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How not to Suck at Avadon 2: The Corruption [SPOILERS]


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Some players will disagree with my advice, however there is still useful information here:

 

 

How Not to Suck at Avadon 2: The Corruption

 

Character Building

 

Plan ahead with your party so you don't have to edit it or worse restart because you tried to use jack of all trades or ones that have difficulty hitting the monsters. It's hard to build a bad party at the start, but later on in the game bad decisions will reduce your chances of hitting. There is a retrainer, but not until you have played through half the game.

 

Characters are capped at level 30 just like Avadon: The Black Fortress. Also it takes more experience to go up levels starting at levels 10 and 20 so you reach the cap closer to the end.

 

The most important stat is for your primary attack . Melee fighters need strength, range fighters need dexterity, and Sorcerers (Sorceresses) and Shamans need intelligence to do more damage and increase their to hit chance. Each point in that stat increase your damage by one level and your to hit chance by 5%. This is more important than increasing the related combat ability in the skill tree because that only increases your to hit chance by 1% and one damage level.

 

The next most important stat is endurance where your health increases by 5 when you gain a level or raise your endurance by 1. Also this is the stat that determines whether you are hit by cold attacks and your resistance to poison and acid. There's no sense in taking more damage than needed. Also start raising endurance by level 8 if you don't want to get hit by most monsters in the second world region.

 

Your stats will increase automatically with a point being added as you level up starting with strength at level 2, dexterity at level 3, intelligence at level 4, and endurance at level 5. Then it repeats. If you want to increase strength to avoid encumbering your character you can or wear lighter armor until your strength goes up on its own. Only melee fighters need strength, but some armor items need up to strength 15 to use them. However you will lose action points if you exceed your encumbrance level.

 

Unlike Avadon: The Black Fortress, it's harder to successfully make a character that will evade attacks by maximizing dexterity even on normal difficulty. There is always a minimum 5% chance to hit and most boss monsters have an even better chance. Even specializing in dexterity won't work. Dexterity evades physical, fire, and energy attacks, intelligence evades mental attacks, and endurance is used to calculate evading cold attacks and resisting poison and acid. An all dexterity build will get hit by almost all attacks when you first enter the second world region. The amount of evasion per stat point has dropped from 5% to 2.5% since Avadon: The Black Fortress.

 

For unlocking door and containers the maximum level is 4 and there are no items to increase the ability. You can easily get through half the game at level 2 and wait on increasing it later unless you want to save money on lockpicks.

 

 

Abilities in the Skill Tree

 

When getting abilities in the skill tree you need both of the prerequisite abilities below and you can't increase it more than the lowest level below. There is also a cap on raising the abilities beyond 8. The two single skills below the tree are capped at 4. Items and the column points do add to raise a skill above 8. It's possible to get an ability to 15 using column points (3) and some items, but most never get above 10 with items.

 

You get 3 column skill points with one each given at level 5, 15, and 25. For games at torment difficulty it's better to increase defense and use the center column skills. At lower difficulties you can increase offensive damage instead since you take less damage per attack. The center column has a damage multiplier and increasing chance of critical hits with +50% damage.

 

Shadowwalkers, Sorcerers, and Tinkermages are the only classes that can gain skill levels to pick locks and disarm traps. Also when they do melee attacks to disarm mines, turrets, and pylons they get bonus damage. Maximize the lower left column ability to 8 if you want to go into melee to remove mines and turrets. It takes longer to do them with range attacks, but if you are careful you will take no damage doing it.

 

 

Blademasters

 

A melee fighter with a sword should then get melee training melee training to 8 to maximize damage. A pole weapon fighter will do more damage per blow than a melee weapon fighter because of the higher melee damage multiplier, but will take more damage from not having a shield.

 

A range attacker should probably go with archery training and it's prerequisites melee training and path of the shield. The sharpshooter spray is one of the best area attacks. Dexterity increases damage and evading damage from physical, fire, and magic attacks.

 

A range fighter will do less damage per shot than a melee fighter because the early weapons favor melee weapons.

 

They are the only class that can increase parry to avoid taking damage.

 

They have two regenerating abilities to heal themselves over several rounds during combat.

 

Shadowwalkers

 

These are similar to Blademasters. They get to do poison and acid damage beside physical damage.

 

A shadowwalker has shadowstep to leap to a new place leaving stunned foes and ensnared at higher levels. This is useful to move to a new position away from melee attackers. The level 6 version Cunning Decoy leaves a decoy behind to take damage and that is immune to mental attacks.

 

There is also backstab ability that works when you do a melee attack to a monster that is adjacent to another party member, summoned creature, or turret.

 

Shamans

 

Can summon a pet to fight for them and shield them from damage.

 

Spirit claw magic attack has a disadvantage of more monsters resist it than fire attack of sorcerer especially golems and some demons. Also the penetrating damage seems to be lower than fire.

 

Hardiness doesn't help against physical damage and they have poor armor.

 

Have two skills, healing chant and healing touch that can heal other characters or themselves. Also they can provide some shielding to the party against melee attacks and spells.

 

They can't spare that many stat points to build up evasion. Also earthquake ability used dexterity instead of intelligence.

 

Sorcerers and Sorceresses

 

The most different attack damage types. Fire damage is not resisted by most monsters.

 

Skills, shadow charm, ward mastery, and focus mastery can reduce damage to compensate for the worst armor.

 

Has a large number of area of effect attacks.

 

Downside is like Shamans they can't spare stat points to build up evasion.

 

Tinkermage

 

This is the most powerful class since you can have two turrets and/or pylons at a time. Place skill points in the right column and turret craft to get two types of turrets as soon as possible (by level 4 at the latest). Then increase them to let them fight for you. The downside is that the turrets don't move so you may have to remove and replace them. There are a few long fights where you will have to make more. Still they do better damage than you will since several have area attacks and they can take damage.

 

The easiest class to use, but the turrets disappear when you die. So create them and retreat. Or be prepared to destroy and make new ones as you chase an enemy.

 

Turrets don't suffer from mental attacks except slow.

 

Range attacks are decent and higher tier abilities can drag a foe towards you to put it range of your turrets. Increase dexterity since by the end game you have running battles where you need to move out of turret range to attack foes. Your razorflinger will hit better than your turrets and at longer range.

 

You will want to raise blade training to be able to raise armor craft to get better armor and turret craft to improve the turret level.

 

This class can increase evasion to attacks.

 

This class can get through almost the whole game without having to bring along other Hands even on torment difficulty.

 

You can get the Fancy Tool Belt by level 8 at the earliest that will let you make all 4 base turret or pylon types. This makes the game much easier when you use freezing turrets.

 

 

Fighting and Spells

 

Be sure that you can do all of the four main damage types in your party: physical, fire, cold, and energy. There are some monsters that are almost or completely immune to at least one type and sometimes with high resistances to more than one. It's not how much damage you can do, but how much penetrates.

 

Early in the game, daze is very powerful in keeping monsters from attacking. The most important tactic is to keep from being swarmed. So anything that can reduce that is helpful.

 

Indoors take advantage of terrain. Doorways are you best friends since if you can force an enemy to stop in the doorway the rest of the monsters on the other side will usually stand idly by while you can attack the monster and lob area effect spells into the room. Move your characters adjacent to the door on either side, but not in line of sight of monsters in the room. Then when you kill the monster usually the next one will run up and get stuck in the door. This forms a conga line of death (Knights of the Dinner Table reference). Too bad doorways are two wide.

 

Advance slowly in new areas so you can encounter just one monster at the edge of a group. Then buff and hit the space bar to see if you go into combat mode when the monster sees you. Back off and lure that monster to its death, then repeat until their numbers are reduced.

 

Overlapping area attacks are effective in killing quickly on normal difficulty. Even on harder difficulties taking out the monsters quickly is helpful.

 

 

Remember the old human saying:

 

"He who fights and runs away, lives to run another day."

-- Worf, Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Encounter at Farpoint" novelization by David Gerrold

 

Moving away from a swarm of monsters may keep the farthest ones from attacking. Just creep up to lure them away one by one to their deaths instead of yours. In almost all encounters you can come back later, so picking them off instead of charging in to fight can work to your advantage.

 

Also outdoors when the monsters are tougher this can give you a round to buff if your party goes first. In the demo area you can just daze and slaughter the easier monsters. Daze doesn't last more than a few rounds. Earthquake ability or scarab, and abilities that stun are also useful to get free attacks.

 

Mines and Turrets

 

To remove a mine you have to attack in melee or use an area effect that covers the area that it is in. Shadowwalkers, Sorcerers (Sorceresses), and Tinkermages get bonus damage for a melee disarm attack because of their disarm traps/unlock door abilities. The safest way is to use area effect attacks since you won't take damage if you don't destroy it before it goes off.

 

Turrets can be disarmed in melee like mines or hit for normal damage with a range attack. Physical range attacks with a bow, javelin, and razordisk are possible from a greater range than the turret's attack. Stand back and wear them down in safety.

 

Note that turrets and mines heal if they aren't damaged for several rounds so you need a decent to hit chance.

 

Some fights it will be better to let a character with level 4 unlock go into melee and take them out with disarm.

 

Scarabs

 

Your best attack in some cases since the base damage increases with dexterity for Blademasters, Shadowwalkers, and Tinkermages and intelligence for Shamans and Sorcerers (Sorceresses). Most of the early ones are area attacks and recharge in 2 or 3 turns so they can be used repeatedly to hit swarms. Overlap area attacks in a round or two and you can easily clear the low level monsters.

 

Passive scarabs can increase parry and riposte.

 

For the your character you want scarabs that can do physical and cold damage since there are hardly any monsters that are immune to those damage types.

 

There is a golem that is immune to cold, but still takes physical and fire damage. Golems and some demons are immune to energy (magic) attacks, corrupted monsters and some rogue types are immune to acid (Corruption), dragons and a few fire monsters are immune to fire attacks. When you start fighting undead you may want to a fire damage scarab instead of cold to increase penetrating damage.

 

Enhancing Items

 

After you meet Nicodemus you learn how to use an enchanted anvil to combine runestones with some armor items and melee weapons. You can't use them with necklaces, rings, or missile weapons.

 

The best runestones are deep on armor for +5% to evade getting hit, glowing runes for +1 to endurance, purity for +1 to dexterity, and golden for +4% to all resistances.

 

Food

 

It may seem stupid, but early in the game eating food can heal minor damage so you can save potions and healing abilities. Eating food takes 5 AP leaving you 3 AP to move and/or attack. The best food heals 9 to 21 damage. It pays to collect food or tell Polus in Avadon that you are hungry and get bread.

 

What Jeff Doesn't Tell You

 

There are a few places in the early game where your path is blocked by mine fields that you aren't powerful enough to disarm yet. However you can come back later at higher levels and remove them for experience even though they aren't needed for clearing the zone or getting any loot.

 

Some places also have turrets that block your path so you have to go around them. Later in the game some of them are no longer hostile and you can comeback and get the loot you missed earlier.

 

Consumable Items

 

Aside from potions and scrolls for healing and speed, there are several wands. Lightning and corruption wands and circle of fire scrolls are usable through out the game. Circle of fire scrolls are really great if you want to win the final boss fight to get the best game ending.

 

Playing on Torment Difficulty

 

Health should be much higher than normal difficulty so have more endurance. This will also reduce acid and poison.

 

When all else fails, come back a few levels higher than you would on normal difficulty.

 

Monsters on torment will have extra attacks, sometimes between members in your party, as well as extra abilities.

 

Using a tinkermage in the party makes it easier since it can be like having two extra party members. However you can do everything with a party that doesn't have one.

 

 

Singleton - Or Who Needs a Full Party

 

A single character goes up as fast as a full party. So this is purely for a challenge. Because you can't leave Khalida and Yannick behind when you go to Avadon you can't truly go it alone until after you reach Avadon. You can head straight there and maybe get through, but unless you are playing a Tinkermage you will need to gain levels. If you don't mind reloading you can do it even on torment. Minimum level will be level 3 when you start the quest to Avadon and you get to level 4 before the final fight.

 

A Tinkermage on torment difficulty is the only way to go it alone. You can create up to two turrets and/or pylons. They aren't subject to mental attacks like daze, terror, and charm. Heal them to remove slow curse. About a third of the way through the game you can get items to summon pets to help for a while. Summoned pets are weak and will only be useful for a few levels, plus they are random so you can't tell in advance if the pet will be useful.

 

However I wasn't able to get through the boss fight for the second to last main quest with a solo tinkermage. I made it halfway through the fight before falling to mental effects. Other classes don't even make it past level 13 without lots of reloads and planning ahead. I may retry this zone with a minor change in equipment since I have an idea that might work.

 

Final Boss Fight

 

If you decide to try the final boss fight it takes 10 to 20 minutes even on torment. However while easier than Avadon: The Black Fortress final fight, it isn't a cakewalk. I recommend saving for the end so scrolls/elixirs to cast speed, circle of fire scrolls for attacks, and recuperation and assault crystals for defense. Spread out the recuperation crystals within the party so everyone can counter mental effects of the other party members.

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There is a retrainer, but not until you have played through half the game.

Hand Briand in Fort Foresight will retrain characters that are with you. However you will be around level 20 or more before you reach him.

 

There is a cheat code that lets you respec at any time. Shift and d key to bring up the cheat code box, the type retrain and hit enter to retrain the current character.

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About the Tinkermage - I've read through all the information I could find, and I'm still not sure how it works. Do his melee attacks benefit from strength, but his his grenades and wristfling-thingamajigs from dexterity? If so, then which do I invest in? And what do turrets benefit from? If dexterity applies to missiles and intelligence to magic, do skills labeled "magic missile" benefit from both? Or what?

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For Tinkermages:

 

Melee attacks and disarming mines and turrets, strength is the main stat.

For razordisks, grenades, and other range attacks, dexterity is the main stat.

 

Turrets benefit from level in that turret type and turret craft in the center column, third tier skill.

 

Scarabs benefit from dexterity.

 

Overall dexterity is the best stat with endurance the next best to deal with cold, poison, and acid.

 

Also the center column has a passive ability to improve evasion to all attacks.

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I see, thanks Randomizer. My concern here is this - if it's not worthwhile to invest in strength, I'll only have turrets and some special ranged attacks at my disposal, all with very high cooldowns and being potentially problematic to use. Also, if I max the left tier abilities, I won't have enough points for the turrets, right? At least that's how it was in Avadon 1. So either I use turrets and a weak melee attack, or 2-3 barely usable ranged attacks?

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I see, thanks Randomizer. My concern here is this - if it's not worthwhile to invest in strength, I'll only have turrets and some special ranged attacks at my disposal, all with very high cooldowns and being potentially problematic to use. Also, if I max the left tier abilities, I won't have enough points for the turrets, right? At least that's how it was in Avadon 1. So either I use turrets and a weak melee attack, or 2-3 barely usable ranged attacks?

 

It does seem like Tinkermage is one of the classes that will benefit most from having access to offensive scarabs.

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The Tinkermage has a Fancy Toolbelt that gives points to make the low version of each turret or pylon in the right column so you don't need as many to make the better version if you want. In practice even on torment, just using the Fancy Toolbelt and building up the center column to get turret craft to 8 creates turrets that can hit throughout the game.

 

I went with 8 levels of the tier one - Blade Training, Build Boltflinger, and Blade Craft, the tier two - wristflinger Training and Armor Craft, and the tier three - Turret Craft. 4 levels of Tool Use and the rest was optional. Scarabs make good area attacks and recharge in 4 rounds like Searing and Frost-Rimed Scarabs for fire and cold cone attack areas.

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How should we aim for Torment Tinkermage? Something like this is my guess:

 

Now that evasion is no longer such a dominant strategy, I could see an argument for saving those skill points in the left column by making the Tinkermage into a melee tank. Just enough Strength to hit things more-or-less reliably, the rest into Endurance, focus on the middle and right columns.

 

Do skills still give triple bonuses for every point above 6, and if so, does that apply to turret skills too? If so, raising the turret creation skills as high as possible starts to look pretty tempting.

 

Tinkermage/Tinkermage/Shaman and Tinkermage/Tinkermage/Blademaster both look like very good parties: the third party members' supporting skills should provide an excellent force multiplier effect to the Tinkermages' summons. Tinkermage/Shaman/Blademaster works too, obviously, if you want a less lopsided party; if summons are limited to two across the whole party rather than two per character, it's probably optimal.

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Now that evasion is no longer such a dominant strategy, I could see an argument for saving those skill points in the left column by making the Tinkermage into a melee tank. Just enough Strength to hit things more-or-less reliably, the rest into Endurance, focus on the middle and right columns.

 

Do skills still give triple bonuses for every point above 6, and if so, does that apply to turret skills too? If so, raising the turret creation skills as high as possible starts to look pretty tempting.

Evasion still works except against boss monsters and some area effects get through anyway. The problem is you need at least 2 to 1 for dexterity to endurance for it to work.

 

The advantage to increasing the right column over the left is healing pylon can help with group healing if the party stays near it. The choice of fire or cold attacks with fire and freezing tier 4 turrets. You do want to maximize turret craft in the center because that increases the levels of all your turrets for attack and to survive being attacked.

 

It comes down to whether the tinkermage will be able to attack at range and with scarabs or be more a support with the turrets doing the attacks and him retreating.

 

Edit - It's two turrets/pylons per tinkermage and one summoned monster per party member up to 2 monsters per party. So 4 turrets/pylons and 2 pets maximum at a time. I got the best game ending using tinkermage/sorceress/tinkermage on torment.

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Blademaster skill Challenge provides some regeneration, but otherwise didn't seem to do anything. It's hard to tell if you divert any attackers.

 

I'm pretty sure that the one time I used it a little text floated above the two enemies I managed to divert, alerting me to the fact I'd caught their attention,. Unfortunately, they were two of the weaker enemies out of a rather large group, so it was probably a pointless move on my part.

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Turret abilities are keyed to only turret skills.

 

I know from a melee blademaster that you need strength to hit. If you don't mind taking lots of damage that needs healing than a strength/endurance build will work. You need a significant investment in dexterity, 25 or more, to be useful.

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One nice perk of a Str-based tinkermage is that with maxed lockpicking you can do massive amounts of damage to mines and turrets in melee, taking out even ones significantly above your level in a hit or two. Since my main character is my designated lockpicker, maybe I'll build her for Str and the other tinkermage for Dex, and see how they compare to each other in the same party.

 

Interesting observation about the new skill tree: if you really beeline for a rank 6 top-tier skill, you can get one as early as level 16. This is probably worth doing for Blademasters in particular, who still get the best full-party buff in the game at the top of their right-hand column.

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Does anyone know whether turrets and shaman summons get bonuses for levels 7+ in the active skill like the attack skills do?

 

Interesting observation indeed on beelining for rank 6 top-tier skills. As cool as tinker mages look, I'm going with a Shaman for my first character, because I want to see what Drakes do when you get them half way through the game rather than near the end.

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You might consider one tinkermage with dexterity instead of strength since their turrets go away when they go unconscious. During the round before the turret goes active you can take lots of damage. Also you can attack with a razordisk outside the area of effect range of some monsters.

 

Later in the game you can easily take over 300 penetrating damage past armor and resistances.

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I found that I was not emphasizing endurance enough. I am going through vitality and health at a much faster rate than I did with Avadon 1. The health issue is compounded by my choice of build. In Avadon 1 with any build except for a two sorceress build, everyone could heal themselves because of the healing scarab. In Avadon 2 I have been playing with a Blademaster, Tinkermage and Sorceress and only the Blademaster can heal himself. I am considering using the Shaman on my next quest to get the healing ability, even though I dislike summoning.

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It occurs to me that the Sorcerer could free up some skill points by ignoring Magical Mastery. It's no longer a prerequisite for anything, and all it does is raise accuracy and lower fatigue. With maxed-out INT, is hit rate likely to be a problem in the late game? And reducing fatigue is certainly handy, but not necessarily essential for a class with so many attacks available. Plus there's bound to be some equipment that does the same thing, not to mention the potions.

 

Am I wrong?

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I've found that accuracy is almost never a problem against level-appropriate enemies, even on Torment and even on my tanky Tinkermage who only invests half her skill points in Strength and the other half in Endurance. I've totally ignored Magical Mastery on Yannick and haven't missed it at all.

 

Interestingly, I've done some counting and I'm pretty sure there are exactly enough skill points to raise Spray Acid to 8 by level 30 if you do ignore Magical Mastery.

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I'm not a fan of magical mastery either. I do find accuracy helps a bit on torment, but there are so many places to get it, including a scarab that gives +15%, a set of bracers that give +20%, a belt that gives +15%, and two charms, one with +15% and the other with +5% (all of which work for sorcerers; there are a few swords, spears, and pieces of heavy armor that also give accuracy bonuses). You'll probably want some of that for higher difficulties, but you won't need nearly all of it, let alone some/all of it and magical mastery. And as for cooldown, focus mastery tends to give sorcerers extremely fast cooldowns anyway (at least against magic-using opponents), and the so-so bonuses that magical mastery provides aren't worth the number of points you'd have to drop into it to get it to level 7+. You can safely ignore it, or put a point or two in; your points are much better spent on ward or focus mastery.

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