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Tough difficulty - special team?


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As i mentioned somewhere i finished Avernum 1 and started playing A2 recently. Because i was finishing Avernum 1 on Hard difficulty (sometimeslike challenge) with almost default team (all classes were custom but they were very similar to default ones: Warrior-Rogue-Cleric-Mage). So same team i started A2 (no catman or lizardmen - just don't like them), and it come out that playing on Tough is... Well it's tough.

My team is (Stats are given in order - most importand to least importatnt): Warrior (Elite Warrior +Sickness prone) STR/END/DEX; Melee, Hardiness

Rogue (Nimble Fingers) DEX/STR/END; Bows, Tool Use

Cleric (No perk) INT/END/STR; Cleric, Hardiness

Mage (Natural Mage+Brittle Bones) INT/DEX/END; Mage, Lores (some arc some cave).

And for cleric and mage everything is ok thou spell dmg on enemies is terribly low (ice lance lv 2 dealing 6-13 dmg per target with 9 int ant 8 mag?). But Rogue and Warrior die in almost every combat i have to play combats 2-3 times before i can finish them without loosing any of them. Some combats are so tough that i have to resign of them (aranea lair for example). I am currently lvl 10 in Chapter 2: Dark Waters, having terrible problems with Ruined Water Fort.

 

Is there some special Team output for difficulties other than Normal? Or it is jus load-load-load until AI make some mistake and You win?

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Some is reloading, but mostly it's have a high health tank (armor and hardiness) to lead the party to soak up damage. Then have the other party members concentrate on dealing damage. You can't do it everywhere, but try to move up slowly to avoid fighting too many monsters at a time.

 

Mage spell web/sleep/paralysis is very useful at the web (lowest) level in preventing monsters from moving up into melee range with you. Slow is also useful especially if you can cast it last so the monsters can't haste it away after you cast it.

 

I think you are a bit low level for Dark Waters part. Aranea Lair is possible at least for the Spider quest part if you use items for damage.

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Aranea lair is the only location i did not finish (but yes i stole Friendly Spider eggs), there was also a Lizard Cave where i did not enter but fire lizards+ Basilisks are too strong for me. I cleared as much of a map as possible (nephilim fort, undead fort (old nephilims), bandit cave (where they kept stolen arrows), and a lot of outdoors encounters. Now i was trapped on an ampty map with barriers so i decided to move on to next chapter. Vahnatai are easy but imps or mung rats sre terribly strong.

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Why would you put sickness prone on your tank?!?

 

I would avoid standup fights at the start of A2, just haste/use the wait trick, nuke, and recharge if you run out of mana. Your main characters shouldn't be attacked at all really. Against the Hydras etc (on Torment) I think i just summoned a ton of guys to tank and then nuked them. Rabid Bats and Asps are particularly solid.

 

I'd avoid spending any points on Int until you have 18 mag/pri. Int adds the same mana as mag/pri and is half as effective for spells. And you should avoid wasting points on useless abilities (e.g. lore, str/dex for spellcasters, end for everyone really).

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because sickness prone is less crippling negative perk while elite warrior takes 35% of exp, with sickness prone incresing 25% i have only 10% exp penalty, and safe travel totally negates effects of sickness prone for me.

also:

STR and END on priest makes him third tank, DEX and END on Mage makes him stay alive when attacked by spell and move earlier, Lore is useful as You can identify items earlier and easier decide whether take them or leave, INT is better in early game when you have no way to learn strong spells and MAG/PRI does not increase spell target number while INT does (eg Ice lances LV2 with 5 int affect 4 targets, while INT on 8 it have 7 targets available).

 

Really i finished first part without many problems on Hard difficulty, it just seems that in A2 the difficulties differences are changed a bit.

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Use level 2 web, sleep, on hydras and then hit them when they can't attack. Never let them in melee range.

 

I skipped most of the imps on the way down river except for the Vahnatai crypts. Range attackers are hard unless you have the health to survive the first round.

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Tanks in general don't work at harder difficulties, everything hastes itself and deals a ton of damage in melee. Just summon up a bunch of guys to take hits if you can't nuke everything down in a turn or two. I just finished a duo on torment (fighter + mage/priest), and the fighter wasn't able to tank until I got divine warrior, even with blessed plate and a shield he got his ass kicked.

 

I don't think Int increases spell target numbers, learning the spell at higher levels does that. In any case you can get the top level spells right after getting to the Vahnatai capital when you teleport to the Tower, so you should try to have 16 by then for divine warrior.

 

Most low-level magic resistant guys are only to one type. Imps I think take full lightning damage. Araneas take fire damage, but they can be tough early, I generally relied on rabid bats and asps until Fireblast. And chain web works wonders, cast it every turn and they won't even fight back - this is a good way to take out Drakes early on.

 

If you're having trouble in the ruined fort, don't forget that you can use repel spirit on the undead vahnatai (vahnavoi) along with the undead. Hasting your priest works well here: you can haste, wait, then walk into a room and have four casts before they get a single move, that should kill everything besides specters and your fighters can mop up.

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Ok i'va made it through. Finished vahnatai lands and i am back on surface. My mage and priest are having 5 INT and 14 class-spell (both of them), my party is lvl 12-15 (warrior because of some exp-leeching enemies is far below the rest :-( ). Now when i have Avernum not divided by barriers i hope leveling will be a bit easier. Will go to first caves and kill some lizards, later araneas and will slowly start making collected quests.

When it comes to fight: Haste Mage -> haste Warrior & Priest -> Priest shield & bless Warrior later the same with archer -> mage cast lightning spray twice each turn, priest heal twice each turn, warrior and rouge attack twice each turn :-) it is still hard bu i find that way at least beating up casters and ranged ones is a bit easier.

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Did you skip Becca with Elite Warrior? She gives a big boost right at the start.

I wouldn't recommend taking negative traits, the experience penalty is not a huge deal.

The class traits like Natural Mage are very good and Fast on Feet works for everyone. I choose Nephils for speed also.

Also, I play with 2 mages, so that has a different party balance. Certainly allows faster damaging spells and summons.

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I never take NPC to party. And having 35 or more exp penalty IS a great deal. Look at it this way: warrior with elite and sickness prone when party around lvl 30 is lvl 27 (10% penalty) warrior with elite in party on lv 30 is lvl 19 (35%penalty) between 19 and 27 is a huge gap.

 

Ofc above example is very simplified as penalty is counted for exp not for levels, but still it is how it works. I am always striving to avoid having more than 10% exp penalty.

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In the first trilogy you can take negative traits and with the extra levels eventually negate most penalties. Experience doesn't decrease at higher levels and there are ways around the level cap using skill potions.

 

The second trilogy is where you don't want to take negative traits because you get less experience at higher levels.

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I never take NPC to party.
Ok. You can use them to get a stronger party.
warrior with elite and sickness prone when party around lvl 30 is lvl 27 (10% penalty) warrior with elite in party on lv 30 is lvl 19 (35%penalty).
I think that I clear areas at a lower level than you, yes.
I am always striving to avoid having more than 10% exp penalty.
If you make arbitrary rules that you follow, then others are going to come to different conclusions.
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Ok. You can use them to get a stronger party.

I think that I clear areas at a lower level than you, yes.

If you make arbitrary rules that you follow, then others are going to come to different conclusions.

I tried another team, without negative traits. Whole my team have -25%/-30% exp penalty, and to be honest it is really easier to play it. Maybe because i used to tough difficulty (i already made my own way of acting on this level) or maybe it is because such team is as Tough as enemies ;)

My warrior changed a bit - from being damage dealer in previous game to being more tanky this time (from STR/END/DEX to END/STR without much DEX), and my mage and cleric are low in INT but heavily on class spellcasting (3 INT and 11 Magic on lvl 6). And what is strange i am leveling even faster than in previous game. This is probably because i can taake on harder enemies more easily. Previously when hit an outdor encounter i was reloading save to get less enemies, while now i can reload to get as much enemies as possible, also i more often leave dungeons and get back when rest instead of charging them with low health as previously. Game takes more time but i enjoy it more.

After all it was good idea to take only positive traits and start game from beginning again :)

 

The second trilogy is where you don't want to take negative traits because you get less experience at higher levels.

 

Thesecond Trilogy is where my foot won't stand :p The second trilogy graphic design scares me off. I don't like it, i am totally disgusted by it, and after all i do not understand why SpiderWeb decided to change graphic design so drastically, instead of doing some cosmetic changes. I payed amount of money for 1st AT, and i totally do not care abut second, i would pay same amount if i get 1-3 and BoA (or even without BoA!) as i payed for 1-6+BoA. Luckilly BoA is still in old graphic style so it is still playayble for me ;)

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Playing again with your experience from the first attempt counts for a lot.

I love these games because I find them challenging, and they punish poor strategy.

 

I also prefer the original Avernums 1-3 and BoA. But I enjoyed the newest remake Escape from the Pit.

It is a very polished and upgraded version compared to the second series of Avernums 4-6.

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One more thing:

And chain web works wonders, cast it every turn and they won't even fight back - this is a good way to take out Drakes early on.

What do You mean by "Chain Web"?

Bind Foe does not work on 90% of targets (otherwise than in A1 when You could bind demons, drakes and all that stuff), and Slow on lvl 2 is very weak.

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What do You mean by "Chain Web"?

 

Cast bind foe (web) every turn. If you wait before moving in (so they have already moved) and cast web, then cast it again every turn most guys won't ever get an action (e.g. demons and drakes, who it works great on at early levels). Doesn't work on a few things like specters that have a ton of AP, but everything else.

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In avernum 2 bind foe does not work on:

Slimes, demons, drakes, imps, araneas, giants, mages, clerics, captains et caetera. In avernum 1 it does in a2 i can't bind almost anything except goblins, nephilims and standard sliths. All other enemies seem to be immune to lv1, lv2 and except few to lv3 "Bind foe" spell.

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The thing about Bind Foe in A1 and A2 is that it's a spell you never want to learn at a higher level. Just stick with it at Level 1. Bind Foe Level 1 covers the target with webs. No enemy can resist webbing, so if you cast it multiple times, the enemy will be forced to waste a turn to clean their webs. Keep applying more webs on the target, and the monster will never get a turh. It works great on powerful mid-game enemies like Demons, Drakes, Wizards, High Priests, and pretty much anything.

Level 2 and Level 3 of Bind Foe is actually much less useful, which is odd for a spell upgrade. Level 2 applies Sleep, which most upper level enemies are immune to. Ditto for Level 3, which applies Paralysis. High level enemies will resist that too. Level 1 though will always work, even on high level monsters. I usually try to avoid learning Bind Foe at Level 2 or 3 because of this. Bind Foe at Level 1 is your ultimate weapon.

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