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ANALYSIS: Min-Maxing A:EFTP

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there's only one small hut in wilderness just southwest of Fort Remote. I did clear out the creatures there, but when I try to decipher the "aranea shrine" within, it says i don't have sufficient knowledge of runes. I do have 10 Arcane Lore, with 6 of it coming from 2*sagelore. any thoughts on what I'm doing wrong?

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Hmmm. According to the list, that should be Arcane Lore level 8, but it may be like the books in the Stagnant Caverns where Sage Lore doesn't count. You could quickly test that if you're near it. Open the character editor, give someone 4 more Arcane Lore, and try reading it again. (Save first, of course)

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Please post and let us know whether or not it works. If it works only without Sage Lore, I will add that to the list of things I need to update on the analysis.

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Please post and let us know whether or not it works. If it works only without Sage Lore, I will add that to the list of things I need to update on the analysis.


That would at least be consistent, in a way: Sage Lore would work for the spellbooks that can get you to level 3 in a spell, and not for the ones that can't.

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Please post and let us know whether or not it works. If it works only without Sage Lore, I will add that to the list of things I need to update on the analysis.


I pulled up an old game to test this and Sage Lore does not help with reading the web for Dispel Barrier. You have to have 8 actual Arcane Lore to read it.

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I have to bump this thread to ask about something related to Arcane Lore. What's Drath's Knowledge, mentioned in the first post? I defeated Drath (didn't let him escape) and looted his room but didn't get any object called that. Is it a Trait you earn? Some secret I didn't find? Please help.

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There is a spellbook in Drath's Tomb that you can either read yourself, or pick up and take to trade with other mages. There are some nifty prizes for trading it, but if you read it yourself, everyone gets a bonus trait, "Drath's Knowledge," that improves AL value by 1 and spell power by 1%.

 

Actually, you might be able to both read it and trade it in Mac v1.1 and non-Mac versions. I'm not sure. Hey, can anyone who has dealt with the spellbook in Mac 1.1 or another platform confirm how it works there?

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Ah well I foolishly picked up that book and my autosave is literally one step afterward smirk

 

Any cheating I can do to get the trait instead, or should I just go train a level of arcane lore?

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Actually, you might be able to both read it and trade it in Mac v1.1 and non-Mac versions. I'm not sure. Hey, can anyone who has dealt with the spellbook in Mac 1.1 or another platform confirm how it works there?


Confirmed: as of the latest Mac version you can in fact both read it and trade it in, as originally intended.

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I have a question about the second sample build.

 

It says the following about the mage

 

Quote:

MAGE

16+1 Mage Spells

8 Priest Spells

10+2 Spellcraft

10+2 Resistance

9+1 Melee Weapons (Discipline Blade for the last 5 points to AR)

10+2 Hardiness

+1 Lethal Blow

 

Negotiator, Sage Lore, Intelligence x5, Elemental Focus x5, Health Traits x3, Nimble Fingers

 

Why does the mage have Nimble Fingers as a trait but no points in tool use?

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Because every character's ability in Nimble Fingers / Tool Use is summed when you try to use it. It doesn't matter who has it. In this case the skill and trait also have identical effects. So the required points in NF/TU just went to whatever skill or trait spots were most convenient, i.e., least necessary for anything else.

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Is Sage lore summed too? The example build you give with the 2 warriors 1 mage 1 priest, should I get the sage lore x2 for the priest or the mage?

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Sage Lore and Arcane Lore are summed among the party, yes. I think you mean 2x Arcane Lore since you can only take the Sage Lore trait once on a character.

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I see, in that case the second example build is incorrect?

So I'll go with 2x sage lore and 3 arcane lore + the bonus.

 

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You can only take the Sage Lore trait once PER CHARACTER. The builds are correct.

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Ok so first post, hi Spiderweb community. Love the games (iPad player) and great guide.

 

Reason for posting is that I got the first two dispell barriers for 2000 coins total (1000 each) vs. the 4000 in the guide. I did Mairwen's quest at level 12 and she offered to sell the spells to me at 'extremely cheap' rate.

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Hi Flel, thanks for posting about this! You are absolutely right, Jeff lowered the prices since the original Mac version of the game came out, and I haven't gotten around to updating the guide yet.

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I think you're still selling archers a bit short:

 

With items, archers can achieve 17 gymnastics and 16 sniper. [10+2 trained+items] Since they can wear a shield whereas dual wielding characters cannot they don't lose out as much on defense or bonuses as compared to melee characters.

 

The 17 gymnastics* gives them roughly a 50% chance of achieving 2 or more bonus AP each turn with an 80% chance of earning one bonus AP. 16 Sniper and haste will proc the second attack 86% of the time [compared to the 33% of the time for your dual wielder] so a hasted archer with one +AP item will achieve 3 attacks about 70% of rounds, 2 attacks about 27.4% of rounds, and 1 attack about 2.6% of rounds

 

Depending on the bow they choose they can either run light on lethal blow and spend the points in tanking/utility or can go heavy into lethal blow to achieve a very high critical strike rate while using a stronger bow.

 

 

Quote:

Level 30: 63 skill points

18+2: Bow

10: Gymnastics [+2 trained, +5 items] Total, 17

10: Sniper [+2 trained, +4 items] Total 16: 80% chance of free attack

10: Lethality [+2 items], 12 total

10: Bow Damage

 

+18 spare points[scrap lethality and use the possessed bow for 28 spare points. Save 10 points on Bow if you decide to buy hardiness.

 

Bow

Possessed bow 24-62 (5+19d3) Heartstriker bow - attack does critical damage 50%)

 

or

 

First Expedition bow 22-66 +2 quick action, +3 bows, +2% HER

 

Armor:

 

Sniper's vest 4% +1 dexterity, +2 sniper

 

 

Shield:

 

Quicksilver Bulwark 21% -10% to hit chance, +1 action points, +2 lethal blow

 

Gloves:

 

Radiant gauntlets 10% +3% to hit chance

 

Head:

 

Cap of farsighted 5% +3% missile damage, +1 sniper

 

Boots:

 

Quicksilver sandals 2% +1 action points, +1 strength

 

Neck:

 

Nimble chain +1 gymnastics

 

Cloak:

 

Deadeye Cloak 4% +1 sniper

 

Weapon :

 

Seeking rapier 10-160 + 5% critical hit chance + 5% chance to parry

 

Ring:

 

Lightspeed band 6% +2 quick action, +2 gymnastics

 

Belt:

 

Girdle of Avoidance 5% +2 dexterity

 

Pants:

 

First Expedition greaves8% +8% to evasion, -10% to hit chance, +1 strength, +2 gymnastics

 

 

 

* See the Binomial Distribution P=.1, n=17

 

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=binomial+distribution%2817%2C.1%29

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The main problem with archers is the weapon has a 1-3 damage per level whereas swords are 1-4 damage per level. So sword damage will be greater on average. Also they can no longer attack adjacent targets.

 

The advantage archers have is that they can hit range targets and most melee monsters never live to attack them. Plus high dexterity reduces the chance of damage to mostly boss monsters or the 5% minimum.

 

Welcome to Spiderweb Software. Please leave your sanity at the door. These discussions are a good way to lose it otherwise.

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Goumindong: You have one thing factually incorrect. Haste and Sniper do not give you an entire extra attack, they just reduce the cost of one attack by 4 AP. So in your example above, that character will have a very high chance of getting two shots in, but ZERO chance of getting three attacks. The unfortunate fact is that Gymnastics and Sniper actually have very poor synergy.

 

It is quite possible to get a dual-wielder or spellcaster to the same point without Gymnastics, normally by wearing 2 +AP items (there are seven in the game, so this is not impossible!) Additionally, Adrenaline Rush is so powerful and so free from drawbacks that you'll want to use it as much as possible, which really dampens the impact of most other potential-extra-attack effects.

 

Finally, "With items" is not an especially good comparison since if you wear items for one kind of bonus, you are typically passing up other items that could give you a different kind of bonus.

 

--

 

Originally Posted By: Randomizer
The main problem with archers is the weapon has a 1-3 damage per level whereas swords are 1-4 damage per level.

 

That is one problem, but it is not the main problem. The actual comparison is an average of 2 damage per level for archers, versus 5 damage per level for dual-wielders with a % penalty that starts out at 20%, but also increases the impact of your other % bonuses, so by endgame it is closer to a 10-14% penalty. So you compare 2 damage for archers with 4 to 4.5 damage for dual-wielders.

 

However, the most damning comparison is really with spellcasters, who do more damage, in more damage types, to more targets. Keeping up your SP is easy in this game, so that is really what makes archery sub-optimal.

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sometimes I wish that no ranged attacks (outside magic) to character next to attacker would apply to enemies too, its not nice to get rock thrown to face in short range.

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Do you have to rush the high level trainers dodging encounters intended for higher level chars as you go? I'd been saving most my coins while doing quests closer to the starting area and at some point hit the 30k cap; and have been having them silently vanish for an indeterminate amount of time. Is there any way to figure out exactly how much I lost now short of playing to the end and adding up all the stuff I could never afford to train for?

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Unlike previous games, there's no longer any benefit to rushing to trainers (besides getting the training earlier, of course). In fact, if you want the maximum possible benefit it's better to wait until after you've maxed out a skill at 10 before buying training. But the benefit of that is fairly marginal: if you're close to maxing out on gold, spend some money!

 

Also, remember that the capacity of the junk bag is nearly limitless. If you're near the gold cap, stop selling things.

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I take extreme issue with the suggestion that you shouldn't buy any levels of howl of terror. It's a friggin' amazing spell that lets you inflict terrified, war curse AND SLOW at once when you level it up in the Bahssikava tunnels.

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Originally Posted By: RaustBlackDragon
I take extreme issue with the suggestion that you shouldn't buy any levels of howl of terror. It's a friggin' amazing spell that lets you inflict terrified, war curse AND SLOW at once when you level it up in the Bahssikava tunnels.


There's no reason why you shouldn't buy the spell if it works for you. Chances are it gets resisted a lot (as EE suggests), or is otherwise inferior to other spells that might decisively end a combat encounter in the shortest possible time.

Min-Maxing is really all about being the most perfectly efficient at beating the game at higher levels of difficulty; being able to slow your enemies is nice, but destroying them before they can damage you is probably a better choice objectively. I find I take on some suggestions from these types of threads, but they're by no means the only way to get through the games.

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I've never had Howl of Terror work. It may be the monsters I've fought, but I usually just use a damage spell instead.

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Originally Posted By: Randomizer
I've never had Howl of Terror work. It may be the monsters I've fought, but I usually just use a damage spell instead.


Oh, the actual terror aspect is horrible, I agree. It's levels 2 and 3 where the money's at; they stack on war curse and slow at a 100% trigger rate and a very very good success rate, and it's an absolute lifesaver in outdoor fights.

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In my experience, on torment, that hasn't been the case. War curse and slow have had an extremely high success rate on nearly all enemies I've tried it on, or at least they've been slowed for 1 or 2 turns, which is enough to merit its use in outdoor fights, especially when you have a spellcaster capable of multi-casting with ease.

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I've also seen war curse and slow work on difficult enemies. I assume those are both determined by curse resistance, which seems less common than mental resistance (which presumably determines whether terror works).

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1 Fighters are better off getting all the levels in Melee Weapon required by battle discipline instead of training bow/throw/pole with money.

 

2 Lethal blow is worse than we first thought. Without this skill, we have a critical chance near 25% at the end of game, so another 3% increases total damage by 3%/1.25 *0.5 = 1.2%, this is worse than Dual Wield, maybe on par if you have Spectral Falchion. Get this skill from trainer only.

 

3 Luck gives 1% resist all, 1% damage, bonus chance to hit and dodge, and possibly increase initiative. It is better than skills give 2% bonus, like Dual Wield or Spellcraft. I would suggest max it at 5, for everyone.

 

4 At the end of game, they players have attack strength between 80 and 90, so each additional point in basic attack skill gives 1.1% to 1.25% bonus to final damage. Attack multiplier should be near 150%, so a 2% damage increase should give 1.33% final damage. The latter is better but not by a large margin.

 

5 Spellcasters need to invest in Mage/Priest spells, spellcraft, resistance, melee/pole, hardiness, and luck, that is at least 58 skill points for mages, a point or two more for priests. the rest can be spent on parry or mage/priest spells, or party skills.

 

6 For fighters, they invest in melee, Blademaster, Hardiness, Parry, and Luck. Quick Action, Lethal Blow are disappointing, therefore fighter will have about 10 more skill points for party skills.

 

7 I think 960 coins for magical efficacy is a good deal.

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1-4 are very probably correct, but those are all based on testing I did with A2:CS, so a grain of salt would be in order.

 

5 is legit. 6, not so much, fighters want Resistance as much as anyone IMO.

 

7 depends. Keep in mind that this thread was written for the 1.0 version of the game, in which the second level of training/spell learning cost twice as much. Pretty gargantuan difference in cash availability.

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You are willing to spend 3200 for a level in spellcraft rather than 960 for magical efficacy?

Costing less means you can cast more powerful spells more often. There is no way that spellcraft is 3 times as good as magical efficacy.

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Given how incredibly easy it is to replenish SP, by leaving and coming back or by using potions, yes, I am.

 

1 point of ME is worth about 5% more SP. So yes, I'd rather get 2% more impact (or whatever that works out to in practice, 1.4% or whatnot) than 5% more SP that I'm rarely if ever going to truly need. Also see the early principle, the early rounds of combat are the most important, and in those you'll never lack SP.

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Of course it is very easy to replenish SP after battle, that is why First Aid is useless. But during tough battles, magical efficacy allows you casting more powerful spells for longer duration of battle.

Of course one level of spellcraft is better than one level of magical efficacy. Please take the cost into consideration. If 0.4% damage better than 5% more SP? No way.

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There are more than enough energy potions for the tiny number of tough fights to make magical efficiency in battle, irrelevant. I mean, if we're talking about GP cost you can't possibly justify ME over a few pots.

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Just confirmed that luck does increase damage in Avernum 1

Damage level without luck: 98%, all the number are six time average.

 

0 luck

main hand 56.17

off hand 47

 

8 luck

main hand 64.4

off hand 51.2

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Not disagreeing with your conclusion, most likely, but six trials isn't remotely enough to be sure of anything with the kind of variation in results that SW formulas typically offer.

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6, not so much, fighters want Resistance as much as anyone IMO.

 

 

Are you seriously investing skill points into Resistance? 10 skill points can get your resistance skill level to 3. You invest in priest spell and spellcraft for your fighters, I figure?

 

Also, because the usefulness of luck, so are the luck traits, and everyone can take 2 level of it. Nimble finger should be avoided, because in Avernum:EFTP, it is not a good idea to trade a trait for a skill.

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10 skill points can get your Resistance skill level to 7.

2 skill points can get your Resistance skill level to 4.

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10 skill points can get your Resistance skill level to 7.

2 skill points can get your Resistance skill level to 4.

 

Well, everybody buys 2 levels of resistance.

Spending another 3200 coins and 2 skill points to get another 2 levels does not sound attractive to me.

Spending another 2560 coins and 7 skill points to get another 3 levels? Why do you use a fighter in the first place?

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Are you seriously investing skill points into Resistance? 10 skill points can get your resistance skill level to 3. You invest in priest spell and spellcraft for your fighters, I figure?

Priest skill to 8 is useful -- that gets you unshackle mind and mass healing. I think that's at least as useful as the modest damage boost you'd get from just pumping melee-related skills for 8 points instead. Spellcraft isn't so useful for fighters, to be sure, but you can get 2 points from training. That means for 18 skill points plus training, you get 36% resistance to all elements plus mental resistance (which is useful for fighters) and curse resistance (which is useful for everyone). Is it as much of a bonanza as Hardiness is? Of course not, but it has a major impact on survivability. Certainly, percentagewise, it's a greater impact than you'd get from putting those 18 points into melee-related skills.

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You think Resistance is worth twice the cost?

Now let's do the math:

8 priest spells + 8 spellcraft + 10 resistance

10 blademaster

10 hardiness + 10 Parry

5 Luck

 

Wait, that is already 61 skill points, how many do you want your melee weapon be?

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