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Avadon 3 - Advice for Players (some SPOILERS)

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Some players will disagree with my advice, however there is still useful information here After several play throughs with all the classes at normal and torment difficulties:

 

 

How Not to Suck at Avadon 3: The Warborn

 

Remember you are a Hand of Avadon. That means you are overworked, underpaid, and have monsters and Farlanders trying to kill you.

 

So loot early and often to supplement your starting 100 coins. When talking to NPCs, keep your hand out with the palm up so they can give you rewards and/or bribes for work. Just because an object is marked NY for not yours doesn't mean it can't be if you wait until they are gone so you can take it. In some case you might have to kill them to take it, but remember they were keeping it from you. Also remember if they are dead, they can no longer object.

 

Changes to the Game from Avadon 2

 

New skill tree with rows and new skills for all classes. Also you can now see the relevant ability stat for each skill. So you can avoid skills that you don't want in building your characters.

 

New type of hidden switch just because Jeff can.

 

Tinkermages now improve turrets with intelligence, but dexterity is still more useful. Also turret area effect attacks are weaker.

 

On Hard and Torment difficulties there are additional attacks from boss monsters, the damaging terrain changes, and some of your attacks will cause friendly fire. You can now hit your own forces with some attacks.

 

New items and some old items now have different bonuses and physical armor.

 

Character Building

 

Plan ahead with your party so you don't have to edit it or worse restart because you tried to use jack of all trades or ones that have difficulty hitting the monsters.  It's hard to build a bad party at the start, but later on in the game bad decisions will reduce your chances of hitting.  Keeping your miss chances to 5% isn't that hard. There is a retrainer, but not until you have played through half the game and reach Herve in Goldcrag.

 

Make sure your character can fight because there are two long solo areas in the game and you will miss out on some interesting items if you can't kill monsters. You can sneak around and avoid the fights, but those items are worth it in the first area, a little place called Avadon.

 

There is no ideal party because there are a few places where some classes aren't as effective in fighting due to monsters being immune or highly resistant to a damage type. You can get through the game with any class for the main character even on torment difficulty. If one character is a squishable type with low armor and resistances, then you might want to use two others that are tanks to protect him/her. Have lots of different saves so you have the option of going back and changing your party. It really depends upon how you build skills and the difficulty level to determine what classes you pick for the party. Having the right scarabs for the fight can make even a weak character build able to win so keep a save from before entering the zone.

 

Characters are capped at level 30 just like Avadon: The Black Fortress.  Also it takes more experience to go up levels so you reach the cap closer to the end. About a quarter of your experience comes from doing side quests, but if you are careful you can still get through the game without doing them on normal difficulty. Although you will miss out on lots of money and really good named items. Near the end not doing quests will lead to lower levels so you get more experience from those you do complete and the difference narrows. Jeff timed it so you reach level 30 just in time for the end.

 

The most important stat is for your primary attack .  Melee fighters need strength, range fighters need dexterity, and Sorcerers (Sorceresses), Shamans, and Tinkermages (for turrets) need intelligence to do more damage and increase their to hit chance and increase their summons' level.  Each point in that stat increase your to hit chance by 5% and damage by one level.  This is more important than increasing the related combat ability in the skill tree because that only increases your to hit chance by 1% and one damage level.

 

The next most important stat may be dexterity or endurance to avoid getting hit as your health increases by 5 when you gain a level or raise your endurance by 1.  Dexterity is the stat that determines when you attack and whether you are hit by physical, fire, and energy attacks. Endurance is the stat that determines whether you are hit by cold attacks and your resistance to poison and acid.  There's no sense in taking more damage than needed.  It isn't need if you don't mind reloading and dealing with acid (corruption) attacks that can take out a party in one area effect shot. Jeff has a love affair with corruption in this game instead of the lightning aura from Geneforge and Avernum. Besides boss monsters have only a 5% chance to miss so this only helps against regular monsters.

 

Your stats will increase automatically with a point being added as you level up starting with strength at level 2, dexterity at level 3, intelligence at level 4, and endurance at level 5. Then it repeats.  If you want to increase strength to avoid encumbering your character you can or wear lighter armor until your strength goes up on its own.  Only melee fighters need strength, but some armor items need up to strength 15 to use them.  However you will lose action points if you exceed your encumbrance level. Having only 7 instead of 8 action points isn't bad, but dropping to 5 means you can't use an item and still have an action.

 

Unlike Avadon: The Black Fortress, it's harder to successfully make a character that will evade attacks by maximizing dexterity even on normal difficulty.  There is always a minimum 5% chance to hit and all boss monsters have an even better chance (they miss only 5% of the time).  Even specializing in dexterity won't work.  Dexterity evades physical, fire, and energy attacks, intelligence evades mental attacks, and endurance is used to calculate evading cold attacks and resisting poison and acid.  There are enough monsters out there that will hit you whatever you do.  Then there are mental attacks that can only be resisted by having the right items or class and evaded by high intelligence, not that it seems to make much of a difference. The amount of evasion per stat point has dropped from 5% to 2.5% since Avadon: The Black Fortress.

 

For unlocking door and containers the maximum level is 4 and there are no items to increase the ability.  You can wait until the middle of the game on increasing it or later unless you want to save money on lockpicks. Raising this ability to 3 helps with most early doors so you don't need to spend money on lock picks. But raising it for one character to 4 early on will help. The highest level in the party counts and can not be combined. A blademaster or shaman will need to buy lockpicks or skip opening some doors and containers in camps and Avadon. After leaving Avadon you will find most doors and containers require a lock pick even at level 4. You can get by at level 3, but the money could be better spent than on lock picks.

 

Vitality is now only increased by level from 30 at level 1 and +10 every level. This is used for most abilities and higher abilities won't be usable until mid game or later until you have enough vitality. Some abilities need 200 or more so rejuvenation potions and vitality/recharge quicker items are important. An easy way to check is go into fight mode and use the "a" to see abilities, and then look at each ability's description for vitality (fatigue) and relevant stat. If you are at full vitality and haven't gone unconscious you can use an ability that exceeds your vitality, however then you may have to wait to use another ability.

 

Vitality now slowly increases during combat so you don't need to return to a portal pylon or leave combat. Still there are times when you want to use a rejuvenation potion to regain using an ability earlier.

 

 

Abilities in the Skill Tree

 

There are now four rows of abilities. The two single skills in the top row are capped at 4.  The other three rows are battle (fighting) skills, utility (defensive/buffing/healing/summoning) skills, and the bottom row is the important efficiency (passive) skills that can increase the middle two row skills.

 

When getting abilities in the skill row you need the prerequisite ability before it and you can't increase it more than the lowest level.  There is also a cap on raising the abilities beyond 8.  Items and the row points do add to raise a skill above 8.  It's possible to get an ability to 13 using row points (3) and some items, but most never get above 10 with items.

 

You get 3 row skill points with one each given at level 5, 15, and 25.  For games at torment difficulty it's better to increase defense and use the bottom row skills.  At lower difficulties you can increase offensive damage instead since you take less damage per attack.  The bottom row has a damage multiplier and increasing chance of critical hits with +50% damage.

 

Shadowwalkers, Sorcerers, and Tinkermages are the only classes that can gain skill levels to pick locks.  It takes longer to do turrets with range attacks, but if you are careful you will take no damage doing it. Missile attacks can be made from beyond a turret's attack range.

 

The ability descriptions now tell you what stat will improve an ability.

 

 

Blademasters

 

A melee fighter with a sword should get Melee Training to 8 to maximize damage.  A pole weapon fighter will do more damage per blow than a sword weapon fighter because of the higher melee damage multiplier, but will take more damage from not having a shield. Some monsters like soldiers have high armor to reduce penetrating damage to under 20%.

 

A range attacker should probably go with Archery Training and it's prerequisite is Melee Training.  The Sharpshooter Spray is one of the best area attacks.  Dexterity increases damage and evading damage from physical, fire, and energy attacks. Also scarabs improve with dexterity. Boss monsters near the end get blade shield so range attacks are still a good idea.

 

A range fighter will do less damage per shot than a melee fighter because the early weapons favor melee weapons and there aren't the abilities that give higher damage and bonus effects.

 

They are the only class that can increase parry to avoid taking damage from single target attacks. It doesn't prevent area of effect attacks. So get the highest armor possible and consider using class only armor for their bonuses. This is your tank that can go out there and keep opponents from closing with you remaining party.

 

They have regenerating abilities to heal themselves over several rounds during combat.

 

Shadowwalkers

 

These are similar to Blademasters and can wear all armor.  They get to do poison and acid damage beside physical damage. Get the highest armor possible even though class only armor has bonuses.

 

A Shadowwalker has Shadowstep to leap to a new place leaving stunned foes and ensnared at higher levels.  This is useful to move to a new position away from melee attackers.  The level 6 version Cunning Decoy leaves a decoy behind to take damage and that is immune to mental attacks.

 

There is also backstab ability that works when you do a melee attack to a monster that is adjacent to another party member, summoned creature, or turret.

 

This can be a tank without the parry skill, but high dexterity can help avoid getting hit by most monsters. You can run up and then Shadowstep to ensnare monsters, then attack from a distance.

 

Shamans

 

Can summon a pet to fight for them and shield them from damage. Some pets have a fire attack as an ability. Use your pet to divert attacks away from your shaman.

 

Spirit claw magic attack has the disadvantage of more monsters resist it than sorcerer's fire attack especially constructs and some demons.  Also the penetrating damage seems to be lower than fire. However targets become vulnerable to take more damage from other attacks for a few rounds. They do have some great area effect abilities if you like to attack, but remember it makes you a target.

 

They have two skills, Healing Chant and Healing Touch that can heal other characters or themselves.  Also they can provide some shielding to the party against melee attacks and spells. They can also use Sacred Ground and Aura of the Grove to make an area provide healing and other benefits.

 

They can't spare that many stat points to build up evasion.  They tend to take more damage than other classes because they don't have passive resistances and heavier armor. Get them the highest chainmail or leather armor that they have the strength to wear to reduce damage. You will need it after your area attack makes all the monsters mad and come after you. This class can die easily just because it has the worst effective armor and no way to really reduce or avoid damage.

 

Sorcerers and Sorceresses

 

The most different attack damage types.  Fire damage is not resisted by most monsters, but when it is they are immune.

 

Skills, Shadow Charm, Ward Mastery, and Focus Mastery can reduce damage to compensate for the worst armor. At high levels Focus Mastery can absorb magical attacks to recharge abilities so Reflection isn't always a bad thing. Weak against physical attacks, but great versus magical and elemental ones.

 

Has a large number of area of effect attacks.

 

Downside is like Shamans they can't spare stat points to build up evasion. However their passive resistances and abilities can still give them armor and resistances like the fighter classes. So it pays to increase the lowest skill row to maximize the second passive ability. They can't use higher than leather armor, but they can use a rod and shield to protect themselves instead of a staff.

 

Tinkermage

 

This is the most powerful class since you can have two turrets and/or pylons at a time.  Place skill points in the third row and turret craft to get the first two types of turrets as soon as possible and raise them to level 8 to get the most damage.  Then increase them to let them fight for you by raising the bottom row to get turret craft. Intelligence increases their level too.  The downside is that the turrets don't move so you may have to remove and replace them.  There are a few long fights where you will have to make more.  Still they do better than you will since several have area attacks and they can take damage. The area effect damage has been reduced, but ensnare and slow are still very useful against swarms and melee attackers. The higher level turrets aren't available until the middle game until your vitality is high enough to make them (130 or higher) or if you use all your vitality for that one turret/pylon.

 

The easiest class to use, but the turrets disappear when you die.  So create them and retreat.  Or be prepared to destroy and make new ones as you chase an enemy.

 

Turrets don't suffer from mental attacks except slow and stun. They also can't be knocked back.

 

The ability to repair turrets is gone and replaced with Doublestrike which doubles your attack damage with weapons, scarabs, scrolls, and wands. You can repair turret damage with a group heal scroll or scarab (needs lots of vitality).

 

Range attacks are decent and higher tier abilities can drag a foe towards you to put it range of your turrets.  Increase dexterity since by the end game you have running battles where you need to move out of turret range to attack foes.  Your razorflinger will hit better than your turrets and at longer range if you increase dexterity. You can make an effective build concentrating on range attacking instead of turrets.

 

You will want to raise Tool Craft to be able to raise Armor Craft to get better armor and Turret Craft to improve the turret level. However wait until you have at least the first turret type at 8 since that will give you solid damage.

 

This class can increase evasion to attacks so it has the lowest chance of being hit. It still will get hit by boss monsters, but most of the minions will miss most of the time with the best about 80% chance.

 

This class can get through the game without having to bring along other Hands even on torment difficulty. However their are four major boss fights at the end that it will fail when stunned for more than two turns or gets overwhelmed by attackers.

 

 

Fighting and Spells

 

Be sure that you can do all of the four main damage types in your party: physical, fire, cold, and energy.  There are some monsters that are almost or completely immune to at least one type (fire, energy, poison, and acid) and sometimes with high resistances to more than one.  It's not how much damage you can do, but how much penetrates. While physical damage works well in the beginning, by the endgame it doesn't penetrate as much so give blademasters and shadowwalkers attack scarabs that do other types.

 

Early in the game, daze is very powerful in keeping monsters from attacking.  The most important tactic is to keep from being swarmed.  So anything that can reduce that is helpful.  Concentrate your damage to eliminate enemies instead of leaving a bunch that are barely alive and can retaliate.

 

Indoors take advantage of terrain.  Doorways are you best friends since if you can force an enemy to stop in the doorway the rest of the monsters on the other side will usually stand idly by while you can attack the monster and lob area effect spells into the room.  Move your characters adjacent to the door on either side, but not in line of sight of monsters in the room.  Then when you kill the monster usually the next one will run up and get stuck in the door.  This forms a conga line of death (Knights of the Dinner Table reference).  Too bad doorways are two wide.

 

Well all else fails consider running away leaving behind summoned monsters and turrets to slow the monsters down. some fights are timed so you just need to live a certain number of rounds. Or go into a corner where only at most three melee attacking monsters can hit and take out the range attacking monsters first to lower the number attacking you.

 

Advance slowly in new areas so you can encounter just one monster at the edge of a group.  Then buff and hit the space bar to see if you go into combat mode when the monster sees you.  Back off and lure that monster to its death, then repeat until their numbers are reduced.

 

Overlapping area attacks are effective in killing quickly on normal difficulty.  Even on harder difficulties taking out the monsters quickly is helpful. Multiple scroll and wand attacks are great and the earliest types don't hit that well by the time you reach Avadon.

 

Remember the old human saying:

 

"He who fights and runs away, lives to run another day."

-- Worf, Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Encounter at Farpoint" novelization by David Gerrold

 

Moving away from a swarm of monsters may keep the farthest ones from attacking.  Just creep up to lure them away one by one to their deaths instead of yours.  In almost all encounters you can come back later, so picking them off instead of charging in to fight can work to your advantage.

 

Also outdoors when the monsters are tougher this can give you a round to buff if your party goes first.  In the demo area you can just daze and slaughter the easier monsters.  Daze doesn't last more than a few rounds.  Earthquake ability or scarab, and abilities that stun are also useful to get free attacks. However some scripted boss monsters attack even when stunned.

 

Don't forget blessings and curses in combat where the shielding chant (+10%) and weakness (-15%) can make the boss monster's minions have a harder chance of hitting your party. Vulnerability can increase your damage to them.

 

Mines and Turrets

 

Turrets can be disarmed in melee or hit for normal damage with a range attack.  Physical range attacks with a bow, javelin, and razordisk are possible from a greater range than the turret's attack.  Stand back and wear them down in safety.

 

Mines can no longer be attacked, but they are only in one place.

 

Note that turrets heal if they aren't damaged for several rounds so you need a decent to hit chance.

 

Scarabs

 

Stat that increases scarab ability

Blademaster - Dexterity

Shadowwalker - Dexterity

Shaman - Intelligence

Sorcerer - Intelligence

Tinkermage - Dexterity

 

Some of the early ones are area attacks (searing scarab) and recharge in 2 or 3 turns so they can be used repeatedly to hit swarms.  Overlap area attacks in a round or two and you can easily clear the low level monsters.

 

Passive scarabs can increase parry and riposte.

 

For your character you want scarabs that can do physical and cold damage since there are hardly any monsters that are immune to those damage types.  

 

There is a construct that is immune to energy, but still takes physical and fire damage.  Some demons are immune to fire or energy (magic) attacks, corrupted monsters and some rogue types are immune to acid (Corruption), dragons and a few fire monsters are immune to fire attacks.  When you start fighting undead you may want to have a fire damage scarab instead of cold to increase penetrating damage.

 

Enhancing Items

 

After you meet Nicodemus you learn how to use an enchanted anvil to combine runestones with some armor items and melee weapons.  You can't use them with necklaces, rings, bracelets, or missile weapons.

 

The best runestones are deep runestone on armor for +5% to evade getting hit, glowing for +1 to endurance, purity for +1 to dexterity, and golden for +4% to all resistances. You may want to use icy to increase strength especially for heavily armored characters.

 

One way to go is dexterity based characters should use deep and/or purity runestones to increase evasion and improve damage. Intelligence based characters like shamans and sorcerers should use golden runestones to improve resistances to decrease damage.

 

Food

 

It may seem stupid, but early in the game eating food can heal minor damage so you can save potions and healing abilities.  Eating food takes 5 AP leaving you 3 AP to move and/or attack.  The best food heals 9 to 21 damage.  It pays to collect food.

 

Consumable Items

 

Aside from potions and scrolls for healing and speed, there are several wands.  Lightning and corruption wands are usable through out the game.  Don't save them until the last battle since not all of them will hit past the middle game. Use them up in boss fights to end them quickly.

 

Buying

 

There are some things you want to spend money. Training gives a small bonus of 2%, but it's permanent and for the whole party. Blessings give better bonuses, but aren't available until near the end. Scarabs are very helpful and some can be used every few turns instead of consumable items, but they take 9 action points instead of 5. Potions, scrolls, and wands can make a difference in major fights or against monsters that have a fatigue attack that prevents you from using abilities. Buying weapons and armor is rarely needed since you can get them for free as rewards or from dead monsters not that long after seeing it in a store. There are a few great items that can only be bought or crafted.

 

There isn't a shortage of money after level 3, although you may have places where you spend it all for training.

 

Playing on Hard and Torment Difficulty

 

There have been some changes from Avadon 1 and 2. Traps have different damage types than normal difficulty. Two words of warning, friendly fire, where area of effect attacks can damage your own party members and pets. From daze to damaging attacks, you can be the most damaging thing to your own party if you don't watch where they will hit. Keep your party positioned so you don't hit it and force your foes to keep in a group to hit them.

 

Health should be much higher than normal difficulty so have more endurance, but you can get by if you don't mind reloading the game.  This will also reduce acid and poison.

 

When all else fails, come back a few levels higher than you would on normal difficulty.

 

Monsters on torment will have extra attacks, sometimes between members in your party, as well as extra abilities.

 

The biggest problem is getting stunned and some can be for 5 rounds so always have abilities, scarab, or items to remove stun and other mental effects.

 

Using a tinkermage in the party makes it easier since it can be like having two extra party members.  However you can do everything with a party that doesn't have one. There will also be some fights where turrets only serve as distractions and don't do significant damage.

 

Summoning monsters is useful even if they don't have great attacks since they can distract your enemies.

 

 

Singleton - Or Who Needs a Full Party

 

A single character goes up as fast as a full party.  So this is purely for a challenge.  If you don't mind reloading you can do it even on torment.  There are only three boss fights in the end that can't be done by a single character because you get stunned for several rounds or overwhelmed by monsters that can easily hit you.

 

A Tinkermage on torment difficulty is the only way to go it alone.  You can create up to two turrets and/or pylons. They aren't subject to mental attacks like daze, terror, and charm. About a third of the way through the game you can get items to summon pets to help for a while.  Summoned pets are weak and will only be useful for a few levels, plus they are random so you can't tell in advance if the pet will be useful.  But summon monsters can distract your foes from attacking you and allow you to retreat to a better position to finish the fight.

 

 

Final Boss Fight

 

If you decide to try the final boss fight it takes 10 to 20 minutes even on torment.  However while easier than Avadon: The Black Fortress final fight, it isn't a cakewalk.  I recommend saving for the end so scrolls/elixirs to cast speed, and recuperation and blessing crystals for defense.  Spread out the recuperation crystals within the party so everyone can counter mental effects of the other party members. However you may need to use some for other major boss monsters in the end game.

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This, too, seems to be... an exceptionally familiar piece of writing. Is there anything else you would highlight that's different, not in terms of game features, but in terms of balance differences between the classes, or useful consumables or equipment, etc.

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The consumables have changed in that circle of fire scrolls have been replaced with frozen bolts in a cone attack. There is a wand of corruption in a circular area attack that can be placed like the ability. No more reflection crystals so you need the ability to reflect magical attacks. Otherwise they are about the same, but there isn't the need to keep them for the final boss fight, especially because the will make a big difference in the worst monster boss fights in the last few zones. There are more scripted fights where you should use scrolls and wands to deal damage quickly so you don't need to heal.

 

Some equipment maybe better depending upon your playing style and difficulty level. Bonuses have changed so there is a greater emphasis on increasing the vitality recovery rate and shortening the ability cool down time. After the halfway point at Avadon, equipment gets significantly better and you may want to take advantage of the retrainer in Goldcrag to fix your builds since the scripted fights become harder and require different tactics.

 

Overall the classes are better balanced in that there isn't a weak one if you maximize the build and use scarabs to give different damage types. Shamans are still the weakest defensively and I couldn't get the physical armor/resistances above the upper 70s percentage with the best armor for the class without significantly raising strength. The blademaster and shadowwalker have new melee abilities, but in the endgame the boss monsters almost all have blade shield and spine shield to negate melee attacks.

 

The tinkermage class has been better balanced in that turrets don't do as much damage with area attacks and they can only be healed with group heal scrolls or a shaman's heal all ability. The doublestrike ability has greatly increased the damage to make it better to use as a fighter instead of hiding behind the turrets.

 

I think the biggest difference is the increase in monsters that are immune to a damage type and sometimes mixing immune monsters into a fight where there can be up to three different immunities.

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Are there any collection quests for which I need hoard every [bottle of wine / bag of meal / trowel / etc.] that I find?

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Are there any collection quests for which I need hoard every [bottle of wine / bag of meal / trowel / etc.] that I find?

No, the only quest that is close is fruit in Vanatok's Stead and you can find enough in that zone. Pretty much every quest can be found in that zone or the next one. It's just quicker to keep a few items ahead of time so you don't have to walk around.

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Aww. I hope someday Jeff includes a trowel-centric quest in a game.

We have been so yearning to do something with those unsellable trowels.

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Is there supposed to be friendly fire damage only on Hard and Torment? I played through on Casual and the Shadowalker's AOE acid bomb attack, whatever it is called, affects all characters in the goo area.

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Is there supposed to be friendly fire damage only on Hard and Torment? I played through on Casual and the Shadowalker's AOE acid bomb attack, whatever it is called, affects all characters in the goo area.

Is this damage from the initial attack or from walking through the area afterwards?

 

Both sides take damage from damaging terrain like an acid bomb, frozen, burning fire, or shocked.

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I'm not sure -- I accidentally saved over my game which had the character with that ability. Anyway I think it's both, but definitely from walking through afterwards. Was this the case in Av2? If so I don't remember it.

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Personally I cannot be bothered with filling my inventory with fluff to sell. I use the Shift-D money command for everything.

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