's it's just a debuff.

 

What is alpha strike?

Alpha strike - is the first volley fired by your party. Basically any coordinated attack with ranged weapons during first 2 seconds of combat. During these 2s, bonuses from Sneak Attack / Apprentice's Sneak Attack are auto-applied btw, even if conditions are not met.

 

I made sure to pick someone to work on mechanics, but when is Stealth useful?

Stealth is lackluster. Currently it's only useful for:

- A Two Story Job, to slip past the guards

- Some conversation check in Copperlane Catacombs (iirc you need a value of 4)

- Your melee dps glass-cannon characters, whom you would unstealth once enemies have engaged your sturdier members

- Solo characters who want to skip some fight.

 

Tbh, I would only level it to 4 on a melee dw rogue, and maybe put 1-2 points on ranged glass-cannons.

Edited by MaxQuest
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Stealth is also useful if you like Backstab. It can be fun to sneak to an enemy, fire an arquebus at 2m distance with Sneak Attack and Backstab bonus (+200% base damage) and then run away to your party which awaits the enemy. And of course if you like to steal from chests and stuff right under the nose of NPCs you also need stealth. You don't need mechanics on the same character. Just go forth and pick the lock - this won't bother NPCs. And once it's unlocked sneak in with youzr stealthed character and steal it. As long as the circle doesn't show an eye you're not fully discovered. 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Will I get a companion rogue to join my party? I love playing rogues and thieves in these kinds of games, but Cipher seemed too interesting to pass up. Little did I know Grieving Mother already was one (although they do work well together). I realize I could hire one, but on this first playthrough I'd rather get to know the standard members and their strengths and weaknesses before making a super customized party.

 

Another encounter I had a bit of a difficult time with, although I didn't have to reload, was the Cail the Silent. Eder and Pallegina tried to engage as many things as possible, Durance laid down Circle of Protection, Devotions for the Faithful, and Watchful Presence, and basically tried to keep those up.

Aloth opened with Confusion and Expose Vulnerability then attempted Chill Fog and whatever else he could muster (besides Fireball and Slicken), and lastly my Cipher and Grieving Mother would pop one drake with their guns, keep Cail dominated/paralyzed and would make sure to dominate at least one other drake while focusing on shooting things low on health to just reduce numbers. I forget how it happened, but Pallegina got stranded on one side, which was very good since my Cipher and Grieving Mother used her to anchor that beam spell to play ring around the rosie and flat out end some little trouble things that wouldn't die.

 

I feel like I could be getting more out of my party, though. Based on the above, are there any general recommendations to just keep in mind for future difficult encounters? Scrolls I should always have, potions, some fight changing maneuvers I wasn't taking advantage of, etc.? Again, I managed, but not gracefully (they ate Aloth and Durance) and I am learning and getting better somewhat.

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Yes, there is a rogue companion:

 

You can get the Devil of Caroc in the White March expansion. She can be found in the cellar of Galvino's Hut in the Durgan's Battery map (north-east). She's a rogue and a very special one, too.

 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Galvino's Hut is outside of Durgan's Battery (the building) itself. The outdoor map in where the actual battery is located also has the name "Durgan's Battery" on the world map.

 

Beware: Glavino's Hut is pretty tough if you are underleveled.

 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, there is a rogue companion:

 

You can get the Devil of Caroc in the White March expansion. She can be found in the cellar of Galvino's Hut in the Durgan's Battery map (north-east). She's a rogue and a very special one, too.

 

One another reason I refuse to buy expansions White March 1 and 2. They give more exp, loot etc. and then people complain it is so freaking EASY on Hard challenge level. I am in Act 3 playing on Hard and my party is level 9 as they should be and not some freaking level 14. When you start act 3 if your party is level 9 then you are not underleveled (well certainly not on Hard, but have not tried Nightmare will maybe try Nightmare later in the Autumn) unless you are not good playing this game. I have done everything in Elmshore with level 9 party on Hard difficulty and it was no problem and felt nice slightly challenging and not some boring walk in the park challenge.

 

I actually started Nightmare already with a FIGHTER!

In addition did I copy any build from Forums? No I have my own builds. On forums people talk about offensive fighters with ok/good int. I want to do my own builds: Major spoiler do not look unless interested about my starting character a Fighter for Nightmare difficulty:

 

 

Starting attributes as level 1 my Fighter Boreal Dwarf:

Might: 16

Con: 18

Dex: 8

Per: 15

Int: 3

Res: 18

 

 

I am not saying my build is best or excellent, but I like to do my own builds.

Edited by Terminator
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I am not saying my build is best or excellent, but I like to do my own builds.

 

And?

 

Many builds work fine. Builds done by somebody else may not work well for you, if your playstyle is different or if you don't like to run a cripple character from level 1 up to level 9 and higher to get talents and items, which are essential for some special build.

 

Do you play with content scaling or not? Not only with The White March there are various content upscaling options in the game once you arrive at an area and your level is considered "high".

 

Not getting the White March is a major mistake with this game.

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Yes, there is a rogue companion:

 

You can get the Devil of Caroc in the White March expansion. She can be found in the cellar of Galvino's Hut in the Durgan's Battery map (north-east). She's a rogue and a very special one, too.

 

One another reason I refuse to buy expansions White March 1 and 2. They give more exp, loot etc. and then people complain it is so freaking EASY on Hard challenge level. I am in Act 3 playing on Hard and my party is level 9 as they should be and not some freaking level 14. When you start act 3 if your party is level 9 then you are not underleveled (well certainly not on Hard, but have not tried Nightmare will maybe try Nightmare later in the Autumn) unless you are not good playing this game. I have done everything in Elmshore with level 9 party on Hard difficulty and it was no problem and felt nice slightly challenging and not some boring walk in the park challenge.

 

I actually started Nightmare already with a FIGHTER!

In addition did I copy any build from Forums? No I have my own builds. On forums people talk about offensive fighters with ok/good int. I want to do my own builds: Major spoiler do not look unless interested about my starting character a Fighter for Nightmare difficulty:

 

 

Starting attributes as level 1 my Fighter Boreal Dwarf:

Might: 16

Con: 18

Dex: 8

Per: 15

Int: 3

Res: 18

 

 

I am not saying my build is best or excellent, but I like to do my own builds.

3 Int on your Fig will kill his healing abilities and AoE for any item/abilities. It should work fine with mobs in PotD but it might hurt you when dealing with big bosses and certain bounty quests. He should be very sturdy with your high Con and Res approach, which is very RP for a Dwarf, so good job there!

No matter which fork in the road you take I am certain adventure awaits.

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I am not saying my build is best or excellent, but I like to do my own builds.

 

And?

 

Many builds work fine. Builds done by somebody else may not work well for you, if your playstyle is different or if you don't like to run a cripple character from level 1 up to level 9 and higher to get talents and items, which are essential for some special build.

 

Do you play with content scaling or not? Not only with The White March there are various content upscaling options in the game once you arrive at an area and your level is considered "high".

 

Not getting the White March is a major mistake with this game.

 

No I and my brother never use content scaling. I think also that come from White March I could not even find that in options when I don't have The White March. Content scaling sounds like Guild Wars 2 and I never liked that.

 

I play on Hard and never on Easy or Normal. If a fight is to hard

in the long Dungeons below (there are like n levels down down down) then I come back another day to fight that place.

 

 

It is not wrong to buy White March and for that content scaling might be good if you get to high level. Everyone buy what they want. I don't buy White March, but I want to buy Pillars of Eternity 2 during 2018.

 

 

 

Yes, there is a rogue companion:

 

You can get the Devil of Caroc in the White March expansion. She can be found in the cellar of Galvino's Hut in the Durgan's Battery map (north-east). She's a rogue and a very special one, too.

 

One another reason I refuse to buy expansions White March 1 and 2. They give more exp, loot etc. and then people complain it is so freaking EASY on Hard challenge level. I am in Act 3 playing on Hard and my party is level 9 as they should be and not some freaking level 14. When you start act 3 if your party is level 9 then you are not underleveled (well certainly not on Hard, but have not tried Nightmare will maybe try Nightmare later in the Autumn) unless you are not good playing this game. I have done everything in Elmshore with level 9 party on Hard difficulty and it was no problem and felt nice slightly challenging and not some boring walk in the park challenge.

 

I actually started Nightmare already with a FIGHTER!

In addition did I copy any build from Forums? No I have my own builds. On forums people talk about offensive fighters with ok/good int. I want to do my own builds: Major spoiler do not look unless interested about my starting character a Fighter for Nightmare difficulty:

 

 

Starting attributes as level 1 my Fighter Boreal Dwarf:

Might: 16

Con: 18

Dex: 8

Per: 15

Int: 3

Res: 18

 

 

I am not saying my build is best or excellent, but I like to do my own builds.

3 Int on your Fig will kill his healing abilities and AoE for any item/abilities. It should work fine with mobs in PotD but it might hurt you when dealing with big bosses and certain bounty quests. He should be very sturdy with your high Con and Res approach, which is very RP for a Dwarf, so good job there!

 

Ok thank you for the info. Anyway I play on Hard first and then play other games so maybe I play or at least finish Nightmare after summer. Trial of Iron with Nightmare difficulty is to hardcore for me I think, but Nightmare without it is not to hard. My brother is playing on Nightmare (without Trial of Iron) and he started it with Hard, but thought Hard was way to easy and stopped the Hard game. My brother will perhaps not buy White March, but he likes the game very much and very likely will buy Pillars of Eternity 2 during 2018.

 

 

Back in the days I played Baldurs Gate multiplayer on hardest difficulty cooperative LAN play with my brother. My brother was very young barely a teen by then. My brother has two sons with his wife, but those children are way to young to play computer games:). My sister who is clearly my youngest sibling is an ex gamer, but nowadays really don't play computer games.

 

Oh yes I have also real life friends that play. With one of my best friends I play Battlefield 3. We bought Battlefield 3 since it has good enough graphics and I ordered them 8 euro/game + shipping. I have never played any BF games before but back in the days I played Unreal Tournament games.

 

I do like sports also on my freetime and I was exercising hard earlier today and I am not some super nerd only and I have done military service in my country Finland (Europe).

 

 

Edited by Terminator
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Well I have played way to much that game during the weekend and now my party at level are level 11 on Hard and I don't know if I get to level 12 before I have finished it. There are some things left for me:

 

I came to level 12 at endless labyrinths of Caed Nua. At least I want that artifact sword pieces and I am near that goal

now. I also have left one BIG Dragon in Chapter 3 which I met at level 10 but decided to do that before the  end battle. I am confident I win that since have been extremely confident have not really used any potions but I guess I have to do that if it gets really hard.

 

 

 

Oh and you can argue here and there but the expansions make the game easier. For example that big tactical battle

which I did and to that I hardly had any allies and only one ally faction. I would not say it was very hard on Hard difficulty that tactical army fight, but it certainly was very interesting and fun and not a walk in the park easy experience. I did that as level 10 party with only one ally faction.

 

Edited by Terminator
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