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Strategy for combat you use?


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Edward Collins Edward Collins

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 07:52 PM #1 Strategy for combat you use?

I have several strategies I use. Most of them are variations on the basic low-level strategy.

At low levels, I form what I dub a combat box, 3 x 3. My dual-wielder holds the right flank, my pikeman holds the left, and my archer/thief holds the center. In the rear is my mage on the right, my cleric/mage on the left, and my cleric in the center. My mages open fire with fireballs, while my cleric and fighters allow them to come in close. Once they get into melee range, I continue with the fireballs (or atleast until my SP runs out, or I feel they are weakened enough to be taken out by my melee) while my melee fights them.

For enemies that are a bit tougher, (and this one stays consistent no matter what level I am), I use Simulacrum to summon a frontline of Empire Dervishes or Pack Leaders, and a rear of 2 Empire Archers and a Vahnatai Lord.

At mid to high levels (where I have Firestorm and Divine Thud for my casters, and my fighters are specialized in fighting), it's mainly the same, substituting Firestorm or Divine Thud for Fireball.

At REALLY high levels (or if I get lucky with skill potions at the random item shops), I turn my fighters into Paladins. They are fighters who can cast divine spells, which gives over double the Divine Thuds, or I use my next strategy.

These last 2 are not variants on the primary strategy. Toward the end of the game (once I solve the golem plague and get the Knowledge Brew recipe, I make all my fighters Paladins as mentioned above, and both my dedicated casters into dual-casters) all my characters can fight and cast divine spells. I cast Avatar on each character and send them into the fray, particularly if it's easy to outflank my box party, or it's too dangerous to stay together. I use this strategy, in combination with my Simulacrum strategy plus anti-magic field to fight Rakshasha or when invading the final level of the game.

My final strategy are when I don't want to bother with random encounters and therefor want to retreat. Or I'm low level and doing my Squiggus-Libras trade run and run into a group of undead. I cast Major Blessing and run. If the enemy is fast (like Pack Leaders), I will slow them down with summons.

Any of you have any different strategies? Maybe making use of other spells? Mindduel comes to mind, but I never found it to be worth casting when I could just kill the enemy. The summoning spells are too random, and none of the others really scream use me. Posion is to slow (and Major Blessing adds poison to your weapons), Slow Group sometimes helps, but it doesn't seem to be as effective as Haste. Wound is nice, but it does pitiful damage (although it does damage to everything).
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Thaluikhain Thaluikhain

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 04:03 AM #2 Strategy for combat you use?

Haste and Bless and Slow spells seem a lot more effective than fireballs, but often I'm feeling lazy and want the combat over, so I get my spellcasters to use fireball or firestorm instead.

Also, having a secondary spellcaster haste the primary one to allow more fireballs is sometimes useful, but I run out of spell points quickly.  It also ends with the spellcaster going up ranks faster than anyone else, doesn't allow others to level up.

With large numbers of weak enemies, casting conflagration or something in front of my fighters is useful to wear them down.

Vexivero Vexivero

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 12:23 PM #3 Strategy for combat you use?

Here's what I do every Exile game. It gets pretty cheap, but then again if you're looking for a challenge you shouldn't be playing Exile.

These stats vary slightly from game to game, but overall this is my build. Create every character with 5 strength (so they get a decent amount of health leveling up), 10 spell points, 10 intelligence, then put the rest into mage skill (minimum 3 so every character can cast fireball from the outset) and if you have any remaining skill points dump them into intelligence and spell points. Because I have such a high level of intelligence from the start I typically end up with around double the initial spell points when the game begins. Once I start leveling up I max out the mage skill and intelligence categories. Once those are maxed out, I'll max out the priest skill and spell points.

By this time, you should be able to easily farm enemies to make extra gold and buy knowledge brews or skill potions from the random item vendors. In Exile I and II I'll max out item lore for every character (don't really need this for III), then start maxing out dexterity and pole weapons, then finally strength and health. If I max out all of those for every character, I'll start dumping into assassination and finally luck.

If you have this build, you probably won't need any strategy for combat through the rest of the game.

Edward Collins Edward Collins

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 08:10 PM #4 Strategy for combat you use?

View PostThaluikhain, on 12 January 2016 - 04:03 AM, said:

Haste and Bless and Slow spells seem a lot more effective than fireballs, but often I'm feeling lazy and want the combat over, so I get my spellcasters to use fireball or firestorm instead.

Also, having a secondary spellcaster haste the primary one to allow more fireballs is sometimes useful, but I run out of spell points quickly.  It also ends with the spellcaster going up ranks faster than anyone else, doesn't allow others to level up.

With large numbers of weak enemies, casting conflagration or something in front of my fighters is useful to wear them down.

Haste and Bless are made obsolete by Major Blessing, one of the few truly overpowered abilities (in any game). It's cheap (8 SP), gotten early (all you need is a boat from New Cotra), and highly effective (it's Major Haste, Major Blessing, AND a poison effect all in one). Its only problems are it's a level 7 spell (but even with the default party, it only takes a couple of levels to get level 7 spells) and it needs Mage Lore to get (not sure how much, but it's not much)

View PostVexivero, on 12 January 2016 - 12:23 PM, said:

Here's what I do every Exile game. It gets pretty cheap, but then again if you're looking for a challenge you shouldn't be playing Exile.

These stats vary slightly from game to game, but overall this is my build. Create every character with 5 strength (so they get a decent amount of health leveling up), 10 spell points, 10 intelligence, then put the rest into mage skill (minimum 3 so every character can cast fireball from the outset) and if you have any remaining skill points dump them into intelligence and spell points. Because I have such a high level of intelligence from the start I typically end up with around double the initial spell points when the game begins. Once I start leveling up I max out the mage skill and intelligence categories. Once those are maxed out, I'll max out the priest skill and spell points.

By this time, you should be able to easily farm enemies to make extra gold and buy knowledge brews or skill potions from the random item vendors. In Exile I and II I'll max out item lore for every character (don't really need this for III), then start maxing out dexterity and pole weapons, then finally strength and health. If I max out all of those for every character, I'll start dumping into assassination and finally luck.

If you have this build, you probably won't need any strategy for combat through the rest of the game.

I was really talking about Exile 3, where farming monsters isn't effective. You can easily make more than enough money doing a Squiggus-Libra trade run (I get about 10k gold after I sell off all the Exotic Herbs). The problem with putting mage abilities on all your characters is twofold. First, you have no tanks that can hold the line and protect your casters (because they are all casters) and second, with the focus on mage spells, you miss healing, which you do sometimes need (or atleast I do).

I wasn't really asking about party creation, but instead how you fight, what tactics you use in battle.
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Vexivero Vexivero

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 11:04 PM #5 Strategy for combat you use?

Read my last line; that was the entire point of why I posted my party creation. Early on use fireball to kill everybody, then once you get firestorm you can use that. You don't need a defensive strategy throughout any Exile game if you have a powerful offense. By the time I really need to use a healing spell, I can already cast Avatar.

Not to mention every character levels up much more quickly and evenly using my method. I tried using the default party build a few times and leveling was disastrous.

Edward Collins Edward Collins

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 11:55 PM #6 Strategy for combat you use?

I never had a problem with leveling. In fact, despite my mages (atleast it seems like) kill most everything, it's my dual-wielding fighter that's my highest level. This last playthrough (although at these levels, the line between fighter, thief, and caster gets REALLY blurry- all of them have 150 SP and level 7 priest spells, with Divine Thud- the "classes" are what they were in the beginning of the game), it was Fighter 1- level 50, fighter 2- 45, fighter/thief/archer- 43, primary mage- 46, secondary mage/cleric- 43, primary cleric- 41. The last two aren't that surprising compared to my mage, because the mage/cleric wasn't as powerful as my mage, and my cleric didn't really get to go on the offensive until she got Divine Thud (and/or mage abilities). What is suprising however, is the fact my primary fighter was the highest level.

I see 2 flaws with your strategy. First, as I pointed out, you lack tanks and healing, especially in the early game, where you need to have you mages with cover and healing the most. the second problem is what happens when the enemies are spread too far apart for an effective Fireball or Firestorm, or worse, you get into a general melee where you have allies that can and will get in your way (like the roach/spider battle, or the bridge or blockade battle in Monroe- and to make the latter even worse, golems are magic resistant)? Or in non-random encounters (like in towns) when you face just 1 or 2 enemies, and fireball/firestorm isn't cost effective? And a final problem is that is REALLY hard on your spell points. Sure having 6 casters makes the problem a little easier, but still...

I guess it's I'm a bit "conservative" when I play. I prefer to have a defensive line between the enemy and my casters.
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Lilith Lilith

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 12:44 AM #7 Strategy for combat you use?

I don't find that a dedicated "tank" is really necessary in Exile. For times when you really need to put something between you and the enemy, Minor Summon can summon up to 7 creatures in a single casting, depending on your level and intelligence. They'll die in one hit to anything seriously threatening, but having something take seven hits for you for the cost of one low-level spell shouldn't be underestimated. Also, low-level enemies usually won't walk through field effects like Conflagration or Wall of Force, so that's another way to keep enemies away from you in the early game. I start everyone out with 6 HP and just don't let anyone get attacked in the first place.

I do think it's useful to have a few characters with priest spells, though; blessing is also an effective way to keep characters from getting hit, and having easy access to healing means you can take advantage of the fact that characters won't die unless they take damage while already at 0 HP, so that as long as nobody is taking more than one hit per round it's impossible to die if you keep healing them. Plus, in Exile 3 Wound is a reliable source of non-elemental damage for defeating enemies that would otherwise be hard to hurt, or just for focus-firing down single targets in general.

Vexivero Vexivero

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 01:05 AM #8 Strategy for combat you use?

I'm not getting into a pointless debate with you about who has the better strategy. You have your method and I have mine, and you were asking for combat strategy so I provided mine. I believe my method is far superior to yours and you believe yours is far better than mine. As I said before, Exile is not a difficult game at all so one does not need to overthink strategy. If you ever were to try my method I think you would be pleasantly surprised at the outcome (I've never had a problem with those ostensible flaws), but I'm not going to get offended if you think my method sucks. Keep in mind though that I've played the game using a build similar to yours as well as mine, while you've only played the game using your method.

And by the way, I always kill my allies in encounter fights :p

Thaluikhain Thaluikhain

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 03:32 AM #9 Strategy for combat you use?

View PostEdward Collins, on 12 January 2016 - 08:10 PM, said:

Haste and Bless are made obsolete by Major Blessing, one of the few truly overpowered abilities (in any game). It's cheap (8 SP), gotten early (all you need is a boat from New Cotra), and highly effective (it's Major Haste, Major Blessing, AND a poison effect all in one). Its only problems are it's a level 7 spell (but even with the default party, it only takes a couple of levels to get level 7 spells) and it needs Mage Lore to get (not sure how much, but it's not much

True...though do you get the same benefit for speed for Major Blessing as Major Haste?

Also, why did the Vahnatai have a swampy passage only accessible via boat with Major Blessing there?

View PostEdward Collins, on 12 January 2016 - 11:55 PM, said:

I never had a problem with leveling. In fact, despite my mages (atleast it seems like) kill most everything, it's my dual-wielding fighter that's my highest level. This last playthrough (although at these levels, the line between fighter, thief, and caster gets REALLY blurry- all of them have 150 SP and level 7 priest spells, with Divine Thud- the "classes" are what they were in the beginning of the game),

Hmmm...what do you use your thief/archer/fighter for?  I mean, archery seems rather useless, and picking locks is definitely useless.  Disarm traps is useful, sure, but that seems about it.

...

Oh, I usually have a slith with a pole weapon as my first character, it's useful when walking around, say, the sewers of Shayder.  Come across a roach, go into combat mode, 2 steps forward, hit it and end combat,  If the thing is still alive, do it again.  Sure, it's a bit of a dodgy exploit, but stops the sewers from being as tedious, don't have to properly fight the way through.

Edward Collins Edward Collins

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 09:15 AM #10 Strategy for combat you use?

View PostThaluikhain, on 13 January 2016 - 03:32 AM, said:

True...though do you get the same benefit for speed for Major Blessing as Major Haste?

Also, why did the Vahnatai have a swampy passage only accessible via boat with Major Blessing there?

Maybe to make it somewhat difficult to get? I mean, it is overpowered... And since I never use Major Haste, I have no clue on the speed, although Major Blessing gives upto 12 Action points to start.

View PostThaluikhain, on 13 January 2016 - 03:32 AM, said:

Hmmm...what do you use your thief/archer/fighter for?  I mean, archery seems rather useless, and picking locks is definitely useless.  Disarm traps is useful, sure, but that seems about it.
...

Archery is useless, but I do like to have an archer. However, Picking Locks is somewhat useful (it opens rank one locks, which is anything- bashing, lockpicking, or Unlock. Rank 2 are locks held by a barrier, and I prefer Dispel Barrier to Unlock, since, when it comes to it, I've NEVER seen Dispel Barrier fail to unlock a magically locked door. Rank 3 are plot locked doors, doors you need a key.)

View PostThaluikhain, on 13 January 2016 - 03:32 AM, said:

Oh, I usually have a slith with a pole weapon as my first character, it's useful when walking around, say, the sewers of Shayder.  Come across a roach, go into combat mode, 2 steps forward, hit it and end combat,  If the thing is still alive, do it again.  Sure, it's a bit of a dodgy exploit, but stops the sewers from being as tedious, don't have to properly fight the way through.

That's my second fighter. My first, I prefer a dual-wielder.
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Posted 13 January 2016 - 10:09 AM #11 Strategy for combat you use?

View PostLilith, on 13 January 2016 - 12:44 AM, said:

I do think it's useful to have a few characters with priest spells, though; blessing is also an effective way to keep characters from getting hit,
Don't forget that mages also have a blessing spell (at least in Exile 3), though it's a low-level one - Strength.
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