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Everything posted by Slawbug

  1. > "under 90+leadership" doesn't quite seem to convey "only if reputation minus leadership is less than 90" per the corresponding script). I think it does? If your reputation is less than (90 + leadership) you meet the qualification. It's just a much simpler way of putting it.
  2. Amazing! That's great. There are a bunch of smaller ones that aren't dependent on faction membership. - Some of these are obvious: if you complete Kill Twini you can't complete the quest Twini gives you, for example. If you complete Kill Tuldaric, you alienate the Awakened forever. - There are things faction membership cuts off (or enables) that aren't quests, like Taker membership denying you the Fort Muck raid with its irreplaceable drop; also merchants and trainers - There are also things that have nothing to do with factions. If you kill key infernals before getting the special rod from Shandoka, for example, you can never complete those quests or get their rewards - nlambert's Index lists a few other quests as faction-locked not on the list above; not sure which is accurate. for example, Recover Mutant Drayk is listed as Takers Only.
  3. What's unfortunately a bit more complicated to sort out in the scripts is what faction membership and quest completion enables and locks out, simply because there are so many weird little dependent variables, most of which do nothing, but a few of which lock something out -- sometimes indirectly.
  4. Playing as a Shaper definitely isn't required. Agents are very good. They just require a different approach. With a Shaper you can charge ahead using brute force, and defeat enemies by overwhelming power. Agents will always be worse at that than Shapers. They can become spellcasting machines, though, and not having a big party (potentially even playing solo) gives them some extra tactical options. Be careful how you enter rooms with big fights; find ways to position yourself (stealth can help) so you don't face everything all at once. Often, you can use status effects (Daze is huge, early on; Airshock is amazing later) to disable extra enemies and pick them off one by one. Wyx is a very hard fight for early in the game, and is not intended to be fought that early. Class has nothing to do with it. On higher difficulty levels you essentially can't. Re-upping on essence is annoying wasted time, since you can (almost) always just leave and do it without penalty, I agree. For that reason, you might consider the shift-D code "rechargeme" to be less of a cheat and more of a timesaver. YMMV.
  5. A fourth version of the original trilogy? Lol. But that is admittedly a much simpler job. (Number of times Jeff has now created a Tower of Magi map, which he once swore he'd never do again: 15 and counting...)
  6. I think that would get awfully confusing.
  7. One exception: you can voluntarily leave the Awakened by going to Learned Pinner, because the Awakened walk the talk when it comes to individual freedom.
  8. Old topic, old verison; please see new version here.
  9. Keep in mind that Randomizer probably did a lot of other things optimally. If you're making viable rather than optimal choices in all areas, a mixed-shaping-type party on Torment might be well below 80% to hit chance in those fights. On Normal, agree it should be viable regardless.
  10. Yeah. This is incredibly annoying -- these tooltips have been misleading ever since the first Geneforge more than 20 years ago. I don't know why Jeff refuses to change them to something clearer.
  11. This is what I get for filtering for z*.txt. Very glad you pointed that out, thanks!
  12. If you dismiss her before you enter the tunnel, she will be back in the Mines and can be recruited again. However, she seems hardcoded to leave when entering any (?) post-tunnel zone. I guess someone else had the same bright idea I did and Jeff closed that loophole.
  13. Rot spray does pathetic damage compared to their attack. I can imagine circumstances where a gazer's AoE is useful even if I don't consider it worth buying, but a Rot's is truly not good. Innate Haste is mostly wasted on them because their attack only uses 6 AP. Haste (of any variety) will never get them an extra attack if they start the turn within 1 square of their target, or if they start the turn more than 4 squares away. That limits its utility significantly. Okay, this is interseting approximating math. One thing this does bring up, is that it's an option for a way to mix shaping types. Not a super efficient one, but better than trying to pump lots of different shaping types. I don't think it would work out super well (and notably, it works poorly for the eyebeast, who maybe would be the most tempting out-of-type "single grab"). But any levels you can get from essence don't require investing solely in one shaping type. The issue there, I guess, is that you're limited to a small handful of essence-based levels (especially before you start investing in the less useful stats, which realistically is everything beides the primary attack stat). But it's something, I guess. (...actually, you can use items, like Sharon's robe, to shape the higher-difficulty-required creations, and then take them off. But having the resulting level 12 eyebeast is just kinda funny.) ...the more I think about that though, the worse it sounds. Does fire/magic gain that much by having one Rot in place of a Drakon/Glaahk, to make up for lower levels? Not really. (Fire AoEs you really want to go all or nothing on IMO, and the math on this is worse for magic creations.)
  14. Are you sure Rhakkus qualifies? I see Syros and Akkat in the scripts but not him.
  15. Have you tried charging it, with the required items present, at an enchanted anvil? EDIT: Actually, there's an easy way to check this. Type shift-D, then in the window that appears, type "gsdf 22 18" and hit enter. Tell us what message appears at the bottom of the screen afterwards.
  16. You are correct about Drakons! I grouped Drakons and Roamers together, the comments are generally meant to apply to both. The top creations for every shaping type, in this analysis, are 3rd or 4th tier. If you don't join a faction early, you can't access any of them until the Loyalist Encampment at the earliest. Rotghroths are actually available there, though, as well as from Tyallea (i.e., the earliest good creation opportunity, for if you join Zakary), from Tuldaric, etc. If I were gonna do 1 of each class and shaping type, I'd probably put Fire Shaping with the Shaper. Because Fire Shaping is brute force it relies more on maxing out its essence/shaping levels, so Agents are a rougher fit. Because it's AoE, it plays poorly with melee (on higher difficulty anyway) and therefore a lot of Guardian fun. I'd stick Magic Shaping with the Guardian (who can tank for them a little, and who can rely on them for a lot of magic needs), and Battle with the Agent (who can do the reverse, supporting them with mental magic and buffs, while letting them take the hits).
  17. No one was saying "never get any Essence Mastery." The argument was with "pick the cheaper one to increase" which would result in a wildly comical amount of essence. First off, one thing that's been ignored here is that there are five free levels of Essence Mastery to be gained from canisters, quests, etc. OK, two of those are for slaying faction leaders, but three of them are reasonably findable at endgame. Now let's look at the formula: Essence = 4 + ( (EMastery + 1) * (Level + 2) ) You can get up to around level 24, but let's just pick level 20 for a very conservative endgame level. Shapers start with 4 EM, we'll take that conservative 3 bonus levels. This endgame-but-not-actually-done character will have 180 essence without any investment in Essence Mastery. (At level 24, they'd be up to 212 essence.) You used drayks as an example, so let's look at fire shaping here: 7 drayks with key investments is 182 essence. Now, there's other considerations here -- maybe you don't actually want 7 (I personally am happier with 5 or 6, because cone positioning); or maybe you want to pay for Overdrive on all of them. And of course you want some free essence for spells. But each manual EM point is 22 essence. Just getting 2 points would bring you to 224 essence (or 264 at level 24). 2, maybe 3 points is plenty of essence even with 7 drayks. But your argument was "always." So now let's consider a team of 7 Rots, who are cheap and really don't want any augments besides a single copy of the DoT+ passive. That's a total cost of just 141 essence. That fits just fine into 180 essence, and it leaves lots of space to play at 212 essence. Now, suppose we invested in whichever of shaping skill or essence mastery was cheaper. At level 20 that's 190 skill points to play with, say 60 are thrown at spells, mechanics, leadership. That means we buy around 12 points of shaping skill and 10 points of essence mastery. That's not crazy on the shaping investment, but the essence mastery? We'll be at 400 essence. (472 at level 24.) That's nuts. EDIT: I split this all into a new topic because it's pretty much its own separate thing anyway.
  18. The problem is that you're stuck with those sunk points in Essence Mastery for the whole game. And for most of the game, that point in Essence Mastery is not going to be preferable to an extra level on all your creations. That doesn't mean Essence Mastery is worthless, but it does mean the deciding factor should not just be "what's mildly more useful at level 4," especially if that mild advantage isn't going to make or break your progress. The deciding factor should be "what's better overall, in the long run?" A few points in Essence Mastery is fine; but in the long run "pick the cheaper one to increase" would be a pretty bad strategy.
  19. Good point about Gazer/Eyebeast AoEs, though they are also much weaker than their main attack (in addition to being on cooldown). The short answer is no, for several reasons: (1) You probably want to stick with one shaping type for the whole game. (2) It's going to depend 100% on what factions you join. (3) The top tier creations beat the fyora/thahd/artila by enough, in G2, that you can safely replace those as soon as you have access to the better ones, regardless of your essence. The point of the "8 levels of training" is just to standardize. You could pick "3 levels" or "12 levels" and it wouldn't change much. That said, as a Shaper, it really only takes 2 levels worth of skill points to get up to a Shaping Skill of 6, and there are early armors for +1 as well. Nora is exceptional period -- unless you're eschewing other party members entirely, any party wants her around for 100% of the Drypeak area. The others mostly aren't that great from what I've seen, though there's still 1 or 2 I haven't gotten to yet. Early on Shaping skill probably matters more, and later on extra essence may or may not even be needed. Essence goes up with XP level, but creation level doesn't. Having the required skill to cast key spells, which early on might mean Group Healing or Dominate, also pretty key. If I'm running something with cheap creations, honestly, I'd either never boost Essence Mastery or give it very few boosts. If I plan on Eyebeasts etc I might give it an extra couple pumps. In general though, I'd avoid putting too many points into Essence Mastery.
  20. I posted some analysis relevant to some of these discussions here, thoughts welcome.
  21. Here's an analysis of creations and shaping types in Infestation. This is similar to my topic for Mutagen, which uses objective math as much as possible, and tries to "flatten" a profusion of numbers into just a few easy-to-compare scores per creation. Overview Infestation has maybe the best balance among Shaping Types from any Geneforge game, old or new. Some creations are still a lot better than others, but each shaping type is quite strong when used correctly, and each excels in different situations. Fire Shaping excels in spammable AoE attacks. This is great when you face numerous enemies that aren't spread too far apart. It's a brute-force, inflexible approach which requires minimal thinking or support (though tactical positioning can be important). Battle Shaping can pump out an obscene amount of ST damage when in melee range, making it especially good against tough high-HP enemies where there is one primary threat that doesn't move around. Closing to melee swiftly is crucial. It also has the sturdiest creations, so pairs well with healing. Magic Shaping offers reliable, renewable access to incredibly powerful statuses that go beyond what spellcasting can get you. It has the most variety, and is very flexible. As such, it rewards (and sometimes requires) thoughtful tactics and flexible thinking from the player. General Approach Level matters, since it's the almost sole determiner of attack accuracy (in addition to boosting evasion, HP, and damage). The most effective way to increase creation level is by increasing the PC's Shaping skills... which means that, if you're shaping at all, those skills will offer a bigger "bang for their buck" than increasing Battle Magic or Melee Weapons ever will. Because of this, advancing only one category of Shaping is most effective. Spreading out those points just to throw in creations that can cause certain status effects, or tank slightly better (it's really hard to tank at all with Mutagen's combat logic) mostly isn't worth it. Even the status effects won't land consistently. Creations, Best to Worst Because the shaping types play so distinctly, I've split up the "best to worst" list by shaping type. The numbers listed below are my own calculations (based off raw game data + spreadsheets, and sanity checked by playtesting). They assume the PC has 8 levels in each shaping skill and all Create X canisters/codexes/training. - Essence cost: expected cost (with recommended augments) / base cost - Survivability: HP, magnified it to represent damage "prevented" by resistances/augments, & averaged the phys/elem numbers. - DPS: Average damage from their best repeatable attack, multiplied for haste and crit passives, bonus AP, etc. as appropriate. - New to this analysis: I have also adjusted DPS slightly (-3% per notch below a threshold) to account for accuracy based on creation level and default attack accuracy, which is relevant against endgame bosses (or any time you're "pushing it"). - They do not assume the presence of any PC equipment that boosts creation stats. Fire Creations, Best to Worst Tier 1: Drayks (26/14 essence for LV 16, Survival 201, DPS 71(124) w/ AoE spam) Tier 2: Fyoras . (12/6 essence for LV 14, Survival 101, DPS 35(61) w/ AoE spam) - Basically the same creation, Drayks just have higher base level, better attack mults (+ faster animations) - Best offensive passives lets them spam AoE cone attacks with average output boosted 25% via haste chance (it's +35% but stacks additively with the Haste status) - Overload (damage in parentheses) is hard to use early, but once you hit higher creation HP and get Mass Healing, it allows you to deal insane amounts of damage with very little risk - Cheap cost allows you to run many copies, boost level+damage with Int levels, and/or conserve essence Tier 3: Drakons (24/24 essence for LV 19, Survival 318, DPS 142 w/ Burn) Tier 4: Roamers . (11/8 essence for LV 14, Survival 153, DPS 43 w/ Wrack) - Less efficient than Drayks/Fyoras, but a decent option if you want to mix in a sturdy creation with ST damage for similar total cost - AoEs are weak and not worth buying, but Drakon Burn does get you some extra DoT Tier Nope: Cryoas . . . . (18/9 essence for LV 15, Survival 153, DPS 37 w/ Daze) Tier Nope: Cryodrayks (33/18 essence for LV 17, Survival 208, DPS 83 w/ Daze) Tier Nope: Ur-Drakons (36/36 essence for LV 20, Survival 330, DPS 165 w/ Burn) - More expensive versions of their base types that just aren't worth the extra cost in any way Tier Nope: Pyroroamers (12 essence for LV 11 remote controlled bomb) - Poor use of essence compared to just making another AoE spammer Battle Creations, Best to Worst Tier 1: Rotghroths (18/18 essence for LV 19, Survival 351, DPS 127(222) w/ Acid + DoT Boost) - 6 AP attack means unparalleled ST damage for their essence cost if they can stay in close melee range - Free Acid and an only-one-needs-to-buy-it boost to all your Acid and Poison also helps with DoT to take down big single targets - Overload (damage in parentheses) makes their damage output even more insane, though it's not free - Tankiest creation outside of Rotdhizons, and tankiest by a mile for their essence cost Tier 3: Battle Alphas (22/14 essence for LV 18, Survival 320, DPS 65 w/ Stun/Daze) Tier 4: Thahds . . . . . . (12/6 essence for LV 14, Survival 141, DPS 40 w/ Stun/Daze) - Worse DPS than Rots, but if you want some creation-based Stun and Daze they're an OK option Tier 4: Iron Clawbugs (13/10 essence for LV 17, Survival 167, DPS 53 w/ Poison) - Early game stat upgrade over Thahds, better for longer fights where one Stun won't cut it - The only alternate creation that is cheap enough to overshadow the base creation entirely Tier 4: Stalkthorns (20/12 essence for LV 18, Survival 180, DPS 105 w/ Slow/Poison) - Needs to be Rooted to get this DPS - Situational, disposable option for when Battle Shaping really needs a ranged attack Tier Nope: Rotdhizons . (33/26 essence for LV 19, Survival 459, DPS 151 w/ Acid + DoT Boost) Tier Nope: Battle Betas (28/18 essence for LV 21, Survival 337, DPS 82 w/ Stun/Daze) - More expensive versions of their base types that just aren't worth the extra cost - Battle Betas might have a super limited use case due to the unusual 3 level advantage over Battle Alphas, for if you need stuns and that 15% accuracy really matters. Tier Nope: Clawbugs (11/8 essence for LV 13, Survival 136, DPS 32 w/ Poison) - Only slightly cheaper than its upgraded version and much worse Tier Nope: Volatile Thahds (10 essence for LV 13 remote controlled bomb) - Doesn't play well with Battle Creations since everything else wants to be in melee range; it can't really help you close to melee either Tier Lol: Ornks (20/12 essence for LV 9, Survival 64, DPS 13 w/ Stun) Magic Creations, Best to Worst Tier 1: Gazers . . . (28/22 essence for LV 20, Survival 198, DPS 153 w/ Charm + Status Rave) Tier 1: Eyebeasts (41/32 essence for LV 21, Survival 202, DPS 159 w/ Null + Status Rave) - Strong ranged ST DPS which also spams inconsistent but strong statuses - Nullity is situationally fight-winning, and uses Curse Resistance, which is rare - Dominate is situationally fight-winning - Incredibly flexible creations, limited only by your tactical imagination - Can even tack on Wrack/Vulnerable access if needed - Eyebeasts are expensive, but just one makes a big difference - Extra Gazers can be fairly affordable, as they don't all need Dominate Tier 2: Glaahks . . . (27/17 essence for LV 16, Survival 268, DPS 59 w/ Stun spam) Tier 3: Ur-Glaahks (34/22 essence for LV 17, Survival 243, DPS 64 w/ Stun spam + Charm) - Stun spam is situationally fight-winning - Dominate is situationally fight-winning, though Gazers are probably the better user - Being restricted to melee is a limitation, but they are also among the sturdiest creations For a party combining several of these 4 creations: Nullity, Dominate, and Stun attack 3 different resistances, so you'll never truly be locked out of a status-based strategy. Tier 4: Artilas (11/7 essence for LV 15, Survival 117, DPS 34 or 53 w/ Poison) - Great early game creations with an oddly powerful melee attack - Better than Fyoras until you have the essence/stats to take advantage of good AoE spam Tier 5: Vlish (13/10 essence for LV 13, Survival 109, DPS 32 w/ Curse) - Not very good, but being the only consistent way to place Curse gives it a potential niche Tier 5: Searing Artila (24/12 essence for LV 16, Survival 104, DPS 38 w/ AoE spam + Acid) - Similar to a Fyora, but costs twice as much - Does have access to both acid (ranged) and poison (melee), for a situational DoT inclusion Tier Nope: Charged Vlish (18/14 essence for LV 14, Survival 116, DPS 39 w/ Vulnerable) - Like Vlish, but more expensive, and there are better Vulnerable sources (like Gazers) Tier Nope: Cockatrice (32/20 essence for LV 21, Survival 192, DPS 74 w/ Stun/Daze) - A bit like a Glaahk that only tries to stun half the time - Requires picking up canisters all over the distant bits of the map to even achieve these stats
  22. Searing Artilas also get that combo... but Searing Artilas cost literally twice as much as Fyoras. You could make 2 fyoras and do twice the damage, or you could get that acid. Magic shaping is great but searing artilas (while not without their use) are not the main reason why.
  23. On Mechanics, you do feel it in the demo area if you avoid investing in it. That's pretty much the only place. By the end of the demo area you can go back and open old stuff with the living tools you have, and after that even 5-6 mech is enough to never really have to backtrack. Remember that the formula for living tool use is Lock Level / (Mechanics + 1), and it's rounded down (to a minimum of zero). A lot of doors and traps have difficulty levels of 10, 12, 15, 20, 25... what does this mean in practice? Let's consider some examples: L 10 door (very common) L 10 door costs 1 living tool with Mechanics 5-9 L 10 door costs 2 living tools with Mechanics 3-4 L 10 door costs 3 living tools with Mechanics 2 L 10 door costs 5 living tools with Mechanics 1 L 10 door costs 10 living tools with Mechanics 0 L 20 door L 20 door costs 1 living tool with Mechanics 10+ L 20 door costs 2 living tools with Mechanics 6-9 L 20 door costs 3 living tools with Mechanics 5 L 20 door costs 4 living tools with Mechanics 4 L 20 door costs 5 living tools with Mechanics 3 L 20 door costs 6 living tools with Mechanics 2 L 25 door (unusually difficult) L 25 door costs 1 living tool with Mechanics 12+ L 25 door costs 2 living tools with Mechanics 8-11 L 25 door costs 3 living tools with Mechanics 6-7 L 25 door costs 4 living tools with Mechanics 5 If you're just worried about conserving living tools, the impact is pretty large up to around Mechanics 5-6 but after that it drops off. You end up with a pretty large living tool surplus eventually even just at Mechanics 6. So I think Randomizer is right on here. I was just noting that there is an extra +1 from that book, too, so there's 7 free points by the end.
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