Jump to content

Nobear

Member
  • Content count

    100
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Nobear

  1. I was thinking along the same lines, that "+20%" damage for 10 points seems like icing on the cake compared to other stuff. What precisely is the effect of Cloak of the Arcane btw, per level? At this point, I have beaten the Slime Plague as a Torment singleton, and am on the Roach Plague. I am thinking of starting a guide, although I haven't finished my regular torment walkthrough lol. At least a character spotlight thread, with some potentially useful things like "initiative" (i.e. Dex + Luck + 2X Quick Action) requirements for going first in key encounters. So far, my character could be a conventional singleton. She's level 13 and has AR with 8+2 Melee Weapons, 8 Mage Spells, 7 Priest Spells, 3+2 Tool Use, and 3+2 Arcane Lore. However, I I'm thinking of keeping a save soon and then taking her in an unconventional direction, motivated by this thread's original question of whether it's "possible" to have a 19/19 full mage-priest. Of course it's theoretically possible, and I have ideas to make it hopefully kick butt. In my longest post on this thread, I observed from my full-party Torment run that you can cap spell damage resistances with Hardiness, gear, and crystals, with NO points assigned to Resistance. This is more feasible in A3 than in previous games, I think, because of the (overkill, imho) blessing boxes, as well as the number of Hardiness and Resistance crystals it's possible to stack on one character. So my end goal for my singleton "shaman" Kaamaria is 19 Mage Spells, 17 Priest Spells, 10+ Hardiness, and NO assigned Spellcraft or Resistance. If level 3 Cloak of the Arcane beats 10 Spellcraft like I suspect it does, this build should offer higher damage for Priest Spells (and I love Divine Retribution) than any Anama build. At the same time, it will offer all the benefits of Mage Spells protected by level 3 Ward of Elements, and thus allow me to reach 90% armor/magic/fire/cold (and mental, of course) resistances with NO points assigned to Resistance.
  2. In this post, I'll keep a record of initiative (i.e. Dex + Luck + Quick Action) requirements I encounter to go first in various fights. 1) Lizards in The Lost Papers quest (from Theresa in Fort Emergence): 3 2) Slimes on your way from Fort Emergence to Krizsan: 4 3) Goblins guarding the mine at the end of Wolfrider Warren: 7
  3. Thank you. I guess I'll play that part by ear. Well Kaamaria the shaman has officially beaten her first (singleton torment) fight and gotten to level 2. The name is from the World of Warcraft random name generator for female draenei. I let my mom play WoW once, and that's the character she made. I figure a shaman is a kind of mage/priest, so it kind of works :D.
  4. lol nice. Hey I know the post I wrote above our discussion is long, but the relevant part for planning my first torment singleton run is that I realized you can cap your magic damage resistances at 90% with the right gear and level 3 Ward of Elements, assigning NO points to Resistance. This requires at least 15 Priest Spells, and I think I'll go for at least 17 for Divine Retribution. But not assigning points to Resistance frees up skill points. The question is where is best to put those points. 1) Is there any reason to get 18 or 19 Priest Spells for a singleton? Can Divine Restoration cure any kinds of effects that can't be cured by other means, for instance? 2) If I want to have at least 12 Mage Spells for level 2 and 3 Dispel Barrier (and better mana efficiency, summons, damage type diversity, etc.), which would you give up first, Parry or Spellcraft? 3) Which is better, 10 Spellcraft or lvl 3 Cloak of the Arcane? Of course, sacrificing Spellcraft for higher Mage Spells would have other benefits beyond damage to existing spells. 4) Do you think it's worth it to assign any points to Nature Lore as a singleton? What good items would I be missing out on, and would certain areas be significantly more dangerous/annoying? What I'm thinking is getting (by level 35) 8+2 Melee Weapons (and training other weapon skills to get AR), 10+ Hardiness (18 total possible, sheesh), 19 Mage Spells, 17 Priest Spells, 10 Tool Use, 4+2 Arcane Lore (for the Move Mountains and Spray Acid spellbooks, and to access more spell books with less Vahnatai Lore in general), and 5+2 Nature Lore. What do you think? I guess the main point of leeway I see is that I could move up to 3 points from Tool Use to Nature Lore, and still beat the game with Tinker's Gloves and 2x Nimble Fingers. idk whether more TU or more NL would be better.
  5. Correction: You can enter Sharimik after completing just the slime plague quest. You may not be able to pick up the mayor's quest yet, not that you'd want to, but you can access the city to buy spells and stuff. I will take your word on Lorelei and Gale, though. In my full party runs, I always cleared the goblins and bandits in Upper Avernum first, and didn't reach the surface until level 5. idk how doable this would be as a torment singleton. I guess I can try! btw you know what part amuses me to think about as a singleton? The part where
  6. You're right, thanks. I'm sure I saw this option before, and just didn't have the game experience to see the significance of it. My questions remain about 1) whether combat order is otherwise just a countdown of Dex scores modified by Quick Action, or includes other factors like PC/NPC levels 2) what specific effect Quick Action has on combat order (e.g. 2 Dex points worth of initiative per point of QA?), and 3) whether there's some file where I can view NPC/monster stats. I suppose I could alternately have the character editor handy on my first torment singleton attempt, swap Int for Dex as needed, and take notes to report.
  7. I wonder if you could avoid those slimes by going an alternate route, although this would be inconvenient and possibly more challenging/dangerous. You'd either have to go counterclockwise around the west coast of Kriszan (through the mountain pass guarded by unicorns, or around the whole range), or go clockwise east and then south. What I know is that, at level 34, my whole party goes first against enemies including alien beasts and vahnatai. That includes my casters, who have only the 11 Dex they naturally get from leveling, and only the 2 Quick Action I bought from the trainer in Lorelei. Do you know the requirement for getting into Lorelei? You could use the Distant Hut teleporter if traveling by foot would be too dangerous. It'd be nice to know the formula for determining combat order. It seems that, unlike in previous games, your chosen party order is maintained regardless of Dex scores. But controlling for that, is combat order just a countdown of Dex scores (modified by Quick Action)? And is there some file where I can look at NPC/monster stats? It would only make sense to take such extreme measures as above if it really prevented you from having to assign points in Dex, as opposed to just postponing the inevitable.
  8. How much Dex do you need to go first in outdoor encounters, or alternately how much Quick Action? Does the requirement scale with enemy level or other factors? I ask because there are items with Dex and Quick Action, there is the third stone circle you visit, and there's a trainer in Lorelei who teaches Quick Action. But I'm guessing it would just be near impossible to make it to those sources, as a torment singleton, without starting with some Dex. What's the minimum Dex I should actually assign?
  9. TL;DR: You can hit caps of 90% magic damage resistance or 5% chance to be hit without assigning a single point to Resistance or Gymnastics, respectively. I know this discussion is months old, but I wanted to give my thoughts on some its themes, having now beaten A3 on Torment (full party) with a Dex-based archer evasion tank. First, I finished the game at level 34, lower level than I expected. I did have the Dread Curse cured that I received from attacking the Temple of Divine Lucre. (btw I wonder if I can stack all four Dread Curses at once, then have Ahonar cure them all for one XP cost. Something to test.) After beating the game, I reloaded from just before beating it to go back for some unfinished business, in particular the Tower of Magi disaster (a steamroll) and the three dragons (of which only Sulfras posed any challenge). Generally, what I found is that the game gets progressively easier as you level organically (i.e. without going out of your way to grind courier quests and train from Zang), even in the face of higher-level challenges. I found the alien beasts and vahnatai, for instance, to be pushovers compared to the golems. Sulfras brought back some level of challenge, being much harder to kill than Rentar-Irhno was to take down to 0 hp. With the generally negative difficulty curve of this game, reminiscent of Elders Scrolls games when min-maxed, one consequence I found is that having a tank at all becomes less important at higher levels. For the first 7 or so levels, not even a full-Dex tank will yet be evasion-capped against level-appropriate enemies, so such a tank serves largely as backup for when Daze misses. From about level 8 to 30, my tank took the spotlight. I would use the first round to wait for enemies to pile around her while I buffed, then really start unloading on them in the second round. I should also note that I was using mostly square area spells in this level range, like Icy Rain, Divine Fire, and the various ground effect spells. But once I got level 3 Cloak of the Arcane, Divine Retribution, and Arcane Blow, I had a newfound power to just obliterate most enemies in one round. So it's not that my archer couldn't be as awesome a tank endgame as she was midgame, it's that I literally don't have a need for a dedicated tank endgame. The other factor is that all my characters are armor-capped except my mage, who's at 89% armor using The Black Halberd, Quicksilver Sandals, and Runed Plate/Kilt/Helm. Ironically, my character with the lowest resistances (my dual-wielder) tends to tank bosses endgame. Sulfras is a prime example of a fight where my archer's damage was much more important than what she could offer as a tank. But I reloaded and checked that Sulfras had a 5% chance to hit her. Note that she has all her assigned points in Dex, and 5/5 Dex and Endurance traits. (btw how can I include images? The forum doesn't like my Dropbox URL.) Here are Azshandine's resistances when I beat Sulfras: However, there are two ways I could have improved these stats. One is that I never got around to training Resistance or using Resistance crystals. I also didn't assign any points to Resistance, so the only Resistance she has is the +3 from her Tarnished Chain. And her stats could have been even better as a singleton, since I had certain BIS (best in slot) items on other characters. Either easy change is enough to cap her Magic/Fire/Cold resistances with ZERO skill points assigned to Resistance. Swapping gear and using the character editor to reflect 2/2 trained Resistance and 4/6 Resistance crystals (not including the Anama one or the one from the very late-game Great Circle), here's how her resistances could look as a singleton: Note that not reflected in these stats is the fact that her Hardiness is "only" 14, but would have been 18 if I had given her all the Hardiness crystals. Funny thing is that a blessed Radiant Soulblade made no difference in these stats. Maybe there's some cap for how much armor is even translated into other resistances. My point is that assigning points to Resistance is totally unnecessary for either a tank or a singleton, at least endgame. And given that it's a final tier skill, it seems you're likely to start outgrowing it as soon as you're done maxing it. Also note that the armor reflected in the above stats isn't even the most protective in all cases, but is generally great armor for archers. Where you don't want to skimp on armor value is in the chest, where you stand to receive your single biggest chunk. Here's what Azshandine is wearing as reflected in the second set of resistances: And here are her relevant skills, not including equipment bonuses. (Key: assigned, trained, quest/special, crystal) As a singleton, you could take the extra point of Bows and the three of Luck and put them into Tool Use. You'd still need 3 more to beat the game, and you might like some Arcane Lore and possibly Nature Lore (though idk how worthwhile NL is considered for singletons). As for what to take points from, two obvious choices would be Parry and Lethal Blow. My instinct would be to keep Parry and forget Lethal Blow (which I view as icing on the cake for damage compared to Dex, gear, and Sharpshooter). I like that Parry is calculated separately, so if an enemy manages to beat your 5% chance to be hit, you still have a chance to parry the blow. It's pretty ridiculous for a tank tbh, but the question is whether you can tank/snipe your way through the game as a singleton, or whether there will be fights that are essentially unwinnable. Others have said it seems tedious compared to AoE spells, but if you happen to find it appealing as a challenge, be my guest to try it. The key points I wanted to make here are that assigning points to Resistance is totally unnecessary for capping your spell damage resistances (as either a tank or singleton), and that assigning points to Gymnastics is totally unnecessary for becoming evasion-capped. In a party, Resistance is good for your spell casters who are probably wearing less protective armor than your fighter(s), and for whom the Spellcraft points required for this aren't wasted. And if you're pumping nothing but Dex, then after early game where it's impossible to become evasion-capped against anything, you'll probably occasionally counter enemies against whom you're not evasion-capped through midgame, but this could be an indicator that you should save those enemies for later. You'll certainly be evasion-capped endgame this way. If you'd like to experiment with the minimum Dex/Gymnastics needed to be evasion-capped against various enemies at various levels, keep in mind that 10 points in Gymnastics only buys you 4 points worth of Dex. So Gymnastics is a pretty inefficient source of evasion, incurring a high opportunity cost given all the other skills you might want. There is one important detail I should point out: the above resistances are all based on having level 3 Ward of Elements, which requires 15 Priest Spells and 14 Arcane Lore. The AL requirement should be easy even for a singleton, with all the Vahnatai Lore available by this point in the game. I am thinking of getting 4+2 AL on my singleton to read the Move Mountains and Spray Acid spell books, which means I would need 8 VL to read lvl 3 Ward of Elements, or 5 if I get Sage Lore. I am also thinking of using some of the points freed up by not assigning points to Resistance, to get at least 17 Priest Spells for Divine Retribution. Then there is a choice between Parry and Mage Spells, and further between Spellcraft and 19 Mage Spells. For my first singleton run, I'll go with the conventional wisdom of caster. Archer seems like yet another level of challenge, or at least uncharted territory that I'm not ready to take on yet.
  10. Nobear

    Capture Soul Mechanics

    Has anything changed to the "top picks" list for A3? [To answer Mechalibur's question from years ago, on a Mac at least, right click on the application file and choose "Show Package Contents." For A3, the file is Contents>Resources>a3itemschars.txt.] I see that the Haakai is listed with cr_base_level = 30. Conversely, the Hraithe has cr_base_level = 26. Do enemy levels change between games, or is there something else that affects their actual level in game? Considering any rebalanced or new enemies, what are peoples' favorites in A3?
  11. Some of them seem decent, like Shade Call and Blink, but I keep forgetting to use them. I can't decide whether Blink would be better for my archer tank (just to get her into tanking position) or my dual-wielding backstabber. In either case, it could come in particularly handy in the face of knockbacks and immobilization effects. I assume the damage ones (like Lightning) are as bad as spell scrolls, and I might as well just sell them. On the other hand, even a small amount of damage on a reusable item might not be terrible if I have 6-9 AP left. If hit chance is decent with it on Torment, perhaps this could be more reliable in some cases than hoping that Haste procs. A similar item is the Xian Harp. Anyone had luck with that? I know I could test this stuff out. I was just wondering if anyone else was already experienced in using these items strategically, or trying to and deciding it's not worth it.
  12. The tooltip says "your abilities will be less effective until you return to base." Anyone have specifics on how much less effective?
  13. Yes, item bonuses apply to any character regardless of build, as long as it's equipped. I'm also 99% sure the improved crit chance from any longbow applies to all attacks, correct me if I'm wrong. I wouldn't call thrown pointless if you choose them and build for them (on a dex-focused character). As an alternative to bows, they have good base damage and good secondary effects (in A3; I forget about A1 and A2). It's a matter of preference. But if your only dex-based character is an archer, then nobody in your party will make even half-decent use of thrown weapons. You really need to pump your primary attack stat (str, dex, or int) in order to have decent accuracy and damage with attacks that use it, especially on Torment. Dumping (and selling) thrown would be most optimal for your party. btw if you want most of your Tool Use to come from your archer because it feels right, or to budget for specific builds across your party, go ahead. But keep in mind the game counts your party's collective Tool Use skill in A3 (again, I forget if it's the same in A1 and A2).
  14. [Spoiler warning] There is already advice out there for the full game, but I wanted to hone in on the mistakes I made that prompted me — as a perfectionist and completionist — to restart several times. First, I present my party: Azshandine, human dex-based archer evasion tank who will minor in Priest Spells and eventually get Resistance Elinarae, human strength-based dual-wielding backstabber who will eventually get Parry Kalaestra, human mage who will eventually minor in Priest Spells Quri, human priest who will eventually get Parry By eventually, I mean by level 35, the last level when skill points come 2 per level. Each character has a total of 73 skill points to work with at level 35, and 75 total at level 40. Other posts list 43 as the highest reasonably attainable level, whereas 45 would be the next time you'd get another 2 skill points. Balancing Optimal and Fun: I realize parties with two mages and one priest are generally considered most optimal, especially given that you can only have one cloak (i.e. Curses, Bolts, Blades, or Arcane) active at once. I do feel that the introduction of friendly fire has made magic slightly less powerful, or at least subject to further tactical considerations that weren't present in A1 or A2. I also have a personal preference for diversity, using as many of the available options as possible. This party is really only missing pole and thrown weapons. Your party could be based on mine, but substitute for these options based on preference. I personally find the flurry-of-blades aesthetic of dual wielding to be very satisfying, and I'm pretty sure dual wielding still out-damages pole weapons in endgame* after the A2 nerf. As for bows, I remember the Fury Crossbow from the original A3 and am looking forward to seeing its remake counterpart (no spoilers please), and there is also quite a bit of money to be made from selling thrown weapons. This guide is not so much to crunch out the very most optimal party build, but more to get the most out of the one you choose (assuming you don't choose totally ineffective characters, like ones that try to split between the three primary attack stats). *Dual wielding and pole weapons do roughly comparable damage endgame in A3, according to Randomizer. I also like the greater diversity of finding deadly and unique blades for both hands. Personal preference. Don't let me dissuade you from going poles instead. Primary stat vs Endurance: I've read different advice about your primary attack stat (i.e. Dexterity, Strength, or Intelligence) vs Endurance. I've tried leveling my primary stat to Endurance at a 2:1 ratio, and prioritizing other traits over those that boost the primary stat. In my experience, this is a recipe for disaster. The amount of times I had trouble hitting, and wasted resources and/or died in a protracted battle as a result, far outnumbered the times I was unavoidably one-shot. Some advice says Endurance is helpful in the early game, but not in the late game. Well I can tell you, your primary stat is more helpful than Endurance in the early game. In other words, my advice is to forget Endurance entirely. Eventually you might get it as a trait, but not as a high priority. If you don't believe me, try fighting the Haakai summoned by sanctifying the Troglo altar at an appropriate level without exclusively pumping your primary stat. Or fighting the chitrachs in Upper Avernum just after defeating the first plague. You'll miss so much you will want to cry. So avoid frustration and pump only your primary stat, period. In the rare level-appropriate fights where being one-shot is a bigger issue than hitting your enemy, that's what you judiciously save your Invulnerability Potions for. Vahkohs is a good example of that. Those potions are rare, but I had my dual wielder take one and put it to great use for that fight. Raising a dual wielder: If you have someone in your party you want to be a dual wielder, consider having them use a sword and shield until at least level 8 or so. Even pumping Strength as high as possible, the starting 35% hit and damage penalty of dual wielding means it'll often be a DPR (Damage Per Round) loss at low level. Before % damage increases (the earliest sources for which are traits and Blademaster), the math works out that you need at least a 75% modified hit chance for dual wielding to be a DPR gain over sword-and-board. Hit chance and % damage increases from any source are equally effective in countering this penalty, although the trait that only increases hit chance is strictly inferior to a point of Strength. The Dual Wielding skill would ironically be the most efficient way to counter the penalty at low levels, except it's not accessible at low levels. Blademaster will eventually outperform Dual Wielding, once your modified hit chance is capped for most enemies. Blademaster is still great to get early, especially since it helps even before you transition to dual wielding. Level 1: Everyone starts custom, with 2 Tool Use and the Nimble Fingers trait. In addition, Azshandine has 2 Melee Weapons, 1 Bows; Elinarae has 3 Melee Weapons; Kalaestra has 3 Mage Spells; and Quri has 3 Priest Spells. The early focus on tool use is because I prioritize access, and there are really good things you can get at level 1 with 12 Tool Use. Of particular note are the Fine Steel Waveblade (9 TU) in Fort Emergence and the Waveblade (12 TU) in Ghikra. The first I give to my dual wielder, and it's way stronger than anything else you're likely to find until at least level 20 or so. Given the mileage I get out of it, it's the first item I bless (at the Portal Fortress). btw make sure to ask Kelner about recharging the device. I'm pretty sure the condition for it to be ready again is not the passage of time, but defeating the Slime Plague. Enchanting early items like this — even long-lasting ones — may or may not prove to be a mistake by endgame. Time will tell. Even unenchanted, the Fine Steel Waveblade is placed way too early IMHO, and will serve as a nasty blade for a while. The other Waveblade I give to my mage, because the +10% hit chance on it cancels out 10% worth of hit penalties on encumbering gear, which lets her wear a bronze or iron shield and chainmail before gaining access to the Swordmage trait. At level 1 on Torment, you are weak as hell against even rats. Fortunately, I've found a way to avoid combat entirely at level 1. Thoroughly explore Fort Emergence, then the Portal Fortress, then New Cotra. Find the cows for the Nephil's quest in a corner southwest of New Cotra, avoiding the chitrach larvae patrolling the herb patch. Then go to a recessed, rubble-filled area just south of the big lake to "help" the Vahnatai defeat the chitrachs. Of course, you'll be lucky to hit a larva at level 1, let alone a chitrach. But, unlike some later fights where the people you're helping actually need the help, these Vahnatai can handle themselves. In addition to the above, this should get you to level 2 without any combat where you need to actually put yourself in jeopardy. Save and reload often to avoid other potential fights. Advice about Saved Games: I tend to have four rotating saves at a time, then periodically switch to a different set of four saves when I reach a certain milestone, and want to have the option of restarting from just before it. An example of this would be to reserve a save from just before stepping into the portal to recover the stolen Orb of Thralni. And I name my saves to keep track of these milestones. Level 2: Everyone gets 1 Nature Lore. Azshandine gets to 2 Bows, Elinarae gets to 4 Melee Weapons, Kalaestra gets to 4 Mage Spells, and Quri gets to 4 Priest Spells. You could postpone the point of Nature Lore if you want, or forego it entirely if you're not a completionist. I don't think Upper Avernum requires any Nature Lore, except for parts only accessible with the Orb of Thralni. I can state definitively that 4 NL is enough to get you through mainland Krizsan Province on the surface, as far east as the Slime Pit. But in any case, postponing combat (except the above Vahnatai encounter) until level 2 will give you an advantage as you start to kill those goblins, and complete the courier quest and most of the southernmost outdoor portion of Upper Avernum. Fights within this general region that I'd save for after defeating the Slime Plague include the long passage at the very south (where you are ambushed by rats including a Vapor Rat) and the bugs in a backroom in Ghikra. The Ice Worm, and the hellhounds behind locked doors and switches in the Portal Fortress, I'd save for after defeating the Roach Plague. Levels 3-5: Azshandine levels 1 each in Melee Weapons and Bows. This has the side benefit of getting her to AR very quickly, and without spending anything on training. Elinarae levels 1 each in Melee Weapons and Blademaster. Kalaestra levels 1 each in Mage Spells and Melee Weapons. And Quri levels 1 each in Priest Spells and Melee Weapons. You aren't likely to come across a need for the second level of Nimble Fingers until after defeating at least the Slime Plague. Prioritize primary stat increase traits, followed by damage-boosting traits. The health-boosting traits only become better than a point of Endurance once you have at least 100 health. By level 5, the party should have completed the bandit quest. Going much further in Upper Avernum will prove problematic, whereas the party is now ready to venture onto the surface! Early combat tactics: If there's literally one word of advice I can give, here it is: Daze. At low level, all your characters are likely to die if attacked by more than one or two enemies at once. Even a dex-based evasion tank will not yet have high enough evasion to survive multiple attacks most of the time. To avoid accidentally waking up dazed enemies, I would even consider postponing the Bolt of Fire upgrade (adds a chance of cleave), and being very judicious in when to use summons and when to avoid them. I'd say to generally only use a summon if it's likely to attack a melee enemy, so you can be reasonably certain that any enemy the summon wakes from Daze will attack the summon, not a player character. Daze continues to be occasionally useful at higher levels. But once your tank can actually tank most enemies — a process that should begin to solidify for a well-built dex-based evasion tank around the time you're wrapping up the Slime Plague — your default mage spell priorities will probably switch from Daze -> Haste to Haste -> AoE (Area of Effect) damage spells. At this point (for outdoor encounters) my default tactics switch to moving my tank up 5 spaces and shooting the highest priority target, moving my backstabber up one space, and using the first round to buff and wait for the enemy to surround the tank. This works with most groups of predominantly melee enemies, particularly comfortably once my tank's Dexterity is so high that enemies of an appropriate level have only a 5% chance to hit her. A word on party order: Playing with both a mage and a priest, I find I prefer having the mage go first. One reason is that, if the mage casts Haste in combat, the priest has a chance to benefit from it on the same round. The other reason is that damaging mage spells tend to cost less mana than their priest counterparts, at least until you have access to high level spells. If an enemy might be finished with either a Bolt of Fire or a Smite, I'll try the more mana-efficient one first, and only Smite if Bolt of Fire missed or otherwise failed to kill. Likewise starting later on with Icy Rain vs Divine Fire. Note that having the priest go first would alternately have the advantage of allowing her to cast a time-sensitive heal, cure, or Unshackle on the mage. A case could be made for either order, and you could switch the order for different situations. For instance, have the mage go first except when about to face an enemy likely to hurt or disable the mage. Battle Disciplines: My archer tank usually uses the first ranged discipline until she gets Blade Sweep. I think I remember reading that Blade Sweep is dex-based, and it does seem that my dex-based tank is far more accurate and hard-hitting with it than is my strength-based dual wielder. Once she can properly tank hordes of weak enemies like slimes or goblins, Blade Sweep is deliciously effective against them, killing or almost killing many of those who surround her. AR (Adrenaline Rush) is my default choice once I get it, but I still prefer Blade Sweep for efficiently clearing the occasional horde of weak trash I encounter. Blade Shield is also useful when tanking is more important than taking out high priority targets, and/or when all the enemies are surrounding the tank. When it's down to just one or two enemies on the tank, sometimes I'll have her move away and shoot them, using AR if available. For my dual-wielder, some of the early melee disciplines have good utility features for different situations. But if I think one strong hit will likely kill an enemy, I'll just use the first discipline, since it does more damage and resets faster. After assigning 8 skill points to Melee Weapons, she is the first character I buy weapon skills for in order to get AR. Keep in mind my tank gets 8 to both Melee Weapons and Bows, so she gets AR and Blade Shield for free. I find AR on a well-built backstabber to be very satisfying. She usually just holds back and shoots (and generally misses) on the first round. btw I've found it's quite possible for a backrow character to aggro an unengaged enemy onto themselves by attacking, even if they miss, so I usually have Elinarae shoot one adjacent to the tank. On the second round, she goes in behind up to 3 enemies surrounding the tank, and ARs down as many as possible. Occasionally, it will be both possible and more fun/effective IMHO for her to instead go for high priority targets(s) on the first round, not waiting for enemies to surround the tank. Usually, however, this results in a messy battlefield and enemies doing more damage than necessary, because some understandably decide to hit her and not the tank. Finally, I'll note that I've found Blade Shield occasionally useful for my backstabber. When in hell would that be, you might ask? Well, when she can't backstab (safely), such as when a Shambler or Troglodyte Khazi puts up Blade Shield or Spine Shield themselves. She's basically useless in these situations — which is why I consider such enemies to be high priority — so I figure she might as well tank it out, and see if she can't hurt some enemies with a taste of their own medicine. btw I give her both the Blink and Lightning crystals. Blink is useful when she gets ensnared or immobilized, and Lightning lets her do some damage (albeit not much, based on game mechanics) when all targets available to her would be unsafe to hit. Warnings about maximizing skills: The most recent mistake I caught that prompted me to restart was being unfamiliar with the rather arbitrary system for maximizing skills. Basically, if you plan to maximize a particular skill beyond 10, there is a certain arbitrary order you must adhere to: 1) assign skill points, 2) buy two levels from a trainer, 3) use knowledge crystals and other skill-boosting sources. Diverging from this order means you'll never be able to reach the maximum possible value for that skill, ever. Also, the almighty character editor won't even be able to correct this transgression. Careful with the skill-boosting quests, because it can be hard to tell when a quest boosts a skill, and if so which one. The two I found by my early 20s were the Steal Book for Ivanova quest from Golddale (+1 Hardiness for the party) and Hidden Poulsbo Giants (+1 Lethal Blow for the party). Be forewarned! Also, have fun :).
  15. [Spoiler warning] This post is intended as a companion to My Party Build and Advice Post. It takes off where the walkthrough element of the other post leaves off, and focuses exclusively on that walkthrough element. My original motivation for this post was to lay out my case for Randomizer and others that you can prevail in Torment without assigning any skill points to Endurance. You can achieve this chiefly by facing challenges according to an optimal order, postponing certain fights, and going out of your way to seek out others. This way, you ensure that the potential to die in one round of combat is never an issue that creates frustration or prevents progress. At the same time, you ensure that a dex-based tank becomes and remains avoidance-capped — and everyone in your party becomes and remains hit-capped — against as many level-appropriate enemies as possible. From that position of power, successfully mitigating or healing damage as needed is possible largely by finding the right strategy and tactics. It is also a matter of keeping your party and its members well-built, which I began to outline in my first post. In this walkthrough, I will focus on detailing the challenge completion order, strategy, and tactics that have yielded continued success in Torment with my party. To recap from my first post, I assume that the party is level 5 when first venturing onto the surface. I assume they defeated the goblins and bandits in Upper Avernum, along with select challenges ranging no farther north than New Cotra and Ghikra. From first surfacing to defeating the Slime Plague: 1) Kill unicorns, still prioritizing Daze. Even a well-built avoidance tank won't have enough avoidance yet to reliably avoid getting hit by unicorns, and they can one-shot a tank. Postpone Benthorn and the imp behind him. 2) Use the first stone circle, which is accessed by clearing the mountain path north, then heading slightly east. Make your way around western Krizsan Province counterclockwise, picking up the Steel Breastplate from the cache on your way to the western towns. 3) Fully explore those towns, leaving the magic barrier in Pergies for when you learn the spell and don't need to blow a crystal on it. Postpone the scribbane package quest from Pergies, Gruhkbar's Pit, and the snakes just west of the Agate Tower. 4) Sweep the rest of the mainland western Krizsan Province map, killing slimes on your way to Krizsan, but selling your unicorn horns (which usually levels up my whole party) before taking on Agate Tower. For the Mega Spineflinger, summon a shade, since shades are immune to cold damage. You can also keep a melee fighter alive if they are not acting first in party order. Keep the first party member out of range of the frost, and have them use scrolls of Group Heal to help keep the melee fighter alive. You may need to use Healing Potions liberally, which I don't find you need very often, so you should have plenty saved up to burn through by this point. For Bojar, keep your backrow characters just outside the room. If you focus fire him hard enough, he may not get around to exploding everyone in the room, but you might as well be safe. 5) Sweep the Krizsan Province map again, north through the Inn of Blades to the mountains, then back south on your way east to the Slime Pit. Postpone the Get Metal Lumps quest. For the final boss of the Slime Pit, focus fire it, don't be ashamed to use Healing Potions and/or Group Heal scrolls, and use summons to keep the slime adds busy that it sends at your characters. 6) Turn in the Slime Plague quest in Krizsan, and head back to Fort Emergence with the news for Anaximander and Berra. Preparing for the Roach Plague: 7) Sell Magical Notes, talk to Kelner to actually reset the enchantment device, and enchant a Steel Breastplate. Again, I hope this early enchanting doesn't hurt me in the endgame. I've read there are 13 uses across devices. I'm being careful to only enchant gear that I'll use for a while, and save 8 uses for my endgame BIS (Best In Slot) items. 😎 Explore the Tower of Magi. If I have a Piercing Crystal, I might use it to complete the quest for Carrie's notes. Buy 6 Arcane Lore total, excluding the one party member I never intend to cast spells (my dual wielder). Buy priest spells. If there's one priest spell I might hold off on, it's Heal. I find Minor Heal is sufficiently effective, given that I assign a point of Priest Spells every level until 19. 9) Go back to Fort Emergence and read the spell books you just hit the AL requirement for. 10) Sell any Stoneshatter scrolls from here on out. Go back to the wolf den under the Goblin Lair and use Move Mountains to get the previously inaccessible loot. 11) Go down that southern corridor in Upper Avernum, and get ambushed by the rats including the Vapor Rat. I should be able to handle them now. Also clear the chitrach larvae guarding the herb patch southwest of New Cotra, fight the shade along the western border to the northwest of New Cotra, and I can probably also handle the nephilim camp north of the shade. Same with the fire worms on the northern shore of the big lake, and the bugs in the backroom in Ghikra. Tell Rentar-Irhno what you found on the surface, for XP and a crappy ring to sell. I can probably also clear most of the lizards down the twisty paths on the east side between the bandit lair and Erika's Tower, but not the basilisk yet. I realized it won't work to use an Invulnerability Potion to fight the Ice Worm, since it's an outdoor encounter and it acts first at that level. I can, however, probably clear New Formello, but whether I want to try to solve the whole chitrach problem at this level is a close call. Even putting every possible point into each character's primary attack stat, the party still won't be hit-capped against chitrachs. But if built well, hit chances may be high enough to yield a decent chance of success. If you attempt it, make sure to save after the first three waves. Null bugs are nasty at this level. If you can beat those ones, you can also complete the Murder Cave quest. Killing all the sliths near Erika's Tower for the Vampiric Blade will present a similar level of difficulty. That blade is pretty much made to order for a dex-based tank, although at this point, you may need to switch some gear to avoid being encumbered by the strength penalty. A Girdle of Strength can help with this, perhaps borrowed from another character. 12) Explore Erika's Tower very carefully, saving frequently. Expect to have to postpone multiple of the accessible fights at this level, including the ghosts in the kitchen, the Splitting Worm out back, the contents of all the cages except the one with the dead Empire soldier, and the room that summons monsters when you try to get the Gleaming Blade. Read the Vahnatai Notes, which gives you a point of VL (Vahnatai Lore). Return to the Tower of Magi to complete that quest, granting you another point. 13) You should have 9 Arcane Lore total, 6 bought and 3 from VL. The other point of VL is from stealing the crystal in Ghikra. This is enough to return to the Agate Tower and read the spell book below it. Also, having level 3 Move Mountains enables you to access the spell book on the first level of the Slime Pit. On your way, try to complete the scribbane package quest from Pergies and Grukhbar's Pit, avoiding Grukhbar himself. You should also be able to handle Benthorn the unicorn and the imp behind him now. Focus fire Benthorn and include him in your AoE, since he heals the other unicorns. A scroll of Spellward wouldn't hurt with the imp. 14) Do one more sweep of mainland Kriszan Province south of the mountains, going north and then east from the Slime Pit. Stopping by Porter's Retreat and buying a map from Kendrick wouldn't hurt, although you're unlikely to make use of it for a while, but it's cheaper there than in Sharimik. Clear the Wolfrider Warrens. For the boss fight, try to focus fire the boss and AoE him and the other goblins, avoiding his pets. Otherwise, he will greatly buff his pets, including by granting them Spine Shield so that they become dangerous to melee. 15) Make a little potion-brewing detour heading east from Krizsan Province along the south coast, assuming you have at least one Graymold and one Mandrake by this point. It'd be nice to get the Discipline Blade as a reward for killing the ogres near Bolton, but to say that fight would be hard at this level is the understatement of the year. You can just decline to fight them. Take the ferry and head east to Libras, then buy tickets to Lost Island from the innkeeper. Ask Harmon on Lost Island to brew at least one Graymold Salve. They are really rare and useful potions that somehow magically affect the whole party, but the timing of brewing at least one is to prepare for a quest. Really getting filthy: 16) Consider making a detour to Sharimik to buy priest spells including Unshackle Mind, Mass Healing, and Mass Curing. Unshackle is situational, but in the fights where it's useful, it can be downright critical. The latter two spells will make fights with Mung, Guardian, and other poison-spewing roaches significantly easier. While you're in Sharimik, break into the back of the Mayor's office through a hidden switch requiring 13 or 14 Tool Use, and steal a peak at the Dispel Barrier spell book. Ooh! nlambert's index, linked to from Randomizer's Strategy Central stickied thread, can help you efficiently look up the areas past level 1 barriers you may have skipped. Randomizer's Massive List might be a more comprehensive source, though. Note 1: Whatever else you do in Sharimik, don't pay 1,000g to get permission from Levin. He'll be reluctantly willing to waive that fee after you defeat the roach plague. Note 2: Keep in mind that whenever you hit level 12, I recommend getting Sage Lore for everyone and reading the previously undecipherable books in the Tower of Magi (in a secret room, opened by a switch in a shop off the south perimeter) and the back of Erika's Tower. Read the books at your convenience, since you won't be able to actually cast the more useful of the spells (i.e. Arcane Summon) until at least level 15. Note 3: In light of note 2, as you buy more spells in Sharimik, two that you definitely won't need are Minor Summon and Summon Aid. 17) Fully explore Farport, which is just northeast of Fort Emergence, over the mountains on the shore. This is the earliest you're likely to encounter a Tool Use requirement as high as 15, but it's just an inn room that you can alternately explore by paying to stay at. 18) Take the ferry to Port Townsend. It's safe to fully explore all the towns on the Isle of Bigail, notwithstanding the roaches you'll encounter in and between them. But these should be easy enemies for a well-built party of this level, with the possible exception of Mung Roaches. Try to AR Mung Roaches down as priority targets before they spray you with poison. Head west and slightly north from Port Townsend to Shayder. Postpone the southernmost of the two locked rooms near a sign warning of traps: it has a ghost that will eat you utterly. Postpone the western room with indications that it's a private residence: it has bandits. If you want to prepare for getting as close as you can to joining the Thieves' Guild, buy drinks from the bartender, then stronger drinks, then pay for the secret, then talk to Irvine. Buy a map from the librarian. Give Jed some Graymold Salve that you hopefully had brewed back on Lost Island. This allows you to be very cheaply trained by Meena in NL (Nature Lore) and Bows. She has a chance to be in either Shayder or Hectar. IIRC there is one cache and two herb patches accessible at this point on the isle with NL requirements above 4. 8 — if not lower — is enough for all of them. Clear the sewers. The boss there is an example of a poison-spewing roach that could be made significantly easier if you stopped in Sharimik to train Mass Healing and Mass Curing. 19) Make your way around the isle, exploring and fighting things unless otherwise noted. Asking Kurtz in Fenris Port to craft some Group Heal and Spellward scrolls can prove useful. Point Contemplation should be doable. For the boss fight, park your first character by the fountain, and have them start each round by taking a drink. You can certainly complete the Spiral Crypt quest now, postponing Gorfival himself until you have level 2 Dispel Barrier, which is necessary to access him. You may want to postpone trying to visit the southern lighthouse, as the ursagi on the way are likely to hit hard and be hard to hit at this point. Probably also postpone the ghost in the northern lighthouse, the gremlins, Kneece, and sanctifying the altar in the friendly spider lair. The roachranea in the same spider lair would be hard but borderline doable, as would the undead in the southern part of the lair, accessible with Move Mountains. If these fights prove too frustrating now, there's no rush. The roachranea's loot is crap, and the undead guard an enchantment device that you're probably best off not using on your current gear. Do follow through with Spider, the leader of the spiders, to learn the location of the friendly roaches and ultimately the Filth Factory. 20) Towards the end of this first pass of Bigail, you may want to attempt Kneece, as Purgatos has an extremely useful hidden Haste spell book. Definitely pop a Spellward scroll to help with the fire damage you're going to face. Priorize bats over lizards. Some of your best friends against these fire immune enemies are Icy Rain, Curse the Land, and Call the Storm. Throw typical party placement out the window. Bats keep themselves spread out. If you have a melee fighter, keep your eye out for the rare opportunity to AR melee multiple enemies down. Your priest should similarly be on the lookout for good placement to Call the Storm multiple enemies without hitting allies, which might mean getting out in front. Of course, ask for Purgatos' help defeating the roaches immediately before or after breaking in around the back and sneaking a look at his spell book. Jerk :P. Optional: While you're on Kneece, if you're willing to use cheesy tactics, I discovered a way to make the Xurphus the Drake fight slow but entirely devoid of risk. Approach the magic barriers to the left of the southernmost building, home of the drake, moving around as needed until the drake's pet lizards notice you. Attack them at range from here, and they can't get to you. I think it's even possible to get the drake out and do the same, but my memory is a little fuzzy on the details of how I cheesed this fight. Anyway, he's got some good/interesting loot, including Mercuric Leather. While not worth equipping on its own IMHO, said leather could conceivably be good on your hasting mage in the future, if combined with another AP-boosting item. 21) Now that you've cleared the easier parts of Bigail, and perhaps some challenging but efficiently-rewarded areas, you might switch gears for a bit. It's a decent time to go back and see whether you can and kill the snakes just west of the Agate Tower (there are two groups hiding in different spots in the swamp), the bandits who fight you for the Metal Lumps quest, and/or Grukhbar. Don't expect to be close to hit-capped against Grukhbar, so it'd be a slow fight at this point, but probably doable with Mass Healing. If you take the ferry near Bolton and head east, you should be ready to fight the ogres obsessed with the Xian Skull; help the nephilim; explore Libras, Lost Isle, Storm Port, and Gebra (postponing the monks there), and buy 40 or so Fine Clothes in Storm Port (cheaper than in Libras). If you buy many more than that, you risk not being able to sell them. Postpone Gorst and the other islands with basilisks. You should be able to easily handle a single basilisk at this point, but groups are likely to kill characters in one round. Heading slightly north of these southeastern towns, the dryad grove (one character only – use your tank) should be easily doable if you just follow the gremlins' cryptic advice. The answer to the first riddle is "a rose." The one who talks only in numbers becomes greatly offended if you say numbers out of counting order . With the third, literally just go where he's pointing, which enables you to successfully pick a flower to then use to put the ogre to sleep. If your tank has trouble with the rats, that should tell you you've done something horrendously suboptimal with your build. But if you've survived this far, you're probably fine. 22) You may want to postpone the gremlins up the path with the Perfect Flower for the other dryad's quest, especially the later waves which include Null Bugs. I recommend postponing the Fiery Pit. I cleared it once around this point, but it was tough and resource-intensive, and involved a lot of reloading. There will also be a drake guarding the exit as you attempt to leave, so you can't just explore a bit and expect to leave safely. The Golddale Mine, however, should be easily doable. The boss is a pushover, a standard case of "focus fire the magic one and AoE down the rest." It's the immobilizing flingers on your way out that are more likely to give you even a bit of trouble. The traps require as much as 14 Tool Use, but all you get from disarming them is a shorter route back to Golddale to turn in the quest. Warning: In Golddale itself, be very careful with Ivanova's book-stealing quest. It's easy to accidentally complete right after picking it up, and the only way to avoid this is to manually quit the dialogue. Why avoid completing it? It's about postponing the reward until you can make optimal use of it. The reward is +1 Hardiness for the whole party. Before turning that quest in, make sure to first get 10 Hardiness for everyone through skill points, then buy 2 points each from a trainer, then turn in that quest and use the Hardiness crystals you've hopefully been saving. 23) The Ursagi may still be a bit tough at this point. Your tank may not be avoidance-capped against them yet, and they can kill a character in one round after hasting themselves, so they present a similar issue as did the unicorns when you first encountered them. It would be more tedious than with the unicorns to fight them by prioritizing Daze, because they are harder to kill, and come on — you should have decent AoE spells at this point. I vote for postponing them. 24) On the other hand, it may require an Invulnerability Potion, but you should be able to beat Vahkohs now with the right tactics. To fully prepare, visit Squiggus first to read the Mass Healing spell book. It's in a room opened by a hidden switch, and spawns a fight with gremlins and Null Bugs. Then in the Lair of Vahkohs, read his Protection spell book (the right one — avoid the left one) just after talking to him and taking him up on his little game. Fight your way back towards the entrance, saving as you approach it. Prebuff just before he would see you round the corner, and start combat manually. Send your tank to one side. If your tank is dex-based, pop AR and rain down on him from range. If you have a melee fighter, send them in to AR him down as well, remembering to drink an Invulnerability Potion before the last hit. If anyone didn't get Battle Frenzy from Haste, have them drink some Gremlin Wine or a Speed Potion, or maybe cover your bases by doing this during precombat buffing. Have your mage cast Arcane Summon to the opposite side as your tank, and place your priest in the middle. Hopefully you can kill Vahkohs before he summons bats, because your party will probably be overwhelmed if he does. He will likely live to summon rats, though, which your tank and Arcane Summon are now in a good position to tank. AoE down each group of rats separately, starting with the one being tanked by the summon, since your tank should be much tankier than a summon at this point. Finally, end Vahkohs for good by heading back past his throne room, looting the switch-accessible areas on the right, and continuing north through a passageway that was previously blocked by a barrier. Hopefully you learned Dispel Barrier in Sharimik, and can dispel another barrier that lies still ahead, then Move Mountains and you're good. Destroy the crystal housing Vahkohs' soul, and the demons guarding it should be pie compared to Vahkohs. 25) Either before or after Vahkohs, fully explore Squiggus and Lennus and the immediately surrounding areas, sell your Fine Clothes, and buy 40 or more Fine Herbs to take back to Libras. Take note that you risk not being able to sell them at some point after 90 total, which you could try to get close to without exceeding in one trip, if you have enough gold and space in your packs. For killing Vahkohs, you not only got a unique shield and cloak from his lair, but you got level 3 Protection from his lair, and now you also get level 3 Minor Heal as a result of turning in the quest. You should be ready to steamroll the rest of the roaches! Filth Incarnate: 26) You can probably defeat most of the remaining accessible areas on the Isle of Bigail now, which I recommend doing before the Filth Factory. You're going to end up destroying the factory in a glorious blaze of flames and explosions, so you want to be as well-prepared and thorough as possible, because you'll never be able to go back. I recommend clearing the rest of the first level before using the one-person portal. There's a mirror in the room with the single laser, which can be hard to see. Move it, by bumping into it from the right direction, to block the laser and clear the way to some loot. Just down a passageway continuing clockwise from that room, there are some worms that may be challenging. Prebuff, and use a Spellshield scroll to mitigate damage from the frost ones. In light of that, focus fire the other worm first, which sprays poison at the group. Mass Healing/Curing might already be coming in handy. They likely will again when you face the Prototype Roaches in a room located almost full circle clockwise around the first level. 27) When you're ready for the single-person portal, either an evasion tank or a melee fighter with AR would make good candidates. The latter can cut through enemies faster, and will just have to use a healing potion or two. If you want to ever have level 3 Blink, you're going to have to use the panel to release the swamp creatures. They're shamblers, so hopefully you've been pumping your main attack stats enough to achieve a half-decent hit chance against them. Watch out for their Spine Shield, which makes meleeing them dangerous. If all the shamblers you're fighting have Spine Shield up, and you have an evasion tank and a melee fighter, have the melee fighter use Blade Shield and tank it out, while your evasion tank plays AR archer. If all else on the first level is explored, send someone back through the portal to deactivate the lasers, and make your way down to the Lower Filth Factory before the lasers come back online. 28) To get past the first few rooms of the Lower Filth Factory, first activate the lone switch in the one room, which closes the vents. Then activate the switch in the room with the three that overloads the pipes and causes a stinky explosion, given the unfortunate state of the vents. [btw aren't you kind of glad that technology to reproduce smells in games hasn't really taken off?] If you don't know which switch to activate, just pull all three. Go through the newly-accessible portal, and make your way around the perimeter before taking the path toward the center. This second ring from the outside ends with the first Guardian Cockroach. Depending on where exactly you encounter him and the placement of regular Cockroaches around him, you may be able to focus fire him down before he even acts. 29) In the third ring from the outside, you're going to trigger ambushes as soon as you cross the southernmost and northernmost points. These each include a guardian among more — and tougher — adds than the first one had. You could try to have an archer tank clear the cockroaches in front of the guardian so that a melee fighter can reach it in the first round, although I'm not sure if I've ever actually pulled this off. Alternately, focus fire the guardian without the help of a melee fighter, and have said fighter start mowing down different cockroaches on either side honestly. Summons can definitely help take some heat off the non-tanks. Finally, as soon as you attempt to enter the fourth and final ring from the outside, one last ambush is triggered, which features a guardian on either side. A melee fighter has a short and clear path to ARing down the northern one before it can act, while an archer tank should step towards the other and cut into it with AR, and the casters can get that guardian in their AoE. Any guardian that survives to spray its filthy poison around is going to give your priest good use of Mass Healing/Curing. 30) The only group of roaches remaining is bunched up so tight, AoEing them down will be like shooting fish in a barrel compared to the ambushes. It takes you back to the simple days before friendly fire! Inspect the dragon scales next to those roaches, and you're ready to set fire to the very center of the factory. What could go wrong with this plan, right? Just go in and drop the egg, and run for your life!!! You'll be ambushed by relatively easy roaches on the way out, and finally a lone guardian who drops some armor that's good for pretty much one thing: selling. Put it straight into your junk bag, and immediately leave through the special exit behind that guardian. You'll hear satisfying sounds of roaches getting crunched up in the magical fire behind you. Turn in the quest in Shayder, and head back to Fort Emergence to tell Anaximander and Berra the news. You'll also get experience again from telling Rentar-Ihrno in Ghikra, but no items this time. Preparing for Diplomatic Killing: Or will it murderous diplomacy with the troglos? To be continued...
  16. Reserved for continuing this walkthrough.
  17. With Vahkohs, I had my tank block the rats from the left, and shoot the boss with AR. She wasn't tanking him at all, so it was definitely a good time for my dual wielder to drink an invulnerability potion and focus fire him down with AR. Meanwhile, I had my mage cast an Arcane Summon to tank the rats from the right. The casters took out the rats with - yes - well-placed AoEs, starting with the group on the right, although my priest prioritized Unshackle and used Mass Healing liberally as needed. By buffing in pre-combat and hitting hard and fast, we took him down before he summoned the bats. I definitely took out most of the other demons before killing the Haakai, partly because my dual wielder needed a clear path to efficiently reach him, but I believe she used her first AR to mow down the other major demons. The Haakai never moved from his starting spot. A Spellward scroll and Mass Healing were enough to keep my party alive through his AoE. Part of my ability to survive fights like that without assigning Endurance points, I think, is the order in which I even attempt encounters. I am currently writing a walkthrough which details this order, intended as a continuation of this thread.
  18. On your points: I would certainly have been fine putting off Nature Lore for a few levels. But once I venture onto the surface, one of the first things I go for is a Steel Breastplate in a cache on the northwest corner of mainland Krizsan Province. Putting off Tool Use seems like a reasonable option, I'm just presenting another option with specific alternative benefits. You could, perhaps, compromise with Tool Use and start with 9, so you can get the Fine Steel Waveblade right away. Any wave blade can be useful, if not for a melee fighter, then for a mage to counteract encumbrance penalties before access to Swordmage. I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I'd consider assigning some Endurance if I could still be hit-capped against all level-appropriate enemies. But chitrachs, and the haakai summoned by sanctifying the Troglo temple altar, are just two examples of enemies I wasn't hit-capped against at appropriate level, even when I assigned every point and prioritized every talent to boost my main attack stat. Only my tank took any Endurance traits by my low 20s. Enemies that posed a problem for me more because of dying in one round than because it was hard to hit them were relatively rare. I postponed fighting the Ice Worm, any drakes, or basilisks in groups. Scrolls of Spellward can help against these. I've only felt the need to use one Invulnerability Potion so far, which my dual wielder took fighting Vahkohs. In my current game since last restarting, I'll see if using one can allow me to beat the Ice Worm right after defeating the Slime Plague. I had a brainfart when writing the previous sentence. That won't work, since it's an outdoor encounter, and the Ice Worm acts first at that level. The rest of your points I think include very good observations and advice, universally worth taking into account. Thanks again.
  19. Thank you for your feedback, Randomizer. I edited my post to be much longer and provide far more info and detail, as well as to note what you said about dual wielding vs pole weapons being roughly equal. btw your massive item list incorrectly states that Ivanova's quest grants Resistance. It grants Hardiness.
  20. Hi guys, I've come back to Avernum (with the A3 remake) after a few years. I remember this was a very helpful community. I stubbornly insist to play only on Torment, even as I'm relearning all the details I'd forgotten from before. I'm also loathe to use the Character Editor (except possibly for testing purposes). I've found there are things it can't even fix, such as failing to cap a skill before using relevant trainers, knowledge crystals, or certain quest rewards that I didn't notice except in hindsight (e.g. Hardiness and Lethal Blow). Let's just say I've restarted the game several times so far in order to tweak things about my builds. I tend to get to my low 20s, after defeating the slime and roach plagues, before I notice some other mechanical detail and my perfectionism demands I start over lol. I've read both Randomizer's and Clintone's advice, as linked to from the A3 Strategy Central. I found it generally good. However, despite their both stressing that Endurance should be considered a secondary attribute, I found myself frequently having trouble hitting things even maintaining a 2:1 ratio of primary stat to Endurance (total). I realized I had put maybe 5 points in Endurance by my low 20s, and can't help but wonder how much better off I might be having put even those 5 points into my primary attribute. It seems the times I've had trouble hitting stuff — and wasted resources and/or died in a protracted battle — have far outweighed the times I've been unavoidably one-shot. Or perhaps I could get by with the same 2:1 ratio if I kept up with the primary attribute traits, instead of postponing them in favor of others. Anyway, with all of this relearning and increased build planning, I'm wondering what specific mechanics have stayed the same in A3 compared to A1, and which have changed. One basic question: is Mariecury's A1 analysis (formerly known as Slartibus I believe?) still a good reference for A3, with few enough changed details to make this convenient as a starting point? Here are some of my observations and questions on what has changed (or not), mechanically. Feel free to correct me or add to this list. According to Mariecury's A1 analysis, the base dual wielding penalty was 20% in A1. The tooltip from A3 says it's 35%. Is this correct? If so, dual wielding starts off being a net DPA (Damage Per Action) loss unless your modified hit chance is sufficiently close to 95%. If your hit chance would otherwise barely be 95%, it's 60% dual wielding. Let's say it's super early game and you have no % damage bonuses. Then instead of doing (.95)(1) = 95% of (damage levels )(base weapon die average) DPA, you'd be doing (2)(.60)(.65) = 78%. Dual wielding only starts off being a net DPA gain if your modified hit chance is at least 75%, which means you'd otherwise have a 95% hit chance with 15% to spare: (2)(.75)(.65) = 97.5% of (damage levels )(base weapon die average) DPA. So a good rule of thumb is that if you're not seeing at least 75% hit chance from your dual wielder, they may be better off using a sword and shield until they get more % damage bonuses, which — regardless of source — make the dual wielding damage penalty less significant. Six new spells have been added. Priest: Curse the Land, Rain of Curses, Bless the Land. Mage: Pool of Fire, Pool of Ice, Pool of Corruption. Were any spells replaced? Some of the requirements have been adjusted, like Mass Healing and Mass Curing require 9 now instead of 8. Shouldn't affect the viability of hybrid (priest minor) builds much, right? I forget what bonus humans had before. I assume it wasn't extra traits, since Mariecury's A1 analysis doesn't mention that. 8 additional good traits would make humans the clear winner, but what do people think? Are there not 8 traits left after the first 16 good enough for humans to be the clear winner in practice? Mariecury mentioned the Quicksilver Bulwark, Quicksilver Sandals, Runed Plate, and Robe of the Magi as reasons not to take Swordmage. Apparently the Quicksilver Bulwark didn't reduce hit chance in A1 (this OP-ness vaguely rings a bell), but in A3 it does according to Randomizer's list. I'm ok with A3 spoilers, as I've played the original, but I'm rusty on some specifics. Is it doable (and not suicide on Torment) to get into Gale and buy the Runed Plate significantly earlier than you're "supposed to," in order to make not having Swordmage less painful? Or is Swordmage considered less of a waste now, especially as a human with 8 extra trait points to throw around? I've certainly enjoyed having it in early-midgame. It seems gold is a lot less scarce in A3 than in A1. It's still a resource I find I have to budget throughout early-midgame, but with the amount of gold available from conventional sources as well as delivery quests, is it now reasonable to expect that I'll eventually be able to have it all — all that gold can buy, at least? Or would that either be impossible or involve long, boring periods full of only delivery quests? Randomizer and others have listed max requirements for Tool Use, Arcane Lore, Nature Lore, and Vahnatai Lore, but what about Luck? There are certain special encounters where it seems you only find an item if you have a certain amount of Luck. Is this cumulative across the party like TU, AL, or NL, or does it have to be all on one character? Challenger still seems to do nothing, not from a short test, but from hours of gameplay where the tank had between 0 and 3 levels. With or without it, I find most enemies will go out of their way to hit and follow my dex-based archer tank when I start a fight sending her 5 spaces ahead, and have my backstabbing strength-based fighter move up only one space. I wait for my tank to be surrounded. I find this works for most enemies, but some won't nicely surround the tank, and some will specifically target other party members. I just haven't noticed Challenger play any role in how enemies behave, regardless of range. Does XP work basically the same way as in A1, meaning that rounding makes the XP traits useless in most cases? Randomizer includes the following sentence in his A3 advice post: "You still get assignable stats and skill points until level 35 when they are now every 5th level." Remind me: is this the same or different from how A1 and A2 worked? Because it seems that A1 builds were made with level 30 in mind. If I should expect an additional 5 levels of skill points, this could fundamentally change my builds.
  21. I read that post. It seems like a good basic test design, except it's a small sample size and doesn't rule out other factors. Among them, party order and race. Those might seem like silly factors that couldn't possibly have an impact, but you've gotta rule them out nonetheless. I am open to the possibility that Challenger does something. I suppose for me, in deciding whether to invest 3 trait points in it, my standard is whether I notice a difference in practice. So far I haven't. Without it, the majority of melee enemies I've found nicely surround my tank when I send her at least four spaces ahead of anyone else, and use the first round to buff. When I send in my dual-wielding backstabber to AR some of them in the second round, if any of the ones she hit are still alive, they will turn around to attack her. Also, if a caster hits enemies that are not nicely surrounding the tank, any surviving enemies among those will typically target the caster. I'm fine with those mechanics. They make sense to me. And I don't believe 3 Challenger prevented them from occurring, although to be 100% certain I'd have to double-check. Conversely, when I had Challenger and I really wanted it to work, it didn't. So in my experience, whatever effect it may have has been a) unnecessary for the majority of melee enemies, and b) ineffective against ranged enemies or ones with atypical AI.
  22. Thing is, I'm not personally convinced that this chance of proc'ing you speak of isn't just part of the AI. Some enemies, such as most archers, seem to have a preference for backrow characters, but will occasionally hit front row ones. If I had to make an educated guess, enemy AI may be based largely on party order. I'd have to test this by switching party order. It seems the majority of enemies — especially melee ones — will prefer the first party member. I've even seen bandits knock back the tank, and their allies will pursue her quite a distance, even getting slowed by other party members to obsessively pursue her. Then there are enemies like the Ice Worm (ridiculously OP for its location btw, easily accessible at level 1, deals over 100 Cold damage and acts first unless you go back at much higher level) which have never failed to target the second party member in my experience.
  23. Thank you. lol how embarrassing, I even commented on that thread back in the day. My memory is now refreshed. It's funny that the one time I tried Capture Soul in the A3 remake, it happened to be on one of the only creatures reported universally immune in A2 — a basilisk. I guess I confirmed it's still immune in A3 :P.
  24. Thanks. I know that's what Randomizer stated, and I trust he knows his stuff, I was just making sure there wasn't some misunderstanding based on wording.
  25. But will I continue to get 2 skill points per level at 31, 32, 33, 34? Or will I get no skill points for those levels, and the next time I get 2 skill points is level 35?
×