Oooh boy, here we go slayin' again.
***This guide assumes playing on Torment difficulty***
Who Is The Warrior?:
Warriors are physical damage dealers and medium durability tanks, backed up by a heavy complement of creations. Warriors have evolved from their Guardian brethren from G3, in that they slowly turn from warriors into support commanders, as opposed to Guardians who did the opposite. With the updated combat mechanics to G4, Warriors start out as deadly physical damage dealers, but later on have to adopt heavy support-based tactics with heavy commitments to Blessing Magic and Healing Craft. As a result, Warriors end up as a jack-of-all-trades, master of none, capable of healing & supporting creations, while also dealing respectable physical damage and being a side tank, but never doing any one thing better than more specialized classes.
Why Choose Warrior/Is He Viable?:
Same as the G3 Guardian: Viable, but technically not optimal.
Being a jack-of-all-trades means that you'll have the tools to handle all situations, but won't be optimal enough to excel at any given task. Warriors are put into a weird spot where they slowly become less viable the longer the game gets, and with each area, more and more flaws in your build will become prevalent over time.
G4's combat system is hard to fully sum up, because there's so many paradoxes when it comes to combat calculations. In short though, your own creations feel squishier than in previous titles, as natural uber-resistances are largely gone outside of energy resistance and some niche elemental types. Like for example, Rots can no longer super tank other Rots, and a lot of turns will end up with some or all of your creations at 50% - 10% health from sheer volume of fire. Again, there's some exceptions, but few of them. As a result, high levels of Blessing Magic and Healing Craft are 100% required for all characters, which puts Warriors in an awkward spot where increased magic costs end up draining skill points that'd otherwise be spent into making the Warrior himself tankier or better at melee combat. The following fully emphasizes my point: I started the beginning of Chapter 4 with 3 Endurance (after Gruesome Charm debuffs, mind you), because I was constantly having to spend points on support skills.
With those gripes aside, let me again mention that Warriors are still fine to play as. They can handle both endings, and the final dungeon, quite well. They just don't excel at any one area.
Brief Changes from G3:
-All attacks can be executed from 1AP, meaning that melee is much more reliable and preferable to ranged. They still cost 5AP though
-AP-boosting artifacts no longer exist, meaning that blessings are the only way to guarantee double hits, outside of using niche items at the very end of the game
-Characters now have unlimited carry weight in terms of consumables and "junk" items, with strength now increasing armour carrying capacity. This again makes melee much more effective, as increasing strength now increases your offensive and defensive capabilities simultaneously
-HP and omni-resistances have largely been increased for major characters, meaning bosses can have several thousand points of effective health. This applies to a certain extent to your character in the late game
-Energy damage via Kyshakks and Wingbolt dominate the lategame, with multi-hit fire & ice attacks taking up a close second, depending on faction/choices. The Elemental Cloak spell via Blessing Magic is 100% required for all characters. You will not survive lategame Torment fights without it
New Creation Overview:
There's a few changes from G3 that mix up the creation pool: fire shaping is a bit stronger, battle shaping is a bit weaker, and energy-based enemies are everywhere.
G4 added in a whole tier of creation to the mix, two of which are high-damage energy users:
-Kyshakk are high HP tanks with an energy-based ranged attack that inflicts the new lightning DOT, which is just a stronger energy-based form of poison/acid. They're good against energy damage, decent against physical damage, and bad against fire/ice damage, though again high HP helps with all 3. They're built for long engagements, with the sole exception that they tend to run out of energy quickly. With that said, I love Kyshakk, and the Burning Kyshakk is my favourite creation in the game
-Wingbolts are high DPS energy-based ranged attackers, who contrast Kyshakk by having low HP, but high burst damage. They can tank magic hits for days, but melee and fire/ice hurt them significantly. Wingbolts are weird in that they can tank energy attacks better than Kyshakk, but not much else, so they can preform well in long fights if you can aggro other Wingbolts or Kyshakk with them, and let everything else hit your primary tanks. An interesting adaptation to Wingbolts is the Unstable Firebolt, which turns it's high DPS energy attack into a double AP fire-based one, while keeping it's insane energy resistances. Wingbolts in general are fine, I just prefer the tankiness of Kyshakk. Your preferences may vary, and both are good options for your party.
-War Tralls, the third addition to the game, are awful in every aspect. They cost an insane amount of essence for lackluster returns. Their only advantage is a costless physical-based ranged attack, but that's it. G5 buffed them to a point of relevance, but in this game they're trash. Get a Rot instead
Brief Creation Guide:
Warriors tend to favor keeping their creations alive for a long time, instead of constantly rebuilding their forced or using unstable creations. Your mileage may vary depending on what you like, and how much you're willing to take away from other skills to pump up your shaping craft.
I wound up focusing on fire shaping primarily, and battle shaping secondarily, with my endgame consisting of a Rotghroth, Kyshakk, Cryodrayk, and Drakon. With the Drakon though, it replaced an already high level Drayk, for some more HP and a bit more DPS, at the cost of super essence capping myself for most of the lategame (IIRC I was at around 20 essence or so for most of the Monarch Caves and Titan dungeon, during which a level gain and Intelligence canister solved my problems), so you might find the Drayk to be more economical.
Chapter 1: A natural level up and immediate trainer means that Cryoras become available before you even leave Southforge. Get one ASAP; Cryoras obliterate everything in the first chapter and invalidate everything else. Get a second before the chapter's done.
Greenfang, a costless companion, is also available, and adds some nice, free DPS to the group, at the lost of low accuracy and being one-shot by everything for the first few areas. However, it leaves or turns against you before the chapter ends.
Chapter 2: Some different choices in this one, but again your mileage may vary. Clawbugs become available upon reaching Dillame, as well as Plated Bugs if you wish to skip out on some Trakovite lore. Neither of which I used though. Plated Artila become available roughly halfway through the chapter, via a mechanics-locked energy field. However Plated Artila pale in comparison to their Searing Artila brethren of the previous title, and generally aren't worth getting. Followers of the Cult of Vlish will probably like this area the most though. I personally haven't bought into it yet, so I only got one and replaced it in the next chapter.
It's interesting to note that, with 4-5 party members, you can box-cheese the roaming guards at the Turabi Gate and kill them risk-free for their high value drops & easier exploration.
Chapter 3: The most interesting chapter creation-wise, as a bunch of options become available to you if you're a double agent. Kyshakk, Battle Alpha, Glaahk, Wingbolt and Drayks all become available at once, with Cryodrayks being unlocked at the end of the chapter. Being primarily fire-shaping-based, I went with Kyshakk and Drayks. Replacing my Vlish netted me an early Kyshakk that lasted me the whole game, followed by a Drayk and later Cryodrayk, the latter also lasting the whole game and the former probably could have if I wanted him to.
Chapter 4: The most interesting addition to this area is getting Rotghroths. Rots are no longer the ultra tanks of previous titles, as other Rots are no longer walled by them and energy damage is everywhere (on top of multi-hitting fire/ice users). With that said, they're still good enough to take into the lategame.
Burning Kyshakk and Unstable Firebolt also become available via canisters. If you're spreading out shaping skill points like I did, then these might be less valuable to you. For more specialized users, however, they could be worth considering.
Chapter 5: Lategame creations now come into effect, but your mileage with them may vary. The Kyshakk & Cryodrayk I had from Chapter 3 were still holding their weight, as well as the Rot from Chapter 4, so the only thing that interested me was upgrading my Drayk to a Drakon, which took more time and essence than I'd have liked. Essence will very likely be your limiting factor in choosing max tier creations, so sticking with highly leveled tier 3s & 4s is perfectly acceptable.
The Artifact Trios:
G4 doesn't have the same artifact weight as G3; while there's technically two trios of artifacts to choose from, there's also a lot of particularly weak ones that get outclassed by others. The second trio is a significantly more impactful choice than the first though, which has one clear winner.
Trio 1, Chapters 2-3: Gloves of Savagery vs Legs of the Tyrant vs Impervious Cape
For the sake of fairness, I'll entertain the benefits of all 3. But frankly, there's really only one clear winner here.
Legs of the Tyrant give +14% armour, +5 melee weapons, and a life-steal aspect so minor that it rarely makes a difference. Good armour & offensive stats with no to-hit penalties of steel/shaped greaves, but no stun resist either. For Shapers & double agents, the Blasted Greaves in Chapter 4 have significantly stronger defensive stats (in the form of +2 endurance & +1 strength) and are arguably superior. As a Rebel these greaves are fine, but not as a first artifact; get these as a second artifact in Chapter 4.
The Impervious Cape gives +12% armour, +5% chance to hit, and +10% hostile effect resistance of creations. The creation HER is nice, but that's about it; all the other stats are lackluster. Furthermore, the Agent's Cloak at the end of Chapter 2 gives significantly better stat value to Warriors overall, as well as being available to everyone. Honestly, this one needed better stats to be competitive with everything else. If it combined say, the +2 Endurance of the old Symbiotic Cloaks, or had a stronger creation aura, I'd could maybe see it becoming a choice. As is though, it's not even worth picking up later on.
The Gloves of Savagery are just too good compared to everything else. +2 strength for better melee and defensive potential via armour, +2 melee weapons, +4 quick action that also increases combat priority, and +2 creation strength bonus. These are the best gloves in the game, with the Lodestone Gloves at the very end of Chapter 5 being the only reasonable competition... if they came into play earlier. All characters should get these as their first artifact.
At the end of the day, the argument comes down to this:
-The Impervious Cape gives lackluster stats compared to everything else, and the Agent's Cloak in the same chapter gives better stat value to players of all factions
-The Legs of the Tyrant are decent, but not as a first artifact. For Rebels, these will be the best greaves in Chapter 4, but for Shapers and double agents, the Blasted Greaves will probably be more tempting for their +2 endurance and +1 strength values
-The Gloves of Savagery are amazing in every aspect, even more so compared to the other two choices. Every single character in the game should get these as their first artifact
Trio 2, Chapters 3-4: Sunstone Belt vs Girdle of Succor vs Shapemaster Boots:
This is the only real choice in the game, depending largely on playstyle and how long you feel like waiting for ingredients. All of these ingredients overlap though, so unlike the previous trio, you can only get one of these.
The Sunstone Belt gives +14% armour, +20% energy resistance, +20% fire resistance, and +10 energy preservation (spells cost 10% less essence & energy). This one's a purely self-defensive item, designed to help against mid-late Kyshakk & Wingbolts, and later Drakon/Unbound. Interestingly, the lack of ice resistance can actually have a huge or non-existent impact on your game, depending on faction/choices, and may influence you to get the Flameweaver Greaves later on. The major benefit of this is that this artifact can be created roughly halfway through Chapter 3, as opposed to the GoS and SMB which take until the end of Chapter 4 to complete. Your mileage may vary; I personally was fine waiting for the GoS and using the Girdle of Might in the meantime.
The Girdle of Succor gives +2 blessing magic, +2 healing magic, +8 creation armour, and +4% creation effect resistance. The creation bonuses are minor, but helpful. The real pull is the blessing and healing magic increase, which helps in getting Elemental Cloak and Major Heal, two wholly required support spells. As stated before, Warrior transitions into more of a support class in the lategame, so the boosts from this belt feel like a no brainer. They also allow the player to potentially swap their Captain's Boots with the Stability Boots if the dexterity & 20% stun resist buffs are more appealing.
The Shapemaster Boots give +16% armour, +2 fire/battle/magic shaping, and +10% hostile effect resistance to creations. For those using unstable creations, or are constantly swapping them out, these will probably be a more appealing choice. The good armour value and creation HER also make them usable in battle. With that said, if you're keeping your shaping skills at the bare minimum, and value keeping the same ones alive, the GoS might be more tempting. Furthermore, they also come late into Chapter 4, near the end of the game, which might be too late to make a difference for some players.
At the end of the day, the argument comes down to this:
-The Sunstone Belt gives great self-survivability vs Wingbolts, Kyshakk, Drayks, Drakon, and Unbound. It doesn't, however, protect you from the swarms of double-hitting Cryodrayks in the later parts of the game, so an argument for choosing the FWG starts becoming more compelling. It also could have limited effectiveness, depending on how often your PC gets focused, how well you can draw aggro, and what your creation comp is like. With that said, it's still a very good, earlier-obtained artifact choice
-The Girdle of Succor gives excellent supporting stats, and is highly skill-point-efficient for Warriors. The extra levels of blessing and healing magic can help in obtaining the Elemental Cloak and Major Heal spells respectively, as well as generally making each skill class stronger. This is my personal pick for the second artifact trio
-The Shapemaster Boots give better shaping skills, as well as usable in-combat stats. For players constantly swapping their creations, or using unstable ones, these will probably be more appealing. Those preferring to keep the same creations alive will likely pass this one over
The Forgotten - Flameweaver Greaves & Cloak of the Shadows:
Flameweaver Greaves give +16% armour, +2 battle magic, +2 fire shaping, and +20% cold resistance. While the battle magic boost is wholly wasted on Warriors, Flameweavers offer an interesting niche for fire-shaping users who also chose SMBs, as the +2 boost from this, the +2 from SMBs, the +1 from a Volcanic Fetish, and +1 from Shaper's Robe can give a passive +6 to fire shaping. This might make a fun combination of Drayk/Cryodrayk & Unstable Kyshakk for those valuing temporary creation parties, but for everyone else these are a pass. Additionally, those who instead chose the SSB could pair that with this item for 20% omni-resistances, creating a very interesting defensive combo. With that said, the Legs of the Tyrant and Blasted Greaves might still be better, again depending on previous artifact choices and playstyle.
[Editing note: this section previously, and erroneously, stated that the SSB and FWG couldn't be combined due to overlapping ingredients. This has since been corrected]
The Cloak of Shadows gives +10% armour, +2 mech/leadership/stealth (detection range for wandering hostiles), and +1 action points. The +1AP is the only reason it's locked to the very end of Chapter 5; G4 only has a few naturally increasing AP items, one in Chapter 4 and the rest in Chapter 5, meaning that getting a natural +10AP is impossible for the majority of the game. Which is a shame, because trying to obtain it means having to use the Quicksilver Chitin, which makes you comparatively squishy vs the super defensive plates of the lategame. Honestly, if the Cloak of Shadows had some sort of defensive downside, like -1/-2 endurance or something, I could see it being a worthy tradeoff for guaranteed double actions. As it stands though, it comes far too late into the game to be useful.
Items to Use Golden Crystals on + In-Slot Recommendations:
Armour (Golden Crystal/Steel Spine): Puresteel Plate, Drakonian Plate, Shaper Trueweave
Legs (Golden Crystal): Blasted Greaves (Loyalist), Legs of the Tyrant
Boots (Golden Crystal): Captain's Boots, Stability Boots, Shapemaster Boots
Belt (Golden Crystal): Girdle of Succor, Sunstone Belt, Girdle of Might/Genius
Ring (Golden Crystal): Shaper's Boon, Forbidden Band (Loyalist), Impervious Band
Cape (Golden Crystal): Agent's Cloak
Gloves (Golden Crystal): Gloves of Savagery
Weapon (Golden Crystal?, Steel Spine*): Guardian Claymore
Shield (NA): Polychromous Shield (Loyalist), Agent's Shelter
Necklace (NA): Demon Fang Talisman, Talisman of Might
*Note: after testing Ivory Skull, Runed Onyx, and Ethereal Bindings, all three seem to apply their effects sporadically, and are thus generally unreliable. Hence, I recommend extra damage via a Steel Spine or Golden Crystal, if you can spare one
Brief Faction/Ending Guide + Canister Usage:
G4's endings are significantly less straightforward than G3, and require more explanation for each path than I'm comfortable with putting into a single character guide. TLDR, there's 3 main paths one can strive for:
Loyalist: The best path in terms of rewards, quests, and training, but the most restricting and the easiest to mess up/lose on. Canisters must be monitored closely, going over 5-6(?) will result in exile or execution, so save before each canister, choose your selections extremely carefully, and check in with the Chapter 2 or Chapter 3 canister evaluation NPCs before saving. Furthermore, you can still be exiled if either Alwan or Miranda die in the final three assaults (which is absolutely plausible; I had to reset a 99% completed second area assault on a Servile run, but had to reset because my Alwan decided to rush down 4 of the completely unnecessary side Drakons while everyone else had left, and I was still recovering from an Ur-Drakon slow... needless to say, he got shredded). This ending is the most convoluted, annoying, and restrictive of the bunch, IMO. The Shapers themselves also tend to abuse you severely.
Rebel/Trakovite: Going pure rebel from the beginning is 100% a mistake, as it leads to a severe lack of training & quests, as well as permanent stat losses at the end of Chapter 2 (which should never be used to punish a player's decisions... ever). The best as I can tell, rebels should go full Shaper choices in Chapter 1, then just enough in Chapter 2 to get the Passage Bracelet + Chapter 3 unlock, then start going full rebel choices. I'm still in the process of trying this on another run at time of writing, so this section might change later on.
It's also worth noting that high rebel influence is needed for a successful Trakovite ending, which can be triggered at the end of a normal Rebel run with literally a few switch flips. The difference ending-wise is either you being executed, or exiled if you have enough rebel influence.
Double Agent: The best path, IMO. No restrictions, no bad ends, no commitments. A double agent is the best of both worlds: you get the training, quests and rewards from Shapers, while being able to freely use canisters and collect side rewards from Rebels. Double Agents should go full Shaper dialogue, and should choose largely Shaper quest options, with the two exceptions of turning in the Chapter 3 Monarch papers over to the rebels for a better reward, and NOT giving the Shapers the Unbound papers in Chapter 4. You can still do Rebel quests, and turn over spies on both sides, but your choices should be largely Shaper oriented. With that said, right before the final Shaper raid in Chapter 5, betray them and wipe them out, then finish the game as a Rebel. You still get largely the same ending, with no exiling/executions, and only a minor slap on the wrist in that the people now placed under your command aren't thrilled that you played both sides. This ending feels reminiscent of playing as a Loyalist in G3 that also used containers heavily; a fun min-max experience with barely a speeding ticket at the end. This path is the most fun & most risk-free, and I highly recommend it to players new and old.
The Barrier Zone Assassinations:
A small side note: the rebel quest to kill both Barrier Zone Shapers should be completed by both Loyalists and Rebels, as the Agent's Cloak and Guardian Claymore, two key, end-game items for Warriors, are too good to pass up regardless of faction. There's also 0 downsides to wiping them both out for Loyalists, so go nuts.
The Build, Chapter by Chapter:
As in the previous guide, please excuse any vagueness or unintentionally false information. I've done 1 and 1/2 runs since starting this walkthrough, so some bits might be a bit over-generalized.
Chapter 1: Give yourself 4-4 mech/leadership. and your choice of Intelligence, Shaping skills, and Blessing Magic. I personally recommend 2 luck in the beginning (despite it's impact on armour & HER not being clear in this game) and leaving it like that for the whole game. Don't touch Missile Weapons or Spellcraft at all, as there's a trainer for the latter in this chapter, and a trainer for the former in Chapter 3. Quick Action might also fall into the same boat, but low costs & questionable speed priority impacts might be too tempting to pass up.
The difference between G3 and G4 is that your melee is actually really, really good at the start, and Strength now also boosts defense via allowing heavier/bulkier armour to be equipped with encumbrance penalties. So don't be scared about spending a few points into Strength, melee, and Endurance, just don't go overboard with any combination of them... you'll still need to support your creations via Intelligence and Blessing Magic. Funny enough, a completely non-invested Daze is still extremely reliable all the way through Chapter 2, so don't be afraid of using it... just don't come to rely on it past then.
As stated before, get a Cryora before leaving Southforge Citadel, and plan on getting more throughout the chapter. Your end goal for this one is to get 8 mech and 6 leadership before reaching the chapter boss (yes, the "two island" tax is back, now called the "two chapter" tax). Mech isn't 100% required, but being able to get 20+ XP per mine defusal feels real good when kills are only netting you around +3 XP otherwise.
Influence-wise, it's probably good to go all Shaper options in this chapter, regardless of planned loyalties. Just don't betray the Spellcraft trainer until you've gotten enough money to buy two levels off him.
Chapter 2: Probably the most impactful chapter of your run. If you're a pure rebel, you'll notice very quickly how much trainers will turn you away, especially shaping-based ones. So don't go full rebel; get enough influence for the Passage Bracelet + Chapter 3 unlock from the Shapers, then do your rebelling.
Getting 7 leadership immediately lets you loot the first area fully, and lets you pass through one of the next caves unharmed. 10-10 mech & leadership is your end goal to this area; 10 mech you should get first, and while not 100% required, it hurts not getting the loot and XP drops from mech-oriented areas. Leadership, however, is 100% required to get to 10, as the chapter boss will super drain your base stats if you don't have it (for reasons I legitimately can't fathom balance-wise).
Creations have already been mentioned: Clawbug, Vlish, etc. Cryora are still good, and don't need to be replaced yet.
The Turabi Gates will be the most interesting area for you, as having 4-5 party members mean that you can box them in via AP cheesing, and kill them risk-free after choosing the high leadership dialogue option. Furthermore, you can speed boost/AP cheese your way past the massive Shaper force there by taking the south approach, and ending your turn out of LOS of everything. Take a good supply of living tools here, and you'll be rewarded with your lategame Captain's Boots, and the last component for your Gloves of Savagery, another lategame item.
Once the chapter's done, kill the two Barrier Zone Shapers for your Guardian Claymore and Agent's Cloak, adding two more endgame items to your collection. Killing Shaftoe first is recommend, as he'll create ads while you're preparing yourself (if you enter the area already hostile), while Eliza does not.
Chapter 3: A bunch of new, spiffy creations become available here, most of which will likely last you until the endgame, if you so choose. 3 Drayk canisters also allow creation of the Cryodrayk at the end of the chapter.
Since the two chapter tax has been paid, you can continue focusing on personal stats (Intelligence, Strength, Endurance, Blessing Magic, etc). 10 mech won't be enough for some mines here, even with triple technician boosts and Tinker's Gloves, but these special mines are few & far between, and can be solo tanked easily. Also, here is where you'll spend your money on getting missile weapons and possibly quick action from a trainer. He's a double agent too, so make sure to buy all his training before turning him in (if you so choose).
For Loyalists and Double Agents, supply tokens are given out for doing suitable quests, which can net some interesting items. If for some reason you don't like the Agent's Cloak, you can buy a Guardian's Cloak instead for better melee & defensive stats. Otherwise, use them all up on shaped chestplates for pure monetary gains (high leadership discounts them to 1 token each, you just need to have the two tokens first in order to succeed with the dialogue option), and then get a steel spine with your final token.
The Legs of the Tyrant become available at the start of this chapter... if for some reason you don't like the Gloves of Savagery. The Sunstone Belt also becomes available in the same area, provided you're strong enough to kill the Rot guarding it (which isn't nearly as hard as it sounds, despite the entire dungeon being designed for an elaborate chase sequence that usually never happens). Hold off on it though if the GoS or SMB is more appealing to you.
Chapter 4: Less developments here in terms of creations, but helpful depending on playstyle; Rots, Burning Kyshakk, and Unstable Firebolt all become available via canisters.
If you neglected your endurance skills (I had 3 after taking the Gruesome Charm), pump that up immediately. Wingbolt and Kyshakk roam freely here, and can easily instagib, even with Elemental Cloak up.
It's worth noting that both Derenton Freehold and Quessa-Uss can be rushed pretty reliably via mech/leadership routes if you want the GoS or SMB early, though Loyalists and double agents might want to stop rush the Polyphra Ruins first for orders & rewards, which is generally less convenient. With that said, once Quessa-Uss has been cleared, do not exit via the north, and instead enter the northern area from another side, so that you may challenge the Drakon there and claim a Drakon scale from her, used in creating the ever helpful Golden Crystal.
Chapter 5: Hoooo boy. I hope you have enough investment for Elemental Cloak and Major Heal by this point, because all sides are gonna need them.
This area focuses around the Shaper's raiding of Northforge Citadel, two of the longest and toughest fights of the game. After getting your tier 5 creations via canisters, testing the prototype Unbound, and optionally clearing the Breeding Pits (which I highly recommend for rewards + a fun, optional boss), you'll either be instructed to attack the citadel, or defend it.
Loyalists attacking the citadel have it hard, because both Alwan and Miranda have to survive 3 long fight sequences in order to get the non-trash ending. The hardest area will be area 2, where a large force of Drakons and their creations will block the way, and your group will charge ahead before you can fully buff them (and yourself). On Torment, neither Alway nor Miranda can survive the full onslaught of the entire field focusing them, which happens surprisingly often, so you'll likely be resetting at least once. The final area is surprisingly easy, as there's less enemies, less derping, and more chances to distract enemies via neutral golems. Again, keep your Elemental Cloaks & group buffs up, use Major Heal to keep Alwan & Miranda up, and try not to let any NPC rush ahead to far. That last part is much easier said than done. Good luck Warrior, you'll need it.
Rebels have a significantly easier time, as they can choose to flee, get help, and only have to fight 3 disorganized waves of enemies (again next to neutral golems), followed by one final fight with comparatively stronger allies. With that said, I find it more fun, and safer, to stop the raid before it begins. When you first meet the Shaper raiding party, they'll be surrounded by high-damage energy pylons, and a bunch of creations, with the game very clearly hinting that you should run. This area, however, is not as bad as one might think. Rush yourself and all your creations to the little alcove where Alwan is, and dig in for the long haul. Most of the energy discharges will be nullified via LOS breaks, and you can pick and choose which of your creations gets focused by which enemies. This is the ultimate test of endurance here, and you'll likely burn through a lot of essence pods. It is, again, entirely doable though, and highly satisfying when pulled off successfully.
Ending wise, they're pretty straightforward. Shapers go with the Shaper ending (and pray they didn't use too many canisters), while Rebels and double agents should go with the rebel ending. Trakovites can flip a series of switches to the NW and SE to achieve their respective ending, though again high rebel influence is needed to simply be exiled, and not executed.
Monarch Caves & The Titan:
G4`s endgame, optional dungeon is kind of a joke compared to the previous titles... as long as you're not a solo player. Instead of Ur-Drakon, Eyebeast and Rotdhizon, this dungeon has... Betas, Stinging Clawbugs, and Wingbolt. There are some regular Rots too, and a trio of buffed Tralls in the NE corner, but both are either easy or optional. There`s also an unlimited spawner here, but it`s forced to pump out a Beta first, wait, then switch to Rots. Killing the spawned Beta forces it to get a new one, plus the final boss is in it`s own separate dungeon layer, so this one`s wholly nonthreatening. The biggest pain will be the mental magic Eyebeast guarding the boss`s dungeon door, however box strating it and forcing it to melee you through Spine Shield absolutely obliterates it, so do that. Be sure to grab the two primary skill canisters before leaving this level.
The Titan itself is simply a multi-phase Golem that summons minions if you don`t kill them beforehand. There`s no unlimited spawner here, so take your time. Use speed to rush to one of the side corridors (out of LOS range of The Titan, otherwise it`ll attack), clear the side bosses out one by one, and then prepare for The Titan itself. There`s some good loot here, plus 2 primary skill canisters (complimenting the other two on the previous floor), so be sure to grab it all first. The boss itself is pretty straightforward; The Titan itself is a little bit underwhelming, and the high-mechanics energy pylons do barely enough damage to notice. The biggest pain will be in phase 3, where it spawns 2 Rotdhizons and 2 Ur-Glaahk, the former of which can wipe any creation they want in a guaranteed alpha strike attack that will likely land 8 blows on a single party member. If you survive this though, the fight`s pretty much over. Take your well earned omni-charm, and count your lucky stars that you weren`t a Servile trying to solo this thing.
And that`s it! I`m always open to suggestions & feedback, just... be sure to be civil about it. This took me WAY longer to write than I hoped, so please don't rip on me too hard for still not properly utilizing Vlish to their fullest.