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Delicious Vlish

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  1. The Vlish community has not been represented. I predict many feisty tentacle slaps of pain over this outrage.
  2. Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES If you could always dominate anything, I would agree. Then it would be more or less unbounded power, constrained only by (easily replenishable) essence and energy. You can't dominate everything, however. What happens when you face creations with 100% resistance to mental magic? Or for that matter, what happens when you face a Gazer with 70% resistance and you fail to dominate it twice in a row? Dominate the cannon fodder. Failing to dominate gazers really was only a problem later. In G2, you could pretty much bend anything to your will, provided you spend enough points in mental magic and spellcraft. But if you blew all those points in parry, no luck. As I mentioned in a long ago thread. It really comes down to commitment, really, every available point has to go into magic skills. No endurance, minimal strength, absolutely NO shaping skills, as they were far to expensive, and in general melee skills were left as is and raised through items or trainers. Failure to totally commit to magic means that, yes, you will fail to charm your target on the first try. The same was true in G1, as the augmented sholai seemed to resist everything. Including domination attempts. You really, really had to ratchet up your magic skills to turn them. But you turn one, and the battle instantly changes toward your favour. I don't recall exact stats off of the top of my head, but the augmented sholai had something like 500 hit points on torment level, did insane physical damage, and were rather dangerous. Dominate one, and you could watch him shred his former companions. Same is mostly true in G2. There are some dangerous critters running around, and almost all of them can be charmed, provided you play to the agent's strength. The agent is not an easy class to play however. It requires a certain mindset to play effectively. I have always maintained that with the agent, it really is all or nothing. Failure to give all will cause you to run into the exact problem you describe, which makes you absolutely correct. If you look in the old threads, you will see plenty of people who sold themselves short somewhere during the game and then had problems, along with the assertion that the agent was weak, underpowered, etc.
  3. Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES I've said it before, and I'll say it again. DV, I have great respect for your ability to beat the game engine into submission and produce unlikely but functional builds. These are wonderful tactics. But you get swept away by your tactical creations, and you sell them with songs that distort the truth... first just a little, then a bit more, until finally you are convinced that an ingenious but suboptimal tactic is better than anything else. It's a great storytelling capability. That's what made your monograph on the battle magic agent in G3 so compelling. But don't confuse it with rational judgement. The agent isn't an unlikely functional build, it is abusing the game engine. It is really very simple. Magic was the overwhelming and broken element in the game. Not the battle magic, even though that is great for damage, but the mental magic, which arguably, will do more damage than any levels of battle magic. And right now, there are people scratching their heads and going "huh?" Simple really... The most powerful monsters in the game can all be charmed. And as you go up higher in difficulty levels, the more damage these monsters can do because they'll live longer. Living longer = more damage output. And lets face it, there are certain monsters that do more damage than you can. And in some areas, there is more than one of them, and there is nothing stopping you from charming more than one of them. Mental magic has always been where the lion's share of your damage will come from, and a good part of your damage prevention. It really isn't difficult to understand, yet people have a hard time grasping it for some reason. But we've had this conversation before. The agent's ability to take control of another > any other skill in this game. If there was, say, an ur-mechafyora, and it is the deadliest creation in the game, and the endgame is littered with dozens of them scattered through the various endgame zones, and you can enter a zone and take complete control of said ur-mechafyora, what does that make you? If you take control of it and then use it to completely clear the zone for you, and it does so effortlessly, what does that make you? And at the end, when everything is dead, you zap it with terror and then dispose of it while it cowers. There is nothing irrational about this conclusion.
  4. I agree with most of what you wrote Slarti, but it lacks fleshing out on a few finer points. G1, the agent could go places the Shaper had some trouble. Like places with poisonous atmosphere. Compared to the guardian, the agent really could do more damage to mobs. Dominating an augmented sholai was just to powerful. Essence orbs allowed mobs to be worn down faster than the guardian's one on one approach. The guardian was powerful, especially on the lower difficulties, where if you could reach it on your turn, it would die. But the guardian began to have issues on the higher difficulties because of numbers. The agent was unique, because out of the three characters for G1, the agent was the only one who became exponentially stronger with each increase in difficulty, mostly because of dominate. Making the monsters stronger made the agent stronger. This was her strength. In G2, the guardian was powerful. Let's get that out of the way right now. And parry allowed you to outlast the mob of flesh trying to kill you. The guardian still had to kill stuff one on one mostly. The ability to process mobs was poor. It was slow work, especially on higher difficulties. The agent got a few new tricks to blast mobs to smithereens, a few new options, including total thermo-nuclear detonation. The agent still had one thing working in her favour though, higher difficulties. On normal, she was considerably weaker, but you crank up the difficulty and start charming stuff, the powerful monsters in G2 became your playthings. But you really had to devote to your magic skills to be able to do this, and make it effective, because if something resisted, you could die. So parry, while effective, was detrimental to your cause. It was better to crank magic skills and spellcraft out the wazoo. G2 was also the game where the agent felt most godlike, because there were a few random assorted high powered monsters, surrounded by mobs of comparatively weak cannon fodder. And instantly incinerating a screen full of cannon fodder in the opening turn was, well, addictive. How could you not like that? G2 was the game that truly allowed the Agent to ROMP™ if built properly and no game since has ever been quite the same. G3 turned the agent into a finely crafted neutron bomb. By this point, she had matured into the deadly killing machine we all know and love. Because of the game engine, she suffers from the same problem as before. On lower difficulties, she is weakened. She loses a lot of her punch on normal. The guardian really was hosed in G3, as I seem to recall... My missile shaper did better than the my guardian did. But the hunter guardian was a ton of fun. The agent became to powerful though at this point, there were to many high powered enemies around, the cannon fodder effect was starting to go away. With all of the high powered monsters, charm became far to effective, you could get a better wall of meat shields than a shaper could, so the agent really had no draw backs. The ability to turn high profile monsters to do your bidding broke the game, and there was far to many of them. The guardian still had issues dealing with mobs while the agent could charm a few meat shields and then flash fry them in any number of ways. I've said it many times, the agent's strength lies in her enemies. The stronger her enemies, the stronger she becomes. G3 was flooded with to many high level extremely powerful monsters and the agent could charm almost all of them. And many of the monsters felt more powerful than most things a player character shaper could shape. In G4 and G5, cannon fodder was largely gone. Maps now consisted of vast mobs of powerful monsters, all of them ripe for charming and dominating. Any character that could cast domination or charm could breeze through the higher difficulty settings. Terror became more important than ever for safety, because you can't be hurt if they can't touch you. Certain classes even manage to have it all... Any class that can achieve absurd levels of mental magic and spellcraft can also wear items to allow them to shape the most powerful creations as well, effectively breaking the game. You can charm the most powerful of your enemies AND crush them with your own absurdly powerful creations. This is what completely broke G4. You could reach a place within the game where you could just completely steamroll. There was no real resistance. Jeff put in the hardest monsters you could imagine trying to make the endgame challenging, but to any agent like class with cheap magic skills, all that did was make the endgame easier. Midgame as well, as I seem to recall. This has been a problem consistent through the whole series, magic was always just to good, even if you didn't use it to damage directly. You could ratchet up the difficulty and turn the game against it self. As a completely unrelated side track, what the rebellion really needed was to create some new creation that was completely immune to mental effects, something to counter the all to powerful agent. Something magically resistant and mental magic immune. That is really what the problem boils down to, really. The rebellion creates new high powered creations, this slows down the shaper and the guardian, but actually aids the agent in her endeavors, as she now has new shock troops to charm. They created the means of their own undoing really.
  5. Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES In Spiderweb games, mechanics are often similar or nearly identical between different games in a series. So as players of those games, we often get used to the idea that the same min-maxxed build -- or the same element of such a build -- will be effective throughout a series. However, this is not always the case, and G2 Parry is a case in point. It is certain possible to have a very, very effective Agent in G2 that does not use Parry. However, it will be just as effective -- and much easier -- to run an Agent or Guardian that relies on Parry. That's just how the mechanics are. Mechanics never trump personal preference, of course, if you don't like Parry. But neither does personal preference obliterate the objective reality of the mechanics. Originally Posted By: Delicious Vlish But, hey, what do I know. It isn't like I have a long history of playing Agents or writing the book on effective Agent tactics or anything. Assertion based on appeal to authority? Where the authority is yourself? I gotta say this is poor form. You did write probably the best explanation of how to play an Agent -- back in G3 when Agents were hot stuff -- and you do have a long history of great contributions to tactics. That doesn't mean anybody should assume you are right. It's the same thing with anyone else. Take me. I've done more empirical research into game mechanics than anyone else here, produced more formulas and statistics and extrapolated more evasive mechanics. But that doesn't mean I'm always right, and indeed I have been corrected on many occasions. If people believe what I say, I want it to be because my methods are transparent, my evidence is robust, and my reasoning is clearly explained. Nobody should trust me to always get it right, and that goes for you, too. A gentle sense of sarcasm translated poorly in text form, you are correct. Poor form indeed. It was meant to be mildly sarcastic, somewhat ironic, and a gentle poke at the past. And Slarti, you can do no wrong. Remember, you, I, and Synergy, we are the Shaping Council, and since when has the Council ever made a mistake? (Taken from an ancient discussion on tactics where an observer commented how much like the council we were) My agent contributions weren't limited to G3, but also G1. When G1 first came out, it was generally accepted that the agent was the weakest character and it took forever to convince people otherwise. Same issue in G2. It seemed like every 'successful' build in G2 focused on parry, with people claiming that the guardian was now at the top of the heap. G2 was actually a great game to play an agent as an agent, because of new spells and some changes in mechanics, Shanti's advice, etc. Abusing the parry feature really takes away from what you can do. G2 was great to teach you the basics like ambush and bottle necking, hit and run, and how the nuclear option was the best option. Magic still had the ability to generate completely crazy damage rolls. (Well, it still does, but it feels like it has been toned down slightly.)
  6. Very well then. Each point in parry destroys your ability to produce damage. Every point not spent in magical skills or intelligence takes away from your ability to blow stuff to smithereens. Dangerous things should never reach you, hence parry is un-needed. But, hey, what do I know. It isn't like I have a long history of playing Agents or writing the book on effective Agent tactics or anything.
  7. Parry is a great skill, I do not debate that. But building an Agent that relies on parry teaches you bad habits that will hurt you in later games. Receiving damage should scare the hell out of you and make your nerves all jittery. Teaches you a good and proper response to taking a hit. It is what will separate you from a mediocre player and turn you into a well played Agent. The Agent is the finesse class. I just took an Agent through G1 for nostalgia's sake. I kept trying to play like a Servile from G4 or G5 for some reason.
  8. If you are having trouble with the Agent, it isn't the character, it is you. Plain and simple. The Agent requires a certain level of deviousness and cunning, and should you lack these traits, it will be very difficult for you to advance in the game using an Agent. You must engage your brain and apply critical thinking skills, threat assessment, strategy, combined arms, tactics, and have a good working knowledge of ancillary effects, enemy resistances, and base knowledge of how the game works so you can manipulate the game, which is the Agent's prime ability in the earlier Geneforge games. Also, you must play on harder difficulties, as the harder the difficulty, the easier the Agent becomes to play. Parry really isn't needed. You should never be in a situation where parry engages. If you are needing parry to survive fights, you are doing something wrong and your tactics should be reconsidered.
  9. I did something sort of similar, as I wanted to really push into the role playing aspect of the game. I created four sliths. Sort of a heroes of the horde aspect. Why keep four sliths in the army down in the castle food depot? Because people might have a hard time trusting them with the current crisis. Anyhow, I didn't want a free walk through the game. I didn't want big shiny heroes. I didn't want this to be just another run through the game on auto pilot. So... No elite warrior and no divinely touched. I figured I'd get through on cunning and spells. The first slith was fast on feet and pure spirit. The second slith was pure spirit and deadeye, my only combat trait. The third slith was natural mage and nimble fingers. The fourth was pure spirit and natural mage. And I did this on torment, for kicks and giggles and because I am a stupid jackass. The beginning was impossible. There was some death, a few reloads, and it was rough going until I was able to get smite. After smite, it went from impossible to insanely difficult. My deadeye slith became my main source of physical damage. While I could in fact, poke something with my spears, the deadeye slith became my dedicated lancer, using missile weapons, and he pulled the whole party out of the fire on more than one occasion. Oh yeah, racial role playing was in effect, so NO BOWS. Bows are kitty weapons. Proud sliths use spears for melee and throwing. They wound up mostly armored, except for number four, who had both priest and mage spells, she wore the enchanter's robe. No shields because of spears. The game seemed to drag on forever, each battle was a prolonged conflict, battles were won and lost on the ability to cast spells and keep summons up and moving. Not having somebody with all those free levels of parry meant that nobody could stand around and absorb all the incoming damage. I almost abandoned the game on more than one occasion, until I reached the point where I had to enter the abyss, and then it was like a turning point. Instead of just barely surviving, I was actually beginning to thrive. I could cast spells, and lots of them. I had smites and icy rains enough to go around. I was able to retrieve the papers and get dispel barrier before level 20, something I hadn't been able to do before even with dedicated tanks. I handled the Silvar level of quests with ease, finding the cultists and so on. And it was back to being near impossible when I had to invade slith lands. I couldn't take a lot of damage, but boy howdy, I could dish out the hurt when I had to. During the big battle at the gate with Solberg, I had pretty much unlimited spell casting ability thanks to magical efficiency. It didn't take much to send a character to near death, They were all fragile, but they could dish it out. It wound up being my favourite run, I guess because at the end, after all that work, it felt like they had earned it, something that most of my adventurers never get a chance to feel. There is one particularly nice advantage to having sliths. With a few items and so on, fire damage stops being a concern at some point. Having something blast you with roaring flames and seeing it only do 5 damage is rather amusing, especially when you see that 150+ of that damage was resisted. Also, having high hit points helped a lot since there was no dedicated tank. Everybody had 10 or more endurance by late midgame. While the kitties are statistically better, sliths are no slouch when it comes down to raw role playing ability. Even with out all those free levels of blademaster, I could run up and poke something for well over 100 damage past the midgame. Everybody had anatomy.
  10. I know it is possible, but I wanted a fun game. Not a tedious game. Turns out, it was still a tedious game mostly.
  11. I completed a game with a torment solo char. First things first. I cheated. With rules. I was running a solo character, all by my lonesome, the alteration that I allowed was to use the editor to effectively double my level up points from 5 to 10. This made just enough difference to make a character that could survive. Character was a Slith. Elite Warrior and Divinely touched. In the end, I had all mage spells, all priest spells, a good number for tool use, was able to loot all caches, read all spellbooks, and I was the archmage that I set out to be. I didn't wait for trainers for some skills. I couldn't wait. Survival was key. During the beginning, I chucked a lot of javelins. Having sharpshooter helped. I trained in some mage and priest skills, but only barely at first. I got my self to the point where I could cast unlock and summon shades. After that, I actually worked on some physical skills and unlocked anatomy. With all those free points in blademaster I was getting from my traits, it wasn't long until I was doing stabby damage in the hundreds with a steel spear, blessing, and mighty blow. I also unlocked quick action and dropped a few points in that. After that, I was set, and devoted most of the rest of the game to developing my magic skills. I was able to complete most of the optional areas. In fact, I invaded the slith cultists before I killed whatsisface the Beast. I had the slith bloodspear in my lizardy hands, and I can say, it is a great weapon to stick something with. I killed Tholeman or whatever his name is on our first encounter. I chunked undead. I used repel spirit when I needed to, but mostly I could just stab stuff toe to toe provided it was one on one. Battling Gladwell was HARD. I eventually defeated him by constantly summoning shades via divine host. (Arcane summons would get frozen) I was able to kill Morbo the Eyebeast under Muck. That was not at all easy. I slaughtered the entire Anama town for their betrayal of me. Having the slith bloodspear was the only thing that made getting through Solberg's lands possible. And the bugs too. But the bugs were my undoing on many occasions. There were quite a few reloads at that point. Even with the additional skill points I allowed my self, the game was stupidly hard and nearly impossible in a couple of spots. If I was to do this again, I would do a Nephil, no mage skills, high priest skills, and just make due with what I had. From my experience, thrown missiles are your friends for most of the run. Bows just didn't do enough damage for me. Steel javelins took me through most of the game, if you can believe that. Later on, razordisks and lances were great when I had them. In fact, you can nail something for over a hundred damage with high end thrown weapons. Not terrible at all.
  12. I would have liked the G2 kill everything that moves, slithers, flies, or crawls option. Kill all the shaper council members, kill the rebel leaders, and then release the purity agent to destroy and purge creations that have clearly gone out of control and have gone against nature. At that point, the world could start over. I like G5 as a game. It is a good game. But ALL of the endings are really lousy. Honestly, they resolve nothing. Canisters are everywhere. There is no way to undo that. Another geneforge is bound to be created. For all we know, a drakon could have flown or somehow traveled to Sholai lands. Creations could have packed up and left known lands on shaped boats. There is no way to put the pieces back and have some means of control. The Astoria ending is pleasant enough, but there should be an option to truly strike out against the madness and bring it to an end. Burn it all and start over.
  13. Rouge shapers? Are those makeup artists? Do they put lipstick on fyoras? Moulin Rouge shapers? Giuchie, Giuchie, ya ya dada?
  14. Astoria really isn't part of the rebels. She's more or less the revived embodiment of the Awakened.
  15. The ultra rogue status is new to me. I didn't know it could happen, and I don't know if it is a bug. It first happened with a green rotter-thingamajig. No int added, I was running on auto pilot, and it took a strong eye tyrant blast that did something like 300 damage or something. It went rogue. I tried casting that cure affliction spell, you know, the one that fixes mental status effects. No effect all. I could not remove the rogue status. Had to kill very dangerous creation with JACKED stats. It happened again, also with a creation on auto pilot. A wingbolt, out in the wastes, which got fried pretty good by one of those flaming shrubberies. It went rogue and couldn't be cured of rogue status. It too, was jacked, but didn't have any int added. Killing it netted over 100 some odd experience. Also again, with a dryak, no int added, fighting the eye tyrant that you meet when you get the rotter canister in the passes. ZAP! Half fried dryak goes rogue, can't be cured. I've taken to adding two points of int to all my creations and killing the auto pilot when I start facing the truly dangerous enemies and start easing into the end of the mid-game, and the early phases of the endgame.
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