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Is it cheating or tactics?[G5]


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Since I do not read every thread on the forum, I am not sure if this has not been mentioned before (if not not so, sorry).

 

I just finished the game with a level 52 magic-warrior-like type, playing solo for most of the game except for a few really random places (like chains of submission towers).

 

So here's a tactic I used throughout a big chunk of the game, especially when fighting with several dragons or gazers simultaneously. You start the fight and cover eveyone around with acid (or do magic damage), take your opponent's damage, and then [counting steps carefully] go behind some corner and press 'f' to end the fight. The opponents take damage, slowly advance towards you, at some point they see you and the fight starts over again. I do not remember having put any skill points in quick-action (only training and items), but except for one or two encounters throughout the whole game I always started the turn (maybe dexterity around 8-10 helped?) At which point I would just back off from the visibility line and press 'f' again. And again. After running a bush for several circles the enemies expired on their own [still donating the experience] or could be finished off with any reasonnable spell.

 

There are also some minor optimizations to the above, for example not waiting till an enemy sees you, starting the fight while hiding and ending it again very quickly. Oh, one useful thing is that right after hiding and ending the fight, you can very quickly cure and heal yourself, put some blessing, etc., just need to do it quickly enough.

 

And, of course, playing solo, you almost never have to fight with too many opponents simultaneously, you can easily lure them out and kill them one by one. The exit room in Gazaki-Uss (sp?) just before entering the inner gazaki-Uss for the final battle, you know, the room with a bunch of drakons and gazers, took me only one reload. Just get to some point, cover exactly one foe with acid [btw, why does spreading acid has a slightly higher range than other spells?] and play hide-and-seek.

 

Sorry for all the rumbling, does the above sound like a sort of cheating? It is definitely not realistic that one opponent runs around the area, heals himself, picks up items, when the other just does not have any time to react?

 

[hmm.. I found it especially funny when the next hiding place is behind your opponent, so you run to him and past him, hide, press 'f', press 'f' again, it is your turn, you are full of action points, and he is still where he was]...

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Abusing combat mode transitions has always been a mainstay of advanced tactics in Spiderweb games. Jeff has tweaked the mechanics of more recent games in an attempt to make it more difficult to do it effectively, but it's not cheating.

 

Once you've got acid or other lingering damage effects stuck on an enemy, instead of repeatedly running around corners you can just stand in one spot just out of sight and rapidly mash the F key to make them take damage very fast while moving a very short distance.

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I'm not sure why my approach should cross the line. It's the same thing as his, just faster; in neither case is the player character in real danger beyond the first round.

 

Plus, mashing F will also make any buffs you have wear off very quickly, so there's a tradeoff.

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Somehow I consider exploiting the engine to be a different category from cheating. I wouldn't call either one a fair or straightforward run through the game, but the latter is less legitimate than the former.

 

That said, Thuryl and Eigenvalue are both exploiting more or less the same trick. They're both exploitative!

 

—Alorael, who considers engine exploits a step farther on the cheating sequence after exploiting the AI. That's really all but completely necessary to get through the games.

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Not that I mind Thuryl deemed more exploitative than me... but "mashing the F key technique" is exactly what I clumsily tried to say in the "minor optimization techniques" in the original post.

 

Anyhow, recently I started to think about my agent-infiltrator as a ninja of sorts, who can deal a blow and completely hide itself from the enemy's acid-covered gaze. So now my perspective is that this is not an engine's abuse, but a perfectly expected natural behavior of the character being played.

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Originally Posted By: Eigenvalue
Not that I mind Thuryl deemed more exploitative than me... but "mashing the F key technique" is exactly what I clumsily tried to say in the "minor optimization techniques" in the original post.

Anyhow, recently I started to think about my agent-infiltrator as a ninja of sorts, who can deal a blow and completely hide itself from the enemy's acid-covered gaze. So now my perspective is that this is not an engine's abuse, but a perfectly expected natural behavior of the character being played.


The first three Geneforge games had an even more hilarious version of this exploit for use against immobile enemies such as turrets and pylons. You could haste, stand just outside their attack range, begin combat, step into range, attack, step out of range, end the turn and repeat as necessary. It required some careful positioning to make sure you could actually move out of range before the end of the turn, but once you got it right you could deal with those enemies with no risk at all. This is why from Geneforge 4 onwards you can no longer move after attacking.
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Originally Posted By: Thuryl

The first three Geneforge games had an even more hilarious version of this exploit for use against immobile enemies such as turrets and pylons. You could haste, stand just outside their attack range, begin combat, step into range, attack, step out of range, end the turn and repeat as necessary.



Hmm... Extremely interesting. Can you exploit in G5 that if you have some AP points left after the first attack, then you are in fact able to attack another enemy? With 1 AP remaining, this would mean walking in its direction. If you could attack your own creations, you could position it away from the turret and get out of the turret's range as suggested. Can you?
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Never tried to kill a creation that went rogue from my own attack, but ones that go rogue because of too much damage and not enough intelligence definitely do. I got something like 90 XP from my own Clawbug. Further proof they're overpowered. smile

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At what point in an optimized shaping build do you stop getting experience for straight out of the box creations? I imagine you could hit substantial levels slaughtering your own ur-drakons, eyebeasts, or shock tralls with 10+ in the relevant skill. And as Slarty says, it wouldn't be worth it.

 

—Alorael, who thinks he'd go for drakon slaughter. Eyebeasts are too likely to take out everything around them, and shock tralls are balanced to be very good at exactly what you're making them do: flail in one short, sweet battle.

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Originally Posted By: Slarty
Alorael vetoed the only creations that start above 32

Rotdhizons (34). With their large hp bonus, they're more likely to hit the critical percentage of health and stay alive long enough to blame you for it. That said, anything strong enough to nearly kill a Rotdhizon is probably going to be a hazard even without your creation going rogue.
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Slarty

I really don't think mental resistance is a big issue. I seem to remember in GF1 that any attack directed at your own creation turns them hostile, and I would think that you would get xp even from friendly creations.

 

Anyway, for a shaping character, or any well-built character, taking out a creation with no up-ed stats shouldnt be too hard once you are able to create them.

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Yeah, this was specifically a Geneforge 1 issue. I remember people mentioning at the time that it was basically the only good way to gain experience at high levels in G1, and that G2 fixed it so you don't gain experience from your own creations any more.

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I can get creations to panic and run away, but I can't even get roamers to the point of going hostile and giving experience. Is there a trick to making it happen?

 

—Alorael, who beat up on his endless stream of haplesss experience fodder with great vigor. The just looked at him with their lizard-puppy eyes and tried to escape the bloodbath. And then no reward!

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You can't do it. At least, I don't think you can. You can not attack your own creations and have this happen. Something has to hit them. Like, an Unbound hitting something for about half of its life, with no int added, it can cause it to go rogue.

 

Or a golem whomping something and taking off 1/3rd of the creation's life.

 

But once it goes rogue, if you kill it, you will get absurd experience. Well over a hundred or more in some cases.

 

And there are times when something goes rogue and nothing you cast on it will return it to your control. I found that out. The hard way.

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If something goes irrevocably rogue, what happens if you make it to the edge of the map and leave to another area? That seems like it might reset the rogue, but it also might be difficult to actually leave with a hostile creation dragging you back into combat mode. Maybe that's a time to abuse exitzone?

 

—Alorael, who becomes too attached to his permanent army to put them down for disobedience. Yes, his sympathies lie on the rebel end of the spectrum. Creations shaped as bundles of experience are fine, though. They're born to die just like ornks.

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The ultra rogue status is new to me. I didn't know it could happen, and I don't know if it is a bug.

 

It first happened with a green rotter-thingamajig. No int added, I was running on auto pilot, and it took a strong eye tyrant blast that did something like 300 damage or something. It went rogue.

 

I tried casting that cure affliction spell, you know, the one that fixes mental status effects. No effect all. I could not remove the rogue status. Had to kill very dangerous creation with JACKED stats.

 

It happened again, also with a creation on auto pilot. A wingbolt, out in the wastes, which got fried pretty good by one of those flaming shrubberies. It went rogue and couldn't be cured of rogue status. It too, was jacked, but didn't have any int added. Killing it netted over 100 some odd experience.

 

Also again, with a dryak, no int added, fighting the eye tyrant that you meet when you get the rotter canister in the passes. ZAP! Half fried dryak goes rogue, can't be cured.

 

I've taken to adding two points of int to all my creations and killing the auto pilot when I start facing the truly dangerous enemies and start easing into the end of the mid-game, and the early phases of the endgame.

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I've had two creations go rogue and try to kill the rest of my party, but when I try to attack them, it's disallowed. I get a message along the lines of "you can't kill a charmed creation."

 

What do you do to actually kill it? I thought it wasn't possible because it didn't work for me.

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I guess I was thinking it was the same thing, but I guess it isn't, eh?

 

My vlish with zero intelligence wound up killing the errant roamer, which was charmed by one of those Beta bosses in the Okanava. I was surprised, actually. I never thought of Betas as *charmers*. smile

 

(That game was never finished. Trying to play weak Agent with weak creations was too much por moi.)

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You can charm your own creation and it will turn hostile towards you, at which point you can kill it (if you do so before regaining the mental control over it). However, the range of creations I can shape and charm is far lower my own level, so I cannot know if I would get an experience were it a creation of equal level.

 

DV, how many times in a row did you try to cure affliction of the rogue creation? In some cases you need to apply the curing spell several times for it to take an effect (but I am sure you know this).

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