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Golgolath

So, how's melee/bow vs. spell damage in A3: RW?

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As much as I personally enjoy melee and especially archers in games, around midgame in A1:EFtP and A2:CS I would always find myself getting rid of my melee and archers and replacing them with priests, since pretty much nothing could compare to chain casting Divine Retribution to wipe out entire rooms at once. Given how extreme the damage cap and mitigation of melee/bow damage seemed to be in the last two games, I never found it worthwhile.

 

What I would have liked would be a system where melee and bows were murderously high single target DPS, and spells better for AOE damage, but it always seemed like spells were always the correct choice.

 

Is the balance any better in this game or should I just have three priests (one with endurance and tank traits) and a mage?

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My usual build with the assorted Avernum games tends to be a melee fighter, archer, & two priest/mage combos with one getting the high level mage spells & the other the priest.  However seeing as how so many skill points are available, everyone is a priest/mage combo to some degree or another.  The fighter (as he tends to be first to act) has enough mage points to be able to cast Haste on the party right away and eventually able to cast Lightning Spray.  He also gets enough priest levels to be able to cast Protection/Battle Rage if he has an extra movement point available (from say gymnastics/armor that gives extra mp).  Once the bad guys get close his primary job is to whack away with his sword but before that he takes care of the blessings so that the others can toss out aoe spells.  The archer, while getting the assorted archery traits also gets a bunch of p/m skill points.  Initially he gets the priest skills to fill in whichever blessings the fighter may not have been able to cast.  Eventually he gets the priest skills to Divine Fire levels (along with all the other Major Healing/Curing type of spells) & mage to at least Lightning Spray levels (if not higher).  The main job of these two guys is to do the housekeeping type of spells, freeing up the other two to just concentrate on doing as much damage as possible to the hordes that are bearing down on them.  Obviously it takes a while to get to this point, but even in the early game having your fighter able to toss a Fireball/Smite will probably do more damage than his (probable) less than optimal bow.

 

Swordmage trait is a 'must' have at high level to get everyone into decent armor & still be able to cast whatever they want to.

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4 magic-users was pretty much the way to go in A2:CS.

 

Unfortunately, I haven't seen any indication that A3:RW is any different.

 

The worst offender here are the Cloak spells, which punish any PCs that aren't using the dominant attack method of your party.

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4 magic users is still the way to go since there aren't any totally magic resistant monsters.

 

Cloak spells can make the difference between killing the monsters and leaving them alive with a sliver of health to attack you again.

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Is this true on torment?  I have heard that torment has friendly fire, which it would seem would complicate a 4 caster party. 

 

Although, playing Avadon 3 on torment, friendly fire just ended up forcing me to prefer 100% ranged parties.  Tanks are kind of useless in friendly fire scenarios, so maybe 4 casters would be easier.

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Yeah, the enemies are going to get up close and personal whether you have 4 mages or 2 mages.  And you can be pretty creative with targeting if you try.

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Friendly fire is on both hard & torment.

 

My rear line mage/priests almost exclusively use grenade (for lack of a better word) style aoe spells such as Icy Rain/Divine Fire instead of cone style spells (Lightning Spray/Fireblast).  Casting them over the front line guys works well & is still a viable option when the mobs get up close & personal (with careful placement).

 

L3 Pool of Corruption is a wonderful thing once you can get it.

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I prefer L2 Pool of Ice and L3 Icy Rain since there are fewer monsters that are immune and the bonus effects are nice and you can get them early in the game.

 

With practice you can avoid hitting your party members even if there are fewer monsters getting hit each time.

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L3 Icy Rain is great for nailing monsters in place (hopefully outside of their ranged attack) & then safely bombing the snot out of them.  One spell that everyone in the group uses throughout the game (at least for the first couple of rounds of the fight to immobilize them).

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Not sure where to report bugs, but in any case, there's an abuse in the game.


It works the same as using Improved Dexterity/Endurance/etc to reduce your stats, but after you reduce it to 1, you can keep hitting the "-" button for an infinite number of attribute points. If you wanted to make your party stupid overpowered.

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Speaking from my own experience, polearms are very powerful. Just the lava-fired spear does over 200 damage on a crit. Granted, I'm only at the Isle of Bigail, but it's significant damage. Dual wielding may do more damage overall, but I still haven't found any good swords. My other melee is still rocking a crude broadsword. My polearm user is also a much better tank, since I'm not having to dump points into quick action and dual wielding.

 

That said, I have a feeling they'll even out more as the game progresses, with magic probably winning out due to enemy resistances.

Edited by Relle

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I'm only running Hard, but my polearm-fighter frequently tops 100 on normal blows against most enemies. Also, there will be some really great swords a bit later on (in fact, one is very close but probably still out of your reach for a little while longer).

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Relle, I am a little behind you in game progress.  I did find a bronze broadsword for my first melee, but polearm is still better,  I have not put any points in dual-wielding yet (actually, I just put one trait into it) and am still using a shield with the sword.  I plan to switch to dual wielding later in the game.

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Now that I've beaten A3, I was pleasantly surprised with how bow/melee DPS worked out throughout most of the game. Obviously, it can't even compare to my priest popping adrenaline rush then wiping out entire areas with multiple Divine Retributions, but against single targets, dual wielding with at least one weapon having an elemental attack (like a frozen or acid sword), or using bows with lots and lots of Sniper procs was actually quite effective for single targets.

 

Having said that, shields are still a bit of a head scratcher for me. In my mind, wearing a shield should do two things, 1) massively increase the power of the Challenger trait so that your character can well and truly hold the enemies' attention, and 2) make them nearly invincible. A character with a shield is going to do next to nothing in terms of damage, and it feels like currently, shields aren't nearly effective enough to justify building a "tank" type character.

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I love archers. My party has two of them, and two other characters. They're level 20. They both have 10 in gymnastics and as much dexterity as they can get.  Ursagi, giants, and troglodytes pretty reliably have a 5%-10% to hit chance when attacking them. Of course the way the game works dexterity doesn't raise cold evasion and certain other magical attacks evasion, but they're pretty durable against everything else so far. They also deal more damage than my two magic users. That's on torment.

 

For me, I don't see a real point to having melee characters in these games. That's been something I've seen as a flaw since Escape from the Pit. Other people think melee's great though. I'd prefer to have a tank priest, mage, or archer in front. If they're the archer they'll be able avoid massive amounts of damage though evasion (like the lead character should) and if they're the priest or mage they can use all sorts of neat area attacks on crowds and have strong mental defense.  I'm sure melee characters can deal more damage to whatever's in front of them, but why would I want to do that when I could snipe mages behind crowds, or control minds with dominate?...but maybe that's just because I haven't really used melee characters. Other people seem to like melee characters. 

 

Against single enemies, my archers deal more damage than my priest using smite that has all the intelligence it can get. This is not counting the critical bonus archery gets, or the multiple attacks per turn archery is likely to get. It is including the cloak of bolts though.  

 

 

 

 

Edited by Clintone

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   Archers do pretty well from early to mid game ( at least to giants ), but after that their damage output fall in comparison to others most likely because at that time duel wielders should have enough durability and start  investing in damage skills, and mages surprisingly deal more damage with their firebolts (with fewer crits) to a single target as well. 

   Still honestly A3 is too easy even on torment for me. After the trologo everything seems like a walk in the park, i spent far more time to solve puzzles/traps than killing things. The last boss is a big disappointment as you can end it in 1 turn without killing anything, and even if you dont the boss can do next to nothing as well. I dont even use max-min build just standard melee/archer/mage/priest party. I may try to fight the dragons next to see how things turn out. Overall this game is 8/10, i hope i can see the A4-6 remakes as my first spiderweb game was Avernum 4 and i was hooked on everything after that.

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