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So What Makes a Torment Capable Party?


Delicious Vlish

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I have been debating this one in my mind.

 

First off, the lead character.

 

Sword and shield seem the obvious choice. I mean, Demonslayer is so nice, offers so many resistances, hostile effect resistance, etc. It's a good defensive sword. Shields are useful to gain all kinds of special skills, defense, and resists. And yet, there is the appeal of a powerful Slith warrior. And so many traits, so little time.

 

The archer is an obvious slot. But make him a thief or make him a dedicated and focused archer? A Nephil is the likely character here. Traits? Fast on Feet? Nimble Fingers? Deadeye?

 

While there are many variables for those two slots, I think it is going to be the casters in the last two slots that make or break the team. I have really been going over what a torment capable party is going to need. Firepower.

 

Since Jeff assured everybody that tool use does indeed have some effect on unlock doors... It seems obvious now that the best choice for a thief is a mage. This frees up the archer to do nothing but pump dex and sharpshooter for obcene amounts of damage.

 

What the game really needs is at least two mages and a priest. Which just doesn't seem to work with a four person party.

 

Yet, you can make a mage priest. I am still undecided if splitting your self is good or bad. Sure, you lose the power of a focused mage, but you gain flexibility. With one mage acting as a thief, and the other building equal levels of priest and mage skills, your rise to power will be slowed, delayed, but possible if you remain dedicated. (And there is an awesome armor for mage / priests.

 

After a whole lot of thought, I realised, mages have all of the power in the early game, and most of the midgame, but near the end, priests get the real power. Divine Retribution fries everything around you. (Aura of Flames) And the ability to summon very powerful shades, shades that are capable of going toe to toe with endgame enemies, that kind of summoning ability is not to be ignored. I would dare say that the priest's ability to summon shades is better than the mage's arcane summon. Arcane Blow just... Blows. The most common resistance come endgame is magic resistance, and I was bitterly disapointed seeing the big damage mage spell doing 25 damage to endgame enemies, while Divine Retribution was doing well over 100 points of damage to everything on screen. The only downside I found to Divine Retribution was every enemy on the screen suddenly hating my priest and howling for his blood, and making a beeline to destroy him.

 

So a mage priest would only need a passing dedication to his or her mage skills, just using whatever was available to survive, coming in to full power later as they bring their full destructive abilities in to play. Also, a great deal of defensive ability here, able to cast any buff you could think of to assist the party.

 

If the front line fighter was your classic sword and shield type, that would mean one of your casters would likely be a Slith if you used one, which could be bad, seeing as how the experience penalty would bite you in the butt for a long time. Sure, in the end, they catch up eventually, but having one character of your party lagging 3 or 4 levels behind everyone else is a real pain for me. So humans become the obvious choice for casters. A Nephil might also work as the thief mage, but archery would only be a passing interest, and you would have to make a human in to a dedicated archer, which would work, but Nephils gain so many free levels of damage with their missile skills. A Slith Lancer does work... Sliths seem to do just fine as javelin chuckers.

 

Something else to think about is on Torment, ancillary damage becomes better than physical damage. Bows that stun, or drip acid, swords that poison or burn with acid, the delivery of effects is far more important I think than the application of physical damage.

 

So having everybody have some small training in missile weapons or some such thing to apply these ancillary effects for when the crap his the fan seems like a good idea, at least in practice.

 

Which brings us back to the front line fighter.

 

A Slith with the Jade Halbred would indeed, make a good front liner, if you can live with out the defensive bonuses of a good shield.

 

The other option is to go Slithless... (Is that a word) Which somehow seems wrong to me.

 

Thoughts?

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Im almost completely agree with what you said, some people will hate you for this, though. You know, someone don't like archers at all but i do.

 

About the mage/priest believe me it's really useful, i tried it but not in the beggining of the game, i did it after betraying the anama.

 

I think that we both use a very similar party, but there is special arrows in A4? cause i read that now the arrows are unlimited... confused

 

Why A4 doen't have a 6 members party? In that case i use a human soldier, a slith berserker, a nephil archer, a mage, a priest, and a mage/priest, just like the default exile 2/3 party laugh

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There are some rare and exceptionally powerful bows that do not fire regular arrows. They fire blobs of acid or stun enemies or do any number of amazing things.

 

And these bows do not take arrows.

 

Edit.

 

I should add.

 

What I am finding is that in Torment, stuff is killing me faster than I can kill it.

 

Things just hit to hard and have to many hit points. The bugs... They are bad. Plated bugs are especially bad. Anything that parries or reposts is bad, because one round of not doing enough damage means it lives a little longer, probably long enough to kill somebody.

 

It's a very bad situation. Sort of like cutting down the mightiest tree in the forrest with a herring,

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I keep tinkering around with party construction experiments and I usually make it with them as far as Fort Draco or Formello before wanting to try something else, mostly because I keep learning more about how the game, skills, and stats work lately.

 

I've just put a new party together, and I play on Tricky or Torment always now. I relate to the conundrums of party construction you're going over. Here is my latest brainstorm, and it's not unlike yours:

 

1) Meat shield human melee man with Elite Warrior & Strong Will.

2) Nephil archer/mage with Natural Mage and Deadeye

3) Human thief/mage with Natural Mage and Nimble Fingers

4) Slith priest with Pure Spirit

 

The two humans are at 25% penalty and the other two are at 35%. These are not bad penalties at all. If you level up at flat or negative rates, you hit diminishing XP returns early in the game. I think it all evens out, but the difference here is the benefits of races and positive traits.

 

My idea is also that mages are more important earlier on, especially through the Eastern Gallery where fire and ice is the best weapon agaist the bugs—especially fire. Two mages and two abilities to hasten in one turn can be very useful offensively when every turn counts. I've settled on Tool Use of 12-15 being enough for one mage, and, combined with decent mage ability, he will be able to unlock doors just fine till the end.

 

The other mage can develop very reasonable worthwhile archery skills, and will also have a sword and shield to offer various benefits. I may stop this mage at Lightning Spray, and focus the rest of his skills on archery after that. The other will be a full mage. Arcane Blow does rather blow. Nothing comes close to the divinely destructive delight of Divine Retribution all in all.

 

The priest follows your blueprint for a slith-priest, actually, though I think a human or nephil variant would work fine or even better. You'd have to accept that no one gets the Jade Halberd in the game. It might be better actually, if playing Torment, to make the priest very focused on his priesthood and archery alone.

 

I give archery skills to every PC in every game. It's just too darn useful too darn often to neglect. All this requires is 4-5 Bow skills and some dexterity which I want them to have anyway. There are exactly four killer bows in the game, and each PC will want one by the end. If you don't do a slith priest, I'd make a Deadeye Pure Spirit Nephil and focus entirely on bows and priest skills.

 

I can see how the Eastern Gallery would start kicking just about anyone's butt on Torment. He who lives by the bow, also dies by the bow. This is why I think two mages where one can drop back partway is a good approach to getting through the game on Torment.

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Quote:
Originally written by Delicious Vlish:
A Slith with the Jade Halbred would indeed, make a good front liner, if you can live with out the defensive bonuses of a good shield.

The other option is to go Slithless... (Is that a word) Which somehow seems wrong to me.

Thoughts?
I tried a party with a Slith Fighter and he was inferior to a Human (Sword and shield) with Elite Warrior in the same party. The defensive holes were incredibly annoying - he kept getting taken out of the fight because he took too much damage. I think the Elite Warrior is essential for a front line fighter - I haven't tried a Slith Elite Warrior - but Slith alone can't hack it.

I was much happier with a party with a Nephil Archer/Pole user instead of a Slith (Archery rocks in the intial stages but quickly gets overtaken and is only a secondary attack later in the game).

My current party is all human with two Elite Warriors (and an experiment with the other traits - Tough Skin and Nimble Fingers) and two casters both with Natural Mage and Pure Spirit.
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It's more than the bugs.

 

Try invading the Bandit Castle... All those archers hidden behind the murder holes. You can not kill them fast enough. Ugh.

 

I am finding, and it may be because I haven't figured it out yet, all plans on Torment should include picking out a sacrificial lamb. Who's turn is it to die today?

 

I have never yet made it to the Castle on Torment.

 

I did manage to get my self involved in The Ogre Battle. After realising I was hopelessly outmatched, outclassed, and did not have nearly enough firepower, I quit the game in disgust and started over.

 

Torment now seems to involve enemies with entirely to many hit points.

 

It's become a war of attrition. I am not sure if I like it or not. I am used to pretty much steam rolling Torment in Geneforge... But this is obviously not Geneforge.

 

It's going to come down to precise party planning and creation, with a follow through of brilliant and dedicated tactics, executed with a swift brutal assault followed by a hasty retreat.

 

Been thinking about The Art of War and the idea of a running battle tickles the back of my mind.

 

I WILL beat the game on Torment. I believe it might mean something now.

 

Although I have a bad feeling that the Vanatai Lord near the end will most likely be every party's undoing.

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Something to ponder: If raising the difficulty makes monsters tougher, does it also improve summoned monsters? I believe so. If that's the case, you may be well served by depending on even the meekest of minions to get flattened for you while you plunk away with arrows and spells.

 

Problem: It's hard to summon consistently without burning all your energy. It's also hard to summon in a way that isn't absolutely useless, because the AI is not interested in saving your hide as much as dealing damage.

 

Problem 2: This really doesn't help with archers shooting you.

 

—Alorael, who must now consider the wisdom of an entire party of glass cannons. Attract as few enemies as possible, throw everything into killing them, and then run to the nearest town. That still doesn't solve all the problems and doesn't sound like much fun, but it certainly seems more plausible than going toe to toe with things that make you go squish.

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That vahnatai lord is already the partial undoing of many... I remember playing through on normal, and that thing was still insanely hard to kill. It drained nearly all of my SP to do so, and the thing ripostes every other attack.

 

On torment? (shudder)

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On NORMAL I bet that thing has close to, around, or over 1000 hit points. It's highly physically resistant, resists all forms of magic, has insanely high parry and reposte... And it regenerates in an insane fashion rapidly healing the damage one deals to it. He also can deal lethal blows, while rare, that are extremely painful. I am not totally sure, but I believe he also has anatomy. He knows how to dish out the hurt.

 

On Torment, I would imagine that the regeneration level will be higher than whatever level you could damage it.

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Quote:
Originally written by Delicious Vlish:
It's a very bad situation. Sort of like cutting down the mightiest tree in the forrest with a herring,
Is this just a coincidence, or did you take this from Monthy Python's "the Holy Grail," "the knights who say Nie!", wanting King Arthur to cut down the largest tree of the forest wiiiiith.... A HERRING!

Arthur: "That can't be done!"

Knights who say Nie: "Oh come on?"
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The only common references to herrings are red herrings and Monty Python herrings. The mightiest tree is a dead giveaway. Either DV is a comic genius who was beaten to the punchline years ago or he's making a Monty Python reference. Hm.

 

—Alorael, who once again suggests that the vahnatai lord might be manageable if surrounded by divine and vengeful shades. Probably not, but maybe.

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Quote:
Originally written by Neokaryote:
The only common references to herrings are red herrings and Monty Python herrings. The mightiest tree is a dead giveaway. Either DV is a comic genius who was beaten to the punchline years ago or he's making a Monty Python reference. Hm.

—Alorael, who once again suggests that the vahnatai lord might be manageable if surrounded by divine and vengeful shades. Probably not, but maybe.
The VLord cuts down shades like a hot knife through butter on normal. His lethal blows don't do a whole lot to fellow party members, but they make short work of shades, who typically die instantly.

My main concern, should I ever get to that point, will be halting or otherwise arresting his insane regeneration level.
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I had a party lacking in artifacts and not terribly well designed, but playing on Normal, I got into a rhythm with the vahnatai lord in which I was never really in danger. I think (as always) I had my one fighter up close taking damage, and everyone else out of his range, my archer shooting at him, my mage/mild archer/mild priest mostly shooting acid arrows or using Spray Acid or occasionally Bolt of Fire but sometimes healing, and my priest mostly healing but sometimes running forward for a turn to Unshackle Mind.

 

You know, maybe it was my third character that made that fight manageable. She was primarily a mage with some archery and some priest ability, so that she could keep him covered with acid and cast offensive spells, but whenever the priest ran forward to Unshackle Mind (which was about every two turns), I could use her for healing.

 

And come to think of it, it helped that my first character was designed to be incredibly fast, so that it moved before the vahnatai lord, so that the only result of the terror was that I had to cast a spell, rather than losing a turn and the vahnatai lord advancing on me. And it also helped that my first character had close to 300 hit points, so he didn't need to be healed every single turn.

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Yeah, I think you can probably finesse this guy by playing with ranges, keeping your priest terror-free in the background. My problem was that I didn't know how bad the guy really was -- you know, it takes a few rounds to check for vulnerabilities to all the different types of attack -- and while fumbling around taking out his companions I let him get close to everyone. He's still going to be a pretty bad dude, though, whatever you do.

 

When does the hurting start, on Torment? I've just reached Formello, and it has been easy enough so far -- easier than the first time through on Normal, when I didn't know what I was doing.

 

Hey, though: I'm really not looking forward to hearing those strange scratching sounds around here. They were bad enough on Normal. Maybe Daze will help ...

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Formello is still pretty much trouble free, except for a few spots. Worms, the insane necromancer, a few assorted battles here and there, but nothing troublesome.

 

It's painful at times but completely manageable. It's the Eastern Gallery is where the real pain starts.

 

I have found that Daze, while somewhat useful, becomes lackluster once you start working your way through the Eastern Gallery. Mlevels become high enough to resist it, and it's a long time before you have access to Strong Daze.

 

Thus begins the run and gun game.

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personally, i like to have all custom(of course) and make my first character a very good archer/coupled with being a medic

then my second is a slith 10 melee weapons and lots of strength and when i upgrade i focus on tool use and strength and endurance

my third character is a nephil preist, i put in as many points for preists as i should for if you put in about 5 or 6 you get the spells that come with it,anymore then that and it's almost wasteful, again i focus on intelligence and some endurence coupled with a few points with spellcraft and defense and the rest on tool use

my last is a human mage again as many points to mage as i can with getting spells, intellighence, arcane lore, and nature lore and the rest goes in various places such as defense or hardiness

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Quote:
Originally written by arghhhhhhhhh:
personally, i like to have all custom(of course)
I'm not convinced by that in A4.

In particular, a hedge wizard (or was it shaman? I can't remember but it's one of those, and the other is similar anyway) takes over 90 points to build compared to the 75 you get for a custom creation. Except for the rogue, the premade archetypes are significantly better than you can make with the 75 points available through custom creation.
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Is that new to A4? Because I thought I saw in a previous game how you could make all of the archetypes with the 75 skill points.

 

Of course, it's also harder for the archetypes to waste points in this game given the reduction in useless skills.

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Many of the custom characters get more skill points, but the allocation is suboptimal. Berserker is pretty good, and I think Hedge Wizard is a decent choice for making a mage/priest, although I didn't use it. Other than that, most of the choices look nice except for the fact that a large number of points are put in places where you'll get no benefit from them.

 

—Alorael, who twitches whenever he sees skill points in throwing.

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What's wrong with throwing weapons? One of my priests has Bows skill and the other has Throwing skill, because I wanted to make them different in some way. It's working out pretty well for me so far; right now, with equivalent amounts of skill, my thrower does about 50% more damage with a plain javelin than my archer does with a yew bow (45ish compared to 30ish). The only drawback is that javelins are really heavy.

 

Incidentally, I *highly* recommend giving all priests 3 levels of Mage Spells, so they can cast Haste (and Bolt of Fire, which comes in handy more often than you'd think). This means limiting them to a 5% armor penalty so they can actually cast mage spells, but that's not as bad as it sounds, since there are plenty of good items with no penalty. (Shields, for example. I don't know what Jeff was thinking when he decided to give shields no penalty, but I'm not complaining.)

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The archetypes average around 85 points to build yourself. Because there are fewer wasted points I tend to go with them rather than custom.

 

What I do though is consider whether they have skills I would ever want rather than skills I would give to my ideal starting character. As a result I consider very few skills 'wasted' because it will all wash out by around level 5-10.

 

Throwing might be one of them though because, after experiencing the joy that is unlimited-arrow archery, I hate to go back to scrounging around for ammunition.

 

And I tend towards making my casters dual class with around 6 levels in the off class by the end of the game (and close to that early on). Having two casters of haste is really useful -- as is having two healers.

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There are many bows by the end of the game that are worthy of copious drool. There are some nice razordisks and javelins, but nothing really superior. Throwing hits its peak too early and becomes pretty much useless by the end.

 

—Alorael, who also didn't want to waste the carrying capacity on many items when a bow could leave room for several thousand more potions and rings.

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By the way, just as another little tip, don't underestimate the value of First Aid. It's very cheap to put 2 points on each character, and that's enough to get an automatic heal of about 20 HP and 5 energy after a medium to large-sized fight. It's certainly a better defensive investment than Endurance, which is almost useless at low levels (although it improves later on).

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Reasonably high Endurance in the mid-game becomes pretty good and in the late-game becomes indispensable, though. I had a meat shield fighter with around 300 HP from 13 Endurance, and I was glad that I did on several occasions.

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It's interesting to hear you talking about building characters with certain skills which are pertinent to the start or mid of the game, but ultimately aren't that great in the end.

 

When the game seems to be so starved for skill points, requiring choices and sacrifices - wouldn't you want to build specifically for the latter part of the game, which in theory should be the hardest and most important part?

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I'd build characters that way. Most skills are either always useful or become more useful as you go. The only exception that I can think of is throwing, really.

 

—Alorael, who spent no skill points and a great deal of money on First Aid. Getting 3 energy after killing a single monster means that you can use Bolt of Fire and still end the battle with a net gain.

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Quote:
Originally written by kuc:
When the game seems to be so starved for skill points, requiring choices and sacrifices - wouldn't you want to build specifically for the latter part of the game, which in theory should be the hardest and most important part?
I'm not convinced that the endgame will be hardest. For one thing, by keeping the early to midgame easy for myself, I'm likely to end up accumulating a massive supply of usable items (energy potions, invulnerability potions, etc) which I can lean on later if all else fails.

Moreover, I've been doing *some* planning for later on stat-wise; I've already got 12 Arcane Lore and 16 Nature Lore spread out among my party, so I'm not going to need to throw too many more skill points into those for a while. I also try to keep at least 10 unspent skill points in reserve on every character at all times, so that if I urgently need to boost a particular skill I can do so.

I'm a short way into the Eastern Gallery now and so far this strategy is working well for me. So far the only things that have given me real trouble were Hrickis (who I managed to bump off after a few reloads) and the testing shade north of Formello (and there's a trick to surviving that fight).
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I believe that the trick to surviving Torment is going to be quite simple actually.

 

Gymnastics.

 

Sorry I have been gone for a while. Severe ice storm.

 

Before power and internet went buh bye, I discovered something really very interesting. I made it all the way in to the Eastern Gallery with some new builds, and, going on a hunch that it is best to not be hit at all, I started pumping gymnastics from the start.

 

Staying power. Gymnastics equals staying power.

 

What I have noticed is, enemies, for now, can't seem to hit me. Most of the bugs had like a 10% to 20% chance to hit. Archers, hated archers, most of them in the bandit areas were rolling 1% to hit. Even mages with spells, like Skunky Joe, had a hard time frying my Slith simply because his spells had such a low chance to hit.

 

I do not know if this will sour later, but for now, having pumped gymnastics and a decent level of parry has made my front line fighter practically impervious. I even had him running around with no armor for a while. Just naked. He is capable of going toe to toe with pretty much anything and everything in the Eastern Gallery on Torment... Which is a big deal for me because of all previous failures.

 

I believe I have found the means to survive Torment.

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Welcome back, Vlish and congratulations on surviving the Icy Rain.

 

I just finished getting through the E. Gallery on Torment too. My main fighter has a lot of Dexterity and Parry, but only one or two in Gymnastics so far. Parry is very helpful, and he does parry half or more blows aimed at him. I was working him up to getting trainable Blademaster for offensive purposes. Maybe I'll have to throw some Gymnastics at him first and see how that helps. Are you saying you are giving Gymnastics to all your PC's or only to your frontman? That's 8 Dex and 6 Strength, a lot to invest for magicians.

 

I've been using your slith-priest model for my fourth PC, but he has been dying more than anyone else. That shield really seems to make a difference. Sliths aren't looking any "tougher" in actual gameplay. I might have to go with Alorael on his opinion of sliths, but I am sticking with this game in the meantime.

 

EDIT: The party I assembled which made it through the E. Gallery on Torment;

 

1) Human melee fighter, Elite Warrior, Strong Will, focus on Dexterity and Parry

2) Nephil archer/mage, Deadeye, Natural Mage, boosting Sharpshooter now

3) Human thief/mage, Nimble Fingers, Natural Mage (Tool Use quickly up to 15—he can already magically open L20 doors)

4) Slith priest/pole, Pure Spirit, not quite yet trainable in Anatomy. He dies a lot. Maybe I should give him Parry first.

 

If I did it again: Same as above, but make the priest a human priest/mage, stopping off mage spells at Icy Rain or Lightning Spray. It is joyous beyong words having three mages in one’s party...three (or six!) opportunities to Haste or cast Fireballs or Icy Rain. Fireball is the cheapest way to dispatch chitrachs.

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Oh no, gymnastics for the front line guy only.

 

See, what usually happens is, something stays alive just long enough to kill somebody. Usually my front line fighter. Things like the bugs, which ripost and parry themselves. Gymnastics is making the frontliner very, very difficult to hit. Nothing, and I mean nothing seems to be able to kill him so far. Mostly because everything has trouble hitting him.

 

And it's funny that he keeps dying. Something must be wrong, because in my games, he's usually the last one to die. wink

 

I am going to be facing the undead soon, and I might try out the Ogre Battle to see how that goes, because that is a good test to see if something works.

 

Parry is nice... No doubt. It is better however, to simply not be there at all. I really don't know why I didn't think of this before, as it seems so obvious now.

 

And I would also say it's balanced. Gymnastics doesn't allow you to kill anything faster, it just gives you considerable staying power which allows your team mates to blow something apart in relative safety, at a distance.

 

Also, it allows you to always go first in battle. Which is nice, because it allows you to rush forward and get some control of the battlefield.

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I've had second thoughts on my opinion on all experience penalties, actually. I realized that most of the game is spent getting no experience because your levels are too high for the area. So then I thought, why not have more power at a lower level and get more experience?

 

I haven't tested it yet, but I think slapping Elite Warrior and Divinely Touched on a Slith might not be such a terrible idea after all. The penalties add up, but they won't really make much difference in the end. The only trick is keeping everyone about the same in penalty, because it only takes one high level character to send your experience gains into the single digits.

 

—Alorael, who finds himself pining for the days of Exile, when giving someone all the advantages, including the redundant ones, was possible.

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This is a great discussion, and I believe that my party has benefitted immensely from it.

 

I've always tried to play the previous Avernum titles on their hardest difficulty, with varying levels of success. This time around, I've re-rolled on three occasions, and I think I've settled on a a well-rounded satisfactory party.

 

Here's the jist:

 

Nephil Custom (Deadeye/EliteWarrior) - Ultimate Archer, lots of dexterity, lots in bows. A sprinkling of points in melee, quick action, hardiness, defense, luck, and nature lore. This character always moves first, often killing single monsters immediately.

 

Slithzerikai Custom (ThickSkin/EliteWarrior) - Pole Fighter, built to recieve and deal damage. A few points in bows, quick action, hardiness, defense, nature lore and luck. This character follows up my archer with ranged attacks, positioning itself as best as possible to protect the casters. If anything does manage to get close, it's promptly put to the spear.

 

Nephil Custom (NimbleFingers/NaturalMage) - Rogue Mage, constructed as a moderately capable mage, with lots of points into tool use. I put a point into bows and some into quick action, so that he moves before the enemies get a chance to.

 

Human Custom (NaturalMage/PureSpirit) - Holy Mage extrodinaire. Lots of points into intelligence, and mage/priest skills. A few points in bows, quick action and luck. I've never played a combination mage/priest before, but I'm finding it very handy.

 

Third time around, I didn't put any points at all into either spellcraft or arcane lore, or first aid. Having found all these trainable in lower levels for cash rather than skill points, I'm picking up everything with a value of four or greater that isn't nailed down.

 

In regular combat, my entire party acts as a squad of archers, often killing monsters before they get within melee range. Any that do, my Slith makes short work of, and with my archer having a few points in melee, he's able to lay on hurt at close range as well. Whenever I begin to get overwhelmed or have to fight a particularly difficult battle, the casters turn to their primary roles.

 

I'm not far beyond Formello at the moment, so I'm not sure how I'll hold up in the Eastern Gallery. So far, copious use of Quicksave helps to carefully plan out the tougher battles. The only drastic thing I'm considering is turning my Rogue Mage into a Rogue Holy Mage after he gets ~20 in tool use. I don't think he'll be as effective as my primary caster, but I'm enjoying the versatility in my Holy Mage so much, more of a good thing can't be bad! I've got all pseudo-archers mind you, because being able to deal significant range damage without draining mana I find is very important, but thrown weapons take up too much weight, and are a limited source of ammunition.

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I use thrown missiles.

 

Nephils, in particular, gain enough free levels in thrown weapons that if you have a spare stack of razordisks or lances, you can swap them in and throw them.

 

And I have made more than one Slith Lancer... Specialising in both melee and thrown spears. Fun, strictly from a roleplaying sense, and not a munchkin red wizard gaming sense.

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Will someone comment some more on how much Luck they think is worthwhile for what sort of PC's? I always give my PC's one Luck to start with, but rarely wind up giving them more than 2-3 Luck by the end of the game, as something else always seems more pressing. But maybe more luck for the meat shield up front would be worthwhile, as already discussed recently, and leaving him with the Clover Boots for this reason.

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Quote:
Originally written by Synergy:
Will someone comment some more on how much Luck they think is worthwhile for what sort of PC's? I always give my PC's one Luck to start with, but rarely wind up giving them more than 2-3 Luck by the end of the game, as something else always seems more pressing. But maybe more luck for the meat shield up front would be worthwhile, as already discussed recently, and leaving him with the Clover Boots for this reason.
Those absurd little boots are quite possibly the most powerful item in this game... But they are far to subtle for a majority of players to appreciate.
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I'm about ready for the final fight and my party has luck primarily centered around my two front line fighters. I gave them about 4-5 a piece in addition to the added bonus of luck items such as the Charmed Plate and the Clover Boots.

 

I mainly like it because it increases my mind effect resistance (albeit slowly), which is pretty low on my fighters. I know there are items, but I cannot justify them when confronted with more combat bonus items.

 

One combination that I like is holding on to the quicksilver items (and putrified gauntlets) on my priest and then using the Necklace(?) of Might (strength +4!!) to offset the strength penalty.

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I just had a tactical thought: advantages in this game might be much better than they have been previously. Being lower in level than a monster gives extra XP due to the scaling system, so taking disadvantages seems almost silly; you want to gain levels slowly.

 

I think my second party is taking shape now.

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Well, not exactly that you want to gain levels slowly, but that the exp scaling causes experience bunching: penalties are not as bad as they seem, advantages are not quite as good. If you have a penalty, you will always be behind (assuming you fight the same battles, and neglecting round-off issues that might conceivably falsify the thesis inconsequentially). But if your exp penalty is 20%, you will reach the same levels in less than the 125% of the time that you would naively estimate.

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Heck, I want to gain levels more slowly. Half the enemies I killed gave me 1 or 0 XP, because I was too high a level. This might solve my problem of not getting enough XP rewards for cleaning out dungeons.

 

Maybe I'll just go all-slith Divinely Touched for my second run-through. :p

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I'm not overly impressed by Divinely Touched. Unless you really want one character to use all three of melee, bows and spells, the more specific traits seem to give you at least as much power for less XP penalty.

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I agree with Kel, though. Experience penalty doesn't matter. Even with 30% penalty you'll still spend a lot of time killing monsters that give no experience. If you're lower in level, they'll give experience until you catch up.

 

Advantages are no longer a tradeoff. They're purely advantageous. Disadvantages are also no longer a tradeoff: you'll end up with the same levels but hauling around crippling traits too!

 

—Alorael, who doesn't see why giving someone Divinely Touched is so bad. Buy a fighter a couple of points of casting in Cotra and you've made the most of your non-penalizing penalty.

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Well, yes. But there's still a limiting factor on traits in that you can only have two of them, and for my money I'll take Elite Warrior and Fast on Feet over Divinely Touched for a fighter, and Deadeye and Pure Spirit over Divinely Touched for my archer/priests.

 

I'm kinda wishing I'd taken Divinely Touched for my mage/thief, though. Nimble Fingers seems... less than impressive.

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Interesting discussion, thought I'd post my two cents since I've been playing on torment for avernum 1 - 3 and Blades. (because what fun is a game that isn't hard?)

 

The one thing I would say (and the only thing that has kept me alive on torment) is, always ambush your enemies, always let them come to you. Every once in a while I don't (took some stairs up out of the Chitrach lair right into a group of 5 of them, death came fairly quickly) and I get the crap kicked out of me.

I think with the right tactics, most parties (i.e. not singletons) SHOULD be able to make it through on torment. Although, I can't say that for sure, since I just got the game, and have only cleared the east gallery. But that was my experience with all of the previous incarnations of Avernum.

 

And I just picked up the emerald chestguard, at L14 (when should you be getting it?), without have left the e. gallery. And only my stupid mage died...

 

Also, I'm curious if anyone else builds their party like I do, this setup has evolved since I started playing Avernum, and this is it's latest incarnation:

 

Human Fighter/Thief (sword/shield and tool use)

Slith Fighter/Priest (polearms and mid level priest spells, mainly for healing/blessing, having a fighter able to cast heal has saved my life MANY times)

Human Mage/Archer

Human Priest/Archer

 

Eventually, my first fighter gets some mage skills, so he can haste/slow things. (well, it used to be he would cast light as well, but not anymore....)

 

They are all Divinely touched (ok, so I abuse Divine a little bit...) and both fighters have Elite Warrior, while the mage has natural mage and the priest has pure spirit.

Having both my spell casters able to shoot arrows means that they use far fewer sp's and that when I run into something immune to spells, they aren't totally useless.

Plus, both fighters have bow's so they don't ever have to spend time sitting around, waiting for enemies to come to them.

Plus, I've found that by the end of the game, priests are generally more useful then mages.

 

Anyone have thoughts/suggestions? I'm always looking for ways to make my party more efficient/interesting.

 

One last question, does anyone else lament the loss of all the various fun spells that were in exile but not in Avernum (sleep cloud, web, stealth, major blessing! all sorts of fun stuff)? While is it kind of silly to have 50 mage spells, (or something, how many were in exile?) many of them were useful in rare circumstances, and they offered more oppertunities for different tactics. Avernum is more, shoot, hit, shoot, hit, icy rain/lightning spray, hit. With very little variation. I suspect that this question was frequent when avernum first came out, but how do people feel about it now that they are used to the Avernum setup?

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As discussion has shown, all those humans should be nephils. Especially the archers. Otherwise, your setup doesn't look all that different from some others.

 

I still miss the plethora of wonderful, worthless, and in-between Exile spells, but A4 is better than other Avernums. Area spells came back, and useful effect spells are around again too.

 

—Alorael, who used almost every spell in A4 to good effect at least once. That's far better than Avernum, which had only a few useful spells. Exile had more interesting things overall, but the loss of the truly worthless spells (Symbiosis!) isn't bad at all.

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