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GF2 - My playthrough (full of spoilers)


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Separate from anything else, the fact that this topic's title keeps changing to something completely different makes it very hard to follow (and probably confusing to anyone who reads it for the first time, since the current title never has anything to do with the first _ pages of the topic...)

 

41 minutes ago, alhoon said:

LEVELING CREATIONS and New Creations:

From what I see in this game, the "difference" between the various creations seems to be the smaller from the 4 games I've seen (GF5 had the biggest difference).

 

To cut to the chase:

Is it even worth to spend 5000+ coins on better creation types? The Drayks have so far been a huge waste of money; huge. Perhaps cryodrayks could redeem that but it remains to be seen.

Should I consider buying 2 levels of Glaahk when I can cough up the huge amount of money? Or by the time I get the money (I have like 500 coins now; I don't pick up a lot of stuff to sell) my Vlish (ranged Glaahks in the game) would be hilariously more powerful, and cheaper?

Battle Alphas were also a waste of money... What about Rots? Drakons? (Gazers I will get anyway cause I like gazers; power is not the only thing that counts)

 

G1-3 all had a similar amount of mechanical differences between creations: not many.  G4 and G5 had more.  But even in G5 paying higher essence costs is not always worth it.

 

The first thing to note is that all creations have their offensive capabilities and their HP scale with level.  HP scales semi-exponentially, and offensive capabilities sort of do as well -- the actual increase is linear, but both damage and accuracy are affected.  Level depends entirely on 3 things:

1. base value for the creation type

2. bonus based on your shaping skill (in that class of shaping only)

3. levels gained while following you around (rate depends on YOUR level, not creation's level, I believe in G2)

 

This means the earlier you make a creation, the stronger it will ultimately be.  That is the first thing in favor of the weaker, cheaper creations.  The other thing is that later creations often have unnecessarily high essence costs.  You will likely have enough extra essence at higher levels that you can afford a few such creations anyway, but when your essence is limited they aren't great deals.

 

(Note that level does NOT affect damage type or damage die size -- this is why fyoras, roamers, and anything that is melee dependent remain inferior even when maxed out.)

 

My typical MO is to max out the bonuses from #2 and #3 on stuff I'll have around forever, like Vlish.  This means dumping almost all early stat points into Magic Shaping, which for a little while at the start will outpace any levels they'd gain from following you.  Once that hits equilibrium you make the creations that will follow you around for the whole game.  This may involve boosting Int slightly but you really only need 3-4 of them truly maxed out.  (Note that you can put off buying 2 points of Int for them in order to get more created faster -- you probably won't need to control them anyway if you are maxing them out, as they'll just steamroll the game.)  When essence is available I'll make vlish to fill out the roster; those may be a level or two below (due to #3) but they will eventually be replaced anyway: by terror vlish, gazers or eyebeasts, though the latter options not till very late in the game.

 

Putting this focused effort in early gives you, essentially, bonuses to their current level that remain static throughout the entire game.  This is a big deal.

 

Also, the easiest mistake to make is spending creation "skill points" when they level up.  This costs essence, and it is a deplorably bad value.  If you have a TON of extra essence at the end of the game, it can maybe be worth it to buy a few cheap posts on cheap creations -- but that's it, and not until late in the game.

 

Although variety is nice, dipping into Fire Shaping for e.g. Cryoas either makes ALL the magic creations worse (either #2 or #3 has to take a hit), or you end up with (relatively) weak fire creations.  Drayks aren't bad in G2, but I suspect you haven't pumped your shaping skills much, so at this point anything you make isn't going to compare well.  Note that I tried to tell you at the beginning to pick fire or magic and stick with it.

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And I mostly did. I have magic at 7 and I have found an item that on top of the artifact that nice lady gave me, another one that gives me a +2 to fire Shaping. So While I have bought 1-2 Fire Shaping (it starts at 2, magic starts at 1), I bought so far 5 points in magic shaping. My Cryoa is from the start of the game.

 

As for variety... resistances of enemies don't seem to be high in this game. I can deal a lot of magic damage to Vlish (and I haven't managed to land a blow to a gazer to see how magic resistant they are...). Cold affects specters (they were near immune in GF5) very well.

So, I am not sure variety is as important.

 

Thinking of it, Horrorshiver at level 28 costs me ~40 essence more than my Vlish but they have suprassed him in hit chance, despite being 6 levels lower!

 

Fire creations: What I mean is that I expected with magic Shaping at 7-8 and Fire at 6 with items, Drakons would be well worth it. Well, Gazers are underwhelming so I am not that hopeful.

Do creations have a level cap? My Vlish are going strong at 23rd level so far.

 

Boosting creations: I haven't done it at the time, since I'm saving my essence to build the good stuff later. I am just wondering if the "good stuff" is actually good stuff.

I plan to have 70-80 essence "Free" to cast spells at the late game. If I have filled my roaster with my end-game creations, I may start boosting the Vlish since boosts are insanely cheap for them.

What do you think?

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Blind Weakness Services said:

This means dumping almost all early stat points into Magic Shaping [until] equilibrium

 

19 minutes ago, alhoon said:

And I mostly did. I have magic at 7

 

7 is not very high.

 

And yeah, resistances were very rare in the early Geneforges.  Maybe it was G4 that added more of those?

 

Drakons are seriously underwhelming for their essence cost.

 

One thing I forgot to mention.  By G4 the 4th and 5th tier creations have inherent mental resistance.  I can't remember if that was already true of the last tier creations in G2/3.  Either way I don't think you face as many mental attacks in the earlier games, so it might not matter.  But later on that is one of the arguments against using lower tier creations long term in those games.  (There are a lot of other mechanics and cost changes in those games, too.)

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I think there's a soft cap in Shaping 10, right? I assumed I would get a few points that way. I will buy magic the level after the next but I'm not sure it'll see much use. I already have a full roaster. I'll eventually drop my servile follower to get a Gazer, and perhaps a Vlish if I can afford a 2nd Gazer (or I want a rot). But more or less I expect to keep most of my current creations to the bitter end.

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I'm not saying invest in Magic Shaping now.  It's too late to really matter.

 

I don't think G3 had any creation resistances that G2 didn't also have.  I think nobody noticed them in G2 because everybody ran Guardians :)  G4 definitely made them more relevant though -- there were challenge bosses with crazy resistance sets, more specters and pylons, and two extremely prominent new creations (wingbolts and kyshakks) with remarkably high resists.

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The only creatures in Geneforge 2 that seemed to have much of anything in the way of resistances were golems, and those seemed to have a single overall resistance to every damage type.

 

Now, in regards to drakons... they aren't particularly good, but...

-They have the highest health of tier 4 creations, if I recall correctly

-They have the highest initiative of the tier 4 creation types

-Their ranged attack is a bit weak on damage, but is searing orbs, and so can hit multiple enemies

-They can parry like all other tier 4 creations

-They do huge amounts of melee damage (~170) and have a good chance to get a second swing. Though rothgroths have more melee damage, and gazers have more ranged damage, the drakon is probably the best overall utility creation.

 

If you have enough essence, I recommend at least one drakon and gazer. Since you're not going to be a loyalist, I think that you can safely use all the canisters you need, so you could probably also get rotdhizons and the like.

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What are you comparing, Kian?  Just the base stats of the creations?  Keep in mind that (1) they can be outclassed by earlier, cheaper creations that have been levelled; (2) you are using a lot of extra skill points if you boost multiple shaping types up; (3) if you don't, but make drakons *and* gazers, one or the other is going to be significantly weaker anyway.

 

The health "bonuses" certain creations get are not meaningful because they are so quickly eclipsed by natural HP.  HP is (level * Endurance) so on odd levels one multiplier goes up, and on even levels both multipliers go up.  At high levels artilas have practically the same HP as a drayk.  Drakons might get a few hundred HP or something, but even that is really not necessary or useful.

 

What do you mean by "highest initiative"?  Initiative is just Dex + (QA * some multiplier I forget).  I don't think drakons have an inherent bonus to either of those (it's been a while, but the only such bonuses I remember are on gazers (luck) and rots (QA or +AP?  I forget)).

 

Searing Orbs *can* hit multiple enemies.  It is unreliable, and the enemies also have to be close together.  Compare to the Eyebeast's Aura of Flames attack, which does more damage, works from further away, hits everything, and is more reliable.

 

Finally, canisters consumed has an effect in *every* ending.  It is boolean depending on if you are above or below a certain number.  (It isn't a life or death impact unless you get the "I failed completely!" ending.)

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8 minutes ago, Queenforge said:

What do you mean by "highest initiative"?  Initiative is just Dex + (QA * some multiplier I forget).  I don't think drakons have an inherent bonus to either of those (it's been a while, but the only such bonuses I remember are on gazers (luck) and rots (QA or +AP?  I forget)).

It's QA + Dex + luck + lvl  that influence initiative in G2. Iirc speed helps too.

Edited by Nim
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Here's another perhaps needlessly long post... It has some observations of mine about the story.

 

I went to the Crystal mines near the Awakened. I found a Spawner (as expected) but there was no text about it.
After several in-and-out to heal, I found a Taker Drayk that is completely unharmed by the magic of the place that causes me to evacuate every minute or so.
After calling me a fool and telling me to go see Syros in Zhass-Uss so that he can toy with me, it told me he doesn't know why it is unharmed by the air and told me it placed the Spawner here to attack the Awakened.

Why difference of opinion on what to do once the Shapers come is a reason for war is beyond me. The Takers think (rightly) that the Awakened will be attacked by the Shapers. So... why start a war with them? If they dislike them as much as the Shapers (strange in itself), why waste effort to attack them? The Enemy of my Enemy is my friend.
For all I've found the different factions fascinating, I still haven't figured out why their differences had to lead to war? OK, Barzites were obviously horrendous. But Takers and Awakened? I can understand animosity but spending resources to put up monsters to kill the serviles cause they have a different view on the Shapers?
I guess that one goes back to GF1...


Following that, a tough decision (that was kinda made for me).
In a place called Darian's refuge, there's a servile that misses the oppressive hand of the Barzites. He is sad and wants to spend his life as a self-aware living baton.

But it's his choice. Freedom kinda comes with the freedom to choose what I don't like.

I was at an impasse: Should I respect his choice and lead him back to the evilest faction (that I plan to go full-Litalia on later), respecting his choice?
Should I leave him there, "free" but unhappy not respecting his choice? But alive since I will kill the Barzites anyway?
And then he said something that clearly showed me the path: He told me that my party is full so I would have to get rid of a vlish.
Nooooope.
Theeeere you stay buddy. Your choice is respectable, but I will not handicap myself so you can return to your master.


Lack of Servant minds:
I saw a servile in the way to Phariton (which I am told is a mad Shaper, and people the Barzites are calling mad are bound to be interesting). That servile is frankly a servant mind with legs.
Haven't seen any servant minds in GF2.
As a note, I have seen a great many pylons shooting magic at me. With 7 creations that become active the moment I go to battle mode, this place is a nightmare.

 

Learned Darian
That's a woman that said things to the Shaper that visited Sucia hoping it would lead to less suffering for the Serviles, and she acknowledges it didn't. She thinks this time it may lead to less suffering.
She doesn't know that the world will burn, but realizes it is very possible: "Power to remake the world, or burn it". It will be both Darian; remake the world from the ashes of burned cities. And she's right about the Takers; they are correct on their view that Shapers would not accept free creations without being crushed and that their power will prove catastrophically dangerous.
Heartbreaking insight.

 

This game makes me sad...

 

 

EDIT:

For those that didn't make the connection... my avatar photo is now the Takers flag (I will still probably ally with the Awakened, but that's a very nice, rebel-ly flag).

Edited by alhoon
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...You should have total control over your Vlish and so not have problems. If you do not have 2 intelligence invested in each Vlish, DO IT. Having no essence left over for spells is preferable to not being able to control your creations when they actually matter.

 

Also, about Phariton:

Spoiler

 

He's actually not particularly mad. He's a bit of a canister addict (he even made a room where he ritually uses canisters), but he's otherwise a fairly rational, above-it-all loyalist Shaper. He will only deal with you if you are unaligned. So, if you join a faction... don't go there.

 

Since he's completely uninterested in anything outside his tiny 'domain', there's no (roleplaying) reason to try to kill him. You can get all his canisters regardless, and you can use leadership to let you get out through his chambes, allowing you to safely rob those too.


Also, you'll want to save very often in his home.

 

 

Edited by TheKian
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On 5/30/2017 at 3:02 PM, Queenforge said:

The point is that the drakon doesn't have anything giving it higher initiative than rots or gazers, which is what was originally stated.  Or are we all missing something here?

According to my notes (and I'm not sure I deciphered everything correctly), Drakons have +8 QA vs +6 for Rots, and a slightly higher base level than Rots and Gazers. I also see +22 Dex for Rots, but I recall not being able to determine if these stats (inherent +SDIE) actually work. G2's Ur-Drakon should get +28 Str, which seems extraordinary. (Both Rots have +22 Str, as well. They hit hard, but that hard?)

 

Anyway, the real reason to bother with Drakons is that you can actually get Ur-Drakons before the game is over, which is unique to G2.

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Experimentally, (for example, in Gazak-Uss, or with my own creations), the drakon always attacks first (again, regardless of whether it is my creation or an enemy), followed by the rothgroth and then gazer.

 

I don't know about absurd strength for rotghroths, but they do hit ridiculously hard (~240 per swing, which is a lot in G2).

 

 

Also, Slarty, from the Geneforge 2 scenario file...

Gazers: //cr_statistic 1 = 20;     cr_statistic 2 = 25;     cr_statistic 7 = 3;     cr_statistic 22 = 10; (+25 int, +3 parry, +10 luck, other stats commented out)

Drakons: //cr_statistic 0 = 22;     //cr_statistic 2 = 25;     cr_statistic 6 = 8;     cr_statistic 7 = 3;     //cr_statistic 22 = 10;  (+8 quick action, +3 parry, other stats commented out)
Rotghroths: cr_statistic 0 = 22;     cr_statistic 1 = 22;     cr_statistic 6 = 6;     cr_statistic 7 = 3; (+22 str, +22 dex, +6 quick action, +3 parry, other stats commented out)

 

It's obvious immediately that the Drakon has superior quick action to the rotghroth. However, the rotghroth also happens to have an insane level of base dexterity. The question here is (also, luck isn't likely to have as significant an impact on initiative as quick action) what exactly is the base dexterity of the Drakon. It would seem to theoretically be 1, since it imports the base creature. However, since, experimentally, the drakon does have superior initiative to the rotghroth, its base dexterity must be fairly close.

Edited by TheKian
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What I meant to say was "I should not be making proclamations about details I don't have access to on this machine, and I am about to receive my comeuppance."  :grin:

 

(EDIT: Actually, turns out I was right after all :P)

 

I don't understand what you're saying about "experimentally" -- you can see the actual Dexterity (and level) of any creations you make; the only hidden stats relevant to initiative are, apparently, QA and Luck, and those are laid out very clearly.  The stat bonuses for the 4 primary stats are added to the value the creation has based on its level (and its base level is also given in the defs file).

 

According to Nim's observations, an extra 21 points of Dex should be way more than enough to offset 2 points of QA.

 

Also, I assume you are running tests with both party orders (Drakon first; Rot first) since party order is definitely the tiebreaker for initiative.

 

Edit: Also, I assume you are testing freshly made creations with equal skill in (1) each X Shaping ability, and (2) each Create X ability?

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3 hours ago, TheKian said:

Experimentally, (for example, in Gazak-Uss, or with my own creations), the drakon always attacks first (again, regardless of whether it is my creation or an enemy), followed by the rothgroth and then gazer.

 

I don't know about absurd strength for rotghroths, but they do hit ridiculously hard (~240 per swing, which is a lot in G2).

 

 

Also, Slarty, from the Geneforge 2 scenario file...

Gazers: //cr_statistic 1 = 20;     cr_statistic 2 = 25;     cr_statistic 7 = 3;     cr_statistic 22 = 10; (+25 int, +3 parry, +10 luck, other stats commented out)

Drakons: //cr_statistic 0 = 22;     //cr_statistic 2 = 25;     cr_statistic 6 = 8;     cr_statistic 7 = 3;     //cr_statistic 22 = 10;  (+8 quick action, +3 parry, other stats commented out)
Rotghroths: cr_statistic 0 = 22;     cr_statistic 1 = 22;     cr_statistic 6 = 6;     cr_statistic 7 = 3; (+22 str, +22 dex, +6 quick action, +3 parry, other stats commented out)

 

It's obvious immediately that the Drakon has superior quick action to the rotghroth. However, the rotghroth also happens to have an insane level of base dexterity. The question here is (also, luck isn't likely to have as significant an impact on initiative as quick action) what exactly is the base dexterity of the Drakon. It would seem to theoretically be 1, since it imports the base creature. However, since, experimentally, the drakon does have superior initiative to the rotghroth, its base dexterity must be fairly close.

 

Dex usually is level/2

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4 hours ago, Queenforge said:

What I meant to say was "I should not be making proclamations about details I don't have access to on this machine, and I am about to receive my comeuppance."  :grin:

 

I don't understand what you're saying about "experimentally" -- you can see the actual Dexterity (and level) of any creations you make; the only hidden stats relevant to initiative are, apparently, QA and Luck, and those are laid out very clearly.  The stat bonuses for the 4 primary stats are added to the value the creation has based on its level (and its base level is also given in the defs file).

 

According to Nim's observations, an extra 21 points of Dex should be way more than enough to offset 2 points of QA.

 

Also, I assume you are running tests with both party orders (Drakon first; Rot first) since party order is definitely the tiebreaker for initiative.

 

Edit: Also, I assume you are testing freshly made creations with equal skill in (1) each X Shaping ability, and (2) each Create X ability?

For the purposes of controlled testing without having to mess with my G2 editor, my relevant data comes from Gazak-Uss enemy NPCs (on torment, but I don't think it makes much of a difference anyway). Ur-Drakons have the highest initiative, followed by Drakons, then by rotghroths (there weren't enough rotdhizons to compare them sufficiently, unfortunately), followed by eyebeasts.

 

Also, for reference, my Drakon, at every point since its creation, had higher initiative than everything else I encountered (barring Ur-Drakons).

I suppose a proper scientific test may be in order, though. :p

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1 minute ago, TheKian said:

For the purposes of controlled testing without having to mess with my G2 editor, my relevant data comes from Gazak-Uss enemy NPCs

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

 

Okay, your data is completely irrelevant.  And frankly it is a little frustrating that you didn't say earlier that you weren't testing player creations!

 

Seriously.  Enemy NPCs don't always use the same defs as player creations, but more importantly, they are frequently set to a non-default level.

 

I mean, really: we already know level affects initiative (both directly, and because as alhoon mentions it is what determines base Dex).  Why in the world would you test something whose level is impossible to measure?

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Leaving all those aside for a moment, unless Drakons are much higher level than the rest, the strength bonus of the Rot and the ability to spam kill at high levels of the Gazers seems to place them above Drakons as far as player creations go.

 

Also, don't take this wrong but similar to the advice you give me on my posting habbits, I also have a suggestion.

Perhaps you should try to make your posts seem less aggressive. TheKian did some tests that you don't find useful but instead leading to wrong conclusions.

However, he did them on his own free time. I understand your frustration, but the above post does seem too accusatory, at least to me. He was trying to help, and probably didn't remember that enemy levels may change. It's not the end of the world.

 

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*ahem*

So I did serious, scientific study of the tier 4 creations, Slarty...

 

YOU'LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED NEXT

Sorry, I couldn't resist being Buzzfeed for a moment.

 

The player:
Level 23 Shaper
7 in all Shaping stats
3 in all creation skills (4 in Create Fyora, but that's irrelevant)
30 intelligence

 

Data on creations. The amount in parentheses is from invested skill points. The rest is the default level.

Edit: All freshly created, mind. These are the pure, raw, base creations with the given player stats.

 =TYPE=        =LEVEL=    =STR=    =DEX=    =INT=    =END=    =HEALTH=

Ur-Drakon        40                20          20       20 (22)      20              710
Drakon             36                18          18       18 (20)      18              633
Rotdhizon        38                 19         19       19 (21)      19              770
Rotghroth         34                17         17       17 (19)      17              547
Eyebeast         38                 19         19       19 (21)      19              670
Gazer              34                 17         17       17 (21)      17              477

 

The stats given in the definitions file apparently do not actually come into play here. All stats correspond to the 1/2 level rule. The health results are slightly surprising: Drakon beats rotghroth, but the rotdhizon beats the Ur-Drakon. Eyebeast and Gazer, of course, are the worst off in regards to health. You will note that the Drakon and Ur-Drakon have 2 extra levels when they are created. This gives the Drakon only one less dexterity than the rotdhizon. I have tested all the tier 4 creations against each other, 'all other factors the same', and this is the result:

 

Initiative order: Ur-Drakon, Drakon, Rotdhizon, Rotghroth, Eyebeast, Gazer

 

Summary: I was correct. The Drakon beats all other creations for initiative except the Ur-Drakon. The order also, interestingly, follows a pattern of upgraded-normal and fire-melee-magic creations. The Drakon, of course, costs more essence than the other creations, but it is definitely worth having one in your party to soak up damage by attacking immediately. Especially since you're a puny Shaper, alhoon.

Edited by TheKian
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Yeah, initiative frankly doesn't concern me. I don't consider it crucial. Sure, it's nice, but not a dealmaker. (For me, I realize some of you will disagree)

Do Rots still cause acid (or poison, I forget; very rarely used them) on hit? Cause if they do and they deal a lot of damage with physicals, I may go for them. The Drakon you present still seems underwhelming.

 

But frankly, I'll probably go for Gazers cause I like them and Rots because they add variety to my attack routine; little to do with damage and actual power.

I am playing on easy; sure, not strategically and avoiding parts I find non-enjoyable, but still I believe I can do everything with 1 gazer, 1 more tier 4 and 4 high level Vlish.

Edited by alhoon
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Thanks for the accurate data -- that's useful!

 

14 minutes ago, TheKian said:

The stats given in the definitions file apparently do not actually come into play here. All stats correspond to the 1/2 level rule.

I knew it!  I really didn't think there were any creations in the series with +22 bonuses, and now we know that indeed, there are not.

 

The initiative order would seem to confirm that QA, at least, does count those def bonuses, and does matter more than Luck.

 

Keep in mind that enough extra levels (either from making a creation earlier, or having more points in its corresponding shaping skill) will overcome this initiative effect.  Based on Nim's estimates I'm guessing 4 levels would be enough.  The canisters and trainers for the top tier creations are almost identically placed in G2 (and very hard to access even mid-game unless you join the Barzites or Takers).  Shaping skill is a different question though, since it's super inefficient (and will create other weaknesses) to pump more than one skill to a high level.  This is the real downside to rots; there's little else to recommend itself in the whole Battle Shaping corpus.

 

The real question, though, is whether a rot or gazer -- with their high levels, high Dex, and initiative-boosting abilities (even if a bit less than a drakon) would not achieve exactly the same effect as your drakon did in practice: of getting to act before the enemies do.  If you pump shaping skill, I can't imagine they wouldn't.

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15 minutes ago, alhoon said:

Yeah, initiative frankly doesn't concern me. I don't consider it crucial. Sure, it's nice, but not a dealmaker.

Do Rots still cause acid (or poison, I forget; very rarely used them) on hit? Cause if they do and they deal a lot of damage with physicals, I may go for them. The Drakon you present still seems underwhelming.

 

But frankly, I'll probably go for Gazers cause I like them and Rots because they add variety to my attack routine; little to do with damage and actual power.

I am playing on easy; sure, not strategically and avoiding parts I find non-enjoyable, but still I believe I can do everything with 1 gazer, 1 more tier 4 and 4 high level Vlish.

 

Rotdhizons and rotghroths both do acid damage, but they do about the same amount of damage. I just tested a rotdhizon, rotghroth, and drakon against each other with the same testing basis as my previous post. The rotghroth did an average of about 150 damage. The rotdhizon did an average of about 160 damage. The drakon did an average of 120 damage.

 

The Drakon, however, has a higher chance to hit twice, and fires searing orbs as a ranged attack. It also has a good deal more health than rotghroths in addition to its superior initiative. It's a solid creation. It doesn't do as much damage as the other creations, but its greater variability makes it fairly useful. It mostly depends on what you want: general abilities or powerful specific creations.

 

Gazers are excellent, but they run out of magic pretty fast in large battles. Maybe 6-8 shots without regenerating back up to full energy?

 

 

Also, @Queenforge,

The bonuses from Shaping skill seem to have diminishing returns that are pretty severe (+16 creation levels for 30 Shaping skill). I THINK that it only starts after the 10 level soft cap, but I'm not sure. Also, keep in mind, Drakons have 8 quick action, but Gazers have none, and luck seems to make fairly little difference. Due to the higher base level of Drakons, you'd have to have a pretty great level differential (if you assume that quick action has the same effect as dexterity, that's 4 levels to overcome the dexterity differential, and then 16 more for the quick action differential - or a 20 level higher Gazer!)

 

Edit: Rotghroth'd be fairly realistic, though. +8 level difference, assuming, again, that quick action has the same effect as dexterity. Also, investing points into dexterity makes the rotghroth more expensive than a Drakon after only 2 points invested.

Edited by TheKian
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Yes, it's the 10-cap.  I definitely don't suggest pumping to 30 (which is +18 levels), but pumping to 20 or close to it (+15 levels) isn't completely insane.  Reaching 14 at least (+12) is probably an easy call for most shaper builds.

 

You are very right about gazers running out of spell energy.  HOWEVER, the good news is that spell energy (like HP) goes up semi-exponentially.  These are the reasons why those extra levels from more-expensive points in shaping skills are not a bad value after all.  The contribution from level and Int (End for HP) is something like [ (Level * Int) / 2 ].  So your fresh gazer above had 289 spell energy (plus whatever the gazer bonus is).  If you instead pumped your Magic Shaping up to 20, that's an extra 12 levels which should give it an additional 240 spell energy if I've done math correctly (ditto for extra HP).

 

For the initiative question, keep in mind that level *and* Dex both contribute to it, so it's not quite as much to overcome as you mention.  But again, there's no point in beating your drakon's initiative unless there are enemies with equal initiative, which according to you there aren't.  So it's a question of how much you need to beat every enemy.  Again, with bonus levels from shaping skill and/or following the player, any of those creations (and probably many lower tier creations, too) should be able to reach maximum relevant initiative.

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Do Gazers even have that luck bonus? Cause they're also said to have +20 intelligence in order to NOT run out of energy...

And the reason I'' stop at magic 8 is because of the soft cap: I would hate to waste 7 or so skill points to NOT get anything out of it. So I was thinking to boost it to 10-11 with items.

Edited by alhoon
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The QA bonus definitely exists, because otherwise in Kian's tests gazers would be tied with rots for initiative.  So it seems reasonable to guess that the Luck bonus also exists (keeping in mind that most of luck's effects seem to be bugged out, but not for initiative, again per Nim).  The only stats that are automatically calculated based on level are the core 4 stats, and that process probably just overwrites whatever's in the defs.  G2 may have been the first game that did this; I forget, but it would fit.

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ROAD TO PHARITON:
 After pacifying all the pylons, I've spent over 30 minutes combing the place to find the lever or something that would allow me to continue. I was about to give up...
I like the graphics mod but it makes the levers hard to see. And the lever being behind a corner and a corner and not showing unless I stood 2 squares fro it didn't help.

And then... I met a "bloated" Servile made more or less as a walking living tool with a strange stomach. Revulsion aside, I'm not sure these creatures are treated badly but I certainly look down on making them idiot savants on purpose. Yes, Shaping them as technicians instead of training them is faster, but it leaves them... damaged.
This has a feeling of "stepford wives" but with bloated stomach serviles. I thin they may carry worms or some other kind of nastiness there.
I don't like this place even though the serviles seem treated OK, unlike Monarch's serviles. But I'm not sure these serviles were given enough mental faculties to develop a personality.
I think this is one of the not-that-many times in GF series that I would like the option to reShape Creations; boost the intelligence of these serviles, even if it means "pushing aside" some of the technical specifications so that a personality can develop. Turning them to people, for lack of better word.

 

I am told that going further would cause them to attack me. I don't want to have to kill them. I just want to be able to give them personality. And if then, after developing a self-protection instict they attack me, then I will feel OK killing them. Now it just seems wrong.
I'll try to find a mechanics\stealth way to that guy.

 

Also: Do the followers talk? I think you told me they don't. I have a servile with me, a taker, Heust Blade. I wish he would give me some input, as a servile, on how to deal with these creatures.

 

And then:
Canisters... intelligence (always useful) and endurance (I was low).
OK, here's 2 canisters more for me. I think I am at 4... I plan to become Tulda-forged at some point. Let's see what happens now.

Phariton has used 16 that I counted. And if there's sixteen broken canisters in his bizarre room of temptation (seriously, canisters that give intel?!) we can safely assume the message here is "He's used a ton".


I found an Alpha that "is not rogue" but still doesn't obey Phariton cause Phariton didn't take control of his own creation. I was able to control it cause I'm awesome and I haven't bathed in canisters.
It's a lvl 20 alpha (i.e. same level as my lowest level Vlish), so exchanging a Vlish for Hryk was not viable. And a free Hryk attacked me.
In any case, in GF4-5 Battle Alphas were baaarely able to talk. The Alphas here seem smarter.

 

Edited by alhoon
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Wow, being indecisive between Takers and Awakened helped me with Phariton! He seems to be working on wannabe Unbound. A noble task. He could have stopped Litalia et co if he wasn't working alone.
The quest is hilarious: He asks anything from puresteel to... stealing a cauldron from a kitchen or something.
As for his equipment, he's practically asking me to steal it.

Perhaps I'd have considered "joining" Phariton (I see him as "Unaligned rebel boss" like the "Unaligned Shaper boss" in that fort)... if it wasn't the "Who wouldn't use canisters?! They show the truth! To use a canister is to see deep in the core of the Universe!". Suuure buddy. That is what they do.
He seems worse than Jared (GF4) when it comes to canister addiction.
And what a great loot he has thrown around! Artifact materials, very nice weapons, it's like Christmas.


I also found a conduit shard, that some people have been asking for. I remember the Barzites made a demon that stole it but I'm not giving it to them. However, I think others are asking for it. For the life of me I can't remember who though.


Back to Medab... Got a message that people look at me curiously now and I don't give a damn. I used too many canisters! :( Curse you Phariton with all those level-worth canisters lying around.
A raise in endurance: 6skill points. A raise in intelligence: 9 skill points. I was planning to raise both. Those two canisters were -3 levels worth- of skill points. I caved in. I admit it. I wanted a piece of the "universe core" that Phariton was talking about. The part about me saving 3 levels worth of skills. :(
And that "part of universe core" was the key that unlocked the gates of madness. I'm a Tuldaric-wannabe now. :( Started with good intentions, dreams to help the Serviles. And lost my sanity on the way.

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You get 'strange looks' at 6 canisters, but you don't get any ending modifications from having used them. As long as you don't use any more, you're fine; you suffer no canister addict symptoms.

 

Conduit shards are faction quest objects. I believe that the Barzites, Takers, and Awakened all want one if you join them. There are two in the game, one in the pit of the bound (said Barzite demon stupidity) and the one in Phariton's place.

Edited by TheKian
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I don't know what the pit of the bound is, but I'm not giving the Bazrites anything; I will try to not crush them all though, so that they will delay the Shapers when they arrive. Or, at least that was what I would do if I didn't know that the Shapers outnumber everything in the valley 20-to-1.

I hate I can't save people in this game. It's laid pretty thick that the Shapers will purge everything; they did it before and now there are armed and dangerous rebels on the mountains.

From what I've seen so far (which is not much, the loyalists and the various basic areas of the rebels) the Takers seem to have the best chance; they're holed up well and not worrying with "rogues" have a big bunch of creations. The Barzite army has to rely on improperly controlled creations and mad Shapers that can Shape but not control. Once they feel their breeding pits they will have  a big struggle in their hands to control all those things the moment they get them away from the torture-pylons. It is pretty evident by the Alphas and Glaahks made away from their cities. They will be busy even without the Shapers. For all their might, if Litalia et co didn't arrive for a year or two, the Barzites would have imploded by themselves.

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You do get ending modifications if you use a lot of canisters, but I don't know what the cutoff is in G2.  Numbers between 6 and 10 have been speculated in the past, 6 most frequently.

 

That said, the ending modifications are relatively minor outside of the leave-without-winning "ending."

 

53 minutes ago, alhoon said:

Or, at least that was what I would do if I didn't know that the Shapers outnumber everything in the valley 20-to-1.

This isn't a knowledge-of-future-games thing either -- your character is presumably eminently aware of that, as a Shaper apprentice.  And actually, I think there is another option in the Valley with better odds of successfully standing up to the Shapers in the long run...

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Well, everyone in the valley knows it. The Awakened so far just seem to ... hope.

My character also knows that when an Agent and an apprentice show up and they don't return, things are going to get moving. Everyone in the Valley knew that the Shapers would come.

My character and Shanti are the first wave.

According to the "leave" ending, 12 Guardians are the second wave.

 

 

Anyway, it's not the "minor modifications" I was dreading. It was... the mentality change. I am at 5 canisters I think. But whether that affects my ending(s) or not, it's the fact that my character is now going crazy that bothers me. I went too far. Mind you, I didn't get a mild message of being kinda less empathic; it was a full on "you don't care what they think" message. My character hasn't become Tuldaric or Phariton but now doesn't care what "the people in the background noise" think.

Edited by alhoon
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1 hour ago, alhoon said:

My character also knows that when an Agent and an apprentice show up and they don't return, things are going to get moving.

Where did you get this idea from ? No, G3-5 knowledge doesn't matter here. At this point in time the council is notoriously slow to act, nevermind that we have an example of a full shaper gone missing and nothing happened (Sharon). Zak and Barzahl managed to abscond with lots of knowledge and serviles from Sucia and years later the council doesn't even know. At best they'll send another agent at some point to investigate.

 

You really need to try to forget the later games while playing G2. That knowledge only hinders you.

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2 hours ago, Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch Cherry Bomb said:

You do get ending modifications if you use a lot of canisters, but I don't know what the cutoff is in G2.  Numbers between 6 and 10 have been speculated in the past, 6 most frequently.

 

My own testing in the past indicated that 10 is the threshhold for G2. Use up to 9 and the ending is unaffected; use the tenth and the endings will be altered. Also, I tested whether getting "modified" by the Awakened or the Barzites or the Takers so you can use high level abilities has any effect on the ending / your "canister count." I can confirm it does NOT.


I'll be really curious hear Alhoon's reaction to the Taker, Barzite, and Awakened endings, to see how satisfying / plausible you find them, in light of your...expectations.

 

 

2 hours ago, Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch Cherry Bomb said:

And actually, I think there is another option in the Valley with better odds of successfully standing up to the Shapers in the long run...

Now I'm really curious which of the three Slarty thinks had the best shot...?

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24 minutes ago, Nim said:

Where did you get this idea from ?

From Zakary and the Barzites.

 

 



No, G3-5 knowledge doesn't matter here. At this point in time the council is notoriously slow to act, nevermind that we have an example of a full shaper gone missing and nothing happened (Sharon). Zak and Barzahl managed to abscond with lots of knowledge and serviles from Sucia and years later the council doesn't even know. At best they'll send another agent at some point to investigate.

In GF3-5 the council is also notoriously slow to act.

As in, there have been years of preparations and the Shapers haven't figured there was a rebellion brewing in GF3, the Rebellion was going strong for years taking up land and fortifying before the "Shaper armies came" in GF4 and they were beating back the Rebellion on all fronts and... in GF5 you have to win the war for the council yourself because they're so divided that you need to smack some sense to 3/7 remaining councilors for them to agree to attack Gazaki-Uss.

I mean, the Drakons have been there for some time, and the Shapers evidently had the forces to attack Gazaki Uss even if they lost part of their forces (Rockfall). If another councilor was with Astoria (we see another Guardian aside of Alwan in the Council), or if the council grabbed Rawal by the throat and told him "You know what? Unless you write right now the command for half your Shapers and Creations to march to Gazaki-Uss, you won't live the Citadel alive" they wouldn't even need my PC.

 

You're right about Sharon, but... Sharon wasn't sent to investigate the state of a colony. However, you're right that by the time someone asks "what happened with the investigation on colonies A, B, C, Drypeak, E and F?", gets a reply "we heard X from A-F, but Shanti never came back", then it goes all the way up, and council dispatches more people it could perhaps be 1-2 years.

Man, the Shapers have grown to be completely useless in administration and government. For all their talk of Empire, government-wise all the can do is bully untrained outsiders and serviles. It was well beyond their time to be toppled.

 

However, Sharon mentions that while it's not unheard of, it's not common for Shapers to go "overlooked". And Sharon was actively hiding; for all we know the council may have been aware she was missing but not where she has been holed up.

As such, yes, there's a chance Santi and an apprentice would never be looked up in the inefficient bureaucracy of the Shapers but from what I heard from Sharon and Santi, there's a greater probability that they will be looked for.

 



You really need to try to forget the later games while playing G2. That knowledge only hinders you.

I respectfully disagree.

 

Another thought: Sharon's disappearance (and she's not the only Shaper that went dark; Khyrik or how the Trakovite boss in GF4 was named, also deserted I think) helps explain those other minor rebellions (eliminated from history books according to later games) and how all these barred places came to be.  

I guess that half the times the Guardians have to deal with something serious, it's a Shaper that went rogue or deserted.

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28 minutes ago, Triumph said:

 

Now I'm really curious which of the three Slarty thinks had the best shot...?

 

Please, please, use spoiler tags! I won't be able to overlook that info. Please?

I don't have time to finish the game with even one faction, let alone 3, before that post is answered.

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Respectfully, this topic is already full of spoilers.  I have no intention of spoiling anything for you, alhoon, but I am also not going to spoiler tag things just for your unique position in a game that is 15 years old.  That's just not realistic.

 

Triumph: it's the one that is the most unusual.

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Investigating the Crystal caverns at lvl 21. Wandered around, didn't start any trouble. Found a 600+hp cryodrayk that has a perfect crystal. A crystal I need... for an artifact I thing.
I commanded successfully the Drayk to hand it over. But I feel bad for lording around the poor mad creature. I hope the artifact I'll make will make me feel better. I still need to find a drayk's tendon.
If I find out that I took over the mind of a free creature and stole its toy (that kept it calm) only to get something that I will sell, I'll be quite sad.


Found Agent Shanti's body. :/
It was sensible to have her executed but there's sadistic cruelty in the way it was done. Have I found her alive, I would have killed too, that's true. But I would give her a more honorable death than shooting her in the back while she was disguised as a servile and dumping her body. They could have at least put her in a grave.
To add insult to injury, I can't tell Barzahl that his gorilla executed Agent Shanti despite orders. I thought that would be the "leadership" way to kill my first Barzite.

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