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Puksis

Is min-maxing not important, or is Torment just too easy (A6)?

11 posts in this topic

Began to play A6 after completing A3 singleton (Both of the worst disadvantages) Torment, A4 duo Torment and A5 w/ full party on Torment.

 

My A6 party has a Divinely Touched-Elite warrior Slith, Natural Mage-Brittle Bones Human (Yes, a human) and a Deadeye-Nimble Fingers Nephil. The Slith is meant to be a pole-wielding tank (so no dual-wielding), the Human is an off-tank mage and the Nephil is a archer-thief-priest-Swiss-Army-Knife. So from the start, it didn't sound like an effective party.

 

At the moment, I must be quite close to the end-game. Without spoiling, I have completed Levitt's quests and one of the "certain reptile's ones". At the moment, it feels like the game has given up. The challenge pretty much stopped after The Great portal: Main plot quests have been easy, only one of Gladwell's quests and a few bosses have felt like a challenge.

 

I have 30 knowledge brew, 3 knowledge crystals and 3 knowledge elixirs, yet I feel I have no use for the extra skill points. I most likely have enough arcane lore (Have read highest lvl spells), I can dig all the chests and I can open 90% of the locked doors and traps.

 

Is the game's Torment difficult just easier than previous ones, does the items give too much stats or is min-maxing just less important?

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I don't think A6 is any easier than other SW games.  It is definitely one of the best-balanced Spiderweb games, meaning that the most optimal builds don't completely shut out other options.  Dual wielding might be stronger than pole weapons, but it's not head-and-shoulders better (the way it is in A:EFTP, for example).

 

It's also true in most SW games -- as in most RPGs! -- that if you make sensible investments in skill points and equipment, complete all sidequests, and have good play tactics, that the game is going to get easier as it goes on.  The game has to be balanced for people who don't do all of those things.  At level 1 the power gap between these two ways of playing will be small, so the game might be hard for everyone.  But as you progress, the power gap increases.  Since the game doesn't want to shut anyone out, that means it will get much easier for some people.  This is as true for generally sound play as it is for rigorous min-maxing.

 

If it feels easier than previous games, one thing to consider is that, in the course of playing the others, you might have picked up on some tactics (and character development choices) that are helpful in SW games.

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From what I remembered of beta testing, you are about the point where the second round testers started to quit as they thought the beta was too hard. There are some harder areas ahead just because as you near the reptile captured town there are infinitely spawning monsters. You can get defeated there just because you run out of spell energy and consumable items fighting a never ending stream of monsters,

 

Slarty is right that as you get experienced with a game and its style you have an easier time. Locks and traps go away because you know to raise the skill and there is a limit for all but the reward ones with ridiculously high needs in the 90s.

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at8XJto.png

 

Made an Excel graph from the stats I have at the moment. The "Total points" is what the game says I have, "From items" are stats from items and "Cost" is how much it costs to put a point into it. N/A means that I can't put points into it or don't have it unlocked yet.

 

As you can see from the graph, the game might give too much XP, thus characters level up too quickly. I didn't need to choose between getting Lethal Blow or Riposte, I could get both. Mage has over 600 mana, and it allows be to spam Arcane blows quite a lot. And the last one has had enough skill points to reach 18 Priest spells, enough Tool use and even some for archery skills (Giving the Heartstriker bow nice amount of damage). Everyone has some NL, AL and FA as well.

 

Keep in mind, I have around 75 skill points as knowledge consumables.

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This is interesting, because we don't usually get "this is too easy" complaints about Torment.  We get "this is too boring" and "why do the monsters all have mountains of HP"; and we sure get a lot of "this is too hard" from people who don't want to optimize their stat allocation, but also refuse to switch to a lower difficulty.  (We get that frequently about "Normal" and once in a blue moon about "Casual," too.)  But this is new.

 

I dunno.  From the table you attached, it looks like your stat allocation is generally pretty good.  So, again, it makes sense that the game will get easier towards the end.  (You must be pretty close to that given your levels.)

 

I *am* surprised to see such a big level difference between the Slith and the Mage.  Maybe I am misremembering something about how the Second Trilogy handles XP, though.  Or maybe more likely, playing with 3 PCs instead of 4 actually does change the XP mechanics in some unexpected way.  Who knows, you may have discovered a neat trick here.

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If I remember the XP allocation there is a slight increase with fewer characters as well as a random factor of a few points. Save before turning in a quest and each time a point or two difference will occur for the same character.

 

You don't need more in mage and priest spell levels than to get to cast the highest spell which is either 17 or 18 depending upon the game. Plus there is no such thing as too much mana for a few fights.

 

Jeff was pretty good about adjusting XP per level to keep parties from leveling up too quickly for his later games. Because of the requirements that you had to complete missions before getting to the next area, he kept the level needed for the next area on normal difficulty pretty much what an average player would need. If you did everything you would only be a few levels higher.

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Posted (edited)

On 10.6.2017 at 8:08 PM, Theresa May, Theresa Might said:

I dunno.  From the table you attached, it looks like your stat allocation is generally pretty good.  So, again, it makes sense that the game will get easier towards the end.  (You must be pretty close to that given your levels.)

 

I *am* surprised to see such a big level difference between the Slith and the Mage.  Maybe I am misremembering something about how the Second Trilogy handles XP, though.  Or maybe more likely, playing with 3 PCs instead of 4 actually does change the XP mechanics in some unexpected way.  Who knows, you may have discovered a neat trick here.

 

Well, SW games skill tree has always been quite simple. The only difficulty was to get Adrenaline rush to the mage. Luckily most points can be gotten via trainers.

 

The level difference is caused by the XP penalties. Slith has -45 % XP, Nephil has -18 % and the mage has +-0 %

 

-Laati thinks that people getting banished to Avernum or soldiers working at a food depot should not be next to God - thus using the disadvantages quite often.

Edited by Puksis

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I'm aware of the XP penalties.  What I mean is that in the Second Trilogy, there was already a fairly steep inherent XP curve, such that the actual impact of XP penalties is greatly reduced -- the more levels behind a character is, the more they'll start to catch up, because the XP reduction for being at a high level for a given enemy, will eventually overreach the XP reduction for race/traits.  In practice, these reach a sort of equilibrium.  I don't ever remember it being more than a 4-6 level difference, but assuming my memory isn't rusty, that again is likely a side effect of having 3 party members instead of 4.

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With a 4 person party it's usually about 2 levels per 10% XP difference by the endgame. 

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Kinda off-topic, but I wanted to ask a stat-related thing that I could not find on strategy central.

 

What does the + levels of damage in combat actually do? Does it add a die, or as extra levels on melee / pole / archery / spellcraft to the damage formula?

 

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It adds an extra die of damage to any type of attack you make, whether melee, missile, or ranged.  Adding to those skills will only boost the damage of the appropriate attack type.

 

(IIRC, it also adds +5% to hit, like adding skill levels does, but it's been a long time...)

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