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Obsessing over party builds for A3


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Since A3 is still a week or so away, I am staring at my computer screen at 2 am and obsessing over how to plan my party. However, there are a few things I don't quite recall from playing Escape from the Pit and Crystal Souls, never quite figured out, or can't find here on the forum, and which I hope someone might help me with.

 

1) Are Dazed, Slowed and Ensnared either Mental Effects or Curses, and can they be resisted by either Mental Resistance or Curse Resistance? I'm considering moving away from dumping all free ability points and ability traits in a single offensive stat for my fighters and dividing one half between Intelligence and Endurance, and getting both Hardiness and Resistance. I seem to recall that these effects were quite nasty and not having to fall victim to them every time some monster or wizard lets loose would be nice.

 

2) How well does the damage bonus from Blademaster scale if you don't dual wield and don't put all your points in Strength? My feeble mental calculations seemed to indicate that you need something like 20 Strength and 10 Melee Weapons, and Blademaster 12, before the bonus percentage outweighs the benefits of putting an equal amount of points in Melee Weapons. I believe I read that level factors in somehow.

 

3) Does having a high skill level in Mage Spells or Priest Spells increase your chances of successfully cursing/dazing/slowing an enemy creature, or does it depend entirely on the enemy's resistance and evasion scores?

Edited by Minion
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1) Dazed is a mental effect. Slow and Ensnared are curses.

 

Resistance is slightly better because it adds to curse resistance.  Hardiness is useful for getting Parry to avoid taking any damage. Both reduce damage for most attacks.

 

Endurance isn't as important as in earlier games, but you need some for health to avoid getting killed. More on harder difficulty levels, but every 5th level will do.  It's more important to have some dexterity to move ahead of the monsters especially in outdoor encounters.

 

2) Blademaster is better for reducing fatigue for Battle Disciplines.

 

3) The highest level you need to get all Mage or Priest spells is 19. Having a high levels increases your chances, but then the monster level subtracts for its resistance and evasion scores.

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If the effects continue to work how they have in the previous two (EftP and CS), you should be able to use Curing Potions to null Ensnared effect in the very least (can't remember if Curing Elixir affected Immobility and Weakness Curse, etc). I never bothered to actually have any alchemist make me any, I just bought the cheap ones and stole the rest, I mean, looted from enemies. Very useful in critical battles when a lot of enemy warriors would keep knocking you back and ensnaring your melee characters.

Edited by Zaego
I'm not a thief. Nope. I refuse to confess anything.
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13 hours ago, Randomizer said:

It's more important to have some dexterity to move ahead of the monsters especially in outdoor encounters.

 

 

Can you compensate for a lack of Dexterity with Quick Action? It's on the way to Lethal Blow anyway, and fixe or six skill points (and/or two points from a trainer) seem like a slightly more reasonable investment for a non-missile fighter (and mages and priests) than extra Dexterity.

 

5 hours ago, Zaego said:

If the effects continue to work how they have in the previous two (EftP and CS), you should be able to use Curing Potions to null Ensnared effect in the very least (can't remember if Curing Elixir affected Immobility and Weakness Curse, etc).

 

I had no idea about that, thanks.

Edited by Minion
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3 hours ago, Minion said:

Can you compensate for a lack of Dexterity with Quick Action?

 

Concerning Quick Action and Dexterity, I went back to EftP to check.

 

Results below:

Spoiler

Warrior A

- 12 Dexterity (base)

- 5 Quick Action (base)

 

Warrior B

- 12 Dexterity

- 5 Quick Action (base) +3 (items)

 

Priest

- 22 Dexterity (base) +1 (trait)

- 0 Quick Action (base) +1 (item)

 

Mage

- 9 Dexterity (base)

- 0 Quick Action (base)

 

Combat order.

1. Warrior B

2. Priest

3. Warrior A

4. Mage.

 

Edited by Zaego
Field testing and quoting. Also, making the post more tidy.
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I did some quick testing on a level one party with no skills, no traits and all attributes set to one initially. As far as I can tell, when calculating Initiative, if one point of Dexterity adds 1 to the character's total Initiative, one point of Quick Action adds 1.91 to 1.99. Or there is some ratio rule where every point of Quick Action is equal to two points of Dex, but Dex wins if the total of both scores are equal (e.g. 1 Dex and 2 Quick Action trumps 4 Dex, but 5 Dex trumps 1 Dex and 2 Quick Action). Since I can only get Quick Action to 10, I can't quite tell if at some point the pattern changes, but I would assume that it repeats all the way to Dex 24/25 vs Dex 1 and Quick Action 12. Otherwise, if Quick Action has a set Initiative value, pure Dex should eventually overtake it permanently, but probably not within the range allowed by the game.

 

Spoiler

Scenario 1:

 

Hero A: Dex 2

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 1

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 2:

 

Hero A: Dex 3

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 1

 

Hero A goes first.

 

 

Scenario 3:

 

Hero A: Dex 4

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 2

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 4:

 

Hero A: Dex 5

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 2

 

Hero A goes first.

 

 

Scenario 5:

 

Hero A: Dex 5

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 3

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 6:

 

Hero A: Dex 6

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 3

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 7:

 

Hero A: Dex 7

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 3

 

Hero A goes first.

 

 

Scenario 8:

 

Hero A: Dex 7

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 4

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 9:

 

Hero A: Dex 8

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 4

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 10:

 

Hero A: Dex 9

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 4

 

Hero A goes first.

 

 

Scenario 11:

 

Hero A: Dex 9

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 5

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 12:

 

Hero A: Dex 10

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 5

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 13:

 

Hero A: Dex 11

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 5

 

Hero A goes first.

 

 

Scenario 14:

 

Hero A: Dex 11

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 6

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 15:

 

Hero A: Dex 12

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 6

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 15:

 

Hero A: Dex 13

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 6

 

Hero A goes first.

 

 

Scenario 16:

 

Hero A: Dex 13

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 7

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 17:

 

Hero A: Dex 14

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 7

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 18:

 

Hero A: Dex 15

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 7

 

Hero A goes first.

 

 

Scenario 19:

 

Hero A: Dex 15

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 8

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 20:

 

Hero A: Dex 16

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 8

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 21:

 

Hero A: Dex 17

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 8

 

Hero A goes first.

 

 

Scenario 22:

 

Hero A: Dex 17

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 9

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 23:

 

Hero A: Dex 18

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 9

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 24:

 

Hero A: Dex 19

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 9

 

Hero A goes first.

 

 

Scenario 25:

 

Hero A: Dex 19

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 10

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Scenario 26:

 

Hero A: Dex 20

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 10

 

Hero B goes first:

 

 

Scenario 27:

 

Hero A: Dex 21

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 10

 

Hero A goes first.

 

 

Scenario 28:

 

Hero A: Dex 21

Hero B: Dex 2, Quick Action 10

 

Hero B goes first.

 

 

Inverse stats:

 

Hero A: Dex 2, Quick Action 1

Hero B: Dex 1, Quick Action 2

 

Hero B goes first.

 

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I’m not entirely sure how to interpret these data, but my guess is that Cave Rats are level 1, and a base Dexterity of 2 and no points in Quick Action on Normal/Hard (3 Dex on Torment and 1 Dex on Casual). I don’t know if enemies have Quick Action, but I guess high-level archer-type bandits and soldiers might have some.

 

Spoiler

Hero vs Cave Rats (Torment)

 

Pure Dex:

 

Scenario 1:

 

Hero: Dex 1

 

Cave Rats go first.

 

 

Scenario 2:

 

Hero: Dex 2

 

Cave Rats go first.

 

 

Scenario 3:

 

Hero: Dex 3

 

Cave Rats go first.

 

 

Scenario 4:

 

Hero: Dex 4

 

Hero goes first.

 

 

Dex 1 + Quick Action:

 

 

Scenario 1:

 

Hero: Dex 1, Quick Action 1

 

Cave Rats go first.

 

 

Scenario 2:

 

Hero: Dex 1, Quick Action 2

 

Hero goes first.

 

 

Dex 2 + Quick Action:

 

 

Hero: Dex 2, Quick Action 1

 

 

Hero goes first.

 

 

 

Hero vs Cave Rats (Hard)

 

 

Pure Dex:

 

 

Scenario 1:

 

Hero: Dex 1

 

Cave Rats go first.

 

 

Scenario 2:

 

Hero: Dex 2

 

Cave Rats go first.

 

Scenario 3:

 

Hero: Dex 3

 

Hero goes first.

 

 

Dex 1 + Quick Action:

 

 

Scenario 1:

 

Hero: Dex 1, Quick Action 1

 

Hero goes first.

 

 

 

Hero vs Cave Rats (Normal)

 

 

Pure Dex:

 

 

Scenario 1:

 

Hero: Dex 1

 

Cave Rats go first.

 

 

Scenario 2:

 

Hero: Dex 2

 

Cave Rats go first.

 

 

Scenario 3:

 

Hero: Dex 3

 

Hero goes first.

 

 

Dex 1 + Quick Action:

 

 

Scenario 1:

 

Hero: Dex 1, Quick Action 1

 

Hero goes first.

 

 

 

Hero vs Cave Rats (Casual)

 

 

Pure Dex:

 

 

Scenario 1:

 

Hero: Dex 1

 

Cave Rats go first.

 

 

Scenario 2:

 

Hero: Dex 2

 

Hero goes first.

 

 

Dex 1 + Quick Action

 

 

Scenario 1:

 

Hero: Dex 1, Quick Action 1

 

Hero goes first.

 

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Unless character/monster level favours high Dexterity, it would seem the same number of skill points invested in Quick Action will have greater impact on your initiative than the same amount of attribute points invested in Dexterity since one attribute point is automatically invested in Dexterity every four levels. So unless one of my characters will be using missile weapons, putting the odd skill point in Quick Action by way of Hardiness whenever they seem to be lagging behind in combat seems to be the optimal choice. At least assuming that I have more skill points than attribute points to spare, but hopefully a Quick Action trainer will appear early on.

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Very thorough testing, I'm impressed! I, too, am of the opinion that at least for warriors Quick Action would give the better results. Again, concerning the relation of attribute points and skill points, you can always use traits to improve the attributes by investing in Improved [Attribute].

 

I guess it really comes down to personal taste; I already have a rough idea of how my party is going to look like in Ruined World, with melee warriors putting a vast majority of their attribute points to Endurance since I'm probably going to go with Torment, and upgrading to Quick Action / Lethal Blow path as quickly as Blade Master / Hardiness are in 8 or 10.

 

It's good to remember that there will be equipment that gives bonuses to Quick Action, doubtlessly, so that's going to be a game-changer, too. Either having it spread to back row support characters or having one melee with a stupid amount of QA, like 20+ by the grace of training and gear... :p

 

7 hours ago, Minion said:

Since I can't edit levels in the character editor, I can't say what, if any, impact they have on initiative.

 

There's a cheat code which you can use to give the party a flat amount of xp, somewhere around the lines of 500xp / cheat. I'll jump into the game shortly and see if I can't get any results. In the meantime, the cheat is below if anyone wants to try out for themselves.

 

Spoiler

Enable the Character Editor from the menu if you haven't already. Go in-game. Press Shift + D. Write, "iwanttobestronger". It should give you a flat bonus of xp.

 

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Okay, this post is getting a kilometer long. Now only the important stuff remains.

 

FINAL EDIT: Results, Goblins -VS- Party.

 

Spoiler

Dexterity 1, Party level changes.

Round 1: Party level 1, Dexterity 1. Goblin Warrior acts first. Goblins act next. Party acts last.

Round 2: Party level 2, Dexterity 1. Goblin Warrior acts first. Goblins act next. Party acts last.

Round 3: Party level 3, Dexterity 1. Goblin Warrior acts first. Party acts next. Goblins act last.

Round 4: Party level 4, Dexterity 1. Party acts first. Goblin Warrior acts next. Goblins act last.

 

Dexterity 2, Party level changes.

Round 1: Party level 1, Dexterity 2. Goblin Warrior acts first. Goblins act next. Party acts last.

Round 2: Party level 2, Dexterity 2. Goblin Warrior acts first. Party acts next. Goblins act last.

Round 3: Party level 3, Dexterity 2. Party acts first. Goblin Warrior acts next. Goblins act last.

 

Dexterity 3, Party level changes.

Round 1: Party level 1, Dexterity 3. Goblin Warrior acts first. Party acts next. Goblins act last.

Round 2: Party level 2, Dexterity 3. Party acts first. Goblin Warrior acts next. Goblins act last.

 

Edited by Zaego
Results! Also, making the post a tad bit more tidy.
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It appears that every level does add one point to a creature's total initiative score. Also, I did some further testing on the impact of level on initiative using party members only and realized that party initiative order is influenced by marching order, i.e. in case of a tie, the foremost party member takes precedence. This means that I was wrong about my previous theory that Quick Action adds slightly less than 2 points to initiative, since I never bothered to test it in reverse order (i.e. the first party member increases Quick Action while the second increases Dex). A couple of simple tests seem to confirm this.

 

I also tested Dexterity and Quick Action against the goblins outside Fort Avernum (on Torment, just like Zaego), but without knowing the goblins' level, Dexterity and any skills they might have, it's hard to determine their initiative score and whether enemies take precedence in case of a tie. However, it does confirm that Quick Action gives a flat 2 since the PC's total initiative score gives her the same turn order regardless of whether it comes from Level + Dex or Level + Dex + Quick Action.

 

 

Level vs Dex/Quick Action

Spoiler

Hero A is in slot 1 and Hero B is in slot 2.

Scenario 1:

Hero A: Lvl 2, Dex 1
Hero B: Lvl 1, Dex 2

Hero A goes first.


Scenario 2:

Hero A: Lvl 2, Dex 1
Hero B, Lvl 1, Dex 3

Hero B goes first.


Scenario 3:

Hero A: Lvl 2, Dex 1
Hero B: Lvl 1, Dex 1, Quick Action 1

Hero B goes first.


Scenario 4:

Hero A: Lvl 3, Dex 1
Hero B: Lvl 1, Dex 3

Hero A goes first.


Scenario 5:

Hero A: Lvl 3, Dex 1
Hero B: Lvl 1, Dex 4

Hero B goes first.


Scenario 6:

Hero A: Lvl 3, Dex 1
Hero B: Lvl 1, Dex 1, Quick Action 1

Hero A goes first.


Scenario 7:

Hero A: Lvl 3, Dex 1
Hero B: Lvl 1, Dex 1, Quick Action 2

Hero B goes first


Scenario 7:

Hero A: Lvl 3, Dex 1
Hero B: Lvl 1, Dex 2, Quick Action 1

Hero B goes first.

Hero A is in slot 2 and Hero B is in slot 1


Scenario 1:

Hero A: Lvl 3, Dex 1
Hero B: Lvl 1, Dex 2

Hero A goes first.

Scenario 2:

Hero A: Lvl 3, Dex 1
Hero B: Lvl 1, Dex 3

Hero B goes first.


Scenario 3:

Hero A: Lvl 3, Dex 1
Hero B: Lvl 1, Dex 1, Quick Action 1

Hero B goes first.

Hero A in slot 1, Hero B in slot 2 and Hero C in slot 3


Scenario 1:

Hero A: Lvl 3, Dex 1
Hero B: Lvl 2, Dex 2
Hero C: Lvl 1, Dex 3

Hero A goes first, Hero B goes second, Hero C goes third.


Scenario 2:

Hero A: Lvl 3, Dex 1
Hero B: Lvl 2, Dex 2
Hero C: Lvl 1, Dex 4

Hero C goes first, Hero A goes second, Hero B goes third.


Scenario 2:

Hero A: Lvl 3, Dex 2
Hero B: Lvl 2, Dex 2
Hero C: Lvl 1, Dex 4

Hero A goes first, Hero C goes second and Hero B goes third.

 

Quick Action vs Dex (reverse marching order from previous test)

Spoiler

Hero A is in slot 1 and Hero B is in slot 2, both are level 1


Scenario 1:

Hero A: Dex 1, Quick Action 1
Hero B: Dex 3

Hero A goes first.


Scenario 2:

Hero A: Dex 1, Quick Action 1
Hero B: Dex 4

Hero B goes first.

 

Level 1 hero vs Goblins and Goblin Warrior (Torment)

Spoiler

Scenario 1:

Hero: Dex 2

Goblin Warrior goes first, Goblins go second and Hero goes third.


Scenario 2:

Hero: Dex 3

Goblin Warrior goes first, Hero goes second, Goblins go third.


Scenario 3:

Hero: Dex 4

Hero goes first, Goblin Warrior goes second, Goblins go third.


Scenario 4:

Hero: Dex 1, Quick Action 1

Goblin Warrior goes first, Hero goes second, Goblins go third


Scenario 5:

Hero, Dex 2, Quick Action 1

Hero goes first, Goblin Warrior goes second, Goblins go third

 

Edited by Minion
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Wow, the amount which Quick Action affects the initiative score is staggering. I honestly had no idea. Okay, I'm seriously starting to find ways in having it on all characters, at least a little bit. The back-row going first in combat before the NPCs might mean all the difference!

 

Good deed of the day is done. A round of patting oneself on the back is in order to celebrate the victory of science and logic over the hidden soft stats. :) 

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I had a look in avitemschars.txt and noticed that it gives you some idea of enemy levels as each entry has a "base level" number. I was curious to see what the difference between the level number and initiative was for something other than cave rats (or Huge Rats in the file) and goblins. I found the small band of Slith scouts outside of Fort Dranlon, which consists of several Sliths (base level 10) and one Slith Flinger (base level 18). On Normal, The Sliths' initiative was something like 4-5 points higher than their base level, while the Flinger had an initiative bonus of 8-9 in addition to its base level. Unsurprisingly, enemies with missile weapons have higher Dex, presumably, but not quite as high as a dedicated missile weapon PC would have at the same level. If the Sliths are any indication, having a few points of Quick Action in addition to your base Dex should be enough to go before most normal enemies of the same or a reasonably higher level than you, and quite possibly high-dex enemies of the same or a slightly higher level than you.

 

 

Also, I guess you could compare your hit chances against enemy initiative and base level to see if they have Quick Action or not (maybe Assassins have it?).

Edited by Minion
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  • 3 weeks later...

1. I have two archers, a mage/melee user, and a priest/mage. The archers and the priest/mage have all their skills in one stat. The priest/mage is still dazing enemies at level 20. I remember in Escape from the bit Daze becoming more or less obsolete after about level 15 or so, except for the ensaring bonus, so it seems more effective this game. 

 

Hardiness and resistance are probably both the best skills out there. I have a tank archer that's going for both resistance and hardiness. I've been putting all of it's points possible into dexterity, so it's more or less immune to physical attacks 90% of the time. It still crumbles to certain area attacks or mental attacks. Magic resistance seems to be extremely useful. 

 

My mage/melee character has about half it's stats gone into strength and the other half put into intelligence. It's still useful, but it's less useful than the other characters. It's dazes miss more often than the mage priest's dazes. Its melee works fine for smaller enemies, but it's useless against tougher ones. The main problem with multi-tasking in this game is in accuracy. If you have something like a tank priest, or a melee priest with just a little intelligence you don't need accuracy because of all the priest spells that don't attack anything, but with anything else you'll start to notice problems quickly. I think a decent character with half the stats into intelligence and half into strength might be doable, so long as you also get all the strength and intelligence-enhancing perks, but if you invest much in anything else, I would imagine that, at least on torment, the character would become useless pretty quickly. 

 

3. I know that higher intelligence benefits daze. It used to make slow more accurate. It don't know if that still is the case or not. I know there is a priest spell that drops a cloud onto a group of enemies that curses most of them, and at least its accuracy is not dependent on intelligence. That cursing cloud just seems to have a flat 75% chance to hit everything. 

Edited by Clintone
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