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Everything posted by Clintone

  1. This is the easiest Spiderweb game I've ever played...but like the above person says, it matters heavily how much you pay attention to key mechanics. I tend to be careful. Other games have more random elements that make them harder for careful people like me. You have plan ahead more in this game. That's pretty much the difference between hitting a solid wall and breezing your way through.
  2. I don't remember what contract you're referring to. There's one where you get an agreement with the Mascha at their capital city. You agree to terms and agree to fight on their side and make a contract with them. There's something else where you can reap profits from an organization that buys and sells Owen. There's also an agreement to trade with the main Vol cities. I first took the agreement with the Mascha and told them I'd side with them, but then sided with the Owen anyway. I don't know if that damages your reputation or not. I also agreed to trade with the main Vol cities.
  3. I was convinced as soon as it was said that the Nisse lived underground, have grey skin (didn't the Vahnatai have grey skin?) and were harmed by sunlight.
  4. So, I posted two other posts about this game on here. I'm going to post a third now. I've re-built 6 of the seven fortresses. I still think the game should involve more freedom, especially in the beginning, but the plot contains some wonderful writing. I especially like the stuff in the Ukat areas. You do get more freedoms as the game goes on. Bloodletting of the Ukats is great for boss-fights, as it's cumulative. The Ariel have some phenomenal mind control abilities and mental defense resistance abilities. The Vol have some options that can let you be more evasive. I can imagine different strategies. You might have 3 Vol so that your group's evasion goes sky-high, or 3 Ukats so you can knock out bosses quickly and worry about their minions later...kind of like assassins. You could have 3 Ariel so that you can control minds and keep your foes fighting amongst themselves so you never get hit, or some combination of the 3. I still don't think it's up to the standards of Geneforege 5, Avernum 5 and 6, but I think it's about the level of the Avernum remakes. I like it, and I'm glad I chose to keep playing. Don't be too turned off by the beginning. The world feels extremely real too...probably more real than other Spiderweb games I've played.
  5. So...let's see...magical creatures were originally created in the Geneforge series. Dragons and drakes and etc. spread outwards to colonize the world. Next comes The Queen's Wish series, a proto Empire from the Avernum games. Its diplomatic, assimilation-based approach eventually conquers most of the known world. Avadon gets stick in there somewhere too. I didn't play enough of those games to know where. Next comes the Avernum games. After the Avernum games comes the new Avernum games - Avernum 7 through Avernum 22, which just keep being made forever. By Avernum 23, the Nethergate game begins and the last magical creatures in the world are hiding out in ancient Britannia. Finally there's a game that takes place in modern times in which archeologists find the ruins of many ancient civilizations with a map leading to a portal. The archaeologists enter and find a bunch of lizard people who hiss when they talk. You now play as the modern military and you battle the Vahnatai who are annoyed at all the fracking.
  6. So...I just finished the demo on torment and here are my thoughts. I've bought about half the spiderweb games and played the demos for about everything else except for the Exile series...so I'm a fairly large fan of these games. The Queen's Wish is definitely more forgiving than past games. Past games paid far less attention to what we might call "fairness." Humans in the early Avernum series had more or less no advantages. In the remakes they were kind of broken and there was little reason not to use all humans. In Geneforge, the guardian class was horrible pretty much all the way through the games. In the Avernum remakes melee weapons were almost totally obsolete compared to bows and magic. Magic has been overpowered for pretty much ever single Spiderweb game I can remember except for The Queen's Wish and Avadon. What was even more annoying was that most of the time you had no way of figuring that out until far into the game...especially in the Avernum remakes that were a lot less forgiving of doing anything the wrong way. Now, in the Queen's Wish you can reset your skill points just by going back to a fortress and the skill trees seem reasonably even. Nothing seems extremely overpowered or extremely useless. However, I, and apparently lots of people were more than willing to play through the pain and the temptation to throw our computers across the room and the making of voodoo dolls with Jeff's name on them that we'd stab with needles in rage...partly for the storylines, but also because it was neat to have such control over the characters, for me at least. I like the idea of building my own character, making mistakes with it, and trying to trudge through. I think what I was hoping for was something closer to what we might call "fair" than the older games but with countless different strategies to beat, that you had to experiment with to figure out, not just in terms of strategy but in terms of character creation. I like to feel like I can mess everything up if I build my character the wrong way. So, I think, personally...I'd like something less "fair." I'd like something with less emphasis on balance, but more of the Avernum remakes' neat looking spells. I'd like more neat options (like stealth...if someone introduces a stealth skill you can train in I will be euphoric for years to come). I'd like something where it feels more like you're dropped into a real environment that doesn't care about you and you have to find ways to survive in. I'd like the fortress building system to have more options you can mess up your game with. I would like the keeping of the option of resetting your skill points though...but maybe that could be an important part of the strategy. Maybe you find out that bows are literally designed to be completely useless, except in rare circumstances, and you learn from that and re-train your character to get through the game. For me, balance has little to nothing to do with finding games fun. What I enjoy more about games is the mood - if there are interesting spells that enhance the mood like the awesome blink, call the storm, and daze from the Avernum remakes?. Can I creep through the darkness stealthily as a solo character? Can I surge through my enemies, crushing everything in sight as a warrior? ignoring arrows with my steely skin and knocking people out of the way with my war hammer? Can I have a team of archers agilely sniping away then fleeing, luring foes who chase them into traps? I think both the Geneforge series and Avernum 6 had all that...and the Avernum remakes had most of that (although I still say every melee weapon and polearm in the game was totally useless, and so was multi-tasking, and not figuring that out until halfway through the game made me want to throw my laptop across the room) It seems like though, both the Avadon series and The Queens Wish lost a lot of that personality. I can't choose whether or not to be stealthy, or snipe as archers, or plow through barbarically, or control people's minds with magic as much anymore. I just kind of go into dungeons, and then there's a best way of doing things, and that's a pretty strait-forward path, and you can veer away from that path a little, but not as much as I'd like. I do like the game though. I just had a lot of ideas for improvements for past games...and none of the big ones really went into this one that haven't been in past games before. Even the fortress building system, while interesting, seems like it's just the beginning of something that could be more interesting if there were more potential ways to mess everything up. Maybe we could build two or three alchemist shops or taverns (and other buildings) per fortress rather than just one so we could specialize in one area of skill a bit more, or have the choice of multi-tasking a but more, or spending more on gold-producing taverns that might make things harder at first through having less access to weapons, but help more over the long run...stuff like that. In my opinion, a more complicated, more free, fortress-building system alone would bring the game up to the level of being something really new and special.
  7. I completed the Demo on Torment. 3 points: #1. The stun skill and the terror spell are extremely useful. #2. The only good healing spell is the one only your main character can get, but it's very useful #3. After most fights each of your characters regains 1 energy, but no more health.
  8. I've been very impressed with the writing. My favorite games had been Geneforge 5, Avernum 5, and Avernum 6 and I recommend everyone at least try those. I've been a bit disappointed with the way things have been going ever since then, with the simplification of the character design system. I loved the interesting spells in the Avernum remakes...but Avadon seemed to lack those and the Queen's Wish doesn't seem to have many interesting spells so far...but it's still early. I would like one of these series letting you cast mass madness on level 1 goblins. I do get the impression your speech and actions are going to have a lot more of an affect on your environment than past games though, although I'm still in the demo. The conversations seem very realistic, and I think I like exploring this new world and learning about it and I'm enjoying not knowing whether I'll do what the queen wants or what direction things will go. That's something different I appreciate a lot...that not having the faintest clue how the ending will go. I think this is my favorite of the new generation of games anyway, that began with the first Avernum remake, so far. For all I know though, I could decide I like this as much as Geneforge 5 and Avernum 5 and 6 though, just in a different way, depending on where things go from here. I don't like the graphics, but I think that's to make it easier to play on phones or something. Your relationship with your royal family seems very real, and I like how you're in the ruling class now. You're the person most of your characters from past games used to steal from all the time. That's an interesting change. I do very much like the fact that you can re-assign your skill points whenever you want. I'm sure that'll keep me from wanting to throw my laptop across the room like I've been tempted to do in past games upon realizing I've been investing in useless skills for the past fifteen levels.
  9. Try playing as a sociopath. I just started a game like that...insulting the queen and my siblings and demanding to be sent home and complaining to the locals about how my character doesn't care about their rotten little trash-heap of a nation.. Right now, my character is a raging narcissist. My idea is she'll learn to become more Machiavellian and subtle in time so that the "herd" will give her more things she wants. You'll have the opportunity to flog a war hero for complaining in the early part of the game. I haven't done much yet, but given how much your speech and behaviors appear to affect your environment, I'm thinking this game would work pretty well with roleplaying. If you tell your butler to polish your armor, fix your hair, and make you a drink after either behaving like that or...or answering some question in some way, he says, I forgot the exact words, but they were something like, "I'll go do my daily cry now." Whereas if you're a nicer, or more tactful person, he merely is glad to be of service.
  10. it worked just fine on my windows 10 32 bit laptop, full graphics and all. Mine's an HP computer, by the way.
  11. Oh...I get what you're saying...going back to your comment: It recommends 64 MB of vram, with 32 MB required. And it requires 32-bit color depth. These are both different questions from processor bit architecture, which is not actually mentioned. Soooo.... who knows.
  12. Here's where I looked just now: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1058130/Queens_Wish_The_Conqueror/ Minimum: Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system OS: Vista or Later Processor: 1.2 GHZ Memory: 250 MB RAM Graphics: 256 MB VRAM Storage: 400 MB available space Maybe I didn't look around on that website enough. That's where the steam link from the Spiderweb page sent me though. Nothing about 32 bit options there, at least.
  13. Also, if you think about the height of many of the monsters - wolves, giant lizards, giant spiders and such, and you think about their average eye and more importantly, mouth height....
  14. Yeah, I saw that just now on the Spiderweb page. I had only checked the Steam download page, where it only mentions a 64 bit processor. The Spiderweb page recommends 64 bits, but says it can work with 32.
  15. Thanks. I actually have Windows 10...it's just that it's 32 bit, rather than 64.
  16. Any way I can reduce the graphics to play the game on a 32 bit computer? Thanks.
  17. I also saw a big message of the games to be rebelling against corrupt authority figures. I saw another important theme I thought was a major part of the games too: The games made me think of the story of the Hawk and the Nightingale. In Hesiods's "The Hawk and the Nightingale," a hawk grasps a nightingale in its talons...and there's nothing the nightingale can do about that. It doesn't matter what the nightingale's opinion of that is. It doesn't matter whether the hawk is right or wrong. The hawk has the power, because it's the stronger of the pair. Might makes right. I saw that theme throughout all of the games frequently. 1.Before the events of Avernum, the Empire is the undisputed hawk. It has all the power. It doesn't matter whether it's right or wrong, for most citizens. Nothing they can do can stop it. 2. Eventually, the Empire finds an enormous series of caves that would come to be called Avernum in the future. The Empire leaders are used to seeing themselves as hawks. They can't imagine not being hawks, so they send their explorers down to the underworld to conquer that, just like they conquered the surface world. They soon find out there are bigger hawks down there than them. The Slithzerikai, for example, are perfectly at home down in the dark tunnels, and the Empire explorers soon become nightingales caught in their talons, and none of them survive. It doesn't matter who was right or wrong. The sliths were the stronger. 3. The empire finds a useful purpose for the underworld: a prison. People are terrified of the unknown, so throwing malcontents into the underworld terrifies the populace into obeying all the more. Those who rebel find themselves thrown into the underworld, where they have no more power. The best they can hope for in the underworld is to survive. It doesn't matter who is right or wrong. The Empire is the strongest...at least on the surface. The prior rebelliousness of the new citizens of the underworld pretty much, probably, amounted to nothing. 4. With the first Avernum game (Escape from the Pit) we find that hawks can come in different forms. The new human residents of the underworld, which they now call Avernum, are weaker than the Empire soldiers were in almost every way. They lack the arrogance of the prior underworld visitors though, and they're fighting to survive and preserve their homes...not fighting for some distant emperor or treasures. They begin to build families, and that makes them all the stronger. It gives them more will to endure. The Avernites become the new hawks of the underworld. It doesn't matter whether they're right or wrong. They're the strongest...although that strength gives them the ability to build a fairer system of government than the empire they came from had. 5. The second Avernum game shows some of the problems that occur when a nightingale attempts to rebel against a hawk. Erika Redmark wanted vengeance against the Empire, so she helped assassinate the Emperor. The game never really makes it clear whether or not this was the wisest choice, and I like that. The choice to assassinate the Emperor kicks off the next five games, but it wasn't necessarily the best choice. Avernum might have been wiped out as a result, and it wouldn't have mattered whether they were right or wrong, because the Empire would have been the stronger. The Empire made the same mistake they made in their first incursion into the underworld though: They forgot there were other hawks under the Earth, such as the Vahnatai, who promptly wiped the floor with them after the Empire made the mistake if irritating them. 6. The third Avernum game, Ruined World, shows some of the positive consequences of Erika's vengeance. The assassination of the old emperor, combined with stomping some humility into the Empire appeared to have taught them that they can't just stomp everything they don't like into no longer being problematic, because there will always be a bigger hawk somewhere, and some of them may come from unexpected places. Again, it was strength that determined everything. Erika's assassination of the old Emperor might have doomed Avernum if events had occurred only slightly differently, but Erika's actions might have also saved the last tribes of nephilim and magical creatures on the surface of the world from the genocidal attitude of the old leadership. 7. Avernum 4 shows more of the consequences of Erika Redmark's vengeance...again making me question the wisdom of assassinating the old Emperor. 8. In Avernum 5 you play as soldiers of the Empire, which is now on more or less friendly terms with Avernum. You see some of the positive effects of Erika Redmark's assassination of the old Emperor. The Empire now has entirely ceased its genocidal ways. It allows nonhumans into its military. You explore the frontier...but humans can be found doing what humans do. In many ways, they don't seem to be improving life in the underworld for its original nonhuman residents, so much as expanding and taking land from magical creatures who already lived there. The Avernites have no genocidal tendencies like the Empire had...but nonetheless drakes, Vahnatai, and other magical creatures can be found expressing hostility towards the expanding humans, or feeling resigned to their eventual extinction. There are circumstances in which you don't have to side with the expanding humans. You can side with the nonhumans in certain ways, and push the humans back. Avernum has become wealthy and free, but despite its success there's a lingering attitude of...would it have been for the best if humans had never come down to the underworld? 9. In Avernum 6 you play as soldiers of Avernum. Humans aren't built for life in the underworld, and it's beginning to show in multiple ways. Even the more peaceful nonhumans are beginning to push back. Avernum never turns into a glorious and powerful and free nation. It starts to fade and keeps fading. Despite all the struggle in defense of it, the game again asks the question: Would it have been best for humans to never enter the underworld? I don't think the game ever tells that answer. 10. So, the game leaves you not knowing whether or not it would have been better for nobody to ever have rebelled against the Empire. It's a genuine possibility everyone would have been better off if they'd just all bowed and scraped and passively stood by and let the nephilim and other magical creatures be driven into extinction...and I like that. However the game also makes the point that hawks can be found in unexpected places, and made in unexpected ways, and in the end the weakest members of society who had feebly rebelled against the godlike Empire, ended up saving it, assassinating its emperor, and teaching it humility and a better way of perceiving the world around it.
  18. Unlike some of the commenters here, I thought the difficulty was quite tough. I think this could be moderately challenging for level 30 parties. About level 25 seems like it would be about the appropriate level to do this scenario. There are some impressive goodies and training, although I wonder if they're too impressive. On the other hand, you really have to earn them. I have no idea how players thought this was easy. Good
  19. The difficulty is good good for a beginning party. Not too tough or too easy. The 1-5 level difficulty rating is accurate. It increases between the main map and the final dungeon, so it gives your party a chance to grow before fighting the toughest areas, so I liked that. There are lots of secrets, which I very much enjoyed. Lots of humor, which I very much enjoyed, but how much you do will depend on your taste in humor. Some nice items are here too for a low level party...though nothing to dramatically overpower your party. Rating: best
  20. Thanks for the input. Regarding my aforementioned testing of what affects the duration of blessings - I was almost always, but not always, casting protection spell immediately following protection spell without waiting for the spells to fade. I did some more testing with that same party I tested before. They had no items that should have affecting blessings. I had the party saved at level 1. I used a cheat code to gain enough experience to bring them up to level 20 and started several new rounds of testing. I wanted to see if the seemingly negligible effect of intelligence, spellcraft, or other stuff was magnified by five levels of the trait that improves blessing spells. Therefore, in all of the following tests the caster had five levels of the blessing focus trait. Also, each time I cast protection I waited for all the turns of protection to fade from my characters before casting it again, for all the rounds of testing. Note that I found out that the blessing focus trait makes it so that your characters might get different amounts of turns of blessing from one another when a blessing spell is cast. Without that trait, (or presumably items that say they enhance blessings) all four of my characters would get the same number of turns of blessing spells as each other every time the spells were cast. First, I gave my caster character 9 intelligence, 2 priest spells, 2 mage spells and no spellcraft (at level 20). They had five levels of the blessing focus trait. 10 casts resulted in 186 turns of protection. Then I cast protection ten more times with that character again. This resulted in 199 turns of protection. For the next to rounds, I gave the character 33, rather than 9 intelligence, just through using the skill points and traits I'd gained from getting to level 20. Again, the caster also had 5 levels of blessing focus traits. I put all the extra skill points and traits not used for intelligence into skills and traits that would have nothing to do with blessings, like endurance and weapons skill. Ten rounds of casting protection resulted in 210 turns of protection and the next ten casts resulted 196 turns of protection...so with a lot more intelligence the duration could have been improved a little. Next, I kept the same character but used the editor to bring their intelligence up to 55. The first ten casts resulted in 209 turns of protection. The next ten casts resulted in 194 turns of protection...which was better than with 9 intelligence, but actually a little worse than when the character had 33 intelligence. Maybe there's a cap for how much intelligence can help, or maybe I just got unlucky, or maybe the lower than expected success rate was a result of using the editor to increase my character's intelligence rather than using skill points earned from leveling up. Next, I reloaded (my character was back to level 20 now, but with no spent skill points). I kept their intelligence at 9 and mage spells at 2, but I got 10 points of priest spell and 10 points of spellcraft. This had a more noticeable affect. The first ten times I cast protection resulted in 242 turns of protection and then next ten turns resulted in 245 turns of protection, so that was a massive improvement over anything I'd gained from increasing intelligence. Next, I reloaded and, through using skill points gained through levels, I gave my spellcaster 33 points of intelligence, 10 priest skill, and 10 spellcraft (along with the 5 blessing focus traits I'd gotten with every protection-caster so far). The first ten casts resulted in 247 turns of protection. The second ten casts resulted in 238 turns of protection...so about the same as with 10 points of spellcraft but 9 levels of intelligence. Next, I tested to see if either priest skill or skills of other characters besides the protection caster improves blessing spells. I gave all four of my characters about (give or take a point or two) (and all four characters had 5 levels of the blessing focus trait) 33 intelligence, 5 luck, 10 spellcraft, 6 mage spells, and 21 priest skill. Mostly I was interested in whether or not priest skill had an affect. The first ten turns I cast protection my group got 249 turns of protection. The second ten turns they got 218 turn of protection, so it was still more turns of protection than they got for my caster maximizing intelligence, but it was less turns of protection than when my caster just maximized spellcraft. Presumably, I just got less lucky than I'd been in my most recent rounds of casting before these 2, where the caster had low intelligence but high spellcraft. Also, it seems that priest spells, luck, and abilities of other party members than the caster don't affect blessing spell duration. So, so far, it seems pretty likely that spellcraft assists blessing spells. I finally decided to test just intelligence again. I exited the game and restarted first, just in case that might be a factor in something. I gave my caster 33 points of intelligence through using their points gained through level up (and the 5 blessing traits). They also had 2 mage spells, 2 priest spells. No luck. No spellcraft. I cast protection 20 times again. The first 10 casts resulted in 219 turns of protection. The next 10 resulted in 194. Then I reloaded and gave that same caster 9 intelligence, 2 mage spells and 3 priest spells (and the 5 blessing traits). I cast protection 20 times again. The first ten times resulted in 217 turns of protection. The next ten casts resulted in 195 turns of protection. So, that was one turn less than with 33 intelligence. It seems like intelligence is useful for increasing the duration of blessing spells in the same way that dumping your water bottle into a lake is useful for helping to keep the fish from becoming thirsty...which while technically true (I presume).is not particularly cost effective. Then I reloaded and gave my caster 9 intelligence, 10 priest spell, 10 spellcraft, and 2 mage spell (with the 5 blessing traits). I cast protection 20 times again with this character. The first ten casts gave 234 turns of protection. The next ten turns gave 238 turns of protection, so spellcraft appears to give a noticeable, reliable bonus to blessing turn length. Finally, just to make sure it was spellcraft and not priest spells responsible for the blessing boost, I gave the character 21 points of priest spells, 21 points of mage spells and 9 intelligence (and no spellcraft) and cast protection 20 times. The first ten casts gave 202 turns of protection. The next 10 casts gave 213 turns of protection. So, it seems like it was spellcraft, rather than mage or priest spells, giving the boost to blessings. So, the things to focus on if you want to improve your blessing spells are the blessing focus traits and spellcraft. I also did five turns casting rain of curses on my group (who had zero curse resistance) with and without spellcraft. All five of the times I cast it without spellcraft it gave five turns if whichever curse or curses the character received. When I cast rain of curses five times on my team with the caster having 10 points of spellcraft, it resulted in several incidents of characters being cursed for 6,7, and 7 turns, in addition to some 5 turn curses. Most of the curses lasted for longer than five turns...so spellcraft assists curses in addition to blessings, noticeably.
  21. I made a level 1 four member party. One of the characters had a priest spells of 2. That character had 2 intelligence. That character cast the protection spell at level 1 fifty times on my four person party. I added up the total turns of protection that resulted in after those fifty casts. It gave a total of 844 turns of the protection spell. Next, I used the give experience cheat code to raise my party up to level 25. I then spent that original protection caster's new skill points to give them 32 intelligence and 26 priest spell skill. I had that original protection caster cast protection 50 times. I added up the total turns of protection my group received. It was 864 turns...20 more turns than when the same character at level 1 had 2 priest spells and 2 intelligence. Next, I kept the protection caster's level at 25 but used the editor to bring their intelligence back down to 2 and their priest spells back down to 2. I had the character cast protection 50 times again. It resulted in 848 turns of protection, only 4 more turns than when the character was at level 1. One thing that was weird, was that this time whatever amount of turns of a blessing one character received, all the other characters received that same number of turns of the blessing. I'd cast blessings in past games and the characters had gotten different numbers of turns of those blessings before...maybe from items or something giving blessing bonuses. I'm not sure. The only thing that really gave me the impression intelligence/level/or priest spells had any impact on blessings was that when I was casting the 50 protection spells with the character with 32 intelligence and 26 priest spells might do anything was that four of the fifty times that character cast protection, the group received 6 turns of protection, rather than 5,4, or 3 turns. The level 25 character with 2 priest spell and 2 intelligence, and the level 1 character had only ever gotten 5,4, or 3 turns of protection. That's assuming I didn't miscount. If levels or intelligence do affect blessings, unless I counted wrong it seems like it affects them in such a small amounts I don't even know why that modifier exists, unless it works better with some spells than others, or it's exponentially better with higher levels of spells or blessings-improving traits and items or something. Your description of damage bonuses is clear. Thanks.
  22. Thank you for checking me. *Apparently I was wrong about healing spells, and you were right. Priest spells do make your healing spells better. Intelligence has no effect on healing spells. I'd just been assuming they did through Avernum games I've played. That was quite a surprise. My bad. Moving on ________________________________________________________________________________________________ *Regarding blessings though, (and by blessings I mean the hast spell, the protection spell, and the war blessing spell) I just had a character with 35 intelligence and 16 priest spells and 10 mage spells cast haste and protection, on my four party team. I'll call him Bob. This party is level 21 and is carrying no items. That character had haste at level 2. The number of turns it listed haste lasting for, for my team were 3,4,4,4 after the first casting, 3,4,3,4 after the second casting, and 3,3,3,5 after the third casting. The aforementioned character (Bob) also cast protection several times on my four party team. Protection was at level 2. The amount of turns that lasted for was 5,5,5,6 after the first casting, 6,5,4,6 after the second casting, 6,5,5,6 after the third casting. Then, I had another character who had haste at level 2, just like Bob. This second character had mage spells at level 3 and intelligence at level four. Just like Bob, he was level 21. Like Bob, he had no items.He had no traits that increased blessing magic either. I'll call this second character Dilbert. Dilbert's casting of haste resulted in the following turns of haste for my four party team: 3,3,3,3, after the first casting, 4,4,4,4 after the second casting 6544 after the third time, Then I had a character, who I'll call Ralph, cast protection. Ralph had intelligence of 2 and priest spells of 3. Ralph was level 21 and had no items, or traits that enhanced blessing. Ralph had protection at level 2, just like Bob. When Ralph cast protection it resulted in the following turns of protection on my four person team: 4,6,7,4 the first time, 5,5,5,5 the second time, and 5,5, 6,5 the third time. If intelligence, priest spells, or mage spells effect blessing spell length, it doesn't seem to effect it much. The only thing that I've found that effects blessings for sure is the traits that make blessings better and items that do the same and buying higher levels of skill of the spell in question. Could you be mistaken about anything effecting the strength of blessings besides the trait that enhances blessing skill, items that do the same, and blessing skill level? (by blessings, I mean protection, haste, and war blessing). Nothing other than those three factors seemed to make any difference in blessing length for be back in Escape from the Pit, and nothing else seems to make much of a difference now either, so far as I've seen. Regarding whether or not level increases affect the length of blessings, I just had a level 1 party cast protection 3 times. The amount of turns that gave my party protection for was 4,4,4,4 the first casting, 4,4,4,4 the second casting, and 3,3,3,3 the third casting. Then, I used a cheat code to bring that same party up to level 25. After that the same character who cast protection the first round cast it three times again. The effect was that the number of turns protection lasted for was 3,3,3,3 the first casting, 4,4,4,4 the second casting, and 4,4,4,4 the third casting. Character level doesn't seem to affect blessing length either. The only things that I know for sure effects blessing length are items that say they do, the traits that enhance blessings, and the level of the spell you're casting. Moving on. I edited my original post. It's better now, hopefully. I'm still not entirely sure I understand how the mechanics of the damage reduction of duel wielding and the damage bonus of nonhumans works, but I'm hoping I got it right. I took out some stuff and added some things in. Much of my comments about humans vs. nonhumans was indeed little more than psychotic babbling. I was just using far to confusing of explanations to explain something that as actually pretty simple and probably common sense that didn't need to be explained. Thanks.
  23. You can beat Avernum 3 on torment without an incredible amount of difficulty...so long as you reload enough. I find it more enjoyable to place a limit on the number of times my party can die though. This forces me to plan things out better and makes ambushes and surprises seem more enjoyable and challenging. This is intended as a guide for that kind of play-through, where your goal is to maximize survivability. Discussion of the four main traits, strength, dexterity, intelligence, and endurance: Strength adds damage and accuracy to melee and pole weapons. It doesn’t do anything else besides increasing your weight-carrying capacity, which will never be a major problem anyway. Your characters won’t need any of it unless they’re using melee or pole weapons. Dexterity gives an evasion bonus of 5%, a speed bonus which makes it more likely for your character to take their turn before your enemy, and improved damage and accuracy for bows and thrown weapons. On torment, if you’re going to get much of this, you should always get as much of it as you possibly can. This means, get all five of the dexterity increasing traits too. This is because dexterity can provide massive evasion bonuses against physical attackers that aren’t using area attacks. With maximum dexterity, you’ll find a large percentage of enemies have a 5% to hit chance with physical attacks. Depending on how you play, this can even include tough, late game physical attacking enemies like alien beasts (keeping in mind that alien beasts don't only use physical attacks). If you’re not constantly pumping dexterity, that evasiveness will rapidly drop down to nothing though. It’ll also boost evasion against some elemental attacks, like fire and energy, although I’m not sure how much. It’ll never boost evasion against cold though. I know dexterity helps evade non-area affecting physical attacks just fine. I think it'll help evade some area-affecting physical attacks too. I just don't know if it'll affect all area affecting physical attacks. Endurance: adds five points of health, and 2% better poison and acid resistance. The lower your level, the better this is. Before you have 150 health, this increases survivability better than hardiness. Keep in mind though, that you can hit as much as 300 health in the late game, and that'll make each additional health point considerably less useful than in the early game. Also, accuracy is a major issue on torment, so of you put too much of your skill points into health and not enough into strength, if your character is a melee user, your character won’t be able to hit anything. Likewise, if you invest too much in endurance and too little in intelligence and you’re a spellcaster, many of your spellcaster’s spells will be garbage. It’s definitely helpful insofar as increasing survivability is concerned, but you need about 2/3 of your points, minimum put into strength if you want your melee or pole user to not have major problems with accuracy, and about 2/3 of your points, minimum, put into intelligence if you want your magic user or priest to be good at casting all spells, so don’t put too many points into endurance, and it’s probably not useful to put any into endurance in the late game at all...with the possible exception of tanks that don't do much because sit around and absorb damage. Note that endurance also increases evasiveness towards cold. That won't matter much for most characters on torment, given how rapidly evasiveness fades into nothing if not constantly being improved, unless you want a tank that puts most to all of their points into endurance. That might not actually be a terrible idea for a character build though, particularly given how many spells work well even with low intelligence. Intelligence: increases mental resistance and makes many of your spells, although not all, more powerful and gives 5 more energy per intelligence. Some spells require high intelligence to work well. Others do not. I’ll list which is which below: Spells that require high intelligence to work: *Daze, howl of terror, domination - none of these will do much without high intelligence. Note that the ensnaring ability of daze is much more likely to affect enemies than the dazing ability of daze. The further you go into the game, the more enemies will become resistant to the dazing effects of daze. Eventually, it'll get likely that even relatively dedicated spellcasters will have trouble dazing much. However, the ensnaring ability will remain pretty reliable throughout the game. *Every damaging spell is affected by intelligence in some way. Most are useless without high intelligence because they become too inaccurate to hit anything. Some can still retain positive effects even with low intelligence. Intelligence increases spell damage too. Damaging spells that still have uses even with low intelligence are call the storm, pool of fire, pool of ice, pool of corruption, and curse the land. *Rain of curses depends on high intelligence for hitting enemies too. Note that spellcraft increases the length of the curses it causes. Spells that work perfectly with low intelligence: *all cloaks, all wards, All summoning spells, capture soul, simulacrum, slow, dispel barrier, haste, protection, war blessing, curing, mass curing, unshackle mind, bless the land, divine restoration, all healing spells. *Note that spellcraft increases the duration of the blessings haste, protection, and war blessing. *Note that the effectiveness of healing spells depend on the level of the healing spell in question, and priest skill. Spells that work decently with low intelligence, but work better with high intelligence: *Pool of fire, pool of ice, pool of corruption, curse the land – these spells have two effects. They deal a large amount of damage to an area of enemies as soon as they’re cast. They also infect any enemies that walk into the areas they were cast with conditions that damage them over multiple turns. The initial damage requires high intelligence to hit. The infectious, lingering damage just affects anyone who walks into the area the spells were cast. *blink – Blink lets your character teleport across the map while in combat mode. It also ensnares nearby enemies. You can use it to teleport with low intelligence, but its ensnaring ability won’t work without high intelligence *call the storm – this blows away enemies even if you have low intelligence. It won’t damage them unless you have high intelligence though. Summary: So, you can actually have low intelligence, spell-using warriors or archers that will work well. They just won’t be able to cast certain spells effectively. For example, you might have an archer priest with low intelligence that’s fast enough to go first and cast mass curing on your team before poison does much damage, or you might have a low intelligence tank with 16 levels of priest skill so they can survive area attacks that wipe out the rest of your team then cast revive to bring their teammates back, or you might have a duel wielder with eight points of mage skill so they can use blink to rush up to enemies to attack them, or escape quickly…but low intelligence characters will never be good at dealing damage through spells, or using mind control or daze because their low intelligence will make them too inaccurate to hit much. Hybrid characters: You need at least about 2/3 of all your skill points put into strength to be able to hit things with swords or spears. You need at least about 2/3 of your skill points put into intelligence to be able hit enemies with most damaging spells and mental attacks like dominate and daze. More than that will increase your success. You need at least about 2/3 of your skill points put into dexterity for archers…and if you want to get any evasion at all from dexterity, you should probably put all of your skill points possible into dexterity. That’s why hybrid characters that split their points between strength and intelligence, or strength and dexterity, or dexterity and intelligence, don’t work well on torment no matter how carefully you try to design them. If you try to make, say, a halberd-using mage by splitting your points between strength and intelligence, you’ll just end up with a character who is only very effective against weak enemies for most of the game. Both your evasion and accuracy do naturally increase with every level. There is about a 3% bonus to evasion per level. I wouldn’t be surprised if the accuracy bonus is something about that amount too. This will result in hybrid characters becoming useful in the late game. They’ll eventually reach the point of having good accuracy against tough enemies…but this could take a long time. This might not happen until level thirty or so. Note again though, that you can have very useful halberd-wielding mages, or archer priests just so long as you only have them use the spells with low intelligence requirements that I I've previously listed. Fortunately, there are enough of those sorts of spells to make those sorts of hybrids useful in at least some ways. More about evasion: There are three ways to permanently get better evasion: leveling up, which gives about 3% better evasion per level, dexterity which gives about 5% better evasion per point, and gymnastics, which gives about 2% better evasion per point. Technically, there are actually four ways. Endurance increases evasiveness towards cold...but that won't amount to enough to affect most characters. Gymnastics sounds pretty shoddy, given that it only increases evasion by 2%, but on Torment enemies will often be very close to having the ideal 5% accuracy due to your character’s evasiveness, but tough enemies will frequently be just a little above that. They’ll often have, maybe 10%, accuracy rather than 5% accuracy. 5% accuracy is the minimum accuracy possible. Keep in mind that though the 2% less accuracy from gymnastics doesn’t sound like much, if an enemy has 10% accuracy, getting an extra point of gymnastics actually makes that enemy 20% less accurate, so gymnastics can actually be quite useful for characters trying to be evasive. It’s just not as useful as dexterity. Note that there is much armor which enhances evasion as well. Note that archers are the only characters who will be reliably evasive...or maybe weird tanks with maximum endurance when someone's trying to hit them with cold attacks...but mostly it'll just be archers. I mentioned previously that if you're not constantly pumping dexterity, evasiveness will rapidly dwindle down to nothing. No one except archers will...or at least should, but investing much in dexterity. Some non-archer characters might get a few points of dexterity to increase their speed, or 10 points of gymnastics to get extra action points, but those miniscule increases to evasiveness will almost never be enough to evade anything but the weakest enemies. Noteworthy skills: Parry: The parry skill is a way for characters to avoid being hit by physical attacks without investing in lots and lots of dexterity. Each level of the parry skill gives a 3% chance of avoiding any non-area-affecting physical attack from anyone. It effects the physical, non-area attacks of dragons exactly as much as it affects the physical, non-area attacks of goblins at the start of the game. It doesn't take your opponent's accuracy into account. It doesn't take the evasion you have from dexterity, gymnastics, leveling up, or other non-parry sources into account. So, if you have 17 points of parry, every single non-area physical attack from every enemy in the game will have a 51% chance to be parried. When an attack is parried, it causes your character no damage. If you get 10 points of parry, wear a good shield, and get a few more points from items and/or trainers you can reach about a 50 or so percent chance of parrying every non-area physical attack. That's quite nice, and it's a great way for non-archers to avoid physical attacks. Keep in mind though, that maxed out dexterity can work ten times that well. If you want a character dedicated to acting as a wall against physical attackers, archers are best. Also, note that archers can use parry too. Parry and evasion use different checks, but they can still work together. For example, if you have an archer with 17 points of parry, through items and maximum skill points put into parry, and enough dexterity for a foe to only have the minimum 5% accuracy, even if that enemy manages to get a lucky hit and pass that evasion check they had a 95% chance of failing, they still have pass the parry check, which they'll have a 51% of failing, and if they fail that, you still won't be hit. Spellcraft: Note that this does more than just increasing your spell's damage. It also increases the duration of your curses, blessings, (at least rain of curses. I didn't test it on any other curses) and may help in other ways too. Hardiness: Just generally good for everyone. Increases all your resistances except mental and curse resistance by 3% Resistance: increases all your resistances by 3% except for physical damage resistance. Note that this skill increases mental resistance, which is very useful for low intelligence characters. This will help keep your massively powerful duel wielders from turning around and swiftly laying waste to the rest of your team when they get mind-controlled. It’s not worth getting unless you’re already planning on getting some of the priest or mage skill that’s its prerequesite, but blink requires eight points of mage skill anyway, and if you get it you can have teleporting warriors, which is always nice. Gymnastics vs. Sniper : Sniper gives a 5% chance to attack again after attacking with a bow or thrown weapon, and a 3% chance to give a negative status affliction to an enemy (such as poisoning, dazing, or slowing) with the aforementioned bow or thrown weapon. So, 10 points of sniper will give a 50% chance to get an extra action. Note that you can find plenty of items that increase your odds of getting a second attack by increasing your sniper skill. With items, maximum sniper skill investment through skill points, and a couple points from a trainer, you might get 16 sniper skill before you've explored a huge amount of the map, which would give you an 80% chance of getting an extra shot off each turn. 10 points of gymnastics will only give you about a 1 in 3 to 1 in 4 chance or so to get an extra action. However, it gives you an evasiveness bonus, and the game shows you when you get extra movement points from gymnastics, so you can see when you’ll get an extra action, whereas with sniper you have to wait until after you’ve attacked to see whether or not you've gotten an extra action. The extra action points from gymnastics aren't particularly impressive unless your character with high gymnastics skill also has an item that gives them an extra action point each turn. That will work with high gymnastics skill to result in the character getting an extra action most turns. Note that with gymnastics, if your goal is to use it to get extra actions, get all ten points of it you can get through putting skill points into it or don't invest anything into gymnastics. This is because the way gymnastics works, the likelihood of getting an extra action increases exponentially the more skill points you invest into it. Note that sniper comes so close to consistently getting 2 bow shots per turn by itself that I don't see it as cost effective to invest in both sniper and gymnastics. It seems like picking one or the other is best. If you want to make your archer better at damaging things, once you've maxed out sharpshooter and either gymnastics or sniper, go after lethal blow next. Archers have pretty easy access to it. Note also that sniper can only give you an maximum of one extra action per turn. So, even if you use adrenaline rush and have 20 extra action points, it won't work for you twice that turn. Also, note that the haste spell gives the exact same ability that sniper does. It just reduces the amount of action points your bow or thrown weapon used so that, assuming you had at least 6 action points before you fired, you do one other action after that, that turn. If your sniper is hasted, your character can either get a one time action point reduction from the haste spell, or sniper ability, but not both. So, don't expect to be able to fire hordes and hordes of arrows because your character is hasted and has high sniper skill. You'll just get one extra shot off per turn, tops. Gymnastics and sniper vs. other ways of increasing actions per turn: *The haste spell: gives you a chance of one of your attacks using fewer action points. So long as you had at least 6 action points left before your last action, you'll be able to do another action that turn. This is the same way sniper works, except that sniper can work more or less often depending on your sniper skill. Haste will always only work less than the majority of the time...although, with haste at level 3 there is a chance it will result in some of your characters being affected by battle frenzy, which will give them 5 extra action points for a few turns. Haste has four weaknesses that can make other ways to get extra actions preferable. #1: it'll never result in your hasted characters having a higher chance of getting an extra attack than not. #2: it costs energy, which can get quite expensive if you're constantly casting it. #3. It's only a temporary boost. #4. It only works within a limited range, so if your characters are spread out all over the map, they might not be within that range and casting it might not help them. *Adrenaline Rush: A wonderful, wonderful battle discipline that you will enjoy greatly with as soon as you get access to it. It'll give you several actions the turn you use it, but it only works once, and then it takes several turns to recharge. *Giving a character 2 items that each increase action points by 1: The best and most reliable way of getting an extra action per turn. These action point increasing items are extremely rare though. *Battle frenzy: Pros: It doesn't require the extra 10 skill point investment sniper or gymnastics require. It gives you five extra action points every turn. It requires 20 weapon skill, but that's not terribly hard to reach. Cons: Activating it counts as an action, like attacking with a sword or using a spell. That costs 9 action points, so it probably ends your turn...which gives all your enemies on the screen who've seen you a head start. It also only lasts for five turns, and it takes 10 turns to recharge. It's biggest disadvantage, to me, though, is that once you use it you can't use the almighty adrenaline rush, which would have given your characters the head start. Characters like polearm users and duel wielders who have lots of skill at removing fatigue (which might come from the high blademaster, or quick action they have access too) can get the recovery period down pretty low, to the point where once the battle frenzy has ended you're almost ready to use it again. They still have to deal with that ending of their turn every turn it's first activated though. The extra five action points are nice for polearm users and duel wielders though, because it often gives them enough action points to run up to an enemy in addition to attacking twice. That said, the 80% or so chance of getting an extra shot off every turn that can be gotten from sniper beats beats battle frenzy in terms of getting extra actions. If we look at 30 turns of a character using battle frenzy vs. 30 turns of a character with 16 sniper: The Battle frenzy character, if they have enough fatigue removal to remove 2 fatigue per turn, can restart battle fury as soon as it ends. Therefore, every six turns such a character would have five turns in which they have 2 actions and one turn of no actions, so they'll have 10 actions every six turns. The character with 16 sniper will have an 80% chance of getting an extra shot off each turn, so every 10 turns they have 16 bow shots. So, after 30 turns the archer has made 48 bow shots, and the battle fury character has made 50 actions, which is a little better than sniper. However, that's only if the battle frenzy character has incredible fatigue removal...which can be achieved, but it takes some investment. Also, that doesn't take into account that the archer wasn't using its battle disciplines for anything yet, so it can still access adrenaline rush. Adrenaline rush gives 20 extra action points and takes six turns to recover. Therefore, every 6 turns the archer would get another two actions or so. After 30 turns, that would give the archer about 10 more actions from adrenaline rush, bringing the archer's total actions to 58 actions in 30 turns vs the battle frenzy character's 50....and the archer always had the head start against their enemies using adrenaline rush, whereas the battle frenzy character had to wait a turn before beginning battle frenzy, giving their foes the head start...and that's about as good as the battle frenzy character can possibly get. Without great fatigue removal, it'll do considerably worse. .That's also assuming the archer doesn't have some nice fatigue removal of its own, or more than 16 sniper. It hasn't hit its ceiling yet. Also, the status affliction ability of sniper is probably a lot more useful for archers than extra action points, and if a character is incapacitated somehow through dazing, charming, stunning, or terrifying them, that fatigue counter on adrenaline rush will be fading away after adrenaline rush will likely already have been used, whereas with battle frenzy, it'll be more likely that the character using battle fury will just be losing turns of battle frenzy. Now...which is better for a priest or mage without good fatigue recovery or much dexterity? gymnastics or battle frenzy? The evasion from gymnastics and the bow skill from its archery prerequesite will both be useless for non-archers, so you'd be spending just a little less than a third of the total skill points you'll have gotten by level 30 on trying to get an extra turn, and it won't even happen the majority of the time unless your character also has an action point increasing item. Priests and mages don't need hand weapons that can hurt things though, which means they're good candidates for things like the discipline blade, which gives you 30% better fatigue recover, 3 pole weapons and 2 melee weapons, If your priest or mage or priest/mage has 10 hardiness, that also means 10 melee or pole skill. They can buy five more points of weapon skills from trainers, also get the recovery trait that removes fatigue by 10%, and there is other armor that helps remove fatigue, so at least one of them can have 20 weapon skill and some decent fatigue removal to help keep the recovery period of battle frenzy from being agonizingly slow. Sometimes though, spellcasters are more useful insofar as doing important things every once in awhile rather than constantly doing things, so maybe many of them don't need two actions each turn anyway and can just go for neither battle frenzy nor gymnastics, but just save their ability to use adrenaline rush for emergencies. Interesting Traits: Good health, perfect health, robust health – The weakest of these, perfect health, increases your health by 3%. That’s as good as hardiness in terms of increasing survivability, and hardiness is great. All your characters should probably get all 3 of these. Negotiator - Get it for all your characters, because it’s really good, unless you play as a singleton, in which case you'll have more money than you know what to do with already, but not enough available traits as you'll want. Challenger – makes it more likely that an opponent will attack the character with challenger, when they're within a certain range of the character with challenger. At times, if you have two characters side by side in front of a foe and your character without challenger is attacking the foe, the foe will still attack the character with challenger. Give it to tanks to help draw attention away from non-tanks. Garbage traits – sure hand, deadeye, strong back Those three traits all eventually go obsolete and don’t do much even before they’re obsolete. Strong back increases how much armor you can wear before losing action points. More strength does this too. Strength naturally increases over time though, and you’ll never have huge problems with not being able to wear enough armor. Deadeye and Sure hand give the same accuracy bonus that strength and dexterity give, but without the damage increase. General tactics: *I consider it generally wise to get 2 characters with revive. This isn’t vital, considering that you won’t get revive until you’re fairly far into the game so you’ll have to get through much of it without revive anyway, but once you get it, it’s nice to not feel totally screwed when your only character with revive is killed off and you’re in the bottom of some dungeon. *Avoid outdoor encounters if you don’t know how tough they’ll be, if possible. Instead, gain levels through dungeons. Rely on your nature lore skill to avoid outdoor fights that seem like they might be difficult. *Run out of a dungeon and back to a town to heal your characters as soon as one of your characters dies. Don’t keep fighting, unless you have to. If you’ve lost one character, that means it’ll be easier for you to lose two or more, and the more you lose the closer to screwed you’ll be if you run into enemies outdoors on your way to a town to heal. *In some outdoor fights, though not all, even once the fight is engaged, you can still escape the fight if your enemies seem too tough. In fights you can escape, you’ll see a shaded section in the northern part of the screen. If you get all your surviving characters into that shaded section the fight will end. You’ll lose out on any loot you would have gotten for winning forever, and the enemies you were in a fight with will just disappear, but your team will survive. To do this, of course, you’ll have to run past the enemy. The ensnaring ability of daze can help with this a lot. Once you get adrenaline rush or blink, this type of escape becomes very doable most of the time. *Wands and scrolls that deal damage are useless and should be sold. The accuracy penalties of torment will make it so that they won’t be able to hit much. Speed potions, healing potions, and sometimes blessing potions and scrolls can be extremely useful though. Only use them when your characters don’t have an easy escape route and you think they might not survive a fight, but use those buffing spells and scrolls as soon as the potentially tough fight begins, because if you wait until one of your characters dies, it’ll usually be too late. Some scrolls cast ward of elements. It’ll be a long time until you can cast ward of elements yourself, so don’t sell them until then. You’ll also find revive scrolls. They sell for a lot, but they’re worth keeping. Don’t sell them, even after your characters learn revive. Instead, give them to a character without revive so they can revive the revivers. *Whenever you come into a new area, do the obviously easy quests first. Generally speaking, the areas you get access to earliest will be the easiest, but even these early areas will have a few unexpectedly difficult fights here and there. Your goal should be to sneak around and try gain experience from a many easy fights as possible until you can’t avoid fighting tougher enemies or enemies you don’t know much about. It’s probably not a bad idea to down some speed potions every time you come across a new type of enemy outdoors just in case it might be tougher than you think. *Physical attackers are probably the most common enemies, but magical and elemental damage tends to be more powerful. Keep that in mind so that your whole team doesn't get wiped out by one fiery blast from some demon or drake you tragically underestimated. Your characters will all have to deal with some kind of elemental or magical attacks eventually, and they can crumple pretty quickly without at least some respectable resistance towards cold, fire, and energy. *Outdoor fights can be much harder without the ensnaring and/or dazing effect of daze. That means having at least one high intelligence mage can make things much easier. Humans vs. Nonhumans: Nephilim get a 10% damage bonus to bows and thrown weapons and a 10% bonus to cold resistance. Sliths get a 10% damage bonus to polearms and a 10% bonus to fire resistance. Humans get an extra trait every four levels. Nobody gets any traits after level 30, so humans will end up with 24 traits. Nonhumans will end up with 16 traits, so nonhumans are trading eight traits for an element resistance bonus and a weapon damage bonus. Note that the way the game mechanics of that 10% damage bonus works, it''ll become less than 10% of your total damage over time, as your other damage multipliers increase your damage by greater and greater percentages. I'd question the value of sliths...but keep in mind that the cold resistance of nephilim is arguably about the best resistance they can get. That's because evasion from dexterity never helps evade cold damage, and archers should have lots and lots of dexterity, so nephilim will be stronger against one of an archer's major weaknesses. Pros and cons of melee/pole weapons, bows/thrown weapons, and spells. Archery – massive evasion bonus, speed bonus, hit enemies at range. One downside is that you can’t hit enemies right in front of your character. The ability to hit enemies at a distance combined with an archer’s impressive ability to evade physical attacks can result in them being quite useful for swiftly picking off mages hiding behind their hordes of minions, and then being relatively immune to the physical attacking minions. Note, however, that in my experience it takes about two or more archers to be effective at sniping mages quickly enough to be useful . If you only have one archer, it’s probably best to just make them a tank character whose primary purpose is evading physical attacks. Note that I have no idea what being skilled with a bow and arrow has to do with being largely immune to swords...but whatever. I suppose there's weirder stuff in this game...actually I don't think there is. I think about the weirdest thing in the game, really in any of the Spiderweb games, is the fact that learning to use a bow and arrow well somehow makes you mostly immune to swords. Thrown weapons – You'll find plenty of crude and iron javelins. These are the only ones that are un-sellable. It seems like bows tend to be as powerful as them, not much less, or even a little more powerful once you get some nice bows...but that might be because I always go for bow skill rather than javelin skill. I wouldn't think that would make an enormous amount of difference though. They still seem less useful than bows, but whereas they used to be completely useless their ability to immobolize and chance of dealing more damage might make them worth it for some characters. Pole weapons – (halberds/spears/pikes) these are more powerful than bows, but of course you can’t use them at a range. Duel wielded swords – duel wielded swords will eventually deal more damage than pole weapons. However, they have a 35% damage penalty and a 35% accuracy penalty. The duel wielding skills and traits can help remove this penality. I’m not sure whether duel-wielded swords with no duel-wielding skill or pole weapons would typically deal more damage, but that 35% accuracy penalty for duel-wielded swords, if nothing else, will definitely make pole weapons stronger in the early game, especially on torment. Once you get enough strength for your duel-wielded swords to become accurate, and maybe a few levels of duel-wielding skill, duel wielding will do more damage than pole weapons. However, if you already have a duel-wielder, there are some great pole weapons lying around so that it can be useful to have a pole weapon user even in the late game. Note that the way the game mechanics work, that 35% damage penalty becomes smaller than 35% of your total damage over time, even without duel wielding skill, as you accumulate other damage multipliers over time that increase your total damage. A sword and a shield – this has no real advantages over either an archer with a shield, or a spellcaster with a shield. However it’ll lack the evasiveness, ranged ability, and speed of the archer and the versatility and mental resistance of the spellcaster. I don’t recommend this as a permanent character type. However, this can be a useful temporary build for duel wielders until they get enough strength…and maybe duel wielding, to make duel-wielding accurate enough to hit anything. Spellcasters – spells are phenomenal at controlling groups, but they can be useful against individual enemies too. They’re much more versatile than weapons. Spellcasters are definitely the most useful type of character, generally speaking. Without any spellcasters, your game will without question be more difficult, even if you allow healing spells. However, spells require energy to use and they’re not as powerful against individual enemies as weapons. Even bows will nearly always be stronger when attacking one enemy at a time. On torment or hard, note that your own characters can be hit by area effecting spells from your own characters. Note that having a character that invests in both mage and priest spells can be quite useful. Pure priests and pure mages will often find themselves sitting around without enough to do. Summary: Archers make wonderful mage snipers in pairs, or tanks alone. Spellcasters can do all sorts of neat stuff, including making great magic and element-resistant, high health sorts of tanks. Melee and duel-wielders can deal lots of damage, although not necessarily more than a powerful archer with cloak of bolts up. I personally think polearm users and duel wielders are, generally speaking, less useful than archers and spellcasters. I think they'd be equal to spellcasters and archers if they had had about ten extra skill points. They deal more damage, but the damage bonus from polearms isn’t a huge amount higher than bows, and the higher damage from duel wielding, while impressive, is countered until the later part of the game by major problems with inaccuracy when fighting the toughest enemies. That's not to say that they're bad. I just think there'll just be fewer circumstances in which they'll be outstandingly useful than archers or spellcasters. That said, they'll be very useful for certain party types. If you just need someone to stab things right in front of it really hard, there's nobody better than a duel wielder or polearm user. Some party ideas I think could work well: 3 archers and 1 priest/mage – strategy: use adrenaline rush to shoot down everything except physical attackers in the first turn, then be relatively immune to everything that remains. 3 mage/priests and 1 glass cannon, offensively powerful, defensively weak duel-wielder – strategy: either blast everything to smithereens with spells, or mind control/daze/terrify enemies into becoming harmless for a few turns and let the duel wielder plow through them 2 archers and 2 priest mages – strategy: use a mixture of mind controlling and sniping at ensnared enemies to slowly pick away at them without ever getting touched. Anama party – 1 tank archer, 1 tank priest, 1 duel wielder, 1 polearm user – strategy: Constantly have ward of blades up. Where there are physical attackers, send in the tank archer. Where there are magic or elemental attackers, send in the tank priest. The tank priest should have lots of health as well as maximum hardiness and resistance skill. The tank priest should have the best element or magical-resisting gear you can find. The tank archer should have maximum parry and gymnastics. Give both tanks 3 levels of the challenger trait. Once the enemies are distracted by the appropriate tank, send in your duel wielder and polearm user to shred them without as many repercussions as most teams would get.
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