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Ive decided to dump more than a week straight into Geneforge in general and I noticed that info was at times quite scarce or not really centralized in one place. Anyway it was hard to find. And I had some questions to which I did not find answers to this whole week while playing. Some of them may be due to me sucking at using the search and googling.

 

I played only shaper. Played G1 with basically all in on INT and Fire shaping and pretty much beat it with little effort on normal diff. Kinda same with G2. Really nothing to it. Got drayks, killed everything. Always used the "expendable creations" tactic. As in, went into a map, murdered everything til my creations died, ran back to town crying, made more and came back.

 

But somewhere I read that Vlishes were OP, til then I figured they were probably made of glass and not versatile enough, so I didnt even touch em. But they are really cool looking creations. So in G3 I went for full pumping points into INT and magic shaping. And did quite well most of the time. But by the time I reached Gull island, I got absolutely destroyed by everything. Nothing I did worked. Figured that vlishes might just be for support in this one, so mixed them with Glaahks. Still got destroyed. Absolutely not a single thing I tried worked. Since I already had 15 hours into the game I said screw it, cheated myself fire shaping about the amount of magic and drayk creation +3, made drayks and still destroyed. So I went even further and went for drakon +3 and made some drakons. And still got rekt. So I went even further, cheated a lot of int and levels, buffed the drakons up and then got through the game.

 

So now im in G4 and scared of putting points into anything, due to fear of mybe realizing 15 hours into the game again, that my build is insufficient to continue with.

 

  • Was G3 ment to be unbeatable as full shaper or did I have a wrong mindset somewhere?
  • Does the "expendable creations" tactic work on later G-s or am I supposed to keep them alive and level them, cause I really liked being completely reckless with them in earlier G-s?
  • Do full shaper builds work in later Geneforge games? How much is too much into shaping skill? I asked because I read somewhere in a forum that 6 in any shaping is good enough, finished G2 with 18 in fire shaping.
  • After my tumble with G3, I went back and started experimenting in previous games aswell. I noticed that increasing shaping skill gives rather little in basestats to your freshly formed creations. Their general lvls increase yet their stat lvls fall behind. I couldnt be fully bothered to figure out how the statdistribution works. How does it actually work?
Edited by Flex
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What level difficulty do you play on? Did you ever consider lowering it?

You went wrong somewhere in G3 if you couldn't make the shaper-&-legion-of-vlish strategy work. It might have been your build, or your tactics, but that is a well-attested model for cleaning everyone's clock in G3.

 

The best strategies for shaping vary by game, because Jeff tweaks gameplay mechanics in sometimes-trivial, sometimes-significant ways every time he makes a new game. G3, for example, is especially suited to making a posse of vlish on the second island and then leading them through the rest of the game, whereas G1 was a lot more supportive of replacing your creations on a regular basis.

 

It would be a novel to answer your questions for every game. I would recommend checking out (1) the strategy (2) threads (3) pinned at the top (4) of the forum (5). There's one for each game, and the first post in each thread contains information, or links to information, that people have collected on each game, including how the mechanics work as best the forum community understands them.

 

One last thing: how much use of leadership and mechanics do you make? Jeff was very, very good in the Geneforge series about providing alternative paths to your goals. There's pretty much always a brute-strength, fight-your-way-through path and a path that relies on leadership, mechanics, and stealth. Sometimes both paths appear in the same zone, and sometimes you'll need to traverse an entirely different set of zones to reach to same goal from a different direction. I've personally done a "pacifist" run in G3, where I never once made creations, struck a blow with a weapon, or hit enemies with spells. If you can't beat some fights, there are certain areas you'll never be able to complete, but with sneaking, diplomacy, and tinkering around you'll still find a way to finish the game.

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53 minutes ago, Flex said:

Does the "expendable creations" tactic work on later G-s or am I supposed to keep them alive and level them, cause I really liked being completely reckless with them in earlier G-s?

 

This is where you went wrong.  Disposable creations only truly works in G1, because in G1 creations get fewer stats from levelling up than they do from levels they have when they are created.  In the other games, creations will be much, MUCH stronger if you keep them with you and level them up.  This is particularly true of Vlish in G3, since they are cheap and can be made early, but have some of the best ability scaling of any creation in G3.

 

Disposable creations can be an OK strategy in G5 only because it takes a while to access the best creation types, and there are a few big jumps along the way.

 

 

EDIT: However, that said, G3 is not the hardest game in the set anyway.  What difficult level are you playing on?  You might be running into other tactical snafus...

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Leveling up creations makes a big difference some games, because then they are near the same level as what you are fighting.  New creations in the late game are usually below the monsters' levels  so they won't hit as well or have the health to stay around.

 

All the games are meant to be playable as a Shaper, but Jeff's tweaking of the games make certain Shaping classes better in each game.

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Played everything on normal the entire time. And didnt really want to lower the difficulty. Played the previous games on normal aswell.

 

I think in G3 my mechanics and speech were about 10 by the time I was mid through with Gull. Nothing major, but enough to make some things easier. They did get leveled at the expense of me not lvling shaping skills or INT, but they were quite high at that point anyway, that lvling those would have given me a lesser edge.

 

45 minutes ago, The Color of Her said:

EDIT: However, that said, G3 is not the hardest game in the set anyway.  What difficult level are you playing on?  You might be running into other tactical snafus...

 

I quess G3 just didnt like my disposable creation method that got me through previous games with ease. I just noticed that no matter how much I raised my magical shaping lvl it just kept getting harder each zone, til my formed creations ended up dying to only a couple of hits and not doing any damage themselves. And I wasnt underleveled aswell for those areas. I generally played previous Geneforges with the understanding that if im getting destroyed, it must be my low level or I missed something vital. So that wasnt the problem here.

 

45 minutes ago, The Color of Her said:

This is where you went wrong.  Disposable creations only truly works in G1, because in G1 creations get fewer stats from levelling up than they do from levels they have when they are created.  In the other games, creations will be much, MUCH stronger if you keep them with you and level them up.  This is particularly true of Vlish in G3, since they are cheap and can be made early, but have some of the best ability scaling of any creation in G3.

 

42 minutes ago, Randomizer said:

Leveling up creations makes a big difference some games, because then they are near the same level as what you are fighting.  New creations in the late game are usually below the monsters' levels  so they won't hit as well or have the health to stay around.

 

 

So overall how you play shaper really, is that you should only absorb your creation or afford it to get killed, when you unlock its higher tier and even at those times it might not be worth it?

 

45 minutes ago, The Color of Her said:

Disposable creations can be an OK strategy in G5 only because it takes a while to access the best creation types, and there are a few big jumps along the way

 

Is it a strategy in G4?

Edited by Flex
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The strategy that got me through GF4 (without much difficulty I may say) is:

- At first 3-4 creations that will be replaced with high-tiers

- Once the high tiers come around, 3-4 high tiers that I will keep leveling

- When needed throw in a few absorbables and use items for blessing (since I would have used my essence on the absorbables).

- When one of the absorbables manages to survive and levels, and essence permits, adopt it as permanent.

- Don't give stat boosts to permanent creations, only to absorbables that will not be around for more than 2-3 fights.

- At high levels, that I had the essence to spare, I went for Mosapocalypse: Stand in the end of the map \ essence pool and make 3 high-tier expendables. Kyshaaks work well.  Repeat as needed. Keep 10-12 essence pods. (<=== didn't really need them by the end, but I wanted them to be safe).

 

 

PS. Whatever you do, avoid spoilers for GF4 mainly and GF5 too. There are amazing surprises there. Resist the temptation to use guides, check the script and threads by old timers here. By the time the weekend ends you'll be done with GF4 anyway. It is worth waiting.

Edited by alhoon
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14 minutes ago, alhoon said:

The strategy that got me through GF4 (without much difficulty I may say) is:

- At first 3-4 creations that will be replaced with high-tiers

- Once the high tiers come around, 3-4 high tiers that I will keep leveling

- When needed throw in a few absorbables and use items for blessing (since I would have used my essence on the absorbables).

- When one of the absorbables manages to survive and levels, and essence permits, adopt it as permanent.

- Don't give stat boosts to permanent creations, only to absorbables that will not be around for more than 2-3 fights.

- At high levels, that I had the essence to spare, I went for Mosapocalypse: Stand in the end of the map \ essence pool and make 3 high-tier expendables. Kyshaaks work well.  Repeat as needed. Keep 10-12 essence pods. (<=== didn't really need them by the end, but I wanted them to be safe).

 

Ah, I see. So how you really shaper, is that you have a mix of permanent creations and fodder.

 

But then still my question on lvling shaping skills remains. Doesnt lvling shaping technically become obsolete at some point, if you have this tactic? Lets say im going for vlish. I keep pumping points into INT and magic shaping and looking for create vlish levels. So when I have enough permanent vlishes, im basically lvling up fodder, which isnt really that relevant.

 

Edited by Flex
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17 minutes ago, Flex said:

So overall how you play shaper really, is that you should only absorb your creation or afford it to get killed, when you unlock its higher tier and even at those times it might not be worth it?

In G1, absorb and replace as you are able to raise your chosen type of shaping skill. In all the other games, it generally better to keep them alive, EXCEPT when you're making a major upgrade in type (e.g. absorbing your early-game fyoras to make vlish in G3).

 

18 minutes ago, Flex said:

Is it a strategy in G4?

Not once you get some good types of creations. The early game chaff (think thahds, fyoras, artilas) is stuff you'll need to replace. Once you get to higher types of creation, say an army of Wingbolts, you'll want to keep them alive so they gain levels the rest of the game.

 

2 minutes ago, Flex said:

But then still my question on lvling shaping skills remains. Doesnt lvling shaping technically become obsolete at some point, if you have this tactic? Lets say im going for vlish. I keep pumping points into INT and magic shaping and looking for create vlish levels. So when I have enough permanent vlishes, im basically lvling up fodder, which isnt really that relevant.

 

Yes, leveling up shaping skill does become pointless eventually. Again, G1 is different; in G1 you actually do want to keep raising your chosen type of shaping skill and making new creations with the upgraded skill. But in the later games, you want to get your shaping skill as high as you can early on, find the ability to make a fairly strong species of creation (or two), and make a bunch of creations that can stick with you the rest of the game. Once you've shaped up your long-term army, you don't really need to invest further in shaping skills.

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15 minutes ago, Triumph said:

Yes, leveling up shaping skill does become pointless eventually. Again, G1 is different; in G1 you actually do want to keep raising your chosen type of shaping skill and making new creations with the upgraded skill. But in the later games, you want to get your shaping skill as high as you can early on, find the ability to make a fairly strong species of creation (or two), and make a bunch of creations that can stick with you the rest of the game. Once you've shaped up your long-term army, you don't really need to invest further in shaping skills.

 

So thats where Geneforges difficulty actually comes from. Keeping your creations alive and finding the right moment to switch tiers, if you miss it and go too far or you leveled a really disfunctional combination of creations, you are boned before reaching the end.

 

Thanks guys, seems like I really did have a false mindset on how to play this. Which I really suspected from the beginning,until it started biting me 3.5 games later :D 

Edited by Flex
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In GF4 there are several possible items that increase your Shaping skill. As such, I would say that yes, after getting your "permanents" ready, you don't need to bump up your Shaping skills, better save the skill points to raise intelligence so you can have more essence.

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Well, it's not just about switching tiers.  Some creations are just a lot better than others.

 

In G3, for example, Vlish are generally a lot better than Glaahks -- all attacks can cause stunning in G1-3, so the Glaahk's special bonus isn't very special, and the Vlish's ranged attack does more damage anyway.  Gazers and Eyebeasts are certainly good, but because they are so expensive, a Shaper who's kept his Vlish alive will probably still have 3-6 spots filled by a mix of Vlish and Terror Vlish when the game ends.

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You can get Wingbolts as early as Shaper Camp Gamma, so make sure to help the shapers at least somewhat (def get the Repair Moseh quest, you don't need to actually help him). Cryoas & Vlish are fine till then, certainly on normal.

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What isn't mention in GF4 is that tier 1 and 2 creations will be extremely susceptible to mental attacks that leave them stunned or terrified in the last part of the game.

 

Creations that also have a range attack are usually better.

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In G3, Greta is downright annoying. "Oh, I'm appalled by the horrible things the rebels are doing! But I support them anyway BECAUSE!" On the other hand, while Alwan is no Alcander (from Avadon 2, and one of Jeff's most entertaining NPC party members ever), he is more intellectually consistent than derpy Greta, and he actually has one or two funny moments in his dialogue. Still probably not worth the hassles of keeping him around to the very end.

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Been giving G4 a pretty decent go by now. Seems like there are way more resistance based things involved here than im used to. Every map theres like one powerful dude who was immune to my cryoas. So im quessing just going one type of creation is bad? I went for 2 wingbolts and 2 drayks. Thats gonna get me through?

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Specters are totally immune to cold I think, but a cold is effective against most enemies. Wingbolts are good in GF4 but Gazers are IMO better. I think with 2 Wingbolts and 2 Drayks you will be probably able to finish the game although some battles will be tricky (unless you avoid them).

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When using cryoas against cold immune monsters, they aren't immune to their melee physical attack.  They will die faster, but they work until you transitioned to your current creations.

 

More creations tend to work better than a few powerful ones, so you might add some more later when you have the essence.

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