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About Entropic

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  1. Entropic

    Endgame Question

    This same thing happened to me and I was confused, but when this happens it means that you failed a job board quest for that town and they are refusing you the quests. If you look carefully, you'll see text to the effect of "This town has still not forgiven you for failing an earlier job board quest", even though it looks like you're accepting the quests.
  2. Most of that sounds about like what I did, with a few key points that must've contributed to the lackluster performance of my casters in the early/midgame: - I added endurance early game to lower the frequency of oneshots, to the tune of 3-4 int : 1 endurance, missing about 5 intelligence - I waited far too late to level edged weapons and unlock Adrenaline Rush on my casters, maxing both Spellcraft and Resistance first (would definitely change that in a future playthrough) - Underutilization of Call the Storm and Curse the Land: I routinely kept all enemies Ensared at the least, with my mage, but frequently just used Smite on my priest's turn (with my high Sniper level, I was actually getting curses pretty frequently on whatever my archer was attacking, however) - Using Cloak of Bolts instead of Cloak of the Arcane: I knew this would make a difference, but wasn't willing to lose my primary single target damage source - Ignoring swordmage: I didn't have even a single level of this on my mage, and was just using AP items or particularly high-armor caster items - Inefficient use of money: I bought 2 levels of every spell early game instead of putting it into weapon skills for Adrenaline Rush, and didn't start getting selective about buying spells until sometime after Bigail I definitely still had a lot of fun with my balanced playthrough, but I'll keep these things in mind for a future all-spellcaster playthrough and see how it goes, thanks.
  3. I got this same exact bug very consistently. It happens in any case where an archer can attack more than once. Having 10ap, using Snipe, getting haste proc while hasted, adrenaline rush (as you stated), battle frenzy, etc. Clicking fast, the first attack always does nothing, despite the arrow coming out and the ap being used up. I also put it into a bug report and emailed it to the support email.
  4. True, I only had 1 character as an archer though (and probably wouldn't change that, given you only get 1 Fury Bow), so it wasn't too much of a problem. Like I said, the rest of my party already had guaranteed 10ap, due to +AP items and Gymnastics (except for the tank, who didn't particularly need 10 ap), making both haste and battle frenzy irrelevant. The other big thorn is that battle frenzy can't always be cheesed; unexpected fights, outdoor fights, and prolonged boss fights where cheese'd battle frenzy runs out (not that there were many of those, with the archer's burst) all invalidate that kind of pre-fight cheesing. Finally, those 10 skill points would only have gone to Spellcraft/Resistance, which was taken care of by the artifact shield and extremely high natural dodge chance. The role of this character is single-target damage, with extremely high burst potential for taking out high priority threats. To achieve the same results with a spellcaster, you'd have to be using 80sp per turn. Not very sustainable. And even then, best case scenario, a spellcaster ends up with similar non-crit numbers, but about half the crit chance (if even that), and is even more reliant on RNG for haste procs or battle frenzy activation. So on average you're looking at a pretty big damage loss. Lightning Spray isn't relevant at all to the discussion of single-target damage because of its mediocre damage, but like you said can be useful for cheap area damage (and indeed, towards the end of the game, my mage's turn would frequently be Lightning Spray-Adrenaline Rush-Lightning Spray x 3, in situations that weren't dire enough for the desperation move of throwing away 1/3 of my SP for 4 x Arcane Blow). Took care of the resistance problem on my archer with the artifact shield. Also had a ton of Resistance and Hardiness training crystals that could've done the job too, if I'd actually needed them. The godawful AoE elemental damage effects was mostly an early-game problem, before I had the points to double dip into the 2nd of Hardiness or Resistance (depending on character, archer and tank got Hardiness early, and Resistance very late, spellcasters got Resistance early and Hardiness fairly late). By end game, all of my characters had high levels of both, except the archer who only had somewhere between 3 and 5 Resistance. My spellcasters were using fairly decent armor, but would still get destroyed by physical damage when moving up to use cone spells before I unlocked Adrenaline Rush, since they had neither the parry of my tank nor the dodge of my archer. After Adrenaline Rush, the fights that AoE would be useful in were generally over in 1 turn, between 2 spellcasters using it with the archer cleaning up. All that being said, if you have a party setup/stat/skill guide for a full spellcaster team in Torment, I'd love to try it so I can judge the numbers and playstyle myself. Also interested in your thoughts on full investment into First Aid+Magical Efficiency for a full spellcaster team, if it's a worthwhile (or even possible) path after getting damage, Resistance, and Hardiness (which also unlocks adrenaline rush in the process).
  5. Everything you said here was pretty much SPOT on. Almost my Nephil's build to the letter, including Cloak of Bolts + War Blessing use. And yes, the Cloak makes an absolutely enormous difference. I'd estimate it was giving me around 25-30% net damage increase, based on when I briefly dropped it to dabble with Cloak of the Arcane and see if my casters could post some decent numbers. Lethal Blow and Critical Chance being the same also matches with my experience - like I said, I pretty much always saw "Critical hit!" from my Nephil, but 94% does sound about right. Very, very rarely it'd be noticeably absent. I had expected Lethal Blow to be like Assassination from the original series, so I thought it'd be separate, but acting as critical strike chance ended up working very nicely for my build. I do disagree with your sentiment on Haste vs. Sniper though, a guaranteed 2 shots per turn is a world of difference against bosses and for general quality of life. I'm really not a huge fan of RNG, and I plan my fights pretty carefully, so having bad/mediocre odds of a second shot with haste was just frustrating. Granted, Battle Frenzy can be RNG cheesed before every fight (or Eyebeasts simulacrum'd, but more often than not fights were over long before that came to happen, with all 4 party members exploiting adrenaline rush for burst) to get the same effect, but with my party setup, even Battle Frenzy was just redundant. You're also right about the inability to reach Resistance; I think I had absolutely zero Resistance on him by the end of the game (might as well have used some of those Resistance crystals on him that were just sitting in my inventory all game...). I somewhat fixed that problem by giving him the shield artifact (so much generic hostile effect resistance!), which I also picked up fairly early on in the game (very shortly after first getting the Orb of Thralni) and relying on his naturally great dodge chance. The lack of flexibility was never really a problem though - being able to get a nearly guaranteed 2-shot, 1-turn kill on any non-boss enemy ended up being pretty much all I could ever want from him. This was even more true considering my general approach to the game, guerilla fighting, where I'd try to fish for favorable engages that left me against only 1-3 enemies at a time where possible. In many cases, an engagement would just be: start fight, tank attacks the only enemy on screen, Nephil finishes it off with 2 shots (or shoot+adrenaline rush+3 shots if there's 2 enemies), end combat. I intentionally added enough points in Quick Action that I was always guaranteed the first move in any combat, and that no enemies would move in between my party members. It ended up giving my playthrough a very nice assassin-y feel to it, as opposed to the room-wide nuclear destruction that fireblast and arcane blow (especially while hasted) provided me in the original Avernum series I played on Mac back in the day. Ironically, I always felt much more like it was my casters who were inflexible. Their SP costs were so high if I wanted them to do any sort of reasonable single-target damage, and their AoE spells would massacre my own tank (Arcane Blow, Fireblast, Divine Fire) if I tried to get a nice group aggro going to let me hit more than 2-4 enemies, or put them wildly out of position in the case of Divine Retribution (which I ended up using only in conjunction with Adrenaline Rush for the most part). It felt like the vast majority of my casters' turns were spent either doing healing/buffing/dazing/immobilizing, or doing absolutely pathetic (~50-120) damage with Fireball/Smite because I wanted my 10-15 total first aid levels (from items & trainer only of course) to sustain my SP, rather than having to drop what I was doing and scurry back to the nearest town. And that was with 40+ Int and plenty of damage gear! I'll grant you this though, when the stars aligned, and the enemies were grouped well for Arcane Blow or Divine Retribution, and I had the SP to spare, Adrenaline Rush + 3 Arcane Blows from my mage + 3 Divine Retributions from my priest would definitely do work. It just wasn't worth the SP in most cases for me. I'll admit I was actually tempted to max out Magical Efficiency and First Aid, just to see what devastation a full caster party could do with unlimited SP... But by the time I saw the potential, it was just too late to muster the points. And honestly, I feel like I'd have been sacrificing a lot of my casters' survivability, which was already on a razor's edge with the huge damage in Torment on all the godawful AoE elemental damage effects that get thrown around. Fury Bow being a later-game pickup might also be true for most players. But man, when I heard about a legendary bow from Judith in Shayder... I kid you not I left Bigail and before even fighting Troglodytes or Giants I went far north and hunted around for the Pit of the Wyrm using Judith's tip that it was near Bremerton. I thought I found it when I came across a group of soldiers standing outside of an overworld tunnel, got destroyed by their mage, and came back after I got the Orb of Thralni only to find that it was just a Skribhead fort. After a little more searching I found it, and with great difficulty I managed to make it through at that rather low level (getting ~25exp per kill in there). So actually I ended up getting the Fury Bow very early on (and of course immediately blessed my new God bow), having it for at least half the game overall. The boss fight to get it, and those damn Hhorthas or whatnot, was the single hardest experience I had in the game. At the level I went after it, even the altered giants in that cave were absolutely decimating my party. I saved after every 2-3 giants I killed, pulled & retreated to draw them a few at a time, and very slowly made my way through the cave. The first one of those slimes I saw single-handedly wiped my entire party. I ended up approaching the Pit with extreme guerilla tactics, dividing and conquering my way to the boss fight. And that boss fight, with the brutal Deep Stalker AoE, juiced up Empire Archer + Dervish, and constant summoning of mobs that I couldn't afford the damage to kill... don't even get me started. Thankfully, I eventually realized just how far I could kite it, and exploited a staircase chokepoint to get the boss far from his summoning platforms and keep my ranged characters safe. After stockpiling all my acid/poison resistance gear onto my high-hardiness, Endurance-invested tank, he could survive any combination of the boss's attacks. After that it was only a matter of time. Still possibly one of my most memorable Avernum fights of all time, after perhaps a certain dragon in Crystal Souls. Overall, I was very satisfied with my team comp, a balanced approach, that gave me excellent single target damage for bossing via my Archer, and excellent support + on-demand AoE damage via Adrenaline Rush + AP item abuse on my casters.
  6. I dunno man, my Nephil archer carried my damage against bosses in Torment. He reached 54% lethal blow chance, and had a listed +35% crit chance on gear, but seemed to have a much higher crit chance than that in practice (against endgame enemies like alien beasts and beyond). His damage was absolutely insane, routinely reading 250 (+900 resisted) on endgame bosses, and hitting cockroaches and slimes for 800 lategame. That, combined with his lvl. 20 sniper for guaranteed double shot, and high fatigue recovery for frequent 4-shot turns with Adrenaline Rush, made him an absolute burst monster. He routinely single-handedly took bosses from full to almost half HP in a turn, and I never really overleveled or anything (ended the game at lvl 33). I haven't played a human archer to compare him to, but since I exhausted all the DPS traits on my Nephil long before level 33, the only benefit would've been for survivability (which I didn't really find lacking on him) from extra tank traits like parry master. And yes, 20 sniper guarantees the double shot (as long as you have enough AP to trigger it). The way sniper works is that your attack costs 5ap instead of 9, so with lvl. 20 sniper, you get 2 attacks if you attack at 6ap or higher, and 3 attacks if you attack at 16ap or higher. I found it to be very inconsistent in its interactions with haste though. Generally, I wouldn't even use haste. My human mage & human cleric (both made good use of the extra traits) just used +AP items to guarantee 10ap, and then had ~10 gymnastics +2-4 from items, giving them great chances at 12 ap, making haste pretty irrelevant. And my slith tank (didn't go for any dps traits outside of 5 strength levels) didn't really contribute enough damage for a haste on him alone to matter. I want to say that the 10% fire resistance came in handy against dragons, which it might have, but I feel like my tank could've easily been better as a sword+shield human, just swapping in some extra fire resist gear for dragons.
  7. Vlosto doesn't count against trained points though, so you can do both...
  8. There's a back door into the Dispel Barrier room anyways... I got Dispel Barrier before I even saw a Troglodyte
  9. Mrrr trains at extremely cheap for me, with the text specifically referencing a "Nephil discount". So, presumably, if you have a Nephil in your party, you get extremely cheap prices. If not, it's exorbitant.