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Hello. I am getting close to finishing my party run of A3, and am thinking of starting a torment singleton. I noticed how powerful dexterity is in avoiding attacks in the group run, with my archer having a pretty low chance of being hit by most enemies with high dexterity. It makes me think of basing a singleton around evasion. Would this be feasible on torment? Would it be remotely possible to have a full mage-priest (19 in both), or will skill point allocation be forced to be different by game restraints on torment (I think I probably know the answer to this one)? I know Randomizer has apparently completed two singleton torment runs, so that input would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Evasion doesn't really work that well on torment. You'll get hit and hit hard - the only way to survive is to max out armor and resistances, put some points in endurance and use the terrain to minimize the number of enemies you engage at once. I'm currently running a singleton on Torment with a build similar to the one Sade used for Avernum 2 (http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/21325-a2cs-singleton-build-tips-spoilers/) and it's working fairly well. I have to say that, unlike Avernum 1 and 2, which I also finished with a singleton, I'm finding Avernum 3 to be much more of a slog to get through due to the big change in the XP/leveling system (singletons only level as fast as a full party). That, combined with the time limit in the game, means I have to use all sorts of gamey tricks just to get through battles while at the same time worrying about whether it's worth running back and forth exploring or doing the ubiquitous delivery missions for money.

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Yeah, I figured that would be the case, especially with that experience change. I'll probably lose my sanity before finishing a torment singleton run. Perhaps I'll try normal.

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I did a torment difficulty singleton run as a mage/priest and as an Anama (priest). You don't really have the skill points to do 19/19 unless you want lower resistances. You can get armor and all resistances to 90% except poison and curse resistance.

 

You want some dexterity so you go first in outdoor encounters. You will never get enough to evade damage and it will reduce your superior damage using spells.

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So this mage/priest didn't have much in the way of fighting ability? How many of your stat points went into intelligence as opposed to all the other stats? Did it involve an insane amount of luck and cheesing the fights (ending combat before the round is up comes to mind)?

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At the start I had some archery to conserve spell energy while I used daze and call beast to let my pet fight.

 

Mostly it involved insane reloads at the start to figure out how to get past fights then doing easy quests to level up. After the Slime Pit and some Isle of Bigail it was go see Zang to gain experience until I got to level 18. Then after the Filth Factory it was back to Zang until upper 20s level. After that it was buy Cloak of the Arcane and finish the game.

 

By the time you are past level 30 it becomes easy to finish with hardly any places you die except by Death Curse.

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3 hours ago, wasbear said:

Evasion doesn't really work that well on torment. You'll get hit and hit hard - the only way to survive is to max out armor and resistances, put some points in endurance and use the terrain to minimize the number of enemies you engage at once. I'm currently running a singleton on Torment with a build similar to the one Sade used for Avernum 2 (http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/21325-a2cs-singleton-build-tips-spoilers/) and it's working fairly well. I have to say that, unlike Avernum 1 and 2, which I also finished with a singleton, I'm finding Avernum 3 to be much more of a slog to get through due to the big change in the XP/leveling system (singletons only level as fast as a full party). That, combined with the time limit in the game, means I have to use all sorts of gamey tricks just to get through battles while at the same time worrying about whether it's worth running back and forth exploring or doing the ubiquitous delivery missions for money.

 

Evasion works great on torment. It works better than any other defensive investment, at least for the middle enemies. I haven't tried it past level 21, but based on how inaccurate everything is now, I'd be surprised if the harder regular enemies don't at least have some losses of accuracy. My glass cannon archer has better defensive abilities than my halberd-wielder with four extra points of health, 12 parry, and 10 hardiness. Seriously, he can run into piles of enemies and be fine. The only problem comes from cold-using enemies and whatever else dexterity doesn't dodge. That's after you put everything possible into dexterity though.

 

Yeah, I could definitely see a single player with maximum dexterity, max hardiness, and maybe consider putting points into resistance or parry if you have anything extra...but I doubt you'd have much left after mage spells and/or priest spells.

 

You might have to sacrifice the majority of mage spells that rely on accuracy, but you could keep plenty of priest spells, and a few spells, that don't, even with the loss of intelligence due to focusing on dexterity. 

 

I don't know how a half dexterity, half intelligence character would be. Most of the good spells, particularly daze and mind control, need accuracy, and therefore intelligence though. That could be a problem. 

Edited by Clintone

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12 hours ago, Randomizer said:

At the start I had some archery to conserve spell energy while I used daze and call beast to let my pet fight.

 

Mostly it involved insane reloads at the start to figure out how to get past fights then doing easy quests to level up. After the Slime Pit and some Isle of Bigail it was go see Zang to gain experience until I got to level 18. Then after the Filth Factory it was back to Zang until upper 20s level. After that it was buy Cloak of the Arcane and finish the game.

 

By the time you are past level 30 it becomes easy to finish with hardly any places you die except by Death Curse.

I suppose that you can take a shortcut through the level grind by using Zang for training, which alleviates some of the level/XP scaling problem. Did you end up just doing delivery missions for money for a long time while buying XP/levels from Zang or accumulate money organically? There's honestly not that much to spend cash on past the early skill/spell training so it's probably a good investment in any case.

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I did lots of delivery missions for money. It's the most effective way to get money for training and Zang. I found that just having a few extra levels made a significant difference when I did the major fights like the Filth Factory, Cult of the Sacred Item, and Elhoic.

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Ah, I had a question. What did you do about arcane lore? Can one person get enough to get access to most spells?

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I think with Vahnatai lore, sage lore and a few points of arcane lore I was able to get dispel barrier L3 in Khoth's lair.  Honestly you will be stuck with L2 for most spells atleast until near endgame when you get more points of VL.  Forget howl of terror though (has anyone used this regularly?  does it work well for large mobs?). 

 

For singletons I am a fan of having action point increasing items (here black halberd + quicksilver sandals).  I blink to the center of a mob, hit adrenaline rush and triple nuke them with divine retribution.  L3 DR is nice because I think it can also stun.  Cleanup is easy after that.  For gazers you can use divine fire/fireblast.

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On 2/20/2018 at 2:56 PM, Ora et Alorael said:

What enemies are you fighting and what are your relevant stats (Dex, Gymnastics, Luck)?

Are you talking to me? I'm just going to assume you are. 

 

The golems are a pain because they shoot those ground affecting area attacks, but in melee they're still pretty easy. The golem of blades had an 8% chance to hit my archer in melee. The fire golem had a 15% chance to hit my other archer in melee, my bulky archer, who has close to the same stats. Before that, all the regular giants and trogolodytes you find wandering around had a 5% to hit chance. I had just been starting going through that troglodyte/giant area, so I don't know what the tougher, boss-like enemies would be with the troglodytes and giants. This was with ward of steel up (if that affects evasion...I don't think it does) but without any blessings. 

 

The stats of my archers are the following, including armor (both of the archers have the same relevant stats, except for a couple different items)

 

Dexterity (including the five dexterity traits,...and also including the dexterity-raising item both archers have the same one of) = 37

luck = 0

gymnastics = 10

other evasion enhancing items - both archers have steel breastplates, giving them +5% chance to evade attacks. My glass cannon archer also has drakeskin bracers, giving him an additional +2% evasion, as well as an item that gives him an additional point in gymnastics. My tank archer has an item that gives him +3 luck, and an item that gives him +1 luck. 

 

Right now, in the game I'm just starting the troglodyte/giant quest. My characters are level 21, so I wouldn't be surprised if by the time I arrive at the golems, everything that fights in melee there, except bosses, will be down to a 5% to hit chance too, just like some large percentage of everything else I've faced so far, after a few levels into the game.The accuracy of magic/fire/ and those sorts of attacks that don't involve hitting someone with some hard object are tougher to tell though.. 

 

This is all on torment.

 

 

 

Edited by Clintone

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14 hours ago, Randomizer said:

I did lots of delivery missions for money. It's the most effective way to get money for training and Zang. I found that just having a few extra levels made a significant difference when I did the major fights like the Filth Factory, Cult of the Sacred Item, and Elhoic.

Wow, you're absolutely right. Getting just 4-5 extra levels from training with Zang made a huge difference for my singleton run. I'm not struggling nearly as much anymore and it's become fun again. It's a little cheesy, but given that torment singleton is about as stupidly hard as you can make the game, I think it's fair. I would recommend training with Zang for anyone who's struggling on torment. Thanks for the tip, Randomizer.

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On 2/21/2018 at 4:20 PM, Clintone said:

Dexterity (including the five dexterity traits,...and also including the dexterity-raising item both archers have the same one of) = 37

luck = 0

gymnastics = 10

other evasion enhancing items - both archers have steel breastplates, giving them +5% chance to evade attacks. My glass cannon archer also has drakeskin bracers, giving him an additional +2% evasion, as well as an item that gives him an additional point in gymnastics. My tank archer has an item that gives him +3 luck, and an item that gives him +1 luck. 

 

Right now, in the game I'm just starting the troglodyte/giant quest. My characters are level 21, so I wouldn't be surprised if by the time I arrive at the golems, everything that fights in melee there, except bosses, will be down to a 5% to hit chance too

Interesting, thanks.  So it looks like evasion *may* be viable for a while if you truly go all-out on it (though of course you'll still need to be able to survive at least _one_ attack).

 

That said, I don't think it will work so well later in the game.  Even though you are only level 21, you have maxed out almost all your sources of evasion: Dexterity caps at 40 (or maybe that is just raw Dexterity and you can go higher with items and traits?  I can't remember if that works properly or not), and your Gymnastics is maxed unless you haven't used a trainer yet.  Yeah, there is a little room to grow there, but enemies have much more room to grow.  Giants are level 17-22 (with corresponding stats, multiplied for Torment) while golems are 25-26 and alien beasts and late game vahnatai are 28-30.  And in side quest enemies, there are demons in the high 20's, liches and haakais at 30, and dragons at 40 -- and of course, anything that deals direct damage flavored as cold or poison.

 

Anyway, I hope you update us on how evasion continues to work for you.  Maybe it will do better than we expect!

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Stats no longer cap at 40 before items. I just checked at got a character to 41plus 5 from items.

 

Evasion works okay on torment unless you neglect endurance completely because then you get hit with cold damage one shots from cold creatures. You need high resistances and decent health (over 250) to survive. Plus you will still suffer from bonus mental effects like stun or terror that can prevent you from acting.

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18 hours ago, Ora et Alorael said:

Interesting, thanks.  So it looks like evasion *may* be viable for a while if you truly go all-out on it (though of course you'll still need to be able to survive at least _one_ attack).

 

That said, I don't think it will work so well later in the game.  Even though you are only level 21, you have maxed out almost all your sources of evasion: Dexterity caps at 40 (or maybe that is just raw Dexterity and you can go higher with items and traits?  I can't remember if that works properly or not), and your Gymnastics is maxed unless you haven't used a trainer yet.  Yeah, there is a little room to grow there, but enemies have much more room to grow.  Giants are level 17-22 (with corresponding stats, multiplied for Torment) while golems are 25-26 and alien beasts and late game vahnatai are 28-30.  And in side quest enemies, there are demons in the high 20's, liches and haakais at 30, and dragons at 40 -- and of course, anything that deals direct damage flavored as cold or poison.

 

Anyway, I hope you update us on how evasion continues to work for you.  Maybe it will do better than we expect!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Clintone's response, because I messed up the format of this thing: I'm still impressed by evasion, even into the later game, it seems to keep working, so long as you put just about everything you can into dexterity, and possibly gymnastics too. If you put less than everything you can into it though, it does seem like it could pretty quickly become useless. Spoilers below. 

Spoiler
Spoiler

 

 I sent my party far up north to attack the alien beasts as an experiment. At level 21 the alien beasts had pretty high accuracy for physical attacks, in the 70%'s and 80%'s, and maybe a low 90%. I cheated and brought my characters up to level 30 with a code that gives experience, always increasing their dexterity as much as possible. I was pleased to discover that the alien beasts had a 5% to hit chance with physical attacks.

 

I tried to figure out how that dramatic increase in evasion came to be below.

 

The first fight in the game you have is against a bat and a spider. I had them attack one of my characters with one dexterity more than the others, and it appears that, at least judging by that fight, 1 dexterity raised evasion by 5%. Next I used the experience-giving cheat code to grow my characters 1 level, up to level 2, which didn't result in any increase in dexterity. Judging by that, gaining a level just naturally give you 3% better evasion. Note that 9x3 is 27 (nine for the nine levels I boosted my characters to get to level 30 from level 21). Note that 9x5 is 45 (again, nine for the nine additional levels of dexterity I gave my characters) plus 2 or 3 more dexterity that I got naturally for increasing levels. That's a total of about a 82-87% evasion increase from that 9 level boost. That's just about enough to sink the alien beasts' evasion down to the 5% I experienced, and I still had five more levels to go in which I could raise dexterity, so if evasion ever stops being useful, it's going to be pretty late in the game. 

 

That said, you really have to focus on maxing dexterity out, as in, if you use dexterity for evasion, you probably shouldn't do anything that results in getting less dexterity than it's possible to get. I was contemplating not putting points into gymnastics. At level 30, with the above party, with 0 gymnastics skill (which I made that way through the editor), the alien beasts had a 19% to hit chance, so good evasion it might be doable without gymnastics, so long as you have as much dexterity as possible, but even gymnastics which only increases evasion by 2% per level still seems fairly helpful.  

 

That makes me wonder if a singleton archer would be doable. Maybe an anama singleton archer would even be easier, given how few mage spells don't depend on accuracy. I bet outdoor encounters would be a nightmare though. I don't feel like trying it, at least not for quite awhile.

 

 

Edited by Clintone

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Whoa, this is very interesting.

 

3%/level, or maybe 2.5%/level with rounding...  either way...

 

Cold damage is definitely a concern.  Are there outdoor battles with ice drakes? :(

 

For a singleton, you'd clearly still want Hardiness and Resistance (for 43 earned skill points*).  That leaves 20 skill points (by level 30), either to do more with Priest Spells, something with Mage Spells (Haste, Cloak, Daze for the Ensnare effect), some Gymnastics, or something else.  Tool Use maybe, since you need 10 to complete the game.

 

Arcane Lore, thankfully, can just be replaced with Vahnatai Lore (and potentially Sage Lore) at least to the point of Haste level 3 and eventually CS/Sim level 3 if you're going Mage Spells for them -- which might honestly be worthwhile.

 

*42 if you wait for a very late game free Spellcraft point from Great Walls.

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8 hours ago, Ora et Alorael said:

Whoa, this is very interesting.

 

3%/level, or maybe 2.5%/level with rounding...  either way...

 

Cold damage is definitely a concern.  Are there outdoor battles with ice drakes? :(

 

For a singleton, you'd clearly still want Hardiness and Resistance (for 43 earned skill points*).  That leaves 20 skill points (by level 30), either to do more with Priest Spells, something with Mage Spells (Haste, Cloak, Daze for the Ensnare effect), some Gymnastics, or something else.  Tool Use maybe, since you need 10 to complete the game.

 

Arcane Lore, thankfully, can just be replaced with Vahnatai Lore (and potentially Sage Lore) at least to the point of Haste level 3 and eventually CS/Sim level 3 if you're going Mage Spells for them -- which might honestly be worthwhile.

 

*42 if you wait for a very late game free Spellcraft point from Great Walls.

I don't know if there are outdoor ice drakes or not. If there are though, I think I just thought of a rather nice advantage of being a singleton that might let a singleton archer survive an ice drake fight. Summon undead of some kind, or something immune to cold. Next, use adrenaline rush, or the extra turn from gymnastics or something to get a shot or two off, then teleport away using blink. Repeat as needed. 

 

I think I might actually try this build as a singleton. He shall be called Pooperscootie. If I can fit it all, he shall called Pooperscootie the Great. Pooperscootie the Great is an antisocial narcissist. He was originally thrown into Avernum partly because of that, but mostly because he didn't like to wear pants in public. I think I'll make that a requirement for the whole game. He can never wear pants, or any leg/pelvis coverings. Pooperscootie fights for the rights of antisocial narcissists and nudists everywhere. He dreams of one day bringing pride and honor to his people by achieving great deeds. So far, his people consist of himself, because nobody wants to be near him, because he's extremely creepy and unpleasant to be around. Shortly after being thrown into Avernum he was thrown in the abyss. The Spire chased him to Bargha. Bargha tossed him over their walls into giant lands. The giants threw him over a river, and then threw him over a second river, and he found himself back in the Kingdom of Avernum, much to the locals' surprise. He hadn't done anything worthy of execution. Upon noticing his impressive durability, because of his survival of being thrown over at least one river, according to several cave-fishing eye witnesses, King Micah decided to make him one of the surface explorers. That way, if he dies, its not, technically, an execution, and if he doesn't maybe he'll just go away. 

Edited by Clintone

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There are outdoor ice drakes, ice puddings helping the ice drakes, and ice golems encounters so you need some endurance.

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2 hours ago, Randomizer said:

There are outdoor ice drakes, ice puddings helping the ice drakes, and ice golems encounters so you need some endurance.

By level 30, with 2 points of endurance from traits, and the 3 traits that increase health by percentages, if I remember right you can get 249 health. I'll get all five endurance-increasing traits. I'll at least have max resistance skill. I plan on getting to 10 mage skill too so I can use simulacrum to summon undead to distract cold-using enemies. I'll have at least 10 mage skill, so I can summon undead who are invulnerable to cold through simulacrum and use blink. I definitely like the idea of my massive dexterity enabling me to go before everyone else, then using either gymnastics, or a haste potion, or adrenaline rush, or something, to fire an arrow at someone, and then use blink to teleport away before they can hit me. 

 

By level 35, I can get my character to have almost everything I want: maxed out resistance, 10 in priest spell skill, 10 in mage spell skill, 6 cave lore (2 bought from a trainer) that'll give me access to the healing, energetic, and graymold herbs close to fort emergence and on the Isle of Bigail, and 7 tool use. (the 2 traits and gloves would get me up to 10). What I don't know is whether I should max out gymnastics, so as to get better evasion and extra moves early, or whether I should max out hardiness for better cold and magic resistance. I can't afford to do both. I don't think I can afford to lose any of my mage or priest spell skill, and resistance would be my main protection from mental attacks, so It'd probably be unwise to lower that. 

 

I think I could get maximum evasion without gymnastics for most enemies, if I down a bunch of wisdom crystals, and I'm assuming there are enough items that give an extra action point that I could eventually reach 2 actions per turn without gymnastics, but I suspect without gymnastics the early game would be a lot harder. I think I'm just going to go with maxing gymnastics and only having 6 or so hardiness, including from trainers, by level 35, and hoping resistance increasing and hardiness-increasing crystals and anything else I find, like armor and element-resistant rings will be enough to keep me alive through magic and cold. I may be able to avoid being  hit even once, if that shoot an arrow - then teleport way of doing things works well enough. Maybe outdoor fights could even end up easier than indoor ones, with that, due to there being more room to move around.  

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That is going to eat up SP quickly -- and without any investment in Intelligence your SP will be about half of what we are used to mages having.

 

I go back and forth on whether this build would be better than a similar Int build.  This might be more survivable, but the Int build would definitely be less annoying -- as you can smack stuff with multiple AoE's, rather than being restricted to single target attacks.  It might work, but it will be slow going.

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There's also higher resistance to physical damage later in the game where about 10% actually penetrates. Whereas spell damage may be lower, it has about 25% penetration and area of effects can hit several monsters at once. So you can get through fights much quicker especially with those pesky monsters that keep summoning friends.

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Well, regardless, I've decided the time of Pooperscootie has come to an end. I encourage others to attempt that build. I don't intend to. I remember why I usually don't play as a singleton: the constant, irritating, reloads. I made this decision after dying five times in an attempt to take on the goblins guarding the goblin cave near Fort Remote. With 3 intelligence, 3 mage skills and zero encumbering armor he could daze groups nicely. He just ran out of energy quite fast though. I think it could be done. It'd just take many re-tries. 

 

However, I have been inspired towards a new goal. The vast majority of the game is still unexplored, so I'm going to make a four player team and try not to lose any parties on Torment. It's going to be a group Ghengis Khan would be quite proud of. Two archers, two mages/priests, all four with max gymnastics, and all four with at least 8 mage skill for blink,  and maybe 10 for simulacrum. I really like Adrenaline Rush combined with blink, because you can actually leap into an area with blink, attack, then leap out of the area, again, with blink. I've heard duel-wielding melee characters are a lot more powerful than other groups. It might be interesting to try a slith or duel-wielder with max strength, blink, and gymnastics, who could jump forward in to take out mages. 

 

But, I'm just going to have two archers and two mage/priests. This way I'll get daze and return life in addition to some nice ground-effecting spells. The idea is to kill any mages quickly with adrenaline rush, and then have four teleporters leaping around the map like crickets from a bat swarm, dazing and summoning and sniping and ensnaring, and generally tormenting the hell out of them, while they scramble helplessly to hit my team of what might as well be ghosts.   

Edited by Clintone

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On 2/21/2018 at 11:58 AM, Randomizer said:

I did lots of delivery missions for money. It's the most effective way to get money for training and Zang. I found that just having a few extra levels made a significant difference when I did the major fights like the Filth Factory, Cult of the Sacred Item, and Elhoic.

Also, did you manage to defeat Sulfras with a singleton? Her Death Curse is pretty annoying and even with invulnerability potions sometimes you get frightened/slowed/stunned and die from it anyway. Any tips on beating her?

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I didn't try the Sulfras as a singleton for the reason you mentioned. The basins will remove the Death Curse, but I found even with Blink it was too hard to move around to reach them and attack.

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On 2/26/2018 at 5:08 AM, Randomizer said:

I didn't try the Sulfras as a singleton for the reason you mentioned. The basins will remove the Death Curse, but I found even with Blink it was too hard to move around to reach them and attack.

All right, if anyone's curious, here's how to defeat Sulfras on Torment with a singleton. She's probably the single hardest boss in the game, so come prepared - bring all your invulnerability, healing and energy potions/elixirs. I also assume that you'll be at max level (42-43), have done everything else in the game, and have maxed out resistances, two + action point items (I like the shield and sandals), access to adrenaline rush, etc.

 

Sulfras' most dangerous attack is a Death curse that would normally kill a non-invulnerable party member, but the Death curse does magical damage to which some monsters are immune. So, just stand behind her on the platform and summon an Eyebeast via Simulacrum (you'll need level 3 Capture Soul to capture it). She will cast the death curse on the Eyebeast more often than not and it'll be immune to the damage. Then just slowly chip away at her health with Lightning Spray and the occasional Divine Retribution and Smite. Heal as needed. When she summons monsters (especially gazers), take them out first while at the same time damaging Sulfras at the same time if possible. Her final power is a burst of regeneration so you'll just need to outlast it. It takes a bit of luck since you can get terrified and run away, which messes with the fight strategy and may result in death/reload. Occasionally, she will cast Death curse on your PC, so make sure to drink an Invulnerability potion and resummon the Eyebeast if necessary. Eventually, you'll take her down.

 

On a related note, does anyone know if it's possible to get into Sulfras' main treasure room?

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41 minutes ago, wasbear said:

On a related note, does anyone know if it's possible to get into Sulfras' main treasure room?

 

I've been searching for that, and found an old walk through (for Exile 3, I think) that claims "no", and that besides, there's nothing there (so how would they know that?).  I didn't find anything indicating otherwise for any version.

 

However - what led to my search was finding this in one of the text files:

 

"Sulfras looks very upset that you learned her secret! She casts a spell, and alien beasts appear all around you. The Beastslayer Blade disintegrates!"

 

Looks like a holdover from an earlier version, but still - it's intriguing.  Maybe it applies/applied to something else.

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For what it's worth, I forced my way inside the treasure room by editing the scripts, and there is indeed nothing in there. None of the chests contain anything, the books do nothing when interacted with, and there are no items lying around.

 

Spoiler

2X1dnSY.jpg

 

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TL;DR: You can hit caps of 90% magic damage resistance or 5% chance to be hit without assigning a single point to Resistance or Gymnastics, respectively.

 

I know this discussion is months old, but I wanted to give my thoughts on some its themes, having now beaten A3 on Torment (full party) with a Dex-based archer evasion tank.

 

First, I finished the game at level 34, lower level than I expected. I did have the Dread Curse cured that I received from attacking the Temple of Divine Lucre. (btw I wonder if I can stack all four Dread Curses at once, then have Ahonar cure them all for one XP cost. Something to test.)

 

After beating the game, I reloaded from just before beating it to go back for some unfinished business, in particular the Tower of Magi disaster (a steamroll) and the three dragons (of which only Sulfras posed any challenge). Generally, what I found is that the game gets progressively easier as you level organically (i.e. without going out of your way to grind courier quests and train from Zang), even in the face of higher-level challenges. I found the alien beasts and vahnatai, for instance, to be pushovers compared to the golems. Sulfras brought back some level of challenge, being much harder to kill than Rentar-Irhno was to take down to 0 hp.

 

With the generally negative difficulty curve of this game, reminiscent of Elders Scrolls games when min-maxed, one consequence I found is that having a tank at all becomes less important at higher levels. For the first 7 or so levels, not even a full-Dex tank will yet be evasion-capped against level-appropriate enemies, so such a tank serves largely as backup for when Daze misses. From about level 8 to 30, my tank took the spotlight. I would use the first round to wait for enemies to pile around her while I buffed, then really start unloading on them in the second round. I should also note that I was using mostly square area spells in this level range, like Icy Rain, Divine Fire, and the various ground effect spells. But once I got level 3 Cloak of the Arcane, Divine Retribution, and Arcane Blow, I had a newfound power to just obliterate most enemies in one round. So it's not that my archer couldn't be as awesome a tank endgame as she was midgame, it's that I literally don't have a need for a dedicated tank endgame. The other factor is that all my characters are armor-capped except my mage, who's at 89% armor using The Black Halberd, Quicksilver Sandals, and Runed Plate/Kilt/Helm.

 

Ironically, my character with the lowest resistances (my dual-wielder) tends to tank bosses endgame. Sulfras is a prime example of a fight where my archer's damage was much more important than what she could offer as a tank. But I reloaded and checked that Sulfras had a 5% chance to hit her. Note that she has all her assigned points in Dex, and 5/5 Dex and Endurance traits. (btw how can I include images? The forum doesn't like my Dropbox URL.)

 

Here are Azshandine's resistances when I beat Sulfras:

Spoiler

 

Armor 90%

Magic: 87%

Fire: 87%

Curse: 39%

Poison: 76%

Acid: 89%

Cold: 87%

Mental: 66%

 

 

However, there are two ways I could have improved these stats. One is that I never got around to training Resistance or using Resistance crystals. I also didn't assign any points to Resistance, so the only Resistance she has is the +3 from her Tarnished Chain. And her stats could have been even better as a singleton, since I had certain BIS (best in slot) items on other characters. Either easy change is enough to cap her Magic/Fire/Cold resistances with ZERO skill points assigned to Resistance. Swapping gear and using the character editor to reflect 2/2 trained Resistance and 4/6 Resistance crystals (not including the Anama one or the one from the very late-game Great Circle), here's how her resistances could look as a singleton:

Spoiler

 

Armor 90%

Magic: 90%

Fire: 90%

Curse: 51%

Poison: 83%

Acid: 90%

Cold: 90%

Mental: 81%

 

 

Note that not reflected in these stats is the fact that her Hardiness is "only" 14, but would have been 18 if I had given her all the Hardiness crystals. Funny thing is that a blessed Radiant Soulblade made no difference in these stats. Maybe there's some cap for how much armor is even translated into other resistances. My point is that assigning points to Resistance is totally unnecessary for either a tank or a singleton, at least endgame. And given that it's a final tier skill, it seems you're likely to start outgrowing it as soon as you're done maxing it.

 

Also note that the armor reflected in the above stats isn't even the most protective in all cases, but is generally great armor for archers. Where you don't want to skimp on armor value is in the chest, where you stand to receive your single biggest chunk. Here's what Azshandine is wearing as reflected in the second set of resistances:

Spoiler

Fury Bow

Radiant Plate

The Sacred Tower

Archer's Protectors

Cap of Farsight

Gazerskin Sandals

Tarnished Chain

Farstriker's Cloak

Radiant Soulblade

Sensor Band

Granite Girdle

Sunlight Greaves

 

And here are her relevant skills, not including equipment bonuses. (Key: assigned, trained, quest/special, crystal)

Spoiler

8+2 Melee Weapons

10+2+1+1 Hardiness (would be a +5 at the end, from crystals, if singleton)

10+2 Parry

8+2+1 Bows (I would only assign 7 if properly planning for Vlosto's +1)

10 Sharpshooter

9 Lethal Blow (10+1 at level 35)

+2+1 Gymnastics (nothing assigned)

+1+1 Sniper (I neglected to train first, and didn't buy Vagro's crystal. It should be +2+1+2. But again, nothing assigned.)

9 Priest Spells

0 Resistance (+2+3, and/or a gear swap with another character, would cap her for Magic/Fire/Cold)

3 Tool Use

1+2 Nature Lore

3 Luck

 

As a singleton, you could take the extra point of Bows and the three of Luck and put them into Tool Use. You'd still need 3 more to beat the game, and you might like some Arcane Lore and possibly Nature Lore (though idk how worthwhile NL is considered for singletons). As for what to take points from, two obvious choices would be Parry and Lethal Blow. My instinct would be to keep Parry and forget Lethal Blow (which I view as icing on the cake for damage compared to Dex, gear, and Sharpshooter). I like that Parry is calculated separately, so if an enemy manages to beat your 5% chance to be hit, you still have a chance to parry the blow. It's pretty ridiculous for a tank tbh, but the question is whether you can tank/snipe your way through the game as a singleton, or whether there will be fights that are essentially unwinnable. Others have said it seems tedious compared to AoE spells, but if you happen to find it appealing as a challenge, be my guest to try it.

 

The key points I wanted to make here are that assigning points to Resistance is totally unnecessary for capping your spell damage resistances (as either a tank or singleton), and that assigning points to Gymnastics is totally unnecessary for becoming evasion-capped. In a party, Resistance is good for your spell casters who are probably wearing less protective armor than your fighter(s), and for whom the Spellcraft points required for this aren't wasted. And if you're pumping nothing but Dex, then after early game where it's impossible to become evasion-capped against anything, you'll probably occasionally counter enemies against whom you're not evasion-capped through midgame, but this could be an indicator that you should save those enemies for later. You'll certainly be evasion-capped endgame this way. If you'd like to experiment with the minimum Dex/Gymnastics needed to be evasion-capped against various enemies at various levels, keep in mind that 10 points in Gymnastics only buys you 4 points worth of Dex. So Gymnastics is a pretty inefficient source of evasion, incurring a high opportunity cost given all the other skills you might want.

 

There is one important detail I should point out: the above resistances are all based on having level 3 Ward of Elements, which requires 15 Priest Spells and 14 Arcane Lore. The AL requirement should be easy even for a singleton, with all the Vahnatai Lore available by this point in the game. I am thinking of getting 4+2 AL on my singleton to read the Move Mountains and Spray Acid spell books, which means I would need 8 VL to read lvl 3 Ward of Elements, or 5 if I get Sage Lore. I am also thinking of using some of the points freed up by not assigning points to Resistance, to get at least 17 Priest Spells for Divine Retribution. Then there is a choice between Parry and Mage Spells, and further between Spellcraft and 19 Mage Spells. For my first singleton run, I'll go with the conventional wisdom of caster. Archer seems like yet another level of challenge, or at least uncharted territory that I'm not ready to take on yet.

Edited by Nobear

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On 2/20/2018 at 9:16 AM, Randomizer said:

I did a torment difficulty singleton run as a mage/priest and as an Anama (priest). You don't really have the skill points to do 19/19 unless you want lower resistances. You can get armor and all resistances to 90% except poison and curse resistance.

 

You want some dexterity so you go first in outdoor encounters. You will never get enough to evade damage and it will reduce your superior damage using spells.

 

How much Dex do you need to go first in outdoor encounters, or alternately how much Quick Action? Does the requirement scale with enemy level or other factors?

 

I ask because there are items with Dex and Quick Action, there is the third stone circle you visit, and there's a trainer in Lorelei who teaches Quick Action. But I'm guessing it would just be near impossible to make it to those sources, as a torment singleton, without starting with some Dex. What's the minimum Dex I should actually assign?

Edited by Nobear

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You need Dexterity to 5 in order to go ahead of outdoor slimes. I'm not sure about Quick Action instead of Dexterity since I never tested it.

 

You need it because the AI has wandering slimes converge on your position trying to go between Fort Emergence and Krizsan.

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I wonder if you could avoid those slimes by going an alternate route, although this would be inconvenient and possibly more challenging/dangerous. You'd either have to go counterclockwise around the west coast of Kriszan (through the mountain pass guarded by unicorns, or around the whole range), or go clockwise east and then south.

 

What I know is that, at level 34, my whole party goes first against enemies including alien beasts and vahnatai. That includes my casters, who have only the 11 Dex they naturally get from leveling, and only the 2 Quick Action I bought from the trainer in Lorelei. Do you know the requirement for getting into Lorelei? You could use the Distant Hut teleporter if traveling by foot would be too dangerous.

 

It'd be nice to know the formula for determining combat order. It seems that, unlike in previous games, your chosen party order is maintained regardless of Dex scores. But controlling for that, is combat order just a countdown of Dex scores (modified by Quick Action)? And is there some file where I can look at NPC/monster stats? It would only make sense to take such extreme measures as above if it really prevented you from having to assign points in Dex, as opposed to just postponing the inevitable.

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2 hours ago, Nobear said:

It'd be nice to know the formula for determining combat order. It seems that, unlike in previous games, your chosen party order is maintained regardless of Dex scores.

 

I'm pretty sure there's actually a preference option to determine whether your party acts in order of action speed or is locked into acting in marching order.

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You can't enter Shamarik, Lorelei, or Gale until you've done at least plague quest. The Distant Hut teleporter leaves you outside the city gate.

 

You pretty much level up Dexterity enough to keep ahead of almost all the monsters after you can do the Around Krizsan area. I tried going north past the unicorn in the pass and it can be iffy on killing them at below level 3. Sometimes you can dodge the slimes, but it isn't easy.

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11 hours ago, Lilith said:

 

I'm pretty sure there's actually a preference option to determine whether your party acts in order of action speed or is locked into acting in marching order.

 

You're right, thanks. I'm sure I saw this option before, and just didn't have the game experience to see the significance of it.

 

My questions remain about

1) whether combat order is otherwise just a countdown of Dex scores modified by Quick Action, or includes other factors like PC/NPC levels

2) what specific effect Quick Action has on combat order (e.g. 2 Dex points worth of initiative per point of QA?), and

3) whether there's some file where I can view NPC/monster stats.

 

I suppose I could alternately have the character editor handy on my first torment singleton attempt, swap Int for Dex as needed, and take notes to report.

Edited by Nobear

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10 hours ago, Randomizer said:

You can't enter Shamarik, Lorelei, or Gale until you've done at least plague quest. The Distant Hut teleporter leaves you outside the city gate.

 

You pretty much level up Dexterity enough to keep ahead of almost all the monsters after you can do the Around Krizsan area. I tried going north past the unicorn in the pass and it can be iffy on killing them at below level 3. Sometimes you can dodge the slimes, but it isn't easy.

 

Correction: You can enter Sharimik after completing just the slime plague quest. You may not be able to pick up the mayor's quest yet, not that you'd want to, but you can access the city to buy spells and stuff. I will take your word on Lorelei and Gale, though.

 

In my full party runs, I always cleared the goblins and bandits in Upper Avernum first, and didn't reach the surface until level 5. idk how doable this would be as a torment singleton. I guess I can try!

 

btw you know what part amuses me to think about as a singleton? The part where 

Spoiler

the vahnatai jail you, and you get separated from your party and have to free them. My guess is that the same scripts will run, and you'll still feel great joy to be reunited with your nonexistent party :P.

 

Edited by Nobear

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1 hour ago, Randomizer said:

You're right about that part as a singleton. :)

 

lol nice.

 

Hey I know the post I wrote above our discussion is long, but the relevant part for planning my first torment singleton run is that I realized you can cap your magic damage resistances at 90% with the right gear and level 3 Ward of Elements, assigning NO points to Resistance. This requires at least 15 Priest Spells, and I think I'll go for at least 17 for Divine Retribution. But not assigning points to Resistance frees up skill points. The question is where is best to put those points.

 

1) Is there any reason to get 18 or 19 Priest Spells for a singleton? Can Divine Restoration cure any kinds of effects that can't be cured by other means, for instance?

 

2) If I want to have at least 12 Mage Spells for level 2 and 3 Dispel Barrier (and better mana efficiency, summons, damage type diversity, etc.), which would you give up first, Parry or Spellcraft?

 

3) Which is better, 10 Spellcraft or lvl 3 Cloak of the Arcane? Of course, sacrificing Spellcraft for higher Mage Spells would have other benefits beyond damage to existing spells.

 

4) Do you think it's worth it to assign any points to Nature Lore as a singleton? What good items would I be missing out on, and would certain areas be significantly more dangerous/annoying?

 

What I'm thinking is getting (by level 35) 8+2 Melee Weapons (and training other weapon skills to get AR), 10+ Hardiness (18 total possible, sheesh), 19 Mage Spells, 17 Priest Spells, 10 Tool Use, 4+2 Arcane Lore (for the Move Mountains and Spray Acid spellbooks, and to access more spell books with less Vahnatai Lore in general), and 5+2 Nature Lore. What do you think?

 

I guess the main point of leeway I see is that I could move up to 3 points from Tool Use to Nature Lore, and still beat the game with Tinker's Gloves and 2x Nimble Fingers. idk whether more TU or more NL would be better.

Edited by Nobear

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4 hours ago, Nobear said:

 

You're right, thanks. I'm sure I saw this option before, and just didn't have the game experience to see the significance of it.

 

My questions remain about

1) whether combat order is otherwise just a countdown of Dex scores modified by Quick Action, or includes other factors like PC/NPC levels

2) what specific effect Quick Action has on combat order (e.g. 2 Dex points worth of initiative per point of QA?), and

3) whether there's some file where I can view NPC/monster stats.

 

I suppose I could alternately have the character editor handy on my first torment singleton attempt, swap Int for Dex as needed, and take notes to report.

 

If I recall correctly, your combat speed is exactly equal to Dexterity + Luck + 2 x Quick Action. I don't think level factors directly into it, although of course Dexterity increases with level.

 

There is a text file in the game's scripts with all the monster stats in it, but some stats are derived from other stats instead of being stated directly in the script, and the base stats can be modified further by location-specific scripts, so figuring out exactly what stats a particular enemy in a particular area has could take some digging.

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Thank you. I guess I'll play that part by ear. Well Kaamaria the shaman has officially beaten her first (singleton torment) fight and gotten to level 2.

 

The name is from the World of Warcraft random name generator for female draenei. I let my mom play WoW once, and that's the character she made. I figure a shaman is a kind of mage/priest, so it kind of works :D.

Edited by Nobear

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In this post, I'll keep a record of initiative (i.e. Dex + Luck + Quick Action) requirements I encounter to go first in various fights.

 

1) Lizards in The Lost Papers quest (from Theresa in Fort Emergence): 3

 

2) Slimes on your way from Fort Emergence to Krizsan: 4 or less

 

3) Worg with goblins guarding the mine at the end of Wolfrider Warren: 7

 

4) Chitrachs for Help Out Sliths quest in New Formello: 14 or less

 

5) Slith Warriors, Flingers, and Mages near Erika's Tower: 14 or less

Edited by Nobear

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12 hours ago, Nobear said:

1) Is there any reason to get 18 or 19 Priest Spells for a singleton? Can Divine Restoration cure any kinds of effects that can't be cured by other means, for instance?

 

2) If I want to have at least 12 Mage Spells for level 2 and 3 Dispel Barrier (and better mana efficiency, summons, damage type diversity, etc.), which would you give up first, Parry or Spellcraft?

 

3) Which is better, 10 Spellcraft or lvl 3 Cloak of the Arcane? Of course, sacrificing Spellcraft for higher Mage Spells would have other benefits beyond damage to existing spells.

 

4) Do you think it's worth it to assign any points to Nature Lore as a singleton? What good items would I be missing out on, and would certain areas be significantly more dangerous/annoying?

 

What I'm thinking is getting (by level 35) 8+2 Melee Weapons (and training other weapon skills to get AR), 10+ Hardiness (18 total possible, sheesh), 19 Mage Spells, 17 Priest Spells, 10 Tool Use, 4+2 Arcane Lore (for the Move Mountains and Spray Acid spellbooks, and to access more spell books with less Vahnatai Lore in general), and 5+2 Nature Lore. What do you think?

 

I guess the main point of leeway I see is that I could move up to 3 points from Tool Use to Nature Lore, and still beat the game with Tinker's Gloves and 2x Nimble Fingers. idk whether more TU or more NL would be better.

1) I concentrated on Mage spells since they cost lest spell energy, so I never used high level Priest spells. Even in a 4 character party they weren't used that much.

 

2) Spellcraft is more useful for increased damage over the chance to avoid damage taken.

 

3) Level 3 Cloak of the Arcane tends to be more useful since it provides a percentage bonus, but get both since Spellcraft helps get Resistance.

 

4) Nature Lore is most useful for getting herb ingredients for potions rather than the caches.

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I disagree about Spellcraft vs Parry.  Spellcraft only increases damage by "+2%" -- which I place in quotes because it's not a flat x1.02 multiplier, rather all magic damage increases are added together, so the more you get, the more it drops; with Cloak of the Arcane active and the obvious spell damage traits, Spellcraft points will typically be increasing damage output between 1% and 1.4% each.

 

However, Randomizer makes a good point about Resistance, which is definitely more useful than Spellcraft.

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8 hours ago, And my heart too. said:

I disagree about Spellcraft vs Parry.  Spellcraft only increases damage by "+2%" -- which I place in quotes because it's not a flat x1.02 multiplier, rather all magic damage increases are added together, so the more you get, the more it drops; with Cloak of the Arcane active and the obvious spell damage traits, Spellcraft points will typically be increasing damage output between 1% and 1.4% each.

 

However, Randomizer makes a good point about Resistance, which is definitely more useful than Spellcraft.

 

I was thinking along the same lines, that "+20%" damage for 10 points seems like icing on the cake compared to other stuff. What precisely is the effect of Cloak of the Arcane btw, per level?

 

At this point, I have beaten the Slime Plague as a Torment singleton, and am on the Roach Plague. I am thinking of starting a guide, although I haven't finished my regular torment walkthrough lol. At least a character spotlight thread, with some potentially useful things like "initiative" (i.e. Dex + Luck + 2X Quick Action) requirements for going first in key encounters.

 

So far, my character could be a conventional singleton. She's level 13 and has AR with 8+2 Melee Weapons, 8 Mage Spells, 7 Priest Spells, 3+2 Tool Use, and 3+2 Arcane Lore. However, I I'm thinking of keeping a save soon and then taking her in an unconventional direction, motivated by this thread's original question of whether it's "possible" to have a 19/19 full mage-priest. Of course it's theoretically possible, and I have ideas to make it hopefully kick butt. In my longest post on this thread, I observed from my full-party Torment run that you can cap spell damage resistances with Hardiness, gear, and crystals, with NO points assigned to Resistance. This is more feasible in A3 than in previous games, I think, because of the (overkill, imho) blessing boxes, as well as the number of Hardiness and Resistance crystals it's possible to stack on one character. So my end goal for my singleton "shaman" Kaamaria is 19 Mage Spells, 17 Priest Spells, 10+ Hardiness, and NO assigned Spellcraft or Resistance.

 

If level 3 Cloak of the Arcane beats 10 Spellcraft like I suspect it does, this build should offer higher damage for Priest Spells (and I love Divine Retribution) than any Anama build. At the same time, it will offer all the benefits of Mage Spells protected by level 3 Ward of Elements, and thus allow me to reach 90% armor/magic/fire/cold (and mental, of course) resistances with NO points assigned to Resistance.

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34 minutes ago, And my heart too. said:

I have some rough numbers from testing CotA in some topic somewhere.  IIRC it was +20/30/40%.

 

Thanks. I thought I remembered +15/30/45%, but I just wanted to check that it wasn't crap. I find it amusing that my "shaman" will become a better priest than an Anama can be :D.

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